Talking about the weather

Harold Ambler needs a bit of a boost,  his book Don’t sell your coat is the American equivalent of Ian Plimers book How to get expelled from school in Australia, but Harold hasn’t gotten 1/10th the publicity like the Mann ‘o Climate Wars book. For example, Mann got air time on ABC in Australia recently which you can watch here:

Full interview plus transcript at:
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3454652.htm

So, since Harold doesn’t get the same sort of press as Mann, I’m trying to help him out a bit. He writes of his recent radio interview.

I had a had a nice time doing a radio interview about my book with talk-show host Ann Marie Spatharakis on WBLQ of Westerly, Rhode Island. A tape of the interview is available here.

We discussed the desire among many green advocates to travel back in time (careful how you set that dial!), the fact that I’ve been an environmentalist all my life, the distorted view of climactic variability communicated by Al Gore’s temperature graph, and solar variability. Fun!

Buy the book here:

Better yet, get a second copy and send it to somebody who really needs to read it.

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49 Responses to Talking about the weather

  1. George says:

    Speaking of the ABC, have you been following Jennifer Marohasy’s blog? Interesting posting today that mentions, for example, their absolutely deceptive reporting on Lord Monckton. Dr. Marohasy isn’t letting them get off easily. They recently sent her a questionnaire, and in it they wanted to know if she receives funding from the Heartland Institute. I thought that was quite an interesting question to come from an Australian news presenter. What would have prompted her to even ask that question? This smells like the ABC program is getting some outside coaching and I have a suspicion of who is doing that coaching. Fenton Communications has now started doing business with two offices in Australia. This smells exactly like the sort of thing they have done with the 60-Minutes program on the US CBS news network. Fenton basically educates the news staff on the issue from their perspective, gives them the entire propaganda pitch, even assists in creating the story. Heck, in the US Fenton will often WRITE the story and send it to the “journalist” for publication under their byline.

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/03/abc-journalist-wendy-carlisle-hatchet-job-exposed/

  2. George says:

    I get a kick out of these guys:

  3. DirkH says:

    Very good radio interview.
    Harold says at 13:00 if he were to poll 100 CNN reporters about fire statistics not one of them would know (that in the past twice or thrice as many acres of forest burned in a year as today in the US). And he says “How could I hold it against them?”.

    To which I say: How could you hold against our media that they do not base their reporting on facts? How could you hold it against them that they are not doing their job; that they only pretend to inform the public? When the public still buys their product because it looks like information and smells like information but is a cheaply produced substitute made from whole cloth. Can you blame a cheat, a liar, a snakeoil salesman for the gullibility of their customers? Is it illegal to spread fairytales on the airwaves with a straight face? No, I don’t think it is.

    Of course, there is also no reason to believe a single word they say. The null hypothesis should always be that they don’t know what they’re talking about. In seldom cases they might accidentally say a true word. A Mark V. Shaney algorithm could do the job.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_V_Shaney

  4. Bruce says:

    Anthony, you probably need a balance with what happens when a sceptic goes on that show. In this case the very same Prof Plimer whose book you linked. Our balanced ABC makes the BBC and PBS look like paragons of balanced-ness or something.

  5. Bob Tisdale says:

    And you could add my book to your reading list, If the IPCC was Selling Manmade Global Warming as a Product, Would the FTC Stop their Deceptive Ads? It is now available for color Kindle readers:

    I published a post about it yesterday.
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/if-the-ipcc-was-selling-manmade-global-warming-as-a-product-now-available-in-kindle-and-pdf-editions/

    The free Kindle Reader for PCs and Macs (and other devices) is available here:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=sv_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771#

  6. Sam Geoghegan says:

    I thought it was a pretty balanced interview on the host’s behalf.
    Mann was desperately trying to construct a narrative. The sceptic funding comments were
    particularly outrageous considering who gets all the grants.
    While the ABC is a blatant advocate of social justice, it’s often easier to watch than blabbering neo-cons like Andrew Bolt who really do make sceptics look like they’re in the pay of big oil.

  7. morgo says:

    Nobody with any brains watches or listens to the ABC in australia so don,t take any notice what they have to say they are all tared with the same brush as the CSIRO a labour gov,t arm,

  8. Peter Miller says:

    Michael Mann – the voice of reasonableness?!?

    Well, if you didn’t know better, you could be convinced.

    If you do know better – and this is a growing problem for the alarmists that more and more people are beginning “to know better”. Eventually, a tipping point (I hate this expression) will be reached when politicians start realising that using bad science arguments to impose draconian taxes, or introduce insane subsidies, to alleviate a non-existent problem is not a vote winner.

    We are not there yet, but we are getting steadily closer.

    And finally, I like many other scientists, find it extremely offensive when Mann uses the expression ‘scientist’ to describe himself. He is a grant addicted, data manipulating, mean-minded, egotistical opportunist who has helped bring science into disrepute by his flagrant abuse of the accepted pillars of scientific research: i) Pal review, not peer review, ii) Refusal to release data, iii) Refusal to release methodology of how data was treated, iv) Cherry picking results, v) Refusal to debate/discuss his results with those of opposing viewpoints, vi) vicious underhanded attacks on anyone who dares criticise his findings, and vii) outright lies about well-established facts, most famously the MWP.

  9. DirkH says:

    Sam Geoghegan says:
    March 17, 2012 at 2:17 am
    “While the ABC is a blatant advocate of social justice, it’s often easier to watch than blabbering neo-cons like Andrew Bolt who really do make sceptics look like they’re in the pay of big oil.”

    Didn’t hear Andrew Bolt blabber by now so maybe you have evidence there that I don’t know of; but to the question of being in the pay of big oil: And if we were, would that make us wrong?.

  10. el gordo says:

    The ABC is on green pills and deluded, not a clue about the science. Eventually they will come around, after debriefing of course.

  11. ozspeaksup says:

    believe me the tipping point:-) has been reached in Aus.
    the majority would happily take the in power mob to the dump and TIP them in!
    as a 20+ yr abc listener I now find it very hard to be bothered turning to their station,
    only the lack of inane adverts makes some programs listenable, but they can maage to infiltrate even cookery music or religious shows with AGW crap.(well the religion bit ie church of gore makes sense)
    sure takes effort to manage that, but they do:-(

  12. cynical scientist says:

    Inconvenient Truth showing again in NZ. :-(

  13. pat says:

    more reason u have to keep on keeping on, anthony:

    15 March: UK Telegraph: John Swaine: Obama hits back at GOP ‘Flat-Earthers’ over rising fuel prices
    Barack Obama struck back at his potential Republican opponents in the row over rising US fuel prices on Thursday, comparing them to medieval “Flat-Earthers” for their attitudes towards renewable energy.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/9146843/Obama-hits-back-at-GOP-Flat-Earthers-over-rising-fuel-prices.html

  14. The good thing is; Mann does not need an awful lot of more rope before he ha— ——-.

    And thanks George I liked the “Video” — 500 million – maybe worth thinking about, but it’s not enough – We’re talking billions or even trillions here.

  15. old44 says:

    Lateline is still having trouble explaining why Joesph Stalin keeps gettin a bad press.

  16. Rob MW says:

    Anthony,

    For me the best part of the ABC (Australia) Mann transcript is this bit: (my bold)

    “MICHAEL MANN: Yeah, so it actually had nothing to do with my work at all. That “hide the decline” was referring to a specific tree ring study by a set of scientists in the UK. In fact they had originally published that study in 1998 in Nature and what their study was about was something that’s known as the divergence problem. Those particular tree ring data that they were working with tracked temperatures very well up through about 1960, and for reasons that scientists are still investigating, and it may have to do with pollution and other factors, those trees stopped tracking temperatures after 1960. And so in their original paper, the main emphasis of that paper was on this problem with those type of tree ring data, this so-called divergence problem, and they were very specific in that paper about how those tree ring data should not be used after 1960 because of that decline in the response to temperature. So in that particular email, Phil Jones was talking about how he didn’t want to show the bad part of that curve, the after-1960 part of that particular tree ring data set, because it’s misleading, because it’s well known that it doesn’t represent temperature after 1960.”

  17. beng says:

    Unfortunately & predictably, UniverseToday panders to Michael Mann & his ilk:

    http://www.universetoday.com/94212/watch-our-live-interview-with-climate-scientist-michael-mann/

  18. Harold Ambler says:

    Re non-anger toward CNN’s reporting team (and those like it at the other news networks): I’m accusing them of a profound, dysfunctional level of ignorance. Keeping a light touch while so doing is how I’m attempting to roll. Good strategy in the long term? Time will tell.

    That Mann continually focuses on imaginary funding by Big Oil of skeptics is indicative of cluelessness or dishonesty, I’m really not sure. Let’s take the case of Steve McIntyre, for instance. No one has done more to make life difficult for Mann, using logic, solid research, and math skills. And Mann must know that McIntyre is not funded by oil interests. He is propelled by intellectual curiosity and a sense of justice, period.

    I like to think that in terms of motivation only and not skill sets I am like McIntyre. As mentioned in a letter to the WSJ the other day that I don’t think is going to be published, I have so far earned in the vicinity of $4,000 dollars pursuing my passion regarding weather and climate over the course of the last four years. This is approximately equal to the weekly flying budget for Al Gore, who is working hard to shrink your carbon footprint.

    I am not proud of the pitiful income that my climate work has generated, not as a man, not as a husband, and not as father (least of all that). But I am proud to know that I am fighting a steady tide of disinformation in the public sphere, including and especially that emanating from Mann.

  19. DirkH says:

    Harold Ambler says:

    March 17, 2012 at 5:38 am

    “Re non-anger toward CNN’s reporting team (and those like it at the other news networks): I’m accusing them of a profound, dysfunctional level of ignorance. Keeping a light touch while so doing is how I’m attempting to roll. Good strategy in the long term? Time will tell. ”

    I guess there’s little else one can do if one wants to keep contact to media people. And some of them, albeit too few, are doing a decent job.

  20. pat says:

    and on and on this goes…and where it goes, nobody knows…

    March/April 2012: Stanford Magazine: Mike Antonucci: The Whole World in His Plans
    Jeff Skoll, one of only 20 people who’ve ever given away $1 billion, hopes his philanthropy can engage everyone in the planet’s survival…
    If you want to save the world, you have to take a lot of meetings.
    That’s not so bad when you’re rendezvousing with people at the Sundance Film Festival or aboard a ship bound for Antarctica…
    Skoll—a billionaire by way of eBay, where he was the first president—wanted to start a film-production company that would foster social change…
    That was 22 Academy Award nominations ago for the company Skoll created, Participant Media. It was before Skoll and others persuaded Al Gore that they could make his slide show into An Inconvenient Truth…
    That applies to his media impact, which he intends to extend to cable or satellite television, and his not-for-profit ventures, which feature goals so planetary that they include an effort to confront nuclear proliferation. The core enterprise is the Skoll Foundation, which since 1999 has awarded some $300 million to an international brigade of social entrepreneurs and organizations. There’s also an investment firm dedicated to ethical money management and TakePart.com, a Participant Media offshoot that works to convert people’s concern about issues into individual and collective action. Finally, there’s the Skoll Global Threats Fund, established three years ago to joust with haunting disaster scenarios: nuclear catastrophe, pandemics, water shortages, climate change and conflict in the Middle East.
    “Sisyphus gets a bad rap,” says Larry Brilliant, who oversees the mountain-moving initiatives of the threats fund. Brilliant, a physician and public health expert who helped drive the worldwide smallpox eradication program in the 1970s, is undeterred by steeply uphill challenges. The former head of Google’s charitable operations, Brilliant relates to the idea that quixotic goals can be rendered manageable. But the scope of Skoll’s vision stunned him. “Nobody ever said to me, here’s a chance to tilt at the toughest windmills in the world.”…
    http://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=47654

  21. Coach Springer says:

    “Climatologist slams intimidation of scientists” Introspection and unbiased observation really aren’t his strong suits, are they?

  22. _Jim says:

    Sam Geoghegan says on March 17, 2012 at 2:17 am:

    While the ABC is a blatant advocate of social justice, it’s often easier to watch than blabbering neo-cons like Andrew Bolt who really do make sceptics look like they’re in the pay of big oil.

    Funny, he comes off as rather well-balanced to this bloke …

    Sane and reasonable would be a short descrip.

    BTW, what’s a ‘neo-con’ down under?

    .

  23. trbixler says:

    Harold
    Just bought your book on Amazon. Sorry that I did not do it sooner. Hats off to woodstove’s efforts.
    Terry

  24. TimTheToolMan says:

    Rob writes “For me the best part of the ABC (Australia) Mann transcript is this bit: (my bold) “MICHAEL MANN: Yeah, so it actually had nothing to do with my work at all. That “hide the decline” was referring to a specific tree ring study by a set of scientists in the UK….”

    Hiding the decline had nothing to do with his work? Wow. I wonder how he sleeps at night. I suspect its got to do with self justification along the lines of “the end justifies the means”.

  25. Paul R says:

    There is a real whiff of desperation coming from the ABBC lately that is as obvious as our “addiction” to fossil fuels as the bloke in the video put it. I wonder why a scientist would use the language of an activist like that?

  26. Patrick Davis says:

    Many alarmists in Aus claim Mann is a climate scientist. I have just one question, when did he qualify in climate sciences?

  27. Patrick Davis says:

    Mann goes on about skeptics being funded by big oil! Where’s my cheque? BP/Shell etc funding the UEA CRU is NOT big oil funding of alarmists?

  28. LeeHarvey says:

    I love that they put Boyy against a backdrop of the White House, to make Australian viewers believe that he represents all of American Government, apparently;

  29. “EMMA ALBERICI: Can I just pick you up on that because of course it became known, as we know, as “Climate-gate” and it’s been picked over extensively. Much has turned on the word “trick” – Mike’s nature trick, ——-.

    MICHAEL MANN: Well, no, in fact in the lingo of scientists – and this is something that’s well known to those who work in science and math and mathematics – the term trick is used by scientists to denote a clever approach to solving a vexing problem and that’s well known within sort of scientific lingo, that that’s what that means. And there are many examples where words —— ——“

    ====

    There is that well known description again; “—— —- well known to those who work in science —“. So – aha, – he used a “clever approach to solving” the problem of a decline that needed to be hidden.

    —- That sounds a lot better,

  30. By the way Anthony —- quite off topic – I found this in my mail-bag. – Just in case you’ve missed it:

    NASA Science News for March 16, 2012
    NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is finding hundreds of new objects at the very edge of the electromagnetic spectrum. Many of them have one thing in common: Astronomers have no idea what they are.

    FULL STORY: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2012/16mar_theedge/
    VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hIF36ty1Eo

  31. Gail Combs says:

    DirkH says: @ March 17, 2012 at 12:33 am

    …To which I say: How could you hold against our media that they do not base their reporting on facts? …. Is it illegal to spread fairytales on the airwaves with a straight face? No, I don’t think it is.

    Of course, there is also no reason to believe a single word they say. The null hypothesis should always be that they don’t know what they’re talking about. In seldom cases they might accidentally say a true word…..
    ________________________
    To illustrate how true this story actually is:

    My Father-in-law owned a small town newspaper. His son, my husband, had won the science fair. The father was sitting at the dinning room table next to his son while he wrote the article for his newspaper. He got the facts ALL WRONG despite the fact the primary source was sitting a few feet away! As he said the only thing you can believe in a newspaper is the sports scores. (No doubt the Mafia would take a dim view if you messed up their numbers running business. snicker)

  32. Eric Webb says:

    Mann makes all his alarmist claims about rising sea level and declining arctic ice, but when you look at the current acrtic sea ice, courtesy of this website, we are near normal, and are currently the highest since 2003. Sure doesnt sound very alarming to me.

  33. Chris B says:

    Is that the White House behind Michael Mann. If so, is his the official US government position.

  34. _Jim says:


    George says on March 17, 2012 at 12:33 am:

    - YouTube Video -
    I get a kick out of these guys:

    That was GREAT!

    I esp. liked this part by Clive Palmer:

    “If we’re not careful, and if you people out there are not careful, the government is gonna run this country. They’re gonna end up running the entire joint. (The elected government?) Yeah. I mean, people have gotta think; do you want to live in a country, that’s run by the government?”

    .

  35. Eric Harpham says:

    Eric The Brick says,
    I read this book 2 months ago. Brilliant! If you haven’t done so already buy it and read it. Gives plenty of ammunition when talking to “fence sitters”. I used to think Margaret Thatcher was great; now realise she set in action the whole man made global warming fiasco. Another case of the law of unintended consequences.

  36. Harold Ambler says:

    @trbixler: No one who buys my book should ever be sorry!

  37. ntesdorf says:

    “Hide” : the word has no place in science whether it refers to a decline or not, but only in magic, conjuring and deception. This is where “Mike’s Nature trick” belongs too.

  38. Nick in Vancouver says:

    Mann also got the chance to plug his book on the CBC Radio show “The Current” Wednesday March 14th, here in Canada. The host mentioned the “hacked” Climategate e-mails and Mann replied that the “trick” was a standard technique in science. I think they were holding hands but it was radio and all, so I can’t be sure, so much for journalism. According to Mann his hockey stick shenanigans have been independently investigated 14 times so far, really?

  39. Ken Methven says:

    Since the publicly funded ABC has a mandate for balanced journalism, I hope they also plan to interview Lord Monckton about the climate wars in response to Mann?

    That’s a program I would tune into…..

  40. dave Harrison says:

    Sam Geoghegan: “I thought it was a pretty balanced interview…”

    I must have seen a completely different interview. In the one I saw the interviewer asked a series of “Dorothy Dixers” to which there were obviously well-rehearsed answers. There was no mention of his refusal to provide data requested under FoE – they even showed the infamous ‘hockey stick’ with no mention that Nature had to print a retraction around it. All in all it was a disgraceful piece of propagandising by ‘Our ABC’ Thank goodness we have Andrew Bolt as a reasoning, dissenting voice.

  41. Sam Geoghegan says:

    Dave Harrison
    I agree that we need Bolt as a dissenting voice -reasoning though?

    Bolt is as ideologically predisposed as the ABC. He is a journalist (barely) and knows nothing of the facts. Like the ABC, he chooses his arguments carefully to corroborate his beliefs but neither
    party displays an ounce of good journalism.
    The problem is, Australian’s are governed by left/right partisan politics, therefore resolutions occur
    as the outcome of tensions between dogged beliefs.- which is hugely inefficient but necessary.

    Essentially, what you are saying is that you accept Bolt’s scripted journalism over Lateline’s.

  42. agimarc says:

    There was a previous article on Universe Today that announced Mann’s interview. I suggested they ask Mann when he would be releasing his e-mails which triggered the predictable response. It only took only the third responded to trot out the “deniers” mantra. For a group of folks that claim to know the science of space, they have an incredible hole regarding the science of manmade global warming. Too bad. Cheers -

    http://www.universetoday.com/94184/upcoming-live-interview-with-climate-scientist-michael-mann/

  43. dave Harrison says:

    Reply to Sam Geoghegan’s reply
    Andrew Bolt makes no pretence: he does not believe the Global Warming alarmists and puts counter arguments – this is how democracy works. The ABC pretends to be unbiased – as it should be under its charter – but only ever puts one side of the argument and is deceptive in its pretence to be ‘reporting’ when it is propagandising. This is how the soviet ‘democracy’ worked.
    I say again thank goodness such as Andrew Bolt are prepared to present the other side.

  44. gregole says:

    Harold,

    Keep up the good work!

    Loved your book too.

  45. Sam Geoghegan says:

    Dace

    I agree with you that democracy needs counter arguments to strike a balance but I fundamentally reject democracy. Bolt is needed because of fundamental flaws in the bi-partisan political machinery. That doesn’t necessarily make him right, it just makes him useful.

  46. Sam Geoghegan says:

    -Jeez I should check before posting, ‘Dace’

  47. Jim G says:

    DirkH says:
    March 17, 2012 at 12:33 am
    Very good radio interview.
    “Harold says at 13:00 if he were to poll 100 CNN reporters about fire statistics not one of them would know (that in the past twice or thrice as many acres of forest burned in a year as today in the US). And he says “How could I hold it against them?”.

    To which I say: How could you hold against our media that they do not base their reporting on facts? How could you hold it against them that they are not doing their job; that they only pretend to inform the public? When the public still buys their product because it looks like information and smells like information but is a cheaply produced substitute made from whole cloth. Can you blame a cheat, a liar, a snakeoil salesman for the gullibility of their customers? Is it illegal to spread fairytales on the airwaves with a straight face? No, I don’t think it is. ”

    The problem is in the educational system. Aside from the drop-out rate the kids that do finish school, and that includes college, learn much less today than they did 40 years ago. And anyone can obtain a degree in just about any discipline, given enough time and money. No brains and not much learning required. So, the “news” people can get away with just about anything.

  48. dave Harrison says:

    Sam Geoghegan states “I fundamentally reject democracy”
    I rest my case. ‘Dace”

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