Whale Oil – journalist or one eyed crank?

Cameron Slater frequently posts about climate change, citing ‘evidence’ that AGW science is a hoax. He typically posts about narrow climate events or reports claiming they are proof that we have nothing to worry about with climate change.

Yesterday he posted Good climate news that won’t make the NZ Herald – this suggests he is more a one eyed crank than a journalist.

Remember that we are supposedly in a ‘death spiral’ of ever increasing severity of storms and climate events, that will eventually lead to our doom unless we DO something.

Unfortunately the facts and reality aren’t fitting the narrative…the ‘death spiral’ isn’t and the ever increasing numbers of severe storms’ haven’t happened either.

He quotes from the USA Today article:

The U.S. lucked out again this year, as large-scale weather catastrophes — including devastating and deadly hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires — were few and far between.

Not since Superstorm Sandy devastated the Northeast in 2012 has a single natural disaster cost the U.S. tens of billions in damage, according to a report released today by CoreLogic. Sandy cost the U.S. about $70 billion.   

“This is two straight years without big disasters,” said Tom Jeffery, a senior hazard scientist at CoreLogic, a private research and consulting company based in Santa Ana, Calif., that provides information and services to businesses and government.

Hurricanes, large tornado outbreaks and wildfires tend to be the biggest and costliest weather disasters in the U.S. each year, Jeffery said.

Despite the overall quiet pattern, major local flooding occurred in California, Arizona, New York and Michigan this year. Floods in metro Detroit, for example, caused more than $1 billion in damage.

The worst tornado outbreak of the year occurred on April 27-28, when 31 people died in the South and hundreds of homes were destroyed. Overall, 2014 is on track to have the fewest number of tornadoes recorded in the past decade.

Note that this is just about the US. AGW is a global issue. He commented:

Bugger, all those calamity driven headlines went begging.

Never fear we are probably about to get a lengthy article in the Herald about how disastrous life is about to become….despite the distinct lack of evidence….and how it is all our fault because we won’t do anything about regulating a trace gas in the atmosphere.

But he didn’t quote all of the article. He left out the second last paragraph.

Globally, Asia took the brunt of the natural disaster damage this year, due primarily to a series of powerful typhoons that blasted the Philippines, Japan, China and Taiwan, CoreLogic reported.

So there was significant storm activity elsewhere in the world.

And he also left out the last paragraph.

Although the temporary respite in U.S. disasters may continue for a while, it is unlikely to extend much farther into the future, the CoreLogic report stated. “A more likely scenario would be a return to higher numbers and more damaging events.”

And CoreLogic predicts that the lull in the US is likely to be a temporary lull.

If NZ Herald reported on another article like that and omitted the two significant paragraphs Slater would blast them for it – he often blasts NZH for poor journalism.

Slater doesn’t wear his journalist hat when posting about climate change. He wears his one-eyed hat.

Cherry picking an article this blatantly suggests he presumes his audience won’t read all of the linked article, or they are as one-eyed as him and will ignore the inconvenient fact bits.

When Slater is this one sided on an issue it raises questions about why. Playing to an audience? He is too one-eyed to be taken seriously as a journalist? Or is someone paying him to try and discredit climate change?

Leave a comment


  1. Arguing about climate change is a bit like arguing about religion. since the head of state is politically aligned with the alarmists and she’s big on faith-based positions.

  2. Ian McKinnon

     /  4th January 2015

    You seem to have an unhealthy obsession with the successful Slater. Is this because he runs a highly popular and supported blog?

    • He claims to expose crap. Why shouldn’t I expose his crap? There are plenty of valid arguments around climate change. Slater rants, he doesn’t argue a case.

    • And the other side can be just as one eyed blind or stupid. A post coming up on that shortly.

    • Mike C

       /  4th January 2015

      @IanMcK. The reason I enjoy George’s Blog, is because of the fact that he isn’t afraid to go after people like Slater who frequently write grandiose posts, which contain sweeping statements, that are factually disputable or incorrect.

  3. Farmerpete

     /  4th January 2015

    I have lost all respect for WOBH, although I still browse it waiting for the ‘great reveal’ more than anything. Having said that there are many well educated and sensible people who have a problem with the extravagant claims and shaky science of the global warming propagandists.

    • The increasing levels of CO2 really aren’t an issue because CO2 concentration influences the greenhouse effect via a logarithmic function, not a linear one.


      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  4th January 2015

        It is logarithmic but it still increases. This reduces the impact but does not negate it. Other factors are at play, particularly and most importantly the negative feedback of clouds.

        • Yes, there’s evidence of both natural and man-made factors in cloud formation. Henric Svensmark argues that changes in solar radiation affect the cosmic ray flux, which in turn affects the formation of clouds. Aerosols from jet aircraft also play a part, with persistent trails from aircraft sometimes inducing large-scale cloud formation.

          The role of jet aircraft in large scale geoengineering is supported by increased levels of aluminium, barium, and strontium from rainwater where “chemtrails” have been observed.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  4th January 2015

    Almost all MSM articles on climate change are cherry picked by someone with an axe to grind.

    Since there has been little or no global warming for nearly two decades it would be inexplicable on AGW grounds if there was a continuing increase in extreme weather. That obvious point is invariably ignored by alarmists.

    • An essential part of the scientific method is falsifiability. If there’s no warming while CO2 levels continue to rise, then how is the theory not falsified?

      • There can be different reasons. It’s possible that we go into a natural cooling cycle that has a greater effect than the rising CO2 levels, or an equal-ish but opposite effect. The theory isn’t falsified unless you prove a natural static part of the cycle.

        • Seems you’re shifting the burden of proof here, PG. Isn’t the default state that no theory is accepted unless there is supporting experimental data?

          • There’s a heap of data supporting the substantial majority views on climate change.

            There’s scant data supporting the anti-side.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th January 2015

              Sorry, Pete, you are just wrong. There is evidence there is some impact. There is poor evidence that the impact justifies the extreme costs of interventions, most of which to date have been harmful.

            • Alan – I think that’s where the research and debate should be focussed – wherether there’s anything worthwhile we can do about it, and what the other effects of anything we might do might be.

              Cutting NZ emissions by 50% would have a huge impact despite Green claims that waving a clean green wand will fix everything with no adverse effects.

              I think there’s enough evidence that we could have created a potentially significant problem (I don’t buy ‘catastrophic’). There’s insufficient evidence that we can undo changes eneough to make enough of a difference.

              If the planet warms there will be benefits as well as problems. It’s a very complex issue with some fairly compelling evidence of what might happen but insufficient evidence backing measures to address it.

              I think we need a major cross-party study on what should be done. I don’t know what we should be doing.

            • As far as volumes of data go there is way more money for climate scientists who produce alarmist interpretations.

  5. artcroft

     /  4th January 2015

    A good article Pete. I read whale oil for the entertainment but Slater is guilty of all the criticisms he hurls at others. Eg ad hominem attacks, exaggeration, smears, native advertising, you name it he does it. This Freed business should be a complete laugh as far as serious journalism goes.

    • It would be a shame if Freed is tainted by Slater. It would be very interesting to see a credible new media enterprise but Freed seems at risk of inheriting some of the worst of Slater.

      The current comment controls put in at WO are not a good sign, it has become little more than a WO fan club and Freed PR promotion.

  6. Who would pay Slater to dispute global warming? A Lobbyist of some kind?

  7. Alan wilkinson

     /  4th January 2015

    @modelmiss, the link you posted is to a well-documented scam and fraud by a nasty piece of work called Peter Gleick. The documents are false.


  8. @Alan. This news from you does not come as any great surprise to me, because I have not had much success with uploading links in here today 😦

  9. Mike C

     /  4th January 2015

    Slaters been taking money under the table for years, in exchange for writing negative posts about his “Sponsors” opposition.

    If any of you think otherwise, then you are either extremely deluded or brainwashed.

  1. Whale Oil – another crank post on climate change | Your NZ

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