Four In The Afternoon:Guns For The Holidays

4 in the Afternoon1 WEAPONS FOR THE HOLIDAYS Not to kick things off all doom and gloom, but fifty guns (and ammunition) were stolen from Wholesale Sports last night. Apparently only one or two gun heists of this magnitude happen in Canada every year, and where better than the country’s former crime capital. Sigh.

2 PASSING ON THE LEGACY In question period today Justin Trudeau was allegedly heard calling Environment Peter Kent a “piece of sh–!” after he discredited the critiques of an NDP MP because she hadn’t attended the climate conference in Durban. Well that is because opposition MPs weren’t invited to attend, Peter. This echoes Pierre Trudeau’s infamous 1971 ‘fuddle duddle’ in the House of Commons. Good on ya’.

3 ASTEROID NEAR TORONTO Remember all those times when we (half-heartedly) wished that Toronto would just be wiped off the face of the Earth? WELL, that almost happened (kind of). A blazing meteor fell east of Toronto on Monday night.

4 YEAR OF THE PROTESTER In somewhat of a surprise, Time magazine announced that their “Person of the Year” award had been given to “The Protester”, citing a year of change driven by protests in the Middle East, Europe and North America.

BONUS: BECAUSE WE ALL LOVE CARTOONS Click here to check out Washington Post’s picks for best editorial cartoons of 2011.

Four In The Afternoon: Climate, Borders and…Espionage?

4 in the Afternoon1 BEYOND THE BORDER Today Harper and Obama announced plans for a new cross border security and trade agreement. While the agreement seeks to facilitate the exchange of goods and people across the border, it also involves exchanging information on travelers. No clear indication what this might entail, but it certainly has a giant privacy-breaching loophole kind of feel to it.

2 DISAPPOINTMENT IN DURBAN Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent continues to side-step any conclusive statement regarding rumours of a Canadian withdrawal from the Kyoto Accord in Durban. Not much interpretation needed as Kent argued today that Kyoto was “in the past” for Canada.

3 TECHNOLOGY DID IT! Recent investigations into the summer riots in England and the social media blame-game that ensued indicates that there is a tendency for authorities to blame technology for rioting and demonstrations, potentially distracting from the real sources of civil unrest.

4 INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES Mexican authorities claim to have stopped a plot of international dimensions to smuggle Saadi Gaddafi, the son of ex-Libyan leader, into Mexico. A Canadian woman named Cynthia Vanier has been cited as a key player, in contact with the Gaddafi family and orchestrating the finances of the operation.

Six In The Morning: Strikes, Sanctions, and Scandals

1 MORE INTERNATIONAL DISGRACE Despite the Tory government going under fire for recently exposed squalid living conditions in Attawapiskat, a small First Nations community near James Bay, the ridicule is ensured to continue. Environment Minister Peter Kent continues to deflect questions regarding the Conservative government’s plans to pull out of Kyoto this week in Durban. As if wishy-washy side-stepping weren’t enough, he went on to label the Kyoto protocol to be a form of  ‘guilt payments’ in an interview yesterday.

2 STRING OF SANCTIONS British diplomats have been withdrawn from Iran today following a storming of the British Embassy by students in Tehran yesterday in protest to recently imposed sanctions. Turkey also broke bilateral ties with Syria today, imposing economic sanctions in attempts to end the eight month uprising.

3 YAY FOR DEMONSTRATIONS Today’s massive public sector strike in Britain is the biggest in 30 years. With 2 million strong in protest, hospitals, schools, public transit and government services have been affected, details here. Today’s protest ensues a string of obscene pension changes to what is perceived to an over-generous program providing for individuals with longer life expectancies. Yeah! That’s the idea, live longer, spend more of it working!

4 OVERNIGHT RAIDS Massive raids of Occupy L.A. and Philadelphia camps last night lead to over 200 arrests. Police were warned to beware human feces and boobytraps. Though most have numbed to the false characterization of Occupation protesters, this is taking the smear campaign to a whole new level (no pun intended).

5 CYBER TARGET The attempted take-over of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan appears to have been the target of interest related to last fall’s Canadian cyber attack says an international cyber-sleuthing company (how does one even acquire such an awesome title)?

6 ECONOMIC GROWTH, EH? Despite projections, the Canadian economy has expanded 3.5 percent in the third quarter. Do we remember when a series of promises were backed out on earlier this month – you know, election winning stuff (tax cuts, EI increases and a balanced budget) – based on slow growth projections? WELL, it turns out the prediction were wrong! Do we get our promises back???

Climate Deniers Repeat E-mail Sleaze

Oh Christ. This again?

There’s a new Climategate scandal a-brewing. Or at least, that’s what the right wing blog-o-sphere is telling me. My first reaction upon learning of it: It’s total bullshit. Did five minutes of reading and discovered: It’s total bullshit.

And I can’t believe I’m having to waste my time on this nonsense again.

A few quick points:

• These aren’t new e-mails. They’re more e-mails from the same batch that were stolen in 2009. This is the climate deniers’ Plan-B material.

• Nothing in them disputes, refutes or undermines the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming. That isn’t surprising because the globe is warming and people are causing it. End of story.

• Note how these e-mails are “coincidentally” coming out before the COP17 climate change conference in Dubai.

I summarized these points from a post by Brendan De Melle over at DeSmog Blog. It’s a good place to start reading. Even better reads are Richard Black at the BBC in which he points out that UK police have spent less than £6,000 ($9,000 US) investigating the illegal hacking of the East Anglia emails; and then there’s an excellent piece by Stephan Lewandowsky at the Guardian who argues that the attack on climate science is the real scandal here.

Continue reading “Climate Deniers Repeat E-mail Sleaze”

Oil Lobbyists Have Learned Ventriloquism And Are Using It On Natural Resources Canada

Okay, okay, it’s not very surprising, but it’s still pretty chilling: Natural Resources Canada is literally taking dictation on oil sands policy from – you guessed it! – the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

The Edmonton Sun reported on Tuesday that

In newly released emails and internal records, department officials said the strategy to “turn up the volume” and get “the right attitude” on oilsands advocacy was actually proposed by high-ranking officials from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers during a March 2010 meeting involving senior federal and Alberta government officials, as well CEOs from oil and gas companies.

In fairness, if the government wants to promote the oil sands, who better to go to than the people behind it? Surely the fine folks at the CAPP don’t have any vested interest in wanting to use the considerable media resources of the Canadian government to explicitly promote their business venture, nor do they have any motivation for wanting direct control of the messaging coming out from the Canadian government, except for wanting to make more money. Right?

The revelations also coincide with the recent release of an Environment Canada report, quietly posted online, that said the oilsands sector is projected to triple its carbon dioxide pollution over the next decade if companies do not improve their environmental performance. This would virtually cancel actions of other Canadian industries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Ha ha ha, oil & gas lobbyists. Don’t you ever change.

Cosmos Squared

Word on the street is Carl Sagan’s science documentary series, Cosmos, is getting the sequel treatment more than 30 years after the original aired on PBS.

Good news is that Ann Druyan, Sagan’s wife and writing partner, and Steven Soter, co-writer on the original series, will be involved. And, astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson will be taking on the hosting duties. A perfect choice, in my opinion.

Even news that Seth MacFarlane (yes, of Family Guy fame) will be producing cheered me. In interviews he comes off as a supporter of science, an unabashed atheist and, based on his “Cosmos Edited For Rednecks” segment, a fan of the original series.

Now the bad news. The new series will be airing on Fox.

That does not bode well. I find it very hard to believe a Murdoch-owned network will permit a candid discussion of, say, climate change such as this one from episode four of the updated version of the original Cosmos.

Oh well. So much for the science.

Back On The Climate Change Horse

Like most of prairie dog’s writers, I don’t want to talk, write or think about climate change any more. It’s too depressing. Despite clear scientific consensus* that a warming planet is a threat to civilization, Canada isn’t taking proportional action against this threat.

Instead, we’re on track to be some of the biggest climate criminals in the world thanks to our support of dirty energy like the oilsands.

Money talks, the future walks and true patriot love in all our hearts command (us to like it and keep our mouths shut).

Also like most of prairie dog’s writers, I’m still somewhat demotivated by the fact Canadians just handed a majority government to the politicians who care about the environment the least. But what are you going to do? It’s probably too late for an orderly transition to a post-carbon economy but the sooner we get serious, the less bad it will be.

So in the reluctant spirit of increasing prairie dog’s depressing coverage of climate change issues and inaction, here’s a vid I watched Monday night. It’s a short video featuring a scientist (Paul Nurse, genetics and cell biology) squashing a wretched, cowardly denier-weasal like a bug.

That’s followed by some clips of ace climate denier Lord Christopher Monckton, who’s busy ruining Australia this week,  saying he’s cured AIDS. Uh huh. And people find climate deniers credible.

Anyway, Nurse makes it look so easy. This clip cheered me up and it might cheer you up too. Inspiring!

Via the always-excellent Pharyngula.

*Yep!

It’s Hotter, Weirder, Wetter, Dryer But Liars And Loons Still Play Denier

Al Jazeera:

“If you had a satellite view of the planet in the summer, there is about 40 per cent less ice in the Arctic than when Apollo 8 [in 1968] first sent back those photos [of Earth],” Bill McKibben, world renowned environmentalist and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences told Al Jazeera, “Oceans are 30 per cent more acidic than they were 40 years ago. The atmosphere is four per cent more wet than 40 years ago because warm air holds more water than cold air. That means more deluge and downpour in wet areas and more dryness in dry areas. So we’re seeing more destructive mega floods and storms, increasing thunderstorms, and increasing lightning strikes.”

We should have started aggressively reducing carbon emmissions 20 years ago but the climate kooks, cranks and bullies blocked action (along with fossil fuel companies and their politicians). Even now a lot of people refuse to accept the reality of climate change.

I was in a crushingly depressing argument about this on Facebook a couple of weeks ago (yes, I am a huge lame-o who gets into hostile, pointless Facebook arguments). I posted a link to NASA’s climate science page to make the point that mainstream scientific agencies accept the theory of climate change. An invalid point, my Facebook nemesis, Todd, shot back. “What did your link prove or point to…nothing except your feeble appeal to authority. By the way, NASA has been wrong many times in the past, ask Christa McAuliffe.”

This from the jerk (why are so many jerks named Todd?) who’d just posted a link to an ugly-looking blog called “Hold The Mayo” that calls global warming a “pseudo-religion”.

And then other commentators told me “I lose credibility” when I swear at people and call them names.

My authority put people on the moon. Todd’s authority likes bland sandwiches. On the Internet, both authorities have equal weight in an argument. You can’t fucking win. Too many Toga-Todds diddling themselves while Rome burns.

(Thanks to PD Facebook fan Daniel Johnson for the Al Jazeera link.)

Volcano Vs. Climate Change; So You Think You Have Construction Problems; Me Hates Me Some ‘Burbs; Profanity Warning

So Steve emails me some spam he got about how the Iceland volcano is reversing global warming caused by humans and says, “Hey, wanna do a fast debunk of this on the blog?” To which I reply,

Who has fucking time to debunk shit?? Do you have any idea how much time I spent stuck in traffic today? Half of it! The day I mean. In traffic, chugging slowly through construction zones. Cars suck assholes. Next time we come here we do everything by public transit. If it isn’t on a bus route or the LRT line we don’t fucking see it. I don’t care how closely related by blood the person is. And don’t say how I should write this rant up as a blog post. I have to choke down some pasta then get back into the car and drive to my sister’s house. When I finally get back to my dad’s basement I’m turning on the television and watching reality shows until I’m unconscious.

See, I’m back in Stabmonton. And today we stupidly tried to travel from my folks’ place in the nearby suburb of St Albert to the south side of Edmo using the spiff new Anthony Henday Drive. Problem being the construction zone on the Henday ran from just outside St Albert all the way to the north shore of the North Saskatchewan River. All told, that’s a whopping 17 km of construction zone, with all the attendant reduced speed warnings and bottlenecks.

And as Google Maps informs me, that’s five km longer than the entire length of Albert Street (in Regina, of course). And, on the way back to my folks’, we discovered that there is also massive construction on Calgary Trail North and the Whitemud. In other words, pretty much every route through or around Edmonton is clotted by huge construction projects. So when I get home I don’t want to hear any whinging about how the summer construction season is snarling up Regina’s traffic.

17 km! One construction zone! That’s Traffic Perdition I just escaped. A one-block detour around the City Square project is looking pretty fucking insignificant by comparison.

As for that spam email from Whitworth, it was some balderdash about how material spewed from the volcano in Iceland wipes out four years worth of human-spewed CO2, or some such bullshit. The Guardian helpfully put paid to that idea over a year ago, pointing out that the biggest impact on the climate from that eruption comes as a result of all the European aircraft that were grounded (air travel being notoriously bad for the environment, so much so that one cross-country roundtrip by plane produces as much carbon as your average year’s worth of car-driving).

That Steve’s spammer invokes Ian Plimer in the headline should have been indication enough that the email was to be ignored. I’m not entirely sure why it got his knickers in a twist. (He said it was sent by a “journalist.” And now I’m curious who exactly.) But just so there’s no confusion: Plimer (who made our Dastardly Denier list) is not a trusted name in the world of climate science. Here are, for instance, a list of rebuttals to his anti-climate-science tome, Heaven + Earth. Or you can watch as George Monbiot takes him to task on Australian TV.

Dogcast: David Sauchyn Discusses The New Normal

Here’s that promised podcast version of my interview with David Sauchyn. We discuss the book he co-edited with Harry Diaz and Suren Kulshreshtha titled The New Normal: The Canadian Prairies in a Changing Climate.

If you want to read the article this goes with it’s here.

Prairiedog podcast-DavidSauchynInterview by Paul Dechene

The New Normal launches on November 16. You can watch the book trailer here. And you can order the book here.

Music used in this podcast is Rythme Gitan by Latché Swing which I downloaded from the Free Music Archive.

Holy Crap! Has Lomborg Just Switched Sides??!?

Well, this is surprising news. The Guardian is reporting that the skeptical environmentalist, Bjørn Lomborg, has a new book coming out called Smart Solutions to Climate Change in which he declares global warming to be “undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today” and he will be calling for tens of billions of dollars to be invested in climate change mitigation.

And, he will advocate for financing those tens of billions with a carbon tax!

This is a complete turn around from the position he argued in last year’s Munk Debate when he and climate-science skeptic Nigel Lawson squared off against George Monbiot and Elizabeth May.

Strange that he would have argued that climate change wasn’t worthy of a $100 billion investment back in December of 2009 and then make an about face this summer. Presumably he was researching the new book back when the Munk was taking place, if not actually writing it.

Have to say, I’m damn curious as to how he’ll justify all this. And I’m more than a little skeptical of Lomborg’s apparent change of face. Guess we’ll have to see how this shakes out.

Globe Skips Real IPCC Story, Picks Nagging One Instead

The top story on the Globe and Mail right now is about a report from several national academies of science calling for reform of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

I haven’t read the report yet, but the recommendations are about what you’d expect considering all the hysteria over the Climategate non-scandal and the revelation that the 3000-page 4th Assessment Report contained some errors.

Shoring up the peer review process seems to be the main recommendation. Fair enough. Can’t hurt.

But the Globe also makes note of this:

He added that there was concern about the U.N. climate panel’s lack of a conflict of interest policy. The report called for development of a “rigorous conflict of interest policy” that applies to all top IPCC officials.

That line will resonate to most people who dimly remember the scandal whipped up by the UK’s Sunday Telegraph which accused IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri of financial misdeeds. But as I blogged about on Friday, Pachauri was completely exonerated last week, and the Telegraph‘s story looks to be either a big whopping screw up or, worse, a falsehood.

And, the Globe, while making this report about IPCC procedure the top story on their website (and made similar hay of the Telegraph‘s accusations against Pachauri), still hasn’t seen fit to run anything prominent about Pachauri’s exoneration.

So, while a conflict of interest policy is probably a good idea, running a story about a call to reform the IPCC without mentioning that the corruption scandal under which it has been operating has turned out to be a falsehood only serves to reinforce the idea that the IPCC has corruption problems.

Once again, anything that makes the IPCC or climate science look shaky or corrupt is big news. Corrections of the record or mention of the fact that the smear campaigns and non-scandals have done nothing to undermine the main conclusions of the 4th Assessment Report are glossed over.

IPCC Chair Fully Exonerated

Remember those allegations that IPCC Chair, Rajendra Pachauri, had been making a fortune through his ties to the carbon trading industry? The story originated in the UK’s Sunday Telegraph in a piece last December written by Christopher Booker and Richard North (remember those names) titled “Questions over business deals of UN climate change guru Dr Rajendra Pachauri.”

Well, back when the “Pachauri as crook” meme was being parroted by the Globe and Mail, I remember thinking, “Oh well. Even climate scientists can cave in to greed.” See, pessimist that I am, I just assume everyone in a position of power or influence is on some level crooked. So, the idea that Pachauri was getting kick backs or something didn’t seem like a stretch.

There was a problem with that, though. Turns out, Booker and North got the story completely wrong.

In an effort to clear his name and force the Telegraph to print a retraction, Pachauri opened up his books and the books of the charity he works for, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). As reported in the Guardian, the investigation by ginormous accounting firm KPMG found that not only has Pachauri not been earning any money from carbon trading firms, he’s been absolutely scrupulous with his finances. His salary from TERI totals £45,000 and he donates many of his consulting fees and awards — money he’s entitled to keep — to his employers.

And as for his IPCC position, in their piece, Booker and North wonder provocatively what additional income Pachauri earns for holding such a prestigious post. If they’d asked, they’d have found out the salary he accepts for being IPCC chair is exactly £0 ($0 Can).

Anyway, looks like my pessimism was misplaced. Pachauri is an innocent man who’s reputation is being trashed by the usual gang of science deniers.

I feel like a right nob for being on some level duped by this smear campaign.

There’s more to read on Pachauri’s exoneration and I’d recommend going to George Monbiot’s blog right now and reading what he has to say on the subject. DeSmog Blog has a few choice words on offer as well. (Update: You can read KPMG’s findings on the Guardian‘s website here.)

It’s worth noting that when the aspersions against Pachauri were being thrown around, the Globe and Mail saw fit to put the story, with picture, in the top spot on their website. (I don’t read the paper version so I’ve no idea how prominent the story was in there.)

Well, news of Pachauri’s exoneration is a day old and I have yet to see any above-the-fold online coverage at the G&M. (No surprise, the National Post and CBC also seem silent on the subject.)

So, once again, when climate scientists and campaigners are being slandered, it’s big news. When the slanders are exposed as fabrications, the mainstream media takes little notice.

The Guardian, at least, is a refreshing exception.

And as for the “journalists” who started this whole hullabaloo, Telegraph columnist Christopher Booker and EUReferendum blogger Dr Richard North, I’m left wondering what skeletons would be dug up if they were subjected to the same level of scrutiny as Pachauri has been.

Post Gormley Wrap-Up

Spent the last many hours enjoying the weather hence the lateness of this update… Anyway, my fears of going on the Gormley show turning into a bloodbath were a tad overblown. It was actually very fun. I didn’t win him over to the side of science and reason. But I don’t think I gave any ground either.

If you missed it, the good news (or bad, depending on how you look at it) is that John Gormley has said he will happily and proudly sign our Global Warming Skeptic’s Declaration. His will be the first we receive. And I promised him that we will frame it and send a picture to him of it hanging over Stephen’s desk.

Also, in 10 years, if it turns out that climate change isn’t real, we’ll have to throw a party in John Gormley’s honour and name him the mayor of prairiedogville. The bet’s pretty safe. Mind you, if it ever turns out that the evidence is overwhelming that anthropogenic global warming isn’t real, I’ll be throwing lots and lots of parties.

It’d be nice to think that’s a possibility, but as I said on the show, the science is clear. The planet’s getting warmer and we’re the cause.

In return, John’s promised that if in 10 years it turns out we’re clearly right, he’ll have me back on the show to say “I told you so.” I was hoping for a little more. At least he could buy me a beer.

A very warm beer.

And that’s it. Thanks VERY much to everyone for the encouragement and advice. And for all the post-show virtual high-fives on the blog, on Facebook and in my in-box.

And as we’ve mentioned before, please download that Global Warming Skeptic’s Declaration (there’s a link in the right column there) and send it to all the science deniers you know.

Global Warming Skeptic’s Declaration

If you’re looking for prairie dog‘s Global Warming Skeptic’s Declaration, here is a direct link to it. (Or you can click the image at left to download it.)

Until now, it’s been kind of buried at the bottom of a page of our climate science coverage. (If you want to read more of what we have to say on the topic, click the “climate change” tag attached to this post.)

Please, feel free to print off the Declaration and send it to your climate-science denying friends, your local climate-science denying radio pundit, your Conservative MP, Glen Beck. Get them to sign it, send it in to us and strike a blow for (their mangled version of) the truth.

We’ll keep all the Declarations on file and if in 15 years it turns out climate change wasn’t such a big deal, we will, with joy in our hearts and egg on our faces but mostly hearts full of joy, admit we were wrong.

But if global warming turns out to be not just real but catastrophic?

Well, then we’ll know who to blame….

In other Declaration-related news, my conversation with John Gormley about the campaign has been moved to the 10:30 am slot on his show.

Prairie Dog Vs. John Gormley, Fight!

Get this: I’m going to be on the Gormley show tomorrow morning, defending climate science. Yeesh. If you want to hear Gormley tear me to pieces, please tune in. It’s going to be a bloodbath.

And no, this is not false modesty. There’s a reason I’m in print journalism.

Anyway, why is talk radio interested in the prairie dog‘s opinion on climate change, you ask? Well, you see, recently we kind of sent out copies of our Climate Denier Declaration from two issues ago. (It’s at the bottom of this page. And you can download the declaration pdf directly at this link.) We mailed them off to right-wing pundits and climate deniers all over Canada and the U.S.

Gormley was on our list and his producer is the first person to contact us about it.

According to his people (actually: person, producer Tammy), as of this afternoon, Gormley hadn’t read the declaration so no word on what he thinks of it. I’m going on the show to find out if he’ll be signing it and sending it back to us. Hope he will.

Now, while I don’t relish the idea of dog blog readers listening in to what will occur tomorrow morning, I’ll bet the lines will be open to comments after our discussion. It’d be nice to have some clever callers to the show defending the scientific consensus on global climate change.

A whole bunch of calls would be even better.

Climate Denier Wins “Big” Award

This one is too funny, don’t know how I missed it.

The pitbull of climate denial, Marc Morano, recently won the Petr Beckmann Award from Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. Though you wouldn’t know it from the name, the DDP seems to be a dedicated climate-science denial organization with close links to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (the two groups share an address and some key personnel). And if you think the AAPS sounds legit, a quick scan through it’s journal turns up an article questioning the HIV – AIDS link, a study attempting to link breast cancer rates to abortion, one linking vaccines to autism, and a study on homosexuality that ends like so…

American concepts and attitudes about homosexuality have changed significantly in recent decades. Most of society and the medical profession now view it as an acceptable alternate lifestyle: a biologically determined, permanent “orientation”, rather than a learned, experiential, and often changeable choice. The concept of homosexuality as a permanent “orientation” is, however, without scientific validation; the notion is entirely politically grounded. One effect of this new view has been to understate the medical and societal harm produced by the promiscuous sexual practices typically associated with homosexuality.

In other words, the AAPS is yet another vile, right-wing organization that promotes junk science.

Meanwhile, the award Morano has won is given to “individuals who demonstrate courage and achievement in defence of scientific truth and freedom”. If you’re looking for the laughs in all this though, check out the Petr Beckmann the award is named after. He is remembered for being on the vanguard of Relativity denial. (Update at 9:39pm: About Beckmann’s Relativity denial, forgot to note that he wasn’t one of the people back in 1909 who thought this new “theory” was just too crazy. No. Beckmann was claiming to have debunked the Theory of Relativity on Usenet and in a book called Einstein Plus Two which was published in 1987. So, long after Relativity had been accepted by the scientific consensus.)

That’s right, there’s apparently an anti-Einstein underground that thinks one of the most-validated scientific theories ever is a bunch of made-up junk. You simply can’t be a bigger crank if you’re dissing on the Theory of Relativity.

So, congratulations Marc Morano on that award for being the most outrageous ignoramus at the lobotomy barndance.

But before we go, let’s add this up, shall we? Climate-science denial sits at the intersection of Relativity denial (I’m still shocked that this is for real), vaccine denial, HIV-AIDS denial, homosexual-rights denial, and (as we pointed out before) evolution denial.

At what point do we stop qualifying the views of anti-climate-science guys like Morano and just call them what they are: anti-Science?

Monckton Bloviates

Christopher Monckton — the Clown Prince of Climate Science Denial — has finally released his response to John Abrahams devastating dissection of his Bethel University talk from last October — the one that’s likely identical to the FCPP-sponsored talk he gave here around the same time. (Abraham’s critique can be found here. Some of our Monckton coverage can be found here and here.)

Apparently, it comes in at a whopping 99 pages. Apparently, it’s jam packed with Monckton’s particular brand of bloviation. Apparently, beyond that, it contains little substance.

I say “apparently” because I haven’t read it. No, I have not. And I do not intend to. Not unless someone decides to start paying me to squander more time on Monckton. While I have my reasons for enjoying pointing out that the man is unreliable on any subject and a total nutter besides, I think I’ve waded through enough of his crap and it’s now safe to dismiss his ravings outright and spare myself more tedium.

Instead, I’ll be trusting the analysis of others. Braver, more dedicated souls. Richard Littlemore over at Desmog Blog, for instance, is worth a read. Here’s a good bit that sums things up nicely:

Monckton says something, he offers a vague source to back up his position, but when you check the source, you find that he has said something that is quite incorrect. If you didn’t already know Monckton – which is to say, if you hadn’t come to expect this performance – you might be surprised that someone who is calling someone else a “liar” would be so cavalier with the evidence.

Meanwhile, over at the Guardian, George Monbiot is the most eloquent in tearing Monckton apart. His take:

As far as I can see, he fails to provide a straight or convincing refutation of any of Abraham’s criticisms, and succeeds only in throwing a great deal of dust into the air.

Reading through all this, what’s striking is how confidently Monckton has constructed his web of nit-wittery. In fact, I suspect he’s more than just a cynical opportunist riding the science-denial shortbus to fame and glory. He’s a true believer.

And that reminds me of this bit I just read in the God Delusion where Dawkin’s quotes from Robert Trivers’ Social Evolution:

[Self-deception is] hiding the truth from the conscious mind the better to hide it from others. In our own species we recognize that shifty eyes, sweaty palms and croaky voices may indicate the stress that accompanies conscious knowledge of attempted deception. By becoming unconscious of its deception, the deceiver hides these signs from the observer. He or she can lie without the nervousness that accompanies deception.