Category Archives: Denial

Is climate sceptic Barnaby Joyce changing tune?

It was the moment Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, a renowned climate change sceptic, confronted the reality of global warming.

He was at his parent’s property where they have had very low rainfall over the past three years.  He was standing beside the ever-diminishing creek near his one-time childhood Hobbit hole, looking as though he might cry.
“When I look at this,” he says, shaking his head, “I start to wonder whether climate change might really be happening.”

(Sydney Morning Herald: 20 May 2016)

Murdoch press: Lame jests to belittle climate change

Why is the Murdoch media publishing muddle-headed toilet-humour ridiculing climate change?  Is this part of their plan for increasing community confusion about climate change?

Here is a letter published in the Melbourne Herald Sun: 11 Jan 2016

Different Climate:  Sometimes you can’t help but smile.  During a TV documentary I was watching recently, about recovering fossilised fish from an old lake bed, the host explained the fish became fossilised about 5 million years ago when the lake bed dried up die to climate change. Didn’t realise our influence stretched back that far, or it was all those dinosaurs exhaling hot air and breaking wind? (Name Printed: Launceston, Tasmania)

The Murdoch press makes out that climate change is not only false but a joke.

Episodes of climate change long ago were not caused by (1) the current industrial emissions of carbon dioxide, nor by (2) the breathing and farting of dinosaurs.  They were caused by things like periodic changes to the earth’s orbit.

A Gunner:  Feedback Reigns

Key Words: Climate Change, denial
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Renewables can’t do it: The new form of climate denial

No Problems
No Problems

After the signing of a historic climate pact in Paris, we might now hope that the merchants of doubt – who for two decades have denied the science and dismissed the threat – are officially irrelevant.

However, a new, strange form of denial has appeared on the landscape, falsely asserting that renewable sources can’t meet our energy needs.

Oddly, some of these voices include climate scientists, who insist that we must now turn to wholesale expansion of nuclear power. Just this past week, as negotiators were closing in on the Paris agreement, four climate scientists held an off-site session insisting that the only way we can solve the coupled climate/energy problem is with a massive and immediate expansion of nuclear power. More than that, they are blaming environmentalists, suggesting that the opposition to nuclear power stands between all of us and a two-degree world.

Continue reading Renewables can’t do it: The new form of climate denial

Climate change denial is about politics not science


Political views are the main predictor of the acceptance of climate change as a real phenomenon.  US Republicans are far more likely to be doubtful or dismissive towards climate change. This is because climate change challenges the Anglo-American neoliberal view that is held so dear by mainstream economists and politicians. Neoliberalism is about free markets, minimal state intervention, strong property rights and individualism.  Whereas climate change is a massive pollution issue that shows the markets have failed and it requires governments to act collectively to regulate industry and business.

Continue reading Climate change denial is about politics not science

Waleed Aly takes on Andrew Bolt over climate change

Waleed Aly has demolished columnist Andrew Bolt’s repeated claim that Earth has not warmed for 18 years.  Bolt bases his claim on a graph produced by Carl Mears.  Waleed shows Mears on video saying it is clear that the world has warmed over the last 18 years – and that when you do real science you cannot just use data that fits your pre-drawn conclusions.

Andrew Bolt is one of Australia’s most prominent climate change sceptics.  Waleed’s video is worth a view.

Sydney Morning Herald: Waleed Aly: 10 Dec 2015

Key Words: Climate Change, OzPolitics
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The graphic that shows why 2015 global temperatures are off the charts

If there is one chart that might finally put to rest debate of a pause or “hiatus” in global warming, this chart, from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is it.

The chart shows the “year-to-date average global temperature” for each month, for 2015 and the six warmest years on record.

The December end of year point gives the “annual global average temperature”, and these December points show that the hottest year so far was 2014, followed by 2010 and 2013, 2005, 2009 and 1998 in that order.

So far we only have the first 9 months of 2015, but so far 2015 has been far and away the hottest year on record.  The other hot years cluster together with crossovers, but 2015 is clearly above the rest, consistently by about a tenth of a degree.

The current intensifying El Nino has helped drive global temperatures to yet another record monthly high. September 2015 was not only the seventh month so far this year to set a new record for heat, it was also the most anomalously hot month in 135 years of data, the highest departure from average for any month among all 1629 months in the record that began in January 1880.

Continue reading The graphic that shows why 2015 global temperatures are off the charts

Exxon knew about climate risk by 1978 and financed climate deception

Internal Exxon memos recently brought to light through  meticulous investigative reporting by Inside Climate News (ICN) show that senior company executives knew by 1978 that emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels posed significant risks of disrupting the climate.

Over the decade before NASA scientist James Hansen’s 1988 testimony before Congress made the evidence of global warming front page news , Exxon invested in understanding the problem and learned that fossil fuel emissions could drive  potentially catastrophic climate impacts . Exxon executives heard advice from their own scientists to take a leadership role in addressing it.

They firmly rejected this advice. Instead, Exxon (later, ExxonMobil, which formed in 1998) financed and engaged in a decades-long industry campaign of doubt-mongering about the scientific evidence of climate change in order to avoid regulation of their products.

Renew Economy: 12 Oct 2015: Peter Frumhoff

Key Words: Climate Change, Denial
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Scientists redo 38 climate change-denying studies: Find flaws

A team of seven climate scientists and meteorologists decided to give climate contrarians the benefit of the doubt, picked half of their more popular studies, and tried to redo them. (The hallmark of a good scientific paper is that it’s reproducible, meaning another scientist can do the same experiment and get the same or similar results.)  What happened? Beyond being unable to replicate most of the results, the team discovered major flaws in the papers.
.  Many papers left out essential data
.  Some papers even ignored basic physics
.  The deniers do not agree on an alternative theory.
In one example ….

Continue reading Scientists redo 38 climate change-denying studies: Find flaws

Abbott funds sceptic tarnishing academic reputations

Academics at the University of Western Australia have demanded its hierarchy explain how “sceptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg was appointed as an adjunct professor for a new “consensus centre”, questioning whether the Danish researcher hand-picked by Prime Minister Tony Abbott has the proper qualifications.

Source: The Age: 23 April 2015
Creation of Tony Abbott-backed Lomborg ‘consensus centre’ has tarnished our reputations, say academics

The Conversation: David Holmes reports

Lomborg’s particularly dangerous form of climate denial is to begrudgingly accept the science while producing economic models to say that global warming is really a minor issue.

He is famous for using economic modelling as a mercenary gun for hire, saleable to governments and jurisdictions requiring climate inaction, climate distraction, or just straight-out climate crisis denial

The University of Western Australia vice-chancellor has ignored the trail of intellectual neglect in Lomborg’s work. This neglect has even attracted a book, The Lomborg Deception, which focuses solely on the lack of rigour in Lomborg’s books: The Skeptical Environmentalist (2001) and Cool It (2007).  The Lomborg Deception’s author, Howard Friels, documented how footnote after footnote does not support anything that Lomborg says.

David Holmes: Senior Lecturer, Communications and Media Studies: Monash University: 23 April 2015

ABC Media Watch 27 April 2015

Lomborg says it is time to stop subsidizing fossil fuels

Media Watch has asked others to check claims that Lomborg has a low “research impact rating”.  The check was made u used three different databases: Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar / Publish or Perish.  While results from three databases do vary, they also confirm Lomborg’s modest ranking.

Lomborg is not a contrarian for nothing. And after years of championing fossil fuels, This is what he wrote in Canada’s Globe and Mail just ten days ago.

“It’s time to stop subsidizing fossil fuels. The billions of dollars that governments could save from phasing out fossil fuel subsidies could be spent on providing better health, education and nutrition, which could benefit hundreds of millions of people.” (The Globe and Mail: 17 April 2015)

Getting rid of fossil fuel subsidies in Australia would save at least $9 billion a year and cut carbon emissions.

Abbott funds contrarian research

The Climate Council writes:

The Australian Government today announced they would contribute $4m for Danish climate contrarian Bjorn Lomborg to establish a new “consensus centre” at the University of Western Australia.  Continue reading Abbott funds contrarian research