Climate Change Australia – Former Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery Does Not Deserve This Absurd Defence

Posted on Tue 09/24/2013 by


Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

Too many commentators seem far too protective of taxpayer-funded warmists who used dodgy claims to terrify people into believing the planet was headed for apocalyptic man-made warming:


Take Tory Shepherd, mourning the sacking of Chief Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery:

… the harm has already been done, and may not be undone when the IPCC actually releases its report on Friday. A report that may concede a ‘pause’ in warming but is sure to provide even more scientific evidence that climate change is occurring and human activity is a major contributor.

Actually, Tory, that concession of a pause is highly significant. Tim Flannery refused to admit there was a pause (although for one moment of weakness in 2009 he did concede it) when his job is actually to give dispassionate, accurate advice. That pause, not predicted by the IPCC (see the graph above) also casts great doubt on the theory of dangerous man-made warming he was peddling with our money.

It is a shame Australians won’t benefit from the insight of the Climate Commission into the report.

Why? The Climate Commission has a disgraceful record of peddling cherry-picked and alarmist claims. Now its members will do that same work for free anyway. We are denied nothing.

In the facile logic that many climate change sceptics employ, Prof Flannery’s occasionally overheated remarks about the future impacts of global warming prove that all warnings are simply “alarmist”.

I’ve never heard that argument made – that because Flannery is wrong, all warnings of future impacts of global warming are wrong, too. Straw man.

It goes something like this: Prof Flannery is a scientist who is vocal about climate change. Some of his predictions have turned out to be wrong. Therefore climate science is wrong.

No, the real argument is this, Prof Flannery is unqualified in climate science. Many of his predictions have turned out to wrong, at great cost to taxpayers. Therefore he is not a credible source of information on climate science and should no longer be paid by taxpayers to make absurdly alarmist claims. Simple.

An oft-cited example is Prof Flannery’s warning that Adelaide could face a water shortage, and that therefore desalination plants were needed.

That’s actually putting the matter very, very generously – generous to Flannery. His actual prediction in 2007 was that “even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems” – a prediction so absurdly alarmist and wrong that it’s been disproved almost every year since. Moreover, Flannery warned in 2007 that without desalination plants, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide could be out of drinking water by 2009. Those plants were hurriedly built (plus another in Melbourne) at great expense, and now all are mothballed, or about to be, because of the return of the flooding rains Flannery predicted were gone forever. Flannery’s other dud predictions include a possible ice-free Arctic summer this year, a possible permanent drought, and Perth becoming the 21st Century’s “first ghost metropolis”.

The argument is not that all warnings are simply “alarmist”, but simply that Flannery’s too often are – and recklessly so. So why should we pay him?

It’s so easy to make Prof Flannery the straw man, the very public face of climate change ‘alarmism’, but it makes no sense to dismiss all scientific claims about alarming possibilities just because they don’t all turn out to be true.

Again with that straw man.

Scientists simply don’t know exactly how much human activity is to blame, how much the world will warm, and exactly how that warming will affect weather patterns and sea levels.

Exactly our point all along. The “science is settled crowd” represented by the likes of Flannery sold us a certainty that was simply false. One more reason why Flannery should have been sacked.

So why on Earth defend him?

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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