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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ClimateGate — “covered” but not exposed in The Australian

Hackers Expose Climate Brawl Monday Nov 23, 2009

UPDATE Mon 23rd: The Australian put this story on Page 1, and added an image file of “quotes” for which they deserve kudos. This blog comments on the online version. The in-print version is better (see at the bottom).

Caroline Overington writes up the story of the hackers breaking in to the East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU), but misses the meat of the story. The Australian can tick the box “Covered”, but not tick the box “Incisive”.

She includes a few of the emails, but misses the bombshells while wasting column space discussing irrelevancies. As the Australian Senators sit down to assess the meaningfulness of an Emissions Trading Scheme this week, we can only hope they have better sources of information.

The extraordinary emails from the East Anglia CRU expose how corrupt climate science has become. They are nothing less than startling. Leading researchers have been caught discussing how to “hide the decline”, how to refuse their scientific and legal obligations, and threatening to blackball professional journals to stop legitimate research being published. These same researchers have a long persistent record of hiding data and when faced with a series [...]

Skeptics Handbook II! Global Bullies Want Your Money

Finally, Part II in the Skeptics Handbook series – the bluster and bluff, the deceit, and the money.  Enjoy & Share.

It’s unthinkable. Big Government has spent $79 billion on the climate industry, 3000 times more than Big Oil. Leading climate scientists won’t debate in public and won’t provide their data. What do they hide? When faced with freedom-of-information requests they say they’ve “lost” the original global temperature records. Thousands of scientists are rising in protest against the scare campaign. Meanwhile $126 billion turned over in carbon markets in 2008 and bankers get set to make billions.

[...]

Science communication pollution

Here’s an example of SciComm Pollution — an article that leaves the world slightly less enlightened than they would have been had it not existed. It’s also proof that the media blackout works so well that even theoretically educated people like, say, an archaeologist, are unaware of basic uncontroversial scientific truths.  Here’s Michael Berry, in the Salt Lake Tribune, having trouble reasoning, missing the point, being fully a decade out of date, and acting unwittingly as a public relations agent for a giant  bureaucracy.

He tries to claim Senator Orrin Hatch and The Skeptics Handbook are wrong on the Vostok ice cores.

“He (Hatch) then misinterprets the 420,000 years of glacial and interglacial stages to indicate that temperature is the forcing factor for rises in CO2, reversing the actual causal mechanism.”

Here, Berry gets it 100% wrong. Temperature is the forcing factor, and even the IPCC agrees. Senator Hatch is referring to the way carbon rises and falls after temperatures in ice core records. Berry implies that Hatch “misinterprets” two lines that clearly rise and fall with an obvious lag. Instead it’s Berry who misinterprets the graph. Carbon can’t control temperature from [...]

Global politics is being influenced by the climate fawners

More muddy thinking. Once again, a politico-journalist writes about science and misses the point. Science is not like law, politics or sport: there is no umpire, no judge, no boss who sets the rules (at least not one you can interview). Opinions don’t control the climate, yet Mike Steketee makes the basic error of elevating opinions above The Real World. Steketee is The Australian newspaper’s National Affairs Editor. He’s even won a Walkley award for journalism, yet somehow, the rules of engagement for science writing are so lax he can get away with a commentary which fails the basic test of logic. He pays lip service to the benefits of scepticism in journalism, while he simply repeats official PR from international committees. This is not investigative journalism, or even informed commentary.

“We have the illusion of ‘free press’, but when the press is untrained in logic and reason, free press is just free propaganda.”

What’s so comi-tragic about Steketee is that he’s so sure he ‘understands’ science that he can patronisingly imply that Fielding-the-engineer, might be ‘influenced’ by a contrarian (god forbid, a person who thinks)—all while Steketee is clearly not just influenced, but beholden to group-think.  Yawn. There goes [...]

Finally, a politician doing what politicians should do

This is a big step. Steve Fielding in Australia holds a crucial senate vote on the proposed Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). Astonishingly (for a politician) he stands out from the crowd for simply saying the obvious. He wants to “hear from both sides of the debate.”

A simple statement like this should not be remarkable—but it’s so rare. Steve Fielding assumed the mainstream thinking was right, but is now doing what anyone who hasn’t looked at the debate in detail ought to be doing. Some research. It’s a rare occasion when you can see the good side of democracy and free speech in action. He paid for himself to fly to the far side of the world to attend Heartland’s 3rd conference on Climate Change to hear from scientists who are not convinced carbon has a large role to play in our climate.

The Australian newspaper covered it. And Steve expanded today in the Australian on why he went to Washington.

His visit to the Heartland conference has given the Australian ABC enough reason to bother sending a journalist to it (unlike the two previous conferences). See their short coverage from Washington. (Look out for the glimpse of The [...]