Sheehan goes from bad to worse

I have previously tut-tutted over a Paul Sheehan opinion column, but his February 1 effort reaches a whole new level of objectionable. I should have passed on reading it, I know that. I should have just let it slide by, knowing that it would just angry up the blood, but still I was drawn in. I guess it’s not really surprising – making bold claims that are derided as idiocy by some and lauded as speaking truth to power by others is how opinion writers earn their keep. Eyeball share is what matters, not thoughtful arguments and considered judgement. Why do you think I get so few visitors to this blog? 😉

But, since I did read Sheehan’s piece, I find myself compelled to retort. I can’t compare to other, more informed and better written rebuttals (sorry, no link – you’d just read them instead of staying here), but I think I can add a little to the mix.

I like lists. I don’t use them much, but there’s a great deal of satisfaction in working your way through, ticking them off as you go. You get a real sense of progress. Such a sense is illusory here, because I’m not doing anything productive. Still, at least I’ll get it off my chest.

Sheehan constructed his column around his own list of ten “anti-commandments”, ten so-called facts about global warming that apparently have been ignored by those ivory tower alarmists. To quote Sheehan:

All these anti-commandments are either true or backed by scientific opinion. All can also be hotly contested.

An interesting combination of sentences. Note he doesn’t say they are relevant, because to do so would be to open him up to ridicule. Actually, that’s going to happen anyway. Also, he doesn’t say which scientific opinion is doing the backing-up. That’s quite important. Last, I think it’s funny that he’s using the escape clause of hot contention – that way he can still maintain the anti-commandments are true, despite any evidence to the contrary. It’s a pre-emptive attempt to reduce counter-arguments to the status of opinions, and implies an equality between his claims and any counter-claims. It’s a debating trick. Anyway, on to the list. Remember, these are supposed to be “about global warming“.

  • The pin-up species of global warming, the polar bear, is increasing in number, not decreasing.

Misleading, if not downright false. The overall population has increased since hunting was reduced, sure, but now more sub-populations are decreasing than previously – half of them – and only one is increasing.

  • US President Barack Obama supports building nuclear power plants.

Irrelevant to the science, though relevant to the politics of mitigation. I don’t even know why it’s on the list.

  • The Copenhagen climate conference descended into farce.

Again, irrelevant to the science.

  • The reputation of the chief United Nations scientist on global warming is in disrepair.

Irrelevant, because he’s referring to Dr Pachauri, the administrative chairman of the IPCC. If he had meant the actual principal authors of the IPCC reports, it’s false. Dr Pachauri looks like he’s a corrupt, venal, hypocritical wanker, but that changes not one iota of the science.

  • The supposed scientific consensus of the IPCC has been challenged by numerous distinguished scientists.

Numerous? More like a few dozen, and that’s by being generous with the adjective “distinguished”. It’s true that people like Dr Richard Lindzen and Stephen McIntyre are credible sceptics doing important work in the basic research and statistical analysis of climate change respectively, and have made important contributions to the debate. However, the scientific consensus is built on thousands of scientists’ work over decades, and every week more is done that supports that consensus, while at best a few papers a year find contrary evidence.

  • The politicisation of science leads to a heavy price being paid in poor countries.

This is so weird. Sheehan is bringing up DDT! Can anyone tell me what this has to do with global warming and climate change? If anyone is interested in this bizarre right-wing contrarian shibboleth, I suggest you visit Tim Lambert’s blog Deltoid.

  • The biofuels industry has exacerbated world hunger.

This one is true, sort of, but again totally irrelevant to global warming science.

  • The Kyoto Protocol has proved meaningless.

False. In a world where politicians respond slowly, and global responses are built one agonising brick at a time, creating a bureaucratic structure for future negotiations and agreements on climate change was no small feat. This anti-commandment is also misleading – global emissions have gone up, but Kyoto didn’t include China and India and other developing countries.

  • The United Nations global carbon emissions reduction target is a massively costly mirage.

Misleading. There have only been a handful of cost-benefit analyses on climate change adaption and mitigation, and these have had some serious methodological flaws. More need to be done. However, there is no doubt that we have been running up an environmental bill that will come due sooner or later, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that paying it off now will be cheaper than waiting for the debt collector.

  • Kevin Rudd’s political bluff on emissions trading has been exposed.


So there you have it – a collection of misleading (if not completely false), irrelevant and plain weird/laughable claims, packaged as coming from a prophet-like Monckton, when in fact he’s a loony. Epic fail, Mr Sheehan.

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30 Responses to Sheehan goes from bad to worse

  1. Liam says:

    But not failed as badly or irresponsibly as using his columns to spruik Miracle Water.

  2. Twinstar says:

    Yeah, this global warming/climate change stuff is starting to give me the shits. It’s not just Sheahan. Miranda ‘Fucking’ Devine did a similar piece. I am soooo over Fairfax ‘journalism’. Their toilet’s been filling up with shit for years and somebody keeps forgetting to flush.

  3. john walker says:

    EITHER –‘ true ‘…..OR —‘ backed by scientific opinion’. Very sophisticated reasoning.
    Its not journalism , you pay for that, lobbying – spruiking is paid for by the client , its cheap.

    Did you see the article SMH yesterday about the spanish baseload solar power system, it was openly spruiking a start up company here in australia, but if its essentially true then the main argument for coal that it is essential for baseload power .. looks shaky

  4. Jason Soon says:

    I just try not to comment on AGW issues any longer because it makes my blood boil, as does the hypocrisy and double standards of some our libertarian and quasi libertarian comrades in not hearing a peep from them about Tony Abbott’s ridiculous idea of spending more money to plant more fricking bloody trees as an alternative to letting the market work.

  5. Jason Soon says:

    oh and how the fuck can anyone who wants to be taken seriously waste time reading or listening to that inbred Lord who looks like a circus freak?

  6. JC says:

    fair enough, those are all reasonable points, but then why spoil it with this obvious nonsense.

    I suggest you visit Tim Lambert’s blog Deltoid.

    Why on earth would you link Lambert when he’s quite possibly the most dishonest blogger in the country. The dwarf would lie if you ever saw him and said “hello”. He would even lie about that.

  7. JC says:


    I presume you do Yoga?

  8. Jarrah says:

    I’d forgotten that one, Liam! I do recall Media Watch gently eviscerating him on that, now that you mention it.

    JC, I can’t remember what originally set you off about Lambert, but he’s never struck me as especially dishonest. There’s a bit of intellectual dishonesty in some of his stuff (more in some areas than others), but worst of the lot? I don’t think so.

    I point people to his blog if they want to know about the DDT wars because he’s comprehensive, makes a lot of sense on that subject, and is continually responding to idiots like Sheehan, so if anyone’s curiosity was roused by his column, I think it’s a good place to go. There’s plenty of criticism and counter-argument in the comments and there are links to the writers Lambert is trying to debunk, so anyone I send there can find out all sides if they’re super-keen to learn more.

  9. JC says:

    JC, I can’t remember what originally set you off about Lambert, but he’s never struck me as especially dishonest

    OK. How does this fit your criteria?

    UK Daily Mail journalist David Rose comments:

    I realise that nothing I write here will make a scrap of difference to you.

    Lambert – a university lecturer (true!) – responds:

    David Rose admits that he has no credibility … in a comment left here David Rose has admitted that he has no credibility, conceding that “nothing I write here will make a scrap of difference”.

    Would you consider that honest?
    Lambert has the integrity of pick pocket in a town square full of trusting tourists. The only way he ought to be treated is with the utmost contempt as he’s a lying sack of shit.

    It actually goes beyond politics and belief systems.

    I don’t want to claim him as part of our species.

  10. Liam says:

    JC, I don’t do yoga.
    Interpretative dance is more my style, but my teammates get a bit annoyed when I try to do it on the football field.

  11. Jarrah says:

    JC, that snippet sounds a bit unfair, but hardly beyond the pale of normal blog stoushes. Presumably Lambert is taking every opportunity to minimise the damage done by the CRU emails and other sundry SNAFUs by the IPCC. That’s to be expected – he’s heavily invested in being a warrior for AGW.

    I’m sure it’s the cumulative effect of this kind of thing that has you so mad, but I still think you’re over-reacting.

  12. JC says:


    I wouldn’t have mentioned the dwarf if you hadn’t. All I did was inform people that your link to his site is marred with total dishonesty.

    He’s quite despicable and I can’t understand why you would use him for a reference. Any reference.

    The fucker has poison running through his veins.

  13. Jarrah says:

    You haven’t shown that he’s especially dishonest. And his efforts in the DDT debate is pretty good. I stand by my link.

    “The fucker has poison running through his veins.”

    Ironically, it’s you who is being venomous.

  14. JC says:

    No, I’m not. I’m responding to your silly link that the dwarf knows anything about DDT when in fact he doesn’t.

    He has even been caught omitting pertinent parts of St. Rachael’s book which showed the woman was a loon.

    Lies of omission are par for the course for the little fat headed dwarf..

    You make light of a very easy to understand example of the fat head’s dishonesty and swiping it away by implying it’s somehow excusable because the dwarf has a lot of invested in his views.

    You suggest it’s normal behavior on blogs when in fact it’s not normal behavior unless you’re describing Bird or Homer. Is that what you’re doing: putting him in league with those two loons?

    There are lots of other people you can link to, why on earth would you even think of this fat-headed twerp as being an authority on anything?

  15. Liam says:

    Ah yes, normal behaviour on blogs. Thank goodness JC is here to enlighten us about being wrong.

  16. JC says:


    I don’t exactly know what it is that you’re referring to but I take it that your link is to suggest some dishonesty akin to Lambert’s?

    If that’s the case I can safely assume that you also agree with me about mini-me’s dishonesty.

    I haven’t seen you since the time you were unceremoniously dumped from Catallaxy for taking a cheap and dishonest shot at SL. What have you been doing since?

  17. Tim Lambert says:

    I’d rather not have anything to do with Joe Cambria — I find his obsession with me kind of creepy. But since Jarrah seems to be taking him seriously I thought I should comment.

    It would be wise to discount anything Cambria says about me by 100%. If you look at the post that Cambria quoted from you will see that I was parodying David Rose’s misquote of Pielke:

    I suppose that it is ironic that a post making a point about how misleading an out of context quote can be was itself subject to a misleading out of context quote.

  18. JC says:


    for lord’s sake stop being a dickhead fro once in your miserable life. I saw Jarrah’s link and set him straight , that’s all. It’s the right thing to do ☺

    Otherwise you wouldn’t have been mentioned.

    As for obsession look at your own threads and see what “obsession” really looks like. How many on Mockton, Plimer or Rose (Rose for lord’s sake!) to name but a few?

    How about your shocking deranged behavior at Online Opinion where you’re not welcome any longer because of your”hooligan” behavior (as it was called). How about Catallaxy where you were banned (which in itself is remarkable seeing its vitually open to all? How about Thoughts on Freedom blog where you were told you were no longer welcome? …….All because of your continual repulsive /obsessive behavior.

    In any event your friends over at Pure Poison have been obsessing over Bolt for years, which you’ve applauded, you dishonest little crudball. So on that standard what’s wrong with Lambert Watch, an occasional post based on the same standards as your friends at Pure Poisonous?

    I might add even one of your work colleagues has applauded Lambert Watch, which was something I wasn’t expecting ☺

    Stop it with the idea that you do “parody”, as you’ve got the sense of humor of an undertaker preparing his/her parent for burial.

    You didn’t “parody” Rose. You basically lied about him and tried to get away with it. Realizing it didn’t work (getting away with it), you’re now morphing into stand up comic. Yea right.

    Please… don’ t insult our intelligence, You undersized dishonest lunatic.

    This shit doesn’t work any more when it come to you.

  19. JC says:


    By the way have you stopped sending hate mail to people, swearing at them and calling them “pieces of shit” because they happened to disagree with you?

    And Tim, if you just want to go around putting me down I suggest you give people a bit of a background i.e. just because I carelessly aimed a snark at you once, you sent me not one but *three* abusive emails and have been back to hounding me since. you really are a vindictive little twerp and if you continue this I may just be inclined to publish those emails and tell you boss about them, ok?

    You obsessive lying twerp, Tim.

  20. JCWho? says:

    I see JC is still a vicious little shit, with all the charm of poisonous toad and the style of a rabid hyena, crawling from one blog to the next, spewing his narcissistic bile without restraint.

    Get a life, son. Nobody is listening.

  21. WhoWho says:

    I don’t think JC’s as big a shit as you JCWHO/Tubby Nutcracker..

    Could I guess this is that pestilent little bastard who calls himself Tobias Ziegler from Pure Poison posing as someone else and who has the personality of plastic toilet seat?

    It’s you isn’t it Tubby Nutcracker? Would you like to tell the people here what it was like to be threatened by WordPress blog for starting up anonymous blogs posting slanderous stuff about people?

    Everyone knows it’s you tubby because of that unique style of language you apply when your upset. You little grub.

  22. Jarrah says:

    OK, I want everyone to take a deep breath and calm down. While I won’t delete these nasty comments, this is not Catallaxy and I don’t want them to continue. Either have something purposive to say, or don’t say it at all.

    JC, your pre-existing beef with Lambert does not in any way reduce the validity of his extensive rebuttals of DDT-myth purveyors, and so I am happy to link to his efforts. If you know of an equally substantial repository of commentary that you feel is superior, please feel free to link to it in a comment. If you have good reason to think he’s wrong, then cite your evidence.

    I linked to Lambert because I’m familiar with his blog, and I feel confident that any third party who read Sheehan’s column and then this blog (and also had little idea why DDT was brought up by Sheehan) would benefit from glancing through Lambert’s archive. Obviously you disagree, but this rehashing of petty disputes does not belong here.

  23. Jarrah says:

    I draw everybody’s attention to the newly created comment policy at the top of the page. It will not apply retrospectively, because I think that’s unjust. But it is now in force.

  24. JC says:

    JF Beck did some great work tearing strips of rancid flesh off Lambert’s fat arse over this DDT thing. You ought to go over there and check out the numerous threads on the DDT issue.

    Lambert is just trying to provide cover to the envirozealots so they don’t look bad over the issue. He really doesn’t give a shit about the 3rd world as long as the zealots get a free pass.

    Lambert banned Beck from his blog because he wasn’t looking good on this issue at all.

  25. JC says:

    Dude :

    Just relax with this comments policy thing. Think of it like having to do castor oil and it will be gone in a short while.

  26. Jarrah says:

    Castor oil? And you claim you’re not old 😉

  27. JC says:

    I never claimed I wasn’t.

    You ought to do more writing Jarrah. Some of the threads like that book review are terrific. You’re quite gifted and ought to look at it as a permanent gig.

  28. //அவங்க சொன்னா சரின்னு கேட்டுட்டு போவணும்.// இல்ல பாஸ் அவங்க வினவுன்னு பேரு வச்சிருகà¯001000à®•à®¿à®±à®¤à®¾à®² வினவினேன் .வினவாதேன்னு மாத்திட்டாங்கன்னா நான் ஏன் கேள்வி கேட்க போறேன் தனியார் மயம் , தாராளமயம் , உலகமயம் , ஓம்நமச்சிவாயான்னு மந்திரத்தை சொல்லிட்டு போயிட்டே இருப்பேன்ல (அவங்களோட மந்திரம் இது )

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  30. http://www./ says:

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