Australia’s CIS (Centre for Independent Studies) has been promoting greenhouse denial and delay for a decade. Last year their “Big Ideas” forum featured some classic denialism from Arthur Herman. This year, on Monday 10 August in Sydney we have:

Enemies of Progress?

Cute title. Maybe I should have used “Enemies of Science?” as the title of this post.

Where humanity once solved the world’s problems, we are now viewed as the source. We no longer take pride in dynamic progress to benefit mankind; we bemoan the so-called carbon footprint that this progress will leave.

What? “so-called carbon footprint”? Are they now denying the very existence of CO2 emissions?

Experimentation and entrepreneurship are being replaced by conformity and rules, and we are becoming a panicky, sensationalist and risk-averse society.

Unlike the good old days when you could drive around drunk without a seat belt or airbags.

The speakers for this year’s forum are Patrick Michaels, famous for his fraudulent testimony to congress and Austin Williams, one of the Living Marxism crew. I’m guessing the the “Big Ideas” discussed will cover the spectrum for “Al Gore is fat” to “Environmentalists want you all to live in caves”.

Comments

  1. #1 DavidCOG
    August 6, 2009

    > I’m guessing the the “Big Ideas” discussed will cover the spectrum for “Al Gore is fat” to “Environmentalists want you all to live in caves”.

    Along with their humanity and compassion for poor people in Africa who will starve without unfettered consumption of fossil fuels for wealthy Americans / ‘westerners’. For some reason, my fists always clench when I read that assertion.

  2. #2 Billy Bob Hall
    August 6, 2009

    So DavidCOG, whats wrong with supplying cheap tricity to people in Africa ?

  3. #3 Fitz
    August 6, 2009

    So Billy, what’s your question got to do with what David wrote?

  4. #4 MAB
    August 6, 2009

    >Experimentation and entrepreneurship are being replaced by conformity and rules,

    The CIS would be referring to rules like new property rights to monopolise genes, and annex property by dispossession?

    >and we are becoming a panicky, sensationalist and risk-averse society. Doom and disaster merchants,

    That would be referring to the fear pumped out by the consolidated media (“free market” consolidation) fueled by lies to promote war and remove civil liberties? Or would it be risk averse as in, if USA adopts a single payer health system then America will be on the slippery slope to socialism?

    >feeding off genuine crises such as the current financial crash,

    That would be the crisis created by perusing more and more of the laissez faire policies demanded by the CIS over the decades.

    >stymie big ideas and development and encourage government intervention and restrictions.

    Stymie big ideas through regressive property right funding models such as monopoly patients, and stymie innovation via strategic acquisition of “disruptive technologies”, and block new entrants with huge cost barriers to entry. All of which worsen with growing wealth concentration. Concentration increased by the CIS’s laissez faire policies.

    >From the optimism and grand thinking of the Victorians to the current day pessimism, what has happened to the idea of progress?

    So for the CIS progress means human progress in combusting the fossil fuel? I guess progress towards efficiency and new forms of energy don’t count? Nor progress toward recognising values which are suppressed by overwheming prioritisation of crude measures such as GDP and dollars.

  5. #5 Janet
    August 6, 2009

    >whats wrong with supplying cheap tricity to people in Africa ?

    Answer: nothing. I think people who subscribe to polices promoted by the CIS should be taxed heavily to subsidies cheap electricity in Africa. We can roll out the cheap electricity on a needs basis, as market failure is a major problem for many poor in markets manipulated by concentrated wealth.

  6. #6 Billy Bob Hall
    August 6, 2009

    Fitz, I don’t know.

  7. #7 Billy Bob Hall
    August 6, 2009

    No worries Janet (#5), I agree. I wouldn’t mind enduring a carbon tax if indeed my tax money did go directly to helping Africans get access to very cheap electricity. It would be a very worthy cause. On your bolshy ideas about ‘market failure’ I’m not so sure.

  8. #8 Captain Obvious
    August 6, 2009

    I miss the good old days of progress, when annoying pompous windbags were nailed to trees outside the village as a warning to the rest. Ahh, think of the revolutionary thought that drove mankind to the gleaming heights of civilisation embodied in the blood eagle – no nambypamby wristwringing about carbon footprints were involved there!

  9. #9 Eli Rabett
    August 6, 2009

    Billy Bob, Eli never guessed you were a Commie symp, pushing Marxism on Africa, getting into bed with the Socialists. Live and learn

  10. #10 Fran Barlow
    August 6, 2009

    The problem BBH@7 is that when the business as usual crowd is not shedding crocodile tears for people forced to live in huts and burn dung because western greenies want to deny them cheap electricity, they are claiming that proposals to mitigate western emissions are attempts at stealthy transfer of the wealth of first world countries to the developing world by socialist ‘water melons’.

    In short, they simultaneously argue incompatible claims.

  11. #11 Chris O'Neill
    August 6, 2009

    Fitz, I don’t know.

    Billy Bob has a penchant for non-sequiturs. BTW, for some idle amusement, have a read of the replies to Watts article about the latest (July) UAH anomoly. The supply of ignoramuses is assured.

  12. #12 hannah's dad
    August 6, 2009

    Over at New Matilda there is an article on Rudd and climate change.
    Included in the comments is an open letter to the German Chancellor from umpteen German ‘scientists’ along denialist lines.
    Are you familiar with this?

  13. #13 John Mashey
    August 6, 2009

    Concern over the poor in Africa is an instance of a misdirection argument. Lomborg has done it better, but more conservative thinktanks have been saying this of late.

  14. #14 Brian D
    August 6, 2009

    Hannah’s Dad:

    It’s a new story, but yes, it’s known. It follows the exact pattern of every other “list of X dissenting scientists”, except this time the source is a PR firm disguised as a grassroots movement (in much the same way the American coal lobby forged anti-climate letters from minority groups).

  15. #15 Paul UK
    August 6, 2009

    >”Where humanity once solved the world’s problems, we are now viewed as the source.”

    Where exactly has this come from??
    In what way has humanity ever solved problems of the world outside humanities own context or mindset?

    When did humanity actually solved the problems of all the extinct species??
    Oh and who has caused millions of vultures in India die in less than a decade?
    Yeah, we are pretty good at ‘solving’ problems.

    >Experimentation and entrepreneurship are being replaced by conformity and rules…

    So wind farms and solar energy are not forms of experimentation??
    I guess American Superconductor Corporations business in the wind turbine market isn’t enterprising or experimental.

  16. #16 Paul UK
    August 6, 2009

    >BBH: So DavidCOG, whats wrong with supplying cheap tricity to people in Africa ?

    Many Africans can easily increase their carbon footprints without blowing their environmentally sustainable carbon footprint budget, by using low carbon technology that bipasses old fashioned fossil fuel technology that the west has used.

    The real problem is the changes that America, Europe and other Developed regions need to make, to cut back emissions and consumption.
    Many ‘skeptics’ use Africa as an excuse for not cutting back on consumption themselves. Africa is a convenient red herring that diverts attention from their own over consumption.

    Also African nations need to develop there own technology and systems suitable for where they live. They shouldn’t be using imported technology which makes them dependent on commercial corporations from developed nations.

  17. #17 Paul UK
    August 6, 2009

    >Doom and disaster merchants, feeding off genuine crises such as the current financial crash, stymie big ideas and development and encourage government intervention and restrictions.

    What caused the financial crash?

    Surely AGW is not a doom scenario if we change.
    So the problem is change, not a ‘doom’ scenario.
    The people who are resisting change or sticking their head in the sand are the ones that are creating the ‘doom’ scenario.

  18. #18 Billy Bob Hall
    August 6, 2009

    Oh, I have to ask too… what exactly is a ‘carbon footprint’ ? How come I’ve never seen one ? ;-)

  19. #19 Combusted
    August 6, 2009

    BBH #18

    Every time you make an ash of yourshelf, you’ll leave a trail of carbon footprintsh …

  20. #20 janet akerman
    August 6, 2009

    >what exactly is a ‘carbon footprint’ ? How come I’ve never seen one ?

    They are charcoal coloured and can be found on roads. Esecially freeways. Look closer. Take your time, you have to get very close.

  21. #21 Janet Akerman
    August 6, 2009

    I’m sorry Billy Bob,

    Do be safe, keep yourself nice.

    ;)

  22. #22 Janet Akerman
    August 6, 2009

    Billy Bob, You actually make your point quite well. Subtle, and clever!
    Touche’

    ;)

  23. #23 Paul UK
    August 7, 2009

    >Oh, I have to ask too… what exactly is a ‘carbon footprint’ ? How come I’ve never seen one ?

    That would be because you have your head in the sand.

  24. #24 Jeremy C
    August 7, 2009

    Guys…..

    Don’t feed the troll, it just gives him a warm feeling as he is achieving the diversion that he set out to accomplish. Perhaps its better to save our energy for going along to forums such as the CIS Big Ideas thingy and asking them awkward questions.

    And look, I don’t understand why such people ignore evidence, logic and the outcome that is reason. There is something inadequate in their mental make up as people such as Hissink and Cohenite daily demonstrate (Bird is just in another dimension. We do have to tangle with deniers because of the danger their egos represent to civilisation but I think we have to be less accomodating to them and instead invade their territory in public rather than just forums

  25. #25 Billy Bob Hall
    August 7, 2009

    No Worries Jeremy C – As much as you may not like my posts, you do need me here.

    Getting back to it, I just thought I’d ask the ‘carbon foot-print’ question, as I am quite concerned about this.
    It seems to me, the ‘carbon foot-print’, whilst it sounds like a good idea is only an imaginary construct, which I am now thinking is probably quite apt in that it is designed to urge people to address an imaginary problem ?
    Am I right ? ;-)

  26. #26 Bernad J.
    August 7, 2009

    As much as you may not like my posts, you do need me here.

    No more so, and actually far less so, than we need squatters in our front yards.

    Am I right ?

    No.

    But the fact that you cannot deal with metaphor comes as no surprise.

    By the way, little troll, I think that you have something in your eye…

  27. #27 Eli Rabett
    August 7, 2009

    Billy Bob again shows his Marxist flag by denigrating religion, another imaginary construct. What do you have against real Americans, Billy Bob?

  28. #28 Jeremy c
    August 8, 2009

    Troll feeding is a waste of good fertiliser

  29. #29 hc
    August 8, 2009

    The denialists at Quadrant have joined forces with the CIS types on this one.

    All the usual silly stories. No warming last 10 years, all due to the sun, too much uncertainty, Australia not a major global player so no need to mitigate….etc etc.

    I am puzzled that a cultural outfit like Quadrant seek to take such a strong and unbalanced stance.

  30. #30 WotWot
    August 8, 2009

    I am puzzled that a cultural outfit like Quadrant seek to take such a strong and unbalanced stance.

    Because the Quadrant outfit are ideological warriors, not insightful, independent, reality based thinkers.

    ••••••••••••••••

    As much as you may not like my posts, you do need me here.

    Definitely a troll.

  31. #31 Mark
    August 9, 2009

    > Definitely a troll.

    > Posted by: WotWo

    No, just a wanker.

  32. #32 Billy Bob Hall
    August 9, 2009

    Ha ha Eli Rabbett (#27). That is funny. Me a Marxist. Now that is drawing a rather long bow !

  33. #33 Mark
    August 10, 2009

    Hey, Billy, you want “the people” to have control and that is the Marxist doctrine.

  34. #34 Billy Bob Hall
    August 11, 2009

    Some of you people are just mean :-( (#31)
    Come on comrades lets all march towards the glorious ETS paradise on the horizon together ! :-)

  35. #35 Mark
    August 11, 2009

    See, Billy Bob goes on his Billy Bragg rant.

    What a commie.

  36. #36 Billy Bob Hall
    August 11, 2009

    Spkng f gd cmms. Dd y vr hr bt th str f Trfm Dnsvch Lysnk ? Mn prllls wth Stln, ‘mn-strm’ Scnc nd th PCC thr.

  37. #37 Mark
    August 11, 2009

    See. Billy knows all the big commies by first name…

  38. #38 James Haughton
    August 11, 2009

    Quadrant really have assembled a full collection of roos in their top paddock.

  39. #39 Girma
    August 26, 2009

    It is extremely, exceedingly, exceptionally, enormously hard to believe the addition of 1ml of CO2 into 10,000ml of air causes 1 deg C increase in the air temperature when exposed to infrared radiation.

    It is extremely, exceedingly, exceptionally, enormously hard to believe one can predict the strength and direction of ocean circulation from the cold waters in the deep oceans and the cold ocean waters near the north and south poles with the warm ocean surface water in the tropics.

    The earth’s climate depends to a significant degree on ocean circulation.

    How do they bring themselves to believe in the unbelievable?

  40. #40 Mark. Byrne
    August 26, 2009

    Girma, from where does the ocean get its heat?

  41. #41 Mark Byrne
    August 26, 2009
  42. #42 Bernard J.
    August 26, 2009

    As much as I hate the prospect of edifying him to this status, it might be time to restrict Girma to his own thread, if only for the sake of the coherence of the other threads on Deltoid.

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