Hide’s Aussie holiday: warming up for Carterist science’s new consensus

By Gareth Renowden 26/09/2010


Rodney The Hood Hide is taking an Aussie break during the current Parliamentary recess — popping over to Melbourne and Sydney to act as warm-up man for Bob Carter at the launch of Carter’s magnum opus, Climate: The Counter-consensus – a Scientist Speaks. And it appears Hide is as happy to allow his hosts to misrepresent his qualifications as he is to mislead Parliament. The flier for the “Quadrant dinner” in Sydney says:

Rodney has a degree in environmental science, and is a powerful and well-informed public speaker.

He may be a powerful speaker, but Hide does not have a degree in environmental science, and he is woefully ill-informed on climate matters. Hide has Masters degrees in economics and resource management (Wikipedia, NZ Parliament bio), and as this comment at Hot Topic two years ago suggests, he could have completed the latter without encountering any science at all. But he’s good for a bit of rabble-rousing, and I expect his “ditch the ETS” rhetoric, liberally laced with attacks on NIWA’s stewardship of the NZ temperature record and chanted lines from the climate crank catechism will make the Quadrant dinner worth every cent of the A$74 being charged…

Meanwhile, Carterist science is finally getting the recognition it deserves, and the Heartland climate con is on its way to Sydney. Carter’s been appointed Chief Science Advisor to the International Climate Science Coalition.

Here’s Carter welcoming his appointment:

’Working with ICSC as Chief Science Advisor is a welcome opportunity to counter the widespread but erroneous belief that dangerous global warming is occurring, and that it has human causation’. Professor Carter continued: ’Science has yet to provide unambiguous evidence that problematic, or even measurable, human-caused global warming is occurring.

So, do we have ambiguous evidence of problems caused by that unmeasurable warming, or is Carter just repeating standard climate crank nonsense? I think we know the answer to that one…

In one sense, however, Carter is breaking new ground in crank thinking. The title of his book (Climate: The Counter-consensus – a Scientist Speaks) suggest that a “counter-consensus” is assembling. For there to be a counter-consensus there first has to be a consensus in mainstream climate science to counter, but for years sceptics, deniers and cranks have been claiming loudly that there is “no consensus“. Indeed, point 5 of the “core principles” of the organisation that has just appointed Carter its chief science advisor says:

Claims that ‘consensus’ exists among climate experts regarding the causes of the modest warming of the past century are contradicted by thousands of independent scientists.

But if there is no consensus, how can a counter-consensus assemble? Does Carter support the ICSC’s core principles? And what about that modest warming? According to Carter it’s not measurable, or not happening. At this point, dear reader, you will forgive me if I pour another glass of wine and ponder the many contradictory things you have to believe at the same time if you are to be a true climate septic…

Finally, the Heartland Institute is holding a one-day climate sceptic conference in Sydney next Friday, October 1st. Carter’s talking, of course, and Chris de Freitas is popping over to talk about Developments in Climate Science: Potential Drivers of Emissions Policy Beyond 2012 (at a guess, wishful thinking will be involved). Interestingly, the climate day follows on from two days of “workshops and brainstorming with free market advocates from the Pacific Rim” at the Pacific Rim Policy Exchange: chief sponsors Heartland, Americans for Tax Reform (a Koch & Scaife funded lobby group), the Property Rights Alliance (an ATR spin-off), and Australia’s free market Institute of Public Affairs. And NZ’s pulling its weight on the agenda, with the Business Roundtable’s Roger Kerr on a panel considering free trade, and (somewhat more surprising, to me at least) Kiwiblogger and National party stalwart David Farrar taking part in a “working lunch” on “getting the message out”. Interesting to see he’s happy to take the Heartland shilling…