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Discussion > The Moral and Intellectual Poverty of Climate Alarm

The letter to the BBC is excellent. The BBC handling of so-called Climate Change is a total disgrace. The Corporation's bias in this and many other fields is so blatant that I watch very little of its output and would be very pleased if the whole lot were to be shut down.

Jul 26, 2015 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

The climate change debate is being dominated not by scientists, but by pseudo-scientist ideology-driven zealots. They approach it backward, with a conclusion firmly in mind. Whatever they can contort into supporting the hypothesis, they keep. All else they often reject or downplay. The facts are made submissive to the conclusion.

Jeremiah Jacques, 2015

Aug 22, 2015 at 2:44 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Please don't tell me that Jeremiah has just discovered something that a lot of us (including, as we know. not a few real scientists) have known for a decade or more, in some cases a lot more.
Of course the climate change "debate" (forgive my outburst of hysteria!) is not being dominated by scientists because it has nothing to do with science. It has, and always had, everything to do with population control (in both meanings of that phrase) and militant environmentalism.
Look at the people who were dripping poison into the politicians' ears — Suzuki is a geneticist; Strong has no formal scientific qualifications that I can find but is an environmental activist; Grantham is an economist (and maker of money on the back of climate change), Tickell (who saw himself as Thatcher's GW guru) has a degree in History and is a patron of Population Matters (formerly the Optimum Population Trust, and you are allowed to draw your own conclusions as to the reason for the new bland and fairly meaningless name).
Among the other patrons are Paul Ehrlich (surprise!) and Chris Packham who in an interview with the Telegraph is reported (source:Wikipedia) to have said

The human population is sowing the seeds of a mass extinction event
The fact is there is not enough space
The excessive demands of the growing population is having a disastrous effect on biodiversity. There are too many of us taking too much too quickly,
We need to do something about it
The single most important thing is not climate change but human population ... we have to find a means of regulating the population so we can prosper as a species... We haven't got unlimited space because we've only one planet.
Emphasis mine.
There is more but that one quote from Packham tells you all you need to know about the "science" of global warming. One wonders what he means exactly by "prosper as a species". Personally I thought we were doing pretty well and we seem to be more than capable of improving our collective lot generation by generation.
The UN reckons that the world population will top out at around 10 billion by mid-century or thereabouts and start to decline in the next century. There are some who think that decline could bring the global population down to around 6 billion by 2300.
Meanwhile (as I've said before) the entire population of the world today could each have ¼-acre of land in Australia and there would still be a bit left over, not to mention the rest of the world.
WTF is their problem?

Aug 22, 2015 at 3:40 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

My perspective the belief in climate alarmism is something broader than the issue of population, or concern for the environment. It fills a void left with the collapse of communism for those who believe that every phenomena involving human beings is capable of being managed by conscious human design, along with a belief that to perceive a potential problem is to automatically "know" the solutions. This belief in human beings being consciously capable of controlling all outcomes leads also onto bad outcomes also being of conscious design. The reason the climate community are failing to get their message across is due to a conspiracy by vested interests openly deceiving other people. The possibilities that there may be other legitimate interpretations of the evidence, or other moral arguments apart from their own, or that the the solutions might be nonsense are elements that are beyond the alarmists' comprehension.
From the perspective of global population, the issue is not living room but having sufficient resources to go round. Back in the 1980s when there considerable starving in Africa, there was not just enough potentially arable land to feed just the population of Africa, but the rest of the world as well. This despite the fact that most of the land area is not capable of being farmed. A belief in outcomes being the result of conscious human design runs counter to economics as the study of the unintended consequences of human action. This failure of understanding has lead to every major famine of the last century, not over-population.

Aug 22, 2015 at 10:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

I see you subscribe to Delingpole's "water melon" theory and I don't disagree with that. The collapse of communism was always going to leave assorted debris in its wake with an urge to control mankind and his life and behaviour and for a variety of reasons climate change provided the perfect opportunity.
"The possibilities that there may be other legitimate interpretations of the evidence, or other moral arguments apart from their own, or that the the solutions might be nonsense are elements that are beyond the alarmists' comprehension" is the same as saying that Climate Change is a cult. Which indeed it is.
I've linked before to this blog page of mine which talks of the work of Professor Juma and includes two of his conclusions:
1 that Africa is the only continent with land readily available to expand agriculture; and
2 southern Sudan alone could feed all Africans if it was properly developed.
On the assumption that we have an area equivalent to the land area of the entire globe (less Australia) to do as we want nobody is going to convince me that human ingenuity could not find a means of feeding a population larger than we have at the present and larger on all credible projections than we are even likely to have.
Of course we'd have to take a stern stand with a few warlords and other unpleasant excrescences including the EU and US propensity for putting up tariff barriers while pretending to pull them down but we could always "re-align" the UN into doing something useful along those lines!
My bottom line is that climate is irrelevant and you might like to look at a couple of posts from Martin A and SandyS on the "Does Climate Science Exist" thread which add further weight to that belief.

Aug 23, 2015 at 12:45 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

The CO2 climate obsession has damaged the judgement of scientists, policy makers, journalists, bankers, religious leaders, academics and more.
A transparently silly bit of doom and gloom was allowed to fester into a lucrative full blown mania.

Aug 23, 2015 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

John Shade Aug 22, 2015 at 2:44 PM
There are a couple of opinion surveys that inadvertently confirm the your two contentions.
1. The climate change debate is being dominated not by scientists, but by pseudo-scientist ideology-driven zealots.
2. Whatever they can contort into supporting the hypothesis, they keep. All else they often reject or downplay.
The surveys were both authored by Lewandowsky, Oberauer & Gignac. The first opinion survey - NASA faked the moon landing :Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science - was conducted on alarmist blogs. The second opinion survey - The Role of Conspiracist Ideation and Worldviews in Predicting Rejection of Science - was an internet survey of the general US population.
By the year of publication I will refer to them at LOG12 and LOG13.
There were strong similarities in the questions, so comparisons can be made.
On belief in "climate science" in LOG13 there was a classic bell curve of responses, though skewed slightly towards believers. LOG12 was unsurprisingly highly skewed towards climate believers.
On belief in "free markets" against socialist/environmentalist worldviews LOG13 was again a slightly skewed classic bell curve, and LOG12 was highly skewed towards socialist/environmentalist.
In LOG13 the small minority of strong believers in climate were mostly left-of-centre.
In LOG12 the vast majority of strong believers in climate were quite extreme socialist/environmentalist.
I have done some graphs that I believe support the contention that climate alarmists are pseudo-science ideology-driven zealots.

On belief in conspiracy theories LOG13 (Americans) expressed much stronger beliefs than in LOG12 (Climate alarmists). But in LOG13 strong views on climate (for or against) were related to strong views on conspiracy theories (for or against). The mundane conclusion, with a reasonable sample size, is that people with strong opinions in one area of belief tend to have strong opinions in other areas of belief. In areas of little dispute (e.g. "smoking causes lung cancer") the opinionated tend to agree. More detail here.
In LOG12 one of the least supported of 13 conspiracy theories was "NASA faked the Moon Landings". Just 10 out of 1145 (0.9%) responses expressed support. But 3 of 134 sceptics (2.2%) expressed support, as against 7 of 1145 (0.7%) of alarmists. Two of the sceptic supporters were the faked/scam/rogue respondents 860 & 889 whose supported every conspiracy theory. Lewandowsky et. al had a press conference to announce the confirmation of their conspiracist ideation hypothesis just a month after the survey was conducted, but took 18 months to submit a paper. This back story appears to be very strong confirmation of Shade's second point.

Aug 24, 2015 at 11:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

Here is a dramatic display of the intellectual poverty of climate alarm campaigners: . The video embedded at the link deserves to be watched to the end. The leader of one of the major climate alarmers, and climate alarm troughers, in the USA - the Sierra Club - displays all the lack of depth you might expect from a random selection of kids on a climate demo. No grasp of the subject. No ability to respond sensibly to reasonable questions. Block-headed resort to citing 'authority' when cornered. In this case the claimed authority is the notional '97% of climate scientists' - a statistic notorious for the awful stink emanating from it.

The article linked to is also well worth reading. It begins as follows:

Presidential candidate Senator Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is showing Sierra Club President Aaron Mair to be an ideological hack and global warming alarmist.

At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Cruz subjected him to a withering cross examination. Mair was reduced to stammering and frequent awkward pauses which he used to receive whispered advice from staff. He repeatedly referred to the discredited “97 percent of scientists concur” claim, and was unwilling to acknowledge valid scientific data that disproves the claim.

Mark Steyn, sitting in for Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday, called Cruz’s relentless questioning of Mair “a thing of beauty.”

Ten different times in his testimony, Mair claimed that “97 percent of the scientists concur and agree that there is global warming.”

“The problem with that particular statistic, which gets cited a lot,” Cruz rebutted, “is it’s based on one bogus study.”

The day began contentiously and Mair proved completely unprepared for the piercing questions posed by Cruz.

Oct 8, 2015 at 11:43 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Cruz for president!

Oct 8, 2015 at 2:15 PM | Registered CommenterDung

This apercu is apt for the President of the Sierra Club (see Oct 8 comment), and I fear there is little doubt that it applies very widely to a great many organisations with leaderships fixated on the opportunities that the climate scaremongering presents for them. They may be wily, they may be politically smart, but they are in the intellectual basement and the moral gutter:

A vociferous belief in the danger of climate change may be a marker for a shallow thinker. It doesn't take a lot of research to realize that the "we are doomed by climate change" story is full of holes.

Norman Rogers

Oct 10, 2015 at 11:26 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

The main blog post today ( is about a very revealing investigation by Shub Niggurath into blatant conspiratorial schemings by CO2 Scaremongers of huge ambition in the 'Climate Accountability Institute' (CAI):

The workshop ended and there was ‘agreement’. ‘Documents’ needed to be obtained. Legal action was needed both for ‘wresting potentially useful internal documents’ and ‘maintaining pressure on the industry’.

A consensus had emerged

… an emerging consensus on a strategy that incorporates legal action with a narrative that creates public outrage.
The participants, we learn

…made commitments to try to coordinate future efforts, continue discussing strategies for gaining access to internal documents from the fossil fuel industry and its affiliated climate denial network…

Essentially, they had fantasised about incriminating documents existing in some companies, and talked themselves into this fantasy being a hard reality that they needed to exploit. First the wish, then the data. This is fantasy-based evidence-making. Even more shoddy and disturbing than policy-based evidence-making.

As Niggurath notes in a postscript: 'The CAI are free to plot the downfall of their opponents. But it is somewhat of a surprise to see the entirety of their ideas to be picked up and translated into action by the intellectually bankrupt climate activist movement.'
Read his report here:

Nov 3, 2015 at 10:43 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Ben Pile pulls no punches in a piece triggered by this:

Earlier this month, a report from the United Nations University’s Institute for Water, Environment and Health announced that ‘fecal sludge’ might be one answer to several of the world’s problems.

He notes:

The message from global institutions to the world’s poor is: ‘you may have your own shit, but you may not have coal’. In 2013, the World Bank, despite acknowledging many people’s lack of access to electricity, said that, because of climate change, it would no longer be supporting the development of coal-fired power stations.

After exploring this a bit further, he concludes:

But there is plenty to be cheerful about. Within the past 20 years, extreme poverty has halved, and almost every indicator of human welfare shows unprecedented progress. Perhaps that is what most terrifies an engorged, top-heavy class of environmental and ‘development’ technocrats: the possibility that the World’s problems are being solved not just without them, but in spite of them. It is worth considering the possibility that their plans may soon make ‘development agencies’ the main obstacle to development.


Nov 26, 2015 at 12:56 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Pointman goes to town on the likes of COP21:

It seems to me it’s degenerated down to nothing more than a work’s outing, a jolly, an annual occasion to meet like-minded people and feel good at doing something noble, and best of all, someone else is picking up the tab for your trips to exotic places like Cancun, Durban, Doha, Warsaw, New York and now Paris.
I can’t help but think that if you added up all the money it takes to assemble forty thousand people from all around the world in one city for two weeks, house them, feed them and entertain them, never mind provide conference facilities, how much real poverty relief that money could do.
The thing I’ve found about all those beautiful people primping and preening their egos because they’re saving the Earth, is that they simply won’t see what’s under their nose, or maybe they don’t want to deal with it. It’s dirty, unkempt, ugly and definitely in your world right here and now, not safely tucked away a hundred years hence.
It’s invisible to them.

Nov 26, 2015 at 1:46 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Mike Haseler has highlighted 15 scandals (and counting) which I think illustrate moral and/or intellectual poverty on the part of those wish to alarm us about CO2. Here are his first five:

1. RICOgate – attempts to silence sceptics using “lawfair” and smear tactics – now linked to Sen. Whitehouse
2. NOAAgate (aka Pausebuster study) – the refusal to comply with congressional subpoena from – ongoing and likely to hit the news WUWT
3. NASAgate – the warming adjustments to their temps now showing to be “massively altered” by German professor
4. Yeo’s apparent perjury in his libel case where the judge described his evidence as “implausible”, “unreliable”, “not honest”,”dishonest”, “untruthful”, “untrue” and “unworthy of belief”. Bishop Hill
5. Stern’s “Economy with the truth” whereby he was shown to have lied in a letter to the FT

See his post for the rest, and for supporting links:

Nov 27, 2015 at 11:51 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

John Shade
I picked up on Pointman's article and linked to it on my own introduction to the Paris gabfest here, as well as the report on Ewert's findings on temperature adjustments.
As usual the build-up to this year's COP is increasingly strident but there is a sense that the warmists may be starting to overreach themselves. As I said in a reply to a post by richard verney earlier today, what we were promised (or threatened with) was "global warming". "Climate change" was invented when it was becoming evident that Mother Nature wasn't co-operating.
We're seeing more examples like the "falling out" between the FAO and the IPCC about "extreme weather" and more claims that are simple to debunk.
The content-free trolling from the likes of Raff and ATTP (and Seitz and the Rabbet - I wouldn't like to miss anyone out!) and the puff of dust that calls itself Aila is looking more and more pointless by the day.
At the same time the Climateers seem to be ever more intent on making fools of themselves and the instances you quote from Mike Haseler are perfect examples.
The idea of using anti-organised crime legislation to stop people from holding an opinion you don't agree with is ludicrous to the point of "you couldn't make it up" and 60+ excuses for the pause is bad enough without someone then producing a paper designed to show there isn't a pause and adjusting good data to align with bad in order to do so. I simply beggars belief.
When his employer refuses to release his data to the US Congress (who are in effect their employer) I think we're entitled to conclude that the asylum has indeed been captured by its own inmates!

PS I just popped into spiked online for my weekly update and found this. Worth a read.

Nov 27, 2015 at 3:01 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

This report recalls the leading climate change expert in the US Environmental Protection Agency being sent to prison in 2013 for 32 months for being a fantasist and conniing the US Government out of nearly 1 million dollars:

Prepare the floodgates for opening! If only they had. One day soon perhaps ...


Jan 4, 2016 at 9:24 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

More on the top EPA expert here:

A former high-ranking EPA staffer convicted of stealing nearly $900,000 by pretending to be a CIA spy had virtually no experience, got his job with help from a college buddy, and went on to play a key role in sweeping environmental regulations, according to a report Senate Republicans released Wednesday.

Those regulations remain in place despite John C. Beale’s lack of environmental expertise, Republican investigators said, adding that they want the Environmental Protection Agency to review the work in which Beale was involved during his 24-year tenure.

The report said Beale led an “itinerant life” as a police officer and a physical therapist in California before heading to Princeton University in the 1970s. It was at Princeton, the report said, where Beale befriended Robert Brenner, who later would become the EPA’s deputy assistant administrator.

“Rather than recruit someone with the requisite experience, Brenner sought out Beale in what appears to be a decision based solely on their personal friendship rather than any experience or credentials,” said conclusions of the report by Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Jan 4, 2016 at 2:06 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

John Shade, please don't be so cynical about a poor climate scientist. John Beale sounds like one of the more honest ones, and very enterprising too. Why on earth was he singled out for special treatment by fraud busters, from such a richly rewarded, and plentiful resource?

Jan 5, 2016 at 1:33 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

These remarks by James Delingpole may seem outrageous at first, but click on the link to see some justification for them:

‘What I really should have said is that these [alarmist climate scientists] are a bunch of lying, cheating, scum-sucking, bottom-feeding, third-rate tosspots who don’t even deserve the name “scientists” because what they practise isn’t really science but data-fiddling, cherry-picking, grant-troughing, activism-driven propaganda.’

Feb 19, 2016 at 4:45 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

More insights into modern morals and philosophy by a distinguished commentator on such matters, James Delingpole:

Some cynics are saying that this is precisely the sort of low-down behaviour we have come to expect from the climate scamster fraternity. They point, for example, to identity thieving fraudster Peter Gleick; Rajendra “Dr Octopus” Pachauri (the former IPCC chief recently charged with sexual harrassment); Al Gore (who continues to deny having acted like a “crazed sex poodle” towards some hapless masseuse who’d come to manipulate his whale-like physique); former UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne (jailed for perjury); former MP and assiduous green trougher Tim Yeo who lost his libel case against a newspaper after the judge found that his evidence was “implausible”, “unreliable”, “not honest”,”dishonest”, “untruthful”, “untrue” and “unworthy of belief”; and, of course, “disgraced, FOI-breaching, email-deleting, scientific-method abusing” Phil “Climategate” Jones of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of Easy Access.

Those cynics are, of course, entirely right. The problem with the $1.5 trillion climate change industry is a very simple one: because it is propped up by lies, depends on government regulation and involves eye-watering sums of money “free” to those with no morals, it inevitably attracts the very worst kind of people.

This certainly must account for some of the astonishing success of CO2 Alarmism, and for the decidedly unimpressive people who make so much of it, and from it.

Mar 5, 2016 at 10:36 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

He left out Shukla.

But without any dishonesty whatever, if you a making a very comfortable living from something, it is simply human nature to believe firmly in it. One of the things that impresses me about climate science is the mediocrity of even its high fliers.

Mar 8, 2016 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Another one biting the dust:

Climate scientist Daniel Alongi has been indicted by the Australian government on charges of defrauding taxpayers out of $556,000 in false expenses since 2008.

Alongi has already admitted to creating false invoices, credit card statements, and e-mails to cover his misappropriation of funds.

Alongi’s indictment raises serious questions concerning the credibility of his research. During the period of Alongi’s alleged fraud, his research focusing on the impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef, coastal mangroves, and coastal ecosystems was published in numerous national and international journals.


Mar 19, 2016 at 4:59 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

The Great Barrier Reef is on my 'Bucket List' of places to visit, having been mesmerised by Jacques Cousteau in the early 70s.

It seems the Australian tourist industry, and economy has done very nicely out of all the publicity that the GBR has ever generated. I do remember (prior to AGW and ocean acidification) that the Crown of Thorns Starfish was going to wipeout the GBR.

I can understand that Australia Plc has a vested interest in keeping up publicity of any kind for the GBR, but I can't help wondering how complicit the Australian establishment may have been in assisting Alongi. Perhaps Alongi will elaborate in court. There are worse places in the world, for climate scientists to get funding to explore, and marine biologists to investigate for decades at a time.

As a former scuba diver, I have noticed how little grant funded research needs to be carried out in cold water.

Mar 19, 2016 at 6:05 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

My take on why the climate alarmist meme is so strong, being like Teflon in resisting all evidence/rational argument thrown against it, is simpler than those proposed earlier on this thread. It simply is that its practitioners are allowed to feel good about themselves. What they are doing is important - literally saving the world. What they do makes them important and gives their lives meaning. Some practitioners gain prestige and some become politically and economically powerful. You get to influence what people and governments do and think. Give all that up, because a tiny scientific community offers you evidence against your cherished beliefs. Come on you haven't got a chance, you're not even in the ballgame. You have nothing to offer them as a substitute.

That is why my own belief is that only nature will prevail, but by then we could have trashed our economies following the shibboleth that is CAGW. Pessimistic sure, but then that's an older man's prerogative.

Mar 22, 2016 at 6:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Older women may have that prerogative, too, Mr K. I have suggested in previous post on other subjects that there is something in the psyche of some humans that demands a guilt complex. Where the Roman Catholic Church managed to provide that need in many, many are rejecting that ethos (mainly, I suspect, because it does provide a solution, but one that is out of the control of the guilty, demanding rather too much sacrifice than they like… or should that be not the right sort of sacrifice: self-control, for example); now, they have found a replacement. Whereas White Man’s Guilt was a favourite, there was not much that could be sacrificed to assuage that, especially as the ruination of many countries occurred well after the departure of the white man; the only solution was to fling money at them. Then we had Global Cooling. A bit of a damp squib, but one that was soon conveniently switched to Global Warming: that both have happened many, many times in the past is irrelevant – it is happening now, therefore it is the fault of humans. Alas, Mother Nature slipped an ace from her sleeves, and the warming stopped, so it had to be relabelled “Climate Change” (though it is interesting to note that I have asked many times for any definitive example of climate change, and no-one has yet even attempted to provide one; odd, that); what will be the label should the climate change, a.k.a. warming, become quite demonstrably a cooling (as Piers Corbyn revealed on Sunday, though many already suspected) should be interesting.

Mar 22, 2016 at 10:27 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent