The Paris Climate Summit 2015: A waste? Hubris? Poor science? Alarmism gone mad? A gravy train? Take your pick

These are not my words.

They are the title of a booklet that I found in my mailbox this afternoon, that prompted the following rant, which I originally published on my personal Facebook page a short time ago.

I decided to reproduce my rant here.


Brett, you certainly chose the wrong mailbox to drop your 16-page + addendum climate change denial "news sheet" into. I wouldn't wipe my butt with this rubbish.

Your arrogance astounds me! How dare you deliver this unsolicited garbage into my mailbox?

You call yourself a skeptic, but you are nothing but a denialist, trotting out the same old refuted conspiracy theories and claims that so many denialists have done before you.

You write about:

  • "absurdity",
  • being "sick and tired",
  • not agreeing that we have the power to limit global warming,
  • global warming not being "as catastrophic as is asserted",
  • carbon emissions not being a "bad thing",
  • global warming being "overstated [...] Exaggerated for want of a better term",
  • being "dismayed at the scientific methodology being used by some of the most well-known global warmists",
  • the "perverse bias in the scientific and academic research on global warming towards manmade causes and explanations to the exclusion of natural ones",
  • the "perverse bias by researchers and academics on climate change because of the rich stream of revenue it has provided",
  • "The Gravy Train [...] that is whole matter has become [...] an enormous and almost irrefutable source of revenue for universities and research institutions".

You state that:

  • "there has been no evidence of global warming for the last 20 years",
  • "climate change [...] is a fact of life" and encourage us to read a poem called Said Hanrahan, which you've conveniently included on page 16,
  • regarding carbon dioxide as a pollutant "has instilled unwarranted fear in people",
  • [and this is my *favourite*] "Providing coal generated electricity is the best and cheapest way to alleviate major poverty in the world now, it is the major source of our current energy needs, and to ignore this would not be just 'shooting ourselves in the foot' it would be more akin to 'chopping off our nose despite our face".

You make suggestions for:

  • university students,
  • university academics and researchers,
  • school teachers,
  • the UNE Vice-Chancellor,
  • GP's (sic) and the UNE School of Rural Medicine,
  • the rest of us.

You provide "supporting information", although none comes from peer-reviewed journals - just "books/booklets and articles" and "websites and blogs" from "heavy hitters" with "scientific and academic grunt".

Then you entertain us with a "Forward Looking 'History" from the Armidale Gazette" for the NEXT 20 YEARS (?!), in 2020, 2025 and 2035.

The first page includes a quote from Robert Mugabe: "Today we face grave danger as extreme phenomena such as floods, droughts and heatwaves become the norm, unleashing hunger, disease and displacement and death... Unless current trends are reversed, disaster stalks planet Earth." Then on page 15 you write: "When I read of Robert Mugabe pontificating about the dangers of climate change at the Paris Climate Summit I have to pinch myself as a reality check. Just absurd."

Mugabe also said: "Cricket civilises people and creates good gentlemen I want everyone to play cricket in Zimbabwe; I want ours to be a nation of gentlemen." Maybe we shouldn't play cricket anymore, anywhere, ever because of these words. Just absurd.

Brett, you are absurd for distributing this unsolicited garbage.

19 December 2016 EDIT: I received the following message from "Anonymous" (@jsteven115) via Twitter not long after posting this rant.

Rebecca Di Donato   Bec_BZool    Twitter.png

I, of course, immediately directed Anonymous to an earlier blog post I had written called Science by Social Media: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Specifically. the section entitled Wake up and Smell the Methane.

What I found most amusing (and hypocritical), is that Anonymous chose to use the words "authentic", "real" and "substantive" in a message from an account that does not use his/her full/real name, does not have a profile picture, has never Tweeted, has no followers and is not a follower of anyone.

I suppose I should feel honoured that Anonymous appears to have opened a Twitter account for the sole purpose of contacting me via direct message.