Stuff is banning climate change deniers from articles and comments

Written By: - Date published: 8:12 am, November 29th, 2018 - 261 comments
Categories: climate change, global warming, james shaw, journalism, Media, national, news, newspapers, Politics, science, sustainability - Tags:

Congratulations to Stuff.  Instead of the endless on the one hand but on the other hand reporting, where on the other hand is nothing more than incomprehensible babble from the anti science right, they have adopted this policy:

Stuff accepts the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and caused by human activity. We welcome robust debate about the appropriate response to climate change, but do not intend to provide a venue for denialism or hoax advocacy. That applies equally to the stories we will publish in Quick! Save the Planet and to our moderation standards for reader comments.

The change in policy is accompanied by the announcement of a new series of stories and opinion pieces under the title of Quick! Save the planet which is described in this way:

Quick! Save the Planet – a long-term Stuff project launching today – aims to disturb our collective complacency. With insistent, inconvenient coverage, we intend to make the realities of climate change feel tangible – and unignorable.

This project accepts a statement that shouldn’t be controversial but somehow still is: climate change is real and caused by human activity.

Mature adults can disagree about the impact of climate change and how we should react. We’ll feature a wide range of views as part of this project, but we won’t include climate change “scepticism”. Including denialism wouldn’t be “balanced”; it’d be a dangerous waste of time. The experts have debunked denialism, so now we’ll move on.

There were 268 comments to the editorial written by Editor in Chief Patrick Crewdson, mostly supportive, but a few were clearly testing the boundaries.

Well done Stuff.

And in the daily roundup of news of bizarre weather behaviour which is almost certainly evidence of climate change across the ditch Sydney has experienced torrential rain while Queensland has had bush fires following extreme drought.  Intense rain and record temperatures, just as predicted.

Meanwhile James Shaw’s Climate Change legislation is on its way to Parliament.  And all eyes will be on National to see if a policy consensus can be reached.

Rod Oram provides some background:

Within the next few weeks, Climate Change Minister James Shaw intends to announce the outlines of the Zero Carbon Bill the Government plans to bring to Parliament in February.

Without doubt, this will be the most important piece of legislation in generations. If it is designed and executed well, it will guide our transition to a low carbon, wealthier, more resilient and more sustainable nation over the next three decades.

To achieve those goals, the legislation has to have cross-party support. That’s the only way we can break free from short-term political machinations to work together on these long-term challenges. Across society, not just business, we need consistency of goals, policies and processes to tackle these exceedingly complex issues.

The UK pioneered this approach a decade ago. Currently more than 20 national and regional jurisdictions are using it to great effect.

Oram highlights the change in business opinion and notes that even in the farming sector the need for change is being recognised.  He concludes by saying this:

Thus, the greatest danger of all over the next few weeks is that National will listen to the foot-draggers in farming and walk away from cross-party support for ambitious climate legislation. If it did, it would cause itself considerable long-term political damage.

Conversely, if it wants a broad-based political future, it needs to show it understands where our best economic and environmental opportunities are as a nation. To that end, it should listen to business climate leaders from across all sectors but most particularly from the primary sector.

It is great that the tide of opinion is flowing towards accepting climate change as a reality and working out what needs to be done.  The question will be is this too little too late.

261 comments on “Stuff is banning climate change deniers from articles and comments”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Stuff’s sidelining of deniers is bold and decisive – good on them. I made this point at our regional council meeting yesterday, with any closet deniers who might be sitting around the table, in mind. There was a squirm 🙂

    • patricia bremner 1.1

      About time. We are on a war footing and will not tolerate quislings any more.

    • William 1.2

      “Stuff’s sidelining of deniers is bold and decisive – good on them.”

      Yep. I commented on Open Mike yesterday about Stuff’s policy

      https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-28-11-2018/#comment-1555306

      Zero responses yesterday! I could have added that Stuff were merely following The Standard’s lead because I recall there have been a number of AGW posts in the past where the author has stated denier memes would not be tolerated in comments.

    • Richard@Downsouth 1.3

      Now if they would do the same with AntiVaxxers

    • John Trezise 1.4

      Good to see Stuff embarking on consciousness raising about the threat to us all from climate change, and what we must do to mitigate it. I’m cautious about the apparent intention to suppress the beliefs of denialists, however. To be free itself, society needs to tolerate the expression of religious beliefs no matter how absurd or objectionable, as long as that expression does not harm others.

  2. Chris T 2

    Totally and utterly disagree.

    Deniers of climate change are blind, but to censor differing views that are being put foward (that aren’t breaking swearing rules etc), no matter how stupid they are, or no matter how they may differ from yours, on topics that are as contentious as this, is ridiculous.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      It is not a matter of censorship. It is a matter of ignoring their views because they are not reality based and are a waste of time.

      Whaleoil will continue to be a medium that deniers can use.

      • Chris T 2.1.1

        Is there a master list of topics people aren’t allowed to disagree with or do we just make it up as we go along?

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.1

          Claiming that climate science is a Soros funded attempt at world government would be a start, saying that scientists are engaged in scare mongering for money is another and claiming that ice cover is actually increasing and that temperature increases have stalled for years is a third topic.

          • Chris T 2.1.1.1.1

            That isn’t the same as disagreeing

            That is creating dumbarse conspiracy theories with zero proof, and I agree that this should probably be knocked on the head

            I probably should have been clearer sorry.

            I was thinking more along the lines of people arguing human impact/natural cycles, reliability of statistics, that sort of thing

            • Robert Guyton 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Nah. Give those nigglers the boot as well; we’re over them 🙂

            • Robert Guyton 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Chris T said:
              “Totally and utterly disagree.”
              but followed up with,
              “I agree that this should probably be knocked on the head”
              Big ups for your flexibility, Chris T and the speed with which you changed your position.

              • Chris T

                I’m sorry I didn’t realise you couldn’t read.

                I said views, not conspiracy theories

                • Macro

                  They may be views but they are rubbish. Why give space to billshit. Btw its not before time that stuff has taken this position. Those of us who have been working on combating agw for the past 20 odd years have been battling the sort of bullshit you are promoting all the time and it is perhaps the major reason why the world as a whole has not made more progess towards ghg reduction and why we are now in the crap. Thanks for nothing.

          • Gosman 2.1.1.1.2

            What about claiming that some are attempting to use the topic of tackling climate change to push a hard left anti-capitalist agenda? Would that be allowed?

          • Wayne 2.1.1.1.3

            Your list, especially the last two,
            looks indistinguishable from censorship.

            • lprent 2.1.1.1.3.1

              They can use Open Mike.

              But I for one are really tired of explaining the same basic science over and over again.

              Like a warming planet means that you get more water vapour in areas that were previously too cold. So you will get more snow with its warming effects and more melting below.

              Or more energy in the oceans and atmosphere will drive abnormal conditions further inland over East Antartica.

              Rain is the enemy of ice.

              You know – basic thermodynamics taught in every high school.

            • Daveosaurus 2.1.1.1.3.2

              Failure to supply a free platform is not remotely like censorship.

        • Robert Guyton 2.1.1.2

          “we”?
          Stuff made this decision. We?

        • ianmac 2.1.1.3

          Anyone as a denier is welcome to his/her opinion but please do not clutter our way forward by demanding equal time and space. Go and stand on a corner and shout at the pigeons. Their brains are pretty tiny.

          • mickysavage 2.1.1.3.1

            Heh.

          • Anne 2.1.1.3.2

            They’re not that tiny. I like to feed the blackbirds, sparrows, thrushes and the friendly, docile ‘grey doves’ who inhabit my garden. But it never takes long for the pigeons to pick up the scent. I reckon they have a reconnaissance set-up where lone pigeons are sent to spy on the lie of the land then return to the flock with the latest findings.

            • ianmac 2.1.1.3.2.1

              Oh but Anne. Have you ever heard a pigeon explain the implications of Climate Change?

              • Robert Guyton

                Over at Kiwiblog, yes.

              • Poission

                Skinner wrote on his superstitious pigeons.

                The experiment might be said to demonstrate a sort of superstition. The bird behaves as if there were a causal relation between its behavior and the presentation of food, although such a relation is lacking. There are many analogies in human behavior. Rituals for changing one’s fortune at cards are good examples. A few accidental connections between a ritual and favorable consequences suffice to set up and maintain the behavior in spite of many unreinforced instances. The bowler who has released a ball down the alley but continues to behave as if she were controlling it by twisting and turning her arm and shoulder is another case in point. These behaviors have, of course, no real effect upon one’s luck or upon a ball half way down an alley, just as in the present case the food would appear as often if the pigeon did nothing—or, more strictly speaking, did something else

                Similarly Godfrey (2001) on statistical phantoms wrote on human behavior (with weather)

                It is a recognized characteristic of human psychology
                that people will find patterns in the world around
                them, whether or not those patterns result from coherent
                underlying causes. “The tendency to impute
                order to ambiguous stimuli is simply built into the
                cognitive machinery we use to apprehend the world.
                It may have been bred into us through evolution because
                of its general adaptiveness. . .” (Gilovich 1993,
                chapter 2). While this powerful human capacity to
                find order in nature has served and continues to serve
                us extremely well, it also sometimes leads us to falsely
                impute meaning to chance events….

                When dealing with the nonindependent statistics
                of the atmosphere, the problem of “detecting”
                spurious patterns is amplified by the statistical relatedness
                of data that are nearby in time or space or both
                (see Livezey and Chen 1983, for a good example), and
                here the instinctive tendency to read too much into
                apparent patterns must be guarded against especially
                strongly.

            • patricia bremner 2.1.1.3.2.2

              They are the rats of the bird world.

          • greywarshark 2.1.1.3.3

            And if you stand there long enough the pigeons will give you your just reward.

          • greywarshark 2.1.1.3.4

            If anyone wants to censor me out of this blog I will go with a line from Groucho Marx – “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.”

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.3.5

            No one is entitled to an opinion.

            Especially if that opinion contradicts reality.

      • Wayne 2.1.2

        Depends on how the ban is applied. For instance banning Brian Leyland, a reasonably thoughtful commentator, from even making a comment would be an absurd overreaction by Stuff. Basically it would be a policy of the Stuff editor only allowing comments if they agree with the papers editorial stance.
        I presume their policy doesn’t go that far, but is intended to only ban the simply stupid comments.

        • Robert Guyton 2.1.2.1

          I think, Wayne, we’re tired of stupid.

        • Macro 2.1.2.2

          Brian Leyland! Rofl

        • Sacha 2.1.2.3

          If Leyland is not making shit up as he usually does, I’m sure his comments could be published.

        • lprent 2.1.2.4

          I have had a look at his stuff before. He might be thoughtful, but his understanding of basic science is abysmal and it shows.

          To me it feels like he wasn’t trained in statistics. What he appears to have a problem are the idea of uncertainty and inexact systems. Which just describes the whole climate system which is really big interacting and governed mostly by chaos.

          Which is why Leyland never looks at the whole system but prefers instead to focus on very small parts of it that he can nitpick on.

          Basically he may be thoughtful in his own areas. In this one he is clearly out of his depth because his methods are antiquated.

          • Dennis Frank 2.1.2.4.1

            You’ve given a good description of the opinion I think I formed of him, but that was years ago & I’m rather vague on it. Either scientists get complex systems or they don’t. Specialists in other areas become emotionally attached to being seen as authority figures, which gives them a regrettable tendency to pontificate when out of their depth. Often without even reading intros to the field written by specialists in complex systems, it seems! Even college science students ought to know better than that…

          • greywarshark 2.1.2.4.2

            Leyland sounds like a hen, scoping thoroughly over a small area. If we all had hen-sized brains we would have better lives.

      • the other pat 2.1.3

        well Stuff is being two faced…3 months ago i was banned because i had several{non swearing or personal} comments on one dairy article saying you climate deniers are daft…..multiple comments is apparently trolling….shock horror…..still a plus is a plus i guess.

        • patricia bremner 2.1.3.1

          Let me hazard a guess… Stuff’s readership is dropping. There are more climate change believers than deniers. Stuff wishes to be relevant. IMO

    • Robert Guyton 2.2

      Allowing deniers equal time is a serious abdication of responsibility by media whose role in the face of potential disaster is to serve the public, not deceive them. There’s no question that deniers are endangering us all.

      • DJ Ward 2.2.1

        Yes there is some powerful voices at play. Many by deduction of there thinking are ICE addicts that see anti fossil fuels as an attack on them. They will cling to propaganda to protect themselves.

        Often they go to cherry picked facts, or misrepresent concepts with exaggeration. I think they should comment because they keep radical Climate Changers in check. I however enjoy deconstructing there comments, showing them why there thinking is wrong. They may attack back but they can’t avoid having to deal with the fact that they were misled by the powerful lobby groups of big oil etc. Once they see they were misled, the next attempt by those Lobby groups won’t be automatically believed. People hate being lied to, they also don’t like being shot down for believing a lie and regurgitating it.
        Above that 1 on 1 is the casual observer. Who themselves may see that they too were lied to at some point. Believed the original comment, or have a concept of reality that they staunchly believed.

        Freedom of speech is essential in the contest of ideas.

        There will always be deniers to some things. We still have to debate evolution.

        • Robert Guyton 2.2.1.1

          ” I think they should comment ”
          Of course you do. Stuff doesn’t and has given them the Spanish archer. Here, we’re firming our resolve to do the same 🙂

          • DJ Ward 2.2.1.1.1

            Yes and I can understand the reasoning. Often in replying to a comment I have to ask myself how dumb is this person to believe that.

            What if amongst all our truth, a comment that would otherwise be banned, exposes something that we get wrong.

            I learnt a hard lesson years ago. I had a very strong perception of events and even today I hold that belief. A person confronted me with a what about this comment. I didn’t have a response as they were correct. It changed how I look at things, and forced me to realise my solution to the problem was faulty.

            If free speech was banned then I may never have realised my error.

            When do we get to the point we stop the next Smith, Mendal, Darwin, Newton, Marx, Aristotle from speaking. Shall they all be made to drink Hemlock as well.

            • Dennis Frank 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Good reasoning, DJ. If I were the Stuff editor, I’d signal a somewhat porous barrier (like quantum tunnelling). I’d allow a petitioning process whereby a sceptic could make a point on a genuine public interest basis (via moderated submission, not autopublishing).

            • Robert Guyton 2.2.1.1.1.2

              Yeah, “What if “.
              Nah, Stuff it!

    • Rapunzel 2.3

      Stop being so PC. There comes a time when people persist in misrepresenting things and flooding comments continually with visceral claptrap, just because they can, a point has been reached that it’s so tedious, not to mention boring, that someone needs to tell them to just STFU.

      • greywarshark 2.3.1

        Rapunzel
        i understand your impatience with not taking firm action and no buts. But leave out the PC bit will you. It’s so tedious as a trope…..

      • Macro 2.3.2

        +1
        They had a fair go. They are wrong. time for action and they need to shut up or go home.

    • WeTheBleeple 2.4

      Oh fuck off.

    • Morrissey 2.5

      Do you think flying saucer conspiracists, flat earthers, and moon landing deniers should get equal time for their “differing views”?

      And if not, why not?

      • DJ Ward 2.5.1

        Time or opportunity?

        Do you like your freedom to speak on Kiwiblog. Many there would like to see you banned completely, and most don’t even read your argument before just personally attacking you, which is wrong. Most new ideas start with a radical thought that sometimes vertualy everyone wants banned.

        Darwin would have been strung up during the attack on his idea by the church if the maths didn’t save him and prove he was likely correct. On top of that only ignorance of what Mendal discovered and published resulted in that attack.

        • Sacha 2.5.1.1

          Kiwibog is not a professional media outlet.

          • Robert Guyton 2.5.1.1.1

            But it is an outlet. Apparently, seedling tomatoes used to grow en masse beside such outlets that were once common in New Zealand.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.5.1.1.2

            And caters to those on the right of this scale:

            Reality ————————————— Completely Fucken Bonkers.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.5.1.2

          Most new ideas start with a radical thought that sometimes vertualy everyone wants banned.

          And those people need to present scientific research proving the present scientific consensus wrong. They don’t get to spout off BS just because they disagree with reality.

          • DJ Ward 2.5.1.2.1

            Many of them do quote science. But as I’m sure your aware they are probably cherry picking. How do you seperate that person in your argument.

            They don’t agree with you and quote science.

            It was once thought emmisions would cause cooling. If that belief was consensus today would the person who points out a temperature reading and says your wrong should be banned. That we become forced to wait for consensus before the dissenting voice can speak. The error taking decades longer to correct because we destroy free speech.

            Where is this limit to banning speech if science supports the comment, but not the argument, or is not compliant to consensus.

            And who’s consensus. The dictators?

            • Draco T Bastard 2.5.1.2.1.1

              They don’t agree with you and quote science.

              I haven’t seen any of them quote science yet. I have seen them quote ‘research’ that didn’t pass the sniff test because it was solely based upon unfounded assertions.

              It was once thought emmisions would cause cooling.

              No there wasn’t.

              In other words, you’re just passing on the lie without questioning it.

              Where is this limit to banning speech if science supports the comment, but not the argument, or is not compliant to consensus.

              A scientific argument can always be made. A scientific argument is based upon the evidence that expands into a theory. The theory is then tested against ongoing evidence.

              This was done, over many years, on the argument that it was the sun causing global warming. The ongoing evidence has proven that to be wrong.

              Now, here’s the thing. The deniers aren’t making a scientific argument.

              And who’s consensus.

              There’s only one that matters – that of the science. Anything else is likely to be against reality.

              • DJ Ward

                I agree in the overall comment your making how science reaches consensus. My point related to people doing science, taking readings etc. The person using that ‘science’ to make there point. So I should have used the term research or data etc.

                I definately remember the argument that pollution would cause the planet to cool as it was being made with the nuclear winter scenario. But that was decades ago before global warming was even mentioned outside of small groups of scientists. I also remember that just like today some people didn’t believe it to be true.

                Free speech is what protects us, IE your last line.

                “Anything else is likely to be against reality.”

                Some people, but not me, are quite happy for global warming to occur and think it’s a great idea. They site what will happen as being good for the planet, and have no issue with sea level rise or warmer temperatures were they live or more CO2 resulting in better plant growth. The alarmist counter argument.

                There argument is compliant to the new censorship. It will become the home of the denier who no longer has free speech.

                Old saying. Better the devil you know.

                • Robert Guyton

                  DJ Ward is a “smudger”.

                  • cleangreen

                    DJ Ward is an anti climate change idiot sorry.

                    He/she needs to live in the mountians now as we need to move from the coast as it willl be flooded.

                    • greywarshark

                      Nah let him live on the Plains. He probably would like to bottle and sell water, as ‘the rain in Spain falls mainly on the Plain’ was the factual advice he got from his elders as a boy. Hence his muddled thinking.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I definately remember the argument that pollution would cause the planet to cool as it was being made with the nuclear winter scenario.

                  Particulate pollution. Not GHGs.

                  A nuclear winter would occur because of the billions of tonnes of dust that would end up in the atmosphere and stay there long enough to cause an effect. We’ve seen this happen with volcanic eruptions big enough that the sky changed colour as reported at the time in fantastic sunsets and sunrises.

                  But that was decades ago before global warming was even mentioned outside of small groups of scientists.

                  As I mention below, global warming from GHG emissions was known about at least as early as 1912.

                  Some people, but not me, are quite happy for global warming to occur and think it’s a great idea. They site what will happen as being good for the planet, and have no issue with sea level rise or warmer temperatures were they live or more CO2 resulting in better plant growth.

                  And the science proves them wrong.

                  Old saying. Better the devil you know.

                  New saying: Don’t put up with lies, at all, ever.

                  • DJ Ward

                    Read the comments section on “the science proves them wrong”. I don’t agree with every cliam either.

                    The science is settled and censorship ends one debate.
                    The next one is a huge can of worms.

                    Some people don’t care about Bangladesh for example. People will deny it will cause droughts. They don’t care about polar bears.

                    The denier will become the promoter.
                    The denier of human caused climate change will become the denier of the predicted effect.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      And…so…what do you suggest, DJ Ward?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Read the comments section on “the science proves them wrong”.

                      Why would I bother? They’re denying the science but they’re not proving anything because just talking BS.

                      That’s the my point. Nobody gets to have an opinion different from reality. Doing so is delusional. The only tool we have to determine reality is science.

        • lprent 2.5.1.3

          Do you like your freedom to speak on Kiwiblog.

          An freedom to ‘comment’ is one thing, however it is rather negated by the censorship that occurs as dissident comments disappear from ticking against.

          The last comments that I have left there have always disappeared from view within an hour from the downvoting. That doesn’t speak to me of anything except for a hands-off censorship which is what I predicted when David Farrar created that system.

          But I guess you’ve never noticed this..

          • DJ Ward 2.5.1.3.1

            Yes I have noticed the downvoted comments get reduced to just a link. However that actually makes me want to have a look to see why.
            That goes to argument we have had here about consensus. Me pointing out that speech shouldn’t be banned due to consensus.

            • lprent 2.5.1.3.1.1

              Consensus isn’t exactly a thing around here. Argument and disagreement tends to be more of the thing.

              Commenters disagree with each other.
              Authors disagree with other authors.
              I often disagree with Mike.
              I also often disagree with myself.

              The problem here isn’t consensus. The problem for me and probably a number of the others discussing this is pretty much if someone is bringing anything to debate.

              My experience with climate change deniers is that the simple CCD’s that I have engaged with over the last decade is that they have really disliked having their opinions challenged. They have a strong tendency to put up shit links that on the few times that they are legitimate research invariably the interpretation they postulate is in direct conflict with the actual paper.

              And really – they don’t bother to know or understand the existing science. Which means that they can’t argue on that. So they only want to argue on the basis of whatever dim theory that they have taken up with.

              That generally has a pretty useless microfocus on bad data, strange precepts without experimental backing or even a underlying precept and just a *lot* of unsubstantiated assertions that they haven’t really thought about. Mostly they just parrot the opinions of others, dickwave a lot to attract attention, and regress to playing the victim whenever challenged or disagreed with.

              In essence, they act like neophyte religionists. The kind that get sucked into cults when they are young and who depend on esteemed authority rather than thinking for themselves and being able to defend their stance.

              In a religion – they would be the ones who haven’t read the books or theology of their religion beyond the slogan level.

              Incredibly boring to deal with. Get in the way of any readable debate.

              I much prefer the very few CCDs, who while I mostly disagree with, have actually managed to teach me something. Usually it isn’t about science about climate change though. Generally that has been about ways to deal with the effects of climate change – like using insurance to shift habitation habits. I have to dig into it to figure out if I think it is viable.

              But I think that the neophyte parrots just get in the way. They should confine themselves to OpenMike. Because personally if I find them getting in the way of usable debate in posts on climate then I will have to just find out how fragile their egos are. Good practice targets.

    • Sacha 2.6

      “on topics that are as contentious as this”

      But it is *not* contentious. Try demanding airtime for flat-earthism or phrenology and see where you end up.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.7

      If you’re still connected to reality then you actually can’t have a different view than the scientific consensus.

      Which means that anyone with a different view is actually delusional and we really shouldn’t be listening to them. And delusional people shouldn’t be allowed to vote either.

      • the other pat 2.7.1

        WTF BOLLOCKS -9999

      • JohnSelway 2.7.2

        “And delusional people shouldn’t be allowed to vote either.”

        Holy. Shit.

        Draco is either drunk or let his hard authoritarian mask drop

      • JohnSelway 2.7.3

        To put this into context I am going to make the assumption Draco is an atheist (a reasonable assumption) therefor believes religious beliefs are delusional (which I would agree with).

        By my assumed positions Draco would take he would disenfranchise roughly some 1/3 to 1/2 of the population from voting based up the last census.

        Nice going pal

        • Draco T Bastard 2.7.3.1

          https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/292991-overview

          Delusional disorder is an illness characterized by at least 1 month of delusions but no other psychotic symptoms, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). [1] Delusions are false beliefs based on incorrect inference about external reality that persist despite the evidence to the contrary;

          This certainly applies to people who deny the scientific findings. In regards to climate change these people are actually endangering pretty much everybody.

          So, what reason is there to allow such people to vote?

          And I really doubt it would be as high as 1/3rd.

          • JohnSelway 2.7.3.1.1

            It also applies to the majority of religious beliefs which is well over half the population.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    De-platforming, eh? Regardless, any media owner has the right to choose the message they are sending. “Individuals can make a difference and inspire a ripple effect of change. But considering the scale of this problem, that won’t be anywhere near enough. We need systemic change that shifts communities, companies and countries.”

    “The classic Kiwi “she’ll be right” attitude won’t serve us here. Without urgent and comprehensive action, she won’t be right.” Shifting media from problem discussion to solution discussion is appropriate decision-making in the spirit of the GP Charter principle. Good on them!

    • greywarshark 3.1

      Shifting media from problem discussion to solution discussion is appropriate decision-making

      That was quite hard to set up. But could be our motto it is so well-said.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        Some of us are problem-solvers by nature. And by track record. It always disappointed me how few Greens fall into that category. And in respect of climate change, yeah, now a necessity. Generally speaking, democracy de-selects and disempowers problem-solvers. But I’ve made that point here enough in the past that readers may have absorbed it already…

    • the other pat 3.2

      +10000

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    Let’s do the same on this thread 🙂

  5. It’s great that they are finally doing this. The only problem is this should have happened 10-20 years ago. About bloody time. As for whether it is too late: given our lack of decisive action so far on global warming I suspect it is too late. But hey surprise me on this and I’ll be happy.

    • Anne 5.1

      About bloody time.

      My sentiments exactly.

      The Met Service was aware of the impending threat back in the 1970s and started to make public noises. That’s 40 odd years ago. Better late than never I suppose. Its now incumbent on all the other news outlets to do the same.

      • ianmac 5.1.1

        Further back Anne – from 1955+ International Geophysical Year. Using their research I wrote a small paper on the possible effects on ocean rise.

        • Dennis Frank 5.1.1.1

          Interesting, Ian. What year did you do so and in what capacity?

          • ianmac 5.1.1.1.1

            As a student in 1959 I was doing a science paper. I made a basic map showing the huge number of big cities at risk from rising levels and presented it to fellow students. IGY started in 1955 (7?) and continues in various forms today.

            “The IGY encompassed eleven Earth sciences: aurora and airglow, cosmic rays, geomagnetism, gravity, ionospheric physics, longitude and latitude determinations (precision mapping), meteorology, oceanography, seismology, and solar activity.[2] The timing of the IGY was particularly suited for studying some of these phenomena, since it covered the peak of solar cycle 19.”
            -Wikipedia.

            • Dennis Frank 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Are you a graduate then? Did that produce a career in science for you? I got bored & shifted sideways into something completely different after I graduated.

              Also the date implies your age is well beyond mine (69). Well done for the project anyway. Shows you have the capacity for seeing the big picture, huh?

            • Macro 5.1.1.1.1.2

              IGY was 1957 – my cousin was senior scientist for the NZ Antarctic winter at Scott Base, and the NZ’s study was the Ionosphere – on which he published a number of papers.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.2

          I’ve got a pic of an article on my facebook page that tells us that carbon dioxide emissions would induce global warming – from 1912.

          • lprent 5.1.1.2.1

            Yep. The problem was never the theory. That has been around since the 19th century.

            The issue was always to get enough experimental data from the field to indicate if it was possibly happening. The problem is that weather and climate are different in different places and over different time periods. So even when the chemistry and physics were known, it was unknown if it would have any significiant effect because :-

            1. We couldn’t see data from the whole world, we only had small snatches often from very small localised locations – like Western Europe. It is getting better now, but the data especially for atmospheric composition and ocean current composition is still pretty sparse over much of the world.

            2. We couldn’t see changes over long enough periods of time. It wasn’t until the 1970s before the proxies for paleo-temperatures (like oxygen isotope deposition) were even developed to a moderately verifiable level, and could be matched with careful drilling of ice cores for bubbles.

            3. The paleo climate picture was hopelessly confused prior to understanding continental drift – which happened in the 60s. They’d discover glacial drop zones in the current tropics and tropical tree fossils in Antarctica. Completely obvious when you look at it with continental drift over 10s of millions of years. Completely confusing if you didn’t.

            4. We didn’t have that good a look at the other planets, especially Mars, until they managed to get into atmosphere. That really brought home the subtle relationships between atmospheric composition and greenhouse effects. Because they were mostly far simpler systems than Earth and its oversized companion plus the biosphere created, they were also a lot easier to see causation.

            Most of that picture slowly cleared up over the 80s and 90s (my degree was in the early 80s when it was still just one of many unproven theories). The data showed some clear trends, which have since become ever clearer and pretty much always in the same direction – increased and increasingly rapid effects from human generated and forced climate change into the future.

            About the only thing that is under discussion these days in the earth science communities are how strong the buffering effects are, how long they will protect us from the full effects of what has already been wrought, and if we have time to escape the trap that burning billions of years of fossilized carbon has caused.

            • Poission 5.1.1.2.1.1

              Freeman Dyson looked at the problem and postulated obvious solutions in 1977.

              https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0360544277900330

              paper here.

              https://adamant.typepad.com/seitz/files/Dyson_Energy_1977.pdf

              • lprent

                That was prescient, like damn near everything that he did. He did grab the essence of the issue even before the confirmatory evidence came in. Especially just how short-term biomass ‘bank’ is. Implicitly also the insertion of gases back into reservoirs would be.

                However looking at the assumptions there is a base problem that is pretty evident looking back.

                There isn’t any consideration of increased population nor raised living standards across the world that drove the use of carbon fuels up far faster than he anticipated. It also meant that most of the areas he was counting on for banks are now populated or involved in food production for supporting the human populations.

                • Poission

                  In the paper he states that the biomass banks are a bridging solution to allow for technology advances that replace FF such as geothermal and hydro.

                  In november was the 60th anniversary of geothermal in nz.The second plant in the world and the first with wet steam.

                  I would suggest the construction of Wairakei Power Station did not involve great groups of MPS and consultants traveling mega miles with endless meetings and gigabytes of emails.

            • Dennis Frank 5.1.1.2.1.2

              I suggest including (re your last paragraph) regional variations. What did you graduate in? Have you done self-education in related areas since? I’m interested in which, if so.

              I did geology in 1970, as an irrelevant inclusion in my physics degree, but it turned out to be more interesting & have more long-term value than the physics/math/applied-maths overdose. Learnt about natural climate change then. I developed a multi-disciplinary view of science via intensive self-education in the late ’80s. Just enough for an informed overview of each field I investigated, no more.

              • lprent

                Regional variations are important especially for planning. However as there is a lot of uncertainty about how much heat and CO2 is already stored – how the variations express over time will vary. Essentially they’re just looking at present to either short-term (like melted glaciers), generic long-term (like sea level), but mostly just looking at factors that will cause their local variations (like the composition of the Canterbury plains).

                BSc Earth Science and a minor in management 1981
                MBA with a major in operations research finally completed theses in 1989
                Plus over the years I have done a lot of social science and history papers

                I’m a compulsive and very fast reader. So I read everything and keep track of any field that I have covered in the past along with a lot of current news and overview magazines and occasional deeper dips into journals. However I’m extremely broad in my interests so there tends to be a lot of dilution.

                Since 1990 I’ve been working as a programmer usually at a lead or semi-architect level – basically I make damn sure that we finish projects. From 1995 until 2014 these were mainly in greenfield projects with all of the usual startup issues. But my current tasks tend more to upgrading old systems and post-fixing systems that aren’t working when they leave the programming teams. That has been kind of fun.

                I have tended to pick jobs in simulation and decision making systems, usually for training or supporting human decisions. These have increasingly been based on wide area RF networks and embedded devices.

                There is a *lot* of study in merely keeping up to date with my work areas. Roughly 20% of my work time after I got good at it. That is exactly why I liked it. It takes time to drag new languages, libraries, conceptual frameworks, and devices out of the wrappers and to get used to them.

                From 1990 I’ve also been involved around Labour politics, mainly in technical areas like electoral targeting. However I started to close that off due to lack of time since 2011. This site is currently my last open area in that.

                I’ve also had a strong interest in the interaction of law and society since the 80s, and had to observe it close at hand several times with activist relatives and this site.

                • Dennis Frank

                  That’s an impressive mix of expertise, and an extremely rare one at that! You’d be as useful in developing govt policy as in tech specialties. You must also be a problem-solver, an extra bonus. Probably enough lateral-thinking with that to be able to finesse status-quo thinking in any group context. Very interesting, thanks.

                  I’m working on a way to do social-media politics as a supplement or complement to democracy. Have most of the design in place, paying a couple of young fellas to improve the functionality. Will be for people who have a natural flair for productive group interaction. You may not have time, but I wonder how you see your group alchemy in a generic sense.

                  • lprent

                    I have always hated dealing with government bodies and corporates. I’m extremely focused on hands-on as part of a team delivering projects to actually being used. I’ve found that isn’t a particularly strong criteria in those kinds of organisations. That was why I switched to startups.

                    The worst project I ever had was a contract delivering a prototype system for Telecom back in the early 90s as they were splitting up regionally and then reforming. There were 3 changes of management during the project with quite differing ideological objectives. It made life a bit difficult and intensely frustrating. It went into use more than a decade after my nine months on it.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      This is the bit relevant to what I’ve described: “I’m extremely focused on hands-on as part of a team delivering projects to actually being used.” Relevant gems of team wisdom:

                      “A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.”

                      “No team arises without a performance challenge that is meaningful to those involved.”

                      “Teams must develop the right mix of skills, that is, each of the complementary skills necessary to do the team’s job.”

                      “Real teams always find ways for each individual to contribute and thereby gain distinction. Indeed, when harnessed to a common team purpose and goals, our need to distinguish ourselves as individuals becomes a powerful engine for team performance.”

                      “Teams develop direction, momentum, and commitment by working to shape a meaningful purpose.”

                      “Teams also need to develop a common approach — that is, how they will work together to accomplish their purpose.”

                      “Only through the mutual discovery and understanding of how to apply all its human resources to a common purpose can a group really develop and agree on the best team approach to achieve its goal. At the heart of such long and, at times, difficult interactions lies a commitment-building process in which the whole team candidly explores who is best suited to each task as well as how all the individual roles will come together. In effect, it establishes a social contract among its members that relates to their purpose, and guides and obligates how they must work together.”

                      I extracted all the key points from The Wisdom of Teams (1993) and put them on my new website in 2011 – you can find the full list here: http://www.alternativeaotearoa.org/teamwork.html

                      I’d like to contact you when the time is right, Lynn – to offer you the opportunity to check the new site out before I publicise it. Both for your technical appraisal, and to see if it suits you re participation. On the TS contact page, in respect of protocol, should I then notify the main email address, or choose your operational address instead?

                    • lprent []

                      Not a problem.

                      The other one that people have a tendency to overlook with work teams is that they usually cooperate on work and barely know each other outside of that. I always look with askance whenever anyone starts trying to build ‘team spirit’ and usually start planning to leave. It usually means that some numb-skull lacks the imagination and skill to understand the project, and is trying to shortcut the process with niceness in teh hope taht everything will come out right at the end. Usually means that the process is doomed to failure.

                      Any team creative process is an argumentative compromise between differing objectives. What the hardware engineers want isn’t what the programmers want and bears no relationship to what the marketing want to promise…. Resolving it into a workable product or system through argument is what the process is all about.

                      On the TS contact page, in respect of protocol, should I then notify the main email address, or choose your operational address instead?

                      Operational. They both flow through to there, but go into different folders.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I’m working on a way to do social-media politics as a supplement or complement to democracy.

                    Wouldn’t it be integral to democracy?

                    We are social creatures after all.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Not in a structural sense. I realised democracy is part of the problem rather than being part of the solution 30 years ago while developing the Green Party, but the gfc was my signal to design an alternative – has been a work in progress ever since.

                      Climate-change has turned the project into a necessity, due to democracy’s failure to produce a solution in the required time-frame. In terms of social alchemy, rigid social structures like democracy impede catalysis.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Climate-change has turned the project into a necessity, due to democracy’s failure to produce a solution in the required time-frame.

                      Ah, but is it democracy’s failure or that we live in an oligarchy pretending to be a democracy?

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Yes, there’s enough of that happening to be a determinant of the outcome. But another way to frame it is participatory democracy also known as direct democracy, in which you do the work yourself rather than delegating it.

                • JohnSelway

                  So so awesome. Please tell us more about yourself.
                  I would suggest your favourite topic isn’t Earth Sciences, MBAs or programming, but is, in fact, yourself

                  • Dennis Frank

                    I requested info on his background & skills, John, so you’re actually being unfair. Maybe you didn’t scan upthread enough to see that…

              • RedLogix

                In my experience, geology is one of the few disciplines that teaches observation of the natural world. It’s an ancient skill largely neglected in the modern world.

                Me … I hung out with rock-bashers when I was much younger, but unfortunately I’m one of those engineers who annoy lprent so much 🙂

                • Dennis Frank

                  Well, as a lateral-thinker I can recommend the shift sideways into social engineering! 😎 Since you come across as a reasonable, well-balanced person I doubt you’d have a problem with it.

                • Poission

                  There are a lot of skills neglected or overlooked in science ( in the age of selfies)

                  There are a number of discussion on infinite dimensional manifolds (its importance in fluid mechanics being well known) on Vladimir Arnolds famous paper on the finite distance of a weather forecast( for infinite equations)

                  http://www.numdam.org/item/?id=AIF_1966__16_1_319_0

                  It was discussed on Terry Tao’s blog and on John Baez

                  https://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/fluid-flows-and-infinite-dimensional-manifolds/

                  JB comments on one example used ( inviscid burgers equation)

                  I hope you (and indeed everyone in the universe) knows about the convective derivative of the velocity vector field, which is the left-hand side of the above equation. It’s the time derivative of the velocity vector field as seen by a particle moving along with that velocity—that’s what adds that second term! Does everyone still learn about this in school?
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Material_derivative

                  Do you remember?

                  • RedLogix

                    I remember doing Lagrangians for some simple mechanical systems; and being rather impressed at their conceptual elegance.

                    • lprent

                      Lagrangians for some simple mechanical systems

                      I used to use them for estimating non-linear heat transfers and boundary temperatures through multi-layered kiln walls (eg, firebrick to insulating brick to glass fibres). They were the only calculation method that I could fit on programmable calculator – which was whole lot more accurate and faster than manually doing table lookups.

                • lprent

                  I’m one of those engineers who annoy lprent so much..

                  Engineers don’t annoy me that much. They just need to be more carefully educated.

                  After all my current job title says that I am one (barf…) and anyone who I have banned will happily tell you that I could never condeem myself 😈

                  However I do find them to be curiously under trained in multiple ways.

                  For instance having come through the production / operations / support routes into programming, I find that their lack of consideration for software installation and upgrade of systems to be relevant is just *weird*. The usual refrain I hear is that “the support people will do it”. Which is a just complete stupidity because life time process control needs to built into the design

                  That just makes me want to chain offenders to a wall to update their software in scores of locked down android tablets. And the equivalent of that will be happening to the worst offender the next time I get asked go and bail their arse out by writing those time saving systems next time.

                  It is like they consider the building something takes care of the whole of life support that they have contracted for.

                  Mind you most programmers coming through the compsci and business routes are just as bad until they get their noses rubbed into it from customers the first time. About the only people who do consider upgrade issues are the network people who have to do nearly continuous upgrades during the year.

                  • JohnSelway

                    Fuck you’re awesome

                    • lprent

                      You haven’t been noticeable in the wit, intelligence and knowledge departments around here. So it is hardly surprising that this is all that you have to say.

                      Please save the attempted sarcasm for someone that gives a shit about what ignorant dipshits think.

                    • JohnSelway

                      Wit is a matter of opinion.

                      But with knowledge and intelligence I can hold my own. Sure I don’t have an Earth Sciences degree, nor am I am programmer but I can use better epitaphs than “ignorant” or “dickhead” every fourth comment. Nor do I feel the need to make everyone aware of my brilliance in said fields whenever the opportunity presents itself.

                      I can also comment without talking about how awesome/well traveled/much smarter I am or telling I just don’t have the time because I am engaged in activities that the hoi polloi would never understand.

                    • lprent []

                      Nor do I feel the need to make everyone aware of my brilliance in said fields whenever the opportunity presents itself.

                      If you look past the end of the bile dripping off your head, you’ll see that I was explicitly asked for that information. Presumably because Denis wanted to know if I was worth reading. That is usually when I tell people. If the truth upsets you, then there is very little I can do to help you with your inability to cope with it.

                      ‘well-travelled’

                      Snort! I don’t like travelling. I do it for work because I allowed it in my employment contract in 2014 for the first time since the early 90s. That was because I found that the only obvious effect of travelling was that it disrupted my comms links to the net and whatever I was working on. But net links are prety global these days.

                      However I usually remark on travel on the site because I’m crashed in the evening on day x of a 53 day tour in a hotel room after many 80 hour weeks outside in either stinking heat being attacked by insects or freezing cold. Mostly what I say is that I’m too tired to do something like respond fully to a comment or to fix a bug on the site.

                      Business travel is always hard and extremely boring but I suspect that mine is a bit extreme.

                      but I can use better epitaphs than “ignorant” or “dickhead” every fourth comment

                      So you keep to your convoluted descriptions of how you see the behaviour of others, and I’ll stick to mine. Personally I think that mine are more likely to change behaviours.

                      After all my last one actually got to you to display some actual content beyond simply sneering at others for the first time that I can recall.

                    • JohnSelway

                      “If you look past the end of the bile dripping off your head, you’ll see that I was explicitly asked for that information.”

                      Which goes back to where all this started. You never pass up a chance to talk about yourself

                      [lprent: So what you are saying (and it is really hard to not get this impression) is that I should have lied about my education and experience to Denis? FFS: is that what you are telling me? Is that your common practice?

                      Hell, you haven’t even given me a reason why I should lie to Denis. Is honesty not a moral trait? Do you not like a clarity in communication?

                      Actually probably not – I don’t know that you are a National supporter, but I have noticed a certain tendency towards moral hypocrisy and trying to hide information that matches your statements. So it seems likely.

                      Now I can understand that you probably like to lie. However it isn’t one of my traits. I’m brutally honest and I like to cut the crap until I find the source. So trust that when I say I think that you really are a sad little arsehole trying to tell me to be reprehensible because you don’t like honesty – it is a sincere and honest opinion based solely on the crap you sprout.

                      BTW: I’d suggest that you don’t continue tell me what I should write – it is one of the self-martyrdom offenses in policy. I wouldn’t have made this a note except that policy kind of demands it, and a note is the lowest and most benevolent response. Personally I can’t wait until I see how you insert the other foot. ]

                    • RedLogix

                      @John

                      Many years back Lynn and I made the time to have dinner together; we share a lot of similar background and technical career; however I can assure you everything Lynn is saying about his background is legit.

                      We also share a similar travel demands for work; the novelty wears off very quickly. As he says you find yourself in all sorts of places, tired and stressed from the constant demands on your energy.

                      I’m probably the oldest surviving participant at TS, I joined within weeks of it starting up over a decade ago, I moderated for some years and authored some posts. So I know Lynn pretty well by now. His approach to ‘educating’ is different to mine; complementary you could say. But this is pretty much his site and only exists because of his years of diligent work to keep it going.

                      Lynn is what he is and I respect, often admire, his dedication, energy and intelligence. It’s just not worth picking a fight with him; he’s the random force of nature that keeps this place going and I’m happy for that.

                      Cheers

                      RL

                    • veutoviper

                      John, I back what RedLogix has said. I was an early reader of this blog ‘way back when’ and it took me years to actually get the courage to comment here.

                      As you know I have supported you a number of times (and you me) and I want to continue to see you here. But it is by right, lprent’s (and others) blogsite and only exists and continues because of the time, effort and dedication he and others put into it.

                      We all have our own peculiarities, personality-wise and in other ways and Yes, Lynn has a confrontation blunt approach from time to time (an understatement, LOL!) but that is what makes him and this site unique. I would far rather see that than what I see on some other sites.

                      Kia kaha to you all.

            • KJT 5.1.1.2.1.3

              We didn’t even have an accurate picture of ocean currents and mixing until the introduction of GPS, in the 80’s.

              As the science drills down more and more, and our observations get more accurate, the implications get more frightening.

              We are conducting an earth wide experiment, to see how much we can fuck up our collective home, and still live in it.

              All indications are that the results are going to be on the worst side if the range of IPCC predictions. That don’t fully allow for unquantifiable forcing effects, such as methane from permafrost melting.

              The “invisible hand” is not going to fix this.

              • RedLogix

                We didn’t even have an accurate picture of ocean currents and mixing until the introduction of GPS, in the 80’s.

                Oddly enough I played a very small part in that story.

              • lprent

                It is pretty damn depressing when you look at the blithe way we’re sailing into this problem.

                It is the frog and heating the pot issue. By the time that we (the frog) realise that it is getting a bit too warm will probably be about the time that we start getting turned into french cuisine.

                About the only thing that is a bright part is the same thing that causes it to be problem. The rolling problems for our societies from climate shifts are most likely to happen slowly as well. Most of the time people aren’t going to get killed in large batches (>10 to the 5th), they’re far just be disrupted and have to relocate themselves and their activities.

                Of course in a world population likely to hit 11 billion this century, migration is going to be somewhat contentious.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Of course in a world population likely to hit 11 billion this century, migration is going to be somewhat contentious.

                  Migration is already contentious. We certainly couldn’t deal with 100 million moving here over a few years. If it happened we’d have an internal war that’d make the Somme look like a Xmas party.

                  As I say, we will be closing the borders sooner or later and the sooner the better.

                  • stunned mullet

                    11 billion – hope not. I’m hopeful that the engaging Hans Rosling’s positive predictions are correct.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The invisible hand* is what’s causing it and will continue doing so.

                * Actually rich people hiding behind corporate cutouts.

  6. WeTheBleeple 6

    I am exhausted. I swat at the air trying to capture the carbon but it eludes me. I rant long and loud, research, read, view, read again… till the facts are piled mountainous on my desk. They block the sun, the air cools, what is happening…

    I’m having the day off climate change. My house needs attention, my mental health needs attention. Go Stuff! Carry the torch!

    Can’t wait to see what James has come up with. In the interim, doing the dishes…

    Will be back on my high horse shortly.

  7. One Two 7

    Censorship, in any form is insidious

    Scientific consensus, is a misnomer

    • Robert Guyton 7.1

      The media are saying “Stuff” that!

      🙂

      • One Two 7.1.1

        ‘The Media’ , like to control the narratives…..

        No issue to too important that censorship should be accepted, and this is simply another example where well intended people will be responsible for the enabling of further censorship over time…

        Make no mistake , Robert (I thoroughly enjoy your posts and comments) issues regarding the environment of planet earth are of such substantive importance to the point where censorship attempts should be seen for exactly what they are….

        There is no such thing as scientific consensus, or in fact consensus in general…but there is overwhelming evidence that planet earth’s life sustaining capability is being degraded severely and ways and means to halt the primary causes need to take priority…

        Censorship, is wrong, and should not be hailed as necessary….no matter what the rationale…

        • Dennis Frank 7.1.1.1

          Yours is a view I often share. I’d frame the issue as context-driven. If we were talking about public media, I’d be more on your side, but with private media we must allow editorial discretion. The alternative is thought control.

          Think of the group mind as a social ecosystem. Pollution is toxic to an ecosystem, and introducing harmful ideas is easily seen as pollution of the group mind. Discriminating against such thinking is sensible on that basis. Censorship can be seen as a helpful quality-control mechanism – in a suitable context.

        • Robert Guyton 7.1.1.2

          One Two –
          “Including denialism wouldn’t be “balanced”; it’d be a dangerous waste of time.”
          “Stuff” has made a call and explained its reasons. Sometimes, executive decisions are made and that’s that. Your view seems sound, but the opportunity to change Stuff’s view has passed. They’re ring-fencing “denialism” and I reckon it’s a blessing. I feel a little sympathy for the deniers and those who hold fast to strong views about freedom of speech, but mostly I cheer the decision, in light of their “waste of time” call.

        • Richard Christie 7.1.1.3

          One Two: There is no such thing as scientific consensus,

          Bollocks.

          Areas of scientific consensus, on many concepts, exist in most fields of science, for example.

          We have a scientific consensus on germ theory as mechanism explaining the causation for many diseases (medical science),
          We have scientific consensus on the heliocentric model for the solar system (physical science),
          We have scientific consensus on evolution as mechanism for existence of the diversity of life (biological science)

          Stop talking out of your arse

    • dV 7.2

      Hey ONE TWO,
      How do you feel about the scientific consensus about gravity then?

      • One Two 7.2.1

        It does not matter which ‘subject’ is named, dv…

        There is no such thing as ‘scientific consensus’ … it simply does not exit…has no basis…no standing in science (ironically) or anywhere at all other than it being a marketing slogan….it is a made up terminology…

        • mickysavage 7.2.1.1

          So it is legitimate to believe that gravity does not exist?

          • One Two 7.2.1.1.1

            Come on , MS…you’re a lawyer right…Of course it’s legitimate for people to believe anything they so choose…and to comment openly about it…

            I’m more interested how, in your mind…that question was going to somehow negative the fact that ‘scientific consensus’ does not exist…

            Do believe scientific consensus to be ‘legitimate’ when using evidence to explain and support ‘the science’ [any topic] ?

            If so, what standing does it have inside the ‘scientific community’ …in your opinion ?

            • lprent 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Come on , MS…you’re a lawyer right… Of course it’s legitimate for people to believe anything they so choose…and to comment openly about it…

              Of course. However do they have the ‘right’ to comment wherever they please?

              I know that this isn’t the case.

              For instance, and taking an extreme example, if I come to your house in the middle of the night and express my opinion via loudspeaker. Of course the police will allow me to disturb everyone in the name of ‘free speech’ – anything else would be censorship right.

              Or in my case, am I required to allow defamatory statements by guests to this site to be made on the server in my living room. But curiously there seem to be some quite explicit requirements in criminal and civil law that don’t support that.

              I’d say that the law doesn’t actually support your position.

              In fact it allows this site to have the ‘right’ to determine what content is placed on the site. You have the right under BORA to comment. We don’t need to provide you a platform.

              I’d also say that you are completely stupid and sprouting ignorant bullshit or just lying. Something that curiously, the law is happy for me to do.

              It is also happy for me to demonstrate that to you whenever I, as a moderator, feel like. The only real restrictions are those that we choose to place on ourselves. Those are outlined in the policy.

              I’m always happy to demonstrate. In fact it often brings me pleasure to educate the willfully ignorant.

          • alwyn 7.2.1.1.2

            I suppose that you feel that Newton got the explanation of Gravity exactly correct do you Micky, and that people like that trouble-maker Einstein should never have had their views published?
            How dare he try and claim that Newton’s theory was not complete and perfect in all regards.

            • Robert Guyton 7.2.1.1.2.1

              Eeeek! A denier!

            • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.1.2.2

              I think you’ll find that Einstein put forward a scientific theory that proved Newton not exactly right. Later scientific theories have done the same to Einstein’s theories.

              The climate change deniers aren’t doing that. They’re just blustering with BS.

              • alwyn

                Einstein’s theory is completely different to that of Newton. Newton’s theory gives answers that are very close to the values given by General Relativity, certainly, but the underlying theory is completely different and Newton’s theory conflicts with Special Relativity as well.
                For example the theory of Newton allows, and indeed requires, the forces to propagate at speeds exceeding that of light. A total no-no.

                I would be very curious to have some evidence of your second sentence though. As far as I am aware there has never been a case of any experiment finding an error in the predictions of the General Theory. What therefore is the evidence for your claim that
                ” Later scientific theories have done the same to Einstein’s theories.”?
                You need to show that one theory gives a different prediction than another and that you can show, by experiment, which one is right to make claims like this.

                There is no doubt that General Relativity and Quantum Theory conflict. However there is no-one who has come up with a theory that actually demonstrates the Einstein’s theory is “wrong”.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I would be very curious to have some evidence of your second sentence though.

                  Quantum Theory

                  However there is no-one who has come up with a theory that actually demonstrates the Einstein’s theory is “wrong”.

                  1. I didn’t say Newton was wrong – I said he wasn’t exactly right. The theory of relativity corrected some of that.
                  2. Challenging Einstein

                  • alwyn

                    When the subject of the conversation was about Gravity I assumed that you were talking about Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, which is his theory of gravity, not his stuff on other components of Physics.

                    • McFlock

                      I think you’ll find that draco’s link included at least one article dealing with apparent inadequacies in the General Theory.

          • Cricklewood 7.2.1.1.3

            Stuff did publicize flat earthers a while back… i think the science is settled there as well

          • DJ Ward 7.2.1.1.4

            It has been described and quantified. It is undeniable that gravity exists but it’s explanation is not 100%. Some genius might one day prove that we can’t answer the questions about gravity 100% because all of our understanding was founded on a wrong idea. That it’s not the attraction of mass to mass but the distortion of space time by matter causing space time to push matter into a neutral state.

            Just as climate change may be accepted by a person but they deny its man made component is 100% of what’s happening.

            Where do you draw the line in restricting free speech on what is being claimed.

            • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.1.4.1

              You’re making the mistake of assuming that people spouting gibberish should be listened to.

              The only people who should be listened to are the people with the evidence and the theory that accurately describes the evidence.

              Free-speech does not allow anyone to spout lies.

              • the other pat

                THERE IS NO GRAVITY….we dont float away because of sticky bacteria produced by the earth….proof……we aint floating away……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

              • DJ Ward

                Should be listened too?
                There is no compulsion.
                Just because they say something doesn’t make it truth. What are you scared of if science has consensus.

                What if right wingers don’t agree with you, deplatform you.
                You are forthwith banned from saying anything about a child raised outside of a heterosexual marriage as the outcome is proven by science to be in “the best interests of the child”.

                Should we deplatform the Pope.

                • McFlock

                  The pope has his own platform, thousands of them. Every Sunday.

                  • DJ Ward

                    Yes. And consensus could become, if not already by science, that it’s all lies. I’m 99.999% sure it’s nonsense. But will Stuff ban any comment on the pope or religion.

                    What’s next on the slippery slope.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Just because they say something doesn’t make it truth.

                  https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/believe-read-internet

                  What are you scared of if science has consensus.

                  Have you noticed that we’ve failed to do anything about climate change for 30+ years because of the lies told in the MSM?

                  You are forthwith banned from saying anything about a child raised outside of a heterosexual marriage as the outcome is proven by science to be in “the best interests of the child”.

                  Except that the science doesn’t prove that. It proves the opposite.

                  https://qz.com/438469/the-science-is-clear-children-raised-by-same-sex-parents-are-at-no-disadvantage/
                  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100121135904.htm

                  In other words, they’d be lying. But, then, the RWNJs do that all the time as reality always contradicts them.

                  • DJ Ward

                    Failed to do anything?

                    30 years ago it wasn’t ‘proven’ like it is today in the collective mind of the populace. I know some that still don’t, and don’t care at all.
                    I doubt the recent gas exploration ban would have been acceptable 30 years ago.
                    The shift to more renewables.
                    No new hydrocarbon power stations.
                    The investments in electric cars.
                    Subsidies to get solar industries started.
                    Research into farming solutions.
                    Improving efficiency.
                    Changing to efficient lights.
                    Etc

                    No matter how we may desire we could flick a switch and climate change is a solved problem, it’s impossible. Decades of change is still needed. Some nations are so disfunctional that they simply ignore the issue.

                    Lies by the MSM?
                    While I have obviously seen some deny stuff, Fox News etc, by far the majority of stuff I’ve seen does not present that position in MSM. Then there’s the who cares we hardly matter point of view after that.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      30 years ago it wasn’t ‘proven’ like it is today in the collective mind of the populace.

                      But it was confirmed enough to the politicians at the earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro in 1992 – in fact, before then as the agreements then was a result of a process started in 1989. And I’m pretty sure that the general populace was, at the time, fully in support of it:

                      Furthermore, the general public’s awareness of environmental issues and the need for action was undoubtedly enhanced. There was a great deal of publicity surrounding Rio, and the Conference certainly resulted in an increase in educated awareness of pressing environmental issues.

                      The public knew what needed to be done, they supported doing it. The politicians fucked up seemingly at the behest of the capitalists.

                      I doubt the recent gas exploration ban would have been acceptable 30 years ago.

                      I think it would have gone down as well as our anti-nuclear legislation.

                      Decades of change is still needed.

                      And those decades could, and should, have started in 1985.

                      Lies by the MSM?

                      Who said anything about the MSM?

              • JohnSelway

                “You’re making the mistake of assuming that people spouting gibberish should be listened to.”

                But you spout gibberish all the fucking time

                • greywarshark

                  John S
                  But you spout gibberish all the fucking time

                  How do you now it is gibberish? If yu can’t make out a coherent line in an opinion, then it is very possibly your lack of experience and understanding that is at fault.
                  What is your background in understanding, and sorting gibberish from useful correct information, or an exploration of the value of some theory, with an hypothesis?

                  Do you operate under the simple approach – I can read, therefore I am educated, therefore I am wise.

        • Dennis Frank 7.2.1.2

          Do you actually have a science degree? I do. Your statement about consensus in science bears no relation to what happens in real life. Have you no comprehension how a scientific paradigm forms??

          • One Two 7.2.1.2.1

            You believe that your ‘science degree’ makes the terminology ‘scientific consensus’ credible within, ‘science’… ?

            No, you actually do not…and you say as much…

            Your statement about consensus in science bears no relation to what happens in real life

            Comprehension, Denis…yes quite…you’re missing it…

            Your comment about ‘the group mind’….(real life) and the ‘need’ to censor/filter the thoughts (pollution) of human beings via ‘helpful discrimination…

            Ridiculous, dangerous…and actually part of the reason why the average human being’s mind is now so close to resembling , a plank of wood…

            • Dennis Frank 7.2.1.2.1.1

              Okay, so you have no grasp of how scientists form a consensus, because you lack a scientific education. We’ve established, therefore, that you are commenting from the position of ignorance.

              However I get the impression that you are coming from a perspective that may have some value or merit, so I’m trying not to be too critical! I’m just not clear what that perspective actually is…

              • One Two

                Scientists, do not form ‘scientic consensus’, Denis…

                It is not possible…you have a fundamental comprehension issue around a marketing and PR falsehood…

                Science, has nothing to do with it…

                • Dennis Frank

                  Look, making baseless assertions from the position of ignorance is a waste of your valuable time! Ought I to assume you have some kind of subjective take on consensus that everyone else doesn’t share? And that it is operating as a communication handicap for you?

                  Perhaps you don’t want to confess this. Okay. Explain then, why you believe the consensus behind the theory of agw doesn’t exist.

                  • greywarshark

                    i think this Python clip on arguments should be a basic reference point for how futile and manipulative arguments can be.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Those competing civil service sideburns sure were a thing, weren’t they? But yes, quite similar to some of the reciprocity here…

        • greywarshark 7.2.1.3

          There is only so much time for blue-sky thinking and then the nit-picking that can come on its coat-tails. And the trouble with much argumentation and idealism is that it is only new to that/those persons. They have just dug up something that others discarded a time ago as faulty and only leading to useless circular reasoning.

      • KJT 7.2.2

        Scientific consensus is a misnomer. Once there was scientific consensus about Newtonian physics. Or earlier, the earth centric universe.

        There is “scientific repeatable evidence” based on our current state of knowledge.

        It is the “evidence” which proves AGW is happening.

        Same as you don’t step out of a plane without a parachute. Repeated evidence shows gravity will win.

    • Robert Guyton 7.3

      A mother telling her 4 year-old that swearing when grandparents are visiting is…insidious?
      :insidious
      /ɪnˈsɪdɪəs/Submit
      adjective
      proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with very harmful effects.
      (my bold)

    • greywarshark 7.4

      One Two
      Oh wise one

      Three – Little of worth can be defined absolutely and to infinity, in six words.

  8. Antoine 8

    Feels a bit suspect. Stuff doesn’t censor demonstrably factually wrong comments on other topics; why this one?

    A.

    • Robert Guyton 8.1

      Because they recognise its importance.

    • Stephen 8.2

      Because it’s too important not to.

      • Antoine 8.2.1

        How will a few erroneous Stuff comments harm the biosphere?

        A.

        • Robert Guyton 8.2.1.1

          Sowing the seeds of doubt and inaction.

        • Sacha 8.2.1.2

          They disturb the beneficial bacteria.

        • greywarshark 8.2.1.3

          They add to the methane and the time spent as waste-of-space humans while they use up resources uselessly.

        • greywarshark 8.2.1.4

          The critical emissions rate into the biosphere is going up fast and does not allow us to continue the regular farts going forward and upward, but indeed to suppress them; perhaps to conserve them and put a match to them at night to keep warm.

    • Sacha 8.3

      “Stuff doesn’t censor demonstrably factually wrong comments on other topics; why this one?”

      Seen any comments lately about how smoking is good for you?

      There are similar industry-funded lobbying campaigns denying climate change. Any professional media outlets can see when they are being used to lie to the public. Those who carry on doing so are making a choice.

      • KJT 8.3.1

        Seen more than a few articles in Stuff, supporting “trickle down economics”.
        They don’t call it that, of course.

    • lprent 8.4

      It could be that they are trying their best to reduce climate change by diminishing the volume of hot air generated?

      😈

  9. Bill 9

    Better late than never? Maybe.

    Depends on whether clearing the clutter has happened soon enough to get enough enough momentum fast enough in the mind of the general populace.

    Insofar as many people take their lead on what to believe from the supposedly authoritative source of mainstream media, it could be a good thing.

    But as the other AGW related post I coincidentally put up today suggests, denialism comes in many subtle hues….

    Saying that AGW is real and beyond debate is one thing. Actually looking at the damned thing square on is quite another.

    If “stuff” had said it would have no truck with ‘magical thinking’ that would propose fantasy as actually existing reality (eg – BECCS), and if stuff had said it would measure any and all prescriptions against the known scientific state of things, then I’d be somewhat happily bowled over.

    But sure, no more “flat earth” arguments being promoted on the basis of presenting so-called “balance” is something of a start.

  10. Puckish Rogue 10

    The “climate deniers” now have more ammunition for their conspiracy theory

    • Sacha 10.1

      They can whine amongst themselves about it.

    • Robert Guyton 10.2

      Deniers have more ammunition?
      They can aerate their feet some more then.

      • Puckish Rogue 10.2.1

        I’ve always thought that the best way to deal with things like climate deniers is to allow them to their points of view to be heard (within the bounds of law of course) because then people can judge their views for themselves, like the anti-vaxer nutters

        I know its annoying but by denying them their platform it’ll only encourage more nutters and conspiracy theorists to join them

        • Robert Guyton 10.2.1.1

          Yeah, we did that. Now we’re bored with their cr*p and want to get on with the business.

          • Puckish Rogue 10.2.1.1.1

            I’d have just let them have their say and they’d sink into obscurity like Luddites, flat earthers, equal rights for women and other absurdities

            • Robert Guyton 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Ohhh, Pucky! You’ve soooo misunderstood the Luddites! How long do you have?

              • Puckish Rogue

                I’m not saying the Luddites idea of protecting their livelihoods was necessarily bad, considering how bad employment was in those days, but that Luddites now are a by-word for being ignorant and anti-progress

  11. Cricklewood 11

    I don’t like this descision… publish the deniers and debunk them. Oppose them editorially. Hoist them by their own petard.

    They’ve feed the conspiracy theorists and insulted their readers intelligence.

    I look forward to them refusing to publish the anti vax, antiflouride and flat earth brigade.

    • Puckish Rogue 11.1

      We could ban all talk on communism as well as thats been proven to be a failure time and time again and since we’re doing that we can ban all talk of socialism, for the same reasons

      Its all good

      • Robert Guyton 11.1.1

        “We could ban all talk on communism”
        But we’re not.
        Stuff is just clearing away some *”Interruptors”.
        * In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the “Interruptors” constantly did as their name suggests.
        They were a Right pain!

        • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1.1

          Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stoned 🙂

          But seriously I worry that since the media is now deciding what they will or won’t report on then where does that lead to, the media deciding what direction the government takes, the government following suit and banning certain “undesirable” discussion

          • Robert Guyton 11.1.1.1.1

            “I worry that since the media is now deciding what they will or won’t report”
            Laugh of the day!
            New to you, this idea, Pucky?
            All the best philosophers were stoned.

            • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1.1.1.1

              So why make it worse than it already is? I mean my finely-tuned ear to the ground tells me that the climate deniers are losing ground and support

              • WeTheBleeple

                You keep implying climate deniers have a leg to stand on. Slippery talking man.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  I’m saying banning ideas and opinions we don’t like, without a good reason is a bad thing that can lead to worse things

                  • Robert Guyton

                    They’re not “opinions we don’t like”, they’re views Stuff believes to be “a dangerous waste of time” – very different. Also, that’s the reason Stuff have described for having done what they’ve done – denialism on this issue is “a dangerous waste of time” – your argument seems to be without substance, Pucky.

                  • Sacha

                    “without a good reason”

                    yes, well.

    • greywarshark 11.2

      Hopefully stuff will manage to spell fluoride right. And get other things right while they are at it. Some people regard spelling things out as important for disseminating public information.

  12. Marc Sparks 12

    If 3% of the engineers were reputable structural engineers and the remainder were say dodgy software Engineers I’d be across the bridge like a shot.

    Real science doesn’t operate on consensus, real science operates on attacking hypotheses until then they’re solid enough to become theories and then attacking the theory.

    Young Earth creationists are the types to deplatform.

    • Macro 12.1

      The 3% of papers that contest climate science are almost invariably written by authors who were either funded by the fossil fuel industry, have no actual climate science education (eg economists, zoologists, etc), or were retired but had an established reputation that they perceived was under threat, because their previous work was now being shown to be incorrect.
      You can see the list for yourself here:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_who_disagree_with_the_scientific_consensus_on_global_warming
      As you will see – many on the list are not scientists – but may have had a paper published in a shonky “peer reviewed” journal. And that is another matter.

      • lprent 12.1.1

        The ones that do tend to annoy me are engineers. Great believers in certainty, and post-disaster they are also great believers that they have it exactly right this time.

        Meanwhile the earth moves beneath them (which is why we have hundred years storms every decade these days), as do the people producing the structures that are drawn (think of leaky buildings), and on delivery it is found that the software APIs don’t match the specifications (think of my 2017 work year).

  13. Bill 13

    Sadly, according to “Stuff”, and under a heading Climate change 101: The most important things to understand about this urgent problem that is a part of their “Quick! Save The Planet” series…

    Key to New Zealand’s efforts is the Zero Carbon Act, which would commit the country to zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner.

    Which is great. Except it simply isn’t true.

    • Dennis Frank 13.1

      “The Act will commit New Zealand to zero carbon by 2050 or sooner, set a legally binding pathway to this target, and require the Government to make a plan.”
      https://zerocarbonact.nz/zca-summary/

      “The Zero Carbon Act has been developed by Generation Zero: a nationwide, youth-led organisation with a vision to see Aotearoa New Zealand on the path to a thriving, zero carbon future. In July 2016, we started developing the Zero Carbon Act. The idea was for a law to put New Zealand on track to zero carbon by 2050, based on the UK’s successful Climate Change Act. Generation Zero – together with many other organisations – have been calling for a framework like this for years. Rather than wait any longer, we decided to take it upon ourselves to develop a fully-formed concept.”

      So I’m guessing you have evidence that the legislation in the govt pipeline doesn’t conform to this prescription? If so, please share it!

      • Bill 13.1.1

        The policy is for net zero, not “zero”.

        That opens the space for ‘accounting’ bullshit whereby “that” 100k tonnes of fossil related carbon “wasn’t really” emitted “because carbon sink” or “because carbon credits” etc.

        Which, y’know, if we weren’t dealing with physics would be all fine and good. But since we are, it isn’t – and does not end well.

        • Dennis Frank 13.1.1.1

          Ah, ok, good point. Governments sure do have a habit of fudging things.

          • Bill 13.1.1.1.1

            Separate out that which can be brought to zero (energy related carbon) and bring it to zero – no if and or but.

            And for the rest (broadly speaking “land use”) get it as low as possible with no bullshit sleight of hand with regards how it’s counted.

            So develop those sinks, but don’t use them to “mask” emissions. And burn any fucker who suggests buying or trading some “credit” such that a poor person elsewhere makes the carbon reduction rich wankers don’t want to take on board. (And, I guess, add the carbon from their corporeal combustion to NZs emissions total)

  14. Antoine 14

    This banning stuff seems all very well until you are the one that gets banned

    A.

    P.S. Imagine if Stuff banned anti-1080 comments, on the grounds that there was a scientific consensus that 1080 was the best option for pest control in NZ. Everyone here be cool with that?

    • DJ Ward 14.1

      I on occasion have to moderate my comments just to get past the fact that every 2nd or 3rd person at stuff seems to be a Lesbian Feminist that doesn’t like what I say. Even when my comment is stating facts rather than opinion.

      It already happens with some topics.

      Censorship and biased reporting is already a culture at Stuff so I’m not surprised at this decision about free speech.

    • Sacha 14.2

      If they can point to an equivalent of the IPCC process, sure. There is no ‘right’ to misinform the public.

    • Robert Guyton 14.3

      Are you one of the “ones” being “banned”?
      If so, drive your stake into the ground. If not, why are you fighting on their behalf? Are they not up to it?

      • Antoine 14.3.1

        Nah. Im not a climate denier. I never comment on Stuff and rarely read the comments. Im just not a big believer in shutting down the debate. I like getting it all out there and then people can decide what they think for themselves.

        A.

        • Robert Guyton 14.3.1.1

          I doubt there’s any real debate going on that involves “denialism or hoax advocacy”, which are what Stuff has said it won’t print. I don’t think there’s any value at all in reading that guff again and again and again and I’m pleased Stuff have cleared the decks in order to let useful discussions flow.

  15. John Irving 15

    Those who worry about freedom of speech are welcome to read Bryan Leyland’s regular diatribes in the NBR and the Herald. Stuff’s banning of denialism opens the way to more productive discussions of what we in NZ should be doing to meet our obligations under the Paris Agreement to limit temperature increases. More importantly Stuff’s policy limits the ability of vested fossil fuel interests to delay sensible policy changes by using denialism to create doubt and confusion.

  16. the other pat 16

    folks im sorry but the standard will have to close down…..no comments will be allowed unless some faceless human decides otherwise as there are far too many loonies critics and argumentative mass debaters on here…..if you dont like this tough shit because we have decided what and when you will read/hear something about anything that WE decide is appropriate….thanking you for being ever obedient sheeple.

  17. ” Well, the rain exploded with a mighty crash
    As we fell into the sun
    And the first one said to the second one there
    “I hope you’re having fun”…

    Wings Band on the run Studio – YouTube

    But I don’t believe climate change is nearly the apocalyptic scenario that will end life on this planet . We have always had massive climatic changes on earth, including several ‘ice ages’ that led on to mass extinctions… and extremely hot periods…not to mention a particular flood mentioned in virtually every culture around the globe that destroyed pretty much every thing that ‘shouldn’t’ have been there…

    I think you have far more to worry about with a certain tactical nuclear exchange between super powers in the middle east in the future , just quietly…

    There is an ancient book that tells about this horrific event and the global war that is more up to date than the fabricated news we get today.

    • Atomic Bomb Explosion – YouTube

    • RedLogix 17.2

      Well that is because our conscious mind has yet to re-author the purposes of our unconscious drives. As the first and possibly only post-biological creature we are at a crux; our biological, evolutionary purpose (to expand our genetic codes at the expense of all others) and has served us so well for hundreds of millions of years, is now utterly incompatible nuclear weapons and their unsupportable, crushing moral burden.

  18. SPC 18

    So long as it is only articles about what steps to take to manage global warming risk, that is fine.

    However the science is not settled, because none of the GW science proponents/their reports have factored in another Maunder minimum to their warming forecasts – which makes the science dishonest (apparently they do not trust the public to remain scared enough, so governments can take action, if they mentioned it).

    • RedLogix 18.1

      Yes it’s inevitable another Maunder minimum will occur. The last one between 1645 and 1715 lasted five solar cycles and may have been especially long. We simply don’t know much about what causes them or how to accurately model them into any kind of forecast. It’s would be far more dishonest to factor in something we don’t understand than to omit it.

      The key thing is Maunder minimums don’t last forever, sun business as normal will inevitably resume. It would be nice if one came along right now to extend our window of opportunity to reduce CO2 with less impact, but that would be sheer luck.

      https://www.livescience.com/51597-maunder-minimum-mini-ice-age.html

  19. RedLogix 19

    I’ve contemplated this thread at length.

    There are a number of principles that are balanced off against each other here.

    One is the right of Stuff to manage the content of their publication; property rights being highly valued in our society, but neither are they absolute.

    Another is the right to freedom expression, which we only curtail at the extremes, such as incitement to violence and crime, libel and blatant offense.

    The other is the need for a social order to determine factual truth and act collectively upon it; especially in matters of existential threat such as AGW.

    The instance here is a finely balanced boundary case; it can be argued in a number of different ways. In the end I think Stuff have made the right decision, but we should recognise that it has come at a cost that may well show up some distance down the road.

    • Antoine 19.1

      At the end of the day it is just one little website at the bottom of the world

      A.

      • RedLogix 19.1.1

        For the time being; but then there are many examples of topics that no media will touch. Social taboos can spread very rapidly. One small website today; it could be far more within a year.

        I’m just conscious that we discount the freedom of expression principle at our peril. Sometimes it’s a price worth paying, but we should always be on our guard against pretending we can ban ideas we don’t like carte-blanch without horrendous unintended consequences.

        As you said above; all very well until you’re the one being banned.

        • Grant 19.1.1.1

          Newspaper editors have always exercised the right to draw a line under a topic or a particular line of argument within that topic in the letters section. They have also exercised the right to adopt an ongoing editorial position on current events such as social issues and foreign policy. When they do so they may well choose to publish the occasional opinion piece for ‘balance’, but how much and how often has always been an editorial decision. Frustrating if you wanted the platform and couldn’t gain access to it. Absolutely no comeback because the editor rules.

          • RedLogix 19.1.1.1.1

            Yes … that aligns with the first principle I noted above.

            Overall in this instance I think the first principle (right of the publisher to control their content) and the third (the right of the collective to determine some ideas as ‘out of bounds’) combined just outweighs the right to freedom of expression in this case.

            I place a very high weighting on freedom of expression, so it’s not an obvious decision in my view.

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