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Thread: Australian Climate Scientist: "The Murdoch Media Empire Has Cost Humanity Perhaps One or Two Decades in Battle Against Climate Change."

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    Australian Climate Scientist: "The Murdoch Media Empire Has Cost Humanity Perhaps One or Two Decades in Battle Against Climate Change."


    The Australian is the country’s biggest-selling national newspaper. It is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which “also owns the sole dailies in Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin and the most popular metropolitan dailies in Sydney and Melbourne.”
    Michael Ashley investigates the national paper’s “seriously warped” op-ed policy in this extended excerpt.

    [R]eality becomes so distorted that The Australian was able to state earlier this month, “it is in keeping with this newspaper’s rationalist pedigree that we have long accepted the peer-reviewed science on anthropogenic climate change,” while at the same time engaging in a campaign to misrepresent and distort climate science.


    Other editorials have made it clear that The Australian believes it is treating its readers as mature adults who should be able to make up their own minds based on arguments from “both sides” of the debate.
    The problem is that on one side of the debate you have 97% of the world’s published climate scientists and the world’s major scientific organisations, and on the other side you have fools.


    Excuse my bluntness, but it is past time to acknowledge that the science underpinning anthropogenic climate change is rock solid. The sceptics have had the time and opportunity to come with up a convincing case, but their best efforts read like arguments that NASA faked the moon landing.
    My colleagues working in the climate sciences have largely given up trying to correct the constant stream of misinformation from The Australian, in frustration.


    The Australian’s anti-science campaign takes many forms.

    One is the inflation of the credentials of their fake experts. For example, OpEd writer and member of the Outdoor Recreation Party Jon Jenkins was referred to as an “Adjunct Professor”. Bond University wrote to The Australian informing them that this was not true.


    Howard Brady was called a “climate change researcher from Macquarie University”; in fact, Brady is a 70 year-old retiree who has published just seven scientific papers (on Antarctic sediments, not climate), the most recent one in 1983, following which he worked for 17 years in the oil industry. Macquarie University contacted The Australian to set the record straight.
    In neither of these cases did The Australian publish a retraction or clarification.


    Another tactic is to accept opinion pieces on science from unqualified sources. When I contacted The Australian’s opinion editor late last year to express dismay at their bias, I was given the example of Michael Asten, a part-time professorial fellow in the school of geosciences at Monash University, Melbourne, as someone who was well-qualified to comment.
    So I did some investigation into Asten and his four OpEds in The Australian over the past two years.


    A quick check of Asten’s peer-reviewed publications shows that while he appears to be your go-to guy if you have electromagnetic interference problems with your fluxgate magnetometer, he hasn’t published anything remotely related to climate science. He is, however, well-connected with the mining and coal industries.


    In his first OpEd (“Climate claims fail science test”, December 9, 2009), Asten wrote “recent results published by top scientists cast doubt on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s theory” and he showcased the work that Pearson et al published in the top journal Nature.


    But Asten misrepresented the findings in the Nature paper. Don’t just take my word for it— Paul Pearson and his co-authors wrote to The Australian saying “Professor Michael Asten has misrepresented our recent research by suggesting that it casts doubt on the link between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global warming”.


    They added, “We would like to take this opportunity to add our voices to the strong and steady message that the world scientific community is delivering to the Copenhagen negotiators — the greenhouse problem is real, imminent and potentially devastating for the planet, its life, and human civilization. Fortunately it is still not too late to avert the catastrophe.”


    You would think you couldn’t ask for a clearer statement than that, but Asten went on to argue in his second opinion piece (“More evidence CO₂ not culprit”, December 29, 2009) that he used data in Pearson’s paper to arrive at a different conclusion from Pearson himself.


    So, Asten, with no expertise in the field, is using a paper published in Nature to argue the opposite of what the paper actually says.
    He then spins this as “top scientists cast doubt” on the IPCC. Gobsmacking.


    In Asten’s third article (“CSIRO should establish if there was medieval warming Down-Under”, 13 May 2010) he asserts that if the medieval warm period was a global phenomenon, then “warming during the past century should be seen as predominantly natural climate change rather than driven by man-made carbon emissions.”


    This is bunkum. The effect of man-made carbon dioxide is clear from multiple independent lines of evidence.
    In his fourth OpEd (“Political interference will cripple climate debate”, 17 Dec 2010), Asten compares models of sea-level rise from a peer-reviewed paper by Jevrejeva et al, with observations of the sea-level by Riva et al, finding a factor of five difference.


    Asten interprets this as a serious discrepancy in climate predictions that the CSIRO was withholding from the Government. He also describes how compliant scientists were intimately involved in the formulation of Nazi racial policy, and outspoken academics were removed by the Gestapo.
    But once again, Asten misunderstands the science. The Riva et al paper wasn’t an observation of the total sea-level rise at all, just an estimate of the contribution from melting ice. The Nazi stuff is simply bizarre.
    You would think The Australian, if it had any editorial integrity, would have called a halt to Asten’s ready access to the opinion pages after serious flaws were found with each of his contributions. But the lure of publishing an opinion supporting their editorial bias, from an apparently reputable source, was just too strong to resist.


    I have singled out Asten in this article, but the same applies to every one of the climate contrarians that are repeatedly given exposure in The Australian.
    For example, Bob Carter has claimed “temperature records confirm that cooling is under way” – no they don’t.


    Ian Plimer says “To argue that human additions to atmospheric CO2, a trace gas in the atmosphere, changes climate requires an abandonment of all we know about history, archaeology, geology, solar physics, chemistry and astronomy” – this statement is just absurd.
    Christopher Monckton has repeatedly misinterpreted scientific papers; and William Kininmonth states “the likely extent of global temperature rise from a doubling of carbon dioxide is less than 1°C” – this is a factor of three below our best estimates.


    None of these people has made any impact whatsoever with their arguments in the peer-reviewed literature — they just aren’t contributing to any real scientific debate. The only place that they can publish their junk science is in outlets such as The Australian, where they are welcomed with open arms.


    And if you think the bias in The Australian only affects its choice of OpEd pieces, wait till you read Tim Lambert’s examination of news reporting in his article later in this series for The Conversation.
    So, when The Australian claims in its editorials to support the peer-reviewed science, it is really just an insurance clause for when the tide inevitably turns against their campaign of misinformation.


    The Murdoch media empire has cost humanity perhaps one or two decades of time in the battle against climate change. Each lost decade greatly increases the eventual economic costs, the devastation to our ecosystems, and the suffering of future generations….

    Read the real science, ask the real experts.
    The editors sitting around the table in that meeting room in Surry Hills need to reflect on their culpability.


    Michael Ashley is Professor of Astrophysics at University of New South Wales. He is a matchmaker for the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, the aim of which is to connect journalists and government officials with experts in climate science. At UNSW, Michael has taught several undergraduate courses of relevance to climate science, e.g., remote-sensing of atmospheric and ocean properties; absorption of radiation by atoms and molecules; stellar structure and evolution. He also teaches a First Year Advanced Science course that explores the physics of climate change.
    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/0...limate-change/

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    He also describes how compliant scientists were intimately involved in the formulation of Nazi racial policy, and outspoken academics were removed by the Gestapo.
    Aha, so scientists who already were involved in formulating the racial policy of NS Germany 75+ years ago (and thus had to be at least say 25 back then, rather 30+), today are those scientists that are "compliant" to the climate change.... Did they find the youth well?

    But I guess that's a trick that every media that wants to push this or that propaganda tries at one point: link it to "evil Nazis" and discredit the cause and everyone speaking for it. The good old Reductio ad Hitlerum when one lacks scientific arguments for the own fantasy story entirely.


    It's not only an Australian problem though, mainly American newspapers and pseudo-scientists crippled the discussion about and proper measures against climate destruction, and they'll continue to do so, since politicians rely more on the industry lobby groups own "scientists" and are themselves dependent on them to fund their election campaigns and fill their private bank accounts than they are responsible to the public or their actions in general...
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    You have the same in the other direction - comparing those who don't believe in all the scare stories with racists:

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/08/28/go...tions-racists/
    Gore: Global warming skeptics are this generation’s racists

    One day climate change skeptics will be seen in the same negative light as racists, or so says former Vice President Al Gore.

    In an interview with former advertising executive and Climate Reality Project collaborator Alex Bogusky broadcast on UStream on Friday, Gore explained that in order for climate change alarmists to succeed, they must “win the conversation” against those who deny there is a crisis. (..)

    “I remember, again going back to my early years in the South, when the Civil Rights revolution was unfolding, there were two things that really made an impression on me,” Gore said. “My generation watched Bull Connor turning the hose on civil rights demonstrators and we went, ‘Whoa! How gross and evil is that?’ My generation asked old people, ‘Explain to me again why it is okay to discriminate against people because their skin color is different?’ And when they couldn’t really answer that question with integrity, the change really started.”

    The former vice president recalled how society succeeded in marginalizing racists and said climate change skeptics must be defeated in the same manner.

    “Secondly, back to this phrase ‘win the conversation,’” he continued. “There came a time when friends or people you work with or people you were in clubs with — you’re much younger than me so you didn’t have to go through this personally — but there came a time when racist comments would come up in the course of the conversation and in years past they were just natural. Then there came a time when people would say, ‘Hey, man why do you talk that way, I mean that is wrong. I don’t go for that so don’t talk that way around me. I just don’t believe that.’ That happened in millions of conversations and slowly the conversation was won.”

    “We have to win the conversation on climate,” Gore added.

    When Bogusky questioned the analogy, asking if the scientific reasoning behind climate change skeptics might throw a wrench into the good and evil comparison with racism, Gore did not back down.

    “I think it’s the same where the moral component is concerned and where the facts are concerned I think it is important to get that out there, absolutely,” Gore said.

    Gore also took shots at Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has lambasted climate change alarmists on the presidential campaign trail, and at other politicians who dare to question the veracity of global warming science.

    “This is an organized effort to attack the reputation of the scientific community as a whole, to attack their integrity, and to slander them with the lie that they are making up the science in order to make money,” Gore said.
    Also the term "climate deniers" (lol) sounds eerily familiar, doesn't it?

    Maybe next they'll come up with some new anti-denial laws to the ones we already have.
    Last edited by Heinrich Harrer; Thursday, September 1st, 2011 at 01:18 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Nazi Germany was actually very environment-friendly, by today's standards.

    The modern USA, though...it's ridiculous how they suppress the debate about climate change all the time and run the errands of the big corporations. The USA, along with China, is the most polluting and destructive country on the planet. It's very important to stop the destruction of our biosphere, and it will be important in the future. And don't listen to the neo-conservatives who scream "there is no climate change!", because they all work with the corporations anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinrich Harrer View Post
    Also the term "climate deniers" (lol) sounds eerily familiar, doesn't it?

    Maybe next they'll come up with some new anti-denial laws to the ones we already have.
    I'd be happy if climate-change deniers were persecuted, instead of us "racists". Those people are actually damaging to the planet.

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    It is increasingly rare in this day and age to focus on the cold, hard, unforgiving facts (in this case that 97% of published climate scientists believe whole-heartedly in anthropogenic climate change).
    In this liberal and progressive day and age a lot of nonsense can sneak into public debate and the class rooms simply under the rule "presenting both sides of the issue". Feminine and warm values of consensus building and tolerance have taken preference to masculine and cold values of going where the facts take us, and this softness is being exploited.

    Climate change is an obvious example, but also religious indoctrination disguised as science comes to mind. Never mind the fact that in order for there to be to sides in a scientific issue both sides must have done valid science in order to be counted.

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    Michael Ashley investigates the national paper’s “seriously warped” op-ed policy in this extended excerpt.

    [R]eality becomes so distorted that The Australian was able to state earlier this month, “it is in keeping with this newspaper’s rationalist pedigree that we have long accepted the peer-reviewed science on anthropogenic climate change,” while at the same time engaging in a campaign to misrepresent and distort climate science.
    The Australian is a tabloid dressed up as a broadsheet. It was Rupert Murdoch's baby launched in 1965.

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    In addition, Murdoch media empire has cost humanity perhaps one or two decades of time in the battle against unicorns and dragons.
    Contact Congress on immigration
    Contact Congress to reject banker bailout
    "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." --Ben Franklin

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    Isn't The Australian the only national daily - hence why it is the biggest selling national paper???

    It's worth looking at only for the colourful weather pages, that's about it.

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