Friday, October 15, 2010

The sad anti-intellectualism of even moderate Green/Leftists

Below is the first third of a recent cover story in TNR -- a Leftist organ that tries to present itself as moderate or even centrist. It is another alleged attempt to "understand" skeptics.

But throughout the article he mentions not one scientific or historical fact. In the usual Leftist way, he is uninterested in looking at the evidence and just assumes that the current Leftist consensus must be true. He voices some hope that he might persuade some conservatives to the Warmist cause. How he thinks he can do that without arguing the evidence for his beliefs is a mystery.

All he can come up with is the usual unsubstantiated "oil money" accusation. Oil companies do distribute their donations widely but give much more to Green/Left causes than anyone else. I can assure him without fear of contradiction that nobody has ever paid me a cent for my years-long coverage of the actual facts about climate and most other skeptics say the same.

He does however manage to misrepresent some facts in a very slippery way. He refers to China's "per capita" gas output when it is actually the total gas output that is at issue. So he once again shows that Leftists can only cope by turning their eyes away from the relevant facts. All they have is abuse. Facts are poisonous to them. So they can talk but cannot argue a rational case.

He has faith in prophecies, though. How pathetic! Prophecies in general have a terrible record and Greenie prophecies in particular have a record of complete failure. The Left truly is just another faith -- but a particularly bone-headed, aggressive and dogmatic faith, sadly. No wonder they get on so well with Islamists

One interesting fact heading into the mid-term elections: Almost none of the GOP Senate candidates seem to believe in the idea that humans are heating the planet. A few hedge their bets—John McCain says he’s no longer sure if global warming is “man-made or natural.” (In 2004, he told me: “The race is on. Are we going to have significant climate change and all its consequences, or are we going to try to do something early on?”) Most are more plainspoken. Marco Rubio, for instance, attacks his opponent Charlie Crist as “a believer in man-made global warming,” explaining, “I don’t think there’s the scientific evidence to justify it. The climate is always changing.” The most likely cause of that change, according to Ron Johnson, who is leading the Senate race in Wisconsin: “It’s far more likely that it’s just sunspot activity.”

The political implications are clear. Climate legislation didn’t pass the current Congress, and it won’t have a prayer in the next one. If the Republicans take the Senate, James Inhofe has said that the Environment and Public Works Committee will “stop wasting all of our time on all that silly stuff, all the hearings on global warming.” And in the House, Representative Darrell Issa says that he would turn his Oversight and Government Reform Committee over to the eleventeenth investigation of Climategate, the British e-mail scandal. But, for the moment, it’s less the legislative fallout that interests me than what this denial of climate change says about modern conservatism. On what is quite possibly the single biggest issue the planet has faced, American conservatism has reached a near-unanimous position, and that position is: pay no attention to all those scientists.

The few exceptions prove the rule. Ronald Bailey, the science writer at Reason, converted a few years ago to belief in global warming and called for a carbon tax. His fellow libertarians weren’t impressed: Fred Smith, the head of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, suggested that Bailey had been “worn down by his years on the lecture circuit.” Jim Manzi, a software exec and contributing editor at National Review, wrote a piece asking conservatives to stop denying the science. Even though he’s also downplayed the risks of warming, it was enough to earn a brushback pitch from Rush Limbaugh: “Wrong! More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not likely to significantly contribute to the greenhouse effect. It’s just all part of the hoax.” For the most part, even Manzi and Bailey’s own colleagues pay them no mind: National Review maintains a Planet Gore blog devoted to—well, three guesses.

In any event, the occasional magazine column has had no impact at all. Only 10 percent of Republicans think that global warming is very serious, according to recent data. Conservative opinion has been steadily hardening—for decades Republicans were part of the coalition on almost every environmental issue, but now it’s positively weird to think that as late as 2004, McCain thought it would make sense for a GOP presidential candidate to position himself as a fighter for climate legislation. And all of that is troubling. Because we’re going to be dealing with climate change for a very long time, and if one of the great schools of political thought in this country has checked out completely, that process is going to be even harder. I don’t have any expectation that conservatives will mute their tune between now and November—but it is worth thinking in some depth about what lies beneath this newly overwhelming sentiment.

One crude answer is money. The fossilfuel industry has deep wells of it—no business in history has been as profitable as finding, refining, and combusting coal, oil, and gas. Six of the ten largest companies on earth are in the fossil-fuel business. Those companies have spent some small part of their wealth in recent years to underwrite climate change denialism: Jane Mayer’s excellent New Yorker piece on the Koch brothers is just the latest and best of a string of such exposés dating back to Ross Gelbspan’s 1997 book The Heat Is On. But while oil and coal contributions track remarkably close to political alignment for many senators, they are not the only explanation. Money only exerts political influence if it can be connected to some ideological stance—even Inhofe won’t stand up and say, “I think global warming is a hoax because my campaign treasurer told me to.” In fact, some conservatives have begun to question endless fossil-fuel subsidies—since we’ve known how to burn coal for hundreds of years, it’s not clear why the industry needs government help.

Another easy answer would be: Conservatives possess some new information about climate science. That would sure be nice—but sadly, it’s wrong. It’s the same tiny bunch of skeptics being quoted by right-wing blogs. None are doing new research that casts the slightest doubt on the scientific consensus that’s been forming for two decades, a set of conclusions that grows more robust with every issue of Science and Nature and each new temperature record. The best of the contrarian partisans is Marc Morano, whose Climate Depot is an environmental Drudge Report: updates on Al Gore’s vacation homes, links to an op-ed from some right-wing British tabloid, news that a Colorado ski resort is opening earlier than planned because of a snowstorm. Morano and his colleagues deserve their chortles—they’re winning, and doing it with skill and brio—but not because the science is shifting.

No, something else is causing people to fly into a rage about climate. Read the comments on one of the representative websites: Global warming is a “fraud” or a “plot.” Scientists are liars out to line their pockets with government grants. Environmentalism is nothing but a money-spinning “scam.” These people aren’t reading the science and thinking, I have some questions about this. They’re convinced of a massive conspiracy.


Greenie UFOs

If they are dumb enough to be Warmists, they couldn't be extraterrestrials -- was it just the latest desperate Greenie stunt?

THE bizarre cluster of shiny objects in the sky that brought bustling New York City to a standstill has the internet abuzz with talk the event was foreshadowed as a UFO phenomenon.

If one retired US Air Force officer and thousands of witnesses are right, UFOs hovered the skies over the Big Apple this week, but they came in peace.

The mysterious balls of light stopped traffic and sparked an alien scare as hundreds of New Yorkers gawped at the hovering globes on Wednesday.

Thousands have since taken to Twitter and social websites to talk about the unidentified flying objects sighting and post videos and photos of the bizarre event.

Although officials could not confirm what the celestial objects were, sceptics believed the objects were balloons used in a promotion event on Broadway in Times Square despite the Federal Aviation Administration reporting that nothing was in that area around that time of day.

But believers cite a September 13 press release for the book Challenges of Change by retired Air Force officer Stanley A. Fulham, which predicted a fleet of UFOs would descend upon Earth's major cities on Wednesday, October 13.

Fulham stated the extraterrestrials would neither land nor make any communication with Earth on Wednesday. But their presence would be "the first in a series intended to avert a planetary catastrophe resulting from increasing levels of carbon-dioxide in the earth's atmosphere dangerously approaching a 'critical mass.'

(...) They are aware from eons of experience with other planets in similar conditions their sudden intervention would cause fear and panic."

He says their contact with Earth is part of their process of leading mankind into accepting the "alien reality and technologies for the removal of poisonous gases from the earth's atmosphere in 2015, if not sooner."

The book also states that with the help of a channeler, Fulham has been in contact with a group known as the Transcendors for more than a decade.

He described them as a group of 43,000 eons-old souls, who use their experience and knowledge to provide information to "humans in search of basic realities of mankind's existence." The press release also stated:

The Transcendors reveal through the author crucial information about urgent global challenges facing mankind such as earth changes, international terrorism, worldwide financial collapse and the environmental crisis. One revelation is al Qaeda has a dirty nuclear bomb and WMD, but faces a moral quandary over "containment of collateral damages."

Utilizing the theme of the Four Horsemen as symbolic metaphor, Fulham warns mankind will survive all of these future challenges, except the CO2 pollution of our atmosphere. According to information provided to the author by the Transcendors, the build-up of CO2 pollution is rising 1% annually to a "critical mass" of 22% in which mankind could not survive "without outside intervention."

The FAA also stated Wednesday that after reviewing radar information, they only found typical helicopter traffic above the West Side but could not detect anything unusual that would prompt the avalanche of reports they received.

"We re-ran radar to see if there was anything there that we can't account for but there is nothing in the area," said FAA spokesman Jim Peters. "There was some helicopter traffic over the river at that time and we checked with LaGuardia Tower. And they said they had nothing going low at that time."



All those theories about Wednesday's mystery UFO sightings over Manhattan are about to go "pop."

A Westchester elementary school believes the puzzling orbs floating over Chelsea were likely a bundle of balloons that escaped from an engagement party they held for a teacher.

"UFO? They're crazy - those are our balloons!" said Angela Freeman, head of the Milestone School in Mount Vernon. "To me it was the most automatic thing. But it's all over YouTube."

A parent was bringing about 40 iridescent pearl balloons to the school for language arts teacher Andrea Craparo when the wind spent a bunch away around 1 p.m.

"They looked big and they were all together, so it looked like one UFO," said fourth-grader Nia Foster, 9.

Why believe the Green/Left?

When no one has time to study their complex claims about the future climate, it's reasonable to start looking at their track record on other things -- and the record of prophecy generally

Two weeks ago I explained why I don't recycle. I relied on sources that may or may not be disputed. I could be completely mistaken.

A few days ago, Lew Rockwell posted a 40 year-old clip expressing John Lennon's skepticism toward over-population. I'm inclined to side with Lennon. But I may be wrong.

For years we've been warned that the planet is warming because of human action, that this would bring disaster, and that therefore governments must restrict human action to prevent the warming.

A member of my family is a professional meteorologist who teaches at a major university. He is no conservative or libertarian, and he's an environmentalist. But he's a global-warming skeptic, along with apparently thousands of other scientists.

Who are we to believe?

Ten years ago, economists forecasted federal budget surpluses as far as the eye can see. But they weren't politicians, and a Republican Congress with enthusiastic support from Democrats repealed the "pay as you go" rules in the early 00's which required that any new spending increase be offset by either a cut elsewhere or a tax increase. An era of surpluses became an era of record deficits.

So either the economists were wrong, or there were factors they weren't taking into account.

Several Christian authors have made millions of dollars with their theories about the historical conditions for the return of Jesus Christ. Other theologians have brought up the idea that the prophesies of Jesus and his disciples were fulfilled in AD 70.

Some Protestants laugh at the idea that Jesus's mother Mary was a perpetual virgin. Catholic apologists have explained how this is entirely plausible. Other skeptics, however, provide seemingly plausible arguments that Jesus never existed at all. In all cases, plausible evidence is provided.

So we are all plowed with contradictory information not only about the environment, but also the fate of our own souls. What should we do? What should we believe?

Ultimately, matters of religion and spirituality boil down to belief. No one has the time to study all the religion, philosophy, and science to be ABOLUTELY SURE that one particular religious system is superior to all the rest.

Likewise, no layperson has the time to understand all the issues related to the environment. The issues are too complex, and all the theories have the ring of plausibility to them.

But for everyone who pretends to invoke "science" to achieve their end of enlarging the state and reduce individual liberty, to question the science at all is proof that you are a backwoods redneck hick or a conservative ideologue. They don't know all the science or economics themselves, so their first recourse is the ad hominem: if you don't believe the claims of government-subsidized scientists, you are intentionally ignorant. It makes them feel secure that they are smarter and morally superior to you.

But left unresolved is, are these claims true? Environmentalists want to pretend the claims are true. They might be right. But how will we know? How can anyone persuade anyone else with complicated scientific data?

To me, it simply does not follow that even if climate change is caused by humans, that enlarging the state and abridging individual freedom is the answer. And here the mainstream environmentalists has generally been on the pro-state, anti-liberty side on other issues. They've invoke racism to attack private property rights. They've blamed markets for the financial crisis, as if government policy had nothing to do with it. Their "progressive" interpretation of the Constitution is, "Whatever the politicians say, goes."

In other words, the mainstream environmental movement embraces an ideology that I believe is wrong. If they are wrong on so many other things, it is very tempting to assume that the environmental claims and equally false and are being invoked mainly to increase the power of the government.

It's possible that human-made climate change really is going on. It is also possible that this is another example of the political class, those who want government jobs and subsidies, waging war on the productive class.


How the Green/Left is invading your home

The Obama administration isn't satisfied giving the American public vast things we don't want — from stimulus packages to bailouts to ObamaCare: It's a small-scale nuisance, too — witness its attempt to redesign home appliances.

In the pipeline are dumb regulations for almost everything that plugs in or fires up in your home.

Just weeks after taking office, the president ordered the Energy Department to speed up the process of issuing harsh new energy-efficiency standards for appliances. Since then, the agency boasts, it "has issued or codified new efficiency standards for more than 20 different products," and still more are on the way.

These regulations are sure to raise the price of appliances — often by more than consumers are ever likely to earn back in the form of energy savings. And some will make the product perform less well.

The administration is meddling with every room in the house:

The basement: New standards are in the works for water heaters and furnaces. For water heaters, the Energy Department estimates price hikes from $67 to $974, depending on size and type.

The bathroom: The same 1992 law that gave us those awful low-flush toilets also restricted the amount of water showerheads could use to 2.5 gallons per minute. Some consumers who disliked the resulting weak trickle opted for models with two or more showerheads, each using the maximum 2.5 gallons. But Team Obama has now eliminated this "loophole" by requiring that the total flow must comply with the limit.

The kitchen: Think remodeling a kitchen is expensive now? Pending regulations target refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves, ovens and ranges.

For refrigerators (at least), this is a clear case of overkill. The American fridge has already been hit by several rounds of tighter standards, with each new rule saving less energy than the last — but boosting the price and compromising performance and reliability. Even the Energy Department admits that most consumers will lose money on its latest refrigerator regulation.

The laundry room: New standards are on the way for washers and dryers. When the last clothes-washer regulation hit in 2007, Consumer Reportslamented that several ultra-efficient models "left our stain-soaked swatches nearly as dirty as they were before washing" and that "for best results, you'll have to spend $900 or more." The Obama rules will probably mean even worse news.

Any air-conditioned room: Both central air conditioners and window units are scheduled for new regulations. When the Energy Department rolled out its last round of central-AC rules back in January 2001 (one of those last-minute Clinton administration "midnight" regulations), it admitted that many homeowners would never recoup the added up-front costs. The new standards will follow the same "logic" — and thus should make for another lousy deal.

The Obama regulations come on top of all the past ones, including the worst one of all — the Bush-era requirement that will effectively ban incandescent light bulbs starting in 2012.

In nearly every case, consumers who want more efficient appliances — or those compact fluorescent light bulbs — are free to buy them. Energy-use labels tell you everything you need to know to make comparisons. All the federal rules do is is to force the government's preferred choice on everyone.

Government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" is busy enacting a bunch of things the people don't want, including these appliance regulations. Add them to the growing list of Obama (and Bush) measures ripe for repeal.


Guardian Super-Blogger flames the irreverent "Register"

Globally popular Guardian science correspondent Martin Robbins has initiated a public flame war with the Reg. This is our response

Earlier today, under the page title "The Register misrepresents climate science", the Guardianran this piece by Robbins, who blogs for the Graun under the title "The Lay Scientist" and who recently shot to world fame after writing this terrifically popular spoof science article - which we thought was pretty good, by the way.

But Robbins doesn't like us, here on the Reg boffinry desk. In particular he didn't like this pieceof ours, reporting on recent research into the effects of solar variation on climate change.

Under the headline "Much of recent global warming actually caused by Sun", we wrote: "New data indicates that changes in the Sun's output of energy were a major factor in the global temperature increases seen in recent years. The research will be unwelcome among hardcore green activists, as it downplays the influence of human-driven carbon emissions".

We had based this on the fact that the new research covered the period 2004 to 2007, which we would say fits pretty well under "recent years". We thought the phrase "major factor" was appropriate as Professor Joanna Haigh - lead scientist conducting the research - told Nature, publishing it, that increased visible-light emissions by the Sun have caused as much warming over those recent years as human carbon emissions have. We quote Nature:

"Over the three-year study period, the observed variations in the solar spectrum have caused roughly as much warming of Earth's surface as have increases in carbon dioxide emissions, says Haigh".

Open and shut, then. Much of recent global warming - as much as was caused by human carbon emissions, anyway - was actually down to changes in the Sun. At least, if you believe Professor Joanna Haigh of Imperial College London.

As for this being unwelcome news to hardcore green activists, the response the piece received - not least from Robbins of the Grauniad - suggests we were right on the money there, too. He says: "At a time when action to deal with climate change is needed more than ever, this sort of misleading reporting does nothing to help the public debate".

We've got no argument with the idea that CO2 in an atmosphere has a greenhouse effect: that's just a fact. But as for massive global action being required by the climate changes and atmospheric measurements observed in the present day, that's just an opinion based on long-range weather forecasts. It's an opinion widely held, apparently by Professor Haigh, certainly by Mr Robbins and many other green activists. For the record, your correspondent simply doesn't know whether they're right or not.

The opinion of an eminent physicist like Professor Haigh carries weight - Robbins' is worth less than the electrons used to publish it, of course. But then we might also consider the opinion of the still more eminent physicist Freeman Dyson - who considers the menace of carbon emissions to be seriously overblown, and who is not alone among eminent physicists in this.

Then, even James Hansen of NASA himself - the man who more or less invented the idea of carbon-driven warming and who believes that only the exhaustion of global oil supplies can save humanity - has lately admitted that in fact other things might have just as powerful an effect on the climate as CO2.

Then too there are all the embarrassing blunders made by the IPCC lately, in allowing totally unverified claims regarding glaciers, rainforests etc to filter through from hardcore green activists to official UN descriptions of the scientific state of play.

All in all, then, we'd say that our reporting is a lot more accurate than most on the environment beat. But we would say that, wouldn't we?

Robbins doesn't agree, certainly. He says we have "seriously misrepresented" the research, and quotes Haigh as saying:

"The title of the article in The Register entirely misrepresents the paper's conclusions. While our work showed over a 3 year period that declining solar activity might have caused a warming of the planet it made no claims on longer periods. Even if it were the case that solar activity is inversely related to warming then the ups and downs of the solar cycle would cancel out over time. And over the past century overall solar activity has risen which, on the same basis, would imply global cooling".

But in fact the article title accurately reflected her comments to Nature: and we repeatedly made clear in the body of the piece that the research referred only to the period 2004-2007. We also reported her comments on the solar cycle and possible effects over the past century:
"All that can be said with any certainty is that through 2004-2007, the Sun warmed the planet much more powerfully than had been thought..."

Haigh thinks, however, that... over long periods of time solar warming probably has little effect on the Earth's temperature one way or the other, as solar activity cycles up and down regularly: "If the climate were affected in the long term, the Sun should have produced a notable cooling in the first half of the twentieth century, which we know it didn't," she says.

Which is probably why the Professor specifically states only that the headline misrepresents her paper's conclusions. But it doesn't refer to the paper's conclusions - it refers to her accompanying comments, and we stand by it as presumably she stands by them.

Anyway, enough of Haigh and solar warming. Let's finish up with the "Lay Scientist". In addition to accusing us of "misrepresenting climate science", and - worst of all - "completely contradicting The Guardian's reporting" (OMG!!! Heresy!) he simply doesn't like our style. He writes:
"It's not just the misrepresentation of science that grates. Through-out the article, the author, [sic] uses rather unfortunate language to describe scientists... the research is described as being published in "hefty boffinry mag Nature."

The use of 'boffin', common at the random-USE-of-CAPITALS end of tabloid journalism, is problematic to many scientists, as the word is increasingly loaded with negative connotations...

Whenever I see it, it reeks...

I feel it belittles researchers, and patronizes the reader.

Three minutes before Mr Robbins' effusion went up at the Graun, we received an email from him, which we reproduce here in part: "I trust that you'll pass on her concerns to your readers in an amendment to the article, and I'd be interested to hear your response to the criticism".

Well, down here at the random-use-of-capitals end of tabloid journalism, Mr Robbins, we DON'T CARE what YOU THINK. We are certainly not going to amend the article because you say so: and this is our response, delivered pretty much the way your request for comment was.

Boffinry Bootnote

We do care what boffins think, though, so we'd just like to repeat our previous assertions that on the pages of the Reg the word "boffin" is a title of honour accorded only to researchers we respect - generally from the proper sciences and able to do hard sums, like Professor Haigh. Lesser practitioners (for instance business-studies or psychology professors purveying dubious surveys and statistical analyses) are generally known as "eggheads" or "trick-cyclists", for instance.

We get a fair bit of positive mail from people we have dubbed boffins, so we're fairly sure most of them know this, but it never hurts to be sure.


Green mania to cripple Australia

Andrew Bolt

ENOUGH. It's one thing that this green madness is driving your power and water bills through the roof. But now it threatens to destroy not just your household budget, but entire towns in our richest farming land. Mildura, Robinvale, Coleambally, Leeton, Deniliquin and Moree - all now face devastation.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority has been warned in a survey it commissioned of big lenders to rural business that these specific towns and more will struggle to survive the cut in irrigation water the authority now demands to "save" the Murray and the rivers that feed it.

Yet the MDBA is pushing on, proposing a cut in farmers' water entitlements of between 27 and 37 per cent - on top of the deep cuts it's already made for "the environment".

In some areas, farmers will lose as much as half their irrigation water and will have to close their gates.

Wait and see what that does to the price of your fruit, vegetables and rice. Heavens, even the green faithful will scream at the price of tofu, made of soy beans grown in the same irrigated fields now being robbed of water.

If only we could trust the MDBA'S claim that this huge sacrifice would at least fix a true environmental catastrophe.

But there are five reasons to suspect that this is a largely pointless political gesture, and the small good it would do will be outweighed by huge social pain.

* First, almost everyone along the rivers has noticed that claims of their imminent doom seem grossly exaggerated. For a start, the drought has broken, and the Murray is flowing so strongly that its mouth has burst open again - something it rarely did even before irrigation farmers moved in.

* Second, more care seems to have been lavished by the MDBA on considering the "needs" of the rivers than on the needs of the people depending on them. It's telling that MDBA chairman Mike Taylor has already conceded that the proposals he released just days ago would cost vastly more jobs than the mere 800 his report ludicrously claimed. Try 23,000, says the furious NSW Irrigators Council.

* Third, the people of the Murray-Darling Basin have seen similar green scares before, and learned to consider them as dodgy as Greenpeace.

Take the great salinity scare we were told a decade ago would wipe out the same area and "kill" these same rivers. In 1993 the MDBA predicted dryland salinity would increase by 10-15 per cent a year. Urging it on was the CSIRO, which had a Rising Groundwater Theory and computer models to "prove" that farming land twice the size of Tasmania would become too salty for crops.

Great models they were, too, showing salinity levels soaring in the Murray, when the measuring station at Mannum showed them actually falling over 20 years.

What fear there was then. The National Farmers Federation was screaming for $65 billion to fight the salt and then ... well, hello. The money was not spent and the salinity catastrophe never materialised. As the chairman of Murray Irrigation said four years ago: "It just seems that somewhere the science got it seriously wrong." But were the scaremongers held to account?

* Which brings us to the fourth reason to be sceptical of these new claims of environmental doom if irrigators aren't squeezed dry. You see, this frenzy to "save" the rivers, the fish and the red gums is driven in part by the global warming scare and, more particularly, by the evangelist CSIRO, back with a new theory and new models, this time claiming global warming is drying out the Murray-Darling system, already suffering from an over-allocation of water rights.

And the MDBA has bought it again. "Basin-wide changes of 10 per cent less water (are) predicted" from "climate change effects", it claims in its report, demanding more water to make the Murray "healthy". Yet a 2008 National Technical University of Athens study into the track record of the kind of regional climate models used by the CSIRO to predict a fall in rainfall concluded they "perform poorly" and their "local model projections cannot be credible".

But did we in Melbourne need to be told that? We need only remember the excuse Melbourne Water gave on behalf of its Labor masters for not building a huge dam on the fast-flowing Mitchell River for just $1.3 billion. "Unfortunately, we cannot rely on this kind of rainfall like we used to," it claimed last year.

Global warming, you know: "While the Mitchell has flooded recently, investing billions of dollars in another rainfall-dependent water source in the face of rapidly changing climate patterns is very risky."

Well, look now. Three years ago the Mitchell flooded twice. This year there's so much rain falling again that it may take years before we need the desalination plant Premier John Brumby built instead of a dam- and not for $1.3 billion but for $5.7 billion, plus huge power costs, to deliver just a third of the water.

Queenslanders got stung in precisely the same way. Premier Peter Beattie in 2007 said he'd also build a desalination plant because he, too, had been told global warming was drying up the rain. Three years on, and Queensland is on flood alert. The state's dams are full to overflowing, holding so much water that Queenslanders could survive on it until 2018 even if no drop of rain fell again.

Such madness. Look again at your water bills, never higher. See how much extra you're paying for that desal plant we were stampeded into buying? Or look at your fast-rising power bills. See how much more you're paying now that governments have forced generators to use more "green power"?

See how much more you must pay as generators factor in the taxes the Gillard Government plans to impose to "save" us from a global warming the planet seems not to notice?

Wonder how much more again they'll go up if the Brumby Government goes through with its mad promise to fight this warming by closing a quarter of the giant Hazelwood power station?

You notice the bills, all right. But have you figured what's causing them to rise, and thousands of farmers to fear being sold up? It's green politics.

*And here we come to the fifth reason to be sceptical that science alone is behind the Gillard Government's drive to tip irrigation water back into the rivers. Last January, Frank Sartor, the NSW Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, went up the Murray-Darling Basin to persuade locals they were threatened by yet another green catastrophe that demanded sacrifices.

This time it was river red gums that were "dying" and had to be "saved", by proclaiming a national park on the Murray River flood plain that would put hundreds of timber workers out of a job. Workers in Deniliquin told Sartor to his face that the red gums were actually fine, so what was his game?

About 30 of those workers have since told the ABC that Sartor's reply went like this: "I'm going to give you people a lesson in politics. The Greens hold 15 per cent of the votes, we need those votes to stay in power. They also want or need a national park and they want it in red gum." (Sartor denies this.)

So you wonder why people up the Murray are now sceptical when politicians come calling again, with fresh claims of doom, fancy computer models and demands of sacrifices that seem out of all proportion? Time you grew sceptical, too, at last, because what these zealots are doing to farmers they're already doing to you, too. Difference is, at least the farmers will no longer cop it. Shown green, they now see red, and a counter-revolution has begun.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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