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The pretentious “pretender”

In his book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, Michael Mann describes the six stages of climate change denial:

  1. CO2 is not actually increasing.
  2. Even if it is, the increase has no impact on the climate since there is no convincing evidence of warming.
  3. Even if there is warming, it is due to natural causes.
  4. Even if the warming cannot be explained by natural causes, the human impact is small, and the impact of continued greenhouse gas emissions will be minor.
  5. Even if the current and future projected human effects on Earth’s climate are not negligible, the changes are generally going to be good for us.
  6. Whether or not the changes are going to be good for us, humans are very adept at adapting to changes; besides, it’s too late to do anything about it, and/or a technological fix is bound to come along when we really need it.

Government rhetoric seems to have progressed to number 6 on the denial ladder, though most members of the Nationals, along with Craig Kelly, are still lagging a good way behind.

Even Andrew Bolt has decided it’s time to move up a rung or two, penning an article last week that began, “We sceptics can’t go on like this.  These bushfires demand we all stop pretending and face the facts.”

Oh, so he’s finally realised that his “pretending” has consequences?

Andrew graciously goes on to admit that the planet has warmed, that this warming could affect a lot of people, that man’s emissions probably played some role, and that the Liberals’ response has been hopeless and MUST change.

He then pretentiously informs us that he advised the Prime Minister before the last election that he “desperately needs a new line.”

And that’s where Andrew slides back down the ladder.  He’s not looking for more action, just a new line about why we can’t take any and how beneficial warming will be to lots of people.

In 2002, Frank Luntz advised the Republican Party that the there was only a small window of opportunity to challenge the closing window of scientific evidence and urged politicians to double down on their efforts to deny the consensus behind global warming.

With that argument now debunked to all but the most ignorant, they have moved on to the last ditch effort – cast “reasonable doubt” to convince members of the public that it is too expensive to take action.

Andrew Bolt wants a cost/benefit analysis.  I’m sure he thinks that sounds clever.  And unsurprisingly, Andrew seems to come down on the side of the benefits of doing nothing about global warming.

He asks how many coal power stations must go?

Well the answer is all of them – they have a finite life span – but no-one, not even the Greens, are suggesting they close overnight.  No private investor is interested in opening new plants unless they get a lot of government assistance and, even then, no-one has a proposal on the books.

Andrew also wants to know how many people will lose their jobs and how high electricity prices will go, before quoting a flawed paper by Brian Fisher telling us that workers would, on average, be earning $9,000 less a year than we should have been by 2030 if Labor had its way.

Then Bolt asks by how much would the world’s temperature then be cut before telling us the answer is zero.

And if we do limit temperature rise, would we get fewer bushfires and fewer droughts or would we have more cyclones and smaller crops?

Andrew finishes with a certainty that he used to devote to the old argument about there being no consensus.

“See?  Suddenly it’s not so clear as warming extremists pretend.  That’s why they hate talking like practical adults, not religious zealots.

So for Morrison’s Liberals, it’s confession time:  say that global warming is not just about costs but benefits too.  Or must hysterics dominate?”

I would kind of prefer the experts to advise us than the “practical adults” on Sky After Dark.

Bolt is just an ordinary person making his name through expressing ignorant opinions loudly.  Matt Canavan and Craig Kelly are about the only people who take him seriously.  Someone really needs to ram home to these idiots a dollar figure of how much their inaction will cost.  If they won’t believe the scientists, perhaps the insurance actuaries should have a word about cost and risk management.

If this country is to survive, we need urgent action and persuasive global leadership on emissions reduction, and we need a government who cares enough to lead us through the transition to a zero carbon economy and the new industries and jobs it will provide.

What we don’t need is pompous pretentious asses “pretending” they know what they are talking about.

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30 comments

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  1. Josephus

    So many fools think their opinions matter. They do not. Evidence, evidence, evidence. 1100 scientists. My seeing the icebergs calving in Greenland, where lettuces can now be grown. Fire and floods, in so many places. Pandemics.

    Recently a born again Christian told me the end of the world was nigh cf the fires and floods. I replied that we humans would die out and that eventually giant cockroaches or lizards would rule the planet .They would invent a god in their image. She did not like that.

  2. Kronomex

    Andrew Bolt, scientific advisor to Caveman Kelly and the Mad Monk.

  3. Grumpy Geezer

    Have a climate change denying mate who had an epiphany when the local paper published a map showing areas vulnerable to a rise in sea levels that included his place. Suddenly it shouldn’t be so lightly dismissed.

    He’s now in the “no point in Australia doing anything” stage. That will change when the first new super tide floods his underground car park.

    Unfortunately that’s how a significant part of the population thinks.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Reality will bite with increased insurance premiums and some places uninsurable, as well as more rigorous building codes and planning permits. Politicians can crap on for as long as they like but businesses are being impacted by increasingly frequent and intense disasters. Even when not directly impacted, supply chains are disrupted. Consumer confidence and investment are both low. If they can’t bring themselves to discuss the environment, they will be dragged kicking and screaming by the economics. And while they delay, the cost to adjust grows and other countries get in on the ground floor of new industries – often with our research and inventions that we can’t be bothered funding.

    Ok….calm down Kaye….screaming won’t help……

  5. DrakeN

    Neither does being like me – “the old man shouting and shaking his fist at the clouds”, Kaye 😉

    Better, I suspect, to shout and scream in rage than to become silent and despondent under the weight of the illogical, mendacious, self centred ways of what seems to be the greater portion of humanity.

  6. Kaye Lee

    I think the tide is turning DrakeN.

    We got smashed by the storm weekend before last. I have had insurance assessors and tradesmen round all week. Most of them were angry with government – federal, state and local – for different reasons. These guys are at the forefront of dealing with what’s going on just as the RFS volunteers and the SES have been. One said to me that, whilst all this stuff may have happened in the past, the gap between extreme events is getting shorter. And we are having drought, floods, rain bombs, hail, dust storms, extreme temperatures, fires, gale-force winds, cyclones all at once in different parts of the country.

    If I believed in a god I would say it was telling us to wake up – the cleansing of the moneychangers from the temple. I sometimes like the bible as a metaphorical guide.

  7. Kerri

    Ordinary???
    Extraordinarily wooden headed and unqualified.
    An unfinished Arts degree!
    No science there.

  8. Matters Not

    Re:

    An unfinished Arts degree!

    Hopefully, (and in a sense), all Degrees are unfinished. Like education generally.

    Suspect that the Principal of St Kevins just experienced the learning of a lifetime. And it’s only the beginning.

    Did he aid and abet? Or just turn a blind eye? Or did he not know? If so, then should he have known?

  9. wam

    getting closer kaye keep reading the ‘intelligent’ deniers and skeptics. These people, with vested interests, know climate change is real but not by man’s hand. I remember the giggle when I read jerico’s ” don’t know about you, but I love the adults being back in charge.’
    Joe has a way with the godly but she and smirko will hear god’s request for help soon enough to win a second term.
    In the meantime smorko will sit back and watch brandt’s loonies and labor;s scaredy cats, kick the shit out of albo

  10. Zathras

    Skeptics –

    “I’ve had a sharp pain in my right side for a couple of weeks. I’ve been to the Hospital and consulted several Doctors and they say it’s appendicitis. However the guy next door reckons he’s pretty savvy and did some Googling and reckons I probably just ate too much”.

    In the end, that’s pretty much how it goes.

    Unfinished Arts degree? Kelly is a former furniture salesman – now a scientific spokesman.

  11. corvusboreus

    Off topic but worth noting.
    In the civil court case currently underway against the federal government over the robodebt scam (already adjudged to be illegitimate and illegal by the high court) the government has claimed that they not liable for any damages because:
    a) they reckon that issuing notifications of falsely generated debts with threats of punitive action does not represent ‘duress’.
    b) social security law makes no specific reference to any need to exercise ‘due or reasonable care’.
    Phuxake.

  12. corvusboreus

    Grumpy Geezer,
    Within the recent constant of accelerating sea rise, there is the complicating effect of the lunar nodal cycles, which follow a 18.6 year cyclic pattern causing variations in severity of tides, as the moon’s elliptical orbit brings it closer to or further from our planet.
    The last nodal max occurred in 2015, meaning that we are well into a waning phase that will trough in 2024.
    Then the moon will begin to draw closer again, with the next peak in influence due around 2033.
    By the time the next nodal max brings a return to peak tides, the oceans will (at current rates) have risen by, at the very least, another 5cm (a conservatively optimistic figure based on no further acceleration of general sea rise).
    Something to consider for those with beach front properties.

  13. Kaye Lee

    “I haven’t looked at the modelling or costs and benefits of net zero emissions closely because it just seems so fantastical to me,” Canavan told Sky News. “It seems like the kind of things that governments say, because they’re not doing much today but they’d like to try and hoodwink people that they might do something in 30 years’ time.”

    This guy really is a turkey

  14. Kaye Lee

    Speaking of hoodwinking people into thinking you are doing something….

    The Morrison government is set to adopt a technology investment target instead of signing up to a global agreement to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

    “I don’t sign up to anything when I can’t look Australians in the eye and tell them what it costs,” he told reporters in Melbourne.

    https://www.9news.com.au/national/pm-eyes-technology-investment-climate-push/a2ba8290-aa69-45da-84cf-5b3caaab19f4

    So I am expecting a fully costed “technology” roadmap and, while you are at it, I expect to see exactly how much will be spent on disaster relief and rebuilding over that time.

  15. Andrew

    Lol, but the article quoted michael mann…. biggest fraud ever

  16. Harry Lime

    Kaye Lee,
    I look forward to the day when Scotty from marketing looks Australians in the eye and tells the truth.Failing that (he will),he announces his resignation (he won’t).
    Meanwhile,he’s flat out trying to divert attention from their gross corruption.You wonder when it’s all going to blow up.

  17. Kaye Lee

    Andrew,

    The only quote from Michael Mann was the six stages of denial which we all recognise.

    You may think Andrew Bolt, who has absolutely no qualifications whatsoever in anything and makes his money by being deliberately contrarian, is a more credible source than a multi-award winning climatologist who has written more than 200 peer-reviewed publications. I do not.

  18. corvusboreus

    Andrew,
    A reality check for you.

    Michael Mann holds multiple scientific degrees to the level of Phd, and his contributions to science have been recognised by a swathe of national and international scientific organisations.
    His main scientific assertions (eg the ‘hockey stick’) have endured the rigours of endless multi-discipline processes of peermmj review, and have retained their credibility for scientific reference.
    All findings of investigations or legal proceedings on matters tendered by or against Proffessor Mann have found in his favour.

    By contrast, Andrew Bolt is a person who once failed to obtain an arts degree then went on to scribble and rant for commercial tabloid rags, radio and television.
    Bolt has had numerous investigations by media regulatory and legal authorities make case rulings against him on the basis of factual inaccuracies and baseless claims, resulting in multiple enforced retractions and legal fines.

    Who is the fraud?

  19. corvusboreus

    wamstalk (condensed)

    getting closer kaye
    Jericho’s giggle, Joe godly
    Smorko… loonies-cats (???)

  20. Terence Mills

    When you sometimes wonder if the Right-Wing Shock Jocks are winning the hearts and minds of Australians, it is instructive to look at the TV ratings – last night for instance :

    The Bolt Report (Sky News) — 50,000
    Paul Murray Live (Sky News) — 47,000
    Credlin (Sky News) — 46,000

    The Abc’s line up — 7.30 with 969,000, Australian Story with 1.05 million, Four Corners with a very solid 1.07 million and Media Watch with 969,000. Q&A came in at 610,000 which implies that some 350,000 people turned off after Media Watch – probably to watch Married at First Sight which won the evening with 1,460,000 : go figure.

  21. Carrie Cornwell

    The Bolt Report (Sky News) — 50,000
    Paul Murray Live (Sky News) — 47,000
    Credlin (Sky News) — 46,000

    Those numbers have to be from the number of aged care, high care aged care facilities at meal times and hospital emergency wait rooms that have their communal TV’s dialed into Sky News. Fortunately most of the time the volume is muted with only close caption on.

  22. wam

    dear corvus boreus

    excuse my attempts at an ancient art.

    kaye is climate change
    too complex for deniers
    global warming easy

    the rabbott’s adults won
    Jericho sbs photo
    you will giggle too

    Here is the giggle photo
    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/comment-good-thing-the-adults-are-back-in-charge

    Josephus lizard
    the future image of god
    tickles my fancy

    labor’s few coal boys
    with brandt’s dreamers will bicker
    who will laugh and sing

  23. corvusboreus

    Wam,
    Thank you for breaking personal precedence and providing that explanatory link clarifying your oblique reference to a Greg Jericho opinion piece from over half a decade ago.
    I do so like to keep abreast of the latest informational intelligence.
    Keep em cumming.

  24. Zathras

    Bolt’s assertion that more CO2 will increase crop yeileds is another example of the selective narrative that got him in legal trouble over 18C.

    He quotes some data but totally ignores that which defeats his argument.

    Crop yields do increase but the ability of plants to extract nutrients decreases so while we do get more crops, they are of lower nutritional value and diminished overall plant health.

  25. johno

    In other words Bolt is a moron and Andrew you have been hoodwinked lol.

    Just read this abc report re. fires.
    Dr Mann is unequivocal about the cause of the tragedy: “Take record heat, combine it with unprecedented drought in already dry regions and you get unprecedented bushfires like the ones engulfing the Blue Mountains and spreading across the continent. It’s not complicated.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-19/australia-bushfires-how-heat-and-drought-created-a-tinderbox/11976134

    Exactly, the reason for the fires are not complicated, yet morons like Bolt et al and Scottyholyrolleratacantermorrison and his cohort of halfwits would not know shit from clay.

  26. wam

    fair criticism corvus I did try to make it clear that it was the photo of ‘adolts’ that provided my giggle. I couldn’t give a rat’s arse about jericho’s words.
    Who could call the trio of a subs catastrophe twit who thinks private school students rule, the nbn copper man and a religious freedom man who killed our right to die, adults?
    These men with the rabbott are active now and still dangerous.
    ps
    wow george overflew manila????

  27. corvusboreus

    wam,
    So you were giggling at a photo of 2 now-ex pollies and a current backbencher playing with their phones.
    Not sure of the relevance to a discussion on andrew bolt’s lack of credentials or credibility when indulging in his paid counter-messaging against the increasingly urgent scientific warnings regarding an accelerating existential planetary threat, but thanks for clarifying.

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