Denier Comment of the Day March 6, 2014

I have been avoiding doing these because it really is a bit of a waste of time in that it doesn’t really educate anybody other than to reinforce our perception that a number of climate change deniers really do lack some critical thinking skills. That said, sometimes I feel compelled to do this… for reasons that I hope become obvious.

I tend to scroll through my WordPress reader a couple of times a day looking for important news on many issues including climate change, markets, politics and a few specialised blogs related to my two areas of scientific endeavour. I also have a couple of oddball denier blogs that I follow because they give me a good laugh at times. Yes, just as my favourite part of the circus is the clown act, I like to laugh at deniers too… the really silly ones of no consequence anyway. So I checked in on “Watching Those Who Watch the Deniers”. This site was set up allegedly to refute the hugely successful Watching the Deniers blog. They are both cracker blogs for completely opposite reasons.

Well it seems the author at the former site wants to be educated about global warming…or so she claims… but then sets up some conditions on the information she wants to receive. If it isn’t to her liking she plans to not publish the responses to her questions. Some of the conditions are pretty funny and designed to confirm her bias but that’s not what I plan to write about. I was having a good chuckle at what she was writing when I came across this absolute cracker.

If the oceans rose, people would move inland (they would not be refugees–sorry.)

There is no context for this comment so she wasn’t referring to any particular country or region. It was a blanket statement. Ok…..definition time. Refugees by UNHCR definitions are people outside of their own country unable to return to their country due to fear of persecution, conflict etc and it’s pretty clear on that point, so she is correct that people leaving their homes due to rising sea levels are not technically refugees, but I have to wonder if playing semantics with words for the sake of making some inane ideological point about people who are genuinely in serious need is morally acceptable? The fact is, there are plenty of people who are internally displaced in places like Pakistan and Bangladesh due to climate change induced extremes in seasonal flooding and random weather events who are effectively homeless. They have lost everything and don’t have the means to simply “move inland”. To ignore these people by hiding behind vocabulary semantics is immoral.

But let’s get to the main point of this idiotic statement, that people will simply move inland to avoid rising sea levels…if they rise. First, to question if the oceans are going to rise is to ignore the fact that they are rising currently and just through inertia in the system constrained by the laws of physics will continue to rise through thermal expansion and ice melt from projected temperature rises we have already locked in, based on our current levels of atmospheric CO2….and that’s if we were to stop increasing GHG  tomorrow. So, oceans will continue to expand. That is undeniable. What are the projections?

Anywhere from half a metre to a metre by 2100 depending on various scenarios. So, let’s go to Tuvalu. There’s not much to say here other than the inhabitants of Tuvalu can’t simply move inland as the sea level rises. It is well established in the scientific literature that a sea level rise of 40cm by 2100 will make the atolls of Tuvalu “uninhabitable”.  At least there won’t be an refugees as defined by the UNHCR.

And then there are the islands of the Maldives. The population of the Maldives currently live in the 11th highest density in the world and while a sea level rise of 1m won’t make the entire country uninhabitable, the ~300000 inhabitants will be forced to live in the 15% or so of land still inhabitable…..though I’m not sure what they will eat or do for a living? At least they won’t be refugees.

Finally, there’s Bangladesh. The 8th most populous nation and the 12th densest losing more than 10% of its habitable land….but at least they won’t be refugees, although if wars start being fought over food and water they could well become that….as defined by the UNHCR, but they could still travel inland I guess.

Many low-lying countries, particularly island nations, are at threat from rising sea levels associated with anthropogenic climate change. Many of these are 2nd and 3rd world countries, the least able to adapt technologically as they just cannot afford it. Many people from those countries will become climate refugees…not in the UNHCR mould, but just as desperate and just as homeless nonetheless. Hopefully, they will encounter people who care enough about them to take them in. That is the moral and humane thing to do. I’m not sure the people who play word games will.

Anyway, to read the whole silly blog entry, go here. Have a go at answering the questions too and let me know if you get published. The author wants to learn apparently.




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Filed under Classic denier comments, Climate Change, Rogue's Gallery

16 responses to “Denier Comment of the Day March 6, 2014

  1. I was going to write a comment or two here and then my “lazy” muscle clicked in so, I thought I’d just cut and paste a brief fictional tale from my blog.
    This is it . . . . . .

    This is a fictional tale and any relation or connection to organisations or persons living today is purely coincidental.

    Prince Tony said climate change was “crap”, and he firmly believed any changes in Earth’s climate were not caused by human activity.

    He was not concerned in our survival on Earth, as our immediate future did not appear to be at risk.

    But he was interested in his own survival and immediate future at the helm of his powerful realm.

    For him to survive, he must keep his “Powerful Big Business” friends happy by allowing them to continue polluting at a minimum cost to themselves.

    He devised a fiendish plan, a solution for the happiness of his “Powerful Big Business” friends.

    He would pay them to pollute.

    Their continued pollution would not affect the earth’s climate, contrary to the opinions of the climate scientists who had not yet been arrested and imprisoned.

    As the years went by, Prince Tony found it harder to breathe, but he was not worried, as all around him had similar problems.

    The food shortages had not troubled him either, for there was enough left to feed those who had not yet drowned in the rising oceans.

    He had authorised his “Powerful Big Business” friends to cut down and burn as many trees as they wished, regardless of the naysayers and increasing sand storms.

    His “Powerful Big Business” friends suggested he not alarm himself over the eastern skies which became darker each day, as this was a minimal risk factor and would one day disappear.

    Yet the dark clouds grew, the sun was rarely seen and people died from the cold whilst others starved to death.

    Undeterred, Prince Tony, in his infinite wisdom, increased the taxes to raise more money to pay for his food and warmth.

    But no monies came, there were no people left, no “Powerful Big Business”, for all had perished in the climate change which he believed was not of mankind’s making.

    . . . . and as the dark clouds sank slowly in the west, our lonely Prince Tony finally realized that climate change was not “crap”, it was his plan which was “crap”.


    Also, a cartoon on the topic:….

  2. I read the “Questions” post. Then I read some of the blog’s archive which was populated with sillier philosophical rambles. How can someone work so hard on a topic for 15 months and learn so little?

    • Now that is an excellent question. Sheri has no intention of learning anything that doesn’t conform to her ideology…like every other run of the mill denier. If she was really serious she would actually enrol in a university science course so she could learn some of the fundamentals of scientific convention and go from there.

      • climatehawk1

        Funny, was just thinking today about a relative who ripped into me some years ago on grounds that I thought she was ignorant (because I forwarded her occasional news clips that I thought were insightful–I’ve always been a sharer). When the subject of global warming came up recently, she shook her head semi-frantically and said, “I don’t want to think about it.” How to reconcile these two positions puzzles me.

        • Wilful ignorance is frustrating but I have to think that there is wilful ignorance and wilful ignorance. I would advise you not to try and reconcile it. It could drive you mad. Is your relative an older sister? Those things are stubborn. :)

          • climatehawk1

            Close, but an inlaw. Anyway, not trying to reconcile, just chuckling at the juxtaposition. As the saying goes, smh (and not Sydney Morning Herald).

  3. She has just banned me. She hasn’t said why specifically, other that she considers me rude and since my posts started to go missing it is hard to tell but it may have been that I pointed out this post stating I wasn’t the only one to notice how little she knew about the subject she blogs about.

    • I dont bother commenting at denier dens or even reading their garbage most of the time except on the odd occasion. I have plenty of perfectly good brick walls here to bang my head on. After being banned at some and selectively edited at others I came to the conclusion they are the proverbial chess playing pigeons. Does it ever strike you as odd that they bitch and moan about freedom of speech and censorship but engage in stifling opinion that doesn’t fit their whacky worldview?

      • climatehawk1

        Yes. Every minute spent debating with committed deniers, before a denier audience, is a minute that could have been spent more productively (if only, say, by breathing deeply and relaxing). Time is precious and it cannot be replaced–Buddhist saying on its value: “Inch time, foot gem.”

        • climatehawk1

          Actually, now that I recall it, the full saying is, “Not again this day. Inch time, foot gem.”

  4. lazarus

    Heads up!!.

    There is a new web site

    It is aimed at kids and is run by her. As well as being extremely misleading about climate change, see here;

    She has also been conversing on her blog with the scientist, conspiracy nut, and child sex offender; Oliver K. Manuel.

    Yhis sound wrong in so many ways and I did post to the blog to inform ‘Reality check’ of this last thing but my comment was censored and as I have said I was banned.

    Now she has started this awful blog aimed at kids.

    • Thanks Laz. I saw that ridiculous blog she has started and was considering writing about it. I didn’t know about the child sex offender issue. I am going to have a very serious look at it now and depending on what I find out will write something. I will probably email Sherri and ask a few questions.

    • Bernard J.

      As Lazarus says that site is so totally wrong in so many ways. Leaving aside the awful Manuel creepiness, the grievous errors of fact and logic are profound, and it’s disturbing that this is being promoted with an ‘educational’ angle for children.

      It’s all I can do from restraining myself from going all Godwin after the fashion of Monckton in the face of protestors. Oh… oopsie.