Category Archives: Lomborg

“Look over there, a badger!” Lomborg’s latest piece of faux myth-busting distraction in The Australian

The self-professed “skeptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg had a piece in yesterday’s The Australian which perfectly encapsulates his penchant for obscurification, distraction and framing arguments.

Titled “Thirst for facts should override myths about water and climate“, Lomborg begins his piece with a curious analogy about the myth of drinking eight glasses of water a day:

“EVERYONE knows” that you should drink eight glasses of water a day. After all, this is the advice of a multitude of health writers, not to mention authorities such as Britain’s National Health Service. Healthy living now means carrying water bottles with us, sipping at all times, trying to drink our daily quota to ensure that we stay hydrated and healthy. 

Indeed, often we drink without being thirsty, but that is how it should be: as beverage maker Gatorade reminds us, “Your brain may know a lot, but it doesn’t know when your body is thirsty.” 

Sure, drinking this much does not feel comfortable, but Powerade offers this sage counsel: “You may be able to train your gut to tolerate more fluid if you build your fluid intake gradually.” 

Now the British Medical Journal reports that these claims are “not only nonsense but thoroughly debunked nonsense”. This has been common knowledge in the medical profession at least since 2002, when Heinz Valtin, a professor of physiology and neurobiology at Dartmouth Medical School in the US, published the first critical review of the evidence for drinking lots of water. He concluded that “not only is there no scientific evidence that we need to drink that much but the recommendation could be harmful, both in precipitating potentially dangerous hyponatremia and exposure to pollutants and also in making many people feel guilty for not drinking enough”.

The “eight glasses a day” meme is nothing more than a piece of folklore, discussed in this article from The Guardian and whose history is explored by the dissembler of urban myths However Lomborg is not actually interested in myth busting: his attempt as always to distract and confuse the issue.

He’s only using it because of a recent surge in media stories about this: so, taking cue from what is buzzing around the zeitgeist Lomborg uses it for his own purposes.

Essentially, Lomborg is framing the issue: ” You might have believed this one thing, but let me tell you it’s a myth… and hey this other thing you think might be true, well that *might* also be a myth!”

Watch Lomborg set up the framing device in this paragraph:

The drink-more-water story is curiously similar to how “everyone knows” that global warming makes climate only more extreme. A hot, dry summer (in some places) has triggered another barrage of such claims. And, while many interests are at work, one of the players that benefits the most from this story is the media: the notion of “extreme” climate simply makes for more compelling news.

Ah Lomborg… ever so rational and wielding his incredible mastery of facts!

Lomborg isn’t really myth-busting, he’s claiming the mantle of myth buster but using a variety of framing devices. His “everybody knows’  and use of air quotes around the word “extreme” are classic rhetorical tricks taken straight from the Fox News school of injecting misinformation into a debate by saying “Some people say…”

I hear some people say “Bjorn” Lomborg.

But is “Bjorn” really your first name?

Or is that what “everybody knows”?

Inquiring minds want to know…

He then goes onto to suggest all this concern over the increasing incidents of drought, mega-fires and the like is nothing more than alarmist piddle – just like the “eight glasses of water myth”.

Association fallacy

Lomborg is indulging in the association fallacy: “The association fallacy is an informal version of the fallacious argument known as affirming the consequent. It consists of promoting an opinion or philosophy by recounting the values a specific person or a group that held that opinion or philosophy.”

To give an absurd example:

  • Some people like drinking water
  • ZMOG! Hitler liked drinking water
  • Therefore people who like drinking water are just like Hitler

The most common form of this association fallacy we see in the denier community is “green baiting”, equating environmentalism with terrorism, socialism and the Illuminati.

Lomborg lite:

  • “Every body knows” drinking 8 glasses of water a day is good – no a proven myth
  • “Every body knows” that climate change will increase extreme weather events – Lomborg implied myth
  • Therefore, climate related extremes will be proven to be a myth

Lomborg takes the same approach in disputing the arguments by noted economist Paul Krugman and others attributing the emerging pattern of extreme weather events to climate change:

…Consider Paul Krugman, writing breathlessly in The New York Times about the “rising incidence of extreme events” and how “large-scale damage from climate change is happening now”.

…Remember how, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Al Gore (and many others) claimed that we were in store for ever more devastating hurricanes? 

…Since then, hurricane incidence has dropped off the charts; indeed, by one measure, global accumulated cyclone energy has decreased to its lowest levels since the late 70s. Exaggerated claims merely fuel public distrust and disengagement. 

That is unfortunate because global warming is a real problem, and we do need to address it. Warming will increase some extremes (it is likely that droughts and fires will become worse towards the end of the century). But warming will also decrease other extremes; for example, leading to fewer deaths from cold and less water scarcity.

Look at that parade of alarmist myths!

After all, the last thing the denial machine wants is people to look at their windows see the dramatic weather events and make the connection between these, climate change and halting the rise in CO2 emissions.

Heavens, people might want to actually do something about that.

But that’s what some people say.

The continuing Lomborg deception: “Look over there, a badger!”

Lomborg’s strategy is best summarized as “Look over there, a badger!”

When your arguments are so weak, and you have nothing more than rhetorical tricks to argue your case then throw in some random statistics, claims that distinguished scientists and economists are “alarmist” its time to pull out a distraction.

Sure, maybe climate change is real but really if you just look over here….

A badger!

The Skeptical Environmentalist is on the attack!

The protocols of the elder climate scientists and “banksters”: is the media twigging to just how extreme some sceptics are?

Statement by WtD: let me state I do not equate climate change denial with holocaust denial. The term “denier” is used to refer to one who denies a consensus position in science. This includes climate change, evolution and Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. All three scientific theories continue to elicit opposition.

For some time I have been travelling the darker corners of the climate change “sceptic” movement, investigating the some times puzzling and absurd claims of the movement. I have posted extensively on the culture of conspiracy that permeates parts of the sceptic community.

I have stated that the Australian media has ignored the very public, and easily sourced, claims about conspiracies, international bankers and world governments by the likes of Lord Monckton, David Evans and Jo Nova.

However the media is now starting to became aware that this something not-quite-right about parts of the sceptic community.

To his credit Andrew Bolt has distanced himself from the extreme views of the Galileo Movement and Malcolm Roberts.

Bolt reproduces an email he sent to Roberts:

On now receiving an email from Malcolm Roberts, I’ve sent this reply:


Your conspiracy theory seemed utterly stupid even before I knew which families you meant. Now checking the list of banking families you’ve given me, your theory becomes terribly, shamefully familiar.

Two of the three most prominent and current banking families you’ve mentioned are Jewish, and the third is sometimes falsely assumed to be. Yes, this smacks too much of the Jewish world conspiracy theorising I’ve always loathed.

Again, I insist: remove me from the list of people you claim are prepared to advise you.  I’ve never advised you, Malcolm, and would never want to. I am offended to be linked to you.

Andrew Bolt

Bravo Andrew!

But Roberts is merely the tip of the iceberg Andrew… you need to spend far more time investigating the claims of the “sceptic” community to see who you have aligned yourself with.

Without doubt climate change scepticism is held by a variety of individuals, of different political views, religious beliefs, demographics and level of education. I respect that many sceptics are honest – if mistaken – in their scepticism. Ones values will shape the acceptance or rejection of scientific facts.

The climate denial spectrum

On one end of the spectrum we have “luke warmists” such as Bjorn Lomborg, who accept that humanity is having some impact on the climate and that “it won’t be as bad” or we’re better off simply adapting to changing conditions.

The middle position is taken by those like Andrew Bolt who think the science isn’t settled, and somehow its all just a fantasy of those on the left who love government intervention and tofu.

At the other end of the spectrum are the true outliers, the “super conspiracy” theorists like the Australian sceptic Dr David Evans, Monckton and Jo Nova.

If you want to understand how extreme parts of the sceptic movement is, then look no further than the paper published by Evans, “Manufacturing money and global warming” on October 27 2009 through the Science and Public Policy Institute.

This is the same institute that counts Christopher Monckton, Bob Carter and Ian Plimer as personnel. Another recent “convert” to the super conspiracy theory is James Delingpole in his latest work “Watermelons” (more on this coming).

It was this paper that alerted me to the fact that climate change denial had merged with the pulse of conspiracy culture. Indeed, climate change denial slots easily into the pre-existing fantasies of “super conspiracies” and hidden agendas.

New world order and the finance industry

For several decades’ conspiracy theorists have posited a mysterious “them” have been influencing events and shaping history through financial institutions such as banks and the United Nations. No doubt you would have heard of phrases such as “New World Order”: it is the belief that the world is about to be taken over a shadowy cabal that has been planning such a coup for centuries. They work behind “front groups” such as the media, academia, UN… and just about everyone else in the world.

Understanding conspiracy culture

In seeking to understand conspiracy culture I have been guided by the work of Michael Barkun (A culture of conspiracy), Mark Fenster (Conspiracy theories) and Robert Alan Goldberg (Enemies within: the culture of conspiracy in Modern America).

Much of what I will post over the next few weeks is rough drafts and research I’ve accumulated over the past few years. I had hoped to shape this into a more coherent – and published – form.

What is important to note about the work of these scholars is the links conspiracy communities make between banks and the coming NWO. According to the more extreme theorists “they” have been planning a “coup” for centuries.

Sadly, many aspects of this belief draw upon older, and more sinister forms of anti-Semitism.

Conspiracy belief defined

Barkun provides the following definition of what a conspiracy theory is:

“…a conspiracy belief is the belief that an organisation made up of individuals or groups was or is acting to covertly achieve some malevolent end.”

Attributes of conspiracy belief include (again Barkun):

  • Nothing happens by accident
  • Nothing is as it seems
  • Everything is connected

Types of conspiracies

Barkun classifies conspiracies into the following classes:

  • Event conspiracies – limited objectives and a discreet event or set of events (i.e. the Kennedy assassination)
  • Systemic conspiracies – “the conspiracy is believed to have broad goals, usually conceived as securing control over a country or region, or even an entire world
  • Super conspiracies – multiple conspiracies are linked together.

Thus, some sceptics see climate change as an event conspiracy, i.e. scientists are lying or fudging temperature records to obtain funding. Climategate is an example of an event conspiracy (allegedly) exposed by hackers. This event conspiracy grew in scope as the event merged into the greater conspiracy “narrative” of Evans

Without douht the writings and activities of Evans and Monckton indicate belief in a super conspiracy:

Manufacturing money and global warming: “gold smiths” and “international bankers control the world

I will state this: the tone and content of Evans paper is very similar to not only “New World Order” conspiracy theories but to the language of anti-Semitism.

It demonstrates all the attributes that Barkun describes: everything is connected in Evans world, and there are conspiracies within conspiracies.

Evans blends “New World Order” conspiracy theories with climate change denial to weave a pattern of events that has been centuries in the making. It would be funny if it wasn’t tragic, given Evans receives the support of the likes of Gina Rinehart.

The following extracts highlight what I regard as deeply concerning, in particular the repeated use of terminology used as “code words” by extremist right-wing groups.

Evans on the “goldsmith” and “international bankers” link

Evans on “gold smiths”:

“…In the Middle Ages, goldsmiths took gold deposits from individuals for safekeeping. The receipts for these deposits circulated as money, because they were more convenient than the metal itself. But the goldsmiths learned they could issue many more “receipts” than they had gold. They would typically lend out receipts for ten times as much gold as they had, on the assumption that not everyone would try to redeem their receipts for metal at the same time. Money was thereby manufactured, or created out of thin air. Furthermore, the goldsmith would charge interest on the receipts they lent out, to compensate for the risk of not being repaid and to make a profit.

For example, if customers deposited 200 ounces of gold with a goldsmith, then the goldsmith would issue them with receipts for 200 ounces. But he would also issue receipts for another 1,800 ounces to people as loans, and charge interest on them — for a total of receipts for 2,000 gold ounces. Notice that 1,800 of the gold ounce receipts that the goldsmith manufactured were for gold that did not exist. For a typical interest rate of 5%, the goldsmith is earning 90 gold ounces per year by lending out these receipts to gold he does not have — pretty profitable eh? If any customer came to the goldsmith with one of the goldsmith’s receipts and asked for “their” gold, the goldsmith would hand over some gold and destroy the receipt. In normal business, they knew from experience that keeping back 10% of the gold was enough to keep this scheme working and, if it wasn’t, they could simply borrow gold from another goldsmith. The only downside for the goldsmith was an unpaid loan—he owed gold on all the receipts issued, so he would ultimately have to pay any unpaid loan out of his own pocket.”

This quote in particular is alarming:

“…Over time the goldsmiths became bankers, governments introduced central banking, and finally, in 1971, the world financial system switched from using gold as its base money to using cash (paper money). The world financial system is now unpinned by cash, which governments can print at will. We have a fully paper system, with no hard constraints on how much money there is.”

In Evans reasoning is that “goldsmiths” from the medieval period – let’s be frank he is clearly talking about Jews – founded a “paper aristocracy” that secretly rules the globe.



Got it?

Do I really need to spell it out? [1]

Evans use of the “banksters” term: they killed two presidents!

The term “banksters” came into vogue in the 1920s and 1930s at the height of the Great Depression when feelings against banks ran high. It was also a term used by the so-called “Austrian” economists.

However it also has darker connotations in that it is a code word used by anti-Semites for Jews (search Google for “bankster and Jew” for evidence if you must, I refuse to link to such sites).

We see Evans using the term:

“The paper aristocracy has overwhelming wealth. They own or influence all the media – if only because every media organization borrows from banks. They influence almost all the institutions that employ professional economists, by supplying the money for PhDs and providing most of the lucrative consulting jobs for economists. They buy politicians by the truckload. The banksters have even killed the occasional thorn in their side—including, probably, two US presidents, Lincoln and Garfield. If no one knows or objects to their activities, why shouldn’t the paper aristocracy do what they want? If they don’t flaunt it, and the system seems to basically work for most people most of the time, what’s so bad? (In southern Italy some people say the same about the Mafia.) If people don’t know that the system would run better if the paper aristocracy weren’t there skimming off their take, are they really being ripped off?”

Yes, the banksters killed two presidents. Come on really? These people are feted by conservative politicians and the Murdoch Press?

It gets better, as Evans explains just how “cunning” the banksters are:

“Bankers know far more about banking and its subtle ramifications than politicians, and have usually been able to persuade, con, or bribe governments to do their bidding. The politicians, our representatives, are the patsies here. The banksters have conned government big time, including when they talked US President Woodrow Wilson into setting up the Federal Reserve in 1913 (which, by the way, Wilson later bitterly regretted)…”

Climate change and the international bankers

For Evans climate change is a manufactured “crisis” created by the “paper aristocracy” as part of a conspiracy to control the globe. No really, that is what he states:

“Like fiat currency and all the games with money manufacture, this is another game brought to you by the paper aristocracy: you pay, they enjoy. Ultimately people who produce real goods and services will pay—because there be will another bunch of bureaucrats and financial smarties living off our efforts.

Controlling who can emit carbon dioxide gives the government and the paper aristocracy an excuse and mechanism for controlling every activity on the planet. We all breathe out carbon dioxide, and nearly all energy use emits carbon dioxide. Further, the whole world has to be involved for the emission restrictions to be effective, so this will be the start of world government—you will no longer be able to escape by moving to a different country.

Note the “parasitic” metaphors that are sprinkled throughout Evans paper. Clearly he is drawing on much older and darker analogies about “Jewish financiers”.

Paper aristocracy: the inheritors of the “gold smith’s” power

Evans is engaged in broadening and furthering the conspiracy culture in drawing together long-standing views on the roles of Jews, international bankers and the coming New World Order.

This is typical of conspiracy theories: in general they broaden pre-existing theories and reshape them to incorporate contemporary anxieties.

Evan’s chronology of world events posits the “paper aristocracy” as the literal inheritors of money and power from centuries ago and that they have been actively shaping history for centuries:

“There are a small number of families who, over the centuries, have amassed wealth through financial rent seeking. They are leading members of the paper aristocracy. For example, the Rothschilds are the biggest banking family in Europe, and were reputed to own half of all western industry in 1900. That sort of wealth doesn’t just dissipate, because unless the managers are incompetent the wealth tends to concentrate. The banking families don’t work for a living in the normal sense, like the rest of us. They avoid scrutiny and envy by blending in and make themselves invisible. Since they own or influence all sorts of media organizations, it isn’t too hard. There are unsubstantiated rumors and conspiracy theories, but nobody can really credibly say how much wealth and influence they have.

What are the paper aristocracy going to do in the aftermath of the current huge bubble? The course and end of the bubble are quite foreseeable, so they must have a plan.

There are unsubstantiated rumors that they influenced the system to make an almighty bubble, and intend to buy lots of real stuff, such as real estate and businesses, in the ensuing bust, when everything is dirt cheap. By the way, this is how the paper aristocracy has made most of its wealth over the last few centuries, and how those banking families originally became wealthy. Bankers would introduce excess bank money, then deliberately cut it back on it one day, watch prices plummet as businesses failed, then buy distressed assets cheaply. Earning interest was a second way of earning money but less important. Bank fees were just for pocket money and to keep customers distracted.

Perhaps today’s fiat currencies—the US dollar, pound, yen and so on—will go up in smoke in an inflationary crescendo in the next few years, perhaps as planned by the paper aristocracy. Maybe they will reintroduce an asset backed currency. And guess who has all the gold? Those banking families have been salting it away for years. Possibly a global currency, so one cannot escape the predations of the paper aristocracy. This is not just about money, but about power, of course. Anyway, these are only unsubstantiated rumors. We shall see.

Yes, we shall see. Nothing is at it seems, everything is connected…

As I and others have noted, the Rothschild’s have long been the favorite target of conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites for decades.

Evans and the conservatives: why such unqualified support for a conspiracy theorist?

What alarms me is that Evans is treated as a serious commentator on the climate debate.

In addition to written pieces in The Australian and The Age, Evans was one of the “experts” former Senator Nick Minchin took Anna Rose to meet in the show “I can change your mind about climate change”. Andrew Bolt often links to pieces on Jo Nova’s blog.

Let me stress, I do not believe Bolt and Minchin share these views: however I believe the claims of Evans and Monckton are glossed over and ignored because they have proven useful to vested interests and those fighting the culture wars.

Bolt and Minchin are culture warriors, they see AGW as a left-wing “belief” that should be countered in much the same way conservative Christians oppose Darwin’s theory of evolution. It is a case of values driving a world view and the acceptance – or rejection – of a particular scientific theory.

Quite frankly, on any other issue conspiracy theorists such as Evans would be ignored. However because climate change has become so politically charged that Evans scant qualifications (he has a PhD) and his seeming authority on the issue have made him a cause-célèbre in the sceptic community.

His claims are endlessly repeated throughout the climate sceptic echo chamber so by the time it reaches more “respectable” sceptics such as Bolt, Minchin and the pages of The Australian the ugly conspiracy theories are glossed over and weened out to make the climate scepticism of Evans more “respectable”.

Remember this as well: shock jock Alan Jones has been a vocal front man for the Galileo Movement. Jones nursed it into being… and that does my head in.

Think: some of the most powerful media players in the country have thrown their clout behind these people.

Unwittingly Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt, Minchin and the conservative movement have helped the trojan horse of radical conspiracy theories distort public debate in Australia. One wonders how quickly they will come to realise just what they have done.

The sleep of reason produces monsters.

Here Andrew, here Alan – here are your monsters.

[1] This is a bold claim, and thus will warrant further research and investigation. I’ll leave it in here because that is what I published originally, but I will expand on this point and a provide a far more nuanced explanation. At best the claims made by Evans parallel the language and claims made more more extreme forms of conspiracy theory. Mike @ WtD

Lomborg, the movie


In technicolour I hope?

This should be interesting:

(Reuters) – Danish “Skeptical Environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg hopes a movie about his work will stir debate over his alternative solutions to climate change led by $100 billion a year in green technology research.

He said on Tuesday that “Cool It,” to be released in the United States and Canada on November 12, offered solutions after former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” in 2006 publicized the risks of global warming.

“Al Gore pointed it out as a problem and now let’s talk about the solutions,” Lomborg told the Reuters Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit of the movie by U.S. filmmaker Ondi Timoner.

“It has definite potential to get out and hopefully do what Al Gore did for the climate debate…taking it further,” he said. The movie was shown at this year’s Toronto film festival.

The “sceptical” environmentalist hopes to save the world by investing $100bn per year in green technology and a global tax on carbon:

“Lomborg said a $7 a tonne tax on carbon dioxide emissions could raise about $250 billion a year, well above the $100 billion a year or about 0.2 percent of world gross domestic product that he wants spent on research and development….”

For those not familiar, Lomborg is a controversial figure. As the article notes:

He denied media reports that he had abruptly converted to belief in global warming, noting he had long viewed it as a problem. Lomborg’s 1998 book “The Skeptical Environmentalist” said the severity of climate change had been widely exaggerated.

“A fundamental problem of climate change is that we seem to be stuck in two positions — it’s either the end of the world or it’s not a problem at all,” he said.

“That makes it very hard to have a pragmatic or sensible middle that says ‘yes, there’s a problem but we need to fix it tomorrow’,” he said.

He said anyone, like him, saying the world should focus on investing in green technologies was accused of being a “climate denier” or of seeking to delay urgent action needed to avoid floods, droughts and rising sea levels.

Previously he argued climate change was the least of our concerns, and we shouldn’t do much. 

For this Lomborg was the darling of conservative politicians and media who want to down play the potential impacts of climate change.  

I wonder how his current views goes down with the “It’s a great big scam to raise revenue!” bunch?  

No doubt with hysteria and cries of the impending NWO. 

Regarding the film itself, I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve seen it. 

The blog post where I dismiss climate science

I’ll admit I was very inspired by this very amusing post over at Genomicron and this brilliant piece over at the Guardian. In short, here is my guide to writing a blog post denying climate change.

In this paragraph I’ll attempt to appear a sincere seeker of truth

In this paragraph I’ll explain some of the basics of climate science, but with extensive use of “scare quotes”. It will be a highly distorted version of the science: the “big picture” may be correct, but wrong on more detailed aspects.

I’ll note that for years I’d accepted the mainstream consensus on climate change, however out of sheer intellectual curiosity I decided to look into the issue myself.

Fortunately, my background in engineering/economics/physics or some other non-climate science related profession that requires maths has given me an understanding of the scientific method.

This how I establish myself as an authority.

At this point I will make reference to my intellectual journey, which in most instances involves extensive Google searching. I’ll note that after several days of trawling the Internet I was amazed to find blogs and web sites offering alternative views on climate change.

My use of search terms such as “climate change and fraud” will prompt Google to produce only the most authoritative materials. I will then muse why such information is not more accessible to the general public.

Here I will take down the IPCC in a paragraph

At this point I’ll take cherry pick quotes from the IPCC report and/or actual scientific research:

[Cut and paste text here…]

In this paragraph I’ll feign mock surprise that the claims in the quote appear to be exaggerated, as my own careful reading of blogs offering alternative explanations cast doubt on the claims of “experts” (natch, more scare quotes of course).

This is probably the appropriate time to make reference to the work of Steve McIntyre, a retired physicist or professor of geology. I might choose to include an image showing the famous “Hockey stick” and question it’s reliability. I’ll describe it as “broken”, without understanding what that means. However, it is an effective meme, and it’s stuck in my brain.

I’ll then post a link to Watts up with That? post that tears down climatologist (boo hiss!) Michael Mann and his stick (Ha ha! Did you see my pun!), pointing readers to bloggers more qualified to dismiss the science.

This is how I help repeat the same discredited claims.

This title indicates my distrust of “science”

Here it is appropriate to mention the “liberated” Climategate emails as proof that the workings of science have been corrupted. I’ll quote some very selective parts of said emails:

[Oh look scientists said nasty thing…]

I’ll feign surprise that scientists could act so un-professionally.

I’ll then move on to discuss how the “peer review process” is now “totally corrupt”. I’ll talk about the government funding of science, and allude to the fact that research funded by governments must be tainted.

Sometimes I’ll resort to Latin phrases. Ipso Facto sounds good. As does Caveat Emptor. I heard a very prominent sceptic uses Latin, therefore my post will sound much more authoritative.

I’ll dismiss the notion of scientific consensus as a kind of popularity contest.

I will make exaggerated claims about the stifling of alternative views: that scientists questioning this new “orthodoxy” have been shunned, picked on and called nasty names. Over 1 BILLION [cough] scientists [cough] have signed the Oregon Petition, stating they do not believe the planet is warming! What further proof do you need!?!?

I’ll throw in the line “They laughed at Galileo!” – but never “They laughed at Darwin!”, because that would betray my genuine doubts about evolutionary theory.

Here I will talk about Nazis, because it always about Nazis!

It is now at this point I usually descend into complete and utter paranoia, claiming the IPCC is the tool of socialists, lizard people and shadowy cabals. I’ll resort to Godwin’s Law and compare scientists with Nazis.

Or communists.

Or Nazis.

Or maybe both.

Clearly both were bad, so scientists must be equally bad.

Or I could term scientists eco-fascists, eco-terrorists or warmists.

By now I’ve worked myself into a rage, demanding that scientists be charged with FRAUD!

I will resort to even more UPPER CASE!

People such as myself – angry, white males feeling threatened by a loss of status – ARE ANGRY AND NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS LYING DOWN!

Andrew Bolt at the Herald Sun understands my rage, he writes articles carefully constructed to provoke my sense of grievance and entitlement.


Here I just MAKE STUFF UP because I’M SO ANGRY!

My conclusion will be an appeal to personal liberty, god and small government

I’ll note the age of the Earth – except of course if I’m a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) – and that the climate has always changed.

However if I am a YEC, I’ll note it is presumptuous to claim humanity has any control over the climate. After all it is THE LORD who RULES THE HEAVENS:

[Appropriate Bible quote here…]

But then I might tone down the crazy creationist talk, as drawing attention to my support for other forms of denial might undermine my credibility.

My post will then end with an impassioned defense of liberty and how global warming is really a scam designed to raise taxes and limit your/our freedom.

I’ll end my post with a question.

Shouldn’t we just hope for the best and do nothing?

Does “former sceptic” Bjorn Lomborg really think geo-engineering is an easy sell?

Much is being made about Bjorn Lomborg’s conversion from climate “scepticism” to his acceptance of it as a serious issue.  

Says one commentator:  

“…I’ll be darned. Bjorn Lomborg, the author of the infamous The Skeptical Environmentalist, one of the most thoroughly debunked books of the past decade (and one that has given a bad connotation to the word “skeptic”), has just changed his mind! In his new book, Smart Solutions to Climate Change, Lomborg says that climate change is “undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today … a challenge humanity must confront.” I could say “I told you so” (for instance in a chapter on global warming in my Nonsense on Stilts), but I’ll refrain — largely because I would be the last on a long list of scientists who have published detailed (negative) reviews of Lomborg’s first book in prestigious outlets such as Scientific American (volume 286, issue 1, 2002), Nature (8 November 2001, pp. 149-150) and Science (9 November 2001, pp. 1285-1286).”

I’m divided in the issue.  

On the one had it is good to see “former” sceptics accept the science.  

On the other, Lomborg has been one of the key figures in the denial movement.  

Lomborg was of the “Sure it is happening, but it’s not an issue worth worrying about” school. His writings have been instrumental convincing many politicians and decision makers to do nothing. 

Indeed, Tony Abbott – Australia’s sceptical leader of the opposition – approvingly quotes Lomborg in his biography “Battlelines”, paraphrasing his arguments in defence of ignoring climate as an issue.  

However, before we get too excited and welcome Lomborg with open arms I think more attention needs to be paid to what Lomborg is actually saying.  

Lomborg to scientists: change my climate please!  

Some time ago Clive Hamilton pointed out that think tanks and deniers formally sceptical of climate change are performing a rapid about face.

They’ve stopped denying climate change and started screaming for technological solutions such as geo-engineering:

“…a powerful group of scientists, venture capitalists and conservative think tanks is coalescing around the idea of reproducing this cooling effect by injecting sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere to counter climate change. Despite the enormity of what is being proposed – nothing less than seizing control of the climate – the public has been almost entirely excluded from the planning.

Up to now, governments have been reluctant to talk about geoengineering. The reason is simple: apart from its unknown side effects, it would weaken resolve to reduce emissions.

But it may soon prove an irresistible fix. This form of geoengineering is extremely attractive because its costs are estimated to be trivial compared to those of cutting carbon. It also gets powerful lobbies off governments’ backs, gives the green light to burning more coal, avoids the need to raise petrol taxes, permits yet more unrestrained growth and is no threat to consumer lifestyles.”

I also noted this back in April:

“…The interesting thing is many of the conservative think tanks that have been active in helping distort the climate change debate seem to be advocating for geoengineering….

On the one hand they question the science of global warming, and yet the other are starting to embrace geoengineering as a means to manage climate change.

Ironic? Contradictory? Yes.

But why adopt such contradictory positions? Mostly they will tout as an excuse not to cut emissions in the short term. Having accepted funding from energy interests for decades to help mislead the public, they know the impacts of climate change are going to be felt in the coming years.

As consequence, they will need to change tact. This is how they will change their tune.

Expect to hear the term a lot more in the future. As the planet continues to warm, and the effects of climate change become more noticeable geoengineering will be an option brought to the table.

Lomborg is now leading the charge in promoting geo-engineering. Watch the debate closely, as you’ll no doubt see more such conversions.  

Says Lomborg in a recent interview with Foreign Policy Magazine:

“…geoengineering is potentially incredibly cheap compared to virtually everything else we talk about. If you look at marine cloud whitening — making clouds a little whiter by putting up sea salt into the lower atmosphere — we could actually pretty much offset all of global warming in the 21st century. The total cost of that would be about $6 billion to $7 billion in total. The cost of a 2 degree Centigrade policy [limiting climate change to 2 degrees through other methods] could easily be $40 trillion a year. We’re talking about 5,000 times less [expensive], and only once instead of every year.”

While everyone is patting Lomborg on the back about his apparent about face on climate change, they’ve not really paid attention to the fact he is proposing as the “cheapest” response to climate change.  

Yes, because in response to a serious threat to civilisation you should do things on the cheap.  

“Look…” says the scientist “..we have a problem, climate change could wipe out the human race if we don’t start mitigating it’s effects.”  

“Yes that is a problem…” replies Lomborg “… but really, how much is THAT going to cost!”  

Lomborg: “Don’t trust the scientists! No wait… trust them to fiddle with the climate!”  

There is real irony in watching someone who did their very best to undermine public confidence in scientists now asking we trust those same scientists to actively manage the planet’s climate.  

“I didn’t accept the science then, but hey – why don’t you guys go and fiddle with the planet’s temperature gauge now? I’m sure we can all trust you!”  

If the general public can’t even agree on the reality of climate change now or the need to curb emission via a carbon tax how are they going to trust scientists to manage the planets atmosphere?  

Sceptics such as Lomborg helped unleash the denial movement genie from the bottle. His writings helped fuel their dark fantasies of conspiracies. 

Just how does he imagine the denial movement will react to the thought of scientists shooting sulphates into the atmosphere to increase the planet’s albedo effect?  

“OK, climate chagne is real! Let’s get the scientists we’ve attacked for years to start fixing the problem!”

Imagine what the conspiracy theorists and nut jobs will make of that Lomborg’s calls. No doubt they will see geo-engineering as an attempt to introduce chemicals into the atmosphere designed to sterilise rich, white, conservative Anglo-Saxon males.

Nor would it be the denial movement loudly voicing their opposition to geo-engineering.  

I’d imagine most of the environmental movement would be opposed, seeing it as a distraction from tackling carbon emissions and an inherently risky proposition.  

Lomborg was instrumental in creating the fog of doubt that surrounds climate change. Now he wants us to take an even larger gamble. 

If Lomborg thinks geoengineering is an “easy sell” because it offers a quick, low cost solution he’s nuts.

This is going to be  long, controversial fight.

Having been taught by the likes of Lomborg that climate change is not an issue, and the scientists have been wrong, how is the public going to react to the thought of geo-engineering?

What, all of sudden the scientists are the good guys?

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