It appears our “experts” noses are getting longer like Pinocchio’s from telling fibs.

Professor David Karoly was recently on Lateline suggesting although we can’t attribute short-term weather patterns to climate change we’re playing with a loaded dice. Karoly is like the character Waldo in “Where’s Waldo” because of the frequency in which he shows up on the ABC pushing the alarmist line. There’s an alarmist push and Karoly is invariably interviewed. He’s about as camera shy as the porn star Jenna Jamison.

He says:

But it is clear that things can be done to slow down climate change, and we certainly know that climate change will bring higher frequencies of the extreme fire weather that was experienced on Saturday.

if you like, the mid-range estimate of climate change from the intergovernmental panel on climate change. They’re probably – some of those things are happening at the highest range or at the upper limit of what the climate models would project. And even for things like arctic sea ice are happening faster than even climate models would predict. So, yes, we are seeing many changes that are occurring faster than the IPCC climate models would’ve projected.

But what we’re seeing now is that the dice have been heavily loaded so that the chances of these sorts of extreme fire weather situations are occurring much more rapidly in the last 10 years due to climate change. So climate change has loaded the dice. And what we’re seeing is a much greater occurrence of this extreme fire weather. And certainly in some situations, we’re seeing unprecedented extremes. The hot temperatures on Saturday in Melbourne and in many parts in south eastern Australia were unprecedented. The records were broken by large amount and you cannot explain that just by natural variability. And climate change due to increasing greenhouse gases has been a major factor in increasing the temperatures and likely contributing to the drought in south eastern Australia.

It is certainly part of a global pattern, but Australia has been identified in a number of studies, including by Professor Garnaut’s climate change review of Australia, that Australia is in fact the developed country most at risk from the adverse impacts of climate change.

There’s whiff of misery somewhere that can be blamed on social ills? Clive Hamilton is never too far away blaming it on the consumer society or some rot. Sure enough Hives published a piece in ABC Unleashed more or less blaming climate change for the Victoria inferno.

There are good reasons for believing that the freakish weather conditions over southeastern Australia over the last fortnight have been due to climate change, rather than being a random event like the ones that led to the 1939 fires.

Hives also quotes Barry Brook.

Professor Barry Brook, Director of the Research Institute for Climate Change and Sustainability at the University of Adelaide and one the country’s leading climate scientists, quotes a colleague from the Bureau of Meteorology: “… climate change is now becoming such a strong contributor to these hitherto unimaginable events that the language starts to change from one of ‘climate change increased the chances of an event’ to ‘without climate change this event could not have occurred’”.

You’d think the Southern Australian climate has been heating up, right? Sounds like Southern Australia has been getting hotter. Listening just to Karoly and Hives that’s what you would have to think.

Take a look at this temp graph for South Australia going back since 1857. The place has actually been getting cooler since that time

How about the dead centre – Alice springs?Alice Springs has remained about the same since 1879
Canberra? About the same since 1939
Mildura since 1947? Basically no change.
Cape Otway Victoria? Cooler since 1865

Source… NASA Goddard and CRU

So there’s hard evidence that southern Australia’s temp has basically cooled and these people are telling us climate change is the cause of the Victorian inferno. It seems their opinions are nothing more than ghoulish propaganda meant to swing public opinion at the most vulnerable time.

What’s causing the dry spell in southern Australia? According to a former CISRO scientist (who has looked at the stats and decimated the propaganda pushed by the CSIRO) southern Australia seems to operate in 30 to 40 year wet/dry spells and aren’t out of the ordinary.

It’s really offensive being lied to like this.. When you have academics pushing stuff that isn’t true you really need to start again. Seriously people need to be fired if they’re deliberately deceiving the public. Tony Jones from Lateline ought to receive some really rough treamtment by ” Our ABC”, as he should have obtained a second opinion. There should be no remorse.

I actually think there is global warming and we shouldn’t be pushing all that crap into the atmosphere. I’m with Lomborg on this issue. However we just don’t need these people on our side.The sheer brazenness of pushing that line when there is absolutely not one single shred of evidence and in fact the evidence is quite the opposite ought to be punished severely. It’s no longer science as we used to know but some form of a Lysenko-hybrid type pseudo science meant to scare people.

These people are being paid with taxpayer money.

Niche Modeling rips apart the idea drought conditions caused the fire.

44 thoughts on “Bingo

  1. The website extracts the data from RSS/CRU.

    Your chart is meaningless as it doesn’t show the regional differentiation. I’m talking about southern Australia.

  2. Nice find, jc. I think I read this last night, but as it was about 2am, I don’t think I even realised that it was about AGW ^^’

  3. I listened to an interesting podcast the other day from EconTalk, discussing truth and evidence and bias, and something Cochrane said applies here – if you say “I don’t know”, or have a moderate opinion, or admit uncertainty, then people are less interested, or less likely to believe you. It certainly sells less copy or air time.

    That means, as Cochrane put it, the incentives inherent in the process push extreme views to the fore. So we get people like Bob Carter and Tim Flannery and Hamilton being interviewed and getting op-eds instead of ‘boring’ middle-roaders.

  4. Conrad

    I already told you where the site sourced the data.

    Here’s a job for you. Please explain exactly why it’s wrong and where. There’s no point showing us a contrary set of charts if you can’t explain what’s wrong with the data presented in linked site.

    As I mentioned, the CIRO was caught out flat lying about southern Australian droughts, so I would treat stuff coming from Australian government sources about this stuff sceptically.

    Now, tell us why the data derived from RSS and CRU is incorrect.

  5. Conrad, you’re forgetting that JC analyses graphs and trends by looking at the lines and squinting.

    What 3-year-old designed John Daly’s website? It’s nauseating. And why’s the data five to fifteen years old?

    Thanks for the BoM link, by the way. I looked at a couple of other states – if you go through the various time periods, the rate of warming accelerates, with 1970-present showing the greatest change and 1910-present the least. It holds true for the country as a whole as well.

  6. Fatty;

    Please stick to the body of the post. Anymore abuse and you will be deleted.

    What 3-year-old designed John Daly’s website? It’s nauseating.

    I’m sure. You’re right he should have hired a graphic designer from Vogue magazine.

    And why’s the data five to fifteen years old?

    But aren’t we supposed to ignore short- term fluctuations? I thought Hansen told us that anything short of 30 years ought to be ignored, Fatty.

  7. JC,

    the BOM has the best data on historical climate trends in Australia, which is of course not surprising, since they collected it all. I therefore don’t exactly see why it’s up to me to say it is wrong. If they are telling lies, feel free to expose them. I’m sure it will cause a great stir, and people will be sacked.

  8. “But aren’t we supposed to ignore short- term fluctuations?”

    It’s the cumulative effect of the short-term that we’re interested in. Data sets stopping in 1995 are thus inferior to ones continuing to the present.

  9. If you’re trying to establish if the climate is getting hotter then you will want long term data (eg 30 years plus) in order to look for a meaningful trend. However if you want to defend a claim that current events such as bushfires are caused by the place being hotter than usual then in order to show that the place actually is hotter than usual you need current data.

  10. Yes Jarrah.

    But the data sets may have structural breaks. If there is a heap of structural breaks, meaningful analysis over a long period may prove difficult. The upside this usually means that specialised time series techniques can be used.

  11. “But the data sets may have structural breaks. ”
    I can’t see why they would Mark — it’s not like it’s especially hard to collect things like mean temperatures.
    In addition, it would be exceptionally easy to verify many of the data sets if you wanted, since you could simply get newspapers dating back to when these collections started (which are available in many libraries) and compare the values with the ones in the series. Thus, any fabrication should be exceptionally easy to detect.

  12. Conrad:

    The CSIRO “analysis” on rainfall patterns was shown to be fatally flawed or a complete fraud by an ex-employee statistician. No one was fired as a result, despite the fact that should have been the appropriate sanction.

    Furthermore CCIRO ” scientists” were extremnely critical of the former government suggesting they were being muzzled. Recently the Rudd government has demanded that public release from the CSIRO requires vetting and approval by his office, yet we hear not one single complaint from the “muzzulees”. This obviously means that the entire operation is open to serious question and anything coming out from government offices is extremely suspect.

    So unless you can show where the data sets in the links provided are wrong then you criticism simply won’t hold.

    Fatty’s complaint that the graphs weren’t published by the Vogue graphics department is hysterical.

    So please show us what is actually wrong with charts that are using RSS and CRU and the data source. Can you?

  13. JC,

    maybe you’re not aware of this, but the CSIRO and the BOM are not the same organization. BOM = bureau of meterology. CSIRO = Commonwealth scientific and industrial research organization.

    Like I said before, if you don’t like their time series, they are rather simple to check, since the numbers can be verified in any number of newspapers over the last 100 years which you can access for free at the State library. If the BOM has really decided to change their records for the last 100 years without telling anyone, it would be an extremly odd thing to do. Until that is proved to me, I am just going to assume you shouldn’t believe everything someone says on the web — especially rather shitty sites built by nameless people.

    Incidentally, if you are correct and their records are somehow doctored, if you found out, you would no doubt get the chance to tell the whole of Australia on television about it. “JC, the man that exposed the deliberate doctoring of the BOMs 100 year old records”.
    Good luck.

  14. you would no doubt get the chance to tell the whole of Australia on television about it. “JC, the man that exposed the deliberate doctoring of the BOMs 100 year old records”.
    Good luck.

    Why would I. I haven’t discovered anything, Conrad. That’s not my work.

    The site belonging to the statistician that debunked the CSIRO claiming that the view presented by “Waldo” Karoly and Hives Hamilton is basically wrong. He also provides reasonable data.

    Conrad , tells us where here’s wrong.

    Go through the data and explain it why.

    Niche Modeling’s conclusion:

    The results show that over the last 40 years, regions Qld, NSW, NW, and MDB have had significantly less area under drought. Only in SWWA has the drought area increased significantly, while Vic&Tas (the region of recent bushfires) and SW have no significant change.

    The ‘inconvenient’ results were reported in the DECR text as follows:

    Observed trends in exceptionally low rainfall years are highly dependent on the period of analysis due to large variability between decades.

    Despite these highly significant DECR results showing Australia getting wetter, not drier, CSIRO scientists continue to report in the media that Australia will get drier.

    It only takes two thoughts to realize that wetter conditions can pose greater fire risks due to the greater production of fuel in the wet season, and more dangerous conditions when it drys out. Drier conditions lead to a more open grassland environment in Australia, much like the African Savannah, with cooler grassfires but not the hot forest fires suffered recently in Victoria. You simply cannot look at environmental factors in isolation.

    But don’t tell CSIRO, or the next thing we will hear is that greenhouse gases are causing more fires by making it wetter.

  15. jc
    This isn’t data. It’s stuff you found on a sceptic website. You don’t even know which data is supposed to be from NASA and which from CRU – very different organisations. You certainly don’t know how it has been processed or what comments the originating organisations may have made about it. Without the actual source, it’s totally unverifiable.

    The BOM material has an identified source. You can read what they say about it.

    And who’s this statistician? Same as the former CSIRO scientist? Who’s that?

  16. You don’t even know which data is supposed to be from NASA and which from CRU

    We know the stations they came from, the site is quite specific.

    The other site provides details of rainfall patterns and it shows that rainfall in what is supposed to be drought areas isn’t the case. Take another look.

    How do you know it comes from a sceptics website and so what? Does that somehow invalidate the data?

  17. You know the stations they are supposed to come from, but you can’t go back to the site of the people who collected it, and who put their reputation behind it, and see what they actually say about it. It doesn’t matter that the late John Daly is a sceptic, but he’s no originator of data. And he doesn’t point to where he got it.

    The stations you have listed are BOM stations. Whoever is reporting, the data goes back to BOM. And here, for example is their time series temperature plot for Victoria. You can’t say that is going down.

  18. conrad – thanks for the link to the BoM site – the data is far more suggestive of a warming trend in Australia than i had thought. interesting.

  19. Nick:

    “It doesn’t matter that the late John Daly is a sceptic, but he’s no originator of data. And he doesn’t point to where he got it.”

    Yes he does at the home page. Take another look.

    I notice you also haven’t explained the argument made (Niche models) that the rainfall pattern is nowhere near as bad as it’s made out to be. Any reason?

  20. jc
    The rainfall pattern for Australia shows a tendency increase in the north, and to decrease in the southeast and SW. In aggregate, it can be an increase, depending on the time period you look at. But in the southeast, it’s down Here is a national trend map of the last fifty years. You can interactively look up other periods. Here is a map of the last forty nears in Victoria. About 50 mm a decade around Melbourne over that time. That’s a lot.

  21. “And climate change due to increasing greenhouse gases has been a major factor in increasing the temperatures and likely contributing to the drought in south eastern Australia.”


    The rainfall pattern for Australia shows a tendency increase in the north, and to decrease in the southeast and SW. In aggregate, it can be an increase, depending on the time period you look at. But in the southeast, it’s down Here is a national trend map of the last fifty years. You can interactively look up other periods.

    What drought are you talking about, Nick? The small sliver in Victoria and the big one in WA.

    Even Conrad’s map doesn’t agree with you.

    “About 50 mm a decade around Melbourne over that time.”

    And you’re putting that down to GHG’s. Melbourne having a dry spell is a consequence of AGW?

  22. jc
    Conrad’s map? I could only see him pointing to temperatures – I was pointing to BOM rainfall maps. “Small sliver”? It’s enough to cover most of Victoria. And if you look at the last 40 years, it’s more emphatic

    You can argue about GHG causes. But Victoria has been warming and drying, as these observations show, and that is relevant to bushfires.

  23. re #26
    Are you referrring to the 2007 deciles rainfall map? That’s a very different period. And 2007 was only one year.

  24. This one, Nick:

    With the heading:

    (Above) Australian annual mean rainfall (mm) since 1900 and (below) 2007 rainfall compared against historical rainfall records.

    Your map shows rainfall from 1960. That basically agrees with “Niche Modeling” argument that rainfall in Australia has 30-40 year patterns.

  25. jc #28
    Well OK, as I say 2007 is just one year, and not the most recent. Here is the corresponding 2008 data – the corresponding map shows a dry Vic and wetter WA.

  26. Not wanting to buy into any of this debate, except to say that in at least two of the last few drought years around here we actually ended up with close to the average annual rainfall, only it was made up of very heavy falls in December, when it couldn’t do much good.

    If the rain doesn’t come in the autumn before it cools down, the grass doesn’t grow much during the winter. That is a drought year. If it doesn’t come in the spring either, thats a really bad drought year. We had a couple of those in the last 8 too. Anyway, my point is that annual rainfall figures don’t show the whole story.

  27. Nick

    to be perfectly honest your map doesn’t exactly show a “dry” on the color scale, it shows the next color below average with a couple of tiny color blotches below that one.

    -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3

    -1 is not really a drought nor is it ” dry” in any dramatic way

    that’s not a drought. in fact most of the country had a decent year as far as rains go.

  28. I actually think there is global warming and we shouldn’t be pushing all that crap into the atmosphere. I’m with Lomborg on this issue. However we just don’t need these people on our side.

    Fair enough JC. It’s pretty clear the AGW fanatics are not into rationality and wouldn’t make good drinking buddies.

    But really, the only thing on which there is no dispute is that CO2 levels are rising. I have discussed it with Bob Carter and even he agrees.

    From then on it goes downhill. Some believe increased CO2 causes warming. Some say warming causes increased CO2. Others say CO2 is mitigating global cooling.

    It’s best to stay rational, because that distinguishes you from the AGW fanatics. And rationally, the evidence only shows increased CO2. It doesn’t show warming and there’s no need to agree with Lomborg. If the evidence ever confirms warming, it will be apparent on rational grounds.

  29. your 21

    “And here, for example is their time series temperature plot for Victoria. You can’t say that is going down.”

    And even looking at your char…. you think it’s cause for alarm?

    The latish 90’s had a series of nino years while most of the period shown on the chart was below or just above O.

    There’s nothing alarming about that temp chart unless of course you think Victorian temps should be below 0 on anomaly chart. Do you?

  30. David:

    Lomborg makes is what I think is it the best argument going. In fact it’s a little like your position in a sense although he does think there’s warming as a result of GHG’s.

    The main point he makes is that on a cost benefit analysis its either best to do nothing at all and watch it or if you do something spend as little as possible doing so as there are more important claims on the money.

    Here’s where the alarmist position comes mighty unstuck. Even if we use Sterns arguments that the world will lose 20% of GDP by 2100 as a result of AGW the best approach is to do nothing. Here’s why.

    Global GDP is around currently around $65 trillion. Assuming the probability that this current global recession turns out to be a cyclical downturn regularly experienced, we can say with a little optimism that Global GDP growth is accelerating on a trajectory of about 3.5% real growth per annum. Ignore the fact that it’s actually been growing at around 5% for several years, which may point to a long-term upswing. Also ignore the fact that we may experience some serious shocks as a result of bad economic policy. Lets go with a 3.5% growth rate for the next 91 years.

    Real, compounded GDP by 2100 will be $1,500 trillion. In other words 2100 will be a very rich time to be alive.

    Even if we used Stern’s suggestion, that there will a drop in GDP of 20% as a result of AGW by 2100. It would mean (as Mark Hill once termed it) unmolested GDP with AGW costs (-20%) would crudely be $1,200 trillion globally.

    Now apply Stern’s cost of buying insurance of 1% of GDP for the period will produce a molested global GDP of $614 trillion.

    1% over a 3.5% growth trajectory over oceans of time is pretty damn meaningful as it does represent a serious amount of capital on a compounded basis.

    We keep hearing typical statist swill about what is best for future generations and what sort of world are we going to leave the next generations. That’s always cloaked up in feel goodism crap.

    Well the best thing we could do for future generations is to let GDP grow unmolested and bequeath them a lot of wealth.

  31. “I actually think there is global warming and we shouldn’t be pushing all that crap into the atmosphere.”

    You can’t get much more unscientific and irrational than that. What should thinking have to do with it and in what way is CO2 crap?

  32. jc,

    “We should” only be taking certain actions because you think we should.

    In the absence of scientific proof to validate the AGW hypothesis and plenty of real world data that suggest it is invalid and that restricting carbon emissions cannot make a measurable difference, I think we should carry on using the most cost-effective fuels irrespective of carbon emissions. In this way we shall continue to lift millions out of poverty and prevent readily curable diseases.

    Unfortunately, many people with power think we should take action on climate change without worrying about inconveniences such as cost-benefit analyses, hence we read in this document on page 14:

    Click to access Nillumbik+Shire+Council.pdf

    “Council believes there should be consideration of greenhouse gas pollution produced from undertaking such burns and the possible contributions to climate change. There may be alternative methods for reducing fire risk to assets such as sensitive slashing or fine fuel removal in firebreak areas.”

    And even in this they failed, let alone the massive human cost:,25197,25047322-11949,00.html

    Even those who believe that AGW is a real problem need to consider the cost of actions against the benefits that will accrue, which is the basis of Lomborg’s thinking.

  33. Stern isn’t a dummy – his assumptions are what many other economists had a beef with.

    1. A time preference of 0.1%.

    2. A total real cost of capital (hurdle rate) of less than 4% if my memory is correct.

    3. An assumption of global GDP growth of 2.5%.

    The greatest thing to improve global GDP growth would be to slash trade barriers, followed by deregulation and cutting long term tax rates on capital.

  34. You could actually have all the cake and eat too, mark.

    Do all the things you say. Transfer part of income tax to carbon and it would actually place GDP potential on a higher trajectory. I really don’t see why this is even a hard. We could easily mitigate at little cost and the benefits of your reforms would soak that in.

    Stern used 2.5% for obvious reasons. Lopping off 1% from that growth rate shows up as having less of an effect on the mitigation side. Everything about his analysis shows bias.

    It was actually an incredibly badly put together document, which is not surprising seeing he was one of the signatories in a letter against the Thatcher economic reforms.

  35. “I actually think there is global warming and we shouldn’t be pushing all that crap into the atmosphere,”

    Where is this anti-science idiocy coming from JC?

    I put it to you its coming from you being a sellout.

  36. Someone on the IPCC is claiming that there’s more greenhouse gases in the air than they’d realised! So how come the rate of increases is slowing? Even the Ice-Age Denier admits that the rate of the past ten years is less then the decade before that!

  37. It’s hard to be 100% certain about something in this relatively young science, but I can’t see why people wouldn’t lean towards believing that humans are contributing towards global warming. That seems to be where the balance of information takes you.

    We’ve seen warming. There are two potential causes: natural sun-based variability & greenhouse gases. With the first we should see low & high temps going up. With the second we should see the lower temps go up more than the high temps. In the warming since the 1970s we have seen the second.

    Nothing is certain and lots could change. But on the balance of the current information the logical conclusion to draw is that we are seeing a greenhouse effect.

    Once again — I strongly recommend that people have a look at Pat Michaels book on this “climate of extremes”. He explains clearly how sun-based & greenhouse warming are different and why we’ve seen a pause over the last 7 years. He also explains why it’s not the end of the world.

  38. However he’s presented as a monster by the alarmists.

    Interesting discussion at climate audit. It seems that more and more they’re finding the statistical underpinnings of a lot of this research doesn’t pass muster in terms of applying rigorous statistical methods which is something Mark Hill has alluded to in other discussions as being a possibility.

  39. Personally, I like my clean air. I don’t drive a car, I don’t smoke, and I like having trees in my yard. This is my choice, and I’m sticking to it. If people want to hoon in a V8, fine, as long as they keep off my lawn.
    Nature is worth preserving because individuals like it. It doesn’t require government legislation to keep it from going haywire, people will preserve it if they want to

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