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John Passant

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January 2013



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



The Australian and climate change denial

In his article ‘Sea rise “not linked to warming” says report’ (The Australian 15 January) environmental reporter Graham Lloyd says:’Australia’s pre-eminent sea-level scientist, John Church, contributed to the paper, which said it could not link climate change and the rate of sea-level rises in the 20th century.’

John Church has in fact made that very link.

Here is an AAP report, reproduced in the Sydney Morning Herald and called ‘Sea level rise “linked to climate change” ‘: ‘Scientists have rejected claims that the latest research on climate change finds no link between global warming and rising sea levels. CSIRO scientist Dr John Church, regarded as Australia’s leading authority on sea level and climate change, said they were clearly connected. “It is clearly linked to increases in greenhouse gases,” he said. “Sea level has already increased the rate of rise from the 18th and 19th century. The instrumental record would indicate an acceleration during the 20th century and the projections will indicate a further acceleration during the 21st century.” ‘

Earlier, in ‘Climate results validate skeptics’ (The Australian 12 January), in discussing the UK Met’s annual December update to its experimental decadal global temperature prediction, Lloyd says:

‘On one analysis, the forecast confirms what many people have been saying for some time. Global warming effectively stopped 17 years ago and, if the new forecast is accurate, that “pause” will be extended to 20 years.’

Here is the Met’s response:

‘There has been media coverage today about our experimental decadal global temperature prediction, which is routinely updated in December each year.

‘The latest decadal prediction suggests that global temperatures over the next five years are likely to be a little lower than predicted from the previous prediction issued in December 2011.

‘However, both versions are consistent in predicting that we will continue to see near-record levels of global temperatures in the next few years.

‘This means temperatures will remain well above the long-term average and we will continue to see temperatures like those which resulted in 2000-2009 being the warmest decade in the instrumental record dating back to 1850.’

I call bullshit on The Australian and its reporting of climate change and its denial of humanity’s role in it.



Comment from brendan
Time January 16, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Should there not be someone moving for a lawsuit against Graham Lloyd and the Australian? On this evidence, it looks like willful falsehood.

Comment from John
Time January 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm

I suspect it will go to the toothless Press Council. I dont think this is wilful falsehood. Lloyd is careful in his language.

Comment from Kay
Time January 16, 2013 at 5:13 pm


On the basis of the Abstract (thanks for the link), it is easy to see how The Australian came up with its catchy headline. Only those who subscribe to the journal can read the full text.

But the final sentence of the Abstract – “Semi-empirical methods for projecting GMSLR depend on the existence of a relationship between global climate change and the rate of GMSLR (global-mean sea-level rise), but the implication of our closure of the budget is that such a relationship is weak or absent during the 20th century.” – could certainly lead to The Australian’s catchy headline.

Hopefully the IPCC report this year will be less confusing!

Comment from John
Time January 16, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Kay, I cannot even get free access through the ANU. It is not a journal to which the ANU subscribes.

Comment from Kay
Time January 16, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Probably little point then in hassling my husband to try to access it through UQ’s library. But as I said, I suspect it would be pretty hard going anyway for those not directly involved in climate science. Probably lots of equations and graphs! The abstract should be the easy-to-understand summary of the paper.

I read elsewhere on the web that some of the argument about what the paper was really saying pivoted on the use of semi-empirical methods and their validity. But I think I’ll leave that to the experts!

Comment from Ross
Time January 16, 2013 at 7:39 pm

John is a fan of consensus science.There are many scientists who do not agree with the official dogma.How often throughout history have we seen the majority been wrong?

The issue is not climate change but what is causing it and the real evidence is not pointing at CO2.The world has been far cooler with far more CO2 in the atmosphere.

Unless scientists agree with the official dogma they do not get funding.He who pays the piper calls the tune. 10% of our Carbon Taxes are dedicated to the UN for their un-democratic “Global Governance” A totalitarian world Govt controlled by the Military Industrial Complex that Pres Dwight Eisenhower warned us about in 1962 will be our worst nightmare.

Extreme weather conditions does not equal global warming.We are overdue for an ice age.The true measurement of temps come from our satellites but our IPCC use outmoded and corrupt readings from ground stations often located near ashfelt and air condutioning units.

I remember in the 1960’s inSydney of summers far hotter than now.We had temps in excess of 100deg F that lasted for a week.

We now have one day of 43 deg C and bushfires, which are rated as catasrophic ?

I see no evidence of sea level rise in the 50 yrs I’ve lived by the sea.Many of these Island in the Pacific have suffered land subsidence which is a regular event in tectonic plate areas.

In the realm of improbability believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.

Comment from John
Time January 16, 2013 at 10:35 pm

I am a fan of science. And when 99% of the experts agree in general about AGW, then who am I to disagree?

Comment from Jason
Time January 19, 2013 at 10:45 am

Ross, I see your points and they are salient in their own right, but anecdotal local examples do not refute hard data on a global basis. In fact, hard data on a local basis won’t even be comparing apples with apples. I too remember really sweltering summers growing up in Western Sydney. I also remember regular hard frosts in Winter and they are all but unheard of now.

The trend is upward at both ends locally, but this is just a very small part of the picture. It is difficult for tiny humans like us to really imagine the big picture.

That’s why we make and record measurements. I too, call bullshit on The Australian. It’s a spin rag and I’m not surprised that the ANU doesn’t subscribe to it.

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