Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Are you smarter than a chocolate ad?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-07-21

Tony Abbott should probably loosen his celice … from around his neck – it’s cutting off the blood supply to his brain.

Tony Abbott’s 2011-07-07 interview transcript on the Liberal Party website proves a half-way decent 3rd grader knows more science.

See, one of the things that people haven’t quite twigged to is that carbon dioxide is invisible, it’s weightless and it’s odourless.

By saying carbon dioxide is weightless, it shows Mr Rabbit never paid attention to Julius Sumner Miller on chocolate advertisements, or Deane and Rob on The Curiosity Show.

Even Dan Quayle, the US VP who was filmed at a school spelling bee telling a kid to mis-spell "potato" had a better excuse than Abbott.

But the Australian public (apart from the latte left and latte right) won’t laugh, they won’t notice the error.

Pauline Hanson, even Humphrey B. Bear is an intellectual giant by comparison.

And yet Mr Rabbit believes in sky fairies!

Did John Laws, the golden tonsils sounding erudite only because of the resonance of an empty head, pick up the clanger?  If he did, why just keep agreeing with everything?  Did anyone in Liberal Party headquarters have the sense to put "umm", "errr" or "(inaudible)" and the offending part of the transcript – they are very good at misquoting when it suits them!

A guy capable of such stupid assertions should barely be allowed to vote let alone sit in parliament.  But then, this you-aren’t-smarter-than-a-fifth-grader is about as accurate as everything else that comes out of his maw.

And yet the great unwashed (apart from being brainwashed) seem to believe him time after time.

Is his economics any better?  Um… no – he can’t find any to back his figures or assertions.

Moral calculus?  Um… no.  He’s a sock-puppet for an organization that protects sexual predators.

Maybe that’s why he is so often in bike-riding gear or budgie smugglers – he cannot afford anyone with a brain to look at his words.

I wonder if Malcolm Turnbull was listening to the interview or read the transcript.  He’s probably the only Liberal Party MP able to pick up the stupidity of Abbott.  I hope he laughed more than he cried.


Of course, if a Tory leader, indeed a Tory hero, had a science degree, here is what she would say (and I quote extensively, as the Abbotts and Moncktons of this world are trying to twist these words):

But the threat to our world comes not only from tyrants and their tanks. It can be more insidious though less visible. The danger of global warming is as yet unseen, but real enough for us to make changes and sacrifices, so that we do not live at the expense of future generations.

Our ability to come together to stop or limit damage to the world’s environment will be perhaps the greatest test of how far we can act as a world community. No-one should under-estimate the imagination that will be required, nor the scientific effort, nor the unprecedented co-operation we shall have to show. We shall need statesmanship of a rare order. It’s because we know that, that we are here today.

For two centuries, since the Age of the Enlightenment, we assumed that whatever the advance of science, whatever the economic development, whatever the increase in human numbers, the world would go on much the same. That was progress. And that was what we wanted.

Now we know that this is no longer true.

We have become more and more aware of the growing imbalance between our species and other species, between population and resources, between humankind and the natural order of which we are part.

In recent years, we have been playing with the conditions of the life we know on the surface of our planet. We have cared too little for our seas, our forests and our land. We have treated the air and the oceans like a dustbin. We have come to realise that man’s activities and numbers threaten to upset the biological balance which we have taken for granted and on which human life depends.

We must remember our duty to Nature before it is too late. That duty is constant. It is never completed. It lives on as we breathe. It endures as we eat and sleep, work and rest, as we are born and as we pass away. The duty to Nature will remain long after our own endeavours have brought peace to the Middle East. It will weigh on our shoulders for as long as we wish to dwell on a living and thriving planet, and hand it on to our children and theirs.


But the need for more research should not be an excuse for delaying much needed action now. There is already a clear case for precautionary action at an international level. The IPCC tells us that we can’t repair the effects of past behaviour on our atmosphere as quickly and as easily as we might cleanse a stream or river. It will take, for example, until the second half of the next century, until the old age of my [ Michael Thatcher] grandson, to repair the damage to the ozone layer above the Antarctic. And some of the gases we are adding to the global heat trap will endure in the Earth’s atmosphere for just as long.

The IPCC tells us that, on present trends, the earth will warm up faster than at any time since the last ice age. Weather patterns could change so that what is now wet would become dry, and what is now dry would become wet. Rising seas could threaten the livelihood of that substantial part of the world’s population which lives on or near coasts. The character and behaviour of plants would change, some for the better, some for worse. Some species of animals and plants would migrate to different zones or disappear for ever. Forests would die or move. And deserts would advance as green fields retreated.

Many of the precautionary actions that we need to take would be sensible in any event. It is sensible to improve energy efficiency and use energy prudently; it’s sensible to develop alternative and sustainable and sensible … it’s sensible to improve energy efficiency and to develop alternative and sustainable sources of supply; it’s sensible to replant the forests which we consume; it’s sensible to re-examine industrial processes; it’s sensible to tackle the problem of waste. I understand that the latest vogue is to call them ‘no regrets’ policies. Certainly we should have none in putting them into effect.

And our uncertainties about climate change are not all in one direction. The IPCC report is very honest about the margins of error. Climate change may be less than predicted. But equally it may occur more quickly than the present computer models suggest. Should this happen it would be doubly disastrous were we to shirk the challenge now. I see the adoption of these policies as a sort of premium on insurance against fire, flood or other disaster. It may be cheaper or more cost-effective to take action now than to wait and find we have to pay much more later.


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