Simon over on Australian Climate Madness describes this BBC video as a must see. He is correct. It provides an excellent snapshot of the change in public opinion that has occurred in Australia with support for taxing the climate falling fast.
I see this amongst my own "associates". Twelve months ago non belief in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) resulted in barely concealed sneers. Such strong opinions on science from people who couldn't plot a simple regression line if their lives depended upon it I must admit surprised me at first. Now a skeptical position receives either open support in the majority of cases or at least a considered hearing. Interestingly the most vocal supporter of climate change that I personally know (who has gone strangely quiet in recent months) also strongly believes the moon landings were faked by NASA and yet has no difficulty in basing their own belief in CAGW on "the science" - none of which they have actually read.
I still find it amazing just how quickly public opinion is shifting. What was only a few months ago political suicide now stands a chance of bringing a government undone. This of course is not certain and anything can happen, but the question is now a political one and that is where the battle is being fought. Actually thinking about it the issue has always been political right back to the original formation of the now discredited political activist body, the UN IPCC.
Any that actually know me who are reading this will recall me saying over the last year or two that as soon as the Australian CAGW believers are asked to put the first $20 of their own money on the table to pay for global warming you will see them turn and run. In Australia you see there is this belief, and it is a strongly held one, that when governments talk of "taxing polluters" that somehow that doesn't mean us i.e. the average taxpayer or citizen. Of course all costs will be passed on to the consumer. We are the polluters. We demand and buy the goods produced. This is being played upon now by PM Kevin Rudd who talks about making “polluters pay”. Kevin defines CO2 as pollution. Naturally if a power station pays for producing CO2 it will raise its electricity prices. It is so simple and yet it seems to have come as a "great big suprise" to many Australians. Perhaps it is the same everywhere.
It seems however that Australians are quickly now realising that it is us who will have to pay for climate beliefs in cold hard cash and many former CAGW believers are turning tail and running fast in the opposite direction. There is a saying here, "money talks, bullshit walks" that is particularly apt in the current political situation.
Kevin Rudd says he will "compensate" low to middle income earners for the extra cost of his great big tax on climate. Two problems:
1. that is where much of the tax dollars come from so it will be a deficit breaking expense - of course he won't do this. The promise will be quickly be broken. In fact it seems from TV interviews it has been broken before it even starts.
2. why would you compensate people when the whole point is to change behaviour by placing a price signal on carbon for heaven’s sake. Compensating consumers distorts the very signal one is trying to produce!
I commend this video to Australian readers or to anyone who wants to get a feel for the political position here as it stands today.
This blog is a about Anthropogenic Global Warming(AGW) which is global warming caused by the activities of man. The core issues are:
- Is the climate warming, - Is the warming outside of historic norms - Is it caused by anthropogenic CO2 - Will it result in global disaster as the IPCC insists
Only the first has been satisfactorily answered in part and the qualification is that the data upon which the IPCC claims are based has not been made available for full scrutiny as yet. The average terrestrial land temperature experienced slight warming this century. In some regions such as Antarctica it has cooled. The earth has been recovering from the Little Ice Age since 1650 (see Akasofu 2007 & 2009) which is one reason this warming trend is expected. It appears that this is not outside of historic norms (see Medieval Warm Period) and that the IPCC and some scientists have attempted to downplay the Medieval Warm Period and the effects of the Little Ice Age. The later two issues are not settled despite UN and government spin towards the contrary. For some excellent background from a real climatologist not implicated in the recent CRU revelations see the links to Dr Roy Spencer's blog below who discusses these issues as a professional.
Australia Joins China and Iran in Net Censorship - Nanny State Cometh
Pearls of Wisdom & Otherwise
Glenn Reynolds (USA - Instapundit.com): "I'll believe its a crisis when the people who tell me it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis."
Nick himself (Counting Cats in Zanzibar blog): "Is it just me or has the spam-trade been entirely taken-over by performance poets on Arts-Council grants?"
Dr. Kiminori Itoh (Phd UN IPCC Scientist Award-winning environmental physical chemist): "When people know what the truth is the will feel deceived by science and scientists."
Dr. Stephen Schneider (Stanford professor of climatology, Lead author on many IPCC reports, in an interview with Discover Magazine 1989): "We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest."
Former US Vice President Al Gore (now, chairman and co-founder of Generation Investment Management- a London-based business that sells carbon credits, in an interview with Grist Magazine 9 May 2006 re his book An Inconvenient Truth) "Nobody is interested in solutions if they don't think there's a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous (global warming) is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are..."
New readers may be interested to peruse two of my earlier posts concerning the Fear of Global Cooling which was popular in the late 1970's. I have posted a copy of a Newsweek article together with comments here and here.