David Icke is a weirdo.
That’s not me saying that, but Canadian Mark Steyn, who has been crowned “world’s greatest conservative commentator and writer” by the Institute of Public Affairs.
Steyn is currently on a speaking tour around Australia, courtesy of the IPA, where the Canadian author and commentator will bless Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Cloncurry (?) with his greatness. He's already been on the ABC and Sky News.
Steyn’s characterization of Icke came during his last IPA-sponsored visit to Australia in 2012. David Icke was a professional footballer, then a sports presenter, and then, after meeting a psychic, an all-seeing son of the “godhead”.
Icke is a conspiracy theorist of some repute, who says the world is – and I’m summarising here - run by reptilian illuminati overlords. Icke also has his eyes on a tour of Australia.
Icke also thinks the moon is a “hollowed-out planetoid” and more likely a spaceship. It used to have buildings on it, but NASA got rid of the evidence (I did interview Icke once, many hollowed-out moons ago).
climate science denial
David Icke is a weirdo.
You might have seen how climate science deniers like to compare themselves to scientific greats of the past to try to lend their arguments a degree of credibility.
One of their favourites is Galileo, the great Italian astronomer and physicist who was persecuted by the Catholic church for promoting the theory that the Sun and planets did not revolve around the Earth, but the other way around.
Now in an example of previously uncharted overreach, one group of climate science deniers is trying to co-opt the great British naturalist Charles Darwin.
Despite Darwin having died more than 130 years ago, the newly formed and very fancy-sounding Independent Committee on Geoethics (ICG) has appointed the father of the theory of evolution by natural selection as its Honorary President.
What difference does influential corporate cash make to the arguments that climate science denial groups make in public?
This was a question that Yale University’s Dr Justin Farrell tried to answer in an exhaustive piece of research published late last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Farrell’s paper - Corporate funding and ideological polarization about climate change – contained this remarkable chart, which I missed at the time but reckon it deserves a bit more daylight.
“Bravo Australia,” came the cry earlier this week from one US-based climate science denial group.
The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow was reacting to the latest efforts by the Australian Government to stifle its renewable energy industry.
For a country that claims to be a “good global citizen” on climate change, the support from an organisation that claims human-caused climate change is largely a hoax should be seen as a major embarrassment.
CFACT sent an email to supporters saying “you’ve got to hand it to the Aussies” after conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott ordered a government-backed clean energy funding institution to stop financing wind farms and small-scale solar energy projects.
You know that weird sensation when you experience something and you immediately get the feeling you’ve seen that very same thing before?
No, I’m not talking about déjà vu.
I’m talking about watching a press conference from climate science denialists at United Nations climate talks.
Specifically, we’re talking about the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) whose delegation took up the option of a press conference a couple of weeks ago within the confines of the latest round of international talks in Lima, Peru.
In a flyer promoting its press conference, CFACT declared “UN Allows Debate on Global Warming!” – a declaration that sounded like some kind of breakthrough moment when the UN had finally granted a press conference to climate science misinformers.
Except 12 months earlier, CFACT had also been granted press conference time at the talks in Warsaw, Poland (CFACT has long been accommodated by the UN and has also held press conferences at talks in Bonn, Durban and Doha to name a few). CFACT even survived expulsion when one of its delegates - British hereditary peer Lord Christopher Monckton - was debadged in Doha in 2012 after impersonating an official delegate during talks.
Canadian climate science denialist Patrick Moore is at the beginning of a tour around Australia speaking to audiences across the country.
But here’s a warning.
If you do find yourself in the audience and don’t want to be compared to the “Taliban” then don’t even think about walking out in protest.
Less than two weeks before flying to Australia, Moore spoke on the campus of Amherst College in Massachusetts.
When members of the college’s environmental group decided they had heard enough and walked, Moore said they had a “Taliban mindset”.
When he was later asked to apologise, a report in the Amherst College student newspaper says Moore instead chose to double-down on his remark.
“Fifty people walk out, and I say that’s a pretty Taliban thing to do,” Moore is reported to have said, characterizing the behavior of the young students to that of the fundamentalist regime that massacred thousands and committed brutal repression of women.
In the space of six days, Rupert Murdoch's The Australian newspaper has published five news stories and an opinion piece attacking the credibility of the Australian government's weather and climate agency, the Bureau of Meteorology.
I've covered the guts of the early stories over on my Planet Oz blog for The Guardian.
But the core of it is that Dr Jennifer Marohasy, a former Institute of Public Affairs free market think tankerer, is claiming that the BoM has, in her words, “corrupted the official temperature record so it more closely accords with the theory of anthropogenic global warming”.
Marohasy is a researcher at Central Queensland University with her work funded by another climate change “sceptic”.
She has has not published her analysis in any journal, yet The Australian's Graham Lloyd has deemed the claims of a climate science sceptic on blogs worthy enough of five news pieces.
I just want to deal with his latest story here, that comments on the BoM's process of transparency. The story includes this bit:
The bureau has been under fire for not making publicly available the methodology used for homogenisation. Michael Asten from the School of Earth Atmosphere and Environment at Monash University said confidence in BOM’s data would increase “if and when BOM publishes or supplies its homogenisation algorithms, a step which would be quite consistent with existing requirements of the better peer-reviewed journals.’’ BOM said its methods had been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals but did not say where or in what form.
This claim is - oh what's the word - bolloxxs (sorry kids).
A university has criticized conservative media for a serious misrepresentation of one of its academics that sparked a torrent of abuse from climate science deniers.
As revealed by DeSmogBlog, Rochester Institute of Technology assistant professor Lawrence Torcello received hundreds of e-mails after conservative media incorrectly claimed he had called for climate skeptics to be jailed.
Torcello wrote an article for The Conversation website arguing there was “good reason to consider” that “the funding of climate denial” was morally and criminally negligent.
But conservative media, including FoxNation, The Drudge Report, Breitbart and The Daily Caller, incorrectly claimed that Torcello had either called for contrarian scientists to be jailed or for Americans who did not accept the evidence for human-caused climate change to be imprisoned. Climate skeptic blogger Anthony Watts also encouraged readers to complain to the university.
In a followup statement, the university said:
The search for truth is the animating force of a university, and it behooves those who support open and respectful discussion of controversial issues to get the facts right. Recently the views expressed by a member of our community, Professor Lawrence Torcello, have been misrepresented by some in the media. The misrepresentation follows a pattern similar to other incidents of misrepresentation involving academics that work on topics related to climate change.
- Credentials heavily contested. No reliable source available.
John O'Sullivan is a UK-based climate denialist blogger, writer and the sole active director of Principia Scientific International - a membership group promoting fringe views on climate change science and role of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. O'Sullivan, a former school teacher, claims the greenhouse effect caused by carbon dioxide is unproven and that human-caused climate change is a “fraud”.
WHEN speaking to script, Australia's new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott will say that he accepts that human emissions of greenhouse gases are having an impact on the world's climate.
Yet the Liberal Party leader appears to be surrounding himself with ministers and advisers who reject the science of human-caused climate change, with the most outspoken anti-science advocate being Maurice Newman, recently appointed as chairman of the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council.
According to Newman, the current government's two key climate science agencies - the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology - “continue to propagate the myth of anthropological climate change”, as he wrote last month in the Australian Financial Review.
Writing in The Australian newspaper in July, Newman described the science of human-caused climate change as a “smokescreen” for “vested interests” and criticised US President Barack Obama for continuing to “champion discredited research”.
Last November Newman, a former stockbroker and chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, was again dripping with hatred for climate scientists and “believers”, who he described as being part of a global throng of “fundamentalists” who had “collected hundreds of billions of dollars from naive governments that adopted their faith”.
Since entering Government in September, Tony Abbott has already abolished Australia's publicly-funded Climate Commission, re-iterated his “blood oath” to repeal the country's carbon price legislation and has pushed on with attempts to scrap the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation. The CEFC has made a reported $500 million in loans since July which have attracted a further $1.6 billion in private investment to projects it has backed.