Tuesday, February 12th 2013, 10:10 AM EST
DOCTOR Karl Kruszelnicki presents science on the ABC. Dr Craig Emerson is a Minister in the Government that makes you pay a carbon tax.
So the two should at least know the basic data about global warming.
Dr Kruszelnicki, one of Australia's "National Living Treasures", last week tweeted in outrage: "How does A Bolt get away with saying planet hasn't warmed in the last 16 years."
Dr Emerson, the Trade Minister, replied: "Mr Bolt can have his own opinions but he can't have his own facts. Global temperatures are rising. Fact."
This wouldn't be serious if Dr Kruszelnicki wasn't helping to promote a great scare that our gases are frying the world, and Dr Emerson wasn't a member of the Government making us spend billions to "stop" it. Let me try to explain.
Gentlemen, late last year the British Met Office released data showing no statistically significant warming for 16 years. Another data set from the Remote Sensing System's Microwave Sounding Units even shows a slight cooling since 1997, although, again, it's not statistically significant.
Yes, Dr Emerson could find yet other measurements showing a slight warming over that time, but not one of the main tools for measuring the world's temperature shows any rise since then that is statistically significant.
"Not statistically significant" means the trend is so slight scientists don't know whether it's just caused by accident or background "noise".
Dr Emerson won't take my word for it, because I've been a sceptic since even before Chief Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery predicted "the rain that falls isn't actually going to fill our dams and our river systems". Splash, splash.
So let me quote the latest draft report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - the United Nations body that has most ferociously pushed the global warming scare.
It notes that "much interest has focused on differences (in global temperatures) in the period since 1998 and an apparent flattening in HadCRUT3 trends". (HadCRUT is one of the temperature measurements showing no real warming.)
The IPCC insists some jiggling of the temperature data it uses means "all products now show a warming trend since 1998" but it still concedes - this is the important bit - "none of these are statistically significant".
Other prominent scientists are much more up-front. "The data confirms the existence of a `pause' in the warming," confirms Professor Judith Curry, chairwoman of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
MIT's Professor Richard Lindzen, arguably the world's most famous climate scientist, has argued for two years "there has been no warming since 1997 and no statistically significant warming since 1995".
Even global warming evangelist Phil Jones, whose Climatic Research Unit was famously exposed by the Climategate emails, admits the data he prefers can't detect any significant warming over that time.
"I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95 per cent significance level."
And however you slice it, the warming we've seen is below or around the very lowest predictions made by the IPCC, as the latest IPCC draft report shows.
Add this to the mounting evidence of other dud predictions made by warmists.
No, we are not seeing more or worse cyclones and hurricanes. No, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide have not run out of water. The world's rice and wheat crops have not fallen, but set new records. In fact, "there has been no increase (in Australia) in the frequency of natural hazard events since 1950," says Professor John McAneney, director of research group Risk Frontiers.
Not surprisingly, the rest of the world seems to have lost Australia's crusading zeal to "stop" a warming that for now seems to have stopped itself. In Australia, we're forced to pay a $23/tonne carbon tax. In Europe, carbon allowances have crashed to below $6. In New Zealand the price has plummeted to just $2.
None of this is to say the world did not warm last century and will not resume warming at some stage. The truth is the world over the past 16 years has not warmed as most climate models and warmist scientists predicted. The increasing disasters we were told to expect have not happened.
I'm shocked - but sadly not surprised - a Minister of the Gillard Government does not know any of this.
I just wish an ABC science communicator did not keep him so ignorant.