Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Is there no end to the Bushfire Bastards?

Climate Change is fooling Phelan

By Anthony Cox 

I have written before of the hypocritical attempts to blame the current bushfires with man-made global warming [AGW]. These people and organisations which do this are justifiably described as bastards on the basis of Nicola Roxon’s terminology from the sacking of Rudd and his personal characteristics which Roxon grudgingly admitted she shared.

The essential characteristic of the bush-fire bastard is a commitment to the lie of AGW and the shameless use of natural catastrophes to blame AGW and further whatever ideology or power or financial interest that bastard has in AGW.

The queue to be part of the bush-fire bastards’ club keeps growing. A couple of worthy contenders have just raised their hands and either written or spoken the usual cant made famous by Bandt.

The first is Liam Phelan. Liam is an archetypal academic success story who has reinforced his proclivities and beliefs with letters after his name. So much of the ‘discussion’ of AGW is by declaration or proclamation by the believers on the basis of either their superior academic expertise or by numbers, the myth and fundamentally unscientific and disproven consensus.

Phelan’s recent article in the Newcastle Morning Herald exhibits another characteristic of the alarmists; that is the condescending and patronising tone. Phelan’s article reads as though he is talking to errant children who will respond to a soft but stern talking to. But his defence of Bandt is atrocious and his basic point is indefensible. Phelan says this:
There are two key issues in play: the link between climate change and extreme weather events, and how we as a society should respond to that link.
This needs to be stated strongly: bush-fires are not extreme events in Australia and the history of bush-fires shows the worst bush-fires have been in the past despite the terrible tragedy of Black Saturday in 2009 in particular. Andrew Bolt has a brief history of Spring bush-fires, as do the Rural Fire Brigade and arguably Australia’s worst bush-fire is recorded in Summer of 1851, Black Thursday.

What also needs to strongly stated is that extreme weather events are NOT increasing as Phelan claims. The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project shows this. So does the latest IPCC report, AR5. In its section on extreme weather, SREX, chapter 4, the IPCC says:
§  “There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change”
§  “The statement about the absence of trends in impacts attributable to natural or anthropogenic climate change holds for tropical and extratropical storms and tornados”
§  “The absence of an attributable climate change signal in losses also holds for flood losses”
Andrew Bolt has a full list if the IPCC’s admissions about the lack of extreme weather, including droughts and heat-waves where the prior IPCC forecasts were not supported by evidence or statistical confidence.

So, what Phelan is doing when he talks about extreme weather is either lying or demonstrating his ignorance. For this Phelan is a natural member of the bush-fire bastard’s club.

The second candidate is another academic; Janet Stanley of the Monash Sustainability Institute. Isn’t that odd, Phelan is also an expert on sustainability, a term which has no meaning. Stanley was being interviewed on the ABC, a previous successful candidate for the bush-fire bastard club.

The primary subject of the interview was to tease out Stanley’s expertise about how to treat young arsonists. Stanley took a generally sympathetic approach to these little bastards. However, Stanley was not satisfied with this and just had to introduce AGW into the conversation:
With a child it might just be an accident, you know, it’s fun to watch a fire. You light it and in the circumstances that we’ve got at the moment with climate change it gets away when it probably wasn’t meant to get away.
For her sterling efforts at introducing AGW into a completely different discussion and also concluding with a pitch for more funding for her research Stanley gets a membership of the bush-fire bastard’s club.

A final point. Fairfax is already a member of the bush-fire bastard’s club through the efforts of its flagship papers, the SMH and the Age. Its Newcastle paper published Phelan’s effort. However the NMH has always been fair-handed and reasonable in publishing my sceptical articles. For that it misses out on being a member of the bush-fire bastard’s club.

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