Students’ abuisive signs say it all. Picture: AAP/Dan Himbrechts
Students’ abuisive signs say it all. Picture: AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Climate change denialists 'cherry pick evidence'

ANDREW Bolt's latest tirade (TC, 3/12) needs to be challenged. As with most climate denialists especially those with a voice, they cherry pick their evidence.

But intellectually worse than that they often twist banal comments to their own points of view.

Another technique is to quote so many examples one finds it difficult to refute.

A cursory google of his latest claims over breakfast paints quite a different picture.

Bolt's first quote is from Professor Paul Kench's research saying that some Pacific Islands are growing not shrinking (due to sea level changes). Prof Kench says he's not suggesting some islands aren't shrinking - "indeed, one island has been lost" - but the broader challenge is that climate change is causing land in the Pacific to move around.


Coral reef islands are dynamic systems, and the action of waves and storms can either erode them or, by dumping sand and gravel on their surfaces, expand them, Kench says. While most land is stable and many islands have expanded, some land is "changing the position on its reef platforms". Climate change is increasing the pace of change.

Prof Kench says he's disappointed if it has been used to fuel the arguments of climate change deniers. "What we believe our work shows is a more nuanced understanding of what is actually happening in the islands."

Andrew Bolt's second claim regards a British High Court judge in 2007 challenging errors in Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth. The movie was being distributed in British schools for educative and discussion purposes.

The judge did indeed find nine such errors but also stated that the case for human induced climate change had solid scientific basis but that teachers be ordered to discuss the errors of science with students while allowing the film to be distributed and used for its original purpose.

The third claim of Bolt is to say that Australian chief scientist Alan Finkel's admission that we could stop all Australia's emission, junk every car , shut every power station , put a cork in every cow and the effect would be "virtually nothing". Again it seems to be a nuanced look what Dr Finkel says. "We have to look squarely at the goal of a zero-emissions planet, then work out how to get there while maximising our economic growth," he wrote.

"It requires an orderly transition, and that transition will have to be managed over several decades.


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