We should be afraid of rising fuel costs, not climate claims

I have a piece in the Spectator, an extract of which is below.

Starting as a scientific backwater, climate change has come to dominate the scientific community and politics in general. Within the former “think tank”, the Tasman Institute, in the early 1990s my colleagues and I wrote a string of books and papers that examined the economics of the issue recognising then the crippling costs that would result from forcing a reduction of emissions.

We were joined by scientists, including Arizona State’s Professor of Climatology, Robert Balling who worked in cooperation with Warwick Hughes to demonstrate that long-established Australian weather stations remote from an urbanisation effect had recorded no increase in temperatures.

In 1992 Balling quipped that we should not knock climate alarmism. He noted it was providing him consultancy work that doubled his professorial salary and the satellite data, first established in 1979, in a dozen years would prove the furore to be a hoax and by then he’d be about ready to retire!

He was right about the data, which has failed to substantiate the warming forecast by climate models, as the graphic below demonstrates.

But Professor Balling was sadly wide of the mark in understanding the deceit that scientists, radical leftists and businessmen could muster to extract government funding out of consumers and taxpayers.

Indeed, the lack of corroboration of the forecast global temperature increase has simply spawned other supposed markers of the catastrophian agenda, like regional temperatures increases, drought, floods, hurricanes, sea-level rise, polar bear demise and so on. Each of these has also proven to be unfounded but a leftist media, academia and political class remains unmoved.

Alan Kohler has called for a Royal Commission on climate change. He is not the first to do so – the late Professor Bob Carter also wanted one. But as cynics have said, “you don’t call a Royal Commission unless you’re certain about its findings”.

Kohler would see a Royal Commission headed by alarmists and ideally with current Treasury Secretary Steven Kennedy, the author of the hysterical Garnaut Report, heading up the Secretariat.

Bob Carter might have picked former BoM head of research Bill Kininmonth, former Professor of Physics at JCU Peter Ridd, and Professor Ian Plimer, and perhaps the world’s most distinguished climate scientist, Richard Lindzen.

There is no middle ground in this debate and one certain outcome is that a Royal Commission report would be rejected by its authors’ opponents. Positions and interests are entrenched.

Eventually, the inferior economics of renewable energy and realisation that the world climate is in its normal permanent change must bring a collapse of the climate crisis malignancy. Countries showing scant regard for emission suppressing policies – China, India and most developing countries as well as the US – will experience much faster growth forcing others to abandon their own ambitions. But Robert Balling’s dozen years is already 25 years and unless the substitution of high-cost renewables brings an (unlikely) collapse of the energy system, Australia’s continued excessive energy prices and economic underperformance will persist for many more years.

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22 Responses to We should be afraid of rising fuel costs, not climate claims

  1. stackja

    Alarmists get richer. The rest get poorer.

  2. iamok

    Let’s face it we are screwed. I cannot see a way out of this. I am smart, networked and understand politics well but I really do think that unless there is a game changer it is game over for us folks.

  3. Beachcomber

    Let’s face it we are screwed.

    Sadly true. There does not seem to be any way to reverse the movement. How can the Institutions be reclaimed from the Green Marxists?

  4. It can only be improved if we can clone Pinochet and his helicopter rental company.

  5. Ben

    Pru Goward on the ABC tonight – nailed it

  6. Ben

    Finkel reckons the science is junk

    https://theconversation.com/amp/there-is-a-problem-australias-top-scientist-alan-finkel-pushes-to-eradicate-bad-science-123374

    The problem with the situation, is that a colder climate means less rain and more drought. When the temperature tips into cooling, the data fiddling will continue for years after, the “its warmer and it’s causing droughts” claims will continue until the scientific inner circle comes clean.

    But we’ve seen the ClimateGate emails a decade ago, that was the cat bell ringing, so don’t expect the media and the green lobby / industry to just give up in the face of scientific reality. Our reality will just be more of the same, but worse.

  7. RobertS

    This is the type you are up against Cats.
    https://law.unimelb.edu.au/about/staff/tim-baxter
    Note: Smug smirk, spectacles, beard, tilted head.

  8. Leo G

    … the lack of corroboration of the forecast global temperature increase has simply spawned other supposed markers of the catastrophian agenda, like regional temperatures increases, drought, floods, hurricanes, sea-level rise, polar bear demise and so on. Each of these has also proven to be unfounded but a leftist media, academia and political class remains unmoved.

    The real global existential crisis will come when those media, academic and political classists are forced to concede the inconsistencies in their shared catastrophist narrative.

  9. Nob

    The general public simply does not understand how lack of growth The Economy affects them.

    They think it’s solely a concern for the Big End of Town.

    They do not realise that it means less funding for all the “free” things and services they love, plus higher costs and lower disposable income for everyone.

  10. Dr Fred Lenin

    As they de indusrialise us the tax take decreases ,less money to pay more public servants ?
    Thats simple economics isnt it ?
    Any housewife struggling with the wekly budget knows more than the “expers “
    A bit of abject poverty would do the elitists the world of good .
    One day the money you borrow will run out what then?

  11. Tim Neilson

    A bit of abject poverty would do the elitists the world of good .

    But it won’t happen to them till it’s happened to everyone else first in spades. Then it will be too late.

  12. Art Vandelay

    Kohler would see a Royal Commission headed by alarmists and ideally with current Treasury Secretary Steven Kennedy, the author of the hysterical Garnaut Report, heading up the Secretariat.

    The Garnaut Report is the most deceitful load of cobblers I’ve ever had the displeasure to read and that’s saying something.

    It shouldn’t be any surprise that Kennedy was appointed Treasury Secretary by Morrison (and his stupid Liberal Party).

  13. Nob

    Dr Fred Lenin
    #3169390, posted on September 27, 2019 at 10:25 pm
    As they de industrialise us the tax take decreases , less money to pay more public servants ?

    They still really don’t get it. If they even understand that all government spending comes from taxing productive enterprises, (most don’t or won’t acknowledge that) , their answer is just tax more because Big End of Town.

    And you use roads don’t you? and roads built by government, ner ner ner.
    (transport infrastructure is actually way down the league ladder of government spending)

  14. sfw

    When did the understanding that the cheaper the energy the higher the standard of living get lost? Everything depends on energy to replace human and animal labour with mechanised labour, without cheap energy everything costs more.

    Why is this so hard to understand?

  15. I_am_not_a_robot

    Nothing would be achieved by a Royal Commission into climate per se, but a thorough investigation with witnesses on oath into the economic costs and purported environmental and economic benefits of solar and wind generation based solely on empirical evidence would be interesting.

  16. Leo G

    Why is this so hard to understand?

    Perhaps high-modernist/postmodern culture so fear the freedoms that arise from higher standards of living that they need the distraction of a fake global threat as a consequence of that freedom.
    In any case, postmodernism rejects any possibility of reliable knowledge- so what’s to understand?

  17. RobK

    …unless the substitution of high-cost renewables brings an (unlikely) collapse of the energy system,
    Already now, it is only that baseload (coal) is made to produce in a constrained regulatory environment that the distributed RE scheme is able to metastasize in our energy systems. Even now aging baseload infrastructure is being blamed for outages and unreliability. The subsidies are a cancer. All forms of energy supply should be able to complete without this kind of regulatory disease. There is a place for renewables, particularly at the extremes of the grid and beyond. The “unlikely”-ness of a collapse is difficult to determine because the transition to a highly complex distributed/disseminated system, with many potential points of failure may cascade to failure in an unexpected way.(even with the enhanced supervision of many boards). There is a danger of collapse.

  18. max

    It’s Not Just That Global Warming Is Fake. What Matters Is Why This Fakery Is Being Promoted.
    Gary North

    July 3, 2009
    Global warming is based 100% on junk science. The most vocal promoters are not interested in the details of physical science. They are interested in two things: political control over the general public and the establishment of international socialism.
    https://www.garynorth.com/public/5156.cfm

  19. RobK

    There is a danger of collapse but increased costs are a certainty.

  20. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    This is like being in the middle of a constant air raid in the developed nations. Only when the planes fly off before making a final enfeebled sortie and all can see the extent of the social and economic damage and what is causing it, only then will anything be seen and done about stopping the blitz. In other words, a slow war is happening.

    Post-war recoveries are possible. We know that. The socialist ‘climate’ war will be long drawn out and fade, like all communisms, with a whimper; and the recovery will not be fast. But recover we will, although things will never be quite the same again. My guess is that it will take two generations; sixty years or so. People reading this here will not be alive to see it.

  21. Dr Faustus

    A Climate Royal Commission? Really?

    For certain it would be a show trial to shame Stalin and the nomenklatura as flabby liberals.

    A $100 million platform for every academic on the climate teat, all the rent-seeker groups, all the activist groups, our very own home-grown Gretas, the ALP Orchestra and Chorus, spittle-faced Greens, every business council, all the gentailers, mummies groups, and local councils.

    Science and data captured, trussed-up, and officially tamed – and every skeptical voice subject to a public pants-down and execution in the market square.

    Commissioner Bromberg would mandate 100% renewable as a critical national priority.
    And who would refuse?

  22. I would be interested in a scheme that goes against every grain of my being, and I put this out there knowing I will cop enormous amounts of flak from people with knee jerk reactions.
    But I would love to see the numbers.
    The amount and price of energy has been linked to standard of living and productivity gains ever since man jumped out of the trees and onto the Leopards dining table. So what would be the multiplier effect of a semi subsidised power rate, and would it be enough to deliver more growth than it consumes?
    My initial thought is, of course not. But has anyone done the numbers?
    Imagine:
    1. Nationalisation of the grid and the generating sector.
    2. The price of electricity put at $5/Mw/hr
    3. The price to remain at this rate for ten years.

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