Friday, August 30, 2013

Election bias

ABC have an obligation to be impartial. Its staff whose voting patterns were revealed in a recent study are simply unable to fulfill this obligation. Articles in today's Australian emphasize this point:

The politics of Media Watch
IF the ABC was less consumed with hubris, it would crawl into a ball with shame after two of the three leaders' election debates were entrusted to Sky News and all were moderated by Sky's level-headed David Speers.
It is proof, if proof were needed, that the political establishment no longer trusts the ABC to act as an honest broker. Indignant complaints that the Opposition Leader has refused for the umpteenth time to appear on this or that program are broadcast as regularly as the weather these days. Its presenters seem to think this is Tony Abbott's problem, instead of a damning indictment on the public broadcaster's integrity. In federal politics, Sky News makes a more substantial contribution to public life than the ABC, an institution colonised by perpetually adolescent Triple J graduates who count doltish shows such as The Hamster Decides, Gruen Nation and The Roast as a serious civic debate.
rest rest at link

Funny how it's only a huge misstep for Mr Rabbit to launch a policy at Christian school
NO comment when Peter Garrett and David Bradbury launch policies at the same school?
ABC radio's PM, yesterday:
MARK Colvin: Tony Abbott today launched one of his last major policies to be released this campaign. The Opposition Leader chose a Christian school in western Sydney to release his full education policy ... But there was a distraction because the school's website describes homosexuality as an abomination.
Journalist: On your education policy, do you think it is appropriate to announce the Coalition's education policy at a school which on its website says that homosexuality is an abomination?
Tony Abbott: Obviously I don't agree with that statement. Obviously I don't agree.
Lexi Metherell: The Opposition Leader's strategists are normally assiduous in setting up highly controlled campaign events but it seems they missed the school's statement of faith on its website, which declares homosexuality an abomination to God.
Abbott: Look, this is a good school and it's a school which has been supported by people like David Bradbury and Peter Garrett, and look, I respectfully disagree with lots of things that are said on that particular subject and obviously I disagree with that statement.
Metherell: The school would have been chosen for its location. It's in the seat of Lindsay, held on a slim margin by the Labor minister David Bradbury.
Sarah Blake, News Limited Network, tweets yesterday:
HUGE misstep for Abbott? Penrith Christian School's website describes homosexuality as an abomination under God ... Interesting that the Coalition leader's only school visit is to a religious school
Latika Bourke, ABC journalist, tweets yesterday:
TONY Abbott launching education policy at a school that teaches homosexuality is "abomination unto God".
Government media release, April 16:
MINISTER for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett, and Federal Member for Lindsay David Bradbury officially opened the new Trade Training Centre at Penrith Christian School.
David Bradbury Facebook post, November 11 last year:
PARENTS at Penrith Christian School are campaigning for a bus service direct from the school to Claremont Meadows. Help support their campaign by signing our petition here: Penrith Christian School needs a new bus service!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Reggae-loving parrot joins Vanuatu's climate change fight

Reggae-loving parrot joins Vanuatu's climate change fight.
well not quite....

Thank you for your email of 9 August concerning the headline “"Reggae-loving parrot joins Vanuatu's climate change fight".  

As your correspondence raised concerns of a lack of accuracy, your email was referred to Audience and Consumer Affairs for consideration and response. The unit is separate and independent from ABC program areas and is responsible for investigating complaints alleging a broadcast or publication was in contravention of the ABC's editorial standards. In light of your concerns, we have reviewed the story and assessed it against the ABC’s editorial requirements for accuracy, as outlined in section 2.1 of the ABC’s Code of Practice: . In the interests of procedural fairness, we have also sought and considered material from ABC News.

We agree that the headline was slightly misleading in that it suggested that the video was part of the fight against climate change as against part of the effort to prepare for it. The relevant part of the script said:

Climate change may intensify some of the impacts of El Nino and la Nina in the future. Learning how to adapt to the natural ups and downs in our climate will help prepare for long-term climate change

The headline has been modified and an editor’s note attached.

Audience and Consumer Affairs are satisfied this adequately resolves the problem.

Thank you for taking the time to write; your feedback is appreciated.

For your reference, the ABC Code of Practice is available online at

Yours sincerely

Mark Maley                                 
Audience & Consumer Affairs

Editor’s note: (August 20) The original headline mentioned “Vanuatu’s climate change fight”. The headline has been changed to reflect the fact that the piece is more about information and preparations for weather events.

score +1

Monday, August 26, 2013

The bottomless pit

Hold the front page according to the ABC's Vote Compass "Australians want more action on climate change".

According to ABC's online poll "Most Australians think the Government should do more to tackle climate change" .(How statistically credible is that?.. Ed...this poll has zero statistical credibility)

The poll would have had more credibility is it had included an indication of what people were prepared to pay, but as ABC works in a cost-less world, a bottom less pit where money rains down from heaven to fill it like magic, its staff  (who enjoy very favorable parental leave provisions, Ed...don't forget those very favourable "well earned break" provisions as well) didn't think to ask this question.

ABC in such a vacuum it is unaware that other people work for their money.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Case study in alarmist reporting

ABC's "commercial arm", Fairfax provided an interesting headline this morning:

Revealed: 80cm sea rise warningThe report included these paragraphs:

The world is on track to become up to five degrees hotter, and sea levels could rise more than 80 centimetres this century, according to a leaked draft of a landmark climate change report prepared for the UN.

There is now a 95 per cent likelihood human greenhouse gas emissions are driving changes being observed globally, which in recent weeks have included extraordinary heatwaves in Asia and Alaska.

That degree of certainty has been revised up from 90 per cent in the last report in 2007, 66 per cent in 2001, and just over 50 in 1995. A sea level rise of up to 82 centimetres, which would have serious impacts on coastal cities everywhere, is now ''unequivocal'', Reuters reported.

We sent the following Letter:
It seems that SMH reporters have misrepresented IPCC report findings (Revealed: 80cm sea rise warning, 20/8). The draft IPCC report provides a wide range of figures for various climate indices. For sea level rise the IPCC draft report indicates a potential rise between 29 to 80cm. Such a modest rise is well within society's capacity to adapt and does not constitute an end to world as we know it.

SMH's defensive letters editor Julie Lewis provided the following reply (some how I don't think they will publish my call for integrity in reporting):

Dear Marc,
The report says 80cm is much more probable than 29cm, and also that not all ice melt is factored into the models, so the reality could be considerably higher than 80cm this century. Within that context, saying it "could" rise "up to 80cm" is accurate, and reasonably conservative.

to which we responded:

Thanks Julie,
Your reporters appear to have based their story on a secondary source quoting Reuters, not the actual draft report. Did they actually base the report on the original source or did they just quote a secondary source?

Here is the relevant text from the IPCC AR5 draft released last year. In contrast to your claim there is no weighting between the different scenarios. Unless your reporters can quote the relevant section from the actual document it seems my criticism stands. 

Global Mean Sea Level Rise Projections
It is very likely that the rate of global mean sea level rise during the 21st century will exceed the rate observed during 1971–2010 for all RCP scenarios. For the period 2081 to 2100, compared to 1986 to 2005, global mean sea level rise is likely to be in the range 0.29–0.55 m for RCP2.6, 0.36–0.63 m for RCP4.5, 0.37–0.64 m for RCP6.0, and 0.48–0.82 m (0.56–0.96 m by 2100 with a rate of rise 8–15 mm yr–1 over the last decade of the 21st century) for RCP8.5. Unlike in the AR4, these projections include a contribution from changes in ice-sheet outflow, for which the central projection is 0.11 m. There is only medium confidence in these ranges of projected global mean sea level rise, because there is only medium confidence in the likely range of projected contributions from models of ice sheet dynamics, and because there is no consensus about the reliability of semi-empirical models, which give higher projections than process-based models. Larger values cannot be excluded, but current scientific understanding is insufficient for evaluating their probability. [13.5.1, Table 13.5, Figures 13.8 and 13.9]

For a blog post at ABC NEWS Watch can you please confirm your reporters did not see the draft report referred to, instead basing their story on a rehash of the Reuters article. 

"Journalist" Julie goes on to defend use of secondary sources over primary:
Our reporters have based their report on a number of sources. We stand by our story.

Our riposte:
A number of sources but not the primary source! 
And this passes for journalism at SMH!

Sad that activist reporters at Fairfax like their ABC counterparts only provide half the story. ignoring the other side because it does not agree with a fixed world view. Little wonder that Fairfax is increasingly irrelevant when its reporters are not up to basic journalism.

ABC take a predictable alarmist line with their report on the leaked draft:
UN climate change draft report finds it is 95 per cent likely that global warming is caused by humans

It's always sensationalism over rational reporting at the ABC.

UPDATE 2. Letters page of the 21/8 replete with one sided commentary including this outright misrepresentation: "An 80-centimetre rise in sea levels could, among other things, reduce the width of all beaches by 80 metres. Goodbye, Bondi!" 
What a joke!!
In days long since past letters editors favoured a variety of view points. It seems the Herald with its one eyed reporters heads buried deep in the sand no longer tolerate discussion and debate.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Extreme extrapolations more common

ABC did not find the time to report on recent news revealing problems with climate models. Instead they have covered a paper that uses climate models to provide a taste of future heat waves. Not surprisingly defective models highly geared to an exaggerated climate sensitivity produce extreme outcomes.

Extreme heat waves to become more common
In their study, Dim Coumou, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and Alexander Robinson, from Universidad Complutense de Madrid used climate modelling to project extreme heat waves like those that hit Australia in 2009.
They found that extreme heatwaves will by 2020 affect about 10 per cent of total land area -- double today's figure. By 2040, it would have quadrupled.
And just one indication of the reliability of those models?

In contrast to earlier analyses for a ten-year period that indicated consistency between models and observations at the 5% confidence level, we find that the continued warming stagnation over fifteen years, from 1998 -2012, is no longer consistent with model projections even at the 2% confidence level.

In odd contravention of the normal rules of journalism ABC allow this "press release" to be published without question.

Naive journalism: the new standard in news from our public broadcaster.

Update: Some further comments at Judy Curry's Climate Etc blog. Curry one of ABC's missing climate commentators.

Variability of the AMO in the 10–20/70–80 year ranges is overestimated/underestimated in the models and the variability in the 10–20 year range increases in three of the models from the CMIP3 to the CMIP5 versions. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Nothing unusual in August Morning glory

"Morning Glory" does this refer to ABC's habit of being loose with the truth?

ABC claim....Famous cloud formation rolls in ahead of time

"Residents of an island in Queensland's Gulf of Carpentaria say a rare formation of clouds known as Morning Glory have appeared much earlier than expected."
"Tex Battle from Sweers Island says the clouds, which appear like a roll of clouds in the sky, are usually visible from mid September."

Here's a flickr photo showing the formation in July! Taken 24/7/2011

ABC reported on the phenomena back in August 2003 when occurrences in August were not that unusual. 
"From around August until November the Morning Glory is one of the most spectacular events in nature to be found anywhere in Australia."

An August occurrence in 2009 reported by the ABC...  Morning Glory Cloud arrives early

Morning Glory Clouds
Mick Petroff photographed this series of Morning Glory clouds from his airplane at the southern end of Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria on August 11, 2009.

That freak August 2009 occurrence also covered by SMH 

UPDATE: ABC so chuffed with the erroneous report its gets a tick on the home page....Screenshot at 3pm 13/8/2013
ABC NEWS now suggest this apparently normal appearance is now "much earlier"

Missing News: Climate Models Falsified

Funny how The Science Show and ABC News have not reported on this new paper. Doesn't fit the ABC climate catastrophe Meme.

Can climate models explain the recent stagnation in global warming?


In recent years, the increase in near-surface global annual mean temperatures has emerged as considerably smaller than many had expected. We investigate whether this can be explained by contemporary climate change scenarios. In contrast to earlier analyses for a ten-year period that indicated consistency between models and observations at the 5% confidence level, we find that the continued warming stagnation over fifteen years, from 1998 -2012, is no longer consistent with model projections even at the 2% confidence level. Of the possible causes of the inconsistency, the underestimation of internal natural climate variability on decadal time scales is a plausible candidate, but the influence of unaccounted external forcing factors or an overestimation of the model sensitivity to elevated greenhouse gas concentrations cannot be ruled out. The first cause would have little impact of the expectations of longer term anthropogenic climate change, but the second and particularly the third would.

Friday, August 9, 2013

ABC: no idea that weather ain't clmate

ABC truly has no idea when it comes to climate change reporting. It's international arm provides this attention getting headline:
Reggae-loving parrot joins Vanuatu's climate change fight

The focus of the videos covered are not climate change but changes in weather brought about by the ENSO cycle. There is scare mention of climate change in either video and then only to state that the natural ENSO cycle may be intensified in the future due to climate change.

Where is the fight? What are they fighting and Who? ABC made that part up, like they make up so much else.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sad to see it come to this.

Comment left at The Science Show...

"Still waiting on Robyn to have a no nonsense, rational discussion with some of the major players about climate sensitivity and the growing disparity between climate models and observations. Might I suggest Pitman, England and Karoly versus Lindzen, Curry, and Pielke (Snr). It is growing increasingly obvious to anyone following the scientific discourse that the models are running on the hot side and it seems the called Luke Warmers are on the verge of being proven correct.

Unfortunately all we continue to hear from the Science show is personal smear, ridicule and abuse, and from non-scientist activists to boot.

It is truly sad to see such a great radio institution demean itself in such a way. But I guess when you are losing an argument it's all you have left."