The Conversation concedes defeat in the climate debate

Correction from comments, The Conversation is not publicly funded like the ABC. With that error eliminated the story is that they have completely banned dissenting voices. Still over half of the people don’t go along with alarmism.

No matter how qualified you are, no matter how good your argument, your evidence and your data, you, we, half the population, is now banned. The editor Misha Ketchell has officially blocked unbelievers, and thus effectively admitted that they can’t reply to skeptics, and that skeptics are posing too many questions they can’t answer. They’ve been deleting skeptical comments for years, so it’s good that they finally have the honesty to admit it.

Michael Mann makes a fool of himself again. How to lie with statistics: truncate the series.

Compare the longer series/

UPDATE. The editor of The Conversation digs deeper to justify the censorship of dissenting views on climate issues.

This entry was posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe. Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to The Conversation concedes defeat in the climate debate

  1. Bruce of Newcastle

    Yet another lefty echo chamber. I don’t bother with them as the stuff they promote is usually propaganda.

    I wish we didn’t have to pay for these activists through our taxes. Make it a subscription site!

  2. Herodotus

    Most of the media have done the same, in effect, for years. No matter how many editions of the various books on the topic are sold, they go unheralded by the mainstream media. No matter how many Richard Lindzens (and there’s a long list of scientists who know that AGW and CO2 are’t the drivers) you have, the average voter is being snowed by the mass hysteria that’s pushed every day.
    We now have the UN banning Australia from a conference not because we’ve withdrawn from Paris, but because they think we could do more.
    We now have the Victorian government saying that building dams is futile because of climate change.
    We now have the zombie left, the undead, saying anything at all. The fall of the USSR didn’t stop them. China’s capitalist road isn’t stopping them, but funding them.

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    Re Mann – drawing a straight line up the side of a sine curve is classic unscientific nonsense.

    He knows about the sine wave, he has a paper on it.

  4. min

    What debate there is never any . Alarmists just do not listen ,ignore facts and refuse to offer the research that supports their beliefs, that is because they have not read it just repeating someone’s opinion.
    This from my experience from talks and presentations in the Greeny electorate of Kooyong.

  5. As I mentioned earlier, the Left are now able to lie with impunity, as well as lie by omission. But when the fall comes, it’s going to be hard.

  6. Sinclair Davidson

    The Conversation – as far as I’m aware – is not publicly funded. Funding from the federal government ceased a few years ago. The Conversation is funded by universities. Now the argument that universities are publicly funded doesn’t fly here. Australian students are publicly funded and pay fees to Australian universities. What the universities do with that money is reinvest it back into the provision of public goods – such as research and teaching. The Conversation forms part of research engagement – academics talking about their research in a non-academic environment to a non-academic audience. It also serves as a training ground teaching academics how to write for non-academic audiences and so on.

    Now we can quibble about all sorts of things. Does the Conversation provide good value for money, etc. etc. etc. But to argue that it is “publicly funded” as the term is generally understood is misleading.

  7. Ben

    It lists the CSIRO and the Victorian government as stakeholders.

    About time some reverse activism was undertaken to push the CSIRO into coming clean on climate change and the associated alarmism.

    Don’t forget this banning, plus Flannerys piece is all coordinated to build up to “climate week” and the strikes tomorrow.

  8. eb

    Australian students are publicly funded and pay fees to Australian universities

    Hi Sinc, can these students buy anything other than university places with that public funding?

  9. egg_

    academics talking about their research in a non-academic environment to a non-academic audience.

    Have they quoted the “97% of Scientists” fable?

  10. egg_

    The Conversation is funded by universities.

    Didn’t Howard take over funding of Universities Federally?
    Aren’t the major Universities created under Acts of Parliament?

  11. Rafe Champion

    Taking up Sinc’s point about the function of The Conversation The Conversation forms part of research engagement – academics talking about their research in a non-academic environment to a non-academic audience. It also serves as a training ground teaching academics how to write for non-academic audiences and so on.

    That is a really valuable function and it just the kind of thing the universities should have been doing for years. Actually some of them have run adult education programs for decades before the digital revolution so that was a move in the right direction. Similarly the CSIRO used to have a periodical called Search for a lay readership. It only had a circulation of about 4000. When I left Ag Science in 1968 I was invited to edit it and it would have been a wonderful opportunity but instead I turned to Sociology. Nowadays they produce Double Helix.

    The Conversation is valuable to the extent that the work going on in the universities is valuable. Obviously some is and some is not. Without doing quantitative research I think the not so valuable gets most shelf space in The Conversation.

  12. Rafe Champion

    In 1935 John Anderson at the Uni of Sydney was advocating publicity by the universities to explain what they are up to and why it matters.

    He also challenged what he called the “solidarist” view of society and defended the pluralist view. Solidarism was probably the first form of political correctness.

    The first condition of the maintenance and strengthening of the academic spirit is publicity. This means not merely that the public should have information on University activities, but that the academic or cultural point of view should be propagated among the public. It is the business of academic investigators to speak out on behalf of their way of living and not, as is so often done, to apologise for it on the ground that after all it is of some assistance to non-academic enterprises. In this way they would not only arouse the cultural attitude in places where it is not at present active but would establish relations of solidarity with extra-academic investigators.

    They would aim, of course, not merely at enlisting formal support for culture but at carrying culture beyond the University. As far as present efforts in this direction are concerned, they have no more than an edifying, sermonistic effect ; what is wanted is the encouragement of independent investigators, the organising of groups of serious students, and (what all this involves) an active intervention in public affairs.

    Even in a matter so closely, indeed essentially, related to University work as school education it is remarkable how unwilling University workers are to express themselves publicly on the subject, how strong a tendency they have to make it a matter of private conferences or even merely to accept the accomplished fact. It may be urged that an individual teacher is naturally unwilling to pose as the spokesman of the academic point’ of view ; but it may be answered at once that unless academic workers are prepared to state what they think is the academic point of view, the academic point of view will never be stated. END QUOTE

    Among other things he urged strict admission standards and the value of lectures where students learn to listen and take notes.

  13. Sinclair Davidson

    Aren’t the major Universities created under Acts of Parliament?

    Every corporation – both public and private – is created under an act of parliament.

  14. Terry

    Sinclair Davidson
    #3159411, posted on September 19, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Well, speaking of “quibbling”.

    “The Conversation – as far as I’m aware – is not publicly funded.”
    “The Conversation is funded by universities.” – which are publicly funded.
    As Ben points out: “It lists the CSIRO and the Victorian government as stakeholders.” – which are publicly funded.

    “But to argue that it is “publicly funded” as the term is generally understood is misleading.”
    As opposed to what exactly? That it is not publicly funded? As in this venture would exist without the “public funding” funneled through universities, the CSIRO and state governments?

    “What the universities do with that money is reinvest it back into the provision of public goods – such as research and teaching.” – how is that for circular reasoning!

    The only thing that makes the “research and teaching” public goods, is that the parties providing them are publicly funded.

    “Research and teaching” are of themselves not necessarily public goods at all.

    Now, I have no particular view on whether “the Conversation provide[s] good value for money, etc. etc. etc” but I do have the view that as soon as they go around implementing censorship of academic discussion because of an ideological stance, then their funding should be reduced (perhaps just enough so that they can no longer afford to employ censors).

    You would hope that the intellectual integrity of the member universities would take care of this (probably naively), but since this does not appear to be the case, then there is strong cause for the government to clip funding upstream.

    Alternatively, they can forego public funding and do as they please (very much like the ABC).

  15. pbw

    I think that the more relevant point here is that there has recently been some pressure on the universities to ensure freedom of speech. (Could someone who knows the details please fill in the blanks.)

    At any rate, doesn’t this action by the university-initiated and university-funded The Conversation tell the story of the universities’ commitment to freedom of discussion? Isn’t that the point that should be pressed?

  16. Lee

    So The Conversation is now no different than many other lefty websites (including the taxpayer-funded ABC’s), in refusing to allow other than the accepted viewpoint.

    Yet lefties have the gall to go on, say, Andrew Bolt’s blog, and whinge and moan that they are not allowed to comment there, yet in fact, when they (lefties) don’t predominate the commentary, they form a very significant minority!

  17. Sinclair Davidson
    #3159411, posted on September 19, 2019 at 9:17 am

    The Conversation – as far as I’m aware – is not publicly funded. Funding from the federal government ceased a few years ago.

    Looks to me like The (One Way) Conversation was seeded with $6m of tax payer funds.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/10/government-funds-anti-science-name-calling-crowd-deniers-skeptics-are-old-will-be-gone-soon/

    https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/cash-for-conversation/news-story/c7081e32dfae0f05ff43739112944520

    I haven’t seen evidence that they returned that seed money.
    It’s irrelevant if they haven’t received any further funds in the last few years. They exist because of tax payer monies.

    Wouldn’t I love it if the Government seeded my business venture with a few millions of dollars, I establish my business, never return the seed money and go around with my thumbs hooked into my lapels boasting about my “independent” non-taxpayer funded business.

  18. Kneel

    “… then their funding should be reduced (perhaps just enough so that they can no longer afford to employ censors).”
    As if.
    You know as well as the rest of us that any funding cut – after the wailing and gnashing of teeth – would not result in a reduction of administrative workers in any way. Rather, they would reduce the subsidies on the student cafeteria and blame the govt for depriving poor students of the ability to obtain sustenance – they will say “This person failed because the couldn’t afford food thanks to funding cuts – that’s bad governement!” Even though said individual can’t pass the year 9 NAPLAN test.

  19. Behind Enemy Lines

    Sinclair Davidson
    #3159411, posted on September 19, 2019 at 9:17 am
    The Conversation – as far as I’m aware – is not publicly funded. Funding from the federal government ceased a few years ago. The Conversation is funded by universities. Now the argument that universities are publicly funded doesn’t fly here . . . to argue that it is “publicly funded” as the term is generally understood is misleading.

    For political reasons, a lot of public funding is disguised. Yet even if the funding isn’t direct, it is real. My own test for whether something is publicly funded is to ask whether it would still exist if there were no public funding at all.

    Looking at contemporary Australia through that lens will make a very, very angry person of you.

  20. egg_

    At any rate, doesn’t this action by the university-initiated and university-funded The Conversation tell the story of the universities’ commitment to freedom of discussion? Isn’t that the point that should be pressed?

    A Universities’ bought and paid for climate megaphone?
    Professors Panasonic?

  21. Terry

    Kneel
    #3159589, posted on September 19, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    “You know as well as the rest of us that any funding cut – after the wailing and gnashing of teeth – would not result in a reduction of administrative workers in any way.”

    Yes, unfortunately.

  22. Deplorable

    What is this “The Conservation”??? Never looked at it never will, just another Marxist mouthpiece it seems like the Guardian. Life is too short to waste time reading crap.

  23. Entropy

    The Conversation – as far as I’m aware – is not publicly funded. Funding from the federal government ceased a few years ago. The Conversation is funded by universities. Now the argument that universities are publicly funded doesn’t fly here. Australian students are publicly funded and pay fees to Australian universities

    Fine but if hair splitting there, I would call that public funding. Maybe prof you would have been on firmer ground referring to the vast armies of foreign, full fee paying students as uni revenue

  24. Ellen

    The linked article says 56% of Australians are sceptical about human induced climate change. Yet the pie chart included shows 87% think the climate is changing, with 43% attributing this to a combination of man and nature, and 44 % just to man. Only 5% think the climate is not changing and another 5% think nothing we do makes any difference.

    I suspect the only people banned by the Conversation are the 5% who think the climate is not changing. Maybe the reason is not because they are sceptical but because they do tend to rant on, often in capital letters.

  25. Tim Neilson

    Kneel
    #3159589, posted on September 19, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Correct. There’s even a name for that phenomenon – the “Firemen First” principle.

    The hypothesis is that in a fire department there may be 20 firefighters and 980 diversity counsellors etc., but if the government imposes a 1% budget cut 10 firefighters and 0 diversity counsellors will be laid off.

    The motives are obviously:
    (a) as you note, they want the budget cut to lead to problems so they can argue for a restoration of the funding (and who knows, some of the restored funding might actually be used to re-employ firefighters, though that’s a second or third order issue for the bureaucrats);
    (b) if they did lay off 10 diversity counsellors and it transpired that there was zero detriment to the community that would lead to enquiries as to whether more diversity counsellors could safely be retrenched.

  26. egg_

    What is this “The Conservation”???

    The whispering gallery of St Paul’s?

  27. Terry

    The Conversation is not publicly funded like the ABC. With that error eliminated

    Terry
    #3159498, posted on September 19, 2019 at 11:03 am
    Alternatively, they can forego public funding and do as they please (very much like the ABC).

    To be very clear: “very much like the ABC” does not speak to the mechanism for funding (direct versus indirect) and try to claim they are the same.

    If that is the “error” you are trying to eliminate, then well done but its hardly a helpful distinction and wasn’t the point.

    The point is, that because they both receive public funding, they both have a duty to respect the diverse views of the people that provide those funds (taxpayers) in a way that a privately funded operation would not.

    It really does not matter how those funds find their way into their coffers.

  28. Rafe Champion

    Ellen you have got to be joking if you think it is only vociferous fringe skeptics who are excluded from The Conversation. In fact I don’t know who you are talking about. The editor made it quite clear today.

    There’s a good reason we’re moderating climate change deniers: uninformed comments undermine expertise.

    I think it is pretty clear that for him any deviation from the alarmist consensus would be uninformed. Is that your view?

    On your interpretation of the survey figures, admittedly they do not indicate how many people are alarmed about warming but accepting benign warming like all the skeptics I know is a million miles from alarmism.

  29. Wallace

    If..
    Ocean temperatures are rising

    Then..
    The Great Barrier Reef will form new coral atolls further from the equator.

    Maybe down to Sydney?

  30. I added this below to my article a few days ago. Let’s drill into The Con’s funding. I calculate that 90% of university research funds in Australia are from the government, and about 60% of total university funding is. Plus there was that $6m “gift” to establish it. Hence The Con is at least 60, arguably 75% (with seed funding included, who knows?) and may be up to 90% government funded if we consider it as mostly an arm to publicize research in academia.
    .

    **Edit: changed the word “funded” by taxpayer dollars, replaced with “established“. As I had explained later in the post the funding is now maintained mostly from universities — so a lot of the funding is still public funds “washed” through grants to universities and student enrollments. Can someone tell me what percentage of university funding ends up coming from the government? Judging from this page — of $11b total in funding for research, it’s all government bar business ($500m) Donations ($250m), Overseas ($372m) and Other Australian ($0.3m) = $1.1b. So university research is 90% government funded? But universities get students too. The bottom line of all funding from higher ed financial accounts suggests the total uni sector gets $32b of which students pay $9.1b, investment $1.2b, consultancies $1.3b, other $1.8b and the rest appears to be govt. So the govt pays $18.5b which means 57% is government funded?So I get a figure of nearly 60% government funded. I’m not sure that’s right because accounting is not my thing. Do students repay all that debt or does the govt end up footing more of their bill?
    .

    The Conversation partners include many unis, plus a couple of foundations, and include CSIRO (are they still funding it?), the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), and CSIROs data61. But without actual numbers, who knows?
    .

    I think 60% indirectly government funded is a fair claim. And given that The Conversation is about research mostly, not students, then in some ways it leans closer to 90% government funded.
    .
    https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1819/Quick_Guides/UniversityResearchFunding
    .
    https://docs.education.gov.au/node/52466

  31. struth

    The conversation is taxpayer funded through and through and making those funds pass through a few hands before it gets to it’s intended destination fools no one on the right Sinclair, and suggesting otherwise really is an insult to our intelligence.
    Surely you can live with who really pays for you, Sinclair?
    It’s us, mate!
    Just say thanks,….happy to oblige.

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