Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Guardian environment editor Damian Carrington wants to pin nasty labels on people who disagree with his views on climate change. But in my opinion Carrington is doing a disservice to his readers, by leaving out a few inconvenient truths.
The four types of climate denier, and why you should ignore them all
Damian Carrington @dpcarrington
Thu 30 Jul 2020 21.10 AEST
The shill, the grifter, the egomaniac and the ideological fool: each distorts the urgent global debate in their own way.
Anew book, described as “deeply and fatally flawed” by an expert reviewer, recently reached the top of Amazon’s bestseller list for environmental science and made it into a weekly top 10 list for all nonfiction titles.
How did this happen? Because, as Brendan Behan put it, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”. In an article promoting his book, Michael Shellenberger – with jaw-dropping hubris – apologises on behalf of all environmentalists for the “climate scare we created over the last 30 years”.
But the deniers are not all the same. They tend to fit into one of four different categories: the shill, the grifter, the egomaniac and the ideological fool.
The shill is the easiest to understand. He, and it almost always is he, is paid by vested interests to emit clouds of confusion about the science or economics of climate action. This uncertainty creates a smokescreen behind which polluters can lobby against measures that cut their profits.
A sadder case is that of the grifters. They have found themselves earning a living by grinding out contrarian articles for rightwing media outlets. Do they actually believe the guff they write? It doesn’t matter: they just warm their hands on the outrage, count the clicks and wait for the pay cheque.
The egomaniacs are also tragic figures. They are disappointed, frustrated people whose careers have stalled and who can’t understand why the world refuses to give full reverence to their brilliance. They are desperate for recognition, and, when it stubbornly refuses to arrive, they are drawn to make increasingly extreme pronouncements, in the hope of finally being proved a dogma-busting, 21st-century Galileo.
The ideological fool is the fourth type of climate denier, and they can be intelligent. But they are utterly blinded by their inane, no-limits version of the free-market creed. The climate emergency requires coordinated global action, they observe, and that looks horribly like communism in disguise.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/30/climate-denier-shill-global-debate
Guardian Environment Editor Damian Carrington likely hopes if you accept his caricatures, you will ignore what climate skeptics have to say. Because there are climate skeptics who make alarmists really uncomfortable;
The scientists – people like solar physicist Dr. Willie Soon, award winning meteorologist Dr. Fred Singer, Dr. Roy Spencer and Dr. John Christy, who received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites, Freeman Dyson, a polymath and giant of the Quantum Physics world, and Edward Teller, father of the Hydrogen Bomb, one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century, all of whom dismiss the assertion we face any kind of imminent climate crisis.
The geologists – scientists like Ian Plimer, who reveal that rather than facing a CO2 crisis, the Earth is currently in a state of CO2 starvation, as we endure the ongoing Quaternary Ice Age, a period comparable to the Karoo (360–260 Ma), Andean-Saharan (450–420 Ma), Cryogenian (720–635 Ma) and Huronian (2,400–2,100 Ma) ice ages of the distant past.
The engineers – the people who demolish innumerate claims that renewable energy is any kind of answer to the world’s energy needs. Even a top engineering team from über alarmist Google concluded renewables simply won’t work.
And its not just skeptics who criticise the push for renewables; Former NASA GISS Director James Hansen, whose 1988 testimony before Congress pretty much started the modern climate movement, claims renewables cannot solve the world’s energy problems fast enough to avert a climate crisis.
The ecologists – people who are slowly waking up that any serious attempt to switch the world to renewable energy will devastate what remains of the world’s wildernesses.
The film producers – people like Michael Moore, who shocked political fellow travellers with his ground breaking expose of the failures of renewable energy.
The economists – people like Bjørn Lomborg who accept global warming claims, but point out efforts to address the alleged climate crisis would do more damage than the projected harm from unchecked global warming.
The alarmist climate scientists themselves, with their nature tricks and bullying of editors who allowed critical papers to be published, who ignored substantial evidence given to them by colleagues that the past was warmer than today, all revealed in Climategate.
Guardian editor Damian Carrington could have mentioned all these people and many others, and tried to build a reasoned case for why you should ignore them all – an exceptionally difficult case.
But even listing these skeptic groups, let along describing their work, might have raised doubts in the minds of Carrington’s readers. In an age when British Academics demand critics of climate action be silenced, perhaps Carrington feels justified in his own mind only telling his side of the story.
Update (EW): Added geologists (h/t John Karajas).
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