Last December, the Guardian ran a story claiming that polar bears were “vanishing” from Churchill, the polar bear capital of the world, using copy supplied by the green activist operation Agence France-Presse. Similar headlines appeared across many mainstream media, with the BBC making up a headline that claimed Canada’s polar bear population had plummeted. The decline was said to be 27% over five years in Canada’s West Hudson Bay (WH) area, but inexplicably missing from the green propaganda was a note that bear numbers in the adjacent and larger South Hudson Bay (SH) climbed 30% in the same period.
There is now growing interest about the 27% headline figure. In December a full report on WH scientific findings was not available from the local Nunavut Government, but the biologist and investigative science writer Dr. Susan Crockford has now seen a copy. She suggests the media must have been given little more than a press release “with approved talking points“. It is obvious the press never saw the full WH report, not least because it referenced similar SH work disclosing the higher local polar bear numbers. Of course in the interest of promoting yet another climate scare, the blinkered media might have ignored the second report anyway.
Crockford has been indefatigable in hunting down the mis- and disinformation used to promote eco-scares in the Arctic regions. She recently wrote a book titled Fallen Icon: Sir David Attenborough and the Walrus Deception. The book followed a 2019 WWF-Netflix Our Planet episode which showed hundreds of walruses falling off a cliff. Attenborough explained that the horrific scenes were due to “climate change”, although an undisclosed pack of nearby polar bears provided a more obvious explanation. For their part, polar bears move around and their numbers can be difficult to calculate. But in recent years, attempts to make them the poster animal of the so-called climate emergency have been hampered by evidence that they have increased in overall numbers.
The West Hudson scare story had added value in promoting global climate fear, and hence support for the collectivist Net Zero project. West Hudson Bay is on the cusp of the Canadian Arctic, and every year millions of dollars worth of tourism is attracted to the Manitoban town of Churchill, dubbed the polar bear capital of the world.
The 27% drop in WH bear numbers arises from an 2021 estimate of 618 compared with 842 in 2016. But Crockford notes that similar estimates in SH increased by 223 bears compared with the 224 WH loss. But this is not a neat end to the story, since it might be at least partly a coincidence.
Most of the WH loss was found in female and young bears with male abundance remaining unchanged. However there is some biopsy dart evidence that suggested 22% of sampled WH male bears were now to be found in the south. They were not the ‘missing’ females. It also begs the question why male bears locating to SH did not produce a corresponding decline in WH. In the south, the 30% jump in numbers to 1,119 could be due to natural birth rates, although the SH authors initially said this was “highly implausible”. Nevertheless, Crockford notes their data indicated that 35% of all SH bears were yearlings or cubs less than 12 months old. The authors finally concluded that a natural increase in numbers did happen with good ice conditions, and perhaps there was immigration of some bears from other subpopulations that could not be verified.
The AFP/Guardian story tied its “vanishing” bear trope to the sea-ice habitat that is said to have been disappearing at an alarming rate. Crockford notes the suggestion of the WH report authors that the decline was “consistent” with predictions of adverse effects of climate change, but she adds that no sea ice data were provided to back up this assertion. However, observations by others, continues Crockford, including the SH authors, indicate the decline couldn’t have been caused by sea ice conditions over the last five years, ”because WH ice from 2017 to 2020 was better than it had been for decades”.
So what did happen to any missing bears? As always, a more logical explanation is at hand to debunk the convoluted and implausible media-ready accounts twisted to fit the global Net Zero narrative. They simply went north to Foxe Basin, Crockford suggests. There hasn’t been a census in this area since 2010, but at that time they were doing well with an estimated population of 2,580. Foxe Basin bears mix with their more southerly neighbours, and sea ice generally persists at the more northerly location until well into August.
Crockford is highly critical of the Hudson Bay surveys, noting the results reveal that polar bear specialists have no idea what’s actually going on with Hudson Bay bears. “Without sea ice to blame, they’ve got nothing. They simply can’t explain their results,” she concludes. To be charitable, the scientists have an obvious message to spin, but they are at least out in all weathers, counting bears and attempting to detail habitat and animal behaviour. Mainstream media writers sit in a warm office, fail to ask any investigative questions, and simply sub a press release constructed to boost the pre-determined political narrative.
Chris Morrison isthe Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.
Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But around the world, there are governments and those wielding power who find many ways to obstruct it.
We write as journalists, artists, authors, activists, technologists, and academics to warn of increasing international censorship that threatens to erode centuries-old democratic norms.
Coming from the left, right, and centre, we are united by our commitment to universal human rights and freedom of speech, and we are all deeply concerned about attempts to label protected speech as ‘misinformation,’ ‘disinformation,’ and other ill-defined terms.
This abuse of these terms has resulted in the censorship of ordinary people, journalists, and dissidents in countries all over the world.
Such interference with the right to free speech suppresses valid discussion about matters of urgent public interest and undermines the foundational principles of representative democracy.
Across the globe, government actors, social media companies, universities, and NGOs are increasingly working to monitor citizens and rob them of their voices. These large-scale coordinated efforts are sometimes referred to as the ‘Censorship-Industrial Complex.’
This complex often operates through direct government policies. Authorities in India and Turkey have seized the power to remove political content from social media. The legislature in Germany and the Supreme Court in Brazil are criminalising political speech. In other countries, measures such as Ireland’s ‘Hate Speech’ Bill, Scotland’s Hate Crime Act, the UK’s Online Safety Bill, and Australia’s ‘Misinformation’ Bill threaten to severely restrict expression and create a chilling effect.
But the Censorship Industrial Complex operates through more subtle methods. These include visibility filtering, labelling, and manipulation of search engine results. Through deplatforming and flagging, social media censors have already silenced lawful opinions on topics of national and geopolitical importance. They have done so with the full support of ‘disinformation experts’ and ‘fact-checkers’ in the mainstream media, who have abandoned the journalistic values of debate and intellectual inquiry.
As the Twitter Files revealed, tech companies often perform censorial ‘content moderation’ in coordination with government agencies and civil society. Soon, the European Union’s Digital Services Act will formalise this relationship by giving platform data to ‘vetted researchers’ from NGOs and academia, relegating our speech rights to the discretion of these unelected and unaccountable entities.
Some politicians and NGOs are even aiming to target end-to-end encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram. If end-to-end encryption is broken, we will have no remaining avenues for authentic private conversations in the digital sphere.
Although foreign disinformation between states is a real issue, agencies designed to combat these threats, such as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the United States, are increasingly being turned inward against the public. Under the guise of preventing harm and protecting truth, speech is being treated as a permitted activity rather than an inalienable right.
We recognize that words can sometimes cause offence, but we reject the idea that hurt feelings and discomfort, even if acute, are grounds for censorship. Open discourse is the central pillar of a free society, and is essential for holding governments accountable, empowering vulnerable groups, and reducing the risk of tyranny.
Speech protections are not just for views we agree with; we must strenuously protect speech for the views that we most strongly oppose. Only in the public square can these views be heard and properly challenged.
What’s more, time and time again, unpopular opinions and ideas have eventually become conventional wisdom. By labelling certain political or scientific positions as ‘misinformation’ or ‘malinformation,’ our societies risk getting stuck in false paradigms that will rob humanity of hard-earned knowledge and obliterate the possibility of gaining new knowledge. Free speech is our best defense against disinformation.
The attack on speech is not just about distorted rules and regulations – it is a crisis of humanity itself. Every equality and justice campaign in history has relied on an open forum to voice dissent. In countless examples, including the abolition of slavery and the civil rights movement, social progress has depended on freedom of expression.
We do not want our children to grow up in a world where they live in fear of speaking their minds. We want them to grow up in a world where their ideas can be expressed, explored, and debated openly – a world that the founders of our democracies envisioned when they enshrined free speech into our laws and constitutions.
The US First Amendment is a strong example of how the right to freedom of speech, of the press, and of conscience can be firmly protected under the law. One need not agree with the U.S. on every issue to acknowledge that this is a vital ‘first liberty’ from which all other liberties follow. It is only through free speech that we can denounce violations of our rights and fight for new freedoms.
There also exists a clear and robust international protection for free speech. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was drafted in 1948 in response to atrocities committed during World War II. Article 19 of the UDHR states, ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.’ While there may be a need for governments to regulate some aspects of social media, such as age limits, these regulations should never infringe on the human right to freedom of expression.
As is made clear by Article 19, the corollary of the right to free speech is the right to information. In a democracy, no one has a monopoly over what is considered to be true. Rather, truth must be discovered through dialogue and debate – and we cannot discover truth without allowing for the possibility of error.
Censorship in the name of ‘preserving democracy’ inverts what should be a bottom-up system of representation into a top-down system of ideological control. This censorship is ultimately counter-productive: it sows mistrust, encourages radicalization, and de-legitimizes the democratic process.
In the course of human history, attacks on free speech have been a precursor to attacks on all other liberties. Regimes that eroded free speech have always inevitably weakened and damaged other core democratic structures. In the same fashion, the elites that push for censorship today are also undermining democracy. What has changed, though, is the broad scale and technological tools through which censorship can be enacted.
We believe that free speech is essential for ensuring our safety from state abuses of power – abuses that have historically posed a far greater threat than the words of lone individuals or even organised groups. For the sake of human welfare and flourishing, we make the following 3 calls to action.
We call on governments and international organisations to fulfill their responsibilities to the people and to uphold Article 19 of the UDHR.
We call on tech corporations to undertake to protect the digital public square as defined in Article 19 of the UDHR and refrain from politically motivated censorship, the censorship of dissenting voices, and the censorship of political opinion.
And finally, we call on the general public to join us in the fight to preserve the people’s democratic rights. Legislative changes are not enough. We must also build an atmosphere of free speech from the ground up by rejecting the climate of intolerance that encourages self-censorship, and that creates unnecessary personal strife for many. Instead of fear and dogmatism, we must embrace inquiry and debate.
We stand for your right to ask questions. Heated arguments, even those that may cause distress, are far better than no arguments at all.
Censorship robs us of the richness of life itself. Free speech is the foundation for creating a life of meaning and a thriving humanity – through art, poetry, drama, story, philosophy, song, and more.
This declaration was the result of an initial meeting of free speech champions from around the world who met in Westminster, London, at the end of June 2023. As signatories of this statement, we have fundamental political and ideological disagreements. However, it is only by coming together that we will defeat the encroaching forces of censorship so that we can maintain our ability to openly debate and challenge one another. It is in the spirit of difference and debate that we sign the Westminster Declaration.
Podcast of the Week: The Miseducation of Science Teachers
Green Energy Is Toxic
Tornado Damage, Losses Have Declined Amid Warming
Video of the Week: Gavin Newsom Should Sue Himself Over Climate Change
Miss Anything at Heartland’s Climate Conference? No Problem.
Climate Change and Texas’ Electric Power Problems
The manager of the vast majority of Texas’ power grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), sent out multiple “voluntary conservation notice[s]” this summer. There were more than I can ever remember, and I’m a native Texan who has lived here 53 of my 60 years on Earth. Even on days when ERCOT didn’t send out an official notice requesting people to conserve, television and online news outlets almost daily admonished their audiences to conserve energy: turn thermostats up, turn lights and unused electronics off, and do not use appliances during peak periods. ERCOT was warning that Texas’ spare electric power capacity was thin and outages were possible.
Summers are hot in Texas, but some summers are hotter than others, and this was one of them. It was not the hottest in history or even recent years, but it was hot. Dallas County, where I live, experienced 55 days of temperatures above 100 degrees this summer, with more with a couple of days topping 108 degrees. The year 2023 ranks in fourth place for the number of 100 degree days in Dallas since consistent records have been kept. Some daily records were broken for Dallas and the state, but the overall state record of 120℉ set in the tiny town of Seymour in 1920 and tied in the only slightly larger town of Monahans in 1994 remains intact.
In 1980, 1998, and 2011, despite experiencing more 100 degree days than in 2023, Texas did not have the kind of systemwide threats to its electric power grid it had this year. Nor has Texas ever experienced the kind of winter power outage it had in 2021, when the power for more than four million people across the state was out for most of three full days and more than 700 people perished from the cold.
Climate policies—specifically restrictions or threats of restrictions on carbon dioxide from power plants, and mandates and subsidies for wind and solar power—are responsible for Texas’ power woes.
In a previous issue of Climate Change Weekly I detailed how the collapse of wind and solar power output during the winter storm, the prior closure of baseload coal plants, and poor power routing decisions by ERCOT combined to produce Texas’ deadly winter outage.
Data from ERCOT confirm that four days before the first snowflake fell, wind and solar were providing 58 percent of the electric power used in Texas. Fortuitously, the sun had been shining and the wind blowing. These conditions ended as the winter storm hit, and within a matter of hours more than 13,000 megawatts of wind and solar power went offline. The wind died off and the turbines began to freeze, and winter storm clouds blocked the sun.
That winter storm, although severe, was not unprecedented. The widespread power outage during winter was.
Summer has always been peak power demand season in Texas, and historically we had a good margin of peak power to meet residents’ and businesses’ needs. That margin has declined sharply over the past 17 years as wind and solar power have grown to account for a greater share of Texas’ electric power capacity. Those two sources of power now account for more than 39 percent of Texas’ electric power supply capacity— much more than coal, nuclear, and hydropower combined.
This increase was not driven by customer demand but by politics. Legislators required a set minimum amount of power sold on the Texas power market to come from wind or solar power, regardless of the costs and the reliability and redundancy problems it introduced into the grid. On top of that, federal, state, and local subsidies encouraged wind and solar to grow beyond the minimum amount set by the state. School districts have gotten in on the boondoggle, issuing property tax abatements to build wind and rooftop solar so they could teach their students the virtues of going green even as they cry poverty in Austin and with local property tax auditors, asking for ever-more money.
We saw the result this summer, with near-daily warnings of imminent power failures during the heat. As the Texas Tribune noted in mid-August amid the streak of 100 degree days,
Electricity users have exceeded the record for power demand on the state’s main grid 10 times so far this summer, according to ERCOT data. …
A significant increase in solar farms built in recent years in Texas has helped meet increasing demand. Texas can also produce the most wind power of any state. But solar power declines as the sun sets. And on Thursday, ERCOT cited low wind power generation as an additional cause for concern.
Although most of those days were thirsty bluebird sunny, the extreme heat even dampened the ability of solar power to keep Texans’ lights on and air conditioners cycling. The photovoltaic cells in solar panels tend to operate less efficiently when temperatures rise above 77℉. Ecoflow writes,
For every degree Celsius above 25°C (77°F), a solar panel’s efficiency typically declines by 0.3% to 0.5%.
This decrease in efficiency can be significant in regions where temperatures rise dramatically during the day, such as deserts or tropical areas.
When temperatures were above 100℉ for weeks on end for 55 days this summer and well above 90 for the remainder of the past four and a half months—which is true as I sit in my office and write today—solar panels were producing much less power than promised. How is more solar supposed to help out in the predicted warmer world?
ERCOT has a portal on its website where one can track, almost minute by minute, power demand and supply in Texas and what sources are meeting demand. I checked it periodically throughout this summer’s heat wave, as I’m checking it now, and the story it told was almost always the same. Relatively low wind and solar output compared to rated capacity, and near maximum production from nuclear, natural gas, and the state’s remaining coal power plants. As I write at 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday, September 27, with the temperature at 95℉, wind, the second-largest source of electric power in the state (accounting for more than 25 percent of the state’s electric power capacity), is producing only approximately one-quarter of its rated capacity. Overall, it is currently satisfying just 3.4 percent of the state’s power demand.
It turns out the wind doesn’t blow very well in the summer in West Texas where most of the turbines take up space.
Solar power, the third-largest generating source in Texas by stated capacity, is operating at just 57 percent of capacity on a clear, sunny day, meeting just 14.7 percent of the state’s demand. That is 2 percent less than coal, even though coal has only 65 percent of solar’s generating capacity. And of course, as common sense tells us and ERCOT’s monitor confirms, solar’s capacity will drop to zero or near-zero as night falls, regardless of the demand for power.
Relying on green energy to keep the lights on is a pipedream—in fact, it is an increasingly expensive nightmare. That’s true not just in Texas, where electricity prices have risen inexorably in recent years as each megawatt of wind and solar has been added to the system, but across the United States and in Europe as well. Independent system operators in the United States are increasingly warning that adding more intermittent power to the grid and prematurely closing coal power is a recipe for more outages and blackouts, which have already begun trending upward with the renewable energy mandates and subsidies.
Despite all of this effort, carbon dioxide emissions are trending ever-upward because of growth in China and other developing countries, which are using coal to power their economic progress. If one believes (as I do not) that carbon dioxide is driving dangerous climate change, there is no climate benefit from these expensive U.S. mandates and subsidies for wind and solar power.
Never fear, however: there is a silver lining to this dark cloud. Politically connected green energy elites and politicians beholden to them are profiting handsomely from this boondoggle. It’s only us peons who will swelter or shiver in the dark when President Joe Biden’s net-zero goals come to fruition.
In the new episode of "Climate Change Roundtable," guest host Jim Lakely leads a thought-provoking discussion with experts Steve Milloy, H. Sterling Burnett, and Linnea Lueken on the latest developments from the COP28 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Our panel delves into a critical analysis of the conference's many shortcomings, challenging the prevailing narratives pushed by the mainstream media, and explores alternative perspectives on climate change.The episode aims to debunk common climate change myths, focusing on a comprehensive understanding of the conference's implications and strategies. Join us as we navigate through the complexities of global climate policies and their real-world impacts, offering our listeners a unique viewpoint that goes beyond conventional climate change alarmism. Whether you're a climate enthusiast, a policy expert, or just someone curious about the different facets of climate change discourse, this episode promises to provide a fresh and insightful take on the discussions from COP28.
Recently a prominent science educator, Stanford’s Jonathan Osborne, opined that the goal of science is consensus. Science is a process whose purpose is the pursuit of knowledge, a process which often overturns consensus. Osborne’s statements dismiss the scientific method, and critical thinking as a whole. This view of science would leave us in towards a dark age, with progress suddenly slowing to a halt. Osborne’s view seems to be that knowledge is socially constructed, not based on evidence and measurements, with scientific discovery being reduced to the counting of hands.
Subscribe to the Environment & Climate News podcast on Apple Podcasts, iHeart, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. And be sure to leave a positive review!
Green Energy Is Toxic
New research published in the journal Science shows the mining of metals to meet the demand for green energy technologies is polluting rivers and land and is probably harming people’s health.
Using empirically based modelling for lead, zinc, copper, and arsenic, combined with a global database of all known metal mining sites and intact and failed tailings storage facilities, the scientists concluded,
Worldwide, metal mines affect 479,200 kilometers of river channels and 164,000 square kilometers of floodplains. The number of people exposed to contamination sourced from long-term discharge of mining waste into rivers is almost 50 times greater than the number directly affected by tailings dam failures. [As a result] an estimated 23 million people live on floodplains affected by potentially dangerous concentrations of toxic waste derived from past and present metal mining activity.
In addition to the rivers, floodplains, and people affected by the pollution, the research suggests pollution from metal mining currently affects 5.72 million livestock animals and more than 16 million acres of irrigated farmland, The Daily Mail notes in its discussion of the study.
Of course, this research does not even address the pollution and health effects of lithium, cobalt, and myriad rare earth elements critical to so-called green batteries, solar panels, and wind turbines. As the production of green energy continues to grow, so will the demand for the mining of these metals and critical elements.
“According to the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, green energy technologies like wind turbines and electric cars often do require many more mined minerals than the present fossil fuels infrastructure,” The Daily Mail reports. “One electric car, for example, requires six times more metallic and mineral materials than a combustion engine car, MIT’s university team reports.
“And a wind power plant requires nine times more of these mined compounds than a traditional gas-fired plant,” The Daily Mail reports.
As a result, more green energy equals more mining and a need for radically improved waste disposal to avoid “business as usual” pollution.
To date, the researchers have mapped 159,735 abandoned mines and 22,609 active mines, plus 11,587 mining waste storage facilities and 257 known cases of failed and leaking storage sites.
Mark Macklin, lead author of the study and director of Lincoln University’s Lincoln Centre for Water and Planetary Health, says the research was intended to detail current locations where metal mining could already be producing dangerous impacts while developing mitigation measures.
“We expect that this will make it easier to mitigate the environmental effects of historical and present mining,’” Macklin told The Daily Mail. “Our new method for predicting the dispersal of mine waste in river systems provides governments, environmental regulators, the mining industry and local communities with a tool that, for the first time, will enable them to assess the offsite and downstream impacts of mining on ecosystem and human health.”
New research published in the journal Weather and Climate Extremes examined tornado data in the United States from 1954 through 2018 to determine whether any trends in strength and damage have appeared during the recent period of modest warming.
The team of Australian researchers (Zhang et al.) normalized the data on losses from tornadoes, using a dataset maintained by the U.S. National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center for the 65 years from 1954 through 2018. They also incorporated more detailed data on losses from individual tornado events collected since 1997. When the two datasets were combined and normalized, the researchers found, (a) for most U.S. states and in general there has been a decline in severe hurricanes, and (b) “[a]t the country level, both the severity of damage from individual events and the total annual losses from tornadoes are seen to have reduced over time … [resulting in a] national significant decline in normalized losses for tornado events.” See the graph below.
Although these findings have been largely ignored by the mainstream media, Roger Pielke Jr., Ph.D., was quick to discuss the importance of the paper’s findings.
Pielke, who has previously published peer-reviewed research on tornado damage and losses, was part of a team of researchers that provided the first comprehensive normalization of tornado losses. Their research, published in the journal Environmental Hazards in 2012, examined tornado impacts and losses in the United States from 1950 through 2011 and concluded “normalized tornado damage in the US from 1950 to 2011 declined in all three normalization methods applied (two are statistically significant[;] one is not).”
The authors of the new Weather and Climate Extremes paper explicitly acknowledge their new results confirm and extend the conclusions of the Environmental Hazards paper: “our findings reiterate the results of Simmons et al. (2013) who emphasize the importance of normalizing loss data to draw adequate conclusions about the severity of natural hazards.”
Pielke updated the data from his earlier coauthored paper with data from 2011 onwards and found tornado losses have continued to decline, as did Zhang et al.
Importantly, in addition to damage from tornadoes having declined over the past 70-plus years, Zhang et al. report incidences of the strongest tornadoes (F2 through F5) have likewise trended downward during that time. Also, Pielke notes that in nine of the 11 years since his paper was published in 2012, the United States has experienced below-average numbers of tornadoes.
Heartland Institute President James Taylor was a guest on The Balance with Eric Bolling on Newsmax TV to talk about the absurdity of California Gov. Gavin Newsom to sue “Big Oil” for supposed damages the industry causes via all the carbon dioxide emissions we are all responsible for by living in a modern society. He was on the program with Heartland friend Daniel Turner, the founder of Power the Future.
Dr. Richard Lindzen is an American atmospheric physicist known for his work in the dynamics of the middle atmosphere, atmospheric tides, and ozone photochemistry.
He served as the Gordon McKay Professor of Dynamic Meteorology at Harvard University and was appointed as the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the MIT.
Dr. Lindzen has disputed the scientific consensus on climate change and criticizes what he has called “climate alarmism”.
Rather than picking apart the arguments for or against said climate narratives, our conversation is largely focused on the question of what would motivate such alleged deception were it found to be the case.
Canada is unravelling. Culture wars are making the country stupid, poor and fractured — and according to Angus Reid, these fractures have produced five distinct groups.
Last week, the Angus Reid Institute released a study on the bubbling, sometimes boiling, political conflicts in Canada. The study characterized five culture war factions that comprise the country: the “zealous activists,” the “quiet accommodators,” the “conflicted middle,” the “frustrated skeptics” and the “defiant objectors.” They make up the political ecosystem, which is why they are perhaps best recast as members of the animal kingdom.
Zealous Activists Behave as Wolves
“Zealous activists,” according to the Angus Reid study, make up 17 per cent of the population. They are ardent social progressives who believe that cancel culture is about “accountability.” I think of them as wolves. They travel in packs. These are woke mobs pushing the social justice revolution. They hunger to rip to shreds the reputation of anyone who defies progressive agendas.
Although they sometimes attack big targets, wolves prefer to hunt the vulnerable. They dress in sheep’s clothing, pretending to protect the weak and the downtrodden. But when the weak or downtrodden step out of line, wolves turn on them without a moment’s hesitation. Wolves appear to be more numerous than they really are, perhaps because they howl incessantly. They are proud virtue-signallers. Some truly believe in the cause, but activism is also a means to professional and social standing: they compete with one another for status within the pack.
Quiet Accommodators Resemble Sheep
Just over one quarter of Canadians are “quiet accommodators.” Like wolves, they are progressives, tending to agree with safe spaces and trigger warnings — but they lack the intensity of a predator. Let’s call them sheep. They are the foot soldiers of the culture wars; they believe in social justice dogma because that is what they have been fed. They crave approval and belonging.
Some sheep don’t understand social justice ideology beyond catchphrases and knee-jerk reactions, but they know those very well. Sheep can be found in positions of authority, where they enthusiastically enforce woke policies. They can be primary school principals, CEOs and even premiers. They seek to preserve their status by supporting the “correct” attitudes; in doing so, they willingly follow wolves, failing to understand that wolves are their greatest threat.
Conflicted Middle Act Like Ostriches
The “conflicted middle” makes up 18 per cent of the population. They are ostriches who keep their heads close to the ground, divided on culture wars and politics. Ostriches are ambivalent about social justice agendas and cultural revolutions; they comply to avoid any unwanted attention. Like sheep, ostriches seek to preserve their professional or social status. Unlike sheep, who want to belong, ostriches obey to avoid trouble. They tend to abhor politics and prefer not to think about ideology, even when ideology won’t leave them alone. Ostriches just wish the whole thing would go away.
Frustrated Skeptics Lurk Like Leopards
Nineteen per cent of Canadians are “frustrated skeptics.” They view culture wars as tiring and unproductive. Imagine them as leopards, aware and poised, but camouflaged against the scrubby savannah. Leopards object to woke agendas but keep their opinions to themselves. Some feel vulnerable in their jobs or social relationships. Others hide their opposition strategically, believing they can resist more effectively from the inside. Like ostriches, leopards are careful not to provide wolves with a reason to attack. Unlike ostriches, leopards are not ambivalent, but are waiting for the right moment to pounce.
Defiant Objectors Roar Like Lions
A fifth of Canadians are “defiant objectors.” They oppose cancel culture, safe spaces and censorship. These are the lions, who openly roar in disapproval at the progressive transformation of their society. Lions are the only animals in the kingdom who say “hell no” out loud. Some have prominent public profiles, but most lions are simply fearless ordinary people. They sometimes gather in prides, like the truckers and their supporters, but they are naturally inclined to be independent. When lions roar, wolves howl that they are bigots, populists, or members of a fringe minority with unacceptable views.
Missteps are dangerous in a culture war. The pack will devourthose who commit wrongthink. The most susceptible are sheep and ostriches, who, despite submitting to the regime, are apt to utter inconvenient truths. Social justice ideology is tricky. It contains incoherent positions, changes the meanings of words and constantly moves the target. “My body, my choice” is a rallying cry when it relates to abortion, but racist and misogynist when it applies to vaccine mandates. Sheep and ostriches must navigate an ever-shifting landscape of rules and political correctness.
Leopards can misstep and blow their cover, but sometimes that works out for the best. Once revealed, they may find that they were meant to be lions after all. Lions can’t misstep, at least in the sense of accidentally outing themselves. Out is where they mean to be.
An activist minority is setting the agenda in Canada, but only for as long as Canadians allow it. Be a lion.
Canadians say we’re changing how we talk to each other, split over whether it’s a good or bad thing
The first release focused on Canadians views of the culture wars, how we talk to each other, as well as conflict mitigation, censorship, and “cancel culture”. Depending on where they sit on the spectrum of cultural mindsets, Canadians can view these issues as important, informative, exhausting or even unnecessary.
Gender Identity: More than half say male or female; one-third say that’s too limiting, others unsure
The second release covered Gender Identity – including topics such as gender fluidity and gender neutral language. Also Transgender Issues – how do Canadians say they would react if their child showed an affinity for a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth?
These forthcoming studies will put a spotlight on:
Climate and the Economy – how should Canada move forward in energy development? Do Canadians support or oppose a wealth tax?
Colonialism and Indigenous Issues – addressing topics such as the legacy of Canada’s colonial history and residential schools
Race and Ethnicity – including topics such as privilege, cultural appropriation, equity, discrimination and racism
Evidence of the corruption of the once sacrosanct scientific process grows daily with scientific bodies falling victim to wokeness, unscientific findings and pseudo-scientific romantic mythology. The latest report on the future of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) by the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) is another sad reflection of this depressing trend. According to long-time Reef expert Dr. Peter Ridd, the report demonstrates that the AAS, Australia’s principal science body, is not just unscientific, but anti-science. Writing recently in Spectator Australia, he also noted it had become “astonishingly woke”.
The AAS observed that the Reef could already be “irreversibly damaged”. This propagandised opinion flies in the face of the fact that coral on the Reef is at a 37-year record high, despite a challenging past decade of cyclones, natural localised warming spikes and starfish attacks. Coral is now double that recorded in 2012. Nowhere in the report, including the executive summary, introduction and conclusion, is any of this mentioned. Also considered unworthy of note is the fact that UNESCO recently declared the GBR was not endangered.
What we get is a parade of wokeness and half-baked possible solutions to combat the mortal danger the doomed GBR is supposed to be in. Much play is made of the involvement of aboriginal people in the roundtable process that helped compile the report. Having a ‘traditional knowledge co-chair’ in each roundtable “allows for different sources of knowledge to be shared”. This provides a “holistic” understanding of the GBR, encompassing “customary activities, song-lines, stories, totems and spirituality”.
The original settlers in Australia were immensely practical people learning to survive in a hostile environment. But Dr. Ridd suggests that selecting people on the basis of their ethnicity, rather than their scientific experience, is a “fundamentally anti-scientific approach”. He did however feel that people “deeply practical” about the Reef could have helped in pointing out the absurdity of some future actions proposed by the AAS. Deeply practical people know that you cannot bolt the Reef, the size of Germany, to the sea floor. Under “rubble stabilisation”, the AAS seems to suggest coral rocks can be glued back together. Even if by some “climate magic” the Reef is broken up, are they seriously suggesting we can wire it back together, asks Ridd.
Folk more practical than the experts at the AAS might also have a problem with “solar radiation management”, a daft idea, unsparing of other people’s money, that could see the entire Reef shaded from the sun with artificial fog and clouds. Of course, since this is an Australian Government-bound report, nothing as vulgar as costings are supplied. “How are you going to make a cloud as big as Germany and keep it anchored over the Reef for the whole summer over the next few hundred years?” asks Dr. Ridd. In addition, he continues, you will have to stop hot water flowing from the Coral Sea, and this would necessitate building a dam 2,000 kilometres long and 100 metres deep.
While a simple calculation is all that is required to reveal the absurdity of such ideas, “modern science is full of people who are almost completely non-quantitative and, as such, impractical and virtually useless as scientists”, concludes Ridd.
The recent coral recovery on the GBR has been a major embarrassment to many climate alarmists, not least those found in the mainstream media. The story has disappeared from the headlines, leading to the obvious charge that the MSM are now lying about the spectacular recovery by omission. In a recent report, Dr. Ridd, who was cancelled in 2018 from his post as a physics professor at James Cook University for questioning the institutional narrative around the GBR, said recent events “raised serious questions about integrity in science institutions and in the media”. Coral has never been in better shape, he reported. “An uncharitable observer might conclude that periodic mass coral mortality events, which are largely completely natural, are exploited by some organisations with an ideological agenda and a financial interest.”
The AAS holds itself out as providing “independent, authoritative and influential advice“ to Government. It appears to be somewhat ruthless in protecting its trade. Last year it called for broadcast news and the internet to censor what it called “climate denialism misinformation”, as well as “disinformation” about the GBR, Covid vaccines and other issues that result in “societal harm”. It went on to call for all social media platforms to proactively promote “trusted information” to “inoculate” people against misinformation. Platforms should be held accountable for content that challenges the official narrative on any of these issues.
At the time, the Australian climate writer Jo Nova quoted the atmospheric physicist Professor Garth Paltridge, who said: “I just cannot understand how any science academy that is supposed to operate through rational debate can behave like this – that is, to use pure political brute force to prevent one side of the argument from putting its case”.
Chris Morrison is the Daily ScepticI‘sEnvironment Editor.
The recent and concerning collapse of the once revered scientific process in large parts of the climate change and medical community is detailed in a highly critical ‘open review’ paper from the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). Someday, charge the authors, there will need to be an inquiry into how so many scientific bodies abandoned core principles of scientific integrity, took strong positions on unsettled science, took people’s word for things uncritically, and silenced those who tried to continue the scientific endeavour.
Universities have abandoned their historical role of open and disinterested enquiry on behalf of humanity, and “should be sanctioned for this by revoking their charitable status”. Group-think that maintains prevailing fads and supresses dissent on behalf of alleged ‘consensus’ is the opposite of the central purpose of universities. Mainstream media have long been uncritical receptacles for alarmist ‘clickbait’ political scare stories, and this, it might be added, encourages self-promotion among aggressive publicity-hungry scientists. There are many errors and deceptions and much censorship, state the authors, blighting the complete story being told in an unbiased manner. Singling out the behaviour of state broadcaster the BBC, they note: “Any reasonable observer will wonder whether Ofcom [the state regulator] is asleep at the wheel, not requiring the BBC to correct the errors it has been made aware of by experts, nor return to some form of neutrality.”
The report is mainly written by Professor Michael Kelly, the former Prince Philip Professor of Engineering, Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, and Clive Hambler, Science Lecturer at Hertford College, Oxford. There is also economic input from Professor Roger Koppl from Syracuse University. The full GWPF report is due to be published in December and the paper is currently open for review, comments and contributions from other academics. The GWPF notes habitual attacks on its work from activists, and its ‘open review’ policy is explained here.
The realisation that genuine free speech and scientific enquiry is being replaced by strict politicised requirements to adhere to orthodoxy and pre-set narratives grows with every appalling ‘climategate’-style scandal. Regular readers will need little reminding of the recent retraction of the Alimonti et al. paper by Springer Nature following a year-long campaign by a small group of activist scientists and journalists. The paper, whose lead author was Professor of Physics Gianluca Alimonti, reviewed past weather trends and found no data to support the politically-termed ‘climate emergency’. World headlines have also been devoted to the astonishing story of Dr. Patrick Brown of Johns Hopkins University, who blew the whistle on his recent paper published in Nature on California wildfires. He said he wrote it according to the approved script boosting the role of ‘climate change’ and downplaying any natural causes and the horrendous role played by arsonists.
The full publication of the GWPF paper will add to the growing concern and alarm about the science advice given to governments and the media for onward distribution to the public. The corruptions involved in this process are seemingly built into the current system. Trillions of dollars now back the Net Zero collectivisation project across the world, and most scientists, largely paid for by politicians and wealthy green elites, are fully onboard the gravy train.
The GWPF authors aim to push back by maximising the diversity of advice, challenging advice through opposing ‘red’ teams, ensuring a reasonable level of accountability for scientists to discourage hype, and protecting scientists from career damage if they rationally disagree with mainstream views. Institutions should not take official positions on scientific issues, “since this stifles diversity of thought, freedom of speech and the reliability of advice”. Scepticism must be recovered as a respectful term for scientific behaviour from its present position as an insult, “and reinstated as a core duty of universities and learned societies”, demand the authors.
The authors are particularly dismissive of the role of computer models in the recent Covid pandemic and the promotion of climate change alarm. In the U.K., the “gross misuse” of Covid computer models in the absence of robust data to measure them against is noted. Along with a “paucity of challenge” to scientific advice, this may have contributed to “death tolls, economic decline and societal ills”.
On the climate side, the models have produced temperature forecasts two to three times higher than the actual data eventually showed. What is worse is that the results are getting more inaccurate. If the models were actually modelling the evolving climate, the gap would be narrowing. The inaccuracy is a “major embarrassment” and would not be tolerated in any other field of science, and certainly not in engineering. Separation of human-induced warming from natural temperature variation is far more difficult than that portrayed by the UN-funded Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC), since experimentation and replication is “simply not possible”. The inability to model significant parts of the atmosphere are “fatal flaws” in any system that is supposed to be predicting future climate change.
Yet, as regular readers will again recall, computer models play a vital part in promoting the unhinged Thermogeddon fantasies of people like the UN Secretary-General Antonio ‘global boiling’ Guterres. The UN-backed IPCC seems addicted to using computer models incorporating a ‘pathway’ of 5°C global warming within less than 80 years. Over 40% of its impact predictions are based on this forecast, despite an admission it is of “low likelihood”. According to a recent Clintel report, over 50% of clickbait climate science papers incorporate this pathway in a seemingly desperate attempt to attract the attention of activists writing in the mainstream media.
Chris Morrison isthe Daily Sceptic‘sEnvironment Editor.
Free speech is under attack in the politicised world of climate science and disgust at the recent cancellation of Alimonti et al. by Springer Nature continues to grow. Readers will recall that the paper written by four Italian scientists led by Physics Professor Gianluca Alimonti said past data did not point to a “climate crisis”. It was retracted on August 23rd, 20 months after initial publication, following a concerted campaign by activist journalists and scientists. Science writer Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., who first published a number of whistle-blower emails about a Springer inquiry, has returned to the fray, noting: “We should not be in a situation where activist journalists, many funded by billionaires, enlist activist scientists to demand retraction of a science article and then the world’s arguably leading scientific publisher meekly obeys. We must do better.”
Francis Menton writes the widely-read Manhattan Contrarian and he recently noted that free speech today is under assault from the Left all the time. He used the Alimonti affair as an example of this crackdown on dissent.
If you wonder why the climate alarm narrative seems so completely to dominate public discussion (even though it is utter nonsense), then you need to understand that there is an orthodoxy enforcement police operating behind the scenes. Most of the time the operation of this orthodoxy enforcement mechanism is invisible to the general public. Climate sceptics can’t get jobs in academia, and go into other careers; when sceptics write papers, they get rejected and are never heard of again. But every once in a while something happens to bring aspects of the orthodoxy enforcement mechanism momentarily into the open. That has recently occurred with respect to a paper published in a European scientific journal in early 2022.
Again regular readers will recall that the paper attracted little comment until September last year when the Daily Sceptic covered the findings in an article that attracted 9,000 retweets. Following subsequent coverage in the Australian and Sky Australia, the Guardian and state-owned Agence France-Presse (AFP) launched counterattacks. AFP ‘Herald of the Anthropocene’ Marlowe Hood said the data were “grossly manipulated” and “fundamentally flawed”. They were soon joined by a number of activist scientists including Michael Mann who sneered at his fellow academics, dismissing them as “nuclear physics dudes in Italy” from “totally unrelated fields”.
In Pielke’s latest contribution, he says it is his “strong opinion” that the sole reason to retract the paper is not to do with the analysis of the data, but the one sentence that reads: “In conclusion on the basis of observation data, the climate crisis that, according to many sources, we are experiencing today, is not evident yet.”
The joy of the successful activists appears unconfined. Marlowe Hood recently collected £88,000 from the foundation of the green technology supporting BBVA bank. He tweeted: “It may be akin to removing a speck of dust from a rubbish heap, but I confess to taking satisfaction in seeing this egregiously bad climate study retracted. The remaining question, of course, is how it got into a Springer Nature journal to start with.”
For its part, BBVA justified its recent large payment to Hood by noting “his ability to synthesise complex scientific models and studies and explain them in simple terms”.
The final Springer retraction notice did not detail any substantive issue with the Alimonti paper, writes Pielke, only vaguely refering to the Guardian and AFP articles in the passive voice — “concerns were raised”. The journal’s year-long attempt to review the paper was “apparently invented as they went along”.
Dr. Pielke is evidently an old-school science academic and he has a mild criticism about editorialising by using the term “climate crisis”. Whether there is a climate crisis is a political judgement and not one that emerges from data and evidence. But he goes on to note that anyone familiar with peer-reviewed literature knows that editorialising is common, and in the climate literature, “absolutely pervasive”. In fact, he conducted a review of Google Scholar and found more than 300,000 papers that assert a “climate crisis”. A minor editorial comment by the Alimonti authors that passed through peer review, he observes, is no way a justification for a retraction. In his view it is one of the “most egregious failures of scientific publishing that I have seen”.
Meanwhile, another academic whistle-blower has cast further shocking light on the policing methods that evidently lie behind much climate science publishing. As the Daily Scepticnoted on Tuesday, Dr. Patrick Brown of John Hopkins University said he wrote a new paper on California wildfires in Nature according to the approved script in order to get it published. This of course involved boosting the role of ‘climate change’ and downplaying natural causes and the increasing role played by arsonists. He said he has learnt that there is a formula for success in getting papers published in high profile journals such as Nature and Science. “Unfortunately, the formula is more about shaping your research in specific ways to support pre-approved narratives than it is about generating knowledge for society,” he said. This formula, added Brown, distorts a great deal of climate science research, and misinforms the public.
Francis Menton highlights Pielke’s finding that 300,000 science papers assert the existence of a climate crisis. “A few hundred billion dollars of Government money can buy a lot of fake climate alarmism,” he concludes.
Chris Morrison isthe Daily Sceptic’sEnvironment Editor.
Free speech today is under assault from the Left everywhere and all the time. You already know about the federal government’s pervasive Censorship Industrial Complex, pressuring all the big social media companies to suppress what they deem “misinformation” about any subject important to the current dominant political narrative (Covid-19, climate change, etc.). And you already know about ex-President Trump getting indicted by both federal and Georgia prosecutors for saying the same things about the 2020 election that Al Gore said about the 2000 election and Hillary Clinton said about the 2016 election and Stacey Abrams said about the 2018 election.
But how about the Left using its widespread control of social institutions to silence dissent. Today, this is literally everywhere. Here are a couple of notable examples for today — both, as it happens, from outside the U.S.:
Alimonte, et al., paper in European Physical Journal Plus
If you wonder why the climate alarm narrative seems so completely to dominate public discussion (even though it is utter nonsense), then you need to understand that there is an orthodoxy enforcement police operating behind the scenes. Most of the time the operation of this orthodoxy enforcement mechanism is invisible to the general public. Climate skeptics can’t get jobs in academia, and go into other careers; when skeptics write papers, they get rejected, and are never heard from again. But every once in a while something happens to bring aspects of the orthodoxy enforcement mechanism momentarily into the open. That has recently occurred with respect to a paper published in a European scientific journal in early 2022.
In January 2022 the European science journal called European Physical Journal Plus (part of the Springer Nature collection of journals) published a paper by Gianluca Alimonte and colleagues with the title “A critical assessment of extreme events trends in times of global warming.” The paper is essentially a review of trends in various sorts of extreme weather events since the early 20th century, including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts, and so forth. The bottom line from the article is that there are no noticeable trends in the frequency or severity of these extreme weather events during recent years. For example, the summary as to hurricanes is “To date, global observations do not show any significant trends in both the number and the energy accumulated by hurricanes.”Here is the graph as to numbers of hurricanes and tropical storms and accumulated energy of same:
Surely no trends are visible there. And here are the key concluding sentences from the abstract:
None of these response indicators show a clear positive trend of extreme events. In conclusion on the basis of observational data, the climate crisis that, according to many sources, we are experiencing today, is not evident yet.
That last observation seems to be the one that just could not be allowed. It appears that a group of orthodoxy enforcers from academia and journalism ganged up to go to Springer Nature to demand retraction of the Alimonte, et al. paper. There followed a lengthy back and forth, which ended with the paper being retracted on August 23, 2023. A whistleblower at Springer Nature leaked the back and forth to Roger Pielke, Jr., who has published two pieces about it on his Substack, the first on July 17, and the second on August 26. You can read those two lengthy pieces for all the details.
From the Pielke July 17 piece, the pile-on began about a year ago:
[E]ight months [after publication of Alimonte, et al.], following some discussion of the paper in the Australian media, The Guardian wrote an article severely criticizing the paper. The Guardian quoted four scientists critical of the paper: Greg Holland, Lisa Alexander, Steve Sherwood, and Michael Mann.
As an example of the nature of the criticisms, Pielke quotes the execrable Michael Mann, whose comments Pielke describes as “scathing and personal.” They are also notably non-substantive, appealing to consensus without disputing the accuracy of any of the data:
[This is] another example of scientists from totally unrelated fields coming in and naively applying inappropriate methods to data they don’t understand. Either the consensus of the world’s climate experts that climate change is causing a very clear increase in many types of weather extremes is wrong, or a couple of nuclear physics dudes in Italy are wrong.
As Pielke documents, there was no allegation of scientific fraud or misconduct of any sort. This was purely a case of Mann and his henchmen demanding a retraction over a matter of disagreement with the conclusion. Alimonte, et al. stood behind their work and declined to retract. And Springer then bowed to Mann’s bullying and retracted the article on August 23.
Meanwhile, go to the (now-retracted) Alimonte, et al., paper, and look at the graphs. It is obvious that there is no trend in extreme weather events. There is no getting around this. But it is not allowed to be said in “prestigious” publications like the Springer science journals.
Or, by the way, you can go to Joe D’Aleo’s excellent website, icecap.us, where there is a frequently updated section headed “Climate Alarmist Claim Fact Checks” with the latest data on trends in all extreme weather events.
Pielke mildly criticizes Alimonte, et al., for their “editorializing” about the lack of any climate crisis discernible in the data. Meanwhile, he notes that he did a Google search that turned up some 300,000 papers asserting the existence of a climate crisis. A few hundred billion dollars of government money can buy a lot of fake climate alarmism.
Jordan Peterson license to practice psychology in Ontario
On August 23 judges of something called the Ontario Divisional Court upheld a ruling of the College of Psychologists of Ontario, which had ordered Jordan Peterson to undergo what Peterson calls “social media retraining” to punish him for various tweets and a Joe Rogan podcast interview that the College found unacceptable. In a podcast on August 25, watchable at the Neo Neocon website here, Peterson goes through the tweets and statements that the College of Psychologists finds so unacceptable. Here are a couple discussed on the podcast:
In a tweet on February 19, 2022, Peterson called Ottawa City Councillor Catherine McKenney, who uses “they/them” pronouns, an “appalling, self-righteous moralizing thing.”
Speaking on a Joe Rogan podcast about air pollution and child deaths, Peterson said: “It’s just poor children, and the world has too many people on it anyways.”And here are few more from a piece in the Daily Mail:
2016: Slammed proposed Canadian legislation that would ban discrimination based on ‘gender identity or gender expression’, claiming it would threaten free speech
2017: Claimed that ‘the idea of white privilege is absolutely reprehensible’ because ‘most people have all sorts of privilege’
2018: Told British TV network Channel 4 that men need to ‘grow the hell up’ and ‘adopt responsibility’ while discussing the crisis of masculinity. Also claimed that the gender pay gap was not ‘only due to sex’
You can see how very nefarious this guy is. Clearly he must be silenced.
The punishment for Peterson is that he must undergo re-education until his re-educators are satisfied that he is sufficiently compliant.
The good news is that Peterson has the resources to continue the fight. Perhaps he will take it to the Supreme Court of Canada.
In the vast landscape of climate discourse, few articles stand out as starkly as Susannah Crockford’s piece titled “That Which They Will Not See: Climate Denial as a Vector of Epistemological Crisis in the Contemporary United States”. At first glance, the article promises an in-depth exploration of the cultural epistemology of climate denial in the US, particularly in the southern states. However, a closer examination reveals a piece riddled with constructed narratives that seem more intent on smearing a broad group of people than offering a genuine understanding of their perspectives.
“Climate denial continues as a cultural epistemology for anthropogenic climate change in the United States, despite worsening impacts.”
From the outset, the framing of climate skepticism as “denial” is problematic. This term inherently dismisses any counter-arguments and paints a vast group with a broad brush, without delving into the complexities of their beliefs. The use of the term “denial” is a classic rhetorical move, designed to equate skepticism about certain aspects of climate science with the denial of undeniable historical events, such as the Holocaust. This is not just misleading but intellectually dishonest.
“Engaging with the literature on agnotology, the social construction of ignorance, the argument is made that this literature as it pertains to climate denial does not go far enough in accounting for the persistence of the rejection of climate science.”
Here, Crockford insinuates that those skeptical of mainstream climate narratives are merely ignorant. But what if they’re informed by a different set of data, experiences, or perspectives that the mainstream has overlooked or intentionally suppressed? By leaning on the concept of agnotology, the article conveniently sidesteps the possibility that there might be legitimate reasons for skepticism, painting it instead as a mere product of ignorance.
“Theoretically drawing from anthropological work on the incommensurability of paradigms, the argument is based on a tripartite construction of denial as produced through an interaction of a cultural norm of radical empiricism, a political-media ecosystem funded by fossil fuel companies, and a cosmological schema derived from conservative white evangelicalism.”
This tripartite construction is a glaring example of the article’s flawed approach. By attributing skepticism solely to these three factors, Crockford ignores a myriad of other potential reasons for differing viewpoints and perpetuates a false narrative. It’s a reductionist approach that doesn’t account for the vast complexities of human belief and understanding.
“Francis Beer and Robert Hariman (\nCitation2020\n: 20) argue that the Covid-19 pandemic exposed an epistemological crisis of stark knowledge disparities between vernacular and scientific explanations of causality and solutions.”
Drawing parallels between the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change might seem like a stretch, but there’s a strong element of truth here. It’s just that it’s the opposite of what Crockford concludes. In both cases, ideologically captured institutions, academia, and media have marched in lockstep to force approved narratives and suppress and censor unapproved ones. The “epistemological crisis” isn’t just about knowledge disparities but about the suppression of dissenting voices and the dangers of echo chambers.
“I situate this reframing in conversation with anthropological work on white evangelical Protestants, a group associated in particular with climate denial, either through opposition to secular culture or end-times chronotope.”
This is perhaps the most egregious part of the article. By singling out white evangelical Protestants, Crockford engages in a baseless smear campaign, suggesting that this group is the primary driver of climate skepticism without any substantial evidence. It’s a classic case of scapegoating, diverting attention from the real issues at hand.
In sum, Crockford’s article is a glaring example of the very epistemological bubble it purports to critique. By constructing false narratives and failing to genuinely engage with the complexities of climate skepticism, it continues the path of polarization and othering.
Articles such as this are simply expressions of frustration that those ignorant savages just won’t listen to reason. It’s a frustration borne of moral narcissism and unwavering obeisance to expertocracy. The epistemological crisis occurring is one of a failing expertocracy forcing its viewpoints and worldviews through an onslaught of propaganda and censorship on a populace that can see the contradictions and flaws in those viewpoints.
Global warming, climate change, all these things are just a dream come true for politicians. I deal with evidence and not with frightening computer models because the seeker after truth does not put his faith in any consensus. The road to the truth is long and hard, but this is the road we must follow. People who describe the unprecedented comfort and ease of modern life as a climate disaster, in my opinion have no idea what a real problem is.