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Correcting errors in public debate

In August last year I wrote an article in The Conversation, titled Drowning out the truth about the Great Barrier Reef. Several weeks ago News Limited columnist Andrew Bolt emailed me to object to a brief…

In August last year I wrote an article in The Conversation, titled Drowning out the truth about the Great Barrier Reef.

Several weeks ago News Limited columnist Andrew Bolt emailed me to object to a brief passage in the article in which I asserted that “Bolt receives direct support from Australia’s richest mining magnate and climate denialist, Gina Rinehart”.

In collaboration with the editors at The Conversation the article was immediately amended to remove this claim and the following editor’s note was added:

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article implied that Gina Rinehart has provided direct financial support to Andrew Bolt. There is no evidence to support this claim. This has been corrected.

Last week Mr Bolt got in touch again seeking a personal apology and retraction. I am happy to comply with this request.

The above correction is properly made in the light of the information that Mr Bolt has provided. I accept that my original statement was not correct and apologise.

A good scientist and any good thinker bases their views and opinions upon correct information. I am willing to change my views and correct significant errors that I make.

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10 Comments sorted by

  1. Ralph Watson

    Elec Tech

    Good one Ove. Great to see someone taking responsibility for one's actions. Very rare these days.

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  2. Jim Riley

    logged in via Facebook

    "A good scientist and any good thinker bases their views and opinions upon correct information. I am willing to change my views and correct significant errors that I make."

    Excellent! Now, when are you going to correct all the mis-information you've published about climate change and global warming?

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    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Jim Riley

      When you provide reliable and reproducible evidence and data from a credible source that shows him to be wrong? Anybody??

      Oh yes, I forgot - you are unable to because the science publishing peer review process is a cabal controlled by evil AGW alarmists who make a career out of promoting a scam?? LOL

      Personally - I think Ove's to be congratulated. he has the courage to admit when he's wrong. I've yet to see a single denialist (oops - pseduo skeptic) even have the wit to do so let alone the courage.

      As for Mr Bolt - well, let's see - he'd never be wrong would he??? After all - he is employed by News Corp about which the phrase "Do want The Truth? Or do you prefer your News Limited?" - seems very apposite.

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    2. Chris McGrath

      Senior Lecturer at University of Queensland

      In reply to Jim Riley

      Jim, if you are an honest and critical thinker, the fact that Ove is prepared to publicly correct errors should give you confidence in his integrity overall and his views on the likely impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on coral reefs.

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  3. Antonio Martinez

    Oceanic Researcher

    I'm confused, Ove. Everything I have ever seen (apart from the material which you have produced) indicates that the reality (as opposed to the modeled predictions) is that the temperature anomalies in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park have been absolutely static since at least the early 1980's.

    Here, for example, is the plot of the USA's National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) temperature anomalies for the area:

    http://mclean.ch/climate/GBR_sea_temperature.htm

    Now…

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    1. Chris McGrath

      Senior Lecturer at University of Queensland

      In reply to Antonio Martinez

      Antonio, you should look at Janet Lough's work on this, which shows that temperatures on the GBR have increased in recent decade.

      See, e.g. Lough, J. 2007, Climate and climate change on the Great Barrier Reef. In: Climate change and the Great Barrier Reef: a vulnerability assessment, eds J.E. Johnson & P.A. Marshall, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Australian Greenhouse Office, Townsville, Australia, 15-50.

      Similarly, have a look at the GBR Outlook Report available at http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/3843/OutlookReport_Full.pdf

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    2. Rob Painting

      climate science blogger

      In reply to Antonio Martinez

      Antonio - why do think it is that coral cover on the Gt Barrier Reef has declined in the last decade? (See Sweatmann [2011])

      <i>"Now, that doesn't even address your contention that corals are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature."</i>

      I don't know where you've been doing your 'research', but NOAA has a handy Coral Bleaching Alert page. The connection of mass coral bleaching and ocean temperature exceeding 1-3°C of it's summer maxima, is well-established now. It's to do with the photosymbiotic…

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  4. Daryl Deal

    retired

    The irony here is that Andrew Bolt, has twice been convicted of libel, and has legally been forced to correct his erroneous statements.

    Andrew, in order to generate sales from controversy, continues to publish assorted lies and deliberate misinformation concerning the science of global warming and it's future impacts.

    In the interim, I won't hold my breath about his inability to provide full disclosure about the new carbon tax. Although Australian Treasury documents will be far more accurate in the real world, compared to his complete propaganda of pure nonsense.

    cui bono

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  5. Daryl Deal

    retired

    Just in the full pdf of Finkelstein Report, his recommendations start at page 290, and will have a severe impact in regard to all of Murdoch Media's laissez fair or cavalier attitude to the facts that he allows to be printed or broadcast on his network.

    In addition, additional clauses will also cover Australian Bloggers and literally force Jo Nova and IPA's Jennifer Marohasy's to issue retractions and correct ill informed submissions to their blogs as well.

    If these reforms are passed, by…

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