Lame Lame Lame

Andrew Bolt, writing in the Melbourne Herald Sun offers this conclusive disproof of important evidence against global warming:

Melbourne last week had its coldest February day on record, and its wettest day, which should surprise those still naive enough to believe our green gurus.

Oh, plus he calls it a “booga-booga theory”. I think even Tech Central Station would find this too lame to draft. Nice one Herald Sun!

Update: Silly me, of course TCS wouldn’t find this too lame to draft. TCS editor, Nick Schulz made the same dumb argument. Oh, and Tim Blair fell for Bolt’s argument. Read the comments and marvel (but don’t disagree because you will be banned).

Clarification: Bolt has emailed to point out that at the end of his article he writes:

“one bit of wild weather in our ever-changing climate doesn’t disprove the holy theory of global warming”.

I was being sarcastic when I called a disproof, but to make sure that there is no misunderstanding I’ve altered the text to reflect what I believe he thinks is the relevance of a cold day in Melbourne is to global warming.


  1. #1 Yelling
    February 9, 2005

    Sorry Tim. I can’t agree with you on this one.

    I think that TCS would be proud to have the story in their collection. After all while Mr. Bolt only hints that environmental groups blame the tragedy of the tsunami on global warming (“The ACF, so frantic to exploit any freak of nature for propaganda that it even issued a statement headed “Tsunami an environmental warning””), TCS devoted a whole column to it.

  2. #2 ben
    February 9, 2005

    judging by the unusually warm weather we’ve had this last week in Seattle, it’s clear to me that global warming is real and significant. It’s gone now though, so let’s call it “punctuated regional global warming.”

  3. #3 jre
    February 10, 2005

    Would it be too much to ask Mr. Bolt, and the Herald Sun, to provide some links in their online edition? With a link to the quoted

    Tsunami article,
    we might have learned that the statement from the UN conference was rather unexceptionable, and did not blame the tsunami on global warming:

    According to Hamdallah Zedan, executive secretary of the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity, the huge death toll caused by the tsunami was partly caused by the destruction of natural buffers against waves.

    “Early reports indicate that areas with healthier ecosystems, such as dense, intact mangrove forests and coral reefs, have been less affected than areas that have been disturbed or degraded,” Zedan told the conference.

    “When we strip away these natural forms of protection, we place ourselves in harm’s way,” added Klaus Toepfer, executive director of the UN Environment Program.

    Why didn’t he provide a link? With a link, we might have easily discovered that his accusation against the ACF was a disgraceful fraud … wait a sec, I may be answering my own question here.

    Also, I note that Mr. Bolt makes much of the fact that some environmental advocacy groups have used the phrase “climate change” in place of “global warming”, his thesis being that this way they get to argue that human activity causes any bad change, hot or cold. Interestingly, that very choice of words has been urged on Republican politicians in the US by media consultant

    Frank Luntz.

    In a

    cynical briefing paper,

    he recommends words and phrases tested in focus groups and found to elicit the desired emotional responses. Among his findings was that

    “Climate Change” is less frightening than “Global Warming.”

    Evidently, the word did not get to Mr. Bolt.

    Ben, you are right — a sensible person would not believe in global warming because of one warm week in Seattle, any more than a sensible person would reject it because of one cold week in Melbourne. A sensible person would tend to believe the best-informed researchers in the world when they say that temperature and atmospheric measurements over decades have yielded clear and convincing evidence that anthropogenic global warming is happening.

  4. #4 Tim Lambert
    February 10, 2005

    You’re right, Yelling, and I was wrong. TCS editor Nick Schulz made the same dumb argument.

    I think you have discovered “Yelling’s law”: TCS is dumber than you think, even after allowing for Yelling’s law.

  5. #5 Jonathan Dursi
    February 10, 2005

    Oh, mocking anything UN and climate related without actually linking to anything of consequence is just par for the course for some, like our Tim Blair.

    As particularly horrible instance, Tim spent some time on December 15 rubbishing a talk given by Angie Daze at a UN meeting that said that women were at higher risk from extreme weather events like flooding as might be caused by climate change. Needless to say, he and those that got the story from him linked only to a bad news article about it, and made a lot of fairly tasteless jokes about. When the tsunami came less than two weeks later and what
    what she said was shown horribly true, they simply ignored it, leaving behind comments that are even more reprehensible in hindsight.

  6. #6 Pro bono mathematician
    February 10, 2005

    I just had an idea of how to spend a few lazy weekends, which is so obvious that it is probably not new, but here goes anyway:

    1. Develop a “grassroot” group supporting some absurd, industry-friendly idea (say, that air pollution is good for you, or that clinical testing of new drugs needs to be abolished, or some such idea, but it has to be *really* absurd, so absurd that next to it denying global warming seems reasonable).

    2. Have a group of “experts” maintain a website documenting the evidence for the idea (say, stories about people that live to a ripe old age in polluted areas, or stories about people that were cured by using some untested medicine).

    3. Have the “experts” send op-ed pieces to the media and demand equal time whenever the “other side” has been given publicity (say, whenever pollution is reported as a problem or whenever the issue of testing drugs for safety and efficacy is mentioned).

    4. Have a lot of good, wholesome fun, and maybe after getting tired of the thing coming clean about it being a hoax, hoping against hope that this teaches the media a lesson.

  7. #7 Rob
    February 10, 2005

    “TCS: The best pseudoscience money can buy!”

  8. #8 Steve
    February 11, 2005

    In bolt’s defense (dirty work my friends, dirty work), he does say at the end:

    “Of course, one bit of wild weather in our ever-changing climate doesn’t disprove the holy theory of global warming. But nor should green groups claim the odd cold snap proves it, either…”

  9. #9 wbb
    February 11, 2005

    probono – why stop there – hire out yr services and make a killing like these other prostitutes – then come clean!

  10. #10 Nabakov
    February 12, 2005

    Yeah, probono, you could call yourself the Institute of Forums for Public Enterprise Freedom Policy Heritage Coalition. With a nice letterhead, sober-looking website and all.

  11. #11 Nabakov
    February 12, 2005

    Hmm… wbb (and Tim L), are you thinking what I’m thinking?

  12. #12 Nabakov
    February 12, 2005

    Hmm… wbb (and Tim L), are you thinking what I’m thinking?

  13. #13 Andrew
    February 12, 2005


    Was that double-think?

  14. #14 Pro bono mathematician
    February 12, 2005

    wbb: “hire out yr services and make a killing like these other prostitutes”

    Nah – this is purely for the fun of it and (possibly) as a public service.

    Anyway, if someone is interested, count me in.

  15. #15 Pro bono mathematician
    February 12, 2005

    I mean, count me in.

  16. #16 Pro bono mathematician
    February 12, 2005

    mailto: doesn’t seem to be working…

  17. #17 Nabakov
    February 12, 2005

    “Nabakov Was that double-think?”

    Well, I was in two minds about that comment.

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