4 October 2023

Surely, by this point, climate sceptics are admitting defeat

| Zoya Patel
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Bushfires and firefighter

Surely even the most committed sceptic has to admit that something is definitely at play beyond the natural shifts and phases of the environment? Photo: Sydney Film Festival.

I had one of those potentially awkward moments recently where you risk realising that someone you only vaguely know may have wildly different beliefs than you do. I was chatting to an acquaintance about the weather we’ve been having, and said automatically, “That’s climate change for you”, and then immediately froze.

We both stared at each other for a second, and then she said, “It’s almost as if it’s real!” And then we both laughed, but not before she added, just to be extra sure, “You do believe in climate change, right?”

“Of course I do!” I replied, and we both sighed in relief.

But it made me realise, at this point in time, I can’t imagine what I would say to someone who genuinely wanted to argue with me that climate change doesn’t exist, off the back of the 2019/20 bushfire season and as we head into what could be another traumatic season this summer. I think I would just be flabbergasted, and maybe even secretly amazed, at the ability of people to stick to their guns even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

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I remember working for a large agricultural organisation a decade or so ago and having to button my lips in the office whenever climate change or renewable energy was raised. At that point, the national board was staunchly committed to the line that climate change wasn’t real and was adamantly anti-wind farms on the basis of wind turbine sickness and the encroachment on farming land. As a 20-something-year-old, I was bemused by what I saw as a bizarre and outlandish position, only to then step further outside my political bubble to realise that those views were more common than I could have imagined.

But 10 years later, after the continued ravages across the country of floods and bushfires, unseasonable storms and wild weather, extreme heat and extreme cold, and continuous reports of ‘record’ new temperatures, surely even the most committed sceptic has to admit that something is definitely at play beyond the natural shifts and phases of the environment?

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In my interaction, I was particularly surprised by my acquaintance’s hesitation because I assumed we were on the same page politically, purely because we’re both Canberrans. I see our community as, by and large, being environmentally conscious, probably because I know how important our beautiful mountains and reserves are to so many locals. That she paused to ascertain we were indeed on the same page reminded me that I am probably a little too relaxed in my insular bubble – but I still can’t imagine how anyone could be clinging to the notion that climate change is a beat up when we’ve gone from a frosty morning on the weekend to 29-degree weather that’s going to drop again to one degree overnight later in the week.

After our chat about climate change, my acquaintance and I decided to charge ahead with more controversial topics and spent a good 20 minutes talking about the Voice referendum (we’re both voting yes, for the record). In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say.

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There are many ways to argue against the popular climate change narrative, or the one spewed out ad nauseum by the corporate media, for those who get their view of reality from watching TV. The way I’ll do it today – which isn’t ultimately conclusive in itself, but which does raise some genuine questions – relates to the social climate in which climate change hysterics finds them self being promoted.

The social climate of which I speak refers to the culture war being waged where everything that was once taken for normal is now increasingly being turned on its head – albeit only in the minds of certain people. For the purpose of this piece, what is significant about this culture war / revolution is that it’s not happening by itself, but is the work of certain rich and influential people for whatever agenda they wish to pursue.

Now, with (popular narrative) climate change being a kind of revolution of its own – even including massive changes to ways of living that are thousands of years old (should the climate alarmists get their way) – what are the chances of it happening side by side with the man-made cultural revolution, yet not being just as engineered as it?

Man-made climate change, indeed, just not the one they’d have us believe

Emeritus Professor Ian Plimer is a geologist with considerable interests in mining companies, including coal. He’s not a credible expert on this subject.
Your other reference, Judith Curry, agrees that humans are causing climate change through CO2 emissions and the results could be catastrophic. She just questions the details.

Plimer’s main challenge was for anIn her 2017 book Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won’t Tell You, Curry writes:

“The potential for catastrophic climate change is real, but it is important to remember that the risks are low and that the potential consequences are difficult to predict. We need to be careful not to exaggerate the risks and to make sure that our policies are proportionate to the risks.”

yone to cite a paper that proved CO2 was driving temperature rise; and commented that if such a paper existed, it would be quoted ad-nauseum. As to deep-oil conspiracies, I used to be prone to such leftist conspiracies too, before my thinking matured.

Now, about that pseudo-quote of J Curry you got off Wikipedia. You do know Wikipedia has zero credibility as an authority on any remotely political topic right? It was overtaken by the new ruling class (your mob, the new puritans) about a decade ago. The whole neutral-point-of-view thing there is now a joke.

So what the activist contributor at WP has done, is cherry-pick a 2010 comment by Curry, and then subtly modify it. It turns out she never actually said “potentially catastrophic” there, though to be fair she did say “the plausible worst-case scenario could be worse than anything were looking at right now”. Her views have changed since. Not that WP wants to tell you that.

In her 2017 book Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won’t Tell You, Curry writes:

“The potential for catastrophic climate change is real, but it is important to remember that the risks are low and that the potential consequences are difficult to predict. We need to be careful not to exaggerate the risks and to make sure that our policies are proportionate to the risks.”

In her article “The Climate Science Myth-Busters” published in the City Journal on October 10, 2019, Curry writes:

“I am not convinced that the Earth is warming as much as the mainstream climate science community says it is. I also believe that the potential consequences of climate change are overstated.”

Now see, I wouldn’t even bother with looking up WP. That’d be like credulously swallowing whatever the born-to-rule Gen-Z baby activist journalists (your mob, same class interests, same class prejudices) at the ABC are trying to propagandise us all with. To check your curious comment, I turned to Bard. Review its output to be sure, but essentially it blows WP and its activist editors out of the water.

So, follow the causality debate, avoid the temptation to be an unctuous moralising ruling-class know-it-all, and stop panicking.

Capital Retro4:48 pm 07 Nov 23

Coal is not a mineral.

Balance needed11:04 pm 05 Oct 23

Michael Portillo talks to an Alaskan geologist, Dr
Kristine Crossen, on one of his railway programs:
MP: “At the time of my guidebook at the end of the 19th century, it seems that glaciers were already in retreat. Is that right?
KC: Here in Alaska that was certainly the case. A lot of the retreat starts between about 1885 and 1890.
MP: Before 1850, then, what had been going on?
KC: Before 1850, some time in the 1700’s, probably, all the glaciers were advancing. That was the
maximum extent. The 1800’s was a very cold period of a little ice age and then the glaciers started to retreat. About 1890, 1910, if we were here in 1899, the date of your book, the lake we are next to would not be here. A glacier would be standing right here. This lake started to form in 1915.
MP: What do you think is causing these enormous changes?
KC: Well, the changes have to do with climate change and there are both long term and short term reasons for climate change. There are several causes. Some have to do with the way the earth rotates around the sun. And quite a lot of evidence has to do with solar flares, these big storms that
eject energy out into the solar system. Volcanic eruptions also seem very important.
MP: In your list, though, you didn’t mention human beings.
KC: Well, it’s true. What we have when we start talking about climate change related to human beings, and we start talking about CO2, we’re talking about use of fossil fuels, and the CO2 record is about 50 years long. That’s a rather short record for someone like me, a geologist who’s looked at glaciers in terms of thousands of years, or tens of thousands of years. I think there can be some impact from fossil fuels and humans for the current climate warming. But on top of it, we’ve got this long term trend that’s called the little ice age and the glaciers advance and then they retreat. And
the glacial retreat started many years before we’re starting to talk about the effect of CO2 as we understand it today.”

I remember seeing that documentary about the Alaskan glaciers in the 19th century and how they retreated at one stage only to advance again when the climate got colder again. It made me think about the current situation – but I thought the host was Griffs Jones and not Michael Portillo but I’m probably wrong on that one!

“When you narrowly focus on a few cherry picked glaciers, you can be misled into an incorrect view of global glacier trends. When you take in the broader picture, you see that globally, glaciers are shrinking at an accelerating rate.” See: https://skepticalscience.com/An-overview-of-glacier-trends.html

Capital Retro3:00 pm 07 Nov 23

Does Australia’s maniacal pursuit of zero emissions mean we will get our glaciers back sooner than the rest of the world?

HiddenDragon7:50 pm 05 Oct 23

A scoffing, “I’m so much holier than thou”, hit-piece against climate change sceptics by a contributor who has shared with RiotAct readers the unspeakable horrors of navigating Canberra traffic with a horse float and, even more compellingly, how much more sympatico than red-neck Australia are far distant places which are visited by discretionary air travel –



Could it be that the RiotAct has its very own Titania…..? –


James Savoulidis3:31 pm 05 Oct 23

“Recent data and research supports the importance of natural climate variability and calls into question the conclusion that humans are the dominant cause of recent climate change.”
Climatologist, Judith Curry

I think the ‘most committed skeptic’ knows far more about the ever-changing climate than this writer.

Cognitive dissonance is a powerful force. On everyone.

OK, this opinion piece is just embarrassing. I’ll preface this by stating that I own a bunch of solar panels, a battery and am no fan of the pollution from massive coal power plants …that being said, the repeated straw manning of the actual arguments of people on the other side of politics to yourself is getting rather tedious at this point.

No-one but the most clueless among us is arguing that the climate is changing, what they are arguing is that it is not anthropogenic and is part of natural cycles. Repeatedly writing articles arguing against positions that people don’t even hold …to what, mock them? just makes you look silly.

Climate change therefore authoritarian communism.

It is only the “therefore authoritarian communism” part I am sceptical about. This attempt to push totalitarianism based on science is not uncommon throughout history. The most damaging so far was probably “evolution therefore eugenics”, but the last 4 years have demonstrated the problem with this kind of thinking amply as well.

You’d be surprised to know that *weather* is surprisingly variable. Possibly with so many people living their entire lives in air-conditioning, it’s a real challenge for them to come to terms with that. A hot day = feels like broken aircon = “omg, catastrophe, the world must be ending”. (Then there’s fake narratives – as opposed to serious data about climate change – that drives panic.).

The “settled science” is that weather and climate are different things. And it is also true that climate is changing. But the question is, is CO2 leading temperature or is temperature leading CO2? I expect the followers of orthodoxy to scoff at that, and go on lolling about far right wingers, climate deniers and all the rest of their inane conditioned reflex responses when confronted with disagreement.

But if you dig, you won’t find a slam-dunk answer to that chicken-egg question, just assertions based on authority and “eggspurtsay”. Lots of shouty “it’s just common sense” fulmination, but it doesn’t do well in the detail. If you have the bottle for intellectual challenge, you’ll just find an interminable argument. It’s highly, highly complex, even the best thinkers are struggling, while the concepts are evolving. But if you think it’s about morals, belief, and social class conformism, you can just barrack for the mainstream team, swagger and parrot “lol, eggspurtsay”; if that suits your level.

CaptainSpiff8:33 am 05 Oct 23

Great illustration of tribal behavior of so many climate change believers.

When they meet, they have an immediate need to confirm that the other person is also a member of their tribe.

Maybe try relaxing a bit, and just enjoy the company of whoever you’re with. Believe it or not, it’s OK for people to have different opinions.

Of course no one disputes climate change. For most of earths history there have never been polar ice caps. We are in an ice age at the moment. What people dispute is MAN made climate change

Stephen Saunders7:52 am 05 Oct 23

What is bipartisan Australia’s actual response, Zoya, to COVID, fires, floods, drought, and other extremes? While you weren’t looking, it is 454K migration for 2.2% population growth. What a brilliant way to Fix The Environment, Reduce Inequality, and Taper Our Emissions.

James Savoulidis7:43 am 05 Oct 23

“No one has ever shown that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming.“
Professor Ian Plimer

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