Tim Flannery (distinguished Fellow). The Academy of Science beclowns itself again

Among the new distinguished  fellows of the Academy announced this week, we find:

Professor Timothy Fridtjof Flannery FAA.   Environmental  sustainability, Macquarie University. Advancing public awareness and understanding  of science.

Jo Nova has some trenchant comments on this appointment. Be sure to read the full text of her commentary on this preposterous appointment.

The Australian Academy of Science thinks that it can give the besieged Tim Flannery more credibility. Instead, they pour their own credibility down the sink. If making predictions that are wrong and exaggerated, and following fashions of scientific groupthink is “good science”, who next will make the hallowed list of “Fellows” –  Cate Blanchett? Clive Hamilton? Charles Manson?

Hailing people who achieve in Science Communication might be fine, but it is not communicating science when their predictions don’t fit the real world and they won’t change the theory. The prophesies of Tim are a religion. (See “Help! How you can tell a scientist from a non-scientist”.)

Apparently the Academy can’t help itself. Recall Garth Paltridge’s acccount of the review of the draft Garnaut report in his book The Climate Caper.

In 2008 the Academy of Science convened a committee to produce a response to Professor Garnaut’s draft report and recommendations. After a day of deliberation the committee came up with some items, including suggestions for research and a very cautious statement about the hazards of using the existing models to predict rainfall 100 years hence. The members realised that this was difficult ground but they decided that if  there is a 50/50 chance that the forecasts are nonsense it was only reasonable to indicate this to the political decision-makers and to the community at large. “The officers of the Academy decided that this called for some discussion with Garnaut himself, which some of the committee members thought strange and others recognized as a standard tactic to ensure that matters of potential controversy are headed off at the pass.” (p 66).
The meeting with Garnaut went ahead with officers of the Academy rather than the review committee. “Rumour has it that sometime during the meeting Professor Garnaut became very sympathetic to the need for vast new resources to address the need for basic research…From that point the discussion was all sweetness and light…In the end it seems that the idea of a response to the Garnaut report was dropped altogether.”
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28 Responses to Tim Flannery (distinguished Fellow). The Academy of Science beclowns itself again

  1. sdog

    “For the first time, this global super-organism, this global intelligence will be able to send a signal, a strong and clear signal to the earth. And what that means in a sense is that we can, we will be a regulating intelligence for the planet, I’m sure, in the future … And lead to a stronger Gaia, if you will, a stronger earth system”.

    #SCIENCE!

  2. Gab

    And now, a few words from the new age man of “science”:

    “This planet, this Gaia, will have acquired a brain and a nervous system. That will make it act as a living animal, as a living organism, at some sort of level.”

    “Picture an eight-storey building by a beach, then imagine waves lapping its roof.”

    “It’s hardly surprising that beaches are going to disappear with climate change.”

    “Perth will be the 21st century’s first ghost metropolis”

    “The water problem is so severe for Adelaide that it may run out of water by early 2009.”

    “Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane would ‘need desalinated water urgently, possibly in as little as 18 months.’” June 2007

    ”Even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems.” 2007

    Bolt Collection.

  3. Jim Rose

    rafe, the consultants market is subject to evolutionary competition, market selection and job sorting.

    the best consultants believe what they say.

    for the telcos, one group of consultants work for the incumbents, another for the new entrants. true believers all.

    ditto, climate change. all believer in their side, and the doubters and the conflicted work on other topics.

  4. Gab

    From Jo Nova a reminder:

    No one has done more to systematically analyze Tim Flannery’s science than Wes Allen.

    The Weather Makers Re-examined is the first comprehensive review and critique of Tim Flannery’s
    The Weather Makers – the 2005 best seller that propelled him to become the Australian of the Year (2007) and now the Climate Change Commissioner for the Gillard Government.

    The tally?

    * 23 misinterpretations,
    * 28 contradictory statements,
    * 31 untraceable or suspect sources,
    * 45 failures to reflect uncertainty,
    * 66 over-simplications or factual errors,
    * 78 exaggerations and over a hundred unsupported dogmatic statements, many of them quite outlandish.

    “After diagnosing Gaia with a raging life-threatening fever, The Weather Makers prescribes the equivalent of a homeopathic remedy.”

    “Flying over Eurasia, Tim Flannery [says he] looked down on the large network of city lights burning “so bright – with so much energy – as to alarm me.” Would he find the darkness over densely populated North Korea more comforting?”

  5. Rabz

    “Would he find the darkness over densely populated North Korea more comforting?”

    Gab, He considers himself to be of the: ‘Nomenklatura’

    He ain’t.

    Not if we have anything to do with it…

  6. Gab

    who next will make the hallowed list of “Fellows” – Cate Blanchett? Clive Hamilton? Charles Manson?

    We could add this fellow to that rogue’s gallery, though posthumously.

  7. Advancing public awareness and understanding of science.

    Through showing how NOT to do it, perhaps?

  8. Max Scream

    Its ok even Hayek got a so-called Nobel so mistakes are made.

  9. Biota

    A problem with Flim Flammery and his ilk is that they seem to believe that Gaia is such a one as themselves. A human hater out to punish all those that aren’t enlightened. On the other hand those that are enlightened have been gifted (among many things) the privelidges of extensive CO2 spewing air travel and the right to have homes free from inundation by rising sea levels, where others will be swamped.

  10. Splatacrobat

    Anyone interested in buying some waterfront property from me going cheap?
    They are long term investment portfolio’s in Toowoomba and Katoomba
    You can pick them up for a song on the strength of one of Tim’s tips.
    The man is a genius!!

  11. Bruce

    And this one:

    “I think that, within this century, the concept of the strong Gaia will actually become physically manifest.”

    If I were Gaia I’d stay up on Dunmanifestin and let Tim keep going. He’s much too much entertainment to be interrupted.

  12. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Claudius: “Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out”.

  13. Rafe

    STOP PRESS. The link to Jo Nova’s piece fell out of the post due to late-night editing on clunky interface (away from home).

    Don’t miss reading the original!

  14. Jim Rose

    he make extreme statements but that is not unusual in politics. remember ‘reds under the bed’; ‘obama is a socialist’.

  15. blogstrop

    Lizzie, the hatching out is getting pretty bad!

  16. Jumpnmcar

    From the Jo Nova piece linked to by Rafe, Baa Humbug March 30 at 10;24am explains how this Fellowship thingy works, at least at the American Geophysical Union with Mann and Jones.

  17. Aqualung

    Most Australians have not heard of the Academy of Sciences. Now they know this much: It would bestow fellowship on Tim Flannery. Some people are aware that he is a serial bulltish artist, others will leearn that later.

    And as the Flanners credibility fades in their minds, so too will the Academy’s.

  18. Jumpnmcar

    Like the Vatican bestowing a sainthood on L.Ron Huddard.

  19. Leigh Lowe

    Fridtjof??
    That maybe explains a few things

  20. Leigh Lowe

    Does this mean he is now a Earthian Living Treasure?

  21. Jumpnmcar

    I think it’s pronounced “Fridge-off” ;)

  22. JC

    Honestly, if the Flannery has been invited, all Australians may as well become members because it basically means they have quite low standards.

    Flannery once admitted that he didn’t get into a regular science degree as he wasn’t any good at math and he had to finagle around until he finally got into Dinosaur poo science which has a low math weighting.

    How the hell could this happen?

  23. Jim Rose

    a large number of predictors of doom fail to amend their portfolios accordingly.

    see http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/prof-tim-flannerys-waterside-getaway/story-fn6b3v4f-1226104010903

    The environmentalist owns a large, low-lying waterfront home on the Hawkesbury River, a remote getaway which only has water access. his house is probably set back about four or five metres from the water.

  24. Jim Rose

    then again, Flannery does support whale hunting.

    see http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/flannery-says-whaling-is-ok/story-e6freuy9-1111115216998

    I wonder what his views are on fox hunting?

  25. tertius

    Jim Rose writes:

    he make extreme statements but that is not unusual in politics. remember ‘reds under the bed’; ‘obama is a socialist’.

    You need to brush up on your Cold War history: the reds were not only under the bed they were well and truly in the bed.

    The facts have been well documented and the persistent denial of these facts by “progressives” have also been well documented.

    In Denial: Historians, Communism, and Espionage

    Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies

    DUPES: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century

    The Venona Secrets, Exposing Soviet Espionage and America’s Traitors

    Alger Hiss’s Looking-Glass Wars: The Covert Life of a Soviet Spy

    Red Star Over Hollywood: The Film Colony’s Long Romance with the Left

    Whittaker Chambers: A Biography

    On the second point of course you are equally correct: “everyone” knows Obama is a conservative, free-market libertarian…

  26. os

    Is that really his second name? What a laugh. When I studied in Iceland the country was in the grips of a debate about finding an Icelandic word for “telephone pager”.

    Icelanders are a bit like the French – they hate borrowing new words from other languages and always try to compose them from existing elements.

    Everyone gets involved – often there’s a newspaper competition so the ordinary citizen can get involved – and then the Guardians of the Ancient and Sacred Icelandic Language go into session and make the decision.

    The word they came up with for telephone pager was “Frithjofur”, “peace” + “thief”

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