Climate Change Denialists (who get all shy)

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  • #96875 Reply

      There’s a bit in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance where Persig compares and contrasts a professor in a lecture hall presenting undergrads with a bench full of Frankenstein equipment against a motor mechanic diagnosing a non-starting engine by pressing the horn button to discover if the battery is discharged. Persig asks us, which of them is doing science?

      This comment may seem off-topic too, but I think there might be a link; possibly a very important one.

      #96890 Reply
      michael norton

        I guess my point is Battery cars will save no planets.
        A phenomenal amount of excavating has to be undertaken, mostly open cast.
        Huge quantities of fresh water are also needed, where does the used water go?
        Much of the machinery is using Diesel. Much machinery uses Methane.
        This will only ever be a niche product to the middle class. It will never be rolled out world wide to the relatively poor.

        #96941 Reply

          Michael, I reckon you’ve got a point. In the eco-crisis activist community we talk of a range of denial, from “hard denial” like claiming the polar ice loss data is a grand hoax by the international scientific community, through a whole range of “softer” denial, such as “the climate has always changed” and “extra carbon dioxide will make plants grow better”. Even the IPCC reports are full of this kind of denial, e.g. 98% of the “1.5 degrees by 2100” scenarios are dependent on carbon capture and storage technology that has stubbornly refused to scale up for over a decade. “Electric cars will save the planet” firmly falls into the soft denial category, for precisely the reasons you’ve described – and I’m saying that as someone who sees many more advantages to them than you do.

          We need fewer bloody cars whatever they run on, and a lot less of the infrastructure they depend on, and that implies a different direction to our way of life, because our current direction is more and more and more manufactured stuff, AKA “economic growth”.

          But I don’t believe that means we should all stay home and give up all socialising and pleasure, because I’m sure that isn’t how humans lived for the 300,000 years before we invented the car. There’s wonderful art, music, literature and poetry from before the invention of cars, not just dreary tracts about how miserable life was, and people in “poorer” i.e. less commercialised places aren’t universally miserable, in fact their societies are usually a lot more vibrant than ours.

          #96945 Reply

            Part of the problem is that the commercialist, materialist system aggressively promotes the myth that being happy and fulfilled can be achieved only by increasing consumption. It’s highly ironic because there’s never been so much wealth, yet there are epidemics of loneliness and depression.

            #97005 Reply
            Fat Jon

              @ Michael Norton

              ” Also, if EV becomes compulsary it will be the death of caravans being towed for recreation.
              I use to go sea fishing with my mate, we used his builders van to tow his boat, about 90 miles to the coast and ninety miles back, the van was a diesel, the boat ran on two stroke petrol.
              Maybe we should all stay at home and give up all socialising/enjoyment?”

              No one has suggested we all stay at home, and giving up all enjoyment is non-sequitur tactics.

              Do we really have to drive ICE cars to socialise or enjoy ourselves?

              Has anyone ever said EVs will become compulsory?

              This thread is about climate change; and although EVs are never going to be the answer to that, they are a step in the right direction. People who simply bury their heads in the sand and continually try to rubbish new technology in an effort to lessen their guilty consciences about driving ICE vehicles emitting all manner of noxious gases, are not helping. They are showing signs of a serious addiction to their lazy lifestyle.

              The point was that we should all consider driving less, and walking or cycling more. Not giving up altogether.

              Unfortunately, we have all been forced down the cul-de-sac of endless increases in growth and consumption as the only way to progress as a species. This cannot go on forever because supplies are finite. The nearest we will ever get to an infinite supply of anything is energy from the sun. Trillions of joules are passing us by every second, and we need to find a way of harnessing this energy supply without using vast quantities of the earth’s resources. Plants have managed it, so it should not be beyond human intelligence to do so.

              #97019 Reply
              michael norton

                Fat Jon, I do not think I have lived a lazy lifestyle, when young I did cross country running, I was in a rugby team for five years, engaged in serious caving for fifty years, these days i do walking, about twenty miles a week, with a little bit of swimming and some gentle cycling but I am retired.
                I have only once done an intercontinental flight.
                I do sometimes fly to Scotland, to see family.
                My car is Diesel but it is twenty years old, I hardly use it.
                My last job was tree surgeon, that is about as active job as you could imagine.

                #97045 Reply

                  Michael, thanks for the highly informative lecture by Prof. Paul Christensen. I knew that lithium ion batteries were a fire and explosion risk, but I’d no idea just how bad they are when they go, nor that they could spontaneously reignite hours after being extinguished. The lack of regulation is also very disturbing. As Christensen points out, Westminster banned electric vehicles from their underground car park years ago, but has comprehensively neglected to regulate the industry, protect the public, or even provide training to firefighters.

                  I’ve been thinking about adding electric assistance to some of my pedal cycles. I’m definitely going to look into other battery chemistries.

                  #97051 Reply

                    Prof. Paul Christensen has been involved in a lot of papers which can be found here. There is a good paper relating to the recycling of lithium ion batteries for anyone interested.
                    The EV fire risk is low, considerably lower than ICE car fires, but can be catastrophic if they do happen especially in certain places: How much of a fire risk are electric vehicles?
                    That article from autocar quotes Prof. Paul Christensen extensively. The Prof himself says:
                    “As someone who assisted Nissan during the creation of its battery plant, I would, if I could afford one, have a Nissan Leaf tomorrow,” he says. “We don’t need to be worried about the small incidence of fires involving electric vehicles but we do need to be aware.

                    “A lithium ion battery stores a huge amount of energy in a very small space. Since 2008, the adoption of such batteries has outstripped our appreciation of their risks. We’re running to catch up, but we will do.”

                    #97052 Reply

                      Some major issues on this HUGE topic arise e.g. from this small article in German JACOBIN
                      about Sarah Wagenknecht and the BSW´s staunch support for German combustion engines.

                      “The “hotspot burner” is a crazy idea”
                      April 29th 2024


                      The contradictions of market-economy supported by a classical left party – built on Classic genuine social democratic principles, because BSW is nothing else – are too obvious to point them out in this forum.

                      However what is the solution?

                      The Netherlands in the 1970s e.g. realized that they need a different traffic system and started to prepare for the age of bicycles.

                      The FRG never did prepare. Why so I do not know. After all, the companies must have known internally what will happen 40 years into the future. The hope that a reasonable grand Green plan would take shape has failed in devastating ways.
                      Most likely they never had any plans on part of the leadership. Which is very sad because German scholarship since the 1960s has been putting out countless suggestions, plans of how to prevent what is happening right now.

                      Fact is that 13% of German labour is directly depending on car manufacturing. Fact is that every major nation wants to sell its cars. Fact is that the major customer China has started to turn the table on the old guard of car-manufacturers.
                      Fact is that this was idiotic from the outset. Fact is that public transport especially in the US was fiercly fought early on after WWI by the oligarch class since selling cars, busses, trucks promised more profit and power than publicly owned transport. The same after WWII in most places.

                      Fact is that war on China is no solution.
                      Fact is that the Greens in Germany and Europe – the kind of Greens who are in power – are incapable of accepting the only solution, which is cooperation on an unprecedented scale with China, Japan, Korea, etc. re: cars or abandoning them.

                      Another one is a giant public tranport investment program across Europe and for the regional areas, th cities, the towns.
                      For possibilities and ideas the sky is the limit.
                      Even BMW et al. have “innovative” (a German biz buzzword) concepts on how to solve metropolitan traffic.
                      But they keep those in their drawers.

                      Because, as the current sit. is – it´s simply total negligence to demand that people take the train into town where their working-place is and not use the car to organize family life. For a certain percentage it works. But those have the privilege to live in the urban areas and have jobs which do not stress them out in a way that all you want is go home and shut the door.

                      Regarding economic growth, any frm. Third World nation will give you the finger if you start telling them about trying to scale back on consumer goods etc.
                      Of course all this too can be solved easily. German wealth, e.g. has risen by almost 35% in the last 30 years.
                      Where is that money?

                      The cost of solving these problems is much lower than anythings else. But what can you expect if even the dimwit young environmental activists are incapable of understanding that they actually have to grow ties with China instead of parroting this irresponsable and lethal government propaganda. This can work but only on the largest possible scale.

                      #97075 Reply

                        China’s president Xi Jinping has arrived in Paris today for talks with the EU. President Macron and Ursula Von Der Leyen were there to greet and welcome him. The comments from Macron and Ursula are predictable. I’ll not post a link to the Guardian page because it’s one of those live comments pages that changes with time. When is the EU going to come to its senses and ditch Ursula? She has done more reputational damage to the EU than anyone else ever.

                        Sorry Glenn, I thought it was apt that Xi is in EU after AG’s comment. I’ll get back to climate change, promise :D.

                        #97089 Reply


                          The problem for any of these EU clowns is they lack arguments. There is not a single thing they could say against cooperation with China and the BRICS. If the founding ideas of the EU were be taken seriously there would be zero justification for them acting this way. But since none of their personal lives are affected by the crimes they commit, they carry on happily being literal traitors. Traitors to their own people.
                          And to answer your question: Unless the vaccine scandal won´t force Uschi fucking Leyen to resign she fucking won´t.
                          Besides since with her unsurpassing incompetence she caused massive trouble in domestic politics CDU was happy to get rid of her.
                          Even if the few serious parties win 30% at the EU June election. That won´t change much. The other 70% are sick bastards.

                          The Chinese must be shaking their heads being sorry for the gutless and mindless idiots they encounter.

                          #97102 Reply
                          Fat Jon

                            Sorry Michael, I didn’t word my reply as precisely as I should have. When I mentioned lifestyle, I should have written lazy-minded lifestyle.

                            It is easy to argue to the majority for the comfortable status quo in terms of energy usage, rather than take a more difficult path but with the earth’s atmosphere in mind.

                            It is difficult mentally to cut back on carbon footprints while watching India and China burning fossil fuels in increasing quantities, but we as a nation have done that in the decades after the Industrial Revolution, and someone needs to set an example; or shame them into taking action.

                            #97201 Reply
                            michael norton

                              There are more petrol fires than EV fires.
                              But EV fires are many times more dangerous.

                              #97284 Reply
                              michael norton

                                I have tried to do as you suggested and start a different thread to discuss mineral use.
                                So far it has not become visible, perhaps the Moderation could assist?
                                michael norton

                                [ Mod: Now visible at ]

                                #97308 Reply

                                  Back to the topic, with thanks to michael for starting the Minerals Future thread.

                                  Introduction to the 15th section of Addiction, Environmental Crisis, and Global Capitalism, transcript of a lecture by Bruce K. Alexander, the addiction researcher responsible for the Rat Park experiments:

                                  Misplaced Missionary Zeal

                                  – I keep running into people with no credentials in climate science who are eager to persuade me that there is no man-made climate change or any other environmental crisis. These people argue their dubious positions with missionary zeal and back them up with carefully selected and pre-digested data. Often they direct ugly innuendo and outright slander towards those who disagree with them, making civil discussion impossible. Their position is improbable on the face of it, according to the overwhelming majority of climate scientists (Klein, 2014a), but finds ample support in the corporate mass media, especially Fox News.

                                  This, I think, describes our “shy denialists” really quite succinctly. At this site, the reason they get shy is the diligence of the moderation team in enforcing the “engage with arguments not commenters” rule and thus closing off their final resort of “ugly innuendo and outright slander”.

                                  Fat Jon, I think Alexander’s lecture also provides explanatory context for what you described as a “lazy-minded lifestyle”.

                                  #97340 Reply

                                    Many thanks, Michael. I reflected that my request might have been somewhat unkind, however, I wanted to gently nudge this thread back onto the stubbornness of climate change denial even in the face of facts that everyone can experience and understand by now.

                                    For instance, last April distinguished itself by being the hottest April on record, just as every month has made it as the hottest corresponding month 11 times in a row:


                                    It wouldn’t be very surprising to find this series of records persists for well over a year.

                                    Comrades here who like podcasts may find this series interesting:


                                    It details how Big Oil picked up exactly the same tactics as Big Tobacco had used decades earlier, to cast doubt on the link between smoking and lung cancer. Often, the very same people were employed. See “Doubt is our product”.

                                    It explains why scientists are so bad at getting their message across, while the well-practiced, slick PR reps of Big Oil make a laughing stock of them. Not to mention the organised abuse and personal pressures these scientists, and their institutions, come under.

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                                    #97524 Reply
                                    michael norton

                                      We have been told that in a warming World, the Equatorial Rainforests will hardly increase in heat. It is expected that temperatures near the Poles will increase a lot, with modest increases in the Temperate Zones.
                                      For about a million years proto humans only lived in Africa. About two million years ago, Homo erectus started spreading out of Africa, getting to the Middle East, South East Europe, Asia and the East Indies.
                                      My point is for most of our history we have lived in much warmer places than Northern Europe. Surely if the World does warm, we will cope?

                                      #97558 Reply

                                        Michael norton:

                                        “Surely if the World does warm, we will cope?”

                                        Hmm. Hard to say; the answer is much more complicated than the question.

                                        Firstly, the world has warmed, and is warming faster and faster, and already a vast number of humans haven’t coped, e.g. all the people who have died or had their homes destroyed due to heatwaves, record-breaking floods, air pollution from wildfires the size of Portugal year after year, etc.

                                        Secondly, who do you mean by ‘we’? Just humans, or all life? Half the Great Barrier Reef is already dead from rising ocean temperature.

                                        Thirdly, what do you mean by ‘cope’? Avoid going extinct? Avoid a massive, rapid population crash? Avoid the collapse of ‘civilisation’? Avoid nuclear war over diminishing resources? Avoid wiping out life on Earth?

                                        Do we want to have to cope? Is burning fossil fuels worth that much?

                                        The problem has to be seen in context. Global warming is just one catastrophic consequence of modernity, which is shredding the web of life, faster and faster.
                                        Death by Hockey Sticks at Do the Math.

                                        There’s also the context of time. Life certainly adapts to changing environments, but global warming is changing environments at unprecedented rates; how fast can humanity, and all the other life humanity depends upon, adapt? The following cartoon timeline at illustrates the problem rather well; compare the thousands of years it took to warm 4 centigrade out of the last ice age against the decades it has taken modernity to heat the world about 1.25 degrees:


                                        #97563 Reply

                                          “It is expected that temperatures near the Poles will increase a lot…”

                                          That implies several metres of sea level rise, flooding many major cities and much prime agricultural land. There’s also all the industry humanity has built near coasts; how many of the 400 or so coastal nuclear reactors are going to get drowned?

                                          #97575 Reply

                                            “Surely if the World does warm, we will cope?”

                                            Here’s an article (which I found linked in the Do the Math link I posted above) about just that:

                                            The Collapse Is Coming. Will Humanity Adapt? (link) – March 2024, Peter Watts and Dan Brooks.

                                            In that corner: Dan Brooks and Sal Agosta, with a Darwinian survival guide. So, take it away, Dan. Guide us to survival. What’s the strategy?

                                            – Daniel Brooks: Well, the primary thing that we have to understand or internalize is that what we’re dealing with is what is called a no-technological-solution problem. In other words, technology is not going to save us, real or imaginary. We have to change our behavior. If we change our behavior, we have sufficient technology to save ourselves. If we don’t change our behavior, we are unlikely to come up with a magical technological fix to compensate for our bad behavior.

                                            #97576 Reply

                                              Sorry, the Will Humanity Adapt? article is linked in the Do the Math post I cited in my comment on the Mineral Future thread, not Death by Hockey Sticks above.

                                              #98427 Reply
                                              Tom Welsh

                                                [ Mod: Relocated from the blog comments section under the article “George Galloway and Me: Stop the Genocide”. ]

                                                I would like to respond to your latest challenge, Glenn. But life is too short. I can lay out my views, but each of them is open to being challenged in turn, and I have other things to do this year than attempt a conclusive refutation of ideas that are so widely believed – or, at least, widely repeated. It seems to me that the case against AGW is much stronger than the glaringly obvious case against Covid being a deadly and natural disease, the “vaccines” being beneficial, or Russia planning to attack Western Europe.

                                                1. The global climate seems to have been getting gradually warmer for about 24,000 years. That was natural, as the latest ice age was either ending or being punctuated by an interglacial. It’s unlikely that the steady warming was due to human activities for most of that time.
                                                2. There is no convincing evidence that increased atmospheric CO2 causes temperatures to rise. Indeed, much evidence suggest that it is higher temperatures that lead to more CO2.
                                                3. Atmospheric CO2 (and, indeed, temperatures) are currently quite close to the lowest they have ever been while there was life on Earth. A little less CO2 , and plant life would begin to die off – obviously causing animal life to die too.
                                                4. The small increases in CO2 even in the last few decades have led to significant increases in plant fertility and growth: more and better crops, and even forests have been recovering noticeably. This trend could continue for a very long time before either CO2 or temperature became excessive from the human point of view.
                                                5. Far more people die from cold than from heat. Moreover, what “global warming” there is takes place mainly at colder times – in winter and at night. Thus it is clearly beneficial.
                                                6. As is now becoming well established, many of the computer models used by AGW advocates are programmed to regurgitate the assumptions built into them.
                                                7. It is now clear that most of the temperature readings cited by AGW advocates come from instruments that are very inaccurate. See, e.g., and many other such reports.

                                                I am already getting sucked in, and I could sit here for the rest of the week citing reports and studies. But I have other stuff to do, so I will regretfully bid you farewell for now.

                                                In extenuation of this decision, let me just adduce three quotations from people whose knowledge and common sense I respect.

                                                “We must admit that our opponents in this argument have a marked advantage over us. They need only a few words to set forth a half-truth; whereas, in order to show that it is a half-truth, we have to resort to long and arid dissertations”.

                                                — Frédéric Bastiat

                                                “The soul of wit may become the body of untruth. However elegant and memorable, brevity can never, in the nature of things, do justice to all the facts of a complex situation. On such a theme one can be brief only by omission and simplification. [This might] help us to understand — but help us, in many cases, to understand the wrong thing; for our comprehension may be only of the abbreviator’s neatly formulated notions, not of the vast, ramifying reality from which these notions have been so arbitrarily abstracted”.

                                                — Aldous Huxley, “Brave New World Revisited” (1958)

                                                “There was once an interview with Jeff Greenfield in which he was asked why I was never asked onto Nightline. He gave a good answer. He said the main reason was that I lacked concision. I had never heard that word before. You have to have concision. You have to say something brief between two commercials.

                                                “What can you say that’s brief between two commercials? I can say Iran is a terrible state. I don’t need any evidence. I can say Ghaddaffi carries out terror. Suppose I try to say the US carries out terror, in fact it’s one of the leading terrorist states in the world. You can’t say that between commercials. People rightly want to know what do you mean. They’ve never heard that before. Then you have to explain. You have to give background. That’s exactly what’s cut out. Concision is a technique of propaganda. It ensures you cannot do anything except repeat clichés, the standard doctrine, or sound like a lunatic”.

                                                — Noam Chomsky (interview with Laura Flanders, 24/4/2012).

                                                #98429 Reply
                                                Nick B

                                                  @tom welsh
                                                  Utter untruth that the balance of evidence is against anthropogenic climate change. Reference that in terms of peer reviewed science. We are talking instrumental data, loads of it and cumulative progress of several scientific disciplines over decades sometimes over a century. You might as well maintain that there is a balance of evidence that the world is flat.
                                                  Since the Workers Party seems also to buy into this trope to some extent, it tempers my support for them. They stop short of denial however.

                                                  #98434 Reply
                                                  Nick B

                                                    The only source you cite is a blog. how telling.

                                                    #98450 Reply
                                                    michael norton

                                                      “Stomata regulate gas exchange between the plant and environment and control of water loss by changing the size of the stomatal pore. This stomatal movement is affected by several environmental stimuli, such as relative humidity, CO2 concentration, and light intensity”

                                                      Looks like the added CO2 is helping plant growth, world wide extra 20% of leaf coverage, especially on the edges of deserts, where the stomata do not need to open so much because of added CO2 therefore less transpiration happens, meaning the plants can live with slightly less water.

                                                      “From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change”

                                                      EOSDIS ingests, processes, archives, and distributes data from a large number of Earth-observing satellites, and provides end-to-end capabilities for managing NASA’s Earth science data from various sources – satellites, aircraft, field measurements, and various other programs.

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