Climate Barbie and the denier slur

Nasty Rebel Media refers to Canada’s Environment Minister, Catherine McKenna as “Climate Barbie”. Pretty mean. Ms. McKenna is well credentialled, has a real record of accomplishment before politics and can’t help that she’s blonde.

But the Climate Barbie nickname has its roots in the fact that McKenna, like a wind-up doll, insists on calling those of us who disagree – usually on rather well-founded grounds – with the climate change consensus “climate deniers”. Which is as insulting as it is idiotic.

As Sheila Gunn Reid of The Rebel suggested – having coined the nickname – we’ll stop calling McKenna Climate Barbie when she drops “climate denier” from her lexicon. There is plenty of room for reasoned debate and dissent from the climate change consensus. A non-Barbie Minister would recognize that fact and stop slagging the people who take climate change seriously enough to question mainstream data, models and prescriptions. Repeating, by rote, “climate denier” whenever confronted with disagreement puts McKenna firmly in the Barbie camp.

Now, she asks that we stop calling her that because her young daughters might hear and that would be a bad thing. In fact, her daughters, on hearing their mother referred to so pejoratively might ask why their mother seems content to mouth platitudes rather than digging into the positions on both sides of the question.

McKenna is not an idiot. However, for the moment, her role as the all in spokesperson for an increasingly untenable, model based, scare story which is designed to justify massive tax increases for ordinary Canadians, forces her to sound like one. Just like Barbie.

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12 thoughts on “Climate Barbie and the denier slur

  1. Dwayne says:

    It’s only bad when you call them a name, not when they call you a name. Pretty typical response from anyone in Trudeau’s cabinet.

  2. John Cross says:

    Hi Jay: As you know, I only speak for myself, but I would feel pretty comfortable with calling you a denier since on your last site I was posting a list of (I believe it was up to 6) assertions that you had made which I had shown were incorrect and yet you refused to post a retraction for.

    However, perhaps more to the point, I would feel anyone who did not agree with the following to be a denier:

    CO2 is a green house gas.
    Humans are responsible for all the recent rise in CO2.
    Increasing a green house gas like CO2 would increase global temperatures.

    Now, one could argue that increasing greenhouse gases could kick in another mechanism that would cause cooling, or some similar argument – but I have yet to see anything on that front that stands up to critical examination.

    • Cytotoxic says:

      Why yes, the CO2 kicked up by man is warming the climate. People of the right must come to grips with this reality.

      But there’s a catch isn’t there? In order for this warming to have a shot in hell of being dangerous, it must start a positive feedback cycle with water vapor increasing and contributing to more warming and so on. This does not seem to be happening; the warming is way less dangerous than previously thought and the left must come to grips with this reality. Indeed, it appears our ‘carbon budget’ is 4X bigger than thought:

  3. Jay Currie says:

    John, on your three propositions:

    CO2 is a green house gas – yes

    Humans are responsible for all the recent rise in CO2 – probably (there are a few issues surrounding volcanic emissions and changes in the CO2 carrying capacity of the oceans but they are not huge)

    Increasing a green house gas like CO2 would increase global temperatures – sure, but how much? If sensitivity turns out to be (as appears likely) less than a degree and a half C per doubling it is not something we need worry very much about.

    The warmist hysteria promoted by the likes of Climate Barbie requires actual trouble in order to justify the assorted policy prescriptions. If the poor darling even knew what the sensitivity measure was I suspect she’d be back in the 90’s when the “consensus” was 4-6 degrees C.

    • John Cross says:

      Jay, we agree on 1.

      In regards to number 2, you are straying into denier territory. Here is an example to illustrate. We consider the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere as a bank account. There are a number of people who can put money into the account and take money out. At the start of the year there is $100 in it. Over the year you put in 7$ and at the end of the year the total is $103. Now what would the total have been if you did not put your 7$ in? Now, to move this back to climate, to invalidate this argument you need to propose a mechanism that is suppressed by anthropogenic CO2 emissions but not by other emissions.

      I can agree with your initial statement on point 3. But the rest appears to contain unsupported assertions and incorrect facts. Why does it appear likely that it is less than 1.5C? While there are a number of ways of calculating climate sensitivity they almost all produce a range in which 2C is a common value for the mean.

      And why do you say that it is nothing to worry about? We are about 5C away from ice age temperatures, so I am not confident that 1.5 is of no concern. There is good research that shows that even a small increase in temperature can change the precipitation in central North America to create conditions much dryer than the dust bowl.

      Finally, I am going to call you on your 4-6 consensus. Can you provide a reference for this being a consensus value?

      Anyway, thanks for this brief excursion back into climate science. Too busy at work to keep up with my interests. Sigh.

      • Jay Currie says:

        Now that graphic only goes back to 2002. I will have to root around and see if I can find earlier estimates. As you can see, the sensitivity estimate has been steadily declining as the science gets better and more precise. And, as that happens, the argument for massive governmental action diminishes.

  4. John Cross says:

    And here we see the reason why the term denier is used! Take my second point from above. You say that humans are “probably” responsible for the recent rise in CO2. I lay out an argument that shows that we are responsible for all the recent rise. At this point you have two options. You can agree with my point and revise the set of data from which you work; or you can disagree and present a counter argument. However the fact that you ignore it completely implies that can’t argue against it, but you don’t want to accept it as true. To me this is classic denial.

    I could make a similar argument for your 4-6 C consensus value from the 90’s.

    So, I am not sure who Ms. McKenna called a denier, but if they deny the existence of certain facts because they don’t fall in line with their political ideology, then perhaps the shoe fits.

    As a final note, I like the graphic, but to me it seems pretty cherry picked. For example why start it at 2000. For example, he could have included the estimate of 3C produced by the National Academy of Sciences in 1979. Also, why exclude Previdi from 2013 who came up with an estimate of about 5.

    But since you responded with a graphic, I can respond with a video clip.

    Alas, my day job is calling me.

    • Jay Currie says:

      “A testable implication of the proposed causation sequence is that annual changes in atmospheric CO2 must be related to annual fossil fuel emissions at an annual time scale. This work is a test of this hypothesis. We find that detrended correlation analysis of annual emissions and annual changes in atmospheric CO2 does not support the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis because no evidence
      is found that changes in atmospheric CO2 are related to fossil fuel emissions at an annual time scale.” RESPONSIVENESS OF ATMOSPHERIC CO2 TO FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS: UPDATED JAMAL MUNSHI (paper here

      It is a paper worth looking at simply because it actually uses statistics interestingly and tests the hypothesis that we (or rather our emissions) are the cause of variation in CO2 levels.

      (Sorry, can’t watch Dana. Too many lies have come from that man’s pen and he has defended the fraudulent Cook 97% paper.)

      • John Cross says:

        Jay: this is perfect – a microcosm of the entire GW argument. I present an argument that shows that we are responsible for all the recent rise in GHG, you disagree. I present a clear chain of logic to show this, you ignore it. I press you on it and you respond with something that has nothing to do with my argument but you feel can muddy the waters.

        It is a very simple argument Jay, if we put in 7 GTC (going by memory here so I may be off a bit) yet the atmospheric content only increases by 3 GTC, how can we not be responsible for this increase. In order to invalidate this you need to provide a mechanism with extraordinary properties and I challenge you to find one.

        In regards to the Munshi paper (I wouldn’t want it said I was denying the existence of this paper), I would disagree with him that annual changes are good enough. Where the CO2 is mostly emitted in the Northern Hemisphere, I doubt 1 year is enough time for it to be well mixed. However more importantly, in order to establish correlation you must pay attention to the various sinks and these operate at various timescales.

  5. Dwayne says:

    When the folks making up these rules act like it is an emergency, and not a wealth transfer, I will believe them. Buying “indulgences” in the form of Cap and Trade, and instituting Carbon Taxes that have absolutely no effect are just theater for the uninformed.

    When the United Nations finds it in their hearts to inform China and India that they are egregious contributors to our demise, that will be the day I believe that our demise is possible. Until then, it is all just a global plan devised by Maurice Strong to find a way to allow the UN to try and shame the West into supporting the third world, and China, with Western wealth transfers.

    A sane voice. Richard Lindzen, scientist.

  6. Philip Jemielita says:

    Dwayne, thanks for the link. I am always interested to see that people are more complicated than expected – I am referring to Strong’s decamping to Beijing at the end of his life.

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