I don’t know what prompted the ABC’s climate program last night, with Nick Minchin and Anna Rose, but I suspect they felt the need to actually address the concerns of skeptics in order to combat the increasing doubt over the alarmist line. However, in typical ABC fashion, the presentation was skewed towards the warmist perspective.
The ABC bias that we’ve all come to be accustomed to was evident in their portrayal of the debate. Early on, there was one loaded line, “as least, that’s what the world’s scientists are telling us”, before cutting to footage of an anti-carbon tax rally. The ABC have played this trick before, to depict the scientists as being against the mob. Of course, as we later find out, “the world’s scientists” doesn’t include Richard Lindzen.
As we arrive in Perth, Rose notes the “loopy, paranoid” precautions of Jo Nova and David Evans, who thought it prudent to film the exchange themselves (because the ABC are so trustworthy). As it turns out, it was a smart move.
We did 4 hours of footage at our house, and they showed not one single point I made, not one answer to Anna Roses questions. I repeated my favourite lines about 28 million weather balloons, 3000 ocean buoys off by heart at least 4 times.
In fact, the best point that they let her have was her laughter at Rose’s hyperbole. When the AYCC founder expressed her fear that the earth “will be destroyed”, Jo, and probably most skeptics watching, found this amusing. Later in the production, the narrator claimed that the science won’t give skeptics the certainty they’re looking for, falling back to this point. Who is seriously saying the planet would be destroyed? That much, at least, is certain.
Perhaps most shocking by the ABC is the way they portrayed Richard Muller. They repeated the line that he used to be a skeptic, and claimed the BEST results “shook the skeptic world”, when in fact it confirmed one of our critical assertions, that there has been no warming for the past decade. Strangely, I don’t think Nick actually brought up this point, at least if he did, it didn’t get past the ABC editing process.
There was a fair amount of time devoted to the ideological differences between both sides, you know, the obvious stuff that anyone with eyes can figure out. Skeptics are generally to the right and warmists generally to the left, which of course doesn’t tell us who’s
right correct. The segment was an utter waste of time, time which could have gone to Minchin’s interview with Jasper Kirkby of CERN. “If any of the visits I proposed had an impact on Rose and her convictions, this was it.” Strangely, this didn’t make the cut, despite the fact that it seems to have come closest to fulfilling the title of the show.
For all the statements that Rose made, including her ad homs on Lindzen and baseless claims against Marc Morano (seriously, what has she been reading about him?), there was one by the presenter that astounded me. “Maybe Anna has made a mistake by giving oxygen to Nick’s scepticism.” This was an indulgement of Ben Goldacre’s point that skeptics are being given a free ride by the media, that this is a “problem”. I would have thought that for something with such massive policy ramifications, greenhouse gases deserve a very serious debate. The suggestion, which was considered by Rose as well as the ABC voice-over, is the antithesis of a free society.
Afterwards, there was the Q&A spectacle with the slanted panel, where Minchin was wrongly contradicted by Matthew England.
Also, the opinion poll on the ABC website was reset after a “dismissive” attitude towards climate change became predominant.
For me, the highlight of the show was a line by Richard Lindzen. “I’ve always found it profoundly offensive that to question something means you’re doing something wrong”.