Climate skeptics gaining ground in media

From the Institute of Physics , a surprising study being published by them, which not only measures the increase, but now has provided labels for type1 through type 3 skeptics. It seems they really don’t understand, but they are trying to quantify it anyway. I had to laugh at the inclusion of Anderegg et al (the 97% of climate scientists nonsense), which tell me they really haven’t a clue as to how to separate the wheat from the chaff. Should any of the authors read this post, be sure to read: What else did the ’97% of scientists’ say?  to understand just how badly you’ve been duped. – Anthony

Figure 1. The number of articles containing sceptical voices as a % of the total number of articles covering climate change or global warming, 2009–10.

Climate sceptics more prominent in UK and US media

Climate sceptics are being given a more prominent, and sometimes uncontested, voice in UK and US newspapers in contrast to other countries around the world, new research suggests.

The findings have been published today, 5 October, in IOP Publishing’s journal Environmental Research Letters, as part of a study looking at how climate scepticism manifested itself in the print media of the US, UK, Brazil, China, India and France during a 3-month period which included ‘Climategate’ in 2009/10 and a second period which covered the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report in 2007.

In an audit of over 2,064 newspaper articles from the six countries during the first period, the authors, from the University of Oxford and University of London, found that around one in nine articles contained a sceptical voice.

In the US, 34 per cent of all climate change stories appearing in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal during this time had a sceptical voice. Of the 511 climate change articles appearing in the Guardian/Observer and the Daily/Sunday Telegraph during this time, 19 per cent contained a sceptical voice.

Chinese newspapers came next with seven per cent of stories containing sceptical voices. India and France followed with around six per cent each and Brazil was last with three per cent.

The researchers also examined whether there was any correspondence between the political leaning of a newspaper and its tendency to give a voice to climate sceptics. Excluding China – their right and left splits are not relevant – the researchers found that there were slightly more articles containing sceptical voices in the left-leaning newspapers than in the centrist or right-leaning newspapers.

This was surprising considering the strong association of climate scepticism with the political right, especially in the US, and previous studies showing that right-wing newspapers were more inclined to question climate science.

On closer inspection of the figures, however, it was found that in the US and UK, a significant amount of the sceptical voices appeared in opinion pieces and that in the right-leaning newspapers these views were uncontested.

In the UK, the Guardian/Observer ran 14 opinion pieces containing sceptical voices during the two periods, all of which were countered or balanced by mainstream scientists. The Daily/Sunday Telegraph on the other hand ran 34 opinion pieces, more than half of which were not contested. The New York Times ran 14 opinion pieces that included sceptical voices, all of which were contested. In contrast, the Wall Street Journal ran 17 opinion pieces, all but one of which was left uncontested.

The researchers also chose to look at the type of climate sceptics that were being quoted in these stories. The types of sceptics who question whether global temperatures are warming at all appear almost exclusively in the UK and US newspapers. These two countries also give a very strong presence to the type of sceptic who challenges the need for robust action against climate change.

Even though ‘Climategate’ was a UK-based scandal, the researchers picked a period which included this event to sample data as they believed the story was big enough to spark international reporting. A further 1,263 articles were analysed between 1 February and 30 April 2007 at the time when the IPCC released their Fourth Assessment Report as this was a period in which scepticism wasn’t the central issue.

Lead author of the study, James Painter, said: “These results are significant because they do seem to support those who argue that climate scepticism is much stronger in ‘Anglo-Saxon’ countries, such as the USA, UK, Canada and Australia, as measured by its presence in the media.

“The data would also suggest a lot of the uncontested climate scepticism is found not so much in the news reports but in the opinion pages of right-leaning newspapers in the USA and the UK.”

The newspapers chosen for analysis were Folha de São Paulo and Estado de São Paulo in Brazil, People’s Daily and Beijing Evening News in China, Le Monde and Le Figaro in France, The Hindu and Times of India in India, the Guardian/Observer and the Daily/Sunday Telegraph in the UK, and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal in the USA.

From Friday 5 October, this paper can be downloaded from http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/4/044005/article

###

Abstract

Previous academic research on climate scepticism has tended to focus more on the way it has been organized, its tactics and its impact on policy outputs than on its prevalence in the media. Most of the literature has centred on the USA, where scepticism first appeared in an organized and politically effective form. This letter contrasts the way climate scepticism in its different forms is manifested in the print media in the USA and five other countries (Brazil, China, France, India and the UK), in order to gain insight into how far the US experience of scepticism is replicated in other countries. It finds that news coverage of scepticism is mostly limited to the USA and the UK; that there is a strong correspondence between the political leaning of a newspaper and its willingness to quote or use uncontested sceptical voices in opinion pieces; and that the type of sceptics who question whether global temperatures are warming are almost exclusively found in the US and UK newspapers. Sceptics who challenge the need for robust action to combat climate change also have a much stronger presence in the media of the same two countries.


Figure 3. Types of sceptics by country.

Key: Type 1 sceptics (those who deny temperatures are warming), marked in blue, are almost exclusively found in the US newspapers.  Type 2 attribution sceptics in red (who accept the trend, but either question the anthropogenic contribution saying it is overstated, negligent or non-existent compared to other factors like natural variation, or say it is not known with sufficient certainty what the main causes are) and Type 3 impact sceptics in green (who accept human causation, but claim impacts may be benign or beneficial, or that the models are not robust enough) and/or question the need for strong regulatory policies or interventions.

 

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107 thoughts on “Climate skeptics gaining ground in media

  1. The study’s categorization of skeptics into three types is insufficient to capture the breadth of skeptical thought.

    Skeptic approaches are as varied as the broad diversity of the skeptics themselves. Free thought is not inherently a uniform phenomena. The uniqueness of individual skeptics is an essential creative source that cannot be categorized in the study’s three types.

    John

  2. I may be a type4. i accept that climate change happens, has always happened. Present trends are within natural variations. The theory upon which the AGW case relies, the beloved GHG theory, is not valid because all the predictions of this theory have [not] been observed and the reason why it is required is covered by another well known process which has been ignored but does follow observation. The theory of adiabatic heating by compression, ie. the input of gravity.

  3. “In the US, 34 per cent of all climate change stories appearing in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal during this time had a sceptical voice. Of the 511 climate change articles appearing in the Guardian/Observer and the Daily/Sunday Telegraph during this time, 19 per cent contained a sceptical voice.”

    Wouldn’t that be 100% if they were being truly objective and trying to find the truth? Perhaps objective reporting is mainly an “Anglo-saxon” trait.

  4. Whenever I read any newspaper site on the net my real interest is in the comments under the story. Its actually very reassuring to note how many readers see through the papers agenda on nearly every subject. And thats where the battle will be won – the publishers can be bought – but the readers are much more savvy than the elite give them credit for. Thanks to the net we finally have free exchange of ideas and information and they bloody hate it!

  5. I am faintly heartened by the results, even if the classifications are necessarily a bit dodgy. I think your voice, Anthony, is achieving a certain resonance. Good for you.

  6. This appears like a re-hash of “Poles Apart: The International Reporting of Climate skepticism“ a report written by a team of researchers headed by James Painter for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) and the British Council. I was at the presentation in October 2011.

    And I do hope this is not a case of double-publishing or self-plagiarism!!!

    The report has many flaws and I have written a 7-part critique that starts at the following link: The Unknown Skeptic – An Essay On “Poles Apart” – 1of7 – Introduction.

    Particularly troublesome the inability by Mr Painter et al to quote any skeptical thought at all. Furthermore:

    1. As noted, the authors put a lot of trust in dubious sources
    2. They lock themselves in a cage, impervious to any communication with the skeptical voices they claim to be interested to study
    3. They refuse to connect very simple dots that would have led them to opposite conclusions

    Among my conclusions: It’s like having to follow to a whole season of football from the ManU TV channel, when Chelsea FC wins the Premiership: you know the commentators are professionals and speak with knowledge and expertise, yet you also know there is a lot of the actual story they are going to miss.

  7. OMG! I’m a tri-type skeptic.

    Type 1: I don’t doubt the world has warmed since the LIA, but 1) I am skeptical of the claimed accuracy of the various datasets and 2) the semantics of “ing”; warming is something that is happening, even if global warming as defined as an upward TREND is happening now we can’t tell until at least the trend is in.

    Type 2: Yep, I’m skeptical the small anthropogenic signal can be accurately gleaned from the enormous natural noise and various cyclic processes. I’m also skeptical that such a tiny contribution to total GHE could have such a large result as purported by the IPCC clan via enhancing positive feedbacks evidenced only by conjecture instead of being dampened by negative feedbacks (thermostats) evidenced by observations.

    Type 3: Of course, anyone with any knowledge of history & pre-history knows warmer is net better globally.

  8. I don’t see too much wrong with the divisions. You could introduce more sub-divisions (e.g. I am 2-1 being natural causes, and trend is less than reported observations), or types (1-UHI, 1-Sky), but if you are counting me, don’t group me with the ‘its not physical’ set.

    Yes, they may miss the point on why (I’m not media-led), but it’s probably progress that researchers (of various types) are starting to think about more than just the mainstream message.

  9. I have to say right off, that their ‘types’ would and should have Substantial overlaps. Because of that, There is absolutely NO way they could ever develope strategies to deal with any particular ‘type,’ which is what I am guessing many will want to try to do with this information.

  10. The label “Climate Sceptic” is just another way to attempt to marginalize those that disagree or may not be convinced. They know this and will continue to use incorrect labels towards anyone who questions “the cause”.

  11. A person who does not fall into any of the 3 categories believes that (1) the temperature record is correct or understated, (2) that the anthropogenic contribution is significant compared to natural variation,(3) that the impacts will be adverse (4) that the models are robust and (5) they support strong regulatory policies.

    Any such non-sceptical person should start reading here

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/26/the-skeptics-case/

    and then explain how the models can possibly be robust. And, as the models are clearly not robust, how can they believe predictions contingent on the models’ results?

  12. Sceptics are type AB negative, and proud of it.

    I wonder how many members of the IoP are sceptics? Quite a few, probably. Professional bodies seem to ignore their members views nowadays.

    Re the UK articles: “they looked at the Guardian/Observer and the Daily/Sunday Telegraph”. Given the result (19% sceptic) I suspect the figure would have risen of late. While the Guardian/Observer will always be 100% dogmatic alarmist, there has been an increasing tendency in right-of-centre papers to question AGW, and certainly the policies pushed on its behalf.

    Time was, Christopher Booker was almost a lone voice. Not so much now.

  13. It is interesting how small the number of skeptics who are ‘deniers’ of climate change is (type 1). This does not stop the chicken littles tarring all skeptics as deniers and pointing to the derisory 0.6C temperature rise as proof that they are all right and skeptics are all wrong. I guess I am both 2 and 3 – convinced that changes will not be that great and that they will be more good than bad.

  14. The only type which they will not want to counter is the type 4 above, who cause more trouble for the other 3 types than the entire 97% put together.

  15. So AGW scepticism is highest in those countries whose citizens are being hit with the biggest green taxes and the largest wasted expenditure of government funds. Who’da thunk it?

  16. The authors note from fig 3 that there are many more type 1 skeptics, ie trend skeptics, in the USA than in the UK. They speculate (on page 6) that this is due to the influence of James Inhofe. The real reason is of course that as far as the US is concerned, there hasn’t been much if any warming since the 1930s. I wonder if the authors are ignorant of this basic fact.

  17. Just 3 types! What about the shifty types who’s skepticism is a movable feast? Climbing up and down the tree of denial, sitting on whichever branch supports their current stance.

    What about the people who deliberately cherry pick to support completely untenable positions (arctic sea ice rebound anyone)?

    What about skeptical authors who ignore papers that they themselves helped write, because it doesn’t fit with their beliefs?

    There is really no way to enumerate all of the types of what loosely passes as “skepticsm”, short of just naming all of them.

  18. What a silly choice of dates to observe. Of course there were more sceptic voices heard during the height of Climategate. The consciences of certain editors and writers were pricked by the clearly abysmal behaviour demonstrated by CRU. They felt they had to offer a sop to the public or be accused of being the hopelessly biased gits they are.

    There has been a much slower, more genuine rise in sceptic voices that has emerged from non environmental writers and editors. At the same time there has been a rapid decline in pro AGW stories, simply because there’s very little left to say. They resort to lying about weather which is always popular but ultimately a weak position.

    The disparity between reporting in different countries (and also public acceptance) of AGW is influenced by two main drivers.
    1) What type of normal climate they get. Those who regularly experience severe weather are more likely to fear things are getting worse.
    2) Attribution of victim and perpetrator status. Those countries that see themselves as the victims are happy to accept AGW, as a forerunner to receiving compensation. Amongst the perceived perpetrators there are two camps. Those who don’t accept responsibility and those who suffer from what I call ‘white, affluent guilt’.

  19. Friends:

    The paper’s Abstract begins by saying

    Previous academic research on climate scepticism has tended to focus more on the way it has been organized, its tactics and its impact on policy outputs than on its prevalence in the media. Most of the literature has centred on the USA, where scepticism first appeared in an organized and politically effective form.

    I write to ask where the scepticism exists ” in an organized and politically effective form” because I want to join the organisation.

    Any effective organisation for opposing the AGW-scare would deserve all the support it could get.

    Richard

  20. Interesting that they didn’t include most of Europe. Germany, Spain, and Russia inclusion may be telling. It seems to me they forgot to follow the money. English speaking people have the most to loose from the reactionary efforts of the CAGW alarmists. I suspect Germany would be up there with the US. Their citizens are starting to notice the adverse effects and are growing more skeptical.

  21. “I write to ask where the scepticism exists ” in an organized and politically effective form” because I want to join the organisation.

    Any effective organisation for opposing the AGW-scare would deserve all the support it could get.

    Richard”

    See http://www.heartland.org

  22. It’s not clear to me by what means would some article be determined to have a “skeptical voice”. In order to do so, there must be some baseline for what constitutes the non-skeptical voice. Is the skeptical voice anything that strays from the absolute and dogmatic? Is this something that can really be determined objectively? I find the whole effort disturbing, and really wonder about the methodology used here.

    But in the bigger picture, this is the kind of report that is going to make the warmist fanatics go absolutely nuts. Expect to soon hear about efforts to control and squelch such types of communications through strong-arm tactics and legislative methods.

  23. “These results are significant because they do seem to support those who argue that climate scepticism is much stronger in ‘Anglo-Saxon’ countries, such as the USA, UK, Canada and Australia, as measured by its presence in the media.”

    Do they not notice the significance of the fact that these same countries plus New Zealand have resolutely fought against dictatorships and tyrannies over the last 300 years. One is the home of Magna Carta, and the other of the Declaration of Independence, two documents which together commit governments to keep their citizens free from tyranny.

    So it’s no coincedence that the Anglosphere is more inclined to resist the tyranny of a Green revolution.

  24. Hmm, having a diagnosis is often a relief, as you then know what treatments to try. I’m a type 2 skeptic, though lately I’ve also a type 1 skeptic. Yay!

    OTOH, “I am not a number!” Colors are in. Instead of a type green skeptic, can I be type emerald?

  25. interesting piece. one of the first times I’ve seen scepticism portrayed at various levels of sanity. I think the centre ground is somewhere between levels 2 and 3 (and bearing in mind the actual temperature record has issues which may or may not be significant).

    human induced catastrophic warming may or may not happen. but the science doesn’t point towards it.

    belief in catastrophic warming and that the science is ‘settled’ on the matter is truly up there with moon landing denial.

  26. what about…

    type 4 – believe humans are changing the climate, the effects may be benign, beneficial or negative, but adaptation is what we and the natural world have been doing for aeons

    type 5 – humans are causing GW and the effects will be largely negative and maybe we will cope, maybe we should reduce CO2 emissions

    type 6 – cagw. our emissions will cause society to collapse

    type 7 – human emissions will render Earth uninhabitable and a dead Venus-like planet

    type 8 – James Hansen

  27. I didn’t see where the CAGW adherent’s; Type I, II, and III, are categorized. Perhaps some grant money can be tossed my way.

    Dr. Norgaard’s “work” is referenced. I think the physical sciences should start making some distinctions between them and the “soft” sciences.

  28. After following the climate discussions for many months, I find that the term CAGW brings together the four issues that keep coming up between believers and skeptics:
    1. Is there warming around us?
    2. Is the warming global (everywhere)?
    3. Is warming caused by human activity?
    4. Is warming catastrophic now or likely to become so?

    Here’s my take of the state of the debate:

    1. The instrumental records show a pattern of warming, with accelerating and decelerating phases. The amount of warming depends upon the time periods selected for comparisons. The measurements are in decimals of degrees, with error ranges of a size to significantly impact on the results. The records have been subjected to various adjustments for various reasons, and not all of these have been verified to prove the adjusted numbers are more reliable. Many people accept that we are in a modern warming period, though there are uncertainties with the measurements. There is considerable disagreement about whether any warming has occurred this century, and whether any lack of warming is significant.

    2. Global averages have been produced and they show a warming trend. These are averages of anomalies, since the actual temperatures vary greatly according to both place and time. Again the selection of the baseline (normal) for comparison affects the results. There is great diversity of warming and cooling patterns around the average; for example, at least 1/3 of US land surface stations showed cooling trends over the same period that the average was rising. Also, patterns in the mostly oceanic Southern Hemisphere (SH) are quite different and the average lower than the NH, where most of the land is. Often, two microclimates differ significantly even when a few KM apart, so that the selection of stations affects greatly the results. This issue is open to debate and is currently subject to extensive investigation.

    3. Human activity directly impacts the environment and climate through land and water use: the effects of urban settlements, forest clearing, water extraction, damming of rivers, etc. appear to cause changes and often warming in the places they occur. The major debate is over the claim that burning of fossil fuels causes global warming by the increasing presence of CO2 in the atmosphere. Many issues are involved: Does rising CO2 cause rising temperatures, or the other way around? How much does the radiative effect of 400ppm CO2 affect the climate, considering the effects of convection, evapotranspiration, multi-decadal ocean heat oscillations, cloud patterns, among other factors?

    4. How dangerous is the present pattern of climate change, defined by IPCC as manmade global warming? The extent of human contribution to observed warming is uncertain. Even so, the modern warming period was preceded by the Medieval, the Roman, and the Minoan warming periods–each was cooler than the previous, and all of them warmer than the present. The last 1.5C of warming has been a boon to human agriculture and civilization, and the next 1.5C is likely to also be beneficial. Yet numerous studies are funded to examine any and all negative consequences that could result from increases in temperature. The funding monopoly dedicated to climate change ensures a steady drumbeat of warnings. The public’s concern is required for governments to impose carbon-pricing regimes as the proposed means of reducing CO2 emissions. Many doubt whether these regimes will reduce either CO2 or warming. Some believe that natural forces are already beginning to cool the climate, in spite of emissions. This is a battle for public opinion waged daily in the media and the blogger sphere.

  29. “Type 2 attribution sceptics in red (who accept the trend, but either question the anthropogenic contribution saying it is overstated, negligent or non-existent compared to other factors like natural variation, or say it is not known with sufficient certainty what the main causes are)”

    Negligent? Negligible perhaps.

  30. Type 1 Skeptic: those willing to work their way through primary source literature to understand a topic
    Type 2 Skeptic: those that will not attempt primary sources, but seek objective secondary sources
    Type 3 Skeptic: those that detest environmentalism and are not really interested in the facts, the Climate Depot crowd

    The word “denier,” absent any Holocaust implications, actually fits reasonably well to Type 3. CAGW adherents would like you to believe that all skeptics are Type 3, when in fact all the damage has come from Type 1s.

  31. From the article on the IOP study:

    “The data would also suggest a lot of the uncontested climate scepticism is found not so much in the news reports but in the opinion pages of right-leaning newspapers in the USA and the UK.”

    IOW: if you want scientific truth, don’t go looking for it in the op-ed pages of politically conservative publications, because you won’t find it there.

    Why couldn’t the study tell us something we didn’t already know?

  32. Can we get a type 0:

    Believe that the world is not warming but that people are purposely producing fake research to claim it is…

  33. I think I’m a type 2 and a type 3. I don’t know how much influence anthropogenic effects have, I don’t know the optimal temperature, don’t think the models are correct, and certainly have no clue what good policies would be.

  34. Consider the ranking in light of “qui bene”, or, more to the point, who does NOT benefit.

    If global governance of carbon reduction and carbon “harm” strategies occurs, Brazil, China, India are not going to suffer, but will be the recepients – China will ignore it all, what with their building of coal and nuclear plants, and they will sell both solar plants and carbon credits to the white-and-guilty-and-rich. France is already largely nuclear: their non-carbon energy sources are present already. Of this group, only Britain and the US will be financially suffering.

    So who is sensitive to reality and who is sensitive to the sensitivity of others? That’s what the list tells me.

  35. There needs to be a Type 1.5. They do not “deny temperatures are warming”, But they do question one or more of the following:
    a) changes in the instrumentation and recording processes
    b) adjustments to the recorded temperature record
    c) analysis processes to “correct” for gaps and station moves.
    d) the degree to which the land temperature record is more a measure of Urban growth and and wealth (energy consumption = waste heat) and less an accurate proxy for temperature changes on the 95% of the globe away from cities and houses.
    In short, responsible, inquisitive, objective, questioning scientists.

    This type 1.5 are concerned with the quality of the measurement and the data: the What, Where, and When, and How Certain.

    This type deals not with the Why (models), or How (theory), or the Who (politics), or the “So What?” (speculation + theory + politics), or the “Should” (theory + Politics + money + crime (but I repeat myself) ).

  36. The so called “skeptics” are also writing about the “green” scams which waste billions of dollars, damage the environment, and do not significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions which are not a problem anyway. There should be a number for those make decisions based on scientific analysis, economic reality, and observations as opposed to those who support government deficit funding of scams. The extreme AGW propaganda is the reason for the very, very, long list of green scams.

    i.e. There are two scams: The extreme AGW mania scam and the green energy scam.

    Observations, logic, and analysis in peer reviewed journals are on the side of the so called “skeptics”. There is no extreme AGW problem to solve. Satellite analysis of top of the atmosphere radiation vs ocean surface temperature indicates planetary cloud cover in the tropics increases or decreases reflecting more or less radiation off into space thereby resisting warming (negative feedback). The IPCC general circulation models assume the planet amplifies CO2 warming (positive feedback) to create their high warming predicts. Data and analysis (for example the amount of warming current observed, plateau of warming, the lack of warming in the ocean, the increase in short wave radiation reflected off into space, and so on) in peer reviewed journals indicates that assumption is incorrect. As the planet resist warming (negative feedback) as opposed to amplifies warming a doubling atmospheric CO2 will result in less than 1C warming with most of the warming occurring at high latitudes which will expand the biosphere. I would recommend a read through Joanne Nova’s summary of some of the observations and technical paper that supports the so called “skeptics” position.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/10/man-made-global-warming-disproved/

    Observations show major flaws
    1. The missing heat is not in the ocean 8 – 14
    2. Satellites show a warmer Earth is releasing extra energy to space 15 -17
    3. The models get core assumptions wrong – the hot spot is missing 22 – 26, 28 – 31
    4. Clouds cool the planet as it warms 38 – 56
    5. The models are wrong on a local, regional, or continental scale. 63- 64
    6. Eight different methods suggest a climate sensitivity of 0.4°C 66
    7. Has CO2 warmed the planet at all in the last 50 years? It’s harder to tell than you think. 70
    8. Even if we assume it’s warmed since 1979, and assume that it was all CO2, if so, feedbacks are zero — disaster averted. 71
    9. It was as warm or warmer 1000 years ago. Models can’t explain that. It wasn’t CO2. (See also failures of hockey sticks) The models can’t predict past episodes of warming, so why would they predict future ones?

    The extreme AGW issue is a mania with no basis in fact.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenmeyer/2012/02/09/understanding-the-global-warming-debate/

    “The problem for global warming supporters is they actually need for past warming from CO2 to be higher than 0.7C. If the IPCC is correct that based on their high-feedback models we should expect to see 3C of warming per doubling of CO2, looking backwards this means we should already have seen about 1.5C of CO2-driven warming based on past CO2 increases. But no matter how uncertain our measurements, it’s clear we have seen nothing like this kind of temperature rise. Past warming has in fact been more consistent with low or even negative feedback assumptions.”

    The Clean Energy Scam

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1725975,00.html

    Biofuel production ‘a crime against humanity’

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-04-14/biofuel-production-a-crime-against-humanity/2403402

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8713093/The-BBC-steadfastly-avoids-the-facts-about-the-wind-farm-scam.html

    Helm did not tell us that this £140 billion equates to £5,600 for every household in the country. But he did admit that the plan was “staggeringly expensive”, and that, given the current extent of “fuel poverty” and the state of our economy, he doubted “if it can in fact be afforded”.
    Even shorter on hard facts, however, was Shukman’s report on a monster new wind farm off the coast of Cumbria, where a Swedish firm, Vattenfall, has spent £500 million on building 30 five megawatt turbines with a total “capacity” of 150MW. What Shukman did not tell us, because the BBC never does, is that, thanks to the vagaries of the wind, these machines will only produce a fraction of their capacity (30 per cent was the offshore average in the past two years). So their actual output is only likely to average 45MW, or £11 million per MW.
    … Thus the wind farm is 22 times more expensive, and could only be built because its owners will receive a 200 per cent subsidy: £40 million a year, on top of the £20 million they will get for the electricity itself. This we will all have to pay for through our electricity bills, whereas the unsubsidised cost of power from the gas plant, even including the price of the gas, will be a third as much.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/wind-farm-scam-a-huge-cover-up/story-e6frgd0x-1226345185075

    Note that wind turbines produce very little power. Because wind is intermittent, they operate at between one-fifth and one-third of their capacity, meaning they are erratic, unreliable and have to be fully backed up by conventional “black” (mostly coal-fuelled) power. Where the money is to be made is through the REC subsidy. A 3MW wind turbine that generates (at most) $150,000 worth of electricity a year is eligible for guaranteed subsidies of $500,000 a year. A ridgeline hosting 20 or 30 turbines generates very little power — but an awful lot of free cash for those lucky enough to get their snouts in the trough.

    http://gigaom.com/cleantech/chart-the-death-spiral-of-solar-bankruptcies-counting/

    The solar death spiral has been long and ugly. Over the past year, there have been over a dozen stalwarts and startups that have headed to bankruptcy court. Two companies even filed for bankruptcies in this week alone: manufacturer Q-Cells, which was the worlds largest solar cell maker in 2008 and power plant developer Solar Trust of America, which just a year ago was on its way to build a few gigawatts of solar projects in the American Southwest…. …Solar Millennium tried to sell Solar Trust to a fellow German company, Solarhybrid, only to see Solarhybird, too, file for bankruptcy last month.

  37. Must be really boring in these ivory towers.
    Fortunately it’s not a waste of resources, because peope who do “research” like this, can’t do anything useful anyway. So it’s only a waste of money, borrowed from the Chinese.

  38. omnologos -

    your link to “poles apart” on your website is not working, however these links are active:

    Poles Apart: the international reporting of climate scepticism

    http://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/?id=687

    Poles Apart

    http://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/fileadmin/documents/Publications/Other_publications/Poles_Apart_Executive_Summary.pdf

    james painter is Head of the Journalism Fellowship Programme at RISJ and it’s worth noting (all links at the following) their Steering Committee, Advisory Board, Institute Staff & Annual Report 2010-2011 in which – if u find “painter” – the first reference to him talks of the Poles Apart report, without naming it as such:

    Oxford’s Centre for Research into News Media
    The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism was established in autumn 2006, with core funding from the Thomson Reuters Foundation, and is part of the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford

    http://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/

    anthony’s report, is co-authored by teresa ashe, but no affiliations are included, so:

    Teresa Ashe
    The Open University
    Associate Lecturer, Faculty of Social Sciences
    Birkbeck College (University of London)
    Thesis Title: The Politics of Climate Change: Power and Knowledge in Environmental Politics
    Supervisor: Jason Edwards

    http://open.academia.edu/TeresaAshe

    4 mins plus, talks of another study, no mention of sceptics, more about copenhagen coverage, but a shocking indictment of the way the MSM operates when it comes to CAGW, with no hint of embarrassment!

    Feb 2011: Youtube: In conversation with James Painter, on media and climate change in Latin America
    James Painter, Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, discusses media coverage of climate change issues globally, with a particular focus on lessons for Latin America. He urges the media to embrace positive messages that encourage action on climate change.

  39. One can see, once again, the spirit of time (Zeitgeist) is way ahead in the
    US and UK…..as the advanced Zeitgeist in times of the “Enlightenment’ …John
    Locke, Adam Smith, Thomas Hobbes, John Stuart Mill….and many more…
    ……in proud tradition…..keep up the good work….JS.

  40. Typology of CAGW believers:

    Type I: Those who deny “Climate Change” is a natural phenomenon and think only man can change Earth’s climate, and believe any change is catastrophic.

    Type II: Those who deny that the current, “Climate Change”, is a natural phenomenon, and think only man could have caused this change, and that this change is catastrophic

    Type III: Those who deny that the current, “Climate Change”, is a natural phenomenon, and think only man could have caused almost all of this change, and that this change is catastrophic.

    Type IV: Those who believe that Mitt Romney will continue to waste money on failed “renewable” energy programs, when he’s elected.

  41. John Brookes says:

    “What about the people who deliberately cherry pick to support completely untenable positions”

    I think You have must misunderstood the survey. It was about skeptics, not about mainstream climate scientists.

    Upside-down proxies anyone?

  42. A better label than “Type II” is easily doable. And “skeptic” is inaccurate & unacceptable. “Nonalarmist” is tolerable, but “appreciator of nature” &/or “explorer of nature” are superior.

    I wonder when it will dawn on alarmists that if they set up healthy, harassment-free websites devoted solely to the publicly collaborative exploration of natural climate variations, much traffic could easily be diverted from so-called “septic” sites. Why afford the so-called “skeptics” an absolutely unchallenged monopoly on nature appreciation & exploration?? (Tip: This is by far the biggest alarmist strategy error.) There are a good number of sensible readers who couldn’t care less about the political noise that tries with severely creepy tabloid insistence to ruin the joy of exploring nature (something which is actually impossible).

    Looking forward to a wider variety of healthy sites devoted to due appreciation of and thorough exploration of nature. Don’t care if they’re “left” or “right”. That’s totally irrelevant. That axis can be discarded with no loss of information about natural climate variations. Anything that increases efficiency in our efforts to understand natural climate variations is welcome.

  43. You select different “types” when you want to treat them differently, like different diseases – see type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T1DM/T2DM) for reference.

    So I expect this to be ground-work to design different message to reach the different types of climate skeptics (“How to improve the climate change communication”).

    That the different types are badly delineated, and the that the main problem is not “how to improve the climate propaganda” but how to have an honest scientific process, will only lead to null results and a waste of everyones time.

    Oh well.

  44. Anthony, if “climate scepticism is much stronger in ‘Anglo-Saxon’ countries” I think you have an answer to your recent question about whether you should make any changes to your blog. Yes. A Google Translate button! (And I’m no fan of Google.)

    I’m not a “type”, myself, I’m a Sceptic First Class! (Yep, it’s warmed since the LIA, or we’d still be in the LIA; it’s got virtually nothing to do with our CO2; all the stupid policies proposed to “deal with the problem” are simply sociopathic as there is no “problem”, just change.)

  45. As everyone who frequents this forum knows by heart, the ability of a data set to represent reality is dependent on the sampling system and the measurement system. I am fairly confident that the sampling system is flawed, but I have no real basis for that conclusion. OTH, the measurement instrumentation is a joke, the lefty addled perceptions of the researchers. Their poor Marxist engineered world views can not possibly conceptualize, except in the most cartoonist way, skeptical views. If the measurement instrumentation is insensitive to the phenomena, it can not possibly measure it.

  46. I think It’s a bit odd classifying a wide diverse group of individuals that’s millions of different opinions in to three brackets.

  47. Hmmm lost count of all the skeptic types I think we are around type 8 or 9, I guess I must be a type 10, which is:
    Believes the temperature record is so corrupted and untrustworthy it is highly questionable that we even know what the temperature trend is! The trend if it exists is immersed in so much noise from structural errors and procedural errors which cannot be removed from the record that its asserted accuracy and precision is highly suspect.

    The authors of the climate model code and studies have repeatedly shown that they have a poor handle on advanced statistical analysis, therefor their results are highly suspect, until methods and data are properly audited and validated by professional mathematicians and statisticians who have no skin in the climate game. Independent audit is a proven concept in business, it needs to be applied to scientific analysis which is going to drive huge government programs and intervention into society.

    In short we don’t frigging know what the temperature trend is, even if you accept the concept that a global average temperature can be:
    a) determined
    b) has any useful and accepted meaning
    c) can tell you anything useful.

    I also subscribe to fragments of the other types, yes it is not unlikely that we are still rebounding from ice age cooling and little ice age cooling, so a positive trend in temperatures is not surprising, unusual nor is it worrisome given our daily and annual temperature exceeds the apparent trend by an order of magnitude or two.

    CO2 increase is more likely a result not a cause of temperature increase.

    No prediction based on models of temperature changes from CO2 increasing has been validated by real world measurements.

    Model outputs are not data and provide no useful predictive value beyond an understanding of “what if scenarios” about if the models are correct how sensitive would they be to various forcings.

    There is no audit trail of the climate model code. Large computer programs always have undetected bugs and coding errors, hence we simply do not know what the model code is doing!
    We know what the authors think it is doing, but we have no proof or reason to believe that is what the code actually does until it is thoroughly audited and passed through test runs to validate it.

    Larry

  48. “Type 2 attribution sceptics in red (who accept the trend, but either question the anthropogenic contribution saying it is overstated, negligent or non-existent”

    Negligent? Really?
    Negligible would at least make sense, negligent seems more a reflection on the proof reading and/or peer review process that let this get through.

  49. Matt Skaggs says:
    October 5, 2012 at 7:04 am
    Type 1 Skeptic: those willing to work their way through primary source literature to understand a topic

    Yes! This is the person who seems to be least understood by the climate alarmism ilk. I think it’s the primary division in this debate.

  50. “Type 1 sceptics (those who deny temperatures are warming)….”

    This makes them sound really wacky. Have the authors conflated those who deny that temperatures have flatlined in the past decade or so with those (who?) who deny that it’s warmed at all since 1950 (or whenever)? If so, that’s a cheap trick, designed to make skeptics look bad.

    And don’t many of the skeptics who deny the existence of 21st century warming fall into the type 2 or 3 categories also? Did the authors decide to categorize them as type-1′s regardless, in order to besmirch them? Another cheap trick, if so.

    A better indicator of US trends (as I’ve suggested here several times over the years) would be to examine the content all the climate-change-related articles in the annual Review of (or Index to) Periodical Literature, which covers 50 prominent US periodicals.

  51. Oops–I meant to say:
    “Have the authors conflated those who deny that temperatures have risen in the past decade ….”
    (Not “flatlined”)

  52. A lot of common sense people may not even look at the science but are increasingly sceptic how
    - data are aquired
    - conclusions are drawn
    - results are published
    - consequences blown up
    - other findings are suppressed
    - critical voices are silenced
    - scientific method is damaged
    - scientists act opportunistic and unethical
    - big money is made on shaddy grounds.
    To become sceptic and angry at a movement like AGW doesn’t need any science background.
    Common sense, ethics, follow-the-money investigations are sufficient to understand what’s happening. And to create motivation to fight it.

  53. john brookes- put down your pom-poms, stop cheering michael mann’s lawsuit over a pun, and pay attention to Reality for a change. btw, you mention people ignoring papers they helped write? Have you ever considered that people change their minds, based upon new evidence, all the time? Especially when the new evidence / research, is increasingly proving AGW to be flat wrong.

    No, of course not. Such requires Thought, and True Believers such as yourself, would rather not think.

  54. Oops again. I meant to say “Guide to,” not:
    “the annual Review of (or Index to) Periodical Literature”

  55. Most think Q.M. only applies to the mystic micro-particle world but it is really just a mathematical way to manipulate the of singular states of information in a coherent and systematical manner.

    Here’s some help for the Institute of Physics that they might better understand in their own terms. I’m no qm expert so adjust as needed while keeping the concept intact.

    Clearly from the graph the US and UK hold more critical expertise than Brazil general populace. Maybe they can better visualize the categories of skeptics and warmists as orthogonal quantum states in a hermitian matrix and if they will just separate the proper eigenvectors in the hermitian matrix.

    Think of these more as isolated spin states if you like:

    1> Has the world as a whole warmed at all (<0.1C) in the approximate period of 1700-2012? Up=Yes, Down=No

    2> Has the world as a whole warmed at all (<0.1C) in the approximate period of 1998-2012? Up=Yes, Down=No

    3> Does the sun have a hand in determining the climate of the earth? Up=Yes, Down=No

    4> Do thermometers in close proximity to population centers register a higher temperature that temperature stations far away from any civilization structures? Up=Yes, Down=No

    5> Does the factor described in(4) cause a unrealistic slope to temperature trends when this effect is ignored? Up=Yes, Down=No

    .
    .
    .

    Now they could take this hermitian matrix and run an experiment (survey) to determine the probabilities (intensity squared) taking the eigenvector states to isolate the eigenvalues of the [bra|op|ket] operated states across the assumed probability matrix [sarc]. Run this state analysis to determine the degree of any entanglements for the skeptical/warmist state groups themselves.

    Then and only them may the IOP be able to plot the trajectories across the phase space to see if any attractors exist. The phase space vectors are clearly in the warmist -> skeptical direction but which states explicitly are causing this mass migration?

    Maybe now the IOP in their greater mental capacity and expertise can take this from the general classical/lagrangian world into the more realistic quantum/hamiltonian world of the psychology of warmist/skeptic climate mind-states which, at best, are sometimes fuzzy from a macro viewpoint, especially in the warmist logic.

    /sarc off ??

    In some respects this might not be sure a far-fetched idea. Take great care to make all questions yes/no or up/down orthogonal singular states and see if there are any attractive points in the mindset (phase) space. Do I have that right? To me you should find a great entanglement in the warmists logic. As long as you never the question the apparent state stays in existence from which other states can be made logical. Ask a question (observe) and the warmist’s wave functions always seems to collapse, morphing to two impossible simultaneous states (answers) and the third dependent state is now clearly also impossible. They seem to rely on this entanglement of certain answer pairs to support some other far-removed state (question) and you can never get a clear yes/no because by forcing one question the function between the supporting states always collapses removing the fuzziness the other question that relies upon it.

    Probably not making any sense to most by now so I’ll just through that idea up if anyone can follow the general gist. Maybe it’s just too early in the morning and I should have had a cup of coffee first.

    I just think these 1-2-3-4 rather childish analyses of this complex question needs some digging into the more realistic deeper complexity that everyone here seems to see occurring between these two camps.

    So I’ll stay skeptical. So far, UHI answers most of the trend and the climate sensitivity is between 0.25 and 0.40C per doubling (from radiosondes), natural variance is the remainder after removing some incorrect adjustments the base temperature data, it seems to narrow down to these factors.

  56. I guess I am just saying above that the great IOP (the Institute of Physics) has fallen incredibly short of what they should be capable of, with all of the mathematical tools available to them, to help answer this multi-dimensional distinction between skeptics’ and warmists’ science viewpoints on climate and temperatures. Shame!

  57. Hey, come on guys, what about all us skeptics who are only in it for the money? (Type $) I get 000′s of dollars each month into my bank account from someone (B.I. Goil whoever that is) as long as I keep my skeptic badge on. Surely you’re all doing the same?

  58. its amazing this 97% keeps being used when it does not even pass a basic maths test , for you cannot know what percentage any-sub groups is of a whole group if you don’t know the size of the whole group and there is no data for the size of the whole group, and its quite worrying that science organisation fail to accept to do so in the first place .

  59. Remember when there was just one type of skeptic? If I remember correctly I believe we called them scientists.
    The scientific method itself is intended to overcome mistakes and misdeeds. When scientists make a new discovery, others review the research SKEPTICALLY before it is published. And once it is, the scientific community can try to replicate the results to see if they hold up.

  60. At least there is diversity in sceptics – apparently the “faithful” are incapable of forming their own opinions and readily swallow the doctrine – they apparently don’t need the spoonful of sugar.

  61. The IOP has done itself no favours in publishing this paper under its name. Instead of a paper responding to the critics of the AGW meme and using their highly qualified membership to thoroughly analyse the science, we get a text which simply assumes that the AGW view is correct and merely lists dissent against it. Where are the responses which carefully step through and check the IR radiation, feedback factors, and convective processes which form the disputed GH effect? Where are the statistical analyses of the effects of UHI and temperature measurement errors? What comment have the worthies in the IOP got on solar effects of cloud formation on the climate?

    It would seem that we have an institute which has ignored its own subject capabilities and allowed itself to be associated with a misleading and presumptuous attack on those who have gone where the IOP should have been leading.

  62. The sample size is so small that results can have no meaning whatsoever….2 (two) US newspapers? That’s the US sample? Ridiculous. Waste of time and paper.

  63. I would suspect a historical graph of popular AGW support would take the form of a bell curve. Any polls taken in the early days of the MSM push to expose the masses to AGW fear would have resulted in a high level of skepticism, only after a decade of propaganda would the brainwashing of the masses yielded results and skeptics would be at minimum. But thanks to the good work of intelligent skeptic activists, the dishonesty of the AGW sham is now getting through to the more intelligent of the masses and the skepticism is again on the rise.

  64. “Antarctic ice expands against odds”

    But some people will always bet against themselves.

    “Again, this masks the fact that in certain areas there has been quite a significant decrease where in other areas there has been an increase,” he said.

    “One of the reasons we are down on this ship doing experiments is we are still struggling to understand what are the processes affecting Antarctic sea ice the role of sea ice in the global climate system, how it affects the interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere.

    “And we are still at a stage where the models are in slight disagreement with what we are observing. A lot of our work is aiming at picking that gap between what we are observing and what the models are telling us.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/antarctic-ice-expands-against-odds/story-e6frg8y6-1226489479585

  65. I used to be a warmist.

    Then I became a skeptic type 2 but embracing 3 IOW I believed in greenhouse gas warming effects but did not believe we were responsible for the increase in CO2 (to me, that’s easily explained by the huge oceans – recent warming PLUS thermohaline 800 years after MWP) -and even if we were, it was not a serious problem.

    Then I became a skeptic type ZZ IOW I no longer believe in the 33 degrees warming power of CO2, not at all at all. I’ve studied the GHG theory and found it wanting, I’ve studied the formula for blackbody radiation and found the IPCC maths badly wrong – leading to a 33 degrees “GHG effect” that is visibly fatuous. I’ve studied the IPCC ice core hockey sticks and found them as telling as those of Mann. Finally I’ve studied with Graeff the warming effects of gravity, and seen how mere Gravity easily and gracefully explains our temperate planetary climate. This seems to be too big a sea change even for WUWT to handle at present – but I support WUWT’s prime function which is still the first thing that is needed – to detox Climate Science from its current hallucinations of grandeur and delinquency of method, and return it to simple Scientific Method again, with a bit of humble pie.

    Only then there will be enough breathing-space to reconsider gravity and the one faulty premise of the otherwise great scientist and good man, Clerk Maxwell (and several others).

  66. How does this get to be “research”? At best this is an undergrad thesis from social sciences that should get a passing nod in “the New Scientist”. The World has truly gone mad!

  67. Ric Werme says:
    October 5, 2012 at 6:07 am

    “OTOH, “I am not a number!” Colors are in. Instead of a type green skeptic, can I be type emerald?”

    You can, number six, but you may not.

    Oh dear, that’s showing my age, but at least my memory has not totally vanished.

  68. Did they, even for a moment, happen to think that in a country with a tradition of independent thought; maybe, just maybe, we are less prone to being -managed- by organized media and we just are not going to salute Der Furer and fall in line? That maybe, just maybe, we still have a reasonably free press and an -upity- population that’s seen enough deception (i.e. advertizing) to smell a dodge a mile away and -not buy it- at all?

    I think they are over thinking the issue…

    And a big YES! the notion of not enough categories of skeptics. We each found different things that were giant red flags and are a very diverse population of individuals.

  69. More Lysenkoism from squealing grant chasers upset that sceptics are spoiling their party. This has nothing to do with studying CAGW scepticism and the (sound) reasons behind it, but everything to do with casting sceptics as ‘outsiders’ to rational thought by putting them under an imaginary microscope and treating them as some sort of curiosity. 

    Kind of reminds me of the scientific studies of non Caucasian races in the early 20th century, where the Xenophobic scientific elite of the day would reassure themselves through bogus medical studies that people of dark skin would always genetically lack the capacity to think and speak like whites. It helped them to maintain their sense of superiority in a scary and changing world.

    Except in this case it’s more of a propaganda game with an express goal: to enhance the ‘us and them’ attitude amongst professional scientists towards CAGW sceptics,  an attitude which has been carefully cultivated for a long time in order to keep the burgeoning and profitable climate bandwagon on the rails.

    If this attitude can be maintained by relentlessly ramming a self sustaining argument from authority down our throat, no awkward questions can be asked of the ‘consensus’ and talentless rent seekers can go on trotting out the same old McScience in every arena so long as it has ‘climate change’ and some abuse of statistical method tacked onto it. Biologist? Just cherry pick some data, mangle it, claim parrots are shrinking, blame climate change, there’s your grant. Intellectually mediocre paleo climatologist? There’s a whole world of proxy reconstructed entrails to be read, tacked onto messages of doom and sold on for great profit to governments desperate for reasons to raise funds to pay for their bribes. Don’t worry, your ‘science’ can border on the fraudulent or ludicrous and no one will dare question it any more for fear of being branded ‘sceptic’ through a bunch of wankerous psycho-sociological studies. We all know our work’s crap but our secret is safe for now..

    It is just predictable and depressing that stupidity, or at best self deception, has become so ubiquitous amongst many who would describe themselves as scientists that they might see scepticism of any claim, in any form, as something novel, strange or worth studying. It is so depressing that I’m tempted to just ignore the whole thing from now on, like the vast majority of the public.

  70. David Ball on October 5, 2012 at 6:15 pm said;

    I’m type O negative, …. everyone can utilize my skepticism.

    - – - – - -

    David Ball,

    If so, then since I am AB negative that would mean I can use everone’s skepticism but only a rare number of skeptics can use mine.

    Have a happy weekend.

    John

  71. @wayne on October 5, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Made perfect sense- John Brooke’s copy/paste babble is a case in point. As with many warmist arguments it is not possible to know the direction and the point at the same time without it collapsing into incoherence. Any reality it pertains to is illusory and falls apart on a quantum level.

  72. I wonder where I fit in – I think the data quality is so poor that it is impossible to draw any scientific conclusion beyond the climate has warmed since the last ice age.

  73. From the Land Downunder. Here the the major ‘quality’ papers and the ABC (similar to the BBC) give very little space to any contrarian info. My guess is that most contrarian stuff is passed word-of-mouth from blogs like WUWT, Andrew Bolt and JoNova. Well we ARE a small nation in numbers, a bit over 20 million, but very large in size. i would guess the percentage of those who believe the science is settled is diminishing, largely thanks to those scientists who predicted that we were going to suffer endless droughts; instead we had two years of floods. Aussies are a pretty sceptical -that word again – lot anyway.

  74. Lucy Skywalker says:

    October 5, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    “I’ve studied the formula for blackbody radiation and found the IPCC maths badly wrong – leading to a 33 degrees “GHG effect” that is visibly fatuous.”

    The failure is down to not including the oceans as part of the GHG effect. The atmosphere is warmed greatly by the ocean with energy slowly released originally from the sun without taking even water vapour into account. This slow energy loss keeps the atmosphere temperature significantly higher than compared without an ocean with the same GHG’s in the atmosphere. This issue needs to be looked into and resolved if possible.

  75. The Physic Institute should change its motto- For Physics, For Physicist For Media Analysis For Everyone.
    Its so far off the deep end publishing this lump of junk. Its unlike anything they do as far I checked they don’t have any of this anti-science stuff.

  76. One or two random thoughts:

    Many articles may have the odd line from a sceptic but then devote the the rest of the piece to warmists saying how wrong the sceptic is. That hardly makes for a balanced article.

    It has become absolutely routine for throwaway lines about “global warming” or “climate change” to be included in pieces which have little or nothing to do with climate – and even more so in TV programmes where there have often been several a day that I’ve noticed. I can’t remember EVER hearing a similar throwaway sceptical remark. This creates an atmosphere in which alarmism is presented as the unquestioned default position.

    Not sure about the other countries newspapers but the ones chosen for the UK are the two atypical extremes in this field. Even there, in the Telegraph there are very alarmist and very sceptical pieces co-existing. You could look for all eternity for a very sceptical piece in the Guardian.

  77. Artwest says:

    “Many articles may have the odd line from a sceptic but then devote the the rest of the piece to warmists saying how wrong the sceptic is. That hardly makes for a balanced article.”

    Quite right. Balance would mean not mentioning the “skeptical” misinformation in the first place, and instead getting the opinion of more than one climate scientist. But that is surely too much to ask.

  78. Many agw believers are puzzled enough at US rates of skepticism and laughably attribute it to the proven hillbilly-ness of right wingers. This is often augmented with scorn of the right winger opposition of governmental progress. What non-US folks fail to grasp is that the antagonistic view of government is not only NOT a failing but indeed a feature. The 2nd amendment’s purpose for example is to protect the citizen from the government meaning that anti-government feelings are desired. AGW “solutions” require increases in gov power so it ought not be surprising that US skeptical rates will be higher. By definition they will be higher. What sort of analysts are these jokers?

  79. OMG, I’ve been pigeon-holed. Surely, any self-respecting practitioner of the social sciences wouldn’t be foolish enough to stereotype people?

    BTW, where are the physics in this?

  80. Considering that outside climate scientists only one in two believe in them or their competence that shows a huge bias towards them that is utterly unacceptable.

  81. It might be a good idea for WUWT to run a poll of skeptics. Some very simple questions.

    1. Is it warmer now than it was in the 50 year period from 1650-1700?
    A) Yes,
    B) no,
    C don’t know,
    D cant know
    2. How much warmer is it now than it was in the 1650 to 1700 time period?
    A) More than 2C,
    B) between 1C and 2C?,
    C) between 0C and 1C?
    D) dont know
    E) cant know
    3. Does UHI effect the instrument record?
    A) yes I am certain
    B) no I am certain
    C) yes but I might be wrong
    D) no but I might be wrong
    E) Dont know
    F) Cannot know
    4) What is the magnitude of the UHI bias in the record from 1850 to today
    A) Greater than 1C
    B) GT .5C and LT 1C
    C) GT .25C and LT .5C
    D) GT 0C and LT .25C

    E) dont know
    F) Cant know
    5) What is the magnitide of the UHI bias in the record from 1979 to today
    A-F see above
    6. What percentage of cities in the GHCN dataset have populations over 1 million
    A) 75-100%
    B) 50-75%
    C) 25-50%
    D) 5-25%
    E) less than 5%
    7. What percentage of cities in the GHCN database have populations less than 10000
    A – E see question 6.
    8. What’s the average UHI in a city over 1 million?
    A) greater than 2C
    B) 1C to 2C
    C) 0 to 1C
    D) cant know
    F) dont know
    9. What the average UHI in a city with a population less than 10000
    A-F see question 8
    10. What is the average UHI in a town with a population of less than 1000
    A-F
    11. Does Microsite Bias exists in the record
    A) yes, I am certain. Its settled science
    B) No, I am certain. Its settled science
    C) yes, but I could be wrong
    D) No, but I could be wrong
    E) dont know
    F) cant know
    12. How big on average is microsite Bias?
    A) greater than 1 C
    B) between .5C and 1C
    C) between .25C and .5C
    D) between .1C and .25C
    E) less than .1C
    F0 dont know
    g) cant know
    13. Are CRN measurements reliable and accurate?
    A) yes, I am certain
    B) no I am certain
    C) yes, but I could be wrong
    D) no but I could be wrong
    E) dont know
    F) cant know
    14. Can we compare the temperature record to the solar sunspot record to learn anything
    A) yes
    B) no the temperature record is too corrupt
    15. How much of the warming is due to adjustments in the land record
    A) greater than 1C
    B) between .5C and 1C
    C) between .25C and .5C
    D) less than .25C
    E) dont know
    F) cant know
    16. Assume temperatures warm by 4C in 2100.
    A) more harm than good will be done
    B) benefits and harms will be about equal
    C) benefits will outweigh harms
    D) I cant say anything about harms and benefits

    I would bet that such a survey would be interesting and perhaps helpful in figuring out how many type 1 skeptics there are and in helping people understand the differences in opinion.
    I also wager that most people would not want to answer the questions. That is what makes skeptics like the believers on the other side. Avoiding questions.

  82. Steven, I could not disagree more to you poll as it stands. It is not that I would not like to answer the questions, I have spent some 8000+ hours (no kidding) in the last four years trying to get those same answers, but it is the way you are asking the questions and especially the way you are organizing the answers. You are asking someone to be honest and as if they have all of the tools and all of the data and all of the time to come to some accurate value that they can check in one of your preselected ranges. See the fallacy. This poll would be no better than all of the one most here are objecting to. Many of the questions depend on the accuracy of values and trends, usually from graphics and texts on the internet that in themselves may be in error.

    For instance, the UHI over the range of years depends on the assumption of some one correct temperature time series for it is part of the rise that even helps define the amount that UHI affect the trends. That is a circular situation and you are asking for a range on both that you (the poll author) have selected!

    Now if you were to ask someone to list their best representation of a range that they themselves pick, or allow them to leave blank — now that would be a big step forward. More might tippy-toe into taking such a poll answering only the questions they feel knowledgeable enough to answer. Or let them pick two answers if their best-understanding straddles two of the answer ranges. Better.

    See, that poll reads a bit as a trap, the way it is provided, and you are right, I would not take that exact poll, no — not the way it stands.

    I still think my first comment above is a better approach. Make the answers so clear and concise that every person taking the survey could usually answer yes or no, 1 or 0, both, or even none. Then you might get some groupings that mean something real. If your questions are ambiguous you should get a lot of answers back blank. That is the poll writer’s, not the poll takers fault.

  83. Ace says:
    October 5, 2012 at 5:52 am

    But in the bigger picture, this is the kind of report that is going to make the warmist fanatics go absolutely nuts. Expect to soon hear about efforts to control and squelch such types of communications through strong-arm tactics and legislative methods.

    We see articles here about that fairly regularly, though it’s usually on the level of meeting notes, leaked e-mails or forum posts of CAGW advocates making such statements. So far this movement has only shown much success in academia, journals and other media outlets.

  84. Of course you guys are afraid to answer the questions.
    even though you could answer I dont know to every question.
    the other reason you are afraid is that you havent thought the problem thru.
    You all just basically react to what you read rather than trying to put together a coherent position.
    you are afraid of answering questions because you realize that some of your views are inconsistent.

    For example. you want to believe in an LIA that was about 2C cooler than today.. But you
    also want to believe that 1C of the warming we see is UHI and 1C is adjustments and 1C is microsite bias. you want to use the temperature record to understand the effect of the sun and prove your theories but you trashed the evidence you want to use.

    So take the survey in private. see if your ideas hang together into a coherent story.
    or. say you dont know.

  85. here you go wayne.

    lets keep this simple. Nothing for you to fear. Just a simple question. You are not afraid of debate.. then lets start with your answer to number 1

    1. Is it warmer now than it was in the 50 year period from 1650-1700?
    A) Yes,
    B) no,
    C don’t know,
    D cant know

    And to show you I am not afraid of questions, I will answer first.

    A) Yes it warmer now than it was in the period of 1650 to 1700.

    What say you to this terrifying question wayne? watch out.. its a trap!

  86. Steven Mosher, well, I was not necessarily speaking of your first question, but it will do. I agree. It’s warmer now that during the LIA period. Why? Even historic writings make that clear, at least where writings have been preserved. But you question says nothing of where it’s warmer. I chose. Where I chose it’s definitely warmer.

    See, is that question hiding the word ‘global’? I have a little catch in my mind that says I really could not concretely say warmer equally weighted everywhere and be able to back it up, I’ve read the answer being yes, many believe that, I have read it even questioning that aspect. I generally also think it was global with that nuance. You do want me to be honest, right? How do I include that nuance in the answer?

    I still think your questions are too ambiguous.

  87. Wayne

    Its easy

    1. Is it warmer now at any randomly choosen spot than it was in the 50 year period from 1650-1700?
    A) Yes,
    B) no,
    C don’t know,
    D cant know

    ##############

    If your concern is with the “global” implication, then the honest answer would be
    “I dont know.’ and if you dont know.. then think about the following?

    So, given any randomly choosen spot on the land is it warmer now than it was then?
    or do you have reasons to disbelieve in the LIA? Do you have reason to believe that the documentary records are somehow skewed to only being taken in the cooler places?
    Or, do you have evidence that you believe that shows it was cooler in a some places and no data in other places? Does that absence of data give you any reason to believe that it might have been warmer where no one was there to record it? That is, do you think it only got colder where people were living and recording their impressions? Why?

  88. Ah, yes, Stephen but could I say UHI is in the range 0.25-0.5 , No, I think I will leave that to the worlds foremost expert on the topic of weather station siting and resulting trend biasses, Anthony Watts. He has calculated that one himself.

    On the other hand, ask me what the upper bound limit is on CO2 warming for a 100% CO2 atmosphere (at 1 atm pressure) then I am happy to answer 5.2 degrees, give or take, Because I actually calculated that myself. Far cry from +3 deg for a mere 0.4% rise though…

    Ask me what the negative feedback due to the conversion of thermal energy to kinetic inherent in the fall of rainfall to the surface (not included in climate models is), and I could answer, because I calculated that too 1-6W / square meter, larger error range due to terminal velocity effects however probably at the top of the range since the potential energy must go somewhere (probably not back to heat)

    Ask me what is the climate sensitivity to Money (delta $)/(delta T) using the Australian Gillard Government carbon tax, cost and aims as a metric and I can answer – About 1/2 a quadrillion dollars per annum per degree C because I calculated that too!

    Any question demanding a conclusion related to something a reader does not have first hand experience in is merely collating hearsay. A trap for young players, I contend that many of the Sceptics here, do not fall readily into traps for young players

    The problem is that Alarmist faith conversion is one way. By definition a person can only remain a non-sceptic until one takes sufficient interest to do some math. By definition then one becomes an evil sceptic merely by committing the sin of objectively checking the veracity of doctrine handed down from the high priests of climate change. Once one takes a scientific viewpoint and does a few simple calculations, CAGW is shown to be a shell, and scepticism is the result. Such is the story of my own rescue from “the faith”. The reverse is not true, there is no way back (well except for Muller of course) , what is now learned cannot be unlearned, only refuted by a sceptic to that new position – Ahh, Scepticism at work – science happening. The shift from faith (CAGW) to scepticism is one way – you are doomed to failure, the moment for the Alarmists has passed and gone forever, sceptic ranks are almost guaranteed mathematically to rise monotonically from here.

    I find interesting how Muller got trotted out across the media as a convert from Scepticism to “The Faith” whereas the millions like my self converted from “the Faith” to scientific reasoning is never mentioned. I hypothesize occasionally it is because Muller is truly unique in the world, the worlds only example of a sceptic to believer convert.

  89. Here is a typical interchange from Fox News Radio on this subject. The moderator (Alan) seems to be winning this debate here against Senator Inhofe.

    The Global Warming Debate
    Date: Feb 28, 2012; Duration 13:19 min
    Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) tells Alan why be believes man-made global warming is a hoax.

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/1478040333001/the-global-warming-debate

    I believe that massive, activist ‘noble cause corruption’ of news media and science is a better explanation of this situation than any deliberate hoax. But the final effect may be the same.

  90. Mosher, you do take a rather univariate view of climate. You seem to define climate as “temperature” (…the whole temperature and nothing but the temperature!)

    We certainly are a diverse, multicultural bunch. We don’t even agree on what the objective is (!) in discussing climate.

    Note to Alarmists: You’ll have to personalize the propaganda for each individual.

    In my case, I ask for local lifelong secure funding + pension to appreciate & explore nature. Nothing else will do…

    Solar Driven Geomagnetic Jerks:

  91. Personally, I get a bit frightened when they start categorizing “skeptics” in the media. That sounds like they are getting ready to go door-to-door and collect names or something.

    I’m a Type X = a highly-trained and educated scientist who questions many of the techniques, data, and results of the climate science community and insists upon better data (per Anthony Watts), advanced application of high-level statistics (McIntyre’s approach), less hysteria (per Dr. Richard Lindzen), and open discussion of the subject in society vs. ramming regulations down our throats.

    Of course, many scientists agree with CAGW, but many of these are rent-seeking parasites. Ask me, I’m surrounded by ‘em. I have no problem with the “AGW” and think it is a matter of degree, but the “catastrophic” part is a bit hysterical (“new religion” as Lindzen calls it).

  92. I’m a level 65 Night Elf Skeptic. I’m convinced the climate is warming, that man has little to do with it and even less ability to control it and that my Enchanted Azsharite Felbane Sword does 50-93 damage.

  93. The problem I have with the methodology is that it is based on a false assumption. The results are, therefore, meaningless.

    There is a tiny percentage of genuine scientific charlatans and ideologically-driven perverters of climate science. Similarly, there is a small proportion of science reporters, writers and bloggers who deliberately misrepresent climate science. We all know who they are.

    The false assumption in the study is that only a small proportion of scientists are sceptics. This is clearly nonsense. The overwhelming majority of scientists as sceptics by profession. Therefore, if the newspaper articles accurately reflected the output of most scientists, then nearly all of the articles would have been sceptical. Instead, they found that, at best, only a third of the articles were sceptical.

    Apart from that, a general perusal of newspapers in languages such as english, french and dutch enables me to confirm, anecdotally, that the authors may well be onto something: anglosphere newspapers do tend to give proportionately more space to those who do not support global warming theory than do their non-anglosphere counterparts. I have seen no research of any kind at all that would question this general view.

    Does this mean that anglo scientists are much smarter than scientists from other cultures? Or could it mean that newspaper owners, science writers and editors in other languages are dopier than their anglo counterparts?

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