This is very long, and won’t interest everyone. I had a rather odd conversation with a defender of Stop Oil Now on Twitter.
To my surprise, my comment got a lot of likes, and provoked this reply:
Paul McMc: You’re neither though, so how would you know?
To which I replied:
Geoff: Do you think only specialists know things?
Cadman: Depends on the things.
What follows is the major part of our discussion, minus an intervention from the estimable ManicBeanCounter and some digressions. I’ve added a word or two to improve the syntax where Twitter’s character number limits made my text obscure, and I may have got some parts out of order due to bifurcating threads. It’s not a masterpiece of Socratic dialogue, but it does illustrate what we’re up against, I think.
First, a certain Matt entered the fray:
Matt: So the consensus amongst climatologists is we are all going to die from climate change?
Cadman: Who said that? No Climate Science I have heard says that.
Geoff: Science doesn’t “say” anything. It’s is a process, not a Holy Scripture. What I (and Matt I guess) supposedly can’t know about (because we’re not specialists) is whether we’re all going to die from climate change. Idiots can spout this nonsense ‘cos scientists, alas, stay silent.
Cadman: Splitting hairs over word interpretation? Bad form. Matt made a statement, my challenge was where he drew that from, I am not aware that anyone having said that. Climate Scientists have never stayed silent, just their words fall on deaf ears.
Geoff: Not splitting hairs. Stop Oil freaks are deluded by hysterical headlines claiming “the science” says we’re all going to die etc. and few climate scientists have stepped up to correct them. Instead, rational sceptics are derided as flat earthers. Tell Stop Oil the truth please.
Cadman: No they are not. Where are these headlines ? Nowhere. Who are these rational sceptics? Usually Climate Science Deniers. Stop inventing a narrative, if you make a claim, be prepared to prove it.
Cadman: Brilliant vid and discussion about Renewables and Fossil Fuels. https://youtu.be/wNHe-lQrrOs
Cadman: Like this !
Geoff: [ignoring above diversion tactics] So if we agree that climate science doesn’t say “we’re all going to die” and you say there are no headlines saying so, where does Stop Oil get this idea, which is clearly implied in their questionnaire?
Cadman: It was you that made the claim about “we are all going to die” headlines, not me! Have you talked to someone from Just Stop Oil ? Where is this implication? I have not seen it.
Cadman: I have blocked your idiot mate, Matt, you are welcome to the same.
Geoff: Blocked from what? […] Matt was only asking for evidence.
Cadman: Do you know what a “Gish Gallop” is? Essentially an offensive barrage of questions delivered at speed, so that the opponent cannot reply, it is a form ad hom fallacy, meant to disable the person, and not the argument. That is your mate, Matt.
[By the time I got round to transcribing this, nothing was visible of Matt’s Gish Gallop except his one intervention above]
Geoff: […] Well now we’ve slowed down to a trot: If there are no headlines saying that “we’re all going to die” and, as we agree, climate science doesn’t say so, where did StopOil get that idea?
Cadman: I have no idea where that comes, I have not seen it, and you are the only person that has mentioned it. Is is sourced directly from Just Stop Oil literature ? Have you posed that point to JSO?
Geoff: From the JSO site: research: document: “Just Stop Oil: the Why and the How” p6:
“Further expansion of oil and gas production globally is putting us on course for human extinction”
It took me 3 minutes to find. There are thousands of similar quotes everywhere in the climate movement.
Cadman: Right, that clarifies it. That is an acceptable scientific and academic position to hold. We have had 5 Extinction events, the last one, End- Cretaceous about 30 mya. One of the defining features was C02 levels. Throughout the Holocene, the C02 level we (humans) evolved in was around 280 ppm, over 10,000’s ys. Our CO2 now is around 418 ppm and rising fast, over 300 years. See the problem? So, a reasonable worry is, we are the 6th Ext.
Geoff: You say: “Our CO2 now is around 418ppm and rising fast, over 300 years. See the problem?”
and we have been putting significant amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere for about 70 of those 300 years. See the problem?
Cadman: Absolutely, and glad that you do. Over the last 70 years we have added about a third more, so since the 1940’s we have increased ( by a third) the C02. If you are aware of this, and the dangers associated with it, you really should be campaigning with some climate group.
Geoff: No. I’m asking: do you see the problem of attributing catastrophic climate change to us, when temperatures have been rising for 300 years, & we’ve only been adding significant amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere for 70 yrs? What was the CO2 concentration in 1722 by the way?
Cadman: Nah, look again at your initial comment and my response. You claimed death, not the same as Extinction Event. I claimed I had not seen the comment you referred to, but am aware of Extinction Events. You playing “gotcha!”
Geoff: I’ll try again:
StopOil said: “..everyone is dead” (i.e. if we don’t stop oil) and: “.. on course for human extinction.”
You said: “I have no idea where that comes, I have not seen it, and you are the only person that has mentioned it.”
Stop Oil clearly think death & extinction are the same
Cadman: Death caused by Extinction, and death caused by old age, heart attack, starvation, war etc are not the same thing. Stop being disingenuous !
Geoff: No-one mentioned heart attacks etc. I’m asking where Stop Oil got the idea we’re all going to die from climate change if not from climate science or media headlines.
Cadman: Ask Just Stop Oil. We have been over already. Stop being disingenuous. Stop with the Sealioning. Block on the horizon.
[Link to Professor Richard Alley]
Geoff: From summary of Alley : “burning .. fossil-fuel.. and releasing the CO2 will cause large and long-lasting climate changes [which] will make life notably more difficult for future generations. A measured response starting soon is economically favorable.”
That’s not “we’re going to die” is it?
Cadman: So you have exhausted the other lines of attack, so returned to a post made earlier. True Sealion behavior. Look again and think about the quote you selected. Block looms ever closer.
Geoff: Block from what? Is this your twitter account? Are you StopOilNow?
Cadman: Guess. Go ahead, take a guess!
Geoff: So it’s you who put that quiz up. Why didn’t you say? When you recommended Alley I thought you were a climate scientist. We’ve been talking at cross purposes haven’t we?
Cadman: What quiz? Damn, you are weird!
Geoff: The one at the top of this thread. I tend to avoid long words like “questionnaire” because I’m afraid of overrunning my character quota. When I worked in market research we used to say “qu’aire” but with my English accent that could be misunderstood.
Cadman: Looking at your comment now, just another slither on your Sealion path, and another slither towards that beautiful block.
Cadman: Post it again, my “quiz”!
Cadman: So, you decided not to. Anytime!
Geoff: Decided not to do what?
Geoff: We’re at cross purposes again. I took your “Go ahead, take a guess,” together with your reference to blocking as an admission that this is your twitter account. Otherwise how could you block me?
Cadman: No, we are not, you claimed I posted a quiz, I did not. Repost or retract, your choice.
Cadman: So, you running then, looking for the exit?
Geoff: I’m trying to establish whether this twitter account is yours, but mainly: Where did Stop Oil get the idea that “we’re all going to die,” if not from climate scientists or the media? Why should I want to repost a quiz?
Cadman: Nope, you are playing disinformation games. Re: your claim about “my Quiz” Repost or Retract…. it is that easy, prove that I am lying or you are!
Geoff: So you didn’t post the quiz at the top of this thread? So this isn’t your account? In which case, what’s all this about blocking me?
Cadman: Repost it, this quiz that you claim I posted, so all can see what you are crowing [emoji of cock here] about. Nobody else has seen it except for you. Are you telling lies? Attempting to misinform and mislead? Are you a Climate Science Denier?
Geoff: As I explained (perhaps you didn’t see it) I used “quiz” as shorthand for the questionnaire at the top of this thread. If you didn’t post it, fine. What I was interested in, and what you seemed to be interested in too, is the source for StopOil’s claim that we’re going to die/become extinct.
Cadman: Nope, you lied and attempted to misinfrom and mislead. You attempted to create the false impression that my Twitter account was not mine. You attempt by constant negative repetition to undermine lines of debate, to gain dishonest advantage. You are dishonest, a liar. A sealion.
Geoff: Yes, but what about the question we started with about the source for Stop Oil’s claim that we’re going to die/become extinct? You said it’s not from climate science, & it’s not from press headlines, so where’s it from?
Cadman: Try this first !
« Nope, you lied and attempted to misinfrom and mislead. You attempted to create the false impression that my Twitter account was not mine. You attempt by constant negative repetition to undermine lines of deabate, to gain dishonest advantage. You are dishonest, a liar. A sealion »
Geoff: I’ve already read that. That’s what I was replying to. So please answer my question.
Cadman: So you have gone. Good. Next time you enter a discussion on climate, do so honestly and openly. I hope you have learnt that, this is way too important for playing climate science denial games with.
Geoff: What do you mean, “gone”? I’m waiting for a reply. You seem to agree with StopOil that we’re going to die from climate change, & you state that neither press headlines nor climate science make this claim. (Prof Alley certainly doesn’t.) So where does it come from?
Cadman: 2nd thoughts, going to mute you.
[I’m not sure what muting involves on Twitter, but this dialogue certainly left me speechless]