Published in the Sunday Morning Herald, Feb 17, 2010

Climate change sceptics are really making my unborn grandchildren angry. Just when we thought the science was in and we could start focusing on action to avoid the massive environmental, social and economic costs of global warming, along come the climate-science deniers to muddy the waters.

Now we are arguing over a few emails and a typo in the latest Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change report.

If there were a typo in The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, would that nullify the theory of evolution? If an email were stolen from one lung cancer specialist that showed frustration with tobacco lobbyists, would this prove that all cancer specialists around the world were in a conspiracy to destroy cigarette companies? If a tennis ball is filmed only after it bounces and is moving upwards, does this disprove the law of gravity?

Obviously the answer is no, no and no. Yet the deniers of climate science desperately hang on to a few drops of so-called proof to claim the entire ocean of evidence is flawed.

These minor errors do not invalidate the work of scientists from around the world who are screaming from their combined rooftop that human activity is warming the planet. Hundreds of scientists from more than

100 countries whose work is peer-reviewed by hundreds more are apparently all in a global conspiracy to make us pay more for electricity. The insects they study that are migrating earlier or travelling higher up mountains due to enhanced global warming must be in on the conspiracy, too.

Do people who question climate change science do so in other areas of their lives? Do they refuse a doctor’s advice when seriously ill? Do they question aeronautical engineers before they board a plane? Or do they mistrust science only when it points to global catastrophe?

The denial machine is well oiled and is loudly supported by old-energy lobbyists, conspiracy theorists, opportunistic politicians, liars and self-important opinion writers. These writers place themselves above collected scientific wisdom using simplistic unsubstantiated popular chants.

We must refocus on the voices of the overwhelming majority of scientists who warn us that we are fast approaching various environmental tipping points. The science of climate change and the duty it drops in our laps will not go away because of a typo. We must act, otherwise in 2060 there will be hordes of irate youngsters breaking down the doors of nursing homes demanding to know why we ignored the science and trashed the planet.

David Whitcombe

And you can add do David’s list of questions: Does the fact that two Aussie journalists have been nabbed by Media Watch (here and here) making up quotes, fudging the science and misleading the public, i.e., exagerating to make a point, does this prove that all “skeptic” accusations are false?  By the denier logic, the answer is  yes.

Now, take a look at the first several responses, including #6 from our old friend Mark H:

“entire ocean of evidence” Do you mean all the manipulated data from East Anglia University?

Climate change has always been and always will be. Look at an article in the Sunday Herald Sun late Nov 2009. It told us how crocodile skeletons (from 6 different species) had been found in the Sahara. This proves that the Sahara was once some sort of tropical wetland because crocodiles don’t live in deserts. Climate changed and caused a desert to form many many thousands of years before human activity could possibly have been the culprit. You claim that many scientists agree with human induced climate change, but I suspect it has more to do with their attempts at getting Government grants, which they have been very successful.

Laurie | Melbourne – February 17, 2010, 7:01AM

Dave – February 17, 2010, 7:02AM

There is nothing wrong with healthy scepticism. I’m more than happy to be brought around to accept climate change – IF – it can be proven. It hasn’t & I remain sceptical. Especially when there is so much money to be made & so much opportunity for us to be taxed.

Wayne | Canberra – February 17, 2010, 7:18AM

Another thought; I wonder if Krudd could have formed the new world order and prevented the last ice age?

Dave – February 17, 2010, 7:19AM

Excellent article- all this skepticism now seems reminiscant of the tobacco lobby years ago, as they were clutching onto minor studies showing smoking was safe. Tell that to all the people who used that to keep smoking, and then ended up with cancer.

As for irate youngsters breaking down the doors of nursing homes, there’ll be no need. We simply won’t pay your pensions since dealing with the environmental challenges of unabated climate change will make supporting old people unaffordable

John – February 17, 2010, 7:19AM

David, Me thinks you have been limiting your reading to ABC and fairfax. Try reading the Australian occasionally. For a run down of ABC climate change errors see:

http://abcnewswatch.blogspot.com

MarcH – February 17, 2010, 7:15AM

So evolution which has been around for over 100 years is just a theory but man made global warming requiring massive unilateral economic restructuring has achieved fact status which no one may question in a little over a decade?

The problem is that politics is about 20 years ahead of the science on climate change. There has been a massive overreach by the green movement which has cost the movement its credibility and caused genuine, fixable environmental problems to be ignored.

Dave | Sydney – February 17, 2010, 7:14AM

So I guess the alarmists’ fascist approach is back in full swing. Anyone disagreeing with these Chicken Littles must be “shouted down”.

How does “hundreds of scientists” represent an “overwhelming majority”, especially in light of the 31,000 signatories of the Oregon Petition?

“Do they refuse a doctor’s advice when seriously ill?” If the treatment is not backed up by a single scientific study, then yes. Science has as much evidence of our ability to stop climate change as it does of our ability to reverse the rotation of the planet. You can’t assume that the treatment is simply to reverse the process of the ailment.

When you’re talking “heads in the sand”, you can’t go much further than this author. He’s clearly oblivious as to the (still emerging) mountain of evidence of scientific fraud. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to know.

Funny how in the same sentence he accuses others of being conspiracy theorists he talks about our “well-oiled denial machine”.

Prince Planet | nsw – February 17, 2010, 7:30AM

Take a valium, Dave. Then go look at the meteorological records of countries all over the world. Hot weather, Cold weather, insect migrations etc, etc are all event recorded in past records. These events have come and gone. Oceans turned into deserts, including central Australia, just look at the fossils of marine creatures discovered out there, long before the “man-made industrial revolution”. Take control of your hysteria and read objectively with an open mind. Of course Homo-sapiens have changed the environment, but it has changed by itself many times before without so much of our influence.

Sad…

 

7 Responses to Shout down the sceptics

  1. Phil M says:

    Laurie: “Do you mean all the manipulated data from East Anglia University?”.

    They are but one institution & its strange that deniers feel its ok to use their data so long as its one of their poster boys interpreting the data.

    ” Look at an article in the Sunday Herald Sun ”

    Because of course, they are the highest peer reviewed authority that all scientists naturally gravitate towards.

    Wayne: ” IF – it can be proven”.

    This is one of the more amusing tactics of the smoking lobbyists, I mean climate change deniers. You see it on virtually every blog. You can only provide “evidence” as there is no 100% proving anything except in mathematics. Its a circular argument & a strawman. Any evidence shown will be followed by the obligatory “thats not proof” or “thats not evidence” or “those scientists are corrupt” or “that institution is corrupt”.

    Dave: “Another thought; I wonder if Krudd”

    I wonder who Dave votes for? Opposition for ideologies sake? Wait for the cry of “I’m a swinging voter!!”..or “I vote independants”.

    MarcH : “David, Me thinks you have been limiting your reading to ABC and fairfax”

    Methinks MarcH gets all his information from right wing blogs e.g. Australian, Bolt, Akerman, Blair, Anthony Watts….because thats where science gets done.

    “Try reading the Australian occasionally.”

    Why not just go directly to Bolt or Ackermans blog? Its the same thing.

    Dave: ” which no one may question in a little over a decade?”

    No one is stopping you from publishing a peer reviewed paper in one of the top journals which counters the current position…………….your questions ARE scientific arent they? Not just opinions & wives tales that dont stack up to scientific scrutiny… arent they?

    ” There has been a massive overreach by the green movement”

    There has been a massive coordinated attack on science by industry, pr firms, lobby groups & right wing bloggers that would dwarf anything the smoking lobbyists were ever able to achieve & they have only just got started. Two cigarrette producers were able to hold up legislation for 40 years & ruined the careers of many scientists through litigation, all in the name or product defence. This time around, there are HUNDREDS of companies.

    Prince Planet: “How does “hundreds of scientists” represent an “overwhelming majority”, especially in light of the 31,000 signatories of the Oregon Petition?”

    There are deniers that still use the oregon petition as fact? I must admit, when I saw Ginger Spices name on the list I knew it was over for the warmists. I mean, hot arse vs scientific evidence, how could science win? Do you see the difference between scientists & “signatories”?

    Prince Planet , how many major scientific institutes or metereological institutes back the denier position?…….. Oh yeah “0″.

  2. MarcH says:

    Hi John,
    Nice to get a mention. Here’s my letter to SMH that didn’t make the cut. Perhaps you can provide a reason for the absence of the BBC interview in the SMH. I notice Climate shifts have yet to mention it as well. In relation to this do you think I might have a point regarding what SMH readers are missing out on, or don’t you consider contrary views to be of importance?

    David Whitcombe (Shout down the sceptics, Heckler 17/2) should expand his reading. If he had of read a recent BBC interview with British climategate scientist Dr Phil Jones he would have learned that the world has not warmed since 1995; debate over Medieval Warm Period is not settled; the rates of warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were statistically identical – meaning the current rate of warming is not unprecedented; and the world has been cooling since January 2002 at a rate of -0.12C per decade. It seems that the well oiled machine David talks about is being driven by the climate scientists themselves!

  3. Phil M says:

    “David Whitcombe (Shout down the sceptics, Heckler 17/2) should expand his reading. If he had of read a recent BBC interview with British climategate scientist Dr Phil Jones ”

    Like the Daily Mail, it seems you are happy to paraphrase & misquote to suit your cause. Here is the original link for people to read themselves.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm

    What was your problem with posting the link so others could see what you were refering to? Instead of surreptitiously inserting some misquoted text.

    ” he would have learned that the world has not warmed since 1995″

    The question asked to Phil Jones was:

    ” Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming”

    Here is what Phil Jones said:

    “Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods. ”

    MarcH says : “has not warmed since 1995″.
    Phil Jones says : “This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive” & he also says : “Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods. ”

    Looking at the long term trend, there was a slight dip over a ten year period, which is now over. What do you say March now that the 2009-2010 year has gone up again?

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20100121/418335main_land-ocean-full.jpg

    Marc H says : “debate over Medieval Warm Period is not settled”

    Phil Jones says: “There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia. For it to be global in extent the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern Hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions. ”

    Why fabricate what was said MarcH?

    MarcH says : “the rates of warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were statistically identical”

    Phil Jones says : “similar and not statistically significantly different from each other”

    Additionally, 2 of those periods fall under the 30 year trend considered to be a statistically significant trend. Looking at the graph I provided above as a whole, do you honestly expect people to believe that just that 10 year period is somehow significant enough to disregard the rest of the graph?

    MarcH says: “and the world has been cooling since January 2002 at a rate of -0.12C per decade”

    This is just very short term extremely biased cherry picking. What did Phil Jones say?

    Q: “Do you agree that from January 2002 to the present there has been statistically significant global cooling?”

    Phil Jones says : “No. This period is even shorter than 1995-2009. The trend this time is negative (-0.12C per decade), but this trend is not statistically significant.”

    Like Bolt, Akerman & other deniers, MarcH will no doubt be more than happy to continue the fabrication & misquoting & will simply pop up on another blog & repeat exactly the same lies.

    MarcH, Phil Jones also had this to say in that interview:

    Q: “E – How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?”

    Phil Jones answer: “I’m 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 – there’s evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity. ”

    How would you like to paraphrase that one?

    Note to John . I wish quoting was easier in here. I’ll have a practice on another blog here.

  4. OveHG says:

    For a more balanced view MarcH – go to the interview in Nature magazine. http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100215/full/news.2010.71.html

    More facts and less spin!

  5. Phil M says:

    MarcH, this video also goes into great detail with all the points you raise.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/potholer54?blend=1&ob=4#p/a/u/0/_PWDFzWt-Ag

  6. Phil M says:

    For a more balanced view MarcH – go to the interview in Nature magazine.

    OverHG, I’d really like to read that Nature article, however, it says:

    To read this story in full you will need to login or make a payment (see right).

  7. Phil M says:

    Like Bolt, Akerman & other deniers, MarcH will no doubt be more than happy to continue the fabrication & misquoting & will simply pop up on another blog & repeat exactly the same lies.

    Only a couple of days after I said this comment above, John Roskam from the IPA, ( http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=IPA )a right wing think tank, perpetuates the “no warming since 1995″ & attributes it to Phil Jones on Q&A (a political question & answer show) :

    The transcript is not available as yet, but you can hear him say it if you scroll to 33:50 of this show:

    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s2820346.htm?clip=rtmp://cp44823.edgefcs.net/ondemand/flash/tv/streams/qanda/qanda_10_03_03.flv

    The IPA incidently houses other climate change skeptic elites as Jennifer Marohasy & Bob Carter. As I say, they KNOW it is wrong, they know they have taken people out of context, but they simply pop up in different mediums (preferably AM commercial talkback, or fox where they cant be called out) & repeat the same lie again & again in the hope that someone has not seen or heard the previous debunking of their lies & will swallow it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.