Understanding Climate Risk

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Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Living Treasures and Vogon Poetry

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Living Treasure Clive Palmer told the ABC’s 7:30 Report last night that he intended to challenge the government’s carbon legislation on the basis of a constitutional challenge to its tax status:

CLIVE PALMER: Well, our advice is that the carbon tax in its current form is unconstitutional, and that’s recognised in the legislation itself when it says it’s found to be unconstitutional, the Government will (inaudible) us through other acts – that’s in the legislation.

CHRIS UHLMANN: On what grounds is it unconstitutional?

CLIVE PALMER: Well the grounds are set out in legal advice and they’ll be coming in the High Court.

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Written by Roger Jones

March 15, 2012 at 11:14 am

Zombie ping pong at the WSJ

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Last Friday, the Wall Street Journal published a letter from 16 scientists entitled: No Need to Panic About Global Warming: There’s no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to ‘decarbonize’ the world’s economy.

They tried to revivify a number of zombies.

  • Objecting to the statement that  “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring” from the American Physical Society’s climate policy statement.  Apparently, nothing in science is incontrovertible, not even data trending in one direction. The APS added a commentary “However, the word “incontrovertible” in the first sentence of the second paragraph of the 2007 APS statement is rarely used in science because by its very nature science questions prevailing ideas. The observational data indicate a global surface warming of 0.74 °C (+/- 0.18 °C) since the late 19th century.” Incontrovertible means there is no evidence to the contrary.
  • The lack of warming over the past decade zombie.
  • The CO2 is not a pollutant zombie.
  • The de Freitas / Climate Research affair zombie, where a paper by Soon and Baliunas that de Freitas edited  claimed that the recent warming was not unusual in the context of the past 1,000 years which they called a politically incorrect (but factually correct) conclusion. Unfortunately the paper was not factually correct and should not have been published. The Editor in Chief and three associate editors resigned, leading the publishers to revamp the journal, de Freitas losing his editorial position in the process.
  • The climate change – Lysenkoism zombie.
  • Climate science is at the trough zombie (follow the money).

They also claimed:

A recent study of a wide variety of policy options by Yale economist William Nordhaus showed that nearly the highest benefit-to-cost ratio is achieved for a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls.

Andrew Revkin of New York Times blog Dot Earth posted a response by Nordhaus:

The piece completely misrepresented my work. My work has long taken the view that policies to slow global warming would have net economic benefits, in the trillion of dollars of present value. This is true going back to work in the early 1990s (MIT Press, Yale Press, Science, PNAS, among others). I have advocated a carbon tax for many years as the best way to attack the issue. I can only assume they either completely ignorant of the economics on the issue or are willfully misstating my findings.

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A Sceptical Climate: biased climate media in Oz

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Many Australians did not receive fair, accurate and impartial reporting in the public interest in relation to the carbon policy in 2011.

An estimated 25% of Australians read one of the ten capital city newspapers (omitting the Canberra Times). Between February and July last year, these ten papers printed almost 4,000 articles on climate change policy, a whopping 28% in The Australian alone. Most were on the Gillard Government’s carbon price policy. Of the total, 43% were negative, 41% neutral and 15% positive. News Limited  publications comprised 65% of the total. For the News reader, the respective numbers were 50%, 41% and 10%. That’s right, less than 10% of the 2,770 articles on climate policy in the major News Limited papers during this period were positive towards climate policy.

Total articles on climate change policy Feb-Jul 2011

Ratio of negative to positive articles in 10 major Australian newspapers Feb-Jul 2011

In December, the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ) released its report A Sceptical Climate: Media coverage of climate change in AustraliaPart 1- Climate Change Policy. The study provided a snapshot of how climate change policy was covered over a six-month period from February to July 2011. The dominant issue during this period was the introduction of the Gillard Labor government carbon emissions pricing scheme. Read the rest of this entry »

Environmentality 98.9 NW FM podcast

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Did a long interview for Environmentality on public radio 98.9 North West FM Melbourne on Wednesday November 9. It’s an environmental show and they put up their interviews on podcast for anyone interested. It covers past, present and future climate, what drives non-linear changes and a few other things. Their podcasts may of interest to people into the local environment but they also cover wider issues. Get their podcasts here. Thanks to Smokey and Jaime.

Written by Roger Jones

November 12, 2011 at 8:54 am