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Rent-seekers reveal awful truth: Abbott wanted to investigate BOM data, Hunt opposed “due diligence”

Imagine the crime of trying to audit the BOM?

Last year, Graham Lloyd wrote in The Australian about how the BOM had made whopping two degree adjustments to data which turned cooling trends to warming trends and instead of improving the data, it created discontinuities. The BOM’s eventual explanation lamely exclaimed that the stations “might” have moved. (And they might not, too. Who knows, but remember this is what 95% certainty looks like.) Lloyd wrote about how historical records of extreme heat at Bourke had effectively been thrown in the trash. Who cares about historical records?

In response to the embarrassment and revealing questions, Tony Abbott wanted an investigation.  But Greg Hunt, and The Dept of Environment opposed the investigation and opposed doing “due diligence”. What are they afraid of? Instead, Hunt helped the BOM set up a one-day-wonder investigation with hand-picked statisticians that wasted another nine months before admitting that the BOM methods would never be publicly available or able to be replicatedIf it can’t be replicated, it isn’t science.

The BOM’s defense is always that their mystery method is considered “best practice” by other agencies around the world — who share the same incentives to exaggerate warming, and who also use unscientific and undisclosed (though different) adjustments.

It’s clear Greg Hunt doesn’t want good environmental data. Nor does the ABC, which is already talking about how they hope to get money from the Turnbull government.

4 Sept: Guardian: Daniel Hurst:

Abbott considered investigation into ‘exaggerated’ Bureau of Meteorology temperature data
Documents show former PM was briefed on setting up a taskforce into whether the Bureau of Meteorology exaggerated records – as claimed in the Australian

But the environment minister, Greg Hunt, pushed for the then prime minister to drop the idea.

The documents, obtained by the ABC under freedom of information laws, show the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) prepared a brief for Abbott in September 2014 noting that recent articles published by the Australian had “accused [the bureau] of altering its temperature data records to exaggerate estimates of global warming”.

 The brief said the bureau’s climate records were “recognised internationally as among the best in the world” and used “a scientific approach that has been peer-reviewed”. “Nevertheless, the public need confidence information on Australia’s, and the world’s, climate is reliable and based on the best available science,” the then secretary of PM&C, Ian Watt, wrote…

PM&C subsequently prepared a new brief for Abbott suggesting he agree to amending the terms of reference for the taskforce so that it would merely provide “coordination and advice” on “quality assured climate and emissions data for Australia”. The brief said Bishop had “agreed to the removal of reference” to the bureau…

ABC’s Jake Sturmer reports on Greg Hunt:

One Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet bureaucrat described a Department of Environment official as being “on a campaign” to get the references to BoM removed from the taskforce’s responsibilities.

Further documents appear to show Mr Hunt convinced senior cabinet members to remove any references of “due diligence” or “quality assurance”.

Sturmer doesn’t seem to think that actively avoiding due diligence was important enough to warrant getting opinions from people who did want due diligence. Nor does he notice that the one-day forum was never going to look for evidence that the BOM adjustments were unjustified. Like most ABC journalists, he gullibly accepts that a lack of evidence from a non-investigation, is worth something, and he doesn’t contact skeptical scientists to get a different view:

 The review confirmed the credibility of the Bureau of Meteorology in its report released in June 2015, which did not find any evidence that the BoM had been adjusting its figures to fit a pattern of global warming.

The ABC should not be privatized because it is hopelessly culturally biased, it should be privatized because it is incompetent. ABC journalists are lousy researchers.

It is a bland truism that people dependent on Big-Government have a billion incentives to support Big-Government.

Did the ABC dislike Abbott because he threatened their income stream? A mere week after the coup they are already talking about getting more money:

The ABC is hopeful the installation of Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister will allow it to claw back some of the $250 million slashed from the broadcaster last year as tension between the government and broadcaster cools off.

The shift from Tony Abbott to Mr Turnbull represents a change at the top of the government from one of the Coalition’s biggest critics of the ABC to one of its biggest supporters.

“There will be no more culture wars,” a Liberal source said, flagging an end to the open hostilities between the government and the ABC during recent times.

The ABC bothered to FOI the government about an investigation of the BOM, but they don’t appear to have FOI’d, or even asked the BOM, or the Dept of Environment about why they don’t want “due diligence” done.  Evidently the ABC prefer unscientific, hidden methods that supports the global warming narrative, rather than good meteorological data acquired in a transparent and open manner. Some things matter eh? Their actions show it’s not about the environment, but about supporting fellow rentseekers and co-lobbyists for big gov.

How many tax dollars are used to get more tax dollars?

ABC commenters:


10:19 AM on 24/09/2015

If Mr Murdoch wants to fund an investigation into BoM and its climate change science then let him pay for it.

Exactly. And if the ABC want to cover up for incompetent government agencies, stop them getting taxpayer funding to do it. Ditto the BOM. A private agency could manage our climate records for less, and provide taxpayers with full transparency and reasonable answers. Private news services already do a better job than the ABC.


11:20 AM on 24/09/2015

There is no conspiracy there is only data. If you look at all the data with correct methodology there is only reality. Anthropogenic climate change is real and is going to kill hundreds of millions over the next century.

And the “correct methodology” is whatever the rentseekers say it is.

Credit to Jennifer Marohasy who has been asking the hardest questions about the BOM methods, and credit to Graham Lloyd and The Australian for being brave enough to point out problems with the sacred BOM.

For those who say Tony Abbott didn’t do enough, ponder that so many Liberals in his own party were not also calling for an investigation, or indeed, were actively working to stop taxpayer funded agencies from answering scathing questions from taxpayers. One man, even a PM, can’t undo forty years of damage without a team to help him.

h/t Pat, Steve. Andrew Bolt.

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