The Conversation? “ethically misguided and downright dangerous” NOT to Censor Climate Deniers

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

University of Melbourne “Centre for Advancing Journalism” academic Denis Muller believes climate censorship should be added to legally binding journalistic professional codes of conduct.

Media ‘impartiality’ on climate change is ethically misguided and downright dangerous

January 31, 2020 6.11am AEDT

Denis Muller
Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne

In September 2019, the editor of The Conversation, Misha Ketchell, declared The Conversation’s editorial team in Australia was henceforth taking what he called a “zero-tolerance” approach to climate change deniers and sceptics. Their comments would be blocked and their accounts locked.

His reasons were succinct:

Climate change deniers and those shamelessly peddling pseudoscience and misinformation are perpetuating ideas that will ultimately destroy the planet.

But in the era of climate change, this conventional approach is out of date. A more analytical approach is called for.

Harm is a long-established criterion for abridging free speech. John Stuart Mill, in his seminal work, On Liberty, published in 1859, was a robust advocate for free speech but he drew the line at harm:

[…] the only purpose for which power can be exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.

It follows that editors may exercise the power of refusing to publish climate-denialist material if doing so prevents harm to others, without violating fundamental free-speech principles.

Other harms too provide established grounds for limiting free speech. Some of these are enforceable at law – defamation, contempt of court, national security – but speech about climate change falls outside the law and so becomes a question of ethics.

The harms done by climate change, both at a planetary level and at the level of human health, are well-documented and supported by overwhelming scientific evidence.

External guidance is nonexistent. The ethical codes promulgated by the media accountability bodies – the Australian Press Council and the Australian Communications and Media Authority – make no mention of how impartiality should be achieved in the context of climate change. The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance’s code of ethics is similarly silent.

These bodies would serve the profession and the public interest by developing specific standards to deal with the issue of climate change, and guidance about how to meet them. It is not an issue like any other. It is existential on a scale surpassing even nuclear war.

Read more:

The problem with comparing discussion of climate change to shouting “fire” in a burning theatre is one of immediacy.

Shouting “fire” to create a fake panic in a movie cinema is punishable, because it has been amply demonstrated through experience that creating a fake panic causes immediate, measurable harm; we know through observation of past events that people can be hurt or even killed during the resulting stampede.

But a public comment disputing alarmist climate claims; not so much.

The author’s comparison of climate change to an imminent nuclear war is absurd. Climate change is a gradual process, with significant changes taking decades or even centuries to manifest.

Even if climate skeptics were totally wrong, there is no justification for shutting down our right to be wrong. Unlike shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre, no single climate “shout”, no matter how wrong, has the potential to alter the trajectory of society to such an extent that measurable harm could be ascribed to it.

If society lowers the bar of censorship to such an extent that publicly supporting a position which might be wrong but which causes no immediate harm qualifies as a punishable offence, then we have lost more than our right to free speech.

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February 1, 2020 10:19 pm

Unfortunately, Fascism is alive and well in Melbourne, spearheaded by the Ultra-Left-Wing Age Newspaper also known as Pravda-on-the-Yarra. The network of back-up propaganda and ‘education’ forces in Australia spreads from James Cook University in the north to the University of Tasmania in the south.
The real threat that these activists wish to counter is the systematic dismantling of their climate lies and threadbare theories surrounding CO2, which is a harmless inert gas that benefits all life on Earth.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 1, 2020 10:41 pm

The Age’s sister newspaper in Sydney, The Sydney Morning Herald should be termed Pravda on the Harbour.
Although I presently reside in Sydney temporarily I refuse to buy it but my local coffee shop has a copy I can occasionally read for free.
Its agenda on pressing the “climate crisis” is unrelenting and shrill.
Since the bushfires it has ramped up the issue considerably on the basis that no thinking person could deny that climate change causes bushfires.
Letters to the Editor are ALL in this vein.
Relatives in Sydney are even more scathing in their views about the fall of the SMH, a once great broadsheet, now a declining tabloid.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Herbert
February 1, 2020 10:48 pm

Indeed you are correct. I live in Sydney and the SMH is festooned with alarm articles about climate is really quite a laugh. Like The Guardian readership at the SMH is falling. I cannot post any comments to any article now.

Brent Hargreaves
Reply to  Herbert
February 2, 2020 12:46 am

‘Crisis’? O, ye heretic! The new word is ‘emergency’, to be followed soon by ‘megamergency’. /sarc
The hyperbole of the Greenshirts is constantly evolving.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Brent Hargreaves
February 2, 2020 12:57 am

Maybe a pangalacticrisis? I am good at making sh!t up too!

Reply to  Herbert
February 2, 2020 4:17 pm

Given its partnership with HuffPo, I now call it the SMHuffPo.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 2, 2020 2:26 am

Agreed Nicholas.

A précis of warmists’ deceitful propaganda tactics follows – 20th Century practitioners included Stalin, Hitler and Mao, who killed ~200 million people. Do we have to do all this again?

The quotes of Vladimir Lenin:

“Truth is the most precious thing. That’s why we should ration it.”

“We can and must write in a language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, and scorn toward those who disagree with us.”

“There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel.”

“Free speech is a bourgeois prejudice.”

“The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses.”

“People always have been and they always will be stupid victims of deceit and self-deception in politics.”

“It is, of course, much easier to shout, abuse, and howl than to attempt to relate, to explain.”

“Democracy is indispensable to socialism.”

“The goal of socialism is communism.”

“The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”

“Trust is good, but control is better.”

“As an ultimate objective, “peace” simply means communist world control.”

“One of the basic conditions for the victory of socialism is the arming of the workers Communist and the disarming of the bourgeoisie the middle class.”

“One man with a gun can control 100 without one.”

“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”

“Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.”

In Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov’s 1984 interview he predicts everything that is happening now.

Lenin’s classic leftist propaganda tactics were refined by Josef Goebbels to mobilize the German public for World War 2.

These same leftist propaganda tactics were later simplified by American extremist Saul Alinsky in “Rules for Radicals”:

See also this treatise on the leftists’ decades-long program to corrupt our institutions:

See also:
By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., July 19, 2019

Epilogue: Do we have to do all this again?

Regards to all, Allan

Gunga Din
February 2, 2020 12:08 pm

“Democracy is indispensable to socialism.”

“The goal of socialism is communism.”

“As an ultimate objective, “peace” simply means communist world control.”

Several decades ago, in the days of the USSR, I knew a man who somehow had dual citizenship, Russia and the USA.
He went to visit relatives in Moscow who taught at the University.
He was talking to some students about the US, freedoms, free enterprise etc. when a party member came up.
She objected when he said that communism didn’t really want peace.
She said there would be peace when the whole world embraced communism.
He said that he never would.
Her reply was, “Then we’ll kill you.”

It’s going to be lonely place for the last person on Earth after they kill the second last person for disagreeing with them.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 2, 2020 2:32 am

As far back as the 1970’s The Age was referred to as the “Red Rag” and “The Communist Manifesto”, when the cold war ended they had to find a new fear campaign to scare and manipulate the public, then along came global warming. Thankfully it’s circulation is in a downward spiral now that it is owned by the Nine Network which is very performance driven it is only a matter of time before it is forced to change or fold.

The problem with fear driven media is that when times are good and people are happy they don’t care. The once in a decade bush fire season gave them some traction but now that the Indian ocean dipole has faded away and the drought has broken people will forget about that as well.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 2, 2020 2:56 am

The following is excerpted from an article by my new friend Zuzana Janosova Den Boer, an engineer who was born and raised in Czechoslovakia and now lives in Calgary. I have met with Zuzana and her husband, a geophysicist, and they are highly knowledgeable and credible. His recent book “It’s the Sun, not Us” is available on Amazon.

Regards, Allan

by Zuzana Janosova Den Boer

Communism can be characterized by a single word: deception. Communists never disclose their real intentions. They are fraudsters who employ different identities, names and slogans, all for one goal: totalitarian enslavement. Since 1970, the goal of the Communist Party USA has been to subvert environmentalism and use it to advance their agenda. In 1972, Gus Hall, then chairman of the Communist Party USA, stipulated in his book “Ecology”:

“Human society cannot basically stop the destruction of the environment under capitalism. Socialism is the only structure that makes it possible …This is true in the struggle to save the environment … We must be the organizers, the leaders of these movements. What is new, is that knowledge of [a] point-of-no-return gives this struggle an unusual urgency.”

This idea was incorporated into the Green Party program in 1989 (the same year soviet communism collapsed), in which the fictitious threats of ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ are used to scare the public into believing humanity must “save the planet”:

“This urgency, along with other Green issues and themes it interrelates, makes confronting the greenhouse [effect] a powerful organizing tool … Survival is highly motivating, and may help us to build a mass movement that will lead to large-scale political and societal change in a very short time …

First of all, we [must] inform the public that the crisis is more immediate and severe than [they] are being told, [that] its implications are too great to wait for the universal scientific confirmation that only eco-catastrophe would establish.”

Do you think the UN Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change is promoting science rather than socialism? Read the following admission from the co-chair of the UN IPCC Group III, during an interview in 2010 with the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung:

“We must free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. We must state clearly that we use climate policy to redistribute de facto the world’s wealth.”

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 2, 2020 3:27 am

So, to be a ‘climate change skeptic’ is to be intolerable in a liberal democracy whereas to be a marxist or to advocate say extreme religious dogma including vile personal abuse and death threats is not. Wow, that is quite a position for a “Centre for Advancing Journalism”.

Whose definition/opinion/assertion of ‘climate change skeptic’ is to be the basis for decisions pertaining to the enforcement of this edict of intolerance?

Who will make such decisions?

Will this Jackboot Journalism only cover published journalism or will the guiltry be forced to wear a jacket with the ‘star of guilt’ or even be tattood onto their foreheads?

There is quite a bit of historical practice in this general area ranging from the Naziz, the Soviets, the Khmer Rouge so it should not be hard for the proponents of this new regime of shackled speech to flesh out their position in more detail.

Reply to  Komrade Kuma
February 2, 2020 9:26 am

“Democracy is indispensable to socialism.” – Vladimir Lenin

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 2, 2020 3:32 am

I’d take out the “harmless inert gas” as if it were inert it couldn’t be the basic building block of all life.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 2, 2020 8:16 am

Y’all know how Forbidden Fruit works with teens and little kids, right? Whatever you purport to ban immediately becomes more attractive; whatever transgression confers “badass” points with peers.
This is a huge part of why pot and vaping are so popular.

Like the “impeachment,” I suspect the result here may surprise them . . . 😉

Doc Chuck
Reply to  Goldrider
February 2, 2020 11:46 pm

For those lacking every other inspiration in life, literally seizing the day makes life worth living when it otherwise seems to pass you by. And eventually it is also realized that total control of a populace is necessary to assure the realization of what they so favor. Thus all the charming talk of equality, human dignity, honesty, and personal humility in the interest of their fellows represents a deceitful delay in that bondage.

Meanwhile they will readily enact such contradictions as warning others against shouting ‘fire! in a crowded theater’ while at the very same time falsely yelling ‘deadly crisis!’ to a worldwide audience; insist on lumping as deplorables every skeptic who prudently reveals contrary findings that impede their concerted efforts at stampede; and even ironically decry their own ‘dreams being stolen’ as they welcome a life of bare subsistence for the bulk of humanity. All these entrained motivators take their cues from a common echo chamber that is in the end notably bereft of any substance of benefit to their confreres.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 2, 2020 12:20 pm

The day will come when”We the People”will have to stand up to these”Bullies”not with words as we have been doing,but with FORCE.They have been trying to take away OUR right to question their ideology for years.

Martin Cornell
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 2, 2020 7:43 pm

Ah, Nicholas… CO2 is far from inert. Please refer to the process of photosynthesis.
Best Regards

J Mac
February 1, 2020 10:20 pm

The psychosis is being reinforced…. Can the call for jack-booted thugs be far behind?

Reply to  J Mac
February 2, 2020 4:01 am

The “jack-booted thugs”are already here – they call themsleves XR.

Where are Britain’s renowned soccer hooligans when you need them the most?

XR thugs are the modern version of Hitler’s brown-shirts. Wouldn’t you like to have a crack at them?

C’mon lads – Make XR thugs an endangered species!

I have great faith in my fellow law-abiding citizens to do the right thing.

Doesn’t Germany have some notable football clubs? FC Bayern Munich and all?

My suggestion is:
Organize the young fans of these football clubs to keep the peace in German cities. The police are obviously are not up to the task.

The good people of Canning Town showed admirable restraint in dealing with the XR thugs, especially considering one of the XR cowards kicked one of the locals in the face.

My new fav video – go Canning Town!

February 1, 2020 10:21 pm

If they are worried about us we must be doing something right. Congratulations to my fellow deniers. Go get ’em guys!

Reply to  chaamjamal
February 1, 2020 11:01 pm

Well said!

Reply to  chaamjamal
February 2, 2020 4:22 am

This bears closer examination:
His reasons were succinct: Climate change deniers and those shamelessly peddling pseudoscience and misinformation are perpetuating ideas that will ultimately destroy the planet. – article

Valid questions:
1 – HOW will it destroy the planet? Be specific.

2 – WHAT are you afraid of, twit-for-brains Muller?

3 – WHY are you deflecting what YOU are doing onto other people simply because they disagree with your opinion?

4 – WHAT are you really afraid of?

Muller needs to be dropped off up near some Far Northern village where hungry polar bears will be emerging in a few weeks, with hungry cubs tailgating them. I want to know how he’d survive in a truly cold climate with few to no resources available to him.

Erratic weather is NOT climate change. It is simply erratic weather. Also, I guess it doesn’t occur to Muller and his ilk that forested areas which are not cleared of undergrowth (fire fuel) have an oxygen load that enables fires to burn hotter, faster and nastier.

michael hart
Reply to  Sara
February 2, 2020 3:17 pm

You may also have noticed that as their accusations become more extreme, so too does the vagueness of who they are actually talking about.

All the worst causes need to have an enemy who is frequently referred to but rarely identified in person. If ever an individual is named then it becomes easy to question what it is they are alleged to have actually said or done. That is the point at which the cause is found to be lacking in supporting facts.

Reply to  chaamjamal
February 2, 2020 6:50 am

They know their arguments for CAGW are pitifully weak, so they need to eliminate any daylight that might shine upon them.

Rick C PE
Reply to  PaulH
February 2, 2020 8:46 am

Censoring your opponent is the equivalent of a child overturning the chess board when they realize they’re losing. It is not the strategy of someone who is winning the debate.

Reply to  Rick C PE
February 2, 2020 10:48 am

Precisely! They have no real argument, so that means they have no back-up, just a lot of arm-waving and jumping up and down and using catch phrases. Everything Muller says about so-called skeptics/deniers can also be said about the ecohippies and Warmunistas.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Sara
February 3, 2020 8:16 am

“Everything Muller says about so-called skeptics/deniers can also be said about the ecohippies and Warmunistas.”

And much more accurately. Classic projection.

Joel O'Bryan
February 1, 2020 10:27 pm

“But in the era of climate change, this conventional approach is out of date. A more analytical fascist book burning-style approach is called for.”

There. Fixed it for those totalitarians.
Orwell was correct.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 1, 2020 11:48 pm

As was Voltaire before him, when he said, “If you want to know who rules over you, find out who are are not allowed to criticise!”.

Reply to  Alan the Brit
February 2, 2020 1:34 am

I like that quote. It applies to many facets of society.

Reply to  ironargonaut
February 2, 2020 5:13 am

Is very true in Russia and China, so basically maybe that is the problem for these guys, it is the concept of a democracy.

Reply to  Alan the Brit
February 2, 2020 4:14 am

Almost certainly not Voltaire.

Reply to  Alan the Brit
February 2, 2020 6:26 am

Sorry, not Voltaire but Kevin Alfred Strom in 1993. He’s a white supremacist anti-semite who wrote it regarding Jews. No one’s been able to actually link it to Voltaire or a similar quote to Tacitus. I don’t think we should be giving any credence to this Strom creature even in a backhanded way!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Alan the Brit
February 2, 2020 7:09 am

““If you want to know who rules over you, find out who [you] are not allowed to criticise!”.”

This is interesting. We have an example of this happening right this moment.

The current impeachment sham directed at President Trump began with an anonymous “whistleblower”, who I call “the man that shall not be named”.

The Democrats and their propaganda organ, the Leftwing Media, decided that the whisteblower should not have his identify made public, even though there is no law that requires this, and yet this whistleblower has not been publicly named by any of the news media (with one exception) and that includes all the reporters and hosts at Fox News Channel.

Everyone knows this guy’s name. Everyone. It’s not illegal to name this man publicly. But noone names him. Even the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court formally declined to name him the other day during the impeachment hearing when it appeared in a question by Senator Rand Paul.

This is all based on conforming to Leftwing desires and nothing else. Fox News Channel hosts say their excuse for not naming him is because Fox can’t independently confirm who he is, which is a joke in itself. They just don’t want to have to weather the criticism from the Left if they made his name public.

So who is ruling the nation? Even conservative Fox News toed this leftwing line. The answer is the Leftwing Media is ruling the nation.

That’s why they are the most existential threat the United States faces. The Radical Democrats try to undemine the U.S. Constitution and the Leftwing Media spread their lies far and wide and cause millions of people to make very bad choices which might just end up taking all their freedoms away from them.

And imbeciles like Mitt Romney and Susan Collins enable this undermining, giving legitimacy to a partisan, political unconstituional impeachment process. I don’t know if Susan Collins thought she was going to pick up votes by voting to continue this impeachment fraud, but were she my Senator, her vote would cause me to think she does not have the understanding to see when Democrats are trying to undermine the U.S. Constitution, which automaticaly disqualifies her from getting my vote.

I hope the Republicans have an alternative to vote for instead of Susan Collins because I don’t think she is going to be the winner. It will either be a new Republcian or the Democrat will win. Conservatives are going to walk away from Collins. Unfortunately, Romney won’t be up for reelection until 2024, so it will be a while before he is punished for his stupidity and vindictiveness.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will be publicly naming the whistleblower soon, along with his co-conspirators, when he starts holding hearings on how the Democrats have been conspiring to undermine the U.S. Constition in their efforts to gain political power. Senator Graham said he would start the inquiry on Wednesday, right after President Trump is acquitted.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 2, 2020 10:24 am

” Even the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court formally declined to name him the other day during the impeachment hearing when it appeared in a question by Senator Rand Paul.”

But, his refusal to read Rand Paul’s question implicitly confirms that Chief Justice Roberts not only knows what everyone else knows, but that he is reasonably certain of its accuracy. Otherwise, he would have had no reason to refuse to read the question. Therefore, he was confirming what everyone ‘knows.’

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 3, 2020 5:21 am

Exactly. And the Chief Justice also knows it is not against the law to name this individual. Yet he refused to name him. He was cowtowing to Leftwing desires and requirements. John Roberts has been a disappointment to me. He has made several moves that are very troubling. Let’s hope Trump gets the opportunity to appoint additional conservative Supreme Court Justices before he leaves Office.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 2, 2020 3:04 pm

The US constitution recognizes the right of every accused to confront his/her accuser, as stated in the 6th Amendment:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Here we have the Chief Justice of the US violating the Constitution he has sworn to uphold.

And let’s notice that in their lead-up to impeachment the House Democrats violated Trump’s 6th amendment right to to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence

The whole process stinks.

When Richard Nixon faced impeachment over the Watergate coverup Senator Barry Goldwater told him, ‘You have only 4 supporters in the Senate, and I’m not one of them.’

When real criminality is obvious evidence, the support for impeachment becomes bipartisan.

The impeachment of Trump fails the bipartisan test.

The first article alleges unknowable intent. The second alleges a crime in opposing a process that violated Trump’s 6th amendment right to conduct a defense.

There are no actual crimes in evidence. It is a purely partisan hit-job; the latest in a long line of attempted discredits.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Pat Frank
February 3, 2020 6:51 am

“There are no actual crimes in evidence. It is a purely partisan hit-job”

The exact thing the Nation’s Founders warned us against doing. Impeachment and removal HAS to be bi-partisan, otherwise it is illegitimate, like this current impeachment of Trump.

I remember watching the Watergate hearings, and there was a point where it became obvious that Richard Nixon was directly involved in criminal activity and that’s when Nixon lost all his Republican support, and the outcome, Nixon’s resignation, was inevitable.

Colin Roberts
February 1, 2020 10:28 pm

The modern Aussie fascist nazis!!!!
Be very afraid: there are too many out there who will agree with the proposition that those who don’t agree with the alarmism should be silenced!!!

Reply to  Colin Roberts
February 2, 2020 5:07 am

You can challenge QM, GR in a MSM article but don’t whatever you do challenge Climate Science ™.

Then they wonder why nobody trust journalist or the press 🙂

James Clarke
February 1, 2020 10:31 pm

“The harms done by climate change, both at a planetary level and at the level of human health, are well-documented and supported by overwhelming scientific evidence.”

This is the crux of Dennis Muller’s argument and it is 100% false. To date, there has not been a single ‘harm’ scientifically proven to be the result of man-made climate change. There appears to be a growing number of people around the world who believe that proclamations now override reality. If you tell a big lie often enough, people will start to believe it. Where have we seen this attempted before?

But beyond the big lie, lies a very weak argument concerning harm. The problem for these activists is that their ‘solutions’ will produce significant amounts of ‘harm’ immediately. By their own reasoning, they should be silenced!

Ron Long
Reply to  James Clarke
February 2, 2020 2:30 am

Muller also goes on to say that “the existential threat is even greater than nuclear war”, which is an obvious serious exaggeration, as nuclear war was at the level of MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction). The MAD designation was referring to an exchange between Russia and USA, but, guess what? The radiation in all of the northern hemisphere could have risen to lethal levels. OK, Australia is down-under, but it just takes longer, because if USA hair-spray propellant causes the ozone hole, there you go.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  James Clarke
February 2, 2020 3:30 am

But proclamations ARE reality when they come from the anointed ones, comrade!

Reply to  James Clarke
February 2, 2020 4:13 am

It’s ironic that somebody calling for legally enforced “truth” uses total lies to make the argument.

Human health continues to improve everywhere. That is an absolute, indisputable fact.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  James Clarke
February 3, 2020 9:15 am

“By their own reasoning, they should be silenced!”

There is the real irony in all of this! By their own logic, it is they who should be silenced, to prevent the REAL and IMMEDIATE harm of imposing “climate policies,” as opposed to the IMAGINARY and DISTANT harm of so-called “climate change” (the way THEY mean it).

Patrick MJD
February 1, 2020 10:44 pm

“Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne”

What a mouthful of…BS.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
February 2, 2020 5:17 am

He just needs a to be Senior Research Fellow in Gender Studies and he will have the quinella in useless education.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  LdB
February 2, 2020 1:30 pm

One wonders what he researches…

High Treason
February 1, 2020 10:52 pm

Remember, The Conversation is funded by the hapless taxpayer. They are operated out of academic institutions, supposedly following scientific processes.
I think Winston Churchill was spot on when he said-“The fascists of the future will call themselves anti fascists.” The delusional believers behave EXACTLY like a religious cult. They are right because-well, just because.
Demanding a certain group to be denied free speech goes against ALL internationally recognised basic human rights. Time for these fools to look in the mirror as to who has been peddling pseudoscience.

Curious George
Reply to  High Treason
February 2, 2020 7:19 am

The Conversation is all about silencing opponents. Is it published by the Ministry of Truth?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  High Treason
February 2, 2020 10:32 am

The essence of this issue is the hubris of academics who believe they have special insights on ‘truth,’ and have no peers that are worthy of debate or defense against. Thus, they call for censoring any who would disagree with them. What would have happened if the scientists of the early-20th century had managed to get laws passed to prohibit publishing anything that questioned traditional Newtonian Physics? Einstein would never have been published! That is what Muller and The Conversation are asking for!

C. Paul Barreira
Reply to  High Treason
February 3, 2020 2:26 am

End all government funding of so-called tertiary institutions in Australia.


February 1, 2020 11:03 pm

The only real reason to censor “Climate Deniers” is because they know full well the “deniers” are right, and can’t be refuted.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Art
February 1, 2020 11:24 pm

Not just right, provably right. Absolutely everything the doomsayers have been bleating on about since the late 60’s and early 70’s about “climate” has been demonstrably wrong. What we now see happening is shutting down discussions, That’s The Conversation for you. What we will see happening more is a gradual “blocking” of access to information (Because it is becoming available online only now). Did you say Google? Many many books that I, physically, read in a library years ago are only “available online” now.

This is what Orwell predicted in his book “1984”.

Reply to  Art
February 2, 2020 1:39 am

Exactly there is no immediacy that prevents them from showing/arguing something is wrong before I’ll effects would occur. Therefore, they are just admitting in the arena of ideas and reason they might lose.

Mark Shulgasser
February 1, 2020 11:08 pm

But if climate alarmism is causing crippling anxiety among young people, is that not immediate harm? Shouldn’t there be safe spaces where they can be protected from such upsetting speech? where no one is allowed to talk about AGW?

John Dilks
Reply to  Mark Shulgasser
February 2, 2020 11:29 am

Mark Shulgasser
February 1, 2020 at 11:08 pm

“But if climate alarmism is causing crippling anxiety among young people, is that not immediate harm? Shouldn’t there be safe spaces where they can be protected from such upsetting speech? where no one is allowed to talk about AGW?”

No. No. And No.

John of Cairns
February 1, 2020 11:20 pm

“Overwhelming evidence”? Sounds like they plagerised that from Adam Shiff and co.Look where that got them.

James Clarke
Reply to  John of Cairns
February 1, 2020 11:39 pm

They are all operating out of the same play book.

February 1, 2020 11:24 pm

Does anyone else wonder when this stupid-ness will fully rotate and climate denial-ism will be declared an actual religion by these dingbats? Wouldn’t MEAA then violate it’s own code of conduct by showing discrimination against a conscientious denier?
And I find it really strange that they say: “Only substantial advancement of the public interest or risk of substantial harm to people allows any standard to be overridden.” as a sort of anything-goes line. Wonder who in their tribe thinks they are qualified to determine a reasonable person’s understanding of “substantial”? These are the same folks that have escalated Journalist reporting of climate from concern to then crisis to then catastrophe. There is certainly no sense of scale in this profession.

Reply to  Russell
February 2, 2020 6:44 am

Russell: “These are the same folks that have escalated Journalist reporting of climate from concern to then crisis to then catastrophe. There is certainly no sense of scale in this profession.”

A sense of scale has nothing to do with the End-Of-The-World articles. The Jurinalists (Swedish pronunciation) of the Yellow Stream Media write what they are told to write. If they don’t they will be replaced with someone who will write what they are told to write. There is a reason that some are called presstitutes

Total sellouts, regardless of whether or not they believe the balderdash that they write.

February 1, 2020 11:39 pm

It saddens me to see what people in the intellectual, cultural and academic spheres are suggesting for Western society. True believers are secular now & the young apparently don’t understand how quickly someone like Pol Pot destroyed the comfort zone of the educated.

Clarky of Oz
February 1, 2020 11:48 pm


I don’t know what good it will do but I intend writing to our Prime Minister in protest at the Australian government continuing to fund this institution.

February 2, 2020 12:15 am

Good. Journalism was trash anyway. Most of what I read (on important topics for society, not on who won the rugby match yesterday) is clearly whitewashing of some sort: peddling propaganda for some cause while hiding who wrote it or giving cover to the source by “asking questions” that are not real questions. At least a Press Release comes from the purported source.

For example, after the hack of the Macron campaign, the framework of the DNC lies was used to pretend there were fake documents in the “MacronLeaks” data dump.

Then the person responsible for infosec in the campaign made up another story: that he used “fuzzing” to make many fake email threads to confuse whoever would hack the emails. And the “free press” applauded. Security measures were successful because the emails were hacked and dumped, but at least the infosec guys had fun making up false emails (that nobody saw).

(Be careful, as that’s the new measure of success for journalist. By that definition, you could say the solar road was a success.)

I couldn’t find evidence that “fuzzing” (of texts written by humans by automatically generated garbage) is a thing or that any made up email existed. The journalists asked zero question about the number of purposely made up emails or why they would waste time on such pointless endeavor instead of fighting phishing by using two factor authentification, a cheap solution nowadays.

Journalism is obviously not the only systemic whitewashing operator; the other is the “health authority” that provides cover for Big Medicine. The worst lackey of Big Pharma/Big Medicine in the world is probably the EU. The most serious issue with EU is the encouragement to fast track drugs, yet nobody talks about it, because: lackeys.

February 2, 2020 12:16 am

…. and there it is again – “supported by overwhelming scientific evidence” – followed by zero scientific evidence.

Ben Vorlich
February 2, 2020 12:29 am

Ironic that The Conversation wants to shut down conversation with anyone.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 2, 2020 3:35 am

Sorry Ben but irony has been forbidden at The Conversation.

Be very careful what you say comrade. To even suggest irony in association with The Conversation is punishable by edict of the central committee.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 2, 2020 10:37 am

I had suggested to the editor that they should consider renaming themselves The Monologue to better reflect what they represent. I did not get the courtesy of a reply.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 3, 2020 9:26 am

LMFAO Perfect! Both your suggestion, and the fact that they refused to respond to it – thereby making your point!

Vincent Causey
February 2, 2020 12:30 am

It is interesting how they manipulate language in a way that changes original meaning. So “harm” (John Stuart Mill) has been conflated to describe something which may or may not be a problem to some people in the future if some (improbable) scenario of fossil fuel consumption (RCP8.5) happens. Such obfuscation is either stupid – Ie the speaker hasn’t a clue what he or she is talking about – or a deliberate tactic to gain political advantage.

I suspect both is true at the same time. They haven’t a clue about the IPCC’s scenarios, wouldn’t even know what RCP8.5 meant, but do clearly understand the difference between Mill’s “harm” and the outcomes from climate change. It is also a bit pointless anyway, because the MSM don’t as a rule, give a platform to sceptics very often, and then only to be poked fun at.

February 2, 2020 12:34 am

Eric and others from down under.
I’m from Melbourne.
I agree with others re The Age/SMH but also the ABC which is a disgrace.
Is there any actual Australian CAGW alarmist that actually debates anyone?

Reply to  Waza
February 2, 2020 1:04 am

“Is there any actual Australian CAGW alarmist that actually debates anyone?”
No, and there never has been.
The climate hysterics’ version of “debate” is: “you sit there quietly while I tell you what to think.”

Rowland P
Reply to  Sasha
February 2, 2020 4:32 am

At least your Sky TV is prepared to discuss CC with “deniers” – notably an interview with Craig Kelly MP! I’m from England just recently freed from the shackles of the EU, or at least starting to get free.

Clarky of Oz
Reply to  Waza
February 2, 2020 1:32 am

Only debate I have seen. One scientist v a hand full of amateurs. But he is dead now.

Steve Case
Reply to  Clarky of Oz
February 2, 2020 3:22 am

Two minutes into it, I chose to view on You Tube in order to see the comments only to find out that the comment section was turned off. I’m not spending another 40+ minutes with the good part of the debate missing.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Waza
February 2, 2020 3:43 am

I once bought the SMH when in Sydney one morning and sat down at a cafe for a breakfst coffee awaiting an old friend. She turned up and tore strips off me for reading ‘such utter crap’. I normally would by Rupert’s Oz but thought better of it that day cos my old friend was an inner city living, Green voting, ex separatist lesbian lawyer whose partner was a judge. It was the utter lack of rigour going into the content that pissed her off. I might have been better off reading the Oz that day as far as having a pleasant morning was concerned.

Reply to  Waza
February 2, 2020 4:05 am

havent heard one yet mate!
they all get a lot of air n paper time
but always alone or on abc as a tag team ie doom and gloom

talking to a GF today
she thinks she believes it
I asked why , what papers has she read what convinces her its true?
well its on all the media..
and shes old enough to know the media lies as do our pollies.

John V. Wright
February 2, 2020 12:39 am

What a disgrace and humiliation for the University of Melbourne, to have this fascist openly saying these things. And, apparently, a ‘senior research fellow’.

One of the most interesting items recently published on Anthony’s endlessly informative blog was Andy May’s graph showing the earth’s temperature over the last 500 million years. In Muller’s world, it would be an offence to publish this graph or even discuss the obvious issues that it raises.

I wonder if Andrew Bolt has commented on this appalling announcement?

February 2, 2020 12:49 am

Terence Corcoran: Unfund the CBC, Canada’s Pravda and national enforcer of truth
The idea the CBC is an essential disseminator of some higher truth is the starting point for a national campaign for more government funding of journalism

M Courtney
February 2, 2020 1:05 am

What aids a man if he gains the whole world but loses his immortal soul? All life is grass thus saving the soul must be the highest priority.

Therefore words that lead the soul astray are the greatest form of harm.
We don’t need to hear opinions about that harm.

Clearly John Stuart Mill was using this argument to call for heresy laws.

That’s what they are arguing for in Melbourne. It’s the world turned upside-down.

Ed Zuiderwijk
February 2, 2020 1:15 am

“The harms done by climate change, both at a planetary level and at the level of human health, are well-documented and supported by overwhelming scientific evidence.”

Four falsehoods in one sentence. Must be a records of sorts. There is no climate crisis; any ‘change’ is due to mother nature. Therefore the ‘harms’, if any, are out of our contro, while the ‘documented’ and ‘supported’ only exist in the writer’s mind.

February 2, 2020 1:21 am

The The Conversation claims…
“Academic rigour, journalistic flair”
But most of their output is absolute tripe & much is factually wrong
Some of the regular posters/posers get quite vitriolic if you disagree with them.
If you provide data that refutes the consensus it is removed.

Proud to say I was excommunicated 18mths ago for quoting… H H Lamb & NOAA data!!

Reply to  saveenergy
February 2, 2020 5:20 am

Journalism falls under the Arts faculty and aside from Mosher I have not seen anyone ever claim that a degree in that area somehow makes you a scientist to even have a valid opinion.

Serge Wright
February 2, 2020 1:34 am

The alarmist movement in Austraia, which includes left-wing media is purely political. We know this because they only protest against Australia’s 1% GHG emission and will never be seen outside the Chimese embassy in Canberra protesting against their 30% GHG emissions.

Of course the entire climate movement is also purely political as evidenced by the very nature of the Paris agreement, which saw the developing countries given no binding CO2 committments and the largest emitter China given a green light by Obama and the UN to expand their emissions by any amount up to 2030. When you consider that these developing countries currently make up 65% of global emissions and increase these collectively by 3% each year, effectively adding a new developed world of emissions every 12 years, it doesn’t take much to realise this whole deal is a huge money transfer scam and has absolutely nothing to do with CO2 reductions.

February 2, 2020 1:40 am

For anyone that’s interested in the subject of free speech, a well known British journalist, Toby Young, is in the process of setting up a free speech Union.

In the wake of the Ricky Gervaise, Laurence Fox, Alistair Stewart and the late Roger Scrutton scandals (Alistair Stewart was recently sacked from his job of 40 years as one of the nations best known News Readers for quoting Shakespeare in a tweet; with a reference to an ape, that a known black agitator objected to) many of us have had enough of oppressive WOKE behaviour.

The only criteria for membership is a desire to support free speech.

The object of the exercise is to raise sufficient funds to allow these people to challenge their sacking in court if necessary, so no one else loses their job to WOKE culture.

At the time of writing this I believe full membership is £45 and associate membership £25. I will be paying my £25 by way of support as I suspect I will never require the services of the full membership as I am not a high profile character.

I will add that I’m not sure if membership is open to anyone outside the UK.

Toby can be contacted at:
Twitter: @toadmeister or @SpeechUnion

Reply to  HotScot
February 2, 2020 5:45 am

Does the organisation have a web site? I don’t do Twitter et al but am interested.

Reply to  Oldseadog
February 4, 2020 4:29 am


They don’t have a web site yet. If you open a Twitter account you needn’t use it other than to keep a check on Toby’s announcements.

February 2, 2020 1:51 am

Surely the comparison with shouting fire in a crowded theatre when there isn’t a fire fits more closely with the behaviour of the climate alarmists. Shouting that the world is on fire when it isn’t.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Stonyground
February 3, 2020 9:59 am


We have a winner!

Phillip Bratby
February 2, 2020 2:02 am

Where is this”overwhelming scientific evidence”? I have not yet been overwhelmed.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
February 2, 2020 2:44 am

Phillip Bratby

I was a believer in ‘Global Warming’, then I was incredibly underwhelmed by the ‘evidence’ behind it.

I may not be bright enough to fully understand all the answers, so all I can do is keep asking questions – and as far as I can see, sceptics are ahead by a country mile.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
February 2, 2020 5:21 am

Careful Phillip they will ship you off to the re-education camp until you see the evidence. That is basically where this all goes next because he is basically saying it is a crime.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
February 3, 2020 10:10 am

From the Climate Fascist dictionary

“Overwhelming Scientific Evidence” = Mountains of “pal reviewed” bullshit in supposedly “learned” journals whose leadership has been taken over by fellow Climate Fascists in order to promote the propaganda.

In essence, the only thing “overwhelming” about it is the sheer quantity that one needs to sift through to figure out that what they really have is nothing more than “hypothetical bullshit.”

February 2, 2020 2:40 am

They do not even realise the ‘harm’ they are doing. They can say what they will, whenever and whatever, and truth is, or is not. It’s not relevant. Sorry for that Jeff but I don’t even care.

I have been desperate to have a conversation with a politician or a journalist without success. My life is affected, theirs is not. If any of the fools from the ABC or The Conversation would have the guts to speak to me I would be most willing. They ‘trust the science’ to the point that a ‘conversation’ isn’t even necessary. They trust the science of those who have sold out. Facts are no longer relevant, follow the money. If you don’t agree with the CC point of view then you are not a true scientist.

The fact is if you don’t question the theory and seek to reaffirm that theory with imput from peers then you are not a scientist of integrity, putting truth before popular opinion.

Truth is no longer relevant. I am tired of being told that I am not relevant and what I have to say is irrelevant.

I am not OK.

Carl Friis-Hansen
February 2, 2020 2:56 am

shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre

People often mention the “precautionary” principle, in connection with Climate Change, as being the best option.
If we compare this to ‘shouting “fire” in a crowded theater’, you could argue that this would be a good precautionary measure, just in case a fire would break out – it would save lots of lives in theory.

The skeptic would say there is little chance of fire in the theater and thus the precautionary “fire” alarm would be not be helpful and deprive the audience the enjoyment of the play.

The alarmist would argue there has been reports that the frequency of fire in theaters may be on drastic increase and that we should avoid huge assemblies indoors, thus it would be better for people not to enjoy the theater – a sacrifice that must be done for the sake of the society, healthcare, etc.

Craig from Oz
February 2, 2020 3:12 am

Media believe they have the skills and morale right to instruct and guide the uneducated masses.

THEY know best.

YOU do not.

So, from their point of view you clearly have no right or ability to think for yourself. Do YOU have a Degree in Journalism?

Unfortunately this is how a lot of Lefties think. They DO believe they know best, and since they know best, it is only logical that they be placed in charge. You, however, do NOT know best, and if only you allowed those much smarter people to use their wisdom to control your life then you would be better. The fact you don’t give a toss about what they think and would really prefer for them to just leave you alone only proves to them that you are too stupid to rule your own lives.

The extension to this is why Lefties often refuse to debate. To debate would admit that there are other equally valid points of view that, within individual contexts, can be correct. This they cannot do. This would prove they were wrong with their base assumptions and they in fact do NOT know best.

This would mean that great parts of their lives have been for nothing and no-one, Left or Right, wants to be someone who has wasted huge parts of their lives.

They wont debate because they cannot debate. Debate equals failure. So they attempt to ban what they can’t brow beat.

The Left is never really about freedom. It is about control, for without control how can they, who remember know what is best for everyone, ensure the correct things happen.

Also the main role of higher education in modern society is to keep the unemployable out of the crowded job market. Without universities people like Denis would be working hospitality (and getting your orders wrong 😛 )

Tiger Bee Fly
Reply to  Craig from Oz
February 2, 2020 7:09 am

^This, every word of it. These mediocrities enter the fluffy subjects like journalism, poli sci, and sociology at Uni because they don’t have the talent or drive to tackle the genuinely challenging (and useful) subjects. There they join other mediocrities and put their brains in the hands of hardcore Marxist profs who convince them that being leftists makes them superior to the rest of us, and get sent out into the world to assert their right to rule over the bourgeoisie/deplorables.

Note to the chronically polite: it’s okay to hate them. They really do want to see you in reeducation camps.

Reply to  Craig from Oz
February 2, 2020 1:40 pm

Yes. To a large degee, all of this, in which climate change plays a part, is just a substitute for religion. It gives them meaning, and rationalizes why they should control society. They cannot accept the possibility of being wrong, their lives would be rendered meaningless and wasted.

February 2, 2020 3:39 am

A desire to censor opposition is a sure sign that the wannabe censors know that they are wrong, and their opponents are right.

February 2, 2020 3:40 am

“It follows that editors may exercise the power of refusing to publish climate-denialist material if doing so prevents harm to others”

What about the harm done to Greta Thunberg and countless other children scared to death, giving up their educations and surviving on anti-depressants brainwashed into believing they have no future and that the world will end in twelve years. This harm has been caused by people like Denis Muller and Misha Ketchell. Crimes against children are considered the most heinous when will they be held accountable.

February 2, 2020 4:11 am

so Biz as usual then?
fingers in ears
la la la la la etc
they know best and we proles should stfu or BE shut up

whole pile of IYI

February 2, 2020 4:17 am

So before Climate Change became the orthodoxy, i was the heterodoxy. Would these clowns have argued that Climate Change should not have been allowed a voice then? After all, the overwhelming majority of climate scientists didn’t agree that climate change was happening.

Nothing more than religious fanaticism, akin to the Catholic church and Galileo rather than modern science.

February 2, 2020 4:57 am

The Age has been noted in this post as the “Red Rag”. the “Communist Manifesto” or Aussie fascist nazis.
They are not the same. Fascism is far right, ultra nationalist & authoritarian. Nazism is a form of fascism & showed that ideology’s disdain for liberal democracy & the parliamentary system, but also incorporated hatred of Jews, eugenics & a belief in a master race into its creed. Both regimes were violently opposed to Liberalism, Marxism & Anarchism. Wikipedia.

So, what’s occurring at the Age? Muller & Ketchell are spouting Democratic Socialist beliefs & values.

Democratic socialism is a very different beast from social democracy as epitomised by the likes of the Scandinavian countries. Over there, social democracy is considered necessary, because “the poor are always with us”. But why are they poor? Is it genes or environment? The alliterative expression “nature or nurture” in English has been in use since at least the Elizabethan period & goes back to medieval French. Are we any nearer to solving that intractable conundrum?

Democratic socialism is the old wolf of communism dressed up in sheep’s clothing. In post 2008 politics, its hopes have been revived by snowflakes unschooled in the horrors of the Gulag. These millennials are rushing into the vacuum left by the apparent demise of the liberal consensus, which has governed western world politics since WWII. That old commie Bernie Sanders, now self classifies as a Democrat Socialist. The populist wave that gave us Brexit, Boris & President Trump happened because many, many millions of “the deplorables” are disenchanted with the “holier than thou” postures of leftist, social liberal, progressives, as exemplified by the array of hopeless Democrat Party candidates for the 2020 presidential elections.

When democratic socialism is in minority opposition, it acts as a lamb rather than a wolf. When in government however, the disguise is dropped to reveal its true nature with politicians whose watermelon mantra is “Do as we say; don’t do as we do”. Venezuela, Cuba & Zimbabwe are prime examples. The true nature of democratic socialism is a dictatorship, theoretically led by a class-based majority, AKA the putative proletariat. Of course, that’s not the truth, as was evidenced by the Nomenklatura in Soviet Russia. Democratic socialism is not compatible with, nor even viable, within anything other than a one-party state. The inevitable nature of dictatorships and one-party states is that they are always repressive police states & anything but democratic! Democratic Socialism is a complete misnomer. As Pravda laughingly means truth, so Nomenklatura is a more apt epithet for the Age.

Reply to  Perry
February 2, 2020 10:06 am

The communist-socialist-fascist axis. The far-right is anarchist. The far-left is totalitarian.

Liberalism is divergent. Libertarianism is emergent. Progressivism is monotonic. Conservativism is moderating. #PrinciplesMatter

Tom Abbott
February 2, 2020 5:11 am

From the article: “University of Melbourne “Centre for Advancing Journalism” academic Denis Muller believes climate censorship should be added to legally binding journalistic professional codes of conduct.”

Denis Muller sounds like he works for the “Centre for Advancing Propaganda”.

We are to the point where a “journalist” thinks censorship should be part of his toolbox.

He should probably relocate to China. He would be much more comfortable there and would fit right in. His Social Score would probably be very high with his promotion of censorship. The Chinese could probably use his services right now to censor the Chinese people who are trying to talk about their coronavirus problem.

As for censorship, I vote No.

Alexander Vissers
February 2, 2020 5:28 am

Why does Australia have a chair for the advancement of journalism? If you have academics meddling in journalism you are bound to get silly opinions like this. By the way, codes of ethics in journalism are not legally binding.

Reply to  Alexander Vissers
February 2, 2020 6:16 am

Why does Australia have a chair for the advancement of leftist journalism?
Same reason they get Ridd of anyone who questions their manufactured climate crisis and Lysenkoism as they always have to control the message with the pesky masses lest they question the raison d’etre and direction of Utopia. There must always be a crisis (climate) and concomitant enemy (denier) to blame in order to ferment and feed the revolution. Dissenters ultimately go off to the gulags or showers as a warning to others not to question the pigs in charge.

Ed Zuiderwijk
February 2, 2020 5:30 am

Why don’t we un-censor the censorious? Publish their email address or where they live?

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
February 2, 2020 12:48 pm

Ed I am part of a group who has been trying to speak out against the 1,200 plus hectares of solar panels they have planned for our area. One of the group was excited that she had organised a newspaper journalist to come an interview us. Her house will overlook the solar farm.

We turned up armed with the facts, the dirty side of renewables, the fact that there is no recycling in place for panels, the fact that it would be over an area that in times of heavy rain becomes a lagoon that lasts for months and attracts water birds. The fire risk was also a huge concern to all of us. Our neighbor was also concerned that our properties would drastically lose value or be difficult to sell.

We live in a country town and our neighbor obviously isn’t politically minded, she didn’t know that our local newspaper The Guardian, was a leftist newspaper. There was about ten of us at the meeting, most people had something to say, I spoke about environmental issues.

The newspaper published an article of sorts, basically said that we were concerned about property values, non of the other concerns. In the article they mentioned the full names of both my husband and myself and also our address. The only thing they left out was the house number, we live in the country and our street is only two kilometers long. We found that very unsettling to say the least.

I actually thought that the environmental issues might be of interest to the newspaper, obviously the prospect of ‘green energy’ overrode that. I don’t think it even occurs to them that renewables are massive electricity generating plants that don’t even do the job they are built to do.

Mark Shulgasser
Reply to  Megs
February 2, 2020 1:02 pm

Megs — Rural upstate New York (and I would suppose Pennsylvania and New England) is dotted with smallish start-up solar farms, many semi-abandoned. I wonder how long insurers will eat the losses.

Tom Abbott
February 2, 2020 6:01 am

From the article: “The harms done by climate change, both at a planetary level and at the level of human health, are well-documented and supported by overwhelming scientific evidence.”

Nonsense! Mr. Muller couldn’t prove these claims if his life depended on doing so.

I suppose my comment would be censored at “The Conversation”. That way Mr. Muller doesn’t have to prove the validity of his claims. How convenient.

This is very easy to figure out. If censors at “The Conversation” had a valid argument to make for Human-caused Climate Change, they wouldn’t need to censor anyone, because most people would be convinced by their substantiated argument. But they don’t have a substantiated argument, so to hide this fact, they seek to silence anyone who points this out. That’s what’s going on here.

They ought to rename it “The One-sided Conversation”.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 2, 2020 12:51 pm

Tom, some people call it The Monologue.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Megs
February 2, 2020 3:19 pm

Changing one letter is enough, Megs: The Monversation.

Or if one wants to be more descriptive, The Perversation.

February 2, 2020 6:29 am

There was an overwhelming ‘consensus’ for the flat earth theory at one point in human history too. Same goes for the Geocentric solar system model. Ditto for the four humors and miasma theories of disease. Or the Social Darwinists and their embrace of Eugenics. Fortunately for us, the deniers of history stood their ground and kept producing contrary evidence until the consensus changed. We owe future generations the same.

February 2, 2020 6:33 am

In the trolley problem it is possible to get people to kill an innocent person to save the lives of five other people who are on the trolley track. If you want to get people to do something that their ethics does not allow them to do then you need to convince them that down ‘that other track’ lay some great harm. It’s true that we can’t see the great harm because it’s way down the track but it’s there believe us – said every evil dictator ever.

Tiger Bee Fly
February 2, 2020 6:55 am

Let’s just quickly say what needs to be said about these people: Fascists, aspiring totalitarians, degenerates – in a word, scum.

David Elstrom
February 2, 2020 7:03 am

Do “deniers and pseudo-scientists” include experts like Dr. Judith Curry who disagree with their colleagues’ alarmism by pointing out important climate mechanisms we don’t understand or criticizing flaws in climate models? I believe WUWT posted a criticism saying climate models include the effect of solar heat as feedback whereas treating it as input would make virtually all supposed warning disappear. Is this scientific “wrong think” to be censored? Or will the censorship only apply to “the rabble” who link to the “wrong think” on the internet or who comment favorably on it?

In “The Mortal Storm” a science professor is confronted by a Hitler Youth in his class and asked if Aryan blood contains elements making it superior to non-Aryan blood. The professor responds that scientifically there is no difference. The Hilter Youth informs him that answer is “against State policy.” The professor loses his job and later dies in a concentration camp. Is this where we’re headed?

Tiger Bee Fly
Reply to  David Elstrom
February 2, 2020 7:32 am

Short answer to your four questions: yes, yes, yes, and yes. I believe we’re seeing a world-wide push in the direction of leftist totalitarianism in the developed nations.

The climate is just one smokescreen non-issue thrown up to confuse and frighten people who don’t have critical thinking ability or a taste for the Stalinist system of government; the other big tropes would include institutionalized racism, patriarchal oppression of women, historical injustice toward aboriginal peoples, violence and marginalization of nonstandard genders, mass extinction, global environmental degradation leading to – my personal favorite – planetary destruction, and so on.

While some may make a legitimate claim to their ancestors’ having had a tough time of it at the hands of other groups – in other words, everyone on the planet – let me just hasten to add: that was then and this is now. They’re deliberately avoiding the fact that the western nations have the best human rights record and the best relationship with the natural world by far, have had for a very long time, and are constantly improving that relationship and those rights, just as they avoid the CO2 output of (tellingly IMO) China.

The rest of it is all outright lies and at the very least gross hyperbole, leading to the obvious conclusion that there is something else to their agenda, and I think it’s now clear what that is, especially given the mass campaign of fulminating hysteria in the last couple of years. In other words: get ready for the excrement to hit the air conditioning. And for the children’s sake, wherever you are please vote for the conservative candidate while you can.

John Bell
February 2, 2020 7:34 am

Free speech for me but not for thee.

Bruce 2
February 2, 2020 7:54 am

If only a few people were climate skeptics, there wouldn’t be a desire to shut them down. The fact that there are probably a couple billion people who are skeptics should be evidence alone that skeptics may have a point…and should be heard…not shut down. And the fact that leading journalists ….who ironically tout a free press….of all people, don’t see this problem and instead propose shutting half the world out of the conversation…is scary as hell. These are people in power who are so misguided and blinded by their arrogance, not some fringe faction. The irony is everywhere with warmists, including their view that we need to raise prices and put people in poverty now to prevent possible poverty.

Walter Woodland
February 2, 2020 7:59 am

The problem with the precautionary principle – which is expressly authoritarian by nature – and which is the notion upon which climate change of an anthropogenic nature and prohibitions on future action and the throttling of contrary views is based is the absolute lack of any demonstable basis for the alarmist claims…however and additionally, while yelling fire in a burning theater (see text of post) would be not only permissable but would be an actual social good – the idea that the government should be able to jail a citizen for distributing leaflets opposing military conscription, at least in the context of the United States, needs to be ripped, root and branch from our public assumptions about the relation between free, sovereign citizens and their government.

Bryan A
February 2, 2020 8:08 am

Shouting “fire” to create a fake panic in a movie cinema is punishable, because it has been amply demonstrated through experience that creating a fake panic causes immediate, measurable harm…

Even if climate skeptics were totally wrong, there is no justification for shutting down our right to be wrong. Unlike shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre, no single climate “shout”, no matter how wrong, has the potential to alter the trajectory of society to such an extent that measurable harm could be ascribed to it.

In fact, it is the ALARMIST SHOUTS that are doing the most harm akin to shouting FIRE in a theater.
Unnecessarily panicking school children…
Causing unnecessary (and to date useless) spending of $Trillions…
Defaming good, once respected Academics…
Whipping useful idiots into frenzy…
Glorifying bad, irreproducible science and fake Nobel Laureates…

The Crazies are definitely in charge.

Tom Abbott
February 2, 2020 8:35 am

From the article: “Climate change deniers and those shamelessly peddling pseudoscience and misinformation are perpetuating ideas that will ultimately destroy the planet.”

Real skeptics are not peddling any ideas. Real skeptics ask those who promote the idea of human-caused climate change to provide the evidence they use to reach these conclusions. There’s no pseudoscience or misinformation on the skeptic’s part. Pseudoscience and misinformation are what the alamrmists peddle.

Skeptics just call it what it is and get criticized for it by alarmists because alarmists cannot refute what the skeptics say.

If alarmists had any evidence to show, there wouldn’t be any questions. They don’t, so there are.

A little evidence would shut up all the skeptics, as it should, but there is no evidence.

The path to shutting up the skeptics is clear: Provide some evidence substantiating your claim. Here’s a hint: Skeptics know the difference between evidence and assumptions/speculation/assertions (something alarmists apparently don’t know).

February 2, 2020 8:57 am

Their argument is weak and censorship is the only way to win. Or so they think.

Just ask Galileo who was convicted of heresy for saying the earth revolves around the sun. For this he was punished. The only problem is other scientists confirmed the truth.

The only problem is if those who would silence speech, once lost very difficult to get it back.

Jeff Alberts
February 2, 2020 8:59 am

Funny, you never see Mosher or Stokes comment here calling out such authoritarian nonsense as that spouted by Muller. They must, therefore, agree with him. Isn’t that how the logic goes?

February 2, 2020 9:07 am

Those who want to shut down debate have always claimed to be doing so to prevent harm. These are the old arguments being made for the same old reasons. What is of interest is that there isn’t more push back from outside the skeptic community. That’s concerning and creepy.

February 2, 2020 9:15 am

They wouldn’t be trying so hard to gag you, if they weren’t deathly afraid of what you might say.

February 2, 2020 9:16 am

“If society lowers the bar of censorship to such an extent that publicly supporting a position which might be wrong but which causes no immediate harm qualifies as a punishable offence, then we have lost more than our right to free speech.”

And that’s exactly what the Supreme Court did with its appalling ‘fire in a crowded theatre’ ruling. It was used to censor anti-war protests, not those calling for war.

Speech that was clearly and blatantly intended to be protected by the First Amendment.

Berndt Koch
February 2, 2020 9:35 am

These people are metaphorically shouting “FIRE” in a crowded theatre then quietly under their breath saying “sometime in the future…”

February 2, 2020 11:13 am

Media impartiality on climate change is desirable according to a high profile climate scientist who wants the US to return to the Paris climate accord. That scientist is Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., generally called a denier by almost everyone to the left of the New York Times who mention his name.

February 2, 2020 11:14 am

Great Allan! So relevant to current day climate science scam.

The quotes of Vladimir Lenin:

“Truth is the most precious thing. That’s why we should ration it.”

“We can and must write in a language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, and scorn toward those who disagree with us.”

“There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel.”

“Free speech is a bourgeois prejudice.”

“The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses.”

“People always have been and they always will be stupid victims of deceit and self-deception in politics.”

“It is, of course, much easier to shout, abuse, and howl than to attempt to relate, to explain.”

“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”

“Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.”

Robert B
February 2, 2020 11:28 am

That is a very lame case for censorship. It can’t be robust science with criticism banned. It can’t be science.
What is published has to be restricted so as to not waste readers time but that is already used to censor criticism. Now anything political correct can be “robust”. We have the stupidity of blaming Australia’s recent bushfires on climate change running rampant on the supposed trusted media, even though the half a degree of warming since environmentalist pushed to reduce fuel-reduction burning (even the IPCC only highly confident that at least half was due to emissions) is blatantly of little consequence and the propaganda is highly likely to have motivated at least one arsonist to light a destructive blaze. If anything is akin to shouting fire in a theatre, it’s that.

David Blenkinsop
February 2, 2020 12:19 pm

Well, it should be no surprise that leftists would bang on about squelching free speech like this. For one thing, the previous U.S. federal government made significant inquiries in the same direction back in 2016.

See for instance, the following articles from March 2016:

Tiger Bee Fly
February 2, 2020 12:33 pm

The west really does need a revolution – just not a Marxist one. We need to drag these bastards out of their ivory towers and whip them through the streets. Then we can take on Antifa and extinction rebellion. Leaders who refuse to enforce the rule of law because of political sensitivities need to be removed from office. I do NOT want my son to grow up in a regime where multimillionaire “socialists” rule from behind mobs of zombies. He’s smart and motivated and deserves better then to see his earnings taken by force and given to crusty hippie imbeciles and junkies.

Roger Knights
February 2, 2020 1:04 pm

There is a much stronger case for censoring anti-vexers and “HIV-deniers,” at least in widely read or “popular” media, because what they say does cause immediate and severe harm to those who choose not to vaccinate or adopt safe-sex practices—and not only to them, but to those around them. Not only that, but their arguments REALLY are weak, scientifically. (Although there is some plausibility in some of their contentions, a topic I don’t want to get into.)

But global warming heretics aren’t causing any immediate harm, unless the rising rate of asthma is attributed to it, which is a stretch. Other “harm” claims like increased wildfires are only marginally true—mostly because of increased fuel loads due to global greening. (Say, is that fact something that should be censored?) Most of the current-harm claims are great exaggerations or even inventions.

What is preventing a reduction in CO2 levels is the high cost of renewables, when all things are considered, which the 3rd world and the 2nd world have recognized. Those countries aren’t building coal power plants because of what climate heretics in the West are saying about the science of global warming.

The only way to cut CO2 emissions would be to offer those countries advanced (safe, low-waste, inexpensive) nuclear plants. Because greens have dragged their feet or opposed funding such system for decades, it’s now too late to make a dent in the rising trend of global emissions. But that’s not the fault of climate heretics, who have mostly favored nuclear power.

Reply to  Roger Knights
February 12, 2020 3:15 pm

Nice job justifying provaxxer censorship and medical fascism.

Which vaccine has benefits for other people?

Can the evidence be verified?

February 2, 2020 2:09 pm

Canada mandating Government “approved” media is in the pipes. All independent media will be silenced. This will also apply to any media skeptical of Canada’s failed model based Co2 policies. Here we see some ex-RCMP buffoons getting owned by the Owner of Rebel Media. He is being prosecuted for writing a book critical of the “liberals”.

Most people outside of Canada don’t realize about 97% of media is funded by Trudeau and are in his pocket. Those not on the take are going to be bankrupted by endless Court Battles. Just imagine if US media had to be “approved” by Adam Schiff or Chuck and Nancy…

Pat Frank
February 2, 2020 2:27 pm

Email to Dr. Denis Muller under the heading “ethics and physical meaning”
Dear Dr. Muller,

Climate model air temperature projections have no physical meaning.

The entirety of consensus climatology rests upon false precision. There is no science in any of it.

Your declaration that, “The harms done by climate change, both at a planetary level and at the level of human health, are well-documented and supported by overwhelming scientific evidence.” is insupportable. Your evidence consists of spurious inferences deriving from completely unreliable climate models.

Yours is an argument from authority, Dr. Muller; nothing else.

It is you who violates ethics in your call to censor; to force an end to the debate you do not understand and cannot win on the merits.

Patrick Frank, Ph.D.

Dr. Mullre’s research profile shows Diploma/MA in Pubic Policy and a PhD-Arts from the University of Melbourne, which requires an 80,000 word thesis focused on some qualitative aspect of the Humanities.

Just the education needed to pronounce righteously on scientific debate and to adjudicate the necessity of censorship.

Reply to  Pat Frank
February 2, 2020 2:49 pm

Pat The Conversation receives funding from the University of Melbourne and this same university is hosting the annual Marxist Conference.

An article from 2013 stated that 39 universities and the CSIRO were supportive of The Conversation. I don’t believe that all are Australian universities as currently 35% of their readership is from overseas.

Queensland University of Technology last week had a student union stall at which they were promoting Marxism. The IPA (Institute of Public Affairs), a right leaning organisation requested that they set up a stall run by their youth arm of the movement and were declined.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Megs
February 2, 2020 6:07 pm

These universities are violating the tenure agreement, Megs. The faculty of public universities get tenure in return for which their scholarship is politically unbiased.

The violation of the agreement is so egregious and widespread, that the universities should forfeit their pubic funding.

Removal of their bottom line is the only way to get their attention.

February 2, 2020 3:04 pm

I propose a new term, rational dismissives>/b> … to counter the latest term, climate dismissives.

Those who describe people with rational skepticism about human caused climate change as climate dismissives are rational dismissives.

Perhaps alternate terms might be gray-matter challenged, thought-dismissives, intelligence lacking, or, more heavy handed, brain dead, clue challenged, quality-of-life dismissives.

Furiously curious
February 2, 2020 4:23 pm

The SMH and the Age were sold to Channel 9 by Fairfax, recently. The thing is within that bundle of properties was 2GB and it’s equivalent in Melbourne, who employed Alan Jones, Steve Price, Ray Hadley, Andrew Bolt……..
Which is saying the owners of these properties have stuff all interest in either of side in the ‘Culture War’, and are just looking at stirring the pot to sell advertising. Just shovel out what people want to hear. That’s where the bucks are.

February 2, 2020 4:32 pm

I’m possibly the first scientist (or even the first person) to be permanently banned from The Conversation. Soon after Cory Zanoni was appointed as chief moderator in January 2014, there was a short exchange of emails that confirmed my account was locked. A couple of years ago I tried an unlock with Misha Ketchell, Editor and Executive Director, who self-describes thus “Misha has been a journalist for more than 20 years. In previous roles he was a reporter at The Age, founding editor of The Big Issue Australia and editor of Crikey, The Reader and The Melbourne Weekly. He also spent several years at the ABC where he was a TV producer on Media Watch and The 7:30 Report and an editor on The Drum.”
By way of contrast, I have been a scientist for 50 years, with a performance record that can be seen as modestly high. One gets that way by delivering the scientific goods, by being factually and demonstrably right more often than wrong.
It is difficult for me to comprehend how The Conversation has grown to be considered authoritative when it lacks appreciation of the value of free speech. Then, I read the biographies of the employees to find the strong socialist/leftist dominance that appears to be a trendy way for some to flourish in these days of post-modernist rubbish. I have yet to see post-modernism justified by the usual guideline of contributing to societal benefit in any clear way, such as by a financial benefit:cost analysis. Geoff S

Izaak Walton
February 2, 2020 4:56 pm

What is the difference between the conversation’s policy and the new one at Wattsupwiththat which was
described as:
“This coming week, WUWT will no longer be an open commenting system, it will require registration to comment. I’ll give 24 hours notice, and it will likely be next Monday. Many, many, websites that allow comments require this, and it has become clear to me, that we need to go that direction too. Doing so will help keep the quality of conversation elevated, and will only require a one-time registration that will take about two minutes to complete. It will stop the trolls, the impersonators, and the drive-bys and give us a tool for enforcing our commenting policy.”

Both seem to be equally restrictive on free speech. But then free speech rights do not extend to comments on a
privately owned website.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 2, 2020 6:13 pm

Register and get free speech on WUWT.

Your analogy is stretched to breaking, Isaak

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 3, 2020 7:43 am

“Both seem to be equally restrictive on free speech.”

In practice WUWT is not restrictive of free speech, other than personal attacks on occasion.

If you are polite at WUWT, and abide by the rules, your conversation about Human-caused Climate Change won’t be censored, regardless of what position you take, for or against. Your conversation may be ridiculed, depending on its content, but it won’t be censored.

Tiger Bee Fly
February 2, 2020 6:25 pm

Not sure what point you’re making here. This Muller is calling for journalists to censor skeptical viewpoints and to make such censorship a requirement and “ethical” standard across the board, not describing a policy for his site. Seems different as night and day to me. Maybe in your quest to tar Anthony with the same brush you forgot what this whole thread is about?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Tiger Bee Fly
February 2, 2020 7:42 pm

It already happens in Australian media. Contrary views are actively banned.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Tiger Bee Fly
February 2, 2020 8:20 pm

Anthony has a commenting policy that he is free to enforce and furthermore he perfectly free to make
whatever commenting policy that he wants since he owns the website and thus gets the final say. The owners of “the conversation” website are similarly free to make and enforce their own commenting policy. Neither Anthony’s policy nor the conversations violate the idea of free speech since there are plenty of alternatives places where your voice can be heard. Just as newspapers are free to choice which letters and ads they print so are websites free to choose which comments they allow.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 2, 2020 9:39 pm

I W,
Beg to differ. The Conversation is/was partly funded with taxpayer money through government support. They assume they have an extraordinary power, the power to censor the usual public.
Anthony’s site, WUWT, is a private site, nothing to do with government funds.
There is a large, important difference. Geoff S

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
February 2, 2020 11:29 pm

The owners of all websites have the freedom to choice whether or not to allow comments. That is not censorship. If a ISP took down a particular website then they could be interpreted as
censorship but disallowing comments when they are plenty of other forums for expressing your views doesn’t count as censorship.

Any anyway the debate is pointless since the Australian Constitution does not contain any mention of “freedom of speech” so you don’t have that right in Australia or by extension on an Australian website.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 3, 2020 2:35 pm

Then you condone silencing of some who know of “clear and present danger”and condone consequent suffering imposed on the general public.
At The Con we have a leftist group of Arty types who know bugger all about science, censoring some who do.
The reason I wanted to be able to contribute articles and make comments grew from the numerous mistakes that The Con was spreading in ways related to shouting Fire! in a theatre. I am not into chattering class gossip motivation.
Every person has a duty to try to correct wrong. No person has a duty to block this.
Yours is an immature bundle of weak excuses and distortion to try to justify deliberate, harmful and ignorant acts.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 3, 2020 8:10 pm

Nobody is being silenced. There are no shortages of places where you can express your opinion from holding up a sign at the street corner (I saw someone doing that on my commute today) to posting at different websites. But you don’t have a right to post comments on every single website in existence. If you want to correct wrongs start your own blog (as some people have done in response to this one for example).

February 2, 2020 7:26 pm

Hmm , I have a gun in my hand (for self defence of course) to protect you from what I believe is going to hurt you . If anyone speaks against me holding this gun , I will shoot them so that I can continue to protect you .
Taking protection to the n’th degree .

Jim de Boer
February 3, 2020 3:39 am

Canada’s formerly eminent Globe and Mail now has a policy to dismiss any arguments against the climate change dogma. I’ve tried several times to refute articles presenting false arguments for climate change alarm, and they have been rejected every time. Here is their policy:

“The Globe and Mail’s Code of Conduct states that The Globe will seek to provide reasonable accounts of competing views in any controversy to help readers make up their own minds. While true for political points of view, this balance does not apply to non-scientific debates where one side has no factual underpinnings to their argument and in fact science proves them wrong. This includes anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers and others who deny science, medicine and facts.”

Reply to  Jim de Boer
February 3, 2020 2:16 pm


Anyone who disagrees with us is a big meanie. Don’t allow these people to speak!

February 3, 2020 3:52 am

Same reason you shouldn’t give the anti-vaxxers a platform.

Reply to  Steve45
February 12, 2020 3:12 pm

What the hell is an anti vaxxer?

Which vaccines are useful?

February 3, 2020 5:44 am

The idea that free dialogue should be censored because of the possibility that harm could stem from the promulgation of an idea that may ultimately prove incorrect is absurd, and certainly not what John Stuart Mill meant.

Using this logic, I could as easily advocate barring advocacy of actions to combat climate change by saying that the resultant expense will impoverish millions around the world, cause mass starvation, etc.

February 3, 2020 6:46 pm

Goodness! Well, I guess that’s why we keep getting genocides: because it’s so very very critical that nobody criticize communists.

John Boland
February 3, 2020 8:30 pm

A world without debate…yep, that will drive up readership. That explains why these left wing media outlets are all failing, boring and so predictable, no fun there.

February 14, 2020 5:27 am

Wrong in justice laws, wrong in nature laws too – remains “ethical codes”:

“External guidance is nonexistent. The ethical codes promulgated by the media accountability bodies – the Australian Press Council and the Australian Communications and Media Authority – make no mention of how impartiality should be achieved in the context of climate change. The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance’s code of ethics is similarly silent.”

There’s already a “union of value” sporting “ethical codes” – NYT knows more:

“Media ‘impartiality’ on climate change is ethically misguided and downright dangerous”

“External guidance is nonexistent. The ethical codes promulgated by the media accountability bodies – the Australian Press Council and the Australian Communications and Media Authority – make no mention of how impartiality should be achieved in the context of climate change. The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance’s code of ethics is similarly silent.”

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