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« On the front Lynas - Josh 105 | Main | Climate cuttings 55 »

Quote of the day

[I]f the ‘deniers’ are the only ones standing up for the integrity of the scientific process, and the independence of the IPCC, then I too am a ‘denier’

Mark Lynas deals with criticism head on.

(H/T Barry Woods)

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Reader Comments (59)

And ironically by doing so he's not "in denial" anymore.
The truth is out there!

Jun 17, 2011 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

Mark Lynas probably still believes in CAGW but, now he he has felt the inexplicable wrath of the warmist attack dogs, maybe he will begin to realise that there is something rotten in the state of {where they make all the wind turbines}. Apologies to The Bard.

Jun 17, 2011 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterBuffy Minton

That quote was precede by this.

Mark Lynas: That this was spotted at all is a tribute to the eagle eyes of Steve McIntyre. Yet I am told that he is a ‘denier’, that all his deeds are evil, and that I have been naively led astray by him.

Mark Lynas: Well, if the ‘deniers’ are the only ones standing up for the integrity of the scientific process, and the independence of the IPCC, then I too am a ‘denier’.

I'm Spartacus

Jun 17, 2011 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

"pious banner drops"

I like his style.

Jun 17, 2011 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

Bob Ward has dropped into Mark's comments... Lightening Bob strikes again

Jun 17, 2011 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

And your response is a very good one Barry. Mine is still held in moderation. But Lynas' own bears repetition:

By the way, can you clarify a point about your own academic affiliation and funding? So many people in these comments call you a ‘PR flack’ and so on, which I assume is an unfair slur on your role and intentions. Let’s all be transparent, particularly given your high-profile role in some of these scientific global warming controversies.

Bob Ward on an even playing field. That should be huge fun.

Jun 17, 2011 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

"Tune into the blogosphere and drop out of the MSM. It’s there that you’ll find people like Steve McIntyre. Investigative journalism is alive and well; it’s just moved house."


Jun 17, 2011 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterpointman

"I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member." Groucho Marx

Jun 17, 2011 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

I also liked this from David Mamet's new book about his conversion from Liberalism to Conservatism "The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture". He says .." a religion. Its tenets cannot be proved, its capacity for waste and destruction demonstrated. But it affords a feeling of spiritual rectitude at little or no cost".

We see this in their position in the climate change debate. It has become a religion for them, even though the evidence is less than compelling, and yet they urge governments via campaigning organisations to spend billions on something which is yet to be proved just to absolve their conscience of self guilt.

Jun 17, 2011 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterMactheknife

I have a new post up on this at Climate Etc.

Jun 17, 2011 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterJudith Curry

Re Judith Curry

Both you and Lynas did the right thing. Saw something that looked wrong, investigated, became somewhat sceptical. It's what scientists and investigative journalists are meant to do. It's probably also why 'the enemy' switched from calling us sceptics to using the 'd' word.

Jun 17, 2011 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

" a religion ... it affords a feeling of spiritual rectitude at little or no cost" ... We see this in their position in the climate change debate. It has become a religion for them, even though the evidence is less than compelling, and yet they urge governments via campaigning organisations to spend billions on something which is yet to be proved just to absolve their conscience of self guilt.

It's imaginary guilt. If you want to find real guilt, look at what we've done to Africa's ability to fight malaria though our 'conscience' about DDT. And to food prices through our high morals leading to biofuels subsidies aka racket. And to energy prices through preventing them from using their plenteous coal.

The thing about real guilt is that it can be forgiven, if the person admits their fault (and one has to say that Mark Lynas is doing a great job of that right). The problem with imaginary guilt is that it never can.

Jun 17, 2011 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

er, "Mark Lynas is doing a great job of that right now". But you probably realised that.

Jun 17, 2011 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Mark Lynas is only admitting guilt on mitigation. He is still a fully-paid-up alarmist as he accepts WG1 as correct yet does not have the science to understand its failings (even though he has seen Climategate and all the corrupted processes it revealed)

Jun 17, 2011 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

It is not new, but Minnesotans for Global Warming sing the parody, I'm A Denier.

Jun 17, 2011 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon B

Phillip you're right. But as I said on Climate Audit just after I alerted the world to Mark's departure from accepted norms for a green (and I do claim to be first but will I ever get the credit, will I heck!):

I’m a glass half full man myself. Once they admit Steve was right about one thing, the One Who Could Not Be Named, the rest I think will quickly slot into place.

That was two days ago, before 6AM local time. Just for the history books.

Jun 17, 2011 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Re Philip

Small steps. Lynas probably hasn't had a chance to read the HSI yet..

Jun 17, 2011 at 3:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

@philip bratby

'Mark Lynas is only admitting guilt on mitigation. He is still a fully-paid-up alarmist'

Cut the guy some slack Phillip. He has just made a huge and very public leap from the warm and stultifying embrace of the alarmists into the bracing waters of scepticism...and it is a journey that can never be reversed emotionally or intellectually. That we think he still has some way till he lands safe on the righteous shore should mena that we give him all encouragement in his journey...not slag him off for being only half way across.

Welcome to scepticism Mark! You will initially find us perhaps a strange breed...unsullied by groupthink, unprepared to merely chant mantras instead of doing proper science and totally unimpressed by 'authority' from anyone (peer reviewed or not :-) ). And about as difficult to control as herding cats with a large noisy dog!

Many of your preconceptions and stereotypes will be destroyed very quickly..they were about as far removed from reality as it is possible to imagine.

But if, in your travels, you find the address of Big Oil, where we can apply to join the 'Big Oil funded sceptic organisation', please publicise the address widely. I'm know I'd be grateful for getting paid for what I already do for free. And sadly the way to apply has eluded me for some years

Jun 17, 2011 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

I am sure that Mark Lynas will see the errors of his ways, renounce his heresy and rejoin the Green fold fully committed to the cause once more.

His next book will be titled: Carry On Alarming.

Jun 17, 2011 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

If Mark Lynas can see corruption in one part of the IPCC, I find it strange that he cannot even admit that there exists the possibility of it being there in another part. But OK, let's wait till he has read HSI. It is such a good read that by next Monday we should know which way he is leaning.

Jun 17, 2011 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

The IPCC/greenpeace story seems to be 'going viral'.
As well as the second tranche of blogs from Lynas, Curry and McIntyre, there is today's Daily Mail (yes I know, but a lot of people read it) and The Australian. Also
Fred Pearce in New Scientist, and in the Independent Blog Oliver Wright talks of a "Climategate part 2" saying that the section promoting hydropower was written by, would you believe, people from companies that promote hydropower.

Jun 17, 2011 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaulM

Has he seen climaetgate... Why assume that!?

What are the odds that he has not read a single email at source, just relied on others.
I did ask has he read the Hockey stick Illusion and it was a no, can I have afree copy ;)

I wonder if he has read Tom Wigleys's (former head of CRU)devasting email, with repect to a pre-Kyoto consensus by chain email signing, by ALL CRU and most of UK climate scientists..

Another day perhaps.....

Jun 17, 2011 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Barry, you are right, I shouldn't have assumed that he has seen any more than the media whitewashing stories.

Jun 17, 2011 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

@Richard Drake,

The effects of the "big green killing machine" are lethal. I'll be covering the DDT crime against humanity as part of a series.


Jun 17, 2011 at 5:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterpointman

Latimer Alder
“He has just made a huge and very public leap from the warm and stultifying embrace of the alarmists into the bracing waters of scepticism...and it is a journey that can never be reversed emotionally or intellectually”.

Oh yes it can. Monbiot’s initial reaction to Climategate was to call for Jones’s resignation and a review of all the science. He later retracted, apologised to Jones, and promised never to mention the subject again.
Monbiot and Lynas, both converts to nuclear, are competing for leadership of the sane, science-based wing of the green movement. We should wish Lynas well, but don’t expect miracles.

Jun 17, 2011 at 5:27 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Pointman, I'll also be publishing a web primer called "Twenty Questions on DDT" later this month. Meanwhile these words have long had prominence in my personal wiki - well, six months seems a long time in this game :)

The reason I began commenting was that I hated the effect the environmental movement was having on the developing world. A thinly veiled political movement, which is perceived as simply a fashionable lifestyle choice in the developed world, is causing death and misery amongst the eighty percent of humanity not fortunate enough to live well above the poverty line. Its influence and policies prevent the developing nations industrialising and maintain the status quo of keeping them in a state of permanent, grinding, border-line poverty. That is immoral and must be fought. Future historians, especially black African ones, will categorise the effects of the environmental movement as genocidal and they will be correct.

Strong words, which is why I'd prefer you to use your real name. But that's a debate for another day.

Jun 17, 2011 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

(even though he has seen Climategate and all the corrupted processes it revealed)
Jun 17, 2011 at 3:25 PM | @Phillip Bratby

Fair comment Phillip but someone yesterday promised to give Mark a copy of Bishops H.S.I. (Mark must be a tight bugger but I would also question if that is legal. I would check the copyright in the book but my daughter has purloined my copy! ;-) ).

I wonder what Marks comments will be after he reads it?

Jun 17, 2011 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

They do say that one swallow does not make a summer, nevertheless, this swallow is a very welcome sight.
Excelent article from Mark lynas.

Jun 17, 2011 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia


I disagree. Whatever he does in the future, he once had the courage to jump into the sceptic water. He will be changed by that. As was Moonbat. Neither of them can ever have the strident 100% certainty again.

And those who leave cults have feelings of grief and loss. Let the guy do his thing...if we are nice to him he may see the rightness of our views and join us. Especially while his old buddies are preparing the stake, faggots, show trial and ritual disembowelling,.......

Jun 17, 2011 at 5:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

I suspect that a great many people, probably the vast majority of those alarmed about airborne CO2, have given the environmental lobby the benefit of the doubt at least, and their undiluted trust at most. It was a lobby that had built up a huge amount of goodwill and trust back from the days when it was up against 'the establishment'. Now that it is part and parcel, indeed a driving force, of the modern establishment, all is not really quite so rosy. It has won this position by deceit, deception, and scaremongering on and around what was, a priori, a modest if somewhat weak speculation about the importance of more CO2 as a cause of climate variation. It was turned by PR and scheming in UNEP and later in the IPCC and by various NGOs into not so much a speculation as a piece or rock solid science - despite the all but complete and comprehensive lack of observational support. The computer modelling PR that served the Club of Rome so well as a launchpad, was resurrected in the form of the GCMs to do the same for the CO2-scare.

As the patient work of more balanced, more penetrating, and more thoughtful scientists and other participants in this 'debate', steadily gains ground and attention ( harder task with no dramatic model outputs to scare people with, and no Maurice Strongs, UN funds and deep-pocketed foundations to provide the gravy, and no previously admired NGOs to surf on the wave of fear and help make it bigger) - then I presume more and more decent people will see the once-admired organisations for what they have become - and they have become something very, very, very far from being admirable. It may be that Mark Lynas will be one of those who will come to see things in this new light. I know that I am.

Jun 17, 2011 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

geoff, I was thinking about Monbiot in the last couple of days also. I remember reading his article just after climategate and being amazed how much he had broken ranks. He has back-tracked quite a bit since, but perhaps Latimer is right - he is not quite as dogmatic as he used to be. If ever he did start probing enviro issues, he could have quite a lot of impact - he writes in a forceful way and is not scared of pursuing things. Anyway, Lynas is quite forceful himself - maybe he'll start throwing cream pies at Michael Mann now...

From my point of view, something really worth fighting for is that the discussion about climate gets more multi-polar. If you can only be on the fully-paid-up-consensus side or the evil-denier side, that inhibits discussion quite a bit. Lynas wants to adopt a different mix of views - as does Judith Curry. Fair play to them. I really hope that after all the excitement of these days, the public discussion of climate settles down into allowing a much broader range of viewpoints.

By the way, until a few days ago, I was 'j' here.

Jun 17, 2011 at 6:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Harvey

Personally, I agree across the board with Phillip Bratby so will not bore you with repeating what he has already said.

Jun 17, 2011 at 6:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

@Richard Drake.

Hi Richard. Since we're both heading in the same direction and perhaps can co-ordinate our postings, if you drop a comment at my place, I'll get in touch by email.

With regard to my anonymity, I used to post under my own name years ago until I learnt better. I can take the heat but but it wasn't directed at me in the end; rather the people I love. You get a simple choice then, shut up or go anonymous. I chose the latter. So, to all those brave and anonymous people who sent me their semi-literate diatribes and flushable packages I can only say, you created a very determined monster. You somehow brought out something in me ...



Jun 17, 2011 at 6:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterpointman

The Guardian tries to muddy the waters:

The IPCC report, first published just over a month ago, has attracted criticism this week from climate change sceptics, who have complained that a scientist from Greenpeace was one of more than 120 authors of the study. They claim that this makes the study biased.

Jun 17, 2011 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Latimer Alder, Jeremy Harvey
Neithere Lynas nor Monbiot have strayed one iota from their faith in “the science” as they understand it, and in their fundamental belief in CAGW. Trouble is, both have admitted publicly that they don’t understand the hockeystick, so the chances of persuading them that the science is dodgy are slim.
In their criticisms of the IPCC and the CRU, they’re like pre-Lutheran critics of the Catholic church. They might screw up their courage and nail their theses to the door of the Met Office; they might even start a Thirty Years’ War within the green movement. But what we’re asking of them is something far more difficult than changing their faith; we want them to admit that they don’t know, that they can’t know, (because no-one can) what the temperature will be in 50 years time. It’s a very simple concept for anyone who takes science seriously, but an impossible one for an activist who has bet everything on one infallible authority.

Jun 17, 2011 at 7:36 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Richard Drake

Your stance on anonymity is becoming provoking. It may be all very well for you to identify yourself; that is simply not true for others here. I include myself explicitly. May I add that I resent your current, self-indulgent and extremely short-sighted stance on this matter. Since I have previously found myself in general or good agreement with most of what you say, this is a shame.

Jun 17, 2011 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

As for the notion that Mark Lynas has somehow converted to CO2 scepticism... it is not the case. He has simply woken up to the fact that the IPCC is far from the impartial assessor of climate science and climate/energy economics that it pretends to be.

This is not the same thing at all. So let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Jun 17, 2011 at 7:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Geoff, I agree - they have not changed their minds. Since we're into historic analogies, though, I buy your pre-Lutherans analogy (Erasmus?) and offer you in exchange Gorbachev & Perestroika. He never deviated from communism, but he insisted on a greater degree of honesty within it. BBD, Richard D, let's not argue too much about anonymity in these days when there's so much else to talk about!

Jun 17, 2011 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Harvey

Jeremy Harvey

You should direct your remarks re anonymity to RD. I'm not the one with a problem about it.

Jun 17, 2011 at 8:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

The Guardian’s reference to the Lynas affair mentioned by Matthu at 7.27pm is buried in an article by Fiona Harvey between a discussion on emissions trading and an account of Barroso singing the Kinks. That way, no-one can accuse them of a cover up.
When the story of Briffa’s magic larch broke, the Guardian sent a journalist to the Yamal peninsula - to report on how reindeer were droppng from heatstroke or something.
I wonder if Lynas offered his story to the Guardian? He’s a regular contributor there. I think I’ll go and ask him.

Meanwhile, here’s Jo Abbess on the story:
“Much as I respect turtles, I have to say it – Mark Lynas, you’re a turtle – slow-moving and easy to catch out and turn into soup. You should know by now not to get sucked in by spurious non-arguments from Steve McIntyre. ... What's your agenda, Mark ? Selling your new book ? Don't be dismissive about Greenpeace researchers. They may have ideals, but they're not naive - they also have brains - and with their declared position on getting at the truth they can be trusted to be direct, decent and honest. Where's your ethical compass, Mark ?”

Jun 17, 2011 at 9:13 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers


Christ, they really are feral. Lo Abbess (BA) didn't hesitate to attack the man rather than his very carefully written objections to what is in the end a problem about scientific integrity. It's not as if he's even crossed over to the dark side. Somehow, I now feel more comfortable being an outsider and unbeliever in the great plan to save the Earth.


Jun 17, 2011 at 9:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterpointman

BBD, I didn't disagree with you about anonymity - I'm 100% with you that it is fine. I was suggesting there was little point arguing heatedly about it. By the way, did anyone notice Leo Hickman cropping up in comments at Mark Lynas's second piece, writing that "I do broadly agree with Mark’s central questions about this ‘affair’". So many comments at so many blogs for the moment - I liked Judith Curry's comment on the unbearable dullness of the climate blogosphere.

Jun 17, 2011 at 9:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Harvey

@ geoffchambers, 7.36:

The problem is that the acceptance that no-one can know what the temperatures will be in 50 years time is not necessarily the end of the line for them.

The argument: 'of course we don't know for certain but we can't take a chance with the only planet we have' is very widespread still. Many are clever enough not to be boxed in by specific figures, although to repeat a point I made on another thread - the problem with 50 or 100 year projections is of course our old friend 'I'll be gone, you'll be gone'.

Jun 17, 2011 at 9:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDougieJ

Not sure how much Jo knows about turtles, but some can be pretty vicious. Snapping turtles can take fingers off if improperly handled or provoked. As for dullness, sceptics have more fun. T'other lot are always worrying about the weather and the end of the world. Gloomy lot really. Where's the pro-AGW version of the daily bayonet?

Jun 17, 2011 at 9:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

The alarmists don't do humour. It's our exclusive weapon.


Jun 17, 2011 at 10:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterpointman

Donna Laframboise notes another major connection between Greenpeace and the wind industry:

“An incestuous group of people are, in a variety of venues, promoting an approach to energy generation that will end up costing the rest of us a ton of money.

(It’s worth mentioning that Steve Sawyer, the current secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council, is a former executive director of Greenpeace International.)”

Jun 17, 2011 at 11:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterLynne


'Global Wind Energy Council'

That's a new one on me. These and their like must be the new *green jobs* that we are told will result from the New Tomorrow.

Jun 17, 2011 at 11:15 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

Jeremy Harvey:

Welcome to the light. There are people who need to maintain anonymity, but I've never (so far) had any blowback.... but when and if it comes, I'm not likely to suffer it in silence. Using your real name can be embarrasing at times... but it keeps you honest and encourages les autres.

Jun 17, 2011 at 11:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert E. Phelan

On this whole topic, across the now several threads, and with questions asked directly, from Zed.....


Jun 18, 2011 at 3:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy


ZBD is off to UEA for a course in spelling and lexicography. Next week she will be studying the use of spelling checkers, so she may be unable to offer a suitable reply for a while.

I am sure she will again grace us with her infinite wisdom eventually.

Jun 18, 2011 at 4:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

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