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« Community science | Main | Guilty men and guilty women »
Wednesday
Sep282011

Dellers on Reason

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

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Reader Comments (140)

Theo,

You say that to do nothing is surrender. I have no intention of surrendering! I believe that the CAGW hypothesis is the greatest scientific fraud in history, and I created an epetition to repeal the Climate Change Act (http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/2035) and so far only 592 people have signed it. The MSM (GWPF, UKIP, Delingpole et al) will not back it, and it will therefore fail to have any impact.

I have been accused of PC, but I have spent too much time in South Africa and the USA not to appreciate the dangers of words that can cause offense. Our opponents - those who are making billions out of this scam - will use any tactics to marginalise or discredit anybody who stands in their way. I am simply saying that we should not give them the opportunity.

Sep 29, 2011 at 5:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Roger

The swastika originates from Hindu mythology. The Germans adopted it as a symbol of Aryan purity. Those who only allude to the Nazi symbolizm of the swastika, are really clueless.

The Hindu swastik symbol is drawn with a different orientation, than the German interpretation.

Do we now declare all usage of the swastika in Hindu worship to be stopped? If you should know - most of India for example, is awash in different variants of the symbol.

Sep 29, 2011 at 6:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Shub - in the original tradition the orientation of the swastika is not important

Sep 29, 2011 at 7:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

Blimey - what is this? Are we now to worry about not threading on the tender toes of those who vilify us? Has the vanillafication (h/t Willis Eschenbach, who coined this expression and encouraged me to use it and spread it far and wide) of our thinking progressed so far that we worry about who of the world population might possibly be offended by a description like 'watermelon'?

Hands up who has actually read this book ...
Well, I have, and Dellers' historical description of how and by whom the long march to where we are today was started can leave nobody in doubt that we are dealing with a shadowy political movement that is using legitimate concerns for the environment for their ultimate purposes.

We do talk about the science a lot here, but it should have been obvious for some time that the science, bad as it is, is a pretext for politics, from getting undisclosed amounts of money, via our energy bills, to Big Government regulations which strangle us all, from private consumers to big businesses.

Is nobody seeing anything strange in the fact that Maurice strong, who kicked this all off, is now residing in China? Not exactly a place known for CO2 purity ...

So yes, 'watermelons' is the right description, because it is a political label, and this is not just a fight for proper science but has become a political fight. And political fights are not won by being too polite and too vanilla-fied and too scared of using a label that fits the political opponent.

Sep 29, 2011 at 7:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

The Delingpole / Barry Woods debate is too important to get sidetracked into discussions about political correctness, swastikas, etc.
Delingpole in pushing his book with its provocative title is simply doing what he does well, irritating the hell out of his opponents with his entertaining prose. Good luck to him. He knows he’s got moral and scientific right on his side, and the righteousness (far righteousness) shows in the video. He’s our toehold in the media. (Pity it’s in a rag like the Telegraph).
Barry Woods is trying to think ahead as to what might happen if ever we break out of our ghetto and get our story into the MSM. Delingpole, like Monckton, Plimer, Bellamy, and Clarkson, has all the qualities the MSM want to see in a sceptic.

We’re stuffed.

Sep 29, 2011 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Shub,

I am well aware of the swastika in Asia. I have been there many times and I have always respected Asian culture.

But do you seriously think that I should have allowed a young, Asian guest in my home to have walked the streets of London dressed in a teashirt with a swastika on it???

I have more sense - and I hope that you would have too.

Sep 29, 2011 at 8:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Viv Evans,

Very Well Said.

IMHO, we are fighting a movement whose goals and tactics were developed over decades in academia, whose leaders are very polite but no less ruthless or determined than Stalin when personal liberties are at play (Van Jones, Valerie Jarrett, Holdren, etc.), and whose staying power is so great that this struggle will be a very long one. CAGW was designed to create a endless flow of tax revenue but it was also designed to control the populace. Smart meters that can be monitored and controlled by bureaucrats are not a camel's nose under the tent but an unqualified success in themselves. Children should not reach maturity believing that government control of thermostats in their homes is a good thing. Such a belief is the product of a determined program of indoctrination and the result is something with a fierce bite.

Sep 29, 2011 at 9:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Theo Goodwin
So smart meters remind you of Stalin.
The same thought crosses my mind every day. But don’t you see how daft we look saying such things? Are these threads a way of letting off steam, or are we trying to achieve something by getting our views across to the general public?

Sep 29, 2011 at 9:42 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Dellers gets it and he supports my view.

This must be restated a thousand times in neutral territory to win people over to sanity.

Sep 29, 2011 at 10:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert of Ottawa

Re smart meters:

A smart meter is 39 inches, a stpid one only believes tht 8 inches is 39 inches.

Seriously, the whole smart meter thing is about electric power companies being able to control demand, rather than meet demand. It is also about saving money in charging your billings. But, these two things are both internal corporate efficiencies, and they have no right to charge their customers for such.

Sep 29, 2011 at 10:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert of Ottawa

IMHO, we are fighting a movement whose goals and tactics were developed over decades in academia...

That's just a really, really silly conspiracy theory. If nothing else, it credits 'academia' with far too much purpose, agency, and cohesion. It's the kind of speculation that dominates much green 'thought': the kind where, you post a comment somewhere on the web, and some online activist suggests you're a corporate PR drone, paid for by big oil to distort the public's perception of climate science. George Monbiot made exactly this claim about the critical comments beneath his articles on the Guardian website.

You make me want to give up, Theo.

Sep 29, 2011 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

'... no less ruthless or determined than Stalin when personal liberties are at play ...'

And I thought we were all against alarmism. I take it back.

Sep 29, 2011 at 10:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Ben,

You are obsessed with historical comparisons. I have made no claim about formal resemblance to a formally constituted communist party.

If you do not want me on your side then you are truly lost and should give up. The reason is that 99% of the people who are willing to resist something like climate hysteria are like me. Your strongest ally is Rush Limbaugh. If you cannot stomach that then give up.

Sep 29, 2011 at 11:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Right. At Barry's request I've just read all of this thread on my phone. And it's probably a bad idea to comment because I'm tired and have had a couple of beers (which explains why I haven't just got up and got my laptop and modem to read and comment!).

As many of you know I'm @flimsin the climate scientist. When you start sentences with (paraphrasing here) "the science is just..." or "CAGW is..." remember that behind the science are people like me. Kids who liked maths, read Stephen Hawking, worked hard during undergrad while the arts students had lie ins, trained to be a scientist in a different field (eg particle physics) then became climate scientists. I'm just a nerd who likes to understand stuff!

I haven't read Watermelons or watched the clip. A few thoughts....

Shub, I am an example of a consensusist who has stopped using denier directly because of Barry, Bish and this forum.

Name calling is ever so counterproductive. Today I was defending you lot to (particle physics) friends, yesterday to climate/stats friends, saying that denier offends and there is a spectrum of opinions anyway.

Scientists usually end up saying denier because they only really hear about those denying CO2 is a GHG and that the earth is warming, and they don't like skeptic (because they are themselves skeptical) and other terms haven't stuck. Some soften it with "denialist". They really don't intend it to echo Holocaust denier I don't think. They think of it more as equivalent to creationism.

But this is only because of an important reason...

Most. Scientists. Don't. Know. You. Exist.

Really! They are not aware that a significant part of people trying to prod science for weak spots actually are fine with AGW but not sure of magnitude/timing/impacts/policy. When I explain this they say "oh, that sounds perfectably reasonable!". After all we argue about the first two or three in conferences and the literature ourselves! They agree Mann analysis was wrong, and would agree on lots of other things like "All models are wrong" ("but some are useful" :) )

So give them a chance. Barry has won me over to you with respect, goodwill, and true listening. Please follow his example if you want to engage with climate scientists. Bish's too.

I am a modeller. My personal hygiene is not too questionable and I'm proud to be called one :) But not watermelon.

Name calling is a surefire way to homogenise and depersonalise a group.

I have typed this all on my phone with one eye shut lying in bed and desperate to sleep (after doing 12-16 hour days most days in the last two weeks, trying to get the science right). Please do read it in the spirit in which it was intended.

Sep 29, 2011 at 11:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterTamsin Edwards

Theo - 'You are obsessed with historical comparisons. I have made no claim about formal resemblance to a formally constituted communist party.'

Neither of my previous two replies discuss resemblances to communism drawn by you.

You make this comparison: academics, and other 'leaders of the movement' are 'no less ruthless or determined than Stalin'. You make the comparison, and then say that I'm obsessed with comparison.

Stalin's ruthlessness -- not communism, either as a doctrine or as a description of a state -- is what you alluded to. And I'm fairly confident that most people would understand that allusion to his ruthlessness and determination as ultimately being an allusion to his deliberate murder of millions of people. If that's not what you meant by the comparison, what could you possibly be referring to? His ruthlessness and determination towards his stamp-collecting hobby -- he wouldn't let it get in the way of his job running the USSR?

I note the same tendency amongst environmentalists, to either flatter themselves, or diminish their critics by allusion to significant historical figures and moments. Climate change is 'our moon landing'. Protesters dress up as 'climate suffragettes', adapting slogans to their campaign. Greens urge us to 'get on a war footing', to recreate the spirit that mythology has it united in the UK during WWII. Green think tanks paraphrase Martin Luther King's 'fierce urgency of now'. Climate change scepticism is, according to some, like arguing against the abolition of slavery.

It's easy to see why people do it. It helps them to express their feelings, where they lack the means to articulate a more precise argument about what's going on now. Such events bring with them all the weight of that moment. Or they allow the over-emphasis of something or other which connects the past to the present: communists were authoritarian; greens are authoritarian; therefore greens are communists. It creates a continuity between a historical bad, and the present object of concern, or puts the current debate in a historical context. It's the construction of mythology, and it's as silly in the hands of an alarmist sceptic as it is in the hands of an alarmist environmentalist.

Sep 30, 2011 at 1:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Tamsin Edwards:


Scientists usually end up saying denier because they only really hear about those denying CO2 is a GHG and that the earth is warming, and they don't like skeptic (because they are themselves skeptical) and other terms haven't stuck. Some soften it with "denialist". They really don't intend it to echo Holocaust denier I don't think. They think of it more as equivalent to creationism.

Fair enough. But within the last decade, the Boston Globe’s syndicated Jewish columnist Ellen Goodman popularized the term “denier,” deliberately provoking the comparison with the Nazis' Holocaust:

"I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future."


It is time to reorient the point of this thread to its original issue. As the leading German climate diplomat, Ottmar Edenhoffer, put it last fall: “But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.  Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this.  One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy.  This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.”

Hence, CAGW IS admittedly a cover for international redistributionist schemes, tantamount to the old Marxist ones. Hence, watermelons.

We can go back to another global warming campaigner, Maurice Strong for rhetorical and doctrinaire reinforcement. This oil magnate turned Undersecretary General of the United Nations and Earth Council Chairman Strong holds extreme, even anti-humanist views, yet also represents mainstream environmentalist establishment internationally.


Back in 1992 Strong was Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development whereat every world leader paid lip service to movement goals. Strong believes: “consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, ownership of motor vehicles and small electrical appliances, home and workplace air-conditioning and suburban housing – are not sustainable.” Strong confided he would like to write a novel wherein a group of leaders conclude the risk to Earth came from rich countries’ refusal to reduce their environmental impact. “So” Strong imagined “in order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t our responsibility to bring that about? This group of world leaders form a secret society to bring about an economic collapse.” Writing for the early 1990s Trilateral Commission book, Beyond Interdependence, Strong declared:

“...the world has now moved beyond economic interdependence to ecological interdependence – and to an intermeshing of the two... the earth’s ecology is the new reality of the century, with profound implications for the shape of our institutions of governance, national and international.”

SOURCE William Walter Kay

Therefore, "watermelons" is both an accurate and fair label: green (pro-environment) on the outside, and RED (or Marxist) inside.

Many admit it. And indeed they did back in the 1980s and later among the activist Left (with whom, like president Obama, I worked then).

In fact, last year I had the opportunity to draw Delingpole's attention to Los Angeles-based Reason magazine, in whose pages the post-Fall of Communism world where Marxists would quietly infiltrate the environmental movement. (Thus, the link heading this thread is to Reason.tv - where James gives an interview.) What was expected then has come to pass, via CAGW.

Now, a quick search of that magazine's data base does not give me anything useful to link to there. However, the former economist from nearby Perpperdine University, George Reisman, does: "Here’s the essential common core of hatred and destruction in the doctrines of Communism, Nazism, and Environmentalism. Only the concretes differ, not the fundamental principle of hatred for human life and happiness."


Communism: The pursuit of individual self-interest causes monopolies, depressions, and exploitation of workers by capitalists. It must be replaced by self-sacrifice for....
Nazism: The pursuit of individual self-interest causes racial impurity, national decline, and exploitation of German workers by Jewish capitalists. It must be replaced by self-sacrifice for...

Environmentalism: The pursuit of individual self-interest causes global warming, acid rain, and ozone depletion. It must be replaced by self-sacrifice for the good of other species–our “fellow biota”–and for the good of the planet, under the auspices of international treaties and a nascent Global Socialist State: the UN. Most of the human race must be exterminated for the benefit of exploited species and the planet. (This is what the environmentalist “extremists” already openly say. The “moderates” merely want to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 90 percent and thereby reduce the American standard of living to that of a third world country, with a third world country’s infant mortality and life expectancy.)

Like many others, I have not yet read Delingpole's new book, Watermelons. But I doubt that my outline above is unrepresentative of his thesis. I hope he reads more bracingly than I do, naturally.

Sep 30, 2011 at 2:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterOrson

When all the Watermelon Warmers admit their LIE,
We will raise a Monument into the SKY.
A Monument of SOLID CARBON,
To commemorate their BOGUS BARGAIN.

Sep 30, 2011 at 3:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterMaurice@TheMount

It didn't take long to google up "watermelon" examples. Check out the home page of "redandgreen.org" which leads to this position statement by a biologist at Howard University, David Schwartzman.

The graphic red circle-bar over "C" raised to the Third Power reads in small black print "PREVENT CATASTROPHIC CLIMATE CHANGE!"

And a theoretical sounding paper also by Schartzman concludes with the words "...Marxist theory should be a guide for red-green political practice."

Nor is this example isolated. Standard Marxist journals like Science and Society and Monthly Review routinely revisit red-green topics like "Marx’s Vision of Sustainable Human Development", which - after citing much Marxoid chapter and verse - concludes:

"The demand for more equitable and sustainable forms of human development is central to the growing worldwide rebellion against elite economic institutions—transnational corporations, the IMF, World Bank, NAFTA, WTO, and so on. But this movement needs a vision that conceives the various institutions and policies under protest as elements of one class-exploitative system: capitalism. And it needs a framework for the debate, reconciliation, and realization of alternative pathways and strategies for negating the power of capital over the conditions of human development: that framework is communism."

Is class struggle, comrade.

Excuse me, but can anyone doubt there are "watermelons" out there and among us in climate change circles? And influences among unidentified fellow travelers like the late Stephen Schneider? Perhaps extending to The Economist science editor Oliver Morton, who attended The Stephen H. Schneider Symposium at NCAR in Boulder, Colorado last month, on "Climate Change: From Science to Policy?"

Although the list of the one-hundred of so attendees is now blocked from access, I saved a record of the purpose of the event. It's focus of topics will be familiar to Bishophill readers:


The first part [of the Symposium] will address Steve Schneider’s contributions in specific areas of climate science, such as cloud and aerosol effects on climate, the role of the ocean in climate change, the “nuclear winter” issue, the impacts of human-induced climate change on ecosystems, and the economic aspects of climate change. The second part of the Symposium will examine how these individual pieces of the climate change puzzle fit together, and will explore broad, interdisciplinary themes that were of interest to Steve. Examples of such interdisciplinary themes include decision-making in the face of scientific uncertainty, strategies for improving the communication of climate science, Steve Schneider’s contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and innovative ways of improving the science-policy interface.

Sep 30, 2011 at 5:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterOrson

Hello Tasmin

"Most. Scientists. Don't. Know. You. Exist."

We know that. Or at least, I know that. But that is the way the world works. The world, is the world of ideas. My (i.e., Shub) existence doesn't need to be known.

I have made this point on another thread before.One is only as good as deep as one can dig. Your scientist colleagues don't know anything about the world because they just read the newspapers, and watch TV and just believe what is told to them. In their own specialized corner of the world - 'the science' - on the other hand, they exercise their full skepticism, question every little assumption, don't take everything at face-value, and double check everything, is it?

I find that hard to believe that they are being sceptical. Either that, or clearly, you are much smarter than your colleagues.

I looked at the thread too. Nowhere does it appear to me that a bunch of BH readers ganged up together and decided to use 'watermelons' as a label. Barry, unilaterally, voiced his concerns about the word becoming used as a label.

It will offend far more people than ‘warmists’ does, and worse using this world will alienate many grassroots environmentalists.
...
We must recognise that for many people that are scientists, activists, politicians, etc they are genuinely, sincerely concerned about AGW ...

'Grassroots environmentalists' are not children. Whether or not I use terms like 'watermelon', they are going to be swayed by the content of my ideas, not the occasional label I might use. Nor do they need me holding their hands and being sensitive to their needs. And to those who are "genuinely sincerely concerned about AGW", they have far bigger problems they need to be urgently confronting, namely, their own tendency to passively imbibe by osmosis whatever is floating in the world around them.

Sep 30, 2011 at 5:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Tamsin may be right when she says that scientists don’t know we exist and “...end up saying denier because they only really hear about those denying CO2 is a GHG and that the earth is warming, ... They think of it more as equivalent to creationism”. (maybe they should stop working 16-hour days and start taking an interest in the world around them - lie in a little like arts students - or even with arts students).

Theo Goodwin may be right when he says that 99% of the people who are willing to resist something like climate hysteria are like him (ie Russ Limbaugh fans).
That’s why we’re numbered in the low thousands.
That’s why the BBC and mainstream press ignores our existence. That’s why Sir Paul Nurse felt justified in treating Delingpole like a backward child on prime time TV (and got away with it).

Some of us aren’t happy with that situation. We’d like to be treated like grown-ups and - pace Shub - our existence does matter. I’m not the ephemeral embodiment of some Platonic ideal of Truth, I’m (among other things) a voter, an angry one.

Sep 30, 2011 at 6:16 AM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Lets face it...few become climate scientists because they're politically savvy or "people's persons". So we'll keep hearing from many of them the silliest policy recommendations and an often innate nastiness. That shouldn't distract from our respective main points (in my case, getting ready for the antienvironment backlash and avoiding the undermining of freedom of thought).

After all the IPCC/WWF process has long been not about the science or the scientists. So the average climatologist is not important and most likely even less important than a determined person like Shub.

Sep 30, 2011 at 7:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

I'm inclined to agree that name calling is counter productive. "Watermelons" may sell a few less copies as a result. However it is a simple and colourful description of the politics of some politically and ideologically driven alarmists and in the long term they will need to be labelled with some catchy name if the public are to turn against them.

Sep 30, 2011 at 9:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterEddieo

I'm genuinely tickled that the opening frame of the video, above, is a shot I took of James in Chicago last year.

It's #2 here

Sep 30, 2011 at 4:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterDonna Laframboise

I don't think James is claiming that the people he criticises are watermelons - clearly, they are humans. The point being made is that they are like watermelons. Anyone who is not familiar with a watermelon and bought one believing it to be as green as its skin suggests will be in for a surprise when looking beyond its face value.

To criticise James's writing for comparing something he doesn't like to a fruit, would necessitate criticising Shakespeare's sonnet for comparing something he does like to a summer's day.

Sep 30, 2011 at 4:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter S

Just watched the beginning of the video...James, I suggest to star next in a remake of "SuperSize Me" 8-)

Sep 30, 2011 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

@donnalaframbroise - you take great photograph. The best I'd go so far as to say. In fact, the only reason they're not used more - cos they are so great - is because I've forgotten how I go about finding them and using them, if I have your permission...

Sep 30, 2011 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Delingpole

Is this mass introspection and defeatism day?

We're a tiny bunch of unsophisticated, invisible, crude, knuckle-dragging, borderline racists...........and yet......and yet.........

Mother Jones, Joe Romm and half the warmist PR machine are bleating that the evil denier conspiracy has won and seem ready to pack up and go.

International agreement on climate change legislation has run into the sand.

Warmism has become a political lost cause in a little backwater known as the US of A.

Lighten up folks.

Personally I think both Dellers and "Watermelons" are really funny and humour is possibly the most effective propaganda tool of all.

PS Geoff - can we adopt your Mrs Worthington song as the official UK Denier anthem?

Sep 30, 2011 at 7:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

I'm genuinely tickled that the opening frame of the video, above, is a shot I took of James in Chicago last year.

It's #2 here
Sep 30, 2011 at 4:09 PM | Donna Laframboise

Donna, since you've dropped in here can I just say that your recent posts exposing the organised and shameless infiltration of IPCC by WWF were a masterpiece of investigative journalism.

Much appreciated and many thanks.

Sep 30, 2011 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Foxgoose
I agree about humour being necessary, and Delingpole is the best, but our sense of moral and scientific superiority often gets the better of our sense of proportion. We are a magnitude less numerous than the committed warmists, who are a tiny proportion of the green movement, who are a tiny minority of voters, albeit an influential one. If our battle were to be suddenly propelled on to the front pages, we and our opponents would both be rejected by 99.9% of voters as equally crazed nutters.
I don’ know what the answer is, but I’m sure a simplistic conspiracy theory (or even an entertaining book which can be presented as such) will only marginalise us still further.
Thanks for the kind word, I’ve already got my candidate for the anthem
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/4/9/the-modern-climatologist.html

Sep 30, 2011 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Geof has the measure of the 'outside real world'

as an example, If I asked everybody I know who 'Michael Mann was' it would be a blank stare,
or very probably at best this guy ;-) who gave us 'Miami Vice' in the eighties.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000520/bio

Sep 30, 2011 at 10:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Thanks for the kind word, I’ve already got my candidate for the anthem
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/4/9/the-modern-climatologist.html
Sep 30, 2011 at 8:44 PM | geoffchambers

Yes - I had a good chuckle at the time. You've got a real talent for lyrics - saw a mediocre production of Mikado on Friday last and you definitely have the edge on W S Gilbert!

Still don't agree with you though - I think you underestimate the political power of a good giggle.

Think Millband D + banana (or Willy Hague in his baseball cap if it's less painful ;-) ).

Oct 1, 2011 at 9:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Re Barry Woods: "But, James who is going to buy and read your book, just your existing audience?"

I have ready Watermelons and it is an own goal. It represents a missed opportunity to write a serious polemic on the subject. James is a talented writer and free thinker who has allowed himself to become a cartoonlike creature in a Punch and Judy Show. The "Watermelons" idea is simplistic and fits the perception of being red or radical that the environmentalist leadership try to portray. This strategy draws attention away from the role of the ruling elite and European monarchies support for the concepts of sustainability and environmentalism from the get go.

James fails to identify the winners and losers from the green agenda. The working class (it still exists) are the great losers they will be the hardest hit by the CO2 tax on everything and the royals and wealthy landowners, bankers, carbon traders and “renewable” companies will be the big time winners. In what sense are these groups red or socialist James? Are they not just an extreme fascist clique, an exclusive club with shared common interest to maintain their power and influence over the rest of us.

James fails to explain Prince Charles cheerleading role for the WWF and the National Trust as do the many UKIPers who oppose this agenda. Green is more about saving the monarchies and old ruling elite from extinction, because they are under increasing threat from the rising numbers of billionaires, which capitalism keeps producing who can literally buy up whole countries. Green acts as a block on this activity.

James failure to identify who we are fighting against, and grapple with the monarchies and his obsession with 'reds under the bed' has closed off the opportunity to engage Labour Party supporters and the working class in this debate. In this sense James has scored an own goal and his book will not be widely read by the vast majority who we need to win over to our cause.

Oct 2, 2011 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterFay Kelly-Tuncay

Fay makes some good points.. plus we all must remember very many people genuinely, sincerely believe AGW is a serious problem, and are unaware of the uncertainties, etc.

Oct 2, 2011 at 3:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

 
Re Barry: “we all must remember very many people genuinely, sincerely believe AGW is a serious problem, and are unaware of the uncertainties”

Hmm... and so name calling like “Watermelons” isn’t going to get you very far. Our side of the debate have a real problem with PR. There are plans to have another “Climate Fool’s Day”, but I think it might be more constructive to go for “Climate Change Act Reconsidered”. No one wants to be called a fool - least of all MPs. I think that is why none of them attended last year, which made it all a bit pointless.

Oct 3, 2011 at 12:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterFay Kelly-Tuncay

Yes... MP' can be a bit touchy like that... Need to get those whose constituents will be suffering fuel poverty, and who will have job losses because major employers will be facing carbon taxes, ie like Tata, who will simply close down and relocate..

Graham Stringer MP, seems very concerned about Fuel Poverty when I spoke to him at the Spectator debate.. There must be other labour MP's that have private concerns about these issues

Oct 3, 2011 at 9:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

You could just say. Consequences of the Climate Change Act

Oct 3, 2011 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

"Graham Stringer MP, seems very concerned about Fuel Poverty"

Yet he won't commit to attending a meeting under the title of Climate Fool's Day. We have no real support at Westminster - is this our own fault or it it too soon?

BTW there is a new group forming in Scotland http://scottishsceptic.wordpress.com/

First Meeting of Sceptic Association 8th October

Anyone interested in forming a Scottish association to educate our politicians about the exaggerated claims of Global Warming is invited to attend a meeting Near Stirling from 2 – 4pm on Saturday 8th October.

The intention is to have a relatively informal meeting of like minded people to work out how we might best coordinate our work to maximise our effectiveness and start making a difference in Scotland.

To book your place and receive further details please contact: mike2011 [at] haseler.net or contact me via the contact or comment form.

The meeting will be free, but I will ask for donations to cost cover tea, coffee and biscuits.

Oct 3, 2011 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterFay Kelly-Tuncay

I can't say I have much trouble with 'watermelons', especially since George Osborne is now using 'environmental Taliban'!

Oct 18, 2012 at 7:30 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

The reds under the beds slur, is enough to put off any sceptical democrat..
YET it is much worse than that.

This is why.. a mild amusing 'phrase to some' does not always travel well..
http://dalje.com/en-world/ugly-election-incidents-show-lingering-us-racism/195279

In California, a Republican group said it intended no racial overtone when its October newsletter depicted a fake food stamp bearing a likeness of Obama's head on a donkey's body surrounded by fried chicken, watermelon and other images evoking insulting stereotypes about African-Americans.

'watermelon', has hugley negative racial sterotype/insults in the USA.

Mayor Who Sent Obama Watermelon Email Quits - Huffington Post
http://i.huffpost.com/gen/65802/thumbs/s-WATERMELON-large.jpg
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/27/mayor-who-sent-obama-wate_n_170492.html

just try googling fried chicken watermelon

in some ways this is worse than 'denier' - ie unintentional racist connotations aswell. ( Vs just the reds , are socialist intention)

Oct 19, 2012 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Here is a response mirrored from another blog about my comment at Sep 29, 2011 at 11:52 PM.

I've skimmed this, and yesterday started writing a blog post about my motivations and how I measure success. I'm not sure when I'll finish and post it, but I'll try to remember to post a comment here if/when I do.

But I thought I'd better address this "They agree Mann analysis was wrong" quote now.

You may have noticed this is not a quote I made in the context of this week's Twitter discussions, but something I wrote about two years ago. In fact, I wrote it 17 days after my first ever comment at Bishop Hill. The reason this quote has started surfacing now is, as far as I can tell, because Steve Bloom recently searched for my name and "Mann" in the Bishop Hill site, so as to find other things I'd said about Michael. I don't believe sceptics ever used this comment as support for anti-Mann attacks; for example, I still get asked a lot what I think of his work.

You may also have noticed the time of the comment is midnight, and the start of the comment says: "it's probably a bad idea to comment because I'm tired and have had a couple of beers", and the end says "I have typed this all on my phone with one eye shut lying in bed and desperate to sleep (after doing 12-16 hour days most days in the last two weeks".

If I had (a) not been very new to online commenting, (b) not been extremely tired and perhaps a little tipsy, and (c) known that someone would search for my quotes about Mann over two years later, I would have said something that more accurately reflected my views: "It is not controversial to state - as many proxy experts and statisticians would agree - that the methodologies in the original Mann reconstructions were flawed".

Some explanation. I was one of 2-4 main authors that drafted a long paper on the limitations of inverse methods (jumping directly from proxy measurement back to climate) in palaeoclimate reconstructions, and how to do it better with forward modelling (trying to describe the full set of complex processes from climate -> climate-sensitive system -> archiving -> proxy measurement). It was never published: many of the ideas were gazumped in a paper by Martin Tingley et al., and we lost momentum.

One reason I made that (overly-simplified) statement about "Mann analysis was wrong" is that an early draft of that paper - which I'm sure was written by one of the three main statisticians involved, John Haslett, Caitlin Buck and Andrew Parnell (who is on Twitter), contained the following:

"The influential ‘hockey-stick’ paper of Mann et al. (1999), referred to below as MBH99, inferred an aspect of palaeoclimate (mean northern hemisphere temperatures for the past 1,000 years) using a simple correlation-based methodology. They extrapolated to the past the (northern hemisphere ) correlation observed in the last 150 years between indices derived from environmental proxies (primarily tree rings, ice cores and coral reefs), bore-hole temperatures and the limited instrumental record in the. MBH99 was cited heavily by the IPCC report in 2007 (see also Mann et al., 2008). Nevertheless, their methodology spawned a heated debate concerning their inferences and the associated uncertainties (National Research Council, 2006). The method was essentially a (multivariate) multiple linear regression with normal errors, and thus very limited in scope. It could not form the basis of the research to which we here aspire, nor would it claim to. It focussed on just one dimension of climate; the uncertainties were stated separately for each of the years rather than for all years simultaneously; the dating uncertainties were ignored and autocorrelation was not addressed. The very narrow inferential basis of this methodology left it vulnerable to criticism and difficult to extend to climates further in the past."

"Vulnerable to criticism" is, as you might expect, a relatively strong phrase in scientific writing. It's this that I based my "wrong" statement on, though I should really have said "flawed".

One important thing to note, of course, is that one can criticise methodologies as flawed or improvable without "denying" their conclusions. As I said, I'm a mainstream climate scientist in my views. I might think a study's uncertainty assessment is incomplete but think the signal is pretty robust and the conclusions basically valid, provided one knows the limitations of the study. I'm no longer as involved with reconstruction methodology assessment as I once was, so I defer to fellow experts in the community - not only Michael, but also Rob Wilson, Keith Anchukaitis, and many others. I believe Keith tweeted wottsupwiththat recently about how difficult it is to briefly summarise the strengths and weaknesses of different reconstructions, and Rob commented on wottsupwiththat's blog too:

http://wottsupwiththatblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/hockey-sticks-and-things/

Please, I really don't mean to put anyone off defending climate science or climate scientists. I just personally believe that the public should see scientific disagreements in public, and also that if we have views we should be prepared to state them - and defend them - in public (whether on blogs or in open access preprints and papers). Downplaying scientific disagreements so as not to provide fodder to sceptics is a dangerous road indeed.

Tamsin

N.B. I didn't ask John, Caitlin or Andrew's permission to reproduce that text so I'd rather you didn't quote it verbatim elsewhere, please. It was *draft* text of an unpublished paper and I put it in the public domain purely to clarify my views at that time, not as an official, final, scientific statement about that work. Thanks.

Oct 26, 2013 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterTamsin Edwards

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