- The Politics and Environment Blog

Main menu:


October 2010
« Sep   Nov »




Site search

Please visit


Nature Photographs


Disclaimer: The inclusion of a blog or website in this list should not be taken as an endorsement of its contents by me.

More ABC Bias, But Anyway

I should probably be flattered to be invited on to the popular ABC TV program Q&A as a panelist.  But why is the promo for the program next Monday advertising Tim Flannery as ‘scientist’ and me as ‘climate sceptic’?

Tony Jones could refer to us both as ‘scientists’.  Alternatively the promo could suggest Tim is an ‘alarmist’ and me the ‘denier’.

I am not even a climate sceptic… but rather sceptical of what was the consensus position on anthropogenic global warming.

Anyway, it would be good if there were a few other so-called climate change sceptics at the event…  and also some people who don’t believe more water for South Australia will necessarily solve all the environmental problems of the Murray Darling Basin.   So, I am encouraging readers of this blog to try for a place in the studio audience next Monday by applying here:
And you can send in questions via email using this link

Also, the annual Australian Environment Foundation Conference is this Saturday at Rydges in Brisbane.  Max Rheese is organising a Q&A session at the Conference dinner on Saturday night, to give me some practice in advance of Monday, October 18th.  Apparently there will be a ‘Tony Jones’ at the dinner and through him you can ask me questions.  It should be a lot of fun.  You can register here:


67 Responses to “More ABC Bias, But Anyway”

Pages: « 1 [2] Show All

  1. Comment from: Jennifer

    Luke, thanks for the thoughts including ‘backdrop’ and questions.

  2. Comment from: Phil

    I think the ABC is guilty of playing fast and loose with the term ‘scientist’.

    For example, as far as I know, Flannery’s core expertise is in paleontology, not climate. His opinions on climate are the same as any other self interested individuals, and no authority should be attributed to his ‘status’ as a scientist on this topic.

    It’s like the old newsreels of reporters asking Einstein what he thinks about DNA…

    some integrity and rigor..pffft

  3. Comment from: William Gray

    Humans change the climate. Yes we do and have always done. Here is Katoomaba Australia its raining sleet/snow- more sleet. We had snow fall regularly but that changed wonce the Warragamba dam was built. Its really ablessing to have the sleet/snow again.
    So this C02 fixation on warming the planet is true but it doesn’t and wont drive local changes.
    Contribut yes not drive.
    I’m a greeny and I’m tired of this scientific group think.

  4. Comment from: James Haughton

    Why are you called a “sceptic” and Tim a “scientist”?
    Maybe it’s because he’s recently published articles in the peer reviewed literature on past climate change and extinction events – and you haven’t?
    Maybe it’s because he doesn’t give a free soapbox to every lunatic who claims that the rotation of the planet is driven by electricity, Velikovsky was right, oil is abiotic, the core of the earth generates more heat at the surface than the sun does, the laws of thermodynamics are wrong, physics must be changed in order to “prove” that climate science is wrong, etcetera, etcetara – and you do?
    Or maybe it’s an indication of the thinking behind inviting you both on the show, and what you both are considered able to contribute to public debate? When your next round of misrepresentations is uncovered, are you going to claim that everything you say is Socratic Irony again?

  5. Comment from: Steve

    Jennifer, you chose to quote the Royal Society report “Climate Change: A Summary of the Science” tonight on Q&A where you said the report stated there has been no warming since 1970. Is this not a little disingenuous, given that the report says say the warming “has been largely concentrated in two periods, from around 1910 to around 1940 and from around 1975 to around 2000″? This demonstrates that the 20th century warming was not in a straight line but does not suggest that the warming has suddenly stopped or reversed. You did not state that warming also ‘stopped’ after 1940. Where is the evidence to suggest the period from 1910 to 1940 was any different to 1975 to 2000? The trend is up. What evidence have you seen to suggest, as you were doing, that the trend has changed?

    The report also states:

    “When these surface temperatures are averaged over periods of a decade, to remove some of the year-to-year variability, each decade since the 1970s has been clearly warmer (given known uncertainties) than the one immediately preceding it. The decade 2000-2009 was, globally, around 0.15 deg C warmer than the decade 1990-1999.” I believe this is quite self-explanatory yet it is at odds with your contention tonight on Q&A.

    The report also says “observed variations in global temperature over a period of just a few years could be a misleading guide to underlying longer-term trends in global temperature” yet this is exactly what you attempted to do.

    The report is a reinforcement of the consensus position on anthropogenic global warming, so I am very interested to know why you chose to quote from it when the vast bulk of the report is completely at odds with your position? Do you tell your blog readers to read that report, or would that be a little inconvenient? Isn’t this one of the tactics of choice for most AGW sceptics, to cherry pick a line or a phrase which can then be morphed into supporting your position rather than the original intent of the report?

  6. Comment from: Kahnwos

    After watching your appearance on qanda tonite it is clear that you do not
    contribute to scientific argument. Rather, you cherry
    pick single pieces of data, taken out of context, to
    spread confusion and encourage denial. Why? Because there’s a buck to be made
    no doubt. U shd be ashamed of urself. Go
    get a real job instead of dragging humanity down.

  7. Comment from: gavin

    Well, I nodded off during our St Mary and beliefs question and that was that. Sorry

  8. Comment from: Kahnwos

    For any unsure as to the extent of confusion about the climate change argument I encourage you to read this post.
    feel free to skip the first four orfive paras if not to your liking. The rest of the article sums it up quite well though.

    And this website is a great resource for understanding the science behind the skeptics’ arguments.

  9. Comment from: Kristy

    Hi Jennifer,

    I watched you on QandA and i think you did a great job. I fully support all the statements you made, and it was refreshing to hear the truth said on TV. Tim Flannery is just good with PR, which works for the easily swayed uneducated. But i live in the Murrumbidgee, and i know that the river isnt dead and that the alarmist views that Tim plays are just part of his political agenda. It is bleedingly obvious from my point of view. Unfortuntely the vast majority of the climate change believers have never seen the Riverina and have no idea of Australias natural drought cycles, that many older residents stand-by without faltering.

    Thankyou and keep up your brilliant work!


  10. Comment from: Brian Gunter

    Jennifer, you did fine last night’s Q&A given the poorly organised programme and the very limited time available to discuss climate change. Far too much time was spent talking about other matters (St Mary, Afghanistan, Murdoch, etc) when the show was promoted as dealing with climate change. Greg Hunt (an economist) worries me a lot as he seems to have no appreciation of science at all – and that is what climate change is primarily about. And Mike Kelly (a lawyer) is only slightly better. They both make Barnaby Joyce look good – at least he lives in the real world! I would have preferred a more detailed discussion (but one controlled by Tony Jones) between Jen and Tim – I repeat, this is a scientific matter and deserves serious scientific discussion.

    I very much liked the end bit where you spoke about the removal of the barrages on the lower Murray lakes. Apart from returning Lakes Alexandrina and Albert to their natural (prior 1940s) state this would also save about 900GL of lake evaporation (750 km2 x 1.2m/year) that is at present planned to be supplied by the river. This would allow a lot of flexibility in reallocating upstream water allocations, and the necessary reductions in water allocations could be significantly reduced. Sure, the SA farmers around the lakes would need to be compensated but this would be less than the proposed action on upstream farmers. The lower lakes would then return to being a beautiful salt-water estuary, the mouth will be kept open most of the time for free (using the tidal flows) and the town of Goolwa will have a beautiful waterfrontage again. Lets keep promoting this option to our politicians and to the public.

    PS I am a civil engineer / hydrologist (I think that almost makes me a scientist too!) so I appreciate what Jennifer is doing and I will give her whatever support I can.

  11. Comment from: toby robertson

    James it is “unreasonable” people who dare to think outside the box and do not blindly accept what is taught, that are responsible for most of the giant leaps forward that humans make. Sure often ideas appear to be crazy, but the reality is often not as it appears and a small change in your paradigm can turn the crazy into the sensible. There are some crazy ideas put forward on this blog. Is there something to learn from their ideas….often, but more importantly it is those that dare to challenge the orthodoxy and status quo that are ultimatley likely to be the critical thinkers this planet needs. Not sheep that blindly believe what is taught as “gospel”.

    Science has been blatantly corrupted by politics and business. It is crucial that those capable of real thought are given the opportunity to speak. Self interest underpins what most people say and do. I dont trust politicians, I dont trust businesses and I no longer trust science.
    I do live in the magnificent yarra valley however, surrounded by a loving family and bush and wildlife, so life is really pretty good…except when i worry about all the idiots out there who want to take control of my life and tell me what to do. I have no doubt my morals and ethics trump most and yet I keep having other peoples ethics and morals shoved down my throat.

    It is hard to think of many decisions made by government that are not guided by self interest, manipulated science and bad politics. We need critical thinkers to point out the error in their thinking.

    It seems quite bizzare that greens come from an environment of concrete and believe we are destroying the planet. Whilst those that live in the environment and care deeply mostly despise the greens and their big brother mentality and are far more optimistic about our future.

  12. Comment from: James

    I am someone with no interest and no stake in the climate debate. I have no credentials as a scientist, I have not followed the issue, I do not know anything about the science.

    What I do know is that if you’re on a panel discussion show, you respect and obey the moderator. I also know that common courtesy dictates that people not be constantly interrupted. I also know that, given that the point of a panel discussion show is to allow a bunch of different views to be presented, it’s unfair and illegitimate for one guest to constantly interrupt others.

    Jennifer, you were the most atrocious guest that QANDA has ever had, and that is saying something. You constantly talked over Tim Flannery (especially at the end), didn’t follow any of moderator’s polite directions to allow people to finish, didn’t finish your own speeches when he indicated that you should, and generally disrespected the show, the moderator, and the guests.

    A moderator has to deal with vibrant debate but also boring things like timeslots. If he tells you to shut up, SHUT UP. It’s for a reason (like, perhaps, the show is about to end and it’d be nice if at least one other person got to say something in the final five minutes). If he tells you to let someone finish, SHUT UP. It’s for a reason (like, perhaps, the fact that you weren’t interrupted and he’s just trying to ensure equal treatment).

    If the ABC have any brains, they’ll never invite you back. If any other media organisations were watching, you’re probably stricken from them as well.

    What an own goal you just scored.

  13. Comment from: James Haughton

    Genuinely unconventional thinkers put forward new ideas. Jennifer has devoted huge tracts of internet to putting forward old ideas that are already debunked, physically impossible (as in massively violating the conservation of energy), or both. As Carl Sagan said, “They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.” The ideas put forward here in the past are firmly in the “Bozo the Clown” camp.

    Furthermore, as Jennifer’s performance last night shows, she wilfully misleads about what the facts and the science show. For example, she claimed that there had been no warming for the past 10 years. Here is a graph of temperatures from the past 10 years from her preferred source, the University of Alabama-Huntsville, Roy Spencer proprieter:

    As you can see global temperatures have increased by 0.1 degree in the last 10 years alone. Since Jennifer also stated that temperatures had increased by less than 1 degree since 1900, not only has there been warming since 2000 but the warming since 2000 has been faster than the century+ long trend which she acknowledges. Jennifer knows this. She is a disgrace to her science qualification and her university.

    The blind sheep I observe are the ones who believe everything that the Murdoch press and the coal and chemical lobby (aka the IPA) says, for example “Science has been blatantly corrupted by politics and business”, or “the greens have a big brother mentality”. I don’t see what’s “big brother” about a carbon tax or ETS. Carbon emitters can emit all they like; they just have to pay for the privilege of inflicting the consequences on the rest of us. It’s no different from a tax on cigarettes, and it’s the economically efficient, free market method of solving the problem.

  14. Comment from: Steve

    Well said James Haughton! I agree carbon polluters should have to pay for the privilege i.e. a price on carbon. Bring it on.

  15. Comment from: toby robertson

    James a carbon tax or an ETS will do little to cut co2 until a new technology is found. Anybody who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves. Currently you buy carbon credits for 10c! that’s how much value the market places in them! fossil fuels are currently an inelastic demand product, a price rise causes little change in consumption. Do you really believe that price rises in ciggies have been the reason for decreased consumption?

    Temperature is currently around or still below temps reached during the MWP as well as the RMP and the Minoan Warm period. So why so concerned?
    Comments that we can only explain the temp changes by adding co2 have 2 major flaws.
    1. they rely on models and they are no good at predicting.
    2. We know that a 1% change in cloud can account for all of the warming that is being blamed on co2….how good are our records?

    How anybody can think a o.1 c increase over 10 years is significant is beyond me!?
    We had swings of several degrees after the dalton and maunder minimums so the 0.8c over 100 years is not as so many suggest “unprecedented”.

    Temp goes up and down, climate changes.
    co2 is a greenhouse gas and we should be grateful for greenhouse gases.
    Yes adding co2 creates an additional warming effect but only minor and the more we add the slower the increase becomes.

    most of co2′s warming is done in the first 50ppm.
    The only way to create a problem out of this co2 is to rely on positive feedback effects. Now these may occur, but it is more likely that we have negative feedback effects which will counter the influence of co2. I know you can point me to the PETM as a likely consequence of positive feedback but other than that history is littered with evidence that it is negative feedback effects that dominate.

    Humans undoubtedly alter climate on a local scale, and they probably do on a global scale to a lesser extent. However there is doubt irrespective of how certain some appear to be.

    Currently we have targets to produce 20% of energy from “renewable” sources. Basically all current “renewable” energy is hydro. solar and wind are basically making very minor contributions. But guess what? Nobody will let us build any dams, so no new hydro energy.

    Nuclear? clearly capable of producing much of the energy we need in a country with abundant supplies. But the “greens” those bastions of the planet will not even consider this option.

    Until we find a new technology there is no way global co2 will be cut. Thinking otherwise is naive indeed. Unless of course some major catastrophe occurs such as a “plague” killing off billions of people. It is far more likely however that population will continue to grow and they will all want a “modern” lifestyle.

    So explain to me why Australians should suffer great hardship due to higher prices to achieve little to ntg . My understanding is current targets of 20% if done on a global scale will cut temp by such a small amount nobody would ever know. Is that wrong?

    But I only have to look at current govt policy to know that costs and benefits are irrelevant in this modern world of ours.

    Personally I’m not into moral gestures and platitudes. And that is all we are seeing and hearing from all sides of politics. I mean seriously if the greens really believed in catastrophic climate change ( the only kind to be concerned about…warmer is better than colder isnt it?…so it needs to be a big increase to worry), they would be pushing nuclear and hydro, they would not be pushing desalination plants that burn energy and create expensive water and massive co2 emissions ( unless of course you hooked up the nuclear plant and used its heated water!). We can build dams for fractions of the cost and create cheap energy.

    The green however, are really anti consumption, because consuming uses resources and being rational is a long way down on their list. Hence they refuse to build dams that create cheap water ( 2 buckets do collect more than 1 bucket?…..yes when it rains, but plenty of that lately) and cheap hydro energy. They would rather build expensive desalination plants that require massive amounts of energy. And if you really believe these desal plants are being or will be powered by renewable energy I can only throw back my head and laugh.

  16. Comment from: Chad Elliott

    First I would like to give credit to the comments above by Toby. I agree whole heartedly.

    Hi Jennifer,

    Im afraid you took a bit of a bath on Q and A this week. Everything about the programme was set up to bring you down and it would have taken a Mary McKillop miracle for you to come out of that unscarred.

    I am disgusted with Tony Jones, Q and A, and Tim Flannery. The way Tim sat there pulling faces during your opening remarks on climate change was completely childish and correctly betrayed his character. Like most “prominent experts” his success is proportional to the degree that his own opinion supports the aristocratic agenda. Those with the right opinion and likeability are sponsored into prominence to further the agenda.

    Im glad you went on the show because many of us quiet sceptics have found an ally purely through the exposure of national TV, but im certain the opinion of climate believers and the government has not been changed. Apparently the facts don’t matter anymore.

    The only way us independent thinkers will ever be heard in this environment is if we band together and focus concentrated effort. We need petitions. We need sponsorship. We need leadership. Any suggestions?


  17. Comment from: Muz

    Probably too late but saw you rabbiting on on Q and A about the fact there was plenty of water in WA. As a so called “scientist” you should endeavour to be a little more honest. Here’s a link that may pique your interest. .

    Oh and stop speaking over the top of the other panellists next time. You come across as rude and shrill.

Pages: « 1 [2] Show All