Tim Flannery is little short of a national joke. Appointed by the Labor government as “Climate Commissioner” (whatever that is) on a juicy $180k salary for a 3 day week, his string of failed predictions would make even the most hopeless astrologers blush.
He has spread relentless alarmism about climate change, including rising sea levels (despite owning a waterfront property), and now had embarrassed himself yet further by claiming that even if it rained again, it wouldn’t fill the dams, as I sit here in Sydney with an east coast low sitting just offshore dumping widespread rain over the region (nearly 50mm in the last 12 hours at my station), Warragamba spills for the first time in 14 years, and dams across the eastern states are full.
Professor Stewart Franks, from Newcastle University, writing in The Australian, twists the knife:
TIM Flannery, Australia’s Chief Climate Commissioner, once declared that “even the rain that falls will not fill up the dams”.
This was back in 2007 at the height of the protracted drought that afflicted eastern Australia. Now, for the second year in a row, we see the effects of El Nino’s twin sister — La Nina — bringing extreme rainfall across great swaths of Australia. This is hardly the climate change future envisaged by Flannery.
Flannery has recently been the target of growing criticism for his wildly speculative claims, in particular from Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones.
Perhaps of even greater significance, Flannery is being publicly criticised by prominent meteorologists. Indeed, The Weather Channel’s Dick Whitaker recently stated: “People ideally suited to (weather forecasting) are meteorologists. From what I can see on Tim Flannery, meteorology wasn’t one of his specialties.”
In response to this growing criticism, Flannery has declared that the recent “big wet” cannot be taken as evidence that climate change is not happening — it is merely an interlude before we continue with the drying of the continent.
In a statement of extreme chutzpah, he also has declared that interpreting the recent wet is merely confusing weather with climate.
But as Franks explains, Flannery himself is confusing climate variability with climate change:
Despite our uncertainty about the PDO-IPO, one thing should be abundantly clear: to look at simple trends across a relatively short 40-year period is meaningless. If one looks at the trends in eastern Australian climate from 1950 to the present, one can see a marked, statistically significant decline in rainfall and flood risk.
However, if one looks at a similar length of records from, say, 1925 to 1975, we see a statistically significant trend, but in the opposite direction: upward. If Flannery were hawking his climate change message back in 1975, he would probably be claiming that the carbon climate future would be one of permanent flood.
Relatively short trends are clearly irrelevant given the multidecadal variability of eastern Australian climate driven by El Nino-La Nina Southern Oscillation and the PDO-IPO.
Flannery in his opinion piece has also stated: “Some commentators jump on any cold spell or rainy period to claim climate change is not happening. This cherry-picking is irresponsible and misleading.”
It is also true that some commentators jumped on the recent drought to claim climate change was happening. This cherry-picking is indeed irresponsible and entirely misleading.
Read it here.