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« Doctor Mann, I presume? | Main | Steyn's counterblast »
Friday
Feb212014

Throwing the mud back

Also coming out fighting this morning is Roy Spencer, as mild a character as you could ever wish to meet, but I guess everybody has their limits. Today he has decided that he is just not going to sit back and take the abuse any longer.

When politicians and scientists started calling people like me “deniers”, they crossed the line. They are still doing it.

They indirectly equate (1) the skeptics’ view that global warming is not necessarily all manmade nor a serious problem, with (2) the denial that the Nazi’s extermination of millions of Jews ever happened.

Too many of us for too long have ignored the repulsive, extremist nature of the comparison. It’s time to push back.

I’m now going to start calling these people “global warming Nazis”.

This is an interesting step, coming so soon after the UK Green Party's call for a purge of dissenters from government ranks.

On a somewhat related matter, I asked journalist Mehdi Hasan yesterday for some justification of his calling Owen Paterson a denier, given Paterson's acknowledgement that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Despite my prompting him for a response, Hasan refused to even acknowledge my question, let alone answer it, although he was happy to exchange tweets on other matters.

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Reader Comments (135)

In this Ideological conflict, (who would or indeed could pretend otherwise?) the gloves are finally coming off. You may can the Geneva Convention - the Green warmists already have.

Feb 21, 2014 at 9:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterManfred

He's had to put up with a lot. I suspect that it is Kerry's recent comments that irked him.

Also, as someone pointed out, a certain Peter Gleick dropped in to comment on Spencer's post. Difficult to know if it is the one that is well known in such circles, but the comment is, perhaps, not inconsistent with that being the case.

Feb 21, 2014 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

This is great news- sensible people are finally getting fed-up with the hate-tactics of the "Watermelons".

Feb 21, 2014 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

I think we are all sick of the Green Taliban's tactic of associating sceptics with something far worse in order to denigrate them

Using the word denier which has far right connotations
Pretending that sceptics are funded by the fossil fuel industry
Associating scepticism with the suppression of information about smoking
Flat earthers

Thie is what Lysenko, McCarthy, the Nazi's , etc.all did

Journalists are equally guilty.

In fact a close look at Green funding, alarmists behaviour, etc. show that it is them who behave badly.

I agree it is about time we exposed them for the religious zealots they are and their disgusting tactics!

Alarmist Nazis indeed

Feb 21, 2014 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

A big mistake, it gives the likes of the Muppet circus to come up with this kind of drivel :

http://desmogblog.com/2014/02/20/climate-change-denier-roy-spencer-says-people-who-use-word-denier-are-global-warming-nazis

and will be used whenever Spencer makes any statement in the future whether it is a valid point or not.

Feb 21, 2014 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

I prefer Eco Fascists because Global Warming Nazis is a bit of a mouthful. I suppose it could be shortened to GWN's, pronounced Goons. My head tells me that name calling won't get us anywhere but there again there is only one way to deal with persistent bullies?

Feb 21, 2014 at 9:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

I’m now going to start calling these people “global warming Nazis”.

I am not sure what or who exactly has supposed to have tipped the balance in Spencer's mind here, since no specific example is given AFAICS, so I am left wondering which people he means exactly. Any people in future who call him a denier?

What if these future people are just badly informed, and/or not using 'denier' in the worst connotation he seems to think? What if they could potentially have been willing to listen and have explained to them that have been badly informed?

It seems instead of taking this approach that Spencer has apparently decided instead to save time wondering and just to instinctively lash out and call them Nazi's back.

In the hope this will shame them to change their minds?

I don't see that happening, I am sure this approach will only increase enmity and alienate otherwise neutral observers.

Feb 21, 2014 at 9:55 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Absolutely agree with Morph. Big tactical error that plays squarely into the hands of the eco loons, who are only too eager to portray anyone who disagrees with them as foaming, swivel-eye maniacs.

Feb 21, 2014 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered Commenteragouts

Michael Hart, it's not Kerry - his speech did not use the d word.

I suspect it is this article by Revkin on 19th Feb, reporting on a d-strewn lecture by a social scientist named David Victor (full text available via the Revkin link). Bizarrely, David Victor says in his introduction "stop calling them denialists" and then proceeds to do precisely this throughout his piece (also up for discussion at Klimazwiebel).

Clearly opinion is very divided on this. I agree with Morph and Agouts - I think it's better to respond by saying that if they resort to childish name-calling, this suggests they don't have any valid arguments.

Feb 21, 2014 at 10:03 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Well done Roy Spencer. As a general rule, when i see terms such as Denier, Flat earther etc - it just shows extreme ignorance and at that point I stop reading/listening if all they have is a soundbite.

Feb 21, 2014 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

Its not a little ironic that the 'need ' to claim AGW sceptics are not merely wrong but mad or bad is one of the give a ways that is not an argument about science at all , for this approach has nothing to do with the scientific method but does find a happy home in religion or politics were the 'need' to dehumanize the opposition is seen .

Annoying as it is in the long term is actually a counter productive approach , for people can see for themselves how disconnected this claim is from reality . So as with other approaches the AGW proponents take, such as Mann rants and making 'splatter fest videos' , the sceptics position should be to quite encouragement for why stop them from shooting themselves in the foot.

Feb 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

I looked at the Desmog blog link and I agree
Branson GWN
Obama GWN
Kerry GWN
Charles Windsor GWN oops sorry mean tampoon

Feb 21, 2014 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

The most fascinating thing in this is that Peter Gleick demonstrates the conscience of an AGW believer:
He has none.

Feb 21, 2014 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

I just checked out the desmog blog.

Joseph Goebbels would be proud.

Also, a good essay on the subject is:-

http://www.martindurkin.com/blogs/nazi-greens-inconvenient-history

Feb 21, 2014 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

'Nazi' can be criticised on the grounds that it is technically inaccurate. Socialists they may be, but they're not nationalists. And it allows them to invoke Godwin's law of lost arguments. I have always found it far more effective to argue scientifically, and to regard invective as evidence that one has lost the argument, or never had one. Why would we give up the high ground just when we're winning? And when we're far more vulnerable to that sort of debate?

But if you're *going* to take that route, a more accurate term would be 'green totalitarians'. It has the right sort of negative connotations without being lazily Godwin. And you can always claim that you're only using it in its technical sense: totalitarianism is the belief that the state/society has the right and duty to control every aspect of public and private life. Words like 'propagandist' for those who think there is a balance to be struck between honesty and effectiveness in the presentation of science can also work. As a rule, insults work best when they contain a large grain of truth.

However, regarding the general wisdom of doing so, I refer reader's to the closing section of JS Mill's classic:

"With regard to what is commonly meant by intemperate discussion, namely invective, sarcasm, personality, and the like, the denunciation of these weapons would deserve more sympathy if it were ever proposed to interdict them equally to both sides; but it is only desired to restrain the employment of them against the prevailing opinion: against the unprevailing they may not only be used without general disapproval, but will be likely to obtain for him who uses them the praise of honest zeal and righteous indignation. Yet whatever mischief arises from their use, is greatest when they are employed against the comparatively defenceless; and whatever unfair advantage can be derived by any opinion from this mode of asserting it, accrues almost exclusively to received opinions. The worst offence of this kind which can be committed by a polemic, is to stigmatize those who hold the contrary opinion as bad and immoral men. To calumny of this sort, those who hold any unpopular opinion are peculiarly exposed, because they are in general few and uninfluential, and nobody but themselves feels much interested in seeing justice done them; but this weapon is, from the nature of the case, denied to those who attack a prevailing opinion: they can neither use it with safety to themselves, nor, if they could, would it do anything but recoil on their own cause. In general, opinions contrary to those commonly received can only obtain a hearing by studied moderation of language, and the most cautious avoidance of unnecessary offence, from which they hardly ever deviate even in a slight degree without losing ground: while unmeasured vituperation employed on the side of the prevailing opinion, really does deter people from professing contrary opinions, and from listening to those who profess them. For the interest, therefore, of truth and justice, it is far more important to restrain this employment of vituperative language than the other; and, for example, if it were necessary to choose, there would be much more need to discourage offensive attacks on infidelity, than on religion. It is, however, obvious that law and authority have no business with restraining either, while opinion ought, in every instance, to determine its verdict by the circumstances of the individual case; condemning every one, on whichever side of the argument he places himself, in whose mode of advocacy either want of candour, or malignity, bigotry or intolerance of feeling manifest themselves; but not inferring these vices from the side which a person takes, though it be the contrary side of the question to our own: and giving merited honour to every one, whatever opinion he may hold, who has calmness to see and honesty to state what his opponents and their opinions really are, exaggerating nothing to their discredit, keeping nothing back which tells, or can be supposed to tell, in their favour. This is the real morality of public discussion: and if often violated, I am happy to think that there are many controversialists who to a great extent observe it, and a still greater number who conscientiously strive towards it."

Feb 21, 2014 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterNullius in Verba

Global Warming Numpties - might be better.

Feb 21, 2014 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Ecofascists is a lot more subtle therefore preferable in my opinion.

Feb 21, 2014 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered CommentersandyS

Roy spencer should resist adopting the same tactics.

I am constantly amazed by the extreme nastiness of some of these people. Increasingly, our politicians, journalists and broadcasters are descending towards the standard of the commenters at the Guardian.

Perhaps they are being whipped up into a permanent state of frenzy by organisations like the BBC which provides an endless stream of alarmists claiming that unprecedented extreme weather is now occurring almost continuously.

Feb 21, 2014 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

I don't know but I may be one of a handful of regular commenters on this blog who works in a closely related area to climate science though my interests are more related to early Earth surface temperatures and how that has evolved through geologic time. I constantly feel abused by politicians and others who refer to 'flat Earthers', 'climate change deniers' or suggest that I operate outside of the set that contains all 'sensible and reasonable scientists'. They generally don't have the courtesy to say it to one's face. A sure sign of cowardice. I've even had journalists feign that they are interested in my science and views only to do a hatchet job on the front page of a daily newspaper.

Only one person has had the 'courtesy' to say this to my face and that was a barrister who was cross examining me at a public inquiry for a major wind farm project. He regretted his decision as it was very simple to demonstrate his complete lack of knowledge of the subject and that he had unwittingly dug a hole in which he was now mired. The inspector was very interested in my views and we eventually won the case.

There is also a flip side of the coin. I have had many colleagues come up to me at meetings and conferences and thank me for making a public stand and that gives one the sense that there are many others who would do so if they didn't feel their positions were in jeopardy.

I think the public is far more sophisticated than the politicians give them credence for. They always have been. They understand that when a politician resorts to name calling they are shoring up a position which they know they cannot defend with a more sound and sophisticated argument and that they are effectively withdrawing from any meaningful debate. One only has to look at the response to the recent floods in the south-west and Thames Valley. The public are rightly angry and have seen right through the persistent claims that the floods are the result of climate change. They know that words such as 'consistent with', 'what we expect' and so on are vacuous. They also understand the economics of adaptation versus mitigation and know very clearly where the balance lies.

I sympathise with Roy Spencer but resorting to name calling back is not the answer. Simply ignoring those that have an agenda and engaging in debate with those that will listen is the answer.

Feb 21, 2014 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Dennis

The theme of this thread is that sceptics are insulted by being called deniers.

Yet sceptics are great insulters. On this thread alone those accepting global warming have been called:

Green warmist
Watermelon
Green Taliban
Alarmist
Muppet circus
Alarmist Nazi
Tampoon
Green totalitarian
Global warming numptie
Ecofascist

If you want to be treated with respect, show some respect yourselves.

Feb 21, 2014 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

I agree with Morph, Agouts and Paul M and D.
Let the drama-greens do the name calling.

Feb 21, 2014 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterG. Watkins

The "never wrestle with a pig" quote comes to mind.

Far better just to laugh and take the p*ss out of these buffoons I think rather than sink to their level.

I particularly object to the warmists like Myles Allen and Kevin Anderson being introduced as Climate Change "experts". Experts to me are those who have a consistent record of being right whereas this mob are the exact opposite. I wish the Bish during an interview would interrupt the Interviewer, point out their long list of failed predictions and suggest he calls them "Climate Clowns" or "Climate Astrologers" instead. We need to get the public to remember what they've said before and laugh at them (like the famous Viner snow quote).

Better than getting all angry about it.

Feb 21, 2014 at 10:52 AM | Registered CommenterSimonW

It has been illegal, in the UK, since the early 80ies, to drive a vehicle without being able to immediately produce your license to drive said vehicle. Does anyone here know of anyone who has ever been 'done' for this offence?

Maybe Roy will never use the nuclear option.

Feb 21, 2014 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterHenry Galt

The alarmists are currently winning the argument, helped greatly by the floods and the deluge of propaganda pumped out by the press and BBC.

It is relatively easy to make exaggerated alarmist claims. Also, these sell newspapers. It is more boring and difficult to point out the facts. Perhaps we sceptics need to get our act together. When the alarmists seize on a particular topic to push their agenda, we should work quickly to assemble the relevant facts and through the sceptical blogs it should be possible to equip every sceptic with a consistent grasp of the data and what to say to counter the alarmist claims.

Who knows, it might even get noticed by the press, especially if the facts show the alarmists to be lying through their teeth.

That is the way to fight back, rather than to join in with the name calling and insults.

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

The Right To Hate is the bastard offspring of the now legal Right To Be Offended;

I hate you because you will pollute my water supply by fraccing;
I hate you because you are a capitalist and take my money for profit;
I hate you because I believe man is destroying the planet and you won't see that;

is assumed by the zealot. It should not be adopted by the calm observer with facts on his side. It is not used to provoke (although it does) but is merely a prop to a claim of the moral high ground, for that, in fact, is all they have and why the 97% figure is so vigorously defended.

Roy Spencer and his website are a festering sore in the CAGW theory. He should rest on his laurels and not stoop to their level.

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

That is the way to fight back, rather than to join in with the name calling and insults.

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

You are correct but we need a more popularise outlet that blogs. We need to reach a far greater audience.

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

"If you want to be treated with respect, show some respect yourselves."

That's exactly the point. Your argument suggests there is a tit-for-tat relationship between the two sides - that if our side is respectful then yours will be too. But they haven't been. People who have remained consistently polite still get insulted.

So this decision to call the eco-totalitarians names is based on creating such a tit-for-tat relationship. You're going to get called that now only *because* you use terms like 'denier'. If you want to be treated with respect, show some respect yourselves.

Personally, I don't think your side have the humility or self-awareness to recognise the logic of such an argument, so it won't work. People who use the word 'denier' don't think the rules of polite debate apply to them, because they think they're in the right. They can use whatever insults they like, because they're all true, but nobody can use any against them, as they're false. It's like Mann going round calling other people incompetents, deniers, frauds, and liars, but having an ultra-thin skin himself over that sort of thing. The narcissistic personality type is not something you can reason people out of with tit-for-tat arguments.

And as I noted, "green totalitarian" is a technical term of political science, and accurately describes the advocated policies of many activists. Why should we have to hide the truth and not be allowed to tell people exactly what you are out of some need to be 'respectful', when you're not going to play by the same rules? It is at least understandable why people would feel that way.

Tit-for-tat isn't a viable argument, as satisfying as it might feel. I don't think it works for us. It *certainly* doesn't work for you.

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterNullius in Verba

Name calling our being distracted by it is pathetic. The warmists call sceptics deniers and we talk about it instead of talking about the weaknesses in their theories.

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterjaffa

There is a danger in what Dr Spencer is doing. A suitable quote would be :

“The great strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it.”
― Adolf Hitler

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

The documented evidence is that skeptics are viewed by the Green/Left as not merely wrong, but actively Evil, and so it is permissible to talk about trying them for crimes against humanity, branding them, gassing them with carbon monoxide, or executing them, just like any other group of Untermensch.

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Nullius @10:26 AM, that's a great quote from JSM! I sense it is a long-winded way of saying that he wanted the public discourse to be more polite towards atheists like himself, but it is a nice argument, and one that has considerable resonance here. This bit here made me think about someone mentioned in the previous thread:

[...] unmeasured vituperation employed on the side of the prevailing opinion, really does deter people from professing contrary opinions, and from listening to those who profess them [...]

I also agree that Roy's choice of retaliatory words is poor, and tactically unwise. But angry people - and something has clearly made him angry - don't always think carefully before lashing out!

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:30 AM | Registered CommenterJeremy Harvey

I also agree with Morph, Agouts, Paul M and others.

While counter-narratives are useful, unleashing the same kind of dangerous and highly emotive memes that CAGW utilises, is very unwise. Just for a start there will be unintended consequences, no-one can control such memes. For seconds, while sceptics remain a small minority, the meme will never get the spread required to do major harm to CAGW, but it will probably get just enough to be bounced back and harm sceptics.

I understand the frustration, but this cannot be productive.

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndy West

Here is another label to keep in reserve 'Greenytots': Green, totalitarian, childishly self-important, and, usually, lacking worldly wisdom.

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoseph Sydney

Stephen Richards - I agree that our message needs to reach a wider audience. James Delingpole is good example of how to do that. We probably also need to utilise social media more effectively to reach younger people.

There is lots of material around, such as the regular wrong forecasts from the Met Office, the preaching from our esteemed leader at DECC and the amazing stories in the Guardian. A sort of light hearted news blog poking fun at the alarmist movement with lots of humour could achieve a great deal if it built up a following.

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Unnecessary and counterproductive

" Observe which side resorts to the most vociferous name-calling and you are likely to have identified the side with the weaker argument and they know it."

Charles R. Anderson

Back in circa 2008 when I first started asking polite questions the vociferous name-calling and disdain emanating from the AGW promoters was a major driver to question the "settled science" further.

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:44 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Jeremy,

Was Mill an atheist? He says in the same essay: "and I choose, by preference, the cases which are least favourable to me—in which the argument against freedom of opinion, both on the score of truth and on that of utility, is considered the strongest. Let the opinions impugned be the belief in a God and in a future state, or any of the commonly received doctrines of morality." That strongly suggests that he was a believer.

Although it is always hard to tell what people's true beliefs are when they lived in societies where expressing disbelief was risky.

I don't know. I don't think it's reasonable to expect the internet to be always civil, and so I don't think it's any more reasonable to demand it our our side than generally. I think it's less effective and self-defeating, but it's going to happen, and the principle of free speech requires that if people want to, they be allowed to. Free speech doesn't just mean speech you approve of. I tend to think of it as a debate going on at multiple levels, where the politicians and activists sling mud at one end, and the scientists and intellectuals exchange technical arguments at the other, and there is room enough in this world for both. I try not to be so elitist as to look down on people with different ways of arguing. They can be effective in their own way. And they have a right to be heard.

But I'd be disappointed if those at the technical end gave it up and reverted to mud-slinging. And I worry about the consequences.

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterNullius in Verba

So while the green Nazis' can heap an endless tirade of abuse and lies upon anyone who is not of their religion, everyone except them is to remain calm and polite?
Turning the other cheek means that both get slapped; sensible it is not.
I would also note that the Nazi party was a party of national socialism.
Instead of the watermelon tag, just refer to them as environmental communists. Their motives then become much more clear: control not conservation.

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohnM

And another thing that's way out with the radiative greenhouse calculations is well explained in a comment on WUWT which points out that a blackbody by definition absorbs all radiation and does not transmit any.

But the surface of the oceans (say 1mm deep) obviously does transmit most of the radiation which then warms layers below. So the surface of the ocean is not a blackbody and it would require far more radiation than the SBL calculations indicate to raise its temperature to the observed level.

As I have been saying, there is obviously nowhere near enough direct solar radiation reaching the Venus surface either. So obviously there is a non-radiative supply of energy as well as the direct radiation and these work together to raise the surface temperatures to what is observed. Remember, back radiation can only slow radiative cooling: it cannot actually add thermal energy (like the Sun does) or raise the surface temperature.

The non-radiative supply of energy is actually energy that has been trapped over the life of the planet by the gravitationally induced temperature gradient, and more can always be added to the troposphere by the Sun.

The key to understanding how this energy actually transfers from the colder atmosphere to the warmer surface lies in understanding thermodynamic equilibrium and the isentropic state, all of which is explained in my book "Why it's not carbon dioxide after all" available through Amazon late April.

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterD J C

Well, now, of course the use of the term 'denier' marks the user as an ignorant, hateful, zealot, but there is a subset among that class which can be engaged in the following manner. First ask what is being denied. The response to that can be individualized for each skeptic, but the strongest common denominator among skeptics is denial of the catastrophic results of global warming. From that the discussion can be led into the widespread denial of the catastrophic economic and social effects of this attempted mitigation of an exaggerated threat.
=======================

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Also, please remember kim's corollary to Godwin's Law which is that the first person to call Godwin on a thread broaching totalitarianism is a useful idiot.
===============

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

I think that this will do far more harm than good.
I cannot see what is to be gained by lowering the standards of
those of us who are sceptical of the science.
The term "Deniers" is open to interpretation, wheras the term
"Nazis" is not (in my opinion)
I am saddened by this post.

Feb 21, 2014 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

'Global warming Nazis' is a bit of a mouthful. I prefer the snappier 'Greenshirts'.

Feb 21, 2014 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered Commentertallbloke

Denier and Nazi are simply insults, no different from any other content-free abuse which can be found all over the net. In practice they are taken as code to characterise opposite ends of a certain quarrel of interest to readers of this blog (any other names would do just as well for that) but they do not convey any hint of what the disagreement is about, fundamentally.

Communists, socialists, Nazis, progressives and others like minded (communitarians) insist that everyone (with very, very few exceptions) must be compelled to be equal, on pain of death. Nobody must stand out and form a separate opinion. The consensus is absolutely everything to them. Whether it is right or wrong is immaterial. Nobody must be allowed to think for himself. All ideas are to be taken from others intact and simply passed on uncriticised and unchanged. The word ‘I’ must be obliterated from the language. All ‘individuals’ must be annihilated.

Prof Spenser is justifiably indignant but his reaction seems to miss the point and he has allowed himself to be provoked, which is just what his opponents want, because it takes the focus away from science and truth.

If he must respond, rather than shouting ‘Nazi’ he might ask the self-proclaimed climate experts or their mouthpieces if they think holocaust policy is linked to or is consistent with global warming.

In fact both sides deny, as is usual in any disagreement. There is nothing wrong with the word as such. It is necessary merely to clarify what is being denied. Even journalists are capable of understanding that, with luck.

Feb 21, 2014 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Well

Nullius, I always thought that Mill was a free-thinker, though I confess I can't come up with evidence to support my claim. Though his Wikipedia entry agrees with me, and impeccably cites a couple of sources, so perhaps I'm right ;-). I think in that second extract you quote, he is a being a bit self-serving, and yet also bowing to the general public idea of the time that religion cannot be argued with. I even seem to detect that he is being a little bit arch in his choice of words, though again, I may be very wrong about that.

Feb 21, 2014 at 12:12 PM | Registered CommenterJeremy Harvey

I agree with the poster far above who suggested 'totalitarian green'. Being Tasmanian I would modify it slightly to ' vacant totalitarian green wanker'. We've been bothered by the species for years here and as Roy says it is time to fight back.

Feb 21, 2014 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Cruickshank

I agree with Spencer that the alarmists crossed the line - I am still livid with Gordon Brown for his flat-earther's comment and Millband for his use of the deniers label - but I am not sure if direct verbal retaliation is if the right approach, especially as we have such an ill-informed and gullible media who are happy to run with the 'we are all going to die by tea-time' because of 0.7C of warming in the last 100 years.

We are winning the science arguments on sensitivity, the models have become a joke, and Gaia is also doing her bit now with the global temperature stasis/plateau, Arctic sea-ice recovery, increased NH snow cover and probable cooling. I think we need to be go on the attack more in studio discussions (rather than be on the back foot trying to defend our scepticism) and likewise in front of committees. We need to ask questions about the fraudulent data adjustments, point out that the glaciers that have been receding since the end of the Little Ice Age, and that CO2 is not a pollutant, and contributes only about 7% of the GHG warming effect, and human emissions are only a small fraction of the total global emissions. We know all this, but forget that most people and politicians don't. We have not had many opportunities in the media but we need to make the most of them, when we do.

CS is crucial to the scientific argument but it is way over the heads of the majority who's eyes will just glaze over (journalists as well as viewers). If we highlighted the GISP and Vostok ice core graphs, the spurious temperature data adjustments, how the decline in tropical cloud cover can easily explain the late 20th Century warming and recent plateau, the failed models (credit to Roy Spencer for his efforts in this regard), how glacial recession started 250 years ago, and there has actually been very little in comparison the last 30 years, then we could expose CAGW for the bollocks it is, and win the argument much sooner.

Feb 21, 2014 at 12:16 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

I am with JSMill that holders of minority viewpoints necessarily need to be politer, calmer and less emotional than those backed by the mob, but that should not prevent us from accurately describing the actions of the upholders of the status quo: jesuitical, intolerant, authoritarian, narrowminded, brainwashed thought police does it for me.

Feb 21, 2014 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterLjh

About time too. This idea of being above the fray never works. People need to know that the moral argument belongs to those who don't want people to die now from energy shortages, rather than with those who pretend a baseless risk sometime in the far future. I wish energy-intensive industries and the coal industry would also take a more pragmatic stand and get this alleged 'mountain of evidence' reviewed properly rather than just meekly accepting their fate with a whimper.

Feb 21, 2014 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Henry Galt - wrong.

The Road Traffic Act 1998[20] allows a police officer to require a driver to produce a driving licence within seven days at a police station chosen by the driver.

Feb 21, 2014 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

The rules are different. Roy Spencer should hit back because he has nothing to lose.

Look at Brian Angliss' article. (http://scholarsandrogues.com/2014/02/20/roy-spencer-calls-climate-scientists-and-activists-global-warming-nazis/) - he gets this immediately. Which is why he's in such a hurry to declare that Spencer's credibility is exhausted.

As though Spencer's credibility solely rested on politely enduring abuses but not giving it back.

That's exactly what the abusers want - to abuse, and your own license to abuse.

Feb 21, 2014 at 12:31 PM | Registered Commentershub

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