The Australian is notorious for its attacks on climate science and its hypersensitivity to criticism, so this segment on the Science Show on the psychology of the rejection of climate science where this Maurice Newman opinion piece in the Australian was (correctly) described as “drivel” was pretty well guaranteed to draw lots of responses. So far there have been eight published. On the front page of Tuesday’s paper we had the headline “It’s OK to link climate denial to pedophilia, ABC tells ex-chairman Maurice Newman” (search for it if you wish to read the article).  You have to read right to the end of the article to find out that the headline is completely false:

In its direct response to Mr Newman, the ABC maintained it did “not equate climate change sceptics to pedophiles”.

So they didn’t say it was OK, but rather denied doing it.  Because they didn’t.  Here’s what Robin Williams said on the Science Show:

What if I told you that paedophilia is good for children, or that asbestos is an excellent inhalant for those with asthma? Or that smoking crack is a normal part and a healthy one of teenage life, to be encouraged? You’d rightly find it outrageous. But there have been similar statements coming out of inexpert mouths again and again in recent times, distorting the science.

The example of a similar statement that Williams gives is Todd Akin’s claim that rape cannot cause pregnancy.  Williams did not equate Akin with a pedophile, but rather said that Akin made an outrageously false and unscientific claim,  A statement equating a group with pedophiles would look like this:

“The wind-farm business is bloody well near a pedophile ring. They’re f . . king our families and knowingly doing so.”

Of course, that wasn’t published by the ABC, but by The Australian (search for “Wind farm scam a huge cover-up” by James Delingpole) and yesterday The Australian was forced to publish this:

Third, it has concluded that the report of the anonymous remarks concerning paedophilia, a very serious and odious crime, were highly offensive. The Council’s principles relate, of course, to whether something is acceptable journalistic practice, not whether it is unlawful. They are breached where, as in this case, the level of offensiveness is so high that it outweighs the very strong public interest in freedom of speech

As you might expect, rather than admit that the two cases were different, The Australian’s Nick Leys complained that the ABC was being held to a different standard.  As did The Australian in an editorial.  And they also published a ridiculous rant from Delingpole making the same complaint (“Where free speech is as dead as the dodo”).  Also saying the same thing was a column by Christopher Pearson (“Climate lunacy rules at Aunty”).  I imagine there will be many more over the next few weeks.

The Australian also used this as an excuse to publish more drivel from Newman (“ABC clique in control of climate”):

We have seen the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change discredited. We know the science is less robust. And, for the past 16 years, mother nature has been kind to the sceptics. Because Williams says the entire globe is threatened in a way that is pretty dire doesn’t make it so. Yet the “weight of evidence” argument is often used as a licence to vilify holders of alternative views. As a taxpayer-funded organisation, the ABC shouldn’t even have a view on global warming. What it does have is a duty to all Australians to broadcast honestly the best available evidence on both sides of the argument so that we can make up our own minds. This is not happening.

You could make up your mind as to whether Newman’s claim that there has been no global warming for 16 years by looking at the data. Here, from, is a graph showing the temperature trend from 1980 to 1996 (the green line) and global temperatures since 1980. The data shows that in the last 16 years temperatures have been mostly above the trend line.

Newman also claims:

In March 2010 as chairman, I addressed an in-house conference of 250 ABC leaders. In a speech titled “Trust is the future of the ABC”, I asked, “how might we ensure in our newsrooms we celebrate those who interrogate every truth?” I lamented the mainstream media’s role as an effective gatekeeper. It was too conformist and had missed the warning signs of financial failure. I blamed group think and used climate change as an example. My mistake was to mention climate change.

Actually, Newman’s mistake was to smear scientists, accusing them of lacking in moral and scientific integrity and basing all this on a some blog posts.

Update: The Australian refused to print a letter from the ABC correcting the record.


  1. #1 Bolt for PM
    January 12, 2013

    OK, someone mentioned my name on this thread so now I gotta comment. But first, what is it with this Tim Lambert fellow who keeps posting graphs that show exactly the opposite of what he claims???

    You’d think he’d try to avoid looking THAT foolish.

    Now, CO2 has been increasing since what, the early 1800s, but it really took off in 1940 or so. Now, the rise until then was relatively slight, but we are asked to believe that almost immediately we got an increasing temp trend and sea level rise. OK… so after 1940 when CO2 went ballistic, we’d expect something similar with temps and SLR. And of course that’s precisely how the scary scenarios we all read about and had shoved down our throats went. But… what really happened?

    Well, as Tim Lambert seems pleased to show us, something rather different. First, SLR according to the graphs in the previous thread, has NOT accelerated in recent times. In fact, there’s a fair case for a substantial slowing in the past decade or so. Oh sure, something happened back in the early part of the 20th century but since about 1930/40 it’s been happily quite steady. No catastrophically acceleratingly scary SLR then? No.

    Now, we get this graph. What the? So, we draw a trend line from 1980-1996 and then say oh look at that, temps are still in line with that trend… I guess if you are a bit thick you could say that.

    A trend line is supposed to establish a trend over time, but you have to actually use that in an informed way. If something actually changes in the real world, you have to be able to identify that, not just bury your head in the (rapidly submerging) sand.

    For example, if one had become ill and the doctor was checking one’s temp over the course of several days and she noted that it had climbed steadily from say 36.8 to let’s say 38 and then over the course of several hours spiked to 38.5, she’d say hmmm… not looking too good here, let’s hope it breaks soon. When she then observes a decline from those spikes to below 38 she might say, hmmm… bit early to tell but this is a positive change. Looks like we may be on the improve.

    You see, that graph shows us very clearly that on the whole, temps for the past 16 years have NOT increased noticeably, and the poster notes his own misdirection when he observes that “temperatures have been mostly above the trend line.”

    The claim is very specific. Temperatures have not risen in the last 16 years. It was not – were some temperatures above some spurious trend line. So, how about you draw us a trend line starting in 1996 and let’s see how that looks. I have no idea, I haven’t seen such a thing and haven’t a clue on how to do it. But come on, simple challenge. Show me the trend line for the past 16 years using the same data source.

  2. #2 chek
    January 12, 2013

    Time to dig out those bingo cards again.

  3. #3 Vince Whirlwind
    January 12, 2013

    Your 3rd paragraph appears to want to address the correlation between CO2 (a greenhouse gas) and temperature, and, temperature and sea level rise, but as it is completely incoherent, it is difficult to respond to.

    Your analogy with a human body temperature is completely irrelevant for what should be obvious reasons: the earth is a system currently acquiring more heat than it is emitting. Temperatures will therefore continue to rise until a new equilibrium point is reached. It’s a pretty simple concept really.

    Perhaps we can help by doing this:
    1/ Pointing out to you that you are fairly ignorant of these issues
    2/ Suggesting that you read primary sources in order to inform your opinions

    One place you could start is the NOAA:

    Records and research show that sea level has been steadily rising at a rate of 1 to 2.5 millimeters (0.04 to 0.1 inches) per year since 1900.

    This rate may be increasing. Since 1992, new methods of satellite altimetry (the measurement of elevation or altitude) indicate a rate of rise of 3 millimeters (0.12 inches) per year.

    This is a significantly larger rate than the sea-level rise averaged over the last several thousand years.

    Now, does that help, and does it put an end to your largely incompetent questions about sea level rise?

  4. #4 Vince Whirlwind
    January 12, 2013

    As to your statistically incompetent misinterpreting the data to convince your self that global warming isn’t happening, have you not seen the following graphic?
    And, having now seen it, would you even consider ever asking such a stupid question again?

  5. #5 bill
    January 12, 2013

    Gee, BFPM turns out to be a BSD – Bog-Standard Denier – running with the imbecile trope du jour. Who’d’a’thunkit?

    Calculate it yourself.


    Well, cut and paste some half-arsed crap from the Deniosphere from which you emerged, anyway.

    Then you’ll only have the CSIRO, the BOM, NASA, NOAA, and every major relevant scientific institution in the world disagreeing with you. But that’s OK, because despite false-modesty being part of your schtick, you actually think you’re a genius.

    I think not.

    So I sincerely suggest that no-one else do any more running-around after this arseclown, who has wasted enough of everyone’s time on the ‘BTP’ thread.

    I suggest we instead task the simpering cretin to refute this – the Federal Advisory Committee’s Draft Climate Assessment Report.

    Better get cracking, Bolt-Boy!

  6. #6 Bolt for PM
    January 13, 2013

    HAHAHAHAHA… I love the way you guys do warble on. Just tilt at one of your sacred cows and watch the BS meter peg itself out.

    Here is what Tim Lambert posted:

    You could make up your mind as to whether Newman’s claim that there has been no global warming for 16 years by looking at the data. Here, from, is a graph showing the temperature trend from 1980 to 1996 (the green line) and global temperatures since 1980. The data shows that in the last 16 years temperatures have been mostly above the trend line.

    Tim challenged us to look at his graph and then judge whether there’d been no warming for 16 years. Now I dunno about you, but in my version of English that means THE LAST 16 YEARS. And that graph clearly shows no warming, or very little warming, for the last 16 years.

    And thanks Vince, for the graphic from Skeptical Science. What’s that I see? No warming in the past 16 years? Even a decline in the past decade? Gosh… then in answer to Tim’s challenge, Skeptical Science answers clearly “No, there HASN’T been any warming in the past 16 years”.

  7. #7 Vince Whirlwind
    January 13, 2013

    You apparently remain unequipped with the basic intellectual tools required to discern between fact and fiction.

    Cherry-picking is a logical fallacy. Anybody who does it is a complete fool.

    How could there be “no warming” when the mechanism that is causing the imbalance between heat coming in and heat going out to remain in play?

    Have the laws of physics been abrogated and CO2 has brand new properties, different from its old ones?

    Or – this question might sound familiar to you – is it possible that you are a complete ignoramus who is completely missing the point?

  8. #8 Bolt for PM
    January 13, 2013

    Vince me old China, “how could there be no warming” indeed? But there it is. Maybe… gasp… maybe the hypothesis of CO2 driven catastrophic global warming is not well… you know… right?

  9. #9 bill
    January 13, 2013

    It’s not ‘ignorance’, it’s mendacity.

    What we have here is a Lucy Troll.

    This kind of troll gets its jollies from making others go ’round the houses’ with it, and positively delights in playing Lucy, Charlie Brown and the football with anyone foolish enough to believe it might really have a good-faith wish to learn anything.

    At the very least it should always be instructed to DYObloodyR.

    But what it really can’t stand is being ignored. Hence I suggest doing just that.

  10. #10 Chris O'Neill
    January 13, 2013


    Skeptical Science answers clearly “No, there HASN’T been any warming in the past 16 years”.

    16 years before the last reading,20 Skeptical Science’s HadCrut4 was 0.14 deg C and 16 years later it was 0.51 deg C, a warming of 0.37 deg C.

    As usual, Bolt for PM should have gone to Spec Savers.

  11. #11 Lotharsson
    January 13, 2013

    What is it with this standard model incompetent troll who keeps claiming the opposite of what the data says – and then admits he HASN’T LOOKED AT IT?

    You might think he’d try to avoid looking THAT FOOLISH.

    You’d be wrong.

  12. #12 Vince Whirlwind
    January 13, 2013

    Bolt, it is fairly well agreed among those with the knowledge and skills to investigate these things that a doubling of CO2 will lead to something like a 3 degree temperature rise.

    The information you appear to have acquired is at odds with this, although it is in agreement with the kind of stuff that can be found on all the kook-sites run by nutters and liars who aren’t scientists but who are paid political agitators for political lobbies who admitted goal is to sow confusion and misunderstanding.

    You apparently choose to get your “information” from the latter.

    The only thing you have demonstrated is a lack of critical thinking skills.

  13. #13 Vince Whirlwind
    January 13, 2013

    Here’s a simple one for you Bolt – in the absence of any increases in CO2 (which creates an energy imbalance and inarguably causes warming), is every year’s temperature exactly the same as the year that preceded it, or do they vary?

  14. #14 Wow
    January 13, 2013

    “Skeptical Science answers clearly “No, there HASN’T been any warming in the past 16 years”.”

    Says fuck all about whether the trend is up or down.

  15. #15 chek
    January 13, 2013

    “how could there be no warming” indeed? But there it is”

    B4PM, my gullible old fart, where do you suppose the heat that caused the record Arctic melted ice low this past summer came from, in the sixteenth year of your claimed ‘no warming’?

    Logic would dictate that it should have been healthily recovering after 15 years of no warming, but it wasn’t it was slowly collapsing to a record minimum.

  16. #16 Vince Whirlwind
    January 13, 2013

    Here’s another simple one for you Bolt:
    If you get 1,000 grammes of H2O in the form of ice at 0 degrees C and apply 300,000 Joules of energy (heat) to it,
    – has the heat of this H2O increased?
    – has the temperature of this H2O increased.

  17. #17 Vince Whirlwind
    January 13, 2013

    Bolt is in fact a textbook case of Dunning-Kruger.

    He mistakenly thinks he is capable of collecting the facts on this issue and analysing them, when in fact is blissfully unaware of
    – the facts
    – how facts are collected
    – basic physics
    – basic geology
    – statistics and other maths
    – logic
    He is in other words utterly unequipped for this conversation, and his idiotic opinions gleaned from liars and kooks like Anthony Watts and Jo Nova bear this out.

  18. #18 Vince Whirlwind
    January 14, 2013
  19. #19 Lotharsson
    January 14, 2013

    That should set the cat amongst the pigeons, Vince 😉

  20. #20 bill
    January 14, 2013

    I’m sold. This one questionable example is sufficient to entirely convince me that I may safely ignore the weight of evidence and need never entertain any idea that contradicts my preconceptions again. Well played that man!…

  21. #21 Vince Whirlwind
    January 14, 2013

    I’m looking forward to a lecture from Bolt on the subject of the heinous crime of cherry-picking data to suit a preconceived notion.

  22. #22 Bolt for PM
    January 14, 2013

    Cute Vince, but if warming has actually stopped in the last 10-15 years and we are plunging towards a new ice age, then we could expect to see that trend very clearly in the data for this century. Let’s check the last decade.

    Well, whaddya know?

  23. #23 Vince Whirlwind
    January 14, 2013

    But I just proved *using more recent data* that the rate of warming between 2008-2011 was twice the rate of warming 1998-2008.

    So warming has clearly accelerated.

    You’re just using older data to suit your argument, just like all the world’s climate experts do, all of whom disagree with you, and therefore all of whom are obviously completely wrong.

  24. #24 Wow
    January 14, 2013

    Indeed, Dolt.

    There is a figure there that PROVES that warming has accelerated recently.

  25. #25 Vince Whirlwind
    January 14, 2013

    I think it’s time for you to look at this one again, Bolt:

    Do you get it yet?

  26. #26 Wow
    January 14, 2013

    “Cute Vince, but if warming has actually stopped in the last 10-15 years”

    And if it hasn’t..?

    Vince has already shown you that it has accelerated recently.

  27. #27 Wow
    January 14, 2013

    “and we are plunging towards a new ice age,”

    then if we’re NOT actually plunging, SOMETHING must be warming to counteract that plunge to a new ice age.

  28. #28 Bolt for PM
    January 14, 2013

    Oh come on, ya gotta have a sense of humour. I am obviously just playing the cherry picking game too. I did do one for 1996-2012 too and it DID show a rise, so on that dataset at least it does seem to have risen in the past 16 years. I’ll have to pop over to JoNova or WUWT and find out why they claim that one. I’m sure they’ll be right tho.

  29. #29 Wow
    January 14, 2013

    So now you agree you weren’t “just asking questions” you were trolling.

    We are getting some honesty from you now.

  30. #30 Chris O'Neill
    January 14, 2013

    I’ll have to pop over to JoNova or WUWT and find out why they claim that one. I’m sure they’ll be right tho.

    Yes, that really is funny.

  31. #31 Vince Whirlwind
    January 14, 2013

    Think about it in some *depth*, Bolt – there is a physical mechanism that has caused in imbalance in the Earth’s energy budget. Currently, energy coming in is not balanced by energy going out. It is accumulating.
    Where is that energy going? This is absolutely not something a random blogger that runs a kook-site like Jo Nova is going to be able to answer for you.
    Researchers at BoM & CSIRO might be able to answer it to some extent.
    Find out what they have to say, and stay away from the nonsense-blogs that have misled you so much so far.

  32. #32 Bolt for PM
    January 16, 2013

    Well gosh eh? Hansen’s Global Temperature Update Through 2012 says “Global Warming Standstill. The 5-year running mean of global temperature has been flat for
    the past decade. ”

    Gee, if even he agrees that things are ‘flat’ I guess that sorta supports some of those claims that Timmy is ridiculing, hmmm?

    Of course, just like Timmy and the (few) commentators here, he observes that the nefarious warming is lurking, just waiting for that natural variability to drop away.

    Any time now…

  33. #33 Bolt for PM
    January 16, 2013

    I also rather liked “Also, the airborne fraction of
    fossil fuel CO2 emissions has declined and the forcing per CO2 increment declines slowly as CO2
    increases due to partial saturation of absorption bands, so the CO2 forcing growth rate has been steady
    despite the rapid growth of fossil fuel emissions”

  34. #34 Vince Whirlwind
    January 17, 2013

    “Also, the airborne fraction of fossil fuel CO2 emissions has declined”
    Excellent news. Sensible decarbonisation policies are working.
    Thank god we ignored the “do-nothing” crowd.

    “the CO2 forcing growth rate has been steady”
    Bummer, CO2 is still accumulating and its effect on the energy budget continues to increase.
    We need to do more.

  35. #35 Vince Whirlwind
    January 17, 2013

    Nice selective quoting from Hansen’s update.
    What else did he say?

    2012 is nominally the 9th warmest year, but it is indistinguishable in rank with several other years, as shown by the error estimate for comparing nearby years. Note that the 10 warmest years in the record all occurred since 1998.

    Have you asked John McLean how his “coldest year since 1956” is coming along? Maybe next year, huh?

  36. #36 Wow
    January 17, 2013

    “The 5-year running mean of global temperature has been flat for the past decade. ”

    Still says fuck all about the trend.

    Nor, since we’ve had cooling phases of the ocean deep current circulation AND a cooler sun, does it say anything other than CO2 is still having an effect as predicted.

  37. #37 Vince Whirlwind
    January 17, 2013

    Oh, I see, Bolt, you didn’t read it, you’re just parroting the misinformational crap off WUWT.

    Here it is, it’s a good read:

    Check out the graph at the bottom of p1, Bolt – and look at the La Nina years and the global temperature associated for those years. Notice something?

    2012 looks like it was the hottest La Nina ever, despite being the 3rd biggest La Nina (from 9) since 1976.

    Any intellectually competent analysis of this data couldn’t possibly result in the spin Watts puts on it, and which you dumbly repeat.

  38. #38 Lotharsson
    January 17, 2013

    Of course, just like Timmy and the (few) commentators here, he observes that the nefarious warming is lurking, just waiting for that natural variability to drop away.

    Of course. Because we already know that if remove most of the effects of three main sources of variability we see this.

    No “pause” there.

    But Watts won’t tell you that.

  39. #39 Lotharsson
    January 17, 2013

    Have you asked John McLean how his “coldest year since 1956″ is coming along? Maybe next year, huh?

    I believe the idiomatic BFPM response is “Any time now…”.

  40. #40 Vince Whirlwind
    January 17, 2013

    Not fair, Lotharsson – how is Tallbloke going to peddle his graphs if you adjust the richest cherry-picking points out of the data?

  41. #41 Bolt for PM
    January 17, 2013

    Vince W unfortunately I am back at work and little time to follow up comments (and a good thing too you’re thinking). And yes, I did read the paper and yes it says a lot more despite my selective quoting.

    My point was in the context of this current post. Mr Hansen’s update in no small part is attempting to explain why, despite the ‘flat’ temps of the past decade in particular, we can still be confident AGW proceeds as expected.

    Thus even he, a doyen of global warming, acknowledges the ‘pause’ in warming. Now remember, we were all treated to arguments about how that couldn’t happen not that many years ago.

    But the point is, Tim Lambert’s post ridicules various people for suggesting that temps have been relatively flat in recent years. The fact is, they have.

  42. #42 Vince Whirlwind
    January 17, 2013

    Tim Lambert ridicules various people for making ridiculous assertions.

    People who pick and choose whichever little snippets of the results of science research that suit their ignorant idee-fixes are likewise suitable targets for ridicule.

    What I get out of Hansen’s update is that we just had the warmest La Nina ever, even warmer than the last one which was the tiniest La Nina imaginable.
    Seeing as CO2 hasn’t magically vanished form the atmosphere or magically changed its physical properties, it is difficult how anybody could even begin to imagine that warming isn’t continuing.
    If, however, deep down, you’re in denial of the basic physics of greenhouse gases (like most of the denizens of the crank blogs that you misinform yourself from) then you could convince your self that these ridiculous people making ridiculous assertions are worth listening to.

  43. #43 Lotharsson
    January 18, 2013

    Now remember, we were all treated to arguments about how that couldn’t happen not that many years ago.

    Really? By scientists? Because I recall seeing papers and discussion pointing out the very opposite of that claim. Is this one of those “in the 70’s all the scientists thought an Ice Age was coming” things that turns out to have been a somewhat retrospectively edited “memory” that was more about a couple of media stories than about science?

    That, and the electrical engineers have known for, what? A century now? That a noisy signal on top of a linear trend will experience periods of what you call “pause”.

    Methinks you’re having at a strawman.

  44. #44 Bolt For PM
    January 18, 2013

    Well Lotharsson, it may be the case. But remember, I’ve cast myself as an ‘interested layperson’, in other words, Joe Public. And Joe Public doesn’t get his info from science papers or the reviewed literature, he gets it from what media he is most familiar with. That’ll be TV, newspapers, maybe some websites. And I recall very clearly when I first heard about global warming, it was argued in that the popular media that it was proceeding apace and that natural variability was largely over-shadowed by it.

    I did read a few bloggy type sites way back then which opined that it was difficult to argue the case for CAGW as it was possible that natural variation was the culprit, and I remember well how various ‘experts’ popped along to howl that down with some spectacularly derisive comment and links to the ‘literature’.

    Now, of course that’s just anecdotal and perhaps poorly remembered, but it was the ferocity with which those who suggested natural variation were criticised that piqued my interest. So, perhaps ‘real scientists’ always expected to see the CAGW signal occasionally swamped by other noise in the system, but it certainly was never made clear to us average thickies out here on dumb street. Nope, that CAGW was gonna get us real soon if we didn’t act NOW… So pardon me if I take your protestations with a (large) grain of salt.

    Of course you’ll no doubt be quick to jump on those who happily spread disinformation about CAGW and what its impacts are. For example, the young lady whose column in the local Canberra rag once noted how it was so easy to see CAGW in action, why all those earthquakes and tsunamis were proof of it… Oh yes?

    You see, regardless of the real nature of AGW, it suits those with an axe to grind to allow the public to develop a rather unbalanced view of what weather and climate really is. The current fascination with the Australian ‘extreme heatwave’ is a prime example of this.

  45. #45 Lotharsson
    January 18, 2013

    …but it was the ferocity with which those who suggested natural variation were criticised that piqued my interest.

    It seems likely that was directed at the concept that natural variation explained ALL the warming, not that natural variation exists, or can temporarily overwhelm a warming trend.

    I’ll be happy to jump on dodgy claims if and when it looks like there’s a serious chance that they’ll be used to inform government policy. You can demonstrate that young lady’s letter is leading to a policy over-reaction, I take it?

    (BTW, IIRC there is a plausible link to earthquake activity.)

  46. #46 David B. Benson
    January 18, 2013

    A good way to look at global temperatures is decade by decade. Then much of the so-called natural variation is averaged out. From NOAA/NCDC
    one sees that after the 1950s every decade has been warmer than the one before.

  47. #47 bill
    January 18, 2013

    ‘Joe Public’ does not use the term ‘CAGW’; Deniers, on the other hand, do.

    If you’re trying to carry off the ‘honest broker’ thing, don’t use the term.

  48. #48 Bolt for PM
    January 18, 2013

    Now Bill, I haven’t presented myself as ‘honest broker’ as far as I recall. I have always come from the angle that I am an average Joe, but hopefully a little better informed than most. I’ve even read Skeptical Science. BUT, I am sceptical.

    Now to put that in perspective, that is my opinion. If I were the government, I would act on climate change based on the advice of experts, as after all, they ARE the experts. But me, I don’t have to believe them nor act upon their advice.

    Lotharsson, don’t be obtuse. You say:

    I’ll be happy to jump on dodgy claims if and when it looks like there’s a serious chance that they’ll be used to inform government policy. You can demonstrate that young lady’s letter is leading to a policy over-reaction, I take it?

    I did not say anything about policy, I talked about public perception. And when the public start to think that climate change causes earthquakes and tsunamis, I start to get a bit uneasy about where science is letting public opinion wander. I think it has been made very clear in the past that climate change is above natural variation and that the science is certain. You can disagree, but I think it rather uncertain.

    As for public policy, well in a somewhat oblique sense that young lady’s opinion and the same sorts of views held by others will influence public policy by way of how the public may vote. I don’t really have a problem with that by and large, but as an influence I think it has substance.

    As for climate change causing earthquakes, spare me. The extra water in the oceans increases its weight and leads to greater instability in existing faults. By that reasoning the number of people in the world and their buildings increase earthquake risk. Or the number of dinosaurs in past eras. Yes, but it’s part and parcel of natural variability and the effect is likely negligible.

  49. #49 Lotharsson
    January 18, 2013

    I did not say anything about policy, I talked about public perception.

    And I talked about one of my personal thresholds for seeking someone out who has only been identified by an anecdote on a blog to try and correct their misunderstanding.

    But to be fair, I suspect you’re using the example as a hypothetical. And interpreted in that light, the game you are trying to play is the same one chameleon indulges in – false balance. “They both do it!”. Sure – but not in anywhere near the same degree.

    When the misrepresentation is 100 times as bad on one side as the other, I don’t feel a need to prioritise dealing with the minor errors. I’d rather try and eliminate the major ones first.

  50. #50 Lotharsson
    January 18, 2013

    BFPM, try estimating the total mass of humanity. Then compare with the total mass of ice that would generate (say) 1m of global sea rise.

    Or even 0.1m.


  51. #51 Chris O'Neill
    January 18, 2013


    the ‘pause’ in warming

    There is no statistically significant decline in the rate of global warming. The confidence interval for warming in any period can be found with this calculator:

  52. #52 Vince Whirlwind
    January 18, 2013

    The “average Joe” doesn’t inform himself from crank-disinformation site WUWT, nor does he use the denialist term , CAGW.

    You’re not any kind of “average joe”, you’re in the tiny minority of cranks who enjoy spreading – for whatever reason – disinformation abou tscience.

  53. […] them completely? Take, for example, the notorious comparison of scientists with paedophiles? The Australian’s War on Science 80: The Australian says it’s OK to lie about the… You should read the whole of Deltoid's entries on "The Australian's War on Science". A […]

  54. #54 Lotharsson
    January 29, 2013

    Hmmm, BFPM went quiet once I asked him to do some back of the envelope calculations in response to some of his thining.

    Funny that.

  55. #55 Vince Whirlwind
    February 18, 2013

    Hmmm, BFPM went quiet once I asked him to do some back of the envelope calculations in response to some of his thining.

    Presumably his funding got cut off after the accumulation of egg on his face reached crisis point.

    Lucky they sent Brad in here to pick up the baton, though, eh?

  56. #56 Wow
    February 18, 2013

    Deniers do that.

    Ignore (deny the existence of) questions they can’t or won’t answer.

  57. #57 Vince Whirlwind
    February 19, 2013

    Of course, Wow, because their intention isn’t to collate information in order to analyse it and arrive at a sustainable conclusion: their intention is to carefully select whatever information supports their ideological/superstitious beliefs.

    It beggars belief that so many in the Liberal Party are blindly allowing themselves to have their credibility sabotaged by thinking they are under some obligation to join this thought-free club of climate-retards.

    This is a fascinating bit of research on Liberal politicians:

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