Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Australian and Andrew Bolt Lamberted and PPed on

Australian Lefties are obsessed with News Ltd in general and Andrew Bolt in particular so it's no surprise that both Tim Lambert and Pure Poison – actually some guy named Wayne guest posting – attack Bolt and The Australian for quoting from a peer-reviewed study. The objectionable quote:
Applying both [conventional and alternative] methods to the most comprehensive existing global dataset of natural disaster loss [provided by Munich Re], in general we find no significant upward trends in normalised disaster damage over the period 1980-2009 globally, regionally, for specific disasters or for specific disasters in specific regions.
Both Lambert and guest PPer Wayne accuse Bolt and The Australian of intentionally deceiving readers through omission of the following sentence:
Due to our inability to control for defensive mitigation measures, one cannot infer from our analysis that there have definitely not been more frequent and/or more intensive weather-related natural hazards over the study period already.
So Bolt and The Australian on the face of it look silly for concluding, contrary to the study's disclaimer, that weather-related natural hazards have increased in neither frequency nor intensity.

But since we're dealing here with notorious fact-manipulator Lambert, and the perennially iffy PP boyz, it's a good idea to take a closer look at the quoted study, the first sentence of which is shaky indeed:
Climate change is likely to lead to an increase in the frequency and/or intensity of certain types of natural hazards, if not globally, then at least in certain regions.
That sentence would more accurately read, "Models predict that climate change is likely to..."

But there's more if one looks beyond the study's abstract:
Existing scholarship comes to the conclusion that while natural variability in weather patterns can explain some of the variability in disaster losses (Pielke and Landsea 1998; Katz 2002; Pielke et al. 2008; Schmidt, Kemfert and Höppe 2009), there is no evidence for a rising long-term trend in so-called “normalized” disaster damage, which is the damage after adjustments for wealth changes over time. To be sure, even if a trend was detected, one needs to be careful in attributing such a trend to anthropogenic climate change, i.e. climate change caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions, since natural climate variability could provide an alternative explanation.
Thus this latest study confirms prior studies failing to find an increase in natural disasters – if anything Bolt and The Australian understated reality in not noting that a series of studies fails to link climate change to natural disasters.

This is yet another example of Lefties engaging in the intellectual dishonesty they claim to abhor.

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Anonymous Richard Ryan said...

BOLT! Why is he known as Melbourne's village idiot?

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Richard Ryan said...

I like cheese.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Richard Ryan said...

MURDOCH! He killed my kitten!

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Richard Ryan said...

BOLT! He had me at "barbarian"!

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Chistery said...

'Intellectual dishonesty' infers you are intelligent enough to deliberately deceive.

This is nothing more than the application of confirmation bias to build a case to accuse Bolt of confirmation bias.

7:26 AM  

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