The Hood of Inquisition on the Head of Clive Hamilton

By Con George-Kotzabasis

To associate the skeptics of climate change with the repudiators of the link between AIDS and the HIV virus and with the conspiracy theories of 9/11 and the “Larouche delusions,” shows clearly that professor Clive Hamilton rests his case on an intellectually very weak reed. Further, to presume, as he does, that all skeptics are deliberate “denialists”and “contrarians” lacking scientific arguments and considering them to be “irreverent” to the scientific evidence presented by the supporters of climate change, like him, is to put the hood of the Inquisitor on his head. The Spanish Inquisition is alive and well in the censorious strictures of  professor Hamilton.


A short reply by Con George-Kotzabasis to:

A Cool Look at Professor Aitkin’s Global Warming Scepticism By Dr. Geoff Davies

On Line Opinion, May 16, 2008

 It would be impertinently impetuous and stupid for a layperson like me to argue with an expert in the field as Dr. Davies is. I am however a skeptic. It might well be scientifically true that human “greenhouse emissions are the cause of the present warming”. But in my opinion the crucial scientific question is whether these negative human actions have the power to trump the positive natural forces of the Universe that determine the intra and inter relations of the planets and the sun in their state of equilibrium. It’s this axiomatic question that the supporters of climate change, like Davies, must answer first.

There has been ample evidence that in Roman and medieval times the earth was warmer. Davies himself admits that there have been “fluctuations in the amount of heat received from the sun (due to the slow gyrations of the earth in its orbit around the sun”). It seems however that natural forces triggered their own “stabilizers” of cooling periods and the earth once again found its viable natural balance and avoided catastrophe or extinction. Further, Nigel Lawson, the former editor of the Spectator and Chancellor of the Exchequer, poses the up till now unassailable question that has not been answered by the climate “gloomies”.: “Is it really plausible that there is an ideal average world temperature…from which a small departure in either direction would spell disaster?

When one chooses to go on the warpath one must be confident about his position and clear and undeviating about one’s goals. Dr Davies seems like a defeated “combatant” to have abandoned the field of battle and its original goal. It seems that he finds it difficult to prove his case and therefore his goal no longer is to demonstrate that greenhouse emissions cause global warming but to argue, by shifting his position and aims, that by stopping the “over-exploitation of the earth”, reducing “energy use and greenhouse emissions”, all of which are easily achievable according to him, the end result will be “to improve our lives”, save money, and “allow our grandchildren’s grandchildren to inherit a rich and fulfilling world.”

 With this new position Dr Davies has dropped the scepter of science from his hand and replaced it with the staff of the Greek seer Tiresias, predicting generations ahead the fulfilled life of “grandchildren” But forgetting that the threats to a happy future for mankind might not only arise from the over exploitation of the earth but also from the mutual deadly belligerence of men their religious dogmas and ideologies.

But wait for his zinger: “If we are causing global warming” by “a change in our lifestyle… for reasons other than global warming…it would mitigate that problem too. If not, no harm done” Hence, there is a great chance that by the Walpolean fairy of serendipity anthropogenic global warming will evaporate. But without for a moment daring to dispute the power of fairies, I continue to rest on the oars of my skepticism that global warming will bring in its wake disaster by escaping the countering equilibrating natural forces of the universe.

A reply by Dr. Davies and a counter reply by Kotzabasis

In my challenge of 17 May my intention was to broaden the view to see if there might be some common ground. Evidently Kotzabasis wasn’t capable of comprehending that.I’ll broaden it even a little more. If you don’t believe we can endlessly increase our use of Earth’s resources, the implication is that at some time we will have to change the way our economies work, and also stop the increase in population. If you also agree the Earth is showing many signs of over-exploitation (I include global warming, though you may not), then it suggests the time is now. Then, why would you spend so much energy arguing against “AGW”? Why not argue for (or work for) the change we must make?

Clive Hamilton on New Matilda says a better description of many objectors is “contrarian”. Do you just like to object and be contrary? If so, deal with your personal problem instead of spraying it around on everyone else.
If you think we CAN endlessly increase our use of Earth’s resources, I can only refer you to basic physics, starting with conservation of mass. (Note: I said “endlessly increase our use of resources”. I didn’t say “indefinitely improve the quality of our lives”. We can use fewer resources more cleverly than we do now and still live well.)
If you don’t see the Earth showing any signs of stress, I suggest there are none so blind as those who will not see.
I refer everyone to Clive’s article:
He does a better job than me of giving a fair portrait of science, climate scientists and IPCC, and contrasting them with the shonky denialists, who of course always claim there’s a conspiracy to prevent them from publishing.



Posted by Geoff Davies, Tuesday, 20 May 2008 10:35:52 AM

 Dr. Davies

It was evident even to blind Fredie that you broadened your view since you felt you were “narrow” in your arguments to make your case on the original issue of global warming. It’s rather amusing to hear a scientist say that by broadening his view he was seeking to find “some common ground”. Scientists, as you know better than me, are not interested in seeking a common ground but in seeking the truth. And once they are confident that they are close to finding it they don’t deviate from their path. But you did! Without consciously realizing that by doing so you were weakening your original position. 

I can assure you I am no Hamiltonian “contrarian”. If you had read my first post you would have seen that. You just gave me the strong impression with your “broadening” post that you were no longer arguing like a scientist but like a seer or more precisely like an ideologue. And your current post with its “common ground” substantiates this impression.

Con George-Kotzabasis




By Con George–Kotzabasis

The intellectual lightness of former premier Bob Carr’s critique of Paddy McGuinnes lies in the opening of his article published in The Australian, on January 30, 2008., ” ‘Don’t get too close to that crowd of Quadrant’, instructed Paddy McGuinnes…The year …is fixed in my memory as 1976 or 1977, when I was an employee of the Labor Council of NSW”. ( A period when the latter was employing standover goons from the Sydney underworld to bash and threaten the lives of left-wing members of the Labor Party, and which McGuinnes dubbed as the right-wing thuggish Labor Council of NSW.) As if this statement of McGuinnes in 1976-77, would be the ‘fixed’ Gospel truth about Quadrant from which McGuinnes would never deviate with the passing of time. Carr claims that “Quadrant’s anti-communism was too unfashionable for him.”[McGuinnes] As if the latter was picking his political “fashions” from the ‘cat walks’ and designs of other conservatives and was intellectually incapable of designing his own anti-communism, which he did, and during his journalistic career brilliantly articulated and exhibited.

Carr claims that “McGuinnes contribution was a different one” and “deliciously counterproductive”, which the Labor party relished. He was the Godfather of the three deadly sins that would cast the Howard government into the political abyss of Hades: Climate change denial, support for George W. Bush in Iraq, and loss of workers’ rights. “For ten years, whatever Howard did or said he would be supported by a group of columnists…none more bottled-up angry with Labor than McGuinnes”. This was Howard’s “Praetorian Guard”. And “when the electorate wanted Howard to ratify Kyoto and wind back the commitment in Iraq, the symbiotic link with Praetorians made it impossible for the emperor to shift”. It was this attachment of Howard to the orthodoxies of the Praetorians “that did him in”. Carr caps his argument by saying that “McGuinnes and his allies had won their man for their program, but their program had lost Australians”. And “McGuinnes was haunted by ghosts… Women from the Push days, his Labor Party buddies from the past, above all the imaginary leftists who seemed to occupy a large part of his mental space”.

Well let us deal with Carr’s argument about Paddy and Howard’s Praetorian Guard that “did him in”. The three issues that presumably ousted the Howard government, i.e., climate change, the war in Iraq, and WorkChoices were present during  Kim Beazley’s tenure as opposition leader without in any way increasing his polls against Howard , So there must have been other factors that brought the Coalition government down that Carr hardly even attempts to probe. And all the pre-election polls had shown that at least the two issues of climate change and the war, scarcely made any ripples in the calm lake waters that the electorate was paddling its canoe. The issues that led to the defeat of the former government did not emanate from the “program” of McGuinnes and his allies, but from a number of tactical mistakes made by the Coalition prior and during their lackluster electoral campaign and its inability to cut Rudd’s populist wings that would make the pigeon land, in the guise of an eagle, on the Lodge.

On the two pivotal issues of security and economic management, on which the Coalition had no peers in the political spectrum and was politically unassailable, the Howard government failed to concentrate the mind of the electorate. Instead of making these two issues the axis upon which the safety and continued economic prosperity of the nation depended, it squandered this political capital it had in its hands by ‘hoarding’ the first, that is, by keeping silent about the great importance of the security of the country during the electoral campaign¬—and considering that the war in Iraq was being won by the Coalition of the willing with hardly any Australian casualties, which was vital to the security of the West, the reticence of this fact was politically astonishing—and by treating the second, i.e., economic management, as a ‘safe haven’ in the electorate’s mind and a safe protectorate that could not be ‘stolen’ by the me tooism economic conservatism of  Kevin Rudd.

Rudd owes his victory to the humdrum desires–that had nothing to do with the war or climate change–of Howard’s battlers and to the self-employed tradesmen, both groups drenched with middle-class conservative values. Once Kevin 07 established in the minds of these two groups his economic conservatism coupling this with his promises of lower food and petrol prices as well as ending the ogre of Work Choices, which the unions’ advertising campaign successfully managed to depict, then Rudd was bound to win the race, as the unbreakable momentum of all the polls had shown during the long campaign, without steroids.

Howard’s campaign strategists committed the error of thinking that they could take the wind off the sails of Rudd first by a profligate and luxurious spending, and secondly, by tampering with the Work Choices legislation with the aim of making it more palatable to the electorate, and in the process bungling it, which instead of making it acceptable to the latter it created the strong impression of Howard’s guilt about Work Choices as being an anti-working class measure and hence generating a great distrust of Howard. From this point on whatever Howard was saying was falling on deaf ears and no monetary offers lining the pockets of the electorate would change the latter’s choice to have a go with Rudd. Indeed, “the electorate had moved”, to quote Carr, and ‘de-latched’, from Howard not because of Kyoto and the war in Iraq, as Carr claims, but to the failure and inability of the Coalition’s strategists to expose the falsity of Rudd’s so called “new leadership” and to take the wind off the sails of  his bloated populism, as it’s written in Kevin Rudd’s stars that his “new leadership” will be led by the weathervane of populism.

 Carr ends his tirade against McGuinnes by stating that the latter “was haunted with ghosts…above all the imaginary leftists who seemed to occupy a large part of his mental space”. As if he himself and the left in general, were free of their own ghosts planted in their dragons’ teeth by that great intellectual landlord absentee from history Karl Marx, class struggle, the proletariat, capitalist exploiters, the universal man, who would work during the day, play the harp in the afternoon, and write and “practice” poetry during the night. Not to mention its more modern up to date fads such as “make poverty history” in countries such as Africa where political corruption is rife and when one gets on the sleaze racket of a governmental position it becomes a way of life and where a free rein of insatiable cleptocracy reigns.

Just-in-time news, Bob Carr has drowned…It was never wise for lake swimmers to swim in the mountainous sea of Paddy McGuinnes. 

I rest on my oars:Your turn now