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News Ltd carbon coverage campaigning not reporting: new report + News' response

News Ltd’s coverage of the Government’s carbon price policy has been so negative and one-dimensional that some papers in…

Tap, tap, tapping at the public consciousness: News Ltd has been accused of slanted coverage of carbon price policy. Fickr/Monochrome.

News Ltd’s coverage of the Government’s carbon price policy has been so negative and one-dimensional that some papers in the stable are misleading the public by doing partisan campaigning rather than balanced reporting, a report released today claims.

The report’s author, Professor Wendy Bacon of the Centre for Independent Journalism at the University of Technology, Sydney, said that the bias is at odds with balanced and well-informed debate, and thereby undermines the public interest. Professor Bacon said that it begged the questions: “How can we develop a democratic media which can deliver fair and impartial coverage? And is it in the public interest that one dominant company should have the power to campaign for a particular political outcome?”

A team led by Professor Bacon analysed relevant editorials, opinion pieces, news stories and feature articles appearing in 10 newspapers between February and July of this year.

In the first of two installments of A Sceptical Climate: Media coverage of climate change in Australia 2011, Professor Bacon writes that “Negative coverage across News Ltd newspapers far outweighed positive coverage with 82% compared to 18% positive articles. This indicates a very strong stance against the carbon policy adopted by the company that controls most Australian metropolitan newspapers, and has 70% of Australian newspaper circulation.”

The slant of the coverage was not the product of lone journalists with barrows to push, Professor Bacon said. “A range of journalists were certainly involved at every paper. The climate story was a big political story and a business story; it was also covered by environmental reporters but overall the poltiical, business and general reporters were just as prominent.”

“The patterns speak for themselves,” said Professor Bacon. “This is what this study is about … I’m not investigating the actual practices in newsrooms; I’m showing what the result is of a range of different practices across different genres of [newspaper] journalism.”

In contrast to the overall direction of News Ltd on carbon pricing policy, the researchers found that Fairfax “was far more balanced in its coverage of the [Government’s carbon] policy … with 56% positive articles outweighing 44% negative articles.” The Age was more positive than the Sydney Morning Herald, and neither paper published a single opinion piece about the Government’s carbon policy by a climate change sceptic during the period under review, finds the report - which was conducted with the support of the Australian Conservation Foundation.

The most negative coverage of all the papers came from The Daily Telegraph, News Ltd’s Sydney tabloid, and its Melbourne equivalent, The Herald Sun.

Overall, the review found the quality of the journalism often wanting, with findings from an analysis of news and feature-writing including:

11% of news and features quoted no source and 30% of the rest quoted only one source. The claims by many single sources about the likely impact of the carbon policy were not tested against the views of other sources. Only 42% of the rest of the articles included more than two sources.

Fossil fuel lobby and other big business sources opposed to the policy were very strongly represented, often without any critique or second source.

Although they played a key role in negotiations, the Australian Greens received low coverage (5% of all sources).

“Much of the reportage was quite shallow with many sources being untested or contested,” Professor Bacon said. “There is a difference between negativity in journalism and its watchdog role of criticism and scrutiny. Coverage can be negative and fail to scrutinise the powerful sources it promotes. It can be positive and still hold sources to account. To be positive or negative towards a policy does not imply that a journalist loses impartiality or fairness.”

The newspapers selected for the study were The Australian (national, News Ltd), The Age/Sunday Age (Melbourne, Fairfax), The Sydney Morning Herald/Sun Herald (Sydney, Fairfax), The Daily Telegraph/Sunday Telegraph (Sydney, News Ltd), Herald Sun (Melbourne, News Ltd), The Advertiser (Adelaide, News Ltd), Courier Mail/Sunday Mail (Brisbane, News Ltd), The Northern Territory News (Darwin, News Ltd), The Mercury (Hobart, News Ltd), and The West Australian (Perth, Seven West Media).


Comment was sought from a journalism academic with experience writing for both News Ltd and Fairfax, and, following that, from News Ltd itself.

Dr Andrew Dodd, Senior Lecturer in Journalism, Swinburne University of Technology, who has worked as a journalist with both The Age and the Australian

On the ideological line of a newspaper

The editor’s ideological line will tend to reflect that of the proprietor. It works like this: the proprietor picks the editor, and at that point the proprietor generally lets the editor do the job that they’ve been appointed to do - which often just happens to reflect the ideological agenda of the proprietor.

Proprietors aren’t hands-on pulling the strings. They set a tone. The tone is known to the editor. The tone is set at News Ltd through various statements by the proprietor, by Rupert [Murdoch]; the tone tends to be disseminated through things like annual conferences where the News Ltd editors come together and a kind of group-speak develops. But on a day-to-day basis, it’s not the case that the proprietor tells the editors or the reporters what to put in the papers - generally.

Editors can tell reporters what to put in the paper. Even then they know that they can have a hands-off approach and the general line that has been communicated will tend to be written anyway. In a sense, that’s the newspaper working efficiently. So at a paper like the Australian or the Daily Telegraph, the position is well known and journos tend to write in a way which reflects the line as they perceive it to be.

You [the journalist] will rail against it for so long, [during which time] you’ll find your stories aren’t published. Over time you’ll tend to mollify and modify your views enough so they fit within the paradigm of the paper. You might find ingenious ways to get around it. For example, when I was at News Ltd and I wanted to write things that questioned News Ltd’s ownership and concentration of the Australian media, I found that I had to frame it in the form of questions rather than bold statements if I had any chance of getting it through the various tiers of editorial control. Journos get good at that.

But generally an ethos is set and everyone tends to work to it. There is such a thing as a culture within a newspaper and it does pretty much drive the content, and the content reflects it.

On negativity in reporting

You get these conversations, like “Why are newspapers so negative? Why do they pick holes rather than build up? Why don’t they work in a constructive way for the betterment of society?” There are lots of answers to those questions, but it comes down to what news itself is. News tends to be something new, informative, or interesting for your audience, and sure, under than definition, good news should be getting a run. But there’s a countervailing force - and that is that there are no shortage of people who want to tell you how good they are at doing what they do. Very few people will step up and say, “You know what? I fucked up.” It requires a force that is fearless and rigorous to be able to point that out, and that is the fourth estate role of the media.

On balanced reporting

Good journalism often starts with a hunch. A hunch would be something opinionated and subjective: “I don’t think that’s working.” And in the inquiry, the methodology is that you seek the truth in a disinterested way, you give due weight to the various sides and allow them to have their say, and over time you achieve a form of balance. It doesn’t mean you give unrealistic balance; it means you exercise your judgement to be able to come to a conclusion which gives due weight to the evidence. The issue with the Australian and other papers in the News Ltd stable is that they don’t give due weight to the evidence.

On unnamed sources in stories

If you can imagine the bottom of a circle, on the left hand side you’ve got journalism that has no sources and it’s all opinionated. It’s sheer crap. Then you go around the circle to almost the same point and you get stories that don’t have named sources because they are the most rigorous and the most important kind of journalism where people can’t speak out because to do so would be highly dangerous. so that [unnamed sources] in itself doesn’t prove anything.

It’s about the content and the rigour of the reporting, and it’s about whether it fulfills the basic principles of good journalism. And what is the motive here? Is the motive to taunt, to be polemical, to be essentially propaganda, or is to seek out in a dispassionate and disinterested way the truth?

An example of climate reportage

If you look at something like the Age’s series, The Climate Agenda, that Michael Bachelard wrote where he, in conjunction with OurSay, allowed people to ask the really difficult questions about climate change. and if you look at that reportage and how thorough it was, you can see an example of extremely good journalism.

Readers were encouraged to submit their questions about climate change. The process was reportedly manipulated by climate change sceptics who encouraged their followers to flood the portal with questions that basically undermined the whole premise about climate change. But even though the questions were incredibly sceptical, the reporting came up with really thorough answers to difficult questions. It’s a terrific example of how it doesn’t matter what the question is: if the reporting is good it’s going to stand up anywhere because the answer is the answer.

News Ltd’s spokesman says the company’s newspapers proudly campaign on a variety of issues, and that “campaigning” only becomes a dirty word when someone disagrees. AAP/Joel Carrett

Greg Baxter, Director of Corporate Affairs, News Limited

On Professor Wendy Bacon and her research

Wendy Bacon has absolutely no credibility with this company. It is a matter of great regret that she teaches young people in this country who aspire to be journalists. The fact that Wendy Bacon produces a piece of research that is negative about this company is no surprise to anybody - she’s been doing it for 25 years.

Every now and again this kind of research comes out and it masquerades as some kind of definitive analysis, and usually it’s got more flaws in it does the insights it purports to have about what it’s studying. We see this all the time. Most research about journalism is atrocious. Most of it purports to unveil or uncover some kind of systemic problem and yet it’s generally guilty of the same sins that it’s trying to identify in others: the way the questions are framed, the kind of methodology that’s used. It’s all usually skewed to achieve a particular outcome.

If a story’s an feature article or an opinion piece, it’s clearly not going to have too many sources. If it’s a news story, you’d probably expect it to have more than one source depending on what the source is. If it’s a report on a statement that’s been made on the government, for example, you’d probably expect there to be a counterbalancing comment from the opposition.

On campaigning in journalism

In certain quarters it [perfectly neutral reporting] is a treasured theoretical principal about what basic journalism should look like, but it doesn’t necessarily reflect the needs and the wants of a particular newspaper’s readership. Newspapers will campaign on things all the time. I know we’ve been criticised for running campaigns but it depends which campaign you’re talking about and which side of the argument you’re on.

We ran a campaign very successfully through our newspapers, particularly in Victoria some time ago which ended up with the breast cancer drug, Herceptin, being listed on the PBS [Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme] - it was quite extraordinary that it wasn’t on the PBS considering how common breast cancer is and how expensive the drug was. Now I don’t think there’d be too many people who argue that that campaign wasn’t a good thing. We’ve run campaigns in Sydney to try and reduce the road toll, particularly among P-plate drivers - which has been highly successful - and again, I don’t think too many people would see that as a bad thing.

Both of those campaigns were very aggressive at taking on government inaction. So where do you draw the line on these things? If a newspaper has a view on immigration or carbon policy or refugees - whatever it might be - the people who don’t agree with that position are going to refer to it as a campaign in a derogatory sense. The people who agree with it are going to think it’s terrific. The editor’s job is to determine what he thinks or she thinks the readership is interested in and what they want, and that ultimately is the job of the editor - to service the readership.

On Rupert Murdoch setting an editorial line for News Ltd editors and reporters to follow

That’s total bullshit. I’ve attended and been involved in organising all of the editors' conferences that we’ve had in this company for the last eight years, and I’ve been to a number of the overseas conferences with the wider News Corporation where you’ve got the other parts of the organisation - television, film production and so on - and to News Corp conferences where you’re just dealing with newspapers from Australia, the UK, and America, and this just does not happen. I know it’s been written about, and people have alleged it over a long period of time, but it is just garbage.

The closest thing you’ll get to it is a discussion of, broadly speaking, what do we believe in as a media company? And there are some pretty obvious things: we believe in free enterprise; we believe in small government; we’re passionate believers in education and we spend a lot of money funding education projects; and we believe in indigenous reconciliation. So there are some fundamental things that as an organisation we think it’s important to take a leadership role in the way these issues are presented and covered in Australia. Which might not be reflecting, necessarily, the interests of the readership - but we’re attempting to provide leadership on an issue for the readership.

If you look at the Australian’s coverage of indigenous affairs, it’s way ahead of all the others. It has a very, very deliberate editorial policy on coverage of indigenous issues and it has had for long time. And it also has a pretty clear position on climate change issues.

The Australian’s position on climate change is that the paper believes that humans are warming the planet - but obviously there is doubt among those who claim otherwise - and that something needs to be done to rectify it. The best way to achieve this is via a market based mechanism such as but not limited to an emissions trading scheme. The paper doesn’t support expensive forms of direct intervention; it supports the most cost efficient market based solutions. It does not apologise for the intense scrutiny it gives to climate change issues especially in a case such as this where there is such a vocal self-proclaimed consensus view that is intolerant of being challenged.

I know that there’s this idea that the editors get in a huddle in a room and agree on what we’re going to do, but if you look at the last couple of elections, the editorial positions of the papers on those elections varied across the country. And that again is a reflection of the readership of those newspapers, not a reflection of what Rupert Murdoch believes or what John Hartigan believes.

We had an election in November 07 and he [Murdoch] was here just before that, and there were plenty of discussions with editors, but not about “This is what you have to do.” Generally, the question is, “What do you think?” and the editor will explain their position on an issue and what they’re proposing to do, and that’s it. It’s an exchange of information. Clearly if we were running a campaign, all of our papers would be running on the same basis, which they don’t.

Your views are welcome below.

Join the conversation

204 Comments sorted by

  1. Marc Hendrickx

    Geologist

    ABC carbon coverage was campaigning not reporting.

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    1. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Gosh, yes, and that satanic ABC failed to report properly on NASA's faking of the moon landings, the evidence that vaccines cause autism or host of other nonsense. I'm sure they must be feeling swamped with shame.

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    2. Glen Fuller

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Marc,

      If you are providing the above link as 'evidence' so readers can compare this to the work of Prof Bacon, then they are not comparable.

      You provide one example of where the ABC moderator's was, in your opinion, not 'balanced' compared to Bacon's analysis of multiple media outlets.

      You do not demonstrate what sort of relation there is between journalistic professional practice and the work of moderators of online forums.

      You do not provide evidence for or even argue the case of how your…

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    3. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Glen Fuller

      We are on a website that purports to discuss actual academic research.

      You certainly go the "purports" bit correct.

      1. to claim (to be a certain thing, etc.) by manner or appearance, esp falsely

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    4. George Crisp

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Very gracious of you to provide the link to the authors response that entirely explains and refutes your criticisms.

      Mark I am sure you would know that any one paper looking at biological endpoints of itself does not prove much in systems science, but the findings of this Melbourne Uni study clearly do fit the bigger picture that the effects of climate change are visible in the changing responses of species.

      Also it is very gracious of you to provide the link to the authors response that entirely explains and refutes your criticisms.

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    5. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Mr Lang regards skeptical science as an unworthy site to quote (despite the fact they have won an award for their presentation of science and have as a policy that ALL their articles, and even posts on threads, MUST substnatiate their arguments with evidence and peer reviewed science)

      But he regards a link to a well known journalist climate science denialist as worthy - and this link references that doyen of truth in climate science WUWT - run by the arch climate denilaist and hypocrite Anthony Watts - who faously said he would said whatever were the resultsof the BESt study and immediayely recanted when the results weren't to his liking.

      Further evidence of Mr Lang's eggregious bias blindspots and further demonstration that he is a Tedious Regurgitator Of Logical Lemmings on the Conversation

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    6. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to George Crisp

      Hey George,
      The first line of the response admits the study is essentially bunk. In case you missed it here it is:

      "First, we agree it would be ideal if we could base our estimate of the trend of emergence date on systematic surveys of observations of butterflies emerging from their chrysalides. However, owing to funding and logistical factors, systematic surveys are exceedingly rare, especially in the southern hemisphere (Rosenzweig et al. 2008)."

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    7. George Crisp

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Mark - I think you know that is deliberately false or misleading - you are taking one quote out of context and using it to misrepresent the paper - which, as should know, quite clearly states that the authors recognise where there could be better data and how they have sought to account for that.

      That is the usual process in scientific papers. I thought you were doing a PhD !

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    8. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to George Crisp

      George it is odd that you are unable to mentally process the full implications of the statement made by the authors of the butterfly paper given your qualifications. They stuffed up pure and simple. They misrepresented observations of butterflies for emergence dates. The rest of their paper falls apart after this. You appear to be falling back on ideology rather than critical thinking. Perhaps a refresher course is needed.

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    9. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Run out of arguments Felix?

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    10. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      What is there to argue with?

      This was your last posting:

      Gee Felix, you are so so clever. If I pull the other one will I get a rendition Chicken Little, or just more Bull?

      For some actual evidence have a look at my piece in The Australian to see how ABC's shoddy environmental activists practice their "craft...

      In short, a nasty and childish little spit at me followed by a reference to an article you wrote in the very newspaper that is under examination.

      what is the correct way to 'argue' against personal insults backed by personal opinion masquerading as some kind of evidence?

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    11. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Well the dummy spit above doesn't cut it.

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    12. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Marc, I appreciate that you can't tell the difference between a dummy spit and a trenchant but rational observation.

      But, if you want an argument, try this:
      Given the frequently snide and highly critical remarks you make in places like this, your complaint in your Australian article about somebody making a similarly opinionated comment on the ABC site and the ABC being reluctant to remove it merely because you asked them to do so is simply risible.

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  2. Peter Lang

    Retired geologist and engineer

    To argue that the News Limited media is biased in its reporting of climate alarmism but not say the same about ABC, BBC, Fairfax press, Cricky and the left wing media is highly biased in itself.

    The ABC for example has been selectively campaigning for Labor and Green policies and supporting scare-mongering on climate change and renewable energy for at elast 20 years. For 20 years they've been taking every opportunity to link climate alarmism and their advocacy for renewable energy. They frequently…

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    1. Glen Fuller

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Peter,
      Professor Bacon's report does not seek to demonstrate an absence of reporting. Her report analyses what is reported, how it is reported and across which mastheads it is reported from across a number of media organisations.

      To carry out research in a similar fashion examining different mastheads/platforms/media outlets or asking different questions, then you would need to analyse what is reported and how it is reported.

      Can you see how this is qualitatively different to the points you raise…

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    2. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Peter Lang

      From Peter Lang
      "Schmittner et al had a paper published in Science last week that, if it holds up, shows that the scare mongering about climate change is not justified. There is virtually no chance of the high climate sensitivities that have been the basis for the climate change scare mongering. "

      From Andreas Schmittner, one of the paper's authors.
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111124150827.htm
      "Schmittner said continued unabated fossil fuel use could lead to similar warming of the sea surface as reconstruction shows happened between the Last Glacial Maximum and today.
      "Hence, drastic changes over land can be expected," he said. "However, our study implies that we still have time to prevent that from happening, if we make a concerted effort to change course soon."

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    3. Thomas Marshall

      Postgraduate Student

      In reply to Peter Lang

      It could be that the IPCC, in writing about climate change, sought people who know about climate change. Those people probably did already belong to some sort of environmental organisation, because, having gained knowledge about climate change, they may have decided to do something about it.

      Lucky the relevant knowledge and experience of those people can be so effectively balanced against the opinions of people with no relevant knowledge.

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    4. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Mike Hansen,

      Why did you choose to avoid mentioning that Schmittner also said there is virtually no chance of climate sensitivity being greater than 3 K for CO2 doubling?

      Is your comment an example of selection bias? This is the complaint being levelled at the ABC and the left leaning media.

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    5. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Glen Fuller

      Glen Fuller,

      Thank you for your response.

      You say “Professor Bacon's report does not seek to demonstrate an absence of reporting.”

      You ask “Can you see how this is qualitatively different to the points you raise above?”

      I can see the qualitative difference. But it demonstrates selection bias.

      As Gideon Polya says:

      “the appalling censorship, self-censorship and lying by omissions and commission of Mainstream media in Murdochracy and Lobbyocracy Australia.”

      How biased is that comment. However…

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    6. Shane Perryman

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Well its one paper and <a href="http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/11/ice-age-constraints-on-climate-sensitivity/">more informed minds</a> than you or I note that there are some assumptions in this work, but that the range confirms the IPCC estimates.

      But lets use a simple analogy.\to frame this.

      On learning that a poison is slightly less toxic then initially estimated, how much do you choose to swallow? Do you choose to swallow more?

      That appears to be what you are implying. CO2 sensitivity you say will not produce a 3K change for a concentration doubling... the result being what... just burn a bit more until it does produce a 3K change?

      Note that 3K is above the 2K change that we should be attempting to avoid.

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    7. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Shane Perryman

      Shane, That's not a very sensible response.

      You are ignoring the important statement that the mostly likely climate sensitivity is 2.3 K (1.7 to 2.6 K at 66%). So 2K will not be reached until late this century under Business as Usual. So we have much more time to get the policies right. And for sure they are not renewable energy targets renewable energy certificates, CO2 tax and ETS.

      The Left's proposed solutions - CO2 tax and ETS - will not change the climate and will not reduce global GHG…

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    8. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Peter. I see that you are from the "up is down and down is up" school.
      Ever thought about a second career as a Murdoch journalist?

      I quote the author of the paper you are so keen on saying we need to make a concerted effort to change course on carbon emmissions and you accuse me of bias! You raised the paper - I would have thought that you would be interested in the author's interpretation of it.

      And its all the left's fault for blocking nuclear. LOL If only it were true. Unfortunately 3mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukashima etc are the reason nuclear is not economic.
      I see the "left" are also having great success stopping carbon emissions which have just reached record levels.

      Pehaps if you stopped seeing reds under your bed you would not sound so irrational.

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    9. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      and if Mike stopped swilling those reds perhaps he'd be able to provide a constructive response!

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    10. Shane Perryman

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Peter Lang

      And I point out that there are questions as to whether one paper should be given such weight. Whether or not the BAU trajectory of carbon release holds is also debatable. Only a slight increase in greenhouse gas release and the "extra time" that you say we have from the reduced sensitivity may disappear.

      If IPCC modelling is not to be trusted then how come you trust the BAU estimates? Because it suites you?

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    11. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Shane Perryman

      Shane,

      This thread is about bias of MSM, especially News Corp. You argue that one paper should not be given so much weight. My point is that the Left MSM (ABC, Fairfax media, Crikey, etc) make a big deal of every paper that supports the catastrophic AGW religion; for example, the extensive media coverage / advocacy given to the papers that talk up catrastrophic consequences of warming and "its worse than we feared". Yet when a paper published in Science, which says the "thick tail" of bad consequences is chopped off, the Left MSM don't want to mention it. That is bias.

      I am wondering why no one has commented on the IAC report (into the IPCC processes). Here is an easy summary where the reports key findings are listed by category:
      http://tome22.info/IAC-Report/IAC-Report-Overview-Short.html
      - Political Interference
      - Bias
      - Uncertainty
      - Conflict of Interest
      - Management

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    12. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      given the carbon intensity of their production they'll be among the first things the government bans. Best stock up while you still can.

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    13. George Crisp

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      More likely that wine will become more "local" ( as in Europe ) and there will be an added cost from embodied carbon and water.

      However, the Hunter has some far more urgent problems that will undermine their viticulture well before a carbon price rises enough to significantly affect prices or production.

      The coal industry ( and CSG ) will doubtless consume the valley, pollute its air and overuse its water unless we reign in the unfeted growth of this industry.... oh wait a minute.. that's where a carbon price comes in.

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    14. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to George Crisp

      George there is no tax on exports so the CT ain't going to reign in anything. it's just going to make things cost more in australia.

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    15. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to George Crisp

      Piece by Gavin Atkins that is required reading...surprising that The Con didn't think to put it up. Then again if all you're interested in a one sided conversation ....

      How independent is the Centre for Independent Journalism?

      The director of the Centre for Independent Journalism at the University of Technology, Sydney, Professor Wendy Bacon has come out with a report claiming to show that News Limited is campaigning, rather than reporting on the climate tax.

      At least she acknowledges it, but…

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    16. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      The Conversation publishes only from academics associated with the organisation.

      perhaps if you took the time to inform yourself about that which you comment you would have known that??

      And shock horror, the ACF was involved in funding the study which WAS disclosed.

      If only all those so called indepdentent studies and reports from "transparent" organisations like the GWPF were so honest?

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    17. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      here's something of a little more substance on the topic

      http://rockblogs.psu.edu/climate/2011/12/an-ethical-analysis-of-the-climate-change-disinformation-campaign-is-this-a-new-kind-of-assault-on-h.html

      "Climate change must be understood at its core as an ethical problem because; (a) it is a problem caused by some people in one part of the world that are hurting poor people who are often far away and poor, (b) the harms to these victims are potentially catastrophic, and (c) the victims can't protect…

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    18. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      and that's where the groupthink begins!

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    19. George Crisp

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      If you think the Universities are corrupted by their funding try private enterprise funded "think tanks".

      Do you really believe that private funded groups will ever be as independent as our academically based publicly funded universities ?

      You think the ABC is biased with a left-wing agenda, yet they give virtually free reign to the neo-liberal IPA. They even gave you a run. So I don't know exactly what you are complaining about.

      If they, or the Conversation, were reflecting the scientific literature then we should expect at least 97% of offerings to be in agreement with AGW. But clearly in their rather naive quest for balance, they actually overcompensate.

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    20. Matthew Thompson

      Editor at The Conversation

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Hi everyone. We welcome all academics with positions at universities to contribute. Research bodies such as the CSIRO also get a run. I'd like to cast the net wider and wider by spreading the word through our higher education institutions. All and no ideologies have a place at the table. Cheers, Matt.

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    21. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Ah, and Mr Hendrickx is a paragon of individual independent thinking - silly of me not to realise :)

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    22. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Matthew Thompson

      And it works well Matt. I have really enjoyed The Conversation and have had some vigorous debates with some contrinutors as well as praising and agreeing with others.

      I will say that your comment "All and no ideologies have a place at the table" is absolutely borne out by my experience. It's refreshing.

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    23. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Matthew Thompson

      Matt,
      Still waiting for those articles on climate change by academics Judy Curry, Paul Reiter, Roger Pielke Snr/Jnr, Bob Carter, Ian Plimer, David Douglas, Roy Spencer etc etc.

      Seems to me only one ideology is tolerated at this site paid for by my taxes.

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    24. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      if you call that substance you have partaken in a little too much Hunter Valley Shiraz

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    25. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to George Crisp

      ABC gives free reign to the IPA???? Another evidence free statement.
      Seems like that corruption is quite extensive and includes this site along with others.

      Suggest you simply read widely to counteract the bias like I do,

      The Con presents a very narrow range of opinions on climate change. When I see something by academics such as either of the Pielke's or Judy Curry perhaps i'll change my mind. Until then, the Con seems to be aiming to cover a very narrow ideological viewpoint.

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    26. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Gee Chris Berg, that's one writer Mark. Are you scared of reading an opinion that might challenge you? The ABC is supposed to have a balance and not just present the views of one side (unlike this tax payer funded site). In fact their charter demands it, or perhaps you have forgotten?

      I'd rather hear from Matthew Thompson about the bias that defines another tax payer funded opinion site: The Con. What about it Matt, will we hear a range of views or just more Groupthink?
      OLO manage to do without a crutch from the tax payer why not you, Matt? If you are relying on public funding like the ABC then a range of views that is verified by audit would seem most appropriate. I'm sick and tired of seeing such a narrow range of views on a site funded by the tax payer.

      http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/

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    27. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Thomas Marshall

      Hey Thomas,
      Suggest you read journalist Donna Laframboise's book on the IPCC, it provides a slightly different perspective on why the IPCC chose the people it did.

      It is titled: The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World's Top Climate Expert.

      The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change writes a report informally known as the Climate Bible. Cited by governments around the world, this report is the reason carbon taxes are being introduced, heating bills are rising, and costly new…

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    28. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Certainly act as a counterpoint to the lack of independent thought at this site. Just wonder how long independent thinking will be tolerated here ;)

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    29. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Look it up Mr Hendrickx - there are plenty of others who have also contributed on the ABC Drum, Tim Wilson (who specialises in climate misonformation for the IPA) , Sinclair Davidson (4 in the last two months), Allen Moran - the list goes on.

      Are you scared to use actual evidence or are you just happy to continue to look foolish?

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    30. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      It is written by a group of eminent ethicists. It is a presentation they made at the conference in Durban.

      They included Donald A. Brown, Associate Professor Environmental Ethics, Science, and Law, Penn State University, Stephen Gardiner from the University of Washington, Jon Rosales from St. Lawrence University, Katherine Kintzell from the Center for Humans and Nature and the IUCN Environmental Law Commission Ethics Working Group, Kenneth Shockley from the University of Buffalo, and Marilyn Averill from the University of Colorado at Boulder

      Of course I doubt you even read it. The fact that you dismiss it of no significance assoiated with a cheap insult simply shows how poor your argument is and the shoddy nature of your intellect in relation to this matter.

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    31. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Let's see, All of these are on the fringe of maintream climate science.

      Roy Spencer disputes evolution and believes in intelligent design - a non-science faith based on no evidence - and genrally apllies the same approach to climate science. he says some of the most silly things on climate
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/skeptic_Roy_Spencer.htm

      Bob Carter isn't even a climate scientist and hasn't published any science on the matter for over a decade - his book has been debunked everywhere - including…

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    32. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      You'll be okay. As you are yet to demonstrate anything remotely resembling either :)

      Tiresome Repeats Of Lightweight Logical Silliness don't count you see.

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    33. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Maybe - or maybe the book is full of misrepresentation

      The book is writeen by a journalist with an agenda - is it possible she is magnifying what would suit her cause and ignoring anything else?

      That there are criticisms of the politcs with the IPCC is nothing new. The IAC report found this and made recommendations for change which the IPCC is implementing.

      Regardless of your view on these criticisms (and some are, to be sure, legitimate) - her book makes NO finding about the science. So is this yet another misrepresentation by smear?

      Fox news certainly devided to present it that way http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/11/07/362111/fox-attacks-on-un-climate-pane/

      Oooh - wait - they are part of the very organisation that has been shown in this study to misrepresent climate change? Hmm, possible skepticism about the book? I wonder.

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    34. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Ah the SS blog: last refuge of the gullible activist.

      On religion and science odd that you don't mention the weird beliefs of the so called "A" team. Tim Flannery and his belief in "Gaia" is most unscientific for instance.

      "Mainstreamer" Mike Hulme (a contributer to The Conversation) is an evangelical Christian (odd that it was not disclosed in his Con profile) and based on your assessment of Roy Spencer should probably resign.

      Here's Mike own take on it:
      http://www.newstatesman.com/religion/2011/04/god-believe-faith-world-belief

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    35. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      I didn't find much in the way of ethics on that site, just more cherry picking, confirmation bias, shoddy research, slander and misrepresentation. I can see now why you found it so fascinating.

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    36. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Be nice if you could spell their names correctly. But you forget (as only an idiot would) that ABC has this thing called a charter that means it must represent community views. As such a handful of rational intelligent minds have managed to get a place at The Drum, to counteract the misinformation being spread by so many more.

      The actual evidence in the way of contributors to The Drum, and their op ed pieces shows quite a lack of balance.
      But look for yourself mate, what are you scared of?...
      http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/contributors

      Now will Matt Thompson comment on the absence of pieces by the Peilke's, Curry etc. The Con only publishes articles by academics who share the world view of the editors. This would be fine, but with the use of tax payers money to spread such narrow viewpoints, it's a travesty.

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    37. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      You are a true hypocrite!

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    38. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Apparenetly Marc Hendrickx cannot distinguish between someone who has christian faith and someone who believes in intelligent design and refutes evolution.

      Many scientists profess the christian faith - but anyone who accepts intelligent design - (which is not a science and has no scientific basis) in place of evolution (which does have a scientific basis and for which there is abundant evidence) - as does Roy Spencer - clearly calls into question their overall science credentials.

      That this a…

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    39. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Amusing - that Mr Hendrickx - who finds it easy to accuse others of intoxication (as a poor substitute for an actual logical argument) now claims that he finds nothing in the way of ethics in a presentation by a collection of eminent academic ethicists and philosophers says more about him, his views, his inability to see his own bias, and his own logical vapidity than it does about the issue at hand.

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    40. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Keep on digging that hole Mike!

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    41. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      I'd suggest any belief in fairies at the bottom of the garden would call into question someone's judgement. But live and let live I say.

      Are you a believer in those fairies to, Mike?

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    42. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Mr Hendricks, it would appear, prefers to continue to look foolish.

      He has now admitted his own misrepresentation.

      His initial claim - questioning whether or not the ABC gave free reign to the IPA was defeated on the evidence (as any scan of the contributors list shows there are many articles from the IPA and NO evidence at all of their being restricted). Now he indulges in abuse in place of argument and has shifted his claim to note that the ABC has a charter to allow the IPA access which it…

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    43. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mike the list is an abbreviated one, I'm happy for all comers to share their wisdom. You on the other appear to only want to hear those views that you agree with.

      You are a sad case.

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    44. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Oh! I am undone by your piercing logical refutation cleverly hidden as unsubstantiated abuse and derogatory comment.

      If you actually examine Ms Laframboise's core thesis - that much of climate science is done by post gards and early post docs (meaning scientists in their mid 20;s to early 30's)- well - so what! Anyone who actually has experience in this knows that this is indeed true. A very large proportion of science in every field is done by people studying for the PhD's (they all have graduate…

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    45. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Perhaps - but at least I can spell your name. Been hitting too much of that red?

      For the record I appreciate much of what the IPA has to offer, and have commented positively on a number of IPA articles on the Drum - and have critcised some too. I prefer to base my views on evidence and logic. You, apparently, do not.

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    46. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      My personal beliefs, in regard to matters of faith, are irrelevant. Nor do I see the need to denigrate those who have genuine faith.

      It is when that faith intrudes on their ability to practice science (such as in the case of Dr Spencer) that I call into question their credibility.

      Yet again I see you fail to appreciate that distinction. Further indications of your lack of judgement I would suggest

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    47. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Here's an email from the recently released climategate part 2. Seems Mike Hulme has some issues separating faith and science. Just like Mark Harrigan.

      http://di2.nu/foia/foia2011/mail/0999.txt

      date: Mon May 20 09:45:55 2002
      from: Mike Hulme <m.hulme@xxx.ac.uk>
      subject: Re: SONGS OF PRAISE
      to: Joanna Malton <joanna.malton.01@xxx.co.uk>

      Joanna,
      I am happy to talk, although I am not really sure what you are after. My work is as
      Director of the national centre for climate change research…

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    48. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      So Mike Hulme takes his christian faith as a guide to his ethics and values. This is a problem why? There is no evidence it impacts his actuall practice of science.

      Dr Spencer, on the other hand, allows his faith to blind him to the evidence for evolution - which is evidence it impacts his actual practice of science.

      Which part of that distinction does marc hendrickx not understand?

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    49. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      spell my name? based on the evidence directly above it appears you are having some problems.
      You might prefer to base your views on evidence and logic, but from the rambling that passes for comment above it appears you fail to live up to that standard.

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    50. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      I apologise for the typo above Mr Hendrickx -(you must admit that x at the end is tricky) but consistently using "Mike" for "Mark" is, I suggest, a different quality of error, and one you have committed on serveral occasions on this post. Not that I would expect you to understand this.

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    51. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      The problem you have Mark is that you only see the evidence you choose to see. Mike Hulme states: "My work is as Director of the national centre for climate change research, a job which requires me to translate my Christian belief about stewardship of God's planet into research and action." That you are unable to see the problems in this approach, and the conflicts it has with the rational world of science suggests you suffer from the same delusion.

      That sticky feeling you have on your face is the cream from the pie you are wearing. Time for a long hard look in the mirror.

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    52. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Keep building those straw men Mark!

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    53. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      When you can table evidence that Mike Hulme allows his faith to compromise his practice of science, get back to me.

      On the other hand someone who claims to be a scientist who states they accept intelligent design over the theory of evolution as a scientific explanation of how life came to be on this planet, has clearly shown that they have allowed a faith (belief without evidence) to compromise their practice of science.

      Whilst it is a matter of contested philosophical debate as to whether faith…

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    54. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Seems you'll never get it. Say hi to those fairies for me.

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    55. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Was that meant to be an argument?

      Ms Laframboise is reported as claiming http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/ipcc-warming-assessments-attract-the-activists-and-snub-the-sceptics/story-e6frg6zo-1226180881974 <note - Murdoch media>
      "Laframboise used to take climate science at face value. She thought the case had been made by a committee of many neutral scientists working for the UN that global warming was a serious threat."

      She started writing her book in August 2009. At the beginning of…

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    56. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Was that an attempt at an argument and logical refutation - or just a poor substitute for the lack of evidence you are able to provide to support your position?

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    57. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Donna seems to know what she's on about but you don't have "cloue".

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    58. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Mr Hendrickx - if the best you can do is focus on typographical errors rather than evidence, reasoning or logic then it says a great deal about your mentality, your intellect and the validity of your case - none of which would appear to be favourable

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    59. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark, given you believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden, (please correct me if I'm mistaken) there would be little point in presenting evidence as it would be lost on someone who puts faith ahead of reason.

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    60. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Mr Hendrickx if all you can do is continue to attempt (lame) wit and ridicule then it is pointless indulging in discourse. When you have some actual new evidence to post I shall pay attention. If it is actually persuasive it may even lead me to change my opinion (look up John Maynard Keynes on this)

      But so far, as anyone can read, your posts are remarkably evidence light.

      For the record I don't believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden. I do, however, have conclusive evidence for the existence of trolls.

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    61. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Glad to hear you are null and void on the subject of fairies. Seems there's hope for you yet.

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    62. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Hulme calls himself an evangelical and actively supports missions to far off countries (thus spreading ignorance wider) and does so apparently while on a university payroll and you fail to see problems with this! He believes he is on a mission from god to save the planet, and somehow you consider this does not affect the way he does science!

      The double standards and hypocrisy of your position are remarkable.

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    63. Matthew Thompson

      Editor at The Conversation

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Hi all.
      Wow, it's been a busy weekend for comments.
      As I have said, The Conversation welcomes articles by academics with university positions writing about their discipline area, regardless of their ideology or which side of various fences they are on. Academics with something to contribute are invited to send it in.
      Regarding the story above about Wendy Bacon's research, I might have already said this, but running a story about it does not mean I endorse it, or The Conversation endorses it, or that…

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    64. George Crisp

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      You are confusing science with morals and values. On science and reason you should judge him as a scientist by what he has published or stated.

      His morals and values, in this case guided by religion, inform what action he feels appropriate.

      Climate change is undoubtedly a moral issues, disadvantaging the already disadvantaged and is iniquitous, particularly to future generations and the poorest and most vulnerable people in the poorest countries with least capacity to adapt.

      The fact that you…

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    65. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Marc Hendrickx

      I for one would welcome articles from Carter or Plimer. Matt Thompson indicates that there is no issue with them contributing to the Conversation. There has been calls in other articles here for people who claim that climate science is wrong to contribute to the peer reviewed literature.

      Basically it is time for them to put up or shut up.

      They get no shortage of exposure in the adoring Murdoch press where there is no challenge to their attacks on climate science.

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    66. George Crisp

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Depends on the format. Plimer and Carter have had no shortage of soap boxes and given another opinion-piece opportunity they would no doubt just parrot the same old false arguments. Perhaps there could be a climate scientist counterpoint included. Better still, they publish their findings in a peer reviewed journal first.

      If they have articles here, just as the Drum, the comments will be flooded with their monocular followers. I have read and listened to Plimer and Carter et al, it does not really improve understanding.

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    67. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to George Crisp

      Gee George so much mixed up in that response no wonder you are so confused. Next you'll be telling us plate tectonics is the greatest moral challenge of our time, or did Mr Rudd already lay claim to that one?.

      By the way, given you endorsed the climate commission's report on human health, perhaps you can explain why Paul Reiter's evidence in relation to mosquito borne disease was left out? (see here for instance: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldeconaf/12/12we21.htm

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    68. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Hey Marc, isn't it about time you contacted the editor of the Conversation and demanded that your snide postings be removed, then accuse them of bias when they decide to allow them to stand? Surely sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander?

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    69. George Crisp

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      If there is something specifically that you don't understand my previous comments, please ask and I will try to explain in more detail.

      Regarding your subsequent comments: Clealry there are competing nad interacting factors that determine infectious disease prevalence and distribution. What we can expect to see from a changing climate is changing patterns of infectious diseases. And it is likely that some diseases will become less prevalent.

      Mosquitoes borne illnesses will depend not just on temperature…

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    70. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to George Crisp

      "And if so, do you not think it would be worth trying to reduce emissions even there was only the smallest risk that all of our scientific bodies and academies were correct?"

      George, hate to burst your bubble but that's not how sensible policy is made. If we acted on the "smallest risk", that would be the end of modern society as we know it. It is an alarmist position that simply is not credible, (just like most of what you have written above).

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    71. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Matthew Thompson

      Matt, would be nice to see Tim Blair's response to Wendy's study posted in full. But then again based on what The Con has covered to date and the one sided nature of the conversation I guess balance and a well rounded debate is not what you are after.

      Here are some extracts for the humourless academics who believe the sky is falling and dwell here:

      In her 70-page report, which is not at all stupid and reflective of a predictably academic hostility towards commerce and progress, Bacon claims that “many Australians did not receive fair, accurate and impartial reporting in the public interest in relation to the carbon policy in 2011.”

      This is true, but we can’t help it if many Australians choose to listen to the ABC. Perhaps Bacon’s report will serve to enlighten these people by drawing further attention to the Telegraph‘s excellent coverage.

      Here's a link...
      http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/spendy_wendy/

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    72. George Crisp

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Well perhaps I should accept that my comment should have read "smallest probability" rather than "smallest risk that our scientific bodies are correct".

      But, you know full well that the IPCC have have assessed the probability of greenhouse induced climate change at > 90% and that the recent assessment of increasing Extreme Weather Events occuring in the future as virtually certain ( 99 - 100% ). Every other national scientific academy has taken a similar view of anthropogenic climate change.

      The point I was making was that even if the probability was only small it would still be worth acting because of the enormity of the consequnces, the risk is a product of probility and consequence. And risk clearly is a determinant in policy and decision making at every level.

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    73. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Like many of yours, they might be snide but they are not slanderous, there's a difference.

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    74. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Neither constitutes an argument based on logic or evidence, although sometimes ridicule seems the only sane response to some of the more illogical rants perpetrated by pseudo skeptics.

      The fact that Mr Hendickx seems only capable of snide reponses in response to evidence based logical rebuttals reveals the intellectual vacuity of his position.

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    75. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to George Crisp

      Same unsatisfactory result emerges when you insert the words " smallest probability".

      And, yes man is having an influence on the environment (I have never said otherwise), but at the end of the day it is the net effect of that influence that is the key ingredient in assessing future change and the need for "action", and the type of "action". I know you can see a climate crisis around every corner, but based on current trends its hard to see anything other than a minor inconvenience.

      Your take on…

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    76. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Mr Hendricks again shows he has no idea what the science actually says.

      The science says you cannot judge trends in climate driven by external forcings (as opposed to natural variation) on anything less than a 17 year basis.

      http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011JD016263.shtml
      JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 116, D22105, 19 PP., 2011
      doi:10.1029/2011JD016263
      Separating signal and noise in atmospheric temperature changes: The importance of timescale
      Key Points
      •Models run with human forcing…

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    77. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Nice cherry picking there. Of course the whole deal falls flat if climate sensitivity is not as suggested by the exaggerated assessments of the ipcc. And low and behold just last week we had a group of mainstream climate scientists suggesting just that (Schmittner et al 2011). The disparity between the dire model projections and reality continues to grow. With 15 of those 17 years gone, things better start happening fast or that mild inconvenience will turn out to be an over estimate.

      In Mark's world even going to the loo induces a mad panic. When Mark steps outside he puts on his trusty foil helmet just in case he's hit by a micro meteorite. You can never be sure. In Mark's world the worst is always around the corner. Talk about a panic merchant! I blame the media, Fairfax and ABC for sensationalizing the issue.

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    78. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Thanks Marc. Schmittner et al estimate a 66% probability that climate sensitivity (mean temperature rise for a doubling of CO2-e) is in the range 1.7-2.6 K, with a best estimate of 2.4 K.

      Just as Schmittner et al found no chance of the lunatic alarmist claim of climate sensitivity exceeding 6 K, they also found negligible chance that climate sensitivity is less than 1.3 K.

      0K, the preferred sensitivity of the Denialists, is less than 1.3 K.

      A climate sensitivity of 2.4 K, by the way, means that 450 ppm CO2 will cause 1.6 K average global warming, rather than 2.0 K. Given that warming is concentrated near the poles, this will still prove perfectly adequate to thaw enough permafrost to release enough methane to bring on a warming spike such as the world hasn't seen since the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.

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    79. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      I quote peer reviewed science and Mr Hendrickx calls it cherry picking - well I can quote a whole lot more that backs this up. Then he resorts to his usual insults and denigration - presumeanly because he lacks the logic, intelligence and evidence to actually mount an argument?

      And, let's see who is the real "cherry picker" (i.e. one who conveniently selects only those aspwects of something they wish to bolster their case and "conveniently" ignores anything that doesn't)

      On the Schmittner paper…

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    80. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      David and Mike,
      You both manage to muddle up opinion with fact. No surprise there. In light of our current knowledge about our effect on climate the only certainty is uncertainty which leads to the question of an appropriate policy response. I suggest a prudent way forward, rather than the current path that will only make energy more expensive, is to encourage the gradual replacement of our current power generating facilities, where possible with advanced Thorium based nuclear reactors. This for a number of reasons, the main ones having little to do with climate change.

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    81. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Dropping the r now, you are so so funny, Mark.

      Once again you are caught out as a hypocrite.

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    82. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      My apologires for the typo dropping the r. I fail to see how that indicates hypocrisy - an attack you are all too ready to level at others without even pause for reflection about your own behaviour.

      On every single post from you that I can see on here - when evidence is presented that clearly demolishes your unsubstantiated claims you resort to abuse.

      Perhaps you should reflect on your own responses before attacking others?

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    83. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Mr Hendrickx accuses others of muddling opinion with fact.

      yet when scientific papers and evidence showing the reality of AGW and the important of ;long term trends is presented to him he calls it "cherry picking". he then goes on to selectively quote a differetn scientific paper. When his interpreation of this paper is shown to be erroneous both on the actual contents of the paper, a thorough review of the paper and the Author of the paper's own words he makes this accusation and shofts his ground…

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    84. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Mr Hendrickx, I endorse Mark Harrigan's response to your comments.

      You write: "In light of our current knowledge about our effect on climate the only certainty is uncertainty ... " New Scientist have a special report on "Climate change: what we do - and don't - know", at http://www.newscientist.com/special/climate-knowns-unknowns, that might help clarify uncertainty.

      "... which leads to the question of an appropriate policy response."

      I'm delighted that you suggest what you consider a prudent policy, but take exception to some of the following statements. For one, thorium reactors are not sufficiently developed; replacement of fossil fuel use needs to commence this decade, and be substantially complete well before the commonly dreamed-of 2050.

      I suggest you sign up to Climate Spectator, and learn and contribute to their discussion. (Peter Lang already does ...)

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    85. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      Contrary to David Arthur’s recommendation, I wouldn’t suggest anyone bother contributing to Climate Spectator unless they want to be subjected to continuous barrage of renewable energy advocacy, and anti-nuclear propaganda. It is inhabited by zealots of far Left persuasion. I post comments from time to time, but they are frequently deleted if they do not support Giles Parkinson’s agenda. He invariably deletes links to Brave New Climate as a matter of policy.

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    86. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Peter Lang's description of Climate Spectator is a little negative - the zealots of Far Left persuasion are, as far as I can tell, people who are interested in distributed renewable energy rather than huge centralised power plants.

      For example, here's a comment of mine, admittedly from "Nuclear - too hot to handle", http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/nuclear-too-hot-handle, in which I make the case for a nuclear power plant on the Nullarbor coast, west of Ceduna.

      ______________________________…

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    87. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Here's another comment of mine from the same Climate Spectator story.

      David LeComte's right about a national grid - Edit Reply
      Submitted by David Arthur on Wed, 2011-08-03 15:39.
      Another post of mine agrees with David LeComte about the lack of critical enabling infrastructure, and proposes a trans-Nullarbor HV DC power transmission line.

      As well as connecting the nuclear power plant to the nation, such a transmission line would enable installation of wind farms all the way from Ceduna to Esperance…

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    88. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      David Arthur,

      “the zealots of Far Left persuasion are, as far as I can tell, people who are interested in distributed renewable energy rather than huge centralised power plants.”

      Yes. And they haven’t a clue about the costs. “That’s Pig Ignorance” (your words).
      Like you, they are more interested in ideology than rational solutions. You provided an excellent example that proves my point.

      Nuclear at Ceduna – More ‘Pig Ignorance’ or plain stupidity based on nuclear phobia and anti-nuke ideology (i.e. Left).

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    89. Richard Mackie

      Manager

      In reply to Peter Lang

      I agree that the ABC can show bias in the renewables debate - that is bias against renewables - especially wind power. Why do we get such a plethora of anti wind farm stories on ABC TV that resemble more of an ACA or Today Tonight type beat up? The most recent being the rediculous story about wind turbines upsetting Marino sheep. Meanwhile the same sheep are being starved in a shed to produce the superfine wool. Is it because Chairman Maurice Newman is a well known wind farm opponent and on the distribution list of wind farm opposition groups who routinely spread misinformation? Fortunately journalists at the ABC do a reasonable job of presenting both sides of the story and the ridiculousness of these stories become self apparent.

      The more open critique of articles the better in my view, across all media organizations.

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    90. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Gday Peter, I'm not sure that you fully grasped my proposal before replying.

      1. I suggested that a nuclear power plant could be sited on the Nullarbor Coast WEST of Ceduna - there's 500 km of Nullarbor coast to choose from before you get to Eucla.

      2. In particular, the crucial enabling infrastructure is a trans-continental HV DC power connection between Eastern States and WA. That would substantially decrease the marginal connection cost for the Nullarbor Coast nuclear power plant, as it would for Bight Coast wind farms, Nullarbor solar thermal stations, and a trans-continental high speed rail link.

      As previously advised, attribution of qualities of nuclear phobia, anti-nuke ideology, and "Left" to me are ill-founded.

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    91. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Well stated Peter.

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    92. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      David Arthur,

      You haven’t missed the opportunity to make your usual snide remark.

      “"Gday Peter, I'm not sure that you fully grasped my proposal before replying.”

      I’d suggest you did not understand my reply and did not read the link I provided which shows the cost of transmission. I also posted previously that if we want low cost low emissions electricity we need to remove the impediments not add more. Putting a nuclear power plant along the coast away from the demand centre and the centre of industry, services, skilled labour and education facilities, would probably around double the cost of electricity for the 60 year life of the plant. If your anti-nuke, that’s just what you’d be trying to do.

      If you’d read the link I provided you might have learned that you cannot connect solar and wind farms to HVDC, not take off power part way along its length.

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    93. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Gday Peter, you argue for a 100% nuclear future for Australia, and you quibble at transmission costs?

      Thanks for the reference about technical issues relating to HV DC. Here's a suggestion: invert AC output from Bight coast wind farms and Nullarbor solar thermal to DC, and connect the DC to the trans-continental HV DC line. Cluster them with local AC networks if need be, maybe use them for the High Speed Rail line.

      It would still be cheaper than large-scale inundation of cities (Australia's major cities are all on the coast, we're up for particularly large losses over the next few centuries).

      BTW, the "snideness" of my remarks are no more than a reflection of the tone of your comments. If you want your remarks to be treated with any regard, then "zealots of Far Left persuasion" won't work.

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    94. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      David Arthur

      Your straw man arguments do not help your credibiity. This is not the first. It is what the CAGW Alarmists do incessantly. It’s part of your culture. “The end justifies the means.”

      “"Gday Peter, you argue for a 100% nuclear future for Australia.”
      Please refer me to where I said that? For the benefit of others, I’ve never said that.

      “and you quibble at transmission costs?”
      Have you any understanding of what the transmission costs would be for your proposal? Please work it out…

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    95. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Thanks Peter, I stand corrected about your views on Australia's nuclear future.

      My ideas are similar to those of the Beyond Zero Emissions group (with the addition of a Nullarbor coast nuclear plant). To that extent, I expect that my ideas suffer similar limitations and deficiencies.

      When I get the money and opportunity, my intention is to install a largish (~3 kW) roof-top PV array (we've already got solar hot water), and use it to charge a bank of lead acid batteries. Only when the batteries…

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    96. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Matthew Thompson

      Matthew, Could you please consider this suggestion regarding bias:

      TC REARRANGES THE ORDER OF COMMENTS AFTER THEY ARE POSTED

      The order of the comments on TC threads is being changed after the comments are posted. The adjustment accentuates the left wing bias of the site. It also means that comments that build on previous comments are posted ahead of the previous comment and therefore, make little sense. For example, my first comment on this thread is now at the end of the thread and comments…

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    97. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Matthew Thompson

      Matthew, you said:

      “The comment stream did get revved up, however, when I ran a bunch of academic reactions to the US Marines moving into Darwin. I remember accusations of bias because many of the academics featured were critical of the plan. And as I explained, in order to invite a large number of academics to comment, I used a national database to put out the call to experts in a variety of relevant disciplines (academics can opt to be contacted for interviews about Australian history, US studies…

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  3. Gideon Polya

    Sessional Lecturer in Biochemistry for Agricultural Science at La Trobe University

    I am a 5-decade career scientist in an area (biological chemistry and plant biochemistry in particular ) intimately involved in man-made climate change and technical solutions to the worsening climate emergency. I accept the overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is real, man-made and a huge threat to Humanity and the Biosphere. As a pro-free speech humanist intellectual I have also been a great fan of the courageous Wendy Bacon.

    Further, it is clear that the Murdoch media have…

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  4. Bernie Masters

    environmental consultant at FIA Technology Pty Ltd, B K Masters and Associates

    "The Age was more positive than the Sydney Morning Herald, and neither paper published a single opinion piece about the Government’s carbon policy by a climate change sceptic during the period under review, finds the report – which was conducted with the support of the Australian Conservation Foundation."
    While I'm pleased that the article and report on which it is based clearly state their own political bias, namely, "conducted with the support of the ACF", why is there no criticism of those newspapers that not public a single opinion piece about the Govt's carbon policy by a sceptic? Surely this lack of balance - a clear pro-AGW bias - is just as deserving of criticism as the Murdoch newspaper for what have been doing?

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    1. Warwick Brown

      Retired

      In reply to Bernie Masters

      It is fair to report the ACF connection as it is also de rigueur to report on fossil fuel connections, no matter how slight. Who was it who said "Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules"? It is also appropriate to report other connections.

      However, I do feel that Australia would do very well to have a truly independent, charitable body such as the US PEW Project for Excellence in Journalism, which seems to be able to be relied upon by all, rather than the multiple mix of university-based projects such as this one.

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  5. Richard Mackie

    Manager

    Peter I have read your papers criticising the uptake of renewables, in particular your claims that wind energy is costly to integrate in the electricity network. One of your papers is reported on here:
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/08/08/does-wind-power-reduce-carbon-emissions/

    To come to the conclusions that you make, ie that CO2 abatement using wind turbines is costly, you have to make some extreme and sometimes bizzare assumptions. For example you seem to assume that a wind turbine working…

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    1. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Richard Mackie

      Richard Mackie,

      You said:
      "To come to the conclusions that you make, ie that CO2 abatement using wind turbines is costly, you have to make some extreme and sometimes bizzare assumptions. For example you seem to assume that a wind turbine working along side a gas power station cannot rely on that gas power station for backup but actually needs ANOTHER gas power station sitting there and RUNNING to support the wind turbines. "

      This is a complete misunderstanding. It is an example of the mis leading statement that is common on the Climate Alarmists sites. Wind and solar power are uneconomic virtually everywhere. There is little chance they will ever be economic, but no point trying to explain that here.

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    2. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Lang

      I used to be an avid reader of the Weekend Australian. I don't buy it anymore and one key reason is my perception og the continual bias and slant in their coverage of climate change. In fact I dind their approach "dishonest"

      I would agree that their printed editorials follow the outline given by Greg Baxter, above. But I find his comments disinegnous. The Australian gives FAR more coverage to opinion pieces (masquerading as expert scientific opinion) by discredited (and largely unqualified in…

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    3. George Crisp

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Snap. We used to get the Australian for our practice waiting room, but we could not in all conscience continue.

      Climate change is perhaps the biggest public health challenge that we face, their stance and bias is plain irresponsible.

      And as for Greg Baxter's campaigns, one of which is to "destroy a political party" in a democratic country ! That is serious misuse of power.

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    4. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark Harrigan,

      Could it have anything to do with the massive public funding and regulations which mandate that unreliable power generators must be built to produce 20% of our electricity by 2020? And do you think the government regulations that are being imposed could have anything to do with ideolology?

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    5. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      That's a pretty clear example of bia. You don't want to knnow about what doesn't agree with your beliefs.

      ""destroy a political party" in a democratic country ! That is serious misuse of power."

      Did you think of that each time you turn on the ABC and see Red Kerry, Tony Jones and all the rest of the journalists that hop in and out of the ABC and the Labor Party? Do you think of that when you look at the decade the John Howard had to govern with an antagositic press gallery.

      By the way, you can see the Left bias of the "Conbversation" contributors just by looking through the voting scores on the comments.

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    6. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Possibly Peter - however those are a lot of claims without substantiation.

      What's more they relate to an Australian renewables target. The investment figures I have quoted are global. Also
      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-09/fossil-fuels-got-more-aid-than-clean-energy-iea.html

      Fossil fuels receive more than SIX times the subsidies globally that renewables do - strange then that they are not attracting more investment if your logic is right?

      Perhaps you should check your facts before sounding…

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    7. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Gadzooks - Comrades - we are discovered . Peter Land has seen through our clever leftist conspiracy on the Conversation!

      Actually - It is no example of bias at all ( I used to but the Australian because I enjoyed their what I saw to be their practical, well informed political analysis and coverage).

      What I do not want to pay for is a dishonest campaign by the Australian that says one thing (claim to have a rational and balanced response based on the science and evidence re climate change) but…

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    8. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Dr Harrigan,

      "Fossil fuels receive more than SIX times the subsidies globally that renewables do - strange then that they are not attracting more investment if your logic is right?

      Perhaps you should check your facts before sounding off?"

      You should too. Non-hydro renewables produce about 1% of electricity and about 0.2% of total energy. Fossil fuels produce most of the remainder. You need to divide the subsidies by the energy produced to get a sensible comparison. If you do so, you find the unreliables get around 100 times the subsidy of fossil fuels per unit of energy produced.

      By the way, you did not substantiate your figures. But don't bother because your selection would be some cherry picked figure so no point.

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    9. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Lang

      That's not what the IEA says

      http://www.iea.org/textbase/nppdf/free/2011/key_world_energy_stats.pdf

      Hydro accounts for 16.2%, renewables 3.3% where electricity production is concerned. - higher in OECD countries that have more advanced technology..

      For total energy it is 2.3% Hydro and 0.8% renewables, If you add biofuels and waste they account for nearly 11% alone.

      Let's take a look at Europe - according to Eurostat (the official eurpoean statistics agency) http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-SF-10-056/EN/KS-SF-10-056-EN.PDF

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    10. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark Harrigan,

      The statement you made that you did not substantiate and I’ve contested is this:

      “Fossil fuels receive more than SIX times the subsidies globally that renewables do - strange then that they are not attracting more investment if your logic is right?"

      First, I asked you if you think the mandating of renewables (unreliables) and the subsidies for them might be the explanation (not just in Australia but across much of the OECD). You have not answered that question.

      You say that there…

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    11. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Peter Lang apparently cannot read - my data for the rate of investment in renewables comes from Bloomberg (that hotbed of leftist bias who know nothing about matters financial).

      Having been shown numerous times on this thread to either make data up or apparently rely on the misrepresentation of the data by the Murdoch media, revealing his own cognitive biases and degree of being misinformed, Peter Lang now needs to shift his ground in order to avoid cognitive dissonance. A typical tactic of the…

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    12. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      OMG, Mark Harrigan is quoting the Wikipedia, SkepticalScience and ABC. Wow. What authoritative sites they are. Wjhat a joke.

      I suspect Mark Harrigan hasn't go a clue about Levelisted Cost Of Electricity (LCOE) or about the abatement cost. If he had he would answer my questions.

      Who's shifting ground.

      This si the sort of diatribe that has discredited the CAGW Alarmists. It is an example that demonstrates it has become 10% fact and 90% ideology, religion, belief and shrieking by zealots.

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    13. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark Harrigan,

      Thank you for providing the IEA figures for contribution of non-hydro renewable generation (3.3%) for electricity generation and 0.8% for total energy.. The point is that these figures are negligible. The amount of investment is high because they are enormously expensive and they are mandated and heavily subsidised. Yet produce a negligible contribution to our energy needs.

      The fact that you present numbers such as here:
      “Fossil fuels receive more than SIX times the subsidies globally that renewables do - strange then that they are not attracting more investment if your logic is right?", demonstrates your bias, which is what this thread is about.

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    14. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Go and argue it with Bloomberg - it's where the figures come from. You can also argue the toss with IEA.

      I think, on any objective basis, my sources are more credible than those you use.

      Clearly you are what noted eticist Lawrence Toricello calls a pseudo-skeptic - as descrived in an earlier post.

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    15. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark, I've been reading the IEA reports and many others for 30 years.

      Grow up.

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    16. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Peter.

      Arguing that burning coal for energy is more economic than renewable energy is like arguing that asbestos is an economic building material. Both arguments are probably true if you ignore the side effects.

      The economics of renewable energy are predicated on the need to dramatically reduce global use of fossil fuels.

      This study in the Amercian Economic Review
      http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.5.1649
      estimates that the true cost [of coal] lies somewhere between ~50…

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    17. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Shame then that you fail to understand them. How is it then that your original figures on energy for renewables were a factor of 3 or 4 too low. A Factor of of an order of magnitude when looking at advanced economies.

      Perhpas you have read them with the same deligence and comprehension ability you demonstrated with the IAC report - which is to say - none.

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    18. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Perhaps that is because you have yet to cogently make one with any coherence or substantiation

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  6. George Crisp

    Medical Practitioner

    Great work - confirming what was already clear to anyone who follows the scientific literature.

    If the mainstream media was indeed "balanced" and their reporting really did reflect the current scientific media and publications, then there would be an overwhelming proponderence of editorials and articles confirming the link between anthropogenic emissions and other activities and climate change and barely a mention of the well publicised, non-science based contrarians.

    The mismatch between the popular press and the science is quite extraordinary

    It is similarly extraordinary that the highly vocal contrarians think that the ABC is somehow biased toward pro-AGW writers when in fact those that incessantly, recycle old and debunked myths should barely rate a mention. Yet their entitlement, despite its baselessness, seems to know no bounds.

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    1. Bob Beale

      Journalist

      In reply to George Crisp

      Greg Baxter's opening personal attack on Wendy Bacon reveals so much. His views on single-source stories and balance are intriguing in light of Bacon's findings and of his own company's professional conduct policy, which states:

      1.1 Facts must be reported impartially, accurately and with integrity.

      1.2 Clear distinction must be made between fact, conjecture and comment.

      1.3 Try always to tell all sides of the story in any kind of dispute.

      1.4 Do not knowingly withhold or suppress essential facts.

      1.5 Journalists should be reluctant to rely on only one source. Be careful not to recycle an error from one reference source to another. Check and check again.

      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/help/editorial-code-of-conduct

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    2. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to George Crisp

      George Crisp,

      Why do you not want to know about the bias, conflict of interest, political interference ats in the "Climate Science"/ You may not, but most people concerned about how their money is being spent do what to know? And we want to know how this ins influencing political decisions to potentially waste trillions of dollars on bad policies. Trillions of dollars wasted results in many fatalities and many people remaining in poverty longer than they should. It is immoral to argue we accept…

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    3. George Crisp

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Peter Lang

      This ridiculous political conspiracy theory that you support is patently obviously false to any open minded person who has followed the scientific literature and the public response. The systemic "bias" you is perceive is your ideological perspective.

      Note that your comments and criticisms are nearly always prefaced or qualified with a political slant.

      Has it occurred to you that climate science may not be in any way politically motivated ?
      It is rather inevitable that those who have arrived at…

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    4. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to George Crisp

      George,

      You must be from another planet if you don't realise that the CAGW alarmists are from the left. You are ignorinbg, entirely, the well documented bias. You don't want to know about it. If you are not prepared to take the McKitrick report seriously, or the many before it, or the revelations for the Climate Gate 1 & 2 emails, at least you should be prepared to take some notice of what the IAC's reporet says. IaAC was appointed by IPCC to review its procedures. The full report is here (drill down from the summary):
      http://tome22.info/IAC-Report/IAC-Report-Overview-Short.html

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    5. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Peter Lang

      "You must be from another planet if you don't realise that the CAGW alarmists are from the left"

      Total nonsense Peter. You are venturing into Monckton territory if you believe that the world's climate scientists, science associations, NASA etc are part of some left conspiracy. I assume that you now include Richard Muller and the BEST temperature project.

      Do you include Barry Brook who cosigned the following letter ?
      http://theconversation.edu.au/climate-change-is-real-an-open-letter-from-the-scientific-community-1808

      You have "jumped the shark" with your denial of climate science so I guess that it is not surprising that you appear to have totally disconnected from reality.

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    6. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Who is disconnected from reality? Have you read the IAC report into the IPCC's processes? If so, why do you have nothing to say about it? Have you kept up with what is going on?

      Have you read this: "The climate religion fades in spasms of anger and twitches of boredom."
      http://online.wsj.com/article/global_view.html
      It seems it migh be applicable.
      What do you have to say about it?

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    7. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Peter Lang

      So you claim that climate science is a religion - more of the usual infantile name-calling that is the hallmark of the climate change deniers.

      Yet you keeping pushing Ross McKitrick who has signed the Cornwall Alliance's Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming.
      http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/

      From point 1
      "We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. "

      McKitrick is certainly entitled to his religious views but when it comes to our climate, I will stick to the views of climate scientists.

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    8. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Mike,

      You continually ignore responding to the substance and instead shriek CAGW extremists’ your name-calling. If you want to believe the extremists like Tim Flannery (we'll all be flooded by 2010) and James Hansen, (the oceans will evaporate), and the many other examples of exaggeration by the CAGW Alarmists, that's your choice. If that's what you want to believe, I'll leave you to your religion. BTW, you can dig up just as many silly statements from the Alarmist professors as you can from the rational ones. You may want to look at what the Hockey Team have been up to.

      Let's face it, the Catastrophic AGW religion is dying. People are seeing through the extremism, advocacy, politics, spin, exaggeration and deceit. They realise they've been spun a line by the so called environmental NGOs and the ideological Left who have used the scare-campaigns to try to advance their own agendas.

      Good luck with your beliefs. Keep your name calling for others. It’s infantile (your words).

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    9. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      A quick way to assess the bias of those who have fololwed and voted on this thread is to scan the voting scores on the comments. Comments that support the ideological Left are voted +ve and those that that are not are -ve.

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    10. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Lang

      I'd say you are disconnected from reality and being brainwashed by the Murdoch media.

      You link to the WSJ - an article that quotes no science just anti-science denialist rhetoric associated with climate change. Read what sourecwatch has to say about them http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Wall_Street_Journal
      "The Wall Street Journal, an influential international daily newspaper published in New York City, is owned by News Corporation, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch. It typically misinforms…

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    11. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Lang

      I notice that Peter Lang - after shrilly referring to the IAC report in relation to the IPCC has no response to my post comprehensively establishing the WSJs complete misrepresenattion on Climate Science (the WSJ being a Murdoch Media outlet - thus further substntantiating the contention of this article that Peter Lang is complete denial about).

      He also seems unable to grasp that, when you look at what the IAC actually itself said about the IPCC (which anyone can do by actually going to the source) - there is no substantive issue.

      Yet the Murdoch Media has tried to claim there is an issue when there isn;t and have made Peter Lang a complete misinformed dupe on the topic.

      Now below he quotes a denialist web site (Joe Nova) referencing yet another denilaist web site - WUWT - as if this is somehow credible.

      Peter, by his posts, simply demonstrates he is yet another Tiresome Repeater Of Loathsome Lacunae to appear on the Conversation

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    12. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      ATTENTION Peter Lang.

      There is NO WAY that I could be a Leftist. My concern with AGW is based purely and solely on its physical reality, and I take great offence at your pig-ignorant suggestion that political orientation is in any way associated with science.

      Read the following. While I hope that you might understand it, your remarks do not inspire confidence that you are able to so do.

      Earth is warmed by absorbtion of short wave sunlight. Because of this, Earth's temperature can remain unchanged…

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    13. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to David Arthur

      Congratulation for posting an excellent scientifically accurate and concise summary of AGW to David Arthur. Never seen that in the Murdoch Media.

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    14. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      David Arthur,

      <i>“ATTENTION Peter Lang. There is NO WAY that I could be a Leftist. My concern with AGW is based purely and solely on its physical reality, and I take great offence at your pig-ignorant suggestion that political orientation is in any way associated with science. Read the following. While I hope that you might understand it, your remarks do not inspire confidence that you are able to so do.”</i>

      Thank you for addressing your comment to me. I am sorry if you have taken offence…

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    15. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Peter Lang

      So what you are saying Peter is because you do not like the policy implications of AGW, then the science must be wrong.

      BTW, when you are well to the right of the political spectrum, it may appear that everyone else is on the left but it is essentially an illusion.

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    16. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      http://jennifermarohasy.com/2011/11/climategate-ii/
      James Delingpole, breaking new for the UK Telegraph, concurs:

      “If you’re going to bomb the global economy back to the dark ages with environmental tax and regulation, if you’re going to favour costly, landscape-blighting, inefficient renewables over real, abundant, relatively cheap energy that works like shale gas and oil, if you’re going to cause food riots and starvation in the developing world by giving over farmland (and rainforests) to biofuel production, then at the very least you it owe to the world to base your policies on sound, transparent, evidence-based science rather than on the politicised, disingenuous junk churned out by the charlatans at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”

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    17. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Spouting more opinion piece rants without substantiation does not strengthen your argument Mr Lang.

      I also find it amusing that you accuse me of being a "Leftist" and offering "preaching and shrieking" and then go off on a tangent with a full blown rant and very little evidence.

      It's a pity because you raise some legitimate policy questions worthy of rational discourse but then make unfounded assertions about the poltical ideology of anyone who might have a different view. This hardly gives one…

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    18. George Crisp

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Peter Lang

      It doesn't get much more twisted than that. I don't know if you saw James Delingpole interviewed by Paul Nurse ( Royal Society ). Very telling.

      Our economy is in fact entirely dependent on environmental or natural services, we take them but do cost them on our accounting. But if we exceed Earth's capacity for replenishment and escape from the safe operating space for humanity, then our economy will really cease to matter at all.

      I would urge you to read http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0910/full/climate.2009.92.html and http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v461/n7263/full/461447b.html

      The authors, Rockstrom et al, explore the known planetary boundaries that define a safe operating space for humanity.

      Several of these boundaries are also interlinked. So whilst climate change mitigation and adaptation are essential, we have to pay attention and act on many other deteriorating environmental drivers.

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    19. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Peter Lang, via biologist Jennifer Marohasy, cites someone who writes in the UK Telegraph on a serious matter of atmospheric science?

      The quotation from Delingpole shows his thinking to be somewhat faulty, expressing a preference for shale and coal seam gas over maintenance of productive land.

      FYI, I'm not talking about increasing the tax take. I'm talking about changing the economic basis of the tax take: DECREASE ALL other taxes, make up the revenue shortfall with a consumption tax on fossil…

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    20. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      Wow, So you've got a degree and you think you understand CAGW. I'm so impressed ! And you seem to think those who do not agree with your opinion cannot think for themselves. Your arrogance is overwhelming. Good luck with your beleifs.

      I realise you don’t get it. The world is catching on. They are abandoning the CAGW scam. And the enlightenment is being lead by the Right. The Left are miles behind. See the chart titled “across partisan lines, fewer see solid evidence of global warming…

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    21. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Mr Lang - help me out here. On this post you are emitting ranting posts claiming AGW is a "scam" (a claim substantiated by nothing more than denialist web sites and the misrepresentative Murdoch media) - totally ignoring the evidence, the published science and accusing anyone who disagrees with you of being a leftist ideologue.

      On this thread http://theconversation.edu.au/you-cant-manage-emissions-until-you-can-measure-them-and-its-harder-than-you-think-4518#comments you are being a passionate…

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    22. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      I once read something co-authored by Joanne Nova and someone called Anthony Cox ("Warming to misanthropy", 2 October 2010, abc.net.au/unleashed/39750.html).

      As you'll see from my numerous comments to that article, I took exception to Cox & Nova's many fabrications and misrepresentations, and I strongly recommend that you avoid their tosh until such times as you have immunised your mind by learning a little climate science.

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    23. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      This comment by a guy who is so arrogant he thinks only his beliefs could possible be correct. His understanding of CAGW revolves around photons and stops at ‘without feedbacks climate sensitivity’. From there on he just believes the Whit Hats, his favourite web sites and what those of his ideological persuasion tell him. His term for those who can think at a higher level is “Pig Ignorant” (a typical comment from CAGW zealot. What a Pig Ignorant guy he must be. He might wonder why people are waking up to the CAGW scam. (see chart here: http://joannenova.com.au/2011/11/naomi-kleins-crippling-problem-with-numbers/#comment-780825 )

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    24. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Why are people waking up to the Alarmist’s CAGW scam? See if you can put this together:

      First it was called Global Warming
      When that didn’t happen it was changed to ‘climate change’
      Then people realised the climate is always changing, so the scare became sea levels would flood our cities by 2010
      When that didn’t happen the scare campaign was changed to reduced alkalinity of the oceans (but to be scary they called it ‘acidification of the oceans’),
      Then it became super scary “extreme weather events…

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    25. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Every single national science body of credibility accepts the notion that AGW is real and a problem.

      The vast majority of credentialed climate scientists and atmospheric physicists accept that it is real and a problem.

      The vast majority of peer reviewed sceince establishes the reality of the anthropogenic increase in CO2 emissions leading to an increased Green House effect raising the thermal equilibrium of the planet and decreasing ocean pH. Concensus projections by the vast majority of scientists…

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    26. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Thanks Peter, my use of language such as you quote is not suitable for this site.

      Yet again, however, you do succeed in causing considerable needless offence, (provoking use of such language) by your description of me as arrogantly holding "beliefs". It's not beliefs I've got, it's knowledge initially obtained through a degree in physical chemistry, and supported by ongoing reading and thinking thereafter.

      I was intrigued, but not completely swayed, for example, by William F Ruddiman's "Plows, Plagues and Petroleum"; however, I broadly concur with his thesis. I avoided Plimer's "Heaven and Earth", but have a copy of Ian Enting's line-by-line error listing, and I enjoyed Kurt Lambeck's review.

      If you have a look at Stephan Lewandowsky's "There is a real climategate out there" (http://theconversation.edu.au/there-is-a-real-climategate-out-there), and look for the discussion(s) between myself, Mark Harrigan and Doug Cotton, you too can be informed as has the latter.

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    27. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      David Arthur,

      “Yet again, however, you do succeed in causing considerable needless offence, (provoking use of such language) by your description of me as arrogantly holding "beliefs".”

      Why don’t you try practicing what you preach. You are continually giving offence, clearly intentionally, on The Conversation and ClimateSpectator. You are rude and ignorant, as in “Pig Ignorant” (your words). Perhaps you and the others of your ilk should give up the Leftie culture of arrogance and rudeness, and…

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    28. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      New Scientist biased? Wrong, its climate coverage concurs with my physical chemistry education.

      You've got education, you're a geologist, you know about rocks. Good, but you don't know about gases, and you don't know about electromagnetic radiation. That's physical chemistry.

      Of course The Weather Makers has mistakes, but none so egregious and with the appearance of willful misrepresentation as other books..

      The work of IPCC WG1 (the physical science) has only ever been exonerated and found error-free. It's WG2 and WG3 that make mistakes and have biases (and the supervising governments, who review all drafts before release).

      The Hockey Stick has only ever been confirmed.

      You are stuck in a mindset that sees the IPCC as the source of all evil and me as one of its unthinking acolytes. FYI, I don't bother with IPCC reports, my interest is in the same physical science as WG1.

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    29. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      David Arthur,

      “You've got education, you're a geologist, you know about rocks.”

      What a silly comment. You are a chemist; you have an understanding of acids and bases.

      Your other comments demonstrate your “Pig Ignorance” (your term)

      IPCC AR4 WG1 is an alarmist document. Try reading it carefully without your preconceived biases. Look at the material I gave you. How many citations are to non peer reviewed documents for example? I’ve given you some links. Do your homework or stay within your group-think tent.
      http://accessipcc.com/

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    30. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      IPCC AR4 WG1 has been investigated, and found to only reference peer-reviewed literature.

      As stated, you're thinking of IPCC AR4 WG2 and WG3.

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    31. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      Absolute nonsense. Look at the link I gave you.

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    32. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Peter,

      After the Himalayan glacier foul-up in WG2 (WG1 correctly reported glacier disappearance around 2350 ... as if that's not problem enough), there were several reviews. Reviews of WG1 found no such errors.

      I can't be bothered looking at the link you proffer, because the matter has been investigate, reported and closed.

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    33. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      Dear Arthur,

      The only think closed is you mind.

      Of course you can't understand if you believe only what you read from IPCC, Real Climate, Skeptical Science, BBC, ABC, the Fairfax media and Crickey.

      The link I gave you provides statistics based on automated linking of citations and references to the papers.

      http://accessipcc.com/AR4-WG1-6.html#6-3-1

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    34. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Dear Peter, I do not limit my reading to those entities you list. In fact, of the entities you list, I only routinely read ABC and Fairfax.

      I have occasionally looked at the other entities you mention, because I don't need to. As previously advised, I get my science from my Physical Chemistry degree, which had a great deal to say about molecules and EM radiation, about kinetic gas theory, about atomic and molecular spectroscopy. All these are pertinent to atmospheric physics.

      I download published…

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  7. George Crisp

    Medical Practitioner

    Greg Baxter's comments just don't add up. If, as he claims, there is no editorial bias at NewsLtd , then how do they manage to consistently produce such a skewed result. It would not arise by chance.

    This is a campaign, pure and simple, to sow doubt and uncertaintly and delay action on climate change. It is dishonest pretend otherwise and it is absolutely immoral, as the consequences will fall disproportionately on those that have had, and will have, the least benefit and greatest disadvantage, ie the underdeveloped world and future generations.

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    1. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to George Crisp

      “This is a campaign, pure and simple, to sow doubt and uncertainty and delay action on climate change. It is dishonest pretend otherwise and it is absolutely immoral, as the consequences will fall disproportionately on those that have had, and will have, the least benefit and greatest disadvantage, ie the underdeveloped world and future generations. "

      That is the Left's argument. However, the evidence is that it has been the left leaning media (most of the media) that has been biased, exaggerating…

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    2. George Crisp

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Your assertion that the "most of the media" is "left leaning". Is perhaps only determined by your own perspective. It is difficult to accept that 70% of the media owned by Mr Murdock is not ( very ) "right leaning".

      Secondly, you are imposing ideology on scietific or logical arguments. This merely shows that you cannot searate fact from your own ideological bias.

      If you were able to do this, and you read the scienitific literature, you would know that the arguments are not ideological at all but determined by multiple lines of evidence and observation. Much of the physical science and observation underpinning climate change also were established well before any ideology was introduced into this debate.

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    3. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to George Crisp

      George, Crisp,

      I think you may have missed my first comment. My response to you assumed (probably wrongly), you had read it and read the links I provided.

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    4. George Crisp

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Peter Lang

      The links provided are to non-scientific "blogs". I am surprised you take these so seriously.

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    5. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to George Crisp

      Do you consider "Science" to be a non scientific blog site?

      Do you consider Professor Ross McKitrick's report to be unsuitable to discuss on this site? Likewise with the IAC report into IPCC bias, conflict of interest, etc.?

      I am surprised about at your comment about who should be taken seriously? I suspect it has more to do with your ideological persuasion. However, I think that is enough of this silliness.

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  8. Troy Barry

    Mechanical Engineer

    It would be interesting to see the same analysis applied to theconversation.edu.au's coverage of News Corp and see if if proves an anti-News bias here, or demonstrates balanced and equal reporting.

    Ditto for Ms Bacon's academic work.

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    1. Troy Barry

      Mechanical Engineer

      In reply to Troy Barry

      The science is in. An analysis of Analysis and Comment articles mentioning "Murdoch" (in the Rupert sense) on theconversation.edu.au found 37 relevant articles. In their coverage of Mr Murdoch and News associated entities, 56% were critical, 35% were neutral and 8% were supportive. Thus this website's bias against Murdoch media is substantially worse than The Australian's bias against government climate policy (reported by Prof Bacon as 47% critical, 44% neutral and 9% supportive). Time for a Senate enquiry?

      (I'd be quite interested to get an editorial response to these statistics.)

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    2. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Troy Barry

      Thanks Troy.

      The statistics you provide tell us the extent of the toxicity of the working environment in News Ltd newsrooms.

      The testimony given to the Leveson Inquiry in the UK indicate for us the extent of the criminality of the working environment in News International's UK newsrooms.

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    3. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      Another silly comment demonstrating your toxic bias

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  9. Warwick Brown

    Retired

    I see criticism of people relying on 'blogs' as if that was very bad and not worth referring to, as if the Science could stand alone without any interference and so on.

    Well I have news for you, they matter and unlike [political blogs who might or might not just cater to one or other view (to the exclusion of all others), there are many blogs who have very qualified people writing for them, including the self-admitted "PR" blog for pro-AGW views, Real Climate. Climate Audit is not to be dismissed…

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  10. James Jenkin

    EFL Teacher Trainer

    Does Dodd's idea of 'tone' (rather than directive) also apply to the Conversation? Most of the Conversation's articles on, for example, AGW or public health, do not just describe research, but also advocate action, usually by government. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It just seems a publication tends to have a world outlook shared by contributors.

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  11. rob alan

    IT Tech

    Wow, looking through these comments the Bill O' news corp method/psychosis is live and well.

    Then I ask myself?

    Which industries least benefit most from us choosing a cleaner world where recognizing excess CO2 as a problem is obviously just a starting point in discussing what we do next?

    Whose interests benefit most from global discussions going the roundy roundy talkFest forever?

    No one I know, you? Certainly not future generations have no say in current events.

    Mains grid powered by gas per/kwattHour went up our way 25% this last year. Some thing is wrong when OZ as a nation is under mining industry occupation of said fuel yet we are paying out ever sharply escalating costs.

    So, I ask myself. What's so great about filth industries that we should keep them anyway. Expensive and dirty, not a good selling point you'd think.

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    1. George Crisp

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to SUSTAINABLE POPULATION PARTY

      Good point. It would be interesting to see what other areas are included in the Aus campaign portfolio.

      I found this paragraph ( below ) especially telling and quite offensive. Are they saying that population pressure has no environmental effect ? Are they implying that ACF's aim to include environmental impacts of population are comparable to the rank racism of far right political groupls? They should have a look at David Attenborough's memorable "People and Planet" speech to the RSA this year. http://www.thersa.org/events/speakers-archive/a/sir-david-attenborough

      "The Australian has always abhorred the xenophobic view that was rife in One Nation circles, and the narrow selfishness of groups such as the Australian Conservation Foundation, which has nominated population to be included as a "key threatening process" to biodiversity under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. "

      They really are a disgrace.

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  12. Timothy Curtin

    Economic adviser

    Hansen (responding to Peter Lang) overlooks the fundamental error that is the basis of the whole MMN AER 2011 paper he helpfully linked to. This is the decision to evaluate various “pollutants” by reference to the apparent Gross External Damage created by those pollutants as a proportion of value added (VA) in the industries responsible for producing them. This leads the paper to find that in some of these industries “the fact that the GED exceeds the value added implies that if the national accounts…

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    1. George Crisp

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      2 major errors;

      Firstly, livestock certinly does increase GHG emissions, as methane ( produced from ruminant animals gut ) is 70 -105 x as potent as CO2 as a GHG over a 20 year time frame.

      Secondly, there is much evidence to suggest that increasing CO2 reduces will reduce net yields particularly at low latitudes. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20449-crop-yields-fall-as-temperatures-rise.html?

      Australia has already factored in a 15% reduction on yields due to climate change ( PMSEIC Food…

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  13. Timothy Curtin

    Economic adviser

    Re Crisp: who said firstly “livestock certainly does increase GHG emissions, as methane ( produced from ruminant animals gut ) is 70 -105 x as potent as CO2 as a GHG over a 20 year time frame”. But CO2 recycles over a 5-year period (TAR), so divide CH4 by 4, and no animal can emit more than it ate. That methane claim is highly questionable and remains unproven.

    Secondly, Crisp claims that a couple of papers showing elevated CO2 is not beneficial for cassava and maize, although cassava is not a…

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    1. George Crisp

      Medical Practitioner

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      CH4 is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2:

      "Methane (CH4) is a greenhouse gas that remains in the atmosphere for approximately 9-15 years. Methane is over 20 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2) over a 100-year period" ( US EPA ) and a 70 - 105 x greater effect over 20 years.

      Suggesting that CO2 has a residence time of 5 years is incredibly deliberately misleading.

      Individual carbon dioxide molecules do have a short atmospheric residence time…

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    2. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to George Crisp

      Gday George Crisp,

      I'm not sure about the statement "Suggesting that CO2 has a residence time of 5 years is incredibly deliberately misleading." I would leave it at "The statement that CO2 has a residence time of 5 years is a gross oversimplification that fails to appreciate either biotic CO2 cycling or atrmosphere-ocean gas exchange."

      Based on previous correspondence with Tim Curtin, I'm not confident that his knowledge is sufficient to engage in deliberate deception.

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