Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mournful Morton Of The Fever Swamp

RESIDENT Phage catastrophist Adam “Mournful” Morton is feeling poorly today, according to his tweets, but his dedication to the alarmist cause allows no rest when wicked deniers are on the prowl. They must be scourged and shamed, exposed by comparison with the more responsible reporting of events that Morton believes, and with pride,  to be the essence of his and Fairfax's fearless journalism.

Adam Morton
Another day, another p1 headline on climate in the Oz that doesn't reflect the story. Anyone would think it has an agenda.

Here is the story that raised Morton’s temperature. “‘Summer of disaster not climate change’: Rajendra Pachauri” the headline says, which would seem fair enough, given the three supporting paragraphs of the railway engineer’s quotes that appear near the top of The Australian’s report.
"Frankly, it is difficult to take a season or two and come up with any conclusions on those on a scientific basis," Dr Pachauri said. 
"What we can say very clearly is the aggregate impact of climate change on all these events, which are taking place at much higher frequency and intensity all over the world.

"On that there is very little doubt; the scientific evidence is very, very strong. But what happens in Queensland or what happens in Russia or for that matter the floods in the Mississippi River right now, whether there is a link between those and climate change is very difficult to establish.
So I don't think anyone can make a categorical statement on that." 

Pachauri’s thoughts make no sense: No specific event can be linked to climate change, as the paraphrasing of the Australian’s headline states, but somehow, if taken together, they can. Zero + zero + zero + zero + zero = an “aggregate impact” for which “the scientific evidence is very, very strong”.

In his fevered delirium, and because today he has a lurgy as well, Morton tweets an approving link to Fairfax colleague Tom Arup’s report on the same interview. In that instance, however, the relevant quotes are buried way, way down at the bottom. Indeed, they are the final two paragraphs:

But after a summer of natural disasters in Australia, including the floods and the cyclone in Queensland, Dr Pachauri warned against drawing links between climate change and an individual weather event, instead pointing to an overall trend.
''I really wouldn't link any single set of events to human-induced climate change.
''I think scientifically that's really not possible … the scientific basis is clearly not strong enough,'' he said.

Ah, the truth, Fairfax-style. Don’t put obvious questions of those of whom you approve. Support the cause, not objectivity. And finally, if the quotes don’t match your deeply held beliefs, deep-six the bastards. Then bag the opposition for havng "an agenda."
Mournful Morton should add those tweets to his CV. The hirers at the ABC, which does not need to make a profit,  will love them when the Age, which could be making a profit if not for people like Morton, falls over and dies.


  1. Another sad leftie.

  2. Imre, does it hurt your feelings when your peers don't take your newspaper seriously?

  3. PhillipGeorge(c)2011- testing one, two, three?May 19, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    Anonymous - is that sad or delusional? Carboniferous era stomatal densities suggest rising CO^2 will shrink deserts. Remember 60 foot tree ferns and metre wide wing span spiracle breathing dragon flies. Water Use Efficiency gains and faster growth of all C3 carbon fixation plants is the best news of the Industrial Revolution thus encountered.
    We need you!