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On the Internet, pretending to be a dog doesn’t help

March 4th, 2011

As I mentioned below, I had an email discussion with Gerard Henderson regarding the proportion of alarmist cranks in the Coalition parties (he says 75 per cent, while I think a near-majority of Liberals and perhaps even some Nats are pro-science). The whole thing has now been posted at his Media Watch Dog site, but with an odd twist.

The conceit of the site is that the material is posted, not by Henderson, but by his dog. As if to demonstrate this, the item (taken directly from our emails) has my name repeatedly mis-spelt as “Quiggan”.

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  1. March 4th, 2011 at 21:12 | #1

    See my earlier comment on your “Fin Review” thread.

    “Sh**ty-foot” would suit these types perfectly.

    His suggestion of 75% cranks is a mixture of projection, hubris, paternalism and wishful thinking.

  2. March 4th, 2011 at 21:14 | #2

    PS: It would be a safe bet that whatever the true percentage, it would be the same in the ALP +/- about 5%.

  3. Donald Oats
    March 4th, 2011 at 21:17 | #3

    Boy. He sure shows an incapacity to spell your surname correctly, Pr Quiggin.

    That aside, I think his estimate of the cranks is closer to the mark, in spite of the previous vote being a close minority for Turnbull – they are cranks who do not like Abbott for leader, that is all :-)

  4. jakerman
    March 4th, 2011 at 21:33 | #4

    According to this survey Just prior to the election, only 38% of coalition agreed humans are heating the planet with GHGs, compared to 87% of Labor.

    http://www.issr.uq.edu.au/sites/default/files/PLCCI-report-Kelly-Fielding.pdf

  5. jakerman
    March 4th, 2011 at 21:42 | #5

    I note that the number who disagree that we are heating the planet (the real cranks) is 28% of the coalition. Compared to 5% of ALP.

  6. jakerman
    March 4th, 2011 at 21:49 | #6

    So JQ is close in if we remove the undecided (or assume pro-rata distribution). And Henderson is close if we count all the undecided as cranks.

    JQ justifiably optimistic, GH ever the pessimist.

  7. jakerman
    March 4th, 2011 at 22:22 | #7

    He is an interesting anomaly, 27% of coalition and 76% ALP believe the IPCC give sound advice. But only 6% of Coalition and 44% ALP recognize a 2 degrees rise as the safe limit to warming.

  8. March 4th, 2011 at 22:54 | #8

    “2 degrees rise as the safe limit to warming”

    Safe?

    No wonder we’re doomed.

  9. jakerman
    March 4th, 2011 at 23:00 | #9

    I think its actually that 2 degrees warming is the point where probability of dangerousness tipping points is 50%. I.e not that safe, as its a toss of the coins as to whether or not we avoid or pass dangerous feedbacks.

  10. m0nty
    March 4th, 2011 at 23:05 | #10

    That misspelling makes me think of Spriggan, the anime about a cyborg warrior. Not sure what that denotes.

  11. Chris Warren
    March 4th, 2011 at 23:21 | #11

    Henderson is one of those rightists who think you can fix the economy with “increasing expenditure” without having the honesty to say where this so-called increased expenditure comes from. In fact it is increased debt. he also support artificially increasing the population.

    But worse – he also denies the savage mass slaughter inflicted on Australian natives in Australian history. Although he may have been writing on Aprils Fools day, nonetheless on on 8 April 2008, Henderson published his claim that:

    …wilful murder or attempted murder engaged in, or sanctioned, by a government or movement never happened in Australia.

    Australian wealth and Australian civilisation is based on, and derived from, the most atrocious and wilful mass murder right across the continent.

    Only rightists deny this fact.

  12. rog
    March 5th, 2011 at 06:42 | #12

    The revolt and mass resignation by those on Turnbulls front bench followed an alleged heated debate over the ETS. So the subsequent leadership vote was essentially on the ETS. But let’s accept Hendos version and calculation that 75% are climate cranks.

  13. Ernestine Gross
    March 5th, 2011 at 07:49 | #13

    When I put “Henderson + Quiggin” as search term in google, a lot of references came up. When I put in “Henderson + Quiggan”, no reference came up.

    JQ, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your FinRev article.

  14. Hal9000
    March 5th, 2011 at 07:59 | #14

    Hendo’s logical thought capacity on at least this issue is somewhat weatherbeaten. His cringeworthy performance a couple of weeks back on Q&A needs to be borne in mind. The question arose as to the role of AGW in the recent series of weather-related catastrophes. Hendo was at great pains to solemnly declare that, as an historian, he could say that there had been weather-related catastrophes in the past. As though this complete non sequitur were a killer argument. And as though arguing from authority added weight to this observation, which had all the persuasive force of ‘my great grandfather smoked and he lived to 90′.

    Sadly, the rest of the Q&A panel were apparently in awe of Hendo’s powers of deduction. It would be a useful service to Q&A listeners to have in the subtitles a fallacy meter for each of the panel members, as well as Tony Jones.

  15. Chris Warren
    March 5th, 2011 at 09:02 | #15

    @Hal9000

    Yes, Henderson’s mode of denial is a form of pretend skepticism.

    His performance was discussed here: HENDERSON

  16. paul walter
    March 5th, 2011 at 11:08 | #16

    A scab.

  17. Alice
    March 5th, 2011 at 11:25 | #17

    If Hendo isnt careful he may end up with a biography as interesting as Piers Ackerman’s on Wikipedia…
    Where do we get these people and how do they end up with any credibility as mainstream journalists?. Its so tacky. Im really surprised Murdoch hasnt thought of recruiting from Long Bay Jail or the Hells angels yet.

  18. Chris O’Neill
    March 6th, 2011 at 16:42 | #18

    @Donald Oats

    I think his estimate of the cranks is closer to the mark, in spite of the previous vote being a close minority for Turnbull – they are cranks who do not like Abbott for leader, that is all

    I’m trying to think of what sort of crank would prefer Turnbull as leader to Abbott. Hmm, still thinking.

  19. March 6th, 2011 at 17:25 | #19

    …wilful murder or attempted murder engaged in, or sanctioned, by a government or movement never happened in Australia.

    …depends on your definition of “movement”.

    Australian wealth and Australian civilisation is based on, and derived from, the most atrocious and wilful mass murder right across the continent.

    …is true.

    It’s an interesting historical curiosity that the colonial government was never engaged in, and made some (fairly half-hearted but actual) attempts to stop settlers from engaging in, the murder of Aborigines. But using that fact as a proxy for the pretence that Australia’s expansion and wealth wasn’t based on mass murder is immensely dishonest.

    Indeed, it’s a good example of the kind of argument that those at the less stupid end of the AGW denialist spectrum often like to make: pretending, primarily so you can con unthinking people, that your cited fact (which is true) disproves another assertion (when it doesn’t).

  20. March 7th, 2011 at 12:49 | #20

    I think, John, that you may have just earned yourself the everlasting fame of a regular weekly spot on Media Watch Dog. Kudos! :)

  21. Flann OB
    March 7th, 2011 at 20:12 | #21

    Philip Coorey in Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald referred to a research paper by the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy in ANU, based on a late 2009 survey of federal MPs, which found about 40 per cent of Coalition MPs were ”climate change deniers” and one-fifth believe climate change warrants an urgent response

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/battle-to-the-death-on-carbon-20110304-1bhym.html

    The study draws on a low sample.

    http://ccep.anu.edu.au/data/2010/pdf/wpaper/CCEP-8-10.pdf

  22. SJ
    March 7th, 2011 at 20:43 | #22

    john b:

    …depends on your definition of “movement”.

    No, no, that’s not necessary. Wilful murders happened on orders from the NSW government:

    The hostilities escalated over the next two years until March 1816, when a group of Aborigines attacked the settlers, killing some and destroying property. As a consequence, Governor Macquarie ordered that “terrible and exemplary punishments” be served on the Aboriginal people in the area. He ordered three military detachments of the 46th Regiment, under the command of Captain Shaw, Captain Wallis and Lieutenant Dawe, to be dispatched to Windsor, Liverpool and the Cowpastures to deal with the Aboriginal community by “punishing and clearing the country of them entirely and driving them across the mountains.” Captain Wallis was assigned to the Airds and Appin areas known as the Cowpastures. Early one morning Captain Wallis and his men came upon the Dharawal men’s camp at Appin. They attacked the men, killing all. While Captain Wallis returned to Sydney, civilians remained and continued to hunt down the Dharawal people. They found the camp where families were staying and shot or trampled them to death with their horses and then drove the remainder of the Dharawal people over the cliffs at Broughton Pass in my electorate on 17 April 1816.

  23. wilful
    March 7th, 2011 at 21:33 | #23

    I have absolutely no idea why anyone ever engages Gerard Henderson in anything remotely resembling public policy debate. he’s stuck back in his salad days, constantly obessing over irrelevancies from 50 years ago. He has no insight into Ausralia in the 21st century. He’s also a really boring writer.

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