Cancel culture in climate change

Reposted from Climate Etc.

Posted on September 7, 2021 by curryja

by Robert Wade

A microcosm on the ‘morality’ of cancel culture: the aborted conference on ‘Global Warming: Mitigation Strategies’, hosted by the Italian scientific academy the Lincei.

My essay ‘What is the harm in forecasting catastrophe due to man-made global warming?’ [link] placed the debate about human influences on the climate in the context of a larger process of polarization common when scientific disagreements become public. As described by sociologist of science Robert K. Merton [link], each group then responds to stereotyped versions of the other:

“They see in the other’s work primarily what the hostile stereotype has alerted them to see, and then promptly mistake the part for the whole. In this process, each group … becomes less and less motivated to study the work of the other, since there is manifestly little point in doing so. They scan the out-group’s writings just enough to find ammunition for new fusillades. 

Karl Popper’s epistemological basis for knowledge – knowledge advances by disconfirmation — goes out the window, for the birds, as what scientists believe to be approximately true becomes a function of their group identity. See also Anne Applebaum,  ‘The New Puritans’, recently published in The Atlantic.

The result is what I call a ‘syndrome of exaggeration’: each side is inclined to exaggerate evidence in its favour and downplay evidence against, which justifies the other in exaggerating evidence in its favour and downplaying evidence against; and back again. It is a syndrome in that the behaviour of each side confirms the negative expectations of the other. Members of each side often go at each other ad hominem, like adolescent school boys, including people who regard themselves as serious scientists.  In the digital era members are able to quickly find each another and the enemy, and communicate without editing.

Global warming and climate change provides fertile ground for these social processes, not least because many scientists, journalists, activists and others regard global warming as the impending catastrophe, the existential threat to humanity and life on Earth, and see it as their supreme duty to warn humanity and to help mobilize countervailing action globally, nationally, locally; while a small but vociferous set of scientists and others believe that to be a big exaggeration.  Amped up through the syndrome  of exaggeration, each side becomes predisposed to draw conclusions on individual issues (eg extreme weather) less from the evidence of those individual issues and more from packaged-up ideological visions, the better to maintain clear moral battle lines; disagreement becomes moral heresy

Unfortunately, the Merton polarization dynamics tend to squeeze out non-polemical consideration of intermediate arguments. In contemporary terminology, the dynamics could be called ‘cancel culture’, defined in Wikipedia as ‘a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles … a form of boycotting or shunning involving an individual … who is deemed to have acted or spoken in a questionable or controversial manner’.  In climate change, the dominant side, by far, is the side which says that the ‘catastrophe’ scenario of humanity’s future is likely enough that we must use it to mount major changes in public and private resource allocations and changes in individuals’ behavior all around the world over the next several decades, with the overriding aim  to reach ‘net zero by 2050’. Almost all the attention for avoiding catastrophe is on cutting emissions so as to minimize global warming; questions of adapting to climate change are confined to the margins.  This side’s members commonly embrace the morality of cancel culture when it comes to those whom they call ‘deniers’, regardless of scientific qualifications.

Recently I read on Climate Etc. (the blog hosted by climate scientist Judith Curry) ‘climate of dialogue’, a pacated dialogue between two scientists who have rather different approaches to issues of climate change.  (‘Pacated’ means to make less hostile, peaceful — an unfamiliar word that deserves wide currency in these polarized times.)  One of them was Andrea Saltelli. Through him I learnt of a conference that was to be hosted by the main and oldest Italian scientific academy,  Academia Nazionale dei Lincei, titled ‘Global warming: mitigation strategies’, on Environment Day  12 November 2019. Professor Saltelli was to be one of the speakers. But then the Lincei cancelled it, without official explanation.  Unofficially the reason was the backlash from invited participants at the inclusion of a paper (one of 14 papers ) challenging the evidence given in support of the hypothesis that current global warming is caused almost entirely by human activities. One of its seven co-authors (among whom were climatologists and physicists) was a professor of physical chemistry and reputed “denier”.  Through Saltelli I contacted Dr Monica di Fiore, who wrote an essay questioning the wisdom of cancelling the conference, published in an Italian academic discussion journal. With her help I reconstructed the following account of cancel culture in action.

From many submissions (all by scientists), a host committee of four selected 14 papers to be presented. One of the papers had seven authors, including climatologists and  physicists. The paper, ‘Critical considerations regarding the anthropogenic global warming theory’, took issue with the argument that current global warming is due almost entirely to human causes, spelling out why the kind of evidence given in support of the hypothesis is insufficient to confirm it. Its thrust was in line with the Popperian principle of falsification as the route to get closer to the truth.

 The newspaper Repubblica ran a story (18 September 2019) focused on the fact that one of the seven authors of this paper, Franco Battaglia, had not published about climate in peer review journals (he is professor physical chemistry at the University of Modena). Repubblica said that the Lincei was lowering its standards by including this paper with ‘denier’ Battaglia as a co-author.  The Lincei sent a short article to Repubblica explaining the reason for the conference and the inclusion of this paper, which Repubblica refused to publish.   

When some intending participating scientists read the Repubblica article, they disinvited themselves on account of not wanting to be in any way associated with Battaglia and his (and six co-authors’) argument. Some also said that the question of ‘attribution’ ( the extent to which global warming is due to human causes) lay outside the scope of a conference on mitigation strategies, and should not be included in the program. Some also affirmed  that there is simply no room for doubt – all reputable scientists accept that current global warming is due almost entirely to human action, so it would be a waste of everyone’s time to hear the paper (as though it was arguing that the earth is flat).  None had seen the disputed paper.

In response to the hostile Repubblica article and the wave of protest from intending participants, the Lincei decided to cancel the conference altogether – informing only the participants, giving no public notice.

Later (30 September 2019), Repubblica published an article titled ‘Clima, la fronda degli scienziati italiani che negano la scienza’(‘Climate, the fringe of Italian scientists who deny the science’), about the petition signed by over 145 scientists supporting the legitimacy of challenging the man-made global warming hypothesis, where it mentioned the cancelled conference.  

Monica Di Fiore (National Research Council) published an essay in ROARS, an online discussion journal for Italian academics,  6 March 2020, titled ‘Il silenzio dei Lincei. Cui prodest?’  (‘The silence of the Lincei. Who benefits?’), in which she questioned the wisdom of cancelling the event.   Her essay attracted 24 comments. The large majority supported the Lincei’s decision, and the large majority were expressed in polemical, ad hominem language, with little or no engagement with either the argument of the paper or the ethics of the Lincei’s decision. 

What could be the net benefit of cancelling the whole conference in order to prevent discussion of one out of 14 papers, one of whose seven co-authors was a reputed “denier” ?  Notice the title of Repubblica’s article, ‘Climate, the fringe of Italian scientists who deny the science’. This  converts ‘the science’, as an approach to knowledge, into The Science, a body of knowledge with the status of Revealed Truth.  

Cancellation of the Lincei conference on mitigation strategies is a microcosm of the morality of cancel culture in the scientific establishment.  It was canceled to prevent the presentation of a paper questioning whether full-on mitigation — big cuts in carbon emissions — is imperative to save humanity; and to block the voice of an outspoken ‘denier’ (a professor of physical chemistry).  The fate of the conference illustrates the danger that the Merton dynamics in global warming focus the attention of scientists and science on the fight against the other and away from dispassionate analysis and assessment of the goodness or otherwise of models, data and mechanisms. And also away from other pressing environmental concerns which cannot be treated simply as reflexes of climate change,  including collapse of insect populations and fisheries, atmospheric pollution, plastic pollution, endocrine disruptors, and several others of global scale – issues which are relegated to second- or third-order, once it is accepted as true beyond doubt that humanity is on the path to catastrophe unless we reach net zero by 2050 or maybe 2075.

Meanwhile, we the global public have to realize how useful the ‘climate emergency’ is for political leaders to be able to pledge their undying commitment to – and divert attention from more awkward topics. Imagine the relief of the G7 heads of government meeting in Biarritz, August 2019: their officials had prepared the way for a G7 discussion of how to make capitalism ‘fairer’ and reduce income and wealth inequality, but  the heads of government gratefully let the discussion of climate, with its class-free and more distant horizons, marginalize how to create a fairer capitalism. 

More than this, the Lincei case illustrates the dangers of scientists blurring the responsibility to ‘inform’ with the more political task to ‘persuade’. As informers they are morally obliged to follow Einstein’s dictum: ‘The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true’. As persuaders they are not, and their incentives too easily produce Merton polarization dynamics with sharp lines between ‘them’ and ‘us’, between ‘heresy’ and ‘Truth’. The public should be beware that evidence and conclusions are affected by these politics, not only by ‘the science’.

Several friends who read this essay in draft and my long essay cited cited above have been upset by them and implicitly or explicitly urged me not to publish, because they give succour to the ‘deniers’. One, a highly respected investigative journalist based in London, wrote:  “you are in the very dubious company of climate deniers.  I am just wondering Robert, where you got your material.  Did you find this all yourself – or were you given it by someone else? No, you don’t need to give me an answer but you should ask yourself what you are doing and how you are doing it. And ultimately, whose fight you are fighting.”  I am struck that people (westerners) advocating fast exit from fossil fuels seem to be little aware of the situation of the large majority of the populations of developing countries; little aware of global energy demand as population in developing countries rises and standards of living rise (especially Africa). They imply that there is a pathway from today’s 80% of global energy from fossil fuels to 2050’s near zero, as though by magic; or else that ‘Africa and large parts of the rest of the developing world have to remain poor, their total energy use limited to renewables, because continued use of fossil fuels brings – we know — the ruin of humanity’.  

About the author: Robert H Wade is Professor of Global Political Economy, London School of Economics

5 23 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tom Halla
September 8, 2021 6:19 am

The Climastrologists are revealing their basically religious nature by their channeling of William Jennings Bryan, in his Scopes Monkey Trial persona. They want to ban any discussion of anything that does not actively endorse their worldview.
Bryan was on the left, by the way, despite his being a Fundamentalist.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 8, 2021 8:29 am

A lying bot, truly sad.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 8, 2021 8:35 am

Progressives love narratives like ‘Inherit the Wind’ and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. These enable them to see themselves as Clarence Darrow or Atticus Finch fighting the good fight while pegging the rest of us as modern-day reincarnations of William Jennings Bryant and Robert E. Lee (Bob) Ewell.

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
September 8, 2021 8:55 am

Handmade tales with em-pathetic appeal. #HateLovesAbortion

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 8, 2021 8:53 am

Religion as in behavioral protocol. Left as in single/central/authoritarian governance.

Dan M
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 8, 2021 10:56 am

Sorry to say that the evolutionist cancel culture is just as religious as the climate alarmist one. Philosophical naturalism and materialism are their religious dogmas and they tolerate no dissent.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Dan M
September 8, 2021 11:30 am

Bryan did not know the difference between “social Darwinism” and actual evolutionary theory. Biblical literalism is still the driving force behind “young Earth creationism”, and they tend to conflate their religion with religion in general.

Jeff Corbin
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 8, 2021 2:46 pm

Talk about propaganda and self righteous action….. the horror of eugenics in the 20th century is an example of how stupid ideas can propel colossal dramas resulting in the death of many millions. The current anti-humanity aspect of the more radical proponents of anthropomorphic climate change (ACC) doctrine, the risk of ultra-crazy is ever present. Now we have technology Crispyr Cas 9 and genetic screening, a new wacko version of eugenics could become “the ultimate solution” to saving the plant.

Reply to  Jeff Corbin
September 8, 2021 9:08 pm

anthropomorphic, I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

Jeff Corbin
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 8, 2021 2:32 pm

Interesting. William Jennings Bryan was a populist democrat….hardly left by today’s standards. More like a Trump if he had been an ordained Presbyterian Pastor with orthodox doctrine. I preferred J.G. Machen’s (Calvinist, New Testament Scholar, Republican and Civil Libertarian) approach to evolution, ( he had decline’s Bryan’s request to join him in the battle with the evolutionists). Machen’s response, ( a lose paraphrase) let people believe what they want and do as they will but Christians should educate their own children in Church schools. Machen was not a diehard creationist and left the door open on natural selection. This is the sort of libertarianism I find refreshing. Phooey on any social gospel or religion politicized.

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 8, 2021 9:25 pm

The whole of society is “sad” right now. This polarised doctrine has contaminated everything.

I do not even know what we can do to get out of this hot mess.

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 9, 2021 6:51 pm

I get paid $200,000 per day to ignore your spam. Shall I give you a link to the secret of my success, Lorra?

Come over to the dark side, Lorra. We have cookies.

September 8, 2021 6:31 am

What could be the net benefit of cancelling the whole conference 

Better to have no conference than a [highly?] controversial one giving valuable Oxygen to arguments that should not be platformed in the first place.

A case of burning the village to save the village

Reply to  fretslider
September 8, 2021 9:00 am

Aborting the child for social progress, medical progress, and carbon sequestration (e.g. population control).

John Garrett
September 8, 2021 6:41 am

You have to ask yourself, “What is it that they’re afraid of?”

Reply to  John Garrett
September 8, 2021 7:02 am

What is it that they’re afraid of

That huge amount of heat from the collective blush at being caught out lying. That could well be the source of the dreaded RCP8.5 warming

Reply to  John Garrett
September 8, 2021 7:52 am

They’re afraid of the truth, as the scientific truth is an existential threat to the political left. Ironically, they consider climate change to be their most supportable position, which says a lot about the rest of their agenda.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
September 8, 2021 9:03 am

They speak truth to power in lieu of facts, and appeal to empathy and phobias in lieu of principles.

Jeff Corbin
Reply to  co2isnotevil
September 8, 2021 1:49 pm

There are many who are not on the left who support ACC (anthropomorphic climate change) doctrine. Just as you have ACC supporters, globalists and libertarians in both parties. I believe that the pandemic propaganda was heavily piggy backed by ACC propaganda because it served to undermine the first Republican who openly disavowed ACC doctrine, Globalism and Libertarianism. I believe this served up the nation to the left because the propaganda enabled them to take the preeminently self-righteous high ground and helped them establish a very clear platform of global unity, social justice, diversity, freedom, safety, and saving the planet, (some of the platform is good but how genuine is it). It has been a political tsunami driven by propaganda at every level of our media paired with censorship. At one point, the entire county shuddered under the power of the left, (many who are nothing more than careering carpet baggers and scallywag’s…not respectable democrats). Fortunately, a regression toward the mean is coming as the people in the middle are tired of the crap and will move right of the middle. In the end, even for a life long Democrat (voted for Carter ugh) like myself, the censorship is abhorrent and the propaganda is despicable and whoever has been behind it needs to pay the piper. As a life long Democrat, I have always found the ACC propaganda to be deplorable. The ACC propaganda has given me every motivation to be a skeptic. This is why I have been reading WUWT since 2007.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Jeff Corbin
September 8, 2021 2:54 pm

anthropomorphic climate change

Attributing human traits to Climate Change? Is it angry, perhaps?

I think you mean anthropogenic. And don’t forget the C in CAGW. If it’s not Catastrophic, it’s not a problem.

Steven Candy
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
September 8, 2021 4:00 pm

Anthropomorphic definition: adjective ascribing human form or attributes to a being or thing not human. So anthropogenic is correct in describing AGW as being “A” generated by humans but anthropomorphic has some relevance in that mostly natural causes (non human “thing”) is ascribed as a human “attribute”.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Steven Candy
September 9, 2021 6:57 am

Astronomers have a bad habit of ascribing human traits to inanimate objects in space. It gets a little irritating after a while. To me, anyway.

Reply to  Jeff Corbin
September 8, 2021 4:36 pm

Anyone who’s obsessing about climate change just doesn’t know any better and is accepting the word of the so called ‘experts’ summarized by the IPCC. Yes, some conservatives fall into this camp, primarily due to being influenced by either fear, guilt or the desire not to be ostracized. The danger to the left comes from how they turned it into a religion whose doctrine must not be questioned and followed or else the world will end.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  co2isnotevil
September 9, 2021 7:04 am

“Yes, some conservatives fall into this camp”

Yes, they do, and these people are just helping the radical Left in their attempts to take over society.

Neither those on the Left or the Right have any evidence that CO2 needs to be regulated. Which just goes to show that the Right is equally susceptible to climate change propaganda as those on the Left, although the numbers on the Right are much fewer than those deluded on the Left.

We probably can’t change the minds of the radical Left on climate change because it’s not about the science to them, it is about acquiring more political power. This is not the case on the Right. Those on the Right are True Believers so there is some hope that they can see the light eventually when shown that their position is not based on facts.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Jeff Corbin
September 8, 2021 4:40 pm

There are those whose goal is Freedom for all.
And there are those who think that is their goal but what they really want is and strive for is only Freedom for those they agree with.
That’s politics. It has no place in science.

Michael in Dublin
September 8, 2021 6:43 am

I find that amidst the climate alarmist gloom across Europe there are some bright spots and in particular, Italy. I hold in the highest regard the work of the Clintel Foundation headed by Prof Guus Berkhout and science journalist Marcel Crok. Italy stands out in having the most signatories of their World Climate Declaration. I doubt Lincei will silence all these sensible voices and be able to diminish their influence on students.

Joao Martins
September 8, 2021 6:51 am

Cancelling the conference was a tremendous bad service to science.

The “Lincei” got their name for seeing better and to longer distances than the rest of the people; like what is said of the visual capacities of the lynx.

So, instead of trying to identify for further removal the obstacles to a clear and long range vision, the Lincei have chosen to thrust their heads in the sand, like the ostrich. I sincerely hope that they will not pursue this travel from long range sight of carnivores to the greedy voracity of the walking birds, which swallow almost everything, food or stones, great ideas or superstitions alike… I feel always very sad when I see some provect institution disappear through renouncing to its founding principles and betraying the lessons of its most distiguished associates.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Joao Martins
September 8, 2021 7:16 am

After some thought, I would add:

I understand Galileo’s abjuration: better than a dead lynx is a living lynx (though abjuror) capable of pursuing his observations, research and theoretical developments.

But this is not a good argument: no one would extinguish the Lincei, prosecute their members or burn the Reichstag the beautiful Palazzo Corsini that is its siege in Rome! The Lincei had nothing to fear or lose if they went on with the call for the conference. (perhaps a few sponsors would chicken out, possibly a fair price to pay for honourably upholding the scientific spirit).

Reply to  Joao Martins
September 8, 2021 9:10 am

They took a knee to soften appeals to abortion (“cancellation”), planned professorship.

September 8, 2021 6:52 am

One of the warmist agenda items is to make sure the opposing viewpoint does NOT get any time on the podium. In this case, they are stating it is a waste 7% of the conference’s presentation time, to hear controversial topics. So the conference was strictly conformist and nothing was open to discussion…..there was actually no use having a conference, and cancelling saved greenhouse gas emissions. It is also likely that conference organizers became concerned about event security given the unexpected publicity……Another cancel culture trick to deny podium time.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
September 8, 2021 9:12 am

A conference of consensus in color, not number.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  DMacKenzie
September 8, 2021 3:17 pm

To be fair, the conference was to discuss what they intend to do about CAGW, not if it is happening. It seems incredible to me that they didn’t just exclude the paper because they regarded it as irrelevant. It would have saved so much aggravation.

Jeff Corbin
September 8, 2021 6:54 am

Thanks for the very timely and helpful post. The use of propaganda may or may not flow out of the identification/exaggeration syndrome. In some cases, it flows from highly self aware and strategic power/financial agendas. In other cases, is flows from true belief, group identification and self-righteous action. Regardless of the agenda driving a set of propaganda, the result, (albeit intended and unintended depending on the agenda) is a rooting of self-righteous action on a mass scale, which, (and perhaps also intended) the destruction of intellectual pursuit of truth at all levels of discourse. It turns a nation in to a society of half-wits by ingraining the identification/exaggeration syndrome. I have seen this dynamic play out in the health care system during the pandemic…..making lying and exaggeration a self-righteous action and dare if you will to confront it with actual data. It turns good professionals in fools to be identified with the righteous. Divide, divide. divide has become the thrust of our political process, which has morphed beyond our political system into the realm of psychological warfare. The is the nature of global conflict, (corporate, markets, religious/pseudo religious, political and military…all the boundaries have faded) of our age. As an example, it turns a cloth and surgical masks, which have good scientific evidence of being useless against coronaviruses, into a banner of self-righteousness and the not wearing of masks into an opposite banner of self righteousness. There have been real economic and political phenomenological factors driving the division that has emerged in America since the rise of globalization over the past 35 years but the current rapid descent into mindlessness begs the question about power, agenda, intent of a few. After a while propaganda and self righteousness grows transparent and people either check out or bug out, the later is far worse than the former.

Jeff Corbin
Reply to  Jeff Corbin
September 8, 2021 7:26 am

I have been involved in the masks wars as a board member of a summer camp and a member of a church, and in my local community. The result is division, anger, despair and hatred between people who had been working partners and friends. Friendship is the absolute strength in local community and peace and charity is the strength of any family. The damage is likely to be permeant in our communities ,local institutions and families. I would say the damage of the mask wars is far worse than even the last presidential election. The only solution is to get a life, retain a sense of humor about yourself, cast off self righteousness (very hard to do once entrenched), stop attacking people, state the truth and then let it be. I would also suggest: refuse to be smartphone serf and turn your dang phone off when you don’t need it which is almost contently. LOL

Ed Fox
Reply to  Jeff Corbin
September 8, 2021 11:32 am

A mask with gills cut in the side to allow breathing keeps everyone happy.

Jeff Corbin
Reply to  Ed Fox
September 8, 2021 1:13 pm

Yes… absurdly funny. It’s the banner that counts. My 16 son, made his own masks out of very porous cloth. So porous you could see his lips LOL. “If I am forced to wear a mask that does not work, I am going to wear a mask that is comfortable ( Pa had a mask mandate) KN -24 and N 95 masks which do work were not available…and no one cared.

Steve Case
September 8, 2021 7:12 am

Exaggeration on both sides? For example I seriously doubt that windmills kill as many birds as is claimed on these and other web pages I visit.

Reply to  Steve Case
September 8, 2021 7:47 am

But the left is all about zero risk, so one Covid case, a fraction of a degree warming and one dead bird are all too many.

Of course, you can’t deny the hypocrisy where they ignore millions of illegal immigrants, thousands of shoplifters and dozens of idiots in power, where one is too many for all these as well.

Jeff Corbin
Reply to  Steve Case
September 8, 2021 7:55 am

It’s the dynamic of the syndrome identification/self righteous action that we are talking about. It is the disease of our day which is magnified by social media and blogging. The disease destroys normal scientific collaboration and paradigm building. Paradigms are built on consensus and self righteous action …and lies not honest collegial analysis of the facts. Truth and Non-truth has become a political weapon. This disease is a danger to all because truth is difficult for humans LOL. Seek the truth and it will set you free. Stand for truth and let it be.

Curious George
Reply to  Steve Case
September 8, 2021 7:57 am

It is well documented here at the Altamont Pass wind farm. My leftist friend even accused ornithologists of bringing bird carcasses from elsewhere under the turbines.

That might be one of reasons for offshore wind farms. No nosy ornithologists at the foot of the turbine. Only rumors of unusually many sharks.

Steve, I don’t blame you for your confusion. That’s exactly the goal. Germans even invented a word, Gleichschaltung, for this deliberate process.

Reply to  Curious George
September 8, 2021 9:24 am

Yes, the wind turbine gauntlet and the closely spaced, low energy density photovoltaic blight. We should assess fitness based on facts, not empathetic appeal and prophecy.

Reply to  Steve Case
September 8, 2021 9:17 am

In areas with many trees you will find many birds.
Considering the bodycount it only depends on bird population,distance they fly on a daily basis and the size of the windmills and the area they cover.

Imagine an average city with average traffic ,no signs,no traffic lights,cars that dont use breaks and citizens who move in unpredictable ways without looking left or right when they cross the street.
You dont need to be a prophet to realise that many people would be killed on a daily basis – until the number of citizens becomes so low that only few killings can happen
(or to explain it to a narcissistic person:If your child had wings, you’ll never ever allow it to fly in a windmill area)

Reply to  Steve Case
September 8, 2021 9:18 am

The issue is clean, green, and bloody intermittent/renewable energy. The issue is myths and leverage with em-pathetic appeal.

Reply to  Steve Case
September 8, 2021 10:27 am

Most of the figures I’ve seen have seemed fairly well sourced and considering the number of windmills and birds relatively modest. They are certainly miniscule compared to the numbers killed by, for instance, housecats, but I see few red flags in the numbers themselves. The main problem is a high percentage killed are large raptors, some of which are threatened or endangered.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  BrianB
September 8, 2021 12:02 pm

I’m extremely dubious about the numbers lost to “house” cats. I’m out of doors constantly, and rarely even see any cats (and there are 100s living here). All these bird deaths from cats must be in rural areas where cats run freely. The name “house” cats provides a clue. I’m not even a cat lover.

Rick W Kargaard
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 8, 2021 2:20 pm

Yes, I live in a rural hamlet with low density that has thousands of birds (sometimes to the point of nuisance) due to bird feeders, water, and mature trees and bushes.
There are cats all about and they constantly stalk birds but they are seldom successful. They are much more competent at catching small rodents. This is why I never complain about their occasional digging in my garden or frightening an odd bird.
Bigger birds are far more dangerous through predation and nest robbing. Merlin’s make regular visits during which all the little song birds go into hiding while with cats they just move out of reach. I have also seen magpies and crows clean out poorly designed nest boxes.
English sparrows, who destroyed my pea seedlings this year are also a danger to other birds and are a threat to my martin nests if the martin’s numbers are not high enough.
This is all nature, but wind turbines and large expanses of glass are not recognized as a threat. They are not likely to ever adapt as these are passive threats which do not actively pursue a bird. As totally foreign as an alien invasion would be to us.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Rick W Kargaard
September 8, 2021 3:20 pm

Now there you go using observation applied to testable, logical conclusions instead of modeled results offered by ‘a consensus of experts’. I think you’ve got something we could use generally 🙂

You’ve hit on the fact that birds have their own hierarchy of predator and prey to worry about, quite apart from well fed terrestrial predators.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 8, 2021 3:30 pm

I’m extremely dubious about the numbers lost to “house” cats. I’m out of doors constantly, and rarely even see any cats (and there are 100s living here). All these bird deaths from cats must be in rural areas where cats run freely.

I agree. We have an excellent mouser in our rural abode. Without it, we get overwhelmed with mice, who seem to love gnawing at tubes in and from washing machines and dishwashers for some reason.

We get many ‘gifts’ of live and dead mice. We get very few gifts of birds, maybe one a year. They are very obvious since the feathers are left strewn about.

I’ve very rarely seen these piles of feathers in urban or suburban regions, indicating to me that urban and suburban cats just don’t kill that many birds. In rural areas they tend to stick to rodents, mainly because we let them out at night when rodents are active and birds are not (except owls), and they sleep in the day.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
September 8, 2021 4:29 pm

I thought of one more thing since I posted my response to Mr. Kargaard. It occurred to me that almost no one lets their pets out at night because various predators (like Coyotes and cougars) have moved into the city and become acclimated. Small pets are a highly prized delicacy in their diet. Little ‘Fluffy’ hasn’t a chance.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 9, 2021 7:18 am

Hawks and Owls will also get small pets if given the opportunity. If your pet is not much bigger than a rabbit, then you better be careful.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 9, 2021 7:14 am

I live in a rural area and very seldom see a cat. I’m more likely to see a Bobcat than a wild house cat. And you don’t see a Bobcat very often. They like it that way.

Richard Page
Reply to  BrianB
September 8, 2021 2:32 pm

One of the problems are that the bigger birds, like raptors, use the strong winds to aid their flight over distances. Unfortunately the wind farms are built across areas that experience regular strong winds, with the effect that the birds fly right into their rotors.
Another problem, which I found out about in the UK, is that one female raptor will usually have a range with several males and it is the female that searches ahead for a new range and nesting sites, while the males follow her trail a little later. If the wind farms are therefore killing predominantly female birds, then killing even a small number of birds will have a far greater impact on the species.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  BrianB
September 9, 2021 4:49 am

I’ve often asked those who blame domestic cats for bird kills for real data. Not seen any that compares the predation by raptors, now protected and not uncommon in UK cities, Grey Squirrels now common in UK cities, Corvids mainly in the form of Magpies also very common in UK cities.
Cats find hunting rodents far easier than hunting birds, Thanks to human city dwellers throwing uneaten food and food wrappers on the streets rodents too are common on UK city streets.

For me the increase in populations of raptors, grey Squirrels and Magpies mirrors the decline in garden bird populations

Reply to  Steve Case
September 8, 2021 11:26 am

Ah standard leftwing appeal. Beliefs and feelings trump facts.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
September 9, 2021 7:34 am

The alarmists don’t want to take a chance of having their climate change bubble burst by someone introducing some facts into the matter. They already have their minds made up and don’t want to listen to other opinions. Alarmists have closed their minds to anything other than what they want to see. A common human flaw.

I think this is why alarmists stoop to personal attacks on skeptics. They tell themselves the effective skeptics are tools of the fossil fuel industry, and then this allows them to dismiss or not even consider the arguments of the effective skeptics, and this allows the alarmist to continue to confortably dwell in his climate change bubble/false reality. He doesn’t have to consider the argument because the skeptic is a tool of special interests. Viewing the world that way, you don’t have to think too hard, or at all, about the subject.

Human self-delusion helped along by political propaganda. That’s your alarmist for you.

Ed Fox
Reply to  Steve Case
September 8, 2021 11:35 am

I seriously doubt that windmills kill as many birds
Then why did Obama make it OK for windmills to kill eagles while everyone else gets a serious penalty?

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Steve Case
September 8, 2021 12:03 pm

On what basis do you doubt that windmills kill birds? They also kill insects and bats in abundance.

Ed Zuiderwijk
September 8, 2021 7:15 am

‘All reputable scientists’ are simply wrong, and only reputable in their own esteem.

The arrogance of such statements is simply nouseating. Mankind sitting at the same table as the good Lord himself? Come off it. A reputable scientist takes the position he/she knows nothing.

Rick W Kargaard
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
September 8, 2021 2:27 pm

Then I don’t know many reputable scientists.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
September 8, 2021 3:34 pm

Mankind sitting at the same table as the good Lord himself?

The entire CAGW movement relies on the supposition that man can very easily change the entire world’s temperature and climate. Its very premise is hubris on a massive scale.

September 8, 2021 7:17 am

‘The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true’.

For example, if skeptics are so wrong, why are there so many among real scientists, especially those in other fields who have applied due diligence to the alarmists claims.

A corollary is that one must not exaggerate any part of what one has recognized to be false.

For example, the hockey stick, CO2 is the climate control knob, natural change is no change at all, and so much more.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
September 8, 2021 10:13 am

If sceptics were wrong they would have been given a platform – to ridicule themselves.
As they are closer to the truth they can not be given a platform.
Not a single of the bold predictions came true.
Polar Bear population is rising.
The number of hurricanes went massively down instead of up.
Earth got 5% greener.
Lower Manhattan and Maledives haven’t drowned by 2018.
Hansen wasn’t even 1% right.
Sea level rise is exactly as expected pre AGW levels which should be impossible considering all the official record melt each and every year everywhere on the planet.
The reason is simple: there is no record melt.

Just the fact that off the mill weather events are now being sold as never seen before Armageddons.
The last 33 years did not have any more records than any other period of 3 decades in history.
Everything went as expected,just the way msm is talking about it.
AGW is the BLM of science = official narrative is 100% opposite of what is really going.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  SxyxS
September 9, 2021 7:21 am

Well Hansen did get something right.

“Can renewable energies provide all of society’s energy needs in the foreseeable future? It is conceivable in a few places such as New Zealand and Norway.
But suggesting renewables will let us phase off fossil fuels in the US, China, India or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.”

James Hansen ‘Baby Lauren and the Kool Aid’

September 8, 2021 7:26 am

There is an old saying: If you see something wrong speak up or maybe listen. I added the listen.

Cancelled because one qualified individual was not peer reviewed by like minded reviewers. What standards are being lowered by listening?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Olen
September 8, 2021 10:35 am

They intensely fear the rabble hearing anything but the “climate crisis” message, because they know the basis of the claims is weak at best – so hearing the logic and reason of those not pushing the propaganda becomes dangerous, as reasonable people may then stop “believing” the climate crisis nonsense.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
September 9, 2021 7:40 am

Accepting the skeptic paper would send a signal that the science is not settled, and the alarmists don’t want to do that.

Ron Long
September 8, 2021 7:51 am

This paper for me illustrates two important aspects of scientists. One issue is that humans don’t become truly introspective until their IQ (determined by Alpha Wave coordination watching moving light and also fMRI) reaches 130. If you are not constantly examining your data collection/storage/utilization brain and correcting the mistaken ideas you posses, you are not an actual scientist. The other aspect is that some scientists, no matter what their qualifications, figure out how to get a ticket on the gravy train and then ride it to the end of the tracks.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Ron Long
September 8, 2021 2:06 pm

The idea that IQ is related to Alpha Waves appears to have no credibility. See
Plus the suggestion that only 5% of people are truly introspective is also rubbish.

Ron Long
Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 8, 2021 2:14 pm

Izaak, see “An Empirical Study on the Relations Between EEG alpha-beta entropy &EQ-IQ Test Scores”, Sarah Vakili, et al, 2012. When this came up before I found 2,210,000 results in0.59 seconds. Looks like you’re not introspective.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Ron Long
September 9, 2021 7:50 am

I’m a little bit skeptical about IQ tests.

I saw an article not long ago about a four-year-old girl and the headline claimed her IQ was higher than Einstein’s IQ.

Now, does this four-year-old girl know as much as Albert Einstein? I don’t think so. So I question how the testers reached this conclusion.

Testng of IQ’s can’t be for the body of knowledge in one’s brain, if they are equating a four-year-old’s IQ with Albert Einstein’s IQ, so what exactly are they testing when they do an IQ test?

I tested unusually high on my IQ test back in Junior High School, but I don’t feel all that smart. There’s a LOT of things I don’t know. That also makes me skeptical of IQ tests.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 14, 2021 1:11 pm

I also tested high in Jr High. (which let me take more advanced classes the next year and in High School). How high, they wouldn’t say. It might have given the group a pecking order. Apparently, they measure your knowledge vs expected knowledge of an “average” person of your age. So the same answer score that makes middle school students geniuses, makes the middle aged dunces.

The IQ tests’ major problem is assuming a uniform pool of knowledge and experience. (classic example is the college professor’s child choosing chopping wood as leisure and reading a book as work)

Doug S
September 8, 2021 8:00 am

Very good post Robert, it’s nice to read the details of how cancellation works in a real world example. I continue to be amazed that so many “scientists” have not/do not appreciate the long history of scientific misconceptions and flat out wrong conclusions over the centuries. Are they simply unaware of Galileo and other scientific contrarians who challenged the official dogma and ultimately were proven right?

The most exciting and fun conversations in science are challenging the accepted right answer. I’m thinking many of these cancel people lack scientific curiosity and are afraid of any challenges to their static view of the world. For all we know at this point in time, they could be right! Why not have honest and open discussions on the subject. Sad for them.

Kevin kilty
September 8, 2021 8:18 am

This essay is an agument for truth being someplace in the middle between two bickering camps. The flaw in this view is that there are more or less iron-clad universal truths in physics, engineering, and nearly iron-clad truths in economics. The truth then lies not near the middle but in the near neighborhood of one side or the other — the one depending on Real Science — i.e. long established laws.

September 8, 2021 8:18 am

If the Green Blob had arguments that were cogent, logical and convincing, there would be no need for them to cancel anyone. They would have decades of specific and successful predictions, and they would have demonstrated that their plans produced measurable results. Instead, they are in such a tenuous position that “cancel” is the best they can do.

Reply to  PaulH
September 8, 2021 8:52 am

I’m not aware they ‘cancel’ anyone -it is just that politically motivated pseudo science is, rightly, not given a platform

Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 9:41 am

Isn’t it amazing that everything griff disagrees with is immediately demoted to “politically motivated pseudo science”.

That is always the way totalitarians start.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
September 9, 2021 8:10 am

Griff gives himself permission to dismiss the skeptical argument before considering it, by claiming it is politially motivated pseudo science.

Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 9:53 am

Griff – you know best that AGW like all your views are politically motivated and that political correctness is political tool to silence opposition from telling the truth.
I know that you are a bold shameless liar and judas as we both clashed several times at tony hellers website.
Whenever i confronted you with unpleasant truths(eg organized racistmass raping of your british children by people of my religious origin) you came up with pathetic excuses.
At first the mass rapes were pure conspiracy theory.
Everything was blocked by msm,censored by facebook etc.
After the scandal became to big to be ignored they simply called it grooming and blamed ‘ asians’ for the rapes though it was us muslims
Then you said that there are some youth problems with knifeattacks.
Wrong- it was once again us muslims who brought this culture to england.
Once again no plattform for the truth and your denial.
Then the muslim rapefest some years ago during new years day in many cities and many countries of europe.
Once again themsm and politics successfully kept quiet for days.
My comments about slavery in islam are being systematically censored on youtube.
And all these truth are being systematically censored otherwise the official narrative can not survive,same with AGW.Its all political.

Judas – have you never asked yourself how i can spit on all ‘progressive’ ‘values ‘ ,be it gays(marriage ),genderism,women rights,animal rights etc and activists like you wont dare to say a word .
90 % of us ae more rightwing than your most rightwing party and everyone knows still you dont dare to say word.
Not a single one of your neo green communist branches(lgbt,atheist,feminists)would dare to say a word.
We can set churches on fire and you will come up with cheap excuses
but if one of you English dare to put a bacon at the front stairs of a mosque he will go to prison (that really happened in your country)
All these evil exists because of people like you who are

Richard Page
Reply to  SxyxS
September 8, 2021 2:43 pm

People imprisoned for putting or throwing bacon at or into a mosque has been a common protest – it’s happened in England, USA, France and Poland, I believe. Probably many other countries as well but not widely reported.

Tony Sullivan
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 10:09 am

So you would attempt to convince this board that Michael Mann’s hockey stick is something other than pseudo science?

Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 10:19 am

Cancel Rahmstorf, cancel Mann ?? 😀 😀 😀 SIGNED ! 😀
Well done griff 😀 😀

Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 10:33 am

Everyone has the right to have a platform, even you and here 😀

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 3:46 pm

it is just that politically motivated pseudo science is, rightly, not given a platform

Oh, how I wish that this were the case. Unfortunately, the only thing allowed these days is politically motivated pseudo-science, or as I refer to it, Scientology.

If you want to know what a lefty is doing, just look at what they accuse others of.

Eric Vieira
September 8, 2021 8:21 am

I don’t believe it’s just a problem of people not listening to one another. One side presents beliefs, or consensus. The other side presents data and experimental results that are contrary to the beliefs and consensus and gets cancelled for that. Cancel culture is the instrument used by people who do not want debate, but use abuse of power to get their views through. David cannot make peace with Goliath, and after all he did manage to win…
At the latest, when our energy systems and economies break down, will the truth come out.
The question will then be: who takes the blame and whose heads will roll?

Reply to  Eric Vieira
September 8, 2021 8:51 am

One side presents scientific evidence – mostly hard evidence, like ice extents, rates of glacier decline, temperature station readings.

The other side alleges that this science is a leftist conspiracy, only done to generate funding, points at squirrels and cherry picks.

Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 9:42 am

You’ve got that backwards again griff.

Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 10:21 am

What you believe to be hard evidence doesn’t mean it is hard evidence 😀
Because the presented “hard evidence” is to nearly 100% proven wrong by facts 😀

Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 11:05 am

Ok griff here is hard evidence gained through experiments. Done by different people over decades with the same results. Please review and tell me why I shouldn’t call BS on all your CO2 causes warming claims.

Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 11:13 am

Ok griff here some more hard evidence. Glacier scraps on rocks in Central Park New
York. The glacier melted due to climate change and no assist by humans. How do we know that what caused them to melt still is not happening?

Anthony Banton
Reply to  mkelly
September 8, 2021 11:35 am

How do we know that what caused them to melt still is not happening?”

Because it takes millennia for the Earth’s orbital eccentricity to manifest a change that makes glaciers grow/melt.
Certainly not 150 years.
Look up Milankovitch cycles.

Reply to  Anthony Banton
September 9, 2021 4:22 pm

And why were there a Little Ice Age, a Roman Warming Period, or MWP?

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 3:52 pm

The other side alleges that this science is a leftist conspiracy, only done to generate funding, points at squirrels and cherry picks.

Bang on, just 180° the wrong direction. If you played soccer, you’d be the own-goal champion.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
September 9, 2021 8:16 am

“One side presents scientific evidence – mostly hard evidence, like ice extents, rates of glacier decline, temperature station readings.”

That’s not evidence of Human-caused Climate Change. You are injecting Human-caused Climate Change into everything you see.

Temperature readings debunk the Human-caused Climate Change hypothesis.

Jeff Corbin
Reply to  Eric Vieira
September 8, 2021 11:15 am

I appreciate your post. Listening and considering facts and arguments is essential. The reason people are not listening is the same as the reason for exaggeration and lies. Pervasive propaganda befuddles people. Evermore reason that we listen as an antidote.

Jeff Corbin
September 8, 2021 8:33 am

Question for Robert Wade. It has been my experience in health care that when people engaging in self-righteous lying or exaggeration as they demonstrate their identification with the correct group, often do so without being self-aware of they are not speaking the truth. It’s like an aspect of the critical faculty is mitigated by idealized identification and it’s resultant self-righteousness. I don’t think this is a function of intellectual capacity. So applying this to climate science and science in general, it cannot be concluded that pro-anthropomorphic climate change scientists are stupid and dishonest. I am sure that few of them are. We can all become victims of this syndrome. Some obviously align themselves to the ACC doctrine for practical reasons or by proxy related to associated alignments and could be charged with dishonesty, ( there have been many prominent examples exposed in WUWT since the beginning.). So this is my question: Is it possible that climate science and science-in-general has at least been in-part captured by the propaganda perpetuated by it’s own funding sources? If that is the case, why not seek to gain further understanding of the funding sources…who are they, and what is their agenda? This is not a scientific challenge but my be edifying to those who read the blog. Obviously a steely commitment to truth creates division of the good kind and self- righteous action creates division of the bad kind. This is the challenge to all blogs…. blogs do better with the later than the former. I have been a close reader of WUWT that since 2008 because I found reliably sound discourse and a bent to seeking the truth. The challenge now is not to use the the political weapons of the day.

Reply to  Jeff Corbin
September 8, 2021 8:50 am

Is it possible that climate skepticism has been captured in part by its own, fossil fuel, funding?

Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 9:43 am

Once again, griff, without evidence, makes the claim that those who disagree with it are paid off.
How long till you start setting up death camps for evil deniers?

Gregory Woods
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 10:06 am

Please provide evidence of your assertion, Griffster….

Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 10:23 am

Would like to be funded, but unfortunately nobody knows my account or asked for 🙁

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 10:49 am

LMAO. The amount of funding poured on the side of pushing the false climate crisis is an order of magnitude more than fossil fuel funding for “skeptics” has even been – and fossil fuel interests have also poured some money into the “climate crisis” bullshit in order to attempt to appease the Climate Nazis.

So no – and furthermore, when you make the inference that “money corrupts,” you are arguing (unintentionally) that the side promoting the false “crisis” is far, far more corrupt than those arguing against it. Because they are getting the lion’s share of the “funding.”

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
September 9, 2021 6:34 am

The so called fossil fuel funding for “skeptics”, has never existed.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
September 9, 2021 8:20 am

That’s right. And now the fossil fuel companies are officially buying into the Human-caused Climate Change meme, so they are on Griff’s side now. He should welcome them into the fold.

Jeff Corbin
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 11:11 am

Take a look:

I dare say that if the energy industry was supporting climate skepticism is any systematic way we would be rolling in dough and winning the propaganda battle. The simplistic approach to understanding the current battle of propaganda is not to assume anything in the world of false flag misinformation.

How much dough is the energy industry pumping into lobbying on State and Federal levels for carbon tax? Sounds paradoxical but check out before you assume anything.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 3:54 pm

Our resident Black Knight strikes yet again!

Reply to  griff
September 9, 2021 6:32 am

When you want to know what the left is up to, look to what they are accusing the right of doing.

Reply to  griff
September 9, 2021 8:18 pm

Garbage dude! I

September 8, 2021 8:47 am

Select nuclear, hydrocarbon, and intermittent technologies as they are best suited to application and environment. #HateLovesAbortion

September 8, 2021 9:00 am

or else that ‘Africa and large parts of the rest of the developing world have to remain poor, their total energy use limited to renewables, because continued use of fossil fuels brings – we know — the ruin of humanity

not an argument actually advanced by science or renewables experts, is it?

Because the developing world has largely NOT had any fossil fuel or grid investment from fossil fuels, during the 75 years since WW2. And I don’t think they are going to get any in the future (not least because many of them don’t have oil/gas/coal).

Yet on a micro scale millions of lives are benefiting from some form of renewables…

On a national scale Kenya, Morocco, rural India and others all benefit from large scale renewables.

Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 9:44 am

The developing world has been too poor to install lots of fossil fuel plants. According to griff this proves that they don’t need fossil fuel plants.

When you are far off the grid, wind and solar are better than nothing. But just barely.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
September 9, 2021 8:24 am

“When you are far off the grid, wind and solar are better than nothing. But just barely.”

Yes, that’s the point Griff papers over.

Wind and solar may be good for small applications, but they cannot power the world’s economies. That’s another thing Griff papers over.

Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 10:28 am

Ask the right people why there was no investment, start with the World Bank, the UN and depending organisations etc. – refusal becaus of climate since years.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Krishna Gans
September 9, 2021 8:25 am

The African nations ought to be sueing these lending entities for discrimination.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 3:57 pm

On a national scale Kenya, Morocco, rural India and others all benefit from large scale renewables.

Nice cherries, those.

Of course, you ignore urban India and most of China, that are happily investing in more and more coal-fired power plants.

“tis but a scratch…”

Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 6:31 pm

Have you been to any developing country? Wtf are you talking about. I live in Chile and we were building coal and natural gas plants up until a few years ago. Same with all neighboring countries. And you’d have to be crazy to think India has not built any fossil fuel-powered plant in the last 75 years. Heck, the last 10 years!
The ignorance from people in rich countries about how people in the developed world live is a big part of the stupidity of their “response” to the issue of climate change.

Dodgy Geezer
September 8, 2021 9:03 am

Members of each side often go at each other ad hominem, like adolescent school boys, including people who regard themselves as serious scientists. 

Have you seen two eminent historians disputing minor dating proposals for Carthaginian festivals on the letters page of ‘History Today’?

Jeff Corbin
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
September 8, 2021 11:28 am

No, but i have read the letters of the reformers of the reformation and their opponents. Typically, their arguments were carefully cogent and valid so they would be justified in condemning their opponents and labeling them with colorful labels of distain. A similar practice today would be very refreshing and fun. Cogent and valid arguments on relevant topics are a rare find.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Jeff Corbin
September 9, 2021 8:29 am

The problem is Alarmists don’t have cogent arguments. That’s why they don’t want to argue. Instead, they snipe at people and attack them personally, as a method to avoid arguments.

September 8, 2021 9:08 am

“Placate” surely, not “pacate”. Although a “placated dialogue” is a first for me (after 70-odd years). But then you Yanks do like bending proper English to your wishes.

Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  Cassio
September 8, 2021 9:13 am

From Latin pācātus, perfect passive participle of pācō (“I make peaceful, pacify”), from pāx (“peace”). AdjectiveEdit. pacate (comparative more pacate, …
English · ‎Adjective · ‎Italian · ‎Latin

Cheshire Red
September 8, 2021 9:09 am

It’s organised.

Every time questions are asked of sacred AGW theory (especially if those posing the challenge are capable, professional or scientific) alarmists consistently do the same thing again and again; they run away.

It’s framed as ‘not giving deniers a voice’ but in reality it’s a subversion of the most fundamental scientific principles, where scrutiny and cross-examination are completely normal.

This happens everywhere across the globe as soon as a sceptical voice is heard. It cannot be random.

September 8, 2021 9:32 am

I have a new saying: The truth can survive any assault thrown against it, but a lie needs a strong fortress of censorship and propaganda to protect it.

Someone else — I don’t remember who — said something similar. I just expanded the idea. Truth welcomes debate and challenges; lies do everything possible to silence debate.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Wade
September 8, 2021 10:53 am

Great quote, Wade. I’m definitely putting it on my list!

Jeff Corbin
Reply to  Wade
September 8, 2021 11:16 am


Joao Martins
Reply to  Wade
September 9, 2021 8:14 am

Thomas Jefferson wrote it, but in a less manicheistic form (I mean: not based in an opposition between two extremes, good/evil, etc., but in a more dynamic, correlation of forces in conflict, world vision):

“… that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.”

in A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom, June 18, 1779 (Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom)

Peta of Newark
September 8, 2021 10:01 am

What Merton describes is exactly the behaviour of drunks – compounded by the use of exaggeration (mendacity)

Thus, why are supposedly educated and intelligent people behaving like drunks when they are patently not drunk

Boil it all the way down:
…….Because they are starving hungry.
Not for calories, for proper food, the sort of food that we evolved eating.

But such an idea is far & away too big, especially for damaged brains/minds described in the story here.
e.g. How would you explain to anybody that deserts are cold places, that a warming atmosphere means a cooling Earth or that CO2 simply can not do what it is claimed to inside the Greenhouse Gas Effect?

You would summarily cancelled

Devil’s Avocado inbound:
I see a Comment Count of 48 as I write and almost all of them are Ad Homs – the very sort of behaviour being described and railed against.
How can this ‘thing’ – this Contemporary Western World get anywhere, apart from falling off an <expletive> cliff?
ha ha – would anyone actually notice if it did?

It is big isn’t it?

September 8, 2021 10:31 am

Not only CC is target of Cancel Culture, COV-19 is not different.

September 8, 2021 11:18 am

Got to love the climate zealots, this one in the shape of ‘a highly respected investigative journalist’. I’ll give him a little Fisking.

“you are in the very dubious company of climate deniers”.

No he isn’t. The scientists are arguing about the size of the anthropogenic component of the warming, that’s all.

 “I am just wondering Robert, where you got your material. Did you find this all yourself – or were you given it by someone else?”

Mikey Mann levels of conspiracist thinking here. Has Mr Wade been got at by Big Oil? Who cares where it came from? Does it have validity is the only question, and to no-one’s surprise the hotshot journo appears to have no critique of the material..

“No, you don’t need to give me an answer but you should ask yourself what you are doing and how you are doing it.”

Very big of him not to require an answer. The condescension that follows is staggering.

 “And ultimately, whose fight you are fighting.”

It’s not a ‘who’ it’s a ‘what’. He’s fighting for science to be done correctly. Best of luck to him.

Ed Fox
September 8, 2021 11:25 am

As strange as it might seem, when faced with a problem with no practical solution, the solution lies in making the problem worse.

For example: don’t argue climate change. You will not succeed. Instead, issue a public challenge to Climate Scientists and politicians backed by crowd sourcing.

Put up or shut up. If carbon free is the answer then show us your carbon free lifestyle.

Put up a rogues gallery of all the top people promoting carbon free showing how many times more carbon they each emit as compared to their national average.

Go right for the weakest spot. The hypocrisy of the individual telling us to sacrifice but themselves living a life of gluttony.

September 8, 2021 12:02 pm

I’m going off-topic here, but I’d like to put something forward concerning YouTube which has nver happened to me before. I was watching a short (about 15 minutes) clip of Guardian journalist George Monbiot. I put up two replies criticising him, one with Dr Roy Spencer’s views on global warming – natural or manmade, and another with a link to Met office rainfall, temperature and sunshine data. Both have been deleted, as has a comment by another person who asks on the website why he’s been deleted. I tried to reply to this person, but instead got an invitation to sign in to YouTube via Google, giving my email and password, and if didn’t have one, to create an account.
My comments were not abusive. and this has never happened to me before. Also, YouTube has deleted all of the material I usually watch – mostly music.
Has this happened to anyone else – and what’s going on?

Steven Candy
September 8, 2021 5:59 pm

I have recently experienced this cancel culture in Science.

As part of a “long-term” debate about the long-term population status of Antarctic krill in the southwestern Atlantic where most of the surveys and commercial fishing have occurred, the narrative of an already alarming collapse since the mid-70s in the populations due to climate change (commercial fishing takes less that 1% of harvestable biomass) is well entrenched (e.g. David Attenborough’s Blue Planet; “License to Krill”). Its quite a long story involving the KRILLBASE dataset (, a 2004 Nature paper that estimated a more than 80% per decade decline in average density between 1976 and 2003, a 2018 paper (10.1093/jcbiol/ruy072) for which I was largely responsible for the statistical modelling that indicated that the evidence using KRILLBASE did not confirm such a decline between 1976 and 2016, a 2019 paper that rebutted that conclusion and attempted to discredit our modelling, some letters to the journal (10.1093/jcbiol/ruz010) and now my individual effort (10.13140/RG.2.2.36287.64163) to reconcile the “statistics at 20 paces” standoff. This effort, that does not confirm the catastrophic decline narrative but neither dismisses that there has been a substantial decline mostly north of 60degSouth (i.e. trends based on KRILLBASE are highly uncertain) was sent to an applied statistics journal since biological/science journals would relegate all the stats methods to supplementary material thus gutting the paper.
The handling editor indicated that they were having difficulty finding reviewers willing to take on the paper, both statisticians and krill scientists, but eventually I received two reviews after waiting 4 months. One reviewer said that they gave up on the review when they came to the part where, horror of horrors, I actually critically evaluated the stats methods in the 2019 paper! That critique being a major part of the paper was made clear in the Abstract based on which they agreed to review the paper. I wonder if they needed to find a “safe space” after being confronted by that critique! The other reviewer did exactly this from the above article; “They scan the out-group’s writings just enough to find ammunition for new fusillades” (see the extract below from the paper’s discussion).
As I was expecting the manuscript was rejected without further discussion by the Editor-in-Chief (who felt the need to assure me that this referee was “knowledgeable”) unless I threw out all my work and started again by surrendering to this referee’s handwaving about the only analysis method they would accept (see lines 531-574 in my preprint). This is classic cancelling since they must have known this disingenuous backdoor method ensures research that contradicts their (i.e. the prevailing) agenda/narrative will never be published.
Even statisticians and applied statistics journals (who are meant to be beacons for “follow the empirical evidence”) are prone to this anathema to the true (falsification) scientific method of “The Science cancel culture”! The keepers of the stats methods have taken one side of the debate. Very worrying, I accept peer review and even a rejection is good for science if its made on the correct basis. I have no other option but to leave the paper as a preprint since I expect the same treatment from other journals.
Note that all the software code for my paper and the joint 2018 paper are publicly available but this is not so for the 2004 and 2019 papers.
Long-term trend in mean density of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) uncertain
Lines 552-574
However, the referee without taking into account the objectives of the analysis and actual dataset used here decided that the MCMCglmm-implemented approach is fatally flawed and should not even be considered due to the above weakness. This weakness was not considered here to be of practical significance based on the large improvement in AIC statistic for Model 3 compared to that of Model 2 which allows an inference that a CAR model error term would be inferior to the temporal error terms in Model 7. The modelling effort described here was specifically constructed to address some limitations and errors in the LMM approach of Atkinson et al. (2019), when modelling the aggregated dataset described therein and here, by extending that approach using extra error terms including capturing all the haul-level sample information using jointly sufficient sample statistics, trend fitting using thin-plate regression splines, and adding an important covariate that was used to adjust for the highly unbalanced sampling with respect to time and space. These methodological improvements resulted in practically important differences in results to that of Atkinson et al. (2019) particularly in terms of a substantially greater degree of uncertainty in predicted year trends. Science progresses through an iterative process of (i) constructing empirically estimated and tested theoretical models and concomitant inferences, (ii) challenges and counter-challenges to those models, the inferences drawn, and/or the methods of estimation and testing, and (iii) refinement or replacement of those models or methods when justified by (ii). Edicts to replace well-supported and detailed analysis with alternative analyses that are not supported with the necessary detail, including relevant literature of their use for the type of dataset and objectives under consideration, should not be enforced by secretive dismissals that do not allow any opportunity for a counter-challenge.

September 8, 2021 6:32 pm

There is a sociological difference in how this issue is treated in different parts of the world. As you say, in Europe and the US it looks like mitigation is the only “morally correct” way to tackle climate change, whereas in other countries adaptation is seen as the only rational thing to do..I live in Chile and although all political sides are more or less sold on the idea of climate change, the idea of going net zero is not as strong as in Europe/the US, maybe because we know we can’t really change how much CO2 is emitted globally anyway being such a small country…we’re currently going through a drought and all I see in the media is plans for more desalinization plants, dams, regeneration of waterways, etc.; that’s what’s the focus: adaptation. The discourse from rich countries looks a like some kind of pointless fight against …wealth itself? Is it guilt? Some kind of religious ideology? I don’t know, but it’s fascinating.

September 8, 2021 9:05 pm

Yes, I was quite surprised when I saw his LSE credential at the end of the article.

Paul Jenkinson
September 9, 2021 4:12 am

“The further a society drifts from truth,the more it will hate those who speak it.”

George Orwell

Tom Abbott
September 9, 2021 5:19 am

From the article: “while a small but vociferous set of scientists and others believe that to be a big exaggeration. Amped up through the syndrome of exaggeration, each side becomes predisposed to draw conclusions on individual issues (eg extreme weather) less from the evidence of those individual issues and more from packaged-up ideological visions, the better to maintain clear moral battle lines; disagreement becomes moral heresy. ”

This doesn’t apply to skeptics with regard to extreme weather. Skeptics have evidence that current extreme weather is no more extreme than the weather in the past. Evidence is not an ideological vision. Disagreeing with the evidence available,as alarmists do, means denying reality.

Tom Abbott
September 9, 2021 6:44 am

From the article: “What could be the net benefit of cancelling the whole conference in order to prevent discussion of one out of 14 papers, one of whose seven co-authors was a reputed “denier” ?”

The alarmists are afraid to have their climate change scam challenged because they know they can’t back up their claims, so they go to the extreme of cancelling the whole conference in order not to introduce alternate ideas into the mix. The alarmists don’t want any doubt introduced.

Mickey Reno
September 9, 2021 9:42 am

The only scientific conference we need to hold right now, is on the issue: More CO2 in the air is good / bad for the living organisms of the Earth.

Once we establish HOW GOOD IT IS, all these other conferences will be pointless, and we can get back to normal life, which will NOT include brainwashing school children to be afraid of the friggin’ climate and making them think they can control climate by banning reliable, inexpensive energy.

Hutches Hunches
September 9, 2021 12:34 pm

What a brilliant assessment of the quagmire we are in with “Climate Change/Global Warning”
The only thing I can add is the ironic twist this whole thing took when the weather went a little chilly and they had to pivot to the use of the term “Climate Change” instead of Global Warming to insure that they had all bases covered…

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights