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« Manndacity, integrity and Amazon reviews | Main | Carbon confusion - Josh 292 »

A saching 

From time time to time I have noted the tendency among upholders of the climate consensus to hurl strongly worded accusations of wrongdoing or abusive epithets at their opponents, apparently without considering it necessary to provide any evidence in support of their allegations. I'm thinking here of Nigel Lawson or Owen Paterson being described as "deniers" by just about every left-wing journalist in the country, without apparently needing to justify the accusation in any way and despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

There was yet another example of the same thing today, with economist and left-wing talking head Jeffrey Sachs aiming brickbats at Matt Ridley on account of his recent article about the lack of any surface temperature rise:

Ridley climate ignorance in WSJ today is part of compulsive lying of Murdoch media gang. Ridley totally misrepresents the science.

Not a shred of evidence is presented, not a hint of an explanation as to how he considers that the science might have been misrepresented. It's almost as if evidence is seen as superfluous. (This is somehow familiar. Now what does it remind me of?)

This kind of wild namecalling makes Sachs look rather deranged in my opinion, although as we have seen this kind of thing is common on the other side of the lines in the climate wars. I really think we need a word for it: a "saching", perhaps. Maybe readers can think of something better.

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Reader Comments (147)

In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

The accusation of "WITCH" is proof enough of the crime.

Sep 6, 2014 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones

... this kind of thing is common on the other side of the lines in the climate wars.

Really? Common among academics, journalists, politicians, teachers, bureaucrats, tenured Harvard professors, etc, etc, is it?

Or was it blog commenters you had in mind?

Sep 6, 2014 at 9:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterJake Haye

"Sachsing" would be easier to say.

Sep 6, 2014 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Nope, the Bish is bang on the money. All YOU need do is to open your eyes and see what is right in front if you because walking in to a big pole with your eyes closed often comes as a surprise.


Sep 6, 2014 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Since when has the Green Taliban and its media followers ever needed evidence. We have had more than 20 years of false accusations and innuendos flung continuously at anyone who dares question the "consensus".

Where is the Spanish inquisition when you need it.Or a Nazi-uniformed John Cook?

Sep 6, 2014 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

A manning may I think be better, given allusions of manning the barricades and the pre-eminence of Professor Mike, both within the most disputed science and as a public controversialist quite happy to use 'denier' and other unsavory epithets of his critics.

Sep 6, 2014 at 10:39 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

These attacks are everywhere now. The Guardian has run article after article denouncing deniers, stating they should be ignored, ridiculed, even jailed for 'ecocide'. Ask yourself, why so many attacks and so few articles on global temperatures, ice extents, obviously manipulated data and so on?

Lots of assertions the climate crisis is 'worse than ever' yada yada, but actual evidence of how and where, not so much.

Textbook ad homs. They are losing the scientific argument hand over fist, so have doubled down on attacking the credibility of deniers instead.

As for a name. I wouldn't bother giving it a fancy, contrived moniker. Call them what they are; ad homs.

Sep 6, 2014 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterCheshirered

The appropriate word, lynching, is sufficiently perverse, imo.

Sep 6, 2014 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

Does a green blobbing have the right yuk factor? I agree with the Bish we should bat it around, for there is something both novel and perverse in the way thoughtful dissenters are regularly treated in the climate debate.

Sep 6, 2014 at 10:58 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I thought proper scientist did acknowledge the pause* in the temperature observations.

*it's not a pause until it starts again.

Sep 6, 2014 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterclovis marcus

I've always thought of people like this - and Guardianistas in particular - to be climate eunuchs: no balls. However, when it comes to trolling and trolls, I've always consider that what they do is bait sceptics: they are baiters, and like to think they are masters of their craft. Who am I to deny them their well-deserved title?

Sep 6, 2014 at 11:10 AM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

See, if your entire thesis is a lie, the best and only chance you've got of winning or even retaining support is to scream, repeatedly, that your opponents are liars. Facts don't matter. Loud, repetitive attacks do. Over and over and over again.

This is what the alarmists are reduced to.

But hey, they're still firmly in control of energy and "climate change" policy, so who are the fools here?

Sep 6, 2014 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterAngusPangus

The lefties have jumped the shark because they know that this combination of a new Phlogiston and a new Lysenkoism has been rumbled. What's more, the irrational outburst by Nurse shows the response of these third raters in the UK Science Establishment, chosen for their politics, not their ability.

Sep 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered Commenterturnedoutnice


The appropriate word, lynching, is sufficiently perverse, imo.

I agree we are free to use lynching and that sometimes it works as a metaphor (never forgetting that those whose relatives died from the real thing have far more right to use such a loaded term than we do). No neologism denies use of older terms. But there is something novel as well as perverse in the way we are treated, that makes the search for a new term valid. An ecolynching doesn't feel exactly right but is worth a shot. Why doesn't someone else try?

Sep 6, 2014 at 11:54 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Good one Harry Passfield. I nearly missed it!

Sep 6, 2014 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Hanwell

Goebbling pehaps?


Sep 6, 2014 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

There is no need for any new term for the mass slaughter of the innocents demanded by the Green Fascists.

All we have to do is to identify them as our version of Pol Pot, a precursor of the Green State or GS.

So, let's call Jonathan Porritt No. 1, Prince Charles No. 2, Natalie Bennet No.3, Caroline Lucas No. 4 etc.

And in Scotland, where Alec Salmond is creating his own Green Caliphate, his nom de guerre will be Al-ec Edinbaghdadi!

Sep 6, 2014 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterturnedoutnice

turnedoutnice and others: if you think there is no need for any new term surely this isn't the thread for you? You are entitled to that opinion but comments like that here are counterproductive. What say, just like 'the wets' in the early days of Thatcher, a new term changed the direction of a vital public debate? It's happened before and you can't prove it won't happen again. All you can do is pour cold water. How unscientific is that. Why don't you just wait and see?

Sep 6, 2014 at 12:20 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Sachs failed to disclose his self-dealing when he was advising the Russians on post-Soviet restructuring.

Sep 6, 2014 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterrwnj

George Marshall (Climate Outreach and Information Network, Adam Corner - Policy advisor)

had a pop at Own Patterson a little while back

"Our failure to address this audiences has left this critical social space wide open for aggressive deniers like Paterson to fill with their own narratives and language."

yet, they are funded by Greenpeace and the European Climate Foundation

yet, COIN boast about working with a number of UK universities about how to communicate climate change

Sep 6, 2014 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Barry, thanks for this:

Our failure to address this audiences has left this critical social space wide open for aggressive deniers like Paterson to fill with their own narratives and language

Filling this critical social space with our own narratives and language - exactly what the Bish is inviting us to do. Hats off to Paterson for doing it far more than most in the public space. We need to follow his example, rather than just moaning and mumbling our way into our familiar small corner.

Sep 6, 2014 at 12:29 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I would prefer to use the term lying?

Sep 6, 2014 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

And another one is Nurse who never provides chapter and verse.

Sep 6, 2014 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered Commenteralleagra

'Saching?' Like 'Fisking,' I suppose. But it's only the outrage of the 'True Believer' who sees his creed attacked.

Sep 6, 2014 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterOswald Thake

Goldman Saching it?

Sep 6, 2014 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterOrkneygal

No Sachs please, we're Sceptics!

Sep 6, 2014 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

alleagra: "Stink without Link" as I call it. Nursing is better than all the others so far, imho.

Sep 6, 2014 at 1:21 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

You could try Mann-Sachs -- more conveniently rendered as 'scrotums'.

However, it is probably best to leave name-calling in the gutter where it belongs. The warmists would love us to join them there, because we could debate as equals in gutter-terms. We presently have the moral and intellectual high ground: let's just stick to the science.

Sep 6, 2014 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSceptical lefty

Jeffrey Sachs is an out and out financial gangster, like his fellow AGW promoter George Soros. They conspired to financially destroy Russia and hand over the oil fields to 'oligarch' gangsters.

That's right, unimaginable quantities of oil and gas.

Sep 6, 2014 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

it is probably best to leave name-calling in the gutter where it belongs

It doesn't belong in the gutter. Extreme name-calling does - the most grotesque example being denier. Other political labels can be both useful and entertaining. I've already given the example of the wets in the early days of Thatcher. As a lefty you might prefer appeasers in the 30s, where a young Michael Foot joined Winston Churchill and radical journalist Claud Cockburn in denouncing an important matter indeed. Name-calling isn't of the gutter. Passing by on the other side when such an important public debate is being wrecked by the most obscene examples of the genre certainly comes close.

Sep 6, 2014 at 1:44 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

How about "Bilging"

Bilge is the dirty water that collects inside a ship.
It also means talking nonsence. Not a neologism, but appropriat I thing.
The collective noun would be the bilgers.

Sep 6, 2014 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Bilging is very good.

Sep 6, 2014 at 1:53 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I suspect every time the use the word "denier" , people like Sachs are losing more hearts and minds than they're gaining. But who knows? Maybe this kind of thing works in New York. Or the New York Times, which seems to keep Sachs as their pet economist.

Sep 6, 2014 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

Strange tweet. It was well under the 140 character limit yet omitted a definite article twice, like Eastern Europeans tend
to do. Is he a Russki? Or just a semi-literate berk?

You have been "berked". That goes well.

Sep 6, 2014 at 2:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Crawford

Peter, but it does include the all-important article "the" as in "the Science".

It's never just "science" with these unscientific types. It's The Science, hallowed be its name.

Sep 6, 2014 at 2:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

Believing Sachs is liberal / left wing is living proof Americans are the most brainwashed people on Earth.

Sep 6, 2014 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

Apropos, I think (sort of) but I noticed the interesting discussion about Brian Cox the other day and his absurd ideas about science. Of course, he is an intellectual lightweight, lacking the two essentials for thinking - an 'intellectual conscience' and a 'will-to-truth', no matter the consequence. Ie, like sachs, an intellectual coward. But what that discussions seemed to confuse, as does the cockey Cox, of course, is that science and 'knowledge' are not the same: 'knowledge', hypotheses and, so called, 'facts' are always in dispute and to be disputed (including the 'theories', 'knowledge' and hypotheses surrounding so called 'global warming' - I won't say 'climate change', for, either that is a tautology or a lie, choose which) and this is precisely what science demands, indeed, it is it's essence. Science is a method (it is only methods that are truly revolutionary), not, above all not, a body of 'knowledge' - that is, perhaps, dogmatism or theology! What Cox and Sach et al lack, what almost all scientists, today, lack, is real thought, self-reflection, never mind any 'knowledge' of the history of thought, even about science. They deserve a Saching!

Sep 6, 2014 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterLewis Deane

Not quite off topic but did anyone else see the coverage of Richard Branson's latest money spinner? Tourist flights into space. With all of the upper atmosphere pollution that will entail.

Sometimes the only "green" some of these guys are interested in is in the colour of money...

Sep 6, 2014 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Perhaps this is just one more example of 'warmism' morphing into another religion. Faith conquers science: faith replaces facts.

Sep 6, 2014 at 2:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud


Sep 6, 2014 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterturnedoutnice

Sep 6, 2014 at 11:10 AM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Quote....I've always consider that what they do is bait sceptics: they are baiters, and like to think they are masters .

So they are Masters and Baiters?

Or am I missing something?

Sep 6, 2014 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnon

Jake Hay asked: "Really? Common among academics, journalists, politicians, teachers, bureaucrats, tenured Harvard professors, etc, etc, is it?"*
A fair question.
The answer is yes, really.

Really yes among each of those groups.
That shameful sophistry and dishonesty has been perpetrated by individuals from each of those groups.
Specific instances from among the flood of similar ones include:
- Academics, - Peter Gleick's false claim that Heartland Institute was preventing rational debate, a claim made AFTER he had turned down their invitation to speak in the debate.
-Journalists - Dana Nucitelli's claim that David Rose's article on the current state of Arctic Ice was nonsense- Nuccitelli's 'evidence' was four years old and did not address the measurements Rose was writing about at all.
-Politicians - consider Tim Wirth's 'Aggressive program to go after 'deniers'.' Or Al 'the North Pole will melt by 2010' Gore's conclusion that his 'revered mentor' 'must have gone senile' when he disagreed with him, or Australian Green's Senator Christine Milne on "Hypocrites and Deniers".
- For teachers, you undoubtedly know many among your own acquaintance. But if you must have a citation, consider the Educational Institutions that wanted to distribute Al Gore's 'Inconvenient Truth' despite it being, as British
Courts found, political propaganda rather than scientific education.
-For Bureaucrats, consider the Green's political handouts. (Also consider Green's absurd regulations as a result of their faith, in one Local Government area limiting new homes to one metre in height)
-Tenured Harvard Professors. I can't cite an instance from Harvard, though I'm certain others can. But among tenured Professors, just see Michael Mann's conspiracy ideation and evidence-free insults about the Koch Brothers, and 'the denial machine' in his book.
-' etc. etc.' yes, the slanders and misrepresentations abound, including private discourse and public debate.

Yes, this kind of evidence-free accusation of wrongdoing against their very common among all these groups, and more.

Sep 6, 2014 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeo Morgan

Leo, tenured Harvard professors include Naomi Oreskes. QED.

Sep 6, 2014 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterRud Istvan

We have a word called "Schadenfreude"

Why not another word called "Fraudensachse"

Sep 6, 2014 at 3:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterFred

I like "goebelling" with its echo of libel. There's a forthcoming course in the subject here:

Sep 6, 2014 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Something unpleasant that sticks probably maloderous and deep green. Slime! I suggest Sliming.

Sep 6, 2014 at 4:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterThwack!

If their theory were correct, and they had evidence, the guardian headline might read

Arctic ice free this summer, as predicted. Yet
Ridleys climate ignorance in WSJ today is part of compulsive lying of Murdoch media gang. Ridley totally misrepresents the science.


The one thousandth species has just gone extinct, as predicted. Yet
Ridleys climate ignorance in WSJ today is part of compulsive lying of Murdoch media gang. Ridley totally misrepresents the science.


Rising sea levels have swamped New York, as predicted. Yet
Ridleys climate ignorance in WSJ today is part of compulsive lying of Murdoch media gang. Ridley totally misrepresents the science.

They are shooting at us, but there is no warhead,They are shooting blanks

They are like scud missiles. They come in had and fast, a big bang and a flash, but when you look around afterwards, there is no actual damage.

Sep 6, 2014 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist


Murdoch is your kind of lying scum. Nothing scarier than another Murdoch/Blair partnership.

Nearly six years ago, Mr Murdoch stood up at the lectern in the Hudson Theatre in New York and gave a stark warning: “Climate change poses clear, catastrophic threats. We may not agree on the extent, but we certainly can’t afford the risk of inaction.”

As he signed up to a coalition of businesses and governments called the Climate Group, Mr Murdoch – standing alongside Tony Blair – talked enthusiastically of “promising new technologies – bio-fuels, solar and wind power, cleaner coal”, and urged global leaders to act fast. “The climate will not wait for us,” he said.

Sep 6, 2014 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

I see that Prof. Sachs has a HuffPo article on the topic:
[Hat Tip: EconomistsView ]

Sep 6, 2014 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Buckner

Whether or not a new term need be coined to describe the abuse ladled out by the likes of Sachs, what is striking is how such nastiness comes so easily to them. By any measure, to talk of the 'compulsive lying of Murdoch media gang' is properly offensive. That it is obvious nonsense is no less true.

But it is astounding that someone who no doubt congratulates himself on his impeccably liberal beliefs – which must surely mean tolerant beliefs if they are to mean anything at all – adopts by default a position by which anyone who opposes them is instantly to be defamed and abused.

It is the 21st-century liberal position personified: patently ignorant, endlessly smug, deeply intolerant and instinctively abusive of anyone it deems an enemy, anyone in short who can be claimed to belong to the 'Right'.

There are serious reasons to be worried if this is the that best 60s-derived 'progressive' thought can offer. It makes clear not just minds closed to any kind of rational debate but a gimlet-eyed determination to stifle opposition that Robespierre could only have envied.

Sep 6, 2014 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

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