On the heels of his previous piece, Bob Carter has got another opinion published in a Fairfax newspaper, this time in the Sun Herald. (No link, I don’t want to encourage them — you can find it via Sou). Once again, the editor at Fairfax appears to completely indeifferent to whether Carter’s claims are true or not. I guess fact checking is too much work these day. See Sou for a detailed examination of many of the falsehoods Carter presents, but I’ll just pick out one of the more blatant ones.

For example, the sun recently entered a quietude unknown since the Little Ice Age. Accompanying this, planetary warming has ceased despite still increasing carbon dioxide emissions.

While it’s true that the current solar is very quiet it’s more active than the one that peaked in 1907. 1907 is not the Little Ice Age. And temperatures are much higher than they were at the beginning of the 20th century despite solar activity being about the same. This would suggest that the warming hwas not caused by an increase in solar activity. Not that Carter would ever admit this.


  1. #1 Dave R
    July 3, 2011

    The “it’s more active” link is broken.

  2. #2 GGS
    July 3, 2011

    @ 1: Try [http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml](http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml).

  3. #3 monkeywrench
    July 3, 2011

    Err, presumably you mean the Sydney Morning Herald, Tim.
    I was a bit dubious about Fairfax publishing Carter last week in The Age…but they promptly followed it by publishing two rebuttals that dumped all over him, plus a vigorous series of letters dismissing him. It seems Fairfax know clickbait when they see it.

  4. #4 Crispy
    July 3, 2011

    No, monkeywrench, it was the Sun Herald this week, though the SMH online picks up all the Sunday articles as a matter of course. Carter was published to ‘balance’ an article by the new chief scientist last week. Another media fail.

    I laugh when I see Carter casting aspersions on climate models, without giving any details except hints that climate is a complex beast and beyond an algorithm’s ken. But then he goes on to offer the most simplistic climate model imaginable – change in solar output equals change in global temperature. Duh.

  5. #5 James Haughton
    July 3, 2011

    I took a few units of Geophysics at uni, which included numerical simulations, on computers, those spawns of the devil, no less, of magnetic field changes and sonar readings changes as the result of underground ore, water or gas/oil bodies.

    Doubtless Professor Carter is, even now, working to stamp out such “paths to cloud-cuckoo land” from geology and geophysics courses and replace them with the traditional, tried and tested method of dowsing with hazel twigs. Since dowsing is controversial and has no consensus of scientists behind it, it is obviously much more scientific, if I’ve understood Prof Carter correctly.

    In other denialist news, Peter Phelps is still at it, calling scientists who’ve received death threats “poor petals” and “liars” who should stop their “relentless Lysenkoism” if they don’t want to draw “community ire”, and some idiot called Shearman at Adelaide U is trying to prove his point and do the Right’s work for them by proclaiming that we need a totalitarian philosopher-king government if we’re going to overcome global warming. This kind of support, science doesn’t need.

  6. #6 Sou
    July 3, 2011

    Thanks Tim. I’m inspired by your tireless efforts. I’ve picked up on a couple of things including your reference to the solar minimum. Amazing how much Carter can get so wrong using so few words, isn’t it. He used to be a scientist himself I hear – some people go downhill very quickly.

  7. #7 bill
    July 4, 2011

    James Haughton, Shearman is an environmentalist doctor who was associated with the SA Conservation Council, if memory serves.


    He doesn’t appear to have written a book since 2009; has he published something new recently?

    I’ve seen his defense-of-authoritarian-government stuff cited out a couple of times by deniers, describing him as an ‘IPCC scientist’ in the process! You know; ‘IPCC scientists calls for totalitarian world government’! That sort of thing.

    I would imagine most of us would say ‘David who?’, but there have been and doubtlessly will be attempts to paint him as a leading warmist. The quotes are certainly quite the gift to the deniers, but their ‘gotcha’ argument doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny.

  8. #8 Miles
    July 4, 2011

    Well we oughn’t to be surprised. The lecturer of a journalism short course I once took told us that Fairfax copy will not be inconsistent with their advertising. That statement being Fairfax’s own words; not the opinion of a lefty firebrand media studies lecturer mind you.

  9. #9 It's NOT Nova
    July 4, 2011

    Another critical analysis of “Carter science”.


  10. #10 Lionel A
    July 4, 2011

    Nice that Bundanga piece Sou, very useful.

    You ask, ‘What is Carter on about? Anyone?’, after Carter’s quoting of John Brignall’s, ‘…pave the path to cloud cuckoo land’.

    Carter is clearly on about Cloud Cuckoo Land something he know much about because he lives there.

  11. James Haughton:

    > replace them with the traditional, tried and tested method of dowsing with hazel twigs. Since dowsing is controversial and has no consensus of scientists behind it, it is obviously much more scientific, if I’ve understood Prof Carter correctly.

    Well, a common trope among the Far Right is their promotion of “common sense”, where their notion of “common sense” has nothing to do with facts, evidence, or logic. Usually their ‘argument’ goes along the lines of,

    > ‘if [conclusion P1] derived by [fantastically complicated but rigorous method M1] disagrees with [conclusion P2] derived by [half-baked ‘common-sensical’ method M2], then clearly

    P1 is true, and P2 is wrong and M2 is an elitist fraud!’

    — frank

  12. #12 David Duff
    July 4, 2011

    Never mind all that, it’s perfectly obvious that ‘the sun does not have his hat on and is not coming out to play’, so forget ‘global warming’/’global climate change’ we’re all in for some cooling.

    In the meantime, you should all be concentrating like mad on the really serious problem facing us today – farting camels! Apparently, Australia’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (do stop giggling, I’m trying to be serious here!) has issued a paper calling for ‘A Kill a Camel’ campaign on the grounds that their flatulence is causing global warming/global climate change.

    Given that a maximum Maunder Minimum looks likely, I would suggest that you get your Aussie camels copulating – and fast – because you are going to need all the farts you can manage as the ice spreads up from Antarctica!

    You have been warned!

  13. #13 chek
    July 4, 2011

    Unlike the sensationalist tripe that you prefer to get your info from David Duff, the grown ups have [already looked at this,](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/06/what-if-the-sun-went-into-a-new-grand-minimum/) and – surprise surprise – your eagerly, if gullibly, received prognosis is incorrect.

    What was that?

    Yes, I thought it sounded like another nail in the denialist coffin too.

  14. #14 rhwombat
    July 4, 2011

    Looks like the denialist idiot brigade is tag teaming Deltoid. Cockroach stomping must be having some some effect.

  15. #15 monkeywrench
    July 4, 2011

    A “maximum Maunder Minimum,” David Duff? How many Maunder Minima have there been, brainbox?

  16. #16 dhogaza
    July 4, 2011

    maximum Maunder Minimum,”

    Why, that would be like no minimum at all!

  17. #17 WotWot
    July 4, 2011

    The very model of a modern Maunder minimum?

  18. #19 bill
    July 4, 2011

    Well, David certainly appears to be a veritable giant of an intellectual pygmy!

    Thoroughly enjoyed ‘very model of a maximum maunder minimum’! I look forward to “Denial [Ain’t a River in Egypt] – The Musical”!

  19. #20 mandas
    July 4, 2011


    I don’t know why you are confused about the “maximum Maunder Minimum”.

    Its simple really – I am the world’s largest midget!

  20. #21 John
    July 4, 2011

    Potholer54 also did a fantastic debunking video. The source of the ice age claims? The Daily Mail.

  21. #22 bill
    July 4, 2011

    How the Deniosphere works –

    The material in this document is made available for general information only and on the understanding that the Commonwealth is not providing advice, nor indicating a commitment to a preferred policy position.

    This from this document, ‘Management of large feral herbivores (camels) in the Australian rangelands draft methodology’.

    It’s one of several methodologies proposed under the Carbon Farming Inititiative that are currently under consideration.

    This one was proposed by a Dr Tim Moore of Northwest Carbon Pty Ltd. You know, a private company. He’s also applied for a patent on it. There’s 63 pages of documentation there for those keen to know more.

    The deadline for public comment on it just passed (30-06-11).

    Then see the aptly named David Duff – above:

    Australia’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency… has issued a paper calling for ‘A Kill a Camel’ campaign

    And also here, there, and everywhere. Note that most of those dates on the various chum-sloshes are well-ahead of the end of the public comment period on this private company’s proposal, but after the period for public comment on it opened on 27-05-11.

    Question: which windy arseholes are really the problem here?

  22. #23 John
    July 4, 2011

    Why does David Duff hate private enterprise?

  23. #24 SteveC
    July 4, 2011

    @ bill | July 4, 2011 10:19 PM

    As well as merely being under consideration, when you read the brief it’s about managing impacts from a feral herbivore under the general heading of mitigating GHG emissions, including impacts on rangeland habitats, trampling and damage to infrastructure.

    I’m sure David Duff was about to clarify that…

  24. #25 Vince whirlwind
    July 4, 2011


    Cranks overestimate their own knowledge and ability, and underestimate that of acknowledged experts.

    Cranks insist that their alleged discoveries are urgently important.

    Cranks rarely, if ever, acknowledge any error, no matter how trivial.


    In addition, many cranks:

    seriously misunderstand the mainstream opinion to which they believe that they are objecting,
    stress that they have been working out their ideas for many decades, and claim that this fact alone entails that their belief cannot be dismissed as resting upon some simple error,
    *compare themselves with Galileo* or Copernicus (or in a religious context, Noah), implying that the mere unpopularity of some belief is in itself evidence of plausibility,
    claim that their ideas are being suppressed, typically by secret intelligence organizations, mainstream science, powerful business interests, or other groups….

  25. #26 bill
    July 4, 2011

    Steve C, I’d be somewhat surprised if ‘David’ is prone to tracking-down primary sources!

    There are so many good reasons to control camel populations – their nasty habit of choosing to die in the very limited number of largish waterholes in the Great Victoria Desert, for instance – that if Dr. Moore has chosen to calculate the greenhouse impact of their emissions, diet, behaviour etc., and go for accreditation as part of a range of activities his business is undertaking, well, bully for him! Whatever we might think of the proposal at the very least we can hardly be surprised.

    But this, of course, is all a long way from the tabloid outrage Mr. Duff suggested it was above.

  26. #27 Mikem
    July 5, 2011

    But……but……Bob Carter is a Professor! How can he be so badly wrong? At least that is the point some of my “sceptical” (and not so rational) colleagues keep hammering home to me.

    Oh yeah, and one of them told me recently that because climate science doesn’t rely on controlled double-blind experiments, it is inherently of a lower/lesser standard and the observations should be treated with suspicion. This is the sort of ignorant “google galileo” shite I deal with at work. Seriously.

  27. #28 Lotharsson
    July 5, 2011

    > But……but……Bob Carter is a Professor! How can he be so badly wrong?

    Guess they’re not Dire Straits fans ([“Two men say they’re Jesus, one of them must be wrong”](http://www.elyrics.net/read/d/dire-straits-lyrics/industrial-disease-lyrics.html)).

    Do their heads explode if you draw their attention to two Professors disagreeing on a point?

  28. #29 Bernard J.
    July 5, 2011


    Climate change denial “scepticism” mandates that one one is not at all sceptical of claims that professional climatologists and physicists are incompetent/fraudulent/conspiratorial.

    There’s just not that much scepticism to cover all the bases.

  29. #30 Fraud spotter
    July 5, 2011

    Willard Anthony Watts runs Denier websites and is oft quoted in the right wing Denialosphere. But …

    Anthony Watts is a college dropout.

    How apt that he is a Denier!

  30. #31 David Duff
    July 5, 2011

    “maximum Maunder Minimum”

    I thought it was just Yanks who didn’t get irony but apparently you Aussies suffer with the same problem.

    Do try and cheer up, the end of the world is not nigh!

  31. #32 bill
    July 5, 2011

    How the Deniosphere works – part 2. When blatantly caught out chuck the previous claim down the memory hole and chuck out a few random taunts. Scuttle off again congratulating yourself on how clever you are.

  32. #33 Wow
    July 5, 2011

    > so forget ‘global warming’/’global climate change’ we’re all in for some cooling.

    So what happened to the cooling we’ve apparently been having since 1998?

    What happened to the cycle that some were insisting meant we were cooling since 2003?

  33. #34 chek
    July 5, 2011

    Careful, too many self-contradictions may make Duff’s head explode.
    Luckily they’re all just PR words that mean nothing anyway, even if they were understaood.

  34. #35 monkeywrench
    July 5, 2011

    “I thought it was just Yanks who didn’t get irony but apparently you Aussies suffer with the same problem.”…errm….you do realise you just demonstrated a complete ignorance of irony there, don’t you…? Don’t you?

  35. #36 Chris O'Neill
    July 5, 2011

    so forget ‘global warming’/’global climate change’ we’re all in for some cooling

    Yes, I see the irony now.

  36. #37 Bern
    July 5, 2011

    TBH, I thought David Duff’s comment was sarcasm when I first read it, though not quite obviously enough so that it could do without the smiley face or the /sarcasm tag.

    As for yanks not getting irony – isn’t there a whole song about that? 😉

  37. #38 Brian Angliss
    July 6, 2011

    Just sent this one off to a friend, former editor/reporter, and now journalism professor. Something tells me this might be turning up in his courses at some point as an example of how not to do journalism.

  38. #39 Brian Angliss
    July 6, 2011

    Doh! Meant to add that comment to the Australian quote post, not this one. Can I blame autocorrect for this? 😉

  39. #40 Paul
    July 6, 2011

    “much warmer” than 1907? Now who is inventing “facts”?

  40. #41 Lotharsson
    July 8, 2011

    > “much warmer” than 1907? Now who is inventing “facts”?

    Are you arguing it’s [not currently much warmer than 1907?](http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1907/plot/gistemp/from:1907)

    Or did you mean something else?

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