The Cry grows quite stale and threadbare

Croxall's Fables

The Boy who cried Wolf. Or in this case, “the Boys” – the climate alarmists, the IPCC, the mainstream media (particularly Fairfax and the ABC), the university climate change departments, Flannery, Gillard, Combet, Rudd, Wong, and all the others who are guilty of barefaced and brazen exaggeration and scaremongering in respect of the dangers posed by man-made climate change.

So many times have we heard that it is the last chance to save the planet, it has lost any impact it may have once had. Year after year, the climate fails to follow the dire predictions, the rains still fall, the sun still shines, the planet is indeed still here, and so are we, healthier and, for the most part (EU excepted perhaps), wealthier.

What follows is a wonderful extract from a book of Aesop’s Fables by S Croxall, dated 1722:

“He that is detected for being a notorious Liar, besides the Ignominy and Reproach of the Thing, incurs this Mischief, that he will scarce be able to get any one to believe him again as long as he lives. However true our Complaint may be, or how much soever it may be for our Interest to have it believed, yet if we have been frequently caught tripping before, we should hardly be able to gain Credit to what we relate afterwards.

Though Mankind are generally stupid enough to be often imposed upon, yet few are so senseless as to believe a notorious Liar, or to trust a Cheat upon Record. These little Shams, when found out, are sufficiently prejudicial to the Interest of every private Person who practices them. But, when we are alarmed with imaginary Dangers in Respect of the Public, till the Cry grows quite stale and threadbare, how can it be expected we should know when to guard ourselves against real ones?”

What a glorious phrase: the Cry grows quite stale and threadbare, and how appropriate the extract above relates to the current debate on climate change.

Indeed, the climate alarmists have been “frequently caught tripping before”. We only have to take the briefest glance at the Climategate emails to see uncertainties downplayed, an agenda (or “The Cause” as it should now be referred to) bolstered and protected, and extreme measures taken to ensure The Message is consistent – or in other words, there is consensus. Mankind is certainly still stupid enough to be imposed upon frequently, but the point is near where the public will in future “resolve to take no notice of their alarm.”

And this is a huge problem. As has been discussed many times on this blog, the credibility of the climate science community, in particular the IPCC, is destroyed. No-one who has read even a small proportion of the Climategate emails can possibly take the word of the IPCC (or any of their associated alarmists) when the latest scare story is regurgitated by the mainstream media.

However, this situation will inevitably stifle proper scientific advancement. If a significant section (the majority?) of the climate science community is so tainted by the Ignominy and Reproach of so many failed predictions and hysterical warnings, on whom can policymakers rely to base their decisions? Politicians require such experts to guide their thinking, but so many organisations around the world have abandoned their impartial scientific principles to climb aboard the bandwagon of environmentalism that there are very few of them that remain unscathed.

And the bigger question is this: if at some point in the future, a particular branch of science was genuinely predicting impending catastrophe for the planet and its inhabitants – perhaps from a possible asteroid impact, a deadly virus, or a range of other threats – would we believe it? Would we, given the experience we have so far endured with climate science, be prepared to put our trust in the hands of those who tell us, We know best and we must act now? Would the public consent to such a course, “However true our Complaint may be”? Or would the wolf devour the sheep?

The Cry has indeed grown stale and threadbare. Trust once lost is never regained. The IPCC and the climate science community have lost that trust, squandering it and abandoning their scientific integrity in pursuit of politically correct environmental agenda supported by misrepresentation, bullying and spin. It will take an extraordinary effort to rebuild it again from scratch, and that’s no exaggeration.


  1. Vivienne Skeen via Facebook says:

    Traitors the whole lot!

  2. What you’ve written is *so* true. This ridiculous hysterical alarmism from a small group of egotistical fanatics has seriously damaged the credibility of true scientists in every scientific discipline.

  3. Andrew McRae says:

    Hi Simon,
    your point about the trust of science practitioners is inextricably tied up with the role of Science in our society.
    I made a comment over at JoNova’s site as a kind of post-mortem on Australia’s death-by-carbon-tax, which anyone may read – for whatever it’s worth. In it I proposed a solution which I hope would solve the problem:
    “I reckon the political system in Australia needs more technocrats, not to decide what’s important or what to do about it, but to put numbers against the size of the issues in the most objective manner.”
    I’m sure others will differ on the way forward. You’ll find it under my “Science” heading in that comment.

  4. “brazen exaggeration” is something of a euphemism.

  5. A great article,it couldn’t be more true.The climate alarmists cry has most certainly become,”stale and threadbare”.How many more lies are we going to have to put up with,the latest one the sun is dieing,do they really think they will be believed even if it is.Maybe this is going to be an excuse to introduce a solar tax.Then if we are told we are about to be hit by a meteorite,a big one of cause there will be a meteorite tax,then we could have a moonlight tax or maybe a tax for all the Co2 on Mars because that is bound to be our fault.
    The whole carbon and carbon credits scheme is starting to fall apart but can the GreensLabor Government see the writing on the wall of cause they can’t,they can only see the $ signs that block their vision.
    I just hope the LiberalNational party see some sense and dismember this diabolical tax on the very air we breathe.

  6. “Though Mankind are generally stupid enough to be often imposed upon…..”

    Who can forget the Y2K Millennium Bug, complete with disastrous and catastrophic predictions of impending doom that sound all too familiar.

    Australia even had the <a href="Australian Computer Emergency Response Team (ACERT) based at the University of Queensland ready to respond to those catastrophic consequences of mans folly … which was … wait for it …. bus ticket validation machines failed to operate.

    Phew … that was a close call!

  7. It has become clearer and clearer that the ONLY thing in the minds of these people is a question – “how much money can we con the fools to give us for our scientific advice ? Becazuse, unfortunately, even the stupidest fools are now coming to understand what a con the entire matter was, from its begining”.

  8. The dilemma they face is how to save face. It will be fasinating watching how they tackle it.

  9. Graham Richards says:

    Aesop’s Fables describe the majority of Labor policies & promises. Wher they promise to uplift & protect the underprivileged those same folk end up worse off. Every time labor promise something, the actual outcome is always vastly different to the promise.

    When are the electorate , specifically Labor supporters, going to to realise that Socialism largely does not work. If the collapse of the USSR & the major changes in China do not convince you the the looming disaster in Europe and the USA should.

    Do some research of your own and then form an unbiased view. That is of course if the socialist brainwashing has not taken full effect!!

  10. Toscamaster says:

    I have long held that the most angry segment of society in this tortured debate are those ethical scientists who know that unethical alarmist pseudo-scientists are trashing the good reputation that ethical scientists pursue in their careers.
    As for the Liberal Party; they know the truth about this whole debate because it has been presented to them and they could not fault that presentation. Thus they are culpable in failing to stand up to their greatest foes – The ALP – and to let the Nation know that the truth is that alarmist pseudo-scientists are spinning a pack of lies based on no real world evidence – only BIBO computer models – and that they have caved in to political corruption of their profession.
    Thuse the excerp from Croxall’s “Aesop’s Fables” applies to both major parties. The longer the debate continues the more Australian voters will realise that they have been sold a pack of lies. They and the Greens will surely pay at the next Federal Election.

  11. I just had to share this. A co-worker and I were discussing the fact that Durban has only received marginally more coverage in the MSM than CG2, which is to say, slightly more than next to nothing, and that the coverage, while not skeptical per se, has been pessimistic about the whole exercise.

    My mate put it into its proper perspective. Durban is a breakup dinner; the lovers have been forced to concede that they just can’t make it work and this is just a bit of teary reminiscing before they part ways.

  12. Richard C (NZ) says:

    “an agenda (or “The Cause” as it should now be referred to)”

    Yes, must remember that that is the appropriate formalism now.


  1. […] are learning the age-old lesson that crying wolf eventually gets you ignored, if not […]

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