Wild Bill McKibben: “Outlaws of physics”

Bill McKibben, climate nutcase

Bill McKibben, climate crackpot

Claims big oil a “rogue industry”

This web site’s masthead proclaims: “For the first time in history, people shouting ‘the end is nigh’ are somehow the sane ones, while those of us who say it is not are now the lunatics.”

That’s how it used to be, but climate change is changing. The true lunatics are clearly seen. They were always alarmist, long before global warming, shrieking our environmental sins, Luddites razing the factories, breaking the machines, clamouring for havoc to save us all from ruin.

But as their case for dangerous climate change becomes daily more flimsy their masks have slipped. Their true madness is carved unmistakably on their gaunt, perspiring faces. They are desperate, look desperate and use the tactics of desperation. Nobody likes to lose and there’s no way they can win. Watch their claws, mind their teeth.

Hot Topic’s Gareth Renowden interviewed the American climate nutcase Bill McKibben yesterday. McKibben is on his “Do the Maths” tour of New Zealand. He wasn’t fed the sharpest questions but Renowden did the job he was there for: play the sycophant and humour a madman.

This was my first look at Bill, a well-known climate alarmist. He tells us that fossil fuel companies are no longer considered normal industries. “They’re a rogue industry, outlaws against the laws of physics.” I guess it’s just supposed to sound bad — it doesn’t have to mean anything!

His voice is engaging, almost reasonable, but his wild eyes cannot help but flash his burning lunacy at the camera — this is Wild Bill’s element, pounding the pulpit, crushing the enemies of God, challenging the faithless to change their lives and save the world or be damned in the fire and brimstone of Hell. A natural-born preacher-man.

Wild Bill McKibben

But hardly a scientist.

Wild Bill says “we” and “our governments” have “all agreed” to keep the temperature from rising more than two degrees. I personally wasn’t consulted, I believe my government didn’t agree to it, I believe Bill’s government didn’t agree to it and I know that China’s government didn’t agree to it, so the project will fail.

To keep the global temperature from rising we must limit our emissions of “carbon” to roughly another 500 GT. I didn’t get the detail here, whether that means 500 GT of elemental carbon or carbon dioxide (and I didn’t hear how the amount was calculated), but never mind, because here comes the crunch.

He claims that the financial guys have added up all the official reserves of oil, gas and coal and already the fossil fuel companies have access to a total of 2800 GT. They know it’s there and they know where to find it, but it’s five times more than (he says) we can safely burn. Ooh! Prob-lem-o!

He says it should stay in the ground, and he’s running campaigns to persuade investors of all stripes to divest themselves of fossil fuel company shares so they will get the message and stop prospecting.

Apparently he hopes they’ll all go make windmills or something instead. But without oil how will the ships make it across the Pacific with our new windmills? Maybe they’ll be driven by sails again?

I have a question or two for McKibben:

You say New Zealand should stay away from coal and stop prospecting for oil. Considering New Zealand contributes about 0.2% to mankind’s total emissions of CO2, and considering that mankind in total is held by the IPCC to have contributed about 0.3°C to the global temperature over the last hundred years, why should we spend anything on reducing our emissions? Our sacrifice of prosperity and convenience would have no detectable effect on the climate. Even China could make only a tiny difference. Why should we do anything?

In 2009, mankind produced and apparently used some 13.2 GT of hydrocarbons. At that rate, the amount of 2800 GT you mention would represent over 200 years of consumption and it will take us nearly 40 years to consume the 500 GT that you would permit. What fuel will we use in our cars and power stations instead?

Since the IPCC doesn’t know the climate sensitivity to increases in carbon dioxide, how have you been able to calculate the warming to expect from 500 GT of the stuff? Because frankly I don’t believe you.

To see more of this dangerous yet boring man go to YouTube and search for “bill mckibben renowden”.

Visits: 273

45 Thoughts on “Wild Bill McKibben: “Outlaws of physics”

  1. Andy on 14/06/2013 at 10:02 am said:

    I thought the dog was the star of the video

  2. Andy on 14/06/2013 at 10:04 am said:

    Reminds me of Marshall Applewhite.

    • It’s the eyes, definitely the eyes. But I’m not sure I should leave that video with an incoming link. It should die an internet death. How do you kill an internet link? You can’t. There are deathless devils being created all the time. We’ll never be free of them! Run! Run!

    • Andy on 14/06/2013 at 3:21 pm said:

      Marshall Applewhite died anyway, along with around 45 of his followers in a mass suicide. Feel free to delete the link though

    • That’s dreadful. Only in modern times have we seen mass suicide for ideological reasons outside warfare. Unless it was hushed up quite well in former times. Um, thanks, Andy! 🙂

    • Andy on 14/06/2013 at 3:47 pm said:

      Applewhite was leader of the Heaven’s Gate Cult that was a UFO cult based in San Diego

      Green MP Gareth Hughes studied UFO cults as part of his degree, so maybe he is an expert on this topic.

  3. Andy on 14/06/2013 at 12:44 pm said:

    The intention, of course, is to get people to “invest” in various renewable energy scams along the way.

    You get the picture by visiting “fossil free” on Facebook


  4. Andy on 14/06/2013 at 12:47 pm said:

    Here is another interview, this time on ABC TV


    Apparently, the oceans are “30% more acidic than they were 40 years ago”, plus a slew of other rather dubious claims that hardly get challenged by the interviewer.

  5. Alexander K on 14/06/2013 at 5:25 pm said:

    The fact that Gareth Renowden hosted McKibben is a sure sign that Renowden is no longer pretending he is rowing with both oars in the water.
    Mind you, they appear to share the same echo-chamber. It must be a comfort for each of them to be together, fighting the wicked world.

  6. Andy on 15/06/2013 at 12:38 pm said:

    Climate change math doesn’t add up


    Local eco-fascists are in early on the comments

    • Andy on 15/06/2013 at 2:40 pm said:

      One thing I find interesting is that The Faithful Ones do not seem to accept the paint on glass analogy as an explanation of the logarithmic nature of CO2 forcing.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/06/2013 at 3:01 pm said:

      I’ve given sebunger something to address re “the logarithmic nature of CO2 forcing” Andy (H’t for the link), along with the solar scenario he asked for…..

      And yes, there is an odd disconnect between spectroscopy, radiative transfer LBL calculations, observations, and the intuition of The Faithful Ones. What seems right – adding CO2 to the air necessarily warms the planet indefinitely irrespective of what we observe or calculate – is right, apparently.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/06/2013 at 3:22 pm said:

      Another disconnect:

      “We now have rock-solid evidence to demonstrate that the world is warming, and that this increase is due to human activity; we are as certain about these things as we ever can be in science” – Stephen Belcher, Head of the Met Office Hadley Centre.


    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/06/2013 at 4:53 pm said:

      Comprehensive reply to sebunger didn’t see the light of day but subsequent replies elsewhere did so I’ve tried a shorter version of the solar scenario for him and the exponential nature elsewhere.

    • Andy on 15/06/2013 at 5:48 pm said:

      I was a bit surprised to see my comment the most voted up (+7 last time I looked)

      It didn’t actually address the article at all – being a dig at the activists and the coal/steel issue

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/06/2013 at 9:07 pm said:

      +10 Sat 8:00 PM – must have struck a chord.

      I’m wondering if more than one link triggers a spam trap. If so, limits internet-age communication of largely web-based information and constrains factual rebuttal of “lies” allegations (Toaster Saturday, June 15, 2013 3:03 PM) in an online comment thread somewhat.

  7. stan stendera on 15/06/2013 at 5:38 pm said:

    NZ does not make enough white wine of all kinds to tempt me to sit through Bill McGibbon (sp. intentional) on Utube..

    • Go on, Stan, you can do it. It’s only 12 mins long. It’ll make you laugh. Then again, it could make you weep — better not risk it, eh?

      More wine, sir?

    • Mack on 16/06/2013 at 2:00 am said:

      I think a poor dog is locked in with these nutters and whines every now and again to get out whenever the conversation reaches a point where his intelligence can take it no more.

  8. Mike Jowsey on 16/06/2013 at 2:05 am said:

    As much as I agree with your outrage at such radical assertions, RT, this article leads with too much ad-hominem, imho. The kind of thing one might expect from HT reporting on a Monckton interview. Your questions and rebuttals are valid, but the tenor is sullied, imo.

    Sorry if this means we can’t have a beer together someday 😉

    • Fair enough. It’s brutal stuff. But don’t say we can’t have a beer! That’s a terrible thing to say! 🙂

      It was the first time I’d seen McKibben. I became furious. If this is the first tenor I’ve sullied in over 760 posts on one of the most controversial topics of modern times, I’ve done fairly well, I’d say.

      But I couldn’t do even the sullying without you to pronounce it sullied, so you’re the champ!


    • Mike Jowsey on 16/06/2013 at 12:57 pm said:

      Cheers RT – you’re right, I was wrong to cast doubt on a beer. Anyhoo, maybe I’m over-sensitive, and in over 760 posts you have been a paragon of fair-handedness. Keep up the good work.

    • Wow! Kinder words than I deserve. Thanks, friend.

  9. Andy on 16/06/2013 at 2:50 pm said:

    Rodney Hide is also keeping the trolls busy this weekend

    “Global warming ends with a whimper”

    The crusading journalists who beat up the global warming theory will always regard it as a great story – but now an old story. What will happen is what is happening now: we will just stop talking about it.

    And, once again, the Greens are leading the way. They have been the first to shut up about it. The argument is no longer that global warming has “paused” for 17 years but rather that even the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand is no longer beating the drum. That’s when you know the cause is dead.

    After all, Mr Norman was still backing Marxism-Leninism long after Mikhail Gorbachev had given up on it.


  10. Alexander K on 16/06/2013 at 4:50 pm said:

    A couple of years ago, the very entertaining Jim Hopkins said on TV that ‘when the global warming scam passes, the MSM won’t talk about it as it will just be another embarrassing meeja mistake and the meeja definitely don’t revisit mistakes’, so it’s no surprise that the dastardly Greens, who would be a great Music-hall turn if they were not hell-bent on limiting the earth’s population by fair means or otherwise) have ceased banging that particular drum as they know the scam no longer works on anyone with a functioning intellect.
    Now that’s sorted, will Nick Smith & co please post us a refund on our power bills from the accumulated funds accrued from the ridiculous unicorn-driven ETS impost, then cancel said ETS?

  11. Pingback: Prat watch #11: don’t fone us…

    • RKurtz on 21/06/2013 at 3:07 pm said:

      Hot Topic is an utter embarrassing Joke.

      How many times does HT denigrate people it doesn’t like?? Plenty. Climate Crank and various other names used for people it doesn’t like in its deluded world of Climate Chicken Little Platitudinal Hypocrisy. Of course any questioning or similar name calling of their beloved, befuddled, incompetent, iconic Godlike Climate Charlatans they worship is considered a heresy!

    • Colourfully said!

    • Magoo on 22/06/2013 at 8:33 pm said:

      And spot on. Direct and to the point – I like it.

  12. Andy on 16/06/2013 at 5:57 pm said:

    A Hat Trick from Gareth who mentions this blog post, Rodney’s NBR article and Joe Fone’s all in the same post.


    How about a hat-tip next time Gareth? Even us evil deniers deserve a little love every now and then.

    • Mike Jowsey on 17/06/2013 at 3:32 pm said:
    • Andy on 17/06/2013 at 7:19 pm said:

      The NBR article also made it onto Bishop Hill and several of the locals including myself suggest this is no more than polemic from Rodney Hide.

      Wishful thinking, as they say

    • “Wishful thinking” — well, of course the Greens haven’t really given up on global warming, it’s just that their weakened interest was exposed when Norman forgot to mention it.

    • Andy on 17/06/2013 at 8:06 pm said:

      Norman may have not mentioned AGW but their latest proposed bill has 33% CO2 reductions by 2020 and 88% by 2050 so I thin their overall agenda to roll back nz to the era of the donkey cart is still in place.

    • Mike Jowsey on 17/06/2013 at 9:00 pm said:

      Yes Andy, I don’t think it is dead in their minds yet. Hot Topic puts it this way (Parental Guidance Recommended):

      Hide did manage to notice that the following week the Greens hosted a one day conference on climate change in Parliament, bringing together scientists, activists and politicians for a discussion on how to make progress on climate action, but claimed that Norman’s speech there confirmed his view, because it lacked “fire and brimstone”.

      As fatuous arguments go, Hide’s takes the biscuit. But it is confirmation, if any were needed, that the delusional denialists on the crank fringe have to continually reassure themselves that they’re winning, however pathetic the case they make, because reality is telling a rather different story…

      Yeah, huh, the reality of no warming for two decades.

    • Andy on 18/06/2013 at 2:10 pm said:

      I did actually watch some of the Greens one day conference on climate change. It looked very boring. Some guy from Generation Zero was pointing to the UK as an example of leadership in pursuing low carbon growth (an oxymoron, like military intelligence)

      Some guy from the NZ wind “industry” had a master plan to carpet our beautiful country in industrial bird munchers.

      I did register for the event under the pseudonym Evil Denier, but sadly couldn’t justify the time, money, or carbon guilt to travel to this.

      Just as well really, I might have gone postal.

    • Andy on 18/06/2013 at 2:27 pm said:

      And speaking of the wind “industry”, I love reading these stories from Aussie where the people seem a little more prepared to take on these scam artists


      Maurice Newman, former chairman of the Australian Stock Exchange and the ABC and chair of Abbott’s three person panel of business advisors, was one of seven families in the Crookwell area who signed a legal letter to local farmer Charlie Prell threatening to sue if the wind farm went ahead and caused them nuisance or harm, including to their health or property values.

      The letter urged Prell to seek legal advice as to whether he could break his contract with the wind farm proponent Union Fenosa.

      Newman last week described subsidies for renewable energy as “a crime against the people” because higher energy costs hit poorer households the hardest and, in his opinion, the science of global warming was “somewhat in tatters” so there was no longer any logical reason to have them.

    • For some reason the article has been removed.

      It’s now behind the paywall. We’ve lost our chance to read it for free. Thanks for the cache link!

  13. Mack on 16/06/2013 at 6:18 pm said:

    As a matter interest about Jim Hopkins. I was in the same physics class as him at Ch ChBHS in Lower 6 B , and whereas I struggled around the bottom of the class, Jim was right up near the top. He was a bright boy and certainly no slug at physics.

  14. Mike Jowsey on 08/07/2013 at 6:23 am said:

    Mainstream paper “National Review” carries an op-ed which shines more light on McKibben’s over-the-top chicken-little nonsense:

    July 3, 2013 12:00 AM
    Inhospitable Earth
    Environmentalist killjoys pretend that this is the worst time in history to live on Earth. By Jonah Goldberg

    Whilst in my opinion the author Goldberg doesn’t write a particularly cohesive article and his concluding remarks are weak, it is interesting to see the piece in the mainstream.

    • Andy on 08/07/2013 at 8:57 am said:

      Johah Golldberg is the author of Liberal Fascism, a book that I have on my bookshelf.


    • Richard C (NZ) on 08/07/2013 at 4:59 pm said:

      >”Liberal Fascism”


      “Historians seem to agree that the rise of fascism in Europe might have been averted had the liberal or left political class understood the true nature of its enemy. The parallels today are very different, but the Damocles sword over Snowden, like the casual abduction of Bolivia’s president, ought to stir us into recognising the true nature of the enemy.

      Snowden’s revelations are not merely about privacy, or civil liberty, or even mass spying. They are about the unmentionable: that the democratic facades of the US now barely conceal a systematic gangsterism historically identified with, if not necessarily the same as, fascism.”


      “In revealing a vast Orwellian police state apparatus servicing history’s greatest war-making machine, they illuminate the true extremism of the 21st century. Unprecedented, Germany’s Der Spiegel has described the Obama administration as “soft totalitarianism”. If the penny is falling, we might all look closer to home.”


      >”…fascism in Europe might have been averted had the liberal or left political class understood the true nature of its enemy………we might all look closer to home”

      Duh! It’s been staring them in the face for years right at home either side of the seat of the Speaker in the US House of Representatives:


      Fascism has long appealed to the moguls and elite of the USA even before it was implemented in Europe which was seen very favourably (and financed) by them, and the federal system embraced it and still does. The Obama administration is simply an extension and for a while the eco-fascist Left loved it Nazi-style (“democracy must be put on hold to combat global warming” and “a few people with authority” [should be allowed to run the planet] – Lovelock, Norgaard).

      But now fascism (or even “soft totalitarianism”) suddenly doesn’t seem such a good idea to the Liberal Left after all.

      What changed? The USA didn’t.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 08/07/2013 at 8:18 pm said:

      ‘Hitler – green guru’

      Andrew Bolt

      […] The greens. Here’s a quote which may sound very familiar—at least in part.

      “We recognise that separating humanity from nature, from the whole of life, leads to humankind’s own destruction and to the death of nations. “Only through a re-integration of humanity into the whole of nature can our people be made stronger . . . “This striving toward connectedness with the totality of life, with nature itself, a nature into which we are born, this is the deepest meaning and the true essence of National Socialist thought.”

      That was Ernst Lehmann, a leading biologist under the Nazi regime, in 1934, and he wasn’t alone. Hitler, for one, was an avid vegetarian and green, addicted to homeopathic cures. His regime sponsored the creation of organic farming, and SS leader Heinrich Himmler even grew herbs on his own organic farm with which to treat his beloved troops.

      Hitler also banned medical experiments on animals, but not, as we know to our grief, on Jewish children. And he created many national parks, particularly for Germany’s “sacred” forests. This isn’t a coincidence. The Nazis drew heavily on a romantic, anti-science, nature worshipping, communal and anti-capitalist movement that tied German identity to German forests. In fact, Professor Raymond Dominick notes in his book, The Environmental Movement in Germany, two-thirds of the members of Germany’s main nature clubs had joined the Nazi Party by 1939, compared with just 10 per cent of all men. The Nazis also absorbed the German Youth Movement, the Wandervogel, which talked of our mystical relationship with the earth.

      Peter Staudenmaier, co-author of “Ecofascism: Lessons from the German Experience”, says it was for the Wandervogel that the philosopher Ludwig Klages wrote his influential essay Man and Earth in 1913. In it, Klages warned of the growing extinction of species, the destruction of forests, the genocide of aboriginal peoples, the disruption of the ecosystem and the killing of whales. People were losing their relationship with nature, he warned.

      Heard all that recently? I’m not surprised. This essay by this notorious anti-Semite was republished in 1980 to mark the birth of the German Greens—the party that inspired the creation of our own Greens party. Its message is much as Hitler’s own in Mein Kampf: “When people attempt to rebel against the iron logic of nature, they come into conflict with the very same principles to which they owe their existence as human beings. Their actions against nature must lead to their own downfall.”

      Why does this matter now? Because we must learn that people who want animals to be treated like humans really want humans to be treated like animals. We must realise a movement that stresses “natural order” and the low place of man in a fragile world, is more likely to think man is too insignificant to stand in the way of Mother Earth, or the Fatherland, or some other man-hating god.

      We see it already. A Greenpeace co-founder, Paul Watson, called humans the “AIDS of the earth”, and one of the three key founders of the German Greens, Herbert Gruhl, said the environmental crisis was so acute the state needed perhaps “dictatorial powers”. And our growing church of nature worshippers insist that science make way for their fundamentalist religion, bringing us closer to a society in which muscle, not minds, must rule. It’s as a former head of Greenpeace International, Patrick Moore, says: “In the name of speaking for the trees and other species, we are faced with a movement that would usher in an era of eco-fascism.” This threat is still small. But if we don’t resist it today, who knows where it will sweep us tomorrow?


  15. Doug Proctor on 10/07/2013 at 4:27 am said:

    “For the first time in history, people shouting ‘the end is nigh’ are somehow the sane ones, while those of us who say it is not are now the lunatics.”

    Sorry, Billy, but those shouting about the approaching “end” have always been the “sane” ones, as they have received specail, privleged information either from God or from the “truthtellers”, which lie outside of regular conversations. The witchhunters to the Millenial belivers all believed – as did their diciples, that they were sane. It was the “deniers” who were either not sane, i.e. unable to see what was before their eyes, or tools of powerful interests, which of course includes the Devil.

    The hysteria is increasing, not decreasing, as legitimate scientific information mounts to discredit the more extreme Scenarios of the IPCC. Even the McKibbens do not enjoy the support of the mainstream who regularly say that the extreme ends are not supported (though they are careful to NOT say are denied, by observation). The winding up of the Endtimers is a fascinating but scary phenomena. A review of the ending of madness would be pertinent.

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