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How a climate change denier works

When Malcolm Turnbull told his audience at the bar association dinner that “the Liberal Party and the Coalition is not capable of dealing with climate change” because of a group in the Coalition who believe that it is “a fraud”, he was speaking of a group whose most vocal spokesman is the federal member for Hughes, Craig Kelly.

Kelly is engaged in an intense campaign of deliberate misinformation about climate change.  Amongst articles from very dubious sources and lots more about weather at specific locations (as opposed to climate), he occasionally links to genuine research from credible organisations.

Invariably, when he does so, he will cherry pick one piece of data, or a sentence or two, and completely ignore the context, other results, and the actual conclusions from the research.

For example….

Craig declares in Trump-like capitals, ANOTHER PROPHECY BITES THE DUST : MORE SNOW, NOT LESS, and links to the following graph of Winter Northern Hemisphere Snow Extent from Rutgers University Global Snow Lab, a well-respected source.

Railing against a comment made 18 years ago that snow might become rarer, Craig goes on an over-the-top rant.

This prophecy was peddled in the year 2000 to radicalise people into the climate cult, by making people guilty that unless we surrendered our sovereignty to UN bureaucrats and bought more solar panels from China, that we’d be denying future generations of children the fun of playing in the snow.  But 18 years on, the prophecy has not only failed – but again it’s been the exact opposite; the world is getting more snow not less.

Despite the comments by one person in a newspaper article from 2000, the prevailing scientific thought at the time was “we don’t necessarily expect winter snow fall or snow cover to decline in the short-term in a warming world. What we do expect is for this snow cover to melt earlier as spring arrives sooner, and at higher temperatures.”

Going forward, in mid winter, climate change means that snowfalls will increase because the atmosphere can hold 4% more moisture for every 1°F increase in temperature. So as long as it does not warm above freezing, the result is a greater dump of snow.  Observations of snow cover for the northern hemisphere indeed show slight increases in mid-winter (December-February) but huge losses in the spring

Going back to Kelly’s source to check on Spring snowfall cover verifies that this has indeed been the case.

Craig has also taken to new research about coral reef islands as he tells us “RISING SEAS MAY BUILD, RATHER THAN DESTROY, CORAL REEF ISLANDS.  Yet again the scientific evidence is the exact opposite of the alarmist climate Prophecies …….”, once again selectively quoting credible research before asking us to “Please share widely to help prevent young minds from being radicalised by green extremists.”

The research does show that the majority of islands aren’t shrinking but Kelly ignores the bits of the report that say “As these islands are mostly made from coral, a healthy coral reef is vital to provide the materials for island building.  However, this could be problematic as corals face a range of threats under climate change, including increasing sea surface temperatures and ocean acidity,” and more significantly, “It is also important to note that the large wave events required for reef island building may devastate island infrastructure, potentially compromising the habitability of reef islands in their current form.”

Aside from not understanding the difference between weather and climate, the stuff Kelly posts at times is doctored.

In the blurb before posting it, Kelly said “See :  https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/scec/records” presumably to try to lend some credibility to his post.  Except it came from a weather channel…in 2016.  So much for records “between 2000-2018”.  A more pertinent question might be to ask how many places have experienced record temperatures in the last five years.

Bizarrely, yesterday Kelly linked to a book that was published in 2006 called “THE IMPROVING STATE OF THE WORLD : WHY WE’RE LIVING LONGER, HEALTHIER, MORE COMFORTABLE LIVES ON A CLEANER PLANET.”

He then reproduced the “Foreword by Freeman Dyson* to the above titled book by Idur Goklany”, the asterix explaining that Dyson is a retired theoretical physicist – see, a scientist.

This book is 12 years old. Eight of the ten hottest years on record have happened since then. And the author is an electrical engineer, not a climate scientist.  As for Dyson, in his own words, “I know a lot about nuclear weapons and nothing about climate change. I like to express heretical opinions,” he said, with an impish gleam in his eye.

Previously I have said I do not know if Kelly is dumb or corrupt.  After observing his deliberate manipulation of information, the word ‘or’ is no longer applicable.

22 comments

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  1. Andreas

    And we taxpayers maintain some evil clown like this at lavish expense… What is wrong with the electors of Hughes to re-elect this charlatan?

  2. DIANE Larsrn

    Busy people unfortunately don’t take time to research statements made by federal members if we paid the same attention to most male members commonly referred to as “dicks” as this idiot waving his lack of intelligence around we would be a lot better off

  3. Mic Tet

    The man’s a buffoon, unfortunately he’s a buffoon with a modicum of influence and power. Organisations like The Climate Council, 350.ORG and Get Up need to target these denialist clowns by publicly taking them down a few pegs and swamping their electorates with facts. Worked well with Wentworth so no reason it wont work in others.
    The fact he linked to a book that says we are living on a cleaner planet should set most peoples alarm bells ringing.
    In the approx. 5 minutes time it ‘s taken to type this, according to ‘Poodwaddle’, about 300,000 lbs of garbage has been dumped in the ocean, and about 900,000 metric ton of co2 has been produced.
    I can get this info with a simple google search.
    I’d like to know the cereal box he’s getting his from.
    We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet. Stephen Hawking

  4. Colin Jones

    The question is, as always, is he stupid, or a liar?
    Has he been bought by the Fossil fuel lobby, is he as stupid as he looks, or is he attempting to wedge the opposition?

  5. Keith

    What Kelly is indicating is that he knows more than climate scientists who have obtained a PhD over many years.
    There are very few skeptical scientists, the people who deny anthropogenic climate change can only state that what ever, is wrong without producing real data.

    How trustworthy are Kelly’s views on other matters, when he can’t get science right.

  6. GL

    Craig is very similar to coal mining, he will, along with his cohorts, be phased out.

  7. Matters Not

    RE;

    we taxpayers maintain some evil clown

    Do we? Quite certain he’s never billed me and if he did I wouldn’t pay because I have no legal obligation to fund (maintain) Kelly’s salary and other expenses. But I am sure that Kelly knows that so he bills the Government which has the legal obligation to pay. And does.

    Perhaps Craig Kelly knows more than some when it comes to understanding how the system works? Then again – it’s not rocket science.

  8. Keith

    Matters Not

    Kelly might know how the system works.
    He knows bugger all about climate science.

  9. guest

    Matters Not,

    Where does the Government get the money to pay Kelly?

    It will need plenty of money to pay the cost of cooking the planet. Perhaps in the end it is the ordinary citizen who pays.

  10. Glenn Barry

    Craig Kelly is as delusional as he is dishonest as he is disingenuous as he is despicable – his unmitigated coal advocacy is testament to that.
    His most corrupt behaviour is his incessant lobbying for an industry without having declared his status.

    I absolutely loathe the man, he is an absolute mug

  11. Josephus

    Could scientists please visit rural towns to speak, armed with the evidence? Ensure interviews in local papers, speak on local radio, on TV. Crowd fund?Or/and coin collections to help pay for their petrol, which adds to the problem however… why do people vote for these fools? Clowns are just that but these people have power. Blame the schools? The undereducated parents? Denialism is often a lazy device used to do nothing and be selfish.

  12. Matters Not

    guest re:

    Where does the Government get the money to pay Kelly

    A good question. If you believe the MMT adherents, the government simply creates the required monies (as clearly it has the power to do) but usually after it has ‘destroyed’ monies paid via taxation and the like. Government creates and destroys money – all the time and on an ongoing basis.

    If you are more conventional in your outlook, then the government gets the money from those who are legally obliged to pay – whether that be in the form of taxes, service charges, fines or whatever. The point is that the payment of taxes et al is not a voluntary activity but a legal obligation in much the same way as you as a consumer, shopper etc are legally obliged to pay for goods and services rendered. It’s not a choice to do otherwise (legally).

    Importantly, as with other payments made, the money is no longer yours to do with as you will. It now belongs to the receiver of that money – in this case the government. Of course, one could argue that the government is simply an extension of us (as citizens not taxpayers because not all taxpayers are citizens) and in one sense it is. But when it comes to monies paid this hypothetical extension terminates for all practical purposes. It’s the government that decides whether or not to waste money on planes that don’t fly, submarines that … or incompetent politicians and their perks. It is the government that has that legal power and exercises it as it sees fit, provided it does so legally.

    But all is not lost – because every so often, an election is held where a government can be called into account via the citizenry voting (not the taxpayer.) In between, the government can do as it wills with what was once your money.

  13. totaram

    Kaye Lee: He is obviously corrupt and we simply need to find out how he is being or will be duly compensated for his propaganda. He obviously has staff who dig up these things and cobble them together for dissemination. Not very different from the other propagandists employed by the IPA, Murdoch, etc. So following the money should reveal a lot.

    Trying to puncture his lies day after day can be very tiresome and I applaud the efforts you make in this direction. A concerted effort to expose and dislodge him might yield dividends if his voter margin is not too large. Otherwise, some voters will always get what they deserve. Sad, bigly sad.

  14. king1394

    Why don’t the Greens put some effort into targeting this buffoon. They seem to prefer the low-hanging fruit of left wing ALP held electorates, but getting this bloke would actually make a difference.

  15. MöbiusEcko

    surfeagle, the very chart you use to deny anthropogenic climate change actually supports it, and you don’t see it.

    Hint. Look at the timescale. Also, it would hold you in good stead if you researched the authors of bunk like the error-riddled graph you posted.

    The views of ‘Cliff Harris’ are a bit unique. There seem to be no climatology papers by him (if you see C Harris, that’s Charles Harris).

    Read this and look at the comparison to the graph you posted to the real data.

  16. Keith

    surfeagle

    You presented the same graph not long ago for another AINM article. It was was roundly criticised for good reason.
    One graph does not debunk climate science.

    Climate science began in the early 1800s through the work of Fourier. Later in the Century Eunice Foote and John Tyndall completed experiments with CO2. Already, in a short article in a New Zealand paper in 1912 there was discussion of the impact of fossil fuels on climate.
    In the 1970s scientists working for, or commissioned by fossil fuel corporations, were providing research acknowledging that fossil fuels have an negative effect on climate.

    Your one graph does not stand up to the work of tens of thousands of climate scientists whose research backs anthropogenic climate change.

    Earlier today I visited Craig Kelly’s FB page, and found this article ..

    https://spaceweatherarchive.com/2018/09/27/the-chill-of-solar-minimum/?fbclid=IwAR1tqi7orrDMSUcGL9AMBtpTScQ_P402A_BvBbev9t6QGXn8eV8BIc0Tnlg

    Kelly doesn’t understand that a cooling of the outer reaches of Earth’s atmosphere is a fingerprint of climate change, something discussed by climate scientists years ago.
    Despite a very low solar minimum, 2016 was the warmest year ever recorded.

  17. RatMatrix

    surfeagle.

    Interesting graph there. But there are a few things that need clarification.

    Lots of volcanic activity has been charted and this has indeed some effect on the global temperature variations versus time scale, but you fail to include the effect of industrialisation on temperature variations or the rapidity of which those industrialisation effects have taken place.

    Hint : It’s the steep, upward temperature trajectory of the 1800’s onwards.

  18. Keith

    surfeagle

    Climate change has always happened.

    Pull apart this research ..

    It shows the effect of greenhouse gases 252 million years ago, created through the ignition of coal seams. You will need knowledge in Chemistry and Geology to pull apart the study, as well as understanding the artefacts created through the burning of coal. If you are not able to pull it apart, why do you bother making commentary about something you have no knowledge of?

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323402270_What_caused_Earth%27s_largest_mass_extinction_event_New_evidence_from_the_Permian-Triassic_boundary_in_northeastern_Utah

    The reason I suggested the reference is that to an extent it runs parallel to what is happening now.

    “In Payne and Clapham’s 2012 review of the Permian-Triassic boundary they suggested “the end-Permian extinction may serve as an important ancient analog for the twenty-first century….” ” from reference.

    The Morwell coal mine fire created many problems, even though it was minuscule in comparison to what happened 252 million years ago.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-04/morwell-residents-seven-times-more-likely-to-have-heart-attack/8869874

  19. totaram

    Keith: Let me quote surfeagle in full:
    “It’s a farce, climate change has been going on since the earth was created”

    You missed the last four words. Did you note that the diagram shown by surfeagle does not go back beyond 2500 BC? Talking about something happening 250 million years ago means nothing to this person. S/he doesn’t believe there was such a time!

    You are wasting your time. A creditable effort, but a waste.

  20. Keith

    totaram

    Something else notable about the graph provided is that it only goes through to 1998. That is the datum point that deniers used in the past, except it has been well and truly by passed since.
    I chose the research by Dr Burger on the basis that it clearly shows how the greenhouse effect has been experienced in the past.
    To say that climate science is crap; you need to be able to pull it apart with data, surfeagle cannot do so, whether he is a creationist or ideologically an extreme conservative. Deniers need to be able to pull apart the impact of CO2, paleoclimatology, and the increase in temperature globally over quite a number of decades. They also need to pull apart consilience where a number of science disciplines underline climate change, eg Biology where fish species are moving to new habitats further North and South of the Equator.

    By suggesting that he/she has proof against anthropogenic climate change, all surfeagle has attempted to do is try and pull one piece of fur from the body of a large dog, and then say that the dog is now bald.

  21. ace

    Kelly , Abbott and co. are the dirtiest political vandals in our history for stalling and
    damaging Australia they way they are and have done, It is very costly to Australia
    And should be an offence to harmfully impede Australia’s well-being,
    punishable by loss of citizenship and sent to Tony’s “island paradise” Naru, forevermore.

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