JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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Death threats are never OK, but for those without morals they can be a useful PR tool

My sympathies go out to anyone who lives in fear for their life, no matter what their beliefs are about a certain climate theory. I soundly condemn death threats.

Though, as it happens, such a thing is completely out of character for any skeptic I know.

After 50,000 comments on my site, violent thoughts are exceedingly rare, from skeptics anyway. Only a few [skeptics] have even issued vague allusions wishing ill-health on someone. (And these were made not by regulars, but by anonymous “hotmail” commenters; real skeptics, or poseurs perhaps?)

Indeed, the team that makes naked death threats publicly has always been the pro-carbon-tax fans.  Think of Greenpeace “we know where you live...“.  Think of 10:10, “we will blow up your children”. Joe Romm encourages the idea that skeptics will be strangled in their beds. A blogger at TPM pondered when it would be acceptable to execute climate deniers. Richard Glover, suggests forcibly tattooing skeptics opinions on their bodies’ (though wisely thinks maybe it’s a bit too Nazi creepy).  Willis Eschenbach came up with a list of hate-related behavior. There is plenty to pick from.

So when the Canberra Times claims skeptics have been threatening climate scientists, I am, not surprisingly… skeptical.

It’s possible that some aggrieved skeptics have said something none-too-friendly, unwelcome, and unwise. If so, these may be “death threats” in the Tony-Windsor style of capital fear, where much hoo-haa was raised about strong statements like “…you’re not going to get voted in again. I hope you die, you bastard.” and “you’ll get yours”. Not that it helps any cause to reduce the arguments to something so rude or banal. It’s bullying.

Most oddly, there’s the point that scientists are moving to secret offices, getting private numbers and home security systems, but if the threats appeared to be of a serious nature why aren’t the Federal Police involved yet? As Simon points out at Climate Madness, it’s a very serious offense with a ten-year sentence. “The Australian Federal Police says it is aware of the issue, but there is no investigation underway.” [The ABC wrote that full line, but the SMH and Canberra Times decided to save their readers from seeing those last six words. What does it matter...]

When the rock star fame is waning,  a highly publicized death threat is a way to win sympathy and keep the celebrity factor rolling.

The bottom line is that the people who have the most to gain from issuing death threats like these are not skeptics, but the pro-carbon-tax team. It’s a great way to win sympathy. Not that I’m suggesting these scientists are feigning it themselves, but that there are billions of dollars on the table, not to mention a cult-like devotion to the meme. It’s in quite a few people’s interests to help those scientists win the sympathy of the crowd, and to distract the crowd with something non-scientific. I expect there would be a few PR agents who’ve been hoping for just such a threat. Go on, it sounds macabre, but it’s business. Think of the UK transport Ministry advisor who infamously emailed on Sept 11, 2001 that it would be “‘a good day to bury bad news’.

Climate scientists have run out of anything scientific to say; they’ve tried their damnedest to win support. They’ve issued their 25th prediction that “we only have 10 years to go” and simultaneously (even though we haven’t fried yet) that “it’s worse than we thought”. When the rock star fame is waning,  a highly publicized death threat is a way to win sympathy and keep the celebrity factor rolling. It also makes your opponents look like criminals. Convenient eh?

But, that’s the lesson for frustrated skeptics. Whatever you do, don’t threaten anyone’s health. Apart from being criminal and abhorrent (as if that’s not enough), it would be a PR writer’s gift. Savaging a b-grade scientist’s reputation by politely demolishing his reasoning is the method of choice.

If serious death threats have been issued, I hope whoever made those threats is caught and caught soon.

—————————–

PS: Richard Glover’s words in the SMH are most entertaining.

He’s trying to understand the skeptic’s mind, but as usual, not by asking a skeptic. It’s the lazy journo tool for understanding the world, not with empirical evidence, but by bland analogy and baseless speculation.

People on the left instinctively believe in communal action, the role of government and the efficacy of international agencies such as the UN. They were always going to believe in climate change; it’s the sort of problem that can best be solved using the tools they most enjoy using.

His only insight into the “right” is just that it is the absence of “left”.

The right tended to be sceptical about climate change from the start and for exactly the same reasons. It’s the sort of problem that requires global, communal action, with governments setting rules. It is a problem that requires tools they instinctively dislike using.

Dearest Richard, some people were just born to follow authority, and others prefer to think for themselves. Neither group is necessarily right about science  (because science is about evidence not politics), but if the authorities get corrupted (like that never happens) and they try to sell us imaginary bridges over third-world factories, one team will fall for it every time. Gullible group-thinkers rise to their call.

Not so long ago, 4 out of 5 people thought “Carbon was pollution”. The skeptical polls are surging, but not because people are changing their genetic voting predisposition. Wake up. Set yourself free of the serfdom to the National Association of Sorcery. Ask to see the evidence; unleash your brain!

And if you can’t face investigating climate science evidence, at least do some real research on how the other half think. Next time you want to write about a group, try asking them. (You can’t understand right-wingers by quizzing your leftie friends. Most of them have never talked to one either.)

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Death threats are never OK, but for those without morals they can be a useful PR tool, 7.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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109 comments to Death threats are never OK, but for those without morals they can be a useful PR tool

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    grayman

    Jo, I agree with you, threats do not add to the debate they cheapen it no matter who says or writes them. Hopefully they will be caught, be warmist or sceptic


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    Actually, their plan IS a death threat on a massive global scale. Almost all of us are alive BECAUSE of a high energy technological civilization. Their plan, if implemented, will return us to the stone age. Few of us could survive under those circumstances but that is exactly their desire.

    The basic principle of justice is that if they want it, they should pay for it rather than picking our pockets and making it impossible for us to live and thrive. Following that principle, all I ask is that they be subjected to exactly the same conditions they are planning. Then we can watch from a fully free and functioning high technology civilization and learn who is right. It would be the Ultimate Survival Reality TV Show! I suspect most of them couldn’t make it past the first week let alone several months. Especially if they didn’t have an apparently bottomless well of wealth to steal and and unlimited supply willing victims to sacrifice to their malevolent creed.

    It is time to say NO to them in a way they cannot evade!


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    We hear of these death threats, but we never seem to get any details of them. Have I missed the publication of the texts, the email addresses, or other contextual information about them? Quite possible I guess, but I certainly do not recall such details being published. It is, thank goodness, still a bit premature to see these stories as a deliberate plant to soften public and establishment opinion alike to tolerate a severe clampdown on sceptics doubting the almighty wisdom of that establishment. But it is nevertheless a possibility. When you have an entire planet to save, why baulk at the odd lie and deception if they might help the cause?


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    MDM

    I vaguely remember reading about Ben Santer walking around with bodyguards. Anyone remember the specifics?


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    I find the piece in the SMH terribly offensive.

    QUOTE: Surely it’s time for climate-change deniers to have their opinions forcibly tattooed on their bodies.

    Not necessarily on the forehead; I’m a reasonable man. Just something along their arm or across their chest so their grandchildren could say, ”Really? You were one of the ones who tried to stop the world doing something? And why exactly was that, granddad?

    I am always amazed that people like that can keep their jobs.

    The more I read on this blog and Simon’s (ACM) the more I feel sorry for Australians.


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    Roy Hogue

    Let me see if I can get this right. I would assume that anyone receiving an email death threat would report that to an appropriate police agency. I would also assume that such an email could be traced to where it came from, even if not to the individual who actually sent it. After all, email doesn’t just disappear into thin air once the message is delivered like a phone call would. So email would be a big leg up the investigative ladder, right?

    So we should soon see something made public like, “We got the perps!” Perhaps we just wait a little while and can then make a pretty good judgment about all this.

    In the meantime I don’t intend to get all exercised about it. If it’s real it’s despicable and needs to get attention to both the safety of those threatened and a manhunt for the perpetrators. If it’s not real it’s equally despicable but I want to be able to laugh at it.


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    Grumpy Old Man

    …”People on the left instinctively believe in communal action, the role of government”… but they don’t inform the Police when a death-threat is made against them? The ploy of accusing one’s opponents of an abhorent action to “get your retaliation in first”, is a time-honoured socialist tactic – devised by Mussolini circa 1908, applauded and developed by Lenin and finished by Stalin. The actions our warmists are taking to protect themselves – not their families – also make them harder to be called to account for the more fantastical utterances they may make, as sceptic journalists and commentators will be excluded from their “approved”, contacts.


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    Ben

    People need to know, if they hadn’t already suspected it, that the Fairfax press is a political advocacy organisation, not a news organisation according to the journalists’ code of ethics. A competent police reporter would have dismissed the story as fictitious since police confirmed that had decided not to investigate the claim (omitted from the story) and the scientist quoted admitted there had not been recent threats, only “abusive emails and phone calls”. The story was placed and treated in the way that it was to give aid to the Australian government’s highly unpopular proposal to tax carbon dioxide.


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    Rereke Whakaaro

    I expect there would be a few PR agents who’ve been hoping for just such a threat.

    There would be quite a few PR agents who have the capacity to organize such threats.

    Roy Hogue: #6

    There is a class of computer malware that does nothing but sit there, awaiting remote activation. This malware is usually involved in Denial of Service attacks, where a large number of “privately owned” computers are instructed to issue repeated requests to a single web address. There are occasional reports in the press about this.

    What is not reported in the press, is that this same malware can be used selectively, to remotely control the sending of email messages on behalf of an anonymous third party.

    If your machine is infected, it can receive the text of a message directly over the net, and then email that text from your email id and from your internet address. Usually, the messages are sent to everybody in your address book, but the system is sophisticated enough to send messages to other nominated third-party addresses.

    These programs are seen by some PR agents as just another weapon in their arsenal, so it is possible that the threats appeared genuine, and that they genuinely frightened the scientists, but were actually sent as part of a wider “black-ops” PR campaign.

    The police (well the more literate of them) know this, and will also know that following the back-trail is only likely to lead them to a bunch of pensioners in retirement village, that share the one communal computer to keep in touch with their grandkids.


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    Binny

    QUOTE: Surely it’s time for climate-change deniers to have their opinions forcibly tattooed on their bodies.

    Sign me up I would be proud to have my grandchildren know that I can think for myself, and that I saw through the fraud early in the piece.


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    Binny

    PS and I hate tattoos I think they are for pratts.


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    Binny

    Actually by then I think the reaction of the aforementioned grandchildren is more likely to be “What the hell is global warming?”
    Because by then the media and scientific world will have long since lapsed into and embarrassed silence on the whole subject.


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    ad

    MDM, you got it about backwards. See http://sites.google.com/site/globalwarmingquestions/climategate:

    1177534709.txt “I looked at some of the stuff on the Climate Audit web site. I’d really like to talk to a few of these “Auditors” in a dark alley.” says Ben Santer, also responsible the next one:
    1255100876.txt “Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat the crap out of him.”


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    Grumpy Old Man

    @ 10.
    +1


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    Roy Hogue

    Rereke,

    Spam Bots make it a bit harder but not impossible. Some of the worst and most illusive spammers have been caught and punished.


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    manalive

    People on the left instinctively believe in communal action, the role of government…(Glover)

    It’s hardy surprising that most people of the left believe in the role of government since, in my experience, most of them rely wholly or partly on government for their (guaranteed) income.


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    Tel

    The police (well the more literate of them) know this, and will also know that following the back-trail is only likely to lead them to a bunch of pensioners in retirement village, that share the one communal computer to keep in touch with their grandkids.

    The pensioner with fast ADSL, ever admin’s worst nightmare. Just wait till he has NBN!

    What says it all is that when there are threats against skeptics, those threats are brazen, and splashed out in public for all to see. When there are threats against AGW supporters those threats are vague, talked about in terms of “I know this person who knows a person” and so on.

    I’m sure that if there was the slightest credibility in those threats the police would have pulled someone in by now.


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    Ian George

    Originally I used to be ambivalent about AGW because of the scare of global cooling that we were told about in the 60/70s. However, with the warming of the 1980s and 1990s, I thought that there could be some truth in it.
    But with the release of the ‘hockey stick’ graph in 1999/2000, I became suspicious. In 2003/4, when the two ‘Mcs’ showed the graph was dodgy (especially after Mann refused to share data), I began to question the whole premise and started checking data myself.
    So I break the mould suggested by Glover that we all start off being skeptical and remain so. It is the ‘dodgy’ science and the alarmist comments that turned me.


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    linda

    Thanks to MEDIA SKEPTICS , that we are informed and able to comment on the GREEN RELIGION that ironicly affects only western nations.
    What is not allowed is the freedom to choose against this religion is because it is said to be based on science.
    What many scientists and academics fail to comprehend is private funding of universities has an impact on what you will learn.
    Those that have deeper pockets have a bigger voice, fairly similar to how politics is in Australia, and the media.
    To those that have a genuine belief in the green religion, use your own money, built your own churches and refrain from ramming your beliefs and religion down the throats of free thinkers.
    More important stop wasting our tax money on the frivilous schemes, so poverty among the less fortunate and homes for the homeless and real compassion can be attained for humanity.
    As to threats and violence, they have no place in society ,neither does depopulation, but to true believers you are free to lead by example.
    Many in this country cant afford the tax for sustaining life CO2, thats why they are skeptics and fight for survival.


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    Bob Malloy

    As always off topic.

    There is a gem of a letter to the editor of the NZ Listener that needs wide publication, a little sample.

    To the Editor
    NZ Listener
    quill pen

    14th May 2011

    Dear Ms. Stirling,

    I am a visitor to New Zealand, and only yesterday had sight of your 14 May edition of the New Zealand Listener with its entertainingly fanciful lead story, accompanied by appropriately lurid graphics.

    Since this is a topic which raises much controversy, let me try and see if I can encapsulate in a few lines what it is that you would wish your readers to believe. You propose, it would seem, that marginal increases in the concentrations of what is no more than a trace gas, amounting in total not to 10% of the earth’s atmosphere, not even to 5% — nay, not even to 1%, can bring about cataclysmic changes in global climate.

    So, to get over this little inconvenience, what should be done? Why, to be sure, invoke another critical, life-affirming compound (dihydrogen oxide) to provide a “positive forcing”, thereby adding to the so-called greenhouse effect. Regrettably, the very scientists (well, anyway, let’s call them that for the sake of convenience) can’t actually tell you whether the forcing resulting from atmospheric water vapour is positive (so allegedly bringing warming) or negative (so allegedly bringing the opposite). Clouds, for example, have a cooling effect. Have these ‘climate scientists’ with their rinky dinky computers ever managed to incorporate them in their so-named General Circulation Models? Answer: the heck they have!

    read the entire letter at Climate Coversations: http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/2011/06/listener-lambasted-concerning-climate-claims/#more-9992


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    val majkus

    Bob at 19 – yes I saw that – does anyone know if it got published?
    (in the Listener I mean)


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    val majkus

    (thanks to Malcolm Roberts)
    You may be interested in having your say:

    A Sky News poll asks “Do you support a price on carbon?”

    You can vote at:- http://www.skynews.com.au/ or on multi view news on cable TV.

    Secondly, here’s a remarkable result at the Greens’ site where you can add your vote:
    http://sarah-hanson-young.greensmps.org.au/polls/do-you-support-greens-plan-emissions-trading


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    Bulldust

    Jo, you remind me of the last snippet I heard when I was leaving the rally yesterday. I only caught a couple sentences, but a particularly dodgy looking lady was “explaining” to a couple other people about the death threats and how that demonstrated the true character of the “other side.”

    I almost joined in the conversation but thought better of it. Any person with a truly rational mind will see through claptrap like that and the proponent does more harm to the AGW movement by ranting ferally about the skeptics. Alternatively, if they are not rational and lapping that garbage up, then I will make no headway anyway.

    So I bit my tongue, although I did want to debate the point :) In retrospect is was the right option to walk away.


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    Joe V

    If wasting police time were the only offence being committed then you might not want to trouble them with details of these supposed (hardly even alleged) threats. Eh ?


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    Drewfus

    People on the left instinctively believe in communal action

    The building and ruthless guarding of the Berlin Wall, for example. Don’t let those skeptics out!

    Beware those who appeal to a higher cause to justify their actions.


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    Neville

    Good post by the Bolter on the cowardice of the alarmists not debating sceptics.

    We all know that simple maths would wreck their silly arguments.
    Silly Timmy Flannery tripped up badly when Bolt challenged him and he blurted out that ” it would take hundreds of years if not a thousand years before we would see a change in temp”.

    His assertion was based on the entire world stopping co2 emissions today, rather buggers up their theory.

    Let’s hope that Vaclav Klaus’s visit next month can focus the media’s attention on the real facts and not their silly delusions.


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    Stevenjan

    Not long ago either on getup or the Say Yes page a chap called Oskr asked if it was murder if they were deniers!
    It would be appalling if this threat event had been falsely created to gain attention and yes why aren`t the AFP acting when it`s standard procedure?


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    Bulldust

    Just reading Richard Glover’s piece … so it is OK to make generalised death threats against skeptics as a whole but not individuals I guess. He thinks skeptics should be:

    “…in the year 2040, lashed to a pole at a certain point in the shallows off Manly? If they are right and the world is cooling – ”climate change stopped in the year 1998” is one of their more boneheaded beliefs – their mouths will be above water. If not …”

    That on top of the Nazi-esque tattoo system. This guy has sipped a little too much of the Green koolaid methinks. It has addled his brain.

    Or maybe, by posting his email address at the bottom of the piece, he is fishing for “skeptic” death threats of his own so he can have a personal momment of glory?

    I have never written a letter of complaint to a newspaper, but this one deserves it. He has crossed a line and there is no coming back from his brand of insane zealotry. The fact that the paper publishes it makes them complicit.


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  • #

    The combination of Fairfax and Canberra is too much to get the head around.

    Surely all the neurosis, snobbery, huffiness, self-absorption and self-loathing in this world are contained in those two words: Canberra Times.


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    Rereke Whakaaro

    Roy Hogue #14

    Some of the worst and most illusive spammers have been caught and punished.

    Still second tier Roy. The worst ones (or best, depending upon point of view) are in the Russian Federation. You are playing with government (think FSB) technical experts, probably doing a bit of moonlighting on the side (they have embraced capitalism, didn’t you get the memo?) :-)

    Even if they can track the source of the malware, how much leverage would your average police commander have, in trying to extradite an FSB officer in these circumstances. Just better to say nothing and “focus on increasing local security measures …” .


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    Bulldust

    Ironic that of all the contacts they list on the contacts web page, not once is the word complaint mentioned:

    http://www.smh.com.au/support/


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    Rereke Whakaaro

    Tel: #16

    The pensioner with fast ADSL, ever admin’s worst nightmare. Just wait till he has NBN!

    Shiver at the thought of a pensioner with an iPad clone, and infinite downloadable apps … :-)


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    Bulldust

    Not sent yet, but how does this sound?

    Dear Editor,

    I was alerted to a story which you published online at the following address:

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/the-dangers-of-boneheaded-beliefs-20110602-1fijg.html#ixzz1OQ1Upj12

    In it the author, Richard Glover, suggests that bodily harm and even death would be appropriate for anyone skeptical of hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming, to wit:

    “Surely it’s time for climate-change deniers to have their opinions forcibly tattooed on their bodies.”

    and

    “Or what about their signed agreement to stand, in the year 2040, lashed to a pole at a certain point in the shallows off Manly? If they are right and the world is cooling – ”climate change stopped in the year 1998” is one of their more boneheaded beliefs – their mouths will be above water. If not …”

    Even the author recognises that the first line conjures the horrors of Nazi Germany and the associated mass killing of several minority groups by that regime. Yet you see fit to publish this as a recipe to deal with citizens who make the point that the purported veracity of global warming models pushed by the IPCC, mainstream media, and current minority Government are not all what they seem. Somehow it is acceptable to suggest that this innocuous position be met with bodily harm and possibly death?

    In light of the recent media alarm about the alleged death threats against ANU academics, it would seem that the SMH does not get the message. Publishing messages indicating that harm and even death are acceptable means to deal with any group of individuals is completely unacceptable. I am thankful that I do not share ancestry with those persecuted in Nazi Germany or the story would have been all the more disturbing.

    Sincerely,
    Mike Wilson


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    Rereke Whakaaro

    Bob Malloy: #19

    Comments are not visible on the Listener site … hmm, I wonder why?

    The Listener has a long history of allowing fiction authors to augment their income by rewriting material for the Commentary section. They primarily do this to meet the word limit, but also to make sufficient stylistic changes to fit in with the rest of the magazine.

    Ruth Laugesen is probably an author rather than a real journalist (although it is hard to tell the difference these days), and I doubt she cut this article from whole cloth. At a guess, I would say that she has rewritten a release from WWF, or the like.


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    GBees

    “some people were just born to follow authority”

    Lenin called them “useful idiots” ……


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    People on the left instinctively believe in communal action, the role of government and the efficacy of international agencies such as the UN. They were always going to believe in climate change; it’s the sort of problem that can best be solved using the tools they most enjoy using.

    Quite incorrect. The right, as I understand it, believes in communal action by free choice, the left believe in communal action by government decree. Though, the right believe in the government assuming responsibility for individual morality and safety, where as the left believe in free choice on that one. The best examples is narcotics law.

    Rereke Whakaaro @ 28:

    Still second tier Roy. The worst ones (or best, depending upon point of view) are in the Russian Federation. You are playing with government (think FSB) technical experts, probably doing a bit of moonlighting on the side (they have embraced capitalism, didn’t you get the memo?)

    Actually, most malware is distributed by ‘entrepreneurs’ who have access to eastern European data servers powered by cheap Russian energy. Think, HotFile, Oron, DepositFiles, etc. They cover their costs of bandwidth by subscribers and make the real money off the malware the piggys onto the back of the split file. Easy to defeat if you keep your anti-virus up to date but, there are alot of lazy people out there.


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    connolly

    Anyone issuing any threat against a scientist because of the opinion, theory, hypothesis that they hold deserves condemnation and handing on to the authorities. However, in our experience in the Illawarra all the threats, from identifiable persons i would add, have come from the warmists. They have against sceptics, critics and doubters of the global warming alarmism:
    1. Had a community blog site closed down – happily now back and running
    2. Pressured the board of community radio station to pull a program run for the unemployed that openly opposed (and happily still opposes) the global warming hysteria
    3. Told one opponent of the global warming hysteria (me) to leave the region or else – this by an anonymous g mail; and
    4. Impugned the integrity of opponents of the global warming hysteria
    That they are now in complete disarray and retreat in the region is a pleasing development but in our experience (IACT) all the threats have emanated from Green apparachiks.
    By the way if you want to receive a real serious death threat raise the issue of corruption and criminality on the Port Kembla waterfront. And it doesnt come by email.
    Wh


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    Bulldust

    Connolly … you remind me of a couple other blokes I saw at the rally yesterday. both were big, but one was huge … at least 6’4″ old speak and built like a brick outhouse. I am not small by any means, but that guy was downright intimmidating. Both wore ACTU shirts.

    Again I thought to raise the topic of how this tax could only decrease jobs, and how that should be a concern to them, but I like my face the way it is.


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    Roy @ 6 – news reports said that police ‘were aware of the issue’. Not that they were investigating, having been alerted by the university. Only that they were ‘aware’.
    Who in their right mind receives a death threat serious enough to merit going to the papers, but doesn’t also go to the police?
    I am thinking this is all the work of Mr B.Tup. Or his close associate Con Jobb.


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    KeithH

    Nine MSN running a poll : should an election be called before a carbon tax is introduced?

    Currently running YES 19,656

    NO 4,150

    http://ninemsn.com.au


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    wes george

    Obviously, in a world wired with instant social networking tools some moron, somewhere is always going to spout off something rude or even borderline threatening when the politics become heated. The real threat here isn’t that the internet allow idiots to instantly communicate foul thoughts. Newspaper editorials and the ABC Drum have been filling that role for ages. Nor is it the content of the threats themselves.

    The fact that the AFP isn’t investigating the recent “threats” in Canberra means they weren’t legitimate death threats at all….just some dumb piece-of-work providing the pretense to create an agitprop smear to rally the faithful during yesterday’s STFU-and-say-yes-to-senselessness rallies….

    But upon closer inspection the agitprop message was more sinister than just an incidental sop for the faithful.

    The real threat, the real abomination is the systematic abuse of authority and power that occurred this weekend when Australia’s most powerful universities conspired with our national broadcaster to repeat the lie dozens of times in the news cycle that skeptics were attempting to silence climate scientists with death threats.

    The climate scientists couldn’t have crafted the message without PR professionals and the blessing of the highest office of the university. And the university could not have done it without the complete cooperation of the ABC. What happened this weekend wasn’t a serendipitous news cycle but a well-planned conspiracy to produce and manage information in order to plant a vile and hate-filled meme into an exact point in time when tens of thousand Australians were seriously focused (many perhaps for the first time!) on the politics of climate science.

    The agitprop message was heinously cynical and surgically precise. Not only did it paint CAGW skeptics as violent bogans worthy of revulsion, but most importantly it turned the central demand of CAGW skepticism upside down….

    It’s not the climate scientists, the Green/Labor government and the special interest NGOs who want to suppress open public debate and hide the data, it’s the CAGW skeptical community!!

    The subtextual meme was that if all the science was laid out, if an honest debate were held tomorrow, this would destroy the skeptical position. It’s NOT the Greens running from honest, transparent, rational debate but the skeptics! A total inversion of the truth perfectly tuned and precisely time to poison as many minds as possible.

    If we didn’t already know it before, we now know that nothing, no dirty trick is too low for climate alarmist interest groups (with full ABC cooperation) to stoop.


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    Colin Henderson

    While I am alarmed and disappointed at the warmist view of skeptics; I fully understand how their point of view has been crafted by marketing. Anyone who depends on mainstream media for AGW “information” should be mortally threatened by the views of skeptics. That is the price you pay for turning off your critical thinking and caving in to the group think availability cascade.


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    Rick Bradford

    Along with Donna Laframboise, I am sick and tired of being insulted and threatened by these narcissistic climate fanatics, who mistake their own vanity for a conscience, and act in their own interests while claiming to act in everyone else’s.


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    papertiger

    wes george:
    June 6th, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Obviously, in a world wired with instant social networking tools some moron, somewhere is always going to spout off something rude or even borderline threatening when the politics become heated.

    Yeah, I’m guilty. I say something rude or borderline threatening almost every time I log on.

    It’s a sickness really. Maybe they have a pill for it.


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    rjm385

    Jo, well said.

    The most obvious factor on this web site is the bearing of the majority. They have all demonstrated a personal respect which is quite different to our “other friends” and you know who you are!

    I think the debate is vigorous and candid but never have I seen it devolve into an all out brawl as happens on others sights.

    Jo you must be congratulated for your ethics in this regard.

    WELL DONE :)

    Regards Bob


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    KeithH

    To recent defectors from the CAGW cult appearing on this site and who may have friends wishing to do the same, could I suggest you Google “Thriving with Nature and Humanity” by Malcolm Roberts.
    On page 24 there is quite a comprehensive list of factors driving climate. I particularly like his comment as follows:- Quote:

    Referring to the previously listed ‘Factors driving climate’, it is clear that anyone claiming the
    power to control climate, whether President or Prime Minister or UN executive, needs to prove
    they can control our galaxy, our solar system, our sun, and our planet’s axis tilt, magnetic
    field and volcanic activity. And land formations, ocean currents, El Nino cycles, ………….

    In God and Nature, we trust. All others, bring data. unquote

    Rather overshadows the warmist’s claim that an extra fractional % of an essential trace gas is going to cause runaway Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming!

    BTW. Latest on MSN poll on should there be an election before a Carbon tax.

    YES vote 26,190

    NO ” 5,862


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    KeithH

    Wes George @ 43

    My thoughts exactly Wes. There is no doubt that this weekend was fully orchestrated between all the people and organisations you mention. IT is very clear that in the tradition of Hitler’s Minister for Propaganda, Dr.Joseph Goebbels, over the last couple of weeks Greg Combet & Co.have been ramping up the misinformation and smear campaign.

    The ABC news led with their first three items being AGW scare messages and of course co-ordinated with the GET UP and Unions ridiculous say YES to a tax demos. In fact, if you look at history, promotion of the entire CAGW scam closely mirrors the methods perfected by Goebbels. Tell the Big Lie often enough and a gullible populace will eventually accept it as truth.

    The most transparent part is that they have nothing new to contribute but instead are reduced to re-cycling all the old scare-’em-silly scenarios!

    The polls seem to indicate that it is not working and may well come back to bite them on the arse!


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    Margaret

    I noticed the pattern of those of the left being subject to death threats that worried them intensely but seemed to not be of concern to the police, when it happened to the “gay Bishop” Robinson, who ended up wearing a bullet proof vest at his being-made-a-bishop ceremony (sorry it probably has a name but I don’t know it). The thought of a bishop in the USA needing bullet proof vest was so arresting that I started taking more notice, and it seems that “death threats that the police don’t seem to be worried about” and always seem to happen to those on the political left.

    My own pet theory (note with zero evidence) is that for some reason the left has found its supporters will rally around such martyrs-in-theory and so the publication of the threats has the same effect as true martyrs for the faithful (ie those who actually do die).

    I have also noted that I have yet to find a case where (1) the person receiving the threat actually is killed or (2) where someone is arrested for making the threat – with the notable exception of the NZ prime minister (who is of the right)who had not publicized the death threats until the left politicians complained that he had additional security. Again it is interesting that they were concerned about the “look” of it (because the extra security in their view made him look important) when the right was not. An arrest has subsequently been made.


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    Rick Bradford

    The polls seem to indicate that it is not working and may well come back to bite them on the arse!

    Yes, but Comrade Gillard can’t backtrack on it now or she’ll be following Rudd out of the lifeboat toot-sweet…..


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    M

    Well I think its a new low.

    in 1930s Germany, the Reichstag was burnt to the ground by Adolf H. and blamed on the Communists.

    Fast forward to 2011 – false-flag emails are sent to a university and blamed on skeptics. A modern day burning of the Reichstag.

    It is Sooo easy to spoof an email address. Its possible to also trace an email back to its source.

    Do they think we are incredibly stupid?

    They must be so desperate to stoop to this level.


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    rjm385

    Just to add another comment. It is quite obvious to me that there are 2 sides to the coin.

    On one side you have a lot of dedicated and THINKING individuals who recognise the alarmism and act accordingly. While on the other hand we have a religous group listening to the guilt that has been heaped on them by the various tenets. I believe I know which side will collapse first in an emotional heap and I am not a Psychologist.

    Does anyone know what this syndrome is called?

    Regards Bob


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    Speedy

    Consumers who “Say Yes” to a Carbon Tax are akin to turkeys who “Say Yes” to Christmas!

    (Or Thanksgiving, whatever.)


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    John Brookes

    Skeptics do find AGW offensive because it doesn’t sit well with their world view. Why would you possibly argue with that? It is so obviously correct.

    Take (shudder) the “greenhouse effect is contradicted by the second law of thermodynamics” argument. This is a very silly argument. It is wrong. To use this argument means that you don’t have enough understanding to appreciate how the greenhouse effect works. So if you are using this argument against AGW, you are doing so from ignorance. So, given you don’t understand the facts, what is your motivation? Is it because AGW and its consequences don’t sit well with your world view? Most likely, yes.

    But the 2nd law of thermodynamics is just one of many dud arguments used by skeptics. In my view, grabbing hold of any dud argument which supports your world view and running with it is not skepticism. So many, indeed even a majority, of skeptics, are not skeptics at all, just people pushing their barrow.

    Take the sainted Mr Watts. He doesn’t have faith in the modern temperature record. So he (and good on him) gets off his bum and does some work, and finds, (unsurprisingly), that the modern temperature record is ok. Does he change his views because of this? I don’t think so, and nor should he, because he is fighting against AGW for reasons of his own, and he doesn’t want facts to get in the way.

    Having said all that, I attended the Perth rally for a carbon tax. My guess is that a great many there were no better than “skeptics”. They have a view of the world which is anti-business, which I can’t understand or agree with. They too, are not truly skeptical, but simply judge everything against their world view.


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    debbie

    How funny!
    All their polls are directly contradicting their reports.
    If they had that overwhelming number at the rallies and if ‘Ordinary Australians’ truly wanted the Gillard Government to put a price on carbon (O2), how come the polls aren’t overwhelmingly in favour of a carbon (O2) tax?
    The numbers are definitely against it…overwhelmingly!
    Even on the Sarah Hanson’s poll.
    As far as the threats go….
    It looks like a classic case of ‘pot call in the kettle black’! We have had some very aggressive comments made by warmists, even by climate scientists who really should behave with more decorum.
    There have been some ugly personal attacks.
    It is quite likely that some very frustrated people have been a bit too aggressive.
    Obviously no one is all that concerned or the AFP would be investigating.
    It looks like a rather desperate attempt to get some attention and maybe to claw back some lost credibility?
    It also looks like it definitely isn’t working.
    They look like they’re chucking a tantrum worthy of a two year old.
    They are spitting the proverbial dummy because ‘ordinary Australians’ are not doing what they want them to. Instead of blindly accepting all their reports and models, they are daring to question them.
    Instead of blindly accepting the justifications for imposing a Carbon (O2) tax, they are daring to ask what this tax would actually achieve for Australia and whether there is a decent cost benefit analysis.
    How dare they question their betters?
    ROTFL!


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    Grumpy Old Man

    @ John Brookes. 54

    “Take (shudder) the “greenhouse effect is contradicted by the second law of thermodynamics” argument.”
    Where’s the missing heat, John? BTW, the missing heat is a warmist concern, not a skeptic one as until resolved, the missing heat blows a large hole in CAGW greenhouse theory.

    Verifying a data set by experimentation and raw empirical data is a perfectly acceptable scientific practice, as opposed to “modelling” or “homogenising” or even, “Hiding the Decline”, concealing the data which disagrees with CAGW proponent’s world view. Mr Watts has published all his collected data, together with his method. even though his results disagree with his world view that CAGW is horsefeathers. Would that the CAGW believers showed the same intellectual and scientific integrity.


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    John Brookes

    You don’t get it, do you, Grumpy Old Man?

    You guys are not skeptics, because you seize on any evidence that supports what you would like to be true, no matter how flimsy.

    Take the much quoted, “Hide the Decline”. What do you think this means, and how does it invalidate AGW? Or are you just hanging your hat on the nearest hook and hoping for the best?


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    wes george

    Johnny,

    That’s a fair enough observation. Not all so-called skeptics are really philosophically skeptical at all, but have some other personal, vested or political reasons for being non-believers in the CAGW faith. But that doesn’t mean that a truly skeptical position which demands strict adherence to the grounds rules of rational inquiry doesn’t exist.

    I hope that I, for one, am an example of a rational skeptic. I hope that I never lose my curiosity and delight of discovery as the secrets of the natural world unfold before our inquiries. I hope that I never ossify so completely into any worldview that I become blind to reason and evidence to the contrary. I hope that I never stop learning and evolving as rational human being.

    I hope that I have the strength to admit when I am wrong.

    Johnny, if someday significant new evidence is presented that the CAGW hypothesis is the most useful explanation for the behavior of modern climate I hope that I will have the cognitive ability and the rational fortitude to rapidly shed discredited theories and adopt the most functional hypothesis as my new working assumption. The method of scientific inquiry is my only faith.

    The above is the true hope and creed of all rational skeptics across all disciplines of science. Do you share the same moral imperative to universal curiosity towards all aspects of creation with us? To follow the evidence wherever it may lead. To delight in discovery which confounds your expectation. Or is your existence animated by some other faith?

    Disclaimer: I was once an environmental activist and a true believer in the AGW hypothesis between 1984 and 2002. Then I was utterly confounded by the evidence to my amazed delight. Now I’m just an environmental philosopher. But I still stand in awe, dumbstruck before nature whenever I encounter the full force of its magnificent mystery.

    I hope I never lose that and I wish I could gift some of it to you.


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    connolly

    Bull@40 and Greg @ 41
    The ACTU t shirts were distributed to a few of Kevvies heavies over in the wild wild west by the sound of it?
    This is othewrwise way off the topic but i did have a direct experience of a black flag (amateurish) operation run by a few of the ALP loyalist thugs over here. I was involved in an organization that campaigned against ALP corruption in Wollongong. The (then) Secretary and myself received correspondence from the (anonymous but obvious) party loyalists threatening to rape and kill her and to shoot me. But the interesting tactic was a letter sent to a very public supporter of the Liberal Party in Wollongong, purporting to be from myself (without signature), threatening to “bash” the lady (she is in her sevnties). I was unaware of this letter until she very honourably wrote to me enclosing a copy of the threat, writing that she didnt believe that I had sent it and wishing us well in our campaign against Labor Party corruption. These same defenders of the rampant ALP corruption in Wollongong are the most vocal allies of the Greens in support of the carbon tax. Birds of a feather i guess.


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    memoryvault

    John Brookes @ 55

    I see you’re back.
    Didn’t perchance remember to bring your Plan B with you did you?


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    Grumpy Old Man

    @ John Brookes 58. I half-expected this. No attempt to engage in exchange of ideas, no attempt to answer the point about the missing heat, nothing to say about scientific integrity, just a poorly constructed ad hom attack hiding behind the straw men of a bit of cod-philosophy and the term, “Hide the Decline”, which we both know is interpreted according to which side of the CAGW fence you sit.
    What you don’t get is that bombast + aggression + appeal to authority won’t get CAGW acolytes anywhere any more. If you wish to continue this exchange, you’ll have to do better than Sixth-Form debating tactics.


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    memoryvault

    Connolly @ 60

    While I am not going to contradict you on the matter of threatening behaviour by Labor heavies – having been subjected to it myself – let me assure you that both the Liberals and the Nationals are capable of exactly the same behaviour.

    Especially the Nationals – again I speak from experience.

    And such behaviour is not limited to political parties. Back in the days when I was politically active my wife and I were subjected to a planned, coordinated, extensive, nation-wide vilification program that bankrupted us, by the Assembly of God Churches, at the behest of a certain National Party Federal Senator, best known for being the only Australian politician caught on camera picking his nose and scratching his bum at the same time.


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    KeithH

    John Brookes @ 58 and elsewhere. I don’t usually feed the trolls, but your continuing inane but unhelpful comments warrant a response. You and other believers in the CAGW cult are fond of attributing motives to those of us who are rightly sceptical of that hypothesis.

    What do you actually believe John? I do know you didn’t believe there were any undersea volcanoes until I showed you where to find the evidence a few weeks ago. Funny, didn’t hear any more from you on that subject!

    Do you really believe, that with all the possible combinations of the multiple factors known to affect our climate at various times, just based on a series of projections from a series of various ‘what if’ scenarios drawn from unproven climate models, that a fractional human-induced input to a fractional increase in volume of the vitally necessary trace gas CO2 will cause runaway Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming?

    And do you really believe that Man, or any agency of Man, is capable of stopping climate change that has been occurring naturally since Time began and arguably will continue to do so until the end of Time as we know it?

    Stripped of all the pseudo-scientific jargon and often meaningless figures bandied about, this is what it boils down to, so just what do you believe John Brookes?.


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    memoryvault

    KeithH @ 64

    It’s simple, really.

    John Brookes considers himself morally, intellectually, and intelligence-wise to be far superior than the rest of us “mere proletariat”.

    John Brookes believes democracy is a failure and feels the world needs to be run in an autocratic manner by morally, intellectually superior beings more intelligent than the rest of us – you know – like him.

    With this world viewpoint John Brookes is in rarefied company. It is a mindset he shares with the other morally and intellectually superior “great-minds” of our time.

    Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Mao-Zedong and Pol-Pot all spring readily to mind.

    And we know how well they worked out.


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    Dave

    Mr. John Brookes,

    We always answer your comments – how about you try to ask some serious questions that has made you come to the opinion that all skeptics seize on any evidence no matter how flimsy ?

    Ask some questions now on any of the AGW topics and also answer some that have been given to over the last few months from different people.

    Give it a go John Brookes – give it all you’ve got – and everyone will try and answer. Even label them for follow up later?

    Just give it a go?


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    Bulldust

    John Brookes:

    Clearly you have no idea about the paper Anthony Watts has done on the thermometer stations in the US. I suggest you read his recent blogs on the issue, and a little less on blogs talking about him and not the science. It will prevent you from looking exceptionally dim to those of us who have a clue what he has written about.

    And yes I know you were at the rally because you were standing next to me at the start.

    There was one banner at the rally in Perth I didn’t mind… it was emblazoned not once, but twice, with the word “socialist” around the main title requesting 100% renewables. At least they were honest about their politics, foolish as it may be.


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    memoryvault

    Dave @ 66.

    You’ve got the stick by the wrong end, I’m afraid Dave.

    Nobody here has to try and give John Brookes an answer to anything.

    The geological and historical record for thousands of years is that climate is cyclical. It warms and cools in roughly 25 – 30 year cycles. These cycles fit into larger, approximately 300 year cycles of warming and cooling – as marked by the MWP and the LIA.

    Based on nothing more than an entirely predictable, and predicted warming period from the mid-1970′s until around the the turn of the century, John Brookes and his ilk want us to believe something entirely different is occurring.

    The onus is on John Brookes and his fellow “great minds” to provide some form of either evidence, or observable fact, that supports their “new” theory. So far all that has been presented is “evidence” that the planet warmed in the period from the mid-1970′s until the turn of the century, exactly as was predictable, and predicted, by the cyclical theory of climate.

    Until and unless John Brookes and his fellow mass-murdering accomplices can offer something to support their claims, it is not beholden on anybody here to answer anything.

    So far there IS nothing to answer.


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    Dave

    Comment withdrawn at 66.


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    Alexander K

    I read the article by Mr Glover and I must say that the standrd of entertaining professional writing has plumetted since Clive James had the door shut on him by the leftie luvvies who control the Meeja.
    No doubt Mr Glover’s circle of green sycophants tell him constantly that he’s hillarious and a real dag, but he is merely a self-opinionated scribbler who toes the Green line. He is obviously ignorant of any actual science and thinks his side of the spurious consensus is right because it chimes with his own lazy assumptions.
    Mr Glover is merely an irritating and ignorant bore.


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    wes george

    It’s time for climate-change deniers to have their opinions forcibly tattooed on their bodies.

    If a life unexamined isn’t worth living, then surely it isn’t worth a column in the SMH. So let’s examine Richard Glover’s assumptions and existence.

    First off, freedom of speech is good because it allows anyone—such as Glover—to expose their unexamined assumptions for public scrutiny and analysis. It can be a learning experience not just for Richard, but for all of us. After all, Glover isn’t unique in sleepwalking through life, that’s why SMH hires him, because he speaks to a particular audience who share his particular brand churlish self-ignorance, mindlessly chuckling and drooling along while reading Glover’s 101 ways to dismember thy neighbour.

    For instance, Glover illustrates the point that ALL eco-leftist zombies are by definition hypocrites. It’s fine for eco-leftist to have gruesome fantasies about torturing their political opponents. But imagine if Andrew Bolt had written the same words about his opposition. That would be hate-speech compounded by a Nazi fetish and incitement to violence, no doubt. Reason enough to sue.

    This brings up the point of why Leftist governments will always be incompetent (and hypocritical.) Leftist policy ideas are never serious scrutinized or robustly challenged in media. We all remember the violently rigorous frisking that Howard’s immigration policies were subjected too. Not so much Gillard’s… The bar is set far lower for labor/Green policy and behavior than for the coalition.

    Thus, Labor and Green pollies are the laziest pollies in the world. Anything Gillard or Brown says or does, no matter how stupid finds instantly grovelling apologists in our mass media. Anything Abbott says is just as quickly spun negative and challenged. So Abbott has to work twice has hard to get it right from the start. His ideas and policy face a grueling natural selection process as they run the media gauntlet. Not so for Labor pollies who grow complacently senile as anything they do is good enough for our intelligentsia.

    The same goes for leftist pundits and intellectuals. Notice how lazy the thought process is in Richard Glover’s piece. He whips off a hate-filled fantasy in the first line only to notice a few sentences later that he is thinking just like a Nazi. Oh, well, whatever. He didn’t go back and delete the violent fantasy, in fact, he thinks of a few more puerile fantasies and then makes a ridiculously non sequitur plea for a reasonable approach to the climate debate. The whole piece is a sophomorically incoherent ramble. Yet he knows his colleagues, editor and audience will chuckle along with him anyway. So low is the bar set for eco-leftist orthodoxy.

    There just isn’t the same sort of rigorous self-awareness of one’s cognitive processes going on in Glover’s mind that must occur in conservative argument. If a conservative wished for his political opponents to be killed in print, he would be held to account for his incivility. High bar. Fair enough! Thus conservatives don’t indulge in elevating their most disgusting fantasies to the status of a rhetorical thesis. Not so for eco-leftists. The end result is that the whole eco-leftist narrative is allowed to decay into incoherence, often churlish or violent and this passes as our fair dinkum national discourse.

    * * *

    Finally, eco-leftists in spite of their antipathy for Judeo-Christian moral values and lack of belief in a God are essentially the autistic step-children of the most base aspects of Christian mythology. Glover and his ilk totally lack conscious self-awareness of the syncretic roots of their ideological morbidity, but it’s culturally Christian nonetheless.

    Glover reveals in his pathetic ramble that “guilt” is the primary forcing agent for the eco-leftist. In fact, feeling guilty for being alive is the only justification that Glover can offer for his eco-faith. And performing one’s evangelical moral duty is the only reason Glover can justify continuing to live on. This kind of denial of life as an intrinsically good thing is cultural self-loathing. In sociological, if not psychological terms, Glover—and one assumes his eco-leftist audience—are suffering from a pathological delusion.

    Cate Blankett, he says, “can’t look her children in the face” unless she goes out into the world to preach the faith of the coming climate apocalypse in her humble way.

    Eco-leftism (besides being fundamentally a emergent variety of neo-Marxism) is based upon fear, guilt, self-loathing, the concept of original sin and thus a Garden of Eden that we have been cast out of (the pre-modern Mannian “climate-stasis” before the original sin of scientific progress, individual liberty and free market capitalism) and finally… prophecy of a coming apocalypse and the moral penance requirement to be zealously evangelical in demanding others submit to self-mortification. Obviously, Glover is a zealot who fantasizes that even non-believers must submit to orthodoxy or be put to the sword. Not exactly an original thought in the blood-stained history of humanity, but good enough for his editors at the SMH.

    Ironically, Naturally, as self-righteous fundamentalists of all stripes do, these delusional people imagine they represent the most progressive, morally superior pinnacle of their culture’s intelligentsia.


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    robert G

    Death threats seem a little extreme. Now jail for being part of the biggest scam in history is more realistic.
    http://www.c3headlines.com/fabricating-fake-temperatures.html


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  • #

    My answer:

    Global warming skeptic


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  • #

    image link failed, try this


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    bananabender

    I strongly suspect that the “threats” are from green activists trying top smear sceptics.


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    Harry The Hacker

    Richard Glover is clearly an idiot.

    Gee – I’m a lefty who believes in free markets, generally (but not always) leaving things to markets. And I can’t bear the idea of a cap-n-trade system OR a carbon tax. And I loathe Julia Gillard, can’t believe the terrible state of Federal Labor, and don’t like the Greens or Tony Abbott either.

    I really don’t like the label constantly thrown around about “the left” or “the right” because they just don’t apply. Overly simplistic nonsense.


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    John Brookes

    John Brookes considers himself morally, intellectually, and intelligence-wise to be far superior than the rest of us “mere proletariat”.

    John Brookes believes democracy is a failure and feels the world needs to be run in an autocratic manner by morally, intellectually superior beings more intelligent than the rest of us – you know – like him.

    No, I consider the climate scientists to be your superiors, intellectually, by dint of them having worked rather hard in that area. What is amusing is how skeptics seem to have a post modern view of the world where all opinions are equal.

    Clearly democracy has failings. That is why we have a constitution. The constitution imposes limitations on what laws people can enact. The trick of government in a democracy is to find good policies, and then convince the populace that they are good. I was no fan of Howard and Costello, but they did a fantastic job of introducing the GST. Clearly it was a policy the majority of people did not want, but it was a good one, and its introduction was done very well.

    Clearly the people who run the government are pretty clever. They (a bit like those pesky climate scientists) have done a lot of thinking and work on policy. They will be a lot better informed than the general population. It doesn’t mean they are always right – but usually they will be. If it turns out that they are too far wrong, they get voted out and all is well.

    What do you actually believe John?

    As far as AGW is concerned – I think that the climate scientists are probably right. Yet I will be surprised if they are – for the idea that in 2030 global temperatures will be half a degree warmer than now is hard to countenance. Nonetheless, I think that we should act now, and modify our actions as our understanding improves. If the situation looks less urgent, we can all relax.


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    Mark

    John’s tugging his forelock again. And who knows what else besides.

    Mod.
    I’ll undestand if you snip the second sentence. It was born of exasperation at yet another of JB’s appeals to (flawed) authority.


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    Richard S Courtney

    John Brookes:

    At #76 you tell much about yourself and nobody else when you write:

    No, I consider the climate scientists to be your superiors, intellectually, by dint of them having worked rather hard in that area. What is amusing is how skeptics seem to have a post modern view of the world where all opinions are equal.

    That is so wrong as to be risible.

    Firstly, on what basis could “having worked rather hard” in the area of “climate science” make anybody “superiors, intellectually” to any other person?

    Having worked rather hard in the area of flipping burgers – or any other activity – cannot make anybody “superiors, intellectually” of anyone else.

    And all opinions do have equal worth. That is, opinions have no worth: everybody has them and few people want the opinions of others.

    Facts, evidence and information have worth. They provide useful guidance on what courses of action may be beneficial or harmful.

    Your being “amused” that people reject worthless opinions and accept empirical evidence can only be an assertion that you are an ignorant bigot. This is because anybody can choose to accept whichever opinions they like from the numerous opinions which exist as an excuse to ignore the reality presented by empirical evidence.

    Richard


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    Jenness Warin

    ‘The union really was whipping itself into something approaching a frenzy about this issue. And of course when the above-mentioned Robert White set himself up in business in his home town of Mandurama as a shearing contractor and made it patently clear to all and sundry that he and his team were using wide combs, the scene was set for the sort of confrontation that followed.
    http://www.shearingworld.com/Information/widecombs.htm

    Any one that has experienced death threats has experienced a dreadful situation.
    For those that experienced direct violence, injury and death, and indirectly had family who were murdered and/or injured, the consequences have been far worse.
    They have been effectively silenced.

    I was involved and supported the development and establishment of the Indigenous Violence database due to my experiences and that of many of my friends, colleagues and students in remote Australia.
    http://indigenousviolence.org/dnn/
    These events as listed in the database, have never been reported during the years of publication by anthro-pologists and most researchers working in this field.

    Recently we have read of Peter Singer-ethics of the live trade in cattle to Indonesia. Yet the academics from Melbourne and Canberra, studying the vast northern outback and PNG, recently more focussed on hybrid-carbon economies/schemes and ecology dismissed proper study and publication of the lives (un-lives) of human beings. Read any of the coroners reports, on-line, of the shocking suffering.
    And the realities of traditional hunting practices where development has been stymied or hypocritically supported. There are no films of these latter events.

    Prior to remote work I worked in regional Australia and witnessed the instrument of violence by the Trade Union and the socialists/communists against the workers (and indirectly the ewes and wethers) in the shearing industry. And witnessed the violence used by activists against the mining companies, using Aboriginal peoples and prior to the mining companies, the cattle station owners/workers were attacked. Women and children, and men suffered. Livestock suffered and native animals through lack of decent landcare services suffered while this drama unfolded.
    Entire generations have suffered.

    A focus to the affluent Canberra-ian research community! When I read and know of the lost livelihood for the Thompson’s family feedlot, the women, children and young peoples in regional and remote Australia and our mining and agricultural industries I wonder and am gobsmacked in disbelief and awe at the capacity of some to distract attention from THE BROADER real issues.

    As much, I sincerely hope that those in Canberra that have had threats of death are safe.


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    Richard S Courtney

    John Brookes:

    I am writing an addendum to my post at #78. I do this purely to forestall a side-track that I foresee you being likely to provide and – since you have not (yet) provided it – the point of this post is not proper as part of my response to you that I provided in #78.

    It seems likely to assume you will try the usual ‘warmist’ ploy of claiming that ‘expert opinion’ is more valuable than ‘inexpert opinion’: e.g. the opinion of a practicing physician who makes a medical diagnosis is more valuable than the opinion of a ‘man in the street’.

    The claim is correct for truly ‘expert opinion’ but does not apply to ‘climate scientists’. A true expert has a ‘track record’ of correct predictions based on his/her expert opinions; e.g. a physician who has made a series of accurate diagnoses provies truly expert opinion. ‘Climate scientists’ have no ‘track record’ of correct predictions. Indeed, to date all the predictions of ‘climate scientists’ have been wrong; i.e. Trenberth’s “missing heat”, IPCC “committed warming” has not happened, AOGCM prediction of the ‘hot spot’ has not occured, etc..

    So, there is no ‘expert opinion’ of ‘climate scientists. Their opinions have the same zero worth as the opinions of everybody else.

    Richard


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    Richard S Courtney

    Jenness Warin:

    Thankyou for your post at #79. Excellent!

    Such tactics are common throughout history (e.g. Henry Ford employed Al Capone to intimidate strikers at his car factory).

    Everybody needs to be vigilant in opposition to such things because they keep happening again and again and again…

    Again thankyou for focussing attention on the real subject of this thread.

    Richard


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    The zealots will be throwing us into their justice sheds soon.


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    Roy Hogue

    John Brookes,

    You are a waste of a good man. From what I see of you day after day I’ll wager that if you had to do an honest job, say my job designing complex specialized software, you would soon starve to death.

    It doesn’t have to be my job, pick anything complex where you have to get it right or the boss won’t pay you.

    In short, you impress me about as much as the Monday Morning Quarterback who knows exactly how the game should have been played but never plays it himself.


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    Roy Hogue

    I should add that John Brookes is intellectually lazy. He won’t bother to engage anyone’s challenge. That might make him face himself.


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    Roy Hogue

    You guys are not skeptics, because you seize on any evidence that supports what you would like to be true, no matter how flimsy.

    Take the much quoted, “Hide the Decline”. What do you think this means, and how does it invalidate AGW? Or are you just hanging your hat on the nearest hook and hoping for the best?

    John Brookes, you’re exactly right, we’re not hanging our hat on any one thing like, “Hide the Decline.” We’re hanging our hat on a continually growing pile of stuff like this. No one thing condemns anyone. But after a while the total weight of evidence becomes crushing!

    That’s what shoots you and your CAGW friends down, John. We’re skeptics because that’s what the whole body of evidence demands.


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    Roy Hogue

    Roy @ 6 – news reports said that police ‘were aware of the issue’. Not that they were investigating, having been alerted by the university. Only that they were ‘aware’.
    Who in their right mind receives a death threat serious enough to merit going to the papers, but doesn’t also go to the police?
    I am thinking this is all the work of Mr B.Tup. Or his close associate Con Jobb.

    Gergoryno6,

    Marvelous insight there! :-)


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    Larry Fields

    Well done, Joanne! But I’m not as polite as you are. If I’d written the headline, it would be:
    Fake death threats against fake scientists in Oz?


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    grayman

    John Brookes, you are still an IDIOT!!!!! You keep giving the talking points of warmist but can not anwser any questions asked of you by the commenters.

    Bulldust next time he is at a rally, introduce your self, i bet he runs!


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    wes george

    Bulldust next time he is at a rally, introduce your self, i bet he runs!

    Next time Bulldust goes to a rally to introduce himself to Johnny, bring Connolly (for some muscle) and a tattoo artist.

    May I suggest a Gothic Bold Face font for “Climate Scientists are Your Superiors” and “People Who Run The Government Are Pretty Clever.”


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    memoryvault

    John Brookes @ 77

    So what you’re saying John, is that these people are my intellectual superiors?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiYZxOlCN10


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    John Brookes

    Enough of the threats Wes! I’m a coward through and through…

    Tell you what, I’ll do my best to answer one thing you ask (except that stupid Damien Allen question), if one of you will explain exactly what “hide the decline” means, and how it derails AGW.


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    memoryvault

    John Brookes @ 92

    From: Phil Jones
    To: ray bradley ,mann@xxxxx.xxx, mhughes@xxxx.xxx
    Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
    Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
    Cc: k.briffa@xxx.xx.xx,t.osborn@xxxx.xxx

    Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
    Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or
    first thing tomorrow.
    I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps
    to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from
    1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual
    land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land
    N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999
    for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with
    data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.
    Thanks for the comments, Ray.

    Cheers
    Phil

    Prof. Phil Jones
    Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) xxxxx
    School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) xxxx
    University of East Anglia
    Norwich Email p.jones@xxxx.xxx
    NR4 7TJ
    UK

    It says exactly what it says.

    Keith Briffa’s “tree-ring” figures which suited the global warming script admirably up to 1961, unfortunately did a down-turn at that point and no longer fitted the desired result (global warming).

    So Jones deleted Briffa’s figures from 1961 onwards and added in “real” temps (that is, his bodgy, “homogenised”, “pasteurised”, “fudge factor” figures (see the HARRY_READ_ME file), to hide the fact that Briffa’s tree-ring figures actually showed a “decline” in temperatures from 1961 onwards.

    And never actually mentioned the fact to anyone officially – in fact, spent years fobbing off FOI requests to continue to try and hide his sleight-of-hand.

    There are many names for this kind of behaviour, but “scientific” isn’t one of them.

    Anywhere else other than the “intellectually superior” field of “climate science” (see comment #91), it might be called misrepresentation at the least, and fraud most likely.

    So, where’s your Plan B?


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    memoryvault

    John Brookes @ 92

    One doesn’t need an email to “derail” CAGW. It was never “on track” to start with.

    As I pointed at post #68 (which you – as always – ignored), all the past and present empirical, observable historic and geological evidence is that climate goes in cycles.

    It’s not up to “us” to “prove” anything. It is up to you mass-murdering, fanatical, religious cultists to prove something untoward is happening “just this once”.


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    Mark D.

    John, you need a friend. Therefore let me say that @ 77 you do have a few sentences that deserves recognition:

    Clearly democracy has failings. That is why we have a constitution. The constitution imposes limitations on what laws people can enact. The trick of government in a democracy is to find good policies, and then convince the populace that they are good.

    I would agree with you (uncommon) with a “friendly” amendment: Strike “failings” and replace with “acceptable limits”. Of course you might eat these words when we find the whole warmist green agenda thrown out with the political bath water, by a democratic process. There is no way a politician will convince me that carbon is pollution or that using fuel deserves a tax.

    PS you still need a friend.


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    zorba

    Hi Jo

    Graeme Bird, a regular commenter on you site, is one such abuser on your side. He sent the following to an ANU academic, Clive Hamilton:

    “Let’s have that evidence then you Stalinist c**t. Either come up with the evidence or admit publicly that you are a fraud and kill yourself. What a complete c**t you are.”

    from

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/03/02/windsor-receives-death-threats-as-climate-of-hate-ramps-up/

    [So where is your proof that Graeme Bird is a "regular" here? I'm a regular here and I haven't seen a post from Graeme in months. If Graeme was to post that here it would have been edited. Anyone reading at popular blogs on this subject will have probably run into Graeme and his way with words.] ED


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    Richard S Courtney

    John Brookes:

    At #92 you say:

    Tell you what, I’ll do my best to answer one thing you ask (except that stupid Damien Allen question), if one of you will explain exactly what “hide the decline” means, and how it derails AGW.

    That is two questions; viz.
    1. What is “hide the decline”?
    and
    2. How does it “derail” AGW?

    I write to answer both.

    Hide the decline.

    In 1998 Mann, Bradley and Hughes (MBH) published a paper in Nature magazine that purported to show a reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere temperature for the last 1000 years. That paper is known as MBH98.

    The following year, 1999, they wrote a similar paper in Nature and it purported to extend the reconstruction back to the last 1400 years. That paper is known as MBH 99.

    MBH used data from tree rings and ice cores to establish their reconstructions. Their method was very, very flawed and generated little change to the temperature until about 100 years ago when the temperature started to rise. Both MBH98 and MBH99 presented their results in the form of a graph of Northern Hemisphere temperature plotted against time. This graph had similar shape to the profile of an ice-hockey stick and is commonly known as the ‘Hockey Stick’ graph.

    Subsequently, several studies (including studies by McIntyre and McKitrick) of the statistical procedures and tests in the MBH method have revealed that the method has gross errors, but these errors do not affect ‘Hide the decline’ which would have been a disgraceful act if the MBH method had worked.

    Whatever the merits of statistical procedures and tests, one finding of the MBH98 and MBH99 studies is not disputable: viz.
    The indications of global temperature provided by the MBH method showed falling global temperature after 1960 while the surface temperature measurements showed rising global temperature after 1960.
    This divergence of the two sets of measurements after 1960 could only be indication that
    (a) the MBH method provides false indications of temperature change
    or
    (b) the surface temperature measurements provide false indications of temperature change
    or
    (c) the MBH method and the surface temperature measurements both provide false indications of temperature change.

    These indications were – and could only be – the most important finding of the MBH studies.

    Any paper reporting results of the MBH method which failed to mention these indications would be severely flawed. But MBH98 and MBH99 did not mention them. Instead,
    (i) those papers made a deliberate attempt to hide the divergence (i.e. to ‘hide the decline’ in Northern Hemisphere temperature indicated by MBH98 and MBH99 after 1960)

    while

    (ii) their authors attempted to protect themselves from having made this deception by mentioning the problem in another paper in another journal.

    The deception was severe and consisted of obscuring the divergence by plotting the two data sets on the same graph with the plot of surface temperature measurements being placed over the MBH results to obscure them. Phil Jones called this method to ‘hide the decline’ “Mike’s Nature trick”.

    And ‘Mike’s Nature trick’ is precisely the same activity as the infamous Piltdown Man. In both cases, parts of two different items were grafted together as a method to construct an artefact which provides a misleading indication, and the artefact was presented to the scientific community with deliberate intent to mislead.

    It is appalling that anybody would condone the deception or would pretend that the artefact (i.e. the MBH Hockey Stick) has any worth. But there are people who do both.

    How does ‘hide the decline’ “derail” AGW?

    ‘Hide the decline’ does not “derail” AGW but it provided a fraudulent attempt to suggest evidence for AGW when no such evidence exists.

    1.
    The null hypothesis is that the climate system has not changed unless there is evidence that the system has changed.
    2.
    It is asserted that anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases have changed the system (i.e. the AGW hypothesis).
    3.
    A change to the behaviour of the system following the emissions would be evidence that the system has changed and possibly as a result of the emissions.
    4.
    But, to date, there is no evidence of any kind that the system has changed since the emissions began.
    5.
    The MBH ‘hockey stick’ seemed to show that the system has changed and that the start of the change was coincident with the start of the emissions.
    6.
    Several studies (notably those of McIntyre and McKitrick) proved the MBH ‘hockey stick’ was a result of faulty analysis and, therefore, it does not show that the system has changed.
    7.
    The fact that there is no evidence that the system has changed is important because some people argue for actions to correct the change to the system which they believe has been caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases.
    8.
    Some people who believe in the AGW hypothesis refuse to accept that the MBH ‘hockey stick’ could be wrong so they fabricate facts and histories, and they defame and smear people (notably McIntyre and McKitrick) who point out that the MBH ‘hockey stick’ is an artifact of very faulty analysis.

    Richard


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    John Brookes

    So memoryvault@93, “Hide the decline” means to replace temperatures calculated by the use of proxies with the instrumentally measured temperatures, where these disagree. And this deviation seems to be a problem in recent times – i.e the last 30 – 50 years. Did they mention this in the paper?

    Of course the instrumental record doesn’t go back very far, so we need to have reliable proxies for temperatures. Luckily there are multiple proxies which can be used, so we can be reasonably sure that they are accurate. Certainly you could remove tree ring based temperature records altogether, and the basics of AGW would be virtually unchanged. So this whole thing looks like a storm in a tea cup, and one can only hope that people stop saying, “Hide the decline” as if it means something.

    Still, the divergence of tree ring based temperature proxies from actual temperatures is a problem which needs explaining, if only to satisfy our curiosity.


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    memoryvault

    John Brookes @ 99

    It means one of your “intellectually superior” “climate scientists” changed the so-called “evidence” mid-stream, and not only “forgot” to mention it, but went out of his way for a few years to hide the fact.

    Now I answered your question as per your request.

    Where’s your Plan B – as per my request and your offer?


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    Richard S Courtney

    John Brookes:

    Your post at #99 is an outrage. It says;

    So this whole thing looks like a storm in a tea cup, and one can only hope that people stop saying, “Hide the decline” as if it means something.

    Say what!?
    Read what I wrote at #98: all of it.

    Note this bit;

    And ‘Mike’s Nature trick’ is precisely the same activity as the infamous Piltdown Man. In both cases, parts of two different items were grafted together as a method to construct an artefact which provides a misleading indication, and the artefact was presented to the scientific community with deliberate intent to mislead.

    ‘Hide the decline’ is one of the greatest frauds in the enire history of science, and you say it “looks like a storm in a tea cup”. For those of us who care about the conduct of science it looks like one of the greatest scandals in the history of hoaxes.

    And you conclude by saying;

    Still, the divergence of tree ring based temperature proxies from actual temperatures is a problem which needs explaining, if only to satisfy our curiosity.

    Rubbish!
    ‘Treemometers’ are a failed attempt to pretend there is some evidence for AGW when there is none; n.b. zilch, nada, not any.
    Read my points 1 to 8 in my post at #98 and take especial note of the points 7 and 8; viz.

    7.
    The fact that there is no evidence that the system has changed is important because some people argue for actions to correct the change to the system which they believe has been caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases.
    8.
    Some people who believe in the AGW hypothesis refuse to accept that the MBH ‘hockey stick’ could be wrong so they fabricate facts and histories, and they defame and smear people (notably McIntyre and McKitrick) who point out that the MBH ‘hockey stick’ is an artifact of very faulty analysis.

    I refuse to believe you are – or can be – as tupid as you claim to be in your post at #99.

    Richard


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    John Brookes

    Chill out Richard, I’ll be just as tupid as I want :-) BTW, I’ve read some of the smears of McIntyre & McKitrick, and it seems that they were also a bit naughty in the lengths they went to to try and discredit Mann. Seems they might have generated a lot of random data and then just chosen the 1% that had the characteristics they wanted.

    Sorry, memoryvault, what is the “Plan B” of which you speak? You explain what you want, and I’ll try and give it to you…


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    Richard S Courtney

    John Brookes:

    It is not acceptable to make unfounded and unspecific assertions. At #102 you say;

    I’ve read some of the smears of McIntyre & McKitrick, and it seems that they were also a bit naughty in the lengths they went to to try and discredit Mann.

    No!
    Their critiques of Mann’s work are all proper. Indeed, they have been very restrained in the light of what Mann has done (e.g. see my post at #79).

    If you think you have evidence that M&M “were also a bit naughty in the lengths they went to to try and discredit Mann” then state it.

    Otherwise, apologise for your unfounded smear.

    Richard


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    Mark

    Richard #103

    In fact, Mann discredited himself, just as JB discredits himself everytime he comments. The condition goes with the religion.


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    grayman

    John Brookes, my comment at #89 still stands!

    Dr. Courtney, with the facts you have just provided to Mr. Brookes and his reply proves my point.

    Please do NOT feed the troll, he is not here to learn as i am, just to make IDIOTIC comments!

    I am no scientist, but i have learned a lot the past few years at this site and WUWT, even at warmist sites. Once in a while there is some good science from them but i do not comment because of the hate spew at me. John Brookes if you did not act the way you do on this excellent site you might actually learn quite a bit about the science.


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    Ted O'Brien

    Don’t be so hard on Richard Glover. That article is a good piece of irony with a bit of hyperbole to describe what he sees.

    The problem is that his little piece of fiction is too near the reality for comfort.


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    heystoopidonejoe

    Care to comment on the recent death threats sent to one Anna-Maria Arabia, listed here in the SMH:http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/scientists-face-death-threats-over-climate-20110620-1gb3h.html and the Australian:http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/scientists-are-receiving-death-threats-over-their-stance-on-climate-change-and-carbon-tax-policy/story-fn59niix-1226078505195 ABC:http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2011/s3247902.htm

    Interestingly, Anna-Maria Arabia, her specialty is medical research and has not been involved in any form of climate change or global warming research by the way. She also mentions, as a matter of fact, on average the Australian climate researchers are now receiving up to and or around 1000 plus non trivial disrespectful abusive spam emails per day!

    We close with a direct quote from Ricard Glover SMH, June 13th,2011, “So far, more than 2400 people, nearly all American, have emailed me. More emails come every time I hit the send/receive button. About 5 per cent contain threats of violence. Even stranger, quite a few threaten me with sexual violence. They say, in various forms, that they want to rape me.”

    Not a term any healthy normal intelligent or polite Australian citizen, would use in any form of debate on any subject, one could say.

    [Ha ha , you are kidding right. Glover was the man who wants skeptics tattooed or tied to poles in the ocean. I abhor violence and threats, but Mr Glover wouldn't have gotten any if he hadn't started threatening people. As for Arabia -- give us the evidence. All past complaints have been beaten wildly out of nothing much, or one single 5 year old letter, or just boorish swear words; these people are masters of exaggeration. Who's to say the pro tax team didn't send their own members some nasty emails just to try to pin it on skeptics. See my first post on "Death threats". The masters of making death threats are the alarmists. They do it all the time against skeptics. -- JN]


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    Mark D.

    Sounds to me like they are more worried about losing funding than any threats.


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    independantthinkingwhatsthis

    Just thought I would share a photo of how far the extreme greens will go, they are giving the rest of us commonsense ppl who rather not have burnt out cars or rubbish in public places a bad name look at this photo from Best Buy to its customers ?
    Transport discrimination ?
    http://www.smugalert.com/tagged/environmentalist


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