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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FOIA, Government-Funded Climate Science and Hole-Digging

Here’s  a benefit FOIA probably didn’t imagine. Skeptical networks. For anyone who doesn’t know, Jennifer Marohasy has published one of the longest-running skeptical blogs in the world, and she’s one of the few other women on the front lines. I don’t know why we hadn’t spent a long time on the phone before. I’m delighted that we are in much better contact…

– Jo

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Guest Post By Jennifer Marohasy

FOIA is a recognised shorthand for Freedom of Information Act.  Legislation by this name has existed in the USA since 1966, Australia since 1982 and the UK legislation was introduced in 2000.  It was climate scientists at the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, conspiring to evade the UK FOIA that probably inspired Climategate, with Mr FOIA, as the “hacker” calls himself, releasing over 220,000 documents and emails beginning in November 2009.  In a recent email he explained: “The circus was about to arrive in Copenhagen.  Later on it could be too late.”

By providing public access to emails and documents from leading climate scientists, Mr FOIA exposed how tricks, adjustments, and corrections, were routinely applied to climate data to [...]

Media Watch witch hunt

“In the old days they would have just bound her, thrown her into the lake, and waited to see if she floated.

Though a primitive method of witch-hunting, it would surely be far more effective than Jonathan’s, and would require much less in taxpayer funding.” 

[MediaWatch comment by Preacher]

Jennifer Marohasy belongs to the “wrong” tribe, according to the ABC’s Media Watch program.

Media Watch is panting with excitement because — stop me if you’ve heard this before — she’s a scientist who earns money. My favorite part of the inadvertent expose-of-ABC-bias was the sneering voice-over, meant to be Marohasy or any supporter of her: petulant, petty and childish.  The full ABC-festival-of-smug is right on display, thanks, as always, to the Taxpayers of Australia.

It’s so bad, it’s satirical:

MW:   But many real journalists struggle when reporting science.

“Struggle?” Mr Holmes? You mean they are so confused about the real world, they think if a US group funds a group who write about a distantly connected topic, that therefore, ergo, and quid pro quo — that tiny funding demonstrates that Lake Alexandrina was always [...]

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 [...]

Could we make that flood worse?

Many landholders along the Tumut River have not returned to their homes because of increased outflow from the Blowering Dam. (AAP: Wolter Peeters). From the ABC site.

It’s not like we need another case study in just how creatively dumb bureaucracy can be, but Jennifer Marohasy has been relentless in pursuing the extraordinary case of a government contracting a corporation to pour nearly 7000 Mega litres into a area facing life threatening floods. That’s more than 2000 Olympic pools worth of water dumped into a flood zone just last Wednesday.

Remember, this legislation was made with good intentions, and it was supposed to help the environment…

The Whole Truth: Water Deliberately Dumped into Flooded Area

SNOWY Hydro chief executive, Terry Charlton, recently confirmed that water was dumped into the already flooded Murray-Darling Basin, but said the authority had little choice (The Australian, December 15, 2010, page 7).   A real time operational diagram, however, tells a very different story.

Last Wednesday, Snowy Hydro could have sent water into Eucumbene dam.  At only 20 percent it had a storage capacity of a whopping 4 cubic kilometres of water.

Instead, the water managers set the trans-mountain tunnels so water was flowing away from [...]