Monday, May 25, 2015

Plain Speaking

Jeff Nesbit on Twitter points to a bit of plain speaking.

Maurice Strong Newman, is the usual "business" advisor to the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.  Strong Newman has the expected attitude about the science of climate, and has expressed on occasion the beleif, well  you can go read his oped in the Australian.  If anything could bring Tim Lambert out of retirement for another go at The Australian's War on Science, this is it folks.  Perhaps some of the refugees from Deltoid might have a crack, which Eli would be proud to publish,

Anyhow, in a meeting of the Australian Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee, Senator Larissa Walters asked Rob Vertessy, the Director of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology about some of Mr. Strong Newman's beliefs.  Lisa Cox in the Sydney Morning Herald has a report on the hearing.  Strong Newman's beliefs had already been called out as a joke by Christine Figueras, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

There were some lovely deadpan answers, but also a classic example of how to handle mansplaining by Senator Walters after the chair of the committee (a woman) tries to close off her line of inquiry at the start.



Among the highlights was Vertessy's answer to the old red herring of how can there be global warming if people in New Hampshire (people in New Hampshire always freeze their butts off)  the south of England are freezing their butts off.
I think it is referring to a bit of an old red herring that suggests that just because you are getting cold weather in the northern hemisphere it somehow discredits the fact that there is global warming occurring. There is a perfectly good explanation for that.  The theory of global warming does not hold that there will be no any cold weather anywhere.  In fact there is evidence to suggest that global warming will actually intensify the onset of some cold weather due to the effect of the changing behavior of the jet stream  which wanders around a hell of a lot more latitudinally than it used to as a result to the changes to the global climate system and that has the effect of  actually  bringing more polar air into some populated areas of the northern hemisphere as well as bringing up some hot weather as well. So it is by no means any kind of proof that global warming is occuring 

6 comments:

Ken Fabian said...

I think Mr Newman is saying what PM Abbott would like to but finds it expedient not to. Like a natural lukewarmer, Australia's Prime Minister practices a deniable kind of climate science denial, carefully justifying his opposition to climate action on grounds other than the science being wrong. Despite confining his public utterances on the issue to vague and contradictory ordinary Australians are still led to presuming their Prime Minister holds views similar to Newman's, dog whistling to a cultivated constituency of staunch deniers, whilst remaining sufficiently vague and contradictory for that to be deniable.

Unfortunately I think he is willing to go much further in damaging future international agreements than most pundits on international affairs are willing to admit; because there is a prospect of a Republican, climate science denying clean sweep at the next US elections, in addition to a lukewarmist UK Conservative government and a climate action obstructing Canadian one. The prospect of a US led alliance opposing climate action must look tantalisingly within reach.

Like US Conservatives, taking their lead, Abbott's Australian Conservatives do not count anything Obama does as legitimate.

Russell Seitz said...

We're all gonna die or end up in op-ed cartoons.

The Wars On Science in Murdochland have begun to resonate as Wars on Scientists here in the antipodes.

Bernard J. said...

I think that was "So it is by no means any kind of proof that global warming is not occuring"...

E. Swanson said...

For what it's worth, the US House last week passed H.R. 1806, which includes funding for the NSF and other science related activities.

In addition to funding cuts, the bill includes this:
--- TITLE V—Department of Energy Science ---
SEC. 505. Biological and environmental research.

(a) Program.—The Director shall carry out a program of research, development, and demonstration in the areas of biological systems science and climate and environmental science to support the energy and environmental missions of the Department.
...
(d) Limitation.—The Director shall not approve new climate science-related initiatives to be carried out through the Office of Science without making a determination that such work is unique and not duplicative of work by other Federal agencies. Not later than 3 months after receiving the assessment required under subsection (c), the Director shall cease those climate science-related initiatives identified in the assessment as overlapping or duplicative, unless the Director justifies that such work is critical to achieving American energy security.
...

Looks like Kill the Messenger is now the Order of the Day...

Hank Roberts said...

> 'SOLAR BOUYANCY'

I think that should read "SOLAR BOUNCY"?

E. Swanson said...

I started to think about that section from H.R. 1806 which I posted above, wondering just what is the target. It would appear to be work under the Biological and Environmental Research (BER) department of DOE, perhaps the work done by the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) climate research program. The BER department also supports climate modeling work in addition to data collection.

The ARM program operates quite a number of measurement sites with instruments which provide basic information necessary to understand weather and climate. Checkout the lists of both linked on the main page. It's curious that the denialist camp make repeated claims that there are errors in the temperature measurements, but reducing the number of sites for other measurement activities is thought to be a good idea. The entire concept of "backup systems" appears not to have entered their thinking. Strange that Senator Inhoffe, chairman of the Senate Energy and Environmental Committee, who is a pilot, might approve of cutting backup systems.

Of course, almost none of this climate research could be considered as "critical to achieving American energy security" in the minds of the fossil fuel establishment...