Sunday, December 28, 2014

Holiday Reading

Belated Christmas Wishes!

The following one of the items of our Summer reading list....

Hot Stuff, Cold Logic by Richard Tol

Just as there is no logical or scientific basis for thinking that climate change is new, there is no self-evident reason to assume that the climate of the past is “better” than the climate of the future. With just as little logic, we might assume that women’s rights, health care, or education were necessarily better in the past. Any such judgment also contradicts Hume’s Law and, perhaps worse, is grounded in a fallacious appeal to nature understood in a very slanted way.  

closing...

In sum, while climate change is a problem that must be tackled, we should not lose our sense of proportion or advocate solutions that would do more harm than good. Unfortunately, common sense is sometimes hard to find in the climate debate. Desmond Tutu recently compared climate change to apartheid.1 Climate experts Michael Mann and Daniel Kammen compared it to the “gathering storm” of Nazism in Europe before World War II.2 That sort of nonsense just gets in the way of a rational discussion about what climate policy we should pursue, and how vigorously we should pursue it.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fight for It?

Ex 7:30 host Quentin Dempster has a piece the Weekend Australian. The closing line reads...

Now is the time for all Australians who value a non-commercial, taxpayer-funded, mainstream, free, independent public broadcasting system to stand up and fight for it.

People would value it more if those that wanted it, paid for it! Rather than indiscriminately leeching off everyone ABC should be funded on a subscription basis. ABC is another form of middle class welfare. When will we get the same subsidy for our pay TV subscription?

Update...Some comments in today's letters page of the Oz..

ABC’s greatest threat
QUENTIN Dempster’s assertion the government has an ideological objection to public broadcasting is like saying cutting the fat off bacon demonstrates an ideological objection to bacon (“It’s time to fight for a free ABC”, 20/12).
Simplistic and transparent left-wing poseurism is the ABC’s greatest threat and the primary cause of its declining market share. Managing director Mark Scott’s media-mogul charade of buying up media real estate with other people’s money is doomed to failure if all he’s selling is a dishevelled slum.
Richard Duhig, Wavell Heights, Qld
QUENTIN Dempster asks readers of The Australian to stand up and fight for the ABC. Why on earth would I answer that call when, despite accepting my taxes with relish, the ABC treats my unremarkable conservative views with contempt in what has become little more than a left-green echo chamber?
H. Ronald, Jerrabomberra, NSW

Monday, December 8, 2014

FOI

Aging Journo Mike Steketee has a post on ABC's The Drum regarding FOI. Any mention of FOI on the ABC always causes much amusement here as the organization is largely exempt from it.
When these restrictions are finally lifted and ABC is exposed to the same FOI provisions as the rest of government perhaps it will be entitled to say a thing or two on the subject until then it's just more hypocrisy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WEB

That time of the year again when ABC's "flagships" start their "well earned break". A joke as the rest of us battle on to Christmas and beyond.

The ABC is thrown into chaos yet again, this time by a clerical error that sees all but a handful of radio and TV hosts and journalists ordered to take their holidays at the same time. The most senior ABC staffer still on the job turns to her Twitter and Facebook friends to fill the reportorial void created by a depopulated newsroom.
That evening’s news broadcasts lead with the scoop that Tony Abbott cannot tell the difference between a burqa and a niqab and is therefore irredeemably opposed to every woman’s right to be oppressed in a liberated, post-modern sort of way.
A running gag in this episode features supremo Mark Scott, who learnt his journalism at Fairfax and bills himself as the ABC’s editor-in-chief. Eager to help out during the staffing crisis, he sets out to report a story on how the Navy is waylaying ships loaded with live cattle in order to torture their crews with hot engine parts. Sadly, just as he is about to start calling  favourite refugee advocates, the plumbers arrive to install a 14-carat executive toilet, obliging him to file countless Twitter updates on their progress.
The odd thing is that no viewer notices the slightest difference between normal ABC news coverage and the stream of undiluted social-media ranters that replaces it.

LOE apathetic board

Unedited version of a letter in today's Australian....


Rather than take the opportunity to restructure the ABC to get back to basics  it seems Mark Scott is intent on burning it to the ground and salting the earth behind him. In similar circumstances, in other institutions, an informed, competent board would step in and end the farce by sacking the CEO, but ABC's current crop of apathetic chair warmers lacks the balls to act. If Minister Turnbull wants to leave a lasting legacy then it's time he stepped in and reframed the ABC's enabling legislation to provide for the replacement of the board in cases of gross incompetence or indifference. One way to put an end to the lasting destruction now unfolding.

Rather than trim the fat Scott has taken the knife to the few remaining areas of the organisation that actually help meet the charter. This is one management team that should be sent packing before they do further damage.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ABC funding cuts

All we can say is Too little...too Late. There are better models of public broadcasting available rather than the current one that is still stuck in the 1930s.  A host of truly independent producers and production companies are available to produce Australian content. There are a myriad of delivery options.

ABC/SBS may be run on about a third of the current level, with no noticeable loss of service. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Weekend Reading

Janet Albrechtsen has an excellent piece in The Oz today...

ABC news and current affairs sink to new lows 


From top to bottom, from Scott to ABC chairman Jim Spigelman, to members of the ABC board, to the all-powerful but little-known executive producers and highly paid program hosts, and all manner of well-paid management between, the ABC is deliberately delivering two fingers to those who fund the ABC — us. Twitter has become the target audience.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

great journalism

No, it's not at the Abc. The Australian’s Graeme Lloyd has an excellent piece in today's weekend edition that ticks all the boxes. ABC "journo's " could learn a thing or two.

15-year warming pause is ‘settled’
THE existence of a more than 15-year “pause” in average global surface temperatures has been “settled” but scientists remain split on what it means for the future.
While the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has continued to rise, global surface temperatures have not increased at the same pace, causing speculation over what has happened to the “missing heat”.
Some leading climate scientists claim the missing heat has been absorbed by the world’s oceans and will return with rapid future warming. But new research has found the Earth’s climate is much less sensitive to carbon dioxide than previously thought.
Michael Asten from Monash University’s School of Earth ­Atmosphere and Environment said that, while opinions on causes differed, the existence of the pause was settled.
“Only activists dare claim the pause in global temperature does not exist,” Professor Asten said.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Self parody

You can write a parody but the ABC manages to parody itself on its own with this headline...

New ABC show

Quadrant covers the story lines of a new ABC series....plenty of content for at least 3-4 series!

Episode 1. A Q&A Conundrum:
The show’s producers are in full-panic mode when a work-experience intern makes a total mess of the usual left-wing stack and invites a second conservative guest instead of the intended talking head, a gay and disabled environmental activist with a nuanced reluctance to condemn ISIS out of hand.
For the very first time the panel is in danger of striking a balance between conservative and left-wing representatives, but host Tony Jones rises to the challenge, even though he must now interrupt two conservatives, rather than the standard one, just as each is about to make a point. There is much hilarity as Jones’ efforts grow ever more desperate, climaxing with his impromptu exercise in interpretative dance inspired by an audience member’s query as to how much of his $355,789 salary he is prepared to forego in order to save Pepa Pig.
The episode concludes with the intern being fired for similarly neglecting to stack the audience with the requisite number of Greens, shoe-tossing militant vegans and modern-as-tomorrow Muslim women in burqas denouncing Tony Abbott for misogyny.
At the Catallaxy blog, where they run a weekly competition to guess how often Jones can interrupt in the space of a single hour, civil war breaks out amongst would-be winners debating whether Popper or Say would be more scathing in classifying Jones’ grand jette-with-splits as a full-blown interruption or, more fascinating, if it was the manifestation of  an externality borne of the national broadcaster’s lavish and largely unsupervised budgetary allocations.
Episode 2. Worlds apart.
The ABC seeks to add a new reporter to its environment team. The assorted candidates all demonstrate impressive credentials, but the field is winnowed to two: a former Fairfax Media “climate economy” roundsman who refused point-blank to report a word about the Climategate scandal and a neo-animist lesbian witch from Newtown whose partner, already on the ABC payroll, put in a good word for her.
As a challenge to decide who will get to throw Dorothy Dixers at go-to catastropharian David Karoly, the candidates are ordered to file competing reports on the extinction of the Australian pygmy squirrel, an unfortunate creature whose demise has already been attributed by RNScience Show host Robyn Williams to the coming 100-metre rise in sea levels. Seeing that the world is doomed, Williams explains, the entire squirrel population topped itself rather than watch in helpless horror as Mt Kosciusko became oceanfront real estate.
When one of the job candidates finds the squirrel alive and thriving in the High Country and attempts to report this scoop, his rival, the Newtown witch, is immediately hired. The science is settled, announces Williams, who rejects the furry evidence chittering in its cage on his desk with the explanation that it is not a squirrel at all but a chipmonckton and must therefore be ridiculed when not ignored altogether.
The failed candidate is not deterred, however. The episode fades to black with images of the ex-Fairfax staffer donning a burqa, brandishing a copy of Richard Dawkins’ collected works and being hired as the ABC’s religion correspondent.
Episode 3: The well-earned break.
The ABC is thrown into chaos yet again, this time by a clerical error that sees all but a handful of radio and TV hosts and journalists ordered to take their holidays at the same time. The most senior ABC staffer still on the job turns to her Twitter and Facebook friends to fill the reportorial void created by a depopulated newsroom.
That evening’s news broadcasts lead with the scoop that Tony Abbott cannot tell the difference between a burqa and a niqab and is therefore irredeemably opposed to every woman’s right to be oppressed in a liberated, post-modern sort of way.
A running gag in this episode features supremo Mark Scott, who learnt his journalism at Fairfax and bills himself as the ABC’s editor-in-chief. Eager to help out during the staffing crisis, he sets out to report a story on how the Navy is waylaying ships loaded with live cattle in order to torture their crews with hot engine parts. Sadly, just as he is about to start calling  favouriterefugee advocates, the plumbers arrive to install a 14-carat executive toilet, obliging him to file countless Twitter updates on their progress.
The odd thing is that no viewer notices the slightest difference between normal ABC news coverage and the stream of undiluted social-media ranters that replaces it.
Episode 4. Well-worn media.
When Paul Barry succumbs to food poisoning caused by a dodgy salad from the ABC’s $18 million organic permaculture rooftop garden at its sustainable Ultimo HQ, the job of hostingMedia Watch falls to the broadcaster’s newest recruit, gun reporter Fatima el Baksheesh-Namatjira.
An Indigenous transgender Muslim and stellar graduate of Wendy Bacon’s University of Technology journalism course, she ignites controversy by wearing a burqa while lambasting News Corp.’s opinion-page lamentations about the slow pace of Islamic integration. Arranged marriages, along with bookshops selling Mein Kampf and Protocols of the Elders of Zionare part and parcel of multiculturalism’s rich mosaic and therefore to be treasured, she asserts. To represent the Jewish perspective, the ABC taps Anthony Loewenstein.
Subsequently criticised in an Australian editorial, Baksheesh-Namatjira is backed by the ABC’s  feminist collective and their XX-chromosone staff representative on the board, who don the burqa en mass to protest unenlightened Western attitudes toward every woman’s right to wear whatever her man tells her. Anne Summers sends a message of support, but regrets she is too busy penning an updated version of her sermon on the injuries inflicted by male-mandated high heels to take up the burqa issue.
All ends happily when when Baksheesh-Namatjira and the ABC win a global media award sponsored by Saudi Arabia’s minister for media and seventh-century couture.  At an awards ceremony televised by SBS she denounces Rupert Murdoch as media revellers dine on Pygmy Squirrel au jus avec artichokes au Jerusalem occupe
Episode 5: Not-so-settled science
Shocking news! The scientists at Bolivia’s Climate Change Research Institute for Appropriate and Sustainable Excellence check the data and discover that the global climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide is less than a hundreth of that assumed by the IPCC.  The ABC’s enviro desk goes into meltdown, too shocked at first to make mention of the breakthrough. But when even Fairfax Media makes passing mention of the research — a tweet dismissing the report as the mischief of scientists who cannot even tell a burqa from a niqab — the ABC is forced to act.
One of the offending scientists, relentlessly grilled on camera, is confronted by evidence sourced to an NGO, but never identified as an activist NGO,  that leaves no doubt he was once observed standing next to a man smoking a cigarette. As a known lackey of Big Tobacco, he is asked when he stopped beating his wife?
The scientist seems poised to answer the charge, but is interrupted just in time by Tony Jones, who dances in tights and overstuffed-sausage mode across the set, rendering the guest speechless. Turning to the camera, Leigh Sales, brow creased with concern, reads from a script provided by Tim Flannery’s Climate Council, which has discovered a new threat — and a fresh theme for direct-mail fund-raising campaigns.
“You may never have heard of Dihydrogen Monoxide,” she gravely intones, “but the CSIRO certainly has and its experts are worried, very worried, that the Abbott government will cut funds for the  front-line PR operatives promoting this new peril and the needed increases in the agency’s budget.”
On Twitter, Flannery endorses Jones’ taste in leotards and suggests, courtesy of his new girlfriend’s former occupation, that dress-up games are a carbon-neutral way of adding some spice to ho-hum boudoir antics. Mrs Tony Jones, aka Sarah Ferguson, tweets back that she is one jump ahead, and has already bought a burqa to make for a really swinging evening.
The episode concludes with Q&A plant and proud Muslim woman Rebecca Kay tweeting that Ferguson is a racist for not knowing the difference between a niqab and a burqa and, by logical extension, must be another of the ink-stained shaytans on Rupert Murdoch’s infernal payroll.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Walrus nonsense

According to the ABC everything can be blamed on climate change:
Climate change blamed for beaching of 35,000 walruses on Alaskan coastline
At least 35,000 Pacific walruses have beached themselves on a remote Alaskan coastline in a phenomenon blamed on the melting of arctic ice due to climate change, experts say.


Of course finding that this event is not unprecedented casts a long shadow over such claims. We are surprised again that ABC's reporters are unable to do basic research. 

Large haulouts of walruses — such as the one making news at Point Lay, Alaska on the Chukchi Sea (and which happened before back in 2009) — are not a new phenomenon for this region over the last 45 years and thus cannot be due to low sea ice levels. Nor are deaths by stampede within these herds (composed primarily of females and their young) unusual, as a brief search of the literature reveals.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Missing News, something for the science show

Odd that this book has not prompted an interview with its author. Oh, that's right it doesn't say the world is going to end, so let's just ignore it then.

The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters and Climate Change Paperback – November 1, 2014

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
Abstract

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

Abstract

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.



Tony's words: your taxes paid for this

It seems one of ABC's senior reporters, Chris Uhlmann, has spent some time counting the words of PM Tony Abbot. One would think there are more important and fulfilling activities for a senior journalist to undertake.
The result:
What we can learn from Tony Abbott's words


A new analysis mines more than 200,000 words Mr Abbott uttered in Parliament and in speeches in the 12 months before and after the election. It is a fascinating portrait of the changing times.

Fascinating?...  Hardly. No mention by Chris in this ludicrous piece of who spent the time counting the numbers, the methods used, the manner of analysis, and ABC have to gall to use the words "scientific " to describe it. ABC complain about funding cuts then undertake utterly pointless "research" such as this. No mention also of Uhlmann's connections to the ALP (his wife is the ALP member for Canberra).

Some of the comments sum it up nicely...
What a load of cobblers. Surely Chris, with your training, you can find something more important than this dribble.

This is complete and utter rubbish. Of course the words he uses have changed because its a different year, and there is different things to talk about. Thats why QANTAS is one of those words on the list above. I bet he uses the words 'Islamic" and 'State' more now than he did before the election. That does not mean it is some kind of a strategy. It just means he is doing his job.

This kind of superficial textual analysis does more harm than good. By looking simply for words, phrases, without a context we misrepresent meaning.
It seems that the conclusion is seeking to explain away, rather than reveal.
Where's the methodology?


Think the ABC is home to quality journalism? Think Again!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Missing News: Reflections on Rapid Response to Unjustified Climate Alarm

ABC remain in the grip of a fantasy about Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming and ignore reasoned rational debate on the issue. This piece by Atmospheric Scientist Richard Lindzen missing from our Auntie's news and opinion reports:

Reflections on Rapid Response to Unjustified Climate Alarm
Climate alarm belongs to a class of issues characterized by a claim for which there is no evidence, that nonetheless appeals strongly to one or more interests or prejudices. Once the issue is adopted, evidence becomes irrelevant. Instead, the believer sees what he believes. Anything can serve as a supporting omen.

Follow the link for the rest.

Late morning glory

Last year the Morning Glory arrived early and ABC was all a flutter.
This year it seems it's running a little late. As to them being rare, well hardly in that part of the world!

ABC: blind to the concept of natural variation!

Missing News: Pacific decadal oscillation

ABC always quick to pump the CAGW meme so no surprise that they have not covered this research paper that finds natural factors more important:

Atmospheric controls on northeast Pacific temperature variability and change, 1900–2012

 Authors

Significance

Northeast Pacific coastal warming since 1900 is often ascribed to anthropogenic greenhouse forcing, whereas multidecadal temperature changes are widely interpreted in the framework of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), which responds to regional atmospheric dynamics. This study uses several independent data sources to demonstrate that century-long warming around the northeast Pacific margins, like multidecadal variability, can be primarily attributed to changes in atmospheric circulation. It presents a significant reinterpretation of the region’s recent climate change origins, showing that atmospheric conditions have changed substantially over the last century, that these changes are not likely related to historical anthropogenic and natural radiative forcing, and that dynamical mechanisms of interannual and multidecadal temperature variability can also apply to observed century-long trends.

Abstract

Over the last century, northeast Pacific coastal sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and land-based surface air temperatures (SATs) display multidecadal variations associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, in addition to a warming trend of ∼0.5–1 °C. Using independent records of sea-level pressure (SLP), SST, and SAT, this study investigates northeast (NE) Pacific coupled atmosphere–ocean variability from 1900 to 2012, with emphasis on the coastal areas around North America. We use a linear stochastic time series model to show that the SST evolution around the NE Pacific coast can be explained by a combination of regional atmospheric forcing and ocean persistence, accounting for 63% of nonseasonal monthly SST variance (r = 0.79) and 73% of variance in annual means (r = 0.86). We show that SLP reductions and related atmospheric forcing led to century-long warming around the NE Pacific margins, with the strongest trends observed from 1910–1920 to 1940. NE Pacific circulation changes are estimated to account for more than 80% of the 1900–2012 linear warming in coastal NE Pacific SST and US Pacific northwest (Washington, Oregon, and northern California) SAT. An ensemble of climate model simulations run under the same historical radiative forcings fails to reproduce the observed regional circulation trends. These results suggest that natural internally generated changes in atmospheric circulation were the primary cause of coastal NE Pacific warming from 1900 to 2012 and demonstrate more generally that regional mechanisms of interannual and multidecadal temperature variability can also extend to century time scales.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Giving air to loons

The ABC passed on an interview program featuring former PM John Howard and now that its broadcast it takes a decidedly biased position in covering what was said. 

This morning ABC online ran with the headline: John Howard 'embarrassed' by Iraq WMD intelligence. 
ABC's breathless intro: Former prime minister John Howard says he was "embarrassed" intelligence he used to take Australia to war in Iraq was inaccurate and denies it was a "deliberate deception".

This afternoon ABC follow up with some ridiculous comments from Andrew Wilkie:
"Frankly, I'm disappointed that the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court hasn't thought to hold John Howard responsible for conspiracy to commit mass murder," he said.
Mr Wilkie said Islamic State militants should be condemned for terrorist actions in Iraq, and added that the current unrest in the Middle East had its roots in the events of 11 years ago.

The "roots" are somewhat older. Honestly where do these loons come from?

We wait to see ABC give the same treatment to Kevin Rudd for his support for involvement in Iraq! As always we won't be holding our breath.

ABC in a muddle defining Sharia

Only the ABC can ask the question, What is Sharia? and come up with the answer: "a path to water".

So a top ten list:
ABC tackle some other definitions of the 21st century:

1. Suicide bomber/be-heading: one of a number of systems of de-population intended to reduce the impact of climate change.
2. Summer/Winter: climate change in action.
3. Environment: GAIA - our overlord, all praise the earth goddess and her facilitators.
4. Air conditioning: one of the top 5 social problems of our age .
5. Current government: a blockage on the pathway to GAIA.
6. The Greens: Facilitators of GAIA, praise be upon them.
7. Wind Power: circulating the fragrant farts of GAIA (What bird carcasses?)
8. Coal: Black vile, evil substance.
9. Nuclear Power: see coal, just a different colour

and the top ABC definition

10. ISIS/L:  a group of people on a path to water



Missing News: Don't mention the bird blenders

Seems ABC's environmental reporters are asleep at the wheel, perhaps "well earned break" season has started early this year?

Fortunately The Australian's Graham Lloyd is on duty:

Wind farm turbines take toll on birds of prey
EAGLES, falcons and other raptors make up to a third of the estimated 1500 birds killed each year at Australia’s biggest wind farm.
The finding of an independent report for Macarthur Wind Farm operator AGL follows 12 monthly searches of 48 turbines at the 140-turbine operation in Victoria that found 576 bird carcasses.
After adjusting for birds eaten by scavengers between searches and the total 140 turbines, Australian Ecological Research Services estimated each turbine killed about 10 birds a year.
The analysis said this would include 500 raptors a year.


Read the rest at the link above (subscription required)

Climate action: The missing 99.9957%

ABC headline:
People's Climate March: Hundreds of thousands march in rallies calling for action on climate change
Organisers estimated that some 310,000 people, including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former US Vice President Al Gore, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and elected officials from the United States and abroad joined the People's Climate March, ahead of Tuesday's United Nations hosted summit in the city to discuss reducing carbon emissions that threaten the environment.

Re-analysis:
Current world population: 7.2 billion (figures rounded to nearest 100,000,000)
Number marching: 310,000
Percent:0.0043%
Number that found something better to do:7.2 billion (figures rounded to nearest 100,000,000)
Percent: 99.9957% (thanks Craig Mc!)

Perhaps the headline ABC should have run: 99.9957% of world's population didn't march for action on climate change.

Wasting tax payers funds

As ABC are exempt from FOI I won't be able to find out how much tax payers time and money they wasted putting the following website together and spinning it as "News":

Take the Tony Abbott 'before or after' quiz

While the ABC continue to ignore the regions and waste time with crap like like this, they have little hope of being able to justify any increase to funding.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ignoring sanity

ABC continue to ignore the few sane people involved in the climate science "discussion", in favour of climate ignoramuses like the cast of Monday's Q and A.

Prof. Judy Curry should be high on the list of experts called upon to help inform the public about climate change instead ABC continues to ignore her wise council. You can learn from Judy Curry via her blog.

The recent post "JC at the National Press Club"is a must read! or view

Abc board lead the way

ABC board member Fiona Stanley puts her foot in it. When the board has such disregard for the facts how is it capable of providing much needed leadership?

From The Australian:

Stanley wrong on ABC stand


THE ABC is vital to Australian democracy because it provides accurate and unbiased reporting in a country “poorly served by other parts of the media”, ­according to an opinion piece published by Fairfax yesterday.
But the article, by one of the broadcaster’s board members — epidemiologist and 2003 Australian of the Year Fiona Stanley — misrepresents The Australian.
Rest here.

Is ABC calling for its own sale?

In order to buttress her case against efficiencies and spending cuts at the corporation, Professor Stanley claimed it had a budget last year of $825.7 million. Yet, as has often been reported, the ABC receives annual taxpayer funding of more than $1 billion. According to the Department of Communications website the allocation last year was $1.05bn. The figures differ by 21 per cent, or $179.3m.
SEE ALSO CUT AND PASTE...

An ABC board member proving The Australian’s point in a Fairfax paper

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scare mongering ABC journos need your help

Unfortunately ABC's current batch of bed wetting activists  reporters were born without the sense of perspective gene. This important gene helps normal people discern pure sensationalism from information that we need to pay attention to. Without the gene ABC's affected reporters appear incapable of telling fact from fiction and as a result it is open to spreading sensationalist propaganda.

Case in point is a report yesterday by ABC's Hamish Fitzsimmons. It appears that a dysfunctional perspective gene has affected  Hamish's ability to do basic research.

Here's Hamish's headline:
Sea level rises due to climate change could cost Australia $200b, Climate Council report finds
In his report Hamish provides a platform for professional doom-sayer Will Steffan to make the following statement:

"If you look at a 1.1 metre sea level rise - which is the high-end scenario for 2100 but that's what we're tracking towards - you're looking at more than $200 billion worth of infrastructure that's at risk." "If you look at some of our most vulnerable areas, and the Sydney region is one of those, you would say toward the end of this century that a one-in-100-year flood is going to be happening every few days," he said.

In regard to a sea level rise of 1.1m (1100mm) Will Steffan says "That's what we're tracking towards". Really?

Hamish didn't bother looking at the facts, nor it seems did the alarmist Climate Council. We spent approximately 30 seconds on the internet to locate the following chart from the
Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL):

This shows long term sea level in the Sydney area. The graph shows flattish trends from the start of the record to about 1950, then a step change, followed by flattish trends to the end of the data. A simplistic linear regression analysis would provide an average annual sea level rise of about 0.55 mm per year. Extrapolated to 2100 this would amount to an additional rise of 47 mm. This is a very small fraction of what Steffen believes "we're tracking towards".

We have a bunch of alarmist activist scientists who it seems are incapable of analysing real world data feeding gullible reporters who basically appear unwilling to check the facts. The end result is the spread of misinformation.

Unfortunately at this stage there is no cure to what is being called Sponge Syndrome.

Update: The chart below extends the raw Denison data forwards in time and shows what needs to happen in order to satisfy the Climate Councils notion of what we're tracking towards". This lacks credibility and the ABC should ask the council about it.



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bureau BOMS out on history

Thought a summary version of our FACT checking of BOM records might be of interest:

In recent weeks The Australian newspaper has exposed serious issues with the manner in which the Bureau of Meteorology analyse Australia’s temperature records. (See articles HERE, and HERE). BOM’s ACORN dataset is the result of a statistical homogenisation process. This sometimes produces warming trends from data collected at high quality stations where the station records themselves often show cooling trends. It seems some of the adjustments made are justified but some it seems are not.
While the meteorological community continue to debate the details over the validity of BOM’s analytical processes in adjusting historical records I thought readers might be interested to know how BOM treat some of its historical data.
In January this year eastern Australia experienced a heatwave. This was similar to past heatwaves. It seems it was not as severe or widespread as heatwaves in 1960 or in 1939. Nonetheless the episode was out of the ordinary and worthy of the attention of our weather experts. BOM dutifully reported on the heatwave and released a “Special climate statement”: number 48titled “One of southeast Australia’s most significant heatwaves”.
According to the Bureau Special Climate Statements:  provide a detailed summary of significant weather and climate events. They are produced on an occasional basis for weather/climate events which are unusual in the context of the climatology of the affected region. Their purpose is to document major events. In doing so, they serve as a historical record, inform the public on the broader historical and climatological context for events, and give easy access to data and information which is in high demand from the media and the public.
On page 5 of statement number 48 BOM state: "Canberra also set a record with four consecutive days of 39°C." The “record” was also picked up by ABC’s weather guru Graham Creed in his ABC Weather Man blog. This “record” set my sceptical senses tingling and I set about a little fact checking.
After a brief check through the National Library Newspaper Archive I came across a few headlines from the Canberra Times that indicated the BOM had got things wrong. In fact the newspaper records showed that in a remarkable 7 day stint from the 8th of January 1939 to the 14th of January the BOM’s ACTON weather station in Canberra recorded 7 days over 39 degrees, including 4 days over 40, along with ACT’s record maximum temperature of 42.8 degrees on January 11, 1939. The ACTON station was closed in late January 1939 and a weather new station was opened at Canberra Airport.
I passed this advice on the ABC’s weather guru who corrected his blog to indicate the 4 consecutive days were in fact recorded at BOM’s newer Canberra Airport Station. The blog was not updated to reference the newspaper stories or the 1939 weather records.
I requested the daily records for ACTON from the Bureau but for some reason this station in our nation’s capital only had monthly data.  It’s only the nation’s Capital! After contacting the minister, the Bureau indicated it would as a matter of priority, collate the data and place it on its website. This was back in January.
Earlier last week, about 8 months after my request, I received an email from the Bureau to indicate the maximum temperature readings for ACTON were now online. I checked and they confirmed the Newspaper reports. Not wanting the historical record to be in error I requested BOM correct its Climate Statement. This is the response:
The record referenced in Special Climate Statement 48 is a station record for Canberra Airport (station numbers 70014 and 70351), as is stated in Table 3. 
It seems the historical record will be forever tainted! According to the Bureau’s climate statement the record heatwave of 1939 did not happen in Canberra. This despite the Bureau’s own data showing it did.

BOM’s homogenisation process may be valid or not, but it seems its handling of the nation’s weather records, based on its handling of ACTON, leaves much to be desired. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Correcting Errors at the BOM: ACTON UPDATE

In its climate statement "Special Climate Statement 48 – one of southeast Australia’s most significant heatwaves" BOM make the following claim: (p.5):"Canberra also set a record with four consecutive days of 39°C."

BOM describe their special climate statements in the following way:
The Bureau's Special Climate Statements provide a detailed summary of significant weather and climate events. They are produced on an occasional basis for weather/climate events which are unusual in the context of the climatology of the affected region. Their purpose is to document major events. In doing so, they serve as a historical record, inform the public on the broader historical and climatological context for events, and give easy access to data and information which is in high demand from the media and the public.

THEY SERVE AS A HISTORICAL RECORD

We requested BOM make a correction to the climate statement about Canberra's recent "record" which is now shown to be false as the BOM's Canberra ACTON station shows the following run of highs in January 1939:
Jan 1939 records indicate 7 consecutive days over 39°C between the 8th and 14th.
Jan 8: 39.3
Jan 9: 39.2
Jan 10: 41.1
Jan 11: 42.8
Jan 12: 39.8
Jan 13: 41.9
Jan 14: 40.8

BOM responded thus:
Fri, Sep 5, 2014 at 1:42 PM
The record referenced in Special Climate Statement 48 is a station record for Canberra Airport (station numbers 70014 and 70351), as is stated in Table 3.

Regards,
Climate Analysis Section

Our response:
The main text does NOT indicate this and in its current form it is misleading. Please correct the main text.
BOM provide the following description of its Special Climate Statements...
Special Climate Statements
The Bureau's Special Climate Statements provide a detailed summary of significant weather and climate events. They are produced on an occasional basis for weather/climate events which are unusual in the context of the climatology of the affected region. Their purpose is to document major events. In doing so, they serve as a historical record, inform the public on the broader historical and climatological context for events, and give easy access to data and information which is in high demand from the media and the public.


As BOM consider the statements "serve as a historical record" it is of utmost importance that errors are corrected. BOM's statement on page 5...that "Canberra also set a record with four consecutive days of 39°C." is clearly in error and requires correction.

It is common practice in scientific reports for a corrigendum to be issued to correct mistakes made in published papers. Given the historical importance BOM place on its special climate statements it seems the issue of a corrigendum is appropriate in this case.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

ACTON ONLINE

Earlier this year the Bureau of Meteorology made the following claim in respect to temperatures in Canberra:

 In its recent climate statement"Special Climate Statement 48 – one of southeast Australia’s most significant heatwaves" BOM make the following claim: (p.5):"Canberra also set a record with four consecutive days of 39°C."

We took the BOM up on this and also ABC's weather man Graham Creed (here and here and here and here)

BOM have finally digitised the daily max. temp records for its ACTON station. The records may be found HERE

They accord with the information we found revealing the following run of high temps:
Jan 6: 36.2
Jan 7: 38.7
Jan 8: 39.3
Jan 9: 39.2
Jan 10: 41.1
Jan 11: 42.8
Jan 12: 39.8
Jan 13: 41.9
Jan 14: 40.8

We sent the following new request to BOM's climate services branch:
In your  "Special Climate Statement 48 – one of southeast Australia’s most significant heatwaves" BOM make the following claim: (p.5):"Canberra also set a record with four consecutive days of 39°C."

With the release of the daily maximum figures for ACTON station this is now clearly false. Please correct the statement.

http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/av?p_nccObsCode=122&p_display_type=dailyDataFile&p_startYear=1923&p_c=-982875403&p_stn_num=70099

Jan 1939 records indicate 7 consecutive days over 39°C between the 8th and 14th.

Monday, August 25, 2014

ABC's missing stories

When we started this blog a little while ago we cast an eye on the productivity of ABC's news service by looking at the number of news stories ABC posted to its online News Archive. Our productivity survey pointed to a massive decline in the productivity of ABC News. The ABC responded by capping the number of stories posted daily to 250. It retrospectively applied this to its online archive effectively wiping easy access to 10,000s stories from 2003 onwards. This effectively undermined our capacity to compile the information. Sadly its also means that past stories are no longer available on line. A glimpse of the number of stories ABC removed can be had by using the "Wayback Machine"and looking through the internet archive. For Friday August 2007, ABC removed around 100 stories!
Screen shot showing ABC's news archive for August 24, 2007 showing 10 pages of storied (25 stories per page)

Screen shot from the internet archive showing ABC previously posted 14 pages. What happened to the missing stories?

We requested further information at the time but were never provided with a satisfactory response. We have requested this be looked into again.

How petty is ABC NEWS that it would spite the nation by removing an important source of historical information rather than permit an assessment of its declining productivity be measured.



Monday, August 11, 2014

Bias revealed

In today's Oz...

ABC accused of bias against coalmining
THE ABC treats stories on the ­renewables industry highly favourably, while the coalmining and coal-seam gas mining industries are treated unfavourably,­ ­according to a study of the ABC’s presentation of energy issues.

No surprise when your news staff are dominated by environmental activists on a mission from Gaia.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

El Nino: the difference a month makes

ABC 2 July, 2014:

Weather patterns falling in line with El Nino forecast

More weather patterns are emerging to reinforce the Bureau of Meteorology's prediction of at least a 70 per cent chance of an El Nino weather pattern developing in Spring 2014.

ABC 31 JULY 2014:

El Nino prediction revised down to 50 per cent chance by Bureau of Meteorology

The Bureau of Meteorology has revised down its prediction of an El Nino weather event developing later this year.
Manager of climate predictions at the Bureau of Meteorology, Dr Andrew Watkins, says the forecast could still change.


And no queries from ABC about the usefulness of failing models ?
For what it's worth our big toe suggests a return to neutral conditions this spring with a potential for a late summer La Nina.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

ABC environmental activist misrepresents state of knowledge on sunscreen nano-particles

ABC's resident activist (one of many) Sara Phillips has another piece on nano-particles that misrepresents the science, and gives activists precedence over experts. Titled: Nano sunscreen may be made dangerous by detergent the article commences with an outright lie and just spirals into nonsense from there on.

"While the jury is still out on the safety of nano-particles in sunscreen, when combined with common household products, it may react in unexpected ways."

The jury is not out, it came in a while ago! Nano-particles in sunscreen are safe! 

The following comes from the CSIRO's website: 
Are sunscreens that contain nanoparticles safe to use?


The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which is responsible for regulating sunscreens in Australia, reviewed the scientific literature in 2006 and concluded that:
  • 'There is evidence from isolated cell experiments that zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can induce free radical formation in the presence of light and that this may damage these cells (photo-mutagenicity with zinc oxide).'
  • 'However, this would only be of concern in people using sunscreens if the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide penetrated into viable skin cells.'
  • 'The weight of current evidence is that they remain on the surface of the skin and in the outer dead layer (stratum corneum) of the skin.'

The TGA updated its review in 2009, and again in 2013. The 2013 review concluded that ‘on current evidence, neither TiO2 nor ZnO NPs are likely to cause harm when used as ingredients in sunscreens’.

The following by Paul Wright (Associate Professor, Head of the Nanosafety Research Group, School of Medical Sciences at RMIT-University, founding co-ordinator of both Nanosafe Australia (www.rmit.edu.au/nanosafe) and Asia Nano Safe research networks, and nanosafety advisor to the Australian Nanotechnology Network (ANN). 

Time to dispel the fear of nanoparticles in sunscreens
Not all nanoparticles behave in the same way biologically, nor are all of them potentially hazardous. Indeed, many engineered nanoparticles are designed with both function and safety in mind. The substance that the nanoparticle is made from is of vital importance in any hazard assessment. And nano zinc oxide has been thoroughly assessed for safety when used in sunscreens and in lip products.

Excessive UV light on the other hand, poses a serious risk for skin damage and cancer. Rest assured that the nano sunscreens can be used safely, so don’t stop using the most effective broad spectrum sunscreen as part of your sun protection measures.

I recommend using non-aerosol zinc oxide sunscreens containing either nano or bulk particles. Their broad spectrum UV filtering ability (including the UVA range), and high UV resistance and negligible skin absorption make them the safest and best way to protect yourself from sunburn. If still in doubt, know that the same conclusions were made by the USEnvironmental Working Group in their 2012 sunscreen report.