Climate Narcissism 101 – Watts Up With That?

Climate Narcissism 101 – Watts Up With That?

Guest “Good fracking grief!” by David Middleton

I do a lot of networking on LinkedIn. The vast majority of it is with oil & gas and other energy industry professionals and a broad range of geoscientists from multiple industries and academia. Generally, I try to avoid political debates on LinkedIn, because that’s not why I’m there… But, sometimes I just can’t resist.

This popped up in my news feed because a friend of mine commented on it:

Sarah XXXX 2nd

It seems this post is triggering the #climatedeniers. Whatever your views on Obama as a politician, it’s fascinating to see this flush out the anti-climate tropes – invariably delivered with sarcasm, whataboutery and as a defence mechanism by those in the sectors most affected by transition.



It was accompanied by this narcissistic poster:


I’m redacting most of the names and only providing a direct link to the original post because I don’t know how accessible this is to those who aren’t on LinkedIn.

I just couldn’t resist reposting the image, with this comment:

“Just when you think things couldn’t get anymore moronic…”

Pretty well every civilization in human history felt the effect of climate change. Elements, the really stupid elements of our generation(s), are the first to be so narcissistic that they believe they “can do something about it.”

David Middleton

The first response was from a professor at University College London:

Dear David

It is clear that you have not had time to study the science or busy trying to justify fossil fuels – hence I wrote an article to cover all those denier arguments about the science.

Mark XXXXXX (He/Him) 3rd

The article on The Conversation reads like a very weak Skeptical Science canned argument. This was my reply to Dr. Mark XXXXXX…

Dr. XXXXXX… Exactly what did I deny?

David Middleton

There was no response. But, Sarah, the author of the original post soon chimed in:

This quote should have mentioned the Anthropocene to be more accurate.

Sarah XXXX 2nd

Sarah’s comment was accompanied by this:


At this point, I was rolling on the floor, laughing my fracking @$$ off. I replied to her comment with this:

The Anthropocene does not exist as a geological time period. Periods ending with the syllable “-cene” are, by definition, epochs of the Cenozoic Era.

David Middleton

I accompanied the comment with this:

David Middleton

Undaunted by science, Sarah invoked Dr. Mark XXXXXX and his sidekick:

I think Prof Mark XXXXXX and Prof Simon L. XXXXX may beg to differ ….

Sarah XXXXX 2nd

Finney Edwards
The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene

My rebuttal…

The International Commission on Stratigraphy is the sole authority on the geological time scale. They don’t rely on science fiction and fantasy novels.

The Anthropocene Working Group has spent the past 12 years not coming up with a geologically coherent rationale for an Anthropocene Epoch.

David Middleton

Then… Dr. Mark XXXXXX popped in again…

Dear Sarah

Oh no here we go classic climate change denier arguments and this is when the Canada is under going the worst heat wave recorded and people are dying – and they will say it is all weather and nothing to do with pumping huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere

And before you ‘fossil fuel’ guys reply please read this article just to make sure you come up with an original denier argument

Mark XXXXXX (He/Him) 3rd

Surprise! Surprise! Another SkepSciBot canned argument!

I closed out the discussion with this pithy reply:

Send this to the International Commission on Stratigraphy… I’m certain they’ll fast track approval of an Anthropocene Epoch… 🙄

David Middleton

As of this morning, the International Commission on Stratigraphy has still not ratified the Anthropocene Epoch. Considering the fact that the Anthropocene Working Group hasn’t come up with a geologically coherent rationale for an Anthropocene Epoch in the 12 years they have been publishing newsletters, it’s a fairly safe bet that we will be living in the Holocene Epoch for the foreseeable future. Simon Turner, co-author of Sarah’s Science Fiction novel is actually a member of the AWG. As of August 2019, they expected to have a proposal ready by 2021. The new target is 2024.

Technically, the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) would have to approve it and it would have to be ratified by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).

International Commission on Stratigraphy
From Finney & Edwards:  “Workflow for approval and ratification of a Global Standard Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) proposal. Extensive discussion and evaluation occurs at the level of the working group, subcommission, and International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) Bureau. If approved at these successive levels, a proposal is forwarded to the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) for ratification. This process is also followed for other ICS decisions on standardization, such as approval of names of formal units, of revisions to the units, and to revision or replacement of GSSPs.”

The utility of the Anthropocene requires careful consideration by its various potential users. Its concept is fundamentally different from the chronostratigraphic units that are established by ICS in that the documentation and study of the human impact on the Earth system are based more on direct human observation than on a stratigraphic record. The drive to officially recognize the Anthropocene may, in fact, be political rather than scientific.

Finney & Edwards, 2016

Finney, Stanley C. & Lucy E. Edwards. “The “Anthropocene” epoch: Scientific decision or political statement?” GSA Today, 2016; 26 (3): 4 DOI: 10.1130/GSATG270A.1

Dr. Stanley Finney is the Secretary General of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), which would have to ratify any formal changes to the geologic time scale.


Apparently, the following are “classic climate change denier arguments”:

  • The fact that many, if not all, pervious human generations have felt the effects of climate change.
  • The fact that this is the first generation, narcissistic enough to think they can halt climate change.
  • The fact that the Anthropocene doesn’t exist as a geological time period.

But none of these are the funniest part of this story. I wanted to verify that Obama actually said something that narcissistic; so I Googled the phrase: “We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change, and the last generation that can do something about it.” He did utter those exact words in 2015… Such eloquence! (/SARC)

As one of America’s governors has said, “We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change, and the last generation that can do something about it.”

Barrack Hussein Obama, November 30, 2015

Barry-O was actually quoting the only person in government dumber than Joe Biden, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee…

AZ Quotes

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