As part of the publicity effort for the AARES conference, I was interviewed, along with some of our invited speakers, by the ABC Country Hour. I talked mainly about global warming and (along with Quentin Grafton and Alan Randall) water policy in the Murray Darling Basin, two of the main topics discussed at the conference (I also wrote an opinion piece, which was published here).
Given the audience, we were anticipating the arrival of hotly worded text messages denouncing the IPCC etc. However, the first one in was much more pleasantly amusing “We never had global warming when the world was flat. I blame Christopher Columbus”
fn1. To forestall any pedantic objections to this bon mot I am of course aware that the sphericity of the earth was known from ancient times, and that Columbus’ contribution to the debate was to sail westward on the basis of a massive underestimate of the circumference. I imagine the writer of the text knew this too. The suggestion, popular in anti-science circles, that “scientists all thought the earth was flat” (many examples here) is an illustration of the extent to which anti-scientists are immune to any kind of factual evidence.