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Climate Institute sees Liberals reducing CO2 emissions more than Labor.

Green groups often have naive political philosophies that they couple with sound environmental policy strengths.  The Greens are generally preferencing dumb-dumb Labor in the forthcoming House of Representatives election in exchange for Labor preferences in the Senate.  Its a good deal for the Greens since the Senate preferences matter to them and most Green preferences anyway drift to Labor.  Of course for the Greens it has nothing to do with political morality – it is just expediency – but longer-term I think it is a dumb move.  The Greens should be seeking strong environmental supporters from both sides of politics. They should be engaging with both sides too.

I noticed this week that another Green activist group – the Climate Institute – overall gives Labor a preferred position in addressing environmental concerns over the Liberals even though the Coalition’s policies on climate change offer much less addition to CO2 emissions than do those of Labor.  Under Labor policies emissions will increase by 121 MT over 1990 levels by 2020 whereas under the Coalition they will increase by 46 MT.  The Greens do best of all with sensible policies which cut emissions by 131 MT.  Oh yes I know the Climate Institute’s rankings reflect other factors but it does seem to me that a bit of honesty and openness here – acknowledging the superior effectiveness of Coalition policies – might help the environmental cause.  Hiding the truth helps elect Labor who will add more carbon emissions.

What we really want here is a contest. Who will do most? I am voting one Green and, currently giving my second preferences to the Liberal Party who, after distribution of preferences in my seat, will ultimately get my vote. If Labor introduced a $25 per ton carbon tax in the leadup to the election and the Liberals didn’t respond with a better policy I’d switch my vote quicker than a rat up a drain pipe.  Its a happy co-incidence for me because I think Labor doesn’t have skills required to govern anyway.  Tony Abbott has foolish attitudes on climate change but Labor Party policies have an even worse effect and Julia Dullard, in my view, is too stupid to be a Prime Minister.

Assigning second preferences to the Liberals helps drive better quality administration with less waste and lower carbon emissions.

6 comments to Climate Institute sees Liberals reducing CO2 emissions more than Labor.

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  • Sinclair Davidson

    Harry, it’s not fair saying that Gillard is too stupid to be PM. She has a different set of policy preferences to what we would prefer, but faced with the appropriate policy challenges could be a great PM.

  • Harry, do those Climate Institute figures really make sense? I thought the Coalition expects a hell of a lot from soil carbon, and although I haven’t really read up on it much yet, I get the distinct impression that the estimates by its proponents are extremely rubbery.

  • observa

    The fat lady has sung Harry-
    http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/28/climate-change-movement-harry-reid-opinions-columnists-shikha-dalmia.html?boxes=opinionschannellatest
    The dog ate the homework = post normal science = crap science, but all that’s irrelevant now.

    Still it’s an ill wind as they say and I might yet get $2000 for the daughter’s 86’Ford Laser to renew the missus 3.5 year old Mitsi Colt. I usually chop the missus’ shopping trolley every 3-4 years and this year MissO finishes Uni so it’ll make sense for her to take over mums and chop her nan’s old Laser if that’s the way the taxpayer $394/tonne pans out. Eat your hearts out struggletown eh?

  • hc

    The link was interesting Observa and for a rightist rave fairly perceptive. I obviously don’t agree that the science is highly ambiguous. Moreover, the claim that China is not doing much about climate change is a deceit. But the rejection of a cap-and-trade scheme by the US Senate is a serious outcome. The argument that you need authoritarian regimes to deal with the climate change issue is the ultimate criticism of democracy. Democracy is imperfect and most of the time this doesn’t matter much. On this occasion it does.

  • a.n.ditchfield

    POST POST-NORMAL SCIENCE?
    a.n.ditchfield
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    Post-normal Science is claimed to be the key to understanding complexity in nature. It is invoked to promote a new world order with sustainable progress on a limited planet.
    What is progress? To most minds it comes from the increasingly efficient use of energy and materials, capital and labour, that translates into lower costs, better income for all, freedom from want and ultimately to more means for care of the environment.
    Not all agree. The bitterness of Green extremists that swept with gale strength at the Copenhagen 2009 conference on climate pointed to the opposite direction: to limiting world economic activity and even casting away the fruits of two centuries of the Industrial Revolution that they blame for a global warming bound to render the planet uninhabitable. This is a controversial meaning of progress.
    Green scare-mongering is too puny to be compared to the 20th century ideologies of Fascism and Communism. Although Green activists are prone to excess, the damage they cause is still trifling when compared to the havoc brought about by two world wars and the waste of a long cold war.
    Totalitarians had weapons for their mischief while Green extremists can only brandish words that suggest they would have already capsized the planet, were it not for the ballast of common sense possessed by ordinary folk. They promote public policies too disastrous to be tolerated if implemented. The political reality is that the West resists being rolled back to an idealised Green agrarian past. Forget China and India.
    Again, the world is divided into two camps. One side of the climate issue is epitomised by MIT climate scientist Richard Lindzen, who sees global warming as a political and journalistic phenomenon, not a physical one. He expects future generations to look back in wonder at the turn of the century hysteria about climate. On the other side stands Jerome Ravetz, theorist of the fashionable Post-normal Science, who contributed to the uncritical acceptance of anthropogenic global warming as settled science. It is not.
    Ravetz is no common-or-garden Leftist; he holds a Cambridge PhD degree in mathematics. Steeped in Marxism at the Philadelphia home of his Russian/Jewish parents, his US passport was withdrawn during the McCarthy era, although later restored. He then adopted UK citizenship. A disgruntled Ravetz is the kind of articulate intellectual that Oxford likes to keep for a while to enliven debate, and certainly fits the role with his Post-normal Science. He admits that the scientific method cannot be surpassed in its realm of simple phenomena; he argues that there is another realm with different laws, to deal with complex matters, such as climate, in which the stakes are high and scientific certainties low. Enter the Precautionary Principle: if the cause is just and the science unsettled, uncertainties should not stand in the way of acts of government promoted by official propaganda. Enter the Ministry of Truth…
    The truth is that we don’t know – and may never know – how much of global climate change comes by hand of man or by hand of nature, to what degree and when. We do know that hiding uncertainties for the sake of expediency is at best misleading and at worst fraud, when it abets self-serving politics.
    The uncertainties of complexity are not new; they been around since the time of the philosophers of Ancient Greece. After them, Hegel and Marx believed they had the instruments to navigate on uncharted and turbulent waters of history, politics and economics. Others argue that questions concerning human nature will always remain in the domain of the intuition of statesmen, of the religious, of the mystics, poets and artists who have the feel, not the thought, to discern in matters beyond the reach of reason – and therefore of science. Their intuition cannot be generalised into a soulless ideological system.
    With Post-normal Science, Marxists try to bring back, as serious, their Alice in Wonderland thought. Their tactics have changed. They now follow the book of Antonio Gramsci, founder of the Italian Communist Party in the 1920s. As an exile in Moscow, Gramsci saw the brutal realities of Stalin’s regime and realised the futility of seizing power with revolution and holding onto power with armed force. It led to oppression, not liberty. Christianity is the main opponent of Marxism. A revolutionary assault on Christian societies entrenched behind a rampart of values upheld for two thousand years is doomed to failure. Gramsci proposed an alternative approach: evolution, not revolution, is the way to the ideal classless society, in a long but sure process. Marxism should spread in concentric circles until it grows into a consensus. First win over the opinion formers; then the university professors, the intellectuals they educate, the journalists, teachers, leaders of civic and religious organisations, political parties. Finally, with the leadership in the fold, the masses would follow. Marxism would rule with no compulsion, in place of societies based on religious values.
    After Communist regimes collapsed into universal discredit Gramsci’s suave approach gained favour, and in now under way. This was perceived by Alan Sokal, a professor of physics at New York University, who collected clippings of amusing things written by post-modernists (mainly Marxists) about hard science, especially those who use abstruse mathematical terms to make their text incomprehensible, so as to pass as profound. He grew weary of nonsense written about physics, held by social “scientists” to be white, male and euro-centric. He came to the conclusion that there is no such thing called a social science, because anything goes. He submitted his opinion to experimental proof.
    PROPOSITION
    That a prestigious sociology journal would publish an essay full of absurd statements, provided it was:
    · Well written, of scholarly appearance;
    · Cloaked as incomprehensible physics;
    · Attuned with prejudices of the editor.
    Sokal’s essay announced his discovery of Quantum Gravity, the synthesis of relativity theory and quantum mechanics, on a superior plane that supersedes both. He suggests he had done it with the methods of social sciences, in a feat that did away with the outworn formal logic and systematic experiment, still in use and unduly so. The implications were so revolutionary that the essay had been rejected for publication in peer-reviewed journals of physics, and this was the reason to seek its publication in Social Text, known for a mind open to innovation.
    The essay contains nonsense galore immediately perceptible as a hoax by an engineering student. The essay favoured mathematics freed from the shackles of the rules of arithmetic and stood against the teaching of the outworn geometry of Euclid, a tool for oppression of the working class. There was anti-feminist prejudice in fluid mechanics. Truth is relative. Constants such as the speed of light, (299 792 km/s), universal gravitational constant G (6.67438×10-11N(m/kg)2), and the number pi (3.1416) have values set by the current social context but such values may change in a different future social context.
    No absurdity was contrived by Sokal; all were extracted from what was stated by post-modern thinkers about hard science and he supports it with more than one hundred references to published articles.
    PROOF
    Sokal’s essay, Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity was indeed published as submitted, with no comment, although Sokal repeatedly asked whether there were any questions to be clarified.
    “Social Text” #46/47, pp. 217-252 (1996).
    QUOD ERAT DEMONSTRANDUM
    In another journal, at the time of publication, Sokal explained what he had done at Social Text and regretted that a silent tide of irrationality threatened institutions of higher learning to dictate, from a blind and intolerant pulpit, what is right to do, say and think.
    An inquiring mind shuns Gospel according to St. Marx. Critical reviewers at Social Text could have asked: if a future society decrees that pi = 4 will circles be squares and heavenly bodies cubes? None asked.
    With its pretence of a short cut to deal with complexity, Post-normal Science amounts to sophistry of the kind lampooned by Sokal. Its previous failure was in economics and the new one in climate. It is a grab for power to ration use of energy worldwide and thus control the lives of every human being. Its followers are not above deceit to exploit emotions of a guilt-ridden West.
    A confident West had worked wonders. French contributions to mathematics are found in the work of Descartes, Pascal, Fermat, D’Alembert, Delambre, Fourier, Lagrange, Monge, Poisson, Laplace, Cauchy, Galois, Poincaré, Benoit Mandelbrot. Then came Post-normal Science with Humpty Dumpty scruple: “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less”. It is Mock Science with Mock Turtle arithmetic of: Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, Derision.
    No Post Post-normal Science is needed to dialectically supplant Post-normal Science; a return to Science would do.
    Sokal’s essay is available on Internet at: .

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