Tag Archives: Attribution

Jan 8, 2013 – Prime Minister Gillard connects heatwave and climate change

As the website Climate Citizen puts it

On Tuesday January 8 [2013] the Bureau of Meteorology released an interim special climate statement on the Extreme January heat Australia is currently experiencing. Record temperatures both day-time maximum and night-time minimums continue to be broken. The extraordinary heatwave has also been the scene for catastrophic fires, especially in Tasmania. The Prime Minister Julia Gillard saw the devastation in Dunalley and among her many interviews and press conferences made a brief statement connecting the intensity of bushfires with climate change.

But of course, you’re not supposed to be able to link weather phenomena to climate.  That would be a fundamental attribution error…  Except, of course

See also the Guardian‘s take on it.

Also on this day-

Peter Walsh, finance minister under Hawke, and later to be a founding member (president?) of the Lavoisier Group takes an early pop at climate science (he’d been at it for a while already) in the Fin.

BACK in 1989 a proposal to spend $6 million on an Australian response to the greenhouse effect and climatic change was being considered. The 1990 Budget Papers identify another $17 million for climate change core research and “multifaceted programme initiatives” – which presumably includes funding various national and international greenhouse conferences so beloved by greenhouse activists.

He also in this article cites approvingly John Daly’s ‘The Greenhouse Trap’…

Walsh, P. 1991. Credibility Gap in Greenhouse Gabfests. Australian Financial Review, 8 January, p.7.


Jan 10, 2011, Queensland hit by huge cyclone, floods

“A series of floods hit Queensland, Australia, beginning in December 2010. The floods forced the evacuation of thousands of people from towns and cities.At least 70 towns and over 200,000 people were affected. Damage initially was estimated at around A$! billion before it was raised to $2.38 billion.The estimated reduction in Australia’s GDP n is about A$30 billion.” [direct quote from wikipedia]

Context: Obviously this is a natural disaster, so we have to point you to the Attribution Page.

Cyclone Yasi (for it is she) had a quite dramatic effect on the volume of coal exported from Queensland in the first quarter of 2011. [Marc to fill in extra detail]

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

Jan 6: Devastating weather event hits Dublin

On January 6th, known as “The Night of the Big Wind”, a “powerful European windstorm … swept without warning across Ireland, causing severe damage to property and several hundred deaths; 20% to 25% of houses in north Dublin were damaged or destroyed, and 42 ships were wrecked.” [wikipedia]

Context: Don’t remember that? Well, go easy on yourself, it happened in 1839…

Now, this is a favourite trick of denialists. They point to these sorts of events and say “bad weather happens” as if people who “believe” in climate change were ignorant of the fact. Battles over “attribution” are something this site will return to when it commemorates the attacks on Ben Santer and the second IPCC report of 1995/6, which used the word “discernible”.

As James Hansen tried to explain in the late 80s with his model dice that he took to Congress, what we are doing with climate change is painting extra dots on some of the faces. Alea iacta est and all that…

See our “Attribution” page for more quotes.

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

See also:
Professor Steven Sherwood has some interesting things to say about all this.