Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Brexit tidbits from climate conspiracy blogs

Sou | 4:21 PM Go to the first of 54 comments. Add a comment
Here are some tidbits from around some of the denier blogs following Brexit.  At Anthony Watts' blog WUWT, a lot of the articles have been about UK politics in the wake of the vote to leave the EU. In one article, Anthony had the gall to compare the "leave" vote to a defining moment in the civil rights movement in the USA (archived here). Given that a lot of the "leave" vote was fueled by xenophobia, his article at best showed an appalling lack of knowledge of US history and the threat of a rise in right wing populism around the world, but could more easily be construed as extreme right-wing racists wanting to re-write history. (In a similar vein, Jo Nova points to British imperialism and past colonisation of countries in Asia and Africa to prove that there's no xenophobia in the UK.)

Judith Curry doesn't know much about the UK political scene either. In her contribution to Brexit (archived here) she speculated that Nigel Farage will be the next Prime Minister:
There seems to be a large segment of the UK population that does not support drastic emissions reductions, and if the new PM (possibly Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage) does not support these policies, then we might see a change.  But it may be that Britain’s overall response to climate change may not change.
Nigel Farage leads the UKIP party. He is not eligible to be Prime Minister because he's not a member of the UK Parliament (not the House of Commons or the House of Lords). He is a member of the European Parliament. The UKIP has only one seat in the House of Commons and that's held by Douglas Carswell MP. So it will take a big shift in the 2020 election for the UKIP to get the required number of seats to gain a majority so that Nigel Farage or anyone else in the UKIP could "have the confidence" of the House of Commons.

Incidentally, coinciding with the last general election in Britain, UK voters elected 24 UKIP members to the European Parliament, which is more than that of any other political party in the UK. (The UK has 73 seats in total in the European Parliament.) Those 24 UKIP members have each enjoyed a monthly salary, after tax and insurance, of €6,400.04 (currently $US7082.92 a month or $US84,995.04 a year), paid by the same Europe they want to get away from. That perk will finish in the future, though it's not clear when that will be. Presumably it will be at the latest at the next European Parliament election (in 2019), or maybe within two years of the UK formally notifying the EU that it's leaving by invoking Article 50. All that will be left in terms of formal political power for the UKIP will be the lone MP, Douglas Carswell in the House of Commons and three people (I think) in the House of Lords - at least until the next general election in the UK, which is scheduled for 7 May 2020.

Update: There is some speculation that a general election will be called earlier than scheduled. I don't know what that would mean for current European Parliament MPs. I presume they would have to resign from the European Parliament before they could stand in a UK election.

Judith also wrote how she wants climate science to stop focusing on climate change:
With regards to climate science, scientists from elite institutions are overwhelmingly against Brexit, and the concerns that have been raised are important ones. But the political rise of skepticism about AGW in Europe could be long-term advantageous to getting climate science out of its current myopic focus on human-caused climate change.
That's in line with Judith not wanting to mitigate against the harm that global warming is causing. She says "let them buy air-conditioners"!

In the most recent WUWT article (archived here), Eric Worrall seems to be rejoicing at the recent announcement by Siemens that it is putting a freeze on new wind power investment in the UK until there is more clarity around Brexit. (Existing projects won't be affected.) Jobs, wealth creation, energy independence and clean energy aren't a priority for climate science deniers.


  1. "But the political rise of skepticism about AGW in Europe could be long-term advantageous to getting climate science out of its current myopic focus on human-caused climate change."

    Did Dr Curry really say that? Political climate change denial is decreasing, even the hard-liners are slowly moderating their position.

    I am always fascinated by people who are willing to lie in public. The internet has a very long memory.

    1. Yeah, I was going to comment on that, but she wrote about a "political" rise, which was probably a reference to the rise of populist parties like the UKIP, rather than a change of public opinion. The latter, as you say, is increasingly showing signs that more and more people accept that humans are causing climate change. The former is an appeal to the worst traits in the lowest strata of societies - the uneducated, disenfranchised, and fearful.

    2. In Europe there is a nasty new trend with far right groups becoming popular because of the wave of migration from the Middle East. These groups are into climate change denial.

      And they are not going to go away. It is far more likely that the EU will disintegrate.

    3. Let's not be politically correct: they pretend to be into climate change denial. In reality they love climate change. Let the Muslims burn.

    4. Millicent, it's sort of ironic, the group that denies our role in warming our globe's climate system, is the group that's most up-set because a warming planet is starting to force people from their desiccated homelands, north towards greener pastures, that aren't even so green or plentiful anymore.

      So it goes.

    5. Climate change is making the problem worse yes. But the underlying problem is overpopulation, so the migration problem has no end to it: it will only get larger, the people caught up in it more desperate, as time goes by.

      Mainstream politicians do not have a solution to it. I don't think there is any solution to it that is consistent with our values. And that gives Neo Nazis their opportunity.

  2. They can't help it, can they ? Everything that happens revolves about their wishful thinkings about CO2 - in this case, people voting Brexit to repel carbon tax.
    Yet another proof of psychological disorder ...

    1. Nuh. This is not related to mental health or disordered personalities or behavioural aberrations.

      This is people trading in their tinfoil hats because they've moved all the way along to underpants-on-head mode of thinking.

  3. Judith is a scientist
    But not that you'd know it
    Judith fondles empiricism
    Like a Baboon fondles shit.

    Apologies to Roger McGough

  4. Boris Johnson is sceptical of man-made climate change and gets his information on the matter from that "great physicist and meteorologist Piers Corbyn" (zany brother of embattled UK Labour leader Jeremy): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/weather/12060976/I-cant-stand-this-December-heat-but-it-has-nothing-to-do-with-global-warming.html

    December 2015 shattered the previous December record in the CET series (starts 1659) by over 1.5C. Boris noticed the heat one afternoon whilst playing ping-pong and slugging wine in his office. He rang Piers who informed him that it was perfectly normal, not man-made and there was nothing to worry about. So that was okay then.

    Boris is currently the bookies favourite to be the next PM of the UK. Again, nothing to worry about...

    1. Given the bookies' record over the last few months, I'd say Boris should consider looking for a job somewhere out of the country. Or did the bookies predict the Iceland win? Or the a last British general election results?

      Still I suppose they may get things right occasionally (See stopped clock reference).

      Does Jo Nova not know any history? Well, obviously no.

      Australian treatment of aboriginals and Canadian treatment of native peoples are sterling examples of the British Empire's respect for human rights.

    2. It is Tory party tradition that the early front runner does not make it

      just from memory

      Heath - Thatcher
      Heseltine - Major
      David Davis - Cameron

    3. I think the odds that Boris will will are very good. I only wish I could say otherwise.

    4. mm, I suspect he won't win

      in the final analysis the Tories will see him for what he is exciting one night stand, rather than a long term partner

      but time will tell - we don't have to wait long

    5. It is likely that Boris will win. But what is less hard to determine is how long the next Prime Minister will manage to cling on to power as the UK economy collapses and the United Kingdom splits as the Scots seek independence again.

    6. I do find Piers Corbyn fascinating. Zany isn't the word - he writes like a deranged fanatic. I assume most deniers would find him an embarrassment, yet so many across the political spectrum regard him as an expert. My guess is that because most of what he says is incomprehensible gibberish they assume he must know what he's talking about.

      To be honest, I'm not sure if Boris does actually believe in Piers - it might just be part of his lovable fool persona.

    7. mmm, Just come in Boris in the bunker


    8. Brilliant. That's even better than the Ronaldo one :-)

    9. Given the look on Boris' face the morning after, I think that video sums up his thoughts almost exactly.

      Nigel Farage, who after his recent gloat at the EU Parliament seems totally bonker,s may have hoped to win but I have the feeling that Boris is in a total panic.

      The Leave side clearly did not do any contingency planning for a win.

      In contrast, here in Canada in the last Québec referendum, the Yes side, who quite reasonably thought that they could win, had a complete action plan that they were prepared to start implementing within 24 hours of the results being confirmed.

      So the Yes side thought they were running a cynical ploy and found they got what they asked for, not what they wanted.

    10. I suspect Boris was hoping for a narrow remain win

      Cameron would still have resigned, status quo wins

      Etonian remains PM

      plus ça change

    11. Boris is no longer favourite - Gove has stabbed him in the back.

    12. Boris just announced he will not be standing.

    13. what a clown - he did not have the guts to press the button - he was always a pragmatic careerist

      if you did not like his "principles" he always had a different set to hand that you may like

      Gove, IDS, Farage are conviction politicians - hence dangerous

    14. And after (whoever wins the leadership election and is burned by the Brexit mess)... in steps Boris. Just watch.

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  6. "There is some speculation that a general election will be called earlier than scheduled. I don't know what that would mean for current European Parliament MPs. I presume they would have to resign from the European Parliament before they could stand in a UK election."

    I doubt if they would have to resign first. Nigel Farage has been an MEP since 1994, but has stood in several general elections in that time.

    I'm not sure if anyone would need to resign even if they became an MP - I think it's possible to be an MEP and an MP at the same time.

    1. Seems I'm wrong about being allowed to be both an MEP and an MP - it's been prohibited since 2009.

      But I still assume an MEP would not have to resign until after they had become an MP.

    2. Farage has nearly the worst record for actually participating in voting as a MEP. Earlier this month he managed not to vote against something that made freedom of movement easier. He also didn't vote at all on action against tax avoidance. http://www.votewatch.eu/en/term8-nigel-farage-2.html

  7. @ Sou re "Nigel Farage leads the UKIP party. He is not eligible to be Prime Minister because he's not a member of the UK Parliament (not the House of Commons or the House of Lords)."

    I am not sure that is strictly true - or rather it has simply become true due to convention, not through any actual legal requirement

    1. Really? Has there ever been a British Prime Minister who is not a member of Parliament? I thought it would be mandatory. Can a person hold a ministerial portfolio of any type if they are not a member of Parliament?

    2. Also from here:

      'The Prime Minister is an MP and head of the government. The leader of the party that wins the most seats in a general election is appointed Prime Minister by the Queen.'

    3. That is not right. The leader with the most seats is the first in line but if they cannot form a government then they are not made Prime Minister.

    4. Well a person can certainly be a minister without being an MP, this happened as recently as the Wilson government of 60's

      And re the PM, the problem without a written constitution it is difficult to give a definitive answer


      But in reality we are quibbling because your basically right - an non member of parliament would never be made PM

    5. "Really? Has there ever been a British Prime Minister who is not a member of Parliament?"

      Quite a few in the 19th and 18th century were not MPs, but were in the House of Lords. Lord Halifax was offered the position in 1940, but declined it in favour of Churchill.

      I don't know if there has been any change that would make it impossible for a non-MP to become PM, but I would imagine there would be an almighty constitutional crisis if that were to happen today.

    6. Oh. Thanks, Bellman.

      I was writing in the sense that the House of Lords was also part of the UK Parliament. I know that MP is after the name of people in the House of Commons. I was using "member" in a broader sense encompassing both houses, not just for the lower house. Not strictly accurate, I realise.

    7. "I was writing in the sense that the House of Lords was also part of the UK Parliament."

      I was wondering as I wrote that if a member of the House of Lords couldn't also be called a member of parliament, but Wikipedia suggests not.


      If there's one advantage to this referendum I am learning a lot about how our democracy works.

    8. Personally I just applied Occam's Razor:

      Is Judith Curry
      A) displaying a deep knowledge of arcane aspects of the British parliamentary system of government and its unwritten constitution?
      B) talking out of her... hat?

      (When in doubt, always cut the red wire, choose the door on the left, or select answer B.)

    9. @ Bellman

      My wife has told me that the one thing she has learnt during the campaign is that the world would be a better place if run by Scottish women

    10. In order to become PM UKIP would have to win in a general election.

    11. In Canada John Turner was Prime Minister without being in the House of Commons or Senate. However, the Liberals had a majority at the time, and rather than stand in a by-election in a safe seat, he asked the Governor General for a general election. He and the Liberals got crushed by Brian Mulroney's Conservatives who got the largest majority in Canadian history. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_federal_election,_1984

    12. Magma,thanks so much for your all-purpose answer to every problem (When in doubt ....) That is my magic of the month, and, with your permission, I would like to use it to help me solve life's problems from here on in.

  8. It just occurred to me that if the UK wants to ignore the nonbinding referendum and do the sensible thing, there's a recent precedent: Boaty McBoatface!


    1. Well since it is non-binding there is no constitutional reason AFAICS that it cannot be negated. Lord Heseltine was suggesting just that a day or so ago.

      As I understand it, Parliament is supreme and if enough members vote to remain, essentially that's that. All it really would be is the equivalent of a vote of non-confidence in whatever Government proposed pushing the button.

    2. Oh man, that would be fun to watch.

      I heard somewhere that something like a million signatures have been gathered to repeal or repeat the Brexit vote. Anyone know anything about that?

    3. Over 4 million now:


    4. @jkrideau

      As I understand it, Parliament is supreme and if enough members vote to remain, essentially that's that.

      Don't bet on that happening. Here's a real-world example of just how untrustworthy Tory MPs are on Brexit.

      I live in Winchester, a city in the county of Hampshire, UK. Winchester voted 60-40 to *remain* in the EU. But our MP (Steve Brine; Con) has already announced that rather than represent his own electorate he will cast his Parliamentary vote for Brexit.

      Since we have just experienced a right-wing coup, expect to see the majority of Tory MPs scrambling towards their own career advantage in the same predictable fashion.

      Although quite how Steve thinks he is going to get re-elected as Winchester's MP escapes me.

    5. @ citizenschallenge

      Despite the very real citizens' challenge currently represented by the petition, there seems little likelihood of a second referendum. The BBC Reality Check series is a reasonable (and succinct) guide to the facts:


    6. @ BDD,

      Wheels within wheels, the current theory is right wingers are deliberately inserting nonesense names to discredit it

      Apparently of a thousand have come from the Vatican!!!!

    7. It was idiots on 4chan.

    8. yeah I heard that too, who knows

      anyway a second referendum is as dead as a proverbial parrot

    9. "anyway a second referendum is as dead as a proverbial parrot"

      I've never been sure if an immediate second referendum would have solved anything. I think the best hope is that whoever takes charge keeps putting it off, and eventually drops it.

      I still think that would be a terrible option, but all the options are terrible.

    10. I would suspect that despite what the EU are saying - there are, or soon will be, frantic backdoor negotiations taking place

      so whoever is the PM has a basic outline of the deal they would get from the EU before they press the button

      in any case I would like to believe that - but with conviction based ideologues like Gove at the helm - who knows!!!

    11. The EU won't make any concessions for the UK - their only aim will be to make such an example of the UK that no other country dares to leave the EU. And every large European city is wondering what its chances are of taking over from London as the world's financial centre.

    12. As much as my masochistic tendencies would enjoy that, the intoxicating levels of schadenfreude would keep me drunk for many years.

      It simply won’t happen, reality will take hold – on both sides

      We already have an indication of this – Teresa May the likely be PM has already said that it is unlikely the button will be pushed in September, and not before the end of the year

      So already the “can (down the road) kicking” begins

      Her reason for this is obvious, she is not part of the bat sh1t crazy brigade (she is a women after all!!)

      Reality will take hold – the idea the whole country can be converted into some sort of WTO based Singapore style city “trading” state, will be seen as the nonsense it is

      She will want some indication of what the ACTUAL position of the EU is – rather than what they say in the media

      Then it is simply a question of getting a deal where both can claim victory, - the sole objective will be just enough “glitter” to sell at a smiling press conference (safe in the knowledge that this referendum the gullible will buy anything)

      Things will carry on, the UK will just be a slightly sh1ttier place – and I (along with my family) will no longer be an EU citizen – something of which I was proud


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