Carbon wars: it’s only going to heat up, but we can remain civilised

I feel for independent MP Tony Windsor who has been subjected to death threats:

Tony Windsor’s voicemail sounds like the wild west. A message left for the New South Wales independent MP on Monday night was charm itself: ”I hope you die, you pig,” the caller said, after working through a long list of expletives and animal analogies.

Windsor was moved to strike back in kind with some emotive language of his own. If the current political dog-whistling went on unchecked and the talkback radio ”freaks” didn’t shut their mouths, we’d need ”bulletproof glass” around the Parliament; the system may yet deliver ”a tragic event”.

Translation? Tone down the Fox News treatment, folks, or someone will get killed.

During the 12 months of running this blog I have been subjected to some horrendous abuse, called all sorts of things (from socialist, to paedophile to an idiot). Luckily I’ve never been threatened. However many of my readers have been “cyber-stalked” and sent disturbing emails.

As this debate progresses, I suspect it only going to get worse.

The intensity of the debate waged across the internet between “warmists” and “deniers” is now spilling over into the mainstream.

Personally, I think this will be the most divisive issue in Australia’s political history.

Debate can be robust, but to quote the Age Article:

Which leads me back to the difference between productive conflict and incitement. Conflict is healthy – an essential part of politics. It’s a linear process: argument, counter-argument, synthesis. Call me old-fashioned, but it’s a simple formula for human progress.

Conflict is worthy when it leads in time to synthesis, to a community consensus around an important issue, in this case the policy responses to climate change.

This is what great political leaders do – bring the community to consensus. Have we somehow lost that art in the shrieking world of 24/7 news, where radio shock jocks are locked in a desperate competitive struggle for ratings, and politics bounces uncomfortably on that choppy current?

Politics need not bore the pants off everyone, but it should also have the wisdom and the restraint to respect some basic responsibilities: try to deal with facts, play the issue not the person, avoid bottom-feeding and keep the analogies more or less on the planet.

It has to live with, but doesn’t have to pander to, the 24/7 cycle. It does not have to conduct a sloganeering and misleading discourse. It does not have to be so cynical and reductionist that it treats the voters like mugs.

Debate is essential, and it will be robust. 

But we are still all Australians.  

22 thoughts on “Carbon wars: it’s only going to heat up, but we can remain civilised

  1. Nice point mate.
    I like the old line, “if two business partners always agree, one of them is unnecessary.”
    That said, does a parent wait to see if all the children agree before demanding that they all put coats on before leaving the house? I’m fairly ignorant of financial planning and instead seek out advice by those qualified on such matters. I have a tertiary level understanding of physiology and up-to-date senior first aid training, but still I seek out medical assistance when I’m sick or injured because I’m sure the GP knows more again.
    I’m happy to accept my short comings in certain fields of understanding. I’d never propose to know more about a subject or claim a heroic stature in rebellion of an “orthodoxy” I witness in a field I’ve not studied. Yet, as far as I can can tell, this is the exact nature of AGW denial.
    Waiting for a public consensus in such a case would be nothing short of madness. If you can’t restrict CO2 management, you can always promote alternatives. It’s clearly not what occurs – as is expressed by the renewable energy companies in the US who ask for (and are denied) an equal playing field (ie. matching subsidies / taxation to the fossil energy companies). Promote the innovative, reduced CO2 emission industries and local produce suppliers against cheap imports. It’s an investment that will make local communities more resilient while safely avoiding the piggery of business-as-usual advocacy.
    On the other point – trolls stalking. I’ve been hit hard by such people and have been disturbed when such people, when they fail to get through to me, hunt down people that I know to harass them. That behaviour is sick. It also demonstrates not only how unscientific their debate it, but also how much of it must be built on faith – they need others to believe it. If they felt that their evidence was strong, they’d happily write us off as ignorant, but to push it shows that they seek out validation for their beliefs through others.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      ..and yet they decry the “bullying” of scientists (by not publishing their *research*).

      They launch co-ordinated email campaigns against individuals, launch nuisance law suits and investigations.

      They cherry pick data (lie), and accuse others of a massive conspiracy to deceive.

      And yet they assume the mantle of “victim”.

      Astounding really.

      • A suitable example would be Poptech on my blog.. Honestly, nothing I can write that mentions him is anything by a smear attack.. They’re good at playing victim for sure.

      • klem says:

        That’s right, the same things also occurr to the ACC alarmists as well but not as badly of course. Cheers.

  2. john byatt says:

    Annabelle crabb at the ABC, “i hope you die ” is not a death threat, Windsor did not say that it was, what he said was that he had received a few death threats,
    these would have been handed to police and he would not be allowed to release the contents while investigations were ongoing, then as an example of the vile that he was getting he played the I hope you die message,

    the journalists that are reporting can not even understand there own stories ,

    ,

    • Sou says:

      I often enjoy Annabel Crabb’s articles, but this time she’s lost the plot IMO. Perhaps she doesn’t read Climate Progress – or maybe I read Joe Romm’s posts (and the NY Times) too often.

  3. john byatt says:

    Just tossed Geoff at TCS a few papers to see if he would bite, he did

    geoff’s comment
    In addition for purposes of AGW it is not so much whether there is increased water vapour but where it is; for AGW water vapour must be high where it would block OLR; these papers show that is not the case:

    http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~pierce/papers/Pierce_et_al_AIRS_vs_models_2006GL027060.pdf

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/327/5970/1219.abstract

    http://acd.ucar.edu/~randel/JAS_H2O.pdf
    March 3, 2011 5:24 PM
    Anonymous said…
    .

    ,However, one study using weather balloon measurements found decreasing humidity (Paltridge et al 2009).

    BUT THIS WAS THE POST AT TCS

    NZ CLIMATE TRUTH NEWSLETTER NO 262
    MARCH 3rd 2011

    “So in order to find whether the greenhouse effect is increasing or falling it is mainly necessary to study water vapour.
    This task is currently impossible”

    come in spinner

  4. john byatt says:

    The censored post at TCS, why wont geoff put it up?

    GEOFF”In addition for purposes of AGW it is not so much whether there is increased water vapour but where it is; for AGW water vapour must be high where it would block OLR; these papers show that is not the case:

    http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~pierce/papers/Pierce_et_al_AIRS_vs_models_2006GL027060.pdf

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/327/5970/1219.abstract

    http://acd.ucar.edu/~randel/JAS_H2O.pdf

    You have just contradicted the post and did not even see it coming

    NZ CLIMATE TRUTH NEWSLETTER NO 262
    MARCH 3rd 2011

    “So in order to find whether the greenhouse effect is increasing or falling it is mainly necessary to study water vapour.
    This task is currently impossible”

    have a nice day sir

  5. john byatt says:

    geoff just put it up , must have been out to tea

  6. john byatt says:

    Geoff has gone into censorship mode,

    He posted Pinker to strengthen his case and a link to the abstract,
    having read pinker i just gave him the IPCC AR4 WG1 which cites pinker,

    Geoff has obviously read a WUWT type cherry picked version of Pinker and has never bothered to check it out,

    now moving the goalposts but i will wait awhile, i know that they are a waste of time but maybe a post or two now to keep them on their toes , who else can i annoy ?

  7. Geoff Brown says:

    Why not go back to annoying the Gympie citizen,. You and your fellow deniers.

  8. ianash says:

    Geoff

    Welcome back!

    Stay for a while and we’ll have a chat about climate science.

  9. john byatt says:

    If cohenite turns up pushing Monkton’s garbage on the pinker et all 2005,

    seeing that this was Rachel’ response to monktons claimed knowledge on the paper , it as they say straight from the horses mouth

    chuck him this and tell him i would be very much old than he is, so young man is appreciated ,

    • john byatt says:

      Don’t know who that anomice was geoff , but if you go to a short response here from me re mcmurdo i stated that it was no big deal, just another tick in the box , while your here be a good lad and take pinker back to anthony cox and get him up to date at least. i know that be believes he knows more about pinker’s paper than she does, that is just anthony though
      also
      you came in on a private conversation between me and spatch, i have known him for years we were talking about jo nova site, dont flatter yourself and if you believe people getting death threats is not serious then i suppose that is just you

      so fix it up on your blog geoff it might be libel?

      • Spatch says:

        Hahahaa, Geoff looks like a right twit. It’s obvious that you were talking about Jo novo’s blog.

        ——————–

        John byatt (21:26:00) :
        I think that crazy jo nova had the hots for your avatar on her blog ,

        Spatch (23:29:25) :
        *shudder*

        It was fun going over there and kicking the ants nest. Then psycho bitch started to email me privately with her denier nonsense. I told her to #%#* off in the end which as you’d expect promptly got me blacklisted!

        john byatt (00:07:11) :
        I just got banned at TCS for

        Do you understand any of this stuff that you post Geoff?
        followed by IPCC citation of Pinker,

        unacceptable words says geoff,

        i think that ross __B, who comes here got more than denier nonsense from that site, threats , so i never link D_ A to ross’s name on the blogs.

        —————-

        [Spatch]
        “Then psycho bitch [jo nova] started to email me privately with her [b] denier nonsense [/b] .”

        [John]
        i think that ross __B, who comes here got more than [b] denier nonsense [/b] from that site, threats , so i never link D_ A to ross’s name on the blogs.

        —————-

        Is the mistake you made now clear to you Geoff? Do you need me to simplify it further for you?

        —————-

        Bloody sceptics are quick to smear and libel all and sundry but never own up to their devious and misleading ways when confronted with the evidence of their dirty deeds.

      • john byatt says:

        I did not understand another tag he gave me as a nervous nellie, it was not until i came across his link here to the Antarctica post that i realised that somehow he had proclaimed me that anonomice, false accusations and lies is to be expected from them ,

        here is another example of trying to work these people out
        Anonymous said…
        read that post again geoff , this is your problem, there is no claim that you had anything to do with my being banned at JG,

        now if you do not have the fortitude to put up the IPCC citation and the correct model predictions then you are no different to every other denialist site that censors for a purpose, not done at WTD as you discovered.
        all you have found out over the past few hours is that in an open forum you would be creamed because you are out of your depth ,
        ‘monkeybumface was probably ADMRICH one of ridleys cohorts trying to cause trouble, they email each other and he often pops up when ridley is on a blog.as he did here the other day Google maurice rich ADMRICH
        March 4, 2011 9:42 AM
        Anonymous said…
        , I believe that you were the reason that you were banned on JG.

        yet even you could not see a reason for that, post the comment that they claimed i was banned through geoff
        March 4, 2011 9:46 AM
        Geoff Brown said…
        Last comment banned – Do not call this a denialist site with all the baggage that carries. The people who deny are the followers of the

        Now he claims that it was my last comment that was banned not me and linked that to the word denialist, yet there the denialist comment was sitting above his comment
        ,
        only clear explanation was

        Last comment banned

        sheesh They has little comprehension and even less cohesion

  10. john byatt says:

    Was just reading Ross Brisbane kicking butt at WUWT 15 feb 2011 weather .

    along comes that mental cyber stalker and starts with the outing and ad hom then tries to change the subject,

    You know your stuff Ross well done for ignoring the ignoramus

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