Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t Judith Curry (one of the guests): The ABC, Australia’s government owned media outlet, has dedicated an entire Science Show program, including a star cast of climate skeptics, to exploring why some politicians and academics dispute the alleged climate consensus.
Has ‘denying’ won?
Saturday 24 June 2017 12:05PM (view full episode)
The science is 150 years old and growing each day, yet it is still being rejected by politicians and some academics. We shall talk to a few of those who remain unconvinced by climate research and its conclusions: a former vice-chancellor, a renowned Princeton mathematician, a space scientist from WA who worked on the Apollo program, a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and a climate researcher in America. Have they ever changed their minds on the topic? Do they perceive any risk at all? What do they think of President Trump’s policies? How can critics remain unmoved as the evidence mounts? Sharon Carleton reports.
My favourite exchange from the transcript;
Judith Curry: Say 10 or 12 years ago, I was working on a few narrow problems that were related to climate change, but I wasn’t looking at the whole picture. And since I wasn’t looking at the whole picture I thought it made sense to accept the consensus conclusions from other scientists who were looking at the whole picture, namely the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC. I bought into their meme ‘don’t listen to what one scientist says, listen to what this group of hundreds of scientists have concluded after years of deliberation’.
I changed my mind in 2009 after the climategate emails, if you are familiar with this, it was the unauthorised release of emails from the University of East Anglia, included email exchanges by a number of the authors of the IPCC reports.
Sharon Carleton: No less than eight top-level, independent committees investigated and published reports on this so called ‘climategate’ affair. The reports found there was no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct and the scientists were completely exonerated.
Judith Curry: From what? Basically what I saw from those emails, and I read pretty much all of them, was that I really did not like the sausage-making that went into this consensus. It was a lot of skulduggery and bullying going on, and trying to hide uncertainties and thwart people from getting papers published and trying to keep data out of the hands of people who wanted to question it. I realised that there was a lot of circular reasoning, a lot of uncertainties, a lot of tuning, just a lot of things that made me not have any confidence at all in what they had done. So I started speaking out. This basically turned me into an outcast amongst the establishment climate scientists.
Read more: Same Link as above (Click Transcript)
The guests on the show were;
- Don Aitkin
University of Canberra
- Brian O’Brien
Adjunct Professor of Physics
University of Western Australia
- Judith Curry
Former Professor and Chair
School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta Georgia USA
- Freeman Dyson
Former Professor of Physics
Institute for Advanced Study
Princeton New Jersey USA
- Garth Paltridge
Retired Atmospheric Physicist
Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University
Emeritus Professor and Honorary Research Fellow
Institute of Antarctic and Southern Oceans Studies
University of Tasmania
- Andy Pitman
Professor and Director
ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science
The University of New South Wales
- Steven Sherwood
Climate Change Research Centre
University of New South Wales
In my opinion, the Australian ABC frequently mistreats climate skeptics. Last year Aussie climate skeptic Senator Malcolm Roberts faced a hostile reception to his views during an ABC appearance. In my opinion the Roberts appearance last year amounted to an attempt to set Roberts up, to deride his views without giving him a fair chance to answer criticism.
The ABC Science show Has ‘denying’ won? starts with a reference to the Roberts appearance – but this time things are very different.
This latest crack in the facade of solid media support for “settled science” will be noticed by Australia’s climate community.