Why don't we all just agree on Global Warming?

devil-handshake-agreementGuest Essay by Kip Hansen

David Victor, in a presentation in January at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography as part of a seminar series titled “Global Warming Denialism: What science has to say”, fairly recently highlighted here at Andy Revkin’s Dot Earth blog in the online International New York Times, made several very important points that I think that maybe we can, and should, all agree on, as a starting point to all of our subsequent discussions on “global warming/climate change”.

First, let it be said that David Victor, in his speech, self-describes himself as follows: ”I consider myself part of the mainstream scientific community on climate change, and I do all the things that the mainstream does. I teach about climate science and policy; I participate actively in the IPCC; I publish in all the normal journals.” He is a dyed-in-the-wool, self-proclaimed, practicing, Global Warming believer. He uses the term “believer” in his speech to describe adherents to the IPCC consensus. In any case, he cannot be mistaken for any kind of a climate change skeptic.

Each of the five following points of agreement is quoted directly from his speech, though not in sequential order, with some with emphasis added, each quote is followed by some comments by myself, in italics like this, to clearly differentiate them from Victor’s quoted words:

1. “First, I’d like to suggest that calling people who disagree “denialists” is clouding our judgment. If you really want to understand what motivates these people and what motivates the captains of industry and voters who listen to them, stop calling them denialists.”

The word “denialists” is offensive in its connotation, intended or not, of Holocaust denialism, and is, in any case, incorrect, no one (“nutters” excepted), denies “climate” or that climate changes. Later in his speech, he uses a better word which I will suggest here for all of us, if we must separate people with a binary system denoting disagreement with IPCC climate change science consensus: climate change consensus DISSENT and DISSENTERS.

I will add that though Victor seems comfortable referring to climate change consensus supporters as “Believers”, if I were a professional scientist, I would find this very distasteful. It sounds way to much like something skeptics often accuse them of. I would propose they settle for consensus SUPPORTERS, which doesn’t imply slavish following of every line of a doctrine-like set of beliefs.

2. “We in the scientific community need to acknowledge that the science is softer than we like to portray. The science is not “in” on climate change because we are dealing with a complex system whose full properties are, with current methods, unknowable.”

Dr. Judith Curry , who hosts the Climate Etc. blog, is the goto expert on the issue of climate change uncertainty, and has written extensively on the subject; and its known unknowns and unknown unknowns.

3. “The science is “in” on the first steps in the analysis—historical emissions, concentrations, and brute force radiative balance—but not for the steps that actually matter for policy. Those include impacts, ease of adaptation, mitigation of emissions and such—are surrounded by error and uncertainty.” … “We all agree, you say, on some basic facts—that CO2 concentrations are approaching a mean of 400ppm, a value far above the 280 or 290ppm of the pre-industrial value. We agree that the climate will warm in equilibrium when net radiative forcing is added to the atmosphere, that humans are all but certainly responsible for at least half of the observed warming since the preindustrial era, etc. etc. That zone of agreement is impressive, but we must face the reality that those aren’t the questions that really matter for policy.”

Nearly all believers and skeptics alike agree on these basic points of the science (I place emphasis on the percentage of human contribution, many serious scientists still hold this bit in question, but in the end most agree that the exact percentage probably doesn’t really matter that much for policy). Before quibbling about radiative balance, note he says brute force radiative balance – not the nitty gritty picky details…we agree that this is not yet settled and is still a moving target for many.

4. “but [the science is] not [“in”] for the steps that actually matter for policy. Those include impacts, ease of adaptation, mitigation of emissions and such—are surrounded by error and uncertainty. I can understand why a politician says the science is settled—as Barack Obama did last night in the State of the Union Address, where he said the “debate is over”—because if your mission is to create a political momentum then it helps to brand the other side as a “Flat Earth Society” (as he did last June). But in the scientific community we can’t pretend that things are more certain than they are.“

This simply has to be acknowledged on both sides of the climate divide – and not over-emphasized by skeptics. Some things are fairly well understood and some are still basically mysteries – surrounded by error and uncertainty — and some are in-between and require more study – clouds, ocean currents and overturn, effects of cosmic rays on cloud formation – there is quite a known list – and then there are the as-yet unknowns.

5. “…in the scientific world, there are no bright lines and the whole idea of “consensus” is deeply troubling. There is a consensus that 2+2=4. After that, we are in shades of grey. “ …“The instinctual unease with consensus helps to explain why some of the world’s greatest scientists have been climate skeptics and why the public has such a hard time understanding why these people are so disagreeable. They are disagreeable because the selection mechanisms in science demand it. If you want to find people who agree then hire an accountant. Nobody has caused bigger trouble than Freeman Dyson whose skeptical views on climate first came into focus through a 2009 New York Times Magazine profile. How do you dismiss perhaps the most accomplished physicist of his generation as an uninformed imposter? You can’t.

This applies to many other world class Climate Scientists, Physicists, Meteorologists, and other professionals (and serious citizen scientists as well) who are regularly trashed, thrashed, dismissed as frauds, Big Oil shills, and uniformed imposters by those who should know better on the Support’s side of the Climate Divide and in a far too-cooperative mainstream media. Likewise, some skeptics label some serious climate scientists as crooks, criminals, and frauds because they produce mainstream climate science which they find disagreeable.

Let’s agree to agree with David Victor: How do you dismiss these people? “You can’t.”

(Has there been misbehavior and are there some bad apples? Yes, maybe so—but if so, then let’s honesty admit, in both apple barrels. )

If you go on to read David Victor’s full January speech, understand that he does not follow his own admonition not to call dissenters “denialists.” It gets grating very quickly. He uses other disagreeable words as well. There are interesting things in Victor’s speech about where climate fight money comes from and whom it goes, admissions you won’t see elsewhere. I’m sure you will find things to agree with and many other things that David Victor says to disagree with as strongly as I do. Truthfully, it doesn’t seem to me that he agrees with himself much of the time: he’d do better if he stuck to the basic points above and worked from these. But, as I have said so many times it annoys even me, “Opinions Vary.”

I do agree with David Victor on these five simple points. Maybe we can at least all try to agree on #1, and let’s refer, if and when we must, to those who don’t agree with the IPCC Consensus as “Climate Change” or “Global Warming” Consensus DISSENTERS and to the subject as Climate Change Consensus DISSENT, and encourage others to do so. I think it’s a pretty good alternative though I’d be glad to hear your suggestions. I’m sure none of us like being called deniers or denialists.

Thank you.

# # # #

Authors Replies Policy: I will be glad to discuss why I agree with these five points made by David Victor.

I cannot, of course, speak for David Victor as to why he made these statements in the first instance. If you wish to understand his position better, read his original speech and place it, and David Victor, in their original contexts (see the first few paragraph of this essay). I have not listened to his latest , May 15th, presentation.

This is not a technical thread and I am not prepared (or able) to discuss, defend, or even generally talk about technical points such as brute force radiative balance or percentage of human contribution to CO2 concentrations or observed warming.

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The key questions for policy aren’t issues like who is responsible for what warming as a result of the 350 or so Gtons carbon we have burnt so far. It’s what happens when we burn the next 1000 Gtons. And the next.
And yes, there are uncertainties. That doesn’t mean it is safe to do it. Anything but.

This echoes a piece I had printed in the Scotsman newspaper: Mike Haseler: No place for name-calling in debate.

ConfusedPhoton

“The instinctual unease with consensus helps to explain why some of the world’s greatest scientists have been climate skeptics and why the public has such a hard time understanding why these people are so disagreeable.”
I think the unease comes from the fact that consensus is only opinion and most end up being wrong (e.g. Earth being the centre of the solar system). The reason that the “believers” use it is to publcally appeal to authority and avoid scientific debate.
Why are they trying to “explain” a scientists natural sceptical outlook?

hunter

We on the skeptic side are winning. David Victor is basically saying we should just be ignored, and we will all go away.
Eff him and his arrogance.
The link to Revkin’s site raises the question as to why you worked so hard to make Victor, a complete arrogant schill, look better?
Look at how the cliamte kooks like Nick Stokes respond as a go by. The only way to win is to continue to let the facts speak for themselves and to point out how the climate obsessed work so hard to hide the facts.

Gerard Flood

Kip,
this is a much appreciated ‘start’: civilised discourse is helpful to real debate leading to clarification, deeper research, and , we all hope, new usable knowledge.
Re your suggested label, “Climate Change Consensus DISSENT” . I would prefer “IPCC CCC Dissent” because the IPCC has an identifiable aggregation of ostensibly “agreed” documentation. I do not see why I should accept the definitive status of CC “Consensus” for any other group of documentation etc, [unless [until?] ‘someone’ assembles the necessary materials and obtains sufficient common agreement to ‘ratify’ the Supporter side].

Leonard Weinstein

Nick,
You seem to miss the fact that if about half of the warming over the last 150 years (coming to about 0.4C contribution) is due to human activity, this small increase is not an indicator of a problem (keep in mind the increase followed a particularly cold period, which was much more a problem). Also the positive effects of increased CO2 (greening of the Earth and increased crop production) has been a major boon. The key questions for policy should not how to prevent the next 1000 Gtons from being used (they will be unless nuclear comes on line faster), but how to get past the eventual using up of cheap fossil fuel energy without hurting everyone, especially the poor.

John West

“We in the scientific community need to acknowledge that the science is softer than we like to portray.”
There wouldn’t be dissenters if they had been honest about the uncertainty and not engaged in Zohnerism from day 1.

Charles Nelson

Cracker from Nick Stokes there. A tacit admission that the entire climate alarm campaign of the past twenty years is entirely without foundation. I’m getting a lot of that from Warmists now, they’re stepping back from their ‘certainty’ and taking a ‘precautionary’ stance.
Too little too late I’m afraid. The damage to the credibility of ‘science’ has been done and when the backlash against Warmism gets into full swing i.e. post Obama, there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth…and for those who have no teeth?….Teeth will be provided!

Even when the olive branch is proferred for consideration and conscious thought, we have that same attitude from the same people making the exact claims that have yet to be proven beyond doubt. We know that CO2 exudes from the planet after the heat has been applied, but the first word is that nothing will be gained actually stating or believing just that. Great start Mr Stokes.

phlogiston

I agree with Anthony’s agreement with David Victor’s 5 points. These are wise words, to disspiate unneeded vitriol from the climate debate.
While respecting Anthony’s comment that this is not a technical thread, I came across an article describing a Nature Communication on ice age short term warming spikes that shows that grounds for robust skepticism of the CO2 driven theory/paradigm of climate can be found in the mainstream literature, not only in a skeptic wilderness. Here is the study in question:
Paleoclimate
“Too Short to Show”
H. Jesse Smith
During the last ice age, the climate of Greenland (and much of the Northern Hemisphere) jumped between cold intervals (called stadials) and warm ones. Records from ice cores show that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose during the longer stadials, but how it may have changed during the shorter ones was unclear due to a lack of highly time-resolved CO2 measurements. Ahn and Brooks constructed a detailed time series of atmospheric CO2 from an ice core in Antarctica, which shows that CO2 concentrations changed during the longer stadials but not during the shorter ones. The authors therefore suggest that during short Greenlandic stadials, changes in ocean circulation large enough to cause the transfer of large amounts of CO2 from the deep ocean to the atmosphere did not occur, unlike during longer stadials when the effect is clearly apparent. This, in turn, may imply that the climate links between the Antarctic and the high-latitude Northern Hemisphere could have been controlled by shallow oceanic or atmospheric processes, whereas CO2 changes were controlled by deep oceanic and Southern Ocean ones.
Nat. Commun. 10.1038/ncomms4723 (2014).

This is quite significant. Here it is clearly shown that CO2 cannot always be the driver of warming – instead CO2 increases from oceanic sources as a response to warming. This is not what some of the more shrill proponents of CAGW would accept but is here given solid experimental grounding.
A path out of the erroneous CO2-centric climate paradigm is to be found in the best quality climate literature.

Bill Illis

The theory sounds good on paper.
But is it accurate?
Climate science won’t even let the question be asked, let alone try to answer it.

John Peter

To a non “climate scientist” like me the whole discussion boils down to ATTRIBUTION. Here we have David Victor echoing others saying that we (mankind) are responsible for at least 50% of a temperature rise of around .8C since the pre industrialised area or say 0.4C. This is a judgement as no scientific proof has been delivered that this is a fact. But assuming this is in the “ballpark”, then with CO2 effect being logarithmic then the max effect of a doubling is probably no more than 0.8% and way below the latest climate sensitivity estimates of between 1.3 and 2%. To reach Nick Stokes’ 1000ppm some people say we will run out of fossil fuels well before then, so this is a non starter. So whichever way you look at it, from this basic premise of 50% attribution of .8C so far, we will never be able to increase temperatures by more than 1 to 1.5C. In the meantime nobody has a clue as to what natural variability will do our Mother Earth. Where is the problem that we need do do anything about?

If David Victor wants to be taken seriously in his statements about what those who challenge mainstream climate science actually think or might actually agree to, then the first thing that he should do is to contact some such people and work with them on the topic. Instead of doing that, he has delved into his own biased mind, and invented stuff. I can assure him that there are plenty of suitable and willing people for him to work with. Until he does that, he has nothing.

Jared

Nick Stokes, it doesn’t mean it’s unsafe either. It’s most likely a positive as the current warming has been a major positive.

Nick Stokes,
Considering Kip made it clear he wished to discuss five specific points, your initial comment makes it look like you didn’t have the courtesy to read the thread before commenting. I’m afraid this defeats your purpose of high-jacking the thread into the very technical details Kip wanted to steer clear of.
You see, Kip was attempting to reintroduce civility into a debate which has grown heated. Through your boorish behavior, you become a parody of civility, if not a perfect example of incivility.

c1ue

The sad fact is that the uncertainty is the problem.
Simply stating that something ‘might’ happen is an utterly worthless argument.
The precautionary principle requires analysis of the likelihood of an outcome, the costs of alternative actions, and the cost of doing nothing.
Thus far, the path chosen has been entirely unsuccessful because it is the most expensive as well as economically damaging and least successful in terms of overall policy compliance and acceptance.
Rather than brandish the stick of forced compliance, the right path is to create a better option. Lower or equal cost alternative energy.

John West

Nick Stokes says:
“That doesn’t mean it is safe to do it.”
Is it safe to drive to work tomorrow? Of course (depending on how you define “safe”) it’s not yet we’ll do it anyway because the risk is tolerable. That’s what this debate is missing, any sort of reasonable risk analysis.

I believe that over the next few years the science will get settled and it will be proven that adding CO2 to the atmosphere is good for the planet, as it’s plant food, and the more the better.

Leonard Weinstein says: May 18, 2014 at 5:49 am
“Nick,
You seem to miss the fact that if about half of the warming over the last 150 years (coming to about 0.4C contribution) is due to human activity, this small increase is not an indicator of a problem (keep in mind the increase followed a particularly cold period, which was much more a problem).”

We’re not dependent on the “experiment” of burning 350 Gt C to know the effects of CO2. That comes back to radiative physics that has been known for over a century. We do know that we burnt 350 GT and it warmed. That is consistent with what the physics said. We need to work out what the next 1000 Gt will do, as best we can. And then some.

Daniel G.

“believer”, believe it or not, is a rather neutral adjective. It’s not distasteful at all.

@phlogiston says:
May 18, 2014 at 5:57 am
– – –
Our blog host did not write this post.

TAG

I see the issue presented in this posting is the current “we-they” confrontational positioning in this issue. The posting pointed out that here are certain non-controversial results that both sides could agree upon. However, the adversarial name-calling ethos that prevails prevents even that and inhibits any real chance to come to a decision on how to act in response to the issue.
Today, we have a debate whose only completion is with the total loss of credibility and loss of power of one side or the other. Such a debate can never end. it is futile.

urederra

As soon as they realize they were losing the scientific debate, warmist changed the semantics. They stopped talking about global warming and they started talking about “climate change” as the two concepts were the same thing.
So, why don´t we all just agree that they pulled a straw man fallacy?
Because they do not want to admit that they lost the scientific debate. CO2 levels are rising, temperatures are not. Get over it and admit you have lost.

@Nick : Half the warming since pre-industrial occurred before humans could have had anything to do with it. You should know that. The other half could have, but we just don’t know, and it matches the nature amount of warming, so could very well have been natural also. Once again you should know that.

Jeremy Das

My default term is warmist, since it is non-pejorative and general, and it allows for the possibility that a warmist might also be a sceptic in the normal sense of the word. I prefer to reserve pejorative terms such as believer and alarmist for for those who belong to the appropriate subsets.
I think the term dissenter is inappropriate because its use would tend to legitimise, in the minds of the ignorant, not only the idea that science is conducted by consensus, but also (indirectly) the idea that the supposed 97% consensus among scientists on the subject is an established fact.
Insisting on more precise terms might seem politically correct, to some, but I think it gives alarmists less opportunity to misrepresent us sceptics if they cannot pretend that our lax terminology excuses their wilful misuse of language.
On a slightly different matter, I – and other left wingers – have repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the use of the catch-all phrase “the left”, here and on other sites. Even “much of the left” would be a better label, in my opinion. There is nothing intrinsically left wing about scientific fraud, incompetence and ignorance. I remain puzzled that C-AGW seems, in much of the world, to have captured the imagination of a higher proportion of prominent non-totalitarian left wingers than right wingers. (My own country, the UK, seem to an exception to this pattern).

Leon0112

Nick – Billions of people have been lifted from poverty by cheap energy generated by the burning of fossil fuels. The known path for the remaining poor out of poverty is the burning of fossil fuels. To oppose people rising out of poverty is anti human. The precautionary principle is anti human.

When scientists overstep the line between science and politics, which appears to be the golden rule for a majority of climate scientists, the discussion from a scientific point of view becomes irrelevant. Because of the lack of global warming, or its hiding in deep cool places, or the mixing of weather events with climate disruption calling for climate restoration or preservation and ending with name-calling (deniers and the like) shows clearly enough in what kind of moral and intellectual swamp we live by desperately following “the party line” as has been outlined here over the years. The coming ( 2nd of june) ruling of the EPA on carbon emissions is again a coming out.

Alan Robertson

Thanks to Andrew Revkin for having the courage to bring David Victor’s cogent analysis to a wider audience. My take on Mr. Victors excellent comments:
>The debate isn’t being lost to a well- funded anti- science effort, but to ordinary citizens interested enough in the truth and their future to point out the flies in the ointment.
> Efforts to deter those voices have only served to harden the opposition.
> The science is weak.
> The efforts must shift to telling scary stories and invoking the precautionary principle.

Nick Stokes fears are backwardly irrational : what’s for certain unsafe, and more deadly that 100 world war twos, would be a return to pre-industrial levels of CO2, below 270 PPM, which Stokes apparently is in favor of. If so, Stokes now becomes an accessory to mass murder on a scale never contemplated by anyone. Stokes has his sights set firmly in the wrong direction, and can in fact provide zero plausible arguments that future emissions can ever reach his feared levels.
One can only wonder where Stokes got the idea that the world is rushing to build more coal fired plants,or oil fired residential heating systems. Even China is building far more hydro and nuclear power plants than coal fired units, and those natural gas plants are stopgap until more nuclear comes online, now planned to reach 1600 by the end of the century. China’s desire is to remove air pollution, not carbon emissions, although that will happen as a side effect.

Gregory

Step1: Stop calling me a denier. I am a skeptic.
Step2: Stop lying about my intentions. I am seeking the truth and I do not believe you have it.

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)

I would ignore nickey stokes, for you will never get a straight answer or acknowledgement from him. It is like arguing with piranhas as they descend upon you – they ain’t hearing you, too busy feeding.

Gregory

“…, that humans are all but certainly responsible for at least half of the observed warming since the preindustrial era, etc. etc. That zone of agreement is impressive, but we must face the reality that those aren’t the questions that really matter for policy.”
No, I don’t agree

Gamecock

Leonard Weinstein says:
May 18, 2014 at 5:49 am
The key questions for policy should not how to prevent the next 1000 Gtons from being used (they will be unless nuclear comes on line faster), but how to get past the eventual using up of cheap fossil fuel energy without hurting everyone, especially the poor.
====================
ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Policy regarding future conditions, “the eventual using up of cheap fossil fuel energy,” are for the FUTURE. Our making decisions today for what may happen 100 years from now is like telling kids they have to eat their carrots, because of all the starving children in China.
“You can’t drive your car, because people a 100 years from now won’t have any gasoline.”

ffohnad

I disagree, “believer” brings to mind a dogmatic approach that requires belief on the basis of faith. I am a believer in the use of the scientific method, alarmists(my preferred description) believe in conclusions of an incomplete use of the scientific method. Conclusions made on incomplete evidence are generally wrong in my experience .

Tom Asiseeitnow

I am sorry, but the idea that one ought to give any credence to a junk science political driven agenda makes no sense. It is as if we are being asked to say that what Hitler did in killing Jews was sort of okay. This is not about a meddling of philosophies. This is about truth nd scientific integrity. As long as there is a suggestion that saying its okay to say that CO2 is a real climate driver and that but tweaking its level we can change the climate, then that idea serves as a basis for bad political policy. There is no middle ground for a consensus, unless you are willing to call bad good. That is my belief, my position and I will not compromise.

“We” probably won’t ever agree on “Global Warming” partly because “we” don’t even agree on what the phrase “Global Warming” means.
Is it:
a general warming of the earth’s atmosphere?
a warming of the earth’s atmosphere caused by what we term the “Green House Effect” (note: “we” don’t all necessarily agree on that phrase, either).?
a warming of the earth’s atmosphere caused by the CO2 in the atmosphere?
a warming of the earth’s atmosphere caused by anthropogenic emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere?
a warming trend in the atmospheric temperature that shows warming since the end of the LIA?
a short term warming trend in the atmospheric temperature since the mid-20th Century?
a short term warming trend that has essentially stopped for the last 15-17 years?
or, something else?
“We” certainly don’t agree that whatever is causing “Global Warming” requires some sort of action either.
If “we (skeptics)” could at least agree on the following, it would be a good beginning IMHO:
“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)

Caleb says: May 18, 2014 at 6:09 am
“Considering Kip made it clear he wished to discuss five specific points, your initial comment makes it look like you didn’t have the courtesy to read the thread before commenting.”

I read what he said. I couldn’t read the comments; there weren’t any.
I was responding to his commendable effort to frame the debate in terms of what is relevant to policy. I just point out that you can’t do that without looking at what is coming down the tracks.

Geoff Sherrington

Thank you, but I do not need a guide for my path through the global warming topic, nor a title.
People are still making some very fundamental errors.
It is not sufficient to agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
It is also necessary to learn whether significant grenhouse heat is retained as a hotter atmosphere.
There is still no single, accepted, quantitative, replicated paper that derives a useful link between atmospheric temperature changes and GHG concentrations.
The most fundamental possible paper to show AGW is yet be written. It is too hard an experiment, so we have to resort finally to a guess that the GHG do heat the atmosphere significantly.
Good science does not progress by guesses. It responds to good data.
So no, one should NOT consent to an endorsement of a set of guesses.

Latitude

Nick Stokes says:
May 18, 2014 at 6:14 am
We need to work out what the next 1000 Gt will do, as best we can. And then some.
====
oh for crying out loud…
This is what it’s done Nick…..nothing!
http://suyts.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/image266.png

If you want to turn the “science” of climatology upside down, and rid the world of a continuous
stream of warnings of looming catastrophes, simply vote the Dems out of the White House,
which controls the research grants and start doling out grants to those who question the wisdom and evidence for carbon hysteria. Problem solved. People will start wearing “I love carbon” T-shirts, and, best of all, Michael Mann gets booted out of yet another university position and is selling apples on the streets of New York, something he can do competently.
And no one will be able to remember exactly what all the hoopla about carbon was all about, amongst that prior, obviously dopey and frightened and economically incompetent generation of iPoders, a device now dispayed in the Smithsonian as a relic of bygone days.

Greg

1. “First, I’d like to suggest that calling people who disagree “denialists” is clouding our judgment. If you really want to understand what motivates these people and what motivates the captains of industry and voters who listen to them, stop calling them denialists.”
The key word of this phrase is OUR judgement and it is a very good point that seems to have been missed.
Calling those who disagree with what you _believe_ is a nice easy way to avoid addressing their arguments and blatantly ignoring anything they say, and this is the true motivation behind the name-calling.
Failing to question their own position, as any honest scientist is constantly doing, is how they cloud their OWN judgement.
Like refusing to debate, attempting to silence opposing opinion through gatekeeping, media censorship (not posting “denier” comments, and suppressing “false balance”) and peer pressure (Bengtsson) , all these are signs of insecurity and lack of confidence resulting form a weak position.
They are not the ways of someone with solid scientific proof.

Greg

Hey mods how about dropping the D-word ban here? It’s going to be hard to discuss and article discussing the D-word without using it !
[There is a short delay until posts are approved. You can always use a “!” in place of the i in denialist. ~mod]

John Bowman

‘Supporters’… ‘Dissenters’… new euphemisms do not address the underlying problem, that a small core group of scientists suddenly and probably to their surprise, became the founding fathers of a new Great Cause and World Threat to replace Communism and Nuclear Armageddon, to keep exercised and justify the existence of politicians, bureaucrats, NGOs, the environment industry, increase taxes, and to be exploited by business and a godsend for those seeking research funding, and a nice little earner for business interests.
What they started soon went way beyond their control and stopped being a scientific debate as soon as it was out of nappies and became a new religion and all religion is about political power.
It is not then evidence based, but faith and ideology based; it is about saving face, protecting bottoms (because surely many must know there is no, never was, any evidence) and keeping the gravy train going
It is wrong to assume ‘Supporters’ are rational actors and it really is no good saying some or most of them are ‘honest’ because Public Choice Theory explains why that is a misguided assumption.
This is not an issue that will be decided on the evidence because the evidence and the platform from which it would be delivered is owned by the ‘Supporters’ and their powerful political and media allies, which means the evidence will be filtered and the ‘message’ spun and controlled…. and don’t we know that!
And if as we constantly hear, the evidence from observation cannot be accepted as refuting the hypothesis and the models because ‘it is too soon to tell’ and is likely always going to be ‘too soon to tell’ until all those whose interests it serves to keep this boondoggle on the rails have either got too old to care or have died.
I don’t want to be called a denier, dissenter, sceptic or any other name because I will not connive in making myself a victim of those whose self-interest is being served.
Don’t accept a label… we are the normal, the unlabelled.
Label the other lot with whatever you like, if you must, but not me.
Anyone who imagines there can be an honest, scientific debate if only we all play nicely together, is deluding themselves or been in a coma over the last 15 years or so.
There is just too much for the ‘Supporters’ to lose for them to come clean and admit the game is up.

Richard Ilfeld

We don’t agree because we can’t find a common reality.
Our local Newspaper is editorially pro-warming. They buy into the whole package of FUD, and immediate remediation through major government tax, spend, and control policies. They happily emit all of Monkton’s Aristotlian fallacies.
They sponsor an arena on the seafront. They support rebuilding a major tourist attraction that is on a pier over the ocean. They want to close a local private airport, on the seafront, so they can claim the land for major public development. They support to public seafront airports as major local assets and happpily pour money into them. Their relatively new main printing plant is 13 ft above MSL. A good part of the editorial staff enjoys waterfront housing (and we know a home is likely to be ones largest investment.) Their entire operation is powered by coal. One could go on for some time…..
They are perfectly content to disqualify a politician for office solely because he doesn’t support immediate and overbearing climate change legislation.
I find it hard to have a civil conversation about climate; when I am sitting on the patio of a home on the water, which suffers from a 30 year mortgage, and listen to the owner promote with certainty a package on nonsense that includes catastrophic flooding in less than 20 years.
We usually talk sports & grandkids because I don’t want to hate my neighbors. I no longer subscribe to his paper, and he no longer asks why.
Perhaps he’ll recover when this cause fades as a vote-lever for the left, and become didactic about something else. I can hardly wait.

The argument isn’t about science, it’s about money and power and how much we can feed at the government trough. It we were sincere about the problem and sincere about finding a solution there would be alternatives to the ridiculously destructive single solution being pushed. How about investigating other solutions such as a way to reduce the earth’s albedo/

How about 3% of the 1 degree of warming since the industrial revolution?

Paul Carter

Nick Stokes says: May 18, 2014 at 5:20 am
“It’s what happens when we burn the next 1000 Gtons. And the next. And yes, there are uncertainties. That doesn’t mean it is safe to do it. Anything but.”
… and that doesn’t mean it is safe NOT to do it either … especially from an economic and policy perspective which is what David Victor was focussing on.

mebbe

Nick Stokes says;
“We’re not dependent on the “experiment” of burning 350 Gt C to know the effects of CO2. That comes back to radiative physics that has been known for over a century. We do know that we burnt 350 GT and it warmed. That is consistent with what the physics said. We need to work out what the next 1000 Gt will do, as best we can. And then some.”
————————————
Yea, verily, the Ancient Ones of over a hundred years ago knew their “radiative physics” and the Ancient Ones of over two centuries ago knew their “combustion physics” .
Our humble task is to “work out” what will happen next, by combining “radiative physics” and “combustion physics” and adding a little “evaporative physics” and some “convective physics” with a dash of “mensuration physics” thrown in according to taste.
In the meantime, while we’re still figuring, let’s cower under the spreading, green canopy of the Sanctimony tree.

Gajim

“Ich bin ein Denier!”
I deny that Anthropomorphic Global Warming has any significant impact on climate.
I deny that Global Climate Change has a net negative impact on life on Earth.
I deny that Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is a pollutant.
I deny that alternative energy sources have Socialist solutions.
I deny that any Science is Settled.
I deny that those funded by Politicians seek Scientific truth.

chris moffatt

“…Climate Change Consensus DISSENT..”
There must first be a consensus and there isn’t one. All we can say at present is that the science is completely uncertain because we simply don’t understand, or even know, many of the factors affecting climate. So much of the work has yet to be done. Let’s all call it what it is – “climate change uncertainty”.