Tuesday, December 06, 2011

O brave new climate!

For his final TV show of the year, Andrew Bolt had tantalisingly promised his followersa mention of Tim Flannery.”

So naturally I had to tune in, hoping for his sake he wasn’t going to run with Bunyip’s failed gotcha on Flannery, to which he’d given such prominence on his blog. In the event, he took a somewhat different angle. Phew!

Bolt sought to ease our Flannery-inflamed anxieties by emphasising three points. (See youtube video. Note: creepy presenter warning.)


  • With the expected increase in Australia’s population this century, you’ve got to expect some increase in the number of “weather-related deaths” anyway.

True enough so far as it goes, and we eagerly await the release of Doctor Easychair’s study into what the actual real numbers will be.


  • The “death estimate” presupposes the world warming by “an incredible four and a half degrees this century, when it hasn’t actually warmed for the last decade.”

The supposed absence of warming over the last decade to which he refers is, of course, a recurring fancy of climate change ‘sceptics’ everywhere.

Also noteworthy is that the study he refers to, published in 2008* (way before Flannery was appointed to the Climate Commission), actually considers various public health outcomes, aside from ‘death estimates’, across a range of scenarios.

For his third point, Bolt quoted a snippet from that study:

This assessment does not quantify the extent to which future adaptation to climate change will modify the levels of death...

The document itself continues,

..., injury and ill-health for each health outcome. It will be difficult to make confident quantitative assumptions about the potential adaptive consequences...

Difficult”? Not for our Doctor Easychair, who confidently gushes his third point:

  • “This death estimate comes from researchers who admit they didn't allow for us getting richer and smarter, so much better able to adapt to the new climate. You know, being able to afford better cures, better disease prevention. Cheaper air conditioning!”

Yay, we’re saved!

While we eagerly await the details of Doctor Easychair’s confident quantitative assumptions about our adaptation to this “new climate” — which he may or may not believe in anyway, who can say? — still the prospect of unspecified cures and cheaper air conditioning is welcome relief after all that scary stuff.

And it’s not unreasonable to expect Doctor Easychair will next solve other problems such as war, famine, and... oh, let’s throw in cold fusion and teleportation.

* Garnaut Climate Change Review, June 2008, “The impacts of climate change on three health outcomes: temperature-related mortality and hospitalisations, salmonellosis and other bacterial gastroenteritis, and population at risk from dengue.” Available as PDF document from the Garnaut Review website.


Yep. Andrew Bolt really does believe it’s all about him. On a video of a discussion between Robert Manne and Tim Flannery, he observes:

I’m mentioned so often by the two alarmists that I wonder why they didn’t simply invite me along to have the debate they’d promised.

Promised debate?

Latrobe University, which hosted the event on August 12 this year, billed it as “A Conversation between Tim Flannery and Robert Manne.”

It’s the youtube hosted version (posted, it says, 1 day ago) that for some reason titles it as “Robert Manne vs. Tim Flannery,” with the description, “Robert Manne debates Tim Flannery.”

Anyway, I had to wait 17 minutes for the first mention of Bolt (17:27), then 23 min (40:10) during which Greg Sheridan came up (33:58). Then he was mentioned once during the Q/A where Manne imagined a hypothetical debate between Bolt and Phillip Adams (1:07:55).

So that’s three very brief mentions in over 80 minutes. None of those mentions related to any particular point of science because the focus of the conversation was on Flannery’s role in communicating his brief as Climate Commissioner.

Manne and Flannery did have a number of points of difference, but they maintained the discussion in a spirit of civility (so often missing in political discourse, so Bolt is always saying).

It’s a pity our Doctor Easychair only has ears for himself, because he’d seem to have missed out on hearing a thoughtful, wide-ranging discussion.

Why wasn’t he invited? I guess because it was intended as a thoughtful, wide-ranging discussion.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home