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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Jennifer Marohasy and ABC’s MediaWatch tribal warfare

UPDATE: While MediaWatch (ABC) is hassling Jennifer Marohasy, Marc Hendrickx at ABCnewswatch responds in kind, posting an excellent open letter to MediaWatch, asking if they can outline their own scientific qualifications to judge Jennifer Marohasy’s scientific work. ABC staff want to know her motivations, but Marc wants to know theirs. And “given that they employ 11 staff full time” and produce “one 15 minute show per week”, do they consider that this represents good value for the Australian taxpayer? Touche!

Brilliant Marc. It’s a must read.

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Jennifer Marohasy has extraordinary influence. She’s so powerful that the ABC’s Media Watch program has singled her out, asking questions about her income and disclosures that they don’t even bother to ask Tim Flannery. Presumably they don’t think anyone still takes Tim seriously.

They sent her a barrage of questions last Friday, which she hammered in a detailed reply on the weekend. I hear they are still sniffing around anyone they can think of who may know something about Marohasy, asking leading questions and volunteering information that isn’t correct.

Media Watch (aka Witch Hunt) thought this was a question worth asking:

[To Jennifer Marohasy] In your recent opinion columns [...]

ABC – Agitprop for the Bureaucratic Class

The ABC is so afraid that the public might read comments from global warming skeptics that they frequently censor or delay reasonable comments, while allowing defamatory, unprofessional, and unsubstantiated ones through. (Guess which way the editors of The Drum vote?)

Marc Hendrickx describes how hard it is to get rid of a single baseless defamatory comment on the ABC taxpayer-funded-site:

The following anonymous comment was posted to [Sara] Phillips’s blog shortly afterwards:

Annie : 03 Dec 2010 7:07:53pm

The denialist clowns return again . . . climateaudit.org . . . run by Stephen McIntyre a known climate denialist and extremist right-wing provocateur . . . you are a joke as are your answers . . . laughing hysterically.

Marc Hendrix suggested it be removed as defamatory. The ABC editors protested, and here’s the weird thing, it would have taken them less time to just say “yes” — after all, it’s only a comment. But in the sum total editorial-calculation-of-the-day there was apparently some net benefit in fighting to keep an unsubstantiated insult visible among hundreds of other comments? (Go figure.) According to the ABC editors: “He [MacIntyre] could reasonably be described as ‘right wing’ as a speaking member of the [...]

The death of reason at UWA

Stephan Lewandowsky reasons by bad-analogy

How do we know man-made climate change is a mortal threat?  Some people discuss radiosondes, but for Lewandowsky, the answers lie in laser surgery, gravity waves, airplanes, bridges, AIDS, nanotechnology, falling apples, and driving cars into brick walls.

On Ad Hominem Unleashed (otherwise known as the ABC), Lewandowsky is working his way through the fallacies season by season — he’s tried argument from authority, he’s hailed expert opinion, and even pretended that expert opinion is evidence.

So now, moving right along into Spring, he’s come to a variation of the “insurance” argument. Having told us how absolutely certain everything is, with a straight face, he’s now telling us it’s uncertain, but basically, since we absolutely definitely know it might be bad,  we ought to reject the best source of energy known to humankind, and try all the alternatives, no matter how uncertain they are, even if it kills people. (I’m sure he doesn’t think of it that way, but he might change his mind if he spent a day with a mother in Tanzania who can’t afford to boil drinking water and is nursing a child with typhoid.)

Follow his “thinking”

Lewandowsky is so ahead-of-the-pack [...]