An Outbreak Of Sanity Down Under

sealevelThe Australian is reporting that the New South Wales government has suddenly come over all sensible on the subject of sea-level rise. This is of course precisely the approach recommended by Carter and de Lange in their GWPF report on the subject. –Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 13 November 2015

The NSW government will today unveil sweeping changes to how the state’s coastline is managed, building on its insistence that local councils look at the science and evidence of individual beaches rather than blindly adopting UN predictions of climate change. Planning Minister Rob Stokes will announce what he says are world-first strategies that treat the 2007km NSW coast not as static fixed geography but as a constantly changing and evolving phenomenon. The initiatives mark the second phase of the Coalition government’s demolition of the previous Labor government’s policy, which among other things directed local councils on the coast to enforce the climate change and sea level rise predictions of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. –Ean Higgins, The Australian, 13 November 2015

So far as I am aware, this is the first time that a serving Western cabinet minister has ever publicly rejected the advice of the IPCC in such an abrupt fashion as this. The new and sensible policy of treating the coastal zone as a geomorphically active one and in insisting on the application of empirical data at specific locations (rather than generalized computer model projections) for planning and management purposes, the NSW government is following almost to the letter the advice contained in two [of our] reports. In the Australian context, this is also a major defeat for the CSIRO, whose consistently alarmist advice on sea-level change has entirely depended upon semi-empirical, homogenized-data-input computer projections that have now been flatly rejected. As this sea-level example shows, ultimately empiricism (and adaptation rather than “stop global warming”) is going to win through. ‚ÄìBob Carter, Bishop Hill, 13 November 2015

The National Trust has admitted that Britain’s coastline cannot be defended from erosion with concrete sea defences any more. Phil Dyke, the Trust’s coast and marine adviser said that the Trust would instead allow nature to take its course and wash away shores as it has done for thousands of years. There are heavily populated places in the UK ‚Äì such as London and Portsmouth which should be ‘defended to the hilt’ from rising sea levels as well as smaller towns and villages. But rural coastal areas would benefit from allowing the natural cycle to take place, he said. –Colin Fernandez, Daily Mail, 12 November 2015

Those who are old enough to remember might recall that after the devastating 2005 season (remember Katrina?), this was going to be the “new normal” for Atlantic hurricane activity due to global warming. There were 15 hurricanes that year. The next year (2006) the bottom dropped out. The National Hurricane Center expected system after system to strengthen, and it almost never happened. To update an old saying, “global warming is what you expect; weather is what you get.” This year we have had only three hurricanes so far. Has there been any long term trend in Atlantic tropical cyclone activity? If so, it has been slightly downward. —Roy Spencer, 9 November 2015

Global warming advocates are calling for the prosecution of groups who disagree with them, and New York State has taken it a step further by investigating Exxon Mobil for refusing to play ball with the popular scientific theory.  But 68% of Likely U.S. Voters oppose the government investigating and prosecuting scientists and others including major corporations who question global warming. Just over one-in-four Democrats (27%), however, favor prosecuting those who don’t agree with global warming. Only 11% of Republicans and 12% of voters not affiliated with either major party agree. —Rasmussen Report, 12 November 2015

With Yale and the University of Missouri in the midst of high-profile free speech meltdowns, the national media is fixated on why left-wing college students have grown so intolerant of dissent. But far less attention is being paid to an even more dangerous example of this illiberalism: the growing determination among Democratic politicians to investigate and punish companies that dispute the majority view of scientists on climate change. As the Exxon case shows, the illiberal left is not confined to college campuses—it is slowly spreading outward, and even starting to capture mainstream Democratic politicians. Campus “safe spaces” might not directly threaten America’s open society, but the same cannot be said of state and federal prosecutions of organizations for their political advocacy on one of the major public policy questions of our time. Threats to freedom of speech must be confronted wherever they arise. —The American Interest , 11 November 2015