This interview below by Tom Minchin took place in a hospital staff room just a few minutes before my presentation in Hamilton City, Victoria at the hospital auditorium. Tom did a much better job than most reporters because not only did he ask useful questions, he recorded it and wrote from that, rather than just taking notebook scribbles that invariably end up in misquotes and misinterpretations. It originally appeared in TIADaily, but has now also been posted to Quadrant Online, with a wider venue. I’ve completed the tour, and I’m headed back to the USA shortly. I’ll be offline for awhile, but I do have a couple of posts scheduled for auto-publish that will appear in my absence. Getting reliable Internet here in AU while on the road has been a challenge, as I’ll explain later.
The project Minchin refers to was “Arbor Day Weather Week”, done in 1990 and 1991 under the auspices of the National Arbor Day Foundation. It was a nationwide project with TV weathercasters to extol the virtues of CO2 sequestration through tree planting to the public that I dreamed up in my shower one day. My inspiration? Dr. James Hansen’s 1988 speech before the U.S. Congress, which I later found out was stagecrafted. I still think tree planting is a good idea, because of all the other benefits they produce, but I don’t worry about Dr. Hansen’s model scenarios like I used to. Though, the Arbor Day Foundation does, starting from the cue I gave so long ago. – Anthony
“Today’s debate about global warming is essentially a debate about freedom. The environmentalists would like to mastermind each and every possible (and impossible) aspect of our lives.”
Blue Planet in Green Shackles
Anthony Watts interviewed
by Tom Minchin
June 30, 2010
“Noble Cause Corruption”
Climate science depends utterly on the integrity of its measurements. In order to extrapolate and make forecasts, there can be no errors in the data. How reliable are the measurements climate scientists use? What happens if their measuring apparatus is altered by something as simple as a coat of paint that lifts the average recordings? Will anyone spot it? And if someone does, what happens if such a desired result matters more than getting the facts straight?
An expert on these questions, Anthony Watts, founder of the most widely visited climate site in the world, the US-based Watts Up With That, (47.3 million hits since the fall of 2007, compared with the leading alarmist site RealClimate’s 11.7 million since December 2004), is wrapping up his national tour at the moment and I spoke to him in Melbourne.
At the start of the interview, Watts, a former TV weatherman, confirmed that he did not begin as a skeptic. As he put it himself with typical bluntness, “I started out actually just being a climate alarmist. I got involved with saving the planet by helping other weather forecasters do the same thing through planting trees. Then when I met the State climatologist in California, his data changed my mind and now I’m a skeptic.”
Watts was not content to let his view rest on someone else’s data. He researched the matter in a wholly original way. Talking to him it became clear just how plain honesty and an inquiring mind are fatal to the alarmist cause. His alertness to measurement problems began well before his skepticism.
read the whole interview at Quadrant Online