2011-10-11 06:40:08Some email advice from a climate denier
John Cook


Usually ignore the more hard core emails written by deniers that are a waste of time to engage. But couldn't resist responding to this one:

Attention: John Cook. 

I was once proud to claim the U of Q as my 'alma mater', having graduated there in Mechanical Engineering with 1st class honours in 1972. 

However, today I received an unsolicited email touting an upcoming SSEE conference, read your contribution regarding Climate Change/Global Warming, discovered that you have a Fellowship in a thing called Global Change Institute (GCI), based at the U of Q ... and cringed.  To see such nonsense being promoted within the U of Q as Science was almost too embarrassing for words.

Your flagship "SketicalScience" web site also proved quite an eye-opener for me.  What a shockingly dishonest misnomer for a title.  Your claim to be “sceptical about sceptics” makes you more gullible than most people I know.  Why no scepticism about “believers”?  

A few words of advice from an old stager:  Don’t let your scientific integrity go so cheaply; fight against succumbing to the warm, fuzzy feeling that you are going to “save the planet”.  If the worst damage we can possibly do is a 3 - 4 degree rise in “global average temperature” in 100 years, the planet is in no danger from us whatsoever, and neither are we.  

As a physicist you should be able to see this, unless you already “believe” that such a “potential phenomenon” really is “actually disastrous”. If you do, there is little I can do except pray for you; that you might regain a more balanced perspective on reality and eschew the “Chicken Little” nonsense.  

Finally, let me assure you that your daughter will NOT be drowned by 2-metre sea level rises, even if they can occur.  Your daughter will simply not let that happen.  Given she apparently has 100 years to move away from the shoreline, she will be quite safe.  

Pat Cusack, 
BE(Mech), MIEAust, RPEQ

2011-10-11 07:06:27
Rob Painting

A 3-4 degree rise in global temperature is nothing to worry about? What an idiot.

How did you respond?

2011-10-11 07:10:34
Dana Nuccitelli

I'd respond with a link to the "it's not bad" rebuttal, and an explanation that the damage isn't the temperature change, but the associated climate changes (which are not limited to sea level rise).

2011-10-11 07:39:15comment
Robert Way


The thing I hate about that email is that the guy obviously only cares about western society and not places wlesewhere which will be more impacted...subtle racism

2011-10-11 09:38:18
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey



Don't waste the time replying.

2011-10-11 19:35:58Sorry, I couldn't resist this one and did reply
John Cook


Rather than address each point, I just asked a direct question trying to get to the heart of their denial but they never replied.

2011-10-12 10:42:46Engineer to Engineer
Glenn Tamblyn


John, could you send me his e-mail details. I might have a crack at seeing if he will respond. I'll see you UofQ Engineering degree and raise you my Uni of Melbourne Engineering degree. If he reacts and is willing to discuss at a technical level with me we might achieve something. If he just stays on the Denialist script, well not.

2011-10-18 20:45:02UQ Mechanical Engineer to UQ Mechanical Engineer...


I'll see him his UofQ Mech Eng degree (but one with 18 years worth of more modern science behind it than his ;-), raise him a UofQ Masters of Engineering Science degree, and smack him upside the head for being so arrogant about a field that's not his area of expertise.


But I agree with John's approach.  A genuine sceptic would indeed respond with reasons why they thought global warming wasn't happening or wasn't bad.  Obviously, this guy has just lumped John in with the "deluded warmists" mental category, and is not open to debate.

2011-10-19 08:59:14Conversation went predictably nowhere
John Cook


I tried asking specific questions to get to the heart of his skepticism but he'd just come back with Pielke-like prevarication and slurs about climate science being akin to religion and faith. I didn't bother continuing the conversation, have better uses of my time.