A New Low

Yes I know both my readers are waiting with baited breath to learn about sex selection strategies in skinks, but this is a little more immediate.

ABC News radio today gave Bob Carter several minutes to proclaim that the world is not warming up. His arguement was that since 2010 was only the same warmth as 1998 and 2005 there was no warming trend. Now one could obviously point out several problems with this – like that a trend is based on three data points, it incorporates the other ten years in between. One could also note that if one goes back a little further the trend is unambiguous – starting at a particularly warm year is clear cherry picking.

However, the most outrageous part of the whole thing was Carter saying “1998, 2005 and 2010 were all strong El Nino years.” Really? Really? Last year had one of the strongest La Ninas in decades, a fact that is actually familiar to most Australians as a result of the recent rains. La Ninas are usually associated with years that are cooler than those before and after them. The fact that we could equal the record in a La Nina year is clear evidence of just how fast the trend is rising. There is not the slightest chance that Carter does not know either of these facts.

Apparently this is what the ABC calls balance. Equal time to truth and lies.


About Stephen Luntz

I am a science journalist, specialising in Australian and New Zealand research across all fields of science. My book, Forensics, Fossils and Fruitbats: A Field Guide to Australian Scientists is out now through CSIRO Publishing. I am also a professional returning officer for non-government organisations. I'm very politically active, but generally try to restrict this blog to scientific matters.
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