Ask not for whom the Bellamy tolls…

By Gareth Renowden 09/09/2009


homer.jpgTV3’s Sunrise programme featured an interview with David Bellamy this morning. You can watch it here, and read TV3’s story here. The bewhiskered botanist, in NZ to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the battle to save the Whirinaki forest, cut a rather sad figure, I thought, as the presenters gave him a chance to run his “global warming is poppycock” line. As a conservationist and TV presenter he used to be marvellous. As a climate denier he’s just laughable. This is how he got started on climate change (my transcript):

Presenter: Do you believe man-made climate change is happening?

Bellamy: Absolutely not.

Presenter: And what backs up your belief?

Bellamy: Because there’s no actual proof. There’s a whole series of computer models and you can fiddle computer models to say what you like. If you actually look at the facts, that for the last ten years, um, man-made global warming if it was working, has stopped, because the temperatures have gone down, and right at this moment we’re heading for thirty years pretty cold, thing.

Standard crank talking points, but not many go as far as predicting 30 years of “pretty cold” on the basis of one cold winter. But Bellamy pushes the crank boat out even further later in the interview:

…2,000 years ago we were growing good merlot on the border with Scotland, and that was 3 degrees to 5 degrees warmer than it is now…

He’s just making things up for the sake of a soundbite. The Romans didn’t make wine on the Scottish borders, and even if they had it wouldn’t have been merlot. Not to mention that the temperature then was not warmer than today. Sad stuff – a once influential figure reduced to spouting gibberish.