Mar 2, 2010

Balance without judgement: your ABC

The ABC continues its habit of "balancing" mainstream climate science with the views of bloggers and professional denialists rather than climate scientists.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Yesterday the ABC’s Drum site published a piece by Alan Moran attacking mainstream climate science. It was the first of what is promised to be a week of pieces “commissioned from noted writers on the sceptic side of the climate science debate”, apparently prompted by that site’s publication last week of a five-part article by Clive Hamilton on the campaign being waged against mainstream science by climate denialists.

Moran is obviously entitled to his views regardless of whether they are easily shown to be false. The question is more why they were given a run on The Drum without some basic fact-checking or balance. Moran’s article did not “balance” those of Clive Hamilton, who wrote on a specific aspect of the climate change debate in which he is professionally involved. Moran can at least claim – unlike Tom Switzer – that he has expertise on climate scepticism, having been working on the issue for the IPA for some time, including speaking at international conferences.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

164 thoughts on “Balance without judgement: your ABC

  1. baal

    It would be instructive know by whom the IPA (and other think tanks) is funded.

  2. Most Peculiar Mama

    Clive Hamilton is not a climate scientist.

    And you can bang on about the peer-review process all you like…the fact is (the process) is almost irreparably broken and so-called climate scientists are 100% responsible for its demise.

  3. Mike Jones

    More instructive it is to understand that Alan Moran has qualifications not in climate science. He’s a mathematical modelling type of dude.

    Google some of Alan in Wonderland’s prescient contributions. What ? No refereed ones in serious journals ? How surprising !

    So if the model and the reality don’t co-incide, the reality must be wrong. Right ?

  4. Ben Harris-Roxas

    If the ABC wants to provide balance on climate change they should also include the views of climate scientists who believe the IPCC’s forecasts are too conservative and that climate change will result in more drastic changes.

  5. Mark Duffett

    Please don’t overstate the case, Bernard.

    …there is no “evidence” of any scientists avoiding scrutiny…

    How else would you characterise the correspondence that clearly demonstrates attempts to avoid or otherwise circumvent FOI requests for data and computer code? Undoubtedly many of these were indeed from “denialists to waste their time”, but some were from serious practitioners attempting to reproduce results – a fundamental scientific process. That FOI requests were even required is an indictment, if not of the CRU scientists themselves, then certainly data and code management practices prevailing in the entire climate field.

    While Crikey is lecturing the ABC about how to provide balance (ironic to say the least), it could do worse than to examine the olive branch proffered by climate scientist Judith Curry at Steve McIntyre’s blog, and her related essay in Physics Today.

  6. JamesK

    How very magnanimous of Keane to ‘allow’ Moran his opinions “regardless of whether they are easily shown to be false”.

    Whereupon Keane then demonstrates that he is more merely than incompetent for that task easy or otherwise.

    Every single quote of Moran that Keane pathetically attempts to ‘fisk’ here is not disproved. Every single one are genuine critiques that might be argued but none could be dismissively gainsayed as Keane does here.

    This isn’t commentary; it’s advocacy.

    Considering the amorality and dishonesty of warmenists in general and Keane here in particular, at least it’s a woefully poor catastrophist diatribe.

  7. JBG

    Oh Bernard, you are such a hypocrite! How can you crticise the sceptical contriubtors to the debate for not being climate scientists when the man they are being brought in to refute, Clive Hamilton, isn’t one either. All five of Clive’s articles pushed the science, yet not one single little sentence from you criticising him for not being a climate scientist.
    More objective journalism and less cheerleading for your bestie, please Bernard.

  8. Rich Uncle Skeleton

    Greate article.

  9. Richard Carter

    Bernard sounds like a believer in denial.

  10. Rich Uncle Skeleton

    JBG, the point is that Bernard and Clive’s views are backed up by the scientific literature. They don’t need to be climate scientists because those scientists support their views.

    On the other hand, Moran’s views are fabrications only supported by lies, misquotings and misrepresentations. The fact that he isn’t a climate scientist, nor do any climate scientists support his views, is at the very heart of the matter.

    It’s depressing that the denialists’ rubbish is so easily batted away, yet it keeps on being repeated by people who just don’t care that it’s incorrect because it alligns with their political ideology.

Leave a comment

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details