Saturday, December 13, 2008

Keith Windschuttle on acceptable climate change papers for Quadrant

My paper criticising what I saw as the foolish climate change 'denialist' views that have been repeatedly put forward in Quadrant magazine was rejected by its editor Keith Windschuttle on the grounds that an earlier draft of the paper had been published on this blog. This seemed to me a totally spurious grounds for not publishing the paper - there may have well been non-spurious grounds not set out in the email to me by Keith - so I emailed Keith requesting a rethink. Everything I publish in academic and popular journals I pre-circulate first in working paper form or as a post on a webpage. Most academics I know do the same. For whatever reason Keith did not respond at all to my email.

Now I learn from Tim Lambert's Deltoid that Keith has rejected another paper by David Karoly criticising the same 'denialist' climate change views without any apparent review or consideration on the grounds that: the moment Quadrant is focusing on offering a platform for the sceptical position on this issue. We find that the pro-IPCC position is very well represented in almost every media outlet in the country, including academic journals and websites, but it is very difficult for sceptics to find any outlet for their voices to be heard. Hence, in the interests of balance, we believe the sceptics deserve a fair go in a little journal like ours. If the current position changes, we will be glad to consider pro-IPCC articles such as yours. 

But, as a fellow conservative, I am really just really disappointed in Keith Windschuttle. The disappointment goes well beyond not having my article reviewed and considered for publication in Quadrant. It is the festive season so I'll simply say to Keith that his behaviour seems to me appalling and short-sighted and hope that eventually he will see this and allow Quadrant in the future to present a more truthful, balanced and accurate picture of the consequences of anthropogenic climate change.
I wonder had I not published the draft on my website whether Keith would have applied this alternative reason for rejecting my article. If he had I would still have rejected his view as inappropriate. Journals such as Quadrant are misleading the public by presenting only climate change 'denialist' views and ignoring the overwhelming alternative views of mainstream science. Moreover, the consequences of Quadrant getting it wrong are serious.


Anonymous said...

Karoly is the "Where's Waldo" of the AGW debate. He gets enough face time on the ABC peddling his extraordinarily alarmist views.

Karoly was even interviewed while doing some silly walk against warming and surprisingly the ABC was able to find him in the crowd and and tick a camera in his face.

Keith has done an excellent job of distancing Quadrant from this extremist. Rather than rebuking Keith you should be congratulating him for demonstrating character and refusing to have anything to do with Karoly who was recently seen (again) on the ABC peddling far left extremist views attempting to scare the kids.

Anonymous said...


You need to question the ethics of those two- Lambert and Karoly- publishing private emails.

Lambert of course says that he published the email with approval. Who's approval of course Lambert doesn't say as I'm sure if he would have said if Keith had consented to its publication.

So it was Karoly (Where's Waldo Impersonator) who oked Lambert to publish Keith's email.

Nice people your supporting Harry.

There two sure are the cream of academia.

Anonymous said...

"Moreover, the consequences of Quadrant getting it wrong are serious."

We keep hearing this argument - but how could the consequences be serious? The majority of the population believe AGW to be true and an ETS is bipartisan policy. There is no organised constituency in Australia that has any ability to influence climate change policy, yet the AGW brigade are waging a pogrom against anyone who questions the dogma. What is it that you are afraid of?

hc said...

jc, Karoly's paper was apparently rejected without review as was mine. The issue of the quality of their contents - a legitimate concern - was never a concern for Windschuttle.

Sinclair, Not addressing climate change may have very serious concerns. Quadrant is attempting to undermine the mainstream science here with silly science.

For the same reasons I would not advocate giving equal time to the 'flat earth society' or creationism.

Anonymous said...

How many articles have you written attacking the flat-earth types or creationists? None, I venture. You have yet to demonstrate how a niche magazine with a miniscule readership is going to undermine a policy response to climate change.

Cryptandra said...

Good on you for not succumbing to conservative groupthink, Harold.

As for Windschuttle, he may have ditched one silly ideology for another but he is still a narrow minded pea-brain.

ps. Have you had any success growing Dryandras? D. praemorsa and D. formosa have proven very easy to grow here in Castlemaine.

Anonymous said...


Take a look a Karoly's performance on Q&A. Then agree with me that he's quite possibly the most annoying, irritating person ever to be on TV. That includes anyone including the bogans they usually have on This day Tonight or Current Affair.

Keith was quite possibly being polite to blow him off as he didn't want anything to do with him.

(If I was Keith I would have been far less pleasant: believe you me).

Then look at what he does. He gets the thumbs down and goes balling to Lambert who publishes a private email exchange.

Ask yourself this Harry. On balance did Keith do the right giving Karoly the size 10 hobnail up the butt or not?

I says he did and Quadrant is far better for it.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to add

jc, Karoly's paper was apparently rejected without review as was mine.

That's right Harry. If I was in Keith's shoes I would have not been so polite, told Karoly what I thought of him and thoughtfully explained there was a 1 in a billion chance of "Waldo" ever getting a shot on those pages.

Harry when was the last time an equally leftist publication gave a right winger a fair shot at correcting the absolutely awful economics they publish?

Have you ever complained?

Anonymous said...

Yea Melissa

The Dynadras are just doing fine in my garden. I only planted them three hours ago and it's grown 300 foot high. I hope the giant on the other end doesn't get any ideas like climbing down.

My Formosa is doing well too. I only planted that last week and the vines have reached Tasmania. It's very fast growing isn't it?

hc said...

Mel, I'd like to see them. My failures are the stuff of legends!

A tip - try capitalism. Try growing some dryandras and WA banksias for the cut flower market. As I have communicated before my favorite is Banksia coccinea - probably the best native in Australia.


Anonymous said...

Harry, Quadrant are just a bunch of delusionists who get their jollies by telling each other how right they are.

Like all closed societies, they are just space wasters. Why you would want to engage with them, and lend them transient respectability if you had happen to engage with them, is a mystery. As you can see, you are wasting your time.

Quadrant should be simply be ignored.

Anonymous said...

you don't seem to be ignoring them, Spiros, by the sounds of things. LOL.

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Anonymous said...

It's a bit rich for Harry to complain about Keith at Quadrant rejecting mainstream stuff on AGW, already published ad nauseam, when he himself operates a stringent 'no unbelievers (in AGW) policy' at his Australian Economic Papers (he rejected my critique of the Garnaut Review on wholly specious grounds without even referral to a referee!) Sauce for the goose...?

hc said...

Not correct Tim.

The rejection of your paper - you raise the issue not me - was content-related. I did not reject your paper on (a) the grounds that it had been published on another website or (b) that there was a policy in .Economic Papers of not publishing denialist pieces.

Anonymous said...

Quadrant is a very useful bellwether as to the line the so-called climate change denialists will follow. After being tested in the hothouse of the micro-rag, the arguments are honed and released to ideological attack dogs like Miranda Devine. See today's Sydney Morning Herald where she uncritically gives oxygen to the misleading statements of Bob Carter.

Bob Carter is a sea geologist who became a spokesman on climate change while being subsidised by mining and oil drilling peak group association.

Carter uses red herrings and selective quotes, and argues everything from sun-spot activity - now convincingly dismissed by retrospective analysis - to assertions that if there is global warming then it is definitely not man-made.

This blog's thread headed "Foolish views on climate change being promoted at Quadrant" dated Thursday, November 13, 2008 (see sidebar) has links and information about another climate change denialist and proselytiser Tim Curtin, a self-styled economist.

Curtin bases his propaganda on demonstrably false data derived from howlers in simple maths equations. He is devastatingly run to ground by climate scientist Barry Brook who easily and clearly refutes all of Curtin's fallacious arguments on

Do follow the link from "Foolish views on climate change..." , the exchange there is very funny, but also sobering, because people like Carter and Curtin (plus Devine and other mindless hacks) are in the business of misinformation and propaganda.

The techniques employed by climate change denialists are eerily similar to the arguments propounded by the "scientists" who were paid by tobacco companies to say that there is no link between tobacco smoke and lung cancer.

hc said...

The sad thing Sir Henry is that some of the denialists (e.g. fred singer) were lobbyists for the tobacco industry.

Anonymous said...

That's amazing.

Here is a Bob Carter paper:

CARTER, R.M. 2007 The myth of dangerous human-caused climate change. Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy, New Leaders Conference, Brisbane, May 2-3 2007, Conference Proceedings p. 61-74.

Who are these "New Leaders"?

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