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Climate Change skeptics stage rebel Copenhagen conference

Matthew Knott, in Copenhagen, writes:

As if the COP15 participants weren’t doing a good enough job already, the climate change sceptics have been out in force at Copenhagen working hard to undermine the climate change summit during its opening days.

Whilst the COP15 is taking place in the drab Bella Centre, as big and as aesthetically pleasing as an airport terminal, the skeptics have held their “summit” in a small flat in Christianshavn –- a clever choice for a group of unorthodox thinkers given it is home to a self-proclaimed autonomous community of squatters and hippies.

Upon arrival, a hand-written sign sticky-taped next to the front door directs you to the event, officially named the “Copenhagen Climate Change Challenge”. A colourful sticker on the ground reads “hurra global warming [sic]” and shows a red-headed Eskimo standing on a melting ice-cap with a seagull in one hand and an ice-cream in the other (don’t ask). The walls of the tiny room where the 50-odd sceptics gather are almost invisible behind the mass of rococo artworks: squint and you could be in the Louvre. “We are certainly small in quantity, but what we lack in numbers we make up for in quality,” boasts Christopher Monckton, chairman of the event and former advisor to Margaret Thatcher.

Lord Christopher Monckton

Lord Christopher Monckton

Buoyed by the recent release of the stolen Climate-gate emails, the skeptics are in fine spirits – one of the gathering says their struggle is the 21st century equivalent of Galileo’s attempts to disprove the Catholic Church’s claim that the Earth was the centre of the universe.

Australian Ian Plimer, geologist and author of Heaven and Earth, is one of the stars and despite initial doubts – “What is Crikey doing at an event like this?” – agrees to answer some questions on COP15 and the Senate’s rejection of the Rudd Government’s ETS.

YouTube Preview Image

Solar radiation and volcanic activity are both possible culprits for global warming, Plimer argues. Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, is “not a pollutant, it is plant food”.

YouTube Preview Image

Attending the Copenhagen Climate Change Challenge is to enter a parallel universe, an 100 per cent irony-neutral zone.

The East Anglia professors – “Let’s sue for fraud!” – are pilloried for manipulating evidence to prove their hypothesis. But no-one bats an eyelid when UK lawyer and businessman Stewart Wheeler says: “Maybe what I am about to say is not completely accurate but it’ll make the point I hope.”

At the conclusion of Wheeler’s talk chairman Christopher Monckton lauds him for speaking up for the “common-man on the bus”. Then he remarks, no pun intended: “I know where your castle is”. Turns out Wheeler is a multi-millionare who had enough spare change lying around in 2001 to donate £5 million towards the Conservative Party election campaign.

The speakers pat themselves on their backs for their “evidence-based” and “apolitical” presentations. Yet politics, of a distinctly right-of-centre variety, dominate the conference. Several of the participants boast of their membership of the anti-European Union UK Independence Party. Professor Plimer says that not only do Al Gore and algae sound alike: “They are both scum”. The suggestion that mankind should be demonising water rather than co2, given that 300 Americans drown in their bathtubs each year, is greeted by the reply: “I’m sure the 300 are all Democrats”.

And as skepticism is the flavour of the alternative conference it’s perhaps also worth noting that organiser of the event, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow think-tank, received $582,000 between 1998 and 2007 from ExxonMobil.

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  • 1
    Most Peculiar Mama
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    “…it´s perhaps also worth noting that organiser of the event, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow think-tank, received $582,000 between 1998 and 2007 from ExxonMobil…”

    Is it?

    How is this relevant?

    Phil Jones alone received MORE THAN US$19 MILLION in direct climate research funding.

    BigClimate funding dwarfs that of your unicorned “BigOil”.

    You are really reaching now Matthew.

  • 2
    Matthew Knott
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi MPM, I think it is relevant to know where any think-tank/scientist´s funding is coming from. I´m unsure exactly what BigClimate is – I´ve seen that Jones´s funding came from various environmental protection agencies, the Met Office and the EU. No smoking gun there. If he had been paid by solar energy/wind turbine operators – that would be newsworthy!

  • 3
    Frank Campbell
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Matthew: it has escaped you that both sides of the parallel universe lack irony. Psychologically, they’re both cults.

    It’s unfortunate that sceptics are (in effect) represented in Dopehagen by denialists. Worst of all, everyone points their mike at Lord Monckton, a pop-eyed commo-conspiracy throw-back.

    Note that 11% of Australian Green voters said that AGW was ‘exaggerated’ in a very recent poll. I can assure you that many on the Green/Left are highly sceptical both of the AGW hypothesis (though not of GW) and the destructive, useless schemes promoted to fix the “problem” (MRET and ETS).

    So keep trying for balance there, Matt. Can’t be easy if you’re drunk on vintage East Bumcrack wine…

  • 4
    Frank Campbell
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    p.s. I think it’s very relevant where funding comes from MPM, everyone’s, without distinction. It’s called journalism.

    But Matthew misses the same point- Jones’ mountain of money has enormous significance: this is East Bumcrack Uni we’re talking about. Status, fame…all the things academics will kill for. The perversion of science that the emails reveal is perfectly normal in academia. A paradigm is fighting for its life, Matt. ‘Twas ever so. Read Thomas Kuhn.
    Also, the sources of Jones’ cash are all proponents of AGW. Just listen to their PR.

  • 5
    Most Peculiar Mama
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    @Matthew

    If I understand you correctly, it is perfectly acceptable for a single ‘climate scientist’ to receive 3000% or 33 times more funding than an alleged BigOil “thinktank” because the funding originates from taxpayer-funded government bureaucracies and spurious bipartisan organisations like the EU?

    Are you saying these various government institutions were not politically motivated in their commissioning of such research?

    How disingenuous.

  • 6
    doug hynd
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I find much of the debate on the issue of climate change positively surreal. For amny people in the world the issue is not academic it is real and pressing in on their ability to sustain a reasonable existence for themselves and envisage a possible future for their children. From Nepal to Bangladesh the impacts already being felt of climate change by some of the most vulnerable and powerless people on the planet.

    People in our neighbourhood, Timor Leste, Indonesia, Vanuata, the Solomons whom I spoke to at a conference recently all reported noticeable changes in climate patterns over the past few years that are impacting unfavourably on the ability of people who are dependent upon subsistence farming in those countries to manage food production.

    Is human action responsible for global warming? The best estimate that can be made based on the cumulative evidence of a wide variety of research over the past twenty years is that there is 90% probability that it is. That is a solid enough probability as a basis for action now. We pay insurance to cover ourselves for goodness sake against much smaller levels of risk to our homes without blinking an eyelid.

    Under those circumstance the quibbling that is going on here in Australia, almost any excuse apparently will do to avoid dealing with the issue, starts to take on the character of myopic self indulgence.

  • 7
    doug hynd
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    The assumption in some of the above comments that the results of the research can be dismissed simply because of the funding source is simplistic to say the least.

    The question is its quality – has the research resulted in peer reviewed publications that end up being accepted by qualified experts in the specific field.
    Progress is iterative and cumulative, mostly though there are times when a new research framework emerges when the previously accepted framework breaks down.

    The assumption that there is some huge gravy train out there in which governments are pumping money because they just really want the results that are emerging on the issue of climate change are bizarre in the extreme. Scientific research in Australia has been scratching for funds over the past decade.
    To think that governments are just thrilled to have global warming and climate change landing on their plates as policy problems is bizarre in the extreme.

    If anything it would be in their interests for scientists to have come to the opposite conclusion.

  • 8
    Evan Beaver
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Video not working. COuld you check the link?

  • 9
    kdkd
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Aah, Frank’s MO is that he’s better than everyone else.

    Most Delusional Mama’s MO is that being ignorant of science, and the scientific process is a morally superior position that needs no evidence as proof of its superiority. In fact, evidence would contaminate the moral superiority of her position.

  • 10
    heavylambs
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    #1,5 MPM it’s like you don’t give a damn about making sense….It’s hard to overstate the dumbness involved in believing there is an equivalence between applied research budgets/grants in the sciences,and PR funding for lobby groups. Let’s try and compare like with like,eh?

    It’s barely more useful to compare the media budget of NASA with the PR budgets of lobbyists like the Heritage Foundation,but even then,only a tiny part NASA’s media effort is devoted to informing the public of developments in climate research. Or should I say,”spewing misanthropic economy destroying propaganda”?

  • 11
    Most Peculiar Mama
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    @kdkd

    Looks like your little Research GrantWriter v2.1 is under very serious threat. Whatever will you do to ‘fund’ all that ‘research’ you do all day?

    @heavylambs

    I’m sorry but your prose is barely comprehensible. English please, if you don’t mind.

  • 12
    kdkd
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Wow, Most Delusional Mama certainly comes up with stuff with a high insanity quotient. Simultaneously totally unrelated to reality, and thought provoking (in an OMG WTF kind of way). Keep up the entertainment.

  • 13
    jeebus
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    What a complete fraud and ignoramus. This is a guy who believes his memory of the weather feeling hotter as a child constitutes empirical evidence.

    That this quack is given a platform through funding by the oil industry shows the denialist case for what it is.

  • 14
    CHRISTOPHER DUNNE
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Plimer??? His book was pilloried across globe, and by people who do actually study the climate, take the measurements and get their work peer reviewed. It was full of howlers and cherry picked data that the East Anglia emails don’t even come close to. The man is a pompous fraud cavorting with the likes of Lord Mad Monckton and assorted loons, and that clearly demonstrates his calibre; judge a man by the company he keeps, indeed.

  • 15
    Connor
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Just once I’d like to see an interviewer throw something other than softballs at Plimer, his nonsense is so wildly inaccurate that any decent journo worth his salt should be able to challenge him on it. Poor effort from Crikey imo.

  • 16
    Connor
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Oh, and it’s pretty rich to hear a mining company executive with extensive mining interests, and who publishes sensationalist schlock-pop-science books rather than research papers to support his contentions, slander legitimate, working scientists on the basis that they have something to gain from committing scientific fraud. Plimer is a joke, why he still has tenure at Adelaide Uni really is beyond me.

  • 17
    Most Peculiar Mama
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    @kdkd

    I can see bone.

  • 18
    twobob
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    hey frank
    If some penis head asks me who I am going to vote for I lie and usually say the COALition.
    Then I go on to provide all my other answers from a green point of view. Do you think I am the only one who does that? I would be a little suspicious of 11 % of anything given that little fact.
    And here is a link you might find interesting.
    http://www.pewclimate.org/docUploads/east-anglia-cru-hacked-emails-12-07-09.pdf
    Its about the emails that you refer to
    And
    Most DELUDED Mama (I know you love that DELUDED word

    You might be a little less DELUDED if you read it too. Informed is better than DELUDED don’t you think?

  • 19
    uberin
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    The same Plimer that has already stated while in Copenhagen that ‘ It’s been freezing in Perth and bucketing down,’.Yeah sure I noticed that last week when the temperature was 43c and we were fighting a local fire,I was just freezing my socks off.My view of Plimer is that he likes selling books to the gullible flat earthers and we all know ‘You dont let the truth get in the way of a good story’
    http://www.desmogblog.com/ian-plimer

  • 20
    Stevo the Working Twistie
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if the world is going to end, and wipe out the whole of humanity, but reading Crikey’s climate “debates” makes my hope like f*ck that it does.

  • 21
    gregb
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Excellent link twobob

    But rest assured that Most Deluded Mama and Frank Campbell will simply put their fingers in their ears and go “la la la la la”. They will then continue to cite the emails as proof that AGW is a BIG FAT LIE. Plus ca change?

  • 22
    paddy
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Well Mathew, it seems George Monbiot also wants to chat with Plimer. :-)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2009/aug/05/climate-change-scepticism
    Frankly, my ears are still bleeding from listening to Plimer’s “words of wisdom”.

    Irony free zone indeed. :-)

  • 23
    gregb
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Paddy,

    I think you might be a bit behind the times here. That link is from August. Plimer was supposed to debate Monbiot and Monbiot said he would only debate face-to-face if Plimer answered some written questions first. Go and have a look at Plimer’s “answers” to George’s questions (also on his blog) and you won’t have any blood left in your body your eyes will be bleeding so much! Basically, Plimer submitted ridiculous questions back to Monbiot and didn’t answer any of Georges questions. On that basis George refused to debate Plimer face-to-face.

  • 24
    Most Peculiar Mama
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    At the risk of using up all of Two Bubs bold tags, I find it nothing short of hilarious that it would link to an organisation that concludes thus:

    “…Although there is no clear evidence of scientific fraud or misconduct at this early stage, if further investigation were to reveal that misconduct had occurred, the scientific consensus regarding human-induced climate change, as stated by the IPCC, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and virtually every relevant scientific body, is not likely to be affected…”

    Riiiiight.

    Of course not. Nothing to see here, ’cause we say so.

    Christ, the Pew Center even source wikipedia as reference material.

    Thanks for the laugh Two Bit.

    Next.

  • 25
    heavylambs
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    MDM, let’s speak on your terms,then: your comments indicate that you are dumber than a mud fence.

  • 26
    Frank Campbell
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    2Bob: Have a chat to Possum Comitatus about that “Green sceptic” poll…he was bemused too…if there’s doubt, bring it out. Generally though, people who think that simple polls like this are bedevilled by liars are just nervous about their certainties being undermined by facts.

  • 27
    The Zebras
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Most Peculiar Mama – All you scientific illiterates on the left, right (and libertarian mouth-frothers) have gone and turned this into a disgusting culture-war. I’ve seen your posts round the traps – text-book right-winger/libertarian who views the science of AGW through a lens of ideology and politics. That’s immature, tribal and I’m sure lots of fun for you. But please if all you have are anti-science, anti-academia, reds-under the bed conspiracy theories you do nothing but declare yourself a rabid-troofer wing-nut.

  • 28
    Frank Campbell
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    “they were reacting to what they considered to be scientific misconduct by the authors of the papers and/or by editors who circumvented the peer review process so as to publish inferior papers that support their own political agendas.”

  • 29
    Sancho
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I’ve asked in several forums for climate inactivists to demonstrate where in the CRU emails this perversion of science is demonstrated. So far the result has been insults and hysteria, but no answers.

    The fact that stolen emails exist is proof enough for denialists, without any examination of their contents necessary. It’s very much like schizophrenia. If you’re convinced that all red Nissans are driven by agents monitoring your movements, then the sight of a red Nissan simply confirms it.

    If any denialists here would care to point out the smoking gun in the emails, I’m all ears (or eyes).

  • 30
    twobob
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Why would you copy that fc?
    In context it appears to be a perfectly natural thing to do doesn’t it?
    And do you think its ok to support their own political agendas by circumventing the peer review process so as to publish inferior papers ?
    Half of the editors of the paper resigned because they did this!

    mDm lol
    I love your dimwittery, Makes my day, How you use capitals for Two Bit and Two Bub
    makes me feel important, it does!
    And did you like this bit?
    It cannot be said that Jones was literally hiding this fact because two years before he wrote this email he was a co‐author on the first paper to document this “divergence” issue. That paper, published …
    or this bit
    The data sets involved in the discussions have been reproduced independently by other scientists in other countries and yield similar conclusions. Moreover, the data sets discussed in the emails, while relevant, are not essential to our understanding of contemporary climate change. The two data sets highlighted in accusations of misconduct are very limited and consist of: High‐latitude tree ring data that inaccurately suggest that local temperatures declined after 1960; thermometer readings from the same locations demonstrate that the tree rings accurately reflected local temperatures prior to, but not after 1960. A small fraction of the weather station data used by the CRU to estimate global surface temperature change …

    and I KNOW your enjoying this bit schadenfreude right now
    I am lol at you (and I really am you know) lol
    Ive got to stop cos it hurts lol lol lol

  • 31
    Frank Campbell
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    GregB: OK, I read the Pew document. It’s similar to several others from AGW sources. (sorry about post 20…hit the wrong button)

    Note that even Monbiot thought the emails were deplorable. Read his Guardian article.

    The relevant part of the Pew doc. is very short. It doesn’t cover all the issues. What it does cover is standard apologia. Then follows a mass of info saying that the emails don’t destroy the AGW hypothesis and the long list of institutions which adhere to AGW. As I’ve said many times, this is correct and not the point. Anyone who knows academia knows the Bumcrack emails are typical. Academics behaving normally. Academia is bitchy, vicious, unprincipled and ruthless. Read any campus novel. Or work in one , as I did.

    One of the key problems in universities is the peer review process. Turf wars are fought over control of journals. The hatreds are unbelievable. The Pew doc. states:

    “they were reacting to what they considered to be scientific misconduct by the authors of the papers and/or by editors who circumvented the peer review process so as to publish inferior papers that support their own political agendas.”

    This reeks of academia. Opponents are gunned down. They all have “political agendas” and sneer at opposition work. Normal, and essentially corrupt. This isn’t to say there’s any real solution- there isn’t. But this is precisely what AGWarmers fail to comprehend: the history and sociology of science. Paradigms rise and are attacked. It’s always war. It’s so much worse in this case because AGW has held the world hostage- potentially for decades, such are the observational timelines required for falsfication or otherwise. Sociologically, we have the Cinderella of the sciences, used to eking out an existence in provincial colleges, suddenly flooded with money and intoxicating attention. Everything is at stake: career,income, credibility. They’ve gambled the lot on this shaky hypothesis. The odds are lengthening. They still might pull it off, but…

    You can see how they themselves, in their own apologia, are unaware of the hypocrisy of their position:

    “one must recognize that science is a community‐based professional enterprise. It is expected and appropriate that investigators
    choose in which journals to publish and recommend to their peers in which journals to publish or not publish. The notion of organizing a boycott against any journal that repeatedly departs from accepted scientific standards is both reasonable and ethical.”

    Who defines what is “reasonable” and “ethical”? Boycotts, rejection etc – these can be fatal for researchers and even entire departments.

    Once committed to one side or the other, it is extremely difficult for scientists or institutions to change sides or even qualify their position. The situation is now so polarised that to move is professional suicide.

    What of the two inquiries into the emails? I’d be surprised if they were anything more than a whitewash for the simple reason one is internal (the university) and the other appears to be an IPCC inquiry, with Pachauri overseeing it. Foxes interviewing chickens. It’s possible the Uni investigator could be independent, but don’t count on it. Adverse findings could screw the entire university. Most likely there’ll be a gentle reprimand about ungentlemanly conduct.

  • 32
    stevieholden
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    The globe has been badly managed for decades and look at the result: rampant short term self interest. If peak oil is not enough to show willful ignorance try global warming & ocean acidification. The truth is we are not going to have the means to get where we’d like to be in quick enough time period. Hoping you weren’t the ones being duped.

  • 33
    kdkd
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Frank #22

    You don’t even seem to have a point to make in that post, just the sound of your own voice. I guess that supports my hypothesis in #7

  • 34
    Mike
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Plimer’s championing of such crackpot science is truly ironic given that, not to long ago, he was a lucid and effective crusader against another right-wing psudo-science: bible creationism.

    I remember him taking on the charsmatic Darwin-bashing Christian crusader Dwanye Gish in a live debate. He hilariously used not just geology but a whole range of scientific disciplines to demonstrate the comical implications of treating the book of Genesis as historical fact.

    Very sad that Pilimer has come to this. The man does have talent.

  • 35
    paddy
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    gregb @16
    Whoops! Mea culpa gregb. and thanks for the heads up.
    I was clearly bleeding from the eyes when I read that page.

    I’m still coming to terms with the looking glass world, where the *looneys*, are the ones running around claiming the apocalypse is only a flesh wound.
    I’m not sure I could face Plimer’s blog.
    Perhaps I’ll feel braver after a very stiff brandy or three. :-)

  • 36
    gregb
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Frank

    Thanks for taking the time to write that looong post. Like kdkd I don’t really see your point though. Could anyone say anything to convince you that the emails have been blown grossly out of proportion and are not evidence of what “sceptics” are saying they’re evidence of? I get the distinct impression that you have decided that there was misconduct there and if anyone investigates and finds that there really wasn’t, you’ll just claim the investigation was a white wash. Are you prepared to even admit that there is a *possibility* that the emails are not what they’re cracked up to be?
    You dismiss the Pew report as “standard apologia”, what sort of apologia would satisfy you?

    Then to your point about peer review. You claim it is one of the “key problems” at universities. How wars are fought over control of journals. That may be so, but can you recommend a better way for science to advanced? Should everyone just be able to write and publish whatever they want? I don’t think there is an academic alive who will say that the peer review process is perfect or devoid of political machinations. Thing is, it’s probably the best way we know to verify scientific output.

    You also say that once scientists become entrenched in positions it’s difficult for them to change their opinions. That would mean that scientists are human? What? But seriously, what makes you so positive that scientists who have studied climate change would not be thrilled to find out that they’re wrong? Their childrens’ future would look a lot brighter. Would you accept that it is at least *possible* that “pro-AGW” scientists won’t change their views because they’ve seen no evidence whatsoever from the “sceptics” that they should?

    I feel that you’re almost there Frank, I think you know that the sceptics have turned the email thing into a beat up but ideologically, it’s just too good an opportunity for you to let go of. :-)

  • 37
    gregb
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Paddy

    To be honest I didn’t even listen to the interview posted here today. I’ve heard Plumberbutt repeat the same tired old canards too many times. I’ve even had the pleasure of hearing him “in the flesh” and just couldn’t do it again. I know I didn’t miss anything I haven’t heard many times before though. I don’t know how jaded you are already, but if you want to retain any belief in human rationality do not try and get involved in this cesspit of a “debate”. It’s truly turgid. Too late for me though.

    Cheers

  • 38
    Robon
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Back to the story and the accompanying pic. I don’t trust any bloke wearing a skirt.

    As for the rest, MDM and co., just take the time to read the links on the emails, and then have the grace to apologise for your insincerity or, to be kind, ignorance. I get very impatient with pupils who do not take the time to fully read and comprehend. Time in the corner if you repeat this behaviour.

  • 39
    Rollo
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    @Frank Campbell Post 19:

    You said: Generally though, people who think that simple polls like this are bedevilled by liars are just nervous about their certainties being undermined by facts.

    Yet you are always so certain that you are right, which means you are beyond theory, and everything you say is factual certainty, and that AGW theory is a fraud. Riddle me this: what scientific data, what empirical evidence, what intuitive rock, can you provide as your evidence that you are actually right? Are you relying on scientific data for your certainty? If so, what is your method for discarding some scientific data and including others in your facts? And the empirical evidence; is this some kind of unctuous bacterial magma you have?

    Why is your certainty valid, while scientific methodology and theory should be something we disregard?

    I am not certain that AGW is an absolute truth? How can you be certain that it isn`t? Even scientists are not %100 certain. Not really.

    As Thomas L. Friedman points out what is the result if we try and stop CO2 emissions but it turns out AGW theory is incorrect? Well, we start having energy efficiency, we start relying on renewable energy sources and decrease dependency on Saudi Arabia`s disgusting Wahabii`ist supporting human rights filth scum, we stop chopping the Earth up so much, cleaner more breathable air, and just maybe, maybe, stop relying on buying shit to make us happy.

    It wouldn`t be Utopia, but things would be improved. And yes, initial costs will be more. But when c u next tuesdays greedy mofos can bring down the financial structure, giving them less to be greedy about would also be a good thing. Capitalism corrupts, but absolute capitalism corrupts absolutely. (I am no socialist/communist btw, I think democratic capitalism is a good thing, but pure, unfiltered, liquid capitalism is unsustainable long-term unless it is regulated. Unless limits are enforced).

  • 40
    Altakoi
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    CO2 is plant food? I ever get to sign a death certificate on a drowning victim I’m going with “excessive drinking”

  • 41
    Robon
    Posted December 12, 2009 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Yes AlkyToy, that’s right. Must be the time of night, but we make a sort of sense I fear.

  • 42
    Ian Cheong
    Posted December 12, 2009 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    So Plimer is associated with this:
    http://www.auscsc.org.au/about_us.html
    who associates with this:
    http://www.climatescienceinternational.org/

    This site contains details of a reanalysis of Mann’s hockey stick data used by IPCC:
    http://climateaudit.org/

    One thing is certain – there is no consensus.

  • 43
    Frank Campbell
    Posted December 12, 2009 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    GregB: The very first thing I said on the emails when they first surfaced was that they showed academics behaving normally. Given that we’re bedevilled by two opposed cults, of course they’re going to be exploited to the max. Each side is intensely biased against the other. The endless abuse we see on Crikey AGW “discussions” is just a reflection of that. How you all shit on the MPM-type doubters! And on me, even though I’m in the middle. I’m quite happy to be convinced either way on this matter: today I’ve read several anti-AGW tracts and they reek of bias and bile. On both sides there are some very unattractive and (theoretically) dangerous people: Monckton the pop-eyed Thatcher throw-back vs Savonarola Hamilton.

    I think what the pro-AGW camp has to realise is that the onus is on them for two reasons- to prove a hypothesis (that’s what it is, sorry. GW isn’t. AGW is) and to justify revolutionary change to cope with it. The tragedy is we’ll be stuck with this all-consuming obsession (from both sides) possibly for decades, because the timelines for observational evidence are so long. Note how 10 years of temp. levelling is on the one hand “mere weather” and “noise” vs Boltish glee that GW is over. No one has a clue what caused the levelling. Lengthen the time-line and the trend looks unchanged. Lengthen it further and it looks like a 250 year recovery from the Little Ice Age. Yet the Bumcrack email showed real tension in the AGW fortress- “a travesty” we can’t explain it, he said. So levelling is real, inexplicable, but may be just a blip.

    Revolutionary change threatens people. They’re right to be anxious. Fewer and fewer are convinced that AGW is genuine, but you ultimately need majority support for radical change. To adapt Lincoln, you can screw a few of the people some of the time, but not some of the people all of the time. There’ll be a revolt. I’m talking about rich countries here. Thus far, the AGW movement has all the hallmarks of a middle-class cult. The comfortably off (with large carbon feet) demanding sacrifice. Plump youth and padded bureaucrats descend on the revivalist jamboree in Copenhagen. Rural and working-class people are the likely losers. Their fear shows up in polls.
    Take the UK “answer” for example: a vast expansion of wind power. How seriously can people take the AGW “revolution” when it relies on this nonsense? New FF powergen has to be built to cover wind’s intermittency. G.Gases continue unabated. Power costs soar. It’s a huge, regressive tax. The poor lose the most. Brumby likewise: ruining rural lives with wind turbines, building more GG powergen to cover them while expanding brown coal! It’s insane, and people are waking up. Having been lied to, the entire AGW project falls under suspicion. It looks like the ALP doesn’t really believe in AGW, a suspicion reinforced when one looks at their ETS: no change til 2035! Hello? We thought the tipping point was Prince Charles’ end of the world party in July 2017. And you wonder why doubt spreads? It’s political more than scientific failure. Hysterical abuse of anti-AGW just makes it worse. Condescending to ordinary people for their sloth or stupidity means you’ve lost the game.

    As to your point about peer review- I said explicitly there was no solution. we are stuck with rampant bias and corruption, period. But at least be aware that sociology rules. And to say that AGW climate scientists would be delighted to discover AGW to be false (as we all would be), alas no. They would be gutted, and unemployed.

  • 44
    Altakoi
    Posted December 12, 2009 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    @Raymond

    I think the bile you refer to in this debate comes from the fact that it has a definite time limit. One way or another, the APW is not one of the eternal issues which will vex society. Within a decade or two it will either be clearly correct, or not. And if it is, it will probably no longer the APW because natural feedback mechanisms will have made efforts to stop rising methane impossible. Urgency makes people impatient.

    It might well be a middle class cult, but one could just as easily make the argument that the fact that the urban middle class has less immediately at stake from an ETS means that they are not as invested in the status quo. I find your general view that urban people have the high carbon footprints, and yet should not be the ones deciding how to reduce those footprints, a tad mystifying. But if APW is correct rural people and those of limited means have the most to lose because farming will become increasingly marginal in this country.

    Quite right that it is difficult to convince everyone in a hurry. In health education it is well recongised that people need incremental, culturally acceptable, simple, reversible and understandable change if they are to adopt it readily. There is always a gradient from early adopters to die-hard conservatives who are never convinced – not about daylight savings, not about climate change. The most important thing is that you can’t just give people information, you need to give them options for action.

    Unfortunately options are a bit thin on the ground. If we do anything its going to be a rush bodgie job because we haven’t spent the past fifty or so years preparing a low-carbon infrastructure. So to wait for the ideal replacement power system really amounts to no action in a timely fashion.

    As for the scientists – well some might be gutted to find its all wrong but having listened to the ones which take APW seriously I suspect they would be more relieved that their children get to have a life. And, of course, if they are wrong then there is some seriously interesting new science to be done about how they are wrong, so I don’t think unemployment looms to large.

    Personally I doubt that people can be brought to any conclusion about APW on mass without being shown the solution. Anything sufficient to the problem will require the wholesale reordering of the economy, and no-one has any idea how to do that. We have a problem even if it stops growing, let alone requires redistribution of resources to people who lose their jobs, or who do things which are no longer required.

  • 45
    Frank Campbell
    Posted December 13, 2009 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Altakoi: (I’m not Raymond BTW) “If we do anything its going to be a rush bodgie job because we haven’t spent the past fifty or so years preparing a low-carbon infrastructure. So to wait for the ideal replacement power system really amounts to no action in a timely fashion.”

    It already is a rush bodgie job. That’s why the Liberal Dead have risen, led by the Monk…the unintended consequences of the cult and its bodgie-job are spreading rapidly- the feral Right is rejuvenated, liberal Liberals are marginalised, scepticism has increased worldwide…Renewables were ignored for decades, so the pollies plumped for fraudulent wind. Rural suffering causes rage: last week a lone protester, sitting with his signs, was rammed by another local, beaten up and abused. Wind company thugs joined in the abuse. I’ll be investigating the details this week. Hasn’t been reported in the media- typical. Also last week, the third $100,000 wind testing tower to be destroyed in Vic fell near Clunes. Provincial media only reported it.

    “A decade or two” to decide the issue?…a lot of damage can be done in that time, but I hope you’re right.

  • 46
    Rollo
    Posted December 13, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    @Frank C:

    What incontrovertible evidence would it take to make you certain of the AGW theory (it is more than a hypothesis)? Do we even have the time to do it i.e. the only real incontrovertible evidence would be to have thousands of years of recorded weather data recorded in corollary with CO2 emissions? What informs your skepticism? Is it scientific data? If so how do you choose which data set is to be believed? Which scientists do you disregard?

    The IPCC has stated it is %90 certain of AGW: even they aren`t claiming %100 certainty. It begs the question surely we must act as a way of taking out some kinda insurance. As Thomas L. Friedman wrote recently: What is the outcome if AGW theory turns out to be incorrect? Short term there would be financial costs, but over time we would move to a sustainable renewable sector, have energy security, not have to deal with puerile, oppressive, human-rights abusing, Wahabi terrorist supporting regimes such as Saudi Arabia.

    I may have already written this a few nights back under the influence and a little less convivial ha ha but the Crikeyans, in their wisdom, deleted it.

  • 47
    macadamia man
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Rollo, see 39.

    Must have been TWO good nights . . .

  • 48
    Ken Lambert
    Posted December 30, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Frank Campbell #31 #43

    Good stuff Frank. Thoughtful analysis of the human folly involved in any endeavour.

    Found some very interesting articles while checking out sea levels at the seaside.

    (I can report that the level goes up and down over 1 metre every day)

    National Post (Canada) pieces from Terence Corcoran are detailed and impressive analyses of the Climategate emails:

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/12/18/terence-corcoran-a-2-000-page-epic-of-science-and-skepticism-part-1.aspx

    (Do you love the Russian tree ring guys asking for not more than $10K/day into their personal accounts to keep working)

    Fascinating story which reflects all the weakness and folly of the human condition – but not quite what one would expect of taxpayer paid scientists.

  • 49
    Ken Lambert
    Posted December 30, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    kdkd – you have been two-timing me – urinating in a non-Cage Match sandpit!!!

  • 50
    Ken Lambert
    Posted December 30, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    KL #48

    Part II……

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/12/18/terence-corcoran-a-2-000-page-epic-of-science-and-skepticism-part-2.aspx

    A more than fair conclusion too – I would have said the story smells more like manipulation if not fraud.

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