Rex Murphy Offers Another Superlative Column on Climate Change

Sat, 2009-01-10 15:06Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Rex Murphy Offers Another Superlative Column on Climate Change

There are few Canadian journalists as resolutely stupid about climate change as CBC editorialist and Globe and Mail columnist Rex Murphy. Rising above science, soaring over the petty limitations of facts and logic, Rex regularly delivers us from the threat of global warming - if only in figurative flourish.

His most recent outing is a spectacular example. In it, he announces that because it has snowed in Vancouver, we no longer need to take seriously the scientific warnings about future climate change.

Interestingly, he avows early on in this column that he will not draw such a conclusion, allowing the wisdom in the old phrase that “one swallow does not make a spring.”

He says: “I am, most certainly, not going to make the error of our global warming hierophants who leap with troubling eagerness on any ‘extreme weather event’ and pilot it with ferocity to the conclusion that we are all doomed.”

Then he offers his evidence - a cold snap stretching from Victoria to Saskatoon - to suggest that we are clearly NOT doomed. Indeed, he assures us that we may use this wintry wobble to dismiss out of hand several recently reported studies of unchallenged scientific merit. Seeing snow in the trees in Stanley Park in 2009, we can rest assured that there will no be no droughts, no disruptions, no food shortages in 2080.

People who would take a contrary position are, Rex says, “rhetoricians of less scruple than I” - a condition (and herein lies the reference to Murphy’s superlative standing), that I hardly think possible.


The man’s an artist. To be honest I’m pretty sure whatever he says about climate will be totally convincing to me. But I’ll go read it and try to be objective anyway.

Rex is an imbecile.

Not that he isn’t on other topics as well….

This may not have reached you yet, but Rex Murphy now finds Pravda backing him up:

And the American right-wing denialists are rejoicing mightily:

As a longtime flu blogger ( ), I’ve found Pravda to be a totally unreliable source for science stories. But the American right wing is eager to embrace the Russian equivalent of the National Enquirer. The Canadian right wing will not be far behind:

Cheers and keep up the fight,


doesn’t the Globe and Mail realize what this does to their rep? completely irresponsible


I don’t keep up with denier ramblings, but what Rex writes makes me wonder.  Is anyone else claiming that “so much of what the alarmists promised was supposed to be happening now isn’t happening” therefore the global warming alarmists are reduced to pretending they are even more alarmed?

Your use of the word “spectacular” is appropriate.  This guy is right out of Alice in Wonderland.  The CEO of ExxonMobil is calling for a carbon tax as of Dec 11 2008.  Darth Vader himself, Greenpeace’s Climate Criminal #1, has thrown in the towel, and Rex is still out there, holding the fort.  He’s going to be like one of those Japanese WWII soldiers who came out of the bush on the Pacific Islands, decades after the war was over, who were still fighting it in their own way all those years.

The last time I read a column of Rex’s he was arguing that James Hansen wasn’t a scientist.  Rex does not fool around.  In that one he claimed there were loads of real scientists, he was careful to not name one, who knew he was right.  I phoned in to his CBC show, Cross Country Checkup, and called him a denier to his face.  He sounded a bit upset.  He said he prefers to call himself a “skeptic”.

So Rex argues that Hansen isn’t a scientist.  The President of the National Academy of Sciences takes a bit of a different position, i.e. he says its a bit difficult to single out one scientist, but if he had to, he’d say Hansen was the best climatologist there is.  Hansen draws a slightly different conclusion than Rex does, from his recent planetary observations.  These are no doubt the same observations Rex monitors every day.  Hansen, in his open letter to President-elect Obama:  “scientists at the forefront of climate research have seen a stream of new data in the past few years with startling implications for humanity and all life on Earth”.  He goes on to recommend a foundation for policy to Obama: “a stark scientific conclusion, that we must reduce greenhouse gases below present levels to preserve nature and humanity has become clear to the relevant experts”.  Rex might not understand this:  for your benefit Rex, Hansen is saying in this letter that will be hand delivered by John Holdren, Obama’s pick for his Science Adviser, that he has the backing of the NAS, an institution set up by President Lincoln to advise the President on scientific matters,  to say the relevant experts in the field of climatology are agreed that a new international target, of 325 - 350 ppm CO2, is what the atmosphere must be stabilized at as soon as possible in order to retain some chance of leaving our descendants a planet similar to the one we were born on.  If all these people aren’t scientists, Rex, you aren’t a human being.

“The CEO of ExxonMobil is calling for a carbon tax as of Dec 11 2008”

That’s called tactics. Don’t mistake it for something it isn’t.

Are you suggesting that the CEO of Exxon may be disingenuous in what he says about climate change? Say it isn’t so!

Say what you will, but Rex is an honest skeptic. He has one of the sharpest minds in Canada on nearly any subject he discusses. Why? Because he asks questions and doesn’t take bafflegab for an answer.

Since much of what passes for “climate science” seems to be ideologically predetermined and not open to discussion on any level, I would say his skepticism (please don’t use the phony “denier” label) is warranted.

Bafflegab is Murphy’s stock in trade. He uses it so people like you who don’t understand the reality of what he is discussing will agree and feel good about it becauses he uses words which you think you understand and the undereducated masses will not understand. This is is what bafflegab is all about and you fall for it every time. Shame on you, read up on the real facts as described in the scientific literature not what deniers like Murphy say.

Murphy is a denier because he recites all the denier talking points and does not check any of his facts. Maybe “paul s” is Murphy in disguise?

My vocabulary is a fraction of what Murphy’s is yet he is able to convey this thoughts clearly and effectively. He remains skeptical towards GW because so much bafflegab emanates from the global warming establishment.

And enough of your shame-based tactics Ian. I have read far too much of the peer-reviewed science on global warming. And I remain skeptical.

Paul, stop conflating your political views with the findings of scientists. Science is non-political. it is only when deniers like you and Murphy get involved that it becomes politiciized. Please stop using the term “skeptic,” its modern meaning is completely wrong when used to describe “deniers”.



Paul stated his opinion fairly, honestly and respectfully in an open forum. And yet you jumped on him like a sheep at the slaughter. He is a skeptic of the AGW theory. He does not deny. He stated this and yet you accused him of being something he wasn’t. I would also like to proclaim myself a skeptic. And, as Thomas Huxley said: “Skepticism is the highest of duties, and unverified belief, the one unpardonable sin.” I, like Paul and many others have read numerous publications on both sides of this debate … and yes Ian, it still is a debate, regardless of what Al Gore may have said about “science being closed.” Science is NEVER closed and shame on this community for stifling any opposition to their views. Opposing views should be vigorously welcomed and encouraged in a just and democratic society. I have only been on this site for a few days, but what I’ve found thus far is a remarkably one-sided and obtuse community of self-righteous bullies, intent on stomping out and belittling anyone with an opinion contrary to their own, even when supported in a factual presentation. They are dismissed out of hand as either incompetent, funded by big oil, Republican, not “real” scientists or simply name-called, as in the case of Dr. Tim Ball, the perennial punching bag, it would seem, of this site. I’m left in the end with the very distubing sense that, not only do many of you “believe” in AGW, but that you would also gleefully welcome it, only to turn around, point your fingers at the “deniers” and say, “See? See?? We told you so!!” I’m sorry, but if I was on that camp, I would very desperately want to be proven wrong. But then, that’s just me and I’m sure now I have set myself up as someone with his head deeply buried in the sand.

You obviously know very little about the science behind climatology. You also appear to know nothing  (though I doubt this) of the history of the lies, obfuscation and misinformation put out by the deniers and their supporters like Paul.

Come back once you have read something more than what Tim Ball has to say before you accuse me of anything.

If you have any “opposition to the views” of respected climate scientists then put it on the table or keep quiet since you are only adding to the lies and obfuscation by your factually wrong comments. That is how real science is done. Discussion of honestly produced data, not the slime comments of deniers.

This site, and its honest contributors, has never belittled anyone who is intent on discussing climate science in a rational and honest manner. It is those who show dishonesty time after time that get our attention.

No, your head is not buried in the sand it is somewhere else.

Thank you Ian.

Yes, you’re right, I would not consider myself an expert in the field of climatology. I would however consider myself knowledgeable, having taken two climate courses enroute to a college diploma in Environmental Science. But we are not here to debate credentials. We are here to debate science, and the science of anthropogenic global warming has been challenged at every turn. And at almost every one of those turns, the AGW community comes up with an explanation or alternate scenario to explain the discrepancies. That, or they simply thumb their noses and mock the “deniers.” The hockey stick has been debunked. Land based climate stations have been discredited as being influenced locally. Lower tropospheric temperatures have shown an amazing consistency over the past 30 years. The global climate has been cooling since 2001. Computer models are just that … models, not one of which, prior to 2001 predicted such a cooling and none of which can accurately input cloud and water information. Polar bears are thriving. Glaciers calve … its what they do. Are we in a warming period? … well, yes now that you mention it, for the past 10,000 years. Most people would actually agree that this is a good thing.

I’m not going to belabour the issue, since we have both apparently read similar if not the same material, yet somehow arrived at different conclusions. Such is the nature of the human race. But let me introduce you to some of my conspiratorial colleagues. Would you care to address this list of “slime” personally?

At the top of this list would be the late Frederick Seitz, followed by 30,000 professionals, including 9,031 PhDs. Professionals on the petition include over 3,500 in the Atmosphere or Earth Sciences field. And this is just the US list, so you don’t have to see Tim Ball’s name.

Settled science? I think even Judge Judy would toss this case out.

Good day.

Good grief you are years behind the other deniers. You are producing denier rubbish that was shown to be lies, obfuscation and misinformation years ago.

Your reference to the Oregon petition shows exactly where you stand. You stand in isolation beside a handful of liars, cranks and oil funded parasites. Why are you wasting your time on that rubbish? Spend time reading the science, you will learn a lot more that way.

You did not disappoint.

Thumbing your nose and mocking. How very productive.

Good day.

Well get used to it since if you continue to willifully spread dishonest information you desrve all the derision that will be directed your way.

That is exactly what this blog was set up to do, expose dishonest deniers like you, which is explained in their mission statement: “to clear the PR pollution that is clouding the science on climate change”.

Why do you post such PR pollution on this site knowing that you will be exposed for your nonsense? Don’t come complaining about disrepectful treatment when it is you who is being direspectful to honest scientists.

I appreciate your comments and the considerate attitude which you afford the inane and empty comments of the AGW crowd.

Yes he’s sharp, and he can talk the hind leg off a dog, but all of the erudite vocabulary often masks the fact that he knows more about some things than others.  If he can’t accept that James Hansen is a highly qualified scientist and eminently “relevent,” he needs to take a break and read up.  Murphy may well be an honest sceptic, but his inflexibility and inablilty to distinguish between science and bafflegab suggests to me that he has crossed the line into the deniers’ camp.

It has never been clear to me why members of the general public (including Rex Murphy and politicians who are using their public positions to do so) are proferring their "opinions" on climatology. This is akin to people in the grocery store having similar discussions on computer modeling of phenol-ring based drugs for nuclear receptors in cancer treatment or modifications to the theory of relativity on the moon. Of course you would never see this in reality. Almost no one in the store knows ANYTHING about it and would normally be quite satisfied to allow scientists to gather their data and interpret it because that is what they have spent their entire careers doing. One of the arguments meant to diminish climate scientists is that they simply want funding for their work, however very few of the climatologists who study climate change depend on the research grants for their salaries so research on climate change is not critical to their income. Incidently, our society is very priveledged to have individuals who want to do this as a career- it doesn't pay that great. Scientists study and try to understand the workings of nature. This is a complex task. Because of this it is an uncomfortable fact (for some) that scientists are really the only people who can in fact review and comment on the science of other scientists. If you're not in the field then you don't have the background to have an intelligent discussion- that includes Rex Murphy and all those who attribute individual weather events to climate change. The reason for all the uninformed discussion (of course)is that measures to mitigate climate change will require a change in comfortable energy habits and in the long run the economy. No one really wants this because for some it will mean they won't make as much money and for others it will require what they consider too much effort. Think about it- the world's cancer experts agreed that cigarette smoking caused cancer- and yet look how many still smoke and it took legislation to get the tobacco companies to stop trying to confuse the public about the science (which incidently was much easier to understand than climate modeling). In the end, peer-reviewed science is rarely incorrect because 1) it is based primarily on physical measurements- these parameters don't lie and 2) scientists are among the most rigourous individuals on the planet. So to Rex and all of you amateur climate scientists- go back to university, get an undergraduate degree, do a Master's then PhD, then post-doctoral studies and then after you have done several years more of independent research...come to a consensus with your fellow scientists. The public should watch, listen and act accordingly.

QUOTE: "...that there will no be no droughts, no disruptions, no food shortages in 2080..." Hopefully, this will be the scenario if today we are to take good care of our mother-earth. But considering the recent events, pollutions everywhere, an immediate "repair" should be made.