Sunny Side Up Interpretation of Durban

In a wide ranging summary of the state of play on the ground, Ed Darrell at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub kindly links back.

It’s worth a read. For instance:

Remember the pathetic, disgusting attempt to derail the climate talks in Durban, just a few days ago?  The “climate skeptics”™ dumped a bunch more private e-mails from the scientists who work on climate. (Stolen e-mails, here; be prepared to be bored, with no smoking guns, no cold guns, no guns at all.)

Unless one thinks the self-proclaimed skeptics are James Bond nemesis enough to actually hope for the end of the world (as opposed to just being monumentally, stupidly misled), their train still can’t get back on the tracks.  Revealing that someone among them has stolen more e-mails than previously known, didn’t help.

Ed goes on to list six ways in which the Durban talks were a disaster for the denialists. It is a cheering read, so be of good cheer for the holidays, y’all, eh?

image – Durban city hall in Addington, Durban, Kwazulu Nataal, SA, CC-BY-SA=2.0 by Michael Sean Gallagher


  1. Mark Boslough at Realclimate on 'skeptics' at the `Third Santa Fe Conference on Global and Regional Climate Change'. While they all seemed to have different, often opposing, positions -

    "The one common thread I found among them was the fervent belief that “Climategate” was a conspiracy and that the IPCC is rigged. This faith-based belief seems to be unshakable, and is the antithesis of true skepticism. Those I met were uniformly cynical about the honesty and motivations of mainstream scientists. If I were forced to use a single label, I would be inclined to call them “science cynics”."

    Interesting - so the unifying factor is suspicion of scientists, and possibly of authority? (Posted also over at the orignal article.)

  2. Roger Pielke Jr and Steven Mosher seem determined to undermine any positives to come out of Durban, relying on an assumption of utter naivete from all those who see those positives.

    I find it difficult to see continued good faith in these comments. Should I be looking harder for it?

  3. Call me a grinch but I find it hard to celebrate the superficial progress made in Durban when the entire UNFCC process is fundamentally inadequate to the task. We need drastic cuts now, actually they were needed more like a decade ago. COP17 provides the mere possibility of inadequate reductions decades too late.

    I'm reminded of one of Douglas Adams' quotes:

    It is very easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of [their products] by the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all. In other words - and this is the rock solid principle on which the whole of the Corporation's Galaxy-wide success is founded - their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws.

  4. I don't take a lot of hope, cheer and encouragment out of the Durban results, either -- but neither do I concede that Durban was a disaster for those of us who urge cleaning up air pollution, that Durban indicated the science showing warming is bad, that Durban showed the IPCC workers are all crooks, or that Durban shows that Al Gore is fat.

    Michael calls my little list a "cheering read," and I confess I was cheered by it, too, once I put it together. I'll wager that many of you more deeply involved can find even more, if sometimes finer points to cheer.

    None of which diminishes the size of the tasks before us. The U.S. should be leading this fight against pollution as a nation, but the Republicans in the House can't agree with the Republicans in the Senate on just how fast to drive the ship of state onto the shoals to guarantee the unelection of Barack Obama, let alone turn around and keep the ship off the shoals and do something about cleaning its stack effluents.

    It's a war out there, folks. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Good on those people at Durban who drove the last days' frenzy to get something done. It was irrational to even try, but they did, and they got some success. We can build on that better than on no success at all.

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