My response to Delingpole over invoking Godwin's Law

Last weekend I posted an essay on what I considered to be a pointless invocation of Godwins Law by my friend James Delingpole:

The battle of the pointless Nuremberg insults: Romm -vs- Delingpole

(Note: For those of you who don’t know, Delingpole was the first to pick up on Climategate and give it MSM legs in the Telegraph, for that we owe him gratitude. )

In my essay I had harsh words for people on both sides of the climate debate, pointing out where there’s more than enough instances of blame to go around. Both sides have fallen into the Godwin’s Law trap. From Wikipedia:

Godwin’s law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies) is an observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990 that has become an Internet adage. It states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” In other words, Godwin observed that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis.

When James invoked Nuremberg comparisons, he became another Godwin’s Law statistic, joining some other loud voices on the AGW advocacy side of the debate.

Normally, when you point out where they’ve fallen into such a  rhetorical trap, especially with friends, they thank you for helping them to realize this. I was quite surprised to find that Mr. Delingpole has made not one, but two critical responses to my essay:

In the Telegraph: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100211704/apologise-to-michael-mann-anthony-id-rather-eat-worms/

In the Spectator: http://www.spectator.co.uk/columnists/james-delingpole/8885551/no-i-wont-say-sorry-even-to-a-friend/

After contemplation of his reaction, I wrote a thank you letter to James for the kind words that he did mention about me (to which he responded positively), and I have now condensed the problem of our differences down to what I believe is a simple misunderstanding on Mr. Delingpole’s part.

I wrote in my original essay:

My point is, no matter who says it, in whatever context, it will turn into a shouting match no matter how many qualifiers or caveats you attach to it, and we simply don’t need it, because all it does is polarize the tribal nature of the climate debate even further.

To Delingpole, take a cue from Dave Roberts at Grist: fix it and apologize. To Mann, Romm, and others, clean up your own house before taking your outrage further.

James took that as me suggesting that he should apologize to Dr. Michael Mann. No, I’d never make such a silly suggestion, because while Dr. Mann does have a right to be upset at what Mr. Delingpole wrote, as is typical of Dr. Mann, he took the issue, made it his own, inflated it, ran with it, and added his own brand of specially seasoned Team Outrage Sauce to it:

Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 11.11.03 AM

Should we be surprised at this inflation of Delingpole’s Godwin’s Law rhetorical flourish to “calling for my murder”? No, not at all, because Dr. Mann is quite good at taking small insignificant bits and turning them into issues, it’s what he does as his hockey stick critics will tell you.

But here’s where I think James missed a critical point, and that might be my fault for not making it clearer in my initial essay. I think my mistake was dashing off my original essay too quickly, which left some things open to interpretation.

I wasn’t suggesting James apologize to Dr. Mann, nooo, I was suggesting that James apologize to climate skeptics.

Why? Well, consider what goes on in the climate blogosphere on an almost daily basis.  Since AGW proponents are having a hard time successfully arguing the science these days, what with the pause, climate sensitivity, IPCC modeling -vs- reality and other issues not working out like they hope, and with the public cooling their interest, AGW proponents rely more and more on rhetorical tricks to make their points. We see more and more hyperventilated media claims of every bit of odd weather being caused by global warming, only later to discover they are nothing but hype. We see desperately silly claims of “anything goes” when it comes to connecting AGW to weather, where no matter what the forecast and result, the unseen hand of AGW is to blame.

But, probably the most desperate examples being used by AGW proponents are the execrable tactics pioneered by Dr. Stephan Lewandowski of the University of Western Australia and his sidekick John Cook of Skeptical Science.  Their tactic is the same as what was once employed in the communist USSR, a political abuse of psychiatry: paint your opponent as being mentally aberrant.

And, it is we individual climate skeptics who are the ones having to fight those rhetorical battles in the blogospheric trenches. We’ll now be in a defensive position over Delingpole’s article.

My issue with James Delingpole simply had to do with handing our opponents another tool to beat us up rhetorically with. When they want to use a broad brush to paint all climate skeptics as nutters, the last thing you want to do is indulge their fantasy by invoking Godwin’s Law, giving them rhetorical ammo that they’ll re-purpose and fire back at us. One thing I’ve learned is that climate extremists have no shame, they’ll take any issue and throw it back at us with wildly inflated claims, just look at Dr. Mann’s tweet above to see this in action.

In his letter to me James wrote that:

As a scientist you are inevitably going to think this is all about the science. it isn’t – and as I documented very carefully in Watermelons – it never was.

No, I’ve never thought that. While James and I fight the battle using different tools at our disposal, we both know that that battle lines of global warming/climate change are constantly blurred between science and politics. Some days they are entirely interchangeable as Al Gore, James Hansen, Joe Romm, Kevin Trenberth, Michael Mann, and Bill McKibben routinely demonstrate to us.

I simply think we shouldn’t hand our opponents new weapons (such as Godwin’s Law eruptions) that they will inevitably use against us; it just isn’t a good strategy. For those in the blogospheric trenches who will now be forced to defend Mr. Delingpole against hyperinflated claims of “calling for my murder” like Dr. Mann has made, I think Delingpole should offer a simple mea culpa to them for the extra difficulties they will now face in the battle.

James also wrote this in his letter to me:

We’re free and open in expressing our differences. Compare and contrast the way, for example, after Gleickgate the greens/alarmists throughout the blogosphere and the MSM pretty much closed ranks and got behind Gleick regardless of the gravity of his crime. Our side would just never do that. If any one of us was involved in serious malfeasance like identity theft, we’d be quick to condemn it.

Indeed we would, we police our own, which is why I’m pointing out this Godwin’s Law instance to James.

James does make some very good (and entertaining) rhetorical points though about the eco-oriented left , and you can read about them in his book: Watermelons: The Green Movement’s True Colors

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175 thoughts on “My response to Delingpole over invoking Godwin's Law

  1. I’m have great respect for both of you. I hope this blows over. We are all on the same side.

  2. For those of ous without science degrees, but who believe are being screwed by those who call themselves ‘climate scientists’, I think James Delingpole does a first class job. I hope you both continue to sing from the same hymnsheet.

  3. I like Delingpole’s work and have a copy of Watermelons, but I think in this case you’ve got it about spot-on Anthony.

  4. Never apologize. Your’e up against thieves, charlatans, and bitter misanthropes who would blithely ruin millions of lives if they had their way. Stay in their face, never back down, meet them wherever you find them with clenched jaw and closed fist. Mock them, berate them, and spit on their views. I’ve seen nothing in seven years of following this that makes me think they deserve otherwise. Delingpole is my hero.

  5. The problem is the AGW crowd does not need an issue, they simply believe which is why this is political and not a science matter. In Nazi germany it was settlled by scientists no less that Jews, Homosexuals were subhumans, the only debate was how subhuman. In the AGW world the issue of man caused global warming is settled, the only debate is how fast is the world going to hell. I find it hard to believe that your resonable, lets all be resonable style will work when the Hitlers of the AGW crowd are saying you are in effect subhuman.

  6. There may be time when a comparison to the NAZIs is appropriate. Consider the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. It authorizes the armed forces to detain WITHOUT TRIAL anyone thought to be involved in terrorism. That includes US citizens captured in the US. The “without trial” part is very disturbing. It violates the 5th and 6th amendments to the US Constitution. Without a trial the government doesn’t have to prove you did anything wrong, and you get no opportunity to proclaim your innocence. They only have to say you’re guilty and then you’re off to Guantanamo. Does that sound like America or NAZI Germany?

  7. Add my name to those who agree with your approach. Mr. Delingpole is correct on many issues but he went overboard this time and handed Michael Mann a stick with which to beat all those who have been pointing out the multiple faults in both his science and ability/willingness to defend it.

  8. I am a skeptic not to say a denier. There is no need for Mr. Delingpole to apologize to me. My sentiments are about the same as Mr. Mangan may be even stronger. Of course Mr. Watts can say what he likes on his blog or for that matter anywhere. But sugar, syrup and treacle have no place on the battlefield.
    REPLY: “sugar, syrup and treacle have no place on the battlefield” agreed, but I’m not advocating that. I say: “don’t hand them new weapons of your own making”. – Anthony

  9. ‘the last thing you want to do is indulge their fantasy by invoking Godwin’s Law’….
    ‘Their tactic is the same as what was once employed in the communist USSR’ excuse me Mr
    Watts are you not using the same tactics now?
    REPLY: No, not at all. Lewandowsky has published “peer reviewed” papers (though one has been put on hold for the moment due to questionable tactics) using ginned up opinion data gleaned from AGW proponent blogs to claim that we are “nutters”. There’s a big difference between trying to create faked science and having an opinion about an issue. – Anthony

  10. Really fine article, Anthony. To the extent that you are striving to prevent our side from giving rhetorical ammunition to the other side, I am with you. However, when that effort becomes a restraint on our side then the other side has won yet another skirmish in their war to control the conversation. In this case, you are on safe ground. There is no loss to our side if we refrain from referring to Nuremberg or related matters.

  11. Godwin’s Law is a specific case of a general theory I have called “The Principle of Natural Acceleration”:
    The Principle of Natural Acceleration: the principle that all human systems have feedback mechanisms that drive the system to increase in character. This increase continues until a crisis point is reached, at which time the systems devolve into chaos and then catastrophically stop. Shortly thereafter, if the same conditions are prevailing as before, the system starts up again as before, to inevitably go through the same cycle of growth, sharp increase in severity, until the system is in chaos and catastrophically fails once again.
    Some examples:
    1. Society at peace with its neighbours that go to war,
    2. The witchcraft persecutions of Europe in general, Bermuda and Salem in specifics,
    2. Junior-high gossip that leads to bullying, suicide or murder,
    4. Stockmarket runs,
    5. Promotions such as North Dakota Bakken shale oil, shale gas in Britain, gold fever in the Philipines.
    I’ve experienced it in aerobics classes when the music stops, the instructor leaves the room to fix the music with the instruction to “keep the beat going”: the pace picks up, flailing ensues and finally everyone but a mad keener in the front row stops and awaits the return of the aerobic instructor.
    The Principle of Natural Acceleration is biological, not just human. In the animal kingdom Natural Acceleration is seen in populations of predator-prey where one both have large population growth potentials but of different time spans, such as foxes and rabbits. A burst of rabbit population leads to a burst of fox population that, in a kill ratio (warm-blooded mammals) of 10 prey to 1 predator, rapidly drops the prey population below sustainable predator levels. The foxes starve to death, but the rabbits rebound so quickly, the see-saw gets going again.
    Godwin’s Rule exhibits the properties of Natural Acceleration in that small comments mushroom to the chaos of Nazi analogy, both extreme and inappropriate, which ends the debate, i.e. the catastrophic ending. Since the conditions remain the same, however, though the dispute calms down for a while, the debate ramps up to the Nazi analogy level again.
    Which is the focus of this WUWT post.

  12. You’ve got to admit Godwin’s Law can sometimes be used in such an over-the-top manner as to allow humour to override the typical Hitler taunts. Can’t help it, this video, now dated by 3 years, which parodies Al Gore, still makes me laugh – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ymxLA5oRYI&feature=colike
    One can’t help but wonder how much fist pounding is going on behind closed doors at carbon future trading businesses these days…

  13. Look, we all know where these collectivist freight trains eventually stop — at genocide central. That has been empirically proven for those who want to reduce it to science and statistics. To pretend like we are dealing with anything different this time is to have one’s head in the sand. Propaganda works, freedom and decency are losing, and if we don’t call a spade a spade, our children will be the guards at the camp or the ones interred there — probably too late anyway, so let’s not pretend this is all nicey nicey.

  14. As stated, Godwin’s Law is false. The following is the account of the law used by Anthony:
    “Godwin’s law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies) is an observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990 that has become an Internet adage. It states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” In other words, Godwin observed that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis.”
    I follow several blogs on college football. The debates can be heated. Bloggers sometimes describe an opponent’s anatomy in great detail. Never have I encountered a reference to Hitler, Nazism, or anything related. Such references might occur but they are scarce as hen’s teeth. I think there are reasons for that. Such references simply have no descriptive value, metaphoric or not, in debates about college football. I think there are many other topics that are similar to college football.
    Godwin’s Law must be revised in some way. As a starter, consider: “As an online discussion about politics or closely related topics grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”

  15. Watts is right, try not to give the alarmist militants the guns with which to shoot back at us. Let them invoke Godwin’s law, then they’ll be giving us the guns.
    But apologize? I don’t know, I like what Mr. Mangan said above “Stay in their face, never back down, meet them wherever you find them with clenched jaw and closed fist. Mock them, berate them, and spit on their views. ” ..To that I say Amen Bro.

  16. Anthony says – “We’ll now be in a defensive position over Delingpole’s article.”
    Only if you choose to be. I’m certainly not. As I said on Friday, I thought JD’s column last Sunday was well written and brilliant. He has nothing to apologize for.
    Mann’s reaction was a perfect fit proving the column’s point and it’s Mann who should be getting hit over the head with it.

  17. Well, he doesn’t have to apologize to me. Go, Dellers, go!
    Go over the top, then top it again!
    (I’m so sorry, Anthony)

  18. Hmm, James Delingpole is a hero of mine as is Anthony Watts as are many who write in this blog. Did I think what James wrote offensive? No I do not. Have I ever been called a Nazi? Yes many times. By who? By Alarmists/warmists of course. See they think that if you do not go along with their word view on AGW that you are by definition: 1. A right winger 2. A Nazi 3. A racist. I quickly point out the roots of radical environmentalism. See the “true believers” in the dogma of global warming are beyond being interested in evidence; it is impossible to reason people out of positions they have not been reasoned into in the first place. These people are full of hate. Eric Hoffer observed in his classic analysis of mass movements: “Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.” The mass movements of today are not so much cultural but anti-imperialism, anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism, environmentalism, scientism, and others are millenarian and apocalyptic. The progression from communism to fascism in the creation of the new world was bridged by Nietzsche which led to an association between ecologists and German nationalists, among whom a number subsequently became Nazis. Certain German “volkish” ideas that were central to fascism: about the organic harmony of the earth, the elevation of animal rights and the denigration of humans as enemies of nature are today presented as the acme of environmentalist progressive thinking. When I point out to Alarmists/warmists that their roots lie in Fascism, hell begins to freeze over. Interestingly the environmentalists are today’s Gnostics. Have a read of the British National Party manifesto and you will see hardly any difference from a socialist manifesto. One needs to be a student of history to see the madness of these people.
    So I am invoking Godwin’s Law with the above? No I am not, as it is the truth!
    I have tried being nice and reasonable to these people, it does do work, they only hate me more. I think we are at war with them. They would in all honesty like to send us all for treatment or failing that death. James D is only giving them what they give him ALL the time. Maybe James has just had a gut-full, I certainly have!

  19. I would have to say that i think Godwin’s law is nonsense. The second world war, especially nazis is one of the only areas of common ground one can invoke. While it is still (almost) true that everyone agrees on Nazism one ought to be able to use it as an analogy in arguments. Godwin’s law is really just a petulant attempt to limit discussion, by people with a desire to equivocate.
    As for the matter at hand, I think it was a little boorish to call James out like that on your blog. While Mr Dellingpole was defiant in his response, he was not, in my view hostile. I do not see how scolding him in print was a friendly act, or a necessary one. Nor do i see why you find it necessary to get in the last word here, thus extending the argument.
    Dellingpole is a feisty personality, at war with a plethora of individuals and organizations (including the current government over there). He fights. This is not the same as running a single issue blog, read mainly by people who agree with you or at most politely differ. Further, without people like Dellingpole punting this issue to the proles, there would be no popular support for skepticism.

  20. I have used a similar approach in an attempt to give the person using over stated rhetoric a chance to see hoe the shoe fits. unfortunately it usually does not work, I i get held to account for the words i used and the attempt to get the person to see the man in the mirror fails.

  21. Mikey Mann has always been one tree ring away from obscurity….and a world away from ethical reality. For this Penn impostor to cry foul is foul….and pointing his few remaining supporters to Delingpole might cause some to have an long overdue epiphany. As for handing Mann a tool, i see a Josh cartoon of submissive Mann, tying himself with lies and handing domitrix, Truth, the hockey stick whip. Finally, can we now transcend Fascist talk with other forms of social deviance ? ? ?

  22. I wouldn’t want to take sides here because the two of you approach this from different angles.
    Frankly though, it is well past the time that we expose the murderous b*****ds for exactly what they are. Mann doesn’t care if ‘carbon’ costs X or Y, taxpayers will keep him warm in Winter.
    Mann should perhaps be placed in a room with a dying UK pensioner. One unable to afford otherwise abundant ‘fossil fuel’. He could prattle on about his war with ‘industry funded deniers (and his latest book)’ as they freeze to death. He could, perhaps, provide a taxpayer funded powerpoint presentation about how their imminent death by hypothermia is actually a good thing. That isn’t murder of course. The cause is just.
    Back to Godwin’s law – well you don’t need an ‘Auschwitz’ in order to kill millions of ‘excess’ citizens. Just let them freeze. One by one.
    Delingpole throws this reality in their faces and so he should.

  23. I agree with Anthony over giving your enemies weapons. As Napoleon once said:

    “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

  24. Anthony
    Was it a communications problem?
    “My point is, no matter who says it, in whatever context, it will turn into a shouting match no matter how many qualifiers or caveats you attach to it, and we simply don’t need it, because all it does is polarize the tribal nature of the climate debate even further.
    To Delingpole, take a cue from Dave Roberts at Grist: fix it and apologize. To Mann, Romm, and others, clean up your own house before taking your outrage further.”
    —————————————-
    “To Delingpole, take a cue from Dave Roberts at Grist: fix it and apologize.”
    You didn’t say what to fix nor to whom he should apologize.
    Your next words:
    “To Mann, Romm, and others”, …………..
    It may have been how the lines were laid together that caused confusion.
    I very well could have missed the rest of that sentence and started my response, immediately.
    Game over, Buddy.
    In a letter from a friend being told that somehow apologizing “To Mann, Romm, and others” would “fix it“. No way. I’m not apologizing.
    Let’s hope I’m right.
    cn

  25. Anthony, that’s how it struck me when I first read it.
    cn
    REPLY: Yes, as I point out, I probably dashed this essay off too quickly, then I didn’t allow comments, because I was irritated that we had to go down this road again and I was in no mood for moderating the usual OTT comments last Sunday while at home with my family. The juxtaposition of those sentences wasn’t as well delineated as it should have been. – Anthony.

  26. To James and Anthony:-
    “While you’re out there smashing the *****s , don’t forget to keep a smile on your lips and a song in your heart!”
    The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers

  27. I have sometimes referred to Warmists’ crimes against humanity. This is not meant as an ad hominem, I mean it. >>> Food to fuel, fraud, energy poverty, UK excess winter deaths etc.

  28. pointing out where there’s there are more than enough instances of blame to go around

    Fixed!
    /pedant

  29. A point that may well be missed is that there is the “2 countries separated by a common language” issue. It is often not understood that the two nations are also separated by emotional response to events. Even for those of us with feet in both camps it can occasionally lead to unexpected reactions and unintentional upsets. So one has to be extremely careful with use of metaphor – an analogy that would perhaps lead to a wry smile in a reader in UK could trigger a vitriolic response in the USA although more often it is merely polite bafflement. James’ original piece was written for an Australian audience who tend to be – shall we say – less subtle, so the last lines of his article were relatively measured for that audience. Unfortunately, these days people of the celebrity of James and Anthony cannot expect their writings to be confined to a particular audience and so were read worldwide. Nevertheless, I think James was somewhat taken aback about the way some of his readers started “throwing their toys out of their cots [cribs]”.
    However, leaving epistemological theory for a while. In UK energy prices have ‘necessarily sky rocketed’ ™ leaving many people in energy poverty, to the extent that “According to official figures, an additional 2,500 people died in the fortnight ending March 15 than the average over the same period in the past five years.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/9955587/Deaths-rise-10pc-in-freezing-weather.html
    The reason that two thousand five hundred more people died than usual in a fortnight in UK was that claims of global warming have been used to cripple the fossil fueled power generation infrastructure while ‘green energy’ schemes put up useless windmills at a cost of over £18 Billion ($27Billion) a year in subsidies paid for by the electricity consumers some of whom are now dead. The people currently getting so upset about imagined slights and insults and Godwin’s law etc., need to realize that real people are actually dying because of the claims of global warming – this is not metaphor or analogy it is unpleasant fact. I believe that the relatives and friends of those people who died in energy poverty and of the others who are still having to choose between eating or heating but survived this time, have the right to be quite direct in their use of epithets for ‘people’ who profit from false claims of global warming.

  30. Punch each other in the nose then buy each other a beer. Then move on. I don’t think this topic deserves another space in either of yours blogs.
    REPLY: Agreed, I don’t plan any other essays on it – Anthony

  31. I think that Anthony has a point when he says that AGW alarmists will attempt to use James’s piece as a stick to beat us. However, if that’s true then Anthony has added to their armoury.
    Can’t you just see Dr Mann trumpeting to all who will listen – ‘Even that well known climate sceptic Anthony Watts has condemned Delingpole’s murderous outburst’?
    REPLY: Since I’m critical of Dr. Mann in this and in the other essay, and because his ego is so large that The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has to put out orange road cones ahead of him when he travels, I doubt that he will link to/cite the piece. 😉 – Anthony

  32. It matters little what we say. Hansen, Mann and schellnhuber are paid by the state to give the state excuses for taxation and control, not to advance science. Hansen for instance has done his best to destroy knowledge about the temperature history, not advance it.
    The Hansens, Manns and Schellnhubers will continue to get paid by the state for this; the state-owned media will continue to spout their drivel, reality alone will be the judge; over the pseudoscience as well as over the Keynesian state.
    At the moment it looks like the Keynesian state will fall BEFORE the pseudoscience.

  33. Can’t we let Delingpole be Delingpole which seems to be the point of his response? The Lewandowsky stuff is something different all together in my mind.
    We do seem to be in a contentious mood this weekend. Let’s keep that aimed at the other side.

  34. Anthony, Leave Delingpole alone.
    Let him do his (excellent) work and you do your (excellent too) own.
    You do not have to defend him, he can do it by himself, but most important, as already been said above, the CAWG crowd does not need any post or “godwin’s law” to resort to name calling, bullying or just plain whining, anything one says is enough.
    Since as you said, this is not just about science but also about politics, let Delingpole mend to that part.
    Also. I believe the proper response to crybaby remarks like Mann’s is complete ignorance.
    Let him wail. It is just pathetic.

  35. Godwin’s Law is irrelevant nonsense and nothing more than an attempt at censorship. To be clear it’s nothing more than mindless drivel. If one can’t make comparisons with the prime example of the Nazis when appropriate one is being denied freedom of speech by a silly made up “law”. I give zero credence to “Godwin’s Law” as it is merely a device to end the conversation by invoking Godwin’s Censorship Law.

  36. Some want to beat them with data while others want to beat them with a stick..
    I say nothing but the best for our climate con men and women..
    They surly deserve both..
    Lets not forget that reality always was the ace in the hole in this political battle..
    Betting on the weather / climate to get the public to fund your political movement through taxes.
    Breaks about every democratic funding election law there is. Our tax dollars used to deceive and bribe their way into power..
    A very sad state of affairs..

  37. War is Hell. Currently, we Skeptics/Climate Realists are winning, thanks in large part to Mother Nature, and to the actual Truth getting out to the public, thanks to WUWT and others. Their tactic of choice now seems to be one of playing the “victim”. So be it. I imagine most will see through it, though. The enemy needs to be crushed ruthlessly, while they are down.

  38. Anthony or James? Sorry, but I choose both. As someone who’s been writing for a living for the better part of three decades in all manner of fora, from newspapers to deliberately inflammatory political blogs to blancmange briefing papers to scholarly academic journals, I’m much less exercised by this non-issue than most other folks seem to be. Anthony and James are fighting the same war, but with different weapons and, hence, tactics. This does not necessarily render either approach less valid or less useful any more than swooping Walpolisms make Christopher Monckton’s eye-wateringly trenchant essays any less beneficial a contribution to our common cause. Steve McIntyre’s work is made no less readable or necessary by its (to we non-mathematicians) impenetrably dense statistical analyses; as with Monckton, this is his voice, and thus he thunders.
    James is a columnist, a professional scribbler plying his flourishes in the ancient bastion of the English language. No thinking person perusing his original piece would reasonably have assumed that he was advocating mass judicial execution for those with whom he disagrees. He used the term “Nuremburg” because it is a recognizable metaphor in our common tongue. He might just as well, and perhaps more accurately, have called for a climatic “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”, save that the resultant scratching of low foreheads would have showered the darker corners of the internet with dandruff. That the warmist mafia (oops, there’s another metaphor! I presume we can all agree that I’m not actually accusing Mann et al. of being lupara-toting mobsters from the Sicilian hinterland?) might selectively cite and deliberately distort the content of his pieces in the same manner that they selectively cite and distort observational evidence should come as a surprise to none. They will do so no matter how milquetoast our declamations. He would be a fool to allow such fears to crimp his style. One does not eschew a well-crafted weapon out of fear that it might be used against you.
    I say, Fight on, the pair of you, but choose your targets with care. Intramural scuffles are a waste of energy, and I beg you, as two of our finest marksmen, to reserve your straightest shafts for the enemy. The game is yet afoot. Our foes may be shaken but they are still feisty, the more so as they now can hear the gusts of incontrovertible observational evidence rattling the bare branches of their models and their grants. For those of us who understand the link between cheap energy and civilization, there’s a world to win.
    Gaia willing, after the scoundrels have been routed and the battle won, we’ll all meet in the pub for a beer – room-temperature and flat, or ice-cold and hypercarbonated, as per one’s particular cultural predilection. In refreshment as in argument, difference is not venom but variety.

  39. It would be derelict to not invoke the Nazi analogy to describe the totalitarian movement that is underway, of which CAGW is a central pillar.

  40. Delingpole uses hyperbole to attract attention to his arguments in the same way as Jeremy Clarkson uses it to make his points on ‘Top Gear’, However, Clarkson is only trying to entertain and succeeds in doing so, Delingpole is trying to make serious points and in his case hyperbole weakens his position. Of course that’s only my opinion and we all have different ones so surely there’s no need for this argument to continue. So kiss and make up, chaps, eh?

  41. Can’t see what this is about. James never asked for a nuremburg trial much less any death sentences, so what? Exactly what is the weapon he is supposed to have put in the “enemies” (sic) hands?
    We all know Mann is a nutter and his reactions is symptomatic to his followers. That doesn’t fault mr Delingpole.

  42. Anthony,
    I am one of the ‘climate sceptics’ to whom you think James should apologise and although I have great respect for both of you and I share your view that what James said was inflammatory, I don’t see how he has done anything for which that he needs to apologise. So what if he demonstrated Godwin’s law? Is that taboo? How is Godwin’s law a ‘trap’ as you described it?
    Is James ‘trapped’ now as a result of having demonstrated it? I think not. Yes, Mann has reacted with typical misconceived outrage by falsely accusing James of calling for his murder (a charge which can easily be seen to be false by anyone who takes the trouble to read James’s article with their eyes open – evidently Mann didn’t do that). But as far as I am aware Mann didn’t express any outrage specifically because James compared him to a Nazi (something else which anyone can see he didn’t do either just by reading his article properly).
    REPLY: Get back to me the next time you get into an argument on this subject at some other venue where we all get painted with the issue. – Anthony

  43. Much as I mostly like Delingpole’s wit, you are right about this one. The whole thrust of the alarmist position is the opposite of true scientists. They seek every spurious reason to discourage anyone from looking at anything that will challenge their beliefs. Accusations, however much we might think they are justified, will be magnified. Lewandowskys linking skeptics with conspiracy theorists, or Desmogblog’s claims about secret funding, or pejorative epithets.
    The skeptics will continue to win the argument if people are encouraged to independently test the hypotheses against actual evidence, look for alternative explanations, evaluate the strength of the evidence for CAGW and put the data or theories in proper context.

  44. It would have been a really good idea for you not to comment on JD’s article. You are being a little precious.
    We’re in a battle for the survival of technical civilization. No quarter.

  45. I’m surprised that Godwin’s Law dates as far back as 1990.
    I have no memories of the internet back then and understood that the Interweb only came into being around 1993.
    “Online” back then had no meaning, there could have been no more than a few bashing away at the Arpernet like a glorified CB radio, but was this not confined to geeky University types hiding from the rugby club, and the military?

  46. JohnS said:
    “…I would have to say that i think Godwin’s law is nonsense. The second world war, especially nazis is one of the only areas of common ground one can invoke. While it is still (almost) true that everyone agrees on Nazism one ought to be able to use it as an analogy in arguments. Godwin’s law is really just a petulant attempt to limit discussion, by people with a desire to equivocate….”
    and I agree with him. Godwin’s law is dangerous nonsense. It depends on a shared assumption by all parties that Hitler’s rule in Germany was something so exceedingly bad that it is in a different league from all other human evil, and that it should never be referred to.
    I have news for humanity. Hitler wasn’t so incredibly evil that he must be considered to be in a different league. Humans do the sort of things he did to other humans all the time, and there have been many incidents of similar atrocities in history. A google on ‘genocide’ will soon show you that’ while Hitler’s death camps were chillingly orderly processes, they have certainly had their equals before and since.
    Furthermore, the evil which gripped Germany in the 1930s started, as these things often do, at a low level and worked its way up. Many of the laws and justifications for wars which we are currently experiencing in the West were also part of the build-up to the Nazi regime – and many other regimes of equal horror which we do not wish to experience. We should be free to discuss this issue dispassionately – to consider how illiberal we wish to be, and to recognise that human societies are ALWAYS in danger of slipping over the line, and constant vigilance is needed. This sort of discussion simply cannot exist if someone can just say:
    “You’re comparing this law to one the Nazis passed – therefore you are defined as having lost the argument”
    Godwin’s law is a tongue-in-cheek byword – like Murphy’s law. It has some truth in it – the person who complains that a librarian charging an overdue book fine is ‘like Hitler’ is obviously not best placed to win the argument – but for Anthony to raise this jocular point to the level of an immutable law is excessive exaggeration and, I feel, fighting the wrong battle.

  47. Sorry, have to agree with James. Your article was just an “own goal” Anthony.
    Furthermore, Godwins law is utter nonsense and a tool like the word “racist”, used to shut down debate. Invoking it only reflects negatively on the ignorant person who raises it. If people can not point out the similarity between current actions and the past then there is no possibility of learning from history.

  48. Get back to me the next time you get into an argument on this subject at some other venue where we all get painted with the issue.

    So what? Those other venues, the ones that would make this an issue, are not really interested in the truth anyway. They are merely using issues such as this as an excuse to stick their fingers in their ears and ignore what is being said. These are people that cannot be convinced. They do not matter. I agree with the above: those that invoke Godwin’s Law are merely trying to shut down a discussion that is likely making them look fairly stupid in the first place. They are losing and need a way out.
    Mark

  49. Armagh Observatory says:
    I’m surprised that Godwin’s Law dates as far back as 1990.
    I have no memories of the internet back then and understood that the Interweb only came into being around 1993.
    “Online” back then had no meaning, there could have been no more than a few bashing away at the Arpernet like a glorified CB radio, but was this not confined to geeky University types hiding from the rugby club, and the military?

    The Web is not all! Bulletin Boards were hosting angry arguments online in the early 1970s…

  50. As I’ve written elsewhere, Godwin’s law should apply to inappropriate comparisons involving Nazis or Hitler. It is not inappropriate, I submit, to compare totalitarian abusers (who, inter alia, would tattoo calumnious epithets across our foreheads for our daring to oppose their silly conjecture) with other historical examples of totalitarian abusers.
    My Annotation:

    “As an online discussion of totalitarianism or authoritarianism or the Second World War grows longer, the probability of an inappropriate but smug reference to Godwin’s Law approaches 1.”

  51. I regularly read Delingpole’s blog and agree on most points. I thought this article crass, but that seems to be the way the bloke sometimes is and you have to take the man as a whole. He’s recently moved out of London and wrote a blog post about how boring his new neighbors are (after they had kindly invited him over to dinner). I would have commented on his Telegraph and Spectator blogs, but the one is swamped with trolls and the other requires that you register with twitter or some such, so let it pass. An old Norfolk friend once said: you can always tell a Londoner – but not bl**dy much. Ho hum.

  52. “Online” back then had no meaning, there could have been no more than a few bashing away at the Arpernet like a glorified CB radio, but was this not confined to geeky University types hiding from the rugby club, and the military?

    The web was not around, but “online” certainly existed in the form of bulletin boards, accessible at first through dial-up modems (the first was 1978, according to Wikipedia). Whether or not a BBS was where the so-called law first arose, however, I can’t say.
    Mark

  53. Thanks for the “Godwin’s law” explanation, Anthony.
    I’ve seen it battered about, but never looked it up.
    Now I know, thanks to WUWT.
    I will now finish reading your post, at my leisure 🙂

  54. I wasn’t suggesting James apologize to Dr. Mann, nooo, I was suggesting that James apologize to climate skeptics.
    Well that`s how i read it too.
    But it`s not easy confronting those who make a profession of faking outrage. It`s a phenomenon i`ve encountered more and more over last ten years or so.
    It seems to be the first strike /default position for most interest groups and sub-cultures with a (percieved) grievance.
    Profess enough outrage and it`s possible to shut debate down,it works.
    Possibly there are subtle cultural differences (with that rather large puddle between us) that grate on our sensibilities.I for instance find Americans incredibly polite and well mannered ,the ONLY time i`ve EVER been called sir was in a store in the US.
    Here in Blighty we appreciate a good insult,a witty verbal attack or frequently something more visceral.
    If i wrote here the torrent of abuse that passes as a `greeting` from my closest friends i`d be promptly moderated off the site:)
    It`s all good knockabout stuff. I absolutely understand your feelings toward Dellers blog post,but i can`t honestly disagree with him either.
    As for Mr Mann,i read the twats tweets, maybe the next time he fluffs up his faux outrage and waves it at the general public we should advise him that if he can`t grow a pair,perhaps he could borrow one..maybe two 😉

  55. Anthony: ” “don’t hand them new weapons of your own making””
    The reality is, the AGW cult would make something up or make nothing into something anyway.
    Why are you picking sides Anthony? You can choose to have certain standards on your blog and Delingpole can choose to say what he wants.
    By picking sides you have fallen into the trap the AGW cults wants you to be in. The cult wants the right for any of their fellow travelers to be as vile and disgusting as the want to be, but they want the deniers/skeptics to be saintly so they can laugh at them.
    Do not try and be the Miss Manners of the climate blogs unless you attack each and every AGW cult blog first for being vile and disgusting liars (which they are).

  56. I wasn’t suggesting James apologize to Dr. Mann, nooo, I was suggesting that James apologize to climate skeptics.
    Well that`s how i read it too.
    But it`s not easy confronting those who make a profession of faking outrage. It`s a phenomenon i`ve encountered more and more over last ten years or so.
    It seems to be the first strike /default position for most interest groups and sub-cultures with a (percieved) grievance.
    Profess enough outrage and it`s possible to shut debate down,it works.
    Possibly there are subtle cultural differences (with that rather large puddle between us) that grate on our sensibilities.I for instance find Americans incredibly polite and well mannered ,the ONLY time i`ve EVER been called sir was in a store in the US.
    Here in Blighty we appreciate a good insult,a witty verbal attack or frequently something more visceral.
    If i wrote here the torrent of abuse that passes as a `greeting` from my closest friends i`d be promptly moderated off the site:)
    It`s all good knockabout stuff. I absolutely understand your feelings toward Dellers blog post,but i can`t honestly disagree with him either.
    As for Mr Mann,i read the twits tweets, maybe the next time he fluffs up his faux outrage and waves it at the general public we should advise him that if he can`t grow a pair,perhaps he could borrow one..maybe two 😉

  57. Armagh Observatory says April 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm
    I’m surprised that Godwin’s Law dates as far back as 1990.
    I have no memories of the internet back then and understood that the Interweb only came into being around 1993. …

    However, CompuServe (and a few others) WERE around back then, with a wide-ranging audience active in debate and and all …
    .

  58. The problem with Godwins law, is that is has become to climate science debate, what racism became to the immigration debate. While the left have managed to dismiss any criticism of open ended immigration as racist, so Godwin has effectively allowed for automatic dismissal of anyone who makes any comparison of anything with Hitler or Nazism.
    It may be,that in life, some actions or ideologies are comparable to Hitler. Making that observation should not rule out the argument as being nonsense. I’m not saying this is the case with climate science, but there have been some instances that have raised eyebrows. The call of Nuremberg style trials for “climate deniers” was a case in point, as well as possible uses of propaganda.
    If something warrants a comparison, and if it is backed up with substance, then nobody should be cowed into not doing so.

  59. I agree that inflammatory language is a tactical error.
    JD disagrees.
    Maybe we are wrong and he is right?
    But it makes no real difference in the long term as inflammatory language is inflammatory in the eye of the beholder. Godwin’s Law is an obvious example but it is not the only example.
    Tying scepticism or warmism to a religious (or atheist) viewpoint, a particular nation’s viewpoint or a wing of the left-right political spectrum… They all will arouse the ire of those who are from a different viewpoint.
    And in a divide between empiricism and idealism none of those are directly relevant.
    But it’s easy to mix up your own positions.

  60. _Jim says:
    April 14, 2013 at 2:07 pm
    However, CompuServe (and a few others) WERE around back then, with a wide-ranging audience active in debate and and all
    ============================================================================
    I remember being on Prodigy about 1990-91 on my first “personal computer” (some POS Radio Shack unit that cost more than a used car today)
    I want all that time back that I wasted waiting for pages to load !!!

  61. “However, CompuServe (and a few others) WERE around back then, with a wide-ranging audience active in debate and all … ”
    Well, you lot kept that quiet!
    Mind you I was in the Rugby Club (Well, the Drinking Club that occasionally played rugby.)
    One lives and learns- thank goodness!

  62. I believe the interesting thing about Godwin’s Law is this : it fixes fascist analogy of the situation as axiomatic with an appreciation of the truth. Rephrasing slightly then, Authoritarianism is inherent in government and bureaucracy.
    Just a few hours ago I was Searching on the matter U.S. Government Narrative and found it productive. ( The UK and BBC are masters of the art ) And the linkage bit Denis Rancourt hard, being persecuted for both ‘climate’ and ‘Holocaust’ alleged denialism ( actually alleged Revisionism ).
    Here’s one quick note about the political background of this particular propaganda staple.
    http://my.opera.com/oldephartte/blog/2013/03/24/denier

  63. Armagh Observatory says:
    April 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm
    I’m surprised that Godwin’s Law dates as far back as 1990.
    I have no memories of the internet back then and understood that the Interweb only came into being around 1993.

    The internet existed long before the www (http). Godwin’s law came to be on usenet (nntp) which existed long before the www, and to some degree still exists.

  64. Dodgy Geezer says:
    April 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm
    “Furthermore, the evil which gripped Germany in the 1930s started, as these things often do, at a low level and worked its way up.”
    Indeed. A regularly overlooked fact is their economic ineptitude which led to price controls, black markets, and with black markets comes theft of the goods the black market needs from the planned economy and with that, retaliation by the state using snitches and capital punishment…

  65. So Anthony Watts is a diplomat as well as a thinker and a gentleman.
    I agree with Robert Scott (near the top) but also with the chap that said that sometimes Nazi comparisons are helpful. I don’t approve of calling someone Hitler/Nazi as a mere term of abuse, but extreme situations, while they ‘make for bad law’, help to clarify what’s at stake and thereby illuminate moral distinctions. For instance, the other day someone on a blog was cracking on about legality, as if it were the Holy Grail of all moral action. Much as I support legality in most cases, I found it useful to point out that there were a lot of laws in Nazi Germany, and that many behaviours we consider decent and responsible were illegal in that regime.

  66. Armagh Observatory says:
    April 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm
    ‘“Online” back then [1990] had no meaning, there could have been no more than a few bashing away at the Arpernet like a glorified CB radio, but was this not confined to geeky University types hiding from the rugby club, and the military?’
    Right. In those days old students of mine would beg me for accounts to a growing university net in the US. I was issued a number of accounts for each class. These accounts were not available to the general public.

  67. James Delingpole polarizes, like M Mann, as soon as I criticized James on this issue, he blocked me on twitter (just like Mann did, and Monbiot) and I have said before if he toned down the rhetoric and focussed on the fact, he might reach more people, rather than preach to his tribe.
    Maybe the rhetoric was needed a few years ago, I think Times have changed, more columnists, etc are looking at policies and finding them wanting, the media has now noticed the hiatus in warming over the last 15 years, time for a civilised discussion with those newcomers, not shouting or forcing them to pick sides?
    Mann, Romm, etc almost NEED Monckton and Delingpole to rail against (this latest will help them) lest they have to answer more moderate voices that they can’t just shout denier at.
    I think it is time for the extremes to be ignored, and the majority to get a say, that means most scientists, most sceptics, not just the vocal ones, if the extremes can’t change with the times, then they will hopefully get ignored not pandered to.
    I can’t believe James blocked me, merely for saying he was wrong mistaken, etc and he then started dishing out snide remarks, in a patronizing manner.
    Ok, to cheer me on, when it was in his benefit…
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/03/has-the-bbc-has-broken-faith-with-the-general-public/
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/09/james-delingpole-beats-a-press-complaint-from-uea/
    Personally, I think, if Monckton (nobody has heard of him in the UK, associated with UKIP, and a bit fringe) and Delingpole were not involved in the UK, and associated with scepticism, thus others not wanting to be equated with them, a lot of the more probing questions might have been asked by now, Copenhagen and energy policy/recession have changed the political landscape. In the last year I see them as more a hindrance, because of the fighting to win, rather than to persuade people that might be more open to persuasion now, but get alienated by the pitched battles.
    but that is just my opinion.
    or am I just some sort of ‘climate sceptic traitor’ (in the pocket of ‘big climate’ – of course not) for saying that, as I’ve got a trip (expenses paid) to the Met Office to talk with a few climate scientists, and we will be no doubt be laughing at how delusional Lewandowsky / Cook are. I think climate change science needs to change from within (and is more realistically likely to), with sceptical encouragement, not abuse

  68. Robert in Calgary says:
    April 14, 2013 at 11:47 am
    Anthony says – “We’ll now be in a defensive position over Delingpole’s article.”
    ============
    IMHO, the MSM reports with a slant that puts the opposition in a defensive position, then denies them a retort.

  69. Speaking for myself, I haven’t been treated very politely, ever since I first came out of the closet and confessed I felt Hansen was “adjusting the data” in a way that displayed bias. Besides a “denier” I was called a “ditto head.” (I had to look it up.) I wasn’t going to just take such treatment, and my responses could be fiery. Fortunately Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit set a very good example of how to remain polite and dignified.
    However as the years have passed I have noticed even Steve has grown a bit acerbic. Willis concluded his last article, “Man, I’m tired of rooting through this kind of garbage, faux studies by faux scientists.” The simple fact of the matter is the fraud is getting too glaringly obvious, and the fraudsters too lame, however I doubt they will ever admit they are basically slinging the bull, while wearing white coats and pretending to talk in a erudite manner.
    We have been patient enough. I think it is high time to stop being such sweeties. For every thing there is a season, and the season of sweetness is past.
    If Mann doesn’t like it when people’s voices become harsh and strident, he obviously hasn’t listened to himself. He is no child, able to run to Mommy and weep his feelings have been hurt. (Even if he was, Mommy would know “he started it.”) However the fact is we are adults, dealing with Truth, and it is time for him to face the Truth.

  70. Anthony, you admonition to all is correct. This may seem to be a religious war, but it is not. Those always end badly, whether the Inquisition, the Reformation, or the present Sufist Moslem Jihads.
    Let’s get back to enlightened science, and leave the rest behind as religious baggage from darker, more ignorant eras.

  71. Both of you should drop it and row your own boats. Nothing could benefit the buggers more than two of our biggest players infighting. I mean it , drop it – they love it.

  72. Dr. Watts, I respectfully disagree with you on Delingpole’s essay. I did not interpret it as invoking anything about the Nazis except for the mention of the Nuremberg tribunal, which was established by the Allies. Sorry, but I think you are off base on this one.
    REPLY: No Dr. here, simply Mr. But thanks for thinking of me that way.- Anthony

  73. It is, obviously, a lack of communication.
    Mixed signals/hurried typing/bad wording.
    Entertaining to be sure, glad it wasn’t me 🙂

  74. Here is a snippet of conversation that speaks to the different mindset of
    “those who know the truth”. This is from an MSN science article….this first line is from Physicist_retired…
    “If Rex doesn’t understand how that works, he really isn’t qualified to be commenting on this topic at all, Jock.”
    6
    Vote for this comment.
    !
    #3.3 – Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:53 PM PDT
    Comment author avatarstoneyplanet
    I’ve seen Rex in here before. I wish he would stick to the sports stories. He’s an idiot and a bit of a racist.
    1
    Vote for this comment.
    !
    #3.4 – Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:44 PM PDT
    Comment author avatargoldminor
    Rex has the right of free speech, or maybe Physicist doesn’t believe in free speech. This is not a science journal,. This is a run of the mill spin the news website. Anyone can say whatever on this thread , as long as it is in the realm of decency. Your socialist agenda shines clearly.
    Vote for this comment.
    !
    #3.5 – Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:44 PM PDT
    If they had the opportunity, these people would pass censorship laws to silence those that they do not agree with, or whose opinions might be deemed dangerous to their ideology.

  75. Glad to see I’m not the only one with the view that Monckton and Delingpole are both loose cannons in the AGW debate. I fear this is not the last time we shall see such a problem…

  76. I found my way into this realm when I bought and read Dr Bob Carter’s book “Climate: the Counter Consensis”. I found his chapters on the science to be erudite and convincing. They sounded like the material I was exposed to as a geology undergraduate ie. honest science. Later chapters put me off and I didn’t pick up the book and finish it for nearly a year. This was because he had very harsh and (I thought) over the top things to say about conservationists. I knew these were well deserved in reference to charlatans like Gore ( ie the funding and salary crowd) but his rant included ALL conservationsts. It read like bad ‘Mannerisms'(are there any good ones?)
    Then I read Christopher Booker’s “The Real Global Warming Disaster” with a similar experience.
    THEN I acquired James Delingpole’s “Killing The Earth To Save IT” It was hard to get on with appreciating all the very good points he was making because of the dense cloud of invective. I thought it is going to be hard for me to speak out in the face of the hatred that this kind of activity will inevitably generate.
    So I agree with Anthony. It is not necessary to made odious comparisons and generalizations. Take individuals to task for their errors and sins with vigour but stay on fact. It may not be easy and it may be less colourful. I hard to censor myself twice just writing this. I guess I really am a pedantic old fart.
    By the way. Those books led this old dinosaur to WUWT which I visit twice a day. Wouldn’t miss it.

  77. In my essay I had harsh words for people on both sides of the climate debate, pointing out where there’s more than enough instances of blame to go around. Both sides have fallen into the Godwin’s Law trap. Wikipedia …
    […]
    I simply think we shouldn’t hand our opponents new weapons (such as Godwin’s Law eruptions) that they will inevitably use against us; it just isn’t a good strategy.

    I must respectfully disagree with you Anthony.
    The way to ensure another round of Nazi atrocities and holocaust eventually is to forget the last one, and to not identify it when it is in stages of infancy. Godwin’s Law is a politically correct form of a free pass or immunity from criticism for those proto-Nazis and neo-Communists that are infecting Science and all of society itself. It is a malignant tumor of cancerous cells. I soon expect a similar Wikipedia Law that will also truncate comparisons to Communists and medical diseases as well.
    I wouldn’t worry about handing them another tool because Political Correctness is one of the main tools the enemy already uses, and invoking Godwin’s Law to stifle accurate comparisons to their forerunners is itself “handing them a weapon” to beat us up with. Heads they win, tails we lose. That is the nature of the “game” the enemy has us playing. You are only looking at one side of that coin. We are not in a battle of scientific opinion, we never were. It is about slavery, feudalism and servitude, and Political Correctness is the blue pill in this Matrix.
    P.S. naturally this is your site and you can restrict it however you want, and seeing how Nazi related words already trigger the content filter it looks as if you already are restricting the conversation somewhat. That’s fine I guess. But I still respectfully disagree, and I do understand because you are a much nicer person than I am. However, I am prepared to happily accept being painted not-so-nice by freedom’s enemies. The price of liberty truly is eternal vigilance.

  78. Armagh Observatory says:
    I’m surprised that Godwin’s Law dates as far back as 1990.
    I have no memories of the internet back then and understood that the Interweb only came into being around 1993.
    “Online” back then had no meaning, there could have been no more than a few bashing away at the Arpernet like a glorified CB radio, but was this not confined to geeky University types hiding from the rugby club, and the military?

    In addition to the comments of others in response to your comment, there were many online services around in the late 80s and early 90s, as well as extensive BBS networks, such as Fidonet (my 2-line BBS was a member for a couple years).
    I also worked for a small online service called The Source, based out of McLean, VA. At our height we had about 60k subscribers. I was a tech support dude. They were gobbled up and dissolved by Compuserve in 1989. From there I went to Telenet, which shortly thereafter became Sprintnet. One of the online services which used our dial-up lines was called PC-Link (also Apple-Link), actually those were the names of the software used to connect to Quantum Computer Services servers. I worked closely with the Quantum folks as a representative of Sprintnet to help develop dial-up scripts and testing protocols. Shortly thereafter they launched America On Line (AOL), and grew so quickly that our rotaries were overwhelmed in a short space of time. We went from about 50k dial up lines in 1989 to over half a million in the early 90s.
    So, yeah, “online” meant quite a bit, without a public internet.

  79. I’ve occasionally got into this argument over Delingpole (and Monckton) in the past. My answer has always been that I feel no requirement to defend Delingpole as a member of my ‘team’. Sceptics are not a tribe or a coherent organisation – they’re a collection of individuals, few of who have anything to do with any of the others. They don’t speak for me, and I can’t speak for them. And I’m always polite, and ought to be judged on my *own* behaviour.
    Having said that, I’d also say there’s room in the debate for several different approaches. Delingpole is essentially an entertainer, who makes a living by presenting in a humorous style that deliberately breaks taboos and ‘political correctness’. There are many people who are attracted and impressed by sophisticated debate, but there are even more people who admire someone who speaks directly, expresses their feelings, and says all those things that “you’re not allowed to say”. It attracts support, raises passions and enthusiasm. (It’s usually funny, too.) The British have a tendency to follow the rules, so when the authorities say “you’ll put up with all these windfarms because it’s Green, and only an evil person would disagree with Green” they will go along with it, with no more than a little dark muttering under their breath. People like Delingpole say to them they can argue back – say such things out loud. It’s liberating – if a little scary.
    That doesn’t mean we should *all* do it. And it would help if they knocked it off with the nazi analogies – it’s cheap and lacks imagination. (I don’t think he should be apologising to the sceptics either, but to the Jews and other victims.) But on other topics the angry rhetoric serves a purpose, addresses a particular (very large) segment of the population, and is in any case a sort of comedic act, part of a journalist-entertainer’s way of making a living. Delingpole’s perfectly capable of defending himself, he doesn’t need any of us to defend him, and nor should we.
    Free speech means the freedom to say things we don’t like. Sometimes people need to say things people don’t like specifically to maintain that freedom – to hold the door open, so to speak.
    Perhaps, in a way, not being allowed to say it is actually a worse thing than saying it.

  80. Actually, the best example of invoking Godwin’s Law is the “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming” meme itself–and in typical fashion, advocates of CAGW frequently call anybody who doesn’t march in lock step with them the “N” word or some variant thereof.
    Add to that prattle the mindless, irrational invoking of the Precautionary Principle and you’ve got a dynamic duo–(fictional) CAGW justifying (ignoramus) PP. (It almost sounds like physiological dysfunction, but I won’t go there.)
    And to top it all off, they’re hiding all this garbage under the banner of “science”. It doesn’t get worse than this unless you add how much they’re getting paid and the impact their charade is having on the defenseless poor of the world. Then it becomes criminal–as in crimes against humanity.
    Of course, Mann only chafes at hypothetical death threats and not actual deaths. For him the theoretical always trumps reality.

  81. Sometimes it is entirely appropriate to compare something to Nazism.
    Godwin’s “Law” does not discuss whether it is wrong to ever mention the Nazis, it just states that in any internet discussion is appears to be the observation that if the discussion lasts long enough then the Nazis will be mentioned.
    I think that Delingpole’s point was to draw attention to the idea that the warmists are effectively proposing to commit a crime against humanity with their CO2 policies since many have predicted that those policies will lead to increased starvation. What better way to do that than to frame the characters into those of the famous Nuremberg trial?

  82. I hope that it is now clear that Anthony did not ask James to apologize to Mann.
    And that the main concern of Anthony was that the skeptic side discipline ourselves to avoid the distraction of Godwin’s law.
    Both men exhibit the truth of the Proverbs, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” and “Iron sharpens iron.”
    And I have on doubt that these super heroes will remain true friends.

  83. I am one of Delingpoles biggest fans. but he c0cked up. It takes a big man to admit it, and Dellers is a big man.
    This fight is only worth the candle if we win fair and square, with dignity, and, yes, even respect

  84. The examples of the AGW “metaphors” you provided in your original screed directly called for violence against skeptics. Delingpole properly applied the use of metaphores and even went out of his way to illustrate how he was using them. By implying equivenlence when there is none, you may well be doing even more harm to your side. You should have left it alone for the readers to judge Mr. Delingpole’s article.

  85. Sorry Anthony but I’m going with James Delingpole on this one, you can’t apologize to a watermelon they don’t have ears. Having said that I dearly love you both for standing up to crooks of so called climate science. Now please kiss and make up, we have bigger issues to deal with than Mann’s sensitivity.

  86. It just strikes me that this is rather a pointless ‘argument’ amongst ‘friends’ caused and due mainly due to personal ‘interpretation’ and semantics. FWIW I think Anthony got on his high horse a little bit (with his anti-inflammatory essay! but it perhaps had the opposite effect!) and Delingpole has just responded in a similar fashion. Listen guys, there is no need for it !!
    as has been alluded to by others – there are many ways to skin a cat – and all achieve the same result. Disagreements are always gonna happen in any debate, even amongst those on the same side – the main point to remember is that you are both on the same side!!
    Peace !

  87. Having established a successful beachhead in the occupied MSM, the two generals are having some disagreement on strategy against the warm-macht.

  88. Steven Mosher says:
    April 14, 2013 at 3:37 pm
    “Delingpole pretends”…
    ==============
    I don’t think he does, right/wrong/or in between, I don’t think he is pretending.
    Even idiots make the right call, sometimes, don’t they ?
    Personally, I’m just enjoying the give-and-take between Anthony and Delingpole.
    As misguided as it might be ?

  89. Steven Mosher says:
    April 14, 2013 at 3:37 pm
    No – I don’t think Delingpole intended it that way – again, it is just another (your) interpretation? This is the same in all written/spoken communication and highlights the language deficiencies between the writer/speaker and the reader/listener !! Obviously, in some cases, usually politically based or advertising media type scenarios – word usage is highly intended to ‘mislead’ or ‘train thoughts’ in specific directions. Tarring or believing the more general writing this same way is dangerous however – as, in a way, you basically get to the point where you are questioning everything being written as some kind of ‘bluff-double bluff’ !! and that would make all written communication completely pointless as you wouldn’t know what the intention really was!!

  90. In some ways I am not really all that surprised at Delingpole’s diatribe. If you have ever attempted reasoning with those whose eyes are glazed over (they have all the information they need, thank you not at all), which J. Delingpole, A. Watts, S. McIntyre et al have attempted for donkey’s years, then you may someday come to understand:
    “Human behavior is profoundly affected by the influenceability of individuals and the social networks that link them together. Well before the proliferation of online social networking, offline or interpersonal social networks have been acknowledged as a major factor in determining how societies move toward consensus in the adoption of ideologies, traditions, and attitudes.
    “Specifically, we show that when the committed fraction grows beyond a critical value pc ≈ 10%,
    there is a dramatic decrease in the time Tc taken for the entire population to adopt the committed opinion.
    “Commonly used models for this process include the threshold model and the Bass model. A key feature in both these models is that once an individual adopts the new state, HIS STATE REMAINS UNCHANGED AT ALL SUBSEQUENT TIMES. (my caps)”
    http://stat-www.berkeley.edu/~aldous/157/Papers/social_consensus_xie.pdf (this paper was previously discussed on WUWT)
    The problem is in knowing that, then doing the wrong thing about it perhaps before considering the consequences (Jumping the Gun, 101).
    Always remember. Commission of a learning experience for the second time accrues to the definition of “mistake”.

  91. The Tao is the transcendent balance of the ying and yang,..please harmonise again AW and JD…

  92. When “the other side” starts apologizing, then maybe you should start asking that of each other.
    Why does it seem that “decent people” must infight constantly and crooks rarely do?
    Doesn’t seem very decent.

  93. Godwin’s 2. law:
    Most of you won’t be aware of it: Firsty, there is no such thing, because Godwin is not German. If here were though, he would know that EVERY time somebody brings up the N of H word in Germany as a public figure or politician, they will lose their job the next day, or are forced to resign. After watching this for some decades now, I am still laughing myself shitless every time it comes up.
    You’d think people smarten up over time – but no. Every so often, some otherwise well settled political or public figure just cannot refrain from dropping the good ole N or H analogy – and BOOM !! The next day they are history 🙂
    But it is not limited to Germany… Chomsky once observed about 20 years ago, if anybody suggest you are anit-semitic/a Nazi, you are toast – it will always stick, no matter whether it is true or not, such is the power of the forbidden word.
    The last victim died on the news only yesterday… funny shit 🙂 / 😛

  94. I think you were off base on your criticism of Delingpole. He didn’t go over the line, he went near but not over, but perhaps you were too excited to notice that he didn’t actually go over (if you read carefully). This isn’t a boy scout conclave and there will be nasty remarks made on both sides. So be it. The Bernaysian manipulation that has made the global warming scare is a far bigger threat than any other we have faced. Even if they lose that argument, the PtB (powers that be) will find another argument to get behind and threaten our lives and freedoms.

  95. I’m with you Anthony because the very fact that we stick to the high ground and the facts is how we’ve chipped away at the the nonsense, one listener/reader at a time.

  96. Doug Proctor says:
    April 14, 2013 at 11:34 am
    Godwin’s Law is a specific case of a general theory I have called “The Principle of Natural Acceleration”:
    The Principle of Natural Acceleration: the principle that all human systems have feedback mechanisms that drive the system to increase in character. This increase continues until a crisis point is reached, at which time the systems devolve into chaos and then catastrophically stop.

    So you are saying that societies generally have positive feedback making them unstable. My life experience suggests that while this is probably true for some societies over some issues at some times, it is the exception rather than the rule.
    Most modern societies are stable. They have a culture of restrained response to provocation which calms things down. The most unstable parts of the world lack this cultural tradition and minor insults lead to blood in the streets.

  97. I am British, I read Watts but never Delingpole. Why – because this is about credibility of AGW science and the turning point will come after the scientists turn on their bad apples, not before. The politicians are stuck because they followed the bad apples and cannot admit they have squandered billions and skewed their economies and energy policies by following fraudulent science. Until after the scientists themselves stand up and announce that the link between C02 emissions and climate change is not valid the politicians will remain on the sidelines.
    I am more political than science orientated. For my politics I read Richard North (eurreferendum.com) because in my opinion he he is easily the most brilliant political analyst in the British blogosphere. (I detect that there is a rift between my two favorite blogs? I regret that recently R North is not working closely with you.) He bangs heads together, upsets and is rude to everyone, but when he gets a story he dissects it to the bones, rebuilds it with the facts, and puts it out rewritten into the blogsphere. The best stories emerge in Bookers column which in my opinion is much more influential than Dellers, and after that it take six months to two years to bake, and then the stories arrive again as scoops in the media, and things begin to change gradually. Richard North never gets the praise, but he has changed more British policy than any other individual other than very senior ministers. No MP comes near to him as an operator.
    Delingpole is a mixed blessing. Yes he will get the stories out, and he is a brilliant wordsmith, but I fear it ends there. I think Dellingpole may turn serious, but non political, scientists away from investigating your stories in greater depth, this is because his reputation is loud and right wing ( He is often invited on political talk shows as a token right winger, and I have never heard him land a solid punch because his spoken output is not as well presented as his written output. In our country people like to pretend they are a little to the left and care for the poor, free health care, single mums and out of work (its a mask). To be right wing is not to care (it is all very shallow).
    I think as a blog you need to think your political strategy through.

  98. Most modern societies are stable.

    Really? Given that most modern societies have only been around for a few hundred years, this is a very large stretch. Historically, most societies eventually devolve into chaos and collapse. We are seeing that devolution now with “most modern societies.”
    Mark

  99. Streetcred says: April 14, 2013 at 3:44 pm
    [snip – policy violation – mod]
    Sigh ! … probably for the ‘warm’ word … why don’t you just take out the word ? The rest of the post is perfectly acceptable.

  100. Grant says:
    April 14, 2013 at 5:15 pm
    You’re all a bunch of Nazis!
    I guess it is true after all….
    ===============
    Your comment is proof, that, “the final solution” still needs work.

  101. I’m confused…..how is helping an ass make a bigger ass of himself…..a bad thing?
    ….I thought we should encourage that

  102. Their tactic is the same as what was once employed in the communist USSR, a political abuse of psychiatry: paint your opponent as being mentally aberrant.
    Wow, like I’ve never seen “Skeptics” do that!

  103. Godwin’s law has a corollary: As debate on any matter of dispute continues, the odds of one side likening its opposition to Holocaust Deniers approaches unity faster than the probablility of the N-word being invoked.

  104. Sadly, Godwin’s Law has immensely inhibited discussion of authoritarianism.
    Ever again.
    ============

  105. James has erred. In the battle you must use facts and truth but never attack the messenger.
    Hope he realises this because his Watermelon book is very good.

  106. Why should you be criticised for what he wrote?You didn’t write it.You want to control what people say because it may reflect badly on you?I am sorry but that line of thinking doesn’t wash.You have your own blog no need to control other peoples.Nothing wrong with disagreeing with what he said but to demand an apology is a bit arrogant don’t you think?Where did he personally offend you?You are part of the problem he talks about.You want him to conform to group think.Are you an offence-taker Anthony?
    JD from original article.
    “Our culture deserves better than to have the terms of debate dictated by malign, politically motivated, professional offence-takers”
    .

  107. Those who wish to denigrate will use whatever tools are available. Even if they have to fabricate them.
    It doesn’t matter if you mention Nuremberg Trials (which have nothing to do with Godwin’s Law, being the product of Roosevelt, Truman, Churchill, etc.). As Mann demonstrates in his tweets, they are free to make things up as they go along and to change the meaning of words to suit themselves, the time and the message that they want to send (vis Lewandowsky).
    Their objective is to silence dissent. They understand that they can do that by making you think too carefully about what you’re going to say. They rely on the fact that their opponents tend to have a conscience and take responsibility for what they say — that is after all, the primary motivation for speaking up.
    The only viable strategy for those who dissent is to speak to those who would silence through the public. i.e. Use plain language to make sure that the public at large understands. It is the public who need to be persuaded by the force of their own understanding. While the climythologists try to persuade with fear and keep on having to escalate to predictions of ever greater catastrophe to maintain the fear, a public understanding of the silliness of the “arguments” put forward by the climythologists is a persistent defence.
    When the silencers come up with their preposterous attacks, pull those attacks apart in public to show how empty they are. If necessary, take public action to litigate against those things that clearly cross the line. e.g. Mann’s allegations of Dellers calling for Mann’s murder need to be addressed swiftly and with the full force of the law.

  108. I read James’s article. What struck me was the fact that a tiny fraction of the article was statement, the rest of justification for that statement. In such a case, it would have been more prudent to rewrite the original statement such that an explanation wasn’t required.
    To me, I think James was saying that we need a well-orchestrated, well organised, and well researched court hearing about this subject, to the extent that the outcome is fully justified. Unfortunately he used the Nuremberg trial as the example. This I think, was a mistake.
    Not exactly Goodwin’s Law; but close to the bone, and too close for comfort for my liking.

  109. Have just read all the comments so far. In my view, the core of the argument is not about comparisons or Nazism at all. From where I stand, it’s about maintaining a certain kind of valor, a kind of integrity. It’s about being better than them. James D. is a good man who is, indeed, right about many subjects; but he is many other things as well: self-indulgent and self-approving, such that even well-meaning criticism is painful to him; and he falls into the trap of imagining that the wrong-headed are evil. Their policies might be evil, if we judge from the results; but the advocates often think they are doing good. I am not saying that we should cosset evil-doers that claim to do good: I think we should be loud in saying how wrong they are. But in saying what we know to be true, we should entice the skittish with the language that belongs to us: the language of reason and compassion. Why make them think, falsely, that we are somehow on a par with the likes of Mann? Why do such great dishonor and disservice to our own cause?

  110. When another person/group/mob is trying to inhibit your freedom the last thing you do is let them. For that reason Delingpole should write whatever he bloody well wants to (he does – he gets it!). Can’t believe people want us to censure ourselves because the likes of Michael Mann will feign offence as a argumentative weapon. Oh dear, you’ve fallen right into his trap and you can’t even see it!
    And this… “Godwin’s “Law” does not discuss whether it is wrong to ever mention the Nazis, ” – Adam above
    BTW, Delingpole was being sarcastic. I mean, really?!

  111. IMO some of you need to slap yourselves.
    Delingpole’s article was full of sarcasm.
    Michael Mann et al use offence as a weapon. Don’t fall into their trap.
    Don’t censure yourself because your enemy wants you to censure yourself. Confront them with the opposite and laugh at them. (see above)
    And as poster Adam said… “”Godwin’s “Law” does not discuss whether it is wrong to ever mention the Nazis” .
    Godwin was just another guy on the internet who said something about a social topic that has some merit – it ain’t the Law of Gravity so we can take some liberty with it.

  112. Frankly, I think this whole matter is very much a tempest in a teapot. I don’t always agree with Delingpole’s somewhat over the top style – or content; but, for the most part, I do enjoy and appreciate what I would call his irreverence – particularly when it comes to matters of political and /or climatic correctness.
    It’s unfortunate that his original op ed in The Australian is behind a paywall. According to Tom Harley, this op ed began as follows:

    In parts of Australia, you’ve spent the past few weeks being deluged with torrential Flannery. In Europe we’ve been covered with thick white blankets of unseasonal Viner. I’m reminded of the scene where “global warming” comes to South Park. “Why didn’t we listen?” all the characters run around the street, screaming. Except the funny thing is nothing is happening: the global warming that they’re panicking about simply doesn’t exist.

    Hartley also cites what became the initial “offending” paragraph, which was as Delingpole had stated, both in his first Telegraph piece and in his Spectator piece:

    ‘The climate alarmist industry has some very tough questions to answer: preferably in the defendant’s dock in a court of law, before a judge wearing a black cap.’

    Harley’s post indicates that the antecedent(s) of Delingpole’s (extended?!) metaphor post may well have included a tweet from a Bernard Keane, whom I’d never heard of before but who evidently writes for Crikey an “independent news, commentary and analysis website that has been in business since 2000 … located in Melbourne, Australia”. Keane had wrongly summarized Delingpole’s piece as follows:

    The Oz publishes op-ed calling for advocates of climate change action like Tim Flannery to be executed http://bit.ly/Z6R1cy via @timhollo

    Whatever his background and credentials might be, my guess would be that one who – as Keane has done – has written an e-book, The Internet Wars, the blurb for which includes:

    one of Australia’s foremost political commentators, charts how the internet wars are impacting people online and examines the impact it is having on individuals, corporations, governments and democracy.

    is an individual I would consider to be of a somewhat alarmist and hyperbolic predisposition and persuasion, for whom accuracy in tweeting may not be a high priority.
    It’s difficult to tell whether or not Keane had actually read Delingpole’s op ed in The Australian. Who knows, perhaps Keane is ignorant of the fact that Delingpole’s allusion to the anachronistic black cap takes into account that it would have been worn by a judge (I believe only in the U.K.) only after a fair trial – at which one would presume all the evidence had been presented and judiciously reviewed.
    In light of the above, my view is that in the context of Delingpole’s “metaphor” piece, the reference to a “climate Nuremberg” (not a phrase that he had coined, as we know) was almost a throw-away line. It was far from the focus of his piece.
    The Rommian and Mannian knee-jerk gnashing of teeth and “poor me” wailing could only result from their historical ignorance – and/or willful misinterpretation – of what the Nuremberg trials were really all about. In this regard, they seem to be in the same ahistorical boat as Keane. Surely this is their problem, not Delingpole’s.
    Yes, knowing their previous patterns of behaviour, this warped response was somewhat predictable. But so what?! Delingpole’s solitary allusion is hardly as egregious – or as offensive – as the many years during which they have plastered the “denier” label on us, knowing full well that it derives from their willful and deliberate denigration of those who do not share their views of impending doom and gloom.
    Did Mann, Romm or any of the other big name carbophobics object to Gore’s 1989 “Ecological Kristallnacht” in the NYT? [pls. see Climatic licence] I very much doubt it. But I digress …
    I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect Delingpole to walk on rhetorical egg-shells simply because we know that Mann, Romm and their ilk will go overboard in waxing about their faux-furies.
    IMHO, far more damage has been (and continues to be) inflicted on “our side”, particularly by friends in high places who insist on using “hoax”, “scam” and/or “fraud”, in this admittedly polarized debate, than by this relatively minor “transgression” – if indeed it can be justifiably called such – by Delingpole.
    Hilary Ostrov

  113. I prefer George Santayana’s Law to Godwin’s Law:
    “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.”
    While there are too many over-the-top references to Hitler on the internet, there are times when it is appropriate to mention Nazi history so society doesn’t forget. Godwin’s Law was meant as a humorous observation. I fear the non-humorous use of Godwin’s Law will lead us down a slipper slope to censorship.
    Has anyone considered the fact that Godwin’s Law mentions both Hitler and the Nazis and therefore violates itself? By its own definition, It can have no credibility because, “falling afoul of Godwin’s law tends to cause the individual making the comparison to lose their argument or credibility.” Godwin therefore lost his argument and his credibility on this subject back in 1990. Let it rest in peace.

  114. This is my final version of this poem — and strangely this poem is very appropriate for this thread.
    TRENBERTH LOSES HIS STRAWBERRIES
    (see the courtroom scene in The Caine Mutiny)
    As greenhouse gases still accrete
    This captain of the climate wars
    Is searching for the missing heat
    That he believes the ocean stores
    He’ll prove to all humanity
    That danger in the deep resides!
    The Kraken that he knows must be
    That Davy Jones’ locker hides!
    (The soul’s more heavy than we think
    A truth that everyone must face
    And to what depths a soul may sink!
    O! To what dark and dismal place!)
    Does Captain Trenberth understand
    The data leaves him no appeal?
    He tumbles in his restless hand
    Three clacking balls of stainless steel
    MY GEOMETRIC LOGIC PROVES
    HEAT TELEPORTS FROM PLACE TO PLACE!
    FROM SKIES INTO THE DEPTHS IT MOVES
    AND IN BETWEEN IT LEAVES NO TRACE!
    (When silent faces stare at you
    It’s always best to shut your jaw
    But Trenberth is without a clue
    As he believes they stare in awe)
    FIRST POINT
    CAGW — Science has always been only a fig leaf for their propaganda. The “science by press” release we have been seeing so much of lately is new only in the sense that it is more blatant and abundant. In a strange sense it is good to see — the fig leaf has gotten tiny indeed — more people are going to notice what is hanging out. The thing these people have forgotten is that, more quickly than they imagine, people recognize propaganda for what it is. At the end who in the Soviet Union believed a thing the government said? It has nearly reached that point with their climate propaganda. Who believes it any more?
    SECOND POINT
    The thing about fighting a war is that you need to have many specialized troops. You don’t send in sharpshooters to fight tanks. Delingpole and Watts are in a sense specialized troops who battle as they are best equipped to fight. If Delingpole’s artillery barrage caused a disruption in Watt’s field of operations — well, Watts gets to bitch — but that doesn’t mean Delingple should switch to a peashooter.
    OK, enough said. We have enemies wearing an ancient indian religious symbol to fight. Lets aim our guns at that enemy and not at each other.
    Eugene WR Gallun

  115. IMHO – False “application” of Godwin’s law here by Anthony.
    The discussion actually began with a suggestion (by someone, long ago) that skeptics should be subject to Nuremberg-type trials and penalties due to the scale of their (possible, theorized, future, supposed) crimes against humanity, even over a theoretical mechanism.
    This was no random comparison with any aspect of Nazism, rather a reference to a historical, highly politicized and emotive response to it.
    It seems to me James Delingpole responded quite appropriately, even if his convolutions of prose did allow some hijacking of the message by the even more prose-convoluted Mann…
    Anyway, I hold with a few others here that sometimes comparisons with Nazism is a most suitable analogy, and citing of Godwin’s law as an argument winner is a cop-out.

  116. I’ve read Dellers’s article and there has been no invoking Godwin’s law and there has been no calling for Mann’s murder. Dellers euphemistically responded to virtual calls for Mann’s trial and execution and answered those virtual calls in the negative. The actual calls have not been so virtual, btw. He invoked the post war tribunal – a much needed legal body brought to the world stage to call for personal accountability as a result the German horrors committed during WWII. He did not invoke the Nazis nor did he invoke Hitler. He invoked a world court. I agree with that call.
    This is the most overblown reaction possible from both Anthony and Michael (I’m the victim) Mann. There’s no Nazis, there’s no call for murder, there’s no Godwin’s law component.
    I’m not so tolerant as Dellers and I fully believe Mann is directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of British citizens who could not afford the consequences of Mann’s bogus climate alarmism and further, I will name as co-conspirators everyone who has contributed to the climate myth that has directly led to these thousands of deaths (I’m looking at you, Phil Jones and Jim Hansen), and moreover I call for the prosecution of these and all other co-conspirators on the world stage to be held accountable for their actions that precipitated the deaths of Britain’s treasured elders, and for those found guilty to be incarcerated and held in the coldest, most dank, and uncomfortable habitat the world can afford till they kill themselves or life leaves them from natural causes.
    I’ve not invoked a single Nazi in this plea and I do not advocate for the murder of Michael Mann, and as a consequence this post is the perfect parallel of Dellers’s post.

  117. You must understand the UK perspective, different from the US. We are at different stages of imperialism. The US Empire is still at its peak. The UK is 60 years, 2 generations into its post-imperial stage. Typically this process takes 3 generations.
    The way it works is that the Imperial caste gets the best jobs for its kids. To do so they destroy meritocratic education. The elite become corrupt and the economy decays, but this has been hidden by borrowing. The elite also push socialism as part of the dumbing down. At present 7% privately-educated control the economy and other areas, e.g. sport.
    What Delingpole is doing is to write as one of the elite but a bright one who understands how it is causing the UK economy to implode. The aim of the windmills and green politics is to enrich elite landowners and the Mafia, which in the UK is part of the elite because their secret societies are an integral part of the private school system and this has been so for 140 years.
    The best way to attack this corruption is to show the comparisons with Nazism. Green socialist politics in the UK are fascist. The aim is to cut population by 60% with high power costs, herding the people into inner cities to die. Agenda 21 has been used to justify fascism; all it needs is a new Pol Pot.

  118. “In other words, Godwin observed that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis”.
    And Holocaust sorry Climate Change Deniers.

  119. DaveA says: April 14, 2013 at 9:08 pm
    “IMO some of you need to slap yourselves.”
    Good advice, Dave !
    hro001 says: April 14, 2013 at 9:36 pm
    Well said, Hilary ! Context is essential to understanding and that Dellers was maligned in that tweet by a ‘journalist’ of the ‘opposite political persuasion’ needs to be appreciated by the US audience.

  120. I’m with James on this one – we Brits do do things differently to you guys, and in the context of what he wrote, and given that the death penalty has been called for on us realists by more than one cooling denier, I think he had every right to take the approach he did. That Mann doesn’t understand what “mataphor” means is his problem. I nearly wet myself laughing reading the article. No – the warmers deserved that. Well done James

  121. Anthony.
    What you implicitly say has our unqualified support.
    Scientific scepticism and unfailing courtesy are desirable not because they enable us to defeat those who disagree with us but because they are the right way to proceed. All our truths are only working hypotheses and it is helpfully sobering to remember it. None of us will, in retrospect, regret careful thought or the fact that we were respectful of others.
    Yours is a scientific blog; demanding rules apply.

  122. I suggest you both bury the hatchet.
    For the avoidance of doubt I do not mean bury the hatchet’s in each other:-)
    My take on the piece was that it was funny even funnier was Mann’s absolutely ridiculous response.
    The alarmists in their minds are either Supermen/Superwomen saving the planet or are martyrs for the cause. Ie they are delusional.

  123. Storm in a tea cup.
    You are both doing excellent work and bringing to the attention of millions the scam of AGW. You both use different methods and techniques for getting over your points. Without James’s flowery writing I would never have had my eyes opened to the issue and without’s Anthony’s science, I would not have been able to confirm James’s words and views to my own satisfaction.
    Both methods are entirely jusitfied and very necessary, even if James does sometimes push the boundaries. I feel it is necessary for him to do this.
    You are both on the same side, stop behaving like fighting kids and concentrate on the excellent work you are both doing. After all, when Mann has retired and he is sitting back reflecting on his career, it will be him who has wasted his life trying to push a false hypothesis. He will be the failed scientist with just another hopelessly wrong theory. Not a great legacy!

  124. Anthony is a gentleman & a scientist. James Delingpole is a journalist. Both are doing valiant work on the same side of this debate, as Anthony sees it & war, as James sees it.
    I rather fear that Anthony has lost the big picture.
    The climate scare was cooked up in order that the banksters & ecomarxists could promote their one world govt agenda at the expense of the taxpayer & to the vast profit of banksters & ecomarxists. & they are winning this war.
    Anthony is winning his gentlemanly debate on the science, while the western world is coming under the heel of the ecomarxists.
    In the US for example, your president wants the power to murder US citizens on US soil without due process of law, & is buying up huge amounts of hollow point ammunition in what is surely a preparation for civil war. The US is devoting millions of acres of prime farmland to produce car fuel, while a doubling of food prices & subsequent food riots have resulted in the revolutions, civil wars & mass slaughters we are seeing & have seen in the Middle East euphemistically known as the “Arab Spring”. Men do not revolt for love of democracy, they will revolt to fill their childrens’ bellies.
    This is directly in conformance with UN Agenda 21 policy of world population reduction by ~93%.
    Here in the UK we are seeing the mass slaughter of our expensive old folk in our hospitals, with Mid-Staffs hospital revealed to have caused many hundreds of cases of neglect, & up to 1200 deaths where our nurses are overloaded with paperwork, & basic care is left to minimum wage Health Care Assistants, who do not care. thousands of old folk are being put on “The Liverpool Care Path”, which is a euphemism for starving them to death. In addition we have ~20,000 deaths pa in winter where our old folk cannot “heat & eat”.
    All manner of abominations are permissible when one is “saving the planet” from the evil of overpopulation.
    In my opinion, Anthony could be advancing the debate, & helping James in his war by encouraging James to publish the facts re the slowdown in world population growth, & stories such as Allan Savory’s brilliant greening the sahara techniques, along with Matt Ridley’s Carbon & the Industrial way of life is good for the planet story. James has a most important foot in the Mainstream Media, which, alas, is mostly bought & paid for by the banksters.
    Anthony is doing fine on the General Staff, James is fighting at the dirty end, up front in a much fired upon tank.
    James is in the hateful position of seeing school friends troughing & profiting well from the windmill scam, while he is far less well rewarded fighting for truth & humanity in the shrinking print media. He cannot provide as well for his kids, & it’s eating him.
    To give you an idea of how far along the agenda 21 totalitarian line the UK is please go to:
    http://www.ukcolumn.org & click on CHILDREN in the header bar & follow the extremely harrowing video & account of our social security (SS) & police taking a one day old baby from a blameless couple from which they had already removed three other children. 5th Apr, I believe, with a further interview 11th Apr. Thousands of children are being taken from their parents each year, under the most perverted use of the Agenda 21″Precautionary Principle” ever: The children “may be in danger of possible future emotional harm” This is big business in the UK, ~£20billion pa. with 60,000 children being in care. Secret courts lay injunctions on family members & journalists who try to get this scandal in the open air, such as Christopher Booker in the Telegraph. There are suspicions that some of the children are being used as bait to trap politicians & people such as judges, civil servants & police into going along with the more odious agenda 21 policies. Read also the Bonnie Lewis case, an unbelievably James Bond like case of NHS incompetence, SS gunpoint abduction of a sick UK child from a Florida hospital, & the subsequent alienation of that child from her mother using Neuro Linguistic programming techniques.
    Remember that when Alabama banned UN Agenda 21, James Delingpole got an honourable mention:
    http://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/item/11999-sustainable-freedom-surging-opposition-to-agenda-21-“sustainable-development”
    We need both the clear heads on the general staff & the fighters on the front line.

  125. In England we speak English in a very different way to those in the US. Nuances and meanings are easily lost or even added on. I think Anthony really should accept that we don’t speak the same language.

  126. I am loving this thread.
    Anthony has more then once swatted me down for making inflamatory remarks about climant scientists and the journalists who promote them. He was right! We must not sink to their level, but
    no matter what we say we will fall short of their level in MNHO [my not humble opinion].
    On the other hand, I am adament we must call a spade a spade and attack with whatever weapons we have against the horrible corruption of science and politics by the AGW crowd. Dellingpole’s op-ed was not as offensive as Anthony first thought but still was borderline. I am divided in whether to appuld Anthony’s high mindedness or Dellingpole’s down and dirty approach. I wish to maintain the high ground but sure do wish to ravage the enemy.
    I love the thread because Anthony is getting swatted down by his readership. He deserves the swatting much less then I did, but still, he was/is making too nice in a death struggle. Godwin’s Law, phooey.

  127. What an interesting and civilized debate. As always, it’s all in the language and Brit humour remains a very tricky area in North America. JD has given hope and inspiration to many of us at trench level taking on Big Wind and the forces fighting under the evil banner of Goremonism….it really is hugely dispiriting, combating lie after lie from hugely resourced and connected despoilers….and who can resist the occasional Goebbels comparison, Godwin or no…certainly not the enemy! This is no time to moderate anything. Stick to your last, James. We all owe you…… as well as AW.

  128. May I suggest Godwin’s Law be renamed Godwin’s Observation, otherwise it implies a prohibition and indeed it is clear that is how many view it.
    There are cases which quite legitimately can be compared to fascism, or circumstances surrounding the NAZI era, and need to be shown for what they are. If it causes offence, so what? If it happens frequently, it just shows fascism was not defeated in 1945 and how aware we should be of its ever presence.
    Invoking Godwin’s Law is like invoking racism or morals, a trump card to shut down any argument which cannot be won on merit.
    Anyway Godwin’s Law really should be called Fawlty’s Law, as Basil got there first, ‘Don’t mention the War’ and just as absurd.
    As for James D’s commentary, his job is to be provocative, rile the object of his attention and get them mouthing off so we can all enjoy their stupidity and righteous indignation.
    His job is not to spare the blushes of, or to make life easier for those in the Scepticariat.

  129. @ IanW
    ” James’ original piece was written for an Australian audience who tend to be – shall we say – less subtle, so the last lines of his article were relatively measured for that audience. ”
    —————————————–
    Cobblers. James’ piece was published in The Australian, a newspaper with a relatively small circulation, but which is read or monitored by every politician, business leader and otherwise influential person in the country. It targets, and reaches, the top of the demographic heap.
    Delingpole has been to Australia for speaking tours several times, and his communication style is well understood and appreciated here. I think you will find that he sees no need to dumb down his message on those occasions.
    “Less subtle” than whom? You, perhaps?
    I didn’t find your snobbish comment particularly subtle.

  130. Three Cheers for Delingpole!
    Hip Hip Hooray
    Hip Hip Hooray
    Hip Hip Hooray
    He can be as rude as he likes in my opinion. The Warmists deserve every bit.

  131. As a self confessed Eco-Pinko (but not a troll) I must say that James left Godwins Law broken and flapping in the dust a long time ago. According to James practically everyone to the left of Hitler* (did you see what I did there !) is a Nazi. From the oft mentioned Eco-Nazis onwards, etc etc etc. And he did heave a ‘resigned sigh’ when saying that Mann should not actually be killed.
    As for Godwin applying to the Jolly posters on here, how long did it take me to find the first reference to ‘camps’ and what our children will be doing in them? Not very long – Well done Marc at 11:37, April 14.
    Seriously though, the sceptic/denier side really should just stick to the science and stay clear of of the more wacky Nazi/Eugenics/They want-us-to-go-back-to-the-stone-age/Tea-Party-Rah!Rah!Rah!/Shape-Shifting-Lizard-Overlord theories that always seem to kick in after about line three of any climate debate.
    *Sorry that was to the right, up to but not including Ann Coulter. Hitler was, as you know, an Ecologist-Socialist.

  132. On wishing for a ‘Climate Nuremberg’, I think James has chosen his words carefully, drawing an analogy between the proponents of accepted climate science and the Nazis and others who were tried for crimes against humanity . If he had wanted to say ‘Climate Court Case’, he could have done.

  133. “Godwin’s Law” itself is a very dangerous thing in that it teaches people to ignore fascistic moments when they do happen in a mistaken belief that the experiences of the 1930’s and 1940’s are unique and unrepeatable. They are neither. So when someone claims, like Al Gore, that “the niceties of democracy” needs to be suspended to save the species, or when someone claims skeptics should be “tried for crimes against humanity,” there is nothing wrong with pointing out the fascistic qualities of that. As the Sherlock inspired meme states, “No, I’m not insulting you. IO’m describing you.”
    All anyone has to do is spend some time reading the material produced by the Earth First! wing of the environmental movement to discover they fit every definition of a fascist movement, up to and including advocating violence and a rejection of rationality. Sadly, that kind of junk has been more repeated than criticized among the more mainstream elements on the other side, who have often said that they “admire the passion” of the Earth First! types.
    Sometimes, principled people have to call them as they see them. Churchill did that all through the 1930’s and was derided as a hateful war monger for it. Today he is seen as a hero and as one of the few who understood what was at stake. Are any of us so sure Delingpole has mis-identified our opponents?

  134. So far the wrong way that I don’t even know where to start.
    1) “Godwin’s Law” isn’t a law, it’s a censorship tool.
    2) Mann’s comment is what should be being illuminated here; basically, pointing out how bad he is at drawing reasonable conclusions from available data as DP didn’t “call for his murder”.
    3) There’s no difference (other than someone hasn’t named it) between comparisons of Nazis and comparisons of communism. If the analogy fits; use it (just as Anthony compared The Lew to the communist propaganda machine).
    4) Since, the AGW extremists invoked the “Big Lie”; thereby proclaiming they are Nazis to anyone familiar with history, any possible “Godwin’s Law” protection from being called a Nazi is null and void.
    5) All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing because they yielded to nonsensical made up laws.

  135. In the long-run, temperatures will silence the debate.
    In the long-run, history books will be written about this debate.
    Its usually better to be right and on the winning side when the history books are written.
    And its usually better in the long-run, to maintain the high road and be a good person.
    If the climate scientists are wrong, which is increasingly looking to be the truth with every day that passes, the history books will not be kind to them. A few scientists will have their own chapters.

  136. What I like about James is he is really good at shaking his opponents out of their comfort zone.
    Far too long, alarmists have been using blatantly insulting, biased, vicious tactics, as a show of STRENGTH. Only the dominant, the bully, gets to throw their weight around – everyone else has to just sit back and take it, while wittering on about how unfair their opponents are.
    Sometimes its good to put the bully in his place – to pop the bully on the nose, so to speak.
    The reason I believe Mann and others reacted so strongly to James’ article is, in their hearts, they know they are losing. They know their bully act doesn’t wash anymore. And they don’t like it.

  137. There is no purpose to arguing if the subject of the discussion is not commonly agreed upon. In the case of climate change, the watermelon side is that human civilization is inherently immoral and requires authoritarian control to effect the desired outcome. They believe that production in excess of need is inherently evil. They believe that wealth is an outrage and that capitalism is theft.
    Opponents of the watermelon side presume despite all evidence to the contrary that because the watermelon side speaks the language of science that discussion is possible. This is why opponents of the watermelon side are surprised over the support of jihadist Islam over the Christian right, are surprised at the eviction of native people for carbon offsets, or even surprised at the silence over the latest outrageous behavior of the authoritarian government of the week.
    The watermelon side understands that their beliefs are not and never will be in the majority. They understand that baldly stating their objectives will always result in their defeat at the ballot box. They understand that the only elections that they win are those that are rigged by fraud or sold by deception.
    Until we are willing to admit and discuss the fact that the watermelon cause produces widespread human suffering and death, we are on the defensive. By trying to win by logic, we are denying ourselves the most effective offensive weapon we have.
    Delingpole is entirely correct. We are fighting Nazis. Godwin’s law does not apply.

  138. Mike Mangan, 4-14 at 11.00am,
    “Your’e up against thieves, charlatans, and bitter misanthropes who would blithely ruin millions of lives if they had their way. Stay in their face, never back down, meet them wherever you find them with clenched jaw and closed fist. Mock them, berate them, and spit on their views. I’ve seen nothing in seven years of following this that makes me think they deserve otherwise.”
    Due to limited computer access because I’m in the midst of moving, I haven’t had a chance to read all the comments above. But my sentiments are the same as Mike Mangan. Michael Mann and friends are continuing to promote the biggest, costliest and perhaps deadliest hoax in the history of mankind. They deserve nothing but condemnation. And I totally agree with James Delingpole’s piece – the words and the sentiments.

  139. Anthony’s objection to Delingpole’s article is that it gives ammunition to those who would denigrate non-believers in AGW. So what has actually happened?
    Apart from Mann’s tweet, what has the response been from “that side”?
    So far as I can tell, absolutely nothing.
    I looked at the sites listed on WUWT as pro-AGW, as well as ScepticalScience (nothing), DeSmogBolgs, and Greg Laden (which I recall from exchanges here). I do not know the full extent of such sites. Of all of these, only Tamino and DeSmogBlog mention this issue. And in a way that is as much defensive as anything. Judging from comments, or lack of them, the interest is as close to zero as is possible.
    The idea that this is a unhelpful development is wrong. This is a non-issue in that way.
    This accords with my first response when having read the article, and then seen Mann’s tweet reproduced here, the immediate impression was of someone exaggerating to a an easily seen fraudulent degree.
    My strong sense since, is that no-one on “that side” wants the word “murder” brought up.
    Because people are DEAD. They have been KILLED by policies adopted directly and undeniably because of the agendas of identifiable people.
    If any of those people can be shown to have distorted and misrepresented the truth or lied or falsified data or results – and they can – whether they be “scientists”, “journalists”, “activists” or any other, they ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THOSE DEATHS. And they must be held fully to account.
    Looking at the sites mentioned above, having gone to them from here, was something of a surprise, even a shock. There is no-one there. This issue is FINISHED.
    All the noise is now from a tiny group of those reacting out of habit, profiteers, the beneficeries of structural advantage, those exposed by previous actions, and zealots.
    The back up “supporters” will still affirm, but outside those effectively mentally infirm, there will be little energy behind this. This has not been an intellectual commitment by many. For those for whom it has been, it is impossible to deny that there are at the least major holes in this theory.
    Mostly, support has come from those who just believe. This is an absolute condition. If they have any reason to doubt, it is over in entirety for them. They are now at that point.
    Anyone capable of reading Delingpole’s article, who is not already irredeemably on “that side” cannot fail to understand the message and that it was not calling for the arbitrary killing of people he disagrees with.
    Mann, by trying to ramp this up into “murder” has just lost a significant proportion of literate people. He has demonstrated crudity of either comprehension or expression. And/or the obvious attempt at manipulation. This will not go down at all well at dinner parties.
    It will now not just be all right but socially required that he be seen as somewhat unreliable.
    Anthony, I think, is possibly viewing this from the bunkers of 5 years or so ago. Those days are over. It is now time to take photo’s of the corpses of those killed and shove them in the faces of those who would support this. Put it to them: are you responsible for this?

  140. How did Dellers actually invoke Godwin’s Law?
    His blog post does not mention Hitler or Nazis (Or make any comparison to the same), which is the necessary prerequisite for Godwin.
    He offers Mann (metaphorical Mann) an electric chair (Murder she cried!) Moonbat gets a longer neck and Flannery walks like an (ancient) Egyptian into the crocodile tummy.
    Dellers mentions Nuremburg twice. How does this short hand for International Military Tribunal
    invoke Godwin’s Law? It is amusing that Mr Mann immediately concludes he would not get a fair trial!
    Godwin’s “Law” is a reincarnation in the internet era of Leo Strauss’s caution to avoid
    Reductio ad Hitlerum as support for an argument. So:
    You want to ban use of animals in medical testing.
    Hitler liked animals.
    [snip]
    I part ways with Dellers specifically on dreaming of a Climate Nuremberg,
    We already have poor Climate science, we should not add poor justice.

  141. Sorry, but when AGW fanatics act like Nazis and promote Nazi-like thinking, I think it’s entirely fair, and altogether obligatory, to call them out on it, “Godwin’s Law” notwithstanding. If you take “Godwin’s law” to its logical limit, you couldn’t call Hitler a Nazi.
    Applying that term to the alarmies is fully justified by their tyrannical and patently racist (because it will harm people of color the most) agenda. It fits the Nazi model perfectly, right down to the new Holocaust it will bring about.

  142. By their actions we shall know them.
    Anthony, you are a far nicer man than me.
    My father served in the Canadian Infantry against the Nazi’s, well into his 80’s he was still researching brainwashing and the use of child solders, in an attempt to understand the depravity he observed.
    Lest we forget, the path that led to world war two, is one of the possible futures of our civil society, too much respect for law and legality is as, or more dangerous than too little.
    What haunted my father was the fact that Germany was a civilized society, that fell into madness.
    I respect your reservations about Delingpole’s language, but Goodwin’s Law is just an early expression of the gutting of our discourse via political correctness.
    As for handing the activists another weapon to use against society, well they do seem to have a preference for self inflicted wounds. Given the teams ability to metaphorically shoot their own feet off, I would be uncomfortable trusting any of them with a real shotgun.
    On a sarcastic note, we could end their entire campaign by handing them a real nuke.
    Finally I fully support your decision to limit the political discussion of the CAGW abuse of science and reason, here on your blog.
    You do great work here by shredding the facade of science the cause has hidden behind.

  143. James says:
    April 15, 2013 at 7:08 am
    Until we are willing to admit and discuss the fact that the watermelon cause produces widespread human suffering and death, we are on the defensive. By trying to win by logic, we are denying ourselves the most effective offensive weapon we have.
    Delingpole is entirely correct. We are fighting Nazis. Godwin’s law does not apply.
    I echo your thoughts’
    PS – I’m lovin the posting and comments, great stuff!

  144. Alarmists have no cloak. Their actions are obvious, every time.
    So, if they act like “little Eichmanns” ( academic Ward Churchill’s term) we should stand up, point to their behavior and compare their actions. Explain how what they demand be done will lead to huge problems and major damage.
    If what they’re doing will put families out of work we need to show the suffering.
    Be it starving children around the world or killing raptors here at home we need to be as graphic as they would be in our position.
    That’s how they play.
    Remember it’s not their minds we need to change….it’s the people and they don’t do science.
    The game is emotion and PR is how is how it’s played.
    cn

  145. First post ever on WUWT, and possibly the last …
    In reply to Hilary Ostrov 🙂 – I can assure you Hilary that Bernard Keane is a non-entity on the Australian scene, whom I had never heard of before; presumably he is well known to the Melbourne left-wing twitterati, whose peculiar view of the world is likely to suffer a spectacular reality check come election day 2013.
    imho Dellers is in the right in this contretemps, and Anthony you are in the wrong – simple as that. Leave him alone to contribute to the fight in his own effective style, while you continue using your very different but also valid softly-softly approach. If anyone is owed an apology it is Dellers – from you.

  146. Sorry to be late to this sequel but:

    I wasn’t suggesting James apologize to Dr. Mann, nooo, I was suggesting that James apologize to climate skeptics.

    At which point you won the argument hands down for me Anthony. Thank you for everything you do for the integrity and good sense of the skeptic cause.

  147. Don’t forget that Michael Mann claimed you were on the pay of “Big Oil” because you gave him a $15 calendar. He will manipulate anything to try and make his enemies look bad, since that is all he can do.

  148. Armagh Observatory says:
    April 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm
    I’m surprised that Godwin’s Law dates as far back as 1990.
    I have no memories of the internet back then and understood that the Interweb only came into being around 1993.
    “Online” back then had no meaning, there could have been no more than a few bashing away at the Arpernet like a glorified CB radio, but was this not confined to geeky University types hiding from the rugby club, and the military?

    Your memory is too short. Before there was the world wide web there was usenet newsgroups and email. There were also dial-up computer bulletin boards that hosted chat rooms and electronic rantings of many forms (from which rantings Godwin drew is “law”) and “gateways” to the internet. W3 has simply displaced the many other tools that were out there. Email and usenet (the alt.hypertext newsgroup in fact) were critical to initiating the use of W3 on the internet. The Domain Name Service and TCP/IP all had to be functioning before W3 could be used. You could only acquire W3 code or binaries with FTP unless you begged someone to send it on floppies, or use a series of attachments to emails that could be reassembled into a single file and recombined and compiled. Archie, Gopher, WAIS and Veronica were key internet research tools now obsolete. You could even delve into Library of Congress holdings using them.

  149. I’ve read JD’s two responses, plus the opening paragraph. from his Australian piece (couldn’t get around the paywall), and I have to say that I mostly agree w/ him.
    Anthony’s first & biggest mistake is that he apparently misunderstands Godwin’s Law. It is value-neutral – it merely states that the probability of someone in a debate invoking Hitler, Nazi-ism, etc, approaches unity the longer the debate continues. It says nothing about whether this is good or bad. Which begs the question: Why shouldn’t a WWII comparison be made, if it’s appropriate, as JD’s was? JD was extremely careful to qualify his arguments. Mann has no basis for any objection, let alone his lurid claim of [judicial] murder, although I do find his and other warmers’ whining about it deliciously hypocritical, given their frequent calls to make climate realism a capital crime.
    I stated above that I mostly agree w/ Delingpole. His position is completely defensible, but it would have been more so had he caveated his Climate Nuremberg statement (even though he was careful to call it a metaphor) with a simple “As has been proposed repeatedly by the warmistas, perhaps Climate Nuremberg trials should be convened for this cynical cabal . . .”

  150. Ian H says: April 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm
    Good point about societies having internal mechanisms that calm things down. The discussion here is part of one of those mechanisms, I suppose.
    I’m not so sure that a bunch of people put together do have such inborn mechansims, though. We tend to polarize each other and exacerbate the situation: we like to think we are individuals, so we tend to express ourselves slightly more strongly (the more alpha types, anyway) than the group average, to stand out, to make our point carry, to strengthen our self-image etc. etc. We also allow ourselves a certain amount of deviance from the norms of behaviour before we feel uneasy with ourselves. Once enough accept that deviance, it becomes the norm, but since we still accept a slight deviance from the norm, we step it up a notch. I’ve seen this behaviour in many places on the small scale, things that went from harmless kidding to bullying in college dorms to outrageous strange behaviour in isolated geological field parties (trying to blow up down in their holes gophers with JP4, white gas and bear-flares).
    The more we talk to just our friends or even ourselves, the more extreme our positions become. As someone said, we don’t know what we think until we say it out loud.
    Godwin’s Rule is a warning from a specific case about how we get ourselves offside. George Bush’s “you’re with us or you’re against us” speech probably came from such a place, where agitated angry people raged with other angry, agitated people about doing something now, damnit, not later, yesterday as a matter of fact ….
    It takes courage and insight to stop the spring from being wound up. I’d say it is a feature of what we are and how we intereact. If so, it is something we should all become aware of and build in, not expect there already is a build in capacity to calm things down.

  151. @ Doug Proctor says:
    April 16, 2013 at 5:03 pm
    The substance of what you say is reasonable. As a call to prudence before jumping to conclusions or exercising limited understandings, it has credibility and utility.
    But some things demand being “wound up” about. There are people dead from AGW policy applications. Killed. That is not something to be calm about. It is not something to equivocate about.
    These are facts. Not debatable. The only thing debatable is the level of culpability of individuals in this. This has not been a “mistake”. Actions have been taken in the full knowledge of their implications.
    Any call for “moderation” in viewing this is a statement of moral cowardice and is in fact essentially complicity. It is to be an apologist.
    Things happen that are beyond the pale. Not to face that and deal with it is the definition of degeneracy, not civilized moderation.

  152. To demand that one side remain civil while the other side demagogues at will is to ignore the lessons of the 1930s. Educated Germans did not believe that their highly cultured country could ever fall into the madness promoted by the Nazis. They believed reasoned debate would win the day. They were wrong.
    Most humans are emotional creatures and demagogues throughout history have known this and exploited it. Normally reasonable humans can be transformed into a mob quickly with the right persuasion. Demagoguery is in fact the Achilles Heel of democracy, which is why the American Founding Fathers built a constitutional republic, not a democracy.
    In my view, as admirable as he is, Anthony misunderstands the nature of this whole CAGW issue. The warmistas do not view this as a polite debating society exercise, but as war. They do not deal in reason, but rather in raw emotion, scare tactics, and demagoguery. People and nations suffer harm from it. They must be defeated. Dellers fights back and good on him.

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