An anonymous person at The Australian writes:

In serious debates, nothing demolishes credibility as readily as inconsistency and exaggeration.

Indeed, which is why The Australian has no credibility on science.

Many Australians, therefore, will find it baffling that six state governments are working off four different sets of figures for the sea-level rises they expect to be caused by climate change. The projected rises vary from 38cm in Western Australia to 80cm in Queensland and Victoria and 90cm in NSW, creating confusion for councils and developers. Fortunately, all fall far short of the 6m rises predicted by Environment Minister Peter Garrett and scientist Tim Flannery’s doomsday scenario of 80m rises. But you don’t have to be a climate change sceptic to realise they can’t all be right.

Seems like even the journalists at The Australian don’t read their paper. Just two weeks ago in The Australian we find:

Professor Flannery has backed models predicting a sea level rise of between three and five metres over the next 300 years but conceded scientists were working “in the absence of certainty”.

Claiming that he predicted 80m instead of 3-5m is an enormous exaggeration and it’s inconsistent with The Australian‘s own reporting. So how’s that again?

In serious debates, nothing demolishes credibility as readily as inconsistency and exaggeration.

Got it. Nor did Peter Garrett predict a 6m rise. And if you want to know why the planning numbers are different for each state, you need to use the Google:


How do the NSW sea level rise benchmarks compare to benchmarks used in other states?

Four other states in Australia have established sea level rise benchmarks; Victoria recently established a benchmark of 80cm by 2100, Queensland are proposing to consider a sea level rise of 30cm by 2050 and 80cm by 2100, South Australia has benchmarks of 30cm by 2050 and 100cm by 2100, and Western Australia advises of a 38cm rise in sea levels by 2100. With the exception of Victoria, each of the states is reviewing their respective benchmarks. Even so, the levels of the NSW benchmarks are similar to those of the other states, with the exception of Western Australia. The difference between the NSW benchmarks and those of the other states result from the inclusion of regional variation that is attributable to the effect of the East Australian Current in NSW.

The Australian continues:

One of the most disturbing aspects of the debate is the rise of green totalitarians, who have tried to silence those with different viewpoints. Their intolerance does not stop at the sceptics. Commentators such as Danish economist Bjorn Lomborg, who accept the theory of man-made climate change but believe mitigation is expensive and ultimately futile, arguing instead that resources would be better invested fighting disease and malnutrition, are also granted heretic status.

Yes, how can we forget the way that Lomborg was imprisoned by the green totalitarians and not allowed to speak or write? Oh, wait, nothing like that happened. Lomborg’s books are freely available and his opinion pieces are published all over the world. So how’s that again?

In serious debates, nothing demolishes credibility as readily as inconsistency and exaggeration.

Got it.

Comments

  1. #1 pough
    March 9, 2010

    Nothing silences the denialists quite like pointing out their errors. The sheer brutality of “you’re wrong” has a chilling effect on freedom of speech.

  2. #2 abb3w
    March 9, 2010

    In serious debates, nothing demolishes credibility as readily as inconsistency and exaggeration.

    That would seem to depend on the audience. I wonder if Google Scholar has any good papers on what empirically affects credibility….

    Nothing silences the denialists quite like pointing out their errors.

    “There’s nothing like eating hay when you’re faint,” he remarked to her, as he munched away.

    “I should think throwing cold water over you would be better,” Alice suggested: “or some sal-volatile.”

    “I didn’t say there was nothing BETTER,” the King replied. “I said there was nothing LIKE it.”

  3. #3 Paul UK
    March 9, 2010

    I find it bizarre that people think that sea levels are going to stop at 0.8m or 1m or 0.6m etc.

    This is what the media, governments etc can’t get their heads around. Someone quotes a figure for the end of the century and they all think time stops at that point!
    Magically freezing sea levels at some figure that economists and planners can agree with.

    The media in particular seem to think that there are these absolute figures, so that the idea of 6m added to current levels is some sort of lie.

  4. #4 Paul UK
    March 9, 2010

    >Commentators such as Danish economist Bjorn Lomborg, who accept the theory of man-made climate change but believe mitigation…

    Yeah. If you believe that, you’ll believe anything.

  5. #5 MapleLeaf
    March 9, 2010

    OT, but Tim might be interested in this post by JBowers at shewonk:

    “March 9, 2010 at 11:18 am | #33 Quote
    “Paul Daniel Ash :
    Has McIntyre – or anyone – submitted a FOI request to CRU since the whole kerfuffle?”

    Heh, good question. Here’s the FOIA section at CA.
    http://climateaudit.org/category/foia/

    The last entry is from Feb 7th, involving none other than David Rose of Rosegate fame, and the prior entry is Jan 27th about Jonathan Leake of Leakegate fame.
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/global_warming/rosegate_1/
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/global_warming/leakegate/

    Now what on earth would David Rose and Jonathan Leake want with CRU data?

    The war on science indeed.

  6. #6 Steve Reuland
    March 9, 2010

    Yet another way in which GW denialists behave just like creationists. They claim to have been “silenced” because someone dared to disagree with them.

    It reminds me of a game I once invented called Guess the Crank, in which you have to guess which persecution story goes with which type of denialist. It’s harder than you’d think.

  7. #7 Steve L
    March 9, 2010

    brilliant take down, Tim

  8. #8 Rixaeton
    March 9, 2010

    *sigh* As usual The Australian is the home of the right-wing denialist machine. Unfortunately this is a symptom of having only one huge newspaper in this country, so the consequences of relaxing media ownership laws have come to pass. Where is the competition of credibility? I would hope that such a non-trustworthy source of news and information would suffer a drop in readership if a more reliable source existed, but we don’t have that here. Sure the ABC tries, but I suspect has plenty of pressure to present “the balanced” view (and just why does “unbalanced” get equal time?)

    Rambling a bit… anyway.

    Tim, once again I salute your hard work in bringing these inconsistencies, lies and fabrications to light, and I know it must be frustrating to engage in the defence of science for so long and still Teh Stupid continues. Still, keep at it, mate.

  9. #9 JamesA
    March 9, 2010

    >Unfortunately this is a symptom of having only one huge newspaper in this country … Where is the competition of credibility?

    Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work like that, if the UK is anything to go by. We have several national, independently-operated newspapers, but all that competition seems to have a negative effect on their credibility. They spend most of their energies trying to come up with the most outrageous headlines or nurturing a mob mentality amongst their readers. That’s the kind of stuff that sells papers.

  10. #10 jakerman
    March 9, 2010

    >*They claim to have been “silenced” because someone dared to disagree with them*

    They also claim to be silenced while controlling 70% of the news print in Australia, and a disproportionate media control in many countries.

  11. #11 Jimmy Nightingale
    March 9, 2010

    Re #8

    As bad as The Australian is, I don’t think any of the mainstream Australian newspapers are much, or any, better. The Telegraph isn’t known as the Telecrap for nothing – some footy supporting mates used to make stuff up and post it on forums just to see what would get picked up by a couple of hack journos (who shall remain nameless). Sure enough, they used to regularly publish this made up rubbish.

    When you look at the following newspapers, I think you need to look at the common thread:

    The Daily Telegraph (Sydney)
    The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney)
    The Australian (national)
    The Weekend Australian (national)
    The Advertiser (Adelaide)
    Sunday Mail (Adelaide)
    The Sunday Times (Perth)
    Herald Sun (Melbourne)
    Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne)
    mX (Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane)
    The Courier-Mail (Brisbane)
    The Cairns Post (Cairns, Queensland)
    Geelong Advertiser
    Gold Coast Bulletin
    The Mercury and Sunday Tasmanian (Hobart)

    In the UK:

    The Sun
    News of the World
    The Times
    Sunday Times

    And if you can’t work it out, here is the answer:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_News_Corporation

  12. #13 Hank Roberts
    March 9, 2010

    Markup is the HTML version of the helpful paperclip, except it helps you without even asking permission; it takes innocent underscores in URLs and misinterprets them as formatting codes for italics. I always forget this myself.

    With underscores restored, putting the whole thing in angle brackets ought to fix that: < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_News_Corporation>

    You can also force Markup to take anything literally by putting a backslash in front of it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List\_of\_assets\_owned\_by\_News\_Corporation

    Check it with Preview. Markup easily mungs what should be straightforward and obvious (right-clicking on a link without looking at it, copying the link, and pasting it in).

    Just remember: WhatYouPasteIsNotAlwaysWhatYouCopied — WYPINAWYC for short.

  13. #14 Rixaeton
    March 9, 2010

    Re #11 and #12:

    Yeah – I guess I was speaking in shorthand – I consider there to be only one newspaper in Australia, just with lots of different localised brand names at the top, thanks to media ownership.

    On reflection, as JamesA #9 quite rightly pointed out, competition can result in a race to the bottom instead of the top.

  14. #15 foram
    March 9, 2010

    Paul UK #3

    Absolutely, for me that’s the most important point. To discuss

    the sea-level rises they expect to be caused by climate change

    is meaningless with no indication of timescale. So you can ridicule figures of 6m or 80m, which may be relevant over centuries to millenia, by comparing with projections to 2100. Also, the point a lot of people seem to miss is that, regardless of how much SLR we see this century, we might well be committed to 6m or more of sea level rise by the time we get there.

  15. #16 cbp
    March 9, 2010

    …not to mention a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between ‘worst case’ and ‘likely case’.

    Anti-science it is.

  16. #17 Vince Whirlwind
    March 9, 2010

    Is The Australian similarly aghast at the difference in car rego fees, stamp duty, or building approvals between the States?

    Do different governments’ different approaches to implementing policy somehow invalidate scientific research?

    I noticed The Australian doesn’t bother mentioning that all these government policies use figures which fall within the IPCC projections, and none of them base their policies on what The Australian’s mate Nils-Axel Mörner has to say.

  17. #18 Fran Barlow
    March 9, 2010

    Also, the point a lot of people seem to miss is that, regardless of how much SLR we see this century, we might well be committed to 6m or more of sea level rise by the time we get there.

    Just so foram. If we only get 1.23 metres by 2100 but the process in train ensures that by 2200 we will get 8 meters then the argument really becomes — what legacy do we think we should leave for futuire generations and at what point are they no concern of ours. If someone says “I don’t care about that part of humanity alive post 2150″ they can legitimately say that sea rises after that time are irrelevant.

    Last time I looked though, most of us assume without putting it into words that civilisation should continue in roughly its present configuration (ideally with poverty and human rights dealt with effectively) into the long term indefinite future.

    The trouble is, nobody prominent in public policy I’ve read about is talking in any serious way about the world of post 2100 and indeed it’s only comparatively recently that 2050 has become a topic of conversation. In the 1990s it was as if the curtain was drawn at about 10 years. Oddly, most of us here were either planning to be around in 2050 or have people we care about who will be.

    My own view is that we do at least owe the folks that will be around long enough to be hurt seriously by our actions in ways they couldn’t easily deal with a duty of care. That might well extend to 2300 or even longer. Certainly if we are talking of total Himalayan Glacier loss by 2350, that would be a date we could look at seriously.

  18. #19 foram
    March 9, 2010

    A more ostentatiously literary salvo from the Oz, in last Wednesday’s Australian Literary Review, was this pseudo-balanced piece by Paul Monk.

    Reviewing four books on climate change, of which

    Only two of the authors, Hansen and Plimer, have any claim to scientific expertise

    Plimer gets first bat, and then Hansen, who

    unlike Gore, at least has some claim to being a serious climate scientist.

    Really?

  19. #20 foram
    March 9, 2010

    four five books…

  20. #21 Jimmy Nightingale
    March 9, 2010

    Re #12 and #13

    Thanks jakerman and Hank Roberts. Meant to hit the Preview button, but accidentally hit the Post button instead. Having said that, I would have only picked up the formatting issues with the newspaper names (very messy that, humble apologies). I’ll use Markdown in future and try to insert clean links.

    So thanks once again.

  21. #22 foram
    March 9, 2010

    BTW, #19 was the cover story for the ALR. The cover is a photograph of Einstein, with the headline “CLIMATE CHANGE: What would he do?”

    This bit is a doozy:

    Not only is that so because the stakes in climatic and economic terms, as everyone agrees, are about as high as they can get, whether the AGW hypothesis is correct or not; but because we need to cultivate better habits of debating matters of moment, as regards both what is so and what is to be done.

    Great idea! Cue reasoned, rational argument:

    And it is for precisely this reason that the recent disclosures about the IPCC’s sloppy handling of evidence and the scandalously anti-scientific behaviour of the “hockey stick” team led by American climatologist Michael Mann and the East Anglia Climate Research Centre are so disturbing. These people have been supposedly conducting the AGW Solvay conference for about 20 years. What we are beginning to see is that they have not been following the Solvay rules at all. In fact, they have been seeking for some considerable time to prevent or discredit any attempt to refute their hypothesis and have manipulated evidence in an effort not merely to confirm it, as bona fide evidence might be taken to do, but to appear to confirm it, when they knew that there were all kinds of uncertainties in the data. This is, quite simply, inadmissible.

  22. #23 Shirley
    March 9, 2010

    Australia’s so called ‘quality newspaper’ is not averse to lambasting ‘miscreants’ from the anonymity of the editorial column. When Tim Flannery was Australian of the Year he was derided several times by an unidentified editorialist for daring to speak out on climate change. Lomborg, on the other hand is venerated.

    On another note, has anyone ever attempted to quantify the level of AGW bias in ‘The Australian’? It is obvious that opinion, lead letters to the editor, editorials and general news articles sway towards the anti AGW side of the debate but how much so?

  23. #24 jakerman
    March 9, 2010

    Cutting through this anonymity is one place to start. When editorial appear on the opinion page is it accountable to the [opinion page editor](http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/05/27/rundle-none-the-weisser-on-planet-albrechtsen/) or the [Editor in Chief](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Mitchell)?

    Anyone know?

    For a laugh (or groan) check out the Chris Mitchell swing in [this special](http://abc.gov.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s2563301.htm).

    And poor conservatives! Things are looking rough, they can [hardly keep the ballance going](http://australianconservative.com/2008/06/tide-of-opinion-turning-at-the-australian-2/).

  24. #25 el gordo
    March 9, 2010

    At least you still have the ABC in your pocket.

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/03/abc-gags-bob-carter

  25. #26 foram
    March 9, 2010

    On another note, has anyone ever attempted to quantify the level of AGW bias in ‘The Australian’? It is obvious that opinion, lead letters to the editor, editorials and general news articles sway towards the anti AGW side of the debate but how much so?

    I’d like to know this as well, but I’d be shocked if it even approached 50-50 balance in the [naivest sense](http://drboli.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/the-duck/). Amongst the [columnists](http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/columnists), [Mike Steketee](http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/climate-contrarians/story-0-1225737881894) is a voice for reason, [Janet Albrechtson](< http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/janetalbrechtsen/index.php/theaustralian/comments/seeing_through_hoax_of_the_century/>), [Christopher Pearson](http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/climate-facts-to-warm-to/story-e6frg7ko-1111115855185), [Terry McCrann](http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/emissions-trading-scheme-attacks-australias-national-foundations/story-e6frg9if-1225804745331), and [Greg Sheridan](< http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/gregsheridan/index.php/theaustralian/comments/big_talk_small_stick/>) rather less so.

    The paper also provides a platform for all the usual suspects on its opinion pages.

  26. #27 jakerman
    March 9, 2010

    el gordo writes:

    >*At least you still have the ABC in your pocket.*

    You mean at leat some media has [standardards for accuracy](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/open_thread_44.php#comment-2337496).

    el gordo, do you believe Carter’s claims of [data tampering](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/open_thread_44.php#comment-2337534) fit with in the proper editorial guidelines for accuracy?

  27. #28 Happy
    March 9, 2010

    Well, Rupert’s pretty much on record as saying he’s in the entertainment business.

    If it generates controversy it will generate sales.

    All the denialist crap is money in the bank for him – if you want to fix that just don’t buy his product and encourage others to do the same.

  28. #29 darkpaw
    March 9, 2010

    That’s some seriously evil quote mining in Carter’s drivel at Quadrant.

    Hansen wrote:

    “Summary opinion re scenarios. Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue, and energy sources such as “synfuels”, shale oil and tar sands were receiving strong consideration. Now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective climate forcing scenarios consistent with what is realistic under current conditions. Scenarios that accurately fit recent and near-future observations have the best chance of bringing all of the important players into the discussion, and they also are what is needed for the purpose of providing policy-makers the most effective and efficient options to stop global warming.”

    Carter:

    =====================

    “Fifteen years later, in the Scientific American in March, 2004, Hansen came to write that “Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue. Now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective climate forcing scenarios consistent with what is realistic”.

    This conversion to honesty came too late, however, for in the intervening years thousands of other climate scientists had meanwhile climbed onto the Hansenist funding gravy-train.

    =====================

    Even the creationists use an ellipsis when cutting out inconvenient context.

  29. #30 Fran Barlow
    March 9, 2010

    Happy suggested:

    All the denialist crap is money in the bank for him [Murdoch] – if you want to fix that just don’t buy his product and encourage others to do the same.

    Better yet, don’t buy stuff from people who take out display ads in his papers. Write to them explaining why.

    The paper itself loses money. The ads make him money. Devaluing this product (his ad revenue) while buying the service that costs him money hurts him more. Of course, you can pick up his crappy sheets on the train, in recycling bins, at libraries etc so you don’t have to buy his papers either.

  30. #31 AndrewD
    March 10, 2010

    I know it’s a bit late, but I did try to post a reply to the last (5th) comment on The Australian’s story (“where does all the water come from to make sea level rise?”) but it appears that comments need to be vetted before appearing and mine didn’t pass the test (I used numbers and stuff). Censorship? At the Oz? Perish the thought….

  31. #32 ChrisC
    March 10, 2010

    While Tim touched on it briefly, I think that it really, really needs to be emphasised that the estimates of sea level rise across states are different, for a large part, because predicted sea level rise is different in different locations.

    Sea-level, despite popular understanding, is not equal at all places across the globe, and expectations of local sea-level rise are influenced profoundly by (among other things) currents, wind, transport of heat and salinity, and the motion of bars and sills.

    For example, most climate change models seem to predict an expansion of the tropical trades further south, meaning NSW would be under a trade regime for longer periods throughout the year. Additionally, the south-ward flowing east Australian Current, which brings warm water from the tropical oceans down to NSW, has shown signs of reaching more southern extents during the summer. As such, more easterly winds pushing water into the NSW coast, along with greater amounts of warmer water being transported further south, would indicate to me that mot of NSW SHOULD expect a different (and probably greater) sea level rise than QLD.

    There are physical reasons for the differing estimates, and the Australian didn’t even bother to try to find out why the numbers are different.

    Que spangled drongo going on about his tidal gauge in 3…2…1.

  32. #33 Gaz
    March 10, 2010

    AndrewD, I tried as well. I’ve had some comments get through on that site while others fail, with no apparent pattern. Sometimes it takes a while. I think their staffing is pretty tight.

    By the way, my comment was along these lines.

    John Grundy of Chiswick said “Oceans cover 361,000,000 sq. kms, to raise them by one meter requires 361,000 cubic kilometers of fresh water.”

    I pointed out that there are 33,000,000 cubic kms of ice on the Antractic and Greenland ice sheets. To raise the sea level 1 metre would need only 1.1% of that to melt.

    I also said that assumes no more sea level rise due to thermal expansion, which has actually caused most of the rise so far.

    (Can someone check my maths please?)

  33. #34 Dappledwater
    March 10, 2010

    Gaz, that’s near enough for a very simplistic calculation, given that the earth’s water doesn’t have vertical sides, amongst a host of other considerations.

  34. #35 AndrewD
    March 10, 2010

    Gaz,
    Goodonya! I did the thermal expansion calc because I assumed they would argue that the glaciers and ice-sheets aren’t really melting. But they can’t argue with physics….can they? I calculated an average increase of +1.7°C would do it.
    Dappledwater’s point is valid in that as the sea level rises it will flood over what is land now so the surface area will increase….er, wait, isn’t that the point? That a small (1m) rise will flood an awful lot of land? Time for some backpeddling D?

  35. #36 Paul UK
    March 10, 2010

    Slightly off topic.

    BBC Radio 4, The Today Programme:

    Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society expresses concern about the press coverage of climate change science, but isn’t surprised.

    He falls short of criticising the press directly.

    There is an embedded audio file in the following link, but I don’t know if it will work outside the UK:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8559000/8559209.stm

    Having been questioned whether the reporting was irresponsible, Lord Rees suggests it is understandable given journalistic values.

    Which means yes, without actually saying the word!

  36. #37 WotWot
    March 10, 2010

    green totalitarians, who have tried to silence those with different viewpoints.

    Are they seriously suggesting that Murdoch’s entire massive propaganda empire, just for starters, has been or could be ‘silenced’?

    What a bunch of shameless, self-serving crap. No wonder the author(s) didn’t put their name(s) to it.

    I, for one, don’t want them silenced at all. I want these dishonest idiots to speak whenever they wish in public, because 1) it makes them easier to spot, and 2) they usually end up contradicting and negating their own arguments after a while.

    Give ‘em enough rope…

  37. #38 Ian Enting
    March 10, 2010

    The whole premise of the ALR article was a scam. Firstly setting up the Solvay conferences as some sort of jury on quantum reality (rather than juts speeding up the normal
    inter-scientist interaction between a few key people) and then pretending that the IPCC should have been acting like a Solvay conference.

    Since we were reading it as a qantas give-away, I asked the passenger next to me what she thought, and she just found it waffly.

  38. #39 Bernard J.
    March 10, 2010

    Gack, gawd, and golly-gosh…

    It seems that the Chairman of the ABC, Maurice Newman, [is a climate change 'sceptic'](http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2010/s2842177.htm)! Murdoch has a friend, it seems.

    So, because Newman had (apparently) an inkling about Alan Bond and Christopher Skase, he believes that he is right in doubting the expertise of thousands of the world’s best scientists?

    Perhaps if he actually had a real, functioning radar, he’d realise that Plimer, Carter, Watts, Monckton and the rest are the Bonds and the Skases of the climate change scene…

    I hope that some of the senior climate scientists in Australia take the time to confront Newman about his muddled thinking on the subject.

    Given the number of unqualified, untrained nimrods around the world who are conspicuously spouting about the complexities of a field with which they have no experience, Messrs Dunning and Kruger must be a whisker from publishing their follow-up paper.

  39. #40 el gordo
    March 10, 2010

    BJ

    MAURICE NEWMAN: I think the ABC has probably been more balanced than most in the mainstream media. I think that we’ve listened to the words of sceptics as well as those who are scientists in the field.

    Well, that’s not true and the censorship continues.

  40. #41 jakerman
    March 10, 2010

    El gordo,

    Do you want the “skeptical” view being offered by people pushing [known falsehoods](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_australians_war_on_science_48.php#comment-2337555)?

  41. #42 Donald Oats
    March 10, 2010

    Murdoch’s products don’t pass muster. Simple as that.
    As for the editorials, funny how the anonymous editorial writer can write screeds on the lack of transparency and openess by the CRU scientists, all the while hiding behind a cloak of secrecy. Pathetic.

    On a related matter concerning lack of balance in the Australian, I’m wondering where the scientists are. Our climate scientists – at least the ones in some specific research institutions – have gone awful quiet and thus allowed the Australian’s War on Science to continue unabated. If they were hoping that by not responding they would suck the oxygen out of the arguments being made by professional deniers, then they got it horribly wrong.

  42. #43 kent
    March 10, 2010

    In all the discussions relating to sea level rise I have found little that discusses what happens when minus 30 degree C fresh water ice melts in sea water.
    We read about thermal expansion and volumetric increase but what about the effect of the cooling of sea water by the melting of the ice? Also what seems to be ignored is the effect on sea water level of cold air?

  43. #44 James Haughton
    March 10, 2010

    Australia’s best national newspaper on a wide variety of issues is, funnily enough, the Australian Financial Review, and they regularly have very solid stories on science (of all fields). Even if business and economic news brings you out in hives, the weekend Fin is well worth reading.

  44. #45 foram
    March 10, 2010

    MAURICE NEWMAN: I think the ABC has probably been more balanced than most in the mainstream media. I think that we’ve listened to the words of sceptics as well as those who are scientists in the field.

    Well, that’s not true and the censorship continues.

    Ah yes, the heavy hand of censorship.

  45. #46 Lotharsson
    March 10, 2010

    The same day as Maurice Newman opines that the ABC is more fair and balanced on climate change than some unnamed others, it posts
    Climate Change is a fact, says China.

  46. #47 JasonW
    March 10, 2010

    foram, thanks for that link to the Lateline debate between Plimer and Monbiot. The embarassing series of Plimer evasions is indeed ‘truly fascinating’. Why does anybody take him seriously, I wonder. It’s a shame to see an eminent academic lose it like that. I can understand Monbiot’s frustration that steadily increases as the debate goes on.

  47. #48 Chris Nedin
    March 10, 2010

    Todays Australian Financial Review has a piece in its “Opinion” Section by John Quiggin, Australian Research Council Federation Fellow in Economics and Polictical Science at the University of Queensland, entitled “Science limited by truth” about the “increasingly vociferous attack” on science. Tim’s “The Australian’s War on Science” gets a mention (page 62)

  48. #49 foram
    March 10, 2010

    JasonW, yes I found the [Lateline debate](http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2009/s2772906.htm) incredibly illuminating. What could be more anti-science than evading discussion of scientific claims you have made? I found it quite jarring.

  49. #50 Fran Barlow
    March 10, 2010

    I interpreted Mr Newman as arguing that the ABC should give even more freedom to those attempting to subvert evidence-based public policy to spread their disinformation on climate change.

    He self-described as “an agnostic” and called discussion on climate change “groupthink”. He declared that “the science” was “developing”, blurring the lines between the basic science and regional climate impacts and timelines.

    In short, he was uttering denier cant.

    Predictably, the journalist offered only the most tepid of probes of his position that “good scientists, not crackpots” have doubts. I’d have liked him to ask him to go through the bits he thought good scientists were doubting with for instances, but of course he didn’t, rather affirming the point that the ABC has been duchessed by the filth merchant lobby.

    One point did emerge. If there really were a “conspiracy” to persuade people of the intergrity of the idea of anthropogenic climate change, it’s would have to be the most crap conspiracy ever. They can’t even get people willing to say what mainstream science says onto the ABC board. Instead they’ve got some nutbag comparing people respecting scientists with a record of publishing in science journals of record with those doing puff pieces for Chris Skase. The odd thing is that the people he wants his journos to respect are the Chris Skases of this issue — Plimer, Monckton and that gang.

    If gjournalists were better informed and more analytic, the Monckton’s and Plimers of the worlds would feel attacked rather than affirmed asd they generally are on “our ABC”.

  50. #51 foram
    March 10, 2010

    Fran, I believe you interpreted correctly.

    Of course Mr Newman isn’t Robinson Crusoe on the [ABC board](http://www.abc.net.au/corp/board/board_members.htm), home to [Quadrant](http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet) editor Keith Windschuttle and (until recently) News Limited columnist [Janet Albrechtson](http://www.smh.com.au/national/janet-albrechtsen-to-step-down-as-director-on-abc-board-20091110-i7lr.html).

  51. #52 Bernard J.
    March 10, 2010
  52. #53 Bernard J.
    March 10, 2010

    [Fran](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_australians_war_on_science_48.php#comment-2339837).

    Makes you wonder who was stacking the board, and why, doesn’t it…?

  53. #54 Fran Barlow
    March 10, 2010

    Makes you wonder who was stacking the board, and why, doesn’t it…?

    If you believe in conspiracies, you can always make it part of an even more devious plan involving even more people.

    Sure they are putting deniers on the board, but that’s just to make it seem balanced when they really are not. At some point they will throw off the charade and …

  54. #55 stopmurdoch
    March 10, 2010

    As a general rule, when such rubbish is published anonymously in any Murdoch outlet Murdoch has penned it himself.

  55. #56 stopmurdoch
    March 10, 2010
  56. #57 quokkaZ
    March 10, 2010

    Pilger’s piece on Murdoch is spot on. I recall reading the mud slinging garbage on Michael Foot being a Soviet agent. The “sleuth” from the Sunday Times claimed his Soviet codename was “Boot”. I couldn’t stop laughing.

  57. #58 foram
    March 10, 2010

    Looks like I should add “as already pointed out by jakerman” … Maybe Newman deserves his own thread.

  58. #59 AndrewD
    March 11, 2010

    Kent (#43) I just stopped laughing at your question: “what happens when minus 30 degree C fresh water ice melts in sea water”.
    Then I did a quick calculation which shows that the melting of sufficient ice at -30°C to raise the entire ocean level by 1m will cool said ocean by 0.00002°C.

  59. #60 spangled drongo
    March 11, 2010
  60. #61 Jeremy C
    March 11, 2010

    Yeah, well, Newman, just think of him as an ordinary person and that a lot more work has to be done to educate the majority of people on AGW.

    In that regard maurice Newman has done us a favour.

    James Hansen is in town. Perhaps Newman could find ther time to buy Hansen a cup of coffee and have a chat……..

  61. #62 Fran barlow
    March 11, 2010

    Spangled Drongo wittered:

    Remind us all once again how good that “science” of AGW is.

    Having read the story at the link, I’d say very good. The story made no comment on the science of AGW at all, so I have to assume that it affirms it.

  62. #63 Sou
    March 11, 2010

    The way I read Maurice Newman’s comments on PM, I’m guessing that he hasn’t got around to reading the science and gets all his opinions from the media – which is lazy at best. It also results in a circularity. The media already gives deniosaurs airtime that is way out of proportion to the science, therefore people like Newman are misled into thinking there is still some question that human emissions of CO2 are causing warming.

    Newman is a conservative and has a general free-market philosophy from what I’ve read. He’s also a very busy man. Not having time to educate himself on climate change is not an adequate reason for Newman to suggest denialist tripe should be given space in the media.

  63. #64 Jeremy C
    March 11, 2010

    I’m typing this in British Columbia. Today’s edition of the Vancouver Sun reports that, “this winter has been the warmest and driest in Canadian record books” as reported by Margeret Munro (Warm Winter ‘beyond shocking’, Section B, page 1 Wednesday, 10th March).

    Perhaps our ABC’s Maurice could widen his surveying of the media (though I presume he does that as part of his job as our employee) The article is accompianed by a nice graph showing the areas that were warmer than normal. I know that Maurice is a very busy man given his job and as one of his employers (i.e. a tax payer) I am glad that he is not a slacker, but because he is one of our employees at the ABC he should really look into the anomalies being reported world wide if he is to be effective when speaking in public on the topic of AGW. Otherwise I will just have to remind him of his employee status.

  64. #65 Hank Roberts
    March 11, 2010

    > a quick calculation which shows that the melting of
    > sufficient ice at -30°C to raise the entire ocean
    > level by 1m will cool said ocean by 0.00002°C.
    > Posted by: AndrewD

    Care to post the numbers? This particular question has started showing up lots of places recently.

  65. #67 AmandaS
    March 11, 2010

    And The Australian does it again today. A large Focus article on Maurice Newman’s “incendiary” call for “balance” in the climate change debate that quotes Bob Carter on his difficulties in getting published (ha ha ha).

    Followed by a self-serving and piously self-righteous editorial on how printing one article by Hansen demonstrates something about their editorial policies (I refuse to write balance because there is none).

    It includes the sterling quotes:

    “Yesterday, for example, as an opinion writer in a financial tabloid claimed erroneously that The Australian campaigned again science…” (glad to see someone in the MSM is starting to pick up Tim’s theme).

    (On data) “As well as greenhouse emissions, that data should take account of other determinants of temperature, primarily the sun and the heat of the earth’s core.” (Those pesky scientists: they forgot the SUN! Imagine forgetting the sun! And if anyone can explain the earth’s core reference, I’d be grateful.)

    (Followed later by) “So we make no apologies for reporting that the Great Barrier Reef is defying predictions and showing minimal signs of bleaching or that surfers who have frequented the same beaches for 50 years have found no increases in sea levels, apart from temporary erosion.” (I love that bit after the comma, which they can rely on if Rupert’s policies change and they decide to actually mention water lapping at someone’s doorstep – “oh, we thought it was temporary erosion”.)

    I have to say that the last paragraph I quoted clears it up for me. The Australian is not campaigning against science, because they have not the slightest, vaguest, simplest idea of what science is. They think science is asking a sunburnt surfer dude what his anecdotal evidence is. No wonder that they get nothing right.

    The editorial ends on “Listeners and viewers should be extended the courtesy of being allowed to make up their own minds.” I’m happy with this; but what they aren’t allowed to do is make up their own facts. On that point, The Australian falls down badly.

    (Seriously, the earth’s core thing? Does anyone know where that one comes from?)

    A

  66. #68 jakerman
    March 11, 2010

    What is “temporary erosion”? Perhaps its temporary until the next tectonic plate slide lifts the sediment out of the ocean?

    Or perhaps its temporary in the sense that seas may drop below current levels many thousands of years in the future?

  67. #69 Mike
    March 11, 2010

    I’m guessing they’re getting at geothermal energy transfer?

    It seems that they don’t have much of a clue what they’re talking about though, and are hopelessly lost regarding energy sources and their relative effects on various things.

  68. #70 Post hoc
    March 11, 2010

    AmandaS

    Great comments on The Australian, as for the “Core” issue, I had a look at Grist, and they have a “How to talk to a Climate Skeptic” primer, and it is mentioned in there, I haven’t come across it, but it appears to go

    “The earths core is 5000 degree C surely that is what is warming the earth”

    Just becuase something isn’t logical doesn’t stop them proposing it, I think it makes it more likely.

  69. #71 Happy
    March 11, 2010

    (On data) “As well as greenhouse emissions, that data should take account of other determinants of temperature, primarily the sun and the heat of the earth’s core.”

    Obviously, when you burn stuff, the CO2 that comes out is hot… which is what all them crazy hippies are worried about and why you should buy my new patented spring water ice exhaust cooler…a kindler, gentler way to burn (franchises available)

    More seriously, it’s perhaps an example of how difficult “average” people find it to deal with complex systems, lag times, feedback etc. Examples: spectral transmission/absorbtion for atmospheric stuff; for sea water + ice, thermoclines and other fluidic mechanisms.

    Even for an enthusiastic and semi-numerate amateur (yours truly) it’s tough stuff.

    Unsurprising (but not excusable) that your “average” journo takes the low brow road.

  70. #72 Donald Oats
    March 11, 2010

    Perhaps the ABC journos should band together and apply the “two sides to the debate” and “science is never settled” key principles more widely than just the climate science stories. You know, like in “The Cook and The Chef” Simon and Maggie agree too much – a consensus if you will on how to slow cook the onions when making French Onion soup. WHERE IS THE OTHER SIDE TO THE DEBATE??? Get Bolt onto the case, I wanna see Piers Ackerman tellin’ us just how bereft of conservative cooking Simon and Maggie are. And let’s see some digging into their past, to see if they are leaving off the taxpayers of this country. Where are the FOIs, why the stifling of dissent? And who tasted the final product, who measured the quality of the final product? Why, none other than Simon and Maggie!!! That’s NOT HOW YOU DO HOME ECONOMICS!!! I demand the raw data!!!!! Claims that they ate the soup aren’t good enough!!!!!!!
    etc etc.

    On another note, from Newman to McDonald and right through to Albrechtsen, each appointment to the ABC board was partisan – as was elimination of the traditional board position filled by an internal member of the ABC. McDonald was the only surprise, in the sense that he actually stood up for the integrity of ABC journalism even though he was a long-time friend of John Howard. Windshuttle was there for his steadfast refusal to acknowledge even the existence of a policy of removal of “half-castes” from their (often self-sufficient) families, and the resulting devastation that was the obvious result. He was also there because of his hardline stance against the presence of any Indigenous art and/or history that didn’t agree with his narrative of Aboriginal History, at the National Museum of Australia. Dawn Casey, the Launch Director responsible for opening the National Museum of Australia in 2001, is herself an Indigenous Australian, one who has witnessed firsthand the destructive side of the government policies of removal of “half-castes” from their families. Windschuttle was just the start of the neo-conservative vision of how to fix Australia – if you don’t like the history, just indulge in some revisionism and then go ballistic at those who would dare point at the contradictory facts.

    Nope, the fixing of the ABC board had predictable results, and the damage is continuing. The War on Facts (Science or History or Geology or Paleontology or Cosmology and Astronomy, or Climate Science and AGW in particular, hey take your pick) has gathered momentum even as the facts keep getting unearthed by the attentive.

    Nuff said for now.

  71. #73 Vince Whirlwind
    March 11, 2010

    “temporary erosion”.

    It took about 15 minutes, but then the full blithering idiocy of this statement hit me.

    WTF is “temporary erosion”?????

    This is a crystal clear example of the Australian injecting politics into science.
    Erosion is erosion. Deposition is deposition. There is no such fucking thing as “temporary erosion”. Even Plimer could have pointed this to them.

    As for preferring the opinion of some random surfer over the considered research from relevant experts – there is simply no excuse for that. A proper journalist would use this as reference material:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/ntc/IDO60102/IDO60102.2009_1.pdf

    “Sea level trends in the SPSLCMP region are generally higher than the global average, which currently stands at ~3.2 mm/yr. Satellite altimetry shows high rates of sea level rise have been observed along the South Pacific Convergence Zone, which is in agreement with the SPSLCMP results.”

    or:

    http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_proj_21st.html

    The Australian has demonstrated a very clear agenda on this issue by publishing the nonsense that it has:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/seeing-through-hoax-of-the-century/story-e6frg6qx-1225794053555

    “…Nils-Axel Mörner – a leading world authority on sea levels …sets out some facts.…
    Fact number 3: In the 1970s, the sea level fell by about 20cm to its present level.
    Fact number 4: Sea levels have remained constant for the past 30 years “implying that there are no traces of any alarming ongoing sea level rise”….”

    This is quite obviously arrant nonsense (from a man who incidentally also promotes dowsing), but The Australian seems keen to pursue its disinformation campaign by unquestioningly printing ever more of this sort of rubbish.

  72. #75 Chris Nedin
    March 11, 2010

    On the heat of the earth’s core reference, I presume thay are talking about the Earth’s heat flux.

    The Earth radiates an average global heat flow of about 0.075 Watts/meter^2. This will vary – e.g. volcanoes, but is primarily due to radioactive decay in the mantle and crust.

    A lot of work has been done on the Earth’s heat flux, but I’m guessing climate deniers are claiming that this heat flux (erroniously referring to the core as the source) causes global worming. This would have to be some sort of temporary increase in heat flux, as overall, the heat flux is reducing over time as radioactivity decreases.

    Which means they have to argue for ice ages in the geological past despite increased heat flux!

  73. #76 Fran Barlow
    March 11, 2010

    this heat flux (erroniously referring to the core as the source) causes global worming

    Global worming you say? Gosh, our canine and feline friends will be thrilled. ;-)

  74. #77 Post hoc
    March 11, 2010

    Chris Nedin

    I think you make the mistake of using calculations, this has nothing to do with logic, but thinking if the Earths Core is 5000 degree Celsius, i.e. like the sun, therefore how come we aren’t warming ourselves.

    Again it is anti-science or more correctly anti science they can’t understand, everything is broken down so as average Jo can understand it, the watch complex operations on RPA and at the end of 30 minutes the person is ok, they watch CSI and after 1 hour through science (explained in the most basic terms to them) the bad person is caught and good wins out.

    But this climate science has been in the media for 10 years, and they still are arguing with it, and the nice Newsman tells me that this simple fact which I understand as it makes sense to me (as opposed to flux/radiance/isotopes) clearly if a heart transplant can be explained to me in 30 minutes and this climate science can’t in 10 years then they are making it up.

    cynical I know but, people are idiots. How else can you explain Fox News

  75. #78 WotWot
    March 11, 2010

    @75

    Agree. They are starting to sound very defensive, and are resorting to truly ludicrous arguments to prop up their ethically and intellectually bankrupt position.

    Same thing happened with their comments on the election polling leading up to the last election. They were torn a new one several times by a real stats expert (Possum at [Pollytics](http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/)), and boy did it sting, they did not like being held accountable one little bit.

    •••••

    @72

    IIRC, Windschuttle (one of the most obnoxious debaters I have ever witnessed), along with many other neo-cons, like our good friend Piers Ackerman, used to be one of the hardcore far left in his younger days. Interesting journey they have travelled. These kind of folk are just believers. Whatever they believe today is clearly the absolute truth.

    It is a certain personality type, the type who want to control other people’s lives.

    See also the crew who are now Spiked, in the UK. Failed militant Trotsykists. Now hard right faux Libertarians.

  76. #79 jakerman
    March 11, 2010

    >*It is a certain personality type, the type who want to control other people’s lives.*

    And the same people make the charge of ‘green totalitarianism’ and social engineering against others. Obvious projection of their own MO.

  77. #80 Fran Barlow
    March 11, 2010

    Post hoc said:

    cynical I know but, people are idiots. How else can you explain Fox News

    It’s a tempting conclusion but it’s imprecise.

    Yes there certainly are many stupid people, but most people by definition are close enough to mean intelligence not to be called idiots.

    What we are dealing with is a much more complex set of cultural issues. Convenience food, though bad for you in the long run, serves the need for instant gratification most of us feel occasionally. It’s right there right now packaged to suit a broad range of tastes and requires almost no decision-making from us, and it is really cheap.

    So too it is with “convenience news”. There it is with the answers in bold print next to the questions, with slogans everyone thinks they understand because we hear them every day. If you’re disengaged and feeling powerless, you can for a moment feel like someone is making sense and cutting through the painful complexity of modern life, offering you truth and a smile. And although it helps to be an idiot if you are a regular consumer of that stuff, you might be no more than someone whose brain hurts at thinking about why things are the way they are.

    Marx’s oft-quoted comments on religion in the Critique … probably serve as well for Fox news and its clones …

    Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man—state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion. Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo

    Substitute tabloid media and it still works …

  78. #81 Post hoc
    March 11, 2010

    Fran Barlow

    I am often imprecise.

    I do like your analogy of “soetimes food” as the cookie monster would call them, but I believe you place to high an opinion on society, that it does not equate to news gathering sources.

    We all know how bad and how good our UK friends can be with journalism, and based on your theory (if I haven’t misjudged it) the occasional need for mindless simple media is ok as a simple filler but nothing beats the real thing.

    The sad thing is if you examine that based on Newspaper circulation figures, the fast food takeaway of information constantly top the circulation figures over the past decade.

    (As a newbie here, I am unsure how the site feels in regards to wikipedia, but as this discussion is throw away I am using it as my reference, sorry if it offends)

    [Wikipedia site on UK Newspaper circulation](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_newspapers_in_the_United_Kingdom_by_circulation)

    The “paper of record” comes in 5th, people seem to prefer sometimes media as their diet.

  79. #82 Bernard J.
    March 11, 2010

    [Vince'](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_australians_war_on_science_48.php#comment-2343045) and [WotWot's](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_australians_war_on_science_48.php#comment-2343337) comment’s about the Australian give me pause to wonder if perhaps the rag is painting itself into a corner.

    Given the Australian’s long and consistent history of deliberate (or, at best, incompetent) misrepresentation of science, and thanks to the efforts of folk (such as Tim Lambert) in documenting this history, there is a mother lode of material for a decent investigative journalist or documentary maker to produce a damning indictment of the national rag’s distaste for telling the truth. (C’mon Four Corners, take a punt!)

    Whilst the lay public might let slip to the keeper individual examples of journalistic rot, I can’t imagine that all of them would accept this practice if they saw that it is pretty much a systemic phenomenon.

    The Oz cannot afford any significant public backlash further to its already dwindling readership. If it wants to remain in the future as anything other than Murdoch’s vanity publication hæmorrhaging money like a colander leaks water, it needs to be careful that it is not exposed as cynically playing its readership for suckers by tweeking their ideological buttons. Australians don’t mind having their prejudices subtly reinforced, but they don’t like it when they discover that they’ve been outright suckered.

    At least, I hope that Aussies still exhibit this trait, along with the national penchant for 1/4 acre blocks, sport, and beer. Without it we might as well all sign up for Bingle tweets and People magazine subscriptions, and leave our capacity for independent thought in the dumpsters behind the local fast-food outlet.

    It’s sobering to think that we might in fact get the newspapers that we deserve, in addition to the govenments that we deserve…

    We haven’t as a nation reached that point yet, have we?

  80. #83 Fran Barlow
    March 11, 2010

    Wot wot continued:

    We all know how bad and how good our UK friends can be with journalism, and based on your theory (if I haven’t misjudged it) the occasional need for mindless simple media is ok as a simple filler but nothing beats the real thing.

    Not so much that it is OK, but comprehnesible, given the marginalisation in practice of large swatghes of the populace. If nothing one thinks makes any difference, or if it seems that way, then one can think anything at all without consequence. If thinking has no consequence, then one might as well do as little of it as possible, contract it out to others, or think happy thoughts. That in a sense is why there is such a hue and cry from the enemies of good public policy about people being “silenced”. It’s as if we are trying to abolish the information analog of a fast food item by tainting it.

    It’s my view that as long as governance does not visibly foster engagement of the populace in the nuts and bolts of public policy, the tendency of lasge slabs of it to go for convenience information will persist.

    If you reread that passage from Marx I quoted, it becomes clearer.

  81. #85 Shirley
    March 12, 2010

    I admit it; I was shallow enough to buy today’s Australian (12/3) for the holiday competition. It was a great day to access the neutrality of the AGW debate in ‘The Australian.

    The two news articles, ‘climate body for scrutiny by panel’ and ‘ABC veteran rebuffs Newman on sceptics’, could be described as nominally neutral with a few niggles. But there was no neutrality in ‘Let’s have a debate, Aunty’ by Geoff Elliott.

    The editorial was of similar vein ‘ Open issues need open debate’ including such gems as ‘we make no apologies for reporting the Great Barrier Reef is defying predictions and showing minimal signs of bleaching or that surfers who have frequented the same beaches have reported no increases in sea levels’. I doubt the editor understands irony ‘As the chairman of the ABC recognises the key to covering a contentious issue is balance’. How paradoxical, an editor from ‘The Australian’ preaching about balance on AGW.

    The letters column managed to balance two letters for and two against but as is usual, the sceptic letter headed the column, titled ‘The perils of an ABC that fails to question the consensus’. So how did the Australian fare today in support for the AGW argument – 2 neutral, 4 against (the balance debate is centred on the side of the denialist) and 2 little letters on the side of AGW. There were some other articles on related subjects such as ETS, including an editorial.

    I can’t wait for the Weekend Oz – no doubt a sermon from Christopher Pearson on the bias at the ABC or is that just too obvious.

  82. #86 Fran Barlow
    March 12, 2010

    Just so Wot wot. I apologise unreservedly

  83. #87 Katharine
    March 12, 2010

    “Nothing silences the denialists quite like pointing out their errors. The sheer brutality of “you’re wrong” has a chilling effect on freedom of speech.”

    Really, it’s the only thing that should.

  84. #88 Bernard J.
    March 12, 2010

    I have a question or two for Maurice Newman and The Australian: on the matter of pædophilia, should we have a “balanced” discussion, with equal time given to those for and against?

    What of terrorism? Should those terrorists so despised by Maurie and The Oz be given equal inches in the columns, and equal time on the airwaves?

    How about the ‘flat earthers’, and the Holocaust denialists? Or the HIV/AIDS denialists?

    Where’s the balanced debate?

  85. #89 Lotharsson
    March 12, 2010

    I have a feeling that Between The Drum and Deltoid, they are starting to hurt.

    I’ve been trying to play a part at both places – maybe it’s having a minor impact :-)

  86. #90 P. Lewis
    March 12, 2010

    Spot on BJ.

  87. #91 Gaz
    March 12, 2010

    Yeah, BJ.

    I have an old friend who took too much LSD in the 70s and became convinced UFO pilots are sending him messages through David Bowie songs, telling him he’s the new messiah and he’s going to lead to world to an anarchist utopia.

    On his behalf, I demand equal opportunity to present his views in The Australian. Otherwise, where’s the balance??

  88. #92 AndrewD
    March 14, 2010

    Sorry Hank (#65), and anybody else who took note of my post (#59) – I dropped a major clanger in my estimation of the mix temperature of melted ice and seawater. The answer is that the seawater cools by 0.02°C not 0.00002°C which is what I gleefully posted. Apologies to Kent (#43) too.

    The average depth of the oceans is 4000m [via Google], so to raise the level by 1m by melting ice alone requires a mixture of 1m³ melted ice with 4000m³ seawater, which is near-enough (but not exactly) 1kg per 4000kg. Enthalpy of ice at -30°C is -393.3 kJ/kg and of water at 0°C is zero [Thermodynamic & Transport Properties of Fluids by Rogers and Mayhew, but probably in many other refs]. I picked zero celsius for convenience but it works for any seawater temperature. On this basis, the enthalpy of 4001kg at the mix temperature is -393.3kJ. With a specific heat capacity of around 4.2 kJ/kg°C [Rogers and Mayhew again] the temperature change is therefore -393.3÷(4001 x 4.2) = -0.023°C.

  89. #93 Dave55
    March 15, 2010

    The Oz editorial today now says it accepts the science (I think) but that the results aren’t alarming – because that would be bad to have predictions that were alarming – oh and we shouldn’t do anything because no one else is (presumably so we can all have our environments and economies go to crap together in the future). FFS

    I’m sure that you’ll all find a lot of what is in that article quite amusing. One thing that it is good for though is that we can point them to this editorial next time they publish an ‘It’s cooling’ article.

  90. #95 jakerman
    March 15, 2010

    Vince, you were supposed to dispose of those editorials down the memory hole. History begins today.

    *Those who control the past control the future. Those who control the present control the past.*

    Go imurse yourself in some celebrity gossip or look at porn. That way it shouldn’t take long for you to clear your mind and gain the capacity to read the Australian with the spirit in which it is intended.

  91. #96 Mike
    March 15, 2010

    There is little doubt The Australian has a very troubled relationship with the science (or science per say). Still, the recent CSIRO paper “State of the Climate” has boxed them, and they’ve been forced to acknowledge the science is “solid” in a recent editorial:

    “SERIOUS climate change debate is not the place for alarmist hyperbole and sophistry. Australians need to come to grips with the issue through quality science and rational argument, which is why a new CSIRO/Bureau of Meteorology analysis is welcome. While more than 90 per cent certain that greenhouse emissions have caused most of the global warming observed since 1950, the report’s balanced approach enhances its credibility…

    …CSIRO executive director Dr Megan Clark correctly points out the value of scientific observation and hard data, the hallmarks of the new report, which is based on some of the most accurate meteorology records in the world. The report is a useful resource to inform sensible debate”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/cool-voice-of-reason-on-climate/story-e6frg71x-1225841103001

    Sure, they take swipes at “alarmists” and plead for special treatment for our coal/mining industries, but the CSIRO document has forced their hand to state the science is real. It wont’ cure them of their obsession with Bjorn Lomborg and other nutters, but I think we can say editors have been forced to acknowledge reality. I won’t stop individual journalists publishing rubbish but it’s a good shift.

  92. #97 Lotharsson
    March 16, 2010

    The Oz editorial today now says it accepts the science (I think) but that the results aren’t alarming…

    So they’ve moved from the 2 of Hearts to the 3 of Clubs in the Denialist’s Deck of Cards?

    Progress, but very very minor.