Results of my poll on forming a climate skeptic organization, plus some commentary

Last weekend, I conducted a poll asking this question that has been on my mind for a couple of years:

Is it time for an “official” climate skeptics organization, one that produces a policy statement, issues press releases, and provides educational guidance?

The results are in, seen below, and there is an interesting dichotomy that can be observed in the excercise.

Skeptic_org_poll

I’ve closed the poll with a count of 2701 votes. While there was a clearly decisive result, there were over 440 comments on the thread, many of which argued for “no”. A common reason discussed was that “organizing skeptics is like herding cats” or that “it will provide a target”. While that may be true, I really wasn’t all that interested in herding or target practice, I was thinking about representation. By its nature, all representation of varied viewpoints of a group of people is imperfect, but it does have its advantages if that representation satisfies a common need. The common need I see is getting a slowdown on the freight train of bureaucracy that is growing from CAGW claims and more coverage in media.

Pointman writes about the poll results and that dichotomy in Get real, get organised and finish it.

Anthony Watts recently ran a poll at WUWT that posed the question – “Is it time for an “official” climate skeptics organization, one that produces a policy statement, issues press releases, and provides educational guidance?”

I voted “yes” and I’d like to outline my reasons for doing so.

Any scattered and disparate opposition to an unjust law, policy or controversial issue which doesn’t get organised under some umbrella organisation is not only politically naïve but a consequently weak faction which doesn’t need to be taken seriously. More often than not, they’re comfortable in their armchairs living in their own deluded and secluded cloud cuckoo land.

There’s nicer ways of saying it but if want to be a force to be reckoned with, you have to get all ganged up. You seriously want to take on that exploitive employer, get unionised brothers and sisters. You want political change, form a lobby group. You don’t want that wind farm monstrosity blighting your life, start a local campaigning group. You want equal civil rights irrespective of the colour of your ass, start marching en masse. You want women to have the vote, get those bustles out of the drawing rooms and onto the streets as a mob waving placards and make the powers that be listen to you.

There’s simply no other way to get an issue onto the political agenda, and if you happen to think global warming isn’t a political thing, you pop that blue pill brother and dream on.

Give people a standard they can rally to and if the cause has real popular support, they’ll flock to it and become a bigger voice which will be heard despite any attempts to suppress it. Those attempts will just serve to strengthen group identity and make it a much more powerful force.

The deep primordial history of us as a species is all about getting together and cooperation. You might be rubbish at knapping a flint spearhead, but as long as one of the group can do that specialist thing, everyone is happy. Crap at tracking game? No matter, that runty kid over there is somehow brilliant at it. You might just be a spear carrier, but you know you play your part for the good of everyone else. That compulsion to gang up and work together is by now deeply embedded in our DNA. It’s been selected for. Without it, civilisation would fall apart in a day.

The worst thing you can ever do is sit in grumpy isolation doing nothing more than bitching away to a few cronies, and that’s exactly what’s all too common across the skeptic blogosphere. I call it the whinge and dump mentality and in the whole history of the human race, it’s never achieved anything other than being known as a complete bore to be avoided at all costs. Here they come – run away, run away!

As I look at the poll results to date, out of 2,683 votes cast, the response was 63% Yes, 24% No and the rest going for unsure. Scanning through the five hundred comments below the piece, a substantial majority expressed a “No” for various reasons. That’s an interesting dichotomy but an unsurprising one given the web dynamics of such a controversial issue as global warming.

There are just simply too many polarised people on either side who’ve spent years doing nothing more than venting spleen at each other. It’s become a social activity, a recreational pastime, a macho ego trip, a catharsis for a lot of tangential frustrations. Log in quickly, hurl an insult or two and surf onto the next brawl. Underneath the most combative blogs, out of hundreds of comments, barely a single digit percentage of the comments even reference the original blog topic, whatever it was.

Full essay here: http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/get-real-get-organised-and-finish-it/

He’s right, it has become a social spleen venting activity, and that my friends doesn’t get much traction.

This passage:

More often than not, they’re comfortable in their armchairs living in their own deluded and secluded cloud cuckoo land.

There’s nicer ways of saying it but if want to be a force to be reckoned with, you have to get all ganged up.

Could just as easily be used to describe crazy Bill McKibben. Most of us think he’s nuts, and he most likely is. The difference is he got out of his “armchairs living in their own deluded and secluded cloud cuckoo land” and formed 350.org. Now look at what we have, an organization that has successfully lobbied for blocking the Keystone pipeline by affecting the office of presidency. Do you think weepy Bill could do that himself without having organized first?

Think about it, and sound off in comments.

 

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April 25, 2014 3:09 am

Go for it…the time has arrived…

Oatley
April 25, 2014 3:18 am

Doing so, centers the position…think planting a flag, around which support can gather. Once organized, your voice, Anthony can rise above the field.

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)
April 25, 2014 3:22 am

That makes a much more convincing case for it, I do admit. I know I do my part at DeviantArt (which is loaded with leftist politics and ideology… Idiotology?). I don’t know how this would work, but I would be pleased to be able to link to the Central (whatever it would be called) once it was in place.

pokerguy
April 25, 2014 3:22 am

Anthony,
I voted “no,” but I’m open to changing my mind. Certainly if there were such an organization I’d join it, even if I remained unsure as to the wisdom of the enterprise. But tell us more about it, What in your view would our tactics be? Would there be dues? Would there be an administrative committee running the thing? Meetings? (I vote Vegas for the first)

April 25, 2014 3:22 am

I enjoy pretty much everything Pointman writes, and I can only dream to be as eloquent..
But, any type organisation,I think would run a risk of perpetuating things…… Individuals like Mann, Mckibben, Cook, Lewandowsky need an ‘enemy’ to fight, so that the public and politicians, media etc are forced to choose a side…
I think now that time and observations and real world energy / policy decisions will make the alarmism around climate change fade away..
If all the sceptics were to take a long vacation, hard policy decisions would still need to be made, media articles would still be written, the climate conferences would still fail, for the same reasons, political and economic reality..
If all the sceptics were on holiday, the activists will still be failing, new ‘enemies’ would have to be created, and those policymakers, politicians, businesses, who have sat on the fence, or said nothing whilst the ‘deniers insults, the anti-science rhetoric, and all the political activist rhetoric was thrown at the ‘sceptics’. Will then find it directed at them and feel the intolerance and irrationality of the activists, and labelled ‘sceptics’ / deniers, ‘in the pay of….’, or cranks or conspiracy theorists, etc
And I think they will say enough..
The easy ride for eco-activists (in most countries) is over, it may take a few years, but it will fade away and every year it just warms or cools a little, and the models projections become more and more absurd, we will perhaps find in 5, 10 years that everyone who is anyone will say – oh I was always a sceptics about catastrophic climate change (including the majority of climate scientists)
much as I think we would all like that Berlin Wall moment, I think it will fade away by itself,
.. no doubt to be replaced by the next bandwagon, be it sustainability, global justice, or some other mantra.

Patrick
April 25, 2014 3:24 am

I voted unsure in the poll, but didn’t comment in the thread reason being is it is far too late to stop the alarmism, green enegry drive and carbon taxes. Too many vested interests. It’s in and it’s here to stay. I don’t see Abbott abolishing the carbon tax in Australia.

April 25, 2014 3:26 am

How is this different from the GWPF? Are multiple organizations better than one?

LewSkannen
April 25, 2014 3:27 am

I think we have a lot of energy and need to focus it. I have tried to contribute as best I can by supporting this site, Jo Nova, Donna LaFramboise and Mark Steyn.
On top of that I make a point of taking people to task in conversation and politely letting them know that there IS an alternative viewpoint to what is being spewed out of the MSM. Many people are genuinely surprised by that by the way.
I feel that it is easy for the powers that be to dismiss us as ‘just bloggers’ (see at JoNova how one of our leading scientists was dismissed recently by a lazy journo )
If there was some solid body that could put forward some ideas it might be worthwhile. I think the tide is turning so this is a good time to get something up and running.

April 25, 2014 3:28 am

If such an entity does come to pass, it will be interesting with statements how some MSM outlets choose to refer to it by way of qualifying adjectives, as can happen, often selectively. Or they may just settle on omitting mention at all. That can happen too.

Rob Dawg
April 25, 2014 3:29 am

It still all seems like the group would end up being way too easy to discredit based on the potential individual acts/positions of members. And make no mistake, infiltration with this intent is a certainty. A lowest common denominator issue. Secondly groups organized around a position of being against something are too easy to marginalize. What kind of traction would an international working group to debunk phlogiston get? Phlogiston isn’t even real while CO2 is. better to continue to attack bad science than to legitimize the politicalization by becoming political as well.

April 25, 2014 3:31 am

Get on with it, but I’ll keep meowing 8)

David Sivyer
April 25, 2014 3:32 am

It would take guts for a President, or government, to act against the wishes of the “progressives”. Obama can ease back in his armchair knowing that McKibben is naught but a “useful idiot”.

bealtine
April 25, 2014 3:41 am

Do it!!! and do it Now!!!!

Jim Cripwell
April 25, 2014 3:42 am

I quote “There’s simply no other way to get an issue onto the political agenda”
I disagree completely. This ought to be a scientific issue, not political, The issue will, in the end, be settled scientifically. The Supreme Court of Physics is the empirical data. In the end the empirical data will prove that CAGW is a hoax. We just have to wait.
There is no harm in waiting. The politics is such that we are going to go on using fossil fuels to the limit of the finances involved. We are going to go on putting more and more CO2 into the atmosphere into the indefinite future. With the current political crisis in the Ukraine, politicians are getting a reality check on the geopolitical implications of energy.
So, I believe, undoubtedly, the universe is unfolding as it should.

Old England
April 25, 2014 3:45 am

Having organised and run campaigns against proposals for waste disposal by landfill near us in the UK the biggest lesson I learned was how it changed the people involved. From feeling powerless, or an individual voice shouting in the wilderness people suddenly realised that they could change their local destiny, could take some control over what happened around them and understood that they could ‘Make a Difference’ when they worked together.
If we are to combat the eco-loonery of the green bandwagon with its billions of dollars / pounds / euros taken from outer taxes and income then we need to work together and to get truth out at all levels.

pochas
April 25, 2014 3:45 am

Great! Now, what are we going to call ourselves. Here’s one, “Society for Scientific Sanity.” No, too many S’s.

DirkH
April 25, 2014 3:45 am

Rob Dawg says:
April 25, 2014 at 3:29 am
“better to continue to attack bad science than to legitimize the politicalization by becoming political as well.”
That’s stupid. The science is made to measure and only a tool that the alarmists use. It’s a symptom of the alarmist movement, not its cause. An inherently political movement cannot be fought by not exposing its political nature.
I voted against this organisational idea as I think that only mass subversion stands a chance. We are most effective as a million guerrilas and saboteurs of the brainwashing system. Orthogonal warfare. Little bucks, much bang.

Matti Virtanen
April 25, 2014 3:46 am

Would it be a US organization, or international? Which languages would it use? If English only, how would it differ from the GWPF? – Personally, I do see a need for a clearing house that would provide articles and news in German, French, Spanish and Russian at least, not to mention Chinese and Japanese. But who’d pay for the translations?

Joe Public
April 25, 2014 3:47 am

Being divided, increases susceptibility to being conquered.

johann wundersamer
April 25, 2014 3:47 am

Ben D on April 25, 2014 at
3:09 am
Go for it…the time has
arrived…
Whats more to say?
when ones opinion is not welcome, with
open visor, why not loud with open visor.
Grüsse – Hans
./broken english I know/

Admin
April 25, 2014 3:49 am

I would argue that we are doing pretty well by *not* being part of an organisation.
Look at the achievements:
1. Skeptic government in Australia
2. Skeptic government in Canada
3. Skeptic congress in America
4. Rise of skeptic UKIP party in the UK
5. Germans laughing at their own alarmists.
6. Alarmists on the defensive worldwide
7. Skeptic government in Japan
8. Climate conference failure after failure
We have achieved all this because if we want to achieve anything, we *have* to do it ourselves. There is no organisation we can appeal to, nobody to do our job for us.

Old England
April 25, 2014 3:49 am

Jim Cripwell
I agree and disagree with you. You are right that this is fundamentally a scientific issue, But, and here is where I disagree, it is being promoted by Politics and politicians with political end-games who have been happy to corrupt science to their own ends. That can only be fought and exposed on a political basis where the lies, deceptions and falsehoods are fully exposed through verifiable science.

Admin
April 25, 2014 3:50 am

We are winning – we don’t need to “organise” like our opponents, our current model is more effective.

AGW_Skeptic
April 25, 2014 3:50 am

The Heartland Institute is already doing a great job with the NIPCC (Non-Governmental International Panel on Climate Change) reports and their International Climate Change Conferences plus countless publications, op-ed pieces, white papers, etc.
They are recognized as the world’s leading think tank in global warming skepticism. http://www.heartland.org
Somehow I missed the poll, but why not support Heartland by becoming an advisor or donor?

Joe Public
April 25, 2014 3:51 am

Success will be more than a little dependent upon the organisation’s name having a snappy acronym.
I sense a competition is needed.

Admin
April 25, 2014 3:52 am

As a former member of a political party, joining an organisation means you think someone else will do the work. As individuals who associate with each other as and when we choose, we know it is all down to us. That is why we are winning – we are enterprising when our opponents are lazy.

Allen63
April 25, 2014 3:53 am

Trying to be open-minded. First thought is “aren’t there already anti-CAGW organizations”. Or, at least, organizations producing “skeptical” point of view reports. How would this new organization be different? What would it add?
Since this is a Skeptic site, we should be skeptical of saying “yes” to any major undertaking until a thoughtful, agreed plan is in place.
Perhaps there needs to be a roughed-out yet somewhat detailed plan “published” on this site. A plan including, among other things, how the “organization” might be organized, who it would include, what it specific activities and actions it would initiate, and a thoughtful analysis of pros and cons (by the author). That plan can be commented by the readers. See if something “gels”. Merely a suggestion.

April 25, 2014 3:54 am

Books could no doubt be written on this topic, but few would want to read them in this hair-trigger intellectual climate. I can think of scientific reasons why you and the mass of “lukewarm skeptics” are not the ones to raise the banner against the forces of tyranny now besetting us all. But I am feeling my way through what I have long now deemed an insane intellectual situation, so I will just say for now, you all should think about instituting a principle analogous to “separation of church and state”, to wit, separation of the current political dogmas (and all political argument) vs. the factual truths about climate science. Most especially, in other words, don’t pretend you know that any part of current climate science is “settled”–that there is, in your hubristic opinion (as you have made plain, for a long time now), a real greenhouse effect due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, only it’s “just not catastrophic”. Because you won’t get any sympathy from those of us who know, based on definitive evidence, that there is no such thing, and that to believe in it is scientifically indefensible, i.e., incompetent. To me, you are like the ineffective Republicans, and the climate alarmists are like the Democrats, who follow an insane agenda now. (For example, you overrate Bill McKibben and 350.org, in the above, as a causative force rather than just one symptom out of many of the present insanity. Why is there such a knee-jerk desire in the world now to do that, to reverse cause and effect, and thus aim only for failure in the end? Well, I think I can tell you, it’s avoidance behavior, of the true depth and breadth of the problems we face now.) The bottom line, for me, is that I don’t have all the answers either, so I will refrain, as far as possible, from merely exacerbating the emotional atmosphere. But of course, I won’t go silent, either–and you should take that seriously.

Clovis Marcus
April 25, 2014 3:57 am

I have a lot of time for Pointman. I was no/unsure. Now I’m yes/unsure.

Bloke down the pub
April 25, 2014 3:57 am

Anthony are you up for writing a constitution?

charles nelson
April 25, 2014 4:08 am

What Pointman fails to grasp is that that the MSM has already signed a Treaty with the alarmist faction. There is no safe platform for Skeptical or even Sensible science to be aired.
In the last decades of the 20th century there was a remarkable conjunction of ‘millennial panic’ on the part of the public who displayed a kind of yearning for ‘end times”.
This was exploited by minor, second rate ‘scientists’ like Michael Mann and James Hansen who quickly realised that their doom laden stories would be instantly disseminated by the Media bringing them enhanced status and financial gain.
When wily politicians (like Blair in the UK and Gore in the US) realised that Global Warming was a vote winning issue, (well nearly, in Gore’s case) the final piece of the infernal machine was in place.
Media, the scientific establishment and Government in lock step moving relentlessly forward with a program of research spending (remember Carbon Capture and storage ha-ha!) followed by taxation and legislation. Carbon Tax, wind farm, solar subsidies etc etc.The whole crappy edifice is now a self serving, bureaucratic, tax generating entity and the media to their eternal shame cannot and will not admit that they were duped and complicit in the hoax.
Going head to head with this monster will get us nowhere. In this battle we are out gunned.
We’ve got to think of ourselves as ‘the insurgency’ detonating horrid little facts in unexpected places. Sniping at them when ever they move out of their secure zones.
I make it a personal point to express my skepticism to friends, family and acquaintances, I don’t imagine I have made many converts but it all of us stand up in our daily lives and let it be known that we simply do not believe in CAGW…for very sound reasons, then we will undermine the scam from the grass roots up.
Eventually real science will prevail…it always does. The true loonies always reveal themselves eventually…think Mc Kibben, Suzuki, Flannery and Gore, each time they stand up they sound more shrill and irrational…even their followers aren’t quite as certain and convicted as they used to be.
Some crazy woman journalist in the Guardian the other day began her article with an open admission of the ‘pause in global temperatures’…that is unimaginable progress from even a year ago when I was banned from commenting because I insisted that the pause was real and had been mentioned in Climategate emails.
Ah Climategate…where would we be without Climategate?

April 25, 2014 4:15 am

It depends upon the goal you are seeking. If it is to promote the KXL, then yes organization is a must. If it is the pursuit of knowledge in a scientific method, then no. An organization will inhibit that (merely look at the “team”). I understand and sympathize with the frustration that leads to a yes. But that is all.

Edim
April 25, 2014 4:15 am

Organization = Corruption. You just end up with dogma.

April 25, 2014 4:24 am

“They are recognized as the world’s leading think tank in global warming skepticism. http://www.heartland.org
Somehow I missed the poll, but why not support Heartland by becoming an advisor or donor?”
I think the main problem with that is that by endorsing Heartland you turn this into a a R vs D issue, rather than than an issue organization that is open to all. I can see a lot of blue-leaning voters not wishing to strengthen an organization that also operates against a person’s other political inclinations.

norah4you
April 25, 2014 4:26 am

Answer to Patrick says:
April 25, 2014 at 3:24 am
It’s never to late for truth to be told and discussed. Truth is that there never been a CO2-threat other in the world of alarmists who haven’t understood that ALL factors, not only chosen ones, needs to be taken into consideration when a computer-model’s fiction (it’s always fiction not reality) of predicting the future is on the table. As we said in 1970’s bad or corrected data in = bad unreliable figures out.

April 25, 2014 4:26 am

“… The worst thing you can ever do is sit in grumpy isolation doing nothing more than bitching away to a few cronies, and that’s exactly what’s all too common across the skeptic blogosphere. …”
It seems to me that sites like WUWT and many others are educating the public everyday. Many different voices pointing out the fallacies and wrong predictions of the “sky-is-falling” crowd is far better than one organization.
However, if we are talking about a call to form another voice in the crowd and all of us support it (if we can), then that can be a useful idea as long as we know that this is a political fight and not a scientific one. It only looks like a scientific fight — it is a political fight were the state is using the “scientists” to scare the population so they will demand that the state do something.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. ~ H. L. Mencken

Friends, the fact is that as long as the state funds science (and academia) we will continue to get false results. The scientific method is no match for the power and money of the state.
A great read on what you are up against is given by T. Colin Campbell in his latest book “Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition”. Read as he talks about how one can not advance his career in science if he goes against the prevailing paradigm. Even though the book is about nutrition, and you don’t have to agree with Campbell’s views, it is ultimately about the forces that control all “debates” in science.

April 25, 2014 4:26 am

I’ve already left a comment at Pointman’s, setting out my doubts about the idea of forming a sceptic organisation. These can be summarised as 1) splintering 2) funding and 3) bureaucratic capture. If it could be done well though, it would be a great idea.
I think the most interesting comment to the original poll thread on WUWT was by Steven Mosher (link: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/19/open-thread-with-an-important-question/#comment-1617522), that we should all make clear exactly what we do and don’t believe. It’s all too easy to assume others agree/disagree with one’s own viewpoint. I’ve put a post up at my own blog to do just this (link: http://jonathanabbott99.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/global-warming-what-i-believe/). I suspect I am a ‘mainstream sceptic’ and would appreciate others’ views on this.

Patrick
April 25, 2014 4:26 am

Reminds me of this…

Tom in Florida
April 25, 2014 4:29 am

The problem with organizing AGW skeptics is that, while most of us agree that the conclusions of the believers are wrong, we lack their religious like passion for that position. We are more passionate about the economic fallout that would arise from their solutions and that would require a more political organization. Since there are a wide variety of political positions among skeptics, it would be a most difficult task to keep the organization glued together as a political force.

Peter Whale
April 25, 2014 4:36 am

Maybe Heartland, GWPF ,”Bloggers United” “engineers united” ” sceptical scientists united”
“economists united” et al can come up with a statement that reflects the issue. Which people can rally round and push collectively and individually. And then repeat the process until it gains momentum.

Eliza
April 25, 2014 4:49 am

If the weather keeps on cooling like this skeptics will morph to what???. Although I would be part of such an organization (skeptic etc) I don’t think it will be required within 5 years or so as the climate will not change…… Most will lose interest, even skeptics, warmist and yes even deniers. The whole issue of climate will revert to what is was 30 years ago…. daily meteorological reports… LOL

Richard M
April 25, 2014 4:49 am

I’ll repeat my earlier suggestion … ClimateFactCheck.org … If we can counter alarmist press releases quickly it would take a lot of steam out of their propaganda. However, we need to have a set of scientists in fields related to topics used by the propagandists to give credibility to the statements. We may be able to see the truth but many others will only accept credentialed responses.

Robert of Ottawa
April 25, 2014 4:51 am

Agree with Peter Whale. There already are organizations around.

David in Michigan
April 25, 2014 4:53 am

I was unsure originally. But now, if it comes to pass, count me out. I visit WUWT almost every day and appreciate the articles and comments greatly but if it becomes too political, I want no part of it.

Chris D.
April 25, 2014 4:55 am

I propose we call ourselves “Union of Concerned Skeptics”.
No dogs allowed.

JoeH
April 25, 2014 4:56 am

Anthony, as you stated in your original question – a problem arises if such an organization is centred in one country. The organization required needs to be both a central resource and an umbrella organization for disseminating the necessary scientific information worldwide. The Climate AGW agenda is worldwide and needs to be counteracted on a worldwide stage. If an organization is merely American it will be sneered at for being parochial. To combat the current global scam you need an organization that is fully global.
To me the big question is: How to create a global organization that carries automatic accreditation in the eyes of scientists, academics and politicians so that it cannot be easily poo-poohed by the sneering progressive media?

Steve from Rockwood
April 25, 2014 4:58 am

A formal skeptical organization is like communism. It seemed like a good idea to the poor…
These things always get high-jacked by a few people who have more energy, less brains and little else to do than the rest of us.

Robbin
April 25, 2014 5:05 am

The Power of an organization is really in the size of its membership. The NRA is very powerful, because it has a LOT OF MEMBERS that vote. It makes perfect sense that a very large organization of Skeptics, would carry a lot of clout

David L.
April 25, 2014 5:07 am

After reading this I realized I will post to WUWT but when amoungst my liberal cohorts, I fear to say anything. My conservative friends and I have always remarked how they have the upper hand in public debate because they will freely spout their rhetoric and the rest of us keep quiet lest we are marginalized. Enough is enough.
You’ve convinced me. We need to “unionize”. What are the next steps and where do I sign up?

April 25, 2014 5:16 am

I’m in.

pat
April 25, 2014 5:21 am

we have seen the MSM repeatedly quote CAGW proponents claiming the MSM is giving too much time to CAGW sceptics, & how they need to learn to communicate better, yet we know sceptics are rarely given any MSM time at all & not one is a household name, except for those few who are mocked as being far right CAGW deniers.
yet the proponents sound genuinely fearful of this sceptical voice. why? it is not because of Heartland, or GWPF, both of which are easy targets for MSM stereo-typing & left/right framing. i am convinced it is because of the more broad political leanings (tho majority conservative) of the thousands who visit and/or participate on WUWT, JoanneNova, Bishop Hill, Climate Depot, etc.
MSM is monolithic when it comes to CAGW promotion. their response to Climategate proved that.
they will not budge, even if it means the further diminution of their audience, so i still believe it’s more effective to have an unruly CAGW sceptic blogosphere that drives The CAGW Team insane than to have an organisation. after all, how could a WUWT Organisation compete with this?
23 April: Time: TIME 100 Pioneers
Katharine Hayhoe
By Don Cheadle
An environmental evangelist
There’s something fascinating about a smart person who defies stereotype. That’s what makes my friend Katharine Hayhoe — a Texas Tech climatologist and an evangelical Christian — so interesting.
It’s hard to be a good steward of the planet if you don’t accept the hard science behind what’s harming it, and it can be just as hard to take action to protect our world if you don’t love it as the rare gift it is…
I got to know Katharine as we worked on Showtime’s climate documentary Years of Living Dangerously.
(Cheadle is an actor, producer and Academy Award nominee)
http://time.com/#70881/katharine-hayhoe-2014-time-100/
Christian News Wire: Evangelical Christian Named to TIME’s 100 Most Influential People for Work on Climate
FRANKLIN, Ind., April 24, 2014 Statement by the Rev. Mitch Hescox, President & CEO, Evangelical Environmental Network
We are pleased that Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, scientific advisor to the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), has been named TIME’s 100 most influential people in the world (time.com/70881/katharine-hayhoe-2014-time-100/). Dr. Hayhoe demonstrates that a person of strong evangelical faith can also be a world-class scientist. She understands that creation-care is truly a matter of life and speaks to churches and conservative groups across the country to demonstrate the need to take prudent steps to address climate change…
Dr. Hayhoe’s efforts have led to her being targeted by climate deniers like Rush Limbaugh, resulting in a continual fuselage of opposition — even threats to her family.
But it is precisely her love for her children and for Jesus Christ that has Dr. Hayhoe refusing to be intimidated from speaking the truth.
Dr. Hayhoe and her husband Dr. Andrew Farley’s seminal book, A Climate For Change, has been instrumental in educating the evangelical church…
My support and appreciation for Dr. Hayhoe is summarized in her own words:
“It’s not about saving the planet: the planet will be fine without us. It’s about helping people, real people who are being affected by climate change today. Higher energy bills for air conditioning, freak rainstorms, and droughts wiping out their food supply -rising sea level threatening their homes and fields. It’s the poor and disadvantaged who are being hardest hit: those very people the Bible tells us to care for.”
Dr. Hayhoe is a top communicator in the field of climate science and her evangelical prospective informs her views on the need to protect human life…
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/5164474039.html
i rest my case.

John Campbell
April 25, 2014 5:22 am

“Is it time for an “official” climate skeptics organization..?”
Sounds like a damn fine idea to me. About time! (Wish I’d thought of it!)

Down to Earth
April 25, 2014 5:26 am

I have scanned over all of the responses to your article and based on they’re responses, determined that 97-percent agree that a skeptic organization should be formed. So now that’s settled.

mem
April 25, 2014 5:29 am

The best thing this site does is provide reference material that is up to date and credible. It also provides knowledge that there are other people out there who recognize the AGW folly for what it is. We your readers and contributors are scattered in all sorts of odd places in the world with different governments at local,state and federal level. I am proud to quote this site in an argument as I know it follows pursuit of excellence in science. Stick to your knitting and know you do an excellent job. It is our role to take on the politics. I suspect many of your readers have already got involved as I have done here in Oz. I would encourage others to do the same if they feel strongly enough.

wws
April 25, 2014 5:31 am

Pointman makes a very good argument, but the discussion about Heartland highlights what would very quickly go wrong with any such organization. It was asked, “why not just support Heartland?” and in reply, the answer was “well that is seen as a purely Republican organization. We need something less political.”
As soon as any skeptical organization is created, some Republican office holder will praise it. (Inhofe, guaranteed,and there will be others) The instant this happens, those well funded forces on the warmist side (you know who they are) will INSTANTLY launch into a high dollar, multi-platform campaign loudly labeling whatever organization we may create as nothing but a junior farm team for the GOP and/or the tea party. Every mass media outlet in the country will repeat this message over,and over, and over,and the organization will be politically marginalized within weeks of it’s creation.
It doesn’t matter if this message is true or false; in fact I must say that anyone who thinks that concepts such as “truth” or “falsehood” have ANY bearing in the political arena today is touchingly naive. That’s one reason why this is such a hard fight – ALL of the official mouthpieces of the state and the culture are against us. The instant we give them a nice, solid target to aim at, they will spend every penny they can, and use every venue they control (which is just about all of them) portraying everyone who even thinks a skeptical thought as the next Clive Bundy.
Right now, men like McKibben are extremely frustrated, because they have no firm target at which they can aim the hundreds of millions of dollars of special interest money which has and will be placed at their disposal. Create an umbrella organization, and you create a focal point for all of their hate and destructive power, and it is vast.
Pointman, you are a fine man and a marvelous idealist. But as I recall, you live in the UK and thus you cannot appreciate how toxic, venal, and destructive the US political system has become. It’s already been well established, in open congressional testimony, that the IRS is being used to target those who are seen to be acting contrary to this administrations interests in an organized, political way. As a pseudonymous poster, I am not enough of a threat for the IRS to be sent after me – but as a supporter of an organization that will instantly be seen as “The Enemy”, I will be, and so will people like our host here.
Our anonymity here is our great protection. De Gaulle and the french resistance didn’t overthrow Vichy France by creating an open, public organization and sending all of their supporter’s names to Marshall Petain. If we *do* create some kind of “organization” (although I think we don’t need it) then the Resistance is the model we have to take – organization by cells, and no one knowing the full names of anyone outside their own cells. Anything other than that will expose us all to personal, financial destruction.
I know this may sound extreme, especially to people like us, who like to consider ourselves “reasonable”; but this is the nature of the forces we are opposing. We dare not underestimate them with foolish and naive overestimation’s of our own survivability when our enemies realize that their survival depends on their ability to marginalize and/or eliminate us.
But for those who think we really *do* need a public organization, then just sign up with Heartland, and make them as big and strong as possible. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel here.

Doug Huffman
April 25, 2014 5:32 am

Look to other activisms organizations. I am an activist, a bicyclist and a legally armed citizen, but I despise the NRA and LAB for much the same reasons. Both have subscription as their business model, so that their subscribers are unable to admit the dollar value of their foolishness.

RoHa
April 25, 2014 5:33 am

What would be the aim of such an organization?
Would it be to present the scientific case against the AGW story to the general public of the world?
Would it be to persuade the world media to give more attention to that case?
Would it be to persuade the US government to change its policies?
Would it recognize that there are in fact other countries and other governments in the world?
Would it solely present the scientific case, or would it issue political pronouncments?
If so, what sort of political pronouncements? (A lot of commenters on this site spend their electrons on fulminating against “liberals”, “left wingers”, and so forth. This sort of thing may serve to vent their spleen – it may even have some truth in it – but it will just be rejected by the rest of society. Insulting half the world is not the best way of persuading them. And, if the main point is that AGW is probably not true, it is irrelevant to the main point.)
These, and probably a bunch of other questions, need to answered before any such organization is set up.

Tony Berry
April 25, 2014 5:35 am

Too busy to leave original comment, however I can see value in creating a more organised sceptic view. One of the real problems is that sceptical views are reactive ie we only comment after the fact of a pro climate change paper or view. In other words we react rather than being proactive. It would be beneficial to publish analysis and views for the climate lobby to react to. Similarly, it would be good to sponsor original unbiased research. These would be ideal but they cost lots. An unbiased journal and genuine investigative research would go a long way to supporting real analysis of changes in the climate. However, the cost would I think be prohibitive and the negative press from the establishment would be difficult to overcome. Any research organisation that we sponsored would be castigated by the establishment. So my conclusion is that the idea is sound but the negative issues probably make it impossible without a mountain of cash. So I think we will continue as we are reacting to biased papers and poor research

April 25, 2014 5:38 am

I voted ‘yes’ and I largely agree with Pointman’s justifications. Ultimately, skeptics are not fighting a scientific battle; the scientific uncertainties are still wide enough to accomodate most scenarios, and perceptions about which scenarios are most likely are skewed by the most dominant players in a narrative war. Skeptics are fighting an apocalyptic narrative, which is still winning despite the long ‘pause’, and has gained huge representation. A much bigger platform of skeptic representation is needed to present counter-narratives. The GWPF are doing a great job, but more is needed, also linked to a perceived mass (or at least sizeable) movement, and preferably US based.

Orson
April 25, 2014 5:43 am

ONE QUESTION – membership organization or not?

Village Idiot
April 25, 2014 5:44 am

So who will spin his so called “policy statement”, and be judge over the many disparate and contradictory ideas and beliefs? Which will be in, and which will be out?

pouncer
April 25, 2014 5:48 am

I read and understood and agreed in part with Mosher’s critique about “what I believe”.
HOWEVER, I’ve actually run local level political campaigns and I am hear to tell you I could not win so much as a 4-3 victory on the local school board without making alliances with people and viewpoints I not only failed to share, but actively opposed.
What I believe is that the climate, changing or otherwise, is not worth going to war with China for. And that presuming the science is correct, and that the need for reductions in coal consumption are necessary, China (and India) must be persuaded or prevented from burning the stuff. A treaty and an international tax scheme are fine but without teeth, in the form of armed intervention to enforce (emphasis on the syllable FORCE) compliance, any treaty is going to be ineffective.
Do 97% of any group suggest that war or the risk of war is a good thing for this planet, polar bears, bald eagles, ice worms, corals, or what have you?
To avoid an unnecessary war I will make alliances with nutters who believe CO2 absorbtion in the atmosphere is already saturated. To avoid stupid war I will make alliances with nut jobs who oppose the UN Agenda 21, blue helmets, and black helmets. To avoid a useless war I will make alliances with whack-job radio DJ’s who abuse their publishers by tossing the word “Fraudulent” around carelessly. Etc.

Gary
April 25, 2014 5:51 am

Good arguments for the pro-side, but realize that maintaining discipline will be difficult for a climate skeptics organization. The CAGW crowd is emotionally bought in to their one bete-noir – CO2. Skeptics, on the other hand, are all over the lot on numerous issues and often at odds with each other. You also will have to have a firm policy on banishment of nutters who will claim to speak for the organization, or at least be categorized as such by a hostile press and opponents. Expect to spend lots of effort on damage control of bad press. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, just that you better count the cost before jumping in.

Rick K
April 25, 2014 5:52 am

Anthony et al,
Good comments all around. I would note that:
1. There are a LOT of smart (self-taught or schooled) people who read, comment or post to WUWT.
2. There are a LOT of non-WUWT individuals and groups and organizations (Burt Rutan, NASA astronauts, etc.) that have come out and made public statements defending science and opposing the abuse and waste of the people’s money to fight a problem that doesn’t exist.
3. We love being here for the learning, the eye-opening science and debate that a fine place like WUWT provides.
What I’m trying to say is, Anthony, you have the resources at your disposal in terms of intellect, science and supporters to make a difference. Lives ARE at stake, and not because of CO2.
We can read here that the electrical grid is being stretched to the breaking point.
Does Congress know? Does the public know?
We can read here that coral reefs naturally adjust to sea level, and this was known over 150 years ago.
Does Congress know? Does the public know?
Many other examples could be provided but those will suffice for now.
I think if you can serve science, preserve science, educate the public and their elected representatives then this is a noble cause.

David Ball
April 25, 2014 5:54 am

As a person skeptical of the so-called “greenhouse effect”, I will be left to the wayside by such a group anyway. Or will there be provision for those of us who do not “fit in”?

heysuess
April 25, 2014 5:55 am

Keep it simple with a straightforward blanket mission statement that allows most nuanced skeptical positions in, something like ‘we don’t support the theory that industrial carbon dioxide emissions can effect the earth’s climate systems.’

Jim G
April 25, 2014 5:56 am

Per Wikipedia: “According to Time, RealClimate is “in line with the Web’s original purpose: scientific communication” with a “straightforward presentation of the physical evidence for global warming”.[9]”
An organization which had a true scientific communication goal would communicate physical evidence either pro or con regarding the presently accepted arguements regarding ‘global warming’. Perhaps such an organizarion which is not oriented toward propaganda such as “Real Climate” is, could have an impact. The name of the organization should reflect that goal of non-partisanship. At least that is one way to look at it.

April 25, 2014 5:57 am

Back in June 2009 (five years ago!), here on WUWT, Mike D, TonyB and I discussed forming a Climate Realist organization of some sort. The idea as it evolved was to mirror organizations like the Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Fund, etc., but on the other side, in favor of Progress, Energy, and rational Conservation. At some point, in private correspondence, we came up with a name: Terra Home. I think Mike even registered a domain with that name, but I can’t find it now; the idea seemed to die on the vine (Mike’s own website, Western Institute for Study of the Environment [ http://westinstenv.org/index.php?req=/ ] appears to have been put on hiatus).
Maybe it’s time to resurrect Terra Home. FWIW, here are my contributions to the discussion back in 2009:
* * * * *
Re Mike D.’s post (00:02:57) on the need for political organization to combat the Alarmist onslaught, maybe we should think about marketing to the youth, as the Alarmists do, and as Obama did during the election, even to kids 12 and under (get your parents to vote for Obama!). . .
Perhaps the focus should be on CO2. “They want to take away our CO2!” “They’re coming for your CO2!” “Our plants need CO2! Don’t let the politicians take it away!” I.e., terms kids 12 and under can understand.
Other ideas welcome.
/Mr Lynn
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/02/lindzens-climate-sensitivty-talk-iccc-june-2-2009/#comment-139520
* * * * *

Mike D. (13:12:52) :
Mr. Lynn, first we need a name. How about Climate Realists of America? Or, just to be inclusive, The International Society of Climate Realists (TISCR, pronounced tsk-er)?

Not bad, Mike. We might also consider re-conquering the emotional high ground that the enviro-whackos have captured, e.g.: The International Society for Progress and the Environment (TISPE). After all, it’s about more than climate, though that is the current focal point. A shorter name wouldn’t hurt, either. How about Eco-Progress International?
/Mr Lynn
* * * * *
[M. Simon had some suggestions about “getting word out.” I responded:]
Sounds like a good idea for spreading the word, but I think what Mike D. and I were talking about was actually organizing groups of people, an organization (if not a movement) that would be able to exert political influence in favor of a Realist approach to issues of energy, climate, environment, and the future of humanity, an organization to counter the intense propaganda and lobbying of Alarmist organizations like Greenpeace, the WWF, etc.
Obviously there are groups or organizations today that promote Realist ideas and values (e.g. Heartland, or Fred Singer’s SEPP), but they seem small and scattered. I suspect that is because they do not market themselves to a broad membership base the way the enviros do. It is essential to promote such an organization with positive messages: not just that the Alarmists are wrong, but that we must band together to save civilization and yes, even “the planet,” from their destructive and anti-human, anti-ecological (plants including crops need ample CO2!) schemes.
The Alarmists have succeeded in painting skeptics and Realists as a small band of self-interested, greedy, flat-earthers. Well, turnabout is fair play. We can paint the Alarmists as head-in-the-sand Luddites and Marxists who are intent on taking us back to the Stone Age, putting a halt to the progress our children and grandchildren are entitled to expect.
The point is to get strong enough to inoculate world legislatures against the mad virus that has them careening toward a self-inflicted environmental and economic catastrophe. Given how short the time is, that will take some doing. The Alarmists have a big head start. And I have no real idea how to catch up. But I’ll bet there are some here who do.
/Mr Lynn
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/02/lindzens-climate-sensitivty-talk-iccc-june-2-2009/#comment-139791
* * * * *
[TonyB (02:35:48) offered some thoughts about how to counter the “prevailing AGW view” with better marketing. I responded:]
I agree entirely that the Realist (vs. AGW) viewpoint requires much better marketing than it has heretofore received.
And yes,

. . .we need to be more proactive and put over our views in a more concerted manner, but to do that we need access to a resource of literate and credible material (WUWT amongst others) and a group of knowledgable people who can ensure that any crafted response (to say an article) does make scientific sense. This material then needs to be sent to key media in a planned campaign. (all this has time and resource implications!)

As for the ability of a Realist organization to distance “fringe groups, politically motivated viewpoints or vested interests,” as you put it, that’s a complex matter.
First, you have to realize that any anti-AGW movement is going to be slandered as ‘fringe’, made up of ‘kooks’, allied with ‘greedy oil and coal interests’, ‘crackpot science’, and so on, and so forth. Yes, it’s vitally important to establish scientific bona fides, but you know how easily those are dismissed by the AGW orthodoxy (’not peer reviewed’, meaning by the correct peers). The objective has to be to gain public credibility, and that’s where the marketing comes in, because as Senator Inhofe said (above), the science is over most people’s heads.
Second, because AGW has become a political issue more than a scientific one, the AGW crusade has be stopped in the halls of Congress and Parliament, and that means some kind of political action. You may be able to avoid identifying with other issues (social questions, foreign affairs, etc.), but there’s one you can’t dodge, and that’s the economy. The ‘remedies’ that the Alarmists propose are all top-down, statist measures, and the way to combat them in the public mind is to emphasize how much they will curtail economic growth and individual freedom.
Notice, BTW, that the Alarmists’ affiliations with extreme leftwing ‘fringe’ groups and with avowedly leftwing and socialist political parties has done nothing to marginalize them or damage their effectiveness. The reason is that, as you point out, they have taken the moral high ground, with rhetoric like “Saving the planet.”
You are absolutely right that we have to recapture the moral high ground. I think the way to do this is not by shouting “Fire!” in the theater, as the Alarmists do, but by shouting “Water! Quick!” The lesson has to be:
What the Alarmists want to do, with or without good intentions, is to stop Civilization and Progress in their tracks. But economic growth, which means cheap and abundant energy, is essential for progress, and contrary to the Alarmists, the CO2 that might produce is good, good for plants, good for the Earth, and good for you. They offer a dead and dying Earth, with everyone cowering in fear; we promise a bright future of development for all people on the planet, a planet of beautiful cities and fields and gardens, fueled by abundant energy.
That’s the form the debate should take, as I see it. . .
/Mr Lynn
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/02/lindzens-climate-sensitivty-talk-iccc-june-2-2009/#comment-140161

londo
April 25, 2014 5:58 am

Jim Cripwell : “I disagree completely. This ought to be a scientific issue, not political, The issue will, in the end, be settled scientifically.”
Agree, but…. this is already a political issue. Like it or not. The science is clear in the sense that there is no theory that supports man made global warming and even less the catastrophic version of it. Still, people believe in it no matter that all predictions of the theory are wrong. The only thing that will make people reconsider is a generation (or two) long cooling period. Then the Manns and the Schmitts are sitting pretty with their pensions and uncountable forests have been harvested for their “bio fuel” and more people will wish that they could afford a Haitian mud pie.

heysuess
April 25, 2014 6:02 am

From Rick K “Does Congress know? Does the public know?”
Excellent points Rick. The trick is, how do we persuade Anthony Watts to issue press releases to help publicize the material posted here? 🙂

Stephen Watkins
April 25, 2014 6:02 am

Haven’t time to read the comments above. But any such organized opposition to the AGW juggernaut should remain focused on the subject. I wouldn’t like to see mission creep turn an important scientific argument into a crusade against open forums. Like this one.

bobj62
April 25, 2014 6:03 am

I am all in favor of organizing for truthful representation of data, for complete scientific transparency (i.e., against the cloaking of cherry-picked hokey stick methodology), for inclusion of science from other fields (geology, anthropology, statistical analysis, meteorology, oceanography, etc.) in the peer review of this “climatology” cult, for opening the editorial processes of the IPCC organization, etc. In many ways, this is what I turn to this blog.
The difficulties I see in organizing “the skeptic opposition”. The disparate views representing one voice would be well-described as Pointman’s herding cats. The opposite concern also comes with organization. Selection and rejection of which views to promote. The “skeptic” party line may be as restricting as the CAGW party line. Money and politics become incentives driving organization (e.g., IPCC, climate research, unionization, term limits, PACs…).
Sorry state of science reporting in the popular media does a great disservice to the very scientific method supposedly being touted. The thirst for the next story leads to garbage such as Lovejoy’s 99.9% certainty grabbing headlines rather than ridicule.
I wish I had the answers to these dilemmas. The hope that enough of the decision makers are able to separate the chaff from the wheat. In the meanwhile, the role of the skeptic is to call out the untruths, bias, and other devices used to mislead the folks that spend our money.

Scottish Sceptic
April 25, 2014 6:04 am

I might recount my own experience as “chairman” of the Scottish climate and energy forum (Not the original name – but someone who no one knew turned up at the first meeting – registered the domain name – and then wasn’t heard of again.
But the big problem, was that many skeptics are very “open with their opinions” and it wasn’t easy to get compromise. Unfortunately, this led to the initial aims being so “aggressive” that I personally couldn’t join the organisation. (I have family in government) Eventually we did form the organisation with the aim of lobbying Scottish politicians & media.
But, whilst I had met and lobbied politicians before, this time it turned out to be far harder than I had imagined. Whilst, before I was lobbying as an individual for better policy to create jobs in wind in Scotland. Now, even though I was representing a reasonable group of people, Scottish politicians & civil service were (are?) actively hostile and many would willingly break their own rules to exclude us. So e.g. there is a rule that civil servants will meet with groups about policy. They just outright refused. The media refused to print anything we wrote. E.g. the Scottish government gave MSPs the incorrect figure for the economic case for wind when they passed the climate change act. Only one small local paper and no politicians took any interest. This was a major scandal (and still is) and if it had been any other act, I’m sure heads would have rolled. But in Scotland, there was a conspiracy of silence by press and politicians
So, lobbying was a complete waste of time. The politicians, civil servants & journalists treated us with contempt and short of taking them to court, there was nothing we could do. it was so bad, that my own MSP refused to see me on a legitimate constituency matter when I told her I was a skeptic. If I were black, catholic, etc. she’d been slaughtered by the press.
However, I did learn some things from that process:
1. The first question a politicians or the press asks is the number of members. So, whilst it doesn’t matter to skeptics, you should aim to get as many members as possible.
2. Unless or until we had a visiting dignitary (Salby), physical meetings were unnecessary. The most successful enterprise was a leaflet “Global Warming the Facts” and as I recall, that was done entirely by email (mostly be me – but the help was invaluable)
3. The most useful thing I could do is “write on behalf of skeptics” in response to all the nasty comments made in the press and media.
Despite being undoubted qualified to have a view given my science qualifications and direct experience in the wind industry and having experience of lobbying before, unfortunately, the politicians and press were going out of their way to ignore the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum leaving me banging my head on a brick wall of bigotry. So eventually I gave up trying to talk to the Scottish media or politicians.
But, there was still a need to “speak up for skeptics” after each of the regular attacks. And the role morphed into one of a “skeptic (trade) union”. When skeptics were being personally attacked, I would sit down for a few hours, draw up a letter explaining that skeptics were reasonable people and that it was wrong to make comments that often were libellous. And whilst it didn’t get a lot of coverage, it did seem to change a few minds, tone down the attacks and general help us.
So, I would suggest, that the focus of the organisation should be to protect those individuals who through expressing a skeptic view have found themselves to be discriminated against, particularly in their work. There are many such individuals. Unlike “lobbying” where it is seen to be legitimate (why?) to repress views from those outside the establishment of academia, society in contrast, takes a dim view about libellous comments and hatespeech and other forms of discriminating practice targeted against people intending to repress their right to free speech.

wws
April 25, 2014 6:05 am

After re-reading Pointman’s article on his blog, I’ve come to think that he is more open to a nakedly politically movement than I may have thought. But even still, in practical terms, for him, being in the UK, that means signing up for Nigel Farage’s UKIP and saying goodbye to any of those who don’t see things that way. (no one else in the UK political arena dares to breathe a skeptical word about the global warming movement)
Here in the US, if there was a single Democrat Party officeholder in the country who didn’t bow down and worship Global Warming every morning, I would believe there was a chance at creating a bipartisan organization. Even one!!! But there isn’t, and so any organization created is going to be instantly labeled by every media outlet as “far right wing”.
So, if we want to be politically active, cut to the chase and send campaign money to Senators Inhofe, Cruz, and Paul, because those men are our only real allies. And accept that we will be saying goodbye to anyone who doesn’t see things that way.

Dr.Anxiety
April 25, 2014 6:06 am

I Would Need To See The Logo First And How It Looked On A Jacket. It Has To Be Cool Looking And Sounding. Also Be Nice To Have A Title To Put Behind My Name…Dr. Anxiety PhD, PhD, PhD, M.Wattsup

rogerknights
April 25, 2014 6:08 am

Barry Woods says:
If all the sceptics were to take a long vacation, hard policy decisions would still need to be made, media articles would still be written, the climate conferences would still fail, for the same reasons, political and economic reality..

Not necessarily. What if there’s another Sandy-like event to scare the populace? What if the GOP folds, and/or doesn’t do well in 2014? What if China gets talked into agreeing to a new Kyoto treaty, with the sub rosa “understanding” that it wouldn’t be expected to observe it and that its claims of compliance would not be checked?

justsomeguy31167
April 25, 2014 6:08 am

I think a true sceince based skeptic organization would be a good thing. So many think the science is settled, and a group that truly represents the science against AGW would be helpful.

April 25, 2014 6:12 am

pochas says:
April 25, 2014 at 3:45 am
Great! Now, what are we going to call ourselves. Here’s one, “Society for Scientific Sanity.” No, too many S’s.

I suppose “Association for Scientific Sanity” is out of the question, too.
🙂

April 25, 2014 6:13 am

Seriously, I would hope it would be based around this:
“There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.” (Oregon Petition Project)

actuator
April 25, 2014 6:15 am

@wws “De Gaulle and the french resistance didn’t overthrow Vichy France by creating an open, public organization and sending all of their supporter’s names to Marshall Petain.”
Uh, I thought the Allies had something to do with it.
In any case, organized action based on sound science applied in a principled way is preferable to a hodge podge approach.

April 25, 2014 6:17 am

Further to Terra Home:
[In private correspondence, Mike D. and I discussed starting a website, and briefly raised issues of organization, though without coming to a conclusion:]
Mike D.:

Websites in and of themselves are media. They serve to educate and encourage a form of discussion. But they are not political organizations per se, although they can help.
Our political parties are political organizations, but they leave far too much to be desired in my opinion.
What is needed is a more specific political organizing effort with specific goals:
1. A group identity
2. Group cohesion and mutual support
3. A sense of local control, based on local empowerment and activism.
I am not a political organizer. I’m not sure how it is done. But I do think at some point the members have to feel like members and they have to feel like they have some control. They also have to feel like they gain something of value through membership. They have to be dedicated, and must have a sense that their dedication is paying off in some way.
If money changes hands then some sort of legal framework is required — but there is no need to rush into that. Much can be accomplished without money, through volunteerism. Volunteerism is essential in any case.
What are your thoughts?

[I don’t think Mike will mind my quoting these important points. I responded:]

Presumably a new organization should have its own website.  A blog or maybe a bulletin-board site might be a good start, just to bring in interested voices.  It should be members-only and moderated.
But you’re right; the world does not need more websites.  And a viable political party is far too large an undertaking.  Parties that focus on a single issue or theme do not seem to flourish in the United States, and even independent parties centered on a individual are short-lived; they concentrate entirely on the Presidency and ignore the need to build a foundation in local and state government, and in the Congress.  I think there is an attempt underway to create a ‘climate skeptics’ party in Australia, but whatever its chances there, I cannot imagine it having any success in the USA.
However, organizations such as The Sierra Club, Greenpeace, The World Wildlife Fund, etc. do very well in this country, and have come to wield enormous influence.  What we need is a counterweight, an organization that can make its voice heard above the din of Alarmist organizations.  Unfortunately, they have the advantage of decades of growth, and time is not on our side (unless the next Ice Age begins tomorrow).
How does one go about creating such an organization?  Yes, we need an identity: a name, and statement of purpose, or charter (your no. 1).  We also need to think about how to foster “group cohesion and mutual support” (your no. 2).  One way to do that is, as you suggest in no. 3, to encourage the creation of local branches, or chapters, like the National Space Society does.  Meetings require committed people, so you need a large enough base to bring a few of the most enthusiastic together for local gatherings.  But then you get face-to-face contact, and that fosters mutual support.  Nothing like finding like-minded people to help support political action (even writing a letter to a local newspaper can be daunting to a lone individual, who fears opprobrium from neighbors and coworkers).
I understand this in principle, but have to admit I have no experience in political organizing or ‘activism’ (a word I must say I dislike).  I do have some experience in marketing and business, and am a good writer and editor.  One way to bring people into an organization is to create a sense of belonging, e.g. with on-line forums, printed handouts to help make arguments, paraphernalia (calendars, clocks, mugs, shirts, whatnot), etc., and I could certainly help with these.
We should make a special effort to get teachers at all levels into the organization, as it this point they have been almost entirely co-opted by the Alarmists.
Financing: Once a core group is established, I suggest creating a membership fee, or sliding scale of donations.  That means setting up as a non-profit.  One aim would be to get contributions from foundations and/or wealthy individuals.
The organization should have a branch devoted to active lobbying of government at all levels.  This may need to be a separate branch, as I think donations for political lobbying are not tax-deductible (so how do organizations like the Sierra Club manage it?).  For many of us, just the promise of an organization that will represent the Realist viewpoint in local, state, and federal legislatures would be an incentive to donate.
There should be a newsletter, online and in print (for those–and there are some, believe it or not, especially among the elderly)–who are not online.
But I am getting way ahead of things.  The first job is to get started, and to do this we need a core group of individuals. . .

/Mr Lynn

Solomon Green
April 25, 2014 6:18 am

There are far too many sceptics like myself who might best be described as “enthusiastic amateurs” and who would be prepared to join an official “climate sceptics” organisation. However, what that organisation might gain in numbers it would lose in credibility. If, on the other hand, membership of the organisation was limited to those professionals, such as astronomers, astrophysicists, biologists, botanists, chemists, “climate scientists”,engineers, geographers, geologists, mathematicians, meterologists, oceanographers palaeontologists, physicists, statisticians and zoologists, the “warmist” lobby and their supporters would have difficulty in rubbishing any statements emanating from that organisation.
In other words weed people like myself out and concentrate on those whose credentials, both academic and experience, are irrefutable and even the politicians might have to listen..

Editor
April 25, 2014 6:18 am

OK, the vote is a clear yes, so it should be done. Plenty of comments have pointed out many major potential pitfalls, so they should be taken into account when setting it up. Anthony’s judgement has been exemplary throughout the whole WUWT exercise, in particular the emphasis on science, the provision of access to all possible third-party data (the data is 100% external to and independent of WUWT), and the welcoming of all civil points of view. I trust Anthony’s judgement on this exercise too. It will take a tremendous amount of hard work from better people than me, but any assistance I can give, I will.
I have seen GWPF, Heartland/NIPCC, etc, and none of them does the job the way I think and hope that it will be done. As I see it, this will be the go-to site for an accurate/rational/scientific view of everything to do with climate, and in particular it will explain exactly what is known, what is not known, and everything in between, plus corrections for everything that is often misunderstood. There will be immediate attempts to discredit it, to target individuals, and every other trick in the political book – but they have been doing that for years and it shouldn’t be too hard to prepare for.
I look forward to seeing it rolling off the production line!

April 25, 2014 6:19 am

Moderator: My previous comment is still in moderation, presumably because I mentioned The Boss. This one should follow the previous one, or it won’t make sense. Thanks. /Mr L

rogerknights
April 25, 2014 6:21 am

Joe Public says:
April 25, 2014 at 3:51 am
Success will be more than a little dependent upon the organisation’s name having a snappy acronym.
I sense a competition is needed.

Contrarian Climate Coalition
Pronounced ContClyCoe (?) OR “3C”

Jim Cripwell
April 25, 2014 6:22 am

londo, you write “Agree, but…. this is already a political issue”
Yes, I agree. One of the problems writing bits on blogs is explaining what one wants to. I took it that the idea was to form a union of scientists. That I am opposed to. If it is a political issue, then some sort of political organization needs to be formed. For me, thanks but no thanks.
The scientific problem, as I have said over and over again, is that the learned scientific societies, led by the RS and APS have endorsed CAGW. They are the problem. The APS is rethinking it’s stance, and a report should be out this year.
I hope scientists can deal with the scientific issues, and I believe that proper science will prevail in the end.

Jim G
April 25, 2014 6:23 am

heysuess says:
April 25, 2014 at 5:55 am
“Keep it simple with a straightforward blanket mission statement that allows most nuanced skeptical positions in, something like ‘we don’t support the theory that industrial carbon dioxide emissions can effect the earth’s climate systems.’”
Better yet, how about ‘we only support what good scientific observation and analysis shows.’

April 25, 2014 6:25 am

‘The Climate Reality Organization’ so sthg similar would be a better name. No science whatsoever supports the greenhouse theory; nor that Co2 has much to do with anything; nor that pre-modern climate was stable; nor that the earth is not a complicated million-variable convection system.
Name it correctly and many will join. Reality is not scepticism.

April 25, 2014 6:25 am

This article has certainly generated some interesting comments, many quite black and white!
Why does creating a organization preclude the continuance of WUWT and other blogs? Why would an organization intended to fight the politcal nature of CAGW delegitimize the science? How does membership in such an organization preclude making comments to blogs? Does the organization need to be US based, or could it be based in the UK or Europe?
I believe based on my own personal evangelizing that the blogosphere lacks credibility with the population at large. People can’t comprehend long, detailed articles laying out reams of data and complex calculations. They need sound bites and hocky stick graphs. This absolutely is a political battle, and without the masses the governments of the world will continue to dismiss us as nutters off in the corner.
How did envirofacism become so strong: organizations like Greenpeace, Nature Conservancy, et al.

Frank K.
April 25, 2014 6:28 am

I am, in general, in favor of an organization which would articulate my views on climate change. However, be prepared for a withering barrage of negative press from the MSM and snarky/condescending press releases from the CAGW scientists. And be prepared to be ridiculed publicly if you choose to be connected to such an organization.
However, here is the main issue for me. The warmists are gathering HUGE sums of money in an all out effort now to impose their views on society. Be prepared for a multi-MILLION dollar campaign to convince the lay public that climate change is a problem and that we must change our ways of life or else. If we do nothing they win. And trust me, this battle is NOT about climate change (it never was) – it is about our freedom.

harkin
April 25, 2014 6:30 am

I’m mixed on this (but not on the name…PLEASE DO NOT ((if formed)) include anything in the title to suggest they are skeptical of climate) because if you have an organized group to counter the alarmists, I fear it will descend into a group willing to use the same discredited tactics of the Manns and Jones of the world.
I would rather that PEOPLE PRACTICING REAL SCIENCE would be the counter group to this scam. They need not be organized and when they publish/announce it will not be seen as a concerted effort but just a scientist doing his/her job in an open and upright manner.

somersetsteve
April 25, 2014 6:31 am

The momentum is so far skewed to the alarmist cause I fear such an organisation would be little more than straw against the wind (Straw wasn’t my first word of choice!). The Skeptical view will prevail only if Mother Earth continues not to play along for long enough and/or the sheeple rail loudly enough that rising energy costs and economic hardship are not worth the candle and politicians start not getting their votes. In my view the only way to speed things up is for the emergence of a skeptical spokesperson of such charisma, media skill and scientific integrity to emerge who can shoot the whole thing down for what it is. If Feynman where with us he would have been ‘da man’ I’m sure…..not sure theres another of his ilk right now….

Pete
April 25, 2014 6:32 am

I’m retired, old, with a body slowly fading away, but I can still smell a rat. Count me in as a supporter of the effort to bring common sense and civility to the climate discussion.

rogerknights
April 25, 2014 6:34 am

Chris D. says:
April 25, 2014 at 4:55 am
I propose we call ourselves “Union of Concerned Skeptics”.
No dogs allowed.

The Moral Minority?
Three-Percenters United?

Greg
April 25, 2014 6:38 am

pochas says:
April 25, 2014 at 3:45 am
Great! Now, what are we going to call ourselves. Here’s one, “Society for Scientific Sanity.” No, too many S’s.
====
DEE-nier Central , of course. What else?

Ceetee
April 25, 2014 6:39 am

Lets say we do this, what then?. Do we put on boiler suits and chain ourselves to offshore wind turbines?. I’m not convinced it would get us very far. We’d just be labelled yet another “right wing thinktank” and marginalized. If we were to organize it should be for the specific purpose of holding to account the media that has failed us dismally. They hold themselves above reason and seem to be accountable to no one. They are traitors to their own raison d’etre. Where is the scrutiny?. Where would we be without the blogosphere and the genuine people who go there. Up sh1t creek is where.

Gary Pearse
April 25, 2014 6:41 am

I’ve resisted joining organizations all my life except those I’m obliged to for professional reasons (to be able to practice as a professional engineer, for example). Even this lofty organization is a pain as its governance ends up attracting those who go more for real hands-on governing and less for engineering itself, expanding rules and bureaucracy ever farther away from the domain of engineering.
Formalizing an organization eventually leads to a stifling degree of dogmatism. They even learn how to herd cats. Individualists (non-team players!) ultimately tend to get marginalized, no matter what contributions they are making.
Frankly, Pointman scared me a bit – it was too EU for me. If it were to be headed up by Anthony Watts, I would go along, but the first sign of a mission statement with PC doggerel would do it for me.

JM VanWinkle
April 25, 2014 6:41 am

Politics is politics, its tools are different and inherently corrupted by its very tools. Politics and science don’t mix as the science will always lose. That is what has happened to the CAGW bunch. Join them in character, politics, and condemn the science, prove to everyone that science is not what matters, politics is what matters, and how skillful and well funded your gang is… Big Mistake.
Your first job will be to marginalize those that are not “mainstream” luke-warmers. Right? The character of your blog will immediately change, watch the drop out rate and those with the “biggest” voice dominate, not the science. Make the CAGW crowd proud.

rogerknights
April 25, 2014 6:45 am

“Cooler Heads Coalition”?

jaffa
April 25, 2014 6:45 am

I think the word sceptic (that’s how it’s spelt where I come from) is unhelpful, it’s too easily associated with ‘naysayer’, ‘denier’ etc. It sounds like a group of grumpy old men that just like to oppose stuff for the sake of it 😐

Scottish Sceptic
April 25, 2014 6:51 am

Allen63 says: “Trying to be open-minded. First thought is “aren’t there already anti-CAGW organizations”. Or, at least, organizations producing “skeptical” point of view reports. How would this new organization be different? What would it add?
Allen, to the question what would it add, my own experience as Chairman of the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum, is that for policy makers, the relevance of an organisation is largely the number of people it has.
In Scotland, I think if we had got to around 100 members, then even though the political establishment and media were actively hostile, then doors would have been opened. It’s a simple as that. The equivalent in the US might be 1000.
The second key issue is money. As SCEF chairman I was working for free and as such I felt I should not also pay to run the organisation. In retrospect, that was a mistake as lack of money was the biggest barrier I faced. Realistically, if one is to lobby in person, attend meetings, go to see people about issues and generally “keep active”, the cost from where I am (40miles to government) was probably around £5000 in travel and paying for meals, etc.
I would guess, in the US, the costs are far higher. I would not be surprised if the running costs of a one-person lobby organisation were $20,000 – $50,000. For a $25 membership fee, that would consume the membership fees of 800-2000 members leaving no money to do anything else.
This is why I think it is unrealistic to think in terms of a lobbying organisation. Instead, an organisation speaking up for the right of skeptics to exercise their right to free speech without being attacked – particularly by establishment figures, is a more manageable and achievable objective.
In other words and organisation asserting the rights of skeptics to be treated fairly and with respect like any other civic group would be a very laudable achievable and worthwhile end.

April 25, 2014 6:52 am

Anthony somehow I missed seeing the original poll post. I think it is a great idea – the sooner the better. It is important that any such organization is clearly recognized as having no political agenda or funding from economic entities with an interest in the outcome of climate science so that all discussions reports publications etc are based simply on the data and the science.

April 25, 2014 6:52 am

How about calling it the “Oganization of Skeptical Scientists.” The OSS.

April 25, 2014 6:57 am

There are folk here asking how it would differ from GWPF – the Global Warming Policy Foundation is directed towards policy only – not the science. Their advisory panel includes people who “agree with the standard climate science” and are tasked with policy recommendations.
What will this group do? Protest against misrepresentation and name-calling as “deniers”? Argue for Free Speech?
Better still, request research into pre-1950 warming episodes – why did they occur?

Steve C
April 25, 2014 7:00 am

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have voted “Yes” here. If it were simply a case of us being able to disseminate cool-headed, more accurate interpretations of the latest climate news, I might have.
But, as other similarly untrusting voices have pointed out above, it’s not. It’s a dirty political fight, in which the voice of reason is routinely slagged off, howled down or (usually) simply ignored by the essentially monolithic block of big money power which is using its pseudoscience and its control of the media to bedazzle the public into supporting and voting for its own enslavement.
If we organise and become even moderately effective, then the organisation will be compromised and discredited, until there is once more nothing to impede the greed of the big money addicts. No, I think this is a job for the “crowd of peasants with torches”, so “They” never know where to look next while “We” chat informally with ordinary people and spread the truth. As Big Youth once sang, “You are a big tree … I got a small axe”. Between us, we’ve got a lot of small axes.

richard
April 25, 2014 7:01 am

and for those with lots of vigour.
Skeptical Assault Scientists – SAS.

Jim Bo
April 25, 2014 7:01 am

Pointman, as always, persuasively presents his case…but what I don’t see is any appreciation that “science” (not “politicized junk-science”) IS prevailing (IMHO inexorably albeit not nearly fast enough for, perhaps, most).
If credentialed “climate science” practitioners are to survive with credibility intact (a necessity, IMHO, for future viability), that impetus must emanate from a re-affirmation and re-commitment to traditional scientific methodologies…politics be damned…as they WILL be.
Dance with the girl what brung you. 2016 may change EVERYTHING.

Magic Turtle
April 25, 2014 7:02 am

“I’ve closed the poll with a count of 2701 votes. While there was a clearly decisive result,…”
Not if you measure the poll’s decisiveness by its entropy (i.e. its implicit uncertainty) I’m afraid. There was clearly a majority in favour of the proposal, but the poll’s decisiveness was just 11.50%, which is less than half-way towards unanimity. This means that the voting group was far more uncertain (88.50%) than certain (11.50%) that it was in favour of the proposal.
So contrary to its superficial appearance of a decisive vote in favour of the proposed organization, this result provides only weak scientific evidence of popular support for it in fact.

Chris
April 25, 2014 7:06 am

I have some experience in politics and lobbying, and I think it is a good idea to get organized. The only official entity, the NIPCC, is unfortunately and unfairly tainted by its connection to the Heartland Institute. It is therefore too easy for the CAGW community to dismiss the group as right wing radical so that those on the fence are un-swayed. Nevertheless, I think a group of skeptics could be a very effective political tool if it can be organized in a way that eliminates and prevents the connections that are too easily mocked and dismissed.
And it must stay as far above reproach as possible. It should not be a blog. Keep it civil, keep it focused on facts, keep the extremism out of the official discourse, go where the data leads. Find a board or steering committee made up primarily of credentialed physical scientists. Consider a primary mission of education and clearinghouse, as opposed to fact-checking or debunking “main stream” science and discourse. There is no way to win that debate. Such a group would be better served to simply ignore the noise of mainstream debate and focus instead on simply trying to gather, understand, and disseminate the best of the available science – on ALL SIDES.
Further, it needs a good name. Science, we all know, is driven by skepticism. But somehow skepticism has become a bad word. So, avoid the word. Just call it “Good Science.org” or something equally simple, non-confrontational, and generic. It should be non-partisan. It should not seek to grab the spotlight, but rather build a reputation as fair and honest over time. Direct, aggressive lobbying is only temporarily effective and the most aggressive groups run out of steam, and especially credibility very quickly.
Properly organized and led, it could be effective and useful. Zealots and wackos within the skeptic community, and there are many, should not have a seat at the table.

April 25, 2014 7:08 am

I’m with Anthony on this. There needs to be an effective skeptical organization that acts as an exchange between the various skeptical groups and also as an additional and powerful voice. Let’s do it.

April 25, 2014 7:10 am

Count me as a yes vote. In my mind the leaders begind the CAGW/Climate Change agenda are 100% political which is why the IPCC is an “intergovernmental” panel. The goal is to use propaganda disguised as science to get power. We must unite politically to stop a political agenda.

G. Karst
April 25, 2014 7:10 am

Edim says:
April 25, 2014 at 4:15 am
Organization = Corruption. You just end up with dogma.

I agree.
I grow weary of special interests becoming eternal activists. Never adjusting dogma to evolve to new facts on the ground. Organizations pool money and power. Money and power corrupts the hearts of those involved when the end justifies the means.
It seems to be the condition of Man. We have struggled since the dawn of mankind. GK

April 25, 2014 7:21 am

If, as many did on the poll post and now did on this post, this idea of climate skeptic ‘organization’ is phrased and expressed in military terminology, then I cannot participate.
If, as many did on the poll post and now did on this post, this idea of climate skeptic ‘organization’ is advocated for the purpose of any political objectives, then I cannot participate.
If, as many did on the poll post and now do on this post, this idea of climate skeptic ‘organization’ is described as an ‘anti-ideology’ campaign, then I cannot participate.
If, as many did on the poll post and now do on this post, this idea of climate skeptic ‘organization’ is envisioned as a ‘communicate skepticism’ mission, then I cannot participate.
If, as many did on the poll post and now do on this post, this idea of climate skeptic ‘organization’ is to be formed to publically demarcate what is science and what is pseudo-science, then I cannot participate.
If, as many did on the poll post and now do on this post, this idea of climate skeptic ‘organization’ is tasked to promote publically a ‘position’ on science, then I cannot participate.
If, as many did on the poll post and now do on this post, this idea of climate skeptic ‘organization’ is envisioned as any kind of ‘union’, then I cannot participate.
CONCLUSION: I have maintained and still do that this climate science dialog is best served by simple individual applied reasoning in the circumstances each individual finds themselves in.
NOTE: I voted no on the poll.
ON THE OTHER HAND: I would strongly participate in and provide a large amount of my time, resources and energy to support the formation of an Academe to further critical applied reasoning to the study of the Earth-Atmosphere System; which would be strictly a Philosophy of Science purposed collaboration.
John

Charles Lyon
April 25, 2014 7:21 am

I didn’t get in on the poll, but a climate realist organization is desperately needed. For the person who asked why GWPF doesn’t already provide what’s needed, I quote from their website what they say they are:
“◾The GWPF does not have an official or shared view about the science of global warming – although we are of course aware that this issue is not yet settled.
◾On climate science, our members and supporters cover a broad range of different views, from the IPCC position through agnosticism to outright scepticism.
◾Our main focus is to analyse global warming policies and their economic and other implications. Our aim is to provide the most robust and reliable economic analysis and advice.”
It is essential to state and keep repeating the many reasons it is clear that under mild scrutiny (no phd. required) the claims of catastrophic human-caused climate change are utterly and transparently unfounded based on science and common sense. This must be done in common-sense terms ordinary people can understand, and repeated over and over where ordinary people will hear it. An organization is required and I would join it and donate to it. The economic consequences of the green assault are massive and un-survivable if not stopped.

Soren F
April 25, 2014 7:23 am

I voted not sure, because I expect I’d often disagree whenever scientific arguments become less precise. I’d be looking for an organization mobilizing quality processes in science, a bit like TQMI perhaps, meeting a concern that such get diluted as the scientific community steadily grows, working with social theory of knowledge.

Cold in Wisconsin
April 25, 2014 7:25 am

Sorry, but science will not be sufficient.

April 25, 2014 7:27 am

OK everyone – it’s time to stop telling Anthony to “Go do it” or similar. This is up to US to do together. Having said that:
Anthony, what do you need/want to get this moving? I don’t want to spell out my qualifications in a public forum, but I can offer a lot to this and am ready to jump in to get this moving.
Tom

April 25, 2014 7:28 am

@David Ball says: “As a person skeptical of the so-called “greenhouse effect”, I will be left to the wayside by such a group anyway.”
As you may be aware, to go against the prevailing “consensus” or “paradigm” will certainly get you into trouble with the Church of Scientism. Periodically I ask why there has never been a real-world experiment that would prove that “greenhouse” gases do what they are said to do, but I am usually just told that there is no need for any such experiment or that I should read “first year physics”.
To answer your question; no your kind would not be welcome and you know it.

April 25, 2014 7:28 am

Chris says:
April 25, 2014 at 7:06 am
. . . Keep it civil, keep it focused on facts, keep the extremism out of the official discourse, go where the data leads. Find a board or steering committee made up primarily of credentialed physical scientists. Consider a primary mission of education and clearinghouse, as opposed to fact-checking or debunking “main stream” science and discourse. There is no way to win that debate. Such a group would be better served to simply ignore the noise of mainstream debate and focus instead on simply trying to gather, understand, and disseminate the best of the available science – on ALL SIDES.

I think what Chris is describing is something like a new professional Society or Association of scientists. Perhaps it could be called the Association of Earth Sciences, or something, aimed at restoring balance to the CAGW tilt evinced by the existing science associations, and encompassing scientists from a wide variety of disciplines. This is certainly a laudable goal, and I think we’d all love to see such an organization founded.
The ‘Terra Home’ organization a few of us discussed back in 2009 would be a different animal, a general-public membership organization set up like the Sierra Club, or maybe the National Space Society, with the broad goal of encouraging the Progress of Man, especially the rational exploitation of resources to bring the benefits of civilization to all the peoples of the Earth, while maintaining careful stewardship of the planet. See my comments above:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/25/results-of-my-poll-on-forming-a-skeptic-organization-plus-some-commentary/#comment-1621368
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/25/results-of-my-poll-on-forming-a-skeptic-organization-plus-some-commentary/#comment-1621397
There is no reason not to work toward the creation of both such organizations.
/Mr Lynn

Richard Ilfeld
April 25, 2014 7:29 am

1 Money?
2. Money!
3. Money……and fundraising.
4. and the ability to swing elections, which takes money.
5. Did I mention money?
6. It helps to be a religion, but do’t forget to pass the collection plate.
7. Useful idiot fellow travelers are also nice to have. The collect adulation (and provide money, or endorsements to raise same).
SO, even though many love the idea, it boils down to money.
I belong to several very narrow organizations. They tend to the moribund, generally supporting a cause, until there is a specific threat, in a case that appears winnable. Then the floodgates, or trickle valve, can be opened and the group becomes efective. Otherwise, its a newsletter and one overworked, underapid lobbyist. Seaplane Pilots organization is a good example.
What are you going to be “for”, that will focus on events to galvinize people to give money? Dead birds are motivators: birds flying in the sky are a nice nirmal state of affairs. “Acid Seas” is a headline grabber, while any high school science teacher will tell you that teaching ph & fluid solutions can put folks to sleep. Charges makes headlines; mea culpas appear on page 4, under the obits.
Specific, affirmative foci work: Your surface stations project is a great example. Photos of badlt sited thermometers were sufficient to motivate specific action to fix same.
But the audience here doesn’t have to stomach, I fear, to base a campaign on utube videos of birds being cusinarted by windmills, or of freezing Brit kids while the north sea windmills rot, or of African villages burning dung to cook while the coal trains don’t run. I don’t either.
I don’t generally have the energy of the haters to personalize and ridicule them.
To rally round the flag, we need a flag that stands for something to rally round. And, realistically, as we haven’t framed the argument, we won’t win being for the things the warming-na**s are against. We would be excoriated for that name even though ‘denier’ seems OK. “Go BIG OIL” doesn’t cut it.
Neither does Rah Rah common sense.
No matter how many PhD folks we pile up, if we can be portrated as screaming “don’t save the planet!” and money we raise (remember the money?) goes odwn a rat hole.
So I put it to you again: in ten words or less. What are we for?

April 25, 2014 7:30 am

You are probably aware of Friends of Science based out of Calgary, Alberta.
http://www.friendsofscience.org/
They do an admirable job considering their small budget. Several learned members post here.
It’s been an uphill battle for FoS. The exec may have some insights about operations etc.
Think of it, outfits like the David Suzuki Foundation get millions in funding. Why not a unified voice of reason?
WARNING regarding funding. Eco foundations get mega bucks from BIG business interests. But the moment $5 comes from the “resource sector” the opposition will scream shills for “BIG OIL.” Just a thought.
Clive

Scottish Sceptic
April 25, 2014 7:33 am

There are just simply too many polarised people on either side who’ve spent years doing nothing more than venting spleen at each other. It’s become a social activity, a recreational pastime, a macho ego trip, a catharsis for a lot of tangential frustrations. Log in quickly, hurl an insult or two and surf onto the next brawl. Underneath the most combative blogs, out of hundreds of comments, barely a single digit percentage of the comments even reference the original blog topic, whatever it was.
Yes, the key here is: “It’s become a social activity” … which I would only disagree with to the extent that it was always a social activity.
Skeptics are a very social community. Indeed, referring to the recent paper analysing the skeptic blogosphere, I can compare skeptics to a similar activity on political blogs I carreid out in Scotland. Whereas I think all skeptic blogs list a host of other blogs both for an against their position I was quite horrified to find that almost no political blogs in Scotland had any links to other blogs.
Skeptics are almost all highly articulate (if a bit erratic in spelling), and very good at putting their case. As such skeptics are quite capable of lobbying for themselves and don’t need an organisation to support them.
Indeed with Kyoto dead, the UK government now against onshore wind and public opinion turning to the hostile against wind, I’m not sure there is that much more we could achieve by more lobbying!
However, where skeptics have problems is that they are up against the hugely powerful establishment, large institutions like Universities, powerful & rich lobby groups like the greenspins. As individuals, skeptics have been constantly attacked by these large groups often in the most vile way with references like “tattooing them” or concentration camps or even extermination.
As individuals skeptics have been unable to defend themselves against these powerful groups and this has created a culture amongst the establishment permitting us to be denigrated, ignored and ostracised – not because our views were not entirely valid – because our views were never even considered, but because it was deemed legitimate given the culture of attacking skeptics to refuse to listen.
If Anthony’s organisation could achieve one thing it is this: next time I have a legitimate constituency issue and I go to see my elected representative, I would like them to see me as a person and not some vile “greenspin parody” of a hate figure who had no rights.
I don’t need them to agree with me … I just want them to treat me as a person … and then they will listen and then, given the facts are entirely on our side, they will agree.

mpainter
April 25, 2014 7:33 am

Organize. The opposition is organized. It is not a matter of debate, but of politics and propaganda and that means that you have to organize if you wish to effect results. Spleen venting effects no cures and the POTUS is pushing a load of **** on the gullible public, utilizing all of the power of his office. The only efective resistance is through organization.

dlb
April 25, 2014 7:36 am

Stay with the empirical evidence, don’t go near any controversial theories. Leave that for the warmists so they can be shot down.
Have a core set of beliefs which ideally should be lukewarm.
Avoid a political stance, particularly that of the right.
Be open with funding and avoid big oil, coal etc.
Sympathise with moderate environmentalists, but go after the nutjobs.
Hound the opposition at every opportunity, but above all use science.

April 25, 2014 7:37 am

No time to read the comments. I read a book decades ago, written humorously, about the nature of organizations. If I weren’t out of town I’d provide the title, author, and quotes. But the gist was, organizations never end up doing what they were originally intended to do. They always take on a life of their own and evolve into marvelous machines of unpredictable function. They tend to become dogmatic, nepotistic, intolerant, and so on. Moreover there exist already a number of organizations which are competently taking on the task of debunking junk climatology, so far at least (in spite of said book). All we could do is add to the list.
How does one fight dangerous dogma and name calling? Primarily with facts. Secondarily with facts. Third, facts. Counter dogma and name calling are low on the list. Get educated and educate. Most believers have never heard of M&M. Those who have heard of S&B accept dogmatic assertions that their science was flawed. Most have heard of Lord Monckton, and for that reason he is demonized like no other. He’s out there doing the job that needs to be done and it behooves us to expose his detractors for the dupes they are.
WUWT is the most eclectic and widely read climate blog out here, and it’s doing a darn good job too without being evangelical, but many of us can’t keep up with it, and it’s only one of many. And it does a good job of keeping us apprised of what’s going on in the more specialized blogs. Lobbyists are supposed to be evangelical as far as their special interests are concerned. Professors are not. So what is the difference between an evangelist and an educator? The educator never hides the truth, is never afraid to explore new perspectives, is willing to present “inconvenient” facts, is beholden to none except those who write his paycheck, is beholden to no dogma and must adhere to no organizational stance.
The American Association of Petroleum Geologists did more than any other group or person to keep back good science (Continental Drift). Microsoft has done more than any outfit to keep back good computer operation (I’m writing this on Windows 8 as the cursor dances around the screen without my asking). If you want to become part of the problem, get organized and evangelical. Rather, get educated and keep educating. –AGF

Richard M
April 25, 2014 7:45 am

While the issue is political the battle is being fought on the scientific front. We don’t need another political organization. We need one to counter the propaganda continually published by the alarmists. We need it to have a scientific face. The face to the public must be PhD skeptics like Dr. Robert Brown or Dr. John Christy or Dr. Judith Curry (etc.). The rest of the skeptics can provide support roles, funding, and pretty much anything to help. I think there are journalists out there that will print the message if it has a strong scientific foundation.

April 25, 2014 7:50 am

Snappy acronym required I think. The following came to mind.
I.S.I.S (International Society for Independent Science)
A.S.I.S (Associated Society for Independent Science)
Not merely as a platform to fight the ‘Greens’ and their paymasters but ideally to provide crowdsourcing and an umbrella organisation for future independent research.

April 25, 2014 7:50 am

Scottsh Skeptic makes a lot of sense @ 6:51 am above. Really, there are a lot of excellent comments here.
+++++++++++++++++++
John The Cube says:
How did envirofacism become so strong: organizations like Greenpeace, Nature Conservancy, et al.
When the Berlin Wall came down, the KGB did not disband. It became the FSB. It had already infiltrated the large enviro groups, and now it has firm control. Leaders who put the environment as their top priority are gone. Now politics is #1.
Don’t listen to their words. Look at their actions: everything they do, and everything they propose, is directed toward their goal of hobbling America and the West.
====================
I think we have to fight fire with fire. Any new organization must begin with a ‘preemptive’ press release acknowledging that the backers of the carbon scare [my words] will instantly try to frame it as a “far right wing” anti-science organization, and demonize it per Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals. So as a lawyer would do in opening arguments, explain what the opposition is planning.
Any such organization needs several top tier climatologists on its board, like Prof R. Lindzen, and others, such as Prof Freeman Dyson and Dr. Judith Curry. This is where the rubber meets the road. They will all be personally demonized. But that is what we’re dealing with. Point it out at the beginning, and when they do it, say, “We told you they would do that.”
David Ball says:
As a person skeptical of the so-called “greenhouse effect”, I will be left to the wayside by such a group anyway. Or will there be provision for those of us who do not “fit in”?
Good point. And what if folks like Steve Mosher or Doug Cotton get on the board? The answer has to be a solid hypothesis as a mission statement. John Who suggests the Oregon Petition:

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

Let them try to falsify that.

Mark Bofill
April 25, 2014 7:56 am

We’re talking about forming an organization for political purposes. I need to know a lot more details before I’m signing up. What are we going to be doing, what’s our agenda? What are our tactics? Our goals? Our leadership?
I’m game to discuss further, but without details it’s hard to know what the heck we’re really talking about.

April 25, 2014 7:59 am

The problem with climate science is politicization. Sounder forms of politicization is not the answer. Einstein said in response the the Nazi “Consensus” against Jewish Science (i.e., relativity) that it only takes one scientist to prove somebody wrong. I would rather skeptics remain as independent sound thinkers. Besides there already are formal organizations for issuing statements not that anybody in media listens to anyway.
What we really need is well-organized gloating process once the warmist fantasy crashes and burns for good. A Guy Fawkes type holiday where we burn Hansen, Gore or Mann in effigy, perhaps? The problem with professional gloom forecasters is that they can count on amnesia and keep right on with the next excuse to constrict liberty and hate mankind. How else could a spectacularly wrong, utter buffoon like John Holdgren wind up as a White House science advisor?
So I think the emphasis should not be countering that which will die of its own stupid accord but to make sure that there is permanent public embarrassment attached to public advocacy of this crap. Given the damage these clowns did to science and what they wanted to do to the world political and economic order and the viciousness they directed at those who disagreed there needs to be a scarlet letter applied and a annual celebration of science freed from PC.

Clifford Eddy
April 25, 2014 8:01 am

Let us, together, promote scientific truth, critical thinking and rational discussion about a politician generated fraud on the people of the world. Politicians in the US and EU hugely support only the CAGW view because it increases their power and fills their purses. Lets vote the rascals out everywhere.

onlyme
April 25, 2014 8:03 am

There is truth to #Pointman’s statement on need for a central organization that lends weight to an argument, or at least shows that there is some relatively large number of people who adhere to its’ basic tenets. This extends to all the social alternate media sites.
I have noticed that on #Twitter, especially, many of the more well known ‘names’ will not follow the public which supports their positions. Whatever the reasons for this behavior are, it limits the spread of the message that it’s good for science to allow dissent, and that there are legitimate reasons to doubt #Consensus.

Daniel G.
April 25, 2014 8:04 am

Scottish Sceptic says:

Yes, the key here is: “It’s become a social activity” … which I would only disagree with to the extent that it was always a social activity.

I think he meant social hobby.

John West
April 25, 2014 8:07 am

What we need to do is take back the organizations that should have been skeptical from the get go: NASA, NOAA, APS, USGS, etc. etc.

Walter
April 25, 2014 8:08 am

For me, nutrition is a historical point of reference. The fear mongering about animal fat, with no scientific basis, started in the 1950s. Congress put its stamp of approval on that Lipid Hypothesis in the 1970s. There might have been a few skeptical protests, but these were quickly silenced. With three million ministers in the public school system, nutrition “scientists” in academics and government, “scientific” organizations like Diabetes and Heart, along with major media backing the Hypothesis, “healthy whole grain” and “unhealthy animal fat” became part of the popular lexicon. Anti-science would actually be a polite term in describing the USDA’s removal of the word “fat” from its recommended diet for the American people (see MyPlate).
The Human Carbon Dioxide Hypothesis (or whatever) uses the same ministers, scientific organizations and media for another round of fear mongering.
I do not know what to think of a skeptic organization taking on the responsibilities of the National Academy of Sciences. It might be best to stick with the present collection of web sites.
Government sponsored religions are tough to fight.

Joseph Murphy
April 25, 2014 8:11 am

Monckton of Brenchley says:
April 25, 2014 at 7:08 am
I’m with Anthony on this. There needs to be an effective skeptical organization that acts as an exchange between the various skeptical groups and also as an additional and powerful voice. Let’s do it.
————————————————————
I could care less if people want to organize themselves but, skeptics have been effective without organization. Skeptics have a powerful voice without an organization. Their power and strength comes from science, not head count. The only purpose of an organization is political, as it is a political entity.

richard
April 25, 2014 8:12 am

when this happens you know something is changing,
German tv mocking green energy.

Jim Clarke
April 25, 2014 8:16 am

Organize, then disband. Most good ideas live on well past their usefulness. Noble statesmen lose all nobility the longer they stay in office. Movements keep moving way past their original purpose and become corrupt.
There are many good reasons to organize. Most of the ‘nay’ votes seem to be centered around the idea that time destroys all good organizations. The solution is to set a self-destruct for the organization. Specific goals, once achieved, will trigger the self destruct, and any new goals will require a reorganization with a different title and organizers. Or simply set a time limit: ‘The organization will disband on June 1st, 2024’, although that would give our enemies a helping hand in their strategies.
Will those in the organization that have gained power and achieved success be able to walk away? It seems to be a very difficult thing for people to do. Still, too much damage will be done to society by the warmists without an organized opposition. That is all ready happening.
So we should organize and set a goal of disbanding when success is achieved. That goal of disbanding may not happen, but it is a risk that is well worth taking.

Allen63
April 25, 2014 8:18 am

Scottish Sceptic, in answer to my post (above), provides some “fact based” reasoning as to the potential benefits of a “climate skeptic organization”. Moreover, the answer provides some concrete “dollars and cents” considerations.
That’s the kind of discussion I was suggesting was needed regarding the utility of a “climate skeptic organization”. Not vague, not platitudes, not ideology. Rather, facts, figures, and logically valid/sound reasoning — along with a “straw man” yet concrete plan of organization and “attack”. Then, follow that with more concrete/logically sound debate comments similar to that of Scottish Sceptic. See where it leads.

BenOfHouston
April 25, 2014 8:19 am

If it’s going to happen, here is the place to start. Where do I sign up?

CRS, DrPH
April 25, 2014 8:19 am

It is very hard to fight the Hockey Team, when they admit to exaggeration and justify it….

According to a pair of economists who have recently published a peer-reviewed paper in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, lying about climate change in order to advance an extremist environmental agenda is a great idea.

http://www.naturalnews.com/044856_global_warming_dishonest_science_climate_myths.html
We skeptics seem to have the momentum, based upon public opinion polls….I voted “no” and believe that organizing is not needed. CAGW grows less convincing the more shrill the other side gets….
One of the most quoted axioms from “The Art of War” is some variant on the theme: “When your enemy is in the process of destroying himself, stay out of his way.”

Adam
April 25, 2014 8:19 am

I think it’s a terrible idea. First comes the organization, then comes the dogma, then comes the tribalism. “If you’re not 100% with us, you’re against us” type of nonsense.
Only need to look at the current Republican party (over the past 20 years) for how that can ruin a movement of people.
It’s better to kill the beast with 1,000,000 small paper cuts than one blunt mallet that is susceptible to fracturing.

April 25, 2014 8:24 am

The book I alluded to earlier: “Systemantics,” by John Gall. –AGF

michel
April 25, 2014 8:25 am

The issue is that this is a political issue. The issue is not so much a debate about a scientific hypothesis or a series of them. The debate is about what measures are to be taken. When things are at that point, because what is at issue is political action, those who advocate policies have to act politically.
The sceptics differ greatly in their views of the science. But I suspect there is much more unity on what they think policy ought to be.
If you want to influence policy, get organised in a political grouping. So I would vote yes. You do need to keep this separate from the scientific debae, but it needs doing too.

mellyrn
April 25, 2014 8:25 am

@ Joe Public says:
April 25, 2014 at 3:47 am
Being divided, increases susceptibility to being conquered.
—————————————————–
“Decentralized” does not equal “divided”. Otoh, “centralized” is ripe for infiltration and co-option (as others in this thread have noted).
Same for Pointman’s “There’s nicer ways of saying it but if want [sic] to be a force to be reckoned with, you have to get all ganged up.” Being “all ganged up” is why the US won in Vietnam and the Brits put down the American Revolution, and not being properly ganged up is why Gandhi lost India’s bid for independence, yes?
Getting “all ganged up” certainly looks attractive, but the “reasons” for doing so look more like rationalizations from where I sit.
But, by all means, go ahead and organize. By giving the alarmists a clear and obvious target, you can prolong this climate-policy conflict indefinitely! Honestly, what would you do with your time if they threw in the towel?

John Coleman
April 25, 2014 8:28 am

The thing that bothers me enormously is that less than 3,000 votes were cast. What a small group we seem to be.
I will continue to work to correct the bad science that labels carbon dioxide as a pollutant and claims it is a powerful greenhouse gas that is causing run-away global warming, and if an organization is formed I will join its efforts.
But, I fear such a small group will not have much impact.

April 25, 2014 8:29 am

“But empirical measurements used to calculate estimates of climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases have demonstrated that additional GHG’s added to our atmosphere have a measurable, but generally small effect, and that effect is approaching maximum due to nearing saturation”.
that would be something if you could actually show that conclusively.
The biggest danger to setting out a skeptical “position” on the science is that you actually have to
do science.
and then you have to police folks who say crazy stuff.

Rick K
April 25, 2014 8:30 am

A friend of mine once said: “If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately.”
All the comments on this topic, no matter what side they take, are worthy of due consideration. To add to what others have noted:
I trust Anthony Watts. His passion for truth and fairness in the cause of science and understanding is unmatched. I share, like many here, his wonder at all the fine layers of reality and marvel at their workings and construction.
I don’t think any entity of the type we are considering here means the end of WUWT. Nor is it the end of science. But don’t kid yourselves; science and truth are under attack from many quarters: a lazy media; a “scientific elite” whose prime interest is perks, grants and favors — not science; a political cabal interested in money, control and power, not necessarily in that order.
I observe (my opinion) that many on the Left will accept anything and/or anyone and/or any dogma that promotes in some way their views.
The difficulty that those on the other side of the political aisle have is… they have principles. Some adhere so tightly to those that they have difficulty associating with would-be allies over minor differences.
However, some things ARE black and white:
The country — the world — is spending billions or trillions it doesn’t have to fight a problem (“a trace gas will destroy the planet”) that doesn’t exist.
Taxes are going up as result. Living standards are going down.
In our increasingly-dependent world on electrical power, we are at the point of reducing the availability and dependability of that resource.
I see no harm in an organization of respected individuals from a broad spectrum of backgrounds [ that leaves most of us out. 🙂 ] making the case for science and sensibility to a brain-washed; dumbed-down; don’t care; in-it-for-me; the-people-be-damned factions.
People deserve the truth. That’s why we come here, in a search for that. If we seek it so earnestly; why then would we shy from promoting that which we value so highly?
Oh, it’ll be a bumpy ride alright. Buckle up!

Eyal Porat
April 25, 2014 8:36 am

Anthony, I must repeat what I wrote on the poll’s thread comments:
The side of the skeptics is all about independent thinking.
With all due respect, I find myself NOT agreeing with many things written here (well, not many, but for argument’s sake…). So, do I bow my independent view to the “representatives” of skepticism? I don’t think so.
This blog is the best argument against “settling down” to becoming some sort of political organization. What next? WUWT will be the opposing view’s 350.com?
And as for McKibben: his success has nothing to do with being powerful due to politics. It is rather due to him preaching to the choire. I do remind you the people in office now in the States are another form of that McKibbism.
Just look at Australia – I do not see Jo Nova going political there or establishing organization. Do you? And yet the tide has turned there decisively (with amazing outcome!).
Some time the sheer power of reason is enough.
I believe this is one of these times.

pottereaton
April 25, 2014 8:37 am

A couple of things: once you organize, you become a lobby, a “consensus” lobby. And you have to have set positions. As I understand climate skepticism, there is no set position, other than that the science is inconclusive and shouldn’t be used as a basis for policy at this time.
That said, there are lobbying organizations in Washington doing this work, although most are not exclusively devoted to climate alone. There is Heartland and AEI, just to name two. And then, there is the mythical “Big Oil.” (Didja get your check yet, Anthony?”) Seriously, there are energy affiliated groups who are trying to get the truth out because they understand that alternatives are ridiculously expensive and most likely unnecessary. There are a lot of people in Washington trying to do the right thing on climate, which at the moment, could best be characterized as “less is more.”
While it may be that these groups are not as noisy and as interesting to mainstream media as Big Green, they are working.
So while I might even join a lobbying anti-Big Green group, the situation is not as dire as it may seem and the polls reveal that. People do not rank global warming or climate change as very important in the list of issues that are problematic for Americans specifically and mankind in general.
Skepticism is not wholly compatible with activism. It’s the job of the activist to “Show Me” the truth about climate and it’s the job of the skeptic to apply reasoning, analysis, and common sense to the activist version of that truth. We do not have a carbon tax because of skepticism. Carbon trading schemes are a joke because of skepticism. So the informal, disorganized lobby is working. Okay, it’s not working with the Keystone Pipeline, but left-wing reactionaries are in control of the White House at the moment and that’s a problem that can’t be overcome. The public favors it overwhelmingly.
A formal lobby runs the risk of taking positions that may not be viable in the future. I know that’s never stopped the activist lobbies, but again, we are dealing with a different mindset.
In short, I’m skeptical of any activist organization, pro or con.

Soren F
April 25, 2014 8:37 am

To continue my previous post, I’ve been looking for the proper road to take. It could be Knowledge Management, plausibly fit as curator for – at least in principle it does include – Verification, for organisations of all kinds, and individuals. I know it can be nebulous, often not ‘present’ really. At least, here is part of a kind of manifest acknowledging it hasn’t lived up to what it could have been, but still could become, from: Easterby-Smith, M, M Crossan, and D Nicolini, 2000. Organizational learning: Debates past, present and future. The Journal of Management Studies 38(6): 783-796.:
” … the time is ripe to start addressing learning and knowing in the light of inherent conflicts between shareholders’ goals, economic pressure, institutionalized professional interest and political agendas.”

David in Cal
April 25, 2014 8:38 am

I voted against, because I think such an organization would be ineffective. However, I would support such an organization if it existed.

more soylent green!
April 25, 2014 8:39 am

Yes, but it needs to be led by people with science “cred,” not politicians or marketers or media spin meisters.

April 25, 2014 8:40 am

If you’ve ever read the “about me” at my place, you’d know why I blog. There’s a little bugger of a thorn that burrows deep into your soul and you’ll never quite wiggle out.
Anthony teed up a ball and I happened to be the one who obligingly hit it hard, but speaking as a badly lapsed Catholic, God has no other hands but ours, as a commenter reminded me.
Sure, we’ve problems putting it together but none that we can’t overcome. Like Anthony, I’ve thought about this thing for a few years and now I suppose must put them down. I’ll get summat out for next weekend.
In the meantime, I’m sure we can discuss something more substantial than what it’s to be called.
Pointman

conscious1
April 25, 2014 8:42 am

What I think would be helpful is a clear statement that we all can agree about, like the fact that the definitive conclusions being made are not supported by any definitive science. We need a policy statement so that our position is not misunderstood.
In my many years of commenting on newspaper articles and blogs I’ve found that CAGW believers assume- 1. I don’t believe the climate changes. 2. I don’t think CO2 is a greenhouse gas (or understand how that works) 3. I have been brainwashed by Fox or oil propaganda and am unable to think for myself or understand basic science. 4. I don’t care about the environment. 5. I believe in conspiracies. 6.I must be dishonest to deny the “truth”.
I spend so much time correcting these basic misunderstandings that it ends up taking too much of my time. Clearing these points up so people in the mainstream understand where we are coming from will free time up to address the specific falsehoods and distortions being made by the media.
The majority of the population is either incapable of or unwilling to think for themselves. That is why the 97% consensus meme is so effective at making people conform to the ideology. Very few of these people have any understanding of climate science. When I share facts with people at social gatherings who have swallowed the kool aid they have looks of disbelief. They can’t believe that their worldview shaped by the media could be so wrong.
A credible skeptics organization with impeccable credentials (no ties to oil) would be helpful if it could gain a legitimate voice in the mainstream media.
All human institutions end up being corrupted by money and power issues. How can that be prevented?

DirkH
April 25, 2014 8:43 am

richard says:
April 25, 2014 at 8:12 am
“when this happens you know something is changing,
German tv mocking green energy.”
As that is from our state media, it only indicates that the regime tests the usefulness of further CO2AGW scare tactics. Or maybe they allow a little satire right before the EU parliament election to maintain the illusion that there is freedom of opinion or a working media in Germany.
The state media are as controlled now as they were in the DDR.

Terry C
April 25, 2014 8:44 am

I missed that poll and did not vote. i would say most definitely yes. I worked for a cabinet Minister some years back, a very competent and well respected public servant. Anytime someone would come to him with a serious and actionable concern, he’d ask them to put it in writing and send in a letter. my point being that one well presented argument in writing holds much much more weight than a bunch of people griping on blogs, not to denigrate blogs, but you get what I mean. Formal organisations hold much more weight than a bunch of loosely affiliated individuals. I say go for it. Organize. I will most definitley be willing to do anything I can to help.

DirkH
April 25, 2014 8:45 am

Bill Sticker says:
April 25, 2014 at 7:50 am
“Snappy acronym required I think. The following came to mind.
I.S.I.S (International Society for Independent Science)”
I would discourage the ISIS idea as the name is likely to get you an appearance in front of a FISA court, given the general competency of the state.

April 25, 2014 8:48 am

Different goals. If you want to achieve a political outcome, you better get organised. If you want to get some knowledge on the inner workings of the climate system, you better stay away of organizations.

DirkH
April 25, 2014 8:49 am

jaffa says:
April 25, 2014 at 6:45 am
“I think the word sceptic (that’s how it’s spelt where I come from) is unhelpful, it’s too easily associated with ‘naysayer’, ‘denier’ etc. It sounds like a group of grumpy old men that just like to oppose stuff for the sake of it :-|”
Worse; it is already taken by Randi’s promoters of consensus science. And by Dana’s Panzer command.

Frederick Michael
April 25, 2014 8:51 am

Anthony, your poll question did not ask whether YOU should form such an organization. Right now, you play a essential role and I’d be extra careful about doing anything that might interfere with your current function.
The CAGW consensus/religion is disintegrating already. Sure, maybe one of the currently existing organizations should expand their role or spin off something different. You might want to be involved, but founding such an organization might not be your best role.

Reg Nelson
April 25, 2014 8:53 am

Here’s my two cents:
While we may have varying opinions on a number of topics, I think there is one thing we all have in common and that is we are appalled with what passes as science these days. I think that should be the main focus of the organization. Maybe call it Bring Back Science or The Scientific Method. And rather than be political, I think it should be apolitical, but with a goal of eliminating policies based on bad science.
Perhaps there could be a rating system where papers and scientists are judged\rated on a number of criteria such as:
– Use of empirical data
– Openness of data and programs
– Past predictive value of a scientists work
– Precision of data and results
– Manipulation\adjustment of data and whether there is documentation and reasoning for doing so
– Cherry picking
– Use of weasel words: may, could, etc.
– Time scale of forecasts made
– Make open offers to scientists to visit the site and discuss there work in a moderated forum
– etc.
For me personally, I used to believe in global warming, but the more I researched it the more I was convinced that the science (proof) wasn’t there. It may be someday, but I believe that day is far away. What bother me most is how pseudo science is being used by politicians to force their ideological beliefs.
Lastly, I do not think the site should be limited to Climate science. I think the aim should be to discredit all forms of bad science, with a goal to restore the integrity that science once had.

Roland LeBel
April 25, 2014 8:56 am

Is it too late to join the poll ……… I was unaware of it … Please count me in for a YES. It’s high time that we do something to combat the fraudulent claims that are being made from right and left, by some who are definitely mentally deficient.

John
April 25, 2014 8:59 am

John Coleman says:
April 25, 2014 at 8:28 am
…But, I fear such a small group will not have much impact.
Absolutely right but even with 3M members the impact wouldn’t be enough to address the true cause of the problem. The UN is the true cause of the problem.
Fix the UN’s publisher’s clearing house approach to science with proper standards and practices and, IMO, the real issue is resolved.

gnomish
April 25, 2014 8:59 am

In the interest of brevity- and because I realize it won’t do any good anyway, just a short comment where an entire book is required:
Pointman says: “There’s simply no other way to get an issue onto the political agenda, and if you happen to think global warming isn’t a political thing, you pop that blue pill brother and dream on.”
Now, what if your premise is NOT expanding the political agenda but reducing it? His notion is the equivalent of adding more leeches to cure anemia. I say ‘stop feeding the beast’.
He does not get it at all that ‘group identity’ and ‘flocking’ are antithetical the critical thinking which is done by individuals, only individuals and nothing but individuals.
Any collectivist, aware of his hidden premises or not, will naturally cry for more of what causes the disease of socialism and proclaim it as the solution- only this next time it will require a lot more blood and treasure – yours, of course, because the only reason gangsterism didn’t work out so well is because there wasn’t enough of it!
Being as how voting and paying taxes has always worked out so well in the past…. wait- that’s exactly how you got here- by many steps down this path, each time expecting a different outcome… ok- let’s try it again- it’ll be different this time- we just need a gang of our own so we have an authority to appeal to, so we can submerge reason in a sea of popularity polls, so we can find consensus…. wait.. didn’t Teh Team already do that? By god, we have to wave we-we too! If we aren’t just like them only more so- why, we can’t win at their game!
If you want to play that game, fine. The game is rigged. It’s only the individual who gets it – the players are gambling addicts with a problem that won’t be cured until they’re broke. That time is coming. If history is any guide, failure to make sufficient sacrifice will be blamed.
Fighting and winning are entirely different. You want to fight? You will lose.
You want to win? It won’t be done by playing the game.
Stop paying for it and it stops instantly.
Hey Pointman- you really should take the purple pill. It will give you strong powerful erections and then you can go around passing out pills when you wave it.

April 25, 2014 9:01 am

The organization could be modeled on NumbersUSA. In about a decade it has grown to 2 million members each of whom is politically empowered by the ability to send free faxes or phone calls to politicians expressing his or her views. For speed of response, a fax has a prefabricated wording but this wording can be changed to match the view of the sender. In this way, NumbersUSA has been organized as a coalition of people with similar but not identical views. Over the years, they have built up a technology for doing this that might be bought or leased from them.
NumbersUSA maintains a Washington DC office that lobbies on Capitol Hill for favorable legislation. These days, it is virtually impossible for Congress to pass a piece of legislation on immigration policy that is contrary to the desires of NumbersUSA members. The director, Roy Beck, is the former chief Washington correspondent for a chain of midwestern newspapers. The chief lobbyist is a Harvard-trained lawyer who specializes in immigration policy.

April 25, 2014 9:04 am

‘Sceptics Organisation’
My feeling is that any new sceptic lobby group should concentrate on breaking the stranglehold of the green lobby rather than try to oppose the IPCC science. There is an unholy alliance between Mainstream climate science and the environmental lobby groups/NGOs. Each mutually support each other with the latter acting as cheer leaders for the IPCC scientists, both benefiting through enhanced funding. This unhealthy alliance has now spread into government departments, business and political parties with increasing financial interests becoming dependent on continuing the CAGW scare.
AR5 is honest about the science and the uncertainties in feedbacks, particularly aerosols and clouds. It is just the selective message of the SPM and associated media spin that is wrong. There is a growing recognition that natural cycles like PDO play a role and that climate sensitivity is likely lower than past predictions. It’s just that they can’t explicitly say that because they know it would undermine the CAGW juggernaut on which they and their paymasters depend. So it should be one of the jobs of any new organisation to explicitly state it instead.
Unfortunately there is a gravy train rolling that has picked up a huge momentum and heading for the buffers. It is time to apply the breaks using reason, logic and accountability.
It would be a mistake to try to found some sort of ‘alternative’ climate science organisation.

richardscourtney
April 25, 2014 9:06 am

Anth0ny:
I write to support the suggestion provided by Monckton of Brenchley because I suspect a political organisation could only be self-defeating. A political sceptical organisation would set sceptics against sceptics on the basis of political biases.
At April 25, 2014 at 7:08 am Monckton of Brenchley suggests:

There needs to be an effective skeptical organization that acts as an exchange between the various skeptical groups and also as an additional and powerful voice.

I, too, would welcome such an additional “exchange” and “voice” to complement the weekly summary provided by the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP).
Also, the problem of a name for the organisation has been addressed by other organisations with similar problems. For example, early followers of Jesus Christ were mockingly called ‘Christians’, and the ‘Oxford Group’ which included John and Charles Wesley were insultingly called “Methodists”. Such insults were overcome by embracing them.
Hence, I suggest the name for the proposed organisation could be something like
Deniers of Unchanging Climate (DUC).
Richard

TBraunlich
April 25, 2014 9:06 am

The name of the organization would be critical.

cbb
April 25, 2014 9:07 am

I would be interested in joining a group that had a broader perspective than just climate change. Somewhere that opposing views surrounding important and/or controversial subjects based on science could be discussed. Some day Climate Change will no longer be the issue of the day, but there will be another Great Cause in it’s wake that will also warrant more scrutiny.
The other thing I would do is if there was a skeptical organization is to invite the CAGW crowd to join. Make it a big tent and NO POLITICS. The global warming argument is compelling to many and hence the reason for true believers. The growth of the skeptical community was as much a result of being vilified for asking hard questions as it was for the questions themselves. Swallow your opponents whole by embracing their passionate beliefs and letting them make their case. You never know some of us might become convinced of their science. The only caveat is that they must also listen to your views.
When you plant a flag in the ground and take a fixed scientific or political position you are now a fixed target. You must then prepare for a pitched battle. If you like World War 1 battle scenarios this is what you will get with lots of casualties and little change.
You will never convince someone to change their mind through force or argument. Remember that they are as skeptical of our positions as we are of theirs and that is the common ground between the two groups.
I’m not interested in joining a group that looks like the people we are arguing with. When you do that you have become your enemy. Show me something bigger.

conscious1
Reply to  cbb
April 25, 2014 10:54 am

Enemy identification is what causes polarity, misunderstandings and entrenched positions. CAGW believers are victims of sophisticated mind control propaganda and should be treated with compassion rather than as enemies. They have no frame of reference to understand the current state of climate science and so are ignorant of the empirical facts.

April 25, 2014 9:12 am

mellryn says:
Being “all ganged up” is why the US won in Vietnam and the Brits put down the American Revolution, and not being properly ganged up is why Gandhi lost India’s bid for independence, yes?
I could provide many more examples than those, showing that dividing your forces costs you the war. [ex: emperor Julian.] There is strength in organization, otherwise organizations would be rare.
A simple mission statement in the form of a falsifiable, testable hypothesis that would put the ball right back in the alarmists’ court. For example:
At current and projected concentrations, atmospheric carbon dioxide is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere. The earth is measurably greening as a result, and any minor warming that might result is also harmless and beneficial.
Let them try to falsify that. When they erupt into ad hominem attacks and baseless assertions, rein them back to the hypothesis. They can either falsify it, or they can’t.
The entire debate is about “carbon”. They have demonized it without credible scientific measurements, facts, or observations. Time to hold their feet to the fire using their own wild-eyed words and always wrong predictions of catastrophe. If there is no catastrophe from more CO2, then their entire argument deflates.
======================
Steven Mosher says:
that would be something if you could actually show that conclusively.
We have. Repeatedly. It’s basic science.
++++++++++++++++++++++++
BTW, I like JoNova’s suggestions for alarmists, some of which are:
• Stop making predictions that never come true
• When you make a prediction, don’t just say something “might” happen
• Don’t live your life like you don’t believe a word you’re saying
• Stop the hate
• Stop avoiding debate
• Answer questions
• Stop enjoying catastrophes
• Don’t use invalid arguments
• When you are wrong, admit it
• Stop falsely claiming that 97% of scientists agree that humans are significantly warming the globe
• Stop lying. If you think it is okay to lie if it’s for a good cause, you are wrong
• Rebuke your fellow Warmists if they act in an unscientific or unethical way
• Stop blaming every event on Global Warming/Climate Change
• Why are the only solutions always big-government “progressive” policies?

Some folks are arguing as if an organization would take the place of WUWT and other skeptics’ sites. But it wouldn’t. It would be an addition to what already exists.

Dave in Canmore
April 25, 2014 9:13 am

Something that I find odd is that even with limited competition between news sources, they never seem to want to correct each other. Every other competitive enterprise jumps on the chance to show up their competition. Why don’t we see some journalists jumping on skeptic dissection of other news outlet hype? Even if they agree with the idea of CAGW you would think that the chance to show up their competition would inspire them to correct other stories?
The fact that we do not see this at all is a mystery to me. Is there some secret covenant among journalists on this issue? Thou shalt not correct thy competitor? There is natural resistance to admiting you are wrong but one would think it plays into the same human weakness to desire to point out the mistakes of your rivals.
Herein lies a huge obstacle for voicing the skeptical position. No one with a pulpit seems to criticize anyone else with a pulpit.

April 25, 2014 9:14 am

The book I alluded to earlier: “Systemantics,” by John Gall: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systemantics
–AGF

Soren F
April 25, 2014 9:14 am

Reg Nelson, I think we’re aligned, and what you suggest is what KM verification could do, for a policy-maker, the target of IPCC’s SPM, apparently the competition. See social epistemology’s criteria, roughly: the scientific arguments proper, additional expertise, meta-experts and credentials, interests and biases, and track records, here: Goldman, AI, 2001. Experts: Which ones should you trust? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63: 85-110. http://fas-philosophy.rutgers.edu/goldman/SeminarFall2007/October%2031st/Goldman%20-%20Experts%20Which%20Ones%20Should%20You%20Trust.pdf
I agree with Mosher it’s about the science. The other side however, is probably not any skeptic, maybe not even modelling-focused debunking, it may be Holocene geology.

michael hart
April 25, 2014 9:17 am

pokerguy says:
April 25, 2014 at 3:22 am
Anthony,
I voted “no,” but I’m open to changing my mind.

I voted “unsure”, but I’m open to changing my mind.
I’m also aware of alarmists who claimed “Only 5 years to save the planet” more than 10 years ago as part of their demands for immediate action: ‘No. Don’t stop and think. You must do as we say. Now.’
My point being that I may possibly join such an organization. But I’m not about to start denigrating those who don’t, those who choose not to be angry in public, those who may still achieve much behind the scenes. Politics never was simple, even before the internet.

April 25, 2014 9:20 am

gnomish says April 25, 2014 at 8:59 am
“Hey Pointman- you really should take the purple pill. It will give you strong powerful erections and then you can go around passing out pills when you wave it.”
QED or quod erat demonstrandum …
That’s their game, who’s up for something a lot more aspirational than obscenities scrawled on a urinal wall?
Pointman

Mark Bofill
April 25, 2014 9:22 am

On the other hand,
I made a bold and defiant claim back here:

…if you come for Anthony Watts because of his blog, in principle you’ve come for me. I’ll be damned if I’ll be intimidated into anonymity or into taking an ambiguous stance by lice such as Forsyth, on the contrary. Such incidents compel me to make my position clear. If you come for Watts you’ve come for me. I won’t be going quietly.

And that’s great.
But the fact is, without a larger organization, when the time comes my not going quietly is going to amount to putting the government through the same difficulty you or I might have in squashing a bug, or flushing a dead mouse down the toilet.
The opposition is organized and numerous. Perhaps Ignoring their efforts and doing nothing but blogging is the same as consent.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

It’ll be far too late to realize this when they come for you and I.

Robert W Turner
April 25, 2014 9:30 am

I personally believe nature will show how scientifically sound the cultists’ conclusions aren’t within just a few years, but it couldn’t hurt. And after the fact at least the public will see that not all scientists were pushing a political agenda and masquerading it as sound science. We need to mitigate the damage done to the reputation of science from the movement.

cba
April 25, 2014 9:32 am

before starting, you’d better realize that science or political efforts on our part are going to be competing with a full bore religious cult with an already strong political wing and the leaders of this cult are cut from the same cloth as jim jones.

Will Pratt
April 25, 2014 9:32 am

[snip you are long time banned here sir, you know why – Anthony]

FrankK
April 25, 2014 9:36 am

Whenever you read or listen to MSM or many pollies its nearly always “scientists are telling us etc” or “what the science is saying is etc”. I don’t agree with an organisation but if it must have a name delete “skeptic” – too much of a target and conveys and reinforces the perception of unrepresentative ‘denier’ voices. It has to be ‘Concerned Scientists.org” or similar, that would have greater traction and counter the ‘all scientists agree’ position. Most people who post here have a scientific or engineering background.

April 25, 2014 9:38 am

If I might toss out some suggestions:
One of the things I would like to see such an organization focus on is the things underlying the policies that have cost us all so much real money and are hurting people. For example, the study that caused polar bears to be listed as “threatened” has been retracted and shown to be bogus. Therefore, the “threatened” designation should also be pulled and with it, the justification EPA used to regulate CO2.
In California there is an entire package of regulations designed to reduce state CO2 emissions to 1990 and is used for justification of bypassing local governance through projects such as One Bay Area. We are already at 1990 levels. The goal has been reached. Force them to justify any further projects, programs, and regulations. They have no legislative justification for them any longer. There are similar projects in other states.
Use their own “lawfare” tactics against them. Force them to PROVE in court their claims. Too often we have had this notion where projects and companies are forced into a position of trying to prove something won’t happen in the future against claims by “environmentalists” that someone has predicted that something might happen in the future. What other predictions have also been made that have caused decisions to be taken where the prediction never came to pass? It is time to start hammering them on their credibility and hollow out the foundation on which they stand. Show the court the other “predictions” that have been made and what has actually happened.
Go back into the regulations that have been imposed since, say, 1980 based on various “predictions” of “environmentalists” and start unwinding them. Once the underlying assumptions have been successfully refuted, start removing the piles of regulations built on top of them
For example, reducing CO2 emissions to 1990 levels is the basis of California’s project to convert 30% of power production to renewables. Since we are already there, there is no reason to add even a single additional kilowatt of “renewable” power to meet that goal. Force them to justify it. Show them how the entire emissions reduction would have absolutely NO global atmospheric impact at all. Put the onus on them to PROVE their regulations would have any impact at all and force a cost/benefit approach. Spending billions of dollars for something that has absolutely no measurable impact is called waste. Expose them.

Katou
April 25, 2014 9:39 am

Why not approach Big Oil ? Maybe they might be interested in supporting the skeptic side of the debate .It would be interesting to see a proposition that they could either agree to or dismiss .A small step for the skeptic community but a giant leap for man kind . I can hear the howling now :>)

April 25, 2014 9:40 am

I voted yes. No hesitation.

David in Cal
April 25, 2014 9:44 am

michel wrote: “The issue is that this is a political issue. The issue is not so much a debate about a scientific hypothesis or a series of them. The debate is about what measures are to be taken. When things are at that point, because what is at issue is political action, those who advocate policies have to act politically.”
Excellent point! Skeptics of many different stripes can agree that expensive measures to reduce greenhouse gases is not a good use of our resources.

April 25, 2014 9:48 am

cbb says:
April 25, 2014 at 9:07 am
I would be interested in joining a group that had a broader perspective than just climate change. . .

I think this is essential. We should focus on goals, not specific theories, or methods, or even ideologies, except for broad general principles. And the goals should be positive. ‘Terra Home’ would look to moving human civilization forward, by the wise stewardship and use of the Earth’s (and eventually the Solar System’s) resources. The underlying principles would focus on the rights established in the US founding documents: to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to individual freedom, and private property. Skepticism and good science are essential concomitants to achieving those broad, general goals. The problem with the Climatists and their supporters in the erstwhile ‘environmental’ organizations is that they aim for goals that work to the detriment of freedom, science, progress, prosperity, and civilization. In the long run, it’s about a lot more than ‘global warming’.
/Mr Lynn

Alcheson
April 25, 2014 9:48 am

What the newly formed group would need is a prominent leader. The person that comes to mind is Freeman Dyson. Can you get him? He is both an Obama supporter AND a sceptic. Also, maybe get a couple of other top scientists and Nobel Prize winners to sign on. Then we will get noticed and not so easily marginalized.

April 25, 2014 9:50 am

I skipped the bulk of the comments so apologize if I’m repeating anything.
I voted “no” because I think the matter is too complex and the opinions on the science too diverse for an organization that spans large demographics and geographies to arrive at a consensus position that can be effectively promoted.
That said, I would absolutely join anyway and work to make it successful in the fervent hope that my opinion above turns out to be wrong!
FWIW, I once challenged a warmist to a debate. He was allowed to bring any materials and expertise to the table that he wished, and I would come alone, armed with nothing but a single web site for reference – WUWT. He ran away like a frightened rabbit. I’ve since thought about the value of an organization that could bring local presence to the debate and engage with local media and challenge local warmalarmists (in my geo, Suzuki and Weaver) as well as attend local events (like Michael Mann speaking at U Vic a while ago) to get local context.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
April 28, 2014 9:19 am

I echo David M Hoffer. I voted no. But I will support it.

Evan Jones
Editor
April 25, 2014 9:51 am

I am still undecided.
I remain skeptical. I don’t listen to scientific organizations. I don’t like my thinking done for me by a crowd. I think we are winning the debate. But only because of the temperature record. I can argue on those grounds. But what if the temperatures change and there is a causal link to CO2? Keynes’ comment springs to mind.
I am a lukewarmer, and I do not agree with a lot of you-all on the science. Our paper crew finds that bad microsite — unchanged over time, rating unchanged — has a profound effect on trend. But in order for microsite to affect trend in that manner, there has to be a genuine trend to affect in the first place.
I look at the record from 1950, when CO2 became an issue, and I see pretty much the final version of Arrhenius — without much (if any) net positive feedback. Two full PDO phases and ~1.1C per century warming left over. We are in a negative PDO now, but with less cooling than in there is warming in positive PDO phase. I think that CO2 is a constant thumb under the scale. A fairly small one, but ubiquitous in effect. In order to believe otherwise, you must also reject the science that claims a very large effect for the 1st 100 ppm, with a diminishing effect of a constant per doubling.
Where does that leave me in such an organization? Is there a “stance”? I echo the words from my March 2008 guest post here: Who Decides?
I do not fear the future on our current path. I think we are winning the war of attrition on all fronts. I do fear having to choose between opposing and embracing an organization which I love but makes me cringe. It would offend my independent mode of inquiry. It would shut me off from access to the other side. And I hate changing a winning strategy, especially when doing so cramps my style.
Pointman has long extolled the virtue of the partisan. Now he proposes forming logistics, donning uniforms, and creating corps like Tito’s partisans after the Invasion of Italy. It worked for Tito. It defeated Milosovic and even (sort of) kept the beastly Sovs at bay after the war. But I am not sure that there is room in such a new organization for me. I may find out that I am in the position of a Milosovic.
I am not a convert. I have been skeptical since day one in this entire debate. But now, when things are going better than they ever have, when our paper nears completion, after years of elbow grease, we want to go org.
Well, maybe. I will join. I will fight. I am a rare hand at herding cats, too. But I am one of those cats. And I don’t like to be herded. And that is not going to change. I fear the experience would be analogous to a marriage that goes bad. Fear is not always a mindkiller. It can be. But it is also a survival mechanism. Despair, however, is a mindkiller every time. And I fear coming to despair over this. I don’t want to wind up like Auchinleck. I don’t want to wind up “deserving better”.
But I’ll tell one one thing for sure. If this shindig does materialize be ever, ever so careful about what acronym you wind up with. The alarmist blogs know all about this here modest proposal, and they are cranking out the parodic names and acronyms as we speak.
I will be with you if you go there. But if so, it is a war in which I will likely become a casualty, one I will not survive. And the bullet could as easily come from behind as from in front.

April 25, 2014 9:52 am

Anthony says:
…. out of 2,683 (2,701) votes cast, the response was 63% Yes, 24% No and the rest going for unsure ….
Think about it, and sound off in comments.

——–
If a “target” data base of “names and E-mail addresses” was created for those persons and organizations that are “spouting” the CAGW manta …… and including the same for those who have “decision making” power or influence on/over government policy/law making …. and they all began getting “flooded” with E-mails from the current 2,683 WUWT voters each and every time an “issue” is raised or mentioned in the media ….. it will surely get their attention as well as entice others to “join the cause”.
And when the proponents of CAGW start making public comments about the “barrage” of E-mails ……….. the ranks of the E-mailers will surely begin to increase.
No organization, no lobby, just a “data base” of names for one to voice their concerns.
REPLY: And the SPAM laws would surely be used in that case. – Anthony

April 25, 2014 9:55 am

given the billions at stake it is naive to think it won’t be taken over by agent provocateurs and or vested interests who have the time and the money to dominate.
its a science issue not a political one. Doing this is politics. The reason it doesn’t get in the media is because they have decided not to print any anti co2 stuff not because there isn’t a voice or case for it.

David S
April 25, 2014 9:56 am

Just tell me where to send my contribution / membership dues.

milodonharlani
April 25, 2014 9:57 am

I’d suggest 700.org for a doubling of Blubbering Bill’s gang, but that might echo the 700 Club too much. So maybe 800.org, which is about the CO2 concentration IMO “safe”, but actual greenhouse levels like 1350.org could also work.
Or 3500.org, the average ppm on boomers (big, nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines), a little lower than on smaller nuke attack subs (mean of 4100). But the range is huge, with some levels higher than Cambrian Period concentration, ie 7000 ppm, or even Precambrian.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/17/claim-co2-makes-you-stupid-as-a-submariner-that-question/

April 25, 2014 10:01 am

given only co2 programs get funded whats needed is an alternative research program rather than another media tub thumper. Setting up and funding [thro online subs] that would be of more use imo.

Soren F
April 25, 2014 10:11 am

I kind of liked Mr Lynn’s: Association of Earth Sciences. Add to that focus on methodology and hypothesis-testing. What media might embrace is a proper other side: less contrarianism, less activism, more equivalence (as in ‘false equivalence’).

Jimbo
April 25, 2014 10:14 am

I voted yes. A rope is stronger than a strand.
One thing WUWT whould do is produce a page setting out the main sceptical position. For example:
The world has warmed.
Co2 is a greenhouse gas.
Water vapour is a greenhouse gas.
Man’s co2 has helped in the warming. Blah blah.
and end with a question: How much of the warming since 1950 is due to man’s greenhouse gases? Nobody actually knows.

jorgekafkazar
April 25, 2014 10:16 am

cbb says: “I would be interested in joining a group that had a broader perspective than just climate change.
Mr Lynn says: “I think this is essential…”
Danger, Will Robinson! Bad advice, very bad. There are already plenty of groups with a “broader perspective.” That “broader perspective” would weaken our focus and create more dissent than the primary issue. Yes, there may be other issues that we’d like to address, but these should not be allowed to divert us, nor should they be listed explicitly by whoever is in charge.
I’m still wondering how many of the naysayers were people we’ve never seen on here before.

Doug
April 25, 2014 10:17 am

Science will eventually settle the issue, but in the meantime damaging and unneeded policies are being developed at all levels of government and in all kinds of organizations. A ‘skeptics organization’ could help us fight such efforts at local levels – person to person. Remember the thought – “all politics are local”? An organized group that believes that “all is well” (that’s us) could help by developing material for presentations at local club meetings, for example, or for letters to the editor of local papers.
The average guy and gal are beginning to wonder about all the warmist hype, even those who believe there is something to it. We need to be able to talk with people in a sensible way about all that is wrong with the warmist agendas, to calm fears and get our friends and neighbors to question the powers that be.

Gerry
April 25, 2014 10:18 am

I voted against the proposition but if it gives ahead I believe the organisation needs a built in review of its goals and reason for existence and be prepared to dismantle itself if it is not fulfilling it’s purpose …..the review should occur after every two years ……otherwise it becomes just another organisation whistling in the wind ……and the power hungry take over sanctioning acceptable views and ostracising the adventurous and courageous …

April 25, 2014 10:24 am

once you go into advocacy then you leave the world of science and enter the world of lawyers who end up debating the meaning of words like ‘the’ and ‘a’. Does it advance the search for truth?
If people want to get into politics of it then they should be harassing their elected representatives and naming and shaming and picketing and organising boycotts and staking out universities and all the things the warmers do.

mfo
April 25, 2014 10:27 am

The controversy may be about the climate but the underlying philosophy is about scientific honesty and critical thinking. And journalists always need good stories but they tend to ignore blogs which are seen as competition. There have been many posts here which some of the media would have taken seriously had they been issued as press releases from an organisation.

April 25, 2014 10:27 am

One of the main advantages the skeptic insurgency enjoys is we are net native. “Organisations” are anchored in the pre-net world of newspapers, hand written letters, dead tree journals and Washington based lobbyists.
The “alarmist” cause has prevailed to date because it has an inherited mastery of the pre-internet world. Where the skeptics have been winning is where we have used the net as a force multiplier.
On the one hand we have easy blog publishing – not for nothing does the climate establishment hate WUWT, Climate Depot, Bishop Hill – which the establishment cannot match for depth or traffic. On another, we have a self organising rapid reaction capacity – Steve MacIntyre, Judith Curry, the Blackboard, Lord Monkton, Willis – to expose and question bad science.
Self organising and distributed with a lot of flexibility. Now, compare that to the alarmist establishment. Here you have inflexibility and rigid conformity. Dissent is not tolerated – disagree with any particular and Dana and Mikey will give you a severe ankle biting.
Plus, the alamists are blessed with a Prussian sense of humour. They are SAVING THE WORLD and there is nothing funny about that. The happy warriorism of Mark Steyn, Steve MacIntyre’s Scots irony, Anthony’s nearly limitless good humour and Momford’s deadpan makes the earnest few at SkS livid. It has been so devastating that Real Climate has almost ceased publishing.
These are qualities which are amplified by the ‘net but which could all too easily be destroyed by a serious attempt to organise.

Duster
April 25, 2014 10:36 am

< AGW_Skeptic says:
April 25, 2014 at 3:50 am …
What he says. Let Heartland take up the political onus. The true issue is the formation of policy in a vacuum of genuine knowledge. There is a fundamental absence of working knowledge at the very base of the scientific side of the debate. If you set aside the “faith” that you know how climate “really” works, then the evidence is overwhelming that no party has a viable hypothesis of climate, much less a well supported theory.
It is important to remember that absolutely any hypothesis with delusions of theoryhood must account for any climatic effects over any geological time span and for climates operating anywhere in the solar system or beyond. Simply constraining the analysis to the satellite period, or the historically collected temperature record of one planet will not serve anyone’s genuine need for a viable general theory of climate. Nor will massaging data until it “looks” right aid in the construction of a scientifically-useful hypothesis. That, at worst, could lead to conflicting massage jobs and data sets that are tailored to suit the needs of given hypotheses. At present it appears that there is a general agreement on the energy source that drives climate and the storage bodies where that energy abides until it achieves some work in the physical sense. That appears to be the outer limits of what everyone agrees is known. Ideally, politicians should be bound, gagged, and kept in a dark closet until the people studying clime at any time scale and at any time depth can say, “you know? That really works?” As long as we lack a theory of climate that is not at least as reliable as Newtonian gravity or Boyle’s Law we do not have a theory of climate at all. The assertions in circulation barely qualify as hypotheses.

MikeUK
April 25, 2014 10:38 am

Any new organisation would need to be rooted in science and concern for the environment, in order to encourage more scientists and other involved professionals (e.g. economists) to be comfortable with being associated with it.
It would take only a few “oddballs” to be involved to scare off a lot of key people.
I’ve recently read Mann’s book about the hockey stick, a very long book because every mention of an opponent contains the phrase “with links to the fossil fuel industry”.

April 25, 2014 10:38 am

In reply to DirkH
“I would discourage the ISIS idea as the name is likely to get you an appearance in front of a FISA court, given the general competency of the state.”
Unlikely Dirk; it’s just an acronym. I can think of several others that have different attributions. Why on Earth would the use of said term cause arrest, trial, even in absentia and presumably subsequent imprisonment? Especially by a secret Federal court whose only jurisdiction is in the USA. Explain please.

Peter Miller
April 25, 2014 10:43 am

The problem with ‘climate science’, as we all well know is keeping the ‘climate scientists’ honest.
I suggest a simple check list should be devised for every alarmist paper:
1. Is the original data available? If not, or behind a paywall, then F
2. Is the original code and the methodology of processing data freely available? If not, then F.
3. Has the paper been peer or pal reviewed? If the latter then F.
4. Does the paper use industry accepted statistical analysis? If Mannian, or other, then F.
5. The ‘if, could, might, maybe, perhaps’ factor – a count of >10 will result in an F.
6. If the paper produces a conclusion that more research is needed, then this is incomplete research and is thus unacceptable, and consequently an F.
7. Are all the input variables, and how they are used, for any model produced freely available and has the model’s accuracy been tested in hindcast? If not, then F.
8. If the sponsor for the research paper is a known activist group with its own biased agenda, then F.
A more comprehensive list is obviously needed, but that should be enough to scare the poo out of the average ‘climate scientist’.

rogerknights
April 25, 2014 10:43 am

“Contrarian Climate Clique”?

Janice Moore
April 25, 2014 10:44 am

The overwhelming “No” comments compared to the overwhelming “Yes” poll results are suspect, imo.
That said, go for it An-tho-ny — if you feel the need to do this, you should.
I will not join. I stand by what I wrote in my comments on the original poll thread.
I see CFACT and several other organizations already doing a fine job of fighting AGW propaganda. Another organization is not necessary and the potential costs outweigh the benefits.
I still support YOU, though, An-tho-ny.
(Just not your new venture.)

RobertInAz
April 25, 2014 10:46 am

I would like to see:
1. One paragraph charter
2. Statement of beliefs (short version & long version).
I would like to see the charter focused on education, not lobbying. After voting no, I realized I like the idea of a group for courageous college kids to organize under.
I would like the statement of beliefs to focus purely on the science with no mention of new world order etc. I would like it to unambiguously exclude skydragons.

cwon14
April 25, 2014 10:51 am

At the core levels of activism Alarmist/Warmers are linked by collectivist ideology, it’s a liberal to extreme left-wing subculture. That binds organizations since they agree on many core solutions to almost anything. Skeptics are diverse politically and will fracture over degrees of Green compromising very quickly.
While the left-wing Greenshirt community is despicable it has the tactical benefit of any other fanatical movement in history among it’s peers. What strikes me in the comments is the naive belief that logic and “science” are going to win and the even more ridiculous sentiment that the debate really is over “science” at this ancient phase of the debate. The left in the U.S. and aligned global organizations such as the U.N. are operating in the post-normal science arena for decades now, the scientific method requiring actual proof has long faded in importance. Consider what is turned out in public schools and ideological academia today and project where we are and where it is going even another generation from now. Orwell wasn’t off by many years in “1984” when you are objective.
I don’t think enough skeptics have grown up to accept the totalitarian undercurrent of what the actual AGW movement represents. Any organization opposing AGW Alarmism but minimizing the political agenda driving it is likely to fail.
There were in the end only a handful of actual Bolsheviks in 1917 in Moscow itself but who won at the time and why? Many skeptics find a thousand reasons to play ball on Alarmist terms and seek to avoid political identification of the issue at all cost. Either as a personal preference or for fear of losing. Exactly like 1917. The political failure lies in the hands of those who generally oppose collectivist leftism in general and surrendered to 60’s Greenshirt “Idealism” as a campus backwater at the time. Now it’s a monster ready to destroy the Republic in its own way. Corrupting every public policy you can think of in the name of “Green” which really coded word for “Marxist Solutions”.
Many skeptics aren’t going to accept what it really is,many never have and have thousand absurd rationalizations for the persistency of the movement. If you do start one you should start with James Delingpole as President, someone who really does have the big picture of the debate down pat and really as large and long as it is it remains a very standards man-as-god, statism first agenda better understood by prior and less socially rotted generations.
The hate I’ll get from other “skeptics” here is a true indicator that we are no “band of brothers” simply because we dissent from climate change orthodoxy at numerous levels. In fact, as is often the case in sweeping conflict I’ve grown to despise whimpering middle of the road skepticism as much as any Michael Mann image in a “Che” tee-shirt lecturing about “science”. Greenshirt success was inversely proportional to skeptic cluelessness in my lifetime and I’ve seen the fiasco actively since the 70’s and Ehrlich crowd and the “Zero Growthers” as they proudly called themselves in that form.

milodonharlani
April 25, 2014 10:52 am

“Just the Facts”?
Although that might be copyrighted, as would be “The Cold, Hard Truth”& “It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas!”. “How I Quit Worrying & Learned to Love CO2” might not present the same problem.
But seriously, folks…
How about emulating the ploy of SkepticalScience & calling such an organization “Green the Earth” with a beneficial greenhouse gas of which plants need more?

John
April 25, 2014 10:55 am

crosspatch says:
April 25, 2014 at 9:38 am
If I might toss out some suggestions:

==========
These are great suggestions crosspatch!
A “watch dog” organization focused on public awareness would be a great benefit to the media and residents. It could include all groups associated with the climate debate if it solely focused on public policy and taxpayer interests. Note, taxpayer in this sense would include business, industry, and the general public.
Something on the order of a consumer protection agency makes sense?

Adam
April 25, 2014 10:56 am

I’d want to say ‘no’ but only because being disorganized makes me feel like the plucky underdog fighting an uphill battle against a lot larger force (funny enough I bet this is how Mann and other CAGW activists feel). Fortunately my cooler head prevails. I agree with Pointman on this one.
Yes.

Keith
April 25, 2014 10:59 am

Understand the shorter term benefits noted for an “Organization”. Remember some of the longer term downsides to Organizations –
Successful Organizations are targets to be co-opted. Look at the co-opting of various green groups by Big Crony Money and more nefarious political movements under the facade of Green. Scientists must be Very weary of all Politicians, especially those who “appear” to be skeptical. Many Politicians are fickle pathological liars and change with the changing tides.
Organizations can and will be infiltrated – top middle bottom. Distract, disarm, embarrass.
Organizations have issues with leadership and cult of personality – i.e. Algorism. Many a group/company/organization has had an admirable set of founders only to be replaced by sociopaths in the next generation.
Power corrupts. Power attracts sociopaths.
To succeed, there needs to be constant continued skeptical alternative competition to skepticism – to keep discourse healthy and alive. Claiming “one voice” undermines. Key to develop multiple alternative, skeptical voices.
There are a growing number of credible, influential skeptical sources. Maybe energy should be devoted to increasing awareness of the existing sources and nurturing additional new voices.

Reg Nelson
April 25, 2014 10:59 am

I also think as much as possible you should use language that a layman can understand. Keep the message simple. When I first visited this site (as a layman with an interest in Science and Technology) I was overwhelmed with the jargon and acronyms.
And perhaps have a section called Climate Science for Dummies, where you explain in easy to understand terms things like: What is Global Temperature? How is it measured and by what methods? How was it measured in the past? How do satellites measure temperature? A brief History of Science and the Scientific Method. etc.

milodonharlani
April 25, 2014 11:02 am

dbstealey says:
April 25, 2014 at 9:12 am
CACA adherents would claim their rigged, GIGO models falsify your hypothesis. They don’t of course, & can’t, but that doesn’t matter to the propagandistic media & susceptible politicians.

Zeke
April 25, 2014 11:04 am

WUWT says, “Could just as easily be used to describe crazy Bill McKibben….Now look at what we have, an organization that has successfully lobbied for blocking the Keystone pipeline by affecting the office of presidency. Do you think weepy Bill could do that himself without having organized first?”
I would like to suggest that it was not the organization but the number of signatures on the petition. I believe the roles of petitions in putting enormous amounts of pressure on companies and politicians is not recognized. For example, Change dot org sets up world wide signatures to demand companies do green and costly things. The number of petition signatures also gives the politicians the cover to say that they are representing the public will.
It is possible that WUWT is misattributing the power and funding of the 350 dot org organization for the petition process. I see this as a potential problem. Personally, I do sign petitions, but on a grand, world wide scale, petitions of this size are actually a threat to local rule and democracy. I do not know if all of those signatories were from the USA, for one thing. And I do not think that global petition drives are anything close to representative government. The main point is, petitioning was used in the process of claiming the people of the US do not want the pipeline. If it was 350 dot org as an organization that did not want it, I do not think there would be any legitimacy to caving in to the pressure. So please consider the petition process – it seems to be an omitted variable in your analysis.

Terry
April 25, 2014 11:05 am

I missed the poll and my first thought would have been the ‘target’ issue, but wuwt is already a target so that does not matter.
The fallacy of the ManBearPig scam has real consequences and negative impact in real life.
Getting organized makes sense. Let’s go for it!

milodonharlani
April 25, 2014 11:12 am

Green Earth Team (or Project, although that doesn’t spell anything).
GAIA: Green All Intergovernmental Air
WARM: Warning Against Rigged Models.
PLOUGH CACA: Pull Legs Out Under GIGO Harmful CACA (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alarmism).

milodonharlani
April 25, 2014 11:16 am

Citizens & Scientists for Climate Science. Also doesn’t spell anything but CSCS is close to Union of Concerned Scientists.

Zeke
April 25, 2014 11:19 am

Also, there is a saying that if the whole body were a hand, where would the seeing be? If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? The role of WUWT in the whole body of skeptics is that of the eyes. Things come into sharp focus and clarity, that otherwise would go undetected and unremarked upon. This role of bringing sunlight is obviously vital to the survival of all the different people working on these issues.
In the post, I found this remark to be startling:
“There are just simply too many polarised people on either side who’ve spent years doing nothing more than venting spleen at each other. It’s become a social activity, a recreational pastime, a macho ego trip, a catharsis for a lot of tangential frustrations. Log in quickly, hurl an insult or two and surf onto the next brawl.”
Open society and rational criticism can sometimes be rough; but the dismissive attitude and the lack of appreciation for the success of simply discussing and highlighting issues (as reflected in the above remark) is not helpful and not an accurate appraisal.

Village Idiot
April 25, 2014 11:26 am

But….but wait just a minute! What’s the point of going to all that trouble:
“Is it time for an “official” climate skeptics organization, one that produces a policy statement, issues press releases, and provides educational guidance?”
Isn’t the tide with the truth? Isn’t this the year that the global warming scam is going to implode? And once the (overdue) Great Global Cooling kicks in, then it’ll be game over anyway 🙂

April 25, 2014 11:29 am

How about “SINS and CAGW”?
Of course SINS stands for something most of us would agree with, namely “Science Is Never Settled”. What did you think it meant? ☺

Steve
April 25, 2014 11:39 am

A true skeptics organization would state up front that we should continue to learn from climate data that comes in, as Anthony has said. A skeptics organization would not have a “denier” platform, where a position is taken on the issue of climate change and we stick with that position no matter what new information comes in. That is what bugs the hell out of me with pro-global warmists, they look at the issue as if the debate is a contest can be won or lost like a baseball game. They want to “win the debate” by having prominent scientist pick their side like a judge with a scorecard at a boxing match. As a skeptic myself I do not think global warming is an issue that warrants costly global policies to try and influence climate, but I do think pollution is a health problem. I am NOT pro oil company, I do think humans need to move away from petroleum energy sources, but not because of climate issues. Hopefully a skeptic organization would make it clear that world wide pollution is a problem, and it is a problem now, and that the skeptic organization is not at all in favor of continued increase of usage of fossil fuels, we just don’t think the climate impacts of greenhouse gases from burning carbon fuels have been significant enough to force global mandates on greenhouse gas emissions. But we will continue to learn from new data.

Magma
April 25, 2014 11:42 am

“crazy Bill McKibben… weepy Bill”
Classy as always, Watts.

DirkH
April 25, 2014 11:53 am

Magma says:
April 25, 2014 at 11:42 am
““crazy Bill McKibben… weepy Bill”
Classy as always, Watts.”
Do you like “corrupt” or “hypocritical” better?
http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/02/14/rockefellers-behind-scruffy-little-outfit/

DirkH
April 25, 2014 11:58 am

Bill Sticker says:
April 25, 2014 at 10:38 am
“Why on Earth would the use of said term cause arrest, trial, even in absentia and presumably subsequent imprisonment?”
Well maybe not; depends on whether they count as your allies.

more soylent green!
April 25, 2014 11:59 am

My rule of thumb is to avoid any organization that would accept me as a member.
I think the difficulty in creating such an organization is keeping it focused, preventing it from being co-opted by big-money interests and keeping it from being infiltrated by global warming fanatics. How many philanthropic organizations have been taken over by left-wing interests? How many activists have purchased stock in corporations in order to change how the company does business?

DirkH
April 25, 2014 12:02 pm

Katou says:
April 25, 2014 at 9:39 am
“Why not approach Big Oil ? ”
Because they support the CO2AGW scare. Oil contains less carbon per calorie as coal; Big Oil uses the Green Shocktroops to kill coal.
The East Anglia CRU (workplace of Phil Jones) was funded with money from BP. For instance.
Also, Rockefeller Brothers Foundation pays Weepy Bill McKibben for his hypocritical propaganda.
http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/02/14/rockefellers-behind-scruffy-little-outfit/

john robertson
April 25, 2014 12:04 pm

I voted no.
The organization already exists as a self organizing system.
WUWT, Jo Nova, Donna, ect…
If a thing needs doing, word needs spread, money needs raised, it is already getting done.
The best cure for the political derangement of science and public policy is not another political organization.
The activism and mendacity of the UN and their sycophants is destroying their cause.
The measured, reasoned and civil actions of Mr Watts and Mr McIntyre particularly blow the emotional ravings of our activist friends apart.
The role of the one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind is always difficult.
Our power, politically, is our disorganization.
The Alynisky tactics of the professional liars cannot get a grip on the motives of people driven by a belief in the value of truth and the scientific method.
Every attempt to demonize, demean and isolate sceptical questioners of the CAGW Cult has created even more sceptical questioners.
Due to the arrogance and contempt for the public that saturates the “communications” from the Team.
As with The Mann, I could not have invented such characters, the likes of Lew, Glieck, Trenberth, Dana,Cook… What a cast.
Consider the comments on MSM Global Warming/CC articles now.(Where they allow them).
The public has turned and is gonna get ugly.
The policy SNAFU’s are coming to bite the pocketbook of the uninvolved, now the true discussion will begin.

Chad Wozniak
April 25, 2014 12:04 pm

My thoughts are these:
I am not much concerned by the range of leftist vs conservative politics among skeptics. Opposing AGW is necessarily conservative, because the prime reasons we oppose it are first, the abdication of personal responsibility, a conservative value, in the faux science used by alarmists; second, the economic effects of AGW-driven policies, which are based in central planning and are opposed to free markets, a conservative value; and third, the micromanagement of people’s lives needed to meet AGW objectives, a tyranny which contradicts the concept of limited government, another conservative value. Those who subscribe to socialist or other collectivist or authoritarian political philosophies will ultimately be forced to recant their beliefs if they recognize the true import of AGW, how it destroys liberties and economic opportunity. Whether they acknowledge it or not, their beliefs provide the basis for all of the bad aspects of AGW – the dogmatism which suppresses investigation and dissent, the disregard of individual rights which is inevitable if the collective is deemed superior, and the concept of a central elite which knows best. In essence, you cannot be a true skeptic if you follow a leftist party line otherwise.
If we organize we ,must do two things simultaneously which may seem contradictory: take a firm position that AGW is false in all its essentials, and encourage discussion and diversity of particulars as to details. The firm position that AGW is false in its essentials is that climate change is wholly natural and is not materially affected by human activity or carbon dioxide levels; and that the methods by which AGW claims are derived are inconsistent with the scientific method. The diversity and discussion of details is to serve two purposes: to facilitate the gathering of additional evidence to support this basic position, and to assure that errors in details are brought out and corrected. This should leave plenty of room for investigation and give-and-take amongst ourselves on the issue. As for any assertion of dogmatism about taking a firm position, I submit that it is no more dogmatic than declaring that the Earth is not flat. The obvious is not dogma.

James Strom
April 25, 2014 12:22 pm

This website and others demonstrate that open review is more vigorous than peer review. It seems to me that with some sort of community rating system, especially of reviewers, the skeptical community could put out a professional online journal of climate. To be credible, it would have to be open to both warmist and skeptical literature meeting suitable quality standards. The benefit would be not only a forum for skeptical research, but also a path to publication for scientists who have found themselves blocked.

April 25, 2014 12:25 pm

So when is “The Key to Science March on Washington” or the “Skeptics March on the UN, NYC”? I’ve never demonstrated, but I would fly to that one, and I live in the Baja.
It would be a different kind of “Earth Day”…

DirkH
April 25, 2014 12:29 pm

J. Philip Peterson says:
April 25, 2014 at 12:25 pm
“It would be a different kind of “Earth Day”…”
Yes. One without any media presence or reporting.

Jim Bo
April 25, 2014 12:32 pm

more soylent green! says: April 25, 2014 at 11:59 am

…avoid any organization that would accept me as a member.

You and Groucho. Shameless lack of attribution 😉

Dodgy Geezer
April 25, 2014 12:33 pm

…Now look at what we have, an organization that has successfully lobbied for blocking the Keystone pipeline by affecting the office of presidency. Do you think weepy Bill could do that himself without having organized first?…
Organising, in this sense, means submitting to the will of another, and agreeing to support what he says without thinking. Bill McKibben has had no difficulty finding a lot of people to follow him. Greens are essentially mindless, and have no difficulty obeying him – no matter what he says.
Skeptics, by their nature, are not going to agree to support something they don’t totally agree with. Net result, a Skeptic list of agreement will be very short, and contain little but fundamental principles.

Mark Bofill
April 25, 2014 12:34 pm

JimBo,

You and Groucho. Shameless lack of attribution 😉

I thought he was Groucho Marx.

Jeff L
April 25, 2014 12:37 pm

I personally think the skeptic side of the argument is winning , slowly but surely. Look at the polling numbers & the trends in the numbers. As the old saying goes : “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – I think the current skeptic structure (or lack there of) is working just fine – so I would vote No for that reason

April 25, 2014 12:43 pm

I really like the idea of a properly organised, online petition. If supported by all the major websites I’m sure the number of signatories would be impressive. The wording should be spread as wide as possible without becoming meaningless. The size of the thing would demonstrate we are not just a few isolated cranks. This is an important point to make.

Eliza
April 25, 2014 12:44 pm

Anthony: Could I suggest making a permanent or sticky post for your organization “AGW skeptics organization” or similar because no one is a “climate skeptic” its a non-definition. Ask people to sign up, provide name/blog pseudonym and degrees (if any), position or work, and a 2 sentence reason why and when they became/are skeptical of AGW or do not/never believe(d) in it at all (aka deniers). Im sure you’ve thought of it in any case along something like that. All information personal information (ie names) to be kept personal. I wonder how many would actually sign up. Or you could simply put the AGW skeptics organization in brackets under your main site Whats up with that. After all you’ve got it all set up anyway…
.

April 25, 2014 12:49 pm

Chad Wozniak says:
April 25, 2014 at 12:04 pm
If we organize, we must do two things simultaneously which may seem contradictory: take a firm position that AGW is false in all its essentials, and encourage discussion and diversity of particulars as to details. . .

No, it would be a huge mistake “to take a firm position that AGW is false in all its essentials.” I think that if the goals of the organization are energy prosperity and human progress, than it will logically follow that the null hypothesis about ‘global warming’ (late 20th-century warming was natural in origin) has to be the starting point, and any claims about AGW requiring us to stop using fossil fuel or institute other draconian measures will have to be demonstrated empirically.
We want to bring the scientific method into the debate, not rule it out with dogma. That’s what the Climatists do!
/Mr Lynn

DirkH
April 25, 2014 12:57 pm

Mr Lynn says:
April 25, 2014 at 12:49 pm
“No, it would be a huge mistake “to take a firm position that AGW is false in all its essentials.””
Well IF you find ANYONE who still takes IPCC science seriously (and not just as a pretense for global control which it is), then you gotta attack one simple point: The preposterous wiggling around of the IPCC given their models have no predictive skill; and the preposterous notion that public policy should be made following the output of unvalidated models (worse, models that have been shown to be wrong for 17 years straight already).
Nothing ’bout IR absorption or MODTRAN or what have you. Just kick them in the groin; into their models.

April 25, 2014 1:10 pm

DirkH (April 25, 2014 at 12:57 pm): If you start with the null hypothesis, then it’s up to the Climatists to demonstrate that their preposterous models have any predictive skill. No harm in loudly pointing out that they don’t.
/Mr Lynn

milodonharlani
April 25, 2014 1:10 pm

WINC: Warming Is Not Catastrophic.

pyromancer76
April 25, 2014 1:15 pm

[Note: “pyromancer76” is “beckleybud” and “H Grouse”. He is the same sockpuppet. Banned multiple times. ~mod.]

Chris R.
April 25, 2014 1:18 pm

I note that MikeUK commented:

I’ve recently read Mann’s book about the hockey stick, a very long book because every mention of an opponent contains the phrase “with links to the fossil fuel industry”.

(My emphasis.)
To all those stating “no” on forming a climate skeptic organization,
for various reasons–IT. DOES. NOT. MATTER.
Whether a formal organization exists, or not, all skeptics are going to
be tarred with the same brush. If you speak up as opposing the almighty
climate consensus, you are going to be called a “loon”, or, “a tool of
Big Oil”, or, in the United States, “funded by the Kochtupus”. This will
be the case for you as individuals. It will be the case for any formal
skeptic organization. Even this blog has already been subjected to that
smear–note the large and well-coordinated response to A. Watts’
interview being aired on a cable TV channel, and the number of vitriolic
claims that he is, in fact, “funded by Big Oil”.
I believe that the huge political pressure being put on by organized
climate alarmists calls for a means of response. I’m sure someone
out there recalls Burke’s statement: “When bad men combine, the
good must associate, or they will fall, unpitied victims in a contemptible
struggle.”

April 25, 2014 1:24 pm

evanjones says:
I do fear having to choose between opposing and embracing an organization which I love but makes me cringe. It would offend my independent mode of inquiry. It would shut me off from access to the other side.
Why would you think that? This would be one more organization. It would not shut anyone off from any access, or stop independent inquiry.
Some of the most perceptive comments are those pointing out that money, and lots of it, will be necessary. That is just the way it is in this brave new millennium. From crosspatch’s points about ‘lawfare’, and the suggestion to Go back into the regulations that have been imposed since, say, 1980 based on various “predictions” of “environmentalists” and start unwinding them. Once the underlying assumptions have been successfully refuted, start removing the piles of regulations built on top of them.
That all takes money.
An umbrella organization would not eliminate any skeptics’ voices or blogs. Rather, it would fill a currently unmet need: a way to provide a recognized source of relevant expertise and credentials in one place, and for lobbying. When someone writes their representative these days, it means little. When an organization with ten thousand dues-paying members contacts representatives, it is orders of magnitude more effective. It is exactly what Greenpeace does, and no one would argue that they are ineffective.
Chad Wozniak makes good points above. In America, polling shows that self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals by about a 2:1 ratio, and that ratio has remained unchanged for decades. The problem is that most conservatives are out working and raising families, and they don’t spend much time on issues like this. But they certainly oppose the proposed ‘carbon’ taxes, and the flagrant waste of money they see every day, and they know most of it is self-serving. They just need a rallying point.
I would like to see some sort of finger in the wind, where Anthony can gauge the liklihood of:
1. Getting sufficient numbers of highly credible professionals who will add their names, maybe along the lines of the Oregon Petition, and
2. Finding out how many readers here would actually commit to an annual dues payment to fight the anti-science and misinformation in the media. And for ‘lawfare’ when necessary.
Because without those two requirements, we might as well continue as we are.

Blue Sky
April 25, 2014 1:26 pm

Skeptics don’t organize. Mr. Watts has visions of grandeur.

April 25, 2014 1:31 pm

richardscourtney says:
April 25, 2014 at 9:06 am
Hence, I suggest the name for the proposed organisation could be something like
Deniers of Unchanging Climate (DUC).
Richard

If it looks like a DUC, talks like a DUC, …
wait,
never mind.
🙂

Martin Mason
April 25, 2014 1:33 pm

In this age where nothing is achieved without lobbying we must be represented by a strong group and I would love this to be based on this site. Please go for it, I for one will support it.

John
April 25, 2014 1:34 pm

AGW skeptics come in many types, but most of them fight awfully hard about their positions. So getting agreement on a given subject might not be easy.
Maybe something like this could work, or maybe not. Suppose that Lindzen and Curry and McIntyre and McKittrick and Christy and Spencer and Watts and Michaels and Lomborg, to take a few names, could agree on something like a manifesto. I imagine that it would start by stating that, yes, CO2 is warming the planet, but that by itself isn’t a spur for costly present reductions, that is just basic science. It would then lay out many of the issues that cause the kinds of uncertainty that Judith Curry in particular discusses. At the end of the day, it would be kind of what the APS statement of 2007 SHOULD have been, but wasn’t.
Then let’s see who would sign up for such a statement. You might get a large contingent of APS members, for one, if the science is stated well. In other words, lots of real scientists.
I’ll bet that whatever the statement, only a minority of WUWT readers would sign it, although I could be wrong.

John
April 25, 2014 1:34 pm

Just a thought for what its worth.
Why not simply get all the global principals, which take issue with the scientific stance/rush to judgement, to agree to approach the UN as a single group. Its highly likely the UN would like to put the IPCC issues “to bed” and move forward in a logical way.
This is a highly news worthy approach which will properly position your support for resolution.
The benefits for the UN are numerous and they hold all the cards and the purse. All you’ll need to do is present the benefits in relation to needed change.
If the UN refuses, it’s a solid reason to move forward as a separate group.
Dr. Curry and others would likely support this approach.

April 25, 2014 1:36 pm

Blue Sky says:
Skeptics don’t organize.
And you know that how? The OISM alone organized more than 30,000 co-signers. No CAGW organization has come anywhere close to those numbers.
You may be right, or not. There are ways of finding out. But your assertion is probably wrong, based on the success of WUWT.

Martin Mason
April 25, 2014 1:36 pm

Sorry, I meant to add that as a movement together we cannot lose. If we never have a movement then we will lose.

richardscourtney
April 25, 2014 1:40 pm

Friends:
There is a series of posts in this thread which demonstrate why a political anti-AGW organisation would be harmful for AGW-sceptics.
The series of posts assert that AGW is a left vs right issue. It is not (except perhaps in the USA). But the untrue assertion sets AGW-sceptics against each other. The posts making this assertion are calling for a political organisation to be formed as a tool for right-wingers to attack left-wing AGW-sceptics.
These posts can only derive from misguided political bigots or from AGW-alarmists who are trying to encourage internal strife between AGW-sceptics.
Richard

John
April 25, 2014 1:42 pm

Quick note: two different “Johns” at 1:34 comment time.

April 25, 2014 1:45 pm

Seriously, I’m not so sure the word “skeptic” (or any derivative) needs or should be in the title or “mission statement”.
Are we skeptical of proper science – not just regarding “climate science” either, but any science?
Every scientist in any scientific organization should strongly support proper science that undergoes the scientific method and is written up in a properly peer-reviewed manner. That so many clearly do not is, dare I say it, a travesty.
There is a need for an organization that supports proper science, as well as a group that presses for proper science in the “global warming/climate change” arena.
Maybe the call here should be for “skeptics” to unite behind one of the organizations that is already functioning in this capacity?
Just an observation.

cwon14
April 25, 2014 1:46 pm

conscious1 says:
April 25, 2014 at 10:54 am
“CAGW believers are victims of sophisticated mind control propaganda and should be treated with compassion rather than as enemies. They have no frame of reference to understand the current state of climate science and so are ignorant of the empirical facts.”
There are always prols who do what they are told but many understand the deceit involved in greenshirt authority politics of which the AGW movement is a subset. Therefore they are perps not misguided intellectually at all, they know exactly the road to power and at times money. They need to be destroyed with as much compassion as you like but destroyed none the less.
AGW is like any other “we need to control” for the “common good” meme. Keynesian global monetary order, U.N. sanctimony, high levels of government and regulatory authority in general are all rationalized in the same fashion. That there isn’t empirical or classical science supporting the hypothesis but that isn’t going to end it by a long shot. There is a social discontent always and in the case of the West and the U.S. in particular it can easily be tracked back to anti-industrial schisms predating the Civil War but certainly evident during the industrial revolution and the sentiments about “robber barons”. “Big oil” conspiracy rhetoric leads right to William Jennings Bryant and J.D. Rockefeller and the talking points only evolve but the same class hatreds, envy, reactionary emotions are the same. It’s all really old hat when you trace the history.
Rather than “sophisticated” the success of AGW politics reflects the continued social erosion and intellectual dishonesty of progressive advocacy but also opposition weakness. Common sense and critical thinking are near all time lows. Declining birth rates, broken families, crime, educational politicization (and anything else that in prior times was kept non-political compared to today) and general decline in social ethics are all fruits of the same tree as “science” by “consensus” which means “political consensus”. So it isn’t out of ignorance that AGW has thrived but social decline which is far more complex.

conscious1
Reply to  cwon14
April 25, 2014 3:25 pm

cwon14 said- ” So it isn’t out of ignorance that AGW has thrived but social decline which is far more complex.”
I agree with your comment. My post was in response to an earlier post and not meant to be a stand alone statement. I wish this blog had a reply function like discus so that individual discussions could take place in their own continuous thread. Anthony would get much more traffic and posting if it did.
That being said, my experience is that most people don’t have science backgrounds and are unconscious as to how they are being manipulated by the media. It comes as a surprise to most that there are sound reasons to question the alarm. Those are the people I was speaking about, not the environmental activists who use those people’s good nature and ignorance to further their anti-human crusade.

myrightpenguin
April 25, 2014 1:50 pm

The more I think about this, the more I am against, and am with Eric Worrall’s various comments at the top of the page.
Also note that when you organise into one group that group as a whole is an easier target to attack by the alarmists in conjunction with the MSM. The alarmists can get away with all sorts of nefarious behaviour, e.g. Cook and Nuccitelli in Nazi uniforms on the SkS website, Nuccitelli posting articles for the alarmist cause when there is a clear conflict of interest with Tetra Tech, and indeed the likes of the Sierra Club tarring opponents as “fossil fuel funded deniers” when they have taken $26m from Cheapeake.
Anything slightly untowards and you have create a bullseye for them to target with typical bandwagons, faux outrage, hypocrisy, and double standards that we frequently see in the M.O. of Guardian rabble rousing by Monbiot et al. Note that “crushers” can get away with a private forum in SkS to coordinate trolling across the blogopshere, and even when that has been exposed they have little to fear as there are few repercussions. If things were the other way round, e.g. a private forum hidden with WUWT uncovered, imagine the MSM guns all targeted at Anthony, feeding into their narratives of scepticism being highly organised and funded, which is really just a way to divert from what is their own M.O.. We all know how fierce the MSM can be, we’ve all seen it with the media circus associated with the highly flawed “BEST” drafts (prior to any ability of sceptics to review them) with Muller on a publicity spree, as well as the couple of days after a release of a new IPCC report.
I see the success of scepticism being due to a many headed hydra, and indeed the number of “heads” continues to grow. Take out Anthony, and there is still Jo Nova, Judith Curry, Dr. Spencer, Bishop Hill, GWPF, HI, James Delingpole, Chris Booker, Nir Shaviv, Lubos Motl, etc., etc. The more “targets” there are the more frustrated alarmists are as marginalisation is more difficult.
I would also like to see what kind of coordination is intended. Would there really be much difference from the current way we go about things? We can’t really have private forums for the reasons I have outlined, and such forums can be highly susceptible to nefarious infiltration. As per EricW I see the glass half full, not half empty, and we are generally in good shape, including via. ClimateDepot as a central DrudgeReport like portal (although some may see pros and cons of that), along with the likes of GWPF.

John McClure
April 25, 2014 1:51 pm

John says:
April 25, 2014 at 1:42 pm
Quick note: two different “Johns” at 1:34 comment time.
Thanks John, I’ll add my last name to future posts.

John McClure
April 25, 2014 1:55 pm

John says:
April 25, 2014 at 1:42 pm
Quick note: two different “Johns” at 1:34 comment time.
=====
Too funny, we had the same thought and posted at exactly the same time. What are the odds ; )

cwon14
April 25, 2014 1:59 pm

richardscourtney says:
Ap