Harry Clarke does a nice job of rebutting the idiots at Quadrant still giving climate denialists an unfettered run:
Recent issues of Quadrant have provided only ‘denialist’ views on climate change issues. They will leave those concerned with the implications of climate change shocked. Quadrant could analogously act as an outlet for the flat earth society and the outcome of supporting such a similar sustained attack on scientific logic would make no more sense than supporting climate change denialists without offering anything in the way of the majority accepted-science contrary view.
The details of the articles are neither here nor there; it’s the same old denialist craptrap, full of oft-repeated distortions and outright falsehoods. My favourite is this classic from Bob Carter, attempting to counter the standard view that the basic principles of anthropogenic global warming are now well-settled in the scientific community:
“The science is settled”, or, there is a “consensus” on the issue.” In reality, science is about facts, experiments and testing hypotheses, not consensus; and science is never “settled”.
I imagine Bob Carter is beavering away trying to show that Newtonian physics doesn’t give accurate predictions under macro-scale terrestrial conditions then…
More seriously, the concern with this stuff is not so much with the specifics of the claims, but the pernicious effect of such material, and how best it can be dealt with.
The trouble with dealing with denialists is that while they are wrong, they are both persistent and shameless; they will keep on making repeatedly claims, perhaps with minor alterations, until those who accept the scientific consensus get tired of rebutting it. It’s the classic technique of proof by assertion – or, as Lenin reputedly put it, “a lie told often enough becomes the truth”. By this view, it’s important to keep calling them on their bulldust. But, then, there is the contrary view, usually taken with regards to groups like 9/11 conspiracy theorists – that they’re crackpots, and spending time repeatedly debunking them just gives them additional credibility as “serious participants in the debate”.
For what it’s worth, I suspect Quadrant lost whatever credibility it may have had a long time ago. However, there are more influential voices that peddle this junk, and who periodically come up with a new twist on their refusal to accept facts on the ground that don’t accord with their beliefs. So, every so often, it will be necessary to join in the work of Tim Lambert and spend time and effort calling the climate idiots on their dangerous idiocy, especially if they come up with something new. Given LP’s “left-of-centre-perspective”, this will be particularly so if those with denialist tendancies in Labor politics – Marn’, Craig Emerson, or the not-so-sadly departed Michael Costa – open their traps on the topic again. Furthermore, it will be important to not let Labor get away with a half-arsed emissions trading scheme insufficient to actually deal with the problem. The science has moved on since the late 1990s, but it seems that much of Labor’s political machinery thinks keeping the coal trains running is the most important thing that a government can do, and taking care of the climate is second priority.