Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fact checking Key Performance Claims

We have a letter in the Oz today, here's the text as sent with a link...

In regard to the closure of the Australia Network ABC claimed it "met all of its contractual obligations and key performance indicators..." A quick Fact-check reveals this is false

The network falls under DFAT's Public Diplomacy program.  The key performance indicator for the network outlined in DFAT's 2012-2013 annual report required the delivery of "an accurate and contemporary image of Australia, an understanding of the government's foreign and trade policies, and strengthened people-to-people links and trade and economic ties." 

ABC's role in reporting spying claims against Indonesia, its role in panicking the former government into closing the live cattle export trade and its coverage and promotion of false claims of abuse of illegal immigrants by Australian Navy personal are examples where the ABC did not deliver accurate information, circumvented Australia's economic interests and weakened our relationship with an important regional neighbour. 

The government's decision to strip the ABC of the Australia Network more than justified.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Missing News: Curry snubbed again

if the current crop of ABC reporters were around when Einstein published earlier this century they would have ignored it, claiming the science was settled. If they were around in the 1960s plate tectonics would not get a single mention as it went against the established concensus. With this in mind that the ABC have ignored another published article by Judy Curry comes at no surprise.  The title and abstract are below.

Research Letter

Two contrasting views of multidecadal climate variability in the 20th century

Sergey Kravtsov1,*,
Marcia G. Wyatt2,
Judith A. Curry3 and
Anastasios A. Tsonis1

DOI: 10.1002 2014GL061416

The bulk of our knowledge about causes of 20th century climate change comes from simulations using numerical models. In particular, these models seemingly reproduce the observed nonuniform global warming, with periods of faster warming in 1910–1940 and 1970–2000, and a pause in between. However, closer inspection reveals some differences between the observations and model simulations. Here we show that observed multidecadal variations of surface climate exhibited a coherent global-scale signal characterized by a pair of patterns, one of which evolved in sync with multidecadal swings of the global temperature, and the other in quadrature with them. In contrast, model simulations are dominated by the stationary — single pattern — forced signal somewhat reminiscent of the observed “in-sync” pattern most pronounced in the Pacific. While simulating well the amplitude of the largest-scale — Pacific and hemispheric — multidecadal variability in surface temperature, the model underestimates variability in the North Atlantic and atmospheric indices.

What does the C stand for in ABC?

ABC, the spoiled brat of the Australian Public Service, react to criticism like a 4 year old told he can't have an ice cream. Earlier this week we posted on the pathetic attempt by the ABC to check facts on a comment Tony Abbot made concerning India's record on Nuclear issues. The ABC made a mountain out of a mole hill, taking diplomatic speak out of context, relied on questionable sources and showed a distinct lack of worldliness in its flawed assessment.

We posted a comment under the name ABCNEWSWATCH to the Fact check site.This was a condensed version of the post linked to above.  Looking at it this afternoon, it seems the kindergarten kids at Fact Check didn't like it and it's been removed.

Screen shot below, the red ring marking the former location of the comment, note the comment above refers to it. 

  1. We found out one thing. What does the C stand for in ABC? 
  2. Censorship
  3. Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other such entities.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mr Holland joins the fight

ABC cover Tony Abbot's speech to the UN and note a certain "Mr Holland" to join the fight...

In a sign of the importance placed on relationships in this fight - the Prime Minister had formal meetings with King Abdullah of Jordan and Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan as well as brief talks with US president Barack Obama, British PM David Cameron, Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper and Holland's prime minister Marc Rutte.
There are reports Mr Holland is joining the US-led coalition against Islamic State with four F-16 fighter jets - subject to a vote by its parliament.
Now reads...The Netherlands would join the US-led coalition against Islamic State in Iraq with a number of F-16 fighter jets subject to a vote by its parliament.

Missing News: that climate sensitivity thing again

ABC have ignored the work of Nic Lewis and Judy Curry, their new paper may change this! The results provide further evidence that human impacts on climate will be minor.

The implications for climate sensitivity of AR5 forcing and heat uptake estimates
  • Nicholas Lewis,
  • Judith A. Curry


Energy budget estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) and transient climate response (TCR) are derived using the comprehensive 1750–2011 time series and the uncertainty ranges for forcing components provided in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Working Group I Report, along with its estimates of heat accumulation in the climate system. The resulting estimates are less dependent on global climate models and allow more realistically for forcing uncertainties than similar estimates based on forcings diagnosed from simulations by such models. Base and final periods are selected that have well matched volcanic activity and influence from internal variability. Using 1859–1882 for the base period and 1995–2011 for the final period, thus avoiding major volcanic activity, median estimates are derived for ECS of 1.64 K and for TCR of 1.33 K. ECS 17–83 and 5–95 % uncertainty ranges are 1.25–2.45 and 1.05–4.05 K; the corresponding TCR ranges are 1.05–1.80 and 0.90–2.50 K. Results using alternative well-matched base and final periods provide similar best estimates but give wider uncertainty ranges, principally reflecting smaller changes in average forcing. Uncertainty in aerosol forcing is the dominant contribution to the ECS and TCR uncertainty ranges.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ABC dumps on India again

ABC painted a false picture of India's nuclear ambitions through a faulty FACT Check article, now they dump on India again for a milestone achievement of putting a space craft into Martian orbit on the first attempt.

In their story ABC can't help themselves with these closing comments...

India has so far launched 40 satellites for foreign nations, since kick-starting its space program. But China launches bigger satellites.

Critics of the program say a country that struggles to feed its people adequately and where roughly half have no toilets should not be splurging on space travel.

With that sort of thinking we'd still be in the stone age.
 Congrats to India for a successful mission, and here's to many more.

ABC Fact-check on another planet

ABC's fact checkers provide a highly biased and skewed version of India's record on nuclear non-proliferation. Surprisingly they are unable to recognize diplomatic language in a speech from the PM. The article reflects a distinct naivety among ABC reporters about the world and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in particular. But when the organisation is so severely hampered by inbreeding of ideas through a collective groupthink and a reticence to seek alternate informed views what else would do you expect?

As an example of their  "analysis" ABC provide the following quote:
"The NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index assesses the security of nuclear materials around the world. Dr Rublee says India scores below Pakistan on the index, and is ranked above only North Korea and Iran."

The NTI Index is a non peer reviewed report; that it places India below Pakistan, a state verging on failure is a testament to its lack of accuracy, but ABC happily recycle this dirge without question.

They also naively give air to BS like this: Professor Thakur says India is not bound by the NPT requirement to disarm its nuclear arsenal. Countries in the NPT with nuclear weapons capabilities are, but have increased their nuclear stockpiles since signing the treaty.
The irony of this sentence apparently beyond the simple minds at ABC FACT CHECK.

In their "analysis" they downplay India's positive contributions to NNP. A realistic analysis suggest Tony Abbot's comments are on the whole, correct.

This lack of balance and shallow analysis would be fine, except that the ABC is a government funded organisation paid for by all tax payers. It should reflect a diversity of opinion, and meet its obligations under its charter, that include reference to factual accuracy, but it does not.

We expect more than cliché and superficial analysis but it seems that this is all the organisation is capable of delivering.