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31
Aug
2014

More Counter Action Against IS, with Aus involved- More Deficient Temps-RET Opposition to Reducing Subsidies

Islamic State

Obama has further damaged his credibility when,  in referring on August 28 to the terrorists of the Islamic State, he stated: “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet.” An hour after he made this statement his press secretary Josh Earnest, said: “In his remarks today, POTUS was explicit—as he has been in the past—about the comprehensive strategy we’ll use to confront ISIL threat.” (POTUS is an abbreviation for the President of the United States).

In upgrading to “severe” the warning on a domestic terrorism action, UK Prime Minisiter Cameron acknowledged that there are “some gaps” in our amoury (why?) and that further measures/legislation would be announced on Monday.  He claimed measures already taken, including making it easier to seize passports of suspected British jihadists, and emergency legislation to make communications data available to police and security services, were was “already delivering results”.

But he also warned that combating the extremist ideology would take “years and probably decades” and said that military action should not be ruled out completely – “learning the lessons of the past does not mean there is not a place for our military”.

Notwithstanding his hesitancy, Obama has started to involve other countries in tackling IS and Abbott has undoubtedly played a role in persuading Obama to become more involved. The US request to Australia to airlift military supplies to the Kurds is not without risk as it will require landing at the airport at Erbil, the largest city and capital of the Kurdish region which has IS close by. Australia has also been helping with the airlift of food and water being dropped to the Iraq townMerli surrounded by the IS who are prepared to massacre the inhabitants.

In his excellent assessment of the situation, Greg Sheridan argues that the policy of not involving troops on the ground does not rule out sending special forces (see attached). It is encouraging that Shorten has publicly endorsed Abbott’s actions.

Climate Change

The Environment Editor of  The Australian has published the “raw” temperature data collected by a Bourke cotton farmer from the mid 1870s  to 1910 and compared it with the “raw” data assembled by scientist Jennifer Morohasy from the BOM for the period 1950 to the late 1990s (see graph in article below). This comparison shows a cooling trend of 1.7C per century whereas the “adjusted” data published by BMO for the period since 1910 shows a slight warming trend (the BOM has not published “adjusted” data for the period before 1910).

That the “raw” data for the mid 1870s to 1910 period are relatively high even by comparison with the “adjusted” data for the post 1910 period is consistent with other  reports relating to the 1870-1910 period, which included a long drought. It is also consistent with the view of so-called sceptics that atmospherical concentrations  of CO2 (which would then have been small) have minimal effect on temperatures.

It is encouraging that The Australian is continuing to publish this questioning of the accuracy of temperatures and the apparent upward bias in official data. Similar questioning has occurred in other countries and adds to the need for an independent inquiry into both the accuracy of temperature measurements and other aspects of the dangerous warming thesis.

Such an inquiry is also relevant to the Warburton review of policy on renewable energy (see 29 August commentary). Warburton himself effectively acknowledged that the dangerous warming thesis should no longer be accepted as a basis of environment policy when interviewed  on today’s Bolt Report. Unfortunately, however, his review does not recommend the phasing out of the enormous subsidies currently being paid to investors in wind and solar energy and it appears that any attempt to even reduce those subsidies will be opposed in the Senate.