Let climate change deniers destroy the right


by Sunny
8th December, 2009 at 5:18 am    

Around a quarter of Americans believe in creationism and only around 4 in 10 believe in evolution according to a recent poll. The percentage of outright creationists in the US is about the same as the % of people here who think climate change is not driven by human activity.

Rather coincidentally this week’s Economist has front-paged a special report on what to do about climate change. I for one am glad the leftwing conspiracy has managed to ensnare it and most of the western world’s media. The Left, to its credit, is broadly united on the issue.

Right-whingers on the other hand are hilariously all over the place. Climate change is very likely to become David Cameron’s crippling wedge issue like Europe. He faces a grassroots full of fools who trot out arguments like the widely ridiculedglobal cooling‘ myth in support of their cause. I say: rather than get angry we should laugh and encourage them. Let them push climate change denialism. When Cameron gets into power and talks to some serious scientists he’ll realise how stupid his followers are. Then the split will happen.

I mean, you have to laugh when the editor of a magazine (Spectator) who was very recently pushing AIDS denialism now trying to grab the high moral ground. The high priestess of climate denialism – Melanie Phillips – is now attacking the BBC for being anti-science on CC! This from the woman widely ridiculed over MMR! Enough said.

Why are right-whingers so obsessed with climate denialism? Simple. Most of the debate has been driven by environmental organisations and lefties for decades, while most of the denialism has been led by big corporations funding front-groups and thinktanks to save their own skin. Naturally, right-whingers would rather ignore the science and be persuaded by corporations than accept lefties are on the rational side of the argument.


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  1. pickles

    Blog post:: Let climate change deniers destroy the right http://bit.ly/53OpnA


  2. Naadir Jeewa

    Reading: Let climate change deniers destroy the right: Around a quarter of Americans believe in creatio.. http://bit.ly/672Lqy




  1. Cauldron — on 7th December, 2009 at 9:17 pm  

    If Cameron is smart enough not to get tangled up in the Lisbon treaty what makes you think he'll make a big song and dance over an issue such as climate change, which is infinitely more complex?

    From a purely political perspective, the climate change just isn't that a big of a vote-changer. It gets some people worked up, as do the respective topics that the other single-issue fringe parties promote. But it doesn't ultimately swing enough votes to swing an election outcome. If it did, the Greens would be in power.

    Ultimately this is one of those issues where nuance is going to overcome ideology. Nobody wants to deliberately poison the planet. But equally, climate change is a massively complex issue and it isn't at all clear that an overly bureaucratic approach to this subject will generate anything other than fat fees for conference organisers. For example, entrusting EU bureaucrats with the Common Fisheries Policy has not been a notable ecological success.

    To characterise all capitalists as planet-haters is plain silly. I could just as well point to East Germany's environmental record and concluding that all lefties are really good at being sanctimonious while their actual environmental track record isn't that great.

  2. dnotice — on 8th December, 2009 at 12:02 am  

    As Stephen Colbert says “Facts have a liberal bias”…

  3. Grumpy Old Man — on 8th December, 2009 at 12:14 am  

    Dear Sunny. You're hanging an awful lot of trust on 6 cherry-picked conifers, a mountain of falsified data, a very new scientific discipline and the word of a failed politician that “the science is settled”, in itself an extremely unscientific statement. Humanity has only just begun to seriously investigate the Earth's climate and the evidence – that which has been published and authenticated by both sides of the argument – is unclear to say the least. The latest plea from the political Left, that there's a 50/50 chance and it would make sense to play safe, smacks of the stricture beloved of maiden aunts(themselves under threat of extinction by modern civilisation) to always wear clean underware when travelling as you never know when you'll be hit by a 'bus. The climate is changing, as it has done since the Earth was formed. The actions of mankind undoubtably affect the climate. Cutting down most of the Earths' tropical forest in the name of economic development is not a good move, Neither is releasing unnatural chemicals into the atmosphere. There is plenty of evidence that the world has been a lot warmer, and a lot colder, without our help, and that atmospheric partial pressures of CO2 have been several times that of today's level.
    What is at issue is not the problem, but the solution. We've had 13 years of throwing large wodges of dosh at our countries' problems – it hasn't worked and has bankrupted us. Moving a failed solution from a national scale to a global scale is equally unlikely to work.

  4. cllrrupertread — on 8th December, 2009 at 12:53 am  

    Agreed, Sunny. This will help the Greens especially, but also the centre-left in general. As Joss Garman argued similarly in the TIMES this week: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentato
    I think that the considerations that he and you adduce _explain_ some of the current epidemic of manmade-climate-change denialism, which (as you say Sunny) is a striking phenomenon now on the political right (e.g. in Britain: in UKIP, the BNP, the DUP, and across swathes of the Tory Party). As my UEA colleague Mike Hulme has recently argued over on CIF (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/de… ), the debate over manmade climate change is a proxy for visions of society: for the green movement et al, of a better, more localised world; for the 'conservative' Right, of unabated 'freedom' now (whatever the consequences for future people). But it is vital to note that the 'conservative' vision is rarely honest with us: few 'conservative' politicians dare openly to acknowledge that the consequences of unmitigated uncaring 'freedom' (to burn, to consume, to fly, etc) now are highly likely to be mass disaster later. And so they hide behind a tragic refusal to acknowledge the climate science that greens (and most of the left), by contrast, can and do honestly embrace. Thus: the simple reality is of course that the science in practice _does_ support one side in the debate, and not the other. And that will in the longer run mean disaster for that other side of the debate. Let's hope that they won't slow things down so much that they bring us all disaster, in the meantime.
    The signs are worrying. http://www.liberalconspiracy.org/2009/12/07/cop

  5. bananabrain — on 8th December, 2009 at 1:03 am  

    one might be forgiven for getting the impression from this post that you are more concerned with bashing the right with any available stick than you are with climate change itself. i'm sure this isn't true, but it's just a thought.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain

  6. dnotice — on 8th December, 2009 at 1:11 am  

    I suggest you take a look at, e.g. http://www.realclimate.org/, http://climateprogress.org/ or the Deltoid blog (http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/)…

  7. marvin — on 8th December, 2009 at 3:01 am  

    Well the American right is in free-fall, as is the British left. It's evolution. Failing ideas will need to fail and new ones sprout out of the ashes of the old, or summat.

    'Climategate' and the ensuing arrogance of True Believers in Climate Panic has ensured a sceptical public is ever much more so. Way to go. Even Moonbat has had some sensible reflection on the issue; whilst referring to non-believers as “scumbags”. Not far from “human filth” eh? But that's different o'course.:)

  8. kismethardy — on 8th December, 2009 at 3:11 am  

    What a ridiculously tenuous link. Creationism believes dinosaurs and humans played badminton, while those refusing to get hysterical over the climate bandwagon know full well the climate change wiped out the dinosaurs but the world carried on as it were

  9. Ravi Naik — on 8th December, 2009 at 3:30 am  

    Climategate' and the ensuing arrogance of True Believers in Climate Panic has ensured a sceptical public is ever much more so

    I think at this point it is irrelevant what sceptics and people who think that there was “Climategate” think. There was actually nothing that proved that climate change is not a reality. Scientists have far more credibility than the deniers who are just lobbying for the industry. If anyone wants to deny science and live in the Middle Ages, that's up to them, but we are not going to let them drag our planet with them.

    If Brown successfully paints David Cameron's party as anti-Science and anti-Environment, than they are in trouble.

  10. cjcjc — on 8th December, 2009 at 3:31 am  

    Right now the alarnists are losing what Sunny called, on LC, the “PR battle”.
    It's not clear that the “abuse” strategy – denialist planetf*ckers, etc. – is working terribly well.
    And yes, bananabrain, one does have to wonder whether motorbiker and globetrotter Sunny is more concerned about posturing….

  11. cjcjc — on 8th December, 2009 at 3:55 am  

    I also fail to see how the UK right is likely to be “destroyed” if – according to the survey – 48% are sceptical, while only 39% intend to vote Tory.

    Libenter homines id quod volunt credunt.

  12. douglas clark — on 8th December, 2009 at 4:05 am  

    Grumpy Old Man,

    Try thinking before you go grumpy.

    The graphs for climate change which exclude your 6 cherry picked conifers and are based on all sorts of other observational methods, give very firm evidence that AGW is real.

    I am really fed up with the cheap shots that denialists like you choose to use. Here is an example:

    Humanity has only just begun to seriously investigate the Earth's climate and the evidence – that which has been published and authenticated by both sides of the argument – is unclear to say the least. The latest plea from the political Left, that there's a 50/50 chance and it would make sense to play safe, smacks of the stricture beloved of maiden aunts(themselves under threat of extinction by modern civilisation) to always wear clean underware when travelling as you never know when you'll be hit by a 'bus.

    Any evidence that there is, y'know like temperature data, carbon isotopes ( http://tinyurl.com/r5pau ), etc, etc has been obtained by climate scientists. I'd be very interested in any field research that has been conducted by people that have concluded that AGW isn't real. Y'know, denialists like your good self.

    Rather than arguing the maiden aunt and her hot flushes, I am quite willing to play Russian Roulette with denialists as long as I can always point the gun at them, both on their turn and mine. Because that is what they want to do to me. They want me to assume an equality between their ignorance and the scientific consensus.

  13. marvin — on 8th December, 2009 at 4:34 am  

    Oh ffffs I “liked” this again!

    Some people completely deny humans have anything to do with climate change, but very few. I am sceptical about climate panic, and can't help but feel calling people who refer to 'denier's or 'scumbags' as tossers. Even though I believe in AGW.

    My reply is yes I am certain Cameron's conservatives are more evolved.

    Going by track record, it's New Labour who have been anti-science and anti-environment.

  14. Canada Guy — on 8th December, 2009 at 5:20 am  

    You have to remember many politicians are just attempting to take advantage of all the deniers, most of them are probably smart enough to know global warming is real, but hey, if they can get the votes, they'll pander.

    Also, many of the deniers are just misinformed. However, the people publicly pushing their denier views and agendas are very damaging, and they probably should be called bad things. If these people prevent governments from taking action on the climate, millions could die. At some point we may need to remember that there are limits of free speech.

    http://www.selfdestructivebastards.com/2009/09/

  15. douglas clark — on 8th December, 2009 at 5:45 am  

    kismethardy,

    know full well that climate change once wiped out the dinosaurs

    And here was me thinking it was a bloody great big rock falling out of the sky!

  16. marvin — on 8th December, 2009 at 5:58 am  

    they probably should be called bad things. If these people prevent governments from taking action on the climate, millions could die. At some point we may need to remember that there are limits of free speech.

    This is exactly what worries people – these mumblings of a possible drumbeat for a totalitarian regime to deal with the issue. People have indeed switched from Red to Green. The nature of their solutions dos not seem to have changed however…

  17. kismethardy — on 8th December, 2009 at 6:23 am  

    Oh Douglas, oh Douglas, don't tell me you've succumbed to the whole Comet Conspiracy theory. The dinosaurs died because God knew they'd sink Noah's boat, silly

  18. Reza — on 8th December, 2009 at 6:25 am  

    “At some point we may need to remember that there are limits of free speech.”

    That's fascism. Unbelievable.

    Or perhaps not, as it appears to come from Canada, a country that’s ‘Human Rights Commissions’ have tried Mark Steyn for ‘speech crime’ on the basis, and I quote:

    “Intent is not a requirement, and truth and reasonable belief in the truth is no defence.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Human_Rig

    I happen to remain undecided on the MMGW issue. Neither side have succeeded in convincing me. But I demand the right to hear both sides of the debate.

    However, like with everything else, the left demonstrates its contempt for freedom of speech and seeks to close down debate by shouting down and denigrating those that hold another view.

    Sunny & co have been doing this with multiculturalism and immigration for years.

    And should the case for man-made climate change be proven to be wrong, then lefties will simply say that this was their view all along.

  19. dnotice — on 8th December, 2009 at 6:25 am  

    A much more effective way to deal with AGW deniers is this:

    facts;
    logic; and if they fail,
    ridicule

  20. Canada Guy — on 8th December, 2009 at 6:30 am  

    Um, are you suggesting that countries that ban hate speech are totalitarian? One has nothing to do with the other. I don't care if we solve global warming through the free market or through legislation, whatever gets the job done. And it's fair to have a debate on this subject. What isn't acceptable is to pretend it's not happening and do nothing.

  21. Canada Guy — on 8th December, 2009 at 6:32 am  

    Where do you get facism? Facism is the merger of state and corporate power, often pickled with intolerance and hate. Fascism is a right-wing ideology. Whether you are convinced or not is irrelevant. You can also believe the Earth is flat if you want. But that's not going to result in millions dying. If you publicly and actively promote the idea that global warming is not real, you really are acting in a way that could result in millions of deaths. I'm not sure this is something we want to allow.

  22. Canada Guy — on 8th December, 2009 at 6:34 am  

    I think all our grandchildren will care about is whether we left them a healthy world, or a dying one. I hope that you are right about facts and logic, but in the end, what matters is whether or not we take action to stop global warming.

  23. Reza — on 8th December, 2009 at 6:42 am  

    Canada Guy

    “What isn't acceptable is to pretend it's not happening and do nothing.”

    I don't believe that anyone is “pretending” that it isn't happening. There are many sincerely held views out there. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you isn’t “denial”. Let's hear those views and attack them or defend them. Allow people the right to make their own minds up.

    And what is “hate speech”? I think you gave an example in your previous comment:

    “… the people publicly pushing their denier views and agendas are very damaging, and they probably should be called bad things.”

    So it’s okay to ‘hate’ some people but not others. Depending on your say so.

    And therein lies the rub. Freedom of speech means exactly that. And as long as someone doesn’t openly call for violence or harm against others, it has to mean just that.

    To deny freedom of speech is fascism, pure and simple.

    And it’s telling how denial of freedom of speech has become such a left wing preserve these days.

  24. marvin — on 8th December, 2009 at 6:47 am  

    I'm giving up telling – whenever I click 'Like' I mean reply. In fact if I click like on anything it's probably the opposite!

  25. Canada Guy — on 8th December, 2009 at 7:02 am  

    Reza, there's already limits on free speech. You can't threaten the president. You can't spout hate speech promoting violence against a specific ethnic group, you can't yell fire in a theatre, etc. I'm suggesting there should be a debate about whether climate change denial should be in this category. You may disagree, and that's fine, but that doesn't mean I'm arguing for elimination of free speech. And, please, don't use the world fascism if you don't know what it means.

    Millions of people could die, primarily in the third world, if rich western deniers get what they want. They consider their lifestyle more important then the lives of people in the rest of the world. If that's not hateful, I don't know what is.

  26. douglas clark — on 8th December, 2009 at 7:04 am  

    Kismet Hardy,

    Yes, that makes sense ;-)

  27. Sunny H — on 8th December, 2009 at 7:18 am  

    one might be forgiven for getting the impression from this post that you are more concerned with bashing the right with any available stick than you are with climate change itself

    Oh I want to completely destroy the right. That's going to be the pleasure bit. But that's important while on the fight for doing something about climate change because its right-wing imbeciles that are restricting us from doing anything about it.

  28. douglas clark — on 8th December, 2009 at 7:21 am  

    Canada Guy,

    The current state of play over here is this.

    There has been evidence for AGW going back years and years and years. Rather than bother to read any of the blogs or Royal Societies or anything whatsoever on the subject, our denialists claim a 'debate' every time anyone wants to do anything about it.

    My developing idea is that they seem to assume that by sticking your fingers in your ears and covering your eyes and singing 'la, La, LA' in a slightly shrill tone, folk will see that as 'debate'. Frankly, it isn't.

    This debate should have been done and dusted years ago.

    I agree with dnotice, upthread a bit, but it gets very very wearying trying to keep up with everything they throw.

    Frankly, this is a problem that democracy has. It has taken us quite some way away from clear and present dangers, Lions and Sabre Toothed Tigers and the like. It has allowed everyone to assume an intellectual equivalence, so Joe Six Packs opinion on something he knows nothing about is given equal time with, och I don't know, James Hansen or whoever.

    I think it is because people can still, sort of, see economic loss as important but have given up on their own fear of death or that of their children or grandchildren because it is out of their experience. It just doesn't apply since the end of the Cold War.

    Sort of 'Give me Freedom and give me Death!'

  29. Reza — on 8th December, 2009 at 7:56 am  

    Canada Guy

    -“Reza, there's already limits on free speech.”

    Of course there are.

    -“You can't threaten the president.”

    Of course you shouldn’t be able to. In fact you shouldn’t be able to threaten anyone.

    -“You can't spout hate speech promoting violence against a specific ethnic group.”

    And not even the most libertarian person would advocate that. On this I was quite clear, “as long as someone doesn’t openly call for violence or harm against others, [freedom of speech] has to mean just that.”

    -“you can't yell fire in a theatre, etc.”

    You mean “crowded theatre”. This is a common argument and is made on the basis that the stampede would be dangerous. However, it is acceptable to yell “fire” if you can smell smoke or you reasonably believe that there might be a fire. And this is a caveat that haters of free speech tend to ignore in the “crowded theatre” argument, hence the CHRC’s Orwellian statement: “…and truth and reasonable belief in the truth is no defence”.

    -“I'm suggesting there should be a debate about whether climate change denial should be in this category. You may disagree, and that's fine, but that doesn't mean I'm arguing for elimination of free speech.”

    Yes you are “arguing for elimination of free speech” when you say that the right to deny man-made climate change should be limited.

    -“And, please, don't use the world fascism if you don't know what it means.”

    Fascism can means many things. Limiting free speech and suppressing opposition to State wisdom are some of them.

    -“Millions of people could die, primarily in the third world, if rich western deniers get what they want.”

    Really? And you know that for certain? Are you a highly qualified expert on the matter? I’m not, and am grateful for a relatively free environment that allows me to hear all the arguments before making my mind up.

    -“They consider their lifestyle more important then the lives of people in the rest of the world. If that's not hateful, I don't know what is.”

    I’m not aware of any so-called “deniers” who choose to “deny” because they hate the third world. They’re simply not convinced of the arguments.

    And that’s the problem with liberal democracy. You can’t force people to accept your point of view. And you can’t suppress thought.

    Although, to be fair, the left is trying very hard to do so.

  30. Ravi Naik — on 8th December, 2009 at 8:13 am  

    Really? And you know that for certain? Are you a highly qualified expert on the matter? I’m not, and am grateful for a relatively free environment that allows me to hear all the arguments before making my mind up.

    What is the relevance of a free environment for people like you in this case? If you have no qualifications and aren't an expert in this field, what makes you think you will reach a better decision than people who actually are experts in this field?

    This is the problem, we are politicising our science. Now, scientists have to compete against deniers with no qualifications for popular support, because morons like Reza feel like we need to give everyone an equal platform, so that they can make up their minds.

    Here is how it works. There is a massive consensus on this problem by experts in this field all over the world. Politicians either hear them and do something about it, or they don't. And it is up to us to ensure our politicians start hearing what is being said. Everything else is just noise.

  31. marvin — on 8th December, 2009 at 8:38 am  

    iits right-wing imbeciles that are restricting us from doing anything about it.

    Who's stopping who do what exactly?

    Some of your fellow travellers are beginning to advocate shutting down free speech on the issue, and suggesting totalitarianism. People are bound to react to such nonsense.

  32. douglas clark — on 8th December, 2009 at 8:49 am  

    Marvin,

    I think I would be correct in saying that a lot of people who have at least passed an eye over the evidence find the right wing fruit loops more than a tad irritating.

    I am, against my better judgement, coming around to the idea that an informed representative democracy is a better option than allowing people to say stuff like:

    “Well, I know nothing on this subject, but my two cents is….”

    And assume that anyone should give a shit.

    I trust that doesn't infringe your right to free speech, and neither does it mine.

  33. marvin — on 8th December, 2009 at 9:02 am  

    The whole debate is becoming toxic, with the Guardian pushing it to extremes with constant use of 'denier'.. People seem to be gearing up for war. 'Counter-productive' doesn't even begin to explain it. A majority of the British public are now sceptical. Sounds like a rebellion to me. Nobody sounds the slightest bit humble on the subject on here…

  34. Reza — on 8th December, 2009 at 9:08 am  

    “What is the relevance of a free environment for people like you in this case? If you have no qualifications and aren't an expert in this field, what makes you think you will reach a better decision than people who are actually experts in this field?”

    Look I don’t want to get into a debate on whether or not MMGW has been proven beyond doubt. However, I believe that many of the people who are “expert in this field” aren’t in full agreement on the issue.

    I’m not advocating an “equal platform” for the sake of it. But if large enough numbers of people hold a viewpoint on anything, then no one has the right to silence them.

    Are you agreeing with Canada Guy that the free speech of ‘deniers’ should be limited?

    The types of policies that climate change ‘believers’ advocate will have profound effects on my life-style and wallet.

    As long as I have a vote then surely I am entitled to hear all sides of the argument before voting for the party that best reflects my views on this issue.

    I recall that you’ve claimed to be a supporter of liberal democracy.

    Sometimes I find your rudeness and hostility baffling.

  35. Rumbold — on 8th December, 2009 at 9:19 am  

    The problem is Political Environmentalism. This goes further than the science debate and becomes more about a system of beliefs. In many ways it is socialism 2.0. I am an environmentalist, but I don't like the way many Poltiical Environmentalists conduct themselves. Al Gore was the par exmplar of this movement, flying round the world lecturing others while allowing his home to emit 12 times the average American home's carbon. The best thing Political Environmentalists could do is to start practicing what they preach. Otherwise people are not going to take them seriously.

    You wouldn't take a domestic violence campaigner seriously if he beat his wife, so why take a Political Environmentalist seriously unless they live a green lifestyle (just loook at the government)?

  36. douglas clark — on 8th December, 2009 at 9:50 am  

    Marvin,

    Where do you get the idea that a majority of folk are now sceptical? This poll says that 59% of the UK population think it's very serious, and it was published yesterday!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8396512.stm

  37. douglas clark — on 8th December, 2009 at 10:02 am  

    Rumbold,

    As you probably know, I am in favour of moving as quickly as possible to a near zero carbon emmision economy. And preferably moving third world countries to first world status without assuming they have to follow in our footsteps. Let them leapfrog our mistakes. No-one has to wear a hair shirt – unless they want to, of course.

    This is not a call for the Illuminati to take over or for us all to end up living in caves. In fact I think we probably need capitalism to make it happen. And international co-operation. And very good engineering.

  38. Sunny H — on 8th December, 2009 at 10:12 am  

    Nobody sounds the slightest bit humble on the subject on here…

    you're so humble on other subjects marvin, we take our cue from you.

    More seriously though, it's quite amusing to see right-whingers who're now on the same side as anti-science nutjobs now feeling the heat and complaining about how nasty the debate has become. Funny the same rules don't seem to apply on other subjects.

  39. Shamit — on 8th December, 2009 at 10:48 am  

    I wonder how this has become a political football?

    If you think some scientists and political enviornmentalists are wrong fine – but countries such as Bangladesh, Seychelles and others are living through nightmares with very limited resources. And, natural calamities are becoming far too frequent and there is a weird weather pattern evolving right around the world.

    While some glaciers in the Himalayas have stopped melting, there are places in Nepal which are suddenly brown and green – where there used to be nothing but white ice.

    Science is a process of collecting empirical evidence – debating the process and trying to get at the truth. That process on climate change has not finished and would not finish for a while. However, one cannot deny the plight of the people that are facing the brunt of this phenomenon and whether we agree with the process or not – there is not much to debate on the fact that we must do something to help these people.

    But again why the hell is this such a political football — btw, I also do not like the nutters on both sides. On the left corner you have those who do want to stifle all debate and on the right you have those who think this is the biggest fraud being perpetrated on people. Both stances are ridiculous.

  40. marvin — on 8th December, 2009 at 11:05 am  

    Haha. Thanks….

    Sunny, it's some right wingers, not all. The Conservative party have pledged to tackled climate change.

    A Conservative Government will make Britain greener by tackling climate change and enhancing our environment.

    This is not America.

    This may have alienated some of the more lunatic or paranoid in the right wing, but that's to be expected when you are going for the centre ground.

    I am complaining the debate is toxic. Not one for nuance sometimes Sunny, but I'll let you off. I am very pro-science and believe AGW is pretty likely (90% seems fine to me), but oppose the alarmist and almost abortion-like debate. And if you think comparing AGW sceptics to Holocaust deniers in anyway helps your argument you are very much mistaken old bean.

    Shamit

    But again why the hell is this such a political football — btw, I also do not like the nutters on both sides. On the left corner you have those who do want to stifle all debate and on the right you have those who think this is the biggest fraud being perpetrated on people. Both stances are ridiculous.

    I must agree. Ridiculous on both sides.

  41. jojo — on 8th December, 2009 at 11:27 am  

    Regarding Al Gore's carbon use.

    Gore has also been the subject of criticism for his personal use of electricity. The Tennessee Center for Policy Research (TCPR) has twice criticized Gore. In February 2007, TCPR stated that their analysis of records from the Nashville Electric Service indicated that the Gore household uses “20 times as much electricity as the average household nationwide.”[191][192] In reporting on TCPR's claims, MSNBC noted that the Nashville Electric Service report “omits several other key facts. The former vice president's home has 20 rooms, including home offices for himself and his wife, as well as a guest house and special security measures. Furthermore, the Gores buy energy produced from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. Tonight, Countdown confirmed with the local utility officials that their program, called the Green Power Switch, actually costs more for the Gores—four dollars for every 150 kilowatt hours. Meaning, by our calculations, our math here, that the Gores actually chose to increase their electric bill by $5,893, more than 50 percent, in order to minimize carbon pollution.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Gore#Environmen

  42. Don — on 8th December, 2009 at 11:38 am  

    I agree with Shamit. Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting to examine the evidence, but I doubt anybody here actually can. Without serious expertise in a very complex field we are restricted to the evidence as filtered through intermediaries and our own inclinations send us to one intermediary or another.

    If your inclination sends you to Melanie Phillips on this matter I suspect you may have a problem.

    Obviously the argument from authority is a fallacy if you just say 'Science says …' and consider that the end of the matter. But when there is, as there is, an overwhelming concensus among those actually working in the field then I personally would take that as the most likely analysis. Much as I would five medical doctors against one homeopath.

    When someone without expertise opposes the concensus I would look closely at how emotional that opposition might be (I take no comfort from the thought that we are in for epoch defining hard times, but I admit that some do and may rush to defend the climate change camp for reasons not entirely evidence based, while others refuse to accept that we may have to give up some of our precious indulgences) and how honest the arguments are – there are a lot of vested interests at stake.

    But the conspiracy theory 'skeptics' are a step too far.

    Oh, and Rumbold, I think you may have taken the Al Gore power use story a bit too much at face value. The house is an enormous mansion which doubles as offices for both Al & Tipper, not to mention the hefty surcharge Gore chose to pay for green energy. So to compare it to 'the average American home' is probably not helpful.

  43. Don — on 8th December, 2009 at 11:50 am  

    jojo,

    Thanks, posted before reading your more detailed breakdown of the Gore canard.

  44. witwoud — on 8th December, 2009 at 12:30 pm  

    I believe that climate change is a serious problem. But the debate surrounding it doesn't make the left look any prettier than the right. When whackjobs start talking about limiting free speech, we're into scary territory.

  45. marvin — on 8th December, 2009 at 12:39 pm  

    Agreed witoud.

  46. Canada Guy — on 8th December, 2009 at 1:16 pm  

    Well, I hope you guys are right it isn't necessary. I wasn't saying we should necessarily do it, just that it should be on the table in case things get really bad. I suspect our descendents may look back in total shock at our lack of effort, and this one idea could well be considered one of the most mild possible actions they would have wanted us to take.

  47. Rumbold — on 8th December, 2009 at 1:24 pm  

    Shamit, Douglas and Don:

    I don't want climate change to be a political football as either. And this is my point. The best way to convince more people of the threat is to set an example. If ministers and other public figures jet around the world and live it up, then when they call for reform people just grumble that it is a way of extracting more money from them. Governments can do all they want but at the end of the day it is people who will have to change. And they won't if their leaders aren't.

  48. marvin — on 8th December, 2009 at 1:54 pm  

    Spot on Rumbold, leaders need to lead by example.

    Dominic Lawson in the Independent

    If there really is just a fortnight left before we are all doomed, it is good to see that the 20,000 or so delegates are going out in style. More than 1,200 limousines have flooded into the Danish capital (forget about public transport). According to this newspaper's Copenhagen diarist, “most of these stretched vehicles have been driven hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden. Last week France ordered an extra 42 of them. Only five of the limos are hybrid; the rest are petrol and diesel.

    This great emission-fest will be mightily augmented at the conference's conclusion, when the really big cheeses – presidents, prime ministers, and (naturally) the Prince of Wales – arrive in upwards of 140 private jets.

    It's this sort of carry-on which makes some of us question whether the world leaders lecturing us on our own carbon emissions truly believe what they say about the imminence of planetary disaster. For example, Gordon Brown fulminated at the weekend that those who questioned some of the assertions about the extent of man's influence on the climate were “flat earthers”.

  49. populist — on 8th December, 2009 at 7:59 pm  

    I've come to realize that many of the climate change denier footsoldiers are veterans of the so called “truth movement.” I wanted to share this youtube presentation, it is about the weird worldview and belief system of the truthers, and why they are opposing action on climate change.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3WJ938sJGo

    worth checking out

  50. populist — on 8th December, 2009 at 8:00 pm  

    I've come to realize that many of the climate change denier footsoldiers are veterans of the so called “truth movement.” I wanted to share this youtube presentation, it is about the weird worldview and belief system of the truthers, and why they are opposing action on climate change.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3WJ938sJGo

    worth checking out

  51. cjcjc — on 9th December, 2009 at 1:23 am  

    Eh?
    Now I thought there was a pretty good greenie/troofer overlap…

  52. douglas clark — on 9th December, 2009 at 3:05 am  

    I'd recommend everyone watches the link populist provides. I have a similar interest in conspiracy theories and how they suffer fatally from confirmation bias.

  53. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 9th December, 2009 at 2:16 pm  

    I agree it is important to care about our enviornment, and for goverments to be expected to keep us safe and clean and healthy …but how on earth is anyone resposible for “climates” ? I honestly can't find how the two are the same word.

  54. halima — on 14th December, 2009 at 4:37 am  

    This says it better : a laugh a minute in this sober copenhagen week :

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009

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