Saturday, April 23, 2016

What WUWT and the anti-world movement doesn't know - Earth Day 2016

Sou | 12:45 PM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment
This Earth Day, leaders from 175 nations signed the Paris Climate Agreement, which was a record for a one-day signing, according to the UN.

On this day each year there's also a tradition, if you can call it that yet, that anti-environment blogs like WUWT publish a list of unsourced quote-mines purportedly from the first Earth Day. Anti-environmentalists say that predictions didn't come to pass. The unspoken message is that therefore they will never come to pass and all their anti-environment fans can therefore feel free to continue to destroy the planet. It's an unspoken plea to "bring back smog".

What it also shows is that these budding planet wreckers are not very bright. They don't know that because of the actions of environmentalists:
  • Clean air regulations have been put in place to reduce the smog and pollution that threatened the world
  • The contraceptive pill and family planning education programs helped people limit the size of families
  • Agricultural research and education vastly increased crop yields, which allowed the world to continue to feed the hugely increasing human population
  • Developing countries, in many cases with the assistance of foreign aid from developed countries, improved their social and economic well-being
  • There have been huge improvements in fuel efficiency, often driven by regulation, which together with new discoveries and alternative sources of energy, has meant that there are still oil and gas reserves left.

Despite these actions, the natural world is still being degraded at a great rate through deforestation, CO2 emissions, smog and other pollution, ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity, and more.

Anthony Watts was so excited to show that none of this had anything to do with environment lovers, that he wrote not one but two articles about it. The first one (archived here) was a copy and paste from a zillion articles from anti-environment blogs all over the internet. He got his copy from the Benny Peiser of the UK group that lobbies to increase global warming, appropriately called the Global Warming Policy Foundation. The second one (archived here) was an email he got from someone who did know that none of this has come to pass yet only because of the response of millions of people the world over, who heeded the call of environmental activists, and prompted their governments to take action. For the second article, Anthony declared his bullying side, and not only published the email but dug up an old web page that was possibly the author. (He's no longer at that institution, he has moved on to the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics.)

Nature-wreckers are a sorry lot. Did I say that not a single of Anthony's quotes had a link to a source? Yes, that's typical of the anti-environment movement.

It's time to act...now!

This is why anti-environment blogs can have an impact - and how (h/t @AutumnMandrake)

A view of our fragile, precious Earth via NASA

From the WUWT comments

So far there are 230 thoughts about Earth Day predictions and 93 thoughts about Anthony's so-called hate mail. Yes, in the upside-down world of deniersville, an email from a person who writes that he cares about science and the well-being of the planet is regarded as "hate mail". 

804hokie thinks that caring for the environment is a good way to make money. Usually deniers love money.
April 22, 2016 at 10:35 am
The green hoax is a get rich quick scheme

MarkW is another one who views the world through the money lens, and adds "power":
April 22, 2016 at 11:58 am
For many it’s a power over others scheme.
Though typically power over others also results in more money to those in power. 

Others see that caring for the planet is a communist plot. The aptly-named slobotnavich wrote:
April 22, 2016 at 12:33 pm
You hit that right on the head. Environmentalism is the rebirth of Marxism. 

Rudd Istvan joins in the name-calling exercise. ristvan wrote:
April 22, 2016 at 1:45 pm
Technically, they are watermelons. Green on the outside, red on the inside. And seedy. 

John Wilson is a One World Government conspiracy theorist who thinks that the shadowy power-brokers want a broken, poverty-stricken world:
April 22, 2016 at 4:14 pm
No, it’s a scheme to fund a global government, while diminishing western civilizations through unfair global carbon taxes meant to shut down energy.

Greg prefers smog and wrecked landscapes, and thinks that clear air regs and other environmental regulations have destroyed jobs, using a big number that he pulled out of the clean air (or somewhere):
April 22, 2016 at 10:37 am
The Sierra Club has killed millions via poverty caused by idiot politicians following their policies. Right now the PM of Canada is a puppet of a former Sierra Club leader, (G. Butts) the man who designed Ontario’s disastrous Green Energy plan that has resulted in over 500,000 lost jobs. 

dbstealey wrongly claims that ice isn't melting and global warming isn't happening. He's a hard core denier:
April 22, 2016 at 12:27 pm
More scares that never happened:
• Polar bears becoming extinct
• Runaway global warming
• Sea level rise accelerating
• Polar ice will disappear
• Manhattan, Florida, and Tuvalu submerged
• Increasing hurricanes and severe weather events
NONE of those predictions ever came true. Not one of them. They were all wrong.
As Einstein, Feynman, Popper, Langmuir and other famous scientists pointed out: If your ‘theory’ is contradicted by observtion, your ‘theory’ is WRONG.
As Feynman said, “That’s all there is to it.” 

Simon points out that dbstealey is a sharp shooter :)
April 22, 2016 at 12:37 pm
You really do shoot yourself in the foot sometimes don’t you. 

In the other thread, ClimateOtter says he didn't know that it was in part the actions of environmentalists that spurred the research from agricultural scientists:
April 22, 2016 at 2:42 pm
I wasn’t aware that those scientists had anything to do with years of record crop yields worldwide. Maybe david corgy knows? 

A lot of deniers have nothing but petty sarcasm to offer. Travis Casey wrote:
April 22, 2016 at 2:48 pm
The tireless efforts of alarmists and hippies has kept us from all the predictions of mass starvation, unbreathable air, and polluted rivers. Bahaha. I think people bringing their own bags to the grocery store and the incredible efforts of our gov’t to regulate the number of gallons per toilet flush and the type of light bulbs we can use has led to greater agricultural yields. Oh gosh I guess I’ll throw in /sarc.

Terry Bixler is shocked that anyone would act on their beliefs. Does that mean that Terry is not a planet wrecker?
April 22, 2016 at 3:05 pm
What is really shocking is that he believes what he says and further acted on his beliefs. Kind of like Obama and his intended signing of the Paris accord. Ooops I know Obama doesn’t believe but not to worry acts anyway. 

Steve offered a convoluted thought. The upshot seems to be that he thinks that we haven't yet done enough to curb global warming, and he's right about that:
April 22, 2016 at 3:51 pm
” It is only through MASSIVE efforts and huge expenditures by numerous governments that the Earth Day predictions have been averted”
Part of the beauty of global warming alarmism is that any predictions of climate doom that don’t come true you can say its because of what we DID do, and anything bad that happens that is possibly weather related its because of what we DIDN’T do. As for massive efforts and huge expenditures by governments… the rise in global CO2 levels has continued to accelerate with all that herculean effort and massive spending. So all those gloom and doom predictions about rising CO2 level caused global warming were averted by massive government actions and expenditures to make sure the CO2 levels kept accelerating at the same pace they would have had the government done nothing to stop the rise? Sounds like a lot of wasted government money.

Paul of Alexandria seems to think that more could be done, and he'd be right about that, but wrong about the amount that has been done:
April 22, 2016 at 4:09 pm
And just how have the dire Earth day predictions “been averted”? Aside from some anti-polution legislation, the government hasn’t actually done much.

Top image from WorldArtsMe.


  1. You know, you do a great service in documenting the denier madness. Someday, someone will base a sociology thesis on your work, a study on the mass insanity that gripped a segment of the population in their desperation to deny reality.

  2. Anti-environmentalist science deniers are in this expressing exactly the same flawed thinking that is exemplified by the derision of the concern over the millenium bug: to wit, that the reason much of the forecasting of problems didn't eventuate is that much was done to prevent or circumvent the issue.

    There's another thing that these logically-fallacious ignoramuses need to consder, that they currently don't, and that is that Jevon's Paradox is operating under the surface of the world's response to the issues of hunger, resource use, and environmental destruction. Every time that we've responded well to a problem, we haven't actually simultaneously adjusted our behaviour to ensure that we simply haven't moved the traffic jam to the end of the new section of freeway. Consequently the Green Revolution is about to fizzle, we're facing a huge slap in the face with respect to energy shortage, the patched and boot-strapped Ponzi scheme that is the global economic system is about to fall over, probably once China and the rest of the world realise that that country simply can't grow at 7% for many more years, and the behemeth of global warming that we've allowed to grow and mature in the cellar is about to erupt from the basement and stamp Godzilla-like across the planet.

    Deniers will no doubt post here to protest to the contrary. If they do, I'd simply ask them to explain why Sprengel's Law of the Minimum does not apply to human endeavours.

    1. Your question is easy to answer. The Law of the Minimum doesn't apply because God wouldn't allow it.

      All deniers believe that.

    2. We are currently consuming about one and a half Earths of resources. The damage we are doing to our environment most probably makes this far larger as 'free resources' are not counted by such measures as GDP. This is not sustainable at current usage let alone with future increasing growth.

      The idiotic belief that continuous growth is good on a finite planet is fanatically followed by our world 'leaders' who only think of their next electoral cycle.

      The dolts that Sou points out are trying to convince themselves that the instruments in their dash are just wrong. It does not matter what vehicle they are trying to pilot as it is inevitable that they will crash if they ignore the information that the instruments tell them.

      I actually feel sorry for them. They do not have all the lack of intellectual ability that a bag of hammers has, yet they behave exactly the same. It is the cynical FF industries that feed their ignorance.

      As for asking about Sprengel's Law of the Minimum, I will let McEnroe give his opinion.


      What really annoys me is that humanity almost has got out of the primeval slime with The Enlightenment and now we are about to squander it all by falling for a few shekels on a world wide Ponzi scheme.

      As passengers on Space Ship Earth we all have to do our bit. It does not mean reverting to a more primitive existence but changing to a more sustainable existence. The longer we leave it the harder it will be for all of us.

      We now have just in time nearly every where. This means there is very little storage anywhere in supply lines. What will you do with all your money when there is nothing to buy at any price?

      Sou's constant debunking of these deniers is amazing to watch. The methodical dissection and evisceration of their infected projective organs is sometimes hard to keep up with.

      I am just an old fart that has not lost his sense of duty. This duty is to put back in far more than you take if you are capable. To those that are very capable much is expected!


  3. Folk interested in the social psychology of the smoke filled room might like to follow up on the Asch conformity experiments and the Darley and Latané experiment of the 1960s.

    The 'bystander effect' or 'bystander apathy' is a significant lizard brain phenomenon in many of today's pressing issues, and it is one of the underlying principles that much organised denialism relies on to achieve its delay of action on carbon emissions.

  4. I always think this wonderful cartoon sums these people up


  5. How about a few other things that never happened, thus disproving prevailing theories:
    - Cuba did not launch nuclear missiles at the US
    - Communism didn't take over the free world
    - Iraq didn't attack the United States with WMD
    - Raising US income taxes during the 1990s didn't devastate the economy
    - Raising fuel economy requirements didn't destroy the automotive industry

    Therefore, conservative theories about taxes, government regulations, and military policy have been proven completely wrong and should be discarded.

    1. All the economic, political and strategic theories espoused by Thatcher and Reagan have had thirty-five unimpeded years to prove themselves ... sorely wanting. The destruction of the middle class and the entrenchment of privilege were not what they were sold on, but that's what we've got - and not just in the Anglo-Saxon world. No-one dare speak the name of Keynes for fear of ridicule. Until recently that is.

      At last some politicians are making a case out of all that failure.

  6. sea ice is recovering nicely today

    1. Inferno is lecturing again?! How did I not know this?!

      I could hug you Millicent.

    2. I hadn't know about Inferno. What a font of wisdom and knowledge!

    3. Markus.

      You got me - for a minute there I thought you were serious.

  7. Let's combine Earth day and Thanks Giving.

    I am grateful that WUWT today is so openly a political blog and does not pretend to be about science any more.

    So these brilliant armchair scholars are not only able to see glaring huge mistakes the experts cannot see in every single basic step of global warming, but also (all/most?) other environmental sciences are wrong.

    I would like to thank WUWT for their concerns.


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