Hypocrisy: The endless tool of misinformation

I’ve just realised that our friend Donna Laframboise is back from cracking her code!

Already she has provided three posts, the third of which, Conflict of Interest at the IPCC, is more mild than I was predicting in yesterday’s post, but Jo Nova has yet to comment and I’ve not even bothered with Andrew Bolt, so give it time. The other two posts, however, made me smile.

The first post, IPCC Author Profile: Alistair Woodward,was of surprising hypocrisy, made even more so by my previous comparisons (the quote below).

Donna seems horrified that in a paper co-authored by Woodward, it was suggested that doctors discuss climate change with their patients. She comments, “The day my doctor starts talking about climate change is the day I find myself a professional who understands that the purpose of a medical consultation is to discuss my issues”.

But wait; I thought climate scepticism was free speech Donna (please refer to the bottom link for more)?

Why would you not listen to a medical doctor about climate change? Donna puts her reasoning down to climate science being “unrelated to doctors’ professional lives”.

Yet, she has previously mocked others by suggesting that they say, “Only those we approve of should be heard”…. hmmmm… corrected me if I’m wrong, but that seems a little hypocritical if you ask me.

Obviously Donna feels that her non-scientifically based scepticism of climate science is worthy (or else she wouldn’t be so upset by others disregarding it), that it deserves to be shared (via the web and her soon-to-be published book) and that her untrained citizen audit of the forth IPCC report is credible, BUT a medical doctor has no right discussing a field of science that they have not been trained in.

On Monday, I wrote;

I would ask her, “If a doctor had just informed you that the tests were positive for some infection/disease, but just then a bloke off the street burst into the room, screaming that you were fine, who would you trust? The individual who has spent years studying medical science, who can explain how your symptoms fit into the problem, or some random person who argues that, although you’re feeling ill, it’s definitely NOT what the doctor says it is? Is this random person’s opinion deserving of equal consideration?”

Likewise, if a scruffy guy on a street corner held up a sign that read; THE END IS NEAR, but thousands of experts in physical chemistry, environmental science, solar physics (etc etc etc), after tens of thousands of studies stated, “Well, no, the world isn’t going to end. However, we are witnessing a change in climate averages which is adding pressure to much of the ecosystems on which we are ultimately reliant upon. We’re more than 90% certain that the observed changes to climate over the past century are the result of our activities and emissions of greenhouse gases. We would be wise to reduce our emissions as it is highly likely that life, as we know and enjoy it, will be made much more difficult the more that climate changes.”

Who would you listen to?

Which brings me to the other article, Extreme Nonsense. At first she makes a valid point, “remember that weather is not the same as climate” – although her Global Warming 101 still begs to differ (she also makes a good point in the previous post that “catastrophic” is not scientific language, however, I would argue that “tipping-point” is). Beyond here, she beings to discuss a whole range of freak weather events of recent history, stressing the word “cold” wherever she can. This demonstrates her confusion between “global warming” and “climate change” as well actually working against her argument – we would expect freak weather to become increasingly common under a changing climate (see MT – Confusing Words and Fair is Fair for more on both).

From here, Donna then moves onto the oil scare of 2008, which seems to me to be little more than a straw-man. Sure a lot went on to cause that ‘bump in the road’; it was not peaking oil, but look at the consequences. It’s not too far a jump to suggest that, with the price of all oil related goods and services (pretty much everything) increasing, the subsequent global financial crisis (GFC) was inevitable, or at the very least exacerbated. Would the GFC have happened, with such global consequences, had the cost of living not increased to a point that credit (ridiculous lending to begin with) could no longer be repaid – popping the absurdly unsustainable bubble? I’m not an economist, however, it seems an interesting couple of years there, with causes and effects certainly worthy of such analysis.

Peak oil is hard to predict – made even more so by other buffers (such as bio-fuels, coal and gas), but it is likely to occur within the decade and with it, we’ll see many similarities to what occurred in 2008-09.

Donna ends with, “professional doomsayers are nearly always dead frakking wrong.”

Professional doomsayers? The inserted quote from my post on Monday probably sums up the reality of the professional argument pretty well. It seems far from doomsaying, but rather more consistent and plausible and far less hypocritical than the nonsense one finds in Donna’s work.

For more on Donna Laframboise, see Donna Laframboise and Cloud screaming

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6 responses to “Hypocrisy: The endless tool of misinformation

  1. Now, now, Tim, you’re crossing the line here.

    Never, never, never let the greedy, idiotic bankers off the hook for the GFC. It doesn’t matter what pressures might be on domestic budgets – mortgages have to be based on sensible financial judgments.

    • I totally agree Adelady. I just ask whether or not the situation was made worse by the extra financial pressures of increasing living expenses. There’s no doubt that stupid loans led to the collapse.. but would it have hit as hard, were it not for oil prices spiking? I’m not sure that the two situations are completely unrelated.

    • It’s a fair enough call though, Adelady – so I’ve improved it to stress the potential, rather than let the read think I’m drawing a conclusion. But you’re right – regardless of the markets, lenders should make sensible judgements.

    • I just came by this interesting article from a couple years ago, which looks at the GFC in relation to both oil and bad banking… it’s a sad story in all..

  2. Just thinking about the doctors discussing this with patients. I presume that she doesn’t know of Adelaide’s system for dealing with hot weather and the health of elderly people living alone. The fact that the Red Cross has an army of volunteers primed to ring people throughout the day to check on them and remind them to drink water may come as a surprise.

    Is she one of those people who doesn’t understand hot weather and its biological impacts?

    Anyway, I remember a couple of my doctors were members of the Doctors Against Nuclear War group. They didn’t talk about it unless you commented on the poster. When you did, their response was that they wanted to be able to use their skills to help people – not possible when everything’s blown up and their potential patients were beyond help.

    • She would argue that hot weather is just weather (conveniently ignoring that freak weather is likely to increase – not necessarily globally, however).. But you’re point is correct; in all respects, from heat waves to the result of a reduction in ecological services, human health will increasingly be impacted by increasing climate change, so it is a concern to doctors.

      I find it funny that Donna always makes that climate scepticism is free speech and that not only the opinions of the experts should be taken into account and yet makes the point that medical doctors have no right discussing climate change because it’s not their field… How amazingly hypocritical!

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