Someone should tell this guy about Godwin’s Law

As if it wasn’t already embarrassing enough to be a rightwinger, here’s Dennis Jensen.

Update Judging by the comments, rightwingers are pretty hard to embarrass (after eight years of Bush, and the complete collapse of their economic ideology, I guess this isn’t so surprising). No-one from the dexter side has showed any inclination to disown Jensen as a crackpot and a goodly number have solemnly refuted the jocular suggestion that a PhD in ceramics might be a little cracked.

134 thoughts on “Someone should tell this guy about Godwin’s Law

  1. I am very often out of my depth here, and clearly an outsider. To read that Materials Science and Engineering is crackpot stuff really confuses me.

    Dennis Jensen’s doctoral thesis was on high temperature tough zirconia ceramic materials – Monash – Materials Engineering.

    One interesting development in the field of ceramics is the ceramic “battery”, or “energy storage” device. Supposed to be capable of charging in 5 minutes and providing enough energy to drive about 500 miles on about $9 of electricity. EEStor.

    EEstor in 2008 signed an agreement with LockheedMartin for exclusive rights to integrate and market EESU units in military and homeland security applications. 2009 news report on GM communicating with them a good deal.

    What might possibly be a revolutionary breakthrough from “crackpot” science.

    Is Tim Lambert unaware that the UNSW School of Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering lay claim to being the only Australian uni providing a specialist course in ceramics. I wonder how they would feel about being declared as teachers of crackpot science by one of their colleagues.

  2. @51 – I agree – there seems to have been confusion between ceramics (as a discipline) and pottery. Of course all this is tangential to Jensen’s quality as a commentator on climate science

  3. I believe the only connnection anyone has drawn between Ceramics and crackpots is a pun-based one.

    He’s a crackpot, how funny that his PhD is in Ceramics hahaha…

    Don’t get your knickers in a twist defending the field.

  4. “I believe the only connnection anyone has drawn between Ceramics and crackpots is a pun-based one.”

    Sure, but then the pun just seemed to go so horribly wrong.

  5. Ros @51,

    Crackpot is a pretty loose term, I wouldn’t take it too seriously. More generally, expertise in one area of science doesn’t automatically mean you know anything about another area. I’d expect to find that any scientist – even the very bright and highly respected – would have at least a few ideas that are way out of kilter with the established science in areas outside their speciality. The typical circumspect practice is recognise one’s lack of expertise and accede to the actual experts. However, this doesn’t suit all personality types. In such cases the term crackpot may be reasonably applied.

  6. Climate change is like a Tsunami. As it arrives you find some people clinging to the last frond on a palm tree saying “wave? what wave?”

    The denialist propaganda publishers (like CIS and Quadrant and IPA) have vested interests in no regulation for their company executive funders. Climate change initiatives threaten their profits. Duh. So Sir Fred Bull donates 300,000 K to a local outfit to publish pictures of so called environmentally friendly academics to speak ill of their science (surrounded by green imagery and tawny frogmouth owls in photoshots) like our Jen.

    Their lackey writers would run out an article for the SMH something along the lines of “Loonie lefties seek to destroy individual freedom to climb palm trees by claiming danger from Tsunamis.” or “No need to spend our taxes on Tsunami victims. Tsunami a left wing plot.”

    Its so ridiculous. Its produced by the greedy amongst us, and only the really dense get taken in by it.

    Alanna

  7. Comedy gold, Tim @ 11! (The point of which seems to have been missed by some.)

    BTW, wasn’t Jensen a Rocket Scientist?

  8. JQ@53

    Gosh, it seems only a couple of days ago an eminent commentator was warning about the dangers of irony on the internets. 🙂

  9. Slightly off-topic, but is there a similar instant-lose law for grafting supposedly instant-win arguments onto “family values”?

    I am reminded of the old conservationist exhortation to save water by showering with a friend.

  10. My 62 did not include what I’d pasted in from a webpage… I’ll try again:

    Slightly off-topic, but is there a similar instant-lose law for grafting supposedly instant-win arguments onto “family values”?

    Divorce adds to climate change: Fielding
    Cathy Alexander
    February 24, 2009
    Divorce adds to the impact of global warming as couples switch to wasteful single lifestyles, Family First senator Steve Fielding says.
    He told a Senate hearing on Tuesday that divorce led to a “resource-inefficient lifestyle” and it would be better for the planet if couples stayed married.
    When couples separate, they need more rooms, more electricity and more water, which increases their carbon footprint.

    Now the punchline (again, what comedy timing):
    I am reminded of the old conservationist exhortation to save water by showering with a friend.

  11. paul #24, I take it you were making a joke then. It can be hard to tell, out here…

    Tony #27, just to confuse the matter further, Jonah Goldberg says fascism originally meant *right-wing* socialism.

    But my point was that you were asserting something (Godwin’s Law was invented for a certain reason) as fact, when apparently you had no evidence on the matter. I presume it just sounded plausible to you.

  12. Bruce @ 62/63. Not a law but a standard putdown for this kind of thing is the remark (irony alert on) “Won’t somebody think of the children?” (irony alert off).

  13. Ok It is all about irony then… a difficult concept to understand… let’s see if I can put it in a sentence.
    It is ironic that Penny Wong,an arts/law graduate tells Dr Jensen a Phd scientist to shut up about climate change.
    It is ironic that Tim Lambert, a computer programmer calls Dr Jensen a PhD scientist a crackpot.
    It is ironic that economists ,known to have a theory or three only allow one theory in climate science for to have more than one would be delusional

  14. “Bruce @ 62/63. Not a law but a standard putdown for this kind of thing is the remark (irony alert on) “Won’t somebody think of the children?” (irony alert off).”

    That’d be the Minister for Family Services, I think, John

  15. Chrisl, you’ve missed the point. I lack a PhD in biology and there are creationists who have a PhD in biology. Just like global warming skeptics, they are crackpots, because of their combination of delusionism, dishonesty and ignorance.

    If global warming skeptics could argue the science in an honest fashion, their contributions would be welcome. Sadly, that is a bar too high.

  16. why shouldn’t Penny Wong tell him to shut up? having a PhD in ceramics and materials science hardly makes you an authority on climate science, especially when virtually 100% of actual climate scientists disagree with you.

  17. The main CIS foreign affairs writer in recent years was Owen Harries — who took an anti-war position.

    The CIS has published plenty of “left” articles and while some people at CIS have a conservative streak, others (including, but not limited to me) would strongly object to being called “right-wing”.

    While that term can apply sometimes depending on how it’s being used, the reality is that it is often used to mean an anti-immigration, anti-trade, pro-christian, pro-war, anti-gay, prohibitionist, nanny-statist wowser populist.

    To use a term interchangably for the above and for libertarianism is to stretch the english language far beyond the scope of reasonable discussion.

    Indeed, there is more similarity between mainstream right and mainstream left than there is between mainstream right and libertarian.

  18. Jensen’s comments betray yet again the capture of the Liberal Party by reactionary nutters. Poor Turnbull, desperately trying to drag a once.respectable political party back to the centre, but stymied by the fruitloops on the looney right.

    Regarding climate change, it’s interesting how it is only the ranting, gobspittled fanatics like Jensen that want to turn this into another left-right skirmish.

    Wong was right. Jensen should just shut up. He is an idiot.

  19. “Its so ridiculous. Its produced by the greedy amongst us, and only the really dense get taken in by it.”

    Alanna

    Well, they do get taken in.
    But I haven’t really noticed the CC tsunami yet and I’ve got seafrontage.

  20. Quite:

    “To Terje’s point, while it is possible to imagine a libertarian politics that isn’t allied with the political right, and there are even occasional instances emerging in the US, it really doesn’t exist in Australia. It’s absurd to suggest that the CIS, for which Andrew works, is not part of the organised political right, and even more absurd to suggest this of his previous employer, David Kemp. ”

    We are fighting the state.

  21. #78, #79 are a couple of Orcs who,out of boredom have escaped Mordor while The Dark Lordess Sauronhasy has been ‘gone fishing’.

    Sauronhasy has just returned so watch out for head Goblin Ian Mott on this page. It will have been sent to support the errant Orcs in a tactical retreat and will use the biggest, meanest BS snow machine ever seen by most of the bloggers here who are more acustomed to clear and decent debate.

  22. “It will have been sent to support the errant Orcs in a tactical retreat and will use the biggest, meanest BS snow machine ever seen by most of the bloggers here who are more acustomed to clear and decent debate.”

    Salient Green,
    I built a jetty on this waterfront in 1963, 46 years ago and the king tides still come to the same spot they did then.
    Isn’t that a reasonably honest and scientific bit of data?

  23. I didn’t say the CIS had an official position on climate change. I said it had actively promoted delusionist views like this. To my knowledge CIS has never published anything comparably polemical from the pro-science side of the debate.

    In fact, I’ve never seen anything from them that is specifically devoted to presenting the pro-science side, as opposed to pieces like yours on the carbon tax, which accept, for the sake of argument, the scientific consensus, but don’t endorse it. Feel free to set me straight.

    Owen Harries is not anti-war, let alone leftwing in any way. He’s a conservative realist, and critical of the Iraq war as being not in the US (or Australia’s) interest. But he was equally strongly supportive of the Vietnam War.

  24. SP@ 80;

    “the king tides still come to the same spot they did then.”

    @ the north end of Bondi in the 60s & 70s, there were occasions when the water use to wash up against the promenade, I haven’t seen the water get up there since then.

    If anybody knows of waterfronts for sale at AGW fire sale prices, please let me know.

  25. “The CIS has published plenty of “left” articles”

    Could you point me to some? That is, articles by people who are recognised as part of the political left, even if not agreeing with the CIS on all points, just as the Bonython lecturers are nearly all associated with the political right.

    I’m only aware of one such piece, many years ago now, and that’s because I wrote it (I was on good terms with the then editor of Policy, and he was, like me, critical of public choice theory.

    And from time to time Labor politicians give talks there, either to build bridges and demonstrate bipartisanship or en route to the other side.

    But there may well be more.

  26. Sorry, Tony, I forgot that you personally had refuted the whole of existing science. So, let’s say that the CIS supports the “Tony G science” side of the debate as against the “establishment science” side. Once you reveal your true identity and genius to the world, you’ll have plenty of backers.

  27. JohnQ – I’m not able to answer your charges against the CIS. I do note that lots of people refer to the CIS as right wing. Perhaps those that submit articles to the CIS for publication self select on the basis of that perception. Personally I wouldn’t suggest that the CIS open the doors to the left in a general way however I’m surprised that there is such a consistent disconnect between a libertarian think tank and the left. I don’t personally think this makes the CIS right wing, however if the left feel disconnected from something then I suppose I shouldn’t be too shocked if the left call that thing right-wing.

  28. JQ said;

    “refuted the whole of existing science.”

    No because;

    The only verifiable ‘science’ the AGW side of the debate has is that atmospheric carbon is increasing.

    Anything else is just conjecture; (do you define conjecture as “the whole of existing science”?)

    *What the small increase in carbon does is unverifiable.
    *Where it comes from and where it goes is guess work.
    *World temperature readings are extrapolated and unreliable.
    *Comparable accurate data for the aeons doesn’t exist.

    Even the end proposal of the AGW proponents doesn’t reduce the scientifically quantifiable carbon increases we are seeing.. If mankind cut carbon emissions by 100%, contemporary ‘science’ would not be able to tell us if it would halt the increasing atmospheric carbon.

    Scientifically knowing what is going on climatically is a long way off, just because you have a PhD doesn’t give you a mortgage on the subject.

    “Once you reveal your true identity and genius to the world, you’ll have plenty of backers.”

    The world couldn’t give a stuff about me, so attacking me is futile, it wont hide the shortcomings of your arguments, nor will it make them make them right.

  29. Tony G

    Although I am no expert – I thought there was corroboration from:

    coral cores,
    ice cores, and
    dendrochronology.

    Ice sheet measurements, sea water temperatures, and climate anomalies all seem to suggest more than “conjecture”.

    The counter argument is more conjecture.

  30. Chris,

    Some glaciers are melting and some are getting bigger.

    It is like the glass that is filled up half way.

    Some people say it is half empty and others half full.

    Similarly, with the *above issues, some think the knowledge is sufficient to draw a scientific conclusion as to what is happening, whilst others do not.

    We will just have to agree to disagree.

  31. The only verifiable ’science’ the AGW side of the debate has is that atmospheric carbon is increasing.

    You forgot (or perhaps were totally unaware of):

    * Carbon dioxide absorps infrared radiation.
    * As the concentration of carbon dioxide increases, the absorption of infrared radiation also increases.
    * The earth emits infrared radiation.

    All of the above were known in the 19th century by scientists. It is supremely sad that they appear to be unknown to a great deal of 21st century “sceptics”.

  32. “Carbon dioxide absorps infrared radiation”

    Water vapour adsorbs so much infra-red radiation that the amount of infra-red radiation carbon absorbs is insignificant. AGW proponents conveniently ignore water vapour in their theories and calculations.

    Do not mention the additional water vapour in clouds because as far as AGW proponents theories are concerned clouds don’t exist. That’s right, they do not know if their temperature readings are shaded by clouds or in direct sunlight.

  33. Tony G,
    Have you got a source for “Some glaciers are … getting bigger.”? Or something that would narrow the google search?

  34. Tony G – the glacier extent is influenced by both precipitation and temperature. The growth of that glacier after an extended period of drought is not relevant to global warming and CO2 levels.

  35. Nanks,

    Explain to Bruce Littleboy and Chris that glaciers are not relevant to global warming and CO2 levels.

    Re; Lord Sir Alexander “Dolly” Downer @ 92;

    As they say in Russia, Mosgow.

  36. Lord ADD #92 Good, but I thought you had a winner at #9.

    Unfortunately, this is now a serious thread in which Tony G is expounding his groundbreaking research, which will doubtless win him the complete set of Nobel prizes shortly and indeed, bring the whole prize thing to an end, so stunningly unrepeatable is his performance. I was going to ask others not to question him, but actually it’s more amusing the way it is. While you’re at it Tony, can you set us straight on general relativity?

  37. I only answered as I didn’t want a casual observer to think Tony G had a point. Obviously when you actually look at the abstract of the paper you realise he doesn’t.

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