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Hamilton: Fran Kelly falls for Monckton’s media manipulation

Fifty metres from where I sit at the ANU, 300 meteorologists and oceanographers are listening to the latest research on climate change at the annual conference of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.

But you wouldn’t know it. Instead of sending someone over to hear what the scientists are saying, Radio National this morning decided to give over its program to a charlatan, Lord Monckton, who expounded unchallenged his bizarre theories.

He earnestly told Fran Kelly on Radio National that decades of climate science research could not be believed because the scientists are being paid by governments and governments want to cede national sovereignty to a “world government”.

He compared climate scientists, like those at the conference next door to me, to the eugenicists of Nazi Germany and to the Soviet scientific fraud Trofim Lysenko. It was one of the most shocking slanders ever heard on the ABC.

Fran Kelly allowed Monckton to present himself as a credible scientific voice, and could not challenge his repeated absurdities. She did not ask him what his qualifications were. She did not ask him why he lied about being a member of the House of Lords, or why he claims to be a Nobel laureate.

She did not ask him about his preposterous claims to have won the Falklands war or to have invented a cure for Graves’ disease, multiple sclerosis, and HIV.

Nor did she ask Monckton why Kevin Rudd, Barack Obama and the leaders of Europe, Japan and the developing world would participate in a process designed to relinquish national sovereignty to a communist world government.

Monckton’s views are so extreme that even some of Australian’s hardened climate deniers will not go near him. Tony Abbott will not meet him. Even Barnaby Joyce regards him as too dangerous to associate with.

Janet Albrechtsen, the Australian’s right-wing attack dog, laments the fact that “…while Monckton has mastered the best arts of persuasion, he also succumbs to the worst of them when he engages in his made-for-the-stage histrionics.”

Most of Australia’s leading climate scientists have declined requests to debate Monckton on air because they understand that debating him on the science carries the implication that Monckton is a scientist with something worthwhile to say.

They also know that what Monckton lacks in credibility he more than makes up for in showmanship. In a 10-minute radio or TV debate the showman who is willing to lie brazenly will usually come out on top, especially against a scientist hamstrung by the quaint belief that truth emerges from the careful presentation of the evidence.

One of his former editors said of Monckton that he has the ability to talk nonsense in a very compelling way; some naïve members of the public lap it up.

Fran Kelly is not the only journalist suckered by the denialists, although one would expect the ABC to have a better understanding of the scam than Channel 7’s Sunrise.

Some in the profession have been known to express bewilderment at the rise and rise of climate denial. When Al Gore was interviewed on Lateline a while back, Leigh Sales spent the first half of the interview asking him to respond to the claims of the sceptics.

She then asked “Why do you think the sceptics are so influential?”, apparently unaware that she had answered her own question by spending half of the interview talking about them.

Over recent months we have witnessed a sustained assault on the reputation of Australian climate scientists led by the Australian newspaper, which magnifies and gloats over every real or confected mistake by the IPCC and promotes the opinions of every mad-eyed denier, including Monckton.

Throughout this trashing of scientists, the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology have been missing in action. The Academies of Science have been silent too. It’s well past the time they roused themselves from their slumber and muscled up to those now ditching three centuries of science in favour of a fanatical belief.

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  • 1
    Evan Beaver
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t realise you’re just over at ANU Clive. I’ll come by and say Hi one day.

  • 2
    Ian
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    More old pyjamas

  • 3
    David
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I listened to Ms Kelly’s acceptance of the mad man Monckton’s diatribe this morning in disbelief. But also in dismay at either the lack of preperation for the interview or ignorance of the topic by Kelly. As I listened I pleaded, Fran don’t let him get away with it, ask him to back up his lies, his phoney offering of truth, she did not and because she did not try to bring some balance to the interview, she failed dismally both as a broadcaster of some repute and as a professional. The idea that Kelly would go into such an interview without being able to not only get information of sustainable substance, but unable to question him from research and knowledge she had gained previously. If she did research it was not evident this morning.
    The ABC failed dismally this morning. Not for the interview itself but in the way the interviewer failed the listener, both for and against climate change. It is be hoped interviewers with more ability than Ms Kelly get the chance to put Monckton through his paces, with more knowledge of the subject than that shown by Fran Kelly.

  • 4
    scot mcphee
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Of course Fran, the ABC’s very own Liberals-talking-point-regurgitator, had a completely uncritical interview with Monckton. When I heard her announce after AM had finished, that Monckton will be on her show, I merely cursed her reappearance on Radio National after a blessed summer without her News-Ltd-driven agenda and turned the radio off.

    Fran Kelly is without doubt the laziest and most asinine journalist that I’ve heard on the ABC.

  • 5
    Glenda Gartrell
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Kelly’s program could also be known as the clean slate - anyone [preferably from the right] can come along and write on it. At least the ABC must be saving on production costs.

  • 6
    scot mcphee
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Glenda certainly they are not spending anything on research!

  • 7
    Mr Squid
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    if you thought fran kelly’s program was a joke, you should have seen the rubbish Monckton coverage on ABC Online. Still, I suppose we can’t expect anything else from Newscrap Lite dopes who do lambourgini and nullabor.

  • 8
    Michael
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Slander, insults, innuendo but not a scintilla scientific fact to repudiate Monckton’s claims. What a pathetic, greedy, lying lot you mad scientists are.

  • 9
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Err Clive, methinks you are frothing a bit. Fran ran him after 8 am today?

    Therefor in the shadow of the (say Sydney) last edition of AM show? Or after 7.45am in the shadow of the Sydney main news bulletin over 15 minutes?

    In other words it’s the B list of content. I haven’t gone to the web link to see Lord Twit (agree he is a fraud) but I do know my ABC scheduling quite well.

    I am pretty confident it was a token balance piece. In terms of real politik influence that segment would be about a 2 out of 10 in that broadcast shadow, with Michelle Grattan at 7.35 am an 8 or 9 out of 10. A ten minute variation and real credibility is all it takes.

    Perhaps of much greater concern was Alan Jones unscientific ideology of pandering to big business energy sector with his climate denialism on Australia Day broadcast last Tuesday, promoting Lord Twit event at Sheraton on the Park on 2GB. Sad stuff. Where is a patriotic prostrate cancer service when needed?

  • 10
    Most Peculiar Mama
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    @Clive Hamilton

    …He compared climate scientists, like those at the conference next door to me, to the eugenicists of Nazi Germany…”

    Appears YOU like dishing out the Nazi missives though:

    “…Instead of dishonouring the deaths of six million in the past, climate deniers risk the lives of hundreds of millions in the future…”

    “…Holocaust deniers are not responsible for the Holocaust, but climate deniers, if they were to succeed, would share responsibility for the enormous suffering caused by global warming…”

    “… climate deniers are less immoral than Holocaust deniers, although they are undoubtedly more dangerous…”

    “…So the answer to the question of whether climate denialism is morally worse than Holocaust denialism is no, at least, not yet…”

    Sound familiar Clive?

    …It was one of the most shocking slanders ever heard on the ABC…”

    No Kettle, that would be your “A letter to your father”.

    You. Are. A. Pathetic. Joke.

  • 11
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Yep, there it is at 8.05 am.

    Also having just read the comments, quite wrong. Kelly is a national treasure. Her show easily thrashes Adam Spencer local parallel for content and substance - not that it’s a competition really. The latter is Sienfeld in the long time state of ALP (just think Long Bay Gaol for public policy integrity), the former is a brain that would fill the hall of the Opera House (not that I’ve ever been), and usually questions faster than a metal storm patent.

    3rd day back from holiday for Ms Kelly and those early mornings like a shift worker. The 3rd day usually does it. But no I reckon I will skip the web link , in the shadow where it belongs.

  • 12
    Johnfromplanetearth
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Interesting how it all becomes unscientific when the other point of view is presented, well Clive Hamilton…debate Monckton, it’s simple get up there and confront him. You won’t of course because he will destroy you in about 30 seconds.

  • 13
    Mark Duffett
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    How do you reconcile

    Most of Australia’s leading climate scientists have declined requests to debate Monckton on air because they understand that debating him on the science carries the implication that Monckton is a scientist with something worthwhile to say.

    with

    …the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology have been missing in action. The Academies of Science have been silent too. It’s well past the time they roused themselves from their slumber and muscled up to those now ditching three centuries of science in favour of a fanatical belief.

    How do you ‘muscle up’ without debating? Bear in mind that scientific organisations and societies don’t really speak as corporate bodies, never have. The main burden of ‘muscling up’ would still have to fall on individual practitioners.

    It’s not as if climate denialists are the only ones ditching science for fanatical belief, either. Anti-vaccination activists spring to mind as well past due for their comeuppance, too.

  • 14
    Cavitation
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if Lord Monckton if really a performance artist. It seems that “Lord Monckton” is an english language translation of “Baron Münchhausen”, who he is clearly aping.

  • 15
    Stevo the Working Twistie
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    The Divine Ms Miranda loves Mad Monckton. I’ve spent most of the day trying to decide who comes out of that little tryst looking worse. Can you actually achieve negative credibility?

  • 16
    scot mcphee
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Tom I’ve got no idea how you can think the world of Kelly. She is the softest interviewer on the ABC. She’ll ask the same idiotic question repeatedly when clearly the interviewee is disinclined to answer and not modify her approach. Her smug idea of a “gotcha” question to a minister is typically just some dumb parrot of the News Ltd headline du jour, I’ve never heard her ask a thoughtful question in years of listening to her. She’ll give any old opposition thought-bubbles floating on for minutes at a time for “balance” and never seek to question whether they speak any sense or not. She is, in a word, a hack.

  • 17
    Julius
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    I heard Monckton on Ms Kelly’s program. She obviously attempted to make it a little bit difficult for a very practised performer. However, the real interest for me is how Clive Hamilton, who has to be accurate and honest if he has any claims on our attention about AGW, has discredited himself with his reporting of this morning’s broadcast. Listen or listen again if you are in doubt and compare CH’s extravagances.

    E.g. He merely gave Eugenics (which was not notably associated with Nazis until Hitler’s madness and wickedness took effect) and Lysenko’s agricultural science as examples of how long scientific ideas which were later thought to be all wrong could survive if supported by the state and its money. As to world government, he most pointedly drew attention to the failure of Western governments to check the draft treaty provisions which would have provided for a “world government” (he insists the concept is in there) to control economic life. And, if you were attempting to represent what he said fairly you would note his rejection, twice, of the word “conspiracy” while noting the self-interest of many players in the financial industry who have already (though he didn’t emphasise this) started to make money out of trading ETS cerificates and associated derivatives.

    It doesn’t really take his examples to show how scientific fashion can last a long time before it blows up. One of the better known recent ones was the cause of stomach ulcers, universally supposed by the medical profession including not least the specialists who made money out of it, to be caused by such factors as stress, but now known to be caused by helicobacter pylorus.

    Moreover, would it be unfair to suppose that the money specialists were making and the comfortable lives they were leading with that spending powere was a big reason why they didn’t do the research work which would have disclosed the truth?

  • 18
    scot mcphee
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    It doesn’t really take his examples to show how scientific fashion “

    Ahh. Scientific fashion. But why are we to believe a man (i.e. Monckton) who either:

    a) deliberately lies and distorts, or

    b) is completely ignorant of, the actual science and/or the process of science?

    He invents data. He cherry-picks other data. He in fact does libel and smear his opponents (he is after all, from the world of politics where I assume this sort of thing is usual).

    His lies: http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/moncktons-artful-graph/ and here are well-documented. He’s thouroughly refuted in every scientific sense. It’s a pity that modern day right-wing climate denialists and the journalists who are beguiled by them think that physics is somehow mediated via “debate”. Very post-modern of them.

  • 19
    scot mcphee
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I meant http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/moncktons-artful-graph/ and http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/05/moncktons-deliberate-manipulation/ … just for starters.

  • 20
    john2066
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    What’s hilarious is that as it gets close to actually doing something about climate change, actually paying a slight cost to change our behavior, the fossil fuel industry is coming out all guns blazing, with the usual suspects at the Australian “newspaper” geeing them up.

    I personally think we should just let it burn, and watch the morons deniers burn in their own filth. Yes it means we’ll be toast as well, but it would be worth it for the satisfaction.

    PS I’m still really annoyed at the selfish old fools who died from the vicious heatwave last year in Melbourne- clearly faking their own deaths to panic us! I’m sure if they had just read the ‘Australian’ they would have realized the heat was a leftist trick !

  • 21
    twobob
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    What sort of a fool would seek to defend the indefensible lies of lord pontification?

    That he is a liar is self evident and that he is given airtime on the ABC is a travesty.
    But still any and all who seek to use his pathetic name will be tarred with the same brush. If I were a denialist I would shudder but fools rush in dont they.

  • 22
    sblake
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    its simple.large ego meets large ego. The facts go out the window

  • 23
    David
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Scot I’m sure I’ve seen some of those graphs of Moncktons, or very very similar on Bolts blog. Surprise surprise.

  • 24
    Frank Campbell
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Shamilton the Recycler. Same old Savonarola diatribe. Pure ideology. Not a trace of journalism.

    And why assume that people take Thatcher relics like Mad Monckton seriously? You target him for very good reason, don’t you Clive? By lambasting Lord Freak you avoid the real issues of IPCC incompetence and the stench emanating from those 3000 emails (which neither you or Bernard Keane will ever read).

    Why does Crikey promote this continual content-free barrage? There’s not a hint of originality, wit or evidence…

    Is it just to get the Pro/Anti climate cult dogs barking again? Not a long-term survival strategy Crikey…

  • 25
    Frank Campbell
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Tom: “Where is a patriotic prostrate cancer service when needed?” Nice one. (I didn’t know parrots had prostates.)

  • 26
    epamis
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    I believe that Christopher Monckton’s claim of winning the Nobel Prize is tongue in cheek as he identified an error in the 2007 IPCC report where they claimed that sea level rises would be ten times what the quoted study suggested. The IPCC report was changed to correct this error therefore Monckton is ‘claiming’ some credit on the report and subsequent Nobel prize.

    It is a shame you have wasted so much time and energy on a personal attack rather than arguing the points he makes.

    Having read some of his material, he does not ‘deny’ climate change but raises the following:
    - Temperatures have been rising steadily since ~1850 as the planet exits a mini ice-age. The rate of temperature rise at the blade of the ‘Hockey Stick’ graph is no more significant than other temperature rises in history including the period from 1910 to 1940 - well before significant CO2 emissions.
    - The IPCC has hypothesised a number of ‘forcing’ mechanisms which magnify the generally understood impacts of CO2 on global temperatures. Monckton believes these have been exaggerated which results in much greater forecast temperatures than would otherwise occur.
    - The forecasts published by the IPCC are not being realised, with temperatures since the 1998 El Nino event particular being relatively stable. Even Phil Jones from the CRU’s figures suggest the trend for the past 10 years has been 0.17 degrees per century vs 4.7 degrees per century for the medium IPCC scenario.
    - The IPCC uniformly claims that global warming will result in negative outcomes for everything from sea level rises, mass extinctions, famine, more extreme weather, etc, etc. Historically, extreme cold has resulted in more extinctions and, more recently, greater human casualties through increases in infections diseases such as seasonal flus, etc. Plants actually grow more vigorously in high CO2 environments which will increase agricultural production and CO2 absorbsion.
    - Even if man-made CO2 emissions are having an impact on global temperatures, it is more sensible to a) wait to see the actual results of global warming, and b) invest in adapting human activity to suit the new environment.

    My personal view is that a single-minded focus on CO2 as the ‘bad guy’ is distracting from the real environmental issues such as pollution and dwindling natural resources, and more immediate concerns such as child povety and human rights abuses.

  • 27
    john2066
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Franks Back! Mr ‘They used to raise sheep in greenland, now they dont so global warmings a scam!’ raises his head again!

    Hey Frank, here’s a link to show you that they are growing more things than ever in Greenland:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article4791047.ece

    The simple fact is that global warming is an inconvenient fact which might costs the fossil fuel industry some money, so nothing will be done about it.

    Just once I’d like to see all the nong heads on here whinging about climate scientists actually look at the amount of money spent on lobbying etc by the fossil fuel industry against doing anything - it truly dwarfs what the green groups spend.

    But anyway, lets face facts - the lobbies and deniers have won ! and nothing will be done. Our main focus now should be that global warming deniers get the full rich feedback they so rightly deserve from the public as the full results come in!

  • 28
    nugget
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Julius
    Professor Barry Marshall, University of Western Australia Medical School. discovered the link
    between Heliobacter Pylori and stomach ulcers.
    He did this by infecting himself with the microorganisms then curing it because it was impossible to get the permission to experiment on patients.
    He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine so I believe you owe a little more respect.
    Doesn’t sound like a conspiracy amongst doctors and specialists to me.

  • 29
    Michael
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    I was at the Monckton function at NSW Club yesterday and whilst I detest his Monarchist views, his science was impeccable. No wonder Hamilton refuses to face him, he’d get slaughtered. The gig is clearly up for the Warm Mongers.

  • 30
    Tamas Calderwood
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    But Clive, you’re not a climate scientists either. Why can you bang on about this subject yet demand any sceptic be qualified in climate science before they can speak?

    And this is just gold: ” It’s well past the time they roused themselves from their slumber and muscled up to those now ditching three centuries of science in favour of a fanatical belief.”

    Uh huh. I agree. I just see it from the flip side and am rather glad that we sensible sceptics have now roused against this apocalyptic claptrap.

  • 31
    Barbara Boyle
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Barb

    Missed it ‘cos RN breafast pisses me off, for a number of reasons. It’s tragic,’cos I was an addict

  • 32
    tone47b
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Look, Fran Kelly is a lovely person I’m sure, and very earnest and sincere. But she is a lousy interviewer - she mangles her questions, talks over replies and seems to never actually listen to what people say anyway. So a snake-oil salesman like Mr (no imperialist titles here, thanks!) Monckton would walk all over her.

    I rarely get to hear the radio past 7:30, so I didn’t hear it, and I won’t bother listening online, either.

  • 33
    baal
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Miranda Devine tweeted today accusing Clive Hamilton of lies and Crikey of something for not pointing out he’s a ‘mad green’. Perhaps she means ‘mad’ in the sense of being a ‘mad’ cricket or football teal fan. A slur nonetheless. It seems the internet has ushered in endless opportunities for the unqualified to indulge in unlimited mutual abuse.

  • 34
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Well I actually wrote an essay on Lysenkoism, in Genetics class at ANU and I got a HD for the piece (I liked the politics): Monckton’s reliance as a precedent is easily distinguishable in my view further below

    By the by, even here Monckton is out of his depth given there is now limited scientific evidence for Lysenkoism to quote the wikipedia entry on epigenetics:

    The molecular basis of epigenetics is complex. It involves modifications of the activation of certain genes, but not the basic structure of DNA. Additionally, the chromatin proteins associated with DNA may be activated or silenced. This accounts for why the differentiated cells in a multi-cellular organism express only the genes that are necessary for their own activity. Epigenetic changes are preserved when cells divide. Most epigenetic changes only occur within the course of one individual organism’s lifetime, but, if a mutation in the DNA has been caused, some epigenetic changes are inherited from one generation to the next.

    Reference: V.L. Chandler (2007). “Paramutation: From Maize to Mice”. Cell 128 (4): 641–645. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2007.02.007. PMID 17320501.

    ……………….

    I doubt you can compare the history of science in the first decades of 20C (Lysenko 1920-30ies) even to 1950 with the modern scientific discipline: Instant communications, modern instruments, powerful mass media, fierce peer review and competition for funding for best research. The idea anyone could run a global fraud for very long isn’t plausible.

    The sniping at the edges of climate change proves nothing. For Monckton to reach back 80 years is desperate stuff.

    The truth I reckon is the IPCC has under reported dangerous climate change all along, and that’s very scary. Glaciers? Look at Kilimanjaro - it’s disappearing every year. North west passage with shipping. Farming in Greenland etc etc.

  • 35
    scot mcphee
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Epamis

    If Monckton can raise such a killer blow on the many years of published climate science (not just the IPCC) then he can write it up and get it published in a proper science journal. Neither ABC Radio National nor the “NSW Club” where Michael attests his so-called “impeccable” science has occurred is the venue in which actual science is carried out. He’s neither an actual scientist nor a ‘mathematician’ as Miranda Devine described him today. He’s a journalist and a political operator, nothing more.

    In other words, he’s a scientific fraud at least until the day his article is published in Nature.

    N.B. Tamas Calderwood, along with Clive, I am not a scientist either. However neither of us (at least I’m not) are trying to operate a deception in which we declare that science is a fraud and our own limited expertise trumps that of the overwhelming numbers of climate scientists. I’ll trust Nature et al over Monckton’s - and your own - lies and distortions any day of the week.

  • 36
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Fran Kelly is the business. Any federal parliament sitting day, it’s the insider forum, and the serious people are either on there or listening. If you don’t like it you’re probably off the pace ….my condolences. No doubt there are many real politik connections to traverse in order to get the sub culture/beltway but it’s real enough. An acquired taste I would say. Perhaps you don’t like her balance?

    Every Friday she has heavy hitters in the sector including other press gallery.

    One reason - it’s web referenced unlike say 702. So everyone knows they will have to wear it, including in parliament later that day.

    I can’t say I detect any of the specific criticisms mentioned above, excluding Monckton unheard. Once was enough Sydney 702 the day before with Deb Cameron, who did grill him.

  • 37
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    @Epamis,

    The so called plateau effect for 10 years, dubious. But even accepting, massive Chinese and Indian particulates (like size of Victoria smog, whacking South Korea, Japan) adding to ‘global dimming’ (see wikipedia, 4 corners) but not resolving the underlying GHG CO2 equivalent forcing. A catastrophe delayed.

    Meanwhile increase in record weather highs in Oz, reported in the news today.

    As for illness in warm areas - one dose of malaria in the tropics was quite enough thanks. And all the other invertebrate parasites that operate in warming. Which surely is why most hot countries suffer major economic and social disadvantage. Humans might think they rule the world but invertebrates really are masters of evolution, and our evolution too from inside out.

  • 38
    AR
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    JohnOffPlanet “it all becomes unscientific when the other point of view is presented,..” - think about why!

  • 39
    Tamas Calderwood
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Scot McPhee - well, you could try critically analysing the issue for yourself. But hey, if you want to take the oh so trustworthy IPCC and the “hide the decline” scientists on pure faith then go right ahead.

    Me, I’ll make my own judgement based on the fact that there has been no net warming since 1995 despite record human CO2 production and the fact that natural climate change has produced far warmer and colder periods in the past.

  • 40
    baal
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    how weak are we to think that Tamarsewood can keep reciting that line about ‘no net warming since 1995’ as the last word!!!

  • 41
    Julius
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    @Nugget. I am puzzled as to how to deal with your curious contribution. Should I be patient with the simple-minded, or impatient with one so discourteous that he doesn’t bother to read and understand.

    You say “Julius
    Professor Barry Marshall, University of Western Australia Medical School. discovered the link
    between Heliobacter Pylori and stomach ulcers.
    He did this by infecting himself with the microorganisms then curing it because it was impossible to get the permission to experiment on patients.
    He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine so I believe you owe a little more respect.
    Doesn’t sound like a conspiracy amongst doctors and specialists to me.

    Of course. I am well aware of Barry Marshall’s overthrow of the self-interested complacency which had ensured that many people who, if only the specialists had given a bit of time to scepticsm and research, had expensive and painful operations performed on them, often with lasting deleterious effects, when, as Barry Marshall and Robin Warren showed, they could have been cured with antibiotics. So…. and this is just for those who need things spelled out very simply, it is a pretty good example of people who are made comfortable by rivers of taxpayers’ (and, in that case, health fund contributors’) gold proceeding on their intellectually comfortable path without a spur to make them do better.

    I have read someone making a contrast between Exxon’s $35 million put into largely sceptical research and the considerably more than $30 billion paid by governments to aid the IPCC’s task of determining what to do about mitigation of the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, all premised on the basic James Hansen theory being right. Maybe there are flaws in that, major or minor, but that kind of point is not irrelevant to the credibility of the IPCC case, especially when there are glaring cases of self-interest like that of its President who is a well-paid partisan consultant whose livelihood would be undermined by refutation of the IPCC’s case.

  • 42
    j-boy57
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Monktons promoter on the “its crap tour downunder” tour,he of the twelve grandchildren was a doozy.
    These guys need as much airtime as possible they can’t go five minutes without invoking the spectre of the
    fourth riech.(didn’t the green movement originate in germany).
    Monkton needs an hour all of his own in prime time where he can enlighten us all on his views in detail.

  • 43
    Tamas Calderwood
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Oh - and check this latest consensus out: “Only one in four American Meteorological Society broadcast meteorologists agrees with United Nations claims that humans are primarily responsible for recent global warming, a survey published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society reports.”

    Sounds like a consensus to me - a sceptical one, that is.

  • 44
    scot mcphee
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Tamas,

    I can at least critically evaluate a claim like “no net warming since 1995” and see that it’s just pure bullshit. Why 1995? What’s special about 1994? What about if you include the data from 1994? 1996? 1992? 1987? 2003? Can you give me the “net warming” since … 2004? Or all these dates. Then tell me exactly what 1995 is so important?

    My “at least” critical evaluation filter - very finely attuned thank you very much - tells me anything that relies on accusations of “conspiracy”as a reason to explain away simple facts - like 9/11 truthers, no-moon-landings, and birthers, are 9-nines full of crap. And my critical analysis filters also tell me that climate change denialists argue using the exact same rhetorical stratagems as creationists - anti-science, anti-fact, anti-reality.

  • 45
    Julius
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a prediction that I haven’t got from anywhere but logic. Abbott’s alternative policy on CO2 reduction will be based on trees (and perhaps a bit of biochar).

    He’s ruled out a carbon tax and an ETS. No one can take CO2 sequestration seriously, at least as less than a long term measure. So it has to be sequestration in vegetation, with lots of help from Indonesians and PNG people willing to sell their land for reforestation or their forests for preservation, or just a willngness to be paid to do the regrowing or maintenance themselves. Australin reforestation will have to be a big part of it too.

    It seems reasonable to suppose that Indonesia and PNG wouldn’t raise any objections that they haven’t already raised to their nationals (or governments) being paid full price for assets which actually remain in a condition which is good for them for a number of reasons such as employment and wildlife conservation. Therefore that part of any such policy can’t be written off with derision.

    In any battle of fudged figures and failed policies it is far from obvious that Abbott would come off worse than Rudd amongst increasingly sceptical voters who will would like to believe that there might be a pretty painless win-win solution to a problem that probably won’t appear to have the urgency that last year’s fires gave it for some people.

  • 46
    Tamas Calderwood
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Scot Mcphee - we have 31 years of satellite temperature data. It shows that the world warmed from 1979 - 1998 and then started cooling. I chose 1995 because a linear regression back to that date shows no net warming (it shows cooling if only I go back to 1998). If you go back to 1979 it shows 0.39C of net warming.

    So put it all together and what the temperature record shows is that the world warmed for about 15 years in the 80’s and 90’s and just as China, India and the emerging markets really hit their stride and humans really started horking out the CO2… the world stopped warming.

    How on Earth is that a truther, moon landing conspiracy theory equivalent? Doesn’t it raise questions about the theory?

    Y2K, Swine flu, SARS, Bird Flu, Mad cow disease - Scot, there have been plenty of apocalyptic scares that were false. Global warming is another.

  • 47
    scot mcphee
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Broadcast meterologists? TV WEATHERMEN? The same lot that denialists castigate with “they can’t predict the weather a week out how can they predict the climate”. You know, but I am not a real doctor I just play one on television.

    Of course, after you finish with the “there’s no warming meme” you’ll move onto “but humans didn’t cause it” to “there’s nothing we can do about it” or like Julius maybe go to “reducing actual carbon output is no salve for it”. And around and around.

    Just like creationists. First fables and misrepresentations: “the eye is so complex and perfect it HAS to be designed”; outright lies: “there’s no fossil record”; denial: “it’s not reliable”; “your dates are wrong”; then confusions about ‘proof’ and ‘scientific method’: “its not proven beyond all doubt that X”; “not all scientists agree X”; then pointless demands to prove arbitrary, non-essential, or endlessly recursive issues: “show me the missing link between arbitrary x and arbitrary y”; finally a statement of pure ideology which shows the speaker can never be convinced otherwise: “GOD PUT THEM FOSSILS THAR TA FOOL TEH UNBELIEVERS” … then hoping everyone’s forgotten the original sequence of arguments, recursion).

  • 48
    Tamas Calderwood
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Um… ok Scot. Do you have any arguments that relate to the actual temperature record?

  • 49
    scot mcphee
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    I chose 1995 because a linear regression back to that date shows no net warming”

    Exactly, thank you. You chose that date because it supports the conclusion you wish to make. In other words, you have a ideological problem with the facts.

    I get the point about apocalyptic predictions. But as far as I’m aware, active steps were taken to mitigate each and every one of those proposed calamities. Therefore, what would have happened had nothing been done cannot be predicted with reliability. Maybe climate change won’t be as bad as we think. Maybe we’re doing the wrong thing about it. But they are different arguments to saying “it does not exist”, when the scientific consensus is that it does.

    The point remains, you and Monckton have an ideological conviction that “science is wrong”. Monckton lies about it - his graphs are a proven farrago. None of that is scientific skepticism, it’s just ideological dogma.

  • 50
    Tamas Calderwood
    Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Scot - just to clarify, the temperature jumped up in 1998 then crashed down the following year, which sort of cancelled the 1998 peak out on an average. That means you can do a regression back to 1995 that shows no net warming.

    I have actually done a regression back to every year from now until 1979. The warming trend only shows up if you go back past 1995.

    Don’t you think that’s strange? More CO2 is meant to mean more warming, yet it doesn’t show up in the temperature record.

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