A statement on ACMA

Friday October 19, 2012

Well as you would know, much clapping has been heard from the apologists for climate change. Because the media watchdog ACMA has found me guilty of factual inaccuracy in relation to comments I made on March 15 last year on climate change.

Well, I can only assume that's what it's found me guilty of, because they've now said I must undertake training on "factual accuracy and significant viewpoints".


And they've found that I have breached commercial radio codes of practice in figures I used in a discussion on air on the 15th of March last year about the general notion of a carbon dioxide tax, whether carbon dioxide is an environmentally beneficial trace gas et cetera.

Some background.

In that interview I talked generally about the international position, the collapse of Copenhagen where major countries were not prepared to commit to a carbon dioxide tax, the Government's view that reducing carbon pollution will "drive investment in clean energy" and I made the point in that interview that carbon dioxide underpins most of our planetary ecosystems, that it is the staff of life, that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere helps most plants to grow better.

And I raised the issue that to use the word "carbon" when you mean carbon dioxide, to use the word "pollution" when you're referring to an environmentally beneficial trace gas, to use the words "settled science" when the science is hotly contested, to use the words "climate change" when you really mean dangerous global warming but you know the public won't accept these words, to use the words "international good citizen" to characterise what Australia is seeking to do at a time when international action on climate policy has never been less certain - all of these are deceptive tactics.

Well, in amongst all that in my only statistical reference, I was wrong and found to be wrong when I said "Remembering all this when the percentage of man-made carbon dioxide Australia produces is 1% of .001% of carbon dioxide in the air. Nature produces nearly all of the carbon dioxide in the air. Human beings produce .001% of the carbon dioxide in the air and Australians produce 1% of that - that's one percent of .001 is .00001% of the air. 1/100,000th."

Now this is an obvious error, because human beings produce 3 per cent of the carbon dioxide in the air, not .001 per cent.

And I can't recall the number of times I have said, and it is uncontested, that human beings produce 3 per cent of the carbon dioxide in the air.