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COP15: Climate 'scepticism' and questions about sex

Richard Black | 14:05 UK time, Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Why are virtually all climate "sceptics" men?

The question first came to mind on the plane to Copenhagen last week while scanning The Guardian's feature on movers and shakers in the "sceptical" field.

Bjorn LomborgSo we go down their list... Bjorn Lomborg, Viscount Monckton, former TV presenter David Bellamy, British National Party leader Nick Griffin, Freakonomics authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, Lord Lawson, social anthropologist Benny Peiser, geologist Ian Plimer, US Senator James Inhofe, Czech President Vaclav Klaus... all men.

In the centre of Copenhagen, a group called the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) has been holding an event giving the "sceptical" version of the climate science story. The speakers list? Nils-Axel Morner, Cliff Ollier, Stuart Wheeler, and so on down the agenda... all proud possessors of a Y-chromosome.

The recently-launched London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation numbers a single woman across its Board of Trustees and Academic Advisory Council.

I could go on... but I hope the point is demonstrated. In fact, across the entire sceptical landscape, as far as I can see, the female contingent numbers one UK columnist, a couple of Australian bloggers, UK academic Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen and US counterpart Sallie Baliunas... and that's about it, apart from former US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin who - as the Washington Post reveals - hasn't always displayed climate scepticism in the past.

Sarah PalinIt's a marked contrast to the world of mainstream climate science, which boasts a number of eminent female practitioners including IPCC lead authors Susan Solomon and Cynthia Rosenzweig; and to the world of UN climate talks, where many delegations include, and are led by, women, including the UK's negotiating team.

The renowned environmental commentator Charles Clover noted the trend recently in The Times, writing of "... the born-again climate sceptic, the kind of man (always a man, almost invariably wearing a tweed jacket) who now materialises beside me at parties and confides that he has been having second thoughts about climate change".

So what's going on? Why is this issue such a gender-divider?

You might think it's a trite question; but I would argue it's not, for the following reason.

There are two distinct views of why climate scepticism exists in the way it does today.

One - promulgated by many sceptics themselves - speaks to a rigorous, analytical deconstruction of a deeply-flawed scientific edifice that is maintained by a self-interested cabal of tax-hungry politicians and careerist scientists.

The other is that climate scepticism has psychological roots; that it stems from a deep-seated inability or unwillingness to accept the overwhelming evidence that humanity has built with coal and lubricated with oil its own handcart whose destination board reads "climate hell".

As one ex-scientist and now climate action advocate put it to me rather caustically a while back: "I've been debating the science with them for years, but recently I realised we shouldn't be talking about the science but about something unpleasant that happened in their childhood".

Perhaps an answer to the gender issue will help illuminate this much bigger and politically significant question.

One possibility is that climate scepticism is in fact equally distributed between the genders, but somehow it's the men who end up as the public face. That would beg a different "why?" if true; but is it?

Opinion poll evidence provides some clues. A recent survey across the EU found roughly equal levels of scepticism between the genders.

But a report from the US think-tank American Progress probed a little deeper and came up with a more nuanced view.

It split citizens into six categories depending on how they felt about man-made climate change, from "alarmed" through to "dismissive".

The genders were roughly equally represented in the middle groupings, but at the margins the divide was absolutely stark: "Almost two-thirds of the Dismissive are men (63%), the largest gender split among the six segments," the report concluded.

What else did the survey reveal about the "dismissive" group?

"More likely than average to be high income, well-educated, white men... much more likely to be very conservative Republicans... strongly endorse individualistic values, opposing any form of government intervention, anti-egalitarian, and almost universally prefer economic growth over environmental protection... have a specialized media diet, with a higher than average preference for media sources that reflect their own political point of view."

That paints a picture of the "dismissive" - and dominantly male - psychology, without however going to the roots of why men and women diverge so much on their tendency to be "dismissive".

Men's greater taste for risk-taking behaviour is well documented. Is this a factor? When writer and broadcaster Clive James is prepared in the same article to admit "I know next to nothing about climate science" but still say with confidence "Nobody can meaningfully say that 'the science is in'", is he displaying a willingness to take risks that would be less appealing to women?

What about empathy? At the conference here, Lord Monckton repeatedly called young climate activists "Hitler youth" - as seen on YouTube - even after one of them told them that he was Jewish and that his grandparents escaped the Nazis. A behaviour pattern that women would find less appropriate?

Even if the conclusions from the American Progress report are entirely accurate, and even if they transfer to other countries, it still can't explain why virtually all prominent sceptics are men - based on their findings, you'd expect one third to be women.

It's worth mentioning that in more than a decade of reporting on environmental issues, I've never come across a gender divide like it.

Conservation scientists, fox-hunters and their opponents, marine biologists, climate policy wonks, journalists, environmental economists, foresters... in all of these fields, gender equality pertains to a far, far greater degree than among climate sceptics.

If a rigorous deconstruction of flawed and politically-motivated science is at the bottom of climate scepticism, why aren't women getting it?

I'm out of ideas. What do you think it all means?

UPDATE I've posted responses to some of your comments here.

Comments

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  • 1. At 2:21pm on 15 Dec 2009, Dempster wrote:

    Mr Richard Black wrote:
    Why are virtually all climate "sceptics" men?

    Perhaps it's because they intend to use it tax us more.

    CO2 emissions are inevitable,
    and
    if you want the economy to grow, then a growth in CO2 emissions is inevitable,
    and
    if you want more revenue, then taxing CO2 emissions is inevitable,
    and
    if you want to get the general public to pay the tax, it will help if you convince them it’s in a good cause.

    If they simply just stuffed it to us on all the other taxes, we’d reduce our carbon footprint, simply because we couldn’t afford a lot of things, although we’d hate them for it.

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  • 2. At 2:25pm on 15 Dec 2009, Erik Bloodaxe wrote:

    What do I think it means? I think that a cabal of people who have Ph.Ds and call themselves scientists, but who don't comply with the norms of science, declaim with unwarranted certainty. Their message is then amplified by dupes in the media, whose minds are so closed that they have to posit psychological flaws in their opponents.

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  • 3. At 2:32pm on 15 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    There are more male scientists, and more male philosphers. Since scientists and philosophers seem more likely to take a sceptical line across the board, it's hardly surprising that a similar sexual imbalance is reflected in this particular issue.


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  • 4. At 2:32pm on 15 Dec 2009, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    @tears of our forefathers
    At the conference here, Lord Monckton repeatedly called young climate activists "Hitler youth"

    Is this what you meant about Godwins Law?

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  • 5. At 2:48pm on 15 Dec 2009, minuend wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 6. At 2:50pm on 15 Dec 2009, SamuelPickwick wrote:

    As Richard says, opinion polls show no difference or only a slight difference between men and women regarding scepticism. Richard asks why more men represent the public face. The answer is quite obvious, but he is so biased that he can't see it.
    The reason is that anyone who dares to speak out against the global warming activists is subjected to a barrage of sneering offensive vitriol, that varies from the relatively mild insinuations like in this column (that sceptics must have had some problem in their childhood) to outright hatred and abuse from some other places that I won't mention.
    That is why most of us prefer to remain anonymous (I hope I don't need to point out that Samuel Pickwick is not my real name). Any sceptic who 'comes out' needs to be very tough and thick-skinned to deal with it, and men are probably more able to cope with this than women.

    Having said that, there are a few brave women skeptics - Jo Nova, Jennifer Marohasy, Lucy Skywalker, Maggie of the Climate Scam, and 'lukewarmer' Lucia liljegren.

    I don't even think Richard's claim that there are lots of women in climate science holds up. It is still a small percentage. In the IPCC main report there are ten chapters each with two lead authors. Of these 20 lead authors, only one is female.

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  • 7. At 2:53pm on 15 Dec 2009, ImranCan2 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 8. At 2:54pm on 15 Dec 2009, Dempster wrote:

    A gender divide you say, come on, you can just imagine can’t you:

    The Treasury, Friday afternoon, waiting for flexi time to kick in, one bright spark says ‘there nothing surer than death and taxes’ ……….. another equally smart Alex pipes up ‘let’s tax ‘em on breathing then’. A third thinks, mm, not as daft as it sounds, we could call it CO2 emissions, and hence the whole climate change thing was born.

    There is one absolute certainty regarding what climate change will result in, and that’s more divisive taxes are about to get burdened on the average working Joe.

    This being the same average working Joe, that’s desperately trying to keep a roof over the family’s head and food on the table.

    Now do you understand, well do you?

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  • 9. At 2:58pm on 15 Dec 2009, Alan Harris wrote:

    I fall into the camp of "undecided" between the scepticals and believers, I am trying to judge based on the articles available to me. I do find that I lean away from the scepticals, however, I will say that the believers are falling into the scepticals trap, the scepticals I listen to who bring out what are reported to be facts, and say that the believers will counter this argument with abuse, and this article seems to say that if you dont believe, you must have had an unhappy childhood, we are going to hell in a handcart, believe us or else.

    How about we concentrate on facts and disprove the theories coming from the sceptical camp ?

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  • 10. At 3:02pm on 15 Dec 2009, Vera Mark wrote:

    This may sound clichéd but I hold that women are more concerned about sustaining life in general and - if they are mothers - feel responsible for ensuring a liveable future for the children on this planet, our own and others.

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  • 11. At 3:02pm on 15 Dec 2009, rjmghome wrote:

    And have you noticed that there are no black or disabled people on your list, or as far as I am aware, supporters of Plymouth Argyle, swimmers, farmers or chefs for that matter. Not everything has a sexual politics angle, go and find something newsworthy to write about.

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  • 12. At 3:04pm on 15 Dec 2009, Dave52 wrote:

    Hey BBC, rather than wasting your time with articles like this - why don't you do a proper, in-depth investigation into the Climate Gate materials. You remember investigative journalism don't you...?

    Or maybe you'd like to delve into the gender split between X-Factor shoppers and those who are buying the Rage Against The Machine single. Yeah, that's it... do that - anything to stop us thinking about the implications of Climate Gate.

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  • 13. At 3:08pm on 15 Dec 2009, Dave52 wrote:

    Actually, scratch my last comment - why don't you spend your time investigating the business interests of the movers and shakers in the Climate Change program. See who stands to gain from pushing the Man-Made Global Warming Agenda, find out who will make the most money from Carbon Trading. Now that would be worth your time...

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  • 14. At 3:08pm on 15 Dec 2009, Papa wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 15. At 3:08pm on 15 Dec 2009, Roland D wrote:

    "When writer and broadcaster Clive James is prepared in the same article to admit "I know next to nothing about climate science" but still say with confidence "Nobody can meaningfully say that 'the science is in'", is he displaying a willingness to take risks that would be less appealing to women?"

    What tosh. You don't have to know anything about climate science to realise there are climate scientists who do not believe global warming is down to human activity. You just have to listen to sources other than the BBC. That isn't taking risks.

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  • 16. At 3:10pm on 15 Dec 2009, wobbegong wrote:

    The risk-taking idea sounds plausible:
    Reminds me of the split in university degree classes: men get more firsts and 2:2s, women get more 2:1s. Men are more likely to go against whatever is the accepted norm - whether correct or incorrect - which is the only way to get outstanding results.

    Have you ever heard a man say "better safe than sorry"?

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  • 17. At 3:13pm on 15 Dec 2009, paul atrides wrote:

    Can you imagine anything more sexist that this? Is is okay to be sexist when you are bashing people who don't believe in a bizarre unproven theory? For the record my wife and none of the women I know believe in AGW. I doubt if you would listen to them anyway.

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  • 18. At 3:17pm on 15 Dec 2009, Roland D wrote:

    If someone is Jewish and had grandparents who escaped the Nazis, isn't that all the more reason not to adopt the tactics of the Hitler Youth. And if you do, it doesn't give you a get-out-of-jail card not to be accused of it.

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  • 19. At 3:17pm on 15 Dec 2009, Sindy wrote:

    Have you forgotten Melanie Phillips? She has enough foolishness for ten men.

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  • 20. At 3:17pm on 15 Dec 2009, Peter Hood wrote:

    Speaking as a scientist and as someone who knows that global warming is a fact, I find your 'question' deeply disturbing.
    Do you have statistically valid evidence showing that there is a statistically significant basis for saying that more men are climate sceptics than women, or are you like most people speaking from personal (that is to say anecdotal) experience?
    Secondly, if you have carried out survey research with a number of compartmentalised conditions and found statistically significant evidence to show that men are more sceptical than women, have you researched what is it about politicians, particularly male politicians, that makes them so sceptical when compared with women?
    What form of selection process and therefore sample bias occurs in the political process and do you think it might affect the result? What form of sample bias is there in your personal experience?
    What is it about (for example) BBC magazine writers that leads them to draw hasty conclusions in the absence of statistical data? Could it be that they are not scientists?
    Most interestingly of all, what evidence can you adduce to show that people's views on climate change/global warming are shaped by childhood experiences? Would this be an unscientific Freudian view, or something more substantial that fits the current Darwinian paradigm?
    This uncritical, new wave, yap-yap, men are more dangerous than women is very dangerous, ill thought out and lacking scientific data/reasoning. Your remarks leave me feeling deeply uncomfortable, not least because of their ad hominem nature, which does not predispose your targets to respond in any other way than in kind and, if you are to get this discussion off the tracks of personal comments, and on to the tracks of discussing the data, you had better drop the ad hominem sword.
    You are doing nothing to help matters. It is childish, inane and counter productive.
    Oh, and yes, there are serious problems with our climate, they were seeded about 11,000 ago when people started chopping down forests, the UK is over populated probably by more than 20 million people, economies under the current energy regime can only grow if we over populate the world, and both Cameron and Brown are fools for offering tax breaks to an uncritical electorate if they have children, but I nowhere see *you* dealing with these issues and, yes, I am hopping mad. This wasn't even a conversation piece, it was IMNSVHO silly and childish, containing far less science than I have put in my off the top of my head reply.
    HTH.

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  • 21. At 3:19pm on 15 Dec 2009, Peter wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 22. At 3:23pm on 15 Dec 2009, Space_1999 wrote:

    Another mind-bogglingly tendentious, biased article from the BBC! Maybe the real question is, why are all the climate change alarmists somehow funded by governments; Climate Research Unit, Met Office, BBC, EU… It's jobs for the boys (pardon the pun) for you guys, isn't it? Finding ever more whimsical ways to get your federalist, anti-capitalist, bourgeoise message through in spite of all the prevailing evidence, Richard? Oh, and hang the poor and the developing nations, as they'll suffer the most from your absurd 'green taxes'… I feel so sad these days; I once though the BBC is best in the world, utterly impartial and scrupulously even handed; these days it makes Fox News look middle of the road. When is BBC online going to allow 'an alternative' point of view on AGW on its hallowed webpages? There is massive public mistrust of climate change alarmists - just read the 'comments pages' on all the newspaper websites (from the Guardian to the Telegraph); yet the Beeb is a closed shop to this viewpoint. Orwell will be smiling wryly in his grave...

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  • 23. At 3:23pm on 15 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    Wow.

    I barely know where to begin.

    Richard, Are you actually trying to suggest that there is a sex-based psychological reason for climate science scepticism??!?

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  • 24. At 3:24pm on 15 Dec 2009, franjan10949 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 25. At 3:25pm on 15 Dec 2009, waofy wrote:

    I think you're right in one way. It probably is down to the risk-taking behaviour (i.e. men are more willing to support a view not held by society, even if it means they might be labeled a "heretic" for the rest of their lives).
    However, I don't agree with the comment you made about Lord Monckton. He compared them to Hitler youth quite rightly since they were blindly following (backed up only by emotional arguments) the MMCC theory. The Jewish activist was completely missing the point. More importantly though, the reason he went to them in the first place was because they had burst into his speech, jumped up on the stage in front of him and made every effort to try to silence him. The video of this which was on YouTube has now mysteriously disappeared, leaving the "Hitler youth" video completely out of context.

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  • 26. At 3:26pm on 15 Dec 2009, mamabene wrote:

    as I see it - women are more likely to seek medical advice when they believe there is reason to.

    It is the same with respect to the planet. if there is a reason to be concerned over the health of the planet - women may be more likely to seek action to remedy that.

    On the other hand, men are more psychologically prone to wanting to "tough things out" and deny there's a problem, even when its obvious.

    broad generalisation obviously - bu I think that may explain part of it.



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  • 27. At 3:27pm on 15 Dec 2009, Maurizio Morabito wrote:

    Richard - I find your reasoning a bit confusing in this blog, so would you mind elaborating a little further please?

    At the end of the article you appear to be equating "climate sceptics" to the "dismissive" group from the American Progress poll. But I do not think Peiser or Lomborg for example fall into that category. This alone appears to invalidate the beginning paragraphs of your blog.

    And what about the "doubtful", "disengaged" and "cautious" groups in the poll: are they not sceptical enough?

    Myself, I'd probably feature between 6 and 7 in the poll report's web article's figure 2, yet I am called a "skeptic".

    How many women in each of those groups? From page 125 of the full report:

    Doubtful Female/Male=41%/59%
    Disengaged Female/Male=62%/38%
    Cautious Female/Male=47%/53%

    Once again, those figures do not appear compatible with your question "Why are virtually all climate "sceptics" men?". Please be more careful when labeling people.

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  • 28. At 3:28pm on 15 Dec 2009, scribblingscribe wrote:

    Twit, with a capital T

    Nearly all those advocating climate change are also men.


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  • 29. At 3:29pm on 15 Dec 2009, Dr S Dakin wrote:

    Perhaps there is a genuine chance that the gender influences the chance of something being taken at face value, as presented by a crushingly powerful campaign, or actually considered as a possibility. Perhaps it's background (science versus arts?) or just a more generous nature?

    Back in my days as a scientist, CO2 was water soluble, and I would have expected the concentration of it in the atmosphere to go up if the oceans got warmer (as it's solubility decreased). It would not mean CO2 was making it warmer, and would have been such a silly thing to try to relate to warming, as it's clearly going to be driven by it.

    Why do they call Greenland that anyway if it's covered in snow? If it once wasn't (covered in snow), why are we so worried that it won't be again, and why on earth do we think that we are causing it.

    In my commercial life these days I tend to get suspicious of anything that has a lot of money being redistributed. Funnily enough alarm bells are very seriously ringing over this little lot.

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  • 30. At 3:31pm on 15 Dec 2009, Stephen wrote:

    Isn't it odd that sceptics are seen to be risk takers. Isn't it just as likely that those who recommend action to reduce CO2 are also taking a risk as to economic growth, health and well-being?

    Based on weekend reports about the leaked information from East Anglia, I would have thought a more burning and important question for the Beeb would be to illicit a response from those mainstream scientists who have manipulated data as to the level of global temperatures around 1,000 years ago merely because it would have undermined their current arguments.

    The whole point about being a sceptic is not that you are permanently in that state of mind, it is simply that no one has persuaded you otherwise. The real issue is therefore why can't the mainstream scientists and media argue their case more effectively to the point where very few feel the need to be a sceptic on this issue? Why is it that Roger Harriban (of the Beeb) appears to have altered the headline and other elements of an online article following some negative comments in an email sent to him by a female who is convinced of the man-made climate change article?

    As an aside, don't forget the majority of those in government and the media did little to reject the accusation that Iraq had WMD. Unfortunately for us all, the minority sceptics were right on that occasion.

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  • 31. At 3:32pm on 15 Dec 2009, johnschuller wrote:

    I think it means women GENERALLY are more easily fightened than men.
    When's the last time one of you guys shreiked at the sight of a mouse or spider? Why over analyze something so fundamentally simple?

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  • 32. At 3:32pm on 15 Dec 2009, Jsigma wrote:

    I'm not sure that it is quite fair to include Bjorn Lomborg amongst this lot as he does not deny the reality of climate change, he merely represents another vertex of the debate which says that we need to weigh the cost-benefits of our proposed actions, e.g. accept, retreat, adapt, or mitigate, much more carefully.
    Even the authors of "Freakonomics", Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, are not what one could call 'deniers', they're simply overgrown frat-boys playing at being iconoclasts.

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  • 33. At 3:34pm on 15 Dec 2009, LarryKealey wrote:

    @Richard,

    Really, even for you, this is a new low. To actually print a comment such as:

    "I've been debating the science with them for years, but recently I realised we shouldn't be talking about the science but about something unpleasant that happened in their childhood"

    A new low, even for you - I don't suppose you would care to cite the source? I must also admit, I did find the following somewhat amusing:

    'The other is that climate scepticism has psychological roots; that it stems from a deep-seated inability or unwillingness to accept the overwhelming evidence that humanity has built with coal and lubricated with oil its own handcart whose destination board reads "climate hell".'

    I would suggest that as a reporter - you should report - but you are not a reporter, are you? You are an activist with an opinion column - so you can, in fact, write just about whatever you want, provided the BBC is willing to accept any libiliites.

    I will say once again, when there is no room for skepticism in science, it is no longer science.

    Yesterday, Al Gore stated that the polar ice cap would be completely melted in 5 years - and five years hence, when this is not the case, we will again be told that 'the science is now settled' and we know why it hasn't melted completely, but Al was right nonetheless.

    It amazes me that so many buy into this 'science' - which disregards the basic tenants of the scientific method and lacks any simblance of transparancy.

    I have a question for you Richard: Can you please explain to me why there are so few women who study the hard sciences, engineering and mathematics at universities the world over? Perhaps you will find the answer to your gender question there.

    When I studied Aerospace Engineering as an Undergraduate, at Texas A&M University, there were a total of six women in my class - out of some one hundred students. The numbers in graduate school were even more lopsided. My understanding is that the gender gap in hard sciences has changed little in the last twenty some odd years since then.

    Lets face it, this has not been a debate about science for some time - in my opinion - it is about money and politics.

    Your position is clear:"the evidence is overwhelming" - yet, most of the evidence is hidden away or conveniently 'lost'. We are presented with results and conlusions - not science. If you truly believe in 'the science', you should be demanding complete transparancy.

    You may think I am an evil white republican male, however, I have a differnt view. I view myself as actually being a skeptic - I criticize those on both sides of the issue whom are arrogant enough to quote numbers as facts, which in my view, those numbers are nothing more than SWAGs. I am happy to blast those on both sides of the issue who think they have it 'figured out' - sheer arrogance and ignorance.

    You column today also brings rise to another question: As the numbers of women who pursue and obtain advanced degrees in the hard sciences is so low as compared to men - why are these numbers not reflected among the 'believers' in the current theories of climate science?

    Personally, I do believe man has had an effect upon climate - but I do not believe that the main impact has been CO2, nor do I believe that CO2 is by far the primary driver of Earth's climate system. Personally, I think that land use has played a much larger role. Additionally, I consider the 'science' to be very immature. The models are simplistic to the point of almost being garbage - I say 'almost', because I do believe they have some value in directing us to areas which require more study. In my view, as predictive tools - they (the models) are garbage. Back in grad school, we used to have an expression: garbage in, garbage out. How much of an effect land use or CO2 emissions have had on climate remains an unknown - we simply don't have the understanding to make even educated guesses - much more education needed. But I digress.

    Perhaps the question to ask is why, given the sheer lack of parity with regards to gender and advanced degrees in the hard sciences, why do we see so many women 'believers' in the 'current theories' of climate science?

    Might I also ask, as you appear to be a true believer in these theories - why you are not an advocate for complete transparency with regards to the 'science'? While I realize that you are not a scientist, I do think you are intelligent enough to understand the importance of transparency.

    How about a piece on the lack of transparency with regards to this science? Perhaps if the scientists who are such ardent believers in the CO2 global warming theories were forced to 'take their clothes off' so to speak - and bare all their 'science', data, models, assumptions, etc to real scrutany, many would back-off from their 'there can be no doubt' stance on the subject.

    Yes, what about the lack of transparency? Or perhaps you think it more pertenent to discuss my childhood?

    Please Richard, answer the following questions:

    Do you believe that skepticism is both important and valuable with regards to science (in general - not just climate science)?

    Do you believe that transparency is also a critical component of good science?

    Do you believe that transparency is lacking with regards to 'climate science'?

    Do you believe that transparency with regards to climatology would help increase the pace of advancement of the science - as it does with other sciences?

    Do you believe the IPCC to be a scientific body - or a political body?

    Lastly, why do you think the imbalance exists between the number of women who hold advanced degrees in hard sciences and the results of your 'survey'? How do you reconcile this imbalance?

    Please, I think many of us would like to hear your answers with regards to these questions.

    Cheers.

    Kealey



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  • 34. At 3:35pm on 15 Dec 2009, daylightsaving wrote:

    "I've been debating the science with them for years, but recently I realised we shouldn't be talking about the science but about something unpleasant that happened in their childhood".

    Evidence were it ever needed that Global Cooling Deniers have given up on trying to persuade people through reason and have resorted to nastiness towards their critics.

    I rather wish the debate would swiftly move into the actual scientific debate rather than this puerile and anti-democratic argument of whether we should be having a debate at all.

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  • 35. At 3:36pm on 15 Dec 2009, JunkkMale wrote:

    What an odd contribution to all that is going on. Is it a reaction to being left out in the cold by guys who seem bad at handling numbers?

    More the kind of thing I'd expect from the Guardian maybe - guardianeco http://twitpic.com/tm3a7 - Bibi here - performance abt feminism and the environment abt to start at #cop15 - but, oh, hang on..

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/dec/15/bbc-climate-change-justin-webb?showallcomments=true#end-of-comments

    Kind of sweet that, from the author through most of the commenters, the notion is the BBC there to only broadcast views held by the Guardian and its readers, and not those from other oily rags (conceding that some extremes are as daft as others)

    Not sure I have the answers being sought either. However, with a certain degree of irony I am sure that, in time, some will have taken numbers that don't add up and applied various tricks to them to end up with a desired result. In this case, 50:50. Equality proven, again!

    And I am equally sure there will be those who take the press releases, give 'em a really good squint and publish secure in the knowledge that the 'watertight oversight applied' sticker hanging off means, yet again, all is settled.

    Trust me. I'm a man, Betty.


    .

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  • 36. At 3:37pm on 15 Dec 2009, mattgoold wrote:

    I have a theory that its a semantic thing. "Man-made Climate Change" is so gender specific some males take it so personally they deny the science. Call it 'Human-made Climate Change' and perhaps they'll grow up. Or women wil begin to become sceptics too...

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  • 37. At 3:37pm on 15 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    On further reflection Richard, i think you should resign after that article.

    You are either-
    - Desperate to cast sceptics in a bad light (due to some pre-conceived 'beliefs') or
    - A terrible investigational journalist -see #5 + #6.

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  • 38. At 3:41pm on 15 Dec 2009, pedal2themetal wrote:

    The climate's changing whatever anybody says, and that's a fact. Whether it's Mankind's doing, or just Nature, is largely irrelevant because Mankind's never going to change. I feel sorry for young people with children, because the future may not be bright.

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  • 39. At 3:43pm on 15 Dec 2009, teeym wrote:

    Because the whole issue of climate change has produced so many seemingly right-minded and intellectual people on both sides of the debate who sell their opinion as fact (and are generally quickly "proved" wrong by the opinions of another), it is quite simply impossible to make a reasoned judgement if you are the average man on the street. Sure, you can take on board some of the available information and come to whichever judgement you like (for what it's worth I like to think of mankinds activities as little more than a catalyst for what the earth will eventually get up to of its own accord - apologies to any species which may become collateral damage in the mean time), but in reality you're far more likely to form opinions based on whomsoever you find most convincing.

    Without wanting to make sweeping statements (and you certainly can't include every Tom, Dick and Harriet in this), the emotive and dramatic words of the environmentalists may well be more likely to sway the mind of the fairer sex, while men could more easily take to the easy going, almost blasé manner of sceptics. Before too many emotive men and blasé women come shouting me down, I'm perfectly prepared to admit I could be wrong about this. After all, if the great brains of the world can't agree on the future of the planet, what hope have I got?

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  • 40. At 3:44pm on 15 Dec 2009, keith nichols wrote:

    It does seem as though biological differences exist. I believe women are much more concerned about the welfare of their future generations and take the environmental changes as a threat to those who will come. Us men tend to be more focused(right or wrong) on being able to provide sufficiently right now. It is quite incredible that we all see the same overwelming mass of climate change information and research and see it so differently.

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  • 41. At 3:45pm on 15 Dec 2009, Michael wrote:

    Is this column about climate science or amateur psychology? It just makes an already murky subject murkier (and, yes, I have to admit I am male...and middle aged to boot).

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  • 42. At 3:45pm on 15 Dec 2009, tom_cripin51 wrote:

    “If a rigorous deconstruction of flawed and politically-motivated science is at the bottom of climate scepticism, why aren't women getting it?
    I'm out of ideas. What do you think it all means?”

    I think it means you are losing patience with the cranks from the ‘sceptic’ camp who post on your blog, and you have decided to come up with something that will really wind them up.

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  • 43. At 3:47pm on 15 Dec 2009, Rachel Miller wrote:

    I am a 36-year old woman, and am deeply sceptical about the so-called 'consensus' view on anthropogenic climate change. I have two points to make:
    First, I believe the 'gender imbalance' you refer to among climate sceptics as compared to supporters of the AGW theory can be easily explained.
    AGW has become a vastly popular cause and has been taken up not only by scientists and politicians, but by media personalities, actors, artists, and a whole host of other celebrities. This is a wide range of people, and includes industries where women are strongly represented (fashion modelling, for instance).
    By comparison, I suspect a majority of sceptics come from within academia, specifically the sciences and economics. (There are some journalists and politicians also involved.) This is a much smaller range of occupations, and includes those which are often typically male. For instance, the scientists noted in the recent ‘Climategate’ emails are almost all male.
    Secondly, your article is deeply offensive, implying that (male) climate sceptics have psychological problems, dress badly (in tweed – how shocking!), are dismissive, take unwise risks, and are lacking in empathy. It is, in fact, a near-perfect example of an ‘ad hominem’ argument: if you have no grounds to attack your opponent’s views, then the next best alternative is to attack them personally.
    My personal scepticism towards the AGW theory is based on a number of issues, none of which have anything to do with my psychology. As an academic, I distrust scientists who refuse to make their data available to those who wish to check their results, I distrust scientists who conspire to hide results that do not fit their theories, and I distrust the suggestion that a ‘consensus’ view in science should not be challenged.

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  • 44. At 3:50pm on 15 Dec 2009, Flyattic wrote:

    Another badly thought out piece of pop psychology by a peon without a basic understanding of either psychology or the environment. I'm glad i don't own a television. Can you imagine paying for "information" like this?

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  • 45. At 3:51pm on 15 Dec 2009, PEggie Turnbull wrote:

    Here's a female sceptic for you!! I'm really getting tired of these uneducated activists slamming my country.
    OIl sands have NO TAR - and Canada's world footprint - .o1% so get off our case. China is NOT a developing country - give me a break.

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  • 46. At 3:56pm on 15 Dec 2009, keith nichols wrote:

    The part of this whole debate that eludes me is two fold. If we place a possibility that some "science" is flawed, there surely remains a prepoderance of data that confirms rapid climate change. If we can accept that, everyone can place some probability that we are at least a contributing cause of that change.
    Then, even if the probability is one out of twenty, how can we not want to err on the side of conservation, to moderate or eliminate that human effect, full knowing that if we do nothing we could be condeming future generations increasing famine, sickness and death.

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  • 47. At 3:58pm on 15 Dec 2009, Ian Nartowicz wrote:

    You missed a very significant third reason for climate "scepticism". The issue of global warming has been abused, exaggerated, and co-opted by every group with an axe to grind about globalism, big industry, and which tax they can get away with. Welcome to the backlash, and as they always do it has lashed back to its own extreme position.

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  • 48. At 4:01pm on 15 Dec 2009, Gergiev wrote:

    Didn't I see Melanie Phillips on Question Time explicitly "denying"?

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  • 49. At 4:05pm on 15 Dec 2009, stabreim wrote:

    "high income, well-educated, white men... much more likely to be very conservative Republicans... strongly endorse individualistic values, opposing any form of government intervention".

    1 These are the people with the most to lose from higher taxation in the short term.

    2 They will not live long enough to be badly affected by climate change personally.

    3 They have enough wealth to insulate their children from most of the worst effects.

    4 They have experience of subverting Government through their own pressure groups, and judging others by their own standards, mistrust all Government and all pressure groups other than their own.


    Blindingly obvious!

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  • 50. At 4:08pm on 15 Dec 2009, Simon Attwood wrote:

    it's simple ... women love a drama far more than men

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  • 51. At 4:10pm on 15 Dec 2009, Robert Leather wrote:

    So scientists with alternative opinions are called 'ex'-scientists and there are only two types of people who disagree with "human caused, CO2 created global warming".

    I don't think so Richard. The real debate in science, which still continues unreported is the nature of the climate change; it's source and the effect man and indeed CO2 is having on it.

    This kind of over simplification might make policy easier to put into practice, but it offers nothing to the debate or of the most compelling question of our time.

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  • 52. At 4:10pm on 15 Dec 2009, Chritopher J wrote:

    ABERFAN. a village in South Wales where a nearly a whole generation of children died. They paid the price that the National Coal Board were not prepared to pay for the proper disposal of colliery waste. The whole life cycle costs of any product should be included in its manufacture, distribution and sale. This is happening with products like refrigerators. Who thinks that we should not pay for our sewage to be treated, our refuse to be cleared and disposed of and someone to clean the office? Perhaps this is where the gender divide comes in - most office cleaners are women. Women generally end up clearing the mess that their men folk create.
    Women like Franny Armstrong are trying to clean up the mess that is causing climate change. Meanwhile the little boys are complaining that Nanny is trying to spoil their fun.

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  • 53. At 4:11pm on 15 Dec 2009, Ken Appleby wrote:

    Opposition to the idea of man-made global heating has many aspects. One of them is that "these are the same scientists that told us 20 years ago that the ice-age is coming." Well, there is a new generation of scientists since then, and besides, they were correct. The normal state of the Earth is to be ice-ridden; we are in a rare interglacial time. Perhaps females are less motivated by this ad hominem argument and take a more objective view?

    Another is based on a belief that the Earth is so vast and complex that mere humans can't possibly have any significant affect on it, which is at least a valid position that can be tested by observation. This perhaps motivates men because it leaves them free to continue to act as they please. Women are perhaps more willing to sacrifice and do what is necessary to secure survival.

    It _is_ noticeable that the pointlessly nasty and insulting comments made here appear to be made by men. Maybe global heating as actually caused by testosterone poisoning not greenhouse gases.

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  • 54. At 4:11pm on 15 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    Speaking of Taxes.....Y'all should forget the 'Forged' 'Science' (It's the Precautionary Principle! I'm Super Serial! Awsome!)

    AND see just how much YOU will pay to Blood & Gore et al Excelthior!

    EPA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqQ4xR-3J8c&feature=related
    This heats up in no3.. a bit of a trudge but well worth it!

    “We Choose Liberty, Or….?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJmef3sWBdY

    Trillion-Dollar Spending Bill
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3085DErFpoY&feature=related

    in their own words
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs&feature=related

    http://www.domesdaybook.co.uk/

    'Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber'

    Have a look here and see exactly who will 'love' the Environment for you in their own special way...
    https://www.cdproject.net/en-US/Programmes/Pages/Sig-Investor-List.aspx

    And of course, these issues are still awaiting a response...

    1) We Are Change Colorado @ Al Gore Book Signing – Activist Rips Up Al’s Book in Front of His Face – BECAUSE OF THE VAST SUMS HE WILL EARN FROM CARBON CREDIT.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXHDkcy9Wdo

    here is the article he is talking about at the end in the New York Times.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXHDkcy9Wdo

    2) European fraudsters steal $7B in carbon credit scam – n.b. LOOK AT THE COMMENTS
    http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2009/12/11/eu-carbon-credit-trading-fraud.html#socialcomments

    3) John Coleman Founder of the Weather Channel with 55 years in the industry.
    http://www.kusi.com/home/78477082.html?video=pop&t=a

    4)The real inconvenient truth – The whole world needs to adopt China’s one-child policy – n.b. LOOK AT THE COMMENTS
    http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=2314438

    5) How the ‘ipcc’ deals with debate (!?) – Stephen Schneider snaps at Journalist for asking about the Leaked Emails
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myI7Pj9FLFc

    6) How Al Gore deals with dissent on his ManBearPig ‘Theory’, you know? A question about whether he has cleared up the NINE (9) BLATANT UNTRUTHS (FOUND BY A HIGH COURT JUDGE!) In his wee movie ?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjFTieRouUk

    7) With the EPA Making CO2 a DANGER TO HUMAN HEALTH, will we all now have to wear Aqua Lungs with one canister of Oxygen (Provided by MONSANTO of course!) and one to measure the CO2 WE BREATHE OUT in order to TAX US ACCORDINGLY?

    As a Trooper said ‘There’s a Mann up Penn State, waiting to see if he’s going to the State Pen after throwing his Colleague Prof Jones ‘Under the Bus’! – and I believe there are more on the way!

    Oh and what's this?
    Gore admits climate figures ‘ballpark’

    COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 15 (UPI) — Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore has admitted that alarming figures on Arctic icemelt he cited in Copenhagen, Denmark, were only “ballpark.”

    Gore, speaking at the U.N. summit on climate change, told attendees that “fresh” estimates by Wieslaw Maslowski of the Naval Postgraduate School in California indicated “that there is a 75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years,” The Times of London reported.

    But Maslowski challenged that characterization, reportedly saying, “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at. I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”

    The newspaper said Gore’s office later admitted that the “75 percent” figure was one used by Maslowksi as a “ballpark figure” several years ago in a conversation with the former vice president.

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2009/12/15/Gore-admits-climate-figures-ballpark/UPI-37851260887971/

    n.b. No Children were abused nor any Polar Bears Killed preparing this piece

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  • 55. At 4:12pm on 15 Dec 2009, Dempster wrote:

    42. At 3:45pm on 15 Dec 2009, tom_cripin51 wrote:
    'I think it means you are losing patience with the cranks from the ‘sceptic’ camp who post on your blog, and you have decided to come up with something that will really wind them up'

    I think you're right because it's certainly wound me up. Although not quite as much as the next round of emissions taxes I'm going to have to pay.

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  • 56. At 4:15pm on 15 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    'BBC journalists decide scientific questions by asking: "Which side are the good guys on?"'

    Thank, Richard Black, for confirming my hypothesis within a matter of hours. Your use of sneering quotation marks to refer to sceptics also reveals the depth of your journalistic integrity.

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  • 57. At 4:15pm on 15 Dec 2009, SaulRascal wrote:

    I like how most of the people opposing this blog post (and being generally rude about its poster) are male. Almost proves Richard's point, doesn't it?

    In my opinion, I don't think sex has anything to do with it and that it's more a question of perception or maybe even just an anomaly. It's possible that the female skeptics just don't make asses of themselves in trying to argue against climate science - in which case, they don't make so much noise and are less entertaining. I mean, take the Lord Monckton quote: "Hitler youth" is a fantastic soundbite for his cause. I'm sure there's a lot of skeptical scientists out there who are less extreme but who put forth some sensible arguments against climate science, yet they miss out on news coverage because they're not as confrontational as his Lordship.

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  • 58. At 4:16pm on 15 Dec 2009, Dempster wrote:

    45. At 3:51pm on 15 Dec 2009, PEggie Turnbull

    Well said that woman, well said indeed.

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  • 59. At 4:18pm on 15 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    Richard has now lost the plot completely.

    What are you trying to do? Lets face it, discounting your friends who turn up under different names on a regular basis, your blogg is runing approximately 85% against the theory of AGW.

    By towing the BBC political line all you have done is ignore the content of the majority of your readers and continued to spew rubbish. Like most people I feel you have to come to a decsion either look at the opposing view objectively or consider the fact you have lost your crediablity and all that involves. Your bosses must look at this blogg at what point are you going to join reality?

    By the way you forgot to post the "Rotten Ice Story"

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  • 60. At 4:18pm on 15 Dec 2009, PeterH wrote:

    It's hard to read past the opening question.

    Climate sceptic? It's such a ridiculous phrase. People aren't sceptical that there is a climate.

    If anything, the 'climate sceptics' are the people pushing the whole agenda in Copenhagen who seem to argue that it is man who is solely responsible for the current warm period as though we didn't have warm and cold periods (climate) before man started pumping CO2 into the atmosphere!

    I am a sceptic in the true sense of the word. I am sceptical because nobody has yet proved their point, either way.

    Until somebody can provide compelling evidence (that we are, or are not, causing the world serious damage with our CO2 emissions) that is not refuted within hours by equally compelling evidence from the other side, I will remain happily sceptical.

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  • 61. At 4:19pm on 15 Dec 2009, Andrew Morton wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 62. At 4:20pm on 15 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    "Clive James is prepared in the same article to admit 'I know next to nothing about climate science' but still say with confidence 'Nobody can meaningfully say that "the science is in"', is he displaying a willingness to take risks that would be less appealing to women?"

    Astrology is also much more popular among women than men.

    When I say "I know next to nothing about astrology, except that it's pseudoscientific codswollop", am I displaying a willingness to take risks that would be less appealing to women, or just better judgement?

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  • 63. At 4:20pm on 15 Dec 2009, quixote wrote:

    This psych problems of denialists has been bothering us here in the US too. Digby has a longish thread on it, which was picked up by Paul Krugman. I think he had an insight about the don't-tell-me-what-to-do mind which dovetails with the startling statistics mentioned here:

    "Real men punish evildoers; they don’t adjust their lifestyles to protect the planet."

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  • 64. At 4:22pm on 15 Dec 2009, Tiger wrote:

    With this article the BBC has sunk to new low in journalistic bias.
    So people who don't agree with Richard Black have something wrong with them, it was something bad in their childhood!
    Please will the BBC get some proper reporters and eliminate Richard Black permanently.
    Thank you.

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  • 65. At 4:24pm on 15 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    Richard,

    Another thing why all the rush to get a deal done?

    Here's a few clues for you;

    1) Climate models which have to report 95% accuracy (rediculous)over a ten year period plus fudge fail in 7 months. Thats right they are wrong.

    2) Carbon traders are desperate as the market value will collapse if no meaningful treaty is signed. Helps certain people like the head of IPCC,Al gore, your boss, Tony blair, George Soros etc.

    3)Why would the G77 nations sign up to something that is modern world colonism?

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  • 66. At 4:25pm on 15 Dec 2009, Dempster wrote:

    49. At 4:05pm on 15 Dec 2009, stabreim

    Well I'm an average self employed working Joe, husband and father of three, and I'm sceptical about climate change, because I know they'll use it to stiff me for more tax. Because that's what they always do.

    If Government promotes something it's usually because they intend to nail the average working Joe with it.


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  • 67. At 4:27pm on 15 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    8. At 2:54pm on 15 Dec 2009, Dempster wrote:

    Would that be the same Average Joe that bailed (Get out of jail FREE!) Banksters to the tune of several Trillion $s?

    Yes.

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  • 68. At 4:27pm on 15 Dec 2009, noffers wrote:

    Simply one of the worst articles I have read about the AGW debate.

    Shame it wasn't one of the East Anglian emails.

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  • 69. At 4:29pm on 15 Dec 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    The profile of the myth of cultural superiority. Free Enterprise group that doesn't understand that no such thing exist in the world of governmental corruption. The last of the view seeing the world as the "White Man's Burden", bringing progress to the world through profit, corruption, and an assult on local values, religion and culture. Some of course see monetary gain by taking an opposing position. It is interesting that the CO2 arguments are made as if the other assoicated pollutants are harmless and pose not threat to the environment. Do not wish to paint all with one brush, as serious science has posed questions of merit. As both sides have political agendas the process is clouded. The more the climate change agenda moves forward the louder and more caustic the voices become. The planet is changing, almost everyone agrees, and now either actions are taken or consequences felt. As governments tend to rely on those who fund their campaigns or provide political support within a party in decision making I can understand the none trusting of governmental processes but when the elephants start moving in one direction it is not a good decision to stand in their path. They can always count on the inability of governments to effectively cooperate on almost everything. Even with 100% proven science the influence of oil and coal would make the decision. The governments were told in 2001 that a financial collapse was coming yet took no actions to prevent it because of the banking and financial services industry lobbying, the same will happen with climate change as oil and coal have the same lobbyist and influence in the primary governments around the world. Like the bankers, oil and coal are posturing to control whatever the next non-fossil fuel will be to remain in power and control and their governmental handmaidens are creating barriers to independent new sources. So is the way of the world.

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  • 70. At 4:30pm on 15 Dec 2009, endoftheworld wrote:

    I think ImranCan2 summarized this article very well.

    You really are scrapping the barrel on this one.

    "The other is that climate scepticism has psychological roots; that it stems from a deep-seated inability or unwillingness to accept the overwhelming evidence that humanity has built with coal and lubricated with oil its own handcart whose destination board reads "climate hell""

    A lot of climate science is easily contested and as 'climate gate' has demonstrated there are hidden motives for keeping climate change on the agenda, namely for scientists to protect the large amounts of funding they get and also because the government will love the extra tax revenues from exploiting climate change.
    So yes it is an inability by sceptics to accept highly contested, mostly un-proven and corrupt scientific theory. At least we are not sheep accepting what the media and the government are telling us. I'm not prepared to change my life considerably on the back of highly contested science, yes temperatures have been rising up until a decade ago but the extent to which humans are involved in extremely questionable and we should stop with the madness of destroying our economies and our right to high levels of mobility in the name of poor science.

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  • 71. At 4:34pm on 15 Dec 2009, DisgustedOfMitcham2 wrote:

    Well, first off, I'm not convinced that climate change sceptics are predominantly men based on the evidence you've presented here. It sounds a bit anecdotal to me.

    But for the sake of argument, let's assume that it's true. The risk taking theory actually sounds quite plausible to me. I believe it's pretty well established that women are more risk averse than men. Climate change scepticism is basically nothing more than a huge risk. The science of climate change is not perfect, and it's not possible to predict the future climate with pinpoint accuracy. However, the best guess of the consensus of climate scientists is that man-made activities are going to contribute to deeply unhealthy climate change.

    But that's just the best guess. Maybe, just maybe, we can carry on emitting all the CO2 we like and nothing bad will happen.

    If you are risk averse, you're not going to be comfortable with that: you will assume that climate change is coming unless we do something about it and want to take appropriate action. However, if you like taking chances, perhaps you're more inclined to think that you can take the risk and it will all work out in the end.

    Or, to put it in the immortal words of Clint Eastwood: "question is, do you feel lucky?"

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  • 72. At 4:35pm on 15 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Dear & Greatly Esteemed Richard Black, and Colleagues --

    THANK YOU for raising this sensitive & exceedingly important issue. It is indeed profoundly relevant, and correlates closely with what I have personally observed.

    As a mother of two sons and a daughter, and the wife of a like-thinking man, I believe the question you raise strikes at the very core of what the Denial Detachment is all about.

    These are primarily men who remain very young at heart, and who never quite internalised lessons of accountability that ought to have balanced from an early age their sense of entitlement, especially in the area of retaining unrestricted permits to accrue wealth & project personal power to the extent any of them found it important or desirable, in the areas in which they chose to exert themselves.

    Someone who had the time & information to examine the histories of their early childhoods might indeed find fascinating commonalities.

    A more pedestrian term for the affliction is "Selfishness." It is a character trait of all young children, which, with proper attention from adult carers, parents & role models is supposed to be outgrown, for it does, indeed, threaten other lives, if it is allowed to deteriorate into outright Narcissism.

    In terms of behaviour, far too many young men in all cultures (but in some cultures more than others) shrug off responsibilities arising out of their actions. Avoidance of accountability is particularly easy when one has means, staff, servants & sycophants to facilitate it. The unintended pregnancy is but one of the most banal examples many men today know, in their heart of hearts, they have been only too glad to walk away from without paying any kind of personal price.

    Young women, at the other end of the spectrum, mostly learn, around the time of menarche, that there is a heavy price to pay for reckless actions -- and even for merely being the victim of the reckless acts of others, and most particularly males. This knowledge teaches caution, care & discernment. It does not by any means prevent calamities, but it does impart a greater degree of maturity & compassion for others. As well as possibly a somewhat exaggerated dread of being caught out in a 'mistake' -- a healthy fear that helps regulate decision-making at least some of the time.

    And then, of course, motherhood imposes duties that lead to ever increasing awareness of personal accountability, influence, the consequences that follow even seemingly casual deeds. Certainly, a very high proportion of engaged fathers share such awareness -- but in mothers it tends to arrive with greater blunt force, as it imprints directly even at the level of one's own body: a constant reminder of why action can never be casual, but must always be informed with Thought, and the result of Reflection.

    The cause of Copenhagen has become very much a cause for enlightened parents today. Some in the Denial Detachment vilify us for this: to their own eternal shame.

    There are too many people on earth, yes: and at the same time, it is people who make differences, and so, in a sense, there are NOT too many people: there are enough people, to tackle this problem -- and to choose, once and for all, to regulate their own behaviour (including how many more people we add, at what rate).

    The problem you so exquisitely, perfectly encapsulate in that phrase, 'that humanity has built with coal and lubricated with oil its own handcart whose destination board reads "climate hell"' -- a phrase from an elegant essay that with your permission I will include in future teaching sessions -- is a problem that was largely crafted by men: by men of a certain class, and of a certain worldview resulting from a certain upbringing.

    Undeniably, these men had mothers, and grandmothers, and sisters. Something about the way their society was ordered either prevented the more charitable women in their lives from imparting much moral virtue to them, or allowed them to override such voices with their own Selfishness, Vanity, Greed & Ambition.

    And now we all pay the price. Fortunately, as you accurately point out, An Overwhelming Absolute Majority of Men & Women on earth today KNOW and recognise that we need a profound shift in how we live to come out of this Copenhagen Conference on Climate.

    We KNOW we can no longer put our faith in "laissez faire" capitalism, nor in the unsustainable promise of Darwinists & the blithely atheistic who suggest that, sin being a fiction, there is no need for anyone, ever, to be held accountable for their environmental crimes, lunatic policies, exploitation of fellow humans, deceptions, frauds, obdurate administrative corruption & outright criminal negligence in the exercise of their proprietary interests.

    Everyone is free to believe whatever they believe. No one is free, any more, once and for all, to Pollute the Air & Water & Soil we all depend on with impunity.

    The lessons good parents teach every young child hold true for all humankind, for all time. Even if a few spoiled rich boys thought they could simply sweep them aside for their own "exceptional" case.

    And yes, as disgusting as a their diatribes can be, the day has been won by the Majority Shareholders of the Planet: all the rest of us, girls & women included, complete with babes in arms & bellies, and toddlers clinging to faded skirts.

    Thank you, again, Mr Black, and glory eternal to you & to all those who have stuck it out all these years, whether reporting from the front lines or actively fighting this war of words to prevent the lunatic fringe from forcing us to eat their fumes forever.

    Sending you this with all my Love.

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  • 73. At 4:35pm on 15 Dec 2009, Space_1999 wrote:

    I am intrigued by how climate change alarmists are obsessed with the personal politics of it all; this in itself is a fascinating psychological 'problematic', and far more worthy of examination rather than crude gender lines as per Richard's clumsy piece...

    Alarmists all seem desperate to close down the discussion - and they find those who are not to be irksome, disreputable or loathsome in some respect, often almost at a personal level, as if someone had assaulted their sister. There's simply no space in their world view, or epistemology if you want to call it that, for the idea of a good, honourable person who wants to learn more in a balanced, intelligent, ongoing debate between the various scientific camps (and there are more than just two positions here). If you don't follow the alarmists (and the BBC, government, EU, CRU and all the rest of the AGW luvvies) then you're obviously a despicable human. Then the language moves to that of the Holocaust, no less, as you become a 'denier'!

    The trouble is that the 'great British public' is precisely here; not denying or accepting anything, simply wanting a debate and balanced information from all sides...

    Would someone in the alarmist camp please tell me at what point is science ever settled? At what point does it simply 'stop', at a fixed non-extensible position? Never, that's when! So those wanting to shut down the debate are the fanatics, and not the other way round.

    This, I think, is the critically wounding position for Richard and the BBC (and the government, etc.); because most people understand that we work in a democracy by having debates, disseminating information around our society so we can make ever more educated choices. Richard (et al.) simply don't want this; in doing so he marginalises himself. All he does is talk to his fellow 'believers' (for belief is all it is at this early point in the debate), finding ever new ways of denigrating those who don't follow him (the infidels; the 'deniers'). In doing so he makes himself (and the Beeb) look stupid, and worryingly, untrustworthy...

    We all pay for you guys, yet you only put one position. In doing this, you marginalise yourselves and your beliefs. All I'm saying is, 'let's open up the debate, not close it down', and let's not do what Richard (and so many of his ilk) do, which is to write ever more specious 'ad hominem' attacks on those who happen to not be convinced. Lets accept that believers and non-believers alike are all good people, not mentally unbalanced, just worried about the same thing - i.e. planet Earth.

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  • 74. At 4:38pm on 15 Dec 2009, redeye wrote:

    This is a desperate article from a man who has run out of ideas in his narrow little mind.

    Science is not about consenssus, why cant AGW's just admit 'the science is not settled'

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  • 75. At 4:38pm on 15 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    Oh Richard,

    Cancel your cut and paste report about soot effecting the Himalayas it's been blown apart in the USA as rubbish, by a leading climate scientist.

    Maybe your to scared to report anything as you know it will be total BS. You might have some intelligence left I hope

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  • 76. At 4:39pm on 15 Dec 2009, Chris in Baildon wrote:

    There are 23 spaces in the current UK Labour government cabinet - of which 3 are women.

    As the head of this cabinet called skeptics "flat earthers" - there seems to be a male bias in the believer side as well.

    Not a very enlightening article.

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  • 77. At 4:43pm on 15 Dec 2009, never ironic wrote:

    the opinions of journalists, writers, philosophers etc., etc., etc., are not relevant. and neither are their genders. all that is relevant is the opinions of scientists that have used scientific rigour to examine the problem. all else is just opinion based on a lack of knowledge. so, how many EXPERT climate scientists are men and how many women? to answer the article's question it will be necessary to answer this question first. i suspect (however don't have the numbers to hand - but i'm sure someone has) that the vast majority of expert scientists that study climate change are men. if this is true then the fact that most sceptics are men is just inevitable.

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  • 78. At 4:43pm on 15 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 79. At 4:44pm on 15 Dec 2009, MarkGE wrote:

    "When writer and broadcaster Clive James is prepared in the same article to admit "I know next to nothing about climate science" but still say with confidence "Nobody can meaningfully say that 'the science is in'", is he displaying a willingness to take risks that would be less appealing to women?"

    Where is the risk? OK, speaking the truth in a field so full of emotion may require some courage, but when it is such a self evident truth the risks from saying it are pretty minimal. Earth's climate is a very complex system which is not fully understood (which may, indeed not be possible to fully understand) and supporters of AGW have still not been able to hindcast (forecast past known outcomes using past known inputs)the climate with any reliability.

    It is very clear that the line "the science is in" is nothing more than another attempt to close down debate.

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  • 80. At 4:44pm on 15 Dec 2009, Space_1999 wrote:

    Rachel Miller - what a beautifully erudite retort! I think you should be writing on BBC Online; unlike Richard's post it was factual, logical and devoid of bizarre hypothesising!

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  • 81. At 4:46pm on 15 Dec 2009, MickS wrote:

    I am a man. I have studied the sciences and in my adult life I spend most of my time investigating the root causes of problems. I have learned not to take things at face value as what is obvious frequently masks the underlying root cause.

    This makes me sceptical on many things, especially anything that is being used as a reason to raise taxes. I look for independent verification and for forecasts coming true.

    When I see climate models failing in their predictions, that data has been 're-evaluated' and graphs that previous showed a well documented temperature rise in the middle ages have been adjusted so as to emphasise the temperature rise 'caused by mankind' since the industrial revolution, I am sceptical on the global warming issue.

    Then I look at the nature of man, as there is probably a majority of men in the pro-GW camp as well. Man is arrogant, man is self-important. Men are especially guilty of both of these. For years we assumed that we were the centre of the universe and that everything revolved around the Earth and mankind. This was proven false, but at first decried. Heresay that we weren't the centre of existence.

    Now it is claimed that we have caused global warming, that we have caused climate change. The governments go further, we can stop climate change, we can prevent global warming. How arrogant. How self-important.

    Climate change happens. It has happened in the past, it will happen in the future, it may be happening now. Mankind may have some influence on it but it is unlikely that we are the cause or are able to change it.

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  • 82. At 4:46pm on 15 Dec 2009, Barry Woods wrote:

    Thgis is desperate stuff even for the BBC, it has surely sunk to a new low in behaviour. The public will remember the BBC's behaviour over Climategate, when as it is starting to, all come out into the open.

    What will the Met Office/IPCC/CRU/UN do/say when as real scientists predict, we have a period of global cooling ahead of us:

    Those clever physicists and astrophysicists at Cern, are now predicting global cooling due to solar (relative lack of) over the next 10-20 years.

    http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/Spotlight/SpotlightCloud-en.html

    Apparently russian physicists are laying bets with european ones on global cooling!

    Even more interesting, is this find from the HM treasury website (dated 2003).

    Maybe someone should have told Gordon Brown: (and Dave & Nick & Boris)

    Conclusion:

    "A number of solar cycle prediction models are forecasting weak solar cycles 24 and 25 equating to a Dalton Minimum, and possibly the beginning of a prolonged period
    of weak activity equating to a Maunder Minimum. In the former case, a temperature decline of the order of 1.5°C can be expected based on the temperature response to
    solar cycles 5 and 6. A rural US temperature data set shows that recent and current
    temperatures remain below the average of the first half of the 20th century."

    full link below:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]


    Very dry reading, it would seem that real scientists are just not as good as the IPCC/UN are PR and media spin.

    If what they predict is correct, 1.5 plus degrees of cooling, is potentially MUCH worse for us humans, than a bit of warming...

    Remember this is ALL natural, you can't tax the Sun (big ball of fusion in the sky, not the newspaper)

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  • 83. At 4:46pm on 15 Dec 2009, ClarrieM wrote:

    Yet another glaring example of "if you can't win the science argument, belittle the opposition"?
    "former TV presenter David Bellamy"? this is Professor David Bellamy, right?
    Professor of Adult and Continuing Education, University of Durham; Hon. Prof. Central Queensland University, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Systems; Special Professor of Botany, (Geography), University of Nottingham; Honorary Dr. of Science, Bournemouth University; Honorary Doctor Open University.
    President / former president of: The Conservation Foundation, UK; The Wildlife Trusts partnership; The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country; Population Concern; Plantlife; WATCH; Coral Cay Conservation; National Association for Environmental Education; British Naturalists' Association; Galapagos Conservation Trust.
    A bit more than just a "former television presenter" - far more appropriate to describe him as a scientist with a long-standing interest in the environment who also happened to be a TV presenter I'd have thought.
    If the climate change "pros" really want to win over the middle ground "don't knows" they need to win the real science argument: they need to address the scientific issues raised by the sceptics and not gloss over the bits that don't fit their predictive models with vaguely disparaging and condescending attacks on those scientists holding alternative views.

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  • 84. At 4:50pm on 15 Dec 2009, AngloCelt wrote:

    I believe that global warming is happening but I am VERY sceptical about the activists. They seem obsessed by cars and flights but ignore the really significant factors. As David Attenborough pointed out recently; the planet's population has increased by 400% since he began making programmes! This is BY FAR the biggest factor in global warming but largely ignored .... of course it may be more difficult to use as a tax raiser! Not unrelated to this is the developed world's consumption of meat and dairy products. The methane gas produced by cattle and sheep dwarfs the pollution from industry and transport, and that ignores the energy costs of production.

    Why do these issues so rarely get aired in the media? Maybe they are protected by more powerful lobbies than car makers and airlines (eg Catholic Church)

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  • 85. At 4:50pm on 15 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    Just wondering if any of you have read this?

    An Open Letter to the Community from Chris Landsea (Resignation Letter of Chris Landsea from IPCC)

    http://www.climatechangefacts.info/ClimateChangeDocuments/LandseaResignationLetterFromIPCC.htm

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  • 86. At 4:51pm on 15 Dec 2009, jon wrote:

    I can see the links to complain about individual comments but I can't find the button to complain about the article itself.

    Please take this comment as a complaint about this article for reasons ably pointed out by some of the previous comments.

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  • 87. At 4:52pm on 15 Dec 2009, DesktopCynic wrote:

    As a girly and a scientist (geology/geophysics - but not involved in climate science) I find this interesting; let me put my cards on the table to start with....climate change is real, happening and it's almost certainly far too late to do anything about it except be glad that you don't live in Bangladesh or the Maldives. This fits in with my general observations of middle aged white men in general - they are finding it extraordinarily hard to accept that they are no longer Masters of the Universe, but just Bit Players like the rest of us.
    So dismissing the work of others - often girlies like me - is one way they try and keep a tenuous hold on their lost gender and racial superiority.
    Get over yourselves guys, climb down and join the rest of the human race, and start working out how 9 billion people (forecast by mid century) are going to live with this changing world.

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  • 88. At 4:52pm on 15 Dec 2009, James wrote:

    The difference of the male and female mind when it comes to perceiving the world is explored in the book "The Tao of Physics". You should read up on it. What the world needs now is a more feminine (cautious/intuitive/holistic) mindset in order to balance the current situation. You cannot manage the world with purely masculine qualities because humanity has 2 sexes.

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  • 89. At 4:53pm on 15 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    And here was me thinking most people would be outraged by such an article.

    Re: 46

    interesting question that you kind of posed there- (you used deductive reasoning so i'm extracting it as a question if i may for discussion)

    and i'll paraphrase the gyst-

    "even if the cru data is proved to be false, there is still sufficient data out there to support MMCC/AGW" (if you think i've misrepresented you then please say, and i'll withdraw/change my comment accordingly.

    This raises an interesting point- if the CRU data is deemed to be compromised there are another 3 sets of temperature records we can look at. However, the interesting point is this- if the CRU dataset has(if proved to be so) been tampered with, and the other datasets agree with it- what does that imply about the other data sets?

    We've already seen compelling evidence that data records in AUS and NZ have been 'misrepresented' to comply with the AGW theory- these links have been posted numerous times, it would seem that this could actually be the tip of the (melting) iceberg. Whichever way this plays out, this needs FULL and independant investigation.

    Finally a few points for those in the 'middle'/undecided.

    I'd suggest you ignore comments from anyone (from either side of the debate) who follows the following lines

    1- ad homeniun/personal attacks- be it on a proffesional/psychological or personal level (plenty of examples on this thread- and now by our host)
    2- suggestions of bias due to funding (i.e. 'sceptics' in pockets of oil companies, 'warmists' in pockets of government funding)
    3- emotional 'blackmail' (think of the children, duty to future generations, business as normal etc etc)
    4- Anyone who claims the science is 'settled'
    5- Anyone who claims a consensus means they are 'right'.

    Instead look at the data (if its available)- but be careful to look at scale- that can greatly impact the tone/framing of the results. Problems for me on this (with regard to AGW) are the data integrity, handling, and interpretation- though YOU need to look into this yourselves.


    Also try and realise there are people (on both sides) who just want to know the truth/get to the bottom of things, not everyone has an agenda/is out to silence the otherside.

    In science, it is just as exciting to be proved wrong, as it is to be proved right. Both eventualities lead to an improvement of knowledge, all scientists SHOULD adhere to that principle and science won't go far wrong.

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  • 90. At 4:54pm on 15 Dec 2009, Dempster wrote:

    67. At 4:27pm on 15 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed
    8. At 2:54pm on 15 Dec 2009, Dempster wrote:
    Would that be the same Average Joe that bailed (Get out of jail FREE!) Banksters to the tune of several Trillion $s?

    Yes that's him, the mug who always get's nailed for everything.

    CO2 emissions tax, don't you just love 'em.

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  • 91. At 4:54pm on 15 Dec 2009, merv c wrote:

    All men who pointed out general concensus was wrong:
    Heavier Objects Fall Faster - Wrong, Galileo corrected this misconception
    Earth is 6000 years old - Wrong, nearer 4 billion years old attributed Earnest Rutherford and radioactive dating.
    Bad Air causes infections - Wrong, Louis Pasteur discovered germs.
    Earth is the centre of the Universe- Wrong, Copernicus showed the Earth orbited the sun
    "The Sceptical Chymist 1661" by Robert Boyle, showed that there are not merely 4 elements earth, fire, air and water, but numerous elements.
    So concensus in science does not equate to good science; history shows us that brilliant scientists are the ones that count, not the scientists with the best publicists.

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  • 92. At 4:55pm on 15 Dec 2009, J T STATHAM wrote:

    The question should be why should we accept the view that global warming is almost solely due to CO2 emmissions? It may be so, but the clamour from politicians and everyone else on what appears to be a band wagon makes me suspicious. Even scientist are prone to band wagonism...the politics of the scientific community is cut-throat and if you are not in the gang...well you are anathema. Nobody seems to have given an explanation of the medieval warming episode, this can't have been due to human production of CO2...I appreciate temperatures didn't rise to the levels we are now seeing, but it clearly demonstrates temperature fluctuations can be due to non-human causes. It seems if you are a "global warming due to human produced CO2" refusenik you are labelled as some sort of eccentric. Remember all scientific theories start out as heresies compared with the current main stream opinion. Richard Black's article is a mere finger pointing excercise at people who aren't toeing his line...he's part of the "global warming" industry...if you want to know why he writes about it then think career...flavour of the month...party line...his career wouldn't prosper if he was seen to be some sort of "flat earther" would it? Stick to the "global warming" script and your career will flourish, Richard. Look at Wegener and his continental drift theory...labelled as misguided and way of the mark, but now, well, how can you be a geologist without fully accepting continental drift? If the warming is due solely to CO2 levels then there's little to be done for now because the full effect has still not fed into the system, it'll be a few hundred years before the full effect is realised (no matter what we do from now on). I fail to see how politicians who are notoriously bad at being able to lay long term plans, let's say for 10 years hence think they can effect things over the next 100/200 years. If CO2 is the problem then it's all interlinked with consumerism and the devouring of resources at break-neck speed and I can't see that being resolved by any politician/scientist/industrialist any time soon. Will natural processes come into play to help moderate the warming process? Is it part of a cycle only marginally related to CO2? Am I a sceptic? Not really, I just want clear information and not political spin.

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  • 93. At 4:55pm on 15 Dec 2009, Chritopher J wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 94. At 4:56pm on 15 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    IT'S DEAD NOW BREAKING NEWS FROM THE USA INCLUDING MICROSOFT AND NIKE DEMANDING OBAMA PULL OUT OF COP15

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/1209/Microsoft_Nike_Dow_urge_Obama_to_seal_Chagen_deal.html?showall

    40 USA COMPANIES ARE LISTED AS SIGNING

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  • 95. At 4:59pm on 15 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    Hmmm, anything to report? Like what's happening today at Copenhagen?

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  • 96. At 5:00pm on 15 Dec 2009, Doug wrote:

    I'm not sure why there's a gender bias with climate skepticism.

    However, as someone who is still unconvinced (I tend to go on 'evidence' rather than absurd tales about dying polar bears and wild speculation) I can say that one thing that puts me off is the smug arrogance and intolerance for anyone who questions the mainstream bandwagon. In fact, some of it comes close to the suppression of free speech.

    Global warming is happening. That is clear. However, having listened to climate scientists, I know for a fact that:
    - The Earth is going to get warmer
    - The Earth is going to get colder
    - The Earth is going to get wetter
    - The Earth is going to be a dustbowl.
    - It's caused entirely by mankind, especially middle class activities such as traveling, driving big cars and listening to Sting albums - what a lucky coincidence! We can tax these people to death without having to bother about working out a scientific solution.

    Science used to be about determining truths and finding solutions. Under the guidance of climate scientists its become about speculation, politics and lobbying.

    But lets assume this dime store horror stuff is 100% correct. If so, the top 2 man-made causes of global warming are:
    - Overpopulation;
    - Deforestation;

    Surprise surprise! It's not driving Landrovers.

    And the Copenhagen conference seems to have done **** all about that, choosing instead to do charmless publicity stunts, slag off people who accidentally put their yoghurt cartons in with their potato peelings and whine at governments until they raise taxes even higher. Raising taxes won't save a single tree or make contraception available to 3rd world countries with colossal birth rates.

    To climate scientists: Stop speculating and find a non-fossil fuel energy source.

    To governments: Stop, at all costs, Brazil, Bolivia etc. cutting out the the lungs of the world.

    Then I'll start to listen.

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  • 97. At 5:00pm on 15 Dec 2009, connor wrote:

    This is probably the worst drivel I have ever read on the BBC site... The fact that it made the front page of the site actually scares me.

    Sickening that a source of news, people trust, posts things like this and certainly all the more reason for people to be sceptical of *ANYTHING* they hear from governments or their sycophants in the press.

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  • 98. At 5:00pm on 15 Dec 2009, STIG wrote:


    Why are virtually all climate "sceptics" men?

    Answer: For the same reason most men are sceptical of Astrology?

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  • 99. At 5:02pm on 15 Dec 2009, AngusPangus wrote:

    Maria Ashot: hilarious parody; loved it!

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  • 100. At 5:03pm on 15 Dec 2009, AngusPangus wrote:

    Richard,

    what's the weather like?

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  • 101. At 5:05pm on 15 Dec 2009, ThoughtCrime wrote:

    In my experience men are generally more prone to challenge and question assertions. Women are generally more nurturing. I know that's playing into gender stereotypes but that's how I've observed people to be, albeit with a number of exceptions.

    The nurturing nature of women manifests itself in a desire to protect things. Look at how advertising uses anything cute and fluffy to appeal to women, especially young women. To appeal to men it's usually something powerful or noisy.

    So when we've got the widely reported viewpoint that we need to to take specific actions to protect the world around us, the combination of a lower likelihood to challenge authority and a higher desire to nurture will probably lead women to accept the arguments.

    Men, on the other hand, are less worried about nurturing and more likely to challenge authority. In some cases this is a good thing, in others it's a bad thing.

    My own view - when we're apparently faced with certain doom because of carbon emissions, and the best solution our politicians can come up with is to fly en masse to a conference (which itself is responsible for more carbon emissions than small nations produce in a year) to figure out ways of taxing us, is to ignore the fluff and carry on as before.

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  • 102. At 5:06pm on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    Richard:

    the centre for American Progress can hardly deny that it is very much aligned with the Democrat agenda, and an article of theirs that LABELS dissenters as 'old white replublican males' smacks of propaganda. kind of seems a bit sexist, racist and age-ist doesn't it? in fact its in line with the 'rules for radicals' and the 'rules of the game'. For shame sir.

    @geedeesea:

    is that the best you can manage? 3 days late and feeble dude. no response on the 'one is an article lamenting the level of debate and being silenced the other is demanding that monckton be silenced for being outraged at being silenced?' and yet another ad hominem? i forgive your rant slurring all deniers. i forgive your closed mindedness. i forgive your habit of insulting those you cannot shout down. peace out.

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  • 103. At 5:06pm on 15 Dec 2009, Steve Roberts wrote:

    It comes to something when BBC journalism stoops to such lows as making gender comments like that. Why mainly blokes? There are more male scientists than female. Anyway, the real question that journalists should be asking is "are the Climategate revelations real or made up?" If real, then journalists should be all over it like a rash. In fact, if there is even a 1% chance it's real then the accusations are so serious that it should still be thoroughly investigated.

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  • 104. At 5:06pm on 15 Dec 2009, Leviticus wrote:

    Women have probably got more important things to do like - cleaning the house,laundry,ironing,grocery shopping picking the kids up from school and cooking their husbands dinner than to be concerned about ridiculous and fabricated political and scientific conspiracies aimed, as part of an overall strategy, to economically enslave the masses and establish a New World Order and an Orwellian One World Government.Naturaaly it needs the complicity of the media, particularly the highly influential and arguably globally monopolistic BBC. Do the titles Trilateral Commission, Bilderberger and Illuminatti have any resonance? This isn't about climate it's about the brainwashing and control of the masses.

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  • 105. At 5:08pm on 15 Dec 2009, Jim wrote:

    Funny how "sex" appears in the title but your text refers three times to "genders". How very British!

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  • 106. At 5:10pm on 15 Dec 2009, minuend wrote:

    Copenhagen Day 6: Rockall Delegate's diary

    BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

    Global warming conference? More like a welder's conference for brass monkeys! Snow, ice, chill factor, all that and more on the way.

    Friday is going to be a peach when the Obama flies in. I hope he doesn't suffer from piles.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/forecast/35?&search=copenhagen&itemsPerPage=10&region=world

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  • 107. At 5:10pm on 15 Dec 2009, Ken Appleby wrote:

    @72. Maria Ashot

    Well said. You have it exactly right, and you express it so well. (Apart from a misrepresentation "Darwinists" but that's important here.)

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  • 108. At 5:10pm on 15 Dec 2009, David Baker wrote:

    I'm not really surprised. Men and women differ biologically because of the different investment that each makes in the reproductive process. A politics of sustainability is more in line with the feminine instinct to conserve and protect. Climate sceptics resent any limits on their freedom to consume, and that is a quintessentially male attitude.

    David Baker

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  • 109. At 5:14pm on 15 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    Labmunkey

    Deductive meaning at my post at 94 lets see shall we :)

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  • 110. At 5:16pm on 15 Dec 2009, lacerniagigante wrote:

    You forget Michelle Malkin.

    She's as "skeptic" as it gets to any issue that is not purely right-wing.

    This includes climate change.

    It's funny that the word "skeptic" means "someone who thinks" in Greek. It has come to mean "someone who yells, pulls you by the sleeve and annoys you, just for the sake of getting their 15 minutes (or is 15 seconds) in the bloglight".

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  • 111. At 5:18pm on 15 Dec 2009, Diccon Jones wrote:

    Richard,

    Perhaps a slightly more useful article would be an UNBIASED in-depth feature into what some of the key arguments are FOR being sceptical of climate change. This would be a refreshing feature to run instead of commenting on the type of sex / age / fashion people seem to be. Perhaps it could even spark a meaningful debate?

    My reservation is not because I am a man who likes taking risks, it is because our country is in the worst recession it has ever been. If we need to take action then we need to take action, but we need to be 100% on the science laid out before us. Recently I have become increasingly concerned with the amount of holes presented in our current understanding of man made climate change and even more concerned over how these holes are getting wall papered over with the phrase "the underlying science is right". If it is so right, please can you simply run a feature where you present the main points "Sceptics" take against MMCC and even add your own understand as to why they have been discounted.

    For everyone else - wattsupwiththat is a very good blog with some slightly more intellectual posts...

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  • 112. At 5:23pm on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    what about the lady from the daily mail who was jeered and mocked by the baying crowd on QT? pretty sure she's a 'skeptic' (do the speechmarks=denier?) and female. can't be certain on either point though.

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  • 113. At 5:29pm on 15 Dec 2009, Gordon wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 114. At 5:29pm on 15 Dec 2009, John wrote:

    Why are some climate scientists collusive, unprincipled and untrustworthy?
    It's not easy, is it, to understand why people behave in the way that they do.
    Why are all BBC climate reporters failing in their duty to the public?
    I really don't know.
    Perhaps, in time, the truth will out.

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  • 115. At 5:29pm on 15 Dec 2009, David Brooks wrote:

    From the Associated Press last Friday (Dec 11)

    The paper, drawn up by Michael Zammit Cutajar, the Maltese chairman of the conference’s largest committee, says global emissions of greenhouse gases should peak “as soon as possible.” But controlling carbon emissions should be subordinate to the effort to wipe out poverty and develop the economies of the world’s poorest nations, it said.

    Read the last sentence again and again and again until the message sinks in. This has nothing to do with climate change and everything to do with wealth change

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  • 116. At 5:35pm on 15 Dec 2009, inmyshoes wrote:

    ImranCan2: I would LOVE to know how an island with a maximum elevation of 4m did not fall below sea level when sea level rose by 130m....

    Please, enlighten us...

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  • 117. At 5:36pm on 15 Dec 2009, Beejay wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 118. At 5:37pm on 15 Dec 2009, C B Walker wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 119. At 5:38pm on 15 Dec 2009, Frxzogg wrote:

    Ancient Chinese saying: When pointing finger, three fingers point back at you.

    I get the psycho-sexual inadequacy argument almost exclusively from the radical left, and very often. By contrast, I've never been told by a right-wing nut that the reason I haven't accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior is that I have unresolved childhood issues.

    So an observant Chinese philosopher might ask what unresolved psycho-sexual childhood inadequacy issues do the left-wing nutcases in Copenhagen harbor?

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  • 120. At 5:39pm on 15 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 121. At 5:45pm on 15 Dec 2009, Plato-says wrote:

    Those of us with different chromosomes are steered in a different direction [ie social work et al] unless we're pretty single-minded about it.

    Is this the best you can do in terms of insight?

    What a joke.

    Good grief.

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  • 122. At 5:46pm on 15 Dec 2009, Patobanton wrote:

    Judging from the majority of comments on here, I would go along with the theory, that it is mostly men who have the chutzpah and arrogance to comment on things they clearly know nothing abou (see Clive James), and also the stubborness to refuse to back down when they are entirely wrong. It is a similar phenomenon as that which arises in pubs around the land after any given football match. "Wenger/Capello/Benitez doesn't know what he's doing - I, Jo Bloggs who hasn't so much seen a real football in the last 20 years, would make a much better manager". Somehow football club Directors up and down the land seem to have missed their opportunity to sign the greatest manager ever because they're always too busy looking for someone with those ridiculous qualities of expertise and experience.

    I'd say its a similar argument for the climate sceptics - clearly if you want to make a bit of a reputation for yourself (eg. you were once someone half important, but not any more, see Nigel Lawson, David Davis, Lord Monckton) you read some anti-climate change propaganda and proclaim yourself a world authority despite having almost zero knowledge of a tremendously complicated subject(nice Classics degree Lord Monckton).If nothing else it might get you a bit of media coverage and make you feel important again and conquer that sinking feeling irrelevance for a while.

    I would say men on the whole have a lot more confidence in expressing opinions, and not caring they have nothing to back it up (please dont quote any blogs at me - I could list as many by 'scientists' stating the world was created in seven days). Denying climate change also makes them feel a bit edgy and controversial. Middle age men that are filling out a bit, like that - see Rod Liddle/Jeremy Clarkson.

    Finally, can people give some thought to what they write on here particularly regarding conspiracy theories. I wont list at length, but please

    "Climate scientists are only doing all of this for the money" - So let me get this right, phenomenally intelligent people have happened upon a scheme to get rich quick by making up an imagined threat? If this is the case then they're not clever, because last time I checked, all the money seemed to be in the notoriuos litigious oil industry (See a global rich list and work out where it came from). If money was my main concern, I'm fairly sure where I'd start to look for funding.

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  • 123. At 5:46pm on 15 Dec 2009, David Brooks wrote:

    There can be no doubt that the climate is changing, and has done so since interstellar dust coalesced into the orb we all call home.
    At this point in history humanity has choices:
    1. accept that the change is inevitable and take steps to adapt ourselves to it in order to survive and thrive,
    2. stick our collective head in the ground and wind up like the dinosaurs,
    3. adopt the wealth transfer approach being preached in Copenfakin this week which will bring the whole world down to the level of the poorest nation on the planet, not prevent a single carbon atom from entering the atmosphere and ahve us wind up like the dinosaurs anyway.
    So, that's really two choices - adapt to what's coming or face extinction as a species.

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  • 124. At 5:50pm on 15 Dec 2009, Mark Wrigley wrote:

    I'm amazed! At a time when climate science has a reputation equivalent to the Salam witch hunts, should we be concerned about the gender of those of us who are not convinced by scientists who fiddle results, intimidate editors and trash objections.

    If you really do think that man is changing the climate as you say, why don't you "climate accusers" put your effort behind some good science and convince us skeptics?

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  • 125. At 5:59pm on 15 Dec 2009, DrKnow wrote:

    Richard Black's attempt to identify, isolate and demonise a deviant minority of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) sceptics or "deniers" exposes the pseudo-religious psychology of AGW acolytes who have swallowed this mere hypothesis as a matter of religious faith rather than scientific proof.

    Perhaps the psychological profile of his identified skeptics reflects their life experience and healthy cynicism garnered through years of practical experience especially with the deviousness and self-interest of politicians and the doom and auto-flaggelation obsession of the western press not to mention repeated, exaggerated and, often, contradictory science (fiction) scare stories that we are bombarded with.

    And what about the acolytes of AGW religion - what is THEIR profile ? Mostly young, inexperience in life, and brainwashed in the "facts" of AGW by almost equally young, leftist teachers and cynical politicians (witness the current AGW childrens bedtime story advert promulgated and financed by HM Gov.).

    AGW is nothing more than another redistributionist political philosophy that appeals to the young, the left and the third world begging bowl - bankrupt communism dressed up as care for the planet.

    No wonder my friends in "third world" Ecuador have for years described environmentalists as "sandias" (watermelons) - green on the outside red on the inside.

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  • 126. At 5:59pm on 15 Dec 2009, Plato-says wrote:

    Richard - just a thought.

    Most sceptics are over 50 yrs old and are also men.

    Does that tell me that men are more sceptical than women, or that those who have little to lose career-wise are willing to speak out?

    And historically, I note that men represent a bigger group of science grads.

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  • 127. At 6:03pm on 15 Dec 2009, George Herbert wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 128. At 6:04pm on 15 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    I don't know why my post #120 was referred but i look forward to seeing it appear in due course

    in the meantime, i look forward to Richards profile on climate alarmists who advocate Nuremberg trials for sceptics. I wonder if there will be a disturbed personality reference or two in that report

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  • 129. At 6:05pm on 15 Dec 2009, Maurizio Morabito wrote:

    Graham (#122)

    I am puzzled by your comment. Richard has provided some poll data to back his thoughts up. My contention is that they undermine instead his original argument (#27).

    If your concern is about "mostly men" having "the chutzpah and arrogance to comment on things they clearly know nothing about", wouldn't it make more sense to deal with those poll figures, rather than comment on things you clearly know nothing about?

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  • 130. At 6:06pm on 15 Dec 2009, richard2 wrote:

    What a hack piece.

    Suppose we consider the climate expertise of say Jane Lubchenco, the new head of NOAA?
    She's a marine biologist professor turned global warming opportunist.

    Her Oregon State University research group sought and got a $9 million
    National Academy of Sciences grant and spent 5 years studying what she labeled ocean dead zones off the Oregon coast.
    At the end of the research on these "seasonal" and long occuring ded zones her team found no link to AGW.
    So she used science by suppostion to suggest there could be a link.
    It then travled far and wide in many publications becoming established science in the AGW movement.
    It was a pure fabrication.
    Her reward was the appointment to head NOAA where she quickly followed suit with ultra idiocy by by declaring "climate models are robust enough to predict wind patterns 100 yeasr from now".

    Soon after she pulled the politics to get the NOAA research fleet moved from Puget Sound to her former OSU research base at Newport Oregon.

    Time after time I have run across women "scientists" who have entered the AGE vanguard with the worst of the worst misrepresentations on the science they pose as experts in.

    I could care less what gender our experts are in any field.

    It's fraud that is unacceptable.

    And neither is incompetence.

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  • 131. At 6:06pm on 15 Dec 2009, fishinmad wrote:

    What's really worrying about this is what is implied. In our misandrist society all things negative are potrayed as male attributes, all male attributes are negative.
    The new orthodoxy portrays all sceptics as heretics.
    The face of scepticism is male apparently - there is no worse description of it within our world.
    Scepticism can now be safely disregarded because it's only men, who are all evil of course, who hold to that opinion.
    It thus follows that men are enemies of the planet, life itself and want to destroy children, the future, drown polar bears etc.
    Mr Black, your piece is a truly pathetic piece of journalism. Amazing that a man has penned such a sickeningly sexist article, not even Shira Hite could have put the knife in so childishly.

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  • 132. At 6:07pm on 15 Dec 2009, RGVPOSH wrote:

    I beg to differ as i know many Intelligent women who have minds of there own and are not taken in by all this brainwashing. I dont know one single person who believes all this global warming nonsence. We are bombarded with it every day on tv and i really think the the powers that be think that if they keep on long enough we will accept it. Sorry but it wont work. They have now even started on us sceptics trying to make out that we should be ashamed for doubting the scientists. Scientists are quite often wrong changing there minds from one year to the next. By all means recycle but there aint a thing you can do about the earths climate now and there wasnt in the past. Get a grip get and enjoy life and stop worrying about something that will never happen. Im proud to be a sceptic and nothing anyone can say will change my mind.

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  • 133. At 6:12pm on 15 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    ok, i will try again if #120 isn't to be posted

    @Richard Black

    This is a truly outrageous article, not worthy of appearing on this blog or the BBC. What were you thinking? I would expect this type of tripe to be posted by one of your more vociferous posters (I'm sure you know who i mean)

    To print quotes from unnamed sources that imply sceptics have personality disorders is completely beyond the bounds of decency and taste

    I actually enjoy your environmental ramblings (except of course on AGW), but this is just unforgivable. I won't go as far as calling for your resignation, as some have done, but i think an apology should be forthcoming

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  • 134. At 6:13pm on 15 Dec 2009, dougal wrote:

    In my experience the basic argument is flawed. My family and relatives are mainly female and largely of science/maths/practical inclination and are just as sceptical as myself of the degree of influence mankind has over climate events.

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  • 135. At 6:16pm on 15 Dec 2009, tomjol wrote:

    I wouldn't call 63% "virtually all", but then neither would I produce an article which relies for the bulk of its statistics on small groups of individuals who are either on the board of something or other or speaking at a conference.

    Is the ordinary man (or woman) not entitled to have views on the subject? Or do they just not matter?

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  • 136. At 6:16pm on 15 Dec 2009, Flatearther wrote:

    From a mail sceptic. I notice it's snowing nicley in Copenhagen, despite all the hot air being produced and all those jets arriving and limos everywhere.

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  • 137. At 6:17pm on 15 Dec 2009, StealthTax wrote:

    Maybe it's because women are from Venus... so they've seen the end result of high atmospheric CO2!

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  • 138. At 6:18pm on 15 Dec 2009, Flatearther wrote:

    And global warming is going down like ninepins. http://web.me.com/sinfonia1/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Entries/2009/12/15_Now_the_Front_Page_-_Global_Warming_is_Going_Down_Like_Nine_Pins.html

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  • 139. At 6:20pm on 15 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Rachel Miller #43

    Good post

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  • 140. At 6:22pm on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    @133

    Seconded!

    won't be holding my breath for an apology.

    also i'm afraid i feel he should resign.

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  • 141. At 6:26pm on 15 Dec 2009, Whetherperson wrote:

    "I can see the links to complain about individual comments but I can't find the button to complain about the article itself.

    Please take this comment as a complaint about this article for reasons ably pointed out by some of the previous comments."

    - 'nuff said, I'll second that.

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  • 142. At 6:28pm on 15 Dec 2009, Spanglerboy wrote:

    Richard

    I tend to agree with a lot of the comments on here - pretty poor piece of journalism. But on the plus side it has brought out lots of new posters and they mostly seem to be flat-earthers

    excellent work

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  • 143. At 6:30pm on 15 Dec 2009, Papa wrote:

    Maria Ashot, said it best:
    "Everyone is free to believe whatever they believe. No one is free, any more, once and for all, to Pollute the Air & Water & Soil we all depend on with impunity."

    Basically, nobody that i have read is saying that humans are causing global warming, we all know the earth has its cycles, but there is no denying our impact on Earth's processes. We can no longer accept ignorance as righteousness, we have to allow science to continue to develop our understanding of our environment and its processes.
    As the human species, our only known predator is Mother Nature, yet we are reluctant to learn from her and down right refuse to adapt to her. We have a "god" complex about us that allows us to believe that we are better than anything and nothing can hurt us. Blame this on pre-destination, ego..etc.
    We have to realize that science will explain it all, we just need to invest in it. Even if science proves one religion correct over another or ultimately disproves all religion in favor of evolution or some other theory, it doesn't matter. What matters is that we make science a priority in order to ensure the survival of the species.

    I am all for skeptics in science, so long as their skepticism isn't based off a preconceived notion. (ie Religion) Skepticism needs to be based off observation and facts. Science has to be checked and rechecked and constantly challenged in order for it to work. ie, you can argue all day that 1+1=3 but science/math will disprove you every time.

    Science will find the answer, but until we as s global society accept it, we are going to do nothing but bicker back and forth about who is right.

    Well, science is right and if it weren't, i certainly wouldn't be able to type this on my scientifically created electronic message machine.




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  • 144. At 6:35pm on 15 Dec 2009, xtoph wrote:

    Global warming when considered over a lengthy period is undoubtedly real. The cause is not so certain.

    Even if there is a considerable human impact why have so few people considered the sheer numbers of people in the world? An overpopulation of 20m in the UK and similar percentage numbers in almost every 'developed' country. We have so-called concerned politicians (for example, Sarah Palin) doing their utmost to expand their own gene pool without thought for anyone else. Would it not be a better example to show some restraint and limit (by choice) off-spring numbers to one or two? This could then be supported by governments who would bite the bullet on child benefits (or tax as far as those with no or smaller families are concerned) and opt for a limit to the amount of benefit that can be paid - this may also have an effect on the number of fraudulent claims.

    The whole argument about scepticism is forcing people into narrow bands and stopping debate on wider issues.

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  • 145. At 6:38pm on 15 Dec 2009, Papa wrote:

    "By contrast, I've never been told by a right-wing nut that the reason I haven't accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior is that I have unresolved childhood issue"

    No, but you are told you are going to hell if you don't believe. You are also told that you can never know the truth so don't ask. Just accept it.

    As an American i also know that Jesus Christ is shoved down our throats from the day we are born, so if anything leads to our unresolved childhood issues, its religion. Religion has never provided an answer, only more questions.

    Science provides the answers.

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  • 146. At 6:38pm on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    'Science will find the answer, but until we as s global society accept it, we are going to do nothing but bicker back and forth about who is right.

    Well, science is right and if it weren't, i certainly wouldn't be able to type this on my scientifically created electronic message machine.'

    so the fact we have computers proves the 'science' behind AGW? is that what you meant or did i misunderstand you?

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  • 147. At 6:41pm on 15 Dec 2009, Mark Judge wrote:

    I fear this is just pettiness from Mr Black because of his being summoned to Newswatch to defend the BBC's lack of reportage of anyone critical of AWG, it certainly isn't journalism.

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  • 148. At 6:42pm on 15 Dec 2009, LarryKealey wrote:


    @Maria Ashot #72

    I want to thank you for that wonderful essay on "Denial Detachment", I am sure that everyone here feels much more enlightened by your psychology lesson. I for one, believe that you should not limit yourself to sharing your views only here - perhaps, your time would be better spent writing a book and not blogging on your hero's blog.

    Cheers.

    Kealey

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  • 149. At 6:45pm on 15 Dec 2009, Carlyle Ferris wrote:

    This blog typifies the problem in climate science. Woolly thinking, cherry picking facts, manipulating data to suit a flawed theory, deflecting criticism by introducing completely irrelevent (gender) issues.
    Sceptics ask for genuine information. We don't want Al Gore and his doomsday scenarios containing so many errors that even an English Judge could spot them. We don't want Mann and his tree rings added to temperature guesses divided by the number of camels that can go through the eye of a needle; we don't want Jones and his desperate attempts to hide and manipulate data to fit his flawed computer models. We don't want to be told about Islands that are drowning when not a single Island has been evacuated in 100 years. We don't want to hear about the extinction of the polar bear when there were 5000 in 1950 and now there are 25000; We don't want to hear about the loss of the Antarctic ice sheets when there is a greater overall volume of ice than there has been for centuries. The sea level has not risen significantly for a hundred years. The temperature has actually declined over the last century. There is no trend in monsoon rains; there is no increase in the number or severity of hurricanes or typhoons. Where are your proofs? What we want are genuine answers to genuine concerns.

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  • 150. At 6:45pm on 15 Dec 2009, Sarah wrote:

    I hadn't really thought about this before, but anecdotally at least it would indeed appear that the majority of vocal climate change sceptics are men - though men make up a large proportion of climatologists. I would also bet that the majority of Holocaust-deniers, people who do not believe that HIV causes AIDS and conspiracy theorists who believe that 9/11 was a plot by the US government are men too.

    Perhaps women are more "caring" and keener to exercise the precautionary principle, whereas men are more libertarian and don't like state intervention and paying higher taxes. Maybe women are more sensible, read around the subject and don't ignore the overwhelming body of evidence for anthropogenic global warming, whereas men read one sceptical blog post and are more likely to assert they know better than the Royal Society et al.

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  • 151. At 6:46pm on 15 Dec 2009, Neil Hyde wrote:

    In the "good old days" when truth was paramount , journalistic integrity was sacrosanct, and there was still honour aplenty in society , there would have been only one course of action following an article such as this .

    It is time for a reassertian of standards in many walks of life , so lets start with BBC journalism.

    Resign Richard.

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  • 152. At 6:48pm on 15 Dec 2009, vince wrote:

    First you ridicule, then you attack, finally you will accept the truth.

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  • 153. At 6:50pm on 15 Dec 2009, iain shepherd wrote:

    well women believe in astrology and that rubbing expensive cream on themselves makes them look younger

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  • 154. At 6:51pm on 15 Dec 2009, Amanda in America wrote:

    I'm a woman and I get it. So does my husband. However, neither of us are bloggers are bigwigs. We just follow the news and use our heads.

    The article strikes me as exhibiting the opposite of the Occam's razor approach, to put it in the most neutral terms.

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  • 155. At 6:56pm on 15 Dec 2009, Matte wrote:

    The blurb associated with the registration for this comment indicates that "comments liable to offend others" will not be accepted. Clearly this does not apply to the Blog Author, who can imply with impunity that we, the larger part of the populous, who don't accept the "overwhelming evidence", have some childhood induced mental disorder. As a lifelong student of many, (and practitioner in several), branches of science, I can see that there is no such overwhelming evidence. The BBC, for resons of it's own, nailed it's colours to the "Global Warming" lobby's mast, rather than remain a disinterested organisation as required under it's mandate. It would seem from my viewing of BBCtv, the radio and website, that all coherent and logical dismissal of the GW-religion have been edited into the background. I don't know how many scientists are on the board of the BBC, but it would seem there are none who have knowledge of the rigourous evaluations required before a theory is converted into a fact. Furthermore, the surveys quoted above, which refers to the backgrounds and characteristics of the "sceptics", can equally be attributed to the GW-pro's. It always amazes me that there is never any reference to the bottomless purse, which, by reason of human nature, attracts scientific "yes" men like wasps to a jam-pot, nor to the ability of politicians to see an easy route for the taxation bandwaggon to roll along. All in all, this article is a shoddy attempt to push a theory which is still, considering the scale of the subject under review, woefully short of data and rigorous cross-checking, due in no small part to the "we're all doomed" mentality of the non-scientific public. This article attempts to propagandize using slur and inuendo, rather then coherent argument. The old addage, "If you say something often enough, the ill-educated will believe it" was never more true, it seems to apply equally to the author.

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  • 156. At 6:56pm on 15 Dec 2009, Aj Ramchandani wrote:


    There is only one explanation ... Sarah Palin is a man!

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  • 157. At 6:57pm on 15 Dec 2009, Stuart Harris wrote:

    One major problem with this debate is that we live in world full of spin. Who should we believe ? How do normal people find out whether the scientists (of both camps) have carried out their work correctly and objectively ?

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  • 158. At 6:58pm on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    does anyone else think Mr Black might be regretting this piece now? LOL

    @150:

    at risk of starting the gender/class war Mr Black flirts with in this article:

    do you really believe that such broad sweeping statements about the viler gender (ie not your gender) are balanced? do you really feel that it is fair to say what you said in the way you said it? i'm afraid you come off as something of a manhater!

    or are you just a bit miffed about the satirical statements like those regarding astrology?

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  • 159. At 6:58pm on 15 Dec 2009, Crowcatcher wrote:

    87. DesktopCynic
    As a geologist can you please direct me to any time in the last billion years when a climate temperature 10c greater than at present has been a disadvantage to life. (There seem to have been several periods when being colder has been somewhat disadvantageous)
    As for you, Richard, you really have destroyed any of the little credibility with me with this fatuous article, and I note that you have not taken up my clallenge to extend your 800,000 CO2 timeline to the last billion years.
    To my fellow sceptics - in my BBC engineering depatment we had a saying " Know b*****r all about anything, become a (BBC) jounalist"

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  • 160. At 7:00pm on 15 Dec 2009, Fudsdad wrote:

    I found this article condescending and even offensive.
    I would suggest to this correspondent that perhaps the type of people that he demeans as sceptics have taken the time to actually read up on this topic and have realised that there is no proof of man-made global warming or what is now known as "climate change" (since the actuality has not followed the model predictions). The hysterical reporting particularly on the BBC that seeks to link every climatic extreme to man's activities has gone beyond parody.
    I would also suggest that the people who swallow the "science" propounded by the IPCC and are activists, are those who must have had troubled childhoods so that they hate the society that bred them.
    I challenge anyone on this forum to provide me with a link to any "proof" of the science that supports the AGW theory.

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  • 161. At 7:03pm on 15 Dec 2009, US_BBC_Reader wrote:

    I think it is interesting that when one examines the unambiguous user names of all the commenters, 90% are male! hm?

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  • 162. At 7:05pm on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    @151:

    Seconded!

    I don't doubt Richards noble intentions.

    However:

    1) He can no longer maintain any semblance of being impartial, as a journalist ought to be.
    2) He has nailed his trousers to the mast (makes it hard to climb down).

    He can't refute the proAGW line or even give a genuine, respectful commentary on the 'skeptics' because it would contradict vast tracts of his previous text. He has to go. Sorry Mr. Black.

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  • 163. At 7:08pm on 15 Dec 2009, Jonny Morland wrote:

    A completely silly article and, as a previous comment notes, more likely designed to get up the noses of climate change sceptics than add anything meaningful to the discussion.

    But from the comments made it is possible to conclude that a majority of the scepticism emanates from those who have the preconceived notion that the whole man made climate change debate is designed to separate them from their hard earned cash via higher taxation. And that will immediately preclude in these 'sceptics' any serious consideration of the clear scientific evidence that humans continue to pollute the planet to a massive degree and are AT LEAST responsible for accelerating climate change.

    Simple selfishness in fact.

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  • 164. At 7:08pm on 15 Dec 2009, ManBearPig4 wrote:

    You, Richard, are a scourge on the "Free" world.

    Signed,

    A Woman

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  • 165. At 7:09pm on 15 Dec 2009, LarryKealey wrote:


    @Neil Hyde

    Here Here - good show.

    Resign Richard, find a new vocation.

    Cheers.

    Kealey

    PS - Richard, is there some issues with answering the questions posed in post #33? Are they not reasonable questions to ask? If so, please tell me why they are unreasonable questions.

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  • 166. At 7:13pm on 15 Dec 2009, AngloCelt wrote:

    Strongly support comment by ClarrieM. To dismiss David Bellamey merely as a TV presenter is a travesty. As I stated in my earlier comment; I believe global warming is happening but when journalists mislead in this way it is no wonder people are sceptical. This has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with honesty and integrity. Given David Bellamy scientific and environmental knowledge people like me would be more impressed by some if you treated his views as thought they had at least as much weight as amateur publicity seekers and unqualified activists for whom this is just another cause which requires belief but not thought.

    I am a grandfather and naturally concerned about the world which my grandchildren will inherit BUT I want us to deal with the real issues objectively. This means acting rationally rather than emotionally and acting on the basis of real scienctific evidence.

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  • 167. At 7:15pm on 15 Dec 2009, Geoff Kendall wrote:

    Let's start with the obvious; more men 'do' science than women 'do' science. You might as well ask why it is most subscribers to New Scientist magazine are men. The article is just further proof that there is little substance in the climate change argument, because if you have to resort to name-calling ('we had difficult childhoods', supposedly - though not actually) then you either have no case to offer, have difficulty making one, or simply don't realise how weak you appear when you come up with this playground-level stuff.

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  • 168. At 7:15pm on 15 Dec 2009, Alan wrote:

    I don't accept that only men are climate change sceptics - I know plenty of women that are sceptical about the claims being made by the climate change industry. That said, I don't believe that we can go on burning fossil fuels ad infinitum, nor that we don't need to change our ways, particularly in the way that we waste energy. The science behind climate change is far from certain - we know the earth is getting warmer but we don't really know why or where it is all going to end. Using less energy and generating more of the energy that we do use from renewable sources seem to me to be no brainers. That isn't going to stop me treating all the claims of the global warming "experts" with a huge pinch of salt.

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  • 169. At 7:18pm on 15 Dec 2009, Shulie Bannister wrote:

    I think men tend to say "It'll be alright" when they actually don't know that it will be. They say it when questions are raised about the long term safety of dumping nuclear waste or of eating genetically modified food, they say it when they come up with their crazy ideas like burying CO2. And most of these ideas came from men did they not? 'It'll be allright' is what the sceptics are saying now about climate change, we don't need to change the way we use our planet. Imagine being that arrogant and having that big an ego? To say in front of the watching world that all the scientists are wrong and that you know better. And Viscount Monckton is not even a scientist, who does he think he is?
    And to the other blogger who thinks that climate change is an invention of politicians to tax us more. I think he has forgotten that NGO's led the world to become concerned about this situation. They had to campaign long and hard to get the world's politicians to wake up to the danger. It took several decades. The way in which the powerful have responded to the crisis varies and some of them will use the situation to thier own ends. But observation and thoeries about climate change did not originate with governments across the world, but with Greenpeace and Friends of The Earth and all the other organisations. What financial or political gain do these campaigners get? Nothing. So the only thing that could motivate them to keep campaigning is genuine concern.

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  • 170. At 7:20pm on 15 Dec 2009, Poppy55 wrote:

    I think there are several reasons
    1) we should first ask do you think human activities produce the climatic change ? instead of do you believe on climatic change?
    2) Reduce sensationalist titles in newspapers like we are going to die because of climatic change etc. The same nonsense was said by Aids, bird flu, swine flu etc, so coming again that we are going to die because of climatic change, what do you think people do? Just laugh and keep going with their things
    3)Instead of loosing time blah blah blah some practical measures should be considered: reduction of car production instead of making people paying taxes to have old cars or because they go into the city centre. What is the difference paying or not money in environmental terms?? Nothing!! Only angry people.
    Now do you think people are going to do something all over the world while USA one of the countries that consumes I think 3/4 of the energy produced, do nothing, absolutely nothing? Of course people are tired of all this.

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  • 171. At 7:20pm on 15 Dec 2009, Tatmeister wrote:

    Climate Change? Pah! The Ozone Layer will be gone within days then we'll all fry and you'll all be sorry...! Ah... or was that *last* decade's Global Scare? And it does seem awfully like that one didn't happen. Must have been down to my change of deodorant I guess?
    Seems to me that Western society/media needs a New Global Threat every few years for some odd reason - Nuclear War, AIDS, BSE, Avian Flu, Pig Flu, etc - all of which, whilst not to deny the impact on those affected, have failed to develop into the promised doomsday scenario. Our constant need for such an overarching doomsday narrative is surely an issue worth investigation in more depth?
    If we can't accurately predict a small region of the UK's weather for tomorrow, I don't have much confidence in the accuracy of predictions in global temperature rise. There are two many butterflies flapping their wings over too many years for such simplistic models. (And anyway, I was taught at school that in geological terms, we're overdue for another ice-age).
    Oil will only last another few decades. At which point, our inability to cheaply synthesize pharmaceuticals (such as heart drugs for an increasingly ageing population) will be *far* more pressing.
    Now that *really* will be a global issue to get all heated up about...

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  • 172. At 7:21pm on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    I'd like to echo AngloCelt and ClarrieM:

    David Bellamy has been shoddily treated by the bbc. to describe him like you do in this piece is shameful.

    Bring Back Mr. Bellamy To The BBC! (if he's still willing to have anything to do with the beeb)

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  • 173. At 7:22pm on 15 Dec 2009, Hatikvah wrote:

    What a pointless statement. This reminds of the article in New Scientist about dogs being smarter than cats. More poor science where people just choose the conditions to get the result they want. Exactly why was US study more relavent than the EU (hell you didn't even bother giving a link to it) seems to me you picked the US one because they like you wanted to have a go at sceptics. Your whole article was an all out attack (anyone who is a sceptics is either a well off egotist or down right suffering from mental issues???) amazing really I thought mankind was past vilifying people for their beliefs. As for the men women arguement should we now go round insisting that there is a 50/50 male/female split at every workplace, on every topic, etc. if so I might actually start to look forward to the climate disaster.

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  • 174. At 7:22pm on 15 Dec 2009, banjo10 wrote:

    I'm not a climate sceptic but I'd say about half the people I know are, men and women - plus there are probably some who are but don't want to admit it. To communicate a message well you have to know your audience; I don't think it helps the case to try and pigeon-hole climate sceptics as (middle-aged, white?) men in tweed jackets.

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  • 175. At 7:23pm on 15 Dec 2009, Walsallian wrote:

    ...high income, well-educated, white men... = RICH
    ...conservative...individualistic...anti-egalitarian = SELFISH
    ...specialized media diet...preference for media sources that reflect their...point of view.. = IGNORANT

    That says it all, really!

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  • 176. At 7:23pm on 15 Dec 2009, Dabble wrote:

    This is a great article from an Arts graduate - looking at the sociological angle. Pity the Environment brief at the BBC isn't headed by a scientist...

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  • 177. At 7:25pm on 15 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    Earth: The Climate Wars Tuesday 15 December 11:20pm - 12:20am BBC2

    For those that missed this piece of propaganda the first time around, I can only say it's on a par with C4'f Great Global Warming Swindle (which was really bad)

    Watch as Professor Ian Stewart uses his own children to make emotional appeals to DO SOMETHING about climate change and then neglects to tell them to put on their seat belts in the car.

    Also look out for the the part where Professor Ian Stewart announces "In the Climate Wars" ~ cue photogenic picture of alarmist ~ "there will be winners" ~ cue unphotogenic and possibly distorted picture of sceptic Lord Monckton ~ "and losers"

    Oh, and don't forget the parading around London of the debunked Hockey Stick without any reference at all to M&M!

    Biased programme - you betcha!

    Shame on you BBC for repeating this piece of alarmism. What's wrong, still upset over your lack of reporting over ClimateGate?

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  • 178. At 7:25pm on 15 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    "i won't be holding my breath for an apology.

    also i'm afraid i feel he should resign."

    My advice would be to lighten up. It was an entertaining article, as the large number of comments -- many from new posters -- attests.

    The article was reminiscent of George Monbiot's article about sceptics being in their dotage (like that silly old Clive James). Neither Monbiot nor Black seems up to the task of addressing scientific questions, so they appeal to personal failings instead -- such as being male and/or old.

    Presumably, both have successful careers because more people like to read about men's fashions and male celebrities than about the nature of science, evidence, probability, and other difficult stuff like that!

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  • 179. At 7:26pm on 15 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    The Daily Express piece actually demonstrates the intellectual bankruptcy of psuedoskeptics perfectly.

    Titled "CLIMATE CHANGE IS NATURAL: 100 REASONS WHY" it helpfully lists 100 of psuedoskeptic arguments. Anyone objectively minded who scrutinizes these claims will find they are on the whole bogus, being either strawmen or outright false. There are also contradictory claims in there, but psuedoskeptics have a knack of holding many contradictory beliefs at once.

    One of the most ludicrous arguments on the list is the strawman:

    "Man-made carbon dioxide emissions throughout human history constitute less than 0.00022 percent of the total naturally emitted from the mantle of the earth during geological history"

    I think many people will read that and go "huh?!". If only the Express had also cited the psuedoskeptic paper that made this argument.



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  • 180. At 7:26pm on 15 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    btw the programme is in 3 parts

    lets hope it has been updated to show the current thinking in the science

    (fat chance)

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  • 181. At 7:27pm on 15 Dec 2009, BRIAN wrote:

    Just to blindly say more men than women are climate sceptics, does not mean it is so. Where is any research or credible evidence?
    This is the same question to put to the human climate change lobby itself. Such "evidence" produced by one scientist is countered by another opposite and equally valid reply. Furthermore, the louder and more alarmist those in favour can be, the more funding for their jobs there will be. So we just cannot rely on scientists being truly objective and unprejudiced. As for the politicians, the situation is much worse. They have proved themselves pathological liars for decades. The only interest they have is their own. No one with a brain cell believes a word they say any more. Everything is spin and image for their own advantage, whilst on the quiet fiddling expenses,doing deals and manipulating society.
    So if scientists can no longer be trusted and politicians even less so, we would be fools not to be sceptical of all their hidden agendas. Therefore, I suggest that if more men than women are proved to be sceptical of human global warming, it would probably be because men tend to be less gullible than women - but I cannot prove that!
    P.S. I can accept the science that the climate is changing because science seems quite united on that. What I and millions of others are sceptical of is that it is caused by human activity rather than the natural cycles of nature over millions of years. And there is nothing scientists or politicians can do about that. Perhaps thats why they want us to believe any fairytale they can invent - it gives them a role and an importance they do not have in reality.

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  • 182. At 7:28pm on 15 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    the more i read this article and the comments the more i think

    "What on earth were you thinking, Richard?"

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  • 183. At 7:29pm on 15 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    i'm beginning to know what it feels like to be a daily mail reader!

    lol

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  • 184. At 7:33pm on 15 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    Re 159: The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum was associated with an extinction event I believe.

    Although that's not suprising as any sudden change is going to cause extinctions as it is improbable that all species will be able to adapt to what is thrown at them. The issue with recent and ongoing climate change is not so much the magnitude - the Earth has seen worse in the past, but the rate of change. co2 was much higher tens of millions of years ago, but the recent co2 rise is very fast compared to geological time scales.

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  • 185. At 7:34pm on 15 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    Re 171:

    Yes indeed the growth of the antarctic ozone hole slowed down and has now peaked and is predicted to reverse over decades back to it's 1970s levels. If CFC emissions had continued instead of being banned the hole would have continued growing.

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  • 186. At 7:35pm on 15 Dec 2009, Livingwithless wrote:

    From a very sad male... Climate change is just one product of our collective lives that are inevitably unsustainable - world population going on 7 billion, rising to 9+ billion in the next generation. Finite resources, rising consumption. Get a grip y'all, whatever gender. Everything else should pale into insignificance.

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  • 187. At 7:38pm on 15 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    perhaps this is the reason Richard has chosen to produce this article:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/15/anything-short-of-the-absolute-pursuit-of-science-cannot-be-accepted-or-tolerated/

    is it a distraction, Richard, from the ClimateGate investigation and the stopping of funding to Michael Manns university, whilst Manns conduct is looked at? Is that the reason for the repeat of the appalling "Climate Wars" programme?

    (i really have become a daily mail reader over this article!)

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  • 188. At 7:40pm on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    i think i've posted this before: any acctivist group who screams that anyone who doesn't do what the group wants them to do is selfish = confused.

    I'm not rich.

    I am white.

    I am male.

    Technically I'm not old (by my definition at least).

    Does this mean i am in the 'denialist because of personaltiy disorder' group?


    Any chance this is an actionable slander?

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  • 189. At 7:42pm on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    @178
    :)

    a fair point and articles like this seem to fall under the 'shooting yourself in the foot' category.

    i still think Mr Black needs to go.

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  • 190. At 7:44pm on 15 Dec 2009, laughingjkings wrote:

    Interesting, however women consume more and shop more than men - they put men under pressure to achieve to earn more money, thus creating a vicious cycle of consumerism. Since the feminist revolution we haven't seen a decline in Consumerism but a growth!! Evidently the feminist Gaia arguement is a bit of a myth. All one needs to do is look at the average driver of a 4x4.

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  • 191. At 7:44pm on 15 Dec 2009, Carolin22 wrote:

    This man has no journalistic credibility

    Really, he represents a vitriolic and extremely biased point of view which should disqualify him from reporting on this subject.

    We (the masses) need GOOD and BALANCED and FAIR comment

    How do we otherwise know what to believe?

    I am so disappointed in the BBC's stance - where do we go now for the truth - FOX News?

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  • 192. At 7:48pm on 15 Dec 2009, Trefor Jones wrote:

    You must be very bored in Copenhagen! Why are most boxers men? Why are most politicians, bosses, union leaders etc men. I do not have an answer and it is certainly not because woemen are shrinking violets. If there is a reason, speaking as someone who has worked all his professional life where women have been in the majority, it is that they do not generally like to challenge a consensus. Since the media portrays this as a consensus they fall into line. However, when the penny drops that both genders have been duped by simply the worst press corps, politicians and political activists in history they will rise in revolt. In Welsh history, Napoleon's army was stopped by the subterfuge of Jemima Nicholas in Fishguard. Beware the quiet women.

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  • 193. At 7:50pm on 15 Dec 2009, Ken Appleby wrote:

    @159 Crowcatcher
    "As a geologist can you please direct me to any time in the last billion years when a climate temperature 10c greater than at present has been a disadvantage to life. "

    250M years ago, the Permian extinction. 95% of marine and 75% terrestrial species went extinct very quickly (in geological terms.) Evidence suggests that for a few tens of thousand years magma erupting over the surface of what is now Siberia heated a million or so cubic kilometres of coal that had been laid down over the preceding 50M years of the Carboniferous age. The resultant temperature rise is estimated at around 6C.

    We are doing the same thing much quicker and in comparable quantities.

    It's not the future of "life" that is of concern. "Life" on the planet will be fine. It's us who are in immediate trouble.

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  • 194. At 7:50pm on 15 Dec 2009, Gednorth wrote:

    Converting a serious issue into a gender battle adds little value to the debate especially when most 'warmist' scientists seem to be men. I have not come across many females while looking through the 'Climategate' files. Pretty much all of the chicanery in this particular scandal has been promulgated by men.

    Incidentally, should you not put a warning on the BBC site somewhere which identifies official policy on reporting this issue. I don't think many readers are aware that the curiously titled BBC Trust paper 'From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel' explicitly states '........that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus'(page 40). It is not really fair to constantly present people as fools because they do not buy-in to the argumentum ad populum driven evidence base for anthropomorphic global warming. Where the '...best scientific experts..' with whom the BBC consulted to form this view from the CRU by any chance?

    It appears to me that the BBC are in denial about the fact that there is not a consensus and unwilling to apply its usually high standards of investigative journalism to the subject. Where are the major televised debates between the two factions? Why no Panorama investigation into the CRU data scandal? Has Lord Monckton been banned from the BBC?

    There are too many educated and informed people around and too many alternative sources of data and information for the BBC to avoid presenting the issue as anything other than one of the most important debates around. Let's have fewer Polar Bears and alarmist articles and more facts. Like many, I can be persuaded to a different position with a robust argument but I will not be if the tone of the article or newscast contradicts some evidence easily obtainable elsewhere.

    Please don't let the art of BBC journalism degenerate into this sort of sexist nonesense. You have the power to exert a significant influence and and present both sides of the argument. Please use it responsibly.

    For the record I do see a warming trend line over a thirty year period but this has shown some reversal in recent years and the distotions of the Urban Heat Island effect do not seem to have been convincingly accounted for. Artic ice is less in volume than it was in 1980 but has increased since 2007. C02 has increased but it is dubious as to whether the concomitant increase in reflected long wave radiation is enough to change global temperatures. In essence the global warming scare worries me far less than public sector debt levels, inflation, peak oil, population growth and general food and resource shortages we are likely to face in the coming years.

    Let's have a proper debate!

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  • 195. At 7:51pm on 15 Dec 2009, scott wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 196. At 7:52pm on 15 Dec 2009, Jonathan wrote:

    The answer to your question is probably because men are generally more rational, logical and analytical animal and are less inclined to blindly follow unproven largely irrational ideas in a semi-religious and fanatical way with little or no understanding of the actual science involved. Essentially the same reasons women are more inclined to believe in religion, astrology and organic food.

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  • 197. At 7:53pm on 15 Dec 2009, Flatearther wrote:

    I suggest this is just another article by Richard Black showing he knows far less about climate science than us flat-earthers. Just like Gordon Brown, you should resign after insulting us scientists. Your knowledge of science is about equal to that of Gordon and Ed Milipede added together, i.e nothing.

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  • 198. At 7:54pm on 15 Dec 2009, Paul Kerr wrote:

    I think this is a really interesting question!
    but as with everything in the AGW debate not quite what it seems, or only part of an answer to a bigger question. I have been wondering about the profile of the skeptic versus the warmist for the last week and notice that a rather offensive stereotyped pofile is being used to insult skeptics.Being an atheistic rational thinker I think the S Palin photo is just used to demean the Skeptics
    I have done a little head count of christians versus atheists right wing versus left wing amonsgt friends and colleagues and the only common threads are interest in popular science versus enviromental concern. These two groups have never seen things the same way.
    I believe there is a large group who subconcsiously believe genuine enviromental concern is enough when presented with a theory such as AGW which they adopt without question as it is a good thing
    I personally believe there are plenty of christain R wing or republicans amonsgt the pro AGW group and the stereotype is a lie
    Fantastic online personal profile/ psychometric test possible at the moment for BBC or a psychology student maybe Richard would setup?
    PS Al Gore did a great Job I think it says a lot about his contributuion,cant help feeling this explains a lot of this simplistic global warming came from while illustrating we have a bit to learn yet

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  • 199. At 7:54pm on 15 Dec 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    Richard, I enjoyed the article - a little light-hearted, and I finished with a smile. What I find ridiculous are the howls of outrage that followed. Maybe some people here are taking themselves a tad too seriously?

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  • 200. At 7:56pm on 15 Dec 2009, lambrettaforever wrote:

    resign

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  • 201. At 8:01pm on 15 Dec 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    Kamboshigh at #94

    Did you actually read the link you gave in your post? It says the absolute opposite of what you say!

    Microsoft and Nike and the other US companies did NOT call on Obama to "pull out" of Copenhagen. Rather, they called on him to do all he can "to pull out some kind of climate deal in Copenhagen". Translation: to do all he can to get a result from the meeting.

    If you don't believe me, have a look again:
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/1209/Microsoft_Nike_Dow_urge_Obama_to_seal_Chagen_deal.html?showall


    As the article states:

    "We must put the United States on the path to significant emissions reductions, a stronger economy and a new position of leadership to stabilize our climate," the letter states. "The costs of inaction far outweigh the costs of action."

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  • 202. At 8:01pm on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    200 comments in 6 hours. Most (but not all) decrying the appalling insinuations in the article. is that a new record for the earthwatch blogs?

    Way To Go Mr Black.

    Now Go, Please.

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  • 203. At 8:02pm on 15 Dec 2009, Digby wrote:

    Well, since you've started with the stereotyping of men, perhaps you'll forgive me making my own stereotype. Do another study on the proportion of men and women who believe in homeopathy, crystal healing and other bogus nonsense, and see what else women believe. You yourself used the words rigorous and analytical to describe men - maybe you answered yourself.

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  • 204. At 8:04pm on 15 Dec 2009, ScudLewis wrote:

    Popped in for an update on COP15 - was met with the above!!!!!

    Err....OMG...and to lump Nick Griffen into the mix (Godwin's Law)..this piece has floored me.

    Seems the debate about Copenhagen and how to deal with Climate Change is now in a parallel universe (at least in the MSM).

    Climate scepticism is a wide and varied group - please don't create a feeling that this is a case of 'us & them'. That points to a politics of tyranny.

    A lot of 'sceptics' agree that Man is damaging the environment and we want something done to resolve the problem. But, perhaps not what is on offer at Copenhagen.

    If you want to know why the uber-sceptics are shouting louder now - it is that the system seems flawed and it has shown a weakness after years of asserting that the science of climate change cannot be questioned - see ClimateGate, dodgy data and inaccessible data.

    Only the truth, clarity, transparency and honesty will get us somewhere right now.

    To many this has the same symptoms as the MPs expenses, CDOs, credit bubbles, vote rigging, etc...

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  • 205. At 8:07pm on 15 Dec 2009, Dr Richard Erskine wrote:

    Richard

    I think your article is not a great contribution to the important subject of climate change. It does not surprise me that 50% of the first 40 response were from 'those unconvinced by the case for man-made global warming' (let me call them the 'Unconvinced' for short), where on 4 were ones I would term the 'Convinced' and the remainder were neither of these (the 'Undecided'). Notice I did not use the monikers "Sceptics", "Advocates" and "Neutrals", which tries to reduce the debate to some kind of sport of political fight.

    The blog contains a lot of emotive terms and this seems now to be the norm. The Unconvinced are called 'sceptics', 'deniers', and so on, whereas the 'Convinced' are called 'alarmists', a 'cabal', and so on. The Unconvinced purport that their 'opponents' have agendas ranging from a desire to tax everyone, to be anti-capitalist, soft-in-the-head environmentalists, etc. whereas the Convinced often suggest that their opponents are in the pocket of the Oil & Gas industry, the US far right, professional attention seeking iconoclasts (such as Melanie Philips), etc.

    Now, whereas there may no doubt be cases of all these, it really does not help the cause of rational debate to lower oneself to these levels. Unfortunately many on this blog get 'wound up' and cannot resist using such emotional language. I am a big fan of the sadly out of print book "Straight and Crooked Thinking" by Robert Thouless that describes 38 tricks of dishonest argument. Even the best thinkers can slip into using one or more of these ... emotive wording, extending the argument, poor analogies, ascribing mostives, etc.

    Politician's use these tricks a great deal, and scientists may often appear boring because they try to avoid these forms of argument by focusing on arguments over published theoretical or experimental works. They can still get heated - Einstein and Bohr arguing about quantum mechanics - but never nasty or personally denigarting the other side of the argument.

    As someone who spent some time as a scientist I regard scepticism as something that a good scientist should practice by default, but not in the face of well established, research based consensus.

    I note that very few 'Convinced' bother contributing to this blog (I counted 4 out of the first 40) and this may suggest that they do not believe this is a forum for such rational debate. I am open enough to put my hat in the ring.

    My current view based on what I have read of the science are ...
    - carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere, and the bulk of this increase is due to human activity
    - that despite its low concentration, the correlation between the rise in carbon dioxide level and temperature change is largely established
    - that there are significant complexities in a system such as the earth's atmosphere and climate but observations (such as retreating glaciers, and sea temperatures) provide a mix of evidence that is all pointing to an increase

    I know that the complexities leave many difficulties - what will be the effect of clouds? - but the observed trends are becoming clear and uncertainties in predictions are becoming less of a concern that the realities on the ground.

    But I also remember the Royal Commission report on the effects of smoking. The observed correlation was very clear and the rise in lung cancer amongst men and women separately correlating with the uptake in smoking between these two groups was stiking evidence for a causal link. But the 'Unconvinced' in this case made the valid point that 'correlation is not causation' or 'there is no underlying mechanism shown to explain the link'. Most in medical science were however convinced of the link and in the decades that followed, and the arrival of molecular biology, causitive mechanisms were published. If medical policy had waited for all the details to be resolved, many more would have died than did.

    I think we are in a similar situation, although the causal link is much clearer with climate change than with smoking, the range of complexities is no less.

    We cannot wait for the many decades that occurred before smoking was banned in workplaces for similarly dramatic policy decisions to be made in relation to greenhouse gases (i.e. significant reductions) and other mitigations and adaptions.

    However, that is not to say that we should not engage in rational debate on the underlying data and the interpretation of the data.

    Silly pieces on how sex may influence opinions is not a basis for such a dialogue (by the way, the 'experiment' would need to measure if there is a greater percentage of declared women Convinced versus percentage of declared women Unconvinced. Your article doesn't even attempt to answer that question).

    Richard

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  • 206. At 8:07pm on 15 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    Re 193:
    Even we will be alright. We will survive whatever we throw at ourselves. But there may be problems.

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  • 207. At 8:07pm on 15 Dec 2009, TVGgirl wrote:

    Interesting observations Richard. Interesting comments as well -- most far more sexist than anything you wrote. People ought to lighten up a little...

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  • 208. At 8:08pm on 15 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    Richard you have way too many blog comments now.

    Retire.

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  • 209. At 8:09pm on 15 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    @Mango 187: No, don't do it! lol Btw I saw a programme the other day called 'Hot Planet' also presented by Dr Stewart. I thought it was very poor, and was surprised because I enjoyed his previous work (about volcanos I think). The sad fact is there have been very few decent programmes about the issue of climate change, perhaps the BBC could redeem itself by commissioning a series with David Attenborough as producer. His recent programme on population was excellent.

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  • 210. At 8:09pm on 15 Dec 2009, politicsofenvy wrote:

    After reading Richard Black's blogs, I am not convinced he is an objective journalist and that he is an IPCC puppet working for the BBC. There is plenty of evidence that the IPCC is a politically motivated organisation that has no interest in providing objectivity regarding man-made climate change. The best example being the hockey stick graph of which there are many scientific studies that contradict it but the IPCC latched on it to further their political aims.

    Richard Black would no doubt have been one of those people who mocked Isaac Newton when he suggested the consensus science about optics and light in the 17th century was wrong.

    That said, only time if climate sceptics or the IPCC are correct but the maths used to describe the climate can only give clues and the slightest errors in the models can have extremely amplified errors. Try Googling "non linear dynamic systems stability" or "Chaos Theory".

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  • 211. At 8:17pm on 15 Dec 2009, Sunny Daze wrote:

    That's a very interesting article, I'm bored by some of the replies. The article points out that it's the anthropology of AGW is where the battle's at. The battle is to put order on chaos, control what people believe, what they want to believe. Men especially don't get it that human is a fancy term for monkey. The anti-AGW crowd were losing the statistic war, so they blow email shrapnel in 'climategate'. (Who leaked the emails has not been asked, but it's probably a 'he'.) As with some of the comments above, anti-AGW debate is usually splatter-firing and hysterical. Most successful women leaders have been to the extreme right and their individualism has been worshipped: Elizabeth I, Victoria, Thatcher. Philip Blond said that the promotion of an individual society leads to the enrichment of only a few individuals in that society. Thus, anti-AGW is as X-Factor as X-Factor (there can be only one winner, everybody else loses out, but believe somehow they've won. Like the lottery, it's a tax on poor people). Thus, to me, anti-AGW foot soldiers are beta males who believe they are alpha males. It's a tough world for the angry white male. Any woman will tell you that most men need to be flattered, they just don't wear high heels and makeup. Now that is anecdotal rather than strictly scientific.

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  • 212. At 8:17pm on 15 Dec 2009, Peter317 wrote:

    Now you're really scraping the barrel. If you can't find any better counters to the sceptic argument, then the science is really on thin ice.
    What's your next ad hom, Richard? That most sceptics are white, perhaps?

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  • 213. At 8:18pm on 15 Dec 2009, danalejo wrote:

    Lomborg may have written a book called "Cool it - The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide To Global Warming" but that doesn't mean he is sceptical towards climate warming. He himself has said (The Politics Show, December 2009) that global warming is a reality. What he does argue is how to use the money wisely...Many treaties have been signed but no action taken.

    Bjorn Lomborg argues that many of the elaborate and expensive actions now being considered to stop global warming will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, are often based on emotional rather than strictly scientific assumptions, and may very well have little impact on the world's temperature for hundreds of years. Rather than starting with the most radical procedures, Lomborg argues that we should first focus our resources on more immediate concerns, such as fighting malaria and HIV/AIDS and assuring and maintaining a safe, fresh water supply-which can be addressed at a fraction of the cost and save millions of lives within our lifetime. He asks why the debate over climate change has stifled rational dialogue and killed meaningful dissent.

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  • 214. At 8:23pm on 15 Dec 2009, davblo wrote:

    simon-swede #199: "I enjoyed the article - a little light-hearted, and I finished with a smile. What I find ridiculous are the howls of outrage that followed. Maybe some people here are taking themselves a tad too seriously?"

    My thoughts exactly.

    All the best; davblo

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  • 215. At 8:26pm on 15 Dec 2009, John M wrote:

    I have come to despair recently of the bias on the BBC recently, regarding this subject.

    The author of this article, which was linked on the main news page, has knowingly repeated personal insults relating to a large proportion of his readers - BBC users. His own words make it clear he agrees with the comments he repeats.

    It does backfire somewhat though.

    "More likely than average to be high income, well-educated, ....... strongly endorse individualistic values,"

    Yes, it is the well educated, independent thinking people in any society who oppose the "beliefs" that are rammed down the unsuspecting masses throats by fundamentalists who have their own power agenda and will take no dissent.

    Why do the pro climate change "believers" tactics sound so familiar?

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  • 216. At 8:28pm on 15 Dec 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Fryzogg: 119

    Prior to the invasion of the East by the West and the show of cultural superiority by example of the finely crafted and deadly guns, China and the East held a great reverence for nature. Without going into some long and involved explaination of Chinese philosophy I can attempt to simplify. Western view of the natural environment is of Insrumental Value...having some material use, and the Eastern view of the natural environment of having Instrinsic Value....value in its being. I would suggest you visit a museum and look at paintings....Western painting is dominated with man as the subject and Eastern painting has nature as the dominant subject.
    I am not suggesting that this has not changed and of course both ideas have criss-crossed between the cultures. The natural elements were also part of religious thinking of earlier times and the philoposhy of Kung-fu-Tze and Daoism and the primary elements being the maintaining a balance in all things. Natural mountain settings in China that for great periods of time have had spiritual significance are now viewed as tourism centers and profit centers. The urban Chinese seek these places as much as a Western tourist to get away from that lifestyle. The massive weight of Western culture crushes everything it comes in contact with. It is an empty chest that others always think holds treasurer.

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  • 217. At 8:30pm on 15 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    @205

    "1-that despite its low concentration, the correlation between the rise in carbon dioxide level and temperature change is largely established
    2- that there are significant complexities in a system such as the earth's atmosphere and climate but observations (such as retreating glaciers, and sea temperatures) provide a mix of evidence that is all pointing to an increase" (numbers added)

    1- yes it is. emphatically so. CO2 in all recorded history, barring this current sentury (as far as we can ascertain from ice core records) FOLLOWS temp. NOt the otherway around.
    2-this is an assumption, that any half decent scientist would see straight through.

    Richard, i think you need to do one of two things-

    -defend your position
    -resign


    Silence, although you may think as taking the moral high ground, is only damaging your case. That was a silly, ill informed article pandering to the ignorant.

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  • 218. At 8:30pm on 15 Dec 2009, Peter317 wrote:

    Infinity #179:

    Since when can you trust a journalist to quote their sources accurately? I'd suggest that you look in the mirror before you start going on about strawman arguments.

    Just answer one question for me - if the science is as cut and dried as you suggest, then how come governments continue to employ armies of scientists to tell them so?

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  • 219. At 8:33pm on 15 Dec 2009, davblo wrote:

    infinity #179: "The Daily Express piece...Titled "CLIMATE CHANGE IS NATURAL: 100 REASONS WHY"

    I checked their list and honestly I think our pseudo-sceptics here on this blog have done a much better job. They just need to come up with a few more.

    Or maybe it's because I'm a man and I can't accept anyone out-doing me?

    Yes that's probably it.

    So...

    Anti-AGW claims of pseudo-sceptics
    ----------------------------------
    _0. This list is a load of rubbish!
    _1. There is no warming
    _2. There is warming but it's not anthropogenic
    _3. There is anthropogenic warming but it's not caused by CO2
    _4. There is anthropogenic warming by CO2 but not enough to worry about
    _5. CO2 has risen but it's not capable of causing warming
    _6. CO2 hasn't risen
    _7. Arctic ice isn't disappearing
    _8. Arctic ice is disappearing but the Antarctic is more important
    _9. It gets cold at night so it can't be warming
    10. It has been warming but now it's cooling
    11. We don't trust the temperature measurements anyway
    12. CO2 has always lagged warming in the past so it can't cause it
    13. AGW may be real; but it could be a good thing
    14. It's all a big con!
    15. It's the journalists fault for not exposing the charlatan scientists
    16. The Hotspot hasn't been detected so there can't be any AGW
    17. All the temperature data has been lost/destroyed
    18. Trees do not make good thermometers
    19. You can make a hockey stick out of random data
    20. The upturn in the hockey stick was cherry-picked data
    21. Cycles in the solar wind are the primary driver of climate change
    22. The science is not even in, let alone settled
    23. Sea level rise has been constant for 100 years, but will never bother us
    24. IPCC uses deliberately woolly language to hide it's inaccuracies
    25. The politicised IPCC uses cherry picked data & highly suspect models
    26. Peer reviewing is a closed shop and worthless
    27. Popular opinion still rules and says something quite different
    28. Insult alarmists' intelligence, that'll prove we are right
    29. Alarmists refuse to answer our questions so they must be wrong
    30. The onus of proof is on those supplying the theory, not those trying to debunk it
    31. At the IPCC the summary is agreed before the report is finished
    32. Consensus counts for less than nothing in science
    33. Why should so many scientists support AGW? Follow The Money!
    34. Climate scientists change sides when they retire
    35. The extra CO2 is good for the plants, isn't it
    36. Al Gore is rich so it must be all a lie
    37. 1000s of scientists have signed up against AWG; we trust them
    38. There's an AGW blog where some questions haven't been answered for 3 years!
    39. It's just a plot to tax us more and more
    40. Progress and Free Market are more important than AGW theories
    41. Al Gore's film is an obvious attempt at brainwashing
    42. Alarmists will have us living back in the stone age!
    43. CO2 is neither a poison nor pollutant.
    44. All we really need to do is make petrol and diesel engines more efficient
    45. The UK CO2 contribution is a layer thinner than a human hair in one kilometre
    46. We need 5 years to test the climate models and we know now that they are wrong
    47. It's ok; with all that rising water, we could at least re-water the Sahara
    48. It's not like additional CO2 can cause anything to move into a colder region
    49. There are 20 year old predictions that have proved to be wrong!
    50. Observation shows CO2 and global temp moving in opposite direction since 1998
    51. Observation shows CO2 and global temp moving in opposite direction 1944 to 1976
    52. What caused the 33 year long global warming from 1911 to 1944?
    53. It's no longer a debate; that alone is evidence that it's not based on science
    54. There's data showing temp and CO2 rising together, but that's not proof of a link
    55. If there is data that links C02 to temp I can't find it
    56. Tree ring growth correlates better with variations in cosmic rays than temperature
    57. Global Warming was re-branded Climate Change when predictions failed
    58. CO2 was rebranded as responsible for Climate Change, not Global Warming
    59. The 'Global Warming Swindle' documentary discredited Al Gore
    60. Al Gore's film has been ridiculed and derised
    61. Complaints comm'n uphold 4 complaints against Al Gore's film; none on the science
    62. Political agenda on AGW really takes hold as new industry emerges
    63. The NIPCC review thoroughly discredited the first IPCC report
    64. Massive inaccuracies found in IPCC data, satellite & ground data adjusted to fit
    65. Antarctica refuses to melt as predicted, gaining MASSIVE amounts of ice
    66. Satelite measurements of sea ice/Antarctic loss shown to have errors
    67. Sea levels refuse to rise as predicted
    68. IPCC have revise their stance to focus on water/food availability
    69. Data shows link between sunspot activity and recent temperature drop trend
    70. Antarctica data shows steady cooling for over a decade
    71. Vienna case study shows HIE has massively skewed the ground temperature data
    72. Mean global temperature is cyclic
    73. In 5 years time, we will talk about Climate Change as a result of global cooling
    74. It's ok; a number of reefs around the world are being brought back from the dead
    75. There is observational evidence that climate sensitivity is low not high
    76. The government of the Maldives recently pulled a publicity stunt
    77. Migrating birds or trees growing further north is not evidence of AGW
    78. I'm not some moronic "denier" (thanks to poitsplace)
    79. Climate has never shown the sensitivity suggested for the 2C+ scenarios
    80. We're better off with the heat we're getting than with sporadic electricity
    81. The rabid minds of the AGW Terrorists are totally incapable of accepting anything which argues their absolute bigotry and overwhelming belief that they are right! (yertizz really wrote that)
    82. We stole emails and code from CRU and by cherry-picking quotes prove AGW is fake
    83. You can't prove the changes are anthropogenic; they are all coincidence
    84. Sea levels are not rising more than they have for as long as records show
    85. Antarctica is gaining ice
    86. As for glaciers we don't know, we only measure less than 10% of them
    87. The AGW branch of climatology is a pseudo science
    88. If it's that easy to manipulate the climate the US would've used it as a weapon
    89. The planet spends most of its time fighting to get OUT of ice ages

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  • 220. At 8:35pm on 15 Dec 2009, Ian Ellis wrote:

    Isn't it just a simple Freudian thing? Men like (on average, all things being equal) to drive big polluting cars more than women.

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  • 221. At 8:37pm on 15 Dec 2009, Oranges and Lemons wrote:

    The climate change propragandists did use tactics distubingly familiar. Whatever you want to call this behaviour it rather disproves the claim that they feel they have evidance. As to why there arn't many women deniers? Maybe since they are too scared to risk the abuse, wereas some stubborn-headed males will just go for it. Note that the women sceptics tend to be those who on other occasions have risked vilefication.

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  • 222. At 8:41pm on 15 Dec 2009, KennethM wrote:

    Could it be that the activist sceptics have come from (historically) very male dominated fields of politics, science and journalism so there are more of them?

    Could it also be that many of the armchair sceptics are older gentlemen who have retired and have some time on their hands? Retired women (I reckon) tend to be busier getting on with their families and their daily lives. The men like power and still dream that they can make a difference (and sometimes do).

    Also, surely it is the case that there are far more men who are both sceptics and believers and women form a tiny minority in both camps.

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  • 223. At 8:45pm on 15 Dec 2009, Jonathan wrote:

    This appears to be little more than a "look at me, I'm really in touch with my female side, so I'm a good person" from Mr. Black.

    Mr. Black is not, by his own admission, a climatologist or even a scientist, so frankly I fail to understand why he is employed in this role at all. I happen to be both.

    There are rather few women, proportionately, in the Labour or Consertative parties. According to Mr. Black, this single fact invalidates the entire concepts of socialism or capitalism respectively.
    It is precisely this kind of specious argument that undermines the scientific process and the climate question.

    What Mr. Black fails to recognise, not being a scientist, is that "scepticism" is at the very basis of science - a requirement to constantly question the alleged "facts" According to the then contemporary wisom, it was a fact that the world was flat. Scepticism/science said otherwise.

    Mr. Black, in this article has demonstrated his unfitness for his continuing role at our expense. He adds no value to the debate and resorts to thinly veiled insult to make a dubious point. I fail to see the point of this article at all.

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  • 224. At 8:45pm on 15 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    re 218: "if the science is as cut and dried as you suggest, then how come governments continue to employ armies of scientists to tell them so?"

    Because governments aren't me.

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  • 225. At 8:45pm on 15 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @davblo2

    yawn

    shame you have nothing of substance to say

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  • 226. At 8:46pm on 15 Dec 2009, Mike Lorrey wrote:

    You can always tell when a leftie has lost the argument or is otherwise at a loss for words or facts to support their emotionally-arrived-at and otherwise irrational position: they start resorting to Freud. Whether in a mellow sense like this article discussing the gender bias of skepticism, or outright accusing skeptics of overcompensating for their alleged sexual inadequacies (usually the first resort of a female leftie, see two can play this game too).

    I suppose I need to declare Lorrey's Law as a corrollary to Godwin's Law: The left automatically loses a debate when they start talking about the Freudian inadequacies of their opponents.

    All real scientists know Freud was debunked decades ago, just as AGW theory is being debunked now...

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  • 227. At 8:46pm on 15 Dec 2009, James wrote:

    To #174, I have travelled around Asia a lot. I have yet to come across a single person who doubts the threat of climate change.
    I guess the codec of Christianity and Greek deductive reasoning is so embedded in Caucasians' genes that the desire to preserve nature isn't our natural priority.
    As I can see, most of the people who doubt the climate threat are in America, and maybe some parts of Europe. These are the polar centers of masculine thought in our world. Remember that masculine and feminine thoughts are patterns of thinking, not the physical form itself.

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  • 228. At 8:48pm on 15 Dec 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Richard, have you gone a bit soft in the head, ate some dodgy snacks in Copenhagen or something? Playing the sexist card is scraping the bottom of the intellectual barrel indeed.

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  • 229. At 8:49pm on 15 Dec 2009, anima52 wrote:

    I am a woman, have a science degree and have worked in hi tech industry for many years.

    I am a 'flat earther' climate change sceptic.

    I don't believe that one can use CO2 emissions data to predict gobal changes to the world's surface temperature.

    Meteorologosts have trouble predicting the weather as is.

    The modelling for CO2/surface temp changes/climate change has got to get better - much better - before I change my mind and become a believer.

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  • 230. At 8:50pm on 15 Dec 2009, Peter317 wrote:

    Dr Erskine #205:

    I think that you may change your mind once you have considered all the arguments.

    However, I must take you to task over so-called 'passive' smoking. The link between smoking and lung cancer is robust - there's both a plausible mechanism and a strong dose-response. But the same cannot be said about passive smoking - the pathology isn't even the same. I'd suggest you read up about what Dr James LeFanu has to say on the subject. It seems that the 'war' against passive smoking is based on the same sort of statistical chicanery which underpins AGW.

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  • 231. At 8:54pm on 15 Dec 2009, TateLyle wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 232. At 8:56pm on 15 Dec 2009, John Ellis wrote:

    If you want to cut CO2 lvls world wide open up the hemp industries plain and simple.
    deforestation is not being replaced fast enough trees do not grow to meet our needs. I keep hearing all this talk of how science and technology will save us.... erm isn't that how we arrived here...

    The science is in a plant, a simple humble plant that produces just about every none metallic substance that we need.
    Oils
    'bio fuel'
    'paper'
    materials in the 'car' industries
    clothing
    housing/buildings via 'hemcrete'
    medicine that treats almost all the 'human' body

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 233. At 8:57pm on 15 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #227 James wrote:

    "most of the people who doubt the climate threat are in America, and maybe some parts of Europe. These are the polar centers of masculine thought in our world."

    And those are the polar centers of science in our world, at least at present.

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  • 234. At 9:01pm on 15 Dec 2009, Neil Hyde wrote:

    Can't find the link , but another of RB's sneering reports was about attending a conference in London , where he lowered himself to be in a room with, amongst others , Piers Corbyn.
    As usual , he was very dismissive of any "off message" opinions, and particularly the forecast by Corbyn.

    Richard , would you like to comment about the accuracy of Corbyn's forecast now ?

    I wont hold my breath.

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  • 235. At 9:05pm on 15 Dec 2009, Neil Hyde wrote:

    To paraphrase:

    Who will rid us of these troublesome JOURNALISTS ?

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  • 236. At 9:08pm on 15 Dec 2009, Shadorne wrote:

    Richard do you understand what it is to be a "fascist"?

    A "fascist" is authoritarian and dictatorial. "Fascists" have such strong ideological convictions that they cannot understand opposing views and will not tolerate them. Traditionally "fascists" have sought ways to remove the rights of people who disagree with them - this can be done on the basis of religion, nationality, mental conditions, race or even gender, for example.

    The ideological arguments start out from a point of view that there is something wrong with those people holding a conflicting viewpoint. It then follows that these people with conflicting views are either mentally retarded or stupid and need some forced "education" until they accept the truth or else these people need to be removed from society for the sake of society: The end justifies the means.

    It is not too late to save yourself from pursuing this line of thinking and the very deep hole you appear to be digging.

    It is shameful and distasteful of Lord Monckton to use the words "Hitler Youth" to describe zealous "anthropogenic" climate warming ideologues - but what is worse is that Lord Monckton was not so very far from the truth. Clearly, some of the "antropogenic" ideologues have become so polarized in their views that they cannot accept that the science is very far from "settled" nor can they accept that the majority of people disagree with them about the urgency for extremely wasteful and costly actions to dramatically curb man-made CO2 - actions that would cause hunger & poverty on an unprecedented scale.

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  • 237. At 9:09pm on 15 Dec 2009, Sara wrote:

    I'm a female, I am sceptic in the fact that I don't believe this warm period is mainly due to global warming, and I don't believe in so called scientists who hide behind fudged "corrected" data and delete the raw facts.

    I find this article highly offensive. I find it both sexist, and derogatory to anyone who doesn't hold the spoon fed official line, given to us so we'll pay more taxes or for firms like goldman sachs can benefit from carbon trading.

    I do think we should reduce our waste, recycle where possible and in general think about the impact we have on this earth. I don't think that carbon dioxide is the root cause of the current warming period.

    So much for BBC being unbiased, an unbiased, two sided look at climategate data would be interesting. How is it that entering random noise into the corrective functions can produce exactly the same graphs that have been presented by the IPCC as fact? How can we complain about this article?

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  • 238. At 9:11pm on 15 Dec 2009, ScudLewis wrote:

    Perhaps Richard is forewarning us of what will be in the up and coming BBC 2 series:

    The Climate Wars
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00djvq9/episodes/upcoming
    1/3. Dr Iain Stewart traces the history of climate change from its very beginning
    2/3. Iain interviews some of the key global warming sceptics, part of the 1990s counter-attack
    3/3. Dr Iain Stewart looks at how scientists can predict what changes global warming will bring

    Also: Newsnight @ 10:30 tries to convince Sceptics of the science behind Climate Change - worth a look at the level they go for - hope it's not the CO2 in a bottle example (yes it is good to show Greenhouse Effect but not related to parts per million / climate sensitivity).

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  • 239. At 9:15pm on 15 Dec 2009, Julian wrote:

    It's obvious. Everyone is talking about MAN-made global warming and we men are fed up with being blamed for it.

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  • 240. At 9:19pm on 15 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    I'm baffled as to why anyone would be baffled by the fact that science tends to be more of a "male" than a "female" preserve. I'm also baffled as to why anyone would be surprised that a large proportion of scientists are well-educated and broadly "individualistic" in their outlook: the new science of the seventeenth century emerged hand-in-hand with the then new liberalism (i.e. pro freedom of individual, pro freedom of thought and expression, pro proliferation of different views, etc.).

    At its "cutting edge" -- note the masculine, aggressive imagery -- science involves theories and their proponents coming into (intellectual) conflict with each other. A ground-breaking scientist (rather than a conscientious lab technician) needs to be comfortable disagreeing with other people, needs to be able to defend unpopular opinion and/or attack popular opinion. A good scientist enjoys a good scrap.

    That's why appeals to "consensus" seem extraordinarily unscientific to anyone who has actually been involved with real science. Good scientists tend to be combative, even aggressive in their engagement with other scientists' ideas, and cunning in the way they devise experiments and machinery. It's an extremely "masculine" trait to latch onto an idea like grim death, and stay stuck on it, burning the midnight oil (churning out CO2 like crazy!) till the problem is solved.

    Surely it's obvious that that's the sort of thing the male mind tends to do a bit more than the female mind?

    In fact, the more I think about it, the more it seems to me that some people are simply pretending to be surprised that fewer women than men reach the highest levels of scientific achievement, or that fewer women than men exhibit the combative, sceptical mindset that is required for it.

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  • 241. At 9:19pm on 15 Dec 2009, MaxSceptic wrote:

    Richard,

    Apart from your slavish support of trendy nonsense, I most resent the fact that I, through my BBC licence tax, pay your salary.

    Resign.

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  • 242. At 9:22pm on 15 Dec 2009, jmb19045 wrote:

    #227 James:

    "These are the polar centers of masculine thought in our world."

    Well being equally pointless and sexist I could say, given more detailed data from that study:

    male/female split of all 6 groups:

    Male Female
    Alarmed 39 61
    Concerned 48 52
    Cautious 53 47
    Disengaged 38 62
    Doubtful 59 41
    Dismissive 63 37

    That the polar centres of thought for women are either abject panic or couldn't give a $£!%.

    But that's hardly helpful now is it?

    Incidentally, people really should have a read of these things, very few willing to actually think for themselves it seems.

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  • 243. At 9:26pm on 15 Dec 2009, bimblinghill wrote:

    I'm no psychologist, but I am a man. I would suggest that it's down to ego. In my line of work (mechanical engineering) I regularly encounter intelligent men of a certain age who refuse to budge on anything, generally because they made up their mind in 1985 and new information is insignificant in comparison to their certainty that they couldn't have been in error. The tendencey of some males to let their egos run completely out of control probably also explains why the majority of traders responsible for the credit crunch were also male.

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  • 244. At 9:28pm on 15 Dec 2009, david23 wrote:

    Really this is too much!! Why is there no debate on the actual science not fudged data sets presented as scientific fact. Do they really think we are stupid? Are we really reduced to attacking people by making reference to their childhood? We need a debate based on factual validated evidence, not this form of childish nonsense. I do believe we should not be wasting precious natural resources & conducting deforestation etc. However,It almost appears that climate change is the "new religion" on the 21st century and heaven help any "heretic" who dare question the "gospel"!

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  • 245. At 9:29pm on 15 Dec 2009, tarquin wrote:

    Obvious, isn't it? It's all a female conspiracy against us!

    Anyway, let me first point out that I am not a 'denier' - I am simply not into blind faith, and like Clive James do not know know much about climate science, all I know is that the evidence presented to me has not proved conclusive to me (and I found it a rather low shot for you to put in Nick Griffin with thoughtful people like James and Lomborg) - it may be happening, it may not be, so be it

    What I would like to know though, Richard - is what you think of the assertions in the 70s (newsweek 28.4 1975, Time magazine 24/6 1974 among others) that the world was headed for an ice age caused by greenhouse gases - it was reported in the media quite heavily, and scientists were mostly agreed on the issue (according to the press) - is this not a reason to be sceptical about what could happen?

    thanks to a FEMALE blogger for pointing me to these articles

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  • 246. At 9:30pm on 15 Dec 2009, Neil Hyde wrote:

    .......and now the US FOIA comes in to play in the UK , due to Phil Jones having received US DOE funding ( Check the ( according to the BBC insignificant) emails)

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/14/doe-sends-a-litigation-hold-notice-regarding-cru-to-employees-asking-to-preserve-documents/#more-14177

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  • 247. At 9:30pm on 15 Dec 2009, astoundingAndi wrote:

    The Government record on 'getting it right' is hardly outstanding. We were all going to die of CJD.. whatever happened to that? Oh...and SARS.... and HIV/AIDS come to that. There are more AIDS counsellors, nurses and workers in the UK than people diagnosed with the conditon. And only last week the Chief Medical Officer had to admit what most of us knew all along; that H1N1 was not even as serious as seasonal 'flu.

    So what's going on? Three things. Firstly, the continual and stupid confusion by the media of 'climate change' and man-caused global warming. The climate changes every moment of every day and has done since the Big Bang (okay, hands up all those who don't buy that either!).

    Secondly, women do most of the 'caring'. They care about the future of their children and grandchildren. Almost all women I know are far too busy with life to take the time to sit down and research the truth and separate the science from the dross. So, they are told to "worry"; they are told there are "10 days to save the planet" so they worry some more.

    Thirdly, and most significantly, the REAL actions that need to be taken are not in the interests of people with power. Getting everyone saving plastic bottles that cannot be recycled in the UK is easy; getting them to do the 'real' stuff is not easy. The 'real' stuff? Cut population growth. Use less. Simple. But not good for those behind the thrones, those in big business. When someone explains to me why building an entire new car is more environmentally efficient than keeping an older one running as well as it can do, I MIGHT start to listen to some of the other "We're all going to hell in a globally warmed hand cart" arguments. Until then, I will research, check facts, engage my common sense and make my own FEMALE mind up.

    Oh....in case you missed my point. I don't buy a single word that the Government tells us we are supposed to believe.

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  • 248. At 9:36pm on 15 Dec 2009, MalMac wrote:

    KZwert said: " Do you have statistically valid evidence showing that there is a statistically significant basis for saying that more men are climate sceptics than women, or are you like most people speaking from personal (that is to say anecdotal) experience?

    There have been two relevant petitions to Number10 website.
    The first in March 2009 said: "“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to accept this petition as the unified will of the people of the United Kingdom to address the issue of climate change and mobilise the vast resources of our nation and economy to combat this threat.”
    It was signed by 1295 people of whom 59% had women's names.

    The second is still open: It says: "We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to suspend the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia from preparation of any Government Climate Statistics until the various allegations have been fully investigated by an independent body."
    This has now been signed by 2600 climate skeptics including many PhDs. 92% of the first 2000 of these signers have men's names.

    I trust that this will be accepted as valid statistical evidence that there is a gender bias in a persons acceptance of the anthropogenic global warming paradigm.

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  • 249. At 9:42pm on 15 Dec 2009, Atomicblade wrote:

    Follow the shoe.

    Simples.

    Posters on here seem to be about 90% sceptics, 5% sheep and 5% undecided.

    Where are all the 'sane' people when the nutter of an author needs them?

    Why don't the sheep talk about the logical cause of 'their' catastrophe i.e. overpopulation?

    If AWG is real, the only answer is global nuclear war. This also has the benefit of not only reducing population, but giving us a nuclear winter to allow the survivors to cool off.

    Vote for me! I'm no madder than the next man.

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  • 250. At 9:44pm on 15 Dec 2009, Jon Bray wrote:

    Richard Muller at Berkeley is a very good speaker on many physics-related things, including this. He would have you believe (and has me believing) that the actual state of affairs is somewhere in between the doomsayers and the sceptics. He also makes a few very good points which most don't bother with, eg [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator].

    You can get the "Physics for Future presidents" lecture course from the Berkeley podcasts website.

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  • 251. At 9:45pm on 15 Dec 2009, Space_1999 wrote:

    I also think it's a scandal that Richard Black - an non-specialist, non-scientist arts graduate should refer to David Bellamy as an 'ex TV presenter', almost as if he was Keith Chegwin or suchlike! (No offence to Keith, but he's hardly from the same mould as David Bellamy). David Bellamy is an eminent scientist of a great many years standing, with a massive amount of knowledge of this subject. The reason Richard choses to neglect to mention this is that it goes against his own (and the BBC's) position. I'm afraid it's not just the height of disrespect to do this to David Bellamy, but it's Richard Black showing his true, highly nefarious, colours... Whoever edited his copy before it went on the site should have pulled him up on this basic howler - because it gives your game away, boys!

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  • 252. At 9:48pm on 15 Dec 2009, Livingwithless wrote:

    This debate is a tad futile. Human society, ignoring any sane use of cautionary principles, speeds towards its own demise. Dragging many other species along in its wake for good measure. Shame that by the time sceptics of whatever gender understand this it will likely be too late. Time to grow up.

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  • 253. At 9:50pm on 15 Dec 2009, Neil Hyde wrote:

    One of the things the pro faction continually try to ridicule is the "Coming ice age " of the 70's and 80's, saying that there was no real scientific support for the hypothesis.

    This document would seem to contradict that.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 254. At 9:51pm on 15 Dec 2009, obrear wrote:

    I'm certainly surprised by the degree of animosity this article has received. It's regrettable a number of people have an axe to grind about the state of their back pocket than the state and health of their planet!

    Climate change exists - FACT. The exponential increase in fossil fuels in the atmosphere has enhanced the greenhouse effect - FACT. The associated increase in the Earth's temperature maximises the Earth's 'positive' feedback mechanisms only serving to enhance the effects - FACT. The Industrial Revolution was mainly driven by the capitalist initiatives of MEN who refuse to acknowledge the greatest market failure in the history of human civilisation - FACT. I think men and all the sceptics here should grow up. Read the evidence. I'm a man but I acknowledge it is the exploitative nature of MEN who don't know their limits who have primarily caused this problem.

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  • 255. At 9:51pm on 15 Dec 2009, tarquin wrote:

    as for male/female - I've found men are generally far more into politics, there's been quite a few studies into why that is

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  • 256. At 9:54pm on 15 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #247 astoundingAndi wrote:

    "Cut population growth."

    That's one thing everyone -- on all sides -- agrees is a good idea. I think the best way of achieving it is to allow economic growth, especially in parts of the world (such as India and China) where people are raising their expectations in ways undreamt of before. As a rule, the wealthier a society becomes, the fewer children they feel like having, because each child becomes a much bigger investment, and the more you sink into a project, the more you want it to succeed.

    There are good Darwinian reasons for that: all parents want their children to be able to compete with other children of the same generation. The ones that can't compete won't be able to pass their genes on to future generations.

    As a rule, more ecomomic growth means less population growth. So let's not deliberately transport ourselves (and send others against their will) back to the thirteenth century.

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  • 257. At 9:55pm on 15 Dec 2009, Dempster wrote:

    Well Richard Black, if these posts don't give you an answer nothing will.

    Just think, are there increased CO2 emissions due to the industrialisation of the world. Common sense says yes, if you dig up coal, and pump out oil, then burn it, you have to agree its going to produce more CO2. And unless you’re going to go back to mud huts and the horse pulling the plough, that’s hard lines, it’s just how it is.

    Now given that the Government wants to see more growth in the economy, which is more production and consumption, is this likely to increase CO2 emissions? Well the answer is yes.

    So do they want us to produce and consume less which will reduce CO2 or do they want us to increase production and consumption and therefore CO2 emissions?

    Well how about the car scrappage scheme, put in place to increase demand and production of vehicles, thereby producing more CO2.

    Common on, Copenhagen is about increasing the tax base to fund Government under the pretence of Climate Change. They don’t give a stuff about Climate Change really, but they do have a very great interest in what’s in your wallet.

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  • 258. At 9:56pm on 15 Dec 2009, Atomicblade wrote:

    #254

    Just adding the word 'FACT' after your opinion, doesn't make it correct. FACT.

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  • 259. At 9:57pm on 15 Dec 2009, Atomicblade wrote:

    I know I can complain about comments.

    But how do I complain about the main article?

    I find it deeply offensive.

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  • 260. At 10:00pm on 15 Dec 2009, idontbelievethehype wrote:

    It's perfectly simple why I am a male sceptic, for the same reason I don't believe in ghosts, aliens or honest politicians - I want proof of their existence, I'm not against believing the climate is changing, but where's the proof it's man made?
    When the retort for expressing a sceptical opinion is an insult it's hardly surprising I, like most men I suspect, don't take kindly to being insulted, aren't exactly swayed to their viewpoint.
    When the solution is nothing but tax, it's hardly a persuasive argument either.
    When the evidence is properly peer reviewed by sceptical scientists and proven, then we'll talk.
    I have a final problem too, meteorological scientists can't even tell me what the weather will be like this time next week, they'll give me their best shot, but almost inevitably will change the story at least once before next week, and I'm expected to believe they can tell me what's going to happen in 50 years!

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  • 261. At 10:04pm on 15 Dec 2009, Julie wrote:

    What a ridiculous article.

    We are being taken like lambs to the slaughter thanks to corruption on mass scale and you come out this drivel.

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  • 262. At 10:06pm on 15 Dec 2009, xtragrumpymike2 wrote:

    Richard, this certainly drew a few worms out of the woodwork. Amazing how easily it is to get some to swallow the bait!

    Re:-
    16. At 3:10pm on 15 Dec 2009, wobbegong wrote:

    The risk-taking idea sounds plausible:
    .......
    Have you ever heard a man say "better safe than sorry"?

    Yes, chum, thousands of them!

    The Fire Service (I think you will agree a most respected orgainastion in most countries) were well known at one time for their approach, akin to "Fools rush in........"

    Due to their experiences in more recent times, especially when involved in incidents where chemicals are involved, the rule is simply:
    "Treat everything as Dangerous! until proved otherwise!"

    Isn't that the same as your "better safe than sorry"?

    Regrettably there are times when the old habits re-appear. Probably something to do with the "hero" complex. Sometimes it turns out for the best, sometimes not! Most however have learned the lesson from past experiences.

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  • 263. At 10:07pm on 15 Dec 2009, MartinW_1 wrote:

    RE: 254. At 9:51pm on 15 Dec 2009, obrear

    > Climate change exists - FACT.
    > The exponential increase in fossil fuels in the
    > atmosphere has enhanced the greenhouse effect - FACT.
    > ...

    Are you some sort of Inspector Clouseau tribute band?

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  • 264. At 10:09pm on 15 Dec 2009, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    Black raises some interesting points. There is a lot of literature on gender and the environment – much of it thought provoking, but rarely entirely convincing. Stuff like 'Is female to male as nature is to culture' by Ortner and 'Death of Nature' by Merchant. A lot of the more notable examples are similar to the writing of Lomborg – i.e. well argued but ultimately flawed. Incidentally, as others have pointed out Lomborg does not 'deny' climate change, he just questions the opportunity cost of tackling it.

    Regardless, most environmental issues do remain fairly impervious to any overwhelming gender differentiation. The ongoing arguments over climate change do have a rather obvious gender aspect (remember gender splits us roughly evenly, where as other differences, such as what football team we support, are obviously less simplistic). The fact that almost all high profile sceptics are elderly males would be an irrelevance if the bulk of scientific research supported their opinions. That it doesn't begs the question as to what is motivating them. Therefore asking questions such as those posed above, while uncomfortable for some, are nevertheless entirely legitimate.

    That almost all of the comments following the article have been from angry men provides one of those glorious little self-fulfilling prophesies that so regularly pop up when journalists write something provocative. That a large proportion of these comments have been rather sexist is as depressing as it is predictable.

    Personally my thoughts would be that the reasons for the gender aspect are numerous:
    1)Scepticisms natural home and stronghold is on internet blogs, which statistically are more popular with men.
    2)Most sceptics are retired men – when they were at university, less women were. The average sceptic blog does require a passing knowledge of science so I guess that has to be taken into consideration. Therefore the age demographics kick in.
    3)The ideology of climate scepticism sits on the far side of the 'right' and 'left' of politics. The political parties that fit into that model (UKIP, BNP etc) have a low female representation in terms of politicians.
    4)I've noticed that a high proportion of sceptics appear to be from engineering backgrounds, a filed which is almost entirely dominated by men.
    5)As my girlfriend would tell me, women are cleverer than men!

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  • 265. At 10:10pm on 15 Dec 2009, obrear wrote:

    no' 258

    'Just adding the word 'FACT' after your opinion, doesn't make it correct. FACT.'


    It does if it is fact.

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  • 266. At 10:10pm on 15 Dec 2009, Damian wrote:

    Well done. The left middle classes as championed by self-serving 'reporters' like you are finally coming out of the closet.

    Having failed dismally to get the square evidence to fit into your un-scientific round hole you show your true colours and in keeping with type throw a tantrum and resort to hurling insults at those that dare disagree with your pontifications.

    You see, the main trouble here is that you and yours have fallen out of love with religion, or at leat the religion you were raised with, normally C of E, and despite it changing its self so much to accomidate the likes of you you've gone off in a collective huff and created your own.

    You call it Climate Change. You and your ilk in the media see yourselves as the priests and you carefully control that which the flock are allowed to see. What ever did happen to The Great Global Warming Scandal?

    You have your cathedrals called studios and people pray at the alter of telivison and other media outlets letting themselves be indoctrinated to the views you want them to have.

    The media such as BBC long ago gave up the idea of actually reporting the News and now simply drives it. You have become throughly political and the drivel you have written here simply highlights it.

    I think the person who wrote reply 7 has your number and if anyone of you zelots wants to stand up and actually answer his questions I for one would love to read it, or are you simply going to stone us un-believers?

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  • 267. At 10:16pm on 15 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    So just one article today, and a poor one at that. Any chance of a report?

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  • 268. At 10:16pm on 15 Dec 2009, Peter317 wrote:

    Obrear #254

    Iraq has WMD - FACT

    Sound familiar?

    And we all know, in that case, the consequences of taking action before verifying the 'facts'

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  • 269. At 10:17pm on 15 Dec 2009, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    Impossible to respond to all the comments posted below this article. The bulk seem to be:
    Grww, this article makes me angry. All the women I know think it's all a scam. The author should be sacked. Ranty time re: taxes, being told what to do and wanting to drive their landrover. It's a scam, it's a conspriacy. 'Real scientists don't buy all this rubbish. Sexist stuff. The BBC is more biased that Fox etc etc.
    Back to the cave...

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  • 270. At 10:22pm on 15 Dec 2009, Atomicblade wrote:

    #265

    But not if it is just your misguided, deluded, sheep minded, opinion.

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  • 271. At 10:23pm on 15 Dec 2009, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    Although I don't entirely agree with what he says, read: 205. At 8:07pm on 15 Dec 2009, Dr Richard Erskine. A very intelligent post.

    Also see Davblo's list at post at 219.

    Incidentally, for those myriad posts that complain that Black and others should only talk about science. They do most of the time; the fact you don't agree with the science doesn't make it dissapear.

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  • 272. At 10:24pm on 15 Dec 2009, jayfurneaux wrote:

    Perhaps for a similar reason most train spotters are men.

    "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won’t change the subject."
    Winston Churchill

    It could be also be symptoms of Paranoid Personality Disorder:
    "Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by a distrust of others and a constant suspicion that people around you have sinister motives. People with this disorder tend to have excessive trust in their own knowledge and abilities and usually avoid close relationships. They search for hidden meanings in everything and read hostile intentions into the actions of others."
    http://www.4degreez.com/disorder/paranoid.html

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  • 273. At 10:26pm on 15 Dec 2009, davblo wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #225: "@davblo2, yawn...shame you have nothing of substance to say"

    So you think a list, 89 strong, of anti-AGW claims is insubstantial.

    For once I agree with you.

    /davblo

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  • 274. At 10:28pm on 15 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    wrt the gender difference

    The "Top Gear" demographic, which is typically male, backlashes against political correctness, health and saftey, nanny statism, etc, with testosterone fueled contempt and indifference. Dismissing global warming will tick all the right boxes there - just a bunch of hippies isn't it? They don't need evidence either way, they would probably argue that an incoming nuclear war would just mean a "bit of dust, stop worrying about it"

    Then there are a subset of engineering/technology professionals, a field overwhelmingly male, who have big egos and are willing to overreach their expertize - and it's very easy to find (or be given) seemingly common sense problems with a theory (world cant be round, australians would fall off!). Usually a person should be able to spot an argument is "too good to be true", but some people have egos so big they imagine scientists haven't thought about such a simple problem. Also there's a pervasive cynicism in society which makes people in general look for ulterior motives behind anything. If you can't trust the politicians or bankers, why trust scientists either?

    So there are two large demographics that would slant the gender difference in the observed direction.

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  • 275. At 10:34pm on 15 Dec 2009, Julie wrote:

    No.9

    Probably the reason you feel undecided on this debate, yet leaning towards AWG is fear. Those of us who have investigate this sorry saga have come to the painful realisation that our politicians, scientists, MSM & yes the BBC are all biased, self interested & probably too corrupt to believe. With that painful conclusion you then wonder; there the hell are we going with all this.

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  • 276. At 10:36pm on 15 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    lol 266: "You have your cathedrals called studios and people pray at the alter of telivison and other media outlets letting themselves be indoctrinated to the views you want them to have"

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  • 277. At 10:37pm on 15 Dec 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    While the sceptics have all been waffling on pointlessly as usual, breaking news from GISS. November 2009 is warmist = in instrument record-

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts.txt

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  • 278. At 10:41pm on 15 Dec 2009, blunderbunny wrote:

    Sorry Richard, but you either seem to have lost the plot entirely or you've been inadvertently consuming some psychoactive substances.

    I really can't wait for the your next appearance on NewsWatch - If you were a member of the Cabinet, heaven forbid, the Prime Minister would currently be expressing his Full Support for you ;-)

    It's time to do the decent thing

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  • 279. At 10:42pm on 15 Dec 2009, King_JG wrote:

    So Richard, ignore climategate and post this pile of streaming manure instead, what quality journalism we are getting from the BBC these days.

    Perhaps you could also try to answer these two questions as well (reposted from BBBC)

    Why are virtually all BBC "journalists" left-wing?
    Why are virtually all BBC "environment correspondents" arts graduates?

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  • 280. At 10:45pm on 15 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    It seems they can't even agree at the moment to protect what is left of the forests. One of the few things which I am absolutely convinced we should be doing. If that means paying lots of money then so be it, just so long as it is well spent, ie to the benefit of local populations and on sustainable development.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/15/copenhagen-redd-deforestation

    Richard your article is frivolous, please get back to the issues.

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  • 281. At 10:48pm on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    does anyone else find Mr Infinity and Mr davblo to be pretty long on ad hom and pseudoscience and short on facts/genuine science?

    i'm a self confessed 'pseudoskeptic' so don't take my word for it.

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  • 282. At 10:50pm on 15 Dec 2009, Atomicblade wrote:

    #277

    Nice try.

    I followed the link. The table does not show that 2009 was the hottest year. But plenty won't bother to examine it and will believe your claim.

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  • 283. At 10:51pm on 15 Dec 2009, MalMac wrote:

    KZwert said: " Do you have statistically valid evidence showing that there is a statistically significant basis for saying that more men are climate sceptics than women, or are you like most people speaking from personal (that is to say anecdotal) experience?

    There have been two relevant petitions to Number10 website.
    The first in March 2009 said: "“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to accept this petition as the unified will of the people of the United Kingdom to address the issue of climate change and mobilise the vast resources of our nation and economy to combat this threat.”
    It was signed by 1295 people of whom 59% had women's names.

    The second is still open: It says: "We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to suspend the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia from preparation of any Government Climate Statistics until the various allegations have been fully investigated by an independent body."
    This has now been signed by 2600 climate skeptics including many PhDs. 92% of the first 2000 of these signers have men's names.

    I trust that this will be accepted as valid statistical evidence that there is a gender bias in a persons acceptance of the anthropogenic global warming paradigm.

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  • 284. At 10:51pm on 15 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #274 infinity wrote:

    "Dismissing global warming will tick all the right boxes there - just a bunch of hippies isn't it?"

    Given that quite a lot of hippies were sexually active males, don't you mean "sissies" rather than "hippies"? Or "jessies" perhaps, going north of the, er, "tweed"?

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  • 285. At 10:55pm on 15 Dec 2009, Peter Hood wrote:

    At 9:36pm on 15 Dec 2009, MalMac wrote:
    >I trust that this will be accepted as valid statistical evidence that there is a gender bias in a persons acceptance of the anthropogenic global warming paradigm.
    Your trust is misplaced; I referred to statistical significance in the sense of hard science, you offered anecodatal material.
    The respondents were not sampled independently, but were self selecting. This is merely evidence of sample bias.
    Research is conducted by means of careful design, by dint of subjecting individuals to different conditions, conducted in such a way that sub types in the experimental population are not treated differentially. Moreover, a representative sample (rather than a self selecting one) would include non academics and people (including men) who are not motivated to sign petitions on the Downing street website. Finally, the statistical tests carried out on a survey or experiment are determined at the stage of translating theory to hypothesis. It is not enough to pluck anecodotes out of the clouds and cite them as representative. For example it was for a while thought that women did not sexually abuse children (Michelle Elliot is an exception, and even that ghastly creature S Freud felt it occurred), and this was based on popular opinion, on anecdote.
    Pointing to one phenomenon and remarking on the absence of male respondents, then pointing to the opposite phenomenon and remarking on the absence of female respondents and then concluding (in the absence of rigorous design, sampling, execution and analysis) is to conclude that something is or is not the case on the basis of not seeing, rather than not knowing. It is also palpable cultural relativism and of itself dangerous.
    I have not responded to the sceptics site nor to the Downing Street petition. I am, however, fairly radical on the question of climate change. The point though is to be unswervingly dedicated to proper collection and analysis of the data, and not to even discuss misrepresenting them, either in email or in private conversation. Snatching up anecdotal data, neither generated without experimental design, nor sampled randomly, is as bad as conspiring to pervert/skew the course of data.

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  • 286. At 10:57pm on 15 Dec 2009, Atomicblade wrote:

    #283

    Interesting figures.

    I would hardly call 1295 responses representative of the 'unified will' of the UK population. 60 million people, 1295 responses, you do the maths. If you are a AGW sheep, the answer will come out as 98%.

    I don't care about richard black's juvenile sexist rantings. We are being lied to on a monumental scale.

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  • 287. At 10:58pm on 15 Dec 2009, davblo wrote:

    tears of our forefathers #281: "does anyone else find Mr Infinity and Mr davblo to be pretty long on ad hom and pseudoscience and short on facts/genuine science?"

    Well that's about the biggest ad hom I've seen for a while.

    Concerning "facts", I gave up trying to discuss facts and logic because certain people delight in twisting them inside out and make it a fruitless exercise.

    So I took to presenting the blatant non-facts bandied about here instead, because they were so plentiful and clearly insubstantial.

    Sad; but true.

    /davblo

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  • 288. At 10:59pm on 15 Dec 2009, astoundingAndi wrote:

    Oh dear #277 thinkforyourself, you have fallen into the biggest trap set by the global hypocrites, the "since records began" trap.

    I'll walk you through this slowly, so you get it.

    The Earth is 4 1/2 BILLION years old, give or take a day. Man has been around about 1/4 MILLION years. That's about 250,000 years. Accurate instrument recording has been happening for about 250 years at the very maximum.

    With me so far?

    Between man appearing on Earth and now we've had an ice age, several warming ages, several mini-ice ages and an awful lot of other stuff. Yet we have no DIRECT records of how that affected the global temperature. We have anecdotal records from the Venerable Bede, the Romans and others. But no instrument recordings.

    Now we have instrument records accurate to 6 or 7 decimal places, comparing with analogue barometers, mercury thermometers and imperial rain measures. Now we have monitoring stations in places where white men had not set foot until 100 or so years ago. And many of the comparisons are with statistics collected in what are now large urban areas rather than rural settings.

    In conclusion, "since records began" in terms of Earth statistics is like recording your heart beat, blood pressure and blood glusose for the next 10 seconds and taking that as your absolute norm for all of your life.

    Now, please watch out for that other huge trap namely, "in living memory". How good is YOUR memory?

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  • 289. At 10:59pm on 15 Dec 2009, SheffTim wrote:

    More to the point I find it notable that most creationists are also climate sceptics. There seems to be a notable anti-science agenda amongst them.

    Also right-wing libertarians because of their ideological opposition to the idea of any central government action on behalf of society.

    An interesting expose of how big business (oil and coal) has deliberately funded a deliberate disinformation campaign by lobbyists and PR agencies, and made alliances (sometimes unlikely ones) with political mavericks, by two investigative journalists is:

    'Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming' by James Hoggan.
    http://www.amazon.com/Climate-Cover-Up-Crusade-Global-Warming/dp/1553654854/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1250889752&sr=8-1

    Sceptics that don't believe they've been manipulated should read it to see what's been going on that's been hidden from them.

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  • 290. At 11:03pm on 15 Dec 2009, davblo wrote:

    atomicblade #282: "#277 Nice try. I followed the link. The table does not show that 2009 was the hottest year. But plenty won't bother to examine it and will believe your claim.

    No. You didn't read the comment properly. Look again.

    thinkforyourself wrote #277: "November 2009 is warmist = in instrument record-"

    Warmest equal.

    Warmest; along with two other years; 2005 and 2005; at 76 deg C.

    Do you understand?

    /davblo


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  • 291. At 11:10pm on 15 Dec 2009, sirhclluk wrote:

    Silly question, but perhaps asked to get web traffic.
    Touche.

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  • 292. At 11:11pm on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    mr davblo:

    tldr ;)

    peace out

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  • 293. At 11:11pm on 15 Dec 2009, davblo wrote:

    astoundingAndi #288: "Oh dear #277 thinkforyourself, you have fallen into the biggest trap set by the global hypocrites, the 'since records began' trap."

    No it's not a trap. It is quite clear if you think about it.

    That's why we say "since records began", rather than "ever", to put it in the right perspective.

    Maybe your perspective needs adjusting.

    /davblo

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  • 294. At 11:18pm on 15 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    Re 7 (only because 266 asked)

    "You can't explain why it hasn't warmed for 10 years."

    Temperature is expected to rise over decades, but the rise is erratic. Some decades will show no warming, some will show a lot. Overall it's up, but it's not smooth and gradual.

    All temperature records show warming in the last 10 years. You are perhaps thinking of the ten year period 1998-2008, which was flat. This difference is precisely the problem in concluding anything about temperature using any specific 10 year period.

    "You can't explain why the current global temperatures are under the entire envelope of predictions for the IPCC TAR."

    The TAR was released in 2001. As above warming is not expected in every 10 year period. The IPCC TAR projections were of the average longterm.

    "You can't explain why the Antarctic sea ice is growing"

    This is a problem. There are several hypothese for why the ice increased, the main one I believe is an increase in the antarctic polar vortex.

    "or for that matter why the summer minimum in the Arctic has grown 10% year on year since 2007."

    I can't explain such year to year fluctuations up or down, but I can explain the longterm decline - warming.

    "You can't explain why there are less hurricanes now than in the 40's and 50's"

    I can't

    "You can't explain why the Metoffice can get their seasonal predictions wrong 6 times in a row"

    Seasonal predictions are fiddly and hard. Bigger large scale questions such as what would happen if solar output doubled are a lot easier.

    "You can't explain why sea level rise has all but stopped"

    It hasn't, it's still rising

    "You can't explain why the Maldives is supposedly going to drown when it clearly survived 130m sea level rise since the last ice age"

    I am not familiar with the subject but at a guess it could be because it's slightly more than 130m above the sea level of the last ice age.

    "You can't explain why CO2 drives climate when it clearly follows temperature by ~800years when looking at ice core data over the past million years"

    The co2 rise back then was caused by warming. The co2 rise then caused additional warming. The co2 rise this time is caused by human activity which will cause warming.

    "You can't explain why CO2 which is a trace gas supposedly has bigger impact than the sun (which if you stand in it for 10 minutes will burn you)."

    The warming from any climate forcing depends on how much it increases. Despite the sun burning you in 10 minutes, if the sun's output decreases the Earth would cool. If co2 increases significantly while solar output does not, then co2 will produce a larger temperature increase.

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  • 295. At 11:20pm on 15 Dec 2009, jazbo wrote:

    Well I do not consider the climate change debate one to be "light hearted" about, whichever view you take it is intensely serious.

    This blog post is arrogant negative activism and nothing to do with professional journalism.

    My compaints to the Director General, Ofcom and the Press Complaints Commission have just been emailed. And I am supporting the people currently submitting FOI requests to get hold of the documents relating to who formed BBC policy on this subject back in January 2006, as in that will lay the answer as to why Richard etc feel they do not have to even pretend to be slightly objective.

    The BBC climate team is producing shallow work of such transparent bias that is it breath taking, which is ironic considering the wealth of subject matter on both sides of the fence there is to discuss. They are turning this into an information war.

    It has to stop.

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  • 296. At 11:21pm on 15 Dec 2009, jmb19045 wrote:

    #277: "November 2009 is warmist = in instrument record-

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts.txt"

    "sources: GHCN 1880-11/2009 (meteorological stations only) using elimination of outliers and homogeneity adjustment"

    Well that's nice, http://wattsupwiththat.com/ often has plenty to say on the rather poor data treatment to produce those 'records'. Reminds me of the whole 'sexing up' scandle wrt WMDs.

    and the guy who writes that doesn't exactly fit the top gear/engineer stereotype that some are trying to shoehorn skeptics into.

    "If you can't trust the politicians or bankers, why trust scientists either?"

    Because that's the point of science? You're not supposed to trust someone who says 'trust me, I'm an expert', you're supposed to look at their work critically and see if you agree and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. The problem comes about that 'trust me, I'm an expert' is the vast bulk of what is produced by places such as the CRU. It's unsurprising that those who have read blogs such as the above also hold skeptical views as you have someone clearly, and intellectually, presenting their argument, with working.

    All the 'pro-AGW camp' would have to do to settle the minds of a good portion of the skeptics is to show their working, the very fact that they are evasive of doing this and bring out pathetic excuses about skeptics deliberately picking their work to bits, is hardly reassuring. If they have proof, they have nothing to worry about surely?

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  • 297. At 11:27pm on 15 Dec 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    There’s a third one too, infinity at 274, which has often been recognised on this blog. The fact that ‘sceptics’ are able to flood this blog 24/7 with the same tired old little ‘doubt’ tricks. Even the same old phrases are trotted out, e.g. ‘circling the wagons’ etc.

    This third group are the professionals. They don’t give a hoot whether AGW is real or not. They’re just paid to create doubt. They ‘sell’ that ‘product’. You can see that self-promoting ‘sceptic’ James Delingpole, over at the Telegraph, attracts them to his comment board by the truckload. It obviously suits the Telegraph’ owners, the two billionaires living on a tiny island in the Channel Islands. Can somebody let me know. Isn’t that a tax haven?

    I think Richard Black has got a good point. It’s not just about women though. Ever since full blown ‘consumerism’ took off in the early eighties, we’ve all become much less tolerant and much more greedy, envious and jealous of what the other guy has. And, as this blog shows with the angry ranting, everyone is a lot more..well..angry. This is all we have left. Sad isn’t it.

    Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t actually live in the car-clogged streets of Britain. He doesn’t have to put up with high volumes of vehicles rushing past his front door. His so-called ‘laissez faire’ attitude is just a clever marketing tool to suck people in. He is hugely rich and actually lives on his own vast estate on the Isle of Man. He doesn’t even like ramblers coming near his house!

    This whole ‘materialist’ claptrap has been tried and found wanting. Is everyone happy with ever more cars on the roads? Does the new huge plasma TV really hit the spot? How exciting is the even bigger new car a couple of weeks after buying it? In the words from the ‘Eagles’ song ‘Life in The Fast Lane’.....’Everything, all the time’.

    You can see this when people go to a ‘tourist spot’ or museum or gallery. They rush around expecting an instant ‘buzz’ and after a few minutes of taking digital photos of Venus de Milo or some such; they’re bored and dejected and leave.

    You can see it in all the various manifestations of ‘rage’ over mostly innocuous misunderstandings where common courtesy and a smile would turn the whole thing round.
    I don’t believe the ‘business as usual, consumer driven, competition only, growth, market model is delivering for the average guy or girl.

    Do you?

    Replies welcome but no angry, sneering rants please if possible. (but I won’t hold my breath)

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  • 298. At 11:28pm on 15 Dec 2009, jobsw32 wrote:

    I'm not a skeptic I believe that human activity can change the environment we've done that we had the pea souper's in the 50's and changed from that and put monitors in to keep the air quality within tolerable levels. In the 80's we were wondering how many of us were getting cancer from particulates in the air. the question is about how well we can measure the pollution in the air and predict it's effects and who will be affected and what can be done to reduce the impact of greenhouse gases. Lovelock's gaia theory came out in the 70's and we eagerly read the book and followed the theory.

    We know the general idea be smaller consumers I got that message years ago and stuck to it and so have lots of people who are just happily going about their lives trying not to make a wreckage.

    can't help what others want I am a tiny consumer I let people pursue their interests. trouble is that we try and do people's thinking for them they are happy consumers we do the science and then say wait a minute this is going wrong.

    The skepticism is that things will be any different because we've been told this and told that and it didn't happen the way it was supposed to.

    Well I don't have a chip about years of aggro and goofs and i'm not going to carry a chip on my shoulder for what others have done or not.

    What I disapprove of is people threatening rather than educating. You can get people to work together, you can do things in the 'general direction of right' but it will never be exact.

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  • 299. At 11:28pm on 15 Dec 2009, zehir wrote:

    Nice article. Perhaps some men don't want to risk the possibility of someone putting one over them. Too bad if the argument they're opposing happens to be a good one.

    Most sceptics are just ignorant. They have no idea that the question is not whether humans are causing warming, but by how much. The laws of physics tell us that a doubling of C02 (a certainty without mitigation) causes one degree of warming. But the probability is that water vapour and clouds exacerbate warming, and the fear is that feedbacks (melting ice reducing albedo, melting permafrosts releasing methane, forest fires releasing C02), could lead to something very severe.

    Why risk wrecking the planet for the sake of a little bit of extra growth.

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  • 300. At 11:38pm on 15 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    "Warmest; along with two other years; 2005 and 2005; at 76 deg C.

    Do you understand?"

    I don't! 2005 is one year, not "two other years", and 76 degrees Centigrade is one heck of an anomaly! Did you mean one-thousandth of what you actually said here?

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  • 301. At 11:41pm on 15 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    Re 296:

    UAH satellite record shows November 2009 was the warmest November on record. How you going to dismiss that one?

    "and the guy who writes that doesn't exactly fit the top gear/engineer stereotype that some are trying to shoehorn skeptics into"

    I am not so sure..

    "Because that's the point of science? You're not supposed to trust someone who says 'trust me, I'm an expert'"

    If I imagine a problem with manmade global warming which is blindingly simple then I immediately suspect I have got something wrong because I don't believe for a second climate experts would have missed something so blindly simple. It would take a lot of time until I was convinced I was likely right. That's the trust I am talking about.

    If I didn't have that trust in experts and also had a big ego I might simply assume all my imagined problems were "smoking guns" against global warming. I could then publish them up on a blog causing fellow minded people to constantly exclaim "another nail in the coffin of manmade global warming!". I might call the blog "What's Going On?" or something.

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  • 302. At 11:44pm on 15 Dec 2009, TJ wrote:

    Aj Ramchandani @156 say's: "There is only one explanation ... Sarah Palin is a man!"

    How about:

    Arnold Schwarzenegger rallies delegates in Copenhagen:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8414175.stm

    I knew it. The Governator is a women:)

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  • 303. At 11:44pm on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    @295

    good call.

    echoed under the following :


    1


    Accuracy




    i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.

    ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and - where appropriate - an apology published.

    iii) The Press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

    iv) A publication must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which it has been a party, unless an agreed settlement states otherwise, or an agreed statement is published.


    4


    *Harassment




    i) Journalists must not engage in intimidation, harassment or persistent pursuit.

    ii) They must not persist in questioning, telephoning, pursuing or photographing individuals once asked to desist; nor remain on their property when asked to leave and must not follow them. If requested, they must identify themselves and whom they represent.

    iii) Editors must ensure these principles are observed by those working for them and take care not to use non-compliant material from other sources.

    12


    Discrimination




    i) The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual's race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.

    ii) Details of an individual's race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story.

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  • 304. At 11:45pm on 15 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    re 290 davblo:

    That's almost one for the list

    "you have fallen into the biggest trap"

    Not just a trap - the BIGGEST trap.

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  • 305. At 11:57pm on 15 Dec 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Thanks astoundingAndi at 288.

    All of what you say is true and is discussed at great length in the IPCC report AR4, including the ‘heat island effect’

    The Central England Temperature (CET) is an accurate measure going back to 1659, by the way.

    We have much more than ‘anecdotal’ evidence prior to very recent times. Ice cores provide evidence for variation in greenhouse gas concentrations over the past 800,000 years. Both CO2 and CH4 vary between glacial and interglacial phases, and concentrations of these gases correlate strongly with temperature.

    But the question I would like an answer to is, ‘What has caused the sudden warming since the instrument record began?’

    Wikipedia has a good summary here for those who are interested.-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas

    By the way, I never mentioned ‘living memory’ or ‘since records began’. You knew all this of course as you have access to all the ‘sceptic’ database resources, ‘Climateaudit, WUWT etc.

    By the way, you do know who Marc Morano and Rush Limbaugh are I take it?

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  • 306. At 11:58pm on 15 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    "i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures."

    But a blog is just a blog isn't it? -- A light-hearted bit of internet chat. Lighten up!

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  • 307. At 00:02am on 16 Dec 2009, davblo wrote:

    bowmanthebard #300: "'Warmest; along with two other years; 2005 and 2005; at 76 deg C. Do you understand?' I don't! 2005 is one year, not "two other years", and 76 degrees Centigrade is one heck of an anomaly! Did you mean one-thousandth of what you actually said here?"

    You are correct. There were too many typos in that one; (well I was eating a sandwich at the time, and trying to beat the 30 comments per hour pace of this blog).

    It should read...

    "Warmest; along with two other years; 2004 and 2005; at 0.76 deg C anomaly"

    (The figures in the chart have to be divided by 100 to give the "anomaly" variation from average...)

    /davblo

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  • 308. At 00:05am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    Mr Bard:

    i have a lot of respect for you.

    however this blog is the official beeb eco blog.

    it is in my opinion the tip of the iceberg of proAGW shenanigans.

    I'm as light as i need to be sir.

    how is this:

    ii) Details of an individual's race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story.

    not relevant?

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  • 309. At 00:09am on 16 Dec 2009, onward-ho wrote:

    The world has always had climate change....the Sahara was not always a desert.......there have been Ice Ages....we are of the world and our technology is part of the story......but climate does change naturally every so often......there was malaria in Norfolk a hundred years ago....England had many vineyards...the sun fluctuates.....both arguments are true, and both arguments are baloney.
    What I cannot stand is seeing people get het up about nebulous climate change but ignoring suffering in the real world.....let's have a people tax on any carbon-reducing initiative taken at the expense of looking after the poor and the sick......let's supertax anyone selfish enough to leave a penny to an animal charity and spend it on people stricken by hunger, disease, drought or flooding or earthquakes.....or war.
    Let's not waste it on a theory.
    And if knowing the truth makes me a grumpy old man then I am a grumpy old man.

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  • 310. At 00:09am on 16 Dec 2009, JamesF wrote:

    Really. What clutching at the straws of progressive orthodoxy to bolster a indefensible argument.

    Not capable of addressing the rapidly unravelling scientific fraud that is man-made warming climate science, Mr Black plays the most childish and undergraduate ad hominem cards: scream SEXIST, scream RACIST, impugn the psychological and moral position of critics.

    I've not commented on the BBC site before but this is so ludicrous, and so revealing of both Mr Black's and the BBC's attitude to truth, reporting, journalism and news values that I had to say something.

    Truly Mr Black, you have revealed yourself to be governed by your passions - much as a child - and your organisation to be governed by an orthodoxy that sacrifices all, including truth, to the accolades of a limited, elitist honour group. Well done sir. One more step to consigning the BBC to utter irrelevance.

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  • 311. At 00:11am on 16 Dec 2009, HumanityRules wrote:

    Unfortunately Richard it's still a mans world.
    Quick example. Look at the list of BBC blogs on the side of this page. Why are most BBC bloggers men?

    P.S. When did Nick Griffin become a leading thinker on anything?

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  • 312. At 00:11am on 16 Dec 2009, hubertgrove wrote:

    "I've been debating the science with them for years, but recently I realised we shouldn't be talking about the science but about something unpleasant that happened in their childhood".

    I happen to be a climate change sceptic.

    I don't wear a leather jacket and I'm not a Conservative.

    I am extremely angry that a BBC journalist - paid for out of out of a compulsory tax that I have to pay - is quotting bull like this from an unnamed source as if it were a verified truth.

    For you to include such a 'quote' in this piece shows you're not just a lazy, insulting reporter - you're corrupt. And of course there's no way you can be fired or indeed sanctioned in any way.

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  • 313. At 00:26am on 16 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    HEY, YOU GUYS!

    THE AMERICAN LAWYERS HAVE BEEN CALLED INTO CRU AND THINGS ARE LOOKING SERIAL! SUPER SERIAL! AWSOME

    SEE! HERE IS A SNIPET FROM JAMES DELINGPOLE'S BLOG OVER ST THE TELEGRAPH


    December 14, 2009

    DOE Litigation Hold Notice

    DOE-SR has received a 'Litigation Hold Notice' from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) General Council and the DOE Office of Inspector General regarding the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England. Accordingly, they are requesting that SRNS, SRR and other Site contractors locate and preserve all documents, records, data, correspondence, notes, and other materials, whether official or unofficial, original or duplicative, drafts or final versions, partial or complete that may relate to the global warming, including, but not limited to, the contract files, any related correspondence files, and any records, including emails or other correspondence, notes, documents, or other material related to this contract, regardless of its location or medium on which it is stored. In other words, please preserve any and all documents relevant to 'global warming, the Climate Research Unit at he University of East Anglia In England, and/or climate change science.”

    What does it mean? Big, BIG trouble for the Climategate scientists is what it means. You don’t mess with US lawyers and the reason that what might seem an essentially British affair comes under their jurisdiction is because the DOE has provided funding for these scientists.

    Here’s one example from the Climategate files:

    From: Ben Santer
    To: lbutler
    Subject: Re: averaging
    Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2008 12:08:14 -0800
    Reply-to: santer1
    Cc: Tom Wigley, kevin trenberth

    Dear Lisa,

    That’s great news! I’ve confirmed with DOE that I can use up to $10,000
    of my DOE Fellowship to provide financial support for Tom’s Symposium. I
    will check with Anjuli Bamzai at DOE to determine whether there are any
    strings attached to this money. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to use
    the DOE money for the Symposium dinner, and to defray some of the travel
    expenses of international participants who can’t come up with their own
    travel money. I’ll try to resolve this question in the next few days.

    Mmm. I expect you can buy quite a nice no-strings dinner for $10,000.

    And here’s another one of the Climategate emails from Dr Phil Jones.

    From: Phil Jones
    To: Neville Nicholls
    Subject: RE: Misc
    Date: Wed Jul 6 15:07:45 2005

    Neville,
    Mike’s response could do with a little work, but as you say he’s got the tone
    almost dead on. I hope I don’t get a call from congress ! I’m hoping that no-one
    there realizes I have a US DoE grant and have had this (with Tom W.) for the last 25
    years.
    I’ll send on one other email received for interest.
    Cheers
    Phil

    Gosh. I wonder why it can be that he doesn’t want congress to know about his DOE grant. Surely transparency and integrity were ever the CRU’s watchwords?

    But if I were the DOE’s lawyers, I think one of the letters I’d most like to examine would be this one by the CRU’s former head Tom Wigley.
    http://junkscience.com/FOIA/mail/1241415427.txt

    Check it out!

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  • 314. At 00:38am on 16 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Dear Richard Black, and Colleagues:

    Your extremely important observation clearly struck a nerve. In and of itself, that tells us pretty much everything: you were right to make the observation.

    So many of the Denial Detachment are hopping mad... For a reason.

    Yes, they are mostly men. And yes, many of them have significant assets: some of them I have met before here & there. It is chiefly the Mammon-worshippers who are promulgating the idea of "a conspiracy to undermine American sovereignty & our capitalism." And you know who joins this chorus? Some very backwards, unreconstructed-Communist-era "scientists" from the ex-USSR... So this is a very curious gaggle of geese, indeed...

    On the other hand, some of the most brilliant of all the leading capitalists of America have signed a letter to President Obama in support of Copenhagen.

    The Denial Detachment is really very small. If they had the courage to conduct a proper census of their own numbers -- of the people who are actually Certain Pollution Harms No One -- they would be embarrassed by the results.

    Yes, it will be down to the wire, but at the end of the day, at the dawn of the morning after the final night, there will be a Copenhagen Agreement and it will be Good.

    I have read the draft dated 11 Dec of the Long-Term Cooperation committee and it seems like a highly workable draft to me -- all they need to do is replace a definitive number with a range: "between 1.5 & 2.25, with the understanding that a lower number is to be preferred, but may be overly ambitious from our starting point today."

    It will happen. Happy New Year, in advance.

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  • 315. At 00:38am on 16 Dec 2009, DevilsAdvocate wrote:

    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool.
    Richard Feynman, Caltech commencement address, 1974

    There is no harm in doubt and skepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made.
    Richard Feynman, Letter to Armando Garcia J, December 11, 1985

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  • 316. At 00:45am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    mr unbrainwashed:

    probablity of the beeb reporting on your last post= 00.0000%

    anything similarly unproAGW= also 00.0000%

    how far aunty has fallen.

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  • 317. At 00:52am on 16 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    314. At 00:38am on 16 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    NO ONE ANYWHERE IS SAYING 'Certain Pollution Harms No One -' APART FROM YOU!
    ALL POLLUTION IS BAD M'K?

    YOU NEED TO WATCH MORE SOUTH PARK - MANBEARPIG IS A GOOD ONE TO START WITH

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  • 318. At 00:57am on 16 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    316. At 00:45am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    MSM are dragging their feet on this issue and the beeb are the worst.

    All I can think is that the BBC WANT'S to ruin it's Reputation and implode?

    Hmmm, Maybe So?

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  • 319. At 01:19am on 16 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:



    HO HO HO!!!

    Polar Bear Goes Hunting for Climate-Gate Scientist at Copenhagen Summit

    By William La Jeunesse

    – FOXNews.com

    Using a megaphone that pierced the rumble of hundreds of people gathered at the conference center housing Copenhagen’s climate conference, a man dressed as a polar bear went looking for controversial scientist Phil Jones — but he was nowhere to be found.

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2009/12/15/polar-bear-phil-jones/

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  • 320. At 01:21am on 16 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 317, People who claim the whole AGW / MMCC issue is a fraud, or some kind of "conspiracy" are obviously saying "Certainly Pollution Harms No One": because that is what is meant by denying any climate crisis.

    The climate crisis, which is marked by a sometimes subtle, sometimes pronounced rise in Average Global Temperatures, is a direct result of Pollution from Human Activities.

    A central component of this Pollution is made up of the emissions resulting from the extraction, treatment & combustion petroleum & coal to generate energy for human activities.

    And the fact that you persist in pretending such linkage does not exist merely demonstrates how illogical the Denial Detachment is in its obdurate resistance to the obvious.

    Fundamentals of Health & Hygiene: Clean Up the Messes You Make, or Die of Some Dread Disease. That applies to trillion-dollar industries even more than to private kitchens.

    Since you claim to understand that Pollution Kills, you should be on the opposite side of the fence, "unbrainwashed."

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  • 321. At 01:23am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    unbrainwashed:

    you think the beeb wants to fall?

    pourquoi mssr?

    i think its suffered terribly from group think but is not beyond reprieve.

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  • 322. At 01:54am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    @320

    obvious logical fallacy. try harder.

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  • 323. At 01:54am on 16 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    320
    ''People who claim the whole AGW / MMCC issue is a fraud, or some kind of "conspiracy" are obviously saying "Certainly Pollution Harms No One": because that is what is meant by denying any climate crisis.''

    In YOUR head...

    ''The climate crisis, which is marked by a sometimes subtle, sometimes pronounced rise in Average Global Temperatures, is a direct result of Pollution from Human Activities''

    I YOUR opinion...

    ''A central component of this Pollution is made up of the emissions resulting from the extraction, treatment & combustion petroleum & coal to generate energy for human activities.''

    All Polution IS BAD M'K?

    ''And the fact that you persist in pretending such linkage does not exist merely demonstrates how illogical the Denial Detachment is in its obdurate resistance to the obvious.''

    In YOUR head & In YOUR opinion...

    ''Fundamentals of Health & Hygiene: Clean Up the Messes You Make, or Die of Some Dread Disease. That applies to trillion-dollar industries even more than to private kitchens''

    A LITTLE EXTREME! but who LIKES MESS? Certainly not the poor people of Bhopal

    Have a look here and see exactly who will ‘love’ the Environment for you in their own special way…
    https://www.cdproject.net/en-US/Programmes/Pages/Sig-Investor-List.aspx

    I'm just not an extremist and I look for Truth and ask questions of what is being presented to me....

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  • 324. At 01:57am on 16 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    A debate , of sorts, on the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00pft7c/The_Environment_Debate/
    Including Lindzen & Lomborg.

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  • 325. At 01:58am on 16 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    321.

    If it becomes Commercialised it is A PRIME TARGET FOR A CORPORATE TAKEOVER!At a low cost of course with it's reputation in tatters...

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  • 326. At 02:03am on 16 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    PS: It refers to a film called "The Age Of Stupid" which starts off very badly, but is ok, if sensationalist and not very informative.

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  • 327. At 02:04am on 16 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 323: Keep going around in circles. You just keep proving my point for me: over and over and over again.

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  • 328. At 02:07am on 16 Dec 2009, Simon wrote:

    Stunning. Truly stunning.

    How/why does the BBC use such poorly scientifically educated journalists to cover such a significant conference?

    For the record, I hold that AGW is a reasonable model for our current climate trends. I am also, for the record, a man.

    With that out of the way, what is Mr Black warbling on about? It does seem, as some here have also mentioned, that he's got nothign else to write about and so has pulled a really dire notion out of some poorly thought through trough of his mind to develop an utterly untenable theory.

    It really does reveal the poor science in all its dreadful glory. Anecdote and assumption are just what gets us all into deep water (metaphorically and literally).

    I would like to suggest a peer review process before any such drivel is published, but the trouble is that the only peers Mr Black has are equally poorly educated in the scientific process.

    This debate about AGW or not has descended into the same depths as that other internet staple: natural selection v. intelligent design.

    Please, let's not shout our lungs out on this as well.

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  • 329. At 02:18am on 16 Dec 2009, Michael Hughes wrote:

    Being a white male of a certain income eduction doesn't invalidate my opinion but then I would say that being a white male of a certain income, education etc.

    I have no doubt that the climate is warming, my issue is with the hysteria generated by the Aren't Humans Evil campaign. While human activity has increased CO2 and that CO2 is adding to global warming there is not definitive proof that it is the only cause.

    The solutions stated to save us from global warming on the whole won't work, too little to have any real impact we would notice this side of the year 3000.

    Climate hysteria, misinformation and intentional blindness on both side. Too many climate activists use violence, threats and shouts to drown out any critical debate. Their weak emotive arguments being a bigger problem than any anti-warming advocate.

    Al Gore is not my hero, too much like a bandwagon with gravy train the final destination.

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  • 330. At 02:23am on 16 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    327.

    Just asking Questions....

    54. At 4:11pm on 15 Dec 2009, I wrote:

    Speaking of Taxes.....Y'all should forget the 'Forged' 'Science' (It's the Precautionary Principle! I'm Super Serial! Awsome!)

    AND see just how much YOU will pay to Blood & Gore et al Excelthior!

    EPA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqQ4xR-3J8c&feature=related
    This heats up in no3.. a bit of a trudge but well worth it!

    “We Choose Liberty, Or….?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJmef3sWBdY

    Trillion-Dollar Spending Bill
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3085DErFpoY&feature=related

    in their own words
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs&feature=related

    http://www.domesdaybook.co.uk/

    'Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber'

    Have a look here and see exactly who will 'love' the Environment for you in their own special way...
    https://www.cdproject.net/en-US/Programmes/Pages/Sig-Investor-List.aspx

    And of course, these issues are still awaiting a response...

    1) We Are Change Colorado @ Al Gore Book Signing – Activist Rips Up Al’s Book in Front of His Face – BECAUSE OF THE VAST SUMS HE WILL EARN FROM CARBON CREDIT.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXHDkcy9Wdo

    here is the article he is talking about at the end in the New York Times.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXHDkcy9Wdo

    2) European fraudsters steal $7B in carbon credit scam – n.b. LOOK AT THE COMMENTS
    http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2009/12/11/eu-carbon-credit-trading-fraud.html#socialcomments

    3) John Coleman Founder of the Weather Channel with 55 years in the industry.
    http://www.kusi.com/home/78477082.html?video=pop&t=a

    4)The real inconvenient truth – The whole world needs to adopt China’s one-child policy – n.b. LOOK AT THE COMMENTS
    http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=2314438

    5) How the ‘ipcc’ deals with debate (!?) – Stephen Schneider snaps at Journalist for asking about the Leaked Emails
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myI7Pj9FLFc

    6) How Al Gore deals with dissent on his ManBearPig ‘Theory’, you know? A question about whether he has cleared up the NINE (9) BLATANT UNTRUTHS (FOUND BY A HIGH COURT JUDGE!) In his wee movie ?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjFTieRouUk

    7) With the EPA Making CO2 a DANGER TO HUMAN HEALTH, will we all now have to wear Aqua Lungs with one canister of Oxygen (Provided by MONSANTO of course!) and one to measure the CO2 WE BREATHE OUT in order to TAX US ACCORDINGLY?

    As a Trooper said ‘There’s a Mann up Penn State, waiting to see if he’s going to the State Pen after throwing his Colleague Prof Jones ‘Under the Bus’! – and I believe there are more on the way!

    Oh and what's this?
    Gore admits climate figures ‘ballpark’

    COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 15 (UPI) — Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore has admitted that alarming figures on Arctic icemelt he cited in Copenhagen, Denmark, were only “ballpark.”

    Gore, speaking at the U.N. summit on climate change, told attendees that “fresh” estimates by Wieslaw Maslowski of the Naval Postgraduate School in California indicated “that there is a 75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years,” The Times of London reported.

    But Maslowski challenged that characterization, reportedly saying, “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at. I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”

    The newspaper said Gore’s office later admitted that the “75 percent” figure was one used by Maslowksi as a “ballpark figure” several years ago in a conversation with the former vice president.

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2009/12/15/Gore-admits-climate-figures-ballpark/UPI-37851260887971/

    n.b. No Children were abused nor any Polar Bears Killed preparing this piece

    ...YOU got ANY answers?

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  • 331. At 02:25am on 16 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    327.

    By the way.... What is YOUR point?

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  • 332. At 02:26am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    @318
    interesting. i still won't give up hope for aunty yet! Fight the good fight!

    @326

    i'm watching it now.

    i am heartened to see Bjorn and Prof Lindzen ACTUALLY APPEARING on the beeb. Marvelous! a truly worthy debate. not something i'd of thought possible a few weeks ago. just bring back Bellamy as well!

    thanks for the link.

    i still think Mr Black needs to go. however i'm now (slightly) less enraged at the cost of my licence fee. still pretty miffed though. sorry.

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  • 333. At 02:33am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    unbrainwashed:

    ignore ms ashot. she is a firm belever in some kind of oxygen crisis (???lol???) as well as all sorts of bizarre apocalypsisms. its not worth your time to read her posts. just reply: tldr. seems to work.

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  • 334. At 02:35am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    regarding the 'age of stupid'. i'm more of a fan of 'idiocracy'. i kind of feel like it has come to pass already and it was meant to be comedy!

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  • 335. At 02:40am on 16 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    333.

    LMAO! Yeah, well, I wasn't really expecting any lucid reply to the links I have laid out above....

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  • 336. At 02:41am on 16 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 331: My point: No. 219, Item 29, Item 34...

    And all the others, while we're at it. (Davblo rocks!)

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  • 337. At 02:47am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    not sure if it's been posted here previously. either way:


    http://www.ukip.org/content/latest-news/1370-barroso-urges-legal-action-against-ukip

    Full Disclosure: i am not voting next election as no party represents myself.

    ps davblo is an insidious, slyly insulting fellow who has long since demonstrated he is not in any way openminded.

    @/davblo: this time my ps IS an ad hominem, my earlier comment wasn't because of my closing statement ie don't take my word for it etc.

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  • 338. At 02:49am on 16 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    336

    WoW! U r qwik at watching vidz!

    What is your view on the EPA Debate in the American Senate? Getting hit with a 300 page AMENDMENT to the already 1,200 page Bill at 3am then pressurised to sign WITHOUT EVEN READING IT!?

    Sorry tears of our forefathers just couldn't resist.

    I know I'll regret it! LMAO AGAIN!

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  • 339. At 02:54am on 16 Dec 2009, John M wrote:

    There is far too much “if your not with me your against me” in this debate (e.g. Maria Ashot). I've read some good points from both sides and was impressed with “Infinaty”s post at 294. Someone trying to answer an opponents objections.

    All is not black or white. I have looked at the available evidence. I am sure that man has had a large influence on increased CO2 in the atmosphere. I have not seen it proven that this has or will lead to global warming and I have seen no evidence at all that the (in my personal opinion, probable human accelerated), temperature rises will be bad for mankind, or the overall flora and fauna of the planet!

    I am open to debate, willing to be swayed by any reliable information. I don't like being preached to by others relying on pseudo-science.

    It should be possible to use the sophisticated climate modelling computers we now have to input the data we have from say the 50s to 80's and show their reliability for projecting the last 20 years. If they can, I'm a believer. If they can't then please don't offer them to me as “proof”.

    My main concern, however is that the emphasis on CO2 is missing the main problem. The rise in global population from 1 billion in the 1920's to nearly 7 billion today, and the deforestation this has caused. Mankind is a parasite – the population explosion is changing the earth. This may be inevitable but this is what we should be considering.

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  • 340. At 02:57am on 16 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    336.

    r u saying u agree with these?

    34. At 3:35pm on 15 Dec 2009, daylightsaving wrote:

    "I've been debating the science with them for years, but recently I realised we shouldn't be talking about the science but about something unpleasant that happened in their childhood".

    Evidence were it ever needed that Global Cooling Deniers have given up on trying to persuade people through reason and have resorted to nastiness towards their critics.

    I rather wish the debate would swiftly move into the actual scientific debate rather than this puerile and anti-democratic argument of whether we should be having a debate at all.

    29. At 3:29pm on 15 Dec 2009, Dr S Dakin wrote:

    Perhaps there is a genuine chance that the gender influences the chance of something being taken at face value, as presented by a crushingly powerful campaign, or actually considered as a possibility. Perhaps it's background (science versus arts?) or just a more generous nature?

    Back in my days as a scientist, CO2 was water soluble, and I would have expected the concentration of it in the atmosphere to go up if the oceans got warmer (as it's solubility decreased). It would not mean CO2 was making it warmer, and would have been such a silly thing to try to relate to warming, as it's clearly going to be driven by it.

    Why do they call Greenland that anyway if it's covered in snow? If it once wasn't (covered in snow), why are we so worried that it won't be again, and why on earth do we think that we are causing it.

    In my commercial life these days I tend to get suspicious of anything that has a lot of money being redistributed. Funnily enough alarm bells are very seriously ringing over this little lot.

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  • 341. At 03:03am on 16 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 329, Michael Hughes: You are edging closer to the truth. Keep thinking.

    Your wealth does not invalidate your opinion. However, old habits die hard, and you must admit the habit of protecting wealth -- which is central to holding on to wealth -- can taint your perceptions.

    On the other hand, the Royal Families of Europe & the Imperial Family of Japan all have wealth, and have all rallied around the cause of preserving the planet from further harm from basically backward, outdated industrial policies.

    Referring to climate "hysteria" is a cheap shot. It was not hysteria that caused first California, and now more and more sovereign societies, to pass laws against tobacco smoke in public places. It is not hysteria that compels most countries to have some kind of laws about the distribution of potentially harmful substances, such as alcohol.

    There is nothing "hysterical" about seeking planetwide consensus to limit, regulate & monitor the amount of toxins that seep into air, water & soil as a result of human activity.

    If you are as balanced as you sound, or seek to sound, you will think this one through and realise this is not a controversy at all.

    Al Gore is incidental to this story. So are the at most 2000 "climate activists" who exhibit any kind of disorderly conduct, anywhere.

    Attempts to claim there is "misinformation" going on -- when at most it is a matter of sorting through mountains upon mountains of data -- under time constraints, budgetary constraints and the usual other constraints that are associated merely with being human -- are themselves misleading.

    The threats to human survival posed by runaway industrial growth, aging infrastructure, rapid expansion of population and accelerating demand for all kinds of creature comforts -- in the absence of attention to waste, sound resources management, and improved efficiency -- have been known for many decades.

    The first warnings sounded at the very dawn of the Industrial Revolution. They were largely ignored, by men who were sophisticated, wealthy and imagined themselves to be both enlightened and well-intentioned.

    Just read about the story of Mr Diesel's association with Mr Daimler, for heaven's sake.

    We have had a pretty easy ride for a couple of centuries, polluting away pretty much with impunity.

    And now the time has come to pay the piper. It shall be done in Copenhagen.

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  • 342. At 03:06am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    'Mankind is a parasite – the population explosion is changing the earth. This may be inevitable but this is what we should be considering.'

    you might be a parasite buddy. i am not. my family is not. the matrix was a MOVIE and its dialogue should not have influenced you so much if you were a well educated, balanced individual. i believe some proAGW peeps have said this before: GROW UP.

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  • 343. At 03:06am on 16 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 340: You think you're funny, don't you?

    Go back to No. 219 and start over.

    Oh, and yes, I have known some Dakins, by the way -- ever heard of Dakin toys? -- not a poor man amongst them. Did a bunch of work for them pro bono, years & years ago...

    Same exact kind of attitude: terrified of having to part with a pence.

    But what a fascination for the occult!

    Seriously, you ought to let sleeping dogs lie. I mean that. You are stirring up cans of worms that will only make you eat your words...

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  • 344. At 03:10am on 16 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 338: The way the US Congress operates -- and fails to -- is one of the main reasons we have had to hold this conference in Copenhagen.

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  • 345. At 03:15am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    @343

    i think he/she's funny (intermittently ;) ).

    who the devil am i though?

    the 'occult' slant is a blatant ad hom. it reminds me of the 'those who prevent peaceful conquest make violent conquest inevitable' line of propaganda. just a thought.

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  • 346. At 03:20am on 16 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    343.

    YOU are the funny one! I'm psml all the way.

    Because, as I have heard it said in Scotland for the AGW 'believers', that, and I quote, 'Their bums oot the windae' which is a vernacular for 'They have no chance'
    I do a lot of traveling and 'Climategate' is the ONLY thing people I meet are talking about....

    Ho hum.... Toodle Pip!

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  • 347. At 03:22am on 16 Dec 2009, John M wrote:

    Re 342. tears of our forefathers

    What do you and your family live off?

    What would you say if another species of large mammal multiplied its global population from 1 billion to 7 billion and was expected keep increasing?

    Do you really think this is sustainable?

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  • 348. At 03:30am on 16 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    347.

    YOU are on about Overpopulation are you not?

    That is a complete red herring so now I am splitting my sides! ;-)

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  • 349. At 03:31am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    @347

    do you want me to describe how me and my family earn their living? see bowmanthebards excellent (despite out minor break) post on how the population ceiling has ALWAYS been the deciding factor. human pop. has boomed because we've reduced mortality and increased agricultural yields. i read all the poop (see asimov in the 70s) about the ideal human 'sustainable' pop is 500 mill. it makes me puke. who decides which 500 mill? you? if its me a few posters here probably won't make it.

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  • 350. At 03:32am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    @347:

    they might not be mammals but i'm pretty sure cockroaches will outshine those numbers in a week.

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  • 351. At 03:49am on 16 Dec 2009, who said what wrote:

    Middle aged, 2.4 kids, a dog, a cat and a gold fish.

    Does that make me a sceptic?

    If I fall in the forest and no one is around to hear it do i make a sound?

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  • 352. At 03:58am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    @351

    i feel bad for .4 of a kid ;)

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  • 353. At 04:02am on 16 Dec 2009, Richard Elliott wrote:

    Why are virtually all climate "sceptics" men?
    It's about guilt, or rather, the attempt to avoid feeling guilty. And avoiding the discomfort of change. Most of the technologies employed in industrial society were conceived, designed, built and even loved by men. To men, creating a working machine is as close as they will ever get to creating a living being. We love our machines, from toy steam trains to jumbo jets, from motorcycles to Saturn V rockets. To readily admit that the oil burning we have come to love ("525 bhp; 0-60 in 4.6 seconds" al la Top Gear for example) is destroying the habitat, that we and every other species depends upon, usually for no good reason and often merely to increase out heartbeat and adrenaline levels, brings with it an enormous amount of guilt. Avoiding the deep discomfort of this guilt leads to denial "It's not really happening / I didn't do it". This guilt does not effect women in the same way as most women don't love machines in the same way, and they can always blame it on men - as they do many other things - like war for example. Men are innately greater risk takers than women, but our petrol-headed playfulness and profit motivated risk taking may yet burn us all. That's an awful lot of existential guilt, and it will lead inevitably to a equal amount of denial.

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  • 354. At 04:06am on 16 Dec 2009, who said what wrote:

    @352 he's just a statistical average, we call him S.A for short

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  • 355. At 04:13am on 16 Dec 2009, Tourniquette wrote:

    Let's see... "More likely than average to be high income, well-educated, white men... " People of the most privileged class, with the most to lose should they choose to distinguish between what they've _earned_ and what they've been _given_...

    "much more likely to be very conservative Republicans... strongly endorse individualistic values, opposing any form of government intervention, anti-egalitarian... have a specialized media diet, with a higher than average preference for media sources that reflect their own political point of view."... People who have chosen not to examine their privilege, but to bask in their assumption of it and in self-reinforcing messages...

    "and almost universally prefer economic growth over environmental protection..." Because it's too inconvenient and threatening to see that without environmental protection, there will be a cessation of the economy. We will all die.

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  • 356. At 04:15am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    @353

    'That's an awful lot of existential guilt, and it will lead inevitably to a equal amount of denial.'

    your guilt man. not everyone elses and to transfer your guilt to everyone else is wrong. it's also your denial of global not-necessarily-warming-but-probably-not-worth-spending-billions-a-year-to-combat-climate-doom. ever heard of cognitive dissonance?

    @354

    be nice to the poor .4 of a chap!

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  • 357. At 04:17am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    @355

    'we will all die'

    lol comedy genius! watch out mr. baron cohen!

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  • 358. At 04:28am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    @355

    i might have been wrong in my 357 post:

    what i perhaps ought to have said is:

    'we will all die'

    definition of terrorism? using fear to achieve your objective (see south park 'cartoon wars', not 'manbearpig' in this instance, episodes).

    peace out! night night god bless!

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  • 359. At 05:08am on 16 Dec 2009, Tom Forrester-Paton wrote:

    What does it all mean? Far more interesting than the supposed gender imbalance might be the question "why does a certain segment of any generation insist on believing that it is to be the last generationon the face of the earth?"

    For an excellent attempt to analyse methodically a collection, dating back to the mid-nineteenth century and encompassing Eugenics, global cooling, DDT (an early Gore blunder - 20m dead of malaria), global cooling, and a number of other "scares about things which haven't yet happened".

    Debating the science with warmists will only deal with AGW. Understanding WHY people keep falling for counterintuitive, unproven predictions of apocalypse might teach us not to be so silly in future.

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  • 360. At 05:09am on 16 Dec 2009, Tom Forrester-Paton wrote:

    Sorry, here's the link

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 361. At 05:18am on 16 Dec 2009, Tom Forrester-Paton wrote:

    For some reason the link I submitted offended against the rules - not sure which or why, but you can read this paper by searching for "Kesten Green analogies AGW"

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  • 362. At 05:32am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    @359

    i've often thought of Tiberius' supposed comment during his reign as emperor:

    O' generation fit for slavery.

    All generations consider themselves the worst, the furthest from the 'righteous ancestors'. yet we are still here.

    the mods here are beyond harsh.

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  • 363. At 06:23am on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    reposted from the previous (suddenly ignored) EW post:

    @ ghost no. 3:

    'If only there were some way for the bankers to steal some money, I am sure it could all be worked out.'

    check out the chicago climate exchange, part owned by, among others, Al Gore and Goldman Sachs.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Investment_Management

    Blood and Gores company. you know, the one that benfits from huge govt. funding as a result the goracles endless eco-shilling.

    There is a lot of money riding on the 350pm cap becoming international law.

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  • 364. At 06:33am on 16 Dec 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences – the body that issues the Nobel prizes for chemistry and for physics - has formulated a statement concerned with the scientific basis of climate change. The statement is dated 22 September 2009 and was published as a news release in mid-October. I thought it worthwhile to mention it again now, as today it was the subject of a full-page opinion piece in one of Sweden’s leading national daily newspapers.
    In issuing the statement, the Academy stresses that it “has not been an objective to deal with areas outside the natural sciences. However, it is clear that changes in climate require a response from society that involves a wide range of other disciplines, with development and application of new technologies.”
    It goes on to state: “Planet Earth has experienced repeated changes of its climate throughout time. Periods warmer than today as well as much colder, during glacial episodes, have alternated. In our time, rapid population growth with increased demand for natural resources and energy, has made society increasingly vulnerable to environmental changes, both natural and those caused by man; human activity is clearly affecting the radiation balance of the Earth.”
    An introduction with a link to the full 6-page statement by the Academy (both are in English) can be found at the following page: http://www.kva.se/en/News/News2009/Academy-statement-on-climate-change/

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  • 365. At 06:57am on 16 Dec 2009, Beejay wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 366. At 07:03am on 16 Dec 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    Some more climate change opinion survey results... these come from the Pew Research Center. This group issued its latest ‘global’ survey results on climate change at the start of December (the poll itself was conducted between mid-May and mid-June 2009). Also, at the end of October, it issued the results of a more detailed poll amongst Americans only. Unfortunately (or ‘fortunately’ given the ire evident in many comments on this blog-page?) neither survey presents the results on the basis of the gender of respondents. However, they do give some information on the respondents’ political ideologies.

    Amongst the global survey’s findings included that “Americans' views of global warming divide along ideological lines -- liberals are more than twice as likely as conservatives to say global warming is a very serious problem (66% vs. 30%). … more than six-in-ten Democrats (63%) express concern over this issue, compared with fewer than one-in-five (17%) Republicans. Among independents, 43% say this is a very serious problem.” It also notes that “Surveys from 2008 and 2009 suggest that an ideological divide is also evident in Britain, where 66% of those on the political left rate global warming as very serious, compared with 42% of those on the right. A smaller ideological split exists in Germany, France and Spain.”

    The global survey also noted that concern about climate change is widely shared throughout much of the world, with “majorities in 23 of 25 countries agree that protecting the environment should be given priority, even at the cost of slower economic growth and job losses. And many are willing to make sacrifices, such as having to pay higher prices, to address global warming. … Roughly two-thirds or more rate it as very serious in Argentina (69%), France (68%), South Korea (68%), India (67%), Turkey (65%), Japan (65%) and Mexico (65%).” But it also stresses that the concern is not universal, being “much less pervasive in the United States, China and Russia than among other leading nations. Just 44% in the U.S. and Russia, and even fewer in China (30%), consider global warming to be a very serious problem.”

    Intriguingly the American poll shows that views about climate change amongst Republican supporters in the US have see-sawed a bit in recent years. The proportion of Republicans saying there is solid evidence of global warming declined from 62% in 2007 to 49% in 2008. It then rose in 2009, with a majority (57%) saying “there is no hard evidence of global warming”. The survey notes that the “drop among moderate and liberal Republicans has been particularly steep; 41% now say there is solid evidence of global warming, compared with 69% last year. The decline among conservative Republicans has been more modest (from 43% to 32%).”

    The Pew Research Centre describes itself as follows: “The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan "fact tank" that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does not take positions on policy issues.”

    The global survey results are presented at: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1427/global-warming-major-problem-around-world-americans-less-concerned

    The American survey results are presented at: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1390/why-do-fewer-americans-believe-the-earth-is-warming

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  • 367. At 07:33am on 16 Dec 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    Correction to my post #366. The views of Republicans haven't see-sawed as my earlier post said. In fact there has been a decline in Republicans who consider there is 'hard evidence of global warming' since 2007. So, in 2009 there is an increase in those who disgree that there is such evidence. My mistake - sorry!

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  • 368. At 07:37am on 16 Dec 2009, WebPendragon wrote:

    As on who would put himself in the "fairly alarmed" camp, I cannot remember ever reading a blog so full of stereotypes and predjudice."Men bad Women good" apparantly.

    Perhaps we should be discussing an unpleasant event in Richard Black's past rather than climate change.

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  • 369. At 07:44am on 16 Dec 2009, Flatearther wrote:

    Based on data in my family of a male physicist, a female geologist, a male mathematician and a female artist, who are all AGW sceptics, I conclude that 50% of sceptics in our family are female, 50% of sceptics in our family are male and 100% of scientists in our family are sceptic.

    Furthermore, using this raw data with geographical locations and using standard statistical techniques, involving homogenising the data, using a gridded method, in-filling and padding the data where necessary and using tele-kinetics, I conclude that 100% of family members, male and female, across the entire world, are sceptics.

    Based on family records going back 100years and using proxy data and PCA techniques, I conclude that 100% of family members have been sceptical for 2000years.

    Using a generational calculation model (GCM), written in Fortran by my nephew Harry, I project that by the end of the 21st century, 200% of family members will be sceptical. It’s far worse than I thought.

    This work has been accepted as a paper for publication in the well-respected scientific journal Mature, owned by another nephew. The paper has been independently peer-reviewed. Unfortunately my sister’s copy of the letter proving this was eaten by her dog, and my copy inadvertently got filed in the bin labelled ‘for fire lighting’.

    I need lots of funding to further this ground-breaking research, to examine what can be done to mitigate this potential disaster and, failing that, to adapt the family’s way of life to avoid extinction.

    Please send all donations (otherwise a tax will be necessary) to:

    Flat Earth Research Unit (FERU)
    University of West Anglia (UWA)

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  • 370. At 07:48am on 16 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #289 SheffTim wrote:

    "More to the point I find it notable that most creationists are also climate sceptics. There seems to be a notable anti-science agenda amongst them."

    I think you're judging what an "anti-science agenda" looks like using your own understading of science, and that your own understanding of science isn't very good, because you are not a scientist yourself and you regard people who call themselves scientists as the exemplars of scientists.

    Any idiot can call himself a scientist. What makes him a scientist is not that fact that he calls himself a scientist, or that he is called a scientist by the BBC or by politicians, but whether he applies genuinely scientific standards of questioning, analysis, criticism, observation, and above all testing. The appeal to the supposed authority of "scientists" or to consensus is perhaps the least scientific habit anyone can have, and I have to say it's mostly sceptics on the this blog who sound like scientists to me.

    "Also right-wing libertarians because of their ideological opposition to the idea of any central government action on behalf of society."

    You may have a point there -- like scientists, libertarians do believe in independence of mind -- but you shouldn't judge an opinion on the basis of who agrees with it. You should try to judge it on its own merits or demerits. For what it's worth, I am a Darwinian rather than a Creationist, and I am a left-wing liberal rather than a right-wing libertarian. But who or what I am is irrelevant -- you should be trying to judge what I am saying. The Guardian and the BBC have latched onto Nick Griffin with a sigh of relief because they assume his presence in the "sceptic" camp discredits scepticism. Presumably, he also believes the Earth is round -- does that give you reason to believe the Earth is flat?

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  • 371. At 07:53am on 16 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Richard black

    This is my final comment on this thread, Richard

    I have a lot of respect for your ramblings. I don't always agree with them, especially on attributing climate change, but other posts such as over fishing etc, i think you are pretty in tune with the way things are.

    Sceptics on man made climate change have had to endure many slanders and name calling especially on the more vociferous posters here and from the climate scientists - denier, insane, personality disorders etc etc. We've had to endure calls for us to stand trial and the slurs that we don't care about our shared planet

    For you to post the unfounded opinion of an unnamed source is completely unaceptable, especially for a journalist. There can be no excuse. This sort of behaviour is not like you

    Pull yourself together and do the decent thing - apologise

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  • 372. At 07:55am on 16 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #315 DevilsAdvocate:

    Thank you for two great quotations from a great scientist and a great teacher.

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  • 373. At 08:00am on 16 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #320 Maria Ashot wrote:

    '"Certainly Pollution Harms No One": because that is what is meant by denying any climate crisis.'

    I wonder if any non-sceptics here want to distance themselves from this remark?

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  • 374. At 08:05am on 16 Dec 2009, Frxzogg wrote:

    I am one of the moderate Republicans referenced in Simon-Swede's comment above: "The survey notes that the “drop among moderate and liberal Republicans has been particularly steep; 41% now say there is solid evidence of global warming, compared with 69% last year."

    Why the drop? And why at a time when the science, we're told, is getting stronger by the hour?

    Perhaps if I didn't feel like I was being hit over the head with a baseball bat (a cricket bat isn't painful enough) every time I'm preached at by an environmentalist, I might be more agreeable...

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  • 375. At 08:13am on 16 Dec 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    Mango at #371

    You could also say that 'Those who take seriously' "man made climate change have had to endure many slanders and name calling especially from the more vociferous posters here". I don't think one's point of view on climate change make the name-calling of those that disagree with you any less 'smelly'.

    While I share your respect for Richard's writing, I disagree with you that there is any need for Richard to apologise for this piece. As I said earlier on this page, I find many of the reactions here are rather over the top. And as another poster put it, many of the comments are far more offensive than anything said or implied in Richard's post.


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  • 376. At 08:34am on 16 Dec 2009, Teacher Anne wrote:

    Richard, this must be the most pathetic article on "climate change" I've ever read, and I say that as a female sceptic.

    I am not sure that I agree with your basic premise (that men predominate in the sceptic ranks, but less so in the "believer" ranks). The hockey team of Mann, Schmidt, Steig, Amman, Rahmstorf, Briffa, Jones, Hansen ... these guys are all male.

    Sure there are fewer women in the sceptic ranks - probably because women in general (you are forcing me to generalise here, it's not something I usually do) are more interested in Maths and Science and are more likely to be engineers etc. The more you know about Maths, the less likely you are to be taken in by hockey-stick graphs.

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  • 377. At 08:40am on 16 Dec 2009, jon112dk wrote:

    I would say the explanation is simple: who has got most to gain/loose from all these taxes and the destruction of capitalist system?

    You give the characteristics of the dismissive: male, smart, educated, economically active. Everything to loose.

    What about the characteristics of the eco-zealots?

    We have scientists (and reporters) who earn a nice living from the whole eco-religion. They don't care if a factory is shut because they don't have to earn a living - they will benefit from all the increased taxes.

    Unemployable swampy types. They don't have a job and don't want one. Why should they care if the economy is brought to a halt? They have always wanted the capitalist system destroyed, this is just the latest pretext.

    Here's an idea. Lets make spending on climate science (and the BBC), benefits (including child benefits) directly proportionate to GDP - X% of national income per year. Let's give you highly convinced people a stake in this and see if your opinions mellow a little?

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  • 378. At 08:45am on 16 Dec 2009, MarrsAttax wrote:

    Instead of demonstrating how the science shows that climate sceptics are wrong, here is an article that shoots the messenger. If someone doesn't agree with the prevailing view they must have psychological issues right? Where in the scientific method does it say that contrary opinions should be suppressed?

    Rather than achieving the intended aim of making climate sceptics less credible all this article has done is make me think they may be on to something as the media seem to be using cheap debating tactics to discredit the sceptics rather than simply demonstrating how they are wrong.

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  • 379. At 08:51am on 16 Dec 2009, Teacher Anne wrote:

    Oops in my post above I meant men are generally more interested in Maths and Science than women, not the other way around. Richard made me so annoyed that I posted in haste without proofreading properly.

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  • 380. At 08:58am on 16 Dec 2009, JunkkMale wrote:

    many of the comments are far more offensive than anything said or implied in Richard's post.

    That makes it all 'right' then.

    Just saw the BBC Breakfast... male.... teleprompter reader 'interview' the saviour of the planet in full waffle/'I' mode.

    He asked the PM about the public conviction around man's [person's?] role in climate change, and in his reply Mr. Brown flips it back to no doubt on generic global warming. Which indeed is hard to disagree is happening. Not where the debate, or questions, lie, Gordon (and others). Why the Clintonian semantics, especially from a person trying to making saving the world all about him in every breath?

    Also I'd have like to see developed the claim about his vast experience in matters of a 'private carbon market'. Is this just a set up for shunting money around and taxes? What's the % of women in big city trading houses gunning for a nice bonus?

    Miliband. E has also told reporters that the crucial finance session he co-chaired carried on talking up to midnight last night. It has now agreed that more public money is needed, but no figure.

    Maybe they are still making some figures up?

    Oddly, the climate analyst Roger Harrabin just on did admit that this is controversial, so maybe the message is getting through that shunting dosh off any old where, any old how is not a panacea for resolving anything except the profits of a Lagos Mercedes dealer.

    Possibly there is a sense creeping in, even with our press release as news 4th estate, that aspects of our tax and spend addicted governance are still worth holding to account.

    Especially by those who really want to leave the planet to our kids better than we found it. And still have a few questions beyond the smoke and mirrors that passes for information these days.

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  • 381. At 09:10am on 16 Dec 2009, Leviticus wrote:

    @7
    "You can't explain why CO2 which is a trace gas supposedly has bigger impact than the sun (which if you stand in it for 10 minutes will burn you)."
    Astrobiology and Astronomy (standard university level 2 courses) will explain this. Try "An introduction to Astrobiology", an OU textbook. Look up the section on habitable zones, albedo and green house effect for a basic overview. For futher reading check out "An introduction to the Solar System" as well.
    In particular you will need to understand the similarities in composition of the terrestrial planets, but how their distance from the sun alters this slightly and why the presence of liquid water means that earth is unique in that our carbon/oxygen percentage (very similar to that of Venus) exists with said carbon locked away in minerals rather than as the dominant gas.
    But in a brief counter for the most obvious part...
    The sun provides appoximately 1kw per square metre in daylight hours. This will, as you noted, nicely burn your skin in a short amount of time during the summer.
    At night, however, the flux denisty (bar contribution reflected by the moon etc) drops to zero. Average temperature should therefore drop to around the point methane becomes a liquid. Not absolute zero due to the contribution of heat provided by the Earth itself.
    Thankfully it doesn't.
    This is all due to clouds, the distribution of heat by the oceans and air currents, and that little trace gas called carbon dioxide.
    So that's how 'little' effect CO2 has compared to the sun. Remove it all and we all get as cold as liquid notrogen every night. Too much and we cook.

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  • 382. At 09:15am on 16 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    Again, the very personal level of attacks present, primarily against 'sceptics' is quite worrying.

    It is often the case that people can get very, angry, over something that they believe to be important- regardless of their knowledge on the subject, and will latch onto anything to allow them to attack the 'opposing' side.

    I shall re-iterate again for those amongst us who can't/won't see it-

    'sceptics' are not against the planet, they do not want to carry on polluting, they agree emissions must be cut, they agree conservation must be a proirity etc etc.

    What they don't agree with is the role of man and specifically co2 in climate change.

    I would suggest, that unless you are a scientist, that you're unqualified to look at this data and draw conclusions. that includes you Richard.

    Personal attacks are often the last resort of those who cannot 'defeat' through reason and evidence.

    There simply is not enough evidence to support the assumption that co2 drives temperature rises. Simplistic laboratory experiments on CO2 thermal absorption does not prove co2 drives temperature rises in the climate, just as lab tests on a new vaccine does not prove it's safe for use in a human body.

    This is the same thing- extrapolations from a simplistic model, to a VERY complex system. It's not science

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  • 383. At 09:19am on 16 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    Richard,

    i still think this is a very unproffesional piece with a clear aim- to try to discredit 'sceptics'.

    I still think you should resign.

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  • 384. At 09:23am on 16 Dec 2009, Asopus wrote:

    Since Richard has mentioned Ian Plimer, some might be interested in viewing Ian Plimer and George Monbiot debating on ABC. I suspect each ‘side’ will claim their man won, but personally I found it fascinating to see Plimer being accused very directly of scientific fraud, but struggling to come up with any response. The video lasts 25 minutes:

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2009/s2772906.htm

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  • 385. At 09:24am on 16 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    anyone who still holds to the belief that the data for temperature rises vs co2 is reiable (even BEFORE climate gate) should read this entire piece and follow the links.

    one of the emails admits using station data that doesnt exist....

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  • 386. At 09:26am on 16 Dec 2009, Turron wrote:

    I assume that one of the female bloggers you are referring to is Jo Nova who without question punches well above her weight. Her latest dig at the New Scientist is particularly witty and insightful since it probes that magazine's tolerance from some very sloppy science.

    Why isn't the BBC doing something similar?

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  • 387. At 09:34am on 16 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    and now the link ...

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100019956/climategate-the-lawyers-move-in-those-scientists-are-toast/

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  • 388. At 09:35am on 16 Dec 2009, excellentcatblogger wrote:

    Gosh, and I thought that Nick "Toenails" Robinson was an unique BBC institution!

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  • 389. At 09:36am on 16 Dec 2009, MalMac wrote:

    KZwert said "The respondents were not sampled independently, but were self selecting. This is merely evidence of sample bias."
    This is an example of the kind of logical fallacy that even professional statisticians are wont to expound. For example, before a by-election they carefully select a random sample of say 1000 voters and enquire about their voting intentions. Suppose 100 voters refuse to disclose their intention, 300 say they intend to vote Labour,300 conservative, 200 Liberal, 50 Others and 50 are undecided. On the assumption that the refusals are evenly split, it is then predicted that 33% of the electorate will support Labour.
    The result of the actual election was that the Conservative was returned with 37% of votes cast.

    This illustrates the difference between Commitment, which is a self selecting characteristic, and the causistry employed in interpreting the significance of even a carefully selected random sample.

    Even at the most basic level of taking averages, statisticians sometimes employ hokus pokus that has no foundation in basic arithmetic. For example the velocity of light has had to be defined rather than measured because no one could explain how an average value might be calculated.

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  • 390. At 09:36am on 16 Dec 2009, Apple-Eater wrote:

    Most of the warmists are men, most of the sceptics/deniests are, too. I doubt there's any real gender divide.

    That being said, men are much less likely than women to read horoscopes, watch soap operas, or read sleb mags.

    When men do discuss an issue, any issue, they tend to knock each other's arguments. Presented with apparent scientific consensus on Climate Change, they are likely to take issue with what they hear. Especially in the UK, where the weather seems to have got cooler in the last 10 or 20 years.

    I suspect the warmists and pro-warmist media have contributed to the backlash. By presenting the theory is incontrovertible fact, and portraying anyone who disagreed as some kind of flat-earth American redneck, they've created resentment, and provoked questions about their own credibility and motivation.

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  • 391. At 09:43am on 16 Dec 2009, Donald Rennie wrote:

    Maybe it is because only men, can be pig-headed enough to publicly state lies which threaten billions of lives?

    "Where in the scientific method does it say that contrary opinions should be suppressed?"

    The scientific method does not mention such a thing, unless you count ignoring 'facts' that have previously been proven false.

    However if you are not satisfied with the facts, you might need to look elsewhere for motivation. Common human decency should dictate that we should never oppose actions that limit pollution, when those limits will be applied to everyone equally.

    "who has got most to gain/loose from all these taxes and the destruction of capitalist system?"

    Give us a break! The capitalist system, will not be destroyed by a switch to renewable energy, it will be saved by it! Oil and Coal, are only cheap, because the energy companies do not have to pay for the costs of pollution.

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  • 392. At 09:49am on 16 Dec 2009, LadyTriniity wrote:

    It's simple - women are too busy having to deal with immediate 'here and now' issues, such as as putting dinner on the table tonight, making sure children are properly cared for, elderly relatives looked after, and working to pay today's pressing bills to have time to sit and contemplate the reason behind climate change!

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  • 393. At 09:55am on 16 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    "The scientific method does not mention such a thing, unless you count ignoring 'facts' that have previously been proven false.
    "

    kindly list those 'facts'. I'll provide peer reviewed papers against all of them.

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  • 394. At 10:01am on 16 Dec 2009, ozbizbozzle wrote:

    Is it not obvious that ones psychology is at the root of this debate? I think most above are psychology deniers. As if there is some kind of 'standard' human.
    Notice the level of vitriol in some of the comments. Thats anger they carry with them that they throw when triggered. All the comments about money being the motivation is a good example of the drip drip fluid that they enbibed, conditioned to believe that the abstraction that is money, is real.
    I personally feel culturally that we are up a cul de sac, and the climate is a sypmtom of that, so we are looking in the wrong place.
    Everyone is entitled to an opinion. You can listen and go either way. Its not a threat, which seems to be the response above. Science knows some but not all.
    How about we all agree just to be nicer to each other and understand that its our culture that makes us this way.
    We all feel powerless(mainly cos we have brought up to believe we should be powerful) so need to vent ourselves through these comments. Me included!
    It worked. I feel a little better for having shared that, but i must remind myself that it is of course, pointless, in the nicest possible sense.

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  • 395. At 10:02am on 16 Dec 2009, Rob Klinkenberg wrote:

    Its because men drive cars.

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  • 396. At 10:02am on 16 Dec 2009, duffinvestor wrote:

    I read on the BBC sites that over the weekend various churches in the UK rang their bells 350 times in support of Climate Change targets. It made me smile to find that two groups who "believe" but can't "prove" have combined together! When I am presented with absolute facts by either group I will change my mind, but in the meantime I remain a sceptic. Yes I am male, but in the words of Monty Python, "And so does my wife" :)

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  • 397. At 10:23am on 16 Dec 2009, lburt wrote:

    I've avoided this thread since its for a fluff story and people are more or less sticking to the fluff topic. Yes, men and women are different...is this somehow newsworthy within the framework of a conference that's "ideally" trying to push forward the notion of foolishly squandering hundreds of trillions of dollars? I don't think so.

    PS
    Once again, for what is probably now the tenth thread I've followed and posed this question...when the heck will those in the AGW camp produce the empirical evidence of high feedbacks that are REQUIRED to raise temperatures by the "alarming" amounts of which they rant? Without positive feedbacks there is only enough theoretical forcing left for .7C more warming from CO2 (a total anomaly of about 1.2C)...although the OBSERVED rate of warming is lower (implying the negative feedbacks that most (empirical) studies have found...is real). According to REALITY there shouldn't be enough fossil fuel on the planet to cause a 2C anomaly.

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  • 398. At 11:14am on 16 Dec 2009, JunkkMale wrote:

    After the husky hug, car follows bike and non-rotating chimney ornament Mr. Cameron’s green creds are not high here at Junkk Towers either, at least there is some recognition that the public is not responding well to current nanny, fine, hector, guilt or scare messages, which puts him ahead of the current crop by a fair bit, relatively speaking (not a great advance).

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8415210.stm

    “Discussing the Tory plans, a Labour spokesperson said: “This is a green con. At the same time as saying they will cut the deficit, the Tories are making yet more unfunded commitments with no idea how they would find the billions their proposals would cost.

    Bless.

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  • 399. At 11:22am on 16 Dec 2009, Damian wrote:

    In answer to a few remarks here, I am what the Americans would call a Darwinist. The reason being that I have examined the evidence and drawn my own conclusion which is his theory of evolution is the best on offer currently to fit avalible facts. I do not believe what is being peddled about the end of the world due to a slight increase in a trace eliment in the atmosphere for the same reason.

    Watching the TV reports now it is obvious that the 'protestors' seem to feel that the rule of law does not apply to them. They are quite happy to turn up in another country (all bar I'm sure a few home-grown ones) and take this as an excuse to commit acts of violence and vandolisam. I'm sure that when the G8 meet these self same people don balaclavas and do exactly the same then. Having delt with a few I have on the whole found them to be middle class, normally supported by Mummy and Daddy and 'bored'.

    These people would peddle any view if they thought it gave them an excuse to literally run riot. Hardly convincing arguments. Any more so that the scientist who know that toe-ing the warming line = grants. Not doing so = redundancy. Like I said before this has become a religion with tennants of faith and all the other paraphinalia. My betting is it won't be long now before we have the first Wars to 'convert the infadel'.

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  • 400. At 11:23am on 16 Dec 2009, lmsava wrote:

    The analysis I'd really like to see is the proportion of climate change sceptics that have science, maths or statistics degrees. It's evident that the sceptics almost exclusively use emotional or "consipiracy" arguments to defend their position rather than quoting evidence. Their belief that a couple of stupid emails from a decade ago undermines the whole of climate science is idiotic at best - you don't discredit an entire discipline that is researched by tens of thousands of people on the basis of two individuals who messed up (I suppose that tens of thousands remark probably means "it's a monkey-making consipracy"...).

    The truth is, and too many are afraid of saying it for fear of sounding snobbish, climate sceptics just do not understand climate science. They are trying to come to terms with what is a very technical issue but one that has also been politicised so their responses are usually based on emotions rather than facts.

    What I don't understand is why people are so dismissive of climate scientists when in other walks of life people who have worked for decades to build up their expertise in a particular area are treated with respect for that. If I lined up 100 surveyors and they all told you that your house had subsidence but then I found you 2 pizza delivery boys who said "nah mate, house looks fine to me, they're just after your money" who would you believe? That's the situation we are in with climate change: on one side thousands of scientists who have dedicated their lives to scientific method; on the other, Jeremy Clarkson, Nick Griffin, and Melanie Phillips - a real brains trust.

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  • 401. At 11:29am on 16 Dec 2009, Tom Forrester-Paton wrote:

    The CRU data was given to the BBC's Paul Hudson on 12th OCTOBER, and that they did nothing with it until long after, 5 WEEKS LATER, it was "hacked" (oh the irony). That tells you all you need to know about the Beeb as Fearless Defender of Reason. It also explains pabulous, hand-waving articles like this - if they actually examined the issues the pain would be too great.

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  • 402. At 11:46am on 16 Dec 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To Maria Ashot # 72:

    Wonderful post!

    Obviously Richard Black has struck gold (or is it black gold ?) - mostly in the pockets of the lobby, it would seem, and their wannabes!
    -----------

    From the pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupery's "Wind, Sand and Stars":

    "To be a man is, precisely, to be responsible."
    --------------------

    In my travels across Canada, I came across a plaque to the aboriginal people of Canada. Two feathers were displayed, and the gist of the inscription was to the effect that for a man to truly earn the feathers, he must be both courageous and compassionate.

    Noam Chomsky has detailed in his book "Hegemony or Survival" the corrosive effects our western way of life has inflicted upon our western psyches.

    My own experience confirms virtually all Mr. Chomsky said, and virtually all in your post #72.

    The number of posts I just scrolled through to get here, and the overwhelming number of immature posts is proof, if anyone needed more, of the eternal childhood which the western way of life has engendered amongst its population.

    It is why my wife Underacanoe and I are raising our five year old son Cloudrunner - 'as an Apache', the central idea being to enable him to be able to actually 'think for himself' by the time he reaches natural adulthood.
    ------------

    Hello to davblo2, simon-swede et al.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 403. At 11:48am on 16 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    @400

    i'm a scientist with an honors degree and over 10 years experience at data evaluation- though my field of expertise is not climate science, it is microbiology and biochemistry.

    Having said that, i am eminently qualified to comment on data integrity having ran numerous projects requiring the upmost adhereance to good statistical practice, sound data collection and good experimental design.

    I think you have missed the point slightly, although that is totally understandable given the mainstream media's coverage.

    The emails themselves do not directly undermine the science (barring one which causes serious doubt- the last point below). What they do show is:
    -potential FOIA avoidance (illegal here in the UK)
    -Data deletion
    -peer review 'high-jacking'
    -'Invented' results - i.e. the revelations that data was collected from weather stations that simply don't exist- specifically the ones in canada(this doesn't help the science ).

    The main issue is the code, which has been shown to contain numerous, irregularities in the way they handled (and then subsequently deleted) the raw data.

    The reason this is so important, and the reason it COULD undermine all current climate science (with regardx to AGW) is that this data was then used as a basis for significant proportions of further work. Think of an inverse pyramid- many conclusions were drawn from the assumed integrity of this data.

    Now couple this with the fact that NZ and AUS have been caught depiberatley manipulating data to show AGW related trends where there are none, and now you start to see the issue.

    I couldn't care less who turns out to be right- what i care about is the science, the data and the facts.

    The AGW case is littered with data secrecy (despite repeated, and now legal challanges to get them to publish thier raw data- something all scientists normally do as a matter of course), dodgy manipulations (inconsistant HIE adjustments, baseline corrections, arbitrary error level adjustments etc etc) and, frankly, smear campaigns against anyone who dares question the theory.

    Now i am by no means saying the 'sceptics' are the pure defenders of freedom here, i have found at least 2 cases of deliberate overexaggeration in attempts to undermine AGW. But there is sufficient doubt generated, even before 'climategate' (gods i hate that word) to threaten the AGW theory.

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  • 404. At 11:52am on 16 Dec 2009, Greg wrote:

    There's real science involved and most women don't like real science. Some do of course and are great at it but most are more interested in the psuedo science of Astrology, Feng Shui etc.

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  • 405. At 11:55am on 16 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    Re 401: "The CRU data was given to the BBC's Paul Hudson on 12th OCTOBER"

    no it wasn't

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  • 406. At 11:58am on 16 Dec 2009, yertizz wrote:

    Only a deeply troubled mind could possibly turn a serious debate such as this into a sexist propaganda exercise.
    Quite frankly it is pathetic.

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  • 407. At 12:09pm on 16 Dec 2009, John wrote:

    "Copenhagen police fire tear gas at climate protesters"

    What next - live rounds?

    This is what this sort of miserable journalism leads to - Crowds of terrified "followers", unable to separate truth from crazed delusion.
    For crying out loud get some perspective in this and report some proper and truthful science.
    You, the BBC and all the alarmist media have a great deal to answer for.

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  • 408. At 12:11pm on 16 Dec 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Tom Forrester-Paton #401

    Er no.

    Paul Hudson's article "Whatever Happened To Global Warming" was the subject of some of the emails. He therefore received some of the emails legitimately, before the hack/leak.

    However when he tried to vouch for their authenticity his wording was ambiguous. Now there's this myth doing the rounds.

    Please. Show the guy some respect. The hacker/leaker did not send stuff to Paul.

    Extracts from Paul Hudson on the matter (Highlights mine):

    Monday 23 November

    " I was forwarded the chain of e-mails on the 12th October, which are comments from some of the worlds leading climate scientists written as a direct result of my article 'whatever happened to global warming'. The e-mails released on the internet as a result of CRU being hacked into are identical to the ones I was forwarded and read at the time and so, as far as l can see, they are authentic."

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2009/11/climategate-cru-hacked-into-an.shtml

    Tuesday 24 November

    "As you may know, some of the e-mails that were released last week directly involved me and one of my previous blogs, 'Whatever happened to global warming ?'

    These took the form of complaints about its content, and I was copied in to them at the time. Complaints and criticisms of output are an every day part of life, and as such were nothing out of the ordinary. However I felt that seeing there was an ongoing debate as to the authenticity of the hacked e-mails, I was duty bound to point out that as I had read the original e-mails, then at least these were authentic, although of course I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the others."


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2009/11/climategate-what-next.shtml

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  • 409. At 12:14pm on 16 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    @Infinity 405: From Paul Hudson's blog on Monday 23rd November

    I was forwarded the chain of e-mails on the 12th October, which are comments from some of the worlds leading climate scientists written as a direct result of my article 'whatever happened to global warming'. The e-mails released on the internet as a result of CRU being hacked into are identical to the ones I was forwarded and read at the time and so, as far as l can see, they are authentic.

    He says nothing about the code, nor whether he got all the e-mails, but he certainly got some.

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  • 410. At 12:20pm on 16 Dec 2009, lburt wrote:

    @lmsava
    "The truth is, and too many are afraid of saying it for fear of sounding snobbish, climate sceptics just do not understand climate science. They are trying to come to terms with what is a very technical issue but one that has also been politicised so their responses are usually based on emotions rather than facts."

    This is actually what most intelligent skeptics find to be true of the AGW movement. Step back from the problem and really look...and you'll find that 99% of those that believe in global warming ALSO have no real clue what they're talking about. Unfortunately the political climate is incredibly intolerant of AGW skeptics right now. Several high level politicians have even suggested jailing skeptics just for having an opinion.

    BUT, the single most important issue in this whole debate has nothing to do with the so-called "settled science" but the unsettled parts. According to the SETTLED science a doubling of CO2 would cause a theoretical maximum of about 1.2C higher temperatures through an enhanced greenhouse effect. Current levels of CO2 mean we are currently experiencing 40% of whatever enhanced greenhouse effect we'll have from a doubling, leaving us UNDER this theoretical maximum...and that's with a pre-existing warming trend that was most certainly NOT caused by CO2.

    The evidence that's missing from the alarmist case...are the powerful positive feedbacks that they claim exist. The so-called climate "experts" prefer to use models and lopsided math to just calculate what real-world feedbacks are...and come up with outrageous figures that could not possibly be real given the relative stability of the interglacial temperatures. BUT, when someone actually bothers to check feedbacks based on empirical evidence...the feedbacks are negative...which agrees with the LACK of significant warming and stability of interglacial temperatures.

    As I pointed out just a few messages back...without those positive feedbacks there would be very little additional warming indeed. Lindzen actually found that feedbacks were so strongly negative that a doubling of CO2 wouldn't even yield .8C of warming.

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  • 411. At 12:30pm on 16 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    @Jane 408: Yes you are right, that ambiguous wording does seem to have led to that myth. I don't support it and did'n't mean to by my last post.

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  • 412. At 12:39pm on 16 Dec 2009, bandythebane wrote:

    I think once again Poitsplace is right. the issue of the mysterious and apparently non existent feedbacks is the most important one.

    Expose this fallacy and the whole scare implodes.

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  • 413. At 12:42pm on 16 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    Btw, why isn't' there a link to Paul Hudson's blog? As others have noticed it does seem to be a bit hidden away.

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  • 414. At 12:47pm on 16 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    Another blog I would recommend is by Michael Tobis:

    http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/

    Some very good discussions about climate science, and scientific practice in general.

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  • 415. At 12:52pm on 16 Dec 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    poitsplace at #410

    I agree with you that there are uncertainties about aspects of the science. But I disagree with you when you appear to claim a considerable degree of certainty for your preferred much lower sensitivity rates.

    The statement adopted by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (the body that issues the Nobel prizes for chemistry and for physics) includes the following in its recent statement on the scientific basis of clmate change:


    10. The relationship between climate forcing and the response to climate forcing is complex and can only be reliably identified for periods of several decades and for hemispheric and global domains. This is supported by both empirical and modelling studies. Trends of shorter periods are unreliable and masked by the chaotic behaviour of the climate system.

    The link to the full Academy statement is provided in my earlier post, #364.

    -----

    brazenearlybird at #407 “For crying out loud get some perspective” - hmmm. What’s good for the goose, perhaps? Surely a good reporter - and I would include Richard in such a category - should also be covering other aspects of the climate issue too, including social pespectives?

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  • 416. At 1:02pm on 16 Dec 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    Further to my post at #415, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences includes a final section "General advice" as a conclusion to its statement on the scientific basis of climate change.

    This section begins by stating: "In spite of the slow and apparently irregular process of climate warming so far, two central issues with potentially severe societal consequences on a global scale stand out. Firstly, the long atmospheric residence time of CO2 is expected to affect the composition of the atmosphere for centuries to come, probably with irreversible consequences for the Earth on human time scales. Secondly, there is the possibility, albeit small, of extreme and rapid changes in the climate system, resulting in fast sea level rise or wide-spread persistent drought in areas crucial for food production. A comprehensive response to climate change must, therefore, include both a scientific approach, with the main aim of achieving a better quantification of severe and unacceptable risks, and a societal approach aimed at risk reduction based on present knowledge."

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  • 417. At 1:02pm on 16 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    @415 "brazenearlybird at #407 “For crying out loud get some perspective” - hmmm. What’s good for the goose, perhaps? Surely a good reporter - and I would include Richard in such a category - should also be covering other aspects of the climate issue too, including social pespectives"

    Yes indeed. but that is vastly different to the ill informed, peuposley misleading article he submitted above.

    "10. The relationship between climate forcing and the response to climate forcing is complex and can only be reliably identified for periods of several decades and for hemispheric and global domains. This is supported by both empirical and modelling studies. Trends of shorter periods are unreliable and masked by the chaotic behaviour of the climate system"

    so, erm... how is it they are able to say without doubt that c02 is the cause of global temperature rises then?

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  • 418. At 1:04pm on 16 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    why do all the various scientific bodies need to have statements on climate change, but not on any other scientific subject? For that matter, why does every other business need to have a statement on climate change, but not on any other scientific subject?

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  • 419. At 1:30pm on 16 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    @418

    .. because it's political....

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  • 420. At 1:39pm on 16 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    So, Richard, first it was

    MAN MADE GLOBAL WARMING
    then it was
    GLOBAL WARMING
    then it was
    CLIMATE CHANGE
    and now it is simply
    CLIMATE
    and who could possibly be 'sceptic' about Climate?

    But not content with the confusion this may cause the ordinary bloke in the street (particularly in the polls that are brought out) the BBC now has to bring in class, education, race and gender as if only "high income, well-educated, white men" can see through - yes - what CAN ONLY be described as 'deeply flawed science'. I find this deeply offensive to ALL.

    Why no comment on this deeply flawed science, Richard, now that this scandal has totally exposed your mis-representation of the truth about the peer review process in your blog "Biases, U-turns, and the BBC's climate coverage".

    But the actual science is the last thing you would wish to be discussed, which leads us to the real purpose of this current blog - simply to provide a distraction.

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  • 421. At 1:41pm on 16 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @LanMunkey

    duh!

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  • 422. At 1:56pm on 16 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100020043/climategate-cru-scientists-deserve-nobel-prizes-and-very-probably-knighthoods-too-claims-reasonable-and-unbiased-new-scientist-magazine/

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  • 423. At 2:01pm on 16 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @LabMonkey #403

    Good post my friend. For those of you who missed it, see here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/12/cop15_questions_about_sex.html#P89890330

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  • 424. At 2:04pm on 16 Dec 2009, Tweedy wrote:

    Dear Mr Black,
    It seems slightly odd for you to write a lengthy thought piece on a gender divide on the climate question when one of the only two actual pieces of evidence,as opposed to anecdote, that you cite (the EU study) suggests that there isn't one. Even if we ignore the EU study entirely, throw out the caveats in the U.S survey and work on the basis that you are commenting on something real, I'm a little surprised at your inability to think of other scientific disputes that show a gender bias. An earlier correspondent has mentioned belief in astrology as a “science” with a preponderance of female adherents; I think you could add alternative medicine and confidence in the output of the “skin rejuvenation” industry. However, perhaps you were referring to disputes where the “female” position doesn't so obviously strain scientific credulity. I recall quite a major story that was at its height two or three years back. Can you guess what it was?

    The theory in question addressed a known and seemingly worsening problem. The science was plausible and initial studies seemed supportive. It pushed two important emotional buttons, “Oh my goodness, this is hurting children” and “we have the power to do something about this awful thing”. It also had as enemies, the malign forces of big business and unsympathetic government. The theory became widely accepted and its advice heavily practised and promulgated, disproportionately by women. Sceptics began to snipe. There were problems revealed with the initial studies, suggestions that the main proponent of the theory might have manipulated the data, an apparent misalignment between the appearance of the problem and its supposed cause. Subsequent, larger studies failed to replicate the original data. A lot of women remained emotionally attached to the theory long after its appeared to be scientifically discredited, but it eventually faded from public view, though not, unfortunately, before it had caused significant harm to public health. Do you remember now? That's right, the MMR vaccine – autism link. It was all over the BBC; I'm a bit surprised that you forgot about it.

    Looking back on it there seem to be quite a few parallels between the MMR affair and the climate debate. There was the same early deployment of the precautionary principle “the potential damage is so awful that we must act now, even before the science is proved, and damn the cost and consequences”. Liberal media outlets made the same division of the conflicting views into “goodies” (Dr. Wakefield and the concerned mothers, Professors Mann and Jones and the climate change lobby) and “baddies” (the NHS and pharmaceutical industry scientists, the climate sceptics) Media coverage made a similar journey from concentration on the science in the earlier stages of the stories to an increasing resort to emotive images as the theories came under pressure. “the nasty people have come up with some stats that contradict poor Dr. Wakefield, but look, here is a poor mother with an autistic son. She's sure the Doctor is right and that there is some body out there to blame for her child's problems. Look again, here is group of attractive young mothers that we've interviewed on the street. They don't have any scientific background, but they've read loads of stuff on the internet and they're jolly well not going to take any notice of the new findings so there!” Do you see any echoes here in the cuddly polar bear pictures or maybe the recent “camels are being replaced by trucks because of global warming” news piece and that rather creepy “bedtime story” advert, emotion pieces that seem to have crowded out discussion ofthe scientific issues raise by climategate.

    It's hardly surprising that gender imbalances exist in scientific debates. It would be more of a surprise if they weren't there since any number of studies have demonstrated gender based differences in reactions to emotional stimuli, probably hard-wired by evolution. What is surprising, and I'd go as far as to say a little disturbing is the assumption, heavily implicit in your article that because the ladies think something is so, it has to be true, whereas if men believe something to a greater extent than women they are mentally ill. What is the scientific basis for this position? I know that it is an accepted axiom of BBC drama that the attractive (but not tarty) young woman is grounded, sensible and, above all, right whereas the man is a testosterone-fuelled idiot, but I think you'll find that life is not a BBC sitcom.

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  • 425. At 2:11pm on 16 Dec 2009, D_H_Wilko wrote:

    Why are people so irrational against the real possibility of man made global warming? Maybe its the same reason people get upset about speed cameras and traffic wardens, Because I think most of the sceptics are very likely to be motoring enthusiasts. Most motoring enthusiasts are men.
    There's a program on BBC2 Tonight 11.20pm(16/12/09) dealing with the sceptic case. A follow up from one that was on yesterday. I'm looking forward to hearing better evidence than vineyards in Roman England. So what? You can grow grapes in England. The say North of England but the only vineyard discovery I can find is Northampton which isn't the north of England. The only problem is sunlight for ripening.
    It might not be that practical now, but it is completely practical if there is no other option.

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  • 426. At 2:13pm on 16 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    392.

    Sadly this is true and this IS the state that THE State wants all of us to be in so they can keep you subdued and amused with Eastenderz, Strictly... X Fecter and other numpties parading around on the 'Education, Entertainment' Box.... or Flat Screen now we are in 21 CenturyVille....

    So they can quickly 'Spin One By You' and, Hey ! Look! There's another 'Right/Priviledge' gone into the abyss .

    Well, THIS Ho'pe2GainKen Cop 14.5 PerkWorld.Con™ IS the REAL DEAL and we walk blindly into this TAX HEAVEN at our peril

    BUT! As someone once said..... The People get the Government they deserve'
    Please have a quick look at my previous posts regarding the EPA Who recently stated CO2 is a Danger to Human Health! THAT is where the Tax Heaven resides.... And ask yourself, Why is it that everyone I see being interviewed about CC is either a Politician or AN ECONOMIST! Sir David King wants a 'AGWScientist'' on The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee?????????

    And Jesus Wept.....
    Next time you get a chance, do a web search for George Carlin or Bill Hicks.

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  • 427. At 2:15pm on 16 Dec 2009, Sceptic wrote:

    "Facts"???? We have precious few "facts" except a few years' temperature readings of dubious quality. The so-called "science" is only an interpretation of these facts, so at best it can only be said that "it is likely to be the case that...." Yet it is presented as being as indisputable as WMD in Iraq. Hmmmm....

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  • 428. At 2:18pm on 16 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    Simon-swede good evening sir, that at 94 was a pure ringer just to see if anybody was actually reading what was being posted. As usual it appears only the sensible individuals bothered to have a look and I thank you for it.

    The idea is to debate the points not try and beat each other over the head. Unfortunately, Richard either out a desperation or having nothing better to discuss put this up. At best it is a mistake at worse it is tabloid propaganda, as it divided the two sides in a way that it has become gang warfare. For the BBC to even think of allowing such things is a pitiful act in its self because that leads to violence as one side seeks revenge on the other.

    I might not agree with yours,davblo2 or manysummits views and I will debate them objectively and a honestly as I can without threats or insults, this however overides the debate.

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  • 429. At 2:19pm on 16 Dec 2009, 60022Mallard wrote:

    420 - spot on. I believe in climate change as an undeniable fact since the formation of the earth. The term is now of course being used speciously by the BBC as a smokescreen.

    Having checked out the story of King Canute to get him into a letter to the press I was surprised to find out that he had had a bad press. It would appear that the exercise was in order to show his sycophantic courtiers that even a king could not control the natural cycle of the earth.

    It would appear that many "kings" are now descending on Copenhagen believing that they actually CAN control the natural cycle of the earth!

    Can somebody tell me what happened to the hole in the ozone layer please.

    A BBC correspondent (does that mean reporter or commentator?) reading the Guardian, well who would have thought that.

    Anyone supply a list of the degrees of the BBC environment "front men".

    Any news yet on the FOI request to the BBC asking for the names of the scientists the BBC consulted to decide a couple of years ago that the "Science was decided" and deniers should thereafter be denied the oxygen of publicity. Anyone remember when a particular (disliked by the BBC) government requested a similar lack of oxygen of publicity, and the BBC's response?

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  • 430. At 2:22pm on 16 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    @425.

    you really don't have the faintest idea what we're trying to discuss here do you?

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  • 431. At 2:22pm on 16 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    oh and @ 424. excellent post.

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  • 432. At 2:31pm on 16 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    new thread bouys and guls. jump ship- though it would appear that the 'new ship' is the titanic...

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  • 433. At 2:38pm on 16 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    #425.

    Let me give you an example why I might seem irrational about global warming. Or should I say why my rational makes he strongly believe it is nothing more than a scam

    I live outside the UK but in the EU, last week was the first time anything had been even reported in the local press about climate change. This was a result of EU barometer poll on citzen's concerns. Of the 576 sampled individuals in my country 81% have either very serious or serious concerns about climate change.

    1) Nobody has heard of climate change it hasn't been reported on at all
    2)The way this place works it would be a western evil plot
    3)I asked over the past week all the people I came into contact with I asked them what is the EU doing about climate change? The vast majority didn't even know what climate change was, some said "the EU is doing nothing" others said they had heard of it but it was rubbish and 1 said is there any money in it.
    4) The saddest thing is here the locals do not give a rats arse about the environment along as they are okay.

    Thats how you know it is a scam

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  • 434. At 2:44pm on 16 Dec 2009, unbrainwashed wrote:

    410

    '...and you'll find that 99% of those that believe in global warming ALSO have no real clue what they're talking about.'

    Is THIS what you mean?

    Lord Monckton adresses a Greenpeace-campaigner on global warming
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHYMYJTcbmI


    By the way have any of you seen THIS BBC report

    Page last updated at 10:04 GMT, Saturday, 5 December 2009
    E-mail this to a friend

    Himalayan glaciers melting deadline 'a mistake' By Pallava Bagla in Delhi


    The UN panel on climate change warning that Himalayan glaciers could melt to a fifth of current levels by 2035 is wildly inaccurate, an academic says.

    J Graham Cogley, a professor at Ontario Trent University, says he believes the UN authors got the date from an earlier report wrong by more than 300 years.

    He is astonished they "misread 2350 as 2035". The authors deny the claims.

    Leading glaciologists say the report has caused confusion and "a catalogue of errors in Himalayan glaciology".

    The Himalayas hold the planet's largest body of ice outside the polar caps - an estimated 12,000 cubic kilometres of water.

    They feed many of the world's great rivers - the Ganges, the Indus, the Brahmaputra - on which hundreds of millions of people depend.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8387737.stm

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  • 435. At 2:55pm on 16 Dec 2009, AngloCelt wrote:

    One of the major problems here is that many people seem to be under the mistaken impression than science is a popularity contest. The fact that most scientists hold a particular view in the early development of studies such as climate change does not make them right. Science is not an area for blind faith. Historically one could almost say that the concensus view is nearly always wrong .... or maybe the sun still orbits a flat earth. Scepticism is at the heart of science. It is not surprising that people are sceptical about climate science. Only those who BELIEVE rather than THINK can have such blind faith in the evidence availible. The evidence always needs to be tested by other sceptical scientists. The very fact that some scientists are actually saying you are not allowed to question our results suggests grounds for further scepticism. Any "scientist" who says most people agree with me so I must be right is media savy and science light!

    If we are seeing long term global warming we need to determine what the key issues are. Transport obviously suits governments because it gives them an opportunity to raise taxes "for our good" !!! But when will someone seriously address the real monster issue of population or the methane gas pumped out by animal based agriculture.

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  • 436. At 3:07pm on 16 Dec 2009, greedo1980 wrote:

    @433
    Gut Instinct and good ole Common Sense tell me AGW is a scam.
    The world has been changing since time began, and will continue to change - REGARDLESS of what we do. It really is as simple as that.
    Folk buy into AGW because they are scared of damnation and propaganda is now drip fed into all aspects of our media like flouride is added into tap water.
    The infamous hockey stick graph depicting accelerated global temperatures last century IS an apples vs oranges comparison. No amount of arguing or straw men can change that simple fact.
    Regarding the queestion posed by the aticle, I think the "baby on board" mentality probably has something to do with it, but I also think that #3 above nailed it. It is a question of proportions and representation in the scientific community.

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  • 437. At 3:14pm on 16 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 438. At 3:22pm on 16 Dec 2009, Jim Watson wrote:

    Most sceptics are men because it has historically and biologically always been the duty of the male to defend their villages against the mindless hordes of pirates, Vandals, Visigoths and other greedy marauders who plunder their society.

    Fighting the Green Shirts is just another chapter in the history of this ancient and honorable duty.

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  • 439. At 3:26pm on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    Morning(ish) to you all.

    What can we expect next Richard? 'Skeptics' are all involved in a libertarian conspiracy to overthrow the monarchy (queen=woman aha!) and found a man-only republic?

    for the science minded among you:

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/idso98.htm

    'ABSTRACT: Over the course of the past 2 decades, I have analyzed a number of natural phenomena that reveal how Earth’s near surface air temperature responds to surface radiative perturbations. These studies all suggest that a 300 to 600 ppm doubling of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration could raise the planet’s mean surface air temperature by only about 0.4°C. Even this modicum of warming may never be realized, however, for it could be negated by a number of planetary cooling forces that are intensified by warmer temperatures and by the strengthening of biological processes that are enhanced by the same rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration that drives the warming. Several of these cooling forces have individually been estimated to be of equivalent magnitude, but of opposite sign, to the typically predicted greenhouse effect of a doubling of the air’s CO2 content, which suggests to me that little net temperature change will ultimately result from the ongoing buildup of CO2 in Earth’s
    atmosphere. Consequently, I am skeptical of the predictions of significant CO2 induced global warming that are being made by state-of-the-art climate models and believe that much more work on a wide variety of research fronts will be required to properly resolve the issue.'


    i daresay the authors of this paper have been attacked and slandered by the likes of our kind host but i found it was worth a skim. i wonder if it made it in to the IPCC?

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  • 440. At 3:27pm on 16 Dec 2009, alcazar11 wrote:

    It means that men make more money from businesses that harm the environment than women do, so they are more invested in the status quo. Look at the the companies that profit most from practices that pollute -- then look at the percentage of their higher-ups that are female.

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  • 441. At 3:40pm on 16 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    "My sole request, Mr Black, for the BBC -- and I will redirect it via all the other channels -- is that you carry the final meetings from Copenhagen LIVE -- including here, on the Internet"

    yes please do. It'll be useful for the courts.

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  • 442. At 3:45pm on 16 Dec 2009, John wrote:

    Post 437?

    Keep taking the tablets.

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  • 443. At 3:53pm on 16 Dec 2009, Robinson wrote:

    It's simple: men are less compliant and harder to fool with arguments from authority. As they tend to be more interested in science, on the whole, they are also more aware of its philosophical underpinnings. This is quite unlike certain journalists at the BBC of course, who despite being Male, are unable to tell the difference between a press release and a justified scientific conclusion.

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  • 444. At 3:55pm on 16 Dec 2009, MrLizard wrote:

    Perhaps the answer is simply because more men work in the areas where climate change debate is an issue?

    Of the 619 contributing authors to the IPCC's AR4 report, 79 (12.7%) are female. Perhaps you should do an 'article' describing how more than 87% of global warming advocates are male and *they* obviously must have suffered some debilitating childhood trauma?

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  • 445. At 3:59pm on 16 Dec 2009, Define_real wrote:

    So much for free speech? The father of a BBC employee is vilified for making a reasonable comment...

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/6825502/Johnny-Ball-booed-by-atheists-over-climate-change-denial.html

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  • 446. At 4:08pm on 16 Dec 2009, Martin wrote:

    What else did the survey reveal about the "dismissive" group?
    "More likely than average to be high income, well-educated, white men... much more likely to be very conservative Republicans... strongly endorse individualistic values, opposing any form of government intervention, anti-egalitarian, and almost universally prefer economic growth over environmental protection... have a specialized media diet, with a higher than average preference for media sources that reflect their own political point of view."


    Lets see, then the corollary must presumably be that AGW supporters are:

    "More likely than average to low income, uneducated, minority female... much more likely to be very liberal... strongly endorse communistic values, opposing any form of individual freedoms, egalitarian, and almost universally prefer economic destruction at the expense environmental protection... “

    Gee, I wonder which group is more likely to be right?

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  • 447. At 4:46pm on 16 Dec 2009, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    It's been interesting reading all your comments.

    In a brief interlude between negotiations here, let me pick up a few points.

    paul atrides, this is absolutely not a sexist article. I have just noted that the vast majority of prominent climate sceptics are men, and asked why that might be. Sindy, no I haven’t forgotten Melanie Phillips - I mentioned "one UK columnist" in the post.

    Kzwert - I don’t know why you ask what evidence I have provided when it is clear in the post what I have provided. If you want another piece, try the letter sent to the Financial Post in 2006 by a group of self-styled "sceptics" - about which I wrote in 2007 - a self-selected group of 61 that included just two women (the two scientists I named in my post, in fact). MalMac has added another examplar.

    Maurizio Maurabito - absolutely, there are different flavours of "scepticism". But that doesn't alter the point, I think.

    LarryKealey, and others - apologies if the quote you cite caused any offence. That wasn't the intention. As you'll see quite clearly, it wasn't my quote - as you know from many, many previous posts, my position is and has to be studiously neutral - but it does demonstrate the perplexity with which some in the "warmist" camp view what in their eyes is an inability or unwillingness to accept what they perceive as an overwhelming scientific case.

    LabMunkey - no, I'm not "desperate to cast sceptics in a bad light" - as above, I'm observing a phenomenon, flagging it up and asking what it means. Youre responses make interesting reading. And resign, LabMunkey? Why would you want me to do that, when you clearly find my blog a worthwhile place to spend substantial chunks of your time (and very welcome you are)?

    quixote, thanks for posting the on-topic links - Yorkurbantree, likewise - interesting stuff and takes the question on - and to others.

    never ironic, the question of how many expert climate scientists are women is not terribly relevant. You don't have to be a qualified scientist to be a prominent moving-and-shaking "sceptic" - just see The Guardian's list.

    Diccon Jones - such articles would be useful, I agree - but I'm not going to write again ones that I've already written.

    tomjol - I raised in the article the diference between the proportion of climate sceptics and the proportion of publically prominent climate sceptics, which is the point of your comment. Mark Judge, a straw man because - as you'll know if you saw Newswatch - there is no "lack of BBC reportage of anything critical of AWG" (or even AGW)..

    Dr Richard Erskine - please don’t read anything into the choice of the word "sceptic". I've thought about this a lot - we've discussed it on the blog - and although I concur that "sceptic" is far from perfect, I think it is the least imperfect term available.

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  • 448. At 5:08pm on 16 Dec 2009, lburt wrote:

    @simon-swede #415 who wrote "I agree with you that there are uncertainties about aspects of the science. But I disagree with you when you appear to claim a considerable degree of certainty for your preferred much lower sensitivity rates."

    You mean like say...comparing the average temperatures of the temperature plateau at the end of the previous warming period...to the averages for the plateau at the end of this last warm period...and seeing that even with an 80PPM increase in CO2 the climate showed low sensitivity? ...Even if we ignored that there was pre-existing warming trend that should have accounted for 1/2 of the warming from this period?

    Showing only 50-80% of the warming we should for CO2 forcing alone just seems to indicate low sensitivity to me. Blaming high thermal inertia might be an option now, I suppose...but then the rest of the holocene makes no sense as it would require MUCH more powerful natural drivers of climate (which once again draws attention to things that might make one question THIS warm period's cause).

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  • 449. At 5:10pm on 16 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Richard Black #447

    LarryKealey, and others - apologies if the quote you cite caused any offence. That wasn't the intention. As you'll see quite clearly, it wasn't my quote - as you know from many, many previous posts, my position is and has to be studiously neutral - but it does demonstrate the perplexity with which some in the "warmist" camp view what in their eyes is an inability or unwillingness to accept what they perceive as an overwhelming scientific case.

    Apology accepted

    However:

    but it does demonstrate the perplexity with which some in the "warmist" camp view what in their eyes is an inability or unwillingness to accept what they perceive as an overwhelming scientific case.

    It works both ways, Richard. The sceptic camp are also unhappy when the warmist camp show an inability or unwillingness to accept what they perceive as a lack of an overwhelming scientific case or, indeed, any case based on empirical evidence. I really don’t think the BBC are helping by continually writing about “evidence” for AGW, when there is plenty of evidence (as I am sure you are aware) to cast real doubts on AGW


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  • 450. At 5:18pm on 16 Dec 2009, Interglacial john wrote:

    In "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus", the author argues that women complain about problems because they want their problems to be acknowledged, while men complain about problems because they are asking for solutions. My maleness is showing, I want answers. As for my formative childhood, I was raised in an environment where I was taught HOW to think rather than WHAT to think. Logic and critical thinking are the basis for science. Unfortunately for at least two generations now, most have been taught what to think. This is a very sad form of child abuse, leaving the individual susceptable to chicanery and gullible. Apparently the alarmists cannot put together a cogent argument for the science, so they resort to naval gazing and name calling, typical leftist nonsense. Learn how to think and free yourself from mental enslavement.

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  • 451. At 5:22pm on 16 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    richard: thank you for your response.

    ' my position is and has to be studiously neutral '

    Do you genuinely think you live up to that? Can i suggest that in the spirit of neutrality you stop putting " " around the word skeptic?

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  • 452. At 5:44pm on 16 Dec 2009, bad wrote:

    why do the "left" always look at things from either a race or creed or sex perspective?

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  • 453. At 5:51pm on 16 Dec 2009, ferdinand8 wrote:

    the BBC has let people down with its biased view of AGW. I know plenty of females who like me have studied the science and have decided it is not proven. If there is not a problem then there is nothing to be done.

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  • 454. At 5:57pm on 16 Dec 2009, Houstonian wrote:

    Had you bothered to do a bit of research before your male-bashing began, you would have discovered that women have always been scarce in the Geosciences (I just left a meeting of ten and exactly ten percent were female). I will pause here while you spout off about sexism...all through?

    It is in that field of study where people learn of the Medieval Warm Period and the Holocene Climate Optimum when times were much warmer than today. The alarmists have tried, in vain to purge such facts and are now being exposed as fabricators (e.g. the "Hockey Stick", the Yamal "Single Tree" dendrochronology, the "Smoking Gun at Darwin Zero" and the continent represented by an airport runway (Antarctica)).

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  • 455. At 6:35pm on 16 Dec 2009, brian wrote:

    It doesn't supprise me that it is mostly men who are vocal on this issue, from the skeptics side. In times of war it was mostly men who spoke up and fought the battles too. This is one of the most serious non-war issue we have ever faced. I believe the threat of eco-socialism is as great as that of the Nazis during world war 2. Maybe most women don't think like this but many men do. Men don't like to be dictated too and they don't want to give up their freedom or hard earned money so it can fund a socialist Un agenda.

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  • 456. At 6:37pm on 16 Dec 2009, ManmadeupGW wrote:

    It is quite laughable that Richard Black refers to Charles Clover's article in the Sunday Times. Mr Clover seemed to get all the full stops and comma's in the right place but the rest of the article demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of science and is quite pathetic.

    He refers to the evil twin of man made up global warming as acidification of the seas:-

    "Since the beginning of the industrial revolution in about 1750, sea water acidity has increased by 30%."

    The above quote the litmus test which shows his complete lack of scientific training. The seas are alkaline the amount of C02 emissions by man are deminimus compared to those from nature.

    Really it is above time that news organisations started employing professional scientists to cover such matters.

    The evil twins are ignorance and a little knowledge.

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  • 457. At 6:38pm on 16 Dec 2009, ManmadeupGW wrote:

    I am not a new member you just made me change my screen name without explanation so please explain why my posts are being moderated?

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  • 458. At 6:46pm on 16 Dec 2009, ManmadeupGW wrote:

    If Richard Black want's to analyse those who belief in AGW and those who have rational reasons that the hypothesis is not proven all he needs to do is consider this.

    Those who work in the real economy are skeptics those that work in the public sector are the believers. Harsh but fair.

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  • 459. At 7:55pm on 16 Dec 2009, ThomasGreene wrote:

    You know, Mr. Black, I was prepare to disagree with you on this topic . . . until I read the comments. Stale gender role baloney, much sexism, a dash of misogyny and laughable goofy conspiracy-theory-like nonsense.

    Never mind. It's pretty clear they deny the reality of climate change because they want to rebel against their mommies. Should they grow out of this childish phase, they'll suddenly see the truth: mommy is not a nazi and not out to hurt them, climate change is real.

    I pity them now, having seen this (hilarious but) tragic display.

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  • 460. At 8:39pm on 16 Dec 2009, Mike OKelly wrote:

    The opposite of skeptical is gullible. If men are oh so obviously more likely to be skeptical, then what is the author saying about women.

    To a really skeptical observer such as myself, hysteria is an apt description of the hyperbole that the AGW alarmists are spewing. Perhaps the author is suggesting that the roots of the word "hysteria" are more prevalent in the non-skeptical crowd? Or perhaps the difference is more of a logical vs intuitive scenario ... a left brain vs right brain function?

    Regardless of the roots of the differences, the mere fact that an attempt is being made to "ad-hominum" the skeptics as being too male or not-diverse enough, or too testosteronally challenged, once the argument swings away from the science and towards character attacks of any kind, the argument has been lost.

    This article and this author has done nothing to support the AGW position ... Quite the opposite. Perhaps he should commiserate with the Hockey Team at the Tree Ring Circus that used to be the Met's Climate Research Unit.

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  • 461. At 10:23pm on 16 Dec 2009, BeebLeeMoore wrote:

    How many of the 2,500, or is it 6,000, scientists who are alleged to have concurred in the IPCC's conclusions, are women ?

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  • 462. At 10:36pm on 16 Dec 2009, justinert wrote:

    "If a rigorous deconstruction of flawed and politically-motivated science is at the bottom of climate scepticism, why aren't women getting it?"I'm out of ideas. What do you think it all means?"

    Nothing. What a stupid question. Whilst traffic on your blog might bode well for your continued tenure, equally, posing banal questions with an overt political bias appears more likely than ever now to land you in the boat with Andrew Revkin as moral support slips away, and your desperate Lysenkoism is exposed. Frozen out with Seth Borenstein. Good luck, and I truly mean it ;)

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  • 463. At 00:30am on 17 Dec 2009, Rodmoly wrote:

    In a similar vein one might ask why it would appear only male climate scientists falsify data, hide data, delete data, bully journal editors and pervert the peer review process etc etc ? After all I did not see any females featuring large in the CRU leaked files. Richard Black is trying so desperately hard to find a story where there isn't one that only the soles of his feet can be seen as he scrapes the bottom of this particular barrel!

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  • 464. At 02:40am on 17 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    Richard:

    it kind of looks like this piece of propaganda sort-of/totally-and-utterly backfired. c'est ne pas vrai? i'd like to echo no 462 (lol too true but compare it to delingpole of the telegraph or any skeptic website):


    Whilst traffic on your blog might bode well for your continued tenure, equally, posing banal questions with an overt political bias appears more likely than ever now to land you in the boat with Andrew Revkin as moral support slips away, and your desperate Lysenkoism is exposed. Frozen out with Seth Borenstein. Good luck, and I truly mean it ;)

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  • 465. At 03:00am on 17 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    grrr

    (lol too true but compare it to delingpole of the telegraph or any skeptic website):

    should have read (if i'd learned to type and order my thoughts properly):

    (lol too true but compare itS TRAFFIC to delingpole of the telegraph or any skeptic website):

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  • 466. At 07:14am on 17 Dec 2009, Beejay wrote:

    For some reason my suggestion that Richard Black's penultimate sentence indicates his level of competency has been rejected twice.

    So I will quote justinert......

    "What a stupid question. Whilst traffic on your blog might bode well for your continued tenure, equally, posing banal questions with an overt political bias appears more likely than ever now to land you in the boat with Andrew Revkin as moral support slips away, and your desperate Lysenkoism is exposed. Frozen out with Seth Borenstein. "

    Amen

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  • 467. At 09:46am on 17 Dec 2009, Mark wrote:

    This whole agenda by the mainstream media and government is beginning to make me very angry.

    the straw that broke my back was during a paper review during BBC breakfast one Sunday a month or so ago. The subject was on the "surprising" amount of people who doubted man-made climate change and the pompous reviewer flippantly remarked how "we all live in a global village but unfortunately all villages have their idiots".

    I continue to watch with growing anger as media institutions such as the BBC continue to deride and sideline anyone who questions "the party line" on the lie of man-made global warming.



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  • 468. At 10:14am on 17 Dec 2009, Jon Cooper wrote:

    so, my reluctance to belive in the man-made aspect of global warming / climate change is because of a child-hood psychological trauma and not rational thinking based on the evidence presented?

    well, thanks for clearing that up.

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  • 469. At 10:15am on 17 Dec 2009, Mark wrote:

    Remember in the 80s there was the panic about the hole in the ozone layer. By 2000 we were all going to be forced to live underground.

    This kind of hysteria is being repeated today. Island nations are going to dissappear! Polar bears are going to drown! Simon Cowells latest puppet isn't going to make Xmas No1!

    They're not, they can swim and he will!

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  • 470. At 10:32am on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:

    Hey, it's A-OK folks!

    Dempsey on the Titanic post made a sexist comment to Maria and the complaint about it was rejected as not being sexist. Therefore the topic itself produced by Richard Black here is not sexist either.

    You can disagree with it, but post rebuttals not "this is just unwarranted ad-hom sexist attack" because that's not a rebuttal.

    Alternatively you can try to moderate Dempsey's sexism here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/12/cop15_titanic_nears_the_harbou.html#P89911113

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  • 471. At 10:37am on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:

    "Remember in the 80s there was the panic about the hole in the ozone layer. By 2000 we were all going to be forced to live underground."

    You mean the panic at the industry how replacing CFCs as refrigerants would make household goods so expensive, the market would collapse? The event that didn't happen because we stopped using CFCs and have CFC reclamation?

    That alarmism didn't happen, did it.

    There was a similar case with acid rain. Industry howled how there was no proof and that changing the industry would kill it in the name of eco-facism.

    The industry cleaned up and as far as I can tell, it's (if anything) stronger than before.

    And now the industry tries to panic the fearful with tales of how the economy will collapse if we do anything about CO2.

    Based on their predictive powers so far, I don't think this one is true either.

    But I'm open minded. Show me proof that cutting CO2 40% by 2030 would send us to the dark ages and kill our way of life.

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  • 472. At 10:39am on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:

    Yes, Jon Cooper, it probably is.

    You made that accusation and I'm just agreeing with you.

    Aren't I nice.

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  • 473. At 11:12am on 17 Dec 2009, Jon Cooper wrote:

    I didn't make the accusation, Richard Black says "one ex-scientist and now climate action advocate" did

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  • 474. At 11:24am on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:

    Nope, Jon, I quote:

    "my reluctance to belive in the man-made aspect of global warming / climate change is because of a child-hood psychological trauma and not rational thinking based on the evidence presented"

    Ignoring the misspelling of believe, you've said that this inability to accept AGW is because of a childhood psychological trauma.

    Do you deny that you wrote the above quote?

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  • 475. At 11:43am on 17 Dec 2009, Jon Cooper wrote:

    I wrote what you quoted, yes

    but, I did not make the accusation, the "ex-scientist and now climate action advocate" did

    if you are unable to detect the sarcasm and derision in my original post then I apologise for my subtlety

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  • 476. At 12:04pm on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:

    No, you did say, and I quote:

    my reluctance to belive in the man-made aspect of global warming / climate change is because of a child-hood psychological trauma

    You said that. You said your reluctance is because of a childhood trauma.

    It's there in black and white.

    You ADMIT to it.

    Maybe we should call this Coopergate...

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  • 477. At 12:11pm on 17 Dec 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @#471

    Erm, that name you're using. Might be breaking the house rules about impersonation.

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  • 478. At 12:22pm on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:

    Nah, it's fine Jane. Al Gore posts here all the time.

    And the last Lord Monckton died some decades ago, so is not actually a named person.

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  • 479. At 12:32pm on 17 Dec 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @#476

    Is that a very subtle satire on Ian Plimer? Because the sceptics won't get it.

    ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2009/aug/05/climate-change-scepticism )
    (question 8)

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  • 480. At 12:41pm on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:

    Funny.

    Al Gore is fine, but a nonexistent Lord Monckton is heinous.

    Just goes to show you how much clout Christopher Monckton ^W ^W Bishop Hill has, doesn't it.

    You know, Viscount Monckton. Not Lord. Not Professor.

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  • 481. At 12:43pm on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:

    Jane, it's more a subtle (well, not all that subtle, though Jon Cooper walked STRAIGHT into it) satire and open look at the whole climategate thing.

    "Hide the decline".

    "It's a travesty".

    "Destroy data".

    etc.

    Well here we have someone saying specifically as I quote:

    "my reluctance to belive in the man-made aspect of global warming / climate change is because of a child-hood psychological trauma"

    Proof positive, if you use the same definition of proof as the readers of the hacked emails have used.

    Isn't it ironic, don't you think.

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  • 482. At 1:23pm on 17 Dec 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @#480, #478

    1. You are now a U-number. Looks like the mods are concerned about impersonation issues and have blanked out your display name.

    2. The late 2nd Viscount actually died as recently as 2006.

    3. Actually the 3rd Viscount is still a Lord.

    However he is not part of the legislature. He is not and never has been a member of "The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Lords_Act_1999
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viscount

    4. You may be interested on his take of who won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

    http://www.heartland.org/policybot/results/22430/Dishonest_Political_Tampering_with_the_Science_on_Global_Warming.html

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  • 483. At 1:35pm on 17 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    446. At 4:08pm on 16 Dec 2009, Martin wrote:
    What else did the survey reveal about the "dismissive" group?
    "More likely than average to be high income, well-educated, white men... much more likely to be very conservative Republicans... strongly endorse individualistic values, opposing any form of government intervention, anti-egalitarian, and almost universally prefer economic growth over environmental protection... have a specialized media diet, with a higher than average preference for media sources that reflect their own political point of view."


    Lets see, then the corollary must presumably be that AGW supporters are:

    "More likely than average to low income, uneducated, minority female... much more likely to be very liberal... strongly endorse communistic values, opposing any form of individual freedoms, egalitarian, and almost universally prefer economic destruction at the expense environmental protection... “

    Gee, I wonder which group is more likely to be right?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Nice one!!! A taste of their own medicine!

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  • 484. At 1:44pm on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:


    "3. Actually the 3rd Viscount is still a Lord."

    Actually, he's not. He's a Viscount.

    He garnered NO VOTES to become a member of the lords.

    And there's still Al Gore.

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  • 485. At 1:45pm on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:

    PS Sorry to hear the bereavement is so recent.

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  • 486. At 1:46pm on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:

    Jane, you may be interested on his take on the IPCC science:

    http://www.altenergyaction.org/Monckton.html

    :-)

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  • 487. At 2:03pm on 17 Dec 2009, Jon Cooper wrote:

    #481; if you quote people out of context then you can make it appear that they have said anything you want

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  • 488. At 2:13pm on 17 Dec 2009, fjpickett wrote:

    >Why are virtually all climate "sceptics" men?

    I can't decide - is this a straw man or a straw woman?

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  • 489. At 2:21pm on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:

    Exactly, Jon Cooper who's quoted as saying his refusal of AGW is because of childhood trauma.

    Just like Climategate.

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  • 490. At 2:23pm on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:

    And just like what happened to Mojab Latif. And Gavin Schmidt. And many others brought forward as "even those who push AGW believe it's wrong!!!".

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  • 491. At 2:26pm on 17 Dec 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @sparklet #483

    The report covered six attitudes to global warming, including Alarmed, Concerned, Cautious, Disengaged, Doubtful, Dismissive. You seem to be assuming it only covered two.

    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/05/6americas.html

    Although, to be fair, it does look like the "Dismissives" know the most about Global Warming:

    "On some issues people feel that they have all the information they need in order to form a firm opinion, while on other issues they would like more information before making up their mind. For global warming, where would you place yourself?"

    30% Alarmed say "I do not need any more information"
    7% Concerned say "I do not need any more information"
    6% Cautious say "I do not need any more information"
    7% Disengaged say "I do not need any more information"
    30% Doubtful say "I do not need any more information"
    73% Dismissive say "I do not need any more information"

    16% Alarmed say "I need a lot more information"
    25% Concerned say "I need a lot more information "
    39% Cautious say "I need a lot more information "
    64% Disengaged say "I need a lot more information "
    34% Doubtful say "I need a lot more information "
    5% Dismissive say "I need a lot more information "

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  • 492. At 2:36pm on 17 Dec 2009, fjpickett wrote:

    486

    Thank you for that link - it's priceless!

    Sample of the criticism, about the use of the word 'most':

    "most" is an approximate term, but generally implies more than "more than half" (which was the phrase used by the IPCC).

    Really? I think there may be a few politicians in marginal seats who beg to differ where votes are concerned.

    If that's the best he can do, I don't think Lord Monckton has too much to worry about.



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  • 493. At 2:42pm on 17 Dec 2009, fjpickett wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 494. At 2:44pm on 17 Dec 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @#486

    Seen it.

    And you may be interested in lucia's take on his science. Because it's not just us pro-AGW debaters that find Monckton's science a source of light entertainment.

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/tag/monckton/

    PS. As a hereditary peer the 3rd Viscount is still a Lord. (Read the description of Viscount I gave you.) But I think we can both agree that he is not a member of the House of Lords.

    PPS. Are you going to fix your display name? Because at the moment you are still visible as "U14260427"

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  • 495. At 2:47pm on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:

    "If that's the best he can do, I don't think Lord Monckton has too much to worry about."

    Don't you mean "the IPCC doesn't have much to worry about from Monckton"?

    http://www.altenergyaction.org/Monckton.html#sec15

    Quote

    Monckton: detailed account of the IPCC's method of evaluating climate sensitivity

    Wrong: what Monckton has done here is not "the IPCC's" method;

    Unquote

    So his proof the IPCC have it wrong is to show something they didn't do, but he did, is wrong.

    Yup.

    But then again, there's none so deaf as will not hear. You can't expect comprehension from a man whose livelihood depends on not understanding.

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  • 496. At 2:53pm on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:

    "PPS. Are you going to fix your display name? "

    Yeah, but the place to change it doesn't work and the password reset which *may* fix that doesn't appear.

    Maybe you have to use The Blessed Internet Explorer.

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  • 497. At 2:53pm on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:

    PS Al Gore still posts here.

    Go figure.

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  • 498. At 2:54pm on 17 Dec 2009, U14260427 wrote:

    Ah, more a reverse-I'M-Spartacus, worthy of Monty Python.

    "He's Spartacus. And so is his wife!".

    ;-P

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  • 499. At 2:59pm on 17 Dec 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @fjpickett #492

    There are credible sceptic scientists. I have a lot of respect for people like Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer and Stephen McIntyre.

    However Monckton isn't a scientist. He's a clever debater but that doesn't make him a scientist. And some of his claims about his status are laughable.

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  • 500. At 3:07pm on 17 Dec 2009, DesktopCynic wrote:

    #159
    You know, whether climate change is man made or natural is pretty much irrelevant. What actually matters is how we deal with it. In past ages, when local climate/weather patterns changed, animal populations (and in that I include early man) simply upped sticks and moved somewhere better. Animal migration has been with us since the earliest animals, human populations have always moved as environmental factors shifted.
    But there are now well over 6.5 billion of us, predicted to be 9 (that's NINE) billion by mid century. My question is simple; where would you like us to move to?
    Just about every square habitable inch is now covered in people. And more people, and more people, or the crops needed to feed them. And the numbers keep climbing. And every single one of them wants a job and a car and a house etc. just like us, so more resources, more CO2... You can probably see where I'm going with this?
    We are seeing the beginings of this mass migration already with vast numbers of people on the move for environmental and economic reasons, and issues of war. Many if not most of these reasons trace back to disputes over resources, environmental degradation and water. (Think Sudan.) Glaciers are melting, rivers drying up, fresh water is getting scarcer, more people need it, crops fail, livestock dies.
    Nine billion. Again....where shall we move?

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