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Lock Up Deniers, Says Potty Professor

February 25, 2020

By Paul Homewood


h/t VAG


Climate denial has increased the risk of catastrophic global change. Should international criminal law be used against those who promote this dangerous trend? Economic and political leaders can no longer pretend it is business as usual. Whether they actively induce environmental harm or just ignore the existential threat against the survival of the human species, states and corporations must be held accountable for their actions or inaction regarding climate change.

Criminal sanctions are the most potent tools we have to mark out conduct that lies beyond all limits of toleration. Criminal conduct violates basic rights and destroys human security. We reserve the hard treatment of punishment for conduct that damages the things we hold most fundamentally valuable. Climate change is causing precisely such damage.

Over the last 250 years or so, we have burned fossil fuels for cheap energy, destroyed carbon sinks, grown the global population, and failed to halt the malign influence of corporate interests on political action that could have made mitigation manageable. Now, we have a window of just ten years or less to avoid using up the carbon budget for 1.5 ℃ (link is external), according to the 2018 Special Report (link is external) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). If we continue on our current trajectory of emissions without aggressive mitigation, we could see warming in the range of 4–6.1 ℃ above pre-industrial averages by 2100. Even if all countries meet their current mitigation targets under the Paris Agreement 2015 (link is external) (COP21), we are likely to see warming of at least 2.6 ℃ by 2100 (link is external).

A 4–6.1 ℃ rise in temperature by 2100 would be catastrophic. Large areas of the earth would become uninhabitable as sea levels rise and temperatures soar. Severe weather events, crop failure, and conflict in the face of mass migration never before seen in human history, would place intense pressure on remaining habitable places. In these fragile and febrile conditions, positive feedback from warming could put humanity at risk of extinction (link is external), according to the journal, Futures, September 2018. This feedback occurs when tipping points are passed in the climate system, causing processes to be unleashed that exacerbate warming. For example, the transformation of the Amazon forest from the world’s largest carbon sink to a carbon source; or, the massive retreat of polar ice, which reduces the planet’s reflectivity, leading it to warm at a greater speed (link is external). These tipping points are described in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) as a critical threshold at which global or regional climate changes from a stable state to another stable state.

Temperature rises of 4–6.1 ℃ are not likely, but they are not science fiction either. Each year that passes without aggressive mitigation to reach net zero emissions by 2050 makes this existential threat more real. Even if the Paris Agreement aggressively ratchets up mitigation ambition to close the emissions gap by 2030, it remains the case that we have already reached 1 ℃ of warming. Given the time lag between emissions and the warming they induce (link is external) – due to the long lifetime of carbon molecules in the atmosphere – further increases are to be expected.

I have proposed that international criminal law should be expanded to include a new criminal offence that I call postericide (link is external). It is committed by intentional or reckless conduct fit to bring about the extinction of humanity. Postericide is committed when humanity is put at risk of extinction by conduct performed either with the intention of making humanity go extinct, or with the knowledge that the conduct is fit to have this effect. When a person knows that their conduct will impose an impermissible risk on another and acts anyway, they are reckless. It is in the domain of reckless conduct, making climate change worse, that we should look for postericidal conduct.

Who should be prosecuted for postericide? We could start by examining the established international network of well-funded organizations devoted to organized climate denial (link is external)  The epicentre of this activity is in the United States. A set of Conservative think-tanks has deliberately deceived the public and policymakers about the realities of climate change. Their ideologically-driven climate denial has been heavily funded by the fossil fuel industry; which include, for example, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil. This climate denial has had a significant impact on public opinion and has impeded legislation to tackle climate change.

Climate denial has seriously impeded aggressive mitigation efforts that could have averted our present climate emergency. It has magnified the risk that humanity locks in to catastrophic global climate change. The people in positions of authority in states, or industrial groups whose lies have put us and our descendants in peril, should be held accountable. The damage that climate deniers do is heinous, and they have no excuses. The time has come to prosecute them for postericide. 


This is not the first time we have heard this sort of paranoid nonsense. As with others of her ilk, she fails to understand that it is the lack of evidence for any sort of climate emergency which explains the public’s apathy in the matter. It is really only the impressionable younger generation who have fallen for it.

In any case, the idea that a few conservative think tanks can persuade the public, in the face of the alarmist media onslaught, is absurd.

One does have to question though how a looby-loo like McKinnon ever got to be a Professor of Political Theory.



I am a political theorist working on climate justice and climate ethics. My research in these areas adopts a broadly liberal approach which reflects my other research interests in contemporary liberal political philosophy (especially Rawls), and the theory and practice of toleration. In my work, I take seriously what we owe to future people in the face of the climate crisis. Although most of my work has been in ‘pure’ political philosophy, I am increasingly engaged in transdisciplinary work on climate justice in order to better inform climate policy. Before coming to Exeter I was the Director of the Leverhulme Doctoral Programme in Climate Justice, and Director of the Centre for Climate and Justice, both at the University of Reading.

I note that her CV says she believes in toleration, but obviously this does not extend to those who disagree with her!

Leaving aside the obvious problem of what she proposes to do about China (go and arrest Xi?), there is one very serious issue she ignores, the very real social and economic impact of the rapid decarbonisation she wants.

She may be no economist, but it is abundantly clear that such a transition would be hugely damaging to people’s lives, both in rich and poor countries. There is simply no realistic alternative to fossil fuels in the foreseeable future, if we want to maintain living standards or want to improve those of developing countries.

Indeed the damage caused would go far beyond knocking a few percent off people’s incomes. There would be a genuine risk of massive economic dislocation, unemployment and even starvation. Just think back to the 1930s to see what economic breakdown looks like.

When she says, “over the last 250 years or so, we have burned fossil fuels for cheap energy, destroyed carbon sinks, grown the global population, and failed to halt the malign influence of corporate interests on political action that could have made mitigation manageable”, she clearly believes that this period of human history has been some sort of disaster, and not one when the human lot has improved out of all comprehension.

The manic eagerness to return whole populations to conditions of those earlier days is the real crime.


There was a time when the UN Courier was a serious magazine.

Its August 1973 issue, for instance, was devoted to the world’s climate:





Amongst its articles was one from HH Lamb, which explained how the climate had been cooling for 30 years:



And that this cooling had been responsible for the devastating Sahel droughts, which extended all the way across to India:




Now they seem to prefer eco-babble to hard facts.

  1. MrGrimNasty permalink
    February 25, 2020 2:22 pm

    Socialists have always been the masters of intolerant tolerance.

    I see the BBC is salivating over an extreme left-winger’s report that ‘Tory austerity’ has slowed the rise in life expectancy – without a sliver of actual evidence.

    Apart from the fact that there never was any actual austerity, I wonder what they’ll blame the fast decrease in life expectancy on, after a few years of total carbon austerity/abstinence?

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      February 25, 2020 3:14 pm

      You can’t win…If life-expectancy had turned out to be longer then the Left would be bleating about the fact there were not enough care-home places and/or the costs were exorbitant.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        February 25, 2020 3:38 pm

        That’s the BBC for you. Negativity by the bucket load when it suits their prejudices/agenda. This fact check on Trump in India is hilarious.

        They could have just said ‘correct/in all probability correct’ to every point. But after the 1st they try to put ever more doubt/negativity in. Why did it even need ‘fact checking’?

    • Dave Ward permalink
      February 25, 2020 4:22 pm

      Watching Michael Portillo’s recent TV series “Great Asian Railway Journeys” I couldn’t help noticing the dreadful living conditions experienced by large numbers of people. And not just in the countryside either, but right in the middle of major (and some capital) cities. Anyone bleating about poverty or austerity in the UK needs to get out more…

    • February 25, 2020 4:47 pm

      Yes, Austerity is very difficult to see if you look at Govt expenditure much of which was ring fenced for the things the public care most about, like the NHS

    • mjr permalink
      February 26, 2020 7:28 am

      See Guido which provides critical comment and a link to an article completely debunking this report
      See also this guido page that shows how BBC quote such experts as being neutral without revealing their true background

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 26, 2020 8:35 am

      The report is such obvious nonsense that’s it criminal the BBC gives it space – getting rid of programmes for toddlers caused sixty and seventy year olds to die early apparently.

      Longevity increases were bound to flatten as things like the effects of reducing smoking ran out. And the BBC and the report fail to understand averages in that regard – having a number of people not die at 40 because they didn’t smoke has a large effect on average longevity – but it’s only those people who are actually living longer.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        February 26, 2020 1:43 pm

        We shouldn’t discourage the BBC from this sort of thing as it will help hammer the nails into the licence fee coffin and then the end of the BBC.

  2. Bertie permalink
    February 25, 2020 2:29 pm

    I hope this is a sign of panic. They must be concerned at the arrival of someone who the press has dubbed ‘anti-Greta’. Naomi Seibt (who is brilliant and thinks for herself) is due to appear at a Trump rally. Both the Telegraph and Times today tried to rubbish her credentials. However, she is an extremely lucid and articulate speaker (even in what is not her native tongue). She is not promoted or force-fed by anyone else to my knowledge and has thought through the alarmist hype with her own innate intelligence.
    This may be the start of the deniers’ fight back.

    • Bertie permalink
      February 25, 2020 2:33 pm

      PS What the hell is ‘Climate Justice’??

      • Ariane permalink
        February 25, 2020 4:13 pm

        The first time I came across ‘climate justice’ was when the Scottish Nationalist Party’s Alex Salmond mentioned it a few years ago. Gives the Scottish energy policy for the last 10 years a sweet flavour when ‘decarbonisation’ has actually caused fuel poverty, destroyed much wildlife and wild terrain and much else that is sad and bad. MSPs used to justify their Climate Change Act quoting the IPCC. Now the Department of Energy & CC just maintain ‘decarbonisation’ is the thing to do, like it’s set in stone – and deny their energy policy has anything to do with the IPCC.

      • 3x2 permalink
        February 25, 2020 6:23 pm

        PS What the hell is ‘Climate Justice’??

        It is where we, The West, give lots of money to ‘developing Nations’ for the damage we have caused to the climate since industrialisation and in return they agree to stop using any products of said industrialisation.

        … Oh, wait.

    • Mad Mike permalink
      February 25, 2020 2:44 pm

      I was just about to leave a comment on the “anti-Greta” story in the DT when all comments were suddenly withdrawn and the comments section disappeared. No explanation was given but, as practically all the comments to that point were anti Greta, I assume it was censorship.

    • Pancho Plail permalink
      February 25, 2020 4:00 pm

      I thought the piece about Seibt was reasonably balanced in the DT.
      It reported her thus “She calls the consensus on climate change an “insult to science, and the complexity of nature, and freedom of speech” and says “it is important we keep questioning the narrative that is out there.”

      She adds: “Climate change alarmism at its very core is a despicably anti-human ideology. We are told to look down on our achievements with guilt, shame, disgust and not even to take into account the many major benefits we have from using fossil fuels as our main energy source.”

    • Henning Nielsen permalink
      February 27, 2020 12:45 pm

      Naomi Seibt is very impressive in her clear and brave argumentation, se her statement here:

  3. Ian Magness permalink
    February 25, 2020 2:31 pm

    Oh dear Paul!
    Oh well, some of us will visit you in jail (disguised and with false names of course – the thought police will be watching).

  4. Kelland Hutchence permalink
    February 25, 2020 2:33 pm

    Very interesting. So what’s to happen when after 20 years of imprisonment they realise that the climate is actually COOLING? Will they release their victims with suitable compensation? I rather doubt it.

    I’m reminded of a previous regime that imprisoned people who the public were encouraged to hate for no valid reason, who denied their victims the right to work in their chosen professions, who only permitted radio broadcasts praising the orthodoxy, who decided that those who disagreed with them should be imprisoned or placed in camps and whose writings were burnt publicly.

    Very soon, if this bunch continues to be not simply tolerated but rather encouraged, typically by successive governments, the teaching(!!) profession and the BBC and the Guardian, we can expect disappearances and the dreaded knock on the door at 4 a.m. which will diminish rapidly any possibility of open debate or discussion on the matter of ‘climate change’. All very 1984, and all Fascist, though I’m thinking this is too gentle a term.

    Oh, sorry, I should have realised, if the climate appears to be cooling that will be conclusive proof of WE’RE ALL DOOMED!

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      February 25, 2020 3:20 pm

      People like her (and Lucas) are convinced that the policies of Pol Pot were not wrong. Their only criticism of his methods would surely be that he used those nasty single-use plastic bags to see off the opposition. I mean, plastic for God’s sake!

      • tamimisledus permalink
        February 28, 2020 12:09 pm

        LOL! I couldn’t help it!

  5. Mad Mike permalink
    February 25, 2020 2:47 pm

    She along with other alarmists always say that “deniers” are financially backed by the beneficiaries of the fossil fuel industry. Perhaps this is the wrong site to seek answers but does anyone have evidence of this?

    • Bertie permalink
      February 25, 2020 2:56 pm

      Sad to say, I rather think that if ‘BIG’ Gas and Oil had the balls to back people like Paul and Ball etc. we might receive wider coverage than us talking to ourselves on a website.

      • Pancho Plail permalink
        February 25, 2020 4:03 pm

        You mean like Shell – “We sell carbon neutral petrol because we buy virtual trees to offset it”

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 26, 2020 8:37 am

      I seem to give the fossil fuel industry far more money that they give me!

    • Gerry, England permalink
      February 26, 2020 1:50 pm

      No evidence exists – it is just a lie to make alarmists feel better. Having to admit that people such as Paul, Jo Nova, Anthony Watts, Steve McIntyre, Ross McKitrick and now Susan Crockford (just to name a few) do this without the Billions of funding that the alarmists receive is something they can’t handle.

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        February 27, 2020 9:22 am

        Projection. A leftard favourite. They are both useless and dishonest so they expect everyone else to be the same.

  6. February 25, 2020 2:47 pm

    Why don’t they burn us all at the stake and be done with it? Two words and a number spring to mind: George Orwell 1984.

  7. February 25, 2020 2:56 pm

    You don’t have to lock them up. There is a way to reduce them to a state of “busted”.

  8. philip walling permalink
    February 25, 2020 2:57 pm

    I’m genuinely frightened by these people. Up to now I’ve tended to laugh at them.
    But they have terrified and indoctrinated millions of young impressionable people, who seem to be willing destruction on a world that has made them so comfortable and sustained them in relative luxury with benefits that their ancestors could only have dreamed of.

    Either their imagined ‘climate catastrophe’ or the ‘de-carbonisation’ of our way of life they say is necessary to stop it, will bring about what these utopians seem to want – apocalypse.

  9. Stonyground permalink
    February 25, 2020 3:08 pm

    “I am a political theorist working on climate justice and climate ethics.”
    You’re a total waste of space then.

    Oh yes, and you don’t need to go locking people up, all you need to do is provide some credible evidence for this looming climate catastrophe.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 26, 2020 8:38 am

      And who pays for her to do that?

      The state, using that money it gets from.. er…tax paying Deniers and fossil fuel companies?

  10. February 25, 2020 3:10 pm

    It is standard Wokemob behaviour
    They have firm dogma … like believing that storms come from angry Gods, and that killing virgins will appease them.

    They see other people do not share the belief of their club. So they then imagine these people must be evil, so so evil. In a form of projection they start to imagine how they are going to deal with these evil evil people.
    They then conclude that it is OK to almost evil, in order to conquer them.
    Note how how Antifa pull on black masks and carry wooden sticks and smoke bombs and then deliberately turn up at marches in order to stop them, marches of people they label “fascists”.

    • Mad Mike permalink
      February 25, 2020 3:19 pm

      Stewgreen. This was bound to come as man made CC it the new religion and this is just what happens when fanatics meet non-believers. Don’t forget that Galileo had a rough time with the Catholic Church when he said that the Earth was not flat nor the centre of the Universe

      • Gamecock permalink
        February 25, 2020 11:26 pm

        Center of the universe.

        No one thought the earth was flat in Galileo’s time. Eratosthenes had accurately calculated the circumference of the earth 1800 years before Galileo.

  11. mikewaite permalink
    February 25, 2020 3:16 pm

    Her credibility for me is compromised by the statement -“:due to the long lifetime of carbon molecules in the atmosphere –”- Carbon molecules? – does she even have any grasp on chemistry or physics?
    Given her references to AR5 is she aware of this latest follow up .to AR5(published this year) on ice sheets and sea levels which raises doubts about the certainty of previous estimates of contributions of ice sheet and glacier melt to sea levels:

    Mass balance of the ice sheets and glaciers – Progress since AR5 and
    challenges Hanna et al in Earth Science reviews.

    If you are a dedicated scientist who, who, on the basis of his or her own work, raises doubts about previously accepted estimates (yes ESTIMATES), are you then a “denier”; should you then be incarcerated? On the say so of someone with no apparent knowledge of chemistry , physics, geology or meteorology beyond school level (2.1 in Philosophy ).

    • Broadlands permalink
      February 25, 2020 3:32 pm

      Those carbon molecules are very heavy. Just one part-per-million of oxidized carbon by mass is almost 8,000 million metric tons. Try capturing and storing that amount of CO2 by 2050 with a technology that at best can store about 2-3 million tons annually. Several lifetimes! Lock HER up?

  12. Broadlands permalink
    February 25, 2020 3:17 pm

    ….a political theorist working on climate justice?? and climate ethics??

    What is there to deny? After several hundred years of increasing the CO2 of the Earth’s atmosphere by 45% the global average temperature has risen a total of 0.83°C, about 6%. Who is in denial about that? The eight billion people who are responsible? Lock them up?

    • Gamecock permalink
      February 25, 2020 11:46 pm

      You don’t know that, Broadlands.

      We have no earth temperature data before 1979. “0.83°C” is hilarious! TO TWO DECIMAL PLACES !!! We have no idea!

      “About 6%” is completely fake, too. If you accept a rise of 0.83°C (I don’t; it’s a damn joke), the “percent” on the Kelvin scale is

      0.83 / 287.05 = 0.29%

      Climate science is a world of fake precision.

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        February 27, 2020 9:46 am

        Spot on. 😎

      • Broadlands permalink
        February 27, 2020 1:49 pm

        I didn’t report that, NOAA does. It is news they add to each month. The initial value is derived from East Anglia numbers… 14°C. NOAA uses 57°F as the 20th century mean. NASA confuses us by using 15°C. Lock them up for the fake news with two decimal place precision?

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      February 27, 2020 9:48 am

      Several hundred? Really?

  13. Stephen Lord permalink
    February 25, 2020 3:21 pm

    The climate change cultists have moved to the second stage of grief..Anger.
    As the predicted end of the world reuses to occur they seek to blame those who are saying the emperor has no clothes.

  14. February 25, 2020 3:22 pm

    US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Democrat, Rhode Island), beat her to it. In 2015, he proposed imposing RICO (The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) against those who were deniers of man-caused climate change. This US federal law provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. What was meant to curb organized crime is proposed for those who dissent from the left’s agenda. Apparently Mr. Whitehouse is not a fan of the First Amendment of the US Bill of Rights.

    While these people may be certifiably insane, they are also certifiably dangerous.

  15. February 25, 2020 3:26 pm

    US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Democrat-Rhode Island) beat her to the punch. In 2015, he proposed imposing RICO (The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) against those who denied man-caused climate change. RICO is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. It was intended to be used against organized crime, but is now being weaponized against those who dare challenge the left’s agenda.

    Apparently Mr. Whitehouse is not a fan of the US Bill of Right’s First Amendment. While these folks are certifiably insane, they are certifiably dangerous.

  16. February 25, 2020 3:29 pm

    She’s done a book with an intolerant lefty Michael Rosen.

    Yet her own book is called
    : The Culture of Toleration in Diverse Societies

    • February 25, 2020 5:52 pm

      Tolerance means “Agree with me or go to jail”. You have to speak their language. It’s not the same as rational people’s.

  17. Harry Passfield permalink
    February 25, 2020 3:29 pm

    If it’s OK to cross post my comment from the Yorkshire floods thread, this is what I had to say about this silly woman:

    “VAG, I started to read her pitch (in the link) and gave up half-way through her ridiculous metaphor of the fire in a theatre (with no fire exits!) where the poor people in the rubbish seats wanted to get out but couldn’t find the way while the fire deniers – usually the rich people in the luxury seats (she averred!) were denying there was a fire in the first place.

    And this is someone with a good degree with what looks like a good CV!!

    She should look at how the poor in the third world are kept in fuel-poverty by her own Green friends so that they have to cook over open fires, polluting the air, adding to emissions (if that is a problem) and dying young. The only true (rich) deniers in this piece are the ones who are denying people access to cheap, reliable, abundant and easily available energy.”

  18. February 25, 2020 3:33 pm

    I also propose that international criminal law should be expanded to include a new criminal offence that I call idioticide (link is external). Anyone who can say with a straight face that they are a “political theorist working on climate justice and climate ethics”, apart from needing their head examined, would obviously fall foul of this law and should be charged immediately and taken to the Hague for trial.

  19. February 25, 2020 3:35 pm

    Catriona McKinnon is her name, Paul’s article doesn’t actually write it.
    @RdgClimateJust is the Twitter account but it doesn’t tweet much

    Cliscep already have an article about her

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      February 25, 2020 7:02 pm

      Stew, with all due respect to our host, that is one hell of a comment thread! Geoff Chamber’s initial comment set the tone and the rest just followed. I even got to agree with much of what Alan Kendall had to say, and welcomed input from GolfCharlie.
      Essentially, McKinnon needs to turn the tables on her beliefs (supported as they are by a circle-jerk of references – Dunlap? FFS) and figure out what it would mean to her and her philosophy if she were the one being proscribed. She’s a professor of Philosophy (no?) – she should go figure. Bottom line: does she believe in free speech and freedom of expression? Would she imprison Picasso because he did not represent a woman (as she would know her) in his paintings?
      Thanks for the link.

  20. GeoffB permalink
    February 25, 2020 3:55 pm

    Professor is a pay grade at university, it in no way reflects intelligence.

    • bobn permalink
      February 25, 2020 5:33 pm

      ‘how a looby-loo like McKinnon ever got to be a Professor of Political Theory.’
      First it is Exeter PolyTech and she came from Reading polytech. She’s a ‘political Theorist’. Well i have political theories so i also claim to be a Professor of Political Theory at the Uni of Bob’s place. Since one of my degrees is in History and my Postgrad required higher maths i probably have more ‘hard’ science and arts subjects in my background than she has in hers. I guess her degrees were in political leftism and social astrology after doing jouralism and equality studies at school. Does she have any ‘REAL’ qualifications? Or skills?
      So many unqualified dumbies spouting crap in low grade institutions.

  21. Phil Beckley permalink
    February 25, 2020 4:39 pm

    Just a couple of points on the article in the DT today headed “The Anti-Greta”, referred to above: one is that Naomi Seibt explicitly says in her talk that she is not anti-Greta; two is that the article includes yet again the scientific consensus line; to quote Nick Allen, the journalist in question: “She” (Naomi Seibt) “features in a video produced by the Heartland Institute, a US think tank which rejects the scientific consensus on climate change”.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      February 27, 2020 9:29 am

      There is no consensus on climate change among scientists. It’s group think by modellers.
      Science is not done by consensus. “Were I wrong, one would be enough” Einstein.

  22. Phillip Bratby permalink
    February 25, 2020 4:58 pm

    She is at Exeter University, which has more than its fair share of loony academics. Mostly the seem to be on strike, so you can see on the news that they really are not the sort of people who should be involved in research or education.

  23. Phillip Bratby permalink
    February 25, 2020 4:58 pm

    She is at Exeter University, which has more than its fair share of loony academics. Mostly the seem to be on strike, so you can see on the news that they really are not the sort of people who should be involved in research or education.

    • February 25, 2020 5:17 pm

      Oops, I don’t know what happened there!

    • mikewaite permalink
      February 25, 2020 8:03 pm

      Exeter is home to the Global Systems Institute, working with the Met office on the UK climate change risk assessment project (one can guess already the conclusions and solutions) and has Dame Julia Slingo, formerly of the Met Office as a Prof. A taste of the flavour of the interests can be seen from the last term’s seminars :

      Autumn Term 2019

      25 September 2019 “Community led ecosystem restoration in Kenya” Tom Powell
      9 October 2019 “Laying the Foundations of Climate Justice: Exploring the potential of human rights claims” Alice Venn
      23 October 2019 “The Polar Express” Michelle McCrystal
      30 October 2019 “Abrupt transitions in Earth system dynamics” Niklas Boers
      6 November 2019 “The past and future of the human climate niche” Tim Lenton
      20 November 2019 “The role of modelling in assessing climate and energy policy: Experience from using the E3ME model” Hector Pollitt
      2 December 2019 “Science and economics of cumulative emissions accounting through simple models”, Ashwin Seshadri, Assistant Professor at Divecha Centre for Climate Change & Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences 10.30am, Building: One Kolade Teaching Room, Streatham Campus, University of Exeter
      11 December 2019 Molly McKay, Principle at Willdan Financial and Economic Consulting Services in Washington DC and alumna of University of Exeter

      I am sure that some of the sustainablity research at Exeter is very worthwhile and should be encouraged but from some climate risk papers co authored from Exeter in recent years I get the impression of a bias trowards the more alarming aspects of climate change.
      Oh and I despair when educated people mix up “principle” and “principal”.

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        February 27, 2020 9:31 am

        Bloody Slingo. Used to get dog poo through her door on a regular basis AFAIK…..

  24. Robin Guenier permalink
    February 25, 2020 5:36 pm

    Taking a rather different approach, Professor Phillipe Sands QC – a distinguished international lawyer and professor of law at UCL – proposed in a lecture at the UK Supreme Court in 2015 that climate change issues should be tested by means of an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice in The Hague. In particular, he suggested that ‘the single most important thing [the Court] could do is to settle the scientific dispute‘: having noted that some ‘scientifically qualified, knowledgeable’ people, despite ‘a broad emerging consensus‘, are unconvinced that mankind’s actions were the main cause of recent atmospheric warming, he said (in an extraordinary unscripted aside) that ‘the courts could play a role in finally scotching those claims‘.

    Here are my notes on the lecture: I sent them to Professor Sands. I got a polite acknowledgement – no more.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      February 25, 2020 7:38 pm

      Science cannot be adjudicated by law.
      As for opinions….

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        February 25, 2020 8:20 pm

        Just so. As I said in the Conclusion to my notes on the Sands lecture:

        … for the courts to purport to settle a legitimate scientific disagreement, would strike at the essence of the Scientific Method – the basis of scientific practice for over 150 years. It would risk bringing international law into disrepute.

        He didn’t respond. But we’ve heard no more of his ill-judged proposal. I doubt if we’ll hear much more of Professor McKinnon’s proposal.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        February 26, 2020 8:30 am

        “Yet still it moves” comes to mind.

        On what possible basis could a court decide what ECS is? The climate scientists themselves can’t agree.

  25. Ian Cook permalink
    February 25, 2020 5:47 pm

    I think what she means is, she’s a Professor, in theory. I wonder why someone who is so sure of the predictions of her friends computers, is so scared of someone pointing out real, actually happening stuff? I guess it is why the scientific method had to be abandoned.

    • February 25, 2020 5:56 pm

      She’s a political theory professor. By definition, she has zero contact with reality and could care less about science, math or anything other than pushing her politics. This has been true through most of history–politicians care about power and money, not reality.

      • Gamecock permalink
        February 26, 2020 12:04 am

        Reality is an invention of the right to confuse people.

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        February 27, 2020 9:35 am

        As are those nasty hate facts, gamecock.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      February 25, 2020 7:35 pm

      “I wonder why someone who is so sure of the predictions of her friends computers, is so scared of someone pointing out real, actually happening stuff? “
      Because it’s all in her mind. She doesn’t live in the real world, it seems.

  26. I Phillips permalink
    February 25, 2020 5:51 pm

    A recent display of materials by local environmental organisations in St. Mary’s church, Totnes has prompted me to circulate this research.
    In their display, the Extinction Rebellion movement claim to be “non-violent”. But their actions betray this, as recently demonstrated in Cambridge and in their dismissive and passive-aggressive attitude, which I have experienced personally, towards anyone who might so much as question their beliefs.
    This whole business began within the UN. For the fullest account, please google “ GovernanceWhyHowWhen” and select the link with this description. I give here some direct quotes and a summary account of this history.
    When the UN was formed in 1962, The US Senate was reassured that it would not interfere in the sovereignty of the US or domestic affairs of the American people. It was sold as a debating chamber for the world’s nations to solve problems and foster peace, etc. But after 5 years, Council for Foreign Relations CFR member James Warburg said “We shall have world government whether or not you like it – by conquest or consent”.
    In 1976, the newly formed UN Environmental Programme UNEP, led by Maurice Strong, stated the Marxist dogma that “….private land ownership contributes to social injustice. Public control of land use is therefore indispensable.”
    The plan, to impose world socialism, did not become apparent until the 1992 climate conference in Rio. “The objective is to bring about a change in the present system of independent nations. The future is to be World Government with central planning by the United Nations. Fear of environmental crises, whether real or not, is expected to lead to compliance.” A few years earlier, Senator Timothy Wirth had said, “We’ve got to ride the the global warming issue ” and that even if the theory was wrong, we would be doing the right thing in terms of policy. Dr. Stephen Schneider told a group of scientists “We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified and dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.” While he was deputy US president, Al Gore echoed this when his climate adviser, Prof. Willi Happer refused to be complicit in the deliberate distortion of climate science. Gore said that the facts must not be allowed to get in the way of policy, and Happer resigned.
    This UN plan became the unstated background for the formation of the environmental/political movement “Agenda 21”, updated to “Agenda 30” and recently rebranded as “The Green New Deal”. It’s all the same thing. Its “Net Zero” policy will bring modern society to its knees by the shutting down of fossil fuel based energy generation and by opposing the most obvious alternative, nuclear. No cars, no planes, little industry or central heating. This fear-based power grab amounts to extremism of the most negative and violent nature, and most particularly towards the many struggling third world countries.

    Ian Phillips, The Melbray, Moreleigh Road, Harbertonford, TQ9 7TS.
    Tel 01803-731008.

    • dennisambler permalink
      February 26, 2020 12:07 am

      As you point out so well, this has been a long time in the making. For details of how the climate justice agenda arose in the US, (think Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Carol Browner), check out:

      “In 1994, Clinton issued an executive order, directing that every federal agency make environmental justice part of its mission. In a speech at the April 22, 1994 Earth Day, EPA Administrator Carol Browner said:

      “Nobody can question that, for far too long, communities across this country–low income, minority communities–have been asked to bear a disproportionate share of our modern industrial life.”

      In May 2010, the EPA press office reported that $1.9 million in environmental justice grants had been awarded to 76 non-profit organizations and local governments working on environmental justice issues nationwide.”

      Obama’s EPA chief, Lisa Jackson in a speech at the EPA Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, in January 2012:

      “Today we continue to take direct inspiration from Dr. King, especially in our fight for environmental justice. Environmental justice is one of my top priorities for my time at
      the EPA, and it is something we are working to include in each and every initiative and decision the agency makes.”

      For more about the UN, the major influence of Socialist International and our own politicians’ complicity check out THE UNITED (SOCIALIST) NATIONS – PROGRESS ON GLOBAL GOVERNANCE, VIA CLIMATE CHANGE, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND BIO-DIVERSITY, 2011:

      “Whilst the continual scientific rebuttals of the climate reports produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may make many people think that this charade cannot continue much longer, behind the scenes it is quite irrelevant; the long-term process marches relentlessly on as if there had never been any challenges at all.

      As the advocates throw in yet more spurious claims of the “hottest year on record”, or record cold caused by CO2 emissions, they occupy the debate, and determine the daily agenda in the media, whilst those who know that the claims are spurious, are driven to waste time, effort and resources on refuting them.”

    • Ian Cook permalink
      February 26, 2020 6:11 pm

      I blame Gerry Anderson; his programmes were full of ‘world government’.

  27. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    February 25, 2020 6:16 pm

    It ought to be a crime to waste a mind.
    Ref: See Catriona Mc Kinnon

  28. 3x2 permalink
    February 25, 2020 6:40 pm

    It is really only the impressionable younger generation who have fallen for it.

    With people like this directing their ‘education’ is it any wonder?

    Alarmists really have lost the plot in recent times.

  29. Up2snuff permalink
    February 25, 2020 6:51 pm

    If so-called Climate Deniers have benefited from the oil industry, then the same would be true of the so-called Greens or Environmental Lobby except they have also benefited from car industry as well, along with many Governments around the world.

    I think there should be a criminal investigation into any donations made by the oil and car industries to the so-called Greens or Environmental Lobby before the increasingly tough emissions laws were passed in the 1990s and 2000s. We now know that those laws were not properly enforced and the so-called Greens or Environmental Lobby, the car makers and Governments have possibly all benefited at the expense of the car driver.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      February 25, 2020 7:30 pm

      And there was me thinking that philosophers kept open minds and tried to see all conflicts with an open mind.
      McKinnon seems not to have such a mind. Will she be advocating the burning of books next? Andrew Montford’s ‘Hiding the Decline’? Would she want to see him in prison? To join Steve McIntyre? Neither of which I would guess she is acquainted with – far less understood.
      My bet is that she is a useful idiot for XR.

  30. February 25, 2020 7:04 pm

    A 4–6.1 ℃ rise in temperature by 2100 would be catastrophic.

    So would falling under a bus, matey.

    • 3x2 permalink
      February 25, 2020 9:13 pm

      A 4–6.1 ℃ rise in temperature by 2100 would be catastrophic

      London like Paris. Disaster!

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 26, 2020 8:31 am

      I love the bogus prevusion 4-6.1!

      Not 4-6, but 6.1.

      And of course no evidence that will occur or that if it does there will be catastrophe.

  31. igsy permalink
    February 25, 2020 9:10 pm

    The ones who should be tried for postericide are the climate “scientists”. When the sheer statistical absurdity of Michael Mann’s risible hockey stick fully dawns on you (I remember that day), and then to see the ranks of “scientists” either outright defending it or turning a Nelsonian eye, it is then you realise you cannot believe a bloody word any of them say.

  32. February 25, 2020 9:27 pm

    During the rule of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, any opinion that deviated from what the majority consensus thought was right was stamped out with a vengeance. Nazi Germany exterminated all those that differed from their homicidal views. But why look to the past. Live in China and disagree with the PCC and you won yourself a ticket for some re-education facility. I am not even talking about North Korea. Examples abound. None of them have done humanity any good. Looking at the alarmists company, I am not reassured.

  33. dennisambler permalink
    February 25, 2020 11:38 pm

    My research in these areas adopts a broadly liberal approach”

    Why are liberals not very liberal?

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      February 27, 2020 9:38 am

      Liberals are people who have a ‘back off, baby on board sticker’ while tailgating the car in front.

  34. nickreality65 permalink
    February 26, 2020 2:16 am

    When you claim something to be factual and you do not know for certain that it is, that might be considered a mistaken assumption. That’s human.

    When you claim something to be factual and you are presented with reasonable doubts or verifiable facts to the contrary and you still represent your position as factual that’s no longer a mistake but deceit aka hoax.

    Coincidence is not cause plus RGHE does not exist and GHGs do not actually do anything.

    By reflecting away 30% of the ISR the terrestrial albedo, sustained by the atmosphere, makes the earth cooler than it would be without that albedo/atmosphere much like that reflective panel propped on a car’s dash.

    Because of the non-radiative heat transfer properties of the terrestrial surface BB LWIR radiative energy upwelling from the surface is not possible. There is zero “extra” energy for the GHGs to “trap.”

    The surface is warmer than ToA per Q = U A dT same as the insulated envelope of a house.

    If the above statements are correct the greenhouse effect does not exist.

    Zero GHE, Zero GHG warming, Zero CAGW.

    It’s that simple.
    It’s all science.
    Thththaatt’s ALL folks!!

  35. tom0mason permalink
    February 26, 2020 5:54 am

    Another idiot academic of spewing bile little worth!

    I’m guessing here but I’ll bet she ‘works*’ in an air-conditioned office that is carpeted in man-made fibers, with metal frame double glazed windows to view out, sits on a metal chair that is upholstered leather or some man-made fiber, at a desk that is basically (man-made adhesive and woodchip) particle board, veneered to look like some sort of wood, and majority of office fittings and fixtures are man-man with a high amount of plastic in them (even if they are made to look like wood or stone). She almost certainly typed out her missive on a computer hooked up to some network that consumes energy faster than a family home. She may have even printed it on paper, paper made using huge amounts of water and fossil fuel derived energy. She does not understand that all this and more is made and maintained by the use of so called ‘fossil’ fuels and is ‘carbon’ intensive.

    Lead by example Ms. McKinnon, I say. Remove from your life ALL plastics, man-made artificial products, computers, phones, along with most of your clothing, shoes, make-up, medicines, and toiletries (and preferably grow your own food). Make your own drinking water and remove your effluent safely by other means than the public sewer systems.
    Ms. McKinnon when you’ve removed yourself from your current fossil fueled environment and live your ‘sustainable’ life, that will be the time to preach at people. Until then you’re just another virtue signaling academic, pontificating while trying to cling on to some vestige of relevance by hitching a ride on the popular hysteria of the day.
    As long as you, Ms McKinnon keep all the accoutrements of modern living you are nought but another intolerant hypocrite attempting to foist a dark-age life on all others!

    *I use the word work not to indicate that worthwhile endeavors are being attempted to meet some valued result. No, it just indicates that time and money has been squandered on what Ms. McKinnon does.

    • Athelstan. permalink
      February 26, 2020 10:53 am

      A great retort in some soaring polemic!

      Though, the shame is, even if she McKinnon could understand the point and that’s way doubtful, her closed mind mule like obstinacy would shrug it all off and she’d smile conspiratorially with her mates in wackodemia shouting that,

      “white mansplaining and racist too”.

      Even if, it’s a total non sequitur and irrelevant, as Alinsky taught them, always answer back never back down, counter immediately, ask your own question and to deflect from the main thrust and salient point of the attack.

      There’s no reason to be had with ’em, and because if they were able to reason, they wouldn’t believe in doomgloblins, wood elves and moonbeam solutions from ACME inc.

      • tom0mason permalink
        February 26, 2020 12:03 pm

        Thank-you for the nice comment.
        And the few times I’ve encountered the “white mansplaining and racist too” type of reply, I counter with something like —
        “Oh my dear, you seem to be so overcome with emotion that you’ve lost the ability to argue effectively. Here let me help you. Is your argument that because a point of view is popular it must be true, or is it that you just don’t understand that science is a process?”

        Apoplexy usually ensues. 🙂

      • Athelstan. permalink
        February 26, 2020 12:28 pm


        can they do anything other?

        and all logic abandoned.

    • Gamecock permalink
      February 26, 2020 11:37 am

      It is decadence. She is so comfortable that she can attack that which keeps her alive.

  36. Athelstan. permalink
    February 26, 2020 6:02 am

    Global warbling loonies wanna fight………..bring it on.

  37. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 26, 2020 8:27 am

    The sheer arrogance that her views on both science and economics are right is staggering.

    Is she unaware of the current issues facing all science and the past history of science? Would she like to be treated based on the medicine of 50 years ago or 100 years ago?

    All science is conditional.

    If tomorrow the climate turns colder, will she report to her local prison for a ten year stay?

  38. C Lynch permalink
    February 26, 2020 10:30 am

    “I am a political theorist working on climate justice and climate ethics __”
    Translation: “I am a hard line Marxist.”

  39. Paul R permalink
    February 26, 2020 1:16 pm

    Thanks to “Prof” McKinnon, Exeter’s not so much a Russell Group university as a Russell Brand university

  40. Gerry, England permalink
    February 26, 2020 1:54 pm

    Who pays for her to produce this crap and waste her days on this kind of drivel? Oh, hang on – just walked passed a mirror and realised who pays.

    If we can still trust our justice system – big if obviously – this sort of thing could collapse their bubble as they would have to produce evidence in court. They usually stay clear of anything that might involve their version of kryptonite – FACTS.

  41. Dibnah permalink
    February 26, 2020 2:34 pm

    Belief systems generate intolerance. Belief systems also create mental health issues for the more extreme believers; unfortunately, these mental health issues frequently affect non-believers.

    • Dibnah permalink
      February 26, 2020 2:37 pm

      … the actions of the mentally ill believers frequently affect non-believers

  42. February 27, 2020 10:52 am

    Students have got to University without a clue. An expert has had to be enrolled onto the staff team to point out what sacrifices would be required to meet the student’s pipe dreams. Unfortunately some of this article would appear to be behind a pay wall.
    ‘Students can be naive over climate change, new environment advisor at St Andrews University says
    Sir Ian Boyd said while students are “very enthusiastic” about reducing climate change not all appreciate the sacrifices it will mean making.’

  43. Vernon E permalink
    February 27, 2020 11:23 am

    Late I know. Isn’t it more usual to burn heretics at the stake? Or would that cause more CO2 release and more warming?

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