Australia: Not just an island, but a hella scary one too!

For some unknown reason, recently the most popular Google searches leading to our site have been “Australia Map” and  Australian Flag” and variations thereof  (barely – just barely – beating out “goatse” and “sarah plain naked,” it must be said.)

The “Australia Map” searches almost always lead to a post on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s keen observation on the ABC’s 7:30  Report back in 2008 that “Australia is not an island”:

Australia is not an island - K. Rudd, 2008

"Australia is not an island" - K. Rudd, 2008

However, our own Wizard of Woz has unearthed an even more accurate map of Australia which may give the rather pedestrian version above a run for its money in the page-impressions stakes:


Accurate Map of Australia

The following ad campaign by our Alt-Tourism Authority would seem to back this up:


UPDATE: Australia has crazy-wild spiders.  Hey!  More cool spiders!

Launching My New Conspiracy Theory

I don’t usually engage in conspiracy theories (Troofers, anyone?) but this one is different. My Conspiracy, hereby known as The Drinks Scam Conspiracy, is so ridiculous that if anyone believes it, I will laugh my ass off and mock them for as long as I live.

The Drinks Scam Conspiracy is based on a simple premise: some people will buy absolutely anything. So allow me to now detail the Conspiracy for you.

We all know that Global Warming/Climate Change is real and must be fought immediately, and therefore, for a reason that makes absolutely no sense, we have to get rid of the carbon.

Many alcohols are filtered through carbon to remove impurities and unwanted flavours and other assorted things, so it naturally follows that we need to remove the carbon from the alcohol brewing process. Our superiors (ie, Those Who Believe) therefore believe that in order to fight Global Warming, we need to have either beer that tastes like piss, or go without a wide range of drinks, because from memory, beer, wine, vodka, bourbon and Southern Comfort are all carbon-filtered.

This got me thinking about Dear Leader Kevin’s alcopops tax. Since Dear Leader’s alcopops tax was introduced to “curb teenage binge drinking”, we can safely assume that this tax is for the good of the children, and that alcohol is always bad. So it naturally follows that since alcohol is bad, alcohol that is carbon filtered is extra bad. So we’re taught about the evils of carbon, starting as early as the age of five.

We’re through the looking glass here people…

Global Warming was invented to curb drinking!

Has Kevin seen the light?

The coral’s bleaching, the seas are rising and Gaia cries out for aspirin (you know, for the fever), but Keven Rudd promises a tiddly 5% emissions cut to 1990 levels. Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

“A 5% target locks Australia into runaway climate change,” lies Damien Lawson of the aptly-named FOE (Enemies of Humanity Friends of Earth), who proceeds to feed us complete balderdash: “This target will not stop drought, it will not save the Great Barrier Reef, and it will not prevent ice melting and the sea rising,’ Mr Lawson said. (Well, I guess that’s true, just not the way he means it). ‘‘This is an emergency and the government must act within this term. Our carbon emissions must peak in the next year and then continuously decrease if we are to have any hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change.’

But the message that’s sinking into our politicians is the more realistic one: Australia’s emissions mean nothing on a global scale, the notion that we can influence China and India by forging ahead with our own economic suicide is too far-fetched for serious consideration, and the silver lining to the financial crisis is that it gives governments an excuse to tone down their ETS schemes, which – European countries falling on their collective swords excepted – they seem only too keen to do near the end of one of the most stable decades in recorded climate history.

(Addition: Andrew Bolt rightly points out that 5% isn’t 5% at all, since it refers to 1990, not current, levels of emissions. But politically speaking, I still think Rudd’s 5% is about as low as he can go without appearing to be completely giving up on the ETS).

On this note, let’s recap the climate change saga: tree-ring proxy data aside (and let’s face it, it’s pointless using a data set influenced as much by CO2  as it is by temperature) most available evidence suggests the Earth’s temperature has been going up and down all the time. In the last couple of hundred years it has, on the whole, been slowly rising, which one would expect following a Little Ice Age. Temperature rose when man-made CO2 concentrations were minuscule compared to today’s, and it rose at roughly the same rate in the first half of the 20th Century as it did in the second half (after an inexplicable 30 year hiatus), and in the 21st Century has been at a virtual standstill.

Beginning in the 70’s but coming to fruition in the 80’s was the theory that CO2 concentrations might influence planetary climate, so after about 10 years and 0.2 degrees warming, we were informed of the coming Apocalypse. Rather than admit a paucity of data, woefully incomplete understanding of climate dynamics and need for further research, certain scientists and environmental lobbyists (often one and the same) proclaimed we were facing the end of civilisation as we know it. They set up a *cough* independent panel of *cough* experts to analyse the situation, thereafter waving the figure of 2500 scientists at us whenever their claims were called into question. And yet only a minority of those scientists were actually figuring out how much anthropogenic CO2 contributed to climate change. Many others simply applied the theory to their own fields. Some did not even believe in AGW but their names remained on the list of 2500 nevertheless. Various scenarios were imagined, data extrapolated, best-case and worst-case predictions delivered, with the latter hungrily snaffled up by the media and agenda-driven politicians and interest groups.

I’m not about to dismiss out of hand the work of many clever, industrious scientists around the globe. But I will recognise the dissenting voices and try to work out the credible truth that lies somewhere within the media-hyped, over-speculated, Gorified mass of misinformation.

Many will admit that worst-case climate scenarios are unlikely but will hold up the precautionary principle as reason for drastic action. It’s a reasonable principle – when it  involves little to no harm. Not when it’s guaranteed to wreak its own havoc. Call it a precautionary precautionary principle. Mankind will go nowhere doing everything by the PP. Since every action has a consequence, you can run about predicting possible danger for everything we do. No, we have to use our reason and judgement, which in this case means putting the Gores and Flannerys and FOEs back in their boxes and injecting some realism into the debate. Western civilisation slashing CO2 emissions is going to do next to nothing, even if AGW is real as they say. So get practical. Stop wasting resources. Work on obtaining more reliable temperature readings – dump this flawed surface temp data with recording stations in car parks etc. Argue the real and present environmental threats if that’s your cup of tea, because if Kevin Rudd’s gone all tokenist on AGW, you can bet top dollar he also knows it for the crock it is.

Fight The Emissions Trading Scheme

In Australia, there are moves to create a tax plan based on carbon emissions, and this plan should be open to intense scrutiny. Via Andrew Bolt, I learned of a campaign to debate the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

This campaign is being launched by Jennifer Marohasy, and her plan and premise are clear:

I am the Chair of The Australian Environment Foundation and we are planning an Internet campaign to oppose the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) proposed for Australia on the basis:

1.  An ETS will not change the global temperature;

2.  Will force many clean and green Australian industries overseas; and

3.  Will make Australians poorer; while it is generally richer, not poorer nations that are better able to protect their natural environment.

She’s quite right on all of it. Their aim is to raise $30,000 to create a website and launch a formal campaign to bring more awareness to the debate on the ETS. If you’re able, donate! Donations of more than $2 are tax-deductible, but as always, do your own research into the group before handing over your hard-earned.

The ETS proposed by the Rudd Government, if passed, means that depending on your tax bracket and earnings, there is a chance that you’ll be required to pay up to 90 cents of every dollar you earn in tax.

It’s a fight worth supporting, particularly when you consider how well the environment does do, when there’s enough water to help it grow.


Sherbrooke Forest: Lookin' Good

UPDATE: Slatts highlights just one article that proves that there needs to be a more open debate.


After Kevin Rudd’s campaign slogan of “Kevin07,” I started hearing take-offs on it like “Mistake08” and “Decline09,” but I think the best one yet, given his proclivity for international travel and being anywhere but Australia, is Kevin747:

(art by Igor Saktor)

h/t Tim Blair

Green Awards Poll: Vote Now

Vote below for the candidate who should win News Ltd’s Green Award for the “Could Do Better” category.

Do it Chicago style!

Quote of the Day


“Australia is not an island.”

-Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd speaking to The 7:30 Report’s Kerry O’Brien, 28/08/08


UPDATE: Angus Dei provides some appropriate musical advice for Kevni

UPDATE 2: More accurate map of Australia here.


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