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How long can this continue?

Bob Ward's efforts to smear absolutely everyone who disagrees with his position on climate change continues apace, with a shameful attack on Bob Carter on ABC radio in Australia.

Anthony Watts notes that there are a few people who might like to hear if you think this is unacceptable behaviour by ABC.

Chairman of the Board (Maurice Newman - via his personal assistant who is Angela Peters:  Peters.Angela (at)

Robyn Williams:  Williams.Robyn (at)

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Reader Comments (37)

Forgive me if this is history but what exactly are Bob Wards qualifications that give him the right to say this stuff? I dont suggest he should not be able to hold an opinion regardless but he seems to be saying that sceptics nned to have papers publshed in order to be worthy. Has Bob had scientific papers published?

Oct 6, 2010 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

See critical post from Australia blog ABC NEWS WATCH whose aim is " to publicise the errors, omissions, and substandard reports produced by the News service of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

ABC's Science Show Saturday 2 October 2010 featured an interview between presenter Robyn Williams and Bob Ward under the title “Sceptics’ publishing record on climate”. The interview aired Bob Ward’s views about the quality of scientific research by internationally respected scientists Richard Lindzen, Robert Carter and Ian Plimer.

How does the ABC justify allowing Mr Ward time on The Science Show to provide an evaluation of the scientific work of Lindzen, Carter and Plimer when apparently Mr Ward, a Public Relations director, is not a working climate scientist, has no qualifications in climate science, and has no record of peer reviewed publications in academic scientific journals on climate science. The interview misrepresented the publishing record of Lindzen, Carter and Plimer who all have long records of academic publishing in the peer reviewed academic science literature. No statement about Mr Ward's apparent lack of expertise or political bias in the area of climate science was provided by presenter Robyn Williams, misleading ABC's audience. The obvious hypocrisy of Mr Ward's argument was not challenged by Robyn Williams. A piece on The Drum might be appropriate, but space on The Science Show gives unwarranted credence to Ward's spurious opinions.

While the ABC provided an opportunity for Bob Carter to respond to the allegations made in the interview, it seems no such opportunity was provided for either Richard Lindzen or Ian Plimer to respond to statements made by Bob Ward, left unchallenged by Robyn Williams. As such this piece lacks balance and contravenes ABC editorial policy.

It appears the ABC, The Science Show, Bob Ward and Robyn Williams owe an apology to those it has slandered.

Here's what Roger Pielke Jnr recently had to say about Bob Ward in a post titled Empty debate and climate attack dogs: "Ward's frequent efforts to reduce debate over climate change to tabloid-style mud wrestling is symptomatic of a debate that has lost touch with what matters. It is remarkable to me that an institution of higher learning such as LSE would hire a spin doctor to systematically engage in attacking reputations across the blogoosphere and letter pages of newspapers. "

Once again ABC's audience is left in the dark.

Oct 6, 2010 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Slightly rephrasing the Bob from the show's transcript-

"A lot of these people who claim to be experts about climate change don't bother with journals, they write newspaper articles and go and appear on the media because what they are really interested in is influencing public debate rather than debating the intellectual basis of their objections."

Only had to change one word to make it describe the Great Bob himself.

Oct 6, 2010 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

I think that Bob Ward has learned his stratergy from some of the folks in the above video.

Oct 6, 2010 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

The ABC Science Show has history. Every time a pro-catastrophe book is published Robyn Williams is there with a fawning interview. Every time a sceptic book is published he'll get a AGW attack dog to savage it. That, folks, sums up how "Science vs the Deniers" works.

Oct 6, 2010 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterO'Geary

How long can this continue?

As long as Bob is doing the job his masters want him to do or until he finds himself sacrificed for the greater PR good by those same masters. When a marketing guy becomes the story he is a dead man walking.

Oct 6, 2010 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

It will continue as long as Bob's paymasters consider his PR efforts are furthering their cause. Presumably they do, or they would have issued a course correction or given him the boot. History is littered with previously successful companies and organisations which have for some reason decided to push the wrong message in the wrong way to the bitter end.

I find his rabid bull terrier approach unattractive, counter productive, and rather comical, but I'm not paying him.

My advice to Bob is to ignore the likes of BH, except that in so far as they talk about you it means you are getting to them, put yourself about more, and show more passion and aggression, and project your personality, don't be afraid to inflict it on the audience; they like firm leadership even though they pretend not to. Go for it. You're a PR man representing a mission to save the world, so show it.

As James Mason told George Peppard in the final scenes of The Blue Max, "Let's see some real flying".

Oct 6, 2010 at 9:05 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

hmmmm....with the recent BBC Richard Lindzen radio show in mind...

Has Bob Ward ever taken money from "Big Green"?

Who is Bob Ward funded by?

Doesn't Bob Ward work as a spin doctor, for a research company that is a beard for a huge financial management company that hawks green portfolios?

Oct 6, 2010 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

The impression I get is that after being well and truly put in his place by Lintzen the other day, Robyn Williams is trying to to claw back some or his credibility with ABC, which is why he has quickly followed up with this Bob Ward interview.

Bob Ward, of whom I had never heard a few weeks ago, seems to have popped up out of the woodwork to relieve Monbiot in his Rottweiler role and is now having a go at all the main figures of the climate realist world at once. At least Monbiot had the sense to only try to take them out one by one.
I think Ward's riding for a fall.

Oct 6, 2010 at 10:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Wright

Bob Ward says only those who are peer published should comment.
In his case, I agree completely.
Let us practice what Bob preaches and turn Bob off.
The flagrant bs of AGW promoters like Bob is world class.
I give Bob a nomination for a gold plated cow pie award.

Oct 6, 2010 at 10:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

How long can this continue? As long as we have deluded billionaires like Jeremy Grantham bankrolling the eco-fascists all over the world. He bankrolls the Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace, WWF, the Environmental Defense Fund and other eco-fascist advocacy groups. He bankrolled Obama's presidential campaign. LSE and Imperial College have had at least £24 million out of him as well to set up these Grantham Institute pressure groups. Of course, Grantham wants value for money, so Ward has to be seen to be an attack dog or he's not earning his keep. Grantham's investment company manages $100 billion in assets, and as he said in July 2010 "Global warming will be the most important investment issue for the foreseeable future." He is going to make a lot of money out of it, he'll see to that, count on it.

But he is not simply trying to turn policy to his financial advantage: he is truly delusional. When you read what Grantham writes, you know he is in fantasy land, but since he can throw hundreds of millions of pounds around he is one of the more dangerous fantasists on this planet. For example he writes "At some point in the development of a scientific truth, contrarians risk becoming flat earthers...Being a climate scientist spokesman has already become a hindrance to an academic career, including tenure. I have a much simpler but plausible “conspiracy theory”: that fossil energy companies, driven by the need to protect hundreds of billions of dollars of profits, encourage obfuscation of the inconvenient scientific results.

"Why are we arguing the issue? Challenging vested interests as powerful as the oil and coal lobbies was never going to be easy. Scientists are not naturally aggressive defenders of arguments. In short, they are conservatives by training: never, ever risk overstating your ideas. The skeptics are far, far more determined and expert propagandists to boot. They are also well funded...The profits of the oil and coal industry make tobacco’s resources look like a rounding error. In some notable cases, the obfuscators of global warming actually use the same “experts” as the tobacco industry did! The obfuscators’ simple and direct motivation...combined with their resources and, as it turns out, propaganda talents, have meant that we are arguing the science long after it has been nailed down.”

So, you see, the climate scientists are the's all a great conspiracy by the oil companies. Oh, and the science is settled, and anyone who disagrees is a flat earther. And of course climate scientists "never, ever risk overstating" their case.

This deluded man, I'm afraid, is Bob Ward's funder.

Oct 6, 2010 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterScientistForTruth

I assume that Bob Ward does check this site, so first of all, Hi Bob!

Bob, could you please confirm that you accept everything presented as a fact in Al Gore's scientific film "An Inconvenient Truth".If you are not prepared to make this confirmation, which of his facts do you deny? Providing this confirmation will reduce CO2 emissions, as there will be fewer hours spent arguing over the internet. Not answering this question therefore condemns loads more people, and polar bears to die, according to arguments that you support. Your call Bob.

Similarly, Bob, you do not seem to enjoy people criticising the Hockey Stick Graph. Ignoring everything else contained in the book advertised on this site, do you maintain, categorically, that there was no Medieval Warm Period? You see Bob, if there was a MWP, there is something, trivial perhaps, wrong with that graph. Oh, and there does seem to be a bit of evidence to support the MWP, from sources without an interest in AGW.

Honesty, or polar bears Bob? If you want to accuse me of emotional blackmail, Bob, well thanks, but you taught me so well, you really are a star performer.

If I am wrong about Bob taking a sneeky peek behind enemy lines, could someone else put these simple questions to Bob, please? Or is Bob only good at assertions rather than questions?

Oct 6, 2010 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

Williams has many years of form here - a New Scientist type-clone who found the grind of actual science much paled in comparison to making noise in the MSM. My professional organisation once invited him as a guest speaker at a forum - he made no sense. We described him as "a few bricks short of a full load"

But he only preaches to the converted in the ABC - their audience is rusted in, heroes in the own minds

Oct 6, 2010 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterianl8888

"And what is worrying about this is they are creating confusion at a time when we have to make some very serious decisions because the climate responds slowly to changes in greenhouse gas emissions, and actually the decisions we are going to make today about emissions are about what kind of climate we'll see 20, 30 years from now, and it has very large implications if we make the wrong decisions."

Sorry? Run that past me again please. The climate responds slowly to changes greenhouse gas emissions AND the decisions we are going to make today about emissions are about what kind of climate we'll see 20, 30 years from now.

So, not slowly then. Or quickly. Or just wrong.

The guy's a joke.

Oct 6, 2010 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterDennis

I dashed off a quick email to Robyn Williams and received a polite reply that seems to be inviting a more lengthy and considered response, which I will be preparing over the next few days. Perhaps comments on this BH post might ensure that I don't miss important points on why some people think Bob Ward should be taken with a grain of salt..

Oct 6, 2010 at 11:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterPJB253

Fret ye not at the words and posturings of Bob, for his is the way of the grant cottager.

The works and claims of every CRU meal-ticket zombie are cast in a profoundly ironical light by the quality of evidence and inquiry which they have subsequently embraced as being sufficient to exonerate.

Oct 6, 2010 at 11:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterall in good time

Maurice Newman is a climate sceptic, but he appears to have been effectively quarantined and sidelined by the ABC organisation after he accused his own organisation of group think earlier this year.

A possibly better approach is the complaints service:

Oct 7, 2010 at 12:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Bob Ward ...pimped by Grantham LTD ..... bought and paid for ...

Oct 7, 2010 at 12:09 AM | Unregistered Commentermicky d

Tim Ball is not a climatologist. So Ward has that fact wrong at least. And when you see one roach, you know there are many.

Oct 7, 2010 at 1:05 AM | Unregistered Commenterbigcitylib

Pardon me. Carter has that fact wrong.

Oct 7, 2010 at 1:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterbigcitylib

The roach metaphor still applies.

Oct 7, 2010 at 1:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterbigcitylib

"Perhaps comments on this BH post might ensure that I don't miss important points on why some people think Bob Ward should be taken with a grain of salt.."

Bob Ward should be taken not with a grain of salt but silos filled with salt, the same silos of salt that the MET office told the councils they didn't need because snow in winter would be but a distant memory.

Oct 7, 2010 at 1:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Is that Robyn '100 metres' Williams?

You won't get much joy from him.

Andrew Bolt: I ask you, Robyn, 100 metres in the next century…do you really think that?

Robyn Williams: It is possible, yes. The increase of melting that they’ve noticed in Greenland and the amount that we’ve seen from the western part of Antarctica, if those increases of three times the expected rate continue, it will be huge.

Oct 7, 2010 at 1:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

I'd rather have Bob Wards Anger,
than be in an Afghani Sanger.
With the latters height of tension,
I'd settle for his pension!

Oct 7, 2010 at 1:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

thanks for that link

educational to his mind set as you say & explains how Bob gets away with his rants (boss loves this B/S)

love this comment - page 2

"Forestry remains, in my opinion, a good diversifier if times turn out well, a brilliant store of value should inflation unexpectedly run away, and a historically excellent defensive investment should the economy unravel. Otherwise, I hate it."

the rest is pretty funny also, no way would i let this guy look after my money.

but he then goes on to add this -

4. Everything You Need to Know About Global Warming in 5 Minutes

but the old all 'other things being equal,' pops up again!!

Oct 7, 2010 at 1:40 AM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

Bob will keep jumping as long as his master says, 'frog'.

Oct 7, 2010 at 1:46 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Rick Bradford - yes, a 100 metre level sea rise is possible according to Robyn. The whole thing is here.

Robyn is a fearless eco-warrior on "our" ABC in Oz so your Bob only had to get on the blower to be awarded a guernsey on Robyn's Radio National Science Show. So what's Robyn's background? From this link -

- He has an honours degree in biology. He does not have qualifications in physics, climatology or earth-sciences
- He has some honorary PhDs, but he does not have an actual PhD
- He is a visiting professor at UNSW, but is not actually on staff
- He is an adjunct professor at UQ, but is not actually on staff
- He has in the past, and perhaps to the present, been a supporter of communist politics

And I hesitate to mention it, but he originates from the old dart. Well, Wales actually, does that make it better or worse?

Oct 7, 2010 at 5:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

@golf charley: "Bob, could you please confirm that you accept everything presented as a fact in Al Gore's scientific film "An Inconvenient Truth".If you are not prepared to make this confirmation, which of his facts do you deny?"

Actually Charley (or is it Golf?) he doesn't have a bad record on AIT take this post at realclimate for example:

"I am disappointed that RC has not been more constructively critical of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. Whilst the film may be “broadly accurate”, in the sense that it acknowledges climate change is being driven by greenhouse gas emissions, it clearly has exaggerated the immediacy and magnitude of impacts. Here are two examples. When the film discusses the melting of the ice sheets on Greenland and West Antarctica, it shows an aerial photograph of Manhattan showing it being gradually inundated. Whilst Gore does not mention timescales, the sequence clearly gives an impression of sudden flooding, rather than encroachment over centuries and millenia. Indeed Gore even says “They can measure this precisely, just as the scientists could predict precisely how much water would breach the levy in New Orleans”. You can try to argue that the statements are not explicitly inaccurate, but they are clearly, and probably deliberately, misleading. The second example is the sequence on infectious diseases. The accompanying slides refer to SARS, antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis and avian influenza. If there is a link between climate change and the spread of these diseases, it is not very direct and there are other factors that are far more important. It gives a misleading impression of what is driving the spread of these diseases.
There are other examples. The images showing Katrina are clearly designed to make the audience believe there is a connection to climate change, even though this cannot be proved. It is a tactic that has been used to great effect in the United States, such that the majority of the public now appear to believe that the two are connected.
The scientific evidence on climate change is clear enough without the need for exaggeration. ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ misleads about several aspects of the science, and RC should be willing to acknowledge these rather than defending them as ‘technically not wrong’.
And before anybody tries to cast doubt on my motives, I am definitely not in the ‘denial camp’ (see ). Bob Ward"

He seems to have had an anti-Damascene moment and moved into the the alarmist camp lock stock and barrel in the last year or so.

Oct 7, 2010 at 7:09 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Thanks for that post. All the more reason for Bob to post here and justify his actions? Other than the simple "I get paid to write poison, so I write poison"

Oct 7, 2010 at 7:59 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

Ward's record wrt AIT may not be so bad, and he may well be a very fast typist, but in the intellectual honesty department he's clearly somewhat lacking.

From the transcript of the (presumably Oct. 2) interview:

Robyn Williams: Which brings us to a paper by Bob Carter which you've analysed, Bob Carter from James Cook University in Northern Queensland. The last line of your analysis of this paper says it's probably the worst one ever published in a journal on the subject. That's more or less what you said, wasn't it?

Bob Ward: Absolutely. So some of these climate change sceptics claim that they do publish in the academic literature, so I looked at one example by Bob Carter, it was published in an Australian economics journal a couple of years ago called Economic Analysis and Policy. And I noted first of all that it had a quote in it, attributed to John Houghton who was a senior member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It includes a quote in there that John Houghton has never said, he's never written and never said, yet it is in this paper by Carter. So that was wrong, I knew.

But the more I looked at the paper, almost on every sentence there was a question over its accuracy [...][emphasis added -hro]

Speaking of "accuracy" ... Ward's claim regarding the Houghton quote failed to acknowledge that on May 2, Carter (following his investigation on the heels of an E-mail from Ward in February) had requested that the journal issue an erratum:

“ERRATUM. The paper by R.M. Carter, “Knock, knock: where is the evidence for dangerous human-caused global warming?”, was published in 2008 in volume 38 of this journal. The paper contained the following quotation regarding global warming: “unless we announce disasters, no one will listen”, which was attributed to Dr Houghton’s 1994 book “Global Warming: the Complete Briefing”.

No such quotation appears in Dr Houghton’s book, and I therefore withdraw the assertion that it does and apologize to Dr Houghton for my misunderstanding of the issue. The quotation that I had in mind to reflect Dr Houghton’s views, but failed to identify accurately, was published in the U.K. Sunday Telegraph on Sept. 10th, 1995 in an article entitled “Sir John Houghton: Me and My God”; it reads “If we want a good environmental policy in the future we’ll have to have a disaster”.

Robert Ward has now provided a more extended critique of my EAP paper, within which I find only one point that necessitates, in turn, further comment from me. [...]

[source: ]

Even if Ward missed the publication of the Erratum, surely he would have seen the above in Carter's Sept. 2 Reply to Ward's "analysis", a reply which - considering Ward's previous "contributions" to the debate - Carter quite graciously concluded:

Robert Ward’s comments are therefore best treated as representing his own assessment of the potential dangers of human-caused global warming. Interested readers can, of course, contemplate and compare the contrasting conclusions that we draw in our two different essays.

Oct 7, 2010 at 8:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

I'd rather have Bob Wards Anger,
than be in an Afghani Sanger.
With the latters height of tension,
I'd settle for his pension!

Oct 7, 2010 at 1:33 AM | RoyFOMR

Roy, mate. Don't give up the day job, eh?

Oct 7, 2010 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterCheshireRed

Re PJB253

Perhaps comments on this BH post might ensure that I don't miss important points on why some people think Bob Ward should be taken with a grain of salt..

Try Bob logic, which usually consists of misplaced appeals to authority. He says-

"those who claim to reinterpret the science, you can usually see that they don't actually have much of an academic publication record."

Bob doesn't have much of an academic publication record, yet claims to be able to reinterpret the science. For "publication record", he's presumably refering to Schneider's PNAS blacklist paper, which was swiftly criticised for it's methodology.

Scientists publish their work in academic journals and they seek to publish their work in the best journals possible, that's how you make a career in science.

True. Scientists have a "publish or perish culture". PR can work the same way. If Bob doesn't get publicity for himself or the people he's paid to represent, he won't get much of a career in PR. We saw the PR importance of journals in the Climategate emails though, with scientists appearing to block or obstruct contrarian papers being published in the 'best journals possible'.

And frankly, if they did submit their ideas to journals, they'd probably be demolished in the process of peer review which is designed to examine the robustness of these ideas.

Yet despite the flawed methodology and incorrect results, the blacklist paper was published by PNAS. Bob seems to have an overinflated idea of what the peer review process is. It's 3-6 'peers' plus an editor giving a paper a once over. It does not guarantee perfection, especially if peers only give papers a cursory review. Jones said during is committee testimony that he'd never been asked to show data supporting his papers. Post-publication, papers are exposed to a wider review and errors are often found. It's not a perfect process.

Bob seems to trip over his own logic here. He's not a climate scientist, yet he seems able to judge and critique papers written by climate scientists in fields Bob is untrained and unpublished in. He says-

But the more I looked at the paper, almost on every sentence there was a question over its accuracy, and I went through one by one, and in the end I couldn't write a paper short enough for publication that detailed all the problems, so I just had to identify the most serious.

Yet Carter's paper was peer reviewed and published, despite all the apparent 'errors' that a non-climate scientist/PR person like Bob could spot so quickly.

So when I went through I found so many glaring errors in it, it seemed to me that it was probably the worst paper that had ever been published about climate change and it just goes to show that the sceptics if they really want to can usually find a place to get their views out.

Or, it shows that someone with a little knowledge regarding climate science, or specific aspects of climate science like, say, statistics can challenge papers that have passed the peer review process and find errors. Assuming they can get their hands on the methodology or data to 'robustly' prove or disprove published papers. Bob is a PR man, not an academic with a long publication record, yet deems himsefl qualified to judge a peer reviewed paper as the 'worst ever published'. If Bob considers himself qualified to make this kind of assessment, why can't McIntyre?

Or, to paraphrase Bob, he shows that the PR people, if they really want to can usually find a place to get their views out, like at ABC.

So in science, when the evidence turns out not to support your theory, you recognise the theory as wrong. I'm afraid that some people in this field almost get to the point, well, if the evidence doesn't match then it is the evidence that is wrong.

Well, you can always hide the decline, adjust the data, hide the data, or hire a PR man like Bob to shout that the evidence is right. As Bob seems to be an expert on all aspects of climate science, and seems to think he's qualified to critique Lindzen's work, it might be good to ask Bob if he knows where Trenberth's missing heat is yet.

Oct 7, 2010 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

doh. Too many quotes, not enough coffee means HTML errors

Oct 7, 2010 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Bob Ward, by his own standards, has no basis to speak on climate.
I for one intend to make sure I fulfill the logical conclusion of his standards and will make sure that I listen to or read nothing of what he says.
Bob obviously has a great new gig: shaking down billionaires by feeding their eccentricities.
I would say that I wish Bob well, but I don't.

Oct 7, 2010 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Bob Ward is a Board member ofthe Science and Media centre: (full on CAGW supporters)

who are funded by (amongst others)


Whilst writing article's attacking EXXON in the Guardian.

Oct 7, 2010 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Is 10:10's Press Manager more qualified to talk about climate change than Bob Ward....

You decide...... No pressure

Job title: Press Manager
Actual job: Making sure as many people as possible know what a great job 10:10 and its supporters are doing.

".....Jonathan started as a writer and sub editor of teenage magazines, interviewing everyone from Britney to Beyonce. In recent years he worked as assistant editor on New! magazine and news editor at Look, but has also written for magazines including Heat, OK!, Reveal, More! and Star. While he's stepped away from the celebrity circus, he's still hell-bent on getting Cheryl Cole to wear a 10:10 tag! Jonathan is married and lives in Herts with his wife, Emma, and son, Alex."

He's interviewed Britney and Beyonce...!!!!!

Oct 7, 2010 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

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