Climate activists have long history of ducking debates with skeptics

In response to this ridiculous letter in the Guardian saying “we won’t share a debate platform with skeptics” Marc Morano writes:

Climate activists and scientists supporting the alleged “consensus” on man-made global warming have a long history of suppressing debate and intimidation scientists into silence. As a new round of calls go out to shut down scientific debate,

See: Global Warming Alarmists — Media Pressure to end Debate – & SILENCE DISSENT: 60 climate ‘campaigners’ sign letter demanding media keep skeptics out of the news – Say they will not appear in media with skeptics

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from author Marc Morano’s new 2018 best-selling book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change.

Losing and Ducking Debates 

In 2007, a high-profile climate debate between prominent scientists ended with global warming skeptics being voted the clear winner by a tough New York City audience. The debate was sponsored by the Oxford-style debating group Intelligence Squared and featured a three-on-three debating format. Before the start of the nearly two-hour
debate, the audience polled 57.3% to 29.9% in favor of the proposition that global warming was a “crisis.” 

But following the debate, the numbers had completely flipped to 46.2% to 42.2% in favor of the skeptical point of view, argued by MIT scientist Richard Lindzen, University of London professor emeritus Philip Stott, and the physician-turned novelist-and-filmmaker Michael Crichton. After the stunning victory, NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, one of the scientists on the losing side promoting belief in a climate “crisis,” excused the defeat by noting that his debate team was “pretty dull” and at “a sharp disadvantage” against the skeptical scientists. Scientific American agreed, saying the warmists “seemed
underarmed for the debate and, not surprising, it swung against them.” NASA’s Schmidt appeared so demoralized that he realized that debating skeptical scientists was not something he would ever want to do again. “So are such debates worthwhile? On balance, I’d probably answer no (regardless of the outcome),” Schmidt wrote.

In 2013, Schmidt was true to his word, refusing to even appear alongside skeptical climatologist Roy Spencer on John Stossel’s Fox TV program. Schmidt literally walked off the set when Spencer came on to talk.

See also:

Hollywood producer James Cameron, responsible for such mega hits as Titanic and Avatar, has also been a huge climate activist. Cameron once challenged skeptics to a public debate using the rhetoric of an Old West gunslinger: “I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads.”

In 2010, Cameron’s representatives reached out to me to assemble a skeptical debate team to face off against the producer at a public event. We agreed to the terms; Ann McElhinney and the late Andrew Breitbart were going to be joining me on the skeptical side of the debate. 

I was flying to Aspen, Colorado, for the great global warming Wild West showdown when Cameron got cold feet and canceled the debate. At the very last moment, Cameron pulled the plug on a debate he himself had initiated and organized. When my connecting flight landed in Denver, I was informed that the debate was off. The official reason given by Cameron’s spokesman was that “Morano is not at Cameron’s level to debate, and that’s why it didn’t happen.
Cameron should be debating someone who is similar to his stature in our society.” But the real reason had nothing to with “stature in society” and more to do with fear of losing a climate debate. Cameron backed out of the debate at the last minute after environmentalists “came out of the woodwork” to warn him not to engage in a debate with skeptics because it was not in his best interest. 

I responded to Cameron’s last-minute debate ducking with this statement: “Cameron let his friends in the environmental community spook him out of this debate. When he was warned that he was probably going to lose and lose badly, he ran like a scared mouse.” Cameron had gone from Wild West gunslinger to chicken of the sea. But Cameron’s real failing is not his debate cowardice; it is his indifference to the needs of the developing world.

No Wonder Cameron Ducked Debates

In 2010, Cameron and actress Sigourney Weaver flew to Brazil to protest a dam that would be one of the world’s largest hydroelectric projects. Even then Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, of the leftist Workers’ party, objected to Cameron’s attempts to keep energy out of the developing world and “argued that the dam will provide clean energy and is needed to meet current and future energy needs.”47 Cameron opposed a dam—now under construction—that will bring vital electricity to Brazilians. Cameron flew to the developing world to campaign against improving the lifestyles
of its poor citizens.

But Cameron seems to be guided by his own form of utopian philosophy. “We are going to have to live with less,” the fabulously wealthy producer told the Los Angeles Times in 2010. Cameron, whose net worth was estimated
at around $900 million in 2014,49 warned that we face “a dying world if we don’t make some fundamental changes about how we view ourselves and how we view wealth.” He warned against the “consumer society where you buy something and then throw it away when you get the next new thing, filling up huge landfills with plastic and electronics.”
Cameron also wants Americans to change their ways. “Honestly, the truth is, we have to revisit almost every part of our lives and our existence over the next few years. Energy consumption, I think, being the biggest one.

Energy and global warming are interlinked issues obviously,” the producer explained.
But revisiting “almost every part of our lives” did not seem to impact Cameron’s personal life. He owned not one but two adjacent eight-thousand square-foot mansions in Malibu—and a submarine.

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Tom in Florida
August 28, 2018 12:24 pm

“The official reason given by Cameron’s spokesman was that “Morano is not at Cameron’s level to debate, and that’s why it didn’t happen.”

What they really were afraid of was that someone who is “not at Cameron’s level” who take him to the wood shed and beat him like a redheaded step child.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 28, 2018 12:29 pm

That’s why you should never challenge somebody who superficially appears physically weaker than you — they might be a Judo expert, and when they kick your ass, you will have been ass whooped by a weakling, … which is not an impressive thing for your resume’.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
August 28, 2018 1:04 pm

That happened to me in HS. I bullied the wrong nerd, who quite literally flipped me upside down and assumed a horse stance over my prone body … I walked away, humiliated. It was a massively important “object-lesson” in my young life.

Lee L
Reply to  Kenji
August 28, 2018 3:50 pm

Yay nerd.
Similar story told to me by a workmate years ago involving high school bully vs true high school nerd.
As usual bullies join up to make SURE they can intimidate. In this case the nerd was threatened and pushed around in the hall at school.
He brushed himself off, reached deep down into his pocket protector and retrieved one of those old pens with 4 colours of ball point inside. You know, the old kind where you select the red colour, say, by sliding down a red tab that clicks in place and the selected colour ballpoint emerges.
He looks at the bullies, especially the leader, glances back at the pen and says “Green I think”. He selects green then dives onto the bully stabbing him anywhere he could as hard as he could with the green pen.
Bully backed off to verbal threats. They moved on to some other victim after that.
Cameron doesn’t like ballpoints either I guess.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
August 28, 2018 1:07 pm

Small quibble – never challenge someone who appears weaker… BUT doesn’t seem afraid. If you seem to have a physical advantage and they’re still willing to engage, that means they know something you don’t.
There’s a universal rule – people won’t challenge you unless they’ve sized you up and have decided they can handle you… whether they’re right or wrong.

Reply to  Joel Snider
August 28, 2018 4:57 pm

Unless of course he’s bluffing.

Reply to  Sgt
August 31, 2018 2:48 pm

you have to fold or play your hand to figure that out.
Do you feel lucky? Well, do you punk?

Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 28, 2018 1:08 pm

Cameron knew who he was scheduled to debate well before the debate.
In fact his team approved of the line up.
As always with the climate alarmist team, even their excuses don’t hold up to critical examination.

Reply to  MarkW
August 31, 2018 2:54 pm

“Cameron knew who he was scheduled to debate well before the debate.
In fact his team approved of the line up.
As always with the climate alarmist team, even their excuses don’t hold up to critical examination.”

Do you mean ‘As always with the climate alarmist team, even their excuses don’t hold up to superficial examination.’

Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 28, 2018 1:30 pm

The excuse was true. Morano definitely was not at Cameron’s pitifully low level of knowledge about the subject.

Better not to open your mouth and be thought a fool than to confirm the fact.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 29, 2018 1:42 am

A computer once beat me at chess but it was no match at kickboxing

Pop Piasa
Reply to  KAT
August 29, 2018 10:34 am

…hit any key to continue…

william matlack
Reply to  KAT
August 29, 2018 11:20 am


August 28, 2018 12:26 pm

Most people would have a spend a lot more time in the air and a lot more money buying things to live as ‘green’ as Cameron. Like many green celebrities then never see how their own life style make it hard for others to take them seriously when lecturing others .
I guess that is what happens all around you spend their time telling you how ‘wonderful’ you are.

Reply to  knr
August 28, 2018 1:09 pm

It really is hypocritical for Cameron to be lecturing others that they have to learn to live with less.

Reply to  MarkW
August 28, 2018 9:48 pm

How can he recognize the hypocrisy when he lives in a select subculture that drank it as mother’s milk?

Reply to  knr
August 28, 2018 1:13 pm

I challenge Cameron as Jesus Christ challenged the “Rich Young Ruler” … to SELL everything and to follow him. The text says that the “Rich Young Ruler” walked-away with his head hung low. If Cameron is going to proselytize the citizens of the world with his Warmist Religion … then let him lead by example. And nooooooo … BUYing carbon credit indulgences doesn’t count … that just solidifies his fraudulent status as a Warmist Pharisee.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  knr
August 28, 2018 1:19 pm

No mention of the areas of land Cameron has bought here in New Zealand, and his fuel-guzzling flights here from the USA!

Reply to  knr
August 28, 2018 1:20 pm

The only thing ‘green’ about most of them is their money.

michael hart
Reply to  Don
August 28, 2018 4:11 pm

Not unlike Tolkien’s malevolent Willow in The Lord of the Rings:

“…his heart was rotten, but his strength was green; and he was cunning, and a master of winds, and his song and thought ran through the woods on both sides of the river. His grey thirsty spirit drew power out of the earth and spread like fine root-threads in the ground, and invisible twig-fingers in the air, till it had under its dominion nearly all the trees of the Forest from the Hedge to the Downs.”

Joel Snider
August 28, 2018 12:30 pm

Ever have someone say, ‘I won’t dignify that with an answer’?

That’s one of those shadow-puppets – a picture created by what people try to hide.

Reply to  Joel Snider
August 28, 2018 12:39 pm

Sometimes. Other times, it merely acknowledges the futility of answering the remark, for many different reasons. Engaging someone who can only try to shout you down may not be worth the effort.

Reply to  Sheri
August 28, 2018 12:56 pm

True enough, however this isn’t one of those situations. The futility in this instance may be in trying to substantiate a faulty argument by not exposing it to criticism.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Sheri
August 28, 2018 1:04 pm

Sheri – I think in most cases that’s the intended implication of the statement… while camouflaging the real intent, which is to dodge.
While I realize the obvious implicit possibility of your post, I have never heard the phrase actually used that way.

Reply to  Joel Snider
August 28, 2018 1:16 pm

“Ever have someone say, ‘I won’t dignify that with an answer’?”

best retort is –
“Don’t say won’t when you mean can’t.”

August 28, 2018 12:31 pm

There was also a debate promoted by the Union of Confused pseudo-Scientists many years ago that they lost badly. I think 70% were skeptical after the debate which had the majority believing the consensus position priorly.

Reply to  gyan1
August 28, 2018 1:10 pm

To my knowledge, the alarmists have never won a debate.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
August 29, 2018 7:03 am

Kinda hard to win a debate that you don’t show up for.

Lucius von Steinkaninchen
August 28, 2018 12:34 pm

It’s a pattern seen again and again, not only in regard to climate alarmism. Leftist ideas can only thrive with censorship and other forms of information control. They’re like a house of cards and don’t resist even a slight puff of common sense in a debate.

The Reverend Badger
August 28, 2018 12:35 pm

If you are not prepared to debate and defend your ideas and theories with those who may disagree with you then you cannot in all honesty call yourself a scientist.

It is that simple.

Reply to  The Reverend Badger
August 28, 2018 12:45 pm

So they lie a lot. It works when you own the schools, media and government.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Sheri
August 28, 2018 1:08 pm

Controlling the message.

Reply to  Sheri
August 28, 2018 1:15 pm

Institutionalized lies … are still lies. And lies are dangerous things. Far more dangerous than Co2

Reply to  The Reverend Badger
August 28, 2018 2:29 pm

I always say if I cannot defend the ideas I hold, then why do I hold them.

Gunga Din
Reply to  The Reverend Badger
August 28, 2018 4:35 pm

I’d add that a scientist (or any other person with personal integrity), while perhaps felling a bit of disappointment, would welcome learning something he didn’t know before.

August 28, 2018 12:36 pm

Trump should order US government bureaucrats Gavin and Kevin to debate Ivar Giaever and Will Happer. Or Richard Lindzen and Freeman Dyson. Or Willie Soon and Judith Curry. Or Roy Spencer and John Christie.

Or six of The Team vs six prominent skeptics of one stripe or another, although Trump can’t order academics such as Mann, Overpeck, et al to participate, rather than government employees like aliens Gavin and Kevin. He could threaten to cut them off from federal grants, however.

Reply to  Sgt
August 28, 2018 12:45 pm

He probably can’t cut off the grants—that is under someone else’s powers, be it Congress, a committee, etc. One supposes he could have the skeptics show up and speak to the empty chairs where the “scientists” would be. However, given the infantile tendancy of the left and the easily terrified weak ones, they would probably just do a turnabout and do the same thing with skeptics, pretending no one showed up. It’s hard to know what to do with a screaming, tantruming two-year old when mommy and daddy (MSM) are portraying everything anyone does other than provide crayons and puppies as evil. Mostly, it seems, it’s a lose-lose-lose situation and best avoided. That way, there is nothing to push against on the side of the warmists—they just jabber on with their own rapidly failing scare tactics and further devolve.

Reply to  Sheri
August 28, 2018 1:07 pm

Are you suggesting that an “automatic grant renewal” can’t become “lost” in the bureaucracy “awaiting further “information” if the bureaucrats wanted it? See the IRS!!

Reply to  Sheri
August 28, 2018 1:11 pm

Trump could most certainly order US government “scientists” to show up. I don’t know if he could force them actually to debate. They might just say at each turn that they won’t deign to bandy words with enemies of science and the people. But that alone would be instructive.

Many grants are indeed under his purview, as head of the administration. For others, he might need Congress to go along. But he can also pick which scientists to serve on the bodies handing out grants.

It’s a credible threat.

Reply to  Sheri
August 28, 2018 1:20 pm

My favorite girlfriend in HS was named Sheri … dang, I loved her. do you mind if I imagine you are her? Because my Sheri-amour became a raging leftist.

Tom Petty described her perfectly …
Baby, time meant nothing, anything seemed real
Yeah, you could kiss like fire and you made me feel
Like every word you said was meant to be …

Reply to  Kenji
August 28, 2018 3:27 pm

Sure, feel free to imagine. The one thing I am not is a raging leftist!

Reply to  Sheri
August 28, 2018 9:30 pm

Sweet! And from what I can tell, bright and well educated (contradicting the leftist meme of the typical conservative).

Reply to  Kenji
August 28, 2018 4:58 pm

Did your infatuation with the fair Sheri have anything to do with the altercation with the nerd who upended you?

Reply to  Sgt
August 28, 2018 9:28 pm

Ha. No … it was a row in the basketball gym. And BTW … this was a large nerd … not a little bony waif. I wasn’t picking on someone smaller than me.

Reply to  Kenji
August 28, 2018 9:37 pm

Which only reinforces the lesson. Which here endeth.

Good on you for fessing up to your career as a misguided bully.

The bully in my class proved 4F and spent the rest of his life in abject shame. I OTOH was a “war hero”, ie a combat vet who somehow managed to survive. The true heroes of course were my comrades who didn’t come home and enjoy 70 more years of family and fun.

Reply to  Sheri
August 28, 2018 1:21 pm

Don’t worry, I’m not a creepster, stalker.

old construction worker
Reply to  Sheri
August 28, 2018 11:59 pm

I don’t mind funding climate research but don’t feed me BS. I’m not a mushroom. Remember this: We do have the Data Quality Act which will, at most point, have teeth. let the sun shine on research.

Bruce Cobb
August 28, 2018 12:39 pm

The debate is long over, and hands-down, both in reality and by default, skeptics/climate realists won. But that didn’t matter to the Climate Liars; they had the MSM mouthpiece, world governments, NGO’s, and probably 1,000 times the amount of money to spend, along with a climate industry chugging along, using money stolen from taxpayers and ratepayers.

Tom Halla
August 28, 2018 12:46 pm

The True Believers have already convinced almost all the legacy media already, so they just don’t think it’s worth the chance of publicly losing.

August 28, 2018 12:52 pm

They don’t like having their actual intelligence being put on display for all to see. They want to control the message.

August 28, 2018 12:52 pm

Cameron should be debating someone who is similar to his stature in our society.

James Cameron, you are an elitist pig. Thomas Frank warned us about entitled, out of touch, little s***s like you. The coup de grace is that you and your ilk are responsible for the election of Donald Trump.

You should consider President Trump a mild rebuke. Things can get a whole lot worse. If that happens, James Cameron, it will be your fault.

Reply to  commieBob
August 28, 2018 1:13 pm

Read Thomas Sowell’s “Vision of the Anointed”.

Reply to  MarkW
August 28, 2018 2:03 pm


The Vision of the Anointed (1995) is a book by economist and political columnist Thomas Sowell which brands the anointed as promoters of a worldview concocted out of fantasy impervious to any real-world considerations.[1] Sowell asserts that these thinkers, writers, and activists continue to be revered even in the face of evidence disproving their positions. link

paul courtney
Reply to  MarkW
August 28, 2018 4:38 pm

MarkW: Should have known you are a “Sowell man”. Good pick.

Gunga Din
Reply to  MarkW
August 28, 2018 4:54 pm

A few of his quotes:
“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”

“Facts are not liberals’ strong suit. Rhetoric is.”

“The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.”

“Immigration laws are the only laws that are discussed in terms of how to help people who break them.”

Many more quotes here.

Roger Knights
August 28, 2018 1:01 pm

“I responded to Cameron’s last-minute debate ducking with this statement: “Cameron let his friends in the environmental community spook him out of this debate.”

You should have used my line, “He ducks like a quack.” (Which I said of Al Gore here.) Then you should have followed up with, “It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.” (—Tom Paine) But your “chicken of the sea” phrase was pretty good.

Steve O
Reply to  Roger Knights
August 28, 2018 3:05 pm

I will do my part to make your phase part of the national lexicon. It rings with a lot of clarity.

Mr Mick
August 28, 2018 1:03 pm

I vaguely recall that Christopher Monckton once debated DeSmog Blog’s Graham Readfern in Australia, and sent him off the stage crying.
Does memory serve me correctly?

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Mr Mick
August 28, 2018 1:05 pm

I dunno, but it sounds about right.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Mr Mick
August 28, 2018 1:13 pm


Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 28, 2018 2:23 pm

Yes there was a debate between them:

Monckton on Readfearn: A journalist with a grudge is a mere propagandist

“A journalist with a grudge is a mere propagandist. Graham Readfearn, described as “a journalist”, heavily lost a public debate on the climate against me some years ago and has borne a steaming grudge ever since. Readfearn is no seeker after truth. He is an unthinking propagandist for the New Religion of ThermageddonTM.”

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 28, 2018 5:34 pm

Relying on Lord Monckton for your facts? Shaky, but even he says nothing about anyone leaving the stage crying.

In fact what Lord M doesn’t tell you is that it was actually a panel discussion at the Brisbane Institute. There were four on the panel – Lord M, Ian Plimer, Graham R and Barry Brook. I see no evidence that anyone was reduced to tears. Verdict on who “won” is of course entirely partisan.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 28, 2018 9:11 pm

My goodness what gave YOU the idea that I was talking about crying stuff, all I did was to show there was a debate set up.

You like to fog things up…..

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 28, 2018 11:32 pm

Read the comment to which I was replying.

Andrew Russell
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 29, 2018 6:18 pm

Relying on Nick Stokes for facts is for ignorant fools. Steve McIntyre properly outed him years ago for his willingness to lie and libel: “Sliming by Stokes”

Mr Mick
Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 28, 2018 5:59 pm

Thanks Sunsettommy.
I knew these two had locked horns somewhere along the line, and that Monckton had devastated young Readfearn.
To wit:
“Grazza, me boy, you need to raise your game if you want to play in the big leagues with the grown-ups. Science is not done by hurling off-the-point, out-of-context insults of the sort you specialize in. It is done by meticulous observation, by meticulous measurement of what is observed, and by the meticulous application of established theory to the results, so as to inch the theory meticulously forward.”


Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 28, 2018 4:42 pm

Nick Stokes August 28, 2018 1:13 pm


“No” is not really an adequate response Nick; please tell us what really happened.

Reply to  acementhead
August 28, 2018 5:15 pm

It wasn’t a debate.

It was a debacle, for the so called journalist.

August 28, 2018 1:11 pm

As I said elsewhere; Someone who is confident that they can win won’t hesitate when given a chance to prove it.

Bill Taylor
August 28, 2018 1:12 pm

gavin is utterly clueless

Reply to  Bill Taylor
August 28, 2018 3:45 pm

Somebody recently wrote:

“Gavin doesn’t know Schmidt!” 🙂

Stephen Skinner
August 28, 2018 1:19 pm

“I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.”
Richard Feynman

Roger Knights
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
August 29, 2018 11:46 am

That’s the response to use to Mosher’s claim that we must either come up with a better theory of global warming or accept CO2 alarmism and act on it.

August 28, 2018 1:32 pm

Ignore the ‘truth’ and repeat a lie or a mis-truth often enough and you get – what?
You get enough people to accept your message, that want or need to have their version of what is happening in the world, reinforced.

Now, wherehave we all heard this concept before? Not just here at WUWT, but a little earlier in history.

MY truth was reinforced here, at this site, but those not wanting or willing to read the material presented here, WILL swallow the stories they consume.
The ‘Left’ know this all too well….so…how the heck do we convince them of the error of their information?
Not by argument in a debate it would seem, even when they lose.
Not by media releases – when it is allowed to occur.
Not by listening or watching the news – its ALWAYS one way information there.
NOT by electing new leaders – they largely sing from the same song book.

But, doing none of the above would cement the CAGW persons views – that there are no dissenting voices.
Seems to be a dichotomy without end.

Lucky I’m bloody minded…for I surely won’t be holding my tongue when engaged in this debate.

August 28, 2018 1:40 pm

Cameron’s submarine must be the same color as the stripe down his back.

Reply to  Sgt
August 28, 2018 2:11 pm

I was only partly right.

Rather than Beatles’ shocking yellow, Cameron’s submersible is high-vis lime green, ie greenish-yellowish.

comment image

Louis Hunt
August 28, 2018 1:52 pm

It seems to me that we have two choices. We can move forward with modern life, try to expand our modern lifestyle to underdeveloped nations to benefit the masses, and adapt to climate change if and when it occurs. Or we can force the world back into the dark ages without fossil fuels and kill off more of humanity than climate change could ever hope to kill off. It is clear to me that when it comes to climate change, the cure is worse than the disease.

After years of end-of-the-world fear mongering, there has been no evidence that a little warming is detrimental, let alone catastrophic. If anything, the warming that has occurred since the Little Ice Age has been vastly beneficial to life on earth. The ones who say otherwise are like Cameron, DiCaprio, and Gore who don’t need to be concerned about skyrocketing fuel costs and care little about anyone but themselves. They would love to kill off most of the world’s population and turn the planet into their own private nature reserve. Their useful-idiot followers have no idea what will happen to them if the idols they worship get their way.

If you are dying of cancer, you may want to try drastic measures to find a cure. But if you are healthy, it makes no sense to ingest an unproven cure for a disease you don’t yet have and may never get. What these hypochondriacs of climate change want us to do is simply irrational and suicidal. So let’s not panic. Let us continue to take life one day at a time and deal with problems as they arise. I am confident the outcome will be far better than putting Al Gore in charge of our future.

Steve O
Reply to  Louis Hunt
August 28, 2018 3:14 pm

It would be an interesting question to ask a warmist, that given the warming trend that started in the late 1600’s, at what point did the warming trend shift from being a benefit to being a bad thing? Or is it at some temperature level in the future that something which has been good becomes something bad?

And remember all the poor people who are vulnerable to global warming. They’ll need air conditioning to live a warmer climate, or many more of them will die. That’s bad. Lets make energy a lot less expensive for them. Wait, did I say less expensive? I meant more expensive. A lot more.

Reply to  Steve O
August 28, 2018 9:39 pm

And what of the “snowbirds” who fly south for warmer winters and or retire to the hot desert or Gulf climate? How many degrees F. INCREASE are they subjecting themselves to? I suspect something much greater than the supposed increase due to AGW. So why aren’t these migratory humans DYING from the increase in their environmental temperatures. Oh well … nevermind … I expect there’s a computer model that would explain it all to me.

Reply to  Louis Hunt
August 28, 2018 9:32 pm

Exceedingly well said! Bravo!

August 28, 2018 1:55 pm

I’ve observed this, myself, here in North Carolina, at all three local universities: the climate activists default strategy for “winning” the climate debate is to suppress dissent.

In 2014, when very distinguished Princeton atmospheric physicist Will Happer was scheduled to teach a Physics Colloquium at his alma mater, UNC, left-wing activists in the Physics Department appealed to the Department Chairman, in an unsuccessful effort to get the event cancelled, because Prof. Happer is outspokenly skeptical of climate alarmism.

In 2012, at the tail end of the great NC sea-level legislative kerfuffle, a freshman volunteer with the Duke University Environmental Alliance, the school’s largest student environmental club, invited representatives of NC-20 (including me), which backed the legislation, to participate in a planned “panel discussion” about the new law, scheduled for Oct. 30, 2012 at 6:30pm, along with Nicholas School faculty members, who had led the opposition to it (and who had a representative testify against the bill in Committee at the NC State Legislature, testimony that was remarkably blatant in its misrepresentation of the science). The young volunteer apparently didn’t realize that the purpose of the event was to propagandize for the Correct Viewpoint, and differing opinions were not permitted, so she wasn’t supposed to have invited us. When the faculty activists learned that we would be there, they all remembered conflicting commitments, and backed out. The environmental club then cancelled the panel discussion, because, according to the email from a club officer, “as an environmental group, we cannot let one side go unrepresented.” (A few weeks later the Nicholas School had Michael Mann come down to speak on campus, for a fat fee, and everyone there forgot their aversion to one-sided events.)

In 2016, in front of a room full of people, at an event promoting climate alarmism, NCSU professor Ruben Carbonell promised me that I could present the other side in an upcoming presentation. I don’t know whether he ever intended to keep that promise. After ignoring my emails for a month, he finally replied, saying that he had “checked out… the organization that funds you” (note: no organization actually funds me, unfortunately), and “we have decided to focus our resources on other topics and programs.”

Reply to  Dave Burton
August 28, 2018 2:20 pm

You need a Colorado state government-type statement affirming academic freedom in NC.

Hokey Schtick
August 28, 2018 2:08 pm

Free speech is actually free. Which is why it’s hard sometimes for people who are used to paying for everything to grasp it. Anyway there’s no need to debate: just wait. Earth will have the final say.

Reply to  Hokey Schtick
August 28, 2018 5:08 pm

But a lot of folk can be harmed – some fatally – in the meantime.
Preventing many Africans from gaining access to reliable [and reasonably-priced] electricity; keeping power prices reasonable in the ‘West’ in winter, will keep many of the poor alive if it removed the “Heat or Eat” dilemma.


John Endicott
Reply to  Hokey Schtick
August 29, 2018 7:11 am

The problem is, while we wait for the Earth to have the final say, alarmists are pushing policies that produce real harm to those who are the most vulnerable (the poor and the elderly).

August 28, 2018 2:09 pm

Let’s see what the Pareto optimal move says: no grant money, no controlled headline spin, no advocacy payoff. I think that sums up the choice– you can only make yourself worse off from a debate-has-ended, winner takes all funding, publishing, and media exposure position.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 28, 2018 2:10 pm

…and the truth will never get it pants on to catch up.

kent beuchert
August 28, 2018 2:18 pm

These global warming alarmists often don’t have a clue about the nature of scientific inquiry. The closest parallel I can think of is the judicial system, where opposing sides present their theories , accompanied by evidence supporting those theories. Either a judge or a jury decides which
side has produced the most convincing case. Science without arguments is not science.

Steve O
Reply to  kent beuchert
August 28, 2018 3:22 pm

A better analogy would be at a technology company, such as a pharmaceutical enterprise.

The scientists can generally do whatever they want in their lab. But when it comes time to commit large amounts of resources, they go before a review board and they present a business case. Management decides whether to advance a project or kill it.

This crowd believes that they shouldn’t have to present a business case, because they’re the scientists and you’re not. In fact, society has multiple competing priorities and everything is a trade-off. Spending money to prevent global warming means less spending on health care, or roads, or defense, or schools. How much risk society is willing to accept based on the cost of abatement, the expected benefits, and the availability of various options, availability of resources, is a political question, not a scientific one.

I was a financial executive at various pharmaceutical companies, and if ever a scientist took the attitude that these scientists seem to want to take, they would get zero dollars to launch trials.

Reply to  Steve O
August 28, 2018 4:25 pm

“Spending money to prevent global warming means less spending on health care, or roads, or defense, or schools.”

How about not spending the money on anything?

August 28, 2018 2:19 pm

“The official reason given by Cameron’s spokesman was that “Morano is not at Cameron’s level to debate, and that’s why it didn’t happen.”

This is what he really meant:

“The official reason given by Cameron’s spokesman was that “Morano is ABOVE Cameron’s level to debate, and that’s why it didn’t happen.”

Komrade Kuma
August 28, 2018 2:46 pm

The behavious by Schmidt and co is evocative of the legal systems in certain thugocracies. Evidence and represenation for the ‘other side’ is quite unnecessary according to their rules. Once the accusation is made all that remains is to add the detail of how vile the accused is and then pass and quickly enforce the sentence.

Steve O
August 28, 2018 2:59 pm

Life on earth is at stake, but public opinion is divided! Yet the alarmist crowd doesn’t feel that building a consensus for action is necessary.

Do they have a totalitarian solution in mind? Are they thinking about some kind of “temporary” suspension of democracy?

michael hart
Reply to  Steve O
August 28, 2018 4:57 pm

Absolutely yes, Steve O, some of them do. Over the years we see occasional pieces at places like The Guardian or Puffington Host lamenting the failure of democracy to do what they want. They have praised the virtues of the Chinese style of government, where they “can get things done” for the greater good (just like Pol Pot did, I guess, in Cambodia).

August 28, 2018 3:13 pm

What else is new…. oh, maybe they will pretend to be interested in what you have to say, but they aren’t listening… they’ll shame body that doesn’t know, but where’s the exit when they come across some one who is knowledgeable

August 28, 2018 4:20 pm

About that Intelligence Squared Debate and this quote; “After the stunning victory, NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, one of the scientists on the losing side promoting belief in a climate “crisis,” excused the defeat by noting that his debate team was “pretty dull” and at “a sharp disadvantage” against the skeptical scientists. ” I think people might be interested to observe Richard Lindzen’s low key approach in that debate for
themselves. What the heck is Mr. Schmidt talking about? Skip to just after the 8 minute mark at:

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Randy Bork
August 28, 2018 7:44 pm

There you go looking at facts again. You weren’t supposed to go and watch the debate, just believe. Gavin works at NASA, how could his word be wrong?

Yea, most people and the MSM won’t check what was said, and if it was true. This is how the lie gets such a head-start on the truth. The truth only hits when reality hits.

Reply to  Randy Bork
August 28, 2018 9:01 pm

Crichton was a freakin’ genius. Only the good (and brilliant) die young.

RIP, genius lover of humanity and truth.

A man who made a good living enlightening and entertaining the world without reliance on grants. What a star.

I’d say hero, but I reserve that accolade for my comrades in arms who gave all or major parts of themselves in the service of freedom.

August 28, 2018 4:49 pm

Climate alarmism often resembles a faith based religion.
No reasoned argument will be entered into,
either you accept our dogma or you are a heretic.

August 28, 2018 5:05 pm

Real scientists, including some of the greatest, are never afraid to debate publicly. Nor should any scientist be. It’s not all that different from writing papers against each other’s conclusions.

Part of the scientific method is being savaged by opponents, who in an ideal world remain friends, or at least cordial acquaintances.

Unfortunately, also some of the greatest fail in this test of human decency, to include one of the very greatest, Newton. And the 19th century anatomist Owen, coiner of “dinosaur”, who was even worse. A lot

Huxley and Wilberforce remained on amicable terms after their famous Oxford debate on evolution, but Owen and Huxley, not so much.

IMO Einstein and Bohr also remained on cordial terms after their perhaps slightly less famous debate.

Unfortunately, his debate with Bergson probably cost him a second Nobel Prize:

Even though he was right and the philosopher was wrong.

August 28, 2018 5:45 pm

“the alleged “consensus””

…down the rabbit hole we go where we lie about lying.

“calls go out to shut down scientific debate”

Because they should feel obliged to provide some shouting head a platform? That is neither shutting down nor scientific if this bozo has anything to do with it.

“Even 30 years later, scientists still have not nailed down the absolute value of climate sensitivity, and it remains quite uncertain.”

Right. Until they “nail it down” to the satifaction of a few, internet cranks who have already decided.

Shameless and desparate attack on the clear consensus position of the vast majority, not that you’d realise if you get all your information – from down a rabbit hole.

Reply to  RyanS
August 28, 2018 5:59 pm

It has been nailed down to the satisfaction of no one who would dare honestly to call him or herself a scientist.

Since 1979, it has been the same WAG “estimate” of 1.5 to 4.5 degrees C. Any ECS higher than 1.7 has no evidentiary support from the real world, but that doesn’t matter to alarmists.

Reply to  RyanS
August 28, 2018 6:57 pm

There is nothing decided. Anything that says consensus is political science. Dumbass.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  RyanS
August 28, 2018 7:50 pm

That “clear consensus position of the vast majority” is so wrong in so many ways.

But just in case you ever return to read the reply:
1. Consensus in science is meaningless.
2. The vast majority of what?
3. Most people don’t believe in the catastrophic warming.
4. Some top science bodies of the US do belive it.
5. The US is not the whole world.

Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
August 29, 2018 12:31 am

The overwhelming majority of scientists in the relevant fields say:
1. Adding CO2 raises the global temperature.
2. CO2 increase and thus temperature rise since 1850 is anthropogenic.
3. ECS is likely between 1.5°C and 4.5°C.
4. and if we end up near the middle of that range we’re ***ked.

But no, lets wait until we’ve nailed it down to the nearest deciamal point – so that we can be certain we’re ***ked.

Privately they say we already are.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  RyanS
August 29, 2018 12:41 am

Exactly – and this sums up the point of a “debate” nicely……

Matt G
Reply to  RyanS
August 29, 2018 9:40 am

“1. Adding CO2 raises the global temperature.
2. CO2 increase and thus temperature rise since 1850 is anthropogenic.
3. ECS is likely between 1.5°C and 4.5°C.
4. and if we end up near the middle of that range we’re ***ked.”

This just highlights how awful climate science has been and to include the word science in this is almost insulting to social science.

2) Not true, (since the 1970’s) there was a strong agreement solar activity warmed the planet until the 1940’s. The only anthropogenic argument was after the ice age scare in the 1970’s. Global temperatures cooled between the 1940’s and the 1970’s that had nothing to do with rising CO2 levels also.

3) Only agreement was based on climate models not representing real data or observations. Climate models have a lot of critics between scientists.

4) Total assumption not based on any scientific evidence. There has been no agreement on temperature trends with the goal posts changing. The alarmists keep calling the shots, but failing each time. The IPCC do recently have this now at 2.0c above industrial levels, but not many agree.

Basically the climate science scare is only based on one thing that 1) “adding CO2 raises the global temperature.” To achieve the levels in the IPCC require a positive feedback that has never been found to exist. Nothing else is supported by using the scientific method. The IPCC is just politically controlled and had cherry picked which science articles they want to use to support the cause. There is no open mind thought process involved and only leads to the pre determined conclusion. Therefore without including any evidence against its claims, the true meaning of science becomes absent.

August 28, 2018 6:05 pm

Gabbin’ B Schiedt

August 28, 2018 7:33 pm

Gavin Schmidt is a fool. Why does he think that an argument with himself would be “good TV?” He dresses poorly, slouches, has a terrible speaking voice and exhibits no signs of being a thinker, let alone a scientist. What delusional self-regard leads him to imagine himself watchable?

August 28, 2018 8:46 pm

It’s hilarious watching Leftists trying to defend their disconfirmed CAGW hypothesis…

CAGW advocates’ grand strategy is to censor skeptical CAGW opinions in social media, newspapers, TV and radio, and to refuse open debate on the subject.

If CAGW is such an irrefutable fact, CAGW advocates would wish to encourage open debate against CAGW skeptics, because of the supposed overwhelming empirical evidence that confirms the CAGW hypothesis…but…., alas…

Leftists realize CAGW has become a joke. They’re simply doing all they can to keep this sc@m going for as long as possible in order to squeeze every last tax dollar from taxpayers and usurp as much political power as possible before this absurd CAGW sc@m is tossed on the trash heap of history..

Leftists are so hilariously deluded… They really are a sad lot.

Reply to  SAMURAI
August 28, 2018 9:39 pm

Yes but “populism”.

“Populism” is code name for “most people are so stupid they listen to the person who hurls insults”.

BTW climatists and leftists hurl insults all the time.

August 28, 2018 11:09 pm

I never understood this. If they are so sure that they are right, then debate and destroy the skeptics. Why hide and evade? Even if you are an alarmist, you should still think that this is pretty irresponsible. If the whole Earth was in danger, then what we need is more discussion and debate, not less.

But they don’t do that. Instead they hide and evade. They use logical fallacies. What does comparing climate “denial” to flat-earthers has to do with anything? That is their favorite tactic. Climate isn’t the shape of the Earth. Two different things. Everyone should agree to this.

And then these people wonder why the public isn’t concerned.

George Lawson
August 29, 2018 3:39 am

One only has to research some of the professions of the signatories to the letter to realise why they would never want to debate global warming with the likes of Mark Morano, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, Johm Stossal or Anrthony Watts. There is not a climate scientists amongst them, although there are a couple who are vaguely associated with the science. Here are just a few of their professions: 8 Members of Parliament. 10 Authors, An animal Rights Activist, LGBT Activist, Editor of the Morning Star, Director Tax Research UK,. Professor American Literature, Researcher ‘The Cultural Significance of Film and TV’. Author and Film Maker, Assistant Professor of Public Economy, Lecturer European Politics, Psychotherapist Activist and Writer, Professor of History and City Councillor, Artist, Swedish Parliament Executive, English Theatre Director, Writer and Activist, Apollo-Gaia Project, plus various other obscure professions. Did any of them really think that the media would ever invite any one of them to debate global warming with expert sceptic scientists? The surprise is that not one of the specialist global warming scientists has appended his name to the letter.

Reply to  George Lawson
August 29, 2018 8:54 am

George Lawson

Here are just a few of their professions: 8 Members of Parliament. 10 Authors, An animal Rights Activist, LGBT Activist, Editor of the Morning Star, Director Tax Research UK,. Professor American Literature, Researcher ‘The Cultural Significance of Film and TV’. Author and Film Maker, Assistant Professor of Public Economy, Lecturer European Politics, Psychotherapist Activist and Writer, Professor of History and City Councillor, Artist, Swedish Parliament Executive, English Theatre Director, Writer and Activist, Apollo-Gaia Project, plus various other obscure professions.

And those are parasites (Deep State, media darlings and mass media insides – using the US terms) who are the ones controlling today’s thoughts and minds.

To any of those you listed, and to any hundred thousand others like them, challenge them to “Free the BBC/ABC/CBC!” from government money and government monpoly, and you will get 100% pushback, 100% rejection of any thought of “Free Speech” independent of (their) government control and funding.

Roger Knights
Reply to  RACookPE1978
August 29, 2018 12:02 pm

“And those are parasites (Deep State, media darlings and mass media insides – using the US terms) who are the ones controlling today’s thoughts and minds.”

Our designated drovers, IOW.

Dr Deanster
August 29, 2018 5:48 am

I would love to be the dictator to grant the rich leftist their dream on climate change. The first thing I would do is take Cameron’s 900 million away, including his house, and set him up in a 1000 sq ft apartment and give him back his “fair share” of his wealth. After all, the carbon footprint of those mega mansions is significantly higher than a small apartment. I would also regulate the amount of air travel they are allowed to have. I would confiscate their expensive cars and put them all in economy grade cars.

Bottom line …. since they are the ones pushing for a change, I would make sure they are the first forced to change.

Matt G
August 29, 2018 7:09 am

It is obvious why they duck the debate, when it was falsified many years ago. Since the 1970’s, if there was anything different we would all know about it by now covering almost 5 decades. The planets sensitivity was shown well before 5 decades had past. The only noticeable warming occurred since late 1990’s had resulted from fudging/adjusting the data by confirmation bias. Virtually all the warming shown from the 1970’s had resulted from the transfer of energy from the ocean to the atmosphere with El Nino events or the Pacific climate shift around 1977. Before this warming since the 1940’s CO2 levels had increased, but the global temperatures declined for decades after. The rising CO2 levels had been shown to have no notable influence on global temperatures for around 80 years. These 80 years are definitely long enough to determine any influence/sensitivity and the theory has FAILED.

Anybody want to debate in favour of flying pink elephants in existence?

A flying pink elephant has not been seen because it doesn’t exist.

August 30, 2018 7:33 am

I debated a prominent climate modeler years ago. He was the most arrogant jerk I ever met. He overtly insulted me, refused to shake my hand, did not respond to any point I made (even when I cited his own work), and just hand waved about the models being “physics” which is simply not true–sure they are based on physics but have so many parameterizations…anyway, the college students voted against him even though his was the official position.

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