‘It shows that environmentalists and journalists can be utterly intolerant’, he says. ‘They simply will not tolerate any dissenting view. Straight away they try to take it down. You can see that in the kind of language they use – they say “the jury is in” on global warming, or “the science is done and dusted”, or you’re a “denier” if you question the consensus. This is not about having a debate but about shutting down debate.’Like blank slatists with issues regarding human biodiversity, CAGW partisans take a position that is logically tenuous. While realists contend that biology, environment, and epigenetics (essentially the combination of the former two) play a role in shaping human attributes, abilities, and temperaments, blank-slatists believe that the external environment is the only thing of consequence in shaping human behavior. The CAGW believers, in prounouncing a 'consensus', launching vitriol or worse at anyone who questions this 'truth', and rejecting the possibility of other non-artificial explanations, similarly put themselves in a position that is polemically difficult to defend. Factually threatened, both groups of absolutists habitually turn to ad hominem attacks, banking on a sympathetic media to cover for them.
Indeed, many of Durkin’s critics have responded to The Great Global Warming Swindle by trying to slur Durkin and the participants in the film. Or they have gone running to the Office of Communications (Ofcom) to demand that it rap Durkin’s knuckles – a bit like overgrown school sissies squealing to teacher about the boy they don’t like in the hope that teacher will give him a jolly good thrashing.
The blank slatists face copious IQ testing data, genetic sequencing, the rigorous correlations of various attributes with race but not with a host of other conventional environmental explanations, exploding research on the human genome like the HapMap Project, the discovery of genes like microcephalin and ASPM and their variance in frequency across differing human populations, and the antipodal outcomes of persecuted groups (Ashkenazic and Korean success, persistent black struggles).
The CAGW partisans, meanwhile, face scrutiny as to why solar causation is implausible, why ocean temperatures haven't been warming for the last couple of years, why satellite data on global temperature diverges from ground-reading data, why Mars has warmed up in tandem with Earth, why the planet was warmer 700 years ago than it is today, and how it is historically certain that CO2 is a result of temperature change rather than the other way around.
While they're at it, they might also point out how apocalyptic predictions about global cooling and Malthusian concerns have been risibly wrong, that humanity has faced a persistent existential threat from global cooling (the Younger Dryas, for example, forced humans out of much of northern and central Europe) but never warming, that the Arctic contains a quarter of the world's oil reserves and will become more accessible if the earth warms up, that vast expanses of land currently uninhabitable due to severe cold is also where most of the warming has been concentrated (Siberia, Greenland, northern Canada, etc), that milder winter seasons generally have a benign effect on crop yields, and that economic activity is buoyed by warmer weather.
I'm looking forward to tuning in to Durkin's documentary later this weekend.