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How many politicians understand scientific research methods?

One aspect of education in Australia, which has always puzzled me, has been the concentration on passing English as one of the selected Year 12 exam subjects.

Coming from England, where two branches of English – language and literature – were taught separately throughout the first five years of secondary school (and the chances of getting a white collar job was virtually nil if you did not pass English Language, normally at about age 16, in the GCE ‘O’ level exams), I have never understood why English Literature requires so much prominence when there are so many other areas of knowledge to explore.

Nor have I understood the willingness of educators to allow students to be scientifically ignorant!

Maths was always my best subject, and Eddie Woo has demonstrated vividly how it is essential that those teaching it should engender interest in students. Sadly, too many Primary school teachers are required to teach maths and succeed in encouraging children to dislike it!

Science suffers in the same way – yet governments fail to ensure that the STEM subjects are given sufficient prominence.

The following autobiographical detail is included in an attempt to put context into my argument that too many lack an adequate understanding of maths and science so fail to accept scientific arguments – such as those concerning the current Climate Emergency!

Because of the Space Race, in 1957, I went straight into teaching secondary school maths, up to university entrance standard, after graduating with a Maths degree from Imperial College. Apart from 5 years out of work while having 3 children, I continued teaching, full-time, part-time and relief until 1978, by which time I had been in Australia for 7 years.

Despite the experience I had had in teaching, without a Graduate Diploma in Education, I was regarded as unqualified, so not eligible to seek a fill-time position. (Many, with overseas qualifications which are not accepted by Australia, share this experience, which results in Australia losing some valuable, highly-skilled employees!).

So, I studied, externally, through the then Mitchell College in Bathurst for a secondary Grad Dip Ed, which included a required unit called Language and Learning. This was specially designed for those specialising in STEM subjects, presumably because they were, often wrongly, assumed to lack interest in the arts side of learning.

I attended a lecture for this unit during a bi-annual residential school, and the lecturer spent a considerable time discussing the relative appropriateness of formal and informal language in order to ensure understanding by the students. All quite acceptable.

She then produced an exercise book, apparently used at a school in the UK by a 13-year old student studying Chemistry, and proceeded to rip apart, verbally, the teaching method used.

The lecture theatre was in uproar as we pointed out her ignorance of how science is taught and why!

We explained that the chemistry teacher would have discussed the planned experiment and its purpose, informally with the class. The experiment would have been conducted and the results noted and the whole procedure discussed. All this would also have been done informally.

What the exercise book contained was the last vital step in learning how to be a scientist – which requires a formal record of the purpose of the experiment, the method adopted, the apparatus used, the results noticed and the conclusions drawn.

By documenting all these steps, another scientist can perform the same experiment and compare the results with yours and confirm or challenge your conclusions. This is the process of peer review.

In addition, because scientific research is an international process, your record has to be formal to facilitate translation into another language.

No one can ‘prove’ that the sun will rise tomorrow, but experience tells us that there is a very high probability that it will.

The purpose of scientific research is to establish the likelihood that particular events or circumstances will lead to specific outcomes. Peer review by specialists in the same research area will add credibility to the claims.

Back in the 1980s, Shell and Exxon engaged in research on the effect that using fossil fuels to provide power would have on climate warming, having been alerted to this possible outcome by earlier research.

Power and money are important drivers of policy and making this research public was not in the interests of the fossil fuel companies or their shareholders.

But political donations are also important drivers in encouraging governments to make favourable policy decisions. Favourable, that is, to the donors. In some cases, disastrous for the electorate!

Few of our politicians (and this would be true in many countries) have an in-depth understanding of science, and in Australia, under Tony Abbott, we even abolished our Science Department!

Our children are telling us that our failure to take serious and urgent action to slow, halt and possibly reverse climate change is destroying their future.

They are right – and that makes us criminally responsible for destroying future human life – quite apart from the entire environment, where biodiversity is rapidly decreasing!


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  1. Andrew Smith

    Interesting, too many politicians and people are fearful of education, especially Conservatives, as it can challenge beliefs and the status quo. Late ’70s Victorian High School Certificate (think NSW same) had as significant part of English Expression, critical thinking (or similar), which had since been disappeared (along with environmental content of curriculum).

    Scientific research methods should be taught in high school and tertiary bachelors, especially for those informing society, e.g. journalists; mostly reserved for post graduate study including a minor research thesis.

    Australia has an information issue i.e. lack of good analysis and investigation, both quantitative and qualitative, as opposed to media (plus politics and corporates) astro turfing or aggressively promoting through media a narrow view of any issue whether climate change, regulation, immigration (‘population growth’/NOM), economics etc.

    In society too there is sub-optimal maths, science, data and language literacy, as exemplified in the religious obsession round real estate where most don’t understand difference between the presentation of increasing nominal values but ignoring declining real value.

    This decline in literacies appears to be related to the slow creep of US style neo-liberal corporatism, Christianity and nativism which has been nobbling school curricula, state education, higher education, and some years ago MP Kevin Andrews suggested students did not need skills of ‘analysis’ (though nobody seemed to notice).

  2. Terence


    I totally agree.

    What are the 7 steps of the scientific method?

    Step 1- Question. The “thing” that you want to know. …
    Step 2-Research. Conduct research. …
    Step 3-Hypothesis. Educated guess or prediction of the outcome experiment. …
    Step 4-Experiment. Test the hypothesis.
    Step 5-Observations. Data you collect during the experiment.
    Step 6-Results/Conclusion. …
    Step 7- Communicate.

    Unfortunately the IPCC CO2 Climate Models fail at step 4.

    On average to date they overstate actual global temperature observations by 67%,
    and 2. The IPCC Models predicted CO2 forced heat build-up region in the upper atmosphere has shown by satellite data to be non-existant.

    As a result, applying the scientific method to these results, the IPCC CO2 global warming hypothesis
    should be discarded and a new hypothesis formulated and tested.

    However IPPC scientists have a serious handicap, they are not permitted
    to publish papers attributing global warming to any other than direct human causes,
    and their published papers are peer reviewed by IPCC scientists under the same narrow IPCC causal limitation.

  3. RosemaryJ36

    Terence – I suspect much of your response is based on opinion rather than research.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Regarding your comment re lack of warming in the upper atmosphere…..

    If the warming is due to solar activity, then the upper atmosphere (the stratosphere) should warm along with the rest of the atmosphere. But if the warming is due to the greenhouse effect, the stratosphere should cool because of the heat being trapped in the lower atmosphere (the troposphere). Satellite measurements show that the stratosphere is cooling.

    This combination of a warming troposphere and cooling stratosphere should cause the tropopause, which separates them, to rise. This has also been observed.

    It was predicted that the ionosphere would shrink, and it is indeed shrinking.

  5. guest


    Perhaps you are less interested in Literature because you are more interested in Maths and you are good at it.

    It was CP Snow (an Englishman) in the 1950s who wrote about the two cultures (Sciences and Humanities). He was roundly criticised and changed his view over time. He failed see that other cultures do not have such a divide.

    Arguments about what education is and for what purpose has been raging for ever and most people have an opinion about it because schooling is so much a part of our lives. And so we make choices about our lives and what is important. We also point blame on people who are used to explain pet theories.

    So primary school teachers are blamed for poor mathematics. At the secondary level there is a lack of mathematics specialists because such people can earn more money in other jobs.

    As for politicians being knowledgeable about the scientific method, it would be a rare politician who did not know what the scientific method is. It is the politics (eg, lack of a Ministry of Science) which gets in the way.

    And I could not see how the lecture on an exercise book could fail to explain the scientific method.


    You say some weird things here.

    temperatures overinflated by 67%. Really?

    heat build up not found? Are you sure the IPPC predicted it and it is a fiction made up by deniers?

    does not test its hypotheses? But that is exactly what it does and it does so in a large range of sciences and collections of data. The consensus is clear and we can see it happening now.

    And we know that there is more than human activity which creates heat – but it is the human activity which makes the difference and at an increasingly rapid rate.

    You ask for a new hypothesis. Deniers have been trying for this for decades, which explains why denial is so unscientific. The deniers often contradict each other. For example, Ian Plimer says CO2 has nothing to do with Global Warming, But Bob Carter says CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

    Denial is such a muddle.

  6. Terence

    Kaye Lee

    I did not say (assert) that warming is not happening?

    I said that a new hypothesis is required to be tested to determine the cause

    because the CO2 hypothesis has now proven to be false.

    The research information is easily findable, but not in The Guardian or Skeptical Science (which by the way is edited by a fully qualified cartoonist).

    The most significant world leaders are now aware of this situation (Trump, Putin, Xi Jinping)

    PS What is the difference between a projection and a prediction?

  7. Kaye Lee

    “the CO2 hypothesis has now proven to be false.”

    Rubbish. By who? Anthony Watt the tv weatherman who has zero qualifications?

    Skeptical science links to peer-reviewed scientific papers to back up everything they say. It is an outstanding site.

    If you think Trump knows more about climate science than the actual climate scientists then this conversation is pointless. Likewise if you think Putin, the man who wants to mine the polar ice caps, gives the slightest shit about global warming.

    A projection looks at what might happen given various different scenarios. A prediction says this is what will happen based on current conditions.

    “A prediction is a probabilistic statement that something will happen in the future based on what is known today. A prediction generally assumes that future changes in related conditions will not have a significant influence. In this sense, a prediction is most influenced by the “initial conditions” – the current situation from which we predict a change.

    In contrast to a prediction, a projection specifically allows for significant changes in the set of “boundary conditions” that might influence the prediction, creating “if this, then that” types of statements. Thus, a projection is a probabilistic statement that it is possible that something will happen in the future if certain conditions develop.”

    If the research information is easily findable, why don’t you provide a link to it so we can check the credibility of your sources.

  8. Josephus

    We need not worry. Humans are going to mine the Moon , asteroids and Mars, fighting wars with one another along the way.

  9. Terence


    I agree with Bob Carter that CO2 is a green house gas. Albeit a very minor one (4%) compared to water vapour (80%) , methane. nitrous oxide and ozone.

    Surprisingly some researchers say that the sun has an effect on our global temperature. (I think that I have personally experienced this.)

    Interestingly, recent independent research (2019) by both Finnish and Japanese researchers shows that the annual average global temperature is almost 100% (inversely) historically correlated to the average global low cloud cover in any year.

    Some complementary research shows that the rate of influx of cosmic rays (mostly protons from dead/dying stars from millions of light years away ) causes these low clouds to form and reform cyclically.

    Could it be that God’s universe is far more complex than the IPCC scientists would like us to believe.

  10. Kaye Lee


    Tucker Carlson dedicated a segment of his Fox News show to a debunked document that claimed clouds are responsible for climate change instead of humans and that had been previously hyped by far-right, conspiracy-pushing outlets including Infowars and Zero Hedge. Carlson and his guest Marc Morano, an industry-paid climate denier, both made false and absurd statements about climate science while discussing it.

    The six-page document in question is deeply flawed in a number of ways. Right-wing and climate-denier sites have wrongly called it a scientific “study,” even though it did not go through a peer-review process. After it was released, six credentialed climate scientists reviewed the document for the fact-checking website Climate Feedback and all of them identified substantial flaws in the paper and determined that it was not reliable. Climate Feedback summarized their assessments this way: “This document claims to overturn decades of scientific findings but provides neither the source of the data it uses nor the physics responsible for the proposed relationship between clouds and global temperature.”

    Non-peer-reviewed manuscript falsely claims natural cloud changes can explain global warming

    Why don’t you ever check these things?

    PS If it’s God’s universe then it was supposedly created 6,000 years ago so there is no such thing as millions of light years ago.

  11. Terence

    Kaye Lee

    This one obviously has the warmest club (headquartered in East Anglia University – recipient in $millions of climate grants) really worried. (climategate – falsification of temperature records) originated in this university).

    Expect more of a torrent of warmest club negative opinions.

    On peer review, It is impossible now to have accepted for peer review any paper that does not comply with the warmest party line, so real scientists don’t try.

    Instead they publish and submit their work to public review.

    In the end, truth will prevail.

  12. Kaye Lee


    Did you even read the debunking of that paper in the link I provided? It was not peer-reviewed. It has NO scientific credibility.

    Flawed Reasoning: The authors’ argument claims a correlation between cloud cover/relative humidity and global temperature proves that the former caused the latter without investigating whether they have the relationship backwards.
    Inadequate support: The source of their claimed global cloud dataset is not given, and no research on their proposed mechanism for climate change is cited.
    Fails to provide correct physical explanation: The manuscript incorrectly claims that the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide is caused by release from ocean waters. It also provides no explanation for the claim that an increase in relative humidity causes global cooling.

  13. Terence

    Kaye Lee

    Some light and cosmic particles arriving at Earth just 10 minutes may have originated in a star that has not existed for tens of millions of light years!

    I don’t think you understand the concept.

    What might have happened 6000 years ago has nothing to do with it.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Public review? FFS So we will let Craig Kelly decide if he likes it??

    To say “real scientists” don’t submit their work for peer review is absolute tosh. If your work can’t be verified by others then it is worthless. That is the scientific method that Rosemary speaks of.

    I studied astronomy at university Terence. I fully understand the concept. And it has NOTHING to do with any gods.

  15. Vikingduk

    Terence, of you ever desire to explore what genuine climate science is about, I suggest you subscribe to the environmental sciences division of NASA. They will provide, free of charge, a monthly newsletter giving the most recent results of the many studies being conducted around the world regarding global warming.

    I’ve often wondered why the wilfully ignorant such as yourself are so keen to advertise the fact that you are full of shit, that no lie, no disinformation, no outright bullshit is too much. Are you paid? Do you achieve some sort of warped pleasure from spreading bullshit?

  16. Terence

    Kaye Lee,

    Be careful, you might be included in Folau;s “people going to hell” list.

  17. Kaye Lee

    Ok now that made me genuinely laugh out loud. I’ll say g’day to the tattooed idolator when I get there.

    I’ll assume you were being funny rather than making threats that are about as credible as your views on climate change.

  18. Matters Not

    Upon reading:

    I agree with Bob Carter that CO2 is a green house gas …

    I knew we had a real live one and it would be downhill from there. And it is. None so blind as those who will not s.

    It’s now timewasting.

  19. Joseph Carli

    I have been to several environmental themed workshops this last couple of months and I have noticed there is a pattern of procedure at each of them.
    It works like this…:

    You have the speaker / expert and you have the audience. The speaker comes to talk armed with research notes , topic-cred’ and a kind of bestowed authority. The audience consists largely of a group of lay / amateur environmentalists, strangers to each other who attend out of interest or for social connectivity. Some have collected “on-the-ground” statistics and anecdotal evidence.

    So when these two disparate groups meet, there is a kind of “disconnect” rather than a “connect” of interest. The clash between the “collegiate” of professionals who have difficulty accepting any “on ground” evidence without acceptable (read; diploma cred’) research backing….and fair enough. On the other hand you have the lay-people who have witnessed with their own eyes, certain events which are in many cases out of everyday sight of the research professional…and in contradiction to some accepted orthodoxy….so a conflict of interpretation exists between the “collegiate” of insiders and the “fellowship” of observers.

    Usually, the lay people give ground out of respect to the credentials of the experts….but still retain a degree of suspicion that lays dormant till more convincing evidence is forthcoming….after all, one has to believe what one sees with one’s own eyes! Now this, is the moment where a degree of foresight could best be implemented. Foresight to forestall any doubting and disconnect between the parties, because as much as one or the other resents it, each is wedded to the other by necessity…a) the “volunteers” out of a desire to gain knowledge with little cost but maximun benefit to themselves and b) the collegiate out of the need to access, justify, peer-publish and prove the requirements of the stingy research grants.

    There is a problem arising here with a lack of sympathy on both sides of the “fence”..with the “collegiate”, there is a degree of impatience with what could be seen as time wasting listening to and collected unscientific and unstructured data that is of little or no use in research or field work. With the “fellowship”of amateurs, there is little understanding of the oversight of the direction, policy and funding of the professionals. That there is a strata of management above the collegiate that has performance-based criteria that they are expected to meet and funding reports expected to be written.

    So in essence , there are three strata of persons in the “game”…The politics of higher management..The professional researcher and.The lay-person. The professional is a little like the meat in the sandwich, with demands from above and below. A difficult situation indeed! However, at least they have some power to control procedure within the parameters of research and can have some freedom of movement within certain guidelines. The lay-person is at the mercy of their own intellectual and skills base and with something new to their experience like environmental monitoring, it can become a bridge too far! This is why they attend workshops, to glean some more nous in their observations…to try and target more accurately their subjects. In this there is huge respect for the credentials and authority of the “collegiate”. They are seen as a font of knowledge…a font that in these times of political rhetoric of the most divisive kind, is wont to run dry!

    The problem being that once the science is moved into the political side of the argument, it all becomes theoretical, with the scientist being dragged to the same level as the populist politician and the lay person…and in THAT debating arena, all that is needed is a Socratic style of discombobulation!

  20. Matters Not

    Joseph Carli re:

    problem being that once the science is moved into the political side of the argument, it all becomes theoretical,

    Yes it always becomes theoretical. It’s inescapable. Why, even Albert Einstein iconic theory of general relativity, is beginning to fray at the edges. As I read a few days ago:

    “Einstein’s right, at least for now,” said Ghez, a co-lead author of the research. “We can absolutely rule out Newton’s law of gravity. Our observations are consistent with Einstein’s theory of general relativity. However, his theory is definitely showing vulnerability . It cannot fully explain gravity inside a black hole, and at some point we will need to move beyond Einstein’s theory to a more comprehensive theory of gravity that explains what a black hole is.”

    The role of theory, methodology, facts, meaning et al is explored in the Sociology of Knowledge which is ‘useful’ and can be seen as challenging to those who have a simplistic understanding of how science (supposedly)proceeds.

  21. RosemaryJ36

    Guest: You misread my article. I have been a bookworm all my life but assumptions are made by others about the need of scientists to be literate. The Language and Learning lecturer did not make any reference to scientific method, merely rubbished the teaching which could produce the formal account in the exercise book. My attitude arises mainly from the fact that when I chose to concentrate my studies on maths and science, I was still required to study English literature as a non-examinable subject – and was quite happy with that – but my fellow students who concentrated on the arts were not required to continue any general study in the sciences. As far as primary maths teaching is concerned, I taught at a girls secondary school where anyone aiming to be a primary teacher was encouraged to do as high a level of maths as possible in the year they did their ‘O’ Levels because of the then current low level of competence in maths teaching at Primary level. In fact we developed a course for that purpose.

  22. Terence

    Matters Not
    “problem being that once the science is moved into the political side of the argument, it all becomes theoretical,”

    Unfortunately modern climate science did not just move to the political side – it started out from there!

    Global Warming is About Destroying Capitalism?

  23. guest

    Terence’s posts are just a muddled collection of disconnected twaddle. He mentions God’s universe. Is he some kind of religious fanatic?

    Not much data and proof of anything is presented to try to prove what he says. If this is what he gets from some distant sources, it is sad that it is all so far fetched and far from the truth. Or is it just a personal opinion sent out to test the public? It certainly does not test the IPPC.

    Just look at what you have written, Terence.

    THE CO2 HYPOTHESIS HAS PROVEN TO BE FALSE, TRUMP, PUTIN AND XI JINPING KNOW THIS.You offer no support for these claims, Terence.

    In fact, CO2 has always played a part in the warming of the planet. For thousands of years CO2 ha kept the Earth’s average temperature at about 14 degrees C. But now the percentage of pre-industrial CO2 has gone from 280ppm more recently to 410ppm – and you think this addtion of human MADE CO2 has no effect?

    Surprise, surprise! Sun and CO2 work together. But you are not satisfied with that.

    And no one knows about this but you, Terence?

    Terence, this is an old chestnut, long ago disproven by many enquiries. You have been looking in the wrong places.

    Either you are testing people’s patience with this unsubstantiated tosh, Terence – or you are just in one big home-baked muddle.

  24. Kaye Lee


    Anonymous hackers illegally stole emails from climate scientists in a deliberate campaign to sow doubt about climate science and discredit climate scientists. Quotes were taken out of context in an effort to mislead the public about what’s happening to our climate.
    The argument that Climategate reveals an international climate science conspiracy is not really a very skeptical one. Sure, it is skeptical in the weak sense of questioning authority, but it stops there. Unlike true skepticism, it doesn’t go on to objectively examine all the evidence and draw a conclusion based on that evidence. Instead, it cherry-picks suggestive emails, seeing everything as incontrovertible evidence of a conspiracy, and concludes all of mainstream climate science is guilty by association. This is not skepticism; this is conspiracy theory. The real scandal of ‘Climategate’ is the illegal smear campaign designed to distract people from the scientific reality of global warming.

  25. Matters Not

    Terence, these days, I don’t engage with absolute nonsense. Seems like you have a long journey ahead of you but there’s no evidence you want to take the first step. Bye.

  26. Rossleigh

    Terence, I guess it’s the same scientists that gave us those chemtrails, caused my autism with their vaccinations and faked the moon landing…

    Oh wait, I don’t have autism…

  27. totaram

    Guest: No need to get into a dispute with Terence. You are wasting your time. Such matters cannot be discussed on such a blog. He should start by visiting the paper written by Arrhenius at the end of the 19th century providing a simple estimate of how the increased CO2 would affect the global (average) temperature. That CO2 is a greenhouse gas is not in doubt because a simple laboratory experiment can prove it. The rest is obfuscation and distraction. It has been going on for decades and has all been debunked.
    Terence also thinks that IPCC scientists do their own research which is somehow limited by “governments” etc.
    No they don’t. Their report is just a survey of peer-reviewed published literature in the field. So Terence’s views are all bullshit, from the get go. And to support them he has a column from the telegraph in the UK! Hilarious, but from time to time we do get this kind of nonsense projected here. Next, we will be told that the moon landing was a fraud.

  28. Kaye Lee

    It’s difficult to decide whether to refute rubbish or to ignore it. Just like it’s difficult to decide whether to pass on what our lunatic politicians are saying or not.

    It’s the old free speech argument. If we are going to let the loonies have their say, we have to then be prepared to point out why and where they are wrong. The fact that we still have to do this about climate change is hugely frustrating and destructive.

  29. johno


  30. Terence

    Kaye Lee

    Some more loonie input!

    The United Nations climate mission is very myopic.

    “The ultimate objective of the Convention is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations “at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human induced) interference with the climate system.” It states that “such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened, and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.”

    Therefore they are not interested in reviewing any scientific papers that do not attribute climate change solely to human induced greenhouse gasses. They choose to ignore any climate effects from the sun, moon, clouds, winds, tides, ocean current changes, ocean temperature changes, surface volcanic emissions, undersea volcanic venting, undersea heat flumes, tectonic movements, cosmic radiation effects, direct solar emissions, regular earth orbit attitude change cycles, earth orbit deviations ++.

    How do they get away with this?

    Does it take a loonie like me to think that this is nuts?

  31. guest


    no point in quoting Christpher Booker to me. Booker was a 30 year Climate Change denier who wrote for the Daily Telegraph, which, like Murdoch papers here in Oz, is a conservative publication.

    As for my “random thought bubbles”, they are nor “random” at all. They are directed at your “random thought bubbles” and I wrote yours in capital letters so that you might see what you have written.

    And my thoughts are not mine at all. They are culled from many sources, including Tony Eggleton’s work on Climate Change (Cambridge University Press, 2013). I have also read Bob Carter’s “Taxing Air” just to see what the deniers are saying.

    Your post, wherever it comes from – and it sounds like the weird stuff collected by Graham Lloyd – is a complete muddle. End of story.

  32. RosemaryJ36

    Terence: if you are lucky, your input will be blocked to save you the embarrassment of having even more people question your sanity.

  33. Terence

    Rosemary J36

    Please be merciful and block me.

    I have never until now experienced the totality of all 15 logical fallacies being used in the responses to my comments.

    There appears to be a total absence of critical thought within the people responding.

    The climate cult global misinformation strategy has obviously been very effective.

  34. Michael Taylor

    Terence, I’m having trouble agreeing with anything you’ve said.

  35. Joseph Carli

    The rise of economic rationalism, free markets and the right-wing political parties has coincided with the collapse of intellectual debate and it’s acceptance as a “norm” of civilized society. The right-wing denial of “society” is, in effect the enactment of a philosophy devoid of humanism…and with civilization very sparse on the ground, it is the rise of the “new Barbarian”…and his right as an ”individual warrior’ to a free-market of grasping rapine and plunder.

    This collapse of the intelligenzia has come with the collapse of the “house of cards” that was postmodernist philosophy. When “modernism” was discarded as passe’ and replaced with postmodernism in the universities, politics and the business world, a whole new vocabulary was constructed around it’s direction, ambition, capacity and culpability. “Whatever it takes” was it’s moral limit. Consider these two interpretations of science…

    Modernist…: “The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.”

    Postmodernism…: “Postmodernism is largely a reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific, or objective, efforts to explain reality. In essence, it stems from a recognition that reality is not simply mirrored in human understanding of it, but rather, is constructed as the mind tries to understand its own particular and personal reality. For this reason, postmodernism is highly skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person. In the postmodern understanding, interpretation is everything; reality only comes into being through our interpretations of what the world means to us individually. Postmodernism relies on concrete experience over abstract principles, knowing always that the outcome of one’s own experience will necessarily be fallible and relative, rather than certain and universal.

    I got those two definitions from a quick Google search with the heading ..: “Science..interpretations.” of one then the other.As you can see, one is concise, the other is convoluted…There is a “yardstick” one measures bullshit by..; it is the amount of time or words used to explain a simple situation. I’ll leave you to judge the above.

    The telling thing with the rise of postmodernism and the new right-wing business model, was the new vocabulary that arose alongside the excuses…I know when this happened in academia, because I was there, by accident, with a mature entry scheme ambition to study Classics and Latin at the university…It was at the time when the Howard govt’ gave Nelson the job of “cleaning out’ all the old “Leftist / Marxist” influence from higher learning. They did this in part by retiring or promoting over the top of “in line for seniority” younger , pliable, contract lecturers…a generational change..a philosophical change….many of these younger academics were mesmerized with the new postmodernist language of Michel Foucault. If there ever was a quasi philosopher more deserving of the dust-bin of history, it is he, for with the adoration almost to the point of hagiographic, his prosletysers manufactured an entire language to wrap around and protect their fragile fantasy. So that now, after the all too realistic disasters of the GFC. The collapsing climate, the chaos in international politics along with our own ill-managed domestic economy and political policy..we have this sudden fleeing from responsibility and reality by those postmodernist prophets who were out there only recently pedaling the emperor’s new clothes…..we now have a vacuum of intellectual argument concerning direction of social science, climate change and economic development….not to mention a declining refugee and military situation….The right-wing postmodernist dialogue just cannot handle reality. It cannot use it’s convoluted language to reduce risk to life and limb. It is a dead philosophy and along with it’s demise, it has taken intellectual higher-learning discourse into the same grave with it…we are now left with a quasi-intellectual debate where basic common sense is left to contest the floor with right-wing idiocy.

  36. Kaye Lee

    “Therefore they are not interested in reviewing any scientific papers that do not attribute climate change solely to human induced greenhouse gasses. They choose to ignore any climate effects from the sun, moon, clouds, winds, tides, ocean current changes, ocean temperature changes, surface volcanic emissions, undersea volcanic venting, undersea heat flumes, tectonic movements, cosmic radiation effects, direct solar emissions, regular earth orbit attitude change cycles, earth orbit deviations ”

    Wrong. They reviewed your Finnish paper. You just didn’t like what the experts independently found. They review pretty much everything that is written about climate science including the crap.

    The reason climate change is being attributed to man is that our emissions have increased atmospheric greenhouse gases at a very rapid rate. No-one ignores the climate effects of all those things you mentioned. They are assiduously accounted for. At the moment, natural cyclical forces mean we should be cooling. But we aren’t. The ten hottest years on record have all been this century. We have pushed past the carbon cycle equilibrium ie the change has been so rapid the environment can’t adjust quickly enough.

  37. Kaye Lee

    “There is a “yardstick” one measures bullshit by.”

    I would suggest that using terms like modernism and postmodernism in relation to the scientific facts regarding anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, and the resultant climate change would measure pretty high on the bs meter.

  38. Joseph Carli

    ” I would suggest . . . “……your suggestion is NEITHER wanted nor correct!…say goodnight, Dick.

  39. Matters Not

    Joe – there’s it’s and then there’s its. The first is a contraction – it is becomes it’s when it’s contracted. On the other hand, there’s its – a possessive pronoun (indicating ownership) that does not require an apostrophe. Such usages are not interchangeable – at least for a reader who is conscious of the differences and gives meaning accordingly, mostly at the unconscious level. And gets annoyed at the discourtesy.

    Then there’s no attempt to distinguish between what is yours and what is a citation. Then there’s so many concepts that you glide over without even attempting to define same. Try ‘reality’ and ‘common sense’ as examples. Fact is, the definition of those concepts are contested. Then there’s …

    Do yourself a favour. Details are important – at least to me. No need to thank me. ( Ducks head and runs away. Lol)

  40. Terence

    Kaye Lee

    “Wrong. They reviewed your Finnish paper. You just didn’t like what the experts independently found. They review pretty much everything that is written about climate science including the crap.”

    Not wrong! IPCC did not review the paper.

    IPCC only review papers as per their human caused mission and include them in their reports.

    in this case the normal climate cult attack dogs simply made opinionated/unsubstantiated/incorrect comments on the paper.

    For example, the source of the dataset was included in the paper, one ‘expert’ said it wasn’t.

    The paper is currently being reviewed by real impartial scientific experts.

    These reviews will be published in scientific journals and expertly commented upon by real scientists.

    The paper will likely not be peer reviewed as its findings are unacceptable to the climate industry journals.

    A group of Japanese scientists have already reviewed the paper and corroborated its findings.

  41. Matters Not

    Joe – apologies. On re-read. There was an ‘attempt”. My bad. Seems to me that it’s helpful when there’s a clear distinction made between what’s being cited and what’s your contribution. (Explanation only – not an excuse.)

    But thanks for your contribution. Should be more of it (with reservations – as always.)

  42. Zathras

    First there were Alternative Facts but now we have Alternative Science – brought to us by the very same people who lobbied for the tobacco and DDT industries by using the same “blurring of science” strategy they used decades ago.

    According to Science Historian Naomi Oreskes, at that time scientists warned that the Greenhouse Effect would become a global problem and when mentioned to an American politician he asked how that could be known. The reply was that rising temperatures and weather extremes would be an early indication.

    The politician asked “How long before that happens?”
    The reply was “About 40 years”
    His response was “Get back to me in 39”.

    Politicians are financially bound by their financial sponsors and sensitive to anything that threatens their interests.

    Now in the 21st century, as well as the dedicated Fake Moon Landing and Anti-Vaxxer Conspiratorialists, the Flat Earthers and the Hollow earthers still find followers and there are even some who insist the moon is a disguised hollow space craft that has been monitoring and controlling human affairs for millennia.

    It’s impossible to convince some people otherwise so why bother? In the end we will all suffer the same consequences.

  43. David Bruce

    Greetings from the South Pacific! I do love to read the articles from the climate warriors!

    I am still waiting to find out why the IPCC climate models failed to include the ENSO data (El Nino Southern Oscillation). We entered El Nino in December 2018 and the cycles vary from 2-7 years. Usually Australia experiences drought conditions during El Nino weather patterns and the southern pacific enjoys monsoons, courtesy of the Inter Tropic Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Can someone please enlighten me?

    Also Kaye is right about upper atmosphere cooling. I remember when flying over Darwin at 45,000 ft in 1968, the outside air temperature was -55 degrees Celsius! (the Mirage IIIC had this capability). Usually this cooling is most noticeable at or near the equation and measurements by the USAF U2 Dragon lady aircraft show temperatures not quite so cold as you approach the Poles at that altitude. My information was confirmed by personal experience and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (since 1992).

  44. Arthur Tarry

    Most conservative politicians don’t understand science or scientific methodology – not on the basis of their utterances. However, they grasp at convenient science when it suits them. By the way Terence and David Bruce don’t understand science or scientis methodology either so don’t bother with their utterances.

  45. Keith


    The IPCC uses significant peer reviewed published science to reach it’s conclusions. Also, the IPCC uses huge numbers of references to reach those conclusions.

    A huge embarrassment for contrarians is that they pushed the 1998 temperature datum point exceptionally strongly. Now, only fools would try and push the 1998 temperature datum point, it is an analogue of so many other contrarian opinions.

    Sadly, we get some politicians elected whose preconceived ideas belong to a different era. Terry Young, is one such politician, he believes creationism should be taught in schools along with opinions countering science in relation to climate. Climate science of the 1960s up to 1980 provided such shock waves to the fossil fuel industry that the climate science denial industry was born, funded by fossil fuel corporations. The latest edition of AAAS in it’s editorial highlights the Chamley Report created in 1979, it provided a quite accurate projection of the climate currently being experienced.

    Sadly, many people obtain their opinions on climate change through anti-science articles in conservative publications such as The Australian, equivalent to obtaining information from the back of a Wheat-Bix packet.

  46. Kaye Lee

    David Bruce,

    ” We entered El Nino in December 2018 and the cycles vary from 2-7 years”

    Not according to the BoM which says ENSO is neutral and will remain so for the rest of the year with a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) likely to be the dominant climate driver for Australia’s weather for the coming months. Typically, a positive IOD brings below average winter–spring rainfall and snow depths, above average temperatures, and an earlier start to the fire season for southern and central Australia.

  47. Joseph Carli

    Looking at the above comments, one can see that the subject has all but been all talked; it is now just argy-bargy of exchange of statistical links and “proofs”…the conversation of theoretical propositions is exhausted…that is because it is all talk..that is all that these presentations of papers can be…talk and slide shows with this inevitable conclusion.

    The reality of climate change is visible here where I live just near the Goyder, the visible shift from productive farming to marginal to very marginal over 50 or 60 years can be seen on the front of your eyes…IF any were here to look or even cared to go and have a look. Out here in the regions, climate change is a tactile thing that gives its evidence over many decades.

    Out here in the Murray Mallee where I live, between the eastern face of the Adelaide Hills and the Murray River, on what is called ; “The Murray Flats”…or : “Break-heart country” the end of the second world war, there was a distinctive “cut” in a cultural tie with the methodology of farming…particularly in regards to the older families of the pioneer Germanic farmers in the area.

    Before the 2nd. World War, and indeed right to the end of the war, horse-drawn implements were the most common form of ploughing, seeding and harvesting…perhaps in some locations tractors had been introduced, but they were such cumbersome technology, that it was a risky and expensive proposition to do a major “tooling-up” in cost and farm layout to change over. But it did happen, and with that event, there was not only a “cut” in ties from old technology, there was also a severing with the connection between the farmer and his soil….between “Man and his touch to Earth”..

    Where once, with the horse era, the connection between philosophy of mind, religion of heart, to callous of hand was a real and tactile thing..The farmer rose in the early morning, praised his God, saw to and fed the animals, groomed and attended to the health of both himself and his beasts of burden…the harness of leather and steel, the equipment of cast metal and timber..the feel of earth under foot and hoof…was it soft, hard, moist or too parched…the entire process was “ of the senses, of the touch”…then, humanity moved in sequence more with the natural world..even though he had disturbed it.

    Then, in almost the blink of an eye…it was gone…all that old expertise..redundant, along with an entire generation of horsemen farmers…the sound and scent of preparation and harnessing….of horse-feed, stabling and manure was gone…no longer were these hardy pioneers “dirt farmers”, they had now needed to graduate to become ; “chemical farmers”.

    And so that was the end of something and the beginning of the final ending of something else.

    I don’t know what Terence does or did for a living, but if it didn’t extend to hard physical labouring or a physical trade, then he most probably could not be convinced of nor would comprehend those realities..for when I say that I have 5 underground water storage tanks dug on this property near or just away from the farm-house, c’ 3m x 3m x 3m deep, all dug by hand, the lime mortar burnt and made on site, all stone lined and plastered, with them being dug through a top layer of calcrete..a name that DOES NOT belie its nature…from several inches to feet thick..with the lasting water-marks of where they were filled to and now have not filled for more than fifty years…the lay of the land the same, the swales to the tanks still insitu, the only thing missing ..; Rainfall…just there, in that one example is evidence enough of the certainty of a climate that has shifted to the negative and all the argy-bargy babbling of pseudo science or even real science can do little or nothing to disprove it or stop it.

  48. Kaye Lee

    Farmers can observe that there is less rain. Scientists can tell us why that is happening and what we can do about it. To ignore the science is madness.

  49. Joseph Carli

    ” To ignore the science is madness.”….exactly…but unfortunately THAT is what is an extent..and perhaps that is because the scientific community is the only ‘authority” that is being consulted on the subject…as I tried to show above with my first comment, there are several players in the climate debate..scientific proof is only one of them…and it is that proof that the right-wing have attacked with their “bias equivalence” evidence..which btw..IS a style of language stolen directly from a post-modern dialogue..and now have brought the discussion to a standstill..BUT the tactile evidence IS THERE on the ground to be seen and touched…we all saw the fish kills in the rivers, we all saw the heatwaves around the Earth…we all saw the floods and diseases encroaching our defences..physical evidence that only a fool could dismiss…unfortunately, fools are now in charge of our destiny… doesn’t auger well.

  50. Terence

    Joseph Carli

    I understand.

    Yes, the climate is obviously changing and where you are, you are seeing evidence of the change first hand.

    The debate is not about whether climate change is occurring, it is about what is causing the change and whether anything really can be done about it.

  51. Kaye Lee


    There is no genuine debate about what is causing it. The thing that has changed is the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and we can most certainly do something about it by stopping burning fossil fuels. We can reduce our meat intake. We can stop clearing trees and plant more. We can do small scale farming rather than these megafarms that destroy the environment. We can reduce our emissions from transport. So much we COULD be doing except the very deliberate denialist campaign run by the fossil fuel industry and paid mouthpieces have hoodwinked people into thinking there is some doubt about it all.

  52. Terence

    Kaye Lee

    If that is your belief,I respect that.

  53. David Higham

    More evidence from the arctic. Perhaps this site should consider the editorial policy of the ‘Conversation’ and delete posts from scientific ignoramuses,in order to avoid being mired forever in pointless and never-ending arguments that the actual scientists researching and publishing on this have explained decades ago. Re the free-speech argument,there are plenty of websites that cater
    for those not willing to accept the science.

  54. Joseph Carli

    ” Yes, the climate is obviously changing and where you are, you are seeing evidence of the change first hand.”

    Terence, have you ever watched a card-sharp do tricks right in front of you and be amazed at their dexterity?…so much so that you ask them to do the trick again and again and you watch closely but you cannot still see how they do the trick…well, your reliance on those psuedo science tricksters is the same…and by Christ, they’re good at it…they play statistical tricks and language tricks that you just cannot see past…and you can go back again and again and the bullshit just gets thicker and thicker and you get taken in again and again…but unlike the card trickster where you may be asked to lay a small monetary bet on the outcome, you will not lose much…but with climate change, you are betting your life on the “game”….” You just gotta ask yourself . . . do you feel lucky…punk!?”

  55. David Bruce

    ” We entered El Nino in December 2018 and the cycles vary from 2-7 years”

    My source was “Update prepared by:Climate Prediction Center / NCEP 29 July 2019”

    Summary* Note: These statements are updated once a month (2ndThursday of each month) in association with the ENSO Diagnostics Discussion, which can be found by clicking here. ENSO Alert System Status: El Niño Advisory – El Niño IS PRESENT.*

    Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are above average across most of the Pacific Ocean.The pattern of anomalous convection and winds are generally consistent with El Niño.

    A transition from El Niño to ENSO-neutral is expected in the next month or two, with ENSO-neutral most likely to continue through the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter.*

    The issue for me is the following report “Part of the Pacific Ocean is not warming as expected, but why?”

    I have my own ideas of why this is so, based on years of observation while flying in the Asia Pacific regions.

  56. Kaye Lee

    Good analogy Joseph

  57. Zathras

    “Scientists once claimed we were heading for another Ice Age” is a favourite line trotted out by denialists to discredit science generally but they never seem to mention the whole story.

    Decades ago some climatologists indeed did propose that the amount of man-made aerosols being put into the atmosphere may slow down and eventually overtake the Greenhouse Effect and lower global temperatures and it would only take about a 4 degree reduction to return us to previous ice age conditions.

    However the number of scientists who suggested this was a mere 10%. About 30% said there was insufficient evidence to confirm it and the remaining 60% dismissed it entirely.

    Denialists are happily willing to use 10% support as some sort of evidence of controversy but dismiss 97% as irrelevant.

    Some of these aerosols were later found to be responsible for the hole in the ozone layer – something totally accepted because the (chemical) industry reponsible for the problem also manufactured the solution so, unlike the fossil fuel industries there was no drastic financial impact on their bottom line. Where were their lobbyists and loyal deniers?

    The climate does change but never as rapidly as we are seeing now without an external factor and the planet has never experienced two centuries of rapidly escalating industrialisation,

    There are more people walking around alive on Earth today than the total number of people that have ever existed in all of human history and each are contributing in some way to effects on the environment.

  58. Keith

    To those who suggest the climate is changing though unwilling to attribute man’s role in it happening; what bloody suggestions are you lot making in relation to adaptation. I have asked the question often about the contrarian 1998 datum point moving, not a single answer has been provided. Prior to that contrarians said the climate was not changing, they had to move from that position as well, otherwise look foolish. The Arctic Ocean, may or may not create a record for low extent in September 2019, but we have contrarians fools suggesting very often that Arctic sea ice extent is rebounding, WUWT is constantly making these stupid comments. It is the end of the melting season that counts, sea ice extent can change by around 100,000 square kilometres on a daily basis.

  59. Terence

    David Bruce

    Your referenced paper mentioned the input of temperature pertubations into models and possibly getting inflated results.

    This recent paper may be of interest to you which applies Bode control theory to climate model inputs and outputs.

  60. Kaye Lee

    Oh geeze. You link to something by Christopher Monckton????

    Do you realise who the Cornwall Alliance are?

    “The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation is a conservative Christian public policy group that promotes the view that a free-market approach to care for the environment is sufficient,”

    They say “As the product of infinitely wise design, omnipotent creation, and faithful sustaining (Genesis 1:1–31; 8:21–22), Earth is robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting.”

    It would not surprise anyone to learn that they are funded by the fossil fuel industry

    This is one of my faves about Monckton

  61. Terence

    Kaye Lee

    Dear me!

    Ad Hominem Maximus.

  62. Kaye Lee

    I have written at length about that fruitcake so do not want to waste any more time on him.

    Fruitcakes of a Feather

    If you want to see how he is manipulating people, watch his strategy on how to better capture the Australian media to help push a right-wing, free-market and climate sceptic agenda.

    You really need to learn about checking the credibility (or in Monckton’s case, sanity) of you sources.

  63. guest


    back at 8:32pm you made a list of topics which you claim IPPC scientists and others do not examine.

    I assure you they do. Tony Eggleton does – and I have studied his book for six years.

    If you have studied these topics, then you need to refute what the IPPC and others say. All you have done so far is repeat the deniers who for years have been shown to be wrong.

    What the deniers do is work for someone who will pay them to deny. And what happens is we get a heap of baloney which contradicts itself because they are unable to invent a coherent science of denial. But they get attention from some people – and they get money.

    If you knew anything about the coherent science of the IPPC and others you would not be trying to persuade others about protons coming from dead or dying stars from millions of kilometres away to create low lying clouds which warm the Earth. That idea does not explain why the heating is increasing, and rapidly.

    You need to think about the CO2 in the atmosphere more and more of which clearly comes, according to its isotopes, from human burning of fossil fuels.

    That is why so many deniers try to claim CO2 has nothing to do with Climate Change and try to blame something else.

  64. RosemaryJ36

    We know what needs to be done to attack the climate emergency but – short of worldwide revolution – we have yet to work out how to make governments actually commence the necessary action.
    Suggestions please – preferably from people who recognise how urgent this issue is.

  65. Keith

    Almost four decades ago scientists working for ExxonMobil projected temperature according to the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, those projections have been too close for comfort. By 2030 we can expect 1.5C over pre- Industrial levels, that does not take into account possible tipping points. Alaska has experienced record levels of permafrost thaw in 2019, the consequences in relation to the resulting voiding of CO2 and methane are not great. Huge wild fires in the Arctic in 2019 have pushed large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere.

    Those halting action on climate change are committing crimes against humanity.

    Individual actions:

    Support young people when they go on strike.
    Only buy essential items rather than those wished for.
    Decrease number of plane trips.
    Use public transport wherever possible.
    Buy local produce.
    If possible grow your own food.

    Group action:

    Join a group, a group might be able to find enough funds to take legal action against the government.
    Engagement with voters needs to begin to happen now ready for the next election.

  66. Terence

    Kaye Lee

    From my research of scientific publications over the past several years, each of his statements is supported by reputable scientific research publications. The man is not an idiot, as portrayed by some, simply because they lack factual rebuttals to his statements. He is highly intelligent, having studied classics and mathematics at Oxford and has assembled 8 leading scientists to his team that closely advise him at all times. What you see published by Monkton is the result of their aggregate team wisdom.

    The cartoon type presentation in question is likely dumbed down for some sections of the Australian market that learn by pictures and slogans.

    Your expected response – you will call me a loonie (or worse) again and we will just move on.

    Let’s end this, we are wasting both our times.

    Let’s discuss it again in 10 year’s time (if humanity still exists).

  67. Kaye Lee

    “because they lack factual rebuttals to his statements. ”

    There are comprehensive rebuttals to all of Monckton’s spurious claims which, if you had genuinely “researched reputable scientific research publications”, you would know.

    Here’s a sample for you.

    The cartoon type presentation from Monckton shows that he is a marketing person who considers Australians ignorant bogans – a view one couldn’t blame him for since we are the ONLY country to remove carbon pricing on the basis of a simplistic dishonest “axe the tax” campaign.

    “He is highly intelligent”

    Oh yes….so intelligent that he claims he has developed a cure for Graves’ Disease, AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, the flu, and the common cold and has applied for patents for his “therapeutic treatment”.

    I don’t think you are a loonie Terence. I think, in fact I know, that you have been misled by snake oil salesmen.

    Taking action on climate change is far too important to be silenced by those who do not want us to talk about facts. By all means, you can sit back and wait if you want. I, however, cannot do that to my children.

  68. Matters Not

    Many have heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect, but fewer appreciate that at some stage it applies to all of us. Further, people need some expertise to recognise the expertise (or lack of same) in others. Without an appropriate conceptual framework, individuals will not be able to separate the wheat from the chaff regardless of how much reading they do.

    Remember we all over-estimate our abilities in at least some areas of intellectual inquiry. David Dunning explains – using Trump (but only as the vehicle.)

  69. Kaye Lee

    I understand what you are saying MN which is why we must be advised by the experts. Then it is up to us I suppose to decide which “experts” to believe. I am often accused of always thinking I am right, to which my response is of course – who deliberately thinks things they know to be wrong? But it is true that I hate to be wrong so welcome being corrected when I am. I love to learn and I crave the truth, not victory.

  70. Matters Not

    KL, I posted out of general interest/concern – with no particular individual in mind – but I am amazed that anyone could cite Monckton for anything other than comedic relief. To say that the refereeing process is no longer valid, while referencing articles that were refereed, is ironic.

    As for wide reading, I know I could read forever in certain areas but I would remain none the wiser because I don’t have the concepts (the intellectual tools) to process that information. So I rely on what recognised experts say (after making sure I check their claims to expertise). Even then, I also accept that paradigmatic shifts occur from time to time, which cause revolutions in thought.

    Who would have thought that Newton’s thinking re that metaphorical apple would have led us to the current understanding? Must confess, I have no real understanding of latest developments. Don’t have those concepts and it’s a little late in life to acquire same. Besides, if I can remember my own name each morning it’s an achievement of sorts. Then again, on the upside, I wake up beside a new woman on a regular basis. Such is life.

  71. Matters Not

    Terence from your link

    A minority are climatologists. Nearly all publishing climate scientists (97–98%) support the consensus on anthropogenic climate change

    George Pell is among the unbelievers as I understand it. (Lol). But seriously, look at the preponderance of geologists, physicists, et al. . Not people who work in the climate research area. Then again if everyone was in agreement then the chances are that it’s ‘group think’ at work – but not science. In science all findings are tentative. Subject to debate, revision and modification.

    Having said that, it’s rare that a revolution in basic understanding occurs. and when it does come, it’s because of new theoretical insights. As they say: theory is a priori fact – (rather than posteriori fact.) But I’m sure you know that.

    But it’s good to see that you have a stance and prepared to defend same. Best wishes for further stud with eyes always on a critical stance.

  72. Kaye Lee

    I can’t read the article in the Australian as I don’t subscribe. Re the wikipedia article “The compilation criteria for including scientists in the list is that they are relevant enough to have their own Wikipedia article”.

  73. Phil

    As I paddle across Sydney Harbour sitting in my favorite armchair, looking back at my house and watching my car sitting in three foot of water up the drive, I think to my self. ‘ Global warming caused by human intervention is, just a load of old cobblers.

    Monkton is a charlatan.

  74. Kaye Lee


    You might notice several people on your list called Idso – there is Sherman, Craig, Keith, and you will also find reference to Lance and Julene. What a coincidence that so many people in one family are being paid to spout the climate change denial rhetoric. Oh look, they founded the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. How serendipitous that the entire family are climate (cough) scientists. The Heartland Institute has been happy to pay them for their services. The fact that Idso’s CSCDGC was listed as a creditor in Peabody Energy’s bankruptcy filings in 2016 means nothing.

  75. Matters Not

    The bias of articles in The Australian is well known when it comes to environmental matters. Mr G Lloyd always searches for articles that support that bias. (Not sure Mr Lloyd is the source in this instances because, for me, it’s behind a paywall.)

    Then there’s Chris (Major) Mitchell, Ian Plimer, – a long list of contributors who use pejorative descriptors such as ‘warmists’, ‘alarmists, etc. … By their source, you shall know them.

  76. Keith


    Anybody who considers Monckton makes valid points, needs to view any real science articles he quotes. His trick is to refer to science articles, though he misquotes and misrepresents them. Monckton is the master of fake news.

  77. Terence


    Thank you for your even handed comments.

    The 97%-98% survey was proven to be a scientific fraud.

    That is the subject of The Australian article.

    There is only one qualified climatologist in the most important top 10 climate change (perjorative-warmist) scientists.

    Top Climate Change Scientists

  78. Kaye Lee

    “The 97%-98% survey was proven to be a scientific fraud.”


    Who should I believe – Murdoch hacks paid to promote climate change denial or every scientific body in the world?

  79. Matters Not

    Terence I did say early in this thread that I wouldn’t participate further because I ‘guessed’ it would go downhill. I should have stuck with that original thought. To cite The Best Schools Guide to support your case is IMHO a bad error of judgement. Debates in science are not popularity contests. Debates in science are not about balance Such debates are not about pitting a Professor of Dentistry against the metaphorical Barry who removes teeth via a length of cord and a heavy door.

    In conclusion, people need to be very careful with their sources. That (usually) means staying well clear of The Australian newspaper and leaving The Best Schools Guide unopened on a coffee table in a waiting room.


  80. Kaye Lee

    The article in Forbes is written by Alex Epstein, author of the book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.”

    His attitude is “Even if 97% of climate scientists agreed with this, and even if they were right, it in no way, shape, or form would imply that we should restrict fossil fuels–which are crucial to the livelihood of billions.”

    He also mentions the ubiquitous Idso family who are paid by the fossil fuel industry.

    He says Rchard Tol doesn’t agree. Well that’s interesting since he released a paper in 2014 saying “There is no doubt in my mind that the literature on climate change overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis that climate change is caused by humans. I have very little reason to doubt that the consensus is indeed correct.”

    This article addresses your concerns

  81. guest

    Terence, what you do not mention is that a subtitle of the Best Schools Guide to top climate scientists says: Consensus and Skeptics.

    In other words, it is not about climatologists who agree with the IPCC. It is a list of people, some of whom agree and some of whom do not agree with the IPCC.

    Can you tell the difference?

  82. terence


    I did not refer to the IPCC?

    The people listed are not climatologists, But are multi discipline scientists with opposing views , which I can respect.

    The ipcc is a dangerous political organisation with a narrow anti capitalist agenda. It only allows one view (human caused climate change) under its charter. It does not allow dissent in its approved publications.

  83. Kaye Lee

    Oh for heavens sake. I suppose you think creationism should have equal status with evolution as a “theory” too.

    If you think the IPCC is corrupt, do you also think every scientific organisation around the world is colluding in this corruption? NASA, the CSIRO, the BoM and all the others? The reason they say climate change is being caused by us is because the proof is irrefutable. You have been duped by those employed by the fossil fuel industry to deliberately misinform and your ignorance is what is dangerous.

  84. Terence

    Kaye Lee

    I am afraid that I am not as trusting in scientific institutions as you are.

    Surely we can trust NOAA?

    “whistleblowers in greater numbers will now dare to come forward, knowing they will no longer be silenced.
    One of them is Dr. John Bates, a recently retired principal scientist at NOAA, who described how his agency manipulated data to manufacture a non-existent increase in global temperatures. In a press release last week, U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee chairman Lamar Smith thanked “Dr. John Bates for courageously stepping forward to tell the truth about NOAA’s senior officials playing fast and loose with the data in order to meet a politically predetermined conclusion.” This week a second press release from the same committee indicated that NOAA will be brought to account.”

  85. Kaye Lee


    We get back to needing to check on the credibility of your sources. Yes I trust NOAA and you will find that the story you have linked to has been refuted by Dr Bates.

    ExxonMobil helped create a task force called “Global Climate Science Team” (GCST) in 1998, which was inspired by the Advancement of Sound Science, created by the Philip Morris tobacco company to manufacture uncertainty about the health hazards of second-hand smoke. According to a task force memo, by emulating the “Big Tobacco’s disinformation strategy,” GCST asserted that “Victory will be achieved when average citizens understand (recognize) uncertainties in climate science’ and when ‘public recognition of uncertainty becomes part of the conventional wisdom'”

  86. terence

    Kaye Lee

    A very professionally executed establishment cover up.

    Poor Whistleblower Bates is probably still in hiding.

  87. Kaye Lee

    Bates is far from in hiding. He has gone very public about the misuse of his complaint.

    “The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data, but rather really of timing of a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was.”

    Bates accused former colleagues of rushing their research to publication, in defiance of agency protocol. He specified that he did not believe that they manipulated the data upon which the research relied in any way.

    Bates later told Science Insider that he was concerned that climate science deniers would misuse his complaints, but proceeded anyway because he felt it was important to start a conversation about data integrity.

    “I knew people would misuse this. But you can’t control other people.”

    He said protocol was breached, not that there was data fraud. Bates said the NOAA study relied on land data that were “experimental.” Typically, NOAA officials can publish research that relies partially on experimental data, as long as the data are properly identified – that was his only beef and one that was disputed by the authors of the paper he was criticising.

    You really have to stop thinking the crap written in conservative tabloids is more accurate than peer-reviewed scientific papers.

  88. Kaye Lee

    Non-partisan report in the conservative national review?

    “In 2017, National Review published an article alleging that a top NOAA scientist claimed that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) engaged in data manipulation and rushed a study based on faulty data in order to influence the Paris climate negotiations. The article largely repeated allegations made in The Daily Mail without independent verification. The scientist in question later rebuked the claims made by the National Review, noting that he did not accuse NOAA of data manipulation but instead raised concerns about “the way data was handled, documented and stored, raising issues of transparency and availability”

    Bates told the AP on Feb. 6 that there was “no data tampering, no data changing, nothing malicious” involved with his colleagues’ study. “It’s not trumped up data in any way shape or form,” he said.

    An organization that regulates the newspaper and magazine industry in the U.K. ruled in July that the Daily Mail article that was repeatedly shared on Twitter by the House Science Committee was inaccurate and misleading. The article portrayed Bates’ criticisms of NOAA scientists as providing “irrefutable evidence” that the paper had been grounded in “misleading, ‘unverified’ data,” which led to world leaders being “duped” about global warming. “These claims by the newspaper went much further than the concerns which Dr Bates had detailed in his blog or in the interview,” the Independent Press Standards Organisation, wrote on July 7. In a Sept. 16 statement on the ruling, the Daily Mail acknowledged, “In characterising Dr Bates’ claims in this way the newspaper had failed to take care over the accuracy of the article.”

    No Data Manipulation at NOAA

  89. Winston

    Denial of Global Warming is working.It keeps industry going.Business as usual.

  90. terence

    Kaye Lee

    “NOAA not only failed, but it effectively mounted a cover-up when challenged over its data. After the paper was published, the US House of Representatives Science Committee launched an inquiry into its Pausebuster claims. NOAA refused to comply with subpoenas demanding internal emails from the committee chairman, the Texas Republican Lamar Smith, and falsely claimed that no one had raised concerns about the paper internally.

    Heads need to roll. Donald Trump has his work cut out for him, to put it mildly.”

  91. Kaye Lee

    Lamar Smith has made a number of false and misleading claims about climate change.

    Smith’s Error-Filled Climate Op-Ed

    In his capacity as Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Smith has demanded a number of documents from NOAA and threatened them with prosecution if they don’t comply. He’s asking for the data and methods related to the study itself, which doesn’t sound too unreasonable at first. But when you learn that this information is already public, it seems odd that he would want to waste his and the scientists’ time demanding information that anyone with an internet connection can freely access.

    As of 2015, Smith has received more than $600,000 from the fossil fuel industry during his career in Congress.

    In 2014, Smith got more money from fossil fuels than he did from any other industry. Smith publicly denies global warming. Under his leadership, the House Science committee has held hearings that feature the views of climate change deniers, subpoenaed the records and communications of scientists who published papers that Smith disapproved of, and attempted to cut NASA’s earth sciences budget. He has been criticized for conducting “witch hunts” against climate scientists. In his capacity as chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Smith issued more subpoenas in his first three years than the committee had for its entire 54-year history. In a June 2016 response letter to the Union of Concerned Scientists, Mr. Smith cited the work of the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s as valid legal precedent for his investigation.

    On December 1, 2016, as chair on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, he tweeted out on behalf of that committee a Breitbart article denying climate change.

    In February 2018, Smith criticized the World Health Organization’s (WHO) cancer research program for its finding that glyphosate, the active component in the herbicide Roundup, is probably carcinogen.

  92. Terence


    I don’t see what Lamar Smiths interests have to do with NOAAs refusal to provide information to the house of representatives?

  93. Kaye Lee

    They didn’t refuse to provide information. It was freely available on the internet. Lamar Smith was too ignorant or lazy or corrupt to access it because he had confected a scandal that didn’t exist as Dr Bates went to great lengths to point out.

    Of course it is important to look at who is financing your sources and in EVERY case you have mentioned, the deniers are funded by the fossil fuel industry. They are paid to sow doubt about something that is not in doubt so they can squeeze the last bit of p[rofit they can from their dying industry, just as with the misinformation campaign carried out by the smoking lobby.

    What if the scientists are wrong? We get a cleaner greener planet with a free and infinite energy source. If you are wrong, on the other hand, we face an existential threat and will be at the mercy of the few who control the diminishing fossil fuels and those who have enough weapons to take what they need to survive.

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