JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Journalists view world through a mirror: see things in reverse

I like Chris Uhlmann, and he’s spoken out with reason before on the issue of skeptics. So I was a little surprised to see him say:

“…one of the reasons Malcolm Turnbull is staring into the abyss is because he is getting too far ahead of many in his party room.

He accepts the prevailing consensus on global warming and is personally committed to an emissions trading system. A significant part of his party does not or believes that this emissions trading scheme is a dog.”

source: Oh Malcolm, how did it come to this? (my italics)

Coming soon: one of those In-the-Matrix moments when reality shifts for our journalists.

Imagine that ambitious powerful people were exploiting science to create a scare to gain power and money. Who would know? How would you find out? Normally, you’d read about it in the press. A whistle-blower would make an announcement, and the press would be all ears, and bring the story to the public. But imagine the press decided not to print anything from whistleblowers, not because they didn’t speak in reasonable tones, and not because they couldn’t back up what they said, but just because they are whistle-blowers? What if the press said, “we only print the official version”, and “there’s a consensus”? By definition they are ruling out even the possibility that if there was a problem they would report it.  Even if 31,000 scientists speak out, even if some of those who speak have the highest of professional qualifications in meteorology, atmospheric physics, maths, or statistics.

What if people were shifting in droves away from the theory as they realized how corrupt the scam was?

Chris still believes the theory must be right, so he presumes that Turnbull is correct, and his party are the dinosaurs.

But the reality is that the real news is spreading from the hard-nosed through to the soft-hearted ideologues. The trend, the fashion, and the new move is away from the theory. This is true for scientists, and the public, and oh so slowly for journalists.  The Nationals lead the pack, half the Liberals are awake, and some of the Labor party. None of the Greens. The Murdoch press are catching on, the ABC is stuck like a dinosaur watching an asteroid, and the BBC still in denial.

So here we are in this strange twilight world where the public is dragging the press up to date with the news. (Look at the comments on the page below this ABC Unleashed story.) Is this what it was like in the Soviet Union, where the underground press was where you found out what was really going on?

And the “journalists” wonder why their salaries are falling?

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37 comments to Journalists view world through a mirror: see things in reverse

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    MattB

    How do you get “Chris still believes the theory must be right, so he presumes that Turnbull is correct, and his party are the dinosaurs.” from the quote above? CLearly the direction under the last days of Howard were to fall in to line with the consensus on AGW, and at this stage it is clearly true that in this regard Turnbull “is getting too far ahead of many in his party room”.

    In my understanding of the English language, the term “is getting too far ahead of” does not infer that the position is correct, merely that it is an over-enthusiastic embracement of a trend that can leave you isolated.

    Like seeing a trend in gold prices and investing 100% in bullion only to find you “got too far ahead of.”

    I don’t mean to be your resident nitpicky contrarian Jo but in this article, and your pursuit of all things warmist since the warmergate, youve certainly got too far ahead of yourself.

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    MattB

    Dare I say it… there appears to be a “scattergun” approach… someone needs to read the sceptics handbook for advice on such an approach.

    [Ahh but MattB, you don't get it. We've won the science and we've moved on. Now that it's a question of fraud... -JN]

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    Anne-Kit Littler

    I have a priceless mental picture of a diplodocus with the head of Tony Jones, mouth open and mesmerized by an incoming asteroid ….

    Can you do the cartoon, please, please? Thanks for making me laugh, Jo, it is sorely needed today!

    Check this out, by Carolyn Popp on ABC Unleashed: http://ipa.org.au/news/2008/little-to-gain-a-lot-to-lose

    Maybe we have a case after all for legally prosecuting those responsible for the coming regulations??

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    Denny

    I came across the latest from George Monbiot. Never thought I would see this from Him. His last post turned the tide for Him.

    http://www.globalwarminghoax.com/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?1288.last

    Check Him out because “He’s pretty lonely right now”!

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  • #
    Boudu

    @ Anne-Kitt Littler

    Can you do the cartoon, please, please? Thanks for making me laugh,

    Yes, perhaps a journo ‘speaking no evil’ to match your blindfolded unskeptical scientist. An enviro-mentalist blocking their ears would complete the set.

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  • #
    MattB

    Maybe sceptics see the world through a mirror… Warming is larger than it appears to you.

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  • #
    allen mcmahon

    In view or recent events I would say that warming is smaller than the “team” would have us believe.

    While wandering through a thread on BNC I was was surprised to hear that the recent heat wave in Adelaide was “proof” of GW as I thought this was weather.What a difference a month makes the first two weeks of October were our coldest for fifty odd years surely this could not be weather it must be proof of GC.

    Must admit we a doing it hard in SA this year record winter rains, all our reservoirs at 100%. In the three seasons prior to this we have only bailed 420-450 large hay rounds. This year 875 and pasture is well above average for this time of year. Fortunately the hot spell cured the hay and we were able to put it under cover before the rain. With 30mls during the last week and another 15-40 due by the weekend it is likely to be our best season for about a decade.

    Life is different when seen from a tractor rather than and air conditioned office but what would I know I am not a ‘peer reviewed’ climate scientist.

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  • #
    allen mcmahon

    Matt
    Dont think you have supporters on this site I am only hitting the like button on your comments because I hate the whole concept of like/dislike against comments. It will not allow me to hit the dislike button on my own comments which is a bitch.

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  • #
    MattB

    Allen I thought tractors all had cushy airconditioned cabs nowadays? ;) I’m going to print and frame that “Like” button approval from you thanks for the tip.

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    Peter Pond

    As I recall it, polls commonly show that the three most distrusted “professionals” in Australia are: used car salesmen, politicians and the press. I cannot understand why there aren’t more used car salesmen speaking up to support AGW.

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  • #
    NikFromNYC

    Before this scandal I would have never believed anyone who predicted that mobs of people would show up at Al Gore events waving protest signs about Global Warming.

    Yet that *did* happen before the scandal.

    I’ll bet lots of politicians already had a Plan B in case AGW skepticism was supported by a new scientific discovery like Lindzen’s work on feedbacks, only worse.

    They can be forgiven. Politicians are held to much lower standards than journalists and scientific bodies.

    And journalists can even be forgiven, for in the face of whistleblowing stories being thrust upon them, how could they really face up to the idea that professional scientific organizations in a huge majority all had statements supporting AGW in no uncertain terms?

    That means that this list of bodies that support AGW takes on huge new meaning:

    http://logicalscience.com/consensus/consensusD1.htm

    It was scientists who dropped the ball on this one. They have never in history turned on skeptics in this matter. Oh, wait…yes they have! This whole story is almost point-for-point similar to the War Against Fat in the medical community. That fiasco continues (see: http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/cardiovascular-disease/the-statinator-paradox/).

    People simply could not believe that not just individual scientists but whole academies of them would come out so forcefully against the very idea of skepticism were that skepticism at all valid.

    I would hate to be a geologist right now. I’m a chemist so thank god The American Chemical Society is not on their list of supporters. As an insider with a Ph.D. from Columbia I can now tell you that I know of not one faculty member of the Columbia University department of chemistry fails to scoff at AGW theory, including one former president of said society. Telling you this before was akin to telling you which ones smoked pot as students. My former lab mate is now chairman there and used to be a Grateful Deadhead, but that’s an open secret. I have joked about that in public prior to this scandal but it would have seen like real slander had I revealed their understandably tight lips concerning global warming. The only public statement I could get out of the former president was: “Politics is broken.” I’d like to think that had this issue arisen on his command that he would indeed have spoken out. He was the guy who got women into Columbia, after all. I could personally speak about since I now work for myself doing product design. I’m here to tell you that speaking out against AGW theory was near the very bottom of the list for people in the hard physical sciences. You must understand though how soft physical scientists see fields like climatology to be. They don’t take it very seriously in the first place so if they get a bunch of stuff wrong it’s something that is chucked about rather than taken as something that reflects on “real” science.

    One backlash of this scandal when the truth is outed (books and movies about ClimateAudit.org leading the way) will be against other policy agenda based science. Medicine is in for a real problem. They have many of these scandals ready to be revealed for which this one is a model of and for which all the major societies have come out claiming skeptics are fanatics.

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  • #
    Mark Stevens

    curiouser and curiouser….. Big bad Mal`s golden credentials get an expose` at the rolling stone…Matt Taibbi on Goldman Sachs’ Roles in the Housing and Internet Busts

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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Clive Hamilton has gone remarkably quiet in the aftermath of the ClimateGate scandal.

    Maybe he’s out doorknocking and kissing babies in Higgins … hmmmm …. I’m getting another mental picture ….

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    Anne-Kit Littler

    … or maybe his Public Intellectual Chrome Dome has exploded from a bad case of cognitive dissonance ….

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    Grant

    allen mcmahon

    In the three seasons prior to this we have only bailed 420-450 large hay rounds. This year 875 and pasture is well above average for this time of year.

    Interesting anecdote. I have just had feed cut here too (Central North Island, NZ. I usually get 150-160 bale equivalents of the hay paddocks. This year we took 340. (The bill form the contractor was pretty horrendous).

    Maybe the increased CO2 has been making the grass grow faster.

    Last year, we had a light dusting of snow in June. This year we had a heavier fall of snow in June, and then real snowfall in October. October. Old timers in the district recall this kind of weather pattern in the 1960s. Droughts in the summer. Very cold winters.

    It might just be some kind of cycle :-)

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    Mark Stevens

    NZ pass ETS laws. John Key, “conservative”, and like mad mal a member of the global business elite—Ivestment banker aka the millionaire `Boys` club …. peel the scare layer from their tissue of lies and the global internecine credo of these engorged king leeches is revealed. more scary than black balloons…

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    Denny

    Early this morning I took the time to put what’s been happening into perspective. I decided to post all of the events I posted over at GWH.com in Chronological order starting from Nov. 20 to the present! It’s for people who haven’t seen the beginning and don’t know where all the good sites are…Of course, these are not ALL of the articles out there produced. For those who are interested:

    History In The Making: A Chronoligical View of ClimateGate Here at Global Warming Hoax.com

    http://www.globalwarminghoax.com/e107_plugins/forum/forum_post.php?edit.1289

    At this time I would like to say a “Great Job” to Joanne and to ALL that provided information towards this epic event…We as all know, there’s more to come…Thanks to everyone.

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  • #

    This is a MUST read! Lorrie Goldstein’s column in the Toronto Sun today doesn’t pull a single a punch!!!

    The first paragraph starts with this…

    If you’re wondering how the robot-like march of the world’s politicians towards Copenhagen can possibly continue in the face of the scientific scandal dubbed “climategate,” it’s because Big Government, Big Business and Big Green don’t give a s*** about “the science.”

    Enjoy!!!

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    allen mcmahon

    Matt
    It may come as a shock to you but most farmers are not in a financial position to upgrade equipment on a regular basis. The tractor in question is 15 yrs old and the air conditioning is shot.

    It has much in common with AGW theory as it is held together by band aids, leaks like a sieve, staggers from crisis to crisis runs and refuses to die.

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  • #

    Its time for Labor Politicians also to have a conscience vote instead of blindly following K Rudd! It is simply not good enough for those who are skeptical of global warming to sit their silent – they must stand up and speak out like those in the Liberal and National parties have. That way we can get a full bipartisan approach to stop an appalling policy based on climate fraud decimating Australia.

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    Anne-Kit Littler

    I quite agree with you twawki, however the rules of the Australian Labor Party does not allow dissent in the ranks! We who work on the inside of politics know that there are dissenters in the Labor Party, but they would have to resign and run as Independents to be able to say so publicly. That is socialism for you: You give up your individual rights for the “greater good of the masses”!

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  • #

    Wow Anne so much for democracy! Though I think this is important enough for labor senators to do just that – resign and run either as independents or join the labor party< I mean Turnbull ran Liberal even though he was from Labor!

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  • #

    Ooops I mean join the liberal party

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    allen mcmahon

    http://www.openeurope.org.uk/research/#env

    the above link is to research papers on the effects of ETS scheme in the EU
    One report – Europe’s Dirty Secret: Why the EU Emmissions Trading Scheme isn’t working – is particularly enlightening.

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    allen mcmahon

    Matt
    Out in the equipment shed is an old Fiat tractor circa 1952 and I realise how much it reminds me of you. It basic but completely reliable no suprises rom the old girl, it has no suspension and is therefore a total pain in the arse but I sorta like it and would hate to see it go.

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    J.Hansford

    “But the reality is that the real news is spreading from the hard-nosed through to the soft-hearted ideologues. The trend, the fashion, and the new move is away from the theory. This is true for scientists, and the public, and oh so slowly for journalists. The Nationals lead the pack, half the Liberals are awake, and some of the Labor party. None of the Greens. The Murdoch press are catching on, the ABC is stuck like a dinosaur watching an asteroid, and the BBC still in denial.”

    Spot on Jo. You have hit the proverbial on the head. I thought Uhlmann was better than that. Guess I was wrong.

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    Keith

    It’s getting absurd. Soon you’ll need a receipt if you go to the toilet, as in Hitch hikers guide to the Galaxy.
    And I guess a credit, if you eat something (or is that not eat something ? I’m getting confused).

    Steve McIntyre explains the trick
    Apologies if already posted.

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    Mike W

    It’s your friendly thread hijacker here again. I’ve been gorging on research lately but I could still use a hand getting to grips with a few points and I don’t know of a better place to ask these questions at the moment. I may inadvertently misunderstand or misuse terms like heat, temperature, radiation, or misapply aspects of thermodynamics, it’s not intentional.

    1A In the real world, which effect dominates the transfer of heat energy for atmospheric CO2; convection, conduction or radiation?

    1B Can someone neatly describe the summed effects of those three interactions for a CO2 laden atmosphere?

    1C What does direct observation of the atmosphere indicate with regard to the modes of heat transfer?

    2A Is the emission spectrum for CO2 basically the same as the absorption spectrum; 2.7, 4.3 and 15 microns sound about right? Lit seems to imply CO2 doesn’t behave as a blackbody, is that correct?

    (Here’s the only stuff I could find on the infrared emission spectrum of CO2, anyone got more I could look at? http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/pdf_extract/107/2767/48 )

    2B What else besides CO2 molecules will absorb the re-radiated infrared emissions? I already understand of course that the absorption bands of CO2 and H20 overlap at some wavelengths. Boy, here’s where things get dangerous and I make a few assumptions, so let’s get down to it, I assume that where the absorption freqs overlap, H20 is probably already saturated courtesy of the upwelling blackbody radiation?

    2C Is downwelling infrared at the unique emission wavelengths of CO2 being detected and measured?

    2D Assuming, and I do mean assuming, that the rest of the atmosphere cannot absorb radiation at 4.3 and 15 microns does that mean that the ‘warming’ effect on the rest of the atmosphere due to CO2 is due to conduction?

    2E If it is via conduction, I need some help understanding how a vibrationally excited CO2 molecule transfers that energy to other molecules in the atmosphere. Can vibrational molecular energy pass from one molecule to another without radiation? Can vibrational molecular energy turn into translational kinetic energy? How is each effect relevant to ‘warming’ of the atmosphere?

    2F What is the difference between heat and temperature as it relates to (ideal) gasses, help!

    Thanks in advance guys and girls.

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  • #
    Steve Schapel

    Now here is a very good article!

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    Mike W

    “2E If it is via conduction, I need some help understanding how a vibrationally excited CO2 molecule transfers that energy to other molecules in the atmosphere. Can vibrational molecular energy pass from one molecule to another without radiation? Can vibrational molecular energy turn into translational kinetic energy? How is each effect relevant to ‘warming’ of the atmosphere?”

    Further reading seems to suggest the translational molecular velocity is mainly responsible for conducting heat in an ‘ideal gas’. Can anyone conform this? How significant is molecular vibration for conducting heat in a gas?

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    Steve Schapel

    Mike,

    I am not in a position to answer your questions. But I reckon you might “enjoy” this

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    Mattb: In my understanding of the English language, the term “is getting too far ahead of” does not infer that the position is correct, merely that it is an over-enthusiastic embracement of a trend that can leave you isolated.

    In the postmodernist world, and in bubble economics perhaps being “ahead of the pack” doesn’t mean they are right, but remember, this is supposed to be science. And science is the pursuit of knowledge. So “Ahead of the pack” tells us he knows more than his buddies. Except he doesn’t.

    Unless they are referring to the race back to prehistory…

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    Denny

    Mike W: Post 29,

    Mike, good questions, and I would like to direct you to this if I may; http://www.globalwarminghoax.com/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?1290.last

    You Open The Door, So Shall I Speak, A Retired Chemist’s View

    This will help what isn’t!!!

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    Mike W

    Steve, didn’t get much of a look at the presentation before it locked up my browser, hopefully I can check it out when my ISP isn’t as busy.

    Denny, thanks for the link, I see three takeaway points. Firstly, that Gas Chromatography was inappropriately used to measure CO2 concentrations instead of Infrared Spectrophotometry. I’m guessing your Industry experience informs you that would have been the way to go?

    The second point and the thing that has always seemed most important to me is that atmospheric H20 is a much more effective GHG compared to CO2 and it seems like it should always dominate the heat exchanges in the atmosphere; by virtue of of its broader absorption and emission spectrum and by virtue of its much greater concentration in the atmosphere it carries much greater heat energy (I believe I’ve used the term correctly) than CO2. If the additional heat energy attributable to anthropogenic CO2 is less than the normal variation in the heat energy associated with H20, if it’s buried in the noise, there is no AGW, at least in the sense it has no capacity to influence the direction of global warming or cooling.

    Last point is that you identified local effects that hamper attempts take meaningful measurements of CO2, similar to urban encroachment and the heat island effect as it relates to surface temps.

    Nothing new here, hopefully just demonstrating that I understood Denny, how’d I do mate?

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    Denny

    Mike W: Post 35,

    I’m guessing your Industry experience informs you that would have been the way to go?

    Mike,sorry but I can’t take credit for this article. As most know here I help out at GWH.com on posting revealent articles in the “Realist” point of you and scientific papers. This retired Chemist signed up the other night and was referred to by a friend that He had posted a very good comment at our Site. I turned his comments into an article because what He stated is very close to the latest being found about CO2 and in relationship to AGW…Plus I think He had some very interesting knowledge I haven’t seen from this perspective before.. The Equipment used and comparisions. Never seen this before. “Bernhard” saw and experienced happenstances out in the field. Good comments and very good look on how this work was done. I liked his views,of course. I hope Mike you saw something in that article that will help you keep your perspective on CO2 and the Greenhouse Effect.

    Another person here to give perspective is co2isnotevil. He’s very good. I love his comments on this..Another is Prof. Richard Lindzen of MIT. He has the latest findings on this issue and it knocks down completely the AGW theory.

    As far as understanding, it sounds like you are on the right track. Keep researching because Science is suppose to bring in new and different information for review and study…Never close your Mind like the Alarmists do…Joanne was one once but She “saw the Light” and now She’s helping the “Realist” cause..

    Oh, Mike, you are welcome!! Glad to help!

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    Denny

    In REF. the “Realist” point of you

    Mike, sorry about that, It should be “The “Realist” point of View!

    Getting tired, not focusing!!

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