Like farting in an elevator…

David Archibald is wrong on so many levels..!

(Thanks to Candian comedian Stewart Francis for the inspiration) On the 1 July 2012, Mr David Archibald (a well-known Australian climate contrarian) gave a speech to a public rally in Sydney organised by the No Carbon Tax party, part of which has now been reproduced in the Australian Newsweekly magazine. As a speech to an audience of already-convinced “sceptics” it was no-doubt very successful but, in reality, there is no factual basis for any of it. Opposition to a Carbon Tax is understandable (people need to be disuaded from using carbon but this should benefit consumers who make wise choices rather than be yet another revenue stream for governments – i.e. the Fee and Dividend system proposed by James Hansen and others). However, apart from that, Archibald’s speech is full of invective nonsense. At one point Archibald promises his listeners that climate change is not happening (or if it is CO2 is not causing it):

All we can be sure of is that it is not a problem. The heating effect from carbon dioxide will be lost in the noise of the climate system.

It is such complete nonsense – encompassing all six pillars of climate change denial – that I am not going to repeat any more of it here, but feel free to read the original; or the summary of it that fellow-blogger uknowispeaksense has very unkindly provided. Having taken a look at Archibald’s website, where he seems unwilling to identify any qualifications he might have to lend credence to his opinions, I decided to ‘take the bull by the horns’ and email him for an explanation: ——————– Dear Mr Archibald, In sending you this polite request, I trust that my email address will not be disclosed to any third parties. I have just read the transcript of your Sydney speech in the Newsweekly magazine and am, quite frankly, astonished by it. I am aware that you have a background in mineral exploration but am curious to know what level of academic learning you have drawn upon in order to reach your startling conclusions? (Unlike yours, my experience and qualifications are detailed on my website – The planet Mars is further from the Sun and much smaller than the Earth. Its molten core therefore cooled faster; its volcanic activity ceased; and it lost its atmosphere. There is no intelligent life on Mars. The planet Venus is closer to the Sun and slightly smaller than the Earth. Its volcanic activity did not stop; and the de-gassing of its core triggered a runaway greenhouse effect that has left it with surface temperature and pressure 90 times that here. There is no intelligent life on Venus. Thankfully, the planet Earth is where it is and is as big as it is. Its volcanic activity has not stopped; and it is big enough to retain its atmosphere – containing enough greenhouse gases to keep the temperature above freezing most of the time. Unfortunately, despite realising over 100 years ago that artificially doubling the CO2 content of the atmosphere would raise average temperatures by at least 2 Celsius, humans are not doing anything to stop this happening. Indeed, you appear to believe climate change is a hoax designed solely to keep climate researchers in jobs…? Sadly, I think there is much more evidence to support the view that oil companies (who receive ten times more money than those seeking to invest in renewable energy sources) don’t want the goose that lays their golden eggs killed. However, the goose will stop ovulating one day and – in the meantime – its golden eggs are damaging the environment. For the avoidance of any doubt, this is because you can indeed have too much of a good thing (CO2) – and releasing fossilised carbon into the biosphere faster than it can be returned to the geosphere was always going to be bad because complying with the Laws of Conservation of Mass and/or Energy are (to the best of my knowledge and belief) mandatory in this Universe. I would be extremely interested to know how you can argue – as you did so comprehensively in your speech – against such realities as the above. Yours very sincerely, Rick Altman.


About Rick Altman

Possibly just another 'Climate Cassandra' crying 'Wolf' in cyberspace. However, the moral of the old children's story is that the Wolf eventually turned up!
This entry was posted in Climate Science, Denial, Environment, Insanity, Scepticism and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Like farting in an elevator…

  1. Yes Rick, Archibald’s article is a Gish Gallop of monumental proportions. The sweeping statements are amazing: “It is now universally accepted that the carbon tax is a very bad thing promoted by evil people.” Universally, eh? According to sourcewatch, Archibald is a scientist operating in the fields of cancer research, oil exploration and climate science. That’s taken from the website of the Australian Climate Science Coalition, a denier organisation. Jo Nova calls him a polymath. Sounds like he’s the same sort of intellectual giant as Christopher Monckton, doesn’t it.


  2. jpgreenword says:

    Great letter. Let us know if you get a reply. Although, that would seem doubtful.


    • Rick Altman says:

      David Archibald replied referencing two things: 1. A Feb 2012 article by Solheim et al.; as featured on WUWT… It seems that no matter how many times the Sun is dismissed as a cause of unprecedented change; this myth refuses to die… and 2. An article/talk he (Archibald) gave to the Institute of World Politics (IWP) in Washington DC in March 2012. However, he did not answer my question regarding his unknown qualifications; which I have now repeated because the IWP refer to him as a “climate scientist”!


  3. David MacKay says:

    Perhaps a typo? non-renewable -> renewable All the best, David MacKay


  4. WTF - Indeed...... says:

    There is some discussion of David Archibald, climate scientist, carbon tax rally speaker, cancer specialist, mining magnate, etc etc at: and It looks like David Archibald is claiming credibility in a general sense because he is employed in some way by The Institute of World Politics. They can not even print truthful statements on their website. The IWP has not replied to my or another bloggers emails. Nor has David Archibald replied. I doubt you’ll get a reply to your email. Maybe you could email the IWP and ask them your questions?


    • Rick Altman says:

      Thanks for your comment; and the additional links to unknowispeaksense. As I have said, I got a perfunctory reply to my first email but, like you, I do not expect to get a reply to my second. However, I may well do as you suggest and ask the IWP to explain why they describe Archibald as a “climate scientist” – it will probably eventually transpire that the IWP is a not-for-profit organization founded by David Archibald and his wife.


      • WTF - Indeed...... says:

        Yes, it could be a self funded organisation. It seems a bit big for that. I think it is interesting that David Archibald flies around the world giving carbon tax rallies and right wing speeches. Who funds this?


  5. WTF - Indeed...... says:

    Here is a website that David Archibald presumably has set up where he tells Western Australia all of the infrastructure they should be buying. David Archibald’s contact details are included.


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