The Australian‘s daily column called Cut and Paste should more properly be titled Quote Mining. Look at their latest effort:

Re-insurers don’t seem to think that climate change is causing an escalating number of catastrophes

Peer-reviewed paper by Eric Neumayer and Fabian Barthe of London School of Economics and funded by re-insurers Munich Re in Global Environmental Change, November 18, 2010:

Applying both [conventional and alternative] methods to the most comprehensive existing global dataset of natural disaster loss [provided by Munich Re], in general we find no significant upward trends in normalised disaster damage over the period 1980-2009 globally, regionally, for specific disasters or for specific disasters in specific regions.

But what does the very next sentence of their abstract say?:

Due to our inability to control for defensive mitigation measures, one cannot infer from our analysis that there have definitely not been more frequent and/or more intensive weather-related natural hazards over the study period already.

But if you are Cut and Paste you’ll imply just that.

Wayne at Pure Poison has more, noting that Andrew Bolt got fooled by Cut and Paste (degree of difficulty 0/10).


  1. #1 AndrewD
    February 17, 2011

    Re 85.
    I see from the comments on the Nature article, that the merchants of doubt are already in action. I wonder what it will take before they finally say “Ah, yes, maybe you’re right….”

  2. #2 Bernard J.
    February 17, 2011

    Drive-by Binge.

    Your modus operandi clearly is to vomit forth some denialist rubbish, and when that is shown to be festering in the sun you simply move on to regurgitate another bolus of nonsense or misrepresentation.

    Cease and desist. It is no more pleasant or productive an endeavour than a 17 year old girl binge-drinking on a Saturday night and spewing in the gutter.

    And I notice that you have now discovered the power of a full-stop (period) followed by a carriage return. Unfortunately, it helps not a whit with your formatting.

    Heaven help us if you discover ascii art…

  3. #3 Mike
    February 17, 2011

    Binghi, the rubbish sprouted by the NZCSC (New Zealand Climate Science Coalition) about the NZ temperature record has been covered in great depth, though it hasn’t slowed down their denial machine one bit.

    These guys have demonstrated that:

    a) they don’t understand why station data from a site which has changed to a higher elevation should be adjusted so that it doesn’t show an artificial/false cooling trend.

    b) they can’t follow clear instructions on how to deal with data

    c) they don’t know how to take meaningful averages (which is junior high school maths)

    They still think the record is fudged to show warming, because that’s what they need to believe, even though it gets clearly explained to them over and over. If you have “genuine scepticism” ranging through to “dumb denialism”, they are hard up against the stops of “dumb denialism”.

  4. #4 Wow
    February 18, 2011

    > Papers that come to lukewarm or sceptical conclusions are published, if at all, only after the insertion of catechistic sentences to assert their adherence to orthodoxy.

    Or, in other words, “if a paper says one tiny little thing that can be twisted to support the denialist stance of The Spectator, then that is the ONLY bit of the report that’s true.”

    This is the same sort of revisionist denialist bullshit that Poptech uses to populate his list of denialist papers.

    You can easily point to The Spectator and say that any report of global warming being true has to have some words to support the corporation#s orthodoxy that global warming isn’t happening.

    Fox have even released a memorandum from their Editor to this effect. The Spectator has just been following corporate propoganda needs.

    After all, if companies don’t like what your paper says, they’ll take away ALL the money you’re making.

    Plenty of reason to pander.

  5. #5 ianam
    February 19, 2011

    Its interesting reading about the corrupting of the New Zealand temperature record…

    One lying asshole citing another lying asshole. The difference, though, is that Treadgold seeks to influence the ignorant, the stupid, and those whose acceptance of a claim is determined by whether it conforms to their ideology — people like you, that is — whereas you’re trying to influence us.

  6. #6 Flying Binghi
    February 20, 2011



    via David Gould, #98
    “…You are looking at the wrong interview. The one the Australian quoted is from the day before…”



    Whoops, missed it – Thanks for that David.

    Having a look-see its interesting to compare the two interviews that had the same interviewer both times –



    “…TONY JONES: Can you or other scientists make a link with climate change? You talk about the warming oceans.

    JONATHAN NOTT: Yes, well, we know that as oceans warm, tropical cyclones will increase in intensity, but we really need to see some years of data and a change in the trend of cyclones before we can actually state that these tropical cyclones are being influenced by humans in that sense.

    So no one single cyclone or season of cyclones can definitely be pinned down to human causes, however, we just don’t know. I mean, this is the type of thing that we expect to see as a result of global warming.

    So, if this sort of activity continues on in the years ahead, we probably will be able to say that, but at the present time, we can’t be sure…”



    “…TONY JONES: As we’ll see in just a moment, the Government’s climate change adviser Ross Garnaut is warning that global warming will lead to more severe weather events just like this, so Queenslanders should support action against climate change. Do you agree with him?

    JONATHAN NOTT: Yes, absolutely, and we do expect to see more extreme events, particularly in the tropical regions. We’re going to see more extreme tropical cyclones, category five cyclones. We’re going to see more extreme rainfall events and floods and we could also see more extreme droughts too. So we really do need to take these warnings very, very seriously and absolutely support it.

    TONY JONES: Do you think that it is inevitable that we will see more category five cyclones like Yasi and perhaps not be as lucky next time where they land?

    JONATHAN NOTT: I do actually, and whether it’s due to anthropogenically-induced climate change or not, we know that even by natural cycles we would start to see more of these extreme events coming through.

    But as well as that, we do have climate change and that’s going to add to the problem, so I don’t think there’s any doubt that we’re going to see more of these type of events…”


    Heh, seems to me that Nott is a bit more ‘enthusiastic’ about the global warming hysteria in the second interview… i wonder what changed…





  7. #7 zoot
    February 20, 2011


    I wonder if anything changed …

  8. #8 zoot
    February 20, 2011

    FWIW Dingbat, you’re comparing apples with oranges.

  9. #9 foram
    March 18, 2011

    Shock! Horror!: The Australian is quote mining again

    Copied and pasted by Bolt.

  10. #10 Chris O'Neill
    March 18, 2011

    Lying dingbat has escaped from his looney bin.

  11. #11 Chris O'Neill
    March 18, 2011

    Lying dingbat has escaped from his looney bin.

    Well, no.