Irish Alarmists Once Again

Unsurprisingly, I can report that John Gibbons, having blocked me on Twitter to avoid having his Twitter followers accidentally exposed to “heresy” (my posts Twitter exchange with John Gibbons and An explanation of the “percentigrade” error which even John Gibbons should be able to understand) has left his original nonsense stand in his posts, without comment or correction. I understand that my blocked tweets can still be seen in context by searching on Twitter for both think_or_swim and PeterONeill15, rather than either one separately. Censorship has its limitations.

Hardly surprising for an ardent advocate of suppression of views differing from his own manifestly false ‘facts’. That last was his own choice of phrase, as in

Opinions are ok but facts are sacred. Deniers flood media with manifestly false ‘facts’ to derail debate.

Where do calls for censorship fit on the spectrum of debate? Or manifestly false ‘facts’ for that matter? Is it acceptable to present your own views as if they were those of the IPCC, and drag Trócaire (or An Taisce) into that ‘monkey trap’ of your own construction?

Trocaire6Don’t treat this as a reason not to contribute, but do feel free to let Trócaire know that providing a platform for spreading misinformation is not an appropriate way for your contribution to be spent.

He is not in it alone this time, hence the plural in the post title, but John Gibbons has been at it again. This time it is a video, currently at Drop in the Ocean? Ireland and Climate Change, produced for Trócaire, the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland. John Gibbons however seems to be the voice most often heard. Once again however his contributions leave something to be desired. [The video linked above has a history of link changes – if this link fails, search for title at]

Early in the video, when talking about the current level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, he explains, over an image which will appear familiar to Dubliners, that

three million years ago, when there was that much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, global sea levels were twenty meters higher than they are today

Trocaire1This does seem somewhat at variance with the IPCC AR5 WG1 report (chapter 13 – Sea Level Change, page 1139 print version, or page 1155 in the full report PDF file):Trocaire11Even, to provide a straw for John to clutch at, stretching that three million years slightly to bring in all of the Middle Pliocene (chapter 13 – Sea Level Change, pages 1145-1146 print version, or pages 1161-1162 in the full report PDF file):Trocaire12High confidence that GMSL “did not exceed 20 m above present” would suggest that it is, in fact, believed to have been rather below 20 m above present, not “20 meters higher”.

And later he continues

Now if we get sea level rises as projected by the IPCC,  by mid century to late century we’re looking at one, two, and in some cases several meters sea level rise. That means we’re going to lose this infrastructure.

Trocaire2No subtleties here. Of course, there is no need to clarify whether he is talking of changes in eustatic sea level or local relative sea level (does he even know that local sea level rise in Dublin is partly compensated by vertical land movement?) – as seems usual for John Gibbons and his alarmist colleagues, “as projected by the IPCC” might be better translated by “as projected by me and my mates”. The IPCC projections are somewhat more modest (Summary for Policymakers, page 23 print version, or page 39 in the full report PDF file):Trocaire13Even Mr Gibbons’ usual cherrypicking of the most extreme RCP, RCP8.5, is hardly going to be sufficient here (and has he bothered to find out what this RCP assumes? I rather suspect not).


John Gibbons at 4’18”:

The pH of the oceans has risen by, I think it’s about 30% since the 1950s.

Here John Gibbons again reveals his ignorance of basic science, parroting, and in the process mangling,  something which he (and it would also appear the production team) does not understand. A rising pH value would correspond to the oceans becoming more alkaline, rather than less alkaline, which is presumably what he means. (Not “more acidic”, in the common alarmist usage, which would imply current acidity)

At least he prefixes his “about 30%” by “I think”, rather than asserting 30% in his usual style. His 30%, even corrected to “fallen”, is again of course divorced from reality – but hey, isn’t he entitled to his own facts as well as his own opinions in accordance with the general dispensation accorded by the Church of Alarmism. Fidelity to facts as sacred is only to be expected of the rest of us.


Even by Mr Gibbons’ standards this performance must count as an outstanding tour de force – in only the first six or seven minutes a display of his “journalistic” practice of false attribution of his own views as IPCC predictions and yet another example of his ignorance of basic science, never mind climate science; all delivered with that quiet air of authority which impresses his faithful followers, but should cause anyone who has studied even intermediate/junior certificate science or who believes a proper journalist should accurately quote his sources, to despair.

As this point I fall back on a favourite phrase of a vet I used to assist TB testing many years ago – this man knows as much about all this as my arse knows about snipe shooting in Siberia. For younger readers, unfamiliar with cold war era Ireland, encountering anyone with knowledge of snipe shooting in Siberia would have been very rare indeed. (As a matter of curiousity, are there even any snipe in Siberia anyway?)

Nothing above should be taken to imply that these are the only questionable contributions, home-grown or imported, in this video. But more of that, and of other alarmists, another time. Mr Gibbons however, primus inter pares, seems to have a peculiar “Midas” touch, causing the addition of “once respected” as a qualifier to the names of organisations he touches.

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