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Discussion > Three elephants and the left’s agenda

Not so much defeatism,. just a feeling that it's a different skill set. I can argue the science all day long, but this requires a different set of skills that would suit better - dare I say it - a lawyer.

Jun 28, 2013 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

The establishment is pretty out of touch but it doesn’t mean they can’t be reconnected. The reason why I don’t think left-right meme in AGW is helpful is because most people are a mix of the two and that includes politicians. We need to walk them the same route we took when we realised it was vitally important that the science was right, not just possibly right. We just didn’t need hand holding to get there.

Strip their lagging off... asbestos precuations not necessary.

Jun 28, 2013 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


It’s not really a left right argument, more of an insulated v non insulated one.
Agreed. I’ve just left a comment at Alice Bell’s site pointing out what a good social scientist you’d have made.
Others have spoken of an opiniocracy or intellocracy - of people who make their living thinking rather then doing, trading in opinions and ideas. They tend to be on the left and in the public sector, but the ease with which they’ve persuaded business to sign up to the green ideology shows that it’s wider than a simple left-right divide.
The biggest news on the political front with respect to climate is surely the profracking editorial in the Sun. The left won’t listen to us, but they’ll surely listen to the Sun, its readers, and their voters.

Jun 28, 2013 at 7:21 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Jun 28, 2013 at 5:07 PM | TinyCO2>>>>>

You might have noticed I've been posting on Alice Bell's blog and pulling no punches regarding the weakness of the AGW zealots' arguments.

Interestingly not one of my posts has YET been pulled so perhaps she is more tolerant of disagreement than it seemed at first.

Jun 28, 2013 at 8:16 PM | Registered CommenterRKS

RKS - a difference

it's Alice's personal blog so be nice (ie her rules)

the issues at New left Project were not down to Alice.. (not her rules, lots of lefties, though has some influence.)

Jun 28, 2013 at 9:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

the irony of the Guardian article, was the very last comment (mine) was removed...

Jun 28, 2013 at 9:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Jun 28, 2013 at 9:38 PM | Barry Woods>>>>>

My posts were challenging but not offensive unless one disagreed with the message.

I notice on the climate change blog she was unsure whether to ban posts which did not agree with AGW - That's the way the left always works, they cannot countenance dissent yet you think you can debate with these people.

Thank god the Sun has come out in favour of fracking. It's 4 million readers [and voters] will start to wonder why their bills have been deliberately inflated to subsidise wind farms. That's the best way to deal with the left and their misanthropic agenda.

Jun 29, 2013 at 4:52 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

Jun 28, 2013 at 5:07 PM | TinyCO2>>>>>

From your post at Alice Bell.....

"the pro CAGW side are mostly coming from a point of genuine concern about CO2 and for which there are good reasons to worry"

After 16 years of temperature stasis are you REALLY genuinely concerned about what is, over the Earth's history, virtually an all time low level of CO2 or are you just trying to mollify the opposition? You've weakened the rest of your argument right from the start.

Jun 29, 2013 at 5:14 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

Jun 28, 2013 at 7:21 PM | geoffchambers>>>>>

I don't understand why you're plugging the work of Lewandowski on the Alice Bell blog after at least two fraudulent publications down to him being discussed at BH, along with complaints made to his university about his conduct. Do you agree with him that climate scientists should be more alarmist? If not, why appear to endorse that message on a left wing pro AGW blog? To be honest, I found the whole slimy snake oil salesman approach in the video to be quite distasteful.

Jun 29, 2013 at 5:32 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

Alice’s headline linking sceptics with conspiracy theory is either a deliberate provocation or a sign that the Lewandowsky meme has taken wing. On the part of Ed Davey it’s probably the latter. But Alice certainly knows of our interest in Lewandowsky, and may be trying to get a rise. We’ll see.
Lewandowsky, in the AGU presentation I linked to at Alice’s, refers to our complaints as “bullying and intimidating tactics of deniers vis-à-vis journal editors and publishers”.

I saw your posts, and meant to post the following here, but it got lost in the rush:
You say:

Sorry but the leftists do NOT want a debate, they merely wish to drown out opposing viewpoints.
Largely true, but Bell and Corner are academics too. They can’t claim to be researching science policy or sceptic viewpoints and entirely ignore what we say. They may even use their privileged position as daring enquirers who’ve spoken to sceptics in order to advance their careers on the left, which is fine by me.
In your two replies to me at Alice’s, you first say “I’m afraid you won’t change the minds of AGW fanatics with mere facts of life”, then offer a very telling fact of life about our exportation of emissions to the developing world.

As Paul Matthews says above, “let’ continue on all fronts”.

Jun 29, 2013 at 7:55 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers


Yes I do think that AGW is worthy of concern, even if only for the reason we still don’t know what value CO2 sensitivity is. Every time I think temperature is on the way down boom it will shoot up and often I can see no reason why. Equally there have been times when temperature has dived when I expected it to rise. Eg last year looked like it was tracking 2011 on UAH but suddenly in October the temperature anomaly went up and kept rising till about January when it started to cool. Why? I see no obvious reason for either the warming or the cooling.

The 16 year temperature plateau is a bit of a statistical game we play with warmists. It was still warming through 1998. However I do think 1998 was the warmest year and there has been genuine atmospheric cooling since 2002/2003/2004. I don’t know how much the ocean warming changes are due to new measurement methods or climate change.

Will the plateau/cooling continue? Will it start to rise again? I don’t have the answers to these questions. For all I know there are very natural influences pulling temperature down and CO2 sensitivity is higher than it appears. Do I lose sleep over the answers? No. Not least because I do think we could engineer a cooler atmosphere is we absolutely had to. I’m just not going to let climate scientists fiddle with it until I think they understand it a lot better than they do now.

I don’t dismiss the worry people like Alice Bell feel. Everyone has different concerns and anxiety levels and perception of the science. You won’t open their eyes to the growing body of evidence that CO2 is not king by ranting at them about the science. They might not have the time, the skills or the inclination to draw their on conclusions about the evidence and are pinning their confidence on scientist consensus. I think even Al Gore believes in AGW, even if he’s a disgusting hypocrite and opportunist money grabber.

We need the reasonable ones to rethink the idea the debate is over. That means opening their eyes to the hazards of blind acceptance that AGW is the worst thing that could happen to mankind. They are stuck on the idea that even if AGW isn’t real, cutting CO2 will make the world a better place. That’s complete rubbish and we can prove it. We need to undo decades of distrust between white collar workers and blue collar activities. Too many people think it’s ok to sneer at coal power and manufacturing and the dirty underbelly of modern society but they have to know that we need that grimy substrata far more than we need computers and lecturers and journalists. You can't do that if you've annoyed them so much they're not listening to you or arguing about a science nobody has a real understanding of.

If you don't know the consequences of cutting CO2, why worry if the science is wrong? You can err on the side of caution. But once you see the impossibility of CO2 reduction you might think 'hang on, before we remodel the World, should we double check the science?'

Jun 29, 2013 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Thanks Geoff :-) I'm probably too cynical and blunt for any of the social sciences. Though I do think I understand people, if only because I'm in touch with my inner git.

Jun 29, 2013 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

"we still don’t know what value CO2 sensitivity is. "

Or if there is any such thing. It is a number for statisticians to argue about, not a real thing. Further, everything we know about its derivation and how it affects climate is wrong or unknown.

Sorry that's OT, and irrelevant to converting the kind of left-wing people we are talking about. Maybe, just maybe, we will cause some of the audience to wonder. The ones who are going to go right as they get older anyway.

Jun 29, 2013 at 11:49 AM | Registered Commenterrhoda

Rhoda "everything we know about its derivation and how it affects climate is wrong or unknown." Every year climate science seems to get less sure until I want to shout 'Just vanish back into obscurity until you've got a handle on this mess! Go on, go to your room and don't come out till your predicitions last longer than it takes the ink to dry on them.'

Jun 29, 2013 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

But once you see the impossibility of CO2 reduction you might think 'hang on, before we remodel the World, should we double check the science?'

You're looking at it from the opposite end to the left. The objective is to remodel the world, it doesn't matter if the justification is real or not.

Jun 29, 2013 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

We all want to remodel, we just have different ideas what would make a better World.

Jun 29, 2013 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Well, as soon as I read the Alice post, my reaction was: "she's trolling". The swipe at the GPWF and the Lew headline was anything but. The first thing I did was to write a long comment/tirade. I then thought the better of it and deleted it. I wrote a second longish one, and deleted it. I wrote up a third shorter one and deleted it.

What is it that Alice Bell won't get? If I were completely uninterested in what lefties like her had to say about global warming, why would I comment on her website?

I fear the realities are much more simpler and rooted in internet dynamics. Any new venue is over-run by the usual suspects who reside in other strongholds. NLP has no resident audience. Bell and group probably imagine building up one themselves. But that cannot happen in the face of intelligent commentary from people you imagine yourselves to be opposed to.

Jun 29, 2013 at 2:36 PM | Registered Commentershub

Pointman has posted another excellent essay. This paragraph reads across nicely to my third elephant:

The political activists hijacked the environmental organisations and more importantly, traduced a hitherto obscure and sleepy branch of science that dealt with the Earth’s climate. As the vague concerns raised by some increasingly politicised climate scientists gradually mutated into doom laden certainties, the media seized on them as good old-fashioned scare the pants off them headline stories. Since the suggested salvation from such a frightening thermogeddon looked like a nice way of redistributing the world’s wealth, an overwhelmingly liberal mainstream media jumped on the promotional bandwagon with alacrity.

Jun 29, 2013 at 6:33 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Well having just read the NLP threads I have to say you're better men than me Gunga Din(s).

With my climate prejudices I find it excellent reading; on-topic, factual, polite but forthright, compelling, amusing. Kudos to those who posted. But then is that how their "side" view ZDB, BBD, Bitbucket's postings here? I hope not but I dunno.

I really wish there could be a rational debate between intelligent(!) people with differing views which is why I try to extend tolerance to the likes of Aubrey Meyer, Missy etc plus the saner ones like RichardB and the other academics who occasionally pop up here. I really want to hear what they have to say even if I (almost a given) disagree with them.

Although I don't agree with them I'd like them to hang around to try and poke holes in our arguments. To their detriment it seems NLP don't share that attitude. I'd say it's because their arguments don't hold water but then I would say that wouldn't I?

Every warmist blog I've ever been on has had to blatantly censor to keep on track which only confirms my view that their argument is poor. But then is that what goes on here and we don't see it? Those I can remember have been disruptive and abusive so have deserved to be hoofed out but maybe NLP see you guys as disruptive (not an opinion I share).

Anyway, keep up the good work. It's entertaining and I suspect you will be converting many lurkers even if not those who actually post.

Jun 30, 2013 at 12:12 AM | Registered CommenterSimonW

Robin and Geoff are the two most level headed left wingers I have ever come across and in at least one sense I truly admire their attempt to engage with the NLP on climate action. However (and Robin stated this earlier) there is a lack of pragmatism in their approach; they are not interested in engaging with you, only in giving you the message they want you to get. I therefore think it is a waste of time to even attempt contact.
This desire to engage is to me the same as appeasement. There is a battle going on between people with ideological agendas and others who seek only truth and I am with Monckton on the way forward; sue the pants of the bastards :P
The worst post on this thread is by the Big Yin who suggests lying to the opposition to worm our way in to their trust, try selling that to Uncle Steve!

Jun 30, 2013 at 8:32 PM | Registered CommenterDung

No, Dung, this isn’t a battle, it’s a war. And, in war, the wise commander considers relative strengths and determines his tactics accordingly. Our opponents are massively funded and have huge forces: pretty well the entire Establishment. We, in contrast, are small, and poorly funded. But we’re sharp, diverse, nimble and present few obvious targets. We’re perfectly suited to guerrilla warfare: sudden, unexpected attack on weak positions.

Your approach – “sue the pants of them” – may initially make you feel good, but it’s the equivalent of the confrontational, set piece battle: you’re likely to get bogged down, rolled over and humiliated. Far better to seek opportunities to irritate them, unbalance them, confuse them and especially divide them. And we can do the latter especially by focusing on their essential weakness: although the Left, as I’ve said, is concerned with climate change exclusively because of its value as a means of achieving economic and social changes that would not otherwise get a hearing, that’s not true of most of their allies or even many of their followers. These people have been persuaded that climate change is a real solvable problem. OK they can be (and are being) weakened by uncertainty about the “science”. But, above all, I believe their position can be damaged by having to face up to the harm, even human tragedy, that could result from the policies they support – policies that can be shown to be pointless anyway in view of international reality.

A massive advantage of this approach is that it’s not vulnerable to their usual well-prepared defences: “consensus”, “peer review”, ad hominem accusation, etc.

¡Viva la Revolución!

Jun 30, 2013 at 10:57 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier


I enjoy all your posts, I love your positive attitude and wish you the best of luck mate. However reasoning with an ideology is almost impossible.

Jul 1, 2013 at 1:00 AM | Registered CommenterDung

Thanks, Dung. You're right, reasoning is "almost impossible" - I've made it clear it's a long shot. And, in any event, the hard core will never be persuaded. But do you really think your "sue the pants off the bastards" strategy more likely to succeed?

Jul 1, 2013 at 7:52 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

“..reasoning with an ideology is almost impossible”.
Maybe, but reason is all we’ve got. And everyone has an ideology. The “cult of reason” is one itself, with an unhappy history.
I don’t know how Robin feels about being called one of “the most level headed left wingers I have ever come across”, but it gives me a warm glow. I’ve put you in my soap opera “Apocalypse Close” and am sending you and Barry Woods up the Amazon on an undercover opertion for MI6 commanded by Delingpole. Hope you don’t mind.

Jul 1, 2013 at 5:44 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Geoff (and Dung): how do I feel about being called one of “the most level headed left wingers I have ever come across”? Well, it's always gratifying to get praise, but I don't think I've really been a left winger since my mid 30s (a long time ago) - these days I have no allegiance to either "wing".

Jul 1, 2013 at 7:07 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier