There’s nothing like the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.
The Guardian, has sunk to a new low. The paper that claims to fight for freedom and champions the cause of NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden while raining hell fire down on America’s ‘lapdog media’ isn’t so enamoured with free speech.
Yesterday’s Guardian saw yet another outburst of climate activism trumping real discussion by climate scientists, to the point of censorship. It started with an article by resident activist-columnist Dana Nuccitelli and ended shortly after with the deletion of questions relevant to his activism and fairness.
Citing a newly published study on the back and forth over human motivations and reactions, this one on climate science and policy, Dana went on the attack. He happily portrayed that
people who purport that eggs are good for you are “dishonest Trolls” “conservative media creates distrust in scientists” as if it was settled science and grounds to go on the offensive, and Dana does offensive very well.
Or, as he says of conservatives in the comments himself, “…reality is getting worse. It’s like a drug addict denying he has an addiction.” Yes Dana, clearly drawing on the consensus again.
And that’s what many climate activists do. They take papers of their choosing and blur the lines between the authority of the “climate consensus” and whatever paper suits their tactic. Something akin to what hypocritical activists like Dana routinely accuse the myriad stripes of climate policy debaters of doing.
Nuccitelli was quick to attack both experts’ efforts at daring to try to move the discussion beyond the policy-debate quagmire. It’s precisely because of attitudes like this that climate scientist Mike Hulme recently said, “It seems to me that these people are still living (or wishing to live) in the pre-2009 world of climate change discourse.”
Dr.s Edwards and Hulme are consensus believing climate scientists. Pearce, as his Guardian bio describes, “is a Leverhulme Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham on the Making Science Public programme. He researches climate science scepticism and evidence and expertise in policy.”
These are the voices of experts seeking to end what activist climate scientist Michael Mann terms the Climate Wars.
Meet Barry Woods. Barry, @BarryJWoods describes himself as a source of “Lukewarm thoughts on the politics, policies, economics & science of Climate Change.”
Barry is a blogger with a long history as a “lukewarmer”. This means that Barry accepts the scientific consensus, that through CO2 humanity has very likely played the largest part in the warming of the planet since 1880. He qualifies this by stating that he believes warming has and will occur, from the human contribution, at the low end of the IPCC estimates for an atmospheric doubling in CO2. An important and vibrantly uncertain metric.
That, for the record, is about as far as the scientific consensus on climate change goes. It does not say the world will be “more dangerous.” It does not demand that we re-engineer economies through the UN. And above it all, it doesn’t make moral judgements about the decisions countries or individuals will make about how and if to address climate change. Those things are the truck and trade of climate activism, and climate activism is NOT climate science, let alone the scientific consensus on climate change.
So when Barry Woods read the Fox/conservative smear piece he pointed out that Nuccitelli was being insincere. He also raised questions about possible activist tactics related to the recent discovery of some disturbing content on Skeptical Science’s forum. Sks is an activist website that Dana is partnered in. They would have readers believe that the reason their favourite policies aren’t being enacted is because people don’t believe in climate change.
A number of images were recently found available to the public. One of the image depicted Dana’s “Skeptical Science colleague” John Cook as Heinrich Himmler. People were expecting clarity.
Instead, the comment was deleted, censored out by the Guardian and no clarity was provided. So much for open discussion. Although these tactics are not unheard of at Skeptical Science, where they have been practised quite egregiously, they have NO PLACE at the Guardian.
Given such scrupulous behaviour at Skeptical Science many wondered if SkS, was creating propaganda to attempt to smear those they disagree with. Even those who aren’t so sure would like to know. According to Google Image searches the photo is unprecedented online. This is clearly not a brush mainstream policy skeptics are interested in activists painting them with.
Agents provocateur tactics aren’t limited to news story comments and have been employed by both ‘sides’ of climate activism. Like deceptive robocalls, they are cheap and effective.
Just last year it was revealed that one scientist, Dr. Peter Gleick, stepped into activism and impersonated a member of the board of the Heartland Institute to gain access to confidential documents. These were later used to try to blame donations from an American industrialist, earmarked to lobby/research on healthcare, for the existence of climate policy skeptics. This is the naked use of Guilt By Association to attempt to silence legitimate debate, not to mention impersonating someone.
Even worse are the examples we set for young people. The ‘sides’ of the debates have convinced young people to believe there really is little difference between their political opposites and the worst of the pantheon of history’s monsters. They don’t have our reference points, they have activist fear-mongering and a theatre of moral equivalences.
That’s all fair and free speech, but when they allow that same activist to censor people who raise important points and questions about their activism they cross a line.
Yesterday the Guardian showed us just how important Edward Snowden, personal liberties and climate-change really are to them and ran up the flag of hypocrisy. Outside the consensus the public is told that this is the most important challenge we’ve ever faced.
It’s time to cool the debates and put both sides’ activists on the same shelf in the fridge. If we can’t do that we just may pass a tipping-point beyond which meaningful democratic decision on any issue becomes impossible.