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« The Yamal deception | Main | 'Ello, 'ello, 'ello »
Wednesday
May092012

Fulmination in Oz

Andrew Bolt casts a weary eye over the antics of Professor Clive Hamilton, a hyperactive supporter of the AGW orthodoxy:

Former Greens candidate Professor Clive Hamilton is furious:

Who would have thought the Melbourne Theatre Company would get into bed with Andrew Bolt?

But here’s the thing. Hamilton is a professional moralist - a Professor of Public Ethics, no less. Standing for goodness, he denounces ‘the highly personal attacks”, “vituperation” , “vilification of individuals” .and “angry ridicule” that he detects from sceptics.

Yet in response to the MTC staging a play with the sceptic as a hero, Hamilton lets fly with a truly extraordinary stream of abuse:

...discredited ... rat-bags ... denier .. conspiracy theorists ... fossil-fuel industry hatchet men ... cyber-bullies ... shit-spreaders ...  shock jocks ... bullshit ...  insidious ... grubbier ... distortion ...  cowardly ... artistic wanking ... poison ... slippery falsehoods ... travesty

Please avoid responding in kind to Professor Hamilton and please avoid merely venting.

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Reader Comments (41)

I LOLed as much at the professor as i LOLed at the Heartland billboard.
Hilarious. Two of a kind.

May 9, 2012 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

I feel sorry for Hamilton because the end of the IPCC scam means professional lefties will have to find another host to colonise.

No gravy train, have to work for a living.

May 9, 2012 at 10:51 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

If you're leftwing enough you are entitled to abuse other people, because leftwingers do it for the general good and they know about morals you know, while right extremists -huff! hiss! pshwft!" do it only because they are paid by the Koch brothers.

May 9, 2012 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered Commenterptw

I am sure the professorship will be faux-outraged when he gets an angry email , after his continued insulting of people.

May 9, 2012 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered Commenterptw

Sounds as though the good professor would have been a worthy addition to the Australian parliament, well known for its "robust language".

May 9, 2012 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Chappell

Hamilton's outburst is verging on the hysterical. The increasing preponderance of these shrill voices is surely an indication that the game is up.

May 9, 2012 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid C

Brilliant quote from C.S. Lewis:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.</.blockquote>

It has been clear since the climategate scandal that although the climate science debate purports to be about scientific fact, what we are actually engaged in is a bitter political struggle to maintain freedom in the face of environmentalist tyranny. It is no comfort to us that the architects of the green revolution have our best interests at heart: it is because they assume moral superiority that they are prepared to behave in the unprincipled way that they do.

May 9, 2012 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

Apologies for the above bolloxing up of the formatting, running together C.S. Lewis's carefully expressed profundity with my tortured prose.

May 9, 2012 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

Clive Hamilton................A real CLOWN to add to my list of CLIMATE CLOWNS.

May 9, 2012 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterMaurice@TheMount

What did Hamilton get his professorship in?

Tourettes?

May 9, 2012 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Ethicist?

You couldn't make this up. Hilarious.

May 9, 2012 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

Thank you, Nicholas, for that brilliant quote.

So much evil in this world being carried out under the guide of moral superiority!

May 9, 2012 at 11:31 AM | Registered Commentermatthu

Do you think he felt better after getting that lot off his chest? Probably not.

May 9, 2012 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

That review by Hamilton would disgrace a punk rocker determined to be deliberately offensive - getting so much back to front is not cool and diminishes street cred. And from a university member, it would of course disgrace the rawest undergraduate. But from a professor! What a trashy piece of work from a professor! Truly, this should ring alarm bells far and wide, well wider than the climate 'debate'.

Once again, I note the poor calibre of those in prominent positions pushing acute alarm over climate change attributed to humans. They really are a rum lot. Do any of them strike anyone here as being admirable? Most peculiar.

May 9, 2012 at 12:03 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

John Shade makes a good point. Hamilton's outburst is a disgrace to his office
http://www.clivehamilton.net.au/cms/index.php?page=About

Maybe someone "downunder" should make an official complaint to Hamilton's university, alleging that he is "bringing the University into disrepute".

May 9, 2012 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Hamilton is also the author of the single most nauseating piece of climate agit-prop that I have ever seen.

It is written as a letter to a child, and begins (barf bags at the ready):

Hi there,

There's something you need to know about your father.

Your dad's job is to try to stop the government making laws to reduce Australia's carbon pollution. He is paid a lot of money to do that by big companies who do not want to own up to the fact that their pollution is changing the world's climate in very harmful ways.

.....

If you have a strong stomach, the original is at http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/28372.html

It is analysed for creepiness and overall vomit value at http://www.ethics.org.au/ethics-forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=101&start=0

This guy is seriously creepy -- makes Michael Mann look like someone you'd happily have tea with.

May 9, 2012 at 1:00 PM | Registered Commenterrickbradford

But, apart from that, Mr Hamilton, how did you enjoy the play?

May 9, 2012 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

I encourage Clive Hamilton to apply more focus on his intellectual integrity. It's looks unprofessional of him to apply one set of ethical standards to pro-IPCC (CAGWism) individuals and a contrdictory set to those individuals skeptical of the IPCC CAGWism.


John

May 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Whitman

My only complaint is that this makes things too easy...the guy is a living caricature and his position easier to shoot at than a dead fish in a small barrel.

May 9, 2012 at 2:38 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

I believe there may soon be a vacancy for Australian Cultural Attaché. That Hamilton chap sounds like a shoo-in...

Link

May 9, 2012 at 4:08 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

It's easy to dismiss Hamilton as being a fanatic on the lunatic fringe of the Gleikist tendency but, looking at his Wikipedia entry and some of the links, it's chilling to see how well integrated he is into the international academic establishment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clive_Hamilton

He has regularly lectured at Oxford, Cambridge and Yale and his hysterical "end is nigh" books get rave reviews from the great & the good such as -

‘Hamilton’s book presents a powerful statement of the problems confronting us – not just the problem of climate change itself, but the tendency to wish the problem away by denial. Read this book.’
Professor Lord May OM AC FRS, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford

and

‘Requiem for a Species is a remarkable publication which brings together the scientific imperatives of taking action in the field of climate change. Hamilton highlights the political inertia which is currently acting as a roadblock. In the wake of the weak outcome of Copenhagen, this book assumes added significance in breaking the resistance to the truth about climate change.’
R K Pachauri, Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Director-General, TERI

It's quite astonishing to me how people with real power, and the obligation to apply rational thought in the exercise of it, can leap on the bandwagons of rabid neo-marxist fascists like Hamilton.

Makes you realise that it's going to be a long hard slog back to sanity

May 9, 2012 at 4:12 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Barbara

:-)

May 9, 2012 at 4:38 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Bolt quotes Hamilton thus:

"I do not presume to engage in arguments about climate science because I do not have the expertise to do so without making a fool of myself."

QED, it would appear.

May 9, 2012 at 4:44 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

More from the you-couldn't-make-it-up department:
The distinguished professor Hamilton has written a book called "Silencing Dissent".

I think we can expect more hysterical ranting outbursts like this from these people in the future, as they find they are not getting their way.

May 9, 2012 at 4:54 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

“More harm and misery have been caused by men determined to use coercion to stamp out a moral evil than by men intent on doing evil.” - Friedrich Hayek

Who also observed that

“To undertake the direction of the economic life of people ...is to assume a position where the best intentions cannot prevent one from being forced to act in a way which to some of those affected must appear highly immoral. This is true even if we assume the dominant power to be as idealistic and unselfish as we can possibly conceive. But how small is the likelihood that it will be unselfish, and how great are the temptations!”

He could have been talking about ole Clive.

May 9, 2012 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Religion requires no logic.

May 9, 2012 at 6:16 PM | Unregistered Commentermojo

Why doesn't the good professor come straight to the point, instead of beating about the bush/Sarc

May 9, 2012 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

The Good Professor founded a "progressive" think tank and the title of his dissertation was "Capitalist Industrialization of Korea." The book which was based on his dissertation goes for $279. U.S. for used copies on Amazon where it is listed as #6,689,410 on Amazon's best seller list. I hope that he is enjoying a posh beach house paid for by the capitalist royalties from his best selling chef'd'oeuvre.

May 9, 2012 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterRayG

I'm playing with the theory that, for assorted reasons, the AGW thesis is promoted by people from less-than-top-rank universities. Here's a chance to falsify that: Wiki says the good Prof comes from Charles Sturt University - does anyone know if that's Cambridge/MIT level or more Penn State/UEA?

(For the avoidance of doubt, I got my degree from a redbrick University)

May 9, 2012 at 9:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterThomas Gibbon

I hope James Delingpole manages to catch up with Mr Hamilton whilst on his Australian tour to promote his book "Watermelons".

They'd have a lot to talk about, I am sure

May 9, 2012 at 11:47 PM | Registered CommenterAndy Scrase

I'm playing with the theory that, for assorted reasons, the AGW thesis is promoted by people from less-than-top-rank universities. Here's a chance to falsify that: Wiki says the good Prof comes from Charles Sturt University - does anyone know if that's Cambridge/MIT level or more Penn State/UEA?

(For the avoidance of doubt, I got my degree from a redbrick University)
May 9, 2012 at 9:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterThomas Gibbon
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Got it in one, Thomas. Charles Sturt was formerly a College of Advanced Education which was upgraded in the 1980s along with a bunch of others to increase nominal university participation rates. Its main campus is in Wagga Wagga in western New South Wales, being a service town surrounded by farms for thousands of square miles and has a population of about 63,000, including students.

Charles Sturt has an excellent viticulture course, possibly the best in Australia. It mostly offers vocational courses (not that there is anything wrong with that), but its academic profile is low and its reputation for philosophy is pretty much zero. Thanks to Hamilton, that reputation is now possibly in negative territory.

May 10, 2012 at 1:07 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

According to the QS International University Rankings, there are only two Australian Universities in the top 50, and only seven in the top 100. UEA ranks at 261 but, sad to relate, Charles Sturt isn't in the top 400. After that, the QS rankings get very vague, lumping the rest as equal in batches of 100.

So, it's probably safe to say that as Charles Sturt came about in 1989 when a bunch of technical colleges and "colleges of advanced education" were renamed as "universities" with a commensurate dumbing down of the whole system here in Australia, it isn't a brightly shining star in the academic firmament. "Red brick" is too posh a name for some of these places. Not quite "mud brick", perhaps, but "cement block" wouldn't be unjust.

Whatever we do, we must not discourage Clive Hamilton and the equally ubiquitous (and fatuous) Tim Flannery from spouting their nonsense. They are probably the best assets we sceptics have in Australia.

May 10, 2012 at 2:10 AM | Registered CommenterMique

May 9, 2012 at 12:03 PM | John Shade
That review by Hamilton [ ... ] is not cool and diminishes street cred.
--------------------------------

Nothing he says can diminish Streetcred !

May 10, 2012 at 2:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred

Having read Hamilton's article (review?) now I can only come away amazed this guy apparently has such a high standing in Australia. I'm guessing he must be at other times able to muster up more reasoned and nuanced stuff to justify this standing? As said above, this particular piece just stands as a living parody of empty raving and has too many flaws to pick.

I am struck by one aspect of what he said. I hear Hamilton is also a proponent of internet censorship which, after reading his screed, makes sense if you think of him wanting to narrow the scope of availability to a narrow realm where his mediocrity would shine.

No equivalent mainstream columnist from the enviro-left lost their rag so incoherently in the UK when the play was staged successfully here, with liberal luvvies playing many of the roles; UK society was hardly changed overnight, yet we hear Hamilton worrying about the minds of the people of Melbourne.

The typical MTC audience member doesn’t read the Murdoch tabloids or listen to right-wing shock jocks. If they stumble on them then their bullshit antennae are on full alert. Yet when the same fantastic claims are retailed in a play by the MTC the antennae are down. That is why, between the clever lines, The Heretic is so insidious.

I wonder how Melbournites like being patronised in such an incoherent and insulting way? This is the creepy thing about humanities academics who have no real contributory role to society beyond influence on compliant politicians, their own feelings of inadequacy can get projected into the mainstream policy by politicans who ignore the fact that academics like Hamilton, who proseletize for their cause from academic echo chamber backgrounds, have no real intellectual ability at all and brook no testing of their boundaries. Sad.

It looks like the play The Heretic has found its Matthew Hopkins ;)

May 10, 2012 at 6:49 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Leopard

Hamilton has very little standing at all in Australia, except in the eyes of the leftist media, mainly the ABC (BBC clone), and their decidedly minority left-luvvie audience who fancy that they are the opinion leaders here. They're not.

May 10, 2012 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterMique

Mique

but "cement block" wouldn't be unjust
I've heard the expression "white tile" used. Also "polyversities".

May 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

"Professor of Public Ethics" - very impressive! (WTF is that?)

I only studied physics, at the original "redbrick university" - I'll bet that nobody knows which one that is (without resorting to wiki).

May 10, 2012 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

@ Roger

I don't know which the original redbrick was, but I do recall that there were originally six and that all six are Russell Group.

Somehow I doubt that will ever be true of any white tile establishment.

May 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

J4R - Liverpool University - from the Victoria Building.

"Redbrick" was originally a disparaging term, presumably used by Oxbridge toffs.

May 10, 2012 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

We have the same 2 tier system in Australia - 'G8' (Group of 8) universities, which are essentially each of the State universities plus the Australian National University and the University of Sydney. These are the ones in the world top 100 rankings. Then there are the rest - some are proper universities which were founded later, while others came into the system when CAEs and some technical colleges were upgraded in the 1980s.

The 2nd tier universities are variable - some offer outstanding courses in particular disciplines, but some are frankly embarrassingly mediocre.

As far as philosophy is concerned, only Sydney, Melbourne and the ANU are worth considering. It is hard to understand why Charles Sturt even bothers to attempt it. The fact that they considered Hamilton worthy of appointment speaks for itself.

May 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

Half the harm that is done in this world
Is due to people who want to feel important.
They don’t mean to do harm — but the harm does not interest them,
Or they do not see it, or they justify it,
Because they are absorbed in the endless struggle
To think well of themselves.

(From The Cocktail Party, T.S. Eliot)

May 11, 2012 at 4:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterSleepalot

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