Silly Cnut

2016, as any fule kno, marks the thousandth anniversary of the accession of King Cnut to the throne of England (and later, of Denmark and Norway).

In folk memory he was a silly Cnut, ordering the waves back and getting his feet wet. But wiser heads and Wiki users know that he only did it to show up the foolishness of flattering courtiers who assured him that as king he could do anything.

A thousand years later, the strange idea that our rulers can control sea level rise has again taken hold.

The Climate Scepticism Collective plans to hold a national event to commemorate Cnut’s bold defiance of the Baronial consensus in 2016 – something like the Paris Climate Conference, but without the private jets. There will be an award of a prize for Silly Cnut of the Year, open to all comers, including future monarchs. Suggestions for criteria for the award, rules of the competition and a suitable prize are welcome. Also suggestions for a possible venue (preferably somewhere with a drinks license, on the London Tube line).

False bottom.


  1. RJAHoward
    Yes. From this week I’ll be translating their weekly newsletter. I’ll put a post up about it when the first bilingual edition comes out.


  2. Congratulations, and further encouragements for doing this.
    Please make sure you have a page for critical well-wishers from the viewing public to offer genuine comments and/or technical advice. You cannot expect your site to be perfect from the start, but a respect for your readers will help in rapid improvements.

    I like to think I am one of the well-wishers (in the genuine comments sense), but I admit that in my comments I may sometimes come across as a genuine Cnut/Prck.

    oh.. and a facility for posters to trial-post to check spelling/grammar/appearabce would be fantastic.
    I would hate to have to write appearabce on your blog more often than this. Really.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. An ancient English monarch is not the first thing that comes to mind when I see “Silly Cnut”. But perhaps it is just as appropriate for those who proclaim that man dominates the climate and we are all going to burn and drown at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good to see another site challenging the religious orthodoxy.
    If Al Gore is in Paris it’s going to be very cold from 30th November -Dec 11th.
    My model says so.


  5. …Also suggestions for a possible venue (preferably somewhere with a drinks license, on the London Tube line)….

    Those are good requirements – though it should also be easily reachable from a London Mainline station….

    And how many people are you expecting to cater for? Enquiring minds would like to know….


  6. With regards to potential venues for such a hypothetical meet – I’d favour either the Chandos (Sam Smiths) or Lord Moon of the Mall (Wetherspoons).

    Both on the periphery of Trafalgar Square – on tube and mainline stations and both pubs are quite affordable.


  7. Superb phrasing.
    I’ve long agreed with the sentiment. Can I include some of your turns of phrase as i do my little bit to spread the message?


  8. Richard
    I’ve corrected the link in your first post. The article linked to has an intro in English and a link to the petition for Phillippe Verdier. I mentioned the subject at BishopHill, where there was an article about the case, and there was another article at WattsUpWithThat. Let’s hope this international publicity will help his case.

    Martin B, Lee Morgan
    Yes of course.

    Sounds good. Handy for the Charing Cross Rd Bookshops

    Michael Hart. Good idea. You can post general comments under “About”. This site is very much “under construction”.


  9. Yes climate lunacy is a strange mixture of Cnut and the Potentate’s Garments.

    The other aspect that has marked out the AGW crowd is the ability to forcefully state totally out of date “facts” as incontrovertible . Every position ( e,g global temps, sea ice, hurricane frequency and intensity etc.etc.) moves through the same stages.

    First a long period of denial, then an eventual grudging acknowledgement, followed fairly swiftly with a reversal of the original climate change mechanism. At each of these stages there are always plenty of CAGW religious believers who are still on the previous page, so still arguing 180 degrees from the current position of CAGW central command. Those slow to move to the new story are not all just foot soldiers, some say they are climate scientists.

    As they say, if you repeat a lie often enough, people will come to believe it. Some disciples don’t cope as well when the lie keeps changing direction though.


  10. By pinning a canonical C on to the undeniable AGW , Dave is confessing that he’s the one who can’t deal with the reality of radiative forcing by inrared opaque gases . Like inflation Climate change is no more , or less, catastrophic than the economic feedbacks it precipitates.

    That mere reality is anathema to both those who want to use AGW as an excuse for societal intervention, and those who employ PR hacks to disinform retiring souls like Dave, in hope of deterring regulation.

    If you want to understand the science , read the scientific literature , not the polemics that sustain both sides of the Climate Wars.


  11. Howard Jacobson wrote recently that we should look kindly on Sir Tim Hunt’s extravagant nasal hair because failing to attend to such matters is only right and proper for a science Nobel laureate. I want to extend that tolerance to Russel Seitz’s eccentric commas and full stops, but I just can’t. That’s high school stuff isnt’t it?


  12. Cnut was a great king, but I see many people who are very similar to the flattering courtiers he had around him.
    I don’t know if they believe or are just flattering the modern power, when they write about CAGW.
    No CAGW at the moment, and no way to stop the waves just telling them to do so.


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