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TV & Radio

Apr 6, 2011

The 7PM Project and a dose of climate misinfotainment

The 7PM Project’s producers went looking for conflict and argument and in so doing, failed its audience, writes journalist Graham Readfearn.

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On Monday evening between 7-7.30, about 755,000 everyday Australian television viewers were told by two people that emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels wasn’t worth worrying about.

Two other people, told them that it was.

During the four-minute segment on Channel Ten’s flagship “infotainment” show The 7PM Project, there was claim and counter-claim about the role of carbon dioxide on the greenhouse effect.

“Will the estimated $863 annual bill [from a carbon tax] actually see temperatures fall any time soon?” asked host Charlie Pickering, with no hint of irony.

After the segment was shown, on-air panelist Tracey Curro, a communications consultant and Al Gore-trained climate presenter, turned to her three co-presenters with a look of despair. “You would think from that sort of reporting that the evidence was equally divided … and it’s not,” she said.

Almost everything that is wrong with the way climate change is being presented for public consumption was condensed into those four minutes of pre-recorded material.

The show’s producers went looking for conflict and argument and in so doing, failed its audience. Entertaining? Perhaps. Enlightening? No. Damaging? Certainly.

But back to the segment, where Dr Steve Rintoul, a lead researcher at CSIRO, and Professor Tim Flannery, Australia’s new Climate Change Commissioner argued that burning fossil fuels was having a significant negative impact on the climate.

Arguing broadly the opposite were News Ltd columnist Andrew Bolt and University of Newcastle associate Professor Stewart Franks, who has been claiming for some years that CO2 is not the devil it’s made out to be and once described Flannery as being among those “most ignorant” of the climate change issue.

During the segment, Franks said carbon dioxide was a “very minor component of the greenhouse effect” and believed it’s role had been “exaggerated”. Tim Flannery said there was a 90% certainty that humans were responsible for “global warming”.

Andrew Bolt said humans were responsible for “a bit” but the question was how much, how bad it would be and whether we should do anything.

Just who we were supposed to believe, the viewers were not told.

Speaking to Crikey yesterday, Curro said she had seen the prerecorded segment during the day’s production meeting, just a couple of hours before the live show.

“I was the first to comment on it, and that comment was that I felt like throwing my glasses at the television screen. The reaction of the editorial staff in that room was ‘– ‘well do that [on air] if that’s how you feel’.”

Curro said she was encouraged to vent her frustration when the segment was broadcast during the live show, which she did.

“I can’t believe that we are still asking the same question and what dismays me is that time and time again the way this issue is reported in the media suggests that the evidence is evenly divided, and clearly it’s not,” she told Crikey. “The good thing about 7PM is that it’s a forum where there’s time to make that kind of comment.”

Speaking generally about how climate change is being reported in the media, Curro commented that science was not leading the debate.

“There are a million sources of frustration around this issue and how it plays out on the public stage. The false balance in the reporting — I just despair that we really have not moved on.”

Steve Rintoul, who was featured in the segment, shared Curro’s frustrations. While he said the show had been fair in reporting his own comments, he said the way it had split the issue into two opposing halves “could lead people to think there’s an even split in the scientific community.”

He said: “In terms of where the science stands, the case for CO2 increasing and that it has changed the climate is overwhelming — in terms of the size of the evidence.

“There is some risk that this gives the impression that things are more uncertain than they are. It is very easy to sell confusion.

“What’s frustrating for me personally is that we have some tough choices to make in Australia and globally and making effective choices is not made easier if people are cherry-picking particular pieces of evidence to reach a preconceived position. We don’t have time for that.

“The reason that climate scientists are so convinced that human activities have caused the change is the accumulated raft of evidence from observations of the climate.”

Playing on the public’s ignorance of the important nuances of climate science, associate professor Franks stridently claimed that if Australia did cut emissions by 5%, this reduction in CO2  would have “no impact on Australian climate” and would not stop floods, droughts or cyclones or do anything for global temperatures.

Professor Franks is, of course, right. But this misses the point. The Earth’s climate system, complex beast that it is, cannot distinguish between CO2 emitted in Australia or anywhere else.

To hint that the climate system should dutifully dole out benefits proportionate to a country’s efforts to cut emissions is as ridiculous as it is misleading.

Just a few hours before The 7PM Project went to air, Professor Steve Sherwood, of the University of New South Wales, spoke to a conference in Cairns of leading Australian climate researchers about uncertainties in climate predictions and the role of clouds and water vapour.

He said that associate professor Franks’ assertion that water vapour was a “minor component” of the greenhouse effect was “very misleading”.

“CO2 is the main agent of change. CO2 is under human control. When we increase CO2 it may only be 25 per cent of the total greenhouse effect but that’s all you need to drive a change in water vapour or cloud effects.”

He said none of the guests invited to speak on the Channel Ten segment were actually atmospheric scientists. Producers and journalists were not paying enough attention to the credentials of guests, he argued.

“It’s infuriating, of course,” he said. “It is preposterous the way this is going and it’s certainly infuriating to those of us that actually study the problem.

“I think that is a great failing of the media. I consistently see people being interviewed whose credentials are not appropriate for the questions they are being asked.”

Professor Andy Pitman, co-director of the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre, reviewed the segment and told Crikey: “According to the material broadcast, Franks is confused on the water vapor feedback. The feedback relevant to global warming only acts on a forcing. That forcing is human CO2 emissions. Without the human CO2 emissions there is no additional water vapor feedback.

“Franks would know this and it is unfortunate that he or Channel 10 only highlights a fraction of the relevant science and omits the requirement for balance.”

Crikey contacted The 7PM Project yesterday but was told the show’s executive producer was unavailable at short notice due to meetings.

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85 comments

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85 thoughts on “The 7PM Project and a dose of climate misinfotainment

  1. danr

    Hot air from the cities rises and dissipates its energy into the giant sink of deep space.

    The planets atmosphere does not show any temperature increase related to this process.

  2. danr

    Cities are warming.

    The planet is NOT.

    Equilibrium rules.

  3. danr

    Yes DDangle.

    I agree with you on that. There has to be a time lag.

    To be honest I have not looked closely at that graph of CO2 vs time but from memory it does shoot up rather amazingly.

    In my last post what I left unsaid was the possibility that the sort of variation we are seeing now ie up to 390 ppm CO2 from about 280 ppm in about 1860 is just normal flux that has always occurred.

    This type of variation probably wouldn’t be picked up in older data going back hundreds of thousands of years but the actually event (CO2 var) may have been present nevertheless.

    You have raised an interesting point.

    My point about the sausages may have seemed a bit stupid but there is a need to examine inputs and outputs to any system. Rate changes of inputs etc makes for a more complex problem.

    I would assume that vegetation, trees , undergrowth etc would soak up CO2 quickly but other mechanisms may be much slower. eg Acidic rain decomposing rock to runoff as Ca to oceans where the Ca neutralizes CO2 and locks it up as carbonate.

    Still the human component of CO2 added to atm is only a small fraction of total CO2 and that is what’s rising; total CO2.

    Any more ideas? Interesting.

  4. d.dangle

    Danr: I think you misunderstand my point. I don’t dispute that much of current greenhouse gas emissions are quite unrelated to human activity (at least directly). My point, rather, is that our small contribution has been made suddenly; almost instantaneously on the timescale of the natural variations. The response behaviour of complex systems (such as the climate) can depend strongly on not only the magnitude of changes, but also on the rate at which those changes are made. Thus the reaction of the climate to changing levels of carbon dioxide can be expected to be different when the change occurs slowly or rapidly. Assuming a linear correlation between the proportion of carbon dioxide emitted and its impact on the climate is incorrect.

  5. danr

    Quantifying things is important.

    eg. My mates and I ate 10,000 kg of sausages last week.

    This statement does not quantify important detail in the same way that much “climate science” omits important detail.

    If I say that I only had two mates, you would probably guess that we had no chance of eating that amount of meat. I must be lying.

    The truth is it was a Scout camp way back, and we did eat nearly a kilo of sausages each over that week, all 10,000 of us.

    The point is that over 96% of that spike in CO2 was natural when the quantities are brought into the picture.

    This demonstrates not much about man but a lot about the variability of natural processes.

  6. danr

    Hi DDangle.

    “Over a much shorter timescale, we have dug up these remains and burnt them, releasing that same carbon back into the atmosphere. Hence, the spike in carbon dioxide concentration.”

    I can see the logic but care is needed.

    Anthropogenic (man-made) CO2 represents only 3.2% of all greenhouse gases (if water is excluded.) The real figure is actually much lower because water is the major, dominant greenhouse gas.

    So if only 3.2% of this spike is man made what made the rest.

    Nature..

    Volcanoes, submarine vents, soil bacteria etc.

  7. d.dangle

    Danr: You ask if the carbon dioxide spike is man-made. It is clear to see that at least part of it must be. Large quantities of carbon were absorbed by living organisms some hundreds of millions of years ago. The carbon-rich remains of these organisms were then subsumed into the Earth as they perished, their carbon then undergoing reactions driven by underground heat and pressure to form coal (from plant remains) and oil (from marine organisms). Over a much shorter timescale, we have dug up these remains and burnt them, releasing that same carbon back into the atmosphere. Hence, the spike in carbon dioxide concentration.

  8. danr

    Tones9 you are being a bit hard?

    “Ratel are you intentionally misleading or just stupid?”

    I don’t think he is either but just another victim of someone elses greed and lust for Global power, fame and recognition.

    Everyone has been conned by the concept of science supporting CO2 Incineration Models.

    The originators of this myth, Trenberth, Mann etc plus uninformed news commentators are the ones who need bringing to account.

  9. danr

    DDangle

    Good to see some useful science there but when you speak of “Our relatively small contribution to carbon dioxide emission rates has occured as a sharp spike on top of what is a large but mostly unchanging baseline,” I’m not so sure.

    Is this spike man made? It would seem unlikely when the relative quantities from all sources are compared.

    The points about equilibrium are excellent.

    Given the turbulent nature of our Earths crust and the size and frequency of disturbances we are always moving towards equilibrium but are fated to never quite get there.

    There are two future equilibria to look forward to.

    The first is when Earths internal heat is exhausted and we get to live on a cold (internally) stable planet and the second is much later (500 million years) when the sun collapses are we are engulfed in the inferno.

  10. danr

    Yes, it is disturbing for some people to see Stewart Franks on TV commenting on the correct science of the Global Warming myth.

    It is also disturbing for others to see the patronizing comments from people who want to rubbish him when they either know he is correct or worse still think they in full possession of the facts.

    Professor Andy Pitman for example says: “According to the material broadcast, Franks is confused on the water vapor feedback. The feedback relevant to global warming only acts on a forcing. That forcing is human CO2 emissions. Without the human CO2 emissions there is no additional water vapor feedback.”

    The feedback referred to is a concept based on early work by Kiehl-Trenberth which shows that the “scientists” involved in its production have a poor understanding of thermodynamics and the role played by CO2 in heat exchange in the air.

    It would have been a simple matter for them to have passed the model over to someone qualified in thermodynamics or physics to set right.

    Perhaps the reason this was not done is because CO2 is not involved in the runaway Global Warming model they want portrayed and the whole base of their argument would have been demolished.

    So it is a little bit rich then to say : “Franks would know this and it is unfortunate that he or Channel 10 only highlights a fraction of the relevant science and omits the requirement for balance.”

    Like all mainstream scientists Franks would NOT “know this” because it is not correct science. All mainstream scientist know this and Franks is not alone.

    As for the “money” he is supposed to have taken – big deal. I think he would be financially better off if he gave up Hydro – Climatology and became a :Climate Scientist”.

    Perhaps he has principles. Unusual.

  11. Shooba

    “Just who we were supposed to believe, the viewers were not told.”

    Ummm… this is a good thing.

    Instead of effectively sticking their fingers in their ears denying there is such a thing as sceintific debate surrounding AGW, the 7PM Project actually showed both sides. I applaud them wholeheartedly. Balance is vital in journalism. Sure, if you’re reporting on a convicted mass-murderer, be angry and don’t feel the need to be balanced. But on something where ligitimate debate is being waged by some (even though most people on either side of the debate appear incapable of even acknowledging the debate exists!) the media should be giving relatively balanced coverage such as this.

  12. d.dangle

    The discussion in these comments regarding the fraction of CO2 emissions that can be attributed to humans, rather than natural processes, seems to have ignored the crucial concept of equilibrium. Carbon is continually cycled between atmospheric and nonatmospheric forms by the Earth. The result is that an equilibrium concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide is established, balancing out the rates at which carbon is emitted and sinked. Our relatively small contribution to carbon dioxide emission rates has occured as a sharp spike on top of what is a large but mostly unchanging baseline, on the timescale of modern human activity. This sudden spike results in rapid changes to the mechanisms which are influenced by atmospheric carbon concentrations, and this alters the climate, which is simply the complex system resulting from the interplay of these various elements. The Earth will undoubtedly re-establish equilibrium, but it may do so outside of the Goldilocks zone which we as a species currently comfortably inhabit.

  13. tones9

    Ratel are you intentionally misleading or just stupid?

    Stewart Franks is a “paid spokesperson for Big Coal.”

    Oooohhhhhh. Sounds scary.

    Of course I expected your link to show evidence of payment for speaking on behalf of a coal mining company. How wrong could I be?
    The link is to a green blog.
    That links to Franks grant history.
    He is a hydro-climatologist. He studies hydro-climate. Many have paid grants to his university to do this study. They include Hunter Water Corp, Sydney Catchment Authority – Big Water, Univ of Newcastle – Little University, and Australian research Council – Big Government.
    Is Franks a paid spokesperson for Big Water, Big Government and Little University?
    Another is Macquarie Generation. Owned by the state of NSW. Is Franks a spokesperson for Big ALP Corruption?
    “Macquarie Generation is pleased to announce the expansion of their solar thermal energy project.”
    Is Franks a paid spokesperson for Big Solar?

    Ratel is a spokesperson for Big Green Lies.

  14. Frank Campbell

    Ratel: Interesting. I checked the link to S. Franks. Vested interests like his should be disclosed of course. Odd, because it’s so easy to check up. He uses his real name, unlike you and the rest of the Crikey Burqa Knitting Circle.

    Franks’ bias doesn’t affect my post at all.

  15. Superdry

    What troubles me in this entire process is the role of Gina R in all of this. Any person of average intelligence who is paying attention will notice her influence in 7PM’s story and the entire direction of Channel 10.

    From Andrew Bolt’s sudden rise as a Fox news style commentator, essentially becoming a mouthpiece for anything not global warming on Channel 10, to her periodical ‘opinion’ pieces popping up on fairfax papers (the last one of which, was a doozy – talking about bringing in people from China or some other SEA country to cheapen up labour costs, the problems of which I’m not even going to bother with in this comment), it’s pretty obvious what’s happening.

    What bothers me is that shows which put themselves up as being ‘contemporary’ like 7pm are peddling this rubbish in the first place. But again, its all got to do with this new direction being taken with the new owners of Channel 10. Shame really.

  16. Ratel

    I am sick of seeing STEWART FRANKS on these panel discussions, posing as a disinterested scientist. He is a paid spokesperson for Big Coal. Read this report to find out more.

  17. Bill

    Kevin Rudd, minutes of Caucus June 24 2010: “Equally strong was the advice from Wayne and Julia that the emissions trading scheme had to be abandoned. And this was a collective decision, a decision, however, for which I am responsible.”

    Juliar does NOT believe nor support “putting a price on carbon” and in climate change. She is a hypocrite and is a liar, she has no credibility in this debate and government policy whatsoever. And that’s what this debate and proposal is all about, pricing CO2 emissions. if the prime minister does not support nor believe in the policy their own party is pursuing, then what is the point? Really, that’s where the buck stops.

  18. Johnfromplanetearth

    It doesn’t matter anymore as Tim Flannery has gone to the dark side of the force and now believes we should all live like Ants! This from our new climate commissioner! They have gone completely mad in Canberra, we are governed by imbeciles! The arrogance of of some humans who believe all of this gaff is more astounding than our actual existence at all. We are so insignificant, so minor a detail in Earth history that within a very short time of our species ultimate demise that no trace of us will be found within a thousand years! We have been here a mere blink of the eye in the overall time scale of Earth history, yet some humans actually believe we created the place all by ourselves! Oh how mother nature laughs at us all as she has her finger on the trigger just waiting to do away with us all whenever she feels like it. The climate debate is a great study in the absurdity of human behaviour.

  19. danr

    How can Andrew Bolt say that man made global warming is not real when governments have spent billions worldwide to research the problem.

    There are thousands of PHDs who know that AGW is very real and will lead to runaway global temperatures far too soon for us and our children.

    As was stated on channel 10 a few nights back “Australia has the worst carbon pollution record in the developed world” and we must take action now”.

    A CPRS as outlined at the Copenhagen CCCC is the only way out.

  20. danr

    Someone else:

    “and get on the telli”

    Me: Don’t have to. Bolt does it for me.

  21. Clytie

    It’s way too late to talk about bringing the global temperature down. The best we can hope for is stopping it rising too far.

    Yes, I’ve kept up with the research.

    That’s the easy part. The hard part is dealing (in the mainstream) with all the emotive name-calling and what appears to be deliberate obfuscation.

    *sigh* How long will we all argue about doing something, before actually doing something?

    I have grandchildren. I’d really like them to have a future.

  22. Adam B

    It surprises me that the 7PM project did an ‘indepth’ investigation that lasted more than 2 minutes! So unlike the show. Surprised Charlie didn’t fall asleep!

  23. Pdaddy

    I find it bizarre that people except a piece of legilsation to actually effect the earth’s temperature. Of course once the carbon tax is passed there won’t be a sudden drop in the earth’s temperature, has anyone ever claimed that??

    It is one of the great denier con jobs to try and link a piece of policy to temperature.

    The tax is there in many ways to bring about a change in behaviour and this change in behaviour may after a whole host of other reforms help us from crossing the rubicon.

    It’s like anti-smoking legisaltion doesn’t stop people smoking it just encourages them to change their behaviour.

    Of course Australia’s goals in carbon reduction are so p+ssweak it is unlikely to cause a massive change. But can you imagine the hoopla if the Government tried meaningful reform.

    John64 sums it up best with his question ending in “anytime soon”. Today if it isn’t happening next week our brains can’t process it.

    This is a truly deluded nation, just look how many people think we are the first country to try work this stuff out.

  24. danr

    Actually your idea “we need to selective use of napalm” could solve the CO2 problem.

    Much CO2 comes from biologically active organisms in the soil.

    If vast tracts of soil were napalmed it would prevent CO2 production for some time thereafter.

    Soil sterilization.

    Could be a good sized grant in that guys.

  25. danr

    Yes its true.

    The silent majority, for whom I speak, because they’re too shy, don’t trust the AGW idea.

    Political science.

    They teach courses in that.

  26. don

    I am not sure who you are DANR but what you are asserting is absolutely and utter bull dust. If you have all the quals and you are so sure of your evidence base why not disclose who you are and get on the telli so we can enlightened by your supreme intellect and superior scientific method. People like you need to stump up with the empirical evidence to prove your theories or disprove others or it’s simply clap trap and opinion.

    I am happy to have the proof laid out in front of me so please do so. The disclosure from science on this has been exhaustive and peer reviewed. Almost nothing can be claimed from the other side of this debate. So accusing the scientific community of fraud is ok if you have the evidence to back it up.

    Sorry bu this is type of comment while free is exactly the type of tripe people use to justify an unjustifiable opinion. Conspiracy theories are hard to disprove because they rely on mystery. They are almost exclusively wrong when analysed

  27. don

    Come on… Are people for real …decenting views yes but the context in which they are presented is another thing all to gether. There is little on no debate about the core elementes of the science except withing a fringe segment of scienctists. So yes they are more then eltitied to their view but their view seems to be given more weight and more time them the clearly suppported scientific position. As for Bolt he is neither balanced qualified or credible on the issue so I can’t understdn why he even gets air play at all on the subject.

    Here’s the rub anyone can believe what they wish and comment accordingly. News and information however should not allow opinuon to outweight the factual context and basis that surrounds the comment or assertions. Giving equal time is one thing giving equal wieght is another. If you actually had half a brain you would also realise that scientists are not assering that action will intitn cause a reduction they are asserting that if there is no action it will get worse so we need to act so scenario is controlled. The only people perpetuaating the line will it reduce anything are the Bolts who are using a straw man argument to prove a point that atually does not exist. It’s an argument that doesn’t hold water and is not relevant to the context of the science or the actions being requested. I lsited to the 3AW interview wth Flannery and Bolt asked that question whicg Fannery answered openly but then preceeded to talk over him so he could not qualify why that was irrelivant. Those that think this is about a difference of opinion about the facts are delluded or dishonest. It is misinformation to protray a point of view as equal in the face of the evidence showing they are not. Open debate I welcome, biased debate is something esle and the 7 pm project projected this debate as one where the evidence is in dispute when cleary and unequivically they are not.

    This debate has been hijacked for ignorant political motives and is not open or balanced. You can choice to beleive what you like but I will base my views on the weight of evidence and scientific opinion. Otherwise I may as well not go sailing for fear that the decenting views presented by the flat earth society would see me fall of the end of the earth.

  28. Frank Campbell

    “associate professor Franks stridently claimed that if Australia did cut emissions by 5%, this reduction in CO2 would have “no impact on Australian climate” and would not stop floods, droughts or cyclones or do anything for global temperatures.

    Professor Franks is, of course, right. But this misses the point. The Earth’s climate system, complex beast that it is, cannot distinguish between CO2 emitted in Australia or anywhere else.”

    (I love the adjectival bias, don’t you? “stridently claimed”…how about “staunchly maintained”? Or “said”.)

    We’re told in this piece (as tendentious as anything that flows from the gaping mouth of Bolt) that “it’s easy to sell confusion”.

    As usualy, climate millenarianism is its own worst enemy: conflating “the science” with policy. We all know that policy was and is a comic shambles, from insulation batts to Green Loans, from billions wasted on domestic solar and wind to the anguished tangle of the “carbon tax”.

    Franks does not “miss the point”. The policy point is – why should a country with 1% of emissions twist itself into knots to reduce emissions by 5%? A vast increase in CO2 emissions is already certain because of India, China etc. This doesn’t mean Australia should do nothing, but bullying the polity into a morass of unintended consequences is (at least) counter-productive. Look at the polls, you fools.

  29. John64

    This article is fun because it contains a number of Classic Climate Change Debate tropes:

    1. The skeptic / denier is actually right (it doesn’t matter about what, as long as they’re right about something, usually central to the question that was actually asked): “Professor Franks stridently claimed that if Australia did cut emissions by 5%, this reduction in CO2 would have “no impact on Australian climate” and would not stop floods, droughts or cyclones or do anything for global temperatures. Professor Franks is, of course, right.”

    2. Opponents claim the qualified skeptic / denier who works at a University isn’t a “climate scientist” and therefore knows nothing (raising the question that if University Professors don’t know what they’re talking about – how are the rest of us supposed to understand this): “none of the guests invited to speak on the Channel Ten segment were actually atmospheric scientists”.

    3. We learn that the science isn’t settled (again, it doesn’t matter over what detail, as long as there’s something that’s still unsettled): “We don’t know everything”. Wait, wasn’t there a consensus? Wasn’t the “science settled”? How can it be settled if “we don’t know everything”?

    All of that plays *beautifully* into the hands of the denier / skeptic side. “So you’re telling me the University Professor doesn’t know what he’s talking about but he was right when he said there’s stuff that we don’t know and he’s right when he said that other thing about temperature – but you’re telling me he’s wrong?” And then you scratch your head and wonder why the average punter still doesn’t want to pay a carbon tax… while apparently sixty billion scientific articles and eighty trillion scientists and over 9000% of everyone asked who’s qualified to be asked these things agrees.

    … and what was the original question that started this: “Will the estimated $863 annual bill [from a carbon tax] actually see temperatures fall any time soon?”. I’d like to ask 9 climate scientists and 1 denier that question. Why do I get the feeling the answer will be a resounding “No” from all 10 of them? For bonus points, cut the last three words off and ask the question again. You’ll still hear “No” from all 10.

  30. Pdaddy

    I was going to reply to the usual guff from the skeptics claiming “What about freedom of speech” “oh we have for once had a skeptic on TV” and then DANR delusional ranting. But honestly why bother, I now disagree with the carbon tax, we don’t need it, want we need to selective use of napalm.

    I used to be concerned that people were so willfully ignorant, but now you just have to laugh.

    I’m off to buy shares in aluminum foil, those hat sales are likely to keep on selling.

    Just to cap it off, DANR, can you claim you are part of the “silent majority” they would fill my bingo card and make my day.

  31. Slammin

    Someone needs to inform Mr Bolt, and many other contributors to this debate, of the difference between propaganda and journalism. Bolt’s problem is that he is far too happy to disguise the former as the latter.

  32. danr

    The Inconvenient Science.

    Man is responsible for CO2 being put into the air.

    That is true.

    Nature also puts in CO2. That is true.

    Human made CO2 accounts for 0.75% of the total greenhouse effect.

    That is true.

    The Earths temperature rose 0.8 C deg since 1860 we are told.

    Therefore human activity is responsible for 0.006 C deg of that change.

    WOW

    Aren’t we humans powerful.

    p.s. Dont let anyone else find out about this or Global Warming hysteria may have to be cancelled.

  33. danr

    Hi Roquefort Muckraker

    What did all that have to do with the “CO2 did it” theory.

    Just more camouflage.

    Be more incisive please.

  34. danr

    Hey dude

    “It would help to know what your training is”

    My training is more than adequate, what about yours.

    I have certainly more qualifications than Dr Steve Rintoul to comment on this issue.

    Keep whistling.

  35. danr

    Bill

    You are right. The issue has been deliberately made to look comlex to hide the truth.

    The truth about man made CO2 and its effect is very simple but not really useful to the AGW brigade.

    Man made CO2 has control of about 0.75 % of the Earths greenhouse effect.

    Lies will be told.

    False residence times will be quoted that are based on isotopic analysis of C but these are deliberately misrepresented.

  36. danr

    Hi Just Me

    This is not a scientific debate.

    It’s a political debate.

    If it was just a scientific debate then Universities would not have been blessed with separate faculties called Faculty of Climate Change.

    These new departments simply ride on the back of the basic research done by others and coordinate a new theory called AGW aka death by CO2.

  37. monkeywrench

    DANR, the denialist meme machine. What crap you talk. I’ll give you a hundred bucks to take fifteen lungfulls of Carbogen at 70% oxygen to 30% CO2 if you think it’s that harmless a gas.

  38. danr

    Adam

    It is unfortunate that most of the “misinformed, unqualified and scientifically illiterate” are the proponents of Man Made Global Warming.

    It is rubbish science.

  39. danr

    Jimmy

    “That isn’t true, the coailtion policy is that climate change is real and it is man made. It isn’t even true to say one whole side of politics is against a price on carbon because under Turnball they were for it and he was only rolled by one vote (and one of his supporters was on her sick bed at the time).

    Consider:

    Politicians want votes. Go gettem guys.

    Turnbull was once the Australian General Manager of one of the largest US investment banks. Carbon Trading was one of their big items.

    ALWAYS. Look for the money trail.

    Perhaps that last phrase should have read:

    (and one of his supporters was an anonymous Bank Executive).

  40. danr

    Jim

    Your comment :

    “And the reality is that over 90% of qualified scientists in the areas of climatology and ocean temperatures and ice caps and all other areas actually to do with climate and world temperatures – they argue that it IS happening, it is dangerous, and humans are contributing to it.”

    Qualified scientists like Stewart Franks and most of mainstream science would seriously take issue at being portrayed by non scientists as being part of the famed 90%.

    These real scientists each study a small area of a large problem; Climate.

    Algore, some politician, a WWF executive or Green Activist then takes small parts of their work to create an appearance of “Man Made Global Warming”.

    An abuse of science.

    Any real scientist can see how dopey the CO2 thing is. Most of them would be laughing out loud except hat their grant or job might be put at risk.

    This is not science, it’s politics.

  41. Roquefort Muckraker

    Apologies to DANR, that was KERRY LOVERING who was on about plate tectonics.

  42. danr

    More on the misquote:

    The error which I appeared to make above was actually in the article text as follows:

    “He said that associate professor Franks’ assertion that water vapour was a “minor component” of the greenhouse effect was “very misleading”.”

    Stewart Franks was misquoted by the writer.

    It should have read:

    “He said that associate professor Franks’ assertion that carbon dioxide was a “minor component” of the greenhouse effect was “very misleading”.”

  43. danr

    Look at the Bolt interview again.

    He clearly stated that man did make a contribution to CO2 in the atmosphere.

    He asked us to consider what percentage of CO2 made by humans was present in Earths atmosphere and what temperature change resulted from this.

    Lastly he suggested that any effort to reduce CO2 of human origin in the atmosphere would be pointless and counterproductive.

    Maybe not in those words but, that was the message.

    By comparison Stewart Franks was very forthright in his comments as would be expected from a professional scientist speaking on his area of expertise.

    The issue of CO2 has been deliberately clouded by “Climate Scientists” through the promotion of laboratory type science to the exclusion of real world analysis.

    The real Greenhouse accelerant is Di-Hydrogen Monoxide.

    Perhaps we would have more success at controlling the temperature if we limited this dangerous atmospheric pollutant?

  44. Roquefort Muckraker

    DANR
    Posted Wednesday, 6 April 2011 at 8:53 pm | Permalink
    Misquoted Stewart Franks above.

    He said “carbon dioxide was a “very minor component of the greenhouse effect”

    A statement with which I agree.

    Water is the major component.

    ——————————————————————————

    This is really interesting statement. DANR is spot on when he says water vapor is the major greenhouse gas. But let’s not let him get away with this. In an earlier post he poo-poo’s (yes poo-poo’s) human generated CO2 as an insignificant contributor to climate change. He wants you to believe that because CO2 is so small that it has a negligible impact. Yet, his rhetorical trick fails. Small does not equate to unimportance. After all water vapor makes up less than 1% of atmospheric gas.

    So, DANR wants it both ways. Small quantities and numbers count when it’s water vapor, but don’t count when it’s carbon dioxide.

    Small quantities of some atmospheric gases, no matter the source, according to many scientists have big consequences. This is true for water and CO2.

  45. Roquefort Muckraker

    DNR, sorry I couldn’t resist this one either. You write “Firstly Stewart Franks is a highly professional hydrologist who knows what nature is about. The water vapour cycle is his main area of expertise.”

    Please tell me what a “highly professional hydrologist” is versus a “somewhat professional hydrologist”, or even a “slightly professional hydrologist.” And while you’re at it why don’t you explain your credentials that allow you to distinguish between a highly, somewhat an slightly professional hydrologist.

  46. Roquefort Muckraker

    DANR. It appears that your poo-pooing (yes, that’s right poo-pooing) of the link between CO2 and platetectonics is not universally accepted amongst geologists (well Canadian geologists at any rate). Consider:

    MONTREAL – Severe earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and most recently Japan have raised the question of whether the world’s tectonic plates are becoming more active and if so what is the cause.

    Some scientists theorize that the sudden melting of glaciers due to man-made climate change is lightening the load on the Earth, allowing its mantle to rebound upward, causing the plates to become unstuck.

    These scientists point to the historical increase in volcanic and earthquake activity that occurred about 12,000 years ago, when the glaciers that covered most of Canada in an ice sheet several kilometres thick suddenly melted.

    The result was that most of Canada’s crust has lifted and is still rising.

    Scientist have discovered that the accelerated melting of the Greenland ice sheet over the last 10 years is already lifting the southeastern part of that island several millimetres every year.

    The surface of the Earth is elastic. A heavy load like a glacier will cause it to sink, pushing aside the liquid rock underneath.

    The Greenland glacier is about three kilometres at its thickest and it is believed that its weight has depressed sections of the land under the glacier about one kilometre. In fact, the weight of the glacier is so great that significant portions of Greenland have been pushed well below sea level.

    “There is certainly some literature that talks about the increased occurrence of volcanic eruptions and the removing of load from the crust by deglaciation,” said Martin Sharp, a glaciologist at the University of Alberta. “It changes the stress load in the crust and maybe it opens up routes for lava to come to the surface.”

    Sharp added that “it is conceivable that there would be some increase in earthquake activity during periods of rapid changes on the Earth’s crust.”

    Other scientists, however, believe that the kind of tectonic movements similar to the one that last week caused the Japanese quake are too deep in the Earth to be affected by the pressure releases caused by glacier melt.

    These scientists theorize, however, that glacier melts could cause shallower quakes.

    Andrew Hynes, a tectonics expert at McGill University, said the issue is not so much the load shift on the Earth’s crust, but rather the increased fluid pressure in the fault that lubricates the rock, allowing the plate to slide.

    “All earthquakes except those produced by volcanic activity are essentially the unsticking of faults,” he said.

    In other words, if you pump fluid into a fault, it will reduce the friction and the rock can slide.

    Could the stress transfers and the added melt from glaciers inject more fluid into the rocks creating earthquakes?

    Hynes said this is a serious issue with large hydro reservoirs, where increased amounts of water into otherwise stable faults can cause them to move.

    “It would only apply to earthquakes that are at shallow depths,” he said. “But I wouldn’t push it any further than that.”

    He added, however, that the decompression from melting glaciers could cause an increase in volcanism by releasing the liquid rock and its explosive potential.

    Yet, at the same time, the number and severity of earthquakes appears to have increased over the last 30 years in parallel to accelerating glacial melt.

    Some experts claim the increase can be explained by increased number of seismograph stations to more than 8,000, from 350 in 1931, allowing scientists to pinpoint earthquakes that would otherwise have been missed.

    But this does not explain the recent increase in major earthquakes, which are defined as above 6 on the Richter magnitude scale. (Japan’s earthquake was a 9.) Scientists have been tracking these powerful quakes for well over a century and it’s unlikely that they have missed any during at least the last 60 years.

    According to data from the United States Geological Survey, there were 1,085 major earthquakes in the 1980s. This increased in the 1990s to 1,492 and to 1,611 from 2000 to 2009. Last year – and up to and including the Japanese quake – there were 247 major earthquakes, which puts us on a path to yet another increase.

    There has also been a noticeable increase in the sort of extreme quakes that hit Japan. In the 1980s, there were four mega-quakes, six in the 1990s and 13 in the last decade. So far this decade, we have had two.

    This increase, however, could be temporary. Hynes said there is some evidence that one earthquake can snowball into another until the earth’s crust has adjusted to the new pressure transfers.

    The coast of British Columbia sits on the Pacific fault line that curves around the southern coast of Alaska, travelling southwest to Japan.

    Hynes said the upper plate of Vancouver Island is flexing like a bow. It’s stuck and bending upward. Ultimately it will release itself and produce a major quake, he predicted. Japan’s big earthquake could change the tectonic stresses in the Pacific and possibly affect Vancouver.

    “I’m afraid to say that Canada is by no means as careful about its building codes as Japan,” Hynes said.

    Montreal sits on a fault line that travels along the St. Lawrence River Valley.

    Hynes said the fault is smack in the middle of a tectonic place, making it harder to understand the stresses.

    Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Climate+change+quakes+link/4447200/story.html#ixzz1IkUzpxr2

  47. Douglas and Milko

    Sorry, DANR, I missed your scientific credentials in this debate. It would help to know what your training is, given you emphatic statements about the proportion of man made CO2 in the atmosphere, and its small relevance to climate.

  48. Roquefort Muckraker

    The reason, for me, that Bolt is so particularly problematic is that he in all likelihood cannot explain the principles of physics that drive climate change. He has an opinion, which he can articulate with great clarity and express with tremendous conviction, but that’s about it. Ask him: what are the laws of physics that form the basis of climate change and the greenhouse effect and I suspect he’d quickly change the subject.

    And he is, as Crikey has elsewhere pointed out, free to express his opinion. I think Bernard Keane is quite right there. Bolt’s views are odious, but he should be free to express them. Equally, he should be free to express his views about climate change, but to give his opinions equal weight to a climate scientist, a physicist or another trained scientist is absurd. Bolt only gets air time because he’s akin to Paul Keating, always good for one liners and stridency.

    Unfortunately, the true hollow men, TV producers and media moguls, will continue to spew their rubbish in pursuit of ratings. In the meantime, the public must suffer….

  49. Catequil

    Science is not a popularity contest. There are similarities today with the treatment of Galileo in the Inquisition because of his heliocentric views of the universe. When you hear someone say “The science is proven” you know they are not scientists because it is never proven and is advanced by sceptics who question, test and investigate alternative hypothesis. I am equally as sure as the climate change supporters however that the carbon tax or an ETS will not reduce our carbon dioxide output. As an ecologist the problem does not lie with the ‘big polluters’ – it lies with the users. We have too many people and if anyone thinks our population can almost double and the carbon tax will reduce co2 output they are dreaming.

  50. Just Me

    “…but that doesn’t mean that climate change advocates have the right to shut down the debate.”

    Yeah, it’s a real bitch that responsible grown ups don’t take you seriously, for being consistently and utterly wrong about a critical technical and policy issue, and an obnoxious, dishonest, childish prick about it. Oh the unfairness of it all.

    People like Bolt have more opportunity to propagandise than ever before. To claim he is being genuinely censored in some way is delusional at best, and more than a little offensive to those who have to deal with real censorship and its consequences.

    “More than 50% percent of Australians are skeptics.”

    So what? Deniers are so fond of invoking Galileo as a lone scientist bravely standing up to the evil establishment ideology, thus demonstrating that science is not a popularity contest. Fine, no argument there. But they can’t then also claim that (allegedly) having half the lay population on their side in a scientific debate in any way validates their view.

  51. danr

    Professor Pitman’s grant history tends to be rather heavily orientated towards “computerisation” of climate.

  52. Kerry Lovering

    As a geologist I have learnt that the earth’s climate changes all the time. The warm periods as recent as the Middle Ages and the earlier Roman period are examples of how the earth’s climate adjusts to sun spot activity and to movements of the earth’s declination. As you would have read the recent earthquake in Japan moved the earth’s magnetic north pole over 20 km–a very small amount but indicates how the earth changes.
    The problem is that the computer modellors (from CSIRO and others) have no possibility of including all the variables of the earth’s climate and as others have said the important thing about science is the uncertainty of any theory.

    Tectonic plate theories were recognised by geologists from the Southern Hemisphere in the 1950’s while the northerners (whose geology was not obviously affected at that time) rubbished the idea until faced with magnetic proof.
    Besides causing the major earthquakes in Japan and around the Pacific the movements of the tectonic plates are also affecting the small Pacific islands–nothing to do with CO2.
    If you visit the dinosaur areas near Inverloch Victoria, you will learn that Australia was very near Antarctica and plants were growing there at that time. As the plate on which Australia is situated is moving towards the equator at about 7cm per year, climate will inevitably change and there is nothing any human can do about it.

  53. danr

    In the above article, Professor Andy Pitman, co-director of the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre, reviewed the segment and told Crikey: “According to the material broadcast, Franks is confused on the water vapor feedback. ”

    Firstly Stewart Franks is a highly professional hydrologist who knows what nature is about. The water vapour cycle is his main area of expertise.

    Second statement: “The feedback relevant to global warming only acts on a forcing. That forcing is human CO2 emissions. Without the human CO2 emissions there is no additional water vapor feedback.”

    This “forcing” is a concept known only to “Climate Science”. It seems to involve the creation of energy from nothing. A truly magical process unknown to mainstream science. CO2 only has magical powers in movies like that made by Algore.

  54. danr

    Misquoted Stewart Franks above.

    He said “carbon dioxide was a “very minor component of the greenhouse effect”

    A statement with which I agree.

    Water is the major component.

  55. danr

    It is very disingenuous of Professor Steve Sherwood, of the University of New South Wales, to say that: “associate professor Franks’ assertion that water vapour was a “minor component” of the greenhouse effect was “very misleading”.

    Unfortunately it is extremely minor.

    And further

    “CO2 is the main agent of change. CO2 is under human control. When we increase CO2 it may only be 25 per cent of the total greenhouse effect but that’s all you need to drive a change in water vapour or cloud effects.”

    What he fails to point out (look after that grant) is that 97% of the 25% effect mentioned is nature at work. Only 3% of this is human made CO2.

    The truth hurts. Man made CO2 accounts for only 0.75% of the total greenhouse effect. This is a maximum estimate.

    News readers should stick to reading the news.

    I know there will be a comeback to that last comment. I’m ready.

  56. Michael Woodrow

    Penisface, how does any number of parliamentarian and Australian climate-change skeptics affect the evidence and scientific expertise that speaks to climate change and specifically the ratio of scientists for and against climate change?

  57. Michael Woodrow

    Connolly, in your analogy of ancient Greece and the populist Greek response to Aristarchus, you presume too much when you cast climate change scientists as the populist rejectors of Aristarchus. A more accurate analogy would have been to cast the climate change deniers in the roles of those who gave no time to Aristarchus. Aristarchus’s hypothesis was based on evidence plus what turned out to be intelligent and somewhat accurate reasoning.

  58. Adam Rope

    Penisface – please note that Ramastar was talking about the actual science. Not the ‘debate’ in which the misinformed, unqualified and scientifically illiterate are for some unknown reason given equal time or more in the ‘media’. The ‘debate’ in the public sphere has very, very little to do with the actual ‘science’. Might it be that 50% of Australians are skeptics because they don’t understand any science, and that they only listen to one side of the ‘debate’?

  59. danr

    The funny thing is the Green AGW movement seems to be led by the fossil fuel industry.

    It has been led to focus on the ONLY harmless off gas in the whole fossil fuel combustion process, CO2, while ignoring the very real and dangerous pollution.

    The end to all this stupidity is near. The world is now realising that CO2 is innocuous in every way and not only that but is essential to our survival on earth.

    The public , and even many politicians, are now coming to the scientific realisation that they have been mislead about CO2.

    They will be totally neutralised by this cunning scenario organised by the Coal Oil bloc.

    Green canon fodder working for the oil mob.

    Who’d a thought it?

  60. danr

    The basic science of AGW is very pedestrian, embarrassingly so .

    The problem is the confusion created by the vast number of chemical and physical interactions in the CO2 – biosphere temperature question.

    They are easily quantified if you take the trouble, but cause embarrassment to the AGW Cause if taken into account.

    Why would any scientist on a grant take the trouble to do the full analysis when they can get away with doing work on one small element of the process.

    There are reasonable CO2 mass balances done on many sources and sinks of CO2 but you will find nobody wants to integrate the parts into a complete whole.

    The reason is that such an analysis shows the human produced component of CO2 to be disappointingly small against the real sinks and sources.

    The human effect on temperature from human made CO2 activity in the atmosphere is undetectable.

    This is not good science but a very interesting study in Group Behaviour patterns.
    Group think.

    Everyone feels warm and fuzzy. Even the science is FUZZY.

    It’s the universe of politics at its finest.

  61. tones9

    Al Gore trained journo Tracy Curro said after the taped segment that over 90% of scientists agreed on AGW. Is that like Gore’s ridiculous claim in An Inconvenient Truth that no peer-reviewed papers disputed AGW?
    Or is it like the just as discredited voluntary email poll of 97 scientists?

    Why didn’t the knowledgeable Curro correct Hughesy’s silly claim of visible pollution due to CO2?

    Or that Australia is the world’s highest emitter per capita?

    Plenty of misinformation on that panel.

    No need to get hysterical about the one time that sceptics get a voice on commercial TV.

  62. Stevo the Working Twistie

    Yes @PENISFACE, so we should just have a vote and make climate change go away on a first party preferred basis. Science is not democratic, it is empirical. The argument is not the weight of numbers of scientists that “believe” in AGW, it is in the weight of evidence that supports the AGW hypothesis.

  63. Michael Harvey

    It’s commercial television. Commercials. Who is stupid enough to believe anything on a commercial channel?

  64. Think Big

    Connolly
    “Both issues are contentious and subject to scientific debate and contest. ”

    No they’re not. They may be so in the uninformed public space but as far as genuine scientific debate goes they are not. The only scientists with climate-science credentials arguing against the current consensus are a handful of contrarians who have little credibility amongst their peers and no widely accepted research with conclusions opposed to the consensus. Sceptical scientists from other fields have little to offer in the way of scientific insight and their views should be taken with multiple very large grains of salt.

    As for the model predictions no-one is claiming these provide absolute certainty but they are based on well-understood physics. Unabated global warming will indeed be catastrophic – the only debate is whether that will happen in around 100 years or in a few hundred years.

    As for your weak point about appeal to authority do you re-create the science and engineering of aeronautics from first principles every time you get on a plane or do you trust that the experts in the field who have a proven record of ability?
    What we know about global-warming is based on more than 100 years of research and is not going to be overthrown by a few contrarians or a bunch of unqualified ideologues who don’t even understand the fundamentals of statistics and high-school physics.

    Penisface
    “One whole side of the parliament disagrees with this view. More than 50% percent of Australians are skeptics.”
    Which only goes to show how distanced from reality they are.

  65. Jimmy

    Penisface – “One whole side of the parliament disagrees with this view.” That isn’t true, the coailtion policy is that climate change is real and it is man made. It isn’t even true to say one whole side of politics is against a price on carbon because under Turnball they were for it and he was only rolled by one vote (and one of his supporters was on her sick bed at the time).

    Connolly – “Simply because an expert or hegemonic orthodoxy states something to be true hardly makes it so” no but when “In terms of where the science stands, the case for CO2 increasing and that it has changed the climate is overwhelming — in terms of the size of the evidence.” that does make it so.

    Minority opinons may be the stuff of democracy but that doesn’t mean they are right or even that they should be given equal weight.

  66. Brizben

    The divide between sensible people and climate change deniers appears to be along political lines. All the deniers seem to favour one side of politics.

    Does any one know how much Tony Abbott’s climate change policy will affect global temperatures and if carbon will be reabsorbed into the atmosphere faster if I vote for Tony Abbott?

  67. Matt Hardin

    Reposted with0out the nom de plume of the person who commented to Ramastar at 3:46 PM to avoid moderation:

    90% of people who know what they are talking about think A and 50% of people who don’t think the opposite and that 50/50 makes it an even debate.Science is not about opinion. It is about hypothesising, testing and re-hypothesising. Wegener was right, Galileo was right, Harvey was right and all produced testable predictions into the teeth of vested interests.

    Do you really think that over a century of chemistry and thermodynamics is wrong? Do you really think that people who put in the intellectual effort to understand the world are wrong? Do you really think these things because vested interests tell you that they are? Do you really think that the opinion of someone who is elected to parliament or writes in a newspaper or owns a mining company is equally valid?

    There is a reason you listen to people who have done the research – their knowledge is earned not concocted.

  68. Matt Hardin

    So P-nisface, 90% of people who know what they are talking about think A and 50% of people who don’t think the opposite and that 50/50 makes it an even debate.Science is not about opinion. It is about hypothesising, testing and re-hypothesising. Wegener was right, Galileo was right, Harvey was right and all produced testable predictions into the teeth of vested interests.

    Do you really think that over a century of chemistry and thermodynamics is wrong? Do you really think that people who put in the intellectual effort to understand the world are wrong? Do you really think these things because vested interests tell you that they are? Do you really think that the opinion of someone who is elected to parliament or writes in a newspaper or owns a mining company is equally valid?

    There is a reason you listen to people who have done the research – their knowledge is earned not concocted.

  69. David Hand

    Here we go again.

    The Climate cult’s challenge is to move on from the question “Is man made global warming real?”

    Fellas, everybody agrees. Even Bolt agreed according to this article. Get over it. You are arguing over something that even Tony Abbott agrees with.

    The question being debated is “What must we do about it?” and that is the question where the climate cult is hopelessly conflicted. The reason it’s a mess is that you have the lunatic fringe proclaiming the end of the world. An example is Professor Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change advocating a halt to economic growth through the re-introduction of WW2 style rationing bacause civilisation is coming to an end by 2050.

    I wonder what Al Gore-trained Tracy Curro would think about that? What about Gore himself, for that matter.

    Memo to the climate cult: Get your own act together before bleating to the rest of us that no one takes you seriously.

  70. Jim Reiher

    Connolly: you raise some valid concerns, but in the end you seem to be ignoring the main point of the article. The debate that offers 2 for climate change and 2 against is not “balanced” in authority or expertise, just numbers. And the reality is that over 90% of qualified scientists in the areas of climatology and ocean temperatures and ice caps and all other areas actually to do with climate and world temperatures – they argue that it IS happening, it is dangerous, and humans are contributing to it.

    The writer who asked about evolution has a point: will we give “equal numbers” (but not expertise) to that debate every time evolution is mentioned on any media in any context? Will creationists get equal time and numbers? anti-Smoking adds should maybe be offset with “pro-moking adds equal time” too? Flat-earthers get equal time to any reference to a round earth? Where does this madness stop?

    Penisface; you too are missing the point. One side of parliament disagrees? So what? They are not experts in the field! And you know what else, I dont believe you. I honestly believe that many in the coalition actually believe that climate change is real but they are not allowed to say so publically lest they damage their career in the party or make Mr A look silly. And I definitely do NOT believe that over 50% of Australians are skeptics. Over 50% might not want a carbon tax (even that could be wrong) but I would bet that over 50% of Aussies actually would say “I think it is probably happening, there just seems to be debate about how severe it is, and the best way to tackle it”.

  71. penisface

    #Ramastar

    You assume that the debate on climate change is 9/10. One whole side of the parliament disagrees with this view. More than 50% percent of Australians are skeptics.

  72. connolly

    Minority analysis, opinions and dissent is the stuff of democracy. The writer of article misses the point entirely. The issue isnt about forcings and feedback or climate changes. Its whether
    1) carbon dioxide is a significant element in global warming; and
    2) if global warming unabated at its present trajectory will be catastrophic as projected by climate modelling.
    Both issues are contentious and subject to scientific debate and contest. Presumably in Greece you would have advocated giving no time to Aristarchus. You fail to distinguish between the institutionalisation of a hypothesis and science. Finally the whole approach of the article is based on an extremely weak logic of appeal to authority. Simply because an expert or hegemonic orthodoxy states something to be true hardly makes it so. We all believed our Mums when they told us Santa was coming at christmas to reward us. We did so because our Mums were a good authority and told the truth. Most of us abandoned this approach to understanding the world at about the age of twelve. The author and many of those posting here apparently have not.

  73. heavylambs

    Rico,you have a problem with Al Gore running a program to train journalists on this issue? Please point out where Gore’s program is disowned by the scientific community. It’s actually a good step that someone who consults the scientific community is spending time enabling non-scientist communicators get across the subject.

    Please point out the sense in spending expensive screen time on Bolt on a science issue in which he has not had any training at all.

  74. Jimmy

    Michael James – Yes we can have diseenting views but the point of this article is that the dissenting view be put into context. It is misleading to say here are two different but equally valid opinions that we are giving equal air time to if one of the opinions is discredited by the science and only held by a minority.
    If they were doing a segment on the evolution of man would they give equal air time to scientists, creationists and some bloke who thinks we arrived on space ships?

    As for B.olt, the current trial just demonstrates how loose with the truth he is, have a look at last weeks crikey article for evidence of his many factual errors. He also recently took Falnnery completely out of context and claimed another scientist had said the earth had warmed by 0.5 degree’s in the last 160 years when infact he had said 0.5 degree’s “per century” for the last 160 years or 0.8 degree’s. He is a dangerous man who deliberately misrepresents the facts to lend some credibility to his faulty logic.

  75. Mike

    And Journalist Graham Readfearn obtained his scientific qualifications from? …A corn flakes packet?
    Yet here he is shooting his big mouth off because he’s upset with the debate.
    If that isn’t reason enough to doubt the Greenhouse circus, nothing is.

  76. Bill

    The science is also largely miss reported and divided, also atmospheric and climate change is very complex. For example, Google many of these concepts, on global warming, temperature increase related to CO2, further, use Google to look into academia (using Google scholar) and you will find a whole range of inconsistent results and conclusions across a range of peer reviewed, scientific papers. Really with the complexity and diverse range and inconsistency of conclusions, and even Tim Flannery himself has conceded that if the whole world shuts down all emissions tomorrow, we may not see any reduction in average global temperature for 1000 years, then how can Joe average draw a reasonable conclusion about climate change, the need for a Carbon Tax and/or ETS? The science is inconsistently published, so called “experts” like Tim Flannery don’t provide compelling stories and then of course everything is poorly represented in the media, so really what do you expect and how can you blame people for this, when no one has the story consistently right? You couls even ask that given the complexity and variables involved in climate science, is there any consistent story or facts?

  77. klewso

    Not just here, check out Insight last night “Cock-Fighting for Ratings” – so many self-professed “lay-people” stuck in their prejudice, some “understanding the concept” yet unable to articulate what they knew – and some of those “sources”?
    Then Brockie asking Garnaut to explain “the ETS in 27 seconds or less” before cutting him off?
    How are we ever going to get informed community debate on this if the media sees it as something to play for ratings – because it’s “funny” – when they’re the medium best suited to disseminate facts?
    How are “experts” going to “persuade” people with no interest in having their preconceptions challenged, insisting they be persuaded?
    The more light you shine on an owl, the less they see.

  78. RamaStar

    For arguments sake, 9 out of 10 scientists agree that there is global warming and it’s caused by man.
    We want to present the arguments in a fair and balanced way. Wouldn’t that mean having 9 for and 1 against in segments such as this, rather than 50/50. It unfairly over-represents the climate sceptic side of the debate.

  79. Farxical

    “I think that is a great failing of the media. I consistently see people being interviewed whose credentials are not appropriate for the questions they are being asked.”

    There seriously needs to be “Opinion” disclaimers for situations like this. People that peddle nonsense and try and masquerade it as fact should be exposed. Just have a banner stream at the bottom of the screen whenever Bolt is talking which says:

    “Mr. Bolt, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone watching is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

    But jokes aside, it is dangerous and disgusting that current “commentators” are permitted to get away with it and an Opinion disclaimer is just one way of reminding (and warning) the audience that what they are hearing is not necessarily a fact or the truth.

    Oh, and thank you Jim Reiher for reminding me to lodge a formal complaint with the ABC for continuing to put Bolt on Insiders. His latest appearance was disgraceful and the disrespect he showed both the host, Barry Cassidy, and panelist Lenore Taylor simply crossed the line.

  80. JamesH

    Michael James, can you seriously not see the difference between “We’re not going to give Bolt a TV platform to peddle misinformation about a topic he knows nothing about” and “We’re going to prosecute Bolt for racial discrimination”? Bolt may have a right to free speech, that doesn’t mean a right to free publicity.

  81. Mort

    I wish the panel guests had a bit more diversity. Australia isn’t all white middle class anglos for gods sake.
    There seems to be a token spot every night for whinging the old white guy demographic. Like viewers can’t get that at home.

  82. Grinder

    Gina Rinehart seems to be turning into Australia’s version of the Koch brothers. Very worrying.

  83. Rico

    “Al Gore-trained climate presenter”

    Is this serious or is it a piss take?

  84. Michael James

    God help us, we can’t possibly have dissenting views.

    On one hand we have Crikey defending Bolt’s right to say what he thinks, no matter how unpleasant, on race as a freedom of speech issue.

    On the other we have climate change advocates bemoaning Bolt’s stand on a similarly polarising issue.

    Freedom of speech isn’t an “only when its things we agree with” issue, as Crikey has quite courageously stated in several articles in recent days.

    You may not like the fact that many people doubt the climate change story to a greater or lesser degree, but that doesn’t mean that climate change advocates have the right to shut down the debate.

  85. Jim Reiher

    I have been thinking of writing to channel 10 and telling them that I will not watch that show again until they stop using Andrew Bolt (sometimes in interview mode, sometimes sitting on the desk with the presenters).

    It is so distressing to watch as the show that appeals so well to our young adults, is so hijacked by interests happy to generate confusion on topics like climate change.

    It is also distressing to watch good competent comedians and “well loved young presenters” being used by channel ten to help create ongoing confusion in the community about climate change. Do those young people on the panel ever wonder if they just might have sold out to the system? Or are their pay packets cushioning the blow for them, and stopping them from seriously thinking about that?

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