James Paterson belts Flannery

James Paterson has an excellent piece on Flannery in the latest issue of the IPA Review.

There’s no doubt that Tim Flannery is an effective media performer and a ceaseless advocate for his cause. He’s also high profile thanks in part to his 2007 Australian of the Year award and the books he has written about climate change.

But Flannery bears much closer resemblance to a religious evangelist than a scientist. His doomsday prophecies, radical solutions and religion-like certainty are all indicators of his status as a modern-day climate prophet, rather than expert scientific advisor.

It seems the Gillard Government has failed to do their research into his absurd, inaccurate and often extreme public statements before appointing him to his well-remunerated public post. Or perhaps they’re just hoping we won’t notice.

Yesterday the Bolt Report (@4.24) revealed that Flannery owns a water-front property in Sydney – clearly he’s not worried about rising sea-levels.

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65 Responses to James Paterson belts Flannery

  1. Rafe

    If there are people in the warming movement who really believe the so-called consensus of science, they should at least distance themselves from the absurd claims that are made by the likes of Gore and Flannery. Certainly the government should do so.

    Someone should also explain why (if it is true) that the model adopted for our future uses a figure of 5.1 for the sensitivity of temp to 50% more CO2 rather than the 3.3 midrange figure of the IPCC or the 1 that looks more reasonable.

  2. JC

    Flannery is like another version of “I get no respect”.

  3. If the very worst predictions are for a 1 to 2 m rise in a 100 years, and your house is more than a few meters about current river flood levels, one might not worry that one is going to be personally affected by sea level rise in one’s life time.

    This argument is just bilge and trivia.

  4. JC

    So you’re a Flannery aficionado, Steve? No shock there.

    You do realize that even Pittman thinks he does more damage climate science according to the a op-ed. You know that, right?

  5. Gabrielle

    lol Steve says “predictions” and yet rages on as if they’re facts.

  6. twostix

    If the very worst predictions are for a 1 to 2 m rise in a 100 years, and your house is more than a few meters about current river flood levels, one might not worry that one is going to be personally affected by sea level rise in one’s life time.

    This argument is just bilge and trivia.

    So when it suits you and your argument climate change isn’t really that big of a deal.

    Despite the fact that Flannery was predicting 50 metre sea rises.

    You lot can’t even get your story straight amongst yourselves!

  7. JC, I said when they appointed Flannery as commissioner that it was a mistake, as he was already (rightly or wrongly – mostly wrongly) already “damaged goods” as far as climate skeptics are concerned.

    Nevertheless, I cannot believe how obviously stupid some attempted point scoring against him is.

    [And by the way, even if his house is within 2 m of the current waterline, and he is happy to live with a house that may have diminished value in the future due to sea level rise (probably well after he is dead), big deal. That’s his choice.]

  8. Look, just because someone talks about really big sea level rises does not mean they are talking about it happening within 100 years.

    It’s your ignorance that’s in question, not Flannery’s.

  9. Infidel Tiger

    So, Steve when can expect Gaia to phyically manifest herself and for a super organsim to be formed? These are a couple of Reverend Flannery’s slightly more unhinged prognostications.

  10. Try and do something other than quote tired CL lines, IT: like chase squirrels in Melbourne

  11. C.L.

    “…one might not worry that one is going to be personally affected…”

    LOL.

  12. Infidel Tiger

    I think you’ll find they were Flannery’s lines, Steve. And judging by what he said I assume he’d been snorting lines of PCP.

  13. C.L.

    Note that Steve ad hominems me for Flannery’s wacko Gaia theology.

  14. Gabrielle

    Well it is your fault Flanners is a wacko, CL.

  15. AndrewL

    Someone should also explain why (if it is true) that the model adopted for our future uses a figure of 5.1 for the sensitivity of temp to 50% more CO2 rather than the 3.3 midrange figure of the IPCC or the 1 that looks more reasonable.

    It refers to Figure 5.1 in the AR4 which is a graph, not a number.

  16. So the Pope can say:

    “It’s the great vision that later Teilhard de Chardin also had: At the end we will have a true cosmic liturgy, where the cosmos becomes a living host.

    “Let’s pray to the Lord that he help us be priests in this sense,” the pope said, “to help in the transformation of the world in adoration of God, beginning with ourselves.”

    and this is non controversial to CL, I assume.

    A scientist can have a similar idea of the Earth “developing a nervous system” via the advanced life that evolved on it, and this wild, crazy talk, man.

    A thoughtful Catholic doesn’t get agitated about Gaia talk, even if they disagree with it. Oh wait, I said “thoughtful”: silly me.

  17. Rococo Liberal

    Let me see, Catholicism ahs 2000 years of thought behind it, and Flannery and the gaiasts have about 5 minutes. SO that makes then equivalent does it Steve?

    And even if the Pope is a raving loony, how does that elp your man, Flannery? ISn’t he just a rtaving loony too?

    You seem to have trouble with logic. You don’t win an argument by likening your side’s ideas with others that you say are loony. It doesn’t matter that you say that CL agrees with silly ideas, when you also quite openly admit that Flannery is a crackpot.

  18. Infidel Tiger

    Steve admits that climate “science” is a religion.

  19. RL: I have no great problem either with what the Pope said, or the secular analogue that Flannery uses.

    I am Catholic and quite like the writing of Teilhard de Chardin, you dill.

  20. JC

    Yea just like the fact that Steve is a liberal conservative.. You got that Alan?

  21. Gabrielle

    Oh dear Lord. again with the Pope. As much a climate scientist as Steve’s Flannery.

  22. You’re a real CL ventriloquist doll today, IT.

  23. Infidel Tiger

    And you’re a real boy. Partially anatomically correct.

  24. twostix

    [And by the way, even if his house is within 2 m of the current waterline, and he is happy to live with a house that may have diminished value in the future due to sea level rise (probably well after he is dead), big deal. That’s his choice.]

    My local council has just knocked back an application to extend a home based on “predicted sea level rises”. The house is more than a metre above the high tide line.

    The twofacedness of the climate zealots is extraordinary. They claim we must do something now, now, now! On that basis laws are enacted restricting the activities of the masses. When caught out as the disgusting hypocrites as they are then all of a sudden their acolytes run around claiming it’s a matter of personal freedom and everyone should mind their own business.

    It must be getting hard constantly having to put out the growing numbers of spot fires.

  25. twostix

    Look, just because someone talks about really big sea level rises does not mean they are talking about it happening within 100 years.

    It’s your ignorance that’s in question, not Flannery’s.

    Yeah, actually this was back at the height of the Climate Hysteria and he was most certainly inferring that it would be this century.

    Nice attempt at revision though.

  26. twostix: it’s a fact that people blame Councils for letting housing be built if there was a foreseeable problem in the area. The original builder may say “no, no, I’ll always blame myself if it goes wrong”, but when the house is on-sold a couple of times, and then the problem is obvious, guess who they blame for letting the house be there in the first place?

    Many Councils already prevent people from building below 1 in a 100 year forecast flood levels (mind you, even that didn’t help in many parts of Brisbane near me that flooded).

    I can’t see the problem with being cautious about letting development take place on land that forecasts indicate may be affected by higher sea levels in 100 years.

  27. manalive

    Our Tim is more ‘bootlegger’ than ‘baptist’.
    He’s no kooky scientist but a canny self-promoter who has cleverly used the resources of the ABC to sell his books, tout geothermal (when he was a shareholder in Geodynamics) and generally propel himself into prominence in an area where he has absolutely no qualifications or expertise — Australian of the Year (2007) indeed.
    In the interests of accuracy though, the “eight-storey building” quote is not his, the full context of the Age article is:

    …James Hanson, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute, is arguably the world authority on climate change. He predicts that we have just a decade to avert a 25-metre rise of the sea. Picture an eight-storey building by a beach, then imagine waves lapping its roof. That’s what a 25-metre rise in sea level looks like…

  28. manalive

    …to clarify, the quote is his but the prediction is Hansen’s.

  29. Here’s the Flannery quote from The Age:

    This change will put further pressure on the Greenland icecap, which is already melting at the stupendous rate of 235 cubic kilometres a year. If it succumbs to the heat, the ocean will rise by six metres, and icecaps in the Antarctic may destabilise.

    James Hanson, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute, is arguably the world authority on climate change. He predicts that we have just a decade to avert a 25-metre rise of the sea. Picture an eight-storey building by a beach, then imagine waves lapping its roof. That’s what a 25-metre rise in sea level looks like.

    Note: no reference to time frame as to how long it takes to get to the 25 metre rise; anyone who has read anything about the issue would know that there is a difference to getting the temperature up to where the world is “committed” to a long term sea level rise, and actually reaching the peak. No one has ever said 25 m within a hundred years was possible.

  30. Gabrielle

    no, no…we must “stabilise the climate” now according to Flanners. In the earth’s history the climate has never been stable. Clearly a loon.

  31. JC

    man

    Good analysis. I’ve always thought that about him too.

    Here’s a person that self admits he got into animal poo science because he wasn’t any good at math which therefore generally disqualified him from other areas of science and here he is acting like the nation’s authority on climate science, a science brimming with math.

    It’s really quite an achievement to get to where he has with such little formal understanding of this area.

    My own guess is that he’s using the “comish” job as a stepping stone to get to the money mountain created for the greens : Brown’s bank.

  32. Viva

    I wouldn’t mind – most debates on the Internet with lefties and others are simply in the abstract – but this issue which they are pushing and all the attendant weirdness is going to impact seriously on all our lives. An alien orthodoxy and world view is being foisted on us just as surely as the Bolsheviks imposed their philosophy on Russia with all the flow-on affects on economic and social life that entailed. That’s what it feels like – and the likes of Steve from Brisbane and Tim Flannery are calling the shots.

  33. An alien orthodoxy and world view is being foisted on us

    Yeah, it’s called “the reasonable forecasts of mainstream science”. I can understand how alien that must be to people who inhabit this blog.

  34. C.L.

    Gaia = Teilhard de Chardin

    Wrong.

    Pope’s opinion of Teilhard de Chardin = Catholic dogma

    Wrong.

    The idea that the universe is God’s living creation has nothing whatsoever to do with Flannery idea of a Stonehenge monster rising from the oceans – in the near future – to become an actual, living being.

    Once again, Steve demonstrates his hatred for Catholicism by 1) pretending to be a Catholic (when he isn’t); and 2) verballing and lying about the utterances of the Vicar of Christ.

    But for argument’s sake, let’s assume Gaia = Teilhard de Chardin. Ergo: thank you, Steve, for admitting that Australia’s chief warmenist is a religious figure and not a scientist. Because while the pope’s intellectual orbit does and should encompass the intangible and the spiritual, a scientist’s definitely should not.

  35. JC

    Steve

    How do you feel about Andy Pittman comments about The Flan?

  36. C.L.

    the reasonable forecasts of mainstream science

    Steve now reverts to ‘science.’

    Here’s Steve’s idea of “reasonable forecasts of mainstream science”:

    Robyn Williams: So there you’ve got an image of the earth, the planet as a god, but also a very sophisticated and credible scientific idea.

    Tim Flannery: That’s right. I was tempted in the book to simply give in and call it Earth System Science, because Gaia is earth system science and in many university departments around the world, as you’ll know, Robyn, earth system science is a very respectable science. But as soon as you mention Gaia of course, the scepticism comes out. I didn’t do that though, because I think there’s a certain elegance to Gaia, to that word and the concept, and also because I think that within this century the concept of the strong Gaia will actually become physically manifest. I do think that the Gaia of the Ancient Greeks, where they believed the earth was effectively one whole and perfect living creature, that doesn’t exist yet, but it will exist in future. That’s why I wanted to keep that word…

    We’ll never be able to control the earth, there’s no doubt about it. We can’t control its systems. But we can nudge them and we can foresee danger. Once that occurs, then the Gaia of the Ancient Greeks really will exist. This planet, this Gaia, will have acquired a brain and a nervous system. That will make it act as a living animal, as a living organism, at some sort of level.

    Ahahahahaha.

  37. manalive

    Note: no reference to time frame as to how long it takes to get to the 25 metre rise…

    The full article is here.
    The impression any uninformed reader would be left with is that under the conditions described, the 25m sea level rise prediction is close at hand, not over 1000 years in the future — pretty disingenuous.

  38. CL, your characterisation of Flannery’s “strong Gaia” with as “a Stonehenge monster rising from the oceans” is shown to be a lying misrepresentation in your next comment.

    I suspect that, like IT and the chasing of the famously populous Melbourne squirrels, most people can see through you’re wrong, but they just don’t like to talk up.

  39. twostix

    twostix: it’s a fact that people blame Councils for letting housing be built if there was a foreseeable problem in the area

    I said “extending” not building. But if only he was Tim Flannery, or Ross Garnaut he could pull out his magical scientist / High Bishop hat and “convince” the council that climate change is whatever he wants it to be in a way that won’t affect him at all.

    Like buying a waterfront home. Or putting a Colorbond roof on.

    Yeah, it’s called “the reasonable forecasts of mainstream science”.

    LOL!

    Nobody *cares* about this shit anymore old Steve. Truly it must be starting to get cold out there in the political wilderness. Especially after the heady days in 2009.

    In two years Climate Change here will be as dead as it already is in the rest of the world.

    I’ll tell you it was awfully funny reading back through some of the articles produced in 2008 though, the world was going to end and we were all going to die very shortly.

    That was the “main stream” consensus then.

  40. twostix

    CL, your characterisation of Flannery’s “strong Gaia” with as “a Stonehenge monster rising from the oceans” is shown to be a lying misrepresentation in your next comment.

    Flannery and his ilk are eco loons who see Gaia as a living creature.

    It’s a religion.

    Get over it and move on like a good catholic.

  41. …most people can see you’re wrong (or simply dishonest), but they just don’t like to say so.

  42. JC

    The Flan in Man’s link:

    James Hanson, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute, is arguably the world authority on climate change. He predicts that we have just a decade to avert a 25-metre rise of the sea. Picture an eight-storey building by a beach, then imagine waves lapping its roof. That’s what a 25-metre rise in sea level looks like.

    He doesn’t specifically say when but it’s clear he’s suggesting it will be sooner rather than later and would therefore imperil his own riser side home.

  43. twostix, you deluded twit.

    Go over to the open thread, where Gab has just pointed out the essential poll saying that total oppose is 51%, and total support is 39%. And that’s for something that people know has the word “tax” in it.

    You’re fooling yourself by only participating in this echo chamber of mutual support for gullibility and ideological commitment to not believing science warnings that leads you to think that everyone thinks like you.

  44. Entropy

    Steve, defend climate science using science. Don’t defend nut jobs just because they agree with your views on climate science.

  45. I don’t think he is a particularly good advocate; nor do I think he is a nutjob.

  46. JC

    Well I reckon he’s a rotten advocate, has no support other than the narrow inner city, isn’t qualified in the area and comes across as a joke.

  47. The problem is, I suspect, that it’s hard to find actual climate scientists who want to increase their public exposure because they already know the intense stupidity, dishonesty and viciousness with which they will be attacked by both pure nutters like Bird and the ideologues who live here.

  48. Viva

    “the reasonable forecasts of mainstream science”.

    1. Reasonable – when so many predictions have been proved false? (refer to point 2)

    2. Forecasts – forecasts are not facts (especially those based on shonky modelling – refer to point 1)

    3. Mainstream science – oh you mean that all-time favourite “consensus science”. Well here’s some “mainstream science” for you.

    “Britain’s premier scientific institution is being forced to review its statements on climate change after a rebellion by members who question mankind’s contribution to rising temperatures.

    “The Royal Society has appointed a panel to rewrite the 350-year-old institution’s official position on global warming. It will publish a new “guide to the science of climate change” this summer. The society has been accused by 43 of its Fellows of refusing to accept dissenting views on climate change and exaggerating the degree of certainty that man-made emissions are the main cause.

    “The society appears to have conceded that it needs to correct previous statements. It said: ‘Any public perception that science is somehow fully settled is wholly incorrect — there is always room for new observations, theories, measurements’. This contradicts a comment by the society’s previous president, Lord May, who was once quoted as saying: ‘The debate on climate change is over’.”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7139407.ece

    It’s not science that is alien – it’s the anti-human, authoritarian world view that would corrupt science and jeopardise people’s respect for it in order to gain ascendency.

  49. JC

    Steve

    sop being a pussy… or thinking others are pussies like you. Climate scientists are always putting in their two bobs worth.

    However their job ends where the economist’s job begins.

    It’s poo analysts like the Flan, or climate scientists, or economists veer into area they have no expertise in is what them into trouble.

  50. JC

    and by economists I don’t mean people like the great Inspector Garnaut.

  51. jumpnmcar

    Viva
    That article is a year old, have they finished that review yet?

  52. C.L.

    Steve now accuses me of “lying” about Gaia’s true appearance and the circumstances of Her imminent physical manifestation. Pray, Steve, tell us the ‘scientific’ truth about these matters. Will She appear on a cloud? A mist on the waters in front of Flannery’s jetty? How big will her “brain” and “nervous system” be?

  53. .

    It’s all been done, before:

    http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/07/20/to-fisk-and-to-monckton/#comment-437018

    Anyone who thinks what Gillard and Abbot have offered up is palatable nay attractive needs their head checked.

    They are utterly woeful policies. They are awful in so many ways.

    What they are spending the money on is nuts. They would be better off planting trees and iron seeding. Iron seeding was banned under the “precautionary principle” even though it occurs naturally and can be used to revive ecologically dead areas of the ocean. No consideration is given to the precautionary principle as to what happens if we cut back emissions…

    Mitigation doesn’t pass a CBA. Stern double counted – he didn’t subtract preferences away from the opportunity costs of lower investment, he said the value of the preferences was the discount rate.

    Can you imagine insisting that you should get a home loan at the discount you get in the honeymoon period as the mortgage rate rather than the actual rate it is discounted from?

    A competent analysis would see a discounting rate maybe four times higher or more.

    The climate models do not backtest properly and positive feedback effects which are assumed cannot be grounded in theory.

    The models are not built upon the statistical evidence. Properly analysis of the climate data reveals there is some cointegration and the one degree we were apparently responsible for drops to half when a spurious regression is not made.

    Well hey there is warming but we aren’t responsible for all of it and the absorption of thermal energy by CO2 accumulation begins to decrease after a certain point. We’re past that already.

    So we may have a small problem on our hands that isn’t worth dealing with. If we insist on an insurance policy, the best is to in any instance allow more nuclear and hydroelectricity and get rid of all other subsidies etc – and give multiple decadal tax exemptions for the entire tax bills persons and firms pay to the proportion they are carbon neutral, and failing that arrange a flat carbon tax with hypothecated income tax cuts and transfer payment boosting – make it revenue neutral.

    Recognising carbon neutrality and rewarding productivity is a good idea. Sustainable farming can sequester a massive amount of carbon and ensure water security.

    Forget this stuff for a while. There are some in the Greens who are deep green and there are some socialists who don’t give a damn about emissions or increasing incomes – only relative welfare and envy. Some deep greens will always complain. People have complained about solar updraft towers for “creating microclimates”. Think about the implications of such a principle. Does the foundation of your house create a microcliamte?

    Why should we listen to these nasty and brutish misanthropes? Why does Clive Hamilton get a pass for his “suspend democracy!” line of thinking?

    We should go nuclear. Costs of electricity all go down to scalability basically. Nuclear wins basically because of ‘energy density’. All the other options seem redundant. We have thousands of years of nuclear energy supply. The entire stock of nuclear waste could power all current energy demand. New designs use “nuclear waste” as fuel. Nuclear energy cannot really be used for proliferation and is no more useful for a dirty bomb than any biological or chemical toxin. There is no such thing as nuclear waste with the new breeder reactors which use “waste” as fuel.

    Coal should be eschewed because of radiological pollution and solar creates awful chemical waste. Wind simply isn’t good enough and ends up creating more emissions as it is backed up by irregular coal fired power. The story out of Denmark is a bad joke. 20% of their power? At what cost? What is their carbon emissions vs France?

    Renewables except for hydro power and geothermal are too costly. Dams can be built with consideration of fish ladders etc, but that will be ignored in the noise. Geothermal will take a long time to get up and doesn’t have energy density or the dual utility of water storage and supply.

    Simply not banning certain types of power generation, cutting subsidies and cutting and reforming the tax code under the aegis of a balanced budget would see growth in geothermal, nuclear and hydro. It’s what needs to be done if you want a better life for everyone now and into the future. It would deliver cheap clean power without the impost of further taxation.

    I believe that’s a polite, reasonable, informed and libertarian set of reasons to reject the bad policies Abbot and Gillard are shafting us with.

    SELF REFERENTIAL WIN!

  54. Jim Rose

    anyone who can affort to own beach-front property in sydney is not going to be caught short paying a carbon tax.

    typical expressive voter – can afford to boo and cheer for whatever he pleases.

  55. cohenite

    “the reasonable forecasts of mainstream science”.

    That is unmitigated rot; AGW science is not mainstream; it has appropriated various scientific principles, twisted and bent them and then concocted lurid and reprehensible end of world scenarios.

    Not ONE AGW prediction has eventuated in the 22 years it has infested the world; all it has done is foster a spreading malaise of agnotology.

    The only argument AGW has left is the ‘precautionary principle’ or the insurance option; the fallacy of that is discussed here:

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv25n4/v25n4-9.pdf

    and Here:

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/43878.html

    Basically it is rot because noone should have to insure againmst the purple-eater or any of Flannery’s other bogeyman.

  56. manalive

    …the purple-eater or any of Flannery’s other bogeyman

    That would be The Purple People Eater — I’m giving my age away.

  57. Tiny Dancer

    Stevie, remember this?

    “…obnoxious, immature, misogynistic, unreasonable, dishonest, disingenuous, lazy, dumb, gullible, un-insightful, self absorbed, uncharitable, childish, abusive, detached from reality, unpleasant, unscientific, selfish, tribal, repetitive, hypocritical, pedantic, tedious, psychologically unbalanced, and flat out wrong…”

    That’s you. Clown.

  58. Tiny Dancer

    Stevie. Remember this

    “…obnoxious, immature, misogynistic, unreasonable, dishonest, disingenuous, lazy, dumb, gullible, un-insightful, self absorbed, uncharitable, childish, abusive, detached from reality, unpleasant, unscientific, selfish, tribal, repetitive, hypocritical, pedantic, tedious, psychologically unbalanced, and flat out wrong…”

    That’s you. Clown

  59. Yes, v. good Dot.

    Don’t agree about nuclear but that’s just my opinion and happy for you to express an opposite view.

  60. Tiny Dancer

    Steve

    “… obnoxious, immature, misogynistic, unreasonable, dishonest, disingenuous, lazy, dumb, gullible, un-insightful, self absorbed, uncharitable, childish, abusive, detached from reality, unpleasant, unscientific, selfish, tribal, repetitive, hypocritical, pedantic, tedious, psychologically unbalanced, and flat out wrong…”

    that’s you. your words. clown

  61. twostix

    Go over to the open thread, where Gab has just pointed out the essential poll saying that total oppose is 51%, and total support is 39%. And that’s for something that people know has the word “tax” in it.

    Oh dear, so even with the full might of the government, the mainstream media, popular culture, every “respectable scientist”, paid government propaganda and propagandists telling, nah, screaming at us us that if we don’t act now we’re doomed….

    The most support that Climate Change “action” can reach (including massive wealth redistrubution and a welfare payout for millions) is the support of just over 1/3 of the population??

    And that’s something for you to *crow* about?? Two years ago 60% of the population supported doing something. You’ve lost 30% of the population from The Greatest Moral Challenge of our time (TM) in two years.

    You literally can’t even pay people to support it now.

    And I’m the deluded one??

    Very amusing.

  62. A very violent heading – what is wrong with you? This is certainly not the way to conduct a democratic discussion. I cannot see the scientific argument here.

  63. Tiny Dancer

    wmmbb – why not go over to the Lav and hang around with the beta males and the oestrogen?

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