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Monday, November 25, 2013

Paul Homewood builds a strawman at WUWT and sends it off to China

Sou | 2:58 PM Go to the first of 35 comments. Add a comment

Update: I almost forgot to write that I think it's a terrific turnaround for WUWT to suddenly take an active interest in urging nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions.  I look forward to many more articles by the environmental activists at WUWT.  Hopefully soon they will be strongly urging governments in the USA and Australia as well as urging China to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.

At Anthony Watts pseudo-science blog, WUWT, there is an article by Paul Homewood (archived here).  He criticises the efforts of China to cut greenhouse gas emissions.  Paul has done some sums and has worked out that China's commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, because it's based on a percentage of GDP, would result in their doubling emissions by 2020.  Based on my cursory reading, that is an overly simplistic view of what is happening in China.

Paul Homewood's strawman

I haven't checked Paul's numbers or assumptions, but what I did notice was his writing this (archived here):
All of this rather begs the question – if CO2 is really such a problem, why are not the UN, Greenpeace, UNFCC, Western politicians, activist scientists and all the other hangers on jumping up and down and demanding that China starts making real cuts now?

What is evident is either:
  • Paul Homewood isn't familiar with what these agencies and organisations are doing and have done or
  • Paul Homewood is familiar with these efforts but chooses to disinform readers at WUWT, knowing they demand that their dislike of the UN, Greenpeace and environmentalism in general (and their conspiracy ideation) be appeased.

I haven't checked the specifics of what the UN and UNFCC and Western Politicians are doing in regard to China in particular.  However the fact that the UN organises conferences to combat global warming and get countries to agree on sustainability commitments is evidence that they are encouraging all member nations to deal with these issues.  (I did some quick research on what Greenpeace has been up to - see below.)

There is no pleasing deniers at WUWT

On the one hand WUWT-ers rail at any initiatives to combat global warming and improve the environment and the next minute they are complaining that not enough is being done.

No-one could ever accuse WUWT of being consistent!

As an aside, I find it surprising that someone at WUWT would suggest that scientists get involved in policy, seeing it's something they usually castigate scientists for doing even when they aren't.

What Greenpeace is doing in East Asia

I'm not up on what Greenpeace does so I did a bit of a web search to see what Greenpeace has been advocating and what it's been doing in East Asia.  Here are just a few of the items I came across, going back several years:

There is a lot more as you can imagine.  Greenpeace is a large, active organisation and has an East Asia section.  For example, only a few days ago there was this article at Greenpeace, which refers in part to the new Air Pollution Control Plan announced this September, and to the individual pledges made by four key provinces to reduce coal consumption in real terms.  Below are some extracts:
How do we translate China's policy shift on air pollution into progressive climate position? Li Shuo
...Facing mounting public pressure from Beijing, as well as many other regions in China’s populous eastern provinces, the government published a comprehensive air pollution control plan in September of this year. Coal consumption control is featured heavily in the plan.
According to various evaluations, coal combustion is the leading cause of China’s air pollution. China’s coal consumption not only contributes to two thirds of the global CO2 emission growth in the past five years, but is also leading to systemic damage of the health of its citizens.
Pursuant with the call from the central government, four provinces (two of them – Shandong and Hebei are China’s top and fourth-largest coal consumers respectively) made individual pledges to peak and decline their coal consumption by 2017 – the first time in Chinese history that negative coal consumption targets have ever been mandated. Added together, these four provinces will need to collectively reduce 83 million ton of coal in the next four years, a sharp annual average decline of 6% This is even more significant given that these provinces still kept growing at 6-8% over the past five years.
...As China prepares to slash coal, climate benefits will inevitably follow. According to the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency's 2013 Trends in Global CO2 emission report, the slowdown of China’s energy appetite in 2012 has already contributed to the slowest global emission growth. This trend, predicted by the Agency is likely to continue. If that is the case, it will have considerable implication on the way from Warsaw to the 2015 Paris COP.
Warsaw is therefore a good opportunity to foster this emission trend and bring it down even further. The global community should encourage their Chinese counterparts to put air pollution and greenhouse gas mitigation equally on the agenda. Strong connections between the two issues should be facilitated and communicated back to Beijing, so that a mutually reinforcing loop could be created in domestic policy making.
Li Shuo is a Climate and Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace East Asia.
Here are some more articles of relevance:

Greenhouse gas emissions per capita and in total

Here are some numbers to digest - showing greenhouse gas emissions per capita from CDIAC as at 2010.  The first number is the world ranking in terms of per capita emissions.  The last number is that actual emissions per capita in tonnes of carbon (not CO2):
  • 1 Qatar  10.94
  • 12 USA  4.71
  • 14 Australia  4.57
  • 18 Canada   4.00
  • 37 Japan  2.52
  • 39 Germany  2.47
  • 47 United Kingdom 2.16
  • 63 China (Mainland) 1.68
  • 75 Hong Kong 1.4
  • 136 India 0.45

China and India need to bypass fossil fuels and shift straight to clean energy production

Looking at the above, it's obviously of critical importance that fast-growing economies like India and China develop their economies using clean energy and avoid as far as possible a transition through dirty energy.

Top ten total emitters in the world

I downloaded the latest data from CDIAC, which has preliminary numbers on a per country basis up to 2012. China was by far the largest emitter, with 2,625 million tonnes C followed by the USA with 1,396 million tonnes, then India with 611 million tonnes.  Here are the top ten nations, with their total emissions and per capita emissions.  Note that the per capita emissions are ranked on the basis of this list of top ten emitters only.  It does not include all nations.

2012 m tonne
% increase on 2010
Pop (million)
Per capita
Rank per capita out of top ten only
China 2,625,730
USA 1,396,791
India 611,226.3
Russian Federation 491,840.3
Japan 342,270
Germany 199,716.1
South Korea 166,679.2
Iran 164,497.7
Saudi Arabia 137,877.7
Canada 137,819.8

China is now the largest emitter, followed by the USA and then India.  China and India are the two fastest growing in terms of emissions growth over the period 2010 to 2012. China and India are the lowest per capita emitters in this list.

The USA is the only one of the current top ten to have reduced total emissions between 2010 and 2012. However - out of the top ten emitters, the USA still ranks number two on per capita emissions behind Saudi Arabia.

From the WUWT comments

As usual, many WUWT-ers make snide comments and don't bother doing any investigation themselves.  (WUWT comments section is often nothing more than a splatter board at which science rejectors and conspiracy theorists fling empty, meaningless words.)  Some of them are more aware and interested in the issue than others though.

What's odd is that usually WUWT-ers rant at NGOs for being activists.  WUWT-ers usually despise activism, especially when it relates to the environment.  In this thread though there are a lot of people complaining that NGOs aren't doing enough - or aren't "doing anything".  If only deniers would make up their minds.

You can read more comments archived here.

Jimbo says:
November 24, 2013 at 5:07 pm
There are lies, damned lies and………………….

H.R. says:
November 24, 2013 at 5:29 pm
Glad to see the Chinese still have a great sense of humor. The joke is on all the rest of the world.

John says:
November 24, 2013 at 5:28 pm
On the flip side, haven’t US CO2 emissions already actually been substantially cut. Driving miles are down and natural gas replaced a lot of coal power generation.. I thought we were the only country to actually achieve the Kyoto targets.
The USA has reduced total emissions in the past couple of years and over the long term has had no growth in per capita emissions.  But it is still a huge source of emissions (ranking in the top 15 nations on a per capita basis) and can't sit back on its laurels.   Here is a chart up to 2009 from CDIAC:
Source: CDIAC

Nick Stokes is not a typical WUWT-er and looks at the numbers from a different perspective.  He says:
November 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm
“jumping up and down and demanding that China starts making real cuts now?”
The CDIAC site you cited also has per capita figures for 2010: China 1.68 ton C/cap/yr, USA 4.71, Australia 4.57, Qatar 10.9.
CO2 needs a world effort. We can’t expect people to respond differently just because of the size of the political unit they happen to live in. China has a big population and will have a big GDP. The best we can do is to ensure that the GDP is achieved as efficiently as possible. We can’t expect Chinese to respond to Westerners pressuring them to cut in absolute terms when
Westerners are using more than twice as much.
“But don’t believe the likes of John Gummer…”
In your quote Gummer expected Chinese emissions to peak about 2025. You attempted to refute that by saying that they would be emitting more in 2020 that now. That does not refute.
“Actual emissions were 2625, which represents a cut of 41% from 4430″
Well, then, they are indeed doing well.

William McClenney says:
November 24, 2013 at 6:09 pm
Ah, but the latent question is: how does it feel to have been played?

Neville. breaks the mold and says:
November 24, 2013 at 6:10 pm
Her are the EIA co2 emission forecast until 2040— see graph. The OECD emissions will essentially flatline for 30 years while non OECD emissions will continue to soar.
They say that fully 94% of extra co2 emissions will come from China ,India etc and only 6% from the OECD until 2040.
The entire OECD could retire and live in caves and it wouldn’t make ZIP difference at all to climate and temp.

John says:
November 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm
Neville – Have we learned anything yet about models and forecasts.

Gary Hladik says:
November 24, 2013 at 6:16 pm
Out of curiosity, is China actually doing anything to really cut CO2 emissions, in addition to replacing old coal power plants with new, and building nuclear power plants?

Mike Smith says:
November 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm
China is an interesting case. There must be a huge interest in reducing pollution, by which I mean particulate matter, carcinogens, toxic materials etc.
I doubt that the Chinese give a hoot about CO2 but, of course, their politicians will make all of the right noises to appease the west since they’re rather tired of playing the western world’s punching bag. I think the “China reassures world” article is fine example of same.

AntonyIndia says:
November 24, 2013 at 6:50 pm
China is always excused by Green alarmists: those poor communist underdogs. The US are the main target: those wicket ultra rich top dogs. Dawn facts and statistics. Viewing the world through green coloured glasses damages the world’s environment the most.

Dr. Bob decides to complain that NGOs aren't doing anything - or so he thinks and says:
November 24, 2013 at 7:28 pm
At the 2007 Pittsburgh Coal Conference, I remember a poster session on coal seam fires In China, coal seam fires emit more CO2 than all the cars in the US. A little searching indicated that 20-200 million tons of coal per year are lost to mine fires. The number is very vague as no one really knows how much coal is lost to mine fires. CO2 emissions from these sources are probably not counted in net emissions but represent maybe 12% of China’s GHG emissions.
If GHG emissions are truly a threat to mankind, why haven’t the NGO’s gone after this source of uncontrolled emissions? If CO2 was a real problem, this would be the low hanging fruit. But no one mentions this


  1. What is the strawman here? China is out and about talking about reducing CO2 emissions, but they really are talking about reducing intensity. If one looks at China's GDP graph and its CO2 emission graph, one could easily see a scenario where China doubles its CO2 emission output by 2020. Is that not relevant in the CAGW discussion?

    1. Duh! The strawman is the quote beside the picture of the strawman.

      Confirmed by much of the rest of my article that shows how Greenpeace is urging that China (among others) reduce emissions. And the UN is making lots of efforts to get everyone to reduce emissions.

      (Are you a WUWT-er? That may explain your difficulty in spotting logical fallacies.)

    2. An ad hominem right out of the box? That is not very polite of you. You still didn't answer the question. How is that a strawman?

      China and India will cause total CO2 emissions to increase dramatically over the next 10 years. If CO2 emissions are as much of a concern as the CAGW crowd alleges, one would think they would be doing more about it than what you cite. Not much of a strawman at all.

    3. Umm... I did answer the question "What is the strawman here?". Both in the article and in my comment above. (It's gotta be a WUWT-er. Regular HW readers are more savvy.)

      PS What's this CAGW? Is that some denier invention?

      PPS What "more about it" would you like to see? Do you even know what is being done already?

      PPPS If you are as concerned as you make out, perhaps you could urge some people power. Run a campaign at WUWT urging the USA and Australian governments to lead by example and shift to clean energy sooner. Then they would be in a better position to get China and India to move more quickly.

      A WUWT campaign urging a carbon tax, for example. That would surely get the governments of China and India to sit up and take notice.

    4. I didn't answer your question about whether I am a "WUWT=er." My apologies. I am not subscribed to the site, but I am familiar with it. I have even read some of the articles posted there, but as far as time spent on that site, I can't hold a candle to the time you seem to dedicate to it.

    5. Is that a sincere question about CAGW or just another ad hominem? What "more about it" would I like to see? Well it is like this. Global CO2 emissions are set to skyrocket in the next 10 years or so. China will probably double its current emissions. Leading by example will produce no measurable results in terms of global temperatures even assuming a 3C climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2.

      The only way to reduce CO2 emissions is a binding global agreement that does not exempt developing countries. Just look at India. They are just on the starting blocks of how much CO2 they will produce. They have nearly the population of China and every bit the desire to develop.

    6. We're on the same page with the need for a global agreement. That's not something that people who use the term CAGW usually advocate, so kudos to you.

      Governments need to act. Governments are strongly influenced by voters. More people need to demand that our governments do the right thing.

      Intergovernmental relations are not straightforward. While wealthy developed nations who have and continue to put most of the CO2 into the air dither and dally then they will find it difficult to pressure those countries that are trying to lift their people out of poverty.

      Write to your political representative and demand faster action. Or take whatever other action you think will work. If you have an easy solution then share it with the rest of the world. We'd all like it to be as easy as you seem to think it is.

      BTW if you are advocating simply shrinking the economies of China and India, then I don't think that will gain a lot of support anywhere in the world. That would blow back too much on the already wealthy nations, with great damage to economies worldwide. The solution has to allow for continuing improvement in the prosperity of people in developing countries. It has to provide for a more rapid shift to clean energy.

  2. Let me assist our anonymous luminary with a couple of points about logical fallacies:
    1. "Strawman" - a weak or false argument set up so it can be argued against. Rephasing Sou's selection to make the implicit explicit, so we can all play along:
    Premise 1: The UN etc are not urging China to reduce emissions.
    Premise 2: If CO2 is such a problem, they would be.
    Conclusion: CO2 is not such a problem.

    It's a strawman because it is a false argument set up purely to be knocked. If you need more help than that in seeing it, I suggest consulting one of the many websites that give examples of logical fallacies.

    Identifying logical fallacies: Sou's doing it right.

    2. "ad hominem" - an irrelevant argument about the merits of person rather than the merits of their position. Being "not very polite" is *not* an ad hominem fallacy. Asking someone if they are from WUWT is *not* an ad hominem fallacy. Saying your claim is wrong because you are from WUWT would be an ad hominem, if anyone had said that, but no-one has.

    Identifying logical fallacies: You're doing it wrong.

    As a side note (and without specific reference to Anonymous in particular), I note that of all the logical fallacies abounding in denierland, the false claim of "ad hominem" is the most common. It's like they think the term is a fancy, Moncktonian way of saying "you're mean", not an actual logic fail.

    In the vast majority of cases, it is not an observation about the argument, but pure and unadulaterated tone trolling (and that last bit does refer to Anonymous' contribution here).


    1. FrankD,

      Thanks for the attempted clarification. However, you are missing a piece of the strawman definition. That is the part where one side changes the argument of the other side. Where has Paul done that? He has merely stated that if it were such a problem, "why are not the UN, Greenpeace, UNFCC, Western politicians, activist scientists and all the other hangers on jumping up and down and demanding that China starts making real cuts now?" Where did he misrepresent someone's position?

      Look now to what an ad hominem is. It is "relating to or associated with a particular person" rather than the argument. Now, as you correctly stated being impolite is not necessarily an ad hominem, but using an ad hominem is impolite. Here are the some ad hominems that have been used so far.

      1. Stating that if I were from a certain group, I would not have the ability to understand what a strawman is. It is now about me, my associations, and my abilities rather than Sou's allegations that Paul was using a strawman argument. Pure ad hominem.

      2. The other is the use of the word "denier." It can only be about the person and not the argument. Classic ad hominem.

      3. The last ad hominem is the "trolling" comment made by you. Now, my pointing out these ad hominem's might be erroneously classified as itself an ad hominem, but it does not quite meet the standard. Can pointing out an ad hominem be itself an ad hominem? Yes, it does relate to the person. However, it also relates to your purported argument itself. Therefore it is not a fallacy.

      Now, I completely understand why one would resort to such fallacies. One simply does not have confidence in their argument. If someone were running around saying "birds can't fly," there would be no need to call that person a "flight denier." We could simply present observational evidence that birds do, in fact, fly. Calling the proponent a "denier" would only detract from a pretty sound position. So why do it?

      Paul's argument presents a real issue no matter what side one is on. If one is trying to decide whether to divest in the use of CO2 emitting fuels, a real question is what will the effect of their sacrifice be. If it can't be measured, then why make the sacrifice?

      For the CAGW believer, what to do about the coming increases in CO2 produced by China and India? If you thought that current emissions were a problem, just wait until it doubles from these two countries alone. What are you going to do about that? That is a real problem that can't be ignored. It seems that we are going to find out exactly what is the effect of doubling the CO2 in the atmosphere whether we like it or not.

    2. "Where did he misrepresent someone's position?"

      I've shown above in the article. Didn't you read it? People are "jumping up and down". The UN, Greenpeace, the UNFCC are all agitating for China specifically and countries in general to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

      (You may want people to jump up higher in China than they jump up in the USA or the UK or Australia or wherever you're from. But jump they are.)

      The fact that you can't see the strawman only proves my point of association that you think is ad hom. People who write "CAGW" typically are not very good at logic. So much so that it could be a definition.

      As for the rest - +1 what FrankD and BBD said.

    3. Calling somebody a denier is making a statement about their position. Saying that somebody is trolling is making a statement about their behavior and intentions. None of those are ad hominems.

    4. Yes they are. They are turning the discussion towards the person instead of the argument. Classic ad hominem.

    5. An ad hominem argument has the form of "A is an idiot, therefore do not listen to A's argument". It is a logical fallacy because someone's personal attributes do not form part of the argument logic.

      On the other hand, the sequence "A asserts this poor argument, therefore A is an idiot" is _not_ a fallacy, but rather a judgement based upon the argument presented. M. Anonymous has been the subject of this latter formulation, followed by a query as to whether M. Anonymous frequents sites where those poor arguments are commonly (mis)asserted.

      Note the cause-effect relationship. This mistaken claim of ad hominem when arguments are judged is one of the most common complaints on denial (a judgement of mine based upon the specious if not absurd arguments presented) websites.


    6. Anonymous is a goose. Don't pay him any attention.

  3. Denialism is an accurate description of the mental illness afflicting deniers. Objecting to being described accurately is playing the victim, also known as tone trolling.

    You should remember, Anonymous - but strangely familiar - that some of us don't give a stuff about the rhetoric you lot revel in. We know it's just more dishonesty and misdirection, so we ignore it and concentrate on the core issues: physics and physics denial and correcting your misrepresentations. FrankD has done due diligence on yours yet you pretend that the strawman fallacy in the WUWT piece has not been correctly identified. Now that's a definitive exhibition of time-wasting in bad faith and very much the mark of the troll.

    1. Saying that those who disagree with you have mental illnesses is an ad hominem. I think what you mean to say is that you don't give a stuff whether or not you use ad hominems. And that is fine as there is no law against it.

      As far as whether or not you give a stuff about the rhetoric of the opposing view, I suspect that might by why you are losing the argument. You are losing the argument because you are not convincing people to reduce CO2 emissions. The problem presented by Paul is your problem. China will probably double its CO2 emissions by 2030. India is not far behind. CO2 emissions will rise considerably each and every year from now through 2025. That is you losing the argument.

      Calling Paul's article a strawman is a waste of your time. He points out an issue that is valid regardless of which side one is on. Paul's point is valid. If those groups really understand what is happening in China and other places, they should be doing much more.

    2. No, it's an accurate description of what is going on. Unfortunately, those afflicted with the pathology of denial are unable to see this for themselves.

      I'm not losing any arguments. We aren't having one. You are hammering a strawman, as has been demonstrated clearly above. Your blank denial of this *fact* tells us all we need to know about the state of your mind.

    3. If I call you a dumbass, it is still an ad hominem even though you are, in fact, a dumbass. Truth is no defense to the fallacy of using an ad hominem.

    4. Anonymous is wrong there. Just calling me or anyone else a dumbass is simple name-calling. It's not an ad hom.

      It would be an ad hom if Anonymous said "because Sou is a dumbass everything (or something) that she says is incredible/wrong" etc.

    5. Not understanding the concept of ad hominem is one of the distinguishing features of Homo contrariensis.

      They constantly claim they're victims of cruel, cruel injustice because they just looooooove to play at being persecuted, despite the fact that they're also the 'anti-PC' brigade and regularly whine that other people unfairly claim undeserved special treatment.

      This is the root of all the melodramatic 'see, I'm a victim, a victim I tell you!' crap surrounding being labeled 'deniers'. Entirely justly, I might add.

      All-in-all, this happens because they are irony-challenged.

      And mentally ill. ;-)

    6. But I'm not a dumbass, Anonymous. I'm capable of understanding enough Earth system science to recognise that we have a problem. And I'm smart enough not to retreat into denial in the face of this recognition. And I'm astute (and honest) enough not to confuse politics with physics. Nor do I rely on endless rhetorical diversions in lieu of core arguments, but then, I don't have to. I am not obliged to resort to intellectual dishonesty with virtually every comment I make.

    7. BBD, I have no idea whether you are a dumbass, nor do I have any idea what scientific training you have. However, your engaging in ad hominem's does nothing to support the quality thereof. Sou is correct that gratuitous name calling alone is not an ad hominem. But that is not the case here, is it? Turning the conversation towards derogatory comments about one's mental capacities during an argument is a classic ad hominem, especially the mental illness comments.

      Paul's point remains valid. He asks a valid question in the section entitled "footnote" of his article. He could have even further asked why China is building so many coal power plants if it thinks we are really in the midst of a mass extinction. In fact, if you don't answer those questions pretty quickly, the world will quickly see that, even if everything you say is true, there is nothing any individual country can do to have even a token measurable effect.

      For what it is worth, I think there are several factors here. Firstly, I think the world doesn't genuinely comprehend what is coming from the developing world in terms of CO2 emissions. 20% of the world's population has no access to electricity. They are going to get it. And they are not going to stop there. They are going to want iPads, social media, and flat screen televisions. The other thing at play is confirmation bias. China talks a good game about investing in clean energy, etc., and you want to believe them. But don't let them fool you. They seek world domination, and they know that building themselves economically is the only way.

    8. As I said, those afflicted by the pathology of denial are unable to recognise the symptoms in themselves. It's a mental illness, after all.

      Pointing this *fact* out is not ad hominem. Your denial of this is only to be expected and can now cease as it is redundant.

      Paul has no point. The slow progress towards decarbonisation of electricity supply isn't evidence that the science is in doubt or that developing economies will not make better progress going forward. It's just where we are today. It isn't the basis for an argument for inaction.

      What China does today may be very different from what China does as the effects of climate change bite hard into its agricultural productivity and infrastructure. You seem to assume otherwise, which is, at best, limited thinking.

    9. Notice that we now have a whole thread of unjustified whining about ad hominem. Playing the victim fills up the column inches with the rhetoric of distraction which is why those without any coherent arguments resort to it incessantly.

    10. See my comment above. M. Anonymous does not appear to understand the definition of ad hominem.


  4. "The slow progress towards decarbonisation of electricity supply isn't evidence that the science is in doubt or that developing economies will not make better progress going forward. It's just where we are today. It isn't the basis for an argument for inaction. "

    There is no progress. There is only growth. Fossil fuel use is growing, and coal use is growing the fastest of any fossil fuel.

    Check out this list of countries and the % of their populations that have access to electricity. Look at countries like India and Indonesia. Then take a look at the countries in Africa. Coal will supply those people the electricity they need. It is just barely getting started.

    Ineffective action is no action at all.

    With regard to your use of ad hominems, they are not about me. They are about you and your inability to articulate an effective convincing argument. If you are really planning on changing anything, that is the first place you should start.

    1. With regard to your use of ad hominems, they are not about me. They are about you and your inability to articulate an effective convincing argument.

      Will you learn what "ad hominem" actually means please? Repeating falsehoods is tedious and clear evidence of bad faith. Bad faith is *your* problem here and something you need to address directly, urgently and effectively.

      You have not demonstrated that I (or anyone here) is incapable of articulating an effective argument yet you assert it, which is of course both further evidence of intellectual dishonesty and a logical fallacy.

      There is no progress.

      This is, of course, simply a lie. We can say there is slow progress, but arguing for no progress crosses a very clear line into dishonest misrepresentation for rhetorical purposes. This has been discussed already.

    2. Anonymous, you'd come across as having something to contribute other than moaning that "it's all too hard" and showing your supreme naivety in intergovernmental relations and global economics, if you weren't just talking off the top of your head. If you weren't so insistent that rest of the world has to suck it up and stay poor. If you did some fact checking.

      Or if you made a positive suggestion.

      (I wouldn't mind betting you're a litterbug too. After all, why should you not litter when there is always going to be someone else who does it?)

      Solar power for sub-Saharan Africa

      Pay-as-You-Go Solar Energy Finds Success in Africa

      One of the many solar by donation to Africa -

      Electricity from solar power could be the cheapest in South Africa by 2020, according to a new report by Frost & Sullivan.

      Solar is powering city buildings in Bangladesh

      More than one million solar units for people off grid in Bangladesh - in 2011.

      There are many options other than coal. Better, cleaner and if not now then rapidly approaching cheaper, too.

      Get off your butt and make a contribution and quit your whining. Nothing ever got done by complaining "it's all too hard".

      I have very little tolerance for people who give up so easily and say "it can't be done". Especially when the rest of the world is showing it can be done.

      You do know we're all in this together, don't you. Denying science won't stop climate change.

    3. Nothing ever got done by complaining "it's all too hard".

      But that's why Anon. is whining. That's his 'argument'. Do nothing - nothing can be done. Not someone I would employ under any circumstances whatsoever.

    4. Well BBD, you ought to be free to hire or not hire whomever you want. I have employed up to 500 people at one time, and let me ask this. Would you want your employee to engage in action all day long that made no bit of difference? Or, would you prefer they spend their time and your money engaging in activity that is actually productive? Is there a difference between doing nothing and abstaining from unproductive activity?

    5. Anon. persists in advancing the false claim that all activity today - political and technical - aimed at the eventual decarbonisation of the electricity supply is achieving nothing at all. This despite being told that it was a lie the last time he said it. A worthless individual.

    6. I am worthless? That just hurts like you have no idea. I didn't say all activity is achieving nothing at all. Just your activity.

    7. Another false claim. I repeat once more: argument from assertion is a logical fallacy, Anon.

      Get it through your none-too-bright skull.

    8. Better leave the trench fighting at Deltoid, methinx it has its uniqueness value there.

  5. I would note that discussions of logical fallacies would be more productive if everyone (and I mean M. Anonymous in this case) understood what they were. Two resources I've found useful are the listings at the Nizkor Project and the Fallacies page by Don Lindsay. It would behoove M. Anonymous to know what exactly (s)he is accusing people of.

    Lindsay has a quote on his page I've found quite relevant in many a discussion:

    "The jawbone of an ass is just as dangerous a weapon today as in Sampson's time."
    --- Richard Nixon



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