Jane Fraser, columnist in The Australian , writes a column based on “facts” she got from a chain email:

Back to Plimer. He says he knows how disheartening it is to realise all your savings on carbon emissions have been eaten up by natural disasters. You’ve suffered the inconvenience and expense of driving Prius hybrids, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up ’til midnight to finish your kids’ “The Green Revolution” science project, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet, selling your speedboat, holidaying at home instead of abroad, replacing all those light globes that cost you 50c with ones that set you back $10 . . .

Well, he says, it took just four days to flush all these good works down the drain. In those four days the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland spewed enough volcanic ash to negate every single effort you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions.

This is not true. Fred Jourdan (Prof. of Applied Geology, Curtin University of Technology) states:

The eruption in Iceland emitted a fairly small amount of CO2. In fact most recent estimates show that the flights that were grounded by the eruption would have emitted about twice as much CO2 as the volcano itself.

Fraser continues with:

Plimer adds he doesn’t want to rain on our parade too much (not half!), but he should mention that when Mt Pinatubo erupted in The Philippines in 1991, it threw out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in its entire time on earth.

This is wrong by a factor of 30,000. Each year humans emit 700 times as much as Pinatubo did.

Fraser continues.

I agree with most of what Plimer says. It makes sense to me.

Not only is it the case that the stuff about volcanoes that Fraser repeats is untrue, Plimer didn’t say it. While Plimer has said things about volcanic emissions that are stupidly wrong, he didn’t write the email that Fraser is quoting. As often happens with chain emails, Plimer’s name got added to the original version of the email at some stage. Factcheck.org debunked an earlier version back in June 2010 when it looked like this:

I know, I know …. (have a group hug) … it’s very
disheartening to realize that all of the carbon emission
savings you have accomplished while suffering the
inconvenience and expense of driving Prius hybrids,
buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up til midnight to
finish your kid’s “The Green Revolution” science
project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning
supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper,
putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling
your SUV and speedboat, going on vacation to a city park
instead of Yosemite, nearly getting hit every day on
your bicycle, replacing all of your $1 light bulbs with
$10 light bulbs … well, all of those things you have
done have all gone down the tubes in just the past week.
The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere in
the past week has totally erased every single effort you
have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon.

You can see a version of the chain email with Plimer’s name on it here, where Jerry Pournelle is taken in, and here and here, where bloggers correct the falsehoods.

Fraser does disagree with what she thought Plimer said on one point:

I have one bone to pick with him, however. He adds to his list of moans and groans — and these have absolutely nothing to do with global warming — that he is always in danger of being hit by a car or a bus. …

Me, I worry about being knocked over by cyclists. I know they’re doing their bit for the environment (ha!) but are so dangerous, especially when they’re whizzing along on the pavement and you can’t hear them coming. Blow them all!

I don’t have numbers for Sydney, but in London from 2001 to 2005 there were 534 pedestrians killed by motor vehicles and just one by a cyclist. It’s likely more people were killed by being struck by lightning than being struck by cyclists.

Fraser also has this argument against global warming:

I am not a fan of the idea of global warming, especially after this Sydney winter. It has been the coldest I can remember

Not only is she confusing weather with climate, she’s wrong about the weather. June, July and August have all been warmer than the average for the past 30 years.

Fortunately it should be easy to get Fraser to correct her errors. Since she seems to believe anything that gets sent to her in an email, I’ll just send her an email.

Hat tip: Scribe


  1. #1 Jeremy C
    August 16, 2011


    Would you care to give us your opinion on how the Australian treats Climate Science?

  2. #2 Chris O'Neill
    August 16, 2011
  3. #3 Lotharsson
    August 16, 2011

    > Lambert has misled with the conclusion and the data source.

    Not as much as you seem to think. On the data source, the BOM’s own web pages explicitly state:

    > If you are after **long-term averages relevant to Sydney**, New South Wales, look at the tables for Sydney (Observatory Hill), Centennial Park Round House or **Sydney Airport AMO**.

    As to the conclusion, you must be willingly blind to seriously think that “Summer was warmer than average” fails to make the case that “This winter has been the coldest I can remember” is bullshit, even if “June, July and August were each warmer than average” is not available.

    Smarter trolls, please.

  4. #4 MFS
    August 16, 2011

    >”Lambert could not find the desired result in the Sydney data, so he inserted Sydney Airport data.”

    You are projecting. You are also assuming that your mind-reading abilities are up to divining Tim’s reasons. You are also desperately and completely unsuccessfully trying to draw attention away from Fraser’s claim that this winter has been the coldest she can remember.

    Either her memory is seriously malfunctioning ([July 2010](http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/dwo/201007/html/IDCJDW2124.201007.shtml) and [August 2010](http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/dwo/201008/html/IDCJDW2124.201008.shtml) were both colder than their 2011 equivalents ([July here](http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/dwo/201107/html/IDCJDW2124.201107.shtml) and [August here](http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/dwo/201108/html/IDCJDW2124.201108.shtml))), or she’s just hoping other people’s memories are. I could not get June 2010 temperatures, but your case is looking more and more desperate by the minute.

  5. #5 rhwombat
    August 16, 2011

    Scribe@99: I suspect factoid/tones9 is either a Rupert’s Shrivelled Organ subeditor, or one of Tiny Rabbott’s flacks. Either way, it can’t be very good for sleeping at night. Hence the drive by trolling.

  6. #6 Nick
    August 16, 2011

    Simple questions,Factorrhoid. Is Ian Plimer a suitable source for comment on volcanic contribution to atmospheric CO2? Do you endorse his written and oral statements on the subject? Yes or no?

  7. #7 Rick Bradford
    August 16, 2011

    Really, you AGW druids are like those cut-off platoons of bewildered Japanese soldiers who hid in the Pacific jungles not knowing that WWII had ended and their side had lost.

    The world has moved on, but you cling to the old faith; your loyalty does you more credit than your rationality.

  8. #8 Wow
    August 16, 2011

    The world HAS moved on.

    And the predictions of the denialists on the weather has proven false.


    And, despite their avowed intent to punish scientists telling lies, Michaels and Wegman are still at large.

  9. James Haughton:

    > With respect, Frank, you’ve been calling for other people to go to the trouble, expense, and reputation risk of slinging lawsuits in all directions for a long time now. Unless you’re prepared to bankroll such action personally, why not take a breather, eh?

    If you apply your same ‘logic’ to the question of whether Tim Lambert should write a book about the Australian‘s shenanigans — ‘How dare you ask someone else to write a book! If you want a book why don’t you write one yourself?’ — you’ll quickly see what’s wrong with that ‘reasoning’.

    Anyway, if I am Emperor of the World, suing the asses off the denialists is what I’ll do. But I’m not. I can’t sue a person for slandering someone who’s not me, and I’m not the richest person in the world. What I can do is to provide information, effort, and encouragement — that I can do. But if no one’s going to use the information I’m willing to provide, then what’s the whole point?

    Anyway, to me the bottom line is that there are two kinds of people: (1) those who think that only rich and powerful people should be allowed to contemplate law and justice and everyone else should just shut up, and (2) those who don’t think so. Which kind are you?

    — frank

  10. > — ‘How dare you ask someone else to write a book! If you want a book why don’t you write one yourself?’ —

    Or, for that matter, ‘How dare you ask someone else to write a book! Are you willing to bankroll the publication of the book and look after all the administrative matters? If not, shut up!’

    — frank

  11. #11 Lionel A
    August 16, 2011

    Wow #107

    And the predictions of the denialists on the weather has proven false.


    And, despite their avowed intent to punish scientists telling lies, Michaels and Wegman are still at large.

    Indeed Wow, and whilst following up on Bastardi’s recent bout of diarrhoea (examined at Tamino’s starting in Settled Science and at SkepticalScience One Confusedi Bastardi I found a classic piece of Lindzen-bubkes dating back to 2007 here:

    Larry King: Bill Nye vs. Richard Lindzen

    Where Lindzen from 1:54 offers this:

    ‘The Gulf Stream is mostly driven by wind to shut it down you’d have to stop the rotation of the Earth or shut off the wind. And there’s a lot of confusion in this and – a – you know – at the heart of it wer’e talking about a few tenths of a degree change in temperature none of it in the last eight years by the way….’

    At this point if Lindzen had not made such stunningly wrong claims and helped to perpetuate confusion I would have fallen asleep over that word ‘tem—per–a—ture’.

    What about the last eight years now Dick. Nixon once had the handle ‘Tricky’ perhaps its time to move it. Lindzen should be added to your list Wow.

  12. #12 Sean
    August 16, 2011

    factoid @97

    Why would any of us claim Fraser’s anecdote is anti-science (seriously?), when we can simply point out that her memory is quite flawed?

    I’m quite confident that if someone ranted on and on about a Sydney summer being the warmest they could remember, and it wasn’t actually the warmest, that people like Tim and the folks here would point out the mistake. And on the other hand, I’m pretty sure you would rip into them while doing lots of hand-waving to distract from people like Fraser’s errors.

  13. #13 AmandaS
    August 16, 2011

    Just to note: There is an utterly incomprehensible rant of an editorial in The Oz today about Tim Wilson’s FOI bombardment of the Climate Change Department. He’s gone feral; my memory of The Age story is 450 requests including 150 lodged in one day. By any court’s standard it would be vexatious (or a symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I was going to try and sum up The Oz’s editorial but it’s just an incomprehensible wail of dribble.

    When daylight comes I’ll put up a link (haven’t worked out how to cut and paste on the iPad and insomnia not bad enough to get me out of bed and to the computer). It’s worth looking up if you want to puzzle over human psychology. I THINK they might love WikiLeaks. And all public servants are lazy. And something about transparency being necessary because a consultant said something once? And exercising rights! Righty right rights! Something something!

    Needed more exclamation marks really. If read out loud, have a drink first as it is written in a tone that requires spittle to fly.

  14. #14 Julian Lieb,M.D
    August 16, 2011

    < HIV Sites STIMULATING IMMUNE FUNCTION TO DEFEAT THE HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS, OTHER PATHOGENS, AND TOXINS Stimulating defective immune function to perform efficiently is a desirable approach to defeating pathogens and toxins. Such stimulation is represented as unavailable, while in truth the immunostimulating properties of lithium and antidepressants were documented many years ago.1-4 A therapeutic claim is reinforced when the mechanism is known. Prostaglandins, when produced excessively, depress every component of immune function, and induce microbial replication. Wherever the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) comes into contact with arachidonic acid, an envelope glycoprotein powerfully converts this precursor to prostaglandin E2, depressing immune function and promoting viral replication, excessive prostaglandin E2 a leading candidate for the immunosuppression that is the hallmark of AIDS.5-7Antidepressants inhibit the synthesis of prostaglandin E2, antagonize its actions, and stimulate the primary prostaglandin-degrading enzyme.8-10 Cumulative evidence shows that lithium has immunostimulating, antiviral, and antibacterial properties,11 antidepressants immunostimulating, antiviral, antibacterial,1-4 anti-parasite, and fungicidal properties.12-15 Lithium is often effective for bacterial skin infections, aphthous ulcers, cold sores, and genital herpes,11 antidepressants for aphthous ulcers, cold sores, and genital herpes.11Tuberculosis, now the #1 killer of the HIV infected, is developing resistance to standard treatment. In the late nineteen forties, physicians working in tuberculosis sanitaria observed patients with elevations of mood and energy. Their charts revealed that all were taking the monoamine oxidase inhibitors isoniazid or iproniazid, an observation from which antidepressant therapy developed. If antituberculotics double as antidepressants, surely antidepressants must double as antituberculotics? The antimalarial properties of antidepressants in vitro are supported by many studies.12When added to antiretrovirals, antidepressants can reduce HIV viral loads to undetectable.16 The authors of this study attribute this to adherence, seemingly unaware of the antiviral properties of antidepressants. The advantage of immunostimulation is its non-specificity, a stimulated immune system indifferent to antigenicity. People with intact immune function are relatively invulnerable to pathogens and toxins, compared to those with defective function. Depression is a seldom mentioned cause of defective immunity, although indices of immune function indicate that it does so.17In a study of 405 HIV-positive gay and bisexual men, those who reported being depressed throughout the eight-year study period, were two-thirds more likely to die than those who were never significantly depressed.18 Forty years ago, prostaglandins were shown to regulate immune function, and lithium and antidepressants to inhibit prostaglandins. Gradually, prostaglandins were found to regulate every aspect of HIV replication, and HIV to stimulate prostaglandin E2 production, to a greater degree than other viruses. This prostaglandin, when produced excessively, is thought to be responsible for the immune depression that is the hallmark of AIDS. Twenty five years ago, I believed that lithium and antidepressants could be used as heavy artillery against HIV, but when lithium failed to improve patients with AIDS in two small clinical trials, came to favor antidepressants for this purpose.19,20,21,22 1. Lieb J. Remission of herpes virus infection and immunopotentiation with lithium carbonate: inhibition of prostaglandin E1 synthesis by lithium may explain its antiviral, immunopotentiating, and antimanic properties. Biol Psychiatry 1981; 695-698. 2. Lieb J. Remission of rheumatoid arthritis and other disorders of immunity in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Int J Immunopharmacol 1983; 5(4): 353-357. 3. Rosenthal S, Fitch W. The antiherpetic effects of phenelzine. J Clin Psychopharmacol 1987; 7(2):119. 4. Murphy D, Donnelly C, Moskowitz J. Inhibition by lithium of prostaglandin E1 and norepinephrine effects on cyclic adenosine monophosphate production in human platelets. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1973; 14(5):810-814. 5. Lee R. The influence of psychotropic drugs on prostaglandin biosynthesis. Prostaglandins 1974; 5(1):63-68. 6. Manku MS, Horrobin DF. Chloroquine, quinine, procaine, quinidine and clomipramine are prostaglandin agonists and antagonists. Prostaglandins 1976; 12: 789-801. 7. Mak O, Chen S. Effects of two antidepressant drugs imipramine and amitriptyline on the enzyme activity of 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase purified from brain, lung, liver and kidney of mouse. Prog Lipid Res 1986; 25: 153-155. 8. Fernandez-Cruz E, Gelpi E, Longo N, Gonzalez B, de la Morena, MT, Montes, MG, Rosello , J, Ramis I,Suarez A, Fernandez, A. Increased synthesis and production of prostaglandin E2 by monocytes from drug addicts with AIDS. AIDS 1989; 3: 93-96. 9. Wahl L, Corcoran M, Pyle S, Pyle SW, Arthur LO, Harel-Bellan A, Farrar WL. Human immunodeficiency virus glycoprotein (gp120) induction of monocyte arachidonic acid metabolites and interleukin 1. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 1989; 86:621-625. 10. Dumais N, Barbeau B, Olivier M, Tremblay MJ. Prostaglandin E2 up-regulates HIV-1 long terminal repeat-driven gene activity in T cells via NF-kappa B-dependent and - independent signaling pathways. J Biol Chem 1998; 273(42): 27306-27314 11. Dutta P, Pinto J, Rivlin R. Antimalarial properties of imipramine and amitriptyline. J Protozool 1990; 37(1): 54-58. 12. Lieb,J."The immunostimulating and antimicrobial properties of lithium and antidepressants." J Infection (2004) 49; 88-93 13. Lass-Florl C, Dierich MP, Fuchs D, Semenitz E, Ledochowski M. Antifungal activity against Candida sp. by the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor sertraline. Clin Infect Dis 2001; 33(12):E135-136. 14. Munoz-Bellido J, Munoz-Criado S, Garcia-Rodriguez J. Antimicrobial activity of psychotropic drugs: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Int J Antimicrob Agents 2000; 14(3): 177-180. 15. Tsai A, Weiser S, Petersen M, Ragland K, Bangsberg D. Effect of antidepressant medication treatment on ARV adherence and HIV-1 RNA viral load in HIV+ homeless and marginally housed individuals. In: Program and abstracts of the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections; February 8-11, 2009; Montreal, Canada. Abstract 584 16. Frank M, Hendricks S, Johnson D, Wiesler J L, Burke WJ. Antidepressants augment natural killer cell activity: in vivo and in vitro. Neuropsychobiology 1999; 39(1):18-24. 17. Mayne TJ, Vittinghoff E, Chesney MA, Barrett DC, Coates TJ. Depressive affect and survival among gay and bisexual men infected with HIV. Arch Intern Med. 1996 Oct 28; 156(19):2233-8. 18. Lieb,J."Stimulating immune function to kill viruses." (And bacteria, parasites, and fungi). 2009, Amazon 19. Evans DL, Ten Have TR, Douglas SD, Gettes DR, Morrison M, Chiappini MS, Brinker-Spence P, Job C, Mercer DE, Wang YL, Cruess D, Dube B, Dalen EA, Brown T, Bauer R, Petitto JMAssociation of depression with viral load, CD8 T lymphocytes, and natural killer cells in women with HIV infection. Am J Psychiatry. 2002 Oct; 159(10):1752-9. 20. Evans DL, Lynch KG, Benton T, Dube B, Gettes Tustin NB, Lai JP, Metsger D, Douglas SD Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and substance P antagonist enhancement of natural killer cell innate immunity in human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Biol Psychiatry 2008 May 1:63(9):899-905. Epub 2007 Oct 22. 21. Benton T, Lynch K, Dube,B, Gettes DR, Tustin NB, Lai JP, Metsger DS, Blume J, Douglas SD, Evans DL. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Suppression of HIV Infectivity and Replication Psychosom Med 2010 Oct 14 22. Action mechanisms of lithium chloride on cell infection by transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus. Ren X, Meng F, Yin J, Li G, Li X, Wang C, Herrler G. PLoS One. 2011 May 6; 6(5):e18669. Date: Dr. Lieb submitted to HIV-Sites.com on December 3, 2010. Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only. All treatment decisions to be made with a physician. Pubmed for additional information. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, 1946 Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world, Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people, Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. ------------------------------------------------------------ Human Rights prohibit evaluation, editorializing, consulting, interference or delay in disseminating the information ------------------------------------------------------------ The Australian suppressed the paradigm shift. Immunostimulation, touted as unavailable, has been available 1981, its suppression inflicting a colossal human and economic wound on society, easily surpassing the First World War. I suggest an ethical human rights lawyer to lodge a complaint for violating article 19 of the declaration of Human Rights in 1946, written with the hope of preventing atrocities such as those that occured during the second world war, and violated pandemically by lay and medical media.

  15. #15 Acacia
    August 16, 2011

    Amanda what a gobsmackingly stupid editorial.

    Contrast the editorial with their support on mainstream science in this article on vaccination. I wonder if the same editorialist would think it appropriate to inundate immunisation researchers with FOI requests?

  16. #16 Chris O'Neill
    August 16, 2011


    The world has moved on,

    Indeed Dick, the ice is moving on. Easily gone by the predicted date of 2040.

  17. #17 Doug Bostrom
    August 16, 2011

    The world has moved on, but you cling to the old faith…

    Posted from the Iowa, U.S.A. GOP caucus?

  18. #18 Vince whirlwind
    August 16, 2011

    Amanda, Acacia,

    > When bureaucrats complain about being held to account the rest of us start wondering what they have got to hide.

    Sooo….The Australian now *supports* the idea of a media inquiry by the Federal Government?

  19. #19 Eli Rabett
    August 16, 2011

    So,have they brought on the pros???

  20. #20 Scribe
    August 16, 2011

    In other news, Jane Fraser’s boss’s boss’s boss, James “Hacker” Murdoch, is again caught lying. This fish is rotting from the head down.

  21. #21 Scribe
    August 17, 2011
  22. #23 jakerman
    August 17, 2011


    >*Jackson Wells, a Sydney-based public relations firm, is handling the [Galileo] movement’s publicity. The firm’s eclectic client list ranges from tobacco and mining companies to academics, the Rotary Club International, the Church of Scientology and the sponsors of the Sydney Peace Prize.*

    I wonder if the sponsors of the Sydney Peace Prize are aware of who they are giving money to. And, do any readers here have any links to the Rotary Club?

  23. #24 jakerman
    August 17, 2011

    Jackson Wells [current clients](http://jacksonwells.com.au/projects.html) are listed as:


    Australian Water

    **British American Tobacco**

    **Cambridge University Press**

    **Church of Scientology**


    Dynasty Metals Australia

    Evans and Peck

    [The Exclusive Brethren]( http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/exclusive-thats-the-problem/2007/01/04/1167777215109.html)

    The Galileo Movement

    The GPT Group

    **Imperial Tobacco**

    Insurance Council of Australia


    Luxottica Group

    Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

    O’Brien Glass

    Rotary International

    Royal Flying Doctor Service

    Talas Electronik (Joint company of ThyssenKrupp and EADS)

    **Sydney Peace Foundation**

    **University of Western Sydney**

    **Warner Bros. Entertainment Australia.**

  24. #25 jakerman
    August 17, 2011

    Do AMP, Warner Bros., and Dell, want to be associated with Big Tobbacc, Religious cults and Climate change deniers?

  25. #26 john byatt
    August 17, 2011

    The Galileo movement are awaiting the advent of a modern day climate change Galileo, be it Spencer, lindzen or even Salby,

    He has already been,60 years ago, his name was G.S. Callendar, missed him, by that much

  26. #27 jakerman
    August 17, 2011

    AMP provide the following email contact for complaints:

  27. #28 jakerman
    August 17, 2011

    The Exclusive Brethren’s PR company [earning its money](http://www.4bc.com.au/blogs/michael-smith-blog/the-exclusive-brethren/20081022-5613.html).

  28. #29 Scribe
    August 17, 2011

    I sent this email to AMP:

    Complaint – AMP has dodgy public relations firm

    Dear AMP

    I am a long-term AMP client. I’m writing to you from an anonymous email address so as not to compromise my account.

    I wish to complain about AMP’s use of the PR firm JACKSON WELLS. AMP is claimed by them as a client here:

    Jackson Wells also represents the global warming denier group called The Galileo Movement which is deliberately spreading scientific misinformation to the detriment of all Australians, and especially young Australians.
    You can read about them here: http://sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Galileo_Movement

    If AMP continues to use this PR firm, I shall end my relationship with the company.

    A long-term client.

  29. #30 Scribe
    August 17, 2011

    BTW, the correct email is info@amp.com.au

  30. #31 Chris O'Neill
    August 17, 2011

    Heads up to Tim: Galileo Movement hits Scientific American:

    “John Smeed, a retired engineer and a Galileo Movement’s co-founder”

    Judging from his CV as an air-conditioning engineer, I wouldn’t be surprised if Smeed believes Venus is so hot because of the pressure of its atmosphere.

    What is it about manager engineers?

  31. #32 Mikem
    August 17, 2011

    Oh gawd. An airconditioning engineer. OK, well the first thing he’s going to claim is that global warming violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics, as can be seen by the way heat pumps work. Complete garbage of course. But I bet that’s what he claims without even looking at his history.

  32. #33 Fran Barlow
    August 17, 2011

    Jeremy C said:

    [BTW That insiders clip was a very, very good example of why this government should never, never, never have used the word ‘pollutant’ to label greenhouse gases as Akerman was able to slap Marr about the face with it verbally and Marr was shot down very, very quickly. Fanatics will always look for ways to trap us, that’s the nature of a fanatic.]

    I respectfully disagree. As AWoS has shown, the culture warriors play by the rules of war. That they will lie and misprepresent is a given. Had Akerman shut up for even a second, the term “pollution” could have been amply justified (whioch is why he didn’t)– because that is what one calls industrial effluent leaving a sequestered location (as distinct from “waste” which is what one calls it when it remains isolated).

    Marr was not “slapped down” so much as shouted down. Akerman just appeared to be the loudmouthed ranter that he is. Points to Marr, IMO.

  33. #34 Billy Bob Hall
    August 17, 2011

    How about the demolishing of ‘The Weather Fakers’.. 🙂
    And, anytime you want to apologize to lil ole Billy Bob Hall for krectly predictin the braykin of the drowt, apology of course gratefully accepted. 🙂

  34. #35 Jeremy C
    August 17, 2011


    I respectfully disagree.
    Culture warriors and their fanatic/denier sidekicks twist words that have the slighest ambiguity about them and that is what is why using the word ‘pollutant’ causes confusion in the minds of listeners.

    I believe we have to be very careful about using a form of words that the culture warriors and their fanatic/denier sidekicks can’t wriggle through e.g. instead of ‘pollutant’ use ’emissions’ because I think using the word ’emissions’ enables you to go straight to the science. In Marr’s situation he had less than five seconds to make his point, Akerman got him on the word pollutant, Marr had no 2 second comeback and bang he lost.

    Don’t forget to the culture warriors and their fanatic/denier sidekicks winning the argument is not the focal point of the encounter, the audience is the focal point. Why else would Bob Carter continue to trudge around Australia and NZ speaking constantly to small community groups in church halls and progress association halls while we have bright eyed shiny types attending Al Gore’s training sessions so they can go and have meetings with middle ranking execs in corporates who agree with every thing the bright shiny types say to them and the the bright shiny types come away excitedly believing they have made an impact. The problem is that middle ranking execs will not do anything or make a decision unless they are told to and are well schooled in appearing agreeable and on side.(Please everybody I mean no slight to Al Gore and his sacrificial work its more a comment on how things happen in Australia)

    I very much agree with your desciption of the culture warriors playing by the rules of war. Our disadvantage is that its a war not of our own making and the media in general don’t see it as a relentless conflict waged by the culture warriors and their fanatic/denier sidekicks.

    In this war, not of our making, we are playing by the Geneva Convention while the instigators are gleefully burning the Red Cross parcels.

    Sorry to go all over the place but I believe the culture warriors and their fanatic/denier sidekicks have been continually making the running in this whole thing and we are only playing catch up. It also comes from being assured a few years ago by a sustainability campaigner deeply plugged intot eh Australian scene that the deniers were “finished” and “irrelevant” and then a few weeks later climategate broke.

    BTW. If I ever find myself in a public debate with a fanatic/denier I am going to equip myself with a CO2 canister and a facemask and ask them to breath deeply when they make the inevitable comment about it being non toxic/etc.

  35. #36 Chris O'Neill
    August 17, 2011

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Smeed believes Venus is so hot because of the pressure of its atmosphere.

    Yes, he does indeed have that at his “Galileo” website along with all the usual nutcase crap and also some gems I haven’t heard before such as that Fourier himself disproved the greenhouse effect.

  36. #37 rhwombat
    August 17, 2011

    Well put, Jeremy.

    Though I don’t disagree with Fran on the strict definition of a pollutant, the anti-science barbarians are fighting a vicious propaganda war with no semblance of rules or decency (vide Rupert’s UK operations). These people are fundamentally driven by greed and fear – it defines them as right-wingers, whose greatest insult (and projected anxiety) is to be considered to be a loser. They are playing politics for pennies and power, not engaging in civil or reasoned debate: Koch-suckers all.

    The examples of factoid/tones9 and Rick Bradford, not to mention the Monckton minions and Gloria Jones’ Grey Hoards demonstrate the futility of arguing from fact or good faith. Sure, they can’t fight the physics and will not prevail, but they can’t admit to themselves that they’ve lost either. So we have to go around them and keep the bright light on the evident idiots for long enough for them to die or forget. Unfortunately the planet doesn’t have another decade before even the Greedy’s get worried that maybe the DFHs and those bloody smart-arse scientists were right after all.

    BTW, never mind the CO2 canister and mask – just ask the deniers to put their head into a plastic bag for 10 minutes. As soon as the FiCO2 gets above ~ 20% they will certainly agree with whatever you say.

  37. #38 Jeremy C
    August 17, 2011

    I see the latest salvo in the unremitting war campaign of the fanatics/deniers is the call by the WA Libs for a royal commission into the science of AGW.

    Because it is unlikely to happen they can achieve a why-won’t-they-allow-a-royal-commission,-what-have-they-got-to-hide meme that can bounce back and forth effectively at public level for a number of times and after it dies away be brought back as ‘evidence’ that the government and scientists are conspiring. If such a commission actually went ahead and demonstrated that the science is sound etc, etc then it will only become a useful “whitewash” meme for the fanatics/deniers.

    You gotta hand it to these guys, they are always one step ahead. The only thing that I can see that could out reach them is the Carbon Tax getting passed in Parliament. I understand this could happen within two months………. however, it could be derailed by Craig Thomson’s difficulties resulting in a byelection (unless in this case the Libs are being passed information by Godwin Gretch’s protege).

  38. #39 Crispy
    August 17, 2011

    If I may take a digression and run with it for a moment… re the toxicity of CO2. It’s not actually ‘toxic’ in the dictionary sense, is it? CHN is toxic because it interferes immediately with cell function and buggers up organs and brain, and carbon monoxide is toxic because it oxidises in the bloodstream. But if I walk into a room with a cylinder of CO2 emptying I actually asphyxiate, do I not, because the heavier than air CO2 fills the volume and forces the breathable air out? Or does breathed CO2 in large quantities truly have a toxic effect? I ask because this is relevant to a bit of fiction I’m writing at the moment.

  39. #40 Wow
    August 17, 2011

    > CHN is toxic because it interferes immediately with cell function and buggers up organs and brain

    CO2 levels over 0.5% will damage your brain and other organs.

  40. #41 Crispy
    August 17, 2011

    Thanks Wow. So toxic it is then. It’s not just an asphyxiation death. Hmm.

  41. #42 Scribe
    August 17, 2011

    Carbon Tax getting passed in Parliament …

    You can expect at ratcheting up of the tone and frequency of denialist marketing to a fever pitch over this. People like Gina Rinehart have the money to make that happen.

    Crispy, increasing levels of CO2 cause hypercapnia (something I wish all deniers would experience).

  42. #43 Jason
    August 17, 2011

    Factiod is guilty of meta-cherry picking, he’s working very hard to cherry pick the cherry picks.

  43. #44 luminous beauty
    August 17, 2011

    Jeremy C,

    It makes perfectly good sense to argue that CO2 is a pollutant, if one is prepared to support one’s argument with the fact that it has been legally defined as such by the [Supreme Court of the United States.](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_v._Environmental_Protection_Agency)

  44. #45 Marion Delgado
    August 17, 2011

    She’s an uneducated idiot. If saying so brands me as an elitist, it’s only so among other uneducated idiots.

    That makes her no better than an internet troll.

    If I bought a paper tomorrow and put Louis Hissink and Joe Cambria all over it, would that entitle them to MORE respect? Simply because I spent money? Admittedly, and sadly, there are a lot of segments of society in the English-speaking world for whom the answer is “yes, it would.”

  45. #46 Doug Bostrom
    August 17, 2011

    Following Scribe’s lead, it’s just possible Jackson Wells might be forced to be more choosy about their clients, if they find themselves shedding too many accounts as a result of expedient contracts with questionable customers. Judging from their list of present accounts, Jackson Wells has successfully been able to remain ethically vacuous because nobody has bothered to identify the mutually exclusive nature of certain of their PR campaigns.

    To analogize, a single law firm won’t represent mutual antagonists in a lawsuit.

    The fundamental missions of Cambridge University Press as well as UWS seem in particular directly at odds and indeed vulnerable to successful promotion of the Galileo Movement’s interests.

    NWS has numerous press and other external communications staff listed here:


    AU and NZ Cambridge University Press contacts may be found here:

  46. #47 Scribe
    August 18, 2011

    Humanity can’t respond coherently to global warming because we behave, en masse, like slime mold, accoding to Nathan Myhrvold at Bloomberg.

  47. #48 John Brookes
    August 18, 2011

    Factoid was very educational. A wonderful example of how to keep battling on when obviously wrong. A spectacular display of nitpicking, rather than focussing on the important bits. Well done! An object lesson in how to defend the indefensible.

  48. #49 Doug Bostrom
    August 18, 2011

    Nathan Myhrvold? Wasn’t he instrumental in creating the monopathic, hegemonistic outbreak that attempted to transform all of our money into copies of Microsoft Windows? The “grey goo” as slightly incorrectly described by Bill Joy?

  49. #50 factoid
    August 19, 2011

    98 Misdirection

    99 Paranoia and conspiracy

    102 A website guide to where you can look for information, does not change the fact.

    All BoM data titled Sydney is directed to Observatory Hill data. It is the Sydney weather.

    103 Lambert could not accidently or ignorantly select Sydney Airport data. It was a deliberate act. If he published it in a paper it would be scientific fraud.

    “Desperation” is having to resort to switching data to prove a point.

    104 conspiracy.

    105 Irrelevant

    112 As I wrote, The Australian is being accused of being anti-science for publishing her anecdotes.
    If you and Tim were so committed to the truth and scientific integrity, he would apologise for this error, and you would be demanding he do so.

    122 “Galileo lies dissected”:
    “Many of the facts are perfectly true.”
    Assessment 1: “True”
    2: “True”
    3: “True”. But apparently the laws of physics changed 300 years ago!
    4: True figures.

  50. #51 Lawrence McLean
    August 20, 2011

    obviously, you are just a trouble maker.

    Choosing Sydney Airport is a valid choice. The records at Sydney airport are comprehensive and at a consistent location. If you go the the BOM site and look for Sydney, you are not directed to Observatory Hill, you are given a choice of areas in Sydney. And when you do choose Observatory Hill the table provided has the following proviso: “Most observations from Observatory Hill, but some from Fort Denison and Sydney Airport.” Ref:http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/dwo/IDCJDW2124.latest.shtml.latest.shtml Sydney Airport is a better dataset. In any case the data for Observatory hill backs up what Tim Lambert is saying anyway.

    Accusing him of Fraud is rubbish!

    Here is a conspiracy for you, I strongly suspect that your purpose of coming onto this site is to attempt to discredit valid science in the view of casual observers, in the hope that they will not check what you are saying. In my opinion your behavior is disgusting.

  51. #52 Nick
    August 20, 2011

    Fraser is endorsing Plimer’s erroneous claims re volcanic CO2,Factorrhoid. Her anecdote about Sydney’s winter is a tack-on. You can: defend Plimer,reject Plimer and therefore Fraser,or discuss the relative importance of Plimer vs the local weather in Fraser’s piece. You can keep sulking while you consider,of course.

  52. #53 factoid
    August 21, 2011

    Nick, you present a very convincing case that none of you actually read the content of the blog post. Let alone understand it. Of course we have already established that none of you actually fact check.

    To repeat what Lambert wrote, Plimer did not write, nor has he ever written or spoken the claims made in the chain email.

    Is that clear to you and everyone else?

  53. #54 bill
    August 21, 2011

    Dreary ineducable troll. Ignore or dispatch. Next.

  54. #55 Michael
    August 21, 2011

    Factoids only goal is to divert attention away from the topic ie. Whenever the Oz runs a piece on climate it inevitably commits egregrious crimes against fact.

  55. #56 Michael
    August 21, 2011

    Oh, and any response from Fraser or the Oz on the woeful standard of journalism displayed withthis?

  56. #57 Nick
    August 21, 2011

    Factorrhoid,yes,Plimer did not author the email. However the email’s author claimed to summarise Plimer’s position as put in his book.
    Plimer did not make the claim which references the CO2 output of a recent Icelandic eruption. I did not claim he did.But he has referred to that eruption on radio in a way that clearly supports the emails falsely attributed statement.
    Several of Plimer’s written claims about volcanic contributions and their size relative to human contributions,made in ‘Heaven & Earth’,underpin the email. For instance,this is one,on p.472: “massive volcanic eruptions[e.g.Pinatubo] emit the equivalent of a years human CO2 emissions in a few days.” An extrapolation of this claim was clearly a basis of the email.

    Plimer is on record in many radio interviews as claiming volcanic CO2 emission dwarf human ones,as well as furthering the CO2 mass balance furphy latched on to by Murry Salby. This is common knowledge. Plimer DID refer [2GB,19.04.10] to the Eyjafjallajokull eruption as producing “a huge amount of greenhouse gas…”. When asked what this meant for AGW arguments,he replied ;”It completely stuffs them,we know that.”

    So,while the email may not be Plimer cited verbatim,Plimer’s actual public utterances clearly inform it. Plimer’s ill-information has helped enable it and is central to its content,whether or not he is literally cited within it. Are you going to attempt to argue Plimer’s views are utterly misrepresented? Gee,how does unlucky old Plimer get associated with this sort of thing?

    Tim said simply that “[Plimer]didn’t write the email Fraser is quoting.” How did you get to your second para @ 152 from that?

  57. #58 jakerman
    August 21, 2011

    Factoid really didn’t like [these questions](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/08/the_australians_war_on_science_71.php#comment-4824981). With these questions being focused directly on the topic of this thread, factiod labelled these question misdirection.

    Factiod’s misdirection couldn’t be moretransparent.

  58. #59 Nick
    August 21, 2011

    Factorrhoid is upset that the views of the fake Plimer are the same as those of the real one. And ‘rhoid has misrepresented ‘what Lambert wrote’ in objecting to the ‘misrepresentation’ of Plimer.

  59. #60 Chris O'Neill
    August 21, 2011

    Is that clear to you and everyone else?

    Clearly a factoid.

  60. #61 Lotharsson
    August 21, 2011

    > 102 A website guide to where you can look for information, does not change the fact.

    …that (as I pointed out in 102 and you utterly ignored) even the dataset and baseline that **you** insist are the only valid ones demonstrate that **this winter is warmer than average**, which is strongly inconsistent with Fraser’s claim that this winter was **unusually cold**.

    And thus that your claim that “Lambert has misled with the conclusion…” is a blatant misrepresentation of the conclusion.

    But hey, that’s pretty much what I expected from someone who won’t acknowledge the forest because they desperately want people to focus on the splinter.

  61. #62 Sean
    August 21, 2011

    Yes, apparently I’m supposed to demand a correction from Tim…even though this winter *is* warmer than average.

    And apparently pointing out that Fraser’s anecdotal evidence is wrong is calling her anti-science. Well, I suppose it is anti-science to make a claim that isn’t supported by any of the actual data.

  62. #63 Antoni Jaume
    August 21, 2011

    “[…]and carbon monoxide is toxic because it oxidises in the bloodstream[…]”

    No, it is toxic because it locks out oxygen from hemoglobin, ans in consequence blood cannot transport oxygen in the body. It is accumulative over short times.

    From the wikipedia:Carbon monoxide poisoning is the most common type of fatal air poisoning in many countries.[21] Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, but highly toxic. It combines with hemoglobin to produce carboxyhemoglobin, which is ineffective for delivering oxygen to bodily tissues. Concentrations as low as 667 ppm may cause up to 50% of the body’s hemoglobin to convert to carboxyhemoglobin.[22] A level of 50% carboxyhemoglobin may result in seizure, coma, and fatality. In the United States, the OSHA limits long-term workplace exposure levels above 50 ppm.[23] Within short time scales, carbon monoxide absorption is cumulative, since the half-life is about 5 h in fresh air (see main article).

  63. #64 Donald Oats
    August 22, 2011

    The interloper called “Factoid” is nothing but an intellectual haemorrhoid; and, you can take that to the bank!

  64. #65 factoid
    August 22, 2011

    Lotharsson, the official Sydney weather station, as labelled by the BoM, shows June and July 2011 mean max temp was exactly the same as the 30 year average.

    Lambert wrote “June, July and August have all been warmer than the average for the past 30 years.”

    It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

    It’s called deception. And its easy to deceive simple minds.

  65. #66 Vince whirlwind
    August 22, 2011

    Factoid needs to be corrected again. Lambert was referring to measurements at Sydney Airport, and his assertion about thos temperatures is correct.

    You’ve chosen to use Observatory Hill, and your assertions are incorrect.

    At Observatory Hill, the 30-year record shows

    June averages 18.0/9.8

    June 2011


    Ergo, June 2011 was warmer than the 30-year average, which means Fraser’s factoid was factually incorrect, along with your vapid assertions.

    As for August, the Observatory Hill 30-year average shows 18.9/9.7

    August 2011


    Ergo, August 2011 has been so far much warmer than the 30-year average, making Fraser’s factoid grotesquely divergent from reality.

  66. #67 Vince whirlwind
    August 22, 2011

    Meanwhile, where is your outrage at Fraser’s deceptive assertions about CO2 emissions?

    Or do you in fact possess one of these “simple minds”?

  67. #68 Chris O'Neill
    August 22, 2011

    mean max temp

    Looks like factoid only ever comes out at the instant the max temps occur.

    Another day, another factoid.

  68. #69 Vince whirlwind
    August 22, 2011

    I’ve just spent 30 minutes reading Jane Fraser’s previous output for The Australian.

    Let’s just say the phrase “inane gibberish” is inadequate to describe her garbage. It’s all self-centred anecdote with no relevance to any issues of even slight importance. To think people get paid for writing such drivel.

  69. #70 factoid
    August 22, 2011

    Wrong Vince.
    Lambert was referring to Sydney temps but deceptively linked Sydney Airport.

    As I wrote, June and July mean max were identical to 30 year average in 2011.

    Funny how you don’t even mention July.

    As for the mean min. one is above and one below average.

    Comparing 15 days of August to the monthly average is ridiculous and un-scientific.

  70. #71 Lotharsson
    August 23, 2011

    > Lambert wrote “June, July and August have all been warmer than the average for the past 30 years.”

    Look, if it will make you happier I will state the obvious. He’s right on the Sydney Airport data which he cited. But if he had made the claim against the Observatory Hill data, which he didn’t, he would be wrong on the detail for two out of three months – but still right about Fraser’s claim.

    And now that I have agreed to your splinter, you could (but won’t) address Fraser’s forest: **Was Fraser wrong to say this winter was unusually cold** (never mind her claims about volcanoes)?

    Before you decide not to answer, may I provide an quote that is apt with respect to Fraser’s claim and your non-engagement with it?

    > It’s called deception. And its easy to deceive simple minds.

    I’ll take no answer as an indication that you possess such a simple mind.

    And I’ll elaborate some more in case you decide *this* time you want to assess Fraser’s claims:

    > Lotharsson, the official Sydney weather station, as labelled by the BoM, shows June and July 2011 mean max temp was exactly the same as the 30 year average.

    Indeed. *Relevant* factoid: I haven’t claimed otherwise, so you would find it far more useful to address my *actual* points.

    For example, as I pointed out to you earlier, it also shows that August to date is significantly **warmer** than the 30 year average. Hence (and I reiterate, because you are apparently too simple to understand this point), Fraser’s claim that this winter is unusually cold, **by your own approved dataset**, is incorrect. Worse still – **by your own approved dataset** this winter – to the date the claim was made – was **warmer than the 30 year average**.

    Bet you don’t disagree with that point – instead you’ll try to nitpick something else.

    > Comparing 15 days of August to the monthly average is ridiculous and un-scientific.

    ROFLMAO! You really are grasping at straws!

    Fraser wrote a claim **about the current winter** earlier in August. What is truly “ridiculous and un-scientific” is to claim that one cannot assess whether the claim was correct using the winter data up to the date the claim was made.

    Your methods of attempted distraction are transparent.

  71. #72 Lotharsson
    August 23, 2011

    I also note that factoid, a.k.a. tones9, hasn’t responded to the Crikey thread where the [last comment](http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/08/15/elsewhere-the-australians-war-on-science-68-getting-your-science-from-a-chain-email-deltoid/comment-page-1/#comment-61840) challenges him:

    > Tone,you chump,how are you going addressing Ian Plimer’s deliberate errors? That,after all, is the supposedly authoritative heart of Fraser’s column. Your absolute silence confirms that you are well aware that the case against Plimer’s “Heaven and Earth” is comprehensive ,and,sadly for the popularisation of science in Australia,damning in the extreme.

  72. #73 Andrew Strang
    August 23, 2011

    Meanwhile in Melbourne we’re heading to break a 150 year record (http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/melbournes-early-escape-from-winter/18633)

  73. #74 Lotharsson
    August 23, 2011

    > Let’s just say the phrase “inane gibberish” is inadequate to describe her garbage.

    I have wondered whether factoid was Fraser, but that may rule it out 😉 Factoid is inane but he’s not producing pure gibberish – merely desperately trying to distract from Fraser’s false claims.

  74. #75 Vince whirlwind
    August 23, 2011

    If Factoid were Fraser, there would be a lot of rambling nonsense about nuns, personal holidays, offspring making fun of her, more nuns, lunches with similarly inconsequential friends, and school reunions.

    Factoid is perhaps one of her stablemates. The stretched logic and over-use of dishonest rhetorical devices points to somebody who, perhaps, didn’t exactly graduate with 1st class Honours from a 1st class Uni in a subject of importance despite having been provided with an expensive educational grounding. Perhaps a bare pass in an Arts degree? Or maybe a failed journalism course?

    I likewise am interested in when factoid will stop gnawing at Tim Lambert’s unobjectionable statements and commence dealing with the horribly inaccurate statements made by Fraser about CO2.

  75. #76 Lotharsson
    August 23, 2011

    > I likewise am interested in when factoid will stop gnawing at Tim Lambert’s unobjectionable statements and commence dealing with the horribly inaccurate statements made by Fraser about CO2.

    I suspect factoid cannot afford to do that. Based on simple extrapolations from the existing data points – which admittedly may suffer from significant inaccuracies, but may capture the flavour of the problem – the level of apoplexy required in a suitably proportionate response to *actual* massively deceptive allegations would likely prove biologically infeasible, or at least strongly detrimental 😉

  76. #77 Bernard J.
    August 23, 2011

    >Comparing 15 days of August to the monthly average is ridiculous and un-scientific

    Fuctoid, stop and think about it for a minute…

    If this August’s mean for the first 15 days is already greater than the 30-year August mean, waiting for the second half of the month’s data is not likely to improve things, because the southern winter is ending. Of course, we can always revisit this in a week and a day hence, and see if the last half of the month has brought the mean down to “below average”…

    And speaking of “ridiculous and un-scientific”, what evidence are you using to claim that Observatory Hill is more representative of Sydney’s climate than is the airport? After all, Ob Hill is plonked between high-rise and the harbour, and probably not in a way that would neatly average out all sorts of local microclimatic hiccups. The Hill was long ago abandoned for serious astronomical purposes, and the BoM itself has not much more regard for its utility as an indicative station.

    If you were actually serious in trying to defend the odious Fraser’s inane and pseudoscientific crap, you’d have tried to source the data from each and every recording station in the Greater Sydney area, and then performed an appropriately-weighted polygon analysis.

    So, how’s that progressing?

  77. #78 Chris O'Neill
    August 23, 2011

    As for the mean min. one is above

    by 0.5 deg C

    and one below average

    by 0.1 deg C.

    Factoid by name, factoid by claim.

  78. #79 factoid
    August 23, 2011

    Bernard J I’ll give you and Lotharsson a little lesson about how science works. When you don’t have complete data, you aren’t allowed to make it up. So no matter how sure you are that the second half of August is going to be warmer than the 30 year average, you just can’t make that assumption. It’s a very simple scientific principle which you and Lambert do not obey. And you both claim to be upholding scientific integrity.

    If I must repeat myself ad nauseum, Observatory Hill is where the Sydney weather is recorded. The BoM says so. All media you see and hear use this. They can’t pick which location they want to use for Sydney weather like Lambert has. Other locations are clearly identified as such. Sydney Airport is referred to as Mascot on weather maps of the Sydney area. Lambert should have clearly indicated his data was that of Mascot, instead of implying it was Sydney.

    Lotharsson as I stated in one of my first posts, Fraser made a personal anecdote about how the weather felt. Written in a color piece of personal writing. It has no scientific merit, nor does it claim to have any scientific merit. Fraser hasn’t cited any temperatures or sources to justify the claim. It’s just how she feels, rightly or wrongly.

    The serious error here has been committed by a scientist misrepresenting scientific data.

    And the dodos here trying to spin the justification for it.

  79. #80 Wow
    August 23, 2011

    > When you don’t have complete data, you aren’t allowed to make it up.

    They didn’t. They used real data.

  80. #81 factoid
    August 23, 2011

    Lambert used real incomplete data for the month of August, and compared it to the average for the complete month of August.

    Moreover he did not declare he had done this.

    That is deceptive, and the analysis is invalid and unscientific.

  81. #82 Chris O'Neill
    August 23, 2011

    When you don’t have complete data, you aren’t allowed to make it up.

    Unless you write for The Australian.

  82. #83 Chris O'Neill
    August 23, 2011

    incomplete data for the month of August

    Let’s all thank the factoid for informing us that August hasn’t finished yet. I would have been deceived into thinking it was if he hadn’t told us otherwise.

  83. #84 Nick
    August 23, 2011

    When Fraser gave us her thoughts,Sydney had just experienced a record-equalling ten consecutive winter days with maxima exceeding 20C. This period was the earlier [the closer to mid-winter] of the two recorded.

    This was reported in the Fairfax press at the time,but not by News Ltd.

    Fraser’s take on the ‘cold’ winter was entirely informed by her anecdote about her carpetless,curtainless house renovation. She used this ‘fascinating’ aside to introduce the Plimeresque email which dominates her column in direct proportion to Factorrhoid’s refusal to acknowledge such.

  84. #85 Vince whirlwind
    August 23, 2011

    *Fraser made a personal anecdote about how the weather felt. *

    And she was completely wrong.

    This is why we should trust scientists rather than random unqualified people off the street.

    But not The Australian…

    Reportage about sea level rise? Interview random old guy in speedos at the beach whose misinformed views happen to coincide with The Australian’s anti-factual agenda about sea level rise.

    And so on….

    Meanwhile, Fraser’s “personal anecdotes” about CO2, volcanoes and Pinatubo quoted figures about CO2 which were completely and utterly wrong.

    But you don’t care about Fraser’s deceptive writing.
    Why is that?

  85. #86 Scribe
    August 23, 2011

    Fuctoid’s regular posts here are, of course, a transparent tissue of tosh, but that’s not the point. His posts give the appearance of a debate, the appearance of a controversy, the semblance of weighty arguments wrestling together, as if the outcome were unclear. Triple digit IQs know this is a false impression, that the arguments are crystal clear and decided, that Fuctoid has no limb on which to stand, but that does not detract from Fuctoid’s purpose, which he achieves, and that is to fool some of the people all of the time. To quote from the Denialist Credo:

    Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the “body of fact” that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.

  86. #87 Vince whirlwind
    August 23, 2011

    I’m interested in the mentality behind factoid’s:

    > Lambert used real incomplete data for the month of August, and compared it to the average for the complete month of August.

    That is deceptive, and the analysis is invalid and unscientific.

    Apparently he doesn’t know what an average is.

    Factoid is Tim Curtin.

  87. #88 Sean
    August 24, 2011

    While I don’t live in Australia, I feel that this Sydney winter has been one of the warmest I can remember. But please don’t bother me with any facts or figures. It’s only an anecdote. I can make any claim I want because of that. It’s just how I feel. Wheeeee!

  88. #89 Lotharsson
    August 24, 2011

    > Bernard J I’ll give you and Lotharsson a little lesson about how science works.

    EPIC FAIL. (And ROFL.)

    For reasons previously given, and still valid.

    > It has no scientific merit, nor does it claim to have any scientific merit.

    In that case, YOUR heavy investment in debating *scientific assessment* of Fraser’s claim as if the assessments might have merit is utterly redundant. I guess you can stop now, as **you** have demonstrated that your own nitpicking is entirely moot.

    So you will, right? Right?

    > The serious error here has been committed by a scientist misrepresenting scientific data.

    Firstly, Tim isn’t a scientist in that sense. (Is that a “serious error” you just committed?)

    Secondly, you’re completely clueless or mendacious if you think **the** (singular) serious error here was Tim’s comparisons of Jun/Jul/Aug, and not Fraser’s numerous serious falsehoods and misrepresentations, or even Plimer’s serious errors that “informed” some of Fraser’s claims.

    > Moreover he did not declare he had done this.

    Perhaps he credited readers such as yourself with more intelligence than you have put on display? Especially since (most) readers are quite capable of following links and reading the specifications of the data they are being pointed to?

    And especially since he was comparing a claim of “coldest I can remember” with data showing it to be such a *long way* from “coldest…” in a period reasonably representative of a generic “[period] …I can remember”.

    And MOST especially since anyone with half a brain can work out that over 30 years the last part of August is likely to be the **warmest** part of winter. And that implies that comparing 30 year averages over a full three months to 2.5 months of 2011 would be highly likely to favour Fraser’s claim by comparing against artificially warm averages?

    Are you sure you really want to try and fallback on the “compared periods aren’t equal” nitpick? Did you bother to think this out before you typed it? I suspect I credited you with too much intelligence when I called for smarter trolls, please.

    And have you made any progress on doing a proper gridded reconstruction over the entire Sydney region using all of the official weather stations yet? I mean, since you’re nitpicking about proper use of scientific data and all, you really should do a proper scientific assessment of winter temperature across Sydney, right?

    And how **are** you going with the numerous earth-shattering errors of Plimer and Fraser (which must be *utterly cataclysmic* by comparison with what you call Tim’s “serious error” in assessing “coldest I can remember”?)

  89. #90 factoid
    August 24, 2011

    Lotharsson your arrogance is only matched by your ignorance.

    I have not debated Fraser’s claim, so you’re wrong there.

    Fraser’s comments are about as relevant to the scientific debate as someone saying “It’s a hot day” or “This is the heaviest rain I’ve ever seen.”

    I’m glad you admit Lambert is not a scientist. He certainly does not behave like one. But he tries to appear like a scientist, with a scienceblog and a computer scientist title in his profile. And all this war on science campaign, as if he had a clue.

    With regards to readers following links and understanding them, the comments above are proof that most do not bother to read them. When they do they don’t comprehend the significance of a different location, the failure to identify the different location, what a 30 year average is, and the missing data for half a month.

    You are guilty of all these failures.

    Fortunately, what you call nitpicking, is the fundamental basis of all scientific integrity.

    Creating data from all Sydney weather stations was your crazy idea and not worthy of response.

  90. #91 Donald Oats
    August 24, 2011

    I think factorrhoid is channelling Alan Jones, who is on the Sky TV channel right now, parrotting on about CO2 and his view on AGW. Someone with better constitution than me could trawl through the entrails of this, but be warned, it is nonsense.

  91. #92 Nick
    August 24, 2011

    factoid @178,Sydney Airport MO is referred to as Sydney AP on BoMs map. Not Mascot. While Weatherzone identify it as Mascot on one online map,that map links to another that identifies it as Sydney AP,as does the table below. Really,are you going anywhere with this? No.

    It is YOU who ‘doesn’t comprehend the significance of a different location’ by insisting that only one is valid by decree,little else. The thirty year average chosen is the fairest possible to Fraser’s memory of Sydney winters,you do understand that,no? And you don’t seem to understand that the first half of August is also on average the coolest,again favoring Fraser’s chances in an anecdotal observation. Yet the average max at Obs Hill for the first twelve days of August [Fraser was in print on the 12th] is a touch over 21C,more than 2C up on the 1981-2010 mean for the month,a mean of course derived from including the typically warmest back half of the month.

    You claim now that Fraser’s anecdote is irrelevant,but it’s clearly worth your infantile doggedness. Anything but address her credulous promotion of CO2 fallacies in a national newspaper.

    If you think that Tim’s ‘war on science campaign’ is really without a clue,please fisk it all and post your results. Your handwaving time is over.

  92. #93 Lionel A
    August 24, 2011

    Perhaps it is time for a factturd bin where all the ‘ad nauseum’ from factoid can be deposited.

    I hand it to you people, you have some stamina and patience in the face of this mind-numbing, head-vice wrecking display of dogged incomprehension.

  93. #94 Chris O'Neill
    August 24, 2011

    One factoid of many:

    Comparing 15 days of August to the monthly average is ridiculous and un-scientific.

    The first 15 days of August will almost certainly have a lower 30 year average temperature than the whole of August. Therefore if the first 15 days of August 2011 are warmer than the average for the whole of August then the first 15 days of August 2011 are almost certainly warmer than the average for the first 15 days of August.


  94. #95 factoid
    August 24, 2011

    Well done Nick.
    You are wrong on every point.
    1. I did not say the BoM identified it as Mascot. I was referring to how most media identify sydney airport as Mascot. Yes Weatherzone do too. You will see how those Weatherzone maps clearly identify Sydney. 2.There is only one Sydney location. It is not a multiple choice option.
    3. It was I who identified a) the 30 year average in Lambert’s links, b) the reason for this time period, and 3) point out to commenters that they had not not used 30 year data.
    4. You still don’t understand the validity of comparative statistics.
    No amount of spin or appeal for justification can change that.
    5. I never defended Fraser’s anecdote on its scientific merit.

    So you are wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong.

  95. #96 Bernard J.
    August 24, 2011

    >Bernard J I’ll give you and Lotharsson a little lesson about how science works. When you don’t have complete data, you aren’t allowed to make it up. So no matter how sure you are that the second half of August is going to be warmer than the 30 year average, you just can’t make that assumption. It’s a very simple scientific principle which you and Lambert do not obey. And you both claim to be upholding scientific integrity.

    1) I know how science works; I work in science.

    2) I didn’t make up data.

    3) I didn’t “assume” that the second half of August would be warmer than the first, I simply pointed out the fact that in the southern hemisphere the end of August is the end of winter, and thus that:

    >[i]f this August’s mean for the first 15 days is already greater than the 30-year August mean, waiting for the second half of the month’s data is not likely to improve things.

    >[My latter emphasis]

    This point sailed completely over your head, as did [Chris O’Neill’s reiteration of the fact, which he very explicitly spelled out for you](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/08/the_australians_war_on_science_71.php#comment-4922884).

    4) I “obey[ed] simple scientific principle[s]” by indicating that Sydney’s temperature is best represented with a weighted mean of all stations in the Greater Sydney basin.

    A point that you have studiously avoided. It’s one that you should address, and by doing so you could determine whether Ob Hill or the airport more closely reflect the overall Sydney means.

    5) And petal, you wouldn’t know scientific integrity if it ripped your arms off and slapped you around the head with the wet bits.

    And it turns out that [you can’t even attribute correctly](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/08/the_australians_war_on_science_71.php#comment-4921661):

    >Creating data from all Sydney weather stations was your crazy idea and not worthy of response.

    It was not Lotharsson but me who suggested that you do a weighted, composite reconstruction of Sydney’s temperature record. I’m curious to know why you think that it is a crazy idea – surely that would give you the best indication of Sydney’s mean climatic character over time…?

    [Vince thinks that](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/08/the_australians_war_on_science_71.php#comment-4916699):

    >Factoid is Tim Curtin.

    Good call. Could well be. They both have the same inability to see scientific truth sitting in front of their faces, and many other similarities of scientific obtuseness.

    Curtin old man, if you are “Factoid” [there’s a little experimental result awaiting your consideration](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/07/open_thread_62.php#comment-4893935)…

  96. #97 Lotharsson
    August 24, 2011

    > I have not debated Fraser’s claim, so you’re wrong there.

    Try reading **what I wrote** and responding to that, rather than what you *imagine* I wrote.

    > You are guilty of all these failures.

    Lies such as that are so discrediting, don’t you think?

    > Creating data from all Sydney weather stations was your crazy idea and not worthy of response.

    No, it was firstly Bernard J’s idea – and it’s **how climate science is done**. You calling it “crazy” indicates that you don’t know what you’re talking about when you attempt to lecture others on climate science.

  97. #98 factoid
    August 24, 2011

    Bernard J
    1 You may work in science, but you are no scientist, and you don’t understand scientific principles, such as comparing equivalent statistics and identifying data @176
    2 I did not accuse you of making up data. I said it as a general statement about using half the data of one month as if it represented the whole month.
    3 You should know that when you have half the data, you can’t assume what the other half of the data is going to be. It is irrelevant how likely or unlikely an event is. That’s science. You still don’t get it.
    4 The BoM has determined that Observatory Hill best represents Sydney weather. And it has the longest record of observations for this purpose. I’m not sure how many times it needs to be repeated. There is nothing wrong with picking another station. The issue is that it must be clearly identified, and not substituted for Sydney weather.
    5 Your right it was your crazy idea which Lotharsson demanded that I respond to. It’s hard to keep up with the number of irrelevant issues I am expected to answer.

    Unfortunately I do read what you wrote.
    I didn’t imagine it.
    @188 you wrote “YOUR heavy investment in debating scientific assessment of Fraser’s claim as if the assessments might have merit is utterly redundant.”
    I replied “I have not debated Fraser’s claim.”

    As for your errors, it’s best to own up to them rather than accuse me of lying.

    @70 you fail to identify that a 30 year average had been specified by Lambert.
    @102 you don’t comprehend the significance of switching data.
    @170 you don’t comprehend the failure to identify switched data.
    @188 you don’t understand that half a month’s data can’t be used in a statistical comparison.

  98. #99 Nick
    August 24, 2011

    Factorrhoid Follies @194:

    1) I didn’t claim YOU had claimed BoM identified Sydney APMO as ‘Mascot’.By noting that BoM and Weatherzone carried maps that identified Sydney AP as ‘Sydney AP’ I showed your claim @178 was a self-serving generalisation. As is your claim @194 that “most media” identify Sydney AP as ‘Mascot’…have your self-trumpeted reading skills deserted you? You still haven’t gone anywhere.

    2) Establishing the state of the climate in Sydney IS a multiple observation prospect.How do BoM prepare their monthly and seasonal weather statements for Australian cities? You will not establish the invalidity of using the last 30 years data of an accredited long-term observation station by bullshitting. It’s a mere ten kilometers from Obs Hill. You’ve also made an assumption that Fraser doesn’t live in Randwick or any of a dozen suburbs that are closer to the airport than Observatory Hill.For a person who claims that Fraser’s anecdote is worthless and not to be defended,you spend an awful lot of time simply asserting that there is only one valid observation point to address it.

    3) Tim was the person who explicitly identified the use of a 30 year average. Not you. You insulted others who skimmed his post as ideologue ‘lemmings’ for not noting that,not that their skimming had any real cost. After all,last year’s winter,at the observation station of YOUR choice,was colder than this years,rendering Fraser’s anecdote a failed starter without the need to refer to longer time scales.

    4) You insist that only Observatory Hill is exclusively ‘Sydney’ [for the purpose of your vigorous non-defence of Fraser!] Wrong and unintentionally funny. No amount of pretentious reference to the ‘validity of comparative statistics’ will support you. In fact Sydney’s climate is assessed by comparing statistics from a dozen or more observing points. None of that helps you on your terms,or Fraser on hers.

    5)’I never defended Fraser’s anecdote on its scientific merit’ No,you baselessly attacked Lambert’s choice of observation point,mocked his readers and studiously ignored the repetition of Plimerian falsehoods at a News Ltd media outlet.Repeatedly.

    6) You dismiss Tim’s ‘war against science’ series with “..as if he had a clue.” I’m sure Tim would be the first to acknowledge that he has probably missed a few examples of the ‘perception management’ that masquerades as science and science-derived reportage at The Australian. Feel free to add to the record.

  99. #100 Vince whirlwind
    August 24, 2011

    It’s all getting very wordy.

    Can I summarise:

    – Fraser says a whole bunch of nonsense about CO2.

    – The facts show Fraser is grossly wrong.

    – Fraser said it’s the coldest winter she can remember.

    – Lambert said BoM shows Fraser doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

    – Factoid said Lambert is wrong

    – BoM says Factoid is wrong.

    – Factoid brings in every diversion and tangent it can dream up in order to avoid admitting that Fraser was wrong.

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.