Monday, July 28, 2008

Genetic scientist ages L. Ron Bolt

Michael James is a Senior Research Fellow and Director for the Genome Variation Laboratory at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. The way he fisked L. Ron Bolt's now famous 7 graphs will fray the telomeres of The Great Denier.

He does a great job debunking Bolt, and explains why. Top and tail:

This communication concerns some misinformation that Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt has been publicising since late last week. Bolt claims his "seven graphs" from reputable sources prove conclusively that the world is cooling not warming and Arctic ice is not thinning.

He first presented it in his blog last Thursday and then on Insiders on ABC on Sunday he heavily promoted it and aggressively challenged Annabel Crabb to dispute these findings, all, of course, to attack the government’s Green Paper and Garnaut Report. Then on Monday he ran another related story as a follow up (Arctic Ice) and Tuesday another follow up. Being something of an agnostic on the topic myself I thought it was worth looking at, but was then appalled at how he has totally misinterpreted the graphs he presents.


I think it is important that loud polemicists like Bolt spouting distorted nonsense need a counterbalance in the media.

And here's the guts. L. Ron Bolt's first graph: "World is cooling"

Andrew Bolt apparently is basing his argument -- that the world really is cooling rather than warming -- on a short blip in the data around January 2008. But the logical comparison is shown by the blue ovals which very roughly centre on the average for the time periods (note the ovals are identical in size); it is obvious the recent period is up to 0.3 degrees warmer. In his graph 2, the same data is plotted but now extending back to 1979 -- it shows even more clearly the average warming over the period 1999-2007.

L.Ron Bolt's forth graph: "Arctic sea ice is thickening"

Andrew Bolt bases his erroneous claim that Arctic sea ice is not thinning on two weeks of the most recent data for 2008 (highlighted in red on graph) and only in comparison to the same period in 2007; in fact the data confirm it is thinning. The US laboratory that provided this graph also claims: "According to scientific measurements, Arctic sea ice has declined dramatically over at least the past thirty years, with the most extreme decline seen in the summer melt season." So, should we make broad sweeping conclusions from 2 weeks’ data or from yearly, or 20 years (1979-2000) or 30 years of data?

I posted a comment in response to Bolt's article (mine is one amongst over 500 comments from mostly appallingly ignorant ranters) -- but of course I couldn't post the graphs.

I had a look for the comment but couldn't find it. Guess it was Boltmoderated out.


You can just hear L. Ron Bolt's telomeres unravelling as he composed this response.


Anonymous said...

You're a behind the eight-ball there. That piece was published in Crikey several days ago, and rebutted by Bolt last Thursday (funny you don't link to either?).

As far as James' & your paranoid assumption that his comment was "Boltmoderated out," (1) have a look at how many critical comments were published. It's not in Bolt's interest to moderate out dissent - it drives up comment count and hits, which is what he thrives on. (2) The very next day, he devoted an entire post to James' criticisms. Hardly a very way to censor someone's comments, devoting a dedicated column to them.

For a sliming, Crikey’s effort stinks

"I see that Crikey, Eric Beecher’s scandal sheet, has drifted off even further to the lunar Left, especially since Christian Kerr jumped ship. Now it’s into publishing the standard abusive slop of the green fanatics, as I discovered today when it ran this attack by “Queensland scientist” Michael James."

You're a sad little unit, "Wadard." Your dream is unraveling and you're getting frantic. And it shows.

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