At war with reality: key figures in Liberal Party remain unswayed by evidence

An interesting article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald today examining the views of prominent Liberal National Party politicians on climate change.  Despite the evidence many have held onto their sceptical views:

THE most prominent political climate sceptics see no reason to change their minds, despite the welter of studies over the past fortnight showing forecasts of global warming were correct or underestimates.  

Many of the climate sceptics, influential in elevating Tony Abbott to Coalition leader, say they see nothing to convince them that human activity is causing the climate to change.  

The Global Carbon Project has released forecasts that the planet could warm by between 4 degrees and 6 degrees by the end of the century and Nature Climate Change on Monday published a study finding that warming is consistent with 1990 scientific forecasts.

As I (and many others) have stated this has nothing to do with evidence. The denial of climate change is driven by the ideology, world views and values:

South Australian senator Cory Bernardi, formerly Mr Abbott’s parliamentary secretary, said: ”I do not think human activity causes climate change and I haven’t seen anything that changes my view. I remain very sceptical about the alarmists’ claims.” 

Queensland senator Barnaby Joyce said the whole debate about whether humans were causing the climate to change was ”indulgent and irrelevant”. 

”It is an indulgent and irrelevant debate because, even if climate change turns out to exist one day, we will have absolutely no impact on it whatsoever … we really should have bigger fish to fry than this one,” Senator Joyce said.

Individuals can be very good at maintaining cognitive dissonance, filtering out information they don’t agree with and latching onto “facts’ that support their world view.

West Australian Dennis Jensen back bencher provides a textbook example of this:

West Australian back bencher Dennis Jensen, who had read the recent scientific literature, said he interpreted the findings in different ways and believed climate scepticism within the Coalition was increasing. 

”The scientific papers saying it is as bad as we thought, or worse, are talking about concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere – and concentrations are indeed increasing – but global temperatures have not gone up in a decade,” he said. 

”It’s the impact of the increased concentrations of CO2 that is in dispute and I agree with [US professor] Richard Lindzen that it is more likely to be 0.4 degrees than 4 to 6 degrees … the doomsday prophesies do not stand up to reason.”

Richard Lindzen is one of the few genuinely qualified sceptics. At best he is a marginal figure in science. His entire claim to fame rests upon his status as one of the token sceptics within the community of atmospheric scientists.

Outside of his notoriety he has produced little research of value – and what research he has produced has been flawed and ignored by the rest of scientific community.

Despite the fact 97% of climate scientists accept climate change is real, Jensen clings to the marginal views of outliers such as Lindzen because they buttress is own world view.

In this regard the Liberals resemble the Republicans in the United States and the Tea Party movement who’ve decided to go to war with reality.

Don’t like the facts? Then reject them and dismiss the experts.

Supporting there fantasy world views are the think tanks and conservative media who help create a parallel reality in which the climate isn’t changing  and Obama was born in Kenya.

When facts and evidence contravene ideology figures such as Bernardi, Joyce and Jensen remain steadfastly attached to fantasy.

Tagged , , , ,

92 thoughts on “At war with reality: key figures in Liberal Party remain unswayed by evidence

  1. Eric Worrall says:

    The lack of warming since 1997, despite the fact that a third of all human CO2 emissions have occurred in this period, might have something to do with the growing wave of skepticism.

  2. Adam says:

    I notice that deniers choose to use the old HADCRUT3 dataset that did not cover the globe (excluded the polar regions which are the fastest heating areas on the planet) and do their cherry picked initial start point to make the false claim of “lack of warming”.
    They also exclude the ocean warming and ice melting issues that seem to be an obvious indication of warming to rational people.

  3. Of course the ratbag right refuse to accept the science, accepting the science would mean admitting they were wrong, deluded, wilfully ignorant and have been intentionally lying to the public for years.

    • Trevor says:

      I am one of the ratbag right and I know climate change is happening; always has; and always will; but not because of 0.38% (and growing) co2 in our atmosphere. Do a very, very simple experiment and if you find 1deg of divergence, I will be a convert. Take two sealable glass jars of the variety that transmit ultra violet rays (sun rays). In each place an identical piece of steel to convert or reflect back infrared rays (earth’s reflected heat). Insert identical pre-checked thermometers in each. Seal one with ordinary air and the other try filling with whatever amounts of carbon dioxide you like, even 100%! Seal and shade the thermometers from direct sunlight, but ensure the sun rays flood 50% or more of the jars and hit the steel objects. Now sit back and wait…..until your hair turns grey! Find one degree of difference and I am all yours, Blairy baby.

  4. It is unfair to compare the Federal Coalition to the GOP in the US. You cite just three members of parliament out of 106 Coalition MPs and Senators. It’s hardly up there with the Republicans level of denial.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      A valuable point Benjamin. But I would point out the opposition to the “carbon tax” which plays into the sceptic/denial narrative of:

      – we don’t need to concern ourselves
      – mitigation measures will ruin the economy

      In the autobiographies of both Howard and Tony Abbott they approvingly cite the work of sceptics such as Plimer and Lomberg when dismissing the science. The LNP under the leadership of then Prime Minister John Howard also rejected the Kyoto treaty, only rectified in 2007 under Rudd (see here

      I think it is fair to say the LNP record on climate has not been sterling. Failing to implement policies, citing the work of sceptics approvingly and running their misguided fear campaign against the “carbon tax” constitutes of form of denial. I accept there are some members of the LNP who accept the science – and argue for solutions – however they have very little to no say influencing coalition policy.

      Happy to debate this.

    • john byatt says:

      Benjamin, our nutters are the best nutters on earth, WE have two members of Abbotts mod that actually seem toi get it,

      Hunt and Turnbull, any others?

      • Last time I heard, Joe Hockey (Liberal Shadow Treasurer) also accepted the science behind AGW.
        It is also worth noticing that the official Policy of the Liberal Party nominally recognizes that we are causing the climate to warm up. This is more than the US Republicans do.
        Neither major party seems to be sufficiently serious about doing much about it.

    • I’d also suggest that if the Coalition win the next election, the so called ‘Direct Action’ policy will quickly evaporate. Seriously, who couldn’t imagine Abbott fronting the press soon after getting into power to say “You know, I’ve been thinking about this whole climate change thing…”

      Currently, a position of outright denial is more likely to hurt them in the polls, so Abbott will go along with it for now, but if he ends up in the Lodge with several years until voters can correct the situation, watch how quickly climate science becomes “Crap” again.

    • rubber taster says:

      Fair chance Pants will give Abbot a blowjob if he wins.

  5. john byatt says:

    And then there is the QLD LNP government 86 members and not one of them has even bothered to read the science
    the F**kwit who is the climate change minister is on record as not believing the science,

    What major inititives that Queensland loses over the next eight to twelve years and total lack of even adaptation planning will come back to haunt the LNP who will then no doubt blame the scientists.

    Qld suffered during the JOH years when creationism was taught in public schools as a balance to scientific research,

  6. Malamuddy says:

    Barry O’Farrel (NSW Premier), who is doing what he can to kill renewables and push coal and gas, probably needs to be added to this list.

    On the other hand, it is good to see both The Sydney Morning Herald and Channel 7 in NSW starting to present accurate information abour AGW without any suggestion of providing time for lying sceptics to provide false balance.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Strange that your settled science is so fragile that airtime for alternative views must be prevented.

      • zoot says:

        No Eric, airtime for lying skeptics (that’s denialists, like you) to provide false balance.
        Alternative views are always welcome, as long as (unlike yours) they have a basis in reality.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Who decides what is reality?

          You can’t leave it up to scientists – as the Eugenics crisis showed, academics are as susceptible to fads and crazes as anyone else.

          Creating an authority with the power to decide who can enjoy the right of free speech, however well intentioned, is a recipe for totalitarianism.

      • zoot says:

        Who, in this thread, has mentioned “creating an authority”?
        In real science the process of peer review (which is not perfect, but it’s the best we have) establishes reality. You have presented not even a scintilla of peer reviewed research supporting your assertion that global warming has stopped.
        You have already established on another thread that you will put up with totalitarianism as long as you have your creature comforts.

  7. john byatt says:

    anthony cox is commenting at unleashed, good fun if they let me get the replies in,

    He is claiming no sea level rise at tuvalu, got a friend there I has.

  8. Sou says:

    The shrinks call it ‘motivated reasoning’, which is a misnomer if ever there was one.

    Denialism requires the suspension of reason. I’ve read a denier describing the greenhouse effect quite well and write as if he not only understands it but accepts it as fact, yet in all his previous and subsequent posts swore that global warming isn’t happening.

    I prefer to call it straight up lying. I do, however, accept the notion that there are some deniers who believe their own lies. What I don’t understand is how anyone can have such a fixed world view that it can’t withstand an injection of truth.

    Did Dennis Jensen say why he goes along with Lindzen when he is at odds with the science? The odds of Jensen picking him at random (from the body of climate scientists) are astronomical. The more likely explanation is that Jensen, like Lindzen, can’t face unpalatable facts.

    Cowards the lot of them.

  9. john byatt says:

    Bit more on methane
    the most likely outcome is that natural Methane release will add the equivelant of two years of human CO2 to the atmosphere by 2100,


  10. skeptikal says:

    Mike, you make an interesting point…

    Individuals can be very good at maintaining cognitive dissonance, filtering out information they don’t agree with and latching onto “facts’ that support their world view.

    Climate Activists/Alarmists appear to be very good at doing just that.

    Filtering out the fact that the world has stopped warming isn’t going to change the fact that the world has stopped warming.

    Ignoring the fact that the recent Doha gabfest was a spectacular failure with countries like Russia, Canada and Japan all abandoning the Kyoto Protocol, doesn’t change the fact that other countries are questioning the validity of taking economically destructive action trying to combat the ‘global warming monster’. Even our neighbours, New Zealand, voted against extending Kyoto.

    Isn’t it about time you took a reality check?

    How many more years of ‘No Warming’ is it going to take before you begin to question the teachings of the cartoonist messiah?

    • Eric Worrall says:

      None of them are prepared to face falsification, because their alarmism is a religion.

      Notice how they repudiated the spectacular NOAA prediction failure with accusations that I was cherrypicking the data – completely ignoring the fact NOAA suggested, with 95% confidence, that a 15 year flatline simply should not happen.

      From NOAA State of the Climate 2008:-

      Click to access climate-assessment-2008-lo-rez.pdf

      Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.

      Granted climate hero Phil Jones has now extended his allowed flatline to 20 years, but this was after the 15 year limit was falsified by cruel nature (or after it became obvious it would be).

      Also not the rise in “reading the portents” – since the thermometers aren’t delivering the desired result, alarmists are desperately searching the heavens and poles for other signs of the end times.

      I suspect it will all end quite soon, but it will end with a whimper, not a bang – and our alarmists will be banging on about some new threat to the world, and denying they were ever serious about global warming.

    • john byatt says:

      Even using HADCRUT, it was only in july last year that Jones stated that the warming since 1995 was statistically significant .

      so 1995 to June 2011 statisically significant

      and you claim that 1997.25 to 2012.67 is not

      You do understand that both ENSO and solar contributions level out to zero over time i hope,

      $10 bet that 2012 turns out to be warmer than 2011

      any takers?

      • Sammy Jankis says:


        The latest “No warming in [ ] years” meme has already passed the ‘truthiness’ test for denialists and taken prime position in their talking point list. No amount evidence or explanation will dislodge it from their brains. Like creationists and their “No transitional fossils” meme, it’s pretty much been handed down from above on a stone tablet, and is not open to debate.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          That’s because it is true.

          The temperature now is statistically indistinguishable from the temperature in 1997 – even though a third of all human CO2 emissions occurred between 1998 and now.

          Its fun watching you guys cling to the dying shreds of your religion, but at some point you’re going to have to grow up and realise it was all a big mistake.

      • john byatt says:

        Sammy, It has been increasingly obvious to me over the past few years that when you debate a denialist you are probably debating a creationist,

        Numerous searches produce that conclusion

        there are non creationists debating the science, or should I say dismissing the science

        But every young earth creationist is also a denialist.

      • zoot says:

        The temperature now is statistically indistinguishable from the temperature in 1997 …

        So what?

        Pick your days (and the time of day), and you’ll find a temperature in winter which is statistically indistinguishable from a temperature in summer.
        By your reasoning that means winter is as warm as summer.

      • john byatt says:

        Well stated zoot,

        It does seem to have them is a tizzy though,

      • rubber taster says:

        Good idea john, let’s add a few more zeros to the bet. See if these pussy deniers are serious.

        $10k anyone? (mike you can hold the money)

  11. john byatt says:

    One bright spark at unleashed stated that if the tide guages were on live coral then they would be encrusted with coral rather than being lifted up

    Nearly the total island is covered with dead coral including the places where the tide guages were placed,

    It is the coral below that is growing

    the surface coral has been dead for centuries yet the island has maintained its height above sea level at that time due to the coral growth below sea level

    If what the twit stated was fact then Funafuti would be sitting at the bottom of a pit surrounded by a wall of coral.

    comments are closed so that is it

    was fun though

    • john byatt says:

      I have always thought that Homosexuality was critical for the evolution of primates,

      I do not think that we would be here without homosexuality

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Be interesting to hear why you think that, if Mike will indulge something so O/T.

        Personally I don’t think it is anything so profound. I like something pop star Boy George once said, it went something like “People are born sexual. The rest is learned”.

      • rubber taster says:

        Eric is a homophobe, laughs at Philipinno’s dying in floods and thinks aliens are talking to him via gamma rays. Nice piece of work this guy.

        ***He was called Pants but his new name is Two Dicks (thanks zoot)***

    • Eric Worrall says:

      I think you’re reverting back to your cartoon caricatures again John.

      One of my best friends is utterly, totally gay. He’s also a right wing climate skeptic (I accused him of being a closet Tory a few years ago – he laughed, and didn’t deny it).

      I guess the lesson is homosexuality doesn’t make you an alarmist.

    • john byatt says:


      If You Like Sarah Palin, You’ll Absolutely Love Cory Bernardi
      By Mike SeccombeSeptember 21, 2012

      He’s not just a homophobic, Islamophobic, climate-change denying South Australian senator, he’s an ideological entrepreneur, importing the Tea Party’s ‘astroturf’ techniques and now training others in the faux-grassroots campaigns first cultivated by the American far right

      who on earth votes for the likes of Bernadi?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        From your description, sounds like a total jerk.

        But if parliament was emptied of bizarre horrible people who would say lie about not introducing a tax, then a few years later claim that her introduction of the tax proved she could get the job done, the building would be pretty empty.

  12. Eric Worrall says:

    Time for alarmists to return from the edge.

    Huff post interview with lukewarmer Richard Muller (h/t WUWT).

    A few highlights:-

    … I felt that many of the skeptics had raised legitimate issues. They are deserving of respect, not the kind of ridicule they have been subjected to. …

    …Hurricanes are not increasing due to human causes (actually, they have been decreasing over the past 250 years). Tornadoes are not increasing due to human causes. (They too have been decreasing.) So please continue to be skeptical about most of the exaggerations you will continue to hear! Proper skepticism is at the heart of science, and attempts to suppress such skepticism represent the true anti-science movement. …

    … What should others be doing? If you could have President Obama’s ear for five minutes, what would you say? Muller: Double (or more) our efforts to help China become more energy efficient. And equally important: develop “clean fracking” standards. Work with China to expedite and accelerate their switch from coal to natural gas. Devise market-based approaches that will guarantee that the developing world will apply clean methods to their natural gas production. …

    … Just how urgently is action needed on climate change? Muller: We need to act, but no need to panic. I see no tipping points that are scientifically valid. …

    … How do you explain Hurricane Sandy? Some scientists say it was exacerbated by climate change? Warmer oceans, more evaporation? Higher sea level swells? Muller: None of the above. Hurricane Sandy was a freak storm that happened because a relatively small hurricane (it wasn’t even a category 1 storm when it hit New York City) veered towards the coast during a very high tide. None of the causes of the damage can be attributed in a scientific manner to climate change. …

    No wonder you guys don’t like him.

  13. john byatt says:

    Nova is IPCC bashing but put up the wrong Rahmstorf and Foster paper, she uses the 2011 paper, here is the abs of the 2012 paper in support of IPCC

    Comparing climate projections to observations up to 2011

    Stefan Rahmstorf1, Grant Foster2 and Anny Cazenave3

    We analyse global temperature and sea-level data for the past few decades and compare them to projections published in the third and fourth assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The results show that global temperature continues to increase in good agreement with the best estimates of the IPCC, especially if we account for the effects of short-term variability due to the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, volcanic activity and solar variability. The rate of sea-level rise of the past few decades, on the other hand, is greater than projected by the IPCC models. This suggests that IPCC sea-level projections for the future may also be biased low.

  14. john byatt says:

    How do their brains operate,

    In less than a week since claiming that the temperature has been flat for the past decade they are now saying that the decadal trend up to 2010 has been 0.14 to 0.18DegC and not the lowest IPCC forecast of 0.2DegC.

    conrtadicting their own claims in less than a week

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) confirmed in 2010 that the decadal trends for the last 150 years peak at 0.16°C per decade. In other words, what happened since 1990 was stock standard normal warming as per the last 150 years yet the IPCC could not even predict a continuation of a straight line. (An eight year old with a ruler would have been cheaper and more accurate.)

      Where’s your AGW fingerprint?

    • rubber taster says:

      “How do their brains operate”

      Well I think good old Two Dicks brain doesn’t operate at all…unless his gamma ray alien overlords tell him to work it…

  15. john byatt says:

    The death toll in the Phillipines is also rising may get to 1500, the worlds poor are suffering from our excesses.

  16. john byatt says:

    One of my best friends is Jewish

    One of my best friends is black

    One of my best friends is a homosexual

    see the pattern?

    • Eric Worrall says:

      I don’t have to lie about my friends John. The trick to keeping friends, if you haven’t noticed, is not to talk to them too much about climate. Most people find it boring.

      • Not really Eric. A lot of people are actually interested in the natural world and try to understand it. They don’t settle for convenient fictions as you tend to do. They like to know what’s really going on whether the answers are comforting or not. You should try it.

    • rubber taster says:

      All Eric is missing is Zyklon B

  17. john byatt says:

    WUWT Corn and Wheat Anthony said

    “So looking at the graph above, it seems there’s no obvious worry about wheat or corn disappearing any time soon. Sure, there is a downspike in 2011, due to a summer heatwave and drought in the USA. There were other downspikes of similar magnitude in the last 100 years also, so the 2011 downspike isn’t particularly unique. Despite those downspikes in yield, the trend remains upwards.”

    anthony discovers trends?

  18. zoot says:

    So being a hard headed, enlightenment kind of scientist and not a faith based denialist, you’ll have a thesis explaining why global warming stopped in 2005 (Fact!).

    You do have one? Capable of falsification? …

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Yawn. Let me know when the warming starts again zoot.

      • zoot says:

        Yawn. Prove that it ever stopped.

      • zoot says:

        As John points out below, 2010 was the hottest year since 1880. The last three decades have been the three hottest on record, with each one hotter than the one before. This year saw the lowest Arctic ice extent on record, the Greenland ice sheet is melting, permafrost is starting to melt, flora and fauna are moving their habitats towards the poles, the Indian Ocean is unusually warm, but you’re right, the temperature last year was much the same as the temperature in 1997.
        Maybe the thermometers are not to be taken at face value – perhaps the temperature anomalies will give a truer picture. Not that I would insult you by suggesting you are at all interested in the true picture – people arguing a faith based position rarely are.

  19. john byatt says:

    A bit of perspective,

    2010 was the warmest year since 1880

    what was the sun doing?

    • Richard Ryan says:

      zoot … have you built a survival shelter?

      • john byatt says:

        Rejection of IPCC science, is a rejection of all science in general, you have taken the creationist viewpoint of the IPCC richard, how does that sit with you ?

        Are you happy in the knowledge that your anti science position is identical to young earth creationists and ID devotees,

  20. […] 2012/12/11: WtD: At war with reality: key figures in Liberal Party remain unswayed by evidence […]

  21. Richard Ryan says:

    Actually, I reject God (name any one you like), Adam and Eve, The Easter Bunny, Santa, Aliens at Roswell, IPCC science (that is an oxymoron for sure), Labor Party, Liberal Party, Greens (add any political party you want), Greenpeace, mammologists and other assorted paid hangers on purporting to be scientists and any other grouping of fully funded frauds who prey on the sheep around the world who cannot think for themselves and blindly follow a faith.
    Every now and again, I amuse myself and discover what horrors are in store for me for not following the faith. So far I have not gone blind, turned to salt or spontaneously combusted … and the inconvenient truth turned out to be anything but. I also believe you are fully entitled to believe what you want – so maintain the rage brother – Its a source of great amusement. I watched a series on The Crusades the other night and it reminded me of the AGW Crusaders … deniers, heathen, kill those who dont follow, conceal anything that looks dodgy, rewrite the scriptures … all the same stuff really. So sorry Johnny, but I think its you kids that are hooked on religion, not moi

    • john byatt says:

      Then why are you here? You reject all scientific fields and claim that you are thinking for yourself??

      It is known as telling lies for god richard and I have come across it on numerous occasions.

      you include IPCC in your list of rejections, My list of rejections is the same as your list but it would be quite stupid to include IPCC without an agenda of disinformation

      The chances of you being a creationist are about 90%, how does it make you feel knowing that your understanding is consistent with all creationists. like you they claim to be thinking for themselves,
      You may claim to be a lone wolf but you are actually in harmony with the creationist sheep position,

      I find that fascinating richard, an atheist with a fundamentalist viewpoint ?

    • zoot says:

      Richard, thank you for sharing. However, we don’t really care what your personal beliefs are; this website is “Watching the Deniers”, not “This I Believe”. Do you have anything substantial to contribute?

  22. Richard Ryan says:

    john byatt, what a funny little creature you are … so desperate to pigeon-hole everyone as creationalist. Reminds me of a guy I once worked with who “hated” gay people … he protesteth too much though …
    considering you are so fervent about something so ridiculous, its more likely that you are the Adam and Eve man I suspect.
    As for the IPCC, they have been discredited enough, reports proven to be edited to suit the politik case, full of non-scientists, none of their predictions have remotely come close, just a bunch of frauds. Just like the preachers telling to you to send money to save your soul (who’s yours john? you sound like a singin baptist man to me).
    But you “believers” keep on getting sucked in, following the faith, towing the party line … none of you actually think for yourselves at all … least of all you John Baptist … you just wanna point your cross at the non religious and condemn them to the fires of hell (or armageddon on earth is it). LOL

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: