Open Thread 61

Time for a new open thread.


  1. #1 Bernard J.
    June 21, 2011


    When did lawyer Anthony Cox get [a degree in climatology](

    In what way is he a contributor to “science blogs”, that warrants such being included in a bio?

    More importantly, is The Drum willing to give me my own gig on its pages? After all, if the bar is so low…

  2. #2 Robert Murphy
    June 21, 2011

    He’s a renaissance man, Bernard.

    “Anthony Cox is Secretary of The Climate Sceptics Party and has degrees in English Literature, Climate Studies and Law.”

    I did my brain a disservice and visited The Climate Skeptics website; let’s just say a lost a couple dozen IQ points just browsing it.

  3. #3 Wow
    June 21, 2011

    Aye, 180 degrees. Rotated. In the opposite direction.

    You see he’s hoping that you won’t remember the homonym.

  4. #4 Dave R
    June 21, 2011

    The _Independent_ [has some interesting details]( on inactivist think tanks, mainly in the UK.

  5. #5 Chris O'Neill
    June 21, 2011

    Steve Fielding finally does something useful, 10 days before his 6 year appointment comes to an end.

    One of the best responses to this was Barnaby Joyce (country bumpkin accountant) crying that Fielding had been to “sceptics” conferences so why did he do this? Good laugh.

  6. #6 Bernard J.
    June 22, 2011

    >He’s a renaissance man, Bernard.

    That’s not quite the phrase I was considering!


    I’m just curious about the extent of Cox’s tertiary climatological studies, because he’s said himself on various blogs that he’s a lay person, and on The Conversation he only mentions that he’s a lawyer.

    So why promote himself on The Drum as having tertiary climatological qualifications? I want to know how much actual university-level science Cox has really completed, and how much is physics- or climatology-related, because it’s not evidencing itself in the stuff he says.

  7. #7 chek
    June 22, 2011

    @ Bernard – another denialist full of CV-inflating self-puffery and outright lies? Surely not! Usually the next thing up is how they used to believe in global warming.

  8. #8 Chris O'Neill
    June 22, 2011

    So why promote himself (Cox) on The Drum as having tertiary climatological qualifications?

    I would have thought that was clear from his actual qualification, lawyer, a.k.a. professional liar (with apologies to honest lawyers).

  9. #9 Vince whirlwind
    June 23, 2011

    The Australian’s war on the environment today in a piece about the Senate inquiry into wind-farm objectors starts with a headline, “URGENT research should be undertaken….”.

    I’ve downloaded the report and searched it for the word “urgent”.

    The word appears once in the entire document, and does not appear at all in relation to any call for further research.

    This is not broadsheet journalism.

  10. #10 himThere
    June 28, 2011

    Interesting article [published today]( revealing that Willie Soon has received $1 million from fossil fuel companies.

    Yet such generous funding did not affect his objectivity on the subject of climate change (apparently).

  11. #11 Vince whirlwind
    June 28, 2011

    No, that makes him objective. It’s only the Climate Change Gravy Train that causes scientists to abandon their objectivity in favour of warmist/communist/fascist/alarmism.

  12. #12 Lotharsson
    July 1, 2011

    Abbott to economists: [I know your field better than you do](

    > “It may well be … that most Australian economists think that a carbon price or emissions trading scheme is the way to go,” he said. “Maybe that’s a comment on the quality of our economists rather than on the merits of the argument.”


  13. #13 Mithrandir
    July 1, 2011

    Heralding GSW’s exile to the Open Thread, I just wanted to point out one of the dumbest aspects of the “CO2 is plant food” talking point, which is the ridiculous equivocation between “CO2 encourages plant growth” and “CO2 is good for the biosphere”. As was pointed out in great detail by Jeff Harvey, nothing could be further from the truth.

    Naturally, GSW replied to this actual information by pointing out that “CO2 is still plant food” and completely ignored the point that it’s still bad for the biosphere.

    Or to put it another way, “Water is plant food, therefore it’s a good thing if we flood a grain field.”

  14. #14 Lotharsson
    July 2, 2011

    > Or to put it another way, “Water is plant food, therefore it’s a good thing if we flood a grain field.”

    Or to go further, “Water is plant food, so it’s good to flood our houses”.

  15. #15 bill
    July 2, 2011

    GSW – just popped over to tell you I’ve seen more intelligent things than you lying on their backs on the bottom of ponds.

    Now, don’t go troubling yourself with that stinging retort you might manage to work up in an hour or so, because thankfully I don’t have to read any of your arrantly boneheaded yet infuriatingly smug nonsense ever again now that you’ve received your loooong overdue relegation. As a man who’s been around long enough to know to grasp a good thing when he chances upon it I’m just counting my blessings!… 😉

    And as a professional Revegetator – that’s doing shit with leafy green things for a living, Homie – I can tell you you know FA about CO2 and the complex world of the nutrient requirements of plants. But you know that already.

  16. #16 Lotharsson
    July 3, 2011

    More colour on [Abbott dissing economists]( towards the end – he did it at a conference full of them.

    > …Abbott shocked his colleagues when he sneeringly dismissed the quality of Australian economists for their unremarkable view that the most economically efficient way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions was by pricing them with a market mechanism.

    > The basic economic principle stands, regardless of whether you agree that climate change is a problem and emissions need to be reduced. Quizzed on this, Abbott played to his fan base, not the audience in the room. “Maybe that’s a comment on the quality of our economists,” he said without a hint of humour.

    > Abbott was at the annual Melbourne Institute Growth Challenge conference, which was addressed and attended by dozens of economists who, between them, over years of public and private service, had helped engineer two decades of reforms to make Australia’s economy among the most sound in the Western world. …

    > One attendee was most unhappy. “The human slogan just called us a joke,” he said.

    Dickhead as well as buffoon.

  17. #17 SteveC
    July 3, 2011

    @ bill #209

    I can tell you you know FA about CO2 and the complex world of the nutrient requirements of plants. But you know that already

    Well, we knew it already…

  18. #18 Vince whirlwind
    July 4, 2011

    What’s Tony Abbott’s field of expertise?

    He’s obviously not 23 years old – what profession has he been doing for the past 3 decades, what qualifications has he achived and what expertise has he gained?

  19. #19 rhwombat
    July 4, 2011

    I was at SU at the same time as Mr Rabbott. He hasn’t changed at all since the late 70’s – he was a preening right-wing dickhead then too. I was also at the protest against Hans Eysenk when Rabbott was decrying our intellectual insularism regarding Eysenk’s racist polemic, stating “As the Bard said “I disagree with your opinions, but will defend, to the death, your right to hold them”. Quoth a voice from the crowd (actually a mate of mine, now Head of Anaesthtics at a regional teaching hospital): :”That was Voltaire, Dickhead.”

  20. #20 Gaz
    July 4, 2011

    Abbott is nothing if not consistent – rejects climate scientists when their conclusions don’t appeal to him and rejects economists when their advice doesn’t appeal to him.
    I’m glad I’m not his doctor or the poor bastard who tunes his car.

  21. #21 mike
    July 4, 2011

    Well, Deltoids, I see that I’ve been consigned to the open thread. Sorry guys, but I don’t do ghettos (but then, I also don’t do cattle-cars and gulags either–which accounts for my aversion to greenshirts).

    But I think a brief valedictory comment is in order.

    Although not a one of you was a worthy opponent, I did enjoy exploding the pretenses, affectations, polite fictions, vanity, and pathetic mutual admiration that is the life-blood of you Deltoid zit-bleeds.

    O. K. guys, I’m gone so it’s safe for you wimps to mouth-off, again. Outta here!

  22. #22 Wow
    July 4, 2011

    Mike complains:

    > I see that I’ve been consigned to the open thread.

    Yet this is what I read from Tim:

    > That’s enough GSW. From now on you are only permitted to post to the Open Thread. All replies to GSW should also go there.

    Mike and GSW sitting in a tree…

    (fallen out of it, mind)

  23. #23 John
    July 4, 2011

    No, Mike was consigned as well but he is lying and will return to call us names and claim victory, because he is clever and witty like that when he isn’t enabling people who threaten to rape children.

  24. #24 rhwombat
    July 4, 2011

    Try some Preparation H, mike. The marketing claims that it takes the pain away after a couple of applications.

  25. #25 bill
    July 4, 2011

    Yep, mike, you sure made your mark, but I’m sure you’ll know what I mean if I describe it a short brown smear.

  26. #26 Lotharsson
    July 5, 2011

    This Australian survey was reported a month or so ago:

    > [ 74 per cent believe the world’s climate is changing and 90 per cent believe human activities are playing a role.](

    > The research found less than 6 per cent of Australians are true climate change sceptics.

    > …

    > The study also found more than half of respondents believe they are already experiencing the effects of climate change and around two thirds have strong concerns about it.

  27. #27 Lotharsson
    July 5, 2011


    > The executive director of the Australian Coal Association, Ralph Hillman, will begin the industry assault today in an address to the National Press Club, in which he will argue the carbon tax is a “wealth redistribution exercise” that will cost jobs but not reduce greenhouse emissions.

    One might speculate that the implication of his position is that the carbon price should be a lot higher 😉

  28. #28 Bernard J.
    July 5, 2011


    It’s cute that the senior executive of an industry that grows insanely and inordinately wealthy from digging up resources that belong to all citizens, thinks that pricing just a part of the true cost of human polluting activity constitutes a perceived robbing of his and his industry’s bounty.

    Thinking about it, “cute” is perhaps a euphemism. I wonder how Hillman justifies his industry’s richness, and his reluctance to pay for its negative effects…?

  29. #29 himThere
    July 6, 2011

    Did anyone hear and can pass comment on the “colourful” interview of Monckton conducted by Adam Spencer?

  30. #30 SteveC
    July 6, 2011

    @ 223 himThere | July 6, 2011 9:12 PM

    ABC audio (2 parts) HERE.

    Not listened to it yet but from the comments it doesn’t look like the politest exchange of views ever recorded…

  31. #31 himThere
    July 6, 2011

    Thanks for that SteveC.

    He is slimy, slippery and creepy (Monckton), I feel that I need a shower after listening to that.

  32. #32 Lotharsson
    July 8, 2011

    [This comment]( appears to be disguised spam. It melds some Turkish(?) with a cut-and-paste of parts of another comment.

  33. #33 jakerman
    July 8, 2011

    >*74 per cent believe the world’s climate is changing and 90 per cent believe human activities are playing a role.*

    I assume that is 90 per cent of the 74 percent? Else 16% believe the world’s climate is not changing and believe human activities are playing a role.

  34. #34 Lotharsson
    July 8, 2011

    > I assume that is 90 per cent of the 74 percent?

    Me too.

  35. #35 Wow
    July 8, 2011

    > Else 16% believe the world’s climate is not changing and believe human activities are playing a role.

    This is not impossible. Just look at what the teaparty believes in, or how many incongruent things deniers will say.

  36. #36 rhwombat
    July 8, 2011

    @227: welcome back, j. We’ve missed you.

  37. #37 jakerman
    July 10, 2011

    Cheers, rhw.

  38. #38 SteveC
    July 10, 2011

    I know it has its flaws and I know it won’t be exactly what either the Greens or the Coalition wanted (much less some in Big Business), but at long last an Australian government has had the courage to start concerted action on greenhouse gas emissions.

    Whatever the merits or otherwise of the Gillard government’s carbon “tax” and eventual ETS, I applaud it for starting the process despite considerable political pressure and the waves of spin, misrepresentation and fabrication from vested interests and the Murdochcracy.

    (PS Tim, time for a new open thread perhaps, given the hoo-haa this will undoubtedly generate?)

  39. #39 Gaz
    July 10, 2011

    SteveC – agreed. Our descendents will not curse us quite as bitterly as they might have. In their spare time, of coruse, while they’re not building [dikes](

    Seriously, though, well done for the government, the Greens and the indpendents for having a go at doing the right thing.

    The alternative policy – bludging off the rest of the world – seemed un-Australian, for want of a better word.

  40. #40 Rocco
    July 11, 2011

    Another septical train wreck episode occurring over at RC. Grab some popcorn and check the comments.

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