Graham Readfearn has resigned as an environmental reporter at the Courier Mail. Graham has run a number of stories and editorials about climate change, such as this great post where he gives The Australian a spanking over their continued dodgy coverage of climate change science (which ill include in full below).
He also recently debated the infamous duo of Monkton and Plimer at UQ and was asked if the coverage of that event by his paper motivated his departure.
Earlier today, I got a call from a journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald asking me if I had resigned because of the way my now former employer, The Courier-Mail, had reported the story about the high-profile climate change debate in Brisbane. My honest answer was that it wasn’t.
THIS IS HOW THE STORY WAS COVERED:
LORD Christopher Monckton, imperious and articulate, won yesterday’s climate change debate in straight sets.
Forget facts and fictions, numbers and statistics, this British high priest of climate change sceptics is a polished performer, even against the most committed of scientists. Aided by Adelaide’s Professor Ian Plimer, Lord Monckton cruised to victory before a partisan crowd of suits and ties, movers and shakers.
There’s very little to say, in fact, about the debate at the Brisbane Institute. I’m not claiming victory, because there was no contest in the first place. Both Professor Plimer and Lord Monckton repeated all their well-rehearsed pseudo-science. In a room full of supporters, it’s hardly surprising their rhetoric was cheered.
But as a journalist or a commentator, going to Lord Monckton and Professor Plimer for a view on climate change is akin to asking the Faroe Islands soccer team if the Australian cricket captain’s training regime is good enough to win them the Ashes.
Monckton and Plimer are clearly the Faroe Islands soccer team (apologies to FIFA) of the climate change advisory industry. Neither have published a single peer-reviewed article on anthropogenic climate change and every science academy in the world disagrees with the thrust of their argument. Their errors are continually pointed out from credible scientists, but they repeat those errors, ad nauseam.
As I said to people in the audience, if they choose to buy their climate science from non-qualified sources continually shown to be incorrect, then that’s their choice. It would make an interesting psychology study to understand their willingness to accept such views.
As for how the climate change issue is being reported in some quarters, I’ve made my thoughts pretty clear on that too.
Why our leading climatologist won’t talk to The Australian any more
Tuesday, January 06, 2009 at 01:41pm
ANOTHER day, another predictable and regurgitated dog’s brekky of a climate change editorial from The Australian.
This time, The Australian gives a virologist and computer modeller a turn at being a climate change expert.
Before we get to the real shocking part of this story (and please pardon me for keeping you in suspense until the end, but it’s worth it so hang on in there) let’s first look at just a couple of the assertions made by Jon Jenkins, the aforementioned virologist.
“…prior to the 1970s, surface-based temperatures from a few indiscriminate, mostly backyard locations in Europe and the US are fatally corrupted and not in any sense a real record.’’
Mr Jenkins doesn’t say where he gets this stunning conclusion from, but it’s fair to say he is ignorant of Australia’s network of more than 100 land-based thermometers which provide our Bureau of Meteorology with its records.
Next, Mr Jenkins states confidently how satellite measurements are the only ones which count, which he says started in the 1970s (actually, they started in 1979, so he was only just right). He then claims they only reveal “minuscule warming” which stopped in 2000 and had completely reversed by 2008.
This one simple graph shows how wrong he is. Below is a chart which plots all the four major global temperature records against each other – two of which use satellite data (RSS and UAH) and the other two (GISS and HadCRU) land-based measurements.
Thanks to the Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media for this graph.
So what of these accusations from Jenkins? I asked Australia’s acting chief climatologist Dr Michael Coughlan at the Bureau of Meteorology for his view.
“It’s nonsense,’’ says Coughlan.”No matter how you cut the cloth, the temperatures are going up.’’
Coughlan was one of two review editors for the Australian chapters of the latest IPCC report. So what does he make of one of Jenkins other accusations – that the IPCC is a clique?
“My job was not to write the report, but to make sure that the authors who were writing it had paid attention and responded to the comments from other scientists. That included all the sceptics that we could find. They were given the opportunity to comment, but many chose not to.’’
Of climate change contrarians such as Jon Jenkins, Coughlan has this to say.
“We have produced rebuttals of all of these arguments – they have all been addressed. But they just keep trotting them out. No matter how many times you tell them they’re wrong, they just keep going. The general approach seems to be – if we keep banging away at an untruth, people will start to believe it’’.
Let’s not forget that these contrarian views are not being expressed on a bit of street press or some fringe web site somewhere – they’re being repeated over and over in Australia’s only national newspaper. So now comes the revelation – and that is Coughlan’s view of The Australian newspaper itself.
“The Australian clearly has an editorial policy. No matter how many times the scientific community refutes these arguments, they persist in putting them out – to the point where we believe there’s little to be gained in the use of our time in responding.’’
There. Told you it was worth waiting for.