What role is Dr Judith Curry trying to play ?

Before Climategate I thought Dr Curry was pretty much from the standard pro-IPCC mold. In early 2010 I noticed her building a position which I saw as somewhat separate from the main IPCC advocates – and I interpreted this rightly or wrongly as an effort to salvage something around the broad IPCC position.

Now with the IPCC wreckage still happily smouldering 18 months after Climategate – I wonder what readers can tell me about her role now.

A few comments on Chapter 1 of the latest CSIRO paper "Climate change : science and solutions for Australia"

Climate change : science and solutions for Australia
(p 2, top)

"A network of standard thermometers and standard thermometer shelters was progressively introduced throughout Australia between 1890 and 1910."

This is the first time I have ever seen 1890 quoted in this context. The BoM position is stated on page 4 of their 8 Feb 2011 "SPECIAL CLIMATE STATEMENT 27"

“An exceptional summer heatwave in greater Sydney and the Hunter Valley”

where they say

"Maximum temperatures prior to 1910 have not been considered for inclusion unless they are known to have been measured in a standard Stevenson screen or similar."

I have never seen the BoM mention a date before 1907 or 1908 and I am not aware the BoM produces a trend starting prior to 1910.

My own research suggests that the Stevenson screen was progressively introduced from about 1882 – obviously spreading out from high order stations.

There is much information from searchable newspaper archives and archived photographs coming online in recent years which provide evidence for the use of the Stevenson screen from the 1890’s which undermines the BoM position. A few examples are given here.

It is amazing that in the 14 pages – with several superfluous propaganda photos – the CSIRO paper shows no graphic of the Australian long term temperature trend as defined by the BoM  – which we note originates in 1910 – and be aware these BoM data have been stroked and tweaked to show more warming than the raw data.

My graphic "Average of 25 Regional and Remote Stations" shows that Australian temperatures in the late 19th Century were similar to those in recent decades which are quoted by global warming alarmists as evidence for anthropogenic warming.

No wonder the BoM, other public service scientists and global warming alarmists do not chart Australian temperature trends prior to 1910 – yet note how the BoM trend is warped cooler from 1910-1940’s. There is a lot of propaganda out there.

The CSIRO include the page 3 Fig 1.1 which I am sure is not peer reviewed and only runs from 1960. Why do they talk trends from 1910-2009 on one page then can only find data from 1960 ?


We must remember that the Eastern Australian big wet of second half 2010 and early 2011 caught the CSIRO by surprise. See my blog article from October 2010, Australian wheat crop history does not shout “worst drought ever”

Bottom of page 5 –

"It is notable that, despite heavy rainfall in Victoria during the second half of the year, Melbourne recorded its 14th consecutive year of below average inflows to water storages during 2010."

Wrong CSIRO – there was nothing notable about that – simply that in the swings and roundabouts of rainfall – the Thomson dam catchment got less rain than vast areas of Victoria to the north and west.

To wrap up – can I just point out two sections on Australian rainfall that seem to me to be contradictory.

First – bottom page 4 –

"Similarly, vast movements of oceanic heat and atmospheric circulation over the Pacific Ocean, known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, are associated with periodic droughts (El Niño) and, alternatively, heavy rainfall (La Niña) across the eastern and southern parts of the continent.
Sea surface temperatures in the Indian and Southern oceans, as well as atmospheric circulation around the Southern Hemisphere as a whole, also make strong contributions to Australian rainfall variability."

Then on the bottom of page 7-

"There is no unequivocal evidence that long-term changes in the Indian and Pacific oceans, such as changes to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, have had a major influence on rainfall trends over Australia, despite studies that have identified possible changes over the 20th century in these large features of climate variability."

Page 7 – that’s enough wading through CSIRO-speak for me.

15 reasons to oppose the GreenLabor carbon tax; by Paul Sheehan of the SMH

Paul Sheehan writes for the too often GreenLeft compliant Sydney Morning Herald. He has this thought provoking article listing 15 reasons why the Gillard Govt carbon tax is lacking in logic.

What do readers think ? Can we add to Paul’s list ?

Paul Sheehan says – The justification for this tax is that it will curb greenhouse emissions endangering the planet. It is an argument which covers a multitude of sins.

Here are just some:

1. There is no mandate for the carbon tax. It was expressly singled out by Gillard during the last election as a no-go, which helped save her government.

2. The tax will have almost zero effect on global carbon dioxide emissions.

3. It is a tax on everything, as higher energy costs flow through the economy.

4. It is regressive, harming households and small businesses on tight budgets.

5. It is a massive exercise in tax churning.

6. It does not address the structural inefficiencies in the energy sector.

7. It is a prelude to a emissions trading scheme, a derivatives market.

8. Large-scale carbon trading is inherently vulnerable to fraud, manipulation and speculation, as seen in Europe.

9. It will introduce a new layer of complexity to the economy.

10. It ignores significant energy savings possible without a punitive tax.

11. The federal government has an abysmal record in delivering large-scale interventions.

12. Australia contributes about 1.5 per cent of global carbon emissions and any local measures will be irrelevant without a global carbon tax regime.

13. It will not introduce certainty to energy pricing as promised.

14. Solar and wind power generation are prohibitively expensive and cannot meet baseload power needs.

15. The tax represents a massive transfer of wealth and power to the bureaucratic class which benefits most from a new labyrinth of compliance and compulsion.

In short, a carbon chasm is emerging in Australia and when it is all boiled down, I think Sue Isles is right and Julia Gillard is wrong.

There is no mandate for the carbon tax. It was expressly singled out by Gillard during the last election as a no-go, which helped save her government.

Does Professor Ross Garnaut play with words on the “Insight” TV show ?

The SBS TV Channel in Australia (State funded multicultural TV) runs a current affairs show called Insight.

Now on Tuesday 5th April 11 they discussed the proposed Carbon Tax – and fairly soon after the start – JENNY BROCKIE the compere brings in PROFESSOR ROSS GARNAUT, GOVERNMENT CLIMATE CHANGE ADVISOR.

In his second paragraph the transcript shows him saying –

“….there’s a way of dealing with it that won’t lead anyone to be poorer.””

About halfway through the transcript other contributors pick Garnaut up for saying that nobody will be worse off.

For example Tim Wilson says:

TIM WILSON: Sorry I actually want to go back there, because I think if you check the tape, you did say no-one would be worse off.

Then Ross Garnaut says;

PROFESSOR ROSS GARNAUT: I did not. That is simply not true.

Well I know what I think words mean – I wonder what readers think about this issue on national TV. Why did not an Insight staffer check this and tell Jenny Brockie during the program so she could inform Ross Garnaut what words he uttered?

I will tell you now for certain what the truth will be if this tax/scheme whatever goes ahead. Those of us taxpayers above some Labor chosen middle tax bracket will most certainly be worse off. The tax will be simply another Labor income redistribution scheme.

Below here is the long transcript. Continue reading