Andrew Bolt

Andrew Bolt

Credentials  

Background

Andrew Bolt is a high-profile conservative Australian columnist, commentator and broadcaster. Bolt is an opinion writer at the Rupert Murdoch-owned Herald Sun in Melbourne, with his columns often syndicated across the rest of the News Corporation Australia network of metropolitan tabloid newspapers online and in print. [2], [8]

Bolt is also a prolific contributor to his own blog, also hosted on News Corporation Australia websites, where he has posted hundreds of items on climate change and “warmists.” He is promoted by News Corporation Australia as “Australia's most-read political commentator.” Bolt often promotes the work of climate change deniers. [3]

Bolt hosts The Bolt Report, originally aired as a weekly television panel show on free-to-air commercial station Network Ten where he often invites climate science contrarians as guests. The fourth season of The Bolt Report launched in March 2014 with episodes doubled in length to one hour. In 2016, the program moved to Sky News as a nightly primetime program. [4]

Stance on Climate Change

Andrew Bolt rarely makes a definitive statement about his own position on climate change. According to a review of Bolt's articles, he regularly sources stories from climate denialist blogs and promotes the work of climate science deniers and cherry-picks data to suggest climate scientists are wrong.

Bolt  tends to pick single, localised events, such as floods and snowstorms, or temporary “recoveries” of climate change indicators such as sea ice and sea level, to suggest climate scientist predictions are “dud.” Bolt also regularly questions why Australian policies should reduce emissions when the country's domestic contrbution is relatively small.

February 21, 2014

In an interview with ABC News' One Plus One program, Andrew Bolt responded to a question on his position on climate change:

“I know that there is a debate about [humans causing the warming of the planet] - that's all I am prepared to say. I'm not a scientist but when someone tells me that all the scientists agree, I say no they don't. They all agree that there's a tendency for human emissions to heat the planet, but whether that's responsible for all the heating is an open question. But I must say that once it was confidently predicted that there was run away warming and now we have had a pause for 16 years. Now please explain that.” [6]

May 2012

Bolt spoke at an Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) event titled “The Mass Delusion of Climate Change“ in Melbourne, featuring climate change denier Vaclav Klaus. Bolt describes man-made climate change as a “pretend problem”: [5]

“We are talking about a pretend tax to solve a pretend problem that no-one believes will be solved by this and we all have to pay attention,” Bolt said before introducing Vaclav Klaus at the event.

Key Quotes

May 2018

During an episode of the Bolt Report, Bolt defended Peter Ridd, a former JCU professor that claimed he was fired for his belief that global warming is not threatening the Great Barrier Reef, Bolt claimed: [22]

“[Ridd] has been fired for questioning claims by colleagues that global warming is destroying the Great Barrier Reef,” Bolt claimed. [22]

According to Bolt, “We have politicians that are today destroying our cheap and reliable electricity system and driving coal fired power stations out of business because of claims that man’s emissions of carbon dioxide are heating the world dangerously. These are driving up your power bills and it’s threatening to shut down huge coal mines.” [22]

He also claimed,  “We have not seen anything like the kind of warming that was predicted.” [22]

December 7, 2016

“No system that forces us to use more expensive green power, and less reliable, will save us money.

“The only answer is to stop this whole madness now,” Bolt wrote at his blog at the Herald Sun. [26]

December 6, 2016

“We hear of activist teachers misusing their position to push their politics of the Left - anti-capitalism, pro illegal immigration, global warming alarmism. We don't hear of activist teachers pushing conservative politics or climate scepticism,” Bolt wrote at the Herald Sun. [28]

Key Deeds

May 2018

Andrew Bolt came to the defense of Peter Ridd, who was fired from James Cook University for breaching his employment's code of conduct. Ridd has consistently questioned established science suggesting the risks posed by climate change and other human activities to the Great Barrier Reef, while claiming he was silenced by JCU. According to a statement from Professor Iain Gordon, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Division of Tropical Environments and Societies at JCU[23], [24]

Professor Ridd has on numerous occasions and in numerous ways seriously and repeatedly breached the Code of Conduct – his employment has been terminated on this basis. To suggest otherwise is simply wrong,” the statement reads. [24]

On May 21, Bolt defended Ridd on The Bolt Report, describing the case as a “A scandal in one of our universities. Bolt was innacurate on a number of counts, including Ridd's claim that he was fired for questioning claims by colleagues that global warming is destroying the Great Barrier Reef. As mentioned above, Ridd was fired for breaching the university's code of conduct. [22]

On his website, where he has repeatedly published confidential legal documents about the proceedings, Ridd claimed “His employment has been terminated because he dared to tell the truth.” He also re-opened a GoFundme campaign to pay for legal bills estimated at $260,000 (his prior campaign raised nearly $100,000). As of late May, the campaign had already reached its $260,000 goal. [25]

While Ridd claimed “JCU appears to be willing to spend their near unlimited legal resources fighting me,” the university has pointed out that it was Ridd who commenced legal action. [23]

Following Ridd's firing, conservative websites and think tanks have come to his defense and urged readers to visit his crowdfunding page. Ridd and supporting groups have consistently reframed the case as being about academic freedom, free speech, and scientific integrity. The University's statement itself counters these claims:  [24]

The University has not objected to Professor Ridd's right to comment on quality assurance.

However, the University has objected to the manner in which he has done this. He has sensationalised his comments to attract attention, has criticised and denigrated published work, and has demonstrated a lack of respect for his colleagues and institutions in doing so. Academic rebuttal of his scientific views on the reef has been separately published.” [24]

October 4, 2017

Australian climate change denier Ian Plimer was a guest on the Bolt Report. Plimer discussed the release of his new book to be launched on October 5 titled The Climate Change Delusion and the Great Electricity Ripoff. During his interview, Plimer asserts that climate models have been “doctored” and promote a “fallacy based on fraud promoted by fools.” [7]

“To think we can do something is the ultimate of narcissism,” Plimer said. “And it's all based on a failed fundamental: The fundamental is that it is the human emissions of carbon dioxide that drive global warming. That has never been shown. 99% of emissions are natural. “

[…] the 2nd thing is that we have to cur our emissions. Cut this plant food that we're putting into the atmosphere. Now, to cut that, we build wind industrial complexes and solar complexes. Now, the amount of toxins that we release, the amount of carbon dioxide to build them, and to maintain them, to transport the products, doesn't save anything.”

Videos below.

Video 1

WATCH: Geologist Ian Plimer says ‘doctored’ climate models promote a ‘fallacy based on fraud promoted by fools.’

Posted by The Bolt Report on Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Video 2

To think we can do something is the ultimate of narcissism’: Professor Ian Plimer on Australia’s efforts to reduce climate change.

Posted by The Bolt Report on Wednesday, October 4, 2017

December 7, 2016

Peter Ridd was a guest on The Bolt Report to discuss why he believes “you can't trust alarmist scientists who claim the Great Barrier Reef is dying, thanks to man-made warming.” Video below: [27]

December 2014

Andrew Bolt is a contributor to the book Climate Change: The Facts published by the Institute of Public Affairs and featuring “22 essays on the science, politics and economics of the climate change debate.” The Institute of Public Affairs, while not revealing most of its funders, is known to have received funding from mining magnate Gina Rinehart and at least one major tobacco company. [9], [10]

The book includes essays and articles from a range of climate change skeptics, with contributors including the following: [9]

According to Editor Alan Moran in a post at Catallaxy Files blog on Climate Change: the facts 2014, Andrew Bolt “disinters the graveyards of failed forecasts by climate doomers. These include the spectacular forecasts by Tim Flannery that Australian cities would run out of fresh water, by Professor Hough- Guldberg that the Barrier Reef would die, by Professor Karoly that the Murray Darling would see increasing drought, by the UK Met Office that warming would resume, and by Ross Garnaut and Al Gore that hur­ricanes would increase. He considers the warmistas’ monumental failures are finally denting the faith in them by the commentariat and politicians.”[9]

November 2013

A study analyzing the coverage of climate science in Australian media found that Andrew Bolt accounted for almost half of all the words in articles written on climate science in the Rupert Murdoch-owned Herald Sun newspaper, the Melbourne-based tabloid and Australia's biggest selling newspaper. The study said of Bolt: [11]

“Given his influence, a consideration of how Australian media covers climate science needs to include an analysis of the strategies used by Bolt to persuade his readers they should reject the findings of the vast majority of climate scientists. These strategies include personal abuse, cherry picking specific findings to refute the entire body of findings of climate scientists, portrayal of advocates of climate action as ideologically motivated with totalitarian tendencies and criticism of journalists who report on climate science. He presents himself as someone who is fighting a battle to reveal ‘truth’ and ‘secrets’ which ‘warmists’ want hidden to protect their vested interests. Once the ‘facts’ are established a triumphal, mocking tone is adopted.” [11]

The study also found that about 97 percent of all the comment articles published in the Herald Sun newspaper either rejected or questioned the views of the vast majority of climate scientists that human emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause of climate change. See part 1 and part 2 of the study by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism. [11]

December 2012

The Australian Press Council uphheld a complaint made about one of Andrew Bolt's columns, written in February that year. [12]

In the article, headlined “Time that climate alarmists fessed up,” Bolt claimed that “the planet hasn't actually warmed for a decade - or even 15 years, according to new temperature data from Britain's Met Office.” [13]

The APC found that Bolt had based his assertion partly on a story in the UK's Daily Mail. The APC criticised Bolt for failing to mention in his column that the Met Office had responded to the Daily Mail article the same day it was written, saying its claim that their data showed global warming had stopped was “entirely misleading.” The APC adjudication said: [14]

“The Met Office description should have been mentioned in Mr Bolt’s print article and blog of 1 February, even if he then rebutted it as unconvincing. It was not sufficient in these circumstances to assert ignorance of the response or to rely on the reader’s previous posting to inform other readers about it.” [14]

The APC also criticised Bolt for a sentence in his column which read: “Sea levels have recently dipped, the oceans have lately cooled, Arctic ice has not retreated since 2007…”  [14]

The APC said that even though the statement was “statistically compatible” with key data sources, Bolt “should have acknowledged explicitly that all of the three changes in question were comparatively short-term and were statistically compatible with continuance of the long-term trends in the opposite direction.” [14]

August, 2012

Andrew Bolt asked that his name be removed from a list of advisors to the climate science denial group Galileo Movement after accusing the group and its project manager Malcolm Roberts of spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Bolt asked The Galileo Movement for clarification after Roberts was quoted in a Sydney Morning Herald newspaper report saying that climate change science had been captured by ''some of the major banking families in the world.” SMH columnist Mike Carlton wrote this was “code for the Great Jewish Conspiracy.” [15]

In an email to Roberts, Bolt wrote: “Two of the three most prominent and current banking families you’ve mentioned are Jewish, and the third is sometimes falsely assumed to be. Yes, this smacks too much of the Jewish world conspiracy theorising I’ve always loathed.” [16]

In a statement, The Galileo Movement's co-founders John Smeed and Case Smit strenously denied the organization was “anti-Semitic.” Smeed recorded a video message alongside his wife Suzi, a Holocaust survivor who said she had been deeply hurt by the accusations. [17], [18]

May 2012

Bolt attended an Institute of Public Affairs function in Melbourne to introduce a speech from climate science denier and Czech President Vaclav Klaus. After describing proposed laws to reduce Australian greenhouse gas emissions as a “pretend tax to solve a pretend problem,” Bolt said: [7]

“I'm thinking of this incredible interference in the way that we live our lives even to the extent of being told to hug our dogs and then I ask the question: Where will I find a messiah to reveal the untruths to us and smite the unrighteous and drive these people from the temple? And then a voice comes to me from the Czech Republic.”

December 2011

A study of climate change coverage in ten major Australian newspapers found Andrew Bolt was the second most prolific writer on the issue in Australia, behind News Ltd stablemate and fellow climate science sceptic Terry McCrann. [19]

Analysing coverage in newspapers between February and July 2011, the study, from The Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, found Bolt had written 41 columns covering climate policy. [19]

Overall, Bolt had been a significant contributor to News Ltd's overwhelmingly negative coverage of proposed legislation to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions. For every News Ltd article assessed as being positive towards the policy, there were almost five negative articles. [19]

January 2011

In the wake of extreme floods in Queensland, Bolt wrote a blog post in which he claimed that a Queensland Government report on climate change published two years earlier had made no mention of the risk of increased flooding. Bolt pointed to a link to the report as proof, giving credit to a blogger who claimed the “report” had not mentioned the word “flood” at all. [20]

Blogger Tim Lambert found that Bolt had linked to only a single chapter in the climate strategy report. Other chapters made numerous references to floods. [21]

Affiliations

  • News Corporation Australia — Columnist with numerous papers including the Herald Sun. [2]
  • Network Ten — Presenter of The Bolt Report before it moved to Sky News. [4]
  • Sky News — Broadcast The Bolt Report. [4]

Publications

Andrew Bolt is a career journalist and columnist with no publications in the scientific literature on climate change.

Resources

  1. 'I don't have to fear insulting people …',” The Sydney Morning Herald, November 19, 2011. Archived June 24, 2014. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/YA1gK

  2. Andrew Bolt,” Saxton speaker's bureau. Archived May 24, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/TOzxp

  3. Herald Sun,” News Corp Australia. Archived May 24, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/YKUZC

  4. The Bolt Report moves to Sky News,” Herald Sun, March 21, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/9CoqG

  5. President Vaclav Klaus - The Mass Delusion of Climate Change,” YouTube video uploaded by user Institute of Pubic Affairs, May 24, 2012. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  6. One Plus One: Andrew Bolt,” ABC News, February 21, 2014. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  7. Andrew Bolt. “IAN PLIMER ON THE GREAT CLIMATE CON,” The Daily Telegraph, October 4, 2017.

  8. ABOUT US,” Herald Sun. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/jfTcW

  9. Alan Moran. “Climate Change: the facts 2014,” Catallaxy Files, December 16, 2014.

  10. Graham Readfearn. “Tax Breaks In Australia To Fund Climate Misinformation Book,” DeSmogBlog, April 14, 2014.

  11. “Sceptical Climate Part 2: Climate Science in Australian Newspapers” (PDF), Austrlian Center for Independent Journalism, October 2013. 

  12. Graham Readfearn. “Australian Press Council Finds Against Climate Sceptic Columnists,” DeSmog, December 21, 2012.

  13. Andrew Bolt. “Time that climate alarmists fessed up,” Herald Sun, January 31, 2012. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/hc3ub

  14. “Adjudication No. 1558: Ellett and others/Herald Sun,” Australian Press Council, December 13, 2012. Archived May 23, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/4wR48

  15. Ben Cubby. “Climate sceptics unmoved by scientist's about-face,” The Sydney Morning Herald, July 31, 2012. Archived May 24, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/0bYLD

  16. Andrew Bolt. “No, of course I don't endorse this stuff,” Herald Sun. August 5, 2012. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/IBdnt

  17. “Dear friends and supporters” (PDF), The Galileo Movement. September 14, 2012.

  18. Fairfax Media call a Holocaust Survivor Anti-semitic!” YouTube video uploaded by user “GalileoMovement,” August 11, 2013. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  19. Wendy Bacon. “Sceptical Climate Part 1 Media Coverage of Climate Change in Australia,” Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, December 1, 2011. Retreived from the Internet Archive.

  20. If warming caused these floods, why didn't warmists predict them?“ Herald Sun, January 18, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/tjcFL

  21. Tim Lambert. “Andrew Bolt can get fooled again,” Deltoid, January 22, 2011. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/qCqvF

  22. How many things did Andrew Bolt get wrong about the sacking of climate contrarian Peter Ridd? Ready, set… go,” Graham Readfearn, May 22, 2018. Archived May 24, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/MBFDa

  23. Graham Readfearn. “Climate Science Deniers From Around Globe Rally Around Sacked Scientist Peter Ridd,” DeSmog, May 21, 2018.

  24. Statement by Professor Iain Gordon, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Division of Tropical Environments and Societies in response to Professor Ridd's publication of matters relating to his termination and litigation,” James Cook University, May 20, 2018. Archived May 24, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/g3tzl 

  25. Peter Ridd Legal Action Fund,” GoFundMe. Archived May 24, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/hJSzu

  26. Don't fall for this mad green scheme,” Herald Sun, December 7, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/3xrWq

  27. Ridd on Reef: don't trust alarmists,” Herald Sun, December 7, 2016. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  28. Teachers groom vulnerable children to Leftism,” Herald Sun, December 6, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/fZQ8y

Other Resources