Friday, 6 May 2016

Little Jimmy Delingpile and the Rapid Decline Of Denialism

It's been a while since this blog mentioned one of its favourite authors, and surely Nobel literature prize laureate this year (it can only be a matter of time), Little Jimmy Delingpile.

Little Jimmy Delingpile

Charles Atlas
A quick recap for new readers.  Little Jimmy, the man who makes Charles Atlas look like a wimp, is a long time climate science denialist given a platform at the Daily Torygraph (until he was offloaded), The Spectator and Breitbat News upon which to spout his interpretations of interpretations.  He also writes books which no one seems to stock aside from Amazon. 

This week he has utilised valuable ink and paper to write what can only be described as drivel.  His article is entitled The Slow Death Of Environmentalism (archived).  As ever, Delingpile fails to understand irony while writing yet another example of it.  Isn't it ironic that he writes this:
the decline [in people identifying as environmentalists in the USA] has been far more precipitous among Republicans (down to 27 per cent) than among Democrats (down to 56 per cent)...If you believe the greenies, the blame for this lies with an intransigent right so imprisoned by ideology that it stubbornly denies ‘the science’.
Well, Mr Delingpile, you are a right-winger and you stubbornly deny the science (no scare quotes needed) because, er, you are imprisoned by your ideology.

I used to think that  libertarianism might have something going for it.  And smaller government.  Until I had the chance to think about it and then it took only a nanosecond to realise that those things just don't work.  It's the political equivalent of having your cake and eating it.  I used to pay little attention to environmental causes until I thought about them too.  I want my new grandson growing up seeing a real elephant, a living breathing one, rather than a stuffed one in a glass case.  If humans did drive mammoths to extinction when there were a lot fewer of us to do so, our industrial killing machines are doing the same job with awful efficiency for the smaller African Elephas today.

Never let it be said that Jimmy Delingpile will waste an opportunity, like Heartland with the Unabomber, to equate environmentalists with terrorists or despotic regimes:
Like the Viet Minh or the Taleban, the environmental movement has become hugely skilled in the art of asymmetric warfare.
Heaven forbid that he should ignore the chance for hyperbole.  He could have reached for his Nuremburg Trials reference again, but that would be like repeating his greatest hits.

He goes on:
The number of true believers is much smaller than you’d think — but they’ve managed in recent years to punch massively above their weight by infiltrating all the key positions of influence and by terrorising those who disagree with them.
An analysis of Twitter exchanges suggests the true believers population is much bigger than Delingpile would have you believe. You know he wants you to believe that.  He also wants you to think that they terrorise people, rather than correcting them.  I can't remember too many true believers going on email fishing expeditions but that's old hat for deniers with power.  I can't remember hackers going after denialist websites but SkepticalScience has been hacked in the past.  And so was the server with the CRU emails.

Ah, those emails.  Delingpile takes great delight in having coined the term Climategate.  Perhaps Delingate might catch on. 

Challenge the ‘consensus’ — whether you’re a scientist like Willie Soon or even a cuddly TV presenter like David Bellamy or Johnny Ball — and these people will stop at nothing to try to destroy your career.

I think we can all work out that neither Bellamy nor Ball were A-list celebrities when they went denialist, and Willie Soon was pilloried for "forgetting" to mention where the cash that paid for his stationery came from.  And the "deliverables".

I quote these two paragraphs without comment:
The letter (sent privately, but leaked in the Guardian) was signed by no fewer than 13 members of the House of Lords, several of them scientists, who had held distinguished offices ranging from Astronomer Royal and president of the Royal Society to chairman of the Financial Services Authority. Any casual observer might naturally assume that such pillars of the establishment must have a point.
It’s only if you’re familiar with the territory that you realise how often the same names — Lords May, Rees, Stern and Deben; Sir Crispin Tickell; Sir Paul Nurse, et al — recur with tiresome regularity. Probably in their fields they were once rather good. But since then prestige has gone to their heads and they’ve turned into professional political activists brandishing a spurious environmental authority which is all too persuasive to people who don’t know better.
But they do give me the opportunity to show this video again, from the recurring "with tiresome regularity" Sir Paul Nurse, Nobel laureate:

Enough said.