Saturday, March 04, 2006

Fossil-fuel plants shut down.

This has to be challenged for the hot air it is:
Scientists sceptical of climate change are silenced and consensus is feigned, says Miranda Devine.
An opinion writer at the SMH, Miranda Devine falls firmly on the side of the global warming skeptics. But after reading her article one is left wondering why? Based on what facts?
A CONTROVERSIAL climate change advertisement made by Dr Tim Flannery for a solar company finally made its official debut yesterday on Adelaide television after a much-publicised "censorship" row.
I missed that row. Let's see what Google says about it: "Tim Flannery" censorship "Free+TV" Adelaide
Results 1 - 4 of about 6 for "Tim Flannery" censorship "Free TV" adelaide. (0.33 seconds)

Media Release
... feature in a new television advertisement for the Solar Shop in Adelaide. ... "Banning Tim Flannery's comments is censorship of the worst kind and is ... - 4k - 1 Mar 2006 - Cached - Similar pages

ABC Asia Pacific - News - South Australian scientist's commercial ...

The move has led to claims of censorship and political interference. The television advertisement for the Solar Shop in Adelaide featuring Dr Tim Flannery ... - 39k - Cached - Similar pages -- Steven Milloy, Publisher

The advertisement for the Solar Shop in Adelaide featured Dr Tim Flannery. ... Free TV defends Flannery ad ban (Australian Broadcasting Corp.) ... - 101k - 28 Feb 2006 - Cached - Similar pages

Politicised science | Webdiary - Founded and Inspired by Margo ...
A television advertisement for Adelaide's Solar Shop featuring Tim Flannery has been prevented from being screened by Free TV Australia's "Commercials ... - 64k - Cached - Similar pages

Only four references: The SA Greens media release, An ABC report five paragraphs short, something by far-flung US obfuscationist Steve Milloy, who seems to have it in for Dr Tim Flannery, and Webdiary by Margo Kingston, the original blogger for the Sydney Morning Herald. If that really is the extent of the much-publicised "censorship" row Devine could be accused of a tendency to exaggeration.

This hyperbole then is the prism through which to assess any unsubstantiated claims she goes on to make.
It was a marketing dream for the Solar Shop and a textbook example of the sort of intimidation and media boosterism that enables exaggerated green fear-mongering to run unchallenged.
Media-boosterism? Devine's article is 1,033 words long. The Greens media release is 224 words (and the ABC report, an economical 115 words). An interesting charge this, media-boosterism. And "intimidation", and "fear-mongering".

After claiming the box-office The Day After Tomorrow will backfire on the environmental movement she then moves on to try and discredit global warming science by picking on computers.

Of course, in an era in which most people haven't a clue how most of the high-tech equipment they use every day works, it is easy to bamboozle them with science.

But anyone with the barest undergraduate knowledge knows that computer modelling, on which climate change science relies, is anything but a perfect science, no matter how powerful the computer. A computer model is a simulation of reality, which begins life as a line drawing of inputs and outputs.

The outputs are totally dependent on the quality and accuracy of the inputs. At university we had a name for what often happens: GIGO - garbage in garbage out.

Is the author suggesting we don't use computers to nut this thing out? Or in saying GIGO is she saying she don't trust the work of no climate scientists? Maybe she is.
The misconception is fuelled by an unhealthy development in the scientific community: instead of engaging in open discovery, scientists who express scepticism about the extent of human-caused climate change are pilloried as despicable outcasts, and agents of oil companies. To survive they fall into line or keep quiet while their more ideologically pure peers are feted as super-heroes saving the world from catastrophe.
Proof for these allegations is not offered, so to put it in perspective think of much-publicised "censorship" row, and then think of only 4 Google entries on the subject. Finally she gets to where her article is leading, a plug for Nine Lies About Global Warming by Ray Evans of the Lavosier Group, a fossil-fuel industry attack dog formed around bringing the Kyoto Protocol down in 2000.

FYI. The first "lie" Lavosier fauxposes is that "CO2 is a pollutant". If they think we don't know the difference between carbon dioxide and carbonised suspended particulate matter then the next eight "lies" promise to be really tedious.

Getting back to the bird-in-the-hand; hot on the tail of serious allegations on scientific censorhip in our CSIRO aired by Four Corners last month, essentially we have the fossil fuel industry "screaming", using Miranda's word, that AGW skeptical climate scientists are not taken seriously by mainstream science.
... pilloried as despicable outcasts, and agents of oil companies.
Miranda, and fossil fuel industry, that is what you get when you prosecute truth through science and the scientific method. Any independently demonstrable scientific hypothesis open to peer-review that survives the vigorous, almost Darwinian contest of ideas can join the scientific consensus, sometimes to alter it.

But otherwise ... GIGO.

Technorati Tags
Bookmark post at

No comments: