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Cancun: How could I not be wearily cynical about this abject failure?

December 11, 2010

What can I tell you? That the most horrid irony in all this is that these same people at Cancun – who demonstrably couldn’t organise a fizzy piss up in a brewery full of carbonated drinks – these same people are the ones who are supposedly organising a gigantic, world-wide conspiracy? Gosh! Just how stupid do you have to be to believe that one? How can deniers be so divorced from reality that they can subscribe to such an unlikely notion?

The fact that climate change deniers (and their tin-foil brethren) can, on the one hand, convince themselves that some vast conspiracy is afoot, and at the same time feel quite so smug about the disarray of the self-same conspirators, is a clear indicator of the desperation with which some continue to deny the science, the evidence, and the sense of acting towards the future with some degree of prudence, given the risks we face.

So while the usual suspects enjoy their little Pyrrhic victory, perhaps we should all spare a thought for the anxious souls who insist that these same people who wasted two weeks in Cancun – taking their cue from the dear leaders who attended COP15 to identical effect – are capable of anything other than the foolish bickering, the division and dissent, that doom us all to our own devices in the face of a problem that should unite us.

And there is, in my opinion, no solution. For five years, I have been writing that no politician will enact legislation that is likely to lose them the next election. Climate change cannot be seriously addressed until the physical evidence is such that either the population become convinced, or – as James Lovelock suggested – democracy is suspended. (I’ve likened this before to the sudden, drastic change in media and public opinion in 1940 when the ‘phony war’ was ended by bombs dropping on London).

Climate change denialists make a mockery of prudence, despite many the mitigation steps towards climate change being the same steps we need to take anyway to address our energy requirements. So deeply entrenched – and so fearful – are the usual suspects on this and other fora, they would rather win a political battle knowing that while Cancun was an abject failure, neither the science nor nature itself gives a rats arse for deniers’ opinions – and predictions of the death of AGW are just as premature as Twain’s, unsupported by any kind of evidence, science or even common sense.

The ice continues to melt at accelerating rates, the seas continue to rise, the oceans pH is changing due to the extra CO2 being absorbed, the seasons periodicity is shifting, flora and fauna are under pressure, rice paddies are already being inundated with salt water, poisoning the crops, droughts are occurring in places that for centuries have enjoyed stable and (relatively) predictable seasonal climates, migration patterns are changing…and all this is the product of only a small change in global temperatures provoked by a small increase in CO2 proportions in the atmosphere.

While deniers claim some kind of victory, the more astute observer might suggest that denialism played no part in the failure of Cancun. The world is locked into a paradigm that only a terrible and costly shock appears likely to break them free of – and given the speed with which we are heading for this train-wreck, that shock will probably come sooner, and more violently, than anyone predicts.

Is there anything that can be done now? Frankly, I doubt it. One of the things I keep thinking about is the fate of empires. I’ve called this current paradigm the empire of electricity (‘cos I like the alliteration) but whatever you call it, like all past empires, this one will fall. Whether through resource shortages, wars, climate change, population growth, peak oil or the systemic failure of consumerist capitalism, I don’t believe this global empire can dodge the same fate that the previous 69 empires have suffered. They all rose in their glory, and all are dust now. It appears that Santayana missed the point: it isn’t that we don’t learn from history. It now appears that we can’t, for it just isn’t in our nature to do so. (Not yet, anyway).

We can deny the science, we can deny the problems exist, we can rail against how unfair it all is and twist and turn and dodge, but in the end, we will get what we deserve. On the basis of the AGW threads I have read this week, our reward for this intransigence will be bitter fruit indeed.

* * * * *

NB: If you read this post and want to know more about what the science really says, here are some useful references:

On Arctic ice losses – getting really bad now – here is the <a href=””>NOAA 2009 Arctic Report Card update (video)</a>.

For those interested in evidence for human agency in climate change, here is another report from the NOAA: <a href=””>State of the Climate 2009</a>

40 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2010 11:34 am

    I’ve grown so tired of the “debate” that I’m even bored of pointing out the hypocrisies of climate change denial, yet you’ve summed another one up well here.

    Gleeson puts it as a neoliberal slumber, but says as much – we’ll need an alarm call to wake and thus act. It is terrible that as far, the changes have been relatively mild, but certain enough to merit action, but yet – esp. at a political level – we seem content to blindly wait until it’s beyond a doubt; the ramifications of which are horrible to think about.

    Personally, I’m resigned to give up largely from this “debate”. The other has adequately demonstrated themselves to be so thoroughly entrenched that reason is a mere abstract concept. Therefore, I’m going to focus on what we can do to adapt. Eventually, it will probably be imperative.

    AS always, Graham, nice write!

  2. Graham Wayne permalink*
    December 11, 2010 1:22 pm

    Hi Moth – the strange thing is that nearly all governments know its already beyond doubt, but still they act like squabbling children. Really baffling in some respects, tragically repetitive in others.

    The only other thing I would say in respect of your comment is that there is an interesting ratio of posters to readers. I don’t know what it is on the Guardian site, but here for every person who comments there are thirty readers who do not. I’m writing for them, as I am in the Guardian threads – denialists often claim to represent the consensus public view of climate change but I doubt this, because like me, the deniers we argue with are very invested in the subject. Most people I meet in my work, visiting people at home and fixing their computers, know very little indeed about the subject, the science, the denialist arguments, and have never heard of the CRU emails or know what’s in them.

    I suppose I’m moving gradually towards a devolved response to climate change. If inter-governmental initiatives fail, then perhaps the scale of proposed solutions is too great. All this linkage and verification – these are artifacts of a cold war commerce mentality, us and them. I think trade, manufacture and economics are too enmeshed now, too interdependant. If I’m right, it will dawn on commerce that future profits will depend on cooperation above and beyond mutual trade benefits. I wonder if it will be the multi-nationals that save us, instead of our governments. It’s another way to obviate democracy – the board room substituted for the debating chamber, and this would be consistent with my view that the multi-nationals already run the world anyway, so maybe it’s time they sorted things out on behalf of their most valuable asset: the consumer!

  3. December 11, 2010 11:59 pm

    Many people do learn from history but histories has tried hard to make them people vanish but failed

    somebody who knows about human behaviour once told me this: if a human is faced with great danger they even run away as fast as they can or they fight

    for the running you well there is no other planet we can run to so people just run into fantasy, drugs, entertainment etc

    for the fighting some fight against the fight others do fight
    out of experience i have learned it is a waste of time to fight against these so called fighters and fight WITH others who do want to

    there is so much we can do and i have started to do them and with me several others and many are doing very good things already for years therefor many things are in place to be used and/or improved
    perhaps i am a dreamer perhaps i am running away in fantasy and i am sure at times i do
    still i feel the times are very good to turn the tide
    it is time to do
    at least something came out and that is that at least the politic did not deny the problem only they refused the proper solution

    Mr. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsacker from Wuppertal instituut said very well we should forget America there are plenty others who will support better solutions. They will not have an other choose to come on board in the future.
    America has been lobbing as we now know from Wikileaks in a nasty way forget about them.
    As Europe we can do things and move forwards now and there plenty who want to follow.
    I have heard that in Australia the Greens did win many seats in last elections not sure what Peter Garret is doing there on the moment.

    I think as a consumer we have great opportunities instead of writing letters to politics we can write to companies and choose were we put our money. Support “good” businesses with your money.

  4. December 12, 2010 12:32 am

    Hi Graham, I wouldn’t too worried about the comment / read ratio – you’ve certainly obtained a much higher ratio of readership than I and having a larger readership in itself is a good thing. Some of my posts that are aimed at deniers get some backlash, that yours doesn’t probably means you’re putting up a better argument! lol
    Mike’s last few posts on Watching the Deniers shows that the cableleaks make a clear point that politically, there is no question about anthropogenic climate change as well – so, it is frustrating. There were some positives that came out of Cancun. There were a few minor agreements (but as biodiversity and the Kyoto protocol targets demonstrate – this could mean little in practice), moreover the relatively mild denial sentiment is a great improvement on last years.
    In the warmest year on record, we had freak snow storms, cold snaps, flooding in Asia and more recently here in Aust (just following a a prolonged and devastating drought; talk about BIG dries and BIG wets, huh?), wildfires that a decade ago no-one would’ve thought could be possible resulting in riots due to increasing food costs and energy prices increasing (as like occurred in the lead up to the GFC) – LPG has also jumped 10 cents(AUS) in the past week and a half as well.
    I think another year or two of this, we’ll see a more genuine enthusiasm towards action than before (which, as I saw it in the mid 2000’s was largely greenwashing).
    I have to agree with you (and I’ve said as much a number of times) the actually denial group is a small, but noisy group. They tend to try to associate themselves with a much larger, confused general public. As we’ve seen, providing the evidence is not enough, simply because doubt is enough to undermine reason. Doubt is a healthy tool, of course, but how it’s applied in circumstances such as climate, tobacco, the ozone hole etc is an unhealthy, juvenile form that cannot be reasoned with.
    I’m not sure the multi-nationals can help us, without giving up democracy entirely. Much of what such companies provide should occur without this ‘middleman’ and much of the rest is based on creating desire instead of focusing on need. For such groups to take leadership, we would be condemned to working for the cycle of the market and profits. They don’t have humane values at principles, so I’d worry that this would thoroughly unleash the neoliberal market – which played a dominate role in where we are today.

  5. December 12, 2010 2:39 pm

    Please don’t take this the wrong way – I too believe AGW will (probably) wipe out our species, and certainly wipe out our ‘civilization’…. but, the 1940 “phony war” didn’t end because of bombs dropped on London. It was the invasion of Norway, followed by the invasion of the low countries on May 10 1940 that made people wake up a bit. London didn’t get bombed until September. If you’re going to throw WW2 analogies around (and they are dangerous), you need to get them right.

    Keep up the good work, you dissect denialist illogic very well.

  6. Graham Wayne permalink*
    December 12, 2010 3:06 pm

    Sorry Dwight, you’re quite right. I liked the drama but it is ahistorical – a bit too much Hollywood, I think.

  7. December 12, 2010 3:35 pm

    Sorry Graham but you are just going to have to accept the fact that the UN’s propaganda about our use of fossil fuels causing catastrophic global warming/climate change/climate disruption (and what will they dream up for COP17 in Durban – if it happens) is falling on deaf ears now. Only the die-hards are still falling for this con trick now, you know who I mean, Guardian readers and environmental activists. But you are right about one part of the UN’s real agenda, Global Government.

    Two more of course are redistribution of weallth from developed to underdeveloped economies and enhancement of the finances of a privileged few.

    I’m waiting for it Tim!

    Best wishes, Pete Ridley.

  8. December 12, 2010 4:59 pm

    BTW, TIm, I forgot to mention that I fully agree with your “Therefore, I’m going to focus on what we can do to adapt. Eventually, it will probably be imperative.” It always has been the manner in which humans and all other forms of life onm this earth deal with the climate catastrophies that nature keeps throwing our way. That’s life so just get on and enjoy what you can. Humans can do nothing else – only the different gods that humans believe in could do anything else, if they are interested or even exist.

  9. Graham Wayne permalink*
    December 12, 2010 5:34 pm

    Pete – read the comment policy. I won’t put up with paranoid trash on this blog – any more remarks about con tricks or tin-foil stupidity about the UN and I’ll be showing you the door with a recommendation to a therapist.

  10. December 12, 2010 11:04 pm


    Pete seems plagued with this perpetual problem. I’ve known his comments to be deleted elsewhere and I’ve had to start moderating his nonsense on my own site – as you and I have discusses before, it seems a tragic thing to do, but in sever cases, it must. He’s out to stir trouble (as his comments – putting a plug in on me – demonstrate).

    Why respond Pete? You’ve supplied nothing new or worth replying to.

  11. December 13, 2010 12:08 am

    Graham, your conduct on this matter has been nothing short of criminal. Thankfully Pete has blown the whistle on this wicked deceit and your perversely dishonest manipulation of this blog. It is now clear that you are a part of the global unelected socialist movement, using your computer repair ‘business’ as a front. In exposing your lies to those of us do not have the sharpness of mind to see through your deceit, Pete has also revealed the folly of the global warming alarmists so called ’science’.

  12. December 13, 2010 12:12 am

    lol Matthew! 🙂

  13. December 13, 2010 12:31 am

    Moth – this is not funny.

    97.5% of the world’s climate scientists have fabricated results to prove a non existent theory. Governments throughout the world have conspired together to create this scheme and bought the integrity of scientists. I mean, have you seen the big pay packets, big houses, flash cars and trophy wives of these climate scientists? It’s a disgrace.

    An extraordinary amount of deceitful political and scientific collaboration / corruption.

    Also, it’s been snowing in the UK over the last few weeks, so how can there be global warming?

  14. December 13, 2010 12:39 am

    Now that you mention it, I’ve noticed a lot of the big shots of flux monitoring driving Hummers and Ferraris – I guess it’s the under-table stuff so our monitoring suits fits horribly inaccurate climate models… Why didn’t I put the two together sooner?

    You’re also correct about the snow. We’ve had a fair amount of flooding over November into December down-under. Obviously climate change is nonsense.

    I suppose I’ve only got one of two options left – either I try to get Pete nominated for some award or ask for my cut / trophy wife for all the data my site’s collecting.

  15. December 13, 2010 12:58 am

    Hmmm. Pete states on his blog:

    “From the amount of hot air being spewed out on blogs all over the Internet by supporters of the UN’s propaganda they definitely has been brainwashed – almost to the point of being brain dead.”

    Maybe an award is in order 😉

  16. Watching the Deniers permalink
    December 13, 2010 3:47 am

    Tim and I have been discussing the same issues, and share both a distaste and weariness with the denial movement. Sure, it is an important fight, but ultimately there are no winners here (except physics and chemistry, the ultimate arbiters).

    While the denial movement is small, it does serve a purpose greater than one would think.

    It provides an excuse for our politicians not to do anything… even if a politician “accepts the science”, they won’t move for fear of unsettling this vocal minority, corporate interests and the greater masses.

    No politician is brave enough to admit the reality: mitigating and adapting to climate change will impact our comfortable lifestyles. No one wants to be told that. People want their cake and then some. Human nature.

    Thus, we need to be thinking about “life after empire”. Like you I view the last 200 years as an “Carbon Age”. From steam, to coal and oil our empires are underwritten by fossil fuels.

    We’ve moved from the stone age, to bronze bronze and iron age to the “Carbon age”. Our civilisation’s most identifiable characteristic is it’s reliance on fossil fuels. 1000 years from now, archaeologists and historians will note our reliance on coal and oil as the defining hallmarks of our civilisation.

    It was coal and steam that built the British Empire and allowed the US to expand across the continent. It was oil that fueled the tanks and aircraft of our world wars. It is oil that underpins the global agricultural industry at present.

    …which has prompted me to think we should be spending our energies planning for climate change, peak oil/energy, food/water security and the like.

    The next 150 years are going to be a rough ride.

    “Look upon my works ye mighty and despair
    Nothing besides remains…”

  17. Watching the Deniers permalink
    December 13, 2010 3:47 am

    @ Matthew,

    Correct. It has been raining in Melbourne today. Ergo, no global warming!

  18. Graham Wayne permalink*
    December 13, 2010 8:03 am

    Well, I’m glad Ridley has provided some sport, albeit of poor quality. There are a host of other posts (now blacklisted) you’ve missed, I’m afraid, but you can guess what they are like. I’m certainly not spending any time addressing the same turgid cliches – do enough of that on the Guardian threads.

    But there is something I do want to mention – in part just for the amusement really – and that is the way deniers seem incapable of understanding rhetorical devices – in this case an argument ad hominem.

    Pete launched a series of attacks on what he calls my ‘hypocrisy’, because I state in my comment policy I won’t put up with ad homs. These are some of the remarks he singled out from my Guardian comments as examples:

    “ don’t know what you’re talking about. .. Don’t be silly. .. ” ad hom.
    “ ..You are a very strange person .. ” ad hom.
    “I will content myself with remarking on your bare-faced hypocrisy.. ” ad hom.
    “I’ll be showing you the door with a recommendation to a therapist.” – ad hom.

    Let me be quite explicit: Pete, you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. An ad hom is a retort to a proposed argument, where the argument is dismissed by insulting its proponent. In each of the examples you quote, no argument was offered or addressed. My remarks are, at best, observations, and at worst, insults. The last one, for example, was said to you on the basis of your paranoid remarks. Such remarks are not arguments – how can they be when they exist only in your head and unsupported by facts? – and my remark to you demonstrates the measure of my contempt for such specious and illogical thinking.

    Anyway, none of the remarks are ad homs. I don’t need them – when a denier manages to put up half an argument, I can use facts, chains of logic and rationality to rebut them (assuming they are incorrect). The fact you don’t know the difference is just another reason why your comments in this blog are not welcome. Take your foolishness elsewhere.

  19. Graham Wayne permalink*
    December 13, 2010 8:13 am

    Matt: am I in Wikileaks? (I tried to get in, but the bouncers turned me away at the door – not dressed like a proper commie, apparently). Anyway, you can talk – Tipper Gore told me how much you demanded to run the Marxist EU concession on double glazing, you bloody hypocrite – never met a poor conservatory guy, know what I mean? (By the way, I know this is totally off topic, but have a look at this website I just designed:

    Mike: OK, trying to be serious now. You’re quite right – the sheer volume of denialism is out of all proportion to their real numbers, but it’s enough of a noise for governments to point at the media – who air most of the trash – and defer to ‘public opinion’, at least by being equivocal and gutless. I also think they may be making a different set of plans, not so much about either mitigation or adaption, but about ruthless control of a population growing more fractious as climate change really starts to take a toll. I wrote about it here (and in the Guardian):

  20. December 13, 2010 9:35 am

    Okehampton Glass look like a nice local installation company. That’s the feel from the website. I could do with a nice dealer down that way.

  21. The King In Yellow permalink
    December 13, 2010 3:00 pm


    I think today’s Dilbert may be ‘on topic’…

    Dogbert: “I’m re-calibrating my lack of faith in humanity”

    On the original posting: we are in a lose – lose situation. The deniers and the apathetic are simply delaying the inevitable, and are taking the rest of us down with them.

    All the best.

  22. Graham Wayne permalink*
    December 13, 2010 4:06 pm

    King – my head often aches at exactly the point where it meets the monitor in shock, incredulity and exasperation – often simultaneously… 🙂

  23. The King In Yellow permalink
    December 13, 2010 7:51 pm

    I do wonder if I could get away with posting “You ignorant juicebag” and not getting banned.

    All the best.

  24. Birgit Kvarnstrom permalink
    December 14, 2010 12:04 am

    Good evening Graham. I have been missing you as I was following some other sites here in Sweden because you probably have heared we have some problems with bombs and this has been an interesting discussion matter for me and also for many others. I think you have also some problems with violence in these past days and even this Camilla has been attacked with a stick. And she was with Prince Charles who is rather strong on the global warming science so it is strange that people behaves in this way.

    One good thing though I must report is that Anna-Maria did visit Cancun as a side part of her working for the Swedish International Development Co-operation. But this she sayed was a bad outcome. Her opinion was that this was the Americans and Chinese who make for this bad result driven as you perceive very much by the politicians.

    It is good that you continue to keep us all informed of the situation and your opinions, but I was not sure why this Dwight Towers is not so keen on Norway? I have been there many times and it is reallyquite good.

  25. Graham Wayne permalink*
    December 14, 2010 6:45 am

    Hi Birgit – I’ve been missing you too 🙂

    Really sorry to hear about the terrorism – an awful thing – I was in Russell Square when the bus blew 200 yards behind me on 7/7, having been stopped going into Kings Cross underground station only a few minutes earlier. I was shaking all day long after that!

    I quite envy Anna-Maria, in that I’d like to attend one of these events to see how it all works, but I suspect I would have been terribly angry at the way Cancun (and COP15 before it) was handled. Hard to know from this distance what really went on, but the Wikileaks cables give us an idea of the back-room deals going on at Copenhagen, so I’m sure it was much the same in Cancun.

    (I don’t think Dwight has anything against Norway BTW – his point was that it was the Nazi invasion of Norway that brought the UK to its senses, not the bombing, a point which I got wrong in my ‘Hollywood’ version of WW2. My fault entirely…)

  26. Birgit Kvarnstrom permalink
    December 14, 2010 1:54 pm

    This Kings Cross must have been a really bad experience and a shock to you. At least it did no long term damage so to say.

    Anna-Maria was very like you say you could be, so angry with what she saw in Cancun and the complete lack of a proper discussion and progress. I think she come round to this Lovelock view that democracy shall need to be suspended to overcome this bad problem. Luckily for her there was some good times in Cancun too and it is for certain that it was much warmer there than in Stockholm!

    I saw some post in the Guardian by this Dwight Towers and it seemed to me he was a d****er (I don’t normally use this bad word!) so I made too quick conclusions about his opinion on Norway. Sorry for that.

  27. December 18, 2010 3:43 am

    Climate change denialists make a mockery of prudence, despite all the mitigation steps towards climate change being the same steps we need to take anyway to address our energy requirements.

    I share most of your sentiments here, but another small correction. If you replace “all” with “many”, then I’d be happy. Unfortunately, there are a few significant areas where there is not overlap. If we were not at all concerned about carbon and simply about energy security, there would be no reason to not exploit and exhaust all our fossil fuels (including non-conventionals) while transitioning to renewable power.

  28. Graham Wayne permalink*
    December 18, 2010 7:19 am

    Good one Byron – change made – and keep ’em coming…



  29. Agent Goldstein permalink
    December 22, 2010 12:02 pm

    Can you blame the “deniers” for feeling there is a conspiracy when you say James Lovelock wants to suspend democracy? And for personal reasons I’m offended by your use of the word denier.

  30. December 22, 2010 12:28 pm

    It’s hard to see how such narcissistic individualism is at all democratic in any sense of the word. I think suspending the individuals right to degrade their own life-support system is the least of our problems.

    “Denier” by itself is a fairly ambiguous word so seems a fairly unreasonable (and somewhat undemocratic) for you to suggest it’s use to not be politically correct. Here it’s used to address those who deny, without compelling reason to do so, the validity of an incredible wealth of available evidence for anthropogenic climate change. How is this “offensive”?

  31. Graham Wayne permalink*
    December 22, 2010 6:24 pm

    Agent Goldstein: “Can you blame the “deniers” for feeling there is a conspiracy when you say James Lovelock wants to suspend democracy?”

    No, what I can blame them – and you – for is not being able to read something properly. This is what I wrote:

    Climate change cannot be seriously addressed until the physical evidence is such that either the population become convinced, or – as James Lovelock suggested – democracy is suspended…

    In other words, if the population can’t be bothered to understand and act towards the problem (like adults) then governments will take the drastic steps needed to protect us children from our own stupidity – and that will entail the loss of our freedom, for our own good. What both Lovelock and I appear to agree is that the suspension of democracy may be the only way to deal with the problem, in the same way democracy was suspended during WW2. Neither of us think this is desirable, but will be forced on us by the recalcitrance, foolishness and complacency of the public at large.

    Goldstein: “And for personal reasons I’m offended by your use of the word denier”.

    And frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn (and neither does Freud). Happy Christmas.

  32. December 23, 2010 4:26 am

    Agent Goldstein,
    You’ve made yourself a bit of a pickle there:
    1) “From what I can see you have no qualification at all in science, maths or statistics.”
    2) “serious people who disagree with your unproven view”

    So, let me get this straight; do you believe that relevant scientists are qualified to assess the reality of anthropogenic climate change? If so;

    It seems to me that almost all of the trained scientists in the field believe that the evidence is strong and significant. Who are these “serious people”? Are they qualified and if so, why are their views fringing the majority?

    Either you deny confidence in scientific judgement or openly deny the mounting evidence. It’s far from an “unproven view” and clearly you yourself have no relevant qualifications, but feel you’re serious enough to disagree with an obviously changing climate.

  33. Graham Wayne permalink*
    December 23, 2010 7:19 am

    Sorry Moth – thanks for bothering but Goldstein has been shown the door. I’m not prepared to let the discussions take such a negative turn, and when people can’t come up with anything better than straw-men and personal remarks about me, I just feel this blog would turn into a mirror of the Guardian, replete with all the vomitous nonsense they put up with (despite it being in breach of their own comment policy).

    Anyway, I have considerable trouble finding any patience at all with people who are so self-important. What Goldstein thinks, likes or dislikes is his own affair. When he wants me to live – or write – according to his standards instead of my own, I just wonder at the impertinence of such people – then chuck them out.

    Anyway, I love the power…HAH HAH HAH…I’m the censor now…all dissent will be silenced…he’s now on my list so that when the new world government is formed etc…..(Sorry, it’s a bit early)

  34. December 23, 2010 7:34 am

    lol Graham! Always a great read and I couldn’t agree more.

    As he made clear, it doesn’t stop with reporters, but such people also feel it valid to decide what science they agree with and what not.

  35. Birgit Kvarnstrom permalink
    December 24, 2010 12:04 am

    Well Graham this is not so good. Agent Goldtein has an opinion and it seem that you can be rude to him but he must be censored. That is not so fair.

  36. Graham Wayne permalink*
    December 24, 2010 6:50 am

    Birgit, I’ve explained my views on this several times already. I’m not going to keep explaining the same points. The comment policy is clear and if it is breached the comments will be moderated. I’ve also explained this is not censorship – which is the denial of the right to voice an opinion – but moderation, which is an editorial policy. Anyone can write whatever they like in their own blogs. In here, they will conform to the simple rules I have set in place to ensure that they do not turn this blog into a copy of the Guardian, full of propaganda, fake concern, stupidity and ignorance.

    You do not seem to understand their tactics: the point of posts like his, and other deniers, is to muddy the waters. They don’t have any science to back up their idiotic views, so they do what they can to make the science seem equivocal, to make scientists appear incompetent or dishonest, to make people like me appear to be following some political agenda, and to obfuscate and distort any and all information about climate change. They believe the whole thing is a fraud, they are fearful, paranoid and irrational. It is not possible to debate anything with them, so I’m not going to bother even making the attempt – did that for five years and got nowhere at all. Another post you will not see, which was made this morning, called me a ‘little Hitler’. Is this what you want to see? Is this what you think of as intelligent debate?

    This is the voice of the mob, as violent, self-righteous, and ignorant as mobs always are, and they are not welcome here.

  37. Graham Wayne permalink*
    December 24, 2010 10:32 am

    Speaking of comment policies, I now understand why the Guardian does not permit discussions of moderation policies. I have added the following to my comment policy, and I will permit no further remarks about moderation of this blog.

    Update December 2010

    Discussions about moderation and censorship are no longer permitted – such discursions simply go the way of other fruitless discussions and I have no time for them. I will run this blog the way I see fit, and if anyone takes exception to the way I do things, they are free to go somewhere else.

  38. December 30, 2010 12:22 am

    Denier is a perfectly valid descriptive term for a particular pattern of behaviour, having no necessary conceptual connection to the German Third Reich. Whether or not an individual’s behaviour matches that pattern for any given case is a judgement call that can be disputed and evaluated, but simply claiming that all references to denial are somehow implicitly equating the individual’s behaviour with denial of the Holocaust is simplistic. Calling someone a hijacker doesn’t imply that their behaviour is automatically the same as those who flew planes into buildings in 2001.


  1. Episode 16: Show Notes — Irregular Climate
  2. Episode 16: Show Notes | Irregular Climate

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