DeSmog on the Ground for Denial-a-palooza

Sun, 2008-03-02 16:24Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

DeSmog on the Ground for Denial-a-palooza

DeSmogBlog has hit New York City for the Heartland Institute's climate change denial-a-palooza to mingle with the conspiracy theorists, industry parrots, puzzle-makers, scientists for hire and those who just can't let go of their flat-earth ways.

First stop registration, where I received a big bag of think tank propaganda, including a copy of Fred Singer's book Unstoppable Global Warming, a John Christy DVD produced by the Center for the American Experiment and a recording of Christopher Monckton's lecture, Apocalypse? No.

And what conference grab bag wouldn't be complete without a copy of the “Summary for Policymakers: Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change,” produced by Fred Singer's Science and Environmental Policy Project. Singer's report opines:

We regret that many advocates in the debate have chosen to give up debating science and now focus almost exclusively on questioning the motives of 'skeptics,' name calling and ad hominem attacks. We view this as a sign of desperation on their part, and a sign that the debate has shifted towards climate realism.”

Desperation? More like exasperation.

Maybe tomorrow I'll find out what science Singer is referring to. As far as ad hominem, I'll assume he's referring to sites like DeSmogBlog that regularly and rightly point out the industry interests that promote the views of Singer and many of the others who will present at this conference - the most prolific being oil-giant ExxonMobil, who a little birdie told me isn't touching this conference with a 60-foot pole.

Stay tuned…

Here's a list of briefing notes we've done on the presenters. 

Previous Comments

“We regret that many advocates in the debate have chosen to give up debating science and now focus almost exclusively on questioning the motives of ‘skeptics,’ name calling and ad hominem attacks.”

Well, despite all your other innuendo against Dr. Singer, you certainly can’t claim his above statement isn’t indisputably true. You yourself have provided ample evidence of that.

By the way, if anthropogenic global warming is such a dire emergency, as you contend, what are you doing flying on a jet to New York? Or did you ride your bicycle?

Or maybe you don’t really believe it’s so dire, after all? So why should anyone else?

“if anthropogenic global warming is such a dire emergency, as you contend, what are you doing flying on a jet to New York?” – rob

That’s so totally not ad hominem, rob. Anyway, I have no doubt that if Kevin did travel to New York by bicycle, you’d have found some other insult to fling at him.

- - -

“now focus almost exclusively on questioning the motives of ‘skeptics,’” – Fred Singer

That reminds me, between 4:00pm and 5:30pm on Monday they’ll be showing a movie titled Global Warming or Global Governance? Which is again totally not ad hominem, and even if(*) it is, it’s totally evidence-based.

It’s the Worldwide Satanic Conspiracy of Global Warmism!

- - -

I also find it amusing that the denialists are using a new term to describe their schtick: “climate realism”. Well, maybe it’s not surprising, given that they’ve already come up with lots of ways to describe the concept of Doing Nothing…

Perhaps from now on we can call them “climate surrealists”.

And while we’re at it, we can start calling ourselves “climate factists”. Yes, we’re factists, we’re fact-followers, we’re fact-addicts, we’re fact-huggers, we’re factonistas! Viva la factonista! That’ll get ‘em.

- - -

(*) “even if”… another phrase which I love

Frank Bi,

“Perhaps from now on we can call them “climate surrealists”.”

Coming from someone who has it as a tenet of faith that they can control the Earth’s climate by means of taxation, that’s a curious statement.

“And while we’re at it, we can start calling ourselves “climate factists”. Yes, we’re factists”

You could simply call yourselves “Neo Factists”. I suggest you design a snappy logo with the letters “NF” – and wear it on an armband. It would look so right.

Why not? The logo already has the guy doing the correct salute.

Oh, look. They’ve already had their first rally, er, I mean “meeting”.

“that they can control the Earth’s climate by means of taxation”

…in contrast to ExxonMobil, yes. All hail Climate Surrealism!

- - -

“You could simply call yourselves `Neo Factists’.”

Well, we’re “fact ninnies” already, so we’ve got nothing to lose have we?

Other suggestions are welcome though. I’m thinking of “factology”/”factologist” and “factistry”/”factistrician”…

Edit: Or “factnism”/”factnist”. Yes, that doesn’t sound too bad.

Frank Bi,

If you support climate action, you can never travel anywhere. Hypocrite! If you really wanted to save the planet, you’d kill yourself!

But seriously, stopping global warming isn’t about self-deprivation, it’s about developing a next-generation economy based on efficient technology and clean energy jobs. Regardless of what you think of climate, doesn’t that sound better than blowing up mountains to burn coal and fighting wars over the last oil left under the Middle East?

“…stopping global warming isn’t about self-deprivation…”

At last, a little truth from a warmist. It’s all about “the others”, the common herd, adjusting THEIR lifestyles while, the virtuous elite point fingers and chant, “Keep the faith, go green”. Meanwhile, con-artists like Suzuki and Gore will continue to enjoy their high living while their gullible flocks write the cheques. Shades of Jimmy Swaggart, Jim and Tammy Bakker and, if you go back far enough, Aimee Semple MacPherson.

Ah, zog has decided to bring out another stupid word: “warmist”. Maybe I should start calling zog a “smogist”, and see whether he likes it.

Instead of talking about the science and the scientists, our “denialists”, um I mean “climate realists”, are now venting their wrath on Al Gore the Antichrist.

You can feel the total lack of ad hominems. Really.

Frank Bi,

Frank Bi,

You’ve never heard the term “warmist” before? Where have you been? Actually, in reference to devotees of the apocalyptic religion, I prefer the term “Suzukian” but, there are probably Yanks reading DesmogBlog, and most of them wouldn’t know who the hell Suzuki is.

“Shades of Jimmy Swaggart, Jim and Tammy Bakker and, if you go back far enough, Aimee Semple MacPherson.”

Don’t you think that’s a little unfair to Jimmy Swaggart, et al? Honestly, as bad as those people might have been, I don’t think they had anywhere near the bald demagoguery of Gore or Suzuki.

I’d suggest a better comparison would be Reverend Jim Jones, Sun Myung Moon, or L. Ron Hubbard. In fact, it’s creepy how much Gore has come to resemble Hubbard, not just methodologically, but physically!

Please, rob and zog, please keep your denialist insults coming.

And always, always avoid the science.

Frank Bi,

“If you really wanted to save the planet”

Yes, I hadn’t considered that.
If I really wanted to “save the planet” – the first question would be, who is most qualified for this Herculian task? Obviously, a low-level shill employed by a PR firm would be my first pick.

Yeah, we can sleep soundly with Kevin Grandia on the job.

“But seriously, stopping global warming isn’t about self-deprivation”

Yup, evidently it’s not – if the actions of Global Warming cult leaders are anything to judge by. Gore, with his mansions, burning up hundreds of thousands of pounds of jet fuel; Suzuki, with his multiple luxury homes, and cruising across the continent with his courtiers on a rock-star diesel tour bus; lavish confrences, attended by thousands in Bali, or Hawaii. Of course it’s not about self-deprivation.

It’s about inflicting privation on others. Duh.

“Regardless of what you think of climate, doesn’t that sound better than blowing up mountains to burn coal and fighting wars over the last oil left under the Middle East?”

Oooo, yes! You sold me! You know what sounds even better? Playing with kittens in Chocolate Ice Cream Land and living in a magical Peppermint Castle! Be sure to let us know when you’ve developed this imaginary economy, with it’s imaginary jobs. Just don’t expect the rest of us to bankroll it.

“Obviously, a low-level shill employed by a PR firm would be my first pick.”

See? I knew it already: even if Kevin really did ride a bicycle all the way to New York, rob would’ve found some other insult to fling at him.

This whole “ride a bicycle to New York” thing is just a distraction. A distraction from the fact that rob just wants to throw insults.

Frank Bi,

Sorry if you find Grandia’s greasy job description insulting, but for the life of me, there’s just no nice way to put it.

Keep your denialist insults coming, rob.

Frank Bi,

“Be sure to let us know when you’ve developed this imaginary economy, with it’s imaginary jobs. Just don’t expect the rest of us to bankroll it.”

Yes, it should of course be obvious to everyone that the only possibly way for any civilization or economy to ever exist is to burn enormous amounts of a finite extremely polluting resource. No other economy is even theoretically possible.
When this resource at some point in the future runs out mankind will of course have to go extinct, because no other way of living is possible.

Thank you Rob for reminding us…

Of course, “climate realist” rob omitted to mention that the “imaginary economy” with “imaginary jobs” becomes very real when Al Gore The Antichrist is involved.

It’s all a Worldwide Satanic Conspiracy to usher in a new era of World Gaia Dictatorship – and there’s lots of money to be made – or not!


I think I still prefer “climate factnism”.

Frank Bi,

“Just don’t expect the rest of us to bankroll it.”
But we are already paying for this Imaginary “E commie”

There is no historical data that supports the premise that human activity has any significant effect on global average temperature. The observation of glaciers melting may look dramatic on TV but does not show that human activity is the cause. There is, however, substantial evidence that atmospheric carbon dioxide level does not significantly influence global average temperature. You can check out the global warming issue yourself. Credible websites are included in my post at

Yeah right, and most of the data are from the NOAA, which has been overtaken by denialists and now squirms and waffles when it comes to AGW (

So this is what “climate realism” is about…

Frank Bi,

“…the NOAA, which has been overtaken…”

That’s warmistspeak for, “real scientists have finally awakened to the penetration of their organizations by warmist goofs and are reinstituting a modicum of sanity.”

And in a fit of “sanity”, the newly-skeptic NOAA decided to produce a “two-page fact sheet” which serves as an “internal document”.


Frank Bi,

Are you referring to the really excellent “Climate Timeline Fact Sheet” that explains climate cycles in readily understandable layman’s language and makes only a passing reference to the demon CO2 ?


Why don’t you actually read the blog post I cited?

Frank Bi,

to play with the trolls, but please don’t keep them up past their bedtime. It makes them cranky.

Fern Mackenzie

When are they not cranky?

The average troll post does tend to be a bit petulant, it’s true, but then there are those days when Rob really gets the wind in his sails and starts flinging obscenities and really nasty stuff around. I worry that he’s going to pop an aneurysm or something, poor fellow! Either he didn’t get his nap, or forgot his meds or something.

Fern Mackenzie

You bet!
But most of the time when you poke them, they reveal the foolishness of their position.

You really haven’t been paying attention, have you?

From the “conference” web site:

“The proceedings will be transcribed, edited, and published as a major contribution to the debate over global warming.”

Hmm. The way a real scientific conference works, a scientist has to a submit a paper for peer review, and only when the paper’s been reviewed, accepted, and amended, will the scientist be invited to present it. The conference proceedings will comprise the papers as they appear after the whole peer review process… which means the proceedings will be all done up and ready for publication even before the actual event.

That’s not how it works in this “conference”? They don’t do this “peer review” thing? (Wait, I’m not surprised…)

Frank Bi,

I’ve been reading about the “overwhelming” response from around the world of people wanting to attend the conference. I’m still curious to know exactly who would go, aside from our intrepid reporter of course.

In one respect, the proceedings of this event will be of interest. Presumably if they’ve got anything new to say, this is where they’ll say it and commit their whole “case” to print in one compact, easy-to-access volume. It will save time tracking down all of the threads in the blogosphere every time one needs to cite something.

Fern Mackenzie

A quick Google search reveals that the National Wildlife Federation has also got someone there:

It’s unfortunate that our attenders can’t get a volume of the proceedings during the conference itself. :|

Frank Bi,

Thanks, Frank.
I found this remark interesting: “Academics have the right to be wrong,” Muller said. “I think crucifying the man [David Legates] and these other guys probably does more harm than good, because it inflames people who are looking for victims and looking for the argument that global warming is a conspiracy of nuts and leftists and environmental extremists.”

It’s a very good point, of course. But on the other hand, leaving them alone to keep muddying the waters and allowing governments to delay action because of an imaginary ongoing debates could be dangerous. Frank Luntz has a lot to answer for!

The gist of the rest of the article, though, is that this group is becoming increasingly irrelevant, to the point that nobody is particularly concerned about the conference. I find that reassuring.

Fern Mackenzie

”`[…] it inflames people who are looking for victims and looking for the argument that global warming is a conspiracy of nuts and leftists and environmental extremists.’”

Well, after a while you realize they’ll do that anyway no matter what.

Frank Bi,

“Good link”

LOL! Uh, Yeah. Daily Kos – the best link.

As Little-more has declared: Global Warming is not a Left vs. Right issue. He’s correct. It’s entirely a left wing issue.

“The gist of the rest of the article, though, is that this group is becoming increasingly irrelevant, to the point that nobody is particularly concerned about the conference.”

They’re so irrelevant, that a slick PR firm has sent one of their minions to dig up some dirt. Out of complete “unconcern”. Heh.

rob, I know you just want to hurl insults no matter what. So keep the insults coming.

Frank Bi,


I’ve read your first post above, and you appear to be using the tactic of delegitimizing the presenters, rather than addressing their forthcoming arguments, as a means to debunk them.

How is it you find this to be a necessary, or effective, tactic? As the conference will be releasing transcripts and its topics of discussion, you should instead be focused on addressing the coming information.

Statistics and studies are independently verifiable – how about taking the role of peer reviewer? I would be happy to discuss the conference releases with you,
starting with this one:

Best, David

The reference to Friis-Christensen and Lassen (1991) is an obvious act of out-of-context quoting:

And I see that Douglass et al. (2007)’s bogus paper and bogus graph is quoted:

Nothing new there except the same old denialist junk.

I wonder, now that I’ve taken “the role of peer reviewer” as advised by Posthumous Luger, whether he’ll actually honour this effort at peer review? Or will he instead throw a hissy fit and start sending out coded messages on Galileo?

Frank Bi,

If the presenters have anything new to say, by all means let’s have a look at it & see how it holds up. But this crowd has been singing the same tune for quite awhile now, and none of their previous arguments has stood the test of scrutiny. It may seem like a tactic to you, to be “delegitimizing the presenters,” but I like to know where the information is coming from, and whether it is likely to be biased. It is also of interest to me to know whether a person has a track record in climate science and is actively involved in current research.

As for your suggestion about taking the role of peer reviewer, my academic peers are historians, not climate scientists. Peer review of climate science can only be carried out by climate scientists whose scholarship and research qualifies them to do so – not by PR people, reporters, hockey players, retail managers, lawyers, dentists, English Lit teachers, etc etc etc. Despite all the amateur number-crunching that goes on in these posts, only a few of us are really capable of a meaningful analysis of the statistics.

Fern Mackenzie

Thanks for the reply, Ms. Mackenzie.

My thoughts exactly – if the presenters have anything new to say, by all means let’s have a look at it. I’ll be happy to discuss anything that arises from the conference.

The problem with attacks on the presenters and the funding is that, logically, it means absolutely nothing.

If you present evidence supporting the theory of anthropogenic global warming, should I discount it I find the study was funded by DeSmogBlog? Of course not. I should examine the data and the study on its own merits.

Nike has quite a financial stake in convincing us that Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer in history – should I discount the message? Or should I examine Woods’ record?

Perhaps we have no business conducting climate study, but everyone who wishes to offer their two cents regarding the results of others has the responsibility of due diligence. Dismissing the conference outright, and then claiming that one is not qualified to comment, is a cop-out. As is praising the conference and then recusing one’s self.

Would anyone like to comment on the release?

Best, David

I am not suggesting that we have no business commenting on the science, but part of informing ourselves is developing the critical skills to recognize who has credibility and who does not. I wouldn’t presume to tell Mann et al how to construct a modelling algorithm, but I know that their work has the respect of their peers, and has been confirmed by other qualified researchers – so I will consider their results accordingly. Likewise, I will take the assessment of other climate scientists of their work over the critiques of MacIntyre & that other fellow.

As far as dismissing the conference out of hand, it’s very difficult to take it seriously, given that the list of presenters is a who’s who of the same old crowd that has been touring with the same old arguments for years. I haven’t heard anything new out of them for years, so I hope you will forgive me if I am sceptical that the present conference will feature any scathingly brilliant new information.

I’ll have a look at the release when I have more than a few minutes to spare. Will get back to you later.

Fern Mackenzie

Well, David, I have taken a stroll through Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate by S. Fred Singer. I am sorry to say that it’s the same material he’s been trotting out at every opportunity for ages – nothing there that hasn’t been picked apart (very convincingly) by the folks at and others over the years. I am amazed that Singer still drags the “hockey stick” into the discussion. He just can’t let go of it, as though the entire case for AGW rests on that graph alone! The so-called “failings” of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report have all been addressed and dismissed. The solar effect has been repeatedly and soundly ruled out as an explanation for current warming… and so on.

My best suggestion is to go to and search out each of Singer’s points. An alternative is this site:

Fern Mackenzie

Thank you for your comment.

You are speaking rather broadly, I would like to focus on the one specific you bring up. Which studies do you claim have repeatedly and soundly ruled out the solar effect?
I am familiar only with the Lockwood/Froelich study, could you offer some other links?

Best, David

Les Chevaliers de l’Ordre de la Terre Plate, Part II: Courtillot’s Geomagnetic Excursion (Prelude: It’s the physics, stupid) by Raymond T. Pierrehumbert appeared at 18 December 2007 ( It is clear, thorough, and up-to-date.

If you search “solar forcing” on that site, you will find links to other articles, all of them scholarly in annotation, which is how I tracked down the research papers and other sources that I have read on the subject. Good luck, & have fun.

As for my response above being “very broad,” that’s because to get into the specifics of everything I find insupportable about Singer’s paper would take all day, and I would probably exceed DeSmog’s text limit. Furthermore, it would be redundant for me to do so, as his arguments are all the same old talking points with a new release date tacked on the front for show. Asked & answered. Let’s move on, shall we?

Experience warns that often what appear to be sincere attempts by someone new to the discussion to initiate a dialogue turn out to be a more sophisticated approach to trolling. The goal: to waste people’s time in a useless attempt to inform a neophyte. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I suggest you spend some time exploring RealClimate. Do the reading. Then we’ll talk some more.

Fern Mackenzie

Thank you for your comment.

I am not entirely aware of your definition of “troll”, though I am thrilled that, if I am such a thing, I qualify to be one of the more “sophisticated” of the bunch. So thank you! I did watch America’s Top Model last night, although I was sipping a beaujolais at the time, so I firmly believe I am on the path towards leaving the riff raff behind. My mother will be beaming.

I am interested in having a detailed discussion of information related to AGW, without rhetoric, attitude, or condescension. And without being accused of wasting time or being nudged to “move on”.

Am I in the wrong place? There’s always a time and a place for pithy comments (guilty as charged, above), so no judgments if I am. Just thought the site that promises to “clear the PR pollution” would be a good place for a respectful chat.

Best, David

then let me emphasize that the article I referred to by Raymond T. Pierrehumbert at ( the best discussion of the subject of solar variability that I have seen, and it pretty much dismantles Singer’s position.

Fern Mackenzie

edited to add p.s.: If my tone has been snarky, please excuse. I originally offered to discuss anything new that arose from the conference releases. There just wasn’t anything new. Nada. Zip. Bupkis. Rather than repeat the arguments ad nauseam, I meant only to refer you to sites where concise information is located. No condescension intended.

You said:
I like to know where the information is coming from, and whether it is likely to be biased.

Does this mean that you now doscount the rantings of Hansen and Schmidt?
Since they are clearly biased and paid by the AGW industry.

What exactly do you mean by “AGW Industry”? What part of Hansen’s salary or research grants or whatever funding comes from a corporation that depends for its huge profits on AGW being a fact? Are we talking about the World Wildlife Fund here? Or maybe Greenpeace or the Suzuki Foundation? The people who make canvas bags for carrying groceries? Or maybe windmill manufacturers? All rolling in profits from misleading the witless public?

We hear a lot about the Poster Boys, Gore & Suzuki, supposedly getting fat & rich and feeding their egos from this “AGW Industry.” I don’t think either of them signs Hansen’s paycheque, so please enlighten us.

Fern Mackenzie

New to the blog,

I’ve just got to say something after I saw that link comparing that far-right, ultra- nationalist, fascist skinhead group to people that are concerned about the earth’s atmosphere… what’s next, “Code Pink occupies Poland”?

Young smart kids are going to notice, at some point, the far-right’s great hackitude/ love affair with major coal and oil concerns.

As well as their miserable, 1 or 2 or 3 trillion dollar social experiment in Iraq with so many young men and women severely injured and KIA.

As well as the far-rights shameless, chronic disdain for so many things (like the environment, artists, educators, people of different color/religion, human rights, disagreement/dissent, on and on)

A example it the they think that Barrack Hussein Obama’s middle name suggests he’s a terrorist…. keep it up boys.

Maybe their be enough Blue-hairs armed with Rupert Murdock’s Fox News propaganda to fight the fight for a few more yours, but I’m thinking geometric marginalization, like during McCarthyism….gone overnight.

In my opinion, people are becoming increasingly concerned about the health of the Earth’s atmosphere… only a person without compassion is going to have a problem with that.

Yes, hopefully the young kids aren’t taken in by the professional victims and their bemoaning. My experience is that young kids aren’t much interested in political ideas, so much as how things work, like good scientists! Which is what makes things like the PR films showing Mrs. Bug saying things are peachy-in the mountain top explosion, valley filling coal mines,-so contemptible. Yummy black water with mercury in it! Kids are smarter than that.


Our DeSmog UK epic history series continues with a look at the creation of Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph and the counter-attack launched by the climate deniers.

Michael Mann was “still relatively fresh” out of graduate school when his work demonstrating the rise in global temperatures caught the attention of senior climate scientists. He was quickly selected as lead author for a new report on climate change.

The paper by Mann, and Professor Raymond Bradley and Professor Malcolm Hughes was titled...

read more