How Australia’s ABC’s AM Program Hyped The Climate Commission’s Scare. Did Mark Scott Listen?

Posted on Tue 06/18/2013 by


Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

ABC managing director Mark Scott claims there’s no bias on the ABC and pretends his former chairman never complained about ABC groupthink on global warming.

Yesterday he got yet another opportunity to reconsider his complacency.

ABC AM reported the latest hysterical global warming claims of the Climate Commission and – as usual – did so without any attempt at balance or fact-checking:

It quoted Climate Commissioner Will Steffen offering a rag-bag of weather events to suggest the planet was continuing to warm dangerously:

Heatwaves in Europe, heatwaves in Russia, heatwaves in the US during the last decade. Heavy rainfall, a warming climate, more evaporation from the ocean, more water vapour in the atmosphere and more rain. What did we see? Convincing evidence, not only globally, but now in Australia.

This alone should have made AM suspicious.

First, why did Steffen not mention other recent weather anecdotes suggesting cooling? Why did he – or the ABC – not add that England had just had its coldest spring in 50 years or in many areas the coldest in 122 years? Why not mention France had its coldest spring in 26 years and the US its coldest in 17 years?

Second, why did Steffen – or the ABC – not give listeners the most obvious measure of global warming – not anecdotes about some heatwave somewhere but the actual temperature of the planet?

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Why did AM not mention this temperature record, showing no statistically significant warming for more than 15 years, or quote one of the world’s leading climate scientists – like, for instance, Judith Curry?

You see, Professor Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, says the real question now is not whether global warming has paused for the past 15 years, but whether the next 10 years will see a global cooling as well.

Attention in the public debate seems to be moving away from the 15-17 yr ‘pause’ to the cooling since 2002 This period since 2002 is scientifically interesting, …  and provides a rationale for inferring a slight cooling trend over the next decade or so.

But instead of interviewing a top climate scientist or a sceptic for balance, AM interviews a retired navy officer whose credentials seem to be merely that he, too, happens to believe in the warming scare:

SARAH CLARKE:  Admiral Chris Barrie is the former defence chief. He agrees there is an urgency…

CHRIS BARRIE: We only have this little period of 10 years in which to adjust human behaviour to give us a more acceptable outcome for the rest of the century.

Also not mentioned by AM is that the climate commissioners are alarmists who have a terrible record of making dud predictions. In fact, this latest claim that global warming is bringing us lots more rain seems at odds with a previous warning issued by Tim Flannery himself, in 2007:

Even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems.

AM does not even challenge the crazy conclusion from another climate commissioner, Lesley Hughes, that to stop dangerous warming we must virtually close down our coal industry:

LESLEY HUGHES:  … We simply have to leave about 80 per cent of the world’s fossil fuel reserves in the ground. We cannot afford to burn them and still have a stable and safe climate.

Cost of closing our coal exports? About $50 billion a year. Cost to Australians: lost jobs, lost royalties, lost taxes, lost investment, massive increases in power bills, energy-intensive businesses made broke, vast economic dislocation. More people will be poor, and few of them will be able to afford to heat their homes in winter or cool them in summer.

Is this sacrifice really worth the benefits – if any – of any warming averted?  Consider: the difference Australia’s planned cuts to emissions by 2020 will actually make to the world’s temperature, even assuming the warmist models are correct, is just 0.0038 degrees by 2100.

What’s more dangerous? Global warming or the catastrophic cost of attempts to “stop” it?

That’s another basic question AM never even thinks to ask.

And Mark Scott claims to detect no bias. No groupthink.


Contrast the ABC’s credulity to the doubt now expressed even by Leftist media outlets overseas:

Cold, cold, cold. Leo Hickman, The Guardian, Friday:

WASHOUT summers. Flash floods. Freezing winters. Snow in May. Droughts. There is a growing sense that something is happening to our weather . . . To try to answer the question the Met Office is hosting an unprecedented meeting of climate scientists and meteorologists next week to debate the possible causes of the UK’s “disappointing” weather over recent years . . . The “roundtable workshop” will attempt to outline the “dynamical drivers of the cold spring of 2013”, but attendees are expected also to debate the “disappointing summers of the last seven years” . . . The meeting will also discuss the washout summer of 2012 and the freezing winter of 2010-11.

Not getting hot, hot, hot. Justin Gillis, The New York Times, June 10:

THE rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace. The slowdown is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists . . . given how much is riding on the scientific forecast, the practitioners of climate science would like to understand exactly what is going on. They admit that they do not, even though some potential mechanisms of the slowdown have been suggested. The situation highlights important gaps in our knowledge of the climate system, some of which cannot be closed until we get better measurements from high in space and from deep in the ocean.

Never mind the facts. ABC radio’s AM yesterday:

TONY Eastley: What were once considered risks are now a reality, according to the Climate Commission’s latest major update on how the planet is tracking. The report says the “scientific consensus” has become stronger, as greenhouse gas emissions reach record levels.

Sarah Clarke: Two years ago, the Climate Commission released its first major report called The Critical Decade. A quarter of the way through that 10 years, it says those forecasts are now a reality and the scientific consensus is stronger.

Will Steffen: Heatwaves in Europe, heatwaves in Russia, heatwaves in the US during the last decade. Heavy rainfall, a warming climate, more evaporation from the ocean, more water vapour in the atmosphere and more rain. What did we see? Convincing evidence, not only globally, but now in Australia.


Reader Bruce says:

“Heatwaves in Russia”. Dr Steffen is alluding to the big Moscow heatwave of 2010 and the accompanying Pakistan floods.

Prof Mike Lockwood, who is a well regarded IPCC contributing climate scientist (who is not a climate sceptic) pointed out that low solar activity was linked to the jet stream blocking which caused the very cold UK winter that year. Jet stream blocking also caused the Moscow heat wave a few months later in the same year.

We had a very similar period of low solar activity during the latest very cold northern winter, as measured by the Ap Progression index, which reached the same low level as in 2010. There was lots of jet stream blocking occurring, again causing cold air to persist over Europe. Dr Steffen is scientifically wrong, and proved so by Prof Lockwood. Digging coal is no threat to anyone, except the green ideologues who want to enslave us.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

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