Great Moments in Stupidity

February 14, 2014

The internet’s total stupidity and arrogance index dipped a notch the other day with James Delingpole’s final blog column for the Telegraph.

Scurrilous and unkind rumors have it that Delingpole was becoming a liability and embarassment to the owners, and so got the boot.
Readers of this blog will remember Jame’s indelible performance in the video above, totally flummoxed by a simple question from Sir Paul Nurse, about trusting, or not trusting, the scientific method.

Although known for some of the nastiest, most hateful, and not surprisingly, most ill informed climate denial screeds in Trollville, Delingpole took an opportunity to remind his readers, in this last post, that he’s actually, well, as the clip above underlines, grossly ignorant.

“..Thanks for your technical expertise and advice (it prevented anyone ever noticing that I’m an English graduate and know NOTHING about science..”

…making him of course, eminently qualified in his field.

122 Responses to “Great Moments in Stupidity”

  1. “imminently qualified…” What, very imminently? Maybe that’s why he’s quit – so he can go and take up some climate science education.

    Sorry for my pendantry. I hate pendants.

    • archaeandragon Says:

      Are you wearing one, too? 😛

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Doesn’t everyone who wears a cloak of sophistry like these fools need a pendant clasp to keep it closed?

        • Dan Staley Says:

          I frown at misspellings maybe more than the next guy, but in this age of typing on phones with annoying autofill, one should be a tad slower at the spelling Nazi routine…

          • archaeandragon Says:

            Nah, not spelling/grammar Nazism; just pointing it out amuses me because I have a rather perverse love of unintentional wordplay. 😀

            That, and I don’t use phones for typing messages. I use phones for voice communication. Use the right tool for the job and all that rot. 😛

          • rayduray Says:

            We’ll know we’re in a different era when phones correct pedantry from pendants to pederasty. Fortunately, we’re not there yet, though one of my best clients in San Francisco was a gay VP at Pacific Bell. And I wouldn’t put it past him. 🙂

      • Maybe his eminence makes no sense, but it might be imminent in a minute. His pedantic eminence is immense. Oh yes, word play yay. Spell checker spells hells pell mell.

  2. Hmm, “eminently” would be sarcastic, but “imminent” seems contrary to any plausible possibility.

    Good journalists (whether originally English majors or other) can and should be (real) skeptics, i.e., like Martin Gardner, Carl Sagan, Steve Schneider and most scientists most of the time. Good journalists understand how to assess sources and question evidence.

    All the evidence points at Delingpole being:
    a) a dismissive, using the Yale/GMU survey classifications.
    Others might use a different d-word,

    b) some dismissives may be just unskeptical, others pseudoskeptics, a term with a long history. Richard Cameron Wilson captured it concisely:
    ‘In a sceptical age, even those disseminating wholly bogus ideas – from corporate pseudo-science to 9/11 conspiracy theories – will often seek to appropriate the language of rational inquiry. But there is a meaningful difference between being a “sceptic” and being in denial. The genuine sceptic forms his beliefs through a balanced evaluation of the evidence. The sceptic of the bogus variety cherry-picks evidence on the basis of a pre-existing belief, seizing on data, however tenuous, that supports his position, and yet declaring himself.”sceptical” of any evidence, however compelling, that undermines it.’

    Pseudoskeptics seem ridden by Morton’s Demon, which:

    ‘‘stands at the gateway of a person’s senses and lets in facts that agree with that person’s beliefs while deflecting those that do not. This demon is used to explain the phenomenon of confirmation bias.’

    Sometimes Morton’s Demons roam widely, finding even absurd ideas or sources to support their beliefs.

    Delingpole seemed to have a Sauron-class Morton’s Demon.

  3. archaeandragon Says:

    ps-just noticed.. should be “eminently qualified”. “imminently qualified” means he is to be qualified very soon. 😛

    • greenman3610 Says:

      Mr D’s Phd is by no means imminent, but he is eminently qualified to represent the hateful, arrogant, and ignorant intellectual pretenders of the climate denial movement.

      • archaeandragon Says:

        So true. A better spokesman (and poster child) they could not find. No wonder they defend him so staunchly.

        Well, I suppose Loud Monckty also qualifies as such, so they have a twofer. 😀

  4. daveburton Says:

    James Delingpole has done some excellent work. The tendency of Leftists to try to shut down debate, stifle publication of dissenting opinions, and exaggerate consensus, is strong evidence of the vacuity of their ideologies.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Talk about “vacuity of ideology”, daveburton is back with two meaningless articles from 2009 about Climategate?. Uh, Dave? Climategate is a dead issue, and no one but those with “vacuity” in both their heads and ideology would even attempt to bring it up here and call it “excellent work”. We all know the truth, Dave—-why do you keep lying to us?

      I DID get a laugh out of the very first line of the JD article, though.

      “James Delingpole is a writer, journalist and broadcaster who is right about everything”. The same could be said of Dave, I guess, especially in light of his continuing use of “leftists”.

      • First link opens to an advertisement for mausoleums. Then it switches to a 2009 Forbes article. 2009? Isn’t it 2014? I’m sorry. There is nothing intellectually engaging anywhere in sight… Lets switch to a comment on Doctor Subtilis…
        “he seems to live on a different plane of reality than the rest of us lowly mortals, and to traffic in things which are so unutterably complex that he, for all his erudition, can’t utter them to others comprehensibly. And yet, you can just tell as you read him that he himself is perfectly at home in this abstruse Other World, and that frankly, whether you in your very much non-subtilis, dunce-like fogged-over mind can follow him or not, he knows exactly what he’s talking about and why it all makes perfect sense.” to him that is. Get my drift?

    • archaeandragon Says:

      Maybe in your sole opinion. I find his work vapid, highly polarized, and devoid of facts and evidence to support his wild, and highly uninformed, opinions.

      No “leftist” wants to shut down real debate, or stifle publication of dissenting opinions based on FACTS and EVIDENCE. However, I think ANY rational person, no matter their political persuasion, should shut down fake controversy and attack irrational diatribes devoid of any semblance of reality.

      As for exaggerating consensus, the consensus on AGW has not been exaggerated AT ALL. It is overwhelmingly in favor of the evidence that 1) it is happening, 2) we’re causing it, and 3) the consequences of ignoring it are dire.

      Of course, I am casting pearls before swine here, but meh.. I have a very large hoard of ’em, so…

      • Anyone that uses the word “vapid” today gets a barbie doll. Oh, and we have stifled poor denier with 100s of his “vapid” comments. How cruel of us to allow him to display his em bare as cement to the world. Left ists exists, like warm, right, fasc, … but alas for a real ist is it hopeless?

    • daryan12 Says:

      And while you quote to opinionated column’s in a right wing newspaper, work that has never been subject to rigorous peer review, etc. On the other hand we have the tens of thousands of widely published peer reviewed research supporting the consensus that AGW is a reality.

      Now who is letting their ideologies run things?

      You’re conspiracy theories only work if every single climate scientists in the world, every politician, the US military (some of the best early data on GHC’s came from the USAF studies and navy measurements of the ice pack), the insurance industry, met office, etc. were all “in on it”.

      i.e. you and Dellingpole are about within the same category of crackpot who believes that the Roswell alien killed Kennedy, or that we didn’t land on the moon, or that vaccines and fluoridation are massive government conspiracies.

      Now if people want to express those opinions okay, but just don’t get offended when I start rolling on the floor laughing at you.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      Delingpole proudly admits that he doesn’t spend any time looking at published science. That must be what attracts his followers.

    • jsam Says:

      Climategate? Why isn’t Delingpole in gaol for handling stolen goods? Bring back the birch. And hanging. You Kip approved.

      Multiple choice test on the Climatic Research Unit email controversy (Climategate)

      Question 1. How many independent enquiries on both sides of the Atlantic were held? Is it:
      a) 7 b) 9 c) 12

      Question 2. Which is the closest estimate to the total cost of these enquiries? Is it:
      a) £1M b) £4M c) £10M

      Question 3. How many found in favour of the contrarians/sceptics/deniers? Is it:
      a) 0 b) 0 c) 0

      • daveburton Says:

        Cherry-picking again, I see. Here’s an independent enquiry which you conveniently overlooked:

        U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Minority Staff report on the UEA-CRU leaked emails, ‘Consensus’ Exposed: The CRU Controversy, Feb. 23, 2010, 84 pp.

        • jsam Says:

          A minority report by Inhofe the fossil fueled hoaxer. He’ll say anything – and does.

          You stand condemned by your own words.

          • daveburton Says:

            You haven’t even read it, obviously.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            That’s a really weak and downright DUMB retort, Dave. Just because those of us who HAVE read it and see it for what it is don’t agree with you, you say we haven’t read it?

            Let’s turn that around—since you agree with so little of the truth that has been spoken about AGW, you must not have read any of it. Correct?

          • jsam Says:

            Inhofe is the leading recipient of fossil fuel money in the Senate. He has called “Nature” left wing.

            Why would anyone read it?

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Confirmation bias? Cognitive dissonance? Having a Republican Brain?

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Cherry-picking indeed—that’s exactly what Dave is doing by posting a link to the committee MINORITY “report” (also known as the “sore loser’s bitching paper after they have had their brains beaten in by the truth in open session”)

          Dave “conveniently” overlooks that it is nothing but political BS that has NOTHING to do with truth—-but that’s Our Dave, always ready to lie and distort.

          FLASH A new photo of Dave has come to light! Standing ankle deep in the NC surf and holding a sign that says “Will be a climate change denial troll for money”

          • daveburton Says:

            In this context “minority” is simply a reference to which Party’s staff did the work. It’s not the same as a “minority report” from a study committee.

            In the U.S. Congress, the terms “majority” and “minority” swap back and forth, for largely the same people, depending on which of the two Parties controls each legislative chamber.

            Unfortunately, in the Democrat Party, Al Gore has so politicized the climate issue that Party leaders are unwilling to challenge that political position by permitting a substantive inquiry, and for some years now the Democrats have been in the majority in the U.S. Senate. So there is no “majority” Report on the topic. The only report is the one I cited.

            Fortunately, the Republican leadership does not have that problem, and they did authorize such an inquiry, the result of which is the Report that I cited.

            You don’t have to like it. You don’t even have to believe it. You don’t even have to read it. But it makes a liar of anyone who claims that “all” the Climategate investigations cleared the perpetrators (Mann, Jones, Briffa, Santer, Osborn, Schmidt, Foster/Tamino, et al) of wrongdoing.

            Anyone who tries to keep an open mind, and who is more interested in learning the truth than in “winning” an ideological dispute, should want to hear both sides of every argument. That’s one of the reasons that I’m active on both WUWT and ClimateCrocks. And that’s why anyone who cares enough about the Climategate affair to argue about it should want to hear both sides, and should read the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Minority Staff report on the UEA-CRU leaked emails, ‘Consensus’ Exposed: The CRU Controversy.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Dave is in “energizer bunny” mode this AM, mindlessly beating a silent drum and bumping into walls of truth as he so baldfacedly lies to us YET AGAIN. Would someone open a door and let him “bunny” his way out into the street, where he may get run over by a truck full of NC beach replenishment sand and put us ALL out of our misery?

            Dave has consulted his “How Congress Works for Dummies” book, and is off on a gallop that demonstrates his lack of understanding of what he read. Perhaps he should move to my neighborhood some 30 miles from the Capitol, where we understand what goes on in Congress.

            He misleads us badly with “In this context “minority” is simply a reference to which Party’s staff did the work. It’s not the same as a “minority report” from a study committee”. Actually, the committee membership has a majority (in numbers) of Democrats, is chaired by a Democrat, and the committee’s conclusions were the direct opposite of what the “sore loser” minority’s (in numbers and party) propaganda states. Dave would confuse us with the semantics of majority and minority, but it’s just smoke-blowing. The Repugnants on the committee, who are the minority in both numbers and in thinking, are just earning their pay checks from the fossil fuel interests who own them.

            Dave really goes off the deep end (after an obligatory mention of Big Al to show us his mindlessness). “So there is no “majority” Report on the topic.”, he says? What did the committee conclude after the hearings? The minority report you cited is just propaganda and whining from the sore losers BECAUSE they didn’t like what the majority said..

            Dave says: “Fortunately, the Republican leadership does not have that problem, and they did authorize such an inquiry, the result of which is the Report that I cited”. Really, Dave? McConnell “authorized” an “inquiry”? You ARE shameless in your BS throwing. Citations, please?

            You don’t have to like it. You don’t even have to believe it, Dave. But it makes a liar of anyone like you and the writers of the “minority position paper” who claim that the Climategate investigations did NOT clear the perpetrators (Mann, Jones, Briffa, Santer, Osborn, Schmidt, Foster/Tamino, et al) of all wrongdoing. Others have cited the score of this game you insist on prolonging, and it’s 9-0 against you.

            Dave says, “Anyone who tries to keep an open mind, and who is more interested in learning the truth than in “winning” an ideological dispute, should want to hear both sides of every argument….blah blah, blah”. Dave thinks he is closing another stunning argument that has crushed us all.

            Guess what, Dave? We all know that you (just like the minority members) have NO concern for the scientific truth and are just engaging in an ideological “dispute”, basically with the straw man you have set up, because there are not two “sides” and there is no “argument” about the science. Give it up.

      • daveburton Says:

        And, on the other side of the pond, the Institute of Physics said, “The CRU e-mails as published on the internet provide prima facie evidence of determined and co-ordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions and freedom of information law.”

        • jsam Says:

          You cite an input to the House of Commons Science and Technology, but not the finding. Your wizened cherry has been plucked away from you.

          The Science and Technology Select Committee inquiry reported on 31 March 2010 that it had found that “the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact”. The emails and claims raised in the controversy did not challenge the scientific consensus that “global warming is happening and that it is induced by human activity”. The MPs had seen no evidence to support claims that Jones had tampered with data or interfered with the peer-review process.

          • omnologos Says:

            Not sure how people are familiar with public inquiries in the UK but the process has been recently discredited by a succession of pre-ordained fact-free results.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Yes, a citation from FEBRUARY 2010—FOUR YEARS AGO.

          Will Dave never give up on posting things from BEFORE the many subsequent investigations that CLEARED EVERYONE of wrongdoing (except the deniers that made so much hay out of horsepucky and did so much damage with their lies?)

        • jsam Says:

          Nine inquiries, Maurizio. Nine. You are Mr Burton are nine time losers. Nine.

          It must be a bitter pill to swallow.


          • omnologos Says:

            Eheheheh…nine inquiries…if one of them is corrupt to the core and the others agree…

          • jsam Says:

            Omnoloser and Omnoconspiracytheorist.

            Lew is watching.

          • omnologos Says:

            Get back to your pills jsam, there is no conspiracy, those people wouldn’t be able to organize or hide one anyway.

            The only loser is the brain-dead believer in ‘nine inquiries’. Hopefully nobody will order you to jump.

          • jsam Says:

            You lost nine Climategates, one Cuccinelli, one NZCSE and Steyn’s not looking too good either.

            None of those have come up with your “right answer”. So your hypothesis is they’re all wrong. Mine is you’re wrong.

            Your faith, in the face of all the evidence, is quite touching.

    • rayduray Says:

      Hi dave,

      Here’s my attempt to shut down debate.

      Did you not get totally embarrassed that the Forbes article you are citing is 5 year old and has been irrelevant and discredited for the last 4.8 years?

      I say, old chap, has it dawned on you that we aren’t living in the 14th Century any longer?

      I’m, of course, giving you a lot of credit. I believe that Muslim Fundamentalists want to take us back to the 7th Century.

      You, OTOH, only seem to hope for a return of the tumultuous 14th Century.

      Somehow I can’t help but envision you as a lord of beach sand on the North Carolina shore where you are poised much like the lord in this purloined parable:

      “Any time that a liberal points out that the wealthy are disproportionately benefiting from selling swamplands to knaves, Republicans shout, “class warfare!”

      In her book A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century, Barbara Tuchman writes about a peasant revolt in 1358 that began in the village of St. Leu and spread throughout the Oise Valley. At one estate, the serfs sacked the manor house, killed the knight, and roasted him on a spit in front of his wife and kids. Then, after ten or twelve peasants violated the lady, with the children still watching, they forced her to eat the roasted flesh of her dead husband and then killed her.

      That is class warfare.

      Keep selling those Carolina beach front lots, Dave. God will make more of them to the West. Just for you. You are God’s blessing as you well know.

      Or did I just inadvertently “choke off” debate with you? 🙂

      • archaeandragon Says:

        Mmmm.. roasted knight.

        Ahh… the old days… *heavy dragon sigh*

      • daveburton Says:

        I guess freezing isn’t quite as bad as being roasted on a spit, but I’m not the guy who wants to freeze you, either, Ray.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Typical Dave, avoid any substantive answer to Ray and divert/deflect. And I don’t want to ‘freeze” Ray, I just want him to stand still, focus, and respond to us. I would hate for him to develop a reputation like Dave’s—-you know—-skipping oiff into the sunset when “inconvenient truths” arise?

          How about it, Ray? Are you a Dave3 Burton understudy? Will you ever tell us about your wood burning “machinery” in your “rural” townhouse in Bend?

          • daveburton Says:

            You know, old guy, this “stalking thing” you do is kind of creepy. Please stop.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            “You know, old guy, this “stalking thing” you do is kind of creepy. Please stop”.

            LOL Perhaps the “creepiest” individual to ever visit Crock is pleading for mercy? He who “stalks” truth and sanity relentlessly with nearly every comment he makes? He whose Youtube video has actually prompted Crockers to describe him as “creepy”?

            Sorry, Dave, but I spent my professional career as a “sheep dog”, and “stood the wall” against people like you. Ray flits in and out of our consciousness with his casual comments but mimics your obtuseness and dishonesty in small ways. He needs to own up to that and explain himself.

            I am actually trying to be his friend (and YOURS). I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating—“Only your friends will tell you when you’re full of horsepucky”.
            I will “stop” when YOU “stop” doing what so many of us have pointed out to you SO MANY times.

  5. ubrew12 Says:

    In tepid defense of Delingpole: Let’s assume he has an informed opinion about his Cancer. The question assumes he would let that interfere with his treatment, against the advice of his doctors, and he resents that assumption. It gets to the ‘freedom of inquiry’ aspect of CC skepticism: that many of these people feel, at the least, the right to form their own opinions.

    Having said that, I must say the CC skeptics have in fact, used their ‘knowledge’ to, in fact, order the doctors out of the hospital room. This is probably made easier by their realization that they aren’t, in fact, the actual patient.

  6. ubrew12: “It gets to the ‘freedom of inquiry’ aspect of CC skepticism: that many of these people feel, at the least, the right to form their own opinions.”

    Spot on – here’s a nice little comedic example of that (should jump to 9 minutes in…) Steve Hughes really manages to embody that mix of libertarian Givin’ It To Da Man while conflating vague greenery with climate change (which, incidentally, the BBC have done as well – interviewing people, asking them whether they still think they should be recycling given all these people saying the planet hasn’t warmed for 15 years… WHU??? Vague link, but hell…)

    Overlaps with John Mashey’s point about Morton’s Demons (1st time I’ve heard of that, cheers John). Aflicts us all, to an extent – just some of us try and take corrective action. Folks like Steve Hughes start with the premise “govmints r tryin to pull the wool over our little sheeple eyez” and work from there.

  7. uknowispeaksense Says:

    Reblogged this on uknowispeaksense and commented:
    A whole Delingpile of stupidity.

  8. To lose your job because you’ve become a liability and embarassment to your employer, and that employer is the Telegraph? That is an accomplishment indeed. Sorta like getting kicked out of Bedlam for being a looney.

  9. climatebob Says:

    I used to read the Telegraph when I lived in the UK but am now embarrassed that I was in the company of such an ignorant red neck readership. Delingpole has most probably got a better paid job at Fox News of whom he is a great admirer.

  10. vierotchka Says:

    I think Lord Monckton (whose very lowly rank in aristocracy by no stretch is a “Serene Highness” looks like a half-wit and totally perplexed vulture desperate for carrion.

    I can’t stand this pathetic little lordling.

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