That’s Bullshit! – Brian Cox, Global Warming and Arctic Ice

Right. If you’ve read any of my film reviews in the past, one thing that tends to get on my fucking tits is a poorly-constructed, illogical story. My Facebook friends get regularly, brutally subjected to my rants about stupid arguments that people make. I don’t particularly care about any given cause, if I’m being honest. I don’t give a shit about civil rights and I only barely think women are a good thing. What does piss me off, however, is a rubbish argument.

A big topic being discussed at the moment is climate change, or global warming. Specifically, “Anthropogenic Global Warming” – the idea that the world is, on average, heating up, and that it’s doing so as a result of human activity.

One of the latest slices of virality to be doing the rounds on this subject is a verbal “smack-down” of a “climate change denier” by Brian Cox, the floppy-haired former boy band member who now gets paid millions of pounds to pointlessly travel to exotic locations so that he can mispronounce “Saturn” whilst enjoying a boat ride. You’d think a renowned physicist would be able to mange “SAT-urn” instead of “sah-TURN” but I guess he’s good at other stuff.

Now, if you watch the video on the SBS article, linked above, or preferably the full segment linked here, you’ll see the so-called “smack-down” or “mic drop” delivered by Professor Cox and, if you’re like me, you may be wondering why it’s such a huge fucking “slap in the face” as so many claim. After all, it’s just a sheet of paper with a graph on it. There’s no reliability to those numbers and, hell, you can’t even see the axis labels. The first thing that Malcolm Roberts does is start questioning the ropey credentials of the data itself, quite sensibly. So what’s this “huge smack-down”, then?

Well quite simply, it’s the fact that Brian Cox at least has a fucking graph.

Here’s the thing. When you make a claim, it’s better to have that claim backed up, otherwise you tend to look a bit like a soggy dickhead. If I say to you, “don’t buy Coke, it’s more expensive than Pepsi,” then Coke had better BE more expensive than Pepsi, otherwise it starts to look like I might be working for Pepsi. If I say to you, “get in the fucking van, we’re going to the beach, I promise I’m not trying to kidnap you”, then when I open the door for you the van had better be full of towels and plastic spades and suntan lotion and NOT full of chains, balaclavas and duct tape.

So, when someone says “humans aren’t causing global warming”, then the planet had better not be getting any fucking hotter due to human activity, or else that person is going to be closely resembling someone who has an agenda.

Now, I’m like Malcolm Roberts, in that I wish I was smarter than I am and my head is out of proportion with the rest of my body. I also happen to think that a simple graph isn’t really enough to convince me that Anthropogenic Global Warming is really happening. In fact, I’m of the belief that Brian Cox is a big fat gangly liar and I’m going to beat him at his own game – I’m going to get some “scientific” “facts” to prove my point. Let’s go.

NOTE – There is a metric asston of links in the below post. Like, lots and lots. I don’t believe you need to click on all, or even most, or even any, of them, but they’re there for the very important purpose of backing up my claims.

FURTHER NOTE – I don’t give two sideways fucks about things like “bias” or “reliability” or any of that crap my history teacher pretended was important. I’m not trying to prove anyone wrong here – I’m just trying to see if their arguments stand on their own merits.


The Opening Argument

Global Warming is not occurring, and if it is, it is not a result of human activity.

There. That’s my argument. That’s my claim, and now I have to prove it.

I’m going to find that difficult, because I am not a meteorologist. Neither am I a scientist. I’m not even very bright. And I don’t have any instruments. Or equipment. Or very much time. Or very much patience. Or money. And I live a long way away from a library. And I don’t want to talk to anyone, because I essentially hate people.

What I do have is two things: a laptop, and an internet connection.

But it turns out that’s enough! With a brief Google search, I was able to find a page that actually lists the reasons that Global Warming isn’t real! I do not know why so many arseholes spend so much time studying, this Science thing is a piece of piss. Of course, I had to ignore any ads, obviously, I’m no patsy to big business. And I had to ignore the top two non-ad results, because they don’t fit with my narrative. But right there, in the top three legitimate results, is townhall.com, coming to my rescue. Great stuff.

But, that’s not enough, is it? No it fucking isn’t, because I can’t shove a web page in Brian Cox’s sneery little face and then drop the mic, can I? I need to “read around” the topic, as some arsey academic might say. One source isn’t enough for proof, but it is enough to get me started. So let’s go through it, step-by-step.

One thing to bear in mind: the townhall.com article was originally published in February, 2014. I can only assume that the evidence against Global Warming has only increased since then. But as this was the first article I came across, I’m going to stick with it for now.


1) There Hasn’t Been Any Global Warming Since 1997

Okay, first off, I love the image of Obama looking like he’s about to cry. What a pussy. He’s probably just upset because America rightly rejected his attempt to force free healthcare on people. I can’t wait ’til we get rid of the NHS.

Secondly, can you believe that headline? There hasn’t been any global warming since 1997. So what the hell are all of these “scientists” like Brian “Bollock-Face” Cox going on about? Now, the article offers up as its first piece of evidence a link to a page on “rightwingnews.com”. I’m not sure what’s so “right-wing” about science fact, but either way, when I go there, it’s a March 2013 article stating that there’s been no “statistically significant” increase in global temperatures. It also states that this is despite carbon dioxide levels increasing (carbon dioxide is the harmless byproduct of modern civilisation that academics like to blame for all of the world’s woes).

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Sadly, I can just tell that a single page on rightwingnews.com quoting a scientist isn’t going to be enough to sway Prof. “Regularly Full Of” Cox, and in all fairness, the entire premise behind this post is that I don’t accept one scientist’s words as proof. So let’s dig deeper, and look at the paper that rightwingnews.com links to in its own article.

Dr David Whitehouse – The Global Warming Standstill

This is a loooooong paper, and I can’t be bothered reading through all of it. But I know that you really can’t be bothered, so I’m going to have to read it, and then I’ll give you a break-down. Bear with me…

Alright, so first of all, the paper is published by the GWPF, or Global Warming Policy Foundation. I had never heard of them before, but have no reason to doubt their credentials or intentions whatsoever. I mean, they won’t admit who their financiers are, but why would you? This is a free country.

Secondly, the paper’s main claim seems to be this: “all the major global temperature datasets showed no warming throughout the first decade of the 21st century and beyond,” and that “it is incontrovertible that the global annual average temperature of the past decade, and in some datasets the past 15 years, has not increased.” Further, the report itself claims that it “demonstrates that the global temperature standstill is a real phenomenon that cannot be dismissed as a minor statistical aberration.”

Pages 11, 12 and 13 of the report is spent on rebuttals to an article that the paper’s author published in 2007. He seems quite upset that people would disagree with him, and spends three full consecutive pages calling his critics smelly. Which is probably fair, they probably are all smelly. Good call, David.

On Page 23, the paper correctly slam-dunks on a stupid NASA finding, as you can see here:

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See? Even NASA make stupid – wait, what the fuck does he mean, “this statement was correct”?. So, 2009 WAS one of the warmest years? Wait, what does he say at the top of the next page?

whitehouse2

Wait, WHAT? So, Whitehouse’s argument is that 2009 ISN’T the second-warmest year on record, because it’s tied with a bunch of years immediately before it? That just means the entire decade was the warmest! Jesus Christ, I thought this paper was proving that there is no Global Warming, what the fuck?

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NO! THAT’S THE OPPOSITE OF THE CLAIM WE’RE MAKING. Jesus, more like Dr David Shitehouse. Why is he peppering his report with scientific statements that oppose his message? What is this, Opposite Day? Don’t respond to that, if it is Opposite Day we’ll never get a straight fucking answer.

Okay, let’s just keep moving. Okay, Page 28, here we go, this looks good, slamming some stupid NASA peeps some more, can’t wait to see the looks on –

whitehouse4

No. No no no. No, Shitehouse, listen to yourself. If you’re accusing them of cherry-picking the data to make Global Warming look real, DON’T POINT OUT TO THEM HOW THEY COULD DO THAT MORE EFFECTIVELY. IT MAKES IT LOOK LIKE THEY WEREN’T TRYING TO CHERRY-PICK THE DATA AT ALL, YOU DUMB FUCK. JESUS.

Okay, that’s it, I’m done with this dumb-fuck piece of trash. Fuck you, David Whitehouse, you were meant to be backing me up here, but all you’ve done so far is bitch about people who called you names and then PROVE that 2000-2010 was the warmest decade ever. If the warmest year on record was 1998, and all the second-warmest years have been since then, then that BY DEFINITION means we HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCING GLOBAL WARMING SINCE 1997. God fucking damn it.

That’s it, I’m getting my own data. Let’s have a look at this fucking NASA stuff he keeps going on about. And hey! They’ve got data right up to this year! Amazing!

nasagiss

Oh, for shit’s sakes.

Right, let’s ditch this one for now. I’m bored and tired. What was the next point that townhall.com made? Oh, right:


2) There Is No Scientific Consensus That Global Warming Is Occurring And Caused By Man

Okay, this seems a bit more straight forward. A lot of people claim that there is a Scientific Consensus on global warming, even though that’s clearly bullshit because there can’t be, because it’s not real.

The first thing that the townhall.com article links to is a page on wattsupwiththat.com, which kicks the ever-living shit out of stupid claims that there is a 97% consensus on climate change being caused by humans. Fuck yeah, take that Obama, you stupid Liberal arselicker. Bullshit 97%, my arse. More like 32.6%, as the page states. 32.6% – that’s less than a third! How could they make up such a lie?

The WUWT page even references the source of the lie, the original press release, here:

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So, I followed that link just so’s I could tear it apart:

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Hah! “Institute of Physics”, what a crock of shite. Let’s see what they have to say:

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The lie itself! They can’t even get their own maths right! How can 97% form a consensus, when they admit themselves that 66.4% didn’t… Wait, 66.4% didn’t state a position? Alright then, but still, that means… Hang on, I need a calculator.

So, 66.4% of papers didn’t state a position. Okay, so we won’t count them, since if they’re not stating a position, then they can’t form a consensus anyway. Alright, which means… 33.6% DID state a position, which is a total of 4,030. So, 4,030 papers stated a position, but there’s still no way that 97% of them… wait, what’s 32.6% of 11,994? That’s 3,910. Alright, so 3,910 papers DID say that global warming was real and caused by human activity, which means that, as a percentage of papers that stated a position… No. No fucking way is Obama right about this. He’s Obama, he’s wrong about everything.

Okay, my maths was probably fucked up, I told you I’m not very bright. Let’s just move on. Quickly.

So, the next thing that the townhall.com article brings up is a petition signed by over 31,000 scientists in the US, stating that anthropogenic global warming isn’t real. 31,000 – that’s a shitload of scientists, and a much bigger consensus than 3,910. Even I can work that out – that’s a consensus that’s at least… 793% bigger. And that’s huge.

And this thing is legit, too. I mean, look, you can see for yourself the rigorous and in-depth form it asks you to fill in, to prove your credentials. Not just anybody could tick a box labeled “BS” and write a name and address in there. For expediency’s sake, the form doesn’t ask you to confirm when or where you attained your degree, and that’s only fair, the people signing this thing are presumably very, very busy, and won’t have time to backtrack through their calendar, just like Gillian McKeith.

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I included this image because I hate you, personally.

You can also see just how seriously they take verification to ensure that there’s no shenanigans. I mean, alright, nowhere on their site do they explain HOW they verify their signees, but I mean, c’mon, they SAY that they have verification procedures, and that’s good enough for me. They even openly provide a list of everyone who’s signed so far, and it’s a big fucking list. I mean, it’s in a plaintext format, which makes it too time-consuming for me to turn into a spreadsheet to review…

Except that I’m fucking sad and bored as hell so that’s exactly what I’ll do. Bear with me…

Okay, so, I didn’t actually find much of interest. Their numbers seem to match up with their claims, and I didn’t find any Mickey Mouses or Captain Americas in there. I mean, the only thing you get is a name, so strictly speaking I can’t verify any of the information, at all. But let’s face it, 31,000 American scientists all agree that anthropogenic global warming is false. 31,000 is a huge number, and a massive proportion of the number of graduates in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there have only been 56.15 Million Bachelor’s Degrees awarded since 1969 (not including projections for 2016/17), which means, assuming that the vast majority of everyone who signed the petition in question is under the age of 66 and didn’t attain their degree before they were 18 years old, hang on, means that…

At least 0.06% of America’s graduates all agree that anthropogenic global warming is a damn dirty lie. If we assume that only a quarter of all Bachelor’s degrees awarded are in the fields listed by the petition’s organisers themselves based on other data from the NCES, that means that at least 0.24% of America’s estimated 14 Million science graduates have signed a petition agreeing that increased CO2 emissions may well have a positive effect on the planet Earth and its organisms. Of course, I’ve made a few assumptions with my maths there, the actual figure could be even higher – as high as 0.5%!

Okay, I’ll admit, a possible 0.5% of Science graduates isn’t all that impressive, so let’s look at the next thing that townhall.com brings up, namely this article by rightwingnews.com.

Wait, the last time I trusted those arseholes they ended up directing me to proof that the decade of 2000-2009 was the warmest ever. What the shit are they going to bring up this time?

Well, the first thing they site is this page (indirectly, I should add). This page links to this 321-page report, which seems to be filled with supporting links that don’t actually work. I tried clicking on them, but they must be special links for non-Plebs. I’m going to be honest, as highly-regarded a scientific publication as the Climate Depot may be, I didn’t find it very useful for proving my point because most of the supporting links on the original page seemed to link to the US Senate EPW Homepage (which, it turns out, is run by Marc Morano, who runs Climate Depot) or Climate Depot’s own articles, many of which were empty pages the “full report” links on which led to dead pages or to weird entertainment news websites.

climatedepot1000scientists

So, I decided to look for another source on the 1,000 scientists who dissented from global consensus. The first link led directly back to that fucking Climate Depot report, which was annoying, because I am specifically looking for supporting articles that support that particular report. The second link was Wikipedia, and I’m not trusting that sketchy fucking collection of fabricated bullshit any day.

I did find a link to forbes.com which had a headline about a “majority of scientists skeptical of global warming”, but Forbes won’t let you view their site with an adblocker active, and, frankly, fuck that shit right in its smelly ass, I ain’t getting no malware, thank you very much. So that was no good.

Right at the bottom of the first page of results I found this acitvistpost.com blog post, but all it does is link back to the original Climate Depot report. The top of the second page of search results has this investmentwatchblog.com link, but it’s identical to the activistpost.com article.

So where the fuck can I find out more about these 1,000 fucking dissenting scientists? So far, all of the articles I’ve read link back to the Climate Depot report. Surely there’s more supporting evidence out there?

I stumbled across this report from December 2007, also created by Marc Morano which DOES feature testimony from over 400 scientists on the subject of anthropogenic global warming. Of course, 400 isn’t quite 1,000, but still, this is a start. The first testimony, on page 10, is by Nathan Paldor, who seems mostly legit as far as I could tell. The second, on page 11, is by Denis Rancourt, who has had his own set of little controversies. But that doesn’t mean he’s lying, I guess.

The third is by George Kukla, who also seems to have been fairly legitimate, at least back in the 1970s when he was arguing in favour of preparing for climate change. Wait, in favour? No, he’s a climate skeptic! It says so in the report! Okay, so back then he was arguing that Global Cooling was the real threat, but… Hang on, the article that the report links to in Kukla’s testimony has him agreeing that increased CO2 in the atmosphere is significantly contributing to global warming:

GM: What effects do carbon-dioxide emissions have on the cooling and warming cycles? Could they throw it out of balance, and what would that look like?

GK: Good question! The CO2 certainly has an influence. For instance, it appears that already now, with still relatively low concentrations, it may have a significant warming impact on the night [temperature] minima. And because the usual way to determine the daily mean is as the average of the daily minimum and maximum, here we go! But it is difficult to be sure: more clouds can do the same.

God fucking damn it, what is it with all of these anti-climate-change reports giving evidence against their own arguments? Christ, we’re dealing with amateurs from top to fucking bottom.

Right, I’m done with this, we’re three scientists in and already I’ve lost the will to live. Let’s move on to the next point.


3) Arctic Ice Is Up 50% Since 2012

Yes! Arctic ice! How can the world be getting hotter if it’s got more ice in it? Eh? That’s not how my fridge works, and they’re basically the same thing.

The first link they offer goes to breitbart.com, in their “National Security” section for some reason, and they in turn link to a dailymail.co.uk article as their source. Alright, this already feels a lot more straight-forward.

mailonlinepolarice

Okay! This looks good. Prepare to eat shit, Climate Cultists!

mailonlineiceexplanation

For. Fuck’s. Sakes.

Did that Breitbart moron even read the Mail article? Why wouldn’t he at least put in a warning that it contained Liberal Propaganda? What the hell is wrong with him?

Okay, the second link that townhall.com provides is this wattsupwiththat.com blog post, which catastrophically ruins any claim that Arctic ice is shrinking. Well, specifically, it argues that a 30-year trend is hardly enough to prove that it’s a long-term trend that will continue. It even links to this amazing, Global Warming-busting graph from the Ljungqvist Reconstruction, which PROVES that it’s all baloney:

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Okay, so you may immediately realise that the graph only goes up to 2000, okay fine. And it may be immediately apparent that the last 100 years have seen a sharper increase in temperature than has been observed previously. And it may be the case that the creator of the reconstruction, Fredrik Ljungqvist, said himself in the paper in which he presented this reconstruction that:

Since AD 1990, though, average temperatures in the extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere exceed those of any other warm decades the last two millennia, even the peak of the Medieval Warm Period, if we look at the instrumental temperature data spliced to the proxy reconstruction.

Which, okay, admittedly counters the point that the WUWT is trying to make, and may indeed make it look like WUWT is itself cherry-picking data to support its agenda, but… Okay, look, I’m just having a bad time finding Climate Change-skeptic articles that don’t ultimately provide evidence against their own argument. It’s not my fault. I told you, I’m not bright and I’m not very good at this sort of thing. Let’s… let’s just keep going, eh? It’s bound to be conclusive soon.


4) Climate Models Showing Global Warming Have Been Wrong Over And Over

Aha! See, how can anthropogenic Global Warming (it’s already far too late, but I’ll be using the industry-standard acronym AGW from now on) be a real thing if all of the models predicting it are so wrong?

As this article proves, or, well, at least states95% of climate models have overestimated global warming since 1979. 95%! That’s only slightly less than the consensus of so-called scientific papers that agree on AGW, so have that!

The only source that the article provides as evidence to this claim is the original blog post which made it, namely that of Dr Roy Spencer, PhD, someone who also believes that Intelligent Design is as valid a scientific principle as evolution. Proving that whilst all scientists may not always be right all of the time, this guy probably is.

Dr Spencer’s blog post itself, from February 2014, offers up this particular graph for explanation:

CMIP5-90-models-global-Tsfc-vs-obs-thru-2013.png

Pretty conclusive, no? Climate nutters may think that the observed temperatures still show a fairly dramatically warming climate. And, some of those nutters may want to see labels for the different models to do some analysis themselves, but, look, Dr Spencer’s a very important person, it’s not his job to just run around giving everyone answers on his claims, his methodology and his data.

But, without that kind of evidence to back up, well, I’m just back to the testimony of one scientist and his poorly-labelled graph. And that’s what got us into this mess in the first place! If I can’t trust Brian Cox and his squiggly lines, how can I preach the reliability of Roy Spencer and his much smarter, much less climate-alarmist squiggly lines?

Sorry, townhall.com, but this one gets a great big ‘F’ for “Find More Information”.

I did, however, look around the subject a little, and found this blog post from hotwhopper.com, which seems to think that Roy Spencer may have been being intentionally abstract with his graphs, potentially picking the data that best fit his message. I mean, I don’t know, I’m definitely not a climate scientist, but I can definitely say for sure that it is scientific fact that Roy Spencer is right about everything.


5) Predictions About the Impact of Global Warming Have Already Been Proven Wrong

There is nothing more damning about a wide-reaching and widely-supported global theory than one of its spokespeople being proven conclusively wrong about a single claim he made five years ago. Our townhall.com article hammers this home – if predictions have been wrong before, how can we ever trust any predictions for anything ever again?

First off, there’s this obliteration of everything Al Gore has ever stood for. That dribbling moron apparently said in 2008 that the Arctic Polar Ice Cap would be COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED by 2013! Ridiculous! I couldn’t find the video in question, as the video that the Gateway Pundit offered has since been taken down, but I did find this, from 2009:

See? He said, unequivocally, that SOME MODELS predict a 75% CHANCE that during SOME MONTHS in the next FIVE TO SEVEN YEARS the Polar Ice Cap may be ENTIRELY GONE. What an idiot! How daft is he? Uh, arsehole, turns out there’s still ice up there, you stupid cunt!

Clearly, this is evidence enough that Global Warming probably isn’t even happening at all!

But that’s not all – rightwingnews.com gives us this brutal zinger on the matter. Pow! Right in the kisser! Did you know that scientists used to believe on thing about the climate, and now believe something completely different? I mean, all of those quote predictions have failed to materialise, so how can AGW be occurring? These people were WRONG, and the fact they were WRONG then means they are WRONG now. I absolutely stand by the fact that, once a person has made a wrong prediction, both they and all of their peers and colleagues are clearly beyond redemption, and they no longer deserve any kind of professional or academic respect for the entire remainder of the history of the Earth. Which would have ended already, according to some of those cretins!

Hell, townhall.com then gives us this amazing piece by, yet again, WUWT. Known quack, fraud and AGW proponent “Dr” Hansen once made a prediction, in 1988, during an interview with a journalist, that sea levels would rise by over ten feet – and clearly they haven’t! This wretched scumbag clearly has no idea of what he’s talking about, and no business in the world of science whatsoever. How could he be so drastically wrong? And how could he think it right to scare so many people with such spurious claims?

The fact is, if you get a prediction wrong, you’re basically Satan, but worse, probably more of a Satan-Cosby cross-breed. These kind of reckless, irresponsible, scare-mongering predictions do nothing except prove, conclusively, that climate change isn’t occurring and, even if it is, it’s definitely not because of mankind. I don’t think the matter could be considered any more settled.


Summary

So, there you have it, Professor Brian “My Head Looks Like A Suicidal Coconut” Cox. You have a graph, I have the weight of wide-reaching scientific fact, and I think it’s clear which one wins.

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This is the wrong Cox.

There are some major set-backs in my argument, I’ll admit, but the first step to enlightenment is being able to admit that you’re wrong in some very small, insignificant, basically meaningless ways.

Okay, no, I haven’t disproven the trend of rising average global temperatures in the last decade or, indeed, the last ten decades. I did my best, but it was all David Whitehouse’s fault for insisting on adding the proof of AGW to his own stupid paper.

And, admittedly, it does seem as though there is what could be called a “scientific” “consensus” that “global warming” is “real” and “caused” by “human activity”. Okay. I mean, neither I nor townhall.com could crack that one, so I’m really sorry, we did our best.

And yes, okay, so whilst I did find out that Arctic Ice increased in 2013, that was only against 2012, and in fact Arctic Ice is overall much lower than it was 30 years ago. And sure, the evidence against it being a long-term thing is anecdotal at best.

But! I do have a graph that shows that climate models are 95% wrong 95% of the time. I think. Probably. And that absolutely puts me on par with Brian “Putty Hair” Cox and his own shitty graph. So we’re even there.

And, given that we’ve now evened the playing field in terms of graphs, I have the conclusive, slam-dunk, slap-in-the-face, epic put-down home run mic-drop to conclusively prove my point, which is that Al Gore, noted politician, sort-of made a prediction that was DEFINITELY RUBBISH, and that plenty of other AGW proponents have also made equally stupid predictions which were equally RUBBISH. Therefore, AGW must be a complete fabrication.

What gives, Brian “Face Like A Rejected Halloween Mask” Cox? Maybe you should spend less time playing your keyboard at live performances of number one singles and instead try doing a bit of research like me? Idiot.

That, I think, settles the matter once and for all. We’re done here. I certainly am. I’m fucking shattered. I have spent literally the entire day since lunch writing this article and doing this research, and it’s now well past 8pm. Being right all the time is exhausting. I don’t know how Roy Spencer does it.

If you stuck with me this far, then thank you. I hope I educated you as well as you deserve to be educated. This stuff is important. We can’t go around abandoning valuable oil and gas just because some kooks tell us we should. That’s not American. I’m not American. I’m British. And that’s not how we do things either. So there.


A Note On Conspiracies

Oh, you’re still here? Great! I’ve got one more thing to add. I’m tireless. I’m a real hero. But this is important too.

During this segment, something interesting is said by Malcolm Roberts:

It’s that bit about NASA falsifying it’s data.

Some conspiracy theories kind-of make sense. The notion that the American government might conspire to assassinate its own president, for example. I’m not saying it happened, just that I can conceive of a possible set of circumstances under which it might happen. Similarly, the Moon Landings. I’m pretty sure they were real, the evidence suggests that they were, but the idea that a powerful government might seek to fake a great achievement when in competition with another powerful government isn’t beyond the realms of belief.

The fact is, a conspiracy to cover up something huge like a fake space mission or presidential assassination is exactly what conspiracies are for – to cover something up. The fact is, the existence of the conspiracy itself is much less significant than the intended results of the conspiracy.

Put another way, let’s assume for a moment that the CIA really did assassinate President John F. Kennedy and then cover it up. The cover-up, the conspiracy itself, is the least surprising element of that story. That the CIA would seek to hide knowledge from America and the rest of the world about such an act isn’t a revelation at all. Indeed, it’s to be expected.

Now let’s look at Senator Roberts’ assertion that NASA, along with many other scientific and governmental agencies around the world, are conspiring to (barely) falsify climate data. That conspiracy in its own right is more shocking and controversial than any out come of their supposed conspiratorial actions.

Let’s think about this for a second and consider the possible consequences of convincing the world that global temperatures are rising slightly faster than they really are. Well, those consequences are presumably a bit of extra investment in renewables, maybe, if we’re lucky, and some fairly heated debates on the subject.

But let’s think about the conspiracy itself. NASA, the UK Met Office, NOAA, all sorts of national weather services, climate agencies, laboratories, universities, all around the globe, in one big conspiracy! Tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of employees, scientists, researchers, economists, all in on the secret! All with the aim of shifting climate data up by a few percentage points!

It is, frankly, absurd. And I don’t say that because of any political or emotional leanings I have on the subject of climate change. I say that because it doesn’t make sense. It’s a bit like charging someone with the crime of shoplifting, and then in your evidence for prosecution stating that the offender was able to escape the crime scene because they flat-out murdered a security guard. The explanation, the supposed reality, far outweighs the actual crime in terms of significance.

If it is true that all of those large organisations are collaborating together to mislead the public, then that’s fucking terrifying! That has implications well beyond climate change. That means the Moon Landings probably were faked! It means we can’t trust any scientific data produced by any of the affiliated organisations, and that means that most of the Western World’s research and development is basically a write-off. It means that even our medical research may be compromised, hell, even our fuel and energy research.

The reason I’m tacking all of this on at the end is to make one point: if a conspiracy theory demands a more outlandish presumption than the conspiracy itself, then chances are it’s probably bollocks.

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