I am writing this essay on the day of the March, which will happen in Washington DC and apparently 500 other cities, including several in Australia, where the March is happening as I write. What is it about? There is apparently a ‘war on science’, though who is conducting it is not clear. From its US website you can get this mission statement.

The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.

The March for Science is a celebration of science.  It’s not only about scientists and politicians; it is about the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world.  Nevertheless, the march has generated a great deal of conversation around whether or not scientists should involve themselves in politics. In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery, we might ask instead: can we afford not to speak out in its defense?  

People who value science have remained silent for far too long in the face of policies that ignore scientific evidence and endanger both human life and the future of our world. New policies threaten to further restrict scientists’ ability to research and communicate their findings.  We face a possible future where people not only ignore scientific evidence, but seek to eliminate it entirely.  Staying silent is a luxury that we can no longer afford.  We must stand together and support science.

Well, I can support some of this, though puzzled about why there is or has to be a march, and whom the marchers  are trying to reach. And reasonable people will probably disagree about the nature of ‘policies that ignore scientific evidence’, let alone what is to count as ‘scientific evidence’ in particular  cases. And I would be one of many who will who shake their heads at the notion of an ‘alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus’, as though ‘consensus’ among scientists was anything more than the current status quo about an issue, always subject to new argument and new evidence. Any such consensus can quickly become an echo-chamber, especially if money and prestige are involved.

Exploring the US website takes us a little way. Who is organising the march? The leaders and the organising committee seem to be markedly young people, and another part of the statement tells us that the organisers are sorry that they had not earlier made clear their opposition to racism, sexism, ableism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, or any form of bigotry. Their statement of principles is good reading. There are six Principles and five Goals. Here’s a bit of the first Principle:

Science that serves the common good

Scientists work to build a better understanding of the world around us. Science is a process, not a product — a tool of discovery that allows us to constantly expand and revise our knowledge of the universe. In doing so, science serves the interests of all humans, not just those in power…  

Who could disagree? Some of us might want to suggest mildly that scientists are not the only people who ‘work to build a better understanding of the work around us’, and the first Principle does go on a bit about the belief that inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility in science are critical to ensure that science reaches its potential to serve all communities. I’m not sure they are. Science, I think, is ultimately about results, not inclusion.

Principle Two is about evidence-based policy, and let’s have cheer or two about that. Some of us of a sceptical bent see far too much policy-based evidence for our liking. Principle Two tells us also about the importance of peer review, which is a sacred cow for academics, though not for anyone else much. Principle Three wants us to support science education that teaches children and adults to think critically, ask questions, and evaluate truth based on the weight of evidence, and again, a cheer or two for that thought. Principal Four bangs the drum again for ‘diversity and inclusion’, because the lack of it thwarts scientific advancement. Worse, it affects the questions we seek to answer, who participates in studies, and, critically, what communities benefit from the innovations and services that science provides. Maybe. I’d like a bit of peer-reviewed evidence before marching behind that banner.

Principle Five seeks open honest science and inclusive public outreach, and is opposed to gag rules on scientists, among other things, and the Sixth Principle is the one I had been waiting for: money, or ‘robustly funded…science’. Here it is in full.

De-funding and hiring freezes in the sciences are against any country’s best interests. We believe that the federal budget should reflect the powerful and vital role that science plays in supporting our democracy. We advocate federal funding in support of research, scientific hiring, and agency application of science to management. This funding cannot be limited to a few fields or specific demographics — scientific support must be inclusive of diverse disciplines and communities.

I have been hearing such cries, both in specific form and more generally, since I became a member of academic staff in 1965, more than half a century ago. In the USA, federal funding is important, but private sector funding is twice as large. There is not a mention of the private sector in anything  have read on the website. What has happened to funding for science? A quick comparison, courtesy of the World Bank, shows that in the USA, total funding on R&D, as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product, rose from 2.44 per cent in 1996 to 2.73 per cent in 2013. In that time American GDP rose by 60 per cent. In Australia, the rise was even more impressive, from 1.66 per cent of GDP to 2.2 per cent, and in our country private sector expenditure was a little more than government expenditure. In practical terms, most of R&D money goes to science because it is much more expensive than the humanities and the social sciences.

In short, it simply isn’t true that there has been some kind of attack on funding. Yes, there was a lower injection of public money into both the ARC and the NHMRC a couple of years ago, when all government expenditure was cut in the budget, and in the USA there is much less certainty about annual funding for any publicly-funded institution or program than there is here. Having said that, it is unclear what the Principle is seeking, unless it is some kind of certainty in funding,mand probably an annual increase as well. That can’t be possible in any democratically elected system of governance.

So what is the supposed ‘war on science’? I wrote about the phrase a few months ago. There was a book with such a title published a while ago by by Shawn Otto, and the reviews I read suggested it was a wild swing at pretty well everything and everybody. If there is such a war I can see no sign of it. President Trump is said to be engaging in one, but every President of the USA selects his own people and his own priorities. I can’t see why science needs a march just at this moment, or what the marchers hope to achieve by entering into it, other than getting some healthy exercise and feeling part of a same-thinking group.

I might venture that some scientists might feel that it is wrong for people who haven’t had to learn the hard way, via postgraduate degrees and hard slog at the lab bench, to make judgments about their work. If that sentiment exists then those scientists need to recognise that the world has moved on. In our country they are funded overwhelmingly through the public purse, and the rest of us who have helped to pay for their employment them have a perfect case to ask how the money has been spent and to inspect the results.

In the case of the young people who seem to be the ringleaders of the March, and whose savvy with social media has probably helped to make this a world-wide event, my suspicion is that they are at least in large part worried that there might not be jobs for them, after their years as postgrads and postdocs. Maybe they are right.

Oh, I didn’t mention the goals of the March. You can read them for yourselves. They amount to a restating of the principles that I’ve summarised above.

And I’ll bet that the ABC gives the event some real airtime tonight. If I’m wrong (there is a family dinner on) at least one reader will point this out.


Join the discussion 119 Comments

  • Peter B says:


    If the ABC [and it’s a big ‘if’] does air this, I will wager that their report will be skewed in such a way as to label the march as something different. And they would no doubt have their usual supporters on standby to provide the slant they wish to have. In fact their lack of reporting on very controversial issues of late has been embarrassing, but of course that is what we have come to expect from that dreadful organisation.

  • Patrick says:

    Somewhere in the media in recent months I recall scientists of the climate consensus persuasion were worried that Trump & his administration would systematically ‘destroy climate data’. However I have not seen any evidence of that occurring. That particular notion seems to indicate some paranoia on the part of the ‘consensus’.
    What if any purpose the ‘march for science’ will serve is entirely unclear to me at least. I certainly agree that education desperately needs to include & encourage critical thinking especially in the context of the scientific method. It is most regrettable that Labor’s actions in pushing climate consensus dogma into the school curriculum have mitigated against critical thinking in a whole generation of school students.

  • Ross says:

    “There is a war on science, but who is conducting it is not clear.”
    Let’s forget, for a minute, our own governments attack on the climate section of the CSIRO.
    Start with your good self. After that trawl through a series of other right wing web sites, (Jo Nova, Andrew Bolt, Brietbart, watts up with that. etc. etc. etc. etc.) then follow the leads up to the to Co2 producing industries, through to the governments they either sponsor, or in Trumps case, actually work in the administration to further their own commercial interests.
    But ofcourse there’s always two sides to a story. Scientists and science?
    They’ll openly lie about the science to get grant money. That’s how morally corrupt scientists are!
    We must win the war against them! You are just a small part of that war, Don.

  • Aert Driessen says:

    Thanks Don. I despair about what is happening in science, particularly climate science. The people marching, including academics, don’t seem to understand what science is or how the scientific method operates. The only scientists speaking out against the consensus on so-called climate change are retired scientists or those working in private industries; scientists working as academics or in the public sector risk losing their jobs and livelihoods if they don’t support the consensus. It’s a mess. Science and politics should be separated by an even wider chasm than church and state. And here we see marchers promoting a marriage of science and politics for the public good. It’s appalling. This mess can no longer be fixed by retired scientists and others speaking out. It must come from the top, like from the Chief Scientist, but what hope of that? He is also a public servant in the employ of government. The most frustrating aspect is that these so-called scientists (I’m restricting myself to the climate change issue) simply will not engage in debate. Why are the likes of Will Steffan not made to engage in public debate with renowned sceptics? One would think that the ABC would be eager to broadcast such a contest. Too much to hope for. The other thing that will fix this is Nature itself, expressing itself in a debilitating cold snap, despite rising atmospheric CO2 levels, as has happened in past geological times. Then again, soaring power costs and failed industries might do the same. Time will tell. but the sham will be exposed sometime. Keep up the good work.

  • margaret says:

    It’s Earth Day … some connection for the March perhaps.

  • bryan roberts says:

    “it simply isn’t true that there has been some kind of attack on funding”

    I disagree. When I gained my first NHMRC grant in the mid-eighties, the success rate was between 33 and 35 percent, so a non-tenured researcher could hope to survive by being successful once every three years. It is now about 15 percent, and in some institutions, even lower. Non-tenured research fellows now have no realistic hope of continued employment unless they are with a large. well-connected group, and are eventually very, very, lucky.

    To give you an idea, I lived with the system for 30 years, and got my first (and only) tenured job at the age of 56. The funding system in Australia is a disgrace, and a tragic waste of scientific talent.

    • Don Aitkin says:


      What is the ‘correct’ level of success? We have thousands more researchers now than when you and I were young, though there is no evidence that we ‘need’ them, or that we know what they should do. How much talent do we need to be occupied in research? Should everyone who wants to do research get funded for it? And so on. I lived with this system for thirty years, and with its counterpart in Canada. It was supply driven, always.

      • Chris Warren says:

        So is the issue really just:

        Who controls supply? and

        what are their motives?

      • bryan roberts says:

        Don, that is probably true, but the rot really started with the Dawkins ‘revolution’. Universities were supplied with more and more cannon fodder, which was pushed into research in order to build up, or bolster their reputations. The outcome was predictable, and widely discussed among the academic staff, at least in my universities. NHMRC and ARC knew their budgets could not, and would not, satisfy the demand, but there were no moves to address the problem.

  • JohnM says:

    Come on Don. In this post-modernist world the only thing that matters is what people “believe” not what evidence shows to be true.
    This march is to make the public believe that science is somehow under threat from Donald Trump. Given that he doesn’t seem impressed by shonky science, by government scientific organizations reaching beyond their remit or claims that lack scientific evidence and seems to want to withdraw funding to correct these situations, it can be argued that the march is in support of all three, which by extension means the march is an attack on attempts to restore integrity to science.
    Of course the march is nonsense, but the wider public won’t understand that and you can bet that follow-up media statements will be issued to try to get the politicians feeling pressured and wanting to sway in the breeze of manipulated public opinion.

  • spangled drongo says:

    In the US scientists are crapping themselves over the fact that Trump wants to turn off the taxpayer funded gushers particularly on “regressive” science [some might call it “progressive”] and the goal of the march seems to be to promote the idea whether scientists should involve themselves in politics or not on this, by involving themselves in politics.

  • spangled drongo says:

    A week after the March for Science is the Peoples Climate March. We can only hope the weather is atrocious.


  • JimboR says:

    “And I’ll bet that the ABC gives the event some real airtime tonight.”

    No mention of it on ABC Qld’s 7PM TV news. But for your article I wouldn’t have heard of it at all. I think Australian researchers are more worried about 457 Visa changes:


  • PeterE says:

    This march is by turns both hilarious and frightening. What you see is straight forward old-fashioned Leninist-lite agitprop. Any real scientist who is stupid enough to take part is inexcusably ignorant. The whole concept confuses science, the prestigious-because-successful method, with an entirely false scientific ‘consensus’ on the political issue of the day, namely ‘climate change.’ So if you oppose the ‘consensus’ you are anti-science. Absolute rubbish but what it does expose is the political nature of the march, an attempt to bully everyone into conformity with the false claim that the Emperor is wearing fine new clothes. What is frightening is the political organization that can bring this together across much of the world.
    Anyone who lived through the Vietnam war will be familiar with this kind of bullying and its result there- the imposition of a one-party communist dictatorship on an unwilling population.
    Shame on the bullies!

  • margaret says:

    I don’t think it was well attended enough to get upset chaps… and what can it achieve? Also isn’t it time to move on from the rabid leftie/right wing nut job stereotypes? Most people are neither, although I do wonder about the prevalence of the latter type who comment here.

    • margaret says:

      “In the case of the young people who seem to be the ringleaders of the March, and whose savvy with social media has probably helped to make this a world-wide event, my suspicion is that they are at least in large part worried that there might not be jobs for them, after their years as postgrads and postdocs. Maybe they are right.”
      Jeez, can you blame them?!
      As you all sit around having retired well from ‘careers’ that actually had a pathway but that never existed in your grandparents time?
      Oh, not you Casper … you are an exception who’s apparently done everything but now has time on his hands.

      • spangled drongo says:

        “… after their years as postgrads and postdocs. Maybe they are right.”

        Yes, marg, they have a right to taxpayer funds. They are entitled.

        And a strong consensus only adds to that “right”.

        Easy to see the philosophy and mentality of these consensuals and to likewise conclude what standard of “science” they would produce.

        Any rational person has to be aware that we are so much better off without this millstone around our necks.

        They are a lose/lose liability.

        Are you any more enlightened now on Jo’s masthead?

        • margaret says:

          No, and I’m not interested in her website. I only visited to confirm the connection between Earth Day and the March for Science.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “No, and I’m not interested….”

            Of course you’re not, marg. There! There! Those truths are far too inconvenient.

            But puzzled one minute, not interested the next….?

    • margaret says:

      According to Wiki it is “part of the anti Trump protests” that have occurred since the world was thrust into dealing psychologically with the fact that because we are now a global ‘community’ he’s our problem too not just America’s.
      Well, Wiki only says the part in quotation marks.
      “The idea to create a march was inspired by the Women’s March on January the 20th 2017, and arose from a discussion on Reddit.
      The organization created a Facebook group which grew from 200 members to 300,000 in less than a week.”

      • bryan roberts says:

        margaret, social media reflect only transient emotional reactions. There is neither logic nor reason in the ensuing furore.

      • ianl8888 says:

        Why is any of that gobbledegook relevant ?

        • margaret says:

          In part I thought this essay was about why on earth day there was a March for Science.
          Wikipedia’s gobbledygook (thanks for resurrecting that great word), attempts to explain how and why it came about.
          And Bryan, “There is neither logic nor reason in the ensuing furore.” what are you talking about?

          • bryan roberts says:

            margaret, any controversial issue is a lightning rod for social media, and furores are created out of nothing. Neither logic nor reason. Just emotion.

  • JimboR says:

    “There is a war on science, but who is conducting it is not clear.”

    I would say this is an example:

    “…anymore than BoM’s finding a warming trend by choosing the sites that report it, and homogenising past data likewise.”

    If you’re correct in your assertion that it’s simply a response to pressure from their political masters, than I would say it’s the politicians conducting the war by demanding to see warming where warming doesn’t exist. If you’re wrong, then I’d say it’s you conducting the war for smearing their reputations with no supporting evidence.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Jimb, you can’t see any reason why scientists might exaggerate the GBR problems or the world’s warming problems yet never admit to any scepticism?

      Or that there is no supporting evidence for scepticism?

      “For most Australians on Jan 7th the heatwave averaged somewhere around 35C, not 40.3C. The extra 5 degrees is produced by a form of area weighting to average the thermometers over the entire nation.

      How many thermometers have 100 year records? Just 16.

      To have any legitimacy with a new record, the BOM needs to publish its methods that explain how temperatures can be calculated every day over a hundred years from weather stations that in many cases didn’t exist. How else would we know it was a reasonable effort? We all know that tweaked black-box statistics could be used to achieve meaningless records that drive news headlines. Of course, the BOM wouldn’t stoop that low, would they?”

  • Neville says:

    Here is the best response to their march for science. Set up a Red team to look at all their claims about their CAGW and make sure everyone has access to the results. This must be well funded and the exposure by the media and govt science departments should be fully transparent.

    Line up all their icons and test them using the best science available. Some of their icons would be SLR, South pole and North Pole temps and levels of ice extent, extreme weather events, Polar bears, earlier Holocene temps compared to post 1850 temp trends, the sun’s impact on climate, ocean oscillation impacts, Human health and life expectancy post Ind Rev, changing Greenland and Antarctic climate during the Holocene and earlier inter-glacials etc.


    Judith Curry also tries to untangle their March for science.


  • Chris Warren says:


    The March does not reflect changes in R&D funding from 1996-2013.

    The attack on science funding is far more recent.

    Since 2013 the ARC has had substantial funding cuts.

    2013-14, 919 million
    2014-15, 913 million
    2015-16, 859 million
    2016-17, 792 million

    And more cuts are in the pipeline see table 1.2 at:


    The future cuts are 1.5 million in each of

    2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20.

    Unless there is some strange increase in NHMRC, ANSTO, CSIRO and science in Universities, then I think the post 2013 evidence does point to ” some kind of attack on funding.”

    • bryan roberts says:

      I pointed out above that “The current oversupply of PhD students and postdocs provides senior scientists in established labs with an abundance of free or cheap labour, and by extension allow the universities to conduct enormous volumes of research to enhance their international reputations and secure further funding.”

      In general, it is the increase in funding, not the quality of the research, that is the major objective of the universities.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        I would agree generally. But even more basic is the pressure to have more postgraduate students, who learn research through the PhD, and then need to keep doing it to get appointed/promoted etc. What we get as a result is a smorgasbord of research activity, whose focus broadens every year. Some is good, some isn’t. There seems to be no way of holding it in check, or applying quality standards to it. And it is not new. I was writing about this problem in the 1980s. It is much worse now.

        • ianl8888 says:

          That’s circular, Don. It’s this sort of circularity that has created the current animus to academics – the remedy is clear. Transparency …


          why is there “increased pressure” to increase the number of post-docs ?

          • bryan roberts says:

            Permit me. Graduates don’t see job opportunities, and believe that higher qualifications will increase their employability. If that involves research, then your employability depends on your publications. Publications, in the present environment, depend on the number of people in the research group (how many single author papers have you seen recently?). So it is to everybody’s (those in the research group’s) benefit to increase the number of people working. Is this so hard to understand? And of course, if one group does this, all the rest in the same group/division/whatever will do the same, lest their own funding is reduced or withdrawn. QED

          • Don Aitkin says:

            If you provide more money to the granting agencies, a lot of it will be spent on new young staff. Indeed, in some countries, like Canada, you are in some areas more likely to get a grant if you can show that your work requires a postdoc or two. It is a really messy issue, with no one (anywhere in the world, to the best of my knowledge) able to hold the expansion not just of university education, but also higher degree education and R&D in check.

            It is indeed circular. Deans want staff to do more research so that the faculty looks good in the research assessment exercise. That pushes more staff into research activity. More research activity requires more postgrads and postdocs, which encourages departments to look for more postgraduate students. And so it goes.

        • David says:

          … and this coming from someone who can not interpret a confidence interval.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Chris, I referred to the budget cuts in my essay. Are you suggesting that science, universities, R&D etc should be free from budget cuts of any kind at all times?

      • bryan roberts says:

        Don, nobody wants to waste resources, be they financial or human. The current problem is the many second rate young people employed as ‘researchers’, who would be far better placed, and far more affluent, as plumbers or electricians,

        It’s actually not hard to identify the first rate people – we should give them a shot at a real career, and they shouldn’t have to wait 30 years.

        • bryan roberts says:

          If you will permit one postscript: my PhD supervisor, a bloody-minded Liverpudlian, said “We don’t need to worry about the bright kids. They will always survive.”

          That may have been true then. I am concerned about its relevance now.

      • Chris Warren says:


        You referred to budget cuts in your essay.

        You also referred to ” some kind of attack on funding.” in your essay.

        I responded to ” some kind of attack on funding.”

        I do not see how pointing to a budget cut of 120 million for one agency has any relationship to “budget cuts of any kind at all times”.

        You have brought a cricket ball to a soccer match.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Rubbish. Every agency, to the best of my knowledge suffered in the budget cuts. There was not an ‘attack on science’, unless you think that somehow science should be quarantined, and wasn’t. The Government, for good reason, reduced its expenditure. There wasn’t enough money (by a long way, to do what had been done the year before.

          • Chris Warren says:

            Is that so ??????

            Where is there evidence for every agency (excluding CSIRO) suffered 13% annual budget cuts over this period


          • Don Aitkin says:

            Dunno. That’s not what I said. Every portfolio suffered cuts, the least in Defence, from memory. ERC heard appeals and made recommendations to Cabinet Then it was up to the portfolio mInister to work out how best to find the money.

            Are you saying that science/research should have been quarantined? Is it more important, in your opinion, than other aspects of government expenditure?

          • Chris Warren says:

            That is a broader issue. Some areas need budget increases some budget cuts. If Australia is to compete internationally with a knowlege-services-based economy, then 13% cuts to ARC plus CSIRO cuts contradict our national interest unless there are comparable increases elsewhere in the knowledge-services space.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Chrissie luv, d’ya think it’s possibly in our “national interest” to balance the budget?

            And that a lot of this unnecessary “science” is just open ended speculative squandering for negative reward?

            If it was your hard-earned would you be wasting it like this?

            Smart people have been a wake up to this for a long time:

            56 years ago Eisenhower warned about science funding. “Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.”

  • Patrick says:

    Judith Curry’s website Climate etc. has an interesting discussion of this march. It’s pretty much a case of ‘the march means whatever the marchers want it to mean’ but the overall impression is that the march is a political ploy viz. anti Trump in the US, and probably supporting the ‘climate consensus’ and related policies here in Aus. Never mind the failed prognostications, the absent tropical tropospheric ‘hot spot’, the horrendously expensive desalination plants lying idle, the increasingly unreliable & unaffordable energy.

  • Neville says:

    Let’s check out some of those predictions made at the first Earth day in 1970.

    “13 Most Ridiculous Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970
    Profile photo of Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    April 21, 2017

    Saturday is Earth Day — an annual event first launched on April 22, 1970. The inaugural festivities (organized in part by then hippie and now convicted murderer Ira Einhorn) predicted death, destruction and disease unless we did exactly as progressives commanded.

    Sound familiar? Behold the coming apocalypse, as predicted on and around Earth Day, 1970:

    “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald
    “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner
    “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” — New York Times editorial
    “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich
    “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich
    “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day
    “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter
    “In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine
    “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
    “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich
    “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
    “[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.” — Newsweek magazine
    “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt”

    That murderering bastard Ira Einhorn was one of the organisers of Earth Day.

    KNIGHT: Earth Day co-founder written out of history

    Earth Day co-founder written out of history after composting his girlfriend

    OKnight – The Washington Times – Friday, April 20, 2012


    Like many liberal causes that have gone mainstream, powered by partisan media, Earth Day had some very rad- ical beginnings.

    First, it’s on April 22, the birthday of the ruthless Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin. If you think that’s a coincidence, and it might be, let’s learn more about one of Earth Day’s founders, Ira Einhorn.

    Einhorn was a leftist leader who cheered on the Viet Cong in the 1960s, hoping for a United States defeat. Then he adopted environmentalism and in 1970 hosted one of the very first Earth Day rallies. Thereafter, he claimed to be co-founder of Earth Day.

    Einhorn is serving a life sentence in a federal prison. That’s because he murdered and “composted” his estranged girlfriend, Helen “Holly” Maddux, back in 1977. I will spare you the details of how this was discovered 18 months later at his apartment.

    The Earth Day enthusiast did not spend much time in jail initially. He became future Sen. Arlen Specter’s most famous client. As a 1997 Time magazine article put it, “Release of murder defendants pending trial was unheard of, but Einhorn’s attorney was soon-to-be U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, and bail was set at a staggeringly low $40,000 – only $4,000 of it needed to walk free.”

    Einhorn skipped to Europe, marrying a Swedish-born woman and living in several countries for two decades until he finally was extradited from France and convicted of murder on Oct. 17, 2002. In reporting the conviction, the New York Times neglected to mention Einhorn’s connection to Earth Day or Mr. Specter’s involvement in the case, but the paper did fill in some interesting details:

    “In the 1970s, Einhorn counted Jerry Rubin and the rock star Peter Gabriel among his acquaintances and later consulted with large companies on New Age trends. He vanished on the eve of his 1981 trial and lived in England, Ireland and Sweden before the authorities caught him in 1997 at a converted windmill in the south of France, where he lived with his Swedish-born wife.

    “After his capture, Einhorn thumbed his nose at American authorities by appearing on television shows to discuss his plight and sipping wine while posing naked for photographers in his garden.”

    • spangled drongo says:

      Oh it’s lovely to see, Neville!

      Those “scientific facts” coming back to bite them on the testables.

      No wonder they have to morph it into another chapter of the doom scenario.

      And the fact that our MSM doesn’t pick up on this hypocrisy says it all.

      Maybe that’s why Auntie didn’t feature it on the 7 pm news. Facts too embarrassing.

  • David says:

    Don how does Trumps claim that the science behind AGW is Chinese plot to hobble US industry fit in with your meme?

    You can hardly argue that this sort of criticism is just business as usual.

  • Art says:

    Having been in private defense research in the US for 8 years and CSIRO for 36 years, I occasionally believe that the difference between many scientists ans a prostitute is that the latter tries to give some degree fo pleasure for the invested fee. I would be eager to see what happens should Trump start funding climate scientists with contrarian points of view and making all climate research funding contestable with a strong bias towards that anti CAGW hypothesis. How many ardent warmist researchers would jump ship to follow the money? We will probably never know but it is a delicious though nonetheless.

  • Neville says:

    I said this at an earlier comment above, although this is hardly a full list of their so called CAGW concerns.

    “Line up all their icons and test them using the best science available. Some of their icons would be SLR, South pole and North Pole temps and levels of ice extent, extreme weather events, Polar bears, earlier Holocene temps compared to post 1850 temp trends, the sun’s impact on climate, ocean oscillation impacts, Human health and life expectancy post Ind Rev, changing Greenland and Antarctic climate during the Holocene and earlier inter-glacials etc”.

    So can anyone tell us why they think any of the icons above are more dangerously changed than at other times during our Holocene and earlier inter-glacials? I can’t find any evidence that definitely shows anything but NATURAL climate variability. But if you can , then please tell us how to mitigate your problem(s). I also think clouds are probably one of the main drivers of warming and cooling over hundreds, thousands and millions of years. And clouds are very hard to model.

  • David says:

    The Coalition is doing preference deals with anti-vaxers.

    Got rid of the Ministery for Science

    Dismissed AGW as absolute crap a few years back.


  • spangled drongo says:

    Oz has its GBR bedwetters and Canada has its PB bedwetters, all no doubt marching for “science”.


  • Brian Austen says:

    The march seems to be a version of “dog whistling’ to apply a phrase used in another context by people like those marching.

    The Hobart march was featured on the front page of the Sunday Mercury, which is interesting given the prominence of articles on ‘political correctness’ in the Australian recently. I noted Senator Nick McKim in the photo.

  • spangled drongo says:

    As they march for science in the US. Eric Worrall on Neil deGrasse Tyson’s views on climate science deniers:

    “To suggest it is unreasonable to have doubts about alarmist climate projections in the face of such a shambolic track record of failure and exaggeration in my opinion is pure arrogance – personal hubris dressed up as scientific opinion.”


  • spangled drongo says:

    I wonder if whinnying jimmy marched?:


  • Neville says:

    Shots have been fired at the building where John Christy and Roy Spencer work. Possibly a drive by shooting and shells have been found. Let’s help they find these gutless cowards.


  • Neville says:

    It looks like a polar or grizzly or any other bear can always find a willing partner if they have to and DNA flows confirm this research. So much for CAGW being the cause of their desperate sexual relations. Not that polar bear numbers are a problem anyway.


    The German Green’s party are now looking at very low poll numbers and may have trouble reaching 5% of the vote. It seems like a lot more Germans are fed up with paying some of the highest electricity prices on the planet. Let’s hope that even more people start to wake up to their mitigation con and fra-d.


  • Neville says:

    Just imagine if there had been a march for truth and integrity in science and it passed the building where Michael Mann worked. Later on bullets were fired at the building and at the same floor where these scientists had their offices. Does anyone really think that it wouldn’t be headline news and that it would be written off as “just a random shooting”? Yet the attack on UAH offices where Spencer and Christy work doesn’t seem to cause concern at all.


  • Neville says:

    We’re supposed to be discussing facts and data and the march for science. One of the most popular claims by Fairfax and their ABC is how aboriginal Aussies live much shorter lives than the rest of us. Yes it is true that Aborigines live about 10 years less than the rest . Here’s Bureau of stats data.


    But what about Papua New Guinea and Indonesia to our north? Papua New Guineans live to about 63 and Indonesians live to about 69, while Aboriginal Aussies live to about 71. These are average combined male and female life expectancy. Papua NG and Indonesia have been self governing for a long time and yet on average Aboriginal Aussies live longer. Certainly we should be doing everything possible to help Aboriginal Aussies reach the same life expectancy as the rest of us, but perhaps we shouldn’t be too critical of our efforts.

    Don’t forget that until the Industrial Revolution all humans ( on average) died before they reached 40. And that applied to all populations and countries from stone age to most developed.


    • Chris Warren says:


      Life expectancy may well depend on country of residency.

      There is no reason why it should depend on race within a country.

      Your apologetics for white-black discrepency borders on racism.

      Is it a case of yet more Queenslanders doing what comes naturally?

      • spangled drongo says:

        That’s right chrissie luv, it’s racism to point out a few obvious facts, hey?

        Like the fact that a stone age culture after a few very short generations [in some cases exactly 2 – since 1967] of civilisation and living in comparative “luxury” quickly doubles its life expectancy.

        What a blitherer!

        • Chris Warren says:

          Drongo – doing what comes naturally.

          Nazi’s pointed out a few obvious facts and then massacred everyone they could lay their hands on – based on a few obvious facts.

          Just like Queensland settlers not so long ago.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “Nazi’s pointed out a few obvious facts and then massacred everyone they could lay their hands on – based on a few obvious facts.

            Just like Queensland settlers not so long ago.”

            So blithering chrissie’s equation of Godwin’s Law is used to prevent freedom of speech.

            How convenient is that for all the misrepresentations he is famous for?

            Apart from making wild statements about which he knows nothing he makes lying, slanderous claims about people he knows even less.

            18c forever, hey chrissie?

            As long as it’s never applied to you.

            You lying hippo!

          • Chris Warren says:

            Drongo denial.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Blithering chrissie lies.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Paul Driessen

    “April 22 was Earth Day, the March for Science and Lenin’s birthday (which many say is appropriate, since environmentalism is now green on the outside and red, anti-free enterprise on the inside). April 29 will feature the People’s Climate March and the usual “Climate change is real” inanity.

    The Climate March website says these forces of “The Resistance” intend to show President Trump they will fight his hated energy agenda every step of the way. Science March organizers say they won’t tolerate anyone who tries to “skew, ignore, misuse or interfere with science.”

    After eight years of government policies that killed jobs and economic growth – and skewed, ignored, misused, obstructed, vilified and persecuted science and scientists that strayed from alarmist talking points, to advance a climate chaos, anti-fossil fuel, anti-growth agenda – that piety is arrogant hypocrisy.”

  • Neville says:

    Here are two recent short ( about 5 mins) Prager Uni videos about climate change. The first is from Bjorn Lomborg explaining the horrendous true costs of Paris COP 21 and the likely result by 2100. These costs of at least 1 trillion $ a year aren’t his numbers but come from other University sources. And of course no measurable change in temp at all using the MAGICC modeling tool from the US EPA and used by the IPCC.


    The next short video is from Dr Richard Lindzen explaining what AGW is and the different groups involved. He makes this quote from the IPCC 2007 report that tells us that we’ve been sold a pup.

    5) Given the complexity of climate, no confident prediction about future global mean temperature or its impact can be made. The IPCC acknowledged in its own 2007 report that “The long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” Here is the video link and a transcript is available under the videos for future reference.

  • bryan roberts says:

    Those careless Australians who have not yet bothered to drink in the splendour of Port Arthur are advised to hurry, as it is rapidly sinking beneath the waves. https://tinyurl.com/kj25p2m

    Oh, Tasmania is, too.

    • Neville says:

      Geezz Bryan, if you believe that silly BS you’ll believe anything. Here’s a link to a number of new studies that don’t agree with that silly yarn at all. In fact the 2016 Donchyt’s et al study found that the world’s coastal land has been increasing over the last 30 years.
      And even that Church et al study found just 8.4 inches of global SLR from 1880 to 2009. That’s just 6.5 inches per century, so nothing unusual at all.
      And just up the coast Sydney SLR is just 0.65mm a year or about 2.6 inches per century and Brisbane is less at about 0.09mm year or just 0.36 inches per century. Here’s a link to the Denchyt study etc.


      • bryan roberts says:

        … but … but ..it’s the NY Times!

        C’mon, Nev, crack a grin.

        You might also note that the mark denoting the historic sea level is at least a foot above the water.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Bryan, it’s ironic that they use that Isle of the Dead MSL benchmark put there at the request of Sir James Clark Ross by an experienced meteorologist 176 years ago.

          If there is one thing it is definitely showing it is a complete lack of sea level rise in recent years since ACO2 became a “problem”.

          As with my own obs, it shows a fall in sea levels.

  • David says:

    Nev and SD, the echo chamber. Two clever old men.

  • Neville says:

    We’ve all heard of the Great Global Warming Swindle, but there’s also the Great Green Swindle. In fact their Mitigation Swindle is the greatest and most expensive fraud the world has ever seen.


    A generation who thought they were doing the right thing by buying diesel and clean energy have been taken for a ride.

    Screenshot 2017-04-26 06.52.03

    Screenshot 2017-04-26 06.50.16

    When I was three my parents moved next to one of the busiest roundabouts in Europe. Hogarth roundabout in west London leads to the M3 and M4 and the smell of car fumes was only overpowered by the aroma of hops from the brewery on the corner. It was the perfect place to grow up. We had a huge green in front where we could stand on the railings and count the number of cars whizzing past. No one in the 1970s worried about the lead pollution, only about being run over. Nor did we care about where our electricity came from unless the lights went out. Green issues were not high on our agenda nor was our health. Our neighbours happily smoked away and we ate tinned spaghetti hoops and Angel Delight without a care for the sugar content.

    Now my family is as green and healthy as possible. We recycle our apple cores, the children play sport every day under the Westway flyover, we bought a second-hand diesel car and then a hybrid and take the train to Devon for holidays. But the children are probably less healthy than I was 40 years ago. When the youngest started to wheeze I took him to the doctor who said he had doubled the number of inhalers he hands out in the past three years, so many children are becoming asthmatic.

    “It’s the diesel, all that nitrogen dioxide and those toxic pollutants,” he explained. “He’ll inhale the particles in the car even with the windows shut, when he’s playing football by a busy road and even from the trains at the station.”

    Our obsession with cutting carbon emissions has had terrible consequences. Air pollution contributes to an estimated 40,000 premature deaths a year in Britain, mainly among the young, the frail and the elderly, according to the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Paediatrics and Child Health. It can also hinder brain development, raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes and cancer, and contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s.

    Our attempts to be altruistic have harmed rather than helped the most vulnerable. Almost as bad, those 11 million people who now own a diesel car are about to be penalised for following government advice a decade ago that the vehicles would help the country cut CO2 emissions. […]

    Gordon Brown’s budget of 1998 may have said in the small print that the government “recognises the adverse effect that the use of diesel has on local air quality” but first as chancellor and then as prime minister he shifted incentives towards diesel, until more than 35 per cent of cars were running on it, while manufacturers fiddled their engine management systems to cheat the testers. Japan, meanwhile, steered consumers away from polluting diesel, America stuck to petrol and India began switching buses to compressed natural gas (CNG).

    The same mistake is now being made subsidising power stations to burn American wood pellets that are doing more harm to the climate than the coal they replaced, according to a recent Chatham House report. Drax in Yorkshire, once the largest, cleanest, most efficient coal-fired power station in Europe, has been converted to burn wood pellets with an annual £500 million public subsidy but it now pumps out more CO2. Wind farms are little better because we’ve had to build diesel power plants across the country to help on days when the wind doesn’t blow at the right speed.

    One Scottish stately home owner boasted to me that he keeps his heating on in the summer as well as the winter because he is paid more in subsidies to use “green” wood chips for fuel than he pays out in heating costs. All this while the rest of us worry about our escalating energy bills.

    Anaerobic digesters, which were sold to the public as a means to convert food waste into power, are now turning huge quantities of crops into small quantities of methane for the national gas grid thanks to yet more subsidies costing £200 million a year.

    But it is car manufacturers who are still making the most money out of this great green swindle — consumers certainly aren’t. Diesel owners now face having to buy another car at vast expense. Scrappage payments of between £1,000 and £2,000 for the oldest diesel cars would help those hardest hit. However, if we subsidise new electric cars we will have to accept that much of the electricity used to charge their batteries comes from power stations using fossil fuels — or wood chips.

    This week Andrea Leadsom, the environment secretary, shelved a new plan for air quality. But Downing Street policy advisers hint that Theresa May is on the side of the consumer, and sceptical of the latest money-spinning environmental fad. Last year, the prime minister’s joint chief of staff Nick Timothy described the Climate Change Act, which has been at the root of many of these misguided policies, as “a monstrous act of national self-harm”. He was right. As soon as the election is over Britain needs a coordinated energy strategy and a new Clean Air Act, to protect the environment and restore faith in government policy.


  • David says:

    Heavy metal poisoning? That would explain a lot about your posts.

  • Chris Warren says:


    You do not realise that power plants fueled with wood pellets can emit as much CO2 as they like without causing any problem.

    The only problem is that the global population and energy consumption is so high that there is no enough real estate to grow the needed amount of source timber.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “You do not realise that power plants fueled [sic] with wood pellets can emit as much CO2 as they like without causing any problem.”

      Another inane remark from the perpetual blitherer.

      Doesn’t even realise that burning wood chips produces less energy than coal for given CO2 emission or that the trees if left to absorb CO2 do something “positive” that coal can never do as well as provide wildlife habitat and other environmental benefits.

      “The only problem is that …”

      You mean: “one of the many problems of which I am mostly unaware because of my limited philosophy is that…”


      • Chris Warren says:

        Drongo, as dumb as dumb can be….

        If an entity releases CO2 purely from burning carbon it has extracted from the atmosphere – this is rated at zero CO2 emissions.

        So we do not count human breathing of CO2 or livestock, because this results from eating food digested using carbon that is already in the biosphere.

        So sentences such as wood pellets produce less energy for a given CO2 emission are blatantly false. CO2 emissions DO NOT include the CO2 released through human breathing.

        This only applies to people who know what they are talking about, not dumb drongos.

        It would be entirely different if humans or livestock ate coal, drank oil, and inhaled natural gas. Then the released CO2 would be rated as a CO2 emission.

        Wood pellets produce energy for zero emissions which is far far less than the same amount of energy produced from coal. The only complication is any CO2 used in transporting and producing the wood pellets. But this exceeds the attention span of dumb drongos.

        • spangled drongo says:

          “If an entity releases CO2 purely from burning carbon it has extracted from the atmosphere – this is rated at zero CO2 emissions.”

          What do you think coal has done in its early life, chrissie luv?

          And human and animal breathing and eating is a net negative during their lifetimes.

          The poor ol’ blitherer doesn’t get that when you cut a tree down for fuel, unlike coal, it ceases to absorb CO2, provide habitat, fodder [which absorbs more CO2] and other environmental benefits.

          And he thinks that coal somehow doesn’t have to be transported.

          What a guy !!!

          • Chris Warren says:

            Ah, drongo’s stupidity is really shining now.

            Any entity that releases CO2 from sources that originally extracted CO2 from the atmosphere (ie not fossil) does not threaten the environment.

            Notice how drongo is just tripping over itself with a farrago of cry-baby smoke and mirrors.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “Any entity that releases CO2 from sources that originally extracted CO2 from the atmosphere (ie not fossil) does not threaten the environment.”

            Stop blithering, chrissie luv. I just explained to you twice in detail how that is WRONG.

            Your bald, unsupported statements don’t change that fact.

            If you have any evidence to the contrary, please supply it.

          • Chris Warren says:

            You often have to explain things to Queenslanders twice, and to drongos – four or five times.

            So for Queenslanders …

            Any entity that releases the carbon it absorbed from the atmosphere does not contribute to AGW.

            And for drongo …

            Any entity that releases the carbon it absorbed from the atmosphere does not contribute to AGW.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Blitherers have to supply evidence before they are believed, chrissie luv, regardless of who they are blithering to.

            Simply blithering longer and louder just doesn’t cut it.

          • Chris Warren says:


            Less gibberish is required from you.

            Just tell us how much AGW is caused by human breathing.

            Just tell us how much CO2 increase is due to global livestock respiration.

            Scientists have found this to be zero. But you are in denial.

            You are barking at the moon.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Blithering chrissie descends into more of his usual evidence-free rants and insults because he’s caught out making his usual evidence-free rants and insults.

            You made the claim that: “Any entity that releases the carbon it absorbed from the atmosphere does not contribute to AGW.”

            Now supply evidence.

          • spangled drongo says:

            WRT trees that are burnt for fuel.

          • Chris Warren says:

            What on earth does our drongo not understand?

            Trees are 50% carbon, and almost all is drawn from the atmosphere. Maybe some from the ground. They can be used to produce sustainable energy either through direct combustion, convert to charcoal, or gasificiation.

            It is exactly the same with humans and livestock. All food grows from CO2 already in the atmosphere, so when it is exhaled as part of digestion, this does not increase CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.

            The same applies to biofuels.

            Bricks made by burning charcoal also do not increase CO2 and it is possible to use heat from burning charcoal to fuel other industrial processes.

            If we can make fuel, by extracting CO2 out of the atmosphere, that would be a game changer.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Initial blither from the blither factory:

            “You do not realise that power plants fueled with wood pellets can emit as much CO2 as they like without causing any problem.”

            Tell us in your own words how cutting, chipping and burning trees is not a problem and any more CO2 neutral than coal.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Initial blither from the blither specialist :

            “You do not realise that power plants fueled with wood pellets can emit as much CO2 as they like without causing any problem.”

            Tell us in your own words how cutting, chipping and burning trees is not a problem and any more CO2 neutral than coal.

          • spangled drongo says:

            reply in mod?

          • spangled drongo says:

            Explain how clear-felling vast forests, chipping them, transporting them thousands of miles by land, sea and land again then burning this lower grade energy source is CO2 neutral.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Drongo is just incompetent. It cannot even ask a sensible question.

            No-one suggests clear felling vast forests

            No-one suggests You do not have to clear fell vast forests

            No-one suggests transporting them thousands of miles by land, sea and land again

            and burning them is obviously CO2 neutral.

            Maybe drongo should try answering its own question and not expect others to do its homework for it.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Another example of zero rated emissions. Fuel produced from CO2 already in the atmosphere does not count as a CO2 emission.


    This suggests if we properly fund science – a solution to global warming may well be possible without relying on solar, tidal, biofuels and wind

    • bryan roberts says:

      If two humans produce a third, are you seriously suggesting that the little one is produced from carbon “already in the atmosphere”, and therefore its breathing “does not count as a CO2 emission.”

      No doubt you also believe in perpetual motion and the tooth fairy.

  • spangled drongo says:

    “MacDonnell and Dennis have received more than $2.6 million in grants and corporate funding for sustainable energy projects over the last four years.”

    That’s right, chrissie luv, all it takes is more troughing and our problems are solved.

    People have been looking at this for yonks and so far only hot air and big taxpayer bills.

    But that’s what you march for, hey?

  • Neville says:

    Meanwhile in the real world of soaring NON OECD co2 emissions we now find that India and China emit 1.5 times the co2 emissions of the USA and all the countries of the EU combined. Oh and China now has higher per capita emissions than the EU. ( 2015) Check it out and don’t forget that India has only just begun and China’s quantum leap happened in just 8 years , from about 2001 to 2009. That’s from 3,000 MTs pa to about 7.8 MTs pa. Here’s the two links.

    And messing about with silly wood pellets is probably the most insane garbage ever tried by any country over the last 100 years and will not have any impact on climate or temp at all. But it will cost poor consumers and business a lot more money for a zero return.



  • Neville says:

    Sorry my mistake above, the 7.8 should be 7800 MTs by 2009.
    BTW even the Meteorologists are becoming more sceptical.


  • spangled drongo says:

    Today’s climate march will be a lot more hypocritical than last week’s march for science:


  • bryan roberts says:

    ABC confirms Tasmania lost.
    Irreversible erosion: Tasmanian beaches being washed away by climate change

    It appears to be too late for April Fools day.

  • bryan roberts says:

    I just love ‘our’ ABC.

    Irreversible erosion: Tasmanian beaches being washed away by climate change


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