The Canberra Times reports

Australia’s leading climate change scientists are being targeted by a vicious, unrelenting email campaign that has resulted in police investigations of death threats.

The Australian National University has confirmed it moved several high-profile climate scientists, economists and policy researchers into more secure buildings, following explicit threats to their personal safety.

Whoever could be inciting people to make such threats? Oh look, here’s Tim Blair’s response to the news:

But on the weekend we discovered that it only takes a few emails to scare climate scientists clean out of their laboratories. “It’s completely intolerable that people be subjected to this sort of abuse,” said the Australian National University’s Professor Ian Young, who claimed that scientists had been moved to a safer location due to what he described as death threats. “Academics and scientists are actually really not equipped to be treated in this way,” he said.

Well, that’s not the message we got from their climate rap. “Perhaps,” replied reader George Rock, “they shouldn’t call people motherf … ers if they don’t want to fight.”

Notice that he’s not even bothering to pay lip service to the notion that maybe there is something wrong with sending death threats?

Also in that column you’ll find Blair, who is the opinion editor for the Daily Telegraph, lambasting a PhD student for pitching a “climate change for dummies” opinion piece to him. Apparently that is insulting to Daily Telegraph readers who all understand radiation physics perfectly.

See also: Joe Romm, tigtog and my post last year on the hate mail campaign against climate scientists.

Comments

  1. #1 John
    June 6, 2011

    Well said Tim (Tim Lambert).

    These cowardly denialists are making Australia a laughing stock. The press’ spin meisters are running a close second to them.

  2. #2 Lotharsson
    June 6, 2011

    If you make a death threat to try and stop research, that rather strongly suggests that you DON’T believe the research results are bullshit.

  3. #3 Bill O'Slatter
    June 6, 2011

    The piñata of stupid again broken by Blair.

  4. #4 Hercules Grytpype-Thynne
    June 6, 2011

    You’ve got to love “what he described as death threats”. Not actual death threats, mind you, just something that someone might have interpreted that way. Poorly phrased billets doux, perhaps.

  5. #5 Moth
    June 6, 2011

    It’s amazing that such people continue to fail in seeing that their antics are akin to those of creationist, exposing their argument as ideological and nothing more. Being the proud owner of more than a few fully functional brain cells leaves one able to argue on evidence and reason; not having to resort to bullying and intimidation.
    It’s disgusting that this behaviour persists into the modern age.

  6. #6 Robert Ellis
    June 6, 2011

    What a load of garbage its the old style message of attention seeking..making out one has received a deaththreat..fortunatley most are awake to it..but its a shame valuable police time is wasted on this and oh of course a day before climate change protest

  7. #7 duckster
    June 6, 2011

    I don’t suppose anyone caught QandA last week, where the mildly offensive George Brandis trotted out this gem:

    the Coalitions’ position is and always has been that we accept that the majority of scientific opinion is that climate change is a reality and that human activity is a contributor to it and there is a debate among scientists and among specialists as to the extent to which human activity contributes to it.

    There is a minority point of view which perhaps this gentleman represents.Now, that’s at variance with most scientific opinion but we don’t de-legitimise people who are sceptics. We don’t say, well, because you don’t go along with the group think of the climate scientist that you have – you’re not welcome in this debate, which is the approach that was pioneered when she was the minister by Penny Wong and is now being articulated again by Julia Gillard and every one of her front bench.

    Well, George, there is a fair bit of de-legitimising coming from the skeptics side, isn’t there? Even from within your own party. How about the one’s carrying signs that said Julia was ‘Bob Brown’s bitch’, that Tony carefully positioned himself under a month or two back?

    Everything’s all set up for a violent incident, but the coalition can just step back and say, “what, us?” No we have a climate change policy. We don’t support violence against scientists.

    But really, you do…

  8. #8 zoot
    June 6, 2011

    I’m surprised old glass jaw hasn’t advised the ANU to send in the lawyers.

  9. #9 MacTurk
    June 6, 2011

    haviing read the article, I am changed. A great light has shone on me and I have been enlightened.

    It’s simple; the whole climate change whatsit is a conspiracy against me and my mates who like to watch footy on our flat-screens and drink a lot of VB(Victoria Bitter). It’s all about class war between the sneering scientists who hate us bogans, even if we are cashed up(CUB).

    The whole article is a ridiculous straw man argument. As noted, the dismissive attitude towards death threats is disgusting.

    Just wondering, but if journalists/columnists on his paper were getting death threats, how would he react?

    The denialists are getting more hysterical and detached from reality. Their world view is about to implode under the weight of evidence.

  10. #10 rhwombat
    June 6, 2011

    @6: Well- look what the IPA Sturmabteilung dragged in.

  11. #11 Little Miss Sunshine
    June 6, 2011

    This would be the same Tim Blair who goes running to the lawyers every time an internet meanie hurts his feelings?

  12. #12 Bernard J.
    June 6, 2011

    Robert Ellis opines:

    >What a load of garbage its the old style message of attention seeking..making out one has received a deaththreat

    I have no doubt at all that they’ve received death threats for simply doing their work.

    I have personally been threatened with extreme violence on another forum for calling deniers on their false claims. At least I have the luxury of the semi-anonymity that I have maintained, so those threats are largely hollow, although it has meant that I’ve had to cancel a meeting later in the year, where my presence would have been made known to the person threatening me.

    Will Steffen and the other climate scientists at ANU don’t have that luxury of anonymity, and even if the people threatening them don’t have the guts to actually kill someone, they could still very well attempt violence or property damage.

    Frankly, I think that the police should be taking this very seriously, and that every conservative politician and shock-jock should be screaming from the roof-tops about how such vicious intimidation is absolutely intolerable. Watch instead for dog-whistling and other sly implications of tacit tolerance…

    And Bobby-boy, if someone said that all deniers should be lined up and shot, how would you feel about that?

  13. #13 quokka
    June 6, 2011

    @Bernard J

    Will Steffen and the other climate scientists at ANU don’t have that luxury of anonymity, and even if the people threatening them don’t have the guts to actually kill someone, they could still very well attempt violence or property damage.
    Frankly, I think that the police should be taking this very seriously …

    Of course they must take it very seriously. There is a history of bombings in Australia by right wing crazies. For example the local Nazis bombed the Brisbane office of the Communist Party in 1972 and there have been a number of bombings of left wing bookshops over the years. Even without an intent to kill it could very well happen.

    Scientists, leftists, communists – it’s all the same to some cranks.

    One should not think these things cannot happen in Australia – they have and most likely will again sometime. There is no option but to take it seriously.

  14. #14 Little Miss Sunshine
    June 6, 2011

    Also does it seem to anyone else that Blair is using his role as opinion editor to silence dissenting opinion?

  15. Quick message to Tim Blair and George Rock:

    PLEASE. GO. TO. HELL.

    * * *

    Seriously, how can anyone even justify someone threatening to rape someone else’s family? Why isn’t the Telegraph being buried in protest letters even as I write this?

    – frank

  16. #16 John McManus
    June 6, 2011

    The denier apologists want to keep climate scientists out of their labs. I have always suspected that Moncton/Micheals/Watts/Idso et al know the truth about C02 and the temperature record.

    The admission that their purpose is to stop the research confirms my suspicion. If deniers truly believed the science is wrong they would welcome more research.

  17. Does anyone have a list — or lists — of deniers’ family members and friends? Perhaps we can put such a list together and state publicly, for the record, that we will not rape, molest, sodomize, or otherwise sexually assault them, and we will not threaten to rape, molest, sodomize, or otherwise sexually assault them.

    That’ll drive the denialists absolutely bonkers!

    – frank

  18. #18 Jeffrey Davis
    June 6, 2011

    Lotharsson’s comment at #2 cannot be emphasized too strongly: nobody is menaced by research that’s patently bogus.

  19. #19 Uncle Buck
    June 6, 2011

    This is what a civil discourse between a climate scientist and contrarian looks like.
    The questioner in the video, Gordon Alderson, is the Family First Candidate for the seat of Orio.

  20. #20 lord_sidcup
    June 6, 2011

    This is starting to get coverage in the UK with The Guardian and The Telegraph covering the story. The commentators at The Telegraph are noticably unbothered by it:

    [Australian climate change scientists receive death threats as debate heats up](http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/8559313/Australian-climate-change-scientists-receive-death-threats-as-debate-heats-up.html)

  21. #21 pough
    June 6, 2011

    @#18 – Jeffrey Davis

    Really? I took it as sneaky mockery of the “you wouldn’t tell us we were wrong if we weren’t right” meme that’s common among all stripes of denialism. After all, bogus research that leads to a reduction of profits is the Greatest Menace Imaginable.

  22. #22 Mandrake
    June 6, 2011

    I’m with you frank, that’s what Edward De Bono would do.

  23. #23 Bernard J.
    June 6, 2011

    >This is starting to get coverage in the UK with The Guardian and The Telegraph covering the story. The commentators at The Telegraph are noticably unbothered by it

    Lord Sidcup, the commenters at the Telegraph are also noticably unbothered by a commitment to fact. Nor do they bother with even a vague concession to logic.

    As evidence may I proffer the meanderings of…

    mhc:

    >Given that trillions of Dollars in earnings are dependent on Global warming and not a cent on Global cooling, it is not surprising that sceptics are side lined to defend massive profits.

    >Add to that, the reputations that are at stake, there is no way of finding out truth.

    >The same tables can be used to show the temperature has increased or decreased. You just change the starting point.

    aelfrith:

    >This issue has become so convoluted with claims and counter-claims on all sides that the first question I find me asking myself is “Is this sceptics threatening these people or is it greens threatening to make it look like sceptics are unreasonable and out of control?”

    >In truth I doubt if I’ll ever know as, just with the debate itself, I suspect hardly anyone knows what is really going on and the few that do are never going to tell the truth.

    kiml (this is just bizarrre, although the spaces before the punctuation marks suggest especially poor education):

    >What I strongly suggest is that a good , honest , objective and fully scientific in depth appraisal be done on the whole AGW \ ACC issue before we move any further as a World .

    >At the moment all we have got is a lot of poor science , a lot of politics , a lot of bad media and a lot of money being flung about . We need to put that all aside and to get down to the cold hard facts .

    >The evaluation has to be started off at the basics and each statement has to be tested and proven \ dis-proven . The method has to be agreed to by all . It has to be set up properly . It has to be duplicated . There must be no conjecture – everything must be proven step by step .

    >This would mean rolling everything back to the basic statements and testing them in the laboratory . For example – one of the most fundamental statements is that a rise in CO2 causes warming . Both this and the opposite – that warming causes a rise in CO2 – can be tested in properly set up laboratory conditions – in atmospheric chambers .

    >Ultimately the science will prove the truth of the situation . Set up the Climate Laboratory – run the science – get the truth .

    bufo75:

    >Wishful thinking, it’s long since ceased to be about the ‘science’, it’s now all about politics, and whilst one side receives 12,000 times more funding than the other I can’t see that we’ll ‘get the truth’.

    And on it goes…

    I apologise for the heavy quoting, but it staggers me not only that people can flippantly disregard active threats to scientists, but that they think that the science is uncertain fluff unfairly funded tens of thousands of times more than woo alternatives.

    If our lay publics are this ignorant, our societies will never act in sufficent time to effectively mitigate against serious climate change.

  24. #24 Jim Eager
    June 6, 2011

    “It’s amazing that such people continue to fail in seeing that their antics are akin to those of creationist”

    More like Brown Shirts.

  25. #25 NikFromNYC
    June 6, 2011

    No police investigation?! “Hate crimes” are never perpetrated by activists…oh no, never! All those nooses and swasticas that were drawn on their own office door or put out on their own front tree by lefty activists? Never happened!

    Googling “fake hate crime” is not for us!

    Us Children of One Earth obey the most famous warmist of all, Dr. Charlie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmPzLzj-3XY

    -=WE OBEY CLIMATE COPS=- http://oi52.tinypic.com/wlt4i8.jpg

    -=WE OBEY CLIMATE CRIMINALS=- http://oi52.tinypic.com/1zqu71i.jpg

  26. #26 ligne
    June 6, 2011

    > -= ABEND =-
    >
    > -= REDO FROM START =-

    oh dear. could someone reboot Nik?

  27. #27 chek
    June 6, 2011

    The UK Daily Telegraph has of course always been a class act, providing as it does practically the only public exposure of leading British intellectuals such as Christopher “asbestos talc” Booker and James “interpretation interpreter” Delingpole, amongst others.

    No doubt one of the reasons global intelligentsia of the calibre of Nik-”blame the victim”-fromNYC enjoys it so much.

  28. #28 John McManus
    June 6, 2011

    If any of the deniers get tazered will a video go up o Youtube?

  29. > > Does anyone have a list — or lists — of deniers’ family members and friends? Perhaps we can put such a list together and state publicly, for the record, that we will not rape, molest, sodomize, or otherwise sexually assault them, and we will not threaten to rape, molest, sodomize, or otherwise sexually assault them.

    > I’m with you frank, that’s what Edward De Bono would do.

    Thanks Mandrake. Here’s a candidate for starters: http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/a-new-id/

    I hereby pledge that I will not rape or threaten to rape ‘skeptic’ Jeff Id’s wife or baby, and that I will not condone any attempts to do so.

    Come on, inactivists. Prove your superior morals.

    – frank

  30. On a related note, I’m now looking for information, leads, whatever, on any cyberattack(s) on climate science or climate activism — not just the CRU cyber-attack. Please help spread the word!

    http://twitter.com/decodeswifthack/status/77866110086688768

    – frank

  31. #31 Rick Bradford
    June 6, 2011

    Plenty of people and groups have ‘form’ in this area — Greenpeace with its “we know where you live” polemic, 10/10 (“blow up your chilldren”), James Hansen (Nuremburg trials), James Hoggan (war criminals), Joe Romm (strangling) and on and on.

    Issuing death threats is cowardly, stupid and self-defeating.

  32. #32 Ken Fabos
    June 6, 2011

    Given that a senior politician (Peter Phelps) at ABC’s The Drum has recently been accusing scientists of ‘operating in parallel with their socialist brothers’ and claiming that – ‘At the heart of many scientists – but not all scientists – lies the heart of a totalitarian planner’ and “some of the strongest supporters of totalitarian regimes in the last century have been scientists’, I’m not surprise that there are people who have come to literally see them as enemies deserving of extermination in pursuit of their non-totalitarian ideals. Death threats are a consequence of the kind of rhetoric people like Phelps espouse and Abbott tolerates and even encourages. I suspect this climate will continue to get worse, not better. At least until we get a crop of pollies capable of standing up and speaking out against the fringe nutters – instead of encouraging them for short term electoral gain.

  33. #33 rubiginosa
    June 6, 2011

    Climate Science for Dummies sounds like a good idea. Blair’s morose column indicates neither he nor his readers have learnt anything since 2007.

  34. #34 John
    June 6, 2011

    This only scratches the surface of the amount of abuse scientists get. If they really wanted to even the score they should publish it. Names, emails, IP addresses, phone numbers, everything.

  35. #35 Mike Pope
    June 6, 2011

    What ever else one may say about climate science denier, Sen. Joyce, he has at least the good sense to defend freedom of speech and the right of climate scientists to it. A shame that other politicians have taken their time to express the same sentiments.

    It is of course outrageous that anyone, climate scientists or deniers of climate science conclusions should be subject to threats for expressing their views. The police will, one sincerely hopes, identify those who threaten violence on anyone for freely expressing their views on climate science or any other subject.

  36. #36 Watching the deniers
    June 7, 2011

    This is part of the reason why I retired by own blog, Watching the Deniers.

    The day I was compared to a pedophile priest I knew I’d had enough. When my readers started to get ominous emails about being “visited” by sceptics – deniers – I knew I had to stop.

    When the deniers started emailing the family members of my readers I knew it was enough. People who’d never read my blog, whose only *crime* was to have someone in their family read my blog…

    This is the level we’ve reached.

    So dear deniers who read this.. go on. Explain that behaviour. Give justification.

    There is nothing, now form of low behaviour these people will resort too to intimidate, threaten and silence.

    But will the Bolt’s of the world stop and think of the hate they have created, the vile they have generated and the attack on science?

    No… of course not.

    Sadly, history will be the only judge. The Murdoch Hate machine grinds on, and on.

    Moth and I have been discussing this the relentless assault on climate scientists and activists here:

    https://newanthropocene.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/demonizing-the-forward-thinkers-a-mugs-game/

  37. #37 James Haughton
    June 7, 2011

    The universities of Australia have issued a [joint statement](http://www.universitiesaustralia.edu.au/page/media-centre/2011-media-releases/australia-s-universities-condemn-attacks-on-intellectual-inquiry/) condemning the threats.

    WtD, of course the Bolts of the world think about the hate they’ve created. Thinking about it keeps them warm at night.

  38. #38 Billy Bob Hall
    June 7, 2011

    The poor dears. Why don’t they just tuffen up ?!

  39. #39 Paul UK
    June 7, 2011

    >”What ever else one may say about climate science denier, Sen. Joyce, he has at least the good sense to defend freedom of speech and the right of climate scientists to it.”

    And I thought it was about science not human rights!

    Attacking scientists is a political move, it has nothing to do with knowledge and science. The question of free speech shouldn’t even be an issue. The issue is climate change and science.

    Let the police crack down on the abusive emailers that can not express themselves without harming others.

  40. #40 Paul UK
    June 7, 2011

    >Plenty of people and groups have ‘form’ in this area — 10/10 (“blow up your chilldren”)…

    The difference being that it wasn’t a targeted personal attack and they admitted it was a mistake, withdrawing the movie.
    It was the deniers that copied the movie and continued to show it illegally (without copyright permission).

    So who has form?

  41. #41 Donald Oats
    June 7, 2011

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to use FOI requests to access the climate scientists’ emails, specifically to find the variety of threats and attempts at intimidation. That would serve the dual purpose of exposing the deniers’ email addresses etc, and also frees the climate scientists of the ethical bind of keeping their hate email confidential. Not that I condone this use of FOI’s, this is just a hypothetical, okay?

    However, I suspect the university will play it safe and refuse to release such emails. Still, it might be worth a try…we could post the results here :-)

  42. #42 Mandrake
    June 7, 2011

    Excerpts have been released.

    http://www.readfearn.com/2011/06/emails-reveal-nature-of-attacks-on-climate-scientists/

    Example

    You lying [beep]sucker!
    How much did you take to blurt out that climate change bullshit?
    The IPCC was completely disgraced over a year ago and now you are too..
    [beep] YOU SCUMBAG!

    I sure wouldn’t want to start my morning with that in my Inbox.

  43. #43 Marion Delgado
    June 7, 2011

    Mandrake that looked like Joe Cambria on a good day. Bird on a so-so day.

  44. #44 Wow
    June 7, 2011

    > 10/10 (“blow up your chilldren”)…

    So, you reckon that Friday 13th is a documentary telling people to use a chainsaw to kill kids…?

    You may want to read up about the word “Fiction”.

    Ask a grown-up for help over the bigger words.

  45. #45 Wow
    June 7, 2011

    > No police investigation?! “Hate crimes” are never perpetrated by activists.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/24/ratcliffe-protesters-appeal-undercover-evidence?INTCMP=SRCH

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/mar/26/mark-kennedy-undercover-cop-environmental-activist?INTCMP=SRCH

    Hate crimes are not perpetrated by activitsts acting for the good of humanity (that would be counter productive), but they DO harm the profit levels of some of the wealthiest individuals and corporations on the planet, so they’re investigated far FAR more often.

    It’s the same with the Rep/Dem activities. When Shrub was in power, someone with an anti-Shrub T-shirt was arrested and detained as a risk to security at a GOP rally.

    Only after a bullet went through a democrat window did the police get involved, despite the rhetoric about “second amendment solutions” on the Telly and from Teabagger heads.

    Why? They protect the profits of corporations, so need to be sheltered.

  46. #46 Paul UK
    June 7, 2011

    >Quoted@41 from an email — You lying [beep]sucker! How much did you take to blurt out that climate change bullshit? The IPCC was completely disgraced over a year ago and now you are too.. [beep] YOU SCUMBAG!

    Erm… I think I have met that person a few times on some web sites.

  47. #47 No Worries
    June 7, 2011

    I hope the police are really busy investigating these threats.
    Has there been any progress ?

  48. #48 Martin Vermeer
    June 7, 2011

    > James Hansen (Nuremburg trials), James Hoggan (war criminals)

    Rick, don’t you think that there is a difference between death threats and threatening people with the rule of law?

    Denialists are killing people in large numbers, and they know, or ought to know it. No different from tobacco. Do you have a problem in principle with that being established to the standard of criminal law (“beyond reasonable doubt”), and leading to consequences for the perpetrators?

  49. #49 Wow
    June 7, 2011

    Apparently, the law courts are only there to kill people, according to Rick and that a trial is exactly the same as having no trial at all.

    Really shows how he thinks, doesn’t it.

  50. #50 MapleLeaf
    June 7, 2011

    First and foremost, my thoughts and support to the scientists. What a bloody nightmare.

    Second, please tell me that the police are involved and that the ISPs are cooperating.

    Third, these revelations really reveal what the denialist movement is all about (intimidate, distract etc.), and the actions in question are indefensible, period. Pathetic attempts by people like Tim Blair are laughable, are they so embroiled in their delusion that they fail to see that by doing so they are encouraging criminal behaviour and violence?

    What is clear, is that as the reality that global warming is in fact very real and is having some nasty consequences dawns in their dim minds, they are now becoming even more deluded, hysterical and mean-spirited.

    As for Blair’s laughable claim “Well, that’s not the message we got from their climate rap. “Perhaps,” replied reader George Rock, “they shouldn’t call people motherf … ers if they don’t want to fight”.

    Blair really ought to be better informed, climate scientists have been fighting the good fight for decades now, sometimes at great personal loss, and they long ago grew tired of the games being played by despicable and discredited people like Blair, Delingpole, Bolt, Morano and McIntyre (and so many others with their heads firmly buried in the ground/gutter)– so pardon me if some of them, being humans and all, get a tad upset when they and they and their families are threatened with violence by hateful ideologues.

    Further, the people with balls of steel and fortitude are in fact climate scientists– people like Mann, Hansen, Santer, Schneider, and (if they’ll forgive me for using their names in this analogy), Susan Solomon and Oreskes…

    The deniers know that they can never aspire to have the courage, wisdom and foresight that these upstanding scientists have, and that apparently makes them very angry. But that is their problem and failing, not that of the scientists.

  51. #51 Wow
    June 7, 2011

    I’d like to know who called “people” “mother f-ers”.

    I can’t remember Hansen standing up in a TV show calling people that.

    I can’t remember any scientist doing that.

  52. #52 MapleLeaf
    June 7, 2011

    Wow @50,

    It was from the Hungry Beast vid that featured a while ago. And is was made in reference to people who deny the existence of the greenhouse effect claiming that it is only a ‘theory’.

    “[denier] The greenhouse effect is just a theory sucker; [scientists] Yes, so is gravity, float away mother….”. Too funny :)

    To my knowledge non of the (multitude of) climate scientists who have received threats over the years were in the video.

  53. #53 Jeffrey Davis
    June 7, 2011

    re: pough@18

    People usually just tell ignorant pests to bugger off.

  54. #54 john byatt
    June 7, 2011

    The ABC’s war on facts

    This opinion piece from Ted Lapkin appeared on the ABC Drum 28 April 2011.

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/387130.html

    The ABC policy for opinion pieces is that the views of others should not be distorted.

    After putting in a complaint that by omission of the full quote Lapkin had distorted the original meaning of Prof Schneider’s plea I have received the following reply from Claire Gorman, AACA

    “Of relevance to your concerns however the principles state “The accuracy standard requires that opinions be conveyed accurately, in the sense that quotes should be accurate and any editing should not distort the meaning of the opinion expressed.”

    On review we note that in editing the quote, Ted Lapkin is highlighting one of the points made by Schneider about the manner in which scientists might act in the face of an issue. We are of the view that he does not misrepresent Schneider on this point. He merely omits the second key point made by Schneider that: “This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”

    Accordingly, we are of the view that there has been no breach of editorial standards in the use of this quotation.

    Thank you again for taking the time to write and express your views.

    Yours sincerely

    Claire M Gorman
    Audience and Consumer Affairs

  55. #55 john byatt
    June 7, 2011

    This is the relevant quote from Lapkin that the ABC claims is not misrepresentation

    In a moment of unguarded candour, a major climate change guru once explained why he and his ideological fellow travellers didn’t hesitate to play fast and loose with the truth. This revelation came during a 1989 interview with Discover Magazine, when Stanford Professor of Global Change Stephen Scheider said: “We are not just scientists, but human beings as well. Like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”

    yer right

  56. #56 Bernard J.
    June 7, 2011

    John Byatt.

    What would need to happen for the generously-forgiving AACA to take the distortion of intent a little more seriously would be for Schneider to personally lodge a complaint, which of course is impossible now.

    Perhaps if his estate, or a legal representative thereof, protested the committee might take it a little more seriously.

    Either that, or suggest to Mediawatch that they focus on it – they’ve been very much on the ball this year with media issues relating to the misreperesentation of climate science, and 5 minutes of national shaming would have a greater effect than an obscure online apology for the Drum piece.

  57. #57 john byatt
    June 7, 2011

    Sent it on to Media watch Bernard, ignored

  58. #58 James
    June 7, 2011

    Hi guys. Where’s Marcel Kincaid? What about that bloke who endorsed his comments, scientist Jeff Harvey?

  59. #59 Bernard J.
    June 7, 2011

    >Sent it on to Media watch Bernard, ignored

    Heh, I’m a little surprised and disappointed to hear that John.

    Perhaps a few more emails from some more of us will convince them to include it with another piece on media perfidy in the climate change arena.

    I’ll contact them too, and see what they say. In fact, I might even tell them that I’ll let the thread know what they say…

  60. #60 John
    June 8, 2011

    The ABC is excessively harsh in the neverending quest for “balance” now. Lying by omission is acceptable as long as you hold an opposing point of view, but God forbid the response if a piece by Tim Flannery resorted to such cheap tricks.

  61. #61 Jeff Harvey
    June 8, 2011

    James,

    You must be REALLY desperate to wade in here by saying that I endorsed the comments of an aggressive contributor. Some of the scientific arguments Marcel said I agreed with, if not with his tone. But during the Lomborg brouhaha (I co-reviewed his tome for Nature and was one of his more vocal critics) I was called names on prominent web sites by well known pundits that were profoundly shameful, to say the least. At the same time, I received a lot of virus-laden emails and even a few insulting emails. I just ignored them. But it happened, nevertheless.

    One pundit at the Reason Foundation called me a ‘green harpy’ on his blog for challenging Lomborg; others have said far worse. Dutch anti-environmental blogs (and even a few media sources here) were pretty insulting too. In the case of scientists, many of us have been called stuff that defies belief; if one had to equate the two sides, its clear that most of the hate and invective BY FAR comes from the deniers/anti-environmentalists. Heck, I even give invited lectures on the subject. So the fact that climate scientists receive death threats is hardly surprising to me.

    That’s why its pretty rich of you to dredge up one supporting comment I made on a threat here last year about Marcel Kincaid’s posts, which represent a molehill of the tiniest proportions. My suggestion is that you take your pedantics elsewhere.

  62. #62 Donald Oats
    June 8, 2011

    John Bryatt @54, I too have had this experience with the ABC Complaints Dept. I am disappointed to hear of your experience with them, but unfortunately am no longer surprised.

  63. #63 Donald Oats
    June 8, 2011

    John Bryatt @54, I too have had this experience with the ABC Complaints Dept. I am disappointed to hear of your experience with them, but unfortunately am no longer surprised.

  64. #64 James
    June 8, 2011

    This was your comment, Jeff.

    “I am with Marcel 100% on this. It is not a civil debate because there should not really be a debate at all. By now, given the volumes of scientific evidence in favor of AGW, we should have moved on well into the policy arena. I think that, for the most part, those in denial do not deserve to be treated with anything other than contempt.

    The issue of climate change finds scientists on the one side who are doing the research and who are in broad agreement over the issue; on the other side there is a hodge-podge assortment of different characters pushing various agendas. Their primary agenda, as I see it, is a political one, based on a far right idealogy which loathes the role of the government in the economy. Scientists are naturally sceptical but accept the burgeoning evidence behind AGW whereas the other side lies, distorts and twists the empirical data in support of a pre-determined worldview.

    Speaking ‘from the inside’ (as a scientist) it is my opinion that the deniers do not deserve to be treated as intellectual equals. This is the way I see it, hence why I have no problem supporting Marcel’s approach to them. In this case, I believe his derision of them and their arguments is correct.

    Katherine (above) and Clive Hamilton alluded to the anti-intellectual culture that is embraced by many in the United States (and Europe for that matter), and this culture fits in well with right wing populism and a hatred of science and scientists. Anti-environmentalism and the growing backlash against evidence for AGW fits in well with this agenda.”

    How contemptibly arrogant of you to demand blind acceptance in the absence of a real debate. I’m not sure how you are funded, but science in Australia is funded largely by the taxpayer. Who do you think you are?

    If your “science” has legs, then you should never have allowed your wagon to be hitched to Al Gore’s horse. You (collectively speaking) should have been open and honest with your methods and data. You should have not manipulated the peer review process.

    You want our money? Justify it. Because in this country (Australia) we’re not buying it. The reason we’re not buying it is because we think it’s garbage. And it’s not the fault of Big Oil or shock jocks, it’s the failure to come to pass of all the grave predictions of Al Gore, Tim Flannery, and the like. If you had made your case, we’re not a stupid nor a non-generous bunch, we’d be all aboard any decent solution.

    If AGW is real, then the blame for it not being accepted lies entirely with you, Marcel and your kind.

    Clive Hamilton?? Give me a break!

  65. #65 Dan Olner
    June 8, 2011

    Some hey, the greenies are threatening to kill us too stuff from the other side, predictably. Came in here via a libertarian friend.

  66. #66 rhwombat
    June 8, 2011

    James, I think that you have just comprehensively proved the absolute accuracy of Jeff’s comments, as cited by you. You really expect to ‘win’ at Deltoid, with this sort of crap?

    “James”?? Give me a break!

  67. #67 Lotharsson
    June 8, 2011

    > How contemptibly arrogant of you to demand blind acceptance in the absence of a real debate.

    You seem to have completely missed the extensive real debate that has taken place in the scientific literature over several decades, which rather undermines the point you are trying to make.

    > If your “science” has legs, then you should never have allowed your wagon to be hitched to Al Gore’s horse.

    Regrettably, you get cause and effect back to front, which rather undermines the implication you appear to be trying for, and your other assertions fare little better.

    > If you had made your case, we’re not a stupid nor a non-generous bunch, we’d be all aboard any decent solution.

    You presume facts not in evidence. Indeed, the counter-evidence is fairly compelling.

  68. #68 Wow
    June 8, 2011

    > It was from the Hungry Beast vid that featured a while ago.

    So it wasn’t the Scientists in Australia, then.

    And it wasn’t calling “people” mother f-ers, it was a play. Maybe these people use fiction in place of fact so often they no longer know the difference.

  69. #69 James
    June 8, 2011

    Wombat, of course I don’t expect to win at Deltoid. My game is debate and logic. This blog is all about self and mutual affirmation.I just happen to enjoy exposing abject hypocrisy when I see it. Good day to you :)

  70. #70 rhwombat
    June 8, 2011

    James. Your game is political propaganda – debate and logic are as much part of your agenda as they are of Tony Abbott’s. You only turn up at reality based blogs like Deltoid when there’s a panic at the IPA or some other right-wing sheltered workshop, such as when your fellow travellers get exposed to scrutiny outside the Murdocracy. Or do you really believe that the semi-literate goons making death threats are the moral equivalent of Jeff’s entirely accurate and reasonable characterisation of you and your ilk as intellectually and morally destitute? I would have said that it is quite reasonable to characterise you as denialist, Koch-sucking, Onanist whore, but I’m a somewhat outspoken and intemperate marsupial. The only abject hypocrisy you expose is your own.

  71. #71 SteveC
    June 8, 2011

    My game is debate and logic

    Which you go on to exemplify by means of unsubstantiated accusations of manipulation, secrecy, dishonesty and fabrication on the part of climate scientists.

    I just happen to enjoy exposing abject hypocrisy when I see it.

    Irony’s not your strong suit, is it?

  72. #72 James
    June 8, 2011

    I actually wonder whether the goons sending the emails are not a bunch of scientists trying to engender sympathy for the climate science “profession” when their influence looks like it might be on the wane. The language certainly fits.

  73. #73 lord_sidcup
    June 8, 2011

    I wonder if James is one of the goons sending these emails. His contempt for science and the scientific method certainly fits with the tone of the emails.

  74. #74 Jeff Harvey
    June 8, 2011

    *I actually wonder whether the goons sending the emails are not a bunch of scientists trying to engender sympathy for the climate science “profession” when their influence looks like it might be on the wane*

    What a load of complete tosh. Nothing more needs to be said about this kind of banal, stupid quip. Its typical of the stuff peddled by the denialists.

    With respect to my comment you quoted, James, I stand by it 100 per cent. In my view the majority of those denying the human fingerprint on climate change – as well as downplaying a range of other antrhopogenic threats to the biosphere – are time-wasters who do little research on their own but spend most of their time sniping away at the sidelines at the scientists doring the actual research. Scientists have better things to do thatn to have to engage in ‘debates’ with know-nothing sceptics, some of whom are on the corporate payroll, or else who are supported by groups wioth a vested interest in denial. Do the antics and tactics of the contrarians piss me off? You bet they do. I have much more important things to do than to have to argue with people who are not at all interested in science but in distorting science to promote their own political and economic agendas. The debate in my view is not at all about science because for the most part that is settled, but about policies that have implications in terms of short-term profits and power.

    Your last comment is utterly remarkable in its stupidity: *If AGW is real, then the blame for it not being accepted lies entirely with you, Marcel and your kind*.

    Total bullshit. But coming from you its no surprise. The reason it is not accepted is because of the huge amounts of money being invested in denial (its a massive industry worth many billions of dollars involving corporations, think tanks, the public relations industry, and numerous astroturf groups they have set up to influence public opinion) and because for the media controversy sells but consensus doesn’t. At the same time, most of the corporate media rely on advertising from industries whose profits hinge on the continued unabated dependence on fossil fuels, or else these industries own the media conglomerates. Even when the media talks about climate change, one should notice that it rarely discusses the means that should be taken to mitigate it, for the simple reason that this will clash with the agendas of their owners/advertisers. One can often find articles about global warming in the pages of the mainstream media juxtaposed with advertisements for cheap flights or SUVs. Its insanity but that is the way the system works. Another factor is that people in the developed world want to have their cake and eat it. They have been convinced through the well-organized denial lobby that any efforts to deal with climate change represent a threat to their way of life. Forget the fact that our way of life is ecologically rapacious and unsustainable, and that things cannot continue along this path indefinitely. Any propaganda which assuages any guilt we have have accrued as part of a generation that is committing ecocide in slow motion will be grasped by many. And the denial industry is using perception management, an important tool in their PR arsenal, to convince the public that we can continue to consume, consume, and consume more natural capital like there is no tomorrow and that there will be no real consequences.

    Therefore, to blame scientists like me or bloggers like Marcel for the public’s mistrust of scientists takes remarkable hubris, as well as ignorance. However, having seen that the intellectual content of your posts is about as deep as a puddle, it hardly surprises me that you would make such a remark.

  75. I pledge that I will not rape, molest, or sexually harass James, his family, his friends, or his pets.

    Your turn, James.

    – frank

  76. #76 James
    June 8, 2011

    “Scientists have better things to do thatn to have to engage in ‘debates’ with know-nothing sceptics, some of whom are on the corporate payroll, or else who are supported by groups wioth a vested interest in denial.”

    That’s fine mate, then don’t come crying to the taxpayers for money.

    I love science and scientists. They have been responsible for fixing a number of broken bones and curing a number of ills. In fact they’re responsible for pretty well most of the things I enjoy today.

    What I detest are those who point to a bunch of letters after their name and seek to change the way people live, and the democratic way our nation is governed, and pay less than lip service to their obligation to explain why. Instead abuse those who ask why.

    The world has seen your type before. With horrenous consequences. Now “this time” you may well be right. Who can possibly tell, especially when your modelling doesn’t stack up and when the government reverts to telling outright falsehoods to implement the policies that you seek to be implemented. But I can gaurantee you one thing, people like me won’t lie down in the face of your calls to authority, your attempts to stifle debate, and most importantly your abuse. We like our freedom and won’t surrender it on the whim of a small group of eggheads like you.

  77. #77 James
    June 8, 2011

    “His contempt for science and the scientific method certainly fits with the tone of the emails.”

    I have no contempt for science. How could I? I am a beneficiary. I do have contempt for a scientific method that excludes those who may question the veracity of certain scientific theories. In fact, I had understood such questioning to be scientific by its very nature.

  78. #78 Wow
    June 8, 2011

    > I do have contempt for a scientific method that excludes those who may question the veracity of certain scientific theories.

    Well that’s because there’s no science in the statement “That’s wrong”.

    That’s just denial.

    To be science you have to explain why and how it’s wrong and what may be right.

    But you don’t do that, so you hate the scientific method because it doesn’t pander to your feelings.

    > In fact, I had understood such questioning to be scientific by its very nature.

    Questioning, yes. Refusal to look at evidence is anti-science.

  79. #79 lord_sidcup
    June 8, 2011

    I do have contempt for a scientific method that excludes those who may question the veracity of certain scientific theories.

    That is fine if those who question the veracity of scientific theories are following the scientific method themselves. Most of the self-styled sceptics of AGW abondoned the scientific method long ago. They are no longer engaged in science – dysinformation, smears, and now intimidation are their chosen methods.

  80. I said:

    > I pledge that I will not rape, molest, or sexually harass James, his family, his friends, or his pets.

    > Your turn, James.

    And guess what… James, despite all his attempts to sound civil and reasonable, just refuses to condemn the threats to sexually harass climate scientists’ families.

    As Watching the Deniers said:

    > When the deniers started emailing the family members of my readers I knew it was enough. People who’d never read my blog, whose only crime was to have someone in their family read my blog…

    > This is the level we’ve reached.

    > So dear deniers who read this.. go on. Explain that behaviour. Give justification.

    Come on, James and other so-called ‘skeptics’. What freedom-loving reason can you give for threatening families of people who read blogs? What freedom-loving reason can you give for threatening to rape climate scientists’ families?

    Why won’t you answer these questions directly?

    – frank

  81. #81 James
    June 8, 2011

    It’s an odd question you ask, Frank. I’m not sure that anything I have written would suggest that I would condone any sort of harrassment and/or abuse.

    For the record, I am entirely opposed to such behaviour. And I am entirely opposed to those who would condone it.

    Now Frank, what do you think of Jeff’s comments? What he is in support of are comments such as “Fuck off and die” and “lying filthy scum”.

  82. #82 FrankD
    June 8, 2011

    Slightly shorter James: “I allowed myself to be conned by charlatans, and I now realise I was wrong. I’m upset about that, but can’t actually admit it publicly, so I’ll deny my own contribution to that deceit, and make myself feel better by lashing out at you, so…MY MISTAKE WAS YOUR FAULT! There, I feel much better now…”

    Don’t worry James, I’m sensing that recently more and more people have climbed into that boat, people who are finally moving on from denial. Obviously some have only moved as far as anger, but you don’t have to get stuck just because they are. Don’t beat yourself up about it, we all make mistakes; what’s important is that you continue your progress towards acceptence. Dr Kübler-Ross sends her encouragement. We’re all on your side, James, but sometimes it takes tough love.

    Hugs.

  83. #83 Lotharsson
    June 8, 2011

    > That’s fine mate, then don’t come crying to the taxpayers for money.

    What a wonderfully stupid non sequitur. Do you deliberately make statements that demonstrate your lack of intellectual clarity, or do they happen without trying?

    > I do have contempt for a scientific method that excludes those who may question the veracity of certain scientific theories.

    Again you presume facts not in evidence.

    > …and pay less than lip service to their obligation to explain why.

    You [don't read much](http://ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_and_data_reports.shtml), do you?

  84. #84 SteveC
    June 8, 2011

    I do have contempt for a scientific method that excludes those who may question the veracity of certain scientific theories

    And thus you hold in contempt all those members of numerous scientific disciplines, the theories they proved and the practices that followed because their members failed to consult you, even though you in all likelihood benefit from one or more of them, correct?

  85. #85 Richard Simons
    June 8, 2011

    I do have contempt for a scientific method that excludes those who may question the veracity of certain scientific theories.

    OK. Now’s your chance. The basic science is that

    1. CO2 is transparent to visible radiation but absorbs infrared radiation (known for 150 years).

    2. Increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will therefore tend to increase Earth’s average temperature (effect first calculated over 100 years ago).

    3. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing (known for 50 years).

    4. Most, if not all, of this increase is coming from human activity (also known for 50 years, from several sources).

    5. Therefore, anthropogenic global warming can be expected.

    6. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that Earth’s average temperature is increasing.

    7. In addition, increasing the level of atmospheric CO2 will increase the amount dissolved in oceans, resulting in them becoming more acidic.

    These are the basic issues, which are all but ignored by denialists. It seems to me that all else is peripheral.

    If you want a real debate, perhaps you could tell us which of the above points you disagree with, and present evidence to support your views.

  86. #86 Lotharsson
    June 8, 2011

    > And thus you hold in contempt all those members of numerous scientific disciplines, the theories they proved and the practices that followed because their members failed to consult you, even though you in all likelihood benefit from one or more of them, correct?

    It’s even worse than that, SteveC. He is so clueless about science he falsely claims people are excluded, when he or anyone else can submit a paper for publication to any journal they like, and if it is of sufficient quality it will get published.

    (Sure, it might not be of sufficient quality to get published, or it might get massively stomped on in post-publication peer review, or it might prove robust – but those outcomes are patently not exclusion.)

  87. #87 Jeff Harvey
    June 8, 2011

    James writes, *That’s fine mate, then don’t come crying to the taxpayers for money*

    I never have, and never will. But its not part of my job description to have to waste my time in which I am supposed to be supervising students, preparing and giving lectures, writing articles for peer-reviewed journals, conducting experiments (you know, doing things a scientist does) responding to polemicists pushing political agendas that they claim are based on science but which is clear are not. When these people give some evidence of doing actual science themselves instead of hounding scientists, then I will take them more seriously. But very few of the denialati actually do any scientific research, or else they have appallingly poor publication records and are very rarely cited in the empirical literature.

    The latter part of James’ post (# 75) is the usual right wing clap-trap that routinely spews from the mouths of the tea-party-type brigade. *What I detest are those who point to a bunch of letters after their name and seek to change the way people live, and the democratic way our nation is governed, and pay less than lip service to their obligation to explain why. Instead abuse those who ask why*

    How can one take any of this bilge seriously? Basically, what James is saying is that although the planet’s natural economy may be going to hell in a handbasket, and there is plenty of evidence to show this, damn anyone who wants humanity to change course. He wants us to continue on our blind journey towards the looming precipice, and anyone who says otherwise is anti-democratic.

  88. #88 Bernard J.
    June 8, 2011

    For someone who prances around wafting self-adulation about his apparent capacity for logic James, you are extraordinarily incompetent in its practice.

    One thing that you have convinced me of James, is that the Dunning-Kruger effect is more than just an ‘effect’, and that it is, to all intents and purposes, a real medical syndrome. It is a psychological pathology, ranging in degree its of manifestation from mild impairment through to serious disease. Not only is it characterised by the DK signature of a delusional inability to quantify and to acknowledge one’s own inexpertise, but by a perverse perception that whole disciplines-full of experts are wrong and that the afflictee actually understands the scientific details of why this is so. The syndrome necessarily incorporates the belief disconfirmation sequela of cognitive dissonance and frequently a greater or lesser degree of paranoia.

    You claim that scientists are trying to remove people’ freedoms. Eh?!

    Scientists are only seeking to prevent humanity from over heating the planet. They are not seeking to remove people’s freedom, as you seem so worked up about, unless it is the freedom to destroy the ecology of the planet.

    It’s no different from when scientists told society not to expose itself to too much radiation, and to beware of micro-organisms, and to avoid or moderate substances previously unrecognised as toxins. And it’s no different from when scientists told society not to emit ozone-destroying halocarbons, and not to emit water-acidifying sulphates, and not to overfish the oceans, and not to over-fertilise the agricultural lands. As with all of these examples, and with many more, scientists have no political interest in the way that society chooses to confront the problems that science is pointing out – they simply hope to see that the best advice is followed.

    And if scientists are now speaking out so conspicuously about the need for action against human-induced climate change, it is only because the problem is so profound that they cannot in good conscience, or for the security of their own descendants, keep quiet while the ignorati component of the lay public, and the vested interests and ideologues, obfuscate and dither until it’s all too late.

    Amongst other nonsense [you say](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/06/australian_climate_scientists.php#comment-4085268):

    >How contemptibly arrogant of you to demand blind acceptance in the absence of a real debate.

    Not being a scientist, you are obviously completely oblivious to the fact that there has been a decades-long discussion, testing, and yes, even debating, of the huge body of work that is climate science, and that includes the study of human-induced climate change. The only thing that is absent is the denialists’ hoped-for refutation of the science, and this is absent because it was sought years – decades – ago and was found not to exist.

    >If your “science” has legs, then you should never have allowed your wagon to be hitched to Al Gore’s horse.

    Al Gore’s publicising of the science does not change the science itself. You are engaging in several fallacies of logic in this gambit alone, including that of attempting to poison the well, as well as waving a red herring. And [you claim to be playing a game of logic](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/06/australian_climate_scientists.php#comment-4085441)… Ha, you don’t even understand the rules…

    >You (collectively speaking) should have been open and honest with your methods and data. You should have not manipulated the peer review process.

    The methods and data are open and honest. That you do not comprehend this simply indicates that you are not familiar with, nor in any way acquainted with, the primary literature.

    The peer-review was not manipulated, and indeed [the authors who made this claim on behalf of the Denialati are themselves in hot water for doing exactly this](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/05/wegmans_defence_makes_him_look.php).

    Like it or not Jimmy-boy, climatological data is about as bullet-proof as such complex data can be.

    >You want our money? Justify it. Because in this country (Australia) we’re not buying it.

    Which simply illustrates the triumph of ignorance over intelligence.

    >The reason we’re not buying it is because we think it’s garbage.

    Again, a circumstance that simply illustrates the triumph of ignorance over intelligence and/or education.

    >And it’s not the fault of Big Oil or shock jocks…

    Au contraire.

    It is in fact in large part the fault of these people.

    >it’s the failure to come to pass of all the grave predictions of Al Gore, Tim Flannery, and the like.

    The “failure to come to pass of all the grave predictions”? Exactly what predictions would these be? The impact of climate change will occur on the scale of decades to centuries to millenia, and Gore, Flannery and most of “the like” have only been at it for about a decade. The serious professionals have been at it for about three or four decades, and most of that time it was on the basis of the underlying physics rather than on the results of collection of empirical evidence that actually illustrated the manifestation of the predictions. Ironically, given this bizarre statement of yours, the science is actually demonstrably conservative it its predictions, as the rate of melting in the Arctic exemplifies.

    >If you had made your case, we’re not a stupid nor a non-generous bunch, we’d be all aboard any decent solution.

    The has been made, but you’re too ignorant to understand this.

    And the cost of not acting is far greater than the cost of acting, and especially of acting early, so your vaunted generosity is suspect indeed.

    And as for a “decent solution”, the only solution is to strictly limit carbon emissions. That’s it. How this is done is up to society, but if society is filled with people like you then no method to achieve this solution will ever be found.

    If you disagree with anything that I say, I invite you to challenge me with point-by-point referenced, peer-reviewed (or otherwise competently and independently audited) documentation.

  89. #89 John
    June 8, 2011

    >What I detest are those who point to a bunch of letters after their name and seek to change the way people live, and the democratic way our nation is governed, and pay less than lip service to their obligation to explain why. Instead abuse those who ask why.

    Scientists do science. Suggesting scientists are embroiled in a plot to destroy democracy and our Western lifestyle says very little about your alleged superior logic, and more about your political motivations for denying the science.

  90. Joanne Nova pays lip service to the idea that death threats and threats of sexual vilence are bad…

    …and then goes on to speculate that the threats were manufactured by climate activists to help scientists gain sympathy.

    Duh.

    http://www.webcitation.org/5zI6UZhJF

    – frank

  91. #91 Jeff Harvey
    June 8, 2011

    *How contemptibly arrogant of you to demand blind acceptance in the absence of a real debate*

    A typical no-brainer argument from Dunning-Kruger’s latest moronic disciple to pollute this thread.

    As Lotharsson said. Scientific knowledge is not based on ‘debates’. Although there is rarely absolute proof of most theories and hypotheses in environmental science, public policy must be based on a consensus. The fact is that scientists rarely agree on anything. In few fields of science is there a stronger agreement than there is now in the field of climate science with respect to warming. If the sceptics had their way, nothing would ever change. They want 100% unequivocal proof of a process, when the fact is that this rarely if ever happens in ‘messy’ fields like ecology and the Earth sciences. The same trick has been used by the sceptics to dismiss a wide range of environmetnal threats: acid rain, biodiversity loss, climate change and other forms of pollution. Again, their strategy has been to (ab)use science as a tool in pushing a brazenly political agenda. In fact, IMHO most of the so-called sceptics hold science in complete and utter contempt.

    James is no exception. He claims that the peer-review process has been ‘manipulated’ without a shred of evidence. Then he argues that the public ‘aren’t buying it’ (actually, most polls show that the public is deeply concerned about climate change but I digress) and that this has nothing to do with corporate lobbying or media distortions but on the failure of predictions made by people like Al Gore. Clearly, James’ kindergarten-level of understanding reckons that the effects of the human combustion of fossil fuels should be instantaneous or nearly so. Gore’s film came out in 2006. Thus, in intervening 5 years, he suggests that the planet’s climate control system should be running amok (it is actually, if one bears in mind recent extreme weather events) even though it operates over stupendously large spatio-temporal scales that is characterized by lags between cause-and-effect relationships that may take decades or even centuries to play themselves out (the extinction debt describes a similar ecological scenario between cause-and-effect in the effects of habitat loss on biodiversity and various kinds of ecosystem functions).

    On the basis of his comments, James must also believe that the effects of increasing atmospheric concentrations of C02 on climate are linear and steeply so. There is no evidence that this should be the case, but that, like ecological simplification, systems may continue to function effectively until some threshold is reached whereafter dramatic shifts, or tipping points occur, leading to alternate states that may or may not be stable or functionally resistant.

    But it is clear that I am talking way, way over the head of people like James and his acolytes. To be honest, this guy is a bigger waste of time and space in my view than even sunspot. His arguments are so devoid of any scientific rationale that its almost impossible to stoop to his level of understanding of science. As I said, its kindergarten-type stuff.

  92. #92 John
    June 8, 2011

    Frank, this concocted fantasy that scientists are faking emails is marvellous evidence that deniers really do just fabricate whatever they want to believe.

    Maybe I should become a denier. It will be much easier to just make up for whatever I want to believe. When it turns out that AGW is actually happening and, whoops!, it’s too late to do anything I’ll just go down that merry path James has already suggested here – that it’s all the scientists’ fault people don’t accept the evidence. God forbid anybody accept some personal responsibility!

    That’s the life for me!

    Take me in your bosom James!

    Take me!

  93. #93 John
    June 8, 2011

    >A typical no-brainer argument from Dunning-Kruger’s latest moronic disciple to pollute this thread.

    Watch James now argue that all the science is wrong because you called him “moronic”.

  94. #94 SteveC
    June 8, 2011

    I actually wonder whether the goons sending the emails are not a bunch of scientists trying to engender sympathy for the climate science “profession” when their influence looks like it might be on the wane

    So. How’s the “debate and logic” thing coming along James?

    @ Lotharsson:

    he or anyone else can submit a paper for publication to any journal they like, and if it is of sufficient quality it will get published

    Well yes, but how would he get it past the likes of Jeff Harvey who have “manipulated the peer review process”?

  95. #95 MapleLeaf
    June 8, 2011

    And a ideological troll derails the thread, how convenient.

    Jo Nova really is a piece of work ain’t she? Has she any evidence to support here claims, or are her allegations just as vacuous as her understanding of the science?

  96. To be fair, what JoNova said was that climate activists were manufacturing the threats and sending them to scientists, rather than the scientists faking the threats themselves.

    …then again, with friends like Tim Blair who happily cheer on the threats of death and sexual assault against families, does JoNova really need enemies? Unless she’s saying that the Tim Blair we’re reading is, um, not the real Tim Blair. Or something.

    – frank

  97. The Australian Climate ‘Science’ Coalition hasn’t said anything about the threats.

    – frank

  98. #98 Chris O'Neill
    June 8, 2011

    Frank, this concocted fantasy that scientists are faking emails is marvellous evidence that deniers really do just fabricate whatever they want to believe.

    and shows that the giant conspiracy theory is unfalsifiable.

  99. #99 Donald Oats
    June 8, 2011

    Gotta luv the trolls. This one is so DH he is classic DK effect.

    More to the point, John mate, anyone who actually understands enough about the subsject matter is able to submit articles critical of current scientific status of specific aspects of climate science as it relates to the Anthropocene. The key is whether you even know enough in the first place to write something sensible, let alone make a scientific contribution that correctly finds flaws (ie the evidence of the flaws is statistically significant) in the analysis of the huge mound of climate data of all kinds.

    Go for it mate, find those flaws and submit your journal article; if it is good enough it will get published, and if not, there is always room for recycling it in the littlest room in the house.

  100. #100 David Marjanović
    June 8, 2011

    How can one take any of this bilge seriously? Basically, what James is saying is that although the planet’s natural economy may be going to hell in a handbasket, and there is plenty of evidence to show this, damn anyone who wants humanity to change course. He wants us to continue on our blind journey towards the looming precipice, and anyone who says otherwise is anti-democratic.

    It’s worse. What James is saying is based entirely on fearful thinking – you know, like wishful thinking, only in the other direction.

    I see two possibilities.

    1) James, and other Internet libertarians, understands full well that AGW is real and can only be stopped by reducing our carbon dioxide emissions. Patently lacking in imagination, as is typical of Internet libertarians, the only way to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions that comes to his mind is a totalitarian world government. He’d rather suffer from heat than from totalitarianism, so he believes we should rather keep burning oil till there’s none left.

    2) Having come to the conclusion that climatologists are totalitarians who want to Take Over The World™, they put the cart before the horse and come to believe that climatologists claim AGW exists because it gives them an excuse to call for totalitarianism (…which they actually don’t, but clearly want to – James et al. listened to them thinking, and they thought it really loud). It logically follows that AGW doesn’t need to exist for the commie climatologists to claim it does, and then the Principle of Perverse Parsimony dictates that AGW is a big fat conspiratory lie, as fat as Al Gore is. Hey, perhaps Gore used a secret government time machine to inspire Arrhenius to write his 1896 paper?

    Right-wingers generally, and extremists generally, are scared out of their wits.