Welcome to Quadrant Online | Login/ Register Cart (0) $0 View Cart
Menu
March 21st 2016 print

Tony Thomas

The Climate Council’s Memory Hole

Mandrake the Magician has nothing on Tim Flannery & Co when it comes to vanishing acts, from geothermal investors' equity to those frothing predictions of endless drought and "ghost cities". But the excision of sceptic Judith Curry from a list of female climate experts takes the cake

curry crossed outWhen a three-year-old tells whoppers it can be cute. It’s not so cute if the whopper-tellers are scientist Tim Flannery, aged 60, and his Climate Council. Flannery is Chief Councillor of the crowd-funded body, which is dedicated to “accurate and authoritative information on all aspects of climate change”.

His Council website has this item:

19 climate champions, who also happen to be women… To celebrate International Women’s Day, here’s a list of nineteen women kicking goals in the climate change debate — from scientists to politicians, diplomats, community organisers and more. (My emphasis).

It begins, “This article originally appeared on the International Council for Science’s Road to Paris website.” Click through to that site (a spin-off from the International Council for Science, ICSU) and you find the original was not about 19 women but was headed,20 women making waves in the climate change debate”.[i]

20 women facebookEven more mysterious, the Climate Council website has a Facebook prompt (left) headlined:

Kicking goals: 20 climate champions, who also happen to be women…From scientists to politicians, community organisers to diplomats – here are 20 women fighting for climate action around the world. Climatecouncil.org.au

But click it and the original 20 women suddenly become the Climate Council’s 19. (below right)

So what’s going on? The ICSU’s 20 women were meant to reflect women’s contribution to the “diversities of the climate debate”. The 20 included distinguished scientist Dr Judith Curry, who doesn’t toe the doomsters’ party line on climate. The Climate Council simply couldn’t bear to list her – even though she has a peer-reviewed publication list of 150+,  dwarfing that of the other women cited in the top 20 (or top 19).  So the Climate Council simply clipped her from 20 women minus onethe list, notwithstanding the ICSU’s copyright.

The Climate Council’s tampering was done without public acknowledgement or apology to the original compilers,  namely three editors associated with ICSU and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. The editors in turn had compiled the list by an extra survey  in the wake of their unisex survey about top 15 climate news-makers a year ago. That list of 15 included only three women.[ii] The Road to Paris doesn’t say who exactly was surveyed for nominations for its later “20 women” list, but did name 16 individuals who were both “judges” and respondents for the unisex list of 15.

I googled a few of them. They included, for example, Alice Bows-Larkin,  Professor of Climate Science & Energy Policy, Manchester University; Max Boykoff, of the Centre for Science & Technology Policy Research, Oregon; Simon Buckle, Policy Director, The Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College, and at the far end of the alphabet, Professor James Wilsdon, Director of Impact and Engagement, Sheffield University.

We can assume the ICSU/Stockholm’s “20 women” respondents were of comparable weight and lustre.

The Climate Council’s deletion of Judith Curry from the 20 Women list bears a family resemblance to the revered Soviet practice which saw photos that originally included purged-and-shot apparatchiks doctored, the unwanted amanda mckenzieindividuals’ images made to disappear. At least the Soviets owned the photographs they doctored. The Climate Council doesn’t own the ICSU 20 women list and has no more right to delete  a woman it hates than to insert its own choice into the list. Perhaps we’re lucky the Council didn’t decide to re-make the list into 20 by replacing Curry with its winsome CEO Amanda McKenzie (left), who is more the telegenic cutie. That way, the odd, eye-catching numeral 19 could have been avoided.

The Climate Council’s monkeying with a third party’s survey-based list hardly validates its claim:

We exist to provide independent, authoritative climate change information to the Australian public. Why? Because our response to climate change should be based on the best science available.

The ICSU comprises 122 national science academies and 31 unions of scientists, e.g. the International Mathematical Union. Among the ICSU’s members is our very own Australian Academy of Science. Expect a high-level stoush when the  Australian Academy’s  president Andrew Holmes takes  Flannery and the Climate Council to task for tampering with the ICSU’s list. Oh, wait! Flannery’s a Fellow of the Australian Academy! Should Holmes expel him, or would that be too drastic? Maybe an internal reprimand would be sufficient? Or is the Australian Academy uninterested in one of its Fellows authorising wanton deletions to an ICSU-copyrighted survey-based ranking of women in climate?

The ICSU list has this to say about Dr Curry – words Flannery and the “scientific” Climate Council felt duty-bound to expunge:

Blogger and scientist favoured by sceptics. Judith Curry is fast becoming the go-to scientist favoured by the more sceptical ends of the climate debate, though she is more than capable of making a name for herself in her own right. An established climate scientist, well known for her research on hurricanes and Arctic ice, Curry is currently Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Troubled by the way those who do not fit with scientific consensus are treated by the scientific community and broader environmental discourse, she regularly speaks up for the role of dissent and free speech in climate science. It is fair to say this doesn’t always win her friends in either science or the green movement. Curry is an active blogger, reflecting her commitment to transparency of the debate within science…

mandrakePit Dr Curry against other women on the 20 list, and it would be no-contest.  The only other listee of similar stature (about 140 publications) is Joanna Haigh FRS, a solar expert and ex-president of the Royal Meteorological Society. Among the others, lightweight author Naomi Klein never managed to finish her BA at the University of Toronto.  Sharan Burrow, ex-ACTU boss, makes the list but her credentials stop at “high school teacher”. Listee Naomi Oreskes calls herself a science “historian” and carries on about climate skeptics being the same as tobacco lobbyists. Then there’s US EPA boss Gina McCarthy, who doesn’t know what percentage CO2 comprises in the atmosphere. Annie Leonard is boss of Greenpeace US.

The Climate Council not only solicits donations from the public, but these donations are tax-deductible. Perhaps our gutsy Prime Minister could check whether the Council’s tax-deductibility is still appropriate, given that it appears to have hired a green-tinted Mandrake the Magician to enhance a penchant for putting propaganda ahead of science and stuffing inconvenient sceptics down the memory hole.

Tony Thomas blogs at No B-S Here I Hope

_______________________________

[i] The detail reads, “We hope it shows off some of the quiet – and not so quiet – power women do have on this issue, and the diversity of the debate. Gender aside, this list reflects other diversities of the climate debate, with expertise in financial systems, workers’ rights, science, politics, development, media, diplomacy and more.”

[ii] But quelle surprise! The top-15 does include Rajendra Pachauri, 75, for 12 years chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, until his abrupt resignation a year ago because of  charges involving his alleged 14-month sexual pursuit of an unwilling 30-year-old female researcher at his TERI institute. The 1400-page New Delhi police charge sheet covers four counts including sexual assault, harassment and criminal intimidation. The top-15 list also includes leading skeptic Christopher Monckton, illustrating that the original ICSU lists are independent of value-judgements about the news-makers listed.

Comments [17]

  1. Peter OBrien says:

    Tony,

    kudos for noticing this bit of legerdemain. In any normal debate it should occasion red faces all around but not so with climate alarmists. I have an ongoing comments thread duel in my local rag with a died in the wool believer. He scoffed at various commenters for posting comments linked to Jo Nova’s site, on the basis that Jo is not a climate scientist and therefore not qualified to comment on CAGW. He, himself, regularly refers to Sceptical Science and when I pointed out that, this might be a tad two faced because John Cook, who runs the site, is also not a climate scientist, he responded that his position is justified because Cook is a believer. You just can’t win with these folks.

  2. Bill Martin says:

    When a malevolent entity, such as an organised crime group, senses the ascendance of its power over society, it becomes increasingly confident and allows itself more and more of the luxury of blatant lies and inconsistencies. Such is the situation in the case of the Australian Climate Council, except that their “confidence” is baseless, because they are losing ever more people to the skeptics without realising it.

    This false confidence in their cause and infallibility is typical of organisations endeavouring to “save the world”. The Bilderberg Group – of which the Australian Climate Council is just one of the myriads of “useful idiot” lackeys – is the prime example of the phenomenon. They are now so confident in their invincibility and inevitable victory that they openly declare their aim of instituting an omnipotent world government “for the benefit of the planet and of mankind”. They are equally blatant about the methods they employ for the purpose, such as climate alarmism; inciting racial and other minority related tensions; fostering divisive multiculturalism; promoting the destruction of the nuclear family and actively encouraging and facilitating the flooding of western nations with hordes of economic migrants of values utterly incompatible with western civilisation. Hopefully, awareness of, and resistance to this diabolical process is increasing apace all over the civilised world.

    Are the Australian Climate Council and its infamous leader unaware of the fact that they are an instrument in the hands of a global evil or are they willing participants in the crime?

    • ianl says:

      Bill

      What is almost always underestimated with CAGW advocates is the power of Noble Cause Corruption.

      It’s not a conspiracy, it’s a mindset. If one is convinced that one is “saving the planet”, then anything one says or does is justified. Add to this the seductive appeal of being feted by Kings and Presidents and … plus (and it is a only a plus) the ability to aquire high funding levels.

      So the scientific method per se is corrupted, since the need for unequivocal empirical evidence and hard-edged testable predictions is quite irksome. This works at a public level because most of the population, including the corrupted MSM, do not know or acknowledge the difference between an hypothesis and a theory. So vanity prevails.

      • Peter OBrien says:

        Yes, ianl, noble cause corruption is a major factor influencing many scientists but a small coterie, right at the centre of the CAGW scam, are involved in outright conspiracy.

        • Ian MacDougall says:

          Peter O’Brien:
          Except that ‘skeptics’ like yourself have to invoke a gigantic “outright” conspiracy (it’s all about funding! – and never look at the profits being made by the fossil carbon traders!). But has it ever occurred to you that if just one of the alleged climatologist ‘conspirators’ was to blow the whistle on the whole alleged scam, he/she would not only be able to dine out on it for the rest of his/her life, but receive awards and accolades galore? For having saved the whole world from being led up this Primrose Path, taken to the cleaners, robbed blind and held in thrall by a ruthless new (scientific) aristocracy?
          The atmosphere and ocean of the whole planet is warming, spelt w-a-r-m-i-n-g. This is best indicated not by thermometers, as temperatures are endlessly disputable, but by sea level rise, measurable by satellite altimetry to half-millimetre accuracy.
          GMSL Rates
          CU: 3.3 ± 0.4 mm/yr
          AVISO: 3.3 ± 0.6 mm/yr
          CSIRO: 3.3 ± 0.4 mm/yr
          NASA GSFC: 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr
          NOAA: 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr (w/ GIA)
          A rate of 3.3 mm/yr is 33 mm per decade, 330 mm per century and 3,300 mm (3.3 metres per millennium world-wide). That can only be due to glacial ice melt and/or thermal expansion of ocean water, not to comets falling into it or anything like that.
          Nor can it have been going for long, otherwise it would have been noticed world-wide by historians, harbour authorities, and damn near everyone else: even your ‘sceptical’ self. This suggests rather strongly that the mainstream climatologists are right, and that it is anthropogenic: ie since the Industiral Revolution got started, around AD 1750.

          http://sealevel.colorado.edu/
          http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Global_warming

          • EvilElvis says:

            And yet, Ian, the central solution spruiked by ‘believers’ is surely based in some sort of god complex that you can save the planet. So what if the seas rise, or temperatures increase. We have been given a brain that allows, well some of us anyway, to adapt to changing conditions and environments. Mankind has been doing that for a while now, the insistent group that thinks we can change the planet by regressing is more recent and obviously not able or willing to adapt.

          • Lawrie Ayres says:

            So what caused the seas to rise after the ice age before the Little Ice Age which ended about 1750-1800? No human causes then and the seas rose 120 metres. Warming, melting, expanding with some, possibly extremely small, contribution by humans. No one has made the connection but many have seen the effects of the sun, clouds and currents. Sea level rise rate is slowing while CO2 emissions are increasing. I do not know of one self-funded climate related scientist that accepts the “consensus”, a construct of the third rate taxpayer dependent scientists that you seem so fond of.

          • Peter OBrien says:

            No, I don’t believe in a gigantic conspiracy but Climategate definitively establishes the existence of a more limited one. Name me a whistleblower who has ever been showered with rewards and accolades galore.

          • Clive Bond says:

            The climate has been warming at about 0.7C per century for the past 300 years since The Little Ice Age.If you walked from your house to your garage and got that much temperature change you would not notice it.Prior to that The Medieval Warm Period was warmer than the present and the Vikings settled and farmed Greenland. Those farms are now under ice.Prior to that The Roman Warming was warmer still and they grew wine grapes in northern England.Hopefully it will continue to warm and increase CO2 will give bigger crops to feed a growing world population. Last year there were world record crops in the major food grains, rice wheat and maize.Unfortunately Solar Cycle 24 looks like taking us back into a cold period like the Maunder Minimum.

  3. Ian MacDougall says:

    LA:

    Sea level rise rate is slowing while CO2 emissions are increasing.

    I will give those a default classification of ‘wild generalisation’ until provided with a link to a source: preferably a credible one.

  4. en passant says:

    Ian,
    Good to see that you are recycling your previous comments. Saves having to think up new ideas. Here is my recycled comment from 7th November – which you never refuted.
    “Until 2007 I was somewhat neutral about what was happening, but I had already become concerned at the screaming certainty of doom. I began reading, fortunately beginning with Tim Flannery’s 2005 book. I say fortunate because this set off every BS detector and sceptical neuron in my being. In 2012 I produced my personal 75-page fully referenced analysis that made me absolutely certain that CAGW was a money-grubbing con and that CO2 was innocent. In the case of sea level rise, let me quote an extract from my ‘thesis’:
    “There is a high water mark etched into a sea cliff in seismically stable Hobart in Tasmania. In 1841 the line in the cliff was put there by Captain Ross, as a reference point.
    There is a photo of it that can be found in the late John Daly’s blog at http://www.john-daly.com/. A check of the reference point in 2004 shows that the water level has not changed in the intervening 160 years. A similar mark in Sydney Harbour produces much the same result. Just two curious, coincidental anomalies that show no discernible sea level rise? I think not. What has changed is the honesty of the scientists responsible for measuring and mapping our climate and all that that entails.”
    Corruption for grant money or a political cause is never noble, but it does have a name in law when the fraudsters know they are peddling snake oil (apologies for using the word ‘oil’). The problem is that the politicians who approve the spending of our money are so embroiled in the crime that they cannot stop now, but must keep going until they retire.
    Facts are never going to win over dishonest political agendas.”

    I can wait for the refutation, so take your time. Oh, and don’t forget to cite the case supporting your anecdote in a previous post. I can wait to witness your credibility being fully established, just as you have asked others to do.

  5. en passant says:

    Ian et al,
    Here is another inconvenient truth (containing the mandatory defamation by the Corrupt Scientific Idiots Replacing Old Records [CSIROR] that our ancestors were incapable of correctly collecting data). The climate catastrophists alternatives are simply to ignore, ‘homogenize’ (non-dictionary meaning in this alchemy means” ‘torture the data until you achieve the desired result yo first thought of and wanted’), or cherry-pick only those results that will obtain your aim. You know, the full range of the box of tricks of the climate cabal as exposed in the Climategate emails. They continue to fool some poor, lonely souls.
    This article comprehensively deals with the mark in Tasmania: http://morningmail.org/isle-of-the-dead/

  6. Ian MacDougall says:

    en passant:

    Good to see that you are recycling your previous comments.

    Well, it is fairly inevitable isn’t it, when one goes to this excellent and most stimulating site and finds yet another piece attacking mainstream climatology? Admittedly not baldly recycled, rather this time trying a slightly new approach (ie, ‘The Climate Council’s Memory Hole’). But it remains the old ‘sceptic’ trope, just slightly rebadged, given a quick trip through the panel beater’s shop and a brief respray. (Though I must add here that if the Climate Council is guilty of airbrushing Judith Curry out of the picture as asserted, and in the style perfected by the Stalin school, then they deserve condemnation: not only for that, but for being hare-brained and ultimately self-defeating.)
    But I digress. I begin my response to you by quoting from the handbook for climate ‘sceptics’: not the one produced by Jo Nova, but Heaven+Earth (Conor Court 2009) by the eminent ore-body geologist, Professor Ian Plimer. To quote him:

    Modern global sea level changes are exceptionally difficult to determine. The earliest measurement sites were measuring sticks attached to piers. In the middle of the 19th Century, tide gauges using floats in stilling wells were installed. These buffered the effects of waves. Modern gauges use echo sounding and transmit data by satellite for measurement in real time. Over periods of a century or more, tide gauges need to be maintained, repaired, moved and upgraded, as do the piers. This often does not happen. Sea level measurements from tide gauges are made from a sparse network of coastal stations, many of which are in geologically unstable places. Precise satellite measurements give sea level rise as half that measured from tidal stations. Corrected data for a large part of the globe shows a rise of 1.8 mm per annum from 1900 to 1980, and this is in accord with measurements from corals and other proxies for the past 3000 years. Historical records show no acceleration of sea level rise in the 20th Century.

    I see no reason to dispute that, as it stands.
    As you probably know, the continents are rafts of apparently solid rock floating on a hot and somewhat plastic rock layer called the mantle. Blocks of this continental rock move isostatically relative to each other, and thus from time to time produce earthquakes. The ocean is a layer of salty water overlying these crustal layers, so finding a nice constant benchmark in all of it is a bit of a challenge.
    But modern satellite altimetry comes to the rescue. It is far more accurate than tide gauges, as the satellites maintain a readily monitored (though ever slightly changing) altitude above the Earth’s centre of mass. Satellite altimetry can thus assess sea-level globally, and can correct for waves, tides and changes in land level due to isostasy, and down to half-millimetre accuracy. Moreover, the present rate of 3.3 +/- 0.4 mm/year can only be due to glacial ice melt and/or thermal expansion of ocean water. Nor can it have been going for long, otherwise it would have been noticed world-wide by historians, harbour authorities, and damn near everyone else. This suggests rather strongly that the mainstream climatologists are right, and that it is anthropogenic: ie since the Industrial Revolution got started, around AD 1750.

    The University of Colorado has a sea-level monitoring group which bases itself mainly on such satellite altimetry. They say:

    Since 1993, [my emphasis- IM] measurements from the TOPEX and Jason series of satellite radar altimeters have allowed estimates of global mean sea level. These measurements are continuously monitored against a network of tide gauges. When seasonal variations are subtracted, they allow estimation of the global mean sea level rate. As new data, models and corrections become available, we continuously revise these estimates (about every two months) to improve their quality.

    The quality of their work is testified to by the energy ‘sceptics’ and various contrarians put into attacks on them. (To save your valuable research time, I have included links to two such below. They are the first two in the list.)
    .
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2011/05/11/nasa-funded-group-doctors-sea-level-data/#51cd80d82d66
    https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/hiding-the-sea-level-decline-at-the-university-of-colorado/
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/
    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.html

  7. en passant says:

    Still no reply from Ian as he has (possibly moved on to stating another improbable ‘truth’. He also has not cited the legal case from the ‘Further thoughts of Gay Marriage’ article.
    I think we can say with 97% certainty that he Cook’s his stuff up.

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      en passant:
      Before you get too cocky, I posted a reply to your last rant on this thread (of March 23, 2016 at 8:03 am) on March 23, 2016 at 4:02 pm. But for some reason, every time I go to this site, I find it still stuck in the queue “awaiting moderation.”
      In the mean time, you and people like you jump to the conclusion that I have cleared out: probably from a lack of stuff ‘cooked up’.
      I think that it is high time Quadrant Online invested in new blogging software.

  8. Ian MacDougall says:

    en passant:
    Originally posted 23, 2016 at 4:02 pm.)

    Good to see that you are recycling your previous comments.

    Well, it is fairly inevitable isn’t it, when one goes to this excellent and most stimulating site and finds yet another piece attacking mainstream climatology? Admittedly not baldly recycled, rather this time trying a slightly new approach (ie, ‘The Climate Council’s Memory Hole’). But it remains the old ‘sceptic’ trope, just slightly rebadged, given a quick trip through the panel beater’s shop and a brief respray. (Though I must add here that if the Climate Council is guilty of airbrushing Judith Curry out of the picture as asserted, and in the style perfected by the Stalin school, then they deserve condemnation: not only for that, but for being hare-brained and ultimately self-defeating.)
    But I digress. I begin my response to you by quoting from the handbook for climate ‘sceptics’: not the one produced by Jo Nova, but Heaven+Earth (Conor Court 2009) by the eminent ore-body geologist, Professor Ian Plimer. To quote him:

    Modern global sea level changes are exceptionally difficult to determine. The earliest measurement sites were measuring sticks attached to piers. In the middle of the 19th Century, tide gauges using floats in stilling wells were installed. These buffered the effects of waves. Modern gauges use echo sounding and transmit data by satellite for measurement in real time. Over periods of a century or more, tide gauges need to be maintained, repaired, moved and upgraded, as do the piers. This often does not happen. Sea level measurements from tide gauges are made from a sparse network of coastal stations, many of which are in geologically unstable places. Precise satellite measurements give sea level rise as half that measured from tidal stations. Corrected data for a large part of the globe shows a rise of 1.8 mm per annum from 1900 to 1980, and this is in accord with measurements from corals and other proxies for the past 3000 years. Historical records show no acceleration of sea level rise in the 20th Century.

    I see no reason to dispute that, as it stands.
    As you probably know, the continents are rafts of apparently solid rock floating on a hot and somewhat plastic rock layer called the mantle. Blocks of this continental rock move isostatically relative to each other, and thus from time to time produce earthquakes. The ocean is a layer of salty water overlying these crustal layers, so finding a nice constant benchmark in all of it is a bit of a challenge.
    But modern satellite altimetry comes to the rescue. It is far more accurate than tide gauges, as the satellites maintain a readily monitored (though ever slightly changing) altitude above the Earth’s centre of mass. Satellite altimetry can thus assess sea-level globally, and can correct for waves, tides and changes in land level due to isostasy, and down to half-millimetre accuracy. Moreover, the present rate of 3.3 +/- 0.4 mm/year can only be due to glacial ice melt and/or thermal expansion of ocean water. Nor can it have been going for long, otherwise it would have been noticed world-wide by historians, harbour authorities, and damn near everyone else. This suggests rather strongly that the mainstream climatologists are right, and that it is anthropogenic: ie since the Industrial Revolution got started, around AD 1750.

    The University of Colorado has a sea-level monitoring group which bases itself mainly on such satellite altimetry. They say:

    Since 1993, [my emphasis- IM] measurements from the TOPEX and Jason series of satellite radar altimeters have allowed estimates of global mean sea level. These measurements are continuously monitored against a network of tide gauges. When seasonal variations are subtracted, they allow estimation of the global mean sea level rate. As new data, models and corrections become available, we continuously revise these estimates (about every two months) to improve their quality.

    The quality of their work is testified to by the energy ‘sceptics’ and various contrarians put into attacks on them. (To save your valuable research time, I have included links to two such below. They are the first two in the list.)
    .
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2011/05/11/nasa-funded-group-doctors-sea-level-data/#51cd80d82d66
    https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/hiding-the-sea-level-decline-at-the-university-of-colorado/
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/
    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.html