Fatalism & Will of God

Sep 2nd, 2009, in Opinion, by

Other worldly factors in climate change, are Indonesian students right?

GLOBAL WARMING - 'GOD'S WILL?'

A report in the Jakarta Post, which said that a significant proportion of young Indonesians were content to regard the current climate change panic as

God's Will

caught my attention, even before my agnostic and atheist friends exploded into mirthful indignation. (Why is it that so many non-believers here, who'd not think to blare out their scepticism back home, tend to take on a noisy resemblance to the long-dead League of Militant Godless - is it a reaction to the local fanatics?)

I'm certainly not an especially godly sort, but it seems to me that these young folks have a broader perspective than the panic-merchants. The more we read of the Gore Brigade, the more we find that their hysteria is manufactured. Gore's own film was faulted by a British court of law, which decreed that, not least in view of the various lies/errors/inaccuracies it contained, showing it in schools had to be accompanied by a bias health warning.

If we think there's a God up there, or even just Mother Nature, then it is patently His, or Her, doing that the climate is changing. Many scientists tell us exactly that, and get stridently abused and even persecuted for saying so. Others insist the climate is not significantly changing, or even going the other way from that which the panickers tell us.

A while ago we had a lengthy thread of argument on IM about climate (Saving the Planet?) and it became so self-absorbed that I gave up reading it. Since then I have paid sporadic attention to the issue, mainly due to my interest in free speech, and what I've learned from reading back and forth into the past decade has worried me about the character of the scientific establishment. A lot of these guys want and need government grants and are unlikely to upset their cosy apple-carts by challenging the in-crowd's prejudices. Why should those people quoted in the Jakarta Post article be held up to scorn for preferring explanations that don't depend on vested interests?

An article in the Wall Street Journal by a Mr. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, in April 2006, reported that

Henk Tennekes was dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Society after questioning the scientific underpinnings of global warming. Aksel Winn-Nielsen, former director of the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, was tarred by Bert Bolin, first head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning climate alarmism. Respected Italian professors Alfonso Sutera and Antonio Speranza disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently losing climate-research funding for raising questions.

He also states that censorship is in vogue in the journalistic sphere.. 'At Science and Nature, such papers are commonly refused without review as being without interest.' Not a very open dialogue, is it?

Lindzen's own experience with a paper he worked on is also worrying.

'...Normally, criticism of papers appears in the form of letters to the journal to which the original authors can respond immediately. However, in this case (and others) a flurry of hastily prepared papers appeared, claiming errors in our study, with our responses delayed months and longer. The delay permitted our paper to be commonly referred to as "discredited." Indeed, there is a strange reluctance to actually find out how climate really behaves. In 2003, when the draft of the U.S. National Climate Plan urged a high priority for improving our knowledge of climate sensitivity, the National Research Council instead urged support to look at the impacts of the warming--not whether it would actually happen.'

God, Nature, man-made, inevitable...? We are not being given the whole story, for sure, and cui bono? In these circumstances, it makes more sense for Indonesians and the rest of us to seek answers from a level we trust, rather than bought-and-paid-for apparatchiks. What is really behind the panic? Is there a hidden agenda?


147 Comments on “Fatalism & Will of God”

  1. avatar Arie Brand says:

    “Well, I didn’t think it likely to have been culled from the W
    Washington Times.”

    Yes Ross, I am aware that this disqualifies the statement for you but people who are less bitten by right wing rancour might think that he is pretty close to the mark.

    “Laugh does anyone really consider Monbiot anything but a loon”

    Oigal, this cheap appeal to a non-existing consensus won’t work. There are heaps of people who take him more seriously than you, in view of your cheap demagogig trick, deserve to be taken.

  2. avatar Ross says:

    Arie, carry on through the weekend if you will – and surely you can find better sources than Monbiot – but I have better things to do since I’m on vacation.
    My rightwing rancour gets a rest when I have time to have fun. I suggest you do the same – time off may soothe your fury at dissenters.

  3. avatar oigal says:

    Sorry Ari then I suppose its only fair to enlighten those who don’t have the pleasure ? or knowing some of the dolts ramblings..

    being gay is arguably more moral than being straight’, because gays are less likely to spawn ’orrible little resource-sucking babies

    there is no point seeking popular assent for the punitive reductions in living standards that he deigns necessary to protect the planet.

    Our problem is that no one ever rioted for austerity. People tend to take to the streets because they want to consume more, not less.

    He wrote about loitering in busy train stations and watching as City workers, who must suffer from ‘a species of mental illness’, hurried home: ‘Stress oozes from them like sweat, anger shudders beneath their skin. Charming people person isn’t he?

    flying across the Atlantic is more evil than child abuse

    and he then described how manmade flight would contribute to a climate calamity that would make ‘genocide and ethnic cleansing look like sideshows at the circus of human suffering’

    Flying is now equal to child abuse???? Ari, the guy is plain out n out nutter, you can surely do better or if you are content to hitch your wagon to this loon..the defence rests..

  4. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Oigal your ‘enlightenment’ comes from some denialist websites that provide unsourced quotes (and copy each other’s statements).

    Talking about nutters you can find some there.

    At any case, my Monbiot quote was an introduction to a post about his ‘debate’ with Plimer that never got going. I will deal with that in another post.

    Enjoy yourself on your vacation, Ross. We won’t miss much in the interim.

  5. avatar Arie Brand says:

    A while ago Monbiot asked Plimer some straightforward questions about the contents of his book. It is amusing to read their correspondence about this. Plimer tried to get out of answering with all kinds of pretexts. At first he insisted on having an oral debate. Monbiot declined for obvious reasons. In that set up all kinds of things can be said for an audience that has no means of instant checking up. “Victory’ then often goes to the best deceiver or holder of the biggest bag of oratorical tricks. So this being rejected P. finally agreed to a written exchange but then he declined to answer because allegedly he didn’t know what edition of his book Monbiot was referring to (the questions don’t require that knowledge – moreover according to a post on Deltoid all these print runs, which have appeared shortly after each other, are the same). Then he wanted to bamboozle Monbiot by asking some very ‘impressive’ questions of his own, allegedly to check up whether Monbiot had read his book. Monbiot answered that he was just a simple journalist who wanted an answer to some very straightforward questions but that a more competent scientist (Gavin Schmidt) had reacted to Plimer’s questions. Yes he has and Plimer is shown up for what he is there.

    Of course all sorts of people can say all kinds of things about Monbiot. As for me I have always found his writings clear, straightforward and informative. That certainly holds for this exchange with Plimer on

    http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2009/09/14/correspondence-with-ian-plimer/

    Gavin Schmidt’s response to Plimer’s questions can be found here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/08/plimers-homework-assignment

  6. avatar Arie Brand says:

    On Tim Lambert’s blog “Deltoid” Plimer has been under fire for some time. Now his veracity is tested on other points as well. For instance, he invited Monbiot to an outback property of his where, in monastic seclusion, he could rethink the matter and change his mind (about Plimer, no doubt). But some people tried to follow Plimer’s own indications and came to the conclusion that, apart from some sheep, there was nothing there.

    Be that as it may I was intrigued by his reference, in his exchange with Monbiot, to his forty years of examining students. I posted the following letter about this on Deltoid:

    “Plimer claimed in his correspondence with Monbiot that he had been teaching for forty years. According to Wikipedia he started his academic career in 1991. That would make it 18 years. However that cannot be right because I remember Plimer being at the University of Newcastle around 1985 – 86. And he had already worked for some time at the University of New England then, after starting his career as a research geologist at Broken Hill.

    Yet I suspect that that forty years is an exaggeration.

    Though I never personally met him at the University of Newcastle we exchanged some barbs in the columns of the educational supplement of The Australian. Not about climate change though.

    Plimer had in fact launched, out of the blue, an attack there on the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in which I was then employed. He called it a ‘cesspool’ and took particular exception to the fact that some people there had, via the Staff Association, tried to get a modicum of democracy in university proceedings. He compared these attempts unfavourably with what was going on in the “real world” where he came from.

    We were very much surprised because to our knowledge Plimer had, with the exception of one figure who was at odds with most of the department and a malicious gossiper, not met any one of us, not attended any of our lectures or read our publications. I had some fun in composing an answer that was published a week later. We heard no more about it.”

  7. avatar Ross says:

    Aaah, this is getting interesting. Touching down from the real world, I enter IM to find Arie revealing a history of personal animosity with the Climate Realist, Plimer.
    Departments of Sociology are usually (though to be fair not always) infested with wierdoes, much like Media Studies, another bogus subject set up by pinks to provide themselves with jobs.
    And Arie wanted to have ‘democracy’ in a place of learning. Echoes of 60s Student Power, perhaps.
    All much more intriguing than the climate panic! Do tell, Arie, and give us a laugh on Monday!

  8. avatar Oigal says:

    Oigal your ‘enlightenment’ comes from some denialist websites that provide unsourced quotes (and copy each other’s statements).

    Laugh…Really???? Well seeing how the quotes are from the same source you use (and the loons own site that really makes it funny..

    Why don’t we try http://www.monbiot.com/archives/1999/07/29/meltdown just for starters.

    It’s really easy to see this guy is a loon, just research any reputable site of the grand Loons history and you will soon see a pattern.

  9. avatar Ross says:

    Since Arie doesn’t take wise rest-breaks in his promotion of fear and panic, I just skipped back before my next outing to offer this interesting item.
    =========
    Media Double-Standard on Global Warming “Censorship”
    By Amy Ridenour (Bio | Archive)
    June 3, 2008 – 22:53 ET

    If you plug the search terms “James Hansen” and “censored” into Google, you get 37,900 results. Do the same search substituting “Roy Spencer” for “James Hansen,” and you get 610 results (the third of which is from Newsbusters [here and here]).

    The media is highly selective about the censorship it covers. Consider the note climatologist Roy Spencer posted on his website today:

    A NOTE ON NASA’S JAMES HANSEN BEING MUZZLED BY NASA

    I see that we are once again having to hear how NASA’s James Hansen was dissuaded from talking to the press on a few of the 1,400 media interviews he was involved in over the years.

    Well, I had the same pressure as a NASA employee during the Clinton-Gore years, because NASA management and the Clinton/Gore administration knew that I was skeptical that mankind’s CO2 emissions were the main cause of global warming. I was even told not to give my views during congressional testimony, and so I purposely dodged a question, under oath, when it arose.

    But I didn’t complain about it like Hansen has. NASA is an executive branch agency and the President was, ultimately, my boss (and is, ultimately, Hansen’s boss). So, because of the restrictions on what I could and couldn’t do or say, I finally just resigned from NASA and went to work for the university here in Huntsville. There were no hard feelings, and I’m still active in a NASA satellite mission and fully supportive of its Earth observation programs.

    In stark contrast, Jim Hansen said whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted to the press and congress during that time. He even campaigned for John Kerry, and received a $250,000 award from Theresa Heinz-Kerry’s charitable foundation — two events he maintains are unrelated. If I had done anything like this when I worked at NASA, I would have been crucified under the Hatch Act.

    Does anyone besides me see a double standard here?

    -Roy W. Spencer

    The University of Alabama in Huntsville

    Answer: Yes. Dr. Spencer is right about the double standard, and also right to note that government scientists have bosses who — quite appropriately — get to set the rules. Not NBC News, not the Washington Post, and not each individual government employee (even the ones who think they are smarter than everybody else). No, the bosses who report to, and sometimes are, directly elected by the public get to set the rules, and employees like Hansen are supposed to follow them.

    If they don’t want to, they can quit — as Roy Spencer did — or even run for office themselves. (I don’t recall James Hansen ever submitting his name on the ballot for public approval.)

    The entire so-called “censorship” controversy is a creation of the media, Hansen himself, and a few other pro-global warming theory activists who are trying to promulgate the absurd notion notion that federal government employees, unlike any other employees anywhere, get to say whatever they want, whenever and wherever they want, while on office time.

    Hansen called it censorship when his employer decided to have its employees coordinate work-related media interviews through a designated office, leaving some of us to wonder how we can possibly be expected to accept the results of complicated global warming models promoted by a guy who doesn’t even understand the definition of a commonplace word like “censor.”

    Hansen even had the chutzpah to refuse to testify before Congress in 2006 because a so-called “skeptic” scientist, the highly-credentialled and far more polite Dr. John Christy, was also invited to testify. Hansen’s effort to get Christy booted from a Congressional panel’s witness list doesn’t quite fit the formal definition of censorship, but Hansen’s intent — to keep Christy from sharing his views — was substantially closer to it than anything the Bush Administration has ever done to Hansen.

    And speaking of ethical violations, government employee Hansen’s refusal to testify to Congress was itself an ethical violation. There may not be a formal rule against it in the rulebook, but Congressmen are the people’s representatives, and Hansen works for the people. When Congress wants information, Hansen should provide it. (Too bad Congress didn’t subpoena him. Let him claim “censorship” while he’s being chased around by U.S. marshalls for his refusal to speak.)

    Dr. Spencer does valuable work at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, but Alabama’s gain was NASA’s loss — the loss of a true professional that few in our blind-eyed news media even realizes, much less acknowledges.

  10. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Hi Ross, aren’t you from Ulster, the place where Dr. Johnson’s dictum that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels seems really have come to life? It is weird that against all geographical evidence with everything you say the words “Deep South” and “Redneck” seem to obtrude themselves. So you have something against sociologists and anthropologists? Yes, it is a dislike you share with all the authoritarian regimes of this planet. I would find it embarrassing if you liked us.

    And what a lovely source you have found to buttress your case that the true scientists of this world are being censored. Amy Ridenour. This is part of what Wikipedia has to say about her:

    “Pro-tobacco, anti-environmental positions

    During the national tobacco litigation, a memo from Philip Morris executive Frank Gomez revealed that Ridenour (under her maiden name of Amy Moritz) had offered “to use any information we can provide re the current anti-tobacco onslaught…”[1] Ridenour wrote many op-eds attacking the filing of lawsuits by state attorneys general against tobacco firms and on tobacco policies, such as “Ironies of the Tobacco Wars,”[2] “Federal Tobacco Lawsuit Could Pave Way for Litigation Tax on Other Industries,”[3] “Latin America Go Home: Tobacco Policies in Foreign Countries Should Be Made by Foreign Countries, Not in U.S. Courts”[4] and “Lawyers’ Fees in Tobacco Case Should Be Capped.”[5] Ridenour said that such lawsuits were improper, that regulation of tobacco was the province of legislatures, not law enforcement, and that private attorneys were using the suits to enrich themselves by many millions of dollars.
    Environmentalists also claimed articles by Ridenour skeptical of the global warming theory were written only because NCPPR received support from ExxonMobil. Ridenour, writing on her blog, countered that her writing on the issue began in 1992, predating by many years her institution’s receipt of any funding from fossil fuel industries. She also claimed that total fossil fuel funding of NCPPR in 2004 amounted to six-tenths of one percent of her organization’s total funding.

    Abramoff connections

    Support for Abramoff clients

    In a series of editorials between 1999 and 2001, Ridenour attacked efforts to expand federal immigration laws to the Commonwealth of the Marianas Islands,[6] defended the islands’ meager wages,[7] and attacked Clinton Administration attempts to tighten labor laws.[8] Ridenour also lent her support to the Western Pacific Economic Council, a trade group composed of Marianas garment manufacturers. Her group’s name appeared in a Saipan newspaper backing the Council in 1999.

    Both the Marianas and the Economic Council were clients of Jack Abramoff at the time. The Marianas paid Abramoff’s firm Preston Gates $1.9 million in 1999 and 2000 and his second firm, Greenberg Traurig, $1.1 million in 2001. The Western Pacific Economic Council paid Preston Gates $2.3 million in 1999 and 2000.
    In 2001, Ridenour wrote an editorial in the Washington Times which attacked the rival of Abramoff’s then-client, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamed. Her article, titled “The U.S. Must Tread Carefully to Avoid Creating More Fundamentalist Islamic Governments,” touted Malaysia as a “prosperous, stable and democratic state” and smeared Mahathir opponent Anwar Ibrahim as an Islamic radical. Abramoff was paid $1.2 million to arrange a meeting between the Prime Minister and President Bush.[9]”

    A pretty grubby dame so to see – but no doubt having the right credentials for you.

    And ah that Spencer. Yes he too fits into the picture. University of Alabama of all places, and a gent who has professed that creationism is more scientific than evolution theory. Where do we go from here? Oh yes he was the genius who, together with his mate Christy, delighted the denialists some years ago by asserting that their satellite data research showed that the troposphere was, in fact, cooling rather than heating up. I remember that Jennifer Marohasy was already crowing in a radio interview that the whole world of climate science was in shock about these amazing results. When I pointed out on her blog that new research had shown that Spencer and his mate were wrong and that they had in fact grudgingly admitted this (see the relevant New York Times item dated August 12 2005 here: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/12/science/earth/12climate.long.html?ex=1281499200&en=2588a631b8c5cc5d&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss) she reacted exactly as Monbiot, in the quote I gave from him earlier, said that these denialists are wont to do: she took the matter in her stride and just moved on to another point.

    The journals became after this non-achievement somewhat more careful with these fellows and last year Spencer had two papers refused by the Geophysical Research Letters, a journal that is otherwise relatively open to people of his ilk. Spencer predictably complained about censorship and I would not be surprised if Ridenour had taken up the cudgels for him on this one as well. Marohasy did.

    Oigal, to show that he had his earlier quote straight from the horse’s mouth and not the denialist websites I believed to be his source, came up with this one in the link he gave:

    “Global warming means that flying across the Atlantic is now as unacceptable as child abuse”

    That does indeed come from Monbiot but that is not what he quoted earlier.

    His quote was then:

    “flying across the Atlantic is MORE EVIL than child abuse “

    And that does come from those denialists’ websites.

    Try again Oigal.

  11. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Incidentally, we are three hours ahead of you and any further comment must be postponed until tomorrow. Sleep well.

  12. avatar Arie Brand says:

    I referred above to Jennifer Marohasy. For those not in the know: Jennifer is a biologist who works for an Australian conservative think tank and maintains a prominent denialist blog. Here is an example of her modus operandi that, as I said, confirms closely to what Monbiot said it was with denialists in general. I will first reproduce my post on her blog on this matter and her reaction and then come up with some additional comment:

    “Jennifer said in a recent interview with Duffy concerning Spencer’s work on satellite data:

    “Marohasy: “That’s right … These findings actually aren’t being disputed by the meteorological community. They’re having trouble digesting the findings, they’re acknowledging the findings, they’re acknowledging that the data from NASA’s Aqua satellite is not how the models predict, and I think they’re about to recognise that the models really do need to be overhauled and that when they are overhauled they will probably show greatly reduced future warming projected as a consequence of carbon dioxide.”

    Duffy: “From what you’re saying, it sounds like the implications of this could be considerable …”
    Marohasy: “That’s right, very much so. The policy implications are enormous. The meteorological community at the moment is really just coming to terms with the output from this NASA Aqua satellite and (climate scientist) Roy Spencer’s interpretation of them. His work is published, his work is accepted, but I think people are still in shock at this point.”

    This aroused my curiosity. I googled far and wide to find evidence of this ‘shock’ but I was singularly unsuccessful. If the climate community is really that stressed it is remarkably good at hiding it.

    What I did find was, inter alia, the following two comments on these satellite data and Spencer’s interpretation of it:

    The first one is by Andrew Revkin in the New York Times (August 2005):

    “The scientists who developed the original troposphere temperature records from satellite data, John R. Christy and Roy W. Spencer of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, conceded yesterday that they had made a mistake but said that their revised calculations still produced a warming rate too small to be a concern.
    “Our view hasn’t changed,” Dr. Christy said. “We still have this modest warming.”
    Other climate experts, however, said that the new studies were very significant, effectively resolving a puzzle that had been used by opponents of curbs on heat-trapping greenhouse gases.”

    The second one is from a study by T.L.Wigley et al, published in the context of the US Climate Change Science Program. This is the first paragraph of the summary:

    “Previously reported discrepancies between the amount of warming near the surface and higher in the atmosphere have been used to challenge the reliability of climate models and the reality of human induced global warming. Specifically, surface data showed substantial global-average warming, while early versions of satellite and radiosonde data showed little or no warming above the surface. This significant discrepancy no longer exists because errors in the satellite and radiosonde data have been identified and corrected. New data sets have also been developed that do not show such discrepancies.”

    Posted by: Arie Brand at April 18, 2008 11:53 PM

    Following on from Arie …

    So they have fixed the initial problems with the satellites measurements.

    But they have not fixed the problem with the surface temperature recordings, to the extent that Ross McKitrick has a published paper suggesting something like 50% of the warming recorded for the US since about 1982 can be attributed to the Heat Island Affect. There is much about this at Anthony Watt’s blog.

    I get the impression the problem with the surface recordings is particularly bad in the US. I am of the opinion, David Jones and others are working hard to avoid this problem with Australian data.

    Posted by: Jennifer at April 19, 2008 12:17 AM

    I thought that Tim Lambert at Deltoid had fairly effectively dealt with this.

    Posted by: Arie Brand at April 19, 2008 07:47 AM”

    Now mind the dates. About three years after Spencer’s data had been shown to be faulty Marohasy still came up with this canard in a radio interview. It is hard not to believe that she was deliberately trying to mislead her audience. Note also the way she blithely acknowledged that she was wrong and immediately picked up another canard: McKitrick’s ‘urban heat island’ effect. Tim Lambert demolished that one long ago as well. And then Anthony Watts.

    Recently he came in the news because he had tried to censor a video on YouTube on ‘copyright grounds’. His real beef was that he had no leg to stand on. Here is the video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_0-gX7aUKk

  13. avatar Ross says:

    Hi Arie, enjoying your expostulations…yes, my genes are Ulster, which gets a bad rap due to the unfair perception that its people are oft-motivated by prejudice, but any grain of truth in that must be tiny compared to your suggestion that because a guy happens to work in Alabama’s university, he must therefore be a ‘redneck,’ and thus condemned. How prejudiced can you get?
    And whence come your genes – a land ne’er troubled by non-PC thoughts?
    Here’s another goodie for your delectation!

    Monday, February 04, 2008
    Lock up climate dissenters, says Suzuki
    David Suzuki, an Officer of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of British Columbia, the holder of 22 honorary degrees, and the greatest living Canadian, according to the CBC, wants not only to silence climate-change dissenters, but also to throw them in jail. Or so he said in a speech last week in Montreal.

    According to the McGill Daily, “He urged today’s youth to speak out against politicians complicit in climate change, even suggesting they look for a legal way to throw our current political leaders in jail for ignoring science – drawing rounds of cheering and applause. Suzuki said that politicians, who never see beyond the next election, are committing a criminal act by ignoring science.”

    What’s the word I’m thinking of here…fanatic? lunatic? Yeah, something like that.

    h/t to Kate.

    Posted by Terry O’Neill on February 4, 2008 in Current Affairs

  14. avatar Ross says:

    Oya, Arie, here’s another redneck, who just happens to be a Green of great renown!

    ===========
    David Bellamy | November 25, 2008
    Article from: The Australian
    WHEN I first stuck my head above the parapet to say I didn’t believe what we were being told about global warming, I had no idea what the consequences would be. I am a scientist and I have to follow the directions of science, but when I see that the truth is being covered up I have to voice my opinions.

    According to official data, in every year since 1998, world temperatures have been getting colder, and in 2002 Arctic ice actually increased. Why, then, do we not hear about that? The sad fact is that since I said I didn’t believe human beings caused global warming, I’ve not been allowed to make a television program.

    My absence has been noticed, because wherever I go I meet people who say: “I grew up with you on the television, where are you now?”

    It was in 1996 that I criticised wind farms while appearing on children’s program Blue Peter, and I also had an article published in which I described global warming as poppycock. The truth is, I didn’t think wind farms were an effective means of alternative energy, so I said so. Back then, at the BBC you had to toe the line, and I wasn’t doing that.

    At that point, I was still making loads of TV programs and I was enjoying it greatly. Then I suddenly found I was sending in ideas for TV shows and they weren’t getting taken up. I’ve asked around about why I’ve been ignored, but I found that people didn’t get back to me. At the beginning of this year there was a BBC show with four experts saying: “This is going to be the end of all the ice in the Arctic,” and hypothesising that it was going to be the hottest summer ever. Was it hell! It was very cold and very wet and now we’ve seen evidence that the glaciers in Alaska have started growing rapidly, and they have not grown for a long time.

    I’ve seen evidence, which I believe, that says there has not been a rise in global temperature since 1998, despite the increase in carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere. This makes me think the global warmers are telling lies: CO2 is not the driver. The idiot fringe has accused me of being like a Holocaust denier, which is ludicrous. Climate change is all about cycles. It’s a natural thing and has always happened. When the Romans lived in Britain they were growing very good red grapes and making wine on the borders of Scotland. It was evidently a lot warmer.

    If you were sitting next to me 10,000 years ago, we’d be under ice. So thank God for global warming for ending that ice age; we wouldn’t be here otherwise.

    People such as former American vice-president Al Gore say that millions of us will die because of global warming, which I think is a pretty stupid thing to say if you’ve got no proof. And my opinion is that there is absolutely no proof that CO2 has anything to do with any impending catastrophe. The science has, quite simply, gone awry.

    In fact, it’s not even science any more; it’s anti-science.

    There’s no proof, it’s just projections, and if you look at the models people such as Gore use, you can see they cherry-pick the ones that support their beliefs. To date, the way the so-called Greens and the BBC, the Royal Society and even political parties have handled this smacks of McCarthyism at its worst.

    Global warming is part of a natural cycle and there’s nothing we can actually do to stop these cycles. The world is now facing spending a vast amount of money in tax to try to solve a problem that doesn’t actually exist.

    And how were we convinced that this problem exists, even though all the evidence from measurements goes against the fact? God knows. Yes, the lakes in Africa are drying up. But that’s not global warming. They’re drying up for the very simple reason that most of them have dams around them.

    So the water once used by local people is now used in the production of cut flowers and vegetables for the supermarkets of Europe. One of Gore’s biggest clangers was saying that the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan was drying up because of global warming.

    Well, everyone knows, because it was all over the news 20 years ago, that the Russians were growing cotton there at the time and that for every tonne of cotton you produce you use a vast amount of water. The thing that annoys me most is that there are genuine environmental problems that desperately require attention. I’m still an environmentalist, I’m still a Green and I’m still campaigning to stop the destruction of the biodiversity of the world. But money will be wasted on trying to solve this global warming “problem” that I would much rather was used for looking after the people of the world. Being ignored by the likes of the BBC does not really bother me, not when there are bigger problems at stake.
    ===========

  15. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Ross, it is quite possible that Spencer is a “Redneck” but when I used that term I didn’t have him in mind. Look again.

    Ah Bellamy, that is a sad story indeed. The man is by origin a botanist and like so many figures who only dwell on the fringes of climate science he couldn’t resist the temptation of meddling in it. In doing so he made various booboos that tarnished his reputation built up in many years of broadcasting and lecturing. One of the most glaring ones had to do with his view that many glaciers were, in fact, not shrinking but growing. On the 16th April 2005 he wrote a letter about it to the New Scientist. I have only been able to retrieve part of it. Here it is:

    “Glaciers are cool

    · 16 April 2005 by David Bellamy, London, UK
    · Magazine issue 2495

    Further to your coverage of climate change and melting ice in the Himalayas (19 March, p 6), it should be pointed out that glaciers in many other parts of the world are not shrinking but in fact are growing.
    Norway’s glaciers are growing at a record pace. All 48 glaciers in New Zealand’s Southern Alps are growing, the Franz Josef by about 4 metres a day. Pio XI, the largest glacier in the southern hemisphere, and the Perito Moreno Glacier, the largest in Patagonia, are also growing despite the fact that they should be melting because of warm winds zephyr’d from El Niño seas.
    Glaciers are real cool in California, where all seven on Mount Shasta are growing apace and three have doubled in size since 1950. Further north, in Washington state, America’s youngest glacier in the crater of Mount St Helens holds a record for fastest-growing lump of ice. …”

    · In short he claimed that glaciers, “are not shrinking but … growing … 555 of all the 625 glaciers under observation by the World Glacier Monitoring Service in Zurich, Switzerland, have been growing since 1980”.

    Now wasn’t that “gefundenes Fressen”, as the Germans say, for the denialist community. Because if it were true it would of course undermine the whole global warming thesis. The ever vigilant Monbiot, who Oigal recently tried to smear so ineffectively, decided to investigate that claim. Here is what he reported in the Guardian of 10th May 2005:

    “So last week I telephoned the World Glacier Monitoring Service and read out Bellamy’s letter. I don’t think the response would have been published in Nature, but it had the scientific virtue of clarity: “This is complete bullshit.” A few hours later, they sent me an email: “Despite his scientific reputation, he makes all the mistakes that are possible.” He had cited data that was simply false, he had failed to provide references, he had completely misunderstood the scientific context and neglected current scientific literature. The latest studies show unequivocally that most of the world’s glaciers are retreating.

    But I still couldn’t put the question out of my mind. The figures that Bellamy cited must have come from somewhere. I emailed him to ask for his source. After several requests, he replied to me at the end of last week. The data, he said, came from a website called http://www.iceagenow.com. Iceagenow was constructed by a man called Robert W Felix to promote his self-published book about “the coming ice age”. It claims that sea levels are falling, not rising; that the Asian tsunami was caused by the “ice age cycle”; and that “underwater volcanic activity – not human activity – is heating the seas”.

    Is Felix a climatologist, a volcanologist or an oceanographer? Er, none of the above. His biography describes him as a “former architect”. His website is so bonkers that I thought at first it was a spoof. Sadly, he appears to believe what he says. But there, indeed, was all the material that Bellamy cited in his letter, including the figures – or something resembling the figures – he quoted. “Since 1980, there has been an advance of more than 55% of the 625 mountain glaciers under observation by the World Glacier Monitoring group in Zurich.” The source, which Bellamy also cited in his email to me, was given as “the latest issue of 21st Century Science and Technology”.

    21st Century Science and Technology? It sounds impressive, until you discover that it is published by Lyndon LaRouche. Lyndon LaRouche is the American demagogue who in 1989 received a 15-year sentence for conspiracy, mail fraud and tax-code violations. He has claimed that the British royal family is running an international drugs syndicate, that Henry Kissinger is a communist agent, that the British government is controlled by Jewish bankers, and that modern science is a conspiracy against human potential.

    It wasn’t hard to find out that this is one of his vehicles: LaRouche is named on the front page of the magazine’s website, and the edition Bellamy cites contains an article beginning: “We in LaRouche’s Youth Movement find ourselves in combat with an old enemy that destroys human beings … it is empiricism.”
    Oh well, at least there is a source for Bellamy’s figures. But where did 21st Century Science and Technology get them from? It doesn’t say. But I think we can make an informed guess, for the same data can be found all over the internet. They were first published online by Professor Fred Singer, one of the very few climate change deniers who has a vaguely relevant qualification (he is, or was, an environmental scientist). He posted them on his website, http://www.sepp.org, and they were then reproduced by the appropriately named junkscience.com, by the Cooler Heads Coalition, the US National Centre for Public Policy Research and countless others. They have even found their way into the Washington Post.

    They are constantly quoted as evidence that man-made climate change is not happening. But where did they come from? Singer cites half a source: “A paper published in Science in 1989.” Well, the paper might be 16 years old, but at least, and at last, there is one. Surely?

    I went through every edition of Science published in 1989, both manually and electronically. Not only did it contain nothing resembling those figures, throughout that year there was no paper published in this journal about glacial advance or retreat.

    So it wasn’t looking too good for Bellamy, or Singer, or any of the deniers who have cited these figures. But there was still one mystery to clear up. While Bellamy’s source claimed that 55% of 625 glaciers are advancing, Bellamy claimed that 555 of them – or 89% – are advancing. This figure appears to exist nowhere else. But on the standard English keyboard, 5 and % occupy the same key. If you try to hit %, but fail to press shift, you get 555, instead of 55%. This is the only explanation I can produce for his figure. When I challenged him, he admitted that there had been “a glitch of the electronics”.

    So, in Bellamy’s poor typing, we have the basis for a whole new front in the war against climate science. The 555 figure is now being cited as definitive evidence that global warming is a “fraud”, a “scam”, a “lie”. I phoned New Scientist to ask if Bellamy had requested a correction. He had not.”

    Yet it must have been a bit of a chastening experience to Bellamy for about two and a half weeks later he published a letter in the The Sunday Times of 29th May 2005 in which he said, among other things:

    “The real climate debate will be resolved in the court of science, not in magazine articles, by the media nor on the rack of heresy. Celebrity can be both a blessing and a curse and in this instance it worries me greatly that my name and the headlines it inspires have been responsible for reducing this most complex of scientific issues to soundbites. I have therefore decided to draw back from the debate on global warming.”

    Unfortunately he didn’t stick to that decision. He has continued to meddle and recently even changed his opinion that the whole issue should be resolved in the “court of science” because he has now declared that the peer reviewed journals are the last place where he will look for information on climate change. Apparently he has a “court of science” all his own. That TV producers are no longer very anxious to follow him there is quite understandable. Apart from all other things the man is 76, for chrissake. He should allow himself a soft and unpublicised descent into crankdom.

    As to his opinion that global warming has stopped in the last ten years: in an earlier post I have indicated three websites that provide detailed arguments why that is not the case. Apparently you haven’t looked at any of them. You would rather pick up the blatherings of “bearded bunglers” such as Bellamy.

  16. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Suzuki seemed to have in the first place Harper in mind. When it ever comes to that I can provide him with a short list of other candidates who deserve a refreshing spell in the slammer.

    What would be the legal basis for this? Criminal negligence. Here is the appropriate definition: “‘A person acts with ‘criminal negligence’ with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.”

    Politicians hold our collective fate in their hands and are supposed to be able to distinguish between information and bullshit and to act on that information.

  17. avatar Ross says:

    Harper is barely conservative in any other than a fiscal sense, but even so, I’d be appalled if people like Arie tried to put him on trial for his perceived disagreement with Arie’s panic propaganda. Political prisoners are just what sociologists abhor, unless they are conservatives, it seems.
    But Gore and Co. have been at this witch-hunting game for a while. Read the following extract, please.
    ===========
    HomeClick Here To Visit The Old BlogAbout The AuthorAl Gore Fired a Dissenter
    December 29, 2008 – 1:12 am

    ——————————————————————————–

    As there can be no dissent from Liberal Environmental Orthodoxy, Al Gore fired Dr. Will Happer. On Monday 22 December, this Princeton University physicist requested to be added to the Senate minority report debunking the assertions that human activities are somehow causing the climate of Earth to change.

    Award winning Princeton University Physicist Dr. Will Happer, who was reportedly fired by former Vice President Al Gore in 1993 for failing to adhere to Gore’s scientific views, has now declared man-made global warming fears “mistaken.”

    “I am convinced that the current alarm over carbon dioxide is mistaken,” Happer, who has published over 200 scientific papers, told EPW on December 22, 2008. Happer made his remarks while requesting to join the 2008 U.S. Senate Minority Report from Environment and Public Works Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-OK) of over 650 (and growing) dissenting international scientists disputing anthropogenic climate fears.

    “I had the privilege of being fired by Al Gore, since I refused to go along with his alarmism. I did not need the job that badly,” Happer said this week. Happer is a Professor at the Department of Physics at Princeton University and former Director of Energy Research at the Department of Energy from 1990 to 1993, has published over 200 scientific papers, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Academy of Sciences.

    “I have spent a long research career studying physics that is closely related to the greenhouse effect, for example, absorption and emission of visible and infrared radiation, and fluid flow,” Happer said this week. “Fears about man-made global warming are unwarranted and are not based on good science. The earth’s climate is changing now, as it always has. There is no evidence that the changes differ in any qualitative way from those of the past,” he added.

    “Over the past 500 million years since the Cambrian, when fossils of multicellular life first became abundant, the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been much higher than current levels, about 3 times higher on average. Life on earth flourished with these higher levels of carbon dioxide,” he explained. “Computer models used to generate frightening scenarios from increasing levels of carbon dioxide have scant credibility,” Happer added.

    The Environmental Left and the news media claim that only a few scientists oppose the concept that Global Warming is caused by human activity.

    “The scientific debate is over,” said CNN’s Miles O’Brien, in 2007. “We’re done.”

    O’Brien, the Senate report also notes, said in 2006 that scientific skeptics of man-made catastrophic global warming “are bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry, usually.”

    Andrew Dessler of the eco-publication Grist Magazine is quoted by the report as stating, “While some people claim there are lots of skeptical climate scientists out there, if you actually try to find one, you keep turning up the same two dozen or so. These skeptics are endlessly recycled by the denial machine, so someone not paying close attention might think there are lots of them out there – but that’s not the case.”

    One must remember, science progresses with open and free debate. Once it is declared that scientific debate is over, one realizes that Global Warming and Climate Changes are not science but nothing more than Liberal Orthodoxy and hoaxes. Human produced climate change, like Darwinian evolution, has become a major tenet of leftist orthodoxy, elevating mankind to omnipotence.

    Such is not the case. Senator Inhofe said when he announced his Minority Report, “The endless claims of a ‘consensus’ about man-made global warming grow less and less credible every day.”

    In apparent agreement with Senator Inhofe are the 31,072 scientists who have signed the following petition.

    We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December 1977, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

    There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

    President-elect Obama’s choice for his science advisor is John P. Holdren, a Harvard University professor of environmental policy. That is, he supports the policy that mankind is somehow able to change the climate of Earth.

    At a recent talk in Washington, Holdren boiled it down to this:

    “Without energy there is no economy. Without climate there is no environment. Without economy and environment there’s no material well being, there’s no civil society, there’s no personal or national or international security. And the problem is that the way we’ve been getting the energy our economies need is wrecking the climate that our environment needs. That is the essence of the problem.”

    He said at the time that he hoped that the next administration would “really break its spear on the question of can we get a sensible climate policy with the Congress and the public behind it” in time to go to the final round of negotiations on a new international treaty late next year “and finally have a voice that is respected by other countries.”

    China, Russian, India, and other countries, which are competing with and rapidly catching up with the United States economically, have basically rejected the concept of human caused Climate Change. Holdren thinks if the United States takes the lead in destroying its economy, other nations will dutifully follow.

    Holdren has said he thinks that if the United States leads with emission reduction requirements, China and the rest of the world will follow, because their countries already are suffering from water and agricultural problems.

    Russia has long disputed and rejected the concept of human-caused Climate Change. Russian scientists “reject the very idea that carbon dioxide may be responsible for global warming.” Considerable opposition is increasing against Global Warming and Climate Change including “a canvass of more than 51,000 scientists with the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta” of which 68% disagree with the assertion that global warming science is somehow a “settled” scientific fact.

    China, Russia, India, and other competitive nations have long since rejected the hoax of global warming and climate change. They will soon overtake the economy of the United States if our leaders foolishly continue to fall prey to the Climate Change hoax. R. May | Posted in Barack Obama Administration, Climate Change, Glob

  18. avatar Arie Brand says:

    In the time that Marxism, so called, was stiill in fashion among social science students you would get students who would give their answer to an examination question a ‘Marxist’ turn. When they were failed they would claim this was because they were ‘Marxists’. The real reason was, of course, that they had given lousy answers.

    When I look at a man as Happer I think the reason that Gore fired him was not because he was a dissenting scientist but, as far as climate science is concerned, a hopeless scientist. Look at the following article and click on the video of his Senate testimony where he comes up with that booboo about our evolvement as a species .

    ” 9 March 09

    National Post Disgraces Itself Again (Again)

    Mitchell Anderson

    Lorne Gunter of the National Post disgraced himself yet again this weekend with another outrageously inaccurate column about something he apparently knows nothing about: climate science.

    Gunter held forward William Happer as his climate skeptic champion to put those dullards at the IPCC to shame. He crows that Happer “is hardly a climate change ‘denier'”, and is instead “one of the world’s leading experts on the interactions of visible and infrared radiation with gases.”

    A quick internet search reveals that Happer is not climate researcher at all. His recent publications relate to MRI imaging in the lungs of rats.

    Perhaps more revealing is that Happer is also the Chairman of the George C. Marshall Institute – a right wing thing tank that has received $715,000 from Exxon Mobil since 1998. The usual list of Exxon-funded hacks have also been involved with this “Institute”, including Sallie Baliunas, Willie Soon, and Patrick J. Michaels.

    Wiki GraphLast week Happer told a congressional committee, “I believe the increase of CO2 (in the atmosphere) is not a cause for alarm.”

    He went on to add: “We evolved as a species when CO2 concentrations were three or four times what are now”. A video of this testimony is available here.

    Is this true? Of course not.

    Here is a graph of atmospheric concentrations of CO2 for the last 450,000 years. Humans evolved as a species about 200,000 years ago.

    The planet has been around for a long time and there is evidence that atmospheric CO2 hundreds of millions of years ago was higher than it is now. However, it is hardly a world that humans would want to live in.

    Radically different atmospheric chemistry during the Carboniferous period allowed millipedes to grow up to ten feet long. How would you like to find one of these critters eating your cat food?big bug

    Happer also reassured Congress that the frightening scenario of positive feedbacks such as carbon and methane release from melting permafrost is nothing to worry about. “The feedback is close to zero and may even be negative.” Prof. Happer testified.

    True? Absolutely not.

    A recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found many of the Earth’s ecosystems are already being pushed close to dangerous tipping points.

    “Everywhere we looked, there was evidence that what was believed to be likely has happened. Nature has been cooperating with climate change theory unfortunately,” warned author Dr. Stephen Schneider, a climatologist at Stanford University.

    Other interesting insights about Happer are covered here in a telling post from one of his former colleagues at Princeton.

    It is also illustrative to look at what media outlets parroted the Happer story last week – minus of course any of the quick fact checking that I just did above.

    A Google news search shows that Happer’s grossly inaccurate testimony was covered by such luminary publications at the American Thinker, Capitalism Magazine, and the Right Side News – in a piece penned by non other than Marc Morano.

    Morano of course is former staffer of Senator Inhofe, who has made a lucrative career out of denying climate science and taking hefty donations from the fossil fuel industry.

    Could it be that Lorne Gunter and the National Post are on Marc Morano’s speed dial in his new gig as a “clearinghouse and one-stop shopping’ for climate and environmental news”?

    The quality of Gunter’s research is so laughably bad that there has to be some explanation.”

    Ross, who will be your next bungler?

  19. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Here is the video:
    http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/video.aspx?v=yd8z4zprSU

    Senator Boxer came up with a common sense question and the condescending way in which this fellow answered her speaks volumes (incidentally he even got the present CO2 level wrong).

    Here is the letter of that other Princeton guy:

    March 9, 2009

    On Will Happer and Lorne Gunter

    Global warming deniers have a champion of the day in Princeton physics professor Will Happer who testified before the U.S. Congress a couple of weeks ago that we are in a carbon dioxide famine, and that we evolved as a species when CO2 levels were 3 or 4 times what they are now (see the video here). As one might expect, National Post columnist Lorne Gunter has happily used him to argue against the existence of a scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change.

    I have a personal angle on this development because I got my physics PhD from Princeton and I was familiar with Professor Happer. I learned at Princeton not to be intimidated by titles or prizes and to try to argue things on the merits. I’ll discuss some science later, but first, here are some facts about Dr. Happer:

    1) Dr. Happer was a proponent of the Reagan administration’s heavily criticized and eventually abandoned “Star Wars” (Strategic Defense Initiative) project.
    2) He was appointed by George H.W. Bush as Director of Energy Research in the U.S. Department of Energy
    3) Soon after the Clinton administration took over in 1993, Happer was fired by Al Gore for not having any urgency in dealing with ozone depletion and climate change.
    4) Happer is currently chair of the George C. Marshall Institute , an organization that has been funded by Exxon (but apparently even Exxon had enough of them) and has been supporting climate change denialism.

    Now some science:

    Happer is an atomic physicist. So he understands a lot about how atoms interact with light, and that, he claims, makes him an expert on climate change. However, of the hundreds of things that go into understanding the effect of greenhouse gases on the earth’s climate, the interaction of infrared radiation with carbon dioxide is one area where we don’t need much expertise. That stuff is all well understood.

    Going back to the first paragraph, our species did not evolve in an atmosphere with 3 or 4 times the CO2 concentration of today. We evolved in the Pleistocene, in the last 2 million years or so, when the climate has been relatively cold and the CO2 concentration has been around 200 ppm (compared to 380 ppm today). Back in the age of the dinosaurs the CO2 concentration was higher, like 1000-2000 ppm but there were no big mammals then and the CO2 concentration certainly didn’t get to that level in the blink of eye (geologically speaking) like what is happening today (to the atmosphere and the oceans).

    From Lorne Gunter’s article: he told Congress, “additional increments of CO2 will cause relatively less direct warming because we already have so much CO2 … that it has blocked most of the infrared radiation that it can.”
    That’s only true at the surface of the earth, but the real action is taking place higher up in the atmosphere where there is little water vapour, the CO2 is not blocking most of the infrared radiation, and any additional CO2 can act like an extra blanket over the earth.

    Over the past decade, while carbon dioxide concentrations have continued to grow, there has been “a slight cooling,”
    Well, convenient for deniers, 1998 was a relatively hot year for the earth’s surface because of a strong El Nino, so even though the ensuing 10 years have been the hottest decade we’ve ever recorded, focusing on 1998 allows deniers to talk about a slight cooling. We just went through a La Nina. Let’s see what the deniers say when the next El Nino hits.

  20. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Ross quoted :

    “In apparent agreement with Senator Inhofe are the 31,072 scientists who have signed the following petition.

    We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December 1977, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.”

    Climate scientists ??? Scientists??

    See this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P8mlF8KT6I

  21. avatar trane says:

    “Trane, you have adopted a rather abrasive manner, and I am not going to respond in kind. If you think you know what books I read, have read or will read, your presumption is all the more alarming.
    Stick with the Ross-Arie exchanges and you will get plenty of reading to keep you busy till Jakarta re-opens after Idul Fitri!”

    Ross you did not answer any of the questions I put to you. What you have done, again, is dodge the point I was making – that to be convincing you had better focus on one author’s argument that supports your view of the world. What you instead do is throw an insult and then fire away with references, regardless of the strength and veracity of the points made in them.

    From your way of writing it seems that you spend more time proofreading for synonyms and catchy insults than checking whether you are making a reasoned argument.

    You just don’t give a shit, and those who don’t agree with you are of course all pinko-red-green-cultural realtivist-islamo-fascist yadah-yadah-yadah.

    Again, point to one author that you want to rest your case on, and let’s discuss. Otherwise, happy ranting, but mind your blood pressure.

  22. avatar Ross says:

    Blood pressure?! I’m just enjoying my week off work to the full, and am certainly not going to get into a lengthy debate with somebody who ends a sentence with ‘yadah-yadah-yadah.’
    Since Arie likes to provide endless quotes from those whom he considers authorities, I am responding in kind, to save myself needless composition. whether replete with catchy insults or not!
    I could focus on one author, but there are wide variations in the arguments against the panic merchants, e.g., how much are we warming, or are we cooling, and to what extent this is influenced by human activity.
    My stance is not that Arie is necessarily wrong, but that his side of the argument is utterly intolerant of dissent, threatening political and career sanctions instead of refutation. I am not, reepeat not, an expert on climate, but neither do I consign my fate to experts of whatever stamp. I am old enough to think for myself, but people who have school-age kids must be alartmed at the one-sided propaganda they’re being spoon-fed. I teach a lot of youngsters and often hear them cite ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ as a concern. I always do my best to inform them that there are two sides, or more, to this debate, and encourage them not to swallow establishment dogma without questioning it first.
    I suppose some of you panickers would condemn any such application of the Socratic method ?

  23. avatar Arie Brand says:

    ‘The Socratic method’? Ross, you are kidding yourself. What you call the ‘Socratic method’ looks to me like sheer bloody-mindedness.

    You wrote:
    .
    ”My stance is not that Arie is necessarily wrong, but that his side of the argument is utterly intolerant of dissent, threatening political and career sanctions instead of refutation.”

    The reason you can write this is that your ignorance of the whole issue is profound – so much has become clear from your posts thus far. The standard denialist arguments have been refuted over and over. I provided for any of the talking points that could be distilled from the Wiki ragbag of opinions you presented earlier, three or four websites with detailed arguments to refute these. I bet you haven’t looked at any of them. Neither have you ever looked, I am sure, at the Wiki set up by the blog ‘RealClimate’ to refute all standard denialist arguments. You are more interested in keeping up your groundless complaint about persecution. The examples you have thus far attempted to give of this are laughable: Bellamy who not only has insufficient control of the facts but also of his own typewriter; Happer who missed the point in his Senate testimony in a grotesque way (as if the question were whether we can still breathe in an atmosphere with 400 plus CO2 rather than whether our present mode of life – agricultural patterns, water supply, settlement spread – can be sustained). The reason why the scientific ‘establishment’ does not take such people seriously is that, as far as climate science is concerned, they seem utterly incompetent. This has nothing to do with persecution or with a conspiracy to keep dissenting opinions at bay.

    This whole conspiracy theory is preposterous.

    As Pascal Diethelm and Martin McKee wrote recently in a different context:

    “Denialism is a process that employs some or all of five characteristic elements in a concerted way. The first is the identification of conspiracies. When the overwhelming body of scientific opinion believes that something is true, it is argued that this is not because those scientists have independently studied the evidence and reached the same conclusion. It is because they have engaged in a complex and secretive conspiracy. The peer review process is seen as a tool by which the conspirators suppress dissent, rather than as a means of weeding out papers and grant applications unsupported by evidence or lacking logical thought. …
    While conspiracy theories cannot simply be dismissed because conspiracies do occur, it beggars belief that they can encompass entire scientific communities.”

    Your ‘arguments’ thus far were so unconvincing that I cannot believe that your denialism has anything much to do with your alleged penchant for the ‘Socratic method’. But it genuinely puzzles me what its real motivation is.

    As Adam Stein wrote:
    ‘Another thing I’d like to hear more about is the deeply reactionary strain in American politics that has turned climate change into an offshoot of the culture war. Oil companies have often been compared to tobacco companies, exaggerating scientific uncertainty to achieve certain favorable policy ends. But at least their motives are clear. What motivates the virulent response to this issue among so many average citizens? In an interesting Q&A with the article’s author, Sharon Begley, someone asks if the motives underlying denialism are purely economic. Begley responds:
    A huge fount of opposition to the emerging science seems driven by ideology as much as, or more than, money…After the US won the cold war, environmentalism became the new communism. It would take a better psychologist, or sociologist, than I to explain why.’

    I must confess that it beats me as well.

    (BTW the article talked about above can be found under http://www.newsweek.com/id/32482)

    As far as the US is concerned there seem to be some explanatory factors. I believe there is a far deeper distrust of government there than is the case in most European countries. Climate change requires an intense governmental effort to counter it. The suspicion is that this can only lead to more governmental control.

    The US is also quite different from Europe as far as the place of religion is concerned. The editor of the Economist recently published a book in which he argued that Christianity gets less and less people to fill the churches in Europe (and Australia) but that everywhere else, including the US, it is on the rise. The fear that global warming could undo us is incompatible with the belief in divine providence. And dare I point it out: the strength of religion is inversely correlated with the literacy and information level of a population.

    I asked you whether you were an Ulster man? You answered rather enigmatically that your genes were from there. Does that mean that you are actually an American? This would explain a bit of your category mistake about the ‘Socratic method’. Incidentally, I pity the kids that are exposed to your delusion on this matter. It is a bit as if a ‘flat earther’ would be asked to teach geography.

  24. avatar Ross says:

    Aaah, Arie, you hang in there, I’ll give you that.
    I’m just home for an hour to change and go forth again, but will respond briefly to just two points,
    A my motivation – nothing sinister; I open my mail eagerly but no fat cheques from powerful oil companies so far.
    I just like to have both sides heard, and you make it clear that nobody on the other side from you is to be credited with brain or honesty. That therefore licenses your panic chiefs to hound them…slightly fascistic streak, but that’s not unusual for uni pinkoes.
    Further to that,
    B
    you note that Americans are very much more suspicious of government than their European and British cousins. And a dashed good thing somebody is.
    Most European Governments, and the UK, treat their subjects much as you, Arie, treat dissenters. with barely disguised contempt.

    We can see this most clearly in the suppression of democratic consultations on the Lisbon expansion of the Fourth Reich aka EU. As soon as it became clear that substantial portions of the citizenry liked using their votes to thwart the elite, referenda were scrapped. Eire is currently being frog-marched back to the polls because the elite won’t take NO for an answer.

    In most of the USA, they luckily have direct democracy, plebiscitary power to the people, which can be utilised to stop over-weening presumption on ther part of the Soros-financed and other political mafias.

    Americans who understand their constitution know it was designed to preserve states’ rights and stop centralisation of control. That’s why they are now beginning to warm up opposition to Obama. Let’s hope Europeans emulate the Americans in this respect.

    Right, you’ve made me late for my appointment at Semanggi – a small victory for the panic merchants!

  25. avatar Arie Brand says:

    So I got it right. You are American and seem to know as much about Europe as you know about climate change.

    I don’t believe that you are really interested in the arguments pro and contra and do want the ‘other side’ to be heard for that reason. If you were we would have seen some evidence of that in this exchange.

    God knows what your real interest in this matter is except for using it as a one more occasion for airing your political prejudices.

    And I find those thoroughly uninteresting.

  26. avatar Oigal says:

    As much as I hate to side with Ross (shudder) and the validity of Climate Change. You have to admit these are a giggle particulary after the holier than thou statements such as

    You are American and seem to know as much about Europe as you know about climate change, I don’t believe that you are really interested in the arguments pro and contra

    followed by

    and do (n’t?) want the ‘other side’ to be heard for that reason.

    What reason..because he’s American?? Surely Ari you are not labouring under that piece of old world clap trap that Europeans are more “worldly” and sophisticated than the rest of us. Dang the silly buggers still cannot stop slaughtering one another in age old tribal hatreds (and more often than not rely on those unsophisticated Americans to stop them slaughtering themselves).

    As for understanding other cultures, Americans to tend to blunder in but invairably with good intentions although implementation tends go astray at times often thanks to their unwarranted trust in their European “Allies”. Could anyone really sugest that the French or Dutch for instance have any greater understanding of other cultures other than the best way to exploit them.

    And finally…

    “Global warming means that flying across the Atlantic is now as unacceptable as child abuse”

    That does indeed come from Monbiot but that is not what he quoted earlier.

    His quote was then:

    “flying across the Atlantic is MORE EVIL than child abuse “

    And that does come from those denialists’ websites.

    Any objective reader would acknowledge that would be the weakest defence of a postion yet seen in this thread. First Ari you denied he said anything of the sort, now you are down to complaining about two words (no reasonable person would deny there the intent of the statement remains unchanged). Oh, and just for fun, he has gone on to use the term “EVIL” in other rants on air travel. Fact is you were hung, drawn and quartered by you own references which is a fairly elementary mistake but understandable when simply sprewing forth the rants of others without thought.

  27. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Oigal I have neither the time nor the inclination to retort at length to your silly rant appealing to some ‘objective reader’, another demagogic figment of your imagination.

    Two points though:

    I wrote about Ross:”I don’t believe that you are really interested in the arguments pro and contra and do want the ‘other side’ to be heard for that reason.”

    If you had elementary reading skills, or the will to use them, you would understand that the second bit of that sentence “for that reason” refers back to the first bit – and not to the fact that R. happens to be American.

    Those reading skills also seem to fail you when you argue that “more evil than” can be equated with “as unacceptable as” (in fact what Monbiot really said was “flying across the Atlantic is as unacceptable, in terms of its impact on human well-being, as child abuse” , a worthy topic for the Oxford Union Debating Society – but no matter).

    This wasn’t the issue though. You tried to claim that the original wording of your quote (with the words “more evil than”) came from Monbiot’s own website, instead of the denialist blogs that I had fingered as the source. That was a lie.

  28. avatar Ross says:

    Where in God’s Name, Arie, did you get the idea that I’m American?
    Some of my best friends are American, also Indonesian, also Australian, also Canadian? Also Scots, English, Ulster and Welsh..sorry, can’t think of any Welsh friends. I often write in solidarity with anti-elite individuals in all those countries, but of which one I’m a citizen, well, Arie, your analytical short-comings are showing, not for the first time, I might add.

    Okay, you are a tad upset to find even Oigal intervening on my behalf, despite our history of mighty disagreements, but why do you get so raspy? Have you some vested interest in promoting odd light-bulbs?
    This is the last day of the vacation here and it’s been so nice I can’t find any spleen to vent on you. Must be getting old, but have a nice weekend anyway.l

  29. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Sorry that I misplaced your particular brand of political spleen. It is somewhat uncommon to find it in a person who doesn’t hail from those parts.

    Well you needed an ally (or two) but Oigal’s ‘support’ didn’t do much for your case. Perhaps it is his roundabout way to get you deeper in the poo.

  30. avatar Ross says:

    How nice!
    Probably if you said that in Canada, the HRC gestapo would be after you for racist incitement against Americans….but no, they only go after Christians and conservatives.

    I suspect if you took a walkabout in Aussie, you’d find lots of normal folk who harbour what you call political spleen. It’s known as patriotism and respect for traditional values.
    Similarly in Britain and much of Europe, where more and more laws are being required by EU diktat to stop citizens expressing anything the elite don’t like.

    What motivates you, Arie? Is it a need to go with the flow among your fellow academics, or do you really have a thing against folks who dispute establishment dogmas? The Christians you loathe so fiercely used to burn heretics at the stake but they got past that stage some centuries ago. The Climate Panickers seem just to be entering it.

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