James Delingpole: The True Face of Denialism

April 8, 2013


James Delingpole in The Telegraph:

Should Michael Mann be given the electric chair for having concocted arguably the most risibly inept, misleading, cherry-picking, worthless and mendacious graph – the Hockey Stick – in the history of junk science?

Should George Monbiot be hanged by the neck for his decade or so’s hysterical promulgation of the great climate change scam and other idiocies too numerous to mention?

Should Tim Flannery be fed to the crocodiles for the role he has played in the fleecing of the Australian taxpayer and the diversion of scarce resources into pointless projects like all the eyewateringly expensive desalination plants built as a result of his doomy prognostications about water shortages caused by catastrophic anthropogenic global warming?

It ought to go without saying that my answer to all these questions is – *regretful sigh* – no.

Joe Romm at ClimateProgress:

If you ever needed (more) proof that the professional deniers are driven by a mindless rage devoid of any actual science, I urge you to read James Delingpole’s latest piece.

It will nauseate you — consider yourself warned. But I think it’s important to dissect this hate speech in detail because Delingpole seems to think that hate speech isn’t hate speech if you just use rhetoric — the figures of speech, like metaphor.

Having spent a quarter century studying rhetoric and having just published a well-received book on this very subject — Language Intelligence: Lessons on persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga — I think I can safely say that is bullshit, though most likely only metaphorical bullshit (see below).

You may recall Delingpole’s 2011 meltdown on the BBC, where they got him to admit he is a hand-waving know-nothing: “It is not my job to sit down and read peer-reviewed papers because I simply haven’t got the time…. I am an interpreter of interpretations.” This pieces makes that meltdown look like the height of lucidity.

The piece is worth examining in detail because I think it is indicative of how the deniers and disinformers really feel — and we’ll know if that’s true if none of them denounce it.

The headline is “An English class for trolls, professional offence-takers and climate activists.” Delingpole is going to lecture us plebes on our native tongue.

What more proof is needed that hate speech is the “logic” of deniers?

By the way, this trick of “pretended denial” — smearing someone by putting it in the negative (“I’m not calling my opponent a liar, but …”) — is so old the Greeks classified it as a figure of speech 25 centuries ago! And here it is indeed just rhetorical denial — as evidenced by the absurdist addition of “*regretful sigh*” and, even worse, “the mercy of quick release” and “Hanging is far too good.” Anyone who “read English at Oxford” as Delingpole snearingly asserts a few sentences later would know that.

Let’s take a quick look at the alleged “terms and conditions for Telegraph.co.uk and all associated websites”:

In submitting material to us, you warrant that any material you submit:

… (6) is not obscene, threatening, menacing, offensive, defamatory, abusive….

If Delingpole’s piece doesn’t count as “threatening, menacing, offensive, defamatory, abusive” then it is quite safe to say that nothing does. It should be retracted, the Telegraph should issue an apology and then fire him.

Delingpole then doubles down by bringing in — what else? — a Nazi war criminal metaphor (emphasis in original):

This isn’t to say that there isn’t a strong case for the myriad dodgy scientists-on-the-make, green activists, posturing and ignorant politicians, rent-seeking corporatists, UN apparatchiks, EU technocrats and hopelessly out-of-their-depth environment correspondents who talked up the global warming scare to be brought to account for the vast damage they have done to the global economy, for the people they have caused to die in fuel poverty, for the needless regulations they have inflicted on us, for the landscapes they have ravaged with wind farms, and so on.

Indeed, it would be nice to think one day that there would be a Climate Nuremberg. But please note, all you slower trolls beneath the bridge, that when I say Climate Nuremberg I use the phrase metaphorically.

A metaphor, let me explain – I can because I read English at Oxford, dontcha know – is like a simile but stronger.

Delingpole follows a mainstream of climate denial ‘thought”.


Speaking at a conference in Los Angeles, Lord Monckton, an ardent climate change sceptic, claimed that Professor Ross Garnaut held fascist views.

During the presentation he stood in front of a projection of a swastika next to a quote from Prof Garnaut that read: “The outsider to climate science has no rational choice but to accept that, on the balance of probabilities, the mainstream science is right in pointing to high risks from unmitigated climate change.”

“That’s a fascist point of view,” Lord Monckton told the audience. “That you merely accept authority without question. Heil Hitler, on we go.”

Lord Monckton, a one-time adviser to Baroness Thatcher, is renowned for his belief that humans are not damaging the climate. His latest comments stunned Australians from both sides of politics.

Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minister, whose Labor government is currently trying to bring in a carbon tax on big polluters, said the remarks were “grossly inappropriate”.

Of course, Lord Monckton fits in perfectly with America’s home grown climate denial crackpots, the Heartland Institute, who not only claims to have cured AIDS, but has become a leading voice of the TeaParty “Birther” movement – drawing cheers from the climate denial set for his foul, racist “Obama is a Kenyan” rant at Heartland’s annual conference last May.

13 Responses to “James Delingpole: The True Face of Denialism”

  1. MorinMoss Says:

    Can we please stop giving these morons the time of day?
    It’s just more pig-wrestling – it gets us filthy and makes the pig happy.

    Ignore the ignorant – we have better things to do with what little time we have.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      I was of that mind until someone reminded me that in the past ignoring thugs of this ilk has lead to tragedy. These are indeed loathsome toads, but they need to be exposed and dealt with.

  2. Wes Says:

    Although I do agree that giving these turds the time of day is a waste, it’s kind of fun to see the “frothing at the mouth” that indicates that they sense their own irrelevance. Since their attempts to forge fraudulent data and smear real scientists have failed utterly, they’re reduced to generating poor imitations of World Net Daily, leaving a trail of spittle over everything in their fevered vicinity. We won’t miss them.

  3. andrewfez Says:

    Do people actually take this guy seriously?

    I always thought it was clear to warmists and denialists alike that he was more of an entertainer than a information source. Though I have spoken to a few denialists on the JD youtube videos, and though they may not all be interpreters of interpreted interpretations, they are at least interpreters of interpretations willing to share his sentiments.

    If he’d speak the truth for 12 months straight, he’d find his income sources starting to dry up, as his fresher echos from the denialists’ chamber attenuated. So he’s left with the choice: either root for his team regardless of how bad a season their having, or go back to being poor. Notice how bad he wants the science to be washed in politics, as political entertainment is his bag, baby.

    • pendantry Says:

      I for one have no doubt that some people take Delingpile’s words seriously. “I read in the ‘paper once that [something or other] happened” is standard fare down t’ pub and other places. And though all I’ve ever seen of the prevaricating peer is him presenting his fabrications to folk, I don’t believe that anyone would cart him around the planet to strut his stuff if they were putting on a comedy show.

      More people need to laugh at these jokers; but the emperor’s new clothes have ever proven to be immensely durable.

      • daryan12 Says:

        As I often point to people where you get you’re infomation from is crucial.

        If say you heard that aliens have landed on the white house lawn, there’s a world of a difference between getting this info from a peer reviewed scientists, a US government offical….or reading about it in some supermarket tabloid or relying on what “some guy in the pub told me”.

        By “not reading the science” as JD admits too, he largely puts his opinon pieces into the latter category (man in the pub said….) which cannot hope to trump peer reviewed science.

        • MorinMoss Says:

          “It’s too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are driving cabs or cutting hair” – George Burns

  4. […] James Delingpole in The Telegraph: Should Michael Mann be given the electric chair for having concocted arguably the most risibly inept, misleading, cherry-picking, worthless and mendacious graph –…  […]

  5. daryan12 Says:

    James Delingpole is basically someone best ignored. He’s basically a master baitor ;0 of liberals, leftie’s and environmental campaigners. He deliberately writes posts that are designed to be provocative and get a reaction. Then when people react to his largely polemic and fact free drivel he gets the excuse to say oh look at these silly lefties getting their knickers in a twist and taking my post the wrong way….cycle repeats.

    All very entertaining for his largely conservative readership.
    However, if people who he attacks simply ignored his rants, then he’s stuck, his readership will decline, he’ll loose his job and he’ll wind up as a hobo living in a dumpster. So that’s what I’d recommend.

    I do agree with him about the need for a “climate Nuremberg” however….of deniers like him!

    • greenman3610 Says:

      I think if people had taken seriously the threat to democracy posed by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, and the poisoning of the information stream they represent, we might have been able to avoid a lot of pain. those on the conservative side who have been cheering this kind of rhetoric might want to take a look at the state of the Republican party and reflect as to whether this has been positive for a conservative agenda.

      • daryan12 Says:

        Agreed, the lunatics within the GOP are taking over the asylum. In the UK we’re seeing the rise of UKIP (aka the party for closet racists & deniers) gaining ground.

        But in the long term I suspect these groups will simply destroy the poltical right wing, much as Thatcher’s legacy (now thankfully no longer with us) was ultimately to hand politcal power in the UK over to labour for the best part of 15 years.

  6. mrsircharles Says:

    Delingfool should face a trial for incitement. Imagine, he regrets that honourable people are not being tortured and murdered!

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