Australian National University: Forget the Climate Facts, We need Opinions

Another case of “The ends justify the means”

Submitted by Eric Worrall

Rod Lamberts, director of the Australian National Centre for Public Awareness of Science at the Australian National University, claims facts  won’t win the climate debate.



Rod Lamberts starts by criticising Tim Flannery, former chief of the now abolished Australian Climate Commission, for recently suggesting

“An opinion is useless, what we need are more facts.”.

(Link from Rod Lambert’s article)

Rod Lamberts then works his way up to the following passage:

“What we need now is to become comfortable with the idea that the ends will justify the means. We actually need more opinions, appearing more often and expressed more noisily than ever before.”

Tim Flannery once famously gave an opinion, on air, that Australian dams and river systems would never fill again. In the wake of severe flooding on the Australian East Coast, Flannery claimed he had been misquoted – a claim which Andrew Bolt refutes.


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If you have no facts, you have nothing else but opinions.

Robert of Ottawa

Australia has a government that rejects the Warmista scare and is gradually dismantalling the state apparatus that propagates it. Hence the hysterical squeals of the Warmista pigs (those at the public trough)


My first thought was that my colleague was taking the piss.
I have no idea what that means.

Mac the Knife

“What we need now is to become comfortable with the idea that the ends will justify the means.
Consequentialism is a favorite refuge of despots throughout history. “It’s for their own good!”


I didn’t know we skeptics had “tactics.” Hmmm . . . maybe posting a chart of actual data vs. model predictions is a tactic. Ain’t we slimy.


of course they can’t win it with facts…….


“taking the piss”…australian for “having someone on”, or “making a joke of them”, or “pulling your leg”


‘Opinions’ are the biggest weakness the alarmist movement has. It’s a primary reason people looking at the facts have lost trust. So this guy wants more opinions….. Genius!

Ursus Augustus

Sorry folks, nothing to be alarmed about. Rod Lambert is just another phsychologist with some sort or relevence disorder a la Lewandowsky.
From his ANU bioblurb:-
“He has been providing science communication consultation and evaluation advice for than 15 years to organisations including UNESCO, the CSIRO, and to ANU science and research bodies. He also has a background in psychology and corporate communication consultancy and facilitation.
Rod’s professional and research interests include: science in society; science and public policy; perceptions of expertise in science; and risk and crisis perception/ communication.”
His quals are a BA(hons) (psych major I assume) at ANU, Post Grad Diploma ( U Canberra), Applied Psychology then a PhD at ANU. For non Aussies that is about as inside the beltway as it gets.
This is not a serious human being it seems but some sort of beltway bureauclone, an experimant in deconstructionism gone feral. Sadly he seems destined to be an object of utter ridicule like some crazy puppy farm cross breeding experiment gone horribly wrong. I feel for his parents. No sympathy for his clientele though, they are obviously fools.

Chad Wozniak

How typical of the AGW crowd – why tell the truth when lies serve your corrupt, perverse purposes better?
I’m beginning to think we should focus as much on the lying, deception, mean-spiritedness, contempt for rights, sharp practices, unconcern for human well-being and greed of the alarmists, as much as on their message. Point out every example of falsehood, hypocrisy, personal attack, and money grab by these people we can muster. And point out specifically how the policies they advocate do harm, and hurt poor people first and worst – and attribute that harm directly to the individuals. For example, if someone proposes a carbon tax, make sure we say that what they are advocating kills people, describe in detail exactly how it does it, and provide the documentation to prove it.


What, they want to use our tactics? That’s great! That means they will validate their climate models and show the results!


“What we need now is to become comfortable with the idea that the ends will justify the means. We actually need more opinions, appearing more often and expressed more noisily than ever before.”
Oh, I misunderstood him. What he means is, every warmist will now have to choose between being honest or being efficient. Now that’s a whole new approach. (sarc)

Christopher Hanley

Chris4692, that’s what I was going to say.
The call to abandon facts (which never were) comes at the stage when the facts are becoming most enlightening.

As it has been said before: “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.”


Why am I hearing the song “Give them ol Razzle Dazzle” from the musical Chicago?
“Give ’em the old flim flam flummox
Fool and fracture ’em,
How can they hear the truth above the roar?
Throw ’em a fake and a finagle
They’ll never know you’re just a bagel,
Razzle dazzle ’em
And they’ll beg you for more!”

Gary Pearse

AFAIK, the message is to stop believing facts and your own senses. To say the warming continues when their own records show no warming for 17.5 years, almost as long as it had warmed and cost us all those trillions. Yes, you could have a cold winter here in a warming world. But this winter, froze three Egyptians on a trek in the Sinai:–At-least-three-Egyptian-hikers-dead-after-.aspx
And the SH last winter in South America, millions of fish and other creatures died of cold.
And of course the “Ship of Fools” from Aussie National U (no wonder they want to forget the facts and go with opinions) got iced in and pelted by cold and blizzards last Antarctic summer on a expedition to chronicle global warming and ice loss. The leader was so humiliated worldwide that they gave him an award for his work!!
Rather than getting messages out to the populace, they should be lying low, particularly at ANU, where their antics have entertained the world.


It looks like every state and territory has now given the green/labor parties the boot in favour of liberal (Conservative) govn’ts. At federal, state and territory level with the exception to, surprise surprise, the ACT, Canberra (Could be considered the Washington DC of Australia). Tasmania was not a surprise result, that’s been on the cards for a while. Green/labor ecoloons have been destroying Tasmanian industry since the 80’s, with large thanks going to former Greens leader Bob Brown who refers to everyone as “…my fellow earthians…”, no more need be said.

Lew Skannen

To paraphrase the old law joke if the data goes against you pound on the science, of the science goes against you pound on the data and if they both go against you pound on the table.

Ok…couldn’t resist…
Give em the old, climate clap trap,
Shame and shatter em,
How can they see the truth behind the stick?
Don’t let them speak unless you sue em,
Don’t publish methods, they’ll see right thru em,
Razzle Dazzle em, use the hidden decline trick!


It looks like the broad is screaming BS and the poor guy is not listening. Been there, done that. I’m a guy if it needs to be noted.
Hippie girls are fun for the weekend!

Eamon Butler

What he is actually saying is, ” Our version of the facts,(which are of course, lies) will not defeat the Climate Deniers.” I suspect the truth will give him some problems too.


The problem with “consensus” climate science from the beginning is that it has been mostly opinions– i.e. speculation and conjecture– and not facts–i.e. solid data and verifiable hypotheses arrived at with scrupulous statistical methods.


Gary Pearse,
The Ship of Fools was from UNSW not ANU, though ANU is just as big a hot-bed of warmists.
I Agree, if they are using our tactics then they should debate, stick to the facts, avoid deferring to Authority, Ad-Homs and other tricks. Of course they should also be open to changing their mind, a tried and true sceptic tactic, and willing to consider the cons of so called “Climate Action”. Perhaps we should challenge him to a debate.

Steve O

“What we need now is to become comfortable with the idea that the ends will justify the means.”
— Showing contempt for people who disagree with your position is not persuasive, but I guess you have to play the hand that you’re dealt.


@ Michael Palmer
Your last sentence should read , If you have neither on your side PUT pounds or $’s on the table.

Ed, Mr. Jones

Twitter = @Rodl Perhaps we will appreciate hearing your opinions.


They could try actually being open-minded and engaging in real debate rather than assuming their conclusions. You know, like real scientists do. Oh wait…

Gary Pearse

bobl says:
March 15, 2014 at 6:05 pm
“Gary Pearse,
The Ship of Fools was from UNSW not ANU, though ANU is just as big a hot-bed of warmists.”
I suppose I should apologize for the error. However, Aussie U’s have been prominent since the change of governments against the greens and I expect the climate drivel coming out in tonnage is part of the the last gasp psychology. Indeed, the political change is what launched the “Ship of Fools”. What are they going to do with probably more than a million climate scientists that have been pumped out of the world’s universities since the golden era of little resistance during the 1990s and into the Academy Award/Nobel/Royal Soc./etc prizes and awards that multiplied like rabbits during the 8 or 9 years of the new millennium until the fun was over with the advent of Climategate. I think the unpublished Climategate emails released a year ago but not published would be the coup de grace for the entrenched zealots. You can be sure they are writing more careful and fewer emails now.


“Facts won’t defeat the climate deniers – using their tactics will”
When when this fool finds someone who denies that planet has a variable climate he can use whatever tactic he likes.
If however, this propagandist twit Lamberts is referring to sceptics then he is on a hiding to nothing. After all the sceptics main tactic is to use facts to argue their case.

Curious George

To quote Tim Flannery (2005), “when the models start confirming what you’re observing on the ground, then there’s some fairly strong basis for believing that we’re understanding what’s causing these weather shifts”.
What if not? We can’t expect Tim Flannery to know everything.


I can’t understand the mentality or logic of these academics. Psychology is what is called an pseudo science and relying on a person’s general education into human behavior. We had one that was as mad as a hatter. He reckoned dealing with children one told them they had demons they had to fight and get rid of. What? The kids would think they were possessed. Fair dinkum!
This university also had funds allocated to prove CO2 was causing climate changed and one so called scientist said he received death threats. Do you remember?


PS. We can’t control the weather, only the way we adapt to it.


Never looked at The conversation before – what a left wing Echo Chamber. Probably be a slow day today, while they cry into their Lattes about the landslide loss to the conservatives in hotbed leftist (no more) Tasmania.

Some more on Flannery – Aussie PM Tony Abbott talking about Tim Flannery’s Climate Commission, just before the recent Federal Election, which Abbott won.
Mr Abbott said if elected as prime minister on September 14 and given the opportunity to revoke the carbon tax a whole range of climate change bureaucracies would also be axed.
“I suspect we might find the particular position you refer to might go with them,” Mr Abbott told 2GB’s Ray Hadley when asked about Professor Flannery.
“It does sound like an unnecessary position given the gentlemen in question gives us the benefit of his views without needing taxpayer funding.”

The part of his diatrabe that says it all to me is this: “Forget the Moncktonites, disregard the Boltists, and snub the Abbottsians. Ignore them, step around them, or walk over them. Drown them not just with sensible conversations, but with useful actions. Flood the airwaves and apply tactics advertisers have successfully used for years.”
Does he honestly believe “advertisers” are people we should admire and emulate?
What matters is the Truth, however Truth is something “advertisers” are notorious for stretching, which led to the legal phrase, “The Buyer beware,” which basically implies the buyer is responsible for making sure they are not sold a pig in a poke.
Global Warming is a pig in a poke. Increasingly the public is not buying it. Tod Lamberts is like a salesman seeing a sale slipping away, who resorts to desperation.
In the tale of the Garden of Eden, the snake was the “advertiser,” but Mr. Lamberts is dangerously close to sinking lower than a snake.

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia

More real shame for my country. I think we should say sorry.


“What we need now is to become comfortable with the idea that the ends will justify the means.”

Mr. Lamberts is late to the party. Climate Gate emails show that the most prominent proponents of global warming have been comfortable with the idea that the ends justify the means for many years now. The “cause” always comes first to these people. That’s why they have no problem dressing up their opinions as science when the actual science shows no real cause for concern. And that’s why we call them “alarmists.”
Mr. Lamberts has also destroyed any credibility he may have had by admitting that he doesn’t care about the facts. He only cares about achieving certain ends by any means possible. And one of those means is to accuse the other side of cheating and then using that false accusation as an excuse for his side to cheat. How many atrocities have been committed in war time using the excuse that the other side is doing it too? You end up becoming the very person you hate.


The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
. B. Russell.


“… Lamberts, director of the Australian National Centre for Public Awareness of Science at the Australian National University, claims facts won’t win the climate debate.”
Had to laugh at the unintended irony. No, that’s for sure, the facts as they’re presently constituted will certainly not win the climate debate.


“What we need now is to become comfortable with the idea that the ends will justify the means.”
Says it all. When the plain truth is not enough you can count me out. What decent individual would even want to be part of such a group of wilful deceivers?
Here’s a wild bit of naivety: I only value truthful reporting especially if its with regard to ‘science’. This was true even before I encountered the word and study called ‘science’, as a kid, and it doesn’t adn won’t ever change because some warped ideologies pretend to be ‘scientist’s and believe deception and misrepresentations are a superb ‘stratagem’. Your intentions and foundations are rotten from the beginning, your reputation is the result. That was, and is, a recipe for failure.
Politicians often use such tactics, it’s why we despise them, but occasionally and very rarely one actually tells the plain truth – even if just for one brief moment:
” … When [Tony] Abbott arrived at a gathering of the Liberal faithful in Beaufort, it was clear he was exhausted. By the time he left, flush with the energy of farmers such as David “Rocky” George — whom he calls “practical environmentalists” — he had dismissed the science underpinning climate change as “crap”. … The Weekend Australian this week returned to Beaufort to talk to those who were with Abbott when he set his foot on the road to Damascus. Among them was Joe McCracken, the young vice-president of the Beaufort branch of the Liberal Party. “He did say crap; he did say I’m a sceptic and there was big applause,” McCracken says. …”
Remember this phrase: ” … I’M A SCEPTIC and there was BIG APPLAUSE …”
People hunger for the truth.


omg! this is awesome!
first, he admits:
” we are … being overwhelmed by climate skeptics/deniers/contrarians in the public space.”
this is great news! they have now acknowledged failure.
so what’s the recommendation?
throw a tantrum!
oh… cartoon selfies – too funneh!

I found the comments interesting. I only got part way through them, but they seemed to be devoid of skeptic comments or comments criticizing the article in any way. Wow look, consensus 🙂

john robertson

What was that famous statement a year or two ago, something about communication over climate science between the team and sceptical persons kept running into trouble because the sceptics were obsessive about the science?
Hung up on the quality of the evidence?
This academic is too little too late , all he has accomplished is broadcasting his willingness to lie, shout and intimidate for the cause.
Problem coming his way, the counting the cost in loss of life in the developing nations and destruction of public wealth here in the ” developed” world, has only just begun.
Within 3 years the public attitude toward this episode go mass hysteria will be toxic.
Poverty has a nasty way of focussing the voters attention.
I will be spreading the joy.

Steve Case

On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. – – – – Stephen H Schneider 1988


The alarmists always misquote Abbott. Abbott said “…the science behind climate change crap…” and as we all know, his quoute is 97% correct.


Isn’t that what has been happening for years? Computer models spewing out opinions.

Steve Oregon

As a matter of fact I have an opinion.
That it matters not whether alarmists use more facts or more opinions because they won’t publicly debate either one.
Their problem is they have an indefensible position. Not lack of things to say.
They are boiling over with frustration because they have been unable to make any progress using authoritative pronouncements.
They are stomping their feet in protest that people won’t stop challenging their decrees.
Many are aghast that they would be questioned at all and avoid public forums where that may occur.


And a little authenticity test quote is given below. Abbot said it on national TV a full 12 years ago while a member of the Howard Cabinet front bench, and long before he arose to opposition leader, or ran to become PM.
“I am, as you know, hugely unconvinced by the so-called settled science on climate change.” – Tony Abbot commenting on ABC’s 7.30 Report on July 22, 2002
And considering he aspired to be the PM, he was not lightly messing about when he said this on the political topic of ‘climate change’ 12 years ago. He was making an implicit considered publicly-stated policy judgement that it was the case, and that any govt he would be the PM in would reflect this.
i.e he clearly thought people would inevitably see through the climate-change tactics of mass-deception and that this choice at that time, rather than heaping up cheap-shots and derision for the deceivers, would bring him solid policy street-cred instead.
And they did see through the deceivers, and it did bring Abbot that street cred.
Look at what happened to Dr. Suzuki on Q&A in 2013. He was immediately slammed to the ground on the basic facts, which incredibly, he then claimed to not even know! It was not his area of expertise!
Yet somehow Toy Abbot had working it out on the facts even earlier than 2002. So it appears Abbot tracked the topic for many years, and ‘saw them coming’, much earlier than most, and realized how this was going to end, and simply applied that to his political calculation in the quest for the PM’s chair, and his long-range judgement of where this would go, about now, was absolutely spot on.
Disclaimer: As much as I despise all politicians and all political parties, I do appreciate a consummate professional who gets something like that so damned right, over a decade in advance of public opinion, sentiments and the lame public ‘debate’.


I keep getting emails from the conversation and they go to spam. I delete them.

Mac the Knife

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia says:
March 15, 2014 at 7:20 pm
More real shame for my country. I think we should say sorry.
None of that, Mate. We’ve our own fine (ugh!) collection of arrogant and equally deceitful climate commandants here in the States. It’s a social disease… and nearly every country above the bronze age has ‘the fever’. Data, and the +17 years of no warming, are the particularly effective brand of penicillin to ‘cure’ these drippy Richards. Data and determination refutes their AGW claims and exposes the socialist agenda behind it. Drive the message home.
Bolt on the Roo bar, tighten up the belts… and drive the message home!