Bob Carter: innumerate and irrational?

by Gareth on March 11, 2011

Bob Carter, in Shhsshh … don’t talk about the science, Quadrant Online, Feb 28 2011:

So what about the famous global warming which occurred in the late 20th century, whatever happened to that? Well, not only did the gentle warming terminate in 1998, but in accord with natural climate cycling that warming has been followed by a gentle cooling since about 2001. That’s ten years of no temperature increase, let alone dangerous increase, over the same time period that atmospheric carbon dioxide increased by about 5%.

Run that past me again, Professors Garnaut and Flannery – your advice to government still remains that human carbon dioxide emissions are causing dangerous global warming?

Ross Garnaut, in his introduction to the Garnaut Climate Change Review – Update 2011, Update Paper five, March 10 2011: The science of climate change, after noting that statisticians confirmed (again) the presence of a warming trend in the latest data:

The statistical evidence did not stop assertions in the public debate that the earth was cooling, but it does seem to have discouraged at least the numerate and rational from repetition of errors into which they had carelessly fallen.

So where does that leave Carter, I wonder? I think we can rule out his being careless in the presentation of the facts. And he can’t really be innumerate — the Royal Society of New Zealand does not welcome the mathematically challenged to its ranks. Irrational? How else do you describe someone who argues the exact opposite of the truth? What’s the term I’m striving for? Is he being economical with the truth or simply telling lies? I leave that for the reader to decide.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

RW March 11, 2011 at 11:03 am

Let’s just call him a liar. His name will go down in infamy.

Rob Taylor March 11, 2011 at 11:26 am

Let’s also call him a neo-con.

Remember the line “we make our own reality”…

nigelj March 11, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Carters comments are incredibly missleading. Basically he deliberately poisons the debate as some sort of ego trip.

Bottom line is a quick glance at ANY dataset shows a rising trend past 1998 to pretty much now, he knows that, its also confirmed statistically.

Hes deliberately using every trick, like selecting short time frames, 1998 an aberrant year, hadcrut the most conservative dataset, deliberately fooling the population that doesnt understand you dont just join the dots in a graph. He talks poisonous nonsense.

Steve Meacher March 11, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Some of you may remember my previous correspondence with the ABC regarding Bob Carter (See Bob Carter, untroubled by hobgoblins, 23 January), to which I received no follow up – until now.

This morning I sent the following –

Dear Mr Maley,

It is disappointing, though not surprising, that you have failed to respond to my previous correspondence of 3 February.

Nevertheless I wish to bring to your attention Professor Garnaut’s comments on the Australian media, as quoted in The Age (below). They are as pertinent to the presentation of climate change on the ABC as any other media outlet.


Steve Meacher

from The Age, March 11, 2011
The science is good, the media bad, the situation worse: Garnaut
Adam Morton and Katharine Murphy

GOVERNMENT adviser Ross Garnaut has criticised media treatment of climate change, suggesting it has undermined support for action by giving equal weight to mainstream peer-reviewed science and sceptical views not backed by published evidence.
The latest update to Professor Garnaut’s 2008 climate change review, launched in Hobart last night, finds that the world is continuing to warm. He also found that the evidence that human greenhouse gas emissions are the primary cause has strengthened beyond the high level of certainty of three years ago.
Despite this, public confidence in climate science seemed to have weakened in Australia, in part due to media coverage of the issue.
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“If you take our mainstream media, it will often seek to provide some balance between people who base their views on the mainstream science and people who don’t,” he said.
“That’s a very strange sort of balance. It’s a balance of words, and not a balance of scientific authority.”
This prompted a very rapid response assuring that the ABC is “reviewing its policies in relation to balance and accuracy”. Hopefully, we’ve had a small win!

Gareth March 11, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Congratulations Steve. Relentless rationality is our only option.

Mike Palin March 12, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Relentless rationality – I like that.

sailrick March 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm

“….over the same time period that atmospheric carbon dioxide increased by about 5%.”

Which brings us to the other lie/misrepresentation of the facts – CO2 emissions since 1988 or 2001, would not have had a chance to warm the planet yet, due to the ocean’s thermal inertia time lag.

But he probably already knows that. Or should.

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