Oct 172010

On 20th May, 2009,  Monbiot had an article  at  Guardian Environment entitled Price of doing nothing costs the earth with the sub heading

MIT scientists forecast a global temperature rise of 5.2o C by 2100 – but climate change deniers reject models devised by the world’s finest minds. So what do they suggest instead… seaweed?

Here are comments number 11 -15

Hamlet4 (20 May 2009 2:10PM

@George

Thats not science – its a computer model trying and failing to describe a immensely complicated chaotic system. Please read up on the butterfly theory to find out HOW wrong such models can be over time. The 90 % confidence levels for forecasts over 90 years is simply absurd. Rubbish in – Rubbish out.
Hamlet4 (20 May 2009 2:18PM)

@Monbiot

OK, all those of you who reject modelling, answer the question: what would you use instead?

nr 1 – How about using your brain, not your political belief system.

nr 2 – Try and build models that explain the present stagnation in temperature, sea-level rise and increase in ice-extent, instead of just pretending its not happening.

nr 3 – Emphasize the limitations of such models, instead of using them trying to create fear and thereby grants.

 

scunnered52 (20 May 2009 2:29PM)

George the only person you are scaring is your self. All climate model projections are currently in serious error because they over-estimate “climate sensitivity”; and that’s due in main to what the modellers don’t know. I would recommend you undertake to create your own climate model. Here is DIY course on how to do so…

 

geoffchambers (20 May 2009 2:38PM)

At the end of the article … is this:

“This work was supported in part by grants from … foundation sponsors of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change”.

And who are these industrial sponsors? Why, Exxon, BP, Shell, Total, among others. This is research funded by Big Oil money. Can this be right?

Monbiot (20 May 2009 2:44PM)

Hamelt4: [sic]

You appear to be suggesting that the MIT team is guided by political beliefs and is using this model to create fear and harvest grants. Perhaps you would care to provide some evidence?

Monbiot denied the accusation that the models were used to “create fear and thereby grants” but deflected Hamlet4’s demand to Monbiot to  “us[e] your brain, not your political belief system” onto the MIT group, which Hamlet4 hadn’t mentioned (though I had). Clearly, Monbiot was rattled, because 11 minutes later,  he was back with this comment:

Monbiot (20 May 2009 2:55PM)

scunnered52:

Of all the posters on these threads, you are the one who looks to me most like an astroturfer: in other words someone posing as an independent citizen while being paid by organisations which have an interest in the outcome. Is my suspicion correct? How about providing a verifiable identity to lay this concern to rest?

 

Now look at scunnered52’s intelligent comment above and try to spot why Monbiot should accuse him of being an astroturfer. Odd, isn’t it?

 

Half an hour later, a puzzled Hamlet4 replied to Monbiot’s non sequitur of a question, with a comment that finished:

Try and THINK Monbiot – do you really believe that these models are producing accurate descriptions of our climate 90 years from now ???.

scunnered52 and Hamlet4 then disappeared, and I went off on another tack:

geoffchambers (20 May 2009 3:35PM)

George asks whether we should use computer models or seaweed for predicting future climate change. Research conducted by the International Institute of Forecasters on the accuracy of forecasting suggests that predictions made by the general public are usually more accurate than those made by experts. This is because the man in the street tends to believe things will probably continue much as they have in the past, while your expert tends to follow the spaghetti off the edge of his graphs into the wide blue yonder. So the correct answer is: seaweed.

I then came back to the subject of research financed by Big Oil:

geoffchambers (20 May 2009 4:36PM)

thesnufkin at 4.10pm complains we denialists are giving him nothing to get his teeth into. How about this? Monbiot’s new estimate for temperature rise in 2100 comes from what he describes as “the world’s most sophisticated models devised by the world’s finest minds”. And who are these world’s finest minds? They’re the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. Their site lists them all in democratic alphabetical order. Most of them are foreign exchange students in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Urban Planning, Engineering etc. Bright people Im sure, but when it comes to forecasting “the end of life as we know it”, (George’s expression) no more reliable than your average Jehovah’s Witness. And they are financed by Exxon, Shell, Total and BP – which is fine by me, but I wonder what George thinks about it?

geoffchambers (20 May 2009 10:28PM)

Filster at 10.04pm is still attacking the fossil fuel lobby, while Monbiot has moved on. The source for the alarmist prediction in this article is research financed by precisely the fossil fuel lobby which Monbiot so often decries. See the last paragraph of the MIT News article to which Monbiot links for special thanks to Exxon, Shell, BP and Total.

By next day the discussion had moved on to discussion of Mann and the attitude of the Chinese. Then gpwayne, (whose interventions have been retroactively graced with a “C for Contributor” since an article he recently wrote for the Guardian) joined in:

gpwayne (21 May 2009 5:59AM)

What fucking rubbish Geoff. You should be ashamed of yourself for writing such childish, stupid crap.

Apparently I was blogging under moderation at this time, because in my reply to gpwayne is this:

geoffchambers (21 May 2009 9:08AM

Hi. Nice to hear from you again. I’ve been away, under moderation for insulting Guardian readers, and sneaking in a couple of words in Chinese to a comment.

I’m surprised you didn’t know about Mann’s censored data file. It’s been much discussed by McIntyre and others, though possibly not on Guardian Environment.

I admire your reasoning: if the Chinese believe it, it must be true. I suppose the appeal to authority works best if the authorities you are appealing to are themselves authoritarian.

Don’t feel you have to reply. Blogging under moderation is like breakdancing with a ball and chain round your ankle, or arguing with a heavy stutter.

I tried to interest my interlocutors in Monbiot’s newfound enthusiasm for research financed by Big Oil, to no avail:

geoffchambers (21 May 2009 10:08AM)

thesnufkin at 9.37am asks what was in Mann’s file marked censored data. Peer reviewed tree-ring data, stalactite data, Finnish varves, I expect. But it wouldnt matter if it was full of old socks, would it? The point is he inadvertently handed a file named Censored Data to McIntyre. It’s not a conspiracy theory, simply an odd fact. Like the fact that Monbiot is expressing absolute faith in the results of research financed by Exxon.

geoffchambers (21 May 2009 10:57AM)

to gpwayne at 10.19am. You ask why China does this and that. How would I know? It all looks like perfectly sensible international diplomacy to me. You dont see the Chinese ambassador to the Vatican lecturing the Pope on dialectical materialism, but that doesnt mean that Beijing has gone Catholic.

And why ask me who censored Mann’s data? No-one. Its just the name on a file which Mann inadvertently sent to McIntyre. Read about it at ClimateAudit if youre interested.

While we are in rhetorical question mode, what do you think about Monbiot’s newfound faith in research funded by Exxon?

And just at this point, 20 hours after his last intervention, Monbiot turned up. So what did he think about China’s environmental policy, Mann’s censored file, or Exxon’s financing of his favourite alarmist climate model? Nothing.

Monbiot (21 May 2009 11:01AM)

Still no response from scunnered52. Interesting.

I got one decent response to my question though:

thesnufkin (21 May 2009 11:04AM)

If the work is sound it doesn’t matter who pays. The Renaissance was largely funded by the Borgias, but the art was still good.

I tried again:

geoffchambers (21 May 2009 11:43AM)

Since Monbiot has turned up, perhaps he would like to say how he feels about plugging data from research funded by Exxon?

But Monbiot was gone, never to be seen again on this thread. But the fun wasn’t over:

thesnufkin (21 May 2009 12:03PM)

scunnered52 has turned up!

And indeed, the blogger Monbiot had accused, without the slightest evidence, of being an astroturfer, had been busy at another part of Guardian environment, posting six times at :

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/may/19/vaclav-klaus

The last five posts followed Monbiot’s accusation. Two have been deleted. Another two repeat, with different examples and links, the basic message of his first comment, which was posted before the comment which provoked Monbiot’s unfounded accusation:

scunnered52 (20 May 2009 10:22AM)

Who benefits from Cap-and-Trade? In the US it has been calculated that an economy-wide cap-and-trade program could generate up to $300 billion a year in PROFITS! With so much money at stake it is little wonder that those advocating eco-business attack sceptics. The Greens are just as greedy as you average oil billionaire.

Having spotted scunnered52’s reappearance on the Vaclav Klaus thread, thesnufkin piled in:

thesnufkin (21 May 2009 12:01PM)

scunnered52 Do you fancy replying to george monbiot’s allegation that you’re just an astroturfer? We’re all waiting.

scunnered52 (21 May 2009 1:01PM)

Did I actually get under old George’s skin that much … and I didn’t even know. LOL. Yes, my secret is out I am astroturfer – sponsored by Neeps&Tatties – a duplicitous grassroots organisation that acts as front for a secret group of empiricalists who have invested heavily in plastic macs and thermal long-johns. It is not in our interests to have people believe in global warming.

I’ve said too much already, but I trust you Snufkin not to pass this information on.

scunnered52’s next two comments have been deleted but he comes back one last time to denounce green greed.

 

scunnered52 (22 May 2009 9:30AM)

Climate Alarmism = BIG Profits. Knowing that relationship helps you understand the motives of Al Gore, Goldman Sachs, George Soros, Exxon, etc. Monbiot and company are just serving the vested interests of corporations. The Greens are just as greedy as your average billionaire.

 

So Monbiot, was accusing a sceptic commenter, who had already denounced the involvement of big business and oil billionaires in climate change policy, of being paid by big business.

Scunnered52 continued commenting wittily on climate matters until August 2009, when his comments stop. His user page is still up, indicating that he has not been banned.

 

Meanwhile, I had transferred my questioning of the morality of praising research funded by Big Oil to the Vaclav Klaus article, where Environment Editor John Vidal had been criticising Klaus’s sceptical book because it was financed by Exxon 

 

geoffchambers (21 May 2009 5:10PM)

No answer to my question about big oil money, so I’ll rephrase it and try again:

Why is it ok for Vidal and Monbiot to quote approvingly from research funded by Exxon, but not ok for President Klaus to have his book sponsored by a think tank funded by Exxon?

No answer from Vidal, but thesnufkin replied, and I responded:

geoffchambers (21 May 2009 10:37PM)

to thesnufkin at 10.17pm

..which comes down to: “it’s ok for Exxon to fund good stuff, but not bad stuff”.

I can accept that, but the problem is, John Vidal can’t, because his whole article hinges on the argument: “if its funded by Exxon, it must be suspect”. Which is quite amusing, given that back in March he was praising the same Exxon-funded research which Monbiot attributes to the world’s finest minds…

Some other good sceptics joined in, including our own BobFJ, and the thread  came to the usual unsatisfactory conclusion. Which is where the matter rested, until Monbiot reopened the debate on astroturfing a few months later with an article on the need for censorship at CiF.

At least this story demonstrates that Monbiot and Vidal don’t always have things their own way at CiF, and we commenters may sometimes influence policy at Guardian Environment.

The MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy  of Climate Change were introduced to Guardian readers in March 2009 with three fanfare articles – one by themselves, one by Vidal, and one by Monbiot. They were described proudly as members of the Guardian Environment Network. They were next quoted in the May 2009 article analysed above. They haven’t been heard of since.

144 Responses to “My Affair with George Monbiot: part 1”

  1. Geoff. The odious Snufkin(Martin Porter of Derbyshire aged 40) seems to have left the climate debate about the same time that George went into purdah. His blog tells of a bizarre function called ‘Dark Mountain’ that he and George attended in Wales on 29th May 2010. It is described as a ‘training camp for the unknown world’ where they joined by Paul Kingsnorth and John Vidal.
    With no posts from George either, except on bio-diversity and socialism, one is tempted to wonder what really happened on the ‘Dark Mountain’.

  2. Seems this festival is a sort of Apocalyptic Glastonbury for Eco-fascists, organised by a group called Uncivilisation.UK.
    Apparently ‘climate change’ will bring about the end of the world as we know it and this lot are getting prepared.

  3. Toad
    Thanks for pointing out thesnufkin’s report on Dark Mountain. It’s at
    http://thesnufkin.blogspot.com/2010/05/duel-on-dark-mountain.html
    You call him “odious”, and I remember having some sharp disagreements with him on CiF. But he’s no idiot. I quote him above saying something sensible about funding, comparing Big Oil with the Borgias. And on the Dark Mountain article he says this:

    George [Monbiot] has no time for a post-Apocalyptic future where the men have stubble and shotguns and the women wear fur bikinis. If he did he would spend more Saturday nights in Lewisham.

    I can forgive him anything for that. He also has an interesting post on Ed Miliband’s election, and a deep green blogroll which merits exploring. I’m pretty ignorant about green blogs. There’s probably a lot can be learnt by contacting them and seeing if dialogue is possible outside the fevered atmosphere of Kommentmachtfrei.
    Monbiot and Kingsnorth debated Dark Mountain last year on CiF, before Monbiot fell out with much of the warmist crowd over Climategate. I’ll find it and post a link.

  4. Toad

    It is very important to know the relationship between Kingsnorth and Monbiot. Kingsnorth is an extreme ecofascist who was assistant editor of the Goldsmith (fascist) owned Ecologist. Monbiot’s mentor, Crispin Tickell was Thatcher’s UN ambassador and wants to reduce the UK population by 2/3rds. His family are all extremely right wing.

    Observation will show that Monbiot’s articles are almost exlusively ecofascist in that they they seek to diminish, rather than improve human activity.

    Martin Porter, Graham Wayne and Bluecloud (Gary Evans )have all expressed ecofascist opinions. None of them are bright enough to understand what it means, but Monbiot is.

  5. EVERYONE:

    This blog has rules. If you are new here then welcome, but read the rules before you comment.There is no moderation at Harmless Sky other than for beaches of these, and it is worth bearing in mind that a point made with a light touch is invariably more effective than an assertion. Ad Hominem attacks will be snipped.

  6. Geoff and toad, I remember this curious episode well; a fleeting but very good example of the tendencies towards advocacy journalism on the part of Vidal and Monbiot, and the sort of thing they would probably criticise heartily if it was, let’s say, Christopher Booker doing it.

    From the fascinating ecosystem of the Guradian, to the equally fascinating, tinier ecosystem of Dark Mountain, here’s a rather acerbic take on that end-times festival attended by George and the snufkin (highly amusing blog, and make sure to read the comments, too.)

  7. Here is Kingsnorth on his fundamental philosophy.

    ***

    Take a civilisation built on the myth of human exceptionalism and a deeply embedded cultural attitude to “nature”; add a blind belief in technological and material progress; then fuel the whole thing with a power source that is discovered to be disastrously destructive only after we have used it to inflate our numbers and appetites beyond the point of no return.

    The challenge is not how to shore up a crumbling empire with wave machines and global summits, but to start thinking about how we are going to live through its fall, and what we can learn from its collapse.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2009/aug/17/environment-climate-change

    Godwin’s law prevents me relating the name of a deceased German politician who wrote something rather similar.

    “When people attempt to rebel against the iron logic of nature, they come into conflict with the very same principles to which they owe their existence as human beings. Their actions against nature must lead to their own downfall.”

  8. Well this is drama, isn’t it. A latter day “Shakespeare” might write a play called “Monbiot the Martyr”, it has a certain ring to it :lol: Would it be a tragedy or a comedy?

    The trouble with these CO2 hokum science, snake-oil salesmen, is that their “science” is based on 19th Century ideas, and 20th century fantasies. A scientist in the pro CO2 & AGW camp, put it this way on the Lou Dobbs TV Show (USA). He said that: the temperature was rising, and we studied all different factors in the climate, and the only one that seemed to fit, and was rising in the same way was CO2, so we looked to see if man was causing this rise in CO2……. & etc.

    This isn’t science ! As Judge Andrew Napolitano said,
    on his Fox News TV Show, This is a Religion !
    We are expected to believe some dogmatic statements from people with vested interests, and when we ask for evidence of their claims, they can produce only hearsay statements, distorted and doctored data, and projected “results” derived from dubious computerised predictions. Computer code that contained, such “coders remarks” as, “This is my rotten code again isn’t it, I am not very good”, and “fudge factor”, “my blunder again”…… and similar. The thousands of ramifications in the “Climategate” e-mails. The Lord Oxburgh & Muir Russell Apologia, which masqueraded as enquiries.

    As the renowned Professor David Bellamy has said,
    “The science has simply gone awry”

    See the well over a Hundred Full Length Climate & Related videos,
    by going to the website of ….

    The Fraudulent Climate of Hokum Science – Click Here
    Where Hokum Climate Science is exposed as Fraudulent !

  9. E. Smith, there was a very good blog last year about the Dark Mountain philosophy over here at Climate Resistance – I highly recommend it.

  10. The “Dark Mountain”, sounds like a sort of 3rd rate Bohemian Grove.

    See this clip ….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_PAqT2JZOw

  11. See the full 2hr video, the above clip came from at the foot of Video Wall #4
    The Fraudulent Climate of Hokum Science

    Dark Secrets Inside Bohemian Grove (2005)
    – What the Global Elites get up to in the woods

    Inside Bohemian Grove Since 1873, the Global Elite Has Held Secret Meetings in the Ancient Redwood Forest of Northern California. Members of the so-called, “Bohemian Club” Include Former Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan. The Bush Family Maintains a Strong Involvement. Each Year at Bohemian Grove, Members of This All-Male “Club” Don Red, Black and Silver Robes and Conduct an Occult Ritual Wherein They Worship a Giant Stone Owl …. etc

  12. Alex Cull

    Thanks, an excellent article. It takes the same view as myself. Monbiot set that discussion up not to bury Paul Kingsnorth, but to praise him with faint damnation. He pretends to oppose Dark Mountain, but is actually publicising it.

    The theme of human exceptionalism comes from the pagan view of all life being equal. (Martin Porter above writes for Pagan magazines). It is a central part of German Romanticism and I conjecture that it may have come about due to the Germans being less exposed to Christianity during Roman and medieval times. Paganism and witchcraft survived into the Shakesperian era and later in Britain.

    Paganism was tne adopted legion of Nazi Germany. and it is why we have the term ‘eco fascist’. It isn’t an insult, it’s a description of a philosophy which seeks to dismantle modern civilisation.

    Monbiot and Kingsnorth are both nationalists. I almost fell off my chair when I read that Monbiot was a Welsh Nationalist, but he claims it’s true !

  13. This is a genuinely hilarious article on Monbiot’s conversion to science.

    Monbiot’s metamorphosis

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/5479/

  14. Many thanks everyone for the various links. I’m not sure if I’ve the stomach to follow all of them up. Alex, I particularly liked Dwighttowers, a sort of green Hunter Thompson. His confrontation with Kingsnorth answered a question which I’ve often asked myself: Where do greens get the quantities of bile they express at CiF? Answer: from slagging each other off. They really are tortured souls.

  15. Sorry,

    “Paganism was the adopted religion of Nazi Germany ”

    A wonderful study of the interaction between Christian humanity and pagan barbarism is the the film ‘Virgin Spring’ set in medieval Sweden, directed by Ingmar Bergman.

    Primitive cultures may have communed with nature, but they were in constant conflict with each other and carried out unspeakable acts against their enemies, cannabilism being one of the least of them.

  16. E Smith says:
    October 17th, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Monbiot’s metamorphosis

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/5479/
    ===
    From the above article:

    Pre-metamorphosis, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Monbiot penned mad-sounding tracts that said flying across the Atlantic is more evil than child abuse (eh?), and described how manmade flight would contribute to a climate calamity that would make ‘genocide and ethnic cleansing look like sideshows at the circus of human suffering’ [emphasis added -hro]

    Considering the premise of Franny Armstrong’s “Age of Stupid” – not to mention her recent exercises in apologia for the child abuse promoted in her “No Pressure” boomerang – this is a very curious coincidence, is it not?!

    Perhaps this might explain the Guardian’s support of Armstrong’s misadventure?!

  17. E Smith,

    “Paganism was the adopted religion of Nazi Germany ” You’ve just violated Godwin’s Law. Sorry that’s an early disqualification from the thread :-) !

    In any case the major religion in Germany was Christianity, ( Roman Catholicism and Lutheran).

    More more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_aspects_of_Nazism

  18. E Smith Reur 13

    This is a genuinely hilarious article on Monbiot’s conversion to science.
    Monbiot’s metamorphosis
    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/5479/

    Oh yes indeed! Although as an engineer, I’m not a keen disciple of philosophy, apart from for example Peter Singer’s views on animal rights, I found your reference to be of profound interest, and the quality of the prose was both stimulating and outstanding.
    I quote an extract:
    “…For example, a certain breed of middle-class writer and thinker has always hated the consumer society and the masses who patronise it. They talked about the ‘rat race’ (the sight of thousands of men and women in suits commuting to work) …”

    I’m reminded of an experience related by a past engineering colleague of mine, whom earlier was a pilot in the U.K. navy fleet air arm. He was assigned a 6-month desk-job in the City of London. So, he analysed the situation, and stood on the railway platform in the same spot every day, and secured a regular seat position. Opposite, every day was the same guy, in similarly correct city-worker uniform, studiously reading his newspaper. After many days, the guy opposite eventually tipped his paper, peeped over the top, and asked, what do you do old boy? Brian replied, well actually, I’m a fighter pilot.
    End of eye contact and end of conversation. Brian decided to try a new carriage location.

  19. E Smith

    I, too, enjoyed the Spiked article, especially this:

    “The chasm-shaped difference between the Marquis [de Sade] and Monbiot, of course, is that the former wrote some brilliant stuff that nobody was allowed to read, while the latter writes inane copy that one can hardly escape.” :-)

  20. tempterrain

    Godwin’s law does not apply because I killed him myself.

    I should have written “Paganism was the de facto religion of the Nazi leadership (including Himmler, Hitler and Hesse)”. Children were prevented from attending church by having other compulsory activities scheduled for Sunday morning.

    “We recognize that separating humanity from nature, from the whole of life, leads to humankind’s own destruction and to the death of nations. Only through a re-integration of humanity into the whole of nature can our people be made stronger. That is the fundamental point of the biological tasks of our age. Humankind alone is no longer the focus of thought, but rather life as a whole . . . This striving toward connectedness with the totality of life, with nature itself, a nature into which we are born, this is the deepest meaning and the true essence of National Socialist thought.”

    Ernst Lehmann, Biologischer Wille. Wege und Ziele biologischer Arbeit im neuen Reich, München, 1934

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecofascism

    Ecofascist links

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/sealed/gw/greennazis.htm

  21. ESmith
    On the ‘Moderation in Moderation’ thread (#70, 73, 74) Alex and I discussed a Guardian writer and CiF commenter whose sadistic fantasies and peculiar Tolkien obsessions (62 years old and he lists his interests as “ents, elves and magic rings”) fit in well with your comments on Paganism. Nonetheless, using terms like ecofascism doesn’t advance the argument, particularly when it’s applied indiscriminately as at #4.
    It might be interesting to quote the bloggers you mention, and analyse their remarks, but dismissing them as fascists doesn’t help. I’ve had some extremely fierce exchanges with Wayne and Porter (thesnufkin). They stoop to all kinds of sneaky tricks, but they are certainly not stupid.

    Monbiot deserves all he gets from Spiked. The take on Kingsnorth and Monbiot which Alex links to at #6 is brilliant. ESmith’s link at #7 to the Kingsnorth / Monbiot bout and the Climate Resistance’s analysis of it linked by Alex at #9 are fascinating insights into the fissure growing is the movement between what one might call the lemming and the oozelum bird tendencies of the Green movements.

    My interest in analysing this old Monbiot thread was not to analyse his thought,but simply to demonstrate the workings of the CommentisFree pages, showing how Monbiot and Environment editor Vidal can sometimes be discomfited by on-topic criticism without the moderators intervening to save them, and how Monbiot responds (or doesn’t). It’s hardly a level playing field for us sceptics, but its not a losing battle either.
    Blogs in the mainstream media are one of the few conduits for getting our message to a wider audience. So often we get bogged down in flame wars with vindictive trolls, or legalistic battles with zealous moderators. I’d love to hear from commenters with creative ideas for getting the message out, or examples of successful blogging.

  22. Geoff #21 said

    “Blogs in the mainstream media are one of the few conduits for getting our message to a wider audience. So often we get bogged down in flame wars with vindictive trolls, or legalistic battles with zealous moderators. I’d love to hear from commenters with creative ideas for getting the message out, or examples of successful blogging.”

    I have been thinking about exactly that problem for the last few weeks. Its easy to get inside the comfort zone at blogs such as WUWT for you know that your sceptical comments will be rewarded, but you are merely preaching to the converted.

    Similarly, trying to put over any sort of sceptical point at Open mind or Real Climate is a waste of time as the truly committed have take up a position.

    Therefore it is primarily the uncommitted you will need to seek to influence, who by definition are unlikely to know all the technicalities involved and probably arent interested of learning about them at to high a level.

    They will naturally tend to side with the polar bears, so a sceptical message may be viewed as anti green (a bit like being viewed as racist) so it needs to be even tempered and factual.

    However, in the great scheme of things trying to influence ‘ordinary’ people is probably not worth the effort compared to influencing the ‘policymakers’ and media.

    So we need to decide who our target market is first and THEN we can set about working out how to influence them.

    Incidentally I do think e-books or e-articles and You tube all have a part to play. I am also inclined to think that providing a source of information put together in a coherent fashion on a dedicated web site (a mini IPCC type report) to which people are directed is better than a free for all forum.

    Experience shows that such forum often quickly degenerate into a free for all through the activities of users with strident views.

    tonyb

  23. Geoff

    The most fundamental thing to understand about the Guardian debates is that (generally) Monbiot and the eco trolls are lying, not debating. Big oil finance etc. I will not wrestle with tar babies, particularly Monbiot, who is being sponsored by to promote carbon trading by multi national corporations like Shell and HSBC. My tactic is to smear and ridicule them as far as possible. Eco fascist is an accurate term for Monbiot, Wayne and Snuffkin.

    I am proud of the fact that right wing bloggers(like Delingpole) now use the term eco fascist rather than eco socialist because I kept plugging away at them. There is absolutely nothing left wing about environmental politics today. Delingpole, despite his politics is by far the most effective blogger in the field. He is everything Monbiot isn’t. Intelligent, literate and funny. He also attracts far more comments than any Guardian blog.

    I agree that it is now possible to be sceptical on cif without having them deleted, but I largely gave up on that a while ago. They use arguments from John Cook’s blog who has a less convincing science resume than me.

    Unlike you, I have absolutely no respect for the integrity or the intelligence of the individuals in question. Their purpose in life is to disrupt reasoned debate with a barrage of insults and lies. Before George Monbiot was let loose, the vast majority of science qualified contributors were serious sceptics of the computer model based ‘science’. The tactic was to use Monbiot to reduce the debate to a sub tabloid, emotional level and drive them away. It worked. ‘Denier’ and ‘astroturfer’ took journalism to a new nadir.

    GP Wayne is a man with zero formal education and a fictional personal history. His understanding of science could be written on the back of a moth’s wing with a large orange crayon. A fact he has admitted to on his blog.

    He has written

    “I think Kingsnorth has it right, as does this movement. If you consider consumerism/capitalism as a mechanism, it is flaky, temperamental, capricious, iniquitous and unreliable. Further attempts to make it work, especially in light of the burgeoning population, climate change and peak oil, are actually pointless. It isn’t that environmentalism hasn’t succeeded; the empire of consumerism is falling, as all empires must.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/apr/29/environmentalism-dark-mountain-project?showallcomments=true#CommentKey:bbd9721b-4bc3-4057-bc0c-6dad8cbfb980

    “Posts like yours remind me of what Churchill said about democracy: “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter”. Average is an overstatement it seems. Maybe China has the right idea after all.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/mar/25/climate-change-election-parliament?showallcomments=true#CommentKey:6c6db0e2-9d94-44bc-a394-86c1d78bd569

    At my most cynical, I consider it likely that only a monumental crash of pretty much everything we now take for granted is the only way we’re ever going to grow up as a civilisation – assuming that is the right term for what we have now. Out of the ashes, as it were…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2010/feb/25/oil-gas-reserves?showallcomments=true#CommentKey:43b1d1c8-1b81-4d5c-addd-f2e6afb6978e

    That is ecofascism whether you like it or not. He also also owns a Mercedes and a 38inch Sony Bravia LCD TV.

    Snufkin describes himself below. The pagan angle is a dead give away.

    I’ve been an environmental ‘activist’ for the best part of 15 years and have at various times shared a police cell with Lord Peter Melchett and been Swampy’s spin doctor. Whilst never exactly at the forefront of the fight, I have at least been close enough to the front to see what’s going on. However as I am now a family man I’m not getting arrested as often as I was and instead I spend far too much time thinking about things for my own good. Before it appeared on the Blogoshere The Greenman was a regular feature in the magazines Pagan Dawn and Pentacle. Despite all that I actually love cars, especially rally cars and before I was hanging around dark, wet forests stopping roads being built I was hanging around dark, wet forests, watching rally cars.

    http://www.blogger.com/profile/05003428642599537927

    As far as Gandalf, English Hermit etc. is concerned, the Nazis were obsessed with mythology. Hitler got his racial ideas from the Thule Society and Blavatsky was the source of the blue eyed Aryans (Hyperborians) and almost certainly of Lovelock’s Gaia principle. Hitler got Blavatsky 100% wrong. Evolution was her message, not de-evolution. The mark of a fascist (ultra conservative) is a belief the past was better than the present and we should dismantle our current civilisation. James Hansen takes that view. Monbiot is almost 100% backward looking in his blogs. He wants to stop human activity as far as possible.

    This is how far the Nazis went.

    “The herd has Herman Goering, the head of Hitler’s Luftwaffe, to thank for its existence. Goering hoped to recreate a primeval Aryan wilderness in the conquered territories of Eastern Europe. Two zoologist brothers, Lutz and Heinz Heck, took on the task of scouring Europe for the most primitive breeds of cattle they could find in the belief that by “back breeding” they could resurrect the extinct species.”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article6143767.ece

  24. ESmith
    We’re obviously not going to agree about the use of terms like ecofascist. I’d just point out that it’s probably aganst blog rules, and it would be a pity to lose the rest of your interesting comments.
    If you have evidence that Monbiot is financed by multi-national corporations like Shell and HSBC, please produce it, since it would create a sensation. If not, your tactic of smearing and ridiculing him will only rebound on the rest of us. Monbiot, whatever his failings, is a master of all the lawyer’s tricks of guilt by association, etc.
    The research you have obviously done to amass so much information on gpwayne and thesnufkin, who are only simple bloggers like me, could be put to use, but not if you simply associate them with examples of National Socialist green thinking. The fact that Goering shared some peculiar primitive fantasies of cattle-rearing with some modern environmentalists proves no more than the fact that Hitler and I both painted watercolour landscapes.

  25. geoffchambers

    You are starting to sound like the moderator reporting eco dudes on cif. I assume it isn’t against the rules to call Hitler a bad man, therefore it isn’t against the rules to call Graham Wayne a moron. Graham Wayne is not a contributor. Snufkin was a very active green activist, he may be dumb, but he isn’t a simple poster. Graham Wayne has had articles on cif, so has his friend Bluecloud.

    Monbiot’s blog on cif is sponsored by major carbon trading supporting fossil fuel interests (Shell and a number of others) and banks (HSBC), plus numerous car comopanies and airlines. therefore Monbiot is.

    I think we will have to agree you will never understand the difference between watercolour landscapes and the fundamental philosophy of the Third Reich no matter how much evidence you are presented with.

    Lebensraum

    One of the most central “doctrines” or pseudo-doctrines to the Nazi Belief System was that of “Blood and Soil” or Blut und Boden. “Blood & Soil” was the foundational concept for other concepts such as “Lebensraum and was rooted in occultic philosophies prevalent in German mysticism and Ancient legend, which posited that German Racial Identity, was essentially tied literally and metaphorically to the land. In the beginning of the reign of the Third Reich, the concept of “Blut und Boden” was euphemized with a’back to the land’ , back-to-basics approach of bringing back the historical lifestyle of a Prussian people; a history tied in farming and rural values.

    The concept however was far greater than the ‘back to farming ‘ and country life mentality which was couched in terms of patriotism and nationalism: the concept of the bloodlines of Germany being integrally tied to the soil or land necessitated a German people on a German land, with all others as intruders.

    http://www.shoaheducation.com/blut.htm

    Wikipedia

    (German for “habitat” or literally “living space”) was one of the major political ideas of Adolf Hitler, and an important component of Nazi ideology. It served as the motivation for the expansionist policies of Nazi Germany, aiming to provide extra space for the growth of the German population, for a Greater Germany. In Hitler’s book Mein Kampf, he detailed his belief that the German people needed Lebensraum (“living space”, i.e. land and raw materials), and that it should be found in the East.

    He goes on to note that even within the Nazi regime, there were differences of opinion about the meaning of Lebensraum, citing Rainer Zitelmann, who distinguishes between the near-mystical fascination with a return to an idyllic agrarian society (for which land was a necessity) as advocated by Darré and Himmler, and an industrial state, envisioned by Hitler, which would be reliant on raw materials and forced labor.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum

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