Home > Economic policy, Environment > Moderation problems at the Bolt blog (updated)

Moderation problems at the Bolt blog (updated)

July 4th, 2012

In my previous post, I noted that, while Andrew Bolt had correctly calculated the impact of the carbon tax for the year 2020, he hadn’t completed the analysis by evaluating the impact over the relevant policy timeframe. While I was working on this, Bolt produced another post, linking to this piece by John Humphreys, which suggested errors in my original analysis. I submitted comments to both sites. John noted the error in Bolt’s analysis, but advises me that he is not going to publish comments, and hasn’t yet corrected his own post[1]. I assume he’ll get around to this soon.

I submitted the following to Bolt’s blog

John Humphreys has updated his post to note “John Quiggin has pointed out that there is also a significant problem with the Bolt estimate, since it only calculates the benefit from reduced emissions for one year (2020) instead of adding up the cumulative reductions over multiple years. Good point. This means the Bolt methodology just got a while lot more complicated since it now requires an expected future emissions time series and an expected future emissions time series counter-factual. That task is too big for me at the moment, but [b]it’s fair to say that such a number is going to be quite a bit higher than Bolt’s original estimate[/b].”
(emphasis added) I give a corrected estimate here

Sadly, the comment didn’t make it through moderation, presumably due to an error, so I’m publishing it here.

Update: Another go-round on moderation Andrew Bolt has posted again, indicating that the non-publication of my comment was indeed a moderation error, and acknowledging the need to use cumulative effects rather than those for a single year. As he will see when he does this, his sensitivity estimate is consistent with mine.

Unfortunately, Bolt didn’t follow the link I gave, and therefore repeated the already-refuted claim that my estimated was out by a factor of five, relative to that of Roger Jones. As I’d already pointed out here, the error was due to Michael Bachelard, who applied Roger’s sensitivity analysis to an emissions reduction of 5 per cent, when the reduction relative to BAU is 25 per cent. That obviously explains the factor of 5 divergence. I’ve posted a comment to Bolt’s blog pointing this out, but that comment too is awaiting moderation.

fn1. In the meantime, John H. has noted the erroneous estimates by Michael Bachelard, corrected here, and also some estimates by Christopher Monckton, presumably as a reductio ad absurdam

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  1. Rx
    July 4th, 2012 at 20:28 | #1

    If the Liberal policy was for a market-based carbon reduction mechanism (as it was when Howard endorsed an ETS) Bolt would be singing its praises daily. Plus he wouldn’t hear a word disputing the existence of human-influenced climate change.

    Liberal good, Labor (and Greens) bad – that’s his schtick.

  2. rog
    July 4th, 2012 at 20:28 | #2

    I’m sure it must be a technical problem and not due to any interference by the Champion of Free Speech.

  3. July 4th, 2012 at 20:31 | #3

    Not too long ago Bolt posted a criticism that the ABS unemployment numbers were based on Centrelink benefit recipients. Corrections never made it through moderation.

  4. David Barry
    July 4th, 2012 at 21:10 | #4

    Bolt actually wrote a short post on comment moderation the other day: http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/moderating_issues/

    “Staff cuts mean fewer comments will be moderated (which is why some threads have none showing). There will be no moderating of comments submitted after 5pm.”

  5. John Quiggin
    July 4th, 2012 at 21:12 | #5

    @David Barry Things are obviously getting worse at News. My comment was submitted around 10am.

  6. Freelander
    July 4th, 2012 at 22:23 | #6

    Rupert has been under a lot of pressure late.

    Despite long service to the dark side, the force may no longer be with him.

  7. Jim Birch
    July 5th, 2012 at 12:36 | #7

    I’m thinking it was insufficiently rabid to get through moderation at Bolt’s site. You could have ramped it up a bit.

  8. wilful
    July 5th, 2012 at 12:46 | #8

    I wear it as a bit of a badge of honour having being banned or otherwise unpublished at cattalaxy, bolt’s blog, FreeRepublic, etc. Yet never once have I been rude or disrespectful.

  9. Alphonse
    July 5th, 2012 at 13:14 | #9

    “the comment didn’t make it through moderation, presumably due to an error”

    methinks you presume too much

  10. wilful
    July 5th, 2012 at 13:18 | #10

    Professor, IIRC you’ve opined on the global cost of climate change mitigation (probably in response to Stern, and Bjorn Lomberg’s claims). How does the cost to Australia versus the mitigation achieved fit (within the broadest parameters)?

  11. paul walter
    July 5th, 2012 at 15:44 | #11

    Glad to here your censoring out by Bolt (or his wife) was only an accident; couldn’t imagine them being so dishonest as to obscure relevant material out of fear of exposure or spite..

  12. Freelander
    July 5th, 2012 at 16:19 | #12

    Climate change is not yet obviously catastrophic, so still far too early for politicians to show that leadership we can always rely on.

    Anyway like smoking’s link to cancer, creation versus evolution,the earth centred universe, the jury is still out.

  13. rog
    July 5th, 2012 at 16:39 | #13

    It’s beyond me how Bolt can claim any credibility on scientific matters, his expertise must be close to zero.

  14. Ern Mallee
    July 5th, 2012 at 16:47 | #14

    I admire JQ’s tenacity but it’s an exercise in futility to present facts to a fact-free zone.

  15. July 5th, 2012 at 16:48 | #15

    Oh dear technical issues, a rather lame excuse. It could be true in this case, but if it is always the case then many of us are serially unlucky.
    “Stuck in moderation” a euphemism for “snowball in Hell”

  16. John Quiggin
    July 5th, 2012 at 18:32 | #16

    Curiouser and curiouser. I posted my comment around 3pm, and it hasn’t appeared. But a subsequent Bolt post at 4:23 already has nine comments. I suspect that, with the staff cuts, comments with too many big words may be a problem.

  17. Freelander
    July 5th, 2012 at 21:30 | #17

    3pm? No doubt missed in the coffee break back-log.

  18. Julie Thomas
    July 6th, 2012 at 10:37 | #18

    I went to the Bolt hole, but I couldn’t read much of what he wrote; it was a bit simple. But what really got me interested in him is the title of his book. Did you all know that he has written a book called “Still Not Sorry”.

    ROFL and LMHO but that response so reminds me of my 6 year old nephew’s attitude; we are all hoping that he will grow out of this phase.

  19. Troy Prideaux
    July 6th, 2012 at 13:46 | #19

    John Quiggin :
    Curiouser and curiouser. I posted my comment around 3pm, and it hasn’t appeared. But a subsequent Bolt post at 4:23 already has nine comments. I suspect that, with the staff cuts, comments with too many big words may be a problem.

    I know it’s a sarcastic quip, but that actually wouldn’t surprise me. This is a newspaper the day after the swine flu broke out with worldwide panic and stories of 200 dead in Mexico, lead with an entire front page spread: “Ron Barassi finally shaves his moustache off”

  20. may
    July 6th, 2012 at 16:20 | #20

    well,it’s all of a piece isn’t it?

    the contempt shown to any and all who don’t toe the corporate line.

    the pity of it for the news broadcasting industry is that there is a strong market for news that is factual and can be trusted.

    one gets weary of having to read between the lies.

    it’s not as if the ability doesn’t exist.

    my personal favorite so far is the
    “Saga of Charter Hall vs Tha Hedgies” in the fin last year,it was an epic.
    hedgies…lookat all that moolah.
    Charter Hall….. rack off.)

    if they could only put down the stencil…..union= thug, labor party = faceless men,conservatives =fiscal responsibility(wahhaha)

    the echo chamber of inaccuracy is embarrassing,a week or so ago in the opinion page of the worst australian were three frothing missives(that strangely looked like being written by the same person or a committee)castigating the prime minister for insulting the world at the G8 conference and being told off by a bloke who turned out to be answering a question from a Canadian reporter about a Canadian subject.

    i noticed no correction or retraction,except for the ABC.

    they blame the internet for their demise when we get stuff like “Churchillian”(guaranteed mud splat and fears)applied to some type who looks like a cross between karl rove and roger ailes and pretends that the ABC should somehow be judged by how many news stories it breaks.
    the idea that a publicly funded broadcaster has a charter that doesn’t put money,money,money as the one and only reason to exist seems to be outside his ken.

  21. rog
    July 7th, 2012 at 07:14 | #21

    Obviously Bolt is uninterested in comments to his posts, the main game being the constant feed of populist and muscular conservatism to the media.

    Bolt has stated his belief on climate change and no amount of scientific argument or evidence will change his mind.

  22. Fran Barlow
    July 7th, 2012 at 09:08 | #22

    Interestingly, it’s said (by Stephen Maine) that the recent dumping of Simon Pristel as the editor of the Herald Sun reflected not only the declining circulation and failure of the online revenue model, but the loss of support of “heavy weights” such as Andrew Blot and Terry McCrann.

    Any organisation that deems these two “heavyweights” …

  23. Freelander
    July 7th, 2012 at 09:16 | #23

    Bolt is interested, but only in h e volume, rather than the content of comments. As long as the volume of comments remains Bolt is laughing all the way to the Bank!

    Whether Bolt and his ilk believe a word that they say those words earn them a fortune their skills would gain them no other way. That is what being a “shock Jock” is all about. Never mind the quality,feel the thickness

  24. July 7th, 2012 at 11:36 | #24

    Any discussion of the clothes automatically excludes the reality of their absence.

    Even a discussion about how scant the clothes are, is a win for a naked emperor (see how wonderfully it works on the climate “debate”).

    It is the eyeballs (clicks, ‘reads’ and links) that perpetuate the illusion of Murdoch’s actual power.

    I simply refuse to add to that – no clicks, reads or links from me, ever.

  25. Troy Prideaux
    July 7th, 2012 at 13:41 | #25

    Top news item on Yahoo in the US at the moment – recent extreme weather events across the US have mild skeptics starting to wonder:


  26. Freelander
    July 7th, 2012 at 14:00 | #26

    The jury is still out …

    … to lunch …

  27. may
    July 7th, 2012 at 14:55 | #27

    G20 not G8.

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