“Get Carter” and his Supporters, Part B

Guest post by Bob Fernley-Jones (aka Bob_FJ)

Caution; this in Anglo-Oz English, and e.g. ABC = Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and red emphasis is mine.

In Part A we discussed how Professor Bob Carter was shamefully treated by two branches of ABC radio and TV. Now in Part B, we mainly look at how his supporters on commercial radio also got the big knife from the guy pictured:

Jonathan Holmes

In the ABC TV Media Watch programme of 21/March/2011, the presenter Jonathan Holmes (JH) whinged about some five or six commercial radio host supporters of Professor Bob Carter, from all around Oz. The record is available as a transcript and video here. My impression from JH’s body language and voice was that he was targeting those guys in a rather unfriendly way, and I can understand that to a degree. However, out of his eighteen targetted quotes, only one was plainly a problem, and when I elaborated on that and sought clarification from JH, this was his reply:

JH Email, 13/April: I did not suggest that (other than Alan Jones’s nonsense about CO2 [1].) there was anything actually wrong with the claims made by the other radio talkback hosts when they trotted out statistics garnered from ‘sceptical’ websites [2a]. My point is that they like to impress their listeners with ‘science’, while never giving any space to those who actually do the science that they so deride.

Ah, OK, so commercial radio is biased on climate change, even if there is mostly nothing wrong in what a few part-time targeted hosts said. (some of them AKA “shock jocks”)

Then, as a yardstick of truth, JH also briefly discussed matters raised by the Oz government’s very influential climate change advisor:

JH: But one reason that [pro-CAGW] people are so angry is that fewer and fewer believe that human-induced global warming is actually happening [4]. And that’s while the actual scientific evidence, as the government’s adviser Professor Ross Garnaut [3] said last week, shows that it’s happening more rapidly than the IPCC forecast just four years ago[2b]

Ross Garnaut:and I call that an awful reality because it would be much better if the opposite were true.— ABC Radio, PM, 10th March, 2011

JH: Well, what does Ross Garnaut know? [rather sarcastically]

Alan Jones: What do you make of this galoot Garnaut, the Federal Government’s climate change head-kicker? …‘The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence is telling us climate change is happening’ – well of course it’s happening ha ha course climate change is happening ya dunce, but is it being created by man-made carbon dioxide emissions? They don’t want to face that question. — 2GB Sydney, The Alan Jones Breakfast Show, 18th March, 2011

Well yes, Mr Jones is typically colourful about it, but he does raise a valid question. For instance, JH & Garnaut’s claims are clearly wrong because, put simply, the IPCC projected in 2007, an average global warming of +0.2 C, degrees/decade, near term. However, there has actually been a slight cooling (or if you prefer, a plateau), over the last decade or more [5].

JH then had this to say in quantifying the bias by some of the radio hosts, via interpretation of a listing requested from the Fairfax Radio group in short time:

JH: This year, Fairfax Radio stations 2UE, 4BC, 3AW and 6PR have interviewed only four qualified climate scientists who accept the reality [2c] of man-made global warming. One has appeared on Melbourne’s 3AW, the three others on the breakfast and morning programs on Perth’s 6PR.

Not one orthodox climate scientist – not one – has been interviewed by any of the climate sceptics on Fairfax stations.

It is relevant to note that: a) JH commented in his show that some “climate scientists” are reluctant to appear on commercial radio when invited [7], and b) that he considers that economist Ross Garnaut, is highly qualified to comment on the science. (although I doubt if he would be interested in appearing on commercial radio). In truth, various other economists etc have had their significant viewpoints adequately explored on those stations, (even if “orthodox scientists” may be shy to do so), as elaborated further below.

But beforehand, here we go: JH abbreviating the commercial radio Code of Practice:

JH: it says licensees must ensure that:

reasonable efforts are made …

to present significant viewpoints [6] when dealing with controversial issues of public importance…

If we refer to the Fairfax listings, it seems to me that there are likely to have been some thirty “significant viewpoints” expressed, not just four, as complained by JH. It’s an estimate because I don’t have time to try and find and analyse the over thirty past broadcasts that seem to apply. Oh, but anyway, I noticed by chance that the listing for station 6PR is incomplete, because it omits Paul Murray’s interview of David Suzuki on 23/Feb. (BTW: Prof Suzuki has uttered abuse to the effect; sceptics should all be jailed).

Here is my quick count of significant viewpoints, opposing the sceptics, as revealed in the list, link repeated. (legend; ? = not available): 2GB = ?; 2UE = 2; 3AW = 3; 4BC = 18; 5AA = ?: 6PR = 8; MTR = ?

Returning to Prof Carter himself, JH also had this to say on the show:

JH: Bob Carter, a marine geologist, routinely describes climate scientists as…

Prof Bob Carter: …a very small cabal that actually don’t study climate change, they study weather change… but the expert group of scientists on climate change… is the people you’ve just referred to, geologists — 6PR, Perth, Mornings with Paul Murray, 11th March, 2011

However, that is a tad truncated, and here is a fuller version according to Email advice from Media Watch staff:

Prof Bob Carter: Because what you’re [Paul Murray] calling climate scientists are a very small cabal that actually don’t study climate change, they study weather change…and they have 150 years of instrumental measurements. And I don’t want to be rude about either of those measurements or the people who study them. They are very important in understanding weather processes and in the longer term weather processes are also climate processes… but the expert group of scientists on climate change… is not the meteorologists, it’s not the atmospheric physicists and it’s certainly not the computer modellers. It is the people you’ve just referred to, geologists whose profession is looking at environmental change over time.

Doesn’t sound like a routine dismissal of all climate scientists to me. There are a few things in there that could be discussed, but I’ll leave it there for any visitors to consider.

Perhaps the ultimate irony is that whilst JH complains of climate change bias by a few commercial radio hosts, his own ABC is arguably worse in their flagship programmes. See part A, link repeated here.


[1] Here is the single “shock jock” false claim that JH quoted:

Alan Jones: Nature produces nearly all of the carbon dioxide in the air. Human beings produce point 001 percent of the carbon dioxide in the air… — 2GB Sydney, The Alan Jones Breakfast Show, 15th March, 2011

The only relevant podcast that I could find which nearly gave that was actually on 10/March. He fundamentally claimed that total human contribution is 3%, and Oz human contribution is 1% of global. The human caused portion of CO2 in the AIR is commonly simplistically quoted at 28-30%, but there is not universal agreement what with rational arguments against. (e.g. Segalstad). The 3% figure quoted by Alan Jones may relate to the amount surviving in the air as a proportion of the much larger natural total CO2 cycle, as implied in the IPCC 2001 report. However, this too is controversial because of extreme complexity coupled with uncertainty. See also the nuff-said complex construction in the 2007 report; chapter The Natural Carbon Cycle. (phew!)

[2] The ABC Chairman, Maurice Newman complained in an address to staff in March 2010, that ABC journalists exhibited “group-think” on climate change, and that they should change and become impartial and investigative if the reputation of the ABC is to be upheld. (paraphrasing). And, there is this: EXTRACT:…Sources said the speech drew an immediate rebuke from the ABC’s Media Watch presenter Jonathan Holmes, who rose to his feet and said he was angered by Mr Newman’s remarks… (BTW; The Editor-in-Chief, is the MD, not the Chairman). So, here we go with some examples, of improved “investigative journalism and impartiality“, more than a year later:

[2a] JH: …[on bias in some radio talkback hosts] …when they trotted out statistics garnered from ‘sceptical’ websites… (How does he know their sources?)

[2b] JH: while the actual scientific evidenceshows that it’s happening more rapidly than the IPCC forecast just four years ago… (Not true; slight cooling, not forecast warming)

[2c] JH:scientists who accept the reality of [serious] man-made global warming… (Reality?)

[3] Elsewhere Prof Garnaut has referred to recent weather events as demonstrating that AGW is worsening. Yet, for instance, the disastrous recent floods and cyclone Yasi in Queensland were NOT unprecedented, and logically were NOT related to AGW. (despite the doomsayer talk). (See this, for one of several recent global perspectives). BTW, a tad off-topic, Garnaut also has a controversial environmental post as Chairman of LIHIR Gold, when that company dumped tailings into the sea off that Papua New Guinean island. (environmental controversy as measured by very many articles on the www…. and the practice is not permitted in various countries…. make of it as you may).

[4] The number of Oz non-believers in human-caused climate change has recently been quoted to be around 50%.

[5] Slight global cooling (or a plateau) is typically demonstrated over the past decade or so in this Hadley/CRU graph. In that graph, consider the annual data in red, NOT the controversial suggested black line smoothing for the last decade. (See link for more info on the Hadley/CRU 21-year smoothing methodology, and their dodgy treatment over the final 10 years). Or, if you prefer, there is this satellite data.

[6] In the generic semantics of the ABC, significant viewpoints translates as: “principal relevant perspectives“, and their application of this has allowed non-scientists to dispute the views of scientists. (which describes ABC impartiality)

[7] Concerning scientists reluctant to appear on commercial radio:

JH: We approached four eminent Australian climate scientists who do sometimes appear on radio and TV. Most told us that on the rare occasions they’ve been asked by commercial radio stations to debate climate science, they’ve agreed, (though Professor Will Steffen of the ANU’s Climate Change Institute told us

Prof Steffen: I sense a degree of burnout in the scientific community (in relation to engaging with media like talkback radio), and this is regrettable but completely understandable.) — Professor Will Steffen, Executive Director, ANU Climate Change Institute, 18th March, 2011

JH: Professor Andy Pitman of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales explained why he now declines requests from radio sceptics.

Prof Pitman: It would be like asking a cardiologist to respond to the well known theory that humans do not have a heart and cardiologists only claim we have a heart so they can make lots of money claiming to operate on them. — Professor Andy Pitman, Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW, 17the March, 2011

Well there we go; there’s nothing like a sound professorial scientific analogy, what?

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May 14, 2011 10:07 pm

These articles in The Australian summarise some of the problems with ABC’s coverage…
Aunty is mistaken but not malicious
Bias at the national broadcaster is as easy as ABC

May 14, 2011 10:27 pm

What a riot of confusion and chest pounding is outlined here! If you want, instead, a discussion of the claims of climate science and some responses to skeptical arguments visit
Reply: Oh sure, let’s listen to the cartoonist

May 14, 2011 10:28 pm

Pro AGW climate change.
Professor Andy Pitman, Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW\
Professor David Karoly is Professor of Meteorology and an ARC Federation Fellow in the School of Earth Sciences
Professor Will Steffen, Executive Director, ANU Climate Change Institute
Ove Hoegh-Guldberg s Professor and Director of the Centre for Marine Studies at the University of Queensland.
Dr Tim Flannery, doctorate the University of New South Wales in Palaeontology.
Anti AGW climate change.
Dr Bob Carter, Research Professor at James Cook University
Dr Ian Plimer, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide
Dr David Evans, Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering obtained from Stanford University,
Dr David Archibald, author, scientist operating in the fields of cancer research, oil exploration and climate science.
Basically these are the two teams. All are highly qualified scientists.
The ABC TV and Radio cover the first group extensively, whenever there is a climate change question the first group are called in for comment.
The commercial radio stations cover the second group, whenever there is a climate change question the second group are called in for comment.
seems balanced to me.

Patrick Davis
May 14, 2011 10:47 pm

Australia is doomed. Qantas, the national air carrier, is now being “fined” on EU bound flights because Australia does not have a “price on carbon” or ETS. Gillard pays lots of attention to Ross “Gold Mine” Garnaut, the Govn’ts climate change adviser. This is a bit like asking a brick layer about brain surgery.
However, there does seem to be a bit of a groundswell of opinion against Gillard’s “carbon” tax. People are begining to see that the tax is all about returning the Govn’t to surplus before the 2013 election and little to do with the environment. The Greens have “shelved” their plans on emissions reductions as well.
Or maybe the early snow, or possibly the recent coldest night in Canberra in 74 years might be factors in the recent change in opinion.

May 14, 2011 11:06 pm

But one reason that [pro-CAGW] people are so angry is that fewer and fewer believe that human-induced global warming is actually happening
And even fewer are going to believe that warming causes cooling when the winter of 2011/2012 gets underway. By the way, that’s election winter in the US 🙂
The name on the bus is NINO.

May 14, 2011 11:10 pm

I find Andy Pitman the most interesting believer-commentator on this debate because he is apparently entirely unselfconsious, and so entirely unaware of the irony in his reasoning.
Holmes gives “Professor Andy Pitman of the Climate Change Research Centre” explaining his reason for not responding to sceptics of Climate Change:

It would be like asking a cardiologist to respond to the well known theory that humans do not have a heart, and cardiologists only claim we have a heart so they can make lots of money claiming to operate on them.

If we put to one side the persuasive suggestion that the knowledge of AGW is as sure as the knowledge that we have a heart beating in our breasts, then what we have left is a very stong suggestion that this person’s job and his profession would be rather well assured if we all did in fact believe that this was the case.
Mike Hulme, the founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research — now touring Downunder and on an ABC radio near you — has precisely the same problem of vested interest, of which he also seems blindly unaware, despite his pretensions to the social scientist’s awareness of the inescapable subjectivism of their practice.

May 14, 2011 11:48 pm

Liberals on climate sound like the NYTs extolling America about the Russian wheat harvest and gold reserves.

May 14, 2011 11:51 pm

Censorship on the Oz ABC is something to be experienced to believe. They will let you post but, when a warmista critiques you they will throw your responses into the bit-bucket. Effectively, making you look like your argument is invalid. Also, good luck posting links to real scientific evidence which refutes CAGW, they’ll have none of that.
I’ve also been called many names and had abuse hurled at me from all corners, but question a warmita’s motives or education and your post breaks editorial policies. Not that you will ever be able to get a response in to the mud slinging which is allowed to happen on ABC Online.
If you want to see the face of tyranny, stop by the ABC and observe it for yourself.

May 14, 2011 11:52 pm

I am not allowed to login at that skeptical non-science site. I was block after pointing out errors and omissions in the site owners rantings about the MWP. He doesn’t seem to enjoy it when you point out peer-reviewed science that contradicts his nonsense.

May 14, 2011 11:59 pm

This comment is not directly related to Professor Bob Carter, however it does relate to a media, namely CNN having an article lamenting the difficulty in changing people’s minds on climate change.
See: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/blogs/in-the-persuasion-game-beware-the-backfire-effect
The article was extremely biased and it starts:
“In the persuasion game, beware the backfire effect
For a generation, activists have built their protest movement on the scientific facts of climate change. But the facts of another kind of science — neuroscience — indicate that this only reinforces the point of view of the unconvinced.”
However there are many comments supporting both sides. Perhaps some WUWT readers may wish to reach a totally different audience. I just posted the following there:
“It seeks to answer a question that has puzzled me for years: why, when the evidence is so strong, and so many agree that this is our greatest problem, are we doing so little about climate change?”
Perhaps that is the problem, namely that the evidence is not that strong for AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming). According to two different satellite data sets, RSS and UAH, 1998 was the warmest modern day record year. And so far, 2011 is one of the coolest of the last 15 years.

Henry Galt
May 15, 2011 12:04 am

eudoxus says:
May 14, 2011 at 10:27 pm
If you are not just a drive by and are still here, reading; Please don’t taint a serious argument with reference to irrelevancy and wilful ignorance, not to mention censorship on a grand scale. Give it your best shot at describing the issues in your own words, otherwise we may presume you have not done the leg-work and are merely parroting what you would like to believe. Enter the debate on this un-settled science. Present your case.
Your reference, no matter how risible, was allowed here. Mine NEVER are at that place. (And I mean never. Ever.) I do get a kick out of that though.
Please use this as a learning experience. Some of us dogs are very old and still find new, exciting and revitalising stuff to absorb here. Every day.

May 15, 2011 12:06 am

The Australian Broadcasting Commission Bias is an in-built leftist desire to be in a position to dictate/indoctrinate against right wing influences. If Tony Abbot the opposition leader was spruiking for a carbon tax to combat Climate Change, Johnathan Holmes, Tony Jones, and the rest of the ABC “labor darlings” would be screaming down any suggestion of Global Warming -and falling over themselves to interview sceptical scientists!! The political bias is so bad and so well entrenched.
The pressure is building so hard now in Australia, with sentiment running so heavily against Julie Gillard and her “rust bucket greens” marriage of convenience AND the notion of Australians having to deal rising cost of living along with extra carbon taxes to pay for labor’s economic stuff ups that have wasted so many tax dollars in the abortive insulation rort and now the set top box rort and the billion dollar black hole belted in the budget by labor left open door boat invitations, not to mention other economic disasters hidden in the detail. I reckon we are almost certain to be heading back to the polling booths. So much for the independents that threw their hat in with the Greens and Julia, hoping they might draw parliamentary golden salaries in that odd lot.
Oakshott will be famous as “wipeout oneshott” and his odd couple mate, that joined him has already read the writing on the wall and knows he won’t be elected, so won’t contest the election and one issue Wilkie will fade into the sunset.
Julia will go for broke – well, we would be broke anyway, if she stays in power! and, try and ditch the troublesome Greens along with independents, relying on the ABC and other compliant media to play the man, to discredit Abbot or Mister RABBIT as she crudely calls him.
All wrapped up in the playground mimicry of politics and if it suits her she will ditch the carbon tax unless she hopes to paint Abbot into a brown corner on the issue.
It never was about the science, just political leverage…grist for the mill.

Christopher Hanley
May 15, 2011 12:16 am

It’s silly to claim humans don’t have a heart, when over 98% of cardiologists are over 90% certain that over 50% of humans probably do and anyway, if humans didn’t have hearts there would be no cardiologists because they’d be sued out of business — I’m being flippant.
The mere existence of ‘climate change’ scientists, in Andy Pitman’s mind, seems adequate proof of dangerous human induced climate change. It’s a circular argument.
Climate change science (as currently practiced) in its use of exaggeration, vague unfalsifiable claims, over reliance on confirmation rather than refutation and lack of openness, more closely resembles naturopathy, homeopathy, reflexology or acupuncture.
Although many ‘alternative medicine’ practitioners may sincerely believe their claims, they’re certainly in it for the money.

May 15, 2011 12:58 am

The human caused portion of CO2 in the AIR is commonly simplistically quoted at 28-30%, but there is not universal agreement what with rational arguments against. (e.g. Segalstad).
Segalstad and the radio station are wrong on this point. Segalstad talks about the proportion of human CO2 to the natural circulation, which indeed is about 3%. But the human CO2 is 100% additional, while the natural CO2 is only going back and forth over the seasons (thus is only circulating) within a year and in fact shows a net deficit (more sink than source) removing about halve the amount (in quantity, not in origin) of the human addition. That means that (near) 100% of the measured increase (of about 30%) in quantity is from human (fossil fuel burning) origin, while less than 10% of the CO2 molecules in the atmosphere still are from fossil fuel burning, the rest is already exchanged (not removed!) with natural CO2 from (deep) oceans and vegetation.

May 15, 2011 12:58 am

janama says: May 14, 2011 at 10:28 pm
Basically these are the two teams. All are highly qualified scientists.

Janama, would you expand on the term ‘highly qualified scientist’ in relation to the discussion on CAGW or AGW please.
I flew to Sydney to hear A Pitman speak as I wished to learn more about the science. I also attended a talk by I Plimer the same day. Pitman’ main point was the need for psychology to be included and used in the promotion of communicating AGW. I Plimer’ talk was the science.
Sitting there with my 17 year old daughter who was in her last year of secondary school, deliberating under grad science, we both clearly remember Pitman finishing loudly with ‘what if I am right and you are wrong’ in response to the questions from the audience. It was definitely a history lesson in the Spanish Inquisition (real time).
All in all, for a 17 year old it was also an excellent lesson in (and about) the sciences and whether to choose that vocation. And which university to attend. Additionally QANTAS performed an amazing feat that day, as east-coast airports were shut down due to dust storms and the backlog of passengers was tremendous. We were able to get home that night, after leaving in the morning! http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/sydney-turns-red-dust-storm-blankets-city-20090923-g0so.html
Pitman’s presentation http://www.thesydneyinstitute.com.au/speaker/andy-pitman/

wes george
May 15, 2011 1:29 am

Bias is fine for COMMERCIAL media corporations. It’s called freedom of expression. If a privately owned media corporation decides to be pro-CAGW or anti-CAGW, no worries, mate. You don’t have to watch or subscribe. The NYT and the Wall Street Journal are both biased. So is Fox. They report, you decide. All good.
But the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is like the old Soviet Pravda. It is entirely government owned and taxpayer funded. The ABC has absolutely no right to present biased reporting either pro and con any issue. The ABC’s legal charter makes it perfectly clear that the ABC must represent both sides of every argument clearly WITHOUT bias.
The ABC’s role is to help ensure that the Australian citizenry is objectively inform on all topics, thereby strengthening our democracy. In this the ABC has utterly and absolutely knowingly and maliciously failed. The ABC is total propaganda when it comes to climate. They’re aware of this problem, but they are so self-righteous and morally superior they can’t control themselves. As a institutional culture there is no hope that the ABC can ever report the news, any news, without a very special kind of bias.
The ABC is relentless skewed to the left of center. 24-7-365. It is strongly pro-government, pro-collectivist, pro-regulation when labor and the greens are in power and radically anti-government when the conservative parties are in power.
On climate-related news, I doubt whether Climategate was ever even mentioned by the ABC, at least not in a timely or contextual manner. Almost every day for the last decade the ABC has piled on some level of support for the most wildly robust catastrophic versions of AGW, but has almost never entertains the skeptical position and only then to frame skepticism as extremist “denialism.”
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has fallen so far short of its legal duty to present unbiased news, that there is substantial reason to revoke its charter and sell off the media assets when the conservative coalition regains control of the parliament. Should the ABC wish to pursue its collectivist, statist and climate alarmist agenda as a private corporation, that’s called freedom of speech. Enjoy.
Until then the ABC is nothing more than the ministry of information for the Labor/Green coalition enforcing collectivist group think and climate orthodoxy with taxpayer funds.
What business does a federal government have producing it’s own journalism in the 21st century anyway? What happened to separation of powers? As the ABC illustrates it’s a recipe for total corruption.

May 15, 2011 1:46 am

I think the assesment of “a bit of a ground swell” is a little short of the mark.
Once word gets out that the Lower House has past a motion supporting a “price on carbon” the quite ground swell will turn into a tsunami.
From the most recent demonstrations, I saw the biggest cross section of people representing all spectrum the demographic.
People had actually closed businesses allowing employees to travel to demonstrations.
The vast majority of the demonstrators travelled by family car, not bussed in uni students. Most demonstrators booked flights and accomodation. It is possible we are about to see something we haven’t seen before, and learnt how to deal with.
Have you ever been on the wrong end of another kids mother’s tirade? Not pretty and damn near nothing you can do about it. Right or wrong, don’t upset Mum.
Mum was out there demonstrating and they are P&^#sed.

May 15, 2011 2:18 am

I don’t have an issue with Media Watch’s appraisal of the issue. The ABC take a fairly mainstream view of climate change- big surprise, but Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt and others, throw around agenda and blanket statements all the time. Moderate conservatives see them as poison who repeatedly reinforce the view that conservatives are idiots.
Monckton has been largely dismissed for keeping their company and my advise to you Watts, is to stay away -that goes for Jo Nova as well, who is another whose agenda is transparent.
We can no longer use the left’s pro environment/pro welfare bias as an excuse to endorse the views of the Murdoch empire, the Glenn Becks, O’Reilllys et al. We have good reason to be sceptical about climate change but associating with the acolytes of the uber conservative- as the ABC rightly points out, is the best way to dumb your message and be dismissed for your quackery.
I do however acknowledge that it’s the tension between both extremes that yields balance, it’s just an irritating process to endure.

amicus curiae
May 15, 2011 2:34 am

recent News polls rated 70% against JuLiars carbon tax, and well over 50% on sceptical of carbon.
ABC (NON)science show this sat am was yet another R Williams masterpiece of very careful leading of questions and manipulation of replies.
as always he sledged any opposing views and they really went to town on anyone Denying their tales, as mentally unbalanced.
struck me that simply changing the word believers…and delusional denial of the truths about cooling, would have made more sense.
how cold and how early the cold is, is the main conversation round town. rural people really notice as the lambs die, plants die off. Suburbias UHI buffers that for city folk.

May 15, 2011 2:42 am

eudoxus says:
May 14, 2011 at 10:27 pm
Ha bloody ha! I visited that site a couple of years ago, thinking it was probably a sensible place to get some info, given its name – but I found it sham front for pro-AGW peddling and have never been back since.

Martin Brumby
May 15, 2011 3:18 am

Our Aussie chums are dead lucky if they can access sceptical thoughts on radio.
In “The Old Country” the BBC holds sway and peddles cAGW nonsense with a vengeance.
Although we had the “Great Global Warming Swindle” on independent Channel 4 (TV) a few years ago, that looks pretty much like a one-off.
So far as radio is concerned, I’m not aware of ANY commercial or regional radio station in Pommie land that permits a sceptical voice to be raised. Please post here if anyone knows of even one!
Certainly the Beeb will occasionally give a very brief sound bite to a sceptic. But only as a counterpoint to some true believer who is allowed to pontificate about the (expertly ‘modelled’) FACTS.
Good on ‘yer, Aussies! Keep on plugging away! In my (somewhat limited) experience there is a way-smaller proportion of the Aussies who have their heads lodged permanently up their arses than seems to be the case in the UK.
Supporting evidence?
The fact that they do occasionally debate cAGW in the Aussie parliament!
Absolutely more than we can say.

Christopher Hanley
May 15, 2011 3:21 am

“The commercial radio stations cover the second group, whenever there is a climate change question the second group are called in for comment.
seems balanced to me…”
……except that anyone is free to buy shares in Fairfax Media Limited (not advisable at present IMHO), whereas all taxpayers must support ‘our’ ABC.

Mark in Oz
May 15, 2011 3:23 am

I gave up on the ABC years ago, their audience reach is in low single figures these days. Not satisfied with that, they seem determined to reduce it even further to an ever diminishing rump of “holier-than-thou” ultra leftists.

May 15, 2011 3:59 am

I am having a similar discussion with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and a radio program called The Link. Under our 1991 Broadcasting Act, the CBC is obliged to present both sides of any issue that is of public interest. The initial response to my complaint was that there is only one side to CAGW, since the science is settled. The presenter of the specific show I complained about has been away, and is supposed to return tomorrow (Monday). I am supposed to hear from him shortly after that. We will see. I am, of course, in no position to anything drastic to the CBC, like going to court. All I can hope for is that I can find a journalist who sees that the CBC really ought to obey the law.

May 15, 2011 4:08 am

Jessie asks : would you expand on the term ‘highly qualified scientist’ in relation to the discussion on CAGW or AGW please.
it’s a good question isn’t it. what exactly is a qualified scientist, or a qualified anything really – is that cardiologist more qualified than the other one?
I’ve experienced just as much disputation and diversity of supposed correct medical science by cardiologists as I’ve observed amongst climate scientists.
that’s what science is about – unresolved disputation.

mick muller
May 15, 2011 4:15 am

Am I the only one who finds it strange that the no 1 proponent of anthropogenic climate change in Australia is an economist, the no 1 in America is a politician, and the no 1 in the UN is a railroad engineer?? So much for the experts.

Barry Day
May 15, 2011 4:44 am

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
natural CO2 is only going back and forth over the seasons (thus is only circulating)…(end quote)
I think that would be so,IF there was NOT ANY INCREASE of Co2 from EXTRA INCREASED seismic and submarine volcanic activity over the last 3 decades,and it’s not at all a surprising “INCREASE of Co2” as we are nearing the overdue 13 thousand yr cycle,the 65 million yr cycle, in fact we are approaching a conjunction of many cycles,a harmonic cycle where in every case there has been an “INCREASE of Co2” See the Ice core records.

May 15, 2011 5:19 am

eudoxus Reur May 14, 2011 at 10:27 pm
Erh you seem to miss the point. It is not about whom has the best science, but that there is bias in the ABC in presenting only the so-called consensus as being the true religion.

May 15, 2011 5:37 am

janama Reur May 14, 2011 at 10:28 pm
You infer that balance is achieved between the ABC and commercial radio.
No, they have two different audiences. The relevant flagship SCIENCE programme on the ABC that us tax-payers fund is “THE SCIENCE SHOW”. This is the programme which should show balance, and weight proportionally to the public opinion of ~50% so-called denial. (per ABC Editorial Policies of 13/April/2011)

Peter Walsh
May 15, 2011 5:45 am

Mick Muller says:
“Am I the only one who finds it strange that the no 1 proponent of anthropogenic climate change in Australia is an economist, the no 1 in America is a politician, and the no 1 in the UN is a railroad engineer?? So much for the experts.”
Here in Ireland we can beat that.
The main proponent of cAGW here is an elderly, long grey haired ARCHITECT who got a little famous on TV when he presented a building programme some years ago.
Now he pontificates ad nauseum about Climate Change crap, green energy, wind turbines etc.
I am sick of the sight of this idiot.

Mark in Oz
May 15, 2011 5:59 am

Peter Walsh @ 5:45
Count your blessings Peter, you kicked out all the Greens last election, didn’t you?
We probably have to wait another 30 months for our chance.

Tom Harley
May 15, 2011 5:59 am

I too abandoned watching ABC and SBS, after discovering Science on the Internet through sites like CA and WUWT. These led me to still more, and eventually I come to the conclusion with both ABC and SBS, they must be sold off to the highest bidder, (if there is one), and pay off Labor’s ballooning debt. A policy that Conservatives I’m sure would be happy to see in the Internet Age.

May 15, 2011 7:17 am

Barry Day says:
May 15, 2011 at 4:44 am
Co2 from EXTRA INCREASED seismic and submarine volcanic activity over the last 3 decades
Volcanic activity CO2 is less than 1% of human emissions, undersea volcanoes mix with the deep sea pool, don’t mix with the atmosphere (and all volcanic emissions have the wrong 13C/12C composition). Even the Pinatubo eruption shows no CO2 increase, to the contrary (due to the resulting temperature drop). The ice cores show CO2 levels between 180 and 300 ppmv, following temperature changes over the last 800,000 years, until 150 years ago. Not by coincidence following the human emissions with some 50%, we are now 100 ppmv higher than in the past for the same temperature, where humans have emitted some 200 ppmv CO2 in the same period.
I am not aware of the influence of long(er) term cycles other than the glacial/interglacial periods of the past several million years on CO2 levels. It would be very coincidential that any natural fluctuation would follow the human emissions with such an exact ratio…

Peter Walsh
May 15, 2011 7:58 am

Mark in Oz @5.
Mark, thanks for the reminder about our Greens “massacree” here. Yes, we did, and I am always delighted to add, that here in North County Dublin, we got rid of our Green member of parliament. I have no doubt they are planning on a return in 4/5 years. Good luck with your bunch of crazies in Oz next time around, particularly “Little Red” lying Gillard!

May 15, 2011 8:27 am

That was about the most painful thing I have ever read in my life. Anglo-Oz english?

May 15, 2011 8:30 am

wes george says:
May 15, 2011 at 1:29 am
What you said.
And additionally IMHO there is a big difference between State Media (in the US, NPR, old Soviet Union, Pravda, Britain, BBC) and commercial media. If a “shock jock” on a commercial radio station comes across with a slanted or apparently biased or even extreme presentation on some particular issue, so what? That is what they are paid by their listeners to do. They are, after all, entertainers to a great degree. If you are not entertained, turn off the radio/TV/get off the blog whatever. Personally I have never been able to stomach those types – that’s just me – I’m sensitive I suppose. And if they are wrong in fact, then have a field day arguing with them and cheering on your side. Bully, bully.
But government media and government sponsored media is a horse of a different color. Somehow I get the feeling that these days, public media is trying to be some kind of anti-commercial, shall we say, right-biased media, instead of making the effort to be objective. To illustrate my point, can anyone cite an honest series of coverages of any of the salient points of the climate debate post Climategate, specifically Climategate, Copenhagen’s utter failure, and the whitewash pseudo-investigations? Not one that I know of.
Problem as I see it is that State run media is far from objective on the conjecture of Man-Made Catastrophic Climate Change and is in full tilt believer mode (Welcome the new mini-Pravdas: ABC, BBC, and NPR). If they are backing the wrong horse (it appears they are) then our best hope is operational democracy and the power of the vote as (and it may take a while) democratically elected leaders are eventually and systematically voted out of office for their foolishness.
State-run media in democracies have no business taking sides in a debate like Man-Made Climate Change due to the chilling effect on science as it presents the appearance of a state-sponsored version of the truth. Bravo for Dr. Carter and many others for having the courage to stand up to this abuse and for standing up for the truth.

Richard M
May 15, 2011 8:50 am

eudoxus says:
May 14, 2011 at 10:27 pm

If you are interested in the opinion of a real physicist instead of a cartoonist try:

R. de Haan
May 15, 2011 10:19 am

Not entirely off topic:
Clinton proposes Internet Ministry of Propaganda

Brian H
May 15, 2011 11:14 am

Nick says:
May 15, 2011 at 1:46 am

Interesting post. But being fully oddly Oz doesn’t excuse using “past” for “passed”, and “quite” for “quiet”. >:(
Excellent! The flora of the globe have eaten themselves into borderline CO2 starvation. It’s time for we fauna to pick up our game. I propose a target of 2,000 ppm by 2100! Or 2050 would be even better.

May 15, 2011 11:19 am

An early commenter suggested going to skepticalscience.com for a “non-confused” discussion of the climate science……So I did.
This is where I went:
Climate Change Denial: Head in the Sand
There was, at the time I visited, 4 comments. I noted the comment policy prohibits political comments…..and yet, each and every one of the 4 comments makes a political comment. Zero discussion of the science, or the climate.
Two points to recognize from that. First, they don’t enforce their own policy, and 2nd, commenters lack the basic scientific understanding of the issue and look towards an armed power to enforce their beliefs.
REPLY: Did you try leaving a critical comment? – Anthony

Brian H
May 15, 2011 11:31 am

Mark in Oz says:
May 15, 2011 at 5:59 am
Peter Walsh @ 5:45
Count your blessings Peter, you kicked out all the Greens last election, didn’t you?
We probably have to wait another 30 months for our chance.

And here in Canada, there was a federal Conservative landslide that reduced the historically dominant Liberals to a rump third party, and even stripped their leader of his home seat! But some interesting counter-dynamics occurred: the NDP, leftist but not quite “Labour”, surged to over double the seats they’ve ever had before, becoming Official Opposition — by almost sweeping Quebec, the francophone province, in the process reducing the “Bloc Quebequois” separatist party to unofficial party status (4 seats out of 308 in Parliament) and displacing the large Liberal majority almost entirely. And finally, the Green party won their first seat ever, the party leader won in the island riding of Saanich in BC after a heavy push. It’s a uniquely enviro-greenie-hippy kind of riding, though.
But now the Conservatives have convincing majorities in both House and Senate, and have no need to pander to the AGW lefties.
Ain’t pushback a beech? 😉

Brian H
May 15, 2011 11:48 am

Clarifications to above re: Cdn election:
The Liberals in Quebec had not had a majority there.
And the Bloc Quebecois leader also lost his own seat.
The New Democratic Party (NDP) took half of both Liberals’ and Conservatives’ seats in Quebec, and 90% of the Bloc’s. This now makes it a de facto Quebec-based party, with most members being rookies. Interesting times!

Patrick Kelly
May 15, 2011 12:09 pm

For the sake of the exercise, I have left a mildl dissenting view on the post at http://www.skepticalscience.com/Special-Parliament-Edition-Climate-Change-Denial.html#comments
It appeared in the comments immediately without moderation. Let’s see if it stays there.

Pat Frank
May 15, 2011 1:10 pm

Fossil plant stomata show that, a) ice-cores are not sensitive to fluctuations in atmospheric CO2, and; 2) that atmospheric CO2 was as high as about 340 ppmv during the prior Holocene. See the graphs here, which give a good representation of literature findings.
Plant stomatal density can depend on more than just [CO2], but the overall result is generally conceded that atmospheric CO2 was more variable than shown by ice cores, and was higher in the past than shown by ice cores.

May 15, 2011 1:14 pm

Brian H says:
May 15, 2011 at 11:14 am
I propose a target of 2,000 ppm by 2100! Or 2050 would be even better.
Greenhouses (real ones) show an optimum growth for different crops at around 1,000 ppmv. Seems a nice target for me, including some (theoretical) warming I would like in my country (although last weeks were very sunny and warm…).
BTW, in my country (C)AGW is hardly a topic anymore on TV. Comments on AGW articles in the press (and Internet media) are 90% negative about the “A” in AGW and seen as governmental influence to rise taxes… There even was a shockwave of negative comments when was announced that the price for electricity would increase, because of the success of (oversubsidized) solar panels.

May 15, 2011 1:21 pm

Brian H says:
And finally, the Green party won their first seat ever, the party leader won in the island riding of Saanich in BC after a heavy push. It’s a uniquely enviro-greenie-hippy kind of riding, though.
Whilst losing 40% percent of it’s vote share.

May 15, 2011 1:50 pm

Holmes often points out errors of fact or what he thinks are errors of fact in media coverage. Someone should point out to him the ABCs coverage of the Garnaut update, in which they said sea level rise has increased since 2008, and see if he corrects that.

May 15, 2011 2:22 pm

I wish you the best of luck in trying to get some balance on the Aussie ABC, but I think it is futile. They are firmly left-of-centre in their politics, and that is by Aussie standards. Australian politics is left-of-centre by USA standards.
I no longer write on the ABC blogs because it is full of feral warmistas that wouldn’t recognise logical argument or science if it bit them on the arse. In a year of writing there I found one rational warmist. It is simply not worth the effort anymore.
Their moedration is also haphazard and appears to favour the CAGW side. I have been “moderated” there several times despite posting well within their guidelines.

May 15, 2011 2:40 pm

Pat Frank says:
May 15, 2011 at 1:10 pm
Plant stomatal density can depend on more than just [CO2], but the overall result is generally conceded that atmospheric CO2 was more variable than shown by ice cores, and was higher in the past than shown by ice cores.
Pat, the problems with plant stomata (index) data are essentially the same as for many of the historical CO2 measurements: plant stomata are measured in land plants, which grow in atmospheres where CO2 levels are highly variable by definition. Diurnal and seasonal variations of several hundred ppmv are normal…
Leave stomata index data are the result of the average CO2 levels of the previous year (as I learned from Tom van Hoof, SI specialist). For inland CO2 levels, that already gives a local bias, depending of local sources and sinks (crops, forests, marshes, industry, traffic). It is possible to calibrate the CO2/SI ratio for the past century against direct measurements (and ice cores!), eliminating the average local bias. But it is (near) impossible to know the impact on local CO2 levels caused by climatological and land use changes over the previous centuries.
One of the main places is St. Odiliënberg (SE Netherlands) with oak leaves over many centuries. The Netherlands has experienced drastic changes in landscape over the centuries in question: from marshes to forests, from sea to dikes and agriculture and more recently increasing traffic and heavy industrialization. The changes in climate from the MWP to the LIA has changed the Gulf stream direction (more southward) and even may have changed the main wind direction in The Netherlands.
Nobody knows the effect of all these changes on the local/regional CO2 levels where the stomata index data were taken.
Thus while SI data have a better resolution than ice cores, the absolute value and the higher variability should be interpreted with caution.

May 15, 2011 3:56 pm

Talking of the Skeptical Science website, its founder John Cook has co-authored a new book on “Climate Deniers” which has just been reviewed on the ABC’s so-called “Science Show”. The 17 minute audio is now available, (hint; have vomit bag ready), and the comment enabled transcript should also be there later this avo, it being ~ 9:00 am here now.

Introduction: Authors John Cook and Haydn Washington analyse the approaches of those who deny climate science. Despite multiple lines of evidence pointing to the same conclusion, deniers continue to deny. Cherry picking is one tactic. Another is the use of fake experts or scientists who are not climate scientists. The authors explore why, as the science firms, the public view, at least in Australia, is going the other way.

They declare an intention to provide a copy to every federal politician.
I couldn’t find a bio or publication record on Dr Washington, but he claims to have been an “environmental scientist” for 30 or 35 years. I feel the transcript will be in serious need of a comment or two.

King of Cool
May 15, 2011 4:49 pm

You only have to look at Polls conducted by the ABC Drum to gauge what sort of culture and clientele they inspire:
ABC Drum Poll
Who will win the carbon tax war?
Julia Gillard 64% Tony Abbott 36%
Public Opinion Polls on Carbon Tax 30% – For. 60% – Against.
ABC Poll – How will you Vote (last Election)
Result Coalition 33% Labor 36% Greens 26% Other 3% Do a Latham 2% (Protest Vote)
Actual Vote in the Real World
Coalition 43.32% Labor 37.95% Greens 11.76% Other including Informal 6.97%
How about this for a loaded question from the ABC Drum?
Has “Phoney Tony” damaged the Liberal Party’s chances at the election?
Yes 66%
No 34%
Anthony, I don’t mind any-one having their views aired in the media IF THEY ARE PAYING FOR IT. The problem with the ABC is that I am paying for a bias that I totally object to.
I think if Jonathon Holmes wanted to do something really constructive, he would find out why on an ABC Drum poll almost as many people said that would vote Greens as the Coalition yet in the real world there were almost 4 times as many people voted for the Coalition as the Greens. Could it possible be that the ABC is completely out of balance with the community at large Jonathon?
Another eye opener is that a recent analysis of The ABC Drum which found that for every Right Wing article there are 12 left Wing articles and I am sure the same would go for global warming:
Of course then we have the ABC Filter Police. I do not know what your policy is Anthony about censoring blogs on this site. But your blog on the ABC Drum can disappear into cyberspace without a whiff that it ever existed. Many of my posts have gone that way on comments I have made on ABC Drum articles when I am flabbergasted what is allowed through with a contrary view. I do not know about a Carbon Tax what we really need is a voluntary ABC Tax.

May 15, 2011 5:56 pm

A first class anlysis and deconstruction of a biased
and bogus, hokum TV “report”. One wonders what
connection Jonathan Holmes has with the AGW
“industry”. Where is his pension money invested?
Who are his ultimate paymasters? I think we all
know the answers to these questions, but if you
know something we don’t……..
I am just saying …

May 15, 2011 6:05 pm

That 17 minute segment on “The Science Show” this weekend was probably one of the worst examples of AGW bias aired on the ABC. It is obvious the presenter Robyn Williams does not have a shadow of doubt regarding anthroprogenic warming of the atmosphere. Although the ABC certainly harbors idealogues like Williams, it beats me why others in the organisation haven’t looked more closely at the science. Afterall they seem to do a pretty good job at political analysis regardless of who is in power. It seems like academia is the new hallowed area of authorty and can’t be questioned, a bit like the way the British establishment and church used to be treated. Perhaps as Marc H suggested laziness plays a part, or do people like Williams have the ultimate say on what science is broadcast.

May 15, 2011 7:43 pm

dlb Reur May 15, 2011 at 6:05 pm
I’ve had a flurry of Email exchanges up until the weekend with Robyn Williams including quoting an extract from the latest ABC Editorial Policies of 13/April,

4.1 Gather and present news and information with due impartiality.
4.2 Present a diversity of perspectives so that, over time, no significant strand of thought or belief within the community is knowingly excluded or disproportionately represented.
4.5 Do not unduly favour one perspective over another.

And asked him if he thinks he complies with policy
Also various lists of sceptical scientists
And a list of over 900 sceptical peer reviewed papers:
He always comes back with diversionary annoying stuff, without any comment on the above.
There is one ABC radio national programme; “Counterpoint” where the presenters have courteously interviewed sceptics but it is an eclectic show and seldom covers science.

May 16, 2011 3:22 am

janama says: May 15, 2011 at 4:08 am
Jessie asks : would you expand on the term ‘highly qualified scientist’ in relation to the discussion on CAGW or AGW please.
it’s a good question isn’t it. what exactly is a qualified scientist, or a qualified scientist, or a qualified anything really – is that cardiologist more qualified than the other one?

Thanks Janama.
A substantial difference between for eg a cardiologist (expert practitioner) to a scientist me thinks.
Presumably it was the science informing surgery (and surgeons in some consensus on the particular matter) or the cardiologists with a scientific orientation that proved more successful with the [outcomes of] heart. The parameter being, at least for me, survival with adequate quality of life 1-5-10 years post surgery.
But then one would need to factor in temporal with that. if that was the hypothesis. Difficult directional.
I was fortunate as a nurse to observe/nurse open heart surgery in tribal 1-5 year olds in an urban setting and and then to later live, observe and practice in the environment (of rheumatic heart disease RHD] where these the kids lived. RHD is detailed as a major contributor to indigenous child morbidity in Australia. And apparently RHD in Australia (and Pacific it seems) has one of the highest incidences in the developing world.

May 16, 2011 8:45 am

To the ABC’s credit they are allowing the alternative voice to vent over at their ‘Unleashed’ outsider contribution site.
This one by Ted Lapkin is a beauty….
It must hurt them though having to publish that, apparently it’s part of the charter that opposing views need to be published. In fact one of The Australian (newspaper) writers accused that sometimes they will actively seek out a conservative contribution so they satisfy that requirement and can then open the door to the moonbats.

May 16, 2011 9:42 am

This is interesting, Mr John Cook of skeptical science has an upcoming book and he gave a radio interview discussing “dee Nile”. A full transcript is provided.
Comments can be left at the bottom.

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