2011-09-01 05:32:47Et tu, Rex Murphy?
Julian Brimelow

Hi all,

Just back after a holiday in Canada's beautiful Okanagan with my family.

While there I made the mistake of perusing the National Post at the check out to  see what nonsense they are pushing, and they did not dissapoint.  Here is a link to Rex Murphy's latest diatribe (he has gone to the dark side).  I was considering writing a rebuttle at SkS but could not find any science in his rant to speak to!  In short, his piece amounts to nothing more than a verbose ad hominem attack on Al Gore, as well as entertaining various conspriacy theories and perpetuating some tired old myths about carbon taxes (maybe that is somethign that we can refute?).

Believe it or not Murphy is a respected journalist and winner of the prestigious Rhode's scholarship (a long time ago of course), so sadly his misguided nonsense on AGW has some clout and should not be ignored

Thoughts on whether or not there is something for me to refute here?

2011-09-01 05:45:57Comment
Robert Way


He did a rant on CBC regarding Climategate immediately after it too. I'm actually game for responding to him to be honest. He is a very well-respected journalist in Canada and his diatribes do a lot to hurt progress here.

"He (Al Gore) raves about conspiracy — a rebirth of the tactics of the dreaded tobacco industry of a few decades back. He blames “media manipulation” for the refusal of people to take up his gloomy summons. He hisses at “volcanoes and sunspots” as having much or anything to do with climate."

<> Naomi Oreske's book shows that the same tactics are used and the same people are involved regarding the Tobacco industry
<> Respond to Media Manipulation
<> Show how we have continued to warm despite low sunspots and relatively consistent Volcanic contributions (recent paper)

"or introduce some ludicrous and wasteful “tax” on carbon dioxide."

<> Example from British Columbia with the Carbon Tax, Stern Review...etc...

"Perhaps Climategate gave a too-souring glimpse into the mixture of science and advocacy that has, to some extent, corrupted both."
<> 6 Independent inquiries etc...

2011-09-01 05:48:03


As it's basically all assertion, about all you can do is to assure him that his grandchildren will probably live to see the consequences of our decisions about fossil fuels and climate. It will not be your fault if they recall his name with bitterness.

2011-09-01 05:55:24
Dana Nuccitelli

This guy is a well-respected journalist?  That was an utterly stupid article.  His logic is basically "liberals support green policies, liberals lost, therefore the people don't support green policies".  By that logic, Japanese people have a long life expectancy, Japanese people eat a lot of rice, therefore rice is the fountain of youth.  Yeah, the Canadian liberal party's scandals had nothing to do with losing recent elections.  It's all about their green policies.  Riiiiiiight.

Most of the article is just ad homs and logical failures.  Robert came up with a few examples you could probably use to build a response post though.  Maybe he's written some other articles on the subject that you could get more fodder from?

2011-09-01 05:56:19Rogues' gallery


That reminds of something I was thinking of: We know that many of the pseudo-scientists probably know very well that what they are proclaiming to the world is in bad faith; they probably just think of themselves as finding a way to pay their mortgages. Maybe it would be interesting to build a specific case of charges against each of the major ones (perhaps based on the Denialist collection we already have or have been building up), as if for a war-crimes tribunal? That would cast an unfamiliar light on what each individual is trying to do, and give them (and others) a foreshadowing of their place in history.

It might also be a bit cathartic for the writer, to know what their fate will ultimately be, even if they are riding high now.

Kind of a Dante's Inferno for climate misinformants.

2011-09-01 06:03:15Some Links
Robert Way


Some links to more Murphy Articles and a youtube clip of him on the climategate affair featured on CBC's the National which is our number 1 news program.




2011-09-01 09:21:48
Julian Brimelow

Thanks for the feedback everyone. So it look slike we may have enough substance for a counter argument/refutation. 

Robert, if you like, I would be happyt o collaborate on this with you.

2011-09-01 09:57:33
Andy S


Murphy still does a half-decent job of hosting a national phone-in discussion show on CBC radio. Many years ago he was a good journalist, with an original style and a legendary vocabulary. I bumped in to him in 1989 in a hotel in St John's and thanked him for his work (I think I was drunk at the time).

Lately, he's become a boring curmudgeon with reactionary views on everything. His columns consist of overblown rants with no substance whatsoever. I think the Globe and Mail fired him recently  and I hope the CBC does soon too. 

2011-09-01 14:26:17Somewhat related
Robert Way


Sleepwalking towards our 2020 targets

Written by 3 climate scientists

2011-09-02 08:25:06my friend Rex
Stephen Leahy


Had to spend two hours listening to him a few months ago while being interviewed on his phone in radio show. It was about politics not climate. Anyways I was lucky to get 10 words in. Rex is all assertions all the time. He's no journalist, just another opinion-machine who chides everyone else about their poor grasp of THE FACTS!