Monday, February 22, 2010

Cue Whining Stage Right

Inferno at Denial Depot opens a new front in Akermangategate

Take what John Houghton actually said in 1995:

"If we want a good environmental policy in the future we’ll have to have a disaster. It’s like safety on public transport. The only way humans will act is if there’s been an accident."

This is quite boring. He's claiming humans won't act until it's too late. We could indeed paraphrase him as saying such. But that's not blog science. That's just telling people what John Houghton said, which would be alarmist. No we need to tidy up his words before we can discredit him and the science. Let me tidy up his words a bit so that it sounds like Houghton is advocating lying:

"Unless we announce disasters no one will listen"

There we go. Now it's blog post material
Of course, Booker and Akerman are hotter than the Inferno working down in the quote mine to justify their just making it up about Sir John Houghton.

And in Toronto, Steve got disinvited from World Dendro, probably because, as one of the tree borers who woke up, was heard to say
"What concerns me even more is the preliminary list of invited speakers. I believe that plenary and keynote talks should challenge and inspire the community. However, in at least one case it appears the organizers are giving the stage to someone who would just as soon destroy our work for their own petty agenda. I sincerely hope that the organizers will reconsider their choices before making the program final."
and horrors, the Globe and Mail got quotes from Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann

Clive Hamilton at the Australian Broadcasting Company has published part two of at least a three parter about how the denialists are cyber-bullying science. Part one featured the scatological best of our denialist friends. Not fit for a family blog. There are young bunnies here. Go over there. Part two details how the dog whisperers stir up the curs.
In Australia, a handful of denialist websites stand out. They include the blog of Herald-Sun commentator Andrew Bolt, Bolt's stable mate Tim Blair at the Daily Telegraph, the website operated by sceptic Joanne Nova (a pseudonym for Joanne Codling), and the community forum site operated by the Queensland farmers' organisation Agmates. Denialists also flock to the e-journal Online Opinion.

On these sites discussion of the "global warming conspiracy" seamlessly segues into a hodge-podge of right-wing populist grievances and causes, including defending rural property rights, the martyrdom of farming hunger-striker Peter Spencer, the errors of the Club of Rome, blood on the hands of Rachel Carson for causing DDT to be banned, the evils of Al Gore, the plan by the United Nations to dominate the world, and the need to defend freedom and democracy from these threats. Sceptics are explicitly or implicitly portrayed as freedom fighters battling attempts by scheming elites to shore up their power or impose a world government.

Recently, this stew of paranoia has been given a boost by the media exposure granted to Christopher Monckton in his recent Australian tour. Monckton propounded his extraordinary theory about climate change being a conspiracy by communists - assisted by the Hitler Youth and a craven scientific establishment - to seize power through a world government hidden in a climate treaty.
Part three threatens to be very amusing. As they say, it will follow the money.



Truth about denial said...

Check out the comments under Clive's article. It is interesting how deniers can talk smack about the scientists all day, and then go nuts when somebody calls them on it.

Anonymous said...

Little Mouse cannot always tell which comments are tongue in cheek.

Stephen said...

The conspiracy theory goes deeper. At least one commenter over at Hamilton's site has floated the theory that the nasty anonymous e-mails are being sent by "left wing nutcases" in an attempt to discredit climate deniers. Analogies with Hitler follow.

Anonymous said...

It realy is turning into a war on science

Little Mouse

Anonymous said...

Today I read pieces by Leonard Pitts (Miami Herald columnist) and Andrew Revkin, as well as heard one on NPR all going on about how this smacking of climate science is getting out of hand. I think the main stream media folks are getting nervous that all of science maybe tossed. Like, maybe everyone will stop flying on airplanes because of all the science involved. Or like the measles vaccine scare resulting in an outbreak this year. Overheard at the press club: "There's nothing like kicking a scientist in the ass every now and then to show them who's boss, but this is a little crazy. Dogs and cats sleeping together!" So says scared mouse.

Anonymous said...

Yer Oz opinionators Bolt and Blair source very little domestic material,except occasional rubbish from bitter and twisted John McLean and Warwick Hughes. They mainly throughput imported bunkum from the UK tabloids,SPPI,Watts,Morano and McI,either directly,through readers or via vicious agnotologist Jo 'Nova'. Hamilton's summation is deadly accurate. More nuts than a macadamia plantation.


Anonymous said...

Warmers afraid of losing the debate again. Chickens all of you. Cluck, Cluck.

Anonymous said...

'Climategate: What We Should Be Doing About Natural Climate Change'

'Just because AGW is a fraud doesn't mean that we should ignore the natural and cyclical changes in the Earth's temperature.'
February 24, 2010 - by Harrison Schmitt

I was going to have a crack at this, but I'm sure one of you guys would do a better job!

Random mouse

Hank Roberts said...

Pointers might suffice, e.g.

dhogaza said...

Now we have andy revkin getting his panties into a twist because RP Jr's being left off an IPCC panel that's supposed to report on managing the risks from climate extremes.

Apparently leaving his pet political scientist off the panel is an example of IPCC perfidity.

Anonymous said...

Eli have oyu seen this (from Santer's post at RC):

"My response was insufficient for Mr. McIntyre. He submitted two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for climate model data – not for the freely available raw data, but for the results from intermediate calculations I had performed with the raw data. One FOIA request also asked for two years of my email correspondence related to these climate model data sets."

"When I invited Mr. McIntyre to “audit” our entire study, including the intermediate calculations, and told him that all the data necessary to perform such an “audit” were freely available, he expressed moral outrage on his blog. I began to receive threatening emails. Complaints about my “stonewalling” behavior were sent to my superiors at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and at the U.S. Department of Energy."

Wow, McI continues to surprise......

I recommend reading Santer's article at RC.


ginckgo said...

Why does Australia seem have a disproportionately large amount of deniers?

Stephen said...


My theory is that Australia is just America-lite. There seem to be very similar societal attitudes apparently stemming from a frontier mentality that results in a distrust of authority in favor of gut feeling, anti-intellectualism, and a rugged individualism and general intransigence.

Nathan said...


Australians spend most of their time attempting to not be 'American'. We have a pretty strong cultural emphasis on being 'non-American' - they take themselves far too seriously and all puffed up with self-importance. Not like us self-deprecating Aussies. We abhore a lot of Americanisms, and a good way to win a rhetorical arguement here is to demonstrate something is 'American'. Typically if someone likes something and it's an American idea, we'll tell them to 'Go and live in America then' - not a pleasant thought for someone who lives in Australia (AKA God's own Earth)

I think the large number of deniers is indeed due to the distrust of authority figures and a desire to knock those who claim to be 'smart' or 'intellectual' - we like to cut the tall poppies down. Most importantly though is the money factor. Australia's biggest single export is coal. We sell a lot to China. The people who are deniers here typically have some link back to the mining industry. Ian Plimer is a good example of that.


Stephen said...


My point was not that Australians like America or Americans - just that they have common cultural features even though those features occasionally manifest themselves differently. Three very similar aspects are: latent racism, jingoism, and pockets of strong religiosity. Having moved to quasi-rural Australia a little over a year ago, I'm still occasionally struck by how similar small-town Queensland is to the American Deep South.

Michael Hauber said...

Us Aussies are natural born deniers. We can even deny being carbon copy Americans.

Nathan said...


Sure, I'm with you now.

Egads, outback Queensland huh? That's brave! Mighty fine and spectacular country out there, but... Hmmm... Been flooded lately?

Steve Bloom said...

Years ago I heard it referred to as the "Deep North," Stephen.

WV hits the Rabett Run jackpot: conies!

Wadard said...

ginckgo said...
"Why does Australia seem have a disproportionately large amount of deniers?"

We have a disproportionate amount of coal

Jim said...

Agree with Wadard: coal.

dhogaza said...

Wadard: brilliantly concise and to the point.

Sou said...

Australian deniers are more noisy than numerous.

A recent newspoll shows the number who think climate change is occurring has dropped in the past 12 months, but still 73% think it's real, including 80% of Labor and 62% of conservative voters.