The Australian's War on Science 76: Dad Jokes

Whenever we had bean salad, my Dad would always ask "What's that?" When told what it was, he would say "Don't tell me what it's been, tell me what it is now!" That's a Dad joke. The defining properties of a Dad joke are that it is not funny and that Dad keeps repeating it. In their ongoing war on science The Australian is now committing war crimes by deploying Dad jokes (which I recall were banned by the Geneva Convention in 1949).

Imre Salusinszky, who declared global warming to be dead in January of last year has repeated the same unfunny joke this January:

Last year, other parts of the globe followed suit. According to the World Meteorological Organisation: "The most significant area of below-normal temperatures in 2011 was in northern and central Australia, where temperatures were up to 1C below average in places . . . Other regions to experience below-normal temperatures in 2011 included the western United States and southwestern Canada, and parts of east Asia."

Or, to quote from the WMO's immediately preceding paragraph

Surface air temperatures were above the long-term average3 in 2011 over most land areas of the world. The largest departures from average were over Russia, especially in northern Russia where January-October temperatures were about 4°C above average in places. The spring was especially warm in this region with some stations more than 9°C above average for the season, whilst European Russia had another hot summer (the third-hottest on record in Moscow), although not as extreme as that of 2010. The hot summer conditions extended into nearby countries, with Helsinki (Finland) having its hottest summer in nearly 200 years of data, and Armenia setting an all-time national record (43.7°C). January-October 2011 was also 1°C or more above average over large parts of Europe, southwest Asia and northern and central Africa, as well as the southern United States and northern Mexico, most of eastern Canada (especially the northeast), and Greenland. The Central American region is on course to have its hottest year in at least 140 years, while Spain has also had its hottest January-October period on record and several other western European countries approached records. The above-average temperatures in most northern polar regions were associated with the second-lowest Arctic sea ice minimum on record.

Is that glass 96% empty or 4% full? Compare the WMO

At present, 2011's nominal value ranks as the equal 10th highest on record, and the 13 warmest years have all occurred in the 15 years between 1997 and 2011.

with Salusinszky's version:

Last year was the sixth coldest since 1997, which shows the catastrophic scenarios of recent times are no longer looming over us.

Salusinszky, I kid you not, used to be a professor of English. I don't know if his research area was Dad jokes.

More like this

> Salusinszky, I kid you not, used to be a professor of English.

Then he ought to possess a dictionary wherein he can look up difficult words. Like "global".

By Lars Karlsson (not verified) on 13 Jan 2012 #permalink

His job's bean farmer.

I really thought he was pulling our legs at first, but hot damn I think he's actually serious. I notice that this time there's no comments section. That was a smart move.

By Robert Murphy (not verified) on 13 Jan 2012 #permalink

His weasel-wordsmithing puts one in mind of the apocryphal Cold War sports result on a game between the USA and USSR, as reported by the soviet press: "The USSR came second, and America came next to last."

Now that there is Liberal Government in NSW, Imre has to find something else to write about. His entire history of writing is just word games, which amount to nothing. How he keeps his job is anyone's guess.

Petri thinks a dressed up farmer is funny. He must love Dad jokes.

*[Off topic]*

By James Hyke (not verified) on 13 Jan 2012 #permalink

Someone should point out to Salusinszky that this year is the coldest since 2011, and will be until at least next year.

He could probably get a few weeks worth of work writing disinformation pieces on these facts alone.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 13 Jan 2012 #permalink

Oh dear, the troll can't even find the open thread.

Ahem, of course I was referring to @11.

> Like "global".

And "average".

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Jan 2012 #permalink

MikeH @8; surely he must love Dad and Dave jokes?

Olaus, you are a dill, a nong, a dropkick, and a drongo. You're dead but won't lie down, mate. No more brains than a native bear, and not half as good looking...

Dear Bill, thanks for projecting your inner self to the good of the Deltoid audience. Nonetheless it doesn't change the fact, ergo "my" man is a dressed up farmer.

I think it's a war on science when non climate scientist distort climate science in the name of climate science. His (the culti(vatori)st) latest preaching stated that earth's T had risen one degree since 1950s.

Not good.

> I think it's a war on science when non climate scientist distort climate science in the name of climate science.

Me too! They twist it to try and say it's not really warming, or if it is it's pretty much all due to natural causes, and even if it's not it won't cause much trouble or will cost too much...oh, wait...

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 14 Jan 2012 #permalink

Lothar, a common denominator among scare mongers is their advanced ability to create straw-men and misinterpret science. You are not the exception confirming this. :-)

Olaus Petri:

I think it's a war on science when non climate scientist distort climate science in the name of climate science.

So why are you waging a war on science?

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 14 Jan 2012 #permalink

> ...a common denominator among scare mongers is their advanced ability to create straw-men and misinterpret science.

Indeed, such as "the UN is using climate change "alarmism" to impose world government and redistribute wealth" and "your national government is using fake "science" to grab more power and money", and ... oh, wait...this is becoming a habit with you, isn't it?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 14 Jan 2012 #permalink

Dear Loatharson, more likely, and not so strawmanish: Political bodies often manhandle science and hence waste tax payers money with misdirected actions. This phenomena becomes exaggerated when science is highjacked by ideology.

This phenomena becomes exaggerated when science is highjacked by ideology.

... which is of course why you and your fellow climatescam inmates invariably link to trashy right-wing sites. Your ideology prefers the idiotic rather than the scientific, hence the need for your your ludicrous conspiracy theories.

> Political bodies often manhandle science and hence waste tax payers money with misdirected actions.

Indeed! Why, right here in Australia the main opposition party pandered to its supporters by implying and outright proclaiming that climate science indicates there's nothing to worry about - and it viciously opposed a price on carbon for large emitters leading to a market-based mechanism complete with rebates for the poorer end of society, preferring to argue that the government should spend much more money on picking and choosing which emissions reduction schemes to support...oh, wait...

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 14 Jan 2012 #permalink

No conspiracy theories in my book fellas

It's implicit in the very name of your homebase 'climatescam', moron. Although I'm quite willing to believe that you're too stupid to have noticed that.

And I presume your idiot reference to 'illuminati' is more knee-jerk weak denial from you that documented funding (cf Oreskes et al) of climate denial using distorted science exists? Who do you think is fooled by you denying what has already been proven?

> Apparently I do those. Until the (grown up) kids need money. Then they laugh.

> ;-)

Gareth, you need to teach your kids to speak truth to power.

;-) ;-)

-- frank

To Olaus the idea that the UN is trying to create a one world government isn't a conspiracy theory, it's a conspiracy fact.

Leave the comedy to funny people

And leave science to the capable and intelligent people.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 15 Jan 2012 #permalink

Petri even gets famous movie lines wrong.

By lord_sidcup (not verified) on 15 Jan 2012 #permalink

Petri can't count either. :-)

By lord_sidcup (not verified) on 15 Jan 2012 #permalink

Dad jokes are the mandatory at News Limited - I noted the same thing on [Tim Blair's blog](…);

>>The Daily Telegraphs Tim Blair â whose blog Iâve been reading this past few days â is wonât to practice the laziest forms of denial. Heâs not even clever about it. At least Andrew Bolt is entertaining in his distinctive snarky/smarmy tone and creative use of facts.

>>Blairâs blog posts are the equivalent of âdad jokesâ: predictable in going for the obvious punch line and not at all funny.

>>Viz, Tim Blairâs latest effort on his blog today.

>>Blair notes its cold today; therefore global warming is a >>hoax.

>>He even has a picture of a snow man. See, itâs cold today and âwarmistsâ say the world is getting hotter.. and zing! Itâs not! Snowman!

You'll note the same tired old "jokes" made by News Ltd bloggers.

I can imagine the News Limited Christmas party with Bolt, Devine, Blair, McCrann sitting around the table - slightly tipsy on sheery - daring each other:

>> "Go on, pull my finger!"


>> "How's that for warming the planet!"

Yuks all round.

News Limited. The Dad's Army of denial.

Salusinszky does not report on fact and never has done. He expresses his opinion and does so in a manner which ensures that his employer, Rupert Murdoch, approves. It mightn't be honest, it certainly isn't accurate, but it does illustrate why there is a need for diversity of print media ownership, particularly in our capital cities.

No one who is well informed takes Murdoch or Salusinzky seriously. Problem is many people are not well informed and have difficulty in recognising lies when they see them. But most people now know from experience that global warming is reality. Even the most duplicitous can't fool everyone.

By Mike Pope (not verified) on 15 Jan 2012 #permalink

I'm treasuring that image.

The Australian's war on science is run by "Dad's Army".

Which one's Captain Mainwaring? Bolt, of course, has to be Lance-Corporal Jones...

Which one's Captain Mainwaring?

Why Monckton of course!

With Chris Mitchell as Sgt. Wilson, Blot as L/Cpl. Jones, Tim B Liar as Pte. Pike and Devine as ARP Warden Hodges.

> > Which one's Captain Mainwaring?

> Why Monckton of course!

I would have thought Jonesey.

"they don't like it up 'em!"

I hear Usain Bolt came 8th last in the 100-m sprint final at the Bejing Olympics. I'm sure this revealing fact has been cleverly hidden from the public by the liberal media that is in cahoots with the browbeating sporting elites.

But guys, isn't it too much work for The Australian to continually parse the WMO's pronouncements for "news"?

What they should be doing is to hire a bunch of monkeys, put them in front of typewriters, and then each day scan the monkeys' output for anything that remotely resembles profound thought.

Now that'll be a good way to produce an endless stream of "news".

-- frank

the link to hansen et al doesn't work. please change the hyperlink's two hyphens to underscores

By richard mcgeehan (not verified) on 18 Jan 2012 #permalink

Imre Salusinszky, who declared global warming to be dead in January of last year has repeated the same unfunny joke this January

I don't know about this January but I'm pretty sure Andrew Bolt has claimed Global Warming is dead many times in the past hasn't he? Pretty sure I recall Bolt writing that in his 'Tiser columns.

There is a MONUMENTALLY awful article in the Opinion pages of The Australia today. Called "Climate Change 'Heretics' Rebuff Carbon Dangers" with the sub-heading "Eminent scientists, listed below, explain why they believe there is no compelling argument for drastic actions on global warming". And the out-take bolded statement is "Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now".

I just... why was I not at all surprised that one of the paragraphs included "a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers"?

Anyway, it's beyond appalling nonsense. It's pay-walled, or I'd include a link, but if you can scavenge a copy of The Oz out of a bin somewhere, Tim, it's definitely entry number 77.

Re #47: looks like that 'Dad's Army' Wall Street Journal editorial has filtered down to the Oz. Are we surprised?

@48: indeed, yes it is, Bill (I had bowed out of reading the Open Thread when Duff returned - I need to take a couple of weeks of deep breaths to deal with that much pride in one's ignorance). I did finally trudge my way through the whole thing and I'm fairly certain the only things in it that aren't a lie or misrepresentation are the names appended on the end.

In a pleasant note though, re: today's Oz, the Doonesbury cartoon is beyond wonderful and actually worth fishing the Business section out of the bin for.

I suppose the best 'man in the street' argument to counter this no warming for x years nonsense is why then is the arctic ice melting faster than a scotch on the rocks at a beach bar in Rio?

"why then is the arctic ice melting faster than a scotch on the rocks at a beach bar in Rio?"

And we've been saying that for a while. My new favourite is the hardiness zones for North America. For the why-should-I-believe-you man in the street enquirer - point out the changes in the map on the seed packets and plant labels for US and Canada.…

No scientific papers, no statistics, no arguments. Just professional recommendations about what will and won't grow where.

Acacia (#53)

What does William Kininmonth describe himself as in this letter? In the Op-Ed that appeared in the Australian the other day he was described as the former head of climate research (or something like that) in the Bureau of Meteorology. This is nonsense. He was head of the National Climate Centre (part of the Bureau) for a number of years but this was, and still is, a data centre - NOT a research group. Having said that, I suspect that this particular bit of resume puffing is not his fault.

Neil White

By Neil White (not verified) on 03 Feb 2012 #permalink

Thanks Neil White (#53)

The Australian didn't list Kinimonth's credentials after the letter and I am sure they have listed them previously. Perhaps they were being discrete but I don't think accuracy on climate change issues is of major concern at The Australian.

I see [Graham Readfearn](…) has also noted the anomaly with Kinimonth's credentials.

Kininmonth's letter was a master of weasel words. He discusses Trenberth's comment re: the missing heat and says "on face value, this looks bad". And that's it. Well, yes, cherry-picking a quote and refusing to place it in any, well-known, well-worn, DISCUSSED IN THE SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE, context, may look bad. On face value. Which is as weasel-ish as you can get.

Also, the Oz has two articles on climate change in it today. Written by? Jonathan Leake and Bob Carter. At least the Oz is not even pretending it's anything but a denialist rag now.


I must have a masochistic streak to keep perusing the Oz, it just gets worse and worse.

I see Kininmonth (correctly spelt this post) is now an expert on sea level rise. He doesn't dispute Bruce Mapstone's assertions that the dominant sea level trend around Australia for the last 20 years is upward and above the global average but claims this is due to continental movement.

I guess it was to be expected that the OZ couldn't let the Chief of Marine and Atmospheric Research at the CSIRO have the last word.

The Australian now reflects the deny-o-sphere's experts. That is- "pay for comments". No thanks! (Though there is some sort of free deal at the moment so maybe worth signing up and putting some links and discussion in leading to saner information about climate change)