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The Conversation Bans Thought

The Conversation has signed up to something called Covering Climate Now – a special week of climate change coverage, supported by more than 170 media outlets who are disturbed by the fact that no-one in the media is talking about climate change.

They’ve started off with a bang today with this article by digital editor Molly Glassey editor Misha Ketchell titled: “Climate Change Deniers are Dangerous: they don’t Deserve a Place on our Site.”

At The Conversation we’ve recently vowed to improve our climate change coverage, and part of that means moderating comments with a similar degree of rigour.

Once upon a time, we might have viewed climate sceptics as merely frustrating. We relied on other commenters and authors to rebut skeptics and deniers, which often lead to endless back and forth.

But it’s 2019, and now we know better. Climate change deniers, and those shamelessly peddling pseudoscience and misinformation, are perpetuating ideas that will ultimately destroy the planet. As a publisher, giving them a voice on our site contributes to a stalled public discourse.

That’s why we’re implementing a zero-tolerance approach to moderating climate change deniers, and sceptics. Not only will we be removing their comments, we’ll be locking their accounts. 

We believe conversations are integral to sharing knowledge, but those who are fixated on dodgy ideas in the face of decades of peer-reviewed science are nothing but dangerous.

It is counter productive to present the evidence and then immediately undermine it by giving space to trolls. The hopeless debates between those with evidence and those who fabricate simply stalls action.

As a reader, author or commenter, we need your help. If you see something that is misinformation, please don’t engage, simply report it. Do this by clicking the report button below a comment.

I wonder what, exactly, will get you banned? A quote by Richard Feynman? Reference to a peer reviewed article suggesting lower end sensitivity to CO2? Citing the University of Alabama’s satellite-based temperature record? Maybe someone would like to test it out.

Yesterday the Conversation published A Climate Change Curriculum to Empower the Climate Strike Generation:”

It’s too late to protect them from it, so how do teachers tell children about climate change without scaring them?… Primary school teachers have an ethical responsibility to bring climate change into their classrooms and they’re well placed for the task.

Actually, the article wasn’t too bad. It merely suggested things like books about animals and nature walks for primary school children, suggestions so banal you wondered why the author, Ria Dunkley, bothered making them.

Ria is a lecturer in Geography, Environment and Sustainability at the University of Glasgow. She receives funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council; the British Council; the Economic and Social Research Council & the European Commission.

Wow. Grants from four different government bodies. At Dominic Cummings’ blog some bloke who invented the internet was saying he wouldn’t get a research grant in today’s funding environment, so I was wondering what Ria has that the scientists who changed the world don’t have.

A lot of articles at Google Scholar, for a start:

A shot in the dark? Developing a new conceptual framework for thanatourism

Re-peopling tourism: A ‘hot approach’to studying thanatourist experiences

The thanatourist: Collected tales of the thanatourism experience

Beyond temporal reflections in thanatourism research

– The ‘thanatourist’: a fascination with death and autrocity  [sic, or what?]

But Ria’s fascination with death and atrocity is all in the past. She’s into eco-pedagogy now:

Geocoaching: Memories and habits of learning in practices of ecopedagogy

Technology-nonhuman-child assemblages: reconceptualising rural childhood roaming

Reimagining a sustainable future through artistic events: a case study from Wales

Becoming a (green) identity entrepreneur: Learning to negotiate situated identities to nurture community environmental practice

I checked if she’d really left her early morbid interests behind by clicking on “since 2019” and sure enough, of the nine articles she’s published so far this year, not one mentions death camps  war graves or thanatourism. Ria has turned a corner in her life.

Or has she? She says it’s too late to protect children from climate change, so she presumably agrees with Tim Flannery when he says, in another article published by the Conversation yesterday entitled “The Gloves are Off: Predatory Climate Deniers are a Threat to Our Children”:

.. That future Earth may have enough resources to support far fewer people than the 7.6 billion it supports today… Mass deaths are predicted to result from, among other causes, disease outbreaks, air pollution, malnutrition and starvation, heatwaves, and suicide. My children, and those of many prominent polluters and climate denialists, will probably live to be part of that grim winnowing…

Clever that – getting “climate deniers,” “predatory” and “children” all in the same headline. Haven’t I seen stuff like that somewhere before – dark hints of outgroups who ritually sacrifice babies?

Remind me to ask an expert in thanotourism.

64 thoughts on “The Conversation Bans Thought

  1. Wow.
    I wonder what kind of patches they will choose for skeptics to be forced to wear?
    Hopefully the eco-camps they send skeptics to for eco-work and eco-education and eco-recycling won’t create too much carbon pollution.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Conversation, i.e. we want to have a serious Nonversation about the climate crisis Con. Pathetic idiots. All they’ll attract to their site now are brainwashed CAGW believers, vested interest hawks, XR fanatics and their like who will all intone ‘Hear, hear!’, pat themselves on the back or engage in other, perhaps less savoury self-congratulatory behaviours, and content themselves that they are making a positive contribution to saving the planet by excluding all reasoned objection to their cosy climate cult narrative.

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  3. Pingback: The Conversation Bans Thought — Climate Scepticism – uwerolandgross

  4. This initiative is presumably why the Jeremy Vine radio show today had as a topic should “climate denial” be a criminal offence. I declined to listen or even send a comment, I would probably end up on a list, if I am not already.

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  5. Oh dear the world gets progressively more stupid and there are no signs that those who should know better are rational. Those who ought to protect scientific discourse are instead instigators of its repression. Are contrary voices to be repressed until true science disappears? Are the false beliefs that we know now sufficient about our climate to deliberately repress any dissent without losing anything important? It would appear that the Conversation has decided, and oddly for an organisation so named will henceforth shut meaningful conversation down.
    Are we living through the opening stages of a new dystopian novel

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  6. ‘Climate change deniers, and those shamelessly peddling pseudoscience and misinformation, are perpetuating ideas that will ultimately destroy the planet.’

    This only makes sense if she thinks that unmitigated climate change will destroy the planet. If so, she’s peddling pseudoscience.

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  7. Geoff, I think the article is by someone called Misha Ketchell, “Editor & Executive Director, The Conversation”, not Molly Glassey.

    I was amused by the “The gloves are off” article that you mention, since in fact a better analogy would be that the pathetic, dishonest cowards have thrown in the towel, admitting that they have no answers to the questions raised by skeptics.

    Here is another one, introducing their climate propaganda week. The author of that one, Jack Marley, “Commissioning Editor, UK edition”, says “You may have seen “debates” on TV between climate scientists and sceptics who have little scientific background”. I said no, I hadn’t, and asked him where these debates were to be found – so far, he hasn’t answered.

    Then there’s this by Tim Jackson, “Professor of Sustainable Development and Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP)”, about what we “must” do, including some meaningless lines on a graph, but without the slightest suggestion of how to do it.

    Another one is by one of the Con’s favourite propagandists, Mark Maslin. Fellow warmist William Connolley (notorious wikipedia-manipulator) describes Maslin’s claim in his first sentence that climate is the most tested modern science as “bullshit“.

    I wonder if they will carry out their threat. So far I haven’t been banned!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s viral:

    https://www.cjr.org/covering_climate_now/eric-holthaus-climate-emergency.php
    “In April, Holthaus and activist Sydney Ghazarian published a memo in which they proposed a new media project that would “lift up diverse voices to tell the stories of a better future.” Currently, their unnamed undertaking lives in a Google Document whose contents include editorial principles; links to exemplary stories from publications including Grist, Jacobin, and Rolling Stone; and potential staff and coverage needs.

    In many ways it is less a business plan than a manifesto on climate-change reporting that accuses The New York Times, The Washington Post, and television networks of complicity with the fossil fuel industry and suggests an alternative:

    Ours will be a member-funded, member-driven, forum for reporting and analyzing the news, and imagining the future from voices that are systematically excluded from mainstream dialogue — especially Indigenous, women of color, people from the global south, anti-capitalists, and those living on the front lines of climate change. We will publish news articles, poetry, short stories, videos, memes, and podcasts that will be a worthy alternative to the voices that are working to erase our future. We will not be silent.

    Ghazarian, a founding member of the National Ecosocialist Working Group, also helped start the Democratic Socialist for America’s Climate and Environmental Justice Working Group, an effort Holthaus covered for Grist. She frames their joint effort in solutions-journalism terms: the ways in which reporters cover the climate crisis, Ghazarian says, are critical to mobilizing positive change alongside climate action.

    “We see the scale of the crisis and the climate emergency,” she says. “But we see the other side too, which is an opportunity and a real moment for people to win—to make extraordinary changes that benefit not just the planet but people, too.”

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  9. I was at the national science festival last week.
    For the most part I avoid the GreenBlob lectures cos they are like Hitler Youth meetings.
    In side topics I attended : new energy and Electric Cars the ‘scientists’ acted liked double glazing salesmen with a bag of PR tricks like : making bold claims without supplying proper evidence
    .. And sneering at criticism as ‘myths’..again without giving evidence of them being myths.

    I could see that my own CO2 footprint must a fraction of theirs.

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  10. “Geoff, I think the article is by someone called Misha Ketchell, “Editor & Executive Director, The Conversation”, not Molly Glassey.”

    psst dont tell him, he’d have to correct his whole piece.

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  11. I’ve been trying to think of something new to say that would serve as a fitting response to The Conversation’s morally impoverished campaigning. But then I thought, why bother? I’ll just repeat what I said on CliScep many moons ago. After all, nothing has changed for the better since then:

    “All I’ll say is this: if demonising and criminalising freedom of thought were to be the only way of saving us all from the environmental damage ascribed to AGW, then the human race would end up being unworthy of its salvation.”

    Liked by 4 people

  12. If the pattern holds true, the quality of the (censorship) Conversation will become even more disreputable and it will end up imploding, or at least become even less relevant.

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  13. Thanks Paul. Corrected.

    The important point is this:
    The Conversation is supported financially by 79 universities, mostly British. If the Guardian – say – decides to lie, and censor and defame those of its readers who dare to disagree with its opinions, that’s a private affair between the Guardian Trust and the spinning corpse of my great great uncle C.P. Scott. When reputable universities, financed partly by taxpayers, subsidise a media outlet which does the same, that’s very much a matter of public interest.

    So what to do? I could write to 79 Vice Chancellors asking them why they’re supporting an organisation which refuses to countenance any critical comment at all on a scientific subject which the scientists themselves admit involves huge uncertainties, pointing out that this runs counter to all principles of free speech and scientific enquiry which the universities are supposed to espouse. Or I can continue to call out the Conversation editors for the shit-thick slimeballs they are in articles here for my own and (I hope) others’ amusement. I’m too old for such decisions.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Barry Woods has a couple of brilliant comments under the Ria Dunkley article

    https://theconversation.com/a-climate-change-curriculum-to-empower-the-climate-strike-generation-122841

    Another Conversation article to appear in the last couple of days beautifully confirms that these people are thick as shit. Which is why they need to be protected by an iron fence to prevent the entry of any critical thought. The Conversation’s Wall is designed to protect mental defectives like Bobby Duffy Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Policy Institute, King’s College London, but it serves the double purpose of protecting ordinary human beings like us from them. In this article
    https://theconversation.com/what-you-think-you-know-about-the-climate-is-probably-wrong-new-uk-poll-123103
    Professor Bobby says:

    We humans have a natural tendency to focus on negative stories. We tend to assume things are worse than they really are, and going downhill fast. We forget how bad things were in the past and how far we’ve come. In reality, the world is often better — and getting better — than we think something I wrote about in my book… Murder rates, deaths from terrorism and extreme poverty are all down. Life expectancy, health and education levels are up. And yet, there is one vital, urgent exception to this rule: we still don’t realise how badly wrong our global climate and environment have gone.

    Got it? Bobby has written a whole book laying out the evidence that things are getting better in every way, except for climate change, which has gone “badly wrong.”Has he ever looked at a temperature graph? Or what the IPCC says about increased extreme weather events? No, he hasn’t.

    Then he says, of a new IPSOS MORI survey on climate change:

    One question, for example, was how many of the past 22 years have been the hottest on record? The answer is 20, but the average guess was just 12. And one in five people guessed five or fewer.

    You don’t even need to look at the data to realise that this is bollocks. All you need is a basic knowledge of the English language and simple statistics. For what he’s saying is that 1999 was warmer than 1998 and every previous year, and 2000 warmer than 1999 and every previous year, and so on.. up to 2019 warmer than 2018, for all 22 years except two. This would be vanishingly unlikely in any universe, but quite impossible in one plagued with el Niños and temperature hiatuses.

    Britons also overestimated some facts, such as how much air travel contributes to greenhouse guesses. [siccy sic] … Yet despite aviation’s relatively limited contribution to emissions overall, one of the most effective environmental actions we can take as individuals is to fly less. A study by Swedish academics puts skipping one transatlantic flight as the third most effective action we can take, only behind the much more extreme options of having one fewer child and living entirely car free.

    Oh good. I’ve skipped one transatlantic flight every day of my life, and had one fewer child most days, and I can’t drive. Where do I go to claim my medal?

    We also don’t realise just how extreme the loss of animal species over the past decade has been. Only a third correctly identify that the population sizes of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles in the world have declined by 60% since 1970.

    False again. Species loss over the past decade is about two – the sadly missed golden toad of Guatemala and possible the northern white rhino. It’s a shame that populations of birds etc. in the wild are declining, but good that more people can afford to eat chicken. There’s a serious discussion to be had about how to weigh the advantages of falling infant mortality due to better nourishment thanks to KFC against loss of habitat for wild species. But not with someone as thick as Professor Bobby.

    Our largest misconceptions seem to be around what other people think, a phenomenon that academics call our pluralistic ignorance: our perception is that other people’s attitudes are the problem. Despite record levels of public concern, 73% believe that other people are not worried enough — while only 16% say we ourselves are not worried enough… This misunderstanding of the norm is serious, as it affects our own sense of efficacy: if others aren’t bothered, what’s the point in us acting?

    The misconception is all Professor Bob’s. He seems to have difficulty with the concept of A and not-A, which makes him incapable of understanding something as basic as an IPSOS MORI poll.
    The 16% who “were not worried enough” were “not worried enough to change their own lifestyle or urge government to act.” Bobby seems to think that the 16% are beating themselves up about not being worried enough, when in fact they are the rump of the great Not Bovvered, the last noble resistants against the wave of fascioid propaganda propagated by the Conversation and their pals. While the 73% who believe that other people are not worried enough are the righteous children of Gaia who have swallowed the Kool Aid as instructed.

    Professor Bobby, Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Policy Institute, King’s College London, thinks that the fact that 16% of people think one thing and 73% think another is a sign that the great unwashed, the public whose opinions are only known to the likes of Professor Bobby via the works of IPSOS MORI, are suffering from a “serious misunderstanding of the norm” when in fact they are simply divided in their views, like me and you, but unlike the readers and writers at the Conversations and the 79 universities which support them, who naturally all think in unison.

    Its [sic] naive to think that bombarding people with facts will incite them to act, no matter how extraordinary or terrifying these facts may be. But its equally as naive to think that we can figure out exactly the right emotional buttons to push: we just don’t know enough yet about how fear, hope and a sense of efficacy interact in motivating action in different people.

    “We just don’t know enough yet” to “figure out exactly the right emotional buttons to push.” But Professor Bobby and his friends at the Conversation are working on it. Safe in the knowledge that 79 universities are financing their efforts, and that no-one will be allowed to comment unfavourably on their efforts.

    Did I say fascioid? An unpleasant neologism. Let’s just call it out for what it is – fascism. But without the gun battles in the streets.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. They used to worry that scepticism was undermining religion. Now they worry that scepticism is undermining science.

    Strange days.

    @Geoff: “Has he ever looked at a temperature graph? Or what the IPCC says about increased extreme weather events? No, he hasn’t.” Seemingly the good prof hasn’t looked out of the window recently either.

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  16. Made my biannual visit to the Conversation (Environment and Energy) and was somewhat surprised to find that fully a third of the top stories (8 out of 20) concern the incineration of our poor planet’s lungs. Researchers must be tripping over themselves in Brazil (one story from Bolivia – must have got lost).
    UEA has a Brazilian ecologist on its staff (a rather good one) – a full Professor no less. His email must be red-hot with job offers.

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  17. Geoff,

    “Clever that – getting ‘climate deniers’, ‘predatory’ and ‘children’ all in the same headline.”

    Yes, I also bristled at that. It seems that my concern for a better understanding of uncertainty and its relevance to climate risk management makes me ‘Pedo Man’.

    The irony is that there is indeed clear evidence of abuse. When children are sexually abused they exhibit inappropriately sexualized behaviour and dysfunctional levels of anxiety. What we are seeing is inappropriately politicized behaviour and dysfunctional levels of anxiety – clear evidence of political abuse.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. In formally announcing their banning of thought, the Conversation is merely putting in writing a policy they have practiced in fact for years.

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  19. While announcing that they are banning Conversation, The Conversation also has this banner on its pages:

    1984 has arrived.

    It seems that they are banning people. Under the Ria Dunkley article there’s a comment by Tom Bucheit saying

    ” Surely, this is dangerous propaganda & scaremongering being directed at our vulnerable young.

    It should be rooted out of our primary schools at least.

    Young kids should be taught basic skills in writing , reading , maths, critical thinking…”

    But his name is greyed out and if you click on it you get a not found error. Tom Bucheit has been non-personed.

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  20. Geoff. I’m having slight problems with reading correctly so when I read your excellent piece about Professor Bobby I constantly misread it as Professor Blobby and visions of blow-up pink men in academic gowns emerged. Try reading the quotations you use with this in mind. The quotes become even more gratuitous, but not by much.

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  21. Con authors are total and utter morons (extremely likely). Take this berk for example:

    For nearly all climate scientists, the case is proven that humans are the overwhelming cause of the long-term changes in the climate that we are observing. And that this case should be closed.

    Despite this, climate denialists continue to receive prominence in some media which can lead people into thinking that man-made climate change is still in question.

    The most recent special report on global warming of 1.5 degrees confirms that the observed changes in global and regional climate over the last 50 or so years are almost entirely due to human influence on the climate system and not due to natural causes.

    Really, they pronounced that all changes in regional climates over the last 50 years are all due almost entirely to GHGS? I seriously doubt this. I might check, but can I be bovvered. Any comment I post is likely to be deleted according to their newly announced ‘zero tolerance’ policy.

    Then he blurts out:

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent report showed that, on average, the global surface air temperature has risen by 1°C since the beginning of significant industrialisation (which roughly started in the 1850s). And it is increasing at ever faster rates, currently 0.2°C per decade, because the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have themselves been increasing ever faster.

    So, according to our Con genius, surface temperature is increasing ‘at ever faster rates’ because emissions also have been ‘increasing ever faster’.

    A warmer atmosphere and oceans are causing dramatic changes . . . .
    . . . . . an increasing frequency of many climate extremes such as drought and heavy rain, as well as disasters where climate is an important driver, such as wildfire, flooding and landslides.

    Multiple lines of evidence, using different methods, show that human influence is the only plausible explanation for the patterns and magnitude of changes that have been detected.

    This human influence is largely due to our activities that release greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane.

    Then he goes on to extreme weather:

    We feel climate change largely through how it affects weather from day-to-day, season-to-season and year-to-year.

    The weather we experience arises from dynamic processes in the atmosphere, and interactions between the atmosphere, the oceans and the land surface. Human influence on the broader climate system acts on these processes so that the weather today is different in many ways from how it would have been.

    . . . . . . nearly 70% of weather events that have been assessed in this way were shown to have had their likelihood and/or magnitude increased by human influence on climate. In a world without global warming, these events would have been less severe.

    All of this is total, utter bullshit so it’s no wonder they have banned all reasonable challenges to this unadulterated propaganda.

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  22. Jaime, Geoff,

    I am struggling to reconcile the idea that I am thoroughly debunked, marginalised and irrelevant, with the fact that pundits on The Conversation and elsewhere are still writing endless screeds on how I am so thoroughly debunked, marginalised and irrelevant. If this were truly the case, they would surely just get on with it and ignore my ilk completely. I’ve never known a long-settled argument go on for so long — except, it isn’t an argument, is it? It’s just them presenting facts and us responding with well-funded lies.

    I could respect their censorship were it not for the fact that the articles they continue to write will all be about slagging off an opposition in which they feign a disinterest, and yet will no longer be allowed to respond.

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  23. Jo Nova picks up the story, making Geoff’s key point about abuse of public funding:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2019/09/the-conversation-gives-up-conversing-admits-defeat-on-climate-bans-all-skeptical-scientists-from-commenting/

    “The Conversation” gives up conversing, admits defeat on climate, bans all skeptical scientists from commenting!
    What’s a conversation without conversation? Paid propaganda.

    The Conversation is a site funded by your taxpayer dollars, in countries where 50 – 60% of the entire population don’t agree with the IPCC’s dominant mantra. Yet no matter how qualified you are, no matter how good your argument, your evidence and your data, you, we, half the population, is now banned. The editor Misha Ketchell has officially blocked unbelievers, and thus effectively admitted that they can’t reply to skeptics, and that skeptics are posing too many questions they can’t answer. They’ve been deleting skeptical comments for years, so it’s good that they finally have the honesty to admit it.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. I came across this document from 80 years ago, how little has changed in public discourse.

    Propaganda Analysis https://ia800803.us.archive.org/14/items/IPAVol1/IPA_vol1.pdf
    VOLUME I OF THE PUBLICATIONS OF THE INSTITUTE FOR PROPAGANDA ANALYSIS, INC.
    October, l937 to October, 1938

    “The world today is the victim of a system of subtle and ceaseless propaganda — suppressing, exaggerating, distorting. Backgrounds are established against which identical facts appear so different as to be almost unrecognizable, and the task of finding solutions for difficulties is rendered infinitely more complex by the fact that in the modern world we can know only a few things from experience, we must depend upon “authorities,” upon what we read and hear for our knowledge. We must depend on those who supply the news or other material for judgment.

    There is today especial need for propaganda analysis. America is beset by a confusion of conflicting propagandas, a Babel of voices, warnings, charges, counter-charges, assertions, and contradictions assailing us continually through press, radio, and newsreel. These propagandas are disseminated by political parties, labor unions, business organizations, farm organizations, patriotic societies, churches, schools, and other agencies; also by word of mouth by millions of individuals. (No twitter!)

    Many opinions or propagandas are highly charged with emotion, prejudice, bitterness. People make a virtue of defending their own opinions or propagandas. Many would deal with opinions or propagandas they don’t like by suppressing them, by violence, if need be. But suppression of unpopular opinions or propagandas is contrary to democratic conceptions of government.

    In authoritarian states a single will dominates. For that reason there is but one voice permitted, the voice of the dictator or dictatorial group. Other voices are not heard. There is but one opinion, hence but one propaganda; school, radio, cinema, theater, labor and business groups, and newspapers must repeat or mirror that propaganda.

    In democratic states there are many wills; hence many voices, many opinions, many propagandas. If the many wills, voices, opinions, and propagandas were to be overtly suppressed in such a state then it would cease being a democratic state and would become an authoritarian state. In the authoritarian state the propaganda problem is simple; the authority at the top simply suppresses all propagandas but its own.”

    This was written just prior to WWII and is within that context:

    (In Germany) “Not to get on the German fascist bandwagon is the gravest heresy, tantamount to treason”.

    It could be paraphrased today as “Not to get on the climate change bandwagon is the gravest heresy, tantamount to genocide.”

    1938:
    “In little more than a dozen years radio has become a major channel of communication. It is an instrument of propaganda which can be more immediately effective than the press or the motion picture. Propagandas of the air travel with speed of light. Millions of listeners can hear and respond instantly.

    By selection and emphasis, by suppression and distortion, the totalitarian regime uses radio [MSM] to inculcate the political, social, and cultural attitudes and beliefs it considers necessary or desirable.”

    We see this today in the constant social engineering of society, overturning long held social norms and replacing them with “progressive” ideology.

    I wrote this in 2007, published in Energy and Environment, it can be accessed here:
    “Global Warming – The Social Construction Of A Quasi-Reality”
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/science-papers/reprint/social-construction

    “The pressure to prove that anthropogenic global warming is real, and happening now has become so strong, that in spite of major and irresolvable uncertainties in climate models, there is a daily renewal and re-inforcement of the idea of scientific certainty in the mainstream media. Whilst uncertainties are often acknowledged in the body of scientific reports, they are rarely seen in press releases and executive summaries.”

    The Global Warming Beyond Argument approach was emphasised by David Miliband, as DEFRA Minister, at the Audit Commission annual lecture, 19 July 2006:

    “So the science is increasingly stark. The potential to solve climate change is increasingly in our hands. Public awareness and concern has never been higher. The challenge is to translate awareness into action.”

    The Labour-leaning Institute for Public Policy Research produced a report for the Blair government in 2006: “Warm Words: How are we telling the climate story and can we tell it better?” https://www.ippr.org/publications/warm-wordshow-are-we-telling-the-climate-story-and-can-we-tell-it-better

    “…it is our recommendation that, at least for popular communications, interested agencies now need to treat the argument as having been won. This means simply behaving as if man-made climate change is real, and that individual actions to prevent further change will be effective. [The Science is Settled].
    The UK Government’s new climate-change slogan—‘Together this generation will tackle climate change’ (Defra 2006)—is but an example of this approach. It constructs…its own factuality.”

    That has now become the default position in the media and in public bodies. Since then, the rhetoric has advanced ten-fold and “climate emergency” declarations have proliferated. Politicians must be seen to be “green”. We have ever more dire prophesies, the emotional outbursts of a manipulated Swedish teenager are given more weight than sound science and the narrative is still driven by the same people and organisations that have been driving it for the last couple or more decades.

    Insofar as climate is concerned, nothing has changed of any note, but we are told daily of the “increasing pace of climate change” (Sir David King a couple of days ago) and every news bulletin has a feature of the “latest impact of climate change”, with no supporting evidence, just “scientists say”. These claims when examined, prove unsupportable, but the headline is the thing, the retraction, if there is one, is lost in the noise of the next catastrophe.

    The over-riding authority is that of the UN, seeking Global Governance via Climate Change, in the form of a multitude of legally binding international treaties designed to enforce the sustainable development goals of Agenda 21 and 2030. The Holy Grail is a global “carbon” tax, with far reaching consequences of energy rationing and high cost energy bills.

    This is the reason for the current tsunami of climate stories, pronouncements by activist scientists, Greta, XR, The Conversation, Nature defamation etc. The protagonists aim for ratification of Paris 2015 in a blaze of glory here in the UK, (with Italy, so maybe the Pope can get involved), in 2020, in Glasgow. The Kyoto Accord was agreed in 1997, (John Gummer and John Prescott were there for the UK), it wasn’t ratified until 2005, when Russia was enticed to sign up with WTO blandishments from the EU.

    The winners are the global NGO’s, financiers, economists such as Lord Stern and colleagues at the Grantham Institutes and carbon credit and offset companies such as those of Al Gore, who will manage, monitor and enhance these measures on behalf of the UN. The regulations that emanate from the EU will seem as nothing, compared to what will come from the UN. Nature is to be managed by environmentalists, we must be kept away except under licence. The latest Marine Protection Areas are a foretaste of this and “re-wilding” is a constant theme.

    Management costs for a Clean Development project can be as much as 40% of the total project. Consultancy fees to advise businesses how to be “green” are considerable. The political push for “Zero Carbon” has unbelievable cost to the public for phantasmic gains in return, but with massive funding to the global conglomerates and international bankers. This is why they are on-board.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Geoff,

    About six hours ago I noticed the following article posted on The Conversation:

    https://theconversation.com/groupthink-is-it-a-valid-argument-against-climate-science-123050

    Struck by the irony that an article, professing there to be no groupthink in climate science, should be published on a supposedly academic website that has chosen fit to employ editorial tactics that are the very epitome of groupthink, I decided to register my misgivings thusly:

    “I agree with everything this article says regarding groupthink in climate science. As indeed I must if I don’t want my comment to be removed in accordance with the Conversation’s new moderation policy.”

    I’ve just received notification of my comment’s removal, together with the comments of three others who politely expressed disagreement with the sentiment of the article.

    I just don’t know — you disagree with someone who claims there is no censorship, and the response is to censor the disagreement. You just couldn’t make this stuff up.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. “I’ve never known a long-settled argument go on for so long — except, it isn’t an argument, is it? It’s just them presenting facts and us responding with well-funded lies.”

    huh? Piltdown man continued to be cited 40 years after being debunked. I imagine the fraud of climate skepticism will last a long time. after all moon landing skeptics, flat earthers, and 9 11 truthers still thrive.
    all science can be denied if you use standard skeptical tools.. its contigent truth after all.

    the existence or non existence of opposing views is not a relevant fact.

    Like

  27. Ketchell makes an absolutely desperate and demented attempted defence of the Con’s censorship policy – and ends up making the policy and the Con look even more demented and desperate than it did before. They simply cannot justify this intellectual cowardice, therefore they clutch, clutch, clutch at straws and present one straw man after another. Behold:

    https://theconversation.com/theres-a-good-reason-were-moderating-climate-change-deniers-uninformed-comments-undermine-expertise-123857

    Then there’s this:

    I feel the same sense of guilt towards my 19-year-old grandson, who is in his first year of university studying mathematics. The outlook is grim, not just for coral reefs but for society in general.

    My life’s work, spent mostly outside, has taken a toll on my health. I’ve had several skin cancers excised over the past 25 years and in recent years have undergone major skin cancer surgery. I have recovered well and still come to James Cook University every day. But the combination of ill-health, coupled with political inaction over the dire state of the environment, only compounds a feeling that I can’t really make a difference anymore.

    https://theconversation.com/this-situation-brings-me-to-despair-two-reef-scientists-share-their-climate-grief-123520

    Basically, it’s a week long intensive climate grief/alarmist/propaganda w**kfest at sceptical taxpayers’ expense, which deliberately excludes sceptical taxpayers.

    Like

  28. The more they open their big mouths and the more they attempt to silence our mouths and then hastily attempt to justify their increasingly desperate and transparently political attempts to shut the opposition up, the more they put their foot in it and end up looking really, really stupid and nakedly political, as far removed from the ‘Science’ which they profess to represent as is humanly possible.

    Like

  29. “the existence or non existence of opposing views is not a relevant fact.”

    I think I’ll frame that and hang it on my study wall, so the next time I am in danger of engaging in rational thought I can remind myself of the remarkable wisdom of the great Steven Mosher.

    Like

  30. How fortunate we are that the Conversation was not around to stifle the outright heresies of Drs. Barry J. Marshall and J. Robin Warren around the causes of stomach cancer. Their refuting of consensus science would definitely have been frowned upon, if not expunged altogether as dangerous.

    Like

  31. Kids at the UN and Con authors claiming they know all about the science and/or that we deniers should just shut up and listen to the science, which they obviously know next to nothing about, but claim it as their authority for talking absolute bloody nonsense about an imaginary climate crisis and banning all criticism of their efforts in the process. Delingpole nails it:

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/09/18/delingpole-fact-checking-alarmist-kids-false-claims-at-climate-crisis-hearing/

    Like

  32. Good stuff from Dellers there. In other good news:

    To great surprise it’s being misleadingly spun by the loser:

    Liked by 1 person

  33. SM,
    In rejecting skepticism you only finish the devolution you have perversely embraced in your long retreat from science and, perhaps more sadly, integrity.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. There’s a very good 4-minute video from Chris Kenny of Sky News Australia on this:

    https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6087244662001

    He ends with

    “This is not only unscientific, anti-academic, illiberal and anti-free-speech, it’s just dumb. It’s a gross misuse of the public money that certainly has gone to the Conversation in the past and certainly does support our universities now. These people are destroying the very intellectual freedom that should be the lifeblood of our universities”.

    Like

  35. Two rather different, lengthy tweet streams that suggest we could still do with a bit of debate:

    Colville quotes verbatim from official climate strike web pages earlier in the thread. The policy demands are worse than even I thought.

    This arose from our old friend Dr Betts commenting well – but not nearly well enough – on the news story Earth to warm more quickly, new climate models show three days ago. It’s noteworthy that Richard pretty much accepted the critique from Jones and Liljegren. But there’s no place for dissent in the Conversation? Really?

    Like

  36. The supposedly scientific journal, Nature, has now “come out”

    “Act Now and Avoid a Climate Crisis” – https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02734-x

    “As zero hour approaches, there can be no more kicking of climate cans. The time to act is now.
    That’s why Nature has joined Covering Climate Now, a collaboration between the world’s media organizations. For one week, starting on 15 September, Nature and more than 250 other outlets — with a combined audience of more than one billion — have committed to a week of intensive climate coverage (scroll down to see a list of our coverage, which will be updated throughout the week).”

    Like

  37. All tyrannies begin by demanding they be given the power to deal with an extraordinary emergency.
    The tyrants depend on useful idiots like our own SM and ATTP to the media to Greta and XR to drown out counter voices and reason. They depend on corrupting children. They depend on banning voices of dissent like the ironically bed “Conversation”.
    The coordinated worldwide demands for declaration of a “climate emergency” is much more serious and ominous than we might imagine.
    This is very likely to get very rough. Trump is in effect the Roman Emperor Justinian, who suspended the special status of the Christian Church after Constantine and was undermined and resisted by the church at every point. And came to a bad end.

    Like

  38. Good news for the rejectionists who think skepticism is a wicked practice to be removed from the scientific method.
    A new software for catastrophist true believers is in beta stage testing. This allows the fabrication of scary graphs and charts with even less thinking than currently required. Why should catastrophists be forced to use something the have so little regard for in the first place?

    This will free up true believers to make even more delphic banality.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. So the correct name of the Roman Emperor I was referring to is Julian, not Justinian.
    He was called by the Church who’s power he sought to limit, “Julian the Apostate”.
    He was the focus of huge propaganda and hate campaigns, and was likely assassinated by Church fanatics seeking to end his resistance to their ascendency.

    Like

  40. Hi hunterson7 – from your link

    “JCU Appeals.
    We must fight again, and will need about $1.5M AUD to take this as far as the High Court if necessary.”
    $1.5M AUD!!! – need big oil funding quick

    Like

  41. dfhunter,
    Yes indeed. Steve Mosher should be proud of how JCU is stomping out skepticism no matter the cost.
    How dare Prof. Ridd notice that the GBR is not in a tragic death spiral and then alert the public.
    How dare a tenured professor of all people question the consensus!?

    Like

  42. Geoff,

    Of course, another good use of moderation is to engineer an apparently successful outcome. So no matter how brutally stupid one has been in a debate, all one has to do to come out on top is to finish with a ridiculous rant and then delete any evidence that your opponent is still unimpressed. It is a pathetic, deceitful and immature tactic, so one would hope it would not be commonplace. But some people do it all the time, don’t they Willard?

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2019/09/18/moderation-at-the-conversation/

    Like

  43. Geoff,

    like all your works, particularly of late, this post is valued, whether or not you receive the thanks you deserve. It’s a good thing you do, and do well.

    Liked by 3 people

  44. Here is another thing for Steve Mosher and the rest supporting suppression of skepticism can be proud of:
    Brainwashed children

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Well here are some clips of what the banning of skepticism does to kids.
    Be proud, true believers and arrogant posers!

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Geoff,

    I have been further reflecting upon my recent experience over at ATTP, providing the main entertainment for the Ken Rice faithful. It strikes me that the opposition I met exemplifies the point made in your post. It seems that it wasn’t just a case of them not wishing me to say stuff; more specifically, they didn’t want me to say stuff that got them thinking about what other stuff I might be thinking.

    For example, there was the line of argument taken by one of the site’s moderators, Willard. Now, it isn’t the first time I have had the misfortune of debating online with this individual, and on all such occasions I have found him to be quite unwilling or incapable of understanding exactly what had actually been written – he seems, instead, to be content at hurling baseless accusations that betray a disturbing level of preconception and prejudice. So I should just put his outrage down to a simple misunderstanding on his part. However, his latest performance seemed to suggest that the problem may be even more deep-rooted. Specifically, he resorted to counting the number of times the word ‘groupthink’ had appeared in my comments, in order to demonstrate my eagerness to place the claim that it exists within the climate science community. It seemed unimportant to him that not one of the appearances was within the context of such a claim being made. It’s as if, like ‘Beetlejuice’, all I needed to do was say the word three times and all sorts of contrarian mischief would be conjured up.

    Throughout the discussion, one thing was clear: It didn’t matter what I had written, what mattered was the fact that I was a ‘contrarian’, so my thoughts could be presumed and then used to infer an ulterior motive behind the written words. Willard asked who did I think I was fooling. The answer is, no one. But it was obvious from very early on that I was dealing with someone who was allowing cynicism to get in the way of basic comprehension. There was no attempt to fool him because he seemed to be doing such a good job of fooling himself. I think that is the position we have arrived at with regard to The Conversation. Our role as their favourite jester is redundant since they now seem happy enough to amuse themselves to death.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. The Con can’t help itself. It churns out headlines which are unintentionally spot on, even though the wibbly waffly text below kind of makes clear that the headline doesn’t quite say what it appears to say.

    Greta Thunberg’s radical climate change fairy tale is exactly the story we need.

    Yes, it is a fairytale, albeit a very dark one (you might call it ‘Hansen and Greta’). Yes, it is exactly what they need to scare the bejeezus out of millions of kids everywhere so they are brainwashed into climate protests on behalf of their adult manipulators.

    I say ‘kind of’ makes clear, because if you read this inane waffle, the unintentional self-parody just gets even more remarkable:

    The good news is that climate change stories can change. Not that long ago, there were few stories about climate change. Today, the number has dramatically increased.

    Until recently, there were not many stories that linked climate change to extreme weather events. Increasingly, these stories are being told.

    You see? Now that they’ve made the false, nay, in many cases, outright fraudulent link with extreme weather, they’ve got lots more stories to tell.

    But Greta’s fairy tale is apparently not her climate change fairy tale, but growth economists’ fairytale, the one where economic growth and industrial development [didn’t] drag the world kicking and screaming out of the Dark Ages, [didn’t] propel millions out of extreme poverty and trigger all the marvels of technology and comforts which we presently enjoy: that one. The fairytale which says that further economic growth will destroy the planet and will not benefit many millions more living in terrible poverty.

    “We are in the beginning of mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth,”

    The Con agrees (or does it?). It’s time to stop this myth and go back to living in mudhuts – and darkies who might aspire to a better way of life, well they can just STAY living in mudhuts.

    And now is the time to be grateful for a 16-year-old who sailed across the ocean and dared to tell the world’s leaders that the fairy tale must end.

    But hang on. The author says the fairy tale must end, but yet, according to the title, Greta’s fairytale is exactly the one we need! No wonder the Con doesn’t want their ‘experts’ being harrassed by deniers in the comments. They can’t even string together a few paragraphs which stand the test of competent English comprehension, let alone scientific authenticity.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Jaime,

    I have been studying Greta’s behaviour and I think there is clear evidence that she is suffering from a debilitating neurological condition – and I’m not talking about Asperger’s Syndrome. It is a condition marked by a surfeit of suboptimal synaptic connectivity within the prefrontal cortex; sluggish neuronal communication due to under-myelination; ineffective moderation of the limbic system by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; impaired cyclicity of hormonal release, further exacerbating dysfunction due to deferred frontal cortical maturation; and diminished moderation of amygdaloidal response by the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. It is quite a serious condition that results in impairment of judgment, reduced emotional regulation and delusional self-importance allied to social and situational anxieties. Individuals suffering this condition should not be encouraged to engage in activities that can lead to a worsening of symptoms, let alone be put in charge. The condition goes by a number of terms but the one used most often is ‘adolescence’.

    Liked by 4 people

  49. This is off topic as far as The Conversation goes but I think quite a few of you will be interested in the historical context. It’s a documentary from the 80s on the activities of the “loony left” who held power in the London boroughs, but it might as well have been made yesterday.

    Like

  50. Check out the latest Nonversation nonsense.

    https://theconversation.com/misogyny-male-rage-and-the-words-men-use-to-describe-greta-thunberg-124347

    At a deep level, the language of climate denialism is tied up with a form of masculine identity predicated on modern industrial capitalism – specifically, the Promethean idea of the conquest of nature by man, in a world especially made for men.

    By attacking industrial capitalism, and its ethos of politics as usual, Thunberg is not only attacking the core beliefs and world view of certain sorts of men, but also their sense of masculine self-worth. Male rage is their knee-jerk response.

    This is not new. Climate crisis fanatics have been trying for years to identify climate change scepticism with the last desperate gasps of the outgoing capitalist/industrialist white male-dominated patriarchy. Their claims just get more outrageous, absurd, intensely hypocritical and bigoted and now they’ve got a 16 year old GIRL to use as a very convenient foil to continue their absurd argument by simply writing off legitimate criticism of their socialist regressive agenda as ‘misogyny’.

    What is even more pathetic of course is that they have excised all legitimate criticism on their site of this latest ridiculously stupid and unbelievably hypocritical attempt to deflect criticism in the media where they can’t control criticism!

    Whole columns of:

    “This comment has been automatically flagged for inspection by a moderator.”

    Then this:

    Molly Glassey
    Molly Glassey is a Friend of The Conversation

    Digital Editor, The Conversation

    We’re closing comments on this article as we don’t have the moderation resources at the moment to keep an eye on them. Thanks, Molly
    2 hours ago

    These people have lost all sense of moral decency, are devoid of reason and rationality and thrive now only in the self-imposed vacuums they have created online and in the media. I cannot wait for those vacuums to implode, as they surely must.

    Like

  51. Jaime,

    Before Associate Professors in Media, and lecturers in English and Writing, pontificate upon neurological conditions, psychological illnesses and matters related to age, they should do a little homework. However, as long as they post their ill-informed garbage on the Conversation, they may rest assured that they cannot be challenged. When Meg Vertigan wrote that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was being ‘offensive to people with anxiety disorders’ by suggesting that kids were being subjected to ‘needless anxiety’, I couldn’t help but reflect upon my own GAD. So was Morrison’s statement offensive to me? Not in the least bit. But Vertigan’s suggestion that I would find it so was profoundly offensive! Even more offensive is the fact that I am no longer in a position to point out on The Conversation that it is the egregiously ill-informed Vertigan — the one who clearly has no professional understanding — who actually offends those with anxiety disorders.

    Really, Jaime, I implore you, stop reading The Conversation. It isn’t good for anyone’s mental health.

    Like

  52. The Nonversation is bad for your health John, no doubt about it, and it’s advisable to limit exposure to it for just a few minutes a week if you are of sound mind and want to stay that way. But, being weak-willed and curious as the cat which got killed, I decided to take just one last peek and to my amazement found something that made me laugh more than wring my hands in despair.

    “Leave ‘em laughing instead of crying: Climate humor can break down barriers and find common ground”

    https://theconversation.com/leave-em-laughing-instead-of-crying-climate-humor-can-break-down-barriers-and-find-common-ground-120704

    Climate change is not inherently funny.

    Really? Are you sure? I mean, have you talked to 99% of scientists and climate activists to confirm this?

    Typically, the messengers are serious scientists describing how rising greenhouse gas emissions are harming the planet on land and at sea, or assessing what role it played in the latest wildfire or hurricane.

    Society may have reached a saturation point for such somber, gloomy and threatening science-centered discussions. This possibility is what inspires my recent work with colleague Beth Osnes to get messages out about climate change through comedy and humor.

    Erm, I think you may have a teensy weensy problem there with the current world-acclaimed, Nobel prize nominated climate communicator extraordinaire, the One, the only, the Saint Greta of Aspergers, whose trademark deliverance is, how shall I say it, not exactly predisposed to induce fits of hysterics in the audience. Though having said that, I did find her latest speech quite amusing and entertaining.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. @Jaime Jessop

    just knew you would pick up on the death metal dark messiah clip.

    o/t – but other cli/activists must be getting pissed off with Greta hogging the MSM & maybe eating into the cash flow to them.

    for example – just watched whale wars on the travel channel (sad I know)
    “Sea Shepherd is an international direct-action ocean conservation movement”

    they try desperately to film themselves doing dangerous stunts to stop legitimate? Japanese whalers & end up on the travel channel!!!

    Like

  54. DFHUNTER,

    I’ve said all along that climate alarmism is sucking funds from genuine environmental campaigns and now the obsessive media coverage of Greta is eclipsing work on so many other smaller, no less urgent and certainly more imminent and believable threats to the environment and wildlife, effectively starving such campaigns of the vital oxygen of publicity. It’s a tragedy.

    On a lighter note, alarmists can’t do comedy. Sceptics however, can and do.

    Like

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