Big Ideas with Paul Barclay Radio National 4/11/10
The primary and over-riding defect in this debate was that there was no sceptic voice or representative of dissent against the orthodox viewpoint about climate change. No concession to the idea that there were legitimate sceptic opinions and justifiable doubt about AGW was made by the panel. The concept of scepticism was denigrated by panel members. For instance prominent sceptic, Dr Jennifer Marohasy was referred to as blogger while Dr Flannery was referred to as having credentials to speak on this subject despite having affiliations with renewable energy industries which are benefitting from government subsidies.
Throughout the debate, Climate change and climate change skeptics were often referred to denialists. There is a great deal of confusion in using these terms. The evolution of the term began with Anthropogenic (man-made) Global Warming (AGW), which was changed to Global Warming; the prevailing term as espoused by President Obama is now climate disruption.
This confusion about terminology led to some ludicrous statements both by the ABC’s panel. For instance the obvious point that a person who is skeptical of AGW is NOT a Climate Change Sceptic was ignored in the discussion. Sceptics know that Climate changes and that there have been ice ages and interglacials. During the interglacials there have been warmer periods than today and there have been colder periods than today. All of this has been scientifically established. Sceptics know the previous most recent warming was the Medieval Warming Period (MWP) which was followed by the Little Ice Age (LIA.) The salient point here is that sceptics know the climate changes. Conversely the IPCC/Climategate scientists (ICS) have tried to erase or at least minimise the MWP and LIA in order to infer that the late twentieth warming was unprecedented with the implication being that climate has not changed until human influence made it change. Arguably, therefore, the non-sceptics are the climate change deniers.
The panel also ignored major and serious flaws and problems with the official climate records. For instance the IPCC has just been audited by the IAC which h found serious defects in the certainty standards used by the IPCC regarding their science and consequent predictions. As well, the ICS have said they “can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't.” They have also tried to “hide the decline” in temperatures. Just this week there has been an attempt to alter temperature readings. USHCN weather station’s adjusted by 5º upward. These actions raise serious concerns about fabrication of evidence. In this respect there was no mention of the New Zealand law case where the official temperature record used to base conclusions about AGW has effectively been disavowed by the government.
This panel discussion had no balance in contradiction of the ABC's own charter. It is a pity the panel did take a leave out of the "Unleashed" site which at least makes an effort at impartiality:
The panel discussion has succumbed to censorship and revealed its ignorance of developments in the AGW debate which cast serious doubts on the validity of AGW theory and justification for the economic measures which are now causing unnecessary financial hardship.
The ABC should immediately convene a further panel discussion whereby prominent and legitimate sceptics are given an opportunity to respond to the oppressive attitudes espoused and promulgated by this panel.
“Telling both sides of the story is a basic rule of Journalism” (It is also required by Sections 5,6 & 7 of the ABC Editorial Policies 2007)
PB: …the scientific consensus that climate change is real…” There is NO consensus. In fact the term “scientific consensus” is an oxymoron.