Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Make That Ten

THE Silly's environmental guru, a modest fellow with much to be modest about, wonders why this little blog has published nine posts concerning his sweet self:

Barely more than a youngster and evidently quite easily distracted, Ben will learn as he grows older that finding time for important things isn't all that hard. Indeed, one can even get in a fair bit of golf and fishing without entirely forsaking curiosity.

Take this story, for example, which Cubby and colleague Peter Hannam rushed into pixels yesterday afternoon. Apart from demonstrating that there are still a couple of good things to be said of the ALP -- that would be "Martin" + "Ferguson" -- it also demonstrates what happens when reporters allow a blinkered sympathy for the cause to trump an inquisitive nature. It is not that the story is wrong, or not obviously so, it is simply that it neglects to ask any obvious questions. For example, here is a video of the researchers discussing their methods, which involve strapping some sort of a sniffing device to their car and then going for a drive.

It all seems quite reasonable, and perhaps there is nothing that can be said to fault it. But no reader of Cubby's story would know that because there is no mention of what other men and women of science might make of the technique. For example:

On the bitumen and travelling at speed, the car's engine revolutions would be low and its emissions, which might (or might not) contaminate the readings, could conceivably produce the "natural" 2ppm-or-less referenced in the video. By the same token, the bitumen itself might seal emissions, keeping readings artificially low.On broken ground -- beside a pipeline, say -- where the vehicle will be making harder work of it on more porous surfaces, recorded emissions could quite conceivably be higher.

The thing is, while these questions arise in a curious mind, they seem not to have nagged at Cubby, who appears to have made no effort to ascertain the efficacy of high-speed automated sniffing.

Nor has he placed the researchers in the context of their views, which a link to the video (above) might have achieved. Each researcher is quite clearly a warmist, so the diligently curious would want to place their pronouncements in that frame, just as it might also have been worth noting that Dr Santos is doing very nicely with climate-related ARC grants. Very nicely indeed.

And then there is the manner in which, as Ferguson noted, the sniffers began trumpeting their findings before getting the all-clear via that peer review business we hear so much about -- at least we hear about it when it suits the sort of alarmists the shark sooker is given to quoting. As for deniers, well they get a less sympathetic hearing, as this sad video of a young zealot having his ears pinned back attests. Make a note, by the way, of Cubby's emphasis at the 5:50 mark on the vital importance of peer review. Yesterday, however, when writing of the paper that drew Ferguson's ire, Cubby's approach was markedly different. The lack of peer review was merely mentioned and passed over. As for the fact that the paper has been seized upon and trumpeted by anti-CSG groups far and wide, well that context is not mentioned at all.

That a near-bankrupt company still finds the money to pay Cubby's salary and that he returns the favour by being so often unquestioning is really quite sad. Carbonphobia is costing all of us, even Cubby, a good deal of money. Curiosity is a splendid thing, often satisfying in itself. As a steward of the public trust, Cubby really should give it a try. His warmist mates might think less of him, but he could draw on the compensatory satisfaction of knowing he would no longer be accused of serving as an eager shill.

Until then, someone has to do it -- no matter how much an inquiring nature interferes with golf and fishing. Some things are worth the time, and getting as close as possible to the truth is prominent amongst them.

A NOTE: Seriously, Ben, curiosity does not demand all that much time. This post, start to finish, including the googling, writing and linking, took all of 38 minutes 53 minutes with corrections. You must spend at least that much time every day policing the office re-cycling bin.


  1. mojo, Unrepentant YankNovember 21, 2012 at 4:59 AM

    Perfect name for a "cub reporter", though.

  2. Perfessor: You are marking yourself as so much of a sceptic that you might just qualify as a Denier! Believe, my son!

    Good bit of sceptical thinking, to which you might add this: since they didn't drive through the site prior to the CSG wells being established, how do they know what the background levels might have been? These are, after all, gassy coal seams, and Mother Nature has been known to vent the odd substance from her bowels. Yes - Gaia farts! So how the hell does one observations show anything? Real science is so demanding - it can make ones brain hurt just thinking about it.

    1. Gaia farts? Tsk tsk! No way! We hairy men fart, women never do and Gaia (blessed be her name and all who follow her) gently exudes excess gaseous material!

  3. "Kind of amazed this skeptic website has apparently got 9 stories about me."

    LOL. File under #HumbleBrag.

    1. Thank you for this, it explains a lot.

  4. “ Experience is the comb that Nature gives us after we are bald. ”

    — Belgian Proverb

  5. Isaac Santos says he's 'not pro- or anti-coal seam gas'. This might be worth a bit of background research?

  6. Ben Cubby has become the new Graham Redfearn of "environmental" reporting. Completely out of his depth and susceptible/gullible to any unsupported rubbish served up by the Warmist faith.

    Would Benny Cubby-House recognise a scientific paper if he ever saw one? Perhaps young Benny can enlighten us all with a reference to such a paper which supports an hypothesis that man-made CO2 is the variable that causes global warming.
    Author(s), year, title, journal, please Benny.

    Of course, he can't. But it's a disgrace that these fellows pose as reporters when they would be better suited hawking around Al's Inconvenient Truth slide show, complete with hockey stick.

  7. The Old and Unimproved DaveNovember 21, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Ben Cubby, you can expect Professor Bunyip's attentions if you are either very good or very bad at what you do.

    BTW, I've heard that the Professor, in days gone by, used to like to combine golf with the Theatre ... but the ushers kept confiscating his ball

  8. The Old and Unimproved DaveNovember 21, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    The Greenies are an epidemic risk....just ask the ABC.

  9. For a look at Ben in action the following is worth a look:

  10. The other side finds the time to maintain a website the Gestapo would have been proud of.


  11. I just watched Ben and Lord Monkton. I do not think he heard one word. How rigid is that?

    He's a Journalist?

  12. Proof positive that Benny is an olympic standard muppet.
    He may as well have tweeted ....
    "Hey dudes! Any of you looking for proof that I am a rolled-gold dickhead? Well all the evidence of same is neatly presented over at Check it out!"

    The Irish Lion

    1. Sorry to have to liken you to KRudd, O'pantheric one, but you have committed a Ruddism there: 'rolled gold' is actually fake: silver covered with a thin layer of gold. What you (and he) meant is solid gold. A rolled gold guarantee is nor in fact worth much.

      Other Ruddisms: 'fair suck of the sauce bottle' (which conflated 'fair shake of the sauce bottle' and 'fair suck of the savaloy); 'doesn't amount to a row of beans' when he meant a 'hill'.

      The sad thing about Kevvy is that he's a try hard - a square trying to slum it with us mere mortals, but stuffs up the cliches so much he just keeps drawing attention to how square he is.

    2. Walter Plinge of Port LincolnNovember 21, 2012 at 9:46 PM

      Exactly. I was amused when Kim Beazely (and, I think, other Labor politicians) used 'rolled gold' as a metaphor for 'quality' not realising it actually meant cheap-n-nasty.

  13. Southern Cross University's vice-chancellor Peter Lee replied: "We reject your assertions and believe your media release is misleading to your members and to the general public."

    And that says everything you need to know about Southern Cross University.

    1. More like 'We reject your reality, and substitute our own'

  14. I mix Ben Cubby up with Connor Duffy. They seem harmless enough, but wise to keep them away from sharp objects. Sarah Clarke on the other hand would not be someone to have a friendly chat with, the sharp object advice would be more for the safety of others at the billabong.

    Cubby should spend sometime away from those who do not blink and listen to stories of times gone by.

    One, a story of the last time a team of zealots went 'sniffing'. They found DDT in the Antarctic. DDT they brought with them in their equipment as I remember.