Today’s Australian included a double feature in its war on science. And they were both news stories, not opinion pieces. First up is John Stapleton. Last month Stapleton wrote a story arguing that winter was evidence against global warming. So how does Stapleton write a story about a heat wave here in Australia. Well, it’s evidence against global warming:
It’s a scorcher, but 70-year record stands
Much of inland Australia sweltered as towns from Ivanhoe and Pooncarie in far-western NSW to Onslow in the Pilbara, Kerang in Victoria and Marree in South Australia hit 45C yesterday.
But even those temperatures can’t beat the searing conditions of 70 years ago, when records were broken over a period of four days through NSW, Victoria, the ACT and South Australia. …
The 70th anniversary of these maximum temperatures has provided the opportunity for sceptics to again question the theory of man-made global warming: if large increases in greenhouse gases are making the planet warmer, why have the records of 70 years ago not been overtaken?
David Evans, a former adviser to the Australian Greenhouse Office, the precursor to the Department of Climate Change, said that although events such as those of January 1939 were too localised to draw implications on global warming, the 70 years since these maximums were reached was enough to “make you sceptical”.
Notice the way Stapleton makes it sound like that Evans advised the Greenhouse Office on science when, in fact, Evans helped program a carbon accounting system for them.
“The debate has changed,” he said. He predicted that by 2010, the only people who would believe in global warming would be “those who have a financial interest in it, the politically correct and those who believe in big government. Everyone else will think it’s a load of rubbish.”
Excellent! A prediction. Do you think that Evans will be willing to bet on this one?
Many climate scientists disagree. National Climate Centre head David Jones said the fact the maximum temperatures were set so long ago in no way disproved global warming. He said 1939 was a freak once-in-a-century event.
If by “many” you mean “pretty well all”. Notice how the climate scientists get less space than Evans.
The second story is by Verity Edwards (not available on line), and begins:
Aussie Research debunks key greenhouse theory
Research by an Australian-based scientist claims to have demolished a central plank of climate change theory, finding that plants do not produce the greenhouse gas methane.
Of course it is not a central plank of climate change theory that plants produce methane. This claim seems to have been invented by Edwards. It’s not in the press release from the University of South Australia, the story in Nature News, or the BBC story. What this new research debunks is a 2006 study that suggested that plants could be a major source of methane emissions. And how did the Australian report the 2006 study? Here’s their story (14 Jan 2006, not on line, written by a “Special Correspondent“):
Confidence in this paradigm [that burning fossil fuels cause global warming] was further dented this week following the release of new research by scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Germany that showed ordinary plants produce significant amounts of the greenhouse gas methane. …
This report is consistent with research by New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research that reported a doubling of methane in the atmosphere over the past 200 years.
That such a crucial piece of information, if correct, has been hitherto excluded from the science on climate change is startling, reflects the infant nature of the scientific debate and the risks of developing policy responses in such uncertainty.
So, according to news stories in the Australian, cold weather is bad news for the theory of global warming, and so is really hot weather. And the 2006 study on plants and methane was also bad news for the theory of global warming. And it was even worse news for it when the 2006 study was debunked.