Buckets of money are available


A regular object of ridicule at this blog is the so-called Conversation, supposedly providing “Academic rigour” and “journalistic flair” that is “free of political bias” but in fact failing to deliver any of these and instead serving up a diet of thoughtless, biased, political activism and academic groupthink.

Their latest idiocy is a piece by Professor Neil Levy from the Practical Ethics Group at the University of Oxford, members of which we’ve mentioned before.  It starts off talking about how important the alleged 97% consensus is, then goes on to discuss how how the eating-fat-causes-heart-disease consensus has been overturned.  “Might something similar be occurring in the case of climate change?” he wonders, before trying to convince himself that it isn’t.

Then we have the hilarious punchline

“The other difference is that in the case of climate change, there are buckets of money available to those who want to put forward a contrarian position”.

This self-delusion of climate activists was the subject of my first post here, nearly a year ago.  I’ve noted in a comment that Andrew Montford, whose Bishop Hill hill website — for many years the unrivalled leader of UK sceptic blogs — has adverts and a tip jar to try to raise cash. He has also now virtually stopped posting, partly because he is “busy earning a living”.  Why does Andrew bother earning a living, hosting ads and running a tip jar? Doesn’t he know that buckets of money are available? It’s been demonstrated as a fact in the Conversation, with Academic Rigour.

Looking elsewhere on the page gives a little more insight into where the buckets of money really are:

Neil Levy receives funding from the Wellcome Trust and the Australian Research Council. He has previously received funding from the Templeton Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust.

The Conversation UK receives funding from Hefce, Hefcw, SAGE, SFC, RCUK, The Nuffield Foundation, The Ogden Trust, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Alliance for Useful Evidence, as well as sixty five university members.

Update 1st October:

Shocking news – Conversation author Neil Levy linked to climate denial!

In a comment to substantiate his claims, Levy links to the article “Dark Money” Funds Climate Change Denial Effort which is about Robert Brulle’s investigation into the ‘climate change counter-movement’.  Brulle’s paper lists the Templeton Foundation as one of these organisations, see part of his pie chart below. But as noted above, the article acknowledges that Levy has received funding from the Templeton Foundation.



Update 6th October:

Neil Levy’s piece has now been cross-posted at the Oxford Practical Ethics blog. Things went badly for him in the comments at the Conversation, but the comments at the Practical Ethics are even more devastating and take apart almost all of his arguments.  One difference is that Geoff (banned from the Conversation) is commenting, and another is that so far no comments have been moderated. After briefly attempting to defend the indefensible, Levy throws in the towel, simply regurgitating his mantras about experts, consensus and peer review. There are so many excellent comments in response. A new blog post on this may be required.



  1. Hi Paul. As I said over at BH, the most ironic quote I took from Levy was that he felt ‘climate scientists’ didn’t need to use ‘common sense’ just the ‘assessment of experts’.

    Is Levy truly a ‘scientist’?


  2. I sort of admire them for their determination to cling to that bit of self delusion that there’s a secret, well funded counter movement. I suppose it makes the problem seem surmountable.


  3. Tiny, yes, and as you imply in your comment over there, the fantasy of the buckets of money for sceptics is the figleaf that hides the real reasons why their own side is losing the argument.

    Things aren’t going too well for Professor Levy in the comments so far, with all 7 comments being sceptical. Maybe it’s time for the Conversation’s censors to get the red pens out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Why shouldn’t they think that a well funded sceptic community exists, after all they believe that the Arctic sea ice is all gone now, Antartic sea is declining and global temps are on the constant rise.

    I can never quite work out whether these people are delusional (as such) or just academically corrupt – I don’t suppose it matters really, they are not doing science as one would understand it.

    Worth remembering that Prof. Brian Cox says he is a fan of Richard Feynman. How much delusion is there in that. I have this image in my mind of Richard Feynman LOL.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh no, not buckets again! These buckets of money have probably been adjusted by climate scientists so that, whereas in fact they were and still are virtually empty, the new record shows that they’ve always been full to overflowing.

    I’ve got a consignment of these adjusted buckets on order so that I can pursue my lifelong ambition of being paid handsomely to write about stuff that interests me.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cue usual suspect to witter about Koch Brothers, Exxon Mobil, Murray Salby etc. etc. etc….


  7. Good one Jaime. I bet a lot of people don’t realise how shonky the data collection process has been.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I think the ‘buckets of money for skeptics’ meme is there because warmunists cannot believe skeptics could be as active and as eloquent as they have been otherwise. What warmunists cannot seem to realize is that their testable predictions have failed (children won’t know snow, Arctic ice gone, accelerating SLR, acidifying oceans) and their recommended renewables are intermittent. It doesn’t take a lot of research money to point out the obvious problems, and help CAGW lose momentum at an ever increasing rate. Especially when Mother Nature is revealing herself to be a skeptic.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I think Mother Nature just doesn’t like warmists.

    The guy makes the classic mistake you have to be a scientist with an alternative science to be a sceptic. As you say, it doesn’t take much research to point out problems. Most people have spotted a few for themselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. On Bishop Hill I was advocating commenting on that blog. Having learnt a bit more of the history, perhaps that was too naive. Clearly there is a chance that (as happened before) the whole post will disappear, saving the embarrassment of censoring the comments. Question (hardly burning, though): would the sceptic community (supposing there to be one) prefer to comment freely, and risk this happening, or ignore it, making the whole post as it now exists a more accessible example of the quality of the warmist case?


  11. “It starts off talking about how important the alleged 97% consensus is…”

    After someone re-posted it the other day, I now have a user-created bookmark directory on my browser bar titled “fraud’. It contains only one entry, which is José Duarte’s (lengthy) criticisms of the 97%-ers.

    José Duarte is clearly an articulate man, and his criticisms do not even encompass all the criticisms made by others. Yet I am left with a feeling that before the end of the article he is running out of English language in his attempts to describe the fraud of Lewandowsky, Cook, and the other 97%-ers.


    Liked by 2 people

  12. This guy’s bio:

    “I am a Professor of Philosophy at Macquarie University, Sydney. I work mainly on conceptual and empirical approaches to the self-regulation of behavior. I am the author of 6 books and over one hundred papers on free will, moral philosophy and philosophy of psychology and mind.

    I am also Senior Research Fellow, Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, at the University of Oxford.

    I have a special interest in the science of moral decision-making and in topics in free will and moral responsibility. I am author of many papers on conceptual issues in free will and moral responsibility, as well as of papers on the psychological mechanisms involved in self-control and in addiction.”

    When such ‘distinguished’ academics start constructing public arguments, the quality of which you might expect from the average 10 year old, when said arguments are as easily deconstructed and rebutted as those emanating from your average 10 year old, you know that something is seriously, seriously amiss.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Osseo, it’s probably fine so long as there aren’t too many comments or any that are too ranty.

    michael hart, Yes, José Duarte is a very good choice. All the right skills and credibility.

    Jaime, they don’t seem to be able to get past 97% and the precautionary principle and think for themselves. They feel that any deep thought is equal to apostasy. Most of them couldn’t even explain the censensus never mind the basic facts. AGW is all or nothing to them so because they can’t believe ‘nothing’ the rest is the consensus and has to be catastrophic. They’re almost afraid to hope it might not be as bad as they’ve imagined. It’s all very Sodom and Gomorrah and the wrath of god.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I fondly remember Prof. Andrew Glikson—at no less august a venue than Koversation Macht Frei itself—denying “to my face,” as it were, that he received any money for climate research, or that his institution (ANU) received any money for climate change research, or that any corporation he worked for had any financial interest in public perceptions of climate change, or that climate change is real, or that the climate exists, or that the sum of any two even numbers is itself an even number. Did Glikson, an inveterate liar, really go that far? Alas my own recollection is the closest thing we have to an unimpeachable gospel of these events, as the whole dialogue subsequently disappeared down (or up) the memory meatus.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. [Here’s the comment I would have made at the Conversation if I wasn’t banned. Anyone’s free to do it for me, (possibly prefaced by: “a colleague provided these criticisms” or some such.) Otherwise I’ll wait till the article turns up at Practrical Ethics and post it there.]

    You say: “almost none of [the climate sceptics] have any genuine expertise in climate science (most have no scientific expertise at all)”

    Except e.g. Richard Lindzen, Professor or Meteorology at MIT, and Roy Spencer and John Christy of the University of Huntsville Alabama, who run the NASA satellite global temperature programme. Lindzen expects temperature rise of approximately 1°C this century, consistent with the IPCC lower climate sensitivity estimate. The satellite data suggest something similar. There are plenty of others of course, but that’s enough to disprove your assertion.

    You say: “Seeing patterns in noisy data requires statistical expertise, for instance. Climate data is very noisy: we shouldn’t rely on common sense to analyse it. We are instead forced to use the assessment of experts.”

    …which is precisely what palaeo-climatologist Michael Mann failed to do in constructing his famous “hockey stick” graph. Professional statistician Steve McIntyre deconstructed the hockey stick, and the official Wegman Report criticised Mann and his colleagues precisely for failing to seek expert statistical help. We non-experts are perfectly capable of judging the arguments from experts on both sides in this case, and in many others.

    You say: “Famously, there is a near consensus among (relevant) experts about climate.”

    Famously, all the studies regularly quoted in support of this statement used different methods, asked different questions using different definitions, and committed so many outrages on logic and scientific method as to be useless.

    You say: “…experts should have much greater standing on these questions than non-experts. And we think that a consensus of experts is particularly good evidence for a claim. Famously, there is a near consensus among (relevant) experts about climate. The exact numbers have altered from study to study, but there is a consensus on the consensus”

    And the experts you quote in support of that claim? Cook et al: i.e. a blogger and his mates, including a professor of psychology, an astrophysician, a historian and a former police officer. That’s your source for the consensus on the consensus. My judgement of them is no doubt biased by the fact that four of them have lied about me and defamed me in blogs and newspaper articles, but that needn’t concern a researcher in practical ethics, since defaming a simple blogger has absolutely no practical ethical effects.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. As the bucket was looking rather sparse they adjusted the tip jars to Cambodian Riel (c. $1 = 4137 KHR) to make it consistent with the consensus on the bucket consensus 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ben Pile
    Below the Line commenting is indeed disposable, according to the Environment Editor of the Conversation himself, who said (below the line) that no-one reads it.

    The difference between the Conversation and CommentisFree at the Guardian is that the former is financed by universities supposedly dedicated to upholding freedom of speech, and ultimately by the taxpayer. I’ve commented on other subjects at the Conversation (Italian politics, vegetarianism..) dissenting from the author’s views, and received thanks from the authors. Only on climate do you get censored.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Climate change scepticism isn’t something they’ve seen before. They keep trying to fit it into how they deal with other forms of science rejection but it doesn’t work. They underestimate the slope that they’re climbing and the normal Sherpas (eg engineers) aren’t with them. I think it mostly stems from a lack of awareness of what they’re asking for. They naively think it’s just a matter of putting in different (albeit a bit more expensive) technology. If that were the case, people would shrug and say ‘get on with it’.

    As residents of ivory towers, they don’t feel the first pinches of rising energy prices or international competition. Energy is only a tiny part of their raw costs. Amusingly academics tend to think of themselves as badly paid, mostly because they look enviously at London or industry high flyers and not at the average job with a science requirement, let alone the myriad of jobs that earn less than a job that requires a PhD. Like all public sector workers they don’t recognise the value of their secure pension and politically correct employers. Vastly underestimating the perks they get. Whether their hard work justifies their higher standard of living, is irrelevant to the basic fact that they don’t feel climate mitigation as acutely as a poor pensioner or a newly redundant steel worker. In the boiling water and frog experiment, they’re sitting high and dry on the heads of those who aren’t worry about the heat because they’ll drown first.

    So they try the same techniques. The derision, the insults, the arrogance of the highly educated and it bounces off. What? This is new territory. They made the same mistake with Brexit. Instead of working out what people were worried about and addressing it, they tried to bludgeon their way to success. It may have worked for the referendum, it really was a close thing, but it wouldn’t have made the problems go away. The main reason I voted for Brexit was because the EU was taking away the one tool the public has to make the decision makers listen – democracy. I never realised how long the British public took to forging our voice until I recently got into medieval history. Each time we lost ground it was because somebody came along and demanded to do the public’s thinking for them. The church, the guilds, the corporation, each time we saw a bit of success it was snatched away.

    We can’t be nudged or bullied into CO2 reduction. Ministers and scientists have to think before hand what their grand schemes will do to other people’s jobs and needs. The current economic model certainly wouldn’t continue to support smug intellectuals in their towers. The only use I can think of for a couple of ethics professors in a low energy world is hitching them to a wagon and working out their equivalent horse power.

    Liked by 8 people

  19. Thanks IAN WOOLLEY (03 Oct 16 at 11:24 am)

    Our efforts are paying off, because I reposted it at
    and we’ve got a conversation going. I’m trying to lead the subject round to having a real open conversation at Practical Ethics about the subject which 97% of the sentient universe believes to be the biggest practical ethical proble facing the human race, or something. I’m not sure if it’s working.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. He seems to be a glutton for punishment. After his arguments were completely taken apart at the Conversation, what did he think was going to happen at the other blog?

    It’s going even worse for him there, partly because of the presence of you Geoff and partly because of the absence, so far, of any censorship.

    There’s a great comment from Barry (including, of course, his signature typos) in response to the idiot’s statement that he “settled on ‘denialist’ after some thought”. Barry lists numerous references and concludes quite rightly that the Professor of Ethics at the University of Oxford “seems … in complete ignorance of the last decade highly polarised climate debate”.

    Sadly there is no ‘like’ button at the Practical Ethics blog.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. I’ve been reading the thread at Practical Ethics, Geoff – it’s remarkable. Perhaps it’s bias, but even working hard to imagine the ‘sides’ switched (a sceptic blogger being similarly challenged by consensus promoters) the patience and good-faith of the replies remains. As it happens the sides aren’t switched, and this is very pleasing.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Ian,
    I’m confused by your comment. Are you suggesting that the “sceptic” responses on that post were patient and made in good faith, despite the responses of the author, or that if the sides were switched (consensus promoters challenging a “sceptic” blogger) that the author’s responses would remain patient and in good faith?


  23. A.T.T. Physics
    Levy’s bad faith is demonstrated by the few substantive responses he gives, e.g. when to my point that “…John Cook, who, at the time he wrote his papers, was not a scientist..” he replies: “What’s the relevance of the fact that Cook is not a climate scientist?” Or to Jaime’s very sensible point that: “…the notion of ethics and ethical behaviour shared by commenters here is probably very similar to that shared by the populace in general” he replies: “No doubt you have survey evidence to back up your claim about what most people believe?”

    I’ve always felt, in discussion, that it’s important to tackle your opponent’s strongest point, otherwise you look like a wally. It’s only recently that I’ve realised that all warmists systematically do the opposite. Either they don’t mind looking like wallies, or they don’t realise, or they’re like Scrabble players who think they can win by systematically putting an ‘a’ on a triple letter score to make ‘am’.

    You made an excellent point in a comment under Levy’s article when you said:

    One reason one might chose not to debate is because of the certainty with which you express your views; there’s not much point in a debate with someone who has already made up their mind. Additionally, many researchers regard “debate” as the wrong manner in which to conduct such discussions. This isn’t about winning, or losing, it’s about gaining/developing understanding. Again, discussions with those who views are largely settled is unlikely to productive in that regard.

    I’m sure you’re right that making incontrovertible assertions of fact, as I tend to do, is bad debating tactics. Levy’s only rational course, when presented with evidence that the “experts” he is quoting are a bunch of dishonest clowns is to check the accusation, find that it’s true, and then apologise. He’s unlikely to do that.

    But you’re quite wrong when you say: “there’s not much point in a debate with someone who has already made up their mind.” You and I do it all the time, thus demonstrating that we’re rational human beings. Levy runs away (which is also rational in the circumstances, but not very brave.)

    Liked by 5 people

  24. Geoff,

    But you’re quite wrong when you say: “there’s not much point in a debate with someone who has already made up their mind.”

    That was my view, so not clear how it can be wrong. In the context of the comment I wrote, I was suggesting that many researchers are more interested in discussions where they learn something, rather than arguments that they hope to win. Hence, if they encounter someone who expresses their views as facts, then they may not see much point in going further with that discussion. They already know the other person’s views (they’ve expressed them as facts) and the other person is unlikely to change their mind (otherwise they might have expressed their views as opinions, rather than facts) and they are, therefore, free to go away and think about the supposed facts that the other person has presented.


  25. What fresh hell is this?

    making incontrovertible assertions of fact

    Is this a new piece of armour, or artillery in the Consensus Enforcer’s arsenal?

    Anyway, isn’t Ken’s main schtick the ‘consensus’ as an ‘incontrovertible assertion of fact’? (When he lowers himself to actually making a point, that is).

    I’d like to see which comments of Geoffs were the ones seemingly given as ‘incontrovertible assertion of fact’. I’m pretty sure that the alleged crime of making incontrovertible assertions of fact, and even making assertions of incontrovertible fact are, erm, controvertible. Not only is the witness to the crimes hostile, we’re not sure that he can even give an account of what the crime actually was, which isn’t (at best) just a highly subjective reading of someone else’s words. In other words, it’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it — more passive-aggression from the Consensus Enforcer.

    I guess it is in the Consensus Enforcer’s DNA, so to speak, to couch his own argument in false modesty… your mileage may vary…, … of course I could be wrong, but…… and so on. Because, ultimately, deference to the consensus is, after all necessarily the suspension of critical reason. Even the Consensus-Enforcing Professor of Philosophy appeals to the authority of the consensus, to demand the same imperative applies to us, the conceit being that the truth lies not in the argument, but in the institution. Which is, of course, in turn an ideological departure from the ‘ethic’ of science conveyed in the motto, nullius in verba.

    Being either confident in ones argument, or rather, appearing by making an argument to be over-confident in a particular understanding of ‘facts’, is of course, an opportunity to divert the ‘conversation’ (nonversation) to the matter of the sceptic’s character, the substance of the Consensus being taboo. (Unless you have the correct affiliation, and/or have been authorised to try to recover meaning from, or interpret the sacred text for yourself). This is epitomised by Neil’s words, A major reason is that almost none of [the sceptics] have any genuine expertise in climate science (most have no scientific expertise at all), yet they’re confident that they know better than the scientists..

    How dare we?!!

    It gets even better because then it is claimed in comments that,

    … your “debate” involves discussing the characters of other researchers, rather than the subtance of their research.

    The problem being that the ‘substance of their research’ in question, and the philosopher’s blog post was of course precisely the character of the ‘sceptics’. The Consensus Enforcer’s interminable whinge is a cascade of special pleading and whingeing self-justification.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Ya see…

    That was my view, so not clear how it can be wrong.

    Which is to say, Oh, I was only saying it from my perspective, I wasn’t stating it as an incontrovertible fact.


  27. the philosopher’s blog post was of course precisely the character of the ‘sceptics’.

    Yes, but you’re free to not associate with the “sceptics” who have that character. If you chose to self-identify with such “sceptics” that’s your problem.

    Oh, I was only saying it from my perspective, I wasn’t stating it as an incontrovertible fact.

    Well, yes, of course.


  28. Yes, but you’re free to not associate with the “sceptics” who have that character.

    Hmm, well, the sceptic you’re taking issue with was named in research, was he not, by the researcher you work with, and who you defend from criticism. You’re free not to associate with him, of course. But Geoff is not free to not associate with Geoff.

    But to more directly address your point that failed to address the point, the argument didn’t discriminate between ‘sceptics’ (your scarequotes) and sceptics, such that we could put distance between ourselves and them. Indeed, the argument was that ‘almost none of them have any genuine expertise in climate science’ which seemingly disqualifies us all (but not you, of course) from the debate.

    Well, yes, of course.

    Right back at you.


  29. Geoff, excellent point. As an example of picking on the most trivial weak point, see how he responds to Barry. Rather than do the decent thing and admit he was wrong, as clearly demonstrated by Barry’s references, he picks up on Barry’s typo (which you had already pointed out) to describe Barry as “not completely excellent”.

    Then, in another spectacular irony, he accuses us of ‘playing gotcha’.

    Although he did, as you say, run away, I think he deserves some credit for at least turning up to the debate, and joining in to some extent, which is an improvement over many others. He only ran away when he realised that he was being completely outclassed in evidence, understanding and argument by a bunch of amateurs.



    That was my view, so not clear how it can be wrong.

    Ummm, it’s your view, so it can’t be wrong? I’m afraid you’ll have to explain that one to me.
    I’m seeing this “debate” through a kind of haze at the moment, (it’s being conducted simultaneously at
    where Brandon Shollenberger is participating) so let’s start again from your assertion that:

    many researchers [..] if they encounter someone who expresses their views as facts … may not see much point in going further with that discussion.

    Getting all Socratic for a moment, can we agree that if someone states that it is their view that X, that they believe that X is a fact? And that, though it is common in polite discourse to word one’s assertions in some such formula as “It seems to me that X” or “The evidence suggests that X”, this is merely a convention to avoid the interlocutor, nonplussed by his inability to think up a fitting reply, flouncing off in a huff? And that there is in fact no logical difference in asserting X and asserting “It is my view that X”?

    Over to you, Gorgias.

    Liked by 2 people


    Geoff, a word…
    What exactly is a ‘Ben Pile moment’?

    (To understand what this is all about, interested readers will have to go to the simultaneous discussion with Dr Physics at the cross (very cross) post linked above.)

    It’s alright Ben, it’s passed. And now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for my afternoon siesta.


  32. Geoff,

    Ummm, it’s your view, so it can’t be wrong?

    I just meant that it’s my opinion, so I’m free to hold it. You’re free to disagree with it, but you’re not free to insist that my holding that view is wrong, which is what it sounded like you were suggesting.


  33. Special pleading, case #8,000,009

    I just meant that it’s my opinion, so I’m free to hold it. You’re free to disagree with it, but you’re not free to insist that my holding that view is wrong.


  34. Paul – Although he did, as you say, run away, I think he deserves some credit for at least turning up to the debate, and joining in to some extent, which is an improvement over many others.

    They never stick around for long. The first I think I realised that something was up with academic philosophy was when I reviewed ‘The Ethics of Climate Change’ — here. It seemed to me that the ‘ethics’ were at best prosaic and partial, rather than a genuinely philosophical approach to defining and understanding problem and its solutions. The author, James Garvey repliedhere, but it was more of the same: the problem being taken for granted, and the solutions not really thought through to any meaningful extent. The claim was that an imperative exists for the industrialised world to make good its carbon crimes against the developing world, as though the fact of the developed world caused the fact of the less-developed world. The main shortcoming of which was that industrialisation as the remedy to the problems of both poverty and climate change hadn’t been considered, as I explained here.
    I was still somewhat naive at the time in believing that a commitment to a philosophical approach at the very least meant debate — which is the way developments in philosophy seem to be produced and best understood. So when I bumped into Garvey a week or so later at a bookshop event where Nigel Lawson was introducing his Appeal to Reason, I thought he might want to discuss it. He had, after all, just asked Lawson a question. I introduced myself, but he muttered “I don’t talk about science”, and walked off.

    Later, it occurred to me that contemporary ‘ethics’ is in fact an antonym of philosophy. ‘Ethics’ are presupposed, not a framework through which we can understand which are the best courses of action. The Guardian and Observer at the time were beginning to emphasise ‘ethics’, and the latter even had an ‘ethical awards’ ceremony — a kind of moral beauty pageant. In that sense, ecological ‘ethics’ were no different to the Taliban’s, in the sense that the ‘ethics’ aren’t negotiable, they are simply fatwas.

    Climate change, it seemed to me, had rescued another discipline that was otherwise stale, and struggled to justify itself without some urgent greater cause. No wonder its keenest lights don’t stick around.

    Liked by 3 people

  35. RAFF: “As Ben Pile rarely says anything worthwhile…”

    Even if that were so – which of course it isn’t – “rarely” is infinitely more often than “never”, as is the case with your comments.


  36. Just to be clear, are these Raff’s actual comments, or is someone editing them and changing them to infantile ramblings? Certainly seems the latter, given that at least one seems to have changed.


  37. Yes, apparently Ben Pile changed Raff’s comments (though not the last one.). He says in a private email “If RAFF isn’t kicked out now, completely, and Ken Rice put on notice, I see no point continuing with Cliscep, and won’t.”

    We have no agreed policy on resolving differences, except to consult each other, but I’m going out now to prune some bushes and I see no point in waiting around for a majority vote on whether to tell the truth or not.

    So my personal apologies to Raff. It seems to me insane that WordPress would allow us to edit comments. It destroys any evidential value of the threads.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. If RAFF isn’t kicked out now, completely, and Ken Rice put on notice, I see no point continuing with Cliscep, and won’t.

    You can ban me with pleasure. I genuinely don’t care. I only comment when I’m bored or when I think there is some small chance of a constructive exchange. It’s never happened, and with Ben Pile associated with the site, it almost certainly never will. Ben Pile’s conduct is pretty damn appalling at the best of times, but editing someone’s comment to make them seem like infantial ramblings is pretty poor, especially given all the claims of “no censorship on our site”. Suit yourselves, of course; I don’t expect much these days and you’re certainly not disappointing.


  39. “You can ban me with pleasure. I genuinely don’t care. I only comment when I’m bored or when I think there is some small chance of a constructive exchange. It’s never happened . . . . ”

    I guess you were also bored when you appeared on the ‘Practical Ethics’ thread to challenge the ‘away team’ who scored rather spectacularly against an arrogant and ill-informed academic spouting nonsense about irrational denialists? Is it boredom then that impels you to ‘gather evidence’ that we are not worth debating with and certainly not worth the effort of attempting to engage in any form of collaboration aimed at resolving differences of opinion?


    You seem to get bored a lot Ken, but oddly never so bored that you go away completely. We’ve had a few other consensus cheerleaders here who did get ‘bored’ rather quickly, or more likely found that their weak arguments were exposed rather rapidly. But that doesn’t happen with you and and the “Raff account” because you’re generally not making arguments, you’re causing them.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Jaime, I imagine Kenneth can’t keep track of his prolific comment output. Asking ‘what’s your frequency, Kenneth?’ for example would get us nowhere.

    Somebody I haven’t come across on the ‘other’ ‘side’ has recently commented at Neil Levy’s blog:


    No disrespect, Ken, but this is a great comment from your side. Can you do stuff like this too? It would make discussions so much more meaty and exciting. If not, is there much point you continuing?

    Liked by 3 people

  41. Ian, well spotted, that is a great comment from Paul Treanor, though I take issue with you for describing him as being from the ‘other’ ‘side’ (OK, you have the sarc quotes, you are forgiven!).

    “Like many other academics, Neil Levy makes no attempt to understand the bitterness and frustration of these people”

    “Is there anything that can be done? I think there is a lot that can be done, but it requires a major and painful reassessment by the elite. The very first step, for Neil Levy and his fellow debunkers, is to shut up. Stop arguing. Stop complaining. You don’t walk into a mosque shouting that Mohammed was wrong, so stop telling climate sceptics that they are wrong. Accept their beliefs as fully valid.”

    “That’s the first step: the willingness of the elite to abandon its contempt. Once past that stage, we can think about how state and society should be ordered, so as to accommodate both climate scepticism and climate change policy. That’s probably quite possible, but we can’t get to that point, unless and until the elite is willing to do so.”

    That comment thread just keeps getting better and better!

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Mr Treanor’s comment makes me wonder how the ATTP crowd would react. Actually I know that spittle would fly from BBD ‘s mouth as he thump typed on his keyboard, and very tall guy would tell him to stop tone trolling etc etc. Over here, we would argue the detail. Eg, as far as I know I have never voted for a populist party,and I wish that Islam the religion were able to dissociate themselves from ISIS and other self-styled radical groupings.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Paul, Paul Treanor’s comment is fantastic in that he gets so much right. Whilst I don’t object to his various expectations (he expects climate sceptics to coincide with Geert Wilders or UKIP support, with anti-Islam sentiment, euroscepticism) I do object to his explanation for this, namely that climate sceptics have a ‘resentment’ towards the present political landscape. Resentment is the wrong word. If you resent something deep down you know you’re not justified, so you’re just acting out, therapeutically, which doesn’t describe climate scepticism to me.

    Liked by 3 people

  44. Ian,

    Given that he gets so much right, I would not object. Are you saying that you feel no resentment, over any policies, such as rising energy costs for the poor or wilderness areas being messed up by wind turbines, or over aspects of the debate such as the silencing of sceptics by the BBC and others or the contempt of the elite that Treanor refers to twice?
    Given that we have yet to explain exactly what we really understand climate scepticism to mean (weren’t we planning a post on that?), and that we would each give a different answer to that question anyway, I think others can be forgiven for not getting some things quite right.

    I see that Geoff has commented over there. Like you, Geoff says there’s lots to agree with, but objects to Treanor’s analogy of climate scepticism as a mosque.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Yes, I’m splitting hairs really. It’s just I have a picture of someone resenting something being sat in a corner sulking. I don’t like to think of us as resenting things, but disliking, disagreeing, regretting, objecting to, hating, loathing, despising and abhorring. Active things like that. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Sorry, not impressed at all with Paul Treanor, other than he takes issue with Levy’s ivory tower-like disdain of sceptics, but for all the wrong reasons as far as I can see.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. I agree with Jaime. Treanor makes some valid points, but ends doing the same as the “liberal elite” – just patronising & sneering at sceptics from a slightly different angle.

    It’s clear that he doesn’t understand that most active sceptics have graduate level or better education and in many cases are far better equipped to understand technical & statistical issues than Cook, Lew & cronies.

    I wonder if he realises that Paul is an academic.

    I’m also impressed & intrigued that, to my untutored old engineer’s brain at least, Geoff seems to have a far better grasp of the principles of philosophy, ethics & sociology than any of the paid practitioners we’ve encountered.

    Liked by 4 people

  48. > [T]he comments at the Practical Ethics are even more devastating and take apart almost all of his arguments.

    From the 90 responses at the time I counted, we note:

    6 by PaulM.

    5 by BarryW.

    6 by Mr. Pile.

    21 by GeoffM.

    5 by JonA.

    6 by BrandonS.

    5 by JohnS.

    10 by JaimeJ.

    /golf clap


  49. Exactly Foxgoose. Treanor accuses Levy of sneering at sceptics, then goes on to sneer at the ‘populist climate change sceptic movement’ in a slightly different, but no less irritating way.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Foxgoose
    I did study philosophy fifty years ago. (My first tutor, Myles Burnyeat, has written the definitive study on the Greek sceptics, as I learned last year when hunting for the image on our banner, which shows the Greek sceptic Pyrrho unworried by force 5 hurricane Neil.)

    Paul Treanor’s other articles are available at http://web.inter.nl.net/users/Paul.Treanor/

    All I can say is that he is very hard to pin a label on. To me, that makes him One of Us.

    Liked by 2 people

  51. Geoff

    Had a quick read.

    Like many free-thinking academics, it’s easy to discover what he’s against – but a bit tricky to discover what he’s for.

    Thought his criticisms of unbridled neo-liberalism were good – but his specific views on business & entrepreneurialism desperately naive.

    Maybe that’s just me 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  52. Activists focus on winning political and propaganda battles by ‘changing the narrative’. They don’t focus on reality. They focus on alternative realities they want. As if talking up the alternative will make it real. It’s Platonic idealism reborn. It’s a reason why one cannot converse with them. Their idealism matters more to them than the empirical world. They shut you out because you threaten their imaginary worlds with your rational discourse. To them rationality is a power-play! Theirs is a world of no truth, just becomings (new truths they want to make). Hence: there’s no point in elucidating truth through rational conversation.

    It’s a kind of Postmodernism marries Heidegger. But actually post-Postmodernism because it promotes ethics. PC-, climate-, anti-Fascist- ethics. But not practical ethics.


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