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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300,000 dollars and three years to produce a paper that lasted three weeks: Gergis

The paper might have been scientifically invalid, but it was a box-office success.

The headlines were everywhere

“1000 years of climate data confirms Australia’s warming” said the press release from University of Melbourne. It  was picked up by  The Guardian: “Australasia has hottest 60 years in a millennium, scientists find”; The Age and  The Australian led with “Warming since 1950 ‘unprecedented’. The story was on ABC 24  and ABC news where Gergis proclaimed:” there are no other warm periods in the last 1000 years that match the warming experienced in Australasia since 1950.” It was all over the ABC including ABC Radio National, and they were “95% certain“!  On ABC AM, “the last five decades years in Australia have been the warmest. ” Plus there were pages in Science Alert,  Campus Daily  Eco news,  The Conversation, Real Climate* and Think Progress.

Blog review is where the real science gets tested

Skeptics have been looking through the paper, and three weeks after it was published a team at Climate Audit (kudos to Jean S and Nick Stokes) uncovered a problem so significant that the authors announced that this paper is “on hold”. It has been withdrawn from the American Meteorological [...]

$700,000 for believers to convert skeptics – but nothing for skeptical science

From the 2011 Australian Research Council report: as much as $45,700,000 was spent on An Environmentally Sustainable Australia in 2011.

The cash cow that is “Climate Change” is so loaded that over a six year period, $718,000 dollars of ARC funds has flowed to “believers” (their terminology) to study and convert dissenters.

The death threat that wasn’t (by the kangaroo culler — John Coochey) was made at an event that deserves more attention.  The “Deliberative Democracy” turns out to be part of a project funded by the Australian Research Council to the tune of $378,500. It’s title: Social Adaptation to Climate Change in the Australian Public Sphere: A comparison of individual and group deliberative responses to scenarios of future climate change. This year, a new version of the same project has been awarded another $340,000.

Quite properly, the deliberative forum claims it was not going to take sides:

“The project sought to engage with the full range of positions from people who are sceptical about climate change through to those who are very concerned. We do not endorse any particular point of view – it is the aim of the project to find out what these views [...]

Want climate resistant oysters, or climate “Justice”? The ARC has millions to help. But no money for skeptics.

File this under “Monopolistic Science”

Australian Taxpayer funds in 2012 are supporting around 50 projects about “climate change” or “greenhouse gases”.

One David McKnight has got $95k to study how Australian governments “spin” the news. So which cancer research project was knocked back so he could study a “hyper-adversarial” news system? And what is so bad about a competitive news system in any case? What are we aiming for — real news or better propaganda? (See my response to David McKnight in The Australian to see how confused this journalism lecturer is.)

The dollar values here are usually for three year projects. Some of these projects potentially produce press releases which are nothing more than disguised forms of government advertising for big-spending climate policies.

Jo

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Guest Post: Dr Roberto Soria, Perth

The ARC Major Grant results for 2012 were announced in Nov 2011.  Here is what Australian scientists are up to this year.

The ARC (Australian Research Council) is the main source of funding for all researchers in all fields of natural, political and social sciences. Getting a grant will make a difference between carrying on doing research and finding another job, for many researchers. Take a [...]

Science associations give science a bad name

In this story from The Australian, we have the ludicrous double-irony of subscribers paying to read a story that disguises how their own taxpayer dollars are used against them to fund the  propaganda that’s used to justify milking them for more taxpayer dollars….

Sometimes, you’d think media releases from science associations and universities were Commandments from God.

If football associations put out media releases that tried to whitewash the news of clubs rampantly breaking rules, or of officials letting them get away with it, or of umpires placing bets on the outcome of games they rule over, the sports journos would bake the officials, grill the umpires, and lampoon the clubs. But, when the topic is “science”, and the spokespeople have polysyllabic titles, they are untouchable.

Admittedly, there is that other effect: advertising. The Higher Education Supplement is designed to sell advertising space to universities, and asking the top dogs biting-hard questions is probably not the way to win big contracts (the journalists might be cynical, but Australian universities are a $12 billion dollar industry). And look in the last budget: There’s a neat pink icing on the cake in the graph below, thanks to the man-made theory of global warming. That [...]