Watt’s here? Watt a waste of fuel.

Mike, over at “Watching the Deniers”, posted about Anthony Watts upcoming Australia tour. I couldn’t help but initially want to go to the event, however, I’ve since changed my mind; certainly not when it means paying this weather man my cash just to hear the spill first hand. Looking at the likes of him and Monckton it goes to show, if you want a nice world trip, make sure you can make soup from a stone – a stone that keeps business-as-usual on even keel and heading down a dead-end path.

One can’t help but write off these two and others like them, such as Jo Nova, Donna Laframboise, Tony Abbot, Andrew Bolt, John Shimkus and a handful of others, as nothing more than denialists. As Michael Shermer correctly states in Living with Denial: When a sceptic isn’t a sceptic, “no matter how much evidence is laid out before them they continue to deny the claim.”

That goes for anyone who still refers to Climategate as evidence of wrong-doing on the climate scientists behalf after two investigations have been carried out and acquitted the involved scientist of unethical practices. To continue to harp on about the stolen emails as anything more than theft of personal information is refuting the evidence and thus a case of denial. As for the science and what the studies are finding, well that is left to debate among the appropriate scientists who will continue to do their research and nut it out in a professional matter, the rest of us are not the authority; the vast amount of bloggers and media discussing the issue demonstrate a lack of scientific understanding and a far too egotistical to merit any interest.

Climate is changing and we are involved; the science is pointing to these facts and the scientists doing the research have proven themselves professional in their field. As I like to do, I’ll again make the point that climate change is only one issue of a whole host that require urgent attention (see here and here for example) all of which lead us away from fossil fuels sooner rather than later. By all means, debate the political ramifications, for that is far from a clear path at this point. The science is good, making the vast amount of this discussion pointless: aim it towards arguing over the changes to policies that are needed.

However;

Relying on Anthony Watts for your climate science is like asking a dentist for a second opinion when a neurologist tells you that they’ve found a brain tumour.

Trusting Monckton’s fears of a nazi world government plot instead of the voice of multi-generational farmers who have watched their lands change is like buying up home security equipment from a door-to-door salesman whose sale pitch relies on him once being abducted by aliens because his house wasn’t properly locked.

There’s no point finding a metaphor for the others mentioned above;

Jo’s site lets all forms of absurdity float through that one can only conclude that when she refers to herself as a science communicator, she really means science fiction communicator. I’d like to point out that, although she illustrates clever use of the English language, Arthur C. Clark was more so and he also used tid-bits of scientific understanding and imagination to elaborate ideas and construct his work. Although his work of this nature was placed under the heading of fiction; he never illustrated such illusions of truth. Mike makes a great point about Jo here).

Donna needs no real mention; she cannot even tell the difference between weather and climate and so should be ignored (and I wouldn’t be surprised if she largely is outside of the FOX audience base).

Tony Abbot said the other day that he doesn’t always tell the truth (well he is a politician after all, so no real surprise) and has told school students that it was warmer when Jesus was alive… I don’t think I need to go too far into this.

Andrew quotes Watts often… all I need to say is that he’s found a reference that agrees with his beliefs and not beliefs based on critical evaluation of the evidence. As Shermer states in his piece; it’s a clear indication of denial.

What troubles me the most about this blatant attack on reason by these people is that while the bulk of us discuss all this, we ignore the ever increasing CO2 concentration, the decreasing pH of our oceans, continuing species loss from a wide range of human impacts (one of which is climate change), continuously degradation of agricultural lands, a slow but steady increase in the costs of food (especially fresh food), power and clean water, and the inevitable depletion of our primary power source with little sensible progress aimed at providing alternative high grade sources (BraveNewClimate is one of the few sources aimed at discussing this).

Some of the people discussed above were among those screaming for the heads of the involved scientists following the release of the stolen emails. With all the media released on “Climategate” where have been the corrections? Which of these people can prove that they are not denialists by changing their views following the findings of the investigations?

Nothing has changed (in many cases many people still think Climategate exists and the investigations were corrupt).

I believe these people should be held accountable for the propaganda that they spread which ensures inaction remains as long as possible. Still, Anthony hopes on a plane to visit Australia, following a long tradition of denial that we as a population seem slow to catch on to.

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7 thoughts on “Watt’s here? Watt a waste of fuel.

  1. Exactly.

    I also thought about popping along, for a few seconds – hoping I may get a few deniers willing to stand by their delusions and let me turn a CO2 laser on them.

    But I doubt if I would get to talk there, only scripted Dorothy Dixers. I’d hate to waste the time as well, but worse of all I’d hate it him getting my $25.

    And I’m sure that’s what these mongrels do it for – they don’t have the brains to make money, so it’s be mediocre and lie (they must be delighted they live in this age of Denial – I do think if this was the 50s-60s, of polio vaccination and gearing up for space, when science could be part of ‘the establishment’ and revered by most, then this anti-science peddling may not have been tolerated. I could be wrong, asbestos diseases were denied, although much smaller reach)

    Still, I’d love to see them held accountable – along the lines of a 100% retrospective tax on all moneys made by peddling anti-science.

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    1. Being knee deep in a crowd that obviously wants to believe contrary to the evidence would probably only be uncomfortable; I doubt even with adequate time and evidence that anyone would make a dint to their beliefs.

      There’s enough evidence to show that if you’re a good spin doctor and obviously lacking any morals, jumping on the denial line is very much a gravy train.

      I’m not sure about the 50’s-60’s… asbestos, tobacco, saccharin (“Anybody who says saccharin is injurious to health is an idiot!” – Roosevelt, but the court seems to be out on this one) were all in around then. Then you’ve got the electric car (humble beginnings in the mid 19th century; it didn’t fare well following the invent of the combustion engine near 50yrs later, however, imagine where it would be today, plus the spin-off techs) and even margarine (which still cops it hard even with the modern cholesterol lowering developments; but even without that, the good oil minimalistic spreads are proven to be a far healthier choice over butter)… I could go on; originally I had these and more in the post, but I deleted it before publishing it and just alluded to it instead. The historical part of our progress has always interested me.

      Definitely; I hope that they are help accountable within their life time and not historically. It’s terrible to watch these cocky and paranoid people strut around.

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      1. You’re most certainly right re 50-60s anti-science. I had my rose glasses on – my mum and grandmother are huge fans of science and tech. They describe the medical advances from the horrific way to die to tetanus to eliminating polio, and in the case of mum who practised a fair few decades as a nurse the advances she attests too.

        Recently there was also a Crikey article comparing the attitudes of science between that of Menzies and now currently, Minchin and Abbott. It brings to mind the difference between Dwight Eisenhower and GWBush/Palin. So I had mistakenly extrapolated ascendency within 2 political parties of the anti-science faction with an increase in anti-science in general. But I guess if I was to throw a larger net with creationism, asbestos, tobacco, and the willingness to pollute (list seems endless, acid-rain, mercury) and deny any ill-effects of those pollutants till the bitter end – it seems likely that anti-science, anti-reason may be a constant background rate with the odd spike when profits can mobilise people against their own self-interest.

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      2. There’s no doubt that the 60’s saw radical changes and one of them was the space race; but that I fear was mostly due to the cold war rather than a love of science. Much of the liberal thinking of the age was the younger generations sticking it up in the face of the conservative governments and older generation. It would’ve been an interesting time to have lived through however.

        I personally get quite grumpy with generational ego; this blind idea that we are smarter and more developed than our forefathers. I ask anyone to read some of H. G. Wells lesser known work, Kipps is a good example. Over a hundred years ago, much about city life was as it is today – technologically different, not simplified mind you, but in essence very much like today. Look at the development of ideas and technology, of philosophical debate and the search for reason. In truth, we’re very sluggish in improvement and technology today is largely the result of masses of money spent to better kill or tame the enemy. We live in better comfort in many respects, but out lives don’t really reflect the ego we have on ourselves (I’ve actually thought of creating a separate blog to incite an appropriate amount of humility and appreciation in light of / for our past but looking at the history of tech, society and culture, but it’d be more work that I don’t have time for currently).

        Minchin is, like Monckton, the paranoid result of cold war propaganda. I’m glad he’s stepping aside. As for much of the other points you make, as always truth is our only weapon. When you’re in the thick of it, it’s hard to see how the general population could be so confused. I’ve come to the conclusion that much of the less imperative stuff (like evolution) will continue to fight forever – faith and science can’t meet and don’t need to as our lives don’t depend on it. Many of the other stuff eventually break through, but often after a lot of blood is spilt. What stops this? It’s never the information, because that can be taken as hypothetical and part of a modelled reality. Telling people about foreign wars that their leaders are funding does nothing for instance. It’s bringing the battle to their living rooms – showing them what’s been lost. I’d love to get into such journalism as that that shows the great pacific garbage patch, the deforestation of unsustainable logging, species and habitat loss, giving multi-generational farmers a voice so that back in the cities we’re told about the changes they’ve witnessed on their lands and also to share the innovative approaches of those breaking away from the norms; this I feel is the stuff that can counter this anti-reason movement against sanity.
        🙂

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