Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Light Up A Viscount

THERE should be no joy in another’s pain, but lately the temptation to have a good, long laugh at the New Establishment’s pain has been irresistible. Things aren’t going quite as planned, what with those dismal polls and the shocking realization that out there in their millions, there really are people who refuse to believe that a nice new tax will be good for them. It has all come as quite a shock to the anointed, whose analyses of what is good for this wretched government have been so consistently skew wiff*. The carbon tax was supposed to be a natural winner, an easy sell, according to those same bell ringers, who  were out early to hail its genius and howl down all detractors.

Now that it is coming to pieces, now that the newsrooms at the Silly, Phage and Collective represent a large chunk of the hidebound 25% of the population still prepared to vote Labor, there is rage in the air. Watch Jonathan Holmes get in a snit about free speech that isn’t his kind of speech. Hear an ABC interviewer slam down the phone. Be amazed as the bravehearts of our fearless press approach this gangrenous PM on bended knee, begging for guidance that they might report her doings more equitably. The prescription was scatological. Her courtiers took it with their Press Club lunch.

Honestly, if you couldn’t laugh you would cry at the way in which the fury of frustration is manifesting itself, shredding even the pretence of balance. A particularly petulant example went to air over Radio National on Sunday morning. It was called The Monckton Road Show, and if there has ever been reason to clean out the ABC come the next election, this is it. It is a vicious,

For some reason the ABC has yet to post a transcript, but you can hear the full broadcast here.  Take particular note of the bit dealing with Lord Monckton’s rejection of Al Gore’s contention that shrinking Arctic ice is drowning polar bears. Referring to the paper on which Gore based his claim, a Monckton sound byte captures him saying:

 “Gore, for once, actually cites a scientific paper. He cites it wrong, of course, but he does cite it. And what he says is a scientific study shows, for the first time, they are finding polar bears that have drowned, swimming long distances to find the ice … so here is the actual map from the paper: Four dead polar bears!…

…did any of these polar bears, according to the paper he was quoting die because they were trying to find the ice. No, they died because there was a big storm with high winds and high waves and they got swamped. Or, as we scientists call it, shit happens. So there is no basis at any point for Al Gore’s story. It was complete fiction from start to finish.”

Clear on that? Good, because the next snatch of audio is from Carlisle, who is quite definite that Monckton is telling whoppers:

“The scientific paper that Lord Monckton cites does not say the polar bears drowned because of a big storm. The paper suggests that the polar bears most likely drowned because there was less ice for them to seek refuge on because of climate change, and that the drowned polar bears could be statistically significant.”

So let’s go to the paper, shall we? And remember, Monckton says it was bad weather that did for those poor bears. Carlisle tells listeners bad weather had nothing to do with it.

If, however, data are simply spatially extrapolated, bear deaths during a period of high winds in 2004 may have been significant

27 bears may have died as a result of the high offshore winds.

Our count of dead polar bears related to the 2004 windstorm….

Over the next days, high winds occurred across the study area, with light westerly winds switching to strong easterly winds peaking at 54 km/h at Endicott and 46 km/h measured at Kaktovik between 10 and 11 September (Fig. 2). Winds offshore were likely considerably higher … Seas became very rough with wave heights estimated in excess of 2m.

If that is not enough for Carlisle, there is this:

High mortality in 2004 was more likely related to extreme and metabolically demanding conditions, such as high sea states associated with stormy weather

…Our count of dead polar bears related to the 2004 windstorm almost certainly represents an underestimate

What makes Carlisle’s misrepresentation so remarkable is that she has actually posted a link to the paper on Background Briefing’s web page. All anyone has to do is open and read it – something she appears not to have done.

Or did she? It is a dreadful, uncharitable thought, but in her hatchet job on Monckton, Carlisle seems to make a habit of misstating the papers to which she links. One error might be deemed a misfortune, to paraphrase Lady Bracknell, but to commit so many must be construed as carelessness.

Or perhaps  worse than carelessmness. A second of Carlisle’s gross misrepresentations will be the subject of a subsequent post

UPDATE: There has not been much time over the past week to stay entirely on top of events. Andrew Bolt has already pounced on Carlisle's contempt for professional standards 

UPDATE II: For those too young to remember...



  1. We can complain here:


  2. "been so consistently skew with"

    Skew wiff.

  3. Will Mark Scott be moved, should it be asked of him, if an ABC struck down by group think (Marxistomatosis) can ever be cured?
    Mr. Scott would certainly step back from giving a directive (bullying) suggest a career move (unfair dismissal) or venture anywhere near some of these Carlisle/Cameron/Kelly types (harassment.)
    Besides, once entitlement to a dug at the public teat is awarded, then the terms of that entitlement are no longer negotiable and commitments are but pie crusts only to be broken. (Lenin)