702 ABC Sydney – Breakfast – 21 September 2007
A complaint was received regarding a Dr Karl segment about global warming science. The segment focussed on the work of Professor J Scott Armstrong, and in particular his assertion that poor forecasts have been made by global warming experts. The complainant’s two primary concerns with the segment were that:
(i) Professor Armstrong’s scientific credentials were questioned on the grounds that he is a professor of marketing, and
(ii) his argument that “forecasts by experts have no value”, criticised at some length by Dr Karl, was taken out of context.
The ABC agreed that there is evidence to indicate that Professor Armstrong is a recognised expert in forecasting, and this should have been mentioned during the segment. The complaint was therefore upheld on the grounds of unfair treatment. The ABC also agreed that the statement “forecasts by experts have no value” was taken out of context. Professor Armstrong’s thesis was, rather, that an estimate made by an expert was still only an estimate, and not to be confused with a formal forecast. The complaint was therefore upheld on a
second count on the basis of factual inaccuracy. An apology was sent to the complainant.