Lack of Environment

A blog on the politics and psychology underlying the denial of all our environmental problems

About

with 77 comments


More about me:
Name: Martin Lack. Nationality: British. Year of Birth: 1965.

Personal Statement (on why am I so worried about Anthropogenic Climate Disruption):
After 25 years of professional work experience, as a geologist and hydrogeologist, in both public and private sectors, I have decided to try and change direction slightly; and try to help humanity – if we must have perpetual growth within a finite system (even though this is unsustainable indefinitely) – decouple that economic growth from environmental degradation. This is because, as John Dryzek has put it so well in The Politics of the Earth (2005): “The driver of an accelerating car about to hit a brick wall might well say ‘so far so good’ – but that does not mean that the wall is not there!” (page 70).

Education:
St Albans School, Hertfordshire, 1976-1983.
BSc (Hons) in Geology (Portsmouth), 1983-1986.
MSc in Hydrogeology (Birmingham), 1989-1990.
Postgrad. Cert. in Education (Keele), 1998-1999.
MA in Environmental Politics (Keele), 2010-2011.
PhD in Politics (Liverpool), 2014-…

Professional Qualifications:
Fellow of the Geological Society (FGS) since 1992.
Chartered Geologist (CGeol) since 1998.
Member of Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (MCIWEM) since 2000.

More about the MA in Environmental Politics at Keele University

More about my chosen MA dissertation topic:
A Discourse Analysis of Climate Change Scepticism in the UK

Abstract: Discourse analysis is understood in the sense proposed by John Dryzek (2005) that it involves the textual assessment of (a) basic entities recognised or constructed; (b) assumptions about natural relationships; (c) agents and their motives; and (d) key metaphors and rhetorical devices used. As a piece of social science research, no attempt is made to prove or disprove the validity of the scientific consensus view that climate change is happening and that human activity is its primary cause. However, this reality has been assumed solely in order to analyse the views of climate change sceptics that dispute it. To this end, the philosophical roots of scepticism; its possible misappropriation for ideological reasons; and the psychological causes of denial are reviewed. In this context, based on the finding of numerous researchers that conservative think-tanks (CTTs) often act as the primary driving force of campaigns to deny environmental problems, the output of such UK-based CTTs is analysed, along with that of scientists, economists, journalists, politicians and others. Whereas the majority of CTTs analysed dispute the existence of a legitimate consensus, and the majority of sceptical journalists focus on conspiracy theories, the majority of scientists and economists equate environmentalism with a new religion; whereas politicians and others analysed appear equally likely to cite denialist and/or economic arguments for inaction. However, because of the economic and political realities of the world in which we live, politicians will not take any action that will be unpopular with business interests and/or the wider electorate. If so, Peter Jacques (2009) would appear to be right to conclude that anti-environmentalism (i.e. environmental scepticism) needs to be exposed as being “in violation of the public interest”.

“I would love to see your thesis when it is complete, sounds very interesting…” (Peter Jacques, August 2011).

To understand why I am so critical of James Delingpole – please see Background

Written by Martin Lack

10 August 2011 at 06:00

77 Responses

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  1. Martin, you talk of a scientific consensus, I assume by this you mean a consensus of scientists that are A) not part of the UN political organisation known as the IPCC B) not using any IPCC data, information or in any way influenced by it, and C) the not funded by any government that is in any way benefiting from taxation connected to CO2 at all.

    When you say ‘… no attempt is made to prove…etc’ you obviously mean outside or the act of reading the ‘climategate’ emails, in which it is made quite clear that the data used in the computer climate models was manipulated before it was used to create the ‘we are doomed’ future that they have literally sold for over 1 trillion dollars, so far, through carbon trading alone! (Who knows how much money has been collected in CO2 tax!)

    So if you could kindly supply the EVIDENCE of truly independent scientists who have come to this ‘consensus’ and answer how despite ‘CO2 warming’ even NASSA now says that due to sun activity the world is entering into an extended cold spell, (note the cold winters) then perhaps you can shout about how blind us ‘deniers’ are!

    Peter Freeman

    20 August 2011 at 07:35

    • Dear Peter,

      Thank you for your comment(s). I have never been so pleased to be criticised by a complete stranger because, in this instance, it means that my new Blog is getting noticed! In prefacing my remarks below, I hope you will forgive me if I provide links to my other blog posts (where external stuff is referenced) that rebut your criticisms.

      With regard to the substance (such as there is) to your comment above, I think you should try and accept that the IPCC is not a political body; and take note that Andrew Montford is a Chartered Accountant – not a climate scientist! For the record, however, no-one has made the MWP and/or LIA “disappear”; and “Mike’s Nature trick” to “hide the decline” was not scientific fraud. Furthermore, as I have said to another former ex-MyTelegraph blogger on Amazon:
      “…there is simply no evidence for your left-wing conspiracy to over-tax and over-regulate people; so as to make everyone poorer. Whereas, there is a great deal of evidence for a right-wing conspiracy to under-tax and under-regulate industry; so as to make a few people richer…”

      So, it can be seen (by those whose cognitive dissonance will allow them to see) that, as well as being the consequence of a very well-timed and deliberate piece of criminality, “Climategate” was an entirely manufactured and illusionary scandal. This is why I spend so much time attacking its prime-mover, the self-confessed “scientifically-illiterate”, James Delingpole (JD). He may well be seen by some as “the monkey rather than the organ-grinder” but, in fact, the truth of the matter is more insidious because, as Peter Jacques et al (2008) have shown, although it is the CTTs that provide the fuel for AGW-denial, it is people like JD that are driving the damn engine!

      Finally, although I have a scientific background, as stated, my social science Dissertation does not address the reality of the consensus, it analyses the arguments used by those that continue to deny its existence. The reasons for this are most-clearly illustrated in my most-recent post (19 Aug) on this Blog, entitled “Why are we still waiting for the EU to act?” [i.e. stop buying Syrian oil]

      Martin_Lack

      20 August 2011 at 17:40

  2. Here is one scientist at the heart of the matter, directly involved, well connected, well researched and most certainly does not agree with your so called ‘consensus!

    I give you Professor Emeritus WJR Alexander, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Honorary Fellow, South African Institution of Civil Engineering; Member of the United Nations Scientific And Technical Committee on Natural Disaster 1994-2000

    nzclimatescience.net/images/manipulation%20of%20science.pdf

    Peter Freeman

    20 August 2011 at 13:37

    • Peter, I am very impressed with the speed with which you have obtained and now circulated this document, but I do not consider Prof. WJR Alexander to be, by any stretch of the imagination, a “reliable witness” as De-Smog Blog have demonstrated. Furthermore, a quick Google search yielded this, which supposedly has some explicit content embedded in it (for those that care to open it) – but all the exchange of emails demonstrates is the strength of Alexander’s ideological and prejudicial need for AGW to be just another false alarm.

      One other point worthy of note: It is not “my” consensus, it is just “the” consensus; and (therefore) most sceptics are not scientists. So, I am afraid, we are back to the fallacial need for equal consideration to be given to sceptical opinions; for the “debate” not to be over; for JD’s crazy non-peer review process by people ill-equipped to understand what they are reading (if they can be bothered to read it); and for there to be a market-place of ideas that all have equal merit. And just look where all that lot has got us today…

      So, to conclude, I am not anti-progress, or misanthropic, I am just a realist who accepts that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is probably valid.

      Finally, can you please read everything else on this blog (and stuff to which it refers) before posting any more comments here or, preferably, post them under individual blog entries instead (otherwise I suspect I will either have to repeat myself or ignore you).

      Martin_Lack

      20 August 2011 at 18:11

  3. Peter,

    I’m sorry, I have not got time to read Alexander’s work. Leaving aside the fact that 96% of relevantly-qualified scientists do not doubt that AGW is real, I am off on two weeks holiday on Monday and have much preparation to do… However, what on earth do you mean by saying that I “…have a vested interest and a prejudicial need for AGW to be a cause for alarm!”

    Your rejection of my criticism of JD’s non-peer review process is completely without foundation; and is a denial of the consequences of the idea that all opinions are equally valid; and, oh dear, it has taken you less than twelve hours to mention Hitler and the Nazis!

    You do seriously need to read David Aaronovitch’s Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory Has Shaped Modern History. (He is not an apologist or an acolyte for AGW mitigation by the way)

    It is an outrageous and utterly contemptible inversion of reality to blame food scarcity on AGW mitigation; and nothing you have said invalidates my argument that it is AGW denial that is a conspiracy. Is this what you mean when you refer to the “strength” of my blog?

    Environmental concern is not a “religion”; but “growthmainia” and/or “money fetishism” may well be. (As per my Sceptical economists are intellectually bankrupt post) Why did you not post your comments there? Is it becasue you think more people will read them here?

    Please address the science or, with all due respect, go away.

    Martin_Lack

    20 August 2011 at 20:03

  4. Oh dear! So you dismiss Prof Alexander for his conclusions from his findings, without looking at them or how he came to them, you simply point out that because he does not believe in your religion, he is not qualified to say anything about it!

    I am sure you think that this response, which is standard form anyone inside the AGW 1 trillion+ Dollar (published results by the UN) money making scheme, is not observed by anyone, but it is.

    You are not answering Prof Alexander, you are dismissing him. This is not just immoral, its also intellectual cowardice, like your dismissal of James Delingpole’s debate as he is ‘scientifically illiterate’.

    I put it to you this way, if the year was 1937, using your approach to debate applied in the form of a ‘pro Germany’ argument, would say of Winston Churchill ‘We don’t have to even listen to what he has to say about Hitler and the Nazi party, look he is obviously prejudiced against them’

    The strength of your blogs clearly demonstrates that you have a vested interest and a prejudicial need for AGW to be a cause for alarm!

    So there, you are someone we can just ignore now :)

    PS. The ‘explicit content’ in Prof Alexander’s blog, was a picture of starving people eating an elephant raw, with their bare hands. Their starvation is a result of the lack of aid from the west, due to all the carbon taxes.

    Peter Freeman

    20 August 2011 at 19:26

  5. Of course you are too busy to read about the consequences, not of AGW, but of its POLITICS that most certainly are felt in poor countries, like those in sub Sahara Africa! Then again since you are obviously a qualified expert in this field already you KNOW that increasing the cost of transport and food production has of course has had no effect at all on people that live on £1 a day! What does Prof Alexander know after 20 years of research and gathering information in the field?

    No environmentalism is not a religion. But AGW, to some people, most certainly is a religion. Of course its not a religion to its investors and stewards, they are in it for the money. You think its not about the money? Well 1 $trillion+ off of a computer model says it is!

    Did you get a grant for your paper, Martin?

    And I did not reject your criticism of James Delingpole, I criticised your dishonest dismissal of him on the grounds that he is not a scientist, there is a big difference! And when one looks at who IS considered to be or not to be a scientist in the AGW debate, the term becomes quite meaningless anyway, as certainly anyone who disagrees is suddenly no longer recognised as a scientist, such as Prof Alexander!

    As for the science, I side with Prof Harold Lewis. Dear God could there be some science for us to address, and some scientists to address it with!

    blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100058265/us-physics-professor-global-warming-is-the-greatest-and-most-successful-pseudoscientific-fraud-i-have-seen-in-my-long-life/

    This analysis of the APS response gives further insight:

    wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/13/aps-responds-deconstructing-the-aps-response-to-dr-hal-lewis-resignation/

    Peter Freeman

    20 August 2011 at 21:46

  6. No I did not get a grant of any kind to do my MA; and I currently do not have a job waiting for me when I return from holiday. In total, my year away from full-time employment has cost me over £25,000 of my own money (so bang goes another one of your groundless and fanciful ideas).

    Since you cannot substantiate your premise that AGW is a politically-motivated scam (as per Christopher Booker, James Delingpole, Martin Durkin, Andrew Montford, Brendan O’Neill, Melanie Philips, Tim Worstall, etc.) – mainly because there is no hard evidence for it – and have not presented any evidence that can falsify my premise that AGW denial is an energy industry-driven conspiracy to protect their entire “raison d’etre” – mainly because there is none – I think this conversation has come to a natural end.

    Martin_Lack

    20 August 2011 at 23:22

  7. [...] A truly Biospheric blog on the Politics of the Environment Skip to content HomeAbout ← A conspiracy theory of my own (and one that’s not) Why are we [...]

  8. Martin I did not present a ‘groundless theory’ when I asked you a simple question. For a scientist, you certainly are not very good at assessing evidence, a question is just a question, your answer is a simple no.

    To prove this further I point to your statement that I have not presented any evidence that AGW is political. What do you call the Trillion+ Dollars (a deliberate under estimate) that has been sucked out of the worlds economy in Carbon Trading? You say a trillion dollars is not evidence. On what grounds? Money IS politics! Do you say carbon trading and taxation is not happening?

    And as for the scientific process used but the IPCC, and hence the results obtained, the scientific methodology of HOW these results were obtainedhas most certainly been called into question! Here is a petition of more than 200 physicists calling on that APC to independently assess the IPCC’s methodology and results:

    openletter-globalwarming.info/Site/Signatures__APS_Council_Study.html

    So Martin, the central issue. You have not addressed a single piece of the evidence I have brought forward, you simply dismiss it. This is not only unscientific, it is, as I have said before, intellectual fraud and cowardice.

    Peter Freeman

    21 August 2011 at 06:09

  9. Martin you amaze me… I wonder if you ever stop to think what you mean when you say “a legitimate counter-argument based on a large body of, evidence-based, peer-reviewed scientific research“?

    Peter Freeman

    3 October 2011 at 21:35

  10. Used, yes, repeated like a ‘Hail Mary’ but logical and clear no… I have not read that particular JD piece, but neither have I ever seen any peer reviewed work come out of the IPCC, unless peer review has a completely new meaning.

    Climategate primarily provides one the opportunity to test ones reading skills, because if you simply read what they themselves say about their own process then there is no debate as to what is going on. No ‘prior assumptions’ or ‘cherry picking’ is needed, just the ability to read…

    Peter Freeman

    3 October 2011 at 22:17

    • The quote of JD’s is one of the most spectacular gaffs (there were many) in his interview with Sir Paul Nurse (follow my link back to the youtube video clip embedded in my earlier post). If you really have not seen this interview, perhaps you should because, then, you might not have such unquestioning loyalty to someone who quite clearly has not got the faintest idea what he is talking about.

      As for your final remark, if all that is necessary is the ability to read, then please read this and then come back here and tell me where my defence of the hockey stick graph goes wrong.

      Martin_Lack

      3 October 2011 at 22:32

      • Hello again Martin. I read your ‘defence of the hockey stick’ and I had to laugh!

        1. They did not compare the tree ring data against the observed temperature recordings, they had discarded the observed temperature recording already and invented their own by the time they came across the tree ring data which amazingly did not match their Disneyland ‘global history of temperature’! No wonder the tree ring data did not match! :)

        2. Mann’s ‘equation’ that produced the hockey stick would turn numbers out a telephone directory into a graph resembling a hockey stick… If this is science then so are my grandmothers knitting patterns!

        3. If you look at the recorded accounts of what Greenland was like in the MWP, you would see that their were forests and the height and size of the trees that were their would necessitate that not only was it CONSIDERABLY warmer during that period than it is now but also for an extended period of time, long enough for the huge trees to grow. Blatantly the records of history paint a different picture to what the IPPC attempted to fool the world with using Mann’s fantastical graph.

        Really for you to have a go at JD for ‘making it up as he goes along’ and then to accept Mann is absurd…

        Peter Freeman

        30 December 2011 at 04:22

      • Peter, you are clearly still suffering from a serious case of reality inversion: However, since your last visit, Richard A Muller has proven that his own critique of the MBH98 Hockey Stick was invalid because the BEST study has confirmed unprecedented warming since WW2. Your entire worldview is based on a willfully-indefensible misinterpretation of the “hide the decline” data-mined and cherry-picked email.

        Therefore, the MWP and LIA did not disappear, they have just been shown not to be significant global events. What is now happening, however, is significant, global, and unprecedented (i.e. an end to 7000 years of relative climate and sea level stability since the last Ice Age ended).

        Martin_Lack

        30 December 2011 at 11:46

  11. [...] of Environment A truly biospheric blog on the politics of the environment Skip to content HomeAboutBackgroundHistoryImagesModerationPrivacyRemuneration ← The ecological challenge [...]

  12. Having acquired the tools it is understandable that you wish to use them . . .

    “MA in Environmental Politics (Keele), 2010-2011.”

    Using rhetoric , though, in this instance is not useful. You would need to do two things in my opinion . .

    1. Prove that changes in the CO2 content of our atmosphere are driving climate change with particular reference to the expected forcings that are required by the current theories. The creation of a new asset class , carbon dioxide, has arrived as a consequence yet the expected reduction in CO2 output is minimal while the amounts of money involved are huge.

    2. If the Earth is warming as a consequence of increased CO2 in the atmosphere why has there been no upward tick in the rate of sea level change? In fact I note that for the last two years the sea level has dropped somewhat while the concentration of CO2 has continued its upward trend.

    Like many skeptics I am not married to the status quo in any way. I am not a shill for big oil or big energy. If something better than the way we generate, distribute and use energy today comes along I am sure we will all embrace it. I live in Africa and I am all too aware of how pitiful life is without cheap and ubiquitous energy is. It results in an educational deficit, deforestation and wholesale migration to lands where energy is readily affordable and available.

    It looks to me as though those in the AGW camp have a bone to chew with big business while completely ignoring the needs and aspirations of the developing world. I have seen many AGW folk come through here trying out their own theories of development and social construction and then pushing off back to the comforts of their own developed world when the inevitable failure occurs.

    Keith Battye

    27 October 2011 at 12:14

    • Thank you for your well-considered and polite comments, Keith. Although, I think they would have been more-appropriately posted in response to my latest post regarding James Hansen(?). Nevertheless, I will offer a brief response here:

      A brief Google search tells me that the “here” in question is, for you, the transportation business in Zimbabwe, which is helpful for me to contextualize your holistic world-view. To me, your entire problem is that you think the science is not settled when it was – effectively – settled by Hansen in 1988. Therefore, given that things are now happening faster than the IPCC predicted even 4 years ago, you seem to be in danger of repeating ideas and/or information designed to confuse and paralyse people into doing nothing to affect urgently needed change. Furthermore, as I have previously said to Peter Freeman right here on this page, you seem to be in danger of inverting reality by blaming AGW mitigation for things that are, in fact, the fault of AGW itself (and/or rapid population growth).

      My post tomorrow will address your point as to why I may appear relucant to debate conflicting scientific “truth claims” but, in sum, I prefer to try and get people to see that AGW is just the most obvious – and most dangerous – proof we yet have of the finite ability of our Planet to recycle our wastes (which is, in turn, a Limits to Growth issue). However, I do not accept your assertion that this is merely rhetoric; as it is almost certainly the defining issue of the so-called Anthropocene era.

      I hope you are not offended in any way if I have appeared to put words in your mouth and, I hope you will have a rummage around on this site, and/or come back tomorrow, in order to better understand why I am not simply anti-business, anti-progress, or some left-wing do-gooder (again, my words, not yours).

      Martin_Lack

      27 October 2011 at 12:48

    • Since I am also working on a Master’s degree related to environmental policies and politics, I find your first three sentences rather insulting. My goal is to learn about how governments work in order to improve public policy regarding, among other things, climate change. And my decisions regarding those policies will be based on science. Not rhetoric.

      Second, the author of this blog does not have to “prove” the correlation between CO2 and climate change. That is the role of scientists. And that work has been done. Visit the IPCC web site, the NASA web site, the NOAA web site, the web site of most national scientific academies, or go to a library where you can find published research yourself (university libraries will have those). It’s all there.

      Third, the “cheap energy” you refer to is an illusion. Fossil fuels are hugely subsidized all over the world. In 2009 those subsidies added up to $312 billion (renewable energy subsidies that year: $57 billion). $312 billion dollars, in one year, to the most profitable industry in the history of mankind, paid for by our taxes. Additionally, the externalities related to fossil fuels, such as the cost of oil spills paid by our tax dollars and the healthcare costs related to air pollution from the burning fossil fuels, are not represented in the “cheap cost” of fossil fuels.

      Finally, although I am not an expert in the African continent, I do know that countries such as Nigeria are arguable worse off because of the discovery of oil in their country. Citizens live in poverty despite the “wealth” created by the discovery of natural resources and countless oil spills are not cleaned up putting the health and well being of the population at risk. Additionally, poor countries, including many in Africa, are the first and worse hit by climate change. For Africans, and the rest of us, continuing down the current path of energy production and use is an extreme case of short term gain for long term pain.

      jpgreenword

      30 December 2011 at 01:52

      • So what you are saying is that the oil industry the world over receives more money from governments than they pay in taxes? That there is a flow of money from the every-day-man-in-the-street to the oil industry via taxes, via governments to support the profitability of Big Oil?

        Peter Freeman

        30 December 2011 at 07:28

  13. Regarding the “hockey stick”, please take a look at the information gathered here: http://www.skepticalscience.com/broken-hockey-stick.htm

    jpgreenword

    30 December 2011 at 10:45

  14. I am not trying to compare what they receive to what they pay in taxes. I am simply stating that, according to the International Energy Agency (just so you know I’m not making it up), the fossil fuel industry is incredibly subsidized. By 2020, those subsidies are set to pass $600 billion dollars a year. That makes absolutely no sense. You do not subsidize an industry that is well established and incredibly profitable. You subsidize new industries whose development is in the best interest of your country’s well being.

    However, the greater point I am trying to make is that oil isn’t actually cheap. If you got rid of the subsidies, if we made oil companies pay for the total cost of cleaning up oil spills as well as the lost revenue caused by those oil spills (think fishing and tourism in the Gulf of Mexico since 2010), if you factored in the cost to society for all the respiratory, cardiovascular and developmental diseases associated with the burning of fossil fuels, your gasoline (for example) would cost much more than 3-4 dollars a gallon.

    But we don’t do that. Instead, we cut other government programs (and – or raise taxes) to pay for the subsidies, the cleanups and the healthcare costs. And the people who lose their livelihoods because of oil spills, we let them try to fight it out in court with the oil companies. And we all know who wins those battles.

    jpgreenword

    30 December 2011 at 11:04

    • But is that not avoiding the point? How much does the Oil Industry pay out in taxes compared to what they get ‘given’ in ‘subsidies’? If they are paying in more than they are being ‘given’ then they are a contributor not a consumer!

      Now how about the ‘renewables’? How much money do they pay in taxes off of their profits before their billions in subsidies? Are they a contributor or a consumer?

      How much energy does it take using fossil fuels to make a wind turbine? How long does a wind turbine last and how much energy does it produce that actually gets used in that time and what is the cost and (before subsidies) profit of this energy in terms of energy-in vs energy-out and in monetary terms? Do you know?

      ‘Our money’ that governments talk about comes from somewhere, at best form tax via the point of a gun from those productive working people and companies and, at worst from piling up debt that the same said people must be forced to pay back later!

      Now tell me again about the morality of subsidising inherently unproductive and unprofitable ‘green’ energy with the money taken by force off of private citizens?

      And as for public health, do you know what the death rate of children was in London before the industrial revolution and the evil ill health burning fossil fuels brought? 2 in 5 died before the age of 5! Healthy stuff, how wonderful it would be to return to this golden era….

      Peter Freeman

      30 December 2011 at 11:48

      • Peter, if you continue to post comments here (rather than address specific subjects on individual posts), they will be deleted because you are conducting an indiscriminate guerilla war rather than responding to subject-specific posts on my blog.

        For example, with regard to public health issues, you will find these addressed in my series of posts on Paul and Anne Ehrlich’s 1996 book, Betrayal of Science and Reason, which includes all of the fables invented and perpetuated by those who deny the reality and/or seriousness of all environmental problems. Perhaps the most relevant of which is Who needs the EPA anyway?

        So, to repeat, I am not blacklisting you, I am merely asking you to respond to specific subjects in the appropriate place(s). This is therefore not an attempt to silence you or prevent legitimate debate.

        Martin_Lack

        30 December 2011 at 12:10

      • Of course Martin it was me who brought up oil subsidies and me who brought up public health and anyone who scrolls up will be able to see your fair and rational observant mind at work faithfully presenting facts as they are in an unbiased and scientific manner…

        Of course Censorship could not be further from your mind, the terms Climate Denier and Climate Change Sceptic were invented by open minded people welcoming evidence and debate out of a love for finding truth at all costs.

        Guerilla warfare. My word Martin you have got an imagination! I tell you what I am going to go outside and hold my breath for 10 min and save a polar bear just to say sorry for ruining your blog, how’s that?

        Peter Freeman

        30 December 2011 at 13:03

      • Nice try but, no, I am not going to delete this.

        Whenever you decide that you have something new to say that falsifies the specific arguments I have put forward elsewhere on this blog rather than cluttering-up this page – which is just meant to provide people with a bit of useful background info about me (i.e. so that they do not make a complete dick of themselves trying to argue with me) – just go right on ahead and give it a try.

        However, in waiting for you to do so, I am not going to hold my breath either…

        Martin_Lack

        30 December 2011 at 14:53

      • And there it is Martin, the truth revealed, you think anyone who argues with you is “a complete dick“, what an open minded scientist you are….

        Peter Freeman

        30 December 2011 at 15:54

      • If you choose to personalise my remark, that is your problem. However, people will only make “a complete dick” of themselves if they (1) use unfalsifiable statements and/or self-referential arguments; and (2) ignore the reasons why I feel I have a better-than-average grasp of both the scientific reality of climate change and the political reasons why some continue to deny that it is happening.

        In all of your comments here over the last 5 months, you have never once managed to refute any of my arguments without doing the above and/or referring to discredited sources and, despite repeated requests by me that you stop wasting my time here and instead respond to specific issues where and when I raise them, you continue (apparently) to prefer the facile option of trying to score cheap points using pathetic attempts at humour and/or sarcasm; neither of which is a legitimate substitute for logic and or intellectual argument.

        Martin_Lack

        30 December 2011 at 16:36

      • Martin… I almost don’t know what to say… You say “use unfalsifiable statements and/or self-referential arguments”, then in the next breath you say “ignore the reasons why I feel I have a better-than-average grasp of…”
        Which is of course unfalsifiable and self-referntial in the same sentence…

        Martin this is not a scientific blog about a scientific issue, it is a political blog about a political issue. You are here, as stated in your introduction, on a political mission! If you were not you would not be addressing the public at large, but You call for logic and then depart from it, call for reason and then abandon it, so what response then is appropriate?

        Martin truth is truth, no matter what any one or many think or believe, so the ultimate question is not who is right but what is true….

        My objection is that the political drive behind Global warming, now dishonestly renamed the vague term climate change, has very bad things behind it. You can disagree, but as I said, what is true is true… You say you see a global ecological catastrophe because someone has a computer model that says so, I say I see a global political tyranny, because its in black an white writing on the UN charters!

        So Martin, when is it time for good men to stand up to fight off the approach of evil, when we see computer models or actual UN agenda?

        Peter Freeman

        30 December 2011 at 17:41

      • Thanks for that, Peter. I must confess that you have caught me out there! In my opening sentence, I was 100% guilty of using an unfalsifiable and self-referential argument. I hope you feel suitably smug…

        I agree with you that climate change is a political issue because, as Clive Hamilton points out, it is the result of the failure of modern politics to divorce itself from manipulation and control of vested interests. The vested interests in question being those that do not want us to invest in and move away from fossil fuels. Unfortunately this is insanely selfish and short-sighted because, one day, they will run out. Meanwhile, as the International Energy Agency most recently reminded us, delaying investment in alternatives is a false economy. Furthermore, if we insist on burning all of the Earth’s fossil fuels (including those we don’t even know about yet), we are likely to bring about 6 Celsius average temperature increase (above 1750AD), the eventual consequences of which would be catastrophic.

        Your belief in climate change as a bogus political conspiracy is a total fantasy that is completely at odds with geological history, atmospheric physics, cosmology, and all observable evidence. In stark contrast, the orchestrated nature of the campaign to deny what is happening is a well-documented reality most-recently attested to by the stupidity of Climategate 2.0. As David Aaronovich says, conspiracy theory is “history for losers“.

        Although written by a scientist, this blog is exactly what it claims to be: It is about the “politics of the environment” and, given all of the above, anyone who can claim that climate change is still not happening displays an astonishing lack (absolutely no pun intended) of judgement on both fronts.

        Martin_Lack

        30 December 2011 at 20:22

      • Martin your claims that “…geological history, atmospheric physics, cosmology, and all observable evidence” show that AGW is a reality and a fact are not just entirely false, but utterly dishonest in scientific terms!

        All science is in question and in discovery, we know what we know and then we are endeavouring to uncover what we don not know. The history of scientific discovery is that of individuals proving what the majority previously accepted to be wrong! Hence terms and laws being given individuals names such as Newton’s Laws. Your claims that the science is absolute is inherently untrue and the language of politics and not of science!

        The only thing in existence in the world that blatantly concludes that AGW is a reality are the computer models produced by the CRU. It most certainly can not be read like a book out of geological history since the start of the industrial revolution! Such a claim truly shows your ‘science’ for what it is!!!

        Peter Freeman

        2 January 2012 at 23:17

  15. All human endeavour is political. Also: Don’t Feed The Trolls.

    pendantry

    1 January 2012 at 04:06

    • Thanks for the reminder. I think Peter may have gone away again (like Comet Lovejoy did)!

      Martin_Lack

      1 January 2012 at 11:25

      • Let me remind you Martin that I would never have know of your existence had it not been for your ‘trolling’ of James Delingpole’s site. And unlike you, JD stands bravely against the odds, against the majority for what is good and what is right and what is moral. And Unlike you his voice is loud and heard and is having an effect for the good of man kind. Unlike you JD is a hero of our time, a man who will remembered and respected for generations to come!

        Peter Freeman

        2 January 2012 at 23:34

      • Let me remind you Peter, that I did not label you a “troll“.

        Finally (on this page at least), let me also remind you that James Delingpole admits he is both ideologically-prejudiced and scientifically-illiterate. Therefore, anyone who thinks he is a “hero of our time” must be one or both of the above as well.

        Martin_Lack

        3 January 2012 at 10:06

    • Why am I not surprised that I am labelled a ‘troll’?

      For the want of the ability to address issues in argument and intellect, insult is a poor substitution and has become the hall mark of AGW fear mongers.

      Peter Freeman

      2 January 2012 at 23:26

      • OK Peter, You’ve had your fun now. Although describing your antics as “guerrilla warfare” may have been a little OTT, I think it would be fair to equate them to badger baiting.

        Therefore, having given you a fair warning – and invited you to post specific comments on specific subjects in response to any of nearly 100 posts on this blog (e.g. starting with those about Paul and Anne Ehrlich’s Betrayal of Science and Reason) – I will now delete any further comments you post here (on this About page).

        Martin_Lack

        3 January 2012 at 10:07

      • Clue: If you want to continue to “debate” JD’s historical importance, do so on my Background page; or any one of the posts about him.

        To repeat: I am not blacklisting you, I am merely asking you to post subject-specific comments in an appropriate place (rather than using this page like a public toilet to relieve your sceptical incontinence). ;-)

        Martin_Lack

        3 January 2012 at 10:15

  16. Martin, I am surprised that you continue this kind of discussion for so long. Life’s too short. I appreciate your endeavors to be reasonable and show consideration, but looking at how this discussion degenerated, I would have let it go much earlier. I have only recently subscribed to your blog (I found the reference in the Geological Society’s Geoscientist magazine) and enjoy the banter, look through the links and form my own opinions, which I tend to keep to myself. I also try my best to be a good citizen of the planet and teach my children to be able to be the same. I also try to give them the range of skills that they will need to live in a world very different to the one we live in now.

    Fundamentally we over-consume and access to easy credit allows us to do that; along with the “it’s my right” syndrome. I have lived around the world and seen the hardships most of the population has to deal with; and climate change is only going to make things more difficult. Anyway, thanks for the blog and the links to other interesting articles, but I would tend to let go earlier. Life’s too short and trying to convince others who aren’t open, is a lose-lose.

    Cheers for now, Ralph (MSc, CGeol, CEng MIMMM).
    Quals added to show I am a geologist originally with a 4.6bn year view on life.

    Ralph Parkin

    11 February 2012 at 02:10

    • You are very kind, Ralph. It is nice to see that Ted Nield’s co-incidental support for my views is bearing fruit; and so to have another Chartered Geologist as a subscriber. If you have read my History page, you will be aware that I used to be an evangelical Christian; and was very good at arguing people (Marxists and other atheists in particular) to a standstill. There were only two problems: (1) their a-priori assumption that God does not exist; and (2) the intellectual (as opposed to experiential) nature of my own faith in God.

      Therefore, if people accuse me of being somewhat Messianic about climate change, it is not without some reason: I really do feel that no-one is beyond salvation; and this drives me to continue to argue with people for much longer than others might. John Kosowski being the latest case in point.

      Martin Lack

      11 February 2012 at 09:11

  17. [...] Environment A truly biospheric blog on the politics of the environment Skip to content HomeAboutBackgroundHistoryImagesModerationPrivacyRemuneration ← Nothing new under [...]

  18. [...] Environment A truly biospheric blog on the politics of the environment Skip to content HomeAboutBackgroundHistoryImagesModerationPrivacyRemuneration ← Climategate 2.0 – the first [...]

  19. Martin, I’d like to subscribe, but I prefer RSS feeds to email subscriptions. Any chance of adding one to your Home Page?

    Science Or Not?

    7 March 2012 at 06:01

    • Hi there! I will investigate – some WP themes don’t have this facility. In any case, what exactly is the difference – is it that RSS feeds are more compatible with Smartphones or something like that?

      I recognise your icon but cannot remember why? Have I commented on your own blog at some point in the last 6 months?

      Martin Lack

      7 March 2012 at 06:20

  20. [...] Martin Lack, who attended this presentation, has published a subsequent letter he sent to Lindzen.  This [...]

  21. Martin,
    I prefer RSS feeds because each blog arrives in its own folder instead of getting mixed up with my general email.
    You haven’t commented on my blog before, but you do have the distinction of posting the first ever bona fide comment on it. Thanks.

    Science Or Not?

    7 March 2012 at 09:54

    • That’s wierd then, I have definitely seen your comments somewhere before – because your icon must surely be unique..? I promise will insert RSS widget if I can – but I do not want to change the theme…

      Martin Lack

      7 March 2012 at 10:22

  22. Great. I’ve just subscribed to your RSS feed!

    Science Or Not?

    7 March 2012 at 10:42

    • I can’t promise when it will be but the next post will almost be on the subject of solutions (how do we get out of the bind we are in). If you want to generate traffic to your site, I would recommend posting comments on Paul Handover’s Learning from Dogs site. Paul is a retired Brit now living in Arizona. His blog is very wide-ranging and he regularly has guest authors. He seemed to like what I have to say and graciously offered me such an opportunity within a month of finding me. He has only been blogging for only 3 years and already has followers in the 1000′s… From memory, the item of mine that first grabbed his attention was this one posted in my first full week (just before I went on holiday to the Cote d’Azur [e.g. banner image above): Why are we still waiting for the EU to act? (19 August 2011). Given what is still going on in Syria its message is still very apt.

      Great to have you on board; and best wishes with your own blog (which I will now follow).

      Martin Lack

      7 March 2012 at 10:57

  23. [...] Note: Martin Lack, who attended this presentation, has published a subsequent letter he sent to Lindzen.  This letter covers some of the points in Lindzen’s presentation which we did not cover here, including a critical misleading slide which was not included in the PDF of the presentation which was the basis of this post.  Martin’s post is well worth reading as well. /* Tagged with: climate science • climate scientists • Lindzen • richard lindzen  If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it! About The Author [...]

  24. [...] psychology underlying the denial of all our environmental problems…. Skip to content HomeAboutBackgroundHistoryImagesModerationPrivacyRemuneration ← Twitter is good [...]

  25. [...] I am scientifically trained and have degrees in Geology and Hydrogeology (see my About page), this blog arises from my having also got an MA in Environmental Politics and, as such, as [...]

  26. [...] readers of this blog – and those who have merely stumbled upon it and perhaps read my About page too – will be aware that, in completing my MA in Environmental Politics last year, I [...]

  27. [...] Martin’s essays over on his Blog Lack of Environment.  Unlike me, Martin has strong academic credentials that he uses well to support his [...]

  28. [...] denying the reality of limits to growth does not mean that they cease to exist. As it says on my About page: “The driver of an accelerating car about to hit a brick wall might well say ‘so far so [...]

  29. [...] in the introduction to my MA dissertation on climate change scepticism in the UK (as summarised on my About page), which are (1) the philosophical roots of scepticism (yesterday); (2) the political misuse of [...]

  30. [...] in the introduction to my MA dissertation on climate change scepticism in the UK (as summarised on my About page), which are (1) the philosophical roots of scepticism (monday); (2) the political misuse of [...]

  31. Hi Martin, I have just nominated you for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” :-)

    http://oneinabillionblog.com/2012/08/26/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

    Schalk

    26 August 2012 at 11:13

    • You are far too kind, Schalk: I am just reading you page on Ponzi schemes… OK so it may not be inspiring (it is very alarming) but, it is wonderfully presented; and written so clearly: It makes my blog read like the ramblings of an absent-minded fool!

      Martin Lack

      26 August 2012 at 11:23

  32. You have some very ‘wordy’ commenters!
    I just want to say, ‘Well Done!’
    Please keep me in the loop….
    Thank you,
    D.A.

    D. A. Hartley

    3 February 2013 at 16:48

    • No, thank you (for all the likes and for following my blog)!

      Sadly, many climate change deniers think they can defeat logic and reality just by volume of words. This has been a valuable lesson to me (because I can be pretty verbose myself). However, I remain a little embarrassed by the fact that some of them have prompted me to lose my patience and be uncharacteristically rude…

      Martin Lack

      3 February 2013 at 18:30

  33. Martin, thanks for your recent replies to me on another blog. A question you may be able to answer that is nagging at me. When the warm Gulf Stream hits the fast flowing North Polar Jet Stream without the mediation of cold fresh water from the North Pole (assuming all the ice it is now gone), what will happen?

    Alex Jones

    17 February 2013 at 15:39

    • Hi Alex. Thanks for visiting my About page. I hope you did not waste any/too much time reading my insane exchanges with Peter Freeman (et al)? I am both curious about your question; and why you would ask me (a geologist / hydrogeologist) if I know the answer.

      Although I am not an atmospheric physicist, I am tempted to respond by saying that the scenario you describe is what made Hurricane Sandy so large and powerful. However, since this is not my area of expertise, I would feel much more comfortable referring you to the blog of someone I know whose it is: http://weatherdem.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/state-of-polar-sea-ice-february-2013-arctic-below-and-antarctic-above-normal/

      Martin Lack

      17 February 2013 at 15:52

      • Thanks for the reply. My question arises as you have been my first encounter with an expert in climate change. This question is important to me as regardless of human or natural influence on why the ice is melting, it is going to vanish completely in the North. There is a chain of effect with the Gulf Stream as a significant player, the loss of the cold fresh water mediator will have a major outcome but I am not knowledgeable what the outcome would be. Thanks for the link.

        Alex Jones

        17 February 2013 at 16:04

        • That is my pleasure, Alex, However, to repeat, I am not an expert in climate change. I am merely someone who has looked into the science – and the politics/ideology underlying its disputation – and am now trying to help others appreciate who it is that has been lying to them for decades.

          Martin Lack

          17 February 2013 at 16:21

  34. Great website – and your research sounds fascinating. I would be very interested in reading your MA dissertation. I’m also looking at the rhetoric used by CTTs to construct a ‘scientific debate’ about climate change in the Australian news media. It would be great to compare results and have a look at your bibliography.

    elainemckewon

    29 March 2013 at 01:40

    • Thanks very much for visiting and commenting Elaine. Sorry this comment got Spammed (I don’t know why). Have now emailed you. Very best wishes for completing the PhD.

      Martin Lack

      13 April 2013 at 10:04

  35. [...] it says on my About page,  “The driver of an accelerating car about to hit a brick wall might well say ‘so far so [...]

  36. […] background is encapsulated on his Blog, from which I […]

  37. […] my geological background and my MA in Environmental Politics, I have written a great deal about Fracking and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) on my blog. […]

  38. […] my geological background and my MA in Environmental Politics, I have written a great deal about Fracking and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) on my blog. […]

  39. […] these books, I chose to research the subject of climate change scepticism – as summarised on the About page of this blog.  Having completed my research, this is how summarised my work in the closing […]

  40. […] in the United Kingdom’.  Existing readers will, no doubt, be aware that the Abstract has been on the About page of this blog since its inception, and other bits and pieces have appeared over time (links embedded below). […]


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