Sunday, 30 December 2007

Sunday night Aussie rock

Silverchair is an Australian alternative rock band, formed in Newcastle, New South Wales in 1992. The group has had more top twenty hits in Australian charts during the last decade than any other local artist. Additionally, they have sold over six million albums worldwide. Every album released by the band to date has spawned at least one top 1 single and debuted at the #1 position on Australian charts. Silverchair is also one of only three Australian bands to have three number 1 singles on the Australian Singles Chart, and the only Australian band to have their first albums chart at #1 in the Australian Album Chart. They are the most successful act at the ARIA awards, having won more awards than any other act.

Silverchair was formed in 1992 as Innocent Criminals. Singer/guitarist Daniel Johns and drummer Ben Gillies started playing music together at their primary school, and when they both moved on to Newcastle High School, long time schoolmates Chris Joannou joined the band on bass. They played many shows around the Hunter Valley region in their early teens. They participated in Youthrock in 1994, a nationally recognised competition for school-based bands, although they did not win the competition.

The band's mainstream breakthrough came in mid-1994 when, as Innocent Criminals, they won a national demo competition called "Pick Me" (conducted by the SBS TV show Nomad and alternative radio station Triple J) with a song called "Tomorrow." The prize included Triple J recording the song and SBS filming the video. Innocent Criminals changed their name to Silverchair in August 1994.



Ana's Song

(Nothing Follows)

Saturday, 29 December 2007

The new Cold War - UN vs USA

Since the fall of the Soviet Union the organisation that has been most virulently anti-freedom, anti-free market and anti-US has not been the EU, or China, but the United Nations.

No organisation has done more damage in the name of supposedly doing good in the history of the world than the UN, as the following article from Investor's Business Daily notes. If the UN held one hundred percent of its members to even one-quarter of its Charter then the world would be a better place.

Forget radical Islam, the new Cold War is the United Nations versus the United States. Like the USSR, the UN can't win this war but is doing terrific damage along the way.
The U.N. voted 178-1 to hike its spending 10% next year to an all-time high of $4.2 billion. The lone standout in voting against the record rise in spending? The U.S., which again finds itself alone at the U.N.

The U.S. has tried for some time to rein in the runaway United Nations and its various extremist political factions and bureaucracies, but to no avail. Now, the U.S. has become an outcast in the very organization it founded and has funded for 60 years.

Last Saturday, the U.N. announced its "marathon talks" had resulted in a $4.17 billion basic budget — even though the U.S. dissented. By the way, our dissent is meaningless, since we're still obliged to pay just under a quarter of that budget, or roughly $922 million.

But we in fact pay much more than that each year.

In 2005, the most recent year for which data are available, we spent more than $5 billion on the U.N. and related activities, ranging from food programs to peacekeeping. That's a rise of 67% during George Bush's first term alone. So much for stingy Americans.

Too bad we're not getting our money's worth. In fact, the U.N. has become such a massive, unwieldy, corrupt organization that, at this point, it seems beyond repair.

To list the U.N.'s multitudinous sins here would require something the size of a phone book. Suffice to say, in recent years the U.N. has been involved in a variety of policy debacles and outright crimes.

These include the oil-for-food scandal, the largest financial scandal ever; charges that U.N. peacekeepers abused and prostituted young girls in Africa and the Balkans; did nothing about the genocide of millions of people in Darfur and Rwanda; turned its back on democratic Taiwan in favor of communist China; allows Iran to expand its illicit nuclear enrichment program; and so on.

Why such a bad record? Part of the problem is the U.N., which was started after World War II with the best of humanitarian intentions, has been hijacked by a variety of left-wing and anti-Semitic agendas, pushed by an aggressive pack of anti-U.S. and anti-democratic nations that tend to vote as a bloc in the U.N.

According to Heritage Foundation fellow Brett Schaefer, these U.N. voting blocs include the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the so-called Non-Aligned Movement, and the Group of 77 developing nations (which has 130 members — not 77.) All these groups are, in fact, anti-American, anti-West and anti-free market.

"So, where the U.N. actually could have a role in advancing economic policies that enhanced freedom, that enhanced opportunity, that enhanced economic development," former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton recently explained, "the mind-set of the U.N. itself as played out in its conference rooms and corridors is actually exactly to the contrary."

The U.N., in short, has become a major way for nondemocratic, noncapitalist countries to siphon wealth from the wealthy countries — without doing anything that remotely looks like democratic, pro-market reform in their own countries.

The U.S. goes along mainly because there are many people out there — call them UNICEF-Americans — who actually believe the U.N.'s propaganda about saving "the children."

But, in fact, if you're a child in the Third World, you have righteous cause to curse the U.N. and the nongovernmental organizations it empowers to control your life. Where the U.N. goes, democracy doesn't necessarily follow. Nor does development.

Just look at the Palestinian problem, which has festered for more than a half a century due to the U.N.'s never-ending solicitude for the Arab world's hatred of the Jews.

Again in 2006, Israel topped the list of countries subjected to human rights criticism — not China, not Zimbabwe, not Venezuela, not North Korea, not Sudan, not Cuba, places where millions have been murdered, imprisoned and denied the most basic of human rights and freedoms. (The U.S., by the way, came in fourth.)

This sick fixation on Israel and the U.S. has ruined the U.N. Yet, in 2009, it's planning to hold its "Durban II" conference. The last conference of the type, held in the summer of 2001, was a monthlong hate-fest against both Israel and the U.S. Perhaps not coincidentally, just days after it ended the 9/11 attacks occurred.

We've had enough, thank you. The U.N. wastes billions each year, while corruption flourishes. It's time for the U.S. to pull out.

Let the tyrants and bureaucrats go home. Maybe we can form a new organization based on the 89 countries classified as "fully free" by the nonpartisan human rights group, Freedom House. That would give us almost half of the U.N.'s 192 current members — a good start for a new beginning.
A good summary of the UN and the fact that it's run by tyrants, thugs and murderers who enjoy picking the pockets of major financiers in the form of 'aid', which props up their terrible regimes.

If you support the United Nations then you really are a Moral Idiot.

(Nothing Follows)

Friday, 28 December 2007

Bhutto's inevitable doom

The death overnight of Benazir Bhutto seemed to be 'a horribly inevitability', as Mark Steyn described it in his article at the National Review.

In her time as Pakistan's Prime Minister she oversaw a hugely corrupt regime that ended with her being ousted by the military. It seems unlikely, given her past, that any government led by her would be much different. At this time, though, it seems charitable to give her the benefit of the doubt and suggest that her intentions in seeking a third term as PM were pure and driven by a resolve to see her country deal with its significant issues.

By murdering her at a time when she was so prominent on the world stage her enemies - our enemies, too - have almost guaranteed that opposition to them and their barbaric ways will be galvanised around the world.

In this way, Bhutto has finally united people from all political persuasions and religious faiths in a common cause to fight for decency against the violent, backward societies that Al Qaeda and the Taliban represent.
Benazir Bhutto's return to Pakistan had a mad recklessness about it which give today's events a horrible inevitability. As I always say when I'm asked about her, she was my next-door neighbor for a while - which affects a kind of intimacy, though in fact I knew her only for sidewalk pleasantries. She was beautiful and charming and sophisticated and smart and modern, and everything we in the west would like a Muslim leader to be - though in practice, as Pakistan's Prime Minister, she was just another grubby wardheeler from one of the world's most corrupt political classes.

Since her last spell in power, Pakistan has changed, profoundly. Its sovereignty is meaningless in increasingly significant chunks of its territory, and, within the portions Musharraf is just about holding together, to an ever more radicalized generation of young Muslim men Miss Bhutto was entirely unacceptable as the leader of their nation. "Everyone’s an expert on Pakistan, a faraway country of which we know everything," I wrote last month. "It seems to me a certain humility is appropriate." The State Department geniuses thought they had it all figured out. They'd arranged a shotgun marriage between the Bhutto and Sharif factions as a "united" "democratic" "movement" and were pushing Musharraf to reach a deal with them. That's what diplomats do: They find guys in suits and get 'em round a table. But none of those representatives represents the rapidly evolving reality of Pakistan. Miss Bhutto could never have been a viable leader of a post-Musharraf settlement, and the delusion that she could have been sent her to her death. Earlier this year, I had an argument with an old (infidel) boyfriend of Benazir's, who swatted my concerns aside with the sweeping claim that "the whole of the western world" was behind her. On the streets of Islamabad, that and a dime'll get you a cup of coffee.

As I said, she was everything we in the west would like a Muslim leader to be. We should be modest enough to acknowledge when reality conflicts with our illusions. Rest in peace, Benazir.
From the UK's Channel 4 comes the following report:

(Nothing Follows)

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Hot days indicate global warming. Cold and wet days are just 'the weather'

The Washington Times has a great article on the reality of the 2007 global temperature record. If the global warming crowd didn't already have the high hand in climate politics then the global cooling people would certainly have a strong argument to support their case, particularly as it's based on real world observation rather than predictions from models, complete fabrication (polar bear numbers declining, Antarctica losing ice, Greenland losing ice etc etc) and fiddling with the existing data record.
Al Gore says global warming is a planetary emergency. It is difficult to see how this can be so when record low temperatures are being set all over the world. In 2007, hundreds of people died, not from global warming, but from cold weather hazards.

Since the mid-19th century, the mean global temperature has increased by 0.7 degrees Celsius. This slight warming is not unusual, and lies well within the range of natural variation. Carbon dioxide continues to build in the atmosphere, but the mean planetary temperature hasn't increased significantly for nearly nine years.
Antarctica is getting colder. Neither the intensity nor the frequency of hurricanes has increased. The 2007 season was the third-quietest since 1966. In 2006 not a single hurricane made landfall in the U.S.

South America this year experienced one of its coldest winters in decades. In Buenos Aires, snow fell for the first time since the year 1918. Dozens of homeless people died from exposure. In Peru, 200 people died from the cold and thousands more became infected with respiratory diseases. Crops failed, livestock perished, and the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency.
That's what cold does. It kills people. Not that the Climate Faithful care one whit about people, though.
Unexpected bitter cold swept the entire Southern Hemisphere in 2007. Johannesburg, South Africa, had the first significant snowfall in 26 years. Australia experienced the coldest June ever. In northeastern Australia, the city of Townsville underwent the longest period of continuously cold weather since 1941. In New Zealand, the weather turned so cold that vineyards were endangered.

Last January, $1.42 billion worth of California produce was lost to a devastating five-day freeze. Thousands of agricultural employees were thrown out of work. At the supermarket, citrus prices soared. In the wake of the freeze, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked President Bush to issue a disaster declaration for affected counties. A few months earlier, Mr. Schwarzenegger had enthusiastically signed the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, a law designed to cool the climate. California Sen. Barbara Boxer continues to push for similar legislation in the U.S. Senate.

California is nearly bankrupt. Will its people ever work out that it's because of disastrous Democratic policies (even when implemented by a Republican) or due to global warming, capitalism or worse?
In April, a killing freeze destroyed 95 percent of South Carolina's peach crop, and 90 percent of North Carolina's apple harvest. At Charlotte, N.C., a record low temperature of 21 degrees Fahrenheit on April 8 was the coldest ever recorded for April, breaking a record set in 1923. On June 8, Denver recorded a new low of 31 degrees Fahrenheit. Denver's temperature records extend back to 1872.

Recent weeks have seen the return of unusually cold conditions to the Northern Hemisphere. On Dec. 7, St. Cloud, Minn., set a new record low of minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit. On the same date, record low temperatures were also recorded in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Extreme cold weather is occurring worldwide. On Dec. 4, in Seoul, Korea, the temperature was
a record minus 5 degrees Celsius. Nov. 24, in Meacham, Ore., the minimum temperature was 12 degrees Fahrenheit colder than the previous record low set in 1952. The Canadian government warns that this winter is likely to be the coldest in 15 years.

Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri are just emerging from a destructive ice storm that left at least 36 people dead and a million without electric power. People worldwide are being reminded of what used to be common sense: Cold temperatures are inimical to human welfare and warm weather is beneficial. Left in the dark and cold, Oklahomans rushed out to buy electric generators powered by gasoline, not solar cells. No one seemed particularly concerned about the welfare of polar bears, penguins or walruses.
Fossil fuels don't seem so awful when you're in the cold and dark.
...but they still do to the Climate Faithful.
If you think any of the preceding facts can falsify global warming, you're hopelessly naive. Nothing creates cognitive dissonance in the mind of a true believer. In 2005, a Canadian Greenpeace representative explained “global warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter.” In other words, all weather variations are evidence for global warming. I can't make this stuff up.

Global warming has long since passed from scientific hypothesis to the realm of pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo.
Correct. The inconvenient truth of real world observation that completely destroys the credibility of climate models is simply ignored by those people who are using global warming as a surrogate to bring down free market capitalism.

(Nothing Follows)

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Merry Kerplunkin' Christmas

Wishing all of my readers - and, yes, even those that disagree with everything I stand for - a very merry Christmas and a safe new year.

May 2008 be prosperous and fulfilling for all of you.

(Nothing Follows)

Monday, 24 December 2007

Al Gore's totalitarian future

Spiked Online's Brendan O’Neill gets it pretty much right, Al Gore and his Climate Acolytes are little more than totalitarian misanthropes whose ideal future world is inhabited by environmentally obedient, mono-cultural, 'right-thinking' socialist automatons.

That his political philosophy wiped out a hundred million people in the 20th century and created environmental damage on a scale not witnessed in the western world is an irony missed by the man himself, and his dedicated followers.

As he flies around the world to tell people that they should fly less, or organises rock-star extravaganzas to tell the masses they should live more meekly, some sceptics have asked: ‘Who the hell does Al Gore think he is?’

Well, now we know. He seems to think he is the spokesman for the human species, the legitimate representative of every human being who has ever lived or who will ever live in the future. He thinks he and his supporters ‘control the destiny of all generations to come’, a boast that even the worst dictators in history never dared to make. Al Gore is an enviro-tyrant with delusions of global domination.

In his speech at the climate change conference in Bali last week, Gore expressed some deeply anti-democratic views. He told an audience of 1,000, including NGOs, green campaigners and journalists, as well as UN representatives and government officials, that they should ‘feel a sense of exhilaration that we are the people alive at a moment in history when we can make all the difference’. He suggested the audience should not be worried about being seen as a minority, a tiny brave group that recognises the ‘planetary emergency’ facing Earth and its inhabitants, but rather should consider it a ‘privilege to be alive at a moment when a relatively small group of people could control the destiny of all generations to come’.

Throughout history, from the feudalistic era through the Stalinist dictatorships of the twentieth century to places like Burma and Nepal today, vast swathes of mankind have considered it a drag to be ‘alive at a moment’ when ‘small groups of people’ controlled theirs and others’ destinies. Now we’re supposed to see it as a privilege that an apparently right-minded clique, which claims to represent ‘the human species’, would like to shape the human destiny as it sees fit.

Gore openly expressed hostility towards the democratic process. He described certain elected governments as ‘obstacles’ to the environmentalist agenda being drawn up in Bali, and called on the ‘relatively small group’ of eco-enlightened ones to ignore or leap over these obstacles. ‘My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali…’ he said. ‘But if we look realistically at the situation that confronts us, then wisdom would call for moving forward in spite of that obstacle.’ Who needs to take into consideration the views of a government elected by tens of millions of Americans when you have ‘realism’ and ‘wisdom’ on your side?

Gore seems to believe that it is precisely the fact that he is unelected, and thus above the grubby process of winning public support and representing public interest, that makes him an honourable and fearless representative of humankind. ‘I am not an official of the United States and I am not bound by diplomatic niceties’, he boasted. ‘So I am going to speak an inconvenient truth [about the planetary emergency facing humanity].’ Here, planetary interests, as represented by a self-styled, unelected spokesman for Mother Earth, trump the public interest, as represented by politicians who worked to win the support of millions of Americans. President George W Bush might represent the desires – yuk! – of a majority of the American people, but Gore represents something far more important: planet Earth itself, and all of the billions of human beings yet to be born. As the numerous newspaper headlines said in celebration of Gore’s speech: ‘The world cannot wait for George Bush.’ Or for his 50 million supporters, presumably.

Gore opened his speech in Bali with the words: ‘We, the human species…’ Nothing better sums up his megalomaniacal delusions than those four words. American governments have claimed to speak for ‘We, the people’ (some with more right and legitimacy than others). Outside of the democratic process, tyrannical leaders have often claimed to represent ‘the nation’ or ‘the masses’: apparently they have some special emotional insight into what the people need and desire. But no one has ever claimed to represent the human species before.

Unlike those who merely represent a people or a nation, the self-described representatives of the human species, that ‘relatively small group’ of privileged warriors for planetkind, have a blank cheque to do and say as they please. Legitimate representatives of the people are dependent on the people’s support: they are confined and directed by the electoral process. Representatives of the nation are restricted by borders: their writ extends only to the ends of their sovereign territory. But a wannabe representative of the human species like Al Gore recognises no democratic mandate or territorial border, because he thinks he represents every human being who has ever existed, who exists now, and who will exist in the future: the species itself. Gore’s mandate is timeless and borderless, and it most certainly does not require the rubber-stamping of the mass of the population, that relatively large group of people who apparently do not appreciate the urgency of today’s ‘planetary emergency’.

For the past seven years, Gore and his supporters have claimed that he was robbed of presidential victory by the conniving Bush regime. Gore has posed as a sincere democrat whose place in the White House was stolen from him by Dubya. Yet today, Gore claims to speak for future generations (who cannot vote, on account of the fact that they aren’t born yet), the planet (which has no vote, on account of the fact that it is not a sentient or rational organism), and the human species itself (a natural/biological category that falls outside of the political process). And he is cheered by the very same people who wept when Bush allegedly stole his election. It seems that when it comes to ‘saving the planet’, you can be as undemocratic and dictatorial as you like.

Gore’s off-planet fantasies about being some kind of new Timelord who speaks for the human species expose the anti-democratic strain in the politics of environmentalism. Many green-leaning leaders and spokesmen claim that the threat facing the planet is so dire that normal democratic debate and processes must be suspended in order to deal with it. Dictators of old used to impose states of emergency in order to freeze democracy; today’s eco-megalomaniacs use the more PC phrase ‘planetary emergency’ in an attempt to justify allowing small groups of people to override the ‘obstacle’ of individual nations’ democratic processes.

Where the modern democratic system has been defined by ideas of sovereign independence and territorial integrity – where a people are, at least on paper, the masters of their nation’s fate – today we are told that the threat of climate change makes the institutions of sovereignty obsolete. Because pollution and CO2 emissions are, in Gore’s words, ‘invisible’ and ‘global’, climate change activism must override borders and do away with ‘diplomatic niceties’. In the real world, the new green disregard for sovereignty has allowed powerful nations in the West to demonise India and China for daring to develop, on the extremely dodgy basis that India and China’s development is poisoning us over here.

Modern democratic politics was also traditionally defined by time constraints. In America, presidents can only serve for four years at a time, and never for longer than eight years; in Britain the PM must submit to the electorate’s interrogation and judgement every four or five years. But in the name of saving the planet, both elected officials and unelected campaigners now push through far-reaching policies to ‘protect future generations’. They draw up 50-year plans for tackling climate change, and demand that nations cut their emissions by 60 or 80 per cent by 2020 or 2050, without thinking about what voters in four years’ time might consider to be an acceptable level of carbon output or a desirable level of industrial development. Democratic politics was also once driven by debate: it involved putting forward proposals, arguing the toss over them, and then deciding whether and how to act on them. Today, green-fingered officials and activists frequently argue that the threat to Gaia and her organisms (that includes us) is so great that we must ditch debate. Instead we should have ‘action, action, action’. As Gore says, ‘The debate about global warming is over’.

Once an individual or a campaign group can pose as the mouthpiece for the needs of the planet, there is no limit to their authority. Freed from the shackles of responsibility to an electorate, and from the time and territorial restraints of democratic politics, campaigners can make sweeping declarations about the needs of the human species and about what is good for people now and in time immemorial. ‘We are one people on one planet with one destiny’, said Gore in Bali. That sounds nice and hippyish. But it is actually an attempt to deny and undermine the stuff of politics itself: debate; disagreement; the clash of interests; heated scraps over the destiny of mankind. We don’t only have ‘one destiny’. My desired destiny for mankind is a whole world away from Al Gore’s, just as the needs and desires of people in poorer parts of Africa are different to the needs and desires of those 1,000 well-heeled people who packed the conference hall in Bali.

Airing these differences, and arguing over them, is politics itself – or it will be, once we do something about the anti-democratic, debate-phobic Al Gore and his acolytes in the environmentalist lobby.
Say you're concerned about the environment. Tell us you support Gore. But don't tell us you believe in liberty and democracy.

(Nothing Follows)

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Sunday night Aussie rock

Grinspoon are an Australian Post-Grunge band from Lismore, fronted by Phil Jamieson with Pat Davern on guitar, Joe Hansen on bass and Kristian Hopes on drums. Founded in 1995, they came to fame when they were Unearthed by national, commercial-free radio station Triple J thanks to their track "Sickfest". This won them the competition for the Lismore area. The band was heavily influenced by "grunge" music in their early career, including the band Helmet, and developed a strong following among mosh pit crowds. Their sound changed in their later career to a more mainstream rock sound with their 2002 album New Detention and at this point they lost many of their earlier fans and gained a lot of fans in the mainstream. Lyrically, the band are very cryptic and disjointed, most lines from their songs are not related to the next line and the songs rarely make sense as a whole. This has been attributed to the writer Phil Jamieson and his tendency to pen short lyrics of only a few lines each, and then tying many of these together into a song, creating a lack of consistent themes. The band name was taken from marijuana supporter Dr. Lester Grinspoon.

Saw these guys when they toured with Kiss a few years ago. They were really good.

Chemical Heart

Hard Act To Follow

Black Friday

(Nothing Follows)

Friday, 21 December 2007

Reality of climate science war is over - propaganda war continues

The complete, and ongoing, demolition of climate science by highly qualified, internationally renowned scientists really means that the science part of the Climate Faithful's argument has been crushed.

During 2007 the US Senate Committee on Environment received input from more than 400 scientists from all over the world disputing the proposition that the warming we're experiencing is anthropogenic in origin.

Are all of these scientists working for Big Oil? Do they all dispute that cigarettes cause cancer? Do they believe that the earth is flat?

It's not very likely, is it?

So where do these opinions come from? Here's a list of countries: Israel, Spain, Russia, the Netherlands, Brazil, France, Norway, Finland, Germany, Canada, the Czech Republic, India, USA, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Poland, Australia, Britain, China, Denmark, Belgium and Sweden.

Here are some of the best of the comments from these scientists:

Italy: Internationally renowned scientist Dr. Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists and a retired Professor of Advanced Physics at the University of Bologna in Italy, who has published over 800 scientific papers: “Significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming."

Poland: Physicist Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, Chairman of the Central Laboratory for the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Radiological Protection in Warsaw: ““We thus find ourselves in the situation that the entire theory of man-made global warming—with its repercussions in science, and its important consequences for politics and the global economy—is based on ice core studies that provided a false picture of the atmospheric CO2 levels.”

Britain: Dr. Richard Courtney, a UN IPCC expert reviewer and a UK-based climate and atmospheric science consultant: “To date, no convincing evidence for AGW (anthropogenic global warming) has been discovered. And recent global climate behavior is not consistent with AGW model predictions.”
The most cynical of the comments comes from the Czech Republic:
Czech Republic: Czech-born U.S. climatologist Dr. George Kukla, a research scientist with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, expressed climate skepticism in 2007. “The only thing to worry about is the damage that can be done by worrying. Why are some scientists worried? Perhaps because they feel that to stop worrying may mean to stop being paid,” Kukla told Gelf Magazine on April 24, 2007.
As the article points out, only 52 scientists participated in the IPCC summary. These are highly politicised people who are completely in lock-step with the IPCC's political agenda.

On the other hand, Big Green's attempts to link Climate Blasphemers to Big Oil etc is specious at best and dishonest at worst.
Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called "consensus" on man-made global warming. These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore.

The new report issued by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s office of the GOP Ranking Member details the views of the scientists, the overwhelming majority of whom spoke out in 2007.

Even some in the establishment media now appear to be taking notice of the growing number of skeptical scientists. In October, the Washington Post Staff Writer Juliet Eilperin conceded the obvious, writing that climate skeptics "appear to be expanding rather than shrinking." Many scientists from around the world have dubbed 2007 as the year man-made global warming fears “bite the dust.” (LINK) In addition, many scientists who are also progressive environmentalists believe climate fear promotion has "co-opted" the green movement. (LINK)

This blockbuster Senate report lists the scientists by name, country of residence, and academic/institutional affiliation. It also features their own words, biographies, and weblinks to their peer reviewed studies and original source materials as gathered from public statements, various news outlets, and websites in 2007. This new “consensus busters” report is poised to redefine the debate.
No wonder nobody was keen to actually make any progress in Bali...

As they say, read the whole thing.

(Nothing Follows)

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Bali climate conference best described as tragi-comedy

I must admit that I am getting a huge amount of enjoyment watching the impossible position that the global climate religionists conjure up at each of their so-called planet saving conferences.

15,000 people converged on Bali to attend the 13th climate junket since the whole global warming scam was conceived. What a great gig that really is. Live off the public teat, swan around to exotic locations every year, not have to do any real science, not have to worry about the mainstream media doing anything other than report the most extreme, hysterical hypotheses and, best of all, not have to worry about dealing with the myriad of opposing views and contrary science.

Seriously, if CO2 was a huge problem - a 'planetary emergency' as Al Gore and others say - then there'd be a better outcome from Bali than simply organising another conference in Copenhagen.

Imagine if an asteroid was headed toward earth or we'd worked out that the ebola virus was becoming more virulent then I'm sure we'd see much more action than what the Climate Faithful can organise.

Here's Benny Peisner's take on the Bali debacle.
The success of the major Anglosphere nations at last week's United Nations climate conference in Bali marks the beginning of the end of the age of climate hysteria. It also symbolizes a significant shift of political leadership in international climate diplomacy from the once-dominating European continent to North America and its Western allies.

This power shift has perhaps never been more transparent and dramatic than in Bali, when Australia's Labour government, under the newly elected Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, announced a complete U-turn on the thorny issue of mandatory carbon dioxide emissions targets. Only days after Australia's delegation had backed Europe's demand for a 25% to 40% cut in emission by 2020, Mr. Rudd declared (his signature under the Kyoto Protocol wasn't even dry) that his government would not support such targets after all.

Indeed, Australia's position hardened further when Trade Minister Simon Crean announced that developing countries like China and India would have to accept tough binding emissions targets before Australia would ever agree to any post-Kyoto agreement beyond 2012.

Similar stipulations were made by Canada and Japan. Surprisingly, even the British government appeared to deviate from the European Union position when Britain's Trade and Development Minister, Gareth Thomas, told the BBC that developing countries would also be required to accept targets for CO2 emissions.

Rather than being isolated, the decision by the United States and Canada to take the lead in international energy and climate diplomacy appears to have galvanized key allies, who are gradually rallying around a much tougher stance vis-a-vis China and India.

In Bali, the Anglosphere nations have in effect drawn a red line in the sand: Unless developing countries agree to mandatory emissions cuts themselves, much of the Western world will henceforth reject any unilateral burden imposed by future climate deals.

As a consequence, the so-called Bali road map adopted last Saturday has shifted the pressure further on to developing nations to share responsibility for CO2 emissions, a move that is widely regarded as a significant departure from the Kyoto Protocol.

For the first time, there are now firm demands for developing nations to tackle CO2 emissions by taking "actions in a measurable, reportable, and verifiable" way. There can be little doubt that the words adopted in Bali herald increasing pressure on China and India to accept mandatory emissions targets.

Australia's public endorsement of this line of attack attests to the fact that the West's climate strategy no longer depends on party politics. Nobody has made this new reality more obvious in recent days than Democratic U.S. Senator John Kerry. Speaking to reporters at the Bali meeting, he notified the international community that a rejection by China and other emerging economies to cut their own greenhouse gases would make it almost impossible for any U.S. administration to get a new global climate treaty through the U.S. Senate -- "even under a Democratic president."

Yet, neither China nor India will be able to agree to any emissions cuts in the foreseeable future. While their CO2 emissions are expected to rise rapidly over the next 20 to 30 years, there is simply nothing in the world of alternative energy or clean technology existing today that has the capacity to arrest this upwards trend. Any forceful attempts, on the other hand, to rein in the dramatically rising energy consumption in almost all of Asia would, inescapably, trigger economic turmoil, social disorder and political chaos.

In Bali, more than perhaps ever before, climate alarmism has finally hit the solid brick wall of political reality. It's a reality that won't go away or be changed any time soon. After more than 20 years of green ascendancy on the world stage, green politicians and climate campaigners are for the first time faced with a conundrum that looks as impenetrable as squaring the circle.

Reflecting on this predicament and the results of the Bali conference, Germany's former foreign secretary, my old friend Joschka Fischer, declared that nothing short of divine intervention would be required to reach a post-Kyoto agreement by 2009, in face of insurmountable obstacles.

"Perhaps something will happen in the meantime, something that does not normally happen in politics, namely a small miracle. After all, given past experiences, one must fear that international climate policy won't probably advance without the direct intervention of higher powers."

That Europe's most famous and most eminent green politician is prepared and desperate enough to publicly call for heavenly support is a strong indication that the age of climate alarmism is now being gradually replaced by fatalism. That's what the encounter with a brick wall tends to do to hot-heads. One can only hope that a period of sobering up from green dreams and delusions will provide political leaders with the prerequisite for a realistic, pragmatic and most of all a manageable approach to climate change.
(Nothing Follows)

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Comments from the Bali Climate Faithful conference

If there's ever been a more pointless, feckless, intellectually bankrupt and morally challenged meeting in the history of mankind than the gathering of 15,000 of the Climate Faithful in Bali then I'm yet to see it.

What did it achieve? To gather again next year in Copenhagen. Giddyup.

Did it achieve anything else? Yes.

Thousands of tonnes of unnecessary CO2 pumped into the atmosphere. Diminished focus on those areas of the world that really are suffering. The belittling of real science in favour of political dogma.

Fortunately, there were a number of Climate Blasphemers who attended and they provide some great commentary of the event.

Read the whole thing from the links provided at

From Viscount Monckton:
As I was handing our flyer round the Press tent, a “development journalist” angrily said: “How dare you criticize the IPCC’s scientists?” I sat down and said: “I don’t attack the scientists, though they certainly attack me. I attack the bad science.”

“Well, then,” he said, “how dare you substitute your judgment for that of thousands of climate scientists?” I said that the crucial chapter in the Holy Book attributing rising temperatures to Siotu had been written by only 53 people, not all of whom were scientists, and that – by coincidence – 53% of the comments by 60 reviewers had been rejected by the authors of the chapter. Not exactly the 2,500 scientists claimed by the high priests, and not exactly a consensus either.

I explained that I was an old-fashioned scribbler who had been taught to be sceptical of all sides of every debate, and that the authors of the Holy Book were obviously not good at sums. “Give me an example,” he said. So I did.

The Holy Book saith: “The CO2 radiative forcing increased by 20% during the last 10 years (1995-2005).” Radiative forcing quantifies increases in radiant energy in the atmosphere, and hence in temperature. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 in 1995 was 360 parts per million. In 2005 it was just 5% higher, at 378 ppm. But each additional molecule of CO2 in the air causes a smaller radiant-energy increase than its predecessor. So the true increase in radiative forcing was 1%, not 20%. The high priests have exaggerated the CO2 effect 20-fold.

“So how are you so nauseatingly certain that you’re right?” he asked. “Well,” I said, “because I worked out that the proportionate increase in CO2 between 1995 and 2005 was 5%, not 20%, and then did a simple calculation from this to work out the radiative forcing. It’s called ‘checking’.” He looked baffled. Voodoo has indeed replaced science, and the paradox is that the new religion claims to worship science.
From Dr Vincent Grey:
Almost everybody seemed to be greenwashed with the view that science has proved that emissions of carbon dioxide are harming the climate and need to be reduced, but there are many reservations about the sort of measures that are being so frequently trumpeted as necessary by every leaflet, newspaper, radio and TV programme.

When I first entered the place on Monday I was issued a leaflet by Oxfam headed "Stop Climate Poverty". They, and many other organisations present were frightened that the sort of climate mitigation measures which are being so loudly demanded will increase poverty in most underdeveloped countries.

Slogans like "Climate Justice Now" are on many stalls. They argued that the first priority for poorer countries is to encourage economic progress before they could be made to spend their limited resources on climate mitigation.

When I first entered the main conference hall I found leaflets on every seat attacking Greenpeace for discouraging the planting of forests and over-exaggerating "tropical deforestation" which accounts only for 17% of world timber production.

There is also concern about the proposal, (called REDD) to bribe Indonesian forest interests with "Carbon Credits" paid by you and me, so that instead of working they can live on charity. Many people are certain that the money would never reach the actual forestry workers, but would end up in Swiss bank accounts.

Another organisation with similar sceptical feelings about this conference as ourselves actually had a seat in the conference chamber. This was the Civil Society Climate Change Coalition which is an international body consisting of 41 member organisations in many countries. Our own Business Roundtable is a member and they have many from the USA and two in China.

They are non-scientists, mainly economists and sociologists, and they are prepared to believe that perhaps emissions of carbon dioxide might be a problem, but they are horrified by the economic and social consequences of the measures being proposed which are usually opposed to the most obvious and necessary ways of tackling the many problems of underdeveloped countries
Check out the qualifications of the Climate Blasphemers who signed a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and their letter opposing support of the so-called climate consensus.
Contrary to the impression left by the IPCC Summary reports: - Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change, for none of these changes has been shown to lie outside the bounds of known natural variability. - The average rate of warming of 0.1 to 0. 2 degrees Celsius per decade recorded by satellites during the late 20th century falls within known natural rates of warming and cooling over the last 10,000 years. - Leading scientists, including some senior IPCC representatives, acknowledge that today's computer models cannot predict climate. Consistent with this, and despite computer projections of temperature rises, there has been no net global warming since 1998. That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th-century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.
There are more highly qualified, science achievers than the entire 2,500 'scientists' that the IPCC bases its reports on.

(Nothing Follows)

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Most Australians disagree with 'evil' used in any apology to the so-called 'Stolen Generation'

I doubt that even one in one hundred Australians knows the real story of the Stolen Generation. The issue has been caught up in the whole Aboriginal guilt-industry led by profoundly racist, immoral Aboriginal 'leaders' such as Pat O'Shane and Lowitja O'Donoghue.

The Stolen Generation Alliance sees O'Donoghue team with Australia's most feckless ever prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, to propose that not only should the Australian government apologise for something that happened 40 years ago but that it should use the words 'evil' and 'cruel'.

It's just my opinion but I would have thought that if you're looking for public support for your position then using such terms, which reflect on current society, doesn't seem the way to go about it.
The Rudd Government's apology to the Stolen Generation will concede that removing Aboriginal children from their families was "evil" and "cruel", if advice from an influential lobby group is taken.

The suggested speech, based on a similar apology in Canada, would use the word "sorry" and admit the Stolen Generation was a policy that could not be justified or excused.

The Stolen Generation Alliance, led by Aboriginal leader Lowitja O'Donoghue and former prime minister Malcolm Fraser, proposed the speech to Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin last week, The Australian reports.

Ms O'Donoghue has also backed a $1billion compensation fund to be established for the Stolen Generation, saying the compensation would stop "a litany of court cases" from occurring.

The wording of the Stolen Generation Alliance's suggested apology is based on a 1998 apology by the moderator of the United Church of Canada to children who were forced into church-run Indian Residential Schools.

That speech described a "cruel and ill-conceived system of assimilation", "evil acts" and a "horrendous period in Canadian history".

The Canadian Government launched a $1.9 billion compensation package in November 2005 for displaced Native Americans.

In addition to the suggested speech, Ms Macklin was reportedly told during the meeting that there was a difference between the words "sorry" and "apology".

"Some say that 'apology' comes from the head, whereas 'sorry' comes from the heart," she was told.
So what do Australians think of using the terms 'evil' and 'cruel' in an apology to the Stolen Generation?

I bet that 90% of those who voted Yes are under 25 years of age and/or have an arts degree.

(Nothing Follows)

Monday, 17 December 2007

A jet pack future

Jetpack International is a company that any guy who loves Big Boys' Toys will fall for instantly. As their name suggests they make jet packs. And how cool are they? Cool.

Makes it look easy, doesn't he? But this is from the early days of learning how to control it.

Of course, the Japanese have not quite got a handle on the whole jet pack thing...

(Nothing Follows)

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Sunday night Aussie rock

The Celibate Rifles are a hard rock band from Sydney, Australia.

The band was formed in 1978 and released their first album Sideroxylon in April 1983 on the Hot Records label. The band has toured both America and Europe extensively, releasing fourteen studio albums.

People who are fans of the SBS soccer show, The World Game, may know that Damien Lovelock, who hosts the Fans' Corner segment, is lead singer for The Celibate Rifles.

Here are some of their old clips that show what a top act they are.

Billy Bonny Regrets

Tick Tock

(Nothing Follows)

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Turkish opinion piece on Richard Dawkins offers interesting insight

Each week I check out a number of online papers from non-Western countries to keep up with what their view of the world is. One of the really interesting ones is the Turkish Daily News, which is in its 46th year and has a really interesting set of opinion columnists.

This piece from Mustafa Akyol is illuminating, as it provides a multi-layered insight into Turkish society.

I am a fan of Richard Dawkins but have been very critical of his recent anti-religion evangelism because it throws out the Christian values baby with the belief in God bathwater. Western civilisation was founded on these values and, as Western Europe's narcissism is showing, their abandonment has provided breathing space for Islam, which offers a system for making value judgements that are clear and concise. Western Europe can't stand up to this cultural assault for the simple reason that you can't beat bad values with no values.
Richard Dawkins is probably the world's most famous atheist evangelist. In his numerous books, the Oxford zoologist argues that modern science, and in particular the Darwinian theory of evolution, has disproved God. He is a gifted writer, and his recent volume, “The God Delusion,” has become a global bestseller. Some call him “the Harry Potter of non-fiction.”

More recently Dr. Dawkins made the news in Turkey, too, yet not by his arguments. As the Turkish Daily News reported on Nov. 29, following a complaint by a Turkish reader that some passages in the “The God Delusion” were an assault on "sacred values," an Istanbul prosecutor has opened an official investigation on the book's Turkish version. Its publisher, Erol Karaaslan, is said be “questioned” soon.

Probably nothing will come out from that, and Dawkins' book will continue to show up on Turkish bookshelves. I think it should be so. And here is why.

Sleights of hand:

Followers of this column might have easily guessed that I would not be among the greatest fans of Dr. Dawkins. Yes, I am not. And the reason is not his atheism, but the way he uses sleights of hand while promoting his views.

Just look at the back cover of his book, which mentions, “the grievous harm religion has inflicted on society, from the Crusades to 9/11.” Ah, how impressive… Yet some other writer could also rant about, “the grievous harm atheism has inflicted on society, from Stalin to Pol Pot.” And that writer would be using the same trick with Dr. Dawkins: Cherry-picking the worst representatives of the worldview that you want to bash. It is a way of propaganda, not analysis.

Further tricks are hidden in Dr. Dawkins' efforts to “disprove” the existence of God by referring to Darwin's theory of evolution. First of all, Darwinian theory has serious problems. Evolution, I think, is a solid fact, and Darwin has given us important insights on the mechanisms of this colossal process. But whether every step of this process can really be explained through random and purposeless mechanisms as Darwin had suggested is a hotly debated question. The scientists who defend the “Intelligent Design” (ID) theory, such as biochemist Michael Behe, point out to the extremely complex “machinery” that exists in the living cell, whose origins have not been adequately explained by the proponents of Darwinism.

Most mainstream scientists disagree with ID and argue that naturalistic explanations for all natural phenomena will be found at some point. Fair enough. But that's a presumption, not a proven conclusion.

Darwin reconsidered:

Yet let's go with mainstream science and accept that Darwinian theory is an adequate explanation of biological origins. But even then Dawkins' atheism is not vindicated. There are in fact many Darwinists who think that this theory is perfectly compatible with belief in God. Some of these scientists actually think that the whole drama of life points to a Creator, who gave nature built-in mechanisms (aka natural laws) that are designed to support the emergence of life. One of the world's prominent paleontologists (scientists who study fossils), Simon Conway Morris, is one such “theistic evolutionist.” I listened to several lectures of him where he teaches at, The University of Cambridge, and the philosophical conclusions he drew from evolution was just the opposite of Dawkins'.

Another scientist who not only disagrees with Dawkins but also counters his arguments is Alister McGrath, both a theologian and a molecular biophysicist, who teaches at Oxford University. In the 2007 book he co-authored with his wife, Joanna Collicutt McGrath, he shows why Dawkins' inferences from science in favor of atheism are flawed. According to Publishers Weekly "The McGraths expeditiously plow into the flank of Dawkins's fundamentalist atheism... and run him from the battlefield.” The same commentator adds, “The book works partly because they are so much more gracious to Dawkins than Dawkins is to believers.”

A great idea:

And I think that is the correct theistic attitude to take vis-à-vis Dawkins and other preachers of atheism. A faith's strength comes from not its fervor to silence critics, but its ability to refute them. If Muslim believers in Turkey are annoyed by Dawkins' book, then they should bring counter-arguments to his theses, instead of asking for censorship by prosecutors.

It would be naïve to fear that theism would lose from such intellectual encounters with atheism – and especially of the kind promoted by Dr. Dawkins. That would be giving him too much credit.

Oh, by the way, fellow TDN columnist Sylvia Tiryaki made a good suggestion on this topic in her piece last Monday. “What we should do at this stage,” she wrote, “is to invite Mr. Dawkins to Turkey to discuss his views here publicly.” Great idea. Let me know if you hear that he decides to come, and, perhaps, if he needs a challenger to debate with. It would be my pleasure to discuss with him who is really deluded about God – and who is not.
(Nothing Follows)

Friday, 14 December 2007

Pope calls for reason to overcome global warming hysteria

I often refer to the fact that we live in an upside-down world. There are few more perfect examples than the current hysteria over global warming.

Man made global warming believers have abandoned the scientific method, invented new statistical processes for 'proving' their case and pinned their faith on the output of never-been-correct-ever climate models.

That's why I call them the Climate Faithful.

Belief in man made global warming is clearly an article of faith and lines up more along political lines than reason and science.

Completing the upside down-ness of the climate change argument is the Pope's recent attack on those over-hyping the cause and predicted effect of any warming.

So, on one side we have (largely) secular Climate Faithful for whom reason has been thrown out the window.

On the other side we have people of genuine faith - the Pope and the Archbishop of Sydney among them - who are calling for any decisions to be based on reason and scientific proof.
Pope Benedict XVI has launched a surprise attack on climate change prophets of doom, warning them that any solutions to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not on dubious ideology.

The leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics suggested that fears over man-made emissions melting the ice caps and causing a wave of unprecedented disasters were nothing more than scare-mongering.

The German-born Pontiff said that while some concerns may be valid it was vital that the international community based its policies on science rather than the dogma of the environmentalist movement.

His remarks will be made in his annual message for World Peace Day on January 1, but they were released as delegates from all over the world convened on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali for UN climate change talks.

The 80-year-old Pope said the world needed to care for the environment but not to the point where the welfare of animals and plants was given a greater priority than that of mankind.

"Humanity today is rightly concerned about the ecological balance of tomorrow," he said in the message entitled "The Human Family, A Community of Peace".

"It is important for assessments in this regard to be carried out prudently, in dialogue with experts and people of wisdom, uninhibited by ideological pressure to draw hasty conclusions, and above all with the aim of reaching agreement on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being of all while respecting environmental balances.

"If the protection of the environment involves costs, they should be justly distributed, taking due account of the different levels of development of various countries and the need for solidarity with future generations.

"Prudence does not mean failing to accept responsibilities and postponing decisions; it means being committed to making joint decisions after pondering responsibly the road to be taken."

Efforts to protect the environment should seek "agreement on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being of all while respecting environmental balances", the Pope said.

He added that to further the cause of world peace it was sensible for nations to "choose the path of dialogue rather than the path of unilateral decisions" in how to cooperate responsibly on conserving the planet.

The Pope's message is traditionally sent to heads of government and international organisations.

His remarks reveal that while the Pope acknowledges that problems may be associated with unbridled development and climate change, he believes the case against global warming to be over-hyped.

A broad consensus is developing among the world's scientific community over the evils of climate change.

But there is also an intransigent body of scientific opinion which continues to insist that industrial emissions are not to blame for the phenomenon.

Such scientists point out that fluctuations in the earth's temperature are normal and can often be caused by waves of heat generated by the sun. Other critics of environmentalism have compared the movement to a burgeoning industry in its own right.

In the spring, the Vatican hosted a conference on climate change that was welcomed by environmentalists.

But senior cardinals close to the Vatican have since expressed doubts about a movement which has been likened by critics to be just as dogmatic in its assumptions as any religion.

In October, the Australian Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, caused an outcry when he noted that the atmospheric temperature of Mars had risen by 0.5 degrees celsius.

"The industrial-military complex up on Mars can't be blamed for that," he said in a criticism of Australian scientists who had claimed that carbon emissions would force temperatures on earth to rise by almost five degrees by 2070 unless drastic solutions were enforced.
This stuff gets funnier by the day.

(Nothing follows)

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Climate model predictions continue to be contradicted by real world observation

Climate models predicted that precipitation levels would be only one-third of what was demonstrated to be the case by real world data. This has a major impact on climate models' predictions of future warming because atmospheric water vapour is the largest greenhouse gas and the major feedback mechanism in climate models.

Models also predict that warming in the troposphere would be much higher than what has now been shown to be the case.

These models represent the sum total of knowledge in the climate field - and they're wrong.

There's a reason why the three authors of this report are noted climate skeptics - they look at real world data...
Part of the scientific consensus on global warming may be flawed, a new study asserts.

The researchers compared predictions of 22 widely used climate "models" — elaborate schematics that try to forecast how the global weather system will behave — with actual readings gathered by surface stations, weather balloons and orbiting satellites over the past three decades.

The study, published online this week in the International Journal of Climatology, found that while most of the models predicted that the middle and upper parts of the troposphere —1 to 6 miles above the Earth's surface — would have warmed drastically over the past 30 years, actual observations showed only a little warming, especially over tropical regions.

"Can the models accurately explain the climate from the recent past? It seems that the answer is no," said lead study author David H. Douglass, a physicist specializing in climate at the University of Rochester.

Douglass and his co-authors S. Fred Singer, a physicist at the University of Virginia, and John R. Christy, a climatologist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, are noted global-warming skeptics.

However, Christy was a major contributor to the 2001 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and is one of the world's premier authorities on collection and analysis of satellite-derived temperature data, having been commended by both NASA and the American Meteorological Society for his efforts.

"We do not see accelerated warming in the tropical troposphere," said Christy. "Instead, the lower and middle atmosphere are warming the same or less than the surface."

The difference between the climate models and the satellite data has been known for several years.

Studies in 2005 found that improper compensation for temperature differences between day and night was the cause of most of the satellite-data discrepancy, a correction that Christy has accepted.

No explanation has been put forth for the weather-balloon discrepancy.
(Nothing Follows)

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

New Australian government shows climate common sense

I am on record as bagging the Labor Party's climate change plan in the lead up to the federal election won by them last month. I thought it was a weak point that the Coalition could exploit because of its open-ended financial commitment.

I am happy to report that common sense is prevailing and the government will not sign up to onerous targets if the rest of the world doesn't also carry their part of the burden - including developing nations.

Labor picked up votes in the election by cleverly playing its environmental credentials and in the process they suppressed the Green vote; it's always a good thing when the totalitarian left of the environment movement get one in the eye if you ask me.

People may ask why the government has backed away from some of its more hysterical climate change positions (such as 60-80% cut by 2050). I reckon the answer is that now they're in government they're getting the real advice from real scientists and they're not so convinced of the strength of their position. That's one of the reasons that Howard would never buy into Kyoto. Good policy. Bad politics.
KEVIN Rudd, Wayne Swan and Penny Wong have acted correctly and courageously at the Bali climate change conference in refusing to be drawn into any early acceptance, or even consideration, of medium-term binding targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The Prime Minister, playing the world stage and showcasing his Mandarin, has acted to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and wants to be a go-between for China and the US.

But from the moment confused reports began to appear from Bali about the need to adopt emission cuts of between 25 and 40 per cent by 2020, Rudd has been steadfast in his opposition.

The Treasurer and the Climate Change Minister have been positive and encouraging but determined not to be seen to be adopting targets before they know what they will cost.

Australia, after its warm reception at Bali because of its ratification of the symbolically important Kyoto Protocol, is now getting a cooler welcome from the UN and environmental groups for not adopting the 25-40 per cent figures.

Australia, always the recalcitrant under the Howard government, is now being lumped with developed doubters such as Japan, Canada and the US, which fear the cost of buying an emissions pig in a poke.

This of course was always going to be the testing time for Labor's climate change policy - the negotiations for a new global system after the Kyoto agreement expires.

What it also shows - and what has surprised some people - is that the Labor Government's outlook and attitude, which is correctly based on waiting for Ross Garnaut's assessment of the economic cost of new targets, now appears little different to that of John Howard.

During the election campaign, Rudd wanted to concentrate on the period to 2012, when ratifying Kyoto was a powerful totemic but largely hollow symbol, and never to talk about the era of the "new Kyoto".

Rudd knew the negotiations with developing nations would be tough and could be an economic threat. That's what he is doing now. Under the mask of being a Kyoto ratifier, he's looking after Australia's national interest. It's just not what some green groups and Labor voters expected.
(Nothing Follows)

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Letting nine go free for rape shames all Australians

I do not have the words to portray the depth of contempt I have for the crown prosecutor who saw fit to spare nine Aboriginal boys and men from custodial sentences for the rape of a ten year old girl.

These are the sorts of 'culturally sensitive' sentences that have seen Aboriginal communities around Australia become alcohol fuelled hell holes for their female and younger members, which led to the federal government's intervention in the Northern Territory.

Leaving aside the profound immorality of the decision can you imagine the outcry from women's groups if it had have been a male crown prosecutor and not a female?
THE crown prosecutor in a case involving the gang rape of a girl described the crime as "childish experimentation".
The Australian yesterday revealed nine males who pleaded guilty to gang-raping the 10-year-old girl had escaped a prison term, with sentencing judge Sarah Bradley saying the child victim "probably agreed" to have sex with them.
Unbelievable. On that basis, 90% of child molestation and rape would be excused.
Cairns-based District Court judge Sarah Bradley did not record convictions against six of the attackers, who were juveniles, and handed three others suspended sentences for the 2005 rape of the 10-year-old girl at Aurukun indigenous community on Cape York.

The case has caused community outrage, with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd saying he was “disgusted and appalled”.
I wonder how many people agree with the decision? Ninemsn had a poll yesterday and it was something like 10,000 - 300 disagreeing with the decision. Those 300 people need to have a long, hard look at their values.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh conceded today the government failed a girl who was returned by Child Safety officials to an indigenous community and she was subsequently gang-raped by nine men.
Maybe the 300 who agreed with the decision were Child Safety officials?
Queensland's Attorney-General last night lodged an appeal into the men's sentences and ordered a review of all sentences handed down in sexual assault cases in the last two years on the Cape.

Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said the courts and child protection system failed a 10-year-old girl who was gang-raped in remote north Queensland.

Ms Macklin today said the case was a “shocking reminder” of the child abuse occurring in indigenous communities.

“Like the Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and the indigenous women of Queensland who have spoken out ... I believe that child safety is paramount, and child victims of violence deserve the full protection of the law,” she told participants at a stolen generations conference in Sydney.

“In this case the child protection system and the courts failed the little girl in question.”The state’s Director of Public Prosecutions Leanne Clare today came under fire from child advocates and the state opposition for not seeking jail sentences for the offenders.

Ms Clare’s office today publicly released transcripts of the court proceedings, which revealed that during the case, crown prosecutor Steve Carter described the incident - in which the girl contracted a sexually transmitted disease - as “consensual sex”.

“To the extent I can't say it was consensual in the legal sense, but in the other - in the general sense, the non-legal sense, yes, it was,” Mr Carter told the court.
So, if I get a 10 year old to commit murder by talking them into it does that excuse me from culpability?
“So, I then ask on that basis not to seek any periods of detention, not to seek any periods of custody, immediate custody.”

Mr Carter said the girl and the boys and men had prearranged the sex and they had not forced themselves on the girl or threatened her.

“My submission in relation to this particular offence is the same that I make in relation to children of that age ... they're very naughty for doing what they're doing but it's really - in this case, it was a form of childish experimentation, rather than one child being prevailed upon by another,” he said.
Hooha. Force may not have been involved, necessarily, but she was absolutely coerced via peer/group pressure.
“Although she was very young, she knew what was going on and she had agreed to meet the children at this particular place and it was all by arrangement.

“I'd ask your Honour to take that into account.”

Mr Carter also told the court such incidents were not out of character in small, remote communities.
Well, they bloody well should be! What a disgusting statement. It in no way excuses such profoundly appalling behaviour.
“ ... children, females, have got to be - deserve - the same protection under the law in an Aboriginal or an indigenous community as they do in any other community,” Mr Carter said.

“But sometimes things happen in a small community when children get together and people that are just past their childhood and these sort of things are what we're dealing with today.”

It was revealed in The Australian this morning that the state's Child Safety Department knew the child had been pack-raped but did not report it to police.
It gets worse...
Prior to the rape, officials from the Department removed the child from foster parents in Cairns and returned her to the Aurukun community, where she was repeatedly assaulted.
...and worse...
An external investigation was conducted last year into the officials' behaviour and resulted in one officer being fired and two others suspended.

The suspended officers are appealing the disciplinary action.

The Queensland Opposition have called for a “major inquiry” into the failure.

Queensland Liberal leader and shadow Attorney-General Mark McArdle said the Attorney-General and the Minister for Child Safety had a lot of questions to answer.

“How on earth does a young child become the victim of a pack rape?”

“And how can this appalling crime be repeated, with the same child victim in the same community?"
...the pits of the pits.