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Righties cutting themselves on Occam’s razor

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, March 1st, 2012 - 113 comments
Categories: climate change, spin - Tags: ,

The Left has its fair share of conspiracy theorists – who think that, for reasons tenuously explained at best, various, often opposing, organisations are secretly carrying out massive cons and not being discovered. But we’ve got nothing on the Right. Belief that climate change is world’s most enormous conspiracy, engineered for no good reason, is an article of faith for these guys. If it weren’t so serious, it would be hilarious.

h/t NoRightTurn

113 comments on “Righties cutting themselves on Occam’s razor ”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    Now that’s how you start a flame war. 😉

  2. that’s tidy..

    ..did you make it..?


  3. Where is everyone? Does this mean that RWNJs have conceded the argument is too strong to counter?

    • McFlock 3.1

      No. They finally understand the point. The simple words and heavy reliance on large pictures was finally a medium they could understand, if they mouthed the words out loud and used their finger to keep their place. And James111 is still at playcentre -he’ll reply this evening.

    • felix 3.2

      “Does this mean that RWNJs have conceded the argument is too strong to counter?”

      Nah, they know theirs is so powerful they don’t need to talk about it.

  4. Jackal 4

    Being that there is ample evidence of bribery on the part of the oil and gas industry, who also openly fund many institutes that promote their climate destruction, I would have to say that the occurrences on the right of the graphic are entirely factual.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    I guess that the dreadful oil companies must have bribed these researchers then.

    • McFlock 5.1

      There you are, that’s the ticket! Reading “so the lowering of clouds could slow the effects of global warming” (my emphasis) as “global warming is a myth”. Good man!

      • tsmithfield 5.1.1

        Thanks for putting words in my mouth.

        Notice I said nothing at all about global warming being a myth. However, this research suggests it might not be as bad as what the alarmists are suggesting.

        • McFlock

          Both ways, much? 
          The “alarmists” include most of the climatologists on the planet. If they are wrong then it is not empirically true then it is a “myth” or a “hoax”.
          Besides which, that research demonstrate nothing of the sort – it mentions a delay in GW, not a reduction in extreme nor even reducing climate change to a sustainable speed. Just a finer tweak on the speedo as we drive into a wall.

          • tsmithfield

            “Both ways, much?”

            Not at all. I believe that global warming is real. However, it might not be as bad as what some think.

            “Besides which, that research demonstrate nothing of the sort – it mentions a delay in GW, not a reduction in extreme nor even reducing climate change to a sustainable speed. Just a finer tweak on the speedo as we drive into a wall.”

            Nah. Here is what it really says:

            A drop in cloud height would allow more heat to escape the Earth into space, reducing the overall temperature of the planet. So differences in cloud formation, wrought by a warming climate, could help counteract the effects of that warming.

            For all their impact on our weather and our moods, clouds are one of the most poorly understood variables in climate change models. Terra and other cloud-watchers, notably CloudSat, aim to improve cloud representation in those models. Terra is scheduled to keep gathering this type of data for another decade, so maybe by 2020 we’ll know what the clouds are up to.

            Notice that the quote raises the possibility that lowering clouds could “help counteract the effects of global warming”. It doesn’t say whether that “help” will be minor or tip the world back into an ice age. The quote also acknowledges that the actions of clouds are poorly understood. So, who knows, clouds might be our saviours yet.

            • muzza

              They are talking about Geo-Engineering, which many people still deny exists!

              If they are talking about it, they are just testing reactions to what they have already been doing!

              Deniers eh, sheesh!

              • tsmithfield

                You obviously didn’t read the article. Its about what has been observed to be happening naturally. Cloud levels appear to be dropping without human intervention.

                Why do you call me a denier? I have already said I agree that global warming is happening. Just because I think it might be less severe than some others, how does that make me “a denier”?

                • muzza

                  I did read the article, and perhaps should have used the sarcasm tabs. The denier comment was generalist, not aimed at you. Ive had it aimed at me on here myself, so I was really more scoffing than anything…

                  For mine, until there is a way of showing the source of all research funding, regardless of which side of the fence one sits on, I will only take it that there is a deliberate effort to confuse on all sides. Nothing new in that, why would it not apply to this “war” as well !

                • aerobubble

                  Yes, the Earth cools itself naturally. One way is to dump moisture in the form of snow across the northern continents – known as the cold continents warm seas theory (ice age). Now we can of course go the ice age root in a hundred years, or we could just stop using all the petroleum now and ration it so we get a win-win, petrol without an ice age.

            • McFlock

              “Could counteract the effects of GW” would mean being sufficient to counteract the effects of GW.
              “Could help counteract the effects of GW” means part of, but not the whole, solution to the problem. So even if their best estimates were true, without some other game-changer global warming would still occur. Just slightly slower than the previous model predicted.
              Hence “could slow the effects of global warming”, rather than “yay we’re all saved from global warming – now it’s just ocean acidification, overfishing, peak oil, and possibly the deep ocean conveyor stopping that we have to worry about”.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna

              Well if we’re citing NASA.

              But that isn’t the point is it? Roger Davies’ work on clouds adds understanding to the issues I have no doubt, but Andrew Dessler, for example, has shown that clouds will amplify warming.

              I’m going to leave the issue of orbital decay out – Davies no doubt corrected for it.

        • klem

          That’s correct, and the alarmist back-pedaling has begun. Lol!

          • Kotahi Tane Huna

            The insurance industry is going to bring you down to Earth with a
            bump, and they’re not going to care one whit for your protestations, nor will they lower their premiums for you. Perhaps you think they are evil Luddites and rabid Greenies, they really won’t care.

            Here’s an idea, why don’t you set up a skeptic insurance company that doesn’t go along with the alarmist narrative? You’re sure to make your fortune.

            • klem

              Um no, if I were to set up an insurance compnay it would be selling climate alarmism hard, just like they actually are today. If the public is feeble minded enough to beleive the hype, that’s where the money is.

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                And according to market forces, anyone else could set up insurance with lower fees in the sure knowledge that the extreme weather that is causing higher premiums doesn’t exist, and lose their shirts, and look like a tool 🙂

      • fender 5.1.2

        How convenient, nothing like being able to keep ones head in the clouds.

  6. djp 6

    That is a fairly large false dichotomy.

    There probably needs to be a column that features politicians and other statist components.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    Also, global warming may have postponed indefinitely an ice age lasting 100,000 years.

    So, it isn’t all bad news.

    • Kaplan 7.1

      My car being stolen a few months ago may have prevented me from having an accident in it.
      I’m so happy there are car thieves in the world.

      • tsmithfield 7.1.1

        If we were sure the world was going into an ice age, then we may well have pumped C02 into the atmosphere to stave it off. Just because it might be happening by accident, why should that matter if the effect is the same?

        • Jackal

          That’s a very big MIGHT be happening tsmithfield. If you happened to see David Attenborough’s excellent documentary series Frozen Planet, you wouldn’t be crowing so loudly about how great it is.

        • lprent

          If you did want to stave off a glacial period, then any decent engineer woudn’t want to use CO2 as a greenhouse gas. It has a low efficiency as a greenhouse gas and a atmospheric residence time of thousands of years. Apart from the amount of effort to get millions of tonnes into the air, you also have to be very precise about over and undershoots in a engineering level that we don’t have a baseline of experience in. Which means that if you made a screwup then it is hard to fix it. You’d have to figure out a scrubbing technique.

          You could use one of the exotic non natural gases like some of the CFC’s. Some of those have quite short atmospheric lifetimes, and enormous greenhouse effects. Problem is that thay aren’t natural, so we have no idea about unexpected downstream effects (like the ozone depletion in high cold air unexpectaly turned out to be)

          The most effective greenhouse gas for extra warming is the one that humans have already been using for many years. Methane is far more efficient than CO2, has a reasonably short atmospheric residency of decades, and a track record.

          If you look back into the climatic records, you’ll see that it started being inadvertently getting large scale widespread release about 5000 years ago with the widespread cultivation of rice and has been in use ever since. We know it’s effects and have a baseline of experience to draw on.

          I have done some speculation that human cultures have unknowingly been using it as a negative feedback loop driving the development of culture ever since. Widescale breakdowns of economic systems cause reductions in the generation of methane and subsequent exposure of the underlying cooling trend. With human cultures, colder climates traditionally cause much more organized and eventually more efficient economic activities – and a subsequent rise in methane releases. Excessive human economic activity usually results in over population and the usual four horseman of the apocalypse as disease increases or war srads or the environment degrades or something happens that reduces economic efficiency and the production of methane.

          It’d explain that rather strange stability of the climate in the last 10k years. We have been in an ice age for the last 40 million years or so with a quite regular glacial cycle driven by orbital mechanics. But the cycle appears to have bad little effect in recent geological history for a time period that is statistically significiant. Something else has been happening to break it.

      • grumpy 7.1.2

        Think of all the petrol you’ve saved.

    • lprent 7.2

      You probably want to get your terminology correct. We are still in an ice age. The world started cooling down when Antarticia started drifting into the polar position about 80 million years ago. You can see the same ice ages in paleo climates whenever there is a land mass in the polar regions. We started getting major ice buildups from about 40mya dropping the climate into a fridge, and getting pronounced glacials (what you call ice ages)relatively recently.

      Human evolution has been driven by being in an ice age. We are adapted for it. Our quite specific features that make us human appear to have been forced over the last 5mya largely by glacials with everything from our social behaviors to our upright stance.

      What we aren’t adapted for is living in a more normal climate like the Jurassic. Climates like that haven’t been common in our evolution for he last 40mya. The CO2 buildup over the last couple of centuries is heading us directly to that type of climate over the next few centuries and persisting for about as long as humans have agriculture.

      Seems like a high price for running a SUV

    • klem 7.3

      “So, it isn’t all bad news”

      It is when the public is so stupid to actually beleive such speculative rubbish.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.3.1

        “Speculative rubbish”.

        Like I have said elsewhere, if you’re going to challenge theory it helps if you know the basics.

        So, for example, in 1896, when Svante Arrhenius proposed that the Greeenhouse Effect would cause nights to warm more than days, the Arctic more than the Antarctic, winter more than summer, he was using a climate model to make predictions based on his physical observations of the atmosphere.

        Now all these predictions have come to pass, we can say that his climate model has a certain level of “skill”, especially since it predicts and explains other observed phenomena. Arrhenius didn’t have access to Quantum Mechanics, but we do, and it explains and predicts the observed phenomena even better than the classical mechanics ol’ Svante used.

        Can you see how that differs from “speculation”?

        • klem

          Um nope. That defines speculation.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna

            Can you see how it differs from “rubbish”?

            How are you getting on with the simple climate model I showed you? Any questions?

  8. tsmithfield 8

    “Both ways, much?”

    Not at all. I believe that global warming is real. However, it might not be as bad as what some think.

    “Besides which, that research demonstrate nothing of the sort – it mentions a delay in GW, not a reduction in extreme nor even reducing climate change to a sustainable speed. Just a finer tweak on the speedo as we drive into a wall.”

    Nah. Here is what it says:

    A drop in cloud height would allow more heat to escape the Earth into space, reducing the overall temperature of the planet. So differences in cloud formation, wrought by a warming climate, could help counteract the effects of that warming.

    For all their impact on our weather and our moods, clouds are one of the most poorly understood variables in climate change models. Terra and other cloud-watchers, notably CloudSat, aim to improve cloud representation in those models. Terra is scheduled to keep gathering this type of data for another decade, so maybe by 2020 we’ll know what the clouds are up to.

    Notice that the quote raises the possibility that lowering clouds could “help counteract the effects of global warming”. It doesn’t say whether that “help” will be minor or tip the world back into an ice age. The quote also acknowledges that the actions of clouds are poorly understood. So, who knows, clouds might be our saviours yet.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Once upon a time being conservative meant taking a precautionary approach to risk.

      If the best professional advice is that AGW is a major problem, then holding out hope on some unproven and speculative ‘out’ is not a conservative strategy.

      Worse still clouds, as you say, are indeed the most poorly understood aspect of climate; but that ts is a sword that cuts both ways. You’re betting the house on the wildest card of all. That’s the very definition of risky.

      You know way back in the 80’s before the big carbon companies polarised the debate politically with their fake scepticism, bribery and bullshit… this wasn’t a political issue. Even figures like Reagan and Thatcher actually understood the science to a sufficient degree, and took the matter seriously.

      But instead we’ve been lied to by the same people who developed the techniques on behalf of the tobacco companies; lies the right seems to have been more than willing to believe. It’s time to man up and admit that you have been wrong.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.2

      TS, please try and keep up. The questions relating to clouds, when answered, will do no more than further constrain the value of climate sensitivity to a narrower range than at present.

      I note that Venus is completely surrounded by cloud and has a surface temperature of 700K. The solar constant being 2600, with an albedo of 0.71, the surface temperature should only be 240K. Can you understand how that undermines your argument?

      • klem 8.2.1

        And can you see how Venus being 40 million kms closer to the sun undermines yours?

        • Kotahi Tane Huna

          lol Venus has a solar constant of 2600 (that’s the value ‘L’ in the equation I showed you – (L(1-α))/4=εσT^4, remember?), Earth’s is 1350. Do the maths.

          edit: the point you are missing is that according to the equation Venus comes out colder. Why is it so much warmer? Explanation to follow 😉

    • klem 8.3

      Anyone who says it might not be as bad as some think, places them squarely in the denier camp.

      Nya nya you’re a denier, nya nya you’re a denier!

    • Macro 8.4

      Actually the most recent research suggests that rather than having a negative feedback (ie cooling effect) they have a slightly positive feedback. Water vapour is after all a GHG.
      Sorry to dampen your hopes here ts.

      • Macro 8.4.1

        quoting from the above link

        “Dessler found that for every 1 degree (C) of warming, clouds amplify that by trapping an additional 0.5 Watts per square meter.”

        That’s about half of the current radiative forcing of 0.9 Watts per square meter due to the current levels of CO2.

      • klem 8.4.2

        Yup, and next week the latest research will show it has a slightly negative feedback, then the week after that positive, then negative…

        • Kotahi Tane Huna

          More than likely. But each measurement will further constrain the range of climate sensitivity, which if you recall your AR4, is defined:

          “as likely to be in the range 2 to 4.5 °C with a best estimate of about 3 °C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5 °C. Values substantially higher than 4.5 °C cannot be excluded, but agreement of models with observations is not as good for those values.”

          But according to you, these studies are “rubbish”. Or are they only “rubbish” when they concur with the established body of evidence?

  9. TighyRighty 9

    How do you feel about the accusations made against the us government in relation to Julian assange? The ones that say the us will just keep on applying diplomatic pressure to have him tried for various charges in various countries and are based on some “leaked” emails?

  10. james 111 10

    33,000 scientists have signed a petition to say Global Warming (oops evidence shows the world is cooling) Lets call it something else that convienently covers all bases is false

    [Take a week off for braindead trolling…RL]

    • lprent 10.1

      Global warming is the causative effect. Climate change is the result. Always amazes me how stupid people like yourself are at distinguishing what the science is actually about and distinguishing between cause and effect.

      Too lazy to actually look at the scientific evidence? Prefer the massaged “intuitive” pap of the oil funded PR sites instead?

      Next thing you’ll be trying to claim that some short-term weather pattern in part of the world proves the climate is cooling…. Ummm I see that you just did…

      • klem 10.1.1

        “Global warming is the causative effect.”

        So in short, you’re saying global warming is an effect. That comment places you squarely in the denier camp. I’d reconsider that remark if I were you, your lefty blogger friends will freak out.

        • lprent

          Increase in Greenhouse gas -> Global warming -> Climate change

          How hard is that to understand. Global warming is both an effect and a cause. I realise that some people have problems seeing linkages between things. But surely even a “skeptic” should understand the chain of logic for the science of greenhouse gas to climate change.

          Either that or you are incredibly dumb.

          • klem

            “Global warming is both an effect and a cause.”

            Oh its both an effect AND a cause. That’s a good one. That’s excellent. Lol!

            So its like putting a pot on the stove, turning on the flame and later it boils. In your world, the boiling water effect is also the cause of the flame. That’s good, I have never looked at the world that way before. Fun.

            In your world you can have your cake and eat it too.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna

              No. boiling water is heated by radiation, convention and conduction. It has been known since the 19thC that Earth is only warmed by radiation, according to the equation (L(1-α))/4=εσT^4, where

              L=the solar constant
              α=albedo (reflectivity)
              ε=IR Emissivity
              σ=Stefan Boltzmann constant
              T=surface temperature.

              So your metaphor is completely wrong.

              If you’re going to challenge established theory it always helps if you understand what the theory actually is. Glad I can help.

              • lprent

                Nice…. The physics of boiling water is extraordinarily complex when you look at the fine detail. But most of the climate and weather is also convection and conduction as the outermost kilometers of gas, liquid, and even land disperse the uneven heating chaotically. It isn’t a simple black body

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  The Sun warms Earth by means of radiation; the energy equation above must be in balance – cf. Physics.

                  As you rightly say, Climate and weather are more complex processes; convection and conduction are indeed at play, but these are effects within the Earth system: they do not affect the overall energy budget.

                  I was hoping Klem might take the next step of actually solving the equation for Earth, and discovering it gives a value of T that is about 33°K too cold… 😉

                  Edit: the value of ε in the above equation is as near to 1 as makes no difference – a pretty good black body.

            • lprent

              Klem: Perhaps you should actually take some time to understand the basic science. It is pretty clear that your current understanding consists largely of semantic waffle. Most things in the world as well as science consist of events that are both causes and effects simultaneously. You’d have to be extremely unobservant not to have seen them…

              Lets keep this simple and consistent with something in your probable experience. For instance a car crashes into a wall is an effect. It may be caused by excessive speed, which is an effect of being driven by an unthinking driver. However the effect of the car crash is the cause of the damage the wall the effect of which is the cause of having to repair it.

              Unlike simpleminded, like yourself apparently, scientists don’t rely on semantics. They go and look at causes and effects, quantify each, and put them into reproducible and consistent theories to explain them. This allows predictions of what effects come from what causes, how the causes and effects interact, and what the overall effects are most likely to be – even when our civilization hasn’t seen some particular combination of causes and effects before.

              Going back to the dumbarse analogies. It means that we don’t have to drown ourselves to imagine what the effects will be like if you did it yourself. Sticking your head underwater in the bath and breathing water would give you a pretty good idea of what would happen if you go caught in a rip an carried out to sea. But you are welcome to try that yourself, it should give you a good idea about cause and effect – and a Darwin award.

              I’d refer not try it myself, in much the same way that I’d prefer not to experience widespread climate change.

    • james 111 10.2

      Dam I feel I just have been bitch slapped

      [lprent: Added 2 weeks. That was a really dumb comment. I like the double or nothing game.. Please continue. ]

    • klem 10.3

      No worries James111, getting banned from an alarmist site is a badge of honour. Greenie’s can’t argue with you so they ban you. It reminds me of playing chess when I was a kid, when you were just about to beat your buddy he’d get mad and throw the chess set across the room.

      Just remember what Ghandi said ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’

      When you get banned, you’ve won.

      [lprent: So if you act like a dickhead and get banned for it, then it is a good thing? Ummm.. The temptation to grant you a favour is overwhelming… ]

      • KJT 10.3.1

        Another example of total detachment from reality pops up!
        Less of the happy pills may help.

  11. JonL 11

    You have james, you have!

  12. Enron from the US designed carbon credits and set about the biggest con job in history.
    Enron failed, costing americans billions of dollars prior to Gore thinking up another scheme.
    There are many other ways of ‘saving the planet’ without this fraud of carbon credits.
    By using natural sources like solar power,electric cars,the warm
    home project was a good one,anything that isn’t extortion.
    The right wing of politics is running rampant throughout the world right now with
    the help of goldman sachs.
    Goldman Sachs have woven a unique network of influence in Europe.
    For instance, Mario Draghi,vice chriman of goldmans in euprope 2002-2005
    he is responsible for mixing companies and sovereign.One of his missions was to
    sell the financial product ‘swap’ to coneal part of the sovereign debt which helped
    disguise the greek accounts.
    Mario Monti an international adivisor since 2005 was also involved with the greek
    Interestingly, Lucas Papademos,was appointed PM of Greece,he was governer
    of the greek central bank between 1994-2002 and he participated in falsifying
    accounts perpertrated by goldman sachs in 2000 under the ruling party Castas
    So a corelation can be seen in nz,where we have a goldman sachs man reaching power
    and setting about to create massive debt by irresponsible spending on oppulance,
    special interest groups and ‘nice to haves’ with a total disregard for debt,all this
    debt has been created deliberatlety so that the claim can be made to sell nz off,
    our assets,our jobs,companies,land,farms,there is a goldman sachs plan here
    and is probably too late to stop it,only the people can by wide spread protests
    sending a clear message to this goldman insider that we are not going to be
    held to ransom.
    Also with regard to petrol,traders take $15,when you fill up a car,this is
    what is keeping petrol prices high.

  13. Actually, I like climate-change deniers. They’re the ones who, no doubt, will be buying up beach-front properties as owners desperately sell-up to escape rising tides and more extreme weather patterns creating more extreme storm conditions.

    • jaymam 13.1

      I’m certainly looking to buy a beach front property to retire to.
      I don’t think there are any climate-change deniers. Name someone who denies that climate-change is happening.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 13.1.1

        Do you want to have a sensible, adult conversation about this? The latest “denier” position melange is that climate cannot be driven by anthropogenic influences. Is this your claim? If so can you please explain exactly where you find problems in the “warmist” argument?

        • jaymam

          Again, there is probably nobody who says that “climate cannot be driven by anthropogenic influences”. Name somebody. Scientists have to be precise in what they say.
          Skeptics would claim that there is no catastrophic effect from CO2, and would want to see accurate data from someone who can be trusted.
          We don’t have the the time and space here to go through all the evidence one way or the other.

          By categorising sceptics as only right-wing, there is a danger that left-wing sceptics may resort to reading right-wing blogs, and get tainted by their nasty ideas unrelated to climate.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna

            Calling yourself a skeptic is an obscenity, but I digress.

            “no catastrophic effect from CO2” Thanks for getting to guts of your melange, we do indeed have the time, and the space, to go into it.

            Firstly, do you understand the process by which the Earth is heated by the sun? Yes or no?

            Secondly, do you understand the process by which the atmosphere affects Earth’s temperature? Yes or no?

            Thirdly, do you understand the role of CO2 in that process? Yes or no?

      • klem 13.1.2

        I’m looking too, and the more we scare beachfront owners with lies about sea level rise, the cheaper their beachfront properties will become. Wahoo!

        • jaymam

          As it happens, I’m already a beach-front owner. I’d like to move to a cheaper beach-front, so if prices fall I will be disadvantaged.
          However there is no way I will ever go along with the telling of lies for personal advantage, particularly if those lies stuff up the world economy (as they are doing).

          • Kotahi Tane Huna

            Blinkers on much?

            “there is no way I will ever go along with the telling of lies for personal advantage,”

            I look forward to your critical response to advertising slogans such as “fresh frozen” and “brighter future” then.

            But what are these lies that you think are being told? Let’s take IPCC AR4 forecast scenarios for sea-level-rise, for example: they were too conservative at a maximum of 1m.

            research from 2008 observed rapid declines in ice mass balance from both Greenland and Antarctica, and concluded that sea-level rise by 2100 is likely to be at least twice as large as that presented by IPCC AR4, with an upper limit of about two meters.”

            If you check IPCCAR4 (and can comprehend it) you will find a range of forecast scenarios with probability ranges attached.

            So please, in your own words, who is lying and how?

  14. The diagram leave out one element and that is the satisfaction of collectivism. You get all those people “trying to save the world”, you effectively have a cult, this is it’s own reward; far more powerful than the incentive of money.
    And that dear friends is the premise of the appeal of socialism. It’s also why left appeals to the young – young prefer being part of the pack.It may have something to do with as yet un-imaged brain function.
    As we age we prefer our own company and swing right.

    Hows that for Occam’s?

    • Pascal's bookie 14.1

      “Hows that for Occam’s?”

      Doin it wrong. The idea is to *eliminate* unneccessary premisses; go for the *least* complicated explaination that accounts for all the facts

    • fender 14.3

      “It’s also why left appeals to the young – young prefer being part of the pack.It may have something to do with as yet un-imaged brain function.
      As we age we prefer our own company and swing right.”

      More hot air propaganda, Frank Macs’ 1 word cuts to the chase perfectly.

    • lprent 14.4

      Or you could look at it as how some people get informed and some don’t bother to think. Sure there are dedicated followers of fashion on both sides. What does that have to do with anything?

      Did you ever bother to look at why virtually every earth scientist in an extremely unusual level of agreement (for any science) thinks that we have rapid climate change due to global warming from greenhouse gases happening? When I did my degree in earth sciences back in 1978-81 it was just a theory that had been around since the previous century with insufficient data to prove or disprove. In the subsequent decade there was enough accumulated proof mostly from specialised satellites allied with more collecting stations to prove that there was definitely an effect. Since then the evidence keeps piling up…

      And that dear friends is the premise of the appeal of socialism. It’s also why left appeals to the young – young prefer being part of the pack.It may have something to do with as yet un-imaged brain function.
      As we age we prefer our own company and swing right.

      Ah yes. You are basing your opinions about a science based on what? Pop psychology. Do you realize how absolutely ridiculous that makes you look? Read any chicken entrails lately?


    • KJT 14.5

      Funny. LOL.
      Some of us swing to the left as we get older, as we become less self centred and better informed.
      Others refuse to grow up!

      • “Some of us swing to the left as we get older, as we become less self centred and better informed.”

        That would be me, KJT.

        I was incredibly right wing up until my mid/late 20s. I could’ve been an “Act on Campus” supporter.

        But I grew out of it and realised the world is not black and white, but about 99% umpteen shades of grey…

        But I still cringe at some of the right wing beliefs I held back then… *shudders*

    • klem 14.6

      Exactly correct Monique. However the lefty’s on this blog will argue and snipe about your comment. No worries, they are weak.

  15. Oh yeah, and I wouldn’t want to be enabling climate change, either, before I’m called a denier.
    Makes sense to be prudent as we live in a closed system, but I find other things to get in a tangle over.

  16. locus 16

    There are a lot of rwnjs who argue that global warming is a hoax, but i think it’s a bit of a stretch to blame the entire oil industry for the effects of burning hydrocarbons (or to argue that oil companies are largely run by rwnjs).

    Oil companies will carry on producing oil and gas to supply the willing consumers of electricity (generated by hydrocarbons) and willing users of air travel, land transport, chemicals etc.

    A large number of oil companies and certainly the majority of their employees accept that global warming and climate change are the result of CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels. This makes it kind of a dilemma… should they stop producing oil? Obviously oil companies don’t want to commit suicide, but they do want to get on board with CO2 reduction and there is an increasing level of effort to work towards a zero environmental footprint during production of oil.

    Most oil companies are seriously planning to increase the ratio of gas to oil produced (lower CO2 & higher thermal output). Many oil companies are funding renewable energy projects (not enough in my view). All oil companies are introducing controls and technology to eliminate flaring of CO2 and hydrocarbons during the production of oil and gas, and many are looking at, and funding, CCS projects.

    Lets keep driving oil companies to improve their practices, but – believing that oil companies are all bad and that they all “fund many institutes that promote ‘their’ climate destruction” is a conspiracy theory all in itself

    • McFlock 16.1

      They’re RW, but not completely irrational.
      They conserve gas that would have been flared because it’s worth money. They diversify into other energy areas because they have a pretty good idea of how much cost-realistic oil there is left. But they do fund climate-change deniers, because things like ETS, carbon taxes and so on increase the retail cost of oil and therefore cut into their profits while it lasts.

      • KJT 16.1.1

        Only some oil companies, notably, Exxon, fund deniers.
        Others have been on record discussing the effects of peak oil, AGW and alternative energy.
        BP Solar is an example of oil company funded alternative energy research..

        • McFlock

          Like I said, diversifying into other energy areas because they have a pretty good idea of how much cost-realistic oil there is left.

          • insider

            yeah ‘beyond petroleum’…hilarious

            • McFlock

              it was pretty naff. But I also recall some wussy anthropologist on an ad talking about preserving local cultures – that was Shell I think

              • insider

                presumably they weren’t talking about Ogoniland….

                • locus

                  Not only oil companies – a lot of global businesses appear to have different rules for the different countries in which they operate. In Sakhalin, Shell has done some great things for the environment and local communities http://www.sakhalinenergy.ru/en/default.asp?p=channel&c=2&n=326 yet in African nations the same goals are treated as ‘too difficult’. I grew up in Africa and it’s tragic to see how little has changed for poor people over the past 40 years despite their nations receiving billions in royalties.

                  Without doubt companies behave much more like good citizens in countries where regulators are tough and there’s less corruption in the political system. When regulators or politicians start to get too close to big business things can go seriously wrong. Let’s hope that NZers take note.

        • insider

          BP solar was closed in December…

          Shell closed its CCS research a year or so ago and pulled its funding out of windfarms in the UK

          Exxon’s putting tens of millions into similar long term research through Stanford for the last 10 years

          But it’s much more convenient to just have goodies with white hats and baddies with black.

          • KJT

            Makes Exxon’s funding of denialists even more immoral, as they are well aware that AGW is a fact.

            • insider

              It’s more about the arcane nature of American big power politics and policy making, and the varying interest groups that swirl around, that’s why they don’t fund such groups outside the US. BP, Shell and Chevron have funded some of the same groups at various times.

          • klem

            Yup, the subsidies have ended so BP and Shell are looking elsewhere now. Wow, you’d think they were only in it for the money or something. In reality, they were in it to save the planet. Lol!

            • locus

              You’ve got to look at all this in a historical context. Before people were aware of global warming the oil companies were the heroes of the modern world. They were the good guys who provided the energy needed for industrialisation, fuel for transportation, and the chemicals needed for manufacturing cosmetics, medical equipment, packaging and many other products that have provided a better quality of life for all. Now they’re the bad guys… deservedly so for all sorts of reasons, but that still doesn’t make them responsible for global warming.

              If the threat of global warming had been fully understood before the mass production of oil, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have stopped the world from consuming and burning the stuff, but maybe (yeah i know i’m a dreamer) the public would have pressurised political parties into planning for sustainable energy – perhaps funded through more extensive taxation and royalties on oil.

              • McFlock

                And the tobacco companies aren’t responsible for smoking cuasing cancer. But it’s whether oil companies committed a fraud on future generations, just as tobacco companies did on their customers, to eake out more profit before the final reckoning – that’s what they’re responsible for.

              • KJT

                At the end of the day we are all responsible. We all use energy from oil.
                I worked for oil companies for half my working life to date. Still have the dilemma that they would pay me three times as much as any other job I can get. 4 to 6 times more than teaching.
                If NACT succeed in their goal, to have everyone who does anything useful to be on minimum wage, I may have to decide again about working for them.
                The black and white  issue is, like tobacco companies, knowing now there is a problem, attempting to pretend it does not exist to continue making money.

        • klem

          Well fortunatly BP has dumped its solar funding. I guess the subsidies have run out.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna

            The sooner someone figures out how to make Watts from sunlight without using rare earth metals, the better.

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