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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Front line in the climate trenches

The trenches in the climate war tonight have coalesced at Lynas’s blog and at Judith Curry’s. (I did say yesterday it was shaping up to be a Judith-Curry-moment didn’t I?)

The Greenpeace-gate moment is making waves.

It’s in the news: David Derbyshire, Daily Mail, Oliver Wright, The IndependentLorene Gunter, National Post, (h/t GWPF Benny Peiser)

Stefan Singer, Director for Energy Policy at WWF, has waded into the comments on Lynas’s formerly-quiet site. Bob Ward is also still at it. (Lynas is asking who exactly Bob Ward is — answer, a PR man for the Grantham Institute). Meanwhile the IPCC staff are rushing to reply to questions as written up by Andy Revkin.

The signs are excellent. As Lynas says:

If the ‘deniers’ are the only ones standing up for the integrity of the scientific process, and the independence of the IPCC, then I too am a ‘denier’. Indeed, McIntyre and I have formed an unlikely double-act, posing a series of questions – together with the New York Times’s Andy Revkin – to the IPCC report’s lead author Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, to which he has yet to respond.

What Mark Lynas wrote is apropos — and pointedly so.

Here’s the scenario. An Exxon-Mobil employee – admittedly an energy specialist with an engineering background – serves as a lead author on an important IPCC report looking into the future of fossil fuels. The Exxon guy and his fellow lead authors assess a whole variety of literature, but select for special treatment four particular papers – one produced by Exxon-Mobil. This paper heralds great things for the future of fossil fuels, suggesting they can supply 80% of the world’s energy in 2050, and this headline is the first sentence of the ensuing IPCC press release, which is picked up and repeated uncritically the world’s media. Pleased, the Exxon employee issues a self-congratulatory press release boasting that his paper had been central to the IPCC effort, and urging the world’s governments to get on with opening up new areas to oil drilling for the benefit of us all.

Well. You can imagine the furore this would cause at Greenpeace. The IPCC would be discredited forever as an independent voice….

Missiles from friends

I wrote about how well it works for us when a passive skeptic asks a sensible point and gets the over-the-top Firey Grand Overreaction. When it comes to changing viewpoints, the missiles from friends are as effective as the polite notes from former enemies. Before this, the rational (but naive) soul thought that the response from friends to the bleeding obvious might be “yes, fair point. We’ll have to do better.” But instead, The Team turns on their former friend: “What the &#*& are you thinking?!” It’s at about this point when the naive get wise, and realize after years of thinking they were free to speak, they were really only free to agree with the establishment message. Their speech, all along, had been bound by invisible ties to the politically correct dictum.

That said, there is a long way to go. Mark still defends Working Group I absolutely: “no one has found a mistake”. But gently, gently I say, give the man a chance. Then we can start pointing out the gaping hole in the empirical evidence for any warming above 1.2 degrees. “Dear Mark, it’s not that there is a mistake, so much as there is a vacuum. It’s that the whole basis for the working group is an assumption that 28 million radiosondes blew away.” Let’s not overwhelm him.

Commenters wish Mark well (as do I), and Rick Bradford sums  it up:

Mark,

If you didn’t know before what happens to people who leave a cult, you’re about to find out.

Best of luck.

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31 comments to Front line in the climate trenches

  • #

    I think we’ve simply got to give Lynas 10 out of 10 for integrity and guts. Welcome to the receiving end of the big green PR machine Mark …

    Pointman

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  • #
    1DandyTroll

    It’s like watching an old zombie movie where the healthy crowd, from high above the street, point and shouts “Look there’s a healthy person trying to break free from that zombie horde down there.”

    Run you fool!

    He’s going for it, he’s going for it!

    Look! He might make it.

    Optional outcome:

    1. OMG that was a close one dude, lucky you went right, you’re safe now.

    2. OMFG why did he go left? Did you all see that, they just, they just. . . They just sucked his brains out from his left eye socket.

    Brought to you by Troma indoctrinated inc. :p

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  • #

    The poor bugger’s gone from hero to zero in 24 hours. Even Jo Abbess (BA) is wielding the knife now. The cruellest cut of all …

    Pointman

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  • #
    lmwd

    I’ve always said the alarmists were cult-like in the techniques they used – both in establishing the belief system and the measures they put in place to keep people ‘in the fold’. Or should we say, discourage people from leaving the fold. In our context, discouraging disagreement and questioning.

    Personal experience – had a long term friend who got caught up in a cult many years ago and as such this became a special interest for me while doing my psychology degree. She and her family managed to extract themselves, but lost their network as they were excommunicated from the warmth and inclusivity of the self-proclaimed ‘in-group’, they were branded evil because the devil had claimed their souls (even I was branded as a voice for the devil simply because I was an outside influence, at Uni and reading non permitted books – not the bible), denigration and humiliation rituals…they got the works. Standard cult practice.

    The hardest first step for these people is recognising what they hadn’t seen before. A bit like a goldfish that is suddenly able to see the water they’ve been swimming in, and the parameters of their bowl. Once seen, it changes everything.

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  • #
    MadJak

    Just a reminder to everyone,

    If you haven’t allready put up 3 votes on the following getup site, please do so. They’re obviously seeing it as a bit of a threat with some of the catastrafarians starting to pay attention to it:

    Double Tap the Zombies here

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  • #

    Madjak,

    Done.

    Careful with the analogy. Might be accused of promoting violence. The CIA uses the double tap. The KGB/FSB a single bullet.

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  • #
    cohenite

    MadJak; my meds haven’t kicked in yet so I might be missing something but don’t you have to become a member of getup to vote?

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  • #
    Rick Bradford

    Here are some frequently cited aspects of a cult.

    1. The movement is over-zealous – and regards its belief system, ideology and practices as Truth.
    2. The group is elitist, claiming a superior status and purpose (e.g., to be on a mission to save humanity).
    3. The group often prophesies the end of the world.
    4. The group promises salvation.
    5. Dissent is not tolerated and is even punished.
    6. The leadership dictates how members should think, act, and feel. Leaders prescribe how they live, whether to have children, etc
    7. The group instructs its members not to read information that is critical of the group.
    8. The group has a confrontational ”us-versus-them” mentality that leads to conflict.
    9. The leaders do not view themselves as accountable to authorities, even advocating civil disobedience for the higher cause.
    10. The group teaches that the ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may lead members to participate in illegal activities.
    11. Mind-altering practices, such as the repeated use of propaganda and denunciation sessions are used to suppress doubts. Character assassination is a sure sign of a cult.
    12. The group requires members to radically alter the personal activities they had before joining the group.
    13. The group is active in bringing in new members.
    14. The group is out to make money.

    Are there any of those that don’t apply to CAGW?

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  • #
    MadJak

    Cohenite,

    All you need is an email address and a handle to vote on the getup site. If they checked the credentials of the people voting in all their other surveys, they would be in trouble, surely.

    Just hit the vote button, enter in the details and select the number of vots. So far it’s gone from 113th ranked a few days ago to 73rd ranked as of now. The believers are starting to argue the toss on the forum, so it must be making them at least a bit squeamish…

    Mike – lol re the double tap. I was referring to the film zombieland and the ten rules for survival. Somehow it seems to have relevance when dealing with ideologically driven policy….

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  • #
    Pete H

    Worth visiting
    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2011/06/17/climate-critics-that-wont-muzzle-themselves
    for the comments alone! It shows the mind set of RealClimate founder Dr. Ray Pierrehumbert of the University of Chicago.

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  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    There is little that is new in history. Going through some old papers, what should I find but “noble cause corruption”. Year 1982. I did not invent it, so it must have been used before then.

    Here’s the short letter, about anti-uranium people, to show how the subject might have changed, but the battle for truth remains.
    http://www.geoffstuff.com/Noble_cause.doc

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  • #
    Dave

    Geoff @ 10

    Even the fanatics change their minds. http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2009/03/19/39971_ntnews.html

    Peter Garrett protests against uranium – then reiterates his support for Uranium mining.

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  • #
    cohenite

    Thanks MadJak; done.

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  • #
    Lawrie

    MadJak,

    Very surprised at how easy it was to comment etc. Not sure if my votes were done properly. Strange to see so many familiar handles as commenters. Made me feel right at home. I somehow think that wasn’t exactly the response GetUp was expecting. Maybe we should all visit on a reagular basis as they do need some facts. I did my best to explain the 97% of scientists subterfuge thanks to one of Jo’s previous threads.

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  • #
    Helen Armstrong

    3 votes whilst holding clove of garlic, MadJak.

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  • #
    lmwd

    Rick @ 8

    Thanks for bringing back the memories with that list…..

    I’m sure there were a few people on this thread working through that list and going tick, tick. In the past when I’ve drawn parallels between belief in CAGW and cults people don’t get it. The difference is that CAGW is a belief system that has gone viral thanks to technology and is also virtual cult-like group. Sign of the times?

    Below is a comment I wrote in response to an article by Chris Pearson in the Australian some time back:

    Thank you, Mr Pearson, for being one of the few journalists who has actually done his research on this issue. I absolutely agree. Belief in dangerous Anthropogenic Global Warming and its offspring Catastrophic Climate Change (distinct from historically evidenced natural climate variability) will one day be considered as a societal curiosity of our time. It is a bandwagon well past being fashionable and a great example of mass mania. Unlike previous mass manias, like the witch hunts, this one had the technological opportunity to go viral and virtual, infecting not just isolated pockets or populations, but whole countries with the potential to negatively impact the world economy.

    I do think though that there are the believers (the easily led and the gullible), and those who recognise they can make a buck from it, which goes to your point 14.

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  • #
    Joe V.

    Madjak @ #5
    It seems this get up outfit have already declared for the other side.
    Ranked number 5 in the Enviro category with ~1089 votes.
    What does this mean?

    Status: started
    GetUp supports climate action, a price on pollution and environmental sustainability.
    Kelsey Cooke
    online community coordinator

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  • #
    Joe V.

    That thread on the Lynas site needs to be saved for posterity.
    Before the high church ( of climate change) get onto their innocent disciple and rein him in, with a few home truths about speaking to people outside the cult. It’s only a matter of time… though I look forward to being proven wrong.

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  • #
    MadJak

    Joe V,

    I’m sure we can get more than 1080 votes. It’s already up to 400 and climbing fast.

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  • #
    Joe V.

    I’m with you Madjak. One has to wonder at the credibility of that Get Up site though, when for example Rocco & then ‘Roccos Brother’ comment on the. ‘Australia Supports Climate Action’ thread.

    How tempting it must be for ardent advocates to award 3 votes , on behalf of each member of their extended family, for cousins even that they didn’t know they had.

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  • #
    Joe V.

    Now that’s an interesting campaign topic over at Get Up: to
    Stop the NSW Govt. from retrospectively Reducing the Feed In Tarrif

    To let them do so would be further evidence of the abandonment of Fair Play, which the tragedy of the Thompson’s case so exemplifies. Yet the thrust if that proposal is undoubtedly to save the Greenie Dream.

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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    I can only second pointman @1. The truth is a dangerous thing to speak sometimes. 10/10.

    Rick Bradford @8, surely you don’t think they’re out to make money (cult 14)? No, no, no! It’s altruism all the way, isn’t it? Just ask them. ;)

    All joking aside, let us hope that one man waking up to realize 2 + 2 = 4, not 5 will encourage someone else to do likewise. The wall was built one brick at a time and it’s falling the same way, one brick at a time.

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  • #
    crakar24

    Mike in 6,

    I use double tap when i play COD4 online, this means i fire twice as many bullets as normal…..is this what you were talking about :) ))

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  • #
    crakar24

    Madjak,

    Left a comment on get up but where do i vote?

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  • #
    crakar24

    They shut down the voting on “double tap the zombie” link so i used 3 votes here

    http://suggest.getup.org.au/forums/60819-getup-campaign-suggestions/suggestions/1928067-stop-the-carbon-tax-call-for-a-referendum-now

    If you have any votes left then lets hit this one as hard as we can

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  • #
    TheBigRedMonkey

    Well crakar @#25
    if it hadn’t begun. “Stop the carbon tax -…” and just been something more neutral like. Call for Referendum o the carbon tax , it might have got further. But you just know they’re gonna shut it down, because it’s there to embarrass them ‘ not to mention that political objective has already been called for in parliament .

    It gets to tedious adding only 3 votes at a time too.

    Nice try though.

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  • #
    Mia Nony

    Um…not to put too fine a point on it but…….actually that’s “Lorne” Gunter, not “Lorene” Gunter, over @ the National Post

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  • #
    Raven

    from Andrews Blog , another communist scientist , with no ideas except censorship and ignorance ,,
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    ”The valuable and credible work of all scientists is under attack as a result of a noisy misinformation campaign by climate denialists….” the federation’s chief executive officer, Anna-Maria Arabia, said.

    So who is this Arabia, so concerned about sceptics undermining the “national building work” and so eager to smear them as “climate denialists”, of all things?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> if it wasn’t bad enough already , the tripe this halfwit spews is enough to make one sick !
    Who’s keeping that list , because it just keeps getting longer and longer .
    How many more of these morally bankrupt simpletons have they got to wheel out ?
    I’m so embarrassed for my country , it pains me to have to keep explaining to people outside Australia that most Aussies are quite intelligent and switched on .
    Then they wheel this defective mental cripple out , what’s next a goddamn ape !,

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  • #
    fred nerk

    My motto “CLIMATE CHANGE? YES IT’S NATURAL”

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  • #
    MangoChutney

    It’s in the news

    It may be in the news, Jo, but not over at the BBC despite Richard Black’s article

    Renewables can fuel society, say world climate advisers

    /Mango

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