ACMA complaint about the Bolt report

Alan Shore is making a complaint to ACMA about Andrew Bolt’s July 10 editorial on the Bolt report and is seeking feedback on the draft below. His original complaint to Network Ten is here and their response is here.

The text that follows is by Alan Shore.


It is contended that Mr Andrew Bolt’s opening editorial comment aired during the Sunday July 10, 2011 broadcast of The Bolt Report breached clause 4.3.1 of the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice.

Specifically, Mr Bolt’s statement that “for at least a decade the planet has not warmed even though emissions have soared”. This claim was accompanied by a graph of UAH Lower Troposphere Mean Temperature data from 1995 to 2011 (inclusive) titled “Where’s the Warming”. A least squares trend analysis of the data Mr Bolt referred to revealed a warming trend over the period of 0.13°C per decade or 1.3°C per century. In my original complaint I also limited the period to January 2000 to December 2010 or “at least a decade” and found a warming trend of 0.17°C per decade or 1.7°C per century. However, to be fairer to Mr Bolt if we limit the period to January 2001 to December 2010 we find a warming trend of 0.09°C per decade or 0.9°C per century.

The network’s response to the above point was to draw attention to the fact that the “graph depicted temperature changes both higher and lower than the average temperature for 1981-2010, of no more than 0.7 degrees Celsius, for the time frame referred to in the broadcast.” It is difficult to deduce the relevance of this response as it fails to address the specific point I raised in my complaint. That is, Mr Bolt’s public statement that “for at least a decade the planet has not warmed…” cannot be substantiated by reference to Mr Bolt’s preferred data set. Again, I submit that Mr Bolt’s editorial failed to “broadcast factual material accurately” and is, therefore, in breach of Clause 4.3.1 of the Code. It should also be noted that the annual temperature anomaly for any given year or series of years being higher or lower than the average tells us very little about Climate Change. Instead, we need to understand the rate of change in the temperature anomaly over climatologically relevant periods, usually 20 to 30 years or more. I find it difficult to accept that Mr Bolt does not understand this very important point, given his many years studying the science and I suggest that the network’s response to this point is more than a little disingenuous.

The second point of my complaint referred to the factual inaccuracy of Mr Bolt’s claim that “the flooding rains we were told would never fall again have returned”. As noted in the original complaint I have personally made Mr Bolt aware of a number of scientific studies, including IPCC Assessment and Special Reports dating back to at least 1997 which project that “(e)nhanced groundwater recharge and dam-filling events were expected from more frequent high-rainfall events…”

According to the Network’s response “Mr Bolt’s commentary…is based on several statements, including comments that…Professor Tim Flannery made during an interview broadcast on Landline on the ABC in February 2007. This includes Professor Flannery’s comment, “So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems, and that’s a real worry for the people in the bush.” Professor Flannery’s full response is as follows:

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: We’re already seeing the initial impacts and they include a decline in the winter rainfall zone across southern Australia, which is clearly an impact of climate change, but also a decrease in run-off. Although we’re getting say a 20 per cent decrease in rainfall in some areas of Australia, that’s translating to a 60 per cent decrease in the run-off into the dams and rivers. That’s because the soil is warmer because of global warming and the plants are under more stress and therefore using more moisture. So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems, and that’s a real worry for the people in the bush. If that trend continues then I think we’re going to have serious problems, particularly for irrigation.

Nowhere in the above quote does Professor Flannery claim that “the flooding rains…would never fall again…” I assert that it is particularly dishonest to suggest that Professor Flannery’s comments about observed declines in winter rainfall leading to even greater observed declines in run-off are equivalent to the claim that “the flooding rains… would never fall again…”

My third point concerned Mr Bolt’s misrepresentation of the results of a Victorian Department of Primary Industries Free Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) study. While Mr Bolt’s statement that the study found “about a 20% increase in yield because of elevated CO2″ was factually correct he neglected to mention that the study also found elevated CO2 contributed to a decrease in crop quality, lower protein levels, and an increase in soil nitrogen uptake which could impact on cropping costs. In Mr Bolt’s commentary he clearly states that “the more carbon dioxide we put in (wheat’s) air the better it grows”. However, plant growth is more than just a function of yield. In relation to the Victorian DPI study, crop quality and cost were also important factors and the negative findings on these measures were deliberately ignored by Mr Bolt.

As the Network’s response noted, “news and current affairs programs are not required to present all factual material available to them, however if the omission of some factual material means that the factual material presented is not presented accurately, that would amount to a breach of the Code.” I contend that Mr Bolt’s failure to present the relevant findings relating to reduced protein levels and higher nitrogen uptake left the viewer with the incorrect impression that elevated atmospheric CO2 was an overall benefit for wheat cropping when in fact the study found significant negative side effects. It is clear from the Victorian DPI FACE study and others like it that climate change impacts such as higher average temperatures and lower average rainfall may in fact reduce any growth benefit from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. By Network Ten’s own measure Mr Bolt has clearly breached the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice.

I stand by my original submission that Mr Bolt did not broadcast factual material accurately or represent view points fairly. I maintain that Mr Bolt misrepresented the science and both misinformed and misled his audience. I again respectfully request that Mr Bolt publicly acknowledge his erroneous statements and clearly and unambiguously correct the record at the earliest possible convenience.


Original Complaint

I wish to submit a complaint in relation to the factual accuracy of Mr Andrew Bolt’s opening editorial during The Bolt Report broadcast on Network Ten July 10, 2011. It is my contention that Mr Bolt’s commentary breached the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice. Specifically clause 4.3.1 which states:

In broadcasting news and current affairs programs, licensees:

must broadcast factual material accurately and represent viewpoints fairly, having regard to the circumstances at the time of preparing and broadcasting the program;

The details of my complaint are as follows:

1) Andrew Bolt stated that “for at least a decade the planet has not warmed even though emissions have soared”. This claim was accompanied by a graph of UAH Lower Troposphere Mean Temperature data from 1995 to 2011 (inclusive) titled “Where’s the Warming”.

i-0cf851ed3368eb91cf0b4ed2662f4a68-Bolt temp.png

As can be seen here (woodfortrees) the slope of the least squares line (trend) is 0.013 degrees per year or 0.13 degrees per decade or 1.3 degrees per century for the period 1995 to 2011. If the period is limited from January 2000 to December 2010 or “at least a decade” as per the text of the commentary, the trend is 0.017 degrees per year or 0.17 degrees per decade or 1.7 degrees per century. By any measure the statement “the planet has not warmed” cannot be substantiated by reference to Mr Bolt’s preferred data set.

2) Andrew Bolt claimed “the flooding rains we were told would never fall again have returned”. That statement is also factually wrong. As I have personally pointed out to Mr Bolt on a number of occasions, neither the IPCC nor any respected climate scientist has projected that flooding rains “would never fall again”.

As highlighted in section 11.1.1 of IPCC Fourth Assessment Report Working Group II the Third Assessment Report noted:

Increased frequency of high-intensity rainfall, which is likely to increase flood damage.

According to TAR 12.1:

The region’s climate is strongly influenced by the surrounding oceans. Key climatic features include tropical cyclones and monsoons in northern Australia; migratory mid-latitude storm systems in the south, including New Zealand; and the ENSO phenomenon, which causes floods and prolonged droughts, especially in eastern Australia.

From 12.1.5.1:

To summarize the rainfall results, drier conditions are anticipated for most of Australia over the 21st century. However, consistent with conclusions in WGI, an increase in heavy rainfall also is projected, even in regions with small decreases in mean rainfall. This is a result of a shift in the frequency distribution of daily rainfall toward fewer light and moderate events and more heavy events. This could lead to more droughts and more floods.

As far back as the 1997 IPCC Special Report on Regional Impacts of Climate Change it was noted:

Water Supply and Hydrology: Possible overall reduction in runoff, with changes in soil moisture and runoff varying considerably from place to place but reaching as much as ±20%, was suggested for parts of Australia by 2030. Sharpened competition was expected among water users, with the large Murray-Darling Basin river system facing strong constraints. Enhanced groundwater recharge and dam-filling events were expected from more frequent high-rainfall events, which also were expected to increase flooding, landslides, and erosion.

From The Australian Climate Group (2004) Climate change – Solutions for Australia (Co-author Professor David Karoly)

Small global temperature increases of only a degree or two can cause big changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events: heatwaves, storms with stronger winds and hail, intense rainfall and flooding, extreme bushfire conditions more often. The effect is amplified again in terms of damage to our buildings and infrastructure, because they have usually been designed to deal with historical weather patterns. We are also observing a widening gap between insured and economic losses. This difference in losses will ultimately have to be paid by the taxpayer.

The report goes on:

Flood damage shows a similar pattern. Extreme flood events, by their nature, occur more rarely and are more costly than moderate events…Climate change will bring more frequent floods and a greater cost to the community because when rain does fall, it will be more intense.

3) Andrew Bolt quoted a Victorian Department of Primary Industries FACE study that found “about a 20% increase in yield because of elevated CO2″. The following was excluded from the quote:

…the caveat there is that you can see increases in yield, but you also have to have sufficient water and nitrogen still to grow the crop and considering changes in climate, if this area of Australia, for example, has decreases in rainfall then we may not see the responses to be quite that dramatic in the future…

Andrew also neglected to inform his audience that in addition to increased yield the study also found a decrease in plant quality due to lower protein levels and an increase in soil nitrogen uptake which could have negative impacts on fertiliser costs. According to the transcript Andrew quoted from:

Now, other results that are important to the agricultural industry is that we see a decrease in the plant nitrogen content. Now, nitrogen is a fertiliser, it’s what causes the green part of the plants to be green and that’s important:what happens is that translates into less nitrogen in the grain, which is less protein. So that interacts directly with quality issues and the wheat industry would be quite interested in understanding that. So, the nitrogen content, the protein content goes down and we’re seeing that very consistently. However, what’s interesting is that the total nitrogen extracted from the soil increases and that’s because there’s more biomass. So it’s just pulling a lot more nitrogen and that has potential impacts to future farming in terms of fertiliser requirements.

Andrew Bolt failed to represent all the evidence fairly, instead he cherry-picked the data that suited his argument and ignored that data which did not. This is not honest commentary nor is it honest scepticism.

It appears to me that Mr Bolt has not broadcast factual material accurately or represented view points fairly. I contend that Mr Bolt has misrepresented the science and has both misinformed and misled his audience. I respectfully request that Mr Bolt publicly acknowledge his erroneous statements and clearly and unambiguously correct the record at the earliest possible convenience. It would be preferable if Mr Bolt acknowledged his mistake with the same prominence and in the same format, namely on The Bolt Report, without deflection or obfuscation.

Comments

  1. #1 Anthony David
    October 19, 2011

    Mr Bolt wants to be the “Bill O’Reilly of Oz”. Ten’s response suggests they support his ambition and the “Bolt Report” should be seen as entertainment and nothing else.

  2. #2 ginckgo
    October 19, 2011

    TEN’s response: “Mr Bolt regularly invites guests with various opinions to appear on the program such as Norm Sanders … and Janet Albrechtson…”

    I’m not expecting very varied opinions from the guy who thinks the Greens have lost the plot, and the Australian Ann Coulter.

  3. #3 Chris O'Neill
    October 19, 2011

    a decline in the winter rainfall zone across southern Australia

    Flannery was talking about southern Australia and although the rain this past year has been good, the dams supplying Melbourne are still nowhere near full (63.8%). So Flannery’s “isn’t actually going to fill our dams” is not going to be falsified anytime soon. Bolt is just hyping up the effect of the floods in more northerly parts of Australia (which did fill the dams there as many know).

  4. #4 barry
    October 19, 2011

    I love copy editing and I’m a glutton for brevity. I would remove some commentary on the network and Bolt, drop a few first person pronouns and stick hard to the facts. Here’s a quick bash at editing the second paragraph.

    eg,

    “The network’s response to the above point was to draw attention to the fact that the “graph depicted temperature changes both higher and lower than the average temperature for 1981-2010, of no more than 0.7 degrees Celsius, for the time frame referred to in the broadcast.” It is difficult to deduce the relevance of this response as it fails to address the specific point I raised in my complaint. That is, Mr Bolt’s public statement that “for at least a decade the planet has not warmed…” cannot be substantiated by reference to Mr Bolt’s preferred data set. Again, I submit that Mr Bolt’s editorial failed to “broadcast factual material accurately” and is, therefore, in breach of Clause 4.3.1 of the Code. It should also be noted that the annual temperature anomaly for any given year or series of years being higher or lower than the average tells us very little about Climate Change. Instead, we need to understand the rate of change in the temperature anomaly over climatologically relevant periods, usually 20 to 30 years or more. I find it difficult to accept that Mr Bolt does not understand this very important point, given his many years studying the science and I suggest that the network’s response to this point is more than a little disingenuous.”

    can be;

    The network’s response to the above point was that the “graph depicted temperature changes both higher and lower than the average temperature for 1981-2010, of no more than 0.7 degrees Celsius, for the time frame referred to in the broadcast.” But this is a statement about variability, whereas Mr Bolt’s assertion was about the trend. Mr Bolt’s public statement that “for at least a decade the planet has not warmed…” is not substantiated by the data cited. Even though a single decade is insufficient to determine a global climate change from temperature data, still Mr Bolt’s data source shows a warming trend for the period he nominated. The network’s response fails to address the complaint. Mr Bolt’s editorial did not “broadcast factual material accurately” and is, therefore, in breach of Clause 4.3.1 of the Code.

    I wonder if Media Watch might do a special on climate change reporting. There’s soooo much material for them.

  5. #5 Lotharsson
    October 19, 2011

    > …should be seen as entertainment…

    That seems far too kind. I reckon it should be seen as “misinfotainment”.

  6. #6 Mikem
    October 19, 2011

    I’ve already complained quite a while back about a similar climate editorial breaching the code of practice. It was quite flagrantly false.

    They simply don’t care. Generally they will resort, eventually, to the “well it’s only his opinion and he’s allowed to broadcast his opinion” line. They know that’s crap and that it’s deliberately misleading, but again they don’t particularly care.

  7. #7 Alan Shore
    October 19, 2011

    Thanks Tim for posting this and thank you Barry @ 4 for the copy editing. My intention here is to ensure the arguments are sound and the science is correct. The case will need to be water tight for the ACMA to uphold the complaint and force a correction.

  8. #8 john byatt
    October 19, 2011

    A Complaint to the ABC regarding Ted Lapkin’s out of context quote of professor Schneider’s interview, to infer the exact opposite of that Stephan was saying, a waste of time
    The ABC replied that he had not altered the cherry picked portion, so it was a valid distortion, By the way we changed our rules a month ago.

    signed
    Get Fucked
    your ABC.

    .

  9. #9 Bernard J.
    October 20, 2011

    >According to the Network’s response “Mr Bolt’s commentary…is based on several statements, including comments that…Professor Tim Flannery made during an interview broadcast on Landline on the ABC in February 2007. This includes Professor Flannery’s comment, “So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems, and that’s a real worry for the people in the bush.”

    It seems that the Ten network is jumping on board Bolt’s mangling of the facts. As is noted in Flannery’s full response:

    >Although we’re getting say a 20 per cent decrease in rainfall in some areas of Australia, that’s translating to a 60 per cent decrease in the run-off into the dams and rivers.

    So Flannery’s comment about decreased rainfall was explicitly made in the context of some areas of Australia.

    It seems that Ten’s attitude to careful reportingof science is being somehow compromised…

  10. #10 SteveC
    October 20, 2011

    Bernard:

    It seems that the Ten network is jumping on board Bolt’s mangling of the facts

    Well this is the network that brings you the Rhinehart Rant Gina Monlogues Bolt Report.

    It seems that Ten’s attitude to careful reporting of science is being somehow compromised…

    That rather assumes it had one in the first place.

  11. #11 Donald Oats
    October 20, 2011

    I stopped reading the Oz, and I’ve stopped watching Ten, for identical reasons. If they won’t stoop to the truth, then the only place to get them is in the circulation/audience figures.

    B/n this post, and the latest “Australian’s war on science”, my brain fell out.

  12. #12 Marion Delgado
    October 20, 2011

    Holy crap! I see it but I don’t @#$#$ing believe it.

    That was a Fox News response if I ever saw one.

  13. #13 barry
    October 20, 2011

    Alan, a link to the WMO on climate period (30 years) might be a useful authority to reference in your complaint.

    http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/wcp/ccl/faqs.html

    Or a literature review of same in this recent paper.

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2010BAMS2955.1

  14. #14 StevoR
    October 21, 2011

    Alan Shore? Like the Boston Legal guy? ;-)

    @5.Lotharsson | October 19, 2011 8:02 PM :

    …should be seen as entertainment…
    That seems far too kind. I reckon it should be seen as “misinfotainment”.

    LOL. Yep.

  15. #15 Gowest
    October 21, 2011

    Come on – catastrophic global warming has had a great run. All the “science is settled” programs telling porkpies and you waste time trying to pick up the bolter when he points out that CO2 rises and temp flatlines – oops what happened to the hockeystick?. Kevin Rudd has set up all scientists by exaggerating the climate danger to win an election, now the majority of the public think they were conned and want revenge. Their turn will come and someone will have to put up with the consequences.
    The really annoyed pay to hear Monckton, the same way really annoyed greens pay to hear Gore, even though both bend the data to support their fund raisers.
    Posting the admission that our climate scientists knew all about the killing floods coming to Australia before they arrived was not clever. Before I thought they were just ignorant, now I learn that they knew and did not address the risk / make the changes to save lives as required by their employment contracts.
    Sack the irresponsible? Class action time?… or will they do something before the next killing flood or fire to justify their taxpayer salary?

  16. #16 Michael
    October 21, 2011

    Why do the ranting trolls have trouble using the return key?

  17. #17 Richard Simons
    October 21, 2011

    Why do the ranting trolls have trouble using the return key?

    I’ve noticed creationists frequently have a similar problem. I think it is because they can’t get their thoughts sufficiently organised to separate them into discrete ideas and paragraphs

  18. #18 Lotharsson
    October 21, 2011

    > I think it is because they can’t get their thoughts sufficiently organised to separate them into discrete ideas and paragraphs

    I reckon it’s the “interpretive dance” of blogging – not content with merely loading their missives up with rather silly claims, they have to metaphorically embody the density of their thinking via the very structure of their text.
    ;-)

  19. #19 rhwombat
    October 22, 2011

    re 15: I think it’s because the Ignorati can’t stand refelection. They’re just kids throwing rocks.

  20. #20 Harry Krisna
    October 24, 2011

    Speaking of extremist comedy, Jo Nova has now given an interview to the 911 Truthers. A conspiracy theory love-in if ever I saw one. < <http://www.truthnews.com.au/web/radio/story/interview_with_joanne_nova> >

  21. #21 Ryan
    October 28, 2011

    ‘Provoked scientists try to explain lag in global warming’
    http://www.eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2011/10/25/1

    Includes commentary from Hansen and Trenberth among others.

    There’s nothing controversial about Bolt’s claim, unless you’re inclined to split hairs.

  22. #22 Lotharsson
    October 29, 2011

    > ‘Provoked scientists try to explain lag in global warming’

    Whilst the article isn’t as clear as it could be that “temperatures haven’t gone up in a decade” is based on a *wrong* method of determining whether the climate is warming or not, it still manages to refute one of Bolt’s claims, so it’s mystifying why you imply that the article leads one to conclude “there’s nothing controversial about Bolt’s claims, unless you’re inclined to split hairs”.

    Unless, of course, by “nothing controversial” you meant “clearly wrong”.

  23. #23 Chris O'Neill
    October 29, 2011

    ‘Provoked scientists try to explain lag in global warming’ http://www.eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2011/10/25/1 There’s nothing controversial about Bolt’s claim

    Don’t believe everything you read in E&E news.

  24. #24 Gowest
    October 29, 2011

    Another inconvenient rock – with lots of white space for those who need it.

    Carbon Pollution goes up into the atmosphere and causes global warming right.

    Chemistry teaches that CO2 is colourless, odourless.. and wait for it … a higher molecular weight than air … and … last but not least, soluble in water.

    So how does CO2 get up there when gravity really wants to pull it down to the earth or dissolve it in the sea?

    How do you accurately measure CO2 across the planet when it is always trying to dissolve into the sea, get digested by some plant or pumped into coke cans?

    CO2 bubbles in cooking. CO2 in drinks. CO2 makes your lungs work (scuba), so pollution?… Just does not make sense, unless you want to tax it of course.

  25. #25 Chris O'Neill
    October 29, 2011

    Gowest:

    So how does CO2 get up there when gravity really wants to pull it down to the earth or dissolve it in the sea?

    Yes, that’s why animals that sleep on the ground die from CO2 poisoning.

  26. #26 Bernard J.
    October 29, 2011

    >Carbon Pollution goes up into the atmosphere and causes global warming right.

    >Chemistry teaches that CO2 is colourless, odourless.. and wait for it … a higher molecular weight than air … and … last but not least, soluble in water.

    >So how does CO2 get up there when gravity really wants to pull it down to the earth or dissolve it in the sea?

    >How do you accurately measure CO2 across the planet when it is always trying to dissolve into the sea, get digested by some plant or pumped into coke cans?

    >CO2 bubbles in cooking. CO2 in drinks. CO2 makes your lungs work (scuba), so pollution?… Just does not make sense, unless you want to tax it of course.

    Argh! The Stupid – [it hurts](http://i55.tinypic.com/vo7jir.jpg)!

    Idiot, UTFSE.

    We know why CO2 doesn’t pool “down here”.

    We know how to accurately measure CO2.

    We know about CO2. By your own silly blathering, you have proven that you do not.

  27. #27 jakerman
    October 29, 2011

    Gowest ask one question in his rant:

    >How do you accurately measure CO2 across the planet when it is always trying to dissolve into the sea, get digested by some plant or pumped into coke cans?

    You measure it with scientific process called sampling. Real scientist (not blog commentators) have used this method with increasing accuracy for decade upon decade. If you want to look into it I urge you to read published peer reviewed science on this topic.

  28. #28 Ken Fabos
    October 29, 2011

    I’ve encountered the ‘CO2 is heavier than air’ meme, which in that particular case included the assertion that it can’t reach high enough in the atmosphere to have a greenhouse effect. No references to scientific data could change his mind.

    The extent of the reach of the campaign to undermine trust in climate science is scary. Besides the outright insistence that science is completely wrong there’s the flow on effect of encouraging the view that by not being completely right it means the impacts and urgency of the climate/emissions problem is exaggerated. In my view the latter will have a greater impeding effect on action than the kind of firmly held delusions of the gullible typified by Gowest.

    In the decade climate science tells us is crucial the will to do the minimum necessary remains largely absent.

  29. #29 Gowest
    October 30, 2011

    “A scientific process called Sampling” – like polls where they find a representative town and sample that, because it is impossible to sample the whole population?

    The typical gullible trusts polls, I prefer to trust the election result.

    As far as taking precautions is concerned there is lots of will to sell/buy houses in old floodplains and forest areas despite the obvious risk our parents warned us of.

    The will to change will come once the cheap renewable power as promised by BB arrives.

  30. #30 Chris O'Neill
    October 30, 2011

    Gowest:

    The typical gullible..

    Oh, the irony.

  31. #31 Lotharsson
    October 30, 2011

    > …like polls where they find a representative town and sample that, because it is impossible to sample the whole population?

    Er, no, they don’t. Not if they’re any good. Because that’s not a good sampling process.

    How do we know? The *science* tells us.

    Useful strawman though, if you prefer your preconceptions to reality – and want to distract attention from your earlier massive errors of fact rather than ponder what fixing your errors would do to your earlier confidently asserted conclusions.

  32. #32 Wow
    October 31, 2011

    > …like polls where they find a representative town and sample that

    Isn’t that an apt analogy to the deniers who point to the CET record as proof it’s no warmer now than in the past for the entire globe?

  33. #33 P. Lewis
    October 31, 2011

    N2 1.25 g/L

    O2 1.43 g/L

    O3 2.14 g/L

    CO2 1.98 g/L

    Questions that occur to me:

    1. Why did we not evolve to breathe the stratified nitrogen layer that excludes all that oxygen at ground level? Why instead did we evolve to be about 7 km in height in northern and southern high latitudes and about 13 km in height in equatorial regions so that we could breathe all that stratified oxygen?

    2. How come all that ozone doesn’t sink to the ground to poison us and our plants, and destroy most of our plastics in the process?

    … and similar stupid questions!

    Gowest’s brain has gone west, methinks.

  34. #34 Blake
    November 13, 2011

    I love the fact that when somebody like Gowest makes some very valid points he is derided for his punctuation!

  35. #35 Blake
    November 13, 2011

    I also love the fact that the greatest greenhouse gas by volume and impact by far is water vapour! Perhaps we should tax that.

  36. #36 Lotharsson
    November 13, 2011

    > I love the fact that when somebody like Gowest makes some very valid points he is derided for his punctuation!

    When commenters demonstrate that Gowest has no idea about basics of the atmosphere and draws false conclusions from that misunderstanding, you try to claim Gowest was “making some very valid points” and pretend the scientific critiques didn’t happen. It’s almost as if you *want* to demonstrate that you missed the point.

    > I also love the fact that the greatest greenhouse gas by volume and impact by far is water vapour!

    Another one who doesn’t understand that humans are *forcing* CO2 but water vapour is a *feedback* (and hence more CO2 *also* causes more water vapour). It’s almost as if you want to demonstrate that you don’t understand what you’re opining about…

  37. #37 Alan Shore
    November 21, 2011

    For those interested, the ACMA has decided to move forward with an investigation, the results of which should be known sometime early next year. Thanks again to Tim for his help and everyone else for your helpful suggestions. Cheers.

  38. #38 Bernard J.
    November 21, 2011

    [Alan Shore](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/10/acma_complaint_on_the_bolt_rep.php#comment-5909688)

    Good news.

    It seems that Jonathon Holmes will have something meaty with which to scandalise the conservatives, when Mediawatch resumes early in 2012 .

  39. #39 Gowest
    November 23, 2011

    To address the “poll sample” problem the Americans and Japanese decided to send up satellites to measure the global CO2 and methane. Not so gullible were they? The results show Australia is a carbon sink – what good news, we should all celebrate! Wont Durban be fun now.

    As for stupid questions, well done, there are none, after all the Russians find oil (that darned Carbon cycle again) at much greater depth than we do in the west simply because they ask stupid questions – according to our western theories that is.

  40. #40 Wow
    November 23, 2011

    > The results show Australia is a carbon sink

    Do you know that because you looked at the results?

    Or, as seems more likely given you have no link to those results, you have been told that is the result of the measurements?

    ‘course recently it’s been Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. And even in Australia, they have *some* plants growing.

    You DID know that the southern hemisphere summer occurs around December, didn’t you?

  41. #41 Nathan
    November 27, 2011

    The passage you quote of Flannery doesn’t seem very logical. Bolt had one of the top AUS warmists on his show I thought said you can’t tell if changes in rainfall are “clearly an impact of CC”. The idea that plants are “under more stress” because of a fraction of a degree of extra warming when plants love summer seems a major illogical fallacy. He says that leads to a 60% decrease in runoff?? from a fraction of a degree extra warming? Personally I wouldn’t think this is a quotation passage I’d want taken into court to be tested.

  42. #42 John
    November 27, 2011

    Thanks for commenting Nathan, but the next time I suggest that you do so using the English language.

  43. #43 Richard Simons
    November 27, 2011

    “The idea that plants are “under more stress” because of a fraction of a degree of extra warming when plants love summer seems a major illogical fallacy.”
    It’s quite common for plants to be under heat and water stress during the hottest part of a summer day. Have you never seen tomato plants wilting even though the soil is saturated?

    “He says that leads to a 60% decrease in runoff?? from a fraction of a degree extra warming?”
    No. From a decrease in rainfall plus increased warming.

  44. #44 bill
    March 4, 2012

    …well, that was barking!

  45. #45 peaceandlonglife
    April 4, 2012

    Off Topic.

    Bolt, Andrew.  Smarter folk are more likely to be sceptics, Herald Sun, 5 October, 2011:

    The less you know about science, the more likely you are to believe man is warming the planet dangerously.
    From a new study by Professor Dan Kahan and others:

    [T]he most scientifically literate and numerate subjects were slightly less likely, not more, to see climate change as a serious threat than the least scientifically literate and numerate ones.

    See: The Master of Selective Quotation Strikes (Yet) Again

  46. #46 peaceandlonglife
    ACMA Adjudication
    October 17, 2012

    http://www.acma.gov.au/webwr/_assets/main/lib410172/ten-report_2709.doc

    No breach of clause 4.3.1 (factual accuracy)
    No breach of clause 7.12 (complaints handling)

    http://scepticwatch.blogspot.com/2011/12/bolt-andrew.html

  47. #47 Wow
    October 17, 2012

    “The less you know about science, the more likely you are to believe man is warming the planet dangerously.”

    Well, the consequence of the DK effect, isn’t it.

    The more you know about science the more you know the fact that man is warming the planet dangerously. Because if you know the science, you don’t need belief in someone else’s work to come to a conclusion.

  48. #48 Jeff Harvey
    October 18, 2012

    Smarter folks are more likely to be climate change skeptics/deniers?

    The less one knows about science the more likely one is to believe man in warming the plant dangerously?

    What imbeciles came up with this poppycock? I wonder how one can explain that the vast majority of the scientific community are in agreement with respect to AGW; that very few skeptics are statured scientists, and that denial has required a massive and sustained public relations effort?

    Most importantly, the question is worded incorrectly. AGW has the potential to be a very serious threat to future generations if nothing is done to deal with it. The scientific community by-and-large is attempting to unravel these potential consequences. But to suggest that catastrophic AGW is a slam-dunk is to put the cart before the horse: it may very well be, although it is not inevitable. However, there is enough of a risk posed to take precautionary action to prevent the worst possible scenarios. Kahan’s study is therefore null and void.

  49. #49 Olaus Petri
    October 18, 2012
  50. #50 Wow
    October 18, 2012

    So I guess you will be enjoying the removal of a Watts sourced paper, right, olap?

  51. #51 Richard Simons
    October 19, 2012

    Jeff – The level of ‘scientific’ knowledge was based on answers to questions from National Science Foundation “Science and Engineering Indicators” such as “It is the father’s gene that decides whether the baby is a boy or a girl—true or false?” and “Antibiotics kill viruses as well as bacteria—true or false?”
    Apart from the dreadful wording of that first question, it’s akin to rating someone’s driving ability based on how well they steer a pedal-car in the kindergarten playground. I guess the authors are so far removed from science themselves that they think this was a valid test to use.
    As far as I can see, the study is a waste of time and money.

  52. #52 d dutton
    Perth Wa
    March 4, 2013

    Why if the gbal warming sceince is ”proved” are we showmn fake emissions.steam from huge water cooling towers. Why are dissenting scientists threatened with los of job or Grants. Why didn’t the media report Dr David Evans exposure of the tricks to show higher temperatures. Also exposed by Police investgation of CRU UEA & 95 charges of failing to provide evidence under the F O I Act. Skewing and shredding peer revewied science refuting global warming. Prof flannery has said solar panels will prevent blackouts. NO WAY !!