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« Review of ‘What counts as good evidence for policy?’ | Main | Lindzen at the Oxford Union »
Saturday
Mar092013

Lindzen at the Oxford Union - Cartoon Notes by Josh

 

Click the image for a larger version

The evening started well as I sat next to a charming intern at People & Planet, a student campainging group. A Chemistry graduate, she was exceptionally well informed on the Climate debate and had a whole sheaf of notes and papers, one being Richard Lindzen's paper "Does the Earth Have an Adaptive Infrared Iris?", thus the first cartoon. That there are young people who have a great knowledge of science and a passion for the poor bodes well for the future. (*Update: you can read her account of the evening here)

As others have already noted, Richard Lindzen was a calming breeze throughout the evening in comparison to David Rose's hurricane tour de force. I hope the final TV edit captures just how good they both were. And the official 'other side' of the debate, in Myles Allen and Mark Lynas, was almost absent. Both Myles and Mark seemed to agree more with Richard rather than with the presenter Mehdi. The real 'other side' passion in the room came from campaigners and activists.

My conclusion is this. It is all over for Climate Alarmism - the fat lady is singing into a half empty not half full half pint of lager and lime in a last chance saloon while she takes a vacation in the Maldives. Climate Science is finally 'fessing up to the fact that climate change is not alarming, that current climate policy is futile. So forget the symbolic Wind Farms and Carbon Footprints, let's focus on protecting the poor and innovation.

Cartoons by Josh

*Updated to include a link to Tara's Eco Science Blog & correct spelling H/t Matt

 

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Reader Comments (87)

Josh,
thank you for these. Wish i could have been there. Do you do these in situ?

Mar 9, 2013 at 1:40 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson

Yes, all drawn in situ.

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:13 PM | Registered CommenterJosh

"My conclusion is this. It is all over for Climate Alarmism." If only. The serious commitment by governments around the world will mean this is going to go to the death. It's hard enough to get politicians to apologise for the simplest of errors. A financial scandal on this scale, meaning the loss of financial opportunities by vested interests? No chance.

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan_UK

Ian, you are right. It is likely that climate policy will continue to wreck economies around the world. But the Alarmist philosophy has had its day. It can only splutter and wail, the science does not back it up.

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:23 PM | Registered CommenterJosh

I wish I could have made it yesterday! Thanks so much for your jolly summary - and 'amen' to your final paragraph.

Mar 9, 2013 at 2:24 PM | Registered CommenterPhilip Richens

I'm not impressed by Tara ('your' intern). She seems to think denialsim is some sort of male hobby, and besides the whole climate change controversy is 'boring' because the science is settled. And she values Bob (Ph.D still in the writing phase, I'm afraid) Ward's opinion more than Lindzen's.

What's settled for me is that she's ill-informed about the subject.

Mar 9, 2013 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Amen to Philip's amen. Here's that majestic paragraph again in full:

My conclusion is this. It is all over for Climate Alarmism - the fat lady is singing into a half empty not half full half pint of lager and lime in a last chance saloon while she takes a vacation in the Maldives. Climate Science is finally 'fessing up to the fact that climate change is not alarming, that current climate policy is futile. So forget the symbolic Wind Farms and Carbon Footprints, let's focus on protecting the poor and innovation.

May the idealist young hear and come to love that cartoonist.

Mar 9, 2013 at 3:32 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Capell, I wasn't impressed with Tara in print either. But then I learned about Josh having befriended her at the event itself. Hence my final sentence just now. Someone this week claimed that Plato had said "Be kind to everyone, because you don't know the extent of the battle they will face." The young deserve this kindness from us, more than anyone. Their battles are definitely on the way.

Mar 9, 2013 at 3:36 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Josh
Many thanks for this really excellent and amusing summary.

Mar 9, 2013 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterNic Lewis

Great stuff.

Mar 9, 2013 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered Commentermrsean2k

Tara impressed me because she knows the science well and showed an enthusiasm for helping the poor and saving the environment - both should be recognised and encouraged. If we can influence activists like her to focus on the science and innovation and not on symbolic and futile policy then there is a chance both sides of the debate can agree a way forward.

Of course, I realise this is highly unlikely to happen. There are too many vested interests in eco-scaremongering, wind turbines, carbon markets etc and too much religious fervour from alarmists. But at least we can try.

Mar 9, 2013 at 4:01 PM | Registered CommenterJosh

Tara is young. She has lots of time to figure out this stuff.

Mar 9, 2013 at 4:02 PM | Registered Commentershub

Spot on Shub.

Mar 9, 2013 at 4:07 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

It sounds like much progress was made. Audiences young and old need to see that sceptics aren't a bunch of oil barron flunkies who dismiss the science without cause. I hope one day there will be interviews of ordinary sceptics who came to climate science naturally and have legitimate and diverse concerns.

One day,students will be discussing Josh cartoons in CAGW studies. Hopefully this cartoon will be under the chapter 'The Turning Point.'

Mar 9, 2013 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Tara was sitting next to us at the front?

I've put Myles comment onto her blog how he was deeply embarrased by the ad hom attacks on Lindzen, and tweeted/linked to where Mark Lynas tells me that ' Halls of Shame are shameful.. ref (intent to shame the sceptic'

Whether she approves the comment or not, will speak volumes.

and yes, besides that leave her alone, most young people in Oxford that night were propping up the bars in Oxford city centre.

Mar 9, 2013 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

or am i mixing up Tara's not the same person?

Mar 9, 2013 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

@Barry Woods
Having read her blog, perhaps she would have learnt more about science propping up a bar with some old grey beards.

Mar 9, 2013 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Josh,

Having visited your "charming intern's" blog I found her account of the evening to be an illiterate, ignorant, ageist rant.

For example what the heck does this semi-literate sentence mean?

Little did I know, not only was it a complete waste of my time but I may of [sic] played a vital role in the push to bury any attempts to encourage the world to act on climate change.

and breathtaking ignorance:

…proven data records and the fact that there’s a 97% consensus by climate experts that climate change is going to affect us all.

and a bit of ageism for good measure:

At the age of 73, Lindzen didn’t make an exceptional speaker…

Is she really is a chemistry graduate? She may be young, but this is teenager stuff.

Mar 9, 2013 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterScottie

Tara seems, at a very young age, to have a very closed mind for which rational evaluation of evidence is a strange concept.
She is a true believer indeed. Sad to see someone who should still be learning having been brainwashed.

She is obviously perfectly free, currently, to believe what she wants and to say so. Let's hope she does not get into any position of influence. Or this CAGW crime will harm the poor for far longer than it need.

Mar 9, 2013 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMatt

"Tara is young. She has lots of time to figure out this stuff"

Hope springs eternal.

Mar 9, 2013 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

Josh,
Another amusing collection of vignettes! I particularly enjoyed the "no, not those papers" line. [Although I don't think that advice is necessarily helpful to all, it might be to young Tara who seems to have overestimated the reliability of the "sound bites" provided by universities' press releases and eco-journals.]
.
I must in fairness point out that you have mis-spelled "absence" in your correlation graph. Plus you should have put labels on the axes rather than the curve. I put those slips down to haste, now that I learn that you draw these all in "real time", which just makes them all the more impressive.

Mar 9, 2013 at 4:51 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Matt
I'm not sure a closed mind is the problem. It's an age thing.
She probably is still ignorant enough to think the planet needs "saving", idealistic enough to want to do something about it and arrogant enough to think she can and the rest us can't or won't.
In a couple of decades she will have learnt that the planet can cope quite well without her help, tha she has more important practical concerns to deal with and that there is nothing she can do which will benefit the planet (other than not totally to trash it for which you need access to thermonuclear devices anyway) and that the rest of us were actually right.
Because, Tara, most of us have been there. It's called being young. And most of us still care though in a somewhat different way. It's called being wiser!

Mar 9, 2013 at 4:52 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Scottie, actually her "not only was it a complete waste of my time" remark made me think the sceptical viewpoint had hit home for her. For me the sceptics won every argument and every exchange hands down, and if an activist like Tara thinks it was a waste of time, it is probably because she thought so too.

We also had a great short pre-debate discussion between us. She does know the science despite the clichéd views. And of course she is welcome to comment here and defend herself. I hope she does.

Mar 9, 2013 at 4:57 PM | Registered CommenterJosh

Matt, thanks. Will amend. My spelling definitely suffers when drawing at speed. I blame Tara. It was her whispered observation that all the sceptical views seem to come from people with diminishing amounts of hair, so I drew her a graph and made her laugh.

I think we should do a joint paper on this alarming trend. It must be worth a few hundreds of thousands to investigate this tragic lack of hirsutosity.

Mar 9, 2013 at 5:03 PM | Registered CommenterJosh

I visited Tara's blog....left a comment, still awaiting moderation. Our impressionable youth are intentionally mis-educated to the green meanie group think. It is important to understand that Carbon climate forcing is just one facet of the false paradigm....peak oil and 'sustainable' energy are companion frauds. See "Becoming A TOTAL Earth Science Sceptic" for a good summary of these three fictions.

Mar 9, 2013 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterFauxScienceSlayer

"not only was it a complete waste of my time"

Maybe Tara only likes to hear her side winning then Josh. But it would be interesting to hear her opinion if she does make an appearance.

Mar 9, 2013 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

Hope springs eternal.

LOL! :) Come on. Clearly, she's imbibed all the stuff direct from the standard sources. Plus she has a problem with old people. Well, old people, that is how young people think, ... so get with it.

What we are interested in, is knowing what she thinks, beyond what she's been told

Mar 9, 2013 at 5:22 PM | Registered Commentershub

I fully agree with "Scottie"@4:38

Mar 9, 2013 at 6:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterdave ward

Yes shub all the standard sources, like Bob Ward. As for her old people problem, well Lindzen himself will be old in a few years time you know. I wonder if he will drop his big oil consultancy rates.

Mar 9, 2013 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

Talk about being ageist. According to her blog, she was born in 1987. That makes her 25ish. She's not 12. She may be nice to look at, but let's not be patronising here. She's an activist, who believes sceptics to be conspiring conspiracists.

Although she seems to be only semi-literate, she writes:

"Writing articles for the college mag, press releases and newsletters opened my eyes up to the world of writing.
Hopefully I’ll make a career out of this some day."

I don't think this is someone with a great propensity for insight. I'm not holding my breath for a purported future maturation.

Mar 9, 2013 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

Shub you said,

Plus she has a problem with old people. Well, old people, that is how young people think, ... so get with it.

That may be so. I don't want to be too "precious" here, but ageism now (rightly) attracts the same opprobrium as racism, etc. This is enshrined in law.

It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of:
◦ age
◦ being or becoming a transsexual person
◦ being married or in a civil partnership
◦ being pregnant or having a child
◦ disability
◦ race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
◦ religion, belief or lack of religion/belief
◦ sex
◦ sexual orientation

But I do understand...

From an old person to a young person:

"As you are so once were we,
And as we are so you will be."

Anon

She still has a lot to learn.

Mar 9, 2013 at 6:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterScottie

Tara will have been exposed to climate catastrophe treated as a given throughout her life, and to the perspective that those who dare challenge this orthodoxy are fair game for abuse and cynicism. She deserves to be cut some slack for that experience.

I am intrigued by Josh's getting the impression that she is very knowledgeable about climate science. In her blog report on this meeting she wears that knowledge very lightly indeed and comes across more like an adolescent being forced to sit in on while some groans discuss weighty matters of little interest to her.

I conclude that she is charming but misguided. Knowledgeable about the establishment position on climate, but not well informed about the grounds for opposing it. I suspect all her chums at the uni are in a similar state. I hope it is also a state of transition!

Mar 9, 2013 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

John Shade,

"I suspect all her chums at the uni are in a similar state."

I don't think she's at the uni. She studied in Ireland. She is now an intern at a green mag that targets students, as far as I can see.

Mar 9, 2013 at 7:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

You can read Mark Steyn's After America to see how the recent young are caught in a permanent postponement of their own growing-up. He is not the only one to note this, I'm sure you know.

And the nonsense about who is old and who is young, the question really is about who is grown up. Life, thankfully enough, has a way of teaching everyone the fatal lesson, doesn't it? As Longfellow says, all of us are growing 'old', by the second.


...
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, — act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

Mar 9, 2013 at 7:49 PM | Registered Commentershub

John Shade, agreed, her blog post seems a bit partisan. I guess she is writing to a specific audience who like that kind of message. Our pre-debate discussion was quite short so I could easily be wrong but she did seem to be familiar with the subject, knew the main arguments, and at least seemed to have read the literature.

That was one of the great 'take home' message from Lindzen last night. Read the papers, even if you dont understand much of it, read them anyway. It is the best place to start understanding the whole topic.

Mar 9, 2013 at 7:53 PM | Registered CommenterJosh

Shub,

I'm constantly amazed at the age of the heroes of WWII. I read reports about astounding acts of bravery and daring, and see photos of the chaps with moustaches smoking pipes. They seem like middle-aged men, but it turns out they were in their twenties. I hear of the brilliance of the work at Bletchley, much of it done by youngsters.

We expect very little of our youngsters these days. Very little was expected of me, to be honest.

It's good that war isn't currently forcing the young to be old before their time. But let's not excuse idiocy on the grounds of youth.

Mar 9, 2013 at 8:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

Josh:

I guess she is writing to a specific audience who like that kind of message.

Absolutely how I read it. A problem with our blog culture. We normally preach to the choir, choosing whatever church we think is worthy of us. Problem is, sometimes the good-hearted stranger from a completely different place walks in and lo, all empathy has gone out of the window. That's why your first-hand impression of Tara easily trumps for me any view I might have arrived at online. Keep up the good work.

Mar 9, 2013 at 8:05 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Richard Drake,

"That's why your first-hand impression of Tara easily trumps for me any view I might have arrived at online."

In other words, you are less interested in what she says, than in the words of what a chum of yours says about her.

Patronising.

Mar 9, 2013 at 8:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

She is no more stupid than people twice her age who should know better. I'll give her that.

But "knowledgeable about science," er... no. Hate that I gave her as much as a click. You need to get out more.

Mar 9, 2013 at 8:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernal

"Tara is young. She has lots of time to figure out this stuff."

May I remind you, Michael Mann was young once too!

Mar 9, 2013 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBobDoyle

James Evans: a chum that actually met Tara and made her laugh at his instant graph of the correlation between scepticism and receding hairline. You forgot that bit. I'm proud to know someone like that. That indeed trumps any other nonsense.

Mar 9, 2013 at 9:02 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Richard Drake,

"a chum that actually met Tara and made her laugh at his instant graph of the correlation between scepticism and receding hairline. You forgot that bit. I'm proud to know someone like that. That indeed trumps any other nonsense"

Really. The fact that someone that you are proud to know made her laugh trumps any other "nonsense".

Nonsense like what her views are. Or why she was there. Or who she was working for.

Sycophancy seems to be tolerated at CA. Please don't bring it here every time Josh writes a post.

Mar 9, 2013 at 9:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

Josh: "Ian, you are right. It is likely that climate policy will continue to wreck economies around the world. But the Alarmist philosophy has had its day. It can only splutter and wail, the science does not back it up."

The sad thing is, Josh, that the policy may be going tits up as it 'splutter[s] and wail[s]', but the wrecked economies will take ages to recover as a result. And it is the wrecked economies that the 'Fiends of the Earth' are after. Not to mention the Wrecked World Following.

Enjoyed the report of the debate very well.

Mar 9, 2013 at 9:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

James: I meant the nonsense Tara posted. Don't read sycophancy where it isn't.

Mar 9, 2013 at 9:14 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Richard Drake,

OK. Just Steve M. Not the unfunny cartoons. Got it.

Mar 9, 2013 at 9:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

James: Why don't you lead by example and say to Josh's face when you think one of his cartoons is unfunny? Or maybe privately, by email? If you think such 'encouragement' is what such people need, who work completely for free, go right ahead. Just don't palm the job off to me, when I probably have a different opinion in the first place. That would seem a trifle cowardly.

Mar 9, 2013 at 9:36 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Richard Drake,

Actually, I've said it before. I was accused of having no sense of humour. :) I don't make a secret of it. I don't like his drawing style, and don't find him amusing.

Takes all sorts, I suppose. :)

Mar 9, 2013 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

James, Richard

This is not interesting to other readers I think. Please take it elsewhere.

Mar 9, 2013 at 9:48 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I reckon Tara might get a high paid job as an ecologist with a major oil company flying around the world on first class tickets and studying rain forests in Sarawak and such like...

Mar 9, 2013 at 9:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Have a look at her "Frack facy sheet", it drew a favourable response from someone called Mike Mann!

Mar 9, 2013 at 10:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn Lyon

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