International Journal of Inactivism (now supplanted by Decoding SwiftHack)


The Shadow Sock technique

cite as: F. Bi. 2008. The Shadow Sock technique. Intl. J. Inact., 1:130–132

Announcement: Sign the “Sue Us” Petition and urge Monckton and others
to sue Gore and Hansen as repeatedly threatened! 51 signatures so far!

To begin…

I’ve uploaded a short segment of the Littlemore vs. Monckton global warming debate (17′ to 20′ 30″), in which Monckton, Green, and Littlemore talked about the Medieval Warm Period and Bangladesh, and Green tried to steer the debate in the direction of Jupiter:


Well, it turns out that the prognostications of the Great Internet Goracle regarding the Littlemore vs. Monckton global warming debate was pretty on target — in a way.

With the debate now over, my guess was that the High Respectable Inactionosphere’s foremost duty would be to create the impression of a mass exodus over to the inactivist ‘camp’… and being lovers of freedom, they weren’t going to (horrors!) leave that to the actual public! And indeed, there are now two shiny new comments at DeSmogBlog. There’s this:

brothersmartmouth: Dear Richard, Please explain your comment “was registered in YOUR country… because it woudn’t have been legal if it was registered in the United States.”
Your lack of knowledge about “a lot of this”, can be solved via the internet (wikapedia is not resourse material).
The CBC has no problem talking about global warming science on the radio? Why do you?
I think the next time, the David Suzuki Foundation,won’t have a blogger debating science.
Thank you, Honestly, I give you a gold medal for being the first AGW advocate to use the freedom to debate!

So, it looks like our commenter has Studied the Science Thoroughly by using the Internet (which, well, is quite distinct from Wikipedia). And he knows so much about global warming that he’s now just curious about Littlemore’s connections to the online gambling industry. Ooh.

Then there’s this:


Good try Richard,

…but…you had it coming.

I promise not to say…I told you so……

Thank you for having the courage to debate.
You sir are a much better man than Mr Al Gore,
of this I have absolutely no doubt.
You’ve got some huevos, Gore has naught.

So our second commenter praises Littlemore, just before making a swipe at Gore. (No gold medal this time, sorry…)


Now, do these commenters sound anything like real independent individuals who were changing their minds after hearing the debate? There’s a clear attempt by our interlocutors to make themselves look neutral, and yet give a vague impression that they’re not very disposed towards things ‘green’. I think I’ll call this the “Shadow Sock technique”. And — as before — I theorize that these misrepresentation efforts are targeted not at the general public, but at the decision-making politicians.

Which leads to the second part of the Goracular prediction: How well, or how badly, did Littlemore do in this debate? No doubt, Littlemore was very very far from his best. But if the only new ‘commenters’ are Shadow Socks such as those above, then it can only mean that, as far as we can tell,

Number of people newly converted to either ‘camp’ by this debate = 0.00.

And that’s not so bad after all.

Update 2008-08-18: There’s now a horde of anti-Hansen, anti-IPCC folks in the DeSmogBlog comments. Still no sign of a mass exodus; at most it’s a mass mobilization of pre-existing wingnuts (James, Jack Bauer, 2muchgovt, etc.). Meanwhile, Kirk shows his true inactivist colours.

Update 2008-08-20: The Great Democrat Sock has now appeared! (Though in a different context.)

Patrick Powell: I am employed independently, and I’m a democrat. I wish we would all go to alternative energy. I want us to stop polluting and I truely believe that solar energy is eventually going to be the dominate energy on the planet. Solar roofing shingle technology is near, and I couldn’t be happier.

I am also a scientist and I don’t want to use global warming to trick people into doing what I believe is right.

Another update 2008-08-20: Ooh, a strawman sockpuppet. (As Eli Rabett might say, “what is the point of this stupidic move?”)

Phillip Huggan: The greedy and evil big oil lobby is obstructing genuine progress in developing the methodology to implement a climate thermostat. There is no point worrying about averting the next ice age while the most powerful country on Earth and most profitable industry, are refusing to pay their own externalities.
Solar forcing may be relevant to such an endeavour, but is of low priority given the greed, misinformation and evil of Alberta and Texas actors.
Big oil is harming capitalism and bolstering revolution.

Update 2008-08-23: Roy Green just can’t let it go



  1. All I heard of the debate was the clip provided, but my impression is that Littlemore blew it. I’m new to this whole debate, but even I could have found better arguments against Moncton’s medieval warm period. First of all, the phrase ‘global warming’ is inaccurate. The problem is not that the earth is going to get a few degrees warmer, it is that our climate system is being disrupted. ‘Global climate disruption’ is a more accurate description — we will see more floods, more droughts, more wildfires, more intense storms, more heat waves, and, eventually, rising sea levels. Secondly, we are already as warm as it was during the medieval warm period and the temperature is still rising. If we don’t curb our CO2 emissions, who knows how high the temperatures will go? IPCC projects that AGW may have some beneficial effects for colder regions in the short run but that eventually the negative effects will outweigh the positives even in those regions. Thirdly (or should I say tertio?), the medieval warm period may have been great for Europe, but there is evidence that it may have contributed to an extended drought in the Americas — a drought that left America’s heartland a desert and may have contibuted to the downfall of the Mayan civilization. And lastly, we may be nearing (or even past) tipping points that will throw the whole climate system into a new, less amenable, stasis. But Littlemore said none of this.

    Comment by gaiasdaughter — 2008/08/18 @ 13:07 | Reply

  2. gaiasdaughter:

    Hmm. Given the limited amount of time that Littlemore had (~1 minute), it’d probably be useful to focus on two points: (1) it’s mainly limited to Europe, as you mentioned; (2) if it’s not warming anyway, then the question of whether ‘warmer is better’ will be moot anyway. That should leave quite a lot of time to talk about other things.

    (Then again, I’m saying this after the fact…)

    Comment by frankbi — 2008/08/18 @ 15:20 | Reply

  3. Also, I understand there’s a recording of the whole debate by inactivist “gurmeet” — under the DeSmogBlog comments section — though I’m not sure about its legality. 🙂

    (Which is why I’ve not yet released my complete recording; I still have it though.)

    Comment by frankbi — 2008/08/18 @ 17:47 | Reply

  4. I didn’t mean to sound so strident. I just thought that, from the very little that I heard, Littleton’s response could have been stronger.

    Comment by gaiasdaughter — 2008/08/18 @ 21:52 | Reply

  5. No, I wasn’t saying that you were aiming at stridency… Anyway, my thinking is that Monckton will simply dismiss all this talk about droughts and flooding and stuff as just “alarmism”.

    Comment by frankbi — 2008/08/19 @ 02:51 | Reply

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