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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#TalkAboutIt: Climate change sceptics versus the scientists (correcting ABC mistakes, strawmen, and misleading lines)

#TalkAboutIt: Climate change sceptics versus the scientists, By Clara Tran and staff

Busy slaying strawmen instead of real debate?

What a facade. The ABC says its skeptics versus “the scientists” except there are no skeptics present. In typical Newspeak the ABC says “#TalkAboutIt”, but it’s a conversation with themselves. They invent “DorothyDixer” strawman questions for their own team to bravely kill.

If the ABC really wanted their listeners to discuss skeptical views, they would invite skeptics to make them — but interviews are a thing of the past (back in the days when the ABC was an institution of repute). The fake debate is the only kind that professors like Matthew England can win.

This is why the ABC fails so dismally to dint skeptical numbers in Australia. If they want to convince skeptics of their point of view then they have to deal with actual skeptical arguments, but they are too afraid to air them. Consequently they sideline themselves out of the national debate, relegated to the propaganda wars.

Correcting the ABC:

Skeptical Scientists versus The Unskeptical

The ABC offers arguments allegedly made by climate skeptics, all of them minor and of little consequence (short version first, more [...]

Not a 100% believer? Even borderline climate apostates like Pielke must be punished in the witchhunt

The witchhunt over tenuous connections to fossil fuel funding wants to do a lot more than just silence a few people. The aim is to maintain the global chill over all of academia. That’s why it’s so important we support the individuals under fire, and don’t give in.

Congratulations to Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Judith Curry, Steven Hayward, Roger Pielke, David Legates, and Robert Balling. All of them have been named to be investigated and lined up for character assassination like Willie Soon. Obviously they are effective and convincing speakers, and a threat to the climate-industry.

Stephen Hayward is flattered, and mocks the critics: “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Climate Skeptic?”

“Let’s start by axing a simple question: If I say “two plus two equals four,” does the truth of that proposition depend on whether I’ve received a grant from the Charles G. Koch Foundation? Apparently it does for Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources. He has sent letters to seven universities targeting seven academics who, according to the Democratic spokesman for the committee, were chosen because they seem “to have the most impact on policy in the [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]