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Merchants of Doubt — insidious propaganda in schools

The book Merchants of Doubt, by Naomi Oreskes, was made into a box office bomb (it crashed). But, darkly, it has an ongoing life in our schools. Tony Thomas uncovers the push to put propaganda in front of children, dressed up as education.  The director of the film tells the world that his aim is to stop skeptics from being broadcast on TV. (Because that’s what you do when you can’t win a fair debate eh?)

This film was never about science, but about doing exactly what it claims to “expose”. (It’s projection all the way down.) The real merchants of doubt are those that seed doubts about honest whistleblower scientists, using character assassination, namecalling, tenuous associations, innuendo and allusion instead of scientific arguments. They don’t find a scientific fault in anything skeptics say, but resort to twenty year old false tobacco smears.

What we need are resources for teachers to help students critically analyze propaganda like this. How do children spot what isn’t said? What clues do we see in this movie that reveal its anti-science, political nature? Is it that they don’t let their skeptic targets talk about climate science at all? Readers suggestions are welcome.  How do we sharpen students to spot the hypocrisy and fallacies?  As I said before, Naomi Oreskes IS the Merchant of Doubt.

“Ponder the irony of what Oreskes herself is doing. Is she not profiteering from being a doubt-monger about scientists’ reputations? Is she not a conspiracy theorist about webs of vested interests among conservative speakers? Could it be that her entire reasoning dies by its own sword and her claims turn out to be as hypocritical as they are mindless?”

  — Jo

Merchants of Doubt, Film, Documentary, Robert Kenner, Sony

..

————————————————————————————————

Merchants of Censorship: the authoritarians’ new push

By Tony Thomas

On a flight home over the Pacific last month, with nothing better to do, I took a  look at the Naomi Oreskes-based Sony film Merchants of Doubt. Back home, I delved further.

The  film urges direct action now: to get all skeptic commentators blacklisted from TV news and comment because they are liars and shills for corporate vested interests.

The film’s director Robert Kenner emailed pals on March 6, 2015:

Why I produced MD [Merchants of Doubt]. People who mislead the public on climate change should not be on TV. Period. That is one big reason why I produced Merchants of Doubt,  a film that lays bare the greedy, shameful world of climate denial and the journalists who broadcast it.

This is also why, right now, we are launching a people power national campaign that could keep climate deniers out of the news for good…

 “Forecast the Facts” has successfully held the media accountable before. One year ago, over 100,000 of us pushed the Washington Post  to improve its climate  reporting and we won. Now we can do it again with our TV news . RK.”

The film’s backers also helped push the Los Angeles Times and a dozen other US papers[1]  into  banning “anti-fact” skeptic views.

Merchant of Doubt’s second target is the education system. The film comes conveniently packaged with classroom study guides for teachers and students. Green groups such as Cool Australia and Australian Youth Climate Coalition will waste no time in leveraging their influence in schools to get the film playing and streaming on the smart whiteboards.

Predictably, Tim Flannery’s Climate Council is promoting the film. It sponsored a special Melbourne  showing at the Nova, Carlton, with council CEO Amanda McKenzie on the platform.[2]

The  film has  bombed commercially, grossing  a mere $US192,000 in March-April on the US cinema circuit.

Not to worry, the executive producers have deep pockets. They’re eBay founder and chairman Pierre Omidyar (net worth $US9 billion) and eBay’s inaugural president Jeff Skoll ($US4.4b).

Through their Participant Media offshoot, they’ve made dozens of activist films, including Inconvenient Truth (2005) and Climate of Change (2010). Participant creates a unique social action campaign designed to give audiences specific actions they can taken on the issues illuminated in the project.”  Skoll also runs the Skoll Global Threats Fund, which focuses on five global issues “that , if unchecked, could bring the world to its knees: climate change, water security, pandemics, nuclear proliferation and Middle East conflict.”

The official website for the Merchant’s of Doubt has a “Take Action” button. There we find a “Petition to Help End Climate Change Denial in the Media” with 17,500 signatories to date (target: 30,000).

The petition reads,

“The links between fossil fuel pollution and climate change are as well established as the links between cigarettes and cancer. Yet too often, your network provides a platform for pundits who are paid to intentionally confuse the public on climate science. 

[Because the public are too stupid to make up their own minds eh? – Jo]

The film Merchants of Doubt documents some of these individuals and the self-serving corporations and front groups that hire them. Your network has a reputation as a respected news source, and a responsibility to book credible guests who legitimately inform the American public about climate change. As long as your programs allow hired con artists on air, you serve as a tool for irresponsible industries and threaten your good name.

That’s why I urge you to stop booking merchants of doubt and all those who distort the established science on climate change on your news programs.

Sincerely,

[Your name here] 

The producers say, “Merchants of Doubt exposes a group of slick, camera-ready pundits who get paid to confuse the public on climate change. Many are the exact same people who, for years, lied about the dangers of smoking.”[3]

The website itself concedes that only 50% of Americans support the IPCC line that most of recent warming is human-caused. The documentary-makers blame “spin that’s masterfully orchestrated by some of the world’s largest corporations”.

Huh? This tirade about skeptic funding comes from eBay billionaires. Compared with funding to the climate industry, money going to skeptics would be  lost below several decimal places.[4]

The film looks like it was hoping to be the successor to Participant Media’s Oscar-winning hit Inconvenient Truth that garnered Al Gore half a Nobel Peace Prize.

Inconvenient Truth swamped non-US Western education systems from 2006. Some Australian students reported being shown it multiple times as they travelled between grades and courses. In Northern Ontario, a student reported being force-fed the film four times in a single year.

By government fiat, England, Scotland and Wales had the error-riddled tract shown in every secondary school. The Spanish government sent 30,000 copies to schools.

The dark art of “Education” – teaching the kiddies to vote for big-government

Merchants of Doubt was designed from inception as part of an education package. The film’s website includes study guides for high school and college  students to “develop critical thinking skills that will allow them to sort through confusing messages and distinguish between truth, propaganda, and misinformation.”

Here are some of the supposed discussion topics they offer:

  • Corporate interests fund think tanks, who create disinformation and promote ‘contradictory experts’. Under the guise of fairness, journalists fall for this strategy, creating a “false balance” in coverage in which scientists are opposed by industry shills.
  • Journalists should no longer cover global warming as a balance between two competing sides. Global warming should be covered as a scientific fact, deniers should be investigated, and their biases and partisan interests revealed.
  • The media has enabled elements of the political right, backed by a few scientists from the Cold War, to use it as a platform to distort, distract and subvert the scientific findings of climate scientists.
  • Taking a cue from the [tobacco] playbook, powerful individuals and corporate interests create a “Twilight Zone” effect, that is, an “alternate universe,” where nonscientific reports “mirror” in appearance and structure scientific ones.
  • A handful of scientists, none of whom are experts on climate, have obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming.
  • Think of and discuss a time when you felt “fooled” by a message from an ad, the news, or a politician. Evaluate the use of the illusionist analogy in describing the political and corporate deniers of global warming. Is it a fair comparison?
  • When responsible scientists speak out, they not only have their work attacked, some are harassed and receive death threats.
  •  How does the story of Dr. Stockmann compare and contrast with stories of climate scientists Benjamin Santer, Michael Man, and Katharine Hayhoe who receive threatening emails? [4]
  • Global warming deniers:
    • are primarily concerned about the implications of climate science, including the role of government and the need for government regulation.
    • view such regulation as a threat to democracy, individual freedom, and free enterprise.
    • have countered rational evidence with political slogans and appeals to the passions and fears of the general public.
    • see the science as a threat to their way of life, that “the science needs to be wrong, or else I need to change.”
  • Scientists have clearly demonstrated that global warming, if it continues unchecked, will do irreparable harm to the planet, to the survival of certain species, and to human civilization.
  • Why do you think many people tend to reject scientific truths predicting future harm when such truths threaten the status quo or call into question the sustainability of certain economic and cultural habits and values?
  • Corporate interests can buy the testimony of supposed scientific experts, such as the doctor who testified [falsely] on the death of babies in crib fires.

[This last one seems a bit self defeating. Yes please, let’s follow the thought that scientists can be bought and see where it takes us in a debate about the importance of "expert consensus". – Jo]

Orthodox climate science, in Oreskes’ words in the film, is “settled”. Those disputing its veracity are therefore on an ideological crusade against benevolent inter-government regulation to save the planet. In contrast, climate scientists like Ben Santer, James Hansen, Michael Man, Katherine Heyhoe[6]  and people like Oreskes work selflessly for the public good but get hate emails and death threats from, well, no need to say from whom.

Actually, there’s little in the film about climate science per se. [7] It’s just an exercise in fitting its heroes and villains with white and black hats, respectively. The blackest villains  are physicists Fred Seitz (died 2008 at 96)  and Fred Singer (90) because of their one-time tobacco roles. Seitz was on the nuclear weapons program; Singer had been (literally) a rocket scientist. Seitz was a recipient of the National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest award in science. The arms’ race by 1989 bankrupted the Soviet Union.

Seitz explained that because RJ Reynolds had been funding biomedical research at Rockefeller University where he was president, he agreed to chair a Reynolds’ panel that distributed a total $US46m in research grants from 1979-88 for studies in degenerative diseases. The book alleges that RJ Reynolds hoped to thereby create a cadre of favorable expert witnesses (and/or get research findings favorable to their political agenda), but the film makes no allegation that this actually occurred. Indeed, one of the Seitz grants supported work on prions (connected to Creutzfeld-Jacobs Disease), which earned a Nobel Prize for Dr Stanley Prusiner in 1997.[8] Seitz’ panel included other distinguished scientists. On Oreskes’ and the film’s logic, they would also have to be evil.

Fred Singer attacked studies in 1993 (note how old the film’s material is) by the US Environmental Protection Agency purporting to prove the cancer hazards of second-hand (not original) cigarette smoke. Singer argued that the studies were “junk science” based on fudged EPA analysis. His work was funded by PR firm APCO which was an intermediary for tobacco funding.  Singer said he didn’t know that, and that  in any event, the source of funding made no difference to his critique, which focused on flawed statistical analysis and had been validated judicially and by a Congress probe.

Fred Singer added that he found second-hand smoke irritating and unpleasant, served on the board of an anti-smoking organization, and personally believed that second-hand smoke, in addition to being objectionable, cannot possibly be healthy.

None of his defence made it into the film.

Purely for amusement, I checked IPCC stalwarts for links to the tobacco industry, and found that Jean Jouzel and Herve le Treut both won cash prizes from Philip Morris in France in 1992.

The German recipients of the equivalent Morris prize got $US100,000 each so we’re not talking mere honor and glory here. Jouzel has been a vice-chair of the prestigious “Science” group of the IPCC since 2008 (plus variously a drafting author, review editor, Bureau member and lead author). Le Treut was a coordinating lead author of the 5th IPCC report.  Unlike Oreskes, I’m not saying that they must be bad people and that their climate work must be worthless because of a distant tobacco connection.

The Oreskes/Conway Merchants book of smear was picked up by unskeptical types as a post-Copenhagen stick to beat scientists with. Oreskes, showered[9] with honors, became a global hit with fans of man-made climate control. Eighteen months ago, she urged at Harvard that climate skeptics be prosecuted under the Racketeering and Corrupt Organisations Act, the same way that Big Tobacco was convicted under RICO in 2006.

She followed up with another book (with Conway) cheerily titled “The Collapse of Western Civilisation”, published in 2014 but written cleverly in the distant 21st Century when all the IPCC predictions of disaster have come true.  The entire population of Australia “of course” is wiped out, she says unkindly. (Which rather contradicts a recent study suggesting Australia was one of the countries best adapted to surviving climate change.)  And as early as 2023, we learn, people’s puppies and kittens succumbed en masse to global over-heating.

Tarring skeptics with tobacco tar and writing from the future are not Oreskes’ only talents. She was a pioneer of the “97% consensus” meme, through a paper in Science  Magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2004 she inspected 928 climate paper abstracts from 1993-2003 and found that not one disputed the IPCC line on climate. (Her work is a poor way to get insight about the climate, but a reasonable proxy for the ratio of government funding for believers versus skeptics – Jo.)

What I found remarkable (apart from the Soviet-style 100% consensus) was her abstract’s conclusion:

 “(O)ur grandchildren will surely blame us if they find that we understood the reality of anthropogenic climate change and failed to do anything about it.”   Strange “science”:  could her forecast somehow be tested, confirmed or rebutted?

Oreskes’ acolytes like Illinois’ Zimmerman/Doran (2009) and Queensland University’s John Cook (2013) enhanced the literature with their own 97% consensus-finding tracts.

How is the Oreskes-based film put together? It uses a  card trickster Jamy Swiss at Leitmotif to highlight how magicians do ‘honest’ disinformation while climate skeptics “offend him” like “con-men, thieves and liars… twisting, distorting and manipulating.” Shots of smokestacks recur, the blacker the smoke the better.

The film goes into detail about how a medico shill for the flame-retardant-chemicals industry brazenly lied to legislators about how babies (in various manifestations) had burnt to death because flame-retardant materials weren’t used. It was later shown that he’d been paid $US240,000 by the industry to lie about mythical burnt babies.  “How many other groups are out there doing the same thing?” the film’s narrator asks , obviously with skeptics on his radar.

The scientists, pushing their case for a global restructuring to non-fossil energy, pretend to be  dragged blinking  from their labs/computer models into an unfamiliar media spotlight. Even  media tart James Hansen of NASA (who had held over 1,000 press conferences already when NASA tried to make him toe the corporate line in 2006, which led to charges that George Bush was silencing him) tries this gambit:   “I would rather do my research than be interviewed by TV”. The film  later mentions that he’s been arrested four times at demos.[10] Among Hansen’s factoids in the film:

  • Hansen:  “The science has become so clear that things we predicted are actually happening, some even faster than we thought.” (The film instances Artic ice down by 23-50% and 99% of glaciers shrinking, and shows dramatic footage of Arizona wildfires, heat and drought in the US, and  “the strongest tropical cyclone on earth ever to make land”).
  • Hansen: “We know as much about climate as doctors know about how your body works”
  • Hansen predicts “tens of metres of sea level rises from a couple of degrees warming” and “if the ice sheets begin to disintegrate we have passed the tipping point, you will get consequences out of control.” We then witness the drowning of all the big coastal cities from New York via Asia/London to Sydney. I felt no pang as the film showed cops bundling Hansen into the back of a paddy-wagon.

Environmental activists are depicted as fresh-faced mothers and their kids, with panda puppets and carrying “Halt global warming!” signs. Their spokesman is John Passacatando, pre-2008 executive  director of Greenpeace USA. He says modestly, “You know I really just trundled into this fight as just another earnest environmentalist.”  [Shots of plucky Greenpeace boats in icy waters]

Oreskes appears in the film writing on a blackboard about her 2003 consensus study. Publication, she said, led to hate-emails calling her a Communist and wanting her sacked. She said she researched her attackers and found the ‘startling fact’ that they were “the same people who attacked scientists on all these issues.”

The film’s liveliest interview is with the Washington Climate Depot’s irreverent skeptic Marc Morano, who even manages to get in a reference to “16 years without warming” and accuses the sainted James Hansen of “inspiring people to acts of eco-terrorism”. He adds, “I get death threats. I enjoy them. I email back!”

The senior scientist Fred Singer makes a rather fun appearance to say man-made catastrophic warming is “all bunk”. Challenged  that the IPCC and numerous academies support the consensus, he says, “What can I say? They are wrong!”

The film cuts (in satiric mode) to a skeptic convention in Las Vegas, where a speaker is saying “CO2 increases have followed…” But the film cuts off the rest of the sentence, namely that from ice core data, CO2 rises followed, not caused, past temperature rises.

Another speaker says current temperatures are not abnormally warm, in fact are abnormally cool, but we are not told in what paleoclimatic context.

The ground is thus made safe for the film to mock skeptics with  parallel universes and twilight zones, using clips from the old Twilight Zone movie and comments about black being white and up being down. A Twilight Zone character adds, “Call that rational?”

The IPCC is described as “thousands of professional climate scientists from all over the world” and the rival Non-Governmental IPCC (NIPCC) is depicted with a clip of a dozen old guys sitting around a garden table. Oreskes dismisses the skeptic Oregon Petition (31,000 US signatories including 9,000 Ph.Ds) on the ground that signatories included spoofs like the Spice Girls, actor Michael  J Fox and Charles Darwin. The Oregon organisers website says only one forged applicant briefly made the list, and specifically instances signatory Michael Fox as being a scientist with the same name as the actor.

Oreskes makes the false statement in the film that the Oregon Petition claims to represent thousands of “climate” scientists, when in fact signatories are invited  from qualified people in science, engineering and medicine. Only 39 signatories are climatologists.

The film, after more interludes of card-sharping and smokestacks, settles on an obscure Republican ex-congressman Bob Inglis, who was a climate skeptic but saw the light and recanted. Inglis decided to vote for a carbon tax and, as a result, was wiped out in the 2010 Republican primaries vote. “I was buzz-saw fodder,” he laments.

He took a climate-alarm show on the road to re-educate the public, but the film shows him isolated and ridiculed. For some reason the film-makers set him up to give the final climate message:  “We are leaving to our children and grandchildren  the legacy of people who failed to lead. When it came   their time  to be awakened, they slept.  We didn’t have enough  faith in the future so we just gave up. We could not rise to higher things. I don’t want to be part of that, I want to say we did rise to it, you bet we did!”

Director Robert Kenner must have liked the religiosity of that.

Tony Thomas blogs at tthomas061.wordpress.com

——————————————————————

FOOTNOTES

[1^]  Plus  Popular Science magazine, the BBC (via its “28-gate” secret conference of green advisers), and the Sydney Morning Herald.

[2^] She was joined by Adam Majcher, local boss of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.

[3^] http://www.takepart.com/merchants-of-doubt/take-action (in one of the three “Take Action” sub-pages). Skeptic standard-bearers Anthony Watts (US), Steve McIntyre (Canada), Andrew Mountford (“Bishop Hill”, UK) and JoNova (Australia) go un-mentioned by the film, despite their influence. None, incidentally, are salaried.

[4^] Not to mention that oil majors have become a major funder of anti-coal Green activists.

[5^]  Dr Stockmann is a hero of an Ibsen play (1882) who tries to alert his town that a water source has turned poisonous from tannery contamination. Instead he is subjected to threats and persecution by vested tannery interests. “But in the Merchants of Doubt, threats and slanderous allegations against responsible scientists cause real harm. In spite of an overwhelming consensus among their peers about the nature of climate change, scientists are called communists and threats to American democracy. Concerted efforts are made to undercut their work, to marginalize them, even to subject them and their families to harm.”

[6^] Hayhoe’s modus operandum can be glimpsed in a blogpost by Paul Homewood last week.

[7^] Although the website includes an SkS tract headed: “The ‘No Warming in 16 Years’ Crock”. So-called Skeptical Science proves there is no pause by subtracting from the 35-year temperature graph the supposed impact of volcanos, the sun, and el Nino/la Nina cycles. It then discovers that the temperature actually has a rising slope due to human-made CO2.

[8^] Prusiner: “I was extremely fortunate to receive much larger funding from the R. J. Reynolds Company through a program administered by Fred Seitz and Macyln McCarty… While the vast majority of my funding always came from the NIH, these private sources were crucial in providing funds for the infrastructure which was the thousands of mice and hamsters that were mandatory.
”

[9^] E.g.   Science Communicator of the Year, George Mason University, 2011; American Geophysical Union, Presidential Citation for Science in Society, 2014 .

[10^] Hansen in the film makes the  analogy that CO2 emissions are like “putting a blanket around the planet which holds in the heat”. I wonder if he is the inventor of this threadbare meme.

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Merchants of Doubt -- insidious propaganda in schools, 9.7 out of 10 based on 70 ratings

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155 comments to Merchants of Doubt — insidious propaganda in schools

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘Journalists should no longer cover global warming as a balance between two competing sides. Global warming should be covered as a scientific fact, deniers should be investigated, and their biases and partisan interests revealed.’

    Journalists should be encouraged to seek balance between the competing arguments.

    Global warming should be seen as a failed theory. The Klimatariat and all warmist scientists should be quizzed on why they continue to take grant money when there has been no global warming in 18 years.

    692

    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      “deniers should be investigated, and their biases and partisan interests revealed.”

      I would encourage this of the journalists too. It would reveal the opposite of what they were expecting, but that’d be a good test for the journalist too. It may spark some other questions in the mind of the journalist. What a novel idea!

      270

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        This is classic left wing Soviet-era agitprop.

        The best defence we have is teaching our kids that the schools and teachers LIE TO THEM.

        Maybe when the teachers get sufficient push back by kids because their parents have told them they are speaking lies ( albiet because of the CAGW Big Lie ) that the schools themselves will push back agianst the curriculum boards.

        The problem is the curriculum board are just good leftists too, so they will happily push all this down ontot he kids.

        Either way, the best soluition is to just keep speaking the truth, but also to make sure scpetics maintain a good solid ( and protected ) repositiory of scientific truth.

        The problem is simply this – as Hitler said “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think”.

        Clearly this applies to any population and any conflict – whether a shooting war or a war fior childrens minds in the classroom. You also have to watch how the army of concerned wives believe the cholesterol ads on tv and dutifully line to to “protect” thier husbands by “lowering their cholesterol..” I shake my head. I have grilled cheese for breakfast every 2nd day to make the point….

        But I think we need to realize its going to be a rough trot, The great unwashed is easily swayed and as they dont think much, the best defence is talking to mates, people at the local footy club, school teachers and school boards.

        It matters not what the propagandists do – if the population dont believe it it, its conceptually impotent.

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      • #
        Rick Bradford

        A perfect fit with Sowell’s Rule 4:

        4. A disdainful dismissal of arguments to the conrary as either uninformed, irresponsible, or motivated by unworthy purposes.

        Their constant moralizing is so tedious, it’s hard to figure out how they don’t bore each other to death.

        160

        • #
          Bulldust

          And we saw the same on that dismal commercial filler show called “The Project.” I didn’t watch it* but saw the following news item about it:

          http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/waleed-aly-shuts-down-steve-price-on-the-project-over-greenies-20150819-gj36bq.html

          Waleed Aly, socialist (or further left) for those unfamiliar, shut down Steve Price for pointing out a few obvious facts about the Queensland coal mine (Adani) project. This is modus operandi for the leftards… shut down all debate and control the lanuguage and narrative. One wonders if Aly would prefer life in a society that has this down already, like North Korea. I struggle to find someone more reprehensible with so much media influence.

          Needless to say, the leftist ABC is also running attacks articles against the Libs, once again from Marque lawyer, Michael Bradley:

          http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-20/bradley-vigilante-litigants-didnt-stop-the-carmichael-mine/6708414

          I find it hilarious to have MB preach morality in his Lib-hate laced opinion pieces when he is the managing partner of the company that represented the extortionate Voltage company in the DBC (Dallas Buyers Club) litigation in Australia. The guy couldn’t lie straight in bed. One wonders if he is setting up to run for politics. He has 4 articles in The Drum in August alone, and the month ain’t done yet…

          Funny thing is … I am centrist by nature. It just seems that the media is drifting further and further left in recent times. Part of the reason that so many are switching off. There is a complete disconnect between the mainstream media and real people.

          * Got to admit, since getting Netflix we hardly ever turn on normal TV … there is no comparison. Traditional commercial TV models are dead. Netflix has around 1 million subscribers in Australia already.

          140

          • #
            Rick Bradford

            And this is why:

            …The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your legs and hands, and fly into your face and eyes. — John Adams (2nd president of the US, 1797-1801)

            I’ve often wondered why people back then had so much more common sense than is evident today, and the answer has to be: the world was dangerous enough back then that stupid people didn’t survive.

            You can (as a Westerner) commit any kind of folly these days, live any kind of lifestyle, and there is still a support net — financial, medical — underneath you.

            70

        • #
          Bulldust

          Oreskes must be firming as a front-runner for the next Climate Pratt of the Year Award.

          100

          • #
            Ross

            This film seems to heading in the same direction as Al Gore’s recent multi million dollar “fun fest”. An absolute flop. The number linking onto it would have been an embarrassment to Al if he bothered to look.

            60

  • #

    Excellent work. Well done Tony Thomas. The widespread forcing of An Inconvenient Truth on to schools is one of the many moral disgraces of the orchestrated climate panic. Some victims of the panic become perpetrators of it in turn, and I presume this to be the case with Kenner (although I might well be being too generous). Others, like Oreskes, merely use it to further their political dreams. Dreams to them, nightmares to most others.

    Jo’s points are good and ambitious ones: ‘What we need are resources for teachers to help students critically analyze propaganda like this. How do children spot what isn’t said? What clues do we see in this movie that reveal its anti-science, political nature? Is it that they don’t let their skeptic targets talk about climate science at all? Readers suggestions are welcome. How do we sharpen students to spot the hypocrisy and fallacies?’

    I have put occasional ‘antidotes to climate alarmism’ posts on my blog, and others under the heading of ’10 minute trainers’ which teachers might be able to adapt for classroom use. The awful reality that teaching a reasonable scepticism, or even a balanced view of what we know about climate variation, may well reduce the ability of children to pass exams in which climate questions arise if such knowledge conflicts with, or maybe just does not appear, on the marking-guides. But the corruption of curricula is too important to be just lived with by encouraging ignorance and even duplicity.

    443

    • #
      ivan

      John, I would go further and say we need to clean out the Aegean stables Universities of all the left leaning green mess before we can get to the teachers and students.

      This propaganda masquerading as science can only be stopped by cutting off the head – it would also help by cutting off the life blood, grants. By doing that the money saved could be passed on to real scientists for real research into such things as improved nuclear energy sources, better electricity distribution and so on.

      274

      • #
        sophocles

        The current `official dogma’ has to be taught and adhered to. `Apostasy’ and `heresy’ are not tolerated in the Universities, as you have seen—look at the fuss over Lomborg. He’s labelled a ‘denier’ even though he’s not. You have to dig a bit deeper to find the real reason. Money. If his ideas gain traction, the pork barrels will shrink and may even disappear. Oy vay! Therefore, they are not to be entertained.

        In the second half of the nineteenth century, an American social commentator and economist called Henry George published his economic analyses and theories. His book, “Progress and Poverty” became a best seller. It’s still the world’s only economics best seller and it’s still in print. The World’s `Establishment’ or elites, had to bury George’s ideas as deeply as possible. George wanted a single tax on land. The wealthy have never paid tax, if they can avoid it, preferring the poor to pay their tax for them. A tax on land would not be avoidable so the proponent’s ideas and literature had to be attacked and buried. Lots of money was at stake—the wealthy were far and away the largest land owners. The attack is detailed by Prof. Mason Gaffney here. [pdf file]. If you’ve never heard of Henry George, it shows just how successful the ‘gatekeeping’ has been. You will find the tactics used and the pressures brought to bear now by the CAGW proponents are a repetition of those brought against academics and academia in George’s day against his ideas.

        Cleaning the dogma out is A Nice Idea but it won’t fly. Those in charge of the Universities are the `Gatekeepers’ protecting the University in both directions, and they will ensure such a prospect will never get traction, aided and abetted by staff with `vested interests.’ History shows that. It’s going to be incredibly difficult trying to straighten out the schools as it is, never mind the `centres of higher learning.’

        81

        • #
          me@home

          Sophocles, I think you’ll find that many of us are familiar with HG. I think there still is a HG Leage in OZ. The fact that their ideas have not caught on is not just / mainly / at all (?) to do with suppression. Many have examined his ideas and found them unworkable.

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      John, if there are some skeptical teachers out there and the school gets a copy of this movie, they will search online for an alternate class notes. Where would they find it, and can we put even a one page specific sheet together, so they have something…?

      Teachers would want set of short questions they can discuss with students before and after the film is shown.
      ie. “Notice the way the editors (do, show, create) ………” What do you think they were hoping to get you to feel…?
      “Do the people who made this hold a personal position about the science debate….?”
      “Can you name other areas where “tobacco type” tactics are used? eg where scientists are funded to promote a sympathetic view….”
      “Do “tobacco tactics” tell us anything about the climate?” “Is this line of reasoning useful as a way to understand the climate…”
      “If the evidence of global warming is overwhelming, why don’t the makers organise a proper debate on TV for both sides to speak…”
      “Would that work? Would you want to see a debate with the best from both sides?”
      “Why would it be better if one side is kept out of the media — is it better if some arguments are hidden from you, say….”
      “Who should decide what is “misinformation”?
      “Is it better for someone to decide what “misinformation” is for you, or is it better if we teach children how to spot good and bad arguments and then let both sides speak up?”

      I’m thinking out loud here… help me :_ )

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        I am now linked to the children’s site Max and I started. There are some discussions (http://climate4kids.blogspot.com/search?q=how+do+i+know) of how children can deal with sorting out information from climate change propaganda.

        One could create a page that addresses the most common misconceptions. I would be willing to create one if you think that would help. Max and I started this blog in the hopes of putting out information for kids that is real science. Unfortunately, neither of us has enough time to devote fully to the project. I try to update the blog whenever possible.

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        Peter C

        Every point in the class notes discussion topics is based on false assumptions, rhetorical devices, logical fallacies etc.

        The document itself is an excellent piece for a class on comprehension and critical thinking.

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        mikerestin

        It looks like Bjorn Lomborg has move on.
        http://www.lomborg.com/
        Is he still anti-CO2?

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      • #
        jaymam

        How about some multiple choice questions for teaching, such as:
        What is the percentage of CO2 in the air?
        40% 4% 0.4% or 0.04%

        What is the percentage of methane in the air?
        18% 1.8% 0.0018% or 0.000018%

        (the correct answers are the last ones)

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      • #

        Jo, I think your suggestions would work for a good teacher with a bright class, and with time available for such promising discussions. But how many are pushed for time and under pressure just to get pupils through exams? Maybe there could be some ongoing wall-based project (or maybe web-based) to which different classes could add bits from time to time as and when they spotted things of interest, or had reflections they wished to share?

        Another aspect of the situation, well-illustrated and well-made in the book ‘Facts, Not Fear’(http://climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/facts-not-fear-excellent-book-for.html is that the harm being done to children’s education is very often by omission of important details. I think of a jigsaw puzzle with major sections missing, or a Powerpoint slide with large areas blacked-out as helpful analogies here. For example recent sea rise data might be shown for some location, but not the longer time series showing no particular change in trend for a hundred years or more. Or a picture of a polar bear apparently marooned on an ice floe without noting that they can swim very well, and that they have generally been doing relatively very well in recent decades. Or coal is demonised without any mention of the tremendous benefits we have enjoyed from it. This gives teachers scope to show the bigger pictures, and then highlight the little bits of them it hat the examiners are looking for. That allows the pupil to swot on the right things to pass, and also to see the moral and intellectual poverty of this bit of the education system which they find themselves in.

        The book covers many eco-alarm topics, and chapters end with suggested activities for parents and children to do together in order to reduce the risk of the children being both scared and misinformed.

        Bishop Hill has an important post up about UNESCO scheming to get more eco-activists into classrooms: http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2015/8/20/unesco-wants-green-activists-in-the-classroom.html

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      • #
        What?

        I think most of the topics in the list can/should be turned against the movie. The book is factualy flawed.

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  • #
    David Maddison

    The red thumb troll is out again tonight.

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  • #

    A fragment of a conversation overheard while waiting at a bus stop behind a group of teenage schoolgirls. One of them mentioned something about being worried about the environment. Anther one turned to her and asked in mock astonishment, “you don’t believe in all that rubbish, do you?” to general hoots of laughter from all the others.

    Kids are terminally fed up with enviro doom and gloom. After years of it, they’ve developed a resistance to anything green. It’ll bomb in schools just as badly as it did in the cinema.

    BTW, a really good piece Tony.

    Pointman

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      Gary in Erko

      The kids are going to be so furious when they figure out the tricks that grown ups have put on them.

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        OriginalSteve

        And this is what I pointed out with a simple fact : teachers are basically told to lie to kids.

        What the Socialsts are trying to do is create a moral conundrum ( Socialism relies on creating a moral vacuum so they can swoop in and tell people what to believe….)- kids are told to respect their teachers, however if a teacher is forced to lie to kids by teaching them blatant scientific lies, it creates a twilight zone in kids impressionable minds.

        So when a parent says that they are being lied to , even half intelligent kids will ask why, and parents ( who hopefully have a backbone ) explain why. The people who lose are teachers, but the Socialists are relying on socioal pressure conformity to try and suppress the obvious problem.

        “Men occasionally he stumbled over the truth but always picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.” (Winston Churchill).

        In many ways, the socialists are playing the same game as drug companies who push cholesterol drugs with dubious “proof” – put the person in a position whereby they hve to go against the “experts” ( doctors ) and thus have their minds messed with, whereby the doctor may “sack” a patient if they dont go along with their opinion.

        Its going to be a long dirty “war” that kids will get dragged into unfortunately, but better they understand the war for their minds, than be intellectual “roadkill” along the way….

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          Greg Cavanagh

          And they wonder why kids at school don’t listen to authority and generally rebel.

          While there is a natural rebellious nature to kids; trickery, coercion, lying etc. will guarantee zero respect for the teachers.

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          bobl

          Interesting comment. I have several times explained to my kids that their teachers have mislead them. I even taught my children the same way to do multiplication instead of the insane, almost totally incomprehensible way carries are done in new-age mathematics. Most kids these days can’t divide, because they can’t multiply properly. I taught one of them the easy way to do matrix and vector math that they used to teach when I went to school but they how now replaced with a method that takes a page to do.

          High school math has regressed because we insist on removing the short-cuts that make math easier. For example “Some Old Hags Can Always Hide Their Old Age”.

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        • #

          Again, with the evil drug companies. Can’t we ever have an analogy that doesn’t involve some kind of conspiracy ideation, whether expressed or not? While doctors do pedal drugs, it could easily be argued that this what patients have demanded the doctors do, not the drug companies demanding it. Far more people want pills than don’t. Blaming the drug company shifts the blame from the real guilty party. Likewise, in global warming, people like being afraid and having an impending apocalypse, which is why doom sells so well. If we are to change this, people are going to have to go beyond their base instincts and actually think.

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          • #
            Rick Bradford

            While doctors do pedal drugs …

            Especially the bicyclic antidepressants?

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            OriginalSteve

            Sheri I think youre chooing to ignore how the world *actually* works.

            Drug companies are very well known for targetting doctors well before they even graduate from uni and have a reputation for taking them on expensive trips to make sure drugs sell. I think if you ignore this you might as well get off the ride….

            Yes, drugs are a tool like everything else, however you cant separate a cause and effect whereby the demand is often articially created ( cholesterol ) to the point wherby the govt picks yup the baton and creates a massive problem through then irresponsibly promoting it and bingo – you have the perfect cause-effect-demand cycle that generates and maintains constant cash flow. Many other drug company supplied items also come to mind, especially for kids…have a good think…..

            Govts are very easily manipulated by large corporations – its not just pharma that does this – green tech ( like bird shredder sellers ) comes to mind too.

            The more I see of this old world, the more it becomes starkly obvious we are held down by corporations ( with willing govt asistance ) and basically forced to buy stuff we dont need or want, and corporations are give complete legal immunity and we wear the effects and have no come back.

            It wouldnt matter what industry it is, the problem is the same. Look at the green industry – we have this massive CAGW lie that creates a massive industry, that forces us to go along with the nonsense , have to pay huge green taxes to fund a complete joke. I for one am sick of it. All I’m doing is laying out the parallel so people can see it better.

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            • #

              Sorry—I’m not ignoring how the real world works. In fact, I probably have a better grasp than you. You see, I realize people are responsible for their own lives and messes. Blaming drug companies because a person is too lazy or unwilling to learn about a drug is great if you never want to change things. Blaming the government for your failure to achieve is a great way to never achieve yet think your are not at fault. People are responsible for their own mistakes. Being unwilling to do anything but what the government or the TV tell them to is their fault. This works because people love to just throw any personal initiative out the window and let someone run their lives. Nothing will ever change until people grow up and behave like adults and accept responsibility. All that happens is a new thing to blame comes in—get rid of the corporations and a new villian will be found to blame rather than accept responsibility.

              Since time eternal, humans have been willing to just do whatever they are told. You’re angry at who is doing the telling. Be angry at people for failing to take responsibility, because without that, this will never change.

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        gigdiary

        The kids are going to be so furious when they figure out the tricks that grown ups have put on them.

        Hopefully that will lead to another generation rebelling against their elders. The baby boomers and rock’n'roll generation did it. This time it’s really serious.

        Let’s hope today’s teens have the gumption and nous to reject the lies and distortions being foisted on them in the guise of education.

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    • #
      Michael Harris

      Yes, this is the answer. On our side we have to rely on the common sense of people to see through the propaganda. We want them to know the truth by their own experience and investigation, not merely tell them. I think it’s happening at last.

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    • #
      Manfred

      Don’t underestimate the kids! Sure, a few will be distracted but for the most part, the transparently deliberate systematic attempt at duping will almost guarantee a long range turn-off for many and an inquisitorial response response in many more. Their BS sensitivity meters are surprisingly responsive. Whilst they may lack the experience to evaluate more critically now they will eventually come to hold their ‘teachers’ to account.

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    • #

      As a point of comparison, the youngsters from the former GDR (German Democratic Republic) adjusted to “capitalism” more quickly than their parents. Many of their parents also adjusted rapidly because, after 40 years, they understood that what they were told was manure for the masses.

      I think we’ve reached Peak Manure in CAGW now. Governments and media are struggling to identify the next fantastic crisis requiring urgent solution. Not any real crisis, you understand. Their inability to resolve almost every one of those would only make them look back if they recognized it officially.

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    Ken

    “What we need are resources for teachers to help students critically analyze propaganda like this.”

    The problem is that the majority of teachers are liberals that buy into global warming. Rather than encourage open discussion, they’ll simply follow the agenda and offer propaganda as fact.

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    • #
      el gordo

      ‘the majority of teachers are liberals’

      In Australia that translates as ‘green labor’ and sadly its true, they tend to be of the left. I know a small group of teachers and they have all been brainwashed into believing the AGW propaganda, which is tied in with their political orientation.

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        Manfred

        Thinking out loud, what is it then about teachers collectively that pitches them into or near an eco-marxist disposition?
        Was it that their own education was sadly bereft of imbuing them with critical thinking skills? Why is it they appear reflexively disposed to conform rather than to question? Why do they appear to lack the insight necessary to make an intellectual correction? Do they also lack sufficient ability to critically evaluate their own teaching?

        Some of the answer may lie in the institutionalised box-ticking mentality that appears to have led to globalised intellectual torpor, arising out of the idea that no one is to blame, no one is wrong, and if error occurs, it may lie somewhere vague and ill-defined in the system that requires a committee investigation.

        Change this and there’s maybe a chance one may begin to orchestrate change in the wider community, let alone in teachers thinking and their pupil centered consequences.

        Thank you for highlighting this issue again Jo, and for the expose TT.

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          Power Grab

          I don’t know about your part of the world, but in mine teachers tend to be less lionized than, say, football players or billionaires or movie stars.

          If your profession is rewarded in a paltry manner, yet your lot in life is to stand in front of a bunch of snot-nosed brats every day and try to get them to … what? … that might make you susceptible to follow a suitable Pied Piper over the cliff.

          Well, I’m just saying that a person whose purpose in life is not well esteemed or well rewarded, then perhaps that person might surrender to the siren song of being on the side of those with the most power and influence, e.g., Al Gore and high-level players like the UN. If they can get their jollies by parroting the CAGW line (whether they’ve really thought it through or not) and promoting that new religion, then maybe that’s what makes them sign on to the hoax.

          Just a thought…

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          • #
            Manfred

            Interesting PG. I wonder about their apparently chronic lack of low self-esteem. Once I believe this was not the case and they were a respected and indeed venerated profession in society.

            Then along came government edict, unionisation, and politicisation through State run and provided education. Rather than claiming the professional and intellectual high ground, and stridently owning their own profession, they became semi-compliant government bureaucrats, the profession submerged beneath government policy and the latest socio-political flavour of the moment.

            Little wonder then that they struggle with self-esteem, and as you suggest, snuggling up to the eco-Planetary Saviours of the UNFCCC’s Christiana Fugueres, El Gourdo himself and Schtick-Mann to garner a little more light from the pseudo-radiance of UN Smoke ‘n Mirrors.

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            • #
              OriginalSteve

              Maybe, but it doesnt excuse them.

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              • #

                I thought people were just victims of outside forces—like drug companies. Teachers are just victims of outside forces then too. It does excuse them, if ignorance and laziness excuses people from saying no to drug companies. Either forces run our lives or they don’t. You don’t get to pick when personal responsibility should be ignored and when we can blame evil corporations, especially not based on your own prejudices. Actually, you can, but it makes you a hypocrite.

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        • #
          bobl

          Manfred,

          It’s much simpler than this, if you do a personality profile (Briggs – Meyer) on teachers they invariably fall into the Empathic/Feeling category. Teachers are attracted to the profession because they want to feel good about what they do in the world – sound familiar? Because of this they are natural collectivists, they talk about community and caring and equal opportunity.

          This is all good, but teaching also needs to be objective, the virtually complete capture of education by collectivist “Feeling” people (Briggs Meyer types like ESFP), and means that its easy to capture the teaching profession in “causes” they are sitting ducks because that beautiful caring personality (No Sarcasm there – they are usually truly beautiful caring people) makes them particularly susceptible to “save the planet” style propaganda. They lack the personality traits needed to question the propaganda that someone like me (an INTJ)has and can’t bear to secede from the “Community”. Belonging is THAT important to them.

          A lot of this has come about 1. because of the ostracism of men from Junior schools. 2 the change in emphasis from hard skills to so-called soft skills. and 3 the removal of competitiveness concepts from school environments.

          Teachers are natural carers, it’s only natural that they would preferentially identify with green causes

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            OriginalSteve

            Canon fodder comes to mind….I agree, however they also have the responsibility because of their role with young minds, to provide the best teachingtehy can.

            I have no issue tearing strips off ( figuratively speaking ) a teacher who teaches wrong or bad things to my child.

            The world to day is one big blame shifting game.

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        Glen Michel

        I’ll second that.As a60 year old ex teacher I remain in contact with a number of them and they mostly are hard-wired to soft issues such as social equality and the environment.Sadly, none of the teachers in the 25 to 40 range exhibit any real interest in public affairs or economics. Some years ago reasoning and true critical thinking was applied by some teachers- but they were few in number.Depressing.

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      OriginalSteve

      Thats easy -ask them to provide written proof of global warming and the science to back it up.

      If they cant do that, their position can be questioned.

      If they bluster, hold them to providing proof.

      Easy……

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    • #
      andersm0

      When discussing change, I like to use the analogy of the forest fire versus the glacier. The former produces rapid but temporary change, the latter is frustratingly slow but permanently alters the landscape.

      Deeply entrenched beliefs are shaped over long periods of time. Paraphrasing Steyn, to move people into desired beliefs, you need only make them uncomfortable to believe anything else. They will check and adjust of their own volition. Over decades of being made uncomfortable, teachers accept AGW. Their educational materials, the media and chitchat in the staff room reinforce that culture. Even those valiant few who haven’t tossed their critical thinking out the window may privately wonder about the validity of AGW but aren’t about to jeopardize their job by direct confrontation.

      Teachers carry a special burden. Not only do they have to contend with belief culture perpetuated by the state and peer groups, they have the parents of their students. Like scientists, teachers commit career suicide if they walk any path except the one sanctioned. Working for government is job security, but it’s also thought slavery.

      A frontal assault on AGW in the classroom will obtain nothing but solidifying resistance. A strategic circling behind enemy lines seems the most effective approach. Turn their own arguments on their heads in the name of teaching critical thinking. They make great examples of how societies and individuals have been led into folly by failing to exercise scepticism.

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  • #
    William

    Jo:
    I fear that this may be a trip to nowhere. Fighting a religion is a lost cause.
    In the 1970′s/80′s I started a business in the business of the disposal of hazardous waste.
    The greatest opposition I got was from the greenies. They could not abide the fact that I was making money from the disposal of waste.
    They argued to the environmental tribunals that my processing site was subject to a one in 100 year flood. If that were to happen, any waste would be washed off site and pollute the universe.
    While this was true, it ignored the fact that at the time the wastes that I was processing were otherwise daily being dumped into the rivers and streams.
    The government tribunal bought their argument, and my licence to operate was rescinded. It cost me personally a seven figure amount; I closed down the business and moved to Australia.
    As far as I know, the waste is still being dumped into the rivers and streams. The greenies celebrated their “victory” and moved onto other “environmental” causes.
    With this kind of ideological stupidity driving both the greenies and their Manchurian candidates in the government, how can anyone hope to fight this cancer?
    Do you imagine the bird choppers and the solar deep fryers are an accident?

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    • #

      A large part of the problem is greens love themselves and do not love anyone else. They operate purely on emotion and on self-aggrandizing. Emotion and self-aggandiziing will sell until the lights go out. Then it won’t be so nice. When all thought is removed, these kinds of things happen.

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        Glen Michel

        I find them not nice people. Self- righteous with a near messianic belief in their cause.Midwich Cuckoos!

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          Rick Bradford

          This is why no debate is possible.

          Skeptics think Alarmists are wrong. Alarmists think Skeptics are not just wrong but evil.

          I think most alarmists are decent, well-meaning people, just rather misguided. They think I am a pawn in the pay of Rupert Murdoch, the Koch Brothers, Big Oil and possibly Satan.

          Alarmists have managed to convince themselves that they exist on a higher moral plane than the rest of us. That is so useful, as it means you never have to confront data, evidence or reality. Anyone who disagrees with you is wrong, and evil, end of story.

          I can see the appeal for some people. It means you never have to think.

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  • #

    Thank you Tony T for this summary
    The indoctrination and propaganda directed at children is indeed repulsive. But that’s also the reason it is done, and on an almost industrial scale:

    You need to get them (those impressionable enough who can be ‘gotten’) at the earliest stage possible. Every totalitarian movement in history understood this, and often also acted upon it ..

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    RoyFOMR

    “physicists Fred Seitz (died 2008 at 96)” + “Seitz said in response to Oreskes’2010 Merchants of Doubt book”=?

    Well spotted, Roy. Edited. — Jo

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  • #
    Andrew McRae

    (Getting one in early before the master arrives.)
     

    Rumoured vested interests irk Naomi.
    Rates climate skeptics’ doubt as baloney.
    Can’t charge us with RICO,
    because doesn’t she know
    the “profit” is keeping our own money.

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    • #
      Oksanna

      Alright, Andrew, two can play…

      They want a climate science blackout
      Where the only view you can tout
      Is a world of doom,
      wherein schoolkids consume
      The beliefs of the “Merchants of Doubt”.

      As their arguments carry no weight
      They have to shut down the debate
      Play the man not the ball
      Through the muck they doth trawl
      These mudslinging Merchants of Hate.

      But the future belongs to the Young
      Who will laugh at these Merchants of Dung
      In the cool light of day
      They will look back and say
      Lo, how the pendulum has swung!

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    Peter Miller

    What this all boils down to is that climate alarmism is a matter of faith, as opposed to fact.

    Faith does not necessarily mean religion, but it does mean having to disregard the facts if they are inconvenient – the great Bore pointed this out, the only problem was that he was looking in totally the wrong direction.

    None of this would matter if the alarmists had not persuaded far too many western leaders that it would be a brilliant idea to cripple their economies by demonising coal and switching to an over-reliance on expensive, unreliable ‘renewable’ energy.

    What worries me most is that it now looks highly likely we are heading towards a Super El Niño, which may be good news for Californians seeking rain, but bad news for the sceptic cause, as it could mean a temporary surge/peak in global temperatures coinciding with the meeting of all the Parisites in France at the end of this year.

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      el gordo

      Peter there is usually a temperature spike associated with El Nino and a drop with La Nina. All sides of the debate agree that ENSO has nothing to do with AGW and its unlikely the Klimatariat will make a song and dance.

      —-

      ‘CSIRO principal research scientist Wenju Cai said the forecast El Nino was likely to be followed by a La Nina, bringing extreme wet weather in 2016.

      “This kind of extreme El Nino event normally lasts until April, May, and then we will see the system switch to conditions that are developing towards a La Nina in, say, next June, July, August,” Dr Cai said.

      “El Nino and La Nina both peak at our summer season and that’s why we will have floods in our summer (2016-2017).”

      Weatherzone

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      • #
        ianl8888


        All sides of the debate agree that ENSO has nothing to do with AGW and its unlikely the Klimatariat will make a song and dance

        Pollyanna thinking

        Each time Nino temperature spikes occur, the activists are out spruiking “global warming doom” propaganda

        There are those sophisticated enough to use the Nino spikes knowingly as proof that the pause is ended. One particularly obdurate clod on Judith Curry’s website has been saying so outright for over two years now: “I know ENSO is not an AGW element but I will use the Nino temperature spike anyway to rebut this pause nonsense”

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          el gordo

          We need to differentiate between the Klimatariat and their running dogs in the MSM, nevertheless, we can win this debate.

          The ill informed warmists are hoping the warm blob will link up with an extreme Nino and victory will be theirs, but that is not going to happen.

          The better informed coolists see the following La Nina as a game changer.

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          el gordo

          Unfalsifiable

          “The strongest prediction isn’t that climate change will necessarily make more El Nino or La Ninas, it’s not expected to change the frequencies of these events, it’s just that some studies have shown that they will be more intense, and particularly that the impacts will be more intense,” Professor Karoly explained. “The wet conditions will become wetter, and dry conditions will be more intense.”

          News.com

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    Dave in the states

    If the science was really “settled” the alarmists would not need to resort to such dastardly tactics. It’s the skeptics that let the science do the talking, and the alarmists who can not allow it.

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      Angry

      Yes.
      In fact, if the “science is settled” as they would have us all believe then……

      THERE IS NO NECESSITY FOR FUNDING OF SCIENTISTS FOR “GLOBAL WARMING” RESEARCH.

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    RAM spacek

    Two Naomis, Oreskes and Klein,
    Flew to Paris to wine and dine.
    One said, “No logo,” as she downed her Bordeaux;
    The other, “It’s the end of winter and snow!”
    The problem was THEY, agreed both the thinkers,
    And strolled off to join the other green drinkers.

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    andersm0

    Ah yes, the tobacco argument. The proof extraordinaire that if there was a community that argued against the health effects of smoking then that automatically follows that those arguing against the climate determining impacts of CO2 are likewise wrong. Bringing that up as evidence in a court of law would be laughed out of the room. The two issues are mutually exclusive. Time we seized that specious argument and turned it on its head.

    Contentious disputes over cause and effect necessarily have two sides, each with a vested interest. If evidence is allowed free and open presentation, the weight of facts will eventually win out, which eventually happened with the health effects of tobacco. Science won because it was allowed a hearing. And that is why AGW skeptics should pounce on the tobacco argument every time it shows up and make it our own. This is a three-legged stool comprised of an issue, a debate and a decision made on an open hearing of facts. The pro-AGW side wants to make it a two-legged stool, as though the very fact there was debate is just wrong wrong wrong. Why do we let them prop up that tottering edifice by allowing them to define the terms of engagement? Winning a war means taking the battle to the ground where you have the advantage. Therefore, seize the tobacco argument with gusto and add the third leg.

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    • #

      It is interesting to note that lung cancer is not anyone’s fault now. Smoking is a “risk factor” but not a cause. This came about when new drugs for lung cancer came out. The commercials say that there are known risk factors, but anyone can get lung cancer.
      ————————————————
      [SNIP. Lets not get into other causes of or contributors to lung cancer (of which there are many.) Please lets stick to logic, reason, education, children, propaganda... Thanks - Jo]

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        andersm0

        Stomach ulcers are a case in point where new thinking challenged old beliefs. A true scientist versus a true believer accepts what the data shows. Some day in the future each newborn child receives a list of genetic predisposition to a whole host of risk factors along with his or her birth certificate. They are then free to go forth and live their lives as they see fit. Except, the state will find some way to tighten the vise even further on individual freedom. i.e. you contract a disease from your personal susceptibility list and your health insurance won’t cover it. Yikes! That’s a frightful thought.

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          OriginalSteve

          Well I know of someone whose income insurance already has been impacted by a similar thing – his cholesterol was “high” so he got hit by the insurance comapny with higher premiums. The alternative was going on un-needed drugs to “lower” his cholesterol to lower premiums, or wear the cost.

          His comment to me was “scary when fairy stories can mess with your life” – i see no difference between that, and the mess the liberties that the powers that be are stealing from us to allow them to slam us into a dark hole as they see fit when the “climate crisis” reaches its artificial peak.

          When people start getting arrested for speaking the truth, society is almsot done for and the nhilists are rising to power. This is a form of anarchy.

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          Power Grab

          That’s what I have been thinking. A relative sent off a sample to be DNA-analyzed as part of the Ancestry.com project. Said relative wanted me to have mine analyzed. Although I am curious about my DNA, I’m not interested in having them warehouse my DNA, along with whatever emails/phone calls/web comments I have made.

          Can’t you just see TPTB using it to either deny medical treatment or force medical treatment on a person, based on what they say the DNA reveals as so-called risk factors? I’m not convinced the field is advanced enough to unequivocally predict what maladies each of us will experience, based on a snapshot of DNA. I’m convinced it’s more complicated than what they have come up with now. For example, I remember reading that vitamin D has a huge influence on the EXPRESSION of our genes. You never hear that from the folks pushing DNA analysis. Also, things like cancer are much more complicated than they would lead you to believe. I have seen several authorities make the point that emotional trauma plays a key part in the manifestation of cancer. Besides that, I think our bodies experience little cancers many times, but deal with them and control them (as long as the immune system is functioning).

          Oops…getting a bit OT here. I will step down off my soapbox now. :-)

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        I was sticking to facts. What I stated was verifiably true, both in video and in print. I don’t understand why putting factual information into a comment is now a no-no, but I guess if it is, it is. It is impossible to figure out what is and is not part of the discussion on here. I’m starting to feel like I fell into a global warming blog by mistake.

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        Please explain why saying doctors push pills is acceptable and other comments are not. That is near conspiracy ideation, yet it runs through with no problem. Conspiracies are NOT facts, though they can be part of propaganda. This idea was not listed as propaganda but rather as reasoning.

        Yes, I am frustrated with the moderation here. It seems illogical and arbitrary, not logical and fact-based.

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    This is difficult to combat, not only because of schools, but because there is so little input into kids lives other than teachers and social media. Parents do not seem to care what nonsense their children are taught. If the parents don’t care, how can we get the kids to care? There are parents that try, but part of the problem with the whole skeptic movement is skeptics tend to be loners doing their own thing. Unlike the warmists, who by nature are group-think participants who do not question, skeptics do. Skeptics attack each other a lot of the time. So while the warmists are out there producing films, getting their propaganda into schools, etc, skeptics blog each in their own way. Unless skeptics can learn to work together, they will never be as effective as the warmists. Obama has Organize for Action out there emailing constantly to get action.

    This is the same thing I have seen in other groups—Republicans are thinkers and don’t play well together. I’ve found that certain hobbies, like keeping reptiles, are not easily turned into action groups because the people who keep the reptiles are often not social butterflies. I wish I had an answer, but human nature being what it is, fear, lies and intimidation are far more effective than facts. Perhaps kids are tired of being told how bad humans are and will ignore what they are taught. We have to hope so. Perhaps they will recognize that shutting down all debate is completely the opposite of critical thinking and realize Naomi is not an honest person but rather someone with an agenda.

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      Gary

      Education of the broad public about fallacies and propaganda, and especially the young, requires unconventional methods. Pedantic essays aren’t read by any but the deeply interested. So go for role-playing games, graphic novels, short films, and other methods that are significantly visual. Use graphs ONLY when nothing else will do and then make them animated. Teaching how to spot a logical fallacy (post hoc ergo propter hoc, for example) will take creative design skills, but it can be done. Use the methods the propagandists use, but tell the truth about how to identify lies and illogical arguments.

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        Gary—Yes, that is what needs to be done. Unfortunately, those methods are the most time-consuming. Animation, cartoon drawings, role-playing games take a great deal of time to produce. If we could get enough people involved, it could work. How to get people involved is the question.

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        Leonard Lane

        How about the truth to oppose the lies. Liberty and freedom not big government and totalitarianism. Work and self -reliance not government dependency on the dole nor on government grants. Open discussion not censorship. Universities as places of rational discussion and good science not Marxism and public funds for leftists and their propaganda.

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      andersm0

      Parents themselves are misinformed and in the hectic daily life of raising young children, it takes a highly dedicated individual with a skeptical nature to seek countering information on what’s really happening on climate. And for those individuals, they’re already having a different sort of discussion around the dinner table.

      A lot of people live in a bipolar world. On one end is the ‘word’ that climate catastrophe is imminent. On the other, there’s the walk outside their house and nowhere do they see the touted destruction. I often wonder what the Inuit actually believe about the demise of polar bears and the Arctic supposedly melting out from under their feet.

      Stepping back and viewing this objectively, the wild screeds on climate doom perhaps better serve to undo versus promote their purpose. Think of the movies on vampires and space aliens. People indulge in the thrill for a couple hours (except when it’s so badly done it’s laughable) but when they leave the theatre the fantasy ends. And perhaps they may hang onto a bit of ‘what if’ but when the Merchants of Fantasy ask them to pony up some serious coin to combat vampires and space aliens, they’re going to feel a whole lot different.

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    Ruairi

    Politically warmism thrives,
    On conditioning juvenile lives,
    To nod and comply,
    Without asking why,
    A bit like the Stepford Wives.

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    cheshirered

    Fight their naked propaganda with observational facts. Let the kids see for themselves how claims compare to observations.

    1. The theory says ‘Human-emitted atmospheric CO2 will trap heat / energy and dangerously warm the atmosphere.
    * Reality shows no atmospheric warming for over 18 years, AND no statistically significant warming for around 25 years. It DID NOT state heat would go ‘Missing In Action’ to the bottom of the ocean. Theory falsified.

    2. The theory demands there should be a tropospheric ‘Hot Spot’ as an irrefutable ‘fingerprint’ of global warming.
    * Despite the best efforts of satellites looking night and day for over 30 years, the ‘Hot Spot’ is missing in action. Theory falsified

    3. For 3 decades we’ve been told carbon dioxide drives temperatures.
    * EVERY ice core data-set shows conclusively that temperatures rise first, FOLLOWED by CO2 levels. There is NO correlation. Theory falsified.

    4. The IPCC continue to claim climate sensitivity could be up to 4C.
    * There is not the slightest empirical evidence to support that claim anywhere including when CO2 was much higher in the geological past but temperatures were not. (The IPCC themselves have already thrown the towel in on that one) Theory falsified.

    5. Positive feedbacks and amplification are integral to the theory of runaway warming. Without them, there is no climate crisis.
    * There is literally NO evidence to support either high amplification OR highly positive feedbacks that would be strong enough to trigger supposed ‘runaway’ warming. (And that’s before we look to the past to see higher levels of CO2 but, surprise, surprise! – NO ‘runaway’ warming.) Theory falsified.

    6. Their computer models – upon which ALL future ‘projections’ of climate catastrophe are predicated, have been at best very poor and at worst, a failure.
    * If the very best science they have is contained within their models, yet those same models are unable to either accurately project future warming or hindcast past temperatures, then what do they actually have? Based on their own criteria the theory collapses. Theory falsified.

    That’s all you need, Jo. Observed facts that hose right in the face of this abject rubbish. Ask the kids to do their own checking so they can see for themselves. Alarmists can’t face down those facts so resort to policy based evidence making (including adjusting long-established data) to support their failed theory. Let them. All you do is keep repeating the facts that falsify the theory.

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      andersm0

      Excellent summary. The long view is to teach our children to question and demand proof of all extraordinary claims. There’s far too much wholesale acceptance of even the most ludicrous claims.

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    ScotsmaninUtah

    “Un-American”

    Robert Kenner is an American and for him to support the curbing of free speech is very un-American

    shameful behavior :(

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    John Boles

    I think at the base of it, anyone will naturally think, “Fine, if there is to be sacrifice let’s see you (warmists) do it first and show us how.” So that is why none of this alarmist shrill crying gets much traction.

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    When in doubt about the arguments on controversial subjects you should try to draw whom how others have dealt with such controversies.
    One area which has long experience is upholding the rule of law. In England the Anglo-Saxon tribes knew the importance of public trust in the outcome of trials, so that the result was seen as fair. From this we have the tradition of trail by jury, where both sides put their case. A principle was never to assume the result, but to get the accusers to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt to a group of twelve ordinary people. Good systems try to impose standards on the evidence and remove prejudice in the minds of the jury. We would not find it acceptable nowadays to have prejudice on the basis of race, religion, social class or political belief. Courts rightly prefer good quality applicable evidence to hearsay, innuendo and vague theorizing. Courts also insist on precise language to avoid ambiguity.
    Oreskes does the opposite of these values. In a court of law, the accused would not be allowed to speak; the guilt would be assumed; beliefs would become key evidence either before or against; and forensic evidence would only be valid if used by the prosecutors.

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    Power Grab

    Re Joanne’s “thinking out loud” comment: I would add a question about any music used in the film. The music track is a dead giveaway about what moviemakers want you to feel.

    I haven’t seen the film, but if they use low-frequency music/sounds to underscore things they want to seem scary, or light-and-peppy music for things they want you to think are good, then becoming aware of those aspects can help immunize the viewer against their effects.

    What is the person’s impression of the message if the sound is turned off?

    One more thing to take into consideration is that, IMHO, kids these days seem to have a preference for edgy entertainment. I get the impression that school-age kids tend not to take a message seriously if it’s not presented as having some kind of a threat. Too many times (again, IMHO) kids’ entertainment always has as part of the discussion the question of how to “save the world” or “prevent destruction of the world”. It’s getting old…IMHO!

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      Yonniestone

      Yes, Merchants of Doubt definitely overuses the Brown Note in the score….

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      I watch television with the closed captioning, often with the sound turned way down. It does make a difference if the sound is not there. How a deaf person (note: I am not deaf) would know what “update music” is, I have no idea. Without the tense music, one pays more attention to the show itself. If it’s boring, it’s likely you would walk away, especially children. The background music is very important.

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      tony thomas

      You bet they use creepy music for skeptics and tra la la music for the other crowd. Music plus the playing card tricks are the film’s key tools. The film is not easy to acquire, as mentioned, I got my DVD copy from some grey source in Thailand (full price I hasten to add).

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        Power Grab

        I’m seeing several for sale on eBay.

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          Greg Cavanagh

          Do you mean the Green zealots bought the DVD’s but no longer find it interesting?

          Personally, when I buy a DVD that I thought would be worth watching and it turns out to be junk. I throw it in the bin. I’d be too embarrassed to on sell it again.

          I keep just one of those around because it is so bad I can’t believe they made it. Red Planet. Yea, “they’re melting the ice caps to release the CO2 causing the planet to warm up”. True, they say that in the movie :)

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    Eddie

    OT: How to Think from the University of Queensland, yes that one.
    What do you think of this open on-line course from the same institution that brought us such intellectual follies as Denialism 101x ?
    A retired colleague has in all innocence suggested a few of us sign up for this course for a bit of fun over the coming Northern Winter.
    Think 101x The Science of Everyday Thinking

    I’d perhaps be rather more inclined to suggest something like Coursera’s How to Reason & Argue from Duke Uni.

    Thoughts ?

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      el gordo

      ‘The course provides tools for how to think independently, how to be skeptical, and how to value data over personal experience.’

      I’ll pass.

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        Eddie

        Thanks el gordo. If Cook’s typically antithetical naming is anything to go by I might think yeah right to that description.

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      C.J.Richards

      I don’t see any hint of an overt reference to Climate Change and it predates Cook’s MOOC by a year but Lewandowsky is listed. Need I say more ?
      ” Stephan thinks about misinformation. His research focuses the structure of expert knowledge, computational modeling, and the role of skepticism in memory updating. He is an Australian Professorial Fellow and Professor at the School of Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol. “

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        Eddie

        Thanks CJ. I never noticed that among all the guest lecturers. Rather a lot of psychologists . You can never win an argument with a psychologist. Not in their mind anyway. The coursera OToH seems to be run by a couple of philosophers, with perhaps less emphasis on a list of Guest dignitaries. 4-5 hours a week over 12 weeks though. Seems more serious than EdXs 1 hour a week.

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      C.J.Richards

      It is a pity that everything he touches now gets tarnished with the same brush but in case you needed any reminding. Just for the cameras ?

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    Considerate Thinker

    Thanks for making us aware of the Robert Kenner Propaganda, we all need to expose propaganda for the insidious thing that it is. In Australia the education systems are supposed to be set up in conjunction with parent groups, so I would urge all thinking people to get involved with their local schools. I would suggest that an anti propaganda leaflet be prepared to challenge any attempt to introduce pure propaganda such as either Oreskes or Al Gores purile efforts, UNLESS the teaching program (Curriculum) has a balanced approach to the subject matter and helps children to quickly identify propaganda.

    Teachers who persist in pushing a one sided view should be challenged and this is where parents and their children have a role in that challenge along with the various State Education Departments who need to be notified and investigate the inappropriate biasing of our children’s education and done with all the force and attention that Kenner is already doing to deny opposing views being aired on the various media.

    We need to fight fire with fire, hard hitting and factual information, especially when speaking with children that have been bombarded with warming propaganda like the black balloon deceptive pollution marketing, the “dirty carbon” smears against C02 and the fact that for those 18 years olds that have had all this thrust upon them without any real challenge, the simple act of pointing out to them that in their lifetime there has been no statistically significant warming is a rude wake up, “you have been conned” by those that should have known better, and at the same time handing them a small leaflet setting out the best factual information to set the record straight.

    This needs to be followed up in the social media like facebook to combat the Green determination to conflate environmental good citizenship, with a religious zeal to put down anyone and anything that questions the warmist meme. A small E book where climate myths can be separated from the environmental concerns, would be handy. We need to promote environment and responsibility as clearly separate and distinct from the Climate misinformation propaganda.

    Joannes musings above might be all that is needed in compiling a list that can be easily used to identify propaganda, then following up with information to restore balance into the teaching curriculum to counter the Kenner and Oreskes and call out these pressure group tactics

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      Peter C

      A small E book where climate myths can be separated from the environmental concerns, would be handy

      See, “The Skeptics Handbook” by Joanne Nova.

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        While the books are good, I’m not sure they will have a widespread audience. Maybe I’m just thinking that your average person really has no idea about all the aspects of global warming such as models, tropospheric hotspots, etc. Something more mundane might work better.

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          Greg Cavanagh

          Your average person couldn’t care less about those things you listed.

          Food, beer, work, sleep, football; These are the things that matter to the working class.

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    handjive

    Physicist Luboš Motl doesn’t hold back …

    Merchants of Doubt, spoilers

    “when a person impressed by the Merchants of Doubt speaks, pretty much everyone else immediately sees that the person is a complete moron”

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    From Greenie Watch a few days ago: http://www.cnsnews.com/blog/penny-starr/hhs-secretary-pitches-clean-power-plan-kids-reference-cooties

    The information from global warming advocates is very, very unscientific. I wonder how many kids even know what a “cootie” is.

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    pat

    ***in usual CAGW fashion, even when we’re proved wrong, we are still right:

    19 Aug: BBC: Matt McGrath: China CO2 emissions: ‘Coal error causes wrong projection’
    Confusion over the types of coal being burned in Chinese power stations has caused a significant overestimation of the country’s carbon emissions.
    Researchers say that existing calculations of China’s CO2 were made using a globally averaged formula.
    But when scientists tested the types of coal actually being burned in China, they found they produced 40% less carbon than had been assumed.
    The study says the error amounted to 10% of global emissions in 2013…
    However, this new study looked at the actual carbon content found in over 4,000 coal mines in China and in lab tests of 602 coal samples. The emission factors based on these tests were on average about 40% lower than the default values used by the IPCC and others.
    “For most of the developed countries, coal has been comprehensively washed but in China the process is not so comprehensive,” lead author Dr Zhu Liu from Harvard University told BBC News…
    Other researchers disagree. They say that the new study, while giving greater accuracy about China, doesn’t change the overall global total on emissions.
    ***”China’s emissions may be a bit less than we thought, but we know how much total CO2 there is in the atmosphere and it is monitored globally,” said Prof Dave Reay from the University of Edinburgh.
    “This study therefore makes no difference to the total amount in the atmosphere; it simply means that accounting for Chinese emissions is getting better.”…
    The research has been published in the journal Nature.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-33972247

    19 Aug: Phys.org: New estimates show China’s carbon emissions were less than previously thought
    China’s carbon emissions have been substantially over estimated by international agencies for more than 10 years, according to research co-led by the University of East Anglia..
    Published tomorrow in the journal Nature, the revised estimates of China’s carbon emissions were produced by an international team of researchers, led by Harvard University, UEA, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tsinghua University, in collaboration with 15 other international research institutions…
    The researchers found that total energy consumption in China was 10 per cent higher between 2000-2012 than the value reported by the country’s national statistics. However, emission factors for Chinese coal were on average 40 per cent lower than the default levels recommended by the IPCC. Emissions from China’s cement production were 45 per cent less that recent estimates.
    The revised estimate of China’s CO2 from fossil fuel combustion and cement production in 2013 is 2.49 gigatonnes of carbon. This is up to 14 per cent lower than the emissions reported by previous assessments, including those by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre (CDIAC) in the US and the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) in the EU, which are the official data sources for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) – providing scientific evidence for climate change policy negotiations in Paris later this year.
    The figure is also about 10 per cent less than the estimate given for China in the most recent publication of the Global Carbon Project, which updates annually the global carbon emissions and their implications for future trends…
    http://phys.org/news/2015-08-china-carbon-emissions-previously-thought.html

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      ianl8888

      It’s exactly this type of article that causes me most despair

      The points raised are so fallacious, so far out of the tree, that you cannot even classify them as just wrong. They actually belong in some other universe where physical and chemical laws are simply different

      Essentially, the article is about mixing the comparable Specific Energy (SE) of a tonne of washed as against unwashed coal. Washing here means reducing the amount of non-coal (ie. minerals) in the tonne before consumption in a power station. Mineral residue after burning is commonly called ash, of course, and is utterly familiar to anyone who has observed even a log fire

      So the higher the ash content of a tonne on consumption, the less C in the tonne and so the less SE one gets from burning that tonne. To achieve the heat levels from a high ash coal required to run the water boilers, one needs to use more raw fuel – but the higher levels of ash (non-carbon) mean less CO2 emission per tonne. This is an obvious trade-off known for many millenia , yet the article states that various sophisticated global databases missed it. I don’t believe that

      For the curious, ash levels in various coal deposits can and do range from 1-2% to 35+% (??). The reason for the question marks on the high end is that coal as a geological definition is somewhat arbitrarily limited to about 35% ash, with deposits higher than 35% then classified as, say, carbonaceous shale or similar. I have seen washplant reject of about 70% ash arduously collected and used by people in China for home heating and cooking – so desperately poor

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        ianl8888

        Perhaps I should have also pointed out that various coals have differing Specific Energies, depending on the macerals (initially plant materials) the coal is comprised of. The raw (unwashed) SE obviously has a strong bearing on the value of the coal as fuel, but this value is also affected by ash/water content, sulphur levels and other minor constituents

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    pat

    ***a trillion dollar CAGW industry based on a “numbers game”!

    20 Aug: NYT: Chris Buckley: China’s Carbon Dioxide Emissions May Have Been Overstated by More Than 10%
    The study’s findings, published in the journal Nature, does not mean that the total level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is any lower than scientists had thought. That accumulation is measured independently…
    China does not publish official data on annual greenhouse-gas emissions, so “international organizations have to make larger assumptions” than are required for other major countries, said another author of the study, Glen Peters, a senior researcher at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research-Oslo.
    Those assumptions often rely on coal carbon content and combustion data collected in the United States and Europe, said Zhu Liu, a postdoctoral
    research fellow at Harvard University and another of the paper’s authors…
    Frank Jotzo, the director of the Center for Climate Economics and Policy at the Australian National University in Canberra, said it was “good news” that Chinese coal was yielding less carbon dioxide, “but it does not change the fundamentals, nor the challenge that China faces in getting away from coal.” Mr. Jotzo was not involved in the new study…
    Dr. Liu of Harvard said that accurate data would be needed if a new international treaty on global warning, including national commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, was to succeed.
    ***“If you don’t have the exact numbers, all of the political promises are just some kind of numbers game,” he said..
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/20/world/asia/china-carbon-dioxide-emissions-may-be-overstated-nature-study.html?_r=0

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    In my experience with students (I was a science teacher for 17 years and have 3 children and 5 grand children) the majority will not be taken in by this. Here in the UK children are highly sceptical and eager to put the contrary argument on this kind of subject. As you may recall, here in the UK a case in the High Court resulted in the film “An Inconvenient Truth” being labelled as “political”. It could only be shown if the teacher pointed out the bias to the students. UK schools are not allowed to show any kind of propaganda, unless such caveats are given. See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130401151715/http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/Film-pack-guidance.pdf here for the UK schools guidance.
    And http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2007/2288.html this link gives the judgement.

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    I got through a full-on Catholic education in the 1950s and 1960s without any exposure to creationism, except a showing of the movie Inherit the Wind in senior years. I was never taught anything but evolution in regard to Natural History. When I once mentioned a 20th century pope as a major historical figure I was reprimanded by a monk in a cassock, who told me Modern History was about the likes of Bismarck and Lenin. Religion was, of course, strong and pervasive, but it never intruded into the business of learning.

    The belief that education has become more open, diverse and liberal has to be called into question. In fact, it’s tempting to use terms like cookie-cutter and sardine-can in reference to that looooooong process between first lesson and first job (and I just left out a few o’s). “Throwback” is a less suitable criticism, since education was never as drearily conformist as it is now under the influence of Green Blob and Posh Left.

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    pat

    latest on WUWT:

    19 Aug: WUWT: Peer review is broken – Springer announces 64 papers retracted due to fake reviews
    Science publishing giant Springer, with over 2900 journals, has announced on its website that 64 articles published in 10 of its journals are being retracted. Editorial staff found evidence of fake email addresses for peer reviewers.
    No word yet on what type of papers, or if any climate papers are involved.
    From press release:…
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/08/19/peer-review-is-broken-springer-announces-64-papers-retracted-due-to-fake-reviews/

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      PeterS

      As a retired scientist I’m saddened to see the low state of science today. I now see science in general in the same light as corrupted totalitarian regimes, and certain business enterprises and unions. I no longer trust what’s published in scientific journals and magazines. As far as I’m concerned the rot started when science was more about secularism and less about the pursuit of the truth.

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      ianl8888

      All listed on Retraction Watch now

      No climate stuff, mostly bio-med

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    pat

    Old Farmer’s Almanac under concerted attack:

    18 Aug: Time: Tanya Basu: How Accurate Is the Farmer’s Almanac’s Winter Forecast?
    The forecast takes sun spots, planetary positions and tidal patterns into account.
    Meteorologists, though, tend to scoff at the Farmer’s Almanac, saying it uses unscientific formulas and does not take into account the finer nuances of meteorology, like pressure systems, cyclical weather patterns, and—of late—climate change…
    “It’s useful in its own right and might be of use in the climatological sense,” J. Marshall Shepherd, a former president of the American Meteorological Society and professor at the University of Georgia, told TIME. “You can certainly discern patterns. It’s a bit challenging to pinpoint a forecast. Can you say it will be cold and snowing in Michigan on Dec. 26? You might have a chance of being correct, but you can’t say with fidelity that far out.”.
    When asked about the Almanac’s use of space phenomena like sunspots, Shepherd chuckled. “I can tell you it’s not common meteorological practice [to use space weather as an indicator], based on my years of experience and research,” he said. “Modern meteorological forecasting is based on models representing the atmosphere and physics over time. There is an inherent limit [to forecasting] of about 7 to 10 days.”…
    http://time.com/4001563/old-farmers-almanac-predictions-accuracy/

    18 Aug: CBS: Amanda Schupak: Should you listen to the Old Farmer’s Almanac?
    “The almanacs are certainly fun and even have useful information, but it is important for the public to understand that modern weather forecasting uses advanced computer models and technology — and is actually pretty good out to about a week or so,” Dr. Marshall Shepherd, director of the University of Georgia’s Atmospheric Sciences Program and writer of a weather column on Forbes.com, told CBS News.
    While many put stock in tradition, experts like Shepherd warn not to take the Almanac too seriously…
    Jason Samenow, the weather editor at the Washington Post, wrote Monday, “The forecasters for the Old Farmer’s Almanac appear to be thumbing their noses at the usual winter impacts of a strong El Nino event, which favor a mild winter in the northern U.S. and abundant rain in California.”…
    Samenow’s post included a number of callouts to jokes on social media likening the Almanac to a Magic 8 Ball or psychic hotline.
    Stillman’s response: “Folks have been saying that for 224 years!”…
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/should-you-listen-to-the-old-farmers-almanac/

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    pat

    19 Aug: CNN, Todd Leopold: Should you believe the Old Farmer’s Almanac’s winter forecast?
    Dave Hennen, senior meteorologist and executive producer for CNN Weather, says it should be taken with a grain of salt — and not necessarily road salt.
    “It’s difficult enough to do a five-day forecast,” he said. “We’re really good at the day of and the next day, (and) we’re better at temperature a ways out than precipitation. But to forecast out that far in advance … even the science behind our long-range forecasting is sometimes not that solid.”…
    In press materials, the almanac claimed 96.3% accuracy for its “2015 predictions …
    Meteorologists and weather experts don’t buy it.
    “Both (the Old Farmer’s Almanac and its competition, the Farmers’ Almanac) claim high accuracy rates (around 80 percent) but have never published evidence backing them up. They lack transparency and keep their methods ‘closely guarded,’ ” wrote the Washington Post’s Jason Samenow in 2013.
    Added Dennis Mersereau of Gawker’s “The Vane,” “The Old Farmer’s Almanac is to meteorology what astrology is to astronomy.” …
    Hennen: “The meteorology forecast is much better because it has (more) science behind it than what the Old Farmer’s Almanac has,” he said…
    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/08/19/living/old-farmers-almanac-weather-accuracy-feat/

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      Stupendus

      “Last summer, she observes, there were expectations an El Niño would form, but the almanac thought it would be neutral to weak. The almanac’s meteorologist, Michael Steinberg, believes that the same will be true this year.” Now there is a prediction that can be tested. (and was correct last year) If the El Niño is weaker than expected then using science and technology may just be the wrong path to follow.

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        el gordo

        A modest El Nino, followed by a weak La Nina, suggests the hiatus might continue.

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        andersm0

        Back in Roman times the generals used auguries (chicken entrails, patterns of bird flight and such) to predict success in battle and these were considered the science of the day. The victorious generals relied more on troop placement and especially how that particular enemy had behaved in similar circumstances in the past. The Almanac has a fairly good record on long-range weather forecasts using methods similar to Piers Corbyn who runs circles around the Met weather forecasting models. The sun and moon exert powerful influences on the earth’s weather but the computer models refuse to acknowledge it.

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    pat

    18 Aug: Washington Examiner: No one showed up for California’s green jobs rush
    In 2012, California voters were peppered with grandiose promises, such that they could not resist approving Proposition 39. The measure, created and backed by wealthy environmentalist Tom Steyer, sought to raise taxes on corporations and use the money to fund green energy projects in schools.
    He promised it would create 11,000 new jobs each year. What could go wrong?
    There are inherent problems with the idea of green public-works projects, and still more problems with tax hikes. But this plan had the benefit of at least being elegant and simple. All of the facilities slated for green-energy improvements would be government-owned and government-run. There would be no NIMBY-style community pushback, nor significant added costs to ratepayers. Districts could apply for funds and choose projects that met their needs. If any such program could work, this was it.
    Naturally, it did not work at all. On Monday, the Associated Press reported that the program has “created” just 1,700 jobs in three years — just under 600 jobs per year or roughly five percent of what was promised, at the cost of $175,000 per job…ETC
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/no-one-showed-up-for-californias-green-jobs-rush/article/2570363#!

    meanwhile, Siemens & others are getting their wind farms up in Victoria, South Australia, & possibly in other States, under the ACT target. someone might have access:

    ACT renewables plan helps SA wind farm get up
    The Australian-11 hours ago
    The recently announced $450m Ararat wind farm in Victoria is also being … Siemens Australia head of energy David Pryke said the ACT …Instead, Hornsdale is being driven by an ACT plan to reach 90 per cent …

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    pat

    Merchants of Belief – insidious propaganda at the ABC:

    19 Aug: ABC Nightlife: Tony Delroy
    3hrs in: Issue of the Day: Carmichael Mine, Adani, Environmental Law change
    (it is not until almost the end of Issue of the Day – at 3hrs32mins – that Delroy reads out SMS from a listener pointing out that the Qld Labor Govt also backs the Adani mine, with the listener suggesting this Issue was just another ABC attack on the Abbott Govt exclusively.)
    http://www.abc.net.au/radio/#programitem/pe5A3pp813?play=true

    Delroy reads out the SMS while talking to an activist (begins around 31 mins) who Delroy says believes removing legal challenges will encourage civil disobedience. yes, she says. she believes the 99% of scientists. says she allegedly stopped 14 coal trains in newcastle, went to court, the magistrate said everyone agrees with you and, if they don’t, they should. was fined only $400. caller says there’s an awful lot of railway lines from the Carmichael mine to the port at the Great Barrier Reef & there are people like me who don’t see any point in there not being a future for our children. we want the world. we want it to continue. she doesn’t want it to go down to microbial level, which is what it will.

    3hrs21mins: caller says Liberal Govt is obviously backed by mining industry & oil industry & that’s backed by Rupert Murdoch as well. Govt’s absolute arrogance to the australian people.
    Delroy: obviously we need some mining. Caller: indicates we don’t. says if we backed renewables, we’d have jobs galore. once u set up wind or solar, they’ll stay there. they won’t move out. wind farms – they aren’t going to move. build a town around solar – it’s not going to move. it’s going to stay there. that industry will go forever. we will need solar panels and those windmill things until we’re no longer here. Delroy praises new, smaller solar panels.
    Caller: I have solar on my roof and I got them on govt rebate. saw it advertised in the paper. thought it was a scam. thought it was too good to be true. got them. neighbour got them but missed out on the rebate. Delroy: damn.

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    Safetyguy66

    “The official website for the Merchant’s of Doubt has a “Take Action” button. There we find a “Petition to Help End Climate Change Denial in the Media” with 17,500 signatories to date (target: 30,000)”

    Not exactly shooting for the moon are they? Most 30 second videos of kittens get over a million likes.

    Still its a nice indication of how many people are actually sucked in to the point they would click a button to express their gullibility publically.

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    William Astley

    Propaganda films do not change reality.

    This is surreal. What will happen next will be as strange as an episode from the Twilight zone. It is difficult to even imagine how the cult of CAGW cabal scientists, the media, and the public will respond to significant unequivocal global cooling.

    There are now quarter by quarter changes to multiple solar parameters which support the assertion that the solar cycle was been interrupted (an interruption to the solar cycle is different than a Maunder minimum slowdown). If the solar cycle has been interrupted then it appears we are going to have a chance to see how the sun causes a Heinrich event.

    The normal for climate ‘science’ has been 30 years of climategate type shenanigans where the objective is to push an idiotic paradigm. There are dozens and dozens of observations and analysis results that all support the assertion that the majority of the warming in the last 150 years was due to solar cycle changes, rather than the increase in atmospheric CO2. If the sun was the cause of the majority of the warming, global warming is reversible.

    If we experience a Heinrich event, We told you guys so, does not seem to be adequate.

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      Mark D.

      Propaganda films do not change reality.

      Perhaps not but the perception of reality is all that they are after and that, unfortunately, maybe all that is necessary.

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      el gordo

      ‘If we experience a Heinrich event…’

      If we agree the LIA was not a Heinrich event, then the time is ripe.

      I’m holding back on the alarm, until more evidence comes to hand.

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    Robber

    What we need is a simple one page handout: Five Facts About Global Warming. Can we agree on five facts?

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  • #
    Robber

    And then: Five Myths about Climate Change.

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    AndyG55

    A film needs to be made to counter this..

    call it “The Merchants of Dough !”

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  • #
    pat

    AndyG55 -

    “The Merchants of Dough !” …and ***propaganda:

    19 Aug: RTCC: Ed King: Citigroup: Coal mining sector running out of time
    The value of listed coal companies monitored by Citi has shrunk from $50 billion in 2012 to $18 billion in 2015, a trend it believes will continue.
    “On the demand side we think thermal coal is cyclically and structurally challenged and that current market conditions are likely to persist,” it says in a report released on Tuesday…
    Explaining the shift in the global energy mix, Citi cites a “politically driven” decline in investor appetite for coal driving the move to lower carbon forms of energy…
    Coal demand in Asia remains strong, ***but Citi predicts Indian imports will slow by 2019 and highlights South Korea’s pledge to reduce coal’s share of the energy mix by 10% in 2029…
    http://www.rtcc.org/2015/08/18/citigroup-coal-mining-sector-running-out-of-time/

    naturally, The Guardian picked up the Citi predictions.
    meanwhile Scottish Labour, Conservatives & Unions sound very unhappy about the following! what’s wrong with Labor & Unions in Australia?

    18 Aug: BusinessReporterUK: Carbon taxes blamed for next year’s closure of Longannet power station
    ***Trade unions Prospect and GMB said the news was a “body blow” to staff and the Fife economy.
    ScottishPower also confirmed that plans for a new gas-fired power station at Cockenzie, East Lothian, have been scrapped “due to the same economic conditions”…
    Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing described the closure as “deeply regrettable”…
    Mr Ewing added: “Today’s decision is ultimately an unfortunate and direct result of the UK’s discriminatory transmission charging system that penalises Scottish electricity generators in comparison to those in the south of England.
    “In Longannet’s case the extra charges amount to £40 million per year. However, despite raising our concerns repeatedly with the Prime Minister, absolutely nothing has changed.”
    Both the Scottish Greens and WWF Scotland said the closure was “inevitable” due to air pollution rules and a growth in renewable energy…
    ***Labour’s shadow energy minister Lewis Macdonald: “Longannet’s closure, and the decision not to proceed with Cockenzie, also raises serious questions about what contingency policies, if any, are in place for Scotland’s future energy supply, and these are questions which need to be answered urgently at Holyrood and Westminster.”
    ***Scottish Conservative energy spokesman Murdo Fraser said: “In Scotland two nuclear power plants at Torness and Hunterston are due to close by 2023, which means we will have lost 55% of our electricity generating capacity within eight years.
    “The Scottish Government has no idea how to make up that gap, which will leave us increasingly reliant on energy imports from England.
    “The closure of Longannet must act as a wake-up call to the SNP to bring forward an energy strategy for Scotland which draws power from a balance of sources, not just intermittent wind.”…
    http://business-reporter.co.uk/2015/08/18/carbon-taxes-blamed-for-next-years-closure-of-longannet-power-station/

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    pat

    18 Aug: Financial Times: Coal industry blames carbon taxes as Scottish power plant closes
    by Andrew Bounds, North of England Correspondent
    Carbon taxes are throttling Britain’s coal producers and could cause a power capacity crunch, the industry has warned…
    The latest blow was the closure of Scotland’s largest power station, coal-fired Longannet, announced on Tuesday, because of high transmission charges and carbon taxes.
    Phil Garner, director-general of the Confederation of UK Coal Producers, said jobs were being lost in some of Britain’s most deprived areas…
    Thousands of power station workers are also being laid off, mainly in south Wales, northern England and Scotland, where the mines are located.
    “Our members are not going to invest if they are not certain they will have customers,” Mr Garner said.
    ***Britain imports about 40m tonnes of coal annually, much from Russia and the US, where generators have switched to shale gas.
    He said he supported shale gas exploration in Britain but the government should not ignore an existing indigenous supply of coal. “Once the industry stops it will not restart. You lose the equipment, the skills and the planning permission.”…
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/801e120e-45c4-11e5-b3b2-1672f710807b.html

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  • #
    pat

    Merchants of Dough!

    19 Aug: Fox News: Malia Zimmerman: Billionaire George Soros warms up to coal as stock prices hit bottom
    Billionaire investor George Soros, who has demonized fossil fuels for years through his think tanks and political contributions, seems to have warmed up to Big Coal now that stocks are dirt cheap…
    “I find it very interesting that George Soros would buy shares in those coal companies,” said Daniel Simmons, vice president for Policy at the Washington DC-based free market energy group, Institute for Energy Research. “I am confused given the non profits he funds and how hard they have worked to demonize coal.”…
    Neither Soros nor his New York-based investment firm, Soros Fund Management, would comment on the coal play, citing a longstanding policy of not discussing investments…
    Free market energy experts note Soros has invested more than a billion dollars into think tanks, lobbyists, political action committees and politicians who have pushed for regulations that have nearly destroyed the coal industry, in favor of so called “clean energy.”…
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/08/19/billionaire-george-soros-warms-up-to-coal-as-stock-prices-hit-bottom/

    19 Aug: Guardian: Karl Mathieson:
    Climate philanthropist George Soros invests millions in coal
    Billionaire has previously funded renewable energy and low-carbon initiatives and has called coal a ‘lethal bullet’ for climate change
    Filings with the Securities and Exchange commission show that between April and June this year Soros Fund Management (SFM) bought more than 1m shares in Peabody ($2.25m), the world’s largest private coal company, and 500,000 shares in Arch ($188,000).
    The firm, which Soros chairs, bought the large stakes for bargain prices…
    The Hungarian trading titan is the 29th richest person on earth…
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/aug/19/climate-philanthropist-george-soros-invests-millions-in-coal

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    • #
      Power Grab

      Not long ago a friend asked me what the reason could be that they have demonized fossil fuels so severely. I told them that I thought it was so the value of the fossil fuel companies would drop; then as the weather cooled, they would swoop in and gobble them up at bargain prices.

      I take this as an indicator that TPTB do know it will get significantly colder…and soon!

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      • #

        It reportedly is already happening: “http://dailycaller.com/2015/08/19/the-real-winner-of-obamas-war-on-coal-george-soros/”

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    DoubtingDave

    Narcisist Naomi Oreskes , see’s herself as one of the leaders of a social elite trying to push Agenda 21 onto the world by using what they see as one of their most effective and necessary tactics ” the dumbing down ” of the population.In order to prevent this it is up to us as parents and guardians of our school age children to work with them with their school work when they come home from school and point out to them the critical thinking skills they need in order to seperate the one world socialist utopian propaganda from the real science etc that they are being spoon fed by their teachers , and im sure all us skeptics have real life examples of how we have done just that and the positive effect this has had on our children .

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    farmerbraun

    Some interesting observation here, from a believer, on why the climate change movement has failed:-
    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz

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    Turtle of WA

    I saw an educational poster recently that used a ‘Lorax’ theme to push global warming ecoprop.

    The following caught my eye:

    The earth’s atmosphere is made up of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and some other gases

    A rough analogy would be:

    The earth’s human population is made up of Americans, Tasmanians, and some other people.

    Poor old nitrogen. The most abundant gas in the atmosphere, and no mention.

    If the makers of the poster really are unaware of the existence of nitrogen in the atmosphere, I can see why they are afraid. We would see some pretty bad warming without it. For a brief catastrophic moment.

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    pat

    17 Aug: UK Independent: Ian Burrell: BBC among broadcasters to repeatedly breach Ofcom code over propaganda content
    International broadcasters including the BBC repeatedly broke the Ofcom code by screening programmes funded by foreign governments, charities and NGOs, an investigation has revealed.
    News films and documentaries were acquired for nominal fees and the identity of the funders not disclosed to the audience – in what has been dubbed a “£1 programme scandal”. Ofcom has uncovered nearly 50 breaches of its code by CNN, CNBC and the BBC after a four-year inquiry into the global news channels, which are beamed into hotel rooms around the world…
    BBC World News, the broadcaster’s 24-hour global news channel, handed Ofcom details of 186 programmes supplied to it for no cost or a nominal sum (typically £1).
    The regulator asked the BBC to “explain in full its practice of accepting free or nominal-cost programming and broadcasting this without sponsorship credits”. The BBC replied that this practice dated back to 1991 when World News began.
    The BBC defended itself by arguing that it invariably included a “thanks to” message to the funder in the credits for the programme. Ofcom said this was insufficient…
    BBC Worldwide also made 20 breaches of sponsorship rules, by failing adequately to declare programme funders that included Unesco, which sponsored a show to use “robot” floats to measure ocean temperatures…
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/tv-radio/bbc-among-broadcasters-to-repeatedly-breach-ofcom-code-over-propaganda-content-10459743.html

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    Sunray

    Thank you Jo, the Internationalist Totalitarian Warmists are becoming very cross and impatient with us, which is therefore probably going to be dangerous in one way or another.

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  • #

    Readers of the excellent post above may well be interested in this important alert at Bishop Hill: http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2015/8/20/unesco-wants-green-activists-in-the-classroom.html

    He writes ‘UNESCO has published a report into Climate Change Education around the world. It’s rather sinister, in a bleakly bureaucratic way.’, and ‘But it’s in the conclusions that it gets really ugly. Here the authors suggest that what is really needed is for everyone to have “an understanding of the impact of climate change on the educational opportunities of marginalized, vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in society”. To do this they want environmental activism to play a prominent role in the classroom, and call on governments to give “support to non-formal educators and facilitators of [climate change education]“. ‘

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    Radical Rodent

    Seeing that Gore managed to get half a Nobel Peace Prize, I was wondering – which half? Did he get the Nob-end or the Bel-end?

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    Sonny

    Jo, why not start up an educational program (online) for parents and kids to do exactly this.

    As one of the course exercises you could run through propoganda crap like this and expose it.

    I cannot imagine that you wont at least get 50-100 participants.

    The emphasis could also be on them bringing back critical information to their teachers and classmates.

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    Reasonable Skeptic

    If you want to speak to kids about being able to cast a critical eye on what they are being told I would approach it from a perspective that they can relate to and that is presenting a short story about bullying.

    I would start with a group discussion of the phrase, “The truth will never fear a lie”. Have the kids explore what it means.

    Then you present a short story/play about how a bully can convince people that they are telling the truth while their victim is unable to say what actually happened and nobody ever believes them. The kids will be able to relate to this.

    Then present them a short part of the film and have them talk about what the film presented and how it relates back to “the truth will never fear a lie”. It will likely lead to the observation that the film actually fears the truth and wants to keep it oppressed.

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    Matty

    Why is it Electrical Engineers seem prominent among those not falling for this BS ?
    Is it a thorough grounding that saves them ?

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    david smith

    As a teacher myself, I found the most effective way of encouraging scepticism amongst my students was by putting graphs of CO2 against global temps that didn’t show a hockey stick
    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image277.gif

    As well as a pie chart showing the true ratio of gases in our atmosphere:
    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image253.gif

    That always gets them talking! When they ask for my opinion I tell them about my scepticism and the reasons why I am a sceptic. I then tell them to go away and do their own research!

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    David Smith

    was by putting on my classroom wall

    Obviously, I can’t put proper sentences together. I’m supposed to be a teacher…

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    hunter

    Late to this party, but is it not time to encourage authors to produce books on critical thinking, critical review, the history of failed popular movements, the history of failed doom and disaster predictions, the prevalence of innumeracy, the behavior patterns of charlatans, etc.
    I think crowd sourcing could be a good start.
    It may take awhile to get a major publisher behind it, but maybe it is possible.

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    Amber

    The first clue is they wish to silence people . Nazi dissenters were isolated and intimidated just like the film tries to do .
    The good news is so few people are buying their message .

    They are desperate because the global warming science fiction is out of gas . Yes we effect the planet with everything we do
    and no one claims the climate doesn’t change but most people know those that try and shut down discussion are the ones to fear .

    When they attack freedom of speech they are the real deniers and they certainly missed history class .

    I hope these bullies lost their ass on their propaganda flick . What clowns .

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