Labeling People ‘Climate Change Deniers’ Merely Reveals the Attacker’s Ignorance

Guest post by Dr. Tim Ball

A common fallback position when losing an argument is to assault your adversary personally. Known as ad hominem, it involves “attacking an opponent’s motives or character rather than the policy or position they maintain.”

In climate science, those who employ this rhetorical tactic attack individuals who ask probing scientific questions. The attacks indicate that they know how inadequate their science is. It often works because of a deliberate campaign to exploit basic sensitivities: fear the sky is falling, guilt about not protecting the environment, guilt about the damage already done, fear and embarrassment of showing ignorance.

People who challenge the claims of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are often labeled “global warming skeptics”. Skeptics do not deny that warming occurred in modern times, but, sensibly, questioned the cause. The IPCC said it was due to human production of CO2. This is driven by a political agenda, not science, so any opposition is considered troublesome and requires silencing.

The IPCC claim is an unproven hypothesis. Science advances by proposing hypotheses that other scientists challenge in their proper role as skeptics. The word skeptic has markedly different public and scientific connotation; negative for the former and positive for the latter. Scientists act as skeptics by trying to disprove the hypothesis. Global warming skeptics are acting appropriately.

The IPCC hypothesis was untested. Professor Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said that consensus was claimed before the research even began. The IPCC tried to prove the hypothesis, putting them in the untenable position of eliminating, ignoring, or manipulating anything that showed the hypothesis was wrong. They had to shoot the skeptics who were the messengers of the problems.

Evidence showing that the hypothesis was wrong continued to emerge. But the IPCC and the vast majority of mainstream media simply ignored it. IPCC projections were wrong because the hypothesis was wrong. That the skeptics were correct was verified as CO2 levels continued to rise, while temperatures leveled and declined. But instead of amending the science, as is proper science, alarmists simply changed the terminology. They stopped talking about global warming and started talking about climate change. Leaked emails from the Climatic Research Unit for 2004 explained:

Asher Minns, Communication and Centre Manager at the Tyndall Centre:In my experience, global warming freezing is already a bit of a public relations problem with the media.”

Bo Kjellén, former Chief Climate Negotiator, Sweden; senior research fellow, Stockholm Environment Institute: “I agree with Nick that climate change might be a better labeling than global warming.”

Climate change was an ideal label because activist scientists could use it to explain any weather event; hotter, colder, wetter, drier, it was all climate change. The public would not know that such events are normal, so alarmists would have an endless supply of frightening examples. The public also does not know that climate change in general is normal. It has often occurred more quickly and with greater magnitude than most people are aware. Current conditions are well within normal.

Those who knew how much climate changes naturally were those previously called global warming skeptics. They now became climate change deniers with all the holocaust connotations of that word. The fallacy is that they were anything but deniers. Indeed, they spend their careers educating people about the amount of climate change that has and is occurring.

Next time you witness personal attacks on scientists, call the attacker to answer for this despicable tactic. Ask them to address the outstanding science questions only. A hand wave toward the IPCC in response is insufficient.

Soon, when someone calls a person a global warming skeptic or climate change denier, informed observers will come to see it as conclusive proof that the abuser knows nothing about climate or scientific method. Then, the attacker, not the scientist being attacked, will be shunned

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GlynnMhor

In Science, theories are tested against their predictions.
When the predictions FAIL, theories are normally revised, re-evaluated, reconsidered, re-examined, recalculated, or just plain re-jected.
The principal forces keeping the AGW alarmism theory from being seriously re-examined are those of political correctness.

A refreshing cogent state indeed! Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom with us. It’s helpful. For the past several years I have been outspoken against the tide of pure ignorance of the general public in California. People say they have opinions, and I routinely say that they do not in fact have opinions, they parrot the opinions of others. They spread misinformation in much the same way as the folks who believed in witches. The outcome of the “witches” was to be hanged to prove their innocence. If they lived, they were a witch and then killed. If they dies, well, a small price to pay to rid the word of witches.
Today, people in poverty are being killed… and for no good reason. You all here know what I mean. Enough said.
Mario

I’ve always thought the ‘climate change denier’ label was most absurd. The only climate change deniers are the global warming activists that imply or teach that the climate would be stable if not for human activity. These people are logically, denying natural climate change.
By flipping the label to the skeptics that do believe (as if belief is required rather than a simple observation of facts) in natural climate change, the activists are removing the label from being applied to them.
The reality is the only climate change deniers around are the people that think the climate would not be changing without human involvement.

The more accurate word is heretic or blasphemer, but they are not suitable for a secular belief system.

tango

most global warming sceptics are proud of the names they are calling us .to me it is like being back in my school days when I was called names which I cannot say on this post. the old saying sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me fits very well in the age we now live in

Patrick

Their ignorance is even more evident when they call you a “climate denier”!

Velcro

Right on!

Brian

C’mon… Maybe you guys had reasons to complain before, but you guys throw everything and the kitchen sink at your rivals now.

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead

Dr. Tim, I sure hope you are exactly right about ‘soon’. But the ‘climate’ of ad hominem is the rhetoric of politics, and it’s the politicians who reward the climate club with their tenure. So in essence it is not about science, and what’s more, explicitly so. Hence the remarks of some UN apparatchik at Cancun: “it’s not about climate, but about wealth redistribution”.

CodeTech

I used to discuss the whole thing with people who went on about “Global Warming”. I’d show them temperature charts, discuss the “adjustments” to older temperature data, demonstrate that actual records show warmer times 1000 and 2000 years ago as well as cooler times, show them that there have been worries about Arctic melting in the past, etc.
Lately, people I encounter are just not open to discussion. I’m seeing a complete refusal to look at any evidence, and a blind belief in humanity’s destructive influence on the planet. The attempts to reframe the discussion have largely been successful. Which is, actually, sad. A whole generation’s understanding of Science has been severely damaged as the result of a relatively small group of very well financed activists.
And, let’s face it, this is not likely to get better very soon. The disconnect from reality is growing. It’s impossible to correlate CO2 levels to temperature for the last 16 years, there is no “accelerating sea level rise”, so instead we hear the decidedly unscientific excuse that “this is the warmest decade EVERRRRR”. The gap between Science and Belief simply grows wider.
I know that a lot of “climate change researchers” earnestly believe the Climate Change narrative, and that’s even sadder. They will not easily realize they have been manipulated by a small team of dedicated anti-Science people, because they can’t comprehend that as anything other than a “conspiracy theory”.

I have always maintained that the term “climate change denier” is a clear case of the psychological phenomenon known as projection. As Dr. Ball pointed out, those who have been skeptical of IPCC dogma, have always attempted to emphasize the continual natural variability of the long term climate, while the alarmists have just as persistently maintained that, absent humanity’s profligate use of fossil fuels and the rising levels of atmospheric CO2 it supposedly creates, there is no way to explain the present day climate. To my mind that is the ultimate in “climate change denial”.

@Brian: Maybe you have an explanation for us? Could you explain yourself?
@Will Nitschke: Your use of adverbs makes it unclear who you are suggesting is a heretic or blasphemer. Please enlighten us with some wisdom sir.

TomRude

As if to confirm Tim Ball’s column, the Vancouver Sun daily dose of global warming agitprop used King Tides to offer some UBC Oceanographer a “global warming” tribune:
“Oceanographer Susan Allen said that in coming years, the flooding seen in parts of Metro Vancouver’s waterfront could occur outside a “coincidence” like Monday’s heavy wind and rain that combined with the so-called king tides, which are nearing the end of their month-long peak in British Columbia.
“In the future we won’t have to have quite so high a tide at the time of a storm surge to get exactly what we had today because the water will be a little higher,” Allen said. “The important thing is “and.”
“If you get global warming and a big tide and a storm surge then we (have) problems.”
Darn, what the good oceanographer forgets to tell, is that in the past 100 years of “unprecedented” global warming, sea level rise in Vancouver has been about 1.2 in! Considering that “King tides, also known as a perigean spring tide, are formed twice a year when the gravitational pull of the sun and moon reinforce each other. Usual water levels at high tide are 3.4 metres to 4.3 metres in the Vancouver area, but a king tide can reach five metres, as it did (almost 5.5 m) at 9 a.m. Monday.”, the Moon still wins!
Perhaps Susan can mount a research project on the influence of global warming on Lunar Mare and get a grant? LOL At least the Vancouver Sun reporters would gobble this one just like the gobble the self serving alarmism from SFU and UBC.
http://www.eos.ubc.ca/about/faculty/S.Allen.html
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/metro/Metro+Vancouver+storm+surge+climate+change+preview+expert+says/7709174/story.html#ixzz2FTVn8Z8z

TomRude

As a follow up, it is hilarious to read the photograph comments: “Massive waves hit the seawall as storms surges on West Vancouver’s Ambleside beach area at high tide, flooding the local John Lawson Park, on December 17, 2012.” and watching the size of waves versus people, barely 2 feet high swell on the photograph. Of course what they forget to mention is that it is the stray logs crashing on sea walls that did the damage…http://www.vancouversun.com/news/metro/Delta+prepared+floods+from+high+tides+winds+this+morning/7709174/story.html?tab=PHOT
Ah alarmism and journalists…

Ball:
“attacking an opponent’s motives or character rather than the policy or position they maintain.”
“This is driven by a political agenda, not science,”
Hmm. Looks like you are attacking their motives.
Personally as a libertarian, I find it odd that people would try to connect my belief in AGW to my politics.

@Mosher: It’s hard not to attack your belief even though you are brilliant. The belief you have is shared by many who are only politically motivated… so unfortunately, people are getting sick and tired of the attacks we face through the economically harmful policies created in an attempt to curb CO2. Science has been struck a sad blow by most of the CAGW meme.
You are quite a gentleman in how you respond. I hope that can rub on of me… still, I disagree that there is good evidence that CO2 is driving climate to an extent that can even be measured… I could be wrong, but I am waiting to see something compelling and honest that sheds light on the hypothesis.

King of Cool

A Climate Change Denier! Is that all? How about questioning climate science being like advocating paedophilia, abetting mesothelioma and pushing drugs to teenagers?
No, this was not in the blogosphere. This was on the tax funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation Science Show. If Ad hominem attacks are a sign of losing the argument on logic, then the global warming movement led by front organisations such as the ABC must be in the death throws:
http://joannenova.com.au/2012/12/maurice-newman-fights-back-no-slur-is-to-vicious-for-robyn-williams-and-the-abc/

AndyG55

If Hansen et al had not so mutilated the land temperature record, we might actually have some idea what has really happened to the temperature.
If Mann was not a total ignoramus when it comes to dendrochronogly and statistics, the hockey shist would never have existed.
If Al Gore lived as he preached
If McKibben didn’t weep
If Jones knew what a spreadsheet was
If…………………
If…………………
And they blame us for being skeptics ??????
The very people that are the CAGW priests, are the ones that change so many people to being skeptics by their BLATANT data manipulation and/or hypocracy.

manicbeancounter

The assumption that the global warming hypothesis was a correct in magnitude was a particular problem in the longer term. Climate is incredibly varied, so short-term here were plenty of examples that could fit the theory. Now the “consensus” are left with ever more obscure explanations, such as the recent cold winters here in Britain are a result of global warming.
The scientific way to sort out the wheat from the chaff in complex theories, is to look at predictive ability of the theories. That is to predict novel events or trends from the theory that cannot be explained by simple extrapolation of existing trends. A bold theory makes itself vulnerable to being falsified. An established theory is one that still stands despite being vulnerable and but having successfully made predictions. Now the odd failed prediction does not falsify a theory – climate is chaotic after all. But consistent failure does.
The collapse into dogma is shown by a failure to confront the failures, nor to improve the quality of the predictions. Instead it is to move on to other areas, rely on ex-post explanations and think of any reason to shut out the critics. The best way is to think of the critics as a lower order of person. Climatologists are far from unique in this, and are far from being the nastiest.

Richard D

Mosher: the science is settled and AGW is falsified, period. It’s only about motive: money, power, politics and has nothing whatever to do with science.

AlecM

Because the lower atmosphere is near black body in the main GHG bands and the Earth’s surface is near a black body over a much wider range, the two radiation fields cancel each other out at radiative equilibrium. That means there can be very little, if any, CO2-AGW.
The main IR emitted from the surface to be absorbed in the lower atmosphere is in water vapour sidebands. The climate models exaggerate warming by at least 5.8 times, hence imaginary positive feedback. They do so by wrongly using the two-stream approximation to calculate heat absorption when only net energy can do thermodynamic work.
They justify this by imagining pyrgeometers measure a net energy flow. But a pyrgeometer reading is always an artefact of the shielding behind the detector; it measures the temperature radiation field in its view angle no matter what the real net energy flux between the Earth and the lower atmosphere.
This is a 50 year long major experimental mistake originating from meteorology which teaches ‘DLR’ or ‘back radiation’. This does not exist as an energy flux and they had better get used to accepting this truth.

Mark and two Cats

Steven Mosher said:
December 18, 2012 at 11:04 pm
Ball:
“attacking an opponent’s motives or character rather than the policy or position they maintain.”
“This is driven by a political agenda, not science,”
Hmm. Looks like you are attacking their motives.
——————————————————————-
Hmm. Looks like he is describing their actions.

@Steven Mosher ..

I find it odd that people would try to connect my belief in AGW to my politics.

that’s the problem when you try to associate science with a “belief” .. science is not a “belief”, it is observable fact for which no “belief” system exists.

Peter whale

Steve Mosher what you believe or what I believe fortunately has no bearing or influence on what the truth is. Facts are facts let them be discussed not beliefs.

Pieter F.

Steven Mosher says:December 18, 2012 at 11:04 pm
“I find it odd that people would try to connect my belief in AGW to my politics.”
Mr. Mosher: A “belief in AGW” means one concurs with the IPCC’s program. A study of Maurice Strong’s writings and speeches prior to and including the Stockholm, Villach, and first Rio Conferences reveals that the politics came first. AGW in the world of the UN was always meant to be a pretext to a political philosophy of redistributing wealth under the meme of “social justice” or in Strong’s parlance, “environmental justice.” The IPCC’s entire purpose was not to discover the condition of the climate, but to put a convincing scientific argument behind the pretext so as to convince compliance in the scheme. During the more than 40 years of the movement, the projections and scenarios simply did not match direct observations. The tortured explanations attempting to keep focus on the projections rather than the observations became absurd and strengthened the skeptics.

Peter Hannan

Agree with Steven Mosher to a limited extent: in rebutting ad hominem attacks, it’s important not to fall into the same thing, but to stick with the content / science / argument; however, the quote from Tim Ball is not an ad hominem attack in itself, but an attempt at explaining the motive of these ad hominem attacks. He may be right or wrong, but he’s not doing the same thing. That is, in an ideal debate, if one person makes an ad hominem attack, how should the other person respond? If one continues with the principled argument / recitation of evidence, one is not necessarily dealing with the capacity of the other to really hear all that. Maybe (not always) it’s necessary to pause, and question directly the basis of the ad hominem, as part of the process of the debate. All this is complex, and if we want a reasoned discussion we have to be aware of the different levels and styles involved in the whole debate.
If I say something, and the other person says, ‘You’re stupid!’, there are many possible valid responses. One might be, ‘On what basis do you claim that I’m stupid?’ Another might be, ‘You know nothing about my intellectual / educational background, so how can you say that?’ Another might be, ‘It seems that you’re making presuppositions that I don’t share.’ It seems to me that Tim Ball’s comment (even if it could have been expressed more carefully) falls under the third type of response, questioning the presuppositions of the ad hominem attack. I think that’s valid, and not the same.

gnomish

dr. ball distinguishes between demagoguery and objectivity, mr. mosher.
it sure would be odd to connect your belief in agw to libertarianism.
he didn’t do that, so rest easy.

Kev-in-Uk

Mosh’s fly by to admit his belief in AGW? I’m aure he meant to say ‘acceptance of the science behind AGW’? The trouble with that is that for there to be reasonable acceptance, the science has to be sound and demonstrable – something AGW is finding increasingly hard to achieve!

Huth

AndyG55. Yes. It’s the priestliness that is most off-putting. Anyone who implies that you are bad if you don’t have complete faith in something they say is worth avoiding. The sadness is how difficult it is to avoid them.

Pieter F.

The skeptics chipping away of AGW theory goes all the way back to Ångström’s 1900 taking apart Arrhenius’s and Eckholm’s work from the 1890s and Chamberlin’s acquiescence to the weakened CO2 climate hypothesis in the 1920s.
When Maurice Strong got his way and presented the IPCC, skeptics continued to chip away at the AGW science, even through the absurdities and scandals. It’s become relatively easy to refute much of the AGW argument. The liberal use of basic propaganda techniques (cherry picking, appeal to authority, logical fallacies, band wagon, etc.) and the abject defense of the flawed theory should be sign enough that something else is going on. However, we skeptics continue to focus on the science with little attention or effort to dissect, reveal, and understand the political game behind the movement. At its core, AGW is an “orchestrated crisis,” designed to force major political change (particularly a move to socialism/collectivism) as described in “The Nation” in 1966.

eyesonu

Dr. Ball,
Well stated.

In 19 years of interwebs I’ve been personally attacked only by rabid creationists, CAGW alarmists and chemtrailers, ie True Believers convinced theirs is the Truth and everybody else a fraud or an idiot. A totally anti-democratic principle.
Ad-homs are the mark of the (censored)

Arfur Bryant

All…
Here are a few examples of Steven Mosher’s confusion over ‘belief, science and politics’:
“By the end of 2012 the stupid meme of “global warming” stopping will be over.
Some things to note: several ‘skeptics” have stupidly forecast cooling
it [sic] should be interesting to watch them respond as the sun goes quiet and the temps go up.”
(Steven Mosher, July 6 2012)
“When the warming resumes, as it must, this pause will be dropped from the playbook.” (Steven Mosher, October 22 2012) Emphasis mine.
“I am a man of faith.
I put my faith in the best explanation we have.
We reason properly when we reason to the best evidence.
So, yes I put my faith in science.”
(Steven Mosher, October 22 2012)
So, how do you think the world of ‘stupid forecasting’ and ‘reasoning to the best evidence’ is currently working out for Steven Mosher?

Stefan

CodeTech says:

Lately, people I encounter are just not open to discussion. I’m seeing a complete refusal to look at any evidence, and a blind belief in humanity’s destructive influence on the planet.

In a documentary about wind farms, a green resident found himself objecting to a proposed wind farm in view, and earshot, of his home. But on the subject of climate change he said, “I simply will not discuss it.” He still fought tooth and nail against the 100m towers though.
And I also get the, “well yes you have a view, why don’t you take it somewhere else? I’m quite happy listening to the consensus of experts.” So you also eat GM food because you believe the scientific consensus that it is safe? I never get a reply to that one.
I guess they won’t discuss it because they’ve found they don’t have a leg to stand on anymore. But as it was never about the science, just using science as a way to make “objective” their subjective values and politics, they’re stuck.

I hope “sceptics” are just as sceptical of views or theories put out by their own “side” as they are of those from the “opposition”. As a self-confessed “sceptic” I see far too much uncritical acceptance of some anti-AGW and anti-alarmist views. After all, scepticism is at the heart of the scientific method; selectively abandon it and we open our selves to criticism, valid or not.

I find it very difficult to understand why educated people generally don’t look at the evidence. With most of my friends (who tend to be liberal and left-of-centre) I can’t now discuss the whole issue of AGW, without irritating them, and potentially damaging the friendships. It’s a bit like travelling by train with strangers: it’s fine, but just don’t talk politics or religion!
Many are caught in what I call a political trap; they need to align themselves with their side of politics. Allied to this is the social trap: what do my peers/friends/social circle think? And many of those schooled back sine the 1980s, have been conditioned to the view that humans are responsible for most things that have gone wrong in the world, and here’s yet another! We also think we can fix a lot of problems (as we can, and sometimes, as we do), but the presumption is that we can fix the climate. Really?
As for those scientists still caught in the AGW saga, some are so close to their own field they can’t see the broader picture. Some are just caught up in their models, and work hard to make sure their own conclusions generally fit the prevailing consensus (and are therefore self-defeating). And some are caught by the funding crunch; they can get support for AGW research, but certainly not for anything that might challenge the consensus.
It’s a poor juncture we’ve reached, and much angusih lies ahead. Scientists, politicians, journalists, and the educated public, many have failed themselves and society.

izen

[snip. Enough with the ‘deniers’ commentary. — mod.]

MrX

Yeah, this is what boggles the mind when a alarmist asks a skeptic “Why don’t you believe in climate change?” It’s ridiculous. I was on reddit and had to inform several people that I’m a skeptic and by definition believe in climate change. It blew their minds. I had to tell them that the person who brought the term “climate change” into the vernacular was none other than George W. Bush and that the global warming proponents at the time were up in arms for this “redefinition”. They flipped out. I had to inform them further that at the time, it was unprecedented man-made global warming that was all the rage. The hockey stick graph is what this is about. Stable climate for thousands of years and then unprecedented global warming in the 20th century. Climate change and unprecedented global warming are mutually exclusive. If you have climate change, then it’s not unprecedented. So it was skeptics that fought to have the MWP and RWP acknowledged as being global. That skeptics have been proven right that climate change was known to occur all over the world. Again, they were incredulous at what I was saying. Their entire argument had fallen flat and were surprised to find themselves on the other side of their own argument. They didn’t know what they were arguing anymore. I had to remind them. I tell them “You’re arguing that humans are responsible for the current warming despite no warming in the last 16 years all the while CO2 levels going up and arguing that this somehow implies a correlation between CO2 and temperatures.” At this point, they call me names. Ok, they called me names before, but they stop trying to argue any points.
This is not a single occurrence. But rather the exact same discussion every time a proponent of AGW tries to say I don’t believe in climate change whether online or in person.

Kaboom

PhD candidates are called up to defend their thesis for a reason. Science advances by the two steps of setting up a hypothesis and then poking it with pointy sticks to see if it holds up, then improve upon the hypothesis again by using the parts of the wreckage that held up to scrutiny until another smart mind, ANY smart mind, can topple it again.

Charlie

Since the 1960s there has been a large increase in the science budget in N America and W Europe. At the same time there has been a large increase in post 16 education but the average standard of maths,physics and chemistry teaching has probably gone down. If one looks at the bottom 10 % in ability of those undertaking post science education in the late 90s it is probably lower than in the 1950s. Where science education has particularly increased at post 16 and at university level is in environmental science – biology, ecology, earth sciences where the standard of maths, physics and chemistry education is particularly low compared to engineering, physics,maths and chemistry degrees.
In the 1950s many people entered engineering or physics having spent a youth making/repairing radios, motorbikes and cars and therefore had a practical expertise.Many scientists used to make their own equipment.
The expansion of environmental science needs government funding and AGW is good for increasing it.
Those proposing the AGW hypothesis appear to lack experience in engineering/applied science and in the design and construction of structure and objects which require a knowledge of calculating fluctuations and uncertainty .
How many people would to work or invest in mines or oil fields designed and constructed by those proposing the AGW hypothesis? There appears to be a major problem in accurately and precisely measuring present and past fluctuations in the Earth and energies which enter it .

SamG

Like raising Somalia to refute anarchism.

[snip. Read the site Policy. — mod.]

JazzyT

Calling someone a “denier” not only frames them as reflexively contradicing a position, without thinking it through, but also portrays their opinion as being irrational and unworthy of consideration. When enough people join the argument, it’s inevitable that you’ll see some actual deniers on every side. But when you start painting an entire group with that brush, you’ve given up any hope of a reasoned debate. If that’s truly how you see them all, you won’t worry about that since you wouldn’t have thought it possilble anyway.
Namecalling may serve some strategic purpose in the debate, such as wooing the undecided, or energizing your own side. And again, if you think your opponents simply can’t, or won’t, debate reasonably, you won’t worry about the fact that throwing names at them makes them less likely to consider your arguments.
I fully expect people to keep throwing the invective in every direction. It can be effective, to some extent, and, let’s face it, it’s fun. And, not everybody believes that any sort of dialogue is possible. But really only a few would stand to gain by keeping people from being able to discuss it. These might include UN apparatchiks bent on world domination through endless fright, or crafty fossil-fuel company operatives trying to muddy the waters to extend profits indefinitely. Or, if you’ve achieved a rare level of paranoia, both. Everyone else would, in the end, like to have us all figure out what’s going on.

pat

***Dr. Beaman’s tries out “parochial” as a new insult:
19 Dec: Australian Geographic: :AAP with Alyce Taylor : Aussies unfit to care for Great Barrier Reef?
Australia will be scrutinised by world environment bodies for its guardianship of the Great Barrier Reef.
In June 2013, the United Nations’ environmental arm UNESCO will decide whether to list the reef as a World Heritage site in danger…
Such a listing would be a massive blow to Australia’s environmental credentials, its international reputation, and Queensland’s tourism industry…
Dr Robin Beaman, a marine researcher from James Cook University, says it is important to take UNESCO’s threat seriously.
***“We should not be so dismissive of the UNESCO concerns about the health of the Great Barrier Reef, to do so is such a parochial response,” Robin says. “The World Heritage listing for the Great Barrier Reef, and its continuing health, is vital for the marketing of the area for tourism and the numerous people who derive income from the reef.”
Professor Terry Hughes, a coral reef expert from James Cook University, says the decline in coral cover highlights UNESCO’s concerns…
Australia has until February 1 to convince UNESCO it’s making substantial progress on the reef’s environmental management. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee is due to meet in Thailand in June to decide if reef should be listed as a World Heritage Site in Danger…
http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/aussies-unfit-to-care-for-great-barrier-reef.htm

I ran across this u-tube video which is about as definitive a rant against ‘deniers’ as one can find, I believe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gh9kDCuPuU8&list=PL9E20C4BE37DEBC70. Who is this Richard Milne anyway? I couldn’t find much in Google. Maybe some of our friends from Scotland can help me out.

Stefan

Peter F Kemmis says:

I find it very difficult to understand why educated people generally don’t look at the evidence. With most of my friends (who tend to be liberal and left-of-centre) I can’t now discuss the whole issue of AGW, without irritating them, and potentially damaging the friendships.

There is an argument from developmental psychology that people and culture can move through several stages, and they chart about 7 or so main stages so far. Take it with a pinch of salt, but since the 60s in the West we’ve had the postmodern cultural stage which is also a set of values. It values, for example, inclusivity (and thus also denies the notion that you could rank culture into stages –– developmental psychology is not favourite with them). Tied in with this stage is this deep interest in and valuing of inclusivity and the deconstruction of any oppressive systems. It is the stuff of postmodern philosophers.
But a point from the psychology models is that people at earlier stages can also adopt the ideas of later stages, but without understanding them. So a person who tends to value a more black and white kind of orientation to the world, can adopt the ideas of inclusivity and deconstruction from the PoMo philosophical world, but apply those ideas in a fundamentalist way.
For example, PoMo typically deconstructs authoritarian institutions, saying “there are no grand narratives.” But the same should equally apply to global warming / save the world ideas: there are no grand narratives. So the idea that you personally are going to save the world by making everyone buy carbon credits, stop buying commercial products, and light their homes with a bit of wind power, is as much a grand narrative as is the idea that advanced Western industrial power sustaining democracy is a progressive force for good in the world. Now a good PoMo thinker would be able to deconstruct both ideas. But the more lack and white thinking merely uses PoMo to deconstruct their opponent’s ideas, not their own. So we get this odd mixture of people who have come to detest Western industrialisation, but can’t question themselves on what it is they propose to replace it with. And because activists tend to be this more black and white thinking –– us versus them, good versus evil –– it tends to have this sort of back-to-nature Rousseau simplicity to it, quite conservative and rural in many ways. Modern life for them is just too… modern. But they can still use post-modern notions to “deconstruct” the parts of modern life they don’t like, whilst privileging and valuing unquestioningly the quiet village life they are more comfortable with. Not unlike using a computer, with a chip manufactured in a billion dollar facility, to spread ideas that big industry is evil.
The key from the dev psychology is to see which particular stage or value system you’re dealing with, not the particular ideas and rhetoric they’ve happened to adopt to justify that values system. Until you actually get down to the core value and worldview, you don’t really know what the conversation is about.
Unfortunately “climate change” is such a vague notion that there’s lots of values involved, each looking to use it to further their own outlook for what they consider to be a better world. But maybe because the pretence is that climate change is SCIENCE, then everyone can avoid being honest about their core values, what they really want.

izen

@- Tim Ball
” The IPCC said it was due to human production of CO2. This is driven by a political agenda, not science, so any opposition is considered troublesome and requires silencing.”
Wrong.
Many scientists since the 1890 have said that warming is produced by rising CO2. This understanding is based on the physical properties of CO2 and basic thermodynamics, NOT a political agenda. Now confirmed by the measured energy imbalance in the downwelling and outgoing LWIR.
@-“But instead of amending the science, as is proper science, alarmists simply changed the terminology. They stopped talking about global warming and started talking about climate change. ”
Wrong.
Scientists have always used the terms interchangeably. It was a PR advisor for G W Bush and the GOP who promoted the use of ‘climate change’ by the Republicans because it sounded less ‘alarmist’ than global warming. This is well documented, the advisor has since ‘recanted’ and trying to ascribe it to the IPCC is nonsense.
The name change doesn’t change the fact that it was the warmest year in the US in the instrumental record and the globe has not had a month below the century average for a decade.
@-“Soon, when someone calls a person a global warming skeptic or climate change denier, informed observers will come to see it as conclusive proof that the abuser knows nothing about climate or scientific method. Then, the attacker, not the scientist being attacked, will be shunned.”
There are no scientists being attacked as skeptics or {term deleted} because there are no scientists who are skeptics or {term deleted}. Even Lindzen and Spencer accept the basic physics of human produced CO2 causing warming of the globe over e last century with all the accompanying ice melt, sea level rise, and extreme drought/flooding events. They may quibble about the severity or amount of warming that will eventually occur, but they are arguing about the price, not the fact that producing CO2 has a climate cost.
Post modified to remove unacceptable words!

lemiere jacques

sure and when they changed from global warming to climate change they should have noticed that global temperature was not a right parameter to check..And for sure, it is not…
Then where is the evidence of climate change?

LazyTeenager

Tim Ball says
Next time you witness personal attacks on scientists, call the attacker to answer for this despicable tactic. Ask them to address the outstanding science questions only.
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Thanks Tim. I do that all the time here. It makes me incredibly popular, and worshipped by thousands.
BTW Tim are you the same guy that’s getting sued for defamation? If so I am sure your defamation was totally justified, along with all your other legal troubles.

LazyTeenager

Tim Ball says
Soon, when someone calls a person a global warming skeptic or climate change denier, informed observers will come to see it as conclusive proof that the abuser knows nothing about climate or scientific method.
———
Uhhh? Climate skeptic is a term of abuse now! And after all the trouble you guys went to rebrand yourselves as climate skeptics that must come as a bitter disappointment.