Vale Doug Ralph

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Feb 282015

Doug Ralph passed away 24 February 2015 at his home, believed to be the result of a heart attack.

Doug was a 5th generation Castlemaine person, and was born and bred here.

Doug and I had vastly different views on politics, climate change and renewable energy, and crossed swords in “letters to the editor” a few times in the local paper, however I maintained a quiet admiration and respect for Doug’s unquestioned encyclopaedic knowledge of the local environment.

Doug and I contested the 2008 Mount Alexander Shire Council election for Calder Ward, along with three other candidates.

I won comfortably and the day after the election results were called, all candidates – winners and losers – were invited to the Castlemaine Town Hall for a small celebratory (for some) gathering.

When I entered the hall foyer, Doug was the very first person to come forward, extend a firm handshake and wish me congratulations with a sincerity I judged to be warm and honest.

Doug and I may have differed in opinion on various subjects, but I admired him for his dedication to his causes.

Doug will be honored with a public gathering in the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens at 12 Noon on Saturday 7 March 2014.

Feb 282015

If you thought the leader of The Greens in Australia was a bit strange, wait until you read about Britain’s Green Party leader. From the UK Daily Mail.

‘I’m very sorry, I had a mental brain fade': Green Party leader Natalie Bennett apologises after spluttering her way through ‘absolutely excruciating’ radio interview

  • Green leader apologised to party activists after ‘really bad’ interview
  • She admitted she did not know how much a key policy pledge would cost
  • Miss Bennett eventually said 500,000 new council homes would cost £6bn
  • It came after she called for UK to appease Russian president Vladimir Putin
  • She defended plans to slash defence spending despite threat from Moscow
  • Ex-Green leader Caroline Lucas said of the interview: ‘It wasn’t Natalie at her best. But we had Ed Miliband forgetting about the deficit completely’ 

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett admitted she suffered an ‘absolutely excruciating’ radio interview this morning – after a ‘mental brain fade’ saw her forget how much a key policy pledge would cost.

In the toe-curling exchange, Miss Bennett was asked how much taxpayers would have to spend to meet the Green Party’s pledge to build 500,000 new council houses.

Battling with a cough while failing to come up with an answer, she eventually admitted she did not know, before being handed a piece of paper which said it would cost just £2.7billion.

Miss Bennett insisted this could be funded by hiking taxes on private landlords – but then failed to say how much this would raise either.

The Green leader later claimed she had suffered a ‘mental brain fade’ and apologised to party activists.

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Feb 282015

We never thought much of US Secretary of State, John Kerry. Following this effort we think even less of him; from Patriot Post.

More Hot Air about Hot Air

If it feels like the Left is preaching climate change, you’re not alone. Even liberals think environmentalism is the new religion. Instead of saving souls, they’re saving trees. From pipelines to polar bears, people have watched liberals elevate – not just nature over God, but nature over man. Secretary of State John Kerry has been using his pulpit for global warming so much that he might as well be leading the EPA.

Ironically, his latest sermon came Friday at the swearing-in of the Ambassador-at Large for Religious Freedom. At an event about international religious liberty, leave it to Kerry to talk about the planet, not the persecuted. In introducing the newly appointed Rabbi David Saperstein, Kerry made sure to squeeze in a completely irrelevant political talking point on the environment.

“[W]e have been allies in trying to awaken the world to the dangers of climate change – and let me just say that when it comes to the fundamental health of Earth, folks, we’d better stick to the Creator’s original plan, because there is no Planet B.”

If anything pulls back the curtain on this administration’s mindset, this is it. While hundreds of thousands of Christians and religious minorities flee their homes, or worse, lose their lives, the chief diplomat of the United States is talking about global warming (on one of the coldest days of the year!). With people being marked for extinction, exactly who is Kerry saving the earth for?

Another Temperature Lie

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Feb 272015

Australian scientist Viv Forbes on climate temperature:

Just Another Alarmist Temperature Lie

2015 is the make-or-break year for climate alarmism, with a crucial battle planned for Paris in November. So we can expect regular bursts of global warming propaganda.

The year started on cue with a breathless announcement from the US National Climate Data Centre: “2014 was Earth’s warmest year on record” (their records start in 1880).

The Little Ice Age ended in about 1880. Therefore it is no surprise that global temperatures have generally risen since then. And it reveals nothing about the cause of the warming.

Moreover the announcement hides more than it reveals.

Firstly the alleged new peak temperature is just 0.04? higher than 2010. Who are they kidding? No weather recording station can measure to that accuracy. Once the likely error bars are added to the averaged data, the story changes to “recent global temperatures have remained flat”.

Secondly, what does “average” mean? Almost every place on Earth has a different average temperature, and the averages range from 34? to -58?, a range of 92?. With very large daily and seasonal variations, an unevenly scattered and variable set of temperature recording stations, plus frequent “adjustments” to the raw figures, their calculated “global average” is probably a manipulated and meaningless number.

Trends are more important than spot values. Satellite data and proxies such as ice core data give more reliable long-term “average” temperature trends; both records say that 2014 is NOT unusually high.

Moreover, information on global temperature trends go back far beyond 1880 – ice core data goes back 20,000 years. These show there were several periods in the last 10,000 years with global temperatures significantly above that for 2014.