Saturday, 17 March 2007

Climate Deniers vs Climate Fascists

A debate was hosted on March 14 by Intelligence Squared between Climate Deniers and Climate Fascists with the title Global warming is not a crisis.

The Deniers were:

- Michael Crichton
- Richard Lindzen
- Philip Stott

The Fascists were:

- Brenda Ekwurzel
- Gavin Schmidt
- Richard Somerville

Some of those names will be familiar to you. Their positions are outlined in the transcript linked above. The debate was well handled and conducted in a light-hearted way, which seems pretty appropriate given the subject matter. I encourage you to read the whole transcript, even though it is lengthy, as it is quite illuminating in terms of how either side argues the debate.

Before the debate started the audience's position on Global warming is not a crisis was as follows:

30% Agree
57% Disagree
13% Undecided

After the debate the audience was polled again, with the following outcome:

46% Agree
42% Disagree
12% Undecided

How can it be that such a massive swing took place in the space of a couple of hours? If the 'science is settled' then why were the Climate Fascists not only not able to hold their position but actually increase it? And why would Gavin 'the debate is over' Schmidt even agree to a debate in the first place?

I'll digress here for a moment and point out that the mainstream media reports from an agenda-driven leftist position; arts faculties are teaching overwhelmingly leftists ideas and, in fact, any course that has the word 'studies' in its title (Women's Studies, Black Studies, Gender Studies etc) is taught from a cultural Marxist perspective; the 'morally superior' environmental movement is underpinned by socialist ideology; and even our K-12 school system has a one-sided leftist curriculum (it will show An Inconvenient Truth but not The Great Global Warming Swindle). So why is it that even with all of this inculcation of leftist ideas with no balancing right wing response that our society splits close to 50-50 along left-right lines?

The answer is that when openly and honestly debated leftist arguments are easy to overcome. The strength of the left's position on global warming is substantively weak, as is demonstrated by the result of the debate above. The lack of intellectual strength in the left's position also explains why there's so much hysteria about shutting down debate on the subject. On the right we're happy to debate any of our positions in an intellectually honest forum and we extend an open invitation to those intellectually honest on the left to join us.

Of course, Gavin Schmidt couldn't accept that he had been defeated by intellectual honesty and reason, as he commented on at his hilariously inaccurately named realclimate website:
I’m afraid the actual audience (who by temperament I’d say were split roughly half/half on the question) were apparently more convinced by the entertaining narratives from Crichton and Stott (not so sure about Lindzen) than they were by our drier fare. Entertainment-wise it’s hard to blame them. Crichton is extremely polished and Stott has a touch of the revivalist preacher about him. Comparatively, we were pretty dull.
You see? It wasn't the strength of the argument that won the day it was good, old fashioned Sophism. So who's calling whom Deniers?

Update: I forgot to mention that this debate has not been widely reported in the mainstream media. If the Fascists had won then do you think it wouldn't have been splattered all over the media?


Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying your diary very much. Two or three links to a various of your articles have been posted on the website of a local paper in a suburb of NYC. It is ground zero for those liberal mold spores that burst into the atmosphere and find root elsewhere.

It's a pleasure to read your topics.

Anonymous said...

Fascism has been defunct in the Western world since WWII. Since there is a considerable stigma attached to the term, extremists with a political agenda label their opponents “fascist” as a form of pejorative insult. It serves no other purpose.

According to Umberto Eco”s definition of fascism, it has more in common with those who deny the scientific consensus about global warming. Fascism, being extreme right wing totalitarianism, bears little reference to the supposedly liberal climate scientists around the world:
”fascism employs and promotes an impoverished vocabulary in order to limit critical reasoning… fascism devalues intellectual discourse and critical reasoning as barriers to action… attacks on modern culture and science…”

Considering the well established fact that the “deniers” and “skeptics” have been wrong over and over again, relying on deception and misrepresentation to influence public opinion, one should be very skeptical of the skeptics.

Case in point: “A Channel 4 documentary that claimed global warming is a swindle was itself flawed with major errors which seriously undermine the program's credibility …The Great Global Warming Swindle, was based on graphs that were distorted, mislabeled or just plain wrong. The graphs were nevertheless used to attack the credibility and honesty of climate scientists.”
How did the director of that “documentary” respond to the scientists who pointed out his errors? With insults: “In an e-mail exchange leaked to The Times, Martin Durkin, the executive producer of The Great Global Warming Swindle, responded to the concerns of Dr Armand Leroi, from Imperial College, and Simon Singh, the respected scientific author, by telling them to “go and f*** yourself”.
Classy. I’ll stick with the IPCC.

Anonymous said...

"extremists with a political agenda label their opponents “fascist” as a form of pejorative insult. It serves no other purpose."

And the use of "Deniers" is the exact same thing. It's an attempt to equate anyone who may be skeptical of AGW with someone who would deny the holocaust. No wonder "Deniers" have gotten their hackles raised.

"relying on deception and misrepresentation to influence public opinion, "
"Inconvenient Truth", "Hockey Stick", "Polar Bears", "Malaria", "Katrina" should also be skeptical of the "truth" as well. That's all some of us are. We aren't evil.

"The Great Global Warming Swindle, was based on graphs that were distorted, mislabeled or just plain wrong. The graphs were nevertheless used to attack the credibility and honesty of climate scientists.”

And they have already admitted the mistake (graphics artist messed up the scale) and it has been corrected for subsequent screenings. Note that the data was taken from James Hansen's papers. Someone you can hardly call a "Denier". If the intent was to defraud people with the graph, they could have simple fabricated the data or pulled it from a different source.
I can't help but notice how intently people scrutinize Swindle and don't hesitate to call it a fraud yet treat Inconvenient Truth as a Bible.

Darren said...

Seems like I link to you every day now. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Joe Cool,

The graphs from The Great Global Warming Swindle didn't come from Hansen. They came from the OISM Petition, itself another distortion and misrepresentation of the science by longstanding climate deniers. That's denier, as in denying the climate warming influence of anthropogenic CO2. The denier term has nothing to do with the holocaust.

Jack Lacton said...


Fascism has not been defunct since WW2, you need to go and look at some history.

Furthermore, fascism can only grow out of left wing totalitarianism (such as is happening in Europe), as it's a command and control doctrine the same as its close relative, socialism. It has been recast by historians trying to distance their own left wing ideology from Hitler's National Socialists.

Fascism is a very accurate term for the climate debate because it is about totalitarian command and control of the economy while leaving ownership in private hands.

Ellen K said...

I find it somewhat disturbing that in what should be a scientific debate, facts seem to be less important than political ideology. I have no idea whether the theory has merit or not because instead of evidence, we get alarmist warnings about holes over the poles, which have since closed. Or warm winters when the East Coast is freezing. Or horrible hurricanes in a year where there were none. We know so very little about the earth's weather cycles because we have only had much of the technology for only a short time when compared the geologic ages of earth. I much prefer the idea that the poles are changing their polarity, which happens fairly frequently in geologic terms-every 5000 years. That would also account for climate change. But since Global Warming has become more of a political topic than a scientific one, people who deal in facts are losing their jobs. And that should worry people far more than it does. The Emperor has no clothes....

Anonymous said...

No, it is the Hansen GHCN data. (details to follow)

Of course their graphic artist's mistake (and the fact that they missed it before air time) is assigned a nefarious purpose.
That the Sat temps were wrong for years or the numerous "revisions" of the station surface temperature data, well, that's just honest mistakes.

"The denier term has nothing to do with the holocaust."


Now, back to the graph. I would ask you to look at the image from the show (sorry, best one I've found, but it's readable. Looks like a scan of a newspaper print of a screen capture! Original Article).
Here's a slight blowup of the chart: Blowup
The first thing we notice is that
A) their temp anomalies are at 0 in 1880!
B) the arrow pointing to 1940 is at 1945, the 1975 arrow is at 1980!

Now, if we look at the Hansen data which I've conveniently plotted out for you (sorry, Tradestation only lets me go back to 1902) here:
Hansen data
Hansen 97 in red, 98 in blue. Lines are 12 month moving averages which appears to be close to what their chart is.
Note peak they show as 1940 is in 1947, their trough in 1975 matches.
You'll notice the peak to trough change was about -.12. Looks the same in their chart. Trough to the end of the chart (which shouldn't be 2000!) is about +0.34 in both.
If they were going to deliberately mislead people they certainly wouldn't have come up with this chart.
You can grab the data yourself at 1998 "revised" data and the 1997 is in the "xobsolete" subdirectory.

Anonymous said...

Apologies..that should read "12 year moving averages"

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links, but I think you are mistaken about the original source of the “world temp” graph in The Great Global Warming Swindle.

“However, further inquiries revealed that the C4 graph was based on a diagram in another paper produced as part of a "petition project" by the same group of climate skeptics. This diagram was itself based on long out-of-date information on terrestrial temperatures compiled by NASA scientists…If Mr. Durkin had gone directly to the NASA website he could have got the most up-to-date data. This would have demonstrated that the amount of global warming since 1975, as monitored by terrestrial weather stations around the world, has been greater than that between 1900 and 1940 - although that would have undermined his argument.
"The original NASA data was very wiggly-lined and we wanted the simplest line we could find," Mr. Durkin said...”

Just honest mistakes, or dishonest misrepresentations of known facts?

“Other graphs used in the film contained known errors, notably the graph of sunspot activity. Mr. Durkin used data on solar cycle lengths which were first published in 1991 despite a corrected version being available - but again the corrected version would not have supported his argument. Mr. Durkin also used a schematic graph of temperatures over the past 1,000 years that was at least 16 years old, which gave the impression that today's temperatures are cooler than during the medieval warm period. If he had used a more recent, and widely available, composite graph it would have shown average temperatures far exceed the past 1,000 years.”

You cannot deny that CO2 is responsible for most of the recent warming unless you are dishonest with the facts. I’ll stick with the IPCC synthesis of the research.

Unknown said...

In the first place, Eco is no authority on the definition of "fascism." In the second place, fascism was wholly left-wing, as was the Nazi movement (and indeed, leftists opposed US entry into WW2 until Hitler invaded their hero, Stalin).

Liberals only started calling Nazis and fascists "right-wing" out of ignorance and political expediency.

Jack Lacton said...


It's easy to deny that CO2 caused 'most' of the recent warming as there's absolutely NO proof. Nil. Nada. None. Correlation is not causation. If the effect of CO2 were understood so well then the climate models would work.

The graph in TGGWS were corrected for the 2nd screening, showing an honesty not found on the pro-AGW side of the debate.

Anonymous said...

Jack Lacton,

"It's easy to deny that CO2 caused 'most' of the recent warming as there's absolutely NO proof. Nil. Nada. None."

That's why they call you folks "deniers". Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. The proof is not just measured observations of predicted changes in Arctic temperatures and ice, widespread changes in precipitation
amounts, ocean salinity, wind patterns and aspects of extreme weather including droughts, heavy precipitation, heat waves and the intensity of tropical cyclones. CO2 has been known to warm the climate for over a hundred years. The proof is in the evidence.

Anonymous said...

So, some journalist calls for war crimes trials for global warming skeptics, and you infer from that that the term “Denier” is an attempt to compare global warming skeptics to Nazi’s? That’s a stretch.

Global warming skeptics have long compared climate scientists to Nazis. Notice the source of the link you use to prove that “denier” refers to the holocaust: the well known GW skeptic US Senator James Inhofe.

In a 2006 interview with the Tulsa World newspaper, Inhofe compared global warming fanatics to Nazis. He said, "I could use the Third Reich, the Big Lie... You say something over and over and over and over again, and people will believe it, and that's their strategy...” He then said, "Everything on which they based their story, in terms of the facts, has been refuted scientifically." Inhofe had previously compared the Environmental Protection Agency to the Gestapo.

Would you think I should attribute Inhofe’s comments to all global warming skeptics? I doubt it. The “denier” term has nothing to do with the holocaust in most peoples minds. It refers to the denial that human sources of CO2 are responsible for most of the recent global warming.

It's rather rich that you object to being called a Nazi, but you are perfectly proud to call "Fascists" those who believe the great majority of the world's working climate scientists.

Jack Lacton said...


The term Denier really came to prominence after Ellen Goodman used it because there were too many credible scientists questioning the science, which was killing the 'Big Oil' label.

I'm doing a piece on the rise of Fascism in Germany and the rise of the modern day Global Warming movement. The parallels are quite amazing, actually.

The majority of the world's working climate scientists (in fact, probably close to 100%) are paid by governments and are going to produce exactly what's needed in order to keep receiving funds even when the science fails the Scientific Method (see today's article when it's posted). To put it in comparative terms; the evidence for WMD in Iraq was stronger than the science supporting CO2 as the cause of recent warming (not that it's warmed over the last few years anyway).

Anonymous said...

The real issue for me isn't whether the earth is warming (it is), or whether humans are influencing that (they are). The real issue is, what do you (the global warming zealots) propose to do about it?

The global warming zealots answer this question "what do you propose to do about it?" only in the most general of terms, publicly. But, when you dig into the backgrounds of these organizations and the most vocal zealots, when you look into their political ideology you can figure out for yourself exactly what they will do about it. They will put into effect a centralized, command and control of all industry while leaving the industry in the hands of groups they agree with. Actions by the U.N. bureaucrats have already started down this road. This centralized control, of course, has always been the leftists' (liberals) agenda.

What is most interesting is, that when you make detailed lists of what steps could be taken to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (and emissions of any other pollutants you care to name), the steps are both the best business decision and the best environmental decision; the debate over whether these steps will 'stop' global warming then become a moot point because it makes no sense not to do them. IF the global warming zealots and the politicians they have in their pockets were planning on partnering with businesses and using the federal government's vast resources to help businesses implement these common sense steps, then I would have no problem with this, but that isn't what our government will do, what they will do instead is 'punish' businesses with fines, taxes, lawsuits, etc and drive the businesses to relocate to countries that care more about the jobs than they care about the environment. One thing the global warming zealots don't understand, affluent people protect the environment, poor people do not. The reason why is pretty simple, the affluent can afford to care about the environment where the poor cannot afford to.

Jack Lacton said...

Well said, Curious.

Your second paragraph describes the fascistic aspect of the AGW proponents; centralised control of industry held in private hands.