Last night the BBC published a “reality check” about the “new climate change denial”:

COP26: The truth behind the new climate change denial

By Rachel Schraer & Kayleen Devlin

BBC Reality Check

This article is so full of logical fallacies that I was taken aback – you might say it was “worse than I thought.” I have witnessed over the years a slow change in the BBC: it has always published alarmist articles, but it has only recently began to demonise sceptics and argue past them with propaganda. The new article was a new low.

As world leaders met at the COP26 summit to debate how to tackle climate change, misleading claims and falsehoods about the climate spiralled on social media. Scientists say climate change denial is now more likely to focus on the causes and effects of warming, or how to tackle it, than to outright deny it exists.

The BBC would probably call me a denier, but I have never thought that global warming (as we used to call it) was not happening, nor that the increased concentration of CO2 was not a significant contributor. I was fully signed up to the alarm until I started looking at the data.

We’ve looked at some of the most viral claims of the past year, and what the evidence really says.

Good. Let’s see if any of your allegations stack up.

The claim: A ‘Grand Solar Minimum’ will halt global warming

People have long claimed, incorrectly, that the past century’s temperature changes are just part of the Earth’s natural cycle, rather than the result of human behaviour. In recent months, we’ve seen a new version of this argument. Thousands of posts on social media, reaching hundreds of thousands of people over the past year, claim a “Grand Solar Minimum” will lead to a natural fall in temperatures, without human intervention. But this is not what the evidence shows. A grand solar minimum is a real phenomenon when the Sun gives off less energy as part of its natural cycle. Studies suggest the Sun may well go through a weaker phase sometime this century, but that this would lead, at most, to a temporary 0.1 – 0.2C cooling of the planet. That’s not nearly enough to offset human activity, which has already warmed the planet by about 1.2C over the past 200 years and will continue to rise, possibly topping 2.4C by the end of the century.

OK, where to begin. I have never made any claims about Grand Solar Minima or anything else to do with the Sun. Nevertheless, some sceptics do major on this. But what proportion of these base their argument on the Sun “giving off less energy”? I do not believe that total solar irradiance (TSI) varies enough to have a sizeable effect on climate. That does leave room for nuance: what about irradiance in the UV? More importantly, what about the Sun’s magnetic field and its effect on cosmic rays and cloud formation? We know that the cosmic ray/cloud nucleation effect has been shown in principle. Whether this has a scaled-up effect, I do not know. But it is clumsy of the BBC to put the Sun in a crucible and boil it down to TSI alone.

We know recent temperature rises weren’t caused by the changes in the Sun’s natural cycle because the layer of atmosphere nearest the earth is warming, while the layer of atmosphere closest to the Sun – the stratosphere – is cooling. Heat which would normally be released into the stratosphere is being trapped by greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide from people burning fuel. If temperature changes on Earth were being caused by the Sun, we would expect the whole atmosphere to warm (or cool) at the same time.

The argument seems to be that because the Sun is nearer to the stratosphere than the troposphere, any increase in TSI would be noticeable in the stratosphere. But as usual there is nuance here that is not discussed. First, I draw your attention to this graphic of stratospheric temperatures by Remote Sensing Systems:

Note how the temperature does not, with the best will in the world, seem to be declining as the BBC would have you believe – at least, not since the mid 90s. You can see the temperature spikes owing to volcanic dust. But we also know that the earlier part of the figure coincides with another onrushing catastrophe, the ozone hole. Naturally ozone is famed for absorbing UV and sparing us skin cell damage – such absorption, one presumes, increases the temperature of the stratosphere. Thus we might expect a decline in ozone to be matched by a decline in stratospheric temperatures absent any nudging from increased CO2 concentrations in the troposphere.

The claim: Global warming is good

Various posts circulating online claim global warming will make parts of the earth more habitable, and that cold kills more people than heat does. These arguments often cherry-pick favourable facts while ignoring any that contradict them.

Pot, meet kettle. In any case I am always cautious in saying that cold kills more than hot. Sure, more people by far die in the winter, a pattern exemplified in the UK. This is as much to do with respiratory illnesses as actual temperatures, since the low temperatures force socialising to be done indoors. And no-one freezes to death in the UK (there are rare exceptions). But there are falls on ice leading to broken hips, and hypothermia in cold homes.

Average deaths per week for each month, England and mean Central England Temperature. Data: mortality, ONS (2019); CET, UK Met Office (undated). [Figure 45 from Denierland]

For example, it’s true that some inhospitably cold parts of the world could become easier to live in for a time. But in these same places warming could also lead to extreme rainfall, affecting living conditions and the ability to grow crops, [sic for hanging comma]

“For a time”? What is it that the BBC knows that we don’t? Is Aunty seriously suggesting that EVERYWHERE THAT IS TOO COLD NOW WILL SOON BE TOO HOT? Also, that’s a magnificent “could” they slipped in there. Sure, it “could” lead to extreme rainfall, but I don’t think there’s any serious evidence for that.

At the same time, other parts of the world would become uninhabitable as a result of temperature increases and rising sea levels, like the world’s lowest-lying country, the Maldives.

It is only possible to make such claims if you do not know, or deliberately do not wish to know, how low-lying islands in the Maldives are formed. The claim is wrong. If the Maldives are under threat, it is from construction, water abstraction, pollution, overfishing, etc… none of which are things the locals can blame the West for. Nor can they demand reparations for them.

There may be fewer cold-related deaths. According to a study published in the Lancet, between 2000 and 2019, more people died as a result of cold weather than hot. However, a rise in heat-related deaths is expected to cancel out any lives saved. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says overall, “climate-related risks to health [and] livelihoods…are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5 degrees”. Any small local benefits from fewer cold days are expected to be outweighed by the risks of more frequent spells of extreme heat.

Oh good, well, I suppose there is no such thing as an air conditioner? I know, power is going to be so expensive that… wait! These hot days will coincide with strong sunshine and free power via solar PV, so it looks like we’re saved after all. It will be easier, I hope the BBC will agree, to use solar power to cool houses than it will to use solar power to heat them.

The claim: Climate change action will make people poorer

A common claim made by those against efforts to tackle climate change is that fossil fuels have been essential to driving economic growth. So limiting their use, the argument goes, will inevitably stunt this growth and increase the cost of living, hurting the poorest.

The claim is made and as far as I can see it is true. It would take powerful evidence to disprove it.

But this isn’t the whole picture. Fossil fuels have powered vehicles, factories and technology, allowing humans over the past century to make things at a scale and speed which would previously have been impossible. This enabled people to make, sell and buy more things, and become richer.

Still true. The “but” is still hanging portentously, sword of Damocles style.

But stopping using coal doesn’t mean returning to the days of ox-drawn carts and hand-cranked machines – we now have other technologies that can do a similar job. In many places, renewable electricity – powered by wind or solar energy for example – is now cheaper than electricity powered by coal, oil or gas. On the other hand, studies predict that if we don’t act on climate change by 2050, the global economy could shrink by 18% because of the damage caused by natural disasters and extreme temperatures to buildings, lives, businesses and food supplies. Such damage would hit the world’s poorest the hardest.

The renewable electricity is free inasmuch as it uses no fuel. It is still more expensive than fossil fuel power in most cases. Otherwise there would not be an annual £10,000,000,000 bill for renewable subsidies in the UK, nor a >£1,000,000,000 bill for balancing the grid every year. No allowance is made for the necessity for doubling supply in order to provide for lulls in the wind, etc. To say that the global economy could shrink by 18% because of climate change needs its own reality check. From memory, this relates to a decrease against a large “business as usual” baseline, AND it depends on socio-economic conditions that are dependent on “anti-development” policies. (I will look this up and update when I have more time.)

The claim: Renewable energy is dangerously unreliable

Misleading posts claiming renewable energy failures led to blackouts went viral earlier in the year, when a massive electricity grid failure left millions of Texans in the dark and cold. These posts, which were taken up by a number of conservative media outlets in the US, wrongly blamed the blackout on wind turbines.

As I understand it, over-reliance on wind was at least a contributing factor.

Blackouts are an artefact of poor electricity generation and distribution management,” says John Gluyas, executive director of the Durham Energy Institute. He says the claim that renewable energy causes blackouts is “nonsensical…. Venezuela has oodles of oil and frequent blackouts”.

Wow – we have now hit rock bottom. Venezuela has lots of oil. Venezuela has grid failures. Therefore, too much oil is the cause of grid failures. Another case of “less is more”, or perhaps better, an obvious failure to match the two premises to the conclusion. Let’s see if we can construct one: Boris is blonde. Boris is stupid. Therefore, blonde hair made Boris stupid. Come on, BBC!

According to Jennie King from the think tank ISD Global, this discrediting of renewable energies is a “key line of attack for those keen to preserve reliance on, and subsidies for, oil and gas”.

“Those keen to preserve reliance on… oil and gas” – or, as I like to say, “those keen to keep the lights on.” (ISD again? The new go-to organisation for dumb quotes?)

Critics of renewable energy schemes also claim the technology kills birds and bats, ignoring the studies that estimate that fossil fuel-powered plants kill many times more animals.

That’s because wind turbines do kill birds and bats, and the studies showing worse from fossil fuel stations are wrong. (I promise to dig into this: I am relying on memory here, but I think the claim is that increasing CO2 is causing the deaths via speculative knock-on effects on climate, not anything to do with the power plants per se. Either way, this does not rule out nuclear power, which beats wind turbines for reliability and does not kill wildlife.)

There’s no doubt some wildlife, including birds, are killed by wind turbines. But according to the LSE’s Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment: “The benefits for wildlife of mitigating climate change are considered by conservation charities… to outweigh the risks, provided that the right planning safeguards are put in place, including careful site selection.”

Careful site selection? Perhaps Reality Check should look into how much of the North Sea is going to be covered with whirligigs, and then they can plot safe courses for migratory birds through this minefield, and tell seabirds where they are going to be able to safely forage? And I think the BBC has missed out a word in the name of that outfit: it’s the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

Careful siting of wind farms

CONCLUSION

Perhaps the Reality Check team would find it useful to speak to a sceptic or three, to find out what they really think, rather than engaging in raising straw men that are easy to knock down, providing irrelevant or discredited evidence, not providing easily available relevant evidence (picking nuts), assuming the (impossible) worst and even presenting ill-constructed syllogisms supplied by an expert without a synapse or two firing off to say “hang on, this is nonsense.”

VERDICT: Cobblers.

50 Comments

  1. Jit, thank you for doing that – somebody needed to. Even by the egregiously low standards of the BBC these days, that article takes the biscuit. It’s a striking irony that a “Reality Check” article – from the BBC, of all people, once the most trusted of broadcasters – can be so flippant, and so unreal in its conclusions.

    It was a hatchet job, nothing more, nothing less. We are no longer to be allowed even to discuss the damage caused by climate policies, nor are we to be allowed to point out obvious truths. What was it George Orwell wrote in 1984? “Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”

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  2. Jit,

    But they did listen to the sceptics. They determined what the most prevalent denialist memes were on the internet but just forgot to show us their data. Ha ha.

    I took a quick look at the research that proves that fossil and nuclear kill more birds and, yes, it is mostly about speculations regarding the effects of climate change. Also, the toxicity of uranium mines, bumping into cooling towers and electrocution from construction equipment also get a mention. I recommend you dig it out and cast your jaundiced eye upon it.

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  3. Absolutely appaling! I applaud your energy in unpicking this excrement. I have lost the energy. If fear that facts and logic no longer carry any weight. Thanks

    Like

  4. what Einstein said – “Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth”

    ps – some dispute if he said it that way !!!

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  5. ps – funny how the BEEB mock – “COP26: The truth behind the new climate change denial….We’ve looked at some of the most viral”

    then at the end of most news items they end with a clip that has gone “viral” ?

    nuff said – double standards or is viral now one of those words which has changed it’s meaning ?

    Like

  6. It gets worse:

    “Climate change: Conspiracy theories found on foreign-language Wikipedia
    By Marco Silva
    Climate change disinformation specialist”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-59325128

    Now the BBC is even employing a “Climate change disinformation specialist”. Think about for a moment. Logically it seems his job must be to spend most of his working day sniffing out “climate change disinformation”, however fanciful or obscure, then write it up in articles to be broadcast on the BBC. Increasingly Stalinist.

    Get this:

    “Several foreign-language Wikipedia pages seen by BBC News are promoting conspiracy theories and making misleading claims about climate change.

    A number, including some in Swahili, Kazakh and Byelorussian, suggest scientists are divided over its causes.”

    I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked.

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  7. Apparently there is a radio programme coming soon as well.

    I have provided the two of them (Schraer and Devlin) with links to this article on twitter.

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  8. Mark,

    I share your puzzlement over these new-fangled titles (see my Open Mic comment of Nov 16th, 10:19am)

    You will note that back then the article concerned (‘How Covid conspiracists are shifting to climate change denial’) was not given to one of the BBC News Climate Change Disinformation Specialists, but to one of their Specialist Disinformation Reporters. Either they have an emporium of specialists of varying specialism, or they are making up the these titles to suit the article. My money is on the latter, which means of course that bullshitting is the real specialism on display here.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Have the BBC not realised that titles like “Climate Change Disinformation Specialist” and “Specialist Disinformation Specialist” can be read two ways according to whether the disinformation originates within the BBC or not. I must admit that whenever I see one of the titles used my first inclination is to double-take thinking that the BBC is spreading false or suspect information yet again.

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  10. Misinformation seems to be the word of the moment:

    “New windfarm impressions slammed”

    https://www.dng24.co.uk/new-windfarm-impressions-slammed/

    “NEW artist impressions of Scoop Hill windfarm released by campaigners have been labelled as ‘misinformation’.

    Save Our Hills Moffat (SOHM) have created their own artist impressions of the visibility of turbines from the town based on designs and documents released by Community Windpower Limited (CWL).

    The group is planning to publish them on social media in the coming days.

    One of the designs (pictured) apparently depicts the visibility of 24 turbines from Moffat Golf Course.

    However, the image has been called “inaccurate” by CWL and Scoop Hill project manager Steve Milburn said: “It is worth stressing that all the photomontages prepared informing our application to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit are constructed within restrictive guidelines published by NatureScot.”

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  11. I have already commented on Paul Homewood’s post, so i won’t duplicate them all.
    One in moderation lists the 8 fundamental promo tweets BBC accounts did for the item

    One tweet mentions they have a radio show this week
    That radio show might be this, which runs times this weekend
    5. ‘We fight climate denial on Wikipedia’
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3ct2yqn
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3ct2yqn

    It begins

    by now THERE SHOULD BE NO DOUBT in your mind !
    Global warming is REAL
    It is man made
    and it THREATENS every SINGLE ASPECT of our lives
    yet if you go on Wikipedia, you’ll still find people Hell bent on denying the science
    … They are doing their best to warp the truth by rewriting it

    that’s #Orwellian
    and “Confession through projection” is standard libmob behaviour

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  12. @dfhunter did you miss a word there ?
    “at the end of most news items they end with a clip that has ACTUALLY NOT gone “viral” ?

    BBC Trending is an ambush name
    cos it is always about stories the BBC *wish were* trending

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  13. Pug comments
    Here’s the Guardian today…
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/21/climate-denial-far-right-immigration
    ‘Climate denial is waning on the right.
    What’s replacing it might be just as scary’
    ‘The wrapping of ecological disaster with fears of rampant immigration is a narrative that has flourished in far-right fringe movements in Europe and the US…
    Representatives of this line of thought around the world are, in many cases, echoing eco-fascist ideas that themselves are rooted in an earlier age of blood-and-soil nationalism.’

    Hmmm…warnings of mass migration due to climate change have been the stock line from the BBC et al for years especially as the climate change hysteria has been ramped up recently…indeed here’s Attenborough [otherwise known as Little Adolf] in the…er…Guardian in 2019

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  14. The Reality Check thing is GASLIGHTING isn’t it
    There is a real world
    Yet it is trying to convince us that is false, and that their fantasy is truth.
    It isn’t.

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  15. Re: Comments on Spiked

    I note that, despite the Ben Pile article appearing under the tagline ‘Free Speech’, the following rule applies:

    “Only spiked supporters, who donate regularly to us, can comment on our articles.”

    I can understand why the likes of Spiked are needed to uphold freedom of speech in society, and how financial support might be important, but, even so, the commenting policy seems a bit off message.

    Like

  16. That’s a really good article by Ben Pile (thanks Jit).

    If I may briefly use the Cliscep version of ‘free speech’ to disagree with John (or perhaps only differ in emphasis from him) …when I’m busy with other things it’s a relief to be able to read a concise and thoughtful critique of the latest BBC bilge without the possibility of egregious commentary from the unwashed masses. The idea of only regularly-paying subscribers taking part in comments seems absolutely fine to me (I’d be interested in how overall quality is affected) and in no way contrary to free speech – because there are plenty of other places, like this one or various alarmism-sympathetic blogs, where one can vent one’s spleen at Ben in one direction or another. Or indeed there’s Twitter.

    Back to the content, the way Ben deals with the claimed link between Covid conspiracism and the climate variety is superb. The only thing I’d add to all such specious claims is: please look at the history of climate scepticism (as it is now called) going back to Richard Lindzen and others in 1988. This isn’t a spinoff enterprise of the 2020s. The basic critique has varied very little since the 80s – it’s just that the available data has been moving strongly in our favour. Though you might not have picked that up from our state broadcaster.

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  17. Richard,

    My concern would be that any posted dialogue concerning a particular point of view is bound to be skewed if, in order to take part, one has to first give financial support to those advocating that point of view. So I can’t see how having a paywall on the comments feed could not help but affect the quality of the discourse in that feed. Yes, people can go elsewhere to express their disagreement but this just leads to silos. There is no paywall at ATTP but, as far as I am concerned, there might as well be. So whenever someone says something on there that I wish to take issue with, I have to do it here. It is a hopeless situation to be in. Is it still free speech when you are not able to ensure that the people you would wish to hear it actually get to do so?

    Maybe I’m just being naïve. Maybe ‘free speech’ is a fancy idea that doesn’t actually make a great deal of sense when one gets down to the practicalities.

    Like

  18. P.S. I should add that free speech is alive and well here on Cliscep. I am aware that I have now posted 90 articles here and have yet to pay a penny for the privilege. This is entirely down to your generosity.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Is it still free speech when you are not able to ensure that the people you would wish to hear it actually get to do so?

    Yes, obviously. Any system that forced people to listen to their critics would almost certainly be less free than one in which people are free to choose not to do so.

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  20. Wikipedia’s initial definition is “Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction”. Interesting to contemplate how well (or otherwise) ATTP fulfils this brief, especially with regard to retaliation and censorship. And then Ken comes over here and pontificates to us.

    Like

  21. ATTP,

    But I can’t see how it would be forcing anyone to do anything; there is such a thing as moderation, after all. Besides which, I would have thought that it is always healthy to listen to your critics, albeit with a filter designed to remove trolling. If I had posted something expressing a particular viewpoint, and then decreed that payment is required before anyone can respond to it, I would not then expect a broad range of opinions to emerge. That’s all I am saying.

    Like

  22. Alan,
    I’m pretty sure that freedom of speech doesn’t really apply to how people choose to run their own blogs. If someone is prevented from commenting on my blog that doesn’t somehow then prevent them from expressing that view anywhere else.

    John,
    I tend to agree that it’s worth listening to critics. That still leaves the choice with the listener, rather than with the critic.

    Like

  23. ATTP. “I’m pretty sure that freedom of speech doesn’t really apply to how people choose to run their own blogs”. Oh that is quite clear from the way you run your little empire or deputise others to wield the hatchet 🪓 .

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  24. ATTP,

    This is an issue of communication, and so we should be considering separately the rules regarding transmission and reception. There is the freedom to broadcast and the freedom to tune in.

    As for the ‘you can go elsewhere’ argument, I don’t disagree, but as I have already said, this is surely creating silos and echo chambers.

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  25. Alan,
    You sound as though you’re upset about having been moderated/banned, but I don’t think you’ve ever even tried commenting.

    John,
    I’m sure it does play a role in creating silos and echo chambers. However, I do think this is somewhat distinct from the issue of whether or not this a freedom of speech issue.

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  26. ATTP,

    I don’t think freedom of speech is just a case of ‘as long as you can speak somewhere’. I tend to see it as being always within a context, i.e. am I free to speak in this company.

    Like

  27. ATTP. “ You sound as though you’re upset about having been moderated/banned, but I don’t think you’ve ever even tried commenting.”
    Your records/memory are wrong/incomplete. My one and only attempt to post was eliminated without explanation. When I used to read your blog I also noted instances of others being banned/moderated/mocked or otherwise abused. I don’t read it today, life’s too short.

    Today I just got irritated by the glib manner by which you intervened here, pontificating about free speech, given the practices you encourage or tolerate on YOUR site.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. ATTP,

    >”That’s not my understanding of the standard definition. I don’t think that exclusion from a group is typically a free speech issue.”

    Well, I think there is a debate to be had there, since Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights talks of “freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers…”, so clearly context is an issue. I am perfectly free to go down to the beach and shout at the sea, but I don’t count that as freedom of speech; an audience of choosing is required in order to give the concept practical value, I think.

    However, I am not particularly looking to have that debate just now, since my main purpose is simply to point to a specific practicality: If one posts something expressing a particular viewpoint, and then decrees that payment is required before anyone can respond to it, one cannot not then expect a broad range of opinions to emerge.

    Like

  29. Dfhunter,

    Steady on now, that’s how rumours can start. Just for the record, I am not Aqua Man. The ‘shouting at the sea’ reference was just a way of emphasising that freedom of speech is always with respect to a specified audience, e.g. one can talk of freedom of speech in universities. Kathleen Stock was at liberty to express her views on transgender politics, but not it seems on the campus. That made it a freedom of speech issue. As ATTP has pointed out, there is the prerogative not to be exposed to certain views and much is made of the harm that the freedom to speak can sometimes cause (from the bothersome to the egregious). So it is understood that freedom of speech necessarily entails constraints. My only point had been that one has to be careful how these are applied, since they can seem quite innocent but skew the debate in certain quarters in a way that may not be immediately recognised.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. John,

    As ATTP has pointed out, there is the prerogative not to be exposed to certain views and much is made of the harm that the freedom to speak can sometimes cause (from the bothersome to the egregious).

    I wasn’t really saying anything about the harm that freedom of speech can cause. I certainly think suppressing speech can do a great deal of harm, so I do think we should be very careful of suppressing free speech. I was simply highlighting that the freedom to speak isn’t the same as the freedom to be heard. People are free to ignore, even if it would be better if they did not.

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  31. ATTP,

    The sentence you quote is a little ambiguous. I wasn’t saying that you had made the point regarding harm, nevertheless, ‘much is made’ of it. Perhaps a comma before the ‘and’ was needed.

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  32. ATTP writes “I certainly think suppressing speech can do a great deal of harm”. Such gall, such chutzpah. Why doesn’t he practice in his own blog what he’s preaching over here?

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  33. Alan,
    I not intend to preach. I thought I was mostly agreeing. That my blog is strongly moderated is not – IMO – a free speech issue. As far as I’m concerned, I’m simply exercising my right to run my blog how I choose to run it.

    Like

  34. ATTP,

    Actually, the reason why I no longer feel it is wise to comment on your forum is not because it is strongly moderated, it is because it is both dishonestly and tendentiously moderated.

    Like

  35. ATTP. And I am simply exercising my right here (in this ultra-low moderated site) to criticise your coming over here and giving us the considerable benefit of your experience of hosting a highly moderated site. We are mightily grateful (not).

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  36. JIT. You mentioned the Maldives. I took a holiday there in the early 1990s. One of the significant features of many of the islands at the centre of atolls is that they move. Shores on the growing sides are constructional with very low slopes. Soils closest to those shores are extremely immature. On the opposite side of the island, shores are erosional with mini clifflets. Adjacent soils are the most developed with dark humus (completely lacking on the constructional side of the islands). The evidence points to the islands moving in the direction of the constructional coast.

    This feature is exploited by the Maldivian government. Advertisements for tourism always show the inviting constructional coasts with their shallow beach sands, whereas when talking about the threat of sea-level rise they use the erosional coasts.

    When my wife and I offered to research these phenomena, we were refused permission. Not surprising really. We saw no evidence whatsoever to support claims of climate change drowning. The atoll reefs that surround each island contribute enough coral sand to form the island in the first place, and second, enlarge it and potentially keep it above any rising sea level. Most Maldivian reefs already rise to sea level and their growth is further curtailed. Any sea-level rise would be much appreciated by the reefs, allowing them to grow and contribute even more island-building sand.

    Liked by 3 people

  37. The problem of sea level rise in the Maldives can be explained by the excessive quarrying of corals for use in the building of luxury holiday homes.

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  38. Alan, I agree entirely. The same applies to barrier islands, in fact any islands that are low enough to be threatened by sea level rise. (Erosion is another thing altogether.) Islands not built of seaborne sediment are probably made of solid rock, and so at least a little higher.

    This seems to be another case of the facts not mattering. It just so happens that the “drowning islands” meme has an obvious plausibility about it that means it’s easy to accept it uncritically. However, as I was saying on the “Business as Usual” thread, it’s acceptable to believe such things if someone told you and you believed them, but not if you have looked into the facts yourself and found that the data indicate the opposite. Which is what our leaders ought to have done.

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  39. Bill. Large atolls in the Maldives lack islands (the large depression surrounded by the reef has not filled with sediment so no island forms) and many islands, surrounded by smaller atolls) are uninhabited. Reefs in these situations can safely be exploited. There is absolutely nothing else that can be exploited to build any permanent buildings. Unfortunately buildings have been built from coral from the nearest reefs, so potentially endangering the future of the island.
    It was information like this my wife and I wished to research and give informed advice to the Maldivian government.

    Certainly the luxury villas I stayed in were not built of corals.

    Like

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