Dr. Paul Bain Responds to Critics of Use of “Denier” Term

UPDATE: Dr. Robert G. Brown of Duke University,  the commenter rgbatduke, made a response that was commented on by several here.  It is eloquent, insightful and worthy of consideration.  See below.

Dr. Paul Bain, the lead and corresponding author of the letter Promoting Pro-Environmental Action In Climate Change Deniers in Nature Climate Change  which was first discussed at WUWT here: Nature’s ugly decision: ‘Deniers’ enters the scientific literature and later here: Lord Leach of Fairford weighs in on Nature’s ‘denier’ gaffe has been busy responding to critics.  Wattsupwiththat asked permission to reprint the e-mail he was sending.  He has asked us, instead, to post the following statement:

 Thank you for your email and the courtesy of requesting permission to post my email to one of your commenters who contacted me by email about the paper. My response is on the record already on Judith Curry’s blog, and the responses to that have pointed to some necessary clarifications (e.g., including the term “anthropogenic” where necessary), and areas where further explanation seems useful. So rather than rehash some of the same debates by posting the original email, I think it would be more productive to post the following which includes clarifications/extensions (many of which I also make in Judith Curry’s blog, but spread across different comments)…

Comments about the use of the “denier” label are a fair criticism. We were focused on the main readership of this journal – climate scientists who read Nature journals, most of whom hold the view that anthropogenic climate change is real. It should also be noted that describing skepticism as denial is a term increasingly used in the social science literature on climate change (e.g. in Global Environmental Change, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Routledge Handbook of Climate Change and Society), and is used informally by some within the climate science community. So we were using a term that is known, used, and understood in the target audience, but which we thought  involved a stronger negative stereotype (e.g. being anti-environmental, contrarian) than skeptic. My thought was this would highlight the contrast  with the data, which suggests that you need not believe in AGW to support pro-environmental action, especially when it had certain types of (non-climate) outcomes (demonstrating a non-contrarian position). So in my mind we were ultimately challenging such “denier” stereotypes. But because we were focused on our target audience, it is true that I naively didn’t pay enough attention to the effect the label would have on other audiences, notably skeptics. Although I hope this helps explain our rationale for using the term, I regret the negative effects it has had and I intend to use alternative labels in the future.

Beyond the negative reaction to “denier”, what has been interesting in many skeptics’ responses (in emails and on blogs) is that our research is propaganda designed to change (or “re-educate”) their mind about whether AGW is real, and I’ve received many long emails about the state of climate science and how AGW has been disproven (or the lack of findings to prove it, including Joanne Nova’s email to me which she posted/linked in your blog).  Actually, the paper is not about changing anyone’s mind on whether anthropogenic climate change is real. There are also skeptics insisting that the issue is ONLY about the state of the science – whether AGW is real – but on this point I disagree. I am approaching this as a social/societal problem rather than as an “AGW reality” problem. That is, two sizeable groups have different views on a social issue with major policy implications – how do you find a workable solution that at least partly satisfies the most people?

Some climate scientists who endorse AGW seem to have assumed that the way to promote action is to convince skeptics that in fact AGW is occurring, and this has not been effective. Similarly, I don’t think skeptics will convince those who endorse AGW that they are wrong anytime soon. But the social/policy issue remains whether you believe in AGW or not. So if policies are going to be put in place (as many governments are proposing), what kinds of outcomes would make it at least barely acceptable for the most people? For our skeptic samples, actions that promoted warmth and economic/technological development were the outcomes of taking action that mattered to them (even if they thought taking action would have no effect on the climate). So our studies showed that these dimensions mattered for skeptics to support action taken in the name of addressing anthropogenic climate change. The might also be other positive outcomes of taking action we didn’t study where some common ground might be found, such as reducing pollution or reliance on foreign oil. Overall, the findings suggest that if there was closer attention to the social consequences of policies, rather than continuing with seemingly intractable debates on the reality of AGW, then we might get to a point where there could be agreement on some action – some might think the action is pointless with regard to the climate (but many other people think it will), but if it produces some other good outcomes it might be ok. Hence, if governments were able to design policies that plausibly achieved these “non-climate” goals, then this might achieve an acceptable overall outcome that satisfies the most people (although admittedly not everybody will agree).

This is the message of our paper, and I hope readers of your blog will be able to accept my regret about the label and focus on the main message. Some have described this message as naïve, but a real-world example (noted by one of our reviewers) illustrates the general point: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/19/science/earth/19fossil.html?pagewanted=all

Kind regards

Paul.

For those interested in getting up to speed, the HTML page for the article is here and the .pdf version with the cited works page, can be downloaded from the options box to the right of the article. The discussion at Judith Curry’s blog is here and Dr. Bain is commenting under the screen name “Paul”.  He is more likely to respond to comments there than here.

UPDATE: 

Dr. Robert G. Brown of Duke University,  the commenter rgbatduke, made a response that was commented on by several here.  It is eloquent, insightful and worthy of consideration. Dr Bain and Dr. Brown are approaching this from different perspectives.

It is pointless to point this out as I doubt Paul will read it (but I’ll do it anyway).

The tragic thing about the thoughtless use of a stereotype is that it reveals that you really think of people in terms of its projected meaning. In particular, even in your response you seem to equate the term “skeptic” with “denier of AGW”.

This is silly. On WUWT most of the skeptics do not “deny” AGW, certainly not the scientists or professional weather people (I myself am a physicist) and honestly, most of the non-scientist skeptics have learned better than that. What they challenge is the catastrophic label and the alleged magnitude of the projected warming on a doubling of CO_2. They challenge this on rather solid empirical grounds and with physical arguments and data analysis that is every bit as scientifically valid as that used to support larger estimates, often obtaining numbers that are in better agreement with observation. For this honest doubt and skepticism that the highly complex global climate models are correct you have the temerity to socially stigmatize them in a scientific journal with a catch-all term that implies that they are as morally reprehensible as those that “deny” that the Nazi Holocaust of genocide against the Jews?

For shame.

Seriously, for shame. You should openly apologize for the use of the term, in Nature, and explain why it was wrong. But you won’t, will you… although I will try to explain why you should.

By your use of this term, you directly imply that I am a “denier”, as I am highly skeptical of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (not just “anthropogenic global warming”, which is plausible if not measurable, although there are honest grounds to doubt even this associated with the details of the Carbon Cycle that remain unresolved by model or experiment). Since I am a theoretical physicist, I find this enormously offensive. I might as well label you an idiot for using it, when you’ve never met me, have no idea of my competence or the strength of my arguments for or against any aspect of climate dynamics (because on this list I argue both points of view as the science demands and am just as vigorous in smacking down bullshit physics used to challenge some aspect of CAGW as I am to question the physics or statistical analysis or modelling used to “prove” it). But honestly, you probably aren’t an idiot (are you?) and no useful purpose is served by ad hominem or emotionally loaded human descriptors in a rational discussion of an objective scientific question, is there.

Please understand that by creating a catch-all label like this, you quite literally are moving the entire discussion outside of the realm of science, where evidence and arguments are considered and weighed independent of the humans that advance them, where our desire to see one or another result proven are (or should be) irrelevant, where people weigh the difficulty of the problem being addressed as an important contributor (in a Bayesian sense) to how much we should believe any answer proposed — so far, into the realm where people do not think at all! They simply use a dismissive label such as “denier” and hence avoid any direct confrontation with the issues being challenged.

The issue of difficulty is key. Let me tell you in a few short words why I am a skeptic. First of all, if one examines the complete geological record of global temperature variation on planet Earth (as best as we can reconstruct it) not just over the last 200 years but over the last 25 million years, over the last billion years — one learns that there is absolutely nothing remarkable about today’s temperatures! Seriously. Not one human being on the planet would look at that complete record — or even the complete record of temperatures during the Holocene, or the Pliestocene — and stab down their finger at the present and go “Oh no!”. Quite the contrary. It isn’t the warmest. It isn’t close to the warmest. It isn’t the warmest in the last 2 or 3 thousand years. It isn’t warming the fastest. It isn’t doing anything that can be resolved from the natural statistical variation of the data. Indeed, now that Mann’s utterly fallacious hockey stick reconstruction has been re-reconstructed with the LIA and MWP restored, it isn’t even remarkable in the last thousand years!

Furthermore, examination of this record over the last 5 million years reveals a sobering fact. We are in an ice age, where the Earth spends 80 to 90% of its geological time in the grip of vast ice sheets that cover the polar latitudes well down into what is currently the temperate zone. We are at the (probable) end of the Holocene, the interglacial in which humans emerged all the way from tribal hunter-gatherers to modern civilization. The Earth’s climate is manifestly, empirically bistable, with a warm phase and cold phase, and the cold phase is both more likely and more stable. As a physicist who has extensively studied bistable open systems, this empirical result clearly visible in the data has profound implications. The fact that the LIA was the coldest point in the entire Holocene (which has been systematically cooling from the Holocene Optimum on) is also worrisome. Decades are irrelevant on the scale of these changes. Centuries are barely relevant. We are nowhere near the warmest, but the coldest century in the last 10,000 years ended a mere 300 years ago, and corresponded almost perfectly with the Maunder minimum in solar activity.

There is absolutely no evidence in this historical record of a third stable warm phase that might be associated with a “tipping point” and hence “catastrophe” (in the specific mathematical sense of catastrophe, a first order phase transition to a new stable phase). It has been far warmer in the past without tipping into this phase. If anything, we are geologically approaching the point where the Earth is likely to tip the other way, into the phase that we know is there — the cold phase. A cold phase transition, which the historical record indicates can occur quite rapidly with large secular temperature changes on a decadal time scale, would truly be a catastrophe. Even if “catastrophic” AGW is correct and we do warm another 3 C over the next century, if it stabilized the Earth in warm phase and prevented or delayed the Earth’s transition into cold phase it would be worth it because the cold phase transition would kill billions of people, quite rapidly, as crops failed throughout the temperate breadbasket of the world.

Now let us try to analyze the modern era bearing in mind the evidence of an utterly unremarkable present. To begin with, we need a model that predicts the swings of glaciation and interglacials. Lacking this, we cannot predict the temperature that we should have outside for any given baseline concentration of CO_2, nor can we resolve variations in this baseline due to things other than CO_2 from that due to CO_2. We don’t have any such thing. We don’t have anything close to this. We cannot predict, or explain after the fact, the huge (by comparison with the present) secular variations in temperature observed over the last 20,000 years, let alone the last 5 million or 25 million or billion. We do not understand the forces that set the baseline “thermostat” for the Earth before any modulation due to anthropogenic CO_2, and hence we have no idea if those forces are naturally warming or cooling the Earth as a trend that has to be accounted for before assigning the “anthropogenic” component of any warming.

This is a hard problem. Not settled science, not well understood, not understood. There are theories and models (and as a theorist, I just love to tell stories) but there aren’t any particularly successful theories or models and there is a lot of competition between the stories (none of which agree with or predict the empirical data particularly well, at best agreeing with some gross features but not others). One part of the difficulty is that the Earth is a highly multivariate and chaotic driven/open system with complex nonlinear coupling between all of its many drivers, and with anything but a regular surface. If one tried to actually write “the” partial differential equation for the global climate system, it would be a set of coupled Navier-Stokes equations with unbelievably nasty nonlinear coupling terms — if one can actually include the physics of the water and carbon cycles in the N-S equations at all. It is, quite literally, the most difficult problem in mathematical physics we have ever attempted to solve or understand! Global Climate Models are children’s toys in comparison to the actual underlying complexity, especially when (as noted) the major drivers setting the baseline behavior are not well understood or quantitatively available.

The truth of this is revealed in the lack of skill in the GCMs. They utterly failed to predict the last 13 or 14 years of flat to descending global temperatures, for example, although naturally one can go back and tweak parameters and make them fit it now, after the fact. And every year that passes without significant warming should be rigorously lowering the climate sensitivity and projected AGW, making the probability of the “C” increasinginly remote.

These are all (in my opinion) good reasons to be skeptical of the often egregious claims of CAGW. Another reason is the exact opposite of the reason you used “denier” in your article. The actual scientific question has long since been co-opted by the social and political one. The real reason you used the term is revealed even in your response — we all “should” be doing this and that whether or not there is a real risk of “catastrophe”. In particular, we “should” be using less fossil fuel, working to preserve the environment, and so on.

The problem with this “end justifies the means” argument — where the means involved is the abhorrent use of a pejorative descriptor to devalue the arguers of alternative points of view rather than their arguments at the political and social level — is that it is as close to absolute evil in social and public discourse as it is possible to get. I strongly suggest that you read Feynman’s rather famous “Cargo Cult” talk:

http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm

In particular, I quote:

For example, I was a little surprised when I was talking to a
friend who was going to go on the radio. He does work on cosmology
and astronomy, and he wondered how he would explain what the
applications of this work were. “Well,” I said, “there aren’t any.”
He said, “Yes, but then we won’t get support for more research of
this kind.” I think that’s kind of dishonest. If you’re
representing yourself as a scientist, then you should explain to
the layman what you’re doing–and if they don’t want to support you
under those circumstances, then that’s their decision.

One example of the principle is this: If you’ve made up your mind
to test a theory, or you want to explain some idea, you should
always decide to publish it whichever way it comes out. If we only
publish results of a certain kind, we can make the argument look
good. We must publish both kinds of results.

I say that’s also important in giving certain types of government
advice. Supposing a senator asked you for advice about whether
drilling a hole should be done in his state; and you decide it
would be better in some other state. If you don’t publish such a
result, it seems to me you’re not giving scientific advice. You’re
being used. If your answer happens to come out in the direction the
government or the politicians like, they can use it as an argument
in their favor; if it comes out the other way, they don’t publish
it at all. That’s not giving scientific advice.

Time for a bit of soul-searching, Dr. Bain. Have you come even close to living up to the standards laid out by Richard Feynman? Is this sort of honesty apparent anywhere in the global climate debate? Did the “Hockey Team” embrace this sort of honesty in the infamous Climategate emails? Do the IPCC reports ever seem to present the counter arguments, or do they carefully avoid showing pictures of the 20,000 year thermal record, preferring instead Mann’s hockey stick because it increases the alarmism (and hence political impact of the report)? Does the term “denier” have any place in any scientific paper ever published given Feynman’s rather simple criterion for scientific honesty?

And finally, how dare you presume to make choices for me, for my relatives, for my friends, for all of the people of the world, but concealing information from them so that they make a choice to allocate resources the way you think they should be allocated, just like the dishonest astronomer of his example. Yes, the price of honesty might be that people don’t choose to support your work. Tough. It is their money, and their choice!

Sadly, it is all too likely that this is precisely what is at stake in climate research. If there is no threat of catastrophe — and as I said, prior to the hockey stick nobody had the slightest bit of luck convincing anyone that the sky was falling because global climate today is geologically unremarkable in every single way except that we happen to be living in it instead of analyzing it in a geological record — then there is little incentive to fund the enormous amount of work being done on climate science. There is even less incentive to spend trillions of dollars of other people’s money (and some of our own) to ameliorate a “threat” that might well be pure moonshine, quite possibly ignoring an even greater threat of movement in the exact opposite direction to the one the IPCC anticipates.

Why am I a skeptic? Because I recognize the true degree of our ignorance in addressing this supremely difficult problem, while at the same time as a mere citizen I weigh civilization and its benefits against draconian energy austerity on the basis of no actual evidence that global climate is in any way behaving unusually on a geological time scale.

For shame.

rgb

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203 Responses to Dr. Paul Bain Responds to Critics of Use of “Denier” Term

  1. Graeme W says:

    Overall, the findings suggest that if there was closer attention to the social consequences of policies, rather than continuing with seemingly intractable debates on the reality of AGW, then we might get to a point where there could be agreement on some action – some might think the action is pointless with regard to the climate (but many other people think it will), but if it produces some other good outcomes it might be ok.

    While it seems like a pretty obvious conclusion, I think this is correct. People will accept action if they see a benefit for doing so. The simplest one is to promote energy efficiency in a cost-effective way. That is, find ways that save people money through reducing their energy consumption.

    A simple example is an older post here at WUWT (sorry, I’m not able to find it at the moment) where our host described how he installed more energy efficient lighting in his house.

    Sadly, I doubt that message will get out because there is now too much smoke from the poor use of terminology in the paper….

  2. Jared says:

    “It should also be noted that describing skepticism as denial is a term increasingly used in the social science literature on climate change”

    So I guess if we start calling anthropogenic global warming believers ‘satanic worshipers’ more and more increasingly then it would not be offensive?

  3. Manfred says:

    “My thought was this would highlight the contrast with the data, which suggests that you need not believe in AGW to support pro-environmental action, especially when it had certain types of (non-climate) outcomes (demonstrating a non-contrarian position).”

    Though this may be true sometimes, the opposite is the much more significant issue.
    Much of so called “pro-environmental” action is known to have very limited effect on climate and even if you believe in AGW you may therefore reasonably object “pro-environmental” action.
    The Kyoto protocol, for example, would have delayed warming over the next 100 years by just a few years according to AGW believers’ computations. And even Kyoto was regarded too costly for many countries to implement.

  4. Tom G(ologist) says:

    Thank you Dr. Bain. A very well-put and noble response. I appreciate being separated from the true ‘denier’ type. I have dedicated 40 years of my life to the study, protection and enhancement of the Earth and a good deal of that in public service protecting the public and the Earth. I hate being lumped in with ideologues and appreciate your distinction. You simply can’t dedicate your life to the Earth as I have and not care – I just have not seen any evidence to compell me to accept the catastrophic AGW hypothesis. Please understand from our perspective that as long as we are treated as a bunch of paid shill’s on the take of oil companies, we have to fight fire with fire. I also take exception with that latter characterization as I do a large amount of work as an expert witness on many matters dealing with Earth systems and I am anything BUT a paid shill.

    Thanks again

  5. Ray Hudson says:

    It should also be noted that describing skepticism as denial is a term increasingly used in the social science literature on climate change (e.g. in Global Environmental Change, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Routledge Handbook of Climate Change and Society), and is used informally by some within the climate science community. So we were using a term that is known, used, and understood in the target audience

    Translation: “Because lots of other people are using it, we think that makes it OK (right)”. Let me see….what did my parents tell me about that line of reasoning? Moreover, just because other sectors of society make decisions to be uncivil towards others, I thought what held science apart from them was that we did not make things personal in this way. Yes, I guess Post-Modern Science is in full force now… Sad.

  6. … if governments were able to design policies that plausibly achieved these “non-climate” goals, then this might achieve an acceptable overall outcome that satisfies the most people …

    There’s a term for this approach. It is calledfocused adaptation. Google “focused adaptation” (with the quotes), and check out the first entry, for example:

    Reducing Vulnerability to Climate-Sensitive Risks is the Best Insurance Policy at http://www.cato-unbound.org/2008/08/17/indur-goklany/reducing-vulnerability-to-climate-sensitive-risks-is-the-best-insurance-policy/

  7. ClimateSkeptik says:

    “That is, two sizeable groups have different views on a social issue with major policy implications – how do you find a workable solution that at least partly satisfies the most people?”

    Tact and Diplomacy 101: You can start by not referring to one of the groups as deniers.

  8. JinOH says:

    Oh I see, he said he was sorry (sorta, kinda) and it’s all good now. I for one am really sick of these greenies b!tch slapping those who question the science and tell me to put an ice bag on it later.

    Done.

  9. Stonemason says:

    “So our studies showed that these dimensions mattered for skeptics to support action taken in the name of addressing anthropogenic climate change.”
    I read this reasoning as based from the point that AGW is a solid fact, no matter how may times the author tries to deny it. The subtle language is that anyone who thinks the science is NOT settled needs to be placated in some manner. This is rather insulting, in my opinion. If policy is based on fact, most people will support it, if policy is based on emotion, only half of the people will support it; this does not apply to AGW alone, take a look at other policies (health-care, poverty, drugs).

  10. Saaad says:

    What he still doesn’t seem to grasp is that the vast majority of sceptics accept the notion of AGW, including Jo Nova. The argument is about the size of any warming and how catastrophic – or otherwise – the effects will be. In this sense, his use of the word “denier” is not simply perjorative: it’s also completely inaccurate.

  11. Jim Clarke says:

    If it is a good idea, then it is a good idea. Sell it on its merits and leave AGW out of it. If the only ‘good’ it does is prevent a mythical climate catastrophe, and in the process, costs more and is less efficient, we will not buy it. I would estimate that 98% of all proposals put forth by warmists fall in the latter category.

  12. Streetcred says:

    That thread at JC’s blog disintegrated into twaddle pretty quickly … why do warmies respond in such a puerile manner ? I’m sure “Paul” won’t be joining in to that nonsense.

    Dr Bain, As you now accept that the label “denier” is widely and deeply offensive, do you plan to write a follow up letter in Nature to retract your offensive language or do you think that a revision to the paper might be in order ? I might suggest that a paper examining the groupthink phenomenon and potential for Stockholm Syndrome associated CAGW would be a positive contribution to the literature.

    From Wiki … “Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.”

  13. Doug Eaton says:

    Jared wrote: “So I guess if we start calling anthropogenic global warming believers ‘satanic worshipers’ more and more increasingly then it would not be offensive?”

    I prefer the term “climate commies.”

  14. James Sexton says:

    Jared says:
    June 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    “It should also be noted that describing skepticism as denial is a term increasingly used in the social science literature on climate change”

    So I guess if we start calling anthropogenic global warming believers ‘satanic worshipers’ more and more increasingly then it would not be offensive?
    ========================================
    Apparently it wouldn’t be, but I just call them Totalitarian Malthusian Marxists. It’s apt.

  15. Smokey says:

    The real question is: do people have the right to self-designate? If not, then anyone can call certain melanin-enhanced folks n!ggers, and who’s to complain?

    That is, of course, ridiculous. Therefore, pejoratives like “deniers” are just as objectionable. Call us exactly what we are: scientific skeptics, or climate realists. Skeptics are the only honest kind of scientists, no? But the Kool Aid drinkers who believe that CO2 is gonna getcha are no more or less than the equivalent of Scientologists, and they have no right to label the rest of us the same as Holocaust deniers.

  16. Miss Grundy says:

    [SNIP: Miss Grundy, provide a link or two where that term is actually used in the social science literature in Europe and I'll approve the comment, otherwise, no. -REP]

  17. TimTheToolMan says:

    “Some climate scientists who endorse AGW seem to have assumed that the way to promote action is to convince skeptics that in fact AGW is occurring, and this has not been effective. Similarly, I don’t think skeptics will convince those who endorse AGW that they are wrong anytime soon.”

    He just doesn’t get it at an alarmingly fundamental level. Skeptics aren’t trying to convince scientists they are wrong, they are trying to make the scientists prove they are right.

    So far the scientists seem to be content with flawed reasoning and methods, non-science (ie models) and what appears to be a good measure of confirmational bias when formulating “experiments” and then interpreting the results.

  18. davidmhoffer says:

    Dr Bain;

    1. The summation of your article and the email posted above is that having failed to convince skeptics that CAGW exists, the world should turn to alternative reasons for taking the same action. In other words, having failed miserably to convince us with the facts, you’re proposing to trick us into doing what you want anyway.

    2. The term was coined for the express purpose of discrediting those who disagree that CAGW is a problem. It is an odious strategy with no merit in either a science discussion or a social policy discussion. You’r express strategy of trying to find “other reasons” for the rest of us to do what the alarmists want says much about your disregard and disdain for the opinions of skeptics.

    3. Beware the law of unintended consequences. The “science” that supports CAGW is so twisted out of recognition from actual science that words fail me in describing the enormity of the problem. If you seek “common ground” in which one side has chosen a course of action based on flawed science, convincing the other side to go along may well result in consequences you had not envisioned and may well be more negative for society than the problem supposedly being solved.

    This last point Dr Bain, is the most important. Good decisions are founded upon a firm understanding of the facts. Absent such an understanding, the actions we take are far more likely to be ill advised than beneficial. I argue against taking any action on the basis of bad science, and the notion that I can be manipulated into going along with the crowd by finding alternative means of persuasion is as insulting and as dangerous as the d*ni*r label itself.

  19. Ian H says:

    … describing skepticism as denial is a term increasingly used in the social science literature on climate change (e.g. in Global Environmental Change, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Routledge Handbook of Climate Change and Society), and is used informally by some within the climate science community. So we were using a term that is known, used, and understood in the target audience …

    “Everybody does it” is no excuse.

    I am approaching this as a social/societal problem rather than as an “AGW reality” problem.
    That is, two sizeable groups have different views on a social issue with major policy implications – how do you find a workable solution that at least partly satisfies the most people?

    Define “the problem”. You seem to think the problem is persuading sceptics to go along with the program. You are starting with the “solution” and looking for justifications. This is not science. This is an exercise in Machievellian political strategizing and I am astonished that it should be published in a scientific journal like nature.

    Some climate scientists who endorse AGW seem to have assumed that the way to promote action is to convince skeptics that in fact AGW is occurring, and this has not been effective.

    Climate scientists shouldn’t be trying to “promote action”. Their job is to supposedly to study the climate. The political capture of climate scientists who speak of “the cause” and seek justfications rather than answers has lead to the current distrust of climate science and a decline in the trust of science overall. These corrupted scientists are the real problem.

    … Hence, if governments were able to design policies that plausibly achieved these “non-climate” goals, then this might achieve an acceptable overall outcome that satisfies the most people (although admittedly not everybody will agree).

    How is this deserving of publication in nature? This is not science. It is political strategy. It is propaganda. You claim to want to go beyond the question of what influence man may have on the climate. But that IS the science. What is left once you discard this question is naked ugly politics of the worst kind. At the risk of invoking Godwin;’s law, if this is science then Goebbels was a scientist

  20. David says:

    The Virginian said, ‘When you call me that, smile.” The kind of people who use ‘Denier’ in the climate debate are not smiling, even when they try to justify their position as Dr Bain does.
    I felt that ‘Denier’ was originally introduced into the climate debate by non-scientists intending to denigrate their opponents. The word was introduced in a historical era in which the term ‘Denier’ linked immediately, at gut level, to Holocaust denial. ‘Denier’ was introduced into the climate debate to denigrate persons who dared to disagree with what was becoming orthodoxy by linking reservations on AGW to Holocaust denial. I don’t have the time or skills to track down the introduction of the term though I would be interested to know who first sank to that particular level. We can disbelieve in a deity or disbelieve in human rights without being called Deniers by the leaders of the pro-deity and/or pro-human rights groups, presumably those leaders have more maturity and wisdom than do the leaders of the pro-AGW group.
    David

  21. Ed Barbar says:

    I get it. So, the facts aren’t strong enough to convince them, but we really want these policies to go through. So let’s find some way to manipulate the proles into what we want to do.

    Great going, Dr. Bain. We are definitely heading back to the ages when the Monks get to speak their own language, but the proles don’t really get to know. Disgusting.

  22. Don says:

    I often think that all this arguing about AGW and whether CO2 is a pollutant, etc is a huge waste of time and effort.

    First, no one is going to dial back the economy. That’s not gonna happen. People will take up arms rather than be forced into the lifestyle proposed by the Greens. Myself included.

    Even if they did it would have zero impact simply due to the third world alone. In short, IF AGW is real, then we are screwed because man is not going to stop doing what causes it.

    Sooooo…any reasonable person would ask themselves, if we can’t make people change, what can we do to accommodate their demand for energy and at the same time drastically reduce CO2 output? We all know the answer to that. We have it, it’s here now and it can only become safer and more economical in the future. But the very same people who are whining about AGW are the ones who almost killed this technology.

    The ONLY thing that can possible be done is to go full scale nuclear. With new, per-certified designs, smaller plants, etc, nuclear can be safe, reliable and last thousands of years.

    Will Dr. Bain spend less time and money trying to convince people to buy a Pirus and more time and money encouraging governments and people to embrace nuclear? If he is serious about a solution he will. If not, then either he’s not serious, or just wants to ride the Government gravy train as long as he can.

  23. Eric Simpson says:

    It stands repeating in case we’ve forgotten that the term Climate Denier was taken solely for the reason that it sounded like Holocaust Denier. So it is intrinsically repellent, and, indeed, ghastly. They use the insulting and provocative term to demean us. It is gratuitous, and fully unnecessary as there are other well-known terms to use to describe us (as skeptic).
    Some skeptics show signs of acceptance of the denier term, or of being inured to it. I say that should end. Don’t let the nasty warmists get away with that anymore. Hold the dastardly bums’ feet to the fire. Work to somehow help arrange for their comeuppance.

  24. Thrasher says:

    It seems there is a big disconnect with what many believe is a “skeptic” in the CAGW camp. Most skeptics actually believe in a level AGW, so you don’t have to convince them that AGW exists. Most of them, however, are not buying the CAGW scenarios.

    Anthropogenic Global Warming and Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming are two very different brands of vodka.

  25. eyesonu says:

    Anthony, the link “here” to Curry’s blog gets me there but seems something is amiss. Something seems to be wrong with the link or formatting when I get there. I used the link under “lukewarmers” and all was well. Sorry I don’t know enough to help.

    Paul Bain is getting hammered over at J Curry’s in the comments. Count was 559 when I left.

    He’s a slick talker (commenter) but I’m not buying what he’s selling. In a sense he reminds me of Myles Allen and I didn’t buy his BS either. I have another thought but will keep the cat in the bag until we see how it goes with him.

    [REPLY: Thanks. The link is fixed. -REP]

  26. timetochooseagain says:

    My issue isn’t that the paper is about “re-educating” people that “AGW is real” but rather that it is taken as a given-as “scientific” that a particular policy view is desirable to be encouraged. The study is less pro-AGW propoganda than it is political advocacy.

    It is decided that disbelief in AGW might lead people not to be “pro environment” and therefore it is desirable get such people to be “pro environment” by appealing to them in other ways. What is appalling about this is that “pro environment” really means is that one favors the use of coercive government power to “protect the environment” and the paper is basically a campaign strategy memo explaining how to get people to favor this even if they are skeptical about AGW. That is entirely inappropriate for a “science” journal. It would be as if I tried to get a paper published in a science journal, referring to “deniers” of the benefits of low marginal tax rates, and then proposed ways to convince those who doubt those benefits to support my tax proposals anyway. Left wing readers of the science publication would, rightly, be greatly offended that this was allowed to be published as if it were science and not advocacy.

  27. only me says:

    Jared wrote: “So I guess if we start calling anthropogenic global warming believers ‘satanic worshipers’ more and more increasingly then it would not be offensive?”

    From reading the screeds of many of the main NGO’s which push ‘green’ agendas, WWF, Greenpeace, Sierra Club etc, it seems that one theme they have in common is that of eugenics, reducing the population of Gaia by one means or other, often compelled. Thus, my choice for a name for those who swear by the tenets of these and similar organizations is radical eugenicists.

    Is this offensive? Nothing there reminiscent of the Holocaust?

  28. majormike1 says:

    If the word “denier” has been overused to the extent that it no longer conjures up images of Nazi atrocities, then I feel it should be applied to those who deny that current climate change is natural, just as all climate change preceding it has been. I suppose Dr. Bain would also apply the “denier” label to the late Dr. H. H. Lamb, whose encyclopedic works such as “Climatic History and the Future” have no place for catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. Dr. Lamb, founder of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, would be appalled at how deeply his lifelong pursuit of climate science and knowledge has fallen. If deniers we be, we are in good company.

  29. Mark says:

    The true believers remain incapable of ’getting it’. Obviously Dr. Bain feels his entreaty is a reasonable appeal to find common ground. However, I read it as ”We should find a reasonable middle ground between leprechaun scientists and leprechaun deniers so that we can mitigate the global leprechaun infestation with policy proscriptions that are acceptable to both sides.”

    The null hypothesis remains: There. Are. No. Leprechauns.That’s square one. Until you deal with that little issue you can’t just skip ahead to subsequent steps.

  30. temp says:

    “That is, two sizeable groups have different views on a social issue with major policy implications – how do you find a workable solution that at least partly satisfies the most people?”

    Translated:

    How can we invent propaganda/focus tested verbiage that will shut skeptics up while we force policies on them that can completely unproven in science but we believe are “correct”.

    “So if policies are going to be put in place (as many governments are proposing), what kinds of outcomes would make it at least barely acceptable for the most people? For our skeptic samples, actions that promoted warmth and economic/technological development were the outcomes of taking action that mattered to them (even if they thought taking action would have no effect on the climate). So our studies showed that these dimensions mattered for skeptics to support action taken in the name of addressing anthropogenic climate change. [...] Hence, if governments were able to design policies that plausibly achieved these “non-climate” goals, then this might achieve an acceptable overall outcome that satisfies the most people (although admittedly not everybody will agree). ”

    Once again “we are doing research into the easiest way to create propaganda that will allow us to force policies through that suit our agenda”.

    This guy has openly admitted the the science doesn’t matter and that policies based on non-science and ignorance will be pushed… and his goal is to figure out how best to push these goal without causing a huge out cry.

    Once again the science is “settled” there is no room for debate the doomsday cult has spoken and you will accept it without question.

  31. RobertInAz says:

    To amplify Saaad – he makes the same mistake throughout the article and here “…most of whom hold the view that anthropogenic climate change is real…” Their criteria was:
    - 1 humans were contributing substantially to climate change
    - 2 climate change was occurring, but that humans were not contributing substantially to it (119)
    - 3 did not believe the climate was changing.(57)
    Everyone in 2 & 3 is – in his world – is lumped together as a denier. He says that he understands that 2 includes AGW deniers and CAGW skeptics, but the rhetoric he used here and his team used in the article uses the term “AGW is real”, never “AGW is significant.”

    It is likely that of the 176 folks they labelled deniers and attributed the [belief] that AGW is not real, most would say that AGW is not significant.

  32. RobertInAz says:

    Sorry,
    To me, this is a huge blind spot. I wonder if any of the four authors argued for use of “..AGW is significan”t instead of “…AGW is real” and if yes, what the decision making behind that rhetorical decision was.

    It may by that believers of this type simply do not understand the distinction.

  33. Dave Dodd says:

    First, stop calling models “science.” Instead, produce empirical data supporting your theory. If no such data exist, the theory must be changed or abandoned. That is the basis of science, Anything else is groupthink, out of which flows denigrating comments about those who disagree with your theory. I believe the d-word qualifies as one of those denigrating terms.

  34. RobertInAz says:

    Sorry #2 lots of types:
    the r rhetoric –> the rhetoric
    attributed the believe –> attributed the belief
    “..AGW is significan”t –> “..AGW is significant” i
    It may by that –> It may be that

    Going to bed – I am very distressed this got published.

  35. mikelorrey says:

    Clearly Dr. Bain is the sort of well meaning idiots who treat rhetoric as magical thinking, that if they come up with the right magical incantation, that their opponents will suddenly go, “OK, sure, here’s my property, free speech, and other natural rights, silly me, what was I thinking, because you MEAN WELL.”

    Dr Bain, you need to realize that it is BECAUSE we know the sort of policies you and your kind want to implement that we know your AGW arguments are full of bogosity, and are only meant to bamboozle the gullible into surrendering their freedom to global socialist government. There is NOTHING you can say or do to make us buy into allowing any of that. AGW is pseudoscience invented as a vehicle to push pre-agreed policies, not the reverse, and we know that you know that we know that.

  36. William McClenney says:

    [SNIP: Uhhh... WM, did you post this to the wrong thread, maybe? -REP]

  37. James Sexton says:

    Well, okay, I’ll allow that he may not be evil. Maybe he’s just not all that bright, or maybe he was writing a sociology paper in which he didn’t understand the social implications of the label….. that could be it……. . He didn’t mean to insult, belittle, and marginalize people, it just came out that way.

    Paul, no worries. At least you didn’t wonder about the social implications of the tattooing idea, or why we didn’t laugh at the snuff film about blowing up skeptics.

    But, you did ask, “how do you find a workable solution that at least partly satisfies the most people?”

    The answer is you don’t. These people don’t care about the climate, and have no more concern about it than they do about the sun coming up tomorrow. All one has to do is to look at the alleged solutions to the climate non-problem. Right now, they’re down at Rio proposing that we get some sort of global governance, and that we redistribute our wealth, and that we’ve got to somehow destroy our industrial base. Oddly, while climate change has taken a bit of second billing in Rio, they’re discussing other difficulties, such as social justice, food poverty, and water issues. ….. oddly the solutions remain the same. Isn’t that magical? It doesn’t matter what the problem is, the solution is to lose personal liberty, national autonomy, redistribute the wealth, and destroy the industrial economic base!

    Gosh, these magical solutions seem vaguely familiar….. it seems there were some other ills to which the solutions were exactly the same! How magical!

  38. Mike Wryley says:

    The fascist left has always excelled at marketing their crap by marginalizing the opposition in terms that mirror their own activities. If any group deserves the moniker of denier, it would be the CAGW crowd, who deny facts, deny historical records, deny science and deny truth. While the term Inquisitor may be too arcane for most folks, it is apropos, because people of Dr. Ban’s persuasion have no issue in labeling folks as apostates, heretics and witches.

  39. vigilantfish says:

    “Overall, the findings suggest that if there was closer attention to the social consequences of policies, rather than continuing with seemingly intractable debates on the reality of AGW, then we might get to a point where there could be agreement on some action”

    —————
    I have not read the article, but I found the letter to be highly confusing, with references to desirable outcomes such as ‘warmth’ and technological development. Warmth in what context? Presumably adequate heating in cold climates? Given the anti-development, anti-technological and regressive goals of the CAGW shills, versus the skeptics’ humanist and realist objections to these same goals, I am perplexed by Dr. Bain’s contention that he is aiming to get a majority of skeptics and believers to agree on social goals at all. The whole letter is vague and lacks any specified examples, but the link points to examples of people who campaign for solutions such as building wind turbines. Yikes!

    I would suggest to Dr. Bain that he would be better off talking to systems engineers about the economic and physical realities of green ‘solutions’ before trying to convert skeptics. He’s got about as firm a grasp of reality as the author of a book I noticed in the university bookstore today, titled “Creating a Carbon-Free Home” – presumably by getting rid of all carbon-based life-forms or food or products from within the home and any wood or other organic materials in its construction (let alone the links to CO2-generating energy consumption which I suppose the author intends by this ridiculous title).

  40. Dr. Bain: Does the term “obfuscation” ring a bell? If not, then how about “Gobbledegook”? Your response is the best attempt I’ve seen at clinging to a crumbling cliff while attempting to say everything is tickety-boo. Let’s face it. You’ve been outed, and your message is not a clarification, but a squirmy rewording of the state of thought in your ‘target audience’. Amazing.

  41. Pablo an ex Pat says:

    I so much agree with many that have posted before.

    Pick any name or a stereotype to describe those of us who intelligently disagree with AGW that you wish to Dr Bain. It makes no difference. The case is not proven. “Remedies” aren’t needed for a problem that hasn’t been proven to actually exist.

    There is in fact ample evidence to the contrary that it does not. The “homogenization” and, to be plain spoken “trickery”, that can be easily seen to have occurred with the manipulation of the Surface Station Temperature record should be enough to convince a disinterested observer that something is badly wrong here. You don’t have to be Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein to see it.

    People who believe that the AGW “problem” exists in face of any reasonable analysis of an alternate hypothesis are actually hurting humanity by funneling funding away from solutions to real problems. And, no, I really don’t care how you dress it up. You are not correct in either your use of words or your analysis of the issue.

  42. James Sexton says:

    RobertInAz says:
    June 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Sorry #2 lots of types:
    the r rhetoric –> the rhetoric
    attributed the believe –> attributed the belief
    “..AGW is significan”t –> “..AGW is significant” i
    It may by that –> It may be that

    Going to bed – I am very distressed this got published.
    =================================================
    You know, I find that if I drink enough beer, my distress over typo’s and grammatical faux pas’ diminishes. Just a little helpful hint to get you through the rough spots!

  43. Manfred says:

    A bad case of wandering goal posts, albeit framed graciously in confabulation.

  44. benfrommo says:

    I am with jared on this. If deniers is a proper term in those circles because they have used it to demean sceptics, why not call alarmists devil worshippers and we can then apply his terrible logic correctly. So from now on, let’s call them all devil worshippers and whenever we post or otherwise talk on sceptical blogs they will be referred to as such which is only proper.

    And to make it all ok we just give a wimpy appology whenever some devil worshipper gets offended.

    I am only slightly sarcastic on that score.

  45. spinifers says:

    “I am approaching this as a social/societal problem rather than as an “AGW reality” problem. That is, two sizeable groups have different views on a social issue with major policy implications – how do you find a workable solution that at least partly satisfies the most people?”

    The solution to this is simple: individual liberty. That won’t satisfy the die-hard socialist greenies, but they’re a small minority anyway.

    Is ‘greenie’ offensive? Sorry if so. I never cared much about being called a ‘denier’ or anything either; I actually understand what he’s saying about it being a convenient term that people understand the definition of (though I understand the offense too).

  46. George E. Smith; says:

    So he’s approaching it not as a climate science issue, but as a “social societal ” issue.

    I presume that social science is a discipline about which the man is as ignorant as any person off the street.

    So he should confine his remarks to things he is competent to rander a credible position on.

  47. Some of the problem comes directly from their camp.

    Science advances through the discussion of thoughts from both sides of a problem.

    Yet we’re told which journals are to be read (and which ones are useless), and which scientists we are to believe (and which ones are “crackpots”).

    Science advances from the gathering of data, proper usage of the data, timely submission of papers, sharing of data, accepting criticism about faults in papers, and withdrawing papers that are found to be lacking.

    Yet we seem to see all the criticism mounted against those who dare to write articles against AGW (harsh peer reviews, threats to journals and editors who accept papers, blog postings with selectively edited comments, etc). Some papers get quick review and submission. Some have to run the gauntlet.

    We see repeated refusals for the data (even from established scientists and educators). We’re told that data gathered with public grants are the possession of the scientists. We see journals refuse to follow their own submission rules about archiving data. We’re kept behind the paywalls.

    And yet we’re the “deniers”?

    Once again, the question arises – just what are we denying?

  48. TomRude says:

    “Overall, the findings suggest that if there was closer attention to the social consequences of policies, rather than continuing with seemingly intractable debates on the reality of AGW, then we might get to a point where there could be agreement on some action.”
    ==

    How about that! How convenient Dr. Bain to move from the science to some supposedly responsible action affecting the social realm. Science contrary to your assertion does not support AGW, that is, observation science not post modern science made from computer simulations geared to show only one scenario. In fact science has yet to establish that we live through an unprecedented period on the climatic scale. The Gergis at al. 2012 affair is yet another demonstration that the same tricks are used every time to produce the desired result. Yet every time, these are exposed and debunked. The recent post at WUWT showing the Danish maps of Arctic Sea Ice showed clearly (uncertainties accounted for) that Arctic sea ice shrinking is not a proxy of Global Warming. We could also insist on the mode of atmospheric circulation as described by Marcel Leroux demonstrating the fallacy of the Global warming argument through the understanding of meteorological data. Finally, if anything Climategates have exposed nefarious behaviors that would have no reasons of exist had the science been clean and obvious.

    Since science is still debated, in a climate of intimidation, monopoly despite having been told a long time ago that it was settled, force is to admit that the entire pyramidal scheme that was supposedly backed up by AGW science has no foundation. It is only propped up by the billions of vested interests in all derivatives of the CO2 scheme and now that post modern science has been unmasked for what it is -a pretext-, the true face of political activism, the social sciences in which you pulled your “denier” term, is showing up, eagerly expecting that after years of brainwashing, fear mongering, propaganda spewed on the masses through main stream media -often linked to vested green interests Thomson Reuters for instance-, that “action” will come thanks to uneducated zealots, incapable of understanding the science, eagerly parroting arguments of authority and willing to serve their new masters. Science is either right or wrong but morals can be conveniently argued. Anyone having read the Red Wheel by Solzhenitsyn would instantly recognize the signature of a manufactured revolution and the role of the media in conditioning the populace.
    My dear Dr. Bain, your article participates of this shameful submission to the green powers and nothing in your letter here can excuse your complicity in helping establish this increasingly totalitarian society. You want action regardless of science being debated: the mere idea of science, the approximation of science is now enough and despite waving excuses hiding behind soft social and political sciences, you wish to enable the program. Granted, you try to divide in order to conquer, between the good skeptics, portrayed as a reasonable person ready to collaborate if they can be convinced there is something for them and the bad deniers… The very same techniques were used during the Occupation 1940-1944, Doctor to turn people in, to recruit people… After reading your prose, it looks as if the question is not “if” but “when” are we going to see coercive measures to “convince” skeptics should they resist the first wave of enticement?

    No Dr. Bain you insult our intelligence by thinking our opposition is a matter of vocabulary. You try to make a career at it, gain some brownie points in the publication index while putting your name on the proper side of the equation for the future. It is the low key servility message of your paper that is disgusting, hiding behind policies that governments want to introduce as if these were a “fait accompli”–when in fact it was the very IPCC goal to help governments formulate these policies, quite a vicious circle-. If “non climate” policies are now the mediated goal you’d like to see emerge, you basically expose your friends backpedalling: no more catastrophic global warming, no more climatic goals, just societal change, the catalyst being at will Earth climate, Biodiversity, Water etc… switching them as the plan is implemented or exposed.

    I’ll finish by quoting Giuseppe Tomasi in Principe de Lampedusa: “If we want everything to remain the same, let’s work at changing everything”. Indeed, forcing a well crafted change upon others is the best way to control them, hardly a surprise when one considers the quality, names and ranks of those who are mobilizing to “save the planet”.

  49. cui bono says:

    “So we were using a term that is known, used, and understood in the target audience..”, Including the editors of climate science journals, obviously.
    No doubt editorial meetings are very fair – “ok, how do we sock it to those denier scum this issue?”

  50. eyesonu says:

    James Sexton says:
    June 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm
    You know, I find that if I drink enough beer, my distress over typo’s and grammatical faux pas’ diminishes. Just a little helpful hint to get you through the rough spots!

    =====================

    I find that if I drink enough beer I make twice as many typos and worry half as much.

    Thars some mathamaticle relationsshit there but i cant figur it out now. ;-)

  51. davidmhoffer says:

    I would ask Dr Bain to come up with a list of actions to reduce CO2 that are beneficial to society.

    1. Increased fuel efficiency. Done. The car and truck companies spend billions every year trying to build more fuel efficient vehicles than their competitors.
    2. Biofuels. I love this one. In a world where people are hungry, let’s burn the food.
    3. Wind mills. They produce electricity at three to four times the cost of conventional sources. that helps people stay warm in the winter and afford food as well…. how? Not to mention that to deal with the intermittent nature of the wind, once has to provision the same conventional capacity to back up the wind mills anyway, and that running conventional plants intermittantly cuts their lifespan by 60% or more which costs even MORE money. Will this help the poor?
    4. Solar. See wind mills above.

    Shall I go on Dr Bain? The problem you fail to see is that the policies that would reduce CO2 cost money which hurts the poor more than everyone else. It raises food costs, it raises living costs. Does it create jobs? No, for every job created building wind mills three more are destroyed because of the real cost to the economy reducing employment over all. C’mon Dr Bain, produce just one example of a policy that reduces CO2 emissions and is also good for humanity over all.

    Just one.

  52. Man Bearpig says:

    This is a backtrack. Whatever way he ‘means’ the word, it is not an acceptable term. It’s original intent was likening AGW skeptics to holocaust denial that is already known. It would seem that Bain is jumping on the gravy train using terms to appeal to those he hopes to impress.

    If the paper remains in the journal as-is, then the precedent has been set.

  53. corio37 says:

    Given that this paper is an Australian production, and the Australian government is about to introduce a Carbon Tax which is proving very difficult indeed to sell to the electorate, I can’t help wondering if the authors are simply putting forward their claim to be considered for key positions in the Ministry for Climate Propaganda. Frankly, anyone who can come up with a way to save the Prime Minister’s job and/or retain a few seats for Labor at the next election can pretty much name their price in government honours and rewards. Maybe this is all just a way of saying “Pick me, Prime Minister! Pick me!!”

  54. MangoChutney says:

    It should also be noted that describing skepticism as denial is a term increasingly used in the social science literature on climate change (e.g. in Global Environmental Change, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Routledge Handbook of Climate Change and Society), and is used informally by some within the climate science community.

    Dr Bain,

    10,000,000,000 flies eat sh!t, but that don’t make it right and I ain’t doing that either

  55. Michael J says:

    I subscribe to Hanlon’s Razer: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Robert_J._Hanlon)

    I am willing to accept that Dr Bain was thoughtless, rather than malicious.

  56. kwik says:

    “It should also be noted that describing skepticism as denial is a term increasingly used in the social science literature on climate change”

    If you follow the scientific method, you are a denier. If you believe in the message, you are a believer. Got it.

  57. Billy says:

    Wow!

    Mr. Bain is saying that AGW is a “social societal” (political) issue, not so much science. Isn’t that what the skeptics have been arguing all along? We now agree. Did I read it wrong?

    The argument is over.

  58. anengineer says:

    The use of ‘denier’ is justified because they are writing for climate scientists. By that logic is would also be acceptable [SNIP: Those terms are offensive even in this context. Let's not do this. -REP].

  59. DirkH says:

    Well, Dr. Paul Bain helps to establish the term “denier” in the literature. Maybe he should reconsider whether it is a smart move of him to establish the term “believer” for warmists. It may not achieve what he wants it to.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True-believer_syndrome

  60. Galane says:

    Ian H sayeth: “Define “the problem”. You seem to think the problem is persuading sceptics to go along with the program. You are starting with the “solution” and looking for justifications. This is not science.”

    It’s inductive reasoning, starting with the desired end-point then finding the “facts” to support the pre-determined conclusion. It’s a twisted form of the scientific method, hypothesis > test > hypothesis confirmed/disproved. If disproved you start over with a modified hypothesis and test again.

    AGW/CAGW believers just call the hypothesis fact from the get-go then come up with the “facts” as needed. Some of them do actual research but conveniently ignore anything they find that doesn’t solidly support the outcome they want. (That happens quite a lot in many fields, the result often being disasters that get people injured and killed.)

    Properly conducted scientific investigation requires deductive reasoning. You come up with a hypothesis, test it to find out some real facts, then deduce from those facts whether or not your hypothesis was anywhere close to right. If the tested facts show you were wrong, you try again – altering one thing at a time until you develop test conditions (or get the bugs out of your software, machine, chemical process etc.) that make it work.

    If after exhausting all the test possibilities it still doesn’t work, suck it up and admit your hypothesis was wrong – or there may be something you missed in the testing but don’t have a clue as to what that might be. Share your data and someone else might have an “ah ha” moment that fixes it – or they’ll confirm your wrongness even harder.

    The AGW/CAGW people don’t want to share and from their own e-mails we know exactly why they don’t share, because someone else will pick it to pieces looking for something wrong.

    If Mann and company were absolutely sure they’re right, they’d be confident there was nothing wrong to be found in anything they’ve done in the field of climate study.

  61. Man Bearpig says:

    Why didn’t he go the whole hog and use the word ‘Flat-earthers’ instead ?

  62. David Jones says:

    Saaad says:
    June 20, 2012 at 8:28 pm
    What he still doesn’t seem to grasp is that the vast majority of sceptics accept the notion of AGW, including Jo Nova. The argument is about the size of any warming and how catastrophic – or otherwise – the effects will be. In this sense, his use of the word “denier” is not simply perjorative: it’s also completely inaccurate.

    I do not thinks your first sentence is true.
    I think most sceptics accept that the climate has warmed, it would be surprising if it hadn’t over the last ~150 years as we have come out of the LIA. The argument is mostly about the causes of the warming and to what extent there is or may be an anthropogenic element.
    There is little warming that cannot be adequately explained by repetition of past observed natural causes. It therefore follows that there is little amelioration to be expected from human attempts to “change the climate!”
    The use of the term “denier” is all part of the sloppy, shorthand thinking that so many of the “left” use when thinking of those who do not agree with their views.

  63. RobertInAz says:

    “I am approaching this as a social/societal problem rather than as an “AGW reality” problem.
    That is, two sizeable groups have different views on a social issue with major policy implications – how do you find a workable solution that at least partly satisfies the most people? ”

    I wonder if any social scientist would look at the corresponding questions directed at alarmist:
    “If they learned that CO2 abatement led to a society where people were poorer, more competitive and less cooperative would they reconsider their advocacy of such measures?”

    I suspect that such a study is outside of the cognitive framework of today’s social scientist. If conceivable, it would not be funded nor published.

  64. Mike Jonas says:

    Dr Bain – You have not understood anything. I recommend that you do two things: One, apologise. Two, go back and analyse the situation properly. That involves understanding what each ‘side’ is saying and testing it. I don’t mean scientific laboratory testing, I mean an unbiased assessment to see how credible it is. ‘Unbiased’ of course means not assuming that one ‘side’ is right and the other wrong.

  65. Baa Humbug says:

    Yeah well I’m not falling for this one. Here’s a bloke who pretends he didn’t know what effect the term denier has on the debate, suggests that we go past the science and do what the pinko lefto greenies want us to do anyway.
    Pull the other one Bain, it’s got bells on it.

    p.s. We are too soft and too accomodating.

  66. gopal panicker says:

    much ado about nothing…an article written by some moron psychologists in a journal that caters exclusively to true believer…who cares

  67. TimC says:

    Careful everyone: there is obviously a paper under way discussing in what circumstances the words “sceptic” and “denier” are more apposite to the discussion, dissertation, etc, at hand.

    This only awaits a half-credible finding that the correct discipline for the study is science rather than social sciences/politics – but I don’t think that will give much difficulty in pal review.

  68. Berényi Péter says:

    “But because we were focused on our target audience, it is true that I naively didn’t pay enough attention to the effect the label would have on other audiences, notably skeptics. Although I hope this helps explain our rationale for using the term, I regret the negative effects it has had and I intend to use alternative labels in the future.”

    Dear Dr. Bain,

    it just shows how sick is your target audience (and how politically driven, that is, un-scientific is the social science literature on climate change). If your current post means you have honestly quit identifying yourself with this target audience (as opposed to only focusing on them), a feeble sorry would never suffice.

    The least you should do at this point is
    1. Have the editors of Nature Climate Change publish an opinion piece of yours ASAP about your change of stance as expressed above
    2. Start fighting actively to eradicate the d-word from both social science publications and the public discourse on climate issues

    In other words, give hell to those climate chauvinist pigs.

    Please imagine, just for the sake of the argument try to imagine for a moment what would happen, if in the long run climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide loading of the atmosphere turns out to be much lower than implicated by some current computational climate models. On face value this is a cool, purely scientific question and at this point in history it is an entirely possible outcome, as it does not depend on basic physics, but on the relative strength of various feedback processes that are admittedly poorly represented in such models. But then consider the case the d-word is still in use and is accepted in this context when it happens.

    What collateral damage would it entail by re-fueling specifically the Holocaust Denial industry and revisionist history in general? Would not they say look, here is a field of eminent political importance where the denialist approach was well justified from the beginning, even against overwhelming opposition at times, so please consider the possibility of our cause also being a just one. Don’t you feel how offensive is this nasty business with the d-word to the offspring of holocaust survivors?

    So my advice is that if you are serious, don’t wait, take action immediately.

  69. SeanH says:

    The man is an idiot. I am highly critical of the statistical methods, suspect most enviro-nuts are better off left on a small island to fend for themselves since they are ideologically motivated rather than interested in the truth, but will also physically intervene underwater if I see someone damaging coral whilst I’m scuba diving, and have other behaviours which are generally supportive of the natural environment.

  70. feet2thefire says:

    Apologies to all for posting this before reading the comments. I take exception to the author on these points below. I’d LIKE to address the science of it, but his arguments are all about the social science, the ‘get-along’ factor, the politics, and the appeals to authority that politics and social aspects rely on, so here goes:

    First of all, he is basically doing a song and dance here to get out from under the repercussions of his bad judgment. Gleick, Bain – who is going to be next? (And yes, we have had our bad judgment folks, too.)

    We were focused on the main readership of this journal – climate scientists who read Nature journals, most of whom hold the view that anthropogenic climate change is real.

    “Most of whom”? A.) What he means to say (when he is not dancing out of the line of fire) is that all of those he will let himself discuss the subject with think AGW is real; i.e., they feed off each other, eventually coming up with derogatory terms for those who disagree. B.) He doesn’t understand that this is not normal in the history of science. C.) The term “Most of whom” is thrown in so that he does not sound like an Us-vs-Them kind of guy. D.) Does anyone think that the Darwinists of 140 years ago called the non-Darwinists “deniers”? Or vice versa?

    It should also be noted that describing skepticism as denial is a term increasingly used in the social science literature on climate change (e.g. in Global Environmental Change, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Routledge Handbook of Climate Change and Society)

    “Social science literature”? He clearly left out the WWF and RealClimate. There’s no social science in climatology. Those are advocacy groups, plain and simple. Plainly, Bain cannot separate the politics from the science – and is confusing the social science of it with real science. What does social science have to do with whether AGW is real or not? He is stating that the social aspect is more important than the science. …Mother of God…

    So we were using a term that is known, used, and understood in the target audience, but which we thought involved a stronger negative stereotype (e.g. being anti-environmental, contrarian) than skeptic.

    No. Those who argue the data and the science are not contrarians; they are scientists. When skeptical scientists are the ones arguing the technical aspects of AGW and the non-skeptics are instead talking about the social science of it, he is saying, “Don’t confuse me with the facts. If you do, we will label you and marginalize you with ad hoc insults.” This is like labeling us dweebs and nerds – by a scientist of all things… He is saying, “Don’t be uncool! Don’t be unpopular. Just go with the flow, ya dorks!”

    My thought was this would highlight the contrast with the data, which suggests that you need not believe in AGW to support pro-environmental action, especially when it had certain types of (non-climate) outcomes (demonstrating a non-contrarian position).

    In saying this he is pouring gasoline on the fire. This is to generalize us, and add other insults. He unilaterally states that the data argues FOR environmental action, even if we disagree with the data. This is pretty much 180° from what we think, actually. We think that the data specifically argues AGAINST environmental action of the kind proposed. He clearly does not perceive his opposition objectively – but has fooled himself into thinking he does. He also states his opinion – evidently – that all of us are against ANYTHING pro-environmental. This is not the case at all. We all are in favor of clean water and air free from legitimate pollutants. We are all in favor of not releasing carcinogens where they can get into the ground water. We are NOT in favor of doing useless things (Kyoto) just so we can say we can socially brag that we are doing something.

    …especially when it had certain types of (non-climate) outcomes (demonstrating a non-contrarian position).

    What the bleep does this mean???? That non-climate stuff demonstrates a non-contrarian position??? What do non-climate outcomes have to do with anything?

    So in my mind we were ultimately challenging such “denier” stereotypes.

    Not even close. He had not anywhere above stated what a denier stereotype was, other than ones who disagreed on AGW (apparently as a social science, rather than as an earth science subject of inquiry).

    But because we were focused on our target audience, it is true that I naively didn’t pay enough attention to the effect the label would have on other audiences, notably skeptics.

    Which is why he failed to use the label “skeptics” and chose “deniers” instead. IOW, he meant to call skeptics “deniers”, but when the sh** hit the fan he says he was really talking about skeptics, not deniers. AS IF THERE IS A DIFFERENCE, either in our minds or his. We are skeptics. To those on his side, the term “skeptic” has been increasingly abandoned in favor of “denier”, but he simply forgot to be even the slightest bit polite and catch himself before it went to the publisher. He slipped and used the term that has become rampant in the social science clique of AGW – i.e., the alarmist politico-social-science, non-technical side of climatology – the one that doesn’t care about the hard science, evidently. At least that is what he seems to be saying in this post.

    Climatology is an earth science, like geology, oceanography, glaciology, and volcanology. Can anyone tell us all what social science has to do with any of those other earth sciences? Of course, it has nothing to do with them. Climatology, though (since government MONEY has become central to it), is – evidently – all about social and political ‘stuff’ and no longer about the hard science.

    Wow. He is even admitting it. And adding insults all the way to the bank.

    Steve Garcia

  71. Dr Bain,

    Please stop perverting the meaning of words in the language to serve only your argument.
    The antonym of believer is infidel (or unbeliever).

  72. Bryan says:

    Why use the term “denier” when there are thousands of alternative words which are not inextricably linked to an outrageous insult?
    Of course its intended to insult!
    Of course its meant to imply that if you have doubts about the causal link between increasing atmospheric CO2 and significant temperature increase you are a racist NAZI.
    Why debate with anyone who peddles such mendacious nonsense.
    They are the enemies of rational debate.
    Doctor Bain and othersof that ilk are the real inheritors of Doctor Goebbels propaganda machine.

  73. ghl says:

    “For our skeptic samples, actions that promoted warmth and economic/technological development were the outcomes of taking action that mattered to them (even if they thought taking action would have no effect on the climate)”
    I do not understand this sentence.
    Doctor, the gist of your article seems to be that the science does not matter, what is important is to manipulate people into doing what you want them to.
    Exactly the ethics and methods of Goebbels, Doctor?

  74. Paul Carter says:

    You’d expect a psychologist would understand the impact of his own rhetoric, especially one who’d authored a paper in 2006 with the citation:
    “Conceptual beliefs about human values and their implications: Human nature beliefs predict value importance, value trade-offs, and responses to value-laden rhetoric.”
    See http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/91/2/351/

  75. Alex Heyworth says:

    I’m glad to see Dr Bain’s response, which is measured, suitably contrite and perfectly reasonable. However, there is one issue which, although it has not raised anyone’s ire, is just as concerning. This is the paper’s description of those convinced by the current evidence of the need to take action to mitigate human-caused warming as “believers”. If I were one of that group, I’d be just as insulted as anyone who has been called a denier.

  76. Steve Richards says:

    Similarly, I don’t think skeptics will convince those who endorse AGW that they are wrong anytime soon.

    Does this say it all?

    He believes that there can be no new evidence of proof that CAGW is true!

    Worse, he dismisses all of the recently reported statistical failings in many, many papers!

  77. Steve Richards says:

    Is there a citation watch facility that will allow us to see the first scientist who cites this paper?

  78. Michael Ozanne says:

    only me says:
    June 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm
    Jared wrote: “So I guess if we start calling anthropogenic global warming believers ‘satanic worshipers’ more and more increasingly then it would not be offensive?”

    From reading the screeds of many of the main NGO’s which push ‘green’ agendas, WWF, Greenpeace, Sierra Club etc, it seems that one theme they have in common is that of eugenics, reducing the population of Gaia by one means or other, often compelled. Thus, my choice for a name for those who swear by the tenets of these and similar organizations is radical eugenicists.
    /sarc
    Well what they are calling for is an internationally based communal response based on pooled resources. kind of an International Socialism, hmmm iNazis…….
    /sarc off

  79. MangoChutney says:

    @Steve Richards

    Is there a citation watch facility that will allow us to see the first scientist who cites this paper?

    Try setting up a google scholar search and have the result emailed to you – there’s nothing there yet

  80. Peter Miller says:

    The bottom line is the difference between AGW and CAGW.

    The alarmists believe sceptics/deniers do not believe in either. The truth is that most sceptics/deniers believe AGW is real, but that is not really very important and just a mildly interesting phenomenon. The magnitude (or rather, the lack of it) of AGW is masked by natural climate cycles, a concept most alarmists think is heresy.

    Sceptics/deniers recognise CAGW as being a dodgy hysterical theory dreamed up by the Global Warming industry, which is based on bad science, adjusting/cherry picking raw data, highly dubious concepts, ignoring inconvenient facts and occasional outright fraud.

    The Global Warming industry is a giant amorphous bureaucracy only found in government organisations and NGOs, which is only interested in its own self-preservation and expansion.

    As has been pointed out on numerous occasions, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever of huge feedbacks in the Earth’s climate exaggerating any minor temperature rise caused by an increase in carbon dioxide levels, nevertheless pal-reviewed alarmist papers keep being pumped out trying to perpetuate this myth.

    If it was just this, then who cares? But it is not, the problem is the husbanding of huge economic resources to tackle a non-problem. This is what sceptics/deniers object to; an irrational policy which requires the deliberate beggaring of the western world’s economies for no reason whatsoever.

    Dr Paul Bain misses the point entirely.

  81. David, UK says:

    Tom G(ologist) says:
    June 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Thank you Dr. Bain. A very well-put and noble response. I appreciate being separated from the true ‘denier’ type.

    Ugh. That has to be the most weasely comment I have read or heard in a long time. *shudders*

    As for Dr. Bain – I find your words completely disingenuous.

    My thought was this would highlight the contrast with the data, which suggests that you need not believe in AGW to support pro-environmental action…

    OK, so clearly these are the words of an activist, not a scientist. And here:

    Actually, the paper is not about changing anyone’s mind on whether anthropogenic climate change is real. [...] I am approaching this as a social/societal problem rather than as an “AGW reality” problem.

    Activism, pure and simple. And here:

    So if policies are going to be put in place (as many governments are proposing), what kinds of outcomes would make it at least barely acceptable for the most people?

    Politics. The question of whether dangerous AGW is happening is apparently not in question – the science must be “settled,” I guess?

    Dr. Bain, when did you cease to be a scientist with an enquiring mind, and become a politically-driven activist?

    …how do you find a workable solution that at least partly satisfies the most people?

    It is not the job of science to “satisfy the most people.” That’s politics (again). I refer you back to Jo Nova’s request: give us empirical evidence. That’s all the sceptics require. THAT is how we are satisfied.

  82. David Cage says:

    I wonder if he would be equally accepting of our term for climate scientist of “arrogant , ignorant overconfident incompetent [snip . . kbmod]“. We non believers all understand who we are referring to and need no further explanation.
    What would ask him is why we should have to put up with this superior attitude from a group with a near 100% failure rate? We have been told for decades the science was proven but in the last few years we have had so many proven cases of natural sources of greenhouse gases like those in the Arctic that were ignored making the original equations clearly utterly wrong. Admit it, we are not deniers we are merely normal people with expectations a decent level of performance from our so called experts.
    We can readily be convinced by a clear demonstration that the natural sources and uses of all greenhouse gases have been properly understood. The facile and ignorant comparison of man’s gross emissions with the net remainder of these gases in the air proves to us that the so called scientists of today would never have even passed an “O” level science exam in the previous generation. If this was not enough, when a huge methane source is discovered any engineer would have been all embarrassed and admitted very shame facedly that the equations had been based on an incomplete understanding. Not so this group.They say things will be so much worse.
    Sorry but this attempt to justify your attitude makes me despise an already utterly despicable movement all the more.
    We are half way to the hundred months runaway temperature rise prediction. This model has clear cut requirements for man’s emissions and CO2 levels. Man’s emissions are lower than the estimates used , CO2 levels are higher and temperatures considerably lower.
    Please focus on our message to you.we think you are incompetent bunglers or crooks and want an independent trial of climate scientists for misrepresentation and extortion based on this so called science. If you could stand up in open court and be cleared we could have less contempt for you all. Well you did ask what it needed.
    Peer review is for those with a good performance record that engendered trust, not for climate science which has neither. We are half way to the hundred months runaway temperature rises. This model has clear cut requirements for man’s emissions and CO2 levels. Man’s emissions are lower than the estimates used , CO2 levels are higher and temperatures considerably lower. Can we at least agree that in five years any AGW supporters will be put on trial if we do not have runaway temperature rises and that all awards for any AGW climate work will be returned at that time?

  83. Michel says:

    This whole matter may deserve being called “Baingate”.
    Naively presenting an apology for a naïve but wrong use of a not so difficult to define word, Dr. Bain tries to explain that it is for a just “outcome”: the Nature readership will better understand it, and the proposed actions are anyway doing good for humanity.
    Is it so?
    Nature readers are supposed to have some higher education, at least in science. They probably know the differences between believers, advocates, skeptics, heretics, or deniers; and if not, they are quite capable to look for definitions. So the use of “denier” could not have been as innocent as Dr. Bain pretends. At least it is patronizing, at worst it orients the reader’s mind to a tribal reference: to be a denier is wrong (reference to the holocaust); you cannot be one of them; you must be one of us.
    This was for the part of rhetoric.

    Now in regard to “doing good even for a wrong reason”:
    Of course it is possible to produce a valuable outcome even if the author’s motivation is unfounded: he or she will have been a useful fool. This happens every time when religious beliefs are used to justify undertaking moral actions: the belief may be controversial, but the actions can prove of high general morality, such as preserving someone’s life, helping the needy, forgiving offences, etc.
    But in the climate question, this argument of “usefulness despite the lack of ground” is dangerous because the proposed actions are in competition with others, drawing from the same resources. A heretic view on climate change is that its anthropogenic factor is not that significant that any attempt at correcting it would change the change. Therefore, corrective strategies are bound to misery and adaptive ones are of the order. Such more sober view of human capabilities begins to be reflected in the current Rio summit. The developing countries don’t want to be taken hostage by the hubris developed in the industrial and post-industrial World. They request resources to improve the well-being of their people. This has a higher priority than a costly (therefore juicy) energy transition aiming at reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
    Of course warmists, as described by Dr. Bain, may become the useful fool: if for example the strategic fuel dependency from Middle-East countries would disappear this would be a great help for peace in this region. But they also can become the ultimate neo-fascists: history is full of examples where totalitarism began with “useful” proposals.

    If you think that doing the right for the wrong reason is right then you are wrong! Understood?

  84. KenB says:

    This whole issue smacks of Dr Bain , desperately wanting to be an insider believer in his exclusive version of his club adopting the concern disguise to present a solution. How to sell a pig by applying lipstick , then market as environmental lamb. The important part is selling the agenda not the actual “real” product, an appeal to create a mass deception IPPC style.

    The other odious part is the actual recognition that he believes that the insider club actually endorses such language and putdowns? So much better to engage your chosen audience with liberal doses of insider language? i.e. the Gentleman’s club where women are the subject of scorn. The rich person’s club where it is permissible to slate the unwashed poor, the Klan club where blacks can be mocked or slighted, for what? the colour of their skin?. Do I need to cite more stereotypical examples?

    This is what happens when you write to the lowest common denominator of the group you believe thinks just like you do, the insiders view, the clubby clique. Then when you are exposed as a bigot or worse, and even those insiders, turn on you for the crass exposure of the inner working of the club, then you try and justify and reframe what you were doing!

    This is especially so when your club prides itself in self righteous indignation and on record painting its social opposition as uncultured, deceptive, shills,. Your article exposes your insiders as guilty of the same hypocritical behavior and beliefs, so rightly cops a spray.

    That is not science, its social engineering by deception and you have been well and truly caught out.

  85. Chris Wright says:

    I’m a sceptic (both on Europe, religion and climate change) and I’m proud of it. To me, scepticism means that you don’t believe something to be true simply because it comes from authority. It means that you demand the evidence and proof. But if the proof is there, then no problem, I would be happy to accept it.
    In his execrable BBC program, ‘Science Under Attack’, Paul Nurse comes over as unquestioning and gullible. He allows a senior NASA scientist to tell an outrageous and demonstrable lie (that mankind emits 7 times more CO2 than nature). Repeatedly he lets the scientist make a fool of him. For example, the scientist showed a video sequence of weather imagery and the corresponding computer prediction. Of course, this was nothing to do with climate. The sequence covered just a few days. If you looked carefully, you could see the sequence was looped. It was a few day’s weather, not climate.
    But here’s the irony. Paul Nurse is the president of the Royal Society. The Royal Society’s ancient motto is: “Take no one’s word”. In other words, be sceptical.
    Of course, the very essence of science is scepticism, or it once was.
    I repeat: I’m a sceptic, and proud of it. Show me the proof. If there is proof that withstands analysis then I’ll subscribe to AGW or CAGW, or to Scientology for that matter. However, there is a small problemette: a complete lack of convincing evidence or proof for any of those things.
    At least Dr Bain says he will try not to use that word in future. I suppose that’s progress. But a proper apology would have been nice. After all, if he’s a true scientist then he’s also a sceptic.
    Chris

  86. gator69 says:

    I wonder what his rationale for using the ‘N’ word would look like?

  87. David says:

    temp says:
    June 20, 2012 at 9:08 pm
    “That is, two sizeable groups have different views on a social issue with major policy implications – how do you find a workable solution that at least partly satisfies the most people?”

    Translated:
    How can we invent propaganda/focus tested verbiage that will shut skeptics up while we force policies on them that can completely unproven in science but we believe are “correct”.
    =======================================================
    The poor man, he simply does not wish to go back to calling his “beneficial” proposals what they are. Socialist ,facist, communist, etc. Such rule the world “Blackbeard” proposals of statist of every kind have been rejected. Now they try to cloak their agenda into a facade of “science”, and when that fails, he pleads for us to just go along for some imagined benefit, when in fact every goverment act so far has only created poverty, except for the political elitist involved, and has done virtualy zero to address real enviromental problems. As some commentors have stated, third and fourth generation nuvlear power is the only realistic alternative energy. But, as this does not require utopian fantasy statist one world political actions, it is rejected.

  88. Cold Englishman says:

    I hope readers of your blog will be able to accept my regret about the label – is all he needed to say. How many times have I pointed out on this blog that an apology which is qualified by an acre of waffle is not an apology at all, it is reasons and justifications. So no – apology not aceptable, your reasons are of no interest to me, I remain deeply insulted.

  89. Jimbo says:

    Dr. Paul Bain
    “It should also be noted that describing skepticism as denial is a term increasingly used in the social science literature on climate change…………..”

    That does not make it right. In the not too distant past different races of people were called all kinds of names and that did not make it right. Prior to World War II Jews “increasingly” had yellow stars attached to them – that did not make it right and we all now know how it all ended.

    What I loath more than anything in this world is someone trying to justify the unjustifiable. Dr. Paul Bain, please re-examine your conscience and do the right thing. If time shows that CAGW was hugely overblown your words will for ever sully your name and reputation and that of many scientific journals. Think continental drift and Lysenkoism and I think you will understand where I’m coming from.
    / END RANT

  90. hunter says:

    Not a really sincere or credible response, frankly.
    But then the article is deceptive and denigrating, so the long winded e-mail not surprising.

  91. There are two stages here, a science verification stage and a political response stage. the second is ueless if the first is wrong.
    The first is wrong.
    Names do not matter, truth in science does.

  92. beesaman says:

    So basically if you can’t win your argument fairly on the big world stage go for local action.
    That used to work prior to the internet but I doubt if it will again.

  93. feet2thefire says:

    @Mike Bromley the Kurd crossing the Alps June 20, 2012 at 9:49 pm:

    Dr. Bain: Does the term “obfuscation” ring a bell? If not, then how about “Gobbledegook”? Your response is the best attempt I’ve seen at clinging to a crumbling cliff while attempting to say everything is tickety-boo. Let’s face it. You’ve been outed, and your message is not a clarification, but a squirmy rewording of the state of thought in your ‘target audience’. Amazing.

    Mike, among many on target comments, yours stood out. Anthony said, “Bain, you got some esplainin’ to do,” and Bain esplained his way INTO more trouble AND more insults.

    Pardon my lay psychologizing, but Bain is a psychologist because he can’t do hard science, so he got into one of the soft ones, one in which no one has his feet held to the fire. (Until now.) As such he can’t even appreciate the hard sciences, what the requirements are, what constitutes solid work. There IS no solid work in psychology. He is an outsider who has no place in this discussion, except as a lay observer like most of us. But because he has ‘Dr.’ in front of his name, he gets to publish in journals, even when he isn’t qualified. Everything in psychology is squirmy and “social”, so his response to people wanting to address the hard science is to divert the issue over to the soft sciences, which is his bailiwick.

    Nobody here should be listening to anything he says – even his squirmy explanations. And all he did was dig himself in deeper. What kind of psychologist would do that?

    (BTW, in reading this, I kept asking myself, “WHY does he have to resort to bomfoggery so much?” Everything he says is weasel words and phrases.

    Kudos to all who aren’t letting him get away with weaseling.

    Steve Garcia

  94. Doc Stephens says:

    The true believers (those that accept the notion that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is probable) assume that climate change would be a non-issue if it weren’t for human activities and particularly the burning of fossile fuels. What if the “natural course of events” would lead to a cooler, or even a much colder global climate. The anthropogenic influence might even be delaying or preventing a catastrophy. All of this expensive government action might be accomplishing the opposite of their intention. This is of course hypothetical, but it illustrates the point that the true believers are hell bent to achieve a certain outcome without understanding the consequences of their actions. We’d better prepare to adapt to a much colder climate, because it’s inevitable within several hundred years, and these folks are worrying about a few degrees of warming. Wow!

  95. Aussie Luke Warm says:

    Dr Bain, you commit the climate commie sin of telling the people how they should think. HAVE A NICE DAY, BUDDY

  96. jmrsudbury says:

    “Similarly, I don’t think skeptics will convince those who endorse AGW that they are wrong anytime soon.”

    Sure. Let’s ignore defections from the believers camp of people like James Lovelock.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/23/breaking-james-lovelock-back-down-on-climate-alarm/

    Has anyone compiled a list of such people?

    Though this is not scientific, nor is the Bain paper which is as he describes, propaganda.

    John M Reynolds

  97. Ian W says:

    But the social/policy issue remains whether you believe in AGW or not.

    Dr Bain – this is not the issue. Either this was a deliberate strawman ‘debating ploy’ or you really do not understand.

    The social policy issues are:

    1. Is the warming that is taking place bad for humanity?
    – Crops are increasing deserts are ‘greening’ the grow lines are moving poleward and the accumulated cyclone energy is dropping. It would appear that warming is GOOD for humanity and this has been shown to be the case throughout history. it is cold that is bad.

    2. Is there any likelihood of runaway global warming?
    – There have been levels of CO2 higher than present there have been global climates even early in the Holocene that were hotter than present, there have been times when the poles were both ice free, there was no runaway. All the symptoms that the modelers claim are indications of potential runaway have failed to appear in reality, such as the tropospheric hotspot. So there is no observational real world evidence to support catastrophic global warming indeed the hypotheses have all so far been falsified.

    3. The ‘post normal science or precautionary principle’ We should stop what could contribute to global warming just in case it is catastrophic
    – This is obviously what Dr Blain espouses, He argues that it makes sense to pay the climate industry $billions and carry out all the $trillion changes in energy generation that were efficient, to less efficient and kill industries that might contribute to AGW as they might be contributing to what might be catastrophic global warming. This is insurance as Catastrophic AGW might be true. Unfortunately, Dr Bain there are some disasters that are already true like a child dying every 5 seconds and a mother every minute from hunger and related diseases. It is also said that a dollar could save a life. But it is more important for climate scientists to get that huge grant into “AGW that MIGHT be contributing to what MIGHT be catastrophic AGW than to ACTUALLLY save those children and mothers that are ACTUALLY dying as you read this. I think it is this putting of weasel words and the team and funding for what might be ahead of solving disasters that are actually happening that is most upsetting. You may be able to salve your consciences by using curly light bulbs or turning your lights off once a year, but I really don’t understand how you achieve that. It is becoming an inescapable conclusion that you and other non-deniers do not really consider the fact that 10 children and a mother have died just while you are reading this as something important. It is more important to the ‘non-Deniers’ to persuade ‘deniers’ that non-deniers should continue to receive $billions on research into a catastrophe that might happen and that could be adapted for, than to solve a disaster that is actually happening.

  98. a plasterers labourer says:

    “It should also be noted that describing skepticism as denial is a term increasingly used in the social science literature on climate change”
    ——————————————————
    No! You should have noted it, and wondered to yourself if social science was as irrelevant today
    as it was when it was first dreamed up.

  99. Dudley Dobinson says:

    Dr Bain’s comments/justifications reminds me of when I first started work at the age of sixteen. My manager in one of the world’s top accounting firm called me a “Bastard” and then tried to soften the remark by calling that statement a “Term of Endearment”

  100. Grey Lensman says:

    Look, the science is settled, catastrophic man made global warming is a crock,a fraud , a deception, really grand larceny.

    Debating the science and motives just will not cut the mustard. Time to act, start indicting and charging the perps, WWF, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Tides, to name a few with Fraud, Criminal deception, extortion and RICO. They are trying it with Chevron, attempting a 30 billion dollar shakedown. Time for them to reap the fruits of their labours.

  101. Paul Coppin says:

    The fact that Dr. Bain identifies a “target audience” puts the journal, its papers and its societal context firmly into the bin called marketing, not science. Acknowledging a trended readership is one thing; describing it as a “target”, unequivocally raises the flag of bias proudly for all to see. The jurnals are not, in any way, science journals. They are only marketing vehicles for specific agendas to specific audiences.

  102. philjourdan says:

    Sorry, I do not buy hogwash. Inaccurate and pejorative terms are used to denigrate, humiliate, and reject out of hand those that you chose not to engage in a debate of ideas. Bain is either a liar, or extremely lazy. Either one does not bode well for him or his publication.

  103. Bill Tuttle says:

    Saaad says:
    June 20, 2012 at 8:28 pm
    What he still doesn’t seem to grasp is that the vast majority of sceptics accept the notion of AGW, including Jo Nova. The argument is about the size of any warming and how catastrophic – or otherwise – the effects will be.

    Do we accept warming due to UHI effect? Yup — there’s measurable, empirical *proof*. Do we accept warming due to land-use change? Yup — again, because there’s measurable, empirical *proof*. Do we accept that human-produced CO2 is causing atmospheric warming? Nope — because there’s *no* proof. There are lots of projections from lots of models, but no *proof*.

    In this sense, his use of the word “denier” is not simply perjorative: it’s also completely inaccurate.

    We are not “climate change deniers” in *any* sense, because we *affirm* that the climate is changing today as it has been changing for the past umpty-hundred-million years — naturally, with no help from us.

  104. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    ATTN: PAUL BAIN
    RE : HUMANS CAN’T CAN’T CAUSE CLIMATE CHANGE

    Obtain and study a modern atlas of the world. You will come to the following conclusions:

    1. There are few humans on the earth.

    2. Humans occupy only a small portion of the earth’s surface.

    3. Humans have permanently modified from its original form an even smaller fraction of the earth surface by construction of cities, roads, dams, etc.

    4. About 50% of humans now live in urban areas.

    5. Humans are rapidly abandoning the rural areas and moving to the cities.

    6. The vast majority humans live in abject poverty.

    Consider Canada which has a population of about 33 million humans. The geograpical surface area is about 2.5 billion acres. The atlas shows most of the humans live in urban areas. In essence, Canada is an unpopulated wilderness. Ditto of Siberia, Mongolia, Australia, etc.

    The reason it appears that humans are causing “climate change” is that most daily TV broadcasts orginate from highly-populated urbans areas which experience the Urban Heat Island effect. To humans living in these areas, it appears that “global warming” is taking place.

  105. While it’s nice to see that Dr. Bain acknowledges and understands the issue with the term ‘denier’, I still take issue with the overall thrust of his argument. The gist of it seems to be that ‘action’ along the lines of government policy is inevitable and that the best course of action sociologically would be to find some ‘workable’ compromise. Unfortunately this assertion goes beyond the scope of this website and to fundamental disagreements in ideology. Dr. Bain and others who take a so called ‘pragmatist’ view of such issues would simply like to ignore or marginalize people like myself who simply disagree with the very idea that the government can do anything productive or constructive. For us, the government is something we tolerate to a certain extent, if only because admittedly the majority of the world seems to want it some form or another, but we still fundamentally disagree with the idea of using coercion to force others to do things they would otherwise not rather not do. And, to us, the governments of the world are nothing more than gangs of thieves writ large, squabbling with each other and using the product of the hard work of other to enrich themselves. To us, they are parasites.

    We find such courses of action as are being recommended inherently destructive and wasteful. To people of this ideology there is no acceptable compromise with such policies as Dr. Bain is referring to just as there would be no acceptable compromise with a rapist or a mugger. We see at these climate conferences, and rightfully so I would say, masses of parasitic ne’er do wells squabbling over how to best fleece the productive class of citizens. To us, even those of us who agree with AGW and its catastrophic consequences, the solutions presented are anathema to a free and prosperous world. And we come to that conclusion through our ideology and world experience, much as other people come to different conclusions. The difference being now that people of my ideological persuasion, once a diffuse minority, now have better communication abilities and more support and more of a community to draw on, which means you can simply walk over us and marginalize us anymore. Disagree with us all you want, we saw last century how well mass government control over the economy worked with the USSR, and to be blunt their environment was one of the most polluted and disgusting I’ve ever encountered. And our argument is that this wasn’t simply because the wrong people were in charge, but that there is a fundamental systemic problem with centrally planned economies that leads to this very outcome. You can compare East and West Germany and North and South Korea as well to get a look at what giving the government more control accomplishes.

    To us, liberty is the ideal and produces the best results. Not perfect results, no one is arguing for utopia, just the best overall. Call us right wing nut jobs, libertarians, anarcho capitalists, or whatever. Dr. Bain, you are not going to sell us on any government action because we find it inherently destructive, wasteful, and morally and ethically flawed to the core. So if you want to convince us, come up with a policy that doesn’t say we should deal with excessive heat by destroying our productive capacity to produce air conditioners. The problem isn’t with your message, it’s with the larger issue of people using AGW as the latest in a long line of excuses to push every left wing boondoggle economic nut case theory that didn’t work last century on us in this new century. And until you realize that there are people in this world who fundamentally disagree with you on certain political, economic, and sociological questions, you’re going to have problems.

  106. TonyG says:

    The way I read that, it seems the focus is more on policy than on science. Policy is political, right?

    I thought this was supposed to be science?

  107. Gail Combs says:

    June 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Dr Bain;

    1. The summation of your article and the email posted above is that having failed to convince skeptics that CAGW exists, the world should turn to alternative reasons for taking the same action…..
    ___________________________
    Thanks for expressing what I wish to say. The only thing I would like to add is Bain is not talking about science at all but about Hegel’s alleged triad: Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/05/dialectic.htm

    From his point of view we have the Thesis (CAGW) and the Antithesis (“Deniers”) so it is now time to move on to the Synthesis and thereby advance “The Cause” another step in the direction wanted by getting us to “Compromise.” In a “Compromise” a really nasty option (80% CO2 reduction) is floated so you will agree to the more “Moderate” position which is what was wanted in the first place. (Think Used Car Salesman)

    However from our point of view either the conjecture, CAGW, can be backed up with real world experimental data, (not models and tortured proxies with hidden methods and codes) or it is just a Silly WAG. So far CAGW is still sitting in the SWAG category because the classic scientific method is not being followed. Therefore Bain’s Synthesis or “Compromise” is not even on the horizon for most of us. (If you are WRONG you are WRONG so why should I compromise with liars and thieves and agree to pay them even more? )

    The worse part of the CAGW Con is more and more people are realizing that “scientists” are greedy liars interested in grant money and self-advancement more than they are science.

    I expanded on just how tarnished the name of science has become in my recent comment HERE It is pretty sad when scientists actually admit that 14.12% of their colleagues falsify data, and up to 72% for the others engage in questionable research practices. link

    I do not think the trashing of the status of science by the likes of Bain and his buddies is do civilization any good at all. However since their real goal seems to be the complete destruction of western civilization perhaps that is just one more arrow in their quiver.

  108. Owen says:

    Bain isn’t trying to mend fences, he’s trying to cover his behind because the skeptics cornered him on the use of nefarious, degrading, insulting terminology. I don’t accept his explanation for his ill advised use of the word denier. He knew what he was doing when he used the word Denier. He just never thought he’d be called on it. As for Nature, they’ve given up doing real science and are shills for the green movement. Any editor approving Bain’s drivel should be fired. The Climate Liars are bullies and thugs because they don’t have any REAL science to back their ridiculous claims.

  109. Michael Moon says:

    “Anti-environmental?” This guy is not bright enough to be taken seriously. He is the denier, denying that a rational man, confronted with a 0.7 degree C change in 150 years, and not measured accurately enough to even be sure of that, would conclude that we cannot say with any degree of certainty that anything at all has happened.

  110. Bill Yarber says:

    Let’s take a different tact:

    1) Demand that they refer to to AGW skeptics as “AGW Deniers”!

    2) Refer to AGW proponents as “Stupid AGW Gories” or “Gories” for short.

    Twenty years from now, “Gories” will be as vile as “deniers” is now.

    Bill

  111. Joe Gueck says:

    [SNIP: Maybe first-time concern trolls should avoid telling blog-owners what they should really be concentrating on and avoidbeing clever with the innuendo. -REP]

  112. Burch says:

    climate scientists who read Nature journals, most of whom hold the view that anthropogenic climate change is real.

    I’ll bet that in 1912, most geologists held the view that Alfred Wegener was wrong. This observation does nothing to prove that the journal-reading climate scientists are wrong about AGW, but it does say they have not learned from that example, and others, to take well-formulated contrary positions seriously. The unrepentant use of ad hominems says more about the attacker than the attacked.

  113. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    ATTN: PAUL BAINS
    RE: PROF. MICHAEL “THE MANGLER” MANN

    Go to the Vancouver Sun’s website and read Prof. Mann’s op-ed article in the June 8 issue. No reputable scientist would use the inflamatory word “denier”. We would never use this word in polite private conversation and in public discourse even against our academic enemies.

    Never in my fifty year career as a scientist, researcher and teacher, have I encountered such an arrogant, condensing egomanic such as Prof Michael “The Mangler” Mann, a despicable and scurrilous
    white-coated welfare queen and scientific mobster. All mobsters have nicknames. I have given him the nickname “The Mangler” because we all know how he “mangles” empirical data.

  114. catweazle666 says:

    >>“But because we were focused on our target audience, it is true that I naively didn’t pay enough attention to the effect the label would have on other audiences, notably skeptics.”<<

    So if I'm writing a piece for 'White Supremacists' Weekly', I am at liberty to sprinkle it with the kind of racial epithets that are commonly used by White Supremacists, am I?

    I don't think so, somehow.

    Weak, Dr. Bain. Very weak.

  115. garymount says:

    Good news, Canadian youth not listening to Bain;
    Generation Y Carrying Canadian Luxury Market, Boosts Sales In Dining, Travel, And Fashion

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/06/19/generation-y-spending-habit_n_1610122.html

  116. more soylent green! says:

    I’d like to propose a counter-paper to Dr. Bain: How do we get people to focus on real environmental problems instead of trying to get them to fight a non-existent boogey man?

  117. more soylent green! says:

    BTW: What is the “social problem” Dr. Bain is trying to address? Is the problem the questioning of authority? That people won’t acquiesce to waste their time and treasure solving a problem that nobody can prove actually exists?

  118. Richard M says:

    Dr. Bain fits one of two descriptions:

    1) He knows it’s all a crock but he’s willing to sell his soul to reap the monetary rewards.
    2) He has fallen hook, line and sinker for the propaganda. In other words, a fine example of a ‘userful idiot”.

    So, Dr Bain, which is it?

  119. mkelly says:

    “But the social/policy issue remains whether you believe in AGW or not.”

    No it does not. If AGW is not happening then there is no social/policy issue at all.

    They prepare for warmth which is the opposite of what will really harm us.

  120. dylan cram says:

    The alarmists are actively trying to invoke fear in the population, with the intention to use that fear to further a political agenda. Isn’t there a word out there that means EXACTLY that? Terrorism. If I am a denier, then they are terrorists.

  121. Ed Barbar says:

    People may take umbrage over the”D” word, but what about the term “temperature anomaly?”
    Here’s what anomaly means:

    1. Deviation or departure from the normal or common order, form, or rule.
    2. One that is peculiar, irregular, abnormal, or difficult to classify:

    Climate scientists are using sociology-engineering terms even here. The temperature goes up, it’s anomalous. Temperatures goes down, it’s anomalous. We are living in an abnormal age. Same for sea ice, or whatever else they measure. It also implies there is s “normal.” Is that in evidence? I don’t think so. It’s whatever the Climate Scientists say it is.

  122. henrythethird says:

    “…But because we were focused on our target audience, it is true that I naively didn’t pay enough attention to the effect the label would have on other audiences, notably skeptics. Although I hope this helps explain our rationale for using the term, I regret the negative effects it has had and I intend to use alternative labels in the future…”

    He just doesn’t get it. The fact that you have to use ANY labels to discuss those who question the “science” of ANTHROPOGENIC global warming (aGW) is the problem.

    True scientists look at both sides of an issue with an open mind. They don’t find ways to label their critics.

  123. Tim Erney says:

    [blockquote]So we were using a term that is known, used, and understood in the target audience, but which we thought involved a stronger negative stereotype (e.g. being anti-environmental, contrarian) than skeptic.[/blockquote]

    That would be propaganda, not science. Funny how AGW proponents blur the line between science and propaganda then trip over themselves while backpedaling after getting called out on it.

    For the record, I love nature. I’m all for conservation and creating systems that allow the human race to continue with a technological society while maintaining a clean and healthy environment indefinitely, but I’m also skeptical of catastrophic AGW. Now there’s a “target audience” you should pay attention to.

  124. Bill Tuttle says:

    mkelly says:
    June 21, 2012 at 6:50 am
    “But the social/policy issue remains whether you believe in AGW or not.”

    The policy issue is global wealth redistribution, and there’s more than enough proof of that.

  125. Darren Potter says:

    “I am approaching this as a social/societal problem rather than as an “AGW reality” problem. That is, two sizeable groups have different views on a social issue with major policy implications – how do you find a workable solution that at least partly satisfies the most people?”

    How is this for a workable solution: those who have promoted AGW for their benefit, whether it be for profit by way of Solyndra, sales of CFLs via demise of incandescent bulbs, taxpayer funded research or positions – are arrested and prosecuted under RICO or for fraudulent use of Government funds (taxpayer $)?

    Forget this non-sense about meeting in the middle, we so called ‘D’ers are mad as ‘H’ about the AGW scam, Cap-n-Tax, and Greenie Tree-hugging gone inane. People like Gore, Hansen, and Mann need to be held accountable for their crimes against the global mankind.

  126. dcfl51 says:

    Dr Bain, you argue that pro-environment policies are desirable in their own right and that we might achieve common ground on such policies. The reduction of CO2 emissions is not a pro-environment policy unless you can show that increased levels of CO2 are bad. But more CO2 is good for plant life, which is at the base of all food chains. The only evil arising from more CO2 is the hypothesised warming of the Earth to dangerous levels. This is why resolution of the scientific debate on the CAGW global warming hypothesis is a necessary precursor to any action.

    We should not adopt the reduction of CO2 emissions as a desirable policy “just in case” because it is NOT a cost-free option. I am not just talking about the wasting of resources, the raising of energy costs and the jeopardising of continuity of energy supply in the developed economies. In developing countries, increases in starvation because of the diverting of corn from food to biofuels is real, is new, and is a direct consequence of the policies you evidently support. Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace claims that in underdeveloped countries 2 million people per year die from inhaling smoke as they are forced to heat their homes and cook using wood fires. I would suggest that the amelioration of such poverty is probably impossible without fossil fuel electrification.

    By the way, I am not a climate change denier. I am a catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) skeptic with the emphasis on the ‘C’ and the ‘A’.

  127. John Greenfraud says:

    These Malthusian nut-jobs are the modern day equivalent of sandwich placard carrying doomsayers. It’s pretty hard to stomach being called names by childish folks that should be on a psychiatrists couch instead of trying to tell us what to do. This was a purposeful act, so your non-apology is not accepted Dr. Bain.
    Just what part of your climate models have failed, and your CAGW hypothesis has been debunked, do you not understand?

  128. Downdraft says:

    There is still a lack of understanding by CAGW proponents of the position of most skeptics. Whether it is intentional or not is debatable. The use of the word “denial” is, in my opinion, an intentional effort to cast anyone not in the CAGW camp in as bad a light as possible. What do they think skeptics are in denial about? I have always felt that it is the CAGW proponents who are in denial. They deny that climate changes, that there are problems with the Hockey Stick, that no amplification is evident, that the models are wrong, that sea level rise is not accelerating, and a host of other things. Paul Bain simply fabricated a study full of confirmation biases to heap more ridicule on anyone not in his CAGW camp. What he did was propaganda, not science of any type.

  129. Gail Combs says:

    Ian W says: @ June 21, 2012 at 4:24 am
    …..it is more important for climate scientists to get that huge grant into “AGW that MIGHT be contributing to what MIGHT be catastrophic AGW than to ACTUALLLY save those children and mothers that are ACTUALLY dying as you read this. I think it is this putting of weasel words and the team and funding for what might be ahead of solving disasters that are actually happening that is most upsetting….
    _____________________________
    I agree with you. The “Social Justice Activists” are SAYING they are all about what is good for humanity, but in every instance I can think of the result is DEATH. From the early socialist experiment of the Pilgrims in the Plymouth Colony where the governor of the colony, William Bradford, reported that the colonists went hungry for years, because they refused to work in the fields. to the present day North Korea.

    Governor William Bradford at least was not corrupt. “…in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of famines…”

    You would thing after four hundred years of experimenting with “Socialism” and having it fail each time people would finally give up. If the pilgrims, a religious group, couldn’t make it work you would think it should have been tossed into the dustbin of history right then and there. The problem is “Socialism is very seductive to a variety of people for different reasons and therefore is a great weapon for would be dictators.

    In his ‘History of Plymouth Plantation,’ the governor of the colony, William Bradford, reported that the colonists went hungry for years, because they refused to work in the fields. They preferred instead to steal food. He says the colony was riddled with “corruption,” and with “confusion and discontent.” The crops were small because “much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable.”

    …They began to question their form of economic organization.

    This had required that “all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means” were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, “all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock.” A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed.

    This “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that “young men that are most able and fit for labor and service” complained about being forced to “spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children.” Also, “the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak.” So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate….
    The Great Thanksgiving Hoax

    That the United Nations is again pushing a form of “socialism” (with them in control of course) shows they have a hidden agenda, the destruction of freedom and the subjugation of the masses, because “Socialism” the holding of property in common, never works without some sort of force to make people work. I rather be bribed with a pay check than threatened with a Labor Camp.

    H.L. Mencken had it right “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”

  130. TRM says:

    ” Graeme W says: June 20, 2012 at 8:00 pm
    The simplest one is to promote energy efficiency in a cost-effective way. That is, find ways that save people money through reducing their energy consumption.”

    That makes perfect sense unless that isn’t the goal. If you can stay warm/cool, get to work and back, have a nice lawn etc etc etc but it costs you less most people would be in favor of that. The problem is that those promoting AGW do NOT want everyone to get hundreds of dollars in extra cash yearly. They want the government to collect hundreds from everyone every year.

    The goal is not to improve efficiency. It is to justify new taxation.

  131. rgbatduke says:

    It is pointless to point this out as I doubt Paul will read it (but I’ll do it anyway).

    The tragic thing about the thoughtless use of a stereotype is that it reveals that you really think of people in terms of its projected meaning. In particular, even in your response you seem to equate the term “skeptic” with “denier of AGW”.

    This is silly. On WUWT most of the skeptics do not “deny” AGW, certainly not the scientists or professional weather people (I myself am a physicist) and honestly, most of the non-scientist skeptics have learned better than that. What they challenge is the catastrophic label and the alleged magnitude of the projected warming on a doubling of CO_2. They challenge this on rather solid empirical grounds and with physical arguments and data analysis that is every bit as scientifically valid as that used to support larger estimates, often obtaining numbers that are in better agreement with observation. For this honest doubt and skepticism that the highly complex global climate models are correct you have the temerity to socially stigmatize them in a scientific journal with a catch-all term that implies that they are as morally reprehensible as those that “deny” that the Nazi Holocaust of genocide against the Jews?

    For shame.

    Seriously, for shame. You should openly apologize for the use of the term, in Nature, and explain why it was wrong. But you won’t, will you… although I will try to explain why you should.

    By your use of this term, you directly imply that I am a “denier”, as I am highly skeptical of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (not just “anthropogenic global warming”, which is plausible if not measurable, although there are honest grounds to doubt even this associated with the details of the Carbon Cycle that remain unresolved by model or experiment). Since I am a theoretical physicist, I find this enormously offensive. I might as well label you an idiot for using it, when you’ve never met me, have no idea of my competence or the strength of my arguments for or against any aspect of climate dynamics (because on this list I argue both points of view as the science demands and am just as vigorous in smacking down bullshit physics used to challenge some aspect of CAGW as I am to question the physics or statistical analysis or modelling used to “prove” it). But honestly, you probably aren’t an idiot (are you?) and no useful purpose is served by ad hominem or emotionally loaded human descriptors in a rational discussion of an objective scientific question, is there.

    Please understand that by creating a catch-all label like this, you quite literally are moving the entire discussion outside of the realm of science, where evidence and arguments are considered and weighed independent of the humans that advance them, where our desire to see one or another result proven are (or should be) irrelevant, where people weigh the difficulty of the problem being addressed as an important contributor (in a Bayesian sense) to how much we should believe any answer proposed — so far, into the realm where people do not think at all! They simply use a dismissive label such as “denier” and hence avoid any direct confrontation with the issues being challenged.

    The issue of difficulty is key. Let me tell you in a few short words why I am a skeptic. First of all, if one examines the complete geological record of global temperature variation on planet Earth (as best as we can reconstruct it) not just over the last 200 years but over the last 25 million years, over the last billion years — one learns that there is absolutely nothing remarkable about today’s temperatures! Seriously. Not one human being on the planet would look at that complete record — or even the complete record of temperatures during the Holocene, or the Pliestocene — and stab down their finger at the present and go “Oh no!”. Quite the contrary. It isn’t the warmest. It isn’t close to the warmest. It isn’t the warmest in the last 2 or 3 thousand years. It isn’t warming the fastest. It isn’t doing anything that can be resolved from the natural statistical variation of the data. Indeed, now that Mann’s utterly fallacious hockey stick reconstruction has been re-reconstructed with the LIA and MWP restored, it isn’t even remarkable in the last thousand years!

    Furthermore, examination of this record over the last 5 million years reveals a sobering fact. We are in an ice age, where the Earth spends 80 to 90% of its geological time in the grip of vast ice sheets that cover the polar latitudes well down into what is currently the temperate zone. We are at the (probable) end of the Holocene, the interglacial in which humans emerged all the way from tribal hunter-gatherers to modern civilization. The Earth’s climate is manifestly, empirically bistable, with a warm phase and cold phase, and the cold phase is both more likely and more stable. As a physicist who has extensively studied bistable open systems, this empirical result clearly visible in the data has profound implications. The fact that the LIA was the coldest point in the entire Holocene (which has been systematically cooling from the Holocene Optimum on) is also worrisome. Decades are irrelevant on the scale of these changes. Centuries are barely relevant. We are nowhere near the warmest, but the coldest century in the last 10,000 years ended a mere 300 years ago, and corresponded almost perfectly with the Maunder minimum in solar activity.

    There is absolutely no evidence in this historical record of a third stable warm phase that might be associated with a “tipping point” and hence “catastrophe” (in the specific mathematical sense of catastrophe, a first order phase transition to a new stable phase). It has been far warmer in the past without tipping into this phase. If anything, we are geologically approaching the point where the Earth is likely to tip the other way, into the phase that we know is there — the cold phase. A cold phase transition, which the historical record indicates can occur quite rapidly with large secular temperature changes on a decadal time scale, would truly be a catastrophe. Even if “catastrophic” AGW is correct and we do warm another 3 C over the next century, if it stabilized the Earth in warm phase and prevented or delayed the Earth’s transition into cold phase it would be worth it because the cold phase transition would kill billions of people, quite rapidly, as crops failed throughout the temperate breadbasket of the world.

    Now let us try to analyze the modern era bearing in mind the evidence of an utterly unremarkable present. To begin with, we need a model that predicts the swings of glaciation and interglacials. Lacking this, we cannot predict the temperature that we should have outside for any given baseline concentration of CO_2, nor can we resolve variations in this baseline due to things other than CO_2 from that due to CO_2. We don’t have any such thing. We don’t have anything close to this. We cannot predict, or explain after the fact, the huge (by comparison with the present) secular variations in temperature observed over the last 20,000 years, let alone the last 5 million or 25 million or billion. We do not understand the forces that set the baseline “thermostat” for the Earth before any modulation due to anthropogenic CO_2, and hence we have no idea if those forces are naturally warming or cooling the Earth as a trend that has to be accounted for before assigning the “anthropogenic” component of any warming.

    This is a hard problem. Not settled science, not well understood, not understood. There are theories and models (and as a theorist, I just love to tell stories) but there aren’t any particularly successful theories or models and there is a lot of competition between the stories (none of which agree with or predict the empirical data particularly well, at best agreeing with some gross features but not others). One part of the difficulty is that the Earth is a highly multivariate and chaotic driven/open system with complex nonlinear coupling between all of its many drivers, and with anything but a regular surface. If one tried to actually write “the” partial differential equation for the global climate system, it would be a set of coupled Navier-Stokes equations with unbelievably nasty nonlinear coupling terms — if one can actually include the physics of the water and carbon cycles in the N-S equations at all. It is, quite literally, the most difficult problem in mathematical physics we have ever attempted to solve or understand! Global Climate Models are children’s toys in comparison to the actual underlying complexity, especially when (as noted) the major drivers setting the baseline behavior are not well understood or quantitatively available.

    The truth of this is revealed in the lack of skill in the GCMs. They utterly failed to predict the last 13 or 14 years of flat to descending global temperatures, for example, although naturally one can go back and tweak parameters and make them fit it now, after the fact. And every year that passes without significant warming should be rigorously lowering the climate sensitivity and projected AGW, making the probability of the “C” increasinginly remote.

    These are all (in my opinion) good reasons to be skeptical of the often egregious claims of CAGW. Another reason is the exact opposite of the reason you used “denier” in your article. The actual scientific question has long since been co-opted by the social and political one. The real reason you used the term is revealed even in your response — we all “should” be doing this and that whether or not there is a real risk of “catastrophe”. In particular, we “should” be using less fossil fuel, working to preserve the environment, and so on.

    The problem with this “end justifies the means” argument — where the means involved is the abhorrent use of a pejorative descriptor to devalue the arguers of alternative points of view rather than their arguments at the political and social level — is that it is as close to absolute evil in social and public discourse as it is possible to get. I strongly suggest that you read Feynman’s rather famous “Cargo Cult” talk:

    http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm

    In particular, I quote:

    For example, I was a little surprised when I was talking to a
    friend who was going to go on the radio. He does work on cosmology
    and astronomy, and he wondered how he would explain what the
    applications of this work were. “Well,” I said, “there aren’t any.”
    He said, “Yes, but then we won’t get support for more research of
    this kind.” I think that’s kind of dishonest. If you’re
    representing yourself as a scientist, then you should explain to
    the layman what you’re doing–and if they don’t want to support you
    under those circumstances, then that’s their decision.

    One example of the principle is this: If you’ve made up your mind
    to test a theory, or you want to explain some idea, you should
    always decide to publish it whichever way it comes out. If we only
    publish results of a certain kind, we can make the argument look
    good. We must publish both kinds of results.

    I say that’s also important in giving certain types of government
    advice. Supposing a senator asked you for advice about whether
    drilling a hole should be done in his state; and you decide it
    would be better in some other state. If you don’t publish such a
    result, it seems to me you’re not giving scientific advice. You’re
    being used. If your answer happens to come out in the direction the
    government or the politicians like, they can use it as an argument
    in their favor; if it comes out the other way, they don’t publish
    it at all. That’s not giving scientific advice.

    Time for a bit of soul-searching, Dr. Bain. Have you come even close to living up to the standards laid out by Richard Feynman? Is this sort of honesty apparent anywhere in the global climate debate? Did the “Hockey Team” embrace this sort of honesty in the infamous Climategate emails? Do the IPCC reports ever seem to present the counter arguments, or do they carefully avoid showing pictures of the 20,000 year thermal record, preferring instead Mann’s hockey stick because it increases the alarmism (and hence political impact of the report)? Does the term “denier” have any place in any scientific paper ever published given Feynman’s rather simple criterion for scientific honesty?

    And finally, how dare you presume to make choices for me, for my relatives, for my friends, for all of the people of the world, but concealing information from them so that they make a choice to allocate resources the way you think they should be allocated, just like the dishonest astronomer of his example. Yes, the price of honesty might be that people don’t choose to support your work. Tough. It is their money, and their choice!

    Sadly, it is all too likely that this is precisely what is at stake in climate research. If there is no threat of catastrophe — and as I said, prior to the hockey stick nobody had the slightest bit of luck convincing anyone that the sky was falling because global climate today is geologically unremarkable in every single way except that we happen to be living in it instead of analyzing it in a geological record — then there is little incentive to fund the enormous amount of work being done on climate science. There is even less incentive to spend trillions of dollars of other people’s money (and some of our own) to ameliorate a “threat” that might well be pure moonshine, quite possibly ignoring an even greater threat of movement in the exact opposite direction to the one the IPCC anticipates.

    Why am I a skeptic? Because I recognize the true degree of our ignorance in addressing this supremely difficult problem, while at the same time as a mere citizen I weigh civilization and its benefits against draconian energy austerity on the basis of no actual evidence that global climate is in any way behaving unusually on a geological time scale.

    For shame.

    rgb

  132. Dale Hartz says:

    This comment may be too simple for such a distinguished fourm, but doesn’t ‘denier’ also apply to the AGW crowd who deny that natural causes also affect the global climate?

  133. Bill Illis says:

    Are the climate scientists 100% sure that global warming will be as their climate models project?

    Are they only 90% sure?

    Is it more like 50% sure?

    As soon as one invokes any important degree of uncertainty, now one has to start using empirical evidence to see if it actually happening. That is just sensible.

    That is what being a skeptic means to me.

    I don’t deny anything. I’m taking the sensible approach which the pro-AGW people have somehow self-talked themselves into believing is really a non-sensible approach.

  134. Jean Parisot says:

    ” That is, two sizeable groups have different views on a social issue with major policy implications – how do you find a workable solution that at least partly satisfies the most people? ”

    First, do no harm … The AGW proponents have to rely on strong positive feedbacks in their models and the “precautionary principle” in their social “issue” to identify a problem in need of a solution. Instead of finding problems, lets work on solutions for the problems we can identify and measure. Building a solution for a problem that cannot be measured, means it cannot be managed, and that is a social problem.

  135. Gail Combs says:

    dylan cram says: @ June 21, 2012 at 6:57 am

    ….Terrorism. If I am a denier, then they are terrorists.
    ____________________________
    Time to report Jim Hansen and Mike Mann to Janet Napolitano. Doesn’t the USA now have a Gulag for Terroists?

  136. Jean Parisot says:

    rgb – your post is excellent and will be useful. thx

  137. Gail Combs says:

    Jean Parisot says: @ June 21, 2012 at 8:56 am

    rgb – your post is excellent and will be useful. thx
    ___________________________
    I agree. I am keeping a copy of the link so I can use it as a reference. rgb, does a very nice job of explaining just how uncertain the “Science” is and how the orthodoxy could be 100% wrong with very nasty consequences.

  138. omnologos says:

    It is amazing how Dr Bain still doesn’t ‘get it’ in full. A quick retraction of the paper with republication WITHOUT the word ‘denier’ is the bare minimum at this stage.

    The results of the work are nullified by the mere fact that Dr Bain, everybody else in his team of co-authors, the peer reviewers, and the editors, obviously don’t know enough about skeptics, not even the basic idea that to use ‘denier’, as Keith Kloor has said, is like promoting a diet by using ‘fatso’.

  139. Billy Liar says:

    Bain is a worthy example of the Dunning-Kruger effect:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

    He supports a group of people who are attempting to force radical change on Western society because of their belief in a mythical threat. These same people, through numerous environmental organisations, seek to clean every picogram of ‘pollution’ from earth’s atmosphere.

    He chooses to illustrate the point of his paper:

    This is the message of our paper … … Some have described this message as naïve, but a real-world example (noted by one of our reviewers) illustrates the general point: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/19/science/earth/19fossil.html?pagewanted=all

    … with a photograph of people voluntarily eating in a room lit by candles.

    Bain, you dimwit, if you’d paid more attention to science at school you’d know why candles burn with a yellow flame! (hint for the dimwitted: it isn’t CO2)

  140. Darren Potter says:

    Dale Hartz – “but doesn’t ‘denier’ also apply to the AGW crowd who deny that natural causes also affect the global climate?”

    You can add to that; the AGW crowd’s denying of manipulating data, denying of selective graphing, denying of collusion, denying of failed models, and most importantly denying that Mother Nature has shown them to be wrong about AGW.

    The AGW crowd is in such denial, that they must continually morph their arguments and claims. Remember when AGW was merely about the claimed impact of man-made CO2 on global temperatures? Whereas we now have the U.N. using AGW to level the playing field between nations (aka social economic engineering) under control of Elitists for power and profit. As discussed here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/18/finally-somebody-comes-right-out-and-says-it-climate-world-governance-is-a-match-made-in-green-heaven/).

  141. rgbatduke says:

    rgb – your post is excellent and will be useful. thx

    You are welcome. If I had my druthers, I’d read Feynman’s Cargo Cult address out loud at the OPENING of the next AR global climate meeting, or at least selected parts of it. I’d also invite Bob Carter to give the plenary address. Finally, I’d whack them with Koutsayannis and the discovery of scaling laws in climate fluctuations, and McKittrick, showing that the GCMs underperform a random walk at predicting actual surface temperatures.

    I’d then point out that half of the presentations to be given are “given global warming of X, what are the (negative) consequences” where what they should be focussing on is what is the probability distribution of X, and what are the Bayesian priors of that assignment of probabilities. We could then work through it by the (Bayesian) numbers — how uncertain are the Bayesian priors? How does that uncertainty translate through to the presumed precision in the prediction of X?

    One basic problem with the entire issue is that the error estimation sucks. Everybody claims far more precision than they’ve really got, in part because they have almost no precision in what they claim. This is especially egregious when looking at geological data and e.g. tree ring data, where there is a high degree of multivariate uncertainty. We not only have y-axis uncertainty, and (usually ignored) t-axis uncertainty, we have a multivariate ellipsoid of uncertainty in the hyperplane of confounding variables and ignored parametric variables orthogonal to t, making the true uncertainties much larger than they are claimed. This is immediately apparent in the tree ring data — the true uncertainties are large enough that tree rings are basically meaningless as proxies of global temperature (in my opinion). Furthermore, this is almost instantly observable — all one has to do is go into an actual forest and core a large selection of trees and compare ring widths to temperature over a century, let alone five or six centuries. Sometimes they are correlated, sure. Sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes they are anticorrelated.

    This was actually acknowledged in one of the more humorous exchanges in the Climategate emails, where one of the hockey team members acknowledged ruefully that tree rings failed his kid in a science fair experiment in his own back yard, IIRC. That’s why even the CURRENT version of the hockey stick (the one with the MWP and LIA somewhat restored) presents the error estimates in very light grey so that one doesn’t notice that they are almost as large as the variance of the curve itself, and are (to be frank) probably too small by a factor of two or three as it is, given the methodology. After all we haven’t a clue as to what sea surface temperatures or (for the most part) tropical temperatures were doing in the covered interval, and the ocean covers 70% of the globe and doesn’t always move in lockstep with continental interiors or polar extremes. Basically, the error estimates are bullshit, selected so that the results appear “significant” — it would be very interesting indeed to see them justified, especially after the long process of cherrypi– uh, I mean “selecting” the data to be actually included in the reconstructions.

    There is only one unbiased way to select data for inclusion in a statistical reconstruction. Roll dice. Weight it geographically, sure, but roll the damn dice. Or do a jackknife on all of the data. That’s what I do mentally whenever I look at the actual tree ring data, and I’m sure is what McIntyre did when he first glanced at the problem. Anybody used to actually working with statistical models can fairly quic

    rgb

  142. rgbatduke says:

    …kly estimate probable error ranges and whether or not one has any prayer of getting an R-value that suggests that even a linear trend is meaningful, let alone a complex nonlinear functional form.

    rgb

  143. brokenyogi says:

    I’m not sure why there’s any controversy about using the word “denialist”. It’s not just that people use it pejoratively, it’s that the word carries a definition with it that is pejorative. The very word “denialist” means that one is denying a proven truth. It therefore contains within the very word the assumption that the denier is wrong on the facts. The use of the word “believer”, on the other hand, contains no such assumption. One can easily believe in something that is also true. But if one is a denialist, there’s simply no way that one can be denying something that is false. No one is called a denialist who says that 2+2 does not equal 5. You are only a denialist if you claim that 2+2 does not equal 4. The word only refers to people who claim that something which is clearly true, is actually false. And thus it isn’t an impartial description of someone and their world view, but prejudges the world, and the view that it is supposed to merely be describing.

    In other words, it’s a highly charged politicized description by definition, and can’t be made otherwise, because of the actual meaning of the word. There is no neutral meaning to the word, and no amount of apologetics can change that. If believer is to be used to describe one side of the aisle, the opposite side should be “non-believer”, rather than “denialist”. Or “skeptic”.

  144. DirkH says:

    Downdraft says:
    June 21, 2012 at 7:45 am
    “There is still a lack of understanding by CAGW proponents of the position of most skeptics. Whether it is intentional or not is debatable.”

    Downdraft, for years they have been mischaracterizing us as paid shills of Big Oils, and have no intention of stopping that. By now, they all believe the mischaracterization.

    They will understand us progressively LESS; not MORE, because they are neither interested in understanding our motives, nor our arguments.

    And I am, by now, no more inclined to try to educate any one of them, as it is a fruitless endeavour. They have chosen their fate – to go down in history as crooks and fr*uds.

  145. eyesonu says:

    There are a lot of very good comments regarding Bain and the ‘Believers’ tactics. There is little I could add that hasn’t been covered here at WUWT and Judith Curry’s site.

    Could Bain be viewed as a ‘Pied Piper’ for those supporting the ’cause’.

    Could he be viewed as trolling along and blowing his flute in knowing that the ‘believers’ will stroll along in support and admiration. He hopes that a skeptic will join in simply because the ‘believers’ are doing so. He has gone over the edge and we now have an opportunity to see who his followers will be.

    How many will continue to dance to Bain’s music or blow their flute after his dive over the edge? It appears that many are skeptical of his magic. Others will continue to believe in his magic and will collectively go down with him. Some are probably quietly moaning as they have been publicly exposed and are choking now on what they previously swallowed.

    I don’t like his music but he can blow his flute if he wants. It’s his flute. He can massage his message but we can see where he’s coming from. He has exposed himself and further stained Nature Climate Change. There has been a lot of hands involved in creating such a slimey mess.

  146. EM says:

    His letter seems like a long, thoughtful version of this:

    “I’m not talking about the black people here today, who are all fine, upstanding citizens. The problem is with those n****rs.”

  147. Jeremy says:

    But the social/policy issue remains whether you believe in AGW or not.

    This completely ignores the fact that the issue was raised by those who had no conclusive proof of the existence of a need for action. The continued use of the phrase “those who believe in AGW” leads me to repeatedly assert that this proposed need for political action for a non-problem is no different than any other request for political action from religious groups.

    If the pope started leading a crusade saying that Jesus Christ was returning and we must take action now to save humanity, most people, even many Catholics would likely laugh at the notion that political action must be taken on such faith-based interpretations of the future. In the armchair scientist reality we have today we have a population of citizens that consider themselves enlightened because they watch the Discovery Channel. They are hypnotized into believing they can rationally determine scientific reality because television tells them all they need to know. Combine this with a cabal of scientists who managed to manipulate their own peer-review circle to suit their needs in telling all of those enlightened people that the debate was over; We essentially have a new religion telling politics what it should be doing, I cannot see how the rational mind can being to argue with me on that point.

    But social studies people don’t seem to want to cover that interesting aspect of this debate, now do they? They take it as a given that this issue is meaningful in the first place, not some imagined doomsday that has no empirical facts to back it up. How is sociology pulling it’s weight if it is not asking the question, “are you just delusional?” I seem to recall more scientific sociologists questioning belief, why does this author pre-emptively decide that AGW is a valid political issue, and not simply a new religious belief?

  148. kim2ooo says:

    Believer:

    “I knew how easy it was to make people believe a lie, but I didn’t expect the same people, confronted with the lie, would choose it over the truth. … No amount of logic can shatter a faith consciously based on a lie.” – M. Lamar Keene The Psychic Mafia 1976

  149. Don Keiller says:

    Only three words to describe Bain’s response.
    Patronising
    Self-serving

  150. kim2ooo says:

    Without empirical evidence supporting claims…
    Without empirical evidence explaining divergences from the hypothesis…

    I think it’s safe to label CAGW’ers – “Climate Psychics”

  151. Maus says:

    If ‘Denier’ means immoral skepticism then I am perfectly happy to be branded as a societal malcontent, heretic or religious apostate. And whenever the term is trotted out it is of far more worth to hear their arguments for what moral faux pas is incurred by seeking answers patiently.

    “That is, two sizeable groups have different views on a social issue with major policy implications – how do you find a workable solution that at least partly satisfies the most people?”

    Democracy perhaps. But this is the Fallacy of Bipartisanship, in which one side has a problem they want to solve by dictating the lives of the subjects, and the other has a problem with that solution. Compromise in such affairs means only that one party gets half of what it wants while the other gets half of what it doesn’t. It is with near certain regularity that when someone starts agonizing over compromise it means that they know they’re on the losing end of popularity polls.

  152. eyesonu says:

    For any newcomers to this discussion please be advised that “rgbatduke” is Dr Robert G. Brown, PhD, a physicist at Duke University in NC. He calls it like he sees it and is well respected.

    If I got any of that wrong please correct me.

  153. eyesonu says:

    kim2ooo says:
    June 21, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Without empirical evidence supporting claims…
    Without empirical evidence explaining divergences from the hypothesis…

    I think it’s safe to label CAGW’ers – “Climate Psychics”
    ==================================

    A typo perhaps? “Climate Psychos” would be more fitting.

    I say that in jest as I am ready to be “converted”. Show me the documented evidence. All of it.

  154. Doug Eaton says:
    June 20, 2012 at 8:36 pm
    Jared wrote: “So I guess if we start calling anthropogenic global warming believers ‘satanic worshipers’ more and more increasingly then it would not be offensive?”

    I prefer the term “climate commies.”
    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    And I call them Climate Jihadis, for they are just as fanatical, unreasoning and dangerous

  155. El Gordo says:

    “There are also skeptics insisting that the issue is ONLY about the state of the science – whether AGW is real – but on this point I disagree. I am approaching this as a social/societal problem rather than as an “AGW reality” problem. That is, two sizeable groups have different views on a social issue with major policy implications – how do you find a workable solution that at least partly satisfies the most people?”

    But he has said it!
    To him AGW is NOT ABOUT THE STATE OF THE SCIENCE. IT IS ABOUT A SOCIAL SOCIETAL PROBLEM.

    To him there are two sizeable groups that have different views on a SOCIAL ISSUE with major policy implications.

    Right there he has conceded the point. He believes action is necessary to defeat the theoretical mechanism his ‘sizeable group’ has presented REGARDLESS of whether that mechanism exists or not, REGARDLESS of whether the ‘SOCIAL ISSUE’ has basis in physical reality or not.

    This statement is as clear as day. This is a faith-based issue absolutely no different than similar faith-based issues proclaimed by apocalyptic millenialists for centuries. The only seminal difference between his variety and the varieties of the past is his unwillingness to wear the same hair-shirt his ‘sizeable group’ would fit for the rest of us.

    AGW’ers are the new flagellants.

    But it is not their own backs they hope to flagellate, as shown by their un-repentant and continuing use of the very energy and technology they’d deny to the bulk of humanity.

  156. Athelstan. says:

    Smokey says:
    June 20, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Hear, Hear and well said.

  157. kim2ooo says:

    eyesonu says:
    June 21, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Hmmmm……………..Climate Psychic Psychos???

    Snickers

  158. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Both Bain’s article and his response are unadulterated crap:

    “We were focused on the main readership of this journal – climate scientists who read Nature journals, most of whom hold the view that anthropogenic climate change is real.”

    Many of us here also used to read Nature and Scientific American – until they started publishing papers based on fraudulently manipulated data and irreproducible results. The breaking point for me was when their editorial staffs became cheer leaders for scientists who routinely refused to follow the scientific method.

    “Some climate scientists who endorse AGW seem to have assumed that the way to promote action is to convince skeptics that in fact AGW is occurring, and this has not been effective.”

    We’re easy to convince. Just use empirical data and show your work.

  159. Sun Spot says:

    Paul Bain is bigot and his reply states clearly that he is OK with his bigotry.

  160. KnR says:

    ‘I am approaching this as a social/societal problem ‘ but only in the case of AGW skeptics, believers have no issues at all becasue ?
    Well becasue the authors themselves are such believers therefore the problem most be with ‘others ‘ and its such failure to believe that needs to be treated for these ‘others’ own good.
    No an usual idea , you can hear it up and down the country being said in church after church on Sunday , but its worth its nothing what so ever in science terms .

  161. more soylent green! says:

    Lesson #1 for Dr. Bain — Calling anybody a derogatory term just pisses them off!

  162. @brokenyogi says: June 21, 2012 at 10:00 a

    Indeed. “Denialist” is of the same school as the question – “When did you stop beating your wife”. Denialist means we are guilty. Without trial. It is deeply offensive, but more to the point, the thin egde of a very dangerous wedge, which others here have also pointed out. If you dehumanise your “opponent”, nasty things happen. The term “denialist” is dehumanising. Bain and his nasty mob should reflect on what they have written with a little less glee than is palpable in his o-so-reasonable response. Nothing to see here, move along. I don’t think so, Paul.

  163. @eyesonu says: June 21, 2012 at 11:34 am
    For any newcomers to this discussion please be advised that “rgbatduke” is Dr Robert G. Brown, PhD, a physicist at Duke University in NC. He calls it like he sees it and is well respected.

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////

    And this lay person thanks him for his thoughtful and clear contribution. One thing that the transition from believer to denialista has brought me is the opportunity to learn about climate, which is an endlessly fascinating subject. Sadly hijacked by ideologues.

  164. clipe says:

    Denier is so passé. “citizen scientist” is the new slur.

    http://climateaudit.org/2012/06/21/royal-society-report-on-data-sharing/#comment-338960

  165. John Whitman says:

    Paul Bain,

    If you care about our public’s /culture’s trust in the scientific community involved in climate science, you need to simply apologize for using the  ‘denier’ stereotype in your paper.

    Make it simple and short.  And quick, otherwise you are very soon to be consigned to the subjective science dustbins.

    John

  166. DHM says:

    “… describing skepticism as denial is a term increasingly used in the social science literature on climate change (e.g. in Global Environmental Change, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Routledge Handbook of Climate Change and Society), and is used informally by some within the climate science community. So we were using a term that is known, used, and understood in the target audience … ”

    Translation:” I don’t know anybody who doesn’t think like me, I never read anything written by anybody who doesn’t think me, and I don’t want to know anybody who doesn’t think like me. And anyway, all the other people in my hermetically sealed bubble use the word n______ to refer to black people, so I had no idea it was offensive.”

  167. John Whitman says:

    rgbatduke,

    I thought your comment on June 21, 2012 at 8:17 am was notable and enlightening.  Thank you.  

    John

  168. I looked up the three publications Bain refers to. Particularly obnoxious is the Routledge Handbook.

    I am distressed by these Usurpers of Science. Evidently, not just Climate Science, now it’s Social Science too. First rule in a court of law (archetypal arena of social science) is that you allow adequate space to hear defence speak for itself, and to defend itself against prosecution.

    All these “social scientists” are using the suppression tactics of usurpers. Exactly the same as Adam Corner at Bishop Hill, another “social scientist” who feels he can shut his ears when people mention science. Don’t listen to the Defence talking science! It’s too difficult to understand so we have to trust the experts! We know “the science is settled” so we don’t have to listen to those who look like they speak science (even if they are only showing evidence that nothing but problems will be created, if policy is based on bad science, useless technology, and witless economists who trust BS). Attack and mock dissenters. Make it sound legit. Say that the refusal to change opinions on both sides must arise from similar reasons (couldn’t be that official scientists are corrupt and therefore refuse to budge, and climate skeptics know the truth and therefore refuse to budge). Pretend to listen. “State” the deniers’ POV for them. Claim superior status. Elbow them out. Notch up the mocking. Notch up the subtleties of mockery.

    Above all, Never Never Allow True Open Debate.

  169. EternalOptimist says:

    I like the idea from the US civil rights era of neutralising the offensiveness by over-use.
    Such as
    ‘Hey Anthony my man, you is one mean denier. You is the baddest-ass denier in da ‘hood. You is such a far-out denier you is egyptian status. in de Nile, you are a Voodoo denier’

    mm, maybe not. it doesn’t really work in an English accent:(

  170. rgbatduke says:
    June 21, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Brilliant, an excellent study. Thank you rgb. Hope this gets raised to its own thread.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    What right do “social scientists” have, in terms of their own discipline, to refuse to listen to Counsel For The Defence (us at WUWT)?

  171. Dolphinhead says:

    RGB

    a superb post sir. I salute you.

  172. atheok says:

    Whenever I was handed a paper to analyze and that paper was structured in an obtuse or otherwise confusing structure, I’d restructure the document as statements. The points made that followed/supported/modified the statement are listed as bullets and words that support or modify the bullets are further indented and so on.

    This technique allowed me to focus on the central statement(s), and separate out modifiers and outliers. It also allows me to identify all action words and their explicit or lack of meaning. In my past, I expected projects with performance enhancements and all costs and/or paybacks explicitly defined. nebulous terms would get highlighted so the executives knew exactly what was/wasn’t promised when they met for decisions.

    To say that I sort of choked on the pretty prose above wouldn’t be excessive. I had no need to resort to my old tactics since my retirement, till now. I will NOT deconstruct all of Dr. Bain’s epistle above. The first few sentences were far more than I needed to know about Dr. Bain and his views on science and us CAGW doubters. Better phrased as “Nuff said!

    “…Comments about the use of the “denier” label are a fair criticism. We were focused on the main readership of this journal – climate scientists who read Nature journals, most of whom hold the view that anthropogenic climate change is real…”
    Or reconstructured to tease out the meanings, (my comments are in parens)
    Comments about the use of the “denier” label are a fair criticism.

    We (unknown undefined nebulous entity or entities, roughly equivalent to ‘they’)

    Were (passive) focused on the main readership of this journal. (any quantitative verifications?)

    climate scientists who read Nature journals,

    most of whom hold the view that anthropogenic climate change is real. (This sounds like hearsay; any quantitative verifications?)

    “…It should also be noted that describing skepticism as denial is a term increasingly used in the social science literature on climate change (e.g. in Global Environmental Change, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Routledge Handbook of Climate Change and Society), and is used informally by some within the climate science community…”

    It should also be noted.

    that describing skepticism as denial is a term increasingly used in the social science literature on climate change (Against frequent public criticism delineating exactly why the term is opprobrium and offensive)

    Global Environmental Change,
    Journal of Environmental Psychology,
    Routledge Handbook of Climate Change and Society

    and is used informally by some within the climate science community. (“…by some…” you mean this is your justification that a few insult and injure many?)

    “…So we were using a term that is known, used, and understood in the target audience, but which we thought involved a stronger negative stereotype (e.g. being anti-environmental, contrarian) than skeptic…”

    So we were using a term that is known, used, and understood in the target audience, (If you mean “the team” please state that and cease insulting the rest. Posting this in an internationally read journal can only mean you intended the entire audience to read the insult.)

    but which we thought involved a stronger negative stereotype

    than skeptic

    being anti-environmental,
    contrarian).
    (So denier is meant to be in the most offensive terms, like calling them luddites?)

    “…My thought was this would highlight the contrast with the data, which suggests that you need not believe in AGW to support pro-environmental action, especially when it had certain types of (non-climate) outcomes (demonstrating a non-contrarian position)…”

    My thought was this (I do not understand what thought you are referring to)would highlight the contrast with the data, (Again, a very unclear statement. Contrast to what data and why; do you intend contrasting an insulting term with what data? Personally, I perceive this use of denier concept as tending towards oxymoronic. What am I to expect as the takeaway message in your letter for us questioning scientists reading WUWT?)

    which suggests that you need not believe in AGW

    to support pro-environmental action,

    especially when it had certain types of (non-climate) outcomes

    (demonstrating a non-contrarian position).

    (Are you trying to use phrasing that gets around stating “people who believe in proper science and scientific methods”?)

    “…So in my mind we were ultimately challenging such “denier” stereotypes. But because we were focused on our target audience, it is true that I naively didn’t pay enough attention to the effect the label would have on other audiences, notably skeptics…”

    So in my mind we were ultimately challenging such “denier” stereotypes. (The words are all vague and include power words of one stripe or another. Rather than clearing the air, they add to the confusion. What exactly do you mean; where do you make a definitive statement that the term ‘denier’ is inappropriate?)

    But because we were focused on our target audience,

    it is true that I naively didn’t pay enough attention to the effect the label would have on other audiences, notably skeptics. (What about the effect on victims of the holocaust?

    Isn’t this the ‘private club’ metaphor, similar to ‘We’re all adults here” or “We are all men here”? Ugly rhetoric is ugly rhetoric even if you thought you were cozying up to insiders in a closed world.

    This thought, approach, publishing and afterwards is indefensible. Apologies are required. That entire group of ‘insiders’ you were trying to cozy up to should be exposed for what they are.

    The deniers you are skating and dancing around are NOT those of us who are asking for background information, data, meta-data, code, calculations, results so that independent research can replicate findings. So far, there are no independent verifications or replications of the major climate science results/findings performed by those ‘few’ in-members of climate science. There are even fewer definitive findings about impacts to the earth based on the un-replicated research. Those who deserve the opprobrium ‘denier’ are those who fail to conduct or insist on honest science processes.

    So in my mind we were ultimately challenging such “denier” stereotypes.
    But because we were focused on our target audience, it is true that I naively didn’t pay enough attention to the effect the label would have on other audiences, notably skeptics.

    (Isn’t this the ‘private club’ metaphor, similar to ‘We’re all adults here” or “We are all men here”? Ugly rhetoric is ugly rhetoric even if you thought you were cozying up to insiders in a closed world.

    This thought, approach, publishing and afterwards is indefensible. That entire group of ‘insiders’ you were trying to cozy up to should be exposed for what they are.)

  173. jaschrumpf says:

    Similarly, I don’t think skeptics will convince those who endorse AGW that they are wrong anytime soon.

    The skeptics don’t have to. The data should do that for you, ultimately.

    As long as you don’t deny it.

  174. timg56 says:

    Should I ever get the urge to again take a course in physics (unlikely), I believe my choice of instructor would be Robert Brown. Though I am a Maryland grad, reading his comments has me yelling Go Dukies!

  175. Legatus says:

    We were focused on the main readership of this journal – climate scientists who read Nature journals, most of whom hold the view that anthropogenic climate change is real.
    Aaaaaand why do they believe that? Well, because anyone who does not is fired and then blackballed, because anyone who does not is silenced so that no one ever hears that they exist (never published in these selfsame magazines, all editors who do being forced to resign), and because outright lies are printed to say that they all believe it whether they do or not. Why, because there is tons of grant money involved, as well as government bureaucrats leaning on them to certify it as true because for them there is huge tons of money involved, essentially, control of all the money everywhere by controlling literally all human activity.

    Lets rephrase that, “climate propagandists who are required if they wish to hold their jobs to say that they hold the view that anthropogenic climate change is real, all contrary views having been forced out”. That phrase is the truth, the above quote is a bald faced lie (I do not use the term “disingenuous”, since it means “bald faced lie”, and is merely a cowardly cover up for that phrase that you really mean, a lie about a lie). This bald faced lie is printed as only the second sentence of this article, good start.

    Although I hope this helps explain our rationale for using the term, I regret the negative effects it has had and I intend to use alternative labels in the future.

    “Alternative labels” for the same thing, in other words, we will continue to call you deniers, we will just disguise the term, re-brand it.

    There are also skeptics insisting that the issue is ONLY about the state of the science – whether AGW is real – but on this point I disagree. I am approaching this as a social/societal problem rather than as an “AGW reality” problem. That is, two sizeable groups have different views on a social issue with major policy implications – how do you find a workable solution that at least partly satisfies the most people?

    Sooo the actual science, whether it is actually true or not, is not the issue, only selling the concept to the most people is what matters. “AGW reality” is not the problem, so, deny reality, focus elsewhere. How do we find a workable solution to a non problem, non reality, a fantasy, that is the problem. How do we sell them this very profitable lie? How do we commit “grand theft by means of deception” and get away with it?

    Whether two plus two is actually four is not the issue here, only selling the concept that it is something other than four, the “social/societal issue”, is being talked about here. In short, he says here “reality is not the issue”. Move this to the fiction isle.

    Some climate scientists who endorse AGW seem to have assumed that the way to promote action is to convince skeptics that in fact AGW is occurring, and this has not been effective.

    The issue is not if it is fact, but whether it is “effective”. In other words, he is plainly stating that reality is not the issue, only coming up with cleverer. more carefully disguised lies. The word “effective” is the key word here, and tells it all.

    So if policies are going to be put in place (as many governments are proposing), what kinds of outcomes would make it at least barely acceptable for the most people?

    Policies to do what, exactly, and why? If AGW is not reality, why put ANY policies in place at all? Should we try to make it “at least barely acceptable for the most people” if, in fact, the entire idea is nothing but a bald faced lie which will grievously harm the people if they do accept it (crash the worlds economy)?

    This is the message of our paper, and I hope readers of your blog will be able to accept my regret about the label and focus on the main message.

    In other words, I regret that I got caught saying what I really mean, I intend in the future to more carefully disguise it.

    “The main message” which is, we don’t care if AGW is “fact” or fiction, the focus of my paper is, how do we sell this more “effectively”, how do we disguise it as something else so that we can slip it past most people without them spotting it”?

    “The main message” which is, do not focus on whether AGW is reality or not, only how to “effectively” sell it.

    The main message, truth is irrelevant, what we want is more effective lies.

    This “apology” does him no credit, quite the opposite. He moves from the merely possible inadvertent insulter to a deliberate and self admitted liar, one who has stated he does not care for the truth at all (quote “whether AGW is real – but on this point I disagree”).

  176. Adrian O says:

    Bain is trying to take another (mean) shot at the public opinion.

    While people are still relatively uninformed – by no fault of their own – about how badly they have been cheated.

    As they find out, day by day, Dr. Bain and the Journal of Climate Change and most importantly the obscene funding which kept such corrupt caricatures of science afloat,

    Let’s say in the next year or so,

    Will be history.

  177. I think that this approach of “social scientists” – giving us offensive names, giving out offensive versions of what we believe, etc, without checking with us first, and agreeing the language and the statements – is a new form of racism.

    Climate Science Racism.

  178. AlexS says:

    “On WUWT most of the skeptics do not “deny” AGW, certainly not the scientists or professional weather people (I myself am a physicist) and honestly, most of the non-scientist skeptics have learned better than that. ”

    Thanks for saying most and not all, you don’t know about all “scientists and pro-weather people” so stop pretending.
    I certainly can say you don’t have anything more than a bad hacked theory to say that AGW exists at all.
    There is no evidence to support it. There is no way to measure it with any reliability.
    No one knows if there are more clouds or less and by which magnitude.
    And this is just an example of many of what you don’t know.
    Abd there is also the unknows unknows.

  179. I Am Digitap says:

    We will be satisfied when the people who confessed they believed magical treemomiturs

    analyzed using magical hockey stick math

    explain it well enough we don’t feel moved to indict on charges of funding fraud and using terror to sway political decision making in the various nations where ‘obeying the magic treemomiturs’ took the place of “funding fraud” in dictionaries.

  180. Reblogged this on contrary2belief and commented:
    The response to the “denier” tag by Dr. Robert G. Brown of Duke University must be read.

  181. Ed Barbar says:

    Reading through rgbatduke post, one of the points he mentioned is catastrophic global cooling would kill billions. And guess what. THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT. We read recently from NASA fear monger Hanson that C02 is causing the heat equivalent of 400,000 Hiroshima nuclear bombs per day. So how could humans produce that kind of energy to stop CGC (Catastrophic Global Cooling). Maybe we could produce huge amounts of methane, and throw it up in the air. How. We would be screwed.

    Meanwhile, let’s say CGW, anthropogenic or not, were occurring. It would be possible to throw up Sulfur compounds to slow it, turn it back, since these effects, their lifetime in the atmosphere, etc., are pretty well understood. If CGW were on account of human produced C02, as opposed to all the other warming events in the past, then the sulfur approach could buy all kinds of time to move to other energy sources.

  182. Peter Lang says:

    Dr. Paul Bain

    Comments about the use of the “denier” label are a fair criticism. We were focused on the main readership of this journal – climate scientists who read Nature journals, most of whom hold the view that anthropogenic climate change is real.

    In other words, you view Nature’s readership as an ‘in crowd’ of ideologues, and it is appropriate to label those who do not agree with this community of ideologues as “deniers”. Is that what climate science has come down to – Pejorative labelling of those who do not accept your beliefs?

    It should also be noted that describing skepticism as denial is a term increasingly used in the social science literature on climate change (e.g. in Global Environmental Change, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Routledge Handbook of Climate Change and Society), and is used informally by some within the climate science community.

    That is evidence that ‘climate science’ is not a real science? It has been taken over by social scientists and propagandists. It is more like an ideology or religion (funded by the state) than a science.

    but which we thought involved a stronger negative stereotype (e.g. being anti-environmental, contrarian) than skeptic.

    This statement clearly displays the authors lack of objectivity and bias.

    But because we were focused on our target audience, it is true that I naively didn’t pay enough attention to the effect the label would have on other audiences, notably skeptics.

    You are using sceptic as a pejorative label too, but ‘skeptics’ are not as bad (from your perspective) as ‘deniers’.

    Although I hope this helps explain our rationale for using the term,

    What your explanation does is reveal the ideological bias and lack of objectivity that has become ubiquitous amongst social scientists.

    I am approaching this as a social/societal problem rather than as an “AGW reality” problem.

    Nonsense. Your ideological bias and belief is displayed in most of your statements. It is clear your research cannot be objective because of your obvious bias.

    That is, two sizeable groups have different views on a social issue with major policy implications – how do you find a workable solution that at least partly satisfies the most people?

    Clearly, you should have been objective and unbiased and found out from the groups what their issues are. There are some excellent answers from conservatives on this thread http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/06/05/conservatives-who-think-seriously-about-the-planet/comment-page-4/#comment-111418

    Some climate scientists who endorse AGW seem to have assumed that the way to promote action is to convince skeptics that in fact AGW is occurring, and this has not been effective.

    This statement demonstrates you are naive beyond belief. Many accept there is some AGW (not sure of the amount), but not convinced AGW is catastrophic or dangerous. Some are concerned about the policy prescriptions advocated by the AGW activists. For most of the climate scientists and AGW activists, policy, economics, engineering and energy matters are completely outside their area of understanding, yet they want to prescribe ideologically based policies (e.g. prescribing targets and subsidies for so called ‘renewable energy’ and carbon taxes and ETS). Even IPCC recently released a major policy prescription paper advocating renewable energy – it was discredited almost as soon as it was released.

    But the social/policy issue remains whether you believe in AGW or not.

    You make the point perfectly. AGW all about belief. Just like religion.

    For our skeptic samples, actions that promoted warmth and economic/technological development were the outcomes of taking action that mattered to them (even if they thought taking action would have no effect on the climate). So our studies showed that these dimensions mattered for skeptics to support action taken in the name of addressing anthropogenic climate change. The might also be other positive outcomes of taking action we didn’t study where some common ground might be found, such as reducing pollution or reliance on foreign oil.

    It seems you didn’t try very hard to understand skeptic’s concerns. This is another statement that shows your bias. Why didn’t you mention ‘economically rational’ and ‘no regrets’ policies instead of all your ‘warm and cuddly’ policy prescriptions. In almost everything you write, your own Left ideological beliefs are revealed. How could you expect to do objective research given your Left/socialist/progressive bias.

    Overall, the findings suggest that if there was closer attention to the social consequences of policies, rather than continuing with seemingly intractable debates on the reality of AGW, then we might get to a point where there could be agreement on some action

    So why didn’t you try to find out, instead of name calling those who do not accept your ideology and your beliefs?

    Anthony Watts,

    I loved your response. Excellent. I’ll reinforce this bit:

    Even if “catastrophic” AGW is correct and we do warm another 3 C over the next century, if it stabilized the Earth in warm phase and prevented or delayed the Earth’s transition into cold phase it would be worth it because the cold phase transition would kill billions of people, quite rapidly, as crops failed throughout the temperate breadbasket of the world.

  183. CarolineW says:

    I think that the Commentary by Dr. Robert Brown should be published in Nature Climate Change journal. It makes an exhilarating read. Let the academics see it and ponder and learn. The consequences of us making progress out of the splitting into ‘deniers’ and ‘believers, or proponents’, will be better care for the planet and its peoples, not worse.

    Right now the Rio Summit is engaging in more dangerous policy decision-making about only promoting renewable energy, identified as clean and green, when in reality if we allow industrial scale renewables to smother our world, instead of using clean new nuclear, we WILL be harming the planet! Directly as a result of claims from climate science which to date has focused only on the effects of GHG’s! We MUST broaden our horizons of thought and this piece of writing from Robert Brown is an outstanding contribution. Please dare to put it into the Nature Climate journal for the sake of everyone’s integrity.

  184. Gail Combs says:

    Ed Barbar says: @ June 21, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Reading through rgbatduke post, one of the points he mentioned is catastrophic global cooling would kill billions. And guess what. THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT….
    _____________________________
    And that is the critical issue. As the geologists will tell you it is not a matter of IF but of WHEN and we are at the tail end of the Holocene with the temperatures gradually trending down. GRAPH: last 10,000 yrs – Greenland Ice Core

    If Dr. Paul Bain wants to talk about the “precautionary principle” then we as a civilization should be preparing for cold not warm, although I sometimes think the elite are doing just that by making sure that most of the Great Unwashed have no hope of surviving by depriving them of technology, energy and transportation.

    The end of the Holocene is discussed in The End Holocene, or How to Make Out Like a ‘Madoff’ Climate Change Insurer

    ….In discussing the Late Eemian Aridity Pulse (LEAP) at the end-Eemian, Sirocko et al (A late Eemian aridity pulse in central Europe during the last glacial inception, nature, vol. 436, 11 August 2005, doi:10.1038/nature03905, pp 833-836) opine:

    “Investigating the processes that led to the end of the last interglacial period is relevant for understanding how our ongoing interglacial will end, which has been a matter of much debate…..”

    “The onset of the LEAP occurred within less than two decades, demonstrating the existence of a sharp threshold, which must be near 416 Wm2, which is the 65oN July insolation for 118 kyr BP (ref. 9). This value is only slightly below today’s value of 428 Wm2. Insolation will remain at this level slightly above the inception for the next 4,000 years before it then increases again.”

    Now that is some bombshell! We may only have about the next 4,000 years, a little less than half the time since we “Homos” learned how to write, where climate sensitivity will be alarmingly close to glacial inception.

    That is one opinion. here is another.

    Lesson from the past: present insolation minimum holds potential for glacial inception (2007)

    “Because the intensities of the 397 ka BP and present insolation minima are very similar, we conclude that under natural boundary conditions the present insolation minimum holds the potential to terminate the Holocene interglacial. Our findings support the Ruddiman hypothesis [Ruddiman, W., 2003. The Anthropogenic Greenhouse Era began thousands of years ago. Climate Change 61, 261–293], which proposes that early anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission prevented the inception of a glacial that would otherwise already have started….

    So what was happening in the solar cycles before the nose dive during cycle 24?

    Solar activity reaches new high – Dec 2, 2003

    ” Geophysicists in Finland and Germany have calculated that the Sun is more magnetically active now than it has been for over a 1000 years. Ilya Usoskin and colleagues at the University of Oulu and the Max-Planck Institute for Aeronomy say that their technique – which relies on a radioactive dating technique – is the first direct quantitative reconstruction of solar activity based on physical, rather than statistical, models (I G Usoskin et al. 2003 Phys. Rev. Lett. 91 211101)

    the Finnish team was able to extend data on solar activity back to 850 AD. The researchers found that there has been a sharp increase in the number of sunspots since the beginning of the 20th century. They calculated that the average number was about 30 per year between 850 and 1900, and then increased to 60 between 1900 and 1944, and is now at its highest ever value of 76.

    “We need to understand this unprecedented level of activity,” Usoskin told PhysicsWeb.”

    paper: http://cc.oulu.fi/~usoskin/personal/Sola2-PRL_published.pdf

  185. Grey Lensman says:

    Simple fact

    RGB post, is the post of the year

  186. Myrrh says:

    Will be history.

    Lucy Skywalker says:
    June 21, 2012 at 5:19 pm
    I think that this approach of “social scientists” – giving us offensive names, giving out offensive versions of what we believe, etc, without checking with us first, and agreeing the language and the statements – is a new form of racism.

    Climate Science Racism.

    ====
    I’m rather taken with Climate Science Voodoo – as Greg House points out they have dug up a corpse and re-animated it: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/20/lord-leach-of-fairford-weighs-in-on-natures-denier-gaffe/#comment-1015045

    ======================

    rgbatduke says:
    June 21, 2012 at 8:17 am
    It is pointless to point this out as I doubt Paul will read it (but I’ll do it anyway).

    The tragic thing about the thoughtless use of a stereotype is that it reveals that you really think of people in terms of its projected meaning. In particular, even in your response you seem to equate the term “skeptic” with “denier of AGW”.

    This is silly. On WUWT most of the skeptics do not “deny” AGW, certainly not the scientists or professional weather people (I myself am a physicist) and honestly, most of the non-scientist skeptics have learned better than that. What they challenge is the catastrophic label and the alleged magnitude of the projected warming on a doubling of CO_2. They challenge this on rather solid empirical grounds and with physical arguments and data analysis that is every bit as scientifically valid as that used to support larger estimates, often obtaining numbers that are in better agreement with observation. For this honest doubt and skepticism that the highly complex global climate models are correct you have the temerity to socially stigmatize them in a scientific journal with a catch-all term that implies that they are as morally reprehensible as those that “deny” that the Nazi Holocaust of genocide against the Jews?

    Unless of course, that’s exactly what he meant, that “you seem to equate the term “skeptic” with “denier of AGW”.

    That’s exactly what Singer said. He called us deniers. He wasn’t at all bashful about it, setting himself and other warmists like you up as the “true skeptics”. Monckton too thinks us deniers for saying the physics of AGW is junk. While himself making a big show of heroic martyrdom about being called deniers by the CAGW crowd.

    Maybe the truth here is that those like Paul Bain don’t actually give a toss what you non-CAGW warmists think, you’re just deviants from the true faith of the believers merely arguing about the nuances of your doctrines, about how many carbon dioxide molecules there could be dancing on a pin head, and, they don’t give a damn about the doctrines anyway.

    It’s only the likes of Singer and Monckton and you generic AGW’s here who get offended at the word denier by assuming it is directed at you – so you spend inordinate amounts of time showing that you’re not denying AGW but CAGW in your on going effort to make yourselves relevant here. You’re not. The denier label isn’t up for grabs by those who want to go through the supposed angst of being victim, get yourselves something else to occupy your time, or – take up arms, verbal science argument, on behalf of those who are really being called deniers here. Those who deny AGW.

    Those who deny that AGW exists. Those who deny the Greenhouse Effect exists.

    And while you’re at it, provide the science for your AGW claim:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/18/natures-ugly-decision-deniers-enters-the-scientific-literature/#comment-1014966

    Myrrh says:
    June 21, 2012 at 3:48 pm
    Greg House says:
    June 20, 2012 at 8:17 am
    Myrrh says:
    June 20, 2012 at 4:43 am
    the second statement, “Without any feedbacks, a doubling of CO2 (which amounts to a forcing of 3.7 W/m2) would result in 1 °C global warming”, where has this been shown? I’ve never seen any experimental or logical reasons for the second statement…
    ====================================================
    The 3.7 W/m2 looks like a dirty little secret of the AGW people to me. Interestingly, even moderate/skeptical warmists are not willing to question that number, from my experience. Some of them simply refer to the IPCC as a source, just like that!

    Not only don’t they question it, but when asked to produce something even a bit logical and empirical to back up this claim and other memes reguritated without due consideration – they get uppity.
    ==========

    Do have a try, without getting uppity..

  187. quidsapio says:

    I find Dr Bain’s explanations and amplifications of his letter more worrying than the letter itself in a way. Less because of his own POV but because of what he points up – and doesn’t critique – about the way AGW theory is currently being processed. I’ve said more on my blog, for what it’s worth.

  188. E.M.Smith says:

    My response to the ‘letter’ is here:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/response-to-paul-bain/

    Some folks have liked it, per the responses in another thread.

    I do find the note from RGB rather remarkable in the depth, clarity, and effectiveness. Bravo.

  189. Duke of Deniers Dr. Lumpus Spookytooth, phd. says:

    I really do not see why anybody is worried about the denier label. The whole veiled reference to holocuast denial is a typical left wing false association tactic. I rather like the distinction of denier because when history shows me to be right, it can easily be pointed out that I was in the denier camp. And think about it, none of the alarmists ever ask us what we are denying in the first place.

    I think the people who believe in CAGW are idiots, the joke is on them if you ask me.

  190. Slartibartfast says:

    “N*****” was once a perfectly acceptable label for people of a certain skin tone. By this man’s logic, no one should have any problem at all if that label were to see further use.

    [Moderator's Note: Even in this context that word is very offensive. The point is valid, but the word is not. -REP]

  191. atheok says:

    rgbatduke
    That is a truly wonderful reply, Dr. Robert G. Brown of Duke University! My post pales even in the shadow of your post.

    Would you mnd if I kept a copy of your reply? Not to publish, but to occasionally forward to CAGW delusional friends when they get hung up on anyone questioning consensual science. I will keep full attribution to you and Anthony’s WUWT.

  192. Ian says:

    I found Dr Bain’s email very unnerving as it confirms my suspicion that the science behind CAGW has been thoroughly perverted by social activism. As pointed out by Dr Brown’s reasoned response, the enthusiastic corruption of the scientific method in the name of advancing an particular political agenda, means we the people now have no where to turn to for unbiased, trusted scientific reporting. Clearly Nature has become a political vehicle if Dr Bain can assert that the use of the ‘D’ word is completely fine when you take its readership into consideration. Science is not a popularity contest and as such, ‘consensus’ should be irrelevant. It only takes one scientist to prove the earth is not flat….

  193. Robert Brown says:

    Would you mnd if I kept a copy of your reply? Not to publish, but to occasionally forward to CAGW delusional friends when they get hung up on anyone questioning consensual science. I will keep full attribution to you and Anthony’s WUWT.

    Sure. If I post in a public blog it is hardly a secret, right?

    rgb

  194. Jack Cowper says:

    Thank you Dr. Robert G. Brown

    That was an excellent read.

  195. Bill Price says:

    I am concerned about the Environmental Intelligencia that does not seem to care about the tens of thousands of taxpaying citizens that will be ruined by imposing SLR Land Use Planning.
    Certainly there are situations where it is prudent to base decisions on the preponderance of the evidence ,,, but shouldn’t the evidence be verifiable, not Consensus Science ?
    In North Carolina, the CRC’s Science Panel scientists , will not answer questions, and will not participate on an Open Public Forum to explain their beliefs, yet they insist that their Recommended Policy be implemented?
    Very discouraging.
    Bill Price Pine Knoll Shores

  196. Mike Jowsey says:

    The update of the article with Dr. Brown’s comment does not correctly italicize the entire quote of Feynman – all three paragraphs should be italicized, to avoid confusing the easily confused such as myself ;)

  197. James Carroll says:

    No, Dear Dr. Bain, it is Not acceptable in any sphere to correlate or interchange the terms or concepts of skepticism with [sic]denial; scientific, social “societal,” or other otherwise.

    That Nature magazine has allowed this to be published in the first place is preposterous, and shameful, and reeks of the type of bias that our adversaries attribute to us. If hypocrisy and semantic games are all that is left within the CAGW camp, they are utterly, completely, and totally- bankrupt.

    It WAS all about the Science, naturally, until the ‘science’ was proven to be doctored and tampered with, then it was all about the children and the polar bears, or whatever the flip, until that tin horn ceased to have any effect, and now (gasp) – it’s all about the Vocabulary?

    Thank You, Dr. Bain, for answering the “timeless question” asked of all men who oppose good sense with bad rhetoric; you have No shame, Sir, and that… is the least of your tragedies.

    Good Day

  198. James Carroll says:

    No, my Dear Dr. Bain, it is Not acceptable in any sphere to correlate or interchange the terms or concepts of skepticism with [sic]denial; scientific, social “societal,” or otherwise.

    That Nature magazine has allowed this to be published in the first place is preposterous, and shameful, and reeks of the type of bias that our adversaries attribute to us. If hypocrisy and semantic games are all that is left within the CAGW camp, they are utterly, completely, and totally- bankrupt.

    It WAS all about the Science, naturally, until the ‘science’ was proven to be doctored and tampered with, then it was all about the children and the polar bears, or whatever the flip, until that tin horn ceased to have any effect, and now (gasp) – it’s all about the Vocabulary?

    Thank You, Dr. Bain, for answering the “timeless question” asked of all men who oppose good sense with bad rhetoric; you have No shame, Sir, and that… is the least of your tragedies.

    Good Day

  199. atheok says:

    “Robert Brown says:
    June 22, 2012 at 11:32 am
    Would you mnd if I kept a copy of your reply? Not to publish, but to occasionally forward to CAGW delusional friends when they get hung up on anyone questioning consensual science. I will keep full attribution to you and Anthony’s WUWT.

    Sure. If I post in a public blog it is hardly a secret, right?

    rgb”

    Thank you Dr. Brown! And many thanks to Anthony!

    Requesting permission to keep and share a beautiful piece of prose, that firmly delivers a direct message without hurt to all involved has nothing whatsoever to do about where you shared that message (i.e. a public very popular blog). Requesting permission is proper courtesy. I thank you for your candor and generosity.

    In a world where consensual science firmly believes that sparing the rod (punishment! often severe in the climsci world) spoils the child; you, Dr. Brown, have brilliantly demonstrated in practical terms that no rod is necessary where courtesy, consideration and honesty are in abundance.

  200. Brian H says:

    Here’s a fine response to a “credentials troll” over at The Telegraph:

    Snakey_Pete

    5 days ago

    Pauldirac is correct. As far as my bonafides are concerned I am an engineer with a PhD from Cambridge. Whatever our qualifications might be, it doesn’t change the ‘mistakes’ in the IPCC report.

    I put ‘mistakes’ in inverted commas as the mistakes are so basic it is hard to believe they are not a deliberate attempt to mislead.

  201. Brian H says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    June 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    2. The term was coined for the express purpose of discrediting those who disagree that CAGW is a problem. It is an odious strategy with no merit in either a science discussion or a social policy discussion. You’r express strategy of trying to find “other reasons” for the rest of us to do what the alarmists want says much about your disregard and disdain for the opinions of skeptics.

    All excellent points, and I might even put some more strongly.
    But I am appalled at point #2. The bolded word is one of the worst abuses of the much-tortured apostrophe I’ve ever seen. Repent!
    >>8-(

  202. Rob Dekker says:

    Robert G. Brown wrote (as quoted by Anthony) :

    In particular, even in your response you seem to equate the term “skeptic” with “denier of AGW”.

    This is silly. On WUWT most of the skeptics do not “deny” AGW, certainly not the scientists or professional weather people (I myself am a physicist) and honestly, most of the non-scientist skeptics have learned better than that. What they challenge is the catastrophic label and the alleged magnitude of the projected warming on a doubling of CO_2.

    Here, Paul presents a hypothesis that somehow the self-proclaimed ‘skeptics’ are not denying AGW, but instead ‘challenge the catastrophic label and the alleged magnitude of the projected warming on a doubling of CO_2′.

    Now, let’s start with that ‘catastophic label’. Who first came up with the term CAWG (Catastrophic Antropogenic Warming) ? Hint, it was not a scientist. It was not even a ‘skeptic’ scientist. If not a scientist, then who do self-proclaimed ‘skeptics’ actually dispute ? Is there any self-proclaimed ‘skeptic’ out there who actually wants to investigate who they are actually disputing ?

    Second, ‘the alleged magnitude of the projected warming on a doubling of CO_2′ is 1.5-4.5 C (best estimate of 3 C) per doubling of CO2. Which scientific publication actually disputes that range ? Anyone ?

  203. I would think that the real issue is unexpressed. Complex systems can gyrate wildly without prediction. They are not necessarily merely “bistable”. This is observed in various types of them, such as software and wildlife food webs. Can the temperature suddenly spike to end global agriculture for a few years, then go back to trend? If this sort of thing happened in the distant past, would we even find evidence of it in the fossil record? We know there have been at least a few extinction events possibly linked to climate or some change like it, but that is not what I am writing about here. I want to know about the possibility of a sudden reduction in plant productivity that would devastate human civilization as it now exists (I do not care what human civilization looked like 10,000 years ago; and I know that we don’t want to be in a cold phase either) but this drastic shift would not leave a fossil signal because the episode would be short, and the various species could repopulate afterward out of cryptic refugia. Please tell me why this can’t happen.

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