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Climate Hustle

Climate Change Denial book now available!

Posted on 29 April 2011 by John Cook

Climate Change Denial by Haydn Washington and John Cook The book Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand, by Haydn Washington and John Cook and published by UK publisher Earthscan, is now available for sale. You can order from Earthscan, Amazon or NewSouth Books (for Australians).

The book examines the phenomenon of climate change denial. It looks at the many techniques of literal denial, where 'skeptics' deny the evidence for man-made global warming. It exposes denial within governments, who make a lot of noise about climate change but fail to back it up with action. And it examines the denial within most of us, when we let denial prosper. This book explains the climate science and the social science behind denial.

Climate change can be solved – but only when we cease to deny that it exists. This book shows how we can break through denial, accept reality, and thus solve the climate crisis. It will engage scientists, university students, climate change activists as well as the general public seeking to roll back denial and act.

To order 'Climate Change Denial' with a discount:

Australia - AUD$34.95 Rest of the World - £14.99, USD$24.95
Amazon
Follow this special link to obtain a 20% discount at NewSouth Books

To order by phone, fax or mail, download this PDF
Go to the Earthscan website and enter the discount code AF20 in the voucher box to obtain a 20% discount. Order Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand from Amazon (currently still on pre-order status)

Praise for Climate Change Denial

"This book is a must have for anyone trying to understand the climate change issue. Washington and Cook use impressive skill to peel back the lies and deceit associated with a well-oiled machine, used for selling tobacco and now selling manufactured doubt about climate change."
Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Director of Global Change Institute, University of Queensland

"Ignorance of science is one blockade to effective action on the human predicament. But corporate-financed disinformation campaigns, such as those claiming that climate disruption is a hoax, are equally important. This excellent book will help solve both those problems."
Paul R. Ehrlich, co-author of Humanity on a Tightrope

"Climate Change Denial reveals the crossroads we face as a society: do we let denial and confusion continue to derail solutions, leaving us vulnerable to runaway climate change, or do we accept reality and forge a truly sustainable path for future generations?"
James Hoggan, author of Climate Cover-Up and president of DeSmogBlog

"This is a major contribution to the growing body of well-reasoned analyses of climate change denial. It’s a must read for anyone interested in understanding the tactics used by the “denial industry” to attack scientific evidence of anthropogenic climate change."
Riley E. Dunlap, Regents Professor of Sociology, Oklahoma State University

"Climate change denial is the biggest single obstacle to achieving a sustainable future. This book provides all the evidence and arguments you need to counter the campaign of misinformation. Read it, study it and spread its message widely."
Ian Lowe, Emeritus Professor, School of Science, Griffith University and President of the Australian Conservation Foundation

"Washington and Cook shine a bright light on the charlatans, organizations, and funders behind the climate change denial industry. This clear and compelling book will make it easier for the general public to see through their tricks, and more likely that the world will move faster to take action on the most urgent environmental problem we have ever faced."
Peter Gleick, hydroclimatologist, Member US National Academy of Sciences, MacArthur Fellow, President, Pacific Institute

"Washington and Cook offer the best available guide to recognizing and combating climate change denial. Their book is compact, lucidly written, and based on recent research in climate science, psychology and sociology. Anyone concerned with reality-based policy in any area can profit from reading this excellent work."
Spencer Weart, author of The Discovery of Global Warming

"In engaging, easy-to-understand language, Climate Change Denial tells us all we need to know about global warming denial, explaining why, even though the scientific evidence is irrefutable, denial continues to prosper. We learn the arguments and techniques the deniers use and how easily they are refuted. Most important, the book shows us that if we and our elected leaders pull our heads out of the sand, there is still time to find a path to a sustainable, livable future."
James Lawrence Powell, author of 2084 and the forthcoming Inquisition of Climate Science

Book Reviews

"The book is compact and well referenced. It carries an eloquent foreword from Naomi Oreskes. It is lucid and compelling in its discussions. It adds a weighty voice to the summons to face the physical and ethical reality of climate change, to have done with denial and to set about the still achievable task of repair."
Hot Topic

"‘Climate Change Denial’ is a useful book and resource for those with an open mind – for instance journalists. It reads easy and provides a fairly concise picture of the situation many of climate scientists have to live with."
Real Climate

"The book has the virtue of thoughtful accessibility, and is an excellent primer for anyone getting interested in this area and looking for a good overview."
Carbon Brief

"Climate Change Denial is a wise and timely book. It is well researched and painstakingly footnoted. It deserves an audience but then, you had already decided from the title whether or not you agreed with the book, right?"
Ecologist

"The book is a riveting read. Washington and Cook take no prisoners. Every trick, lie and deceitful attempt by vested interests to delay action on global warming is exposed, along with the tactics of their well-oiled propaganda machine, including the same unscrupulous scientists, handed down from Big Tobacco to Big Carbon. Drilling down to the heart of the epic scale of betrayal of our planet and its people, Cook and Washington explain the denial within governments, within ourselves and the social science behind denial. Climate change can be solved they say but only when we cease denying its existence."
Independent Australia

"It is perfect for anyone who is sick of having arguments about climate change with deniers. Not only does it provide vast amounts of information about the real threat of climate change but it also, with good humour and rigorous logic, exposes the inaccuracy of those who would deny climate change."
Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald

"This is a crucial book to read before runaway climate change is truly beyond our control. One can only hope that this book will be read by climate deniers so we can start the challenging journey to an ecologically sustainable future."
Janine Kitson, Education (NSW Teachers Federation)

"Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand is well worth a read. It lacks the gripping narrative of Gwynne Dyer or Gabrielle Walker, both of whom have the ability to make scientific information feel like a mystery novel rather than a textbook, but it is enjoyable nonetheless. It adds worthy social science topics, such as implicit denial and postmodernism, to the discussion, paired with a taste of what Skeptical Science does best."
Climate Sight

"The book excels in peeling back the stinky layers of the onion that is climate change denial... This book, like Cook's website, is enormously good at dissecting the arguments deniers use -- which are ultimately quite flimsy.  These arguments strike a chord for the reasons discussed above, but it's important to keep showing how empty and false they are, to dissipate the delusion of denial and bathe all who will listen in the sunshine of reality."
Daily Kos

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Comments 51 to 88 out of 88:

  1. tallbloke

    Forget jurisprudence. Stick to the evidence. Come up with a theory that fits the evidence even better than AGW, and then you have something worth a debate. Until then, it's just empty rethoric to justify inaction.
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  2. Alexandre@51, feel free to visit my blog, where there is free ranging discussion of several theories.
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    Response:

    [DB] You do mean alternative hypothesis', don't you?

  3. Any of them published?
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  4. NikfromNYC @42, it is rather hard to disagree with the claim that you can agree or disagree with statements from the book. After all, you can agree or disagree that two plus two equals four. The ability of people to agree or disagree has no bearing on the truth of the subject. What matters is are the statements true, and what is the evidence for that.

    a) “A sustainabl­e society will require fairness (equity) and justice locally and globally.”

    Here, the need for equity and justice follow straightforwardly from an ethical principle that is widely adhered to (or at least given lip service), that you should love your neighbour as yourself, or in its popular form, "Do unto others as you would have them do to you"; or as Kant puts it, "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.", or more popularly, "Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means to an end."

    More specifically, based on economic theory, if principles of justice to not apply, people can externalize the costs of their actions; and the richer and more powerful they are, the easier it is to do so. Given that people do externalize costs, they then receive the benefits without direct costs. From that, simple economic motivation encourages them to maximize their good, and ignore the costs which are not directly impacting on them. That, therefore, also forces costs towards a maximum. And that, is of course, not sustainable.

    b) “Preventin­g the collapse of human civilizati­on requires nothing less than a wholesale transforma­tion of dominant consumer culture.”

    Not sure I agree with this one. What is true, however, that to be sure of preventing the collapse of our civilization we need to reduce global CO2 emissions below 20% of current values by 2050, and it is very uncertain we can do so without radical changes to consumer culture.

    c) “Just because there a professor of something denying climate change does not mean it is not true, it is just that the professor is in denial. This is why one must make use of the prepondera­nce of evidence in science, the collective view.”

    As a general principle, the claim that "... it is just that the professor is in denial" is not true. But this statement is made within a book showing that, in fact, opposition to the IPCC consensus is almost exclusively based on denial. Therefore, in context it is an appropriate statement.

    tallbloke @49, the statement is not a statement about scientific method, it is advice for how to form opinions about science for those who do not wish to actually explore the science enough to truly understand it. Ideally the advise to such people would be:

    "Science only works by evidence and understanding, so if you do not wish to learn enough of the science to be able to understand the testing of it, you should have no opinion about it."

    Unfortunately, in the real world scientific knowledge impacts significantly on the appropriateness of policy choices in society. Therefore policy makers, which includes not only the members of parliament who must vote on the policy, but the electorate who decides who will be members of parliament, must form opinions about scientific matters. As it is unreasonable to expect all members of parliament, let alone all electors, to gain PhD level proficiency in every field which impacts on policy, the best we can advice them to do is to follow the advise of the consensus of those that have the relevant expertise, if such a consensus exists. In climate science, a relevant consensus does exist.
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  5. tallbloke @36, Judith Curry and Steve McIntyre's blog output are widely read by the denier community, and known by them to be widely read. Given that, it is ridiculous to defend them as being focussed on particular issues. And while they may occasionally mention their disagreement with more extreme deniers, McIntyre at least scrutinises the IPCC down to the level of detail of features of a graph that are not noticeable without magnification. Curry, in the meantime, swallows uncritically almost any slander of her colleagues while turning a blind eye to rebuttals.

    In fact, and contrary to Curry, McIntyre's criticisms have been taken apart and shown to be without basis by Deep Climate. So far as I know, there has been no retraction by either McIntyre or Curry. As other posters above have shown, this is not an isolated example. Their multiple slanders against Eric Steig last year provides another example. These examples coupled with their uncritical response to various denier howlers puts paid to any claim they have to be disinterested auditors of the science. Unless you can show me their retractions of their accusations against Briffa, Mann and Jones (and Steig) I can see no reason to revise my opinion.
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  6. Does anyone else find it odd that Haydn and Cook got the science right in their book, when an alleged eminent climate scientist (Dr. Spencer) mangled the science in his recent book as outlined by Drs. Bickmore and Smith? Spencer, Christy and Lindzen have all clearly abandoned undertaking serious and unbiased science a long time ago, and have forsaken their credibility in the process. Sad then that there are those who are only too happy to aide and abet them in their misguided quest.

    And once again, please DNFTT (TB), you are only giving them an opportunity to further their nonsense. It is pointless trying to reason and argue with Dunning-Krugers and ideologues...pointless.

    Haydn and Cook have looked into the fascinating psychological underpinnings of the denialism and "skepticism" movement. The psychological aspect of those in denial or "skeptical" of AGW has been ignored for too long IMO.

    What is also interesting (and at times amusing) is that those afflicted with these traits, are so oblivious to their plight (some might say deluded) that they feel compelled to come here and defend their ideology, without realizing that with pretty each and every post they only succeed in illustrating the exact problems identified by Haydn and Crook.

    The best thing they can do is to actually be quiet, because they are only further undermining their credibility with each post.
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  7. There are some pretty serious issues raised in the foregoing comments from Tom Curtis and Albartross, amongst others. I'll put up a new post on my blog to address these, since there is an expressed wish that I "be quiet" here.

    My parting observation is that respectful dialogue increases understanding of conflicting viewpoints, and reduces misunderstanding of motive, so I hope some of you will join in over at the talkshop when the post goes up in a few days time.
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  8. 57 - tallbloke "there is an expressed wish that I "be quiet" here."

    Did someone email you that? I can't see anything in responses to your posts to suggest it.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] I requested we steered away from yet another discussion of falsificationism (which would be off-topic for this thread); however that is very far away from expressing a wish that anyone be quiet here.
  9. 58 mods - As I thought. Not that I'll be wasting my time on talkshop (or what ever); but I suppose that that sentence sets him up for "SkS... they just censor people who don't agree with them" type triumphalism.
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  10. On second thoughts I'll leave you and John Cook to your psychologising. It's hard work trying to dialogue with people who reassure themselves of the superiority of their beliefs by making up stories about the mental states of others, and there is some exciting new physics to consider.
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  11. tallbloke, instead of seeing conspiracies where there are none (e.g. your bringing in of DeepClimate to suggest that, somehow, Curry's clearly visible and audible actions and words have been misinterpreted), and trying to make yourself some sort of unbiased, neutral observer willing to discuss what you believe are the 'beliefs' of others (i.e. the majority who accept the science), why don't you yet again (or properly) read what Gavin Schmidt had to say about the previous attempt at pseudo-reconciliation :


    None of the seemingly important ‘conflicts’ that are *perceived* in the science are ‘conflicts’ in any real sense within the scientific community, rather they are proxy arguments for political positions. No ‘conflict resolution’ is possible between the science community who are focussed on increasing understanding, and people who are picking through the scientific evidence for cherries they can pick to support a pre-defined policy position.
    You would be much better off trying to find common ground on policy ideas via co-benefits (on air pollution, energy security, public health water resources etc), than trying to get involved in irrelevant scientific ‘controversies’.


    How many times does that have to be repeated before you accept it, rather than proclaim you would rather consider "new physics" - whatever world that exists in !
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  12. JMurphy@62,
    "How many times does that have to be repeated before you accept it,"

    I understand the tactic, but nonetheless, repetition doesn't make things true, or necessarily acceptable.

    Gavin made an assumption that I have been "picking through the scientific evidence for cherries they can pick to support a pre-defined policy position".

    As I pointed out to him in personal email, I am myself leading a life of low consumption - solar hot water panel, electric bicycle for local errands, re-engineered 80mpg motorcycle to commute to my job (supporting people who train teachers how to teach science), woodburner for domestic heating and cooking, grow my own vegetables, rainwater collection system for irrigation and domestic supply, working on permaculture principles to recycle materials and integrate with natural environment, and so on.

    My objection (and that of a lot of other people) to the IPCC climate scientist's position on the matters put up for discussion by the European Centre for Research is that a lot of valid scientific evidence has been either ignored, downplayed, or dismissed on inadequate or incorrect grounds by the IPCC's scientists and policy makers.

    These are scientific issues, not ones of "pre-defined policy positions".

    Gavin is, like yourselves, guilty of presuming to know what the motivations are in the minds of others, and refusing to engage on the strength of those unfounded assumptions. It looks like a cop-out to me, and to the majority of the public.

    I want to see the scientific method adhered to, and proper standards and procedures put in place and adhered to for data gathering and the validation and assessment of the outputs of scientific work done by climate scientists.
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  13. #62 You're still not putting up the 'important science that has been downplayed'. Remember that this important science has to have not already been refuted by rational argument in the peer-reviewed litereature.

    There is plenty to challenge climate scientists and plenty of room for scientific argument, but it does not matter from a policy perspective whether warming will be 2C / CO2 doubling, or 4.5C / CO2 doubling, or if sea level will be 1m higher by 2100, or 4m higher by 2100. It matters from the perspective of determining how much action we take and how quickly, but the answer does not change the fact that we must take action as soon as possible.

    Uncertainties about climate change do not, from a scientific perspective, include a range of climate change where there will not be serious consequences for modern human society from coastal swamping, extreme weather and poor food security.
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  14. #62
    "These are scientific issues, not ones of "pre-defined policy positions".

    "I want to see the scientific method adhered to, and proper standards and procedures put in place and adhered to for data gathering and the validation and assessment of the outputs of scientific work done by climate scientists."

    See now, this is what makes me wonder. The practice of climatology and related disciplines has, as far as anyone can tell, been normal, high standard, above board, best practice adhering, science; working it's way thorough available data and models, with their limitations and insights; and proposing new studies. No evidence to the contrary, no evidence of systemic bad practice or distortion. There are, clearly, high quality standards and procedures in place. There really is no good reason why anyone outside the disciplines would want to go round re-analysing every little detail except for for political reasons. That really isn't believable.

    Fact is there is a conflict for reasons outside the science. That is why somewhere like SkS reviews the science for public consumption. That is why talshop tries to show "it's the sun" - even though that website isn't part of a solar-research unit or such like.
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  15. Tallbloke: "a lot of valid scientific evidence has been either ignored, downplayed, or dismissed on inadequate or incorrect grounds by the IPCC's scientists and policy makers."

    For example? (on the appropriate thread - and I must say, you haven't done well so far here or at SoD. You suggested SoD work on Miskolczi. SoD did.)

    Given the sheer amount of idiocy spewed forth in claims that "it's not happening," "it's not us," or "it's not bad," and given the fact that very powerful/wealthy individuals have given out a great deal of money to "inspire" people to argue those three ideas, you--being the true skeptic you claim to be--should be appalled not at the possibility, no matter how small, that the scientific community has "overlooked" or "dismissed" too quickly a few articles or that Gavin or writers at SkS have examined the motivations of others; you should be appalled at the unscientific garbage being cheerfully posted at sites like WUWT (and the intensely uncritical cheerleader reactions in the comments streams) and repeated by lawmakers. If you're concerned enough about the public "debate," why not help clean up the unscientific madness first--as SkS is trying to do--in order to get the public to where actual scientific debate is occurring (clouds, methane, extreme weather)?

    Where. has. the. scientific. method. not. been. adhered. to?
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  16. Skywatcher@63
    "Uncertainties about climate change do not, from a scientific perspective, include a range of climate change where there will not be serious consequences for modern human society from coastal swamping, extreme weather and poor food security."

    The range of uncertainty on measurement of the top of atmosphere energy balance is around three times the size of the claimed theoretical signal from co2 plus alleged positive feedbacks. Kevin Trenberth knows this, which is why he worries about the location of the theoretical 'missing heat'.

    Sensitivity may therefore be well below the range you state.
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  17. Everyone,

    @57"since there is an expressed wish that I "be quiet" here. "

    Conspiracy, conspiracy!! (/sarc).

    I warned you guys. Person in question will twist, distort and misrepresent your position and the thread could go on for days (think Poptech). And as noted by Les, any moderation will be framed as censorship or something along those lines. So you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. Beware, they may also be here to incite people so that they can quote mine...."those mean and intolerant SkS people, and they call themselves a 'science' site". Yes silly, but believe it or not folks do this sort of thing, so we can't ignore it.

    Are we debating denial still or Haydn and Cook's book, or are we entertaining the musings of a D-K?

    I would urge strict moderation to keep this thread on topic. People who disagree with what Haydn and Cook have written need to write clear and concise arguments, and state their position clearly.

    Feel free to snip potentially offensive and/or off-topic bits.
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  18. tallbloke @66, I need not remind you that the mean climate state is not the only means used to estimate climate sensitivity. Granted that range of uncertainty of measured TOA energy balance is large, and that means climate sensitivity estimates based on the recent climate state may be significantly smaller than previously thought (or larger, as uncertainty cuts both ways). But that does not effect other methods of estimating climate sensitivity, and they continue to show climate sensitivities in the IPCC range.

    So, taking all evidence into account, it is highly unlikely that climate sensitivity will below 2 degrees per doubling of CO2 as you claim. If you have five or six radar stations tracking the position of an aircraft and one other that cannot track it, the correct conclusion is not that you are almost completely in the dark about its location, but that your error on the location may have slightly increased. Your response, however, seems to be the equivalent to turning of the monitors on the six tracking radars, then calling out the search parties.
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  19. 67 - albatros.

    I think you over rate him. Note how 64 & 65 are so clearly on the money that all he can do is the switcheroo. Sure, best to change the subject before someone asks the discussion on his bog reflects science being done to the highest standards.
    Sorry - that's trolling 101. Credit where credit is due, the "psychologicalising" gambit could have gone somewhere... in more capable hands. But this is just more bargain-basement troll stuff.
    I said it before, SkS is in an awful state as judged by the poor quality of the trolls it's attracting.

    Feel free to delete this.
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  20. DSL@65
    "You suggested SoD work on Miskolczi. SoD did"

    Yes I know. I have been in contact with Miklos Zagoni by email to pass on to Ferenc an interesting correlation I found between specific humidity at the tropopause and solar activity. Along with my work on the solar activity level - ocean heat content coupling, it explains why the Sun has been able to simultaneously cause the cooling of the stratosphere and warming of the ocean in the late C20th. No tropospheric hotspot required. This forms part of my own tentative hypothesis accounting for some as yet unquantified proportion of climate variability.

    Your comment below that link seems to be a kind of 'all or nothing' argument. My view is that many different factors are involved in climate variability, and that the proportions of the individual contributions are not as well constrained as the IPCC reports say they are. My aim is to make a contribution by helping to better determine the solar contribution, and discover the underlying cause of solar variability, in order that testable predictions can be made.

    Working on that doesn't leave me with enough spare time to worry too much about the ephemeral arguments from people on either side of the debate. Moreover I don't feel the need to get involved in their arguments because I am already doing all I can to lead a low impact lifestyle. It is my belief that actions speak louder than words in encouraging people to follow good examples and practices.
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  21. #66 As you know, there are many ways of measuring sensitivity, not just the one you cherry-picked (e.g. Knutti and Hegerl). It's rather hard to have ice ages with low sensitivity. Tom analogises your approach nicely.

    Actually, I think this thread illustrates very well some points in Haydn and John's book, including deniers using cherry picking, claims of science suppression, use of unsupported science, and diversion when inconvenient truths are pointed out. No denier is willing to evaluate the full gamut of evidence, including all the many different lines supporting each part of the science, and then come up with an hypothesis that both explains all that existing evidence and gives us a reason not to change our carbon-emitting ways. Such an hypothesis does not yet exist, and given the level of testing that climate science has survived over the past century and a half, is extremely unlikely to materialise. So what is left is that we must do something about our carbon-emitting ways.
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  22. skywatcher@71
    "It's rather hard to have ice ages with low sensitivity."

    In Defense of Milankovitch
    Gerard Roe
    GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 33, L24703, doi:10.1029/2006GL027817, 200
    Received 9 August 2006; accepted 3 November 2006; published 21 December 2006

    http://courses.washington.edu/pcc589/2009/readings/Roe.pdf
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  23. 58 - les

    As, in fact, I am a real scientist with a fondness for best practice; I felt compelled to follow up on my prediction. 100% on the money. Twice if you slow post 69 - although it follows automatically by recursion.
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  24. tallbloke@70
    Would you care to share you work with? I am sure all here would be interested in reading it.
    Perhaps it is on your blog. I took a quick look and lost interest when the first article was a complaint about censorship on this blog. SkS is the most evenhanded blog I have ever seen. You are allowed to have your say as long as you remain civil and on topic. Pretty simple for those actually interested in civil discourse.
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  25. Roe falls spectacularly foul of the 'CO2 follows temperature' trap - the fact CO2 lags ice volume is his entire argument for saying CO2 is less important, yet that's hardly new science...
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  26. The discussion with tallbloke should be taken to the censorship free zone on his blog. I can tell by his reply to me :
    "Yes, they must be mighty tired of nature refusing to co-operate with their co2 hypothesis."

    that it will be a most fruitful discussion.
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  27. 64 - les

    Well, I'm always interested in what the great unwashed think "scientific method adhered to, and proper standards and procedures" might mean. Now we know.

    tall(snip) has:
    - posted something here which voilated the Comments Policy and got snipped.
    - as predicted, started his own blog post complaining that SkS does censorship and discourages open discussions.
    - Posts up a link to a paper in this blog post - so as to make it seem that this paper is an example of the kind of thing SkS suppresses (in fact the paper is presented in this post)
    - then, when the discussion gets to tough, (Snip) says "pbjamm: I won’t be responding to or tolerating inflammatory bullshit so take it home with you when you leave. Don’t let the door bang your arse on the way out now." - but, no, no censorship there.

    Yes folks, as the contributor in 70 says "... actions speak louder than words in encouraging people to follow good examples and practices."

    what a phony.
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    Response:

    [DB] Fixed link; inflammatory terms snipped.

  28. RE: my earlier reference to Public Radio International's "Living on Earth" March 25 2011 interview with Amory Lovins, which I said illustrated my point that Lovins operates in a similar manner to Lord Monckton.

    The interview is still there, i.e. http://173.236.147.250/shows/segments.html?programID=11-P13-00012&segmentID=2 but it seems that "Living on Earth" has now removed all comments from their shows and no longer allows them.

    My point expands a bit, from why do opponents of nuclear power have to lie if the case against nuclear is so strong and clear, to include, why do shows caught airing the lies have to censor people who comment who point out that the lies exist?

    Its something for an author who studies how and why climate science deniers operate who argues against nuclear power the way you do, to think about, I think.
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  29. @jrandomwinner I share your concerns reg the treatment of the nuclear option by some of those who are concerned about climate change.

    I too believe that nuclear technologies have been unfairly maligned. But from what happened at Fukushima (we now know we are dealing with 3 complete core melts) it would seem that running a nuclear power plant is similar to driving a train that needs a year or more to stop once the emergency brake is pulled, so that the tracks ahead (read core cooling) better be guaranteed to be clear. Even a year after shut down the fuel rods produce in case of Fukushima about 5MW of heat output from decay of fission products for each of the cores. Fukushima shows that guaranteeing the future is a risky business at best.

    I believe that it is time that we look at the fundamental issue of having to transform from an unsustainable society to a sustainable way of life. Conventional nuclear power does not make a substantial advance into this direction.

    Decentralized solar power, even if current cost are higher than the nominal cost of nuclear, are the better strategy long term. Plus the current quoted cost of nuclear power stations remains partially ignorant about the true cost of long term safe guarding and waste disposal problems.

    Decentralized solar power and especially personal roof top generation has the substantial benefit of reconnecting the consumer to the process of generation of electricity in a meaningful way. This will cause substantial energy savings overall as it will stimulate the intelligent use of a limited resource. Far-away big industry generation fosters entitlement thinking and wasteful use of energy.
    In the end it does not matter what a KWh of energy costs, it matters if we can afford the cost of the lifestyle we are living - including cost to society and future generations.
    Having to have to make due with 5KW of solar on your roof may inspire positive lifestyle changes resulting in a quality of life that is perhaps better and cheaper than a 20KW grid power supply under current costs and wasteful use patterns.
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  30. ok gents, I finally managed to get a copy, not from EarthScan who are going through some kind of commercial upheaval apparently but ... eventually I just went to Abe's on-line, no cheaper but immediate delivery

    but I am sorry to tell you that I don't have much positive to say about it, I speak as someone who has been thinking about this issue for decades and more, and not a denier in any degree

    you write like high-school seniors used to write, there is a word for it - sophomoric - and the evidence is in your paragraph structure which wanders all over the map, and your overall structure of which there is apparently none, and your tone which would be called 'precious', and your copious footnotes which are unfortunately footnoting things which hardly call for footnotes at all

    you say nothing in this book that was not better said in Clive Hamilton's recent 'Requiem for a Species', and you don't say it as well as he did

    I'm sorry, and sorry on more than one front too, can you really imagine someone who is not tuned into the issue reading your book? and if someone did read it who was not already convinced would it convince them? ask yourselves.

    people who use phrases like 'ad hominem' can often find some excuse to put what they don't want to hear into that category - and if that is what you do with this, no worries,

    be well, David Wilson.
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  31. This use to be available as a pdf download right? where is that gone?
    I have been waiting for this on kindle but it is taking ages.
    Why is it so many environmental books dont come out on ebook for right away?
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  32. " Climate change can be solved they say but only when we cease denying its existence."

    Of course its more than its existence, but also its immensity and dangers and also recognizing the resource, effort and uncomfortable changes to our way of life.

    Tackling climate change is a life style and mind set change.
    Its also a moral issue.
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  33. 72 - tallbloke

    Computers Seized in Cyber-Thief Investigation

    Thieves who broke into Unviersity of East Anglia computers in 2009...

    On Wednesday, detectives from Norfolk Constabulary entered the home of Roger Tattersall, who writes a climate sceptic blog under the pseudonym TallBloke, and took away two laptops and a broadband router


    is that you?
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  34. I believe it is, Les. And judging from the bizarrely overblown response from the denialati stormtroopers, I'd say the association of Tattersall with the theft hurt someone.
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  35. I don't think it hurts them. Having lost the plot on the science front, they have nothing left but noteriety. Fame is like that. Addictive and done people will do anything to hold onto it.
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  36. Have you checked the latest book from Michael Mann? It is in already in kindle form BEFORE it is printed on paper.
    At least this author is consistent on saving paper and energy. Fascinating story! The book EAARTH also appeared first on Kindle.

    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/02/12/422774/michael-mann-author-book-hockey-stick-climate-wars/
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  37. David Lewis (@25) made many excellent points, particularly about Kahan's finding that people who accept climate science tend to reject the equally authoritative scientific consensus among the relevant scientists about nuclear waste.

    We who believe ACC is real and needs to be dealt with must redouble our self-criticism to remain impeccably objective. If we err, let it be on the side of over-caution about ACC claims. To do otherwise does grave damage to our credibility.
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  38. @87
    I agree with the general notion that integrity is very important. SkS is a highly reputable site because it has integrity. Not all SkS contributors will agree with everything John Cook and his co-author wrote in the book, and thus SkS should be equated with John Cook and this book.
    If similar standards were put on deniers than are put unto scientists and places, such as SkS, that support the spread of scientific knowledge, we would be much better off. As it seems, not even low standards, such as your mentioned self-criticism, exist in the denialist-camp.
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