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Mapping the debate - Josh 165



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With a certain amount of hysteria and hand wringing over the latest Heartland ads I thought a more pastoral cartoon might be a good idea.

I will update the cartoon if people suggest improvements but my aim is to express where we are in the debate over Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming - I think the catastrophists are on a small island of sinking sand out there somewhere cold, and, even though there are still arguments to win and vested interests to battle, I think the land is ours.

Here is the wonderful Shakespeare reference in full.

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,--
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

William Shakespeare, "King Richard II", Act 2 scene 1

Cartoons by Josh

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Reader Comments (78)

Sea of Alarm ... lovely, Josh.

May 5, 2012 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterx-poster

Thanks Josh - you cheered up a miserable Saturday. Three things: (1) You still have "MSN" not "MSM" (2) "Sea is ice is fine" needs amendment and (3) Please use Hilary's suggestion and label the iceberg "Donna". Loved the triplets.

BTW have you seen this?

May 5, 2012 at 12:37 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Sorry RD, I cannot agree.
I fully accept your points about the need to expose the ethics and tactics of much of the warmist movement. But I think this was absolutely the wrong way to do it.
The target for the billboard was very much the general public. In my view anyone who is already pro-warming would just see it as a dirty smear tactic, confirming warmist propaganda about the nature of dissenters. Whereas the undecided are - imho - most likely to find it offensive and dismiss Heartland as a bunch of nutters thereby condemning all dissenters by association.

May 5, 2012 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeH

Robin, lovely cartoon. And yes... Will correct pronto... now done, and added Donna the Iceberg.

May 5, 2012 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh


I agree, in part, with both of you.

1. There is nothing morally or ethically doubtful about the Heartland poster. It simply makes the true point that some who believe in CAGW are antisocial lunatics.

2. On the other hand, as a PR tactic, it was ill advised and will do more damage than good to the sceptic cause.

The most revolting outcome is that the completely amoral professional PR propagandists at Desmog, who started it all with their Breivik/Denier link -

...are now leading the weeping and wailing over the Heartland poster!

On balance, I agree with Richard that there's certainly no need for sceptics to grovel over the poster.

May 5, 2012 at 1:45 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Perhaps Heartland should have realized that there are far numerous people trapped in their own Stockholm syndrome, waiting to add their wails to the chorus of condemnation, in order to bump up their credentials. The warmies, of course, are starved from a long time of the oxygen available at the rarefied altitude of the moral high ground. They'll take anything.

To me, this aspect is interesting. The warmies, having captured power circa 2005, have acted like lost puppies since 2009 or so. They have the success and but they lost the moral ground.

"Respect is the ultimate currency"
-Dalton Russell, The Inside Man

May 5, 2012 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

It's difficult to make cartoons with a significant amount of writing in them.
How about putting in a signpost to "The End of the World" which is, as we know, always about 5 years away [or just over the horizon].

Or another signpost [such as you get at Land's End] pointing to "disaster" in every direction.

Many non-UK residents probably won't get a joke about the 'Isle of Mann', which is a bit further North.
Having said that, Josh, you might want to change the depiction of the Ocean around that island and depict it as being on a flat earth. The oceans could be pouring over the edge into the abyss at the edge of the world.

May 5, 2012 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

One more idea, Josh, though I may have posted before:
If you watch the Fast Show clip here
you might come up with some extra ideas! [It's always worth 32 seconds of my life to watch it again]

May 5, 2012 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart


Especially good to see Donna the Canadian iceberg. I hope she's seen it as I think she may be needing a morale boost: see this.

A quotation (explaining why she has cancelled a non-refundable return flight from/to Chicago to attend the Heartland conference):

... those of us who had accepted Heartland’s invitation to take part in its conference found ourselves blindsided – a mere two weeks before the conference is set to begin – by a torrent of negative press. Suddenly, we were all publicly linked to an organization that thinks it’s OK to equate people concerned about climate change with psychopaths.

As economist Ross McKitrick said in an a strongly-worded letter to Heartland yesterday:
"You cannot simultaneously say that you want to promote a debate while equating the other side to terrorists and mass murderers."


Richard Drake: do you still support Heartland?

May 5, 2012 at 5:25 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Heartland Institute have badley miss calculated their new advertizing campaign

Their posters say "Unibomber Charles Mansion Bin Laden etc etc etc all beleived in Global Warming so that why you shouldnt "
Comparing Enviromentalist and Climate Alarmist to mass murderers

Its bad taste extreme advertizing and Ordinary Public are going to hate it
Ordinary public have to work have to pay bills and pay taxes
They dont appreciate some clever overpaid advertizing creative type trying to preach to them

Notice how EDF energy have toned done their adverts now
From that appalling Santimonious miserbal drival made from recycled film clips
This time average domestic setting in a cluttered utility room next to a washing machine
They got that funny little cuddly robot Japanese Anime thing
And instead of mentioning Guilt Ridden Devastating Climate Change they now say Low Carbon low Cost energy
Still the same santimonious tosh but just more user friendly
PS im still with Npower and i still dont like Cricket

But now Heartland trying to compare Climate Alarmist to mass murderers is poor taste and it wont work
Heartland took a bad hit with Peter Glenck but they turned to their advantage by staying Calm and Telling the Truth
Peter Glenck was proved a liar and totally discredited and destroyed his reputation so were those who supported Glenck
Heartland came out of it with a lot of Dignity and Integrity
Proved the alarmist they were so little confidence in their own argument they were prepared to fabricate lies .So what else were they prepared to lie about

This latest Heartland avertizing its as poor taste as those
10 10 Richard Curtis adverts where schooldren getting blown up for their political beliefs
The Climate Alarmist used to compare Skeptics to Holocaust Deniners
We didnt like at first being compared to Nick Griffin and David Irvine
But we learnt to turn their that against them
They were using nasty insults because they had no faith in their own argument and we could then accuse them of Anti Democracy and Free Debate.That hurt them a lot more
That old saying Aroogance and Pride comes before a fall.
The sceptics had a feild day with them and those adverts were taken off immediatley and they had to quietly appologise

Now the Guardian are having a field day with these Heartland Bill board Posters
Keep the advertizing REAL openess in the debate, no scaremongering personal insults and dirty tricks
No to Green Taxation and Windfarm and tax subsidies on Solars Panel because they Simply dont work
The opinion polls we have the public on our side they are more worried about the world recession and their jobs and their future
Lets cut the trying to be to clever shock advertizing and keep the public onside
Best advice" best way to defeat a Bully dont become one yourself "

May 5, 2012 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

Hi Josh,

Great cartoon. Do you have space to finish the statement:

"The planet has warmed a little ... Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

c/f the God/Dawkins bus advert campaigns.


May 5, 2012 at 6:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Just seen tweeting at Much Twittering on the Marsh

Andrew Neil ‏@afneil
That's it! May! And had to turn the heating back on. In London. Where it is cold + grey. Now talk me through this global warming stuff again
10h Stephen Kirby‏@DelKirbio
@afneil for such an educated man you'd think you'd know the difference between weather and climate
10:57 AM - 5 May 12via Twitter for iPhone • Details
10h Andrew Neil ‏@afneil
@DelKirbio But I do! Weather is when it's cold. Climate change when it's hot.
11:00 AM - 5 May 12via web • Details
9h Stephen Kirby‏@DelKirbio
@afneil sorry, I stand corrected. Carry on

May 5, 2012 at 9:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

agrees with Jamspid...this HI stunt is counter-productive. If you have the high ground why try to offend people with a publicity stunt?

And if the reason is that Richard Drake thinks it is good, then you have 2 or 3 or 4 reasons not to go ahead.

May 5, 2012 at 11:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Lubos Motl agrees with Richard Drake and so do I:

May 6, 2012 at 12:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

I have very little time for Bishop Hill. That sentence could of course be misinterpreted, to my detriment - but I trust the great and the good here would never do such a thing. What it is to be among friends who will always think the best of you at all times and take anything you write in the nicest possible way :)

Such as my friend diogenes. He walked the length of the blogosphere looking for one honest man but when he found me he couldn't cope. From now on he's explained the rule: if Richard Drake thinks something is good - like toasted crumpets with the butter melted though (and boy, I do) - it is to be rejected. But if Ted Kaczynski thinks global warming alarm is good, well, it's wrong even to mention it, that's not playing the game by the Queensbury Rules. Drake scum, Kaczynski tender flower - I think I get the picture. Thank goodness there are brave hearts making the situation crystal clear to any reader from self-denying pseudonymity.

Yep, thanks diog for the laugh - and be absolutely clear, I'm laughing.

More straightforward gratitude to Foxgoose. I don't agree with you (and many others) about the effectiveness but on the lack of need to grovel, yes - indeed, the stern requirement not to grovel. I get the impression a few people have already got that wrong.

Robin: I don't know if I support Heartland in all things but I support the poster. I haven't read Donna or Ross - or Lubos come to that (thanks John). I'm not that bothered, to be honest. I'm grateful for your quote of Donna quoting Ross though:

"You cannot simultaneously say that you want to promote a debate while equating the other side to terrorists and mass murderers."

The difference between us I guess is that I never read the poster as equating the other side to terrorists and mass murderers. I read the poster as reminding the general public that terrorists and mass murderers were part of the other side. I liked it the moment I saw it and I like it the same now. Pity about that wasted airline ticket.

As Richard Courtney pointed out on WUWT early on, the questions are:

1. Is it true?
2. Is it effective?

Take the deniers trope, used deliberately to connote moral and mental equivalence with holocaust deniers. It wasn't even remotely true but boy has it been effective.

Now take the Heartland Unabomber poster. It's true. Is it effective or will it have been effective as we look back from a year hence? It all depends what one's expectations are. But it's sure grabbed attention. The outrage it has provoked from the usual suspects I consider as phony as Michael Mann's original Excel file that Steve and Ross didn't ask for. My own hunch is that a few unaligned people will be caused to think seriously about this issue and dig in to it. And that's a great thing.

May 6, 2012 at 7:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake


I respect your arguement, but ..... I think the unaligned, or those who don't follow the arguement too closely, will say "They are both as bad as each other - a plague on both your houses". Personally, I would prefer to be seen as white as white, and not descending to - or towards - the level of the warmists.

The fact that the warmists lie, exaggerate, and use unpleasant methods to prop up their viewpoint is the reason that I support the realist cause.


May 6, 2012 at 8:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterHuhneToTheSlammer

In this case Richard you have my, albeit qualified, support. Was the poster in poor taste? In my opinion, yes. Did it deserve the condemnation and I would say over-reaction (particularly Donna's) that it got? I don't think so, no. What decent educated fair-minded middle-class people with varying degrees of traditional values (the majority of skeptics) fail to realize is that many of their opponents are contemptuous of the idea of fair play and, in a milieu devoid of ethics, are prepared to use any method or falsehood at all to advance their agenda. This has been shown repeatedly in the long struggle for truth on climate change over the past twenty years.

Let's not fool ourselves; any rules of fair engagement should apply just as much to the alarmists as to the skeptics. We shouldn't meekly accept the other side's faux outrage at standards of behaviour they wouldn't dream of applying to themselves. In any battle you need to know what you are up against. I would suggest that Max Frisch's play 'Biedermann und die Brandstifter' (The Fire Raisers) is relevant in this context.

May 6, 2012 at 8:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

Well Richard, I disagree with you on the principle: in my view, it's nearly always wise to be polite and courteous towards those with whom you disagree (however reprehensible their conduct, Chris M) and to "smear by association" (as the Bish has it in his latest post) is neither of these. It seems you find it acceptable, even praiseworthy. OK - but consider the matter at a tactical level. If Donna's and Ross's reaction is any guide, it seems that this billboard may well have wrecked the forthcoming Heartland conference - a victory for our opponents. Surely that alone makes it a counter-productive blunder? You refer to Richard Courtney's questions. Is it true? Well, the overt message is undeniably true - but the implied smear is not. Is it effective? Time will tell - but the strong indications are that it is not.

On the brighter side, as well as Josh's cartoon, Donna has another morale booster this morning. See this (12th paragraph).

May 6, 2012 at 10:11 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Robin Guenier, the point here, as BH has just pointed out in his latest post, is the rank hypocrisy of the alarmists. You can tut tut all you like and be as nice as you possibly can be to the alarmists, and they will hold you in just as much contempt as, if not more than, they did before. To repeat the blindingly obvious, this is primarily an ideological struggle, not a scientific one. If you are a UK resident (I am Australian) you may have been misled by your party political "consensus" over climate change action, which is a massive muddying of the waters.

May 6, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

Chris M:

Few have done more serious damage to the warmist cause than Donna Laframboise in her Delinquent Teenager book - hence my delight at Josh's labelling of the iceberg in the above cartoon. So the fact that she (and probably others) are withdrawing from the forthcoming Heartland conference (see this) is reason enough to condemn the Heartland campaign. I am not advocating being "nice" to the alarmists (there's nothing "nice" about Donna's sharp critique) - what I am advocating is not descending to their level. Donna says, "I believe in pragmatism and common sense. I believe in cold, hard facts – and in treating people with whom I disagree with courtesy and respect". I wholly agree.

I've no idea where you get the absurd idea that that means I may have been misled by "party political 'consensus' over climate change action".

May 6, 2012 at 11:35 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Absurd? lol - OK Robin, I'm happy to accept that we're on entirely different wavelengths here and hope we can agree to disagree. I believe that there is much more clarity in the climate change imbroglio in Australia, Canada and the USA than there is in the UK and Western Europe, although there are a few impressive advocates of sanity like the Czech President Vaclav Klaus. (Notice that France with its abundant nuclear energy is blissfully above the fray.)

It seems that it will take a financial meltdown for the CAGW meme to be vanquished in Europe. So be it, if that is the only way to bring governments to their senses. Or, much to be preferred, those same governments decide enough is enough, withdraw funding for the IPCC and the like, stop pandering to the green lobby, and restore rational energy policy. I am not optimistic though.

Cheers, Chris

May 6, 2012 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris M


"Agree to disagree"? About what? I entirely agree that Western Europe is hopelessly in thrall to the CAGW hypothesis and that only something like financial meltdown seems likely to change that. But "more clarity in the climate change imbroglio"? Hmm ... it seems to me that Montford, Delingpole, Monckton, Booker, etc. are hardly ambiguous about it. But nor are any of them "nice" to the alarmists: what they avoid is sinking to their level of smear, innuendo and insult.

But if you believe that - for clarity and to change minds - it's necessary to sink to that level, well yes I disagree.


May 6, 2012 at 1:59 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Different time zone ...

Robin, of course I'm not saying that; take another look at my original post above in qualified support of Richard Drake. What I'm saying is the shock/horror reaction to the HI poster faux pas is over the top. Quite a few of the posters on the 'On abusive analogy' thread agree with me. All the hand wringing won't impress or give pause for thought to the cynical, flinty-eyed and hard-nosed promulgators of CAGW - they will just see it as another sign of bourgeois weakness to be exploited.

May 6, 2012 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris M


I was responding, not to your original post to RD, but to your post to me at 11:01 AM yesterday. You said (a) "You can tut tut all you like and be as nice as you possibly can be to the alarmists, and they will hold you in just as much contempt as, if not more than, they did before" and (b) " ... you may have been misled by your party political "consensus" over climate change action ...". Re (a) I have said nothing about being "nice" to alarmists - and agree that, to do so, would provoke contempt and re (b) your suggestion is, as I have said, absurd.

I agree with you about the "hand wringing". My point is simple: it's not a sign of weakness to be polite and courteous towards those with whom you disagree. To "smear by association" is neither of these. I do accept BTW that this incident has usefully exposed the ghastly hypocrisy of the alarmists.

May 7, 2012 at 7:45 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier


Perhaps, to avoid any misunderstanding, you would prefer the following rephrasing:

Some UK residents may have been misled by the consensus reached between the three main political parties over climate change action, which is a massive muddying of the waters.

It seems that at least one British MP agrees with me:

"So much for my [sceptical] position. It's shared by a tiny handful of colleagues in Parliament. We're largely ignored by the party machines and the media. We're effectively irrelevant. The extraordinary thing about the UK is that our political media and scientific elites are more committed to the doctrines of climate change alarmism - not the general science, that the doubling of the CO2 will produce a modest increase in temperatures, but the belief that it would produce alarming, catastrophic effects - our elites are more committed to them than almost any other country in the world. All three parties are committed. The BBC, until recently nearly all the newspapers, the great and the good - they're unanimous, and dissenters are cast into oblivion." (Peter Lilley, MP)

This good, honest and upright man would indeed make a fine Prime Minister. It's a great pity that politics doesn't work like that.

May 7, 2012 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

No problem there, Chris. Yes, some UK residents have been misled by the political/MSM consensus (although, as Peter Lilley points out, more are sceptical than in any other country, including the USA). But, contrary to what you absurdly seemed to think, I'm not one of the misled minority. Moreover, Peter Lilley is my MP: I know him and for some years now have exchanged correspondence (emails and post) with him about CC alarmism. He has an excellent grasp of the issues, is (note please) always polite and courteous and is indeed a "good, honest and upright man".

Thanks for posting that link: it deserves wider publicity.

May 7, 2012 at 12:14 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Foxgoose, you say "Desmog, who started it all with their Breivik/Denier link"

but what about in April 2011 or in October 2010?

May 7, 2012 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterLouise

I like your image, it reminds me of the this map of 'Software Wars'. Do you think you could redo your map in the style of 'software wars'? The map is inspired by the Star Trek map of the Romulans, Klingons and the Federation.

May 10, 2012 at 3:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterCarl

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