Has Climate Denial Jumped the Shark?

December 11, 2015



Jumping the shark is an idiom popularized by Jon Hein that was used to describe the moment in the evolution of a television show when it begins a decline in quality, signaled by a particular scene, episode, or aspect of a show in which the writers use some type of gimmick in an attempt to keep viewers’ interest, which is taken as a sign of desperation, and is seen by viewers to be the point at which the show strayed irretrievably from its original formula. The phrase is based on a scene from a fifth-season episode of the sitcom Happy Days when the character Fonzie jumps over a shark while on water-skis.

Daily Climate:

In an email exchange a few months ago for another story, historian Naomi Oreskes counseled me that climate denial would only get more bold and unhinged as the impacts of climate change became more obvious.

With their rhetoric around the Paris climate talks, anti-science firebrands are making their nemesis, Dr. Oreskes, seem prescient.

Attorney Arkady Bukh, guest blogging on Anthony Watts’ go-to website for climate denial, drew a lengthy analogy between advocates of action on climate change and the “People’s Temple” religious cult.

Leader Jim Jones, a former San Francisco street preacher, ordered over 900 of his followers to commit mass suicide in Guyana in 1978.  They complied. Now, 37 years after their tragic demise, they’re being compared to the science community, defense strategists, environmental activists, and a pope.

Over at Breitbart, James Delingpole was slightly more restrained, dismissing climate scientists as “talentless low-lives who cannot be trusted.”

reached out to the Climate Scientists’ Underground Lair, but their voicemail said they were all out selling drugs at middle schools.

A hardy perennial among denier memes is flourishing: President Obama, they say, is a hypocrite because he arrived at the Paris meet via a fuel-guzzling jet.

I can remember encountering this one as far back as 1985, when a chemical industry exec told me that because I, too, had used an aeroplane, I had no moral authority to write about anyone else’s pollution.  But I’m no Obama, and he’s drawn heavy flack as Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, the National Review, and others beat this dead horse.

I’m willing to give Obama some slack for using Air Force One:  Perhaps the carbon-neutral Presidential trireme is back in drydock.

Rush Limbaugh postulated that “deranged people …..and most of them are leftists” would take Obama’s embrace of climate action as a cue to start America’s next mass shooting.

Lord Monckton, the theatrical British peer, offered a different perspective: Instead of one-off acts of domestic terrorism, he said, Obama’s game was teaming up with “malevolent scientists,” using the climate summit to establish a world totalitarian government.

Another central theme from the denial-o-sphere is that distributing as much coal as possible throughout the developing world will be the key to beating “energy poverty.”

Peabody Energy, who couldn’t lick Appalachian poverty even while mining a century’s worth of its coal, is big on this one.  And Peabody’s learning a thing or two about its own poverty:  Its stock traded at $112 a share in 2001, and right now, it’s hovering at $10.

Patrick Moore, an early Greenpeace leader who has spent the last quarter century in the employ of the chlorine industry, the timber industry, the nuclear industry, the aquaculture industry and others who need an environmental PR boost, officially weighed in as an ocean acidification denier.

Moore gave youtube an entertaining meme recently when shilling for pesticide manufacturers. Claiming that a pesticide was safe enough to drink, he turned down a friendly offer to quaff a glass of the stuff, reasoning, “I’m not an idiot.”

In a report that appears to contain no original research or indication of peer review, Moore defies a growing body of research as well as a basic understanding of chemistry by pronouncing that “alarmism” is responsible for findings—original research and peer-review included—that the pH balance of the oceans is beginning to change.

Hopefully you get the gist of this by now.

These people are crazy.  Detached from reality.  Off the deep end.  Not rowing with both oars in the water.  And while the U.S. media hasn’t entirely stopped giving them oxygen, they’re now largely quarantined onto Fox News.

On Monday, a conference at an ironically-named Paris venue drew Moore, Monckton, and a host of denial cohorts, but according to Reuters, filled “just a handful of the 70 seats.” Yes, there was plenty of room at the Hotel California.


It appears that nearly everybody wants to disassociate itself from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative lobbying group that fights climate change policies. Its latest departure? American Electric Power (AEP), one of the nation’s largest utilities. If that wasn’t bad enough for ALEC, AEP said in it’s announcement it will be shifting its focus to working with states to comply with the Obama Administration’s landmark climate rule, the Clean Power Plan.

“AEP will not be renewing its ALEC membership in 2016,” AEP spokeswoman Melissa McHenry told The Guardian. “We reviewed our memberships and decided to reallocate resources to other areas of focus including working directly with the states and other stakeholder groups on issues like the Clean Power Plan.”

The power company said that “there are a variety of reasons for the decision,” but at least part of the decision stems from the lobbying group’s controversial stance on climate change. “We have long been involved in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” AEP said.

While AEP was originally critical of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan, a spokeswoman told The Guardian that “AEP supports the EPA’s amended plan and the expansion of renewables in general.”




20 Responses to “Has Climate Denial Jumped the Shark?”

  1. omnologos Says:


    Climate activism on the other hand exploded children on camera for 10/10 (hard to watch after the recent terrorist carnages), plus ruined the Nazca lines and so maybe to cross all the t’s threw at police the memorial candles originally laid for the victims in Paris -nevermind trampling flowers and poignant messages.

    Just to cap it off, some intelligent person trawled the news saying that climate change caused terrorism. I can’t wait for the first lawyer arguing for a lenient sentence for mass murder “because Bill Nye”.

    What else? Orangutans endangered by palm oil interests eager to save the world by burning the Borneo forest. Leo DiCaprio throwing a howler about chinook winds. Arnie telling the world to consume less. The COP21 drafts printed on paper.

    So overall no, none of the persons in the blog post has jumped the shark. They have not done anything they didn’t do before. You can’t accuse The Fonz of riding a motorbike.

    What’s true is that alarmism knows no ethical bound, and it shows.

  2. omnologos Says:

    Ps an empty Hotel California means that all who believe in the vast big oil conspiracy are mentally sick. Not that they’ll notice.

  3. Andy Lee Robinson Says:

    When jumping a shark, try to avoid the mouth.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Ir’s too late for Omno, he got chewed up, swallowed, and regurgitated (because the shark found his craziness indigestable). Omno is still trying to reassemble the OmnoBody from the upchuck, but can’t find the brain (it was almost invisible to start with anyway).

      All the king’s horses and all the king’s men had it easier with Humpty Dumpty.

      • omnologos Says:

        you’re obviously insane, waiting at a solitary desk to regurgitate stupidities. good for you.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          HO-HO-HO! That’s a REALLY snappy comeback, Omno. You’re obviously too stupid and self-deluded to do any better. Go away and stop crapping up this thread so that the rest of us can engage in an intelligent discussion.

  4. Jim Housman Says:

    Please ignore Omno or anyone else who blathers incoherently. I there were still rational argruments against AGW I would welcome a conversation but it is clear that any deniers who come to this site are simply trolls and should be ignored rather than engaged. I haven’t seen any long conversations with this type of troll that left anyone involved with all of their dignity intact.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Thank you for that “dignified” little lecture. You have now won 30 seconds worth of sitting on the high horse and sniffing the perfumed sleeve hanky. Enjoy!

      You simply don’t understand, and misinterpret completely what transpires when OmnoMoron comes on Crock and craps up the discourse on so many threads. Here are some thoughts on what is really happening when I and other Crockers “engage” him (although the word “engage” implies that he says anything intelligent enough to spend any time on—what occurs is more like us reflexively stepping on a cockroach).

      First and foremost, Omno is not simply a climate denial troll. He is a deluded and lonely little narcissist who craves attention, and climate change denial is only one of the avenues he uses. . Although we might be considered to be “meanies” by what we say, the attention we give him is probably all he gets. He continues to come here and post outrageous comments, knowing full well what will happen—-we can only conclude that he likes it. If we weren’t meeting some deep-seated need of his, he would go away like most of the other trolls do after a few verbal “whacks”.

      Secondly, “engaging” Omno stimulates his weak little brain into making even more moronic follow-up comments, and Omno thereby fulfills his purpose of being a “bad example” and demonstrating how deluded and ignorant deniers are (or haven’t you noticed that Peter has said more than once that OPmno serves that purpose here?).

      Thirdly, I can speak for myself in saying that “jousting” with Omno is good anti-Alzheimer’s therapy for us older folks, and perhaps speak for others as well when I say it’s sometimes just good plain fun to pick on him. It’s not like we’re traveling over there and physically abusing him—HE comes to US and asks for it.

      Fourth, Omno acts as a surrogate and substitute for all the others out there in denier-land. I would dearly love for Cruz, Inhofe, et al to come here so that I could unleash a REAL torrent of abuse on them. Since they don’t, I will take Omno up on his offer to stand in for them. I suspect he serves the same purpose for others here.

      Lastly, IMO, anyone who tries to engage trolls in a “dignified” manner actually loses respect and “dignity”. Titley acquitted himself well by your standards, but should have said to Cruz something like “Senator, you are misrepresenting the so-called ‘pause’ in warming because you are an ideologue and politician who is pandering to the ignorant and those who give you campaign money. You are ignorant of the science involved, and I find it appalling that you have convened this charade of a hearing so that you can propagandize. Your so-called “experts” are whores for the fossil fuel interests and have no business calling themselves climate scientists—-they are, kike you, propagandists, etc, etc, etc.” You get my point. When we were taught “war lessons” in boot camp, we were told that when the enemy fired at us, we were to engage with utmost “vigor” and overwhelming return fire until the enemy was routed. IMO, Therein lies the route to victory and “dignity” with climate change deniers as well. S/F

      why of Please ignore Omno or anyone else who blathers incoherently. I there were still rational argruments against AGW I would welcome a conversation but it is clear that any deniers who come to this site are simply trolls and should be ignored rather than engaged. I haven’t seen any long conversations with this type of troll that left anyone involved with all of their dignity intact.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Oooops—-had copied your comment into the reply box to reference it as I wrote and forgot to delete all of it—-sorry.

        Since it’s there, I will say that I too would like to ignore deniers and trolls, but refuse to abandon the field to them and their BS. Dignity be damned. Save the dignity for the victory parade after the war is win

        • dumboldguy Says:

          “war is won”

          Dang—-I’m going to take a nap and rejuvenate my DOG typing brain.

          • addledlady Says:

            Nuh. You’re all good.

            I’m not a believer in DNFTT anyway. When it comes to scientific topics, you never know when someone new to the discussion might be reading. The rubbish omno spouts has to be squashed no matter how often it appears.

          • omnologos Says:

            Ad homs show lack of judgement and poor thinking. In fact when I comment here I always get dozens of comments about me.

            Your bankruptcy shows.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Another non sequitur from the OmnoMoron. Will he ever be able to string two related thoughts together? Someone forgot to make the first deposit in Omno’s “brain trust”, and it shows.

          • omnologos Says:

            thanks for making my point

            the amount of electricity you waste by adding these idiotic comments makes you a veritable planet killer

          • dumboldguy Says:


          • dumboldguy Says:

            We agree on how to deal with morons like Omno and why. They should be allowed one inch.

  5. You’ll note the use of ad hominem arguments, the kind you see on Fox News by the climate deniers. They don’t debate the subject, they debate the alleged failings of their opponents. So Omno shows up and uses the same tactics. Hey Omno, you can come to Connecticut and stay with me. Bring your shorts so you can dress like the locals in this warm weather we’re having.

  6. indy222 Says:

    Anyone got some of those white jackets with the clips at the end? Anyone? Anyone? A whole van full would be very useful here. Grimly entertaining post, Peter.
    But seriously, these 1%’rs are used to controlling the world. I worry that they’ll not go quietly into that good night, but rage, rage in ways not good for the rest of us.

  7. John Mruzik Says:

    The next denier meme, ” Sure climate change is happening, but climate scientists are causing it!”

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