Maurice Newman, the chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has come out as a global warming denier in a speech to the ABC.

Michael Ashley replies here:

Scientists are fairly measured in their public statements. Years of training instils a care with words, and avoidance of value judgements. Well, sod that, I’m angry.

What has me fuming is your speech last week to ABC staff in which you accuse your senior journalists of “group-think” in favouring the scientific consensus on climate change. You refer to “a growing number of distinguished scientists [that are] challenging the conventional wisdom with alternative theories and peer reviewed research” and you claim that these poor folk are being suppressed in the mainstream media.

Who are these distinguished scientists? I don’t know of a single credible climate scientist who doubts human-induced climate change.

In his speech Newman claims:

Climate change is a further example of group-think where contrary views have not been tolerated, and where those who express them have been labelled and mocked. … This collective censorious approach succeeded in suppressing contrary views in the mainstream media, despite the fact that a growing number of distinguished scientists were challenging the conventional wisdom with alternative theories and peer reviewed research.

In fact, the mainstream media amplifies contrary views. Look at the massive coverage Ian Plimer gets. If you’re wondering how Newman could pretend that Plimer has been silenced despite massive media coverage, well, that’s how group-think works. And compare the media coverage (including the ABC) of Monckton’s visit to Australia with that of Hansen’s visit.

A contributing factor for the review was the revelation that the CRU emails were known to Paul Hudson, the BBC climate correspondent one month before the story broke – but not reported at the time.

That’s completely false. Since there was no basis to the story, the only mainstream media it appeared in was the Daily Mail and the (London) Daily Telegraph. Newman most likely got from a blog and like the bloggers he got it from, he never bothered to check if it was accurate. That’s group-think.

Newman continues:

More significantly, we see too how media have failed us by not being rigorous and questioning enough, resulting in many misrepresentations taking too long to be discovered.

Like Newman’s misrepresentation.

Then came the sensational revelations of unprofessional conduct by some of the world’s most influential climatologists exposed by the hacked or leaked emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Institute. This was followed by more evidence of dubious research and politicised advocacy contained in scientifically unsupported claims and errors in the IPCC 4th Assessment, including in the carefully vetted Synthesis Report. Questionable methods of analysis resulting in spurious temperature data have added further doubts on the underlying credibility of the science.

The lack of moral and scientific integrity shown by the IPCC serves only to reduce clarity and increase confusion, disappoint believers and give fuel to doubters.

It is Maurice Newman who lacks integrity for smearing scientists using Anthony Watts’ bogus analysis.

In defending the indefensible, Mr Gore, university vice-chancellors and those in the media, do a disservice to the scientific method and miss the point that no matter how noble your work, your first responsibility must always be to the truth.

If Newman cares about the truth he will retract his indefensible and false claims.

Comments

  1. #1 el gordo
    March 20, 2010

    Marion

    La Rouche predicted the recent financial crisis, but generally their views are too weird for the rank and file to understand, so they will remain on the political fringe in Oz.

    Being from the disaffected left I will undoubtedly be wooed to the right before the next election, but at the moment I’m a political free agent.

  2. #3 Gaz
    March 21, 2010

    El Gordo:

    Being from the disaffected left I will undoubtedly be wooed to the right before the next election, but at the moment I’m a political free agent.

    El Gordo, the intellectual pinball.

    David Duff:

    How about “non-holocaust anthropogenic global warming deniers”, or “NAGWaDs”?

    Yeah, it’s got a nice ring to it.

    NAGWaD! NAGWaD! NAGWaD!

    Yep.

    You heard it here first.

  3. #4 Happy
    March 21, 2010

    I’m not one of those that believes the ABC exhibits a strong bias one way or the other, but they do tend (for my taste) a little bit far towards sensationalism and opinion over plain reportage in their news these days.

    Personally, I feel it’s probably worth having a browse through the [the ABC charter](http://www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/Legislation/ActCompilation1.nsf/all/search/2E7F5179D6598E8DCA2574730019A00B) to see what possible paths are available for protest.

    The ABC site also has a [page](http://www.abc.net.au/corp/pubs/charter.htm) on policy and legislation etc.

  4. #5 Zibethicus
    March 21, 2010

    (bowing deeply) Thanks to all those who have appreciated my type description of the Deniosaur.

    It is merely a summary of my extensive field notes, mainly obtained over at the ABC forums, which I doubt I will patronise much, if at all, in the future, following Maurice Newman’s comments.

    While there is a certain melancholy sensation to be gleaned from watching great herds of Deniosaurs all strenuously racing each other to the bottom (for instance to the /Sunday Times/ via Bolt), grandeur is almost wholly missing from the experience.

    Newman objects to the Deniosaurs being called nasty names, saying that it’s unfair. But consider the damage they are doing and have done to the planet on which we all have to live – to say nothing of our descendants.

    Given that the term ‘Deniosaur’ contains connotations of unreasoning reflexive denials and the supposed stupidity of the dinosaurs, it seems to me to be a pretty fair description of what they’re doing. If anything, it’s unfair to the dinosaurs, who at least did not encompass their own extinction through short-sightedness and then wilful blindness.

  5. #6 Lotharsson
    March 21, 2010

    Newman objects to the Deniosaurs being called nasty names, saying that it’s unfair.

    Tone trolling on Newman’s part, methinks.

  6. #7 climateprogressive
    March 21, 2010

    Nice one, Zibethicus! Gets my vote too and is accordingly being circulated!

  7. #8 Michael
    March 21, 2010

    The ABC is just as guilty of bias as are most other publications Truth is most people do not want to hear truth, especially media and dare i say it, bloggers. Why? simply because it ends the argument, stops the controversy, and ends the lucrative sensationalism that sells the media pill to the gullible public. They thrive on innuendo, gossip, half truths, and downright lies. It puts dollars in the bank. And the wise nod their heads and quote “the news” “I read it on the Internet” “It was on TV” An Adelaide paper once had on its front page in several paragraphs “Mrs… said” Mrs,, had in fact said nothing whatsoever.
    “Balanced coverage” from any media a big joke.

    When my brother was in hospital recovering from gun shot wound the press hovered like ghouls outside the house at about 2 am let themselves uninvited in to kitchen where the wife found them helping themselves to coffee, the noise awoke one of the children, who came out rubbing their eyes and crying. One reporter turned to the distraught mother an popped the question “Is he dead then”
    Media….Ugh Never trust them.

  8. #9 jakerman
    March 21, 2010

    The planet has been cooling since 1998. [look see](http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/plot/uah/trend/plot/uah/trend/offset:0.3/plot/uah/trend/offset:-0.3/plot/uah/from:1998/trend). Oh no, now that meme is busted too!

  9. #11 Bernard J.
    March 21, 2010

    Jakerman.

    The UHA data must be immensely frustrating for the Denialati, although I suspect that they’ll all now gain overnight statistical understanding (pursuant to their [stated objections of same](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/open_thread_45.php#comment-2366382)) that permits them to indicate that the rising regression line is not significantly so.

  10. #12 Eli Rabett
    March 21, 2010

    Zibethicus, mind if Eli posts that (or does Tim call dibs)?

  11. #13 Lotharsson
    March 21, 2010

    Bernard, if only we could harness the spinning motion of the Deniosaurs to produce power. The Great Climate Conspiracy Machine could put out a new “fact” every day that would require more spinning (which would be eagerly taken up by the masses), and our renewable energy needs for the foreseeable future would be met ;-)

  12. #14 Eli Rabett
    March 21, 2010

    Dervishes of denial? AAAAAAaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggh!

  13. #15 Zibethicus
    March 21, 2010

    Anyone who wishes to use my remarks about Deniosaurs is free to do so.

    I thought I had originated the term, but a recent poster to the ABC forum /Unleashed/ informed me that the term dates back to WW2, where sappers in the British Army used it to describe those of their colleagues who would refuse to listen to their warnings that there were minefields in an area in which they wished to go.

    The parallel is almost exact, and so the word gets a new lease of life.

    Oh, BTW – a more /serious/ reason why they can legitimately be called Deniosaurs is that, almost without exception, they have no new science to offer.

    They merely, and desperately, deny the legitimacy of the science of other people. Whence the name…

  14. #16 Philip Machanick
    March 23, 2010

    I agree that the ABC is biased. They never follow the market report with a Trotskyite rebuttal.

    The news media have dropped the ball big time on understanding the nature of the anti-science campaign, as I explain on my blog. It is not “biased” to ignore a [bogus industry lobby anti-science argument](http://opinion-nation.blogspot.com/2010/03/fool-me-twice.html).

  15. #17 MikeH
    March 24, 2010

    Newman tries to claim that climate change science opponents in his Liberal Party are sceptics.

    This [report in The Age](http://www.theage.com.au/national/call-to-turn-on-the-lights-20100324-qwr7.html) suggests that even calling them deniers is an understatement. Scientists are supposed to debate these wackos? Presumably the topic will be “Is climate science a communist plot”.

    AN ORGANISATION founded by prominent Liberal senator Cory Bernardi is promoting an anti-Earth Hour event, urging people to turn on their lights in defiance of the climate awareness movement.

    “Don’t be stuck in the dark with the communists. Turn your lights on!” the senator’s group urges on its website

    The foundation is also holding a competition for the most creative photo of a person celebrating Human Achievement Hour while holding a poster. On the website a young man holds the poster, with his thumbs up, in front of what appears to be a power-plant billowing smoke

  16. #18 Lotharsson
    March 25, 2010

    MikeH, not suprising to see the Competitive Enterprise Institute behind it.

    The false equivalence with communists is a standard propaganda technique. And stupid, for anyone who thinks about it for more than half a second. But the purveyors are counting on that.

  17. #19 Fran Barlow
    March 25, 2010

    Philip Machanik@116

    I checked out your blogsite but did you know that one of the google ads was to, of all things, someone called “warren”, a candidate for a Climate Science Dunning-Kruger award:

    Catastrophe Denied

    I guess including in your descriptors — “climate denial” is going to get this stuff driving people to that site.

    Fortunately, two of the responses to his nonsense were from people who knew in detail where he was talking rubbish, but I just thought you should have a heads up.

    Interestingly, one of our trolls, hamlock, was there doing his usual schtick.

  18. #20 Lotharsson
    March 25, 2010

    Interestingly, one of our trolls, hamlock, was there doing his usual schtick.

    So hamlock’s protestations that (s)he was just here to learn…were bogus? For shame! Whodathunkit?

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