Chris Mooney finds out that Marohasy does not tell the truth

Chris Mooney seems somewhat bemused by Jennifer Marohasy's response to his interview on Lateline. Marohasy claimed:

according to an interview Mr Mooney gave last night on Australian television if you don't believe in AGW you aren't even a scientist.

Compare with what Mooney actually said:

If you're talking about the basic question of: is global warming happening, due to human greenhouse gas emissions? Then the scientists who dispute that, seriously, are very small. And if you look through the scientific literature you will not find that argument being prominently made.

And if you think there is any chance of Marohasy correcting her misrepresentation, you are unfamiliar with her previous conduct.

Mooney is right, by the way: results of Doran and Zimmerman's survey:

Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?


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The scientists who dispute that are very small? Teasing people for being short?

I had thought better of Mooney!

By Harald Korneliussen (not verified) on 20 Sep 2009 #permalink

Not content with misquoting and misconstruing what Mooney actually said, Marohasy adds insult to injury by calling the thread on Mooney's ABC interview "More Smearing of Scientific Scepticism (Part 2)â. In the ABC interview AGW sceptics are mentioned once by Sales, and even then I'd hardly call stating that 'sceptics' are not convinced that the science is settled "smearing".

Marohasy then attempts to back up her general hypothesis that the ABC is run by left-wing eco-fruit-loops hell bent on silencing any dissent by quoting an entire letter to the ABC on the subject from "a friend and colleague", one Andrew McIntyre...

Yet another typical, disingenuous Marohasy-style beat-up then. And we wonder why denialobots seem to spring up like weeds in a paddock after a good dousing with biosolids...

By Steve Chamberlain (not verified) on 20 Sep 2009 #permalink

I liked the quote from Doran-Zimmerman which suggests a program for improving things:

âIt seems that the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes. The challenge, rather, appears to be how to effectively communicate this fact to policy makers and to a public that continues to mistakenly perceive debate among scientistsâ. (my bold).

I'm sure if Mooney is just nicer to Marohasy, she'll change her mind ....

By wildlifer (not verified) on 21 Sep 2009 #permalink

Well it is obvious that Mooney meant all scientists that oppose AGW are about 1ft tall.

Everyone knows that. I assume when Plimer appears on TV they use some special effects originally used in the Lord of the Rings movies.

Instead of picking out a clear statement about short people, Marohasy thought it was better to make something up.

I blame atheists!

OT, but anyone have any idea how I received an email congratulating me on my win in the Australian lottery? Deleted it without opening, of course.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 21 Sep 2009 #permalink


Interesting graph from Doran and Zimmerman.

You neglected to mention, however, as you did when you first posted it in January, that 96% of respondents came from North America (US, 90%: Canada, 6%) leaving only 4% from the Rest of the World!

Moreover, of the respondents only "approximately 5% were climate scientists"

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 21 Sep 2009 #permalink

I think this has been here mentioned before, [the Pew Research Center conducted a survey in collaboration with the AAAS]( on the views of the public and scientists on a range of issues. This includes a [section on global warming](

Public Agrees Earth is Warming,
but differs with Scientists over the Cause

Public Scientists
View on climate change % %
- Warming is due to
human activity 49 84
- Warming is due to
natural changes 36 10
- No solid evidence
Earth is warming 11 4

Global Warming is ...
- very serious problem 47 70
- somewhat serious 26 22
- not too serious 11 4
- not a problem 13 2

Dave Andrews @ 10, what's your point? Do you not understand the idea of statistical sampling? Or do you have evidence that the beliefs of North American scientists (not the general public) are so different from those of scientists in the rest of the world as to skew the results?

By James Haughton (not verified) on 21 Sep 2009 #permalink

I'm a member of an internet based advocacy group called GetUp. Over the last few years GetUp has taken up a number of campaigns and been successful in pushing for better decisions from our politicians.

Now we've launched campaign - ReEnergize Australia - in which we are door knocking in a number of key electorates around Australia. It's designed to push our politicians toward more robust action on climate change. (I'm targeting Melbourne - the electorate of the Federal Finace Minister - Lindsay Tanner). The campaign is being undertaken with advice from people who were involved in designing Obama's campaign strategies.

We are going around the electorates knocking on doors, and conducting a brief survey, plus asking people to sign a petition asking our politicians to champion clean energy technologies and to lead rather than drag the chain at Copenhagen. The survey has been designed so that it will allow us to get an accurate estimate of opinion across the electorate, including an estimate of the percentage of the electorate for whom this is likely to sway their vote.

We are being amazed by the response. Of the people we talk to, something like 70 to 80% are eager to sign the petition and most of those are very concerned about global warming and want Australia to take a more realistic and robust position on action. And this seems to be the case regardless of who they voted for in the last election. They express a deep frustration with the inadequate action being taken by the government.

On the internet you get the impression that there is a big contingent of skeptics, but in reality they're in the minority.

By Craig Allen (not verified) on 22 Sep 2009 #permalink

James Haughton,

As I understand it the Doran and Zimmerman survey relied on self responders. It was also largely biased to people in North America.

Both these facts could easily skew the results.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 22 Sep 2009 #permalink

James Haughton,

You also ignore the fact that 95% of respondents were not climate scientists. Now, I am not saying that these scientists might not have very pertinent views and understanding of the problem. But I am cognizant of the fact that whenever a scientist who is not a climate scientist stands up and critices AGW almost the first response of AGW believers is "but he/she is not a climate scientist!"

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 22 Sep 2009 #permalink

Dave Andrews @ 12: That would be why the survey results clearly separate climatologists and authors of published articles on climate change from other general scientists, then.

By James Haughton (not verified) on 22 Sep 2009 #permalink

re: Pew Survey

1) Many AAAS members are natural scientists, of which a small fraction are climate scientists.

2) On the other hand, anyone can join AAAS, and even if you aren't very technical, it's well worth doing this for a year, and at least trying to read the first half of each issue of Science. (The second half is for specialists, and some of those papers,especially the biology ones, I can't even read the abstracts. :-)) But if you can read Scientific American, you have a fighting chance with the first half of an issue.

3) Hence on the K-Scale I use, most AAAS members would fit B3 (natural scientists, not climate scientists), some would be B4, and some would be B2 (other technical folks, like me). After all, this was a survey of AAAS on many topics, not just climate.

4) The survey results mean that most of the responses are by non-climatologists, but scientists who either:

a) Have studied the problem enough to worry. Science often publishes climate research.

b) Have not, but know the opinions of the AAAS, the NAS, APS,ACS, etc ... and follow sane normal thinking, which is to assume that experts who've dedicated decades of their lives studying some area of science, have the most accurate idea of what's going on, especially when repeatedly confirmed by every serious science society.

Generally, real scientists figure they know more about their own turf than non-experts do, i.e., they tend to know what they know and what they don't and are only occasionally afflicted by Dunning-Kruger equivalents.

Of course, some are so intense on their own research that they haven't really followed the issues.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 22 Sep 2009 #permalink

another obvious objection you are likely to run into is that the average scientist is more liberal than the general public, which is true but fails to explain the results. There's enough data in the report ([pages 34 and 39]( for the following findings:
a) Scientists are on average more concerned about climate change than ___any___ political faction in the general US public.
b) Another way to view this: If the correlation of political leaning and views on climate change were the same for the general public and scientists, one would expect just about 60-65% of the scientists to attribute the warming to human activity, whereas the actual number is 84%.

At the same time only 56% of the population think that scientists generally agree that it's warming and that humans are causing it. Depressing.

Off topic.

A memorable quote from Jennifer Marohasy.

The Murray Mouth Controversy, Counterpoint, ABC Radio National, 26 March, 2012:

Over time, it's become popular in South Australia to blame upstream irrigators, and many environmental activists support this idea of a fresh water lake because they can use the idea, that the lower Murray needs more water, to take water from rice and cotton growers, and it's currently fashionable to rally against rice and cotton growers.
Once-upon-a-time, do-gooders took babies from unmarried mothers.
Now they take water from irrigators.

Partial transcript available at

Environmental Flows Unnecessary in the Murray-Darling Basin