Re-tuning the environmental movement


5:36 pm - December 3rd 2009

by Sunny Hundal    


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Dubbed ‘climategate’, the leaking of emails from University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, seems to have given the self-proclaimed ‘global warming sceptics’ a boost in their worldview.

Inevitably, a lot of the comments and emails have been taken out of the context and twisted to suit the ‘sceptics’. The emails haven’t even been verified for authenticity – they could have been made up. The Times even claimed a lot of data was dumped, when it wasn’t. Misinformation has always been a classic tactic of the deniers.

This isn’t about whether most of global warming is driven by human activity – my position is very clear – but about how to win the public relations battle.

First: recognise this is a PR battle, which means phrasing arguments and putting forward solutions & ideas that people will accept and understand. The green movement still contains too many people who want to live in mud-huts and using as little energy as possible by going back to feudal times of living. I’m afraid that train has long sailed. Our hope is now only in technological solutions (in addition to recycling of course).

Second: Support the direct-action fringe movements. I’m sick and tired of bloggers and media commentators supposedly on the left constantly sneering at direct-action stunts.

These are the people who drive the debate and keep the issue alive. They might piss off the press commentators but don’t be so sure that most of the public hates them too: the British have always valued direct action.

My only caveat here is that organisations such as Plane Stupid should focus on business air travel, lack of investment in rail and subsidising of air fuel – rather than asking people to stop flying. That train has also sailed. I like the way Climate Rush have aligned their work with that of the suffragettes. All power to their elbow.

Generally – the left needs to stop fighting everytime a direct-action group stages a stunt: support them and encourage them.

Third: Don’t buy the argument that tackling climate change hurts poor countries because we’re asking them to stop growing so quick. In fact the Chinese are getting ahead of us in developing clean energy, given how bad pollution is getting there.

At every stage of climate change talks it has always been the poor countries asking for faster action on climate change since they will suffer the most. This argument can be easily and should be constantly rebutted.

Fourth: Given how much antipathy there is towards politicians right now: getting them on side may even be a liability.

The environmental movement should therefore remain anti-politicians and constantly accuse them of pandering to big business and vested interests. Always be on the attack.

Fifth: No retreat, no surrender on the terminology. Jack of Kent asks whether ‘denialism’ is too strong a word.

Look at the people who push global warming denialism: Fox News (enough said), The Telegraph (enough said), The Spectator (recently promoting AIDS denialism), Melanie Phillips (enough said), Christopher Booker (has anyone read his Wikipedia entry recently?), James Delingpole (enough said).

These are the kind of fuckwits (Delingpole, Richard North) who think there’s a conspiracy when their article doesn’t appear on Google News or use Google search hits as example of how big the story is.

Calling them ‘denialists’ is being too kind: they should be abused at every instance for the stupidity they churn out. They should be ridiculed, parodied, cussed, and constantly called out for the idiots they are because they deserve it.

Let the scientists do the science. But outside that world is a media full of bullshit artists who have vested interests in promoting ‘scepticism’. The Spectator magazine’s hosting of the AIDS denialism film is just one small example. If we retreat on this war between ideologies by trying to be nice, while all they do is throw vitriol and propaganda, then we’ve already lost.

The global warming debate is already political because it affects politicsl decisions and public policy. There is money to be made from writing ‘sceptic’ books that feed into the kind of wingnuttery that has fuelled the fortunes of Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck. There is no reason to take these people seriously or even off them an ounce of respect. If that means the political debate is charged – so be it.

Sixth: It is constantly stated that Britons are ‘sceptical’ of global warming. In fact more Britons are convinced by man-made global warming than not. And this percentage has risen rather than fallen in recent years. So the environmental movement is winning the battle on the ground despite what media commentators say.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Two points

1) “The emails haven’t even been verified for authenticity”. Well they haven’t been denied, which is as good an admission that they are genuine as you need.

2) One of the big issues sceptics have is the fact that AGW solutions are all ‘big government’ target setting ones. Note how even the sceptics were satisfied with the Greg Clark suggestion of providing benefits to local communities who accept wind turbines. You’ll get far more acceptance from the right-wing sceptics (and I speak as one) if you don’t try to use CO2 as a reason to load us with masses of extra taxes.

Sunny,

“Calling them ‘denialists’ is being too kind: they should be abused at every instance for the stupidity they churn out. They should be ridiculed, parodied, cussed, and constantly called out for the idiots they are because they deserve it.”

Whereas you are right, of course.

For the first time in ages people who dispute the AGW juggernaut have some tangible evidence to support their views and you reply with such ‘knee-jerk’ tosh.

No wonder some people are sceptical.

To summarise:

I’ve made my mind up and I don’t care about any doubts, so just bully, shout and intimidate any dissent till they go away and shut up.

Nice.

Thanks, Sunny. I agree, in broad terms.
But I don’t buy all the ‘That ship has sailed’ stuff. There is very good reason now to believe that radical behaviour change is going to be an important part of the solution, if there is going to be any solution. Partly, because it is so much quicker than technological change, and so much more effective at slashing emissions.
We need to move onto a war footing, if we are going to win the climate war. So we should take inspiration from how World War Two was won: partly through technology, and partly through awesome behaviour change, very swiftly achieved. For example, food rationing and a huge increase in home-vegetable growing and other resilience-creating actions.
Similarly: key now will be carbon rationing, and resilience creating-actions like that being proposed and introduced by the splendid Transition Towns movement.

Mark,

I think the question of what we do to combat AGW is still very open, but if the right want to have influence in the ongoing debate about it, and over the politicians who will ultimately pass the relevant laws then they surely have to accept that the problem exists.

6. Luis Enrique

Ah, by coincidence, I was making more or less exactly the opposite argument to 2 in another thread. Well, this is exactly the sort of thing it is easy to be wrong about – it’s hard to know exactly what moves public opinion and policy in what ways, and perhaps I’m wrong and Sunny’s right here. Still I’d be happier to see a bit more awareness of the risk that activism can be counter-productive and turn people off.

C’llr. Rupert Read re: Comment 4,

“We need to move onto a war footing, if we are going to win the climate war……”

Just listen to yourself. If George W Bush had talked about a ‘War on Climate ‘ you would have been p*ssing yourself laughing.

8. Luis Enrique

C’llr Rupert. I think you’re quite wrong. Argument why here

Well they haven’t been denied, which is as good an admission that they are genuine as you need.

They can’t deny something that hasn’t been investigated properly can they? Absurd argument.

You’ll get far more acceptance from the right-wing sceptics (and I speak as one) if you don’t try to use CO2 as a reason to load us with masses of extra taxes.

I think the problem is more that the language is framed as extra taxes when it’s actually ending subsidies (especially on pollution – where negative externalities aren’t paid for).

Secondly – a lot of new green thinking is about investment in green energy, weaning ourselves from ME oil and creating new jobs. That still hasn’t won many rightwingers over – which suggest they’re opposed in principle (because it’s primarily driven by the left) rather than what is actually being proposed.

Rupert: There is very good reason now to believe that radical behaviour change is going to be an important part of the solution

That’s only because people are willing to accept radical changes while going through major calamities. What we’re talking here is some extreme flooding or a drought etc. That is unlikely when we have the technology to deal with problems. Otherwise, its easier to push technological solutions than radical change.

People hate radical change unless they’re forced to (by war, for example).

Mark M @ 1

One of the big issues sceptics have is the fact that AGW solutions are all ‘big government’ target setting ones

You cannot be seriously suggesting that the science become more credible the more palatable the solution? Surely the laws of physics remain the same no matter the what the political implications are? You cannot say that ‘I disbelieve the science, because I enjoy driving’, that would be instinctually bankrupt.

11. Shatterface

Your first and second points conflict with each other but at least you acknowledge that. Many of those involved in direct action are of the back-to-the-mudhuts type and PlaneStupids obssession with cheep flights and stag nights in Prague may play well in The Guardian but alienates the rest of us.

As to your third point, China isn’t hindered by democracy and civil liberties. It doesn’t need to persuade it’s population to cut back when it can simply impose restrictions. There aren’t any lessons to learn there for the Liberal Left.

Fourth point, true. With few exceptions politicians are justifiably loathed. They need to be seen to conceed to public demands, not dictate them.

Fifth point, no. The term ‘denial’ is deliberately used to draw comparisons to the Nazis. It leads to border-line fascist arguments like this:

‘We need to move onto a war footing, if we are going to win the climate war. So we should take inspiration from how World War Two was won: partly through technology, and partly through awesome behaviour change, very swiftly achieved. For example, food rationing and a huge increase in home-vegetable growing and other resilience-creating actions.’

Martial law meets The Good Life. Without Felicity Kendall, forget it.

“The green movement still contains too many people who want to live in mud-huts and using as little energy as possible by going back to feudal times of living.”

I’ve met hundreds of people in the green movement and I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone like this characature. I did see a picture once of an eco-home that from the outside looked like a little hill covered in grass and stuff but not having met them I don’t know if this one individual thinks we should all live like that (btw it looked ultra modern inside).

I have heard people say extremely backwards things – but not this stuff.

14. Lucio Buffone

Sunny,

As someone who is actively involved with Plane Stupid, I must say we are focusing on business travel. http://www.planestupid.com/category/blog-tags/london-city Check out our little demo video from the day BA launched it’s business class only 32 seat jet from London City to NYC. A Boeing 777 can hold 368 passengers in 3 class configuration or 500 in economy only, and an airbus A380 can hold 525 in 3 class or 823 in economy only. These figures show that if you want to increase capacity at Heathrow without building a new runway, or going mixed mode on the runways, and reducing the CO2/passenger, it would be very simple to do. A quick scan of the plane stupid website will also show you we want high speed rail to replace domestic flights.

One thing you have missed is that we should also encourage the development of larger turbo-props as these omit half the CO2 of jet engines and as they fly at a much lower altitude they do not omit their greenhouse gases into the upper atmosphere.

Lucio Buffone

The green movement still contains too many people who want to live in mud-huts and using as little energy as possible by going back to feudal times of living

I’ve met a few… and in fact I’ve had a few commenters on PP say that in the past.

shatterface – there are lots of developing countries outside of China.

Fifth point, no. The term ‘denial’ is deliberately used to draw comparisons to the Nazis. It leads to border-line fascist arguments like this

Rubbish.

There is money to be made from writing ’sceptic’ books that feed into the kind of wingnuttery that has fuelled the fortunes of Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck. There is no reason to take these people seriously or even off them an ounce of respect. If that means the political debate is charged – so be it.

There’s money to be made for the opposite camp, as well. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily acting in bad faith.

…while all they do is throw vitriol and propaganda, then we’ve already lost.

Whether one agrees with them or not, people like, say, Anthony Watts and Steve Mcintyre – or even DK and Bishop Hill in our rather more insular world of bloggery – don’t just “throw vitriol and propaganda“. Reply to arguments with ad hominem and you’ll probably come out looking worse off.

In fact more Britons are convinced by man-made global warming than not.

Do you have a source for that?

The term ‘denial’ is deliberately used to draw comparisons to the Nazis. It leads to border-line fascist arguments like this

I’d like to see a Venn diagram of the groups of people who object being called ‘climate change deniers’, who call socialists ‘Nazis’ and who call pro-Europeans ‘federasts’.

I’ll bet good money there are serious overlaps. There’s nothing quite like a right-winger to call foul when a little bile comes their way for a change.

(I see Iain Dale is having a case of the vapours over this blog post those he’s not above his happy little band using ‘federast’ in his comments. It’s always a laugh when that tool calls for a rational debate.)

18. Shatterface

‘Rubbish.’

I could also add that the term ‘denial’ is a handy cop-out for those who would rather dismiss criticism rather than actually engaging with it but you made my point for me.

19. Shatterface

‘I’ll bet good money there are serious overlaps. There’s nothing quite like a right-winger to call foul when a little bile comes their way for a change.’

Wow, where to even start on an anal discharge like that?

I’m neither ‘right-wing’, nor a ‘denier’ and I’d hardly even class myself as a ‘skeptic’ where climate change is concerned but your hissy-fit shows why the Greens aren’t winning any support for their ‘solutions’.

Reply to arguments with ad hominem and you’ll probably come out looking worse off.

How else does one deal with someone so stupid they think that just because the weather has been getting slightly cooler last few years, global warming isn’t happening. Have you tried debating rationally with people who deny evolution?

Here some info on opinion polls:
http://www.grist.org/article/2009-12-01-climate-groups-public-opinion/

It’s worth noting that hardcore sceptics of the Delingpole kind are in the hardcore minority.

Lucio – that’s very encouraging. It just seems a lot of the direct action is aimed at consumer travel, hence my point.

McIntyre and Mann have both confirmed that the emails mentioning them are genuine. None of the other people mentioned have spoken up to deny the authenticity either. I think by this stage we can say with some certainty that they are genuine.

Whether one agrees with them or not, people like, say, Anthony Watts and Steve Mcintyre – or even DK and Bishop Hill in our rather more insular world of bloggery – don’t just “throw vitriol and propaganda“.

Sorry, you’re claiming that on the issue of climate change, DK and BH don’t just throw vitriol and propaganda? I’ve read all DK’s CC posts and many of BH’s, and I’m struggling to come up with anything else (note: reams of irrelevant footnotes and links to crank websites != not propaganda).

@9 Sunny

“They can’t deny something that hasn’t been investigated properly can they? Absurd argument.”

What are you smoking? If I claimed I had an email from you that said “we should shoot all poor people” and released a copy of it to the world are you saying you would wait until it had been investigated before denying it? Of course you wouldn’t – you’d deny it straight away. The same goes for these Phil Jones emails. He knows they exist, and if he knew they were fake he would have said something by now.

“a lot of new green thinking is about investment in green energy, weaning ourselves from ME oil and creating new jobs. That still hasn’t won many rightwingers over – which suggest they’re opposed in principle (because it’s primarily driven by the left)”

Now that I can’t entirely disagree with. I dare say if the market had decided to pursue research into green energy independent of government then right-wingers would be happy. That said, what if MMGW turns out not to be real? What if global warming happens regardless of how much CO2 we emit? How many billions would we have wasted pursuing green energy that we could have better spent adapting to the new world? Of course to recognise that second part you have to accept there is a possibility, however large or small, that the MMGW theory is incorrect. I suspect there are many who are unable to accept that.

John B

I had been congratulating myself on maintaining a very moderate tone throughout the last week and a half. If you could point me to where I’ve engaged in “vitriol” I’d be grateful.

Thanks

Andrew R’s point on H&S/vaccine myths also applies here.

Because people in general are ill-informed about stuff, and are psychologically much worse at remembering negatives than facts, following the rational discourse of “these people say they have data to AGW is fake, but actually their methodology is flawed and here’s a whole bunch of data and exciting endorsements” doesn’t work at winning the public debate, even though it’s true.

The only way we can really counter the CC-denialists is to simplify the public debate. Dig up dirt on them – find out who’s paying them and shout *that* from the rooftops. “Bob Crank says that there’s no global warming? Well, of course he does, he’s being paid by Exxon”. Logically, it’s an ad-hominem in the proper, irrelevant-to-argument sense – but in practice, it makes them look corrupt and dishonest.

(students of right-wing political tactics might care to note that the above tactic – smearing one’s opponents by implying personal dishonesty, despite the fact that it’s completely fucking irrelevant to the logical debate – is exactly what the denialists have just done with the CCU emails…)

People hate radical change unless they’re forced to (by war, for example).

So let’s scare them.

Let’s really scare them.

Let’s scare them so badly, they’ll do anything we tell them.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

27. MarktheTory

Haha good to see how agitated you are shows were getting to you. The fact is man isnt causeing climate change. America is taking climategate seriously unlike the BBC. Us so called sceptics view will soon be the majority view. The man made global warming theory is now seen for what it is Fraud and one of the biggest deceptions in human history.

@BH: DK provides the vitriol; you provide the grossly misleading, reasonable-sounding-to-people-who-know-nothing-about-the-topic propaganda.

Could you therefore 1) apologise for accusing me of engaging in vitriol and 2) point out where I have misled.

Thanks

How else does one deal with someone so stupid they think that just because the weather has been getting slightly cooler last few years, global warming isn’t happening. Have you tried debating rationally with people who deny evolution?

By saying, “that’s stupid, because…“.

Sure, some people dismiss it foolishly, and, in those cases, one can call them out for being foolish. Delingpole, for example – with his endless “AGW IS A LIE BECAUSE OF [NON SEQUITUR]”s.

If, however, somebody has a substantial argument – as many do, on varying elements of the topic – it doesn’t help anybody to dismiss it. If it’s a shit one, it should be easy to pick it apart. If it’s not – but still, very possibly, wrong – it should be argued.

Thanks for the link. While you’re right that the Delingpoles of this country are in a minority, I don’t think it supports your assertion. The Times report it links to claims that…

41 per cent agrees that it is established that climate change is largely man-made. Tory voters are more dubious, at 38 per cent, than Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters (at 45 and 47 per cent).

A third of the public (32 per cent) agree that climate change is happening but believes it has not yet been proven to be largely man-made, while 8 per cent think that the view that climate change is man-made is environmentalist propaganda. Fifteen per cent believe that climate change is not happening.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6916510.ece

John

Yep. In BH’s case I was thinking…*has uploaded the page in another tab* Oooh, apparently I’m just a “pe[rson]-who-know[s]-nothing-about-the-topic“. Why in Christ’s did you ask?

This blogpost incorrectly states my position.

I do not think denialism is a useful term for the purpose of public engagement. I do not say that it is too strong, and I say expressly that other than for public engagement there is nothing against using it.

Best wishes, Jack of Kent

If I claimed I had an email from you that said “we should shoot all poor people” and released a copy of it to the world are you saying you would wait until it had been investigated before denying it?

Yes, except we’re not talking about one email here – we’re talking about over a hundred megabytes of emails. That’s a lot of emails.

Ben – the point is that the biggest group of people accept man made global warming.

. I dare say if the market had decided to pursue research into green energy independent of government then right-wingers would be happy.

Most investment into new technologies is usually driven by govt funding (weapons, aerodynamics, biot technology, even the internet). So that’s not an argument. There are valid reasons to stimulate the industry and then offer subsidies and let competition do the rest. Spain and California are already leading the way.

How many billions would we have wasted pursuing green energy that we could have better spent adapting to the new world?

Either way you’re spending money to wean ourselves off depleting fossil fuels that worsen the environment and degrade nature.

The problem of course is that the opposite is more scary (but you don’t want to admit it) – what if we do nothing and our future generations have nowhere to live?

Sunny

…the point is that the biggest group of people accept man made global warming.

Yeah, but that’s not the same as writing “more Britons are convinced by man-made global warming than not“, which, according to the Times, isn’t true.

“Let the scientists do the science”

Scientists haven’t been doing ‘science’ for quite a few years, in a wide variety of areas. I wouldn’t trust them to tell me the colour of a banana anymore without wishing to see their funding.

They have soiled their own reputation and Climategate is the result.

Further reading: Junk science/studies on alcohol, salt, passive smoking, motoring, meat, TV, prostitution and fast food.

RIP science, long since sold to the highest bidder.

The only way we can really counter the CC-denialists is to simplify the public debate. Dig up dirt on them – find out who’s paying them and shout *that* from the rooftops. “Bob Crank says that there’s no global warming? Well, of course he does, he’s being paid by Exxon”. Logically, it’s an ad-hominem in the proper, irrelevant-to-argument sense – but in practice, it makes them look corrupt and dishonest.

While I think that this is perfectly reasonable in some cases, not everyone in the anti-AGW camp is in the pay of the fossil fuel industry. There is clearly a large faction who are of a right wing libertarian bent who want to deny AGW because they can’t face the obvious implications – people having to accept certain restrictions on their behaviour and concerted action by governments to fight it.
But there are no doubt others who have heard the arguments against AGW and simply find them persuasive and that’s why ultimately we have to argue on the facts, on the basic science, because most of the arguments are pretty easy to refute.
It is frustrating though when people are willing to believe superficially plausible arguments without making an effort to find out if they are factually (or logically) correct, and especially when they keep on parroting those arguments after this has emphatically shown not to be the case.
I can’t say I have read BH or DK’s musings on the subject but the likes of Phillips, Delingpole, Booker, Monckton, Plimer etc are not only pushing anti-scientific, dishonest nonsense but they surely know it to be such. They really do deserve everything which is thrown at them. But people are going to believe them and we ultimately have to politely point out why they are wrong.

Credit to Sunny for avoiding the hysterical “last chance to save the planet” argument. Educating idiots from their own side to deliver meaningful, encouraging comments should be a priority for the environmental lobby. If the Copenhagen summit is really the last chance, I’ll put my name on the waiting list for a Hummer.

And if you accept that industrial activity is causing global warming, and that lives, land and countries are under threat, then surely you would wish to use international fora to discuss what is to be done. Not just reducing future CO2 emissions, but saving people and providing a future for them.

A few daft questions, but I’ll ask them all the same. Developed countries have increased taxes on CO2 creating activities to mitigate against the effects. Effects on whom? Have developed countries used these taxes for international development, focused on the impact of climate change (manmade or otherwise) overseas? Or have they used the money to invest in national “clean energy” companies? Do more people benefit from long term investment (clean energy) or from enabling developing nations to accommodate change? When was the last time you read a story in the broadsheets in which environmental lobbyists demanded practical assistance for people who may die whether or not we cut CO2 emissions by x% in z years?

the left needs to stop fighting everytime a direct-action group stages a stunt: support them and encourage them.

Is this encouragement to break the law?

I object strongly to the morons from plane-stupid interferring in the lives of others. If they don’t like something they should campaign politically just like the rest of us. If they choose to become extreme, as some of the animal welfare nutjobs, then so be it, they can live a very eco-friendly life in a 9 feet square cell.

@32 Sunny

Yes, it is a lot of emails – but I’m pretty sure the jist of the emails is well known (i.e. private admissions of dodgy science practices and potential illegal activity relating to deleting information requested by FOI). If the scientists had never written emails of the sort they would have been out denying them right away.

“The problem of course is that the opposite is more scary (but you don’t want to admit it) – what if we do nothing and our future generations have nowhere to live?”

Ahh, but I do admit that is a possibility. That’s one reason why I’m a sceptic, not a denier. Hence, it makes sense to me to have policy that encourages us to waste less. But as the science isn’t settled that human CO2 emissions cause warming it makes no sense to cripple our economies with over the top targets, especially now as we come out of the worst recession since the 30s.

Yeah, but that’s not the same as writing “more Britons are convinced by man-made global warming than not“, which, according to the Times, isn’t true.

I find the Times poll depressing but not surprising giving the lamentable failure of the media to properly explain the issue and the disproportionate amount of space it gives to people like the ones I mentioned above.
But anyway this kind of opinion poll is irrelevant to the truth of the matter. It’s the science that matters – obviously it’s important that as many people as possible understand the truth, but that doesn’t effect the truth itself.

40. Mike Thomas

Do you understand FORTRAN 77 Sunny?

I do. I’ve gone through the 15,000 line abomination of CRU’s butchered code and facsimile upon facsimile data.

If it’s not the remarks like ‘fudge factor’, ‘Hide the decline’, ‘no correlation’, ‘no integrity’ or ‘trick’ that raise eyebrows.

It’s the actual code and what it is doing.

It alters the Middle Age Warm Period to make the temperature increases smaller.

It removes the 1930s blip

It exaggerates the post 1960 temperatures.

On the subject of the post 1960 temperatures, it performs a trick which has been formally discredited and discouraged by the IPCC themselves.

CRU intersliced their paleoclimate data with real temperature observations. That is a massive scientific no-no.

The result is a temperature curve that is a very, very, very long way from any semblance of the raw data.

There are other remarks, remarks that discuss at length on how the correlation with the raw data after conversion is non-existent. It is ignored.

Other remarks on how data is infilled with made up numbers.

That might be good enough for you Sunny, but equating the need to get the science right, get the right answer is the most fundamental question of our time.

Calling people deniers will only make those that understand the facts more determined to get to the bottom of this.

Here’s some facts for you..

1. Global temperature have not been increasing since 1998 they have been fallen.

2. More research is show a tighter correlation with solar output. This is not a factor in any of the IPCC climate models.

CRU admit they do not know why the planet is cooling. They do not understand why.

Neither can you cannot dismiss this as an isolated incident.

HADCRUT data is THE global surface temperature data source.

It is the temperature source that all the Satellite temperature observations is calibrated on.

There are four major temperature sources, that’s two of them in question. NASA GISS are now withholding their data set from FOI as well.

So that might make three that are of dubious provenance.

Also, it would seem that Al Gore has cancelled giving a lecture at Copenhagen. Clearly too many difficult questions to answer. If the denialists are such a bunch of mis-informed fools, why not face them in debate?

No one is denying the emails are genuine by the way – CRU has accepted this. What is more debatable is whether the contents reveal any genuine malpractice. IMHO they do not.

@32 Sunny: “Most investment into new technologies is usually driven by govt funding…”

Really? The wool and cotton garment spinning industries were privately founded. The industrialists became wealthy very quickly selling to armies, but they would have made it anyway. The mass production iron and steel founders didn’t need the army; most of their products were privately purchased. Industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals, ditto. The only significant contribution of government to the design of the automobile is the layout of brake and clutch pedals (World War I purchasing regulations for lorries).

Today, government is very conservative wrt technology. Military technology is designed around 10 year old embedded computer systems and bizarre radio standards. Projects are managed using the crass PRINCE2 methodology. Come on, when was the last time you purchased a product designed by a government committee?

After a time, governments do adopt new technology. But they drive very little of it.

43. Mike Thomas

41,

So sending out e-mails encouraging colleagues to delete e-mails and also data is what exactly if it is not malpractice?

Deluded.

It is you that is misrepresenting the emails, not the sceptics, Mr Hundal. You are accepting the lies.

The emails are far from the worst of it. The data are impossibly tangled, so a researcher could not make sense of it in three years. The processing software that constitutes the much-vaunted climate models vary from unknown through bug-ridden to fraudulent.

You being in denial is not an argument.

@29 a) no, because I didn’t [see: “on QI, Stephen Fry and Alan Davies flatter people’s need for approval from witty intellectuals who they’d like to befriend and likable idiots to whom they feel superior”]; b) every time you misrepresent a scientist’s attempt to correct for known flaws in the raw data as an attempt to cook the stats in their favour.

@40, have you ever seen any source code, for anything? I’m not a professional developer, but I have, and I know many people who are – and for any application, no matter how well it works, it tends to look a bit like that.

@32/42 most basic research is government-funded; most applied development is privately funded. Only when you have the kind of not-really-commercially-threatened monopoly like AT&T or Xerox in the 1970s, or Intel in the 1990s, do you get private for-profit companies putting serious money into basic research that will advance the general field rather than their specific product.

I can see plenty of denialists on here: they are the ones posting in support of the notion of serious AGW.

Oh look, we’re suddenly getting a loads of wingnuts randomly repeating the same crap with nothing interesting to say.

For the record: this thread isn’t for you. This is for the environmentalists.

If they don’t like something they should campaign politically just like the rest of us.

That’s what they’re doing. At least they don’t just do it behind computer screens.

but I’m pretty sure the jist of the emails is well known (i.e. private admissions of dodgy science practices and potential illegal activity relating to deleting information requested by FOI).

The ‘jist’ is according to you, and doesn’t not cover every single email now does it?

Ahh, but I do admit that is a possibility. That’s one reason why I’m a sceptic, not a denier. Hence, it makes sense to me to have policy that encourages us to waste less.

Oh right, yeah, classic misdirection. No, you’re a denier it’s just that you don’t want to admit it or take things you don’t want to hear to the logical conclusion.

I’ve already said above people aren’t going to accept punitive taxation or immediate radical change. But then we’ve changed a lot in the last 15 years thanks to mobile and internet technology – there’s no reason this can’t happen again. This is already happening in Spain where they now have a surplus of solar energy in many places. It’s happening in California where they’ve just passed laws requiring televisions to be energy efficient and for cars to be have more MPG.

The problem is that ‘sceptics’ like you want to exaggerate even what environmentalists are proposing so you can live in your cocoon world and pretend global warming won’t do anything and we can’t do anything about it.

48. FlyingRodent

You know, when I had toothache last year, I didn’t have it checked out by a load of angry right wing ideologues with a proven track record of wild exaggeration and distorition. I paid a dentist.

Maybe these particular right wing ideologues are right about this, and maybe they’re wrong. All I’ll say is that their record doesn’t inspire confidence. Hilarity, yes, but confidence, no.

So sending out e-mails encouraging colleagues to delete e-mails and also data is what exactly if it is not malpractice?

No data was deleted, nor did anyone encourage any to do so. Yes, suggesting that emails be deleted may have been wrong, but that has nothing to do with the actual science.

“Oh look, we’re suddenly getting a loads of wingnuts randomly repeating the same crap with nothing interesting to say.”

It’s because Iain Dale was kind enough to link to your article, bemoaning the fact that the debate over climate change has become polemical rather than being based on a respectful debate over the science.

I am admiring the contributions by our new right wing friends to elevating the tone of the debate. I’m sure Iain is very proud of them.

1. Global temperature have not been increasing since 1998 they have been fallen.

1998 was an outlier – the hottest year ever (except possibly 2005 depending on which measure you use) due the the strong el Nino of that year. That’s called cherry picking.
The long term trend is still a stong warming one. The current decade is the hottest ever, this year and next are set to be particularly warm. The oceans are still warming even if surface temps have been stable for the last few years, which in itself perfectly consisitent with expected natural variations.

2. More research is show a tighter correlation with solar output. This is not a factor in any of the IPCC climate models.

There has been loads of research and it shows no increase in solar activity which could account for the recent warming. Models do include solar forcing.

CRU admit they do not know why the planet is cooling. They do not understand why.

Given that the planet is not cooling this is obviously untrue.

There are four major temperature sources, that’s two of them in question. NASA GISS are now withholding their data set from FOI as well.

None of them are in question. NASA’s data is publicly available, as is 95% of CRU’s.

I can see plenty of denialists on here: they are the ones posting in support of the notion of serious AGW.

Which specific aspect of the science behind AGW do you dispute?

Andrew Adams

As I live in an area where I can see the results of the glaciation that covered the area until ca 12,000 years ago, I dispute the A bit of AGW.

Andrew K,

But that has no bearing on the question of whether the warming we are seeing now is largely due to human activity.

It’s because Iain Dale was kind enough to link to your article, bemoaning the fact that the debate over climate change has become polemical rather than being based on a respectful debate over the science.

I just saw that now via Neil, who’s done an excellent job of showing him up for the tool he is:
http://bleedingheartshow.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/the-indie-fans-guide-to-political-blogging/

Mr Hundal

What exactly are your qualifications that allow you to judge this issue? Do you actually know anything about science, let alone the physical sciences, let alone the earth sciences? Do you actually have any idea what this all means? If so you show no sign of it in your article or comments.

Science has been tarnished by the revelations at CRU. l care less about the e-mails than l do the data and how it’s represented. ‘Harry’ voiced his condemnation of the database at CRU and then went ahead and produced ‘results’ that he certainly had no confidence in.

Science has to release all data, methods and even code so that any results can be verified or objectively disagreed with.

To do otherwise just degenerates science it into a mere opinion … like you do Sunny except you add venom and insults that you obviously feel you need to bolster your belief. This folly has been used many times in the history to the detrement of science …. usually with a consensus!

“Science has to release all data, methods and even code so that any results can be verified or objectively disagreed with. ”

What is this ‘Science’ of which you speak? Out with it.

All raw data should be published.
All protocols defining the way all raw data was obtained should be published.
All computer codes should be published .
No information should be withheld from the public .
Any data which has been lost or destroyed should be listed for the public record.

As they say in Yiddish , ” Half a truth is a whole lie”.

Yeah, because if data is not released then the first law of thermodynamics becomes invalid.

Charlie2 #59 – you missed out “Otherwise, we’ll just have it stolen.”

Sunni,

Could you add me to your official list of “deniers” before you hand it to Community Wardens to arrest us all in our beds?

Thanks.

63. Mike Thomas

@51.

The oceans are warming.

No, they not and they haven’t been since 2003. Seeing as the oceans store 80% of the planet’s heat, it’s a fairly large clue that not more heat is being put in.

US Clivar report

There are quite a few more peer-reviewed papers on this subject I’m happy to send you – you seem a bit behind the times on this.

Seeing as the Pacific Decadal Oscilliation has moved, the gathering consensus is that the planet could be facing 30 years of cooling temperatures.

As you speak of 1998 so much, GATA (Global Average Temperature) is already lower than 1998.

On the matter of data, Jones has admitted that much of the original data has either been lost or destroyed a fact picked up by Lindzen in the article below. E-mails also detail his desire to delete data rather than hand it over as part of any FOIA.

Lastly, the importance of CO2 as a major forcing element is overplayed instead of others is summarised here by Richard Lindzen, who you would know is the climatologist’s climatologist and a major contributor to IPCC AR3.

WSJ – The Climate science isn’t settled

Enjoy.

Old Holbron,

Could you add me to your official list of “pro-AGW lefties” before you hand it to Revolutionary Guards to shoot us all in our beds?

Thanks.

Neil, only if you try to take my money for your new religion

No, they not and they haven’t been since 2003. Seeing as the oceans store 80% of the planet’s heat, it’s a fairly large clue that not more heat is being put in.

US Clivar report

Your citation does not adequately support your claim, and “since 2003” is far too short a time period to have any real significance. Yes, the data is noisy, but the long-term trend is definitely up. See, for example, Global Ocean Heat Content 1955-2007 in Light of Recently Revealed Instrumentation Problems [S Levitus, JI Antonov, TP Boyer – Geophys. Res. Lett., 2009]

You guys really need to learn that trumpeting every single downward kink in a noisy data series with an obvious and significant positive trend as disproof of the existence of that trend just makes you look silly.

Sunny, it’s very clear you don’t understand the skeptics arguments, remove your foot from your mouth, do some reading, then come back when you have enough brain cells and facts to argue the case.

68. English Electric

Sunny, do you not think your comments are a bit, um, illiberal? You’re very ranty about this and seem to have lost your way a bit.

“The emails haven’t even been verified for authenticity”.

Ha! If this level of ‘argument’ is what the Global Cooling Deniers have to rely on, then the rationalists really have won, and very easily.

70. Sunny's Moderator

Ahem …

•Abusive, sarcastic or silly comments may be deleted

“Tool”? “Wingnuts”?

I’ll just look the other way, shall I?

@66.

Noise?

Five years of declines is not noise, especially as Hansen’s model had increments of 0.86*10^22 joules annual increase. Unmistakable from ‘noise’ considering the modern technology being deployed in the world’s oceans and also the sheer size of the samples of observed points (over 2300). GISS quoted 0.6*10^22 from their models, again, unmistakeable from any ‘noise’.

The cumulative effect of this much heat sunk into the oceans from 2003 to 2008 would be very easy to spot even with statistical ‘noise’. It is not there, it has not been observed which has to raise the question, what on earth are the models modelling?

Especially considering this 2003 prediction from Hansen.

Simulating the 1951-2050 Climate with an Atmosphere-Ocean Model

It simply hasn’t happened.

61. Neil. If the issue of man made climate climate warming is as important as everyone says it is, then all the raw data, a statement on which has been deleted and all computer codes should be made public.

Sunni, I really must thank you for making me laugh so much.

Just because you have an opinion does not make it correct. Stop acting like a bully

@71: There has not been “fives years of declines”. 2003 was a high outlier. All that’s happened is that the trend has reverted to the mean.

You’re like the scum who gathered around Hitler in the 30s, silencing critics with the jackboot.

just substitute “denialist” with “Jew” or “Nigger” or “Queer”.

What is it with you people? You can’t abide dissent from the party line. You are worse than Comical Ali. The whole AGW fraud is unravelling at the seams and you are the denialist.

Agreed the climate is changing. But it’s not down to the exhaust from my car, any more than the supposed hole in the ozone layer was down to the gas in my fridge.

I don’t buy your argument and I won’t stand to be insulted by you and the rest of the Hitleryouth of climate change.

#72. Charlie2 –

“If the issue of man made climate climate warming is as important as everyone says it is, then all the raw data, a statement on which has been deleted and all computer codes should be made public. Otherwise, we’ll just them stolen.

There, fixed.

“Let the scientists do the science.”

Sure. And who are the people who can tell us what we might do about it all? Balancing the costs of mitigation (reducing emissions) adaptation (putting up with the effects) and even remediation (sucking the CO2 back out of the atmosphere)?

Who are the “scientists” who study resource allocation in a constrained world?

That would be the economists, wouldn’t it? Not climate scientists like Michael Mann, Peter Jones or James Hansen….certainly not politicians like Al Gore (or eeek! Caroline Lucas….a PhD in Elizabethan sonnets really is a great preparation for discussing the benefits of say trade or localisation and their respective effects upon emissions, isn’t it?). It would be economists ranging from, say, William Nordhaus through Richard Tol (a lead author on the IPCC) even to Lord Stern. Why, we might even suggest that those who would comment on such matters go and read the economic models (it’s alright, they’re in English, not jargon) which the entire IPCC series of studies is based on. Those models which show that globalisation will always produce better results than non-globalisation.

Meaning that anyone wibbling about constraining trade as a method of reducing climate change has simply fallen at the first hurdle of being entirely ignorant.

Or we might ask people why there are differences between, say, Nordhaus and Stern, on what should be done and how quickly (they both in fact propose much the same thing, only different timescales) they should be done? Anyone who hasn’t grasped the importance of the technological cycle, the current capital base and discount rates will of course be barred from said discussion. For we’ve got to restrict it to the scientists, you see?

And said scientists would be aware of, able to pick apart, the assumptions made by Richard Tol when he states that the current EU plans are too ambitious while those of other countries are not sufficiently so. Someone who cannot is of course not sufficiently educated in “the science” to have a valid opinion now, are they?

Why, we might even restrict our conversation to those who know that the Spanish dash for wind and solar has destroyed millions of jobs. To those who understand that the German feed in tariffs for solar PV cost $1,075 per tonne CO2 not emmitted: that tonne having a cost, according to Stern, of $80. This being known in the technical economic jargon as ” a huge fucking mistake that makes everyone poorer”.

Yes, let’s restrict the science to the scientists. Let’s restrict the discussion of what we should do about it all to those who actually have the first clue about what we should in fact do. Something which excludes around 99% of those people currently proferring their advice…..Plane Stupid, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, The Green Party, the new economics foundation….all barred because they are ignorant.

Hey, I’m all for it….who is with me on this one then?

79. Jules Wright

hardly a ‘liberal’ outlook is it? to be utterly intolerant and abusive of those who don’t agree with your world view. why is the left-of-centre always so afraid of debate, so petulant of criticism, so convinced of its own righteousness?

sunny; if you think there’s an honest debate about AGW then you’re living in a dream world. if you think there’s a clear consensus in its favour, then you’re living in a dream world. if you can’t see the damage to the AGW argument that the CRU revelations have done, then you’re living in a dream world – even climate evangelist monbiot recognises the latter. if you wan’t to know just how badly, then I suggest you visit Devil’s Kitchen for some detailed and withering intellectual dissection on this subject. not something one would find here i might add.

the entire AGW argument has been catastrophically undermined. climate science needs to re-establish a reputation for impartiality and fact if we are to achieve anything approaching a considered, intelligent, consensual and collective view.

however, apparently anyone who disagrees with you is a heretic, to be reviled and mocked. now that hardly “fosters constructive debate.” can you not see what a hypocritical polemicist you appear? your intellectual fundamentalism does you no favours: it actually makes you part of the problem, not a part of the solution. any problem. and any solution.

Sounds to me that you are one of those Global Cooling Deniers, who has been denying the fact that the planet has been cooling for years.
I really think that there is room for more honesty in this debate, especially in light of the verification of truth in the leaked CRU e-mails. JD.

“First: recognise this is a PR battle, …”

Ah, the old Al Campbell defence eh? Forget the facts, let’s just spin our way out of it.

This is a science battle. A battle for the proper practice of science. And if you fail to recognise that then you have learnt nothing from his affair.

@71.

Trend to the mean? What! On what graph and in what model?

It doesn’t exist, there is no mean.

Natural temperature variation is 0.14C +/- 0.44C per decade.

Do you take a mean on a range to include Lamb’s Middle Age Warm Period or Mann’s (dependent on which version, the “hide the decline” version or the most recent “I’ve been busted” version.) or for comedy value on Jones’s or Briffa’s?

Do we take the mean to include 1650-1800, the Little Ice Age.

Do we include temperature from epochs ago when not even the current continential arrangement was in place? Or that the sun was 20/30% less powerful?

Mean of what over what time period? Mean or median, root mean or root deviation from mean?

No, it is all based on when they think CO2 forcing caused by man started making a difference, which is completely arbitary.

So you are talking utter rubbish.

As there is still no actual evidence for AGW, just speculation and conjecture, I think any honest man would be pleased to be in the denier camp. Really what it comes down to is epistemology, and the fact that you can only provide evidence, or proof, of something that exists. A negative cannot be proved. If there was any empirical evidence for AGW there would be absolutely no need to conjure up a ‘consensus’. In fact that consensus we hear so much about is what shows up the weakness of the global cooling deniers’ case.

84. FlyingRodent

I, for one, believe this shower of right wing true believers who have shown up regurgitating some blogger’s one-eyed conspiracism as the acme of the scientifc method… While ostentatiously claiming the mantles of truth, justice, reason and civility… In no way resemble a blogswarm of yammering ideological bores. Why, I almost feel like discussing lots of issues that neither of us understand at all with them.

I happily admit that I have no idea whether the sea is getting warmer, cooler or slowly filling up with inflatable dinosaurs. On the other hand, I can spot a bunch of fruitcakes with bees in their bonnets who think that sucking up a lot of dubious, flatulent arse from Devil’s Kitchen makes them Albert fucking Einstein a mile off.

Who knows? Perhaps everything from the Principia Mathematica to the Manhattan Project was born out of their originators’ wild-eyed desire to get it right up a cavalcade of cackling, left-wing demons that existed only in their addled brains… But I strongly doubt it. And indeed, maybe our wingnut buddies are correct, and global warming is a myth disseminated by leering socialist ogres for their own malevolent ends?

On balance, however, I think it’s far more likely we’re just dealing with some really tedious right wing ideologues, and that’s that.

@9 Sunny

“They can’t deny something that hasn’t been investigated properly can they? Absurd argument.”

The two chief bods involved have stood down – doesn’t that give you just the teeniest weeniest little hint that the claims of ‘bad science’ could be correct? Skewing the results, deleting emails – ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’ as you lot are always saying. Seems like CRU at UEA has a lot to hide. Please add me to your list of ‘deniers’ incidentally. Bet you believed in Blair’s WMDs as well – oh, and the tooth fairy.

‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’ as you lot are always saying

When have ‘us lot’ said that? And relating to what subject?

¨Climategate¨

God be praised the truth is exposed to the sunlight,I shall raise a flute of Champagne to the heavens and toast his timing as we approach that climate con summit thingy..

I shall also bring out of retirement my 1977 Land Rover Defender and enjoy reving the old girls engine while stuck in rush hour traffic driving the hundred yards to the off-licence….the plumes of blue-black smoke rising to the heavens will be magical.

I shall also pray that those who have been made fearful will have found solace in the truth.

Idiot!!!

If you had any credentials to comment on this you would be knee-deep in the Climategate data – rerunning the analyses and trying to understand whether the original alarmists’ predictions had any merit. But you’re clearly not qualified to do that so, in typical leftist fashion, you attack those who disagree with you.

Pathetic!!!!

Perhaps people might light to read the report titled “Ad Hoc Committee on the “Hockey Stick ” Global Climate Reconstruction”. Committee comprising
E Wegman, D Scott and Y Said . I believe the committe was set up by the American Academy of Sciences. This report assesses the statistics used by Mann et al in several reports which were used in the IPCC 2001 Report.The Scientific Basis.

@82: Good grief man, you’re not even wrong. Reversion to the mean of the trend in the actual measured data from the instrumental record, you plonker. You do a regression on the moving average for total ocean heat content, project that forward, and you find that the post-2003 measured values are still within one standard deviation, therefore there is no reason to conclude that the trend has changed.

Do you even understand what the word “trend” means, in a statistical sense?

The “hide the decline” quote-mine refers to a decline in the temperature correlation of one specific tree-ring proxy dataset, post 1960, and has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with ocean heat content.

Jesus, it’s like trying to explain calculus to someone who doesn’t understand arithmetic. Or English.

Although I agree (to some extent) with the sentiments of the post, I am disappointed by it. While it is certainly frustrating to have any sense of a reasoned arguement with people who ‘deny’ climate change or dismiss evolution as rubbish, I don’t think comments such as “These are the kind of fuckwits…” are in any way helpful.

In science, the debate is rarely ever over, and the arguments will continue. There will always be people who deny, dismiss and deminish the overriding scientific consensus. I think it’s important to remain calm and impartial. Only by reasoned debate is it possible to persuade people that the scientific evidence is pointing in a particular direction.

Sadly, it is posts such as this that give cannon fodder to the critics who say “Look, typical lefty argument, don’t agree with them and they spit the dummy and use naughty swear words”.

Bad form, Sunny.

Whereas Godwin-bait such as #75 is merely high-spirited disagreement, right?

On the matter of data, Jones has admitted that much of the original data has either been lost or destroyed a fact picked up by Lindzen in the article below.

But not as an attempt to avoid FOI requests as you implied. And the data is still held by the various met services who collected it.

Lastly, the importance of CO2 as a major forcing element is overplayed instead of others is summarised here by Richard Lindzen, who you would know is the climatologist’s climatologist and a major contributor to IPCC AR3.

Well I think a lot of climatologists would dispute that description but sure, Lindzen in a respectable scientist. But his work on climate sensitivity is deeply flawed – even Roy Spencer, hardly an AGW hawk says so.

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/11/some-comments-on-the-lindzen-and-choi-2009-feedback-study/

“Calling them ‘denialists’ is being too kind: they should be abused at every instance for the stupidity they churn out. They should be ridiculed, parodied, cussed, and constantly called out for the idiots they are because they deserve it.”

Sunny, subsitute the word “denialist” with “Jew”, “Spic”, “Wop”, “Paki”, “Nigger” or “Queer”, “Poof”, “Lesbian”, “Dyke”, etc. and what do you get?

So much for the “Liberal” tag.

Do I believe the climate is changing? Yes I do.

Do I believe is is changing becuase I drive to the shops? No, of course not.

Sunny, there are forces within the cosmos that far exceed that which man can produce. Our planet and our species are so insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe, that burning trees, coal, people or not, is not going to change things one iota. It is interesting that the “climate scientists” are prepared to hoover up vast amounts of taxpayer’s money in order to perpetuate a myth but are not prepared to release their raw data or collation methods so that it can be subjected to rigourous scientific review. so you’ll forgive me if I’m somewhat sceptical about “green” jobs and “green” energy and “green” taxes.

Tell you what, Sunny. This winter, take a trip up to the Arctic Circle and see how “warm” it really is up there.

95. Mike Thomas

@90

Then say that!

It might remain within one standard deviation but then looking at the satellite obs (RSS, UAH) from 2003, there is a tighter correlation also with surface temps which also show a decline.

Libenter homines id quod volunt credunt.

Naturally this goes for both sides.

I don’t have any experience of PR, but something tells me that use of the word “fuckwits”, or indeed one as obviously loaded as “deniers” is probably not considered helpful when conducting a “PR battle”.

There was a Delingpole – Monbiot (the latter has called for Phil Jones to go, as you know) yesterday evening, which unfortunately I couldn’t attend. Anyone seen a write-up?

Well, Sunny, you have proved beyond a doubt that the global warmists have no case at all. If you, or your merry band had a case you wouldn’t need to resort to vitriolic and personal attacks on people who oppose your views. The emails of the so-called scientists revealed by Climategate haven’t just been criticised for their fiddles but also, importantly, for a cover-up based on ad hominen attackes on critics and some very underhanded tactics. If they had a case, and you had a case, they/you would not need to do this.

Personally I believe in climate change because the climate has always changed. I just do not believe it’s man-made, and I’m particularly concerned that so-called AGW is being used to tax us and stick us with huge energy bills via the EU carbon-trading scheme. Instead of all this neo-religious hysteria we must focus on our recession and getting people back to work.

“Tell you what, Sunny. This winter, take a trip up to the Arctic Circle and see how “warm” it really is up there.”

That kind of response is so obtusely naive. It doesn’t need to reach African temperatures in the Arctic Circle for there to be catastrophic consequences on the environment! A few degrees, imperceptible to most of us without a thermometer, would have dire consequences. Melting ice caps and all that.

Try reading a bit before engaging the old comment-fingers.

Hmm, since “subsitute the word “denialist” for…” arguments seem to be the meme du jour, could I just ask – does anyone really believe ‘being an AGW denialist’ is in any way similar to being Jewish or homosexual?

Haven’t you heard about the extermination camps Neil?

Did I say “extermination camps”? Sorry, I meant “happy camps”.

Dr Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said the matter could not be swept “under the carpet”.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8394483.stm

Hey Neil.

Remember when you chided me for getting a bit excited over a couple of stolen emails and you tried to get my posts deleted? It had some legs after all……..

Who made you moderator anyway?.

#97 – Personally I believe in climate change because the climate has always changed. I just do not believe it’s man-made”

So what exact part of the scientific argument in favour of AGW do you think is flawed?

#83 If there was any empirical evidence for AGW there would be absolutely no need to conjure up a ‘consensus’. In fact that consensus we hear so much about is what shows up the weakness of the global cooling deniers’ case.

Eh? The “consensus” isn’t a show of hands or an opinion poll, it’s a body of work composed of many thousands of peer reviewed papers by hundreds of the best qualified scientists in the related fields, which collectively points to an overwhelming conclusion – the earth is warming and human CO2 emissions are the primary cause. To say there is no evidence is bizarre.

Have a look at this

http://dels.nas.edu/dels/rpt_briefs/climate-change-final.pdf

105. Matt Munro

The part where 150 years of reliable data is used to asses the relative importance of changes in the climate since the dawn of time and then extrapolated to “prove” that the world is definately getting warmer and that’s definately a bad thing . It’s a bit like diagnosing cancer and giving a prognisis based on a 10 minute medical.

Also the part where the only possible response is to restrict, regaulate and tax the populance, and make social pariahs of anyone who refuses to ride a bike, change their lighbulbs, recycle their beer cans and put their tv on standby, cos like if we all do that we’ll not only stick it to the evil capitalists but save the planet at the same time man………..

“Remember when you chided me for getting a bit excited”

Yep. Good to see the excitement hasn’t worn off yet.

“[…] tried to get my posts deleted”

I don’t remember that, though.

What I did was ask is if you thought re-publishing stolen private e-mails (on someone else’s blog) was a good idea. I won’t ask again, because, well, obviously you do. Nice, principled libertarianism at work.

Or are you referring to the time you repeated a nasty paedo-smear?

“Peer review” – as I know from having peer-reviewed papers in a very different field in the past – has nothing to do with verification.

Please stop using this phrase as if it does.

The verification/replication/refutation process takes place after publication, not before.

Assuming the author(s) are prepared to show their working that is…which Jones et al. were clearly not prepared to do. Hence (eg) Monbiot’s call for him to go.

“We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.”

Erm, that’s how science works. That’s why.

See here for a discussion of the peer-review issues which ClimateGate raises.

http://www.masterresource.org/2009/12/climategate-is-peer-review-in-need-of-change/

To assist your appalling memory, I think the words were something like

“I’d bookmark this thread if I were you”

Well, no need really. It would seem that what Prof Jones wrote in his emails is pretty much in the public domain now, isn’t it?

#102 – Andrew, my degree is in engineering, which involves a lot of maths, statistics, computers and computer-modelling. As an engineer I’m not a climate scientist, but I am qualified to pass comment on the collection of primary data, its analysis, fitting trend lines to these data and computer-modelling. I’ve looked in detail at the hacked material and I cannot believe the world is proposing to spend trillions on such slim and poorly analysed evidence. It also seems that the collection of the original raw data could be flawed and so is the computer-modelling, which appears to account for only a few of the possible variables.

The real ‘evidence’, though, lies in the personal attacks on critics, the religious fervour, the admission (in the emails) of massaging data, fixing peer review procedures, apparently conspiring to avoid FOI requests, etc. If the results are so convincing, why not release them, and why go to such great lengths to cover up?

Oh #102, one more thing. The Met Office struggles to predict the weather a few days ahead. So doesn’t it seem a little foolish to spend trillions on a 50-year weather forecast?

Question nicely ducked, pagar.

Chris, @110: You might want to learn the difference between “weather” and “climate”, otherwise you’ll make yourself look foolish. Whilst it’s extremely difficult to accurately predict individual datapoints in a stochastic system, that doesn’t mean you can’t say anything meaningful about the distribution. I’d expect someone with a degree in engineering, with all of its emphasis on maths and statistics, to understand such an elementary distinction.

#112 – You’re right, apologies Dunc. I’ve got my head stuck in a spreadsheet at the moment analysing a survey of 18,000 consumers. Foolishly I joined the thread while eating Al Desco. Back to work!

114. Vladimir Putin

We can’t possibly discuss climate change without distinguishing *real scientists* from the frauds, cranks and fabricators who merely *claim* to be scientists — while stuffing their pockets with millions of dollars from the oil industry and Fox News.

Here is a handy chart to help you make the distinction: http://politicalmath.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/realscientistflow3.png

Sunny, it is you that is the denialist. So much proof has been shown time and time again, tripping up the climate change religion that yo worship.

I see Al Gore has done a runner from Copenhagen, too scared to have his views ripped to pieces on the back of hard evidence.

Why has Gore pulled out?

Did insufficient people pony up $1500 to meet him?
(Insufficient to cover the private jet costs anyway.)

Jon Stewart: “Poor Al Gore: Global Warming Completely Debunked By the Internet YOU Invented.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgPUpIBWGp8

117. Left Not Liberal

Sunny wrote:

“Calling them ‘denialists’ is being too kind: they should be abused at every instance for the stupidity they churn out. They should be ridiculed, parodied, cussed, and constantly called out for the idiots they are because they deserve it.”

and:

“For the record: this thread isn’t for you (i.e. flat earth “libertarians”). This is for the environmentalists.”

About bloody time – a liberal with some guts. I’m so sick and tired of all this lame arsed shit about “engaging” with these dim witted, dozy, hair brained, randoid, flat earth, fucknut freaks that infest the interwebs. Look you dumb cunts – which part of “fuck off” don’t you understand? We (by which I broadly mean people who don’t subscribe to far right “libertarian” horseshit, moon-man worshiping para-science or voodoo economics) don’t want to convince you of any-fucking-thing-whatsofuckingever just like we don’t want to convince alchemists, witchdoctors and holocaust deniers of any-fucking-thing-whatsofuckingever. Here’s a clue – look in the comments cesspits of your own sinking shitholes of blogs – are we (see above) in them, trying to win you over? No we (above) are fucking not. You can fester in your squalid ideologically induced pig ignorance until your long over due deaths for all we (above) care – we (above) are not interested in proving beyond reasonably doubt that overwhelming scientific consensus trumps random rightwing ideological shit off the internet.

In summary, I hope I have facilitated the victim mentality among you sad sacks of shit (particularly the jerks in these comments boxes who have compared themselves to victims of the Nazi holocaust). Now go away.

117 – wow.

Good luck with the “PR battle” – I think you’ll need it!

Aw…an angry hippy. Cute

117. Guts? Maybe. Liberal? Don’t make me laugh. Unfortunately, it’s the same tack with all you lefties – bow to your thinking, agree with your agenda or else. Reasoned debate? There is no debate – there is only the Great (Un)Truth. Unthinking obedience to the master plan – or die. Your Common Purpose masters have taught you well.

#117 – And your point is?

“Peer review” – as I know from having peer-reviewed papers in a very different field in the past – has nothing to do with verification.

If a paper gets through the peer-review process then it means (or should mean) that it at least meets certain basic criteria for scientific rigour, so it is reasonable to give papers which are peer-reviews more weight than those which are not.
But of course the fact that a paper is peer-reviewed does not mean that its findings can automatically be assumed to be correct, and I never claimed otherwise. It is the skeptics who tend to sieze on individual papers which appear to support their POV and act as if it suddenly overturns all previous research (ie Lindzen & Choi which I mentioned above or Svensmark).
But when you have dozend, hundreds or even thousands of peer-reviewed payments which taken together support a particular hypothesis, with very few dissenting, then you are entitled to draw conclusions from that.

Are you?

Maybe, but the trouble is that (1) the peer-review process may have become – consciously or unconsciously – corrupted and more seriously (2) authors have refused access to data and/or computer code – data and code which underly key temperature series – apparently to the point of breaking the law by destroying data subject to FOI requests.

Don’t believe in AGW? Then you can compare your opponents to Nazis and / or Stalinists, accuse them of fraud on an unprecedented scale and the calculated planning of mass murder and economic Armageddon all in the service of advancing One World Government, and it’s all perfectly fine.

Believe in AGW? Well, you’d better stay all polite and reasonable-like, ‘cos if you don’t, no-one will take you seriously and your opponents will get all sniffy about how rude you are and how you obviously haven’t got a convincing argument.

Muppets.

124 – well both sides may do a bit of shouting on blogs.
Trouble is both sides need to convince the skeptical public.
And, in my view, it is the warmists who tend to adpot the more aggressive (recently obviously more defensive) tone in the public media, not on the blogs.

Here, for example, is a lengthy debate held in Canada a few days ago:

http://www.munkdebates.com/

Nigel Lawson and Bjorn Lomborg on one side – both sweetly reasonable in tone.
George Monbiot (who on his blog claimed he had broken his “self-imposed ban on flying” to go to Canada to protest about the tar sands or something, turns out is was this event he was going to, anyway, leaving that aside) also very reasonable, but the Green Party leader in Canada, oh dear, just too too strident.

Result: warmist vote falls from 61% to 53%.

It is indeed a “PR battle” for both sides.

I was referring specifically to the contents of this comment thread.

#109 – Chris,

I’m not a climate scientist myself. Hell, I’m not a scientists of any description – I don’t consider myself anything other than a relatively well-informed layman. But I still understand the basic principles behind AGW – that CO2 and other GHGs absorb infra-red radiation at certain wavelengths, that CO2 levels have increased drastically due to human emissions (proved by the presence of particular isotopes), that more CO2 in the atmosphere means more IR radiation is absorbed and less escapes into space and that increases the amount of energy in our climate system and therefore causes warming. Due to certain feedback mechanisms this warming is amplified slightly and the overall effect is now strongly believed to me in the region of 3oC for a doubling of CO2 levels. The level of warming (and the nature of it) which we have observed in modern times is entirely consistent with that which is predicted by the above and there are no other known factors which can account for this warming.
Nothing in the leaked emails even remotely contradicts any of this, so all I want to know from people who dispute the reality of AGW is which bit of it they think is wrong.

“Due to certain feedback mechanisms this warming is amplified slightly and the overall effect is now strongly believed to me in the region of 3oC for a doubling of CO2 levels.”

That’s the bit that’s still dodgy. For the interaction of feedbacks is too complex to work out directly. So we have to use models of past temp changes to see what we might think will happen with future ones.

And if the models of past changes have been fiddled with then we’re not really all that sure about the predicictions of future ones, are we?

#127 – Andrew, I think we’ll have to agree to disagree.

My point is that the science is, at best, very ‘iffy’ and quite simply we should not allow – under any circumstances – politicians around the world to reach into our pockets and then throw money around as they are utterly incapable of spending wisely (not even remotely). Further to the latter, any sort of carbon-trading scheme is, in effect, a stealth tax and a whole bunch of people are simply lining their pockets at our expense.

Instead our politicians – here in the UK – should be using our taxes to end the recession, stimulate growth, reducing unemployment, etc. For the proverbial ‘man in the street’ these are extremely pressing issues and more ‘life and death’. Let’s re-do the science, and not act in haste but solve today’s problems.

Sunny H has turned the corner, and finally become a caricature of himself.

Brilliant reading.

127. Andrew Adams. You might find the report by Wegman, Scott and Said interesting reading as it assesses the statistics used by Mann et al to produce the “Hockey Stick” Curve .

You are a massive mong, and a wrong mong……..that rhymes……did you see what i did there.

133. Lucio Buffone

Folks the AGW scam won’t go away unless another guilty pleasure can be lined up to take it’s place – a good old ‘exit strategy’ so to speak.

So, any ideas what it mightl be? A new one alltogether or a rehash of a previous dread such as a good old John Wyndham story?

135. Mike Thomas

Anyone of the pro-AGW types like to explain this code found in the CRU hack?

;
; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
;
yrloc=[1400,findgen(19)*5.+1904]
valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75; ; fudge factor
if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,’Oooops!’

yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,timey)

Basically, it interpolates the raw data from the 20th century into a hockey stick shape.

Now why might a CRU piece of code want to do that?

The scandal is not in the e-mails, it’s in the 1,000s of line of FORTRAN77 and Harry’s comments.

They are mucking around with the raw data, destroying correlation, adding fudge factors, splicing in other data with a dubious provenance, bitching about the appalling data integrity, data lost, data with huge gaps.

It is not science, it’s not even close. It’s what I call the spreadsheet wallahs at work of doing 99 times out of 100 – it is goalseeking.

They want a hockey stick shape, that’s what the graph will draw. You could put in lottery numbers into that code and you would get a hockey stick every time.

Why would they do that?

#117

Is that you, Adolf?

#133 – Oh right, just ten scientists is all they could drag up. What about the 31,486 who signed the petition saying it’s all nonsense? Repeat: thirty one thousand four hundred and eighty six (http://www.petitionproject.org/). I suppose they’re wrong? Oh of course they are, silly me, because ten scientists and Al Gore say so.

127. Andrew Adams. You might find the report by Wegman, Scott and Said interesting reading as it assesses the statistics used by Mann et al to produce the “Hockey Stick” Curve .

I have, and I’ve read the NAS reports which broadly vindicates Mann and notes that his findings are consistent with other reconstructions. Mann’s is hardly the only reconstructions of past temperatures.

Right, that’s me done for the night, I’ll try to respond to some of the other points tomorrow.

This weekend, I am celebrating. Nearly three billion people, the poorest half of the planet will not be forced to wear “carbon footprint” chains by the lies of a greedy and malevolant “elite”. They can produce. They can thrive. They can work their way out of poverty, just as we once did. WE WON

Andrew Adams
“Right, that’s me done for the night, I’ll try to respond to some of the other points tomorrow.”

Yeah, only so much lying you can do in one day, Michael Mann vindicated, what Mr.Hockey Stick himself. Yeah right, that’s why he’s under investigation.

The bad news for you Mr.Adams is that there are more of us out there, telling the truth and we don’t sleep. You’re a busted flush.

See you first thing in the morning.

If people are interested they can read the Wegman Report at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Wegman See References and download Wegman Report in pdf.What is interesting is that the statistics used by Mann et al to derrive the hockey stick graph are analysed and the connection between the scientits who undertook the peer review are assessed. What is concerning is that Mann et al are considered not have properly understood principal component analysis. Also Wegman showed a level of connectivity between the reviewers of Mann et al works ( see pages 46-47) which reduces the claim of independence .

Another aspect which neeeds to be considered is whether there is adequate statistical input within the paleoclimate community. Wegman et al suggest that th same level of statistical input which the FDA require to assess drugs should be used.

The climate changes, it warms up and cools down. To state categorically that man made carbon dioxide emissions is the main causes of the increase in temperature since 1850 requires better statistical proof.

“My only caveat here is that organisations such as Plane Stupid should focus on business air travel, lack of investment in rail and subsidising of air fuel – rather than asking people to stop flying.”

Sunny this approach would reduce personal responsibility. So we all battle to make someone else sort the problem out? Too many greenies I know and like don’t have electric kettles but have seen many interesting, far flung parts of the world. Flying blows carbon footprint to Kingdom Come. I agree trains are fab, we should use them more. I don’t think many people need to fly all over the world to make a living, certainly not to go on holiday or “find enlightenment”.

“The green movement still contains too many people who want to live in mud-huts and using as little energy as possible by going back to feudal times of living. I’m afraid that train has long sailed.”

Nah it hasn’t, some people like to live like this! More power to their elbow, if they like it. Living a simple life has many advantages. Though no one should be forced to live that way, whatever the statistics seem to say. Anyway we haven’t got enough woodland for us all to live in cosy yurts with woodburning stoves.

Besides I like living in a house, I like technology, I agree that technology will really help us sort these environmental questions. It’s obvious that we are screwing the environment in many ways even if those climate stats are fake.

Climate change is just one aspect of the picture. Irritating that geeks from both sides argue this one point mainly ignoring the wider picture. (not denigrating geeks here just urging them to see further than this one argument)

The “denialists” are right about one thing though, the information should be freely available. The beauty of freedom of information is that we can see the reasons for policy and we can argue if it’s wrong. The best solutions will emerge when we have a better picture of the problem.

“we (above) are not interested in proving beyond reasonably doubt that overwhelming scientific consensus trumps random rightwing ideological shit off the internet”.

Another idiot who understands nothing about basic empirical method. There is no such, repeat no such thing as “scientific consensus” it’s a logical impossibility. Theories are theories until and unless they are falsified. Consensus is a concept from the humanities, it has no relevence to empircal investigation.
You are the one peddling “ideoligical shit”, peddling adherence to the new secular religion, peddling emotion over reason, you have no monolopoly on the truth, get over youself, twat.

Matt Munro,

There is no such, repeat no such thing as “scientific consensus” it’s a logical impossibility.

I beg to differ. How many scientists think the Earth is flat?

None – because the flat earth theory has been falsified. If someone managed to falsify the round earth theory that would be falsified too. Not the same as consensus

To continue… physicists can’t agree whether energy travels in “waves” or “packets” (google qualtum mechanics if you are interested), so there are competing theories, and the technology doesn’t yet exists to falsify (or not) the theory of relativity, so it remains a theory until/unless falsified.
I make my point again – you cant’ have empirical “consensus”, 2+2 either = 4 or it does not. If someone could prove that it equalled 5, then it would equal 5, not by consenus but by empirical evidence

Matt,

You’ve just agreed with me that there isn’t a scientist alive that believes the Earth is flat. That, sir, is the consensus I asked you to comment on. There are no research grants being handed out to revive the theory of phlogiston either, AFAIK.

You are obviously fishing with your relativity comment. Wasn’t it Eddington who provided the evidence – at least the first stab at it – that showed Einsteins theory worked in the real world? All that can be said is, so far, so good. And that’s circa 90 years and counting of attempts to find discrepancies. If discrepancies do occur then that would be very interesting.

It would be a sad day indeed if everything ever was screwed down and we claimed to know everything. I believe late Victorian scientists felt that the rest of history would simply be a process of filling in the gaps in their immense knowledge.

I am not particularly keen to be a bacterium in the Petri dish of an experiment being conducted by mad capitalists. Which is, effectively the position of the climate change denialists.

146-148

It all depends on what you mean by scientist Douglas Clark. I suspect that the average person has an exclusive definition of scientist for which the criteria are a person who (a) practises science professionally and has a scientific training and (b) believes the world is round. Should a person turn up who satisfies (a) but not (b) some arbitrary redefinition would take place. (Arbitrary redefinition: I’m using Anthony Flew’s
terminology here as exemplified by the famous Stokely Carmichael incident: Stokely Carmichael: “All white men are imperialists”. Journalist: “What about Fidel Castro and Che Guevara?” Stokely Carmichael: “Ah, but I don’t regard Fidel Castro and Che Guevara as white men).

Anyway, that’s by the by. I can’t pretend to be an expert on the philosophy of science, but one powerful Popperian tenet that has stuck in my memory, is that all scientific knowledge is provisional, even that which seems so certain as to be fact. There is no 100% guarantee that the sun will rise tomorrow. The chances that it won’t are infinitesimal, but nevertheless there is a chance in a zillion zillion zillions that the earth will stop rotating tonight.
That’s the essence of the scientific disposition, the willingness to accept that one might be wrong. Lefties tend to be that sort of people who have a need for a dogma, a non-contradictable dogma. I worked with a member of the SWP once. He maintained that he was open-minded. He would never ever under any circumstances not be a socialist, he
insisted, but he was completely open-minded. A contradiction. To me the essence of open-mindedness means the acceptance that one’s beliefs might change at some time in the future.
And as for capitalist petri-dishes, do you not believe it reasonable to be an agnostic?
After all an agnostic is, like previous paragraph, someone who is willing to change his mind if evidence makes that necessary.
The similarities between the global-warming proponents and Lysenkoists is striking and sinister. I’m surprised it is not more commented on.

Trofim,

It is obviously the case that all science is provisional. But what you are arguing about for the moment? Is (what did you say?) that the zillion zillion zillion chance should have equality with the known facts.If you wish to give me these odds, may I put a penny on the sun rising tomorrow? Of course you could say that that is a one way bet, as there is no way you could collect if you were right.

I kind of disagree that they are beliefs by the way. I see them as evidentially led provisional conclusions rather than beliefs as such. I can assure you that I am constantly surprised by scientific discoveries rather than close minded about it. So, show me the evidence and I’d change my mind. For instance, if there were suddenly to be scientific evidence that there actually was a God then He would fall within the purview of Science and my Kalashnikov.

Trofim, you also say:

And as for capitalist petri-dishes, do you not believe it reasonable to be an agnostic?
After all an agnostic is, like previous paragraph, someone who is willing to change his mind if evidence makes that necessary.

Not really. We can’t afford to pollute our Petri dish. We only get the one chance at it. Call it an insurance policy.

Trofim,

I hadn’t caught the wit and wisdom of your name here.

Trofim Denisovich Lysenko, well I’ll not be arguing with you about Lysenkoism now, will I?

152. Matt Munro

Douglas – “I am not particularly keen to be a bacterium in the Petri dish of an experiment being conducted by mad capitalists. Which is, effectively the position of the climate change denialists”.

The best methaphor I’ve read on LC. I see it more that the mad (or at best deluded and not a little brainwashed by groupthink) socialists are making us all bacterium in their petri dish of an experiment in the pursuit of a massive redistribution of wealth from the individual to the (global super) state.

I’m actually open minded on the science, what I disagree with is the hysterical, alarmist tone of the climate change lobby, their singular “solution”, and the presumption that any climate change is by defiition bad and must (and can be) be stopped. The biggest lie being peddled is that if we all just pay more tax, stop flying, ride bikes, change our lightbulbs and put our TVs on standbay we can “save the planet” because;

a) The planet will survive, it’s survived a lot worse – under MMGWH it’s us that will not survive. Let’s at least be honest about what it is we are trying to save.

b) It is ludicrous to ignore what must be by far the biggest variable in any emissions model – human global population – and focus only on the symptoms of population growth. It’s people that cause carbon footprints, not planes, cars or lightbulbs. The CC lobby are very keen on pointing out the alledged correlation between industrial development and CC, but far less keen to point out the correlation with population growth. Why is that, I wonder, could it be that it would then radically change “the solution” and focus not on the evils of western capitalism but on unchecked third world population growth ?

Matt,

I agree:

Of course the planet will survive. Life too will survive. It is just most of us that might not.

I also agree, although there is a but coming up here, that population growth is an issue. But (see, I told you so), the carbon footprint of a genuine third world citizen is minute compared to the Bigfoot tendencies of some first world nations. It is not a one to one relationship.

For instance, methane is a worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and tends to be produced by cattle. Meat tends to be part of a first world diet and not a third world diet. (OK, give or take).

I think it is possible to go from a third and even second world economy to a post modern economy without using carbon dioxide emitting power generation techniques. But these are huge engineering projects that only the first world, and I include BRIC as first world, have the infrastructure to deliver.

I doubt it is possible for the world to give up on all use of carbon dioxide precursors, but I think we ought to try.

If carbon taxes were used only for research and development and capital expenditure on carbon free alternatives we could do this.

Hypothecation is our enemy.

How disappointing that a political thread deteriorated into another argument about the science. I suspect none of us on here is a real climate scientist, not that they have exactly covered themselves in glory lately, so we should probably cease and desist. If you want a well reasoned argument from a climate scientists try http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/04/a-devastating-response-to-theres-nothing-to-see-here-move-along/#more-13710 (below the picture of Frank Drebin).

Meanwhile back at the ranch, global warming has become a politcal bandwagon – ‘the war on climate change’ – and a clear danger to us all in this sense. It’s become a way to control us, tax us and a new aggrandisement for polticos. What horrifies and scares me is that based on a mere seemingly unproven theory our lords and masters could agree, in Copenhagen, to tax us to the tune of trillions of dollars. Instead we should be focusing on the recession – especially here in the UK – and unemployment.

Chris,

Did you read the bit above the picture of Frank Drebin? By a lead author from the IPCC?

But you’d rather believe ‘Sean’, who does not give his qualifications nor his tenure or anything much.

The actual link is to the Boston Globe:

http://tinyurl.com/yj36xjz

Don’t pay a single penny in “Climate” taxes then.

Remember, the law says no one can demand money from you without a contract signed by both you. No contract, no deal.

I don’t pay council tax, TV tax or income tax to the Government and there is not a thing they can do about it without a contract.

http://www.tpuc.org/

The planet will survive, it’s survived a lot worse – under MMGWH it’s us that will not survive.

Maybe it’s time the dinosaurs got another shot.

In fact, reading this thread, it’s not certain they all died out last time…….

158. Matt Munro

Yes Pagar – cos predicting the end of the world is just such a new and modern thing to do isn’t it ?

From Sunny at the top of this thread:

”Second: Support the direct-action fringe movements. I’m sick and tired of bloggers and media commentators supposedly on the left constantly sneering at direct-action stunts.

These are the people who drive the debate and keep the issue alive. They might piss off the press commentators but don’t be so sure that most of the public hates them too: the British have always valued direct action.”

I think I have to completely disagree with this point of view.
So they drive debate. Big deal, they can be a pain in the arse too
How much does this kind of annoying childishness cost?
http://www.aef.org.uk/downloads//aberdeen_3.jpg

There are people having do shit jobs at airports to prevent that kind of disruption.
How would you like if your 40 hour a week job was to be looking at tv monitors and driving around an airport’s boundary just to keep it secure from the likes of Plane Stupid?
The people who do those jobs are probably on minimum wage, and (maybe) not have English as their first langauage. But who cares about that side of things?

Climate Rush using suffragette imagary is pretty crap in my opinion.
A bit like the Tories using the an oak tree as their party logo.
The symbolism is not their’s to steal. What next – using MLK’s ”I have a dream” speech in Washington DC in 1963?

160. Matt Munro

“I also agree, although there is a but coming up here, that population growth is an issue. But (see, I told you so), the carbon footprint of a genuine third world citizen is minute compared to the Bigfoot tendencies of some first world nations. It is not a one to one relationship”.

Indeed – the solution (for want of a better word) is fewer people enjoying, on average, a higher standard of living than they do now – how to acheive that though

“For instance, methane is a worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and tends to be produced by cattle. Meat tends to be part of a first world diet and not a third world diet. (OK, give or take).”

People as well, on average produce a pint of er gas a day. Not sure if vegetarians produce more or less than omnivores. More seriously if only we could capture that cattle meathane, for example to produce energy it would be a win win.

Charlie2 (on the subject of the hockey stick)

The climate changes, it warms up and cools down. To state categorically that man made carbon dioxide emissions is the main causes of the increase in temperature since 1850 requires better statistical proof.

But no-one is claimng the hockey stick is proof that man made carbon dioxide emissions is the main causes of the increase in temperature since 1850.

If we are wrong to talk about a “consensus” what else do you call it when the body of published work and most expert opinion overwhelmingly supports a particular conclusion?

163. Matt Munro

You call it a theory !!!

But no-one is claimng the hockey stick is proof that man made carbon dioxide emissions is the main causes of the increase in temperature since 1850.

oh good. No one is going to take my money to save the planet then

I do think it’s important to separate the different questions – a) the basic science, ie whether humans are causing global warming, b) whether people are overstating the possible consequences and c) what measures are appropriate to combat it.

The science in the case of a) is pretty unequivocal, in the case of b) there are indeed uncertainties but the worst case scenarios are pretty scary and are not by any means impossible if we take no action, regarding c) there is an awful lot which is still open to debate.

166. Matt Munro

I’d add to that whether it’s appropriate to “combat” it at all.
Even some greens argue that rather than trying to combat it we should accept it’s going to happen and conentrate on adapting to the new “post apocalyptic” climate.

Its good to know the small minority of climate change deniers can’t make an argument to save their lives, and the best they can do is come here and scream about how “illiberal” calling out a bunch of fuckwits is.

Next up, how the flat-earthers and creationists are unhappy they’re called idiots for believing in bullshit, and how evil lefties are to blame for ignoring their precious theories.

You call it a theory !!!

Fine, let’s call it a theory. But it is perfectly reasonable to point out that it is a theory which is supported by the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence and the which we can say with a very high probability is correct. Because it’s a theory it doesn’t mean that there is an equal chance it might be true or false.

I’d add to that whether it’s appropriate to “combat” it at all.
Even some greens argue that rather than trying to combat it we should accept it’s going to happen and conentrate on adapting to the new “post apocalyptic” climate.

And that’s a perfectly legitimate argument, even if I don’t personally agree with it. But if you are going to start planning for the aftermath, and especially if you want your argument to be taken seriously, you have to first accept the basic facts of what’s happening.

170. Matt Munro

Sunny – do you realise how deraged you sound ? Like some post-modern version of Whichfinder General, un-beleivers will be burnt at the stake and all that.

171. Matt Munro

While I’m psycho-analysisng, Old Holborn reminds me of the sort of bloke that used to prop the bar up at the pub (before they turned into feminised wank-off gastro pub/limp dicked bistros). Proper old school anarcho libertarian.

Matt,

I reckon there is certainly a consensus on that.

“Old Holborn reminds me of the sort of bloke that used to prop the bar up at the pub (before they turned into feminised wank-off gastro pub/limp dicked bistros). Proper old school anarcho libertarian.”

Shucks. Who is Old Holborn?

(clue: he’s Million of us. We won’t pay your “taxes” Sunny. We won’t be part of your attempt to scam us for trillions, we won’t be part of your plan to keep to keep the poor, poor. We won’t hand over our lives to the “State”)

I understand your anger Sunny. I’m not Dale. I’m note Guido. I’m not Tory Bear.

I do this for free.

Sunny H @ 167 – you clearly don’t have a reasoned argument if you have to resort to swearing and name calling like Gordon Brown, Ed Milliband et Al. I think the point many of us have made on this and the other thread is that the global warmists don’t have a leg to stand on. If you did you wouldn’t have to become hysterical to make your point.

The facts are simple enough to understand. A large number of people, including highly qualified people (http://www.petitionproject.org/), have deduced that the climate changes because it always has and that man’s contribution is minute. More than that they have deduced that man cannot combat the effects because we are not causing it. It’s nature. Further they have discovered through the CRU hack and other revelations that the science has been manipulated for political purposes and to make some people very rich, and opposition has been systematically stifled. QED no action should be taken at Copenhagen or any other venue. If it is, especially in the form of punitive taxation, we are forced to conclude that politics and money are driving this cause and not science.

We have many more pressing issues other than spending trillions based on science of dubious quality influenced by dubious agendas.

So, Sunny H and Andrew Adams, tell me this: Should Gordon Brown commit to the Copenhagen agreement, which will apparently cost the UK 17 billion per annum or considerably more if we miss our CO2 targets (perhaps as much as 100 billion per annum)? Yes/No. Should we revisit the EU’s carbon-trading agreement, which is inflating energy bills and is therefore a stealth tax on the population especially poorer people – that is pushing more people into fuel poverty? Yes/No Or should we focus on recovering from the recession, tackling unemployment and other extremely pressing issues here at home? Yes/No.

175. Left Not Liberal

Matt Munro wrote:

“Another idiot who understands nothing about basic empirical method. There is no such, repeat no such thing as “scientific consensus” it’s a logical impossibility. Theories are theories until and unless they are falsified. Consensus is a concept from the humanities, it has no relevance (sic) to empirical (sic) investigation.”

I’m not sure if you’re just trying to obfuscate here or if you’re genuinely thick. Either way: fuck you and everything you stand for. Disputes regarding the foundation of the contemporary positivist paradigm do not disrupt the meaning of the word “consensus” in either the natural or social sciences. The consensus (understood in its plain English) I was referring to was of course the consensus among scientific opinion that there is strong evidence for the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming. I controversially further posited that I regarded such consensus as of more value (methodologically, empirically, scientifically) than the bloggeria of various ultra-right wing crackheads and opportunist fucks. Shocking aint it?

“You are the one peddling “ideoligical (sic – and misquote, you daft fucking twat) shit”, peddling adherence to the new secular religion, peddling emotion over reason, you have no monolopoly (sic) on the truth, get over youself (sic), twat.”

1.I suppose you could argue that an unyielding believe in the power and truth of science constitutes some sort of “new secular religion”. However I don’t think you need to be much of a “fundamentalist” to privilege scientific consensus over the opinions of Randian freaks on the interwebs

2. Very telling that you frame “emotion” and “reason” as polarities. Such an understanding flows from a flawed Decartsian dualism that has been battered to death in the cognitive and neurosciences over the last 30 years (or falsified if you will). Incidentally, it is from such a discredited epistemological stand point that rightist arsewhipes such as yourself seek to justify violent binaries between “culture” and “nature” \and “man’s” conquest over nature more generally (hence your objections to environmentalism). Oh, and there’s the little matter of minimizing the market’s negative externalities that run contrary to the “invisible hand” rhetoric which sustains your all pervasive ideology of global capitalism (without such an edifice the system amounts to little more than the brutal exploitation of person over person and person over nature). I really do hate/despise/loath you people.

3.I know, you’re a little hard of reading, if not thinking, but I never said, or even implied, that I have a monopoly on truth – naturally I regard the very idea as impossible. What I said (or at least should have said) was that climate change “skeptics” are freaks and nutjobs and bellends and wankstains and utterly contemptible wastes of flesh and puss and piss etc etc. I believe there is a scientific consensus on this point.

Chris,

Firstly, those of us who believe in AGW do have a leg to stand on. It’s the basic scientific principles which I outlined above which are based on pretty elementary physics which is well understood, goes back to the 19th century and not only says that human CO2 emissions are causing GW but that they must cause GW, combined with the empirical evidence that shows that the behaviour of our climate is as predicted by the theory and this is underpinned by a vast body of peer-reviewed scientific research.
To say “the climate changes because it always has” in not true – there is always an underlying reason and just because in the past it has happened for reasons other than human activity it does not logically follow that human actvity cannot be causing the current changes.
As for your questions, there is no Copenhagen agreement for Brown to commit to as yet, but there needs to be one, it needs to contain significant commitments and, as far as I can reasonably say without knowing what it will contain, he should sign up to it. There will be costs involved but then there will certainly be costs involved if we do nothing.
I think there are problems with the carbon-trading agreement, for example the way countries have handed out permits like confetti, rendering the whole thing much less effective than it should be. But it is possible to agree that AGW is happening but disagree with particular measures introduced to combat it.
The answer to your last point is that both are important and neither should be ignored.

Sorry, bit of a malfunction with the italics above

178. Left Not Liberal

161. Andrew Adams . The Wegman et al report criticised the palaeoclimate community’s isolation from the statistical community even though their work is heavily dependent upon this skill. The IPCC 2001 Report relied heavily upon papers by Mann, Bradley and Hughes MBH98 and MBH99. Wegman et al are critical of the statistics used in MBH98 and MBH 99 and the lack of independence between authors and reviewers. The fact that MBH98 and MBH99 papers were used in IPCC 2001 Report when there is an inadequate understanding of pricipal components analysis tends to support Wegman et al’s report which critcises the paleoclimates community lack of work with those who are experts in statistics.Wegman et al also criticise the lack of transparity in the palaeoclimate community;in particular, the work done by Mann .

180. Matt Munro

@175 Left not liberal – oooowwww. Don’t you know a lot of long words !!! And aren’t you good at spelling !!! Surely you haven’t done something as elitist as get a private education and go to university ?

Feeling a bit guilty about our inheritance are we……………..

Listen, to everyone worrying about the earth, don’t. The earth is gonna be fine. It’s been here for billions of years, and will be here for billions more. It’s the people who are fucked. The are countless corrective systems in nature, and the earth has amazing power to correct any damage caused to it.

And that’s what will happen. When and how, who knows? An ice age tomorrow or global warming and melting ice caps in 50 years. It doesn’t really matter. The earth has encountered adverse toxins in the environment in the past and it has taken the appropriate measures to correct them.

The point of the whole climate change/global warming argument is entirely moot. Who cares if people don’t ‘believe’ it’s happening. We’ll get a good old laugh as they shit their pants when an iceberg goes floating by their semi-detached in Weston Supermare!

And to those who think the earth can be changed? The earth is an enormously powerful system. Are we really that self-important to believe that any changes to this planet are not infinitely bigger than we are? Are we truly that gullible to think that by recycling a bit more, taking less international flights and being more ‘green’ (has anyone ever actually defined this?) we can really change the all-powerful earth?

I consider myself lucky as I’m not going to have any kids and am just going to enjoy my short stint here before I check out and leave you all to it. And not to put a downer on your day folks, but the human race is fucked and we are likely to be wiped out in some kind of environmental disaster. Having a bit of argy-bargy on t’interwebs about whether climate change is/is not real is all very pointless. Lets just get outside and enjoy life …. the little remaining time there is.

Good day.

I would pity the likes of Old Holborn, who on the one hand complain that “their” money is being “stolen” to help stop the environment from killing other human beings, and on the other hand wildly endorse the Swedes’ promotion of racial hatred in the banning of minarets.

“Bloggertarians”, I look forward to seeing millions of “your” money spent on solar panels, wind farms, carbon taxes and so on! You can squat on t’interwebs complaining about how evil liberals are for wanting to save people from dying due to accelerated climate change, but in the end you have lost and we already have lots of your money.

Here’s to libertarianism!

Thanks for that John

Swedes?


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