Friday, February 05, 2010


From The Daily Telegraph
By Tim Blair

Tuesday, February 02, 2010 at 04:59am

In 2007, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its Fourth Assessment Report on climate change, warning of catastrophic results if global warming continued.

In 2009, a Burger King store in Memphis, Tennessee, put up a sign reading “Global warming is baloney”.In 2009, a Burger King store in Memphis, Tennessee, put up a sign reading “Global warming is baloney”.

The IPCC subsequently won a Nobel Peace Prize, while Burger King has never even been short-listed. Yet which of the two is truly more deserving?

Before we answer that question, there is the small matter of the IPCC report’s post-Nobel credibility. It was riding high in 2008, when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told 60 Minutes that the IPCC report established the basis of his fears about climate change – fears that are driving the government’s plans for an economy-shattering emissions trading scheme.

“I just look at what the scientists say,” Rudd told 60 Minutes. “There’s a group of scientists called the International Panel on Climate Change – 4000 of them. Guys in white coats who run around and don’t have a sense of humour. They just measure things. And what they say to us is it’s happening and it’s caused by human activity.”

Maybe they should stop all that running around, then. And if Rudd actually believed these “4000 scientists”, maybe we’d be seeing the phrase “acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard” less often while Rudd is busy yelling at people about sandwiches as he flies to his latest international conference.

“I stand by what the International Panel of Climate Change scientists have had to say,” Rudd continued, before allowing that “I am not, myself, a qualified scientist. I’m elected as Prime Minister of Australia to act on the basis of the considered scientific advice.”

Some of that scientific advice is currently being reconsidered, which we’ll get to shortly. Rudd concluded his 60 Minutes appearance with the usual Helen Lovejoy “won’t somebody please think of the children?” routine:

“Look at your kids in the eye tonight and ask yourself this question – if we have this much evidence available to us now on climate change and just refuse to act, then what are the consequences for them? The alternative, however, is to just stick your head in the sand and hope it all goes away.”

Less than two years later, it’s Rudd who is hoping it all goes away. Following the Copenhagen climate conference debacle – during which Rudd implored delegates to heed the words of “little Gracie”, a concerned six-year-old whom the PM claimed had written to him about carbon emissions – our Prime Warmister has suddenly discovered that climate change isn’t such a high priority after all.


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