Climate Change Denialists (who get all shy)

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  • #98868 Reply

      It’s incredibly deceptive, actually, Michael.

      Fuelling the climate and science ‘denial machine’ on social media: A case study of the Great Barrier Reef’s 2021 ‘in danger’ recommendation on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook

      It talks about how this Peter Ridd stooge downplays and denies climate change damage, with an interview from an extremely receptive host:

      This interplay demonstrates how partisan right-wing media is able to amplify the voices of contrarian scientists and productivist politicians to attempt to undermine Reef science, downplay the threat of climate change and ultimately argue against the need for potentially growth-limiting action and policy. This is a tactic that has been attributed to News Corp’s Sky News Australia and columnists from The Australian and is further discussed below

      There are plenty of links in the above reference for studying exactly why and how this denialism of Ridd’s is false.

      #98870 Reply
      michael norton

        Hi Glenn, Peter Ridd did say that some of the reef-building corals that live in the warmer coral triangle, also live in the Great Barrier Reef. So we can assume it is not normally too warm for them off the east coast of Australia.
        Peter is a scientist who has been involved in this world for decades, so why do you think he is a stooge, do you think the coal people are paying him to say the Great Barrier Reef is doing O.K.?
        He is also correct that the corals live on the dead bodies of their ancestors; that is what I guess is meant by reef-building corals, so in that he is telling the truth. When the coral animals are in their motive state, they move about in the ocean, most will get consumed, some will find a rock or dead coral or sunken ship to attach to. Then they go through their life cycle. If conditions change, so that the photosynthesising symbiont no longer does well, the animal symbiont, expels the bacterium. Possibly a more suited photosymbiont floats past and gets accepted, Then life can continue.
        If a better suited symbiont does not come by quickly enough, then the host will die. These symbionts are only motive in their early life stages both the animal and the photosynthesiser. Everything has to die: if corals never died, there would not be coral reefs. Even if the ocean got stupidly hot, we should assume that corals will make a living, a bit further south. They would not all die out.

        #98892 Reply

          “do you think the coal people are paying him to say the Great Barrier Reef is doing O.K.?”

          Basically, yes:

          “Peter Ridd raises almost all of his research funds from the profits of consultancy work which is usually associated with monitoring of marine dredging operation,” his profile noted. The Marine Geophysics Laboratory at JCU has been involved in consulting for a range of coal terminal projects in 2012, funds which go to PhD scholarship and the staff of the MGL.

          The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), a group funded by mining magnate Gina Rinehart and known for opposing policy actions on climate change, has supported Peter Ridd by gathering funds to cover legal costs in the case he filed against JCU.

          The Institute of Public Affairs is a “free market think tank”, part of the Atlas Network which is probably the largest single component of the climate change denial machine. If you’re disgusted by commercialism Michael, the Atlas Network is one of your biggest enemies:

          Ridd is a physicist, not a biologist nor any sort of life scientist. He was fired by JCU (James Cook University) for repeatedly accusing the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies of faking their science.

          #98893 Reply
          michael norton

            Glenn, Clark, to be able to say that the Great Barrier Reef is doing O.K., does not have to mean that Peter Ridd or anyone else does not think that extra Carbon dioxide is getting into the atmosphere. It does not mean they claim there is no Greenhouse Effect. It may just be that after several decades of involvement with the Great Barrier Reef, they don’t think it is overall, getting worse. One of Peter’s point was that during the Glaciations the sea water is three or four hundred feet higher, many of these reefs would have died out, but the life did not die out completely, it would have hung on well in other places, that’s in part because of their early stage motive lives, both symbionts.
            When the glaciation retreated, motive stages would have recolonised and eventually the Great Barrier Reef would have been reborn. On Black Smokers, intensive life happens in a small temperature zone around them. These Black Smokers are responding to plate tectonics, so, after a decade or so, they shut down.
            As most of the intensive life around them arrived in their early stage motive lives, as adults, most cannot move away, they die, the food supply and the heat and light have been switched off. However, there will be another new Black Smoker start up, nearby.
            This will have been colonised by others in their motive stage of life. And so life is reborn.
            In this case, based on chemosynthesis.

            #98917 Reply

              Michael, the Australian Institute of Marine Science employs a team of nearly seventy researchers:

              A.I.M.S. People

              In 2021 (it’s newer website being slow and thus difficult for me to explore), the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies employed sixty researchers in a collaboration with four Australian universities, and five ocean institutions from various countries:

              Coral C.O.E. Researchers

              Coral C.O.E. partner institutions

              Why take the word of one Peter Ridd over this extensive, publicly-funded scientific teamwork? Especially when Peter Ridd is known to be very closely associated with an international network of think tanks funded by private industry that exists to promote obvious pseudoscience such as climate change denial, to prevent and weaken government protections of the natural environment.

              As for glaciations, symbionts, black smokers etc, I am not an expert and, correct me if I’m wrong, I’m guessing that you are not an expert either. Peter Ridd is presenting his contrarian hypotheses via YouTube directly to the public, and the vast majority of us aren’t experts. We simply don’t have sufficient experience and expertise to judge whether Peter Ridd’s views should overturn the scientific mainstream position.

              The correct place for him to promote his ideas is in the relevant scientific literature where they can receive expert scrutiny, just as Newton and Einstein presented their ideas, each of which overturned physics at the respective times. Presenting directly to the public suggests that Ridd’s objectives are political rather than scientific; that he’s trying to influence voters and lawmakers rather than his fellow scientists.

              #98911 Reply
              michael norton

                Glenn could you let us know what you understand about Denial of Climate change.

                If an ordinary person agreed that carbon dioxide was a component of the greenhouse effect, I assume you would think they were correct.
                If an ordinary person agreed that more Carbon is being caused to enter the atmosphere because of action taken by humans, I assume you would think they are correct.
                If an ordinary person could agree that the world was getting slightly warmer since coal burning began, I assume you would think they were correct.
                However, if a person ordinary or a Scientist, came to conclusions on something they had been thinking about and looking into for a long time, were to say that that aspect of the environment is doing O.K.
                Is that person a denialist?

                #98916 Reply
                michael norton

                  “Statistics from the Australian Institute of Marine Science show that the Great Barrier Reef has more coral in the last two years than at any time since records began.
                  Is it possible that much of what is often stated about the Great Barrier Reef, especially its bleak future, is not accurate?”

                  In my view Dr. Peter Ridd makes good points.

                  I do not think he is suggesting that global warming is not happening.

                  He is suggesting that the Great Barrier Reef has had many huge changes, over the last million years, massive swings.
                  Bt it keeps bouncing back, without any help from people.

                  This does not make him a nutter, it makes him an intelligent person who is happy to use his brain in thinking things through.

                  #98928 Reply

                    Michael Norton, you have completely ignored the points I raised that Peter Ridd contradicts major research teams, and argues directly to the public rather than in the scientific literature.

                    What exactly is the point of your argument? Is it that private companies should be permitted to do whatever they want, so long as someone, somewhere, says it’s OK? Perhaps White slavery of Black people should be resumed, because one scientist somewhere, after thinking about it and looking into it for a long time, says that Blacks don’t feel pain or have emotions?

                    #98931 Reply
                    michael norton

                      Sorry people, I have made a mistake.
                      During the glaciation, the sea level was three or four hundred feet lower. ( not higher as I wrote)
                      So People were walking on dry land that is now the Great Barrier Reef.
                      At that time coral could not have existed, in those places.

                      In the places where coral currently thrive, like the Coral Triangle,
                      the coral are sometimes wiped out by Tsunami, like Sumatra–Andaman earthquake, 2004.
                      Sometimes by underwater volcano, like Hunga Tonga and Hunga Haʻapai, 2022.
                      Sometimes above sea Volcano, like Krakatoa, 1883.
                      None of these events are anything to do with man made climate change.
                      Yet, the coral makes a come back.

                      #98942 Reply

                        I lived and worked for a short time in far north Queensland near Cairns in the late 90s. The great barrier reef is spectacular as is the rain forest up that way. I don’t really know enough to comment on the health or otherwise of the GBR. Whether or not the GBR is affected by rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification doesn’t refute that either of those things are happening and have effects on other systems. Both metrics are relatively easily measured over time. Ridd may or may not have a point but it’s actually difficult to find what his specific criticisms of the “accepted” science are.

                        So far, this is the best link to what he sees as wrong I can find HERE.

                        I don’t necessarily agree that he is not fit to speak on GBR issues because he is a physicist. He worked with the Australian Institute of Marine Science on the GBR for years. He talks about the reproducibility crisis which is a thing many other scientists are concerned about. The upshot for me is that his contention about the GBR doesn’t really have any impact on the question of global warming, only on whether that global warming does or doesn’t have a significant effect on the GBR.

                        #98946 Reply
                        michael norton

                          Coral Sea, an area of intense biodiversity both in the sea and on land but it holds vast mineral wealth like the
                          The Grasberg mine of New Guinea, has one of the largest reserves of gold and copper in the world.
                          Not all locals are happy with their environment being stripped away and the Copper effluent washed into the Arafura Sea. Copper is poisonous to most life.

                          “In 1977 the rebel group Free Papua Movement attacked the mine. The group dynamited the main slurry pipe, which caused tens of millions of dollars in damage, and attacked the mine facilities. The Indonesian military reacted harshly, killing at least 800 people.”

                          “The 2003–2006 boom in copper prices increased the profitability of the mine. The extra consumption of copper for Asian electrical infrastructure overwhelmed copper supply and caused prices to increase from around $1500/ton to $8100/ton ($0.70/lb to $4.00/lb).

                          In 2005, the New York Times reported that between 1998 and 2004 Freeport had given senior military and police officers and military units nearly $20 million.”

                          If we go for every last ton of Copper, there will be much degradation, especially in the area of
                          The Coral Sea, I expect metals will be leaching into fish and the corals, most likely causing them great harm

                          #98949 Reply


                            “If we go for every last ton of Copper, there will be much degradation, especially in the area of The Coral Sea, I expect metals will be leaching into fish and the corals, most likely causing them great harm”


                            But obscuring similar damage to the Great Barrier Reef seems to be the motive of the Institute of Public Affairs (funded by mining magnate Gina Rinehart) to amplify and promote Peter Ridd’s contrarian claim that the Great Barrier Reef is suffering no lasting damage, and that the hundreds of other scientists studying the reef are deliberately doing sloppy work so as to support bad and unfair government policies.

                            Michael, I’m finding your various arguments contradictory, so I request that you clarify just what you’re arguing for and against.

                            #98956 Reply
                            michael norton

                              “Michael, I am finding your various arguments contradictory.”
                              Yes, I agree.
                              As we are exploring these problems, I and possibly others are finding that there most certainly are no easy answers, to how to continue. Is the degradation of the land, to extract most of the minerals that we think we need for consumption, like Battery cars, a price worth paying. I am not sure it is. Yes I do think we should at least attempt to build our electricity grids out and wean ourselves, carefully away from fossil fuels. We should remember that most of the mining now happens in the poorer regions, with hardly excellent human rights, perhaps scant democracy and very probably no state pensions or proper health care. Can somebody in England just look the other way at those mining communities in far away lands, yet speed around in their Tesla cars, thinking they are doing their bit for the planet? If we do not talk through the problems, as we discover and think about them, how would it help to keep silent.
                              Clark, you are correct, that people should not be over consuming, probably should have no more than a couple of intercontinental flights, in their life.
                              Government, should play their bit, by thinking more long term.
                              Build hospitals to last one hundred years not 30 -50 years. Build the hospitals, so they can be adapted, as techniques develop, not just knock them down. Build all new developments with cycle tracks and pavements.
                              I think we could do worse, than think scientifically about agriculture and land use.
                              About three times as much Carbon is in top soil, as is in the atmosphere. By clear felling forests, especially if you have no plan to retain the top soil, you will be aiding Carbon leaving the land and entering the atmosphere.
                              This may actually be more important than getting rid of Oil.
                              As Clark says, one way or another, we will stop using fossil fuels.
                              At the risk of being thought a nutter, using copious quantities of minerals just to make battery cars is a false idol route.

                              #98960 Reply
                              michael norton

                                Global average sea level has risen 8–9 inches (21–24 centimeters) since 1880.
                                Some are suggesting that sea level rise is gaining pace.
                                I find that astonishing.
                                Water hardly increases volume with only a modest increase in temperature.
                                The land is not vertical, so every extra inch of added sea level rise would take much more sea water to achieve, than the previous inch rise.

                                #98967 Reply
                                michael norton

                                  This equates to roughly one inch rise in sea level in fifteen years.

                                  #98980 Reply

                                    Michael, thank you for your post of June 20, 21:12. When you post your own thoughts like this, rather than the work of others e.g. Peter Ridd, I find myself in very strong agreement with you.

                                    There is much more I could write about the important points you raise in that comment, but I am in a sad mood and I do not feel up to it. Our democracy is failing us yet again; the situation Craig and Adnan Hussain find themselves in in Blackburn, I find it heartbreaking. We need real change, but we seem to be on course for more of much the same. As you wrote, these issues are indeed very hard; that is why I make the analogy with WWII and the sacrifices my parents’ generation made. I learned of the climate issue in my teens, over forty years ago, and I’ve seen emissions do nothing but rise ever faster. I long since realised that politics keeps digging humanity ever deeper into the problems, making the solutions ever harder, with more and more damage inevitable.

                                    “Can somebody in England just look the other way at those mining communities in far away lands, yet speed around in their Tesla cars, thinking they are doing their bit for the planet?”

                                    To get themselves elected, politicians dangle promises of more wealth when what they should be offering is more equality. People will make do with less if they know we are all in the same boat, and even enjoy their improved physical fitness that comes with fresh air, walking and riding bicycles, but not if they constantly see the rich pissing resources up the wall.

                                    #99089 Reply
                                    michael norton

                                      The desecration of the landscape/soil erosion/biodiversity is quite sad.
                                      Looks like a lot of these wind farms are being put in old growth forest communities but as the blades are up to ninety metres long, massively wide tracks have to be leveled and clear felled to allow access.
                                      Mountain tops are blasted for level tops for the turbine installation.
                                      You make some carbon gains but you surely lose a lot.

                                      Australian Nuclear Association: Environmental impacts of renewable energy in Queensland (9 Jun 2024) – YouTube, 34m 10s

                                      #99092 Reply
                                      michael norton

                                        LM Wind Power’s first 107-meter blade, for GE’s Haliade-X 12 MW wind turbine, has made its first trip outside the factory in Cherbourg, France in June 2019.

                                        Wow each blade one hundred and seven metres long!

                                        #99105 Reply

                                          An interesting conversation between John Bellamy Foster and Arman Spéth on Ecosocialism and Degrowth
                                          by Monthly Review


                                          “AS: In his book Climate Change as Class War: Building Socialism on a Warming Planet (2022) and in his articles for Jacobin magazine, Matt Huber explicitly argues against your view, claiming that solving the ecological crisis requires massive technological expansion. How would you respond to this view?

                                          JBF: Jacobin is now the principal left-social democratic journal in the United States, and Huber’s argument is developed in that vein. Social democracy, as opposed to socialism, has always been about a “third way” in which the irreconcilables of labor and capital (today, also including the irreconcilables of capitalism and the earth) can supposedly be reconciled via such means as new technology, increased productivity, regulated markets, formal labor organization, and the capitalist welfare (or environmental) state. However, the basic system would remain untouched. The idea is that social democracy can organize capitalism better than liberalism, not that it will go against capitalism’s fundamental logic. Huber in his book throws into the mix capitalist ecological modernization in a form that does not differ much from liberal ecological modernization, as represented by the Breakthrough Institute, but with the addition, in his case, of organized electrical workers. This perspective has consistently defined Jacobin’s approach to environmental issues, which has generally been opposed to ecosocialism and environmentalism more broadly. I wrote an article titled “The Long Ecological Revolution“ in Monthly Review in November 2017, questioning Jacobin’s strongly ecomodernist approach in this respect, which has included pieces by the author Leigh Phillips, who, in his book Austerity Ecology and the Collapse-Porn Addicts (2015), went so far as to suggest that “the planet can sustain up to 282 billion people…by using all the land[!]” and other similar absurdities.”

                                          #99127 Reply

                                            Europe´s biggest producer of altern. [alternative] energy, Norwegian Statkraft, shelves ambitious plans for expanding its wind energy projects, FT reports.

                                            “Europe’s largest renewable producer scales back plans for wind and solar plants
                                            Statkraft forced to cut growth because of lower electricity prices and higher costs”

                                            That´s how it´s done folks! 🤣

                                            #99131 Reply

                                              A system as large and complex as Earth’s weather/climate might well be beyond humans’ ability to construct a realistic model for, but whether the climate is changing is acually beside the point.
                                              The point is, industrial civilization (IC) uses far too many resources, converting them into ‘products’, machines, cities and pollution.

                                              Whether or not this warms the climate (sure, why not?) is secondary to the fact it destroys the planet. Literally. It blows up mountains to get to increasingly poor-quality ores. It chops down rainforests. It degrades soil. It concretes and tarmacs over everything, to make things easier for cars and industry. It overfishes the oceans. It exhausts the capacity of Nature to rebuild itself. It causes mass extinction of species. It pollutes everywhere with toxic chemicals, exhaust fumes, spills etc. etc. ad nauseam. Basically, it sucks.

                                              The climate change movement has focussed on one tiny area, ignoring all else. It proposes ‘solutions’ which exacerbate the problem. Wind turbines and solar panels are energy sinks. Turbines require thousands tons of concrete, loads of copper etc. Solar PV requires many exotic (and toxic) materials. Both technologies are dependent on FF for their construction (and maintenance, for turbines) and neither can be recycled. So, after their construction and installation has done its initial damage to the environment, they end up as toxic waste. Yay, green!

                                              #99133 Reply


                                                But where is all the energy and material going?
                                                Who is using how much of what?

                                                In my own circles there are immense differences in comsumption. However those eventually are all part of the same part of society. The major difference is the kind of jobs they have. Some are extremely well paid. Others not at all. For former that opens considerable means for spending.

                                                However any of these, some technically millionaires even if they would not consider themselves as such, base their wealth on inheritance of real estate. Not on salaries.
                                                It goes without saying that a majority is voting for the Greens.

                                                What does one say about a couple with 2 kids, living in 1 large apartment, owning 2 more for rent, using a holiday mansion in Italy acquired and renovated by the parents, earning together between 100,000 and 150,000 Euros. No cars, only bicycles. Limiting holiday trips to train destinations. May be chipping in for some charity cause since they don´t pay rent. Spending much on food produced by “climate friendly” manufacturers and cultural goods. (sounds like a cutout from your typical French Paris motion picture.)

                                                Of course you have as well Green voters owning 3 cars and doing mountain holidays 3 times a year, eating meat most of the time, but they claim to be against Nazis, against Palestinians and against Putin and the Axis of Evil.

                                                Naturally those 50 M cars in Germany came from factories. As well as those 50 M new cars that will be sold in the next 20 years as replacement.

                                                Electricity consumption in Germany is now on the level of 1990 after it peaked in 2007.
                                                29% are used by the chemical industry, 23% by metal production, coal and petrochemical are in for 9%. Households make up 28%. Traffic and transport merely 3%.

                                                On global scale Germany is on 7th place with 2,1% located between Canada and South Korea, with a population share of 1.04%.
                                                (India´s electricity consumption share was 6%, Indonesia 1,4%, share of population 17,8% and 3,5%.)

                                                This would be the Engl. Wikipedia site on: “List of countries by energy consumption and production”.

                                                #99138 Reply

                                                  James, thanks for coming to the forums. Firstly, I have a question; who do you mean by “the climate change movement”?

                                                  I broadly agree with your post; there is far more diverse damage than just climate change, and it all matters. I have two points of digression:

                                                  1) Climate modelling has been more successful than I expected it to be, and models are ‘validated’ by inputting known past conditions, and then running the model to see how well it “predicts” changes that actually happened and were observed. And of course, it’s what the models fail to predict that can spring nasty surprises on us, whereas denialists always presuppose that model failure must mean that everything is just fine, burn stuff like there’s no tomorrow.

                                                  2) The particular urgency of limiting carbon dioxide emissions is their cumulative, long-term effect. If mountain-top removal stopped today, that’d be it; so many mountains would have been devastated but no more would, and nature would start refilling those places with new ecosystems.

                                                  Not so with climate change. If fossil fuel combustion stopped today, Earth would continue to gather additional heat until its radiative balance re-established thermal equilibrium at whatever increased temperature achieves that – and that temperature, and how fast it would occur, are in dispute. Determining those figures is what a lot of the modelling is about. One paper that has been making quite a stir recently is Global warming in the pipeline of May 2023 by James Hansen and sixteen others, which estimates that emissions to date have already committed Earth to 10 centigrade of warming – ie. over twice as much warming as the cooling responsible for the previous glaciations. As you can see, most of the argumentation concerns comparisons with Earth’s climate history rather than software modelling:


                                                  #99140 Reply
                                                  michael norton

                                                    Clark, if we do eventually get to “Carbon Zero”, which ESO think will happen next year, 2025. ESO describe Carbon Zero as meaning, all the electricity produced in the U.K. will be produced without burning Carbon. I just don’t see how it can happen, so quickly? ESO seem to be an organisation riding on the back of National Grid, sort of like their alter ego. Their information is child-like. I think we still make 10% of our electricity by burning Coal/Wood/Biomass/Oil.
                                                    I think we still use Methane for 40% of our Electricity.
                                                    Add these figures and you get to about 50%. So, how is ESO going to make the British Grid deliver Carbon Zero in less than twelve months, they live in a fantasy world of their own imagining.

                                                    “At National Grid ESO we’re at the heart of the transition to a zero carbon electricity system – in fact, we’re on track to run the grid on zero carbon electricity by 2025.”

                                                    You can’t base your ideas on fantasy. They may have an intention the achieve Carbon Zero but no person of any rational thinking could possibly think this will happen in less than fifty years.

                                                    #99144 Reply

                                                      Michael, net zero and net zero electricity are different things. Without actually checking I think electricity is about 30% of all energy consumption in the UK; the rest is mostly fossil fuels burned directly.

                                                      Being part of the Big Government Scam, ESO probably count biomass as zero emission. Drax receives massive “green” subsidies for burning wood (including virgin Canadian forest FFS); the Drax power station is the biggest single carbon dioxide emitter in the UK! Effin’ greenwash, mate. They say they’re going to capture all its CO2, pipe it down the Humber estuary and pump it into a depleted gas field in the North Sea, “carbon capture and storage” or CCS, they’re even building the pipeline. If they succeed (and the CO2 never blows out), they’ll have scaled up the pilot project by more than a factor of a hundred, which has never been achieved anywhere. This is why I have participated in disrupting Drax’s AGM.

                                                      Mostly, CCS is used to push the remaining oil out of ageing oil wells. CCS is very much a fossil fuel company technology.

                                                      On a more positive note, and again without looking it up, I think 40% is the installed capacity of the gas power stations; they don’t run anything like full time, gas fills in for wind mostly. That’s certainly the case right now; gas under 10%, nuclear around 16%, solar around 18%, wind nearly 30%, plus bits and pieces and a load of imports:


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