Climate Fascists

Legal Eagle will be on SBS (Insight, Tuesday 7.30pm) in a show talking about Climate Sceptics. In the meantime she has written a long, thoughtful post about her views on the issue. There are two points that jump out at me.

Ultimately, I think that deriding people who raise doubts (1) shows a lack of understanding about scientific method and (2) serves to fuel scepticism rather than to allay it.

There is a deep elitism at the heart of the writings of some who suggest the shape of the policy responding to climate change (eg, Clive Hamilton, George Monbiot). The sly inference is that working-class people are stupid bogans who don’t know any better, and that they should let their betters guide them in what is to be done.

There is a very deep elitism that informs the heart of climate change policy.

This is because the implications of 3C, let alone 4C or 5C, are so horrible that we look to any possible scenario to head it off, including the canvassing of “emergency” responses such as the suspension of democratic processes.

This is the point that our climate change alarmists friends overlook. Reasonable people can agree on science but disagree on policy. But our environentalist friends are not reasonable – they are not even truthful.

Environmentalists have often overstated the effects of environmental decline.

The risks of nuclear power, though considerable, have been exaggerated. The dangers of urban air pollution have been inflated.

The threats posed by DDT, lead pollution and pesticides, while significant, have usually been presented as much scarier than they actually are.

And the likely effects of genetically modified crops have been blown out of proportion.

The purpose of political exaggeration is to stimulate stronger emotional responses, usually fear, and make us more likely to act in the way desired. When your opponents are busily exaggerating the other way, the pressure is almost irresistible.

To be fair this is a political strategy that everyone employs. Hamilton here, however, is using a strange logic, “Okay we lied before, but this time we’re telling the truth; by the way democracy is part of the problem”.

Climate change policy is problematic because it mixes up scientific knowledge, technological expectations, value judgements, and economics. The former Rudd government got mugged by the economics of climate change policy. At page 181 of Lenore Taylor and David Uren’s Shitstorm we see this admission from Penny Wong.

She said that in the previous months she had reached the conclusion the business executives filing through her office were not making ambt claims but were genuinely worried about the potential impact of the plan.

So we know the economics of climate change policy are problematic – we know that the ALP-Greens government knows that the economic impact will adversely effect the economy despite the Treasury modelling that fudges the costs.

What of the science? This is one of the great myths of science – the notion that science can resolve political disputes.

Political disputes revolve around the consequences of differing actions. What action should be taken? Is it best to act now, or later, or not at all? Many prediction techniques are complex, difficult, and may require scientific training, yet predicting the future is not science. Science produces hypotheses that are tested in reproducible experiments. In other words, science itself cannot provide the information politicians most need for decision-making. Scientists can speculate, and when the political stakes are high, the return to speculation increases. Consequently, the amount of speculation increases and the certainty surrounding scientific ‘facts’ declines. Further, as more and more scientific work is conducted, so greater understanding leads to more nuanced argument and (genuine) scientific disagreement. It is unsurprising that science provides few clear policy options for politicians.
These arguments, of course, ignore the self-interest that scientists themselves may display. As Sarewitz observes, ‘Authoritative scientific advice is least likely to be available when it is most needed’.

We’ve seen how scientists behave under political pressure – the Climategate scandal has undermined public confidence in ‘the science’. It turns out the UK parliament is still not fully satisfied with the outcomes of the various investigations. The IPCC has also been fast and loose with the evidence.

On Monday an independent review found that the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has downplayed uncertainties surrounding climate science. The review also found that the IPCC needs more robust safeguards against conflicts of interest, that it had committed “unnecessary errors” by failing to meet its own standards, that it had inadequately flagged its use of nonscientific sources, that it made claims with “high confidence” based on “weak evidentiary basis,” and that it gave short shrift to dissenting scientists.

This problem with the IPCC is well-known. As Alex Robson and I said in 2007.

It is not clear from the report whether the IPCC has, in fact, undertaken such an analysis. It is more likely that it has neither a testable model nor data available for external researchers to replicate such a test. In other words, the IPCC’s 90 per cent confidence level has not emerged from a scientific process; it has emerged from scientists evaluating whether they think their own work is correct. Further, in contrast to the IPCC’s own requirement, the 90 per cent confidence level is not open, not objective, and not transparent.

So the science is not definitive in the political arena.

In a policy sense, we run out of science very early in the piece. The planet is either warming up or not and humans are either making a large contribution to that warming or not. That is the end of the scientific contribution to the debate. Whether we can do anything about any AGW is a technological question. Whether we should do anything about any AGW is an economic question and an ethical question. This is something our environmental friends pretend not to understand. They have little choice. We now know the economic costs are high enough to worry Climate Change minister Penny Wong. That leaves the ethics.

For her trouble Legal Eagle got abused by the LP crowd.

I can’t speak for Legal Eagle’s friends, colleagues and students, but I for one will continue to look more than a little askance at somebody who declares that they’re both a progressive and a cilmate skeptic.

Looks like Legal Eagle has failed a purity test – she cares more about actual poor people in the present than potential harm to rich people in the future. The great irony is that the LP crowd simply reinforce the issues that most concern Legal Eagle about the whole issue. In the meantime we know that the climate change crowd are trying to impose their environmental preferences on everyone else. Not just that the environment should be an important policy consideration, but that climate change should crowd-out all other environmental policy.

As an aside Legal Eagle is concerned that she may be harrassed by her colleagues and students for her views on this issue – if so sue.

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164 Responses to Climate Fascists

  1. Steve Edney

    I liked LE post but I think your characterisation at the end is inaccurate.

    she cares more about actual poor people in the present than potential harm to rich people in the future.

    I’m sure she does care about this but so I’m sure do her opponents at LP.

    More to the point and where she differes with LP, is she cares more about poor people now, than uncertain harm that may come to everyone in the future.

  2. ken n

    Part of the problem is that we have scientists behaving like politicians and not being very good at it. The IPCC would do much better if it just talked about the science and left the advocacy to others.
    “The planet is either warming up or not and humans are either making a large contribution to that warming or not.”
    There is a third – and scientifically more important issue – whether positive feedbacks will accelerate the warming. This is the thing that will make it serious. As I read the science, a linear increase would be manageable.

  3. Sinclair Davidson

    Steve – everyone in the future will be richer than we are now.

  4. Steve Edney

    Richer is not rich.

  5. FDB

    “For her trouble Legal Eagle got abused”

    Really?

  6. “Richer is not rich.”

    Exactly. Those most threatened by rising temperatures over the next 50-100 years are precisely those who can least afford to mitigate the consequences.

    There’s also the threat to ecological systems that our economies rely on. Widespread increases in income through GDP growth may not be as set in stone as you think.

  7. JC

    Merkel has form on threatening abuse.

    About a year ago he suggested that he would be abusive to people that didn’t conform to his own view.

  8. JC

    Here’s what Merkel said:

    And that’s why there’s a tendency to be abusive towards people who hold views like yourself (and I’m perfectly prepared to accept that you are sincere in them, if utterly wrong). The potential consequences of your view being adopted, in what we regard as the very likely event that you are wrong, are quite literally catastrophic.

    In other words he’s relying on the precautionary principle to allow him to abuse others.

    What a total jerkoff.

  9. Sinclair Davidson

    You guys are really struggling. By current standards future generations are going to be rich.

  10. JC

    “Richer is not rich.”

    Exactly. Those most threatened by rising temperatures over the next 50-100 years are precisely those who can least afford to mitigate the consequences.

    There are lots of people that live in the North Pole? Heck I didn’t know that.

  11. FDB

    Has anyone actually been abused though?

    It would appear Mr Merkel is owed an apology or a retraction to me.

  12. The Legal Eagle article seemed quite lightweight to me, indicating a climate change agnosticism which alone might be taken as unexceptional, except for the fact that it seems to ignore the crucial point that waiting around for the definitive answer to climate sensitivity to CO2 looks very likely to guarantee that nothing effective can be done to turn around serious, long term and globally harmful climate change if it is indeed confirmed.

    Haven’t the floods in Pakistan given an indication to skeptics of the potential scale of the problem if AGW means more regular events like that?

  13. JC

    Has anyone actually been abused though?

    It would appear Mr Merkel is owed an apology or a retraction to me.

    Ask him not me as he was the one who made that comment.

    Why would anyone apologize to Merkel. That’s insane thing to say when he made a veiled threat to LE and ran that thread at that toilet of a site to feed the animals raw meat.

  14. JC

    Haven’t the floods in Pakistan given an indication to skeptics of the potential scale of the problem if AGW means more regular events like that?

    Oh that’s interesting. So Pakistan is a climate change event and the real break in the drought in Southern Australia is just weather.

    You guys are seriously fucked in the head. It’s like a massive Jonestown with a bunch of potential Algore fanatics running around.

    If you’re really that concerned then agitate for nuclear power, Dumphy and stop the moralizing.

  15. Peter Patton

    Isn’t it interesting how different people read. I read LE’s post as a reflection on the angst of appearing as a part of pre-recorded TV panel show in the context of a broader observation of the pressures to declare your hand of which class you identify with. It was a post about the players and the game; not the ball.

  16. Peter Patton

    Merkel’s Grundnorm has NOTHING to do with science – AGW or other – but membership of the club of progressives.

    Hell hath no fury like blackballing door bitches such as Merkel, Lefty Kim, and a hivemind of leftist social workers, teachers, and casual cultural studies tutors.

    Whatever happened to their “there is no truth; only text”. “There is no truth, only never-ending signifiers.” “Science is but another discourse on power.”

    What a mire of frauds.

  17. FDB

    This post on which we are commenting (see above, JC, sorry if it’s confusing), makes the claim that LE was ‘abused’ by ‘the LP crowd’, and goes on to cite as the only example the quite moderate and clearly not abusive words of Rob Merkel.

    I wonder how he feels about having his words characterised as abuse when they’re nothing of the sort, that’s all. Might feel a little put out.

    I hope nobody takes it as read that any abuse at all has occurred by the way. Because it really hasn’t. What’s happened is that Sinclair has falsely claimed that abuse has occurred – and that’s a pretty different thing to abuse actually having occurred.

    Y’see?

  18. “You guys are seriously fucked in the head. It’s like a massive Jonestown with a bunch of potential Algore fanatics running around.”

    The voice of calm reason speaks again.

    There’s been much discussion around about the issue of unusual recent weather events and what climate scientists can and can’t say about their relationship with AGW. (In short, nothing definite.)

    There’s still no problem with pointing out that current extreme events (of which more may be expected under AGW and related climate change) can be taken as examples of what a warmed world may be like.

  19. C.L.

    The Legal Eagle article seemed quite lightweight to me…

    What Steve means is that she didn’t analyse Lord Monckton’s eyeballs or claim that Nick Minchin was making the summer weather worse than usual.

  20. C.L.

    Good point by James Delingpole:

    It’s time we woke up to the threat posed by this mass brainwashing of the younger generation. We worry, rightly, about those Muslim children who are being indoctrinated with the extreme Wahaabist version of their faith. Yet we seem astonishingly complacent that every day, in schools of every kind throughout the Western world, our children are being taught by well-meaning teachers to view their world and culture through exactly the same anti-capitalist, anti-human, anti-growth eyes as James Lee and the Unabomber.

    The modern environmental movement is not kind, caring or gentle. It is a series of ticking time bombs waiting to blow up in our face.

    And remember that Discovery Channel gunman Lee was inspired by icon of the warmening cult – and notorious sex poodle – Al Gore.

  21. JC

    Here’s SL’s characterization, FDB.

    Robert, I’m not LE. I have made a different argument (very consistently, I might add).

    And I’m sorry, but I’m struggling to see the last par of your post as anything other than a veiled threat, especially when it comes to the mention of LE’s students and colleagues.

    And climate change mitigation won’t be at the expense of the rich, which was rather my point.

    It basically follows on from Merkel’s previous threat of abusing people that don’t agree with him.

    I’m shocked you would think otherwise, as he’s said he can’t help himself.

  22. FDB

    It’s also puzzling to me what connection there is meant to be between the body of Sinclair’s post and its headline.

    Really this is all very disappoinjting, lazy and shit Sinc.

  23. JC

    Steve form Brisbane:

    Please take your concerns about Pakistan to the open thread as you homering this one with incoherent and irrelevant comments.

  24. ken n

    “Haven’t the floods in Pakistan given an indication to skeptics of the potential scale of the problem if AGW means more regular events like that?”

    Steve – you have summed up what many of us object to in AGW propaganda. An essentially meaningless statement. As a test of its meaningfulness, substitute for “if” and the words following –
    “if the shamans turn out to be right and the evil spirits are controlling the weather”.

    I’d have more respect if you said “The floods in Pakistan have been caused by AGW”. You might be wrong but at least that statement would mean something.

  25. FDB

    JC – I’m going to set you (or anyone else who’s game) a really really simple task:

    Find me an example of someone being abusive towards Legal Eagle at LP as a result of her post on climate scepticism.

    Now note – I didn’t say ‘easy’, I said ‘simple’. As I’m sure you already suspect, it won’t be easy at all.

  26. She doesn’t like Monckton either CL, so no problem there.

    I suppose I should acknlwedge what Peter said: her post wasn’t really about the science at all, but she did add in comments that:

    “I don’t deny that climate change might be occurring. I am simply not sure. It’s incontrovertibly warming, and it appears that this is because of CO2. However, we should keep our minds open to other options, and allow for dissenting voices to be heard.”

    In other words, she wants to wait and see, and I’m putting forward the reason why this is not really an option. (Well it is, but an unsatisfactory gamble.)

  27. JC

    Your puzzled?

    Merkel made veiled threat that he would if given the chance attack LE to her friends and students for not believing what he believes.

    He’s starting to veer towards the same line of thinking by that Algore fanatic.

  28. JC

    How about Phil’s for a start, FDB.

  29. ken n

    Steve, I think you are putting words into LE’s mouth. I can’t see where she suggested we wait and see. She is saying we should allow dissenting voices. She is throughout talking about opinions not political action.

  30. ken n: Climate change scientists have long talked about both increased temperatures and rainfall pattern changes.

    There’s a policy debate, especially in skeptical circles, about adaption vs CO2 reduction. I can’t for the life of me see what is wrong to say “look, if AGW is correct, they expect more heat and drought in some places, and more rain elsewhere. If you think we can adapt to these readily, have a look at recent extreme events – which may well have nothing to do with AGW yet – and consider how easy it might be for (say) Victoria to adapt to 43 degree heat waves much more frequently than present, or that Asian/Indian subcontinent to have floods like that in Pakistan every decade, instead of every 100 years.”

  31. Ken n: I would add that there’s no problem with policy debate as to the best way to respond to AGW. Hansen wants that too, as he doesn’t believe in cap and trade possibly being effective enough.

    But it’s hard to have that debate with people who are saying they are not even sure that CO2 is a problem.

  32. Peter Patton

    How ironic, that only today The Luvvies Bible flatters its readership with this ignorant bollocks. Presumably Herr Merkel and other drones will be sending a very purse-slipped finger-waving excommunication to the letters pages.

    I think not.

    Climate change is not just a theory, it is a scientific fact, like gravity or the orbit of Earth around the sun.

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/power-of-persuasion-creates-critical-mass-for-climate-action-20100905-14vxh.html

  33. C.L.

    The Merkel trauma that is both amusing (for its macho egotism) and chilling for its obscurantism:

    … it is very hard for me to accept climate skepticism of the kind she espouses in her post… as the views of somebody who has underlying assumptions about the world anything vaguely resembling my own.

    It’s “very hard” for him to accept anyone having views that do not resemble his own.

    He sounds like Jake the Mus in Once For Warriors ordering his wife to “cook the man some f**king eggs.”

  34. Peter Patton

    CL

    Oh god that movie was bleak!

  35. C.L.

    I’ll say, Peter.

    Bolt reports on yet another sign that the public couldn’t care less about “climate change”.

    Now what happens when dedicated alarmists become furious not with one person for having ‘underlying assumptions about the world not vaguely resembling their own,’ but with society itself?

    James Delingpole is right to worry about Wahaabist warmenists.

  36. “When you’re scared you make bad decisions.”

    Excellent point.

  37. Well, Legal Eagle, can you actually clarify what your position is?

    Yes, you would like to see some action to reduce CO2 on the precautionary principle, but you don’t want to see it via a carbon price because it hurts the poor?

    Or no, you consider the science is such that no action is as yet warranted?

  38. JC

    Why does she need to clarify anything, Steve, you bozo.

    She wrote Phd thesis on her thinking and you’re asking her to clarify? WTF?

    Dude, stop going Discovery channel on us.

  39. Sinclair Davidson

    Now Steve is running a purity test. I think we should just throw LE in a pool of water see if she floats. Or maybe see if she can recite the lord’s backwards in latin without stumbling. while standing on one foot.

  40. Peter Patton

    Clearly the AGW debate is having the same effect on “progressives” as Kruschev’s denunciations of Stalin had on so many marriages among western communists; divorce!

  41. Well, this is novel. Asking someone to clarify their professed skeptical position is putting them to a “purity test”?

    It’s actually just asking for someone to be clear so no one wastes time in debate.

  42. Sinclair Davidson

    Debate is a waste of time?

  43. JC

    She wrote a fucking thesis on the subject steve. What didn’t you understand?

    How about clarifying why your a discovery channel algore fanatic?

    Bullet points is fine… (no pun intended)

  44. JC

    I know LE… Sorry.. I was actually referring to your post on the subject implying it was very comprehensive and detailed. Phd like.

    I was making fun of our resident pretend liberal labor voter and Discover Channel Aglore fanatic.

    Do you want him at your site as he’s going cheap seeing there are no bids for him on Ebay.

  45. What, JC was being rude, aggressive and wrong? Hard to believe. 🙂

  46. Rob

    That LP thread was a shocker. I can’t comment there any more or I’d have weighed in for you, LE.

  47. Rob

    I got banned for questioning Brian B. about AGW. Somehow that’s the heresy of heresies. I was generally pretty polite about it, too (though not always).

  48. “Rather I’d prefer that we concentrate on alternative energy sources and developing technology to try to sequester carbon.”

    Well you wouldn’t get much argument from AGW proponents on point one, except it raises the question of how do you get there fast enough (and with greatest economic efficiency) and that’s the simple reason why economists say a carbon price is needed.

    On the second point (sequestration): I find it very hard to believe you can ever do it on a scale big enough to make a difference. It’s also inherently expensive, again raising the cost of energy, which is something you want to avoid.

  49. JC

    LOl

    Rob… you got banned to questioning Brian the Catastrophist?

    Did you see his latest thread about some gigantic ray bolt or some shit hitting the earth? lol.

    I don’t honestly know how that dude gets any sleep, as his heart rate must be well over 200 scaring the shit out of himself with catastrophe stories.

  50. C.L.

    “…wastes time in debate.”

    The chilling voice of climate ‘science.’

  51. jtfsoon

    I think there could be pragmatic reasons for us to adopt a carbon price as a ‘no regrets’ policy if allied with an appropriate tax cut and *if* we believe at some stage it will be forced on us anyway at a multilateral level. All it effectively amounts to is a narrow kind of consumption tax. As for regressive effects, I couldn’t give a shit, consistent with the fact that efficiency is a higher priority for me than social justice or distributional concerns.

    However to pretend that at this late stage a carbon price is going to make a difference to mitigation is pure fantasy.

  52. ken n

    You might be right about sequestration, Steve, but there is a kind of elegance to it.
    The whole atmospheric carbon problem is the result of long-sequestrated carbon being released into the atmosphere. Except for that, everything happened above ground – vegetation growing and rotting, ruminants burping and so on – is just short-trem recycling above ground. It’s releasing the stuff underground that hurts.
    So putting it back there is, as I said, an elegant solution.

  53. .

    Jason,

    What do you think of tax exemptions/rebates proportional to carbon neutrality for firms and indivudals on their entire tax liabilities for 30 years? Surely this is no regrets?

    As well as maybe something like the X prize.

  54. JC

    Bolt has this great thread on where he links this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNMVMNmrqJE&feature=player_embedded

    Which I’ll always be reminded of whenever some Discovery Channel algore fanatic wheels out the kids.

  55. Yes, absolutely “chilling” that no one wants to bother arguing with someone about a position they don’t actually hold.

    And seeing you and Delingpole are happy to cite a nutter who wanted to shoot up people for not believing in climate change as reason to fear climate “warmenists”, I assume you have no problem with those who call Christianity a dangerous belief when a pro-lifer blows up an abortion clinic.

  56. C.L.

    I assume you have no problem with those who call Christianity a dangerous belief when a pro-lifer blows up an abortion clinic.

    Lefties do tend to say that, don’t they?

    Why don’t they say the same thing about James Lee and the Unabomber?

  57. jtfsoon

    Dot

    Yes I was just going to say something like the X prize might work. Basically we need a clear and unambigious carbon price for a carbon price to work. We have seen that the Australian ETS and EU ETS with its litany of concessions does not meet the requirements of our hypothetcal first best carbon pricing.

    If things are as bad as some alarmists claim, I really fail to see how the carbon price designed by a c’tee approach is going to induce any significant investment or switching incentives.

  58. JC

    Ken:

    The trouble with sequestration is that if you really believe in AGW it could be dangerous if that shit leaks out.

    Nuclear is the only solution and it’s really getting cheaper. It’s getting cheaper and JC could make a bucket load on USEC, US ecology and Energy solutions.

    USEC is really damn interesting as its in the process of trial testing (it’s a success) new centrifuge technology that cuts the cost of enriching by up to 70%.

    It could be a 100 buck stock in 5 odd years as it currently has $1.6 billion revenues from processing now. Assume a 70% margin giving you over $1 billion in recurring income, stick a conservative 12 multiple on that with say 7% in annual earnings growth and you have stock price of over 100 bucks.

  59. C.L.

    China and India have no intention of doing anything to address this ‘crisis’ so it’s really nothing more than religious posturing.

  60. Jc..

    “…….If things are as bad as some alarmists claim, I really fail to see how the carbon price designed by a c’tee approach is going to induce any significant investment or switching incentives”

    Especially when nuclear is not even in the suite of options.

    That geo thermal attempt where the promoters managed to schelp around $100 million off Rudd is a bust from what I’ve read.

    So the only fully known option that is virtually emissions free and quickly scaling up economies through recent developments is not allowed to compete.

    Conclusion: the alarmists for the most part are not interested in maintaining living standards let alone seeing them rise. They want to see de- industrialization.

  61. Jc..

    Cl

    They actually are. Both countries have plans for very large numbers of nuclear plants and in fact amount to around 70% of all nuke reactors by 2030.

    I’ll try to dig up the numbers from usec’s website and post it here as the reactor business and future projections are quite interesting.

    The one thing you can say about those two countries is they point blank refuse to lower access to cheap energy to their populations as against what the lab/greens alliance is trying to do here.

    That isn’t even up for debate in those two countrie

  62. Rob

    C.L.,even in the US with the most radical President and Congress since the war they have shelved it. That’s what makes the ‘we have to DO something really BIG and really FAST’ arguments so absurd. All we do is hand Third World kleptocrats an instrument of moral blackmail they will use against the west forever.

    If AGW is happening, and does have tangible and detrimental effects (neither of which is clear) , we will have to mitigate. There is no way the world can stop it happening.

  63. jtfsoon

    Basically Bjorn Lomborg’s latest stuff on this is in the right direction

  64. JC

    The link:

    http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9Mzg0ODQ4fENoaWxkSUQ9Mzg2NDczfFR5cGU9MQ==&t=1

    there are 438 operating reactors

    5 under long term shut down

    56 under construction

    154 planned/approve

    336 proposed.

    Its a great link to see what is going on.

  65. jtfsoon

    As I’ve commented at steve’s blog I’m actually more concerned with ocean acidification (which, mind you, is still related to CO2). The magnitude and trend of climate change is subject to considerable uncertainty. Ocean acidification seems to be a more considerably documented phenomenon and would have an effect on food supplies whereas if Bangladesh sinks we can just resettle the people.

  66. C.L.

    They’re not building those nukes because they give a rat’s date about carbon, though, JC.

    They’re doing it for rational reasons: cheap, abundant energy – unlike our own warmy Amish, as you point out.

  67. FDB

    “That LP thread was a shocker.”

    Really? Can you point to any examples to back this assertion up?

    Can anyone?

  68. JC

    That’s fine CL. I think what they’ve done is realized with future scaling nuclear energy is safe, abundant, clean and will end up being cheaper than coal.

    Despite the Discovery channel Aglore fanatics hatred of coal , cheapish coal deposits are becoming scarcer. This is not to mean there isn’t more of that shit in the ground, but the marginal cost will rise as new demand reaches the market. So nuclear is really a very logical way to go.

    One nuclear reactor bid recently almost hit $1500 per meg unit of energy which on a Australian coal fired equivalent was really starting to compete seeing average unit prices here are around 1200 per unit.

    Nuke power will eventually go below coal. I have no doubt.

    There’s one problem particularly with Chinese coal plants and that is they burn really awful low grade shit that is absolutely poisonous to the local environment and not to do with AGW, so it would be good if they converted over in time.

    But yes, they don’t have discovery channel aglore fanatics trying to block their access to cheap and abundant energy unlike the Lab/green coalition here.

  69. JC

    Are you a spam bot, FDB that is programmed to ask the same freaking question over and over again?

    I did, FDB. Phil’s comments were pretty disgraceful.

  70. Steve Edney

    JC,

    do you have any references to the failure of deep Geothermal. The only stuff I can find is by the companiess spruiking it who say everything is just great (which they would).

  71. FDB

    Phil (not the one you think though) said this:

    “There’s always a certain brutishness and coarseness to climate sceptics or agnostics, I think.

    Can anyone name one such person – with evidence – who has ever otherwise shown the slightest sense of inter species empathy or identification that does not involve forms of selfish bodily self-gratification.

    No, cute cats, caged birds, or glassed fish are not permissible examples.”

    So… can you point out the abuse to me? I’m not seeing it.

    I’m going to keep repeating my call for examples of abuse to be found until either one is found, or Sinclair retracts his false claim that any has occurred.

  72. FDB – Really? Can you point to any examples to back this assertion up?

    I dunno if I’d say it was a ‘shocker’. But…

    Condescending and misrepresenting the argument:

    I also find it odd that LE says she would accept the scientific evidence if only people were more polite. It’s an interesting theory of scientific discovery.

    Doesn’t get what she actually says and puts her down for stating a fact:

    L. Eagle doesn’t think that man-made global warming is proven: fine, but what does that mean?

    You can’t be a member anymore ’cause you broke the rules:

    Surely the word ‘progressive’, if it means anything means progressing to a desired goal or goals through incremental change.

    and..

    Conversely climate change denial is deeply regressive because it fixates on a world that no longer exists and has to ignore or deny reality in order to do so. Labelling such deniers as contrarians and therefore somehow progressive seems like a peversion of language to me.

    And anyway you’re crazy:

    “Skepticism” is a term that the deniers have taken for themselves, because it gives them an air of scientific respectability, but they are not true skeptics. They are contrarians or denialists. Contrarians do not have scientific respectability.

    And what did LE write in her post:

    It really annoys me that I should feel scared to express my opinion. I strongly believe that progressive people should be able to raise doubts without being accused of being tantamount to Holocaust deniers, without being ostracised by their neighbours, without having someone spit in their coffee and without feeling scared that they will be labeled as a fascist.

    See? She’s worried about something and the LP crew have proved her worries well-founded.

  73. JC

    Steve;

    To be honest the only thing I recall reading was that the most hopeful one , that was the one Flannery was involved with, burnt through the cash Rudd shelled out on our behalf like the Victorian bush fires and it was a bust.

    I’m only going on memory here.

    The other thing is that I’ve read the geothermal attempts around the world are also very disappointing.

    As usual with this whoring we’ve ended up with new attempts at combining solar with Geo, but my bet is that this will come to zero as a result of very unclear technologies and really just end up as another subsidy whore.

  74. FDB

    Adrien – I’m not saying her paper-thin grab-bag of “sceptical” talking points hasn’t been taken to the cleaners pretty comprehensively.

    I’m only saying the things which I’ve been saying.

  75. Geoff Honnor

    “So… can you point out the abuse to me? I’m not seeing it.”

    Try this:

    ‘SJ says:
    September 5, 2010 at 7:17 pm
    How dare anyone question my lying bullshit? It was my lying hand that signed the paper, after all.’

  76. I’m not saying her paper-thin grab-bag of “sceptical” talking points hasn’t been taken to the cleaners pretty comprehensively.

    She’s argued that her position on AGW which is ‘I don’t know’ might make her a target for abuse. That hasn’t only NOT been taken to the cleaners at LP they mostly haven’t even understood it. Neither, I’d bet green money, do 80% of ’em actually understand the basic science

    I’m only saying the things which I’ve been saying.

    You were asking for evidence of abuse. If calling her ‘ignorant’ and ‘intellectually lazy’ doesn’t qualify I guess the catalogue of commentary won’t. But it does provide some basis for her concern of being stereotyped on the basis of an opinion.

  77. FDB

    Okay, that’s totally unhinged, picks the wrong target, and was immediately censured by the mod of the thread.

    But it’s still not abuse.

    And Sinclair’s clear implication that Robert Merkel was himself abusive is still up top of this thread, standing out like dog’s balls.

    It’s unseemly to be so hyperbolic and oversensitive, and to falsely accuse somebody.

  78. jtfsoon

    That SJ is a nasty twerp. I remember he used to stalk Helen when he was here. This is like the umpteenth time he’s embarrassed himself by attacking LE as SL on LP.

  79. Geoff Honnor

    “Okay, that’s totally unhinged, picks the wrong target, and was immediately censured by the mod of the thread.

    But it’s still not abuse.’

    OK. So what it is then?

  80. JC

    lol Geoff

    That’s Simon J. He’s a nasty little wanker from the NSW labor public service machine. Jeez he’s a horrible little taxeater. And the attitude is like he deserves we provide him with a living.

  81. FDB

    “But it does provide some basis for her concern of being stereotyped on the basis of an opinion.”

    I believe it’s mostly about how she arrived at her opinion, and the fact that she doesn’t even really state her opinion in any meaningful way.

    Ultimately what she’s written does nothing but give succour to those who think that because “everyone’s entitled to their own opinion” you can make up whichever one you like, on whatever basis you like, and ignore all the evidence that you’re wrong, and everyone still has to be nice to you and include you in some mythical “debate”.

    But that’s absurd, right?

  82. FDB

    “OK. So what it is then?”

    “nasty little wanker”

  83. C.L.

    If it’s absurd, FDB, why don’t you head over to the Open Thread and apologise to the readers – and me, specifically – for falsely claiming that Mark Williams is a Tea Party leader?

    Or will you ignore all the evidence that you’re wrong?

  84. FDB, LE has conveniently gathered the abuse she’s received in an update to her post over at our place. Scroll down and, ahem, ‘enjoy’.

    And Robert Merkel outs himself as a ‘sexist pig’ in the comments, too. Wonderful stuff, all because of some perverse priority dispute that seeks to rank climate change mitigation above all other progressive values (never mind liberal or libertarian ones).

  85. Geoff Honnor

    “nasty little wanker”

    Not, I trust, directed at me FDB.

  86. C.L.

    Hey Skep, what did Legal Eagle do her PhD in?

    I see over at your place that she’s just submitted it.

  87. FDB

    “FDB, LE has conveniently gathered the abuse she’s received in an update to her post over at our place.”

    Alright, it’s become obvious via this little crowd-sourcing exercise that I have been labouring along for my whole life with an incorrect definition of ‘abuse’.

    How it’s taken this long to be exposed, I have no idea – I talk and write and read and listen to the English language daily, and ‘abuse’ isn’t an uncommon word. And pretty much every time I’ve read it or heard it or said it or written it, my definition seemed to roughly accord with everyone else’s.

    But there you go eh? We live and learn, and sometimes that means we have to unlearn.

    Can someone give me the accepted definition? Cos I’ve looked it up, and surprisingly all the online dictionaries have made the same mistake as me! Incredible, huh?

  88. FDB

    No Geoff, just forwarding JC’s helpful and immediate answer to your question.

  89. CL, she’s just started a thread on her DPhil topic (partly to avoid climate change crapola…)

    More here:

    http://skepticlawyer.com.au/2010/09/06/threads-of-doom/

  90. C.L.

    “Accounts-of-profit-for-breach-of-contract.”

    Wow. She’s pretty brainy, the old Eagle.

    Smarter than Bob, I think.

  91. JC

    “Smarter than Bob, I think.”

    I’m shocked that you even raised that. I thought it would be as assumed as breathing that she’s a lot smarter than Bob Trauma.

  92. And Sinclair’s clear implication that Robert Merkel was himself abusive is still up top of this thread, standing out like dog’s balls.

    But Merkel made these insinuations in his post:

    In my view, there are three levels of intellectual laziness in evidence

    But on this particular occasion, she has chosen to publicly parade profound ignorance

    See?

  93. Myrddin Seren

    Steve of Brisvegas:

    “Haven’t the floods in Pakistan given an indication to skeptics of the potential scale of the problem if AGW means more regular events like that?”

    What they indicate is the dire circumstances a near-failed state like Pakistan leaves it’s population in when they flush their resources done the drain on

    corrupt and unstable government
    overbearing military expenditure
    formenting insurrection across their borders
    and so on and so forth.

    Compared, for instance, to a nation that has been successfully managing hydrological challenges for centuries – The Netherlands.

    so the developed world could spend zillions building windmills and taxing the fossil-fuel economy out of existence, but the population of virtual failed states like Pakistan will still be at the mercy of events that are successfully managed or responded to with adequate resources.

    And tossing trillions of dollars in ‘climate reparations’ at kleptocracies like Pakistan will doubtless only improve the lot of private bankers in well-known tax havens.

  94. FDB

    Adrien – not abuse.

    Honestly, do you guys want to downgrade your definition of abuse so much as to make it meaningless?

    That’s what I’m defending here – the English language, and the meaning of Her words.

  95. Sinclair Davidson

    FDB – I haven’t falsely accused anyone. The LP crowd (‘crowd’ suggests a group of individuals and not a single individual) have had a go at LE. I have linked to the post and quoted the author of that post.

  96. FDB

    “Legal Eagle got abused by the LP crowd”

    False accusation, ‘backed up’ by a quote showing no such thing.

  97. FDB

    If you don’t want to be taken seriously by people who don’t already and automatically agree with you, ignore me.

  98. Sinclair Davidson

    I have no interest in being taken seriously by fascists or their apologists. That post is abusive, it is designed and intended to be abusive. It’s a dog whistle to the faithful that LE is a ‘denialist’ and worse – a progressive with the temerity to not believe the faith 110%.

  99. FDB

    Way to jump the shark Sincs.

  100. Sinclair Davidson

    Too scared to jump sharks – telling bullying twits off is my limit.

  101. JC

    False accusation, ‘backed up’ by a quote showing no such thing.

    Jeez.

    You asked for the abuse meted out to LE at beta-central.

    I showed you Phil’s and Geoff showed you what that wanker Simon J had to say, yet you persist as though everyone has drown a blank.

    I also noted the veiled threat that SL mentioned Trauma Bob made towards LE.

    Stop the spamming, FDB, as it’s getting tiresome now, especially when you’re starting to sound like Homer.

  102. FDB/Sinclair

    It’s abuse
    It’s not abuse
    It’s abuse.
    IT’S NOT ABUSE
    IT’S ABUSE

    FDB – I think it’s borderline. One public intellectual saying another is ‘parading her ignorance’ and and being ‘intellectually lazy’ is at the very least harsh. And one should not do this if one can’t at least accurately assess what their opponent has written.

    I don’t think he has. And I don’t think you’ve tried to step back and be objective.

    Sinclair is right. She’s being castigated for diverting from the faithful. This is religious behaviour. And it is not doing the cause of environmentalism any favours.

    Her position is considered and eloquent and the Left could do with contemplating it.

  103. FDB

    “Her position is considered and eloquent”

    Orly?

    Okay, substitute ‘evolution’ for ‘AGW’ throughout her post (it still reads pretty well, I’ll grant you that) and see if you come to the same conclusion.

  104. She’s being castigated for diverting from the faithful.

    That’s a generic behavior pattern, in play here every day. So what’s this whinging about LE being abused? The boys want to defend the helpless woman. She’s all grown up, I’m sure she can handle it and Catallaxians complaining about abuse is totally laughable. But of course here at Cat land if you don’t engage in abusing the unfaithful you become the unfaithful.

  105. Okay, substitute ‘evolution’ for ‘AGW’ throughout her post (it still reads pretty well, I’ll grant you that) and see if you come to the same conclusion.

    The evidence for evolution is over-whelming, makes all the difference.

  106. But of course here at Cat land if you don’t engage in abusing the unfaithful you become the unfaithful.

    🙂

    Sure the unfaithful are abused. That’s Currency Lad’s job.

  107. Sinclair Davidson

    FDB – why make that substitute? It is possible to consider evolution as been a valid scientific theory and have doubts about AGW policy at the same time.

  108. FDB

    “She’s all grown up, I’m sure she can handle it and Catallaxians complaining about abuse is totally laughable. But of course here at Cat land if you don’t engage in abusing the unfaithful you become the unfaithful.”

    John – that’s the subtext I’ve been hoping would eventually sink into some thick skulls around here sooner or later.

    It’s a shame it needed to be made explicit.

  109. JC

    Okay, substitute ‘evolution’ for ‘AGW’ throughout her post (it still reads pretty well, I’ll grant you that) and see if you come to the same conclusion.

    Lol… you can do that for pretty much any statement made by someone, FDB. Splicing out words and substitutind them with another is a pretty old trick.

    I do it with you all the time. Instead of calling you FDB, I call you dumphy. See? It’s way easy.

  110. FDB

    So Sinclair – have you found a single example of abuse or fascism to back up your post’s rhetoric yet?

  111. Peter Patton

    For LP schoolteacher/cultural studies types, the AGW issue has been a godsend, which filles the hole left once they abandoned the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.They’ve just substituted AGW for the Palestinians. Voila exactly the same arguments and thread dynamics that occurred back when that conflict was the issue du jour for that exact same crowd 3 or 4 years ago.

    The rhetorical structure is identical, the need to create demonic enemies the same, except “the science” is substituted for “international law” and “deniers” for “Zionists”.

  112. The rhetorical structure is identical, the need to create demonic enemies

    Yeah and it’s about time they brainwashed the kids to hate the real enemy.

  113. Peter Patton

    Okay, substitute ‘evolution’ for ‘AGW’ throughout her post.

    While man has already proven he can often consciously interrupt, redirect and stop the evolutionary process, the evidence for his being able to do so regarding global warming is not so demonstrated.

  114. Sinclair Davidson

    FDB – the whole of the post followed by the comments thread supports my argument.

  115. Infidel Tiger

    FDB obviously took some bad acid on the weekend.

  116. FDB

    “the whole of the post followed by the comments thread supports my argument”

    Your argument that there was abuse, or your argument that there was fascism?

  117. EEEK Adrien, you scare me with BRC.</Mullholland Drive? 🙂

  118. That’s have you seen Mullhollad Drive?

  119. C.L.

    John – that’s the subtext I’ve been hoping would eventually sink into some thick skulls around here sooner or later.

    This is coming from FDB – uneducated drummer – who was chastised here last week for calling someone a “cunt.”

    But that’s what you do when all else fails, right FDB, you appalling clown? Abuse people, I mean.

  120. But that’s what you do when all else fails, right FDB, you appalling clown? Abuse people, I mean.

    Lawdy, lawdy me. I’s reminded o’ the time mah granpappy tol’ me his stove called his pot a nigga!

  121. Peter Patton

    Beer O’Clock again in Adam Bandit land, we see Adrien. 😉

  122. C.L.

    “…abusing the unfaithful…”

    This describes well Adrien’s behaviour when everyone used to criticise Kevvy – Adrien’s former hero.

    I don’t abuse anyone unless I’m returning abuse, Adrien. You and FDB, on the other hand, are essentially stalkers who abuse people for no reason whatsoever.

  123. Peter Patton

    Adrien

    That ‘liberty is a mirage’ shtick Phil is dumping on you sure is some hell of an acid flashback.

  124. Phil is an acid flashback.

    Cl – Diddums.

  125. THR

    For LP schoolteacher/cultural studies types, the AGW issue has been a godsend

    Your blind hatred of ‘luvvies’ has led you astray once again, Patton. This time around, it’s clearly LE who’s been caught playing with epistemological relativism, with the LPers sticking to science.

  126. THR – That’s simply rubbish. LE’s post is not about science but about free speech. LP’s post and commentary has been obvious to this.

  127. Peter Patton

    THR

    What bullshit

    1. There is nothing “blind” about my feelings towards those troglodytes.

    2. LE’s post was about class warfare, not science.

    3. I have already answered your equally ill-advised and ignorant attempt to enter the foray of “science,” in comments above about cultural studies types and Palestinistas

  128. This describes well Adrien’s behaviour when everyone used to criticise Kevvy – Adrien’s former hero.

    Yes and you’ll receive three hundred billion for every comment you can cite where I abuse someone simply because they criticized Rudd.

    When I was a lad, my hero was David Bowie c. Diamond DogsLodger.

    This is your hero – http://loot-ninja.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/passed_out_drunk_06.jpg

  129. Lol, you mean ‘oblivious’ Adrien?

    Just call me Captain Oblivious.

  130. THR

    It has nothing to do with free speech. AGW ‘skeptics’ have hardly been silenced – they seem to get airtime on every right-wing blog, and every Murdoch newspaper. LE was trying to claim that skepticism had some basis in class (without offering any evidence, BTW) and basically conducts an apologia of ‘skepticism’ by way of some vague references to ‘scientific method’. In other words, it’s epistemological relativism, pure and simple.

  131. tal

    Bloody hell the haterade is thick and fast this evening.
    Not you Tim T 🙂

  132. THR

    2. LE’s post was about class warfare, not science.

    Bullshit. You lampoon the Bahnsich pomo analyses on politics, then rush to defend LE’s bit of pomo, relativst tripe.

  133. Peter Patton

    THR

    What level of physics, chemistry, molecular biology, math, statistics, modelling, and computing do you have under that Lacanian belt of yours? 😉

  134. THR

    You needn’t concern yourself with what’s under my belt.

    LE is clearly drawing an equivalence between AGW proponents and the ‘skeptics’. She’s also try to pin support for AGW on privilege and ‘elitism’ (though her definitions of these things are the typical idiotic rubbish one finds in all liberals). Ergo, you get relativism. Deal with it.

  135. I can’t be bothered wading through all the comments. So, consider this:

    The Fin ran a big article last week that analysed what sort of people vote Green these days. Unfortunately, it’s behind the pay wall, and as I don’t think it is worth paying money for that rag, I read it in a cafe where I couldn’t steal part of the paper.

    Three things jumped out at me:

    1. Green voters are rich. Much richer than you might think.
    2. They mostly have no kids. If they have offspring, it will be one only.
    3. Lucky sprog will be educated at the most expensive, elite private schools.

    The climate change doomers and hand wringers are able to bleat on about carbon taxes and so forth because any new taxes will have much less impact on them than say a family of five on average earnings. As most don’t have kids, or probably have one accidental sprog, they use the planet as a surrogate for the emotional whatever that parents invest in their offspring.

  136. THR – The reference to scientific method isn’t vague at all

    If I’m not a scientist, why am I a sceptic, then? Well, there are two reasons why I’m sceptical. First, I believe that a level of scepticism is essential to proper, rigorous scientific method, and thus people ought to maintain scepticism about any scientific hypotheses. Einstein himself said, ‘No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.’ A hypothesis is strengthened by the failure of ardent attempts to disprove it. And I don’t really see the kind of mentality in climate change which allows for someone to attempt to disprove them.

    Vague?

    And the free speech argument did not assert that AGW skeptics/denialists have no voice in general but that those who express doubts on such in the context of progressive politics are subjected to demonization. LP obliged by demonstrating this well.

    Her argument:

    Ultimately, I think that deriding people who raise doubts (1) shows a lack of understanding about scientific method and (2) serves to fuel scepticism rather than to allay it.

    What does that have to do with a view that holds all views equally valid?

  137. LE is clearly drawing an equivalence between AGW proponents and the ‘skeptics’.

    Me too. They’re equally batshit.

    There’s an iceberg. There’s no such thing as an iceberg.

    I knew an iceberg called Goldberg once oh vey.

  138. Peter Patton

    THR

    Before we start you on Hooked On Science, we’re gonna have to put you through the Hooked On Phonics learn-to-read course.

  139. tal

    Oh great now anti semitism 🙂

  140. JC

    Yea, I’d believe that Boy. I can’t count the number of people I know or met live in the upper income levels and say they vote green.

    100% they are all in the service businesses far removed from sausage making.

    My family has always made something which is is why I understand this shit and why I despise the greens.

  141. Peter Patton

    tal

    It is the same crowd. Same shit, different shower.

  142. tal

    Joe,how well behaved you were over at SL’s when Tim L turned up? Well done!

  143. THR

    And the free speech argument did not assert that AGW skeptics/denialists have no voice in general but that those who express doubts on such in the context of progressive politics are subjected to demonization. LP obliged by demonstrating this well.

    So there’s actually no restrictions on ‘free speech’ whatsoever on this issue, but if you say something, another person might respond with harsh language? And since when does disagreement by a few LP bloggers constitute ‘demonisation’? People who acknowledge that DDT is carcinogenic are labelled as genocidal Hitlerites by right-wing bloggers; the LP rebuttals are timid in comparison.

    What does that have to do with a view that holds all views equally valid?

    They have everything to do with them. LE’s arguments for skepticism are mealy-mouthed platitudes that apply equally to every scientific hypothesis. We might as well, on LE’s advice, show ‘skepticism’ to the hypothesis that things fall down, not up. It’s basically a levelling-off of all knowledge to the level of provisional pseudo-science, in order to make crank views equally valid. That’s what I mean by relativism.

  144. rog

    That’s because you are innumerate JC, and a fascist to boot.

  145. C.L.

    Adrien, I don’t abuse anyone unless I’m returning abuse. As I said, you and FDB, on the other hand, are essentially stalkers who abuse people for no reason whatsoever.

    What’s more, you’re only going in against Merkel because of some latte-lit-spat you had with with LP a while back. You’re as much a warmenist loon as he is.

  146. C.L.

    Hey Rog, what’s the figure for ExxonMobil’s annual profit?

  147. JC

    Wodge;

    You’re such a freaking venom filled dickhead.

  148. JC

    According to wodgie it’s $466 “twillion”.

  149. JC

    Speaking of dickheads… the intellectual lioness of the senate, Christine Mine is on Q&A no doubt about to tell people how stupid they are and how positively up there the fat thing is in being to explain how we should move to a new economy where the rivers are paved with gold, children dancing and singing in the streets and rivers run with chocolate.

    We can only have that if we have an ETS of course and put a price on carbon and getting rid of our coal fired power plants thereby creating new jobs in the new industries that will follow.

    All this from this fat idiot Tasmanian.

  150. She’s also try to pin support for AGW on privilege and ‘elitism’

    Bit rich for a lawyer and people in business to complain about privilege and elitism. Scientists are hardly part of the elite, the wages they earn are pitiful compared to the legal profession and many in business. Bloody amazing, on the one hand Greenies are lambasted for being dole bludging losers but if they have a respectable job suddenly they become elites who are trying to dictate to us.

  151. So I went to LP and learned all over again why I don’t go to LP. First comes the chorus of abuse followed by the closing of the thread when the stupidity of the arguments is laid bare.

    And then we have Phil the Phreak

    Spinoza was one of the most original and consequential figures in world history. At the very least he was a key figure in the creation of modernity uniting previously separate or compartmetnalised ideas in political theory, the scientific revolution, theology, and philosophy.

    This is in response to me pointing out that Spinoza wasn’t a scientist. Apparently I don’t understand science but Phil and the rest do. Science has something to do with compulsory opinions.

    For some reason she seems to think that history moves backwards. This compartmentalization of which she speaks did not exist when Baruch Spinoza was alive. There was no separation of science from philosophy and theology and the latter two weren’t much distinguished either.

    I’m sure I’m wrong however. I await Phil’s demonstrating my ignorance my catloging the list of experiments Spinoza carried out to demonstrate the…
    .
    It was Spinoza who showed that freedom and liberty can only be understood philosophically not by recourse to the type of example your proffered up thread.

    What a shit for brains. A cat who is put in a cage has no idea who Spinoza or any other ‘philosopher of freedom’ is but they understand that they are not free. Phil, btw, thinks freedom is merely a philosophical construct and that the word ‘liberty’ denotes something different to freedom.

    Time for a gravestone: Here lies the Left. They died of stupidity.

  152. C.L.

    Additional script for the stonemason:

    “RIP Adrien.”

  153. C’arn CL you can do better than that. 🙂

  154. Peter Patton

    Adrien

    I was trying to teach the unwashed, ball-scratching, knuckle-dragging oiks of the interlocking of ethics, science, and theology the other day, and Stephen Hawkings sad ignorance of this. But they – especially Ev – Just Don’t Get It. 😉

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