Revealed: Top Tories linked to climate change denialism report


9:10 am - December 16th 2009

by Sunny Hundal    


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Yesterday the European Foundation think-tank published a report, cited by both the Telegraph and the Daily Express, offering a hundred reasons why ‘global warming was natural’.

Put aside the fact it was quickly and easily debunked by the New Scientist and on LibCon. Temporarily forget the fact that if you actually went through the list you’d quickly realise how farcical it was.

Instead ask, who is behind the European Foundation? Well, Martin Robbins did and found that prominent Tories including John Bercow, David Davis, Iain Duncan-Smith and Oliver Letwin are all part of the European Foundation.

David Cameron maintains he’s a firm believer in man-made global warming and agrees that urgent action needs to be taken. He gives the impression Tory climate-change deniers constitute a small number of cranks on the fringes. How will he square that with this?

His policy on the environment now looks to be a shambles with senior Tories exposed as being part of a think-tank endorsing global warming denialism.

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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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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Conservative Party ,Environment ,Westminster

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Reader comments


Good now I can vote Tory again.

From wikipedia:

“Zac Goldsmith”

?

I think the story needs a bit more fleshing out – yes, it’s full of standard issue awful Eurosceptics, but a few names stand out as interesting.

Also Dirk van Heck rings a bell for some reason.

David Davis a “Tory front-bencher”? You what? John Bercow? Seriously?

Someone needs to pay closer attention to the news.

@3 That’s right, David Davis, John Bercow, Oliver Letwin and IDS are all prominent members of the Green Party and Socialist Worker, aren’t they?

I just checked the link. Half the Tory party, literally, is behind the European Foundation.

David Cameron’s “green” credential are amongst some of his fakest stuff.

Though Martin Robbins also says

“Now, Letwin’s credentials on climate are apparently pretty rock solid – indeed, he is the man behind Conservative policies to reduce carbon emissions, and he has an exemplary voting record on climate, as does John Bercow.

So it seems that the European Foundation is not a climate denialist movement, just a Eurosceptic one that happens to have a few cranky and vocal members.”

I’m sure you were going to clarify that!

Though I doubt whether this issue will play in the election at all.

This headline is just full of win. Why? Because none of the Tories named by Sunny are front benchers. One isn’t even a Tory.

John Bercow – Speaker. Not a Tory. Not running as a Conservative.
David Davis – no shadow ministerial position. Backbencher
Oliver Letwin – no shadow ministerial position. Backbencher (albeit with an important policy role for the party)
IDS – no shadow ministerial position. Backbencher (chairman of an independent policy group).

So, none from four. Good work. So, using your levels of accuracy, and given that Austin Mitchell is also an advisor of the European Foundation

REVEALED: LABOUR FRONT BENCHER LINKED TO CLIMATE CHANGE DENIALISM!

Details never were your strong point were they Sunny? On the wider point – eurosceptic think tank has Conservative advisors! I think a new scoop is in order!

TimJ: Exactly so. Letwin is on the Conservative’s own “Shadow Cabinet” webpage, so it’s probably reasonable to label him as a “Front-bencher”. But the others are not – and, in the case of Davis and Bercow, quite famously so.

Admission – I’ve voted Tory all my life, but I didn’t vote Tory at the European elections. Why? Because the policies of the three major parties have apparently merged and I don’t vote on principle but on the issues. For once I agree with Sunny! The Conservatives’ policies are a shambles, but then so are those of both the other major parties. It seems that Mr Cameron’s policies are based on sitting on the fence and waiting to jump on a passing bandwagon.

The Conservatives are particularly vulnerable on ‘global warming’. On the one hand they have Zac Goldsmith’s report. Have you read it? I have and I had the feeling of one-sided sacrifice when I finished.

I don’t want to get into another debate about whether MMGW is a fact or not. Personally I don’t think the scientific evidence stacks up and I think we are being sold a pup so a few people can get very rich indeed. The Conservatives must make their policy clear.

How about leading Tories at odds with Cameron’s official stance on global warming – including the chairman of the Conservative Research Department and Policy Review, a former Tory leader who heads up quite an influential think-tank, and every jack-man of them a former member of the Shadow Cabinet.

How about the Tories are winning not because they’re decisive and unified, but because they’re just not as big a mess as Labour, and the fact that there’s not one single unified front in the damn party means that it’s a disgrace to old-school Tories, a disgrace to the modernising YCs and absolutely and utterly run by mandate from CCHQ.

I grew sick and tired of Labour’s doublethink, and now I’m being told by DC that on one side, we’re all together, whereas leading Tories paint a completely different picture.

Can’t frigging wait for this next parliament to hang.

How about leading Tories at odds with Cameron’s official stance on global warming – including the chairman of the Conservative Research Department and Policy Review, a former Tory leader who heads up quite an influential think-tank, and every jack-man of them a former member of the Shadow Cabinet.

If the line is that every advisory member of the European Federation is responsible for this report, and is thus sceptical on global warming, that would mean that Zac Goldsmith is a “climate change denier”. Which would be a bit silly really. Rather like this piece.

Oh, and it’s ‘man jack’. I’d always assumed this was something naval – as in ‘jolly jack tars’ etc. But apparently it comes from cricket, where the last three men on the card are known as ‘nine, ten and jack’. Since we’re being pedantic and all.

@Tim

Sorry, I screwed up my phrases. I feel like an idiom.

Let’s get something right then: if you’re on the advisory board of a think tank that issues a report that’s at odds with the party leader’s statements on the matter, then you’re either extremely lax about your official associations (this includes Goldsmith), or there’s dischord in the party.

The real question is why are the Tories appearing to be schizophrenic over every single policy issue?

Let’s get something right then: if you’re on the advisory board of a think tank that issues a report that’s at odds with the party leader’s statements on the matter, then you’re either extremely lax about your official associations (this includes Goldsmith), or there’s dischord in the party.

Don’t agree with this either I’m afraid. The European Federation is primarily a eurosceptic think tank. It’s not affiliated with the Conservative Party, although there are links. You simply cannot read across from the advisory board and assume that they agree with the contents of every report made by the think tank. That’s just not how it works.

The whole point of having think tanks is that they are at liberty to produce research/analysis reports that go further than (or even contradict) party policy. Intellectual straightjackets are rarely a good thing in public discourse.

Wait – are you saying that the present associations with this group are okay and they don’t have any effect on how the Tories and these individual members are going to be viewed?

No, it’s not acceptable to have leading, influential members of a party and members of policy groups on the advisory board of a Eurosceptic think-tank that produces… well, to put it mildly, tripe, that’s been comprehensively rebuffed on more than one site, including New Scientist.

So not only do we have leading Tories as members of the advisory board, but the output of the think-tank itself is suspect, which is making many people ask questions of why they’re on the board – including Goldsmith – and what impact these papers are going to have on future policy.

Just like Demos and the IPPR are inexorably linked to New Labour, so are organisations like the EF and CSJ linked to the Tories. It’s not good enough to say “it’s just a think tank” and “they don’t agree with ALL the papers”, not when the party doesn’t have any real direction to begin with and when these people already dictate future policy.

Just like Demos and the IPPR are inexorably linked to New Labour, so are organisations like the EF and CSJ linked to the Tories. It’s not good enough to say “it’s just a think tank” and “they don’t agree with ALL the papers”, not when the party doesn’t have any real direction to begin with and when these people already dictate future policy.

George Osborne and David Willetts are on the advisory board at Demos (as no Labour front benchers are). There are no MPs on the IPPR board of any party.

Think tanks are designed to put forward papers on controversial areas. The argument that because one of these papers is rubbish is not a good reason to argue that it’s ‘unacceptable’ for MPs to be on its advisory board. Your entire argument is meretricious.

No-one can deny that the names mentioned are prominent members of the Tory Party. To describe David Davis as a mere ‘backbencher’ in this context is more than a bit dishonest. Most of these guys would form the Government if the Tories comes to power.

None of these guys are obscure names who are little more than lobby fodder, whose names only came to prominence after it was revealed what they claimed for. David Davis, IDS and Oliver Letwin are not obscure mavericks on the edge of the Party. Anyone who has any interested in politics are well aware of these people and what they stand for. Davis has a wide appeal among the pissed soaked Tory faithful.

Zac Goldsmith needs to decide whether he is a Tory or an environmentalist. The two are mutually exclusive. He needs to decide whether he goes with the science or Tory Party’s philosophical attachment to greed and the rapacious destruction of the Earth’s environment. Tories don’t care about the ‘environment’, they only care about money.

Nobody should be surprised to find the Tory vermin despise science. They joined a Party whose only principles centre round selfishness, greed and a hatred of Jonhnny Foreigner. We are dealing with the type of people who would drown their grandmother for a few quid, so it is no use trying to appeal to their ‘better side’ as they simply do not have one. The thought of millions of ‘wogs’ starving to death gives them erections. The Tories only took up the mantle of ‘green politics’ when they were so behind in the polls they had to shed the nasty party image. Now that they have a double digit lead in most polls they are now able to discard the nice façade and revert to the venal scum they have always been.

No-one with a conscience or a regard for science would vote Conservative anyway.

Jim

Can I suggest you sit down and put a wet flannel on your forehead…….

“I don’t want to get into another debate about whether MMGW is a fact or not. Personally I don’t think the scientific evidence stacks up and I think we are being sold a pup so a few people can get very rich indeed. ”

If you don’t want to get into a debate, Chris, don’t put your position on the board. Fair enough?

Anyway you’re wrong, but I don’t want to get in a debate about it.

“that would mean that Zac Goldsmith is a “climate change denier””

Tim J makes a good point – the story here is, as ever, the think tank, not the politicians who lend their names to it. There’s a nasty, corrupt streak in the whole think tank industry that needs exposing for the undemocratic tosh it is – if you operate by persuading politicians to subscribe their names to your organisation rather than by persuading the public to subscribe their votes to your organisation you’re probably pushing something I don’t want.

Paga @ 17

Thanks for the advice mate. I think my support for the Tory Party is not as unequivocal as some of the people who contribute to the comments section of this board. Suffice to say that the Tories have still to ‘close the deal’ with me at least. I may take some persuading to vote for Cameron.

It needs to be said though the Tories rhetoric on Global Warming is at considerable odds with the core voters of the Tory Party. If Goldsmith, Cameron and Letwin are (as we are told) do have sympathy with the scientific consensus, then why join such a backward party? Zac Goldsmith in particular is supposed to have impeccable green credentials, so what is he doing allied to some of the greediest, selfish people on the planet? Surely you would accept that the term ‘environmentalist [large ‘C’] Conservative’ is an oxymoron?

So what is going on with him and Cameron? They do not have popular support in the party, especially on these issues. They certainly do not have the type of support necessary to actually make a difference on the issue of greenhouse gas emissions so why bother campaigning on it?

They cannot make a difference within the Party, so it must be a election ruse. Either Cameron is naive in thinking he can drag the Party out of the 19th Century or he his using GW in a cynical move to garner support among the more decent members of our Country. Either way…

Given that he no longer needs support from decent people, the Tories are now able to show their true colours and the truth is seeping out via the interblogasphere thingy. I wonder if this is as big as Browns mental health issues were to Andrew Marr?

The thought of millions of ‘wogs’ starving to death gives them erections.

Yes, Jim.

I can see that the Tories haven’t quite got you on board yet!!!!

My suspicion is that there is a spectrum of opinion within the Conservative Party on environmental concerns and in practice what we will get is some talk about it at the Cameron level along with very little action and almost no money spent on it.

My other prediction is that Goldsmith will be a worse politician than he was a poker player.

Pagar @ 20

“My suspicion is that there is a spectrum of opinion within the Conservative Party on environmental concerns”

I really have difficulty in seening that, Pagar. From what I read on Right Wing blogs/newspapers/phone ins etc. I can identify very few people among grass root supporters of the Tory Party who have anything but utter contempt for the scientists on this issue. Perhaps it is a small, vocal minority of people pushing the anti science views across, but that begs the question: if these people are such a minority, why are they not being tackled from within the Party? Why is it that ConHome comments are filled with the usual halfwitted responses, with few of the ‘decent’ people within the Party putting them right?

The best analogy among the Labour Party I can think of would be the CND issue. If you believed in a nuclear deterent, why be a member of the Labour Party?

My suspicion is that the science deniers are very much in the majority.

We have seen that foul creature Jones at the UEA exposed as delighting in the death of a climate dissenter. The poor guy has a fatal heart attack and Jones found it ‘cheering.’ Jones is scum, and fiddling the facts and figures is entirely in character.

Ross @ 22

Yeah, I am not sure what that has to do with Global Warming and the science that underpins it though, can you explain what has science has actually changed?

Are you somehow suggesting that being cheered by the death of one of your opponents means that the laws of science are now different?

The exposure of the fiddling is underscored by the moral turpitude, simulateneously exposed, of Jones. Who would trust such a man with our future?

Ross @ 24

What fiddling? No evidence of fiddling has been found and you know it. What has the mans opinion on a death of a crank got to do with the existence of science? Whether or not Jones is a ‘nice’ guy does not change the evidence of thousands of scientists and nearly two hundred years of research, does it?

A crank? Do you know the guy who died? His name, what he said or wrote? Or is anyone who challenges the panic-spinners a ‘crank?’
The evidence is already out in the open; if it were not, there would be no suspension of your hero Jones and no investigation!

Shows the liberal credentials of this site that it thinks nobody should ever even stand near somebody who doesn’t follow the Big Brother line. I take it you can’t actually deny the massive level of alarmist fraud on factual grounds & have the play the men not the balls.

Some hope for the Tories if this is true.

And I would point out that David Davis is behind the front bench & John Bercow in front of it.

Ross @ 26

The man was an anti science crank, sad but true. What makes you think that Jones is my hero? He is just a scientist, nothing more nothing less.

What evidence do you have that any evidence has been fiddled? Just because a few fucking nutcases think that it has does not make it so.

Shows the liberal credentials of this site that it thinks nobody should ever even stand near somebody who doesn’t follow the Big Brother line.

Do you idiots who come here frothing at the mouth even understand what it means to be a liberal or is being brain-dead an overwhelmingly a right-wing disease?

“what it means to be a liberal ”

Apparently it means being a passive punchbag who tolerates berks who hate you, everything you stand for and who abuse you at every opportunity. Don’t dare stand up to them, that wouldn’t be ‘liberal’ and they’d get awfully upset.

Why are you lefties so fdull of foul-mouthed venom towards those who disagree with you?

Neil Craig @ 27

Alarmist fraud? What the fuck are you talking about? The existence and cause of Global Warming is not seriously dispute by anyone with any credibility within the field.

Wheel out a few deniers and calling it ‘healthy scepitism’ is just a pile of crap and everyone expect the more Tories see it?

Yes Sunny I do know what liberalism is. As somebody with a history of censoring unfavourable comments I assume you don’t?

Jim while accepting your claim that “nobody” denies catastrophic warming (the only sort worth bothering about) as being as truthful as you get perhaps you could let us know what actual scientific evidence (not theory anybody can have a theory) there is that it is happening?

This should be fun,

Ooh, stealth edit! Sneaky.

perhaps you could let us know what actual scientific evidence (not theory anybody can have a theory) there is that it is happening?

Yes, it’s confirmed. These people really are braindead.

Sunny’s response translates “No I can’t but it won’t stop us fascist parasiters lying about it”

Neil Craig @ 33

“(not theory anybody can have a theory)”

What kind of half arsed statement is that? ‘Anyone’ can have a theory, but we are not talking about ‘anyone’ we are talking about the World’s science community. This theory is not just written on the back of a fag packet mate. This is based on nearly two hundred years of collect scientific data and observed evidence.

Your right it is only a ‘theory’ in the same way evolution is still a theory. These theories are accepted within the entire scientific community. Anyone can have a theory, but not anyone can produce a theory that creates a consensus among the relevant scientific disciplines.

So Jim your answer comes down to “No we don’t have any actual facts but look at the theory’s friends”

So lets look at them then. Jim I challenge you to name 2 prominent scientists who say we are seeing catastrophic warming & who aren’t paid by government or alarmist lobbies. Should be easy if, as so often asserted 99.9% of scientists support it.

Easy as getting Sunny to support liberalism 😉

Christ almighty are you having a laugh. Take any name in the field and you are almost certian to find that they support the theory.

Are you seriously suggesting that you are totally unaware that the vast majority of climate scientists accept Global Warming?

What a fucking idiot!

So once again you are totally incapable of naming any independent scientist who supports your fraud & are reduced to swearing. Fortunately some of us are capable of debate without descending to lengths that corrupt, lying, pensioner murdering, illiberal, eco-Fascist parasites like you & Sunny depend on.

No offence.

Neil @ 40

Er, what are you on? There are thousands of scienists who agree with Global Warming theory. You surely must be aware of these people by now. You have failed to put up a single piece of evidence that backs up your ‘fraud’ claim, far les the claims of

“corrupt, lying, pensioner murdering, illiberal, eco-Fascist parasites like you”.

You are too stupid to understand the basic science, well that is fair enough, but somewhere along the lines you are going to have to accept that those who are capable of understanding this have came to the conclusion that it is affecting the climate.

If you have proof that they are wrong, then let us see it or if you have no evidence, shut the fuck up. Given your track record, I think you will do neither.

Neil Craig,

How about organisations that represent scientists?

http://tinyurl.com/yfzk3h8

The statement that The Royal Society, The Natural Environment Council and the Met Office make says, inter alia:

Climate scientists from the UK and across the world are in overwhelming agreement about the evidence of climate change, driven by the human input of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere

@27 Neil Craig:”Shows the liberal credentials of this site that it thinks nobody should ever even stand near somebody who doesn’t follow the Big Brother line. I take it you can’t actually deny the massive level of alarmist fraud on factual grounds & have the play the men not the balls.”

Indeed, there has been a remarkable contempt for alternative opinion in all of the threads here on global warming. Historically, we have seen such arguments in threads about abortion where strong moral and religious arguments apply. But climate change, its causes and effects, is a technical issue; debate should therefore be far more rational than we have so far observed. Criticism of analyses should be fair debate and those who challenge should be treated with respect. Reporting head counts of scientists in favour or against a proposition isn’t how you discuss ideas.

The moral aspect of global warming (irrespective of cause) is how developed nations attend to the needs of the less developed. But nobody has time to talk about that.

Neil Craig doesn’t help his argument with the phrase “alarmist fraud”. The pro- and anti-AGW protagonists toss around accusations about scientists being in the pockets of oil companies or acting as puppets to attract government funds for pet projects. As a liberal, I try to look at the best side of people; if I thought that people are inherently evil and require control, I’d be a conservative or worse. So when a scientist produces a paper which proposes something with which I disagree, I look at the data and the analysis for counter arguments.

Whilst I am a liberal, I am not a fool. Some scientists, economists, whatever, do write papers that are designed to flatter a “sponsor”. Others write stuff that ostensibly appears bonkers but turns out to be profound. Which is why we need to think and analyse a bit more, rather than treating climate change arguments as if they are religious tracts. And to be a bit more tolerant.

Charlieman @ 43

“Criticism of analyses should be fair debate and those who challenge should be treated with respect. Reporting head counts of scientists in favour or against a proposition isn’t how you discuss ideas.”

I agree with you here, but people that say idiotic things do not deserve respect. They deserve ridicule.

People who claim that the laws of physics have been written in order for Governments to be able tax more.
People who believe in the most convoluted conspiracy theories.
People who claim that scientific findings are more believable the more palatable the solutions are.
People that point out something patently obvious (‘it is the Sun’, ‘It was warmer 2000 years ago’) and assume that the entire body of science has missed this fact.
People who build straw men to attack (it snowed, therefore GW does not exist)
People who repeat those straw men no matter how many times they have brought down
People who imagine that economists and think tanks are likely to spot something that scientist all over the World have missed.

Cannot be taken seriously. They can expect little more than ridicule. Same as halfwits on any subject should expect.

So when a scientist produces a paper which proposes something with which I disagree, I look at the data and the analysis for counter arguments.

Surely you have this arse over tit? Surely the way to go is to look at the analysis for counter arguments THEN decide whether or not you agree or disagree? You can hardly read a theory then think ‘hmm, I better find a reason why this is wrong’ ; that is hardly science is it?

Whilst I am a liberal, I am not a fool. Some scientists, economists, whatever, do write papers that are designed to flatter a “sponsor”

Clearly that is not what is happening here though. No Government wants global warming to be true, not when you think about it for longer than 3 seconds. Policies to combat AGW are VERY unpopular and have split parties asunder all over the democratic world.

So what is more likely? One hundred and fifty years ago, Governments ordered scientists to create a conspiracy so that a political Party that was 70 years away from being born could tax forms of transport that would not become popular for another 20 years after that? Not only that, but said modes of transport would be so popular that any attempt to restrict it would make said Government and every other Government unelectable? Come on Charlie, that wouldn’t look good on ‘Torchwood’.

If anything the scientific consensus has been built despite Government interference not because of it. Bush’s regime did not exactly welcome Global Warming and there is evidence that American science was stymied in order to downplay the threat.

The most ironic aspect of this whole canard is the fact that the research has been driven by the deniers. Had the deniers, the oil industry, the Right Wing think tanks, put their hands up and said ‘fair cop guv’ all this research could have been cut and we could be looking at solutions. It is the deniers that have insisted, more research, more debate.

For those still mildly interested in the original post of Sunny’s, the 100 bits of made up shit report appears to come from a gentleman called Jim McConalogue on the EF blog ‘European Journal’.

http://europeanjournal.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/12/100-reasons-why-the-copenhagen-governments-and-other-proponents-of-man-made-global-warming-theory-of-climate-ch.html

Now, it’s by no means clear from this that they’re linked to the Opposition Front Bench or even leading opposition figures beyond what EF claim as their backers, but they’re clearly linked to the extreme Eurosceptic wing of the Conservatives and people like Bill Cash and Roger Helmer. Interestingly McConalogue is also an ex-York University man, like a really shockingly large number of the Tory extreme libertarian right (such as the laughable CFIT pro-aviation pressure group). I’d love to know what makes York such a centre for this kind of stuff and why I keep tripping over them. They all worship Dale and Guido, of course.

The report itself appears to have been pulled together from the usual mad climate change loonies and suspicious front organisations, including Viscount Monckton, the Heartland Institute, Friends of Science etc. which probably explains its incoherence and general air of existing solely to get onto the front page of the Express.

Charlieman,

I have taken an interest in this subject for four or five years or so. I make no pretence to be in any way an expert, but I have discussed some of the more outrageous claims by denialists that used to litter this site with people who are climate scientists. (You can do it too, check out http://www.realclimate.org/ , just ask nicely).

They have been able to answer or explain things to me in a way that is completely credible and direct.

There is a section there for beginners called ‘start here’. You could work your way through that if you haven’t done so already.

Charieman,

So when a scientist produces a paper which proposes something with which I disagree, I look at the data and the analysis for counter arguments.

Apart from being a contrary Mary, why do you say that?

Quantum Theory is almost completely counter intuitive. Yet, at the scale it operates at, it works. Who are you, or I, to argue with it?

Or do you have issues with, say, evolution? There are enormous numbers of people that refuse, just refuse, to look at the evidence.

I cannot see denialism as a healthy human trait. In fact, I think it might kill us all.

I note that despite, or because of, the vitueration neither jim nor anybody else here has been able to come up with even 1 independent scientist who accepts catastrophic warming. Since there are 10s of thousands who have signed for the opposite there is a strong argument for a scientific consensus – but not in favour of alarmism.

Douglas on the other hand has at least attempted intelligent debate. However the 3 organisations he names NERC, Met Office & Royal Society precisely prove my point that it is a government funded fraud. NERC & the Met Office are obviously government controlled. It is less well known that the Royal Society is funded by government to the tune of £41 milliion. Even so its most recent pronouncements on the subject, while appearing alarmist, are so laced with “possible”s & “could”s as to say nothing.
http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2009/08/royal-society-fakecharity.html

I’m sorry Charlie doesn’t think I help the case by calling it an alarmist fraud, however trying to alarm people is alarmist & massive & repeated fraud has been proven.

Since Jim on the other hand objects to being describeed as a “corrupt, lying, pensioner murdering, illiberal, eco-Fascist parasites” & insists the “basic science” is on his side perhaps he would like to show wherer some basic measurements of catastrophic warming have been made, since he can’t find any independent scientists. That is the diference between us 7 between the sides. Tha alarmists engage in ad hominum attacks without any evidence, we engage in accurate & proveable criticism of the eco-Fascists.

Neil Craig,

The head of the Royal Society is an Astronomer. He is also a member of the House of Lords. Cross bencher. His credibility is not
based on climate science.

However, he appears to think that there is a case to be addressed.

I doubt he has been ‘bought’. I doubt he would give his name to any scam.

Frankly, I tend to believe folk like that, rather than you.

I don’t think folk like him are alarmists, I think they have reviewed the evidence and come to a conclusion.

A conclusion that is contrary to yours, and frankly independent.

Indeed, he was Astronomer Royal so not quite unfunded by government. However he is not the apparatchik the previous incumbent Lord May was & as I have pointed out the RS, desopite its heavy government funding has been dismounting from its alarmist position. Indeed it was them who insisted that the CRU publish some of the data they had used which may have triggered the present scandal.

When leftist alarmists are reduced to claiming membership of the House of Lords as proof of independence from the establishment any claim to being progressive radicals is long gone.

Neil Craig,

As I seem to have met your criteria:

Since Jim on the other hand objects to being describeed as a “corrupt, lying, pensioner murdering, illiberal, eco-Fascist parasites” & insists the “basic science” is on his side perhaps he would like to show wherer some basic measurements of catastrophic warming have been made, since he can’t find any independent scientists. That is the diference between us 7 between the sides. Tha alarmists engage in ad hominum attacks without any evidence, we engage in accurate & proveable criticism of the eco-Fascists.

Which challenge do you want to take up?

Neil Craig,

Eh!

You say this:

as I have pointed out the RS, desopite its heavy government funding has been dismounting from its alarmist position. Indeed it was them who insisted that the CRU publish some of the data they had used which may have triggered the present scandal.

I quote this:

Governments of the world are meeting in Copenhagen, with the aim of reaching agreement on how to tackle climate change. At this important time, the Royal Society has chosen to release a new statement: Preventing dangerous climate change.

This statement has been approved by the Council of the Royal Society, and was prepared in consultation with 30 leading climate scientists. It is informed by decades of publicly available, peer-reviewed studies by thousands of scientists across a wide range of disciplines. Climate science, like any other scientific discipline, develops through vigorous debates between experts, but there is an overwhelming consensus regarding its fundamentals. Climate science has a firm basis in physics and is supported by a wealth of evidence from real world observations.

Now, go away.

Have you actually read that Douglas? – all it actually asserts is that “Climate science has a firm basis in physics and is supported by a wealth of evidence from real world observations”

Who could disagree with that? Not a word about catastrophic global warming or even about computer models being a good substitute for evidence but jjust that there are some real scientists doing real observations of climate. I would be the last to deny that Hubert Lamb, the founder of the CRU (& of whom I will bet you have never heard) was a real climate scientist – and one opposed to the warming fraud.

So even though the Royal Society doesn’t fit the definition of not being government funded it still isn’t supporting alarmism.

So lets try again – IS THERE A SINGLE PERSON READING THIS BLOG, OR KNOWN BY ANYBODY READING THIS, OR ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WHO CAN NAME 2 PROMINENT SCIENTISTS WHO SAY WE ARE SEEING CATASTROPHIC WARMING & AREN’T FUNDED BY GOVERNMENT OR AN ALARMIST LOBBY?

If this wasn’t a scam that should be extremely easy to do.

Neil Craig @ 48

OH dear. You seem to have allowed your pathetic paranoid fantasy to get out of hand. I don’t mind your rather self indulgent persecution complex per se, but those of us with balanced minds sometime find it all rather tedious. So you have managed to convince yourself that the entire scientific community have falsified the entire laws of physics just to tax its citizens. Well done.

Note to people of normal intelligence:

Neil neatly exemplifies the problem I have with deniers. He has managed to convince himself that there is a worldwide conspiracy to deliberately falsify a hundred and fifty years of scientific data so that we can introduce World Government and tax the people. All these ice cores, tree ring data, rock layer data, temperature readings, CO2 measurements and the laws of physics consistently fiddled over the last 150 years, just to provide the Government the excuse they need to tax us.

So, since when did the Government need such an elaborately crafted hoax to tax people? Where is the expertly scientific data required to double VAT? Not needed? The poll tax, nope. Pension funds? Nope. Window tax? Take away food? New cars? Stamp duty? Death duty? Income tax? National insurance rises? Funny that when Government want to tax us in the past, they have been able to do so, quite easily, yet on this occasion it has taken them 150 years of falsified data to pull this latest trick. If the Government really wanted to tax us, why go to all that trouble of inventing a slew of false data?

The nearest parallel I can see is with smoking. Among the relevant scientists, there is a consensus that smoking is a contributory factor to lung cancer. Which is more likely? That all these scientists who made the discovery falsified the data so that their paymasters in the Government could reap the reward? Or that the science was examined carefully and the link proved? Remember, 10% of lung cancers happen to people who don’t smoke and by no means has everyone who smokes caught lung cancer. Who was right, the scientists who studied it or the industry shills who were disputing the link as recently as the Nineteen Eighties. (AWG deniers, look at the names paid by the industry to dispute lung cancer, see if you can spot a connection). The question is this, given we were taxing tobacco before the link with cancer was firmly established, why go to al that bother to fake a cancer link? Surely you could continue to tax it without any need to justify it?

On the other hand, many scientists tell us that cannabis use is relatively harmless and could be legalised, thus providing a healthy revenue stream to HMG, however, the politicians are not exactly too keen to follow that advice. Why are the same Government scientists coming up with research against what government wants hear and getting sack for their troubles? Given that the Government wants to keep cannabis illegal (for whatever reason) despite what the science tells them?

This is where the conspiracy theories break down. You people have to invent wilder and wilder explanations to explain the more obvious facts. No matter how clear the facts become the deniers have to ignore facts that do not fit in with the conspiracy.

No matter what the conspiracy is the deniers will deny any facts to give credence to their paranoid little fantasy. From holocaust deniers (yes, I am making that comparison) to the moon landings, Princess Diana and 9/11 you type of people are rather forced into toe curlingly stupid denials of the basic facts, to the point I am actually convinced that some of the stupider among you have began to believe your own theories.

Ask yourself this: How many of you read Neil above and think ‘hmm, that is correct’ and how many think, he is just pretending to be that paranoid?

“NAME 2 PROMINENT SCIENTISTS WHO SAY WE ARE SEEING CATASTROPHIC WARMING & AREN’T FUNDED BY GOVERNMENT OR AN ALARMIST LOBBY?”

Of course it’s impossible – because any scientist producing such results is automatically added to your ‘FUNDED BY GOVERNMENT OR AN ALARMIST LOBBY’ list. That’s some catch, that catch-22.

They can only be added to the list of people funded by government (or alarmist lobbies) if they are funded by government (or an openly alarmist body). There are an awful lot of scientists, just as there are an awful lot of ordinary people, who aren’t state employees. Astonishing the eco-Fascists here don’t at least know that.

If you take it as only 50% of scientists not being so employed the chances of 140 out of 140 randomly chosen alarmists from signing the recent letter being government paid, without some sort of conspiracy, is 0.5^140. The chances of thousands is correspondingly higher.

Jim has gone to excessive length to prove that he simply can’t come up with a single person who fits the bill & thus proves me correct.

He is also predictably wrong in his digresion on smoking.

Thanks Rex. The Russians saying the alarmists have been fixing the data sits nicely with the assurance on the other “Liberal” Conspiracy thread that the Russians were on the alarmist bandwagon. The British Royal Society is the senior worldwide & it is shameful that under Lord May it prostituted itself for 341 million while the Russian one has shown so much more sign of political freedom.

Neil Craig @ 56

Come on. These guys work for major universities all around the World. They will get their funding indirectly from Government, but you cannot use that to say that they are falsifying data for the government. Surely you are not suggesting that every university in the World is corrupt? You cannot seriously suggest that every piece of evidence recorded over the last 150 years is faked? You seem to be taking your paranoia very seriously. No wonder the Liberal Democrats kicked you out for being an ‘embarrassment to the Party’

An embarrassment to the Liberal democrats! That must take some doing!

Normal People! Check out poor old Craig’s blog and ask yourself if this the type of person you would be happy to share a political ideology with? Pass the tin foil hats!

All you have to do Jim, or anybody else at all who shares his eco-fascist views, is to find 2 people. Not much in an alleged worldwide consensus 😉

While I appreciate you suggesting more people read my blog I intend to continue embarrassing “lLiberal Democrats” with facts.

Neil @ 58

“Russian one has shown so much more sign of political freedom.”

Polical freedom? You have to be joking! Are you aware how much money the Russions earn from selling fossil fuels. Here is an economic think tank and advisor to Putin making claims about scienific data and you cannot see the irony of claiming that the funding of science has lead to a widespread conspiracy. Yet you have no qualms about accepting the IEA data.

Given the fact that Russia needs to sell is fossil fuel to keep going are you denying they have to gain from this?

Russia has over $100 bn of carbon credit certificates. That is what they signed Kyoto for. In pure self interest terms they should be pushing this scam harder than Gore.

And you still can’t find even 1 independent scientist who says it is true.

63. douglas clark

Neil Craig @ 53,

Yes, I have read all of it. Some of us don’t do alarmism. What the The Royal Society, The Natural Environment Council and the Met Office say is that it is worth worrying about.

I have admitted to have no qualifications in climate science, albeit having an interest in the subject, what, pray tell, are your qualifications?

As far as I know you run a comic shop. Perhaps that is a cover for deep research. Perhaps not.

When I’m being intellectual it is a science fiction bookshop. If I wished to be arty it would be a graphic novel specialist 😉

That & the fairly considerable amount I have written on the subject makes me a hell of a lot better qualified than most politicians & indeed Environment Ministers. None of which would matter if there was a global consensus among independent scientists. Clearly there not only is no consensus in favour of it you can find none whatsoever in favour.

65. douglas clark

On the single scientist meme, how about Tim Lambert or P Z Meyers?

You could try this:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/11/the_discovery_institute_hates.php

Or this:

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/

But, you wouldn’t want to read anything that contradicts the Daily Mail now, would you? Or the Express, or any other mass media.

66. douglas clark

Neil Craig,

I am local, perhaps I’ll pop in. I am a science fiction freak.

You have written an aweful lot, that I’ll give you. But you are not open minded. You say:

That & the fairly considerable amount I have written on the subject makes me a hell of a lot better qualified than most politicians & indeed Environment Ministers.

Sorry, writing a huge amount of shit doesn’t make you an expert. I could write essays on good looking, and it, sadly, wouldn’t make me good looking. You see the point?

I think my antenna detects a libertarian here. Am I right?

I hope not, for libertarians are the scum of the earth.

67. douglas clark

Except Rumbold, obviously.

Googling their names
“PZ Myers is a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota,

Tim Lambert (deltoidblog AT gmail.com) is a computer scientist at the University of New South Wales”

So not entirely unfunded by government then. 🙂

I would certainly be happy to read something not predigested by the BBC, or is that not part of the mass media in your parts, & certainly if not handled by that corrupt government funded lying supporter of genocidal Nazis, the Guardian. By the traditional definition of “news” as something that somebody in power doesn’t want you to know the Mail is pretty much the only newspaper in Britain which doesn’t rely on rewriting press releases.

69. douglas clark

Neil Craig,

Yup.

Neither Tim Lambert nor P Z Myers is obligated to one side of the arguement nor the other. On the one hand, we have a computer whizz, and on the other an expert on squid.

I’d suggest that neither earns their living through climate change. They have other ways of earning their money. Their viewpoints are, perhaps, worthwhile? Are they not?

Considering I live in the same city as you, I don’t really get this:

or is that not part of the mass media in your parts

I do not really read, except for a laugh, mass media. I prefer to read the blogosphere, just, because…

Obviously, it takes a critical mind. I find you quite funny, others might take you seriously…..

the Mail is pretty much the only newspaper in Britain which doesn’t rely on rewriting press releases.

No, it rewrites nonsense from denialist blogs instead.

The point about both being funded by government is that both are government funded. Not that difficult.

If you speak out against the warming scam you don’t get government funding – or perhaps you can produce evidence otherwise. 😉

Thank you for letting us know your qualifications for expressing opinions on the MSM – that you don’t read (or view?) it.

Neil Craig,

Here is a list of the most cited scientists on the subject of climate change, over 2,900.

http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/climate_authors_table.html

It notes where they have signed public declarations either supporting or opposing the concept of AGW (the former considerably outnumber the latter). I don’t know if they are funded by governments and I don’t care since the notion that this somehow makes their views suspect is entirely bogus.

If you speak out against the warming scam you don’t get government funding

Ian Plimer

Andrew I see your 2.900 & trump you 31,000+ Oregon petition (& several others)
“Consensus” hah.

And you can’t come up with a single one who isn’t paid by alarmists – merely claim that apparently you believe absolutely nobody has ever restrained their opinions when they know the boss would disagree.

I would also say that rewriting blogs, if that is what they were doing, would be a step up on rewriting advertising releases. Wouldn’t you? I take it you are also acknowledging that “denialist” blogs are both more common & more quotable than eco-fascist ones? Unlike the MSM which is much happier towing the government line – or is there some other reason for the disparity?

Douglas says “libertarians are the scum of the earth” which, since libertarianism is pretty close to what the founders of liberalism believed, shows, in 2 entirely different ways, since nobody disagreed with him, how illiberal most people on here are. Also shows inadvertent irony in that in the same post he accused me of not being open minded 😉

OK Neil don’t just leave it at that – tell us about the oodles of cash he is getting from the government.

Neil Craig @ 71,

I have no idea whether P Z Myers or Tim Lambert are paid by the government. What is pretty plain is that they are not paid by any sort of climate pro or anti lobby. They are independent voices.

If you speak out against the warming scam you don’t get government funding – or perhaps you can produce evidence otherwise.

Alternatively, you may be paid oodles of dosh by the coal industry, or the oil industry or you may be a shill for the new fangled anti science industry, like the very well endowed anti Darwin mob. (Endowed in the sense of money rather than penile length)

Who knows?

Neil Craig @ 71, again.

Thank you for letting us know your qualifications for expressing opinions on the MSM – that you don’t read (or view?) it.

Jolly good Neil. There are various routes for understanding the MSM. Unity’s posts on here have been a bonus in understanding that sort of shit. There are others who do it too, 5cc comes to mind. Anyway….

Neil Craig @ 74,

Douglas says “libertarians are the scum of the earth” which, since libertarianism is pretty close to what the founders of liberalism believed, shows, in 2 entirely different ways, since nobody disagreed with him, how illiberal most people on here are. Also shows inadvertent irony in that in the same post he accused me of not being open minded

Don’t need no agreement Neil. Libertarians are liars who protect their lying asses just because. They are screwed up arseholes who have a neat arguement about individuality that they unfortunately seem to renage on when they feel the need. Y’know drop their drawers. Then they tend to include women, whom they have otherwise forgotten.

Libertarians are henceforth to be known by the collective noun:

A ‘liar’.

You, surely, wouldn’t want to be called that?

@44 Jim

Re: Permission to criticise. I understand your impatience with those who repeat flawed arguments that have been previously contradicted. But many of the comments in the various threads here appear to be about closing down debate, rather than correcting misunderstanding.

Unfortunately, web culture does not encourage publication of corrections and amendments. In many cases, articles can be easily changed, but the moral imperative to put things right is rarely displayed. So I hope that we’ll still have academic libraries in the future, rather than a dependence on popular internet search engines.

Re: Examining and analysing data. Perhaps you are correct in suggesting that the logical method is to examine the data before drawing conclusions. My own observation, thus anecdotal evidence, is that people’s gut instincts are pretty hard wired and that few of us are able to process information in the analytical way that you describe. I confess that I often read papers at work three or four times to ensure that any criticism is logical rather than gut based. Perhaps also, when somebody proposes something that I support, my analysis is more shallow and my support more profound than it should be.

Re: Papers that flatter sponsors. I was not suggesting that governments welcome AGW/climate change. But if there is a social and intra-government consensus that it exists, research funds from government will be directed towards those who support that argument. As you correctly remark, when that consensus did not exist in the USA, AGW “supporters” were denied funds.

Incidentally, my comment about flattering sponsors was primarily aimed at those who automatically damn any paper from researchers funded by energy companies. It’s the analysis that counts, not the source of funding. And when researchers overemphasise an argument, I attribute it to excessive commitment to a theory rather than excessive dependence on a bung.

Neil,

Andrew I see your 2.900 & trump you 31,000+ Oregon petition (& several others)
“Consensus” hah.

The difference is that my 2,900 have actually published papers related to climate change in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Your 31,000+ are people who may or may not have scientific credentials of some kind who have signed an online petition. It’s not quite the same.

And you can’t come up with a single one who isn’t paid by alarmists – merely claim that apparently you believe absolutely nobody has ever restrained their opinions when they know the boss would disagree

As I’ve said, I don’t know who pays most of them. The assumption that because they may be funded by the state their opinions or actual published work is suspect is nonsense. Earlier in the current decade when the Bush administration refused to accept the notion of AGW state-funded scientists in the US were still strongly in favour of the notion that humans were causing climate change.

I would also say that rewriting blogs, if that is what they were doing, would be a step up on rewriting advertising releases. Wouldn’t you?

No I wouldn’t, given some of the dishonest nonsense they are pushing.

I take it you are also acknowledging that “denialist” blogs are both more common & more quotable than eco-fascist ones?

I’ve no idea if they are more common but they are certainly quotable – there is no end of uninformed people parroting the factual inaccuracies, logical fallacies and plain idiocy they preach.

Unlike the MSM which is much happier towing the government line – or is there some other reason for the disparity?

Actually the “skeptical” point of view is disproportionately represented in the media compared to the actual scientific basis for that view. Do Melanie Phillips, James Delingpole, Iam Plimer, Dominic Lawson, Christopher Monckton, Christopher Booker et al. have trouble finding outlets for their views? Have you seen the Daily Express this week?

@47 Douglas Clark: “Apart from being a contrary Mary, why do you say that?

Quantum Theory is almost completely counter intuitive. Yet, at the scale it operates at, it works. Who are you, or I, to argue with it?”

In a previous reply to Jim, I responded to a similar question. I’ll add a few more words.

Academic papers and newspaper articles are constructed in similar fashions: they start off with a precis that tells you where the piece is heading; then they do a bit of who, what, when, why; eventually, you get to the meat.

But if the precis is discussing the “obvious” (“Over indulgence in beer causes next day regrets”), you aren’t going to concentrate too hard when reading the article. You may miss the side point about friendship damage amongst the other concerns. If you talk about it with colleagues and friends, you may identify something further that the author overlooked.

Quantum Theory is not a singular argument. Owing to debate and research, it is revised to accommodate new discovery. And QT forks when there is serious disagreement.

“Or do you have issues with, say, evolution?” Nope, newspapers have issues, not single edition human beings like me. I do have concerns about the popular presentation of evolution (eg confusing short term behavioural adaptation with long term genetic change).

Charlieman,

What’s your take on the age of the Earth, or the Universe say? Do you deny gravity? Could you explain please, how exactly your ‘concerns’ should exercise anyone else whatsoever?

If you want to roll with it, please explain what elements of evolution you don’t understand and we can take it from there. A gentle hint. DNA is pretty common amongst living things….

I do have concerns about the popular presentation of evolution (eg confusing short term behavioural adaptation with long term genetic change).

Yes, me too. I found it rather odd that a leading figure from the Royal Society said that playing computer games was leading kids’ brains to ‘evolve’ differently and within 2 generations we could expect blah….blah….

Congratulations, Douglas Clark, for illustrating one of my arguments so well. The one about reading things carefully before responding according to gut instinct.

And so we still have nobody whatsoever anywhere who believes they can come up with a single real scientist who claims to believe in catastrophic warming & isn’t government funded. Game, set & match.

Instead we have a number of statements from Douglas Clark which certainly represent the absolute pinnacle of honersty of which he is capable & also the absolute pinnacle of which any eco-fascist who is not willing to publicly call him an obscene lying piece of shit is ever capable. Or perhaps he is able to prove me wrong by producing evidence?

That sceptics are well paid (implicitly in excess of the £13.7 million Prof Jones got) by the “coal industry”, “oil industry” & “anti-science industry”. This is of course not something that anybody with the integrity of pond life would say without evidence. In fact the emails show what a close relationship the CRU had Shell & BP (both oil conmpanies in case Doug doesn’t know).

What he said about all libertarians/traditional liberals.. Obviously no attempt at evidence because truth is a stranger to eco-fascists. Note that I have never said anything remotely comparable about all eco-fascists & still don’t. I accept that it is possible to be an eco-fascist without being a complete piece of shit & that the proof is that all remotely honest eco-fascists say Doug is lying shit.

I note the other neil has declined to produce any verification for his claim Ian Plimmer is well funded by government. That is sensible because it merely represents the very highest standard of honesty to which eco-fascists ever aspire – that is to say a total & indeed obvious lie.

“I note the other neil has declined to produce any verification for his claim Ian Plimmer is well funded by government.

Try ‘search for people’ box here (it’s Plimer, BTW):

http://www.adelaide.edu.au/

So, by your exacting standards, he’s tainted by gummint money (unless Professor of Mining Geology is an unpaid gig). But yet…

Incidentally, the fact that pointing out a simple fact (ie. Ian Plimer works at Adelaide University) instantly puts me on Neil Craig’s ‘lying eco-facist’ shitlist illustrates the Catch-22 point I made at #55 rather well, don’t you think?

If you had checked that site properly you would have found he was not listed as teaching staff & that his professorship is therefore a a mark of well earned respect. If you had checked on Wikipedia you would have found he is a succesful businessman.

And that does not make you a lying eco-fascist shit – the fact that you have not a word of disagreement about Douggies obscene lies does.

So you can’t now claim what you claimed about Plimer was true.

You can’t find even a single independent scientist in your lying “consensus”.

And you have no objection to being supported by people who nobody honest can deny are corrupt lying shit & who, we seem to agree, represent the very highest standard of honesty to which alarmist aspire.

Next.

…and off he scurries, to sniff out more people to add to his black-list of doubleplus-ungood persons.


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