John Nielsen-Gammon: Skeptics Are Not Deniers

Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon
Texas A&M Regents Professor and Texas State Climatologist

From his Climate Abyss blog at the Houston Chronicle, Texas State Climatologist Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon takes an extended interest in Dr. Robert Brown’s comment-turned-essay on WUWT.

Skeptics Are Not Deniers: A Conversation (part 1)

Robert Brown, a Lecturer of Physics at Duke University, had an essay up on Watts Up With That?.  It was originally a comment, but Anthony Watts made it a full post, noting “as commenter REP put it in the update: ‘it is eloquent, insightful and worthy of consideration.’”

The comment came in response to the controversy over the use of the term “denier” in a Nature paper by Bain et al. as the category name for people who either “believed climate change was occurring, but that humans were not contributing substantially to it, or did not believe the climate was changing”.

Bain, in attempting to explain himself, digs a deeper hole.  First he notes that those he would call skeptics and those he would call deniers are two distinct sets of people: “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.”  But then, he proceeds to refer to skeptics as those who believe AGW (anthropogenic global warming) is not occurring, which is precisely fits the definition of “denier” given in his Nature study!

Brown’s comment offers a different characterization of most skeptics, at least those who frequent WUWT, including himself: “they do not ‘deny’ AGW…What they challenge is the catastrophic label and the alleged magnitude of the projected warming on a doubling of CO2.”  This seems to be cleanly outside Bain’s “denier” definition, but since Bain equated deniers with skeptics, Bain is tarring them both with a broad brush.

I must note here that Brown’s definition of “skeptic” also arguably fits most surveyed members of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union, of whom 57% regard global climate change as at most moderately dangerous.

The rest of Brown’s essay is a defense of (his own) skepticism, as he has defined it.  It actually is very high-quality, as such things go, so it’s worth discussing.

So as to have an actual discussion, rather than merely a critique, I sent him my immediate responses, and he responded to them, and I responded to his responses, etc.  Our conversation remained interesting (at least to me) even as it grew longer and longer.  So I’m posting it in six parts, to be released in six consecutive days.

Here’s Part 1.  The numbered points are summarized by me from his WUWT post.  Note that none of the issues really get argued through to resolution, but you get a good sense of where we’re coming from.

See the full post at:

http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2012/07/skeptics-are-not-deniers-a-conversation-part-1/

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NickB.

Perhaps there is hope for civil dialogue after all… here and there at least 🙂

N-G is hiding behind an ice free Antarctica…from 30 Mya ! ! !
I’m embarassed for the Lone Star state….we can’t guess albedo to +/- 0.5 but we detect a signal from +/- 0.000001 change in CO2….what happened to the concept of “significant digits” ? ? ?

Darrell

All genuine scientists are skeptics. There is, however, such a thing as a denier, as much as I hate to use the word, and they may occupy any side of any issue. They can be identified by their refusal to admit even the possibility that they may be wrong.

Richard M

This should get very interesting. From the first few interactions it appears John N-G hasn’t had to deal with anyone with the knowledge that Dr. Robert Brown possesses. John makes a couple of illogical statements that Robert quickly points out.
The biggest problem in climate science is it really is built on a broad base of junk. Yes, junk. Nothing but guesses at things no one really understands to any substantial degree. Those who try to defend it can be easily made to look silly when the lack of certainty is made apparent. Most do what John just did. They make general claims about models, etc. that can’t be directly refuted but contain no information at all.
Junk science built on junk data from people who won’t call it what it is … junk.

joeldshore

I must note here that Brown’s definition of “skeptic” also arguably fits most surveyed members of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union, of whom 57% regard global climate change as at most moderately dangerous.

That’s a fair bit of spin on that study! The actual numbers ( http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html ) are that “Based on current trends, 41% of scientists believe global climate change will pose a very great danger to the earth in the next 50 to 100 years, compared to 13% who see relatively little danger. Another 44% rate climate change as moderately dangerous.” So only 13% see it as posing “relatively little danger”. “Moderately dangerous” does not seem like a skeptic to me. Presumably, most people would not believe that we should take no mitigating action to address something that is moderately dangerous!
And, to say it “will pose a very great danger to the earth in the next 50 to 100 years” is a very dramatic statement. If they had surveyed me, I probably would have debated quite a bit between saying something that strong and certain or just going with moderately dangerous. After all, “very great danger to the earth” seems to imply that the Earth itself is in peril. And, I think that the Earth will survive just fine (especially over the geologic time scale) even if we manage to kill off most of ourselves and a large fraction of other species; after all, such cataclysmic events have happened before. Still, that doesn’t mean it is something I don’t want to put any effort into avoiding!!!!

Tom G(ologist)

Always willing to think the best of people, I admit to accepting his response/explanation as an apologetic overture and was magnanimous in my comments. I am exceedingly critical of someone’s science, and never critical enough of their motives or their personal explanations.
Live and learn
Thanks

Bennett

“And, I think that the Earth will survive just fine (especially over the geologic time scale) even if we manage to kill off most of ourselves and a large fraction of other species; after all, such cataclysmic events have happened before. Still, that doesn’t mean it is something I don’t want to put any effort into avoiding!!!!”
Ha! Well said. It’s that old ‘perspective thing”.
It’s time to mow the lawn.

I would be very hesitant to come anywhere near establishing criteria for who is and who isn’t a legitimate skeptic.

michael hart

“The rest of Brown’s essay is a defense of (his own) skepticism, as he has defined it. It actually is very high-quality, as such things go, so it’s worth discussing.”
“…as such things go”
lol
Is that damning-with-faint-praise, or praising-with-faint-damns?
I don’t think I need to read parts 2,3,4,5, and 6, Sir.

The American Physical Society among others has stated the evidence is incontrovertible. Lets look at the definition of incontrovertible:
http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/dictionary/incontrovertible
incontrovertible
adjective that is true and cannot be disagreed with or denied
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/incontrovertible
Adj. 1. incontrovertible – impossible to deny or disprove
In both cases, “incontrovertible” means impossible to deny. To deny something that is impossible to deny is impossible. Therefore, there cannot be any deniers.
That is the beauty of truth. It has no contradiction. A lie on the other hand always has an end, because it leads to a logical contradiction.

RobertInAz

His blog is a worthwhile read – for example:
http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2012/04/about-the-lack-of-warming/

Ally E.

This is interesting. I was just settling in for a good long read when Part 1 ended. Can’t wait for Part 2.

dp

Is it N-G’s position that we are in fact deniers? Not sure I understand the point of this exchange. N-G is model-oriented and I’ve not seen any models with enough skill to outwit a room full of monkeys. RGB nails that point well and the uncertainty challenge is unanswered with models.
What happened 30MYA is not relevant and there is no evidence conditions from that time are recurring. It is quite likely the current land mass arrangement disallows many things that happened then while allowing other things previously denied.
Which brings me to my favorite point: Climate is the frame work within which weather happens. It forms the bounds for what we witness and can witness. It is always changing. Not in a fickle way but in a slow ponderous way. Most importantly it is not global. There are enough variables in the system to allow climate excursions regionally which is why we see Antarctic ice increase as Arctic ice is blown into the north Atlantic.
Climate change is entirely normal and not to be feared but to be understood. It will make no adjustments to appease our comforts – that is our job. The lull in the current glaciation cycle is just that. The ice will return and there is not stopping it. Unlike what happened 30MYA, the ice is recurring and receded only recently in geologic time. Our state of Washington bears the scars of it like it happened yesterday (learn more at Scablands).

Bob Diaz

If you think about it, there’s a lot of “marketing” going on with AGW. Don’t like what someone says, just throw out a label, “Denier”, problem solved. No need to think of consider another point of view, just throw our a marketing label and turn off the brain.
Someone published research the contradicts AGW, just call it, “junk science” or “research bought by the oil companies”, problem solved. No need to even consider any contradiction.

davidmhoffer

Absolute applause for Dr N-G. This is what a frank and honest discussion of climate science looks like. This is what a discussion with Mann, Jones, Briffa, Trenberth and the rest of “the team” does NOT look like. I’ll not say a single ill word about his position vs Dr Brown’s. This is not about who won the argument. This is about showing the world what a civil argument based on facts and logic looks like. Kudos to both Dr N-G and to Dr Brown.

Eugene WR Gallun

Chicken Little climatologists
How they label us is not important. What is important is for us to label them.
Eugene WR Gallun

Greg House

John Nielsen-Gammon: Skeptics Are Not Deniers
================================================
@all so called “skeptics”. Just forget the whole climate hoax (debate, controversy, fiction, whatever) for a minute and focus on the phrase “Skeptics Are Not Deniers”. Isn’t it ridiculous? Yes, it is in multiple ways.
First, this is “sceptics against scientists” implication, bad for “Sceptics”.
Second, “skeptic” implies a weak or even unreasonable position per definition: “someone who habitually doubts accepted beliefs” (WordWeb dictionary).
To the term “denier”. It has a bad connotation, but it’s original meaning is “One who denies” (WordWeb dictionary). So if a “skeptic” does not agree with catastrophic AGW, then from the standpoint of those who believe that it is a fact they can logically call “skeptics” “deniers”. The problem is only that there is a bad connotation there because of the term “Holocaust denier”.
The most ridiculous thing is when “skeptics” argue that they do not deny AGW. No, it is irrelevant, that there is something you do not deny, because they do not call you denier for that. They call you “denier” for what you deny, like the catastrophic consequences. You do deny the catastrophic consequences, don’t you, so what is the problem?
Now, if you want them stop calling you denier, if it is so important to you, then… right, then agree with them on everything. This would be at least logical. Or stop whining, lose your humiliating term “skeptic” and start questioning everything about the AGW concept.

CRS, Dr.P.H.

I am a scientist. I have studied possible causes for climate change for the past 33 years, focusing upon biogenic methane releases from agriculture. I have published in the peer reviewed literature and am considered an expert in my field.
I am also a skeptic of wild, exaggerated claims by hyperventilating types (Hansen esp.) who have clear political agendas and those with overt economic motivations (Pachauri, Gore et.al). Most of the data they defend is trash, as exposed by the elegant analysis of Stephe McIntyre and others.
The global system is far too complex to define in the precise and concrete terms that they use. I don’t deny that there might be a relationship between man’s activities and climate, but I have yet to see this proven. Prof. Lindzen’s opinions on the subject are very much like my own. If they want to call me a “denier,” my feelings aren’t hurt. They are asses.

eyesonu

joeldshore says:
July 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm
===================
Your link is from an article dated April 24, 2008. That was at a time when most of us believed in the integrity of scientists.
The cat is now out of the bag and it has been revealed that the the so-called ‘climate scientists’ have no integrity or code of ethics. This comment of yours and others from the past show you fit right in with their scheme of things.
I will do my best to not call you a troll, but it taxes my general disposition. I will just try consider that you are a fire and brimstone type of believer. To consider that also taxes my disposition.
Well … just let me ask. Are you a troll?

“N-G: Wrong. For eons, until about 30 million years ago, the Antarctic was ice-free. The climate state associated with the ice-free Antarctic was warmer by several degrees…”
Yeah, because the Antarctic continent was not yet at the southern pole! Being north of the southern pole gave it a better shot at being warm!
The Wikipedia has the South Atlantic beginning to open after the Cretaceous, circa 145 to 65 MA. . .
Over time, Gondwana gradually broke apart and Antarctica as we know it today was formed around 25 million years ago. Antarctica was not always cold, dry and covered in ice sheets. . .
About 65 MA, Antarctica (then connected to Australia) still had a tropical to subtropical climate, complete with a marsupial fauna. About 40 MA Australia-New Guinea separated from Antarctica, so that latitudinal currents could isolate Antarctica from Australia, and the first ice began to appear. . . Around 23 MA. . . ice began to spread, replacing the forests that then covered the continent. Since about 15 MA, the continent has been mostly covered with ice, with the Antarctic ice cap reaching its present extension around 6 Ma.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctica
So, N-G is saying that continental drift had nothing to do with the change in climate faced by Antarctica?
Buy me another drink!

Rob Huber

Greg House:
I really don’t give a damn what you call me.

Legatus

There are two peices of actual evidence that there is no recent third stable warm state. There are trapped bubbles of air in deep, as in 200,000 years deep, antarctic ice, that show the following:
1) Twice the carbon dioxide (at twice the atmospheric pressure to boot) as now.
2) Trapped in ICE.
This means that if we arrive at twice the amount of carbon dioxide as now, we will have ice in antarctica.
This is hard physical data. It shows that the models are flat out wrong.
X2 CO2 and ice, any questions?

michael hart says:
July 9, 2012 at 8:18 pm

“The rest of Brown’s essay is a defense of (his own) skepticism, as he has defined it. It actually is very high-quality, as such things go, so it’s worth discussing.”
“…as such things go”
lol
Is that damning-with-faint-praise, or praising-with-faint-damns?
I don’t think I need to read parts 2,3,4,5, and 6, Sir.

And you will be a poorer man for it, because this is a remarkably good discussion. To pick at a nit, and throw away the opportunity to read an engaging and frank debate where a warmist honestly engages a skeptic because of that nit, is your loss.
Thank you John Nielsen-Gammon for your frank engagement with the indomitable Robert Brown.

pat

Skeptics are normal people who expect others to do their jobs. Not enrich themselves by satisfying left wing academics and politicians with obvious nonsense.

davidmhoffer

I said I would say no ill of Dr N-G because I think he does both sides a noble service by making his conversation with Dr B public in this fashion. No matter what your own belief is, this discussion in this format has enormous value and I for one intend to read every word of each installment.
Now having said that, I never said that I wouldn’t keep score. I have scored the first round as being rather decisive, with one of the protagonists well ahead on points. I believe there was one foul incurred due to an “out of bounds” argument, but otherewise a clean bout so far.
I believe I shall need more popcorn, and perhaps a hot dog and pop.

Sceptical lefty

“Sceptic” is a term that still retains an objective meaning. “Denier”, thanks to its chronic overuse by Holocaustians (not a real word), has acquired pejorative overtones that make it more a term of abuse than a word fit for polite discourse. Other words have copped similar treatment: you need to be careful who you describe as “gay” these days.
To appreciate the true quality of “denier”, just use “(crude equivalent of “rectal sphincter”)” instead to see the level of debate aimed for.
When science is reduced to what is, effectively, petty name-calling, it is not science.

JPeden

Greg House says:
July 9, 2012 at 9:28 pm
“Or stop whining, lose your humiliating term “skeptic” and start questioning everything about the AGW concept.”
Greg, you are the one who is whining now. Scepticism is at the very heart of the practice of real science. It is necessary to every step, and it is nearly completely absent from every step used in the practice of “mainstream Climate Science” – except when they deign to publish their “materials and methods” so that their studies can be truly “peer reviewed”. Therefore, quite to the contrary, it is “mainstream Climate Science which needs to “start questioning everything about the AGW concept”. The sceptics have been doing it all along!

Scarface

Copied from: http://anotherviewonclimate.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/a-very-good-point-about-skeptics/
A Very Good Point About Skeptics
As Dr. Lindzen points out in the video, below, the term “skeptic” implies being skeptical about a plausible thesis. People in doubt (most of us) about the faked moon landing or the flat Earth are not referred to as skeptics. Since catastrophic warming (CW) is not a plausible theory then the word “skeptic” really should be dropped. Perhaps realist or rational thinker would be a better term.
What would be catastrophic would be for this planet to fall back into another ice age, a far more likely occurrence, though that’s likely to be way out in the future.

[I have made two replies, now posted at Chron.com under my a.k.a. Joseph A Olson, PE. My third comment may not have posted, so will address that here]
This is the same monotribe Warmist-Luke debate as the April 2010 faux debate in “Discover” [choke] magazine between Curry-Mann which prompted my article “Non Science Nonsense” and the first use of the term “Luke Warmer”. N-G responded to my analysis at the chron.com of the previously unknow origin Antarctic C-14 anomolies with a flippant, and unfunny comment….if he wants humor, he should visit the “Satire” tab at my website. Now for a simple quiz on the three subjects i covered in my Dennis Miller interview in Mar 2011….
THERMAL MASS….How can 28 gigatons of a benign, natural three atom gas control the temperature of 359 trillion cubic miles of mostly molten rock at ~2500F….AND….310 million cubic miles of ocean at ~4F….AND….the 99.9% of the atmoshpere that is NOT CO2….and the 97% of the CO2 in the atmosphere that is NOT of human origin ?
RADIATION TRANSMISSION….Outgoing photons travel at the speed of light, some can strike a CO2 molecule causing a billionth of a second vibration [absorption-emission] with the emitted photon now of lower energy and longer wavelength that is invisible to additional CO2 absorption. How can this momentary energy be directed from the cooler atmosphere back to the still warmer Earth ?
CO2 TOXICITY….Every living human inhales 400 PPM CO2 and exhales 40,000 PPM, yet 5 out of 9 science illiterate windbags on the Supreme Court have affirmed the EPA, that “your mother’s warm breath on your baby face is a toxin”…..WHY ?
The comments by NewtLove & Legatos above are also valid, thanks Anthony for hosting the ONLY true science debate forum on the planet.

Irrespective of a scientist being labelled with anything, there is a large group of participants in the discussion about the state of the Earth whose driving interest is that bad science be called out and that good science be recognised.
Unfortunately, to recognise good science, you need to have lived it. When you do, the signs of bad science light up. I had a fortunate life, being surrounded by very good scientists, very good being applicable because they were accountable, they delivered the goods, they apologised for mistakes and they directed their efforts to work likely to produce a product of value. They were also teachers of the upcoming.
Labels mean nothing. Concentrate on the production of valuable ideas and material goods.

If you’re not a skeptic, you’re not a scientist. A skeptic is someone who wants to see evidence, and who values it above all other things. So is a scientist.
In science, there is no higher law than evidence. All things give way before it. Models and speculation, no matter how elegant (or how deeply believed-in) cannot substitute for observed data. Why else did humanity spend untold billions to build the LHC? Why did we orbit the Hubble Telescope? Why are there robots on Mars? Why is Voyager leaving the Heliosheath…if not in order to obtain evidence? Why bother, if our guesses are good enough?
“Denier” is an ad hominem term. So is “warmist”. They are debating techniques, and base ones at that. They have no place in science. All that matters is where one stands on the evidence. At present, there simply is no statistically significant observational evidence demonstrating a causal linkage between CO2 (let alone human-produced CO2) and global climate. Temperatures are not responding to increased CO2 concentrations as the models say they should. Nor are predicted phenomena being observed. Sea level rise is not accelerating. Ice is not disappearing, much less “death-spiralling”. Predicted tropospheric hot spots are absent. There is no increase in storm frequency or severity. Ecosystems are not perishing. Entire species are not disappearing. None of the model predictions, no matter how modest or how lurid, are being borne out.
On the other hand, lobster is getting cheaper. Okay – who predicted THAT?
Meanwhile, as to the notion that “every reputable scientist agrees that the earth is warming”…well, what does the EVIDENCE say? Anthony has spent the better part of the last several years demonstrating that we cannot trust the US land-based temperature record because the instruments are poorly sited and maintained. Steve Goddard has shown that we cannot trust it because of illogical manual alterations to that record by GISS. The UHI has not been adequately quantified or understood. The UEA admits that their original temperature data no longer exist. Four-fifths of the measuring stations disappeared over the past couple of decades. I don’t disagree that we assume/think the Earth has warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age (fancy that!) – but from a point of view of the data that we do have, there are sound scientific reasons to be skeptical about the EVIDENCE that it has warmed. For crying out loud, this very site just published yet another peer-reviewed study showing that the Earth has actually cooled since the Roman Warm Period!
Stop and think about the stakes for just a moment. We just spent decades and tens of billions of dollars trying to figure out if our models were right or wrong about the Higgs Boson. But if the models were wrong, all that would have happened is that a bunch of physicists will spend the next few years being very happy and very busy. The lives of average people will not be affected one jot or tittle. But if we’re wrong about the AGW thesis and the models based upon its assumptions, then we are going to drastically alter the trajectory of human technology at enormous (probably unbearable) expense for no logical purpose, deepening the catastrophic financial straits in which the developed states find themselves, and preventing developing states from using cheap energy to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. The human cost of making the wrong move will be incalculable.
That’s the sort of step you don’t really want to take until you’re confident in your evidence, wouldn’t you say?

KnR

While Gammon appears to be follow the usual route of try to define ‘skeptic’ in way to suit his own stance rather an honest approach .
“did not believe the climate was changing” I have wonder if Gammon could actual name someone that claims that climate does not change , if he can’t they this group basically does not exist . Its use really is to try a label AGW skeptics as ‘deniers’ of all science as we see with claims their creationists to, this is part of the attempt to negatively label people with different views which got Gammon the well deserved flak in the first place .

Brian H

Geoff Sherrington says:
July 10, 2012 at 12:35 am

Labels mean nothing. Concentrate on the production of valuable ideas and material goods.

Ideally, you’re right. In practice (emotively), you’re wrong. Do not discount the power of an emotional “label”; it can direct, draw, push, and pull thinking in subtle and overt ways, especially in generating and accreting “arguments” that prop it up and facilitate its vigourous application wherever and whenever possible.

tango

it’s better then being told, to late for lunch

jayhd

The Earth’s climate is changing and man has little or no control over it. To me that is an undeniable fact. Another undeniable fact is that “climate science” as practiced by the majority of “climate scientists” is not a real science. In what category am I?
Jay Davis

Glen Martin

[SNIP. -REP]

This part of the J N-G series appears to be a paleoclimatological discussion, so I’ll hold my comments until (if) they start discussing how well/poorly climate models work during the recent (post-1976) warming period.

Lucy Skywalker

This posting epitomizes something of the best of WUWT, and attitudes generally that help science progress by informed and courteous debate.
But it has me thinking. What has been missing from Science for so long, is a “scientific” handling of the human dimension, the experimenter, his co-workers, and his popularizers the media. Climate Science has showed the human dimension returning to hit with a vengeance, as fullblown serial corruption, as all suppressed matters will do, as any good psychologist knows.
WUWT works so well precisely because of its balance of interest between science and its human / social / political effects. This works to keep most discussions here flowing with “popcorn” interest.
But there have been exceptions. Always, in my perception, the handling of actual frontier science has been the area fraught with difficulties over discussion and courtesy. Sometimes it’s been managed, with a huge and I think well-earned sense of achievement; but sometimes it’s lost out.
I fear that without awareness of the times the debate here has lost out, and attempts to try again to open courteous discussion, the debate here will tend to stultify over time. I commiserate with Anthony here probably more than he realizes; I know what a psychic drain it is, for reasons I don’t yet really understand myself, to handle the NEW frontiers of science.
Yet this task is absolutely vital to Science, and to its recovery of integrity.
*******************************************
Little Mouse asking: Please sir, can you put Tallbloke’s Talkshop in a less demeaning category again? I don’t think he deserves to be bracketed with Climate Progress.
*******************************************
Having asked, this, I have also been glad to hide out in that less-frequented blog recently. I have been running a series at the Talkshop, which discuss a very sensitive frontier issue (latest post here). I simply could not have coped with the huge volume of traffic of WUWT, in responses, at that point. Yet this issue is not just important, it is vital, and it is vital to the very roots and foundations of Climate Science. And it has been underpinned by a lot of high-quality experimental work, albeit by one lone individual so far. Interest has been shown by a few capable academics, but no replication, which is essential, and which I am proposing (with a small team of supporters). What, noooooooob me? well, this work is really important IMHO and not just for Climate Science but for Physics and Astrophysics, and nobody else seems to be involved in the essential job of replication.
What I’ve found, indeed, is that frontiers of science do indeed attract “transcendental ranters” who will not talk about the subject on hand and look at the actual science, but use it as a springboard for their own “sciency” rants which generally are “appeals to authority” which may be the “authority of consensus” or the “authority of ego” or the “authority of counter-consensus” – anything but “nullius in verba”.
(If you are interested in joining a team involved in replication, please contact me.)
And thank you again, Anthony, for this pioneer work of yours which gives so many of us important opportunities.

hunter

Dr. N-G is a believer but he has not lost his reasoning ability. He gets credit for pointing out that the IPCC was lying about the Himalayan glaciers, for instance. He is at least willing to act civilly, and for this he gets credit.

Jimmy Haigh

It’s still one of my favourite quotes – I can’t remember who came up with it:
“You can’t serve cod and gammon.”

@ Darrell:
“All genuine scientists are skeptics. There is, however, such a thing as a denier, as much as I hate to use the word, and they may occupy any side of any issue. They can be identified by their refusal to admit even the possibility that they may be wrong.” Uhu

rogerknights

Donald A. Neill says
“Denier” is an ad hominem term. So is “warmist”.

“Denier” has the connotation of being “in denial” or a “denialist.” The latter implies, according to Wikipedia, ““an ideological position whereby one systematically reacts by refusing reality and truth”.
“Warmist carries no such negative connotation. Even “alarmist,” which does carry a negative connotation, is mild compared to “denier.”

Ace

It seems to me that the most significant denial that’s occurring is on the part of the warmists who deny the existence of the Medieval Warm Period.

joeldshore says:
July 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm
That’s a fair bit of spin on that study! The actual numbers are that “Based on current trends, 41% of scientists believe global climate change will pose a very great danger to the earth in the next 50 to 100 years, compared to 13% who see relatively little danger. Another 44% rate climate change as moderately dangerous.” So only 13% see it as posing “relatively little danger”. “Moderately dangerous” does not seem like a skeptic to me. Presumably, most people would not believe that we should take no mitigating action to address something that is moderately dangerous!

*ahem*
From that same study: Former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth” rates better than any traditional news source, with 26% finding it “very reliable” and 38% as somewhat reliable.
The egregious errors and bunk science in Gore’s slide show were well-publicized by the time that survey was made, yet 64% if those polled found it — pardon my chuckles — “reliable.”
The survey bias is obvious.

Who

Unfortunately you are the one tarring with a broad brush, most posters here do know that temp is increasing, but avoid the laughable extreme of the warmers and are most infuriated by the science-less approach of the warmers. To fake or spin the data is unacceptable in science and the politicization of the science on both sides should scare us all.

Kaboom

Skeptics are arguing that the contribution humanity makes to the interglacial warming, the numerous natural cycles (like the PDO) and the activity of the sun has not been quantified, has not been found to be significant and has not been identified as either harmful or beneficial and thus any output from climate research is not to be used to shape public policy.

Curiousgeorge

Being more than a little familiar with Probability Theory, and specifically Bayes, I tend to be a little suspicious when someone invokes Bayes Theorem. While it is a valuable tool, it is not always appropriate to the problem as is also the case with other probabilistic methodology. I’d want to examine the details of it before blindly accepting the statement made in the dialogue at the link. I’ll refer you to E.T. Jaynes work; “Probability, The Logic of Science”, for more on this.

Stacey

@ Scarface
Dr Lindzens succint commentary on the use of the word skeptic is formidable. The term Denier is used by verbal bullies who are incapable of winning an argument with rational people. Hence I prefer the term rationalist.
As for Bains psychobabble that should be temporarily lodged in a cylindrical container for onward transmission to a suitable recycling plant.

joeldshore

Legatus says:

There are trapped bubbles of air in deep, as in 200,000 years deep, antarctic ice, that show the following:
1) Twice the carbon dioxide (at twice the atmospheric pressure to boot) as now.
2) Trapped in ICE.
This means that if we arrive at twice the amount of carbon dioxide as now, we will have ice in antarctica.

(1) No. The ice cores show that carbon dioxide has never exceeded ~300ppm over the last ~750,000 years (see, e.g., http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Paleoclimatology_Evidence/paleoclimatology_evidence_2.php or http://www.realclimate.org/epica.jpg ).
(2) Even if most of the Antarctic ice sheet can survive twice the amount of carbon dioxide that we have now, that would be of little solice. The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have enough water to raise sea levels ~70 meters! The worst scenarios regarding sea level rise imagine that parts of the Greenland and West Antarctica ice sheets melt; they don’t imagine the East Antarctica ice sheet melts. If it did, we’d be toast.

pat

a bright Marine Scientist at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Cairns Australia by the name of Janice Lough, from James Cook University, obviously believes the Great Barrier Reef has never experienced “climate change” prior to CAGW!
10 July: ABC Australia: Climate change could make Barrier Reef ‘boring’
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-10/reef-risks-becoming-27boring27-scientist/4121970
give it up. either this usage of the phrase “climate change” is dropped, or we can give up on science right now.