Another bad day for delusionists*

With Al Gore winning the Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth and the CBC news “The Denial Machine” airing on Four Corners last night, it must be getting hard to hold on to the delusions that have been propagated so vigorously throughout the parallel universe created by Fox News and similar bodies. While it’s no news to anyone who reads blogs on the topic, the revelation that the “skepticism” propagated by our local delusionists was produced by recycled hacks for the tobacco industry, such as Fred Singer and Fred Seitz (I was mildly disappointed that Steve Milloy didn’t get a run) must have shaken a few more people awake.

“Happy Feet”, an Australian animated feature about penguins that has been attacked by the Fox News delusion machine because it refers to overfishing, also scored a gong. No doubt, Neil Cavuto would have preferred an award to the Astroturf exercise on penguins produced by DCI. It’s delusion all the way down with these guys.

* The problem of terminology has always been difficult. It’s obviously unreasonable to use terms like “skeptic” or “contrarian” to describe people who produce or swallow transparently fraudulent propaganda like that of Singer and Seitz because it happens to suit their preconceived ideological views or financial interest. On the other hand, there have been vigorous objections to “denialist”. So, I’m switching to “delusionists”, a term which covers:
(i) people who manufacture delusions for a living like those mentioned already and their local counterparts
(ii) people who prefer to accept ideologically convenient delusions rather than face the truth
(iii) people who have genuinely been deluded by this propaganda (not many of these left in Australia now).

122 thoughts on “Another bad day for delusionists*

  1. Did somebody just suggest that the problems with the Murray were caused by global warming? Do the other people on this blog (especially JQ) agree with this assessment?

    Most people are very careful with their language on this point, because it is something that denialists* jump up and down about whenever there is any overreach, however, it is clear that the problems of the Murray are in good part due to the recent extended dry spell of several years duration. CSIRO modelling is clear that climate change will reduce rainfall in the Murray catchments. The extent to which there is a current direct link between the recent drought and the early stages of climate change is quite unclear, however it is not unreasonable to posit a link and suggest there may be some causation there.

    Similarly, while Hurricane Katrina was not the direct and sole result of climate change, sea surface temperatures are predicted to increase in the Gulf of Mexico leading to bigger and badder hurricanes. Failure to see this link is essentially to deny that there will be any deleterious effects from climate change, which is as good as denying climate change will occur. In which case, you’re in a small and suspect crowd of people.

    *I’m happy with the old tag, I think the supposed holocaust link is bogus Godwinning.

  2. Skeptics also complain when those link are made. It’s simply untrue to say that most people are careful to avoid drawing the link. Kyan certainly wasn’t and nobody raised an objection. Drawing the link helps get people scared and fear is the best motivator to get people to support government action. It is reckless and politically motivated and not supported by the science. And your careful response helps to perpetuate it.

  3. Nobody respectable is saying the Murray is stuffed and it’s because of climate change.

    Lots of respectable people are saying that the Murray is stuffed and climate change isn’t helping, and may be playing a part.

    Fear is a good motivator, I don’t think it’s dishonest to point to the Murray as an example of what’s in store for us in the future. We have to accept that we cannot ever really tell how much is natural variation and how much is anthropogenic. This is distinctly not saying that there is no anthropogenic problem or that action should not be taken. Waiting for all the data to come in will cost far more in the long run.

  4. Karoly et al demonstrated pretty convincingly that climate change was contributing to the Murray’s problems in 2003, and I have no doubt an updated report would show it has got worse. At this stage it is far from the largest factor, but it is certainly contributing.

    And JH, do you have any evidence that the majority of climate scientists don’t support the “alarmists”. I’ve spoken to several IPCC authors, as well as various other climate scientists and they generally take the view that the scenarios Gore talks about are a distinct possibility and need to be highlighted.

  5. I’m happy with the alarmist tag, given the uncertainty and possible ramifications, if you’re not alarmed you’re obviously a bit of a dill.

  6. John H

    I’ve heard basically the same take on the latest IPPC release that to gain a consensus from world governments they had to take a conservative position to deal with the recalcitrants.

    http://www.sciam.com/podcast/podcast.mp3?e_id=99FB6D4E-E7F2-99DF-3030E2BDAB849DC5&ref=p_sciam

    Some environmentalists have attacked it on those grounds but the commentary like the above indicates why this is necessary and that with further releases coming the matter is still of grave concern. Like my other post on global security and climate change on ‘Another own goal for the denialists?’ given that even a small disruption to the social situation in China -let alone other places-would have a major knock-on effect both economically and security wise, your attitude would be like arguing over your options while the ship sinks because you don’t know if the options have any net benefit.

    You may wish to continue to argue and place the certainty bar high but I for one am not prepared to go down with this ship.

    Basically we have the same sort of people who had to be brought kicking and screaming to acknowledge that AGW even exists, now nit picking negatively over solutions or likely effects of AGW. Personally I don’t think many of the denialists should be given a second chance to slow the debate, they have used their credibility capital.

    Like Howard’s greenwash the paint is only on the surface and still wet.

  7. Dear ProfQ – I’d like to recommend you reconsider the decision to adopt the label ‘climate change delusionist’, because whilst ‘climate change denialst’, makes it clear we talking about people denying climate change, the phrase ‘climate change delusionist’ taken out of context is ambiguous. The delusionist might be intepreted as referring to those who acknowledge the scientific consensus on climate change.

    I would be interested to hear what objections you’ve recieved regarding the use of ‘denialist’. I think it is quite appropriate, and I haven’t been able to come up with a more accurate and concise descripion. But if an alternative is to be adopted, it should be one that isn’t ambiguous in the way delusionist is; and so can’t easily be used by the denialists!

    This is my first comment on your blog, so I should mention I very much appreciate your work on it.

  8. Joseph, obviously the value of emissions avoided has to be counted for nuclear, otherwise it would clearly be economic.

    JH, I’m surprised that you think it’s good that people should be paid to lie about the dangers of tobacco and global warming, that it’s OK for you to promote them on your blog and that it’s mean to apply pejorative names to them.

    Singer, Seitz and Milloy are evil men who have lied in order to deceive people about a drug that will in many cases kill them. When that business dried up, they moved on to destroying the planet. They deserve none of the courtesies of civilised debate. Those who repeat their lies (deliberately, recklessly or as a result of being deceived themselves) need to be told what they are doing in the clearest possible terms.

  9. People lied about tobacco effects in the past to protect business profits. Therefore, people must be lying about AGW because there is a connection of…business profits?

    Right or wrong, the scientists that do not adhere to ‘intergovernmental consensus’ on AGW but truly follow their convictions of what their research and knowledge tells them should be applauded and the freedoms to challenge science should be cherished always.

    Was it that long ago that intergovernmental concensus had us living on a flat earth?

  10. The climate-change delusionists were not the only ideologists who got taken down on Oscar night. It was a good Oscar year for monarchists and anti-communists both. Helen Mirren was justly rewarded for her endearing portrait of an embattled but noble Queen. And the anti-communist “Lives of Others” won best foreign film for exposing just the banality of evil under Bolshevik-style dictatorships. A nice combination of blows to Republicans and commie-symps both.

    Cultural delusionists got a reality check a couple of years back when “Crash” got a gong, with its relentless debunking of politically correct types. Unfortunately “Babel” was a big disappointment in this respect, despite its promising title.

  11. People lied about tobacco effects in the past to protect business profits. Therefore, people must be lying about AGW because there is a connection of…business profits?

    Amy, the professor is talking about a long-standing issue that he has raised many times on this blog. He is not talking about ‘some people’, he is talking about specific persons that appear to be pseudo-credible and that have demonstrated their willingness to debase themselves for a buck.

    As for scientists not following the intergovernmental consensus, give us a break – the US and Australian governments are only now reluctantly admitting there may be an issue. Because an overwhelming majority of experts have not varied in their advice for decades now.

  12. Honestly, Razor, the “new ice age” is straight out of the same delusionist deck as the satellite data showing cooling, attacks on the hockey stick and so on. Why don’t you tell us about the 17000 scientists who say global warming is a fraud?

    And Amy is recycling yet another myth about the flat earth. The fact that the earth is spherical has been known since Jesus was in nappies.

  13. The fact that the earth is spherical has been known since Jesus was in nappies.

    A tad over-stated, I think.

  14. Not only did Jesus live! he was wearing nappies when the flat earth society held its first meeting.

    What a bunch of deluded deniers they are, eh?

  15. “Swaddling clothes”, if you prefer, Rog. And, while it’s not proven, I think the balance of probabilities favors the historical existence of Jesus. More importantly, given the degree of ignorance required to take the delusionist side in this argument, I thought I’d give a historical reference everyone would know, rather than refer to obscure figures like Ptolemy or Pliny.

    On the substance, I’m impressed by the fact that no-one on the delusionist side even seems to have heard of Wikipedia, which states

    “Eratosthenes, however, had already determined that the earth was a sphere and calculated its rough circumference by the third century B.C. By the time of Pliny the Elder in the 1st century, however, the Earth’s spherical shape was generally acknowledged among the learned in the western world. Ptolemy derived his maps from a curved globe and developed the system of latitude, longitude, and climes. His writings remained the basis of European astronomy throughout the Middle Ages, although Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (ca. 3rd to 7th centuries) saw occasional arguments in favor of a flat Earth.

    The modern misconception that people of the Middle Ages believed that the Earth was flat first entered the popular imagination in the nineteenth century, thanks largely to the publication of Washington Irving’s fantasy The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus in 1828.”

    Of course, misconception is exactly what delusionism is all about.

  16. the “new ice age� is straight out of the same delusionist deck as the satellite data showing cooling, attacks on the hockey stick and so on. Why don’t you tell us about the 17000 scientists who say global warming is a fraud?

    All of this is gospel over at the Bolt Blog. They believe this stuff … no really.

    Bolt has a running commentary going on the Lavoisier Group shindig at Parliament House. Why these nutcases were allowed to use Parliament House is beyond me!

  17. carbonsink – On Sunrise Bolty trotted out the Earth has cooled since 1998 AND the House of Lords study without so much as a response from Kosh. Talk about dumb and dumber. The Lavoisier Group is a long on skeptics but short on facts.

  18. It’s great that you read sentence one, Sinc. Now let’s try sentence two “By the time of Pliny the Elder in the 1st century, however, the Earth’s spherical shape was generally acknowledged among the learned in the western world.” (emphasis added)

    Of course, the Pythagoras Group and the Athenian Enterprise Institute were busy pointing out that the learned depended on sphericist scientific bodies for their funding, that consensus was no basis for science and that acceptance of a spherical earth would lead inevitably to heliocentrism.

  19. Carbonsink – I did not see your link before. I like the 9 facts of Climate Change. I am going to ask Coby Beck if he can number his excellent “How to Talk to a Climate Change Skeptic” here http://illconsidered.blogspot.com/2006/02/how-to-talk-to-global-warming-sceptic.html

    It will be much easier because I could then save a lot of writing by just referencing the relevant number for the hackneyed arguments contained in the 9 facts. For example

    Fact 1: Response 11
    Fact 2: Response 14 (needs a slight mod about CO2 being only one factor in plant growth)

    and so on
    (also posting this on Bolt’s blog)

  20. Of course any comment on Al Gores’ (relatively) excessive energy consumption is “the last gasp of the global warming skeptics” according to a Gore spokesperson. And thats the gospel!

  21. Indeed, rog, you are delusionism personified. No matter how many bogus claims you put up and have shot down, you’re still ready with more. On this point, you might want to read one of the few genuine libertarians around, Jim Henley (linked in my blogroll).

    More generally, you might do well to read the many comments you’ve made on Iraq, global warming and so on, and see how they all stack up today. Then you might think about whether the information sources you’ve been using are good ones.

  22. Wikipedia summarises John Quiggin’s ‘sensible policy’ first step of Kyoto
    “As of year-end 2006, the United Kingdom and Sweden were the only EU countries on pace to meet their Kyoto emissions commitments by 2010. While UN statistics indicate that, as a group, the 36 Kyoto signatory countries can meet the 5% reduction target by 2012, most of the progress in greenhouse gas reduction has come from the stark decline in Eastern European countries’ emissions after the fall of communism in the 1990s”
    outlined in more detail here
    http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=31&art_id=qw116072424316B264

    Unfortunately or fortunately as the case may be, the world doesn’t have a lot more communist basket cases to collapse in order to meet its Kyoto targets. ie picking low hanging fruit. Never mind, China is making up for this lack by chucking up coal fired power stations at the rate of one a week. Naturally it will make them as ‘dirty’ emission wise as possible, so that it has plenty of room to manouvre on its emissions targets when the heat is really on for it to do so. No doubt then, sensible chaps like JQ will be lauding China as the shining international exemplar, as they clean up all these dirty power stations, and admonishing the nasty West for not making similar percentage cuts in our emissions at that time. Capitalising the losses and socialising the gains. You know it makes sense.

  23. Observa apart from the Japanese very few major developed nations have made energy efficiency a major policy plank so there is plenty of low hanging fruit to go round. Plus if it’s good for Australia to whine for an increase and use land clearing why shouldn’t China use a similar approach to favour their interests?

    But what the hey, why should they get away with the sh*t the developed nations pulled by using the atmosphere as a free tip; they have some hide wanting to bring the bulk of their people out of poverty or have a 1st world living standards, eh Observa? That’s just asking a bit too much isn’t it?

  24. Many industries and firms who used to adopt a delusionist position are now adopting what I would like to call an ‘exemptionist’ position. This is a position that advocates a ‘polluter pays’ policy on climate change, as long as it doesn’t apply to them.

    A good illustrative example of this is the Australian Aluminum industry, which is responsible for electrictity use of over 3 GW (equivalent to at least 3 average Pressurised Water Reactors). Their submission to the National Emissions Trading Taskforce (submission 105 at http://www.emissionstrading.net.au/stakeholder_consultations/submissions_2006 ) suggests that they should be exempted from a carbon price signal, rather than being subsidised with free allocations of carbon permits. Talk about being greedy for corporate welfare!

  25. John Humphreys: “I am generally a technology optimist and believe that adjusting will be relatively cheaper than drastic action to reduce emissions (beginning) now.”

    Maybe. A point that people who understand the difference between debt and equity will appreciate is that business-as-usual followed by adjustment is a high risk strategy while atmospheric maintainance is a risk-free strategy.

    Amy McArthur: “People lied about tobacco effects in the past to protect business profits. Therefore, (the same) people must be lying about AGW because there is a connection of…business profits?”

    Proven liars are usually ignored in court (if he’s lied before how do we know he isn’t lying now?) and generally the rational way to deal with proven liars is to ignore them when there are plenty of credible people available.

    “On Sunrise Bolty trotted out the Earth has cooled since 1998”

    Aside from the inconvenient fact that this is no longer true in any way (January 2007 was substantially warmer than February 1998), Bolt adopts the credulist position of ignoring the significance of the El Nino in 1998. Coincidentally, Bolt’s credulist positions always downplay the evidence for global warming.

  26. CO’N you clearly wish to mis’con’strue my point by adding (the same) when you quote me. I used ‘people’ as a term designated to those relative to the different particular issues. Tobacco effects and AGW are different issues and the scientists today arguing human influence on global warming is marginal relative to natural effects of the earth are not ‘the same’ scientists who argued smoking was harmless in the past. Perhaps you have found an exception and now use said individual to shout out a very weak point.

    JQ you demean yourself by name calling when it comes to differences of scientific opinion.

    It was not that long ago that “many” renowned scientists warned of the coming of an ice age and according to the Earth’s own natural clock we have had one in the past about every 10,000 years –and the clock is ticking towards its next Y10K (I should trademark that as an ice-age term). But I digress, so I ask you, was George Will beholden to corporate interests when he wrote about this just last year?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/31/AR2006033101707.html

    Are you JQ beholden to federal and state government political mantra every time you receive government grants for research? Scientists and rearchers who attack others in their field this way only undermine themselves in the process.

  27. John Humphreys –

    “Gore spent a disproportionate amount of time considering outcomes that are unlikely to happen and look really scary. That’s fear-mongering.”

    As we say in the gamer’s world, ROFLMFAO!

    “The big smelly fireman talked lots of scarey stuff about not playing wid matches. But I doan care! Cos burning down the house isn’t likely to happen. That’s jus fear mongering.”

    Note: From this point on, I am going to adopt my ‘gamer dude’ personality from time to time. It’s really the only way to respond to some of this blithering idiocy.

  28. Amy, read the post. The people running the anti-AGW campaign are the same ones who denied the dangers of tobacco smoking. As well as Singer, Seitz and Milloy listed above, this group includes Richard Lindzen (who seems to be a general contrarian rather than a paid hack like the first lot). Add in people who previously denied the effect of CFCs on the ozone layer and you’ve got the majority of the delusionist crew.

  29. “The Denial Machine”, which was recently screened on 4 Corners, can be found by doing a search on Google Video.

  30. Of course, the Pythagoras Group and the Athenian Enterprise Institute were busy pointing out that the learned depended on sphericist scientific bodies for their funding, that consensus was no basis for science and that acceptance of a spherical earth would lead inevitably to heliocentrism.

    is my early nomination for blog comment of the year 🙂

  31. Paul G. Brown: If you want a laugh spend some time at the Bolt Blog.

    Yesterday and today we have a one-two punch from fellow delusionists Janet Albrechtsen (aka the sk***y h* who would die in a ditch for the Liberal Party) and the divine Miranda. Albrechtsen regurgitates the same junk science that’s been discredited a thousand times, and the divine Miss M plays the man not the ball.

    My point is, despite a big shift in Howard Government rhetoric on climate change recently, the hard-core delusionists are not giving up, if anything they’re ramping up their anti-AGW campiagns.

  32. Amy McArthur: “Tobacco effects and AGW are different issues and the scientists today arguing human influence on global warming is marginal relative to natural effects of the earth are not ‘the same’ scientists who argued smoking was harmless in the past.”

    Wrong, as Pr Q pointed out. Fred Singer, Fred Seitz, Pat Michaels are some of these scientists.

    “It was not that long ago that “manyâ€? renowned scientists warned of the coming of an ice age and according to the Earth’s own natural clock we have had one in the past about every 10,000 years”

    Aside from the fact that scientists do learn a fair bit over 30 years, having an ice age in 10,000 years time probably won’t help much to avoid the consequences of global warming in the next 100 years.

    BTW, ice ages don’t occur about every 10,000 years, the inter-glacial periods last an average of roughly 10,000 years. The last glacial cycle was about 120,000 years long. Check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Five_Myr_Climate_Change.png to see the history of recent glacial cycles that started about 3.5 million years ago.

  33. “Observa apart from the Japanese very few major developed nations have made energy efficiency a major policy plank so there is plenty of low hanging fruit to go round.”

    Simonjm, all I know is that those who have made a start and ratified Kyoto’s modest 5% reductions are struggling to do so and they’re running out of collapsing communist countries to help get them over the line collectively. Now common sense (law of diminishing returns) suggests the first 5% is the low hanging fruit compared to the next 55% (those 1990 levels again) we’re supposed to be aiming for long term. Again I must ask-How are they doing with the first 5%? Now I don’t blame China for wanting what we’re having. In fact I believe it’s futile pretending we can stop them or India or whomsoever. In actual fact, reducing the West’s demands for say oil would logically reduce its market price and facilitate more consumption by all LDCs, which is a zero sum game, GG emission wise. What about nuclear power?

    As John Quiggin quite logically says-
    “As regards nuclear, I’ve discussed it at length. If fully-costed nuclear, including decommissioning and waste disposal can beat the alternatives, I have no problem.”
    Well now I would have thought that’s a fairly simple calculation for the ‘one percenters’ who have their social discount rates down pat and have the good oil on calculating this GW thingy over the decades. They simply apply the same wisdom to nuclear power and come up with the answers. Important answers they’d be too, so we can judge whether the UN is right that Iran has got it’s sums wrong on thinking nuclear power is cheaper than Iranian oil fired power. Or as Mike Rann has stated- nuclear power would raise electricity prices 100% (over his Leigh Creek lignite stuff presumably) so Walker and Co, including Rob de Crespigny, (Rann’s appointed state economic advisor), can take a funny walk. The one percenters like JQ will be able to resolve this minor disagreement between uranium and lignite, while skeptics, delusionaists and denialists like myself, trot down to the supermarket in our SUVs, armed with our reusable shopping bags, to pick up some compact fluorescents all the way from China, in order to meet our Kyoto target and save the planet.

  34. After we’ve attended the V8 Supercars with Mr 60% reductions Rann of course. Mustn’t rush the good Professor as we don’t want any mistakes in the calculations.

  35. Observa, you are just plain weird.

    And, in case you hadn’t noticed, your obsession with Mike Rann is wasted on everyone outside South Australia. Nobody outside the pea-floater state gives two hoots about any of its state politicians, what they say or what they do.

  36. observa, that’s brilliant analysis. I presume its not lost on you that a country or region’s progress toward emission targets does not in any way evidence the cost of achieving those targets (in fact, the correlation is more likely to be negative). And since yours is an overwrought, high-handed argument about the cost of emissions reductions heretofore and in the future- wherein you appear to be very sure of yourself- I would also presume you can cite figures as to those costs?… No?

    Or perhaps it’s safer to presume you’re just another in the seemingly interminable line of right-wingers whose revealed preference is for supposition, non sequiturs and bluster, (not to mention downright fraud and fabrication), over evidence and argument. All the better to propagandize with.

    Thanks for playing. Don’t let the door hit you in the as$ on the way out.

  37. Observa should it be any surprise that they are having trouble when it is a policy stance they have entered half-hearted?

    My view has been would try to do the least amount possible to look like they are doing something just to appear responsible, when really they want to keep business happy until they have no choice. Game theory should be able to predict this; that up until you know everyone is going to take the medicine no one wants to jump in early and take any lumps in the short term.

    BTW I’ve already posted work by the http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/index.shtml and an aussie academic that the emission cuts needed are achievable with a mix of energy and increases in energy efficiency. What it lakes it political will. I notice only now that the government is talking about energy efficiency, when they make it a central plank of their policy I’ll take them seriously, banning incandescent bulbs is only a baby step.

    By all mean put nuclear on the table, the auz gov’s head honcho says they have included the total lifecycle including mining, energy production, waste, security and decommissioning but I find it hard to believe it can still be economical including this, but I’m more than prepared to let the facts speak for themselves come what may.

    I would say though the with the advances in renewable esp solar and ones that can deal with the base-load problem you are throwing away money on something that if it was taken up would have use up the worlds high grade uranium ore in a very short time.

  38. Observa, have you ever wondered why you have been on the losing side of almost every debate you’ve been on in the last few years? Maybe you should read Bjørn Staerk.

  39. “your obsession with Mike Rann is wasted on everyone outside South Australia.”
    Spiros, I simply use Mike Rann as a perplexing microcosm of the bigger picture on GW for the average punter here. Personally I am no less confounded by light bulb economics from our national leadership in that regard, nor do I think SA’s Opposition will be less clueless and schizophrenic than the Rann Govt clearly is on GW. I do live in a State with about a quarter of the world’s known uranium reserves and it seems reasonable to ask the question, if it’s OK to dig it up and flog it to nuclear power users(many of whom are Kyoto signatories), why is it not feasible to use it here in SA where we currently burn flammable mud? In JQ, Stern, et al, apparently we have the intellectual knowledge to do such sums as they so happily profess. Quest: Why don’t they? That’s a valid question given two basic facts. ie Many Kyoto signatories have used nuclear power for years and as the Quiggins now lecture us, the world has changed dramatically for continued fossil fuel use (basically the social costs have sky-rocketed) Are they afraid their one percent of GDP methodology for the net costs of GW, if applied to nukes would also sugar coat that industry, just like their GW one? Or, is their methodology really a lot of intellectual wankery and we rely on common sense and intuition here. That means the Mike Ranns of this world can’t proudly boast how they’re one of only 3 jurisdictions to sign up to 60% GG reductions and in the next breath champion V8 car races and exporting Holden V8s to the US and happily flog uranium but ban using it here, but continue burning Leigh Creek lignite. Is it any wonder Kyoto is a pipedream with ‘concerned’ Goreists like that and I accuse ‘one percenters’ like JQ of intellectually sugar coating these turkeys. One percent my arse!

  40. I’ll respond to Bjorn Staerk in that post. Mind you a clash of civilisations could make GW a secondary problem.

  41. Good one Tol. Perhaps your ignorance of the US can attributed to your domicile- either that or central tendency. As it happens, Gore’s role is as publicist for the vast majority of people who do this for a living, (unlike, say, Michael Crichton, who cannot find in the realm of science anyone rivaling his own capacity for critical thought). So, while casting aspersions as to his motives by way of his prior political career may be about as edgy and humorous as a productive trip to the john, it is also at least no less substantive than what you do on your day job. Being you does have its advantages.

  42. Majorajam: I thought that John Q’s cheap reference to the tobacco industry called for an equally cheap response. But seriously, Al Gore made his fortune in tobacco — or so he says, but then he also claimed to have invented the internet, and to be an eager student of Revelle. He surely is a master of spinning science for political ends.

  43. Silly me, I take what I write seriously though I post anonomously while you post under your own name and rattle off frivolous falsehoods, of which this, is only one of the three in your last post (there were three statements there, right?). It’s not that I care much about Al Gore, it’s that I take the truth seriously.

    Perhaps if you persist I should return in kind- heard any good Theo van Gogh jokes lately?

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