Climate change inaction risks international credibility: Rudd

Matthew Franklin, From:The AustralianJuly 29, 2011 12:00 AM

While much of the debate about Julia Gillard’s $23-a-tonne tax has focused on its effect on Australian firms and consumers, Mr Rudd used an interview with The Australian to warn that the developed world could not expect high-polluting developing nations, including China and India, to reduce their emissions if it refused to do the same.

“The inherent inequity of that is made plain at every single global negotiation,” Mr Rudd said. Continue reading

Australian media take note: the BBC understands balance in climate change coverage

Danny Kingsley, The Conversation, July 25, 2011

On Wednesday the BBC Trust released their report “Review of impartiality and accuracy of the BBC’s coverage of science”. The report has resulted in the BBC deciding to reflect scientific consensus about climate change in their coverage of the issue.

As a science communicator I applaud this decision. I understand and support the necessity to provide equal voice to political parties during an election campaign (indeed, I have done this, as an election occurred during my two years writing science for the ABC). Continue reading

Monckton and the Breivik manifesto.

Monckton recently threatened climate change scientists by saying “I am coming after you (scientists). We are going to prosecute you, and we are going to lock you up.”  ABC Background Briefing, July 17 2011.

Seems his extremist rhetoric has resonated in some very dark and tragic corners.  Here is a piece of investigative journalism by Graham Readfearn at, July 26 2011 Continue reading

The Australian’s war on science continues.

From Deltoid, July 22, 2011

Phil Watson, Team Leader of the Coastal Unit in the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water was probably pleased when The Australian‘s Stuart Rintoul asked to interview him about his work. Watson was the man who organised A snapshot of future sea levels: photographing the king tide. The photographs of the king tide in 12 January 2009 are intended to help prepare NSW to adapt to a possible 90cm of sea level rise this century. So I’m guessing he wasn’t too pleased when Rintoul’s front page story about his work claimed that “Watson has written a report stating that global warming is not affecting sea levels” and that this report showed that sea level would only rise about 15 cm this century. You can imagine that Rintoul’s story might make it a bit harder for Watson to get folks to prepare for a 90cm rise. Continue reading

Impassioned Turnbull defends climate change science.

Former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull has used a speech in Sydney to deliver a vigorous defence of climate change science.  The video of his speech can be found here.

Delivering the Virginia Chadwick memorial lecture last night, Mr Turnbull said a war was being waged on scientists by “those opposed to taking action to cut emissions, many because it does not suit their own financial interests”.

Mr Turnbull lost the Liberal Party leadership in late 2009 over his decision to support the Rudd government’s carbon pricing scheme and his successor Tony Abbott once described the climate change science as “crap”. Continue reading

Monckton threatens to sue ABC, calls chairman a ‘shrimp’

Graham Readfearn,, July 22 2011

‘Climate change denier Lord Christopher Monckton has threatened to sue the ABC and described its chairman Maurice Newman as a “shrimp-like
wet little individual”.Lord Monckton, who is towards the end of a near month-long tour of Australia, told a Melbourne audience he had met with Newman at a breakfast and requested he intervene in the broadcast of the Radio National documentary Background Briefing.Experienced ABC journalist Wendy Carlisle interviewed Lord Monckton and several of his supporters for the documentary, which first aired on Sunday. The documentary also highlighted links between Lord Monckton and mining magnate and supporter Gina Rinehart, chairman of Hancock Prospecting. Continue reading

Access to climate research data ordered


Dr Chris McGrath
Senior Lecturer (Environmental Regulation)
The Conversation, July 6 2011


When it comes to obtaining research data, Canadian academic Steve Easterbrook said it best:

“Any fool knows you don’t get data from a scientist by using FOI requests, you do it by stroking their ego a little, or by engaging them with a compelling research idea that you need the data to pursue.”

“And in the rare cases where this doesn’t work, you do some extra work yourself to reconstruct the data you need using other sources, or you test your hypothesis using a different approach (because it’s the research result we care about, not any particular dataset).” Continue reading

Monckton. Member of the House of Lords?

Letter to Viscount Monckton of Brenchley from David Beamish, the Clerk of the Parliaments.

Dear Lord Monckton

My predecessor, Sir Michael Pownall, wrote to you on 21 July 2010, and again on 30 July 2010, asking that you cease claiming to be a Member of the House of Lords, either directly or by implication. It has been drawn to my attention that you continue to make such claims.

In particular, I have listened to your recent interview with Mr Adam Spencer on Australian radio. In response to the direct question, whether or not you were a Member of the House of Lords, you said “Yes, but without the right to sit or vote”. You later repeated, “I am a Member of the House”.

I must repeat my predecessor’s statement that you are not and have never been a Member of the House of Lords. Your assertion that you are a Member, but without the right to sit or vote, is a contradiction in terms. No-one denies that you are, by virtue of your letters Patent, a Peer. That is an entirely separate issue to membership of the House. This is borne out by the recent judgment in Baron Mereworth v Ministry of Justice (Crown Office) where Mr Justice Lewison stated:

“In my judgment, the reference [in the House of Lords Act 1999] to ‘a member of the House of Lords’ is simply a reference to the right to sit and vote in that House … In a nutshell, membership of the House of Lords means the right to sit and vote in that House. It does not mean entitlement to the dignity of a peerage.” Continue reading