JoNova

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


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Death by a thousand cuts: how the machinery of academia enforces conformity

The strange case of the Greenpeace FOIA of David Legates (Hydroclimatology prof, and skeptic) at the University of Delaware (US)

The Delaware State Law says FOIAs only apply to things supported by state funding and David Legates didn’t receive any. That should make this story incredibly short, except that, as Jan Bilt explains: “For reasons administrators have declined to explain, a small portion of Legates’ teaching salary was, curiously, placed on the list of state-funded activity shortly before Greenpeace filed its FOIA request in 2009.” In the end a heavyweight, Lawrence White, at the Uni of Delaware leaned heavily on Legates to provide not just everything Greenpeace asked for, but virtually everything he’d ever done  — his teaching notes, emails, even ones written on his own time, and on his personal computer. At the same time the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) filed FOIAs against three other people at the Uni of Delaware who had worked on IPCC reports. The same Lawrence White  said simply “No” to those requests. When is a law a law, and when is it merely a tool to fulfill the personal wishes of those in high places? Apparently when it’s on a university campus.

Compare Legates fate [...]

Scientist intimidated and forced into resigning: Lennart Bengtsson leaves the GWPF

Lennart Bengtsson joined the GWPF only two weeks ago. He’s a very well respected Swedish leading climate scientist. But he’s been put under — as he describes it — unbearable pressure to quit. Steve McIntyre calls it a fatwa.

What an extraordinarily raw letter:

Dear Professor Henderson,

I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc.

I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.

Climate Change is making us mental — fear of “storms” undoing evolution!

These days people are practically getting post traumatic climate disorder after bouts of extreme weather. More pointlessly, some are getting pre-traumatic stress from events that haven’t even happened.

Makes you wonder how humanity survived the ice ages every time a storm hit — no fire department, no Hurricane-Relief funds, no phones, no food stores, no doctors. Electricity out for 90,000 years.

Americans’ Mental Health is Latest Victim of Changing Climate (Op-Ed)

For months after Hurricane Sandy sent nearly six feet of water surging into her home in Long Beach, N.Y. — an oceanfront city along Long Island’ s south shore — retired art teacher Marcia Bard Isman woke up many mornings feeling anxious and nauseated. She had headaches, and inexplicable bouts of sadness. She found herself crying for no apparent reason.

“I would feel really sad, and that’s just not me,” she said. “I felt like the joy was out of my life. I still haven’t recaptured it.”

What Isman is experiencing is one of the little-recognized consequences of climate change, the mental anguish experienced by survivors in the aftermath of extreme and sometimes violent weather and other natural disasters. The emotional toll of global warming is expected [...]

Gone Feudal: Oregon State Uni (OSU) sack and target skeptics (and their children)

In an extremely worrying development, we can add Nick Drapela’s name to the list of skeptics fired for the heresy of speaking out. This email from Gordon Fulks came around today, and I want to spread the message. I have written before about the scientist of upstanding integrity and action that is Art Robinson – When he ran for Congress, three of his children doing PhD’s were targeted at OSU. The details of Joshua, Bethany and Matthews work are described on the Oregon State Outrage blog. These exemplary students were close to finishing their work towards PhD degrees in nuclear engineering when all three suddenly faced major obstacles and the likelihood of losing all their work to date. (See the Outrage blog for updates). But the outrageous behaviour continues. Legal action may not be the answer (In Robinson’s case the Uni apparently wants them to sue, so it will be obliged to have “no comment” while OSU would get taxpayer funds to extend the case at length.) What we need is facebook, twitter, letters and emails – a campaign to let the State of Oregon (and especially university donors) know their university has regressed to a feudal religious [...]

Map: The Climate Change Scare Machine — the perpetual self-feeding cycle of alarm

Two professors of sociology think they can explain why “Climate Deniers” are winning.  But Riley E. Dunlap and Aaron M. McCright start from the wrong assumption and miss the bleeding obvious: the theory was wrong, the evidence has changed, and thousands of volunteers have exposed it.

The real question sociologists will be studying for years to come is: how was an exaggerated scare, based on so little evidence, poor reasoning and petty namecalling, kept alive for two whole decades?

Climate Change Scare Machine Cycle: see how your tax dollars are converted into alarming messages

See your tax dollars converted into their scare. Click for a larger image. Reference: Climate Money, Science and Public Policy Institute, 2009.

….

 The Full PDF version The key points

1. The money and vested interests on the pro-scare side is vastly larger, more influential, and more powerful than that on the skeptical side. Fossil fuel and conservative-think-tanks are competing against most of the world financial houses, the nuclear and renewable energy industry,  large well financed green activists (WWF revenue was $700m last year), not to mention whole government departments, major political parties, universities dependent on government funding, the BBC (there is no debate), the [...]

The Branch Carbonian Cult: and the difference between “denier” and “cultist”. One may be true.

Queen Meave and the Druid, Eleanor Hull, The Boys’ Cuchulainn, Image:  S. Reid.

Some commenters wonder why I allow the word cultist, but sometimes there is no better term. Remember, apocalyptic storms are coming, and we’re all going to die, unless we heed the prophesies of the new Gods of Science.

What’s the difference between a real disaster foretold by scientists, or a cult? Evidence, for starters, and we’re still waiting for observations that support the idea that a catastrophe is coming, but there are more clues.

In normal conversations people can be, you know,  wrong, but in a cult, wrongness is not a comment on a scientific point, it’s a statement of identity and a judgment of moral fitness. Those who speak against the (insert doctrine) are not just wrong, they are evil, immoral, and not “worthy” of polite conversation. Believers who become skeptics, are exiled (think “apostate”) and let’s not forget the sacrifices for penance (anyone want to buy a carbon credit for their  sins?).

Then there’s the machinations to avoid dealing with reality. No matter what evidence skeptics point to, the answer is effectively always the same: the weather-balloons, satellites, ocean buoys and temperature proxies are [...]

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

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

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

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

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

So when the Canberra Times claims skeptics have been threatening climate scientists, I am, not [...]

Johnny Ball on how he has been vilified

Maintained by bullying and bluster, the facade grows more brittle by the day, as heretics start to come out of the woodwork — being pragmatic, concerned, but unapologetic.

From the Daily Mail in the UK –  Johnny Ball says Beware of the Global Warming Fascists. More evidence that this is a propaganda campaign, not a question of science (as if we needed that). Kudos to the Daily Mail for printing thousands of copies of this story. A hat-tip to Johnny Ball for being brave enough to face down the bullies.

In the past decade or so I’ve been mocked, vilified, besmirched — I’ve even been booed off a theatre stage — simply for expressing the view that the case for global warming and climate change, and in particular the emphasis on the damage caused by carbon dioxide, the so-called greenhouse gas that is going to do for us all, has been massively over-stated.

And something very similar has happened to Dr David Bellamy, who has never been shy about expressing his belief that climate change is an entirely natural phenomenon. His media career, particularly in television, has suffered as a result. [...]

The Vision of The Annointed

Thomas Sowell wrote Vision of the Anointed in 1995, and didn’t mention climate change. Yet such is the insight of the man that what he wrote was prescient, pertinent and 100% applicable 15 years later. Our battle today follows a similar pattern to  battles over many other social policies. Sowell discusses The War on Poverty, sex education, affirmative action, discrimination, crime, infant mortality. They’re unrelated to climate science, yet the tactics repeat ad nauseum.

We fight to test policies with empirical evidence through polite discourse, while those who want influence and money have an arsenal of tools at their disposal to muddy the search for truth. The anointed substitute baseless declarations, flawed assumptions, and irrelevant motivations for real arguments.

How many areas of public policy have a genuine, no name-calling, clean cut debate about what works and what doesn’t?

Just like Earth’s atmosphere, it’s the feedbacks that matter.

Self Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy

Dangers to society may be mortal without being immediate. Once such danger is the prevailing social vision of our time–and the dogmatism with which the ideas assumptions, and attitudes behind that vision are held.

It’s not that these views are especially evil or [...]

Mystery Solved: Why the PR hacks exploded their credibility

Click to read the full PDF

The world was baffled. What were they thinking?

This colossal PR disaster was 20 years in the making, and it took a special set of conditions to achieve a true marketing black hole. Never before in the history of public relations has so much star-power, money and kudos been used to score such a monstrous global own-goal. The campaign to dehumanize skeptics laid the groundwork and somehow, fittingly, the eco-terrorists own name-calling has come back to bite them.

How could people with red carpet careers make a mistake so smashingly spectacularly awful that they scored negative press all round the world, lost 20% of their members, and drove away three out of four major sponsors within days?

They can’t be written off as a little side group of extremists. 10:10 was sponsored by the UK government, major corporations like Sony, and was a group of nearly 100,000 people (now only 73,000). A hundred odd people must have spent months preparing, with casting, scripting and special effects meetings, so they could capture the effect of exploding ten-year-olds without once noticing the rather invidious parallels with, say, Pol Pot. Incredibly the 10:10 [...]

Backlash Part II for the PR hacks

This moment is shaping up to become a part of modern folklore.

The toll for the reputations of all involved in SplatterGate continues, and this downfall is so worth documenting.

The Wall St Journal

But it’s evil, not just stupid. Some critics, such as Don Surber and The American Spectator, describe the video’s message as, in the words of Surber’s headline, “Just Blow Up Global Warming Skeptics.” Even this is an understatement. The “crime” for which the children in the video are “executed” is one of omission, not commission. They are murdered not even for dissenting against 10:10′s political crusade, but merely for being indifferent to it. This is the essence of totalitarianism.

One may hope that Jim Edwards is right when he denies that “this is actually what environmentalists want.” But it’s bad enough that this is what they fantasize about–and that they manifestly felt no inhibition about airing such a depraved fantasy in public.

The Independent h/t Benny Pieser [...]

Sick green-psycho-stars want to kill your children

I just had to pop in.

Thank you 10:10. We could not have come up with better promotion to show how malignantly dangerous the totalitarian eco-fascist dark side of Green is. Send copies of this to your friends. Send them to your enemies!

10:10 produced a star studded sicko fantasy of what their real Christmas gift wish is for the world. When you can’t convince people with reason, mark anyone who disagrees, blow up their children.

Their true nature is so on display… softly, softly,  quietly under the guise of “nice”: trick them, decieve them, say “No Pressure”, and then be judge, jury and executioner in gratuitous orgasmic revenge: press a button and see exploding blood and guts splat on the wall.

The sore losers are so frustrated.

Spot the difference with green terrorism and Islamic Extremists. At least the jihadi’s are not pretending to hide their greedy egotistical self-interest by pretending to “care” about the planet.

[Warning: This contains graphic violence. ] The original video was removed.

The entire green movement of the world needs to answer this. It doesn’t matter whether they made it or not.  They can’t hide behind this as a joke. Would they let any vigilante out there produce a video of someone blowing up, [...]

Throwing the Hate Crime Grenade

Hate Crime legislation is the last resort of those with no real case. It’s the last resort in the “shut-up” campaign that Team-Carbonari have been running against the free world for two decades. The unverifiable, unknowable crime of intent. (Anyone have one of those Handy-Hate-Meters that reliably measures the dreaded Evil-Score to two decimal places? No? It’s a matter of time…)

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post called Evidence What Evidence? where I dismantled the words of a famous Australian science journalist for parroting bureaucrats and not investigating the evidence. What I wrote is not a recipe for building a better bomb with your Mazda, but Ben E took issue with my pointed discussion in the comments:

“Sad, but scarcely surprising. Sites like this one will eventually be shut down in future updates to hate crime legislation, as they are well on the way to inciting violence and hatred towards scientists and science communicators.”

Willis Eschenbach popped in with a devastating reply that deserved to be repeated.

“Well, let’s review the bidding regarding “violence and hatred” …

[...]

Hansen barracking for lawless destruction and the end of civilization

Civilization is the problem. Hansen recommends a book that incites violent sabotage, and promotes illegal activities to bring about an end to industrial civilization. Is this kind of book legal in the US?

James Hansen has called for industrial sabotage and defended lawbreakers before, but did he really read all of Keith Farnish’s words before he endorsed the book “Times Up”?

Farnish has put together a frightening compilation. He tried non-violent protest with Greenpeace for five years, but then he changed tactics. He got angry, and recommends you do too:

“Constructive Anger, on the other hand, does achieve something useful – even if it may not be exactly what was originally intended. For instance, if all the evidence you have to hand suggests that removing a sea wall or a dam will have a net beneficial effect on the natural environment then,  however you go about it – explosives, technical sabotage or manual destruction – the removal would be a constructive action. If this action was fuelled by anger then your use of explosives involved Constructive Anger.”

The four key rules of sabotage

1. Carefully weigh up all the pros and cons, and then ask yourself, “Is it [...]

Skeptics Handbook II! Global Bullies Want Your Money

Finally, Part II in the Skeptics Handbook series – the bluster and bluff, the deceit, and the money.  Enjoy & Share.

It’s unthinkable. Big Government has spent $79 billion on the climate industry, 3000 times more than Big Oil. Leading climate scientists won’t debate in public and won’t provide their data. What do they hide? When faced with freedom-of-information requests they say they’ve “lost” the original global temperature records. Thousands of scientists are rising in protest against the scare campaign. Meanwhile $126 billion turned over in carbon markets in 2008 and bankers get set to make billions.

[...]