The Australian's War on Science 61: Verballing Pachauri, again

On the front page of The Australian today we find the headline Summer of disaster 'not climate change': Rajendra Pachauri. If you read the actual quotes from Pachauri in the article and not the fabricated one in the headline, you'll find that Pachauri said something rather different:

"What we can say very clearly is the aggregate impact of climate change on all these events, which are taking place at much higher frequency and intensity all over the world.

"On that there is very little doubt; the scientific evidence is very, very strong. But what happens in Queensland or what happens in Russia or for that matter the floods in the Mississippi River right now, whether there is a link between those and climate change is very difficult to establish. So I don't think anyone can make a categorical statement on that."

Saying that climate change is making events like the floods more likely but you can't be certain that the floods were caused by climate change is not the same as saying that they have nothing to do with climate change no matter what The Australian prints.

The Australian, of course, has form when it comes to verballing Pachauri.

Now, you can blame the headline on an editor, but that doesn't let the article's author, Graham Lloyd, off the hook. Watch him verbal the Greens:

Dr Pachauri's comments contradict assertions by Greens leader Bob Brown in the wake of the floods that the coal industry was to blame because the sector's contribution to global warming was responsible for the extreme weather conditions.

What Brown actually said:

The full tax on excess profits by the coal mining industry, as recommended by Treasury, should be imposed with half set aside for future natural catastrophes in Australia, Greens Leader Bob Brown said in Hobart today.

"It is unfair that the cost is put on all taxpayers, not the culprits," Senator Brown said.

"Burning coal is a major cause of global warming. This industry, which is 75% owned outside Australia, should help pay the cost of the predicted more severe and more frequent floods, droughts and bushfires in coming decades. As well, 700,000 seaside properties in Australia face rising sea levels."

It seems that Pachauri is in agreement with Brown on the science, not contradicting him. It is almost as if The Australian has some kind of anti-Greens agenda.

Lloyd also got in a "have you stopped beating your wife" type question.

Asked whether the IPCC had suffered as a result of overstating the climate change case, Dr Pachauri said: "There are people who say the opposite, as well.

Don't you wish he had answered with "Has The Australian's reputation suffered as a result of overstating the case against the IPCC?

See also: Michael Tobis.

Update: Today, in their letters in response to their story gives greater prominence to Des Moore attacking Pachauri and the IPCC than to a letter correcting their misleading story. I know (because I was CC'd on a couple of them) that there were several more letters sent from scientists that they didn't print. No surprise there -- the previous time they verballed Pachauri they refused to print a letter from Pachauri correcting the record.

More like this

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Perhaps OT but I notice another organisation devoted to denialism pressurism has started up in Australia. Exhibiting the usual hubris of deniers it calls itself the ['Galileo Movement](http://www.galileomovement.com.au/galileo_movement.php) and contains the usual denier memes. Its founders are the two guys who brought Monckton out to Australia last year and they complain that he was 'barely' noticed by the media.

Tim,

Reading the Australian piece I think you understated the extent to which Lloyd used "have you stopped beating your wife" questions. he also included "were you kicking the cat while reaching for the sugar", "have the children recovered from you tipping them into the swimming pool while coiling the hose" and "will the old lady on highway 61 recover from you backing carefully out of your driveway". Its a terrible article and should be put before the press council.

Watch you verbal Lloyd!

By Christopher Webb (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

JeremyC - oh good God.

>The Galileo Movement has available expert advice from Australian and international specialists across all diverse fields of global warming including meteorology and climate science, palaeoclimate, physical sciences (physics, chemistry), life sciences (biology), social science (economics), formal science (mathematics, statistics), communication, law.

>These experts include eminent professors, PhD's, scientists and people with diverse life experience including: Professor Tim Ball, Warwick Hughes, Professor Fred Singer, Professor Dick Lindzen, Professor Bill Kininmonth, Professor Bob Carter, Professor Ian Plimer, David Archibald, Professor Peter Ridd, Professor Garth Paltridge, Dr Vincent Gray, Dr Jennifer Marohasy, Jo Nova, Des Moore, John Nicol, David Flint, Andrew Bolt, John McLean, David Evans and Viscount Monckton.

"Diverse life experience" makes you an expert you see.

>This group includes diverse opinions to promote healthy debate producing greater scrutiny and rigour.

No.

>The Galileo Movement's patron is Australia's own Alan Jones. Alan has a long history of speaking out for the downtrodden and for protecting freedom. His innate expertise straddles the fields of politics, sport and the media. His wealth of experience complements the basic science that is the Galileo Movement's core.

Goodness! Alan Jones! Only a denier would believe the way to separate science from politics is to install a conservative and business shill as patron.

Membership of the Galileo Movement gives one an easy 40 points on the crack pot index.

By Ken Miles (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

I'd say anyone who joins the Galileo Movement can be automatically presumed to have jumped the shark.

Not that it couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of folks or anything...

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

They laughed at Galileo. They laughed at Einstein. They laughed at Bozo the clown.
</snark>

I'd go further than Lotharsson and say that calling your organization the Galileo Movement is a jump-the-shark moment. Just in case any of the people involved haven't jumped the shark already.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

Sorry Tim,

I didn't mean to hijack this thread. Perhaps we could have another thread examining either the denier organisations in Australia or the plans for Monckton's upcoming car crash to Australia.

> ...calling your organization the Galileo Movement is a jump-the-shark moment.

I kind of had that vague picture in my head when I first read it but didn't elaborate. Glad you did :-)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

I also left out the first item on their "aims and purpose" list:

>Protect freedom â personal choice and national sovereignty.

Because political goals should always be at the heart of any scientific movement.

> They are now henceforth referred to as the Google Galileo Movement.

FTW!

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

At a tangent but another journalist who continually gets climate wrong has been fingered for practices that seem familiar:

A high court judge has criticised a senior Sunday Telegraph journalist over his reporting of a case heard in the family courts last year.
Judge Bellamy said in a ruling handed down in April that two articles written by Christopher Booker about the case were "unbalanced", "inaccurate" and "wrong".
He also criticised Booker for failing to attend court hearings and basing his report of proceedings on an account given to him by the mother of a child who was taken into care, who was one of the parties in the case.
"This underlines the dangers inherent in journalists relying on partisan and invariably tendentious reporting by family members and their supporters rather than being present in court to hear the evidence which the court itself hears", Bellamy said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/may/17/christopher-brooker-sunday-…

"Its founders are the two guys who brought Monckton out to Australia last year and they complain that he was 'barely' noticed by the media."

That was last year before Australia began to wake up to the lunacy of alarmist groups like yours. We'll see how far your beloved 'carbon tax' goes at election time. lol.

Cheers.

The comments section on that article shows the effectiveness of denialist propaganda.

I keep on seeing that Rajendra Pachauri said that earthquakes and tsunamis are human induced. I know this is a false claim but it would be lovely if I could get a hold of a video of transcript of the speech. Any ideas?

By Trent1492 (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

I am particularly interested in the discussions about climate change, and its effects on Australia, as in 1990 I went to Sydney to work with the CSIRO to help develop a computer system to monitor worldwide research on climate change. The aim was to make sure that the Australian government would be well informed about the changes and their possible consequences. Shortly after I arrived it was decided to cancel the project and I ended up working on a very different system aimed at Australian Heritage.

One thing I never found out was why the project was cancelled? For instance did some politician decide to save money because it would never happen?

"before Australia began to wake up to the lunacy of alarmist groups like yours."

Climate change deniers can always be counted on to project their own personality shortcomings on others. After all, if they are lunatics, everyone else must also be lunatics, eh?

By Jim Eager (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

"A long history of speaking out for the downtrodden". Like when he called for a lynch mob to attack the ethnic lebanese population of sydney because they were "raping women", for example.

By James Haughton (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

These experts include eminent professors, PhD's, scientists and people with diverse life experience including: Professor Tim Ball, Warwick Hughes, Professor Fred Singer, Professor Dick Lindzen, Professor Bill Kininmonth, Professor Bob Carter, Professor Ian Plimer, David Archibald, Professor Peter Ridd, Professor Garth Paltridge, Dr Vincent Gray, Dr Jennifer Marohasy, Jo Nova, Des Moore, John Nicol, David Flint, Andrew Bolt, John McLean, David Evans and Viscount Monckton.

Good grief. What a rogues gallery of frauds, weasels and stooges.

Have you ever taken The Australian to the Press Council over this stream of garbage?

The APC upheld a complaint I brought against mX (Murdoch's "free" commuter rag) over a piece on Phil Jones' infamous BBC web Q&A. They'd taken the UK Daily Mail's crap by wire and further distilled it into unadulterated BS.

I'd recommend the experience: watching the Daily Telegraph's editor squirm when asked if they had any fact-checking capability at all was priceless.

Galileo Movement?

More like Galileo complex.

By Jim Eager (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

The Galileo Movemnt have a poll.

I wonder if we can skew the results?

By David Irving (… (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

Hmmmm, methinks it needs to be Pharyngulated ;-)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

They already have 1800+ true believers on that vote (which seems pretty piss-weak, since the voting has reportedly been going since February), but there are about 150 at the other end of the scale.

The questions are support/opposition to a Carbon tax/ETS, and whether the government should have a "Royal Commission to test the veracity of the Anthropogenic (Man made) Global Warming claims, before introducing associated legislation."

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

And you lose a lot of IQ points if you start actually reading their webpages. It's like a neutron star of denialism where all the memes have clustered together and would implode under their mutual attraction if it were not for the strong force of their mutual exclusivity, or something.

It would be a convenient treasure trove for any academic studying the phenomenon. And it looks like Curtin's "CO2 is great because it increases agricultural yields" meme is part of it.

I wonder whether they will update their claims that the IPCC conclusions are wrong because they only use ground-based temperature records which are corrupted. Anthony Watts should be pillorying that claim on WUWT any moment now, right?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

> One thing I never found out was why the project was cancelled? For instance did some politician decide to save money because it would never happen?

Deeply lame attempt.

Ever heard of [the IPCC](http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization_history.shtml)? If so, have you ever wondered what *its function is*?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

... Professor Bill Kininmonth ...

When did Kinimonth get a professorship? Last I heard he was retired and running some front group with an Orwellian name that I can't remember (Australian Climate Science Coalition or something).

**Update:** Today, [in their letters in response to their story](http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/climate-puzzle/comments-fn…) gives greater prominence to [Des Moore](http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Des_Moore) attacking Pachauri and the IPCC than to a letter correcting their misleading story. I know (because I was CC'd on a couple of them) that there were several more letters sent from scientists that they didn't print. No surprise there -- the previous time they verballed Pachauri they [refused to print a letter from Pachauri correcting the record](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/08/the_australians_war_on_science_…).

By Tim Lambert (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

I know (because I was CC'd on a couple of them) that there were several more letters sent from scientists that they didn't print.

There could be something to be said for offering a site that publishes letters to the editor that The Australian itself refuses to publish.

Over time such a service could become most embarrassing for that rag.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

> I think you may have misinterpreted, and certainly aren't being fair to, Chris ... he's no denier.

That's entirely possible - I haven't looked at his website - if so I apologise for the misinterpretation.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

lol at Galileo movement, my first random link was to the futility section. Evidently those of us supporting a carbon tax are committing genocide...

By Michael Hauber (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

There could be something to be said for offering a site that publishes letters to the editor that The Australian itself refuses to publish.

Genius.

Maybe these guys could host it:

http://theconversation.edu.au/

By Vince whirlwind (not verified) on 17 May 2011 #permalink

Galileo Movement? A slightly misleading name. Maybe they could take a stand for honesty and call themselves "Bowel Movement".

By John Brookes (not verified) on 18 May 2011 #permalink

They ARE part of a gallileo movement: However, they aren't the Gallileo.

Religious leaders knew that the sun was at the center of the solar system (a model that is 400 years older than the geocentric model) but fought to keep things as they were rather than risk "upheaval" when people discovered that the church had been wrong.

These denialists are the roman catholic church and the IPCC are the gallileo.

Having read a few sentences on the Gallileo Movement site, it is easy to conclude that they abuse the use of the name.

>"We need to forgive those who have corrupted science. True forgiveness brings clarity of mind. Clarity is needed to prevent recurrence by insisting on the return of scientific integrity. "

That sounds religious to me.
Indeed there is a lot of similarity between the comments and similar religious tracts about the importance of fossil fuels in alleviating human poverty.

Interesting - the poll numbers for the Google Galileos have jumped by about 600 for their denialist position. One wonders what triggered it...

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 18 May 2011 #permalink

Bit hot eh Tim - raw nerve stuff. Neuralgia next.

By Climate realis… (not verified) on 19 May 2011 #permalink

Tim, many 'useful idiots' here to the cause of their masters in trying to destroy Western Civilisation. As a computer 'scientist' - what do you really do? Are you one of the climate modellers so legendary in determining by 'modelling' that human produced CO2 is causing catastrophic warming of the planet - are you aware that a political and tax agenda was developed about CO2 causing global warming 25 years before your ilk were asked to design models to purport to prove it. Yet you feel proud and qualified to snipe, cheat (your Pinker fraud for example) and skite. Science is all about debate on theories - nothing to do with never ending ad hominen fallacious attacks. For mine - I am forward booking ski holidays for the next 25 years because its going to be cold. Good luck to you and your blog mates with your loopy post normal science religion of Gaia. The denialists (a religious term) as you call them will be happy for a return to the science that has served humanity so well since Galileo.

By Climate realis… (not verified) on 19 May 2011 #permalink

The Australian's tactics are very interesting. I actually can't bring myself to read their stuff anymore. However, from what little I do see, this is what they are trying to do:

Knock the government and the greens at every opportunity. Create controversy where there is none (except in the mind of Tony Abbott and his colleagues). Try and get the reader to believe that they are more competent than the government - that they personally would do a better job. The old Dunning-Kruger effect.

You see, I suffer from an inferiority complex. I can't help but think that most ministers and almost all top public servants are head and shoulders better than me at what they do. Maybe there is an odd exception, but I can't think of any right now. But The Australian pitches to the middle aged or elderly, who, having once been competent at something, somehow imagines themselves to be pretty darn good at everything. It becomes an article of faith that ministers, public servants, scientists, environmentalists etc are all basically incompetent. And the good old Oz reinforces this by focusing on controversy, and steering clear of intelligent discussion.

This is the message delivered by our brave and fearless Murdoch media.

By John Brookes (not verified) on 19 May 2011 #permalink

These experts include eminent professors, PhD's, scientists and people with diverse life experience including: Professor Tim Ball, Warwick Hughes, Professor Fred Singer, Professor Dick Lindzen, Professor Bill Kininmonth, Professor Bob Carter, Professor Ian Plimer, David Archibald, Professor Peter Ridd, Professor Garth Paltridge, Dr Vincent Gray, Dr Jennifer Marohasy, Jo Nova, Des Moore, John Nicol, David Flint, Andrew Bolt, John McLean, David Evans and Viscount Monckton.

Good grief. What a rogues gallery of frauds, weasels and stooges.

The letters editorialist at the The Australian chooses not to publish a correction letter either by or on behalf of Pachauri and the IPCC. Instead today they publish a letter by Joanne Nova titled 'do no harm'. Blatant bias or is there a subtle form of irony at play here?

That 'do no harm' letter is probably worth a separate Deltoid post - one could certainly argue it's part of the Australian's War On Science.

Nova claims (where have we heard this before) that "action against climate change is a net killer" based in part on arguing that more people die from cold than heat, and that flood deaths have declined dramatically whilst large CO2 emissions have been occurring, without demonstrating any reason why these observations are linked, or valid predictors of future outcomes.

Worse still, she's responding to a [much more detailed letter](http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/climate-act…) taking issue with Nova's earlier claims that ["Wasting money on climate change betrays sick"](http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/wasting-mon…), but fails to address most of the points raised by the response.

And Nova's original letter relies on a false dichotomy very similar to the one VincentR was trying to use on the Shorter Clive James thread. Nova's version:

> "All the money spent employing green police, subsidising solar or researching how to pump carbon dioxide underground is money not spent on medical research."

And she falsely frames the science as guessing (and "government-funded", which is a dirty word in far right - i.e. Republican - circles in the US, and maybe she's unconsciously picked that up:

> If our government-funded climate establishment makes the wrong guess about what humidity does in a warmer world, CO2 emissions become trivial and inconsequential.

And this dubious assumption:

> If it turns out clean carbon technology is useful, we can buy it with the spare change from the profits of medical research. ... We don't know if the rest of the world will want to pump CO2 underground 10 years from now.

She's shameless or clueless, isn't she?

> The precautionary principle is no principle of science: it's a blind tool that works for both sides of any debate.

Yes, darling, it is. And to apply it you have to actually engage in the kind of cost-benefit analysis that you have avoided engaging in for the course of action you don't want investment in. Guess what conclusions one draws when one does that with integrity?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 20 May 2011 #permalink

Her latest post at her website includes the idiotic correlation between 6,000,000 deaths by starvation and the 6% of grain which is used in making fuels.

I guess it hasn't occurred to her that her carbon-intensive utopia is exactly what drives up the price of fuels, thus increasing the demand for biofuels.

Actually, I get the impression that she imagines the production of bio-fuels involves a whole lot of hippies in a kind of yurt-shaped meth-lab-style situation, cooking up fuels for use in their priuses.

If there's one thing that comes out loud and clear from these american-influenced post-conservatives, it is their complete lack of understanding in any field you care to mention, economics ironically being their chiefest failing.

By Vince whirlwind (not verified) on 20 May 2011 #permalink

BernardJ @ 32: what an excellent idea. How do we go about setting up such a website?

These experts include eminent professors, PhD's, scientists and people with diverse life experience including: Professor Tim Ball, Warwick Hughes, Professor Fred Singer, Professor Dick Lindzen, Professor Bill Kininmonth, Professor Bob Carter, Professor Ian Plimer, David Archibald, Professor Peter Ridd, Professor Garth Paltridge, Dr Vincent Gray, Dr Jennifer Marohasy, Jo Nova, Des Moore, John Nicol, David Flint, Andrew Bolt, John McLean, David Evans and Viscount Monckton.

Good grief. What a rogues gallery of frauds, weasels and stooges.

These experts include eminent professors, PhD's, scientists and people with diverse life experience including: Professor Tim Ball, Warwick Hughes, Professor Fred Singer, Professor Dick Lindzen, Professor Bill Kininmonth, Professor Bob Carter, Professor Ian Plimer, David Archibald, Professor Peter Ridd, Professor Garth Paltridge, Dr Vincent Gray, Dr Jennifer Marohasy, Jo Nova, Des Moore, John Nicol, David Flint, Andrew Bolt, John McLean, David Evans and Viscount Monckton.

Good grief. What a rogues gallery of frauds, weasels and stooges.

These experts include eminent professors, PhD's, scientists and people with diverse life experience including: Professor Tim Ball, Warwick Hughes, Professor Fred Singer, Professor Dick Lindzen, Professor Bill Kininmonth, Professor Bob Carter, Professor Ian Plimer, David Archibald, Professor Peter Ridd, Professor Garth Paltridge, Dr Vincent Gray, Dr Jennifer Marohasy, Jo Nova, Des Moore, John Nicol, David Flint, Andrew Bolt, John McLean, David Evans and Viscount Monckton.

Good grief. What a rogues gallery of frauds, weasels and stooges.

These experts include eminent professors, PhD's, scientists and people with diverse life experience including: Professor Tim Ball, Warwick Hughes, Professor Fred Singer, Professor Dick Lindzen, Professor Bill Kininmonth, Professor Bob Carter, Professor Ian Plimer, David Archibald, Professor Peter Ridd, Professor Garth Paltridge, Dr Vincent Gray, Dr Jennifer Marohasy, Jo Nova, Des Moore, John Nicol, David Flint, Andrew Bolt, John McLean, David Evans and Viscount Monckton.

Good grief. What a rogues gallery of frauds, weasels and stooges.

These experts include eminent professors, PhD's, scientists and people with diverse life experience including: Professor Tim Ball, Warwick Hughes, Professor Fred Singer, Professor Dick Lindzen, Professor Bill Kininmonth, Professor Bob Carter, Professor Ian Plimer, David Archibald, Professor Peter Ridd, Professor Garth Paltridge, Dr Vincent Gray, Dr Jennifer Marohasy, Jo Nova, Des Moore, John Nicol, David Flint, Andrew Bolt, John McLean, David Evans and Viscount Monckton.

Good grief. What a rogues gallery of frauds, weasels and stooges.