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Chris de Freitas now is the time to be afraid

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, July 30th, 2016 - 161 comments
Categories: climate change, energy, Environment, global warming, newspapers, science, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

Chris de Freitas is the local go to person whenever the media want balance on climate change.  Balance in that on one side is the views of the overwhelming majority of respected climate change scientists who think we are going to hell in a hand basket and on the other side are those we suspect have been bought off by the oil industry and think that there is no problem. There is also a third group, the innocently delusional who truly believe that anthropogenic climate change is not occurring despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. De Freitas may be a member of that group.

His latest effort published by the Herald this week is a textbook example of what not to write in a university assignment. One should always address the issue and use reality to support the proposition that is being advanced.

His bursting into print was directed against Canterbury sociologist Jarrod Gilbert who a few days earlier had published this provocative post which, rightfully in my view, challenged the stupidity of the climate change denial class.

Gilbert said this:

There is no greater crime being perpetuated on future generations than that committed by those who deny climate change. The scientific consensus is so overwhelming that to argue against it is to perpetuate a dangerous fraud. Denial has become a yardstick by which intelligence can be tested. The term climate sceptic is now interchangeable with the term mindless fool.

He does not actually call for the creation of a new offence but says there should be a very public response every time that a climate change denier seeks to confuse.  He states this:

All of this might be a strange curiosity if the ramifications weren’t so serious. Whether it is the erosion of coastal properties, an influx of climate refugees from the Pacific, or the economic impacts on our primary industries from severe weather events, New Zealand must prepare for some significant realities.

The worst of these problems will impact more greatly on generations to come, but to ignore them now is as unconscionable as it is selfish. It ought be seen as a crime.

One way in which everyday crime can be discouraged is to ensure that “capable guardians” are around to deter criminal activity. When it comes to climate change, the capable guardians are educated members of the public who counteract the deniers.

There may be differing opinions on what policies to pursue, but those who deny that climate change exists ought be shouted down like the charlatans that they are. Or better yet, looked upon with pitiful contempt and completely ignored.

De Freitas obviously took umbrage at the article.  In his response he claimed that Gilbert wanted to silence climate change deniers and thought this was a monstrous thing for a University Lecturer to suggest.  His view involves a misreading of the article.  If this is the quality of de Freitas’s analysis then I can understand how he misinterprets the evidence relating to climate change.  Because Gilbert talked about charlatans being “shouted down” or “ignored” and having ca-able guardians to quickly and readily counter any claims made by deniers.

De Freitas then compares Gilbert’s statements to accusing someone of being a holocaust denier or engaging in racist insults.  Holy false equivalence.  Goodwin strikes again.

It appears the deniers have a tactic of accusing people who deny that climate change is occurring with claiming they are holocaust deniers and he mentions Benny Peiser in his article.  Peiser has the dual features of having an asteroid named after him and being the director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation the Nigel Lawson backed think tank.

De Freitas claims that “recent research findings show there is no evidence — none at all — to support the global warmers’ scaremongering.”  He also says that the computer modeling has not been validated.  How much validation does he need?

He also thinks that feedback mechanisms are keeping in check temperature rises.  If only this was true.

Essentially he neatly fits into the description that Gilbert gives of climate change deniers.  He refuses to accept the evidence or that there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that anthropogenic climate change is occurring and refers obliquely to studies that have been continuously discredited.

The perfect response to de Freitas comes from this blog post by Gareth Renowden at Hot Topic where he addresses a similar challenge issued by another climate change denier.

Renowden says this:

To be blunt about it — and I think you would expect nothing else from me — I believe I would be wasting my time indulging in any form of protracted discussion about climate science with you. I do not believe that your position on the issue would alter in any important respect, however cogently I presented facts and figures. You have too much invested in your climate opinions — your blogging, your denialist colleagues, your public persona — to be willing to change. Your entire track record suggests arguing with you would be futile.

Your views on climate change only make sense in an odd world where 97 percent of climate scientists are somehow conspiring to force people to stop using fossil fuels for political reasons. That’s a very strange planet to live on. Very few people share it with you.

The rest of us have to live in a world where climate is changing — and fast — because of the cumulative effect of our greenhouse gas emissions. Our children will have to live with the consequences, and you have played a part, however small, in making that future a worse place than it need have been.

I am all for robust debate.  But both sides ought to be at least slightly reality based.

161 comments on “Chris de Freitas now is the time to be afraid”

  1. dv 1

    We are the center of the universe.
    No we are not- look down my telescope.

    That argument in the 1500s was not as dangerous as the climate change issue.

    Copercnicus/Galileo theory took MORE THAN A CENTURY to become widely accepted. [ Adapted from Nicolaus Copernicus, 1543, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (“On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres.”)]

    Galaleo was tried by the inquisition.

    WE don’t have a century.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      All civilisations come to an end. The preist caste takes over, where God will deliver us and respect for elders is unquestionable. Today our God is the free market that will deal with future crisises magically and our elders are the wealthiest bause they know everything. The prophet Thatcher led us into the holy times, the great cannibalistic political revolution, that if it does not work for you you can do away with out stakeholders geting a say. The wealthy and the connected quickly turned away from entrepreneurial endeavours and built a preistly class of fiscal astute preists, whose great temples, and assorted lackeys, lay gifts before them to keep the Gods happy.

      Thatcher Murdoch, great intellectual laziness meets unconcerned abandonment of civic balance.

  2. Most climate change acceptors (?) are in denial as well, you know the ones that say reducing our fossil fuel use will help ‘save the environment’ etc, or the ones that think changing the government will help, or investing in so called green technology. Or the latest …. reduce house prices by 50% …. and build a gazillion more of them, FFS ????
    400 ppm CO2 and 2 ppm CH4 equals goodbye to everything that breathes.
    It is not a matter of IF it is a matter of WHEN, reducing emissions, or anything we pathetic humans can come up with are going to do nothing to stop the WHEN.
    Fuck hope.
    …. I will leave the floor open to the denialists.

    • weka 3.1

      Your form of denial is just as harmful as the out and out denialists Robert.

      • Robert Atack 3.1.1

        How is what I say harmful? Or denial?
        The facts are in 400 ppm = extinction, and the planet will see 600+ ppm CO2 a long time befor it will see 350 ppm.
        The environment is in runaway climate change,
        Humans face a blood bath – 22After.com – we are living on a global Rapanui, canabalisum and violance are humans default positions, we are only several days supply of food and water away from the shit hitting the fan.
        My talking about the inevitable future for a child born in the past 50 years is just saying it as it is, no denial.
        We can’t face the truth, the US elections are a great example of how stupid we are on mass. But then humans have been happy to have been lied to from day one, we are genetically wired to ignore unpleasant truths, just like bacteria in the Petri dish.
        We are firing humans at the bottleneck of resource depletion, in the hope that some will get through, only the survivors are going to come smack up against the cork of climate change. This experiment is about over.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          Saying that there is nothing we can do, and promoting that, is denial and as damaging as anything the unbelievers do.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            “Saying that there is nothing we can do”

            Sure there are lots of things we can do.

            None of them are going to prevent 3 deg C global warming by 2040.

            And I don’t see any proposals to prevent 4 deg C global warming by 2060.

            • weka 3.1.1.1.1.1

              My point is that promotion of ‘there is nothing we can do’ especially in a fearmongering way, actively discourages change.

              Talking about the realities of the situation, how serious it is, what is needed to change, and then giving people pathways to change, that’s how change happens. Solidarity, engagement, support, action etc.

              • Colonial Viper

                But you clearly don’t want people to talk about the “realities of the situation” that we face, or what needs to be done to change.

                The realities of the situation we face is 2 deg C warming by around 2030, 3 deg C warming by around 2040, on our way to 4 deg C warming soon after that.

                I’ll do a post today around this from some NASA graphs.

                • weka

                  “But you clearly don’t want people to talk about the “realities of the situation” that we face, or what needs to be done to change.”

                  That’s not true, and I’d like you to now point to three comments I have made that demonstrate that I don’t want people to talk about the realities of the situation, and three that demonstrate that I don’t want people to talk about what needs to be done to change.

                  I think you have a solid misunderstanding of my position, and I’d like to clear that up.

                  The big problem I have with Robert Attack is that he posts belief as fact and then he fearmongers and then he promotes not changing. I don’t see your position as the same as is, which is why I am surprised to see you aligning yourself with it. I do think there is an issue with you being so convinced of the rightness of your view that you also present opinion as fact, but it’s not ideologically driven like RA’s is, and you are supportive of change.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    weka your comment

                    “Saying that there is nothing we can do, and promoting that, is denial and as damaging as anything the unbelievers do.”

                    is doing nothing but promoting denial of the realities of the situation and asking people not to talk about it.

                    You regard it as fearmongering. But it’s nothing more than the inconvenient truth.

                    I’ll reframe my position – there is absolutely nothing that we can do to prevent 3 deg C warming by 2040.

                    Robert Atack IMO takes that to the logical conclusion (although I think he believes the time frames are shorter than I do): 3 deg C warming will wreck total catastrophe with our civilisational and economic systems, it cannot be successfully adapted to, and it will take climate change control out of our hands as Mother Nature wrests the steering wheel off us once and for all.

                    The big problem I have with Robert Attack is that he posts belief as fact

                    In an interview in 2005 NASA head of Goddard James Hansen said that more than 1 deg C warming or we would get “very bad effects”…a point of “no return”.

                    He thought we would have until 2050 to reduce emissions to keep things under 1 deg C.

                    Except we’re already there. 34 years ahead of schedule. That’s the fact. It’s not “belief.”

                  • weka

                    is doing nothing but promoting denial of the realities of the situation and asking people not to talk about it.

                    You regard it as fearmongering. But it’s nothing more than the inconvenient truth.

                    Ok, so a single, out of context quote of me is all you’ve got to back up your assertion that I don’t want people to talk about the realitities of CC?

                    That up against my five year history as a commenter on the TS, including recently putting up posts on CC/

                    That is ridiculous.

                    In an interview in 2005 NASA head of Goddard James Hansen said that more than 1 deg C warming or we would get “very bad effects”…a point of “no return”.

                    Yes.

                    He thought we would have until 2050 to reduce emissions to keep things under 1 deg C.

                    Except we’re already there. 34 years ahead of schedule. That’s the fact. It’s not “belief.”

                    Yes.

                    But what you do next is belief/opinion. RA goes “we’re doomed, nothing we can do will make any difference” and he has not only stopped doing things in his own life he actively promotes not doing.

                    You go “we’re fucked, we should focus on our own survival”, or whatever variation it is of that.

                    Both those positions are beliefs. We all look at the numbers and come to our own conclusions about what is likely to happen. Some of those conclusions deserve serious critique eg the people who believe that we will be okay because of CCS. But equally so the people who believe humanity is now going extinct therefore we should give up. Both are dangerous.

                    I get what your position is. I’m just think we should be more honest about it, that our conclusions are just that, they’re not inevitable. And the conclusions we draw and subsequent actions we take have impact on the debate. Which neatly takes us back to the topic of the post. The new denialism takes many forms.

              • Discouraging change is of little consequence. Discouraging hope is a disgrace.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      After rejigging a few numbers I see 3 deg C global average climate change being locked in, and we will hit it circa 2040. Today’s primary school entrants will be just thinking of starting families then.

      We’ll hit 2 deg C warming at or about 2030.

      On NASA’s the pre-1900 baseline.

      At this stage neither of these numbers are avoidable, even if we were to cease the use of carbon based fuels today.

      EDIT these warming numbers are unavoidable because of the thermal inertia of the worlds very heavy oceans – like the delay in feeling a big pot of cold water heat up – there is about a 30 year delay for half the warming from today’s GHG emissions to be measurable as an actual temperature rise.

      • weka 3.2.1

        Anderson says there is still a chance. Dependent on us doing something we probably won’t do admittedly, but that’s not the same as us being locked in.

    • Colonial Viper 3.3

      Hi Robert Atack,

      Appreciating your perspective more and more these days. Plenty of false optimism merchants out there re: climate change.

      PS have you read the latest Archdruid Report? He explains very clearly how the climate change movement is, ahem, f**ked.

      • weka 3.3.1

        “Appreciating your perspective more and more these days”

        Which is that there is nothing we can do, and as far as I can tell he doesn’t believe that we should bother reducing carbon or even try and make things better.

        Pretty interesting to understand that that is a position that you appreciate and appear to support. If there is false optimism there is also false pessimism, equalling as damaging.

        • Robert Atack 3.3.1.1

          Which is that there is nothing we can do,

          Stop have babies.

          I can tell he doesn’t believe that we should bother reducing carbon

          Because we are past the point of it mattering, 400 ppm or 1,000 ppm as far as 96% of life on earth goes it is to late.
          Saying we can do X to help the situation and turn this comet around, just gives the breeding masses the encouragement to keep pumping out more victims.

          or even try and make things better.

          If we could face how fucked things were, instead of pretending this house of cards will keep growing, then maybe a better ending there will be, but it will need most of us understanding how fucked it all is, and accepting there is no point in ‘land banking’ for the future, and maybe we could all stop killing each other in this insane race to having the most toys, maybe we could go out ‘humanely’.
          But while this whole system demands constant growth WAF.
          God has forsaken us 😉

          • Colonial Viper 3.3.1.1.1

            I can tell he doesn’t believe that we should bother reducing carbon

            Not exactly – but I do believe that any and all proposals to reduce NZ’s GHG emissions by less than 50% by 2026 should be roundly ignored. (Including ag/hort emissions).

            And even if we achieved this, I know it will probably have zero impact on the global course of things. But on a moral basis it needs to be done.

          • weka 3.3.1.1.2

            “Stop have babies.”

            Yeah, but let’s be honest about that Robert. You say stop having babies not because you want to try and mitigate CC, but to prevent those babies from having a horrible life. Which is a valid suggestion, but it’s nothing to do with the fact that you openly advocate not changing to mitigate CC.

      • Colonial Viper – yes, John Michael Greer does say that, but have you noticed how different his voice sounds from that of Robert Atack? Can you determine what that difference is?

        • Colonial Viper 3.3.2.1

          Different personalities; also JMG is a bona fide Archdruid

          • Robert Guyton 3.3.2.1.1

            JMG says the movement is f***ed. He doesn’t say we; you, me and Robert Atack and others are. JMG has not despaired. Understanding the reason for that is important. I have not despaired. Weka has not despaired. Robert Atack has and has rendered himself useless (to us).

      • marty mars 3.3.3

        Yes but he thinks the doomers, giveupers, and techalienfixes, are all in the same camp of delusion.

    • Save nz 3.4

      +1 Robert atack – on build a gazillion more houses- there is a disconnect and irony in adding more people into nz from the most populous countries in the world & destroying our environment to do so with questionable benefits, more cars, more & higher priced houses, less greenfields, more air & water pollution. personally don’t see a sustainability/green scenario with the idea off adding more population. We should count our blessings we live in NZ and Have room to move with climate change.

      • Colonial Viper 3.4.1

        We must have economic growth and more employment!

        And higher wages so people can lift their levels of consumption of Chinese/coal made goods!

        Plus tourism creates jobs, so we have to encourage half a million more visitors to fly to and from NZ every year! Yes please!

        And we must bitch every time ‘the others’ refuse to take climate change seriously, yes siree because we are far more enlightened than them.

        Did I mention how we need more jobs and more houses and more income for people in NZ?

        Anyways I’ve been listening to Kunstler and McPherson this week and reading John Michael Greer. Most therapeutic.

        • Savenz 3.4.1.1

          Yes more growth & employment – like a good neoliberal we can pollute the air & then charge people for oxygen. Pollute the water & then charge people for bottled water. over fish the fish & then charge people for what they used 2 get for free. Screw up the environment & neoliberals can fly around the world in talk fests & pay advisors 2 write reports about it all…

        • Robert Guyton 3.4.1.2

          Yes, but so what, CV?
          Measuring yourself against those who “don’t get it” is futile. What can you do? What can you achieve from your enlightened position? How can you help?

    • aerobubble 3.5

      Tax the private motor off the roads.

      • Savenz 3.5.1

        Yep make us pay taxes for roads and then add more people and tax existing people for more roads. Refuse 2 have affordable & efficent public transport and then have broadband so slow & erratic that working from home is like relying on homing pigeons. the latest sky path is taxing walkers and cyclists 2 use it while drivers pay no charge. That is the neoliberal way – the .1% profit at every turn while starving off public transport and working out new ways 2 extract fees to get 2 work from the increasingly poorer population or government.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.5.2.1

          So that the UN can take over the world. You are the last bastion of truth, and they have your physical address, so I expect they’ll come for you first. Everyone else has given in to the madness.

          Take care.

  3. It doesn’t matter what de Freitas says.

    • Pat 4.1

      it may if you’re a student at one of his lectures and he’s marking your papers

      • miravox 4.1.1

        True, Pat. It appears that even with all the accumulating evidence, he hasn’t moved on since I heard him pontificating back in 1999. Even back then i heard people saying he’s good with [xyz] but his climate change views are heavily debated.

    • Savenz 4.2

      The dumbest students always were told 2 take geography. Pay back time!

      • Corokia 4.2.1

        Nasty comment Savenz
        Geography at Otago are very much on to educating students about climate change ( and the public through weekly columns in the ODT)

      • miravox 4.2.2

        Despite Mr de Freitas’ views on climate change (every discipline has its dissenters – some times a good thing, at other times not), I’m proud to be a geographer.

  4. johnm 5

    Scorching Global Temps Astound Climate Scientists

    As wildfire rages in California, flooding affects millions in India and China, and eggs are fried on sidewalks in Iraq, scientists say global climate catastrophe is surpassing predictions

    Record global heat in the first half of 2016 has caught climate scientists off-guard, reports Thompson Reuters Foundation.

    “What concerns me most is that we didn’t anticipate these temperature jumps,” David Carlson, director of the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) climate research program, told Thompson Reuters Foundation late Monday. “We predicted moderate warmth for 2016, but nothing like the temperature rises we’ve seen.”

    “Massive temperature hikes, but also extreme events like floodings, have become the new normal,” Carlson added. “The ice melt rates recorded in the first half of 2016, for example—we don’t usually see those until later in the year.”

    Indeed, extreme weather events are currently wreaking havoc around the world.

    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/07/27/scorching-global-temps-astound-climate-scientists?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork

    • johnm 5.1

      Some comments on the above article:

      Holygeezer
      Feel the real Burn. The next president elected from the ongoing dog and pony show will not be able to do anything to stop this now. This is happening exponentially and we are truly in unknown realms. It is likely to get worse and worse sooner and sooner. Enjoy your remaining time on this planet.

      andrewboston
      Well, I’m sure the American sheeple are in favor of doing something about it, if it becomes a problem; and as long as addressing it, doesn’t cost them anything.
      zero population growth will happen, the only uncertainty is how horrible things will have to become first)

      George_W_Hayduke
      I’m afraid you are correct HG, I’ve been trying to be optimistic (kind of have to with kids) but these events are happening so quickly that it sure looks like those positive feedbacks have been engaged. I’ve spent a lot of my life in the woods with a minimal amount of gear, all those in our world addicted to comfort and convenience have an even harder road ahead!

      MHunter
      Honestly I don’t even think it will even take 20 years for humanity to die off, or at least get sent back into the Dark Ages.

      dpearl
      A very authoritative website about global warming is at http://www.skepticalscience.com15 Every argument you will ever hear from a climate science skeptic is completely debunked.
      While no one on this site appears to have global warming denial syndrome – I think this is a good resource to share if you find yourself in an argument with a pseudo-science babbler.

      Shamanomaha
      A woman in Arizona prays for God to help us. Ha ha ha. The ONLY help we’ll get is what we provide for ourselves and sadly we’re not going to take any action. Too many people. the drought and floods and fires and rising oceans and wars to come over water and food will eliminate many people. Will it be enough to get us back to the carrying capacity of the planet of about 1.5 billion people? We’ll have to wait and see. We humans had a good ride and we totally ruined the Eden we’d evolved into. Totally. We deserve exactly what we get. I only hope that Congress and SCOTUS and the CEOs of They The Corporations fry first.

      Shamanomaha
      A little late to break through denial. It’s like an alcoholic with end-stage cirrhosis who finally realizes he should stop drinking. Too late.

      Giovanna
      To borrow from and paraphrase James Baldwin: The Fire This Time. And in more ways than one.

      I especially weep for the animals.

      Yankee_Bravo
      We’re doomed.

      When climate scientists started really sounding the alarm bells back in the 90s, the pundits in the MSM laughed and called them insane. They did the same thing in the early 2000s, but then shifted when the evidence was overwhelming, and started with the whole “Oh, it won’t be as bad as they say. They’re alarmists.” Every single time the climate experts have screamed about the impending catastrophe that is climate disruption, the timeline has been proven to be woefully optimistic. These changes will not occur in 50-100 years. They are happening. Right. Now.

      This world had a chance to do something about this in the 1970s, but the rich people didn’t care. Climate change is the result of greedy rich people with political connections selling a product which poisoned the planet. Right now, they believe their wealth will protect them from the food shortages, the plagues, and the heat in their comfortable walled-communities and air-conditioned homes. Just wait until the climate refugees start migrating, or when the oceans begin claiming the coastal cities. Who wants to bet the rich will get a bailout for all of their terrible investments in beach-front property.

      The rich caused global warming. It’s too late to reverse it. Be sure to thank them.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        I think we are starting to get to the steeper part of an exponential temperature increase curve now.

        It took roughly the first 90 years for global temps to go up 0.6 deg C.

        It’s only taken 20 years for global temps to go up a second 0.6 deg C.

        NB we have only seen half the warming from the CO2 our economies put up in the 1980s. There is another half to come from the 1980s.

      • johnm 5.1.2

        Further comments

        Wereflea

        I disagree but then again… who knows? I just don’t believe that it will be the End (capital E) as do so many. I can envision a huge slum with lousy sanitation and famine and plague and sheer misery for upwards of at least ten to twelve billion people before sheer species wide incompetence succeeds in taking a short cut to a less populated world. Some fear nuclear war but I worry more about biological plagues natural or otherwise.

        I do think it will be the end of the world as we know it now though but just not the complete end. A world where the Amazon has become an arid wasteland? Yeah possibly. A world with dead and noxious oceans fit for jellyfish and algae blooms and little else? Yeah sadly. That world is like the end of this one but guess who continues to exist throughout it all?

        Yep…we do. Eating jellyfish algae paste and drinking filtered piss if necessary but we will try to survive. In twenty years I believe the whole planet will be involved in trying to mitigate climate change simply out of necessity. I hope it won’t take longer but someday we will fight to survive and even fossil fuel money won’t be able to dissuade us from doing something about catastrophic climate change.

        Sadly we move slowly when our politicians are bribed to move slowly.

        MountainMan23
        I read Limits To Growth in the late 70s which argued that if population growth and the growth of industrial output were not curtailed immediately (1970s immediately) that by the midpoint of the second decade of the 21st century (ie, now) the deaths from pollution would begin to skyrocket (it’s at 1 of 8 deaths now) climaxing around 2030 with a massive die-off.

        When Reagan was elected I knew it was game over and have planned accordingly since.

        The “believers” in AGW have been little more help than the “deniers” since the “believers” have just about invariably projected the catastrophe sufficiently far in the future that we “still have time” to do something and save ourselves.

        Time ran out decades ago.

        George_III
        to
        Yankee_Bravo

        is the result of greedy rich people with political connections selling a product which poisoned the planet

        Yes. And who bought the stuff they sell? We did. And who still want to buy cars and commute to work one person to an SUV and not to pay taxes to fund public transport?. WE do . And the Chinese WEs. And the Indian WEs. And the other billion WEs in Asia. And no doubt there is a middle class in Africa who just love gadgets and products and air conditioners and cars and and and, just like the rest of US.

        WE are the market and without US the rich and greedy can’t be rich and greedy. Yes; I know, blame the “vicitim” Sorry; WE are all responsible for what WE do and buy and use. WE have brains that can think and use to make socially responsible decisions and WE don’t use them enough.

        illusion
        Growing up in the northeast I do not ever remember temps getting over 100–Amy Goodman was the first I heard to point this out—the temps in Philly are over 100-in fact it looks like most of the northeast has temps over 100. Yet their seems to be a strange silence about these temps????

        MHunter
        to
        George_W_Hayduke

        If that is true I also think Putin would want to tilt elections to the Republicans because he knows that Hillary will likely cause WWIII. So pick your poison, more acceleration towards heat death of the human race or thermonuclear death of the human race.

        bardamu
        We seem to be caught between two denials:

        There is no problem
        There is no solution

        One hopes it is obvious that there is a problem. It should be obvious as well that we are in no position to calculate that there is no solution. Either way, it appears that people are happy to conclude that there is nothing to do.

        There are things to do. It is good that we are reminded that there is a problem, but we ought to discuss the things that will or would be solutions were they implemented as well.

        Thomas_Jefferson
        to
        George_W_Hayduke

        The realist in me says 20 but I’m desperately holding on to the optimist : )

        We may not even have 5-10 years left. If Dr. Doom in Arizona is right with his theory of rapid climate change. I’d credit the poster who put this up, But it’s so hot I can’t remember which one of you did it.

        MHunter
        to
        Thomas_Jefferson

        I wonder how I should feel about this as a millennial, in a way humanity signed its death sentence long before I was born. But on the other hand it sucks thinking that I was born into a dying world.

        Thomas_Jefferson
        to
        MHunter

        My Son is five. So, I really feel bad that I can’t leave him a world in which he won’t suffer in.

        When we say we are over 400 ppm CO2, we aren’t counting Methane, a gas 30 to 100 times as powerful. If we count that we are probably over 475ppm in 2016, which in the past at 495 melted the Antarctica ice sheet. Islands in the Solomons were just evacuated and my house keeps going under water on this island, so these problems are very real to me.

        I think Dr. Doom is right. It’s too late. But if more people know, perhaps we could slow it down some. Kill GM’s plan to put a billion new peasants behind the wheel with free financing in China and India. Better still, outlaw all private autos. You wanna ride? You must share.

        Kill all Coal plants and just let the grid go dark. Those two things might have a chance at delaying global extinction since they are the lion’s share of carbon emitters according to EPA

    • johnm 5.2

      Even Paul Henry believes we’re “schickered” polite euphemism for fucked.

      http://www.newshub.co.nz/tvshows/paulhenry/el-nino-keeps-bringing-warm-weather-for-autumn-2016031513#axzz42xWzFxSG

    • whispering kate 5.3

      My relatives in Baltimore US have been sweltering under a “heat dome” for the past week or so, they say the heat is hideous like being in front of an open oven door. Not the sort of heat you can manage, just too hot to be even outdoors. This winter here in AK has been very unseasonably mild with very warm night temps, the gardens are doing all sorts of silly things like flowering when they shouldn’t and bulbs coming up way too early. We have one heat pump only and hardly ever use it, granted we did get double glazing installed, but nevertheless we don’t seem to have separate seasons anymore, just a slow gradual rising/lowering of temperatures. I agree there is something seriously out of kilter with the weather/climate.

      • Colonial Viper 5.3.1

        Because the US has under-invested in its national electricity grid, the next thing which will start happening with alarming frequency is power failures. Which means no airconditioning.

        And none of these modern buildings (or modern people) will cope well in these conditions under those circumstances.

        Glass office towers will become completely unusable during day light hours.

    • aerobubble 5.4

      Capacity to absorb heat has ran out, as co2 methane levels rise,the planet was hiding real heating in biosphere reserve buffers. Exponential heating will begin.

  5. Richard Christie 6

    Shame on the Herald.

    They have no clue what balance is.

  6. righty right 7

    no no no no no climate change is fraud and is being carried out by the pinko commie lesbos with hairy arm pits of the green party
    who want to destroy our way of life it is fraud fraud !
    there is no evidence what so ever the planet is heating up if there was john key would tell us and he hasn’t so there isn’t!

  7. Kelly-Ned 8

    Gilbert’s ridiculing approach is hardly professional nor convincing.

  8. Paul 9

    John Oliver ridicules papers like the Herald’s ‘balance’.

  9. Guerilla Surgeon 11

    False balance. I hope.

  10. Kelly-Ned 12

    Two points.
    Apply rational logic.
    Follow the money.

    Oh and a third…

    Play the ball not the player.

    • Richard Christie 12.1

      Follow the money. (…and Al Gore is fat)

      At the centre of all science denial lies the konspiracy.

      You lose.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.2

      Apply rational logic.

      So I did that, and it’s logical and rational to think that NASA and Nature and NOAA and the Academy and NIWA et al are all in a giant conspiracy to establish a UN global government.

      Also that greenhouse Physics and the atmospheric carbon isotope ratio trend and what lovely warm weather we’re having are evidence of this cunning deception.

      Yes indeedy.

  11. maninthemiddle 13

    Gilbert is not a scientist, and the reason his article is so unworthy is that it is based on a fundamental misundestanding of science, and a (in my view) deliberate misstatement of the denial position.

    “There is no greater crime being perpetuated on future generations than that committed by those who deny climate change.”
    Here’s the latter. No serious person-one denies climate change is occurring. But Gilbert takes the dishonest approach by declaring deniers do. They don’t. Deniers (I will use that term for brevity) question the more extreme claims of mankinds culpability.

    “The scientific consensus is so overwhelming that to argue against it is to perpetuate a dangerous fraud.”
    Another deception. In his article Gilbert calls on the ‘97% consensus’ that has been falsified. That level of dishonesty is alarming from someone speaking on a matter of science.

    “Denial has become a yardstick by which intelligence can be tested. The term climate sceptic is now interchangeable with the term mindless fool.”
    Really? Freeman Dyson, Bjorn Lomborg, Kiminori Itoh, Ivar Giaever, Will Happer, and many many more eminent persons question the alleged consensus on anthropenic climate change.

    But perhaps Gilbert’s greatest crime is to misunderstand science. Science is about questioning. Scepticism is a tool of the scientist. To label large numbers of intelligent individuals as ‘mindless fools’ is not just ‘clumsy’ it is ignorant, and to attempt to suppress these contrary views on a level with the Catholic Churches attempt to silence Galileo. If the deniers are wrong, the overwhelming power of the alarmists case will win out on the strength of the science. And that’s the way it should be.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      Gilbert is a Sociologist. Broadly speaking, Climatology denial is a political phenomenon, and therefore entirely within his ambit.

      Science is never settled: the right wing denier position amounts to: ‘we don’t know everything, therefore we know nothing’.

      I note that Dyson’s position is not that of Lomborg, Itoh, Ivar or Happer. You will struggle to cobble together a coherent narrative from their disparate views.

      • maninthemiddle 13.1.1

        “Broadly speaking, Climatology denial is a political phenomenon, and therefore entirely within his ambit.”

        By ‘Climate denial’ I assume you mean the process of reputable scientists questioning the extent of man’s contribution to climate change. That being the case, it cannot be political, because these scientists do so on the basis of the science. That’s how science works. Gilbert is a sociologist, not a scientist, and he portrays his ignorance of the scientific method and his intolerance of intelligent questioning of prevailing ideas. He’d do the medieval Catholic Church proud.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1.1

          broadly speaking

          Adv. 1. broadly speaking – without regard to specific details or exceptions

          As per the linked article. Did you read it?

          PS: you can assume I’m using the word “denial” in the same way you are using the word “denier” 🙄

          • maninthemiddle 13.1.1.1.1

            Broadly speaking, climate alarmism is a political phenomena. And a financial one.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Ah, yes, the konspiracy. I wondered how long it would take you to start smearing scientists.

              Oh noes, you must be trying to stifle debate.

              • maninthemiddle

                It isn’t a ‘conspiracy’. It is a response to the politicisation of climate change. There is huge funding involved. There is political kudos involved. Al Gore made a personal fortune from this stuff.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  US politician has personal fortune. If you say so.

                  Not sure how that distorts NASA’s conclusions. or NOAA’s or NIWA’s or Nature’s, or the Pentagon’s, for that matter.

                  Nor does it explain how the decision as to how to respond to AGW was ever going to be anything other than political.

                  I’m sure you have some unconvincing tiresome irrelevance you need to point at instead.

                  • maninthemiddle

                    “Not sure how that distorts NASA’s conclusions. ”

                    It doesn’t. It does, however, show that there are charlatans on both sides of this debate.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The debate has more than two sides.

                      There is the opinion of NASA, NOAA, NIWA, the Academy, Nature the Pentagon, and every other major science body in the world, and then there are the disparate and often mutually exclusive opinions of de Freitas, Spencer, Soon, Dyson, Lomborg, Itoh, Giaever, Happer, and a few other individuals.

                      Which one of the denier stories do you like best?

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Which one of the denier stories do you like best?”

                      Relevance? This discussion is about whether contrary opinion should be shut down. You are trying desperately to change the subject, because I suspect you are very uncomfortable with this ‘conversation’, but that’s tough.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Your suspicions are as incoherent as your narrative. It doesn’t make me uncomfortable that you can’t get your story straight.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “It doesn’t make me uncomfortable that you can’t get your story straight.”

                      Again, you are avoiding the issue. Are you happy to label dissenters as somehow unintelligent? Are you happy that science is corrupted by silencing dissent, rather than exposing it to the scientific method?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Your narrative is a lie.

                      The ‘dissent’ was exposed to the scientific method long ago and found wanting. Meanwhile, you throw accusations of dishonesty and corruption around – criminal acts if they’d actually happened – and then start whining about some name calling.

                      Hypocrisy and lies.

                      Providing evidence that you are a lying hypocrite doesn’t silence you; you have not made your case that contempt is censorship.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “The ‘dissent’ was exposed to the scientific method long ago and found wanting. ”

                      Not true. Otherwise you would not support shutting down debate. The dissent is not one dimensional, either. It takes the form of discussion around the degree of anthropogenic impact, the likely benefit of remedial action, and the severity of anticipated results. You’re simplifying the discussion to suit your narrow mindedness, and your inability to admit you are happy for the debate to be curtailed.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You are beating your girlfriend right now. When are you going to stop?

                    • maninthemiddle

                      You’re supporting criminalising scientific dissent. When are you going to stop?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      That’s it: your allegation has as much foundation as mine. I’m glad (and surprised) you were able to get the point.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “… your allegation has as much foundation as mine.”

                      No, you have no evidence I’m beating my girlfriend.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I’m beating my girlfriend

                      maninthemiddle

                      There is as much evidence against you as there is against Gilbert: the case can only be made by misrepresentation.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “There is as much evidence against you as there is against Gilbert”

                      Not so. You have zero evidence against me. On the other hand, Gilbert is condemned by his own words.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I’ve already shown that he isn’t.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “I’ve already shown that he isn’t.”

                      You’ve done nothing of the sort.

                      Gilbert dishonestly misrepresents a point of view (by misrepresenting the view point of dissenters as denying that climate changes), then seeks to criminalise that dissent. There is no other way to reasonably interpret his commentary. It is the stuff of the Soviet Union…typical left wing suppression.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      🙄

                • This whole “maninthemiddle speaks” thing has been such a bore.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1.2

          As for how science works, broadly speaking, when individual scientists publish opinion pieces in The Herald they are expressing personal views.

          By contrast, when the editors of peer-reviewed journals publish their academic papers, that is how science works.

          • maninthemiddle 13.1.1.2.1

            Peer reviewed publications are, to some extent, personal opinion. Science interprets, and not always correctly, as we know.

      • maninthemiddle 13.1.2

        Actually it is not that easy to cobble together a coherent narrative from amongst many alarmists.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.2.1

          I’ll go with NASA’s. Or aren’t they “alarmists”?

          • maninthemiddle 13.1.2.1.1

            I’m also happy to consider their views. I’m just not happy suppressing others.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.2.1.1.1

              Like when Exxon buries their own research, you mean?

              • maninthemiddle

                Absolutely. It doesn’t matter who does it. I want science to be a quest for valid explanations of natural phenomena, not a race to the bottom. Al Gore set the tone very early, and regrettably that dishonesty has plagued this discussion ever since. Hence the public’s scepticism.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Al Gore isn’t a scientist, so your fears for science are ill-founded.

                  Will you be ok?

                  • maninthemiddle

                    Oh my concerns for science are well founded.

                    The faith of many scientists in failed climate models gives rise for concern. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2420783/Worlds-climate-scientists-confess-Global-warming-just-QUARTER-thought–computers-got-effects-greenhouse-gases-wrong.html

                    The corruption of some of the major scientific bodies gives rise for concern. http://investmentwatchblog.com/top-scientist-resigns-admitting-global-warming-is-a-big-scam/

                    And there are many more.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      🙄

                      Can you point to the evidence of “dishonesty” and “corruption” that you allege is occurring? Neither of the examples you linked to provide any.

                      The first alleges errors not dishonesty, then notes that actual events fell within the IPCC range of possible predictions. The second cites allegations that a: were refuted long ago and b: have been rendered moot by eg: Muller’s BEST study.

                      I note that it took you less than a day to go from pretending to be a neutral observer to parroting zombie smears and faux concern, all the while paying lip service to honesty.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “The first alleges errors not dishonesty”

                      Oh, so errors are ok? Not in the science I know.

                      “The second cites allegations that a: were refuted long ago and b: have been rendered moot by eg: Muller’s BEST study.”

                      You just don’t get it, do you.

                      “It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it…”

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Alleged errors, and who said they were ok apart from you? Not dishonesty or corruption then.

                      And back to the konspiracy. You really didn’t get the reference to Richard Muller at all, did you.

                      You rote-learned the wrong smears.

                      🙄

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Alleged errors, and who said they were ok apart from you?”

                      You did. By narrowing the focus to ‘dishonesty’ and ‘corruption’. My concern is for science and the scientific method. I consider ‘errors’, particularly when combined with failed climate model predictions and alarmist claims of environmental groups and associated charlatans as being very dangerous to science.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You can’t provide any evidence of the dishonesty or corruption you alleged. That’s not me “narrowing the focus”, it’s your story being found wanting. Again.

                      Don’t blame me if you can’t get your lies in order.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Lying for financial advantage is fraud, not “opinion”. Do you need to have that explained to you?”
                      No. But unless you can prove they lied, they should not be criminalised. This is the politics of climate change taking over.

                      “Yes, you have misrepresented Gilbert. He says it is a crime, and offers that it “should” be too.”
                      So you DO agree that dissent should be criminalized. Thanks for clearing that up.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Did someone suggest they be convicted without evidence? Apart from you, that is.

                      Being able to accurately summarise Gilbert’s opinion is not the same as agreeing with it. I note you are misrepresenting his conclusions. Again. After we only covered it yesterday.

                      Calling for ridicule and contempt is not censorship. Scientists are not the shrinking violets you take them for, despite your argumentum ad nauseam.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “I note you are misrepresenting his conclusions. ”

                      Not at all. Gilbert misrepresents dissenters. He clams they deny climate change, which is a lie. He then goes on to say their dissent should be a criminal offence. Which is why he is being ridiculed.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      He says it is a crime, and should be.

                      Why are you so handicapped that you do not understand the meaning of the word “is”? Your amygdala grew so large it made your nose longer?

                  • maninthemiddle

                    “You can’t provide any evidence of the dishonesty or corruption you alleged. ”

                    Actually I have. But you’re still avoiding the core issue. Are you happy to censor opposing opinion?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No-one has suggested doing so. When did you stop beating your girlfriend?

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “No-one has suggested doing so. ”

                      Actually, they have. Gilbert is suggesting criminalizing dissent. Then there’s the California Bill (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jun/2/calif-bill-prosecutes-climate-change-skeptics/), the New York AG (http://dailysignal.com/2015/11/06/new-york-attorney-general-tries-to-criminalize-scientific-dissent-on-climate-change/) the list goes on.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You are misrepresenting Gilbert. He calls for contempt, which as your relentless stream of drivel demonstrates, is not censorship.

                      You are misrepresenting the Senate Bill 1161. Have you read it?

                      Once again, you fail to make your case.

                      I note that one of your ‘sources’ is the Moonies. Hahahahahaha.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “You are misrepresenting Gilbert. He calls for contempt, which as your relentless stream of drivel demonstrates, is not censorship.”

                      Gilbert said:
                      “There is no greater crime …”

                      “It ought be seen as a crime.”

                      No misrepresentation, just out of the horses mouth.

                      Oh and on the California Bill:

                      “Senate Bill 1161, or the California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016, would have authorized prosecutors to sue fossil fuel companies, think tanks and others that have “deceived or misled the public on the risks of climate change.”

                      Translation – ‘we want to shut down your opinion, so we’ll prosecute’.

                      Oh and finally…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_von_Spakovsky

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Lying for financial advantage is fraud, not “opinion”. Do you need to have that explained to you?

                      Yes, you have misrepresented Gilbert. He says it is a crime, and offers that it “should” be too.

                      However, when a rightwing fucko says something like “providing health services to poor people is a criminal waste of money”, your gobshite is taken as hyperbole, not an actual attempt to write legislation with a crayon.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Lying for financial advantage is fraud, not “opinion”.”
                      That is…if it is proven they lied.

                      “He says it is a crime, and offers that it “should” be too.”
                      Thereby criminalising dissent. How can advocating a point of view be a crime? Having said that, perhaps Al Gore is guilty of fraud. Mmmmmm

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Exactly: your hyperbolic, unbalanced, and entirely unproven invective against Gore can be compared to Gilbert’s opinion that denial merits contempt.

                      You’re making false allegations of criminality. Gilbert is advocating social opprobrium.

                      It’s easy to see that you are a snivelling hypocrite who hasn’t the grace to admit your own errors, let alone forgive others for theirs.

    • Richard Christie 13.2

      and a (in my view) deliberate misstatement of the denial position.

      non sequitur

      Denial is denial and it is an unscientific approach to evaluating evidence.

      The rest of your comment follows after your absurd statement and your attempts to paint denial as somehow being scientific equally absurd.

      Dismissing the global scientific consensus on AGW with an assertion shows that it is you, not Gilbert, that misunderstands the fundamentals of scientific method and advancement.

      Let NASA help you with that:

      http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

    • reason 13.3

      You have problems with the meaning of words mitm …… Deniers are not the same as those who minimize …..

      Although a lot of the deniers have now shifted their position ( because they were looking like stupid mindless fools ), and now admit to humans having a ( small ) effect …… most who minimize are really deniers in drag ………

      Personally I don’t bother trying to influence or change a bad faith idiots mind ….. instead I tell them if the deniers are wrong that I have sacks of rice ………. and a list of people I’m going to eat when our food supply and crops fail……

      Whats your address MITM ………….. you can be the meat in the middle of my sandwiches.

      It could be the best and most worthy thing you will ever do …………..

      • maninthemiddle 13.3.1

        You’re confused. I’m not arguing the science. I’m questioning the thesis of a sociologist that all deniers are ‘mindless fools’ (demonstrably wrong), and that their opinion should be criminalised (a rather silly attempt at suppression of free speech).

        • Stuart Munro 13.3.1.1

          On the contrary – you’re a confirming instance of ‘mindless fool’.

          • maninthemiddle 13.3.1.1.1

            Let’s get this straight. Are you suggesting that all scientists who question the ‘consensus’ around ACC are mindless fools?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.3.1.2

          …thesis…

          lol nice try. It’s his personal opinion, clearly labelled as such.

          I note that his ‘conclusion’ is that deniers not be jailed or fined, rather that they be ignored and treated with “pitiful contempt”. So not even censorship either.

          Your hyperbole has even less foundation than his 😆

          • maninthemiddle 13.3.1.2.1

            1. A ‘thesis’ involves personal opinion. Look it up.

            2. Actually his ideas are dangerous, and thoroughly unscientific. Contrary views should not be ignored, they should be exposed to the rigours of scientific method and public debate. Gilbert’s view is not the benign ‘ignorance is bliss’ attitude you portray; it is a dangerous attempt to suppress opinion by ridicule (“There is no greater crime being perpetuated on future generations than that committed by those who deny climate change”) and stigmatising contrary views as ignorant.

            3. You have not addressed my key point that Gilbert’s characterisation denialists is dishonest. Denialists do not deny climate change, they question the view of alarmists that either a> it is principally manmade, and/or 2> that it is catastrophic.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.3.1.2.1.1

              Meanwhile, on Earth, your summation of the various denier stories doesn’t sound right to me. Dyson doesn’t say it won’t be a problem, nor does Lomburg: they both say it isn’t top priority right now. Itoh says both that temperature won’t rise rapidly, and that addressing “brown clouds” is more important.

              Ivar Giaever says it isn’t happening. Will Happer says that CO2 is like Jews, or something.

              On the evidence of your comments, I wonder if you even knew what their opinions are before you attempted your summary.

              • maninthemiddle

                “Dyson doesn’t say it won’t be a problem, nor does Lomburg: they both say it isn’t top priority right now.”

                Note I used the word ‘either’.

                “I wonder if you even knew what their opinions are before you attempted your summary.”

                Oh yes. “Denialists do not deny climate change, they question the view of alarmists that either a> it is principally manmade, and/or 2> that it is catastrophic.” All the names I referenced fall into that classification.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  No, they don’t. Glaever and Happer, for example. I suggest you acquaint yourself with their opinions.

                  • maninthemiddle

                    “Because of the following statement from the American Physical Society:

                    “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.
                    If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.”

                    I resigned from the society in 2011. First: nothing in science is incontrovertible. Second: the “measured” average temperature increase in 100 years or so, is 0.8 Kelvin. Third: since the Physical Society claim it has become warmer, why is everything better than before? Forth: the maximum average temperature ever measured was in 1998, 17 years ago. When will we stop wasting money on alternative energy?”

                    http://www.mediatheque.lindau-nobel.org/videos/34729/ivar-giaever-global-warming-revisited/laureate-giaever

                    I know their views well OAB. Just as I know you are a dishonest troll.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Sounds more like “it isn’t happening” to me, but each to their own.

  12. maninthemiddle 14

    “Denial is denial and it is an unscientific approach to evaluating evidence.”

    Denial is a position that can be misrepresented. In Gilbert’s case, he has misrepresented what denialists deny. They do not deny climate change, they deny the alarmists view of the anthropogenic portion. When the counter position cannot even be honestly represented, the entire critique fails.

    “Dismissing the global scientific consensus on AGW with an assertion shows that it is you, not Gilbert, that misunderstands the fundamentals of scientific method and advancement.”

    I haven’t dismissed anything. I am not calling out Gilbert of the actual science, but on his dishonest representation of the denialist position, and his attempt to suppress true scientific endeavors.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      they deny the alarmists view of the anthropogenic portion

      Rubbish. They have a wide range of inconsistent narratives

      Climate’s changed before;
      It’s the sun;
      It’s not bad;
      There is no consensus;
      It’s cooling;
      Models are unreliable;
      Temp record is unreliable;
      Animals and plants can adapt;
      It hasn’t warmed since 1998;
      Antarctica is gaining ice…etc etc.

      …and as time goes by they invent new ones.

      Why are you pretending they speak with one voice?

      • maninthemiddle 14.1.1

        I’m not. Neither do alarmists. Frankly I find both extremes to be nutty. But there are certain common narratives. In very broad terms…Alarmists claim we are primarily responsible and the sky is falling. Denialists claim we are contributing but not primarily responsible, and the impact could be positive.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1.1

          Please cite some examples of peer-reviewed ‘alarmism’. Link to the specific academic paper, and the peer-reviewed rebuttal.

          That way we’re both on the same page.

          • maninthemiddle 14.1.1.1.1

            What is the relevance? Alarmists don’t all publish. Nor do deniers. Not all alarmists are even scientists (Al Gore), nor are all denialists (Chris Monkton). You’re trying to defend your view of the science. That’s not what I’m here to debate. The issue is about suppression of contrary opinion. On a scientific subject. By a sociologist. Who misrepresents the position of those he seeks to suppress.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1.1.1.1

              The relevance is that you cite the views of ‘alarmists’ as though you know what they are, and yet refuse to define them.

              • maninthemiddle

                I have defined them. Alarmists claim we are primarily responsible and the sky is falling. Denialists claim we have zero impact and any warming is great. As with most things, the truth probably lies somewhere in between.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  If someone claims we’re responsible and that CO2 capture and storage must now be part of any viable solution, is that alarmism?

                  If someone predicted increasing flooding and wildfires and were absolutely right, were they being ‘alarmist’ at the time of the prediction?

                  Please explain.

                  • maninthemiddle

                    Alarmism is exaggeration. It also involves some degree of manipulation of data. Claims of the sort you outline don’t qualify on either count.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So the claim that we are responsible is not alarmism then. You changed your tune quickly.

                      “The sky is falling” is definitely alarmism, although I note that no-one has actually said this. Apart from you.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “So the claim that we are responsible is not alarmism then. You changed your tune quickly.”

                      Not at all. In the sense you wrote it, that is not alarmism. We are responsible, at least partly. The extent of that culpability, however, is debatable, and that’s where the alarmism arises. My comment defining alarmism included ‘the sky is falling’, catastrophic claims that have been incessantly incorrect as time has elapsed. The performance of climate modelling, for example, is significantly responsible for reasonable climate scepticism. And claims amounting to the sky is falling are being made all the time by alarmists. Many on this blog!

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The extent of that culpability can be measured directly by analysing the isotopic mix of the atmosphere, given that fossil fuel based carbon leaves a clear isotopic signature.

                      Which models do you mean? Everything Svante Arrhenius’ climate model predicted has come to pass, for example.

                      However, the key to understanding the value of mathematical models is George Box’s remark: “all models are wrong. Some are useful”.

                      I note that you have made allegations about science that, on further questioning, turn out to be about statements made by people on blogs.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Which models do you mean?”
                      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/climate-model-predictions-on-rain-and-drought-wrong-says-study/news-story/2facdf4b28e1df599974e9c1bda0f18f
                      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/7/climate-change-models-wrong-predicting-rain-drough/

                      “However, the key to understanding the value of mathematical models is George Box’s remark: “all models are wrong. Some are useful”.”
                      That’s one of putting it. And yet much alarmism is based on climate model predictions.

                      “I note that you have made allegations about science that, on further questioning, turn out to be about statements made by people on blogs.”
                      Such as?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So not Arrhenius’ GCM then. I note that Ljungqvist’s paper doesn’t quite match what Anthony “I trust Richard Muller” Watts (The Washington Times’ “source”) says on his blog.

                      I further note the successes of other GCMs.

                      Another way of putting it is attributed to Einstein: “as far as laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality”.

                      This being so, it seems to me that a lot of the objections to the use of GCMs stem from ignorance of how models can be useful.

                      In any event, I’ve had enough of your witless bullshit for this evening, fucko. McFlock is right about you 😆

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “This being so, it seems to me that a lot of the objections to the use of GCMs stem from ignorance of how models can be useful.”

                      You make some good points. The problem for your general point though is that the catastrophism we so often hear, that is used to justify the more extreme action, us based on these models.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Meanwhile, on Earth, when you look at the material contained in the link “the successes of other GCMs”, you will see that sea level rise is at the upper limit of the range of predictions, global surface temperatures are within the range of predictions, ocean heating is within the range, and arctic sea ice is melting faster.

                      So three out of four predicted reality and the other was too conservative. Which models are you referring to that predict “catastrophe”?

                      Name the models you are talking about and their authors. Link to the published paper in a peer-reviewed journal.

                      Do not waste my time demonstrating that you have ingested Anthony Watts’ sputum, or some Daily Fail. Link to the peer-reviewed journal article that describes a GCM that predicts “catastrophe”, or fuck off.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “you will see that sea level rise is at the upper limit of the range of predictions, global surface temperatures are within the range of predictions, ocean heating is within the range, and arctic sea ice is melting faster.”

                      Again, you are confused about my argument. I’m saying that the models are used by catastrophists to exaggerate their claims, something even the modellers themselves are uncomfortable with. The models have become more and more accurate over time, which is to be expected, but there have been significant past errors, and significant questions over the modelling remain.

                      http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/backcasting.htm

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So some un-named individuals outside the scientific community say some things that contradict the self-contradictory blancmange of opinions held by Dyson and the rest of your list.

                      None of this has any bearing on Climatology, which is accurately summarised by NASA, Nature et al.

                      This makes you afraid for science.

                      Either you’re very timid, very stupid, or very lying.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “So some un-named individuals outside the scientific community say some things that contradict the self-contradictory blancmange of opinions held by Dyson and the rest of your list.”

                      Actually they’re not unnamed. Jared Gilbert.

                      “None of this has any bearing on Climatology, which is accurately summarised by NASA, Nature et al.”

                      Actually it does. When you shut down dissent, you shut down the scientific method. Dissent is healthy, because it keeps science on its toes.

                      “This makes you afraid for science.”

                      Yes. Science is not immune from the chicanery of those who work on its behalf, whether scientists or not. When people such as Al Gore distort and manipulate the facts to suit their own financial and political agenda, the credibility of science suffers.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Had Al Gore done that it would affect his reputation, just as your piss-weak zombie arguments would affect yours, if you had one.

  13. JonL 15

    Ah….the Australian……one of Ruperts vanguards in the fight for the right to pollute.

    • Paul 16.1

      The consequence of your doomladen view is that people will say there’s nothing we can do and give up.
      Is that your intention?

  14. 44 south 17

    I’m as doomer as they come,but it doesn’t stop me putting in the hard yards every day, doing a low carbon back to the land thing 24/7.
    We are totally fucked no matter what, but at least I will be able to say to all those murderously angry young people, I’m not the one you need to “talk” to.

    By 2020 it will be clear to all but the brain dead, just how soon we’re going down.

  15. Adam Ash 18

    At the risk of generalising a little, for many people ‘doing something about climate change’ entails writing vitriolic appeals to the Editor or MP, or joining a march along the High Street carrying a banner demanding that They do Something. If being a doomer puts a stop to that nonsense then well and good.

    In fact doing something effective about climate change must be an individual action. The best thing any of us can do is go home, plant the front and rear yards in a food garden with fruit trees for cover and copice trees for shelter and cooking fuel. Run a few chooks and rabbits for protein and pest control. Put in a water tank to catch the rain, use what ever solar panels you have to run a few LEDs for light and laptop, and a few buckets for the composting toilet to eliminate waste of good fertiliser. Make sure you are growing a heap of medicinals, eat mostly fresh greens and vegies and a little meat. Get a few neighbours doing it too, so you can share produce and skills.

    Remember too that to get any useful distance along this track takes five to ten years of experiences good and bad and some deliberate hard work. A nice roast chicken salad and some fruit for desert cannot be produced from bare ground in the time it takes your pantry to empty five days after the supermarkets shelves are emptied.

    With primary food, water, waste and energy sorted and a healthy mostly-grains-free and dairy-free diet you will suddenly find – as a side effect – that your health has improved markedly and you use of fossil fuels will diminish towards zero.

    Your need for a job in town producing useless widgets (or producing and enforcing rules controlling the production of said useless widgets) will cease and you will find that your family is living the healthy low carbon lifestyle required to let Mother Earth assume a reasonable balance. Yes you will have to deal with changing climates and cropping issues, yes you will have to deal with social disorder, but you will be well underway towards being in a good position to survive a lot of what is to come our way.

    Or you can stay in the parade asking Them to Do Something, and starve or fry like the best of them.

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