Powerhouse Museum: "No more prawns on the barbie"

I saved the best until last. Prawns on a barbecue (“barbie” as it is colloquially known, as Aussies insist on abbreviating everything and suffixing “-ie”, “blowie”, “mozzie” etc) are a cliché and an institution at the same time. So naturally, it is an excellent target for the climate killjoys who try to blackmail us with scares and threats. None is more blatant than this one, seen in the Powerhouse Museum’s climate change exhibit (see yesterday’s post for more). The text reads:

“One third of the carbon dioxide we release dissolves in the ocean and turns into carbonic acid. Today the oceans are about 30% more acidic than they were in preindustrial times. High acid levels make it very hard for sea creatures to build calcium carbonate shells and skeletons. These include corals, clams, prawns and plankton that form the base of the ocean food web. Without their shells they will simply disappear. Animals that normally eat them will be affected too.”

Propaganda masquerading as science (click to enlarge)

The oceans have in fact become marginally less alkaline, since today the pH is a few tenths less than it was pre-industrially. The 30% figure is derived from the increase in H+ ions – but since pH is a logarithmic measure of hydrogen ion concentration, absolute percentages sound large (which the PH has exploited for dramatic effect) but are really fairly small (an increase of just 1 full unit of pH would be a 1000% (10x) increase in concentration of H+ ions). The ocean pH is around 8.07, down from about 8.17 in pre-industrial times. Still well short of even neutrality (pH 7), let alone acidic.

And again, such dire prophecies, whilst great for scaring children, ignore nature’s remarkable capacity for adaptation and survival. We have had higher CO2 levels present in the atmosphere before, yet shellfish remain in the oceans… When we fail to look at geological timescales, we fall into the trap of thinking that everything we see today is “unprecedented”.


  1. Neglecting to mention that shellfish and corals actually evolved and thrived during times of much more CO2 concentration than we have now, is their greatest folly.

    With this kind of misrepresentation, it is little wonder students have become disillusioned with the teaching of science in this country, and are opting for other studies.

  2. Ray Anderson via Facebook says:

    I can’t believe it. ;). they actually fudged the numbers.. that is unprecedented.. or just dented or maybe demented.

  3. Ocean acidification is another one of those eco-tard prophecies, along the lines of ozone holes and acid rain from the 1980-90’s.

    Sure, the conept is real enough, but the consequences were always over exaggerated. The impending doom of the destruction of the European forests never eventuated and even with a huge hole still existing in the ozone layer, we still survived.

    Despite man’s best efforts in trying the scare its own population senseless, we’re still thriving as a species.

  4. Glen Balmer via Facebook says:

    They didn’t fudge the numbers, they know that the socialist education department and socialist universities will produce such dumbed-down people that these numbers won’t be questioned or reverse-engineered.

  5. Lew Skannen says:

    That 30% is a useful statistic for scaring the peasants. I think it is up there with the 97% of scientists meme. These throwaway stats have a habit of sticking and so I am glad that it is being challenged at every turn.
    Obviously saying that it was “8.07, down from about 8.17” doesn’t have the same alarmist feel to it.
    Next they will be telling us how many individual anions we have added to the oceans.

    • agw nonsense says:

      Don’t forget the big one:- MAN MADE CO2 is only 5% 0f NATURAL CO2 EMISSIONS and the optimum Co2 level is around 1500ppm and plants are dying at 150ppm,390ppm is a bit on the low side it would seem, also that beer your drinking has 3.5 x its volume of dissolved Co2 in it.a deadly poison pollutant I don’t think so LIES, DAMNED LIES and ALARMISTS

  6. Scum bags, all of them

  7. Can I use their maths in my everyday life? I turn over a couch cushion and find a 5 cent coin. I turn over a second cushion and find another 5 cents. I’m 100% richer than I was 3 seconds ago! Time to quit my job and move to Toorak.

  8. The knowledge that the orgainsation IPCC and the UK organisation that determined “the earth is warming and the CO2 level is increasing, and we will all die if we donlt put a stop to it” is responswible for telling us lies and deliberately fudging the figures they utilised, is re-confirmed over and over again.
    But we still seem to have so much of our media willing to continue this idiocy – are they being personally aid off for doing it ?

  9. Staggeringly stupid exhibit. My location is 19° S, 100m or so from the Coral Sea. I have been monitoring co2 concentrations when the airflow is off the ocean. “Normal” outdoor co2 level here is usually above 420ppm, sometimes spikes to around 560 when the wind is on-shore and it has been a hot day. The sea is shallow for some way out so it has the capacity to warm and therefore out-gas. The only time I have had a similar effect with the wind coming off the landward side was when there was a few sq. km of bushfire burning at the same time. The barbie doesn’t produce the same effect. I’ve tried it. The whole lot (snags, oil, kindling) would have to catch fire right next to the meter before there is anything like the same effect.

  10. Old Sailor Man says:

    Simple answer. Defund the PHM. Or simply threaten to. What %age of its funds come from the NSW Govt?……… Premier O’Farrell , start using that huge majority, and stop poncing around as if you need the votes of the creatures inhabiting mer’iqville.You’ll never get’em anyway.

  11. Agree Glen B. Just take note of what they watch on tv!

  12. Peter Walsh says:

    Here is something I came across in recent months and saved for using as a comment when the occasion arose.

    Now is that time:
    Evidence? Who needs evidence?

    Warmists certainly don’t. Prophecy is their stock in trade. They’re not even good at theory, let alone evidence. One of their more absurd prophecies is that global warming will lead to greater ocean acidity which will dissolve the shells of various marine animals. This is based on the fact that CO2 in water forms carbonic acid. What they fail to mention, however, is that warming REDUCES the ability of water to absorb CO2 — so warming should in fact make the ocean more alkaline.

    Theory is all very well, however. What actually happens in the ocean? Is greater acidity IN FACT fatal for animals living in shells?

    Some Russian researchers found out. They were obviously oblivious to global warming. They were in fact looking at concentrations of various elements in marine organisms located in proximity to undersea thermal vents (hydrothermal fields). Along the way, however, they did give brief descriptions of the animals they were studying. Below are two such:
    The shells of the vesicomyid clam Archivesica gigas are an important target for Ba, Mn, and to a lesser extent of Fe (Figure 3a), however for other metals, they play only a small role. Taking into account the large mass of the shell relative to the soft tissue of clams (in which the former may reach one order of magnitude higher that the latter), we can suggest that shells, which have accumulated trace metals during biomineralization and adsorption, might serve as a great reservoir for many metals. The second abundant bivalve mollusk Leda (Nuculana grasslei) lives on substratum saturated with hydrocarbons (Allen, 1993). Unlike similar species, this animal has an extremely thick periostratum (an exterior part of the shell) that is considered to be an adaptation to functioning in an acidic environment enriched in sulfides. Its nutritional source has not yet been studied completely, but some researchers regard Leda as a symbiotrophic organism containing bacteria in its gills that can combine symbiotrophy with filter-feeding.

    So a clam in a very acidic environment was unusually large and had a very THICK shell. The stupid thing obviously can’t read what learned Warmists say! Instead of dying, it prospered!

    And another mollusk (Leda) also had a very thick shell. Doesn’t it know that its shell is supposed to have dissolved away?

    What the Warmists overlook is that shell formation is an active process. The shell is not something that just sits there waiting to be eaten away. So even high levels of acidity don’t faze the marine animal at all.

  13. hummm 30%, really? thats a remarkable fudge factor, i wish i could do that with my overtime claims, id be able to buy toorak…all of it!

  14. Professor of Perth says:

    Actually, ocean pH fluctuates regularly by more than 0.5 as can be seen on any ocean probe, or by reading the literature. It also varies around the globe. Finally, as any chemist knows, to report to two decimal places needs a measurement to three decimal places, which until recently, was difficult – especially since we are measuring conductivity, not pH directly. Like global “average” temperatures, the variable pH is estimated from conductivity then “averaged” to come up with a nonsense – the one I like to share with students (and it seldom raises a laugh) is that taking Australia as a whole, half of all Australians are below average intelligence.

  15. The Cause of Global Warming, Global Cooling & Pole Shifts – See Maurice Cotterell’s very detailed article with several diagrams, on pages 55 to 60 of the Jan-Feb 2012 New Dawn Magazine.

    I haven’t read it all yet, but looks very interesting.

    For example:
    “It is hard to imagine why some scientists tried to explain the cause of global warming in isolation of a mechanizm that explains-away global cooling, and yet that is, incredulously, what happened over the closing years of the twentieth century.”

    Maurice’s theory involves the Earth’s gravity and the genereation oof the Earth’s magnetic field.


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