The Australian wasn’t content to publish Phil Chapman’s silly ice-age article, but also published a news story that treated it like a legitimate scientific paper. Now, instead of publishing a correction to Chapman’s falsehoods from a climate scientist they have an article by Christopher Pearson. Even though it was the Australian which published Chapman’s piece a few days earlier, almost half of Pearson’s article was a quote or paraphrase of Chapman.
Pearson also gives the view of climate science you get from the Australian‘s bunker:
What a difference the intervening 15 months has made. In recent weeks, articles by NASA’s Roy Spencer and Bjorn Lomborg and an interview with the Institute of Public Affairs’ Jennifer Marohasy have undermined that confident Anglosphere consensus. On Amazon.com’s bestseller list this week, the three top books on climate are by sceptics: Spencer, Lomborg and Fred Singer.
Archbishop of Sydney George Pell, a shrewd cleric who knows a dodgy millennial cult when he sees one, has persisted in his long-held critique despite the climate change alarmism of his brother bishops.
Even Don Aitkin, former vice-chancellor of the University of Canberra, whom I’d previously been tempted to write off as a slave to political correctness, outed himself the other day as a thoroughgoing sceptic.
So, if your only source of information about climate science was the Australian rather than scientific publications, you end up thinking that global warming is a theory in crisis.
Pearson generously offers some advice to Prime Minsiter Kevin Rudd:
In Australia, Rudd Labor’s political legitimacy is inextricably linked to its stance on climate change. If the Prime Minister wants a second term, he’ll probably have to start “nuancing his position”, as the spin doctors say, and soon.
A variation on J.M. Keynes’s line – “when the facts change, I change my mind” – admitting that the science is far from settled and awaiting further advice, would buy him time without necessarily damaging his credibility.
Taking an early stand in enlightening public opinion would be a more impressive act of leadership. While obviously not without risk and downside, it would make a virtue out of impending necessity and establish him, in Charles de Gaulle’s phrase, as a serious man.
Apparently the mark of a serious man is to tear up his election promises and ignore the best scientific evidence. Who knew?
Incidently, Chapman and Pournelle were involved in the push for Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative and have gone on into AGW denial, just as the George C. Marshal Institute did.