Climate Change, Junk Psychology and the NZ Herald

In September of this year a letter from scientists and professionals was delivered to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, entitled There is No Climate Emergency.  The letter points out that:

  • Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming.
  • Warming is far slower than predicted.
  • Climate policy relies on inadequate models.
  • CO2 is plant food, the basis of all life on Earth.
  • Global warming has not increased natural disasters.
  • Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities, and concludes.

Our advice to political leaders is that science should strive for a significantly better understanding of the climate system, while politics should focus on minimizing potential climate damage by prioritizing adaptation strategies based on proven and echnologies. (The letter is reproduced in full below.)

The Three Forms of ‘Climate Denial’

A ‘comment’ on the letter entitled Climate Change: the Three Forms of Denial recently republished by the New Zealand Herald (after Australia’s The Conversation) makes it painfully clear that there is unlimited money to pay for propaganda to promote the cult of climatism, regardless of quality.

The authors, Iain Walker, professor of psychology at the University of Canberra and Zoe Leviston, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Edith Cowan University, Western Australia, profess to be informed by a work by Stanley Cohen called States of Denial: Knowing About Atrocities and Suffering (with particular reference to genocides).

Their article by no means manifests the academic rigor expected of academics of any standing.  The very premise and theme is an example of ad hominem, and this fact-free piece consists in its entirety of blatant falsehood, mendacious smears and fallacious argument.  Like most uses of fallacious argument, theirs are wrong in all their parts.

Note: as at 12 October there is no link to the There is No Climate Emergency  letter as published by the NZ Herald – an extraordinary oversight on the part of the authors and the Herald.

A letter from ‘a group of self-proclaimed “prominent scientists”‘ (false)

The letter There is No Climate Emergency does not refer to ‘prominent scientists’ but to ‘a global network of 500 scientists and professionals’.

Many who signed are senior scientists, in the sense of being professors or emeritus professors, and some are indeed prominent.  These include Nils-Axel Mörner, Emeritus Professor Geology and sea level expert Richard Lindzen, Emeritus Professor Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate, and Tim Ball, Emeritus Professor Geography, University of Winnipeg (who suggested that Michael Mann, architect of the Hockeystick, should be in the state pen instead of Penn State), and all have published extensively about the climate narrative promoted by the United Nations.

supported by 75 Australian business and industry figures (false)

This refers to the 75 Australian signatories and is, quite simply, a shameless lie.  The list consists of current and emeritus professors and other qualified people such as C.D. Ollier, Emeritus Professor of Geology and John McLean, PhD who has written extensively about climate change and particularly the fraudulent processes of the International Panel on Climate Change.

‘denier’; ‘in denial’ (the ad hominem fallacy, aka name-calling)

Not to be equated with ‘deny’. ‘In denial’  means that the subject accepts the alleged irrefutable fact at some level, but refuses to face up to it for emotional or other reasons.

The insult of denier is commonly trotted out by the dishonest and ignorant when faced with a multitude of scientific facts that they cannot answer.  This is a representative exchange on sea level, almost word for word, which invites the question of where the epithet is more fairly applied):

(See also Jamie Spry, A Pictorial Guide to Sea Level Rise Alarmism)

‘This is just another way of rejecting the facts’ (ad hominem)

What facts? Not a single empirical fact is offered here, and the assumption of ‘the facts’ is illegitimate.

‘climate change denier'(ad hominem)

In fact thousands of scientists are saying that:

  • the climate has changed naturally from Earth’s year dot (underplayed, ignored or denied in the UN’s climate narrative)
  • there no evidence that anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for the nature of that change.

‘Outright science denial has been replaced by efforts to reframe climate change as natural, and climate action as unwarranted’ (ad hominem, false)

Fraudulent claim of a shift in strategy: scientists have been pointing out since the IPCC was formed that the earth’s climate has always changed, and that targeting CO2 to stop global warming is useless and unwarranted.

‘Outright denial’ (ad hominem, straw man, false)

‘There is plenty of evidence of clandestine, orchestrated lying by vested interests in industry’

  • No examples, no evidence. No facts.
  • The major oil companies, like Exxonmobil,  endorse the climate scam whoeheartedly.
  • What exactly have vested interests got to do with the abundance of compelling facts carefully compiled and presented by scientists?

‘Interpretive denial’ (ad hominem)

For example, one might say climate change is just a natural fluctuation or greenhouse gas accumulation is a consequence, not a cause, of rising temperatures.  Thus pointing to evidence, no matter how substantial, that the climate has always changed, and that CO2 has a minimal effect compared to the sun first and foremost and water vapour by a long second, can only derive from an emotional or self-interested denial of Walker and Leviston’s invisible ‘facts’.

‘the scientific consensus on climate change’ (argument from authority)

  • There clearly is no consensus, else these people would not have written this article.
  •  (See also 1000 International Scientists, and the 31,000 American scientists who signed this petition.)
  • And if there were a consensus, so what? This would not alter the facts – this is the Appeal to Authority fallacy.

Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels: it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled (Michael Crichton)

Seems fair.

‘the treatment of Thunberg ‘ (pedophrasty)

‘the cacophony of reactions to Greta Thunberg’s appearance before the United Nations Climate Action Summit’ […] ‘The treatment of Thunberg, and the vigour with which people push away reminders of that which they would rather not deal with, illustrate implicatory denial.’

The Greta Project has certainly aroused a great deal of criticism: while some of this is unkind and personal, in the main it is directed at Greta’s handlers,

  • The creation of a cult led by a 15 year old schoolgirl, which is somehow expected to influence the decisions of adults.
  • The fact of Greta Thunberg being exploited and manipulated.  This child abuse clearly doesn’t worry the professor of psychology.


Pedophrasty: Argument involving children to prop up a rationalization and make the opponent look like an asshole, as people are defenseless and suspend all skepticism in front of suffering children: nobody has the heart to question the authenticity or source of the reporting. Often done with the aid of pictures. (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)

The article culminates in an appeal for action by the public at large

‘Implacatory denial’ (ad hominem)

The facts of climate change are not denied […] what is denied or minimised are the psychological, political, and moral implications of the facts for us.   The general public, not just scientists, are guilty of ignoring the authors’ ‘facts’ and should be obeying  Greta’s demand for ‘action’, presumably declaring a climate emergency, banning fossil fuels and meeting the IMF’s demand for more climate taxes.


In sum the article, while masquerading as psychology, is nothing more than a string of dishonest claims about people’s motivations in order to suppress scientific dissent and achieve compliance towards a political agenda.

Science […] looks skeptically at all claims to knowledge, old and new. It teaches not blind obedience to those in authority but to vigorous debate, and in many respects that’s the secret of its success (Carl Sagan).


Text of European Climate Declaration September 26, 2019

There is no climate emergency

A global network of 500 scientists and professionals has prepared this urgent message. Climate science should be less political, while climate policies should be more scientific. Scientists should openly address the uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should dispassionately count the real benefits as well as the imagined costs of adaptation to global warming, and the real costs as well as the imagined benefits of mitigation.

Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming
The geological archive reveals that Earth’s climate has varied as long as the planet has existed, with natural cold and warm phases. The Little Ice Age ended as recently as 1850. Therefore, it is no surprise that we now are experiencing a period of warming. Only very few peer-reviewed papers even go so far as to say that recent warming is chiefly anthropogenic..

Warming is far slower than predicted
The world has warmed at less than half the originally-predicted rate, and at less than half the rate to be expected on the basis of net anthropogenic forcing and radiative imbalance. It tells us that we are far from understanding climate change.

Climate policy relies on inadequate models
Climate models have many shortcomings and are not remotely plausible as policy tools. Moreover, they most likely exaggerate the effect of greenhouse gases such as CO2. In addition, they ignore the fact that enriching the atmosphere with CO2 is beneficial.

CO2 is plant food, the basis of all life on Earth
CO2 is not a pollutant. It is essential to all life on Earth. Photosynthesis is a blessing. More CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth: additional CO2 in the air has promoted growth in global plant biomass. It is also good for agriculture, increasing the yields of crops worldwide.

Global warming has not increased natural disasters
There is no statistical evidence that global warming is intensifying hurricanes, floods, droughts and suchlike natural disasters, or making them more frequent. However, CO2-mitigation measures are as damaging as they are costly. For instance, wind turbines kill birds and insects, and palm-oil plantations destroy the biodiversity of the rainforests.

Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities
There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic and alarm. We strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy proposed for 2050. If better approaches emerge, we will have ample time to reflect and adapt. The aim of international policy should be to provide reliable and affordable energy at all times, and throughout the world.

Our advice to political leaders is that science should strive for a significantly better understanding of the climate system, while politics should focus on minimizing potential climate damage by prioritizing adaptation strategies based on proven and echnologies.


See also:

New Zealand petition organised in July 2019, largely by staff members of Auckland University, to the effect that:

‘We, the undersigned, urge the New Zealand House of Representatives to declare a climate emergency, now’

The scientific consensus is that the world stands on the verge of unprecedented environmental and climate catastrophe for which we are little prepared, and which affords us only a few years for mitigating action.

The ‘More than 50 of New Zealand’s top researchers‘ claimed by Stuff prove on inspection of the website to be 50 post-graduate researchers, and while the now 1290 signatories do indeed include 20-odd professors and about 140 people with PhDs in relevant fields, these are lost in a list which appears to comprise mainly of school children, climate activists and many who leave the Institution field blank.
Bill Adams, Why People Distrust Science.  “When I analyzed the source of my discontent, I came up with a dim view of my chosen field [psychology], a criticism of widely held pre-theoretic assumptions that could not be challenged or changed [my emphasis].


8 thoughts on “Climate Change, Junk Psychology and the NZ Herald

  1. Very well argued, sadly I suspect that only the converted will read it – which actually proves your point. It seems to me that people feel the need to be punished so quickly do they accept responsibility for some imagined evil. The medieval mind would have understood this well, indulgences for the wealthy and damnation for the poor.

  2. A good article, thank you.

    The very worthy cause of environmentalism has been hijacked by big money: people like George Soros & his Rockefeller masters, who are named in climatologist Dr. Tim Ball’s latest book:
    Human Caused Global Warming The Biggest Deception In History.
    Only 121 pages, for the layman, reveals all, names names & their sick motives: a vast depopulation; de-industrialisation; & a totalitarian world govt.

    A deeper look at the science & politics of the warming/climate fraud may be had in geology Prof. Ian Plimer’s great book:
    Heaven And Earth, Global Warming: The Missing Science
    500+ pages, 2,000+ ref’s to peer-reviewed papers & books, etc.

    A free insight into the minds & motives of those pushing the totalitarian, eugenicist & Malthusian Satanic agenda:
    Click on Quotes.

    John Doran.

  3. It is astounding that our political and commercial leaders are making decisions likely to cost untold billions based upon an abject lack of knowledge and understanding. The recent and awful floods in middle England have been blamed upon global warming whilst the actual cause is the ‘ saving of money ‘ by not dredging the streams and rivers any more. Our forefathers had common sense but today it is banned. I cry for my country and its stupidity.

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