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Mar 8, 2010

Are you now or have you ever been a climate scientist?

Accusation of criminality against leading climate scientists takes the denialist campaign of harassment and intimidation to new lows.


The accusation of McCarthyism has been thrown around for years, usually in situations where there is no real parallel with Senator Joe McCarthy’s1950s witch-hunt aimed at uncovering Communists. Now Oklahoma Republican Senator James Inhofe has called for climate scientists associated with the IPCC to be investigated for criminal violations the spectre of McCarthy has chillingly returned.

A document prepared by minority staff of the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works claims scientists mentioned in emails stolen from the Centre for Climatic Research (CRU) at the University of East Anglia are guilty of manipulating data and obstructing its release. It lists federal laws they may have violated and names 17 climate scientists — some of the most eminent in the world — who Inhofe’s staff claim should be investigated for possible criminal investigation.

The accusation of criminality against leading climate scientists takes the denialist campaign of harassment and intimidation to new heights, beyond that of cyber-bullying, character assassination and black operations.

“I am worried about it, I have to say,” Raymond Bradley told The Guardian. Bradley is the director of climate science research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and one of those named on the list.

“You can understand that this powerful person is using the power of his office to intimidate people and to harass people and you wonder whether you should have legal counsel. It is a very intimidating thing and that is the point.”

In 1950 McCarthy famously produced a piece of paper that he said listed the names of known Communists working in the US State Department. Reputations were ruined simply by being named by the House Un-American Activities Committee.

One McCarthy tactic was to call for a blacklist of people to be banned from employment — in government, industry and, most notoriously, in Hollywood. To their eternal shame some Hollywood studio heads capitulated and denied employment to more than 300 people deemed un-American.

Today, the call for a blacklist has come not from Inhofe but from his fellow denialist Rep James Sensenbrenner, of Wisconsin (McCarthy’s state), who in November wrote to the IPCC demanding that scientists whose names appear in the stolen CRU emails be blacklisted from all further work with the IPCC.

Climate denialism long ago stopped being an argument about science and became a cause of right-wing populists determined to defeat the gains of liberals and progressives. It is perfectly natural Christopher Monckton should be travelling to the United States soon to address a rally of the Tea Party, a movement close to the far right of the Republican Party.

Sarah Palin has predictably taken up the denialist cause. A woman who believed Africa was a country can now quote from CRU emails in interviews. The jihad against climate science and climate scientists has energised the populist Right in the most politically backward US states.

Two weeks ago the South Dakota legislature passed a resolution calling for “balanced teaching of global warming in the public schools of South Dakota”, the type of resolution that now sees creationism taught alongside evolution. What does Ian Plimer think of his new friends?

The draft resolution noted there are “a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological and ecological dynamics” that affect climate. The inclusion of “astrological” and “thermological” suggests buffoons run South Dakota.

And last month the Utah House of Representatives passed a resolution rejecting climate science. One supporter of the Bill said “environmentalists were part of a vast conspiracy to destroy the American way of life and control world population through forced sterilisation and abortion”. You can’t make this stuff up.

In 1953, after he had left office, President Truman condemned McCarthyism as “the corruption of truth, the abandonment of the due process law”. Inhofe is the new McCarthy; environmentalism is the new communism. Murdoch news outlets around the world light the bonfires on which scientists accused of witchcraft are to be burned.

Denialism has become mad, bad and dangerous, and people of goodwill everywhere must resist it.



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56 thoughts on “Are you now or have you ever been a climate scientist?

  1. stephen

    I’ll make a note; climate change “oh shit” moment #879.

  2. Michael

    Has there ever been a more unusual commentator on any significant subject that Calamity Clive?

    Don’t get me wrong, I find him a barrel of laughs but not to be taken seriously.

  3. wordfactory

    So you’re either a member of Clive’s cult, Eco-Chimps for the Overthrow of Capitalism As We Know It, or you’re “mad, bad and dangerous”? The sooner we ship clowns like Clive Hamilton back to the margins with Pauline Hanson and all the other loonies of recent times, the sooner we, the great unwashed in the middle, can get on with doing what we have to do to tackle climate change and a host of other issues the human race currently faces.

  4. Scott

    Oh come on Clive. This isn’t McCarthyism. The guys on the list are climate scientists by profession…they aren’t hiding in the shadows.
    This is pure professional ethics. An accountant who “cooks the books” can get their professional qualifications (CA, CPA) removed and be dragged through the legal system earning jail time. Why should scientists be immune from this? If they have been found to have acted unethically or negligently, they should be censured, like any other professional.

  5. Richard Wilson

    The scientists are merely pawns in a big monopoly game and no matter the winner, the outcome will not usher in the new free energy technologies we need but merely re-write the rules by the which the old technologies are managed and traded.

    The fact that a small number of people make money out of existing technologies is preventing the genuine new energy technolgies from breaking into the mainstream. The other major barrier is that the people who own everything haven’t worked out a way yet to take a patent out on the earth’s electro-magnetic energy spectrum. But you can rest assured that when they doi…there will be new energy and oil will disappear as rapidly as it appeared as an energy source.

  6. Frank Campbell

    Pure propaganda. The short for-Crikey version of Clive Savonarola’s verbose 5-day rant on The Drum.

    Both sides of the climate cult sport an army of paranoid McCarthyist trolls. Hamilton, Bolt…there’s a genetic similarity.

    AGW is in trouble not because of vast commo world-government conspiracies (Lord Planckton) or evil fossil fool capitalists (Savonarola), but because the credibility of the climate modelling (and the provincial academics themselves) is dubious. And because no one really believes the Armageddon tosh retailed by Calvin Hamilton or Prof Kevin “extinction in 50 years” Anderson. Only a few days ago an alarmist research article on sea-level was withdrawn from an important journal (Nature Geoscience). There’s also no doubt that IPCC boss Pachauri is a carpetbagger, joining Carbon Yeti Gore in the skip of history.

    It’s only a few months since Hamilton, Wong, Rudd and Turnbull thought they were masters of the AGW universe. Politically, AGW is dead meat, globally and nationally. Their own hyperbole is one cause of the collapse. We’re now back where we started, with futile but expensive gestures such as “green loans”, ethanol and wind turbines. Meanwhile, Australian coal booms, fuelling Chindia, which subverts anything done in tiny Australia. It’s a comic opera, and Hamilton is the noisiest buffoon.

  7. Bogdanovist

    I’ve often thought that Clive Hamilton is a deep cover operative of the Carbon Industry. This article offers further evidence for that proposition.

  8. Graeme Lewis

    Poor,poor Clive Hamilton. Has really lost the plot eh!!

  9. Michael James

    I note that Clive glosses over such small matters as the destruction of material to avoid Freedom of Information requests (which is a crime in the UK), the blatant manipulation of the peer review process to exclude people with dissenting views, the admitted manipulation of data to support a preconceived notion and the use of non-scientific material to support IPCC objectives (glaciers melting, the Amazon unable to support crops, false claims of increased hurricane damage and exaggerated claims of sea level rise).

    In Clive’s world anyone who dissents from Clive’s orthodoxy is a ‘denialist’, a word that has been historically been used to describe those misguided fools who claim that the holocaust either did not happen of has been massively inflated in its death tolls. Tainting people with dissenting opinions with that term does both them and him a disservice; however I doubt that Clive cares.

    He has his hobbyhorse which he will use to ride roughshod over anyone who does not agree with him.

    I agree with wordfactory, the sooner Hamilton is consigned to pasture, the better for his tenuous grip on sanity and Crikey’s credibility.

  10. Michael


    Please don’t discourage him.
    Whom else can play the role of village idiot if not he?

  11. gaustin

    Oh dear

    Poor Clive

    He reports what is on the public record, reports what politicians have said on a recorded media.

    He than gets attacked and accussed of making things up.

    Isn’t it bizarre that the “sceptics” yet again display denial of fact.

    Curiously I have yet to speak with a sceptic who either has actuallly read the science or who has the training to understand the science.

    I have yet to read a so-called sceptical sciencetist who has actually published any research that shows what is causing climate change or shown why the current science is wrong. But I have read a few who claim that they can prove that climate science is nonesense but when your read the detail they actually agree with climate scientists.

    And I love Viscount Monkton – the journalist who has no training in science nor statistics( ie perhaps he cannot understand what he critiques) but looks like he is making an absolute killing doing the sceptics talk feast.

    And by the way no-one has shown that anything from East Anglia “climate gate ” has changed the facts. Dare any one to prove it. With facts not beliefs.

  12. EngineeringReality

    There is a reason there has been no Un-Intelligent Activities Committee – cause most politicians would feature on the list and even if they did – after Ol’ Dubbya, no US politician’s reputations would be ruined by featuring on the Un-Intelligent Activities list.

    Good article. Its always the way – whenever there are vested interests and positions and money to be lost then all sorts of dirty tactics and smear campaigns will be used.

    Unfortunately its only through hindsight that the few valiant defenders are vindicated by the majority and history.

  13. stephen

    Well said Gaustin, the business as usual crowd sure have drawn a bead on him. Their certainty that we don’t have a problem counts them out as logical and objective thinkers. It is likely they have an investment (emotional or financial, etc etc) in keeping things as they are.
    To any of the mob who lined up to kick Clive in these comments, what do you have to say about the science of carbons effect ocean acidity?

  14. Michael

    ” To any of the mob who lined up to kick Clive in these comments, what do you have to say about the science of carbons effect ocean acidity? ”

    Copious amounts of Quick Eeze concentrate delivered via whales is my suggestion.

  15. EngineeringReality

    You would have to be a complete muppet to consider than mankind’s exponentially increasing industrial scale conversion of oxygen into carbon dioxide for the better part of 100-150 years is not having an affect.

    Each year since the industrial revolution we have devoted our best minds, ingenuity and our best efforts to extracting and burning ever increasing amounts of fossils to fuel our society. Every minute of every day of every one of the last 150 years humankind has been combining oxygen and carbon into carbon dioxide while simultaneously chopping down the trees that are about the only mechanism on the planet to remove the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

    Anyone who doesn’t at least question the effects this has had (and is having) on the small layer of atmosphere surrounding our planet is either so deluded by self interest or so devoid of common-sense and an appreciation of the reality of physics and chemistry as to give up their right to have an opinion on the matter.

  16. filip

    Well, here’s a challenge for the deniers. I heard it said today that anyone who can punch a hole in the basics of climate change science will get a Nobel Prize.
    Go for it guys. You all scream that it’s nonsense. Prove it and be famous into the bargain.

  17. Frank Campbell

    “what do you have to say about the science of carbons effect ocean acidity?”

    The obvious, Gaustin. It is rudimentary science. Like most of the rest of climate science. Much “climate science” is computer modelling. Hence the vast range of prognostications, from little change to certain death. The implicit assumption one finds in all AGW propaganda is that “science” is being traduced by the ignorant/corrupt. “Science” the pure, the abstract ideal type. Sceptics (not to mention deniers) are compared with creationists and other gringo morons. The history of science is something that Robyn Williams, Savonarola and Trundle never contemplate. They simply ignore or deny the sociological import of the CRU emails. Hamilton portrays the typical bastardry of this clique of academics as perfectly decent reaction to denialist trolls: this is self-evidently false. The climate modellers are warriors, fighting off other scientists, heresy within their own ranks, and the horror that observational science isn’t following their script. Read Trenberth. Read all the emails. Hamilton is a liar.

  18. Michael

    FLIP I’ll have a go:

    “The science is in! My uncle Bob has read a report written by a friend of a friend’s niece clearly stating that the Earth’s temperature will be 5 degrees cooler by the end of the century.
    This is an undeniable fact that flies in the face of all previous information gathered by Greenpeace who have now been unveiled as radical lobbyists for the IPCC.
    Greenpeace and it’s vested internets have unleashed a savage media campaign that has contained unsubstantiated evidence and outright lies in support of a politically motivated attempt to steal from the poor.
    Right wing governments throughout the world are positioning themselves and their misinformed citizens to counter the left wing propaganda by declaring that anyone who denies that the proven theory of Global Cooling is nothing short of an enemy of the state and will be shot on sight.”

    Where and when do I pick up my Nobel P?

  19. wordfactory

    @FILIP @ENGINEERINGREALITY@GAUSTIN and others: You really don’t want to hear anything but the creed being recited over and over again. And so off you go: anyone who doesn’t buy Clive Hamilton is a “denier”. Most ordinary people understand that burning coal and oil IS heating the planet. But most of us don’t buy the Hollywood Armageddon script you’re also trying to sell us that demands radical social change. Yes, we do have to change and the scientists tell us it’s urgent. We believe them. But the solution has to be doable and pragmatic and has to involve China and India, who are telling us it’s not their problem; the West has to change. The solution isn’t yet on the table. So tell us your solution that addresses all these concerns and real-world obstacles.

  20. Michael James

    from Michael R. James (Brisbane).
    Once again I have to disentangle my identity from the Michael James @2:02 pm–This is NOT me–I am the scientist who writes occasional pieces for Crikey and National Times etc. Crikey continue to do nothing to disambiguate us.

    And I emphatically disavow this other MJ’s comments, and in fact find so many of the ignorant and denialists bloggers here. Especially those who are commenting anonymously–usually with no rational comment just a cowardly sneer. At least Clive Hamilton is standing up. It may be arguable whether he is too alarmist but he is a true citizen and true patriot.

    The McCarthyism accusation is probably over-used but in this case it appears to be an entirely appropriate description. It is another US Senator and actual black-lists are being proposed and bans on work.

  21. nicolino

    Michael James(2.02pm). Check out the damage done by Hurricane Katrina. The glaciers are melting and take a trip to the Maldives some day soon before they go under.

  22. Michael

    NICOLINO@ said:

    “Check out the damage done by Hurricane Katrina. The glaciers are melting and take a trip to the Maldives some day soon before they go under.”

    Look thanks so very much Nic. I’d completely overlooked those tidbits. Thank God someone’s awake on this jolly forum.

  23. Frank Campbell

    Michael James x 2: Don’t blame Crikey for failing to distinguish you from the other MJ. It’s up to you.

    “he is a true citizen and true patriot.”….Unconscious irony: the true spirit of 1951, McCarthy and all the insane Palins, Steyns etc who followed….all the way to Hamilton Goebbels, Very Reverend Minister of Propaganda. Cliche after cliche, rising to a crescendo of denunciation? Are you all too blind to see this?

  24. Rush Limbugh

    Hey Hamilton here is a piece of writing from Matt tabbi from Rolling Stone Magazine, it documents the different financial bubbles that Goldman Sachs has created…you know Goldman…that company your favourite Liberal Malcolm Turnbull used to work for…

    read this phaggot and then tell me AGW people arnt corrupt bastards.

    BUBBLE #6 Global Warming

    Fast-forward to today. It’s early June in Washington, D.C. Barack Obama, a popular young politician whose leading private campaign donor was an investment bank called Goldman Sachs — its employees paid some $981,000 to his campaign — sits in the White House. Having seamlessly navigated the political minefield of the bailout era, Goldman is once again back to its old business, scouting out loopholes in a new government-created market with the aid of a new set of alumni occupying key government jobs.

    Gone are Hank Paulson and Neel Kashkari; in their place are Treasury chief of staff Mark Patterson and CFTC chief Gary Gensler, both former Goldmanites. (Gensler was the firm’s cohead of finance.) And instead of credit derivatives or oil futures or mortgage-backed CDOs, the new game in town, the next bubble, is in carbon credits — a booming trillion dollar market that barely even exists yet, but will if the Democratic Party that it gave $4,452,585 to in the last election manages to push into existence a groundbreaking new commodities bubble, disguised as an “environmental plan,” called cap-and-trade.

    The new carboncredit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino that’s been kind to Goldman, except it has one delicious new wrinkle: If the plan goes forward as expected, the rise in prices will be government-mandated. Goldman won’t even have to rig the game. It will be rigged in advance.

    Here’s how it works: If the bill passes, there will be limits for coal plants, utilities, natural-gas distributors and numerous other industries on the amount of carbon emissions (a.k.a. greenhouse gases) they can produce per year. If the companies go over their allotment, they will be able to buy “allocations” or credits from other companies that have managed to produce fewer emissions. President Obama conservatively estimates that about $646 billion worth of carbon credits will be auctioned in the first seven years; one of his top economic aides speculates that the real number might be twice or even three times that amount.

    The feature of this plan that has special appeal to speculators is that the “cap” on carbon will be continually lowered by the government, which means that carbon credits will become more and more scarce with each passing year. Which means that this is a brand new commodities market where the main commodity to be traded is guaranteed to rise in price over time. The volume of this new market will be upwards of a trillion dollars annually; for comparison’s sake, the annual combined revenues of all electricity suppliers in the U.S. total $320 billion.

    Goldman wants this bill. The plan is (1) to get in on the ground floor of paradigmshifting legislation, (2) make sure that they’re the profitmaking slice of that paradigm and (3) make sure the slice is a big slice. Goldman started pushing hard for capandtrade long ago, but things really ramped up last year when the firm spent $3.5 million to lobby climate issues. (One of their lobbyists at the time was none other than Patterson, now Treasury chief of staff.) Back in 2005, when Hank Paulson was chief of Goldman, he personally helped author the bank’s environmental policy, a document that contains some surprising elements for a firm that in all other areas has been consistently opposed to any sort of government regulation. Paulson’s report argued that “voluntary action alone cannot solve the climatechange problem.” A few years later, the bank’s carbon chief, Ken Newcombe, insisted that capandtrade alone won’t be enough to fix the climate problem and called for further public investments in research and development. Which is convenient, considering that Goldman made early investments in wind power (it bought a subsidiary called Horizon Wind Energy), renewable diesel (it is an investor in a firm called Changing World Technologies) and solar power (it partnered with BP Solar), exactly the kind of deals that will prosper if the government forces energy producers to use cleaner energy. As Paulson said at the time, “We’re not making those investments to lose money.”

    The bank owns a 10 percent stake in the Chicago Climate Exchange, where the carbon credits will be traded. Moreover, Goldman owns a minority stake in Blue Source LLC, a Utahbased firm that sells carbon credits of the type that will be in great demand if the bill passes. Nobel Prize winner Al Gore, who is intimately involved with the planning of cap-and-trade, started up a company called Generation Investment Management with three former bigwigs from Goldman Sachs Asset Management, David Blood, Mark Ferguson and Peter Harris. Their business? Investing in carbon offsets. There’s also a $500 million Green Growth Fund set up by a Goldmanite to invest in greentech … the list goes on and on. Goldman is ahead of the headlines again, just waiting for someone to make it rain in the right spot. Will this market be bigger than the energyfutures market?

    “Oh, it’ll dwarf it,” says a former staffer on the House energy committee.

    Well, you might say, who cares? If cap-and-trade succeeds, won’t we all be saved from the catastrophe of global warming? Maybe — but capandtrade, as envisioned by Goldman, is really just a carbon tax structured so that private interests collect the revenues. Instead of simply imposing a fixed government levy on carbon pollution and forcing unclean energy producers to pay for the mess they make, cap-and-trade will allow a small tribe of greedy-as-hell Wall Street swine to turn yet another commodities market into a private taxcollection scheme. This is worse than the bailout: It allows the bank to seize taxpayer money before it’s even collected.

    “If it’s going to be a tax, I would prefer that Washington set the tax and collect it,” says Michael Masters, the hedgefund director who spoke out against oilfutures speculation. “But we’re saying that Wall Street can set the tax, and Wall Street can collect the tax. That’s the last thing in the world I want. It’s just asinine.”

    Cap-and-trade is going to happen. Or, if it doesn’t, something like it will. The moral is the same as for all the other bubbles that Goldman helped create, from 1929 to 2009. In almost every case, the very same bank that behaved recklessly for years, weighing down the system with toxic loans and predatory debt, and accomplishing nothing but massive bonuses for a few bosses, has been rewarded with mountains of virtually free money and government guarantees — while the actual victims in this mess, ordinary taxpayers, are the ones paying for it.

    It’s not always easy to accept the reality of what we now routinely allow these people to get away with; there’s a kind of collective denial that kicks in when a country goes through what America has gone through lately, when a people lose as much prestige and status as we have in the past few years. You can’t really register the fact that you’re no longer a citizen of a thriving first-world democracy, that you’re no longer above getting robbed in broad daylight, because like an amputee, you can still sort of feel things that are no longer there.

    But this is it. This is the world we live in now. And in this world, some of us have to play by the rules, while others get a note from the principal excusing them from homework till the end of time, plus 10 billion free dollars in a paper bag to buy lunch. It’s a gangster state, running on gangster economics, and even prices can’t be trusted anymore; there are hidden taxes in every buck you pay. And maybe we can’t stop it, but we should at least know where it’s all going.

  25. Flower

    Accolades to Clive Hamilton, one of the few independent whistleblowers who’s not afraid of the big bad morons in the denialist camp. The jury on CRU is still out yet vicious little men and women are standing at the gallows, noose to the ready and baying for blood.

    And just how selective are the posters on this thread?

    Did we hear their mutterings when a study, conducted by Boshra Yazahmeidi and Professor D’Arcy Holman of School of Population Health at UWA, surveyed 302 academics in 17 institutions across Australia, and found 142 cases of suppression where our very own governments leant on our academics?

    Did they remain mute when it was found that affected researchers had their research reports blocked, faced abnormal delays in pursuing or publishing their research, or were directly ordered to modify or sanitise their results by a government agency? Several events related to environmental and health problems – toxic chemicals in the environment, exposure to infection risks, etc.

    Did these wailers hit the web, outraged to discover that the Ombudsman, investigating the Howard Government’s administration of the FOI Act, noted in his report that “there is concern that charges are being unreasonably determined and applied by agencies as a means of deterring FOI requests.”

    And what about a request for documents on the effects of global warming on the Great Barrier Reef, involving 538 hours of “decision making time” at a cost of $12,718?

    Or perhaps the two-year request for information on a politician’s travel which was abandoned when a newspaper was quoted a fee of $1.25 million — a cost related to contacting everyone the politician met?

    Instead, these posters employ the duckshoving strategies of a used car salesman. It’s much more profitable to kneecap dedicated climate scientists in faraway places, who’ve been harassed, hindered, threatened and ridiculed by barking dogs (clutching brown paper bags), who hail from the climate underworld and who never flinch from an opportunity to scheme and plot, no matter how sordid or demeaning.

  26. Richard Wilson

    Hey Rush
    Looks like somebody is finally on my page. This is a scam – there is and always will be climate change, we may or may not be the priimary driver, the scientists are more than likely genuine in their conviction one way or the other but they are merely dupes. This facade is nothing more than another get rich real quick plan by one of the scumbag factions hell bent on taxing the people back to serfdom!

  27. Rush Limbugh


    I could not agree more. Intersting to know that on the “greatest moral issue of out time”,our prime minister has decided to put it to one side and concentrate on screwing up our health system.

    Even funnier than that…

    You know how you know Keven Rudd is lying?

    Answer: His Lips are moving.

    You know how Clive hamilton is Lying?

    Answer: He is blogging.

  28. Sancho

    Climate change is a real phenomenon that is driven by the industrial activity of the human population.

    That doesn’t mean Clive Hamilton isn’t an overreactive Chicken Little.

    The climate “skeptics” belong to a movement which sincerely believes that the scientific method is a conspiracy to destroy the West and facilitate the rise of the AntiChrist in preparation for a one-world government and subsequent Biblical apocalypse.

    This stuff mocks itself. There’s no need for Hamilton to go overboard when everyone with two brain cells to rub together is already laughing at the climate birthers.

  29. Skepticus Autartikus

    When you have the option of publishing Helen Razer, why do you slum with this uneducated mediocrity week in and out? Why he so shamelessly flaunts this monotonous banality is to be fair between he and his professionals, but why impose it on us?

  30. Rush Limbugh

    lol Clive is fair and balanced…like fox…im sure he loves fox.

    Hamilton is the Rush Limbugh of Australias blogger land…..fair and balanced…lol.

  31. AR

    Oh shit, a whole new spawning of denialists, just when we thoughht that they couldn’t be anymore shameless or braindead. Stop their world, I want to get off and return to reality.

  32. Skepticus Autartikus


    I am no denialist. I just wonder why this airhead with no training in Science, Maths, Economics, Statistics, and clearly no natural wit or above average intellect is being published here, and so bloody OFTEN!?

  33. AR

    SkeptAut – I missed yours in scrolling down through the white noise and tend to agree – why does this creature get so much visibility, he’s wrong on everything upon which he pontificates.

  34. filip


    No prize for you. It was a nephew not a niece and it’s 4 degrees not 5. And by those two mistakes, the whole denialist cause has now been debunked.

    But seriously, there’s Nobel Prize up for grabs here. Where is Ian Plimer? His ‘truths’ are a book. Another Ian wrote books. Flemming.

  35. gef05

    I’m not here to attack climate change science. I’m not a scientist, and so am sitting back to watch both sides get more and more hysterical in their attacks and more and more nefarious in their grab for momentum.

    However, I am here to attack a piece of hyperbole muppetry by Clive:


    Looking for a job with Fox?

  36. EngineeringReality

    @WORDFACTORY “Most ordinary people understand that burning coal and oil IS heating the planet. But most of us don’t buy the Hollywood Armageddon script you’re also trying to sell us that demands radical social change.”

    You’ve fallen for the uninformed tripe that the denialists are heaping onto the debate.

    The sad fact is that stopping our greenhouse gas emission doesn’t need to have “radical social change”.

    We would already be there if we do two things – generate our electricity from renewable sources (and since a bee’s dick of the population are involved in the electricity generation industry then changing the way these people generate the electricity that our whole society uses is hardly “radical social change”).

    The second is to switch over our transport infrastructure over to hydrogen powered or electric vehicles. Again no big radical social change. Everyone buys new cars eventually – and business does so more frequently. Last year almost 1 million new cars were purchased in Australia.

    So within short order increasing number of vehicles on our roads would be emission free. Again hardly radical social change. Look how many DVD players and flat screen TVs have been purchased at the expense of VHS and CRTs – and that social change happened without any problems – but it could be described as “radical change” if you wanted to.

    The climate change denialists want to scare everyone that helping the environment means giving up your car and air conditioning and meat and becoming a lentil munching hippee sitting in the dark – but the truth is so far from that.

    Just achieving these two things and Australia would be able to hold its head up high and know that it had truthfully cut its emissions but at least 50% – and this is with today’s technology.

    Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that doing the right thing means any sacrifice in our standard of living. Thats why I became an engineer – to improve society – and our engineers and scientists already have enough knowledge and technology to change our society over to a much lower polluting one without us really feeling much change – apart from learning how to plug in our cars instead of queuing up at smelly petrol stations and having renewable energy flowing into our houses when we flick our power switches on.

  37. Flower

    “I am no denialist. I just wonder why this airhead with no training in Science, Maths, Economics, Statistics, and clearly no natural wit or above average intellect is being published here, and so bloody OFTEN!?”

    Skepticus Autartikus – A remedial student would understand that Science, Maths, Economics and Statistics are not relevant to Hamilton’s article and only an “airhead” such as yourself, would argue otherwise. Nevertheless, ignorance is as ignorance does, as the saying goes:

    “Clive Hamilton holds an arts degree from the Australian National University (majoring in history, psychology and pure mathematics) and an economics degree from the University of Sydney (majoring in economics and government, with first class honours in the former). He completed a doctorate at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.

    “…….He taught in the Graduate Program in the Economics of Development at the ANU then joined the Australian Public Service, first with the Bureau of Industry Economics and then at the newly formed Resource Assessment Commission. He also worked as a resource economist in Indonesia.”

    I guess by now, you’ll be giggling insanely as you plot your next round of useless swill?

  38. filip

    Be a nice start if we could stop people chucking stuff out of car windows. Because really, that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Out of sight, out of mind.

  39. Alexander Berkman

    Well written Clive and the intelligent responses to the industry trolls. If anything I would set up a web site where all the denialists and money worshipers can register their opposition to doing anything towards addressing the climate issues. Thus our children & children’s children can see who was responsible for advocating doing NOTHING and leaving them the massive climate issues they will be living under. Shame shame shame – you lot disgust me.

  40. Most Peculiar Mama

    “…the spectre of McCarthy has chillingly returned…”

    This joke from a man who says:

    “…The only hope for the world lies in a campaign of radical activism aimed at shifting power away from those who do not care about the future…”

    “…morally justified (in) breaking the law…”

    “…it is legitimate to step outside the usual boundaries of protest…”

    “…Personally I cannot see any alternative to ramping up the fear factor…”

    “…Instead of dishonouring the deaths of six million in the past, climate deniers risk the lives of hundreds of millions in the future…”

    “…Holocaust deniers are not responsible for the Holocaust, but climate deniers, if they were to succeed, would share responsibility for the enormous suffering caused by global warming…”

    “… climate deniers are less immoral than Holocaust deniers, although they are undoubtedly more dangerous…”

    “…So the answer to the question of whether climate denialism is morally worse than Holocaust denialism is no, at least, not yet…”

    Giving Clive Hamilton white space here to detail his fringe-dwelling climate orthodoxy only diminishes Crikey’s legitimacy as a reputable news portal.

    It’s not even funny anymore.

  41. Michael

    To MPM

    ” here, here “

  42. paddy

    I’m no climate scientist, but James Hansen is and his chat with Phillip Adams on LNL on Monday 8/3/10 (available here http://www.abc.net.au/rn/latenightlive/stories/2010/2839864.htm ) is well worth a listen.

  43. Michael

    “Climate change is a real phenomenon that is driven by the industrial activity of the human population”

    Sancho the wind mills are in that direction over there. If you just keep riding for 12 hours on the high side of La Mancha you’ll reach them before dark.

    [Edited by mods – no need for personal insult]

  44. Meski

    Climate change makes for some really scary bedfellows. The “If you are not with me, you must be against me” argument just doesn’t hold true here.

  45. Flower

    “It’s not even funny anymore.”

    MPM – If it’s funny you want, why not switch over and watch “Two and a half men?” Now that’s hilarious.

    Perhaps after being humoured, you may like to offer a comical opinion on the “fringe-dwelling” scientific study of methane emissions from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf?:


    And since you obviously believe that self-destruction is funny, I imagine you must already know the definition of “omnicide?”

  46. Michael

    Flower “chill out !!!”.


  47. Flower

    ROFL Michael – I’m often told that I can mix in with any crowd – even with retards who think they’re worthy of a Nobel Prize because they’ve discovered that “copious amounts of Quick Eeze concentrate delivered via whales” is a cure for ocean acidity.

    A truly worthy contribution to the climate change debate Michael.

    ROFL – thanks for the vaudeville.

  48. Meski

    Well, Flower, copious quantities of algae might be a cure for CO2. Don’t know what the side-effects might be 🙂

  49. Michael James

    I believe in climate change; however I question the extent of humanity’s involvement in that change.

    The Mediaeval Warming Period took place well before mankind’s industrial age, as have similar periods of global warming.

    Similarly, mankind has endured cooler periods, the most recent being the one that followed the MWP and which only eased in the late 18th, early 19th century.

    Rather than claiming that mankind is responsible for everything, it may well be that mankind is a helpless spectator as the globe’s climate shifts as a result of forces beyond our control and influence.

    If true, that requires mankind as a species to adapt and thrive, as we have in the past.

  50. Jabberoo

    Rush Limbugh was this what you were referring to?
    Matt Tabbi on Goldman Sachs
    You just have to follow the money.

  51. Flower

    You could be onto something there Meski since experiments to date reveal high rates of carbon fixation and algae can be grown on non-arable – even arid land without any need for fresh water in cultivation. My un-informed reservation at the moment is the use of “non-potable” water for algae cultivation if that should mean “treated” waste water from hazardous industrial sites.

    And while time is not on our side, dedicated scientists performing all the research are ostracised and multi-national grim reapers, (aided and abetted by the likes of Swizzle Eyes, Carter, Plimer et al) continue their carnage of the biosphere with impunity while we Australian armchair critics provide ourselves and our children with every toy and electronic gadget known to man.

    Our motor vehicles pump out in excess of 2.2 billion kilograms of CO every year (which burns to CO2) during which time, the citizens of this nation are dubbed the fattest on the planet. Meanwhile it’s two steps forward for our scientists and three back.

    In the US we can add to Clive’s list, the likes of denialist bile bag, Rush Limbaugh from the climate mafia, promoting his right-wing, hate message:

    1) (To an African American female caller): “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back. ”

    2) “I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South.”

    Then we have an ever-expanding list of denialist Republican politicians – fearmongering, double-talking, double-living troglodytes who made their reputations by being down on homosexuality publicly, only to lose them by going down on homosexuals in private.

    Fifty five year old father of four, Republican Roy Ashburn, a vehement gay opponent, whose public condemnations have contributed to isolating the US’s gay community from mainstream, is the latest hypocrite, forced from the closet.

    Of course, to the denialists, the gay community are not good at procreating which means fewer slaves to do the dirty work of desecrating the planet’s ecosystems.

    Meanwhile ignorant denialist sycophants put their fingers in their ears and shout “Lalalalala!” as loudly as they can.

  52. David

    Climate change is an issue that will be argued over even while the world cooks itself into extinction. Sceptics remind me of those people, including some medical doctors, who denied the link between smoking and lung cancer. The science is not exact of course , nor is Geology in that earthquakes are yet to be predicted reliably. That is the nature of science although it is hard to convince impartial critics, some of whom still think earth is less than 10,000 years old. Big business has a lot to answer for here wherby nothing but nothing should be allowed to interrupt the flow of profit whatever the outcomes.
    Those with a vested interest is exploitative industries such as mining should declare themselves and get out of the way of those who are trying to reduce or reverse global warming.

  53. Richard Wilson

    Your heart is in the right place David but unfortunately the powers that be (PTB) have earmarked energy as the new currency to replace the fiat crap that floats around the globe at the moment gunking up the system. The ETS, Cap and Trade, Carbon Credits and the rest of the crap being touted as the way to save the planet is just the new the banking system with the same old players making all the big money. AGW, GW or any W are merely means to an end for the people who own this show here on earth.

  54. JerryG

    I’m particularly impressed that Clive has not only emptied Bolt’s blog for the reality challenged, but has attracted comments from the real Rush Limbaugh, which I didn’t bother reading as I’m pretty familiar with his stuff.

    Imhofe and McCarthy is a very appropriate comparison. And lets not forget that Republican Senator Michelle Bachman was calling for an investigation of Congress recently for un American ativities.

    I remember hearing that this exchange took place in a session of McCarthy’s house committee:

    McCarthy: Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist party?
    Accused: I’m an anti-communist.
    McCarthy: I don’t care what kind of communist you are.

    True or not, the above statement is well and truly in keeping with the lack of rationality that defines the arguments of the deniers.

    On the science side we have theory going back to the 18th century, and hundreds of thousands of years of empirical data. We have satellites that conclusively prove that the Earth is warming up due to increasing absorption of energy by CO2 amongst other greenhouse gases.

    On the non-scientific side we have character assassination, appeals to global conspiracy, lies, misrepresentations, misquotes, misdirection, obfuscation, arguments from public opinion, etc.

    In fact most of the opinions expressed on these comments pages by the deniers would get them locked up and medicated in other circumstances.

  55. JerryG

    Just going back to check some of Rush’s posts to make sure he isn’t an imposter.

    Yep, that’s Rush Limbaugh alright. The “jokes” about Kevin Rudd and Clive Hamilton are a dead giveaway.

  56. Flower

    Right on JerryG and you can judge the quality of “Limbugh’s” squawkings when he misspells his own name too.

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