Home > Boneheaded stupidity > List of the clueless

List of the clueless

March 5th, 2010

As I’ve mentioned, the “No significant warming since 1995″ meme provides a convenient basis for identifying people who are too dishonest (if they deliberately confuse statistical insignificance with insignificance in the ordinary sense), too ignorant (if they don’t know the difference) or too gullible (if they simple recirculate the Daily Mail “no significant warming”) to be take seriously on climate change, or on any other issue that involves reasoning about data.

One to add to this list: Des Moore, formerly a senior Treasury official, and of course, Quadrant. Moore and Quadrant get extra bonus points for using the word ‘flawed’, which is usually an indicator of lazy thinking at best.

The good point about this is that Moore’s pronouncements on economic issues, which might have some credibility due to his former position can be safely disregarded – if you can’t get basic stats right, you can’t get economics right either

Some more predictable additions to the list, people you would expect to get this kind of thing wrong, but still taken seriously by many.

Glenn Beck
Sarah Palin
Alan Moran
Piers Akerman

More to come …

Also, my list of self-described sceptics who’ve got this one right. Additional entries welcome

{List ends}

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  1. Chris O’Neill
    March 7th, 2010 at 19:40 | #1

    charles:

    you are dealing with a very politically astute group, willing to spend a lot of money to get no action on climate change. If that is the case those opposing action on climate change are not clowns, they are not clueless, they are orchestrating a very successful campaign.

    Yes, I accept that if someone says “the world has been cooling for the past decade” and they are not a scientific clown then they are shameless liars who want no action on climate change for their own selfish reasons.

  2. Alice
    March 7th, 2010 at 20:05 | #2

    @Chris O’Neill
    Chris – what Charles is saying is in essence is right …that the ugly lying wealthy obstructionist self serving delusionati side of the anti science AGW discussion is really orchestrated by true psycopaths withs lots of yours and my money they use to obstruct human advance…
    Its out of control. Let Phillip Morris be a lesson to them all. Their turn will come as will the turn come of all who lunched and dined with them and let the boguns loose through email networks to harass genuine scientists. Its a war they want, against mankind, to pump up their already pumped up bottom lines.

    Ban fuel from Exxon (we all should have done it years ago when they dumped that huge tanker load off Alaska and did a lousy job of cleaning it up).

    In Exxon we do not trust. Why should we? We wish them 100 years of very bad losses.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2006/sep/20/oilandpetrol.business

  3. paul walter
    March 8th, 2010 at 02:22 | #3

    Almost missed the Deltoid thingy. You wonder how they live with themselves over at Rupertsburgh.
    Am comforted with a mental image of myself jumping on the eggshell heads of a posse of Murdoch hacks. Consolation for me, but it won’t help when it comes time for upcoming generations to live the mess we create for them.
    And do you know what was at the bottom of all the lies?
    That yuppies and (no doubt particularly) developers might be “upset”, if they are not allowed to build on the coast regardless of consequences.
    Poor little loves!

  4. Thefutureisvegan
    March 8th, 2010 at 14:34 | #4

    Add Miranda Devine. Not that she’s actually of any significance in any respect.

  5. charles
    March 8th, 2010 at 18:25 | #5


    Yes, I accept that if someone says “the world has been cooling for the past decade” and they are not a scientific clown then they are shameless liars who want no action on climate change for their own selfish reasons.

    I think that is closer to the truth.

  6. charles
    March 8th, 2010 at 18:42 | #6

    And while I am expressing my worthless opinion, here is a radical one. I have no doubt that climate change is real; that it is going to cause havoc; that there are going to be winners and loser. Russia and Canada for instance will be obvious winners. If tropical weather moves further south and this week is a precursor to what is to come, Australia will be also. Pacific islands, Sydney, Melbourne, the gold coast losers and so it goes.

    But if you take a long term view; plants have caused environmental havoc; life depends on carbon; the most readily available form is CO2 and plants have been reducing the level for millions of years and locking it up as coal. Humans are unlocking the fundamental element needed for life so the cycle can start all over again.

    Without humans, the CO2 level has gone so low that snowball earth has been a real possibility, with the planet currently oscillating between ice ages and short temperate periods. It’s humanities job to undo the damage.

    I bet this point of view doesn’t go down well; what was the word “clueless”.

  7. Alice
    March 8th, 2010 at 21:42 | #7

    @charles
    In the age of fear of nuclear weapons during the cold war – I once heard it explained to me by a defeatist that man’s purpose on earth was to turn the earth into a star (presumably by an inevitable massive nuclear war). Did we not turn back the immediate threat of nuclear catastrophe between the US and Russia? Maybe not entirely averted but you can bet the more nuclear plants we have – the greater the risk it could strill happen.

    Still clueless Id say Charles. We can do better than being defeatist. Much better…we shouldnt just lay down and accept laissez faire.

  8. Michael
    March 8th, 2010 at 21:59 | #8

    @charles
    Are you advocating geo-engineering, adaptation or mitigation?

  9. Alice
    March 8th, 2010 at 22:11 | #9

    @Michael
    Michael – abrogation is the message Im getting from Charles. Shrug…let it all happen man. Apparently we are doing the earth a favour by our mere presence by mitigating its naturally tendency to freeze over everywhere. First Ive heard of this new evidence – that without us the earth would have bigger arctic poles and all wouyld be frozen – so really global warming is beneficial and its helping all of us and Mother earth?.

    WOW – thats so amazing man! I always knew man had a reason to be on earth. To stop it freezing over completely.

    If I didnt know better Id say Charles was a latter day hippie.

  10. paul walter
    March 8th, 2010 at 23:29 | #10

    Perhaps they coud call it a “Death Star”?
    Then we could go whizzing ’round the universe knocking off funny green things with three eyes and six legs…Squish!!
    ‘Done, Alice and Charles.

  11. Chris O’Neill
    March 9th, 2010 at 20:39 | #11

    charles:

    I have no doubt that climate change is real; that it is going to cause havoc; that there are going to be winners and loser. Russia and Canada for instance will be obvious winners.

    The interesting thing in this situation is that we’re not just facing a tragedy of the commons. Some participants will actually be better off for a while as the “tragedy” occurs. In fact, possibly Russia and Canada may continue to benefit in some ways until long after disasters have started occurring elsewhere. So as if being a tragedy of the commons isn’t enough of a problem, the problem is even greater than that.

  12. Jill Rush
    March 9th, 2010 at 20:47 | #12

    On Q&A Monday night it was delightful to watch Tony Jones quiz Steve Fielding about being a Creationist. Although he hid behind “everyone can believe what they want and I don’t wish to force my views on anyone” he did have to come out and state that he agrees with the creation of the world 10,000 years ago. This sits very well with his climate scepticism. I am just not sure if he fits the criteria of being taken seriously by many. Certainly not in that studio.

  13. Tony G
    March 9th, 2010 at 22:34 | #13

    “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

    Jill I think he did it in six days and rested on the 7th. When you read it, it sounds like ‘evolution’ to me; only because you do not know how long a god-day is? They could be pretty long, especially considering he might be infinite.

    I could be wrong being sceptical of creationism, but that might entail deluding myself that we are here?

  14. Donald Oats
    March 10th, 2010 at 00:09 | #14

    Warning: this post may contain some explicit anti-religious content. [AR, PG]

    @Tony G
    I hope you are just taking the p*ss Tony G, and aren’t serious. Anyway, why would a god need to have a lazy day off? Is it that the god in the Genesis chapter ran out of superpower fuel after just six days of work? Or is it that the Genesis chapter is merely the work of some imaginative men?

    As for the length of a god-day I’d say it is much the same duration as banana. I mean, really, once people start indulging in the god-did-this technology, there is no need to bother with scientificky stuff, since any contradictions may be resolved with god-did-this equipment. Beaudy.

    Once the god-did-it trick is commonplace it undermines what is evidence that points to truth and what is not. So what is the effin’ point of going on to Uni, and studying a degree or two and further stuff, if god-did-it technology can step in at any time and tamper with the evidence? The rules of the universe could arbitrarily change on us….oh, what was that….just because god thinks it would be funny. Drat, a minute ago I was sure that electrons had a negative charge, but they don’t now because god-did-it again, oh why can’t the ol’ bugger take a day off and leave the rules alone?

  15. paul walter
    March 10th, 2010 at 02:13 | #15

    Gee, Steve Feilding wasn’t the only one capable of cringe worthy responses, either.
    Didn’t we get some fun and games when the subject turned from philosophy and religion to the boat people?
    Didn’t the previously “civilised” Julie Bishop show a genuinely Hobbesian face in bubbling up some sour froth about the government not being merciless enough, let alone too merciful, on refugees.
    Previously, Tony Burke had also looked uncomfortable dealing with the topic, particularly after all the”nicey” safe talk in the first section of that show (down with religious “nicers”).
    But while Bishop held forth, Burke seem to recover enough wit to point out to Attilla the Hen and the rest of the audience that refugees, at the moment mainly Sri Lankans, don’t embark on the sort of costly life threatening escapades that they are most recalled for, exclusively to trouble a few border guards with extra paper work.
    As I watched Bishop I thought, “and what would you do if virtually all the resources of a hostile state were employed toward your extirmination?”.
    Dawkins was brilliant and fun if not especially sensitive, as to one or two finer points.
    The others were rational, as was Fielding at times toward the end of the show, but it was a unique show in a way and Jones looks fresher for a break.

  16. Tony G
    March 10th, 2010 at 23:49 | #16

    Don,

    By now you might of guessed that i am a contrarian and do not take things at face value.

    People seem to be labelling creationists as anti evolution. So I checked Genesis and it reads to me like a chronological evolutionary list, if the six days aren’t deemed to be six earth days.

    This is just an observation, I do not have any particular view on the matter one way or the other; especially considering a few thousand years of accumulated observations of the total time space continuum leaves a huge gap in the data.

    Suffice to say on the other side of the argument; if time is infinite, then there is infinite time for anything to occur by chance and even repeat itself, randomly, again by chance an infinite amount of times.

    I would agree with what fielding said; ““everyone can believe what they want and I don’t wish to force my views on anyone” … mainly because there are more questions than we can ever have the time to answer.

    “since any contradictions may be resolved with god-did-this equipment. Beaudy.”

    “why can’t the ol’ bugger take a day off and leave the rules alone?”

    Who says the rules change. Just because your “going on to Uni, and studying a degree or two and further stuff,” didn’t give you enough knowledge or all ‘the rules’ ; doesn’t mean you can blame some third party that might not exist; because you can not resolve some contradiction or for the perceptive changing of some rule you do not understand in the first place.
    Einstein said “god doesn’t play dice with the universe”

  17. charles
    March 11th, 2010 at 21:02 | #17

    [Michael
    March 8th, 2010 at 21:59 | #8
    Reply | Quote

    @charles
    Are you advocating geo-engineering, adaptation or mitigation?]

    Gep-engineering: No we mess it up.

    Mitigation: In away that is Geo-engineering. We are saying lets adjust the CO2 level to maintain our temperate climate. That really is the smart thing to do, but I doubt it’s going to happen, so we are left with

    adaptation. That in my view is our future; lump it or like it.

  18. Michael
    March 11th, 2010 at 22:07 | #18

    Donald Oats :
    As for the length of a god-day I’d say it is much the same duration as banana. I mean, really, once people start indulging in the god-did-this technology, there is no need to bother with scientificky stuff, since any contradictions may be resolved with god-did-this equipment. Beaudy.

    ROFL – inspired

  19. Michael
    March 11th, 2010 at 22:24 | #19

    @charles
    I agree that mitigation is geo-engineering, in fact unless you are of the Steve Felding variety and reject the science entirely then we are already geo-engineering the planet.

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