Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Community science | Main | Guilty men and guilty women »

Dellers on Reason

James Delingpole is interviewed on Reason TV, covering Climategate and the state of the global warming debate.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (140)


Best of luck with the book, your reviews are so good that inevitably the one star review without reading it will be along soon. And beware the BBC trip wire.

Sep 28, 2011 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Everyone should read Watermelons. It is a great rollicking read and I thoroughly recommend it.

Sep 28, 2011 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Spoke too soon

By Martin Lack (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: Watermelons: The Green Movement's True Colors (Paperback)
I don't need to actually read this book in order to criticise it because James has very kindly summarised its content perfectly on his blog.

Sep 28, 2011 at 8:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Kim loquacious post
Must be very important
Pearls of wisdom fall

Sep 28, 2011 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

In America, how will 'watermelon' be MISused.....

think history, Reds Under the Bed - we now have - Green on the Outside Red on the Inside..

Anyone left of centre, caring about the environment or a climate scientist (not just the high profile) media guys but the normal work a day scientists, like you or me, reasearching hurricanes, or oceanography, atmospheric pyshics, etc. the many hundred of disciplines.. wlll be potentially asociated with this, it it took off as common parlance.

in the hand of the climate cranks (AND there are many, they do exist) will just lob watermelon around to anybody that disagree with them, that it's all a hoax, CO2 isn't a green house gas, its a UN plot for world governance, socialists, it a conspiracy, they say..

I actually do think it could be MISused as much as denier is (think republican against democrat)
Please don't get me wrong, great snappy title for a book, it captures a truth about aspects of politics, NGO's, IPCC, etc..

But just imagine the word out 'in the wild' the nuttier side of the republican party, tossing 'watermelon' about - whilst the nutier side of the democrats toss around 'denier'

To demonstrate my point about ceratin elements of sceptics (our 'side') out there
A comment that came my way today.. from a fully paid up SkyDragon no less........

Comment(at Realclimategate)
Just followed link on the New Robber Baroness Bryony statement to this site. If you are still unprepared to connect the "conspiracy dots" then you just have not read enough DECLASSIFIED WW II history. We have been SO lied to about everything. The elite have used Faux Science and Faux History to create a Faux Democracy that they intend to collapse SOON. This is the return of Feudalism that only knowledge can prevent. Visit and start your 're-education' now. Humanity is under attack by little green people who are the usefull idiots for the monopolist-monarch oligarchy.

That is the 3rd Skydragon I've run into, none of my encounters were very uplifting.

do we really want to give him 'watermelon' to MISuse..

I really don't mean to offend James, I've been one of his biggest defenders (to some surprising people)
I just think if he toned down his rhetoric, he might reach a wider audience, including environmentalist, and left of centre people, that may be concerned about the direction their 'leaders' have taken them.


If we can't (constructively) criticise are own, how ever much we may appalud them for going out on their own for years in a hostile media, and love them, how can we go on criticising others.

Sep 28, 2011 at 8:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

It is odd reading this discussion about whether Watermelons is derogatory, or if it will back fire, or if it wil alienate people, because all the activists I have talked to about this say they have no problem with it, ie they would be happy to use it themselves! One activist wanted the metaphor extended and said to me "don't forget the hidden black seeds of Anarchism!"
Delingpole's book is very good, highly recommended.

Sep 28, 2011 at 8:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterGraham

My concern is not the tiny circle of activists, or sceptics.. but the wider public.

Sep 28, 2011 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

James Delingpole writes:

"Read the green party manifesto and try to discern how it differs from the communist party manifesto: not a great deal I'd suggest."

Very well said, Mr. Delingpole. However, I, too, dislike "watermelons" because I think we should be saying "Communists in Green clothing." But I doubt that those who disapprove of the word "watermelons" would go for my suggestion.

The real and true bottom line in all this is that the communists have figured out how to bribe the politicians. The AGW scam promises unlimited tax revenue and control over the public. What is so surprising is how easy it was to bribe the politicians. Most of them have proved to be hardcore statists under whatever clothing they wear. The present main threat to civilized society is an army of statists led by a brigade of communists.

Even conservatives in the USA have felt the sting of statism under the name of "compassionate conservatism." George W. Bush, not as bad as his father, voted a ridiculous new drug entitlement for the retired and elderly and welcomed all comers from south of the Mexican border.

Would someone please explain how statism has managed to gain prominence everywhere?

James Delingpole is the James Dean of journalism. No, I do not have a crush on him. But the man should get credit for his public persona.

Sep 28, 2011 at 9:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin


Sep 28, 2011 at 9:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnon

James Delingpole writes:

"May I suggest, cheekily, that your real problem with ManBearPig is that you're not a South Park fan and therefore can't relate to something which to you seems arch, in-jokey, obscure, trying too hard. Yet to a South Park audience it would seem natural and delightful and apt, giving them a satisfying buzz of recognition."

"ManBearPig" is associated with Al Gore. If it is a slur it is the gentlest of slurs. It is very popular in the US. Among Gore's former constituents in Tennessee, it is considered a raving compliment.

Sep 28, 2011 at 9:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

I was stunned by the "No Pressure" clip. Somehow I had missed the hullabaloo last year and had never seen nor heard of it. Absolutely stunned silence.

On reflection it reminded me slightly of the opening to Serenity--as it should.

Sep 28, 2011 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterThomasL

Barry Woods
If you want to argue against the watermelon concept why don't you? You seem to be primarily making some spurious points about perception management and PR in similar way to some of the alarmist spin meisters.

Sep 28, 2011 at 9:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

... nuttier side of the republican party...

Paranoid much, Barry?

I think your hanging around with your environmentalist friends is slowly affecting your thinking.

I have observed it commonly enough now - this irrational fear-mongering of the US Republican Party - from the British establishment. Paul Nurse certainly bared his fangs recently. So do a whole bunch of the intelligentsia. Why? Is it an expression of a frustration that they cannot set the agenda for these people?

'Let us not use Watermelons lest the Tea Party run with it. Let us not believe in Spencer and Braswell lest Fox News run with it. ' I mean, isn't there a better reason to justify one's prejudices?

When you anticipate what another man would think, and choose your words accordingly, - remember - you are trying to control what he thinks.

One needs to ponder a bit on the fact that the original Tea Party threw the stuff overboard rather than make their tea with it.


Whenever i see these matters discussed at WUWT or BH or elsewhere - and it happens frequently - I see a great deal of breast-beating and crying hoarse about good manners, civility, politeness, fairness, taking the high road etc - when it comes to 'deniers', 'denialism' and other terminology usage.

Here is a challenge: show me, a single discussion thread, anywhere in the whole Internet, where those sympathetic to the climate consensus spontaneously develops pangs of conscience about their own use of these terms, and then resolve to not use such words anymore. Show me a single thread.

It is just the skeptics, who like losers, keep discussing this kind of stuff.

Sep 28, 2011 at 9:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

'I have observed it commonly enough now - this irrational fear-mongering of the US Republican Party - from the British establishment. Paul Nurse certainly bared his fangs recently. So do a whole bunch of the intelligentsia. Why? Is it an expression of a frustration that they cannot set the agenda for these people?'

Huhne too

Sep 28, 2011 at 10:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Andrew can you keep Anon's comment, it makes my point, if we can't lance some behaviour, we will end up like the other side.

Thanks Anon... For advicing me to STFU. It confirms my point..

What happened here, this is not normal for Bishop Hill comment..

Sep 28, 2011 at 10:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

A heady moment guys.

This, from Freeman Dyson (strangely seems relevant in this thread):

When the Socolow-Pacala paper on "Wedges" was published in 2004, I welcomed the paper and agreed with most of it. It seemed to me a useful and realistic summary of possible future developments that might be required if the world economy were running out of fuel. I did not take seriously the notion that these developments might be undertaken in order to prevent climate change. At that time, the possibility of a world-wide fuel shortage appeared to be imminent, and the possibility of a global-warming catastrophe appeared to be remote. It was already clear that the greatest and most hopeful historic event of the new century would be the rise of China and India from poverty to prosperity. For the first time in the history of humankind, more than half of the population of the world would be rich. Compared with this historic achievement, the dubious dangers of climate change were clearly insignificant.

Now, seven years later, the situation has changed in two essential ways. First, the abundance of shale-gas, and its production in big quantities at low cost, have transformed the world fuel economy. It is now clear that we have enough accessible fossil fuels to maintain the rapid economic growth of China and India, not to mention Africa and Latin America, for at least half a century without additional "wedges." Second, the claims of scientific experts to understand climate change have become less and less credible. It has become clear that they neither understand the causes of climate change nor understand how to prevent it. The political machinations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been publicly revealed as unscientific, and its statements have been revealed as untrustworthy. As a consequence of these two changes, both of the motivations for pursuing the "wedges" program have weakened.

In the United States, the Democratic Party made a tragic mistake when it adopted the alarmist view of climate change as a part of its ideology. This mistake led the party to favor policies that increase the price of energy. Any increase of the price of energy hurts the poor far more than it hurts the rich. The ordinary citizen sees the subsidizing of expensive green energy projects as a welfare program for the rich. The result of this mistake is to drive millions of Democratic voters, who believe in social justice, into the arms of the Republicans. It is high time now for the scientific advisers of the Democratic Party to repair the damage that they have done. They should admit publicly that they were wrong about climate change, so that the Party can fight both for social justice and for cheap energy.

At the risk of polluting this post with following, here's Robert May - UK citizen which his views about the US::

While I broadly agree with much of what Rob says, I do think his essay is more than a little generalizing from the USA to the world. And I also think it is a bit naïve when it fails to mention the active and very professional lobbies of denial (much of whose work has explicit connections with the same professionals who ran campaigns denying that smoking causes lung cancer).

So my first thought is that it might be a good idea if you took into account the recently published and excellent book entitled Merchants of Doubt.


Second, I think what the UK has done makes a lot of sense, even if it is not working as perfectly as one would like. To begin with one headline statistic, surveys show that something like 80 percent of the general population here agree that climate change is real, largely human produced, and very serious (these are professional polls with properly randomized sampling). We also have detailed legislation creating a commitment to targets, backed up by an expert consultative process to set the targets and monitor them. In setting the targets, we begin by taking the IPCC estimates (along with their uncertainties) about what we should be aiming for by 2050 if we are to have no worse than a 50/50 chance of exceeding 2 degrees Celsius (which is also a less than 1 percent chance of exceeding 4 degrees Celsisus). We then divide this by the estimated global total population in 2050, to get the output per person. The UK’s fair share is then to meet this target, which means a massive (more than 80 percent) reduction in the UK’s per capita output. Given this target, the Committee has recommended an achievable trajectory to 2050, and much more specifically to 2020. We are on target at the moment, but on the other hand that is partly through the actions that have been taken, but equally importantly through the effects of the recession.

Third, what is happening in the UK is so vastly different from what is happening in the USA, that I do not think it makes sense to make general statements about what the world is doing without acknowledging the colossal differences between other countries -- and what, from the outside, looks like collective insanity in the USA at the moment.

Sep 28, 2011 at 10:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

There's a very real danger of people using the term 'watermelon' at their own expense: of building a bubble in precisely the way those who use the word 'denier' have. Both terms, unpacked, are full of mythology that precedes the debate to the point of precluding it. Each tribal identity will only alienate themselves against the wider audience with this mythology, never mind convince the other putative 'side'.

And what does that 'side' really consist of? Is it really a movement with a doctrine, such as (and descended from) the Communist Manifesto, as comments above suggest? Would that it was, such that we could really begin to take issue with it.

No, the likes of Baroness Worthington are not in the business of developing such definitive theoretical substance. They make it up, as they go along, as needs require... 'Quick, Bryony, we need a draft climate change act, like, yesterday!'

Environmental ideology, such as it is, is unconscious; a hotch-potch of prejudices, preconceptions, and ignorance. This is reflected in its make-up and its heritage: a rag-tag bag of ossified socialists and disoriented conservatives; authoritarians and anarchists; confused radicals and members of the establishment who are incapable of allowing themselves to be challenged. If you can't see these contradictions in 'environmentalism', then perhaps the problem is wider than only afflicts the environmentalists. As I put it, 'environmentalism is a constellation of phenomena', not a concrete political theory or philosophy. Nailing jelly to a wall would be a more productive attempt at pinning something down.

Sep 28, 2011 at 10:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Why on earth should't i be be friends with environmentalists.. as they know me, they are not going to insult me and Imight just teach them something.. or persuade them to read HSI !!!

I'm friends with some climate scientist as well! Included one that edited a report with a certain hockey stick in it six times!!!

With ref to manbearbig.....

Over a year ago... I tipped james delingpole and others off that the missing Tim Mitchell. In the Harry_read_me.txt file... Ie the guy that wrote the crap code, lost data, etc that harry couldn't fix or find..... Worshipped at....

Wait for it.......

South Park Church.....

Which i thought proved that the universe had a sense of humour.

Why did DR Tim Mitchell (A Phil Jones co author) leave UEA/tyndall.
To become an evangelical priest..
I also sent a quote from Dr Tim Mitchell Climate Scientist, writing at evangelical website..

"Whilst I see no evidence yet that climate change is a sign of Christ's imminent return ..."

Surely an absolute gift, and that his previous programming skill consisted of A Geography degree..

I even sent a photo.

James must have missed that one out of the20 of so tips i've sen him, and talked about it would have gone down well in America... I like James I really do, he has stuck at it, dealt with all sorts of rubbish, really stuck himself way out there.

I just wish he could tone down a bit now, he might reach a wider audience on the fence, vaguely curious audience...

Sorry, i've just re read this and i'm getting grumpy as the next guy... Seriously though, why have i upset some people.

Sep 28, 2011 at 10:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I don't think you've upset anyone. I'll speak for myself - what is the point of being self-flagellating about using terms like 'watermelon', while vilifying significant political factions of another country as nuts?

The Republican party political base includes a significant number of people who have an instinctive dislike of authority. That, is what I see expressed in the post you highlighted in the nutty language as it does. A lot of influential people are jittery and on the edge of their seats at the moment because a Republican victory in the upcoming US election could put a serious dent in their global carbon-political aspirations - witness his Lordship May and his abject concerns for North American citizenry.

That is precisely why there is an ongoing campaign of desperate vilification against the Republican party. We don't have to adopt their terminology, do we?

Sep 28, 2011 at 11:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

shub I said nuttier elements of rep AND dem parties.
I also did NOT mean the tea party movement.

Sep 28, 2011 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

On the debate about the use of the word "watermelon".

Many commentators do not understand how the Left make their points.

First of all, the "enemy" must be given a derogatory but credible label - not to strong or it will not be accepted into common speech but just slightly disparaging. So we have "denier". A leftist politician never refers to the Conservative Party, only to "the Tories" as if the word was an insult in itself.

Another example is "homophobe" to describe a person who thinks sodomy is perhaps not the ideal course of action. The name implies an irrational and obsessive fear when all one would want to express is a mild opinion that it is not ones personal preference.

So to use the rules of leftist name calling, "alarmist" is quite good. "Watermelon" fails because they are proud to be red. One needs a word that indicates irrationality, a failure to consider evidence and a loyalty to dogma.

To call some one an "independent thinker" is a compliment to a rightist but an insult to a leftist.

Perhaps "Modellers" is the word. Their theory is based on models, not actual evidence and has nice implications of anoraks, Airfix glue, poor social skills and personal hygiene - Just the the kind of attack process that is so common from leftist campaigners.

Has a nice disparaging tone; "He is just a modeller" or "He follows models".

I never thought I would stoop so low as to propose this.

Sep 29, 2011 at 12:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterNicL


A tiny detail - 'evangelical priest' sounds unlikely - sort of like an antisemitic rabbi?

Sep 29, 2011 at 12:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterSayNoToFearmongers


"Modeller" is a pretty good suggestion. And your analysis is excellent. By the way, the term "Denier" comes straight from the Alinsky playbook. (No, I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I do recognize popular taste.) People like Bryony cultivate a manner of harmlessness but they play for keeps.

Sep 29, 2011 at 12:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin


Perhaps "Modellers" is the [correct] word [of aspersion]. Their theory is based on models, not actual evidence and has nice implications of anoraks, Airfix glue, poor social skills and personal hygiene - Just the the kind of attack process that is so common from leftist campaigners.,

In a pique of inspiration, the former Enron lawyer hired to make green money by peddling AGW, Chris Horner, entitled a chapter of his pop book on AGW: "Are Models Dumb?"

So, are Models Dumb? Are Barry's TAR friends just Dumb Modellers? May be some.

Yes, I'll keep my ex-IPCC "climate scientist" friends too, although they disdain the term. They hate unvalidated and non-predictive models.

Are models dumb? I ask again. The word play is rendolent - despite having an ex-model sister who was her college class' valedictorian - and apparently not that dumb at all.

Sep 29, 2011 at 12:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterOrson

Ben Pile

Though I have admired your posts, you missed on one point in this one. You write:

"And what does that 'side' really consist of? Is it really a movement with a doctrine, such as (and descended from) the Communist Manifesto, as comments above suggest? Would that it was, such that we could really begin to take issue with it."

Whether they have a doctrine, have written it in a book, or belong to The Borg are Red Herrings and all quite irrelevant. In saying that they are communists, one is attempting to warn about what they are likely to do. Consider the word "Denier." It is not by accident that all of them, even respectable folk with tenure or a Nobel Prize, use it liberally and aggressively. It is straight from the Alinsky playbook.

Sep 29, 2011 at 12:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

shub I said nuttier elements of rep AND dem parties.


What you said was pretty clear - as though there was some kind of an equivalence between 'watermelon' and 'denier'.

Sep 29, 2011 at 1:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Ben Pile is right about the alarmist side being a collection of people with different backgrounds, different motives and different objectives.

Some of the themes that bind them together are:
* there is some kind of problem somewhere
* something must be done
* "deniers" are as big a problem as the original problem

So calling them names may not be a smart strategy because it unites them in their hatred of their opponents.

But who knows ? It's proving difficult to reason them out of their views - because they didn't reason into them in the first place.

Maybe use different tactics in different situations.

Sep 29, 2011 at 1:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Theo. On the point about 'what they are about to do'... I often argue a similar point about the extraordinarily powerful and far-reaching policies and institutions that environmentalists design. I suggest that it's not unlike waking up tomorrow, and discovering that a scientific committee has decided that Maoism is the best way forward, and we're all to observe its diktats. It is no doubt a radical shift in economy, culture, politics and lifestyle that greens seem to demand -- though it's not being forced through at gun point.

I am not at all unsympathetic to the idea that the institution-building and policy-making in the name of 'saving the planet' has been entirely undemocratic. But I only suggest it's not unlike Maoism in that it is a radical a shift from what we expect in what are now merely nominative liberal democracies. I say it because people seem to take at face vale that policies are a face-value response to 'climate change', rather than are 'ideological'. I don't say it because I believe that communism, as a doctrine, bears any similarity to environmental ideology. I want to make the point that environmentalism is 'political', not merely a response to 'science'.

On using the word 'denier'... When I see people use the word 'denier', I don't see an attempt to somehow subvert the debate; I see a mediocre intelligence unable to cope with it. God help me, I've read sufficient Monbiot articles to know that the only thing consistent about his ideas is his tendency to vacillate (and it gets worse if you read the comments below the line). He reaches for the nearest pejorative when confronted with any challenge to his perspective. That is not the expression of confidence, but on the contrary, the sign of a very fragile hold on the world. Individuals like that need the moral absolutes given to them by certain doom, of uncompromising and extreme political views, and of guaranteed 100% proven science. There are no subtleties or nuances to that narrative, and no sophistication. No contested values, concepts, or meanings. There is only black and white. You challenge the politics, and you get called a denier of scientific evidence. You challenge the science, and you get accused of holding with an extreme political ideology.

That is why I worry when I see people using simple categories -- especially categories with historical significance -- to explain the current debate. They come pre-loaded with all sorts of baggage. I call it 'arguing with nouns'. But as much as they bring history with them, they forget far more.

Sep 29, 2011 at 2:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

You lot reminded me of "Woody and Tinny Words" seems to sum up some of the posts!

Sep 29, 2011 at 5:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

29 Sept: SMH: Ben Cubby: Heavy breathing by plants could alter climate models, 30-year study finds
PLANTS have been breathing a lot more quickly than we thought, according to a study that suggests some climate change models may have to be modified to account for faster rates of photosynthesis.
An analysis of 30years of atmospheric records has shown that the total amount of carbon dioxide that passes through plants may have been underestimated by about 25per cent.
The study, published today in the journal Nature, traced oxygen atoms in individual CO2 molecules, and from this the US, Dutch and Australian researchers could determine how often each one had passed through a plant.
It showed “gross primary production” – the amount of carbon inhaled by plants – should be revised upwards from about 120billion tonnes per year to 150 to 175billion tonnes, researchers from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in the US, said…

Sep 29, 2011 at 6:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Heavy breathing? STOP PLANT PORN!!

Sep 29, 2011 at 7:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

Some definitions;

GW - realists

AGW - warmists

CAGW - alarmists

GW <-> AGW is a debate about science

AGW <-> CAGW is a debate about activism

GW <-> CAGW is a debate about ideology

Sep 29, 2011 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Not got a problem with watermelon - it is an accurate shorthand for what motivates the upper echelons of the green movement. As with many movements and organisations, those at the top differ greatly in their values and actions to the ordinary foot soldiers at the coalface.

Not fussed about denier either. I've never taken it to be drawing comparisons with Holocaust denial but just a verbal absurdity to paint those who disagree with AGW as claiming climate isn't changing, when frequently it is almost the very opposite - an acceptance that the climate is changing and that it has always changed.

It is about getting the first punch in. Slate someone as a denier and they are on the back foot justifying their views. Call someone a watermelon and they will likewise be on the back foot.

From my point of view as a sceptical bog standard member of the public the denier tag rarely seems to fit the people it is thrown at but watermelon often does. It comes around when there are clear desires for coercion appearing in what people say and do. The Baroness, Dave and Ed and many more do seek to abuse the authority of the state to achieve something they know will degrade our standards of living and our future prospects on the basis of a feeble and unconvincing belief.

Though I profess to be sceptical of the case for AGW there is a basis on which I would be ambivalent to the way the State chooses to accommodate it - if the state was giving up some of its authority and revenue as we will be made to. It could easily enough leverage market forces by introducing a small tax on things that emit CO2 while reducing other taxes so revenue is not increased, and leave it at that. Let price signals and consumers to the donkey work *and don't waste tax revenues in the mean time*. But that is far removed from what we are actually seeing. The Baroness gleefully talked of legally binding targets (binding on whom and enforced in which court?) and carbon budgets well into the future up to and including space year 2050. Have you all got your little green book? Are you ready for the green leap forward?

The Baroness described how the nation's aggregate CO2 emissions came to be nationalised to futher the desires of a tiny minority of well connected people and they seek these powers not for scientific, economic or environmental reasons but for prestige on the international stage. They are scrabbling around for something we can be good at thinking that *they* will take the plaudits for *our* efforts. They will paint themselves as having achieved it while suffering the slings and arrows of a cold and hungry population secretly in the pocket of big oil (even if they can't afford any). Didn't they do well. Trebles all round at the 6 star holiday resort the political jet set will have commandeered for a few weeks that for security reasons must be somewhere tropical and exclusive.

They have nationalised our lives and our futures.

Sep 29, 2011 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Great interview and right on the button, in my opinion. I intend purchasing your book next week and look forward to reading it. Love the title.
Barry Woods,
Your worry about the name seems odd, given your stance on the entire issue of CAGW. Having read most of the comments on Dellers' interview on WUWT, your worry seems to be quite misplaced. I have friends in NZ of Oriental extraction who refer to themselves as Bananas - yellow on the outside but white inside - so 'Watermelons' seems both accurate and mildly amusing to me.

Sep 29, 2011 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

So a greengage would be an assessment of your environmental credentials?
Sep 28, 2011 at 2:48 PM | golf charley

GC - 'greengage' really threw me - had to Google it. Is it a posh fruit? Could it be used to describe Nick Clegg?
Sep 28, 2011 at 3:49 PM | Mac

Nooooooo!! Greengage is my favorite - using the word "greengage" in ANY reference to Nick Clegg is sacrilige. You shall be burnt at the stake - with carbon offset, of course.

Sep 29, 2011 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimonJ

If you base whetehr 'watermelon' is a good word or not based on comments at Watts up, I'm affraid you miss my point..

99.999% plus of the world's population have never heard of Watts Up (or any of the sceptical/pro blogs)

If this was thrown around by people as much as denier has in the media. It will make the public switch off from discussing/thinking about the issue even more.

As it would appear just intolerant people calling each other names, rather than discuss like adults (Adults don't care who said what to whom first.) Sceptics are part of the 'green bubble' unaware of those outside it.. Then again I just made a sweeping generalisation as well ;- ) ... just trying to get my point across.

Sep 29, 2011 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

The problem with derogatory labelling is that in the long-term it doesn't work. If it did, the huge Western media machine that spurts out names like 'denier' and 'climate crank' would actually have succeeded in turning opinion in its direction.

Instead while the names are shocking and fun for a while, inevitably people do begin to think for themselves and they do wonder why one side spends so much of its opportunity for debate insulting and belittling those who disagree.

The evidence of activists for one authoritarian ideology jumping ship to another authoritarian ideology is not in doubt, but it is also not the point.

I can argue against a communist without insulting him by laying out the flaws in his argument. I can do the same with an environmentalist. I don't need to belittle him or make him look stupid, and if I did it would do more harm than good to my position.

In the end, labels like denier and watermelon - unless summarising specific noted behaviours - are just attempts to silence an unwelcome voice to avoid engaging with its argument.

Sep 29, 2011 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterMr Potarto

I completely agree with Barry Woods - name-calling is just childish. What is the point of squabbling about semantics when the economy of the country is being wrecked?

Besides, "watermelon" can be a degoratory term, used as an insult against blacks.

Sep 29, 2011 at 3:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Should have been:

"Besides, "watermelon" can be a derogatory term, used as an insult against blacks."

Sep 29, 2011 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Ridicule is a legitimate political expression/tactic...

Denier is not humourous ... is not about ridicule, it is about creating offense

Watermelon is about ridicule...

If you do not like then do not use it, but it isn't going to go away.

Sep 29, 2011 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

I have heard the "watermelon" insult while working in the US. I did not like it then and I do not like it now.

I suggest that anybody who does not know what I am talking about googles: "watermelon man".

Sep 29, 2011 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

@Roger Longstaff

Context is everything and if I have to look up the meaning then I cannot be using offensively?

Lots of words cause offence in different context and cultures.Here the ridicule is precise and easily understood.

Sep 29, 2011 at 4:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Jiminy Cricket,

Words have different meaning to different people. Many people in the USA, and some here (myself included) find the term offensive. I note that the term "denier" has been used by the government to ridicule Ed Balls - " deficit denier". Do some find that offensive?

All that I am saying is that we should not sink to the same level as our opponents.

Sep 29, 2011 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Ok so here is another angle... reverse the process...

I can ridicule the use of "denier" by introducing myself as a "lat-earther, creationist denier"... it turns the turn on its head. It is plainly offensive and bears no relation to reality. The use of "denier" is self defeating.

Will someone labelled a "watermelon" use the term in self-ridicule?

I very much doubt it. They want the term to go away because it is NOT offensive and yet strikes at the very heart of their belief systems.

"You are just a watermelon", causes no offense just ridicule.

Sep 29, 2011 at 4:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket


Sorry Roger I think in this instance your are being PC.

If the word "watermelon" was so offensive by itself then it would have been removed from popular use. Not many kids called "Adolf" anymore but I have not seen a movement to remove the sign "Watermelon" from supermarket shelves.

Context is everything.

Sep 29, 2011 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket


I hope that you are right, but I fear that the interpretation in the USA will be quite different.

Perhaps somene who is dipping in here from WUWT can give an opinion?

Sep 29, 2011 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

People might be in for a shock when getting into Tokyo, as the local maps show copious amounts of swastikas all over the place.

Sep 29, 2011 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

Communists are semantic warriors. If not, what was Orwell writing about? Take the so-called word 'homophobe'. That is an Alinskyite word invented solely for the purpose of putting people on the defensive and for drawing a line between "us" and "them." It has been a major success. It is considered polite English today yet it remains nothing more than a political tactic. To doubt that promoters of AGW or CAGW intentionally invent such tactics, employ them effectively, and use them to move elections is utter madness or excuse making.

To say that doing the same would lower us to the level of our opponents is to assume that doing nothing, remaining polite, is an option. Doing nothing is surrender.

Consider the example of Rush Limbaugh. If not for typical Leftist over-reach in the semantic war, Rush Limbaugh could not exist as a media phenomenon. His entire game is simply to focus attention on the latest semantic innovation from the Left and to investigate it in the language of his listeners. If we oppose the semantic warfare of the Left, we have a duty to do as much.

Granted, creating words such as 'watermelon' is not necessarily effective. But sometimes it is effective. We need a quiver full of arrows. To learn how to construct such a quiver, one thing we must do is investigate the techniques of media personalities such as Limbaugh. We must be empiricists in this matter. We must learn or invent other techniques. In general, each Leftist semantic innovation must be held to rigorous analysis and that analysis must be effectively communicated to the public. If Limbaugh's techniques are the most effective, we must use them.

Sep 29, 2011 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

@Roger I understand and appreciate the worry over offense...

But whilst people take offense easily, what is often forgotten is the intent to cause also has to be present.

perhaps James D. could state whether they is any linking to Black American insults. If not then, if people still want to find a link good luck to them... being offended nowadays seems to be a growth business. So much so they will even publicise their offense online in front of millions of strangers.

Sep 29, 2011 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Yes - the swastika means something quite different in Asia.

Some years ago I had a guest from Malaysia staying with me. He was heading out one day dressed in a teashirt with a swastika on it. When I insisted that he change it he hadn't got a clue what I was talking about. It is possible to cause offence without realising it.

Sep 29, 2011 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>