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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Disgusting deniers: wanting "freedom of speech" to spread climate disinformation

Sou | 6:38 PM Go to the first of 30 comments. Add a comment

At WUWT there is another distasteful cartoon in the style of the Heartland Institute's murderers and terrorists posters (archived here). The WUWT article and cartoon by Josh, draws a fake analogy between the massacre of the Paris-based cartoonists and the so-called "rights" of deniers to defame scientists and spread disinformation. (Deniers don't complain about WUWT banning people, in fact one of the worst offending would-be censors, a sock-puppeting moderator at WUWT, denies that, too.)

Here is what xkcd has to say about free speech (h/t BW):



Suck it up, deniers!

30 comments:

  1. Yes, I regularly get accused of censorship because I've banned some from my blog. Firstly, that makes me seem incredibly powerful: somehow banning people from my blog prevents them from saying what they wanted to say anywhere else? More seriously though, censorship is a serious issue and I think it is ridiculous when people equate the trivial act of banning them from a blog (or blocking them on Twitter), with the much more serious issue of actual censorship.

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    1. I've received my first effective banning from a climate related blog. It pissed me off because it felt totally arbitrary and undeserved. I'm not *actually* banned but all posts are subject to moderation now. I'm sure 'skeptics' feel equally aggrieved, but often in their case they're deliberately out to cause trouble...

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    2. I'm thankful that Anthony banned me. I was spending way too much time wading through that fetid swamp.

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    3. You're not going to say which one :-)

      I actually do put people into moderation if I think their contribution will not be constructive and could lead to moderation problems. It's completely arbitrary and I do sometimes feel a bit guilty about it, but given that it's my blog and my time that gets wasted if I have to deal with contentious comment streams, I don't really lose any sleep over it. So, I understand that some feel aggrieved, but that still doesn't make it censorship.

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    4. I didn't think anyone would care ;)

      But seeing as you mention it, it was Euan Mearns' blog.

      http://www.webcitation.org/6VVDKu1fT

      I had a dig at the GWPF since Euan and his crew have made several attacks on the WWF recently, and I've previously accused him of being one stop away from arriving in Denialville. He doesn't like the 'D' word one bit. He's tried to craft an image of someone who's open to all ideas, but really he filters everything through his worldview that environmentalists are after his taxes (or something). He also doesn't seem to have any real understanding of CCS, although bizarrely he accuses me of the same thing (even though I'll have 2 degrees in CCS by the end of the year dontchaknow ;) ).

      Anyway, he's a supremely arrogant man who draws very odd and tangential conclusions from the research he produces because of his opposition to paying to pollute (or whatever), and is most certainly not open to being challenged on his ideas.

      Apologies for the small rant on your blog Sou! Back to thesis writing...

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    5. Interesting. I've briefly encountered Euan Mearns and decided he was best avoided. Of course, my initial impression may have been wrong, but it does seem consistent with yours.

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  2. Interesting was that yesterday WUWT retweeted the above xkcd cartoon as well. At least sometimes bloggers agree about.

    At the same time the fans of WUWT & Co. were complaining that Michael Mann blocks trolls on twitter. I did not see them complain about WUWT retweeting the cartoon that defends Mann.

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    1. Yeah, WUWT showed the xkcd cartoon alright, but they don't *get it*. The bottom feeders that dwell at WUWT perceive themselves as the righteous purveyors of the 'truth', who have uncovered the vast conspiracy of the climate scientists to take away all their money and give it to the poor.

      When in reality, they are the assholes that xkcd creator Randall Munroe wants to show the door to. Your average inhabitant of WUWT is nothing more than a right wing authoritarian follower, and a poster child for Dunning-Kruger. They wouldn't know what real science was even if it snuck up and bit them in the posterior.

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  3. Hmmm. This is what Charlie hebdo published on front cover about the "famous" french "sceptic" Allègre :

    http://baladesnaturalistes.hautetfort.com/media/01/01/428417839.jpg

    (translated : science l'ost control of its créature)

    To be fair both messages are compatible : "sceptics" are free to speak as long as they are not breaking thé law ... But we are free to mock them

    (Damn french aurocorrect)

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  4. I was shocked when I saw that cartoon.

    Not only is it a lie (the conservation movement are not limiting the freedom of expression of climate change deniers), it is also distasteful they would try and wring some propaganda out of the tragedy in Paris.

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    1. I had a look at Climate Etc. I feel the same thing, it is distasteful to use the tragedy in Paris as a springboard for one's own self interest.

      The cartoon itself is probably OK (it is from 2010 I think). It is satire and satire takes liberties. I do not know what the term "relaps" means in that context.

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  5. The context of the WUWT cartoon and article isn't so much Anthony Watts blocking you and me on Twitter or banning you and me (the Royal You :)) from commenting on his blog. It's about some denier in the UK being all upset that he and his denier buddies don't get equal airtime with scientists on the BBC. Apparently science deniers thinks that is curtailing their freedom of speech.

    For my part, I can't say I've noticed any denier stop "speeching" so I don't think the BBC has been very effective, if indeed the aim of the BBC was to get deniers to stop being free to speak their latest bit of crankery. I suspect the BBC had no intention of stopping nutters from spouting their nuttery. It just doesn't want to put listeners off by diverting BBC air time to flat earthers, and anti-vaxxers and climate science deniers. The wackos are perfectly free to spout their nonsense elsewhere. (Is Hyde Park corner still available?)

    Deniers at WUWT are also confused about what free speech means. It doesn't mean they can, without consequence, defame scientists and liken them to child molesters. The right to sue someone who defames you doesn't conflict with free speech.

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    1. The BBC did the right thing in reducing the airtime given to fringe groups, this includes climate change deniers.

      I know the "green blob" is a conspiracy theory motif (correct word?) for the conservation movement. I actually watched the video in the Bishop Hill link, it was good. I had not appreciated Bishop Hill being into conspiratorial ideation until now.

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    2. I'm sick of hearing people go on about how they can't get heard. Somebody should shut 'em up.

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  6. Interesting how Watts is forever castigating those with whom he disagrees who post anonymously, when "Josh" is allowed to produce endless character assassinations under the cloak of anonymity.

    What vexes me most is that anti-Greens are creating this myth of the "green blob" that de-humanises their opponents. For all the hatred his blog persona projects Anthony clearly still retains a fair bit of the milk of human kindness when he encounters his opponents in person, which rather undermines his efforts.

    Solution: de-humanise them by merging them into a Green Blob.

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    1. They've a problem though. Trying to fit the majority of humans into a green blob is a bit tricky. It works at WUWT because they spend most of their lives in their own little bubble, only emerging into the real world every now and then to buy a carton of milk or a packet of smokes.

      BTW here's a link to the latest archive - with a comment by an uber-conspiracy theorist.

      https://archive.today/KiSpa#selection-15093.0-15119.308

      The climate conspiracy theorists think he's a bit nutty. There are apparently lines of nuttery that some of the nutters won't cross.

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  7. When I began to seriously follow climate science about four years ago, I seemed to spend a lot of time on Steve Goddard's site. I would study some amazing new, to me anyway, climate science off goggle then get on Steve's site and blast away. Sometimes I could commandeer the entire, rather small dozen or so, herd of commenters and type faster than all of them put together. What a rush to have a dozen humans going at you in real time. I learned a lot of climate science doing that. I could quickly and easily google and get a layman's understanding of of an issue and regurgitate it back to "Real Science" in seconds. They would blow it off but at least it was in their face and their blood was up, like mine.
    I later took some online classes in climate science, read books and everything I saw in the papers on climate science. HW is a favorite site, I spent a while on WUWT but like Fox News, got bored. Sou does a great job of "I'll read it so you don't have to" presentation. Real Climate is great as well as andthenthereisphysics. I'm still a political junkie, but I'm even more of a climate science junkie now.

    As I began to more competently argue the points, still in layman's fashion, with Steve and his devotees, they became more hostile. I could get in a couple of decent backs and forths but then the dog pile rabble would smother me with insults. I learned to ignore the insults and just keep the content going. I learned to just go directly after Steve's premise of fraud and stupidity of "my side" and could get his goat rather well from time to time. Steve would venture into American history from time to time and show he could bastardize history the way he does science. His politics were even worse. He threatened to ban me from time to time, but never did. I was discovering other climate science blogs by then and could understand the discussion rather well. My learning curve reached for a higher rung. I lost interest in Steve's site as it all seemed so silly now and have not been there for about a year.

    An interesting thing occurred the other day. I started getting contacts from Steve's site but could not tell from who. I like to think they missed me and were trying to entice me back. Unlike andthenthereisphysics, Steve's site thrives on conflict and incivility. They love to have an "alarmist" come in so they can jump on and vent a lot of pent up anger at the world.

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    1. Seeing how allergic they respond to being blocked and proud they are of their number of readers (rather than the quality of their content), I tend to agree that ignoring them is often be best strategy.

      That is unfortunately difficult for WUWT because incompetent attention-seeking journalists use it as source of misinformation in the mass media. If they cite WUWT, they themselves are not guilty for spreading nonsense, journalists seem to think.

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  8. http://judithcurry.com/2015/01/11/charlie-challenging-free-speech/


    In which, quite unbelievably, Judith Curry invokes the yet unburied victims of Charlie Hebdo to claim the moral high ground against the "tyranny" and "suppression" she faces.


    And explicitly draws a parallel between her opponents and "racists and anti-semites"


    I'm honestly not making this up. 

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    1. How many AK47 wielding nutjobs has she had to see off in the last week?

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    2. She jumped the shark on climate a few years ago.

      Turns out she's multi-skilled. She can jump the shark on politics and appropriating others' tragic deaths for her own purposes all in one tasteless move.

      (Anyone (like me) who thinks that a lot of Charlie's satire was rather crude, undergrad-level not-very-funny humour would probably use the word tasteless. Well, that word's now unavailable. It's being hugged to the arid heart of Aunt Judy.)

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    3. First Dog on the Moon was fairly quick off the mark...
      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/08/-sp-charlie-hebdo-im-not-sure-im-as-brave-as-i-think-i-am
      sorry about posting a link - please feel free to delete
      BtM

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    4. I saw Curry's latest foray into extremism. The shark she has jumped must be a megalodon. She even had a crack at Michael Mann again.

      I wonder if she ever reads the things people say about her?

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  9. Seems to me that Watts, Curry et al are making the point that they are satirists. When viewed in that light, their various witterings starts to make a sort of clumsy sense.

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    1. Yes, I do still live in hope that I'll wake up one morning to discover it's all be an incredibly elaborate joke. Given how ridiculous some of this all seems, that does seem as plausible as anything else.

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    2. It's a conspiracy to send us mad!

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    3. Good point! Climate Change denialism is actually satire, I can live with that! :-)

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  10. Hmm? XKCD or WTFUWT...Tough coice Sou...

    Not.

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