“Climate Extremism & The Chilling Effect On Free Speech“ (2015-01-12). Anthony’s buddy Benny Peiser, doubles down on the environmentalists are hateful murderous Nazis, not rational, contemplative, free-thinkers like us denialists argument. Benny’s got a passel of right-wing media quotes to prove it!
What’s got Benny’s knickers in a knot, other than opportunistically hopping on the anyone who criticizes us is just like the Islamic murderers in France wagon?
Well, it’s all about Benny of course.
It seems his crony Nigel Lawson at their “high-profile” Global Warming Policy Foundation is so discredited that he’s having a tough time getting on the air at the BBC. And as everyone knows, free speech requires that dishonest statements get just as widely heard as honest ones. Doesn’t it? That’s a Chilling Effect on dishonest partisans!
Also in 2014 Dr. Lennart Bengtsson, 79, jumped from the GWPF after two weeks when he discovered that the GWPF wasn’t part of a “peaceful [scientific] community”. Benny’s left wondering how his anti-science “think tank” can recruit spokespeople. That’s also a Chilling Effect on dishonest partisans!
The GWPF’s critics “reminds me about the time of McCarthy” said Dr. Bengtsson. Here’s a tip for Benny and Bengtsson: McCarthy was the guy who accused people he didn’t like of being communists. Remind you of anyone?
I wonder how often these toads ever have the honesty to think about the chilling effect their activities have on free speech; more likely, they (dishonestly) do think about it, and cackle happily as they wallow in their Exxon dollars.
One of my upcoming books is a YA number on the dangers of science denialism. I spend perhaps 15% of it, if that, talking about AGW denial. My supposedly well educated editor argued that this was ‘way too much, besides it was far too political a subject, etc., etc., all because of the way Watts and his like have poisoned the popular understanding of the real science of the subject. When I got it through to my editor that the subject was of sufficient importance that, unless something’s done Pretty Damn’ Soon, quite a lot of our youthful readers may have their lives brutally curtailed, and pointed him at some appropriate references, to his credit he was man enough to admit he’d been wrong. But how often do members of the public encounter that sort of resistance to the crapola that “the science is still not in”?
Free speech is only truly free if it hasn’t been poisoned by lies.
The likes of Watts, Peiser and Lawson know this, which is why they keep on spreading their poison.
[Yes, the free speech denialists are most interested in “chilling” is informed communication about climate research. Many scientists deliberately avoid engaging the public because of the personal attacks and malicious impediments denialists have repeatedly undertaken. But that’s nothing compared to the injustice of denialists not being given free rein on someone else’ media platform. – Ben]
It is amazing the arguments people are willing to invoke in order to justify their positions. It’s somewhat disturbing, because either they think they’re right and hence have no basic understanding of the logic of these type of issues, or they’re fundamentally dishonest. Given that their arguments are so nonsensical, I really can’t believe anyone can actually be that stupid, and hence I’d have to go for the latter.
To extend this a bit, I get the feeling that some genuinely believe that any tactic is a valid tactic, as long as it helps to achieve a goal. It doesn’t matter if that tactic is logical and honest, or not. That’s probably consistent with my sense that people who use these arguments are dishonest, but I suspect that they believe anything goes and that therefore it’s fine to behave in this way (which includes accusing others of being dishonest, while being dishonest themselves).
I think you have to remember that outside the world of science/academia or technical professions, the idea that your arguments should be fully evidence based, couched in uncertainty and open to scrutiny is totally foreign.
It becomes more about projecting confidence, talking fluently and convincingly. telling people what they want to hear, steamrolling those who raise doubts, and above all, never appearing uncertain or admitting error. Indeed, in normal conversion it’s regarded as quite rude and/or aggressive to directly tell someone that they are wrong or ask them for evidence. And if you say something like ‘Well, there is a possibility that we’ll see 2 meters of sea level rise within our lifetimes’, it sounds weak and uncertain.
I sometimes wonder if this is a factor online.. people who are used to confidently holding forth on subjects that they don’t really know about among people who don’t challenge them suddenly find themselves being told that they are wrong by people who are making weak-sounding arguments.. and the natural reaction is anger and belittlement. Very alpha-chimp stuff, I know. But I don’t think that people are genuinely thinking ‘any argument will do’ – they simply have no relevant experience of argument.
Interesting, I hadn’t thought of it like that. You may well be right. Maybe it is just that what to a scientists might sound like a standard way to have a discussion and to discuss a topic is simply completely foreign to some who work in other environments.
“It becomes more about projecting confidence, talking fluently and convincingly. telling people what they want to hear, steamrolling those who raise doubts, and above all, never appearing uncertain or admitting error.”
oh the irony, lol.
[Actually that’s an insightful quote about the motivation and behaviour of climate trolls. You don’t seem to have noticed the description of actual scientific discussion immediately before your LOL quote: “the idea that your arguments should be fully evidence based, couched in uncertainty and open to scrutiny is totally foreign.” – Ben]
“… I get the feeling that some genuinely believe that any tactic is a valid tactic, as long as it helps to achieve a goal…”
Slight sidetrack, but: your description fits ‘politicians’ perfectly.