Friday, October 11, 2019

Denier quote of the day: Why should I waste 24 minutes..(learning climate)

Sou | 11:16 PM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
The Twitter conversations I've written about before is giving more insight into the denial crowd. The bots and trolls are ramping up as the US election campaign gears up. (It goes on forever, doesn't it. The election is still more than a year away.) Among the bots there are some real people. One of them was happy to summarise the denier's stance.

I wouldn't devote even 24 minutes to learn science

Someone put up a chart purporting to show CO2 and temperature going back 4.5 billion years. I doubt the person tweeting it understood it. They said they got the picture from another denier called Nasif Nahle, who even put a copyright on it! It didn't matter. According to deniers, the tweet was from an acceptable denier so it must mean the greenhouse effect is a hoax.

Anyway, someone suggested the tweeter look at a video of Richard Alley to learn about the role of CO2 in climate. This was his response: "Why should I waste 24 minutes on a lecture".

Why indeed. It might force him to confront his denial. Scientists spend their whole career compiling knowledge about climate, and this drongo refuses to put aside 24 minutes to learn why CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

Here are some more examples typical of denier nonsense on Twitter.

Deniers and "proof"

This next one is an outright lie. The closest I could find to a mission statement for the IPCC was this:
Created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the objective of the IPCC is to provide governments at all levels with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies. IPCC reports are also a key input into international climate change negotiations.
Anyone who understands the first thing about science knows the tweet below is fake. Science doesn't do proof. (Mathematics does proofs.) Trek is a disinformer, making up stuff.

Deniers lying about their education

You'll often come across deniers touting their education. Usually it's a certificate course or diploma, of which they have every right to be proud. However, it doesn't mean they know more than career scientists who have PhDs and years of research under their belt.

This is Trek again. He apparently succeeded in persuading a few people that he went to university. People don't normally study "several branches" of science at University. Even in a first year applied science course, the most "branches" they'd study would be around four (e.g. physics, chemistry, biology and maybe a semester of geology). And that would be very basic science, nothing advanced. More like high school science.

Maybe he tried physics and failed, switched to chemistry and failed, switched to botany and failed, tried zoology, oceanography, medicine etc and failed them all. Who knows. It's more likely he just made it up to get "likes" on Twitter.

The fake "I want answers" plea

Here's one who refuses to do any research himself. Not only that, but in the Twitter conversation there were scientists and others who kept pointing to climate science references. He just wants them all to leave the conversation so deniers can get on with denial with no interruption. He could find a zillion websites that would provide him with answers if he was serious.

Studies tell us "nothing"

One denier has decided that studies of the atmosphere tell us nothing about future climate. Does he think studies of epidemiology tell us nothing about future epidemics?

Sexism and denial

At some stage in a lot of discussions, deniers give up and show their other prejudices. These two tweeters are sexist, maybe even misogynistic. Now anyone can be sexist, but it seems more prevalent among deniers than the general population. I don't know if that's been backed up by evidence, however. Here's one who gave up denying climate science to tell me I should take up knitting. Now I like knitting. I haven't done any for a while, but it seems to me he was drawing on an old stereotype to tell me I should stick to womanly activities.

This next one got 6 retweets and 22 likes, so it doesn't falsify my hypothesis :).

I'm tempted to do a more rigorous analysis of deniers on Twitter. One thing is clear. In the conversations I've been following, the majority:
  • have never seen a scientific paper and wouldn't know what to do with one
  • can't read a chart, though they have no problem posting them
  • have no understanding of basic physics or chemistry, not even high school level
  • have not had the good fortune of a higher education
  • like to mimic words they see from "alarmists", such as "projection", "strawman", "deflect" etc, but use them so oddly it's obvious they don't know what they mean
  • spend time on denier blogs of various types, although some don't even do that. They seem to get their denier memes twisted
  • have no qualms about defaming scientists, telling blatant lies about them and their work
  • don't bother tweeting about climate, they just like and retweet people they follow
  • will swallow the most incredible tales without question
  • have the ability conspiracy theorists are famed for - they can hold multiple contradictory ideas in their head at the same time and believe them all
  • are not swayed one iota by evidence, no matter how strong. (Most refuse to look at it, let alone consider it.)
  • end up using vulgarity when their arguments are shown to be flawed or fake.
Most are also very scared that climate change will turn the USA into a communist country, that they'll be taxed more, and that the UN will come and steal all their possessions. They hang onto their fears as if they are all that keep them going in life.

Richard Alley - 4.6 Billion Years of Earth’s Climate History: The Role of CO2

Here's the video I mentioned at the beginning of this article.


  1. Great summary Sou. It's a weird ride with climate science deniers on Twitter. At least they share and recycle their silly junkscience conspiracy blog memes- over and over and over again.

    1. So true.

      This wasn't the best of them as you well know. There's too much material to work with. Denier overload :)

    2. What baffles me is that they will waste years of their lives reading nonsense on their silly denier blogs, while practising collective amnesia on all their old phoney scandals that have come and gone.

  2. I've had the pleasure to sit in on several of Richard Alley's lectures. One just happened to be several weeks ago. He has such a wonderful way of making the science come to life with clarity and persuasion. He just exudes confidence and credibility based on his personal scientific work and experiences in the arctic. He is so genuine that it would be difficult to reject his conveyance of the science. Deniers' heads would just explode if they were to listen to one of his lectures.

  3. Why should I waste 24 minutes on an informative video about science when I could waste it writing a social media post involving the words and phrases: libtard, virtue signalling, snowflake, entitled, there's no proof, consensus is antithetical to science, data molesting and torture, Soros-funded, ecofacist, warmunist, brainwashed,....?

  4. "You'll often come across deniers touting their education."

    Sometimes they do it in such a hilarious way! Sometimes in the first sentence they rush to claim they have impressive scientific qualifications. It's almost as if they think you will not believe what they are about to say!

    1. You'll appreciate this one then Jammy. It's from a committed climate science denier. I asked him if he also denied "gravity, DNA, germs, heliocentricity, electricity, radio waves" and he replied he "has degrees in all those subjects". The first one he lists isn't suitable for this board so I'll use an asterisk: "F*wit. Elec eng & plant science".

      The electrical engineering might be okay for electricity and radio waves, but I can't see how any of the three make him an expert in any of the other areas. Interesting too that he touts those three "degrees" to prove his expertise in climate science denial.

    2. Yup, that sounds like a typical example.

  5. I did not know sexism was still this bad before I entered the climate branch of the US culture war. It is absolutely disgusting in those circles.

  6. Climate change deniers, Trumpists (and in the UK Brexiters) are largely from the same demographics. If you keep up with the news you will have read about their sexism, racism, and a willingness to turn a blind eye to some truly stomach turning revelations about the people they support.


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