ACM's "Alarmism Machine" map ruffles warmist feathers

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ACM’s Alarmism Machine map has been making waves in the warmosphere.

You will recall Andrew Revkin’s blog displayed a rather nasty map of “organised climate change denial”  – I was so amused by this diagram that I prepared a response (see here).

Revkin then updated his post to include a link to my response, originally with the comment:

“I think some, though by no means all, aspects of the map are spot on.” [No link available – sadly]

This was hastily toned down [why? – Ed] to read:

“I think some, though by no means all, aspects of the map are not bad. But, as with so much of the climate debate, it is an overdrawn, overblown caricature of reality.”

Apparently a storm of protest ensued from the hardcore warmists, who were shocked, shocked I tell you, that Revkin dared publish a link to such heresy. The former editor of Scientific American, John Rennie, firstly weighed in:

Follow the link and take a look at that diagram. It apes the design of what Dunlap and McCright drew but whereas they only listed examples of the organizations that fit into each of the categories they named, the blogger insults them in keeping with his own biases.

Andy, just which aspects of this do you see as “not bad”?

Thank goodness he didn’t see the version of Revkin’s comment that said “spot on”!

ACM even scored a mention on Joe Romm’s blog, with this typical outburst:

Rennie was particularly critical of Revkin’s equating the climate denial machine with a laughable “climate alarmism machine” (whipped up by an Australian disinformer), which equates those who spread outright anti-scientific disinformation (often funded by fossil-fuel interests) with the serious work of climate scientists and governments (and others) who make use of that genuine, scientific work.

“Australian disinformer” – I like it! Actually British ex-pat, Joe, but I won’t press the point. And now Revkin has been forced to defend his publication of a link to my map (my emphasis). Revkin, however, firstly distances himself from the original map still further by stating that he was “insufficiently critical” of it in the original post (despite it having already been toned down), but does include some very interesting comments:

I disagree with Rennie and Joe Romm, who followed up on his criticism, on some broader points.

Here’s the prime question Rennie posed about my original post:

Was Andy implying that those on the climate activism side were an equivalent kind of propaganda machine, even though the case for the reality and gravity of climate change is much better validated by the scientific literature? It seemed unlikely, but he seemed to let his readers think so.

Setting aside the word propaganda, I will readily assert that there has been a longstanding and well-financed effort to raise public concern by downplaying substantial, persistent and legitimate uncertainty about the worst-case outcomes from greenhouse-driven warming and over-attributing the link between such warming and climate-related disasters and other events. Much of this is organized.

But it should be pointed out that there is a climate-style amplifying feedback process, in which a funding agency, a university and researchers highlight the most newsworthy aspect of a new study — even if it’s tentative — and that baton is passed to journalists eagerly sifting for “the front-page thought.” Kind of looks like a hype machine, in some ways.

At least Revkin concedes that there is some organised scaremongering at work in the warmist camp – it is impossibly to deny. But what I find more astonishing is that Romm and Rennie were so eager to criticise Revkin for even publishing a link – you would have thought Revkin’s readers should be able to make up their own minds.

And the funniest part of all of this? The fact that so many people have taken the map so seriously! Geez – it was knocked together in about 20 minutes as a satirical response to an offensive diagram about “deniers”. It was a joke! Yes, it was overblown and a caricature – that was the intention. Exaggeration to make a point. Whist my choice of words was intentionally over the top, the underlying points have more than a grain of truth.

UPDATE: Check out Jo Nova’s version here – much prettier!


  1. I love it. Keep ruffling the feathers and get ’em thinking. They’re so caught up in their own importance and propaganda that they couldn’t even see the joke.

  2. Bob in Castlemaine says:

    An “Australian disinformer”. Now coming from Joe Romm that’s some kind of compliment, a badge of honour Simon.
    And much more refined than “denier”?

    • papertiger says:

      on the other hand, Joe Romm is a squid’s di**. And America doesn’t claim him.

      He’ll have to be a citizen of the planet or some such…

  3. Sean McHugh says:

    And now Revkin has been forced to defend his publication of a link to my map (my emphasis). [ACM]

    Before becoming very interested in Global Warming, I spent much of my time writing on religious newgroups (as a sceptic). The Creationist sites especially would demonstrate an aversion to providing links to the sceptical pages they were rebutting. The sceptical sites, in contrast, would provide links. Since making the shift, I have been surprised at the number of similarities between the apologists for religious faith and the apologists for the Global Warming belief system.

  4. Geoff Shaw via Facebook says:

    what! you imitated them! showed bias! obviously they are more scientific…jokes.

  5. [No link available – sadly]
    Simon – if you want to capture a copy of a web page for posterity (before it gets “disappeared”, that is), check out:


    Mr “Australian disinformer” congratulations on your climate change badge of honour!

    ‘Tis a pity that those who consider that they are in the “privileged scientific know” did not all contribute a small percentage from their snout troughs to send you on a “relearning sabbatical” which would have then enabled you to also inculcate their “hockey stick” minds in the cultural art of satire!

  7. Good one Simon.

    It’s amazing how quickly these ‘green journalists’ will turn on their own and devour them for agreeing with an ‘Australian disinformer’ and a ‘colonial’ one at that! 😉

  8. Rick Bradford says:

    The inward spiralling of the AGW movement (where ever-closer allies are tossed under the bus by the fanatical core) is very reminiscent of Angkar (“the organisation”) which surrounded Pol Pot.

    First, they eliminated bad elements of the public, then fringe members of their own group and eventually Angkar officials.

    This is because as less committed people begin to have doubts, the organisation has to get ever more fanatic in response.

    First it was Christy and Curry, now Lynas and Revkin, next …… ? Nobody’s safe.

  9. Sean McHugh says:

    [C]ongratulations on your climate change badge of honour!

    Yes, your Big Oil cheque is in the mail.

    Seriously, well done!

  10. Bryan Harris says:

    Simon – Despite the intent, your map features important problems with the alarmists organisation and motives – and does it well.
    It should be presented as an alternative education for kids in school!

    But, true to form our socialist alarmists so fear elements of truth they would caste out their own to harm their opposition.

  11. nano pope says:

    I knew one day you would become infamous among the cluelessiterati. I’m so glad you took a break and came back stronger then ever. As I said earlier, you provide a unique place in the blogosphere and general online debate and I’m glad you’re there filling that gap. Keep up the great work, it’s sure to get noticed now.

  12. Check …. ^^ says it all. Fail.


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