Time Andrew Bolt rolled over on climate change

Does anyone recall that glorious period for Andrew Bolt when he pounded away at the “myths” of global warming armed with one chart, the infamous “pause”:

Mr Bolt remains a denier today but his chart has disappeared. Why? Because ye auld pause was just that, a pause, with temperatures since rocketing higher and confirming the rock solid trend:

Or another version:

Has that changed his mind? No. He’s just changed the goal posts instead:

See, another thing this IPCC report failed to mention is that the definitive research on sea level rises at low-lying Pacific atoll islands — by Professor Paul Kench — found that 43 per cent of such islands were growing, and only 16 per cent shrinking.

Nor will we all “melt”. The world was warmer in Roman times and people thrived. And world grain crops in the past decade kept setting records.

But the worst con in this IPCC report comes right at its start: “Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1C of global warming above pre-industrial levels …

“Global warming is likely to reach 1.5C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.”

Wait. This is the first time the IPCC claims that all the warming of the past century was caused by man’s gases, which allows it to then predict much more such warming as our emissions rise.

Yet just six years ago, the IPCC agreed that the big burst of warming before 1950 was caused not just by humans but natural factors, too: “It remains difficult to quantify the contribution to this warming from internal variability, natural forcing and anthropogenic forcing.”

Here’s how the IPCC changed its story: by including only new studies which blame man for all the warming, and excluding those which don’t.


There are now measurable sea levels rises too, with falling oxygen and rising acidity, all of which was predicted.

It’s always good to have contrarian minds holding a consensus to account. But there is a point at which that contrarianism becomes irrational and Mr Bolt has passed it.

The good news (for him) is new Chinese research suggests that he will always have an audience:

Air pollution can have a “huge” negative effect on cognitive intelligence – especially amongst older men – according to a study released this past August.

The research is one of the first of its kind to focus on the links between air pollution and cognition in older people. It was undertaken by scientists at Peking University in Beijing, China and Yale University in the U.S. and was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal. In particular, it found that long-term exposure to air pollution may impede overall cognitive performance.

The researchers’ sample set included a panel of over 25,000 people across 162 randomly chosen counties in China. The study was also based on daily readings for three atmospheric pollutants, namely sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter smaller than 10 micrometers (PM10) where the participants lived.

The research found that that accumulative exposure to air pollution impedes cognitive performance in verbal and math tests. It found that as people age, the negative effect becomes particularly pronounced on verbal scores, especially for men while, “the gender gap is particularly large for the less educated.” One of the reasons why the researchers suggest that older men with less education were worst affected by chronic exposure to air pollution is because those subjects often work in outdoor, manual jobs.

Whether it is an audience worth having is another question. Preaching to the chemically lobotimsed is hardly shooting the lights out.

Time to roll over, Andrew.

David Llewellyn-Smith


  1. Let’s go nuclear. Zero carbon emissions plus it will still provide reliable base load energy for industry that renewables can’t.

    • Nuclear was a great idea a generation ago. The lead time in commissioning a new plant is multiple decades. It’s hideously expensive and unviable. Unfortunately, nuclear energy’s time ended decades ago.
      We have no choice but to make viable baseload via solar.

    • Nukes are not the answer. Total nuclear generation declined last year if one takes out China, and a Chinese nuclear growth gap is coming, since it hasn’t started building a new reactor in 18 months. … All the while, nuclear is falling further behind renewable solar and wind power. The 3.3 GW of new nuclear capacity connected to the grid worldwide in 2017 (including three in China and a fourth in Pakistan built by Chinese firms) pales in comparison to the 53 GW of solar power installed in China alone.

    • Nuclear has emissions due to BACKUP generators, mining the rock, STORAGE forever, and they vent into the environment.
      Chernobyl is now solar.
      Meanwhile the other disaster spot leaks.

      • Agreed, nuclear is not the answer. Reputable analysis shows that if all power generation switched to nuclear, we would just have a uranium shortage. At the moment with 5% nuclear power there is only 200 years of economic uranium deposits.

        The general movement against nuclear comes from a fear of a possible nuclear accident (such as Chernobyl, Fukushima etc), nuclear radiation, nuclear proliferation and nuclear waste, plus destruction of the environment through mining of uranium. We should focus on solar power and wind energy to address the world’s current and future energy needs.

        And don’t talk about “breeder” reactors. International Panel on Fissile Materials said “After six decades and the expenditure of the equivalent of tens of billions of dollars, the promise of breeder reactors remains largely unfulfilled and efforts to commercialize them have been steadily cut back in most countries.”

        Why nuclear power will never supply the world’s energy needs

    • I’ll quote someone else in response to you:

      Denial represents more than a right wing view of a party – be it Australian Coalition or US Republican. It denies scientific evidence to the extent of being delusional. In general, deniers fervently support individual freedom in contrast to collective action; their freedom often extends to the exploitation of the natural world and causes great harm to human health. The denier’s personal views are threatened by the implications of necessary collective action by all governments to address climate change. The condition of denial is incurable. The climate denier dismisses the collective scientific evidence and typically returns with the one scientific paper that does not fit the pattern, or like Trump and the G7 they simply walk out or refuse discussion. The belief of climate change deniers is usually unshakable. Many delude themselves that there is a conspiracy. The fervour of deniers often drives them into influential positions where they can do most damage. (Dr David Shearman on 19 July 2017)

      • Armstrong? You’re quoting propaganda peddled by Martin Armstrong, an uneducated felon? (He was convicted of fraudulently cheating investors out of $700 million and hiding $15 million in assets from regulators).

        That aside, you do realize that the so-called 70 errors, found after a long, meticulous trawl through the data, out of a dataset of millions of entries, only serves to underline the accuracy of the HadCRUT4 dataset? And moreover the 70 errors consist of overestimates and underestimates, and cancel out?

        Missed all that, did you?

  2. I’ve sensed a shift in Bolts AGW position. It used to be ‘there is no warming’. Now its more like ‘even if there is warming, there’s no point in Australia doing anything about it’.

    • Author Clive Hamilton, is his book Scorcher, says that one can find the following arguments in the various papers promoted by deniers:

      * There is no evidence of global warming.
      * If there is evidence of global warming, then it is not due to human activity.
      * If global warming is occurring and it is due to human activity, then it is not going to be damaging.
      * If global warming is occurring and it is due to human activity, and it is going to be damaging, then the costs of avoiding it are too high, so we should do nothing.

      • *Oh it looks like global warming has already happened. Oh well too late to stop it, best make the most of it.

      • There is a serious conceptual error being committed constantly by the “mitigation first” advocates. This is, the claim that “the costs of CAGW will be XYZ trillion” so therefore “it is worth spending some proportion of XYZ trillion on our proposed mitigation strategies”.

        But the rate at which those strategies mitigate the CAGW, is NOT 100%. In fact the correct formula would look more like “the costs of CAGW with no action”, VERSUS; “the costs of our proposed mitigation PLUS (the costs of CAGW with no action less 5%/10%/15%/whatever)”.

        Doing the sums properly does indeed support the conclusion that our available capital is best spent on adaption rather than mitigation. Furthermore, the CAGW action proponents do not create much impression of credibility when they are deeply vested in policies with a cost of thousands of dollars per tonne of CO2 abated (if in fact any is abated) – for example, subsidies to urban commuter rail. Credible strategies would identify where the low-hanging fruit is in mitigation cost-benefit, and go for that first; or better still, simply price all carbon-energy use appropriately and let the market and individuals work out the best mitigation approaches.

        My favourite example (one among myriads) is that many people might choose to live off-grid and self-sustaining; but the “we know what is good for you” brigade insist that the approved solution is living in concrete jungles and riding trains – what a COINCIDENCE that the rentier class in urban property and the finance of it make a killing in the process, eh?

      • The “costs of CAGW with no action” is human extinction. It’s that simple. That’s why it’s untenable, Phil.

      • What utter BS. The global temp changed by 7 degrees in the space of decades at the start of the holocene and our stone age ancestors and the rest of the life on this planet survived just fine. CO2 is the basis of all life on this planet and its currently at record low levels. We are also in a freaking ice age and are significantly colder than most periods of geological history. When you consider that the CO2 spectrum is near saturation, adding more has little effect. 3.7w/m2 or 1.2 deg before feedback. With the statosphere cooling Positive feedback is impossible as surface warming will increase the lapse rate, increasing convection, bypassing GHG effect and creating negative feedback as has clearly been observed in the observations. With negative feedback CO2 will only increase temp by half a degree. This Fraud is clearly falsified by evidence if people want to pull their head out of the sand and actually learn and test the theory, something that the applied mathematicians and computer modelers who call themselves climate scientists never trained to do.

      • Er, nonsense, robocommenter.

        The global temp changed by 7 degrees in the space of decades at the start of the holocene and our stone age ancestors and the rest of the life on this planet survived just fine

        The warmest period ever experienced by early humans was about 1 °C warmer (global average) than today. That period occurred between the two most recent ice ages, 120,000 years ago (Eemian). Over the next 100,000 years temperatures gradually decreased into a new ice age. During that colder period humans began to expand out of Africa and then later, we formed the civilized world. Climate hasn’t changed much since we settled into towns, invented plumbing, and started calling ourselves civilized.

        Since humans and our human ancestors have been on Earth, average global temperatures have never been 3 °C warmer than now. In the next 100 years our children will be the first people ever to experience that kind of climate.

        And it’s pretty obvious that with crop failures, mass migrations, mass starvation, droughts, floods, massive cyclones and wars, even nuclear wars, we will not survive the change.


    • Of course there’s climate change / warming (whatever). The issue isn’t denial — the debate is over whether it’s driven by human activity (CO2 emissions). That’s it – nothing more.

  3. bigpadaricoMEMBER

    HnH, any chance you could tell us where your charts come from and what they mean? You can’t come to a data war and without references and plain-English explanations.

    • It’s been cooler than normal for the last few months where I live, so global warming cannot be real.

      Deeply intelligent comment. [facepalm]

      • You seem to have set yourself up as the leading exspurt in this conversation.?
        According to you everyone who disagrees with the nonsense of Climate Change is an idiot.

        Your Qualifications & peer reviewed acknowledgements would be appreciated.
        Currently you seem to be quoting others.
        PS: Robert seems to have a clue

      • Yes, unlike the moronic deniers, I can quote scientific papers to back up what I’m saying. On the other hand, you and your ilk rely on the right wing blogosphere and memos from the Minerals Council. Pah!

      • Your Qualifications & peer reviewed acknowledgements would be appreciated.


        You don’t care about the qualifications of all those climate scientists, but the qualifications of J Random Blog Poster are going to change your mind ?

      • @Hardon “According to you everyone who disagrees with the nonsense of Climate Change is an idiot.”

        Eh, that would be because everyone who ignores the science of Climate Change is, by definition, AN IDIOT!

        You are the equivalent of Flat Earthers! Actually you guys are worse. Flat Earthers are pretty harmless, you guys will contribute to the death of potentially billions of people.

        Whatever money you astro turfers are getting is not enough, once you explain what you are doing to your grandkids in the future.

  4. If anyone has moved the goal posts it is the shifting use of difference baselines.ie 1850-1900. wtf. how accurate and distributed were global climate measurements back then. A: Not very.

  5. adelaide_economistMEMBER

    I think the real issue is that a guy like Bolt doesn’t actually care any way or the other whether the climate is changing and so throwing data or theories at him is kind of pointless. I doubt it could have escaped anyone’s attention that the Australian ‘political economy’ (let’s call it that) is massively dominated and controlled by the coal industry. It’s why our chief cheerleaders of the ‘free market’ (you know, sacking 250,000 people in the car industry was liberating them for better things) are the same ones happily talking about spending billions on government owned coal plants, altering the electricity market rules to protect coal, threatening industry captains over their plans for private assets and handing infinite free water and billions in subsidised infrastructure to foreign investors like Adani.

    • Ouch, yes. Either we vote these scumbags out or we suffer the consequences of their, and our, stupidity.

  6. Geo FibonacciMEMBER

    I thought this was a novel analysis of globalism, capitalism and right-wing thinking on the climate change battle.

    Capitalism didn’t just rape the planet laughing, and cause climate change that way.

    It did something which history will think of as even more astonishing.

    By quite predictably imploding into fascism at precisely the moment when the world needed cooperation, it made it impossible, more or less, for the fight against climate change to gather strength, pace, and force.

    It wasn’t just the environmental costs of capitalism which melted down the planet — it was the social costs, too, which, by wrecking global democracy, international law, cooperation, the idea that nations should work together, made a fractured, broken world which no longer had the capability to act jointly to prevent the rising floodwaters and the burning summers.


  7. The fact that by the IPCC estimates CO2 mitigation has a cost benefit ratio of 4c in the dollar clearly shows the level of fraud involved. Considering this is an economics blog, please explain how you can support a solution that is 25 times more costly than the problem? Meanwhile CO2 fertilization is greening deserts because 97% of plant spices evolved at a time when CO2 was 20 times higher with photosynthesis being suppressed below 800ppm. Throw in the fact the temp was 2+ degrees warmer than now only a few thousand years ago and it was 14 degrees warmer when dinosaurs were around and it becomes apparent that a little warming with the associated benefit of increased CO2 is highly desirable, even if the other polutants from burning hydrocarbons are not. When you consider the opportunity cost of spending trillions while people die of preventable diseases, then supporting mitigation is participating in genocide. Then there is the fact that that most of the case for reducing CO2 was based on scientific fraud, including Mann’s infamous hockey stick graphs that have been proven to use fake data from precipitation proxies and upside down contaminated lake sediments, and the 97% consensus claim that originated from a study that excluded 98% of the scientists it surveyed. The climate on this planet is highly variable and is the main driver of the current warming. If you look at the IPCC report you will not find mention of cloud cover changes in their forcing estimates. This is because the 5% observed decrease seen by satellites in the 1990s was 3 times larger than that of CO2 yet it was completely ignored because it invalidates the theory of positive feedack that the whole CAGW fraud is based on.

    • Considering this is an economics blog, please explain how you can support a solution that is 25 times more costly than the problem?

      What is the cost of human extinction?

      Meanwhile CO2 fertilization is greening deserts

      CSIRO research scientist, Dr Randall Donohue comments: “On the face of it, elevated CO2 boosting the foliage in dry country is good news and could assist forestry and agriculture in such areas; however there will be secondary effects that are likely to influence water availability, the carbon cycle, fire regimes and biodiversity, for example,” Dr Donohue said. “Ongoing research is required if we are to fully comprehend the potential extent and severity of such secondary effects.”

      And we know that increased levels of CO2 reduces crop nutritional value:

      Throw in the fact the temp was 2+ degrees warmer than now only a few thousand years ago and it was 14 degrees warmer when dinosaurs were around

      It was not globally 2ºC warmer a few thousands years ago. You’re lying, plain and simple.

      When dinosaurs walked the planet, it was in a climate we could not live in, much hotter and more humid than now. We have not evolved to live in such conditions. Doubt me? Listen to this:

      supporting mitigation is participating in genocide

      Oh, the irony! Your employers are the ones sending us into a holocaust.

      scientific fraud, including Mann’s infamous hockey stick graphs that have been proven to use fake data from precipitation proxies and upside down contaminated lake sediments

      Mann’s hockey stick has never been proved fraudulent. More than two dozen reconstructions, using various statistical methods and combinations of proxy records, have supported the broad consensus shown in the original 1998 hockey-stick graph.

      [snip the rest of your worthless, lying comments]

      You’re an astroturfer and you should be banned.

      • Mann’s hockey stick is about as fraudulent as you can get. Overlaying data from various proxy sources that are not comparable on one graph to give a grossly distorted view is the very type of anti-science you complain about.
        But of course Mann is one of the high-priests of the religion.

    • @Robert “please explain how you can support a solution that is 25 times more costly than the problem?”

      Hey Bob. I will let you in on a secret. It might be cheaper for your bosses. But minion astro turfers, getting paid peanuts for selling out humanity, like you, won’t survive. The rich will probably be fine. The rest of us might be in trouble.

  8. haimona12MEMBER

    Great comments R2M. I have no patience for anti-science garbage. I’ve been looking at the 1.5c report and my main gripe is that just about every sentence has a thicket of references. They need to make it more readable. Cheers

      • Hey R2M, I think you might enjoy this. It’s a quote from someone vastly more intelligent than you are:

        “I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.
        “Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.
        “There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.” (Michael Crichton)

        Oh, and by the way, if you’re going spray these boards with your hysterical rants, get a fvcking membership you tight cvnt.

    • It’s such a politicised issue that if they mentioned that the sky was blue it would require a multi-page footnote that talks about the sunrises and sunsets through the latitudes and seasons as well as introducing the light spectrum, refraction and scattering. As drsmithy notes up above, the supposed critics of the well proven phenomenon of anthropogenic climate change demand a far higher standard from the scientists than they could ever provide themselves.

      We currently looked well and truly stuffed with little sign of anyone taking this seriously enough to limit the scope of the oncoming catastrophe.

      • haimona12MEMBER

        There’s a more insidious form which is just to carry on as if climate change doesn’t exist. I recently reviewed 2 spreadsheets prepared within or for governments with coal fired power stations projected still to be in operation in more than 30 years’ time…

  9. On the bright side, all those multi-million $ mansions on the coast will be swamped and worthless …. so we have that to look forward to 🙂

    Long popcorn futures!