Andrew Bolt’s “The Death of Global Warmism”: a special WtD response to his most recent article (part1)

Overview: The first in a special 11 post series examining the validity of the claims and arguments made by Andrew Bolt in his article of 13 May 2013  in the Herald Sun, “The death of global warmism: 10 signs of hope”.

Followers of the climate debate may be familiar with the name Andrew Bolt.

Bolt, a commentator for the News Limited tabloid the Herald Sun [1] is perhaps one of the most vocal climate change sceptics in the Australian media.

He claims to have one of the most widely read blogs in Australia (most likely true), and uses it as a platform to disseminate climate sceptic disinformation. He also hosts his own television show, The Bolt Report, in which he frequently takes swipes at scientists and climate science.

In December of last year the Australian Press Council (APC) adjudicated three separate complaints made in relation to an article by Bolt in which he claimed “…the planet hasn’t warmed for a decade – or even 15 years, according to new temperature data from Britain’s Met Office”.

The claim stemmed from an article by David Rose in the UK’s Mail on Sunday, which the Met refuted.

The APC found the Bolt had ignored the Met Offices correction:

The Press Council has concluded that Mr Bolt was clearly entitled to express his own opinion about the Met Office data but in doing so he needed to avoid conveying a misleading interpretation of the Met Office’s own views on its data. In a blog posting two days earlier (30 January) he had quoted Mr Rose’s assertion about the lack of warming and a reader then posted a comment referring him to the Met Office’s description of that assertion. The Met Office description should have been mentioned in Mr Bolt’s print article and blog of 1 February, even if he then rebutted it as unconvincing. It was not sufficient in these circumstances to assert ignorance of the response or to rely on the reader’s previous posting to inform other readers about it. Accordingly, the complaint is upheld on that ground.

Being proven wrong does not seem to concern Bolt. Ignoring the findings of the APC, Bolt continues to make the same claim.

Thus I was interested to see in today’s Herald Sun an article by Bolt titled “The death of global warmism: 10 signs of hope“.

Bolt believes he has marshaled ten “killer” arguments against the science. A full-page is given over to the article in which Bolt makes this and a number of other claims: climate models are unreliable; climate change is a scam; and even if it was warming, it’s a good thing.

Having read the article it became very apparent I could not begin to address all of his claims in a single post.

Thus this week my focus will be on this one Bolt article.

Why you may ask?

This latest article by Bolt serves as a kind of magnum opus of all of his claims. He recycles the same claims he has made about the science and scientists for years. Thus it allows us to critically examine Bolt’s position on climate change in one article.

I will examine the 10 claims individually: I’ll match quotes and sources he cites against original sources; I’ll look at the underlying structure of his arguments; and I’ll test his arguments against the basic rules of logic (whether his premises match the conclusions).

I’ll also pay attention to his language and his use of metaphor in constructing his arguments.

Each post will adopt the following structure:

  • Bolt’s Argument – A direct quote or summary of Bolt’s argument
  • Summary response – A single paragraph summarising my findings
  • Full response – an in-depth examination of Bolt’s claims, use of evidence and argument structure.

I’m going to treat Andrew’s article to forensic analysis to see how well his arguments stack up. Some may argue that I’m not a disinterested commentator. I acknowledge Bolt and I differ on the science: I accept the scientific consensus, Andrew Bolt rejects it.

However it is worthy examining how Bolt arrives at his conclusions. I will acknowledge that he is a good communicator, with a persuasive style and a flair for weaving his personal opinions with “facts”.

Andrew Bolt has a disproportionate influence on the discussion about climate change in Australia: he is given a national platform via News Limited’s 70% market share of the Australian newspaper market. Channel 10   has given him a Sunday morning television show in which he ridicules scientists and showcases a parade of climate sceptics. 

Next post: Poisoning the well against climate science: how Andrew’s  introduction to “The death of global warmism” frames his arguments and primes the reader.

—–

[1] The Herald Sun is one of Melbourne’s daily newspapers with a circulation of approximately 2 million. It is one of the papers owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation who control 70% of the Australian newspaper market.

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98 thoughts on “Andrew Bolt’s “The Death of Global Warmism”: a special WtD response to his most recent article (part1)

  1. Steve says:

    You mentioned the Andrew Bolt is a good communicator. On the basis of the popularity of his articles etc,. this is probably true. But the first time I heard him talking (on television) I genuinely had trouble working out if he was there as a comedian or was intending that what he was saying should be taken seriously. Perhaps this was due to my own poor understanding rather than his poor communication.

    • Murdoch’s near monopoly makes a mockery of freedom of expression, scientific truth and the free market.

      • Mark says:

        Murdoch has a majority of the readership (near monopoly seems a bit over the top) by providing what the readership wants. For example in Sydney he has around 65% of the readership but only 50% of the newspapers. It seems people are just turned off by the bias in the Fairfax press and therefore gravitate to the Murdoch.

      • Nick says:

        Newspaper readership is falling across the board,but,yes, Murdoch’s Daily Idiotgraph outsells Fairfax despite shedding over 9% in circulation numbers,March quarter to quarter 2012-2013

        Bolt’s home at the Melbourne Herald Sun is also sliding,with similar falls,so Bolt’s popularity is likely falling,just as we know the ratings of his TV comedy are falling.

        When Bolt claims to be ‘most read’, it’s compared to not very much.

      • A popular paper, perhaps. A truthful paper with good journalism at its core? No. Giving the people what they want is very different from giving them what they need.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Murdoch doesn’t have a monopoly – people choose his product, of their own free will.

        • dragonlive64 says:

          Not only that but George Soros and his radical left American hating buddies at the Center for American Progress *(Peter Lewis, Steve Bing, and Herb and Marion Sandler) are the ones pumping out obscene amounts of money to the “scientist whores” claiming AGW is real to push draconian measures against the United States and Europe which are done solely to collapse the Western countries economies!

          This is why the vast amount of “peer-reviewed” scientific papers (trash not fit to wipe your ass with) are mostly on the side of AGW since that is where the money is. And as far as the lame stream media touting the lie that 97% of the so called “scientists” agree with AGW (though more and more of those scientists, the truthful ones anyway, are coming out saying their papers were misrepresented and did not in fact support AGW) there was a time when ALL scientists and learned men believed the earth was flat….. and how did that one work out?

          And science has never been nor ever will be a consensus driven field, and those spewing the lie that it is are just desperate fools either wanting more liberal money thrown their way or idiots believing the whores and prostitutes claiming AGW is real!! I could spend hours posting other far left loons throwing money at the lie called AGW, but these are some of the major players with major connections with the Moron in Chief pushing the AGW lie the hardest at this time.

          * Some examples of the type of causes these scumbags support with their money!!

          Peter Lewis
          – eidently a pot-headed climate nut as well as a far left loon!!
          Marijuana Policy Project (Donated $3,000,000 to MPP in 2007.)
          Support of California’s Proposition 19 also known as the Regulate, Control & Tax Cannabis Act (Donation of $159,005 on 10/15/2010)
          Support for Washington Initiative 502 with contributions totaling over $1.5m.[10] – Cannabis
          America Coming Together and MoveOn.org (with George Soros matching his $10 and $2.5 million, respectively)
          American Civil Liberties Union $15m
          The Democratic Party
          Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies-sponsored MDMA/PTSD Research in the US, Switzerland and Israel $750,000 [www.maps.org]

          Steve Bing
          – Another far left loon climate nut and Democratic money man!
          *Bing is among the nation’s leading donors to environmental causes. According to filings of public campaign contributions, the Democratic Party has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of his wealth.
          *Bing has contributed more than $10.7 million at the federal level to the Democratic Party
          *Bing was reported to have given at least $49.5 million during the 2006 election cycle in support of Proposition 87, a California initiative which sought to raise $4 billion in oil production taxes to help develop alternative fuels
          The proposition was created by opponents of same-sex marriage in advance of[2] the California Supreme Court’s May 2008 appeal ruling
          *In October 2008 Stephen Bing pledged to match donations made to the NO on Proposition 8 campaign from October 17–19.

          Herb and Marion Sandler – far left loon climate nut and one of the main contributors of the Sub-prime lending crash!!
          *After the takeover was completed in 2008, some analysts said that Wachovia purchased Golden West at the peak of the US housing boom, and that its mortgage-related problems were the ultimate factor in Wachovia’s fall.[16]
          *Center for Responsible Lending – These have included, for example, the disproportionate impact of predatory loans on black and Hispanic communities
          CRL has pushed hard for financial reform–including the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency–in the wake of the mortgage meltdown[4]
          *Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – CFPB was created in 2011 following the passage of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which passed as a response to the financial crisis of 2007–08 that played a significant role in creating the Great Recession.[3]

        • Chris O'Neill says:

          “there was a time when ALL scientists and learned men believed the earth was flat”

          When was that, troll?

      • Nick says:

        Fewer and fewer are choosing it,Eric.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Then you’re winning – why complain?

      • Eric’s excuse for Murdoch is the same excuse pimps and pushers have used down through the centuries.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “Murdoch has a majority of the readership by providing what the readership wants.”

        Yes, his papers tell them what they want to believe.

      • Mark says:

        I was thinking more that News gives the readership a better product that its competitors. People are sick of the Fairfax penchant for preaching the inner-city left/green agenda. Fairfax talks down to it readership, News talks to its readership.

        People are perfectly able to work out what they need and don’t appreciate the soft-totalitarians of the left treating them as dills who have to be led to spoon-fed the supposed truth.

      • Nick says:

        News Ltd needs constant correction for factually inaccurate science based scribblings…many people are not able to ‘work out what they need’ when their source material misleads them by design under the false flag of free speech rights. People need ready access to quality and breadth before they can feed themselves.

        News Ltd’s ‘problems’ are not a matter of opinion,or political polarity. Australian scientists will not deal with their journalists because they now expect through bitter experience to be poorly represented,and their suggestions on correcting copy are ignored.

        It’s a perfect storm of basic journalistic over-confidence,cynical editorial and sub-editorial policy, underresourcing and staff cut-backs…News Ltd is no longer capable of providing in-depth and substantial coverage of complex science material,and will not reign in its opinion writers and bloggers…News Ltd is a de-facto political lobby,seeking effect and influence through incumbent privilege now that it cannot reliably supply content and depth. This influence-wielding was very much Rupert’s modus from his early days,but now is a situation locked-in by the ‘shape’ of News Corporation and the stressed finances of newspapers in the internet age. News media is part of the entertainment division.

      • zoot says:

        In my not at all humble opinion, News Limited should be renamed The Ministry of Truth.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “I was thinking more that News gives the readership a better product ”

        You would say that, wouldn’t you?

    • Mark says:

      The first time you probably saw him would’ve been on “The Insiders” and that show is a joke.

      • Steve says:

        Mark,
        The first time I saw Andrew Bolt was on ‘Today’ om channel nine in the morning. He wasn’t talking about global worming on that occasion.

  2. Nick says:

    It’ll be like shooting fish in a barrel….Bolt starts by claiming that the carbon tax “drove our power bills through the roof” . Nothing beats [for Bolt] leading with a lie,which will lead to more correspondence with his editors and the complaints body.

    Are you sure you want to deal with Bolt’s mediocre confused dissembling? I mean he can’t even arrange material to help himself: After claiming no more warming despite the increase in CO2,he cites two scientists whose excerpts actually explain that,though recent data shows the trend to be on the low side, we are still warming!!! The guy is dumber than a mud fence

    • Consistency isn’t important when you’re essentially a propagandist. Bolt seems to take slightly differing denialist positions depending upon his audience. At his blog he won’t hesitate to deride modern climate science as THE GREATEST SCIENTIFIC HOAX IN HISTORY, while on a program like Insiders or The Project he would concede that the world is warming and that anthropogenic forcings are involved, but would insist he is merely concerned about “exaggerations”. He knows when he’s speaking in front of a broader audience he needs to try and present a more nuanced point-of-view rather than the GREEN TOTALITARIANS ARE LYING THEIR WAY INTO A WORLD GOVERNMENT approach he knows he can get away with at his blog or in his tabloid columns.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        There isn’t actually a contradiction between calling climate science a scientific hoax, and conceding the world is warming, and that anthropogenic forcings are involved.

      • Nick says:

        Except you haven’t made your case for that distinction to stand, Eric. You may think you have…

        You’ve had plenty of time…again,how is climate science a scientific hoax? Then you can try and demonstrate your non-contradictory argument.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I didn’t say I agree its a hoax.

        I think rather that the evidence suggests alarmists came unstuck because they believe too much – they are so sure they are right, they don’t objectively consider the evidence. Furthermore, they believe their mission is so important they deliberately twist the evidence, and pull dirty tricks, to try to prevent “deniers” from raising doubts about their work.

        Consider the example I gave a few posts ago, about how a prominent founder of the modern field of statistics, Karl Pearson, was an ardent Eugenicist.

        Here’s another one:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Fisher

        Were the people who made important scientific advances in statistics actually idiots? Were they frauds? Or did they believe so strongly in the imaginary Eugenics crisis, that they unwittingly lost their objectivity on this issue?

      • Nick says:

        What? Eugenics again?

        You guys only consider a fraction of the science on climate,understand even less, then claim that climate scientists “believe too much”? Wow! You’re funny!

  3. greeningofgavin says:

    Hi Mike,

    Long time lurking, first time commenting.

    Looking forward to the rebuttal. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the full page spread yesterday. I thought it may have been a joke and had to check the date (April Fools), but I was wrong.

    The only problem with Bolt (other than the lies) is that the masses read his tripe, and then regurgitate it without doing their own fact checking.

    Roll on your series. I will promote it on my blog.

    Gavin

  4. Mark says:

    Being proven wrong does not seem to concern Bolt. Ignoring the findings of the APC, Bolt continues to make the same claim.

    He wasn’t actual “proven wrong”. The APC simply asserted that he ought to have known that the Met Office had a different view on the data and to have communicated that to the readership. What he said (“First, the planet hasn’t actually warmed for a decade — or even 15 years, according to new temperature data from Britain’s Met Office”) was entirely technically correct.

    Even the Met don’t dispute that…they just say that its not relevant. But technically what Rose said about their data is correct. He asks, “how much has it warmed in the last 15 yrs”…they say “that’s the wrong question”.

    • Nick says:

      Sorry,Mark but you’re wrong… it is not ‘entirely technically correct’ to claim ‘the planet has not warmed for a decade’… to deal entirely technically with the question of warming of the entire ocean/atmosphere system, the evidence available says that the ocean is where most of the extra energy resides,as demonstrated by continuing rise in mean sea level as the very simplest and most direct indication..

      How many times do we have to go through this with you? Bolt is wrong,and was shown to have ignored the correct technical view from qualified parties.

      “…the Met Office had a different view of the data..” is cute. Bolt does not have the technical chops to hold a valid self-generated view of the data,so he should do as sane people do and defer to those with the know-how..it is not acceptable to suggest Bolt’s views on the data are entitled or valid simply because he is entitled to free speech.

      • Mark says:

        The full quote is “First, the planet hasn’t warmed for a decade – or even 15 years, according to new temperature data from Britain’s Met Office

        The Hadcrut4 anomaly for 1997/10 is 0.563.
        The anomaly for 2012/09 is 0.534 ie no warming.

        Is it a cherry-pick – absolutely.
        Is it the whole temperature story – not even close.

        But its a correct statement. According to the Met data it hadn’t warmed in 15 yrs. You don’t need specialist know-how to work this out. You just require the ability to read a table of numbers.

        That’s why the APC didn’t find him in error but instead simply asserted he should have offered additional information.

      • sailrick says:

        Mark

        from the UK Met Office

        “The linear trend from August 1997 (in the middle of an exceptionally strong El Nino) to August 2012 (coming at the tail end of a double-dip La Nina) is about 0.03°C/decade, amounting to a temperature increase of 0.05°C over that period, but equally we could calculate the linear trend from 1999, during the subsequent La Nina, and show a more substantial warming.

        As we’ve stressed before, choosing a starting or end point on short-term scales can be very misleading. Climate change can only be detected from multi-decadal timescales due to the inherent variability in the climate system. If you use a longer period from HadCRUT4 the trend looks very different. For example, 1979 to 2011 shows 0.16°C/decade (or 0.15°C/decade in the NCDC dataset, 0.16°C/decade in GISS). Looking at successive decades over this period, each decade was warmer than the previous – so the 1990s were warmer than the 1980s, and the 2000s were warmer than both. Eight of the top ten warmest years have occurred in the last decade.”

      • Nick says:

        Mark, the quote is not directly from UK Met, the quote is Bolt’s via journalist David Rose,is wrong-in-fact,and gives a false implication that it’s got UK Met’s imprimatur. As the APC ruling explains….

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Bolt is free to express his own view on the data. My understanding is the issue which the PCC upheld is that he should have made it clear that this was at odds with the MET view (as if that wasn’t obvious).

        The core statement – that the world is no warmer now than it was in 1998 – is consistent with the surface temperature record.

      • Nick says:

        It’s consistent with a wilfully ignorant reading of it… As it was Bolt not expressing his own view,instead he was just cribbing from Rose’s mendacity, Limited News echo-chamber-stylee.

        Both journalists have a long sorry record even with the mild-as-milk press councils of their respective homes…imagine if they tried this crap on as business journalists! It would not be tolerated in most businesses,though they would be welcome at Heartland.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I notice you’re not offering any falsifiable predictions on when surface temperatures will rise either, Nick. Happy to take a date range.

      • BBD says:

        Nick is pointing out Bolt’s regurgitation of Rose’s misrepresentation of the Met Office data. Stop trying to change the subject by trolling.

      • zoot says:

        The core statement – that the world is no warmer now than it was in 1998 – is consistent with the surface temperature record.

        No, as has been pointed out to you many times, it is not.
        And no matter how many times you repeat the lie it will not become true.

      • Eric is consistent – consistently wrong.

      • Mark says:

        Mark, the quote is not directly from UK Met,

        Which is why neither Bolt nor I said otherwise. But the data (remember the data?) is from the Met office.

      • Nick says:

        The data is indeed from UK Met…and Rose,then copy-boy Bolt,have fibbed about ‘what it shows’ with the implication [“according to the UK Met”] that ‘what it shows’ and ‘what the UK Met says about it’ are identical. Hence the correction from UK Met which was ritually ignored for as long as possible by the Daily Mail,and Bolt,and is still ignored by armchair idiots who think they can ignore statistics.

      • john byatt says:

        Would be interesting to understand how they reconcile their claim of no warming with the TOA energy imbalance

        http://scholar.google.com.au/scholar?q=energy+imbalance+top+of+atmosphere&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5

      • Mark says:

        The full quote from Bolt was “according to new temperature data from Britain’s Met Office” which you then truncate to “according to the UK Met”. Naughty naughty.

        Or do you just habitually ignore the ” new temperature data”.:)

        I’m beginning to think that the subtlety is too much for some. I’m not ignoring the Met office response to Rose, I just don’t think its relevant to the current issue.

        Bolt is saying look at these two temperature numbers :one in 1997 one in 2012.They are basically the same: QED no warming between those two dates. That is correct.

        The Met office is saying, equally correctly, that its not right to look at those two numbers, that you need to look and analyse more widely. But what they say doesn’t prove Bolt/Rose wrong, its just an alternate way at looking at the same data.

        Now is that too subtle or are you simply determined to not see anything that challenges the one true story.

      • john byatt says:

        Mark “Bolt is saying look at these two temperature numbers ne in 1997 one in 2012.They are basically the same: QED no warming between those two dates. That is correct.”

        looking at any two dates is not a scientific credible analysis of the trend data,

        it is worthless

      • zoot says:

        Bolt is saying look at these two temperature numbers😮 ne in 1997 one in 2012.They are basically the same: QED no warming between those two dates.

        Hallelujah! Mark understands the fallacious reasoning behind Bolt’s assertion of no warming.

        That is correct.

        Oops, spoke too soon.

      • Mark says:

        Oh man, I give up. It really is too hard for you guys to follow.

        But to summarise: according to the Met office data (ie HadCrut4) the temperature in 10/1997 was the same as the temp in 12/2012. There hadn’t been any warming between those two periods. I really don’t understand why that sails over your heads. As I said earlier, yes its a cherry-pick, yes its not the whole story. But it is one part of the story and one way to look at the data.

      • john byatt says:

        a worthless way

      • BBD says:

        Mark

        But to summarise: according to the Met office data (ie HadCrut4) the temperature in 10/1997 was the same as the temp in 12/2012. There hadn’t been any warming between those two periods. I really don’t understand why that sails over your heads.

        It’s not “over our heads”. It’s just wrong.

        The HadCRUT4 anomaly for Feb 1981 was 0.199. The anomaly for Feb 2012 was 0.208. To one decimal place, both are 0.2. Plot a linear trend between them and this is what you get.

        You cannot just pick two points in a time series that have the same value and make any meaningful statement about what happened in between. The *only* statement you can make is that the two points have the same value. So what? I’ve just shown you how easy it is to do that. And how meaningless.

        This sort of stupid just harms you. Please stop.

      • I don’t want Mark to stop. He’s a hoot!

  5. The first Bolt “climate” article that I remember reading was his attack on Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”. None of the claims by Bolt made any sense but I was particularly interested in his third claim:

    Gore says ice cores from Antarctica, that go back 650,000 years, show the world got warmer each time there was more carbon dioxide in the air.

    In fact, as the University of California’s Professor Jeff Severinghaus and others note, at least three studies of ice cores show the earth first warmed and only then came more carbon dioxide, many hundreds of years later. So does extra carbon dioxide cause a warming world, or vice versa?

    I Googled Severinghaus and found articles by him on the “CO2 lag”. In these articles and in a reply to an email I sent him, Seveinghaus emphasised that carbon dioxide was very important in the last deglaciation, providing between 35% and 50% of the warming.

    When I re-read Bolt’s piece (above) I realised that it had been very carefully written. It certainly gives the impression that the expert (Severinghaus) agrees with Bolt’s interpretation but on careful reading Bolt did not directly make that claim.

    Slippery indeed.

    If anyone is interested, here is a link to a piece I wrote which contains links to the original Bolt article and also articles by Severinghaus, as well as one on the “CO2 lag” :

    http://steve-marg.blogspot.com.au/2011/09/how-do-you-know.html

    • Mark says:

      Bolt’s response to this was part of the Robyn Williams interview where Robyn opined it was possible sea might rise by 100metres this century. That frivolity was explored in another thread t’other day.

      http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/scienceshow/reporting-co2/3396878

      • Thanks for the link to the transcript Mark, I remember listening to that Science Show live. It was wrong for Williams to even suggest that 100 metres SLR in the next century is remotely possible but reading Bolt’s comments just support the point I made. He claims to have read the science but does not attempt to address the understanding that the scientists, such as Severinghaus, have on the CO2 lag.

        For you or anyone else interested here is the understanding on the lag that scientists have:

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/04/the-lag-between-temp-and-co2/

        For anyone who is actually aware of the science, Bolt’s response is clearly slippery and propagandistic.

      • See Tim Lambert’s dissection of Andrew Bolt’s attack on Al Gore here;

        http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/09/15/andrew-bolt-gets-a-perfect-sco/

        ..and a closer look at Bolt’s misrepresentation of Severinghaus here:

        http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/10/05/bolts-abuse-of-science/

        MediaWatch picked him up on this as well. Andrew “I’m not a climate scientist” Bolt’s response to the criticism? :

        ‘I understand Serveringhaus’ research better than he does.’

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Bolt’s response to this was part of the Robyn Williams interview where Robyn opined it was possible sea might rise by 100metres this century.

        Only 99.98 metres to go…🙂

      • Nick says:

        You and Mark ignored the whole Williams interview and its subject matter,to facetiously and repetitively dwell on an irrelevance offered by Williams.

        Just as your puppet-master Bolt would have it…suckered again,chaps.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Do you believe sea levels will rise by 100m this century Nick? Or do you think this prediction is somewhat um alarmist?

      • Nick says:

        Of course it’s wrong…it’s also seven years old,and it was not a prediction or a projection but in Williams mind,distracted by Bolt’s diversion,a possibility,and from his tone,a remote one.

        Care to point out where Williams is in climate science? Is he an IPCC author? Is he a spokesperson for any scientific bodies,academies universities? Williams opinion has no weight on the issue,and he’d be the first to say so! Why are you trying to elevate that 7 year old trivia into a statement of resonance,permanence and gravity? Because you are a desperate man,Eric! Utterly nakedly despairingly short of material for your act! Playing the Williams card is an admission of impotence. Please leave it for the young fogeys like Bolt,it’s unbecoming of grown men.

        Got anything else? Want to talk about Robyn Williams as a human being,journalist and eminent science communicator…or you happy with poo?

      • zoot says:

        Do you believe sea levels will rise by 100m this century Nick? Or do you think this prediction is somewhat um alarmist?

        Since such a prediction was never made your question is meaningless.

      • Mark says:

        Form Nick:

        You and Mark ignored the whole Williams interview and its subject matter,to facetiously and repetitively dwell on an irrelevance offered by Williams.

        I only raised it here as a pointer to the other parts of the interview. Heh, but don’t let the facts get in the way of what you want to be true.. I’ve only ever raised it as an aside. Williams doesn’t believe we’ll get 100m of SL rise this century. we all know that.

        What I find fascinating is that neither he nor his cheer-squad have ever been able to just own up and admit he made a mistake to even suggest it was possible. Never admit error, never take a backward step. And when one of the ‘team’ do obviously screw up, circle the wagons and try to find a way to rationalise the error.

        Had Williams, a day or two after the erroneous interview, just come out and said that he’d misspoke and that those members of the consensus who were pushing the 100m scare campaign were dills or worse, this would have all gone away. But alas…..

      • zoot says:

        Bolt raised the 100 m figure.
        100 m sea level rise this century is possible, if unlikely.
        Williams replied to Bolt that it was possible.

        Where did Williams “misspeak”?

      • zoot says:

        Additional question:
        Outside your febrile imagination, who was pushing “the 100m scare campaign”?
        I know you don’t do links, but a citation would support your argument.

      • Nick says:

        So just who was pushing 100m SLR as a possibility back in 2007,Mark?

        No one was. Not the IPCC. Not the CSIRO. No national science academies. No politicians or ministers of science,technology and/or environment.

        Williams is not a member of a ‘team’. He was speaking personally about a possibility. He was wrong,and rational folks knew that. Rational folks also knew that Williams and the ABC Science Show are not mouthpieces of official science and policy,that he was not on that day speaking in any capacity other than conversationally in an interview about Bolt’s apparent misrepresentation of Jeff Severinghaus’ work…why does he need to ‘own up’, or ‘admit’ anything?

        Bolt and Blair are the guys who could usefully explain why they are in the seventh year of flogging trivial manufactured talking points to anyone who will listen. They are the guys who should be admitting to running a public vilification campaign,and running an hysterical scare campaign about the effects of addressing real environmental issues.

        Instead you are blaming a victim of their sad behavior.

        Stop being an apologist for the dumbest of dumb bullying by the most naked of hypocrites..

      • Mark says:

        Struth, why is this so hard?

        http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/GlobalWarming/story?id=2866985&page=1#.UZMCiqJkOFG

        What do you think happened? That the 100 metres assertion just came up out of the blue? Words fail me.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        I wonder if Mark has realised his comprehension failure when he said:

        “just once I’d like to see a someone .. own up that sea levels may not rise by 100 metres”

        Of course, when Robyn Williams opined that it was possible that sea level might rise 100 metres in 100 years, the word “possible” means that it may not happen.

        But apparently Mark has a comprehension problem.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/GlobalWarming/story?id=2866985&page=1#.UZMCiqJkOFG contains:

        “[With the ice sheets at the poles and Greenland melting] the sea levels will be 100 meters (330 feet) higher than they are today.”

        Didn’t notice anything about a hundred years time. I wonder who brought that up?

      • Nick says:

        Why indeed is it so hard,Mark? I’d suggest your stubborn pride has something to do with it. Seventh year of routine harassment by Bolt [he raised this again on 6/5/13,asking why Williams is employed],and you’re intent on conceding nothing and sanctioning deplorable behavior.

        The world is being turned upside down in the cause of normalisation of insanity of Bolt’s kind .

        If I had a friend who was obsessed with a sentence in millions written seven years ago,despite all assurance that it had no real status, I’d be sure there was a mental disorder at work….instead Bolt is employed to act out the very same madness,and generate angst for his audience. Bolt claims to be on a mission to pursue alarmism,but that’s a rationalisation of bad faith. Any ‘alarm’ stimulated by [a possibly misquoted] Archer would be long forgotten if News Ltd acted responsibly,and acted like a news agency. Where is the alarm anyway? Conservative governments are dismantling reasonable policies on SLR…clearly they have not been brow-beaten by alarmists.

        You and I do not know whether Archer was quoted accurately and in context..why the curious structure of the sentence,where Archer’s words are replaced?

        Whatever,there is no mention of a time frame…and again Archer does not speak for the IPCC or the information that it provides to government.

        We all know this,and we always knew it.

        Bolt does cite the IPCC AR4 2007 when it suits him –he’ll cite the 59cm by 2100,without the caveat clearly expressed that the estimate does not include Greenland or Antarctc land ice in its reckoning.–but despite unwittingly clearing up the ‘confusion’,he is determined to keep Williams ‘sin’ as fresh as seven-year-old- beat-up can be. Bolt’s actions are hostile,childish and ill-willed political chumming…is there any other way for intelligent people to see it?

        Meanwhile SLR estimates have been revisited and revised upwards as a better quantification of Greenlands trajectory is gained…and we know that analogous climates saw 4-6m higher SLs,which are more likely by 2300

        Do you understand that whatever Archer and Williams are claimed to represent is an invention of Bolt’s?

        Do you understand that Bolt’s brief is to denigrate the public broadcaster by any and every means just within the law,and to promote the interests of his political class? A chance to bash the ABC and AGW is like crack cocaine to Bolt…

      • Nick says:

        Unbelievable! Bolt has yet another post attacking Williams demanding an apology,with the pretext of presenting something on SLR that has been chewed over by Watts…too stupid. The take-home from the linked Reuters article is the leaked AR5 draft predicts 29-82cm rise by late in the 21st Century.

        Funny that a guy so proud to present a book entitled “Still Not Sorry” should get so worked up when others do not apologise! What an oaf!

      • Mark says:

        One can only but smile and shake one’s head:

        As per the WTD I-don’t-want-it-to-be-true play book, it was asserted that no one was actually suggesting 100 metre SLR as a possibility, meaning, by implication that that nasty Mr Bolt had just conjured it out of thin air and poor Robyn, naive to the trap, fell for it.

        So just who was pushing 100m SLR as a possibility back in 2007,Mark?

        No one was. Not the IPCC. Not the CSIRO. No national science academies. No politicians or ministers of science,technology and/or environment.

        and

        Outside your febrile imagination, who was pushing “the 100m scare campaign”?

        So I point out that indeed a consensus scientist was pushing it as a (scary) proposition, that it was extensively covered on the ABC complete with allusions to sharks hunting in sydney streets and that it was that bit of silliness that Bolt was trying to get Williams to disavow.

        In a more honest group I might have expected some acknowledgement that indeed people were making these assertions, that the group was wrong to think that it’d come from my febrile imagination. They might have also acknowledged that it was an unbelievably silly piece of propaganda and that it deserved to be slapped down.
        In a more honest group….

        Instead we find the group just ignoring that they’ve just been proven to be very erroneous and naive, and instead just move onto set of rationalisations.

        I’m starting to understand the I-don’t-want-it-to-be-true play book. It goes like this:

        1. No one said that, he/you/they made it up.
        2. OK they did say something but they’ve been misquoted.
        3. OK they weren’t misquoted, but they were taken out of context.
        4. OK they weren’t taken out of context. Shut up…your an idiot.

      • Nick says:

        Mark, you have problems understanding what words mean,so loose is your usage of them..

        You claim someone was ‘pushing’ the possibility of 100m SLR…’pushing’

        ‘Pushing’ surely means ‘promoting publicly’, ‘lobbying’ or ‘advertising actively’… to push an idea is to present it frequently and forcefully. Publicise it and seek others to promote it. Did that happen at all?

        Neither Williams or Archer were ‘pushing’ the idea. Archer,who knows? No context.
        Williams merely ‘offered’ the possibility once in a distracted response to Bolt’s presenting the figure.

        Since Williams did not push the idea,it cannot have been an ‘unbelievably silly piece of propaganda’

        You do a lot of this fudging around. Honor the language,will ya?

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        And still Mark fails to comprehend that when Robyn Williams opined that it was possible that sea level might rise 100 metres in 100 years, the word “possible” means that it MAY not happen (after saying he’d like to see someone own up that sea levels MAY not rise by 100 metres).

        The only thing Mark confirms is that to be in denial of climate science, one normally needs to be mentally incompetent.

      • Nick says:

        Mark, I’ll tell who’s ‘pushing’ on this….News Ltd bloggers and their echo chamber. And yourself,in your naivety.

        A search for “Robyn Williams 100m blogs.news.com.au” gets 30,400 results

        30,400 mentions at News blogs…posts by Andrew Bolt &Tim Blair,and readers using blogs.news.com.au have been pushing this claim,normalising the harassment and bullying since 2007.

        And you call Williams a propagandist!

      • Mark says:

        Via Chris “And still Mark fails to comprehend that when Robyn Williams opined that it was possible that sea level might rise 100 metres in 100 years, the word “possible” means that it MAY not happen”

        Well yes Chris. It may not happen in the same way as we may not be visited next week by Slartibartfast of Magrathea.

        The lengths you chaps will go to to defend one of the brethren..

      • Mark says:

        “You claim someone was ‘pushing’ the possibility of 100m SLR…’pushing’”

        So that’s it Nick.Out of that whole long post of mine, you select one word, attribute to it your meaning, demand that that this the only potential meaning and then seek to prove me wrong via that meaning.

        Well I don’t accept your meaning. The idea was being pushed as part of an overall campaign to provide scary scenarios so as to convince the public what we needed to de-carbonise. That doesn’t mean it needed to be “advertised” etc. It was raised on one ABC show, became ABC folklore, and the notion that Sydney would go under was placed into the popular imagination along with a perfect storm of other imagined disasters like unfilled dams and snow deprived kids . And Bolt was trying to add a little perspective.

        At some point, where appropriate, I’m going to have to write a longer post on how the publicity and public propagandising of the CAGW story is at least as important as the inter-scientific discussion because clearly its not well understood here.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “And still Mark fails to comprehend that when Robyn Williams opined that it was possible that sea level might rise 100 metres in 100 years, the word “possible” means that it MAY not happen”

        “It may not happen in the same way as we may not be visited next week by Slartibartfast”

        Au contraire. Robyn Williams “possible” is a word that means very unlikely (to reach 100 metres). So “100 metres may not happen” means it’s very likely there will be less than 100 metres rise. i.e. far, far more likely than the chance of Slartibartfast visiting us next week.

        No wonder you deny climate science. You’re incompetent at logic. Just like the vast majority of climate science denialists.

      • Nick says:

        Your view of the history and social context of that Williams comment, and its place in a ‘scare-campaign’, is ethically vacuous,Mark, and very wrong.

        “It became part of ABC folk lore”? LOL. It was seized on by News bovver boys as something to lie relentlessly about,a small scrap that the idiot Bolt understood how to turn into gold for the paranoiac Murdoch empire’s local arm…such jolly folk lore,generating itself from good-natured ribbing… LOL. I wish it was true…but it isn’t. It’s not ‘folklore’. It’s manufactured. It’s bullying. it’s normalised.

        Bolt and Blair have worked hard to turn that fleeting irrelevance into a meme…30,400 results in a tightly defined search: News Ltd blogs. The pair mention it–push it–every fortnight as part of their anti-ABC hysteria. They don’t have any real interest in the climate,or indeed in anything much except the sound of their own voices….they serve their masters in constant attacks on the competition, on the Labor Party, on academia, and on inconvenient science that doesn’t know its place in the fairy tale of modern technosociety. They’ve got you believing that Williams is part of a scare-campaign. They’ve got you believing that concern about fossil fuel overuse, backed by 150 years of learning and the scientific bodies of the globe, is just a ‘scare-campaign’.

        On his part,Williams keeps presenting science ,science journalism and scientists to talk about their work…he doesn’t mention Bolt or Blair. He does not use his media prominence to bash them fortnightly for six years…that’s not his role,and it’s not his pathology. He’s a broadcaster,not an attack dog.

        Likewise the attacks on Flannery are,to a sane person,bizarrely obsessive and excessive,but a normalised and unremarkable in a world inured to shock-jocks. News Ltd has ticked all the Big Lie boxes: quote-mined some remarks, carefully decontextualised them, manufactured the controversy,and aired the untruths constantly to an echo-chamber of unthinkers…and you seem to think this is just some kind of spontaneous,self-assembling exchange in a society with freedom of opinion? None of it is a matter of chance,it’s deliberate.

        It’s audacious,aggressive,simplistic and anti-communicative. It is far more interesting than any reality about disagreements in climate science,which is fundamentally sound and generates its real questions and challenges from within.

        “..Bolt was trying to add a little perspective ” …actually he is trying to enforce his world-view, dictate the rules of exchange, shout down those he is unequipped to converse with, and generally protect his enormous ego and deep sense of inadequacy.

  6. It’s tragic that good science is trashed so inflated egos like Andrew Bolt can spew utter lies in the name of ideology. Ultimately, the whole of society is diminished and eventually, we’ll all pay for failing to move quickly against a known danger. I just hope that one day Andrew Bolt, Murdoch lackeys and others who have been responsible for delaying meaningful action on climate change are held to account.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      You don’t have to listen to us – you could simply remove our right to vote.

      • Nick says:

        I will listen to you Eric…you have the right to speech,and I have the right to hope you’ll admit your “misunderstandings”.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I respect that Nick – you’re definitely one of the more civil posters on this site.

      • BBD says:

        Splendid Eric. Now admit that:

        – you are clueless about the underpinning physics (demonstrated previously)

        – you know nothing about Earth’s climate history (demonstrated previously)

        – you nevertheless serially misrepresent climate science because its debunking of the externalities myth is anathema to the fantasies of free-market fundamentalists

      • zoot says:

        You don’t have to listen to us

        What makes you think we listen to you?

      • Us? So you need to associate yourself with inflated egos like Andrew Bolt to feel loved Eric?

        Your propensity to introduce non sequiturs is tiring, it’s a frequent pastime employed by creationists and anti-vaxers when they have nothing meaningful to say and know the cupboard is bare when it comes to supporting evidence.

    • Nick says:

      I doubt whether they will have the grace or intelligence to change their views, or even attempt a new rationalisation of their behavior. The old rationalisation is wrapped in self-serving tosh about press freedom,freedom of speech and ‘balance’. They will be hanging on to that. A lot depends on whether the UK Press Council, post-Leveson,gets some real teeth from the Tories,who in general have no desire to expose themselves to criticism and wish to cave in to the press barons in return for sweet coverage.

      Any attempt to explain their systematic debauching of the scientific line will have to be pretty slick…it will be beyond them intellectually. Bolt will skulk off somewhere,perennially unapologetic,aggrieved and crapping on about his freedumb to dissent.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Given that UKIP now command as much as 18% of the UK vote, and the UKIP spokesman on the environment is Lord Monckton, I doubt the Tories or anyone else are going to go out of their way to attack the rising voice of climate “denial”.

      • BBD says:

        If you think that a buffoon like Monckton is an advantage to UKIP, why did even Bolt distance himself recently from the Monckton circus act?

        In the real world, Monckton is a gyrating, noisy liability that UKIP would do well to jettison post haste.

        You have previously claimed that Farage has nous. If so, he will eject Monckton before the man begins to cut capers in the media spotlight increasingly trained on UKIP.

        As usual, what you say is fundamentally inconsistent.

      • Nick says:

        I thought that ” loose cannon” Monckton had been shown the door from UKIP last year?

        If he’s back,I’m not surprised. Crank magnetism is strong.

      • BBD says:

        Eric keeps claiming Monckton is the UKIP environment spokesman, and presumably Eric knows whereof he speaks on matters of the loony right.

        The DeSmog bio doesn’t say. The Guardian’s Leo Hickman is quoted stating that:

        Gawain Towler, Ukip’s press spokesman, has confirmed to me this morning [June 2012] that Monckton “no longer has any formal role” with Ukip. Towler described Monckton as an “outlier” who is now “semi-detached” from the party, partly because he’s “barely in the country these days”. (Before arriving in Rio, Monckton had been touring the US Tea Party circuit casting doubt on the origins of Barack Obama’s birth certificate.)

        (cont…)

      • BBD says:

        What did completely take me by surprise was the fact that Monckton’s sister, Rosa, is married to right-wing journalist Dominic Lawson who is the son of Lord Lawson, Thatchers former chancellor and latterly, founder of the GWPF fake educational charity and denialist lobby group.

        Perhaps even more bizarrely, Dominic Lawson and George Monbiot are cousins, at least according to the Wiki entry…

        I’m tempted to say you couldn’t make this up, but perhaps that would be unwise.

      • Bolt will be the new Black Knight in years to come. While the vast majority of people move on and deal with the effects imposed on us by a warmer climate and more intense weather systems, Bolt will still be parroting the same outdated, disproven bollocks he knows and loves.

        He is too arrogant to admit he got it wrong.

      • john byatt says:

        Monckton is a creationist as proven by his endorsing the of rise up Australia creationist political party

      • Nick says:

        Monckton is the most fascinating rejectionist…an audacious, reckless liar without any sense of self-preservation. Whacko.

  7. I wish you the best in your response to A Bolt, but fear that your efforts will be wasted as honest debate or any other form of of discussion based on integrity mean little to him. His audiance seeks dramatic inflamatory words not rational arguement, a lesson well learned by his editorial masters.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      It is a short step between deciding that people are fools, and deciding that their opinion should be disregarded, for the greater good.

      • BBD says:

        The opinion of fools can safely be disregarded for the greater good. You are a case in point, Eric.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        You can’t ignore us so long as we can vote for politicians like Abbott.

      • BBD says:

        Everybody who shilled so vociferously and so long for their corporate sponsors will end up as the focus for a frightened and angry electorate.

        None of you who live long enough will escape the backlash. As I remarked earlier, you have dug your grave with your bare hands.

        How old are you, Eric? Do you think you have another three or four decades in you yet?

      • “It is a short step between deciding that people are fools…”

        In your case Eric, your consistently doltish posts remove any lingering doubt.

  8. Nick Power says:

    Not a word on continental movement, over population or deforestation is seen let alone solar affect or soot on ice. But do love the cherry pocking quote allegations … Something the ABc and like minded seem to love to inflict on those who disagree like Abbott.

  9. Jess says:

    My sister in law was convinced beyond doubt by Bolt’s claims that global warming is getting better. To me that’s really alarming that an intelligent woman could believe such garbage. There is evidence beyond doubt that humans are affecting the world negatively. What is Bolt’s aim? I’m guessing he was strongly against the carbon tax and any other funding going towards changing our footprint. It’s just so sad that the next generations to come will pay for our ignorance.

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