Barnaby Bamboozles Chief Of Climate Change Modelling Unit … Again

8 Jun

Meet Meghan Quinn.

Head of the Department of Treasury‘s Climate Change Modelling Unit

h/t Sleetmute for the following amusing encounter (emphasis added):

Hansard, June 1, 2011

Senator JOYCE: Just out of curiosity, Dr Nigel Ray calls it ‘climate change modelling’. So, of all the other things, did you model how much the climate was going to change; and, if so, how much will it change?

Ms Quinn: Perhaps I could take that question. The Treasury looks at the economic implications of climate change mitigation, and we have been very clear about that in terms of the skill sets and the types of analysis that we look at. We do not look at the science of climate change. We have not looked at the implications of climate impacts on the Australian economy.

Senator JOYCE: Do any of these models give any sort of prediction about any sort of change in the climate?

Ms Quinn: That is a question you would have to ask a climate scientist.

Senator JOYCE: Why do you call it ‘climate change modelling’, if you have no idea of what it is going to do to the climate?

Ms Quinn: We call it ‘climate change mitigation modelling’.

Senator JOYCE: So how much is it mitigating the climate by?

Senator Wong: Senator, those questions should go to Climate Change.

Senator JOYCE: I am just curious. It just seems peculiar to go through all of these things and they do not actually do anything for the climate.

You ‘aint seen nuthin’ yet.

Barnaby has questioned Ms Quinn before.  On the important topic of all those “green jobs” we’re supposedly going to see.

WARNING:  Hold onto your sides, and keep your coffee / tea / beer / scotch / Red Bull / absinthe well clear of the keyboard –

Hansard, June 3, 2009

Senator Barnaby Joyce: In your modelling as you transfer people into jobs, where were those jobs, Ms Quinn?

Meghan Quinn: The general shift from higher intensive emission industries to lower intensive emission industries. So there is a table on 6.12.

SBJ: Give me an example of the Top 3.

MQ: Increases in the electricity supply for renewable energy.

SBJ: The supply for renewable energy, so what are those people doing?

MQ: The supply of renewable energy covers all types of energy, hydro, wind, geothermal potentially by 2050.

SBJ: These people want to turn up to work what are they actually doing. What do they look like, are they construction workers, are they electricians, are they accountants?

MQ: The actual electricity supply … the people working in the industries. People who are looking after the production of the actual wind farm, the operation of the wind farm. The construction component would be captured by the construction sector.

SBJ: What is the person who is operating the wind farm? What is he or she doing?

MQ: I am not a technical engineer so I don’t think I can answer that question.

SBJ: Have you been to an actual wind farm lately?

MQ: I’ve seen a wind farm, yes.

SBJ: How many people did you see working there?

MQ: Well there was a person taking me around.

SBJ: Generally no one?

MQ: Well I don’t know. There must be some.

SBJ: Been out to a coal mine lately?

MQ: Not lately.

SBJ: From what you have seen on television does it seem like many people working there?

MQ: There has a been a reduction in the share of people working in the mining industry generally.

SBJ: What’s your next big one?

MQ: Forestry

SBJ: Forestry? OK, so what are the people doing there in forestry. What are the people doing there?

MQ: I presume they are looking after trees.

SBJ: Have you been to a forest lately?

MQ: Yes.

SBJ: Did you see many people wandering around there, any people working?

MQ: I am not an expert on the particular industrial structure of these industries.

SBJ: What’s your third one?

MQ: They are spread over a number. Other manufacturing.

SBJ: What are they actually manufacturing in the other manufacturing?

MQ: A whole range of manufacturing. I can give you a breakdown. I would have to check the categories. I know what it is not. I know it is not motor vehicles, metals or metal products.

SBJ: Can you think of anything they would be manufacturing in the other manufacturing?

MQ: I would have to take it on notice.

SBJ: I am just going looking for those green jobs, I have to start finding them now.

MQ: Employment redistribution in the employment model is not necessarily what you would think of as green jobs. There are shifts in employment in what you might not think of as green jobs as we move from high to low emission industries.

SBJ: That’s constructing wind towers?

MQ: There is a reallocation in the Australian industry from high emission to low emission. It doesn’t necessarily relate to renewable energy, it’s simply producing goods that are low emission.

SBJ: It stands to reason. You take someone out of a mine you give them a brush cutter and tell them to start to wander around the forest. This is all fanciful.

The mind boggles, does it not.

It is just these kind of disconnected-from-reality, parallel-universe-dwelling, ivory-towered, holier-than-thou, commonsenseless, flittering pixie JAFA theorists who are getting paid a fortune – using our tax dollars – to “model” the legislation that will determine our future.

Great, isn’t it.

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8 Responses to “Barnaby Bamboozles Chief Of Climate Change Modelling Unit … Again”

  1. JMD June 8, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    This modelling doesn’t seem very rigorous to me. Do they apply Rule #1 from Charles J. Krebs, Ecological Methodology:

    Not everything that can be measured should be…?

  2. Neil June 19, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    Megan Quinn must also advise who actually pays the wages for these pie-in-the-sky green jobs that are in no way assisting in the earning of revenue for any commercial or even government run entity. Greens claim piously to be into sustainability but such an arrangement strikes me about as sustainable as careers in the KGB approaching glasnost!

  3. Fred June 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    Hi BI, The bit where darling Meg responds “We call it ‘climate change mitigation modelling’” raised my brow as I instantly spotted the ‘presupposition’ logical fallacy, one of the most useful in the propagandists tool box. ‘Mitigation’ inserted here presupposes there is something to mitigate. Here she/they are modelling solutions to problems when she/they can not even model that a problem exists.

    You may be interested to know that our legislators have requirements that apply to them too. Those requirements tell us that “the problem” has to be defined first, then the potential solutions (eg; mitigation) may follow. Not the other way around. You may find the following tools useful to ‘fight fire with fire’ in your endeavors.
    http://www.finance.gov.au/obpr/proposal/gov-requirements.html#handbook
    This mob used to be more associated with the Productivity Commission.

    http://www.coag.gov.au/ministerial_councils/docs/COAG_best_practice_guide_2007.pdf

    Of course conformance to the requirements sometimes gets a little ‘creative’ and legislators will have a go at getting away with something if no one pulls them up. At least this is something extra you might use to add further structure to criticisms.

    • The Blissful Ignoramus June 20, 2011 at 9:07 am #

      Thanks Fred, I’ll definitely have a look at this. A very interesting angle, and one I wasn’t aware of.

  4. Alexander July 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    These Green job are going to cost tax payers money and won’t contribute anything to Australian exports. How do these people able to influence and make decisions. I wonder if any Green or Labor senators have shares in renewable energy. Someone is going to be making billions of dollars out of this and it isn’t us. keep exposing these frauds Barnaby

  5. TS July 13, 2011 at 1:46 am #

    You have confused Meghan Quinn with Megan Quinn Bachman (pictured), two completely different people.

  6. Neville July 13, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Unbelievable,One expects this woman wears green tinted spectacles 24/7. I took up your warning not to be drinking my coffee or anything stronger over top of my key board.Just as well!

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