It is difficult to believe that differences of opinion on whether to officially recognise gay marriages, which exist in both major political parties, might result in a change of the leader of the Coalition. The following letter published in today’s Australian captures what seems to me a common sense approach to the issue:
“The decision by government MPs will hopefully enable commonsense to break through, in due course, when people reflect on the situation. The fact is that there is no impediment to any two males or females entering a legally binding partnership identical in all respects to the marriage partnership entered into by a male and a female. Parliament has defined that marriage is between a man and a woman, therefore it has excluded itself from covering contracts between two men, or two women. Such couples have all the rights in their partnerships as male and female couples do. They can have a wedding and a honeymoon. The one thing they can’t do is to call it a marriage.
Dudley Horscroft, Banora Point, NSW
Yet the issue has become so emotionally charged in such a short time as to create high tension within the Coalition and, in circumstances where the polling position is already bad, this has put Abbott in a situation where, as suggested in an article by Niki Savva (see attached “Team Abbott Asking Brutal Questions”), he himself could soon find it difficult to stay as leader. On the other hand, Andrew Bolt argues that Abbott has handled the issue well and should ‘Forget the polls’ (see Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Gay Marriage Victory). The move to test public opinion after the election will provide more time for account to be taken of issues which have not been adequately discussed.
The announcement that Australia will target a reduction in CO2 emissions of 26% -28% by 2030 (compared with 2005) has brought a request from Labor that the government’s modelling be released (it has not announced what it’s target would be) and critical comments from various business and green bodies arguing that the reduction should be greater if temperature increases are to be limited to the supposed tipping point of 2C.
One of the green bodies, The Australia Institute, actually started the ball rolling on Tuesday with an article by its Chief Economist, Richard Denniss, arguing variously (but confusingly) that little notice should be taken of modelling by the government showing large costs from a carbon tax (see Model numbers don’t add up). Today I have a letter in the AFR responding to Denniss and pointing out that none of the models used to predict temperature changes have got anywhere near what actually happened (see below).
Climate Models fail(Letter published in AFR, 13 Aug 2015) Some economists are prone to use economic modelling to exaggerate or defend their beliefs (“Model numbers don’t add up”, AFR, August 11). The chief economist at the Australia Institute, Richard Denniss, does acknowledge that “some modelling exercises do show” that introducing a carbon tax might cause GDP to “grow slightly slower than” otherwise. But without specifying the amount of his carbon tax model, he rejects any notion that it could cost the economy nearly half a percent of GDP. Omitting an essential component of his rejection suggests inadequate analysis, at least.More importantly, he does not acknowledge the failure of the key models drawn on by his institute to justify its advocacy of reducing emissions of CO2 and preventing supposed dangerous increases in temperatures. A published analysis of 73 models shows that since the late 1970s none of the modelled predictions of temperature increases were correct and the average prediction of about 0.8C was 0.7 above the actual.
Des Moore, Institute for Private Enterprise,
South Yarra Vic
Today I have written another letter, this time in response to an article in The Australian by John Connor, the CEO of a different green body, The Climate Institute (see article in the Climate Science). Connor, who has previously twice refused to debate me on the issue, argues the same as other warmists – that these reductions in emissions are necessary to prevent warming of 2C above post industrial levels.
My article is as follows:
“The most striking aspect of the debate over the announced target reduction in emissions of CO2 by 2030 is the almost total absence of any substantive analysis of the justification for a reduction of 26 per cent or (as many suggest) even more. Bodies such as the Climate Institute (Commentary 13/8) argue a larger reduction is needed to prevent global temperatures increasing by more than 2 degrees post industrialisation. But there is no evidence either scientific or statistical to establish this dangerous warming thesis.It is customary to quote the supposed increase of 0.8C over the past century or so. But such references appear to reflect substantial faults by recording agencies and a failure to recognise that little if any increase has occurred since the late 19th century. More importantly, such increases as did occur included a period when temperature increases reflected natural causes not increased emissions. Beyond that lengthy periods involving strong emissions have not produced temperature increases. If the Paris talks involve a “pledge and review”, Abbott must attend and insist that there be a substantive review by the many experts who are aware of the questionable analyses.”
Unfortunately, “The Australian” continues to be reluctant to expose the fundamental problems with the analyses used by the warmists and this may prevent my letter being published.