The series of articles on climate change in The Conversation continues:

Ross Garnaut: Australia’s contribution matters: why we can’t ignore our climate responsibilities

The view that one country’s actions have no effect on other countries is present in all but the largest countries, but outside Australia is recognised more clearly for what it is: an excuse for not acting on climate change. The argument dissolves once it is recognised that there is no need to make a once-for-all decision on Australia’s share of an ambitious global mitigation effort.

What is important is that we make it clear that we are moving with other countries, and are prepared to contribute our fair share to ambitious action if others are playing their parts.

Stephan Lewandowsky and Michael Ashley: A journey into the weird and wacky world of climate change denial


Normally the underbelly of obsessed contrarians that strangely afflicts many areas of science would go unnoticed.

With climate change, however, we are in the extraordinary situation where the deniers have had almost free reign in media outlets such as The Australian, while scientists are given short shrift.

The editors there claim to be providing balanced commentary for their readers to make informed decisions. In reality they are doing a great disservice to the community by publishing junk science.

John Abraham: The chief troupier: the follies of Mr Monckton

Last year, I performed a little investigation. I actually read the articles that Mr. Monckton used as evidence against the concerns of climate change.

What I discovered was astonishing.

None of the articles I read supported the claims or inferences that Mr. Monckton was promoting. Just to be sure, I began to write to the authors of the papers. Of the 16 authors I wrote to, all of them agreed with me: Mr. Monckton had misrepresented or misunderstood their work.

Ian Enting Rogues or respectable? How climate change sceptics spread doubt and denial

The title of Bob Carter’s book Climate: The Counter-Consensus captures the problem succinctly. There is no such counter-consensus. What groups such as the Galileo Movement present as a alternative to mainstream view of climate is not an alternative consensus, but rather a collection of wildly conflicting and extensively discredited fragments designed to create confusion.

Singer’s book (with John Avery), Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years proposes a natural 1500 year cycle for global temperature. I find this unconvincing, with no evidence provided for the claim that Imperial Roman times were as cold as the Little Ice Age 1500 years later.

I am also puzzled as to how a man who claims we are in a natural warming cycle until about 2300 could be part of the Heartland Institute group. which convinced Senator Steve Fielding that the Earth is cooling. …

This aspect of Heaven + Earth was recycled last year by Cardinal George Pell in a letter to the Senate, claiming that temperatures in Roman times were two to six degrees warmer than now, (the opposite of what is implied by Singer’s book

Comments

  1. tl;dr.

    When Australian climate experts suddenly shout in unison, “CRY HAVOC AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR!!!!!!!” then maybe it’s time to take notice.

    — frank

  2. #2 Sou
    June 23, 2011

    The Conversation is doing a good job, all the articles are good, some are excellent. For a take on climate change around the world this article in Al Jazeera is well worth a read, if you are prepared to consider what we are probably facing.

  3. #3 rhwombat
    June 23, 2011

    Frank: it’s the asinine comments from the usual suspects (Cotton, Hendricx, McLean, Eschenbach etc) that make the posts too long: the articles themselves are concise and readable, the essence of unleashing the hounds.

  4. #4 JoeG
    June 23, 2011

    One way to infuriate the denialist commentators would be to require them to agree to a statement before they could comment, and this statement would appear as the first line of their comment. A statement I’d suggest is “I agree with the statement of Dobzhansky that ‘Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution’.” No sensible person could disagree with this, but most denialists would have conniptions. Of course they would claim that they only agreed so that could write their devastating comment, but that would cut no ice with their friends – “you are a closet evolutionist”, they would cry!

  5. #5 alan
    June 23, 2011

    “groups such as the Galileo Movement”.
    Should be renamed to something like “The Pope Urban movement” since it would be more in keeping with their mission of advocating denialist dogma.

  6. #6 rhwombat
    June 23, 2011

    alan: The Borgia Movement has a certain verisimilitude, n’est-ce pas?

  7. #7 David Irving (no relation)
    June 23, 2011

    alan @ 5, “The Bozo Movement” would be even better (considering Carl Sagan’s quip).

  8. #8 James Haughton
    June 23, 2011

    Congratulations are due to Tim for becoming Australia’s go-to source on bias in The Orstraylyun.

  9. #9 Bernard J.
    June 24, 2011

    If someone rational is quick off the mark, the moniker “The Real Galileo Movement” could be cornered for countering the fake one…

    You’ll need to be quick though, as it’s now out there!

  10. #10 bill
    June 24, 2011

    rhwombat @ 6 : I’d say ‘Lucrezia or Victor’, but the joke doesn’t work quite so well written down…

  11. #11 chek
    June 24, 2011

    The IPCC really should engage that John McLean character to speak at their conferences. A series of short 20 minute evening talks, in the bar, would make a hilarious [stand up comedian routine.](http://theconversation.edu.au/profiles/john-mclean-1395)

    His stage name (John McLean, PhD student) is doubly funny.

  12. #12 frankis
    June 24, 2011

    James Haughton #8 : excellent point. This again, like the Bolt’s challenge to Anna-Maria Arabia, is simply an unfair fight between opponents from different leagues. Tim vs The Australian? – only one of these things is a journal of record that I read each day for fair and balanced, rational, commentary on matters of serious interest.

    If Tim could take just one tip from the Dirty Digger and add some page 3 bikini models – the Oz does still boast these does it? – then Deltoid’s rout of the Oz would be complete.

  13. #13 MikeH
    June 24, 2011

    Off topic but in a major cockup, a rational report of the Senate study into Wind Farm noise made it into Murdoch’s Herald Sun.

    [Wind farms' noise found to be safe](http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/wind-farms-noise-found-to-be-safe/story-e6frf7jx-1226080854043)

    Normal programming was quickly resumed with the following article in Murdoch’s Australian.

    [Blow for wind farms as senators push probe into noise and health fears](http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/blow-or-wind-farms-as-senators-push-probe-into-noise-and-health-fears/story-fn59niix-1226080926531)

  14. #14 chek
    June 24, 2011

    Sorry folks, my link above inadvertantly led to the “John McLean, PhD student” (a stage name so hilarious it bears infinite repetition) title page.

    His comments in the Carter thread are actually [here,](http://theconversation.edu.au/bob-carters-climate-counter-consensus-is-an-alternate-reality-1553) although I can’t see a way to link to individual comments.

    As an added bonus since posting originally, Tim Curtin has since turned up to do his act also.

  15. #15 monty
    June 24, 2011

    #14. The other name I find hilarious is ‘Dr Jay Cadbury PhD’ who regularly turns up on denier sites. I’m always suspicious of those who make a song and dance about their qualifications….see also the nonsense put about by ‘Dr Philip Bratby’. Also Eli’s demolition of ‘Dr Richard Courtney’.

    As an aside; I have a PhD and I’m a climate scientist.

  16. #16 Zibethicus
    June 24, 2011

    5: “”groups such as the Galileo Movement”. Should be renamed to something like “The Pope Urban movement” since it would be more in keeping with their mission of advocating denialist dogma.”

    (end quotes)

    In view of the recent death threats and other hostile actions against climate scientists – and in view of what Galileo himself was threatened with – how about ‘The Uninquisitors?’

    They want people to be uninquisitive, and it seems that they’re not fussy as to how they go about doing it.

    Failing that, ‘The Simplicians’ has a nice sort of dull, hollow ring to it, in the context…

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