Do It Like Greta: Don’t Let Your Climate Skeptic Uncle Win This Christmas

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

It must be Christmas; the climate grinches are trying to convince everyone to ditch the Christmas lights, and green intellectuals like Peter Ellerton of the University of Queensland are providing helpful hints on how to win the climate battle of the Christmas dinner table.

I’m a critical thinking expert. This is how you win any climate change debate like Greta Thunberg

The Conversation By Peter Ellerton
Posted Wed at 2:59pm

As bushfires rage and our cities lie shrouded in smoke, climate change is shaping as a likely topic of conversation at the family dinner table this Christmas.

Back to the dinner table

We may not have Thunberg’s natural aptitude for staying on topic. But we can apply the lessons to our own conversations with friends and family.

Let’s say I’m having an argument with a cranky uncle about renewable electricity. I might argue that we should transition to wind and solar energy because it generates less carbon dioxide than burning fossil fuels.

My uncle might respond by saying I shouldn’t use any energy at all. Maybe he’ll say “then stop driving cars” or “don’t turn on your TV”.

But this response is not addressing the point at issue – that renewable energy generates less carbon than fossil fuels. It is talking about something else: that any use of power is bad. Really, it’s not so much about using power as how that power is generated.

Moving off the point at issue is a classic “strawman” attack, when the argument is misrepresented and argued from that point.

If you need extra help, my colleagues and I have produced a paper to help analyse the rationality of climate denial claims. It also helps you find the point at issue, and stay on it.

Read more:

Back in 2014, Google engineers discovered to their horror that there is currently no viable path for replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy.

Other serious climate action advocates have made the same discovery, ranging from David Attenborough, who quietly advocates for a renewable Apollo project to solve currently insurmountable problems, to Bill Gates, who in 2015 set up a green tech fund to try to find a way to make renewables viable (though by 2019, Bill Gates had given up).

When Trump hating film maker Michael Moore decided to investigate why there was so little progress retiring fossil fuel, he thought he would find a big oil conspiracy, a network of corrupt oil executives blocking the rise of a new industry. Michael Moore did discover a dark swamp of lies and corporate greed, but not where he expected.

Former NASA GISS Chairman James Hansen’s renewable energy skepticism upset Naomi Oreskes so much Oreskes called James Hansen a “denier”. Hansen is no climate skeptic, he believes if we don’t stop global warming, the oceans will boil and render the Earth uninhabitable. Hansen is a hero and progenitor of the modern climate movement – his senate testimony in 1988 was a pivotal moment in the raising of public awareness of climate issues.

But even James Hansen believes renewable energy is not a viable solution to the rapid reduction in anthropogenic CO2 emissions he believes is needed to save the world from global warming.

Peter Ellerton, what do you call an expert on critical thinking who encourages readers to parrot green talking points on renewable energy, without addressing the substantial evidence that renewable energy is a false hope?

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December 12, 2019 6:28 pm

renewable energy generates less carbon than fossil fuels. Does it??

During an interview at Stanford University late last year, Bill Gates slams unreliable wind and solar and made the point that it’s time to quit jerking around with renewables and batteries:

Gates, a solution focused thinker if ever there was one, hasn’t just thrown a wet blanket on wind and solar, he’s throwing his very own $millions at TerraPower – an outfit determined to develop a new wave of nuclear power plants that will safely deliver reliable and affordable power, forever.

steve case
Reply to  Sunny
December 12, 2019 7:31 pm
Reply to  Sunny
December 12, 2019 9:23 pm

Gates, a solution focused thinker if ever there was one,…

Yeah, right. He can’t even come up with a decent new toilet.

Reply to  Mark Bahner
December 13, 2019 3:05 am

Modern society would not survive without a decent toilet system. Where there is no decent toilet system you can’t have large populations live together in a small area.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mark Bahner
December 13, 2019 5:58 am

I like this “old school” toilet of mine. It works great! No need to upgrade.

John Endicott
Reply to  Mark Bahner
December 13, 2019 11:33 am

Yeah, right. He can’t even come up with a decent new toilet.

What was wrong with his old toilet? If it’s not broke there’s no need to fix it.

Reply to  Mark Bahner
December 13, 2019 4:36 pm

He can’t steal this from someone else. Gates will never develop anything.

Reply to  Sunny
December 13, 2019 2:57 am

Every time society made a step forward was when they discovered a cheaper way to create energy. Alternative energy can at the moment not deliver that and therefore massive (forced) use of it will lead to an economic downfall.
If you want to cleanup the environment that’s not the way to go because poor people will burn everything to achieve the energy to survive an other day.
I think Nicolas Tesla was on the right track to discover this source of free energy .

Reply to  Robertvd
December 13, 2019 9:49 am

This is the elephant in the room nobody on either side will discuss. Tesla had it figured out, endless energy out of the ethers. But it couldn’t be metered and profited from so JP Morgan shut it down. And of course our elite owned government confiscated all his work when he died. Our planet has been on a skewed reality ever since.

Robert Austin
Reply to  Robertvd
December 13, 2019 9:50 am

Free energy? Isn’t that what comes out of a perpetual motion machine?

December 12, 2019 7:06 pm

I wondered when this article was going to show up. I saw it a couple of days ago. Nice to see the author might be a qualified expert in critical thinking, but doesn’t have a scientific background. The article also has a little flow chart to dismantle sceptic arguments but I believe it can be also used to put a hole in CAGW reasoning as well. Once again the hubris is iron-clad.

As Francis Bacon said, “A man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true”. Sadly you can’t bring people around once they’ve drunk the green kool-aid in sufficient quantity.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Voltron
December 12, 2019 7:25 pm

He’s as qualified at critical thinking as Gleick is at ethics.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 12, 2019 8:35 pm

Leftists are convinced that they are trying to perfect the world, therefore any and all tactics are justified in their battles against the demons who oppose them.

Reply to  MarkW
December 12, 2019 9:00 pm

Mark W,
Yes, they do. Bloomberg’s latest that he wants to raise taxes on the poor (think Big Gulp tax, for one) because “he wants the poor to live longer”, is a classic example of the Left justifying controlling the peons’ lives because they are too stupid to know what’s good for them and the “right” way to live. Thus, he is justified in being a dictator because it’s out of love. He seems unaware that our Constitution protects citizens’ rights to be stupid if they so desire.
There is no end to the mischief Gov. can cause by “loving” citizens and acting “for their own good” Bloomberg-style.
I recall that the authors of the study he based his Big Gulp tax on told him the tax wouldn’t work and that was not what their study meant. They said people would only increase their sugar intake with candy bars etc. and his tax was useless. He didn’t listen.
“The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”

Reply to  KcTaz
December 13, 2019 10:34 am

I think I’ll replace the pavers that lead around to the back of my house with new ones, imprinted with “GOOD INTENTIONS” on them, and see if anyone notices.

Bill Powers
Reply to  MarkW
December 13, 2019 3:54 am

Primary among those tactics is lying through you teeth.

Reply to  MarkW
December 13, 2019 5:18 am

I have a question that is slightly off topic for this thread but is a point I hear the “climate scientists” starting to raise with some frequency. They like to talk about climate “tipping points” and then conclude that once past these imaginary points climate catastrophe will occur and be “irreversible”.

I’m not a scientist, but even to a layman the word “irreversible” sounds incredibly unscientific given the geologic history of earth and the reliably cyclical Milankovitch Cycle. Am I off base here ?

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Marc
December 13, 2019 12:13 pm

Nope, you’re not off base – and the notion of climate “tipping points” based on CO2, when CO2 has been much higher in the past and caused no such “climate catastrophe” at all, is complete bullshit. In point of fact, there is NO empirical evidence that CO2 does anything to temperature at all the notion that CO2 has an effect on the Earth’s temperature is a purely hypothetical construct, nothing more.

Reply to  Voltron
December 13, 2019 4:28 am

Id love to be at that xmas table with him
renewables have to be MADE and they cant make enough energy to make themselves
or as we saw run even a small bobcat let alone a mine truck or crusher
and the rare earths the non recyclabe issues and the crap output even with batteries
hed be more stuffed than the turky pulling this crap on with me.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  ozspeaksup
December 13, 2019 12:16 pm

Me too! It is truly amazing how deluded they really are.

Curious George
Reply to  Voltron
December 13, 2019 8:40 am

Dr. Ellerton’s Qualifications:

Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
Master of Contemporary Science, Australian National University
Graduate Certificate in Arts, The University of Queensland
Bachelor of Education, Griffith University

While he is no scientist, he is a contemporary scientist. A Nobel prize will be established shortly for Contemporary Science.

Jim C
Reply to  Voltron
December 14, 2019 1:35 pm

“I’m a critical thinking expert. This is how you win any climate change debate like Greta Thunberg

The Conversation By Peter Ellerton”

So many lulz to be had just in the opening two sentences alone.

Greta doesn’t “debate” climate change: she refuses to talk to “deniers”.

And “The Conversation” deletes any comments (and commenters) who don’t share their alarmist outlook.

December 12, 2019 7:21 pm

Is it really critical thinking to believe “My uncle might respond by saying I shouldn’t use any energy at all. Maybe he’ll say “then stop driving cars” or “don’t turn on your TV”.

That non sequitur wouldn’t pass muster with any true “denier”. This nutjob would be far more likely trying to understand why his unreliable, non-steady power supply can’t really work in our current network. Actually, he’ll likely just call his uncle names, and blithely continue to believe he’s the smartest suit in the room.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  max
December 12, 2019 10:04 pm

Is it really critical thinking to believe “My uncle might respond by saying I shouldn’t use any energy at all. Maybe he’ll say “then stop driving cars” or “don’t turn on your TV”.

No, it’s definitely not critical thinking.

This cranky uncle would ask:

“Why build renewable energy sources that use more energy to build, operate and maintain than they will produce in their lifetime?”

Because that’s the best argument against unreliables. They are literally wasting energy overall. Forget the fact that the energy is not reliable, it’s just not being produced on a net basis.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 13, 2019 4:50 am

Every day, when I climb into my 1991 BMW 325i with 5-speed manual transmission … I am saving much more of the planet than my surrounding neighbors “believe” they are saving by driving their shiny new Teslas. I am the TRUE conservative. They conveniently ignore all the energy and pollution it took to deliver their shiny new eco-cars into their garages. I don’t. Yep. My car is religiously maintained, and passes CA’s strictest CARB smog checks.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 16, 2019 9:16 am

It’s always hilarious when the socialists pretend that they can think like conservatives. It doesn’t work, for the same reason that children can’t successfully pretend to think like adults 🙂

December 12, 2019 7:22 pm

”As bushfires rage and our cities lie shrouded in smoke, climate change is shaping as a likely topic of conversation at the family dinner table this Christmas.”

Bushfire has nothing to do with ”climate change” They are caused by local weather conditions which are causing drought.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Mike
December 12, 2019 7:27 pm

That guy on the right couldn’t possibly be Australian, too well-dressed. 🙂

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 12, 2019 7:49 pm

You gotta tart yourself up for the videos

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Mike
December 12, 2019 7:51 pm

Like the guy on the left.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 12, 2019 11:32 pm

West Coast of Tasmania has been cool and quite wet!!! How unusual.

Reply to  Asp
December 13, 2019 4:31 am

ah but the east coast got a bit dry and thats been raved up while east is ignored

Reply to  Asp
December 14, 2019 1:35 am

Classic case of a negative Southern Annular Mode (SAM) situation which was bought about by a sudden stratospheric warming event in early August.

This is a classic ‘three way event’ right now. A slightly +ve ENSO, a strong +ve IOD and a strong -ve SAM is going to result in the conditions we are seeing right now in Australia. A very hot start to the summer in the West, a wet and cool Tasmania and southern Victoria, and a blisteringly hot and dry NSW and QLD. Combine this with insufficient land management and fire prevention policies and there is little wonder we’ve had the fires we are having. But of course its Australia’s coal mines that are to blame of course.

Rex Tasha
December 12, 2019 7:42 pm

When Greta grows up and becomes a head nurse, all the deniers will be put into the insane asylum.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Rex Tasha
December 12, 2019 8:01 pm

It’s already too crowded with alarmists in there.

Bryan A
Reply to  Rex Tasha
December 12, 2019 8:55 pm

Oh Nurse don’t be such a Ratched…

Reply to  Rex Tasha
December 13, 2019 4:32 am

oh deary
I had an instant nurse ratchett flashback;-))) lol

Reply to  ozspeaksup
December 13, 2019 11:34 am

Nurse Ratchett — she might temporarily stop going forward, but never go backwards.

George Daddis
December 12, 2019 7:42 pm

I love it when the Alarmists create strawman skeptic responses so that they can then claim the imaginary response doesn’t address the point they made.

Of course, the cranky ol’ uncle should have countered “Why do you think less CO2 a good thing?” and then allow the conversation continue with science and data, and not memes.

But they always want to use a conversation stopper based on consensus, “Because we all know (or 97% of scientists tell us) CO2 is a pollutant”.

Most readers of this blog are very capable taking it from there to respond to the Alarmist’s subsequent chain of assertions with appropriate questions about the science and the data.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  George Daddis
December 12, 2019 7:50 pm

“I love it when the Alarmists create strawman skeptic responses so that they can then claim the imaginary response doesn’t address the point they made.”

It’s not necessarily a strawman. Many here have made similar points, I’ve even done it a few times. And they’re valid points, depending on the person you’re debating.

Your points are valid too, of course.

December 12, 2019 7:45 pm

My uncle might respond by saying I shouldn’t use any energy at all. Maybe he’ll say “then stop driving cars” or “don’t turn on your TV”. … Moving off the point at issue is a classic “strawman” attack, when the argument is misrepresented and argued from that point.

Describing the very thing you are doing yourself as if you are not doing it is a classic, pathetic, alarmist tactic.

Joel O'Bryan
December 12, 2019 8:07 pm

If it’s emissions-free reliable 24/7 electricity, then simply ask, “Why do the Greens utterly reject and resist nuclear power? If saving the planet was the risk of another Fukashima, so what? It’s the planet that Climate Alarmists claim is going to die from CO2, not radiation.”

Especially in Australia which holds the world’s largest reserves of uranium.

And if they still insist on Wind and Solar, then simply state,
“I like to have electricity when the sun goes down and the wind hasn’t been blowing for a while. What about you? Do you like to sit in the dark, on sweltering hot, still summer night just for some Green, feel-good virtue points?”
Then when they fail to answer that, deliver the coup de grace,
“Do you think the really rich people and elites politicians who push the Green Schemes are going to sit in the dark with everyone else like us? Or do they have well-financed fossil-fuel generated backup plans?”

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 13, 2019 12:57 am

Joel, the greens raise the dangers of ‘nuclear waste’, when nuclear energy is suggested as a sensible ‘clean’, reliable source of energy. Just think, we could renew manufacturing in Australia!

I think a comeback argument to their rant would be the toxic ‘sludge’ that is a byproduct of both the processing of materials, ‘and’ the recycling of wind turbines and solar panels, which really doesn’t exist yet!

From the research I’ve done, they haven’t even worked out what to do with this sludge.

At least there is a plan in place for the byproducts of nuclear energy.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Megs
December 13, 2019 6:09 am

“From the research I’ve done, they haven’t even worked out what to do with this sludge.

At least there is a plan in place for the byproducts of nuclear energy.”

Very good points, Megs. Windmills and Solar have their own pollution problems, and they have not been addressed or even discussed sufficiently..

Reply to  Megs
December 13, 2019 7:35 am

The only reason why we have a problem with nuclear waste is because the greens won’t let us reprocess it.

John in Oz
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 13, 2019 2:16 pm

Nuclear was raised in a ‘discussion panel’ (with no scientific qualifications) on TV this morning with one of the panel disagreeing and stating that we have to stop mining and leave things in the ground when there are ‘renewable’ options available.

No mention (or thought) that ‘renewables have to be built from concrete, steel, rare earths, oils, etc that all require mining using heavy machinery that would not be viable if electrically powered.

It’s a pity these far-sighted prognosticators of doom cannot see their own blinkers

December 12, 2019 8:15 pm

“renewable energy generates less carbon than fossil fuels”

If that’s the case, why aren’t they (so called “renewable energy” sources) cheaper?

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  niceguy
December 12, 2019 10:06 pm

Because renewable energy sources use more energy to create, operate and maintain than they generate in their lifetime.

They are the best way to waste energy ever invented. Without fossil fuels they couldn’t exist.

Reply to  niceguy
December 12, 2019 10:15 pm

Intermittency of wind and solar are not the only problems. The fact is that, even if we don’t see it, the mining for the rare earth metals to make solar and wind is horrendous for the environment, and they need fossil fuels to be mined, manufactured, transported, installed, maintained and removed and there are no safe disposal methods for windmills and solar. On top of that, they require 24/7 spinning reserves from fossil fuels which emit more CO2 than just using gas 24/7. In their life cycles, they never save as much CO2 as all that emits.
Add to that the enormous land use issues, habitat destruction for animals, horrific numbers of deaths of birds, bats and insects, forest destruction in many places to install them and the entire thing becomes beyond absurd.
I won’t even get started on the absurdities of biomass and biofuels which are even worse.
This is the biggest con job ever perpetuated on the human race. Parents letting high priests sacrifice their virgin daughters to appease the Weather gods made more sense.

Reply to  niceguy
December 14, 2019 5:04 am

Because power plants that no longer make a profit have to be paid for but can’t be closed because without fossil fuels “renewable energy” couldn’t exist.

December 12, 2019 8:30 pm

Leftists have always measured intelligence based on ones ability to parrot the party line.

December 12, 2019 8:46 pm

I must admit that I am shocked that the same guy who thought Cuban health care was a wonderful thing and Castro a great guy who should be emulated, found his way to the truth on this issue.
No accounting for that one except that Moore is not stupid. He saw a Trump win in 2016 (one of the few) and has made a fortune fleecing cities and states out of tax dollars for jobs promised that never came.
File under, “Even a stopped clock is right twice a day?” Or, maybe he really does care about the climate enough to put his ideology aside? It’s happened before among the Believers as with Hansen who now finds himself banished to the desert with the Deniers by the “IN” crowd and the Kool Kids Klub. (Klub is not a typo nor a spelling mistake.)

Patrick MJD
December 12, 2019 8:54 pm

Apparently, Greta has been beat by a 14 year old girl. I don’t have a name.

Greg Cavanagh
December 12, 2019 9:08 pm

Question: what do you call an expert on critical thinking who encourages readers to parrot green talking points on renewable energy?

Answer: My colleagues, Dave Kinkead from the University of Queensland Critical Thinking Project and John Cook from George Mason University in the US, and I published a paper yesterday…

Yes, that John Cook.

Komrade Kuma
December 12, 2019 9:12 pm

‘Critical thinking’ is just the latest on oxymorons du jour. I always thought it sufficiant simply to think about a matter as in ‘think about it’.

As for someone who declares himself to be ‘an expert in critical thinking’ well thats where the ‘moron’ part of ‘oxymoron’ comes from.

Robert B
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
December 12, 2019 11:50 pm

These people do “evidence-based research” to differentiate themselves from their predecessors.

Reply to  Robert B
December 13, 2019 5:01 pm

Also, they have “scientific facts”.

As opposed to layman’s facts, probably. Or factual facts. Or just facts. Or measurements.

You can’t say anything because their facts are “scientific”.

December 12, 2019 9:27 pm

Just heard that Jeremy Corbyn has resigned after the massive loss at the ballot box. What a dumping for Labor. Good for the UK.

Reply to  goldminor
December 12, 2019 10:24 pm

That is great news!! Reading the Media, I thought Johnson was a gonner over his latest ads and was dead in the water.
FAKE NEWS and FAKE POLLS–British style, I guess.
Thank you, goldminor.
I could not believe the Brit’s were stupid enough to elect Corbyn. Whew!

Reply to  KcTaz
December 13, 2019 12:15 am

The BBC is very muted and is interviewing Labour henchmen as to what went wrong.
They in turn are blaming Brexit and the ignorance of the working population, and of course Corbyn could do no wrong and was not to blame.
The real reason was the wish list that Labour published in their manifesto which would have involved borrowing billions, nationalising many large industries and raising taxes on the ‘wealthy’ .
These taxes would have filtered down to the average person as they ran out of money and inheritance tax proposals would have destroyed any incentive to work hard and save, as they were proposing a maximum total LIFETIME inheritance of £125,000 and anything over would be taxed at ones marginal rate. What would count as inheritance was not stated, but could have included taking the grownup kids on holiday.
So the incentive would be to blow it all on riotous living instead of leaving something to the kids or helping them buy a house.
No wonder so many people said no thanks at the polling booth.

Reply to  goldminor
December 13, 2019 1:23 am

He hasn’t resigned, he has stated that he will not lead the Labour party at the next election in 5 yrs time. He will continue as leader until he can ensure the “right” successor is installed to continue with the project. If he resigns now the “wrong ” type of candidate might get the job.

Reply to  goldminor
December 13, 2019 1:45 am

The Labour Party has been absolutely CRUSHED in the British General Election.

Who says Friday the 13th always brings bad luck?!

Reply to  Graemethecat
December 13, 2019 5:57 am

Tee, hee, hee, hee, hee, wipeout. Apologies to the Beach Boys

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
December 13, 2019 11:41 am

Cue drum solo.

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
December 13, 2019 12:43 pm

Not the Beach Boys, the Surfaris

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Graemethecat
December 13, 2019 6:23 am

Maybe there is finally a Conservative Wave sweeping across the Western Democracies. Australia surprised us this last election with a fairly conservative vote, and now the UK asserts their conservatism, and, imo, Trump is going to blow away the Democrats in his next election.

Maybe enough of our citizens have wised up to the radical Left and its destructive ways and are rejecting them now. Let us hope. Perhaps the Western Democracies won’t self-destruct. But the question is not definitively settled as of yet. Conservatives need to get busy and stay busy because the radical Left certainly won’t stop trying to undermine our societies with their crazy ideas.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Graemethecat
December 13, 2019 7:32 am

Whilst being more than happy that Labour and Corbyn failed miserably in yesterday’s election I think it was the electoral system of first past the post that did the crushing. Boris and the Tories got 43.6% of the votes cast giving them 55% of the available seats and the biggest majority since Thatcher. Since my first GE in the 1960s I’ve never been happy with FPTP.

Bojo has a lot to live up to and in many ways Brexit may be a minor problem. The FPTP has given nationalists about 80% of Scottish seats, and a majority of SF and SDLP (those against the Union with the United Kingdom) in Ulster.
It’s my view that post Brexit the British people will get on with making the most of the situation having had 40 years of opposition to being in the EU followed by 3 years of chaos then almost anything will be better for Britain than another 40 years of arguing about membership of political/trading groups.

John F. Hultquist
December 12, 2019 9:36 pm

CO2 is not really an issue.
Wide-spread reliable electricity is the issue.
If Peter Ellerton becomes an advocate for nuclear and drops his
support for wind and solar, then we will know he has been thinking.

When he uses the phrase “climate denial claims”, or other nonsense,
he can be dismissed as a crackpot.

James Clarke
December 12, 2019 9:37 pm

Greta Thunberg has never won a climate change debate. She knows almost nothing about the science of the atmosphere and climate. Peter Ellerton is essentially telling his readers to be relentless bullies like Greta, not how to win a climate change debate. His credentials as a ‘critical thinker’ do not appear to be very impressive. I would gladly have him at my table this Christmas to see how well his methods actually work!

December 12, 2019 9:43 pm

Totally OT

But Boris Johnson’ Conservative Party has just thrashed the Labor party in the UK election

Not just thrashed, but a total whitewash

Maybe 150 seat majority over Labor in a 650 seat parliament.

Just need someone to educate Boris on the farce that is “Klimate Change” and renewable non-energy

Tom Abbott
Reply to  fred250
December 13, 2019 6:30 am

I’m surprised that WUWT hasn’t already posted an article about the overwhelming conservtive win in the UK.

Reply to  fred250
December 13, 2019 3:58 pm

If you want to have some fun, just respond that CO2 doesn’t matter because fusion power is just around the corner.

Reply to  fred250
December 14, 2019 1:44 pm

Once the UK has left the EU, climate is only one of many areas on which they’ll be able to escape from existing stupid EU policies. Though I suspect the first two things they’ll do will be to strike a great trade deal with Trump and cut back immigration of certain troublemaking folks.

December 12, 2019 9:44 pm

skip Christmas lights . . . . definitely what’s old is new again. So very 1970s. Even “early* ’70s! (my father died in ’75). He tried to be a good little liberal, and ditched Christmas lights before he died.

Andy Mansell
Reply to  Kristen
December 12, 2019 10:54 pm

Well, we have more than ever this year- outside tree lights, reindeer, icicles, (to remind the kids what they look like as we don’t get any because of global warming), and they’re going to be on 24/7 just to annoy the local whining, lefty hippies. I may even spell out ‘I love fossil fuels’ with the lights……

December 12, 2019 10:04 pm

A chess player who thinks the opponent will do such pathetically bad moves has no clue what playing chess is.

Critical thinking … pff

Craig from Oz
December 12, 2019 10:05 pm

How to win a debate like Great?

Step 1 : – How dare you.
Step 2 : – How dare you!
Step 3 : – How Dare You!
Step 4 : – HOW DARE YOU!
Step 5 : – Sail across the Atlantic.

Repeat as necessary.

Reply to  Craig from Oz
December 12, 2019 11:57 pm

The funny part is watching COP25 descend into chaos and Greta being there to watch it.

John Francis
December 12, 2019 10:06 pm

St Greta, candidate for Hypocrite of the Year.
Spend 5 minutes watching this
Hilarious! Yet pathetic.

James Clarke
Reply to  John Francis
December 13, 2019 5:42 am

Rebel media had fun with that video but it is kinda like shooting fish in a barrel. I started to feel sorry for the young people they were interviewing. The brainwashing was strong in that group!

Robert of Texas
December 12, 2019 10:15 pm

Green energy sources might produce cheaper energy intermittently once (and WHILE) running, but that ignores the production and construction of the machine. I don’t pay for intermittent energy, I pay for reliable energy. If I had to pay for intermittent energy I would need to install and complex system of batteries, monitors, and convertors. Suddenly the cheap energy doesn’t seem so cheap to me. Nor does it seem so friendly for the environment (you have batteries closets in every home, leading to disposal problems, production problems, mining problems, and of course, fire hazard problems).

I do believe they will eventually get solar panels down in cost to be a reasonable alternative for *some* of the necessary power in *some* less cloudy and more sunny areas more toward the tropics (but not the far north). These panels will be on rooftops, not in solar farms. There are a few exceptions – desert facilities using focused sunlight will likely prevail, but they will be marginal – there just are not enough good locations for them (unless you are OK with wiping out desert species).

Many people’s problem with understanding is one more of timing than probability. Until a technology can make it on it’s own (economically), produce a reliable output, and not introduce so many new problems it isn’t worth the effort, it will fail. Technology changes all the time. In 10 years we may have solved for some of this, in 20 years it might be moot because we have a better alternative, etc. Meanwhile, I rest easy knowing that we have plenty of fossil fuel to get us to whatever the future brings.

Wind farms? I think they will be a fail…and eventually replaced at great cost by more reliable power sources (i.e. nuclear). I am just waiting for a burning wind turbine to start a California fire…

Reply to  Robert of Texas
December 13, 2019 7:41 am

They are generally cheaper than a portable generator.
In places where a portable generator is your only other option, they make sense.

TG McCoy
Reply to  Robert of Texas
December 13, 2019 9:20 am

Even back in the 00’s Tehatcpi was a mess of failed wind projects. I’m actually surprised they haven’t started a fire..

Ray G
December 12, 2019 10:16 pm

Back to the point of the argument. What about the emissions to produce the renewable energy equipment and all that mining required ?

December 12, 2019 11:20 pm

renewable energy = perpetual motion,
It doesn’t exist. Some will run out sooner than others though. Entropy.
What they really mean is sustainable.

However, although the wind and sun are free, it requires resources to capture them,
and those resources are often neither renewable nor sustainable.

No more mining, no more dams, and so on. You can see where this is going.
To get zero emissions or pollution, the only way is to go to zero demand.
I would advise against going there.

Coeur de Lion
December 12, 2019 11:45 pm

Just a remark on the UK General Election result. Given the impending climate catastrophe, the number of votes for the Green Party is nothing short of pathetic. Grind their noses in it.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
December 13, 2019 4:50 am

I am sure Griff and others like him in the UK are on their knees screaming and howling at the skies “Not my PM!” right now! I understand that a huge number of new, young first-time voters, voted in favour of the Tories and Boris and by extension, in favour of Brexit.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 13, 2019 6:35 am

“I am sure Griff and others like him in the UK are on their knees screaming and howling at the skies ”

LOL! I can see it now! 🙂

Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 13, 2019 7:41 am

How long till they try and blame it on the Russians?

December 13, 2019 12:14 am

“encourages readers to parrot green talking points”?

Thats not what he did. He made a factual statement: “renewable energy generates less carbon than fossil fuels”

Meh, factual statements, biased talking point, whats the difference, says Eric.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Loydo
December 13, 2019 12:39 am

“Loydo December 13, 2019 at 12:14 am

Thats not what he did. He made a factual statement: “renewable energy generates less carbon than fossil fuels””

Complete bollox!

James Clarke
Reply to  Loydo
December 13, 2019 6:08 am

It is not a fact because neither process produces carbon. The use of the word carbon instead of carbon dioxide is a propaganda tactic because carbon is considered dirty and an attempt is to equate a colorless, orderless, building block of all life as something dirty and awful! That’s one thing that makes it a biased talking point.

I will give him the benefit of the doubt and acknowledge that he really meant to write carbon dioxide. Even then it is still a biased talking point because it is irrelevant. It is similar to pointing out that the Titanic was making really good time. That’s true, but irrelevant!

Reply to  Loydo
December 13, 2019 7:43 am

The only problem is, they don’t.
Not when you consider all the factors.

Like the rest of the alarmists, Loydo is not a deep thinker and can’t handle any complex analysis.

December 13, 2019 1:04 am

“Colossal new investments in infrastructure, in science, using our incredible technological advantages to make this country the cleanest greenest on earth with the most far reaching environmental programme.
And you the people of this country voted to be carbon neutral in this election. You voted to be carbon neutral by 2050 and we will do it.”

Boris Johnson, in his first speech after his election victory…

Patrick MJD
Reply to  griff
December 14, 2019 5:51 pm

Yep! Using the only technology that can achieve that goal; Accounting.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 14, 2019 8:20 pm

Creative Accounting?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Megs
December 14, 2019 9:36 pm

I stand corrected.

shortus cynicus
December 13, 2019 1:33 am

„renewable energy“ does not exists because:
1. EROI is negative.
2. Energy delivered by solar and wind is not reliable enough. Because it doesn’t fulfill quality requirements, it isn’t energy at all as understood and required by clients/consumers of electrical energy.

David Chappell
Reply to  shortus cynicus
December 13, 2019 4:09 am

Renewable is, in any case, a misnomer as used in the context of energy. To renew something means to make good so that it can be used again which is an impossibility with energy. The green mafia has, in effect, redefined renewable as meaning there is more where that comes from and that is also true of fossil fuels.

old construction worker
December 13, 2019 2:41 am

I have a prediction for Time’s “person of the Year”. When your NGO’s money dries up (in about 6 months) your history.

Right-Handed Shark
December 13, 2019 4:14 am

It’s genetics.. his cranky old uncle is very likely just as stupid as he is.

Bill Powers
December 13, 2019 4:17 am

What I find to be the most disingenuous is how Leftists, advancing political agendas, won’t debate skeptical scientists but rather set up “stawman” arguments were they first put up some weak puke argument against CAGW and then proceed to knock it down. Then worse, arm children with such nonsense to go forth and make pompous arses of themselves ala GReta Thunberg, in front of their families, during the holidays. This guy should be arrested for child abuse.

As a cranky uncle I have argued that wind and solar have too many weaknesses to provide the energy needs of our economy as evidenced by how little they currently supply, the damage it would cause to the environment if we even attempted to transition more fully to them, their continued reliance on fossil fuel to support their function and maintenance, how unreliable they are, how they can never be called up on demand, and the devastating cost and energy loss of storing said energy for later use. I rarely have to go into the environment damage they cause to wildlife.

I have never once in a discussion on renewable energy argued “Oh yeah well practice what you preach and stop using anything that requires energy.” Only “Critically Thinking” (?) leftists use that argument by assigning it to people who never use it and then crowing about how they win arguments with cranky uncles.

Barney Ruble
December 13, 2019 4:26 am

“ But this response is not addressing the point at issue – that renewable energy generates less carbon than fossil fuels”

It’s interesting how the alarmists often call “carbon” the problem. Skeptics never say that.

Bruce Cobb
December 13, 2019 4:34 am

So let’s examine the critical thinking skills of the “expert”, Peter Ellerton. First, the clueless niece makes an idiotic “argument” about why we “should” transition to “renewable electricity” (really? when did electricity become “renewable”, but I digest), and the knowledgeable uncle makes a sarcastic remark about her energy use in general, which is actually true – that if she’s so “concerned” about it, instead of waiting for a transition to “green” energy, why not limit her energy use RIGHT NOW? It points to her hypocrisy in other words. So what has happened? She made a dumb comment about “renewable electricity”, and instead of arguing with an idiot, he was sarcastic. That could actually be described as a rational response, because how do you argue with an idiot? But technically, his response is a non sequiteur, not a strawman as the so-called “expert in critical thinking” has claimed. But it is a tactical non-sequiteur, since there really isn’t what could be called a rational discussion taking place. Furthermore, the idiot who claims to be an “expert in critical thinking” has in fact, set up his own ACTUAL strawman with this faux “argument”, so he’s a hypocrite as well as a moron. QED.

December 13, 2019 4:39 am

Just tell them that the UK election result was a massive win for combating climate change. The British Prime Minister and cabinet will no longer need to fly to Brussels in order to find out how to govern the nation.

Think of all the aircraft miles saved.

December 13, 2019 4:54 am

Hansen is no climate skeptic, he believes if we don’t stop global warming, the oceans will boil and render the Earth uninhabitable. – article

Geezo Pete, I had no idea that Hansen was that abominably stupid!!!! What an idiot!!!

The oceans are NOT going to boil and the Earth will NOT be uninhabitable until the Sun starts to swell into a red giant. That’s how it works, Hansen, you imbecile! I do wish I had a time machine so that I could drag his sorry backside back to the Carboniferous and watch while he faints from oxygen poisoning!!!

He knows better. What an IDIOT!!!!

V for Vendetta
December 13, 2019 5:19 am

Regarding wind power:

– Miller & Keith: Climatic impacts of wind power, Joule 2, 1–15 December 19, 2018

– Armstrong, A. et al.: Ground-level climate at a peatland wind farm in Scotland is affected by wind turbine operation. Environmental Research Letters 11(4): 044024, 2016

It’s not only unhealthy for birds/insects and inefficient, it also creates heat and drought!

December 13, 2019 5:39 am

“renewable energy generates less carbon than fossil fuels”
SO WHAT !!!!!!

Less or more Carbon this or that is the most meaningless measure of anything useful.

Tom Abbott
December 13, 2019 5:49 am

From the article: Peter Ellerton: “I’m a critical thinking expert.”

I don’t think so. If you were a critical thinking expert, you would not be an alarmist, you would be a skeptic.

Alarmists are famous for their *lack* of critical thinking.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 13, 2019 7:23 am

Well spotted and well said.
Just another self-credentialed “expert” who is unable to spot even the internal inconsistencies in his own arguments.

Bruce Cobb
December 13, 2019 5:51 am

I don’t understand why, but my comment from about an hour ago went to moderation, and appears to be lost. Sigh. There does seem to be something wrong with the system here. Commenting used to be a lot easier. Anyway, I essentially trashed the guy’s entire argument, and called him a moron. He’s certainly no “expert” in critical thinking, as his own skills are sorely lacking.

December 13, 2019 6:44 am

Easily solved—cook the turkey with solar and hope it’s done and there is not a cloudy day. Maybe your guests won’t get Slamonella. Start early or cut the turkey up in very small pieces. Only turn on the lights if your solar or wind charged battery can handle the load. If you don’t have a fireplace, you’ll have to eat with 100% cotton coats on by candlelight. No watching the game or anything else unless you have enough battery power. Since it’s a temporary thing, you can charge the batteries fully a day before, then only plug the charger in IF there’s sun or wind at a set speed. Your guests can help boil water on the wood stove to clean up the dishes, unless you have a cistern and enough battery to heat the water on your electric stove or run your dishwashers. One should ALWAYS honor the wishes of one’s guests, even if it’s not your idea of a fun day. Stop using electricity from the grid as your way of honoring your liberal fanatic guests.

December 13, 2019 6:47 am

Oh, and Forbes named Greta one of the WOMEN of the year, so you can now shred her. She’s NOT a child and Forbes says to.

Reply to  Sheri
December 13, 2019 11:36 am

Teeny-Bopper of the Year.

Nicholas McGinley
December 13, 2019 7:19 am

I am an expert spotter of dumb asses, liars, and academics who aint very smart.
This particular individual is perhaps the clearest example of a person who gets top marks in all three categories.
Not much more to say beyond that.
His arguments are as trite and completely lame as they come.

December 13, 2019 8:52 am
December 13, 2019 9:04 am

It is not Allerton’s uncle’s argument that is the strawman, it is Allerton’ uncle himself. Any cranky uncle of mine would easily defeated Allerton in an argument.

Jim Whelan
December 13, 2019 9:45 am

Count me in as a cranky old uncle. What I’ve observed is that my gullible nieces and nephews are completely flummoxed because my responses are never the ones the articles like this prepare them for. I always respond with facts and real science (helped by my degree in physics) .

December 13, 2019 10:15 am

Nuclear can generate hydrogen whose waste product is…..water. Far cleaner than anything else available. And nuclear has never been safer. It is, however, not perfect just like any other “solution”. China has been slowly buying up the world’s supply of uranium though—so that could be an issue.

December 13, 2019 10:26 am

“This is how you win any climate change debate like Greta Thunberg”


Greta said she wouldn’t debate at all. Presumably because anyone who disagrees with her must be too stupid to talk to.

AGW is not Science
December 13, 2019 11:57 am

“Hansen is a hero and progenitor of the modern climate movement – his senate testimony in 1988 was a pivotal moment in the promotion of “human-induced climate catastrophe” bullshit.

There, fixed it for you.

December 13, 2019 1:16 pm

Number 12 looks just like you.

Paul Penrose
December 13, 2019 1:16 pm

When people bring up wind and solar power I just ask a few questions. It usually goes like this:
Me: What do you do at night when the wind is blowing?
Them: Batteries.
Me: OK, assuming we have the battery technology to store an entire night’s worth of power for the whole grid (which we don’t presently), how do you recharge them?
Them: The next day, using the solar (and possibly wind) power.
Me: If you are pouring an entire night’s worth of power in the batteries, where is the power going to come from to power everything else?
Them: Obviously you will need some surplus capacity.
Me: How much?
Them: About one night’s worth, duh.
Me: OK, then about 150%, assuming high efficiency in charging of batteries (probably unrealistic), but what about times when it’s cloudy and windless the next day?
Them: How often does that happen?
Me: Often enough. If it happens during the Winter a lot of people will die.
Them: OK, then you just need more batteries – enough for the worst case scenario.
Me: But all those extra batteries will require even more surplus generating capacity so that you can be assured that you can recharge them quickly enough to avoid a shortfall if two long lulls in generation occur closely in time. So how much surplus will you actually need?
Them: I don’t know! I’m sure the experts have it all figured out.
Me: There’s the rub; I haven’t seen anybody address these issues. Everything I’ve seen says we will need to build millions of windmills and solar farms to replace all the thermal plants we currently. That by itself is a huge task that would take decades to complete. But then if we need 2x or 3x the battery storage, and 2x, 3x, or even 4x surplus generating capacity, is this scheme even possible? Remember, you have to maintain this system and replace components when they age out. If you can’t finish it before the first installations need to be replaced, you are doomed. And this doesn’t even take into account world wide growth in energy demand.

December 13, 2019 1:38 pm

A critical thinking expert who cant think critically. Zzzzz

Serge Wright
December 13, 2019 5:38 pm

When the transition to RE was initially planned over a decade ago, the non-dispatchable and intermittency problems of wind and solar PV were noted and the need for dispatchable RE power was understood. Billions of dollars of subsidies were then donated by governments to anyone prepared to try and develop geo-thermal, solar thermal, wave and tidal power. Today, billions of dollars later, we have effectively proven that all of these other technologies are not possible. Thus we are left wind the intermittent RE souces and nothing else.

The harsh reality is that a transition to an all wind and solar PV power grid means that we are creating significant disruption to society. This disruption, mainly in the form of energy poverty and economic loss is driven by higher power prices and a more unstable grid with increasing outages and load shedding.

We may have not all realised the obvious, but the real debate within society is how much RE disruption are we willing to tolerate ?. Wealthy people are more tolerant of the price rises and are also more able to purchase expensive home generation or storage solutions to protect themselves against in impacts of outages. On the other hand, poorer people are more impacted by price rises and the offshoring of their more energy intensive blue collar jobs .

The political realisation of this RE versus disruption tolerance is now very evident in almost all elections across the developed world. As the level of disruption increases the level of resistance also increases. How this finally unfolds will be interesting. Most likely there will be a move towards nuclear energy but when this will ocuur is difficult to predict.

December 14, 2019 3:41 am

In the spirit of climate change, I used candles on my Christmas tree to avoid using electricity. My tree started on fire and burnt to ashes, besides burning part of my house. Did I save any carbon? Did I save the planet? LOL

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