Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Missing News: Solar impact on climate seven times greater than climate models suggested

Wow, Great Story from Graham Lloyd at the Oz about a new paper by an ABC missing voice Henrik Svensmark:

The impact of changes in solar activity on Earth’s climate was up to seven times greater than climate models suggested according to new research published today in Nature Communications.
Researchers have claimed a breakthrough in understanding how cosmic rays from supernovas react with the sun to form clouds, which impact the climate on Earth.
The findings have been described as the “missing link” to help resolve a decades long controversy that has big implications for climate science.
Lead author, Henrik Svensmark, from The Technical University of Denmark has long held that climate models had greatly underestimated the impact of solar activity.
He says the new research identified the feedback mechanism through which the sun’s impact on climate was varied.
Read the rest at the link above, or at videnskab.dk you won't read this on "our" ABC.


Increased ionization supports growth of aerosols into cloud condensation nuclei
H. Svensmark 1, M.B. Enghoff 1, N.J. Shaviv2 & J. Svensmark1,3
Ions produced by cosmic rays have been thought to influence aerosols and clouds. In this study, the effect of ionization on the growth of aerosols into cloud condensation nuclei is investigated theoretically and experimentally. We show that the mass-flux of small ions can constitute an important addition to the growth caused by condensation of neutral molecules. Under present atmospheric conditions the growth rate from ions can constitute several percent of the neutral growth rate. We performed experimental studies which quantify the effect of ions on the growth of aerosols between nucleation and sizes >20 nm and find good agreement with theory. Ion-induced condensation should be of importance not just in Earth’s present day atmosphere for the growth of aerosols into cloud condensation nuclei under pristine marine conditions, but also under elevated atmospheric ionization caused by increased supernova activity.

Friday, November 17, 2017

ABC alarm: OMG Coffee will be gone!!!!

ABC post this alarmist piece from activist Molly Harriss Olson, CEO of Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand.

Why your morning coffee will taste different and cost more

Molly's introduction:

The countless cups of coffee downed during the UN's COP23 climate summit in Bonn may seem insignificant.But if coffee consumption has any message, it is that climate change is personal.
Worldwide, more than 2.75 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day. Half of all Australians love a good coffee to kick-start each morning. Yet, as climate change influences weather patterns around the world, coffee yields and quality are already suffering, and pests and diseases are on the rise.

"Already suffering". Simple Fact check using production figures from the International Coffee Organisation shows production figures over the last few decades have improved significantly, during a time of rising temperatures.
Testing my morning brew reveals a good tasting cup of joe.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Anti - science

ABC cover the idiot Greens extension of a ban on GM crops in SA. The report lacks any inquiry into the long term consequences for SA. Looks like they'll be starving in the dark.

LINK to very ordinary report that does not ask any hard questions:
Genetically-modified crop ban extension in South Australia to 2025 passes Upper House by single vote

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Missing News: Killing an Australian Icon

No mention by the ABC of news from Alice Springs about the administrative murder of a great Australian icon:

Rock climb mostly closed


The Uluru (Ayers Rock) climb was closed for parts 229 days of the 273 days between January 1 and September 30 this year. That’s 84% of the days.

The reasons for the closures include wind, rain, storms or extreme temperatures, according to Parks Australia, the Federal instrumentality that manages the park. The climb is opened again when rangers deem it safe.

In January and February the climb was closed from 8am every day “due to heat” and longer on 52 of the 59 days in those two months.

A Parks spokeswoman says the climb is closed “for people’s safety” for the following reasons: If the temperature reaches 36 degrees or above; there is a greater than 20% chance of rain within three hours; there is a greater than 5% chance of thunderstorms within three hours; the estimated wind speed at the summit reaches 25 knots or above; more than 20% of the rock’s surface is wet after rain; cloud descends below the summit or for cultural reasons, for example, during a period of mourning.

During the height of the tourist season the climb was closed at some time during the following number of days: May – 20 days, June – 26, July – 10, August – 29.

The climb is now always closed at night, from about 5pm to 7am.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Quote of the week

ABC's James Glenday:

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a media outlet fighting for readers must be in want of a clickable headline quote."
Could not have described ABC News more succinctly. Its mediocrity is palpable.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Missing News: What temperatures are BOM recording?

The Australian have been covering and interesting and newsworthy story concerning problems BOM have in recording temperatures (eg Push for probe into weather stations failures). This is their basic role, you'd think by now they could get it right.
Given the importance of temperature in the land of droughts and flooding rains we are astounded that the ABC has failed to provide any coverage.

Jennifer Marohasy has an important series of articles on her blog that outline the problem. See...

Two Decades of Temperature Data from Australia – Not Fit for Purpose

Are Recordings from Electronic Devices Comparable – or Not?

Vindicated: Bureau acknowledges limits set on how cold temperatures can be recorded

Vindicated: Bureau not following WMO guidelines

Bureau Management Rewrites the Rules – Again

Monday, August 28, 2017

Dysfunctional RN Update

This From RN Listener enquiries regarding RN's short memory:

On August 5, Saturday Extra host Geraldine Doogue introduced Mr Bergmann as “a former senior advisor, also a speechwriter for John Kerry”.

At the end of the interview, Ms Doogue referred to Mr Bergmann as “until this year, a senior advisor at the State Department under John Kerry, now a senior fellow at the Centre for American Progress, a think tank in Washington”.

In response to this complaint, Saturday Extra has updated his title on its website to specify that his time as senior advisor at the State Department was under Barack Obama's Presidency.c

Ms Doogue also will make reference on air on Saturday August 26 to the Centre’s links to the Democratic Party.

Radio National
Listener enquiries 

Score one for us.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Respecting the Elders

In recent weeks considerable angst has been expressed about our public monuments and the potential that we may inadvertently be honouring some figures with questionable morals. We have seen the statues of slave owning confederate generals torn down in the USA and questions raised about  our own statues by ABC's Stan Grant, including those of Captain James Cook and Governor Macquarie, and the names of certain rivers and roads. 

With this in mind, it is only fair to apply the same standards more generally. So what of the actions and morals of the Elders past and present that we raise on a pedestal at every government meeting? How do their actions compare?

I’d like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners/Custodians of the land on which we meet today. I would also like to pay my respects to Elders past and present.

Here are a few stories about present elders we are paying respect to:

The teenage victims of an Aboriginal elder who raped them in exchange for petrol to sniff have told the South Australian Supreme Court that they now suffer eating disorders and sleep deprivation in the wake of their sexual assaults.
Winkie Ingomar, 52, has pleaded guilty to raping three girls in their early teens in Yalata in the west of SA early last year.

In the mid 1990s, aged in his late 30s, he'd become obsessed with a teenage girl and for five years subjected her to physical and sexual abuse.
His depraved actions resulted in the birth of two children – one when the teen was a day shy of her 16th birthday, and the second almost a year later.
A third pregnancy in quick succession ended abruptly with a miscarriage at 12 weeks.

Elder's rape sentence to be reviewed SMH September 28, 2005
The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission plans to intervene in a case in which a judge gave a short jail term to an Aborigine who anally raped and bashed his 14-year-old "promised wife". In an unusual move, the commission will seek leave to appear before the Northern Territory Court of Criminal Appeal to intervene in the interests of the girl, who was promised to the 55-year-old man under Aboriginal customary law at the age of four.

Culture of Denial The Australian  March 2007
IN 2005 I spent several days in the Alice Springs hospital after falling ill while attending a friend's wedding. I shared a ward with a middle-aged Aboriginal man who was quite proud that he had raped a 13-year-old girl. As he said, "She wouldn't say yes, so I f---ed her hard."
It did not surprise me. A few years before, I was in Alice Springs talking to two Aboriginal men in their early 70s. They were preparing to go into town to buy plastic toy dinosaurs. This was to pay a 12-year-old girl for having sex with both of them at the same time.

To judge the actions of "respected" Elders of the Past, readers are referred to Tony Thomas’s excellent series on Quadrant that some time ago broke the "Great Australian Silence" Stan Grant seems so keen not to comment on:

Part I: Yabbered to death 
Part III: A Blacked-Out Past

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

ABC wrong on Cook, Cox and Macquarie

The Australian have published a piece by Keith Windschuttle, that responds to a dispicable essay by Stan Grant that compares British Colonisation of the country with the US slave trade.

Let Cook and Macquarie stand: Grant and Taylor are wrong

Grant’s attempt to drag the legacy of the American civil war into Australian history does not fit in any way, and his attempt to promote a political campaign against the public statues of some of the great men of Australian history, especially Cook and Macquarie, is sheer journalistic opportunism.

Grant and others in the media are encouraging racial conflict for no good reason, except for the dramatic news reports they would like to see generated.

They should be ashamed of themselves for their wanton provocation.

Keith Windschuttle is the editor of Quadrant and the author of The Break-up of Australia: The Real Agenda Behind Aboriginal Recognition (Quadrant Books).

to read the rest you'll need a subscription.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Delusions of climate

ABC once again uncritically report on some BOM figures that show "record" temperatures for the NT.
Here's the script...

Duty forecaster at the BOM in Darwin, Peter Markworth, said during the weekend Borroloola and the Tiwi Islands both experienced their hottest recorded August days.

Borroloola reached 37.7 degrees Celsius, beating its previous record of 37.3C, Mr Markworth said.

Batchelor, about 70 kilometres south of Darwin, hit 37C on Friday, beating its previous record of 36.8C.

On Saturday it hit 37.2C, breaking the record again.

The article ends by claiming: 

Mr Browning (BOM regional manager of climate services) said the NT had experienced a different weather pattern to normal. "We seem to have been seeing more of the winds coming from the east than the south-east," Mr Browning said. "The south-easterlies really bring the cool temperatures from down south, but we're just not seeing that as much." He said the warmer-than-expected weather seen in July and so far this month were "consistent with global warming signals".

Now there are quite a number of definitions of climate. One used by the WMO is as follows:
What is Climate?
Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the "average weather," or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). 
The "records" claimed for both Borroloola and Batchelor are from weather stations with less than 30 years of data!!!Unfortunately for the BOM these stations are unable to say anything about climate change as they have not measured more than one "Climate Cycle". Seriously bad science!

Missing News: An Inconvenient Deception: How Al Gore Distorts Climate Science and Energy Policy

ABC recently provided free marketing and uncritical coverage of Al Gore's latest alarmist tome. See for instance:

Dr Roy Spencer the scientist responsible for developing and interpreting the NASA satellite measurements of global temperature has released an ebook available on Amazon that provides the critical coverage ABC's unquestioning reporters missed out on. The book is titled "An Inconvenient Deception: How Al Gore Distorts Climate Science and Energy Policy". Sadly somehow we doubt it will feature on the ABC.

Al Gore's new movie An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is reviewed for its accuracy in climate science and energy policy. As was the case with Gore's first movie (An Inconvenient Truth), the movie is bursting with bad science, bad policy and some outright falsehoods. The storm events Gore addresses occur naturally, and there is little or no evidence they are being made worse from human activities: sea level is rising at the same rate it was before humans started burning fossil fuels; in Miami Beach the natural rise is magnified because buildings and streets were constructed on reclaimed swampland that has been sinking; the 9/11 memorial was not flooded by sea level rise from melting ice sheets, but a storm surge at high tide, which would have happened anyway and was not predicted by Gore in his first movie, as he claims; the Greenland ice sheet undergoes melt every summer, which was large in 2012 but then unusually weak in 2017; glaciers advance and retreat naturally, as evidenced by 1,000 to 2,000 year old tree stumps being uncovered in Alaska; rain gauge measurements reveal the conflict in Syria was not caused by reduced rainfall hurting farming there, and in fact the Middle East is greening from increasing CO2 in the atmosphere; agricultural yields in China have been rising, not falling as claimed by Gore. The renewable energy sources touted by Gore (wind and solar), while a laudable goal for our future, are currently very expensive: their federal subsidies per kilowatt-hour of energy produced are huge compared to coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. These costs are hidden from the public in increased federal and state tax rates. Gore is correct that "it is right to save humanity", but what we might need saving from the most are bad decisions that reduce prosperity and hurt the poor.

ABC's child reporters cover Pine Gap

BREAKING NEWS: ABC's 8 year old reporters find "Pine Gap plays crucial role in America's wars, leaked documents reveal"

Australia's Pine Gap base has played an important role in aiding the security of Australia and the USA since its establishment in the 1970s. It is absolutely no surprise that its capability and objectives have changed since the early 2000s in response to the war against Islamist terrorism. The information the base provides includes targeting terrorists and providing information that limits civilian causalities in battle grounds around the world. 

That ABC find this "news" is a testament to their naivety and the interests and values of their juvenile reporters and the organisations they collaborate with. 

The report arises from classified NSA documents leaked by US traitor Edward Snowden. Snowden is a fugitive from US justice and has been living in exile in Russia since June 2013 and faces US charges of espionage and theft of state property.

The documents are mundane. One states the following in relation to potential challenges with the partner:

(U) Problems/Challenges with the Partner 
(U) None

Perhaps the headline : US/Australia Pine Gap relations run smoothly: leaked documents reveal a little too surprising for the ABC?

Another outlines critical functions of satellite monitoring programs to "identify and locate threat emitters. 

Perhaps the headline: US-OZ Gap Sat coverage protect the west from terror threats a little too factual for the fakers at ABC? 

ABC's report was written in collaboration with "The Intercept" a left biased news organisation funded by EBay founder Pierre Omidyar. The intercept was born from the illegal release of NSA documents by Snowden. This important information, along with indications that Snowden remains a fugitive is missing from ABC's poor quality sensationalist report. 

Missing News: ignoring Haset Sali

The Australian today reports (subscriber access) that ABC News failed to give wider coverage of calls to ban the Burka by Haset Sali.

A former president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils and one of its founders, Mr Sali told the ABC that the Koran did not require women to cover their faces.

“I don’t often applaud Pauline Hanson — whether it’s a stunt or an initiative to highlight something that’s unnecessary baggage that has been dumped in with Islam — (but) it’s about time the myth of the burka being Islamic dress was blown out of the water,” he told the ABC.

“The sooner Muslim women get rid of this hideous garb the better.”

But that, as far as the ABC was concerned, was that. Although the corporation published online reaction to Senator Hanson’s speech from Muslim leaders and community members, it didn’t publish Mr Sali’s comments.

This is a significant news story that once again highlights ABC myopic coverage of anything critical ofIslam.

One reader's comments caught our eye. Simon (presumably from Canberra) lists items covered by ABC TV News in Canberra:

  • One story about homosexual marriage.
  • One story about climate change.
  • One story about Indigenous art, or homelessness and unemployment (both our fault), or their deep spirituality - superior to anything invented by white fellas.
  • One story about Muslims in Australia or stuck on Manus Island.
  • One story about Safe Schools and how it protects vulnerable students - it really should be how some young person in need of psychological help is denied that help because they are told they are normal.
  • A 30-second segment showing Leigh Sales promoting her interview with Tim Flannery about his new Catalyst Programme.
  • One story about how Four Corners is going to expose unfair treatment of young offenders who it turns out have caused millions of dollars of damage and are left to run free as Dad, if it is his Dad, is off shagging some other woman and Mum is at home drunk. The story will later be shown to be wrong/unbalanced/deceptive.
  • One story about trans-gender parents and how they are so loving.
  • One, or two, or three stories about how we don't like Tony Abbott, the Coalition Government, or right-wing extremists like people who go to church and disagree with abortion.
  • Two or three or four stories about Bob Brown, Andrew Barr, the Greens, or how Philip Nitzchke is helping people.
  • Four stories about Rugby Leaugue and Soccer.
  • Thirty seconds of weather.
That will do for the ABC TV News here in Canberra with Dan Borscher, with bizarre basin haircut and slurring of straight forward words.
Don't we fit in a lot in 30 minutes!

Friday, August 18, 2017

cognitive dissonance

Cognitive dissonance
  1. the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioural decisions and attitude change.


LAWRENCE KRAUSS: You’re more likely to be killed by a refrigerator, in the United States, falling on you. — ABC Q&A, 22 May, 2017

MEHDI HASAN: You are also much more likely, as an Australian in Australia, to be killed falling out of bed in the morning than by a terrorist during the day.— ABC ONLINE OPINION 10/7/2017 Australia, your misplaced fear is giving terrorists exactly what they want

JAMES GLENDAY: But the regular attacks in Europe do have a cumulative impact. There's no longer any surprise when they occur.  — ABC NEWS "ANALYSIS" 18/8/2017 Barcelona: Terrorist attacks no longer a surprise in Europe

ABC: where 2 plus 2 = 5 and white vans drive themselves.

A white van has sped down a pedestrian zone in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas, swerving from side to side as it ploughed into tourists and residents, killing 16 people and injuring 100 in what authorities are calling a terrorist attack.

  • A van mounted the street and drove into pedestrians

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Why so hot: another lesson in lost history

ABC have a thing for climate catastrophe asking the question "Why so hot?" in this article reporting on recent above average August temperatures in eastern Australia. ABC's reporters have no sense of inquiry and poor sense of history.

August 1946 was another hot August in the nation's history, with many high weather records set, comparable to the temperatures mentioned in the article.
Casino reported 90F (32.2C) 11/8/1946
Yamba 36.1C 13/8/1946
Brisbane 32.8C 14/8/1946
Lismore reported 34.8C 13/8/1946

The conditions in Sydney summed up nicely in this SMH cartoon from 13/8/1946:

The Sun had this cartoon on the 9/8/1946:

Sydney had seen very little rain for the past month (hmm sounds familiar)...
 and there were bushfires in QLD.

ABC News once again demonstrates its poor sense of history and lack of curiosity. 

Sidenote: This SMH article from a few days ago caught our eye: Sydney sweats through warm night but cool weather is on the way

It includes this claim by BOM's Blair Trewin:

As 6am readings go, Sydney's 22.1 degrees pipped a reading of 21.8 on 24 August 2009 as the city's highest on record for that time of the day, Blair Trewin, senior climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology, said.
The following table was included in The Sun newspaper 12/08/1946:
Unfortunately it seems the 6am reading was not recorded but the remainder are well above the temps recorded for 16/08/2017 (see below and link). Fair to say the BOM's grasp of our weather history is quite slim.

Temperature Sydney 2017
Temperature Sydney 1946

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

History repeating: dysfunctional RN repeats mistakes

Yesterday ABC's complaints division finally got around to publishing an upheld complaint made way back in May (wow, now that's a quick response!). The details are below:

Upheld complaints: 
The World , 16th May 2017
Summary published: 14th August 2017
A viewer complained that an interview with Max Bergmann from the Centre for American Progress was a “one-sided criticism of Donald Trump” and that the presenter failed to disclose the political affiliations of the Centre for American Progress.
Complaint Finding Status: Upheld
Upheld against 2.2 ABC Editorial Policies (11 April 2011)

Audience and Consumer Affairs response:
The ABC agreed that more information should have been provided about the Centre for American Progress. This information was relevant and important to the audience and its absence meant that viewers were not able to weigh Mr Bergmann’s observations and criticisms in their proper context. Accordingly, the broadcast was not in keeping with the ABC’s editorial requirement not to present factual content in a way that will materially mislead the audience. The complainant’s other concerns were not upheld.
Complaint finalised July 2017.

Now you'd think this may result in some ABC wide advice along the lines of: 

"When interviewing representatives from the Centre for American Progress don't forget to mention their political affiliations to provide listeners with the proper context in order to weigh the opinions and observations offered."

It seems Geraldine Doogue missed the memo, for last weekend she interviewed Max Bergmann from the Centre for American Progress, and once again listeners were given scant information about Mr Bergmann's background that would enable them to place his observations in their proper context.

ABC: the place where no one learns from history, and everybody ignores the complaints department.

UPDATE 28/8/2017:
On August 5, Saturday Extra host Geraldine Doogue introduced Mr Bergmann as “a former senior advisor, also a speechwriter for John Kerry”.

At the end of the interview, Ms Doogue referred to Mr Bergmann as “until this year, a senior advisor at the State Department under John Kerry, now a senior fellow at the Centre for American Progress, a think tank in Washington”.

In response to this complaint, Saturday Extra has updated his title on its website to specify that his time as senior advisor at the State Department was under Barack Obama's Presidency. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/saturdayextra/dysfunctional-state-department/8775560

Ms Doogue also will make reference on air on Saturday August 26 to the Centre’s links to the Democratic Party.

Radio National
Listener enquiries 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Governor Gummed up: Guam fact check

In light of recent threats from that nut job in North Korea, ABC post some info about Guam.

It makes the following claims about who is in charge:

Who rules in Guam?
Guam is run by an elected governor, currently Democrat Madeleine Bordallo.
The territory has a 15-member legislature made up of senators.

Hmmm, Madeleine Mary Zeien Bordallo is the Delegate from the United States territory of Guam to the United States House of Representatives.

The current governor is Edward Jerome "Eddie" Baza Calvo. The eighth and current Governor of the United States territory of Guam since 2011 and a member of the Republican Party.

Here's the governor's most recent address.

Basic facts...FAIL.

Updated: Took them a little while but it seems ABC have now corrected their article. Oddly they have left off the respective political parties.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Awaye with the truth

See update below
This weekend Radio National's AWAYE segment featured a tribute to Kunmanara Lester who died recently, aged 75.

The program 'We don't dream': a tribute to Kunmanara Lester opens with the following introduction:

"When the British tested a nuclear weapon, the first on the Australian Mainland at Emu Field in 1953 it permanently blinded a Yankunytjatjara boy living down wind with his family at Wallatinna. That 12 year old boy, Kunmanara Lester, went on to become a visionary and a cultural leader like few others. In the 1980s he agitated strongly for a Royal Commission into the British nuclear tests at Emu and Maralinga." 

It is clear from Royal Commission testimony that Kunmanara Lester believes his blindness was due to radioactive fall out from the so called "Black Mist" that passed over Wallatinna after the Totem 1 test at Emu Field. There is also no doubt about his important contribution to recent Australian history. However the Royal Commission agitated for by Lester paints a more complex picture about the likely cause of his blindness that would have been worth ABC's attention. The most likely cause according to the doctor who treated him in the 1960s being trachoma exacerbated by poor nutrition and measles rather than solely from exposure to fall out from the nuclear tests. This would have been useful information for ABC listeners, as the incidence of trachoma remains unacceptably high among aboriginal communities to this day, its cause is related to poor hygiene in remote communities. According to the Fred Hollows Organisation  Australia is the only developed country in the world where trachoma is endemic. 

Emu Field and Wallatinna, SA

The McClelland Royal Commission spent some time examining the fall out at Wallatinna and the cause of Lester's Blindness (see p174-194).  It determined that fall out likely did affect the Wallatina area, 173km from the test site, but found that likely levels of exposure were very low (ref P.187). 

The commission reports the following medical evidence in relation to Lester's Blindness (P.191):
6.4.79 Dr David Tonkin first saw Lester on 6 August 1965, [RC 552, p. 2]. 
In 1983, based on his own examinations of Lester, and other records which were available, Tonkin concluded that Lester had:
1. a long history of red, sore eyes since childhood (there is evidence of trachoma scarring inside the lids) 
2. blindness since the age of 14 years, following ulcers during a severe attack of measles (presumably when the sight in the right eye was lost) 
3. loss of the left eye in 1957, the eye having been blind for nine years previously. 
'The findings in the right eye, both before and during surgery, indicate a long-standing history of infection (trachoma), with dense (total) corneal scarring, iris adhesions, and cataract changes following a severe corneal ulceration which had perforated.  Although severe, such ocular manifestations are recognised complications of trachoma, and in this instance they were possibly accentuated by measles. I [RC 552, p.2] 

Oddly Point 3 suggest that Lester was blind in his left eye 5 years prior to the tests. Which seems to contradict Lester's own evidence:

6.4.76 Yami Lester, who was at Wallatinna when the Black Mist incident occurred, and who was aged about 12 at the time, attributes his blindness to the incident. Describing the mist, and how it made people ill, he said 
'When people first got sick my eyes got sore. I couldn't open my eyes. I got diarrhoea and a rash on my skin. I remember when this happened my mother asked me to stay in the shade. Because I couldn't see I was led around with a stick like a digging stick. You hold it at one end and the person walking ahead of you holds the other end and you follow along. I didn't have the stick for long, I don't reckon it was even a week. My left eye sort of came good again so I threw away the stick but my right eye was permanently blind after that. I could see with my left eye but it gave me a lot of trouble. I could not see 100% wi th my left eye.' [AB 11, pp.6-7] 
6.4.77 Lester went on to say that he lost the sight of his left eye in 1957 [AB 11, p.8]. 

The commission also looked at the potential interacting effects of trachoma and measles with low-level doses of radiation but could make no firm findings based on lack of evidence or relevant studies.

In the end the commission made the following conclusions: in regard to fall out at Wallatinna and Lester's blindness:

6.4.92 (a) The differences in the details of Aboriginal accounts of the Black Mist are to be expected after the passage of over thirty years. The accounts are sufficiently consistent in general for them to have credibility. 
(b) An oral history of the Black Mist existed for many years before the incident became known to the general public. 
(c) Meteorological, mathematical and statistical modelling indicates that a black mist passing over Wallatinna and Welbourn Hil1 could have happened. 
(d) There is no reason to disbelieve Aboriginal accounts that the Black Mist occurred and that it made some people sick. Both radiation exposure and fear can lead to vomiting. At Wallatinna, the vomiting by Aborigines may have resulted from radiation. It may have been a psychogenic reaction to a frightening experience, or it may have resulted from both of these. 
(e) The Royal Commission believes that Aboriginal people experienced radioactive fallout from Totem 1 in the form of a black mist or cloud at and near Wallatinna. This may have made some people temporarily ill. The Royal Commission does not have sufficient evidence to say whether or not it caused other illnesses or injuries. 
(f) Given the historical uncertainties and the current state of scientific knowledge, the evidence presented does not enable the Royal Commission to decide one way or the other whether the Black Mist caused or contributed to the blindness of Yami Lester. 

From the Conclusions and recommendations report:
99. Given the historical uncertainties and the current state of scientific knowledge, the evidence presented does not enable the Royal Commission to decide one way or the other whether the Black Mist caused or contributed to the blindness of Yami Lester. (6.4.92-) 

It seems the truth is a little more complicated than the picture painted by the ABC.

Reply from ABC complaints 24/8/2017. Seems they are willing to ditch the truth.

Thank you for your email regarding RN’s AWAYE! ‘We don’t dream’: a tribute to Kunmanara Lester.

In accordance with the ABC's complaints handling procedures, your correspondence has been referred to Audience and Consumer Affairs, a unit separate to and independent of the content making areas of the ABC. Our role is to review and, where appropriate, investigate complaints alleging that ABC content has breached the ABC's editorial standards. The ABC's editorial standards can be found here: http://about.abc.net.au/reports-publications/code-of-practice/.

Audience and Consumer Affairs have reviewed the piece and assessed the contents against the ABC’s editorial standards for accuracy which states, relevantly, in part 2.2: Do not present factual content in a way that will materially mislead the audience. In some cases, this may require appropriate labels or other explanatory information.

The segment was designed to be an obituary for Mr Lester and not a news article considering the possible causes of his blindness or, as you have suggested, an investigation about eye health in Aboriginal communities.

The ABC has covered many aspects of Emu Fields and Maralinga over the years including extensive coverage of the McClelland Royal Commission.

The McClelland Royal Commission, while noting the various complexities surround a determination on the cause of Mr Lester’s blindness, did not make a determination on whether or not the Black Mist caused or contributed to Mr Lester’s blindness because of “historical uncertainties and the current state of scientific knowledge.”

We would further note, that while the report does quote Dr David Tonkin stating, based on his examination of Mr Lester, that he believed that trachoma and measles played a part in Mr Lester losing his eyesight, the report also stated that Dr Tonkin “has no expert knowledge of radiation. Tonkin’s views on Lester’s blindness assumed a direct radiation injury. He [Tonkin] did not profess to have made a study of the potential interacting or synergistic factors to which Pochin later addressed himself.”

Throughout his life, and as noted in the AWAYE! piece, Mr Lester maintained that the Black Mist was responsible for his blindness. And his experience with the Black Mist and the nuclear test formed a basis for his life-long activism.

Audience and Consumer Affairs are satisfied that in an obituary style piece it was appropriate to describe Mr Lester in similar terms to how he described himself. Furthermore, Audience and Consumer Affairs are satisfied that listeners would not be materially misled as to the findings of the McClelland Royal Commission or Mr Lester’s life.

Nevertheless, your comments have been noted by our unit and ABC Radio.

Should you be dissatisfied with this response, you may be able to pursue your complaint with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (www.acma.gov.au).

Thank you for contacting the ABC.

Yours sincerely,

Reena Rihan
Audience and Consumer Affairs

Friday, August 4, 2017

Missing News: One Planet enough

ABCs catastrophists at it again promoting this piece of eco-activism as news...

Earth Overshoot Day: We used a year's worth of resources in seven months

It would have been worth asking for a counter opinion. Bjorn Lomborg provides this common sense reply:

One Planet Is Enough

For more than a decade, the World Wildlife Fund and other conservation organizations have performed complicated calculations to determine our total “ecological footprint” on the planet. In their narrative, population growth and higher standards of living mean that we are now using 1.7 planets and are depleting resources so quickly that by 2030, we would need two planets to sustain us. If everyone were to suddenly rise to American living standards, we would need almost five planets. The message is unequivocal – WWF tells us we face a looming “ecological credit crunch”, risking “a large-scale ecosystem collapse.”

But this scare is almost completely fallacious. The ecological footprint tries to assess all our usage of area and compare it with how much is available. At heart, this is a useful exercise, and like any measure that tries to aggregate many different aspects of human behavior, it tends to simplify its inputs.

Read the rest at the link.

Fact check: ABC score 25% on weather report

ABC's gun weather reporters and the BOM try and explain why Townsville is so dry.

Why is Townsville so dry? BOM explains its the topography
By Jenny Woodward and Allyson Horn

The report includes the following table:

It seems, as happens all too often, ABC has no sense of history. The reported figures come from currently open BOM stations. Taking a mere moment to look a little deeper through the available weather data changes things a little. Here's an updated table reflecting the full range of available data. This shows ABC score a palty 25% on the rainfall facts.

It is sad that ABC's reporters lack the curiosity to do their work properly. Sadder still is that these errors are paid for by the rest of us.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Wasting time and resources

ABC News think the following story is worth your taxes!

Inconvenient facts about NT's Hot July

ABC's ineffectual reporters once again fail to ask any questions in regurgitating a BOM report on a hot July in the top end.
ABC's report identified the following key points:

Key points:
  1. Some places saw temperatures between 3C and 4.5C above long-term average
  2. In Darwin the overnight low only dropped below 20C six times
  3. BOM says "hard to say if this is new normal"
Let's look at these one by one.
1. Some places saw temperatures between 3C and 4.5C above long-term average
ABC failed to question the BOM about the how the long term averages are currently determined. The changes quoted by BOM are based on the ACORN data. This is a manufactured dataset based on an undisclosed homogenisation algorithm with arbitrary adjustments (see below). For the NT it is derived from a handful of stations. The NT covers 1.421 million km²; over such a large area how useful is an average based on just a handful of homogenised stations? 

2. In Darwin the overnight low only dropped below 20C six times
So what! Based on the actual measurements from the Old Darwin Post Office (14016) and Airport (14015) this is not out of the ordinary and has been surpassed on quite a few occasions. It might have been worth the BOM pointing out that in 1915 NO (yes zero) nights dropped below 20C, and that there have been warmer overnight averages in Darwin the past (see tables below). ABC's reporter may have asked on how many occasions this had occurred previously and what was the record?

# nights below 20C-Selected months Darwin Post Office (BOM 14016) (More if you look).

3. BOM says "hard to say if this is new normal"
As usual ABC (and BOM) omit any context or history in claims involving climate change. The graphs below show actual mean maximum and minimum temperatures for Darwin Post Office (BOM 14016) and Darwin Airport (14015) for July from the start of records in 1869. For the Post Office observations were collected in a Stevenson Screen from at least 1890. For the Darwin area this shows a cyclic pattern of temperature variation in both Min and Max means. Interestingly, based on the un-adjusted data there is little change in the long term means. Mean temperatures provide little information about weather experienced on a day by day basis. As usual ABC (and BOM's) reporting is superficial, omits key information and fails to inform.

Jennifer Marohasy has an informative post on homogenisation of Darwin's temperature record. See HERE.

As an indication of the arbitrary nature of BOM's homogenisation process the list below shows recorded and ACORN minimum temperatures, and the difference for Darwin Post Office (14016) for July 1915. The range of adjustments over the period lack any credibility.

1st 21.7 21.1 0.6
2nd 21.2 20.1 1.1
3rd 21.7 21.1 0.6
4th 21.8 21.2 0.6
5th 21.7 21.1 0.6
6th 21.8 21.2 0.6
7th 22.3 21.7 0.6
8th 23.1 22.3 0.8
9th 22.3 21.7 0.6
10th 21.4 20.5 0.9
11th 20.1 19.2 0.9
12th 21.4 20.5 0.9
13th 22.5 21.9 0.6
14th 23.3 22.5 0.8
15th 23.3 22.5 0.8
16th 23.8 23 0.8
17th 23.1 22.3 0.8
18th 21.7 21.1 0.6
19th 22.8 22.1 0.7
20th 23.2 22.4 0.8
21st 22.3 21.7 0.6
22nd 23.1 22.3 0.8
23rd 21.8 21.2 0.6
24th 21.1 20 1.1
25th 21.4 20.5 0.9
26th 21.8 21.2 0.6
27th 22.6 21.9 0.7
28th 23.1 22.3 0.8
29th 21.9 21.2 0.7
30th 22.2 21.6 0.6
31st 22.5 21.9 0.6