Bob Carter still not entitled to his own facts

On the heels of his previous piece, Bob Carter has got another opinion published in a Fairfax newspaper, this time in the Sun Herald. (No link, I don't want to encourage them -- you can find it via Sou). Once again, the editor at Fairfax appears to completely indeifferent to whether Carter's claims are true or not. I guess fact checking is too much work these day. See Sou for a detailed examination of many of the falsehoods Carter presents, but I'll just pick out one of the more blatant ones.

For example, the sun recently entered a quietude unknown since the Little Ice Age. Accompanying this, planetary warming has ceased despite still increasing carbon dioxide emissions.

While it's true that the current solar is very quiet it's more active than the one that peaked in 1907. 1907 is not the Little Ice Age. And temperatures are much higher than they were at the beginning of the 20th century despite solar activity being about the same. This would suggest that the warming hwas not caused by an increase in solar activity. Not that Carter would ever admit this.

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The "it's more active" link is broken.

Err, presumably you mean the Sydney Morning Herald, Tim.
I was a bit dubious about Fairfax publishing Carter last week in The Age...but they promptly followed it by publishing two rebuttals that dumped all over him, plus a vigorous series of letters dismissing him. It seems Fairfax know clickbait when they see it.

By monkeywrench (not verified) on 03 Jul 2011 #permalink

No, monkeywrench, it was the Sun Herald this week, though the SMH online picks up all the Sunday articles as a matter of course. Carter was published to 'balance' an article by the new chief scientist last week. Another media fail.

I laugh when I see Carter casting aspersions on climate models, without giving any details except hints that climate is a complex beast and beyond an algorithm's ken. But then he goes on to offer the most simplistic climate model imaginable - change in solar output equals change in global temperature. Duh.

I took a few units of Geophysics at uni, which included numerical simulations, on computers, those spawns of the devil, no less, of magnetic field changes and sonar readings changes as the result of underground ore, water or gas/oil bodies.

Doubtless Professor Carter is, even now, working to stamp out such "paths to cloud-cuckoo land" from geology and geophysics courses and replace them with the traditional, tried and tested method of dowsing with hazel twigs. Since dowsing is controversial and has no consensus of scientists behind it, it is obviously much more scientific, if I've understood Prof Carter correctly.

In other denialist news, Peter Phelps is still at it, calling scientists who've received death threats "poor petals" and "liars" who should stop their "relentless Lysenkoism" if they don't want to draw "community ire", and some idiot called Shearman at Adelaide U is trying to prove his point and do the Right's work for them by proclaiming that we need a totalitarian philosopher-king government if we're going to overcome global warming. This kind of support, science doesn't need.

By James Haughton (not verified) on 03 Jul 2011 #permalink

Thanks Tim. I'm inspired by your tireless efforts. I've picked up on a couple of things including your reference to the solar minimum. Amazing how much Carter can get so wrong using so few words, isn't it. He used to be a scientist himself I hear - some people go downhill very quickly.

James Haughton, Shearman is an environmentalist doctor who was associated with the SA Conservation Council, if memory serves.

He doesn't appear to have written a book since 2009; has he published something new recently?

I've seen his defense-of-authoritarian-government stuff cited out a couple of times by deniers, describing him as an 'IPCC scientist' in the process! You know; 'IPCC scientists calls for totalitarian world government'! That sort of thing.

I would imagine most of us would say 'David who?', but there have been and doubtlessly will be attempts to paint him as a leading warmist. The quotes are certainly quite the gift to the deniers, but their 'gotcha' argument doesn't stand up to much scrutiny.

Well we oughn't to be surprised. The lecturer of a journalism short course I once took told us that Fairfax copy will not be inconsistent with their advertising. That statement being Fairfax's own words; not the opinion of a lefty firebrand media studies lecturer mind you.

Nice that Bundanga piece Sou, very useful.

You ask, 'What is Carter on about? Anyone?', after Carter's quoting of John Brignall's, '...pave the path to cloud cuckoo land'.

Carter is clearly on about Cloud Cuckoo Land something he know much about because he lives there.

James Haughton:

> replace them with the traditional, tried and tested method of dowsing with hazel twigs. Since dowsing is controversial and has no consensus of scientists behind it, it is obviously much more scientific, if I've understood Prof Carter correctly.

Well, a common trope among the Far Right is their promotion of "common sense", where their notion of "common sense" has nothing to do with facts, evidence, or logic. Usually their 'argument' goes along the lines of,

> 'if [conclusion P1] derived by [fantastically complicated but rigorous method M1] disagrees with [conclusion P2] derived by [half-baked 'common-sensical' method M2], then clearly P1 is true, and P2 is wrong and M2 is an elitist fraud!'

-- frank

Never mind all that, it's perfectly obvious that 'the sun does not have his hat on and is not coming out to play', so forget 'global warming'/'global climate change' we're all in for some cooling.

In the meantime, you should all be concentrating like mad on the really serious problem facing us today - farting camels! Apparently, Australiaâs Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (do stop giggling, I'm trying to be serious here!) has issued a paper calling for 'A Kill a Camel' campaign on the grounds that their flatulence is causing global warming/global climate change.

Given that a maximum Maunder Minimum looks likely, I would suggest that you get your Aussie camels copulating - and fast - because you are going to need all the farts you can manage as the ice spreads up from Antarctica!

You have been warned!

Looks like the denialist idiot brigade is tag teaming Deltoid. Cockroach stomping must be having some some effect.

A "maximum Maunder Minimum," David Duff? How many Maunder Minima have there been, brainbox?

By monkeywrench (not verified) on 04 Jul 2011 #permalink

maximum Maunder Minimum,"

Why, that would be like no minimum at all!

The very model of a modern Maunder minimum?

Well, David certainly appears to be a veritable giant of an intellectual pygmy!

Thoroughly enjoyed 'very model of a maximum maunder minimum'! I look forward to "Denial [Ain't a River in Egypt] - The Musical"!


I don't know why you are confused about the "maximum Maunder Minimum".

Its simple really - I am the world's largest midget!

How the Deniosphere works -

The material in this document is made available for general information only and on the understanding that the Commonwealth is not providing advice, nor indicating a commitment to a preferred policy position.

This from this document, 'Management of large feral herbivores (camels) in the Australian rangelands draft methodology'.

It's one of several methodologies proposed under the Carbon Farming Inititiative that are currently under consideration.

This one was proposed by a Dr Tim Moore of Northwest Carbon Pty Ltd. You know, a private company. He's also applied for a patent on it. There's 63 pages of documentation there for those keen to know more.

The deadline for public comment on it just passed (30-06-11).

Then see the aptly named David Duff - above:

Australiaâs Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency... has issued a paper calling for 'A Kill a Camel' campaign

And also here, there, and everywhere. Note that most of those dates on the various chum-sloshes are well-ahead of the end of the public comment period on this private company's proposal, but after the period for public comment on it opened on 27-05-11.

Question: which windy arseholes are really the problem here?

Why does David Duff hate private enterprise?

@ bill | July 4, 2011 10:19 PM

As well as merely being under consideration, when you read the brief it's about managing impacts from a feral herbivore under the general heading of mitigating GHG emissions, including impacts on rangeland habitats, trampling and damage to infrastructure.

I'm sure David Duff was about to clarify that...

Cranks overestimate their own knowledge and ability, and underestimate that of acknowledged experts.

Cranks insist that their alleged discoveries are urgently important.

Cranks rarely, if ever, acknowledge any error, no matter how trivial.


In addition, many cranks:

seriously misunderstand the mainstream opinion to which they believe that they are objecting,
stress that they have been working out their ideas for many decades, and claim that this fact alone entails that their belief cannot be dismissed as resting upon some simple error,
*compare themselves with Galileo* or Copernicus (or in a religious context, Noah), implying that the mere unpopularity of some belief is in itself evidence of plausibility,
claim that their ideas are being suppressed, typically by secret intelligence organizations, mainstream science, powerful business interests, or other groups....

By Vince whirlwind (not verified) on 04 Jul 2011 #permalink

Steve C, I'd be somewhat surprised if 'David' is prone to tracking-down primary sources!

There are so many good reasons to control camel populations - their nasty habit of choosing to die in the very limited number of largish waterholes in the Great Victoria Desert, for instance - that if Dr. Moore has chosen to calculate the greenhouse impact of their emissions, diet, behaviour etc., and go for accreditation as part of a range of activities his business is undertaking, well, bully for him! Whatever we might think of the proposal at the very least we can hardly be surprised.

But this, of course, is all a long way from the tabloid outrage Mr. Duff suggested it was above.

But......but......Bob Carter is a Professor! How can he be so badly wrong? At least that is the point some of my "sceptical" (and not so rational) colleagues keep hammering home to me.

Oh yeah, and one of them told me recently that because climate science doesn't rely on controlled double-blind experiments, it is inherently of a lower/lesser standard and the observations should be treated with suspicion. This is the sort of ignorant "google galileo" shite I deal with at work. Seriously.

"maximum Maunder Minimum"

I thought it was just Yanks who didn't get irony but apparently you Aussies suffer with the same problem.

Do try and cheer up, the end of the world is not nigh!

How the Deniosphere works - part 2. When blatantly caught out chuck the previous claim down the memory hole and chuck out a few random taunts. Scuttle off again congratulating yourself on how clever you are.

> so forget 'global warming'/'global climate change' we're all in for some cooling.

So what happened to the cooling we've apparently been having since 1998?

What happened to the cycle that some were insisting meant we were cooling since 2003?

Careful, too many self-contradictions may make Duff's head explode.
Luckily they're all just PR words that mean nothing anyway, even if they were understaood.

"I thought it was just Yanks who didn't get irony but apparently you Aussies suffer with the same problem." do realise you just demonstrated a complete ignorance of irony there, don't you...? Don't you?

By monkeywrench (not verified) on 05 Jul 2011 #permalink

so forget 'global warming'/'global climate change' we're all in for some cooling

Yes, I see the irony now.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 05 Jul 2011 #permalink

TBH, I thought David Duff's comment was sarcasm when I first read it, though not quite obviously enough so that it could do without the smiley face or the /sarcasm tag.

As for yanks not getting irony - isn't there a whole song about that? ;-)

Just sent this one off to a friend, former editor/reporter, and now journalism professor. Something tells me this might be turning up in his courses at some point as an example of how not to do journalism.

"much warmer" than 1907? Now who is inventing "facts"?