The larrikin lord returns

by Gareth on June 29, 2011

To welcome the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (TVMOB, as Joe Romm dubs him, or even His Immaculate and Beneficent Highness, Lord Chris of a Kentish Village) to Australia, here’s Peter Sinclair’s latest Climate Crock — a look at Monckton’s claims to have invented a cure for multiple sclerosis, AIDs and the common cold. Also worth watching for a reminder of James Delingpole’s inability to cope with rational argument.

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last week or so, you’ll know that Monckton made the news recently for calling the Australian government’s climate adviser Ross Garnaut a Nazi. He subsequently apologised, telling the Telegraph:

I have written to Ross Garnaut to withdraw unreservedly and to apologise humbly. What I said about his opinions was unparliamentary and unstatesmanlike.

Amazing. To make “unparliamentary” comments you first have to be a parliamentarian. Monckton is not now, nor has he ever been a member of either house of the British parliament. And to be unstatesmanlike you first have to be a statesman. The man’s self-delusions are clearly powerful, almost as powerful as his panacea.

Expect more coverage as the good Lord makes his stately progress across the lucky continent, but for some background to the organisation of climate denial in Australia and the potty peer’s international denial network, take a look at Graham Readfearn’s latest piece at The Drum. And Aussie academics are not happy that the Notre Dame University in Fremantle should be providing the Laird of anti-science with a platform, AFP reports.

{ 86 comments… read them below or add one }

bill June 29, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Ah, James Delingpole: just the kind of man who doesn’t look left or right before crossing the road. And, like his Lordship, not necessarily just some harmless fool.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you can tell a lot about the denier movement just by looking at the calibre of person it routinely raises to prominence…

In Aussie usage ‘Larrikin’ implies a certain lovability. If he’d stick to making bizarre claims about universal panaceas (and nobody was really taken in) that would be one thing. As it is he’s out here muddying the most crucial debate of the century at the behest of the mining industry. Not cuddly at all, to my mind.

And everything His Lordship say is, in a very real sense, unparliamentary!

bill June 29, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Incidentally, it’s James Delingpole IoI*

*Interpreter of Interpretations, a title he secured during this very interview.

Thomas June 29, 2011 at 7:09 pm

I think anybody who has any doubt if the deniers are right or wrong should see the Delringpole interview in full. Its probably in itself a cure of all cures of the feeble mindedness in these matters…. of cause with the exception of the incurables to which of cause his Lordship and his terrier (Delringpole) belong themselves.
(My God, Delringpole’s mirrors at his home must be made of some tough stuff….)

joehopkins June 29, 2011 at 9:48 pm

I think Paul Nurse certainly caught Delingpole off-guard, but his question was meaningless. It’s a fallacy (in particular the Honour by association fallacy) that just because one branch of science gets it right doesn’t mean other branches get it right. Medical science and climate science are very different.

For example, medicines and treatments are double-blind tested, whereas this can’t effectively be done in climate science (there’s only one Earth to test). Pharmaceutical companies are regulated. Climate science doesn’t appear to have any decent regulation as we see embarrassing errors in the IPCC reports. I think climate science also has much stronger political forces behind it than medical science.

It’s the sort of question you’d expect from a journalist or a politician, not a scientist.

Delingpole and Monckton are (IMHO) nice people. Having cheap digs at them doesn’t help anyone and just hinders progress. I think you should engage.

Thanks.

bill June 29, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Yep, that Delingpole’s a real charmer!

And while we’re at it here’s another ‘nice people‘ quote from Monckton -

Yes, we are now probably seeing more deaths rising from the behaviour of the Hitler Youth [guess who, boys and girls], and, more sinisterly, the people who are behind them and paying for them and indoctrinating them – those are the ones we really need to track down and root-out and shove in gaol for the rest of their nasty little lives – because we are killing people probably in larger numbers now than Hitler did when he killed the Jews.

Let me guess, the presenter tricked him into it? Or, let me guess again, you think this is a *cough* ‘reasonable’ thing to say?

Do you by any chance notice any element of projection inherent in “the ones we really need to track down and root-out and shove in gaol for the rest of their nasty little lives ” but they’re the Nazis?

Anyway, here’s someone who took the time to ‘engage’ with him. I suggest, given that you’re handing out the advice, that you follow it all the way through and try testing out the sources yourself.

The rest of us may choose to stick to (look = duck) + (quack = duck) = duck.

joehopkins June 29, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Thanks Bill,

I can’t say I agree with everything they say, and that’s the case with everyone I suppose. I listen to the individual points (and research them) and some of them make sense. Your last sentence is a classic example of an ad-hominem-guilt-by association attack.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have added that last paragraph. The main point of my comment was the Paul Nurse question – it was a flawed, loaded, quasi-straw-man question. Do you have any comments on that?

Thanks again,

Joe

bill June 30, 2011 at 12:51 am

One hears an extraordinary amount of nonsense about ad hominems in this debate, and this instance is no exception. My last sentence is nothing of the sort, and neither was your first instance of a claimed ‘logical fallacy’ correct.

Straw man question? Ho ho! What surprised me is the the silly man – Delingpole – can’t have considered such an obvious (even old hat!) analogy, and could scarcely have looked more blatantly caught-out in his response.

As to the ‘everyones’ you know – how many of them rave about ‘heads rolling’ or ‘not enough bullets’ to deal with their opponents? How many of them serially accuse these opponents of being liars and Nazis, constructing the most bizarre and offensive fantasies in the process, not least because they cynically calculate that their imbecile audience will be enraptured? I hope you’d at least have the decency to be ashamed of them if they did.

If you truly believe these to be the behaviours of ‘nice’ people I suggest that you’re right – your opinion is Humble indeed!

joehopkins June 30, 2011 at 1:18 am

Cheers Bill,

I’m not sure I get you on your ‘ad homs nonsense’ in this debate. Some silly ad homs are used on both sides (archetypal examples: sceptics are funded by oil or motivated by right wing leanings, whereas AGW proponents are funded by IPCC and motivated by left-wing leanings).

You clam my two instances of logical fallacy are incorrect – could you explain why? Especially the Paul Nurse question – that was the whole point of my original post.

In terms of decency to be ashamed of them (straw man again – I’m not decent if I’m not ashamed) I don’t accept comparisons to Nazis and I agree those sort of comments are uncalled for and they don’t help either.

I did say perhaps I should have left out that last paragraph on them being ‘nice’ – it was a subjective comment, and that comment seems to have overwhelmed my main point.

I don’t want this discussion to get nasty (they often do in discussions like this) – I have no ill-feeling towards you. I’m not that partisan on this issue (I admit I fall on the sceptic side at the moment) I just think there should be engaging debate.

Cheers,

Joe

Dappledwater June 30, 2011 at 2:50 am

Joe, which peer-reviewed scientific studies have you read? If none, where did you learn about global warming?

bill June 30, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Let’s see, routinely accusing people of being Nazis who should be gaoled ‘for the rest of their sorry little lives’ or implying they should all be shot is ‘unhelpful’ .

The real issue, though, is whether anybody is committing any ‘logical fallacies’, or being uncivil (Nazi accusations and threats of shooting notwithstanding!)

Stating that Delingpole and Monckton are not credible authorities on climate because they have repeatedly proved themselves to not be credible authorities on climate (how much more thorough could Abraham’s refutation be?) may well be a tautology – it is not an ad hominem, unless the term is to have a completely absurd and recursive meaning.

In my experience amongst “skeptics” the general accepted meaning is ‘someone I agree with has been named and called wrong’.

As to you first-described ‘fallacy’, what if Nurse had simply said ‘and the condition was rare’? Nothing would change.

Also, there is not a human being on the face of the earth who does not discriminate information on the basis of their experience of the prior credibility of the source – yourself included. For reasons so banally obvious I won’t bother to point them out (‘The Homeopaths Association says they’ve proved water does form memorizing vibrational lattices ‘ – who’d bother?)

Personally, I think there should be an Argumentum ad pompositum fallacy, where there is an attempt to claim victory in a debate via sententious pronouncements of arcane knowledge of the rules of logic.

sceptics are funded by oil or motivated by right wing leanings

In the public arena this is overwhelmingly a statement of fact. Do you honestly imagine that the voices of such a small minority in science – and such an extraordinary gaggle of non-scientists – could be amplified to their current volume by any other means?

Please read Merchants of Doubt and Climate Cover-Up.

By which I mean, please actually read them, not just lay vague claim to having ‘engaged with various arguments on both sides, some of which I find convincing, some of which I do not.’

This behaviour is scarcely novel; in fact, it has a name – ‘The Seeker After Truth’, and is generally regarded as a dissembling mask for already firmly-decided opinions. The fact that you cannot bring yourself to outrightly condemn vile behaviours will be seen by many as something in the way of a hint here.

And ‘being in the pay of NASA’, or any other scientific organisation – I’m not even going to go into how many IPCC authors are volunteers – scarcely has the same ring as ‘being funded by Exxon and the Heritage Foundation’, does it?

For very good reason. Those are specifically vested corporate and ideological interests, not research bodies.

Using this blog alone as a sample, ‘skeptics’ are almost unanimously right-wingers; many from that interesting outlier, the ‘Libertarians’ (who are also largely apparently untroubled by death threats and calls for incarceration! Not a little hypocritical, don’t you think?).

In fact, I have been struck by the extent to which this is true – it has actually surprised me; while the only leftists “skeptics” I’ve encountered (elsewhere) have been Trotskyite splinterists, with all stages separated and now cruising at a considerable distance from Houston, (and receding rapidly!)

Whereas on the other side we have leftists, social-democrats, liberals, and moderate – and, I would argue, thereby genuine – conservatives. The IPCC scientists are frequently self-described conservatives, though I expect their experiences at the hands of the radical reactionaries who have hijacked the movement may have given them pause for thought.

bill June 30, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Further – Greenpeace has just revealed that Willie Soon has received more than $1 million in funding from Oil and Coal interests (and here for the original.)

Since 2002, every grant Dr. Soon received originated with fossil fuel interests, according to documents received from the Smithsonian Institution in response to Greenpeace FOIA requests.

Amoeba January 6, 2012 at 5:16 am

joehopkins,
“I think Paul Nurse certainly caught Delingpole off-guard” – that’s an understatement. Delingpole was shown to be the intellectual pygmy he undoubtedly is.

“For example, medicines and treatments are double-blind tested, whereas this can’t effectively be done in climate science (there’s only one Earth to test).” – Isn’t that all the more reason to be cautious? If we get it wrong, what do we do next? FYI that’s one reason why climate models are so useful, based as they are upon atmospheric physics, models allow scientists to ‘see’ into the future for different emission scenarios.

“Delingpole and Monckton are (IMHO) nice people.” – Now I suspect many would disagree with you. Both have shown themselves repeatedly to be deeply unpleasant in what they say, throwing around malicious and false accusations.
Monckton had made the Nazi slur – [which is why my avatar contains a swastika] and Delingpole has in effect called for the execution of anyone who argues that the earth is warming: “Heads are going to roll for this, …. Truly there just aren’t enough bullets!”

Both are pointless individuals who spread falsehoods and the human-race would be much better-off without either or both.

Dappledwater June 29, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Aw shucks Bill, your comments are as entertaining as always.

joehopkins June 30, 2011 at 3:30 am

Hi Dappledwater,

I’ve read a few. I read all the IPCC reports also. Peer-review in climate science seems to be more ‘pal-review’ I fear. Mistakes in the IPCC reports leave me sceptical of the peer-review process in climate science. Don’t get me wrong – peer review is on-the-whole good, but it’s possible that combined with the political pressures I’m yet to be convinced on peer-review in climate science. Hopefully the IPCC will get their house in order in the future.

I originally learnt about Global Warming during my geophysics degree. I suppose the source of my scepticism was reading up on ice ages – climate science doesn’t know what causes ice ages but seems to be pretty sure on what the future climate will be like. I also think that the uncertainties paleaoclimate record are too big to employ the precautionary principle.

As an aside – I’m all for green issues, it’s just it’s a shame AGW seems to have hijacked all green issues – i.e. combating AGW is like a holistic green elixir (e.g. it’s hunting that kills polar bears far more than AGW – focussing on the hunting solves that issue much more cheaply and effectively).

I hope that answers your question.

Thanks,

Joe

RW June 30, 2011 at 8:59 am

Yawn – after a nice break, we’ve had a ring full of Denier tag team members in the last few days – Wrathall, R2D2 and now a possible newbie here.

joehopkins June 30, 2011 at 11:09 am

Sceptical – not denier – I’m not yet convinced. Not sure I have much of a response to this comment.

_R2D2 July 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm

RW,

While you may yawn I will sigh. As you say this is a familiar pattern. A blog post is made. A few comments are placed cheerleading. A comment is placed pointing out holes in the logic (ie the medical analogy vs climate science). This is then met with an angry response. A reply from the sceptic is posted. The points are ignored and the new post is again shouted down and a cycle of comments is begun.

The message is clear, unless you agree with us we won’t listen. We will shout you down.

What’s ironic is that this is the approach that Hitler Youth would have taken to dissent, and this is the point Monckton is trying to make. Movements become extreme once the group think reaches a fever pitch, everyone in the group encourages the others to become more extreme, and any decent, no matter how minor, is squashed and ridiculed.

But I’m sure that point will be missed on this audience and instead I will be met with replies citing Godwin’s Law, filtered, or shouted down for some other reason. The replies from RW, DappledWater, Bill, Thomas, etc will pick one sentence out of context, claim I said something I didn’t, and then post some ridiculous rebuttal to that. Failing this they will put some belittling comment or link and then pat each other on the back.

bill July 1, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Monckton has a ‘point’ does he R2?

And that is the one he was trying to make, was he? It wasn’t just routine nonsense and fabulation then?

So now you’re saying we’re like the Nazis, but, oh no, you can’t be, because you added that qualifier that we’d say you said so merely because you did, so therefore logically you can’t be? It’s like crossing your fingers, isn’t it?

Perhaps you’d like to point out an instance of us behaving anything like that example I previously linked to regarding Delingpole’s fanboys forming a posse to confront the warmist ‘Nazi’?

What’s your own phrase ‘Oi, idiot’? Do you know what projection is, R2?

Incidentally, how are you going with your detailed refutation of that SA article on the increase in extreme weather. Or is it just going to disappear down the memory hole along with all the other info you don’t like?

I did respond to Joe at considerable length, and I did not ignore his points. He stopped responding to me, and I only returned to the discussion elsewhere when he claimed – incorrectly – that no-one had responded to his original point.

I gave the reason for my tone clearly there, and it was already obvious from all my previous responses that I find the insincerity of people who are peculiarly obsessed with the motes in the eyes of one side of the argument who refuse to see the veritable log jams in the other sides frustrating.

That’s people like you, R2

It’s notable that you also routinely fail to condemn outrageous behaviour by deniers – including on this very blog – but are instead very (even minutely) concerned about the level of politeness exhibited by warmists .

Would I be right in assuming that you identify with this new Joe?

and incidentally -

with the political pressures I’m yet to be convinced on peer-review in climate science.

Hopefully the IPCC will get their house in order in the future.

climate science doesn’t know what causes ice ages but seems to be pretty sure on what the future climate will be like.

the uncertainties paleaoclimate [sic] record are too big to employ the precautionary principle

is just a litany of denier talking-points. It’s close to impossible to take seriously the ingenuousness of someone claiming that they haven’t already made up their mind in this matter if these are the kinds of arguments they advance.

So I’ll thank you to keep your offensive opinions to yourself, R2.

_R2D2 July 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I don’t comment on everything because I don’t comment on things I don’t understand. Is climate science able to explain ice ages, not sure. Why would I post this?

I responded to your article by saying it is correct but doesn’t have anything to do with the point I was making.

And in this case Joe is being very more polite, especially compared to the people responding to him.

Another post by Bill so fill of red hearings I can’t possibly respond to them all. The biggest red hearing is of course implying that I said Monckton had a point, when I actually said there was a level of irony in the discussion. For the record I generally find myself disagreeing with Monckton.

joehopkins July 2, 2011 at 10:51 am

Bill – I didn’t stop responding to you. I had half-completed a response before I had loads more comments and yours got lost. Believe it or not, I copied it into notepad and didn’t save.

Dappledwater July 1, 2011 at 2:26 pm

R2 -“What’s ironic is that this is the approach that Hitler Youth would have taken to dissent, and this is the point Monckton is trying to make.”

Ha!, Godwin’s Law!, you lose!

CTG July 2, 2011 at 5:44 am

There you go trying to claim the moral high ground again, and yet you still haven’t apologised for slandering Trenberth. And you wonder why you get short shrift?

Go on, man up and apologise.

_R2D2 July 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm

As a robot I find being told to ‘man up’ insensitive. Or is it a troll? Either way, not accurate.

I won’t apologise because I don’t accept I have done any wrong. We have been through this.

CTG July 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Okay, I accept your admission that you are not participating in good faith. Thanks for being honest.

Dappledwater June 30, 2011 at 10:18 am

Thanks Joe, your comments confirmed my suspicion that you’re just parroting rubbish from denier blogs. The IPCC remarks are a giveaway, and the Polar Bear remarks just plain ignorant.

No worries, just thought I’d give you the benefit of the doubt first.

joehopkins June 30, 2011 at 11:23 am

Thanks for response Dappledwater,

I think I’ve explained myself clearly with substance and none of the responses made to me have had any substance. I’ve just been accused of ‘parroting’ and being ignorant with no reason explained.

Maybe everyone’s just bored with my comments and can’t be bothered to explain…

My original point was the Paul Nurse issue, but I was just told I was wrong, again with no explanation.

Most comments on blogs always end up this way – I try to be polite and engaging and I just get responses like this, (although yours are more polite than usual, I’m sure you can imagine). It reminds me why I haven’t done this for a while, and also demonstrates how polarised the issue is, with little chance of cross-over.

Cheers,

Joe

bill July 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm

My original point was the Paul Nurse issue, but I was just told I was wrong, again with no explanation.

Well, that’s not actually true, is it?

To quote myself -

As to you first-described ‘fallacy’, what if Nurse had simply said ‘and the condition was rare’? Nothing would change.

Since I suspect I’ll have to spell it out for you, what that means is that your objection that Nurse’s question was ‘meaningless’ or a ‘logical fallacy’ is rubbish. Any uncertainty – as in a rare or previously unknown condition – would only increase the chances that any sane person would listen to the majority of experts in the field if their own health was involved. Particularly if the experts had been assessing the matter for some time and had successfully dealt with the counter-arguments coming from the minority.

And particularly if that minority was actually made up largely not of doctors, but of think-tank PR reps and superannuated Petroleum Geologists!

Delingpole shows the classic behaviour of the bully – he enthusiastically dishes it out willy-nilly, but then can’t take even this simple public demonstration of the inconsistency of his argument without squawking that it’s all so unfaaaaair…

And now you’re here backing him up.

You don’t see anything even a little grotesque in people who are quite willing to claim their opponents are Communist/Fascists who are consciously lying in order to consolidate their power and form a World Government claiming Paul Nurse has behaved outrageously? Give me a break…

And, to repeat myself again – how intriguing that this is apparently more of an affront to your keen sensibilities than any bizarre and vile accusations that belittle the Holocaust, or direct implications that warmists should be shot, or even the actual menacing of opponents. (Let me take a guess, you didn’t actually bother with any of these links? The funny thing is , ‘Seekers After Truth’ rarely do!)

Here in Australia we have just had a series of revelations of just how much hatred has been directed at scientists working in this field, including death threats and grotesque threats aimed at their families. The – sadly predictable – reaction of the “skeptic” community was largely to smear the scientists involved, claim it was all a beat-up – with the distinctive aid of the Murdoch Press – and generally to reverse the role of victim and offender.

Consequently I find sophistry and dissembling and excusing appalling behaviour extremely irritating, and do not apologise for dealing with it brusquely. Please either do the reading that has been recommended for you, or desist in making your uninformed claims.

And look up ‘tone trolling’ while you’re at it.

Mike Palin July 1, 2011 at 2:00 am

joe-
You say that you “…originally learnt about Global Warming during my geophysics degree. I suppose the source of my scepticism was reading up on ice ages – climate science doesn’t know what causes ice ages…” You are clearly ignorant of the present state of knowledge about the causes of ice ages and climate change. Heard of a guy named Richard Alley? Look him up. You’re a geophysicist by training? Watch his AGU talk “The biggest control knob- Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s climate history”. Read “The Two Mile Machine”. Ignorance is curable.

joehopkins July 1, 2011 at 4:30 am

Thanks for the pointers Mike.

A lot of the responses on this page have been rather rude. Things like “I am clearly ignorant” etc. However, I’ll bite my lip at these comments. I think I’ve been polite given the circumstances.

Apart form those comments I think you have delivered a progressive post with some examples of reading material, so it’s quasi-refreshing.

I’ll watch the talk when I get the chance. I recognise the fella giving it – seen him on loads of documentaries, usually in a coat in an ice-core lab.

I’ll just add (this may not be relevant) that by ‘ice age’ I don’t mean glacial – I mean ice age as in the one we’re in now.

Thanks,

Joe

Mike Palin July 1, 2011 at 9:56 am

joe-
Your statement “climate science doesn’t know what causes ice ages” indicates that you lack knowledge of the present state of understanding in the matter. Ignorance is defined as a lack of knowledge. You presume a meaning where none was intended.

joehopkins July 2, 2011 at 1:44 am

Apology accepted.

:)

Mike Palin July 2, 2011 at 11:30 am

Fine, but none was intended.

Carol Cowan July 1, 2011 at 7:53 pm

“A lot of the responses on this page have been rather rude. Things like “I am clearly ignorant” etc. However, I’ll bite my lip at these comments. I think I’ve been polite given the circumstances”

The thing is, Joe, that you have entered a conversation that has been going on for some time and found the participants to be a little impatient with someone bringing up points they have covered over and over. Yes, you have been polite, but you need to understand that we have had your conversation with other participants many times. If your questions are genuine, I suggest you visit http://www.skepticalscience.com to find the answers and fill in the missing links. And by the way, the couple of minor errors in the massive IPCC report is no more sinsiter than a few spelling mistakes in a new edition of Shakespeare’s works.

joehopkins July 2, 2011 at 1:43 am

Thanks Carol,

I read a lot on http://www.skepticalscience.com, and I follow him on twitter. I read a lot of realclimate and I’ve read all of that ‘How to talk to a global warming sceptic’ on All Things Considered.

Unfortunately, I have a few problems with some of the assertions made. Most of it is right, but I have a handful of important questions.

I was thinking of launching a blog that summarises some questions that (I think) haven’t been fully answered on these sites (especially the How to talk to a global warming sceptic). Maybe those questions will then get answered and we’ve moved on.

The thing is, I fear I’d get labelled a fascist and get associated with others I don’t want to really be associated with, like pious creationists.

Thanks,

Joe

samv July 6, 2011 at 11:55 am

The thing is, I fear I’d get labelled a fascist and get associated with others I don’t want to really be associated with, like pious creationists.

Can I assure you that this is not true – people do come along to this site from time to time with genuine skepticism. This means the ability to read, research and challenge their previously learned ideas.

I am one of those people; in 2007-2008 I’d been reading a lot of sites I’d rather not mention, and filled my head with a bunch of counter-arguments to the scientific consensus on climate change. After working through a series of research challenges, and a reading list, it became obvious to me that I had been led astray by misinformation; that most if not all of the counter-arguments I knew of were disingenuous. Eventually as I learned how to use the reference material, such as Spencer Weart, the IPCC synthesis reports and others, I came to understand both the strength of the consensus and the gravity of the situation.

Through the entire experience, I felt that I’d been treated with respect and that my arguments had been taken seriously by the hosts and commentators on this site. Now, you’re dealing with a different set of commentators, and people are people so I couldn’t say how you’re being treated, but can I just say that if you act honestly and do the legwork, then you are unlikely to be vilified.

If on the other hand, you just keep posting and trying to win the argument without doing the legwork, well you can take a seat with the other trolls in the cheap seats…

CTG July 2, 2011 at 2:18 am

Hi Joe,

You said, “Mistakes in the IPCC reports leave me sceptical of the peer-review process in climate science.’

Could you please provide me with a list of all the mistakes in the climate science of the IPCC AR4 that you have found?

Many thanks.

Dappledwater July 2, 2011 at 10:46 am

Joe – “Most of it is right, but I have a handful of important questions”

What’s the bet they’re just the same ol’ tired zombie arguments?

joehopkins July 2, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Which Zombie arguments do you think they’ll be?

Dappledwater July 2, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Doesn’t matter, they’re much the same. Have you not wondered why deniers have no alternative explanation for warming? Alluding to some inexplicable and unobserved natural cycles is not science – that’s superstition.

Does it not concern you at all that even the few denier climate scientists (Spencer, Lindzen, Michaels etc) continually contradict each other?

If you are going to suggest we disregard actual expertise, wouldn’t it be useful is we had some alternative hypothesis that explains the observations? Or is that too much to ask?

joehopkins July 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Hello CTG,

I said IPCC reports (all of them I suppose), not specifically IPCC AR4. Do you not want to talk about the previous reports? But I’ll answer your question anyway.

Also, I must concede that it wasn’t me personally who found the errors :)

Admittedly, AR4 was a lot better that its predecessor, TAR, which was something else.

Sticking to AR4 though, there’s the Himalayan Glacier issue. I think this was conceded by the IPCC. There was also alarmist projections on African crop yields.

Cheers,

Joe

adelady July 2, 2011 at 5:18 pm

OK joe.

How many times was the Himalayan glacier issue mentioned in the report? How many times was there an error in the date?

CTG July 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Neither of those are in WG1, which is where the climate science is. So, to be clear, can you list any errors in AR4 WG1?

Amoeba January 6, 2012 at 5:37 am

Regarding the ice ages, I believe the astronomical explanation for these dates back to James Croll (1821-1890), whose work was taken up by Milankovic and latterly the CO2 lag predicted by Lorius et al. 1990, over ten years before the resolution in the ice-cores could resolve this in the ice-cores.
The CO2 lag is the result of warming releasing CO2 from carbon sinks. This additional CO2 causes further warming, more CO2 etc., until equilibrium is reached.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm

The ice-ages demonstrate just how sensitive the climate is to additional CO2.

Nick June 30, 2011 at 1:44 pm

joe,you think Delingpole and Monckton are ‘nice people’. Nice people don’t lie.

Delingpole recently wrote a typically lengthy column,which started with a simple error: he claimed the recent IPCC renewables report was lead-authored by a Greenpeace employee.That was his core ‘observation’ which seeded a routinely self-indulgent rant in which he repeated untruths that he had worn out long ago…

Had Delingpole had the slightest interest in giving his rant at least a reality-based start,he would have discovered that the Greenpeace employee was but one of several lead authors of one [1] chapter of a c.1500 page report with 11 editors, 255 authors and hundreds of reviewers. Among the contributors were employees of Exxon,BP,Chevron and other companies…

‘Nice’ people don’t lie,and if they make mistakes they correct themselves without dragging it out. Fundamental mistakes are a signature of Delingpole’s column as you could confirm for yourself in a few hours. Whatever the topic, however polarising,there is no excuse for excusing his kind of opinion writing.

joehopkins June 30, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Hi Nick,

I’ve already said I perhaps shouldn’t have included that last paragraph – it was a subjective remark.

I also talked about ad homs. At risk of this getting a little tit-for-tat, I could argue about a bunch of stuff where climate scientists (seemingly) lying, withholding data, colluding but I don’t think it helps – the argument never progresses (BTW I don’t necessarily think they’re lying per se, I just think they’re, generally speaking, wrong on a few points. Any reasons why would be speculation.)

One thing that’s interesting about the responses I’ve got in this article is that a lot of people focus on motives (this goes for both sides of the argument).

It reminds me – when talking about some recent comments of Helen Caldicott I got asked that by an eco friend of mine “Why would she lie? What are her motives?”. My answer is I don’t know and don’t care. All I know is that she was factually incorrect – to me that’s enough. There’s a lot of talk of motives and funding in this debate. But there’s funding and political motives on both sides, and in my experience the argument doesn’t progress when talking about them.

I just want to look at the substance and not necessarily what people’s alleged motives are.

Thanks Nick

Joe

Dappledwater July 1, 2011 at 10:28 am

Joe – “My original point was the Paul Nurse issue, but I was just told I was wrong, again with no explanation”

97% of active publishing climate scientists say we humans are causing global warming. Ergo the Paul Nurse analogy is bang on the button. Why do you think Delingpole was at a loss for words? Nurse had him, and his fellow charlatans, perfectly characterized. But you should know this if you had read the papers which the IPCC reports are based on.

“Most comments on blogs always end up this way – I try to be polite and engaging and I just get responses like this”

Suggesting climate scientists and either corrupt or incompetent is being polite? Gotta call it as I see it, you seem to be a tone troll.

_R2D2 July 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm

“97% of active publishing climate scientists say we humans are causing global warming”

Really. How interesting. Do you have a link where I can read about this study? Is it quantified? Ie 97% believe humans are contributing? Humans are a significant cause? Humans are the main cause?

Dappledwater July 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm

R2 – “Really”

Yes, really, really……really. But you already know this.

_R2D2 July 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm

So where is the link?

Do I already know this, well, like I say, it depends on the question.

Thomas July 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm
_R2D2 July 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Thank you for posting the links. The question is very robust and the conclusions therefore robust also. Issue resolved.

Please note that my only comment was to ask for specifics on the question. For others to reply that “It’s difficult to describe the level of contempt later generations will have for these apologists for wilful ignorance”, is very over the top.

bill July 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm

This routine becomes tiresome. One more time for the Man Who Can’t Google -

97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming

All there in ‘beginner’ or ‘intermediate’ flavours. Naturally, given your continual claimed lack of awareness, that will prove handy.

Here’s an interesting quote -

There are no national or major scientific institutions anywhere in the world that dispute the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Not one.

What is it you do again, R2? You see, I’m a humble Revegetator and some time Photographer, and I’m strongly inclined to the belief that the people who know what they’re talking about in any given field are the people who know what they’re talking about in any given field.

Apparently you believe otherwise, and IIRC the dread term ‘economist’ has been mentioned in the past. There’s rather a lot of economists in this fight, disproportionately so on the “skeptical” side, and a good many of them seems to also believe the ‘laws’ of economics trump the laws of physics, chemistry and biology. It’s an interesting kind of hubris…

While you’re over there at SkS you might browse this page (and perhaps new Joe can go along with you). I am ‘almost certain’ it will have precisely zero impact in your case, but perhaps you can try out your technique on the folks over there, and take a nice umbrage at the likely blunt responses. That’ll prove you’re right…

RW July 1, 2011 at 5:52 pm

There are none so unteachable as those who don’t wish to know. It’s difficult to describe the level of contempt later generations will have for these apologists for wilful ignorance – the “useful idiots” employed by powerful vested interests who want nothing to change unless it increases their immediate wealth.

bill July 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm

I also suspect future generations will look back on these discussions and marvel at the calibre of the arguments and behaviour of those who managed to delay and disrupt some of the most crucially necessary developments of the 21st Century.

Speaking personally, I suspect that in review I’m not going to be overly troubled by having been blunt on occasion! Which doesn’t, R2, make me the Hitler Youth. FFS.

For the actually educable, here’s Christian Parenti discussing his book ‘Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence‘.

adelady July 2, 2011 at 9:05 am

Bill “… future generations will look back on these discussions and marvel at the calibre of the arguments and behaviour…”

I’m always reminded of the fears that travelling in a train at 15kph will be lethal to the human body.

The big difference is that we laugh at that one. The climate imapct will be no laughing matter.

joehopkins July 2, 2011 at 1:30 am

Haha! I probably am a bit of a tone troll.

From memory, that 97% figure was a questionable one, however it probs makes little difference, I’m sure the percentage of AGW proponent climate scientists is very high.

I just think that it’s possible to get your point across without being rude. (Interestingly Monckton and Delingpole probably aren’t tone trolls.)

Don’t get me wrong that was an exocet missile of a question from Paul Nurse, and it totally did stump Delingpole. Delingpole admitted that before it went out on-air.

I don’t think I used the words corrupt or incompetent. Maybe I didn’t get might point across on that one – I was just giving and example of a tit-for-tat response I could give. I try to stay away from the ‘climategate’ stuff but I do sometimes use it in response to similar accusations on the other side, trying to demonstrate that the same could be true of the opposite. If that makes any sense.

Thanks

Joe

joehopkins July 2, 2011 at 1:16 am

Hi guys,

General response:

I’ve had a flurry of comments which I can’t really complain about. Sorry if I don’t respond to them all, (not that I’m assuming you’ll be disappointed if I don’t).

Cheers,

Joe

joehopkins July 2, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Hi Bill,

Answers rather abrupt so apologies if they seem rude. I’m a tone troll :)

Unhelpful – I stand by that word. It is unhelpful. My wording obviously isn’t to your satisfaction. But I’m sure you’d agree it is unhelpful (among other things).

It is not an ad hominem, unless the term is to have a completely absurd and recursive meaning.

That is not the definition, or part of the definition, of ad hominem.

Abraham’s refutation is good. Monckton is wrong on quite a few points – I agree. When Monckton isn’t getting carried away with Nazi analogies he can make some decent points.

In my experience amongst “skeptics” the general accepted meaning is ‘someone I agree with has been named and called wrong’.

OK that’s your experience. By sceptic I mean ‘still questioning’. This is a semantic issue I suppose. I’m just not (yet?) convinced, that’s my position.

As to you first-described ‘fallacy’, what if Nurse had simply said ‘and the condition was rare’? Nothing would change.

Could you expand on this? I agree it wouldn’t change anything, the question is still flawed…

there is not a human being on the face of the earth who does not discriminate information on the basis of their experience

Sweeping statement but probably true. I try not to be like that, believe it or not. It’s trying to be objective.

For the record I’m not a fan of Homoeopathy. Or gong healing which I came across recently.

Personally, I think there should be an Argumentum ad pompositum fallacy, where there is an attempt to claim victory in a debate via sententious pronouncements of arcane knowledge of the rules of logic.

Very clever! At the risk of attacking a straw man (sorry!) are you suggesting that using logic in an argument is wrong? Saying that, you attacked a straw man (sorry again!) by saying I claimed victory. Did I say I claimed victory? I didn’t.

“sceptics are funded by oil or motivated by right wing leanings”. In the public arena this is overwhelmingly a statement of fact. Do you honestly imagine that the voices of such a small minority in science – and such an extraordinary gaggle of non-scientists – could be amplified to their current volume by any other means?

Hmm, in some cases this may be true. Most sceptic material is in the blogosphere I reckon. Not much money in that. Generally speaking Oil companies have officially accepted AGW. The reason being (I think) is becasue it’s good PR, and they don’t stand to lose either way – people still buy their product.

I only use that argument when provoked though, because the reverse, I think, is more true. If a climate scientist denounced AGW, it’s bye bye to funding and hence their job. If an oil merchant advocates AGW there consequences are less dier. People still buy oil and it’s good PR that they look environmental. Take a look at BP green logo and tagline – beyond petroleum. I’m speculating somewhat here but so is saying that oil funds scepticism (some probaly does but most the stuff I read there’s no financing involved) isn’t really that true. BTW I have nothing to do with any oil/energy companies if that helps. I don’t have a car and ride a bicycle everywhere. (I get mistaken for an eco warrior sometimes!!!)

By which I mean, please actually read them

Na, I only read every fourth word :)

The fact that you cannot bring yourself to outrightly condemn vile behaviours will be seen by many as something in the way of a hint here.

Hint of what?

And ‘being in the pay of NASA’, or any other scientific organisation – I’m not even going to go into how many IPCC authors are volunteers – scarcely has the same ring as ‘being funded by Exxon and the Heritage Foundation’, does it?

This is good because it highlights where we disagree. As I said before, if you want to go down the motive route, there’s more at stake if you’re an AGW-denying climate scientist than if you’re an AGW proponent Exon employee.

I don’t see how there being Volunteers to further the cause makes any difference. In any case there is a lot of money in climate research, and a lot of government grants to be had.

We could argue all day about motives and quasi-conspiracies (on both sides) though. I like to keep to the facts.

Using this blog alone as a sample, ‘skeptics’ are almost unanimously right-wingers; many from that interesting outlier, the ‘Libertarians’ (who are also largely apparently untroubled by death threats and calls for incarceration! Not a little hypocritical, don’t you think?).

Now we’re getting political. I was talking about the science. I haven’t said anything about my political beliefs (quite apathetic if you must know) but you may have made an assumption there.

I like your comment on ‘hijacked the movement’. I find this an issue myself. By ‘not being convinced’ on AGW I find I’m sometimes associated with people such as Nick Griffin (Leader of the British National Party, essentially a racist organisation). It’s a shame that has happened, but I try to stray away from the politics because it’s the science I’m currently troubled with.

Your Willie Soon article. Yup OK, I think Patrick Michaels as well is ‘guilty’ of this. At risk of going tit-for-tat, climate science is funded buy IPCC etc so they’re guilty of this too. If AGW was disproved it would be game-over for the gravy train – it’s totally in their interest to keep AGW fears going. In any case, the stuff I read isn’t generally explicitly funded by oil etc.

Thanks Bill, I appreciate you take time to respond to me.

Joe

RW July 2, 2011 at 3:46 pm

What a long-winded load of absolute piffle (to be polite about it). We’re clearly under attack by a squad updated to Denier 2.0 – but it’s no better than its predecessor.

joehopkins July 2, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Not sure you’re ‘under attack’?

bill July 2, 2011 at 5:29 pm

I’m afraid, Joe, that you have determinedly kept such an open mind in this matter your brain has apparently fallen out.

Anyone who can spout ‘[but] climate science is funded buy IPCC’ in response to the revelation that one of the very few actual climate scientist that doesn’t accept the reality of AGW is so heavily funded by the oil/coal/disinformation lobby is lost to logic.

You claim to have researched this matter but all we see you coming up with is the kind of half-arsed conspiratorial nonsense that clogs up the comments over at WUWT.

You want to believe it, fine.

There’s still a chance not to be remembered as a card-carrying member of that less-than-select club; The Most Stupid People in History.

You could, for instance, actually read ‘Merchants of Doubt’, and realise you’ve become a small cog in the same very distasteful machine that has dealt with every major environmental issue, from smoking to secondary smoking, asbestos to the ozone layer, acid rain to AGW in exactly the same way for more than 40 years.

And they were wrong on every single occasion.

I’m not much given to notions of evil, but if there is anything that is even close to it in the contemporary world, those crazed corporate zealots who are willing to stoop to any level to defend their genuinely deranged notions of ‘freedom’ are pretty-well it.

Doubt is their product, and in you they’ve found themselves a dream-consumer!

But I reckon you won’t change, and you’ve probably even deluded yourself that you haven’t already made up your mind. You really seem to imagine you’re some dispassionate Solomon. Perhaps you are.

But remember I warned you, though.

Sorry I couldn’t be more polite. Wake up to yourself, boy!

Because the through-the-looking-glass world you’re actually living in is well summarised here.

Further discussion with you strikes me as futile.

joehopkins July 2, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Again – missed out ‘etc’. I said ‘IPCC etc’. I should have made it more clear. IPCC and government organisations and charities whose cause is justified by the findings of the IPCC.

It was only in response to your notion that sceptics are funded by Big Oil etc. Some are but many aren’t.

diessoli July 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm

“climate science is funded buy IPCC ”
Um. Are you serious?

D.

bill July 2, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Apparently he is. Not only that, but the IPCC scientists are more ideologically-locked-in on the basis of their financial position than Exxon or the CEI! You couldn’t make it up…

There really is no position so manifestly daft that someone won’t take the trouble to hold it. Resistance in the form of further argument is probably futile.

adelady July 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm

diessoli – you beat me to it.

The IPCC has less staff than my local council. Love to know how they pay for all those satellites and expeditions.

joehopkins July 2, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Well, you missed out ‘etc’ from my quote:

‘climate science is funded buy IPCC etc’

I should have made myself more clear – IPCC and governments and charities as well. But their cause is verified by the IPCC.

Thanks,

Joe

Richard Christie July 2, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Funded by the etc AND the IPCC.
I’ve heard of the etc. Scary people, they’re trying to establish a new world order.
Be careful Joe, you’re in range of the black helicopters.

bill July 3, 2011 at 12:30 am

But their cause is verified by the IPCC

Priceless!

And Richard, your forget the helicopters can’t see you if you’re wearing your tin-foil hat!…

Dappledwater July 2, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Adelady – it demonstrates pure ignorance. First Joe claims to have read the IPCC reports and then he writes that rubbish, not for a moment comprehending that the IPCC reports are a summation of published scientific literature.

You can put lipstick on a troll, but that only makes it a tone troll.

Carol Cowan July 3, 2011 at 10:42 pm

A genuine seeker of knowledge asks questions, not makes statements.

Macro July 4, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Just to clear up the problem of whether or not Sir Paul Nurse used a fallacious argument, we need to consider the process of Argument by Analogy. Generally, argument by analogy is considered to be a valid form of logical argument and is used in science, mathematics, the law, and many other disciplines which require rigor. It can be considered to be a form of argument by induction, or in some cases, a deductive argument, depending upon the analogy and the process. Claiming the argument used by Sir Paul to be fallacious is not therefore a valid position to take. Argument by analogy is NOT a fallacious form of argument it is perfectly valid and as I have noted is used in many disciplines requiring rigor.
The only query that could possibly be directed to an argument by analogy is whether or not it is a false analogy. We say that an analogy is false where one part does not posses a quality of the other. And this challenge holds if, and only if, that quality in each part is pertinent to the validity of the analogy. For instance electricians used plumbing concepts in explaining electrical “pressure” (Electrical potential) and “flow” (current). This was a useful analogy, but of course it breaks down when pressed too far, in which case it becomes a false analogy.
In the case of whether to accept the advice of experts or not; Sir Paul’s analogy is perfectly valid. It is perfectly rational behaviour to accept the advice of those who have spent years in the study of a subject, rather than to rely on the false ideas of those who have no qualifications of substance.
Delingpole may have felt mentally raped simply because in that instant he looked at himself in the mirror, and saw that that is exactly what he had been doing to himself! His prostitution to the mindlessness of denial is tantamount to mental rape.

_R2D2 July 5, 2011 at 10:14 am

If 9 out of 10 doctors told me I had cancer I would wonder why the other one didn’t, investigate, and probably find I had cancer. Generally there would be no disagreement about the presence of cancer.

If 9 out of 10 doctors told me that I had dangerously high blood pressure, 1 out of the 9 told me the best thing to do was exercise, 1 said diet, 2 said both, 3 said by-pass surgery, one said enjoy my last few years, I would start to get frustrated. The last one recommends a mechanical heart.

Without remedy 4 predicted I would live another ten years, 3 said 5, 1 said 1 year max and the last admitted he had no idea.

In this situation I would probably base my opinion on the one I trusted the most and my own research. As has been noted, climate change, climate change forecasts, weather attribution and welfare maximising mitigation strategies are of course much more complicated than diagnosing cancer. That is why this is a false analogy. Pretty simple really.

The continual use of this analogy in some ways shows why the debate is so dysfunctional, when someone questions an aspect of it, such as the trajectory of emissions reductions required, they are usually emotively accused of denying that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. I am sure at least one response to this post will remark how future generations will despise the actions of ‘deniers’ like me.

CTG July 5, 2011 at 11:19 am

Well, then, how about you put forward some constructive suggestions for emissions mitigation?

All you do is make up stories about how the doctors are using the wrong kind of stethoscope, or that they privately don’t believe in cancer.

Thomas July 5, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Ah R2D2, so if 9 out of 10 doctors (90%) think you have cancer you would do something about the cancer but if 97 out of 100 climate scientists (97%) think that humans cause global warming (see http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=734) and it is also known that global warming is threatening a global mass extinction event faster than the last one (just read that last Scientific American for a summary as I recommended to you before), then you think you rather do nothing and take advice from right wing or contrarian bloggers….
Hmm….. where again was that operating system of yours programmed? Perhaps one of the battle scars from your skirmishes with the imperial storm troopers caused some data corruption….

Macro July 5, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Again R2 you demonstrate your incredible capacity for misrepresentation, and apparent stupidity, dressed up in the form of impossible pedantry. As I pointed out above, pushing an analogy invariably makes it false. That is not the point of argument by analogy. I instanced the electrical / plumbing analogy.
You purposely push the doctor / climate science analogy too far in order to make it false. In doing so you drive it way beyond the argument of Sir Paul. The point he was making was simply this:
“It is perfectly rational behaviour to accept the advice of those who have spent years in the study of a subject”
Nowhere in the use of this analogy does he argue for this action or that to be taken – as you have implied in your criticism. Your criticism is therefore invalid.

bill July 5, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Frankly, I struggle to see any point whatsoever in R2′s distracting waffle.

I think we’ve safely identified that Nurse’s question was neither a false analogy nor a logical fallacy, not any other Argumentum ad pontificatum in the contrarian toolkit.

Complexity and uncertainty would only make it more likely that you’d accept such an overwhelming consensus among experts if your own health was involved. The complexity of ‘welfare maximising mitigation’ doesn’t come into it because Delingpole is a D e n i e r, R2, and it’s hard to believe this isn’t all a deliberate strategy to mire the discussion in the endless fog he is so fond of because he hopes that no one will ever choose a direction if they’re caught up in these endless sodden grey skeins of inconsequential details and ‘yes buts’.

Who do you imagine you’re convincing?

If we were to follow R2′s advice human discussion would be an endless chattering bedlam of qualification and minute digression, and nothing would get done, which, as I’ve said, appears to be the point. This is a person who criticises headlines, for Chrissakes, for unfairly not giving us all the nuances of a story!

‘Impossible pedantry’ is a very good description of the entire schtick.

‘C3PO’ was a much more apt screen-name because, bluntly, history has a way of leaving fussy ditherers behind in the dust.

And rightly so.

Richard Christie July 10, 2011 at 2:33 pm

@R2D2 The continual use of this analogy does not show why the debate is dysfunctional.

The analogy simply posits the position that consensus opinion from experts, in any (peer reviewed) scientific field, is usually well worth taking seriously as being the best and most informed available. And that this is well illustrated when one’s life depends upon whether you accept or reject scientific consensus.

A simple and valid analogy.

What shouts volumes is Delingpole’s complete unpreparedness for such an obvious question.

Macro July 5, 2011 at 10:26 pm

“Frankly, I struggle to see any point whatsoever in R2′s distracting waffle.”

I entirely agree bill.

RW July 6, 2011 at 6:47 am

Yes. R2 is simply (still) a concern troll whose strategy is to induce endless timewasting. He is also an ultra-bore.

Thomas July 5, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Hot of the press:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14002264

A new study shows that the apparent plateau of temperature increases between 1998 and the following decade might be due to the massive sulfur emissions from the rapid expansion of Chinas coal fired power stations. The very large sulfur emissions and their ability to reflect some of the incoming solar radiation may have temporarily offset some of the warming.
The same effect was seen in the post WWII period when the western nations rapidly increased their dirty coal fire power generation before clean air acts started to remove some or most of the sulfur emissions and other sources of power took a larger part of the production pie (Oil, Gas)

Robert Kaufmann, author of the new study said:

“People can choose not to believe in [man-made] climate change – but the correct term here is ‘belief’ – believing is an act of faith, whereas science is a testing of hypotheses and seeing whether they hold up against real world data.

“Even before this paper there wasn’t much scientific evidence for denying climate change, and now I don’t see any credible scientific contradiction – if people don’t believe it, it’ll be because they choose not to believe it.”

Carol Cowan July 5, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Now here’s the kind of discussion we should be having (rather than having to keep on and on proving a problem exists) – http://www.energybulletin.net/node/52815
We need more solutions and less sniveling.

bill July 9, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Those looking for a thorough pasting of the not-so-good Lord, along with local cronies Abbott, Plimer, (Alan) Jones, Sheridan, and McCrann may enjoy a quick stroll through this latest Fin Review piece by my favourite Oz economist – John Quiggin.

Macro July 9, 2011 at 10:13 pm

I like comment about “Abbott and the Moncks (followers of the ‘Lord’)” :)

bill July 10, 2011 at 10:12 pm

$23 a tonne – Australia joins the club of 21st Century civilised nations.

If you go to the link you’ll see a lot of people describing their strategy as ‘smart’. That isn’t an adjective that’s been applied to much of Labor’s behaviour since the last election, really.

Rather takes the wind out of ‘I-shoulda-been-a-Republican’ Abbott’s wing-nut sails, too…

One should savour these moments things go right!

Dappledwater July 10, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Excellent news!

bill July 24, 2011 at 11:36 am

If you have the chance you really should listen to this Background Briefing piece on Monckton.

You’ll be astonished to discover that he’s threatening to sue, and has even managed to abuse ABC chairman Maurice Newman (a climate contrarian and John Howard appointee – and personal friend – who many think was installed to white-ant the ABC!)

I have written to the chairman of the ABC who is a shrimp-like wet little individual and I have said to him, right mate, I warned you about this woman [journalist Wendy Carlisle of BB] orally over breakfast

(The latter phrase has led to a lot of Frankie Howerd moments! And note the continuing bizarre obsession with crustacean-related abuse.)

But it really isn’t funny. The section where Carlisle is deliberately targetted, pushed and jostled by what can only be described as a mob while Monckton decries the ABC as fascist from the stage , for instance. This from a man promising ‘bogus climate scientists’ -

we are coming after you. We are going to prosecute you, and we are going to lock you up.

The man simply cannot stop himself. That he can be taken seriously at all, and is being spruiked around the country by the Mining Industry, speaks volumes for the current state of Australia as a nation – none of it good.

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