all right

Occasionally adding corroborative details to add verisimilitude to otherwise bald and unconvincing,
but veridicous accounts
with careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination.

10 April, 2014

Peacock on Eating and Drinking

From Headlong Hall (1815) by Thomas Love Peacock, Chapter II:
“In the controversy concerning animal and vegetable food,” said Mr Jenkison [the statu-quo-ite], “there is much to be said on both sides; and, the question being in equipoise, I content myself with a mixed diet, and make a point of eating whatever is placed before me, provided it be good in its kind.”
In this opinion his two brother philosophers practically coincided, though they both ran down the theory as highly detrimental to the best interests of man.
“I am really astonished," said the Reverend Doctor Gaster, gracefully picking off the supernal fragments of an egg he had just cracked, and clearing away a space at the top for the reception of a small piece of butter—“I am really astonished, gentlemen, at the very heterodox opinions I have heard you deliver:  since nothing can be more obvious than that all animals were created solely and exclusively for the use of man.”
“Even the tiger that devours him?” said Mr Escot [the deteriorationist].
“Certainly,” said Doctor Gaster.
“How do you prove it?” said Mr Escot.
“It requires no proof,” said Doctor Gaster:  “it is a point of doctrine.  It is written, therefore it is so.”
“Nothing can be more logical,” said Mr Jenkison.  “It has been said,” continued he, “that the ox was expressly made to be eaten by man: it may be said, by a parity of reasoning, that man was expressly made to be eaten by the tiger:  but as wild oxen exist where there are no men, and men where there are no tigers, it would seem that in these instances they do not properly answer the ends of their creation.”
“It is a mystery,” said Doctor Gaster.
“Not to launch into the question of final causes,” said Mr Escot, helping himself at the same time to a slice of beef, “concerning which I will candidly acknowledge I am as profoundly ignorant as the most dogmatical theologian possibly can be, I just wish to observe, that the pure and peaceful manners which Homer ascribes to the Lotophagi, and which at this day characterise many nations (the Hindoos, for example, who subsist exclusively on the fruits of the earth), depose very strongly in favour of a vegetable regimen.”
“It may be said, on the contrary,” said Mr Foster
[the perfectibilian], “that animal food acts on the mind as manure does on flowers, forcing them into a degree of expansion they would not otherwise have attained.  If we can imagine a philosophical auricula falling into a train of theoretical meditation on its original and natural nutriment, till it should work itself up into a profound abomination of bullock’s blood, sugar-baker’s scum, and other unnatural ingredients of that rich composition of soil which had brought it to perfection, and insist on being planted in common earth, it would have all the advantage of natural theory on its side that the most strenuous advocate of the vegetable system could desire; but it would soon discover the practical error of its retrograde experiment by its lamentable inferiority in strength and beauty to all the auriculas around it.  I am afraid, in some instances at least, this analogy holds true with respect to mind.  No one will make a comparison, in point of mental power, between the Hindoos and the ancient Greeks.”
“The anatomy of the human stomach,” said Mr Escot, “and the formation of the teeth, clearly place man in the class of frugivorous animals.”
“Many anatomists,” said Mr Foster, “are of a different opinion, and agree in discerning the characteristics of the carnivorous classes.”
“I am no anatomist,” said Mr Jenkison, “and cannot decide where doctors disagree; in the meantime, I conclude that man is omnivorous, and on that conclusion I act.”
The Reverend Mr Portpipe in Melincourt (1817) by Thomas Love Peacock, Chap. XVI:

“When I open the bottle, I shut the book of Numbers.  There are two reasons for drinking: one is, when you are thirsty, to cure it; the other, when you are not thirsty, to prevent it.  The first is obvious, mechanical, and plebeian; the second is most refined, abstract, prospicient, and canonical.  I drink by anticipation of thirst that may be.  Prevention is better than cure.  Wine is the elixir of life.  “The soul,’ says St. Augustine, ‘cannot live in drought.’  What is death?  Dust and Ashes.  There is nothing so dry.  What is life?  Spirit.  What is spirit?  Wine.” 

From Nightmare Abbey (1818) by Thomas Love Peacock, Chapter II:
MR. GLOWRY:
You are leaving England, Mr Cypress. There is a delightful melancholy in saying farewell to an old acquaintance, when the chances are twenty to one against ever meeting again.  A smiling bumper to a sad parting, and let us all be unhappy together.
  

MR. CYPRESS (filling a bumper):
This is the only social habit that the disappointed spirit never unlearns.

THE REVEREND MR. LARYNX (filling):
It is the only piece of academical learning that the finished educatee retains.

MR. FLOSKY (filling):
It is the only objective fact which the sceptic can realise.
  

SCYTHROP (filling):
It is the only styptic for a bleeding heart.
  

THE HONOURABLE MR. LISTLESS (filling):
It is the only trouble that is very well worth taking.
  

MR. ASTERIAS (filling):
It is the only key of conversational truth.

MR. TOOBAD (filling):
It is the only antidote to the great wrath of the devil.

MR. HILARY (filling):
It is the only symbol of perfect life. The inscription ‘HIC NON BIBITUR’ will suit nothing but a tombstone.
If I Drink Water while This Doth Last” (words by T. P. Peacock, music by Deadman Turner):
If I drink water while this doth last,
May I never again drink wine:
For how can a man, in his life of a span,
Do any thing better than dine?
We’ll dine and drink, and say if we think
That any thing better can be;
And when we have dined, wish all mankind
May dine as well as we.

And though a good wish will fill no dish,
And brim no cup with sack,
Yet thoughts will spring, as the glasses ring,
To illume our studious track.
On the brilliant dreams of our hopeful schemes
The light of the flask shall shine;
And we’ll sit till day, but we’ll find the way
To drench the world with wine.

27 February, 2014

“Zero Discrimination”

A man, John, wearing obviously expensive but garishly tasteless clothes is ambling along an inner city street near lunch-time.  Suddenly, a bright figure appears before him; it’s a genie:–

Genie:  Congratulations, man, you’ve been selected at random to bring joy to another human being, and to yourself.  I grant you the power to give another deserving human being a great boon.  When you next meet a person you may grant him or her a great gift and, whatever you deem worthy to give you will receive in double measure.  In other words, should my meaning be insufficiently plain, if you give the next bloke you meet a million dollars you will receive two million; if you choose instead to provide him a furnished house you will receive two furnished houses; if you give the next cove you meet a Bugatti Veyron 16.4, you receive two!  Right, we’ll put this sticker on your lapel; there, you have the power to grant one generous boon!  Give wisely, o mortal.  Farewell.

The genie disappears, and John continues walking.  Soon he encounters two people who appear to have been quarrelling for some time.

Homeless Man:  No, I’m not begging because of my laziness; my family was defrauded by a shonky union executive, and we lost all my savings.  My young daughter died from eating a badly-prepared meal but, having lost all our savings, her mother and I couldn’t find a lawyer to sue the Rather Happy Crab restaurant chain and shortly afterwards, my wife, her mother, died in a mysterious accident.  I am, as my sign says, looking for work, and I’ll do anything within reason. You know, the same could just as easily happen to you.
Rich Chap:  Oh, I think not, Lazybones.  In addition to my vast inherited wealth, I happen to control 51% of Rather Happy Crab Holdings.  I’ll never be reduced to such smelly indigence as you seem to enjoy.
John:  Excuse me guys, but I need to give the first person I meet a great boon, but I’ve met both of you simultaneously.
Homeless Man: Well, with respect, I’m undergoing severe hardship, here, so I’d certainly appreciate a helping hand.
Rich Chap: Hang on, there, my greedy friend.  I too could always do with a little more.  My wife got a new diamond pendant the other day so now my girlfriend wants one too.
John:  This is tricky because, like Kaleidoscope Australia, the Human Rights Foundation, I believe in “zero discrimination”.  I can’t prefer one over the other.  That’d be wrong.
Rich Chap:  You what?
John:  Zero discrimination.  I don’t discriminate, and I certainly don’t discriminate against LGBTIQ—um, I’ve forgotten the other letters—anyway, I try my best not to discrimate—ever.
Homeless Man:  Wouldn’t trying your best thereby constitute discriminating between three or more choices of conduct?
Rich Chap:  More to the point, you ought not to discriminate between one smelly blob of human filth lazing on the footpath and one fragrant go-getter who just stopped to supply him munificently with convivial conversation (but no change, Beggar-boy, because I have nothing smaller on me than a fifty dollar note).
John:  You’re right, I shouldn’t discriminate at all.
Homeless Man: You can’t, for instance, be at all picky when offered a choice between a refreshing glass of 1982 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, a mug of cold vomit and a beaker of prussic acid?  Do you not discriminate between eating tasty, nutritious food and rancid swill?
Rich Chap:  More to the point, you couldn’t give me two good tickets to the Melbourne performance of “Wicked” tonight, could you?  I’m flying to Melbourne later this arvo to test my new jet, but one of my idle secretaries forgot to book some seats, and the wife loves that show.
John:  I honestly don’t know what to do, since I cannot discriminate.
Homeless Man:  Perhaps, if you were to wish for something we could share.  How big is this boon you mention?  Would it extend to ordering a banquet for all of us?
John:  Well, I don’t know really.  I could give you a car or some money, I seem to recall, but I don’t want to discriminate between passing thoughts and accurate memories because I believe in zero discrimination.
Rich Chap:  Don’t waste time thinking, just give each of us two tickets to tonight’s performance of “Wicked”.  Plus, I’m gay and so is my wife.  Don’t discriminate against us!
John:  All right, though I don’t know how—  Oh, look, I have four tickets in my hand.  There you go, two tickets to “Wicked” for you, and two for you.  Hey, wow!  I’ve got another eight tickets for me!  Weird.
Rich Chap:  Well done.  Thanks.  See you at the show, friends.  Gotta zip.
Homeless Man:  Well, I can’t get to Melbourne tonight and I doubt I could find anyone around here wanting to buy these tickets.  Could you, by any chance, exchange them for a dinner?
John:  No, I already have more that enough rather useless tickets and, you know, that does sound a lot like discrimination—whereas I believe in zero discrimination.  Enjoy your gift.  Bye.

Kaleidoscope Australia won’t discriminate against bad logos.

14 February, 2014

Valentine’s Day

Roses are rose

Roses are rose, and violets violet,
hence their respective names.
We singles might say, on Valentine’s Day,
“Enough of childish games.”


Roses are red

Roses are red, violets also are red,
daisies are red, and marigolds as well,
and so’s that living oak.
Either this whole world is burning like h—
or I’m having a stroke.

Roses are yellow

Roses are yellow, purple, white too,
as well as red or rose,
but poor old violets are just the one hue;
it seems I’m one of those.

See also “Love Among the Roses”.

UPDATE I:  added “Roses are yellow”.

UPDATE II:  
Roses are dear

Roses, choccies, pendants, expensive rings…
I must buy my putative girl such things,
messages advise, gratuitously;
but, in all these tips to buy girlish stuff
(I’ve observed in various vendors’ puff),
none suggests buying anything for me.

06 February, 2014

On Anti-Pedantry

The Toolbox
 
Whether cutting jew’ls,
wood, rugs or verse, good workers
must know all their tools’


customs; tongues have rules
too—which will guide the learnèd
as they order fools.*



A Test

 
If you have a mind
you can prove anti-pedants’
inconsistency


for I have designed
a quick test: misspell their names
deliberately


and you will soon find
some laws are good. Try spelling
“Stephen” with a v;

he won’t be so kind,
I warrant, to those who would feel
that convention-free.

Douglas Bader: “Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.”
†  these verses (in slightly different form) were originally posted as a comment, at Catallaxy Files, on a rant by Stephen Fry against grammatical pedantry.

UPDATE:  I added what is now the last verse.

01 February, 2014

Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young at Sea

In a Senate committee, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young insists that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection should stop using neuralyzers on illegal aliens to wipe their memories, and asks some hard-hitting questions:-
Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young:  I’ve been watching quite a few television programmes lately, just for purposes of research, mind, and it seems that we don’t even need to use old-fashioned ships any more because we can travel even into outer space using Transporter beams, and into other planets using a rediscovered technological apparatus, which the ancient Egyptian rulers used, called “Stargate”.  So, my first question is: why isn’t Big Ted from “Playschool” here today to answer questions when I’m sure I put him on my witness list; and why isn’t Squadron Leader, I mean Lance Corporal, of course, or, no, why isn’t Brigadier Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart here to tell us whether aliens really do pose a threat to our borders, and just how many Daleks are left in the universe (because I’m pretty sure I insisted that UNIT release him for this inquiry); and—

RAN personnel preparing to use neuralysers on unlawful aliens seeking illegal entry

UPDATE I:  to assist Sen. Hanson-Young, here’s a list of border-related entertainment she might have been trying to remember:
“Border Patrol” is a reality television series from New Zealand which features the work of New Zealand’s Customs, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and Immigration Service—the show has no connection with the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection;
“Border Security: Australia’s Front Line” is the Australian reality television series which features the work of officers of Australian Customs and Border Protection, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection;
“Border Watch” is an adventure module for the rôle-playing game Dungeons & Dragons—the game has no connection with the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection; The Border Watch is a newspaper based in Mount Gambier, South Australia—the newspaper has no connection with the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection;
“Coastwatch” is a reality television series from New Zealand which features the work of New Zealand’s Ministry of Fisheries, Maritime Police, Coastguard, Navy, Air Force and police dive squad—the show has no connection with the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection;
“Coastwatch Oz” is a reality television series from New South Wales which features the work of NSW’s Department of Primary Industries fisheries officers and Marine Area Command Police—the show has no connection with the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection;
“Patrol Boat” was an Australian television drama series—i.e. it was not quite real—which featured the activities of the crew of a Royal Australian Navy patrol boat patrolling Australia's coastline—the show (produced, in 1979 and 1983) had no connection with the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection; and
“Sea Patrol” was an Australian television drama series—i.e. it was not quite real—which ran from 2007 to 2011, set on board HMAS Hammersley, a fictional patrol boat of the Royal Australian Navy—the show had no connection with the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
UPDATE II (4 February):  Sen. Hanson-Young has complained to The Daily Telegraph:
I am writing to comment on the article printed in the Daily Telegraph on Monday, 3 February 2014.
To set the record straight, my line of questioning was in regard to the Channel 7 program ‘Border Security’ and the same channel’s new reality show ‘Coastwatch Oz’.  I was simply pointing out the fact that the government is promoting and publicising the activities of border security operations on the one hand while, on the other hand, refusing to answer questions about illegal operations it is undertaking on the high seas.
It was Mike Pezzullo, CEO of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, who raised the television program ‘Sea Patrol’, about which I made no reference.
While I know it’s unlikely that the Daily Telegraph columnist will check his facts with me in the future, I will continue to point out the dangerous and secretive nature of this government’s policies.
Sen. Hanson-Young had said in the Senate’s committee hearing, “We have a TV show publicising techniques you are using for border security at airports.  We have another TV show, of course, about coastguards.”  The show  “about coastguards”, which she now identifies as “Coastwatch Oz”, features NSW Department of Primary Industries fisheries officers and Marine Area Command Police without input from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.  Personnel of the Royal Australian Navy differ from NSW fisheries and police officers but, to be fair to the inaccurate senator, they all wear uniforms.
What the senator terms “illegal operations” on “the high seas” are operations which comply with Australian and international laws and they are, accordingly, perfectly legal; however, to be fair to the erroneous senator, the non-citizens wilfully trying to enter Australia in contravention of Australian and international laws (whom RAN personnel have been encountering and assisting professionally and humanely) are in fact involved in “illegal operations”.

UPDATE III (5 February):  Sen. Hanson-Young’s grasp of reality might be well represented by her choice of pictures:

her profile picture on Twitter

 her reality v. her fantasy (from the last election campaign)

08 January, 2014

Bagging the Bags Ban

I sent this evening the following letter to the Woolworths Customer Service Team by e-mail:
I thank you for your response to my complaint [lodged by telephone last week] wherein I asked, inter alia, why you can’t find a source of plastic bags to provide to customers at no additional charge which comply with Tasmanian legislation when other smaller retailers can manage to do so. 
I confess, I find your reply puzzling and, frankly, dishonest.  The legislation, the Plastic Shopping Bags Ban Act (2013)[*], does not “prohibit retailers from giving away lightweight shopping bags” as you write; it prohibits retailers from providing (whether for free or for some charge) plastic bags of less than 35µg thickness, but the Act does allow the provision of “a biodegradable bag” or “a bag of a type prescribed by regulations to not be a plastic shopping bag”.  Other retailers have procured bags, which comply with the legislation and which they provide at no added cost to their customers. 
You write, “‘Alternative shopping bags’ will be available to purchase and will cost the customer 15c per bag”; yes, I already knew this; in fact, I complained precisely because you are charging 15¢ for a bag which, surely, costs you nothing near that much.  Your profit margins, I hope, can’t be so minuscule that you cannot provide free bags to customers if smaller shops can do so. 
You then write, “plastics are a major pollutant in our environment and waste valuable resources”.  Do you really believe that?  What rubbish!  See “Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags” (February, 2011) from the UK’s Environment Agency, which found the potential of re-usable shopping bags to benefit the environment depends on how many times they are used before being discarded.
“Whatever type of bag is used, the key to reducing the impacts is to reuse it as many times as possible,” the report finds: “The paper, low-density polyethylene (LDPE), non-woven polypropylene and cotton bags should be reused at least three, four, 11 and 131 times respectively to ensure that they have lower global warming potential than conventional high-density polyethylene (HDPE) carrier bags that are not reused.”  Furthermore, the re-use “of conventional HDPE and other lightweight carrier bags for shopping and as bin liners is pivotal to their environmental performance, and re-use as bin liners produces greater benefits than recycling bags”; re-using a plastic bag just once puts it into the same environmental category as a cotton bag which is reused 173 times. 
If people re-use the bags you flog (at your fleecing price), as you advocate, they risk serious illness from cumulative bacterial contamination.  However, if they wash their bags they then use so much energy and water in that laundering process that they eliminate any environmental benefit which might arise from avoiding the use of HDPE bags; and disinfecting cloth bags would be even worse for the environment because any residual or superfluous disinfectant might harm or even destroy aquatic fauna when discarded. 
“The conventional HDPE bag,” the Environmental Agency’s report concludes, had the lowest environmental impacts of the lightweight bags in eight of the nine impact categories.” 
If, as you intimate, you really cared for the environment, you’d lobby to have this silly, ideologically skewed legislation repealed in order to reintroduce lightweight HDPE bags; and, whilst the Act remains in force, if you gave a toss for the convenience of your customers, you’d quickly locate a source of lightweight bags which you could provide to your customers at no extra cost.
* an Act “to prevent, so as to minimise environmental pollution, the provision by retailers of certain plastic bags, and for related purposes”.

UPDATE I (9 Jan.):  earlier, last week, a representative of the Woolworths supermarket in the Hobart CBD responded to my complaint, writing (inter alia):
It is now against the law for all retail outlets to supply non biodegradable bags to their customers (Woolworth’s is working on a bio degradable bag).
UPDATE II (9 Jan.):  a list of shops in Tasmania which helpfully provide lightweight shopping bags to customers for no extra charge:
9/11 Bottleshops;
EB Games;
Salamanca Fruit Market;
Wursthaus;
Your Habitat.
(This list will be irregularly updated.)

UPDATE III (9 Jan.)along with the decision by Woolworths not to provide helpful bags, comes a seemingly correlative lack of assistance at check-outs whereby check-out staff stand watching as poor customers who brought their own bags perforce pack their own items therein.  The representative of the Woolworths supermarket quoted above assured me that it is not his supermarket’s policy to be so unhelpful, but the uncooperative practice continues at some supermarkets.

18 December, 2013

A Proposal for Proper Paths

This may interest only a few residents of Tasmania and, perhaps, some concerned visitors to my seemingly moribund home State, but I have recently endeavoured to attract support for a proposal for proper footpaths because—I am convinced—I am not the only person who wishes to walk from place to place without risking death or dismemberment on public roads which, unjustly, lack adequate, concomitant footpaths, and on the general principle that, in a State now so heavily dependent on tourism but so infested with credulous believers in the odd notion that wondrous, modern technological advancement, somehow, adversely mutates our planet’s entire climate catastophically, “whithersoever a person may lawfully travel by motor vehicle a person should also be able to travel by foot or wheelchair or other personal conveyance just as readily”.

23 October, 2013

The “Putting a Price on X” Game

In “Clear link between climate change and bushfires: UN adviser warns Tony Abbott”, by the credulous Judith Ireland, we learn that the useless-when-it’s-not actually-destructive UN is still hoping to persuade people that slightly warmer weather is catastrophically dangerous, and that we must therefore lavish even more money on the already bloated bureaucrats who have lied to us for so long about the alleged dangers of very slight global warming.
A senior United Nations climate change official says there is “absolutely” a link between climate change and bushfires and has warned that the Coalition government will pay a high political and financial price for its decision to scrap carbon pricing.
There is, of course, no link at all between supposed anthropogenic global warming—which is what these venal buffoons mean when they refer to “climate change”—and bushfires.  That is a self-serving lie—or, to be charitable, perhaps yet another wondrous case of the modern flexibility of language whereby “absolutely” means “not at all”.
In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Monday, the head of the UN’s climate change negotiations, Christiana Figueres, said there was a clear link between climate change and bushfires such as those raging in New South Wales.
She noted that the World Meteorological Organisation had not yet established a direct link between the NSW fires and climate change.
“But what is absolutely clear is the science is telling us that there are increasing heat waves in Asia, Europe, and Australia; that these will continue; that they will continue in their intensity and in their frequency,” Ms Figueres said.
Uh huh; there’s no direct link, and no proof, but we should base all our spending on the notion that there is a proven link, anyway.  This loony is allowed outside to walk among us.
Ms Figueres described the NSW fires as an “example of what we may be looking at unless we take actually vigorous action”.
The UN adviser said the Abbott government would not only pay a high political price but a “very high financial price” for stepping away from a price on carbon.
A price on carbon, by the way, is code for a neo-Luddite tax (on industrial emissions of beneficent carbon dioxide, for the most part) which can do nothing to stop any global warming, or cooling, but further enriches banks, middlemen, and the misanthracist, malfeasant UN, predicated on the ludicrous, pseudo-scientific conjecture that man’s puny contributions to the atmosphere are warming the world dangerously.
“What we need to do is put a price on carbon so that we don’t have to continue to pay the price of carbon,'' she said.
Christiana Figueres, clearly, is seriously deluded, but her “What we need to do is put a price on x so that we don’t have to continue to pay the price of x” game seems like fun.  I’ll have a go:
What we need to do is put a price on the silly but expensively corrupt UN so that we don’t have to continue to pay the price of the silly but expensively corrupt UN!
Furthermore:
What we need to do is put a price on those deluded, misanthropist, enviro-mentalist lunatics who won’t allow burnoffs but then have the gall to blame preventable or deliberately lit bushfires on non-existent AGW so that we don’t have to continue to pay the price of those deluded, misanthropist, enviro-mentalist lunatics who won’t allow burnoffs but then have the gall to blame preventable or deliberately lit bushfires on non-existent AGW!
Or, logically enough:
What we need to do is put a price on putting a price on things so that we don’t have to continue to pay the price of putting a price on things.
See also Tim Blair’s “Tell It to Ixchel”. 

UPDATE I:  see “UN climate chief breaks down in tears over global warming”.  See also “Why the Global Warming Agenda Is Wrong”.

UPDATE II:  see “What Is Christiana Figueres Thinking?” by Donna Laframboise:
Christiana is a supremely well-connected child of wealth, power, and privilege.  At this moment, she’s the Executive Secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  […] Ban Ki-moon, the head of the UN, reached out his hand and appointed her to that prominent position on the world’s stage.
Let us be clear about what this means:  She is a bureaucrat, a hand-picked UN employee.  She speaks for no one other than her UN bosses.
As the person tasked with trying to secure a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, Figueres is supposed to be a diplomat.  Her job is to coax nearly 200 countries to come to a common agreement.

So what in the world is she doing criticizing Australia’s shiny new, democratically elected government?  According to an article in today’s Australian newspaper,
UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has told CNN the Abbott government will pay a heavy political and economic price for walking away from Labor’s commitments on climate change.
But Figueres has things backward.  Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s freshly-minted government is doing exactly what he promised on the election trail.  It is reflecting the will of the people by scrapping that country’s hated, economically destructive carbon tax.
UPDATE IIIPrime Minister Tony Abbott today dismissed the irrational comments of Christiana Figueres, rightly asserting that bushfires, sadly, have always been “part of the Australian experience”; he explained to Fairfax Radio that the deluded woman was “talking through her hat”.

UPDATE IV (25 October)US Congressman (and candidate for the US Senate) Paul Broun writes:
[S]ixty-eight years ago a clandestine organization was born.
It was the birthdate of the United Nations.
And now, sixty-eight years later, our nation is in danger because of this very institution.  The United Nations is threatening our everyday way of life, the freedoms and liberties we enjoy and the privacy our families deserve. 
I want to get the US out of the UN and the UN out of the US.  That’s why one of the first bills I introduced this year in Congress was HR 75 to end all US participation in the United Nations.
If you agree that our nation is better off alone then cohorting with this organization that allows dictators into this country, then add your name to my petition today.
As the United Nations grows in power and authority, the United States sovereignty dwindles with it.  Our country, under the dismal direction of the Democrats, is spending millions of dollars supporting a organization that undoubtedly endangers our children and grandchildren’s future.
UPDATE V (25 October):   see “Al Gore Throws Another Climate Lie on the Barbie” from Investor's Business Daily: 
Al Gore, patron saint of climate fraud, argues with Australia’s prime minister that its brushfires [brushfires!] are not caused by warming and that the record shows the koala bear, like the polar bear, is quite safe.
They were the largest Australian bushfires in a populous region in recorded history, consuming half the state of Victoria, claiming 12 lives and destroying an estimated 1 million sheep and thousands of cattle.  And they occurred in February 1851 during one of the coldest years on record.
Bushfires have been part of Australian life for centuries, long before the Industrial Revolution and the sale of the first SUV.
Since the 1851 fires, there've been the 1898 fires in Victoria, which consumed 2,000 buildings, fires in Victoria in 1938 that killed 71 and destroyed 3,700 buildings, and the Ash Wednesday fires in the early 1980s that left 71 dead in the state of South Australia.
Australia has been battling another round of massive bushfires west of Sydney for more than a week now, fires not unlike those that have occurred throughout its history.  The difference is that this time we have Al Gore and his climate co-conspirators at the U.N., the corrupt and fraudulent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to blame the fires on climate change.
Gore is upset with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s insistence that the recent New South Wales wildfires are not linked to climate change and his statement on Australian radio that “these fires are certainly not a function of climate change, they are just a function of life in Australia.”  […]
“It reminds me of politicians here who got a lot of support from the tobacco companies and who argued to the public that there was absolutely no connection between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer,” Gore said on ABC’s Los Angeles affiliate Wednesday night.
This echoes the mantra of the climate scammers that climate change “deniers” have long had their science-based skepticism subsidized by energy companies.
Yet it is Al Gore and others like him who have gotten rich peddling their climate fiction, while leading governments to stunt economic growth and divert scarce billions to chase a mirage.
The inconvenient truth for Gore et al is that wildfires have been decreasing as have been instances of drought that cause them.
“Historical analysis of wildfires around the world shows that since 1950 their numbers have decreased globally by 15%,’ wrote Bjorn Lomborg of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and the Copenhagen Business School in the Wall Street Journal.  […]
Domestically, the number of wildfires across the U.S. this year is on pace to be the fewest in the past 10 years and the acreage involved is at the second lowest level in that same period, according to an analysis by the National Interagency Fire Center.
See “Al Gore: Tobacco Hypocrite
See also ‘Lack of political will’ the trigger” by John Ferguson and Stephen Fitzpatrick:
The Blue Mountains bushfire crisis was the result of a lack of political leadership over bush management issues and had nothing to do with climate change, says one of Australia's foremost disaster management experts.
It also demonstrated a failure to learn lessons from the 2009 Black Saturday fires in Victoria that killed 173 people and left thousands homeless, said David Packham, a former deputy director of the Australian Counter Disaster College.
Mr Packham said while issues such as power assets were crucial when it came to bushfires—and moving them underground would be an important step—ignition would remain a given, whether man-made or by lightning.
A spokesman for Endeavour Energy, which covers the Blue Mountains region, said more than 100 damaged poles had been replaced since the blazes began last Thursday.  However, he questioned a finding by the NSW Rural Fire Service that one of the biggest fires, in Springwood, was started “as a result of powerlines during strong winds”.
“These were extreme conditions and any time there [are] winds over 90km/h predicted that’s bad news for electricity providers,” he said.  […]
Mr Packham said “a little” had been learned from the Black Saturday fires—five of which, out of 11, were caused by electrical assets—but said the Blue Mountains had been allowed to accumulate fuel, with the predictable outcome being large-scale, uncontrollable burning.  “What is happening in NSW is exactly what happens every 10 or 20 years, right back to 1915,” he told The Australian.  “If you have lots of … fire fuel you will have lots of unpleasant fire.”
Mr Packham also said linking the NSW fire disaster with global warming was “nonsense” because climate change was incremental and could not be blamed for dire fire events such as this.

14 October, 2013

“Where’s the Wascally Warming?”

A transcript of the Climate Council’s search for hidden global warming.

In his well-appointed office, the very silly Prof. Tim Flannery is becoming more and more frustrated.
Prof. Tim Flannery:  Warming? I know you’re somewhere, Global Warming; please stop hiding.  Warming?  Where are you?  All right, warming, we’ve had our fun, but it’s time to stop hiding now.  Are you there?  Look, I’ve had enough of this, so I’m going now.  [He walks to his door noisily.]  This is the sound of my leaving.  Yes, I’m heading out the door right now.  [He slams the door.]  Okay, everyone’s gone now.  You can come out now.  HEY!  Look, it’s no use pretending you’re not here because I know you exist—or, more to the point, I’ve been telling anyone who might send me a bob or two that you exist.  [He whistles.]  Here, Warming!  Warming?  COME ON, WARMING!  WARMING, COME OUT RIGHT NOW OR I’LL GET MIGHTY ANGRY WITH YOU!  Oh, please stop hiding.  Are you in the thermosphere?  Are you concealed by those pesky, democratic ants?  Are you, perhaps, under— [he lifts his couch] THIS COUCH?  Are you in my wallet?  No.  Are you there at all, Global Warming?  Please, I know you’re here somewhere!  Answer me!
Prof. Will Steffen[from behind an armchair I’m in the deep oceans!
Prof. Tim Flannery:  Warming? I knew you existed!  Hey, wait a bit; you sounded just a little like my fellow propagandist of climate doom, Will Steffen.  Was that you, Will?
Prof. Will Steffen[giggling]  Not at all!
Prof. Tim Flannery:  So it really is you, Global Warming? Proof at last!  Hang on, if you’re hiding in the deep oceans I shouldn’t be able to hear you—  [Flannery sees Steffen crouching behind the chair.]  What?  Professor, I have better things to do than play games; I’m going away!  [Flannery stomps to the door, slams it shut without leaving, tiptoes over to his desk, and crouches down under it.]
Prof. Will Steffen[rising slowly Oh, I so wanted to find Global Warming too.  I hope that I didn’t hurt Tim’s feelings; not that it matters, of course, because, frankly, he’s a bit of a loony cove.  I do wonder where Global Warming is sequestered or secreted or lying low.  Hallo?  Global Warming, it’s no use hiding because I can see you!  Come out, come out, wherever you are!  Can you hear me?  Are you in this room, Global Warming? 
Prof. Tim Flannery [giggling]  No!  I’m not!
Prof. Will Steffen:  Oh, darn; I’ll have to look somewhere else then.  [Steffen exits.]

UPDATE (16 October):  meanwhile, throughout the land, followers of the two silly but greedy professors have gullibly accepted those duplicitous propagandists’ pseudo-scientific, fallacious, self-serving arguments, and foolishly expect to rely on giant-whirligigs for their power in the future: