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« Fish's water | Main | Public losses »
Saturday
Jan042014

Guardian: is totalitarianism the way forward?

Guardian Eco is, yet again, trying to set out its stall as the new home for totalitarianism in the international media, in an article questioning whether things would be a whole lot better if we didn't have freedom of the press any longer:

Should Australian newspapers, like Fairfax, publish opinion pieces that deny or seek to cast doubt on man-made global warming?

As the Guardian Media Group's financial black hole grows, its journalists will steadily be replaced by NGO activists. We should therefore expect more of this kind of thing in future.

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Reader Comments (142)

I'm sorry, I couldn't read more than the first few lines of such drivel.

Jan 4, 2014 at 10:03 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

The Guardian is irrelevant, as their plummeting readership confirms more and more as the days pass by!

Mailman

Jan 4, 2014 at 10:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Me too Philip, but looking at the comments the Guardian is attracting a whole different bunch of warmists, equally as spittle flecked as the last lot but without the slightest hint of any knowledge.

Jan 4, 2014 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

I have commented before that some of these people will suffer a mental breakdown when they eventually realise that it wasn't all true. Currently these people seem oblivious to what is happening in the real world.

Of course some, such as Prof Turney, will be protected by the mechanism that allows the brain to block out bad things for a while, or even quite a while. Anyone who can fail to get within 40 miles of where Mawson took his wooden ship a century ago, drive there over the sea ice (?) and back, have his ship stuck in Summer sea ice - and still claim that the sea ice is all melting needs help. I would say that the Church Leader who told his flock in the USA back in 2012 that the world would end on a certain day, was LESS deluded than Prof.Turney.

Bottom line is that you know when someone has the title Prof. of Climate Change you are dealing with a self-deluded snake oil salesman.

Jan 4, 2014 at 10:29 AM | Registered Commenterretireddave

The Guardian considers itself Pravda.

Jan 4, 2014 at 10:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Meanwhile, Sir John Beddington is quoted making statements that contradict the available evidence over at the BBC:

http://bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25601796


Sir John Beddington, former government chief scientific adviser, told BBC Radio 4 Today that we were experiencing "an increasing frequency of extreme weather events", like droughts and flooding, which is related to climate change.

Now where is Steve Jones cocern about false balance etc when you need it? Apparently doesn't apply here!

Jan 4, 2014 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpence_UK

Totalitarian propaganda.

Create a label, anyone you do not want to be heard, just give them the label. I find it amazing that children of the left never seem to understand history. I forgive my Father and Mother, war time communists. They had no knowledge.

This generation must surely be aware that people like the author of the piece would be one of the first up against the wall.

Totalitarian organisms ALWAYS eat the those that created them.

Giving power to people who crave it and will wield it without scruple, and certainly who want voices like the author of that piece to disappear as soon as possible.

Trully it is amazing their lack of awareness of history.

Jan 4, 2014 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

The classic response of a failed debater: "Ban all counter arguments and I win". Except that nobody wins, we all lose. And the more-so when we still get ridiculous churnalism from the 'Lean Machine' in today's DT explaining how the extra ice in Antarctica is caused by AGW:

"And it is true that, while sea ice has shrunk dramatically in the Arctic in recent years, it has grown to record levels in the Antarctic. But, counter-intuitively, this too seems to suggest that the world is heating up. Scientists blame accelerating melting of the ice on the land of the frozen continent, which is now, on balance, losing about 70 billion tons of the stuff each year. The cold meltwater flows into the sea, freshening it and interfering with its circulation, making it harder for warmer water to well up from below as in the past. So the surface temperature drops, and more ice forms."

It's enough to make you wish you had control of the blue pencil.

Jan 4, 2014 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

I thought that I might as well use the Guardian's Comment is Free facility to post a reply to Alex White's call for censorship. It would be ironic if the moderators decide to delete it, but I have copied my comments below.


I am old enough to remember the days when the left regarded themselves as the guardians (with a small "g") of free speech. In those days the Guardian was the Manchester Guardian and it was a respected newspaper, not the mouth-piece of self-regarding, out of touch, activists who assume that anyone who disagrees with them automatically forfeits his/her right to free speech.

Alex White evidently has the same view of democracy as Henry Ford had of car production; the customer can have any colour as long as it is white.

If I were to say that global temperatures have not risen for 17 years, would Alex White really say that the Comment is Free moderators should censor that statement?

Two final points; I am a life-long non-smoker and like lots of other non-smokers, resent the green conspiracy theory that attempts to link scepticism of the predictions of obviously flawed computer climate models with denial that smoking causes lung cancer. What is even worse is the implicit attempt by green activists to link scepticism of climate model predictions with denial of the Holocaust by using the word denier rather than sceptic, or, better still, realist.

Jan 4, 2014 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

There is no hiding the decline in journalistic standards at the Grauniad!
My guess is they are rather p*ssed off at being ridiculed over the #shipoffools debacle and this is their 'furious' backlash..

Jan 4, 2014 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

"Goebbelisation" - I liked that in the comments. I cannot find it now.

Jan 4, 2014 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

It is remarkable if you read the Guardian letters on this how few Guardian readers are supportive. If the true believers can't even convince Guardian readers what chance do they have outside in the real world.

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterdave

Further to my previous comments, Henry Ford said the customer can have any colour he wants as long as it is black. I wrote white, but that must have been a Freudian slip since the author of the article advocating censorship has the surname White.

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Here is his bio from the Guardian:


Alex White is a leader in progressive campaign strategy, communications and social marketing, with over a decade of experience with unions and non-profits. He was national secretary of the Labor Environment Action Network from 2009-12 when he resigned from this role and his other ALP positions. Alex is a director of The Wilderness Society (Victoria) and Greenpeace Australia-Pacific. He lives in Melbourne. His other blog is www.alexwhite.org and he tweets
@alexanderwhite

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

"The Guardian is irrelevant, as their plummeting readership confirms more and more as the days pass by!
Mailman"
==========================

The Guardian is VERY relevant - it is the BBC's scriptwriter and while they both exist the delusional left wing propaganda
will continue.

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

Alan Reed

"Goebbelisation" - I liked that in the comments. I cannot find it now.
It’s been moderated away. Take it as a Goebbel Warning.
Fernando Leanme is practically on his own defending free speech there. He says:
Frankly I find these words incredibly disgusting. I´m a refugee from a regime which censured the media, abused us, insulted us, and eventually jailed us if we expressed any tendency not to follow the government line.
So I have a very strong aversion to censorship. And the idea of lumping people in groups, insulting them, and otherwise demeaning them me makes me vomit.
Go and give him a hand.

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:12 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Showing my age, I know, but in the not too distant past cadet journalists were taught to ask themselves at any interview, "Why is this lying bastard lying to me?" The rise of the university educated hack and the opinionated piece with vanity pic and attached name has replaced the hard bitten cynics with a bunch of agenda driven smug advocates of fashionable ideas, not journalism at all: the dead tree press connived in the death of skepticism and lost its function.

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterLjh

TerryS: An interesting potted biog of White there. Not surprising to see then that he has never turned a productive hand in his life. He has always suckled on someone else's teat. Why am I not surprised?

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

GC
Fernando's doing alright. If I can be of any help - he must be in real trouble!
I suppose I could hold his hair back...

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Oh, Lord! That a mainstream paper should even THINK about posing such a question is a sure sign that we are doomed. Once expressed, such an opinion will not go away until those who hold the power who also hold the desire have enacted it – or are ousted from power (which may be just a forlorn dream for us, I’m afraid – Cam-moron has already shoved the thin edge of the wedge in web censorship, and he is one of the lesser advocates; that further censorship will follow is as sure as night following day, and the nights are going to be long, indeed).

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

retireddave on Jan 4, 2014 at 10:29 AM

"Bottom line is that you know when someone has the title Prof. of Climate Change you are dealing with a self-deluded snake oil salesman."

And what about our Government Ministers responsible for Climate Change?

Would they be the last to be put in charge of our national energy policy?

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:38 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Bishop you are lying again. The article asked its readers whether newspapers should "give a platform for climate change denialist opinion pieces", not whether it should be allowed so to do. You shake their tree shouting "totalitarianism" and your moneys start singing your tune; job done. But that says little for your integrity or their intelligence.

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

The Grauniad used not to be able to spell, now it cannot think.

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Morning Chandra. Did you get home alright?

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

I think the article shows just how desperate the eco-fascist movement is becoming. If they want to be taken seriously removing the abusive denia tag would be a start.

The sooner the Guardian disappears down in a black hole of bankruptcy the better.

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

Are the BBC, MET an EA now using/abusing the word exceptional to describe weather?

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Chandra

We do not need you to interpret the Bishops words for us. We can also read the Guardian article for ourselves. And it is every bit as totalitarian and disturbing as His Grace implies.

It is quite clear Mr White does not believe papers should be allowed to print opposing views. That couldn't be clearer. The hairs breadth of difference between the meaning of "shouldn't" and "shouldn't be allowed to" is of no concern to him, and is of little comfort to those of us who value freedom of speech.

Jan 4, 2014 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Wilson

Meanwhile, Sir John Beddington is quoted making statements that contradict the available evidence over at the BBC:

Beddington was quite cute in his wording using the word expected quite a lot and never actually stating that extreme events are currently more frequent. He also said the climate reacts to greenhouse gas levels of 20 years ago not today's levels, never heard that one before, could it be a new slant on the 17 year pause on temps, so new theory is no temp increase but more extreme weather events instead.

Jan 4, 2014 at 12:07 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

Comment is free until you disagree.

Jan 4, 2014 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterChaveratti

Its fear not confidence that requires you to demand others views are not allowed . And as with many 'shooting themselves in the foot ' ideas we should actual encourage, despite how annoying it is , this approach. For it can only be counter-productive in the long run for 'the cause '

Jan 4, 2014 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

The suggestion is that other newspapers publish sceptic opinions because they're trying to create false balance. The Guardian writers are so biased they can't see that many publications are beginning to have doubts of their own. They're dipping their toes in, hoping their readership will react favourably to their daring questioning of CAGW dogma. Finding a ready audience, they're getting bolder year by year.

Time and again the warmists demand that the faithful should band together and cast out the deniers in some way. They fail to notice that their numbers are far too small to support their bold ambitions. Revolutions do happen, but never in the history of mankind has the common man risen up to demand a lesser standard of living. When the opposition outnumber you by in immense amount, your best hope is a peace treaty but instead the warmists continually declare war.

Jan 4, 2014 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

"Should [media] publish opinion pieces that deny or seek to cast doubt on man-made global warming?"
Discuss.

OK: They should not publish such opinion. How can we make sure they do not? We legislate or censor. That means we don't allow such publication. Only thing to question: Who is 'we' in that?

OK: There is such a thing as a free press. They should publish opinion within the current law. They should be allowed to do so. Only thing to question: Who makes the law?

Jan 4, 2014 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Hows Tony Abbot doing in the Aussie opinion polls.

Might have a few people running scared

Jan 4, 2014 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Commenters brought out the usual straw men - "would you publish articles from flat-earthers or tobacco deniers"

I submitted the following:

"These are closed minded straw men that have no relevance to the issues that abound around the complexities of climate and policy responses. Most people who understand science will accept that the physics says, in the absence of any other forcings or feedbacks, a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere should raise global temperature by about 1.2C. However, the climate is a chaotic, massively complex system that is clearly not fully understood by climate modellers (look at the hand-wringing in trying to explain 15 years without any significant atmospheric warming). By lumping ANY questioning of ANY aspect of our understanding of climate change, or of possibly highly damaging alarmist policy responses, as simply "climate denial" and then seeking to suppress its expression is pathetic and non scientific. This is well argued by an ex-Director of Research of CERN in his evidence to the HoC CCC: http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/WrittenEvidence.svc/EvidenceHtml/4360.
Fearghal is right to say that tobacco is unsafe and that anyone who disagrees with this is probably deluded. However, should he then go on to argue that everyone who smokes will therefore immediately die of lung cancer and there must be no debate or contrary opinion expressed about this, and that those that do are deniers, then I would argue that it was he who was deluded. A much more appropriate straw man!"

Jan 4, 2014 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterDerrick Byford

KnR: "...despite how annoying it is , this approach. For it can only be counter-productive in the long run for 'the cause '"

I'm sorry, KnR, I have to disagree. We should not encourage them. Would you stand behind the book-burners passing them more books for the pyre? The last time that happened, look where that ended - and at what cost - 'in the long run'?

Jan 4, 2014 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Peter Wilson, I think you do. What your Bishop wrote was clearly untrue. Yet your reading skills are not up to the job of recognizing that.

Jan 4, 2014 at 12:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

This is essentially an amalgam of 1930s' politics with Maoist dogma, the intention being to use IPCC Climate Alchemy to justify a totalitarian regime thereby to destroy Western economies.

What made it very dangerous for us was that Government is a mixture of Marxist fellow travellers, Corporatist fascists and, most dangerous of all, Eugenicists eager to establish new monopolies whist killing 10s of millions by fuel poverty. Happily, Old Tories and Old Labour have seen the danger and are heading off these juvenile incompetents.

Jan 4, 2014 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMydogsgotnonose

This is essentially an amalgam of 1930s' politics with Maoist dogma, the intention being to use IPCC Climate Alchemy to justify a totalitarian regime thereby to destroy Western economies.

What made it very dangerous for us was that Government is a mixture of Marxist fellow travellers, Corporatist fascists and, most dangerous of all, Eugenicists eager to establish new monopolies whist killing 10s of millions by fuel poverty. Happily, Old Tories and Old Labour have seen the danger and are heading off these juvenile incompetents.

Jan 4, 2014 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterMydogsgotnonose

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterChandra


BISHOP : Ban him. He is a waste of space with nothing useful to contribute.

Jan 4, 2014 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Harry Passfield because one of the failings of the 'alarmist' is there total underestimation of the public ability to see and smell BS when they see it . Like the attempts to smear climate sceptics as mad or bad and in the pay of 'big oil' , people can use there own experiences to judge just how true these claims are and are more than able to ask the question 'why do you want to silence others'

Its a weakness alarmist share with the fair left , unsurprisingly, that the feel that the people cannot be trusted for any who do that share the 'right views' must be stupid and need the lefts' 'leadership' .

Most people can tell that the use of such approaches is usual seen by those whose argument is weak not strong an can base their judgement on that. Overselling and the over use of negative approaches are two of the reasons 'the cause ' is failing , why get in the way of those that think these approaches are good ideas ?

Jan 4, 2014 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Jan 4, 2014 at 10:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Joe, it would be a big improvement if the Guardian was Pravda.
http://english.pravda.ru/science/earth/31-12-2013/126523-criminal_global_warming_fraud-0/

Jan 4, 2014 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterColAr

Stephen Richards: I'd think hard about banning the troll. He is, plainly, very discourteous to his host, and a aggravating splitter of hairs, but he sinks into the mire of his own false logic. And if he is banned, what then? He will trumpet that His Grace is a hypocrite for 'not allowing' dissenting opinions.

The troll may be a three-thumbed knock-kneed son of a Lithuanian brothel-keeper, but he's OUR t-t k-k s o a L b-k.

Jan 4, 2014 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

The Guardian is VERY relevant - it is the BBC's scriptwriter...
Jan 4, 2014 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

True. It is also has a disproportionately high readership in government, national and local, the civil service, the teaching profession etc, etc.
Once an honorable, questioning newspaper it is now more like a badge by which the like-minded can indicate their lack of individual thought. There are plenty of people - influential ones too - who will, by default, believe everything The Guardian says - especially if The Daily Mail or Murdoch papers say the opposite.

Jan 4, 2014 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Chandra, after your misguided defence of the Antarctic fiasco, I'm not sure your assessment of situations are worth much.

While the Guardian attempts to silence debate will be music to the ears of the climate faithful it will be eroding its credibility elsewhere. The reason nobody publishes the views of flat earthers is because the issues are laughably simple and nobody needs to hear them and their counter arguments. Anyone who thinks climate is in the same league is an idiot. Alex White offers no balanced argument in his opinion piece and comes across as a person with an agenda to shut up the opposition. Those who are on the fence sense when they're being manipulated and are repelled by it (applies to both sides). The public need to see sceptic arguments because they exist and are relevant. Trying to silence them is proof the warmist arguments are too weak to stand up to the opposition. Eventually even the public will notice that warmists doth ptotest too much.

Jan 4, 2014 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Cancer researchers, like myself, use animal models all the time; typically mice, rats and dogs. Now we all know that smoking causes a variety of cancers in humans, NSCLC and SCLC. The odd thing is that using tobacco smoke inhalation assays in laboratory animals is that you only generate a small percentages of animals with pulmonary tumors, and almost never get human-like highly invasive carcinomas.
The fact we can't generate a carcenogenic animal model that mimics human pathophysiology, after decades of trying, does not make researchers sit on their asses in front of monitor screens working on computer models of cancer. Nor are researchers who repeatedly fail to induce small cell and squamous cell cancers in dogs or mice accused of 'denial' or hounded as lackeys of Big-Tobacco. Instead, we accept that it is a but of a puzzle, work with what we have and try to see why humans differ from most other mammals with regard to pulmonary tumors.
Researchers who fail, for decades, to understand what is going on should be held in more esteem than those who publicly proclaim that they intuitively have the answer.

Jan 4, 2014 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDocMartyn

You all miss the irony. Fairfax has been the Australian version of the Guardian. But 2 days ago it printed a complete article by a "denier", John McLean (from memory), which could have been written by any of us (with the 2 usual exceptions). This is an act of betrayal from one of their own or, what it really shows, is that the Fairfax "workers' soviet" has been circumvented as the usual plethora of alarmist articles etc are still being printed and they still are pretending about the Antarctic Junket

Jan 4, 2014 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichaelL

Tiny, as I said, the Bishop is lying. The article asked its readers whether newspapers should "give a platform for climate change denialist opinion pieces", not whether it should be allowed so to do. He could have made a more reasoned argument (like yours). He chose instead to lie. To thinking people, that says a lot about him and about those readers who uncritically support such lies.

Jan 4, 2014 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

Jan 4, 2014 at 11:38 AM Chandra

I've observed a common evolution of AGW-believing commenters who discover BH. From initially making comments or asking questions that are not unreasonable, though disclosing the fervence of their belief. Then they progress to becoming more voluble with more and more frequent postings, with less and less thought apparent, and thence to becoming abusive.

Accusing our host of dishonesty finally gets them banned. Their views and behaviour up to that point are tolerated.

Jan 4, 2014 at 1:47 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

"The article asked its readers whether newspapers should "give a platform for climate change denialist opinion pieces", not whether it should be allowed so to do."

- This kind of hair splitting reminds me of Xeno's Paradox.

Jan 4, 2014 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterKatabasis

Chandra you seem to know little about how intelligentsia is used in totalitarian regimes (and I yes I have lived in an ex socialist country for many years and mixed with said intelligentsia.)

The learned writer quoted here will not say: "Ignorant masses, organise a mob, go out and lynch the bastards...", their nice left-liberal sensibilities would never allow them that, but do not doubt this is the result they desire. The environment they create for the mob to act. Pravda, People's daily.

This is the their role. Which is why the intelligentsia get eaten, because free thought is not required, just adherence to the maintenance of control. And finding people to write what you want without worry is not difficult, and people like the author soon disappear.

The organise the mob, yet ultimately fall victim to it...

Jan 4, 2014 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

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