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June 16, 2011



That article's not denialist at all, it's Plan B - approval of man-made global warming. It is insane, though.


Must be some fair competition for the "most insane" tag.
I wasn't aware that cold temperatures caused the Black Death, but can understand that although there is no evidence for it,it is scientific fact,as Dr.Fox would say.

Barry Freed

On reading that fine piece of reasoning it occurs to me that if we were to burn a sufficient quantity of witches we might release enough carbon into the atmosphere to avert this return to the colder temperatures that brought about the Black Death. I’m surprised it didn’t occur to him to propose this sensible solution himself.


Icing on the cake, I realize, but the DDT thing is a well-debunked corporate-right lie, too.

chris y

One hesitates to introduce data into this kind of discussion, and I know it's only Wikimedia, but the linked chart suggests that prevailing temperatures in the 1340s, when the Black Death hit Europe were scarcely colder than the previous 200 years and arguably warmer than the previous 50. Does Rattus rattus particularly thrive in cold climates?


Given the black death came from SE Asia via the silk road, it's an "interesting" argument.

But this kind of reasoning is pretty common now among the denialists.

I'd like to know how successful this kind of thing is. I mean that article reeks of desperation; of a not terribly bright man, who lost the ability to think when he took the loyalty oath, who is desperately reaching for any random factoid that he can string together. Does this kind of thing work, or is the American far right so far gone now that they've lost the ability to communicate with anyone outside the fold?


It doesn't matter. The point is that it's there and available to trot around the usual suspects. Quality is irrelevant or indeed counterproductive - the point is to occupy space. Pure availability entrepreneurship.


See also this little effort, as Australia seems to be the test range for cutting-edge rightwing bullshit at the moment.


Yeah but if the usual suspects start to sound mad, then doesn't that poison the argument? I mean if you don't follow the science, the logic is seriously odd. If we don't have global warming, it will lead to the Black Death. err...what?

I think this is an argument that is being lost. Because if you accept global warming, then various people are going to want a second opinion (contingency planning) on how it will affect their investments. You already have this with the insurance industry. A battle between scientists and well funded wank-tanks is one thing. A battle between large corporations (who might realise that the costs of warming are considerable) and wank-tanks might look very different.

Barry Freed

Not to mention the Pentagon and the CIA both of which have been studying the problem and considering its very real geo-strategic implications for some time now. My impression is that the right-wing media is so much preaching-to-the-choir right now but I'm perhaps a poor judge being too well to the left of mainstream discourse to judge (also a bit personally involved-my parents and other older relatives eat this stuff up like kids in a candy store and I find it very upsetting). OTOH I think a lot of public opinion polling backs this up (Josh Marshall at TPM covers this kind of thing quite a bit.)


"A battle between large corporations (who might realise that the costs of warming are considerable) and wank-tanks might look very different."

That won't be any battle. The wank tanks will turn on a sixpence and start pumping out stuff to set the scene for fascism and genocide.

Genuinely I'm a bit worried by language like "the costs of warming are considerable" and "very real geostrategic implications" from a crew as well-informed as the B&T regulars. I thought it was common knowledge that we are past the point of no return on this. We had our chance and we blew it in the nineties and noughties.

The costs of warming will be no less than utterly ruinous. The geostrategic implications will be no less than catastrophic war. The war on greenhouse gas concentrations is already lost - we've started a fire that will now inevitably rage out of control.

Maybe seriously costly geoengineering solutions remain an option, and it's good to see that they are being looked at. Let's just hope the Obama and China can come to an agreement on funding some kind of effort on that.


Strategist, it occured to me while I was reading this that I'm wearing a thin cotton jumper and feeling comfortable in daytime temperatures of around 20C, while right now a gentle rain is pattering against my windows. It's a normal Manchester summer.

Australia really is the front line, isn't it?


Pakistan is the front line?
Isn't it about 49deg C there at the moment. Last year the whole fucker went under water in a 1,000 year flood. They'll probably get their next 1,000 year flood in a year or two.
This is the beginning, at <1deg C of global warming.
Remember, holding the line at 2degC is now a write off.
4 deg C and it's the four horsemen of the apocalypse time.
6 deg C and it's hell on earth, forever.

Barry Freed

Strategist, I have no doubt that we’re just whistling past the graveyard at this point. My point above was not about global warming per se but about how Republicans in the US are in complete denial – I can’t remember how many times I’ve heard people say that “belief” in global warming is a religion – while at the same time the Pentagon, which in their eyes can usually do no wrong, has been planning for its consequences for some time now.


It's important to remember that the people "in denial" divide up into the wingnut useful idiot brigade who really believe global warning is not happening, and the wank-tankers who are in the denial business as a means of making a living.

It's the latter who'll turn on a sixpence when the money wants a different propaganda line to prevail. Actually they both will - the wingnuts are so ridiculous that they'll believe whatever it is that is thought up for them to justify the change of tune. But my guess is that they'll both be switching to racism and blame the victim in the next phase of this - reasons why we should all accept/believe in/demand genocide.

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