Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The moral bankruptcy of deniers: sending the poor into a pit of smoke, pollution and disease

Sou | 3:58 PM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment
There's a very weird cartoon at WUWT from Josh at WUWT today (archived here). It looks as if he's urging the world to push poor nations into a pit of smoke, pollution and disease. Under a headline: "Turning our backs on the poor? Cartoon by Josh", Yep. Turning their backs on the poor is one thing deniers do well. Josh explains that he wants poor nations to build more and more dirty coal-fired power plants instead of clean renewable energy.

Josh has drawn some chap climbing down into a dark pit, labelled "smoke, pollution and disease", being urged on by deniers, presumably - and saying "thank you" for the privilege of being doomed to an early grave.

I won't post it - but if you want you can see the archived version.

Did I ever say deniers are morally bankrupt?

Oh, and he refers to that dreadful book by Bjorn Lomborg, which you can read about here. The UCS got some world experts to examine the book, and found:
These separately written expert reviews unequivocally demonstrate that on closer inspection, Lomborg's book is seriously flawed and fails to meet basic standards of credible scientific analysis. The authors note how Lomborg consistently misuses, misrepresents or misinterprets data to greatly underestimate rates of species extinction, ignore evidence that billions of people lack access to clean water and sanitation, and minimize the extent and impacts of global warming due to the burning of fossil fuels and other human-caused emissions of heat-trapping gases. Time and again, these experts find that Lomborg's assertions and analyses are marred by flawed logic, inappropriate use of statistics and hidden value judgments. He uncritically and selectively cites literature -- often not peer-reviewed -- that supports his assertions, while ignoring or misinterpreting scientific evidence that does not. His consistently flawed use of scientific data is, in Peter Gleick's words "unexpected and disturbing in a statistician".

From the WUWT comments

markl attempts to rationalise the immorality of deniers:
May 4, 2015 at 10:03 pm
It’s rationalized by the end justifies the means. It’s not about science or temperature. 

Kevin Lohse applauds the sentiment - after all, what right-thinking denier would think the world's poorer nations deserve clean energy?
May 4, 2015 at 10:16 pm
One of your best ever, Josh. 

Stephen Rasey thinks that a cartoon urging death and destruction on poor nations deserves a Pulitzer:
May 4, 2015 at 10:39 pm
Pulitzer’s have been won for less. 


  1. Josh's cartoon reeks of hypocrisy. If we rich people want to leave fossil fuels an option for the poor, then we should use less of the stuff ourselves.

  2. Josh might want to take note: here's how to do the funny:

    Coal Lobby Warns Wind Farms May Blow Earth Off Orbit


  3. "Exquisitely witty, and right on-point as usual, Josh."

    This for some dismal, muddy daubing that Pravda would have dismissed as too heavy-handed. Just put down the tablet and back away, Josh.

    Nothing highlights the gulf between deniers and, well, um, rational people, more than their acclamation of this clumsy, unfunny scrawler as some sort of Genius, I tell you, Genius!

    (Oh, hang on, am I forgetting their embrace of Lord Christopher 'World Gubmint is Coming' Monckton here?...)

  4. Now if Josh was half as clever, half as subtle and half as good an artist as David Pope, he would be about 10 times better than he is.

    Recent climate-related Popery here and here.
    (some knowledge of Australian politics helpful).

    1. First Dog on the Moon, Steve Bell, Cartoonist Rowson, Michael Leunig... there are so many genuinely talented cartoonists...
      ...and then there's Josh.

  5. That dreadful book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, once received a more formal critical review.

    "In January, 2003, the [Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty] released a ruling that sent a mixed message, finding the book to be scientifically dishonest through the misrepresentation of scientific facts, but Lomborg himself not guilty due to his lack of expertise in the fields in question."

    Asked to re-examine the case, after Lomborg won an appeal:

    "In March 2004, the DCSD formally decided not to act on the complaints, reasoning that renewed scrutiny would in likelihood result in the same conclusion." both from Wikipedia


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