Oz Blog News Commentary

The three stooges vs science

May 28, 2019 - 08:56 -- Admin

Joanne Nova (birth
name Joanne Codling) appeared on the three stooges’ (Rowan Dean, Rita Panahi,
James Morrow) show on Sky News after dark1. Nova is a hard-core climate
change denier from the idiot end of the denialism spectrum (i.e., it isn’t
happening or it’s going to be great). The other end of the denialism spectrum
is: ‘it is happening, but Australia is such a minor contributor that we shouldn’t
worry or cannot do anything about it’. This is what transpired between stooge
number 2 and Nova:

Panahi: “…Labor and
certainly the Greens who say the cost of not acting [on climate change] is so
great that we cannot worry about costing the actual policy because the cost of
not acting, we’re gunna [sic] have more bushfires, we’re gunna have [sic] this
catastrophic, ah, events. What do you, what’s your response to that?”1

Nova: “I mean, that’s
supposed to be a conversation destroyer. It’s like ‘Hello, let’s do life with
no numbers’. Because how do you do a cost-benefit analysis, because an asteroid
is going to smack into earth one day, let’s pay everything, lets hock our lives
and sacrifice our kids’ futures because one’s coming. Well, you know, we need
some odds, we need some stats. What are things gunna cost? Actually, the truth
is, warming’s mostly beneficial, and especially in Australia, extra CO2
is a wonderful thing. It feeds plants which are more likely to be drought-prone


, so a plant that is suffering from a deficiency of water does so much
better with extra CO2. So, Australia’s going to benefit from that
and crops are up in the last hundred years, more, you know, record kind of
yields of most of the grains. We’re feeding the world. So, burn oil feed the
poor.” [Laughter from the stooges].1

Nova has a B.Sc.
(Hons) in microbiology and molecular biology, and went into science
communication, obtaining a graduate certificate in that field. She subsequently
hosted a children’s science television program, and later, appropriately,
worked on a science fiction program2. Nova has published a couple of
denialist books in which she started that global warming is not caused by
greenhouse gases (This was a lie, and she now admits that if the drivel above
is anything to go by). There is a graphic from Bloomberg which will show you
why it is a lie3. In her books, Nova also stated that the world has
not warmed since 2001. This is also a lie4. She also stated that any
global warming is a natural process (it isn’t; it is caused mostly by burning
of fossil fuels for energy)3.

It is funny that the
credentials and qualifications of many of the climate change deniers never seem
to be in climatology5. In addition, they often also seem to obtain
funding from climate change denial organisations, such as the Heartland Institute
in the US, or in Australia, from the Institute of Public Affairs, both of which
in turn are funded in part by the fossil fuel industry, here and in the US. Maybe
that tells you something. As and aside,  Nova
doesn’t seem to understand the difference between drought-prone and
drought-resistant. Her statement that crop yields are up over the last hundred
years is true, but it is not because of increases in CO2, but
because of improvements in crop rotation practices, farming techniques and more
recently from research in various fields of science, such as crop and pasture
science and genetics6. Indeed, cereal yields seem to have stagnated
over the last two decades7, and it does make you wonder if climate
change could be a factor in that stagnation, when you consider that in the two
decades prior to that, they nearly doubled.

One thing which makes
me laugh is the inability of the three stooges to distinguish between pseudoscience
and real science. I know this is a common problem on Sky News and in the
Murdoch media in general, but these three are probably the least capable on almost
any Murdoch platform you care to choose. This was made exceptionally clear when
they had a person on their show who maintained he could predict the weather
1,000 years in advance8. They seemed to swallow this hook, line and
sinker, much as they did with Nova’s rubbish.

The first report of
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) came out almost 30 years
ago and the predictions it made have largely come true9. It is only
liars like Nova and cretins like those on Sky News who have prevented us acting
to avert the catastrophe it implies for the future. They will eventually be
made to pay.



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