Maurice Newman’s flight of climate denialist fantasy takes off from Cobar Airport

Maurice Newman

Maurice Newman, the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s pick as chairman of his business advisory panel,  is back with yet more conspiratorial climate science denial in The Australian.

Where else?

It’s full of the usual stuff about climate change zealots, global warming having stopped (it hasn’t) and how sceptics are being victimised.

But I just want to look at one point Maurice Newman makes.

In the op-ed, he says this:

We learn from a voluntary independent auditor, Ken Stewart, that after analysing 84 out of 104 Bureau of Meteorology sites, the effect of adjustments made to create the official Australian temper­ature record is an increase in the warming trend for minima of 66.6 per cent and 13 per cent for maxima… The data included 30 years of temperatures from Cobar airport from 1962, despite it not opening until 1993. Always, the trend is to warming.

The official Australia temperature record that Newman is referring to is called ACORN-SAT  – it stands for the Australian Climate Observations Reference Network and is maintained and managed by the Bureau of Meteorology.

When Newman says “the data included 30 years of temperatures from Cobar airport” it can’t have, because the Cobar Airport monitoring station is not part of ACORN-SAT as anyone armed with an internet search engine can find out.

The BoM even has a document describing each of the sites that make up ACORN-SAT. The document describes the site at Cobar included in the ACORN-SAT.

Easy mistake to make though, no, if you’re not intimate with this particular central New South Wales town ? Not really. BoM says in the document:

There is a separate site (048237) at the airport which is not used in ACORN-SAT.


Elsewhere in Newman’s op-ed he also flails at people who “resort to authority” and “personal abuse”.

Newman then resorts to the authority of a scientist who claims there’s more evidence for creationism than there is for evolution and who says people who used the term “denier” to describe people who deny science should themselves be described as “global warming Nazis“.

Maybe instead Newman could have resorted to the authority of the BoM who could at least have pointed him at the intertubes?



Author: Graham

Graham Readfearn is a Brisbane-based journalist. Go to the About page in the top navigation for more information.

4 thoughts on “Maurice Newman’s flight of climate denialist fantasy takes off from Cobar Airport”

  1. Let’s not mince words: Newman is an arrogant, blinkered patrician ass who has given himself little chance: his publicised NIMBY opposition to wind farms, his disdain for “resort to authority”, and his motivated rejection of the implications of fossil fuel use makes him easy meat for amateur nonsense peddlars.

    His attitude towards the science and scientists is simply outrageous, but this is the madness that Abbott’s government of ignorance enables.

  2. Even Clive Palmer abandoned these morons (Abbott and Newman), when Al Gore pointed out to him that as a coal exporter in a country that refused to have an emissions trading scheme, he, Palmer, would face punitive border tariffs imposed (with WTO blessing) on his coal attempting to enter any country that had an ETS.

    Gore pointed out to Palmer just how many countries had already moved to introduce ETS schemes, including China.
    Palmer’s stunning about face might seem unbelievable, but at heart it is just enlightened self-interest. Newman and Abbott don’t even qualify for that degree of ‘intelligence’.

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