Friday, November 06, 2009

Quote of the Day

"It's not even that I am especially sceptical about climate change.
It's the sanctimonious style of the green lobby and their
ministerial accomplices I cannot stand:
the collective smugness that comes with absolute
moral certainty of any sort and the readiness to disdain
and scorn anyone who dares to dissent, even slightly,
from any aspect of the new orthodoxy."

Matthew D'Ancona
GQ Magazine, December


Nigel said...

So whether or not the planet is going to fry takes second place to the social acceptability of a few boffins.
Slight failure of perspective there.

And Matthew D'Ancona calling other people smug ?

I guess that could be the quote of the day, after all.

Ian Phillipson said...

We need more people like Matthew to stand up and point out that much of the science politicians are using to promote the climate change story (and subsequent tax rises) is poorly researched and not backed up by data.

Now if only there were scientific advisors that our Government would listen too...

T England said...

After reading that I couldn’t help but think, I remember when “they” said immigration wasn’t a problem & anyone who said it was were called a racist?
You know how it’s now turned out that immigration is a problem & those who shouted racist at anyone concerned about it shouldn’t have done so?

Well things have changed around but the idea is the same is it not!!
How I laugh at the term climate change denier!!!

Jimmy said...

Come on, quote of the day has to go to Nicholas Winterton:

“But do I go around pinching bottoms? Certainly not. I’m a Conservative.”

Scan said...

Sorry, I'm with D'Ancona. And I think Nigel's just proved his point beautifully :)

Anoneumouse said...

Surely the quote of the day, is that from David Cameron he has spoken of the importance of his faith it grows "hotter and colder by moments".

Mine too

At the moment, after the Lisbon Treaty referendum climb down I have no faith in David Cameron.

Marian said...

What puts most people off is that (a) those who are most fervent in advocating global warming theories have all the appearance of religious zealots, and (b) we smell a rat because of the global warmists keeness to punish us by taxation.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

If it's a stand-up, drag 'em out, no holds barred, intellectual dust-up between the effete types at GQ and the horny-handed lab-rats at Nature ... I know who to trust on which colour of shirt is de rigeur and who'll be left standing.

Now, get out of the way of the real event.

increasinglymiffed said...


I'm getting rather angry about the whole thing.

peter_dtm said...

but its a religion after all (official; as determined by a tribunal presided over by a judge) ; and the religious types (especially evangelical ones) do tend to over weaning smugness !

Especially when they are wrong

Dick Puddlecote said...

The likes of Aussie Premier Rudd calling us all outside for a decking doesn't really help.

If the climate change lobby would debate rather than fearmonger and threaten, I'm sure they would receive better 'compliance'.

Unless the science is weak, of course, in which case their approach is perfectly valid.

The Lakelander said...

When the answer to any problem (scientifically proven or otherwise) is "more taxation" I immediately get suspicious...

Random said...

I'm with Matthew on this.

As a bit of a boffin, I'd probably go along with a 2C global temperature increase as the most likely outcome, but I'd never claim to be 100% certain of anything (except the laws of thermodynamics).

Every time some politician, who knows very little physics and even less ecology, comes on and lectures me with total certainty about what I should or should not do, and tells me that if I don't obey, then we're all going to die, I feel inclined to save some CO2 by throwing them on a bonfire.

Regardless of what we are doing, the climate will change. That's what it does. Life adapts. That's what it does.

Get a sense of perspective. Ask a geologist.

Roger Dodger said...

Is Matthew offending peoples faith with this comment?

Is that a hate crime?

Norton Folgate said...

This summed it up for me

"A political ideology, such as environmentalism, is not a religion. Only totalitarian societies such as Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia try to turn politics into a religion - with disastrous consequences for human freedom."

The fact that they are using the "Denier" accusation proves that no differing opinions will be tolerated.

Anyone not subscribing totally to their manifesto is a heretic.

Bob said...

Climate change is a steaming pile of horse manure. Next!

Stephen Morris said...

So our understanding of science shouldn't be based on actual science, but on our emotional response to certain lobbyists. I don't mind what view you have on the science but surely you must see that this is most irrelevant possible comment. Why is Iain wasting blog space on it. For f*cks sake.

Greg L-W. said...


little wonder the comic is best known for its pictures and minuscule circulation.

As with legal clerks of old, paid by the word, they invented an overly flowery over wordy style for maximum pay yet minimum readership!


Greg L-W.

tapestry said...

The real question is whether the Copenhagen Climate Change Treaty to be signed in December will be ratified by Congress in the USA.

If so, the US is gradually being sucked into the same situation as we are over Lisbon, handing powers to international bodies to rule democracies.

And question number 2 would be, if Cameron was PM would be put Copenhagen to a referendum vote, as part of his recent promise, or does that only apply to EU Treaties?

The one world government programme exists beyond the EU.


Glyn H said...

Prof. Ian Plimer shows just how spectacularly flawed are the IPCC reports and that climate is changing just as it always has done, over thousands of millions of years. And it is not driven by carbon (the very basis of life, not a pollutant)

I seem to recall that the church caused Galileo some problems when he pointed out a basic flaw in their theory.

Gore, Monbiot and a government that invents a Department to enforce their view.... remind one of any old inquisition?

(PS. Did you know Gore was a director of Lehmann Bros, who were seeking to make billions out of trading the fraudulent 'carbon credits' that foolish govermnments are introducing; the same reason Russia belatedly signed up to Kyoto to extract huge amounts of EU money from the same scam?)

Sean Haffey said...

Sadly, this debate too often gets over-emotional between the evangelists and the atheists. I'm agnostic, and I suspect a large proportion of the public is too. It would be more helpful if the two sides of this argument spent more time examining the relevant facts and less time insulting each other.

Lady Finchley said...

Go, Matthew!

Now the latest hogwash from the CC camp is that cows' farts cause global warming and we should all stop eating meat. Of there there is real scientific evidence to prove that this is not the case but that doesn't stop them from twisting figures and trying to turn us all into vegetarians. So what do we do - kill all the cows? Put the farmers out of business? Outlaw meat eating? No, thanks - I'll have a big t-bone steak!

Shinsei said...

There's a good quote from The West Wing where Ainsley Hayes (a Republican) debates gun control with the West Wing Staffers. "It's not guns that you don't like. You don't like people who do like guns. You don't like the people..."

I've noticed exactly the same attitude with many AGW "deniers". The science is of secondary importance to a dislike of Al Gore or George Monbiot.

Don't judge an issue on the personalities of its more high profile proponents.

Victor, NW Kent said...

I am still trying to get the answer as to why the last great ice age ended. There was a vast melting of both ground and sea ice. It most certainly was not due to carbon dioxide or methane levels increasing. Krakatoa and Mount St. Helens have shown us that volcanic eruptions have an atmospheric cooling effect.

Could it have been due to increased Sun activity?

Libertarian said...

I have asked this question of every Green/ Eco activist ( and there has been lots of them)that I've debated with.

Please provide a link to the scientific paper that contains the data from a peer reviewed empirical study that shows a link between man made co2 and global warming.

So far after 3 years of asking this question I have not been shown. The answer I normally get is

a) Pages and pages of stuff telling me I deny the holocaust, that I'm going to drown poor people and that pola bears are dying off in huge numbers.

b)A diatribe scoffing at me that the "whole" scientific community believes therefore I'm wrong ( unfortunately the "whole" scientific community believed in Y2k bug and DDT scare too amongst others and were wrong about that)

c) Claims that any one who disagrees is being paid by big oil, although it's funny how all these lefties don't seem to mind that former Director of Lehman Bros ( yes the one that caused the banking collapse) Al Gore has made close on a $billion from carbon trading

Paddy Briggs said...

Extraordinarily blinkered rubbish from D'Ancona. The issue is a scientific one and unless I have missed it he is not qualified to pass judgment. If those he seeks to criticise are right – and the scientific evidence seems to suggest they are – that is the important thing not whether they have a “sanctimonious style”. That’s a value judgment anyway – as is “smugness”.

I fail to understand why ones propensity to pooh-pooh the science of climate change has become one of the virility tests of ones right-wing credentials. Why is spouting scepticism about this branch of science – and the associated charges of “political correctness” launched at the Greens – something that good conservatives have to be seen to be doing?

Incidentally charges of political correctness are usually code for “something I disapprove of”. The political correctness of the right (anti EU; English nationalist; anti-regulation; anti-Green; pro “small government”; pro “liberty”; pro the Nation State and all that jazz) is just as PC as the political correctness of the Left!

Daniel Earwicker said...

The D'Ancona quote is just another example of the same problem affecting both sides of this debate - avoiding any discussion of the issues and instead focusing on explaining the psychological defects of your opponent. "Oh well, you would would say that, you're one of them".

George Monbiot recently devoted a whole column to the same kind of nonsense, in the opposite direction - a frankly offensive and totally insane theory that old people are AGW sceptics because they'll be dead soon so they don't care what happens to the planet - I don't know if he has children (or living parents), but if so, he should probably test his "theory" by asking his own parents if they are at all concerned about what will become of their grandchildren.

It's time for bloggers like Iain to stop playing the same game. Address the real issue of AGW, don't pander to those who'd rather throw psychological diagnoses at each other.

AGW is real, and it is not safe for us to leave it to the left to think of the solutions!

Nigel said...

>>And I think Nigel's just proved his point beautifully <<

Maybe I didn't explain myself too well.

That the fear of climate change should suit the agenda of anti growth environmentalists is truly irrelevant is assessing the risks associated with 'global warming', and what - if anything - we should be doing about it.
That D'Ancona should be irritated by pontificating bores like Al Gore is equally irrelevant.

It seems to me that there is no single "green lobby". There are a lot of different people who are seriously worried about the likelihood of climate change and the possible serious consequences - and who have a lot of different views on what we should be doing.

We appear quite happy to spend a significant percentage of our GDP in prosecuting what seems to be an utterly futile campaign in Afghanistan, based on unquestioning fears of terrorism which make George Monbiot seems rational. At the same time, many are completely unconcerned by a threat to the habitability of half the globe.

Even if there is only a 5% change of the more worrying climate change scenarios playing out (FWIW, there a plenty of sceptical scientists who would put the dangers rather higher than that), then a simple cost benefit analysis would indicate that we should be trying to do something about it.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Perhaps Glyn H 2 08:45 AM and any other doubters can positively deny in toto -- for just one example -- the 996 pages of Solomon, Qin et al.: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis [CUP].

There 's not a lot in there to be idly waved away as "sanctimonious" or "smug".

Nigel said...

>>...Regardless of what we are doing, the climate will change. That's what it does. Life adapts. That's what it does.
Get a sense of perspective. Ask a geologist...<<

Which is a reasonable point, Random.

So long as you recognize that the sense of perspective you are advocating excludes the survival of any particular species (humanity, for example) as a consideration.

tory boys never grow up said...

Subsitute "Thatcherites" for "green lobby" and this is a pretty good summary of how many of us felt about your lot during the Thatcher years.

Forlornehope said...

I don't have any problem with the science of AGW but am utterly fed up with the way it has been hijacked by the green facists to support their own agenda. Dealing with AGW is fundamentally about engineering and, as the whole energy infrastructure has to be replaced over the relevant timescale, it is not even particularly difficult once we decide to do it. The problem is that what should be a pretty straightforward issue has got wrapped up in old fashioned left-right politics.

As a footnote, to anyone who finds Plimer convincing, just check his facts back to some of the 2000 references. You'll find more thant the odd discrepancy.

jojoko said...

Gore stands to collect billions from the US changing policy. The US government will pump billions into businesses he has heavy investments in, and the billionaire could become a trillionaire. Nice little racket he's got going there. Expect soon to hand your total salary over to the government in taxes who will then give you back what they deem necessary for you to have in order to exist, and there will be big deductions from that allowance if you don't toe the green line. As for the new relgion of climate change, I am an atheist of long standing and am not about to convert to a pseudo-scientific relgion - there's already one of those about and it doesn't appeal either.

arthur said...

When people insist on banging on & on about something, more than likely it is absolute nonsense - remember Iraq & WMD?

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Forlornehope @ 5:13 PM could assist us by suggesting when, if ever, such a global "engineering" project, requiring "the whole energy infrastructure ... to be replaced over the relevant timescale" has ever been attempted.

Would not, by definition, such be internationalism? Is that what the antis fear?

He [?] is correct in casting doubt on Plimer. Few academics survive the comprehensive rubbishing he has rightly (in any sense) received.

Is it permitted to refer to Bob Piper here? His posting this morning has D'Ancona dismissing Cameron: "It's Official: David Cameron is a sanctimonious, smug git!" I therefore find it big-hearted of I.Dale to continue to advertise R.Piper.

boggartblog said...

I have no doubt global warming is happening but I have no confidence in the scientists who claim they are trying to reverse it started talking about "anthropogenic global warming" rather than man made. The kind of idiots who think it is smart to use five syllables when two will express more accurately what they are trying to say have a lot in Common with the people who asked the Computer Deep Thought for "The Answer To Life, The Universe and Everything."

And as for the idea of pumping sulohur into the upper atmosphere, one of the scientific quick fixes being pushed, anyone remember the problem of acid rain in the 1970s and 80s. Caused by power stations in Yorks and the East Midlands pumping sulphur into the atmosphere it did a lot of damage to Scandinavian pine forests.

The other problem with the scientific pproach of course is corporations stand to make trillions out of us taxpayers. If we all just cut back as much as we possibly can, we help the planet and benefit from the savings.

But as James Lovelock wrote a few weeks ago the problems are to big and too complex for the scientific community to get their heads roound.

Climate Change Science Scam

jojoko said...

The biggest problem is human overbreeding. Most other species reach a point where they outbreed their habitat, then they die off of disease or starvation. Mankind has managed so far to overcome many of the threats that in the past would have cut the population down. Whatever happened to ZPG? Did the true religions consign it to hell? Cut back on breeding and there will be enough to go around. The politicians refuse to support this simple fact for fear of losing votes, so they jump on the climate change bandwagon knowing perfectly well that is not the main problem. However, they hope to twist the facts to encourage the population to think if they are taxed enough, the nasty climate change ogre will go away whereas a baby tax would see them all thrown out of office.

Twig said...

Population is the elephant in the room as jojoko pointed out.

UK is set to grow to 70m, but what's being done about that?


Gareth Kane said...

This is the most pathetic piece of denial ever - "I'm not going to listen to the science because I don't like their tone of voice." How mature.

The identification of the climate change phenomenon came from the scientific community, not the green movement. OK, so man-made climate change suits the politics of Monbiot etc who readers of this blog may despise, but the laws of physics are the laws of physics whether you like'em or not.

Doug said...

Here were calling it climate communism. Simple, clear and to the point. See;

DocRichard said...

I apologise if some of my colleagues get a bit frustrated. The reason for this is that
in the end, this is not an academic debate, to be debated word without end amen. It is a policy issue, a matter of choice, because we and our children are part of the experiment that is being carried out on our home planet. The consensus among scientists (yes, with a few exceptions, as is always the case in science) is that we should decarbonise our economy as a matter of urgency.

The matter for political debate is not the minutiae of climate science; that is a matter for the climate scientists. We need to decide what to do. What is the Cost Benefit Analysis of the choice
before our leaders?

Say we decarbonise our economy, and it turns out (unlikely as that may be) that IPCC view is wrong? Well, we will have created hundreds of thousands of jobs in insulation and renewable energy manufacturing and taken thousands out of fuel poverty. Not bad, but that's not all. We will also have reduced the shock of Peak Oil and Peak Gas, and reduced the acidification of the oceans. And addressed our energy security problems. And increased prosperity in hot countries. Not bad, not bad at all.

Say on the other hand, we go the way of the denialists/skeptics, and it turns out, as per all reasonable expectations, that they are wrong? We will have problems with energy security, Peak Oil, Peak Gas, acidified oceans, acid rain, fuel poverty, unemployment, poverty, civil unrest and finally, massive, catastrophic climate disruption from droughts, floods, crop failures, disease, and war. With massive migration caused by environmental collapse. Not good.

Any sensible policy maker will put our money into decarbonising the global economy asap.

We get frustrated because the sceptics are holding this decision back, because of the disproportional effect that sceptic journalists like have on public opinion. 99% of scientists are convinced, but only about 66% of the public. This represents a massive failur of journalism.