24 February, 2012

Climate Commission “Conversation”

On Wednesday, 22 February, a “conversation” on climate change was held in Hobart to discuss the associated impacts and opportunities for Tasmania.  Well, we were told we’d have a conversation; instead, a high school lecture was given on how we are corrupting the planet and how we need a magical tax on “carbon” to save us (even though without carbon dioxide we wouldn’t breathe) and that the planet would thank us therefor.
The four main speakers who were spouting this pseudo-scientific bullshit were Prof. Tim Flannery, Prof. Will Steffen, Prof. Lesley Hughes and some slow, boring economist, Mr. Roger Beale.
After the presenter, Kim Millar, had finished licking everyone’s arse clean, Tim Flannery started by pointing out that they were completely independent and were not under any political influence.  He then went on to say just how bad it would be if the temperature rose half a degree over the next decade.
When Flannery had had his fill he introduced Will Steffen, who continued the scare story, saying that the polar caps will melt and cause the sea-level around Tasmania to rise 3mm each year; he seemed to think that the rise would continue at a rate of 3mm a year, for a century, with no fluctuation at all.
After Steffen, the egg-looking man, Beale, presented a school-level power-point display which, like the other offerings, depicted nasty buildings letting out steam from their chimneys, and went on to claim—incorrectly—that CO2 is the leading, most important greenhouse gas, and that “the planet knows how to release heat” and that it has been doing it since the beginning and seems to know what it is doing.
The last contribution of the introductory speeches was given by Lesley Hughes who said that, as the temperature increases, we will have less salmon; as she said this, she referred to the movie “Finding Nemo”, and claimed that the salmon would be unable to live in 1% warmer water.  She then displayed another, cute card, saying that the broad-toothed mouse (a species which survived previous warm periods and the last Ice Age, and is still around today) would be unable to cope with another 0.5% increase in temperature, and die out.  She added that more extreme weather would occur, and that people wouldn’t be able to survive a 45ºC maximum temperature nearly every day; in effect, she was saying that cities of Arabia are already uninhabitable.
The presenter then announced question time and joked about killing people by way of ejector seats if they did not comply with the rules that questions be brief and non-political; nonetheless, all the questions, except two, were either long, about politics, or just complete Dorothy Dixers about how Greens are such great people, that we must save the planet, and that we would all be happy to pay a high “carbon” tax.
The presenter failed to call on me to ask a question, though I raised my arm for over half a weary hour, but I managed to approach Prof. Flannery after the forum had concluded.  I asked, “What if you’re wrong about AGW?”

Flannery responded, “What’s AGW?”
I said, “Anthropogenic global warming; you know, man-made.”
He replied, “Oh, yeah.  If we’re wrong, at the very least, we’ll have cleaner air because carbon dioxide and burning coal is bad, and we’ll have better energy.  If we’re right we’ll have all the other benefits.”
I asked when Brisbane would run out of water and Flannery stated, “Within the next couple of years.”
A conversation (coming from the Latin for “back and forth”), refers to an exchange of ideas, but the Climate Commission’s “conversation” consisted of our listening to lectures and lengthy, unnecessary answers and grandstanding questions from pious believers.
On Wednesday, 22 February, I survived an hour and a half of complete pseudo-scientific bullshit with only a few decent biscuits at the end as a slight compensation.

(Also posted on Alfred’s Review.)

No comments: