Don't trust Bureau of Meteorology, says Abbott's business advisor | RenewEconomy

Don’t trust Bureau of Meteorology, says Abbott’s business advisor

Tony Abbott’s main business advisor wants an investigation into Bureau of Meteorology, accusing it of being caught up in global warming politics.


newmanThe title of this article could have read “Don’t trust Bureau of Meteorology, says weather expert”. But, actually, it’s not a weather expert, it’s Tony Abbott’s top business advisor, Maurice Newman, who has called for an ‘independent’ review of the Bureau of Meteorology.

Newman, the former investment banker who once headed the ASX and the ABC,  recently advised the world to prepare for global cooling, and now says he is unhappy with the process of what he calls “homogenising” climate records. In a new column for The Australian newspaper, he says the BoM has become caught up in global warming politics.

“As a member of the World Meteorological Organisation, the BoM is inevitably caught up in global warming politics,” Newman writes. “After all, it was the WMO that part established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and it remains an anthropogenic warming propagandist.”

He went on to say:

“The stated reasons for homogenisation seem arbitrary. It should explain why homogenisation consistently turns cooling trends to warming and why pre-1910 records were dropped and, with them, the extreme heat-waves of the Federation drought.”

This latest question mark from the Abbott camp on a scientific organisation appears to be yet another whirl of the government’s unofficial spin machine, which they’ve already used successfully to paint climate science as superstition – not by government ministers of course (unless you include Barnaby Joyce) – but by their nearest and dearest “advisors”. None of Abbott’s key advisors accept the science of climate change.

None are quite as dogmatic as Newman however. “Nothing short of a thorough government-funded review and audit, conducted by independent professionals, will do” trumpeted Newman in his column for The Australian.

Another recent article in The Australian written by Newman warns not only of global warming being over-estimated by the 197 scientific organisations around the world who warn of the risks of climate change, but rather that global cooling is the most pressing matter and that the world is ill-perpared for ‘the iceman cometh’.

“Having put all our eggs in one basket and having made science a religion, it bravely persists with its global warming narrative, ignoring at its peril and ours, the clear warnings being given by Mother Nature.”

In his latest opinion piece, Newman pulls out an Einstein quote “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”

Quite so.


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  1. Marka 6 years ago

    “As a board member of big companies, Maurice Newman is inevitably caught up in global tax evasion politics”

  2. Rob 6 years ago

    Newman looks pretty silly to some of us already, my guess is it will be less than a decade before he looks silly to almost all of us. Nice legacy for him in that case because he’ll probably still be alive when it happens. Beware the man who allows for no possibility there might be an error in his view. In his case, being wrong and people following his advice results in an horrendous outcome. So it’s considerably more serious than simple garden variety being wrong. The BOM would be justifiably outraged at this vilification by a man who seems to angling for the title of the local village idiot of our times.

  3. Farmer Dave 6 years ago

    I’m interested is his “having made science a religion” line. Clearly it’s a throw-away line aimed at spreading as much manure as possible, but if he really thinks that science is a religion, then he displays such a total ignorance of how science works and of the objective nature of the results of science, that I wonder whether he has any understanding of the processes of science at all. Is he suggesting that if we don’t like the results of science all we need do is to ignore the results we don’t like, and they will go away? (A bit like one of Terry Pratchett’s Disk World gods, who cease to exist if no one believes in them.)

    • Chris Fraser 6 years ago

      Maurice is so right. I’d hate to see a new religion centred on climate science … especially his.

    • Kathy Isaacs 6 years ago

      Agreed, Dave – that’s what I was thinking. Also, science is a religion, so that makes science wrong, but they’re trying to get more religion in schools, and that’s right… why? Something tells me that a bit of scientific rigour wouldn’t go astray in their thinking…

    • Blair Donaldson 6 years ago

      It’s also a cheap shot that saves Newman from having to actually address the science he denies exists. He is a shallow little man with even shallower thinking who worships money above everything else.

      • Benjamin Bikenerd 6 years ago

        No, he supports sun-spot theory as having greater statistical correlation to climate variation than Carbon dioxide emissions does to climate change. Sun spot activity has had the data moving in the opposite direction for the recent 11 years. It went up for twenty from the 1940s then cooled for thirty years to the 1970s then up again until the 2000s -according to scientists and its proponents. Just saying – tho he refused to have climate scientists visit with him when offered this week.

        • Blair Donaldson 6 years ago

          I have listened to a number of researchers explaining their morals and how they can follow all available forcing, including sunspot activity. It’s a nonissue in that the very tiny effect attributed to sunspots is outweighed by other effects here on earth such as volcanoes but even that has been accounted for in the modelling.

      • Paullitely 6 years ago

        A blog that does address the science that exists is at It shows that CO2 cannot possibly be the driver of climate, and Humans cannot change the weather either. The basic natural forces are far far to powerful. It also points out how the original postulates about CO2 making a difference in the weather were derived of speculation and they have NEVER been proven.

        • Blair Donaldson 6 years ago

          Are you that desperate for a readership that you have to promote your conspiracy theories here? I’m always amused that conspiracy theorists always know better than the researchers and organisations who specialise in the particular area of interest.

    • Benjamin Bikenerd 6 years ago

      What he’s arguing from what i can tell is that Science is science, and that whatever percentage of support for an idea/theory/model occurs – the oft touted 97% – is not science in itself, it’s popularity politics, which he’s likening to the charisma/religious fervour which begs everyone abandon reason. He does not see reasons to accept cause and effect arguments from Arctic ice-core studies, the Al Gore documentary, and climate modelling with a multitude of variables alone. Newman supports the ‘sun-spot radiation theory’ as having the most tangible impact on climate. Agree or not, he’s done his reading, that’s for sure.

    • Paul Byatt 6 years ago

      What he means by Religion is that the statements being made that humans, or just CO2 can control the Earth’s weather are not backed by verifiable observations. Adoption of these remarks without confirming the theories put forth with actual observations is just a BELIEF that they are true. THAT – Unverifiable beliefs – is a very good definition for religion.

      • Geoff James 6 years ago

        Err, I doubt that I can change your mind Paul, but honestly there are tonnes of verifiable observations. Many of the observations require difficult modelling to connect them to statements about human influence on climate change. This is because the climate is complex. The models, by the way, are also verifiable and have quite well understood error bounds. Yes, I’m a scientist; no, I’m not a climate scientist; but I can tell serious work from shoddy or biased work.

        • Paul Byatt 6 years ago

          The test of any model in fact the reason for existence of any model is Kenneth predict the past with the curve fit and can’t predict the future with accuracy so far the models put forward by the IPCC do not pass the test

          • Alen T 6 years ago

            The models used by the IPCC are actually designed so they very closely match past trends. The future projections are inherently designed to describe a wide spectrum of possible scenarios and story lines (SRES models in TAR & AR4), and from memory we were tracking the A1 FI case, the high emission scenario. This broad sample size is required in order gain a more reliable uncertainty value. However, science and technology evolved and rather than build storylines, we can input more recent data to gain clearer projections using the RCP models (AR5). The projections are accurate within the uncertainty value.

      • Blair Donaldson 6 years ago

        Paul, perhaps your own theistic views are colouring your judgement? Certainly reliable, accumulated data and sound explanations from climate scientists and modellers hasn’t. Had you troubled yourself to listen to any number of climate scientists explain how they collected data, how they verify it and how they use it in models to determine future climates, you would likely feel a bit embarrassed. Virtually everything you have said is more ideological than factual. Geoff and Alen have already highlighted the misconceptions in your understanding. It’s interesting that you give a climate skeptic and conspiracy theorist some credibility while denying outright the decades of hard work and accumulated data from countless climate researchers and others. That says a lot about your “beliefs”.

  4. John McKeon 6 years ago

    Maurice himself is caught up in global warming politics – at the seriously wrong end of it – the business-as-usual mob who created the politics of global climate change in the first place.

    How could he seriously make a case for a global scientific conspiracy when it is so much easier to read the documented lying and conniving of his mates in the fossil fuel dig-it-up-and-burn-it set?

  5. Chris Fraser 6 years ago

    This is just another tirade against anyone or any group that has contributed to the IPCC studies, which contravenes his world view. Soooooo typical, making a political scapegoat of an uninterested public service. We don’t need to listen to a silly old berk.

  6. Bungarra 6 years ago

    So we spread distrust to ensure that nothing gets done. Bit like the last 2 nights of 4 Corners on Tobacco.

    I find it interesting that alliances between hunters and greens are occurring in the North East USA. bit of a problem when 60% or so of the moose have gone through parasites. Its to warm over winter to kill off the beasties so the host dies. Question there now, what to do about it. Fossil fuel companies look out.

    What will Australia tipping point be?

    Also, from my limited experience in the public service and private sectors before retirement, non science trained managers in areas of scientific activity are more often than not an utter disaster.

  7. Michael Georgeson 6 years ago

    His use of “propagandist” is interesting as he clearly one himself.

  8. David Osmond 6 years ago

    Here’s a nice map of stations that have showed an increased warming trend since homogenisation, and those that show an increased cooling trend.

    They are fairly evenly split. Someone needs to tell Newman, who seems to think they have all been tweaked to show increased warming.

    • Geoff James 6 years ago

      Thank you for finding this, David.

      I find it hard to believe that Mr Newman is expressing his sincere opinion. If he is, what arrogance to presume he knows enough about meteorology to take a considered view on the data analysis? If he isn’t, what a sad spectacle to see a man at the pinnacle of his career perjure himself for a lost cause. A few dollars to help an industry clutch at the wreck of its old business model. while failing to offer a life line to a new strategy for a new era. Pity the poor workers.

  9. Carolyn Janson 6 years ago

    I foresee the government preparing to privatise the BOM. O dear. Still, he fits in perfectly with the rest of the village idiots, all sitting round the table with their porridge spoons, banging them and shouting, More!

    • Chris Fraser 6 years ago

      It does create an interesting picture, although i’m prone to think of those utensils as caviar spoons – and maybe cigars …

  10. Venetta Lee 6 years ago

    You would think with all his fears of globel cooling he would want us to save our coal for when we really need it 😛

  11. Alen 6 years ago

    Both his proclaimed new ‘science religion’ and the old traditional religion seem to be united when it comes to CC, so am I correct in assuming he’s effectively an atheist now?

    I say let them conduct an independent review into the BoM and let everyone see that this organisation is in fact a respected world leader in its approaches and methods, and that it SHOULD be believed when it says warming is occurring, aGW is a reality a significant and growing problem and there is in fact no real ‘pause’. At this point I want to see a full apology by Newman and his likes for ever questioning the BoM with trivial “evidence” (if it can be called evidence is a question in itself)

  12. Kevin O'Dea 6 years ago

    The sheer arrogance of Maurice Newman and Tony Abbott is breathtaking
    in terms of their dispute with mainstream science. I look forward to the daily weather reports and forcasts being subject to political review ie censorship.

  13. john 6 years ago

    The BoM did not just go rip up the data there was a complete open and transparent policy put in place. One problem was that the earlier records were read in a different type of shelter to the present type as well as changes in reading sites etc.
    The methods and results have been peer reviewed and approved.
    This article by the said person is just a smoke screen to create DOUBT the method used by the same crowd of people with regard to Tobacco, SO2, Ozone, CFC’s and now AGW.
    The exact same methods are used over and over again and those who feel that this Science stuff is all over their heads will cling to the propaganda that has been put in print for the last 40 years.
    We need more education in maths and science.
    Those in the science area read these articles and just shake their heads saying “you can not waste your time telling the truth because it legitimises the disinformation”

  14. Jack Wolf 6 years ago

    The guy is a dangerous idiot who will get his soon enough. Nature always bats last, and in an abruptly changing climate, that bat just got a whole lot bigger.

  15. ted markstein 6 years ago


    Join the
    rush back
    to the
    dark ages
    of blind
    Bring back
    the flat
    And never
    a conservative
    and a
    bucket of money.

  16. Marcus Gibson 6 years ago

    When Maurice says this review should be “government-funded” I hope he means people who work in government are going to pay for it? Taxpayers don’t seem to be asking for this? He can’t mean “taxpayer funded”? Surely not. We’d rather have our money spent on something more productive. Maybe create some jobs? Or not spent at all? I admit, I would like my piece of this action back in my pocket where I can not spend it on The Australian.

  17. John Silvester 6 years ago

    It makes you wonder what an “independent” review panel, set up by this government, would look like.

    To ensure independence, you would rule out anyone with any association with the WMO, BoM or IPCC. You would rule out anyone associated with the CSIRO as they have been running the global warming line for many years.

    Possible panel candidates that come to mind:

    Professor Ian Plimer, mining geologists, self-proclaimed climate change expert, has publicised on the subject (definitely not peer-reviewed).

    David Evans, electrical engineer, self-proclaimed rocket scientist, has written on the subject of temperature record homogenisation (blog posts)

    Bryan Leyland, ex journalist, NZ Climate Science Education Trust, with fellow trust members, accused New Zealand Met office of the same kind of tampering with the NZ temperature record. Took the NZ Met office to court to prove tampering of the record to reach a predetermined outcome (warming).

    Lord Christopher Monckton, hereditary peer, self-proclaimed climate change expert, self-proclaimed birth certificate reproduction expert, IPCC contributor, has written widely on climate change, many tv appearances, public lectures and debates on the subject. His Lordship would add gravitas to the panel.

    For balance, someone with some formal meteorological training, say undergaduate degree working as a tv weather forecaster/presenter, preference should be given to those who completed their degree prior to our universities being infected by this global warming hoax.

    To lead this “independent” panel, Dick Warburton. With his proven track record in leading a government review to make recommendations the government was looking for, without proper regard for the evidence.

  18. Shame on The Australian for continuing to give Maurice Newman a platform for his climate denial/global cooling/conspiracy drivel. He may be the PM’s business advisor, but for whatever reason that paper is prepared to give him a platform for spreading misinformation against all scientific knowledge. It reflects very badly on The Australian (Rupert’s fingerprints appear to be all over this). Very disappointing to have a national newspaper encouraging such dangerous twaddle.

  19. Annette Schneider 6 years ago

    As far as I am concerned, there are only two reasons for someone
    being a climate change denialist – they must either be stupid or they
    are what has traditionally known as “evil.” Not having a lot of
    reference to how “evil” is defined, (I suppose I judge people on their
    common decency or lack thereof), I looked up Wikipedia –

    “Desire is the root of evil, illusion is the root of evil.” Gautama Siddharta”
    “American psychiatrist M. Scott Peck.., describes evil as militant ignorance.
    The original Judeo-Christian concept of sin is as a process that leads
    one to miss the mark and not achieve perfection. Peck argues that while most people are conscious of this at least on some level, those that are evil actively and militantly refuse this consciousness. Peck describes evil as a malignant type of self-righteousness which results in a projection of evil onto selected specific innocent victims (often children or other people in relatively powerless positions). Peck considers those he calls evil to be attempting to escape and hide from their own conscience (through self-deception)”

  20. Blair Donaldson 6 years ago

    The arrogance of Newman knows no bounds. He presumes to know more about climate than climate researchers yet I suspect he would feel aggrieved if anyone told him he was way off the mark regarding investments and that he was doing it all wrong.

  21. Interested Observer 6 years ago

    What a bunch of mindless sheep…can you not think for yourselves, but believe all you see on TV? Remember when all the “experts” knew the Earth was flat?
    #1 CO2 is NOT pollution, it is ESSENTIAL for plant growth (a warmer climate is also good for plants)
    Real pollution is a threat along with de-forestation…do something about that.
    #2 Climate “change” is real…it’s been happening for the last 4 billion years or so.
    & will keep happening long after all the humans kill each other.
    Have you ever wondered about the many ice-ages throughout history? The climate cools & then warms up again. Simple.

    • Alen T 6 years ago

      TV? Not much on about climate change on TV at all, if we relied on TV to get our ‘facts’ from Bolt, Abbott and his other cronies we’d join the rest of the denier crew out there. CO2 ESSENTIAL and the more the better hey? well just make sure you forward that bit of news on to the great barrier reef, because at the moment your theory of ‘more is better’ is killing the reef in the form of ocean acidification.

      Climate cools and warms up, hmm who knew…maybe just make sure you pass that bit of information on to the expert climate scientists, major organisations, big cities, countries..etc. that are currently spending billions and billions of dollars on mitigation and adaptation, because from your conclusion all their expert advisers are wrong and they’re throwing their money out the window. Great logic, you must very smart!

      • Interested Observer 6 years ago

        “ocean acidification”?…you’re obviously smarter than me, can you tell me how CO2 mixed with sea water makes acid? I missed that lesson in chemistry.

        • Blair Donaldson 6 years ago

          That will teach you for not paying attention in class. Is well known that CO2 dissolved in water increases the acidity of the water – whether you believe it or not.

    • Blair Donaldson 6 years ago

      The last word you posted sums up your knowledge on the subject. Tell you what, try living while breathing 10% CO2 and tell us it’s not a pollutant and that it’s essential for life.

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