Bob Carter comments on Sunday Age article

Climate sense

Prof Bob Carter has commented on the Sunday Age’s article on ACM’s question. It will be preserved here in case it gets inadvertently posted down the memory hole:

Editorial presumption of the danger of human-caused global warming (which is a speculative hypothesis) as opposed to natural climate change (which is a certainty, and dangerous) rests upon a number of myths. Prime amongst these is that the IPCC is a scientific advisory body. Wrong. As a branch of the UN, the IPCC renders political advice, albeit dressed up with plausible sounding but mostly alarmist-slanted science.

A second myth is that the majority of scientists assert that dangerous human warming will occur (it hasn’t yet). Wrong again. For since 1995 tens of thousands of qualified scientists have signed statements similar to the following, current on the website of the International Climate Science Coalition:

“We, the undersigned, having assessed the relevant scientific evidence, do not find convincing support for the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide are causing, or will in the foreseeable future cause, dangerous global warming”.

Myth number three is that present day temperature is unusually warm compared with past climate. Wrong again, as demonstrated by both historic and deep time records.

And myth number four is that dangerous global warming will be caused by human emissions. In actuality, global temperature has cooled slightly over the last 10 years in the face of a 5 per cent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Need I go on?

Yes, but only to say that the needed and cost-effective policy to deal with climate change hazard, of whatever origin, is to prepare for and adapt to dangerous events as and when they happen.

 Bob Carter | Townsville – September 11, 2011, 11:17AM

Thanks for your contribution, Bob.

P.S. I note that comments were closed for this article sometime around 3pm AEST (barely 24 hours after the piece was published). Seems a tad premature… read the comments to see if you can spot a possible reason…


  1. “The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil men” – Plato


    Interesting how we have laws in relation to false advertising.
    It appears they are not applicable to this labor government.

  3. and in australia apathy is rife. cant talk/think about anything of any significance while some form of football is on tv. we are a nation asleep at the wheel…

  4. Simon, you got a link to where it was published?

  5. Dominic Paul via Facebook says:

    Canada is much the same. Just replace football with hockey.

  6. at least in some parts of canada your pollies appear to be repealing rediculous “carbon” policy…

  7. The Age is very defensive about its comments policy; it very quickly shuts down comments on any issue on which it usually gets an overwhelming reaction against the Fairfax line. This is becoming routine on climate issues, where a clear majority of readers regard Fairfax’s position as laughable and lampoon what I regard as its village idiocy. An even more glaring exposure of The Age’s bias is the sheer number of contentious issues where it will allow no commentary at all because it knows it will receive a torrent of anti-Fairfax abuse. I yearn for days not long past when The Age was simply a liberal advocate, not its current caricature of a leftwing ideological enforcer.

  8. Professor Bob Carter is correct when he says, “… prepare for and adapt to dangerous events as and when they happen.”

    This is what the current hand-wringing is all about … a change of less than 0.4 degrees Celsius, since 1979.

    Now take that over 2000 years and it just becomes ridiculous, particularly when you consider the Earth’s temperatures are experiencing a cooling phase at present.

  9. “Prime amongst these is that the IPCC is a scientific advisory body. Wrong. As a branch of the UN, the IPCC renders political advice, albeit dressed up with plausible sounding but mostly alarmist-slanted science.”

    Yes, these would be technocrats…

  10. The Age has aged so dreadfully that it seems ages since it was a place to go for many contrasting views. What a pity but, then again, the power of the press has always been to impress those that keep it alive. It seems that the Age’s parents have become so addicted to the looney-left’s gravy train that they fear that anything contrary to their position will position what they write to the right. And, is it any wonder that the ‘fare-facts’ papers are in dire straights, financially.

  11. Good onya Bob keep up the good work.CLIMATE CHANGE IS NATURAL and CO2 IS LIFE.

  12. Ah! poor Ol Bob, still waxing lyrical about the lack of warming.

    If he had any credibility on things AGW/CC then surely he could provide some evidence. Cherry picking the temperature data is a not a mechanism for reality, nor evidence. He tried to prove ENSO caused it all a couple of years ago (in the only AGW/CC paper he’s ever co-authored) and that was an abject failure. His reliance on the results of the Oregon petition (though not specifically mentioned) is also a fallacy. Doesn’t anybody remember that this petition was based on fraudulent research papers supposedly provided under the construct of the US National Academy of Sciences.

    You have nothing credible to offer this debate BC. Unless of course you revert to the scientific evidence. Put up some science instead of all this tawdy and innane commentary, so enamoured by your colleagues at the Galileo Movement.

    • Another bunch of smears, yawn… explain the cherry picking. Look at the satellite data. Even if the planet is warming, demonstrate the link to man-made CO2. Let’s see your evidence.

    • Silly Filly does sound so much like Jooliah!
      Nothing more than yet another arrogant sef-righteous Labor Green Neo-marxist Troll looking forward to taxpayer funded payouts to her and similar wastes of carbon…………

  13. Ever heard of the greenhouse effect, ever hear of greenhouse gases, ever heard of the carbon cycle. BC can’t explain the current warming so he selectively picks data from the short term trend and extrapolates to a long term trend

    see here how he does it (link)

    He said thus in his Quadrant article:
    Agreed Facts

    Let us start with the three key facts on which nearly all scientists agree:

    1.A gentle warming of up to about 0.5 deg. C occurred between 1979 and 1998; but since 1998 global temperature has now been static or cooling gently for ten years, despite continuing increases in CO2 emissions

    2.The late 20th century warming of half a degree, and the current pause or cooling, fall well within the bounds of previous natural temperature change; they are therefore not necessarily alarming, nor necessarily of human causation.

    3.Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, i.e., putting extra into the atmosphere will cause some warming.

    A few good lines but largely irrelevant to any cogent argument. At least proposition three I can agree with, but then low climate sensitivity as postulated by Monckton is mathematical ineptitude. BC has done this before with statistics on warming from x to y is the same as warming from z to a and he’ll probably do it again, but it is still statistically invalid and scientifically inept. QED

    • Yes, of course we have all heard of those things – don’t insult our intelligence. BC is looking at the last ten years – that is clearly not significant from a climate perspective, but his point, which you have missed, is that the hypothesis states that rising CO2 emissions are causing dangerous warming – that is clearly false. BC explained the issue to me in an email, when I raised the same point with him:

      “Given that the mixing time of the atmosphere is ~1 yr, and that physical radiative effects are instantaneous, a 10 year period is plenty of time to test that hypothesis. And the data that I cited invalidate it.

      Note that that DOESN’T mean that humans have no effect on global temperature, because we know they do. What is indicated is that that effect is small, and for the time being lost in the noise of natural variation of the climate system.”

      Look at the satellite data here – the surface HadCRUT data is contaminated with UHI and other “fudge factors”. Further, there are no explanations from the alarmists’ models as to the current period of stasis or slowed warming.

      Similarly, your graph is similarly not significant when you look back further. You are cherry picking in exactly the same was as you accuse Carter of doing. All of these periods even back to the beginning of the instrumental record are essentially “weather”. The magnitude and rate of the late 20th Century warming is neither unusual nor alarming when looking at a century timescale.

      Please explain why Carter’s three points are “largely irrelevant”.

      And why bring up Monckton? I am as little of a fan as you are. And it certainly isn’t QED, I’m afraid.

      • Simon,
        What you’re on about: you quoted Roy Spencer’s UAH data back to me and that was exactly what I utilised to produce the original graph. (albeit RS changed the anomaly calculation in Dec 2010, but that has no impact on the trends)

        “hypothesis states that rising CO2 emissions are causing dangerous warming” and “Given that the mixing time of the atmosphere is ~1 yr, and that physical radiative effects are instantaneous, a 10 year period is plenty of time to test that hypothesis. And the data that I cited invalidate it.”

        Now this is papable rubbish. Here is a graph of GISSTEMP (and we know from WUWT that the anomaly calculations are consistent) looking back in time

        If BC’s analysis had any consistency or validity then surely the temperature trend should not indicate this long term warming, unless of course there is a non-natural cause. The natural cyles should equate to ZERO warming long term. They do not, even given that we are currently in a solar minimum which should act to reduce temperatures.

        Also we have each decade since the satellite record hotter than the previous. Unless BC can come up with a valid natural explanation for this continued warming then his hypothesis has failed.

        By the way the “dangerous”‘ or “catastrophic” warming meme is a construct of the denialist lobby first promulgated by Fred Seitz in the Oregon petition. Please don’t insult my intelligence with such inanity.

        • HadCRUT is surface temps (link), UAH is satellite temps – they are not the same, and it was not the data set you used (check your original link). The trends are similar, however, so it is a moot point.

          Just looking for another dataset that shows more warming and then having found one quoting GISStemp at me isn’t an argument either – that’s clearly moving goalposts. Just remember Hansen is in charge of that dataset – I don’t trust it for one second – fudged and adjusted beyond all recognition, and contaminated by significant UHI effects. And the hypothesis that BC states, that increasing CO2 will cause “dangerous global warming”, is clearly refuted in the 10 year period. Read Carters second sentence in the quote I gave: “human effect is lost in the natural variation”.

          Your assumption in your fourth paragraph that only a non-natural cause can produce a long term warming (and that natural changes should average out to zero) is nonsense. It assumes that there are no natural drivers for long term underlying temperature change. If you understood about climate history, you would know that on multi-century timescales the planet has warmed and cooled from Roman Warm through Dark Ages cold to Medieval Warm and on to Little Ice Age and now, the present warming. Those warnings and coolings have always been underlying the chaotic variations that happen on multi-decadal or annual timescales.

          Finally you claim changes in TSI as a cause, which according to the IPCC has so little effect on the climate that it can be virtually disregarded – except when it’s needed to explain an inexplicable cooling, that is. Inexplicable, because the AGW team’s models say that temps should be rising, and they’re not, or at least far more slowly than they “should” be. Quote Kevin Trenberth, it’s a “travesty” LOL.

          P.S. Your use of the term “denialist lobby” exposes your obvious agenda – thanks for clearing that up.

        • Simon,

          Sorry for the mistake, I had changed the data from UAH satellite data to HADCRUT because the UAH data does not concur with BC’s analysis. (so obviously he does not have the reservations on the instrumental record. Even Anthony Watts and Benny Peiser concur)
          P.S. Your use of the term “denialist lobby” exposes your obvious agenda – thanks for clearing that up.

          P.S. Your use of the term “alarmists’ models” expouses your obvious agenda – thanks for clearing that up.

          I really don’t want to go there, but fair’s fair.

          So far you and BC have offered some largely unknown natural variation to support your points, and completely ignoring the long term trends. Please clarify what natural climate forcing have caused the long term rise in temperature. I welcome any suggestions.

        • Well let’s keep the ad homs out of it shall we? On your other points you are, I’m afraid, making very little sense.

          – What do you mean the “UAH data does not concur with BC’s analysis”?
          – What do you mean about BC not having reservations about instrumental record? Anthony Watts has a major problem with surface based records. He spent years cataloguing how bad the thermometer siting in the continental US was… Please explain.

          As for long-term natural variation of the climate, I suggest you go and read a text book. I am not here to teach you climatology – do some research.

        • I would suggest sillyfilly do some research on cosmic ray forcings and the reaction of the sun if he/she needs to clarify what natural climate forcings have caused the so called ‘long term rise’ in temperature.

      • Hang on, Monckton’s ok.

  14. A well (Orwell) written piece if misinformation.
    Right off, they present your question as questioning the amount of warming, not the science.
    Then they compare themselves to Faraday and Newton. Pathetic!
    Their editorial integrity argument makes your case.
    They must have spent more time on your question than all the others together.

  15. Gross uncertainties in climate science – uncertainties in data, models, physics (especially clouds and aerosols)

    AGW shenanigans

    Trust IPCC?“IAC”

    Read the IAC Review of IPCC – political interference, lack of transparency, bias, vague statements not supported by evidence, failure to respond to critical review comments, poor handling of uncertainty, references to material which has not been critically evaluated or peer-reviewed, total lack of any policy to preclude conflict of interest.
    How can anyone trust the product of such an incredibly flawed process?
    If you want to see olympic gold medal cherry-picking have a look at the IPCC’s AR4.

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