Garden variety climate change deniers

Whack-a-moleThe effects of climate change are not just a scientific model which may or may not happen sometime in the way off future. Climate change is in front of our eyes. As I write this, the temperature outside is 43.8 degrees, heading for a forecast of 46. This would make it the hottest day of my life and today Adelaide is the hottest city in the world. The weather, of course, is just weather and doesn’t in itself prove climate change is real. What does prove climate change is real is scientific study of the influence of carbon emissions on the world’s climate. Scientific consensus has monumentally smashed any sort of doubt by, at last count, showing only 0.01% of climate scientists questioning the validity of anthropogenic climate change as scientific fact. But, while the experts tell us climate change is happening, and while I experience for myself the changing climate in Adelaide which has seen us hit record after record, to a point where the weather maps are adding new colours to show new extremes, there is still far more denial of this science than is rationally possible, in a country where we all learnt to read at a very young age.

Whenever a conversation starts about climate change, whether it be on social media, in the mainstream media, in government, in the private sector or just around a neighbour’s BBQ, the deniers are there to take the discussion away from ‘how do we deal with this problem’, and divert it to ‘does this problem even exist?’ Like whack-a-mole zombies, the deniers have a pre-rehearsed line prepared for every occasion which they unwelcomely insert into every potentially productive discussion. I’ve put together this handy guide to your garden-variety climate change denier pests, who pop up all over our community with new ways to block action to save our planet:

The ‘climate change can’t be happening because it’s problematic to my free market ideology’ deniers.
It’s not a coincidence that some of the richest people in the world fund campaigns to spread doubt and lies about climate change. It’s also not a coincidence that it’s the free-marketers who form shady right-wing think tanks, designed to fight any sort of move by a government to combat climate change. To these free-marketers, environmental protection is just another way the government limits their precious free market, which in their minds, limits the amount of money they can extract from the planet the governments are trying to protect. Maurice Newman, Tony Abbott’s top business advisor, is a member of one of these secretive societies, as revealed in this piece by Graham Readfearn.

So let’s break it down to really simple language to explain why these people deny climate science. They are rich. They want to get richer. They are worried that if the government forces them to readjust their profitable activities to take into account the pollution their profitable activities cause, they might not be as rich as they were hoping to be. On the planet they are destroying. I don’t think a more ridiculous reason for denial could possibly exist. When you take into account the damage the changing climate is doing, and will continue to do, to their precious economy, as well as the planet where they spend their money, how can these so-called-business-savvy people not see that it’s in everyone’s best interest to take climate change seriously? How many profit-making tennis games have to be postponed before these people realise this is about them too?

The problem with these deniers is that they have the funds behind them to influence a lot of other gullible people who are, by their political affiliation with these types, liable to believe everything they say. Like the Tony Abbotts of the world, who need the money of well-known-climate-denial-funder Gina Rinehart to bankroll his election campaigns. What can we possibly say to these people to snap them out of this idiocy? How about we try saying ‘please stop blocking action to combat climate change. We all have to live on this planet. And this is where you make all your money’. An un-liveable planet would be a market free of profit I would have thought.

The ‘climate change might be happening, it might not, but if it is it’s not caused by humans and so there’s no point doing anything about it, I’m really not making much sense’ deniers.

These deniers will never admit that they are a product of the campaigns by the free market deniers because that would be inconvenient to their argument. What they don’t realise is that, as acting as the astro-turfing mouthpieces, or the tentacles of the great free-market-climate-change-denying-squid-like-beast, they often end up not just sounding like foot soldiers, but often like robotic climate denying software algorithms funded by free marketer deniers. But I don’t think they mind that they sound like lunatics who can’t string a thought together let alone an argument. Because this is part of their strategy. An example of the muddying-the-water climate denier can be found in this exchange:

James Hare

You see how this one never out-right denies climate change, he just spreads doubt? So when we start talking about bushfires and how they are becoming more frequent and more serious due to climate change, these deniers question the link between bushfires and climate change. When we say climate scientists are in agreement of the facts, they say thousandaire climate scientists are part of a left-wing conspiracy to get more research funding. When we quote scientific evidence of a warming atmosphere, they say that the warming might be happening, but it’s not man-made. When we say it is man-made and we have to do something about it, they say there’s no point doing anything because there’s nothing we can do to fix it. And the argument goes around and around and around until the person who started the original conversation about the problem of climate change and what we should do about it ends up being so confused and so frustrated that they give up altogether.

This has happened to me on Twitter many times, and I know I shouldn’t fall for it, so I’m trying to stop. Let’s remember that the whole point of these deniers is that they don’t make any logical sense. They’re just there to divert attention from the urgent need for our community to do something about climate change. Whether they’re saying wind-farms cause headaches, polar-vortexes are not related to climate change, or they’re repeating crap they’ve heard Lord Monckton say while on his Rinehart-funded trip around Australia, we should just ignore and block these people whenever they pop up. Or ridicule. That can also help combat the frustration.

The ‘I remember when I was a boy it was really hot once’ deniers.

This type of denier is again related to the free marketer denier, but again incapable of admitting this link. Usually this link is a shared voting intention with right-wing political parties. Funny that. Are you seeing a pattern here?

The sort of thing you hear from these people is shown in the tweet below, from a radio presenter at 2CC Canberra:

Mark Parton

As the climate trend keeps climbing upwards, you find that the historic temperature date they quote is getting further and further into the past. You almost have to feel sorry for them. Parton’s not even been able to say ‘it was hotter than it is today when I was fifteen’. He’s had to go back to the 19th Century, to a town in outback Queensland. Mark goes on to try to use the pretence of reasonableness to explain why he thinks climate change isn’t happening:

Mark Parton1

It’s fairly easy to combat these deniers. All you have to say is ‘no Mark, it’s not all about you. The weather in your back yard is not of itself evidence of a global climate trend. So what if there was a hot day in 1969 and you happened to remember it? It’s the trend that is important! Why is the trend on an upward trajectory if climate change isn’t real?’

Annoyingly, many journalists fall for this sort of denial, sometimes inadvertently, sometimes not. It’s when they say ‘Adelaide experienced extreme temperatures today’ and instead of continuing this statement with ‘this is further evidence of the weather outcomes that we will see from a changing climate’, they stick their viewers’ heads back in the sand by saying ‘and it’s the hottest day since the 12th of January 1939’. Nothing to see here, move along.

The ‘I’m above all this climate change stuff because I don’t take anything seriously’ deniers.

Again, these deniers are related to free marketer deniers, but have just chosen a different tactic for expressing their opinions about climate change. Opinions they have no right to as not a single one of them has any scientific training, let alone expertise in climate science. These people’s chosen tactic is disdain delivered like a totally un-funny stand-up-comedian. Chris Kenny is the best example of this type of denier that I’ve come across. I wrote to him about this a year ago and his son has also weighed in on his father’s irresponsibility, but judging by this tweet, Kenny hasn’t changed since:

Chris Kenny

That’s right. Those pesky climate scientists are just over-exaggerating climate change, because, because… actually I don’t think Kenny has ever come up with an explanation as to why thousands of climate scientists would do such a thing. What do we say to these people? I find in Kenny’s case it’s best to laugh at him. Not with him. And to tell him he’s a puppet of his free marketer heroes/employer whose only achievement so far in life appears to be fathering at least one son who is nothing like him.

So there you have it. The first step to solving a problem is identifying it. These are the deniers we have to put up with, who are doing their best to delay or stop action to slow the catastrophic effects of climate change. These are the people the mainstream media call on to help them to show ‘balance’. These are the people our country elects to govern us all. These are the people who continue to get very rich from their denial, while poor people are the first to suffer from the effects of climate change, not having the funds to insulate themselves from harm’s way. So we keep fighting. We do it for our children. We do it for our global community. And we do it for ourselves. Because climate change is happening right now and we have to do something about it.


  1. Yeah, when I was young it was hot in summer, I could also be a denier if I didn’t see NASA mapping of a shrinking Arctic, shrinking glaciers and historical temperature graphs showing that beyond doubt, the globe is warming and as a consequence, there is global climate changes – unusual events like polar vortex and ships being locked in ice, penguins stranded etc. which the deniers immediately jump on to try to disprove what is actually happening. They can laugh now, but when they are not laughing anymore; it will be too late.

  2. I grew up in Adelaide and lived there till about 12 years ago. Guess why I left? I do remember very hot days in the 1960s but what I don’t remember is heatwaves when the temperature didn’t drop below forty degrees for more than a week and nights when the temperature didn’t dip below 30 degrees. I don’t think I’m sufferering from selective memory loss. Like you too I wonder why so many scientists would lie about it? What would be the point? Climate change is real.

    • Simple, Tassie – the FEW scientists who lie about climate change have accepted $$$ to expound doubt. Our current Govt. has been bought by BigMines BigCorps BigTobacco to act against the common good. Never underestimate the power of the almighty dollar…

      • Far easier to dismiss dissenting views if you can demonise them as the tools of big oil/coal.

        Could just as readily point to the desire of climate scientists to keep on the gravy train of climate change grants.

      • This is what mystifies me, Bob – just what is this ‘Gravy Train’ that you speak of? Show me some conclusive links (not opinions) that any scientist profits from publishing data which shows a warming trend? Just what is this mysterious ‘Gravy Train’?

      • Stuart: it’s easier to drum up support for additional research if you have a crisis that you are following rather than saying “yeah – the climate has changed since forever, and it’s changing at the moment too”.
        Turkeys will never vote for thanksgiving

    • Stuart
      are you blind the the vast growth in Climate research over the last thirty years? Or to the large amount of money extracted form governments to do said research? There was literally no such thing as “climate science” when I was a young man.

      Its a gravy train by any measure Stuart the question is where do the tracks lead and do we really want to go there?.

      • You still leave me baffled. You still haven’t provided any credible link. Climate change fears emerged in the mid 1950’s. The gravy boat is that vessel upon which propagandists sail. Bolt and Co. are paid millions to subvert our views. I am not blind. And I don’t like what I see.

      • Stuart, i started being a “climate sceptic” as a highschooler back in the mid 90s. I read a paper on it, and it pointed out that CO2 and water only absorb and reflect certain parts of the spectrum, and that once you had all that absorbed and reflected, adding more didn’t change anything.

        I really doubt that there is a conspiracy driven by big coal. it’s people who get sceptical about science when it uses the same level of confience as religion, and when science treats people who show scepticism about the norm (normally what science likes to encourage) like heretics

      • Stuart
        The Climate change meme may have emerged in the mid fifties but they were considered fringe science for many decades after that.
        As for your suggestion that Bolt et al are paid specifically to produce propaganda is ludicrous. The likes of Flannery and all of the other “climate scientists” are paid generously to both research and propagate the AGW proposition. If there is any self serving subversion going on look to the Likes of Al Gore and his ilk.

  3. Reblogged this on My Other Blog and commented:
    I find it hard to understand why people, including our Prime Minister, don’t take climate change seriously. It’s not just about hotter days it’s about changing trends in the weather. Extreme weather events are becoming more and more common and we ought to be taking it seriously.

  4. Victoria
    Clearly you have an unshakable faith in the green religion, that’s fine up to point where your faith clashes with reality.
    Firstly there is no way on the planet that humanity can collectively work together at a global scale for the hundreds of years that your gurus insist is required to “fix ” the problem which makes the veracity of he doom laden predictions moot. and their acts of penitence pointless.

    Secondly the pachyderm ha is always ignored by followers of your faith is the level of human population. there are just too many people on the planet yet i still you anguished at each natural disaster war or pestilence when a true servant of the goddess Gaia would celebrate any instance of an event that helps to reduce the population.

    Finally give n the clear imperative for a less crowded world shouldn’t you likewise be advocating that this country take no more immigrants AT ALL including those who front up here in leaky boats?

    • Guddy & Stuart
      It really is rather simple. The Profits of your faith tell us that a concerted and sustained program of the most severe cuts to CO2 emissions is necessary to avoid being fried by Warming. Are you with me so far? Now what should we believe that such a high level of co-operation can be both organized and sustained over the centuries that your Profits tell us action has to be taken? I have studied a bit of human history and there is no precedent that this level of sustained co-operation is possible so how do you think it can be done?

      • Iain, are you talking of profits or prophets? I am confused. Let us agree that climate change is happening and it is anthropogenic (human caused). The only way to save our earth is to adopt clean energy and shut down fossil fuel dependance. Do you agree?

      • Stuart
        Have you no appreciation for the sarcasm that I am employing in my word choices?
        That said my agreement is not necessary for us to discuss the viability of the the “solution”that you are enunciating here.
        Do you think what you consider to be essential can actually happen in a timely and extensive enough manner for it to achieve the cure that the Profits say is necessary?

        If you have any doubts that enough action can be instigated then is there any point in doing anything that will do nothing to the climate?

        What have you done to minimize your carbon footprint?

        Do you have a car?
        Do you take overseas holidays ?
        Do you have Air conditioning?

      • inane, saying it twice makes you a bigger idiot, it just proves you do not know the difference.

      • prophets or profits, what do u mean, and this post is about denialism. and nothing else, it’s not about having to prove anything except you being a denialist and every other denialist and the excuses they come up with.

      • No how can doing something expensive and useless be better?
        That really amounts to an act of faith rather than being any sort of rational response to a coming apocalypse.

      • prove to us that it is useless and expensive, you can’t can u, facts and figures please! your the expert on ponzi schemes of this kind.

      • Inane, you are doing exactly what has been said in this post.

        The ‘climate change might be happening, it might not, but if it is it’s not caused by humans and so there’s no point doing anything about it, I’m really not making much sense’ deniers.

        These deniers will never admit that they are a product of the campaigns by the free market deniers because that would be inconvenient to their argument. What they don’t realise is that, as acting as the astro-turfing mouthpieces, or the tentacles of the great free-market-climate-change-denying-squid-like-beast, they often end up not just sounding like foot soldiers, but often like robotic climate denying software algorithms funded by free marketer deniers. But I don’t think they mind that they sound like lunatics who can’t string a thought together let alone an argument.

        Because every comment you have made is exactly that,

    • Paul
      what amuses me about you is that you respond to my comments where ever you find them with variations of the same retort, essentially you insist that I am either evil and or stupid. Usually you have not done other than skim through what I have actually said and when you get stuck because I have definitively found the flaws in your own pathetic arguments. On this issue (AGW) your argument boils down to a sycophantic appeal to authority, which I consider to be an entirely religious argument.
      As for the specific citation you make in your latest comment its wrong in every aspect. I don’t in anyway deny that the climate is changing, its in a constant state of change and I have consistently said so over many years. Nor am I in the thrall or pay of any corporation or entity dedicated to the interests of “big coal et al”

      My argument is probably too subtle and sensible for you to grasp but it boils down to being horrified by the uselessness and great expense of the responses to the “threat” of a changing climate. Such dire prognostications may be absolutely spot on but the proposed cures seem to be politically impossible to achieve even if the “science” is correct. As I suggested earlier you should read bjørn lomborg on global warming ( ) he is a true believer in the AGW theory but his suggested response is far more sensible, utterly secular, and more likely to be efficacious to humanity than any ETS or carbon tax regime.
      Do your reading instead of just appealing to the authority of your millenarian Climate Gurus as you usually do.

  5. Yes Hall, we probably will have more refugees coming to Australia if nothing is done on climate change, as the refugees fleeing low lying countries will have no nation to live in if the oceans continue to rise.

  6. Hall, I am not an expert, unlike you in your denial, but I trust the experts on what they say, so where is your proof that it is not happening, you seem to know a lot on the issue, prove us that it is not happening.

    ” The Very, Very Thin Wedge of Denial

    By Phil Plait

    To me, one of the most fascinating aspects of climate change denial is how deniers essentially never publish in legitimate journals, but instead rely on talk shows, grossly error-laden op-eds, and hugely out-of-date claims (that were never right to start with).”

  7. Actually Hall, it would not matter what I posted or what other people post about climate change, you being the denier you are would never believe it. You only believe want you want to believe, climate change is not happening.

    And I said I am not an expert on climate change, I leave that to the scientists in that field of expertise, where you on the other hand say that you know everything about climate change not happening, you have to prove it is not happening, your the expert in denialism.

    • You only believe want you want to believe, climate change is not happening.
      Nup that is not my argument at all, not now nor at any point in the past either.

      So can the proposed cure be made to work?
      Come on surely doctor google can find you a climate scientist who has a sure fire plan that will work to save us all.

      • You already know the answer then, no need to provide the link as you have answered your own questions, there end the lessons.

      • No Hall it means you are just a climate change denialist, this article fits you to a tee and I cannot be bother posting any more to your idiotic comments, you have the internet, Google it yourself.

      • Paul
        clearly your faith is not strong enough otherwise you would not be so threatened by being asked to explain how humanity can possibly fix the problem that your certain is our fault.

        Have you read any Bjørn Lomborg?

  8. The way to minimise the global climate change is an ETS. We have one, soon to be scrapped. The world needs to move away from fossil fuels and embrace renewables. That won’t happen when BigCoal and BigGas make BigBucks and manipulate governments and gullible people. I am astounded at how effective they have been at the mind control of the voting people.

  9. haha!  i used to play cricket with jimmy hare!  he is a douche.  born n bred in hawthorn libs heartland.


  10. Victoria has nailed it again. No point arguing with those suffering delusions – they just love the attention. Let’s all just get on with our actions for saving our planet or we, and the deniers, will find the results of their delusion all too painful

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s