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Bill McKibben about your humble correspondent and others

Willie S. has told me about an interesting article (more precisely, a not so interesting article written by an interesting author, more precisely by a highly notorious author) that mentions your humble correspondent, among others.



Initially, I didn't want to believe that Willie really meant that my name has appeared in that article. The essay I am talking about was published by various sources such as The Asia Times online:

Climate-change deniers on the ropes by Bill McKibben
Of course, I must admit of being flattered by this new status.

If you have never heard the author's name, Bill McKibben was called "probably the nation's leading" verbal eco-terrorist potentate by the Boston Globe two years ago. He is the father of 350.org, a movement that tries to "undo" the evil imperialist CO2 emissions and "return" the CO2 concentration to where it was 20-25 years ago (everything above this arbitrary threshold of 350 ppm is lethal, he says), and he together with his 350.org and the 10:10 movement have also masterminded the 10/10/10 global party that had created the famous "No Pressure" video to promote the "special" day that turned out to be "not special at all".

His efforts designed to weaken the modern capitalist industrial civilization are intense and uninterrupted. Incidentally, if you don't know who funds 350.org, then neither does Bill McKibben.




He wasn't satisfied with his comrades' having detonated two schoolkids, three secretaries, a famous soccer player, and Gillian Anderson which is why he is loudly dreaming about "deniers on the ropes".

McKibben starts his text by celebrating the fact that the verbal eco-terrorist organizations have sent enough threats to various corporations, some of which have stopped their funding of the Heartland Institute allegedly due to its controversial billboards that have pointed out that the most passionate advocates of global warming are folks similar to Ted Kaczynski, Osama bin Laden, Charles Manson, James Lee, and Bill McKibben himself (I added the last name to make the list even more representative).



Note that both the Heartland Institute on one side as well as various alarmists on the other side have been involved in controversial acts that incorporated murders or statements about them. I understand that many people are repelled by similar acts on both sides. However, there's still a difference: the climate alarmists have actually perpetrated these murders – on the TV screens or in the reality (and the TV screens are reflections of some of their semi-serious plans about the future reality) – while the Heartland Institute has only pointed this fact out. Which of these two things is worse? What do you think?

McKibben is visibly happy – or at least pretends so – that some obnoxious and organized blackmailing activists have managed to steal a million of dollars from the Heartland Institute behind the scenes and he must believe that it matters but he doesn't seem to realize or confess that the Heartland Institute has doubled the number of individual donors in the recent 4 months or so. And more importantly, he fails to realize that this climate debate ultimately boils down to the scientific truth which can't really be bought for the money, at least not in the long run. Some of the people he praises for being so effective in explaining the climate science – such as myself – aren't receiving any money for this activity at all.

Despite the two billion dollars that the alarmists are shamelessly stealing from the taxpayers just in the U.S. every year, they are largely losing the debate in recent 2-3 years as an increasing percentage of the public – which has arguably grown into a majority in some countries including the U.S. – is realizing that the climate panic is indefensible and based on lies.

As much as $70 billion (starting with "b") could have been spent for the propaganda and distorted climate research in the U.S. (the indirect losses caused by the ill-conceived policies are much higher) so one should realize that $1 million (starting with "m") that is redirected after an avalanche of intimidating telephone calls from the verbal eco-terrorists to the corporate offices isn't the primary factor that will decide about the people's understanding of the fact that the climate hysteria is a big lie. I would bet that it won't be important for the fate of the Heartland Institute itself – and the Heartland Institute is just one entity among many that know why they're dismissive about the catastrophic claims about the climate.



The Mother Jones version of Bill McKibben's article has used this picture which suggests that the climate realists have won, 2-to-1.

McKibben mentions that the number of attendants of the Seventh Heartland Climate Conference (ICCC-7) was lower than it was at some previous conferences and of course he wants to take credit for this fact. However, seven similar conferences just in a few years may arguably be too many and the progress in the scientific discipline – and the associated debate on the boundary between science and policy – may simply be too limited to justify such a high frequency of the conferences. So the reduced number of attendants may have causes that have nothing to do with some political interpretations by either side of the ideological conflict. Maybe if the Heartland Institute could invite people to places such as Bali and pay for all of their expenses, the number of participants could go up again. At any rate, these conferences have been abolished for a foreseeable future.

Now, McKibben starts to praise us:
... Bast is correct: this tiny collection of deniers has actually been incredibly effective over the past years.
Thanks a lot for this compliment but you may be way too kind, Mr McKibben. What has been primary in the people's realization that the climate panic is indefensible is the fact that it is obviously indefensible and the increased interest of the people about this question only helped them to realize this fact.

At any rate, Mr McKibben's top-five hitparade of the individual skeptics looks approximately like this:
1. Marc Morano
2. Anthony Watts
3. Richard Lindzen
4. Christopher Monckton
5. Luboš Motl
I hear applause. Thanks for the applause, Ladies and Gentlemen! It's been more than enough. ;-) I don't want to exaggerate the importance of having appeared on this shortlist written down by a man who is not entirely sane. On the other hand, Bill McKibben knows quite something about the verbal eco-terrorism so you may want to avoid understatements, too. ;-) And I sincerely hope that none of the tiny collection of thousands of scientists who disagree with the dangerous climate change claims will be jealous and they will realize that their contributions are not measured by articles by Bill McKibben (or some of the least important TRF blog entries that discuss articles by Bill McKibben).

After various comments on diverse people and remarks about Christopher Monckton's semi-accurate comparison between the alarmist activists and the Hitler Youth, he has the following to say about your humble correspondent:
Or consider Lubos Motl, a Czech theoretical physicist who has never published on climate change but nonetheless keeps up a steady stream of web assaults on scientists he calls "fringe kibitzers who want to become universal dictators" who should "be thinking how to undo your inexcusable behavior so that you will spend as little time in prison as possible."

On the crazed killer front, Motl said that, while he supported many of Norwegian gunman Anders Breivik's ideas, it was hard to justify gunning down all those children – still, it did demonstrate that "right-wing people... may even be more efficient while killing - and the probable reason is that Breivik may have a higher IQ than your garden variety left-wing or Islamic terrorist."

If your urge is to laugh at this kind of clown show, the joke's on you - because it's worked. I mean, James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who has emerged victorious in every senate fight on climate change, cites Motl regularly; Monckton has testified four times before the US Congress.
For your convenience, just in order to show that McKibben's claim that I have never published on climate science, I have embedded an Amazon.com link to the 880-page-long 2009 NIPCC report that Fred Singer co-authored with me and a small number of other researchers (see the list at the initial pages).

Note that McKibben's first paragraph about me is so totally taken from the context that it doesn't even admit (although it's obvious from the grammar, anyway) that it was a personal discussion with a particular individual – who was moreover a criminal which is why the paragraph was accurate. By taking sentences out of the context is the daily routine job for folks such as Bill McKibben.

As far as the claim that the real purpose of the climate alarmist movement (at least its members who are driven by something else than the money) is to change, reorganize, and control the society, the whole mankind, and science and Nature are just being abused as hostages in this revolutionary struggle, I am surely among those who realize this fact but I shouldn't be acknowledged as the discoverer of this fact. You may read our president's book about these topics; he's much more closer to being the first guy who fully realized and articulated the ideological core of the movement. And we're not talking just about climate alarmists such as the late Osama bin Laden but even among many other, alive, and "slightly less" controversial colleagues of him such as Al Gore. It's about their power, about their desire to reshape the human society.

Concerning Anders Breivik, I can't hide – and I won't try to hide – that despite his inhuman acts that almost none of us can comprehend (and that he could only perpetrate after many years of his personal "dehumanization") and despite his arguably lower technical knowledge of physics including the climate, his big-picture summary of the meaning of the climate alarmist movement is rather accurate. And as I have mentioned elsewhere, Breivik is the only well-known "villain" who may be unambiguously associated with climate skepticism (although it wasn't among the top reasons of his mass murder).

And if McKibben had managed to knock me down for a second in the eyes of some readers who don't like anything non-negative to be said about the likes of Breivik and for whom it's enough if someone is associated with a Norwegian murderer, well, it's just fine with me but turn your loud speakers on and listen to my reaction here: :-)



Despite the fact that about 1/2 of the world population is skeptical towards the claims about a dangerous man-made global warming, climate alarmists are hugely overrepresented among the mass murderers and tyrants – such as the Unabomber, bin Laden, Castro, Manson, Lee, and others who stand against a single guy in the opposing camp, Breivik – which is why it is more honest and accurate to classify Heartland's billboards as "true" than "untrue".

Needless to say, a sentence about Anders Breivik extracted from this blog is just another example of a staggering cherry-picking. Mr McKibben just thought it's convenient to quote such a thing. However, among the 4,838 TRF blog entries (including 1,319 in the climate category), only 7 entries mention Breivik at all, only in 2-3 of them, Breivik plays a somewhat important role, and a big portion of these texts is about my denouncements of his acts.

Every person with traces of common sense must know very well that a deliberately provocative – but still true – comment I made about Breivik isn't the real "core" of what drives verbal eco-terrorists such as Mr McKibben up the wall. The real source of their anxiety are the dozens or hundreds of semi-technical and technical texts about the climate (statistical evaluations of local and global data and their context at diverse time scales, physical models of phenomena that influence or may influence the climate and other physical effects by which the climate probably doesn't but may influence other things etc. and comparisons of all these processes and hypothetical processes with many others that are vastly more important) that I have written and that destroy the idea of a dangerous climate change in a pretty much indisputable and intelligible way. A sentence unrelated to the climate science was only picked by McKibben for purely propagandistic, demagogic reasons.

I am sure everyone who knows this blog sees it. And most of those who don't know this blog or myself and who will be really impressed by McKibben's comments about me will look for my blog and they will find out that the composition of its content has nothing to do with McKibben's caricature. More importantly, they will locate dozens of texts and they may ultimately consider many of them enlightening, as lots of readers have concluded in the past.

As they learn one thing or two, they will also realize that McKibben is an untrustworthy source of information, anyway. The kind of a cheap propaganda that McKibben – and others – offer would only work if it were addressed to some very limited and lazy readers who don't have access to the Internet. But it's simply unsustainable in the real world of the 21st century, especially among folks who are sophisticated enough for their opinions about the climate (and other things) to matter and for them to improve their own understanding by continuing learning or research. Going beneath the immediate surface of ideological clichés and superficial ad hominem attacks and out-of-context quotes is almost universally enough to see that there is no true or justifiable substance underlying claims by Bill McKibben and others.

There's a significant asymmetry in the approach of climate realists and climate skeptics to the information offered by the other side. The climate alarmists are working hard to hide or censor the actual information about the climate that the climate realists discuss or analyze (and they prefer if the climate realists are associated with carefully cherry-picked and would-be damning out-of-context quotes); on the other hand, climate realists love to offer as many details about the alarmists' claims as possible because the higher number of the alarmists' words are exposed, the more discredited the climate change movement becomes. That's also why I encourage you to buy the newest book by Bill McKibben, Eaarth [sic], for $5 (the original unrealistic price was $10).

Additional paragraphs written by Mr McKibben attack other skeptics, tar sands, pipelines, and other things, and the inaccuracy and weakness of his talking points could be described in the same way as I did it in the case of Mr McKibben's selection of my comments about Breivik. I don't want to discuss every sentence he wrote because I don't consider Bill McKibben so important that it would justify spending several hours on a Monday in June. At the very end, McKibben pretends to hope that sometime in the future, his discredited climate alarmist movement will climb out of the coffin again and will become prominent again while skeptics will lose. I don't really believe he genuinely believes such a thing anymore. We're several years past the "Peak Alarm". The decline of the climate hysteria will continue. The movement isn't yet "finished" and the diminishing trend of the importance of the climate hysteria is surely much slower than what many of us would like but – assuming the mankind will avoid some lethal catastrophe – there only exists one imaginable end point and the likes of McKibben are sitting at the dumping ground of the history at this end point.

By emitting fog and cheap propaganda, Mr McKibben may try to obscure this basic trend and if he's successful, he may slow down his return to the fringe among the conspiracy theorists by a few more percent but the desperate character of his attacks and the supernatural importance that he attributes to modest texts by humble correspondents such as myself only highlight that the rosy days of his dishonest movement have been counted and the movement has transformed itself from an urgent, passion-driven threat for the free modern industrial civilization to just another annoyance that is reducing the efficiency of the global economy by a few percent and the efficiency and honesty of the climate research by a few dozens of percent.

And that's the memo.

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reader GoFigure560 said...

McKibben is not worth the ink needed to address his numerous egregious rants.