We’re being lead to disaster: talk back, think tanks, conservative journalists, the Liberals and big polluters would rather align themselves with the forces of hate (and see the planet burn) than accept the science

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos'

 

Every day last week I started to write a blog past, but just couldn’t finish it.

I think it was horror.

Horror at seeing the Australian political debate turn ugly.

Horror at the way in which groups like the IPA helped create an Astroturf movement.

Horror at the ignorance, hate and lies of the “climate sceptics”.

I watched the parliamentary debate last Thursday, which made me want to weep.

More distressing was the Liberals aligning themselves with the politics of hate.

Nick Champion, the ALP member for Wakefield commented on the nature of the “No Tax” rallies:

I thought I might just focus on some of the signs that were held up at yesterday’s rally. There was ‘Science of AGW isn’t settled’—that is anthropological global warming. Another sign said ‘Carbon dioxide is not pollution, I love CO2’. There was one that said ‘Juliar…Bob Brown’s bitch’. There was a sign that said ‘Ditch the witch’. There was a sign that said ‘Great liars are also great magicians. Adolf Hitler’. Others read ‘No multiculturalism Assimilate and Integrate’; ‘What you expect from an atheist in Canberra—ain’t that right Ju-liar?’. Of course there was the old favourite ‘Pauline knew 10 years ago’ and my favourite, which was held up just behind the Leader of the Opposition, the member for Warringah’s head—just behind him as he spoke so eloquently to this audience: ‘Say no to Carbon Tax 4 UN/IMF Global Gov = Agenda 21 Genocide’.

This is the “climate sceptics”: a rag-bag group of anti-intellectuals and fringe conspiracy theorists. They have hijacked the debate. The media and conservatives have given nutters a platform to shape policy debate. It’s like givin flat Earthers the chance to design a space program.

They are filled with rage and hate, suspicious of knowledge and learning.

They would wind back the Enlightenment.

Here we are, with climate change accelerating and large segments of the population not wanting it to be true.

And what are some segments of our political and business elite doing? Aligning themselves with the forces of darkness…

I’ll be writing more this week, but I found last week dispiriting. 

Now what I feel is anger.

Anger at the lies.

Anger at the willed blindness.

Most of all, anger at those who lack the courage to see the challenge climate change is, and would rather be pretend it not true.

Climate sceptics?

Climate cowards.

48 thoughts on “We’re being lead to disaster: talk back, think tanks, conservative journalists, the Liberals and big polluters would rather align themselves with the forces of hate (and see the planet burn) than accept the science

  1. I wrote a little about it last week and have been stewing on it myself… But having a history with the creationists I’m not altogether too surprised.

    There are many reasons to resent, well, reason. Creationist feel the need to preserve one interpretation of their scripture (you’d have to be fairly naive to think the “good book” is as it’s always been; the unchanging word of some deity – I could, for instance, easily collect a stack of different versions of Genesis). Industry sees reason as a threat to profits. Many of the older deniers see reason and global governing bodies through their cold war fears. Other agendas latch on, like the creationists, hoping that the movement can meet their goals also.

    You hear a lot about being unconvinced and the science being unsettled (my favourite retort to this is, of course the science isn’t settled, or else it would’ve stopped!) but exceedingly little scientific arguments that can dispel the strong scientific case behind AGW. There are no questions that stump the actual scientists (as much as it occurs either way on the blogosphere, this of course isn’t the scientific community). Instead you have a few crank scientists and a number of boneheaded bloggers with meaningless lists of articles and numerous misinterpretations of the literature and a minority of people dedicated deniers amplifying the nonsense.

    Another minority become confused and the deniers claim the victory. It’s certainly disheartening, but not hopeless.

    Ellen Sandell, the national director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition last week stated that their rally in Melbourne brought out 8000 people (more than double that of the ‘No CO2 tax’ rally in Canberra) and that the AYCC has a fairly large youth membership in general (I think it was around 50,000). Deniers are not so numerous, just loud, giving them a false impression (I’m just waiting for the retort from one of the regulars here to link to a poll to “prove me wrong”).

    I do believe that there is a changing view, for the positive, but it’s just hard to hear over the crap.

  2. Mike, you might like two of my posts from last week;
    http://mothincarnate.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/urban-developement-its-great-to-hear-new-discussions/
    http://mothincarnate.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/no-co2-tax-the-voice-of-a-few/
    There is definitely a positive buzz around. I think the deniers are getting louder as they look sillier and sillier with time.

  3. Ross Brisbane says:

    My anger is directed at those who don’t even bother with proper intellectual honesty. Its fine using your democratic right but this mob mentality presents a picture of ignorance of the highest order.

    There are a handful of deniers very prominent in this debate speaking up that would number no more then 10 individuals. These people weld power by dissemination of disinformation extremism – not really science – but some sort of resemblant corrupted representation of mainstream science that on the surface appears credible. This is a sad day. The newspapers of Murdoch remain appalling and silent on this issue and the media as whole has made no attempt whatsoever to seek professional advice or even publish good journalism that would investigate with some decent call to balance.

    We see the trend – even the Courier Mail on Sundays features prominently the opinions of Bolt and sees him as a piercing journalist.

    Now we move on – but I do see a battle up ahead. Will balanced science and doing the right thing win the hearts of many. Or will we see our political system fall victim to radical elements? Those who perceive politics in a very narrow band of acceptability.

    One thing is sure – we may well end up setting the young against the old – this is not good. To the newspapers – its about time some of you right wingers with agendas played this landscape a bit more fairly. If you don’t listen to the times in which we live then the young of our nation will consign you to the old of a past era.

    As a Baby boomer I see this monopolization of the press coming to an abrupt end. End it must if democracy is to further mature.

    The battle is far over. Democracy will win. The press and its monopoly will lose its battle for the minds and hearts. I see this everyday on Newspaper web right across our country. Bring it on. We know it and you know it. Its time this monopoly of the press was BUSTED for what it is.

    Often they crawl onto ABC’s Q&A and spew their grotesque understanding. I say let them. The more they write and editors in general censor the balance and promote these bigots the more there newspapers are heading for irrelevance for our new generation.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      I agree, there is generational aspects to this debate: people who fear they have much to lose, and don’t want to “hand over their power”.

      I’ve also thought the “End of History” never happened… libertarian/market fundamentalism is the ideology of the late 20th and early 21st century.

      Politics is being distorted by the voices of these ideologues.

  4. john byatt says:

    When i saw the agenda 21 sign i thought “yes” the conspiracy nutters should be given as much exposure as possible,

    They can only gather up other nutters to their cause

    at just grounds community forum they believed that the nutters were the greens and warmists trying to make them look like nutters with nutty signs

    before the commentators in the media started to call them nutters for those signs, they were praising each other for their wit and what great signs they were ,

    Justgrounds = just stupid

  5. It could be that deniers regard this as an end-game maneuver.

    If it is hopeless, and there is no way to fix anything then their goal is to remove any challenges to the last resources.

  6. John Cribbes says:

    Thanks! At last I’ve found some real scientists!
    I emailed the IPCC asking them for the science that found that carbon dioxide is now a pollutant. (It didn’t use to be but it has obviously changed.)
    The IPCC say that it was the USA Supreme Court who determined its pollutant status. Can legal people determine scientific questions?
    Please, who made it a pollutant and why?
    Why doesn’t Wikipaedia call it a pollutant?

    • SkS explain it well enough here.
      Simply, the word “pollutant” can mean many things. We know that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere increases global warming, causing various environmental impacts (climate zones shift poleward / upward hill slopes, glacial melt, hydrological cycle etc) and it also changes the chemistry of the ocean (ie. reducing pH). In this way, it “pollutes” the systems that have remained fairly stable for much of the Holocene. ie. Environmental impacts = pollutant.

  7. john byatt says:

    dirt on the ground is not a pollutant, can it become a pollutant ?

    water is not a pollutant, in your fuel line can it become a pollutant?

    shit is certainly a pollutant, never pollute your vegie garden with chicken shit ?

    legal people rule on scientific questions of pollution all the time , ask Erin Brockovich, ask the asbestos industry, ask the tobacco industry.

    .

  8. john byatt says:

    john Cribbes, his mission in life is to get the IPCC to see the error of their ways, john’s champions of great knowledge are Bob “stuffed it up”” Carter and Viv “whats my wife’s name again” Forbes.

    • So his question was rhetoric? I thought the “At last I’ve found some real scientists” seemed a little cocky. It’s getting to a point that there remains seriously no reason to entertain any denier or even those who sound generally interested – either you’ve got that no-one really questions the greenhouse effect and that doubling CO2 will effect environments or you’re a through-and-through cotton-eared faither for increasingly outdated tech.
      It’s funny how even up until a few months ago it was anyone with any idea of the science was hypocritically accused of “faith” but the trumpets of denial nowadays look even more washed over than L. Ron Hubbard’s crowd.

      • john byatt says:

        John is an ex bean counter, he believes that if you work in a building that has scientists doing science then you automatically have equal status,

        .

      • There are enough cowboy scientists trolling the net pretending to have a clue, ain’t there John?

        There’s about as much point discussing the science behind climate change with these characters as there is evolutionary biology with the young Earthers – they know best..

    • JeffT says:

      Angy lil’ fella Eh ?
      Especially when one asks a question that you shouldn’t.
      Or when some one makes a statement that goes across Johnno’s narrow line of thought.

      Yep I’m waiting for the ad homs and abuse – from a typical carbonista.

      Pollution – look at the official position as posted below.
      JT

  9. JeffT says:

    Moths –
    Mis-information ?. It depends if Al Gore/James Hansen wrote your handbook.

    If you go straight to the source to get a definition of “pollutant”, see our own
    Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

    http://www.environment.gov.au/atmosphere/airquality/pollutants.html

    I’m sure if you look hard enough they may mention Carbon dioxide.

    Skeptical Science isn’t an authority, except in John Cook’s own mind.
    Just love the sentence starting with-

    “We know that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere increases global warming, causing various environmental impacts (climate zones shift poleward / upward hill slopes, glacial melt, hydrological cycle etc) and it also changes the chemistry of the ocean (ie. reducing pH). ”

    And Generation Investment Management LLC will be laughing all the way to Al Gore’s and David Blood’s bank. (Which is probably a Goldman or associate)

    JT

    • Look, you’re not even worth replying to (hence this being my last). You’ve made it clear you’re a vacuous pit of denial, with a very limited understanding and exposure of the science literature or genuine understanding of the studies.

      I’m sure you’re of the limited mind-set of “CO2 is plant food” equation.. completely ignoring more than 10,000yrs of relative CO2 stability and high productivity over the Holocene and that DE-forestation is one of the largest CO2 sources (and reduction of available sinks).

      I never once refer to Gore – idiots like you blow that trumpet because it’s the strongest strawman you can muster. As a working environmental scientist I can assure you, what I wrote above about CO2’s role as a greenhouse gas and for reducing oceanic pH is certain enough to be considered as fact. Old industry is the only major profiting player on the table and their money is on business-as-usual.

      Honestly JT, get a life; you’re a serious bore!

      • JeffT says:

        But did you read the link:-

        http://www.environment.gov.au/atmosphere/airquality/pollutants.html

        Probably not, as you know all’s , just know it all .
        Then as working environmental scientist, have you put your case to the Department about the “pollution” that is presumably CO2 ?

        Please don’t try and classify what my mindset is.

        “I never once refer to Gore” – I notice you didn’t include James Hansen in that rebuttal, just that the “mindset” here is reminiscent of James Hansen, also an advisere to Al Gore.

        But are you aware that Gore’s G.I.M. LLC is in Australia, and their brief is trading Carbon dioxide ?

        Believe this then, linked from their Sydney Branch.
        http://www.generationim.com/strategy/

        Johnny byatt :-
        What is the logical fallacy “appeal to conspiracy” ?
        Then you tell us why G.I.M. are here – check out the link.

        ianash:-
        Next post you put up “troll”
        The following post:-
        “Almost all of the deniers are missing the gene that allows our little monkey brains to look beyond the horizon and plan for future generations.”
        You appear to have a problem with people who disagree with you. Are you afraid of them ?

        Paranoia is the irrational and persistent feeling that people are ‘out to get you’.
        JT

    • john byatt says:

      What is the logical fallacy “appeal to conspiracy” ?

    • ianash says:

      troll.

  10. ianash says:

    Excellent post MIke – I feel the same way myself.

    Some of the deniers are cowards. Many of the deniers are ignorant and disenfranchised (just look at the makeup of the TCS party). Some of them are manipulative pricks, more interested in retaining their profits than solving the problem. Almost all of the deniers are missing the gene that allows our little monkey brains to look beyond the horizon and plan for future generations.

  11. JeffT says:

    Johnny Byatt,
    Said:
    “dirt on the ground is not a pollutant, can it become a pollutant ?

    water is not a pollutant, in your fuel line can it become a pollutant?

    shit is certainly a pollutant, never pollute your vegie garden with chicken shit ?

    legal people rule on scientific questions of pollution all the time , ask Erin Brockovich, ask the asbestos industry, ask the tobacco industry. ”

    – Dirt on the ground, can it become a pollutant ? – ask those that died from dust pneumonia during the Dust Bowl era in the US circa 1934, caused by natural climate change.
    – Toxic chemicals dumped in the waterways (Erin Brockovich)
    – Asbestos industry -mesothelioma, caused by asbestos dust ingested into lungs.
    – Tobacco industry – lung and related cancers, associated health problems.
    – Carbon Dioxide – stop breathing out Johnno, by your definition you are polluting the atmosphere.

    Your comparison of CO2 to Toxic products is wrong.

    Have a Nice Day – holding your breath (LOL)
    JT

  12. “Carbon Dioxide – stop breathing out Johnno, by your definition you are polluting the atmosphere.
    Your comparison of CO2 to Toxic products is wrong.”

    The word was pollution, not “toxic”; your building strawmen.

    We’re changing the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, which impacts the environment via the points I previously made and decreasing the alkalinity of ocean water; all of which impacts environmental function (both biotic and abiotic).

    CO2 therefore is a pollutant as is the sulfur and nitrogen based compounds that lead to acid rain. It also changes energy balance the same as smog.

    As previously stated, you’re a vacuous pit of denial, with a very limited understanding and exposure of the science literature or genuine understanding of the studies.

    • JeffT says:

      Come on Mothincarnate,
      Can’t you read something in context ?
      – John Byatt was placing carbon dioxide in the same classification as hexavalent chromium, – Erin Brockovich
      That is the Toxic product referred to, and it’s wrong
      -John Byatt was placing carbon dioxide in the same classification asbestos – a toxic mineral compound,that causes the lung disease mesothelioma, and it is wrong.
      – John Byatt also drags out the old chesnut – The Tobacco Industry.
      Yes tobacco smoke does contain carbon dioxide, along with over 4000 products which are carcinogenic – carbon dioxide is not one of the carcinogens, so that comparison is also wrong.
      – What John Byatt has done is compare three carcinogenic substances with carbon dioxide, which I chidingly remarked that he stop breathing out this, at ~ 4000ppm, by his description a toxic product, and a carcinogen by his comparison.

      Then you write below:
      “CO2 isn’t threatening as poison at the levels we’re likely to achieve (but idiots that think CO2 poses no threat at all are invited to tape a plastic bag over their head”
      – Bad example – very quickly, a bag taped over your head would accumulate the ~4000ppm exhaled breating and rapidly increase to a toxic level from there causing asphixiation, hypoxia – lack of oxygen.
      – That is not the concern of an environmentalist, but of an alarmist.
      But reading out of context is something I see regularly from even environmental scientists.
      JT

      • john byatt says:

        it was a question of

        The IPCC say that it was the USA Supreme Court who determined its pollutant status. Can legal people determine scientific questions?

        yes they can determine that, as they have

        the claims by lindzen that both asbestos and tobacco were harmless
        was settled by court, now you say they are dissimilar only because lindzen and the corporations lost

        scientific questions of pollution can be settled in court

      • ianash says:

        troll. piggy troll. smells.

  13. To extend on “We’re changing the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere” for anyone interested and not as faithfully blind as JT; we’re always exposed to low levels of radiation, amitraz, saccharin… etc.. Arguably in high doses these are toxic, but pose little threat at general exposure levels.

    The Holocene is marked as a very stable time period; the entire period of radical human development. CO2 isn’t threatening as poison at the levels we’re likely to achieve (but idiots that think CO2 poses no threat at all are invited to tape a plastic bag over their head or catch the next flight to the surface of Venus). But we are increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere through our activities which amplifies the greenhouse effect and impacts on environmental function.

    Anything that impacts on environmental function and degrades biodiversity in this way can rightly be called a pollutant. Then there’s the decreasing pH.

    It’s the quantity that is concerning, just was with other chemicals that can potentially be “toxic”

  14. john byatt says:

    While Jefft , woger, (where is woger?) what “Elsa” dont i know all come across as trolls, i suspect that they are not really trolls at all just pig ignorant of everything, see jefft post about pollution in the Great Sandy straits, no understanding but still considers himself an authority ,
    john Cook does not claim to be a working scientist but everyone of his articles link to the science, they cannot debate what he writes so they just claim that he is not qualified to post science, same with Garnaut,
    who also quotes science, Tim flannery has kept himself right up to date on the science as was obvious in the Q and A program , The denialists never mention Perth anymore, Tim is a great communicator and they hate his influence,

    • JeffT says:

      Johnny Byatt,
      You wrote:
      “i suspect that they are not really trolls at all just pig ignorant of everything,”
      Well not really right on either end of that sentence –
      Not really a troll, unless by holding different views to some others classes me as a troll – and not as “pig ignorant of everything” as Johnny Byatt states – but then Johnny Byatt is a compedium of All Facts, Figures and on the forefront of Scientific Enlightenment.

      “see jefft post about pollution in the Great Sandy straits,”
      Is that imagination or just plain old manipulative lying ?

      SkS and John Cook – nah, don’t start me off on that.

      Garnaut is an economist, and has no credence speaking about pollution of any kind, after Lihir and cyanide and mine tailings dumped into the ocean. (mothincarnate -> toxic product )

      Tim Flannery, Australia’s Joke of the Year. What more can I say, he’s the ‘deniers’ best ally.
      JT

      • john byatt says:

        See jefft on any forum that would be correctly seen as a troll comment, not realising that pig ignorance comes across as a troll commenter

        The GSS requires the fresh water and sediment flushing for its survival and you want to call that a lie,

      • ianash says:

        I smell bacon…burning piggy troll!

  15. john byatt says:

    perfect

    At the same time climate legislation is not really about the climate at all. The true motive is socialist wealth redistribution – a transfer of money from rich to poor. I am very much against giving money to the poor.

    Couldn’t we instead spend the zillions pegged for wind turbines and carbon taxes on real problems, such as tackling world poverty, ie giving money to the poor?
    at denial depot

    • JeffT says:

      Well, Johnny Byatt,
      I finally found out what your reference is – GSS and Great Sandy Strait is.

      My comment about Tin Can Bay was about the obvious stain coming out of the estuary, and how it should make your muddies taste.
      I did say have a look at M/S Bing maps and Google earth.
      But if you want a comment that doesn’t come from me, but a Youtube, possibly made by one of your locals.
      Flushing (LOL)

      Of course you will have an excuse, but the video really doesn’t lie.
      JT

  16. john byatt says:

    jefft robbo is a nutter and local crank that wants to get rid of the houseboats that spoil the view, so claims that shit is everywhere, video looks like the time of the flooding and not an issue at all,

    you go to goal for polluting this area,

    Great Sandy Strait | Pristine waterway protected by Fraser Island …
    Title-GSS. GSS1. Nature’s Playground The Great Sandy Strait is an ideal area to begin a … The Great Sandy Strait is Ramsar Wetland of International Importance and is a … the Great Sandy Strait and the Mary and Susan River estuaries. …
    http://www.cooloola.org.au/Destinations/Eco…/Great_Sandy_Strait.aspx

    that pumping station is a thirty minute boat ride from me ,

    the mary river flooding is critical to the unique eco of the GSS , what you city folks see as pollution is life for the RAMSAR listed wetlands here ,

    they are called muddies jeff, they live in mud and they are very cheap, two mullet heads or about 50 cents each, we get sick of eating them sometimes so i go and collect the giant oysters better than the polluted laurieton oysters

  17. JeffT says:

    Yes Johnny Byatt,
    His other wmv on Have a Happy Poo Year was a bit yuk, and you can see his bias about houseboats in that one.

    Back to the subject:-
    from the Journal of Coastal Research, on-line ahead of printing.
    ” Sea – Level Acceleration based on US Tide Gauges and Extensions of Previous Global-Gauge Analyses ”
    http://www.jcronline.org/doi/pdf/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-10-00157.1
    A 9 page PDF, should give you enough time to debunk it by morning.

    Maybe Neils Axel-Morner was correct after all the B/S that has been slung at him, re – Tuvalu and the Maldives.

    But see if there is any differences in coastal insurance premiums ??

    And the results from SeaFrame, covering the South Pacific, showing some positive level increase, some negative level – decreases.

    Also interesting results from NODC/NOAA showing positive warming anomolies only in a few areas, at various depths and consistent over a fair time frame. Sourced from Argo floats, there is an interactive to compare current with archive data on sea temperatures.
    JT

    • john byatt says:

      If you produce a paper that is based on a previous debunked paper then it will not be very relevant , you need to read up on willis ,
      apart from which the Worlds oceans are not a mill pond, very lumpy, many places sinking and others rising, if you do not wish to believe that sea level rise is occurring then wait till 2020 there will be some very good bargains as a lot of councils now require sellers of at risk properties to fully disclose their properties risk of future inundation,

      sell your portfolios and whack it into coastal canal properties Jefft

    • john byatt says:

      here is willis

      Willis, J., 2010. Waves in the bathtub—why sea level rise isn’t level at
      all, NASA. http://climate.nasa.gov/blogs/index.cfm?FuseAction5

  18. john byatt says:

    extending already debunked papers not a great start,

    I had the Tuvalu MSA ,australian co-ord stay last wednesday night before he took a flight back to Funafuti on sat, He confirms SLR , tide gauges have been placed on areas where coral growth is keeping pace with SLR as confirmed by altimeter sat data,

    large areas of the coast are eroding away due to the rise, last week he was looking at a ten year old photo taken near the airport and wondered why they had moved the fence ten metres closer to the sea, they hadn’t

  19. LeftRightOut says:

    Wow – “Horror at the ignorance, hate and lies of the “climate sceptics”.”

    Plenty of hate, ignorance and lies at this blog… a lot of one handed clapping too!
    I find it really amusing that the leftists are so appalled at the no carbon [dioxide] tax rally. Never heard them carry on about the violence and hatred spewed out at each and every leftist rally.

    You people are simply deniers! I really am laughing here, this stuff is hilarious!

    • john byatt says:

      So what is your current position leftrightout , warming naturally, cooling , two dollars each way , how did the rally go?

      • LeftRightOut says:

        Current position on AGW?
        No doubts about greenhouse properties of CO2, would be happy to see lower emissions.
        Don’t believe the feedbacks are anywhere near as strong as assumed (assumed being the critical word) by “some” climate related scientists.

        Certainly don’t believe Gillard’s CO2 tax is an/the answer. I think the Liberal’s “direct action” plan is rubbish too.

        Do believe the UNIPCC is a political organisation which has been corrupted (at least superficially) by a few – and I think that’s a shame.

        Now, do you hate me more, or less?🙂

    • john byatt says:

      are you just laughing or rolling on the floor laughing your bottom off ?

    • john byatt says:

      Did you see the ones all lined up with the big sign CLIMATE FOOLS in front of them, did you say cheese for the camera ?

    • LeftRightOut says:

      Too busy working, mate… a few ratbags there to be sure. Those conservatives can’t compete with the left for a rough and tumble rally, though.

      What I find genuinely amusing – is the faux outrage by leftist commentators and blogs, you’ve got to admit, it is a bit rich.

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