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}

Categories: Boneheaded stupidity Tags:
  1. Rationalist
    March 5th, 2010 at 22:47 | #1

    I just think it is rather presumptuous and self righteous of us humans to think that we have the ability to change the climate. Shrug.

  2. Gus
    March 5th, 2010 at 23:25 | #2

    I’m with you Rationalist. We should have hung on to those CFCs.

  3. March 5th, 2010 at 23:43 | #3

    Rationalist@#1

    I just think it is rather presumptuous and self righteous of us humans to think that we have the ability to change the climate. Shrug.

    Count me in as presumptuous and self-righteous yay sayer.

    Obviously if we changed the climate with a positive sign then we can change the climate with a negative sign. The only question is whether this generation is willing to pay for the change, who will bear the burden of the cost and the appropriate institutional mode of mitigation.

    My money’s on the Chinese for working this out. They have the high-IQ population, the authoritative political organization with a long-term planning horizon and most importantly a strong preference for clean air. My mother plays host to the odd Asian student and they all gaze with wonder at the clear blue skies.

  4. Tony G
    March 5th, 2010 at 23:57 | #4

    “No significant warming since 1960? meme provides a convenient basis for identifying people who are too dishonest (if they deliberately confuse significance cooling with significance warming), too ignorant (if they don’t know the difference)

    To be take seriously on climate change, or on any other issue involves an ‘honest’ portrayal of the data.

    List of the clueless
    Phil (Hide the Decline) Jones

    “The problem in this case is the so called “divergence problem.” The divergence problem is the fact that after 1960, tree ring reconstructions show a marked decline in temperatures…”

    ..Jones proceeded, then, to “hide the decline” with his ready-made “trick.” Below is the graph that was eventually included in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report in 2001. It appears that Jones’s trick was successful: Briffa’s line in green is cutoff and “hidden” by the other lines. As UK’s Daily Mail reported, “All [Jones] had to do was cut off Briffa’s inconvenient data at the point where the decline started, in 1961, and replace it with actual temperature readings, which showed an increase.”

    “As one can see, the “hide the decline” story is not an innocent one. Rather, it provides convincing evidence for the view that Jones and his colleagues didn’t like the facts as depicted by the data, so they changed them.”

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=25ffc2ad-802a-23ad-4c40-9efa4d43663d&Issue_id=

  5. zoot
    March 6th, 2010 at 00:21 | #5

    Thanks Tony G for clearing that up. Here I was thinking that the facts of measured temperatures didn’t match the evidence from tree rings. Silly me. Now all you have to do is explain how 2000-2009 as the hottest decade on record (a fact, as measured by instruments like thermometers) ties in with “no significant warming since 1960?”.

  6. Rob in UK
    March 6th, 2010 at 03:52 | #6

    I’m sure you can add Andrew Bolt to that list. I haven’t checked, but I find it unlikely that he hasn’t repeated the claim. So goes for Tim Blair now that I think about it.

  7. jquiggin
    March 6th, 2010 at 06:10 | #7

    Tony G, since you read this blog regularly, you ought to know perfectly well that the suggestion that “hide the decline” referred to a supposed decline in global temperatures was a lie invented, propagated and gullibly swallowed by your side of the debate. Apparently, the gullibility continues.

  8. Rationalist
    March 6th, 2010 at 07:53 | #8

    @Jack Strocchi
    Let me know when they stop building 2 coal fired power stations per week.

  9. jquiggin
    March 6th, 2010 at 09:36 | #9

    It’s truly depressing to see how thoroughly talking points have displaced thought processes, for example in #1 and #4. I wonder if those subject to this process recognise what is happening to them, and how they feel about it. This is a big question for agnotology. Unfortunately, we are only likely to get an honest answer from people who shake off this mode of thought, and they are unlikely to be representative.

  10. March 6th, 2010 at 09:43 | #10

    “Unfortunately, we are only likely to get an honest answer from people who shake off this mode of thought, and they are unlikely to be representative” – again John, the analogy with creationism. And indeed religion in general (http://www.blognow.com.au/mrpickwick/262425/Putting_away_childish_things.html).

  11. conrad
    March 6th, 2010 at 10:19 | #11

    “Count me in as presumptuous and self-righteous yay sayer.”

    Me also, especially because we’re already changing the climate, as Jack Strocchi has noted. Or is the Asian smog cloud (which might now be better named a North Hemisphere smog cloud) a conspiracy (the air has always been dirty) or are all the computer models which show it changes rainfall patterns etc. false? I guess they are computer models so we shouldn’t trust them. Not nearly as accurate as fingers.

  12. Chris Warren
    March 6th, 2010 at 10:29 | #12

    Another nail in the coffin of the clueless.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8550090.stm

    But, some denialists are still squeaking, although they are barely audible through the layers of evidence.

  13. March 6th, 2010 at 10:50 | #13

    I’d add Jo Nova, the Perth based denier. See here her website for more info. http://joannenova.com.au/

  14. Grim
    March 6th, 2010 at 13:21 | #14

    JQ,

    Did it really take you this long to work that out about Des Moore ? Or are you just feigning professional courtesy ?

    As to ‘talking points’ versus ‘thought’, well what can you realistically expect ? As you indeed recognise yourself, in order to transmogrify from one to the other requires the person to completely step outside their entrenched, evidence-immune belief complex. And do you really think that a blog is the most propitious place for that to happen ? Or even a place where that is likely to happen at all ?

    Your meme of ‘agnatology’ is pertinent, but only because those subject to ‘the manufacture of doubt’ are already firmly stuck in the ‘talking point’ mode to start with. Maybe the relevant point is how they get to be that way in the first place. Perhaps you should consider adding Weston LeBarre’s ‘archosis’ to the lexicon.

  15. Jim Birch
    March 6th, 2010 at 13:31 | #15

    @Rationalist

    I just think it is rather presumptuous and self righteous of us humans to think that we have the ability to change the climate. Shrug.

    Why?

    That’s a pretty wild statement – that is, if we’re meant to take you seriously. Do you understand science, at all? It’s not actually about feeling this way or that, it’s something radically different.

    On the other hand, if it’s a revelation that came to you in a particularly vivid dream maybe you should just go with it. (sigh)

  16. March 6th, 2010 at 14:22 | #16

    I think Des Moore makes sensible suggestions on liberalising labour markets – or at least suggestions that are widely believed worth considering among most economists. His views on climate change seem to me a blindspot. He is also a decent sort of person who enjoys a debate and who can respond civilly to criticisms of his core position. Not all bad.

  17. Fran Barlow
    March 6th, 2010 at 14:22 | #17

    @Rationalist

    Let me know when they stop building 2 coal fired power stations per week.

    Let me know

    a) when they start
    b) when they start building a net two coal fired power stations each week

    Extra credit:

    EC1:: Outline the link between the expansion in installed coal capacity in China and the export by China to the west and elsewhere of consumer and industrial goods
    EC1a: — What actions by importing countries could reduce the expansion by China of its coal fired capacity to service these markets?
    EC1a(i): Considering the trade flow and its footprint, who bears responsibility for the footprint of this extra coal capacity?

    EC2: What would be the implication for the Australian resource sector of a decision by China to cut its energy budget by limiting production for foreign or domestic consumption?

    EC2a: Bearing in mind the above, what standing do opponents of mitigation here have to make cuts by China in its CO2 emissions a precondition of cuts here?

  18. Tony G
    March 6th, 2010 at 15:32 | #18

    JQ, re 9

    If your “thought processes” require you to put your ‘belief’ in bogus poxy proxy temperature modelling reconstructs, then ‘that’ is a talking point.

    Anyway, what you or I ‘believe’ is a ‘talking point’ or a ‘thought process’ is inconsequential and peripheral to the main game that is playing out in government backrooms of the worlds most prolific emitter………….

    …..revelations of the IPCC’s flawed science impacts the EPA’s endangerment finding for greenhouse gases…..

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=fb6d4083-802a-23ad-46e8-c5c098e22aa1&Region_id=&Issue_id=

  19. paul walter
    March 6th, 2010 at 15:51 | #19

    My memories of Des Moore are less convivial than hc’s. I remember his harsh eco rat pronouncements on ABC TV back in the ‘eighties: many people had to suffer and do it hard because of this sort of ideological economics.
    I have no doubt hc is right, at a personal level the man will have his virtues and strengths as well as weaknesses and just as well for folk like me, on several levels.
    To roughly paraphrase WC Fields,
    “a man who hates animals and children can’t be all bad”.
    And that’s about where I’d leave him.

  20. paul walter
    March 6th, 2010 at 16:02 | #20

    This list; is it like the blacklists of the fifties?
    Does it mean Albrechtsen, Devine, Bolt and the rest will banished from the Murdoch press and we get only broadsheet didactic commentary from the Quiggins, Burchills, Pilgers Greers, Davidsons, et al?
    And the ABC returns to objectivity, recovering from the bashing it has copped from righties the last decade or more?

  21. bruced
    March 6th, 2010 at 16:02 | #21

    JOHN ROSKAM: – - – …. You had, the other day, one of the leading climate change scientists in the world say the world hasn’t warmed since 1995*.
    (GROANS FROM AUDIENCE AND PANEL MEMBERS)
    from the transcript for Q&A ABC Monday 22 February, 2010 at http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s2820346.htm

    John Roskam has been the executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs, widely regarded as Australia’s foremost free-market think-tank, since 2004. Before joining the IPA he taught political theory at the University of Melbourne…. completed his law and economics degrees at the University of Melbourne.
    Yet another economist who doesn’t understand noisy signals and statistics!

  22. paul walter
    March 6th, 2010 at 16:06 | #22

    bruced, Roskam is another in a long sequence loud empty nutters briefed for agitprop from that least useful, most cursed of organisations, the IPA

  23. The Big Fella
    March 6th, 2010 at 16:28 | #23

    @bruced
    I contend that Roskam does understand “noisy signals and statistics” which means his intent is far more the sinister. The IPA is a liberal party front, reportedly a major contributor to the formation of the Liberal party, (which I can live with as both parties have the policy research and linked associations), what I cannot abide is the number of directors, senior research fellows etc that are successfully (including Roskam) infiltrating the media. One such research fellow is a lead editor at The Australian whom also edits for The American Enterprise Institute. One of its primary performance indicators (see annual reports), is the number of opinion pieces in media across the country. Is it any wonder with that much political influence and media access that there is decline in grass roots support for reducing greenhouse emissions. I’m not sure what JQ thinks of “Economic Libertarians” but the IPA (roskam) states they are libertarians but are actually “Economic Libertarians” another term for our past “landholders” and “squatters”. With the economic and political expertise available at the IPA and Roskam’s own credentials they do well know the meaning of statistical significance.

  24. chris johnson
    March 6th, 2010 at 16:42 | #24

    @Rationalist

    Rationalist

    You might not quite understand what a profoundly unscientific statement this is. Science depends on our willingness to entertain all sorts of hypotheses regardless of whether they accord with intuition, common sense, prior beliefs, or just seem plain weird. Good creative scientists have a talent for thinking their way through ideas that other people drop for subjective reasons.

    The practice of ruling hypotheses out a priori if they conflict with some subjective standard – being too ‘presumptious’ or ‘self-righteous’, as you say – would put a stop to scientific progress if generally adopted.

  25. The Big Fella
    March 6th, 2010 at 17:11 | #25

    @Tony G
    Tony G might I recommend you expand reading as I am surprised someone has thrown up the minority republican committee report which was to be polite a total witch hunt – it’s whole intent was a political feint to disrupt and discredit. In fact since the revelations of “climategate” Jones and Mann were found to have not hid data or to have acted unethically etc etc. In fact the anonymous hackers and accusers were found to be wrong, “misinterpreted” read misrepresented the emails etc. Other malicious blogs and media have since been waging a war of misrepresentation and misquoting Jones, quote mining the emails to fit their story line.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7017922.ece The contrarians/skeptics/deniers and big corporate espionage and saboteurs do not care who they pillory, slander, or drive to the brink of suicidal in this “Climate War” it stopped being debate along time ago. Why? How much money does Exon Mobil make in a day? $25billion per day?

  26. Alice
    March 6th, 2010 at 18:20 | #26

    @paul walter
    Paul my friend – curse that most cursed of institutions – the IPA. The institutute of Australian affairs funded and hijacked by wealthy Americans…like they know how to run an economy?

  27. gerard
    March 6th, 2010 at 19:01 | #27

    The practice of ruling hypotheses out a priori if they conflict with some subjective standard – being too ‘presumptious’ or ’self-righteous’, as you say – would put a stop to scientific progress if generally adopted.

    Don’t bother referring to science, Rationalist is more a proponent of the arts, humanities and especially the classics. In fact, unless it’s supposed to be ironic, I’ve never seen anyone with a less suitable handle than “Rationalist”. How presumptuous and self-righteous is it to believe that humans could ever have the ability to split the atom, walk on the moon or eradicate polio? Is it that hard to believe that seven billion humans in the twenty-first century could have the ability to change the chemical composition of the atmosphere?

  28. charles
    March 6th, 2010 at 19:10 | #28

    Don’t say I didn’t warn you. The new meme. Nasty alarmists. Suckers.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/hyperbole-erodes-credibility/story-e6frg71x-1225837503932

  29. charles
    March 6th, 2010 at 19:15 | #29

    Andrew Norton has the same theme:
    “Will Clive Hamilton reflect on ‘alarmist’ failures?”
    It would seem I can’t post a link to his blog?

  30. gerard
  31. Peter T
    March 6th, 2010 at 21:15 | #31

    gerard

    lay off the classics – the humanities well done are as difficult, rigorous and deep as any science. Try learning five living languages and then five dead ones, and then trying to work out from cross-referencing archeological results, half-erased inscriptions and vague references the chronology of a vanished civilisation in enough detail to make sense of their temple dedications, banking records or hymns to various gods. Not for dilettantes.

  32. Fran Barlow
    March 6th, 2010 at 23:34 | #32

    @charles

    Why link to unadulterated drivel, whose author lacks even thje copurage to admit to it?

  33. Alice
    March 7th, 2010 at 07:07 | #33

    @paul walter
    Im with you Paul
    Add
    1. Miranda de Vile because we have all been vilely overexposed to her rantings.
    2. Janet al Wreckson for wearing one dominatrix dress style too many.
    3. The bad Peter Saunders for continually putting the boot into the poor.
    4. Maurice Neuman who wants the ABC privatised after he ruled over the privatised ASX and if lives long enough will want to rule over privatised universities.
    5. Mark “Plotter” Scott MD of ABC, faithful butler to old men like JH and Neuman and Rupe the Dupe
    6. Steven Skala, director of CIS and on board of ABC, another faithful handservant.
    7. Rupe the Dupe for opening his arms and fax to the far right wing media grab deluges from the IPA and CIS
    8. Keith Windbags for being a pain whatever side of politics he is currently on
    9. Roozendahl for being a right wing plant and privatising everything he can get his hands on in NSW. Ditto Egan. Ditto Bligh.
    10. Paul Keating for falling madly in love with manic deregulation and the Keating business model in the 1980s.
    11. Hawke for forgetting where he came from and putting the boot into unions.
    12. Howard for being a snob and devoting his entire life to the interests of the rich in this country.
    13. Abbott for hiding his brains in his budgie smugglers and helping to deliver us all to workchoices.

    Have I forgotten anyone?

  34. Alice
    March 7th, 2010 at 07:15 | #34

    I forgot 14. Piers “Hackerman” because he has a face like a jolly Santa Claus but thinks like the gringe who stole Xmas.

  35. charles
    March 7th, 2010 at 07:46 | #35


    Why link to unadulterated drivel, whose author lacks even thje copurage to admit to it?

    Um; without facts they are winning the debate. I think that is quite an achievement.

  36. Alice
    March 7th, 2010 at 08:24 | #36

    I forgot 15. Charles because he cant distinguish unadulterated drivel from science.

    Your link Charles…to an article in the Australian which states “One of the most disturbing aspects of the debate is the rise of green totalitarians, who have tried to silence those with different viewpoints”

    This unadulterated rubbish is winning the debate??. Whatever you say Charles. Green totalitarians have taken over science and are bullying all those poor non believers, into accepting something they dont understand and dont want to know about.

    The Green totalitarians are now running scientific organisations and are forcing scientists across the globe to write green totalitarian papers just to fool those who know “the real truth” (???? like – um – its not happening). So the scientists are really green (?spotted lizard like raptorish) totalitarians under their white lab coats.

    But they dont fool you. Only the disbelievers know the truth about AG.

    Im not sure how they know – it must be by osmosis or divine intervention or extra sensory perception.

    On to the clueless list with you.

  37. Ernestine Gross
    March 7th, 2010 at 10:41 | #37

    charles :Don’t say I didn’t warn you. The new meme. Nasty alarmists. Suckers.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/hyperbole-erodes-credibility/story-e6frg71x-1225837503932

    The article you reference suggests that it is ‘the greens’ who are the alarmists’ and worse. To quote: “One of the most disturbing aspects of the debate is the rise of green totalitarians, who have tried to silence those with different viewpoints.”

    Strange. The only ‘alarmists’ I found come from the nuclear lobby (or people who are easily persuaded by this lobby). For example, on this very blog-site, a few threads back, at the thread titled “Four lies and an empty set,

    Fran Barlow writes:

    @ 13 “So as long as the pro-mitigation lobby opposes resort to nuclear on principle, we can be wedged.”
    @15 “On the standards of living question … while the future is unclear (ha ha … pun not intended) one that assumes a radical cut (ie more than about 30%) in actual per capita energy usage is clearly one that implies a pretty drastic constraint on lifestyle. That simply won’t pass muster at any election.
    In a very real sense, if Australia could get its net emissions down to near zero, probably using Gen IV nuclear and maybe LFTRs, then having people emigrate here would be a good thing, since they would get the benefits of the physical and social infrastructure we have without having to duplicate it some place else at much higher cost. We could do cheap desal very easily and even begin to reinvigorate our inland river systems either by using the off peak power from reactors to clean sub-potable waste or storm water or via pumped desal from the oceans to the head waters of the rivers that need it….”

    Now, Charles, read Fran’s post @32 on this thread, follow JQ’s advice on mental processes, and tell us your conclusion.

  38. G Tony
    March 7th, 2010 at 11:30 | #38

    Am I Banned?

  39. Marginal Notes
    March 7th, 2010 at 13:47 | #39

    If this “no significant warming since 1995″ statement has been open to such misuse (whether knowing or unknowing), it suggests a need to rephrase the way we state statistical conclusions. As a social scientist I was always taught to be wary of the arbitrary cut-offs for statistical significance (1%, 5%) imposed by my natural science colleagues – what the late Prof John Dillon referred to as the “cult of the asterisk”. Rather, if there is a 94% chance that an apparent trend is real, we should state it in that way, and not say “statistically insignificant” because we haven’t hit the magic 95% level. People can then make their own judgement based on the significance (in the everyday sense) of the phenomenon. After all, this is no more complicated than interpreting the ABC weather report’s information that there is “a 40-60% chance of above median rainfall” – whatever that means!

  40. charles
    March 7th, 2010 at 15:30 | #40

    Alice; put me on the clueless list of you like, I couldn’t care less, but take a look at the polls as you do it; support for action on climate change is declining.

    If the aim is to win the debate, the hearts and minds, then I would suggest those that a losing, even with the facts on their side are the clueless.

  41. jquiggin
    March 7th, 2010 at 15:35 | #41

    Charles, what you are seeing is primarily the solidification of rightwing opinion behind the position of their political leaders – their opinion leaders have been almost uniformly delusionist for years.

    The only strategic response to this is to do our best to keep the right out of power until they return to a sane view of the world, and it’s hard to see how being polite to them will help advance this.

  42. charles
    March 7th, 2010 at 15:36 | #42

    “Now, Charles, read Fran’s post @32 on this thread, follow JQ’s advice on mental processes, and tell us your conclusion.”

    Love to; but it seems to have gone.

  43. Jill Rush
    March 7th, 2010 at 15:40 | #43

    Marginal Notes #39 – a good observation. Scientists are not in the business of packaging messages and must be dismayed to see how their work can be misrepresented by those who are in the packaging messages business. Of course as the East Anglia incident shows that when this is even thought about there is the accusation of misrepresentation.

    I have often noted that sceptics are very quick to state that those who are in science are just in it for the money without the disclaimer that they are themselves selling a point of view because it gets their articles read and that as a consequence they continue to earn a living – ie they are far from disinterested spectators. The more controversy that there is the more that they can earn as people will read them expecting evidence which is reliable. As Prof Q has shown consistently the lack of clarity in thinking is incredible. People can hold quite opposed points of view – for instance many of those who think that abortion is a terrible wrong will hold the view that there should be capital punishment and that the war in Iraq was a just war.

    Where the anti science brigade are winning is in the fear campaign that taking action will hurt those people who are least able to afford it.

  44. charles
    March 7th, 2010 at 15:51 | #44

    “The only strategic response to this is to do our best to keep the right out of power until they return to a sane view of the world, and it’s hard to see how being polite to them will help advance this.”

    Amen to that, but that goes to a deeper issue. I was sure Abbott taking on the leadership of the Liberals would see a decline in the Liberal polls. Didn’t happen. Fortunately you do have to look a bit deeper than the two party preferred. The “don’t know” declined and the Liberal vote rose. This suggests to me that the real right wing nutters were not willing to vote for Rudd or Turnbull ( who is in my view is sane). The right wing nutters with the rusted on Liberals could pull Abbott across the line. Disaster big time.

    I’m not advocating being polite, I’m advocating that you fight on your strengths. Your in a week position when fighting over the warming or cooling over the last ten years. In reality it is irrelevant. We are talking small movements on a bloody noisy signal. It’s the science behind the conclusions that matters. You have been suckered.

  45. charles
    March 7th, 2010 at 16:17 | #45

    John I have an example of either how dumb those trying to support action on climate change are, or how machiavellian those opposing any action are.

    Saw an add purporting to be information on climate change ( missed the name of the advertiser); it claimed the Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2030. This is the discredited conclusion found in the United nation report.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8387737.stm

    I suspect it’s machiavellian group setting things up for another attack. If it is, 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.

  46. charles
    March 7th, 2010 at 16:31 | #46

    “Where the anti science brigade are winning is in the fear campaign that taking action will hurt those people who are least able to afford it.”

    And I argue that a booming economy needs a goal. In my view action on climate change beats another war hands down.

  47. paul walter
    March 7th, 2010 at 17:41 | #47

    Alice, that’s outstanding- you are my soul sister.
    John Fairfax and Gunns come to mind, also.

  48. Alice
    March 7th, 2010 at 18:10 | #48

    @paul walter
    I like you too Paul – but I still think Ive forgotten a couple…

    16. Costello – for being the greatest JH mimic that ever lived and for pole dancing around the leadership except when there was a real opportunity (for his brother to do much better).

    17. Brendan Nelson – for going hammer and tongs in the noble fight against the great union enemy – the students association in unis – and depriving them of decent meals and sports clubs on campus.

  49. Chris O’Neill
    March 7th, 2010 at 18:10 | #49

    charles:

    Don’t say I didn’t warn you. The new meme. Nasty alarmists. Suckers.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/hyperbole-erodes-credibility/story-e6frg71x-1225837503932

    Nothing new there.

  50. Alice
    March 7th, 2010 at 18:28 | #50

    Yep – its real alright

    “the Australians war on science”

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/the_australians_war_on_science_47.php

    Nasty piece of news reporting. Nasty complacent lying journalists…who treat Australians like idiots because they run one of the most boring newspapers of all.

    The Australian must be desperate. There couldnt be that many still old enogh to buy the Australian surely? The bigger and uglier the sensationalism..the more they hope to keep their journalist and newsprint jobs.

    Sad, sad…very sad. Hey – have they heard of the net?? Their days are numbered anayway.

  51. Chris O’Neill
    March 7th, 2010 at 19:40 | #51

    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.

  52. Alice
    March 7th, 2010 at 20:05 | #52

    @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

  53. paul walter
    March 8th, 2010 at 02:22 | #53

    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!

  54. Thefutureisvegan
    March 8th, 2010 at 14:34 | #54

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

  55. charles
    March 8th, 2010 at 18:25 | #55


    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.

  56. charles
    March 8th, 2010 at 18:42 | #56

    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”.

  57. Alice
    March 8th, 2010 at 21:42 | #57

    @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.

  58. Michael
    March 8th, 2010 at 21:59 | #58

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

  59. Alice
    March 8th, 2010 at 22:11 | #59

    @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.

  60. paul walter
    March 8th, 2010 at 23:29 | #60

    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.

  61. Chris O’Neill
    March 9th, 2010 at 20:39 | #61

    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.

  62. Jill Rush
    March 9th, 2010 at 20:47 | #62

    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.

  63. Tony G
    March 9th, 2010 at 22:34 | #63

    “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?

  64. Donald Oats
    March 10th, 2010 at 00:09 | #64

    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?

  65. paul walter
    March 10th, 2010 at 02:13 | #65

    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.

  66. Tony G
    March 10th, 2010 at 23:49 | #66

    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”

  67. charles
    March 11th, 2010 at 21:02 | #67

    [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.

  68. Michael
    March 11th, 2010 at 22:07 | #68

    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

  69. Michael
    March 11th, 2010 at 22:24 | #69

    @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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