Buy

Books
Click images for more details

Support

 

Twitter
Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

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

Powered by Squarespace
« More on the ice age scare | Main | Solving the Uruguay mystery »
Friday
Dec042015

Greens running scared of debate

Scaredy cat photo by Iris under CC. https://www.flickr.com/photos/irisphotos/8340124055Greens have never been keen on being challenged on their views and with the spotlight on Paris at the moment they are even more keen that they only get soft interviews. I did a BBC interview a while ago and was told when the booking was made that I was up against Lord Deben. However, shortly beforehand I was told that the great man was "no longer available", no doubt not wanting to have anything he'd said about his business interests to the Energy and Climate Change Commmittee mentioned on air.

Prince Charles is a case in point too. According to the Guardian he has said that he will only appear on Channel Four news if he is allowed to vet the questions beforehand and has full editorial control. Channel Four has told him where to go of course, although the article hints that Sky News may have agreed to the same terms in a recent interview with HRH.

Meanwhile Natalie Bennet, the leader of the Green party has refused to appear on the Week in Westminster opposite Nigel Lawson.

Not that this will make any difference. The greens have so many supporters in the mainstream media that they will always be able to line up some more soft interviews.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (89)

...and Then There's Physics, the Greens refuse to debate.
Read the blooming article. She refuses to debate.

She does not believe with certainty.
She believes with unquestionable faith.

Zealotry, lunacy, religious intolerance of alternative views - that is Natalie Bennett's position.

That may seem offensive.
But it's true.

There's no use complaining that,
"We're right not debate with them as they are rude about people who refuse to debate".
That is something called a Circular Argument.
It is false.
(Please read up on the link - it may be useful if you wish to take up a scientific career when you're older).

Dec 4, 2015 at 3:00 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Ken - And you seem completely unwilling to consider any alternative to your rather odd argument

I asked you to explain the problem with the argument by setting out its premises, and asking you which you agreed with. You were unable to.

I do not claim that environmentalism is a simple category. In fact, I go to lengths on my blog to point out that it is a constellation of phenomena, much of which is in contradiction.

Nonetheless, it has certain characteristics, each of which are epitomised by your offerings to the Internet. You failure to participate in dialogue, and to sustain focus on a particular object in discussion is, I think ample demonstration of the incoherence of the environmentalists' narrative, and your palpable anger -- demonstrated not just by your prose but by your extraordinarily prolific zeal -- demonstrates the extent to which that narrative has been internalised. That emotion and energy seems directed at people who want to criticise energy and climate policy, not from any particular or singular ideological background or motivation on their behalf, yet which you and your colleagues have attempted to identify as such, as a pathology. I suggest that it is you that is 'unwilling to consider any alternative', but worse, that you are unable to.

Dec 4, 2015 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

And then there's apocalyticism. 18 years and 7 months of pause will not dampen his faith.

Dec 4, 2015 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

M Courtney,
Yes, I realise she is unwilling to debate. I'm giving you a reason why - if you are a generic example of who she is expected to debate - she may justifiably choose not to.

Ben,
This is getting very silly, as expected. The point I'm trying to suggest is that maybe the problem is with those who want to debate, rather than with those who are choosing not to. You've been very kindly illustrating my point, both in terms of your invective and in terms of your unwillingness to consider this possibility. Having ilustrated this point (to most people's satisfaction, if not your own) I will leave you to continue claiming that I'm unable to - rather than unwilling to - and suggest that maybe you look (if you haven't done so) at the scene with the black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Here's a link in case you have trouble finding it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhRUe-gz690

Dec 4, 2015 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

I don't expect there to be an argument from ATTP, at least almost never. The message always seems to be:

'Move on, there is nothing relevant here to see. Whatever you say or think surely must be wrong. Trust me when I say that you all should trust the experts, and I'll point out which ones they are .. No I 'don't know either, but rest assured, these experts are all incredibly smart and knowledgeable. They have answers to all you queries. Unfortunately they are busy amonst themselves getting even smarter and more knowledgable.. I know they are, trust me'

It's completely vacous. Just consider his:


.. your rather odd argument in which you do lump all sorts of people into simplistic categories, and then make all sorts of sweeping claims that you fail to back up, or provide any evidence for

.. from somebody fond of the term 'denier' and happily frolicking about those 'pesky deniers' with other likemined and equally 'deep thinkers' ...

Dec 4, 2015 at 3:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Just to make it even clearer... Ken says: " And you seem completely unwilling to consider any alternative to your rather odd argument"

I say:

1. A cross-party consensus precludes democratic debate in the UK Parliament.
2. The architecture of EU institutions (not to say a cross-party consensus) precludes debate there.
3. The UNFCCC process precludes debate, full stop.
4. In summary, climate policy exists precisely to avoid democratic debate.

And Ken says that *I* am unwilling to consider alternatives to *my* argument.

I would love to hear the counter argument. But not even party hacks in Westminster have failed to notice just how insular the bubble they inhabit is. And not even the EU's most ardent supporters would disagree that this is a 'post democratic era' (P. Mandelson). And even green NGOs would agree that IPCC negotiations are closed.

Dec 4, 2015 at 3:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

...and Then There's Physics,
That is a very revealing insight about the difference between the sceptic-scientific approach and the believer-religious approach.

I am a sceptic and so judge Natalie Bennett on what she has done - evidence.
You are a Believer and so judge me on what I might do in the future if your prejudices* are correct.

You may well be right that Natalie Bennett thinks like you do.
And I also think that the lack of distinction between 'things that have happened 'and 'things guessed about in the future' is the key difference between the sceptic-scientific approach and the believer-religious approach.

*Prejudice = literally pre-judged.

Dec 4, 2015 at 3:20 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Ken - This is getting very silly, as expected. The point I'm trying to suggest is that maybe the problem is with those who want to debate, rather than with those who are choosing not to. You've been very kindly illustrating my point, both in terms of your invective and in terms of your unwillingness to consider this possibility.

You had the opportunity to explain the problem with my argument. I welcomed it. I laid it out for you, and set out its premises and conclusion. I asked you which parts you agreed/disagreed with.

Instead you have avoided that discussion, and have chosen to go down a path of trading insults, and self-justification - your obvious preference. Faced with that kind of intransigence, yet not flouncing off, as such a grievance as you claim surely entitles you to, we're left wondering: do you really want to convince us that it is *our* character that is at fault, and which you would like us to mend? There has been no leading by example from you.

-----
NB, my comment Dec 4, 2015 at 3:14 PM ".... that IPCC negotiations are closed" was meant to be "that UNFCCC negotiations are closed".

Dec 4, 2015 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

ATTP


I realise she is unwilling to debate. I'm giving you a reason why ... she may justifiably choose not to

Oh yes, there is a justifiable reason for her avoiding any kind of open and public debate. It is however not the one you are hoping to imply. It is actually much simpler than that. She stated it herself:

She fears that saner and more knowledgable views, especially if they are publicly displayed in contrast to the shrieking hysteria, will de-legitimize the latter, and legitimize the former. Rightfully so!


Also the idea that Nigel Lawson wouldn't be polite enough while offering his arguments is just laughable. I'd say the exact opposite would happen, and that this would be quite obvious to all non-partisan observers.

But the point is really even simpler than that: This is the eternal MO of the left, trying to claim that only they should be allowed to speak for ... whatever their agenda happens to be ... the people, the workers, the disenfranchised, the underprivileged, the environment, the climate, the planet, the future of mankind .. and so on.

They always demand that they must have the power, and the power to stifle and squash opposition, before they can deliver on their utopian promises ... which they of course never can.

Dec 4, 2015 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

I wonder why Bennett might be scared of debate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwTKdmMSK9w

Dec 4, 2015 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Jonas N, Green is not Red.
The Left does not stifle debate. They are not irrational, even if you disagree with the Left's reasoning.

In a week in which The British Right had a Three-Line whip and the Left had a free vote on War, with the leader and the Shadow Foreign Secretary heading both sides, it is ridiculous to say that the Left does not brook dissension.

Indeed, Monty Python's People's Front of Judea gag was about the numerous differences of opinion allowed within the Left. And dividing the Left.

The Greens are from a different tradition. One that is far less democratic and more authoritarian.
Don't believe the Watermelon idea.

Dec 4, 2015 at 3:43 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Ben that was staged : This is real comedy gold Nat vs Neil (car crash interview)

- And then more here

Dec 4, 2015 at 4:03 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Radio 4 show that criticised Met Office stance on climate change broke broadcasting rules.

Quentin Letts’s Diary: An apology to the BBC journos who, thanks to me, are being sent away for re-education.

http://new.spectator.co.uk/2015/12/quentin-lettss-diary-an-apology-to-the-bbc-journos-who-thanks-to-me-are-being-sent-away-for-re-education/

Dec 4, 2015 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob

ATTP

I'd like to be convinced by the physics.

Can you please point me towards just ONE piece of scientific evidence that suggests the world is warming catastrophically due to human activity?

This is a serious question – I'd really like to know.

Dec 4, 2015 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Dawkins

Jack,


Can you please point me towards just ONE piece of scientific evidence that suggests the world is warming catastrophically due to human activity?

No, I probably can't. I can point you to this though, which might put it into the appropriate context.

Dec 4, 2015 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Rob, thanks for the Cardinal Harrabin piece

Some points are quite disturbing:-

".....That was the last I thought of it until last week, when I was sent an enormous draft report from the BBC Trust’s editorial standards committee. This said I was likely to be found guilty of a ‘serious breach’ of ‘impartiality and accuracy’. The tone was akin to something from the International Criminal Court at the Hague or the Vatican in Galileo’s day....... ."

Then again at least one giggle:-

"...... It may not be ‘prevailing scientific opinion’, but you sometimes hear vegetarians blame climate change on flatulent cows. This irks my neighbour Will Edwards, a dairy farmer. ‘Cows don’t fart,’ says Will. ‘They burp a bit but you never hear them let off. They are physically not capable of it.’ Here is a story for Roger Harrabin to stick his nose into. He’s an expert in this area, I believe......"

Dec 4, 2015 at 4:58 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Not that bright an idea to link to WC Cononolley, who simply links to yet another quite silly blog post by him.

And of course the silly notion that the label CAGW would be a strawman.

I guess, they just arent capable of making their case on the merits. Just repeating their beliefs and that they indeed are many who believe ... that someone else hasactually peeked into the future.

Dec 4, 2015 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

ATTP,

You're response to Jacks question is a cop out.

I'm interested in your critique of the following alternative hypothesis. No hand waving or statements of it being beneath your consideration please.

http://jo.nova.s3.amazonaws.com/guest/david-evans/synopsis-of-basic-climate-models.pdf

Dec 4, 2015 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Singleton

It is interesting that Ken defers to Connolley, who can't answer the question either.

To which the answer is always some variant of if you can’t imagine anything between “catastrophic” and “nothing to worry about” then you’re not thinking.

But the space between 'nothing to worry about' and 'catastrophic' is wide indeed, encompassing a range of problems from the trivial to the utterly debunked.

And that's a big problem for proponents of far-reaching climate policy -- i.e. environmentalists. Many wild claims from environmentalists have simply failed to emerge in reality. Most famously, Ehrlich's dire prophecies failed. And yet the scientific establishment continue to reward Ehrlich, rather than distance themselves from the approach he took. His method, of course, was the premature application of computer models of interactions between society and the environment to policy making. I.e. politics. It turns out that this method presupposes a relationship between the two things it aims to model. In other words, it was driven by ideology, not by science.

It is because we are thinking that we can see the space between 'nothing to worry about' and 'catastrophic', and we can see that something other than 'science' is going on that puts undue emphasis on the catastrophic. The two implications are A) that we need to understand what is the 'other' than science which is going on, and that B) we can imagine that even significant amount of global warming may well occur, but that at the timescales involved, the problems it causes are trivial from the point of view of *global* policy, near trivial at the level of national government, and an occasional PITA at the level of individual/business/etc -- a bit like weather, in fact, but which are easily coped with where there are sufficient resources, ie wealth.

Leaving aside point B for the time being, it further more doesn't help Ken and his kin that they are extremely resistant to the interrogation of environmental thinking -- i.e. its motivations, presuppositions, errors, ideological commitments and so on -- that would shed light on point A. The catastrophic story line is, of course, invoked precisely to circumvent such interrogation, and to turn the question back round to those who would so wantonly ask questions that would delay any action to prevent the immediate onset of catastrophe. Hence Bennett, as many politicians and scientists are inclined to do, hide behind merely superficially plausible scientific storylines about catastrophe to claim their would-be counterparts are in 'denial'.

Do we really need to enumerate to Ken the excessive claims made about the immanence of catastrophe in the debate? We have given the tendency to emphasise these claims a collective noun -- alarmism -- for good reason. The bulk of mainstream political arguments for action, and to resist debate, depend on these claims. It is no surprise to see the arguments from that tendency turn its hostility towards their more sober part of the same movement: the lukewarmers. The lukewarm rejection of the alarmist narrative, and criticism of the emphasis on catastrophic stories serves to polarise the debate, to lump anyone considering the range of possibilities between 'nothing to worry about' and 'catastrophe' in with 'deniers'. Ken's own comrades suggest that even consensus scientists have been hoodwinked by crafty deniers, who have infected almost the entire scientific establishment with the 'pause' meme. So much for 'science' then.

Dec 4, 2015 at 5:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Lest we forget:

"Green's Natalie Bennett car crash interview on policies"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dFn8RIXOBE

(Interview starts at about 4.17)

Dec 4, 2015 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Mike,
The point is that it isn't a cop out. Physical climatology cannot tell you if the outcome will be catastrophic, or not. That's a judgement. Also we cannot really say, with certainty, what the outcome will be anyway; this is about assessing risks, both those associated with continuing to emit CO2 into the atmosphere and those associated with potentially doing something about this. I certainly haven't looked at all of David Evans ideas, but the partial derivative stuff was nonsense.

Dec 4, 2015 at 5:27 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Oh, at last... progress...

Ken - That's a judgement. Also we cannot really say, with certainty, what the outcome will be anyway; this is about assessing risks,

And yet when the assessment of risks -- which you now seem to admit is a somewhat subjective process -- is undertaken by the unwashed, the unqualified, and the unanointed, you will shriek, yell and cry. Moreover, we should ask questions about the centrality of the concept of risk.

If you're actually interested in that, I have many blog posts on it. Star with this one about the emphasis on 'science' precluding discussions about the context of the climate debate: a broader political preoccupation with 'risk'.

Beck, along with New Labour sociologist Anthony Giddens, developed an influential theory of Risk Society. According to Beck, the modern era — technological, industrial society — had exposed society to ever greater, global risks, and that our awareness of these risks and the scepticism of modernity’s achievements marked the beginning of a new historical era, in which this awareness of risks and their amelioration would become the basis of politics. In particular, Beck, the European Federalist, noted environmental risks, and his thinking is in many sense the blueprint for environmental policy. [...]

Beck’s largely imagined, and entirely unquantified notion of climate catastrophe allowed him to construct the idea of an imperialism of risk, to which the solution appears to be the construction of a cosmopolitan institution — let us call it the UNFCCC — to mediate the relationship between the two putative categories of people: those who benefit from risk and those who pay for it. Hence the climate activist’s, UN cheerleader’s and European Federalist’s maxim: ‘global problems need global solutions’. The truer maxim, however, is that global solutions need global problems.

Dec 4, 2015 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

ATTP

Thank you – I've had a read through some of the views of the authors your link takes me to. I now realise that perhaps my question was poorly framed. What I'd really like to know is can you point me towards any scientific evidence which suggests human activity has any significant or detectable effect on the world's temperature. I did not mean to imply that the evidence had to be of catastrophic change.

Dec 4, 2015 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Dawkins

Firstly science isn't really about debate.
Maybe, maybe not.
But politics is all about debate and Natalie Bennet is a politician. So she shouldn't hide from debate.
She's running scared Ken, and your hysterics suggest you are too.

Dec 4, 2015 at 8:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Smith

"The Left does not stifle debate. They are not irrational, even if you disagree with the Left's reasoning."

Um, I guess you haven't been following the recent examples of the Left stifling debate on university campuses, worldwide, but mostly in the US.

BTW, I'm Canadian and familiar with parliamentary procedure, including what the whipping is, but "Three-line" is new to me.

I've also been in enough union meetings to know that, yes, the Left does stifle debate. Sometimes its procedural, sometimes its physical, i.e., a government union made up mostly of clerks allowing prison guards to attend meetings as "guests" who are just "observing."

Dec 4, 2015 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaligula Jones

Jack,
It's still not an easy question to answer specifically. The basics goes back to Arrhenius (1896). There is an enormous amount of literature about this topic. The greenhouse effect, for example, is so well accepted that it is the kind of thing that is taken for granted in the literature these days. You do find it in basic undergraduate physics books, though. You may need to be a little more specific still.

Ben,


you will shriek, yell and cry

Really? As far as your posts goes, I wasn't joking when I suggested that what you write appears largely nonsensical but sounds clever to those who don't know any better.

Dec 4, 2015 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Ken - I wasn't joking when I suggested that what you write appears largely nonsensical but sounds clever to those who don't know any better.

How would you know? I'm serious. You were given an opportunity to demonstrate that what I had written is nonsensical, but you preferred to go down this path of trading insults.

It's what you do, and what Bennett is doing when confronted with an argument you cannot tolerate -- you will brook no dissent.

Let me remind you:

It really isn't complicated. Do you deny that there is such a 'thing' as climate's sensitivity to CO2, such that this sensitivity can be meaningfully measured? Let's call this CS.

And do you deny that society is to some extent sensitive to climate? Let's call this SS.

CS and SS are two fundamental dimensions of the climate debate -- of consequence -- are they not?

And environmentalists imagine that CS and SS are equivalent, don't they, so that for any amount of CS, you can estimate the consequences for SS. Or do you deny that they do?

So how does the proposition fail to make sense?

You say this is nonsense, but the only reason I can think of for such an aggressive and persistent refusal to engage in debate in the terms of debate is lack of confidence in your own argument. We can see the same tendency at every level of the debate: you and many other environmentalists all over the internet; journalists; campaigning organisations, broadcasters' editorial policies, politicians, science academies and in the very fabric of UN policymaking bodies. They want the policies, but not the debate. Hence environmentalism is a politics of fear, through and through.

Dec 4, 2015 at 10:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Ben,


How would you know? I'm serious. You were given an opportunity to demonstrate that what I had written is nonsensical, but you preferred to go down this path of trading insults.

I'm not trading insults. I'm telling you exactly what I think. You may not like it, but that doesn't mean that it isn't exactly what I think. Also, I would only spend time trying to demonstrate to you that what you write is nonsensical if I thought there was some chance of you actually acknowleding this. Since there almost certainly isn't any chance of this, why would I bother? That is a serious question. You do get this basic point, don't you?


You say this is nonsense,

I didn't say that was nonsense. I said what you write is largely nonsense. I will add that your "society is sensitive to climate" suggestion is pretty damn stupid. Do you just think of words and then string them together saying "oooh, that sounds intellectual and clever"?


but the only reason I can think of for such an aggressive and persistent refusal to engage in debate in the terms of debate is lack of confidence in your own argument.

Firstly, I'm not being aggressive. I really am telling you what I think. Also, I have told you something of my views, which you've largely ignored and insisted that I somehow demonstrate that what you say isn't correct. As I've already pointed out, that is largely a pointless exercise when the person you're interacting with is unlikely to actually acknowledge that it is, even if your argument was pretty watertight.


It's what you do, and what Bennett is doing when confronted with an argument you cannot tolerate -- you will brook no dissent.

Again, this is a remarkably ironic comment, coming from you. Let's be clear, I've offered an alternative that you've ignored and you're insisting that you're right. You really should look up projection. In the same way that I think those who whine most about "denier" are those who want to talk nonsense without being criticised, it seems that those who complain most about "brooking no dissent" are those who are most likely to "brook no dissent".

Dec 4, 2015 at 10:58 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Ken - I'm not trading insults. I'm telling you exactly what I think.

But then the only benefit to the debate is the demonstration that you lack restraint and that you are overconfident in your judgement, which you don't seem able to account for. In the same way, it might be... possibly... 'reasonable' to walk up to people in the street to given them the benefit of your opinion of their dress sense, facial characteristics, height, but it won't make anyone's day better... All we can see is someone being a bit of a jerk.

I would only spend time trying to demonstrate to you that what you write is nonsensical...

I am glad you admit that you don't. Which leaves the question of what you're trying to do, if not trade insults.

I will add that your "society is sensitive to climate" suggestion is pretty damn stupid.

If society is not sensitive to climate then climate has no 'impact' -- 'impact' being the measure of climate's effect on society, studied by the Met Office's Climate Impact team, for instance, and is a measure of environmental degradation given by the IPAT identity. If 'sensitivity' isn't an analogue of 'impact', then it neither word means anything at all. The broader point made, incidentally, is that 'impact' is imprecise, and highly sensitive to presuppositions.

Do you just think of words and then string them together saying "oooh, that sounds intellectual and clever"?

Well, I certainly give consideration to how the words I use might reflect on me. Which makes one of us, obviously.

Let's be clear, I've offered an alternative that you've ignored and you're insisting that you're right.

Your alternative explanation of Bennett's fear is that we're nasty and stupid. It was considered. The counterpoint was various demonstrations of green intransigence having being institutionalised, thereby precluding debate in many cases, with consequences for democracy, and for the legitimacy of climate policy (in our estimation); the implication being that the aggressive, domineering tendencies of environmentalists are the consequence of that political culture having been internalised, and expressed as self-entitlement.

I'm not insisting I'm right; I've offered you many opportunities to explain the flaw in my thinking, each of which you reject to say that there's no point.

You really should look up projection.

Hmm.

....it seems that those who complain most about "brooking no dissent" are those who are most likely to "brook no dissent".

You've admitted that you don't want to engage with the argument. The argument most sceptics have is in fact with the aversion to debate that characterises almost all those of a green bent. I'm quite happy for you, or anyone to dissent from what I say. The problem is that you -- or rather the consequences of the arguments you and others you work with make -- leave very little room for other people to assent or dissent freely, including in the media, in academia, in science, in politics, and in day-to-day life.

Dec 4, 2015 at 11:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Caligula Jones, I do not know about Canada or your personal experiences.
But the examples from the UK shows the Left does not stifle debate.

And here is the definition of a Three-Line Whip from the Cambridge Dictionaries online.

Dec 5, 2015 at 7:48 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Ben,
Once again you don't get the point, which isn't even a complicated one. This is not true


You've admitted that you don't want to engage with the argument.

I'd be quite keen to engage with the argument. However, I have so little respect for you and no confidence that you have any interest in engaging honestly, that I can't see the point. This isn't about not wanting to engage with the argument, this is about not wanting to waste my time doing so with someone who has already made up their mind and who would rather trade invectives than actually discuss this in a reasonable way. Can you at least acknowledge that you get the distinction?

Dec 5, 2015 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

"You've admitted that you don't want to engage with the argument. "
Dec 4, 2015 at 11:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

"I'd be quite keen to engage with the argument. However, I have so little respect for you and no confidence that you have any interest in engaging honestly, that I can't see the point."
Dec 5, 2015 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

No. If you were genuinely keen to engage with the argument, you would allow people to genuinely engage with the argument at your own blog, instead of deleting comments and then going trolling at other people's blogs.

Dec 5, 2015 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Michael. -If [Ken] were genuinely keen to engage with the argument, you would allow people to genuinely engage with the argument at your own blog,

Anyone who disagrees with Ken has, on his view, no interest in 'engaging honestly'. To disagree with Ken is to be dishonest, evil, nasty... That's all Ken seems to need to know.

It's funny how someone blinded by ideology can be convinced that they are "trying to keep the conversation civil", and have their prejudices confirmed by so many interactions... that it is *others* who are the constant in his experience of the world. In the same way, religious zealots are convinced that they can do no wrong, as long as they are doing God's work. Climate change licenses the progressive liberal's intolerant authoritarianism. Ditto, the Green Party, which campaigns on the basis that the failure to respond to climate change would lead the extinction of the human race and possibly all life on Earth, also claims that its a "party of hope" and is "against" the "politics of fear". To disagree is to be the lowest form of human -- subhuman, even.

The fact that words -- and then reason, numbers, and the rest -- disappear into a humpty-dumpty black hole of meaninglessness is almost beside the point. Watching politicians like Bennett (and Lucas for that matter) casually deploy factoids that she transparently has no grasp of, one could be forgiven for thinking that she actually believed them, and believed in them passionately. But I think what green ideology mobilises is uglier than belief in something. A similar spectacle is the green popstars coming together to give a 'cultural mandate' to world leaders to settle on a climate deal in Paris... It is rank narcissism. How else to explain why individuals who have sold a few records feel entitled to have influence over world affairs, let alone conceive of such things as a 'cultural mandate' which is theirs to give?

Ken's invokes Cromwell's injunction... "think it possible that you may be mistaken"... but it is not an injunction that applies to climate warriors, who invariably chose to inflict their world view on the world rather than let the world have its say. Being above logic and reason, they are above the law also. Greens won't... cannot debate. The green a priori is I am right and you are wrong -- there are no other facts to the matter. Hence, environmentalism has never been tested democratically in this country, much less for Europe, and even less at the global level, and its proponents -- politicians, scientists, journalists and campaigners -- feel no obligation to condescend to debate. At best they style themselves as 'communicators', who 'engage' critics, but with the same lack of humility, demonstrate no understanding of dialogue as a two-way process. To do so would be to libel the Consensus.

If Bennett were to debate with Lawson, no outcome would cause her to reflect on her argument. The only result of a series of humiliating interviews in which it transpired she had no idea what she was saying only resulted in a crash course of media training. There is no substance -- no argument to improve. It is this nihilism that environmentalists perceive as an environmental crisis -- that the world is mad, not the person seeing it. Yet Ken tells us to look up the word 'projection'. He would tell us to stop being South African astrophysicists.

Dec 6, 2015 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Ben,


Anyone who disagrees with Ken has, on his view, no interest in 'engaging honestly'. To disagree with Ken is to be dishonest, evil, nasty... That's all Ken seems to need to know.

Well, this is nonsense, but thanks for at least illustrating the point I was trying to make, even if it wasn't intentional.


It's funny how someone blinded by ideology can be convinced that they are "trying to keep the conversation civil"

Again, this is not true. I tried and I failed, as I've acknowledged many, many times.

Since you clearly don't get this, I will explain it again. At least try to concentrate a little bit. I'm sure you can get this, if you at least try to. There isn't much point in debating with someone who will simply make stuff up, as you are now clearly doing. Hence, you should at least recognise the possibility that when someone doesn't want to debate, it's not because they don't want to do so at all, it's because they don't want to do so when their opponent is likely to simply make stuff up. As far as I'm concerned, a debate in which you simply make stuff up is entirely pointless, even if you happen to enjoy doing so, and rely on it to make whatever argument it is that you're trying to make.


He would tell us to stop being South African astrophysicists.

Since you clearly aren't one, why would I possibly tell you to stop being one? As I asked earlier, do you just string words toghether and go - "ooh, that sounds clever".

Dec 6, 2015 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Ken - Again, this is not true. I tried and I failed...

You didn't try. And the clue is in the very statement of intent. If I went out into the street with the intention of 'trying not to act violently', or went to the pub with the intention of 'trying not to get drunk', it would not be unfair for someone to point out that it was my propensity to drunken violence that was the issue, not the street forcing me to fight or the pub forcing me to drink.

You presupposed that the febrile atmosphere of the climate debate was the fault of those that you seemingly went to engage with. Your first attempt to provoke this 'civil' conversation was a blog that took aim at the title, content and comments of WUWT, under a pseudonym -- hardly gestures of good faith. Moreover, rather than shedding any new light on the discussion, you have merely and uncritically reproduced the verbiage that green campaigners have long thrown at 'deniers'. Indeed, it wasn't long before you were working closely with the most aggressively anti-denier and polarising group of voices on the internet -- the crew at Skeptical Science. Your blog was neither 'civil' nor a 'discussion', and you did not try to make it either of these things, for reasons stated. Your intention was to fail, and to say that the failure was the result of others' approach to discussion. If your failure was accidental, it was epic in its magnitude. It would be like trying to sooth racial tensions in the local community by joining the local chapter of the National Front.

Nonetheless, you have made a name -- three names, in fact -- for yourself.

There isn't much point in debating with someone who will simply make stuff up, as you are now clearly doing.

And yet you participate to the extent that you will say, ad nauseam that there is no point in debate. It is a departure, in a way, from earlier green claims that 'the science is in', and that 'there is no debate', and that the consensus is conclusive and instructive. But it is an excuse all the same -- a refusal to participate, which is common to environmentalists, and is the same from the mouth of Bennett as it is from your keyboard.

If you want to sustain the claim that I'm making stuff up, you would have to engage in debate. Simple, and repeated assertions that this is what I have done aren't sufficient. And it is transparently your MO, that when faced with criticisms either of your own behaviour, or of the argument you want to defend, which you find difficult to explain, you switch quickly to the claim that your counterpart's attitude is the impediment to a sensible dialogue. You attribute your own behaviour to your counterpart, which makes explaining it extremely tedious. Hence, I said 'He would tell us to stop being South African astrophysicists', the point being that you're a troll whose trolling consists of telling others of their trolling. 'Since you clearly aren't one, why would I possibly tell you to stop being one?', you ask... The operative word was *would*. Perhaps you're on some kind of spectrum, and the fairly obvious rhetorical illustration of your absurd contributions here is beyond your understanding.

I don't agree that there's 'no point debating with someone who will simply make stuff up'. Your style of consensus enforcement reveals much about environmental ideology, and gives us insight into what is going on for instance in the minds of Bennett and even with the upper strata of the Royal Society. It turns out that the quality of their consensus enforcement isn't much better than you own.

I can't help wondering if the point is in fact to sustain the low quality debate. The point of consensus enforcement does seem to be to prevent any expansion of the discussion towards the sceptical side. Hence the outrage when lukewarmers get five minutes on the radio, or a climate scientist agrees that there is some merit in some of the arguments made by sceptics. Keeping the discussion uncivil assures that it wont make any progress.

Dec 6, 2015 at 5:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Ben,
Wow, you really are doubling down in remarkable fashion. Well done, you've outdone yourself. You've gone from slightly bizarre to utterly bonkers. Kudos.

Dec 6, 2015 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Wow, you really are doubling down in remarkable fashion. Well done, you've outdone yourself. You've gone from slightly bizarre to utterly bonkers. Kudos.
I don't think I've seen a better example on any site of someone demonstrating that he doesn't have a leg to stand on.
I might even say, "you really are doubling down in remarkable fashion. Well done, you've outdone yourself. You've gone from slightly bizarre to utterly bonkers."

Dec 6, 2015 at 5:40 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

And Then There's Fizzouts.
===================

Dec 6, 2015 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Thanks Ben, that's a spectacular dismemberment! The smug pseudophysicist is now only capable of channeling the Bishop's only banned troll...

Meanwhile, stick with accretion discs Kenny - screwing up models of space dust is just fine because nobody else gives a flying damn about it.

Dec 6, 2015 at 10:39 PM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

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