BEN CUBBY, the environment editor at Australia's Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, admits he has an unusual problem - “how does one critically analyse a pile of horse shit?”
The horse excretion in question is a report - CSIROh! - Climate of Deception or First Step to Freedom - sent to Cubby by one of Australia's most tireless - and some might say tiresome - climate science deniers, Malcolm Roberts. But more of Ben Cubby's response later.
Malcolm Roberts is the volunteer project manager for the Galileo Movement - a climate science denial organisation whose patron is popular Sydney radio shock-jock Alan Jones who himself thinks human-caused climate change is a “hoax” and “witchcraft”.
Roberts' “report” appears to have been sparked by an email from ABC Brisbane radio presenter Steve Austin back in February 2010.
“For some time now I have been receiving a barrage of your unsolicited emails about climate change and your analysis of IPCC flaws,” wrote Austin, who attached a copy of a CSIRO report on climate change and suggested Roberts respond. Austin promises he'll send that response to the CSIRO and provide any feedback he gets.
Roberts is a former coal miner and management consultant and in a declaration of interests writes: “For extensive work performed in the mining industry I was paid money by mining companies (including three government-owned coal mining companies)….” He claims to have foregone more than a million dollars in earnings for his unpaid work researching climate change.