Will they ever, ever, ever get it?

It is an unhappy fact that climate change remains a confusing subject for many. This confusion has had the unfortunate effect of making many people sceptical of the very existence of climate change so it’s of fundamental importance, if we want to arrest scepticism in its bed, to find out the source of the confusion. Where does it come from, the confusion? What’s the confusion’s provenance? What’s making people so confusedly sceptical and not unconfusedly accepting of the science?

The answer is that a lot of people’s beliefs and judgements are made confused by a variety of competing confusion-promoting, anti-science sources: religious upbringing, political leaning, ideologies and self-interests, what news channels are watched, what newspapers are read, what blogs are visited, some of which, inevitably, are more confusion-promoting and anti-science than others. So what can we do about this?

The first practical thing we can do is provide a guide for the confused, a list of reads-if-you-have-the-times and avoids-even-if-you-do-have-the-times. If science – and its confusion-lowering effects – is to be affirmed, a list of what people should be reading, viewing and attending to to lower their confusion (and remember only scientific insight can lower confusion) ought to include:

  • Australia’s ABC
  • UK’s BBC & Guardian
  • USA’s New York Times
  • Real Climate Blog
  • Skeptical Science website
  • IPCC report
  • The international COP meetings
  • Michael Mann’s twitter feed and facebook page
  • Anything by the UK’s Royal Society and Sir Paul Nurse
  • NGO websites (Greenpeace, FoE, 10:10, us)
  • Anything by Stephan Lewandowsky and COIN
  • Anything by Lily Cole

Conversely, a list of sources people ought to avoid to keep confusion to a minimum should include:

  • Steve McIntyre of the Climate Audit blog
  • Anthony Watts of the Watts Up With That blog
  • Andrew Montford of the Bishop Hill blog
  • Anything by Lords Monckton and Lawson
  • The GWPF website
  • The UK’s Daily Mail & Telegraph, the USA’s Wall Street Journal, Australia’s The Australian
  • The Jo Nova blog
  • Anything by Judith Curry, Roger Pielke Jr, Richard Tol, Donna Laframboise, Fritz Vahrenholt, Andrew Bolt, James Delingpole, Christopher Booker, Tim Worstall, Bjorn Lomborg, Matt Ridley, Lucia Liljegren, Benny Pieser, Ben Pile, Barry Woods, Geoff Chambers, Willis Eschenbach and Matt Briggs.
  • The Register website
  • Conferences and literature by the Heartland Institute
  • Anything by Johnny Ball

How do we know this? The answer is twofold. Firstly by not examining the stuff that pours from the second-list sources in order to avoid risking exposure to confusion ourselves; and secondly by logically deducing, based on the prior-identification or self-identification of these characters and their associations as climate change sceptics, that they either deny, or are ignorant of, the climate science ‘fact-roll’ agreed by 97% of climate scientists, namely: 

  1. • The earth’s climate is changing
  2. • CO2 is a greenhouse gas that contributes to this
  3. • humans contribute to atmospheric CO2 through industrial activity
  4. • therefore we need to change our profligate, over-consumptive lifestyles 

So that’s the first practical step we can take. The second step we can take to minimise science-starved confusion is expose the motives of the science-dismissing confusion maximisers. What’s in it for them? Why do they do it?

The answer to this is that it profits them to spread confusion. Sceptical bloggers, science-denying journalists, sceptical thinktanks, foundations, institutes and groupuscules – all in some way profit, either directly or indirectly, from dirty industry. If they weren’t in the pay of dirty industry they wouldn’t say the (almost laughably simplistic and un-nuanced) things we can deduce they do say. This observation is given further credence by considering the embarrassment factor: if there wasn’t such material advantage to be gained in being so unsophistcatedly outside the 97% consensus it’s unlikely anyone would have the front to situate themselves there.

Finally, the third, and possibly most important thing we can do is… improve communication! Keep on keeping on about all of the above. So we need to:

  • • keep highlighting that if it rewards the confusion merchants to stick to the same message irrespective of scientific development, irrespective of new insight and research, irrespective of evidence, then this simply wrong message – climate isn’t changing, man doesn’t contribute, business as usual – will remain their shabby, constant mainstay;  
  • • keep banging on that if it remunerates them financially to keep repeating the same discredited message over and over then this endless repetition, this never-ending recital, rather than one day crystallising the message into dazzling sense, rather than suddenly revealing it to be the honest and true account of nature it purports to be, reveals it instead to be the ineffably droning, cyclical mantra, the series of wretched gurgles and phonemes that it actually is;
  • • keep pointing out, tirelessly and ceaselessly, year after year, decade after decade, that if there’s money to be made by endlessly covering the same old discredited ground, if the coffers are constantly replenished by repeating ad nauseum the same arguments and words over and over, over and over and over again, if endlessly banging on, decade after decade, year after year in this fashion fills your trouser pockets then why would you tire of doing it? Why would you stop writing the columns? Why would you give up filling the blogosphere? Stop appearing on television? Stop accepting the speech fees? Why would you pause, even for a moment, to think about the climatic depredations suffered by the developing countries? That if there’s money to be gained your likely reaction to this would be, so what? What pressing concern is that when there are squawk spots to fill on tv news channels, columns to fashion in the endless, oily spill of newsink (see the second list above) when there are international conferences to attend, films to make, and books to sell (see the second list above – the second list is the one below the first list);
  • • and keep pointing out that actually if it makes you a profit to keep rehearsing this same message, far from the suffering of poorer countries and generations unborn, what becomes your most pressing concern is the comforting warm, sloppy sound of your own verbal, glossolalic incontinence; the florid flourishes of your keyboard rhetoric as you rat-ta-ta-tap your laptop into self-induced oblivion, drifting, soaring, plunging through helical word strands down into the DNA of your own seminal, lexical fluid, which should get boring for readers after a while but somehow, miraculously, doesn’t because the graphomaniacal authors of this nauseating ocean of FUD are always, always careful to finish, Big Brother style, with the hint of an emerging tactical breakthrough if only readers will stick by them.

To summarise, then, what we need to do is (a) identify the confusion merchants, (b) expose their motives, and (c) keep re-exposing their motives – but is that it? Well, possibly not because there is now emerging a fourth possible avenue of action. Over on The Conversation, Rochester Institute of Technology Professor of philosophy Lawrence Torcello has suggested making it an offence of criminal negligence to wilfully spread confusion and misinformation. Now, whether these powerful levers are necessary just yet is debatable, but certainly we might start the ball rolling with something akin in spirit: the regulation of scientific output on the internet.

Next week, then, LFG – proudly funded by clean money from the public purse which, crucially, is guaranteed to flow so that we can maintain financial independence from commercial pressure and keep on sticking up for the health of the public and planet – will be launching a new campaign, PLAIN PAGES, to stem the flood of handsomely-funded anti-science nonsense on the internet and stop the confusion-merchants in their tracks.

Much, much more to follow. Masses of it.


108 responses to “Will they ever, ever, ever get it?

  1. Hi there. Just saw you mentioned on the Guardian. An amusing read, but painfully illogical and disjointed. You say one must “expose the motives” of the deniers (financial), and give a list of the denial mouthpieces. Is there concrete evidence that the *people listed* have been bought and paid for? Or is it just assumption?

    Then you say that the signs of agreeing with the 97% consensus is that one agrees:
    ” • The earth’s climate is changing
    • CO2 is a greenhouse gas that contributes to this
    • humans contribute to atmospheric CO2 through industrial activity
    • therefore we need to change our profligate, over-consumptive lifestyles ”

    Surely isn’t it possible to agree with all of that, and still there not be an urgency for action on CO2? If climate sensitivity was small for example? The world’s warmed 0.8C in 150 years, and the CO2 has risen from 280ppm to 395ppm. On the back of an envelope this gives a climate sensitivty to a doubling of CO2 as 1.61C*. Is 1.61C Thermageddon? Will 1.61C cause real hardship? Will there be benefits as well as costs?
    *Recent climate sensitivity:
    0.8 = cs x 5.35 x ln(395/280) : cs = 0.43
    working out for a doubling:

    dT=0.43 x 5.35 x ln2
    dT = 1.61C

    • Are you for real? Only sometimes it’s hard to know whether some kind of subtle satire isn’t being played, climate sceptics now becoming almost too silly to parody.

      Well let me take you at your word: you ask is there concrete evidence that the people listed are ‘paid for’ – well, yes, it’s all there in the logical deduction.

      How do we know they’re funded? *Because they say the things they say*. Yes they’re funded to say these things, because why else would they say these things? Given scientific evidence says the opposite. And not the scientific evidence you offer, obviously.

      • Can your imagination not extend as far as coming up with any other reasons for somebody being sceptical other than they are being paid?

        And if not, should we assume that you too are only presenting a more alarmist position because you are a shill for some green scam? If not, why is that not a valid assumption?

      • Most likely not all climate change dissenters are bought. The people in the background, working for Heartland and the like are, but the direct communicators probably are not. Some might get some perks once in a while, but that is not why they do it. You need people that are really convinced, they are much more convincing communicators, which is important for this kind of nonsense.

        There are people with positions that are not scientifically tenable on a number of issues. Also ones without any money behind it. Best example is evolution. People may do this stuff because they have been conned or simply because they want to have the some opinion as their peers.

        And, if I may refer to my last blog post, some people may like the consequences of climate change. Sure they will suffer, but they may think that others will suffer more.

      • I think we should extend special thanks to Victor Venema for taking the trouble to come here and give us all the benefit of his wide academic experience.

        At a time when so much climate blog discourse is just lightweight, meaningless bickering & banter – it’s refreshing to see how a really perceptive academic intellect can cut through the fog and get to the heart of the issue.

    • David Blake

      I think you many have confused transient climate response (TCR) with equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS). Even if CO2 were held constant at ~560ppm warming would continue until radiative (quasi) equilibrium was reached at the top of the atmosphere. Transient means what it says.

      • I think you may have a bit further to go before reaching that state of “quasi-equilibrium” here BBD.

        Don’t give up though – every input helps lift the tone.

  2. I don’t know? Will you ever, ever get it?

    It’s lazy and non productive to assume sceptics are paid for. And yes, I know about most of the silly studies that tracks some money, going to some right wing think tanks, who may or may not give some money to some sceptics. Even if all the money went to sceptics it’s a tiny sum, not least when you consider what a large bunch of degree level professionals would cost for one year, let alone many of them. Sceptics are sceptical because we think that way.

    By assigning the wrong motives to people, you make it impossible to find strategies to deal with them. You also insult all those fence sitters out there who have doubts and know absolutely they aren’t being paid to have them. I know the aim is to try and marginalize sceptics by painting them as mad or bad but as a technique it’s not exactly working.

    Lewandowski’s paper is bad. It says more about Lewandowski than it does about his subject matter. It is part of a trend to pretend that questioning CAGW is some kind of mental aberration. You’re on dodgy ground trying to ostracize half or more of the public, even if they ARE mad or driven by greed. But the paper doesn’t prove anything other than bad science can get published. To support the paper in any way is to advertise blind allegiance to an ideal rather than unemotional science. It doesn’t enhance another’s confidence in the dispassionate judgement of those who endorse it. No, I don’t expect you to agree with that but then it’s not you that has to be convinced.

    Even if you assume that 50% of the public are believers in climate change (and that covers a multitude of visions for the future) that leaves another 50%. You cannot save the planet from CO2 with only half of the people on your side. They have to be convinced for your plan to work. You don’t start successful campaigns of persuasion by insulting the other side. Incidentally most active sceptics didn’t become so until the mid noughties or later so we’ve been insulted from before we even started actively questioning the science and the solutions.

    So are you just another climate change parrot site or are you serious about making a difference? If the latter, I suggest you stop talking to your small coterie of like minded friends and try to understand the enemy. Who knows, maybe have peace talks? I doubt it will change any minds but it will give you a better insight into our madness, something Lewandowski didn’t bother with.

  3. TinyCO2, your comment suggests that it’s climate alarmists who have become ridiculous, so ridiculous as to be beyond parody. I hope you come to realise this is most definitely not the case.

    • I’m not sure where you get the idea that I think all supporters of the higher end of man made global warming are ridiculous from what I wrote. Although a few do seem to qualify. I think you believe there is a major problem and I won’t tell you there isn’t. I think you have convinced yourself that the main barrier to action on AGW is us deniers, paid or otherwise, rather than the lack of robust evidence and the unsuitability of the solutions. I think that’s a cop out. Now you can dispute my view of your opinions but you are wasting your time trying to tell me my view of the world. And yet all the time sceptics are bombarded with silly, derogatory claims made about our motives, to the point where we find it amusing and take pleasure in mocking those who cast the first stone. We are shameless… but then we have nothing to be ashamed of.

      The climate concerned have decided the science is good enough for them and then harangued those round them for not coming to same conclusion. They look at the solutions like ‘free’ wind and can’t see why others think they’re a waste of money and energy. They tell others what to do and how to think and then get dismayed when they don’t get the response they were expecting. Is that ridiculous? I think it’s very human but not likely to advance your case.

      I salute you for responding well to the sceptic posts so far on your site. Why not take the next step and invite constructive dialog?

    • I’m so glad you mentioned parody. I read this on Geoff Chambers BLOG and thought yours was some kind of George Orwell parody – couldn’t believe it so I came over to see for myself – you truly believe this stuff – how old are you? I’ll wager a pile of dirty oil money I’ve been a skeptic longer than you’ve been alive – unbelievable.

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  5. Dang, I can’t get no respect, I didn’t make it onto either one of Marcus’s lists … I guess that’s the downside of being a climate heretic rather than either a skeptic or a supporter of the AGW hypothesis.

    In any case, Marcus, I invite you to add up all the money that alarmists have either made off the AGW hypothesis, or have spent trying to prop up the AGW hypothesis. We can start with Al Gore’s $300 million dollars, that money alone far outweighs the total of all the money that skeptics have ever gotten. Seriously. I can guarantee you that you can add up every penny that anyone has spent on the skeptical side of the aisle, it won’t add up to $300 million, and that’s just Al.

    Then we can move on to the billions of dollars moved from the taxpayers pockets to the pockets of scientists and supposedly “green” organizations and businesses supporting the AGW hypothesis.

    In short, your claim that the skeptics are willing because the skeptical side gets more funding is not only uncited and unsupported, it is untrue as well. It doesn’t even pass the laugh test.

    While I and Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts and Jo Nova and Donna LaFramboise and other skeptics get basically nothing from anyone except the odd speaker’s honorarium, there are literally hundreds of AGW supporters who will be out of a job as soon as the AGW hysteria subsides … who is affected by the money here?

    It must drive you guys nuts, that your side has all the money and all the power and all the media, and all we have is the truth, and despite that we’re still winning the battle for the hearts and minds as well as for the science. And as a result we get all kinds of scientific studies from AGW supporters wondering what is wrong with their scientific communication, and we get posts like yours wondering when folks will “ever get it” … bad news, Marcus. We’ll never “get it” because it’s not a communications problem.

    The problem is that the claims that have been made over and over of thermal catastrophe and sea level rise catastrophe and increases in extreme weather and all the rest simply haven’t come true. There has been no thermal catastrophe, in fact there has been no temperature rise in the last seventeen years. There has been no acceleration of sea level rise, it’s doing what it always did. And there is no increase in extreme weather events. In short, you are following failed prophets.

    My question is … will you ever get it? What will it take for you to notice, for example, that we were told that by 2010 there would be 50 million climate refugees and there are none? When will you see that instead of losing coral atolls to sea level rise, the atolls are simply moving upwards with the rising waters (as Darwin first noticed in the 1800s)?

    Sadly, there is no one harder to convince than someone whose job depends on staying unconvinced. So it will be a long fight, but I sleep easy knowing that in science, the truth always wins in the long run. (Note that I’m not saying that what I believe is true … I’m just saying that I sleep better knowing that eventually, science is self-correcting, whether or not I’m the one who gets corrected.)

    Best regards,



    With our position in the new compact determined by its internal parameters LFG necessarily receives the major part of its funding (92%) direct from the European Commission via the Department of Social and Environmental Affairs and its Office for Environmental and Social Council Support’s Special Fund for Behavioural Insight. Using the insight of common sense, however, we know that relying on income from too few sources can jeopardise impartial science. This is why your participation is vitally important too. Join in and make sure your voice is heard! Sign the pledge here.”

    yes i will participate, you even see the probem yourself, so this must be a spoof !!!
    PS. any chance you can give pay scales for your little NGO outfit ?
    i might be interested being the go to Sceptic if the pay is right 🙂

    • Thanks for participating dougieh, even though your contribution is somewhat, well, insulting (dare I even say bullying?) Spoof? No, we’re an NGO with a lot of awareness to raise and bullying to eradicate. End of. Like us or lump us, there’s a lot of support for what we do (in the corridors of the European polity).

  7. Where can I read about the existence of your claimed 97% agreement on your final proposition

    ‘therefore we need to change our profligate, over-consumptive lifestyles ‘?

    Which paper/vote/poll does your number come from?

      • Exact reference please. In which paper can I find it together with the exact text of the question that was asked. How many climate scientists were asked the question, what were the alternatives, and how many responded positively? Where/how was the survey undertaken?

        I’m tolerably familiar with all the debate around ‘the consensus’ and this question – or anything vaguely similar to it – has escaped my notice.

        Like many who are considered to be on the sceptical side of the debate, I have no problems with the first three propositions you advance. But the fourth proposition beginning ‘therefore………’ is not at all obvious to me, and I am surprised to hear that 97% of climate scientists support it. In my (admittedly limited) personal acquaintanceship of climate scientists, the figure is nowhere near as high.

  8. I am paid £13000(approx.) per annum by my employer(not a billionaire denier) to do regular warehouse type work.I know climate changes.I know CO2 warms atmospheres a certain amount.I know there is a saturation point at which atmospheric CO2 + other constituents of our atmosphere must stop warming due to there being no more radiation at the given wavelengths to absorb(refract?)I guess 97% of humans alive can understand these things and agree.But then a lunatic fringe add on(for political reasons) “it’s all the fault of humans and we are all going to die if we dont give up free trade/freedom in general and adopt big government/marxist crap”.Unlike you ,I do know what real logical deduction looks like and what you just did in that article aint it.I am not university educated,I am a standard model human who can understand deduction and logic and dont need someone with strong fascist tendencies to tell me what to read,what to say and what to think.Every word you write, you patronize or you threaten.I deduce it smells a little bit evil.Give it up.

    • While you may not personally be one of them, Nick, I think you’d be surprised by how many suckers of the Koch teat there are. A general rule should be if it smells like Koch teat milk enriched blather, it is Koch teat milk enriched blather.

    • Nick, the effect of greenhouse gasses does not stop at some point, I am afraid. It only does so in simplified models with little (typically one) atmospheric layer. Such models are sometimes used to explain the effect in a simple way.

      The effect does saturate. That is why people typically talk about the temperature increase for a doubling of the CO2 concentration. Each time you double, the effect is about the same. Unfortunately, the emissions are growing exponentially, which means that the doubling of the CO2 concentration happens faster and faster. This compensates.

  9. I firmly believe that anthropogenic climate change is real. But I also firmly believe that the attitude and the kind of “reasoning” presented in this article is bad. Sadly this is way too common in the “pro-climate-science-scene”. In my opinion this is actually hurting the cause of convincing people that the science of climate change is solid.

  10. Marcus Toynboyalé March 23, 2014 at 7:07 pm ·

    While you may not personally be one of them, Nick, I think you’d be surprised by how many suckers of the Koch teat there are. A general rule should be if it smells like Koch teat milk enriched blather, it is Koch teat milk enriched blather.

    We all might be surprised … so how about you let us in on the secret? Which climate skeptics are getting Koch $$? I can assure you it’s not me.


    PS—Why do you describe people taking Koch money as “suckers on the Koch teat”, while you don’t do the same for folks taking any part of Al Gore’s $300 million spent on influencing climate change? Are they sucking on a different part of Al’s anatomy?

    In any case, you do yourself no favors by using such OTT terminology, it weakens your argument greatly to use such sophomoric terms.

    PPS—Your method of verifying your suspicions (if it smells like X, it is X) is … well … let me call it “not very scientific” and let it go at that. I hope that you can see, however, that a man with such a point of view would consider himself surrounded by enemies, regardless of whether said enemies were present or not.

      • I think, given the public nature of this comments section, that we’d all like to have sight of the details you have e-mailed to Willis.

        You’ve made some general accusations of ‘people sucking on the Koch teat’. If you have evidence of such, you should publish it – if only so that anybody not implicated in your remarks can be seen to be clear of them.

        Making accusations without being prepared to show your evidence is not IMO honest debate and falls into the category of disinformation…which I’m sure we both deplore.

      • I can only agree with Latimer … particularly since you haven’t emailed me anything. You are making public accusations … why would you want to keep the details private?

        So just who are you accusing of getting Koch money, Marcus? Time to put up or shut up …


      • Willis, if you’ve any way of contacting Latimer (or vice versa) that would perhaps resolve things a little. Re the email, I must’ve used one that is now out of operation. I think it was attached to gravatar, not wordpress as previously mentioned.

      • Thanks for that, Marcus. I have no way to contact Latimer. But why are you not just posting up your evidence for all to see? Don’t email it, to me or anyone else, that’s soooo 20th century. Post it up so anyone who is interested can read it.. Cmon, Marcus, dish us the dirt! Let us all know which climate scientists are getting the feelthy Kochbucks, so we can either cheer, boo, or apply for some tainted money ourselves, depending on our personal inclinations.

        All the best,


  11. Hi Marcus
    Can you provide any reasons to avoid ME?
    Let alone Roger Pielke junior, etc?
    Barry Woods

      • Brad Keyes of Climate Nuremburg certainly seems to derive a lot pleasure from stirring things up, there’s no doubt. His campaign (and others’) against Professor Lewandowsky, though, is one of the more shameful episodes in the climate wars. Say what you like about Professor Lewandowsky, he’s got the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.

      • Marcus Toynboyalé March 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm ·

        Brad Keyes of Climate Nuremburg certainly seems to derive a lot pleasure from stirring things up, there’s no doubt. His campaign (and others’) against Professor Lewandowsky, though, is one of the more shameful episodes in the climate wars. Say what you like about Professor Lewandowsky, he’s got the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.

        Sadly, I fear that says more about the low state of the Royal Society’s due diligence than the greatness of Lewandowsky. The RS gives out 27 of these awards per year, after all.

        However, I learned early in life not to trust awards handed out by committees. Sometimes they had value, to be sure … but other times, they were motivated by politics, or by who knew who, or the judges were simply misinformed, and there’s no way to tell the good from the bad.

        The problem with Lewandowsky is not in his math, however. It may indeed be prize-worthy but that is immaterial. The problem is with his ethics. Here’s the latest among many travesties. Short version … you know how the UWA investigation into Lewandowsky found the following:

        We have considered the issues raised … and found them to be baseless. The research reported in the above paper was conducted in compliance with all applicable ethical guidelines.

        So since then, people like yourself are saying hey, Lewandowsky was investigated by the University, and the accusations were totally blameless, and they found that his research was perfectly ethical.

        So … care to guess who wrote that finding of the investigation, word by carefully selected word?

        Lewandowsky himself.

        Hilarious. He investigated himself and found that he acted perfectly ethically, so he wrote that into the conclusions of the ethics investigation … is a recursive oxymoron what happens when a moron acts recursively? Because I think that’s what he’s managed to create. What are the ethics of subverting an investigation into your ethics by acting unethically? The mind veritably boggles, indeed …

        A word to the wise, Marcus. Even staunch AGW supporters and activists have called Lewandowsky out and have dissed his studies and polls. His ethical lapses regarding the polls are well documented, and his antics are a running joke all over the blogosphere. He not only trashed his own reputation, but he besmirched the reputation of John Cook and SkS as well … me, I just grab popcorn and a beer when his name comes up, reading about his antics is great entertainment.

        In short, there are much better battles for you to fight, Marcus. This one your side already lost. Just sayin’ …


  12. I’m curious, how much money has your organization received from Soros, Gore, or any other “Green” NGO? Just askin’.

  13. Yes we receive funding that ultimately derives from the taxpayer… I’m not entirely sure where everyone’s going with this. Here’s a list of things previously funded by the taxpayer:

    The NHS
    Andrew Fentem, inventor of the multi-touch screen technology used in iphones etc. http://www.andrewfentem.com/
    uk based spaghetti bolognese
    The Wednesday Play

  14. Marcus, you say

    Yes we receive funding that ultimately derives from the taxpayer… I’m not entirely sure where everyone’s going with this.

    Really? You complain bitterly that one side is (allegedly) what you call “suckers on the Koch teat”, and then you can’t figure out why folks find it strange that you personally are a “sucker on the taxpayer’s teat”? That’s a big mystery to you, is it?

    Because from out here in the real world, it looks hypocritical as hell … why is being a “sucker on the Koch teat” somehow different from being a “sucker on the taxpayer’s teat”?

    You seem to think that the issue is who funds the research. In fact, who puts up the bucks is meaningless. Skeptics got roundly excoriated for taking climate money from Exxon, and I suppose given your point of view about Koch $ you’d agree with that attack … but on the other hand, I notice that Exxon is a major funder of the Stanford University climate program. Is that a bad thing? Or another example. Greenpeace and Al Gore put huge $ into the climate fight and that’s fine with you, but it’s wrong for Exxon and Koch to do the exact same thing???

    In any case, Marcus, look at the dollar values involved. As I said above, the $300 million Al Gore alone threw into the climate fight dwarfs anything the Koch brothers have funded in the way of climate science.

    To summarize:

    • Do the Koch brothers put their money where their beliefs lie and fund a variety of causes? Sure, as do Exxon, Greenpeace, Al Gore, and Bill Gates. So what?

    • Do the Koch brothers outspend Al Gore in the climate arena? I say no … but I could change my mind if the facts change, and I ‘m still waiting for your super-secret list of skeptical climate scientists funded by the Koch brothers.

    Thanks for all,


  15. Had me fooled for a while…. but those photos and the Orgism banner on the home, got to be a spoof. But it’s a good one, almost had me ya buggers. Can’t tell if the commenters are in on it too. 🙂

  16. I would love to know what has happened to my “deniergeld” for the last 15 years. Like virtually every other sceptic I have ever had contact with my problem is with the “man made thermageddon” part of the alarmist dogma. Where is the evidence for that? Furthermore where is the evidence that building windmills and solar panels will stop the planet’s climate from changing?

    Alarmists like Marcus here seem to think that by being abusive and excluding sceptics from polite society will change the dynamics of the argument and result in us all just going along with this strange belief system resulting in us all stopping burning stuff and buying less. That is not going to work because this whole thing is so nuanced that it needs people like Lew and Cook and Dana to run these bizarre little attempts at societal management because if the science was good it would be obvious and irrefutable. When people point at Sandy or Somerset and say “see we are changing the climate” they are obviously and knowingly lying because there is nothing supernatural going on, so you wonder what their motivation is. It certainly isn’t about the weather that’s for sure.

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  18. Wonderful post. It’s hilarious to read all the deniers up in arms with their usual false memes.

    As to the idea that all deniers are bought – it is not completely true. Some just have an ideological block like religious nuts have to evolution. However, the point that anti-science types, regardless of their purpose, are damaging to the discussion is spot on.

    Keep it up!

  19. “Do the Koch brothers put their money where their beliefs lie and fund a variety of causes? Sure, as do Exxon, Greenpeace, Al Gore, and Bill Gates. So what?”

    Greenpeace, Al Gore and Bill Gates are not deliberately lying. They are not pursuing a propaganda campaign that contradicts the best available evidence and a near absolute international scientific consensus. Nothing they say is going to wind up destroying ecosystems, eradicating species, and likely killing millions if not billions of people.

    That’s so what.

  20. Willis, I was dismayed you see you call Professor Stephan Lewandowsky a transvestite.

    I’m sure we can all agree that that’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a transvestite, some of my closest friends are not averse to an exploratory rummage through their ladies’ drawers – but all the same, Stephan hails from the land of the amber nectar and could be caused unnecessary embarrassment when he next pops out for a longneck.

    Shame on you.

  21. Marcus – may I call you Marcus? – just a quick thanks for your logical deduction of the confusion merchants’ motivations. That same logic you use is markedly absent from the ‘sceptical’ side of the debate. In fact, that sort of logic can only really be found within the consensus camp, and I’m grateful to see it reproduced here so effortlessly.

  22. Willis

    I owe you an apology – I made a terrible mistake.

    I just found my reading glasses and realised that what you really said was – “Here’s the latest among many travesties..”. not… “He’s the latest among many transvestites”.

    Shame on me now.

    I do hope you and Stephan can both find it in your hearts to forgive my error.

    I just hope he doesn’t get his revenge by writing another paper about me being mad.

    • Does this paper actually exist Foxgoose? About *you* being mad? Maybe about certain groups being mad, yes, that would pass an ethics committee approval procedure, but not one specifically about you.

      • Sadly, Marcus, it does.

        Professor “Crocodile” Lewandowsky is a man of action as well as principal – and understands that the threats faced by mankind are so overwhelming that pussy-ing around with generalised theories are never going to stop the heat.

        While you have undoubtedly done your bit by listing the most dangerous denialist miscreants – Lew has taken the next step and embarked upon a carefully designed, peer-reviewed and fully ethically approved programme of naming the worst offenders and publicly diagnosing their individual psychoses.

        It has been a bit painful for those of us caught up in his first trawl – but you have to admire the guy for sticking to his guns.

        Obviously, as an eminent tenured academic, he won’t be able to involve himself in the treatment phase – but he hopes that there will be others in authority who can design an appropriate therapeutic regime.

        Perhaps the IPCC could set up a new working group to help out.

      • EDIT: Actually, this is where we must part ways with Professor Lewandowsky. Treatment of the sort you mention is a blunt instrument in this case. We would seek to lower the stigma associated with confused thinking, and point out we’ve all been confused at one time in our lives, and on average, one in four people suffer very serious confusion and anxiety at least once in their lives. Actually it’s more than one in four, but we’ll leave that debate for another time.

    • I would add, of course, that whilst certain diseases of thought, if I can put it like that – which is a very crude way to put it I know, but it’s late – are troubling in the sense that they can subvert wider efforts to improve our collective lot (i.e. climate scepticism can derail positive action) we should of course be sensitive to the issue of stigma that surrounds mental ill health. It’s a tricky balance at the end of the day. But one we must constantly, constantly pay the most delicate lip service to.

    • Yes, and Marc Morano. And Ian Plimer, Roy Spencer, Vaclav Klaus, the Patricks Moore and… Moore, David Bellamy, Peter Lilley, Brendan O’Neill, Frank Furedi, Rob Lyons, (i.e. that ex-RCP crowd), Martin Durkin, Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer… I believe Christopher Hitchens never had much time for environmentalism in general, Adam Curtis has made some rather attacking documentaries, Topher Field, Freeman Dyson, Michael Crichton, please add to the list if you can think of anymore. You’re 3% but an irritatingly large 3%, so I hope this here is commemoration enough.

  23. I don’t get the commentators who say this must be a spoof, when a list of denialist sources to avoid is actually a really sensible one.

    I’ve made a note of them and I am circulating the list to people I know who are still undecided about the climate danger, saying that these are sites they really must steer clear of.

    Thanks, Marcus, for leading the way on this.

  24. Pingback: Another Week of Global Warming News, March 30, 2014 – A Few Things Ill Considered·

  25. Pingback: The new environmental threat – Frapping | The IPCC Report·

  26. Pingback: Satire, spoofs and Poe’s law | The IPCC Report·

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