New study shows why calling people “climate deniers” is not just counterproductive, but stupid too

From the now bankrupt and bereft GAWKER in 2014:

gawker_arrest_deniers

Man-made climate change happens. Man-made climate change kills a lot of people. It’s going to kill a lot more. We have laws on the books to punish anyone whose lies contribute to people’s deaths. It’s time to punish the climate-change liars.

And then there’s the worst of all, the infamous 10:10 video which blew up schoolchildren who didn’t believe.

Fortunately, such ugliness didn’t take root, and sensible people, even those who live on the fringe, have started to reject such things. This study shows why such labeling and ugliness is counterproductive.


Summary:

Labels play an important role in opinion formation, helping to actively construct perceptions and reality, and to place individuals into context with others. As a highly complex issue, climate change invites a range of different opinions and dialogues about its causes, impacts, and action required. Much work has been published in the academic literature aiming to categorize differences of opinion about climate change using labels. However, the debate about labels acts as a distraction to more fundamental and pressing issues of policy response. In addition, the undercurrent of incivility present in the climate change debate also contributes towards a hostile and unconstructive conflict.

This is an evolving area of academic enquiry. Recent work has examined how the different labels of climate change opinions are constructed, used in practice, and portrayed differently in the public and policy spheres. The growing number of categorization systems used in the climate debate are also argued to have implications for the science-policy interface, creating a polarized debate involving many different actors and interfaces.

Moving away from unhelpful use and construction of labels that lead to incivility would enable constructive and fruitful dialogue across this polarized debate. A way forward would be to explore further the role of underlying motivations and rationales as to why these different opinions about climate change come to exist in the first place. Focusing on potential overlaps in perceptions and rationales may encourage constructive discussion amongst actors previously engaged in purposefully antagonistic exchange on climate change.

Excerpts:

Disagreement about climate change is not surprising. As Merton first articulated, debate and the continued questioning of all findings and conclusions are fundamental parts of the scientific process.

Climate change is a complex issue to communicate, particularly to non-scientists. This is additionally challenging when it is assumed that simply communicating about the science of climate change is sufficient to increase understanding, engagement, and willingness to act. This is known as the “technocratic model” or the “information deficit model” (Hulme, 2009; Sturgis & Allum, 2004); however, this linear approach often raises significant challenges in communication and debate on climate change. This is because viewpoints on contentious topics are not solely decided by evidence and may be influenced by many other factors (as we outline below). Nonetheless, the expectations of participants in the climate debate, notably decision-makers, can lead to an over-reliance on evidence-based policy that cannot necessarily be fulfilled, particularly where large uncertainties are involved and where decision-making processes are highly context-dependent (Dessai, Hulme, Lempert, & Pielke, 2009).

Research into the boundaries of the science-policy interface has enabled a deeper understanding of how to manage the challenges that emerge in the climate debate (Jasanoff, 1990, 2004). Science that is used to inform decision-making needs to be perceived as credible (e.g. that it is rigorously assessed and reviewed), salient (e.g. that it is relevant to debate participants such as decision-makers), and legitimate (Cash, Clark, Alcock, & Dickson,2002). Though evidence does not always address these attributes (Howarth & Painter, 2016), they can help frame how science is produced, assessed, and used in the climate debate. However, things such as scientific uncertainties can limit the influence of science as an input to policy-making (Dessai et al., 2009; Frigg, Smith, & Stainforth, 2015).

Achieving such outcomes, however, also depends on applying a more critical understanding of those dimensions of climate change that are currently debated and why. They also depend on recognizing the rise of intense incivility in relation to these lines of disagreement, and the unfortunate role that labels play in seeding polarization and deepening disagreement.

Why are People Debating About Climate Change?

The climate change debate is rarely focused solely on technical scientific data; it encapsulates a range of topics. It is also fundamentally about how knowledge claims interact with worldviews, perceptions of risks, and values (Demeritt, 2006; Douglas, 2009; Su, Cacciatore, Brossard, Corley, Scheufele, & Xenos, 2016). Consider several of these dynamics and how they seed various forms of debate.

First, accepting that human influence is a contributory factor to climate change can be an uncomfortable challenge to peoples’ values and ways they see themselves in the world (Braun & Jorgens, 2013; Hulme, 2009). It is uncomfortable because the potential range of policy options to address climate change, such as changing individual behavior or imposing regulatory controls, all have related ideological implications (Dryzek & Lo, 2014). For example, depending on your viewpoint about the role of government in society, the introduction of a carbon tax can be seen as a challenge to individual freedom and an unnecessary government burden, or it can be regarded as a cost-effective and efficient mechanism to incentivize climate change mitigation (Hoffman, 2011a). Therefore, if the truth of the science behind climate change is disputed and doubted, this reduces the legitimacy of, and underlying need for, the associated policy response. The values held by scientists have also been subject to interrogation, particularly in terms of wider debates regarding how to reconcile a desire for a so-called “value-free ideal” of science (Douglas, 2009, 2015) with an understanding of the role of personal subjectivities in human action.

Second, climate change can also make people feel uncomfortable because of the implications for individual behavior (Fudge & Peters, 2011; Lorenzoni, Nicholson-Cole, & Whitmarsh, 2007). Understanding how fossil fuel emissions relate to consumption patterns may make people feel guilty about their lifestyle choices, and so, to avoid feeling guilty (Cohen, 2001; Lorenzoni et al., 2007), it can be easier to debate the legitimacy of the science. Climate change can also make people feel uneasy because it reduces peoples’ perceived sense of control over nature (Longino, 2013).

Third, much work has been carried out examining the psychological basis underpinning debate about climate change. Much of this work has examined the concept of risk. A substantial strand of analysis has focused on identifying differences in risk perception and understanding how these relate to values and ways of valuing knowledge. Building on the work of Douglas and Wildavksy (1982), who developed the cultural theory of risk, and the theory of the psychometric paradigm developed by Slovic (2000), Kahan, Jenkins-Smith, and Braman (2011) suggest that differences in “cultural cognition” mean that people tend to form perceptions about risk that suit their own values. Kahan et al. (2011) identify two categories of risk perception:

  • Hierarchical-individualistic: People in this category tend to be more skeptical about environmental risks, because if they were widely accepted, they would negatively impact the freedom of industry and commerce, which are highly valued by this group.
  • Egalitarian-communitarian: People in this category are more likely to perceive that commerce and industry create social disparity, and therefore are more likely to think that such activities may create environmental risks and should be regulated.

Fourth, debate continues on climate change, because people tend to weigh and consider uncertainty and evidence in diverse ways. Rabinovich and Morton (2012) found that among those who believed that science was about ongoing debate, messages about climate change that communicated high levels of uncertainty were more persuasive than for those who saw science as a search for absolute truth. Knowing that uncertainty is valued differently is important because it has implications for the value people place on different pieces of evidence as a basis for policy decision making (Landström, Hauxwell-Baldwin, Lorenzoni, & Rogers-Hayden, 2015). This is particularly pertinent given the inherent uncertainties regarding climate change (as a complex system with feedback loops and interactions). The idea of confirmation bias is thus also relevant, whereby people are understood to value evidence differently based on their existing attitudes towards, and understanding of, a subject (Corner, Whitmarsh, & Xenias, 2012; Kraft, Lodge, & Taber, 2015; Lord, Ross, & Lepper, 1979)

In summary, all these differences in values, risk perception, and understanding of uncertainty mean that people come to value knowledge about climate change differently (Collins, 2014; Martin & Richards, 1995; Nowotny, Scott, & Gibbons, 2001). These different assessments of the claims about climate change, and the associated valuations of expertise and evidence, are important contributory factors to how people respond to the idea of climate change.

Names and Labels in the Climate Debate

One of the most common forms of incivility and hostility in the climate change debate is the use of derogatory names, which people who hold opposing viewpoints use to refer to those with whom they disagree. While a certain element of debate focuses on the evidence brought forward by debate participants, the antagonism is frequently more personal and related to reducing the legitimacy or status of the other individual in question. These labels identify individuals at either ends of an extreme spectrum—either those who believein climate change (also known by labels such as warmists), or those who deny or are skeptical of various elements relating to climate change (usually climate change science, but not necessarily). There are rarely labels that describe those who are apathetic about climate change, or who have no fixed viewpoint. The section below explores the types of labels used in the climate debate in more detail.

The cause and effect relationship between the use of labels and the polarization evident in the debate is unclear. In other words, we do not know whether the use of such labels are causing polarization, or whether the political polarization of the climate change debate influences the subsequent use and polarized nature of these labels. The existence of a self-reinforcing feedback mechanism is also possible, with the use of labels reinforcing the polarization and vice versa (Howarth & Sharman, 2015).

As discussed at the beginning of this article, skepticism is a standard part of scientific inquiry. However, in the climate change debate, the term “climate skeptic” now more commonly refers to those who express uncertainty, dissonance, or cynicism about climate science or the need for climate policies. The first occurrence of this skeptic label in relation to climate change can be traced back to 1989, with the label greenhouse skeptic (Nerlich, 2014), which was overtaken a decade later by global warming skeptic as the most common term, up until 2005. Following this, climate change skeptic became the most commonly used label, followed closely by the label denier. A suggested reason behind climate change denial is that climate change is too worrisome a topic—if it were to be real, significant lifestyle and other changes would become necessary which may not be desirable (Weintrobe, 2013).

 

Labels, Incivility, and a Path Forward

The use of such labels contributes to intense incivility common to the climate change debate in a number of ways. But such conditions do not need to exist, and by recognizing the unfortunate impact of labels, a path forward beyond incivility can be defined.

First, labels can be used to mask the detail of particular points of view, such as the motivations behind why these opinions are formed in the first place. This is of particular concern given that the meaning of some labels may change over time. Consequently, what may once have been a term with a positive or neutral implication (such as the idea of skepticism within scientific practice) changes as it becomes associated with particular individuals who hold outsider views. For example, uncertainty is often not due to a lack of scientific understanding, but is a result of differing and competing scientific understandings, which are amplified by political, cultural, or institutional contexts. In addition, uncertainty, and the words we use to describe uncertainty, can mean different things to different people (Morgan & Mellon, 2011).

In the scientific enquiry, the term has come to be associated with ignorance. Uncertainties can therefore be deliberately highlighted by those seeking to cast doubt, which can further deepen opposition between those who conceive of science as a “search for absolute truth” and those who understand it more as an ongoing debate. It is also important to recognize that, even among experts, the definition of uncertainty can be difficult to pin down. For example, in their guidance note to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for the preparation of the third assessment report, Moss and Schneider (2000, p. 35) recognize that the term uncertainty “can range in implication from a lack of absolute sureness to such vagueness as to preclude anything more than informed guesses or speculation”—making it possible to easily use the concept as a negative term.

Second, labels can also be used in a pejorative and derogatory manner. Calling someone an “eco-loon” (Delingpole, 2012) is specifically intended to delegitimize their viewpoint, and calling someone an “alarmist” immediately reduces the credibility of the intended message. The label “denier” has also been alleged to have connections to Holocaust deniers (O’Neill & Boykoff, 2010).

Third, labels like denier or alarmist only identify those people at the polarized extremes of the debate, making it seem like these polarized extremes represent the majority of individuals (Jones, 2011). This is despite evidence suggesting that the majority of the public does not ascribe to either extreme (Whitmarsh, 2008). Framing the debate as binary and dualistic creates the aforementioned duel between warring factions. This makes it less and less likely that dialogue is possible with the “other,” because they have already been identified as both different, and more importantly, wrong.

Since polarization is related to the notion of group identity formation, labels help to create and preserve the identity of members of a group. This is important because it fosters an “environment where preservation of one’s ideology, identity, and the group one belongs to takes priority over constructive deliberation of knowledge or evidence: who one is becomes more important that what “one is arguing” (Howarth & Sharman, 2015, p. 246). Thus, in order to maintain the cohesion and identity of the group, psychological mechanisms, such as assimilation bias, whereby information that conflicts with a pre-existing point of view is discarded or discredited, are more likely to occur (Cormick, 2011; Whitmarsh, 2011).

Fourth, labels contribute towards the incivility in the debate by acting as fixed markers of opinions. People may feel the need to continue to debate the position that they have either self-designated, or been designated to by others. These positions can become hardened into stereotypes that frame the “negative other” as using so-called junk science to make their case (Koteyko, Jaspal, & Nerlich, 2012). This is in opposition to the “sound science” used by the party who thinks they are in the right (McGarity, 2003–2004). This can lead to debates becoming less and less (ostensibly) about evidence (as that may conflict with the pre-existing position), and more about more about explicitly attacking the credibility and status of any opponents.

Finally, the blanket nature of the labels used in the climate debate, and their inability to capture the nuance and complexity of individual peoples’ positions, values, and worldviews, also serves to demonize individual debate participants. Max Boykoff (2013, p. 13) concisely argues that the “treatment of individuals through denigrating monikers does little to illuminate the contours of their arguments; it actually has the opposite obfuscating effect in the public sphere.” Previous research conducted, aiming to explore motivations of climate scientists and climate skeptics who actively participate in the debate, found that understanding overlaps in their motivations may in fact enable more constructive dialogue on the issue (Sharman & Howarth, 2016). Promoting self-reflexivity as well as identifying and emphasizing commonalities (even among explicit rather than “true” underlying motivations) were argued to provide fruitful avenues for conflict resolution.

While a common public perception is that of a single debate where climate scientists are representatives of scientific truth, and skeptical voices are the dominant challengers, there is a growing understanding of a more multi-layered reality to the divide over climate change that can be understood through the analysis of the potential misalignment of actors and their roles in public debate.

Critically, identifying and emphasizing overlaps in opinions, views, values, and beliefs may defuse the antagonism evident in the debate. Hostile arguments may reduce if participants are reminded of commonalities, such as a mutual love of enquiry and scientific understanding, or of agreement on the antagonistic and potentially off-putting nature of the current climate debate (Sharman & Howarth, 2016). This could produce a constructive and more civil debate on climate change, with the use of labeling as categorizations of opinions, and not ways in which to isolate or exclude participants in the debate.


The full paper, open source:

Influence of Labeling and Incivility on Climate Change Communication
Candice Howarth and Amelia Sharman
Subject: Climate Change Communication Online Publication Date: Feb 2017 DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228620.013.382

http://climatescience.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228620.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228620-e-382

[Editor Note: missing introduction restored about 10 minutes after publication ]

Advertisements

241 thoughts on “New study shows why calling people “climate deniers” is not just counterproductive, but stupid too

  1. I’m a climate change denier, only, I don’t deny that the climate changes, it always has done, always will. Isn’t it strange that the only solution to AGW isaglobul socialist based guvment that has control over ALL the world resources, which it will meter out to all as they seef it!

    • Alan as people used to say, ” Suck it up and get on with it” and as Joe Bastardi always ends his comments? “It’s the only weather you got”

    • Alan,
      Very observant , the climate has always changed, this may be new to the scientists.
      Instead of going the full conspiracist theory nutter, try actual evidence that would pass peer review muster ?.

      • The only person who I have heard deny climate change is Bill Nye, the science lie.

        In his recent interview with Sen Sanders he clearly said that without humans we would have a climate similar to that of 1750.

        That sums up his ludicrously simplistic view that climate is totally constant and 100% of change is due to human influence. I don’t think you will find anyone on the planet make a more ignorant statement than that while pretending to be an authority “science guy”.

        Now that, is climate change denial.

      • with a little of a conspiracy, you can get the science magazines controlled by those that postulate the AGW. There is a crowd for the are eating out of it. Like the priests of any religion. They are earning their food out of preaching something,
        I was yesterday debating this question of AGW and people said, “how can you reject the evidence”?
        I told them, there is not any evidence. According the Oxford dictionary, evidence means “clearness, obviousness” But I do not see anything obvious or clear. But I conceded that evidence also means “testimonies and data” presented to favor a conclusion. I told them, if you want to be a scientists and to prove the theory of AGW is right, you must look for arguments against it, not in favor. By looking at all arguments against and not finding any argument, you must think you have not looked well, or perhaps
        the theory is right. Moreover, I told some of them, you must explain all past climatic puzzles we had discovered and have an easy way to explain them. Like the graphics of temperature NGRIP of Greenland
        All those jitters up and down of temperature need to be explained, to believe they know what they are saying.
        Another argument is the stupid lines rising of the computer simulations. If there computer simulations
        are so good, why do they present such divergent results? Y with this divergent simulations we need to be stupid to believe this shows a 95% degree of confidence.

      • Which peer reviewed it that, the rubber stamped ones? Or the, let’s change the numbers they don’t agree with our models ? That evidence ? Or the we changed the numbers, now to prevent anybody from seeing what we did, let’s destroy the original data, that evidence ? Or OMG, you want us to tell you how we arrived at certain conculsions, how can we work under such Conditions! We might have to immigrate to France ! That one ?
        Actual evidence supports Alan the Brit.

    • You’re close Alan. But this psychobabble is not science-backed. It all goes back to the Club of Rome and their misanthropes, i.e., Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism as Fellow Engineer and author, Robert Zubrin explains in his marque work ” The Merchants of Despair”. Available from the Heartland Institute.

  2. ” This can lead to debates becoming less and less (ostensibly) about evidence (as that may conflict with the pre-existing position), and more about more about explicitly attacking the credibility and status of any opponents.”

    From my perspective, it was the ClimateGate emails that clarified for me what the credibility was for the mainstream climate science. Those individuals had the outward status in “climate science”, and they destroyed their own credibility by the own words. They showed a clear intent to deceive the policy makers, suppress by unethical means dissenting ciews from making it to peer-reviewed literature, and also to hide the uncertainty of their own data all from their own communications within their small cliques. And the authors of this piece seem to have convenienty ignored that clear Climate Gate email evidence of where truth-seekers are and who are the charlatans.

    • Yup! This isn’t about “resolving conflict in an amicable way,” this is about people pushing a damaging political agenda vs. those trying to stop them from doing so, with good reason. Big difference.

    • explicitly attacking the credibility and status of any opponents
      =================
      isn’t calling someone a denier “objectification”. By calling someone a “denier” you are trying to change them from a person to an object. Something less than human.

      How is this any different than treating women as “sex objects”? How is the “denier” label (the “D” word) any different than the “N” word?

  3. Ever notice how most of the name calling comes from leftists? If you are skeptical of the science behind global warming you are a “denier.” If you want to see an end to unlawful immigration from Mexico you are a “racist.” If you voted for Donald Trump you are “ignorant” or “uneducated.”

    Ever notice how much leftists rely on strawman arguments? When defending EPA they argue that their opponents are in favor of dirty rivers and polluted air. When defending Federal subsidies of PBS they argue that their opponents want to kill Big Bird.

    Ever notice how much leftists rely of heavy emotional arguments? Like enforcement of immigration laws will tear little children away from their parents? Like building the Dakota pipeline will desecrate “sacred” Indian burial sites? Like reforming the abuses in current medicaid laws will kill little granny?

    Science should NEVER include name calling. And when you hear these strawman type arguments you know that either you are hearing propaganda or you are listening to someone who doesn’t understand the issues. And any politician who tries to protect graft and corruption in governmental programs ought to taken out and trampled to death by a herd of deranged wild yaks.

    • And science should ESPECIALLY not include name calling related to skepticism, when skepticism is the very foundation of science! The “how dare you question the science” arrogance is telling – about how pathetic the so-called (climate) “science” really is.

    • When you have no credibility on the economy, you can’t use cost-benefit arguments. Everything in the real world has costs and benefits. Choices are all between various imperfect options; some better than others.

      Everyone uses strawman arguments, but some people only use logical fallacies. I think the simpler and starker an argument is (especially ban x, y and z) the more likely it is to rely on logical fallacies, moral or emotional blackmail and false existential threats.

    • It’s all about “constructing perception and reality.” Or I would say, constructing a “consensus” alternative reality that all pretend to agree exists. Why does this bring to mind the Salem witch-hunts of the 1600’s?
      Oh, yeah . . .

      • That is because they truly believe their theories are correct. It’s just that past implementations have been incomplete or done incorrectly.

      • Ralph Dave Westfall:

        Socialism has worked and is working wherever it has been applied.

        However, communism on the extreme left and libertarianism on the extreme right have usually induced disaster wherever either has been applied.

        Richard

      • Hey Ralph! “socialism hasn’t failed – it just hasn’t ever been really tried yet.”

        Actually, that is correct. We will know that socialism has been really tried when the result is not simply a few survivors and millions dead, but zero survivors and everyone dead.

      • philjourdan:

        In a thread about labeling you pretend my factual statements are a “joke”.

        Firstly, I was refuting the falsehood from Ralph Dave Westfall. I demonstrated that we socialists don’t make the claims he falsely asserted we do. In reality, we proclaim the demonstrated benefits and achievements of socialism (as I did).

        Secondly, you have tried to frame the facts as a “joke”, so I suggest you try to justify your framing of the facts by
        1
        Naming a country that has adopted socialism (e.g. one of the Scandinavian ones) and explaining why you think its success is really failure,
        and 2
        Naming countries that have adopted communism or libertarianism and explaining why you think their failure is success.

        Richard

      • Socialism can work for awhile. It always fails eventually because eventually you run out of other people’s money.
        Of course those who rely on other people’s money for their livelihood will continue to support socialism right up to the bitter end.

      • The only place where libertarianism has ever been tried was Iceland back in the middle ages, and it lasted for several hundred years.
        Of course the socialists have to re-define terms, such as trying to claim that any instance of anarchy is libertarianism.
        Kind of how they try to claim that national socialists (fascists) are actually right wing.

      • Don’t look now, but Scandinavian socialism is starting to creak towards it’s inevitable collapse.

      • Socialism, as Margaret Thatcher observed, is great system, that is… until you run out of Other People’s Money. (OPM).

      • “richardscourtney March 3, 2017 at 12:06 pm

        Ralph Dave Westfall:

        Socialism has worked and is working wherever it has been applied.”

        It was applied in Ethiopia, didn’t work and was overwhelming rejected after a very short time.

      • Jason Calley, philjordan, Patrick MJD, joelobryan and MarkW :

        I intend no insult to anyone by making a single reply to you all. I do it to minimise my difficulty in posting to the web.

        Patrick MJD, I am not familiar with the Ethiopian example you assert and would welcome information on it.

        Jason Calley, you seem to be confused, all those slaves worked to death on American plantations were killed by libertarianism, not socialism.

        philjordan, as does any troll, when called on your offensive falsehood you cannot substantiate it so you provide another piece of trolling.

        joelobryan and MarkW, the pretense that others do what they do is normal propaganda for the right; e.g. see the comment of Jason Calley above. So, yes, Margaret Thatcher did famously lie that “socialism fails when it runs out of other people’s money”. That lie was an attempted smokescreen for her buying votes with other peoples’ money by selling council houses at far below market value. This kept her in power until the resource ran out when he own political party (i.e. the Conservatives aka the Tories) ousted her. The loss of council houses had many harmful effects including creation of the lack of affordable housing in the UK which still exists to this day, and it is one of the reasons that the present leader of the Tories and UK PM, Theresa May, admitted to her Party Conference that the Tories are known as “the nasty party”. May is trying to correct that; for example, Thatcher asserted and acted on the libertarian view that

        There is no such thing as society: there is only individuals and families.

        but after years of the Tories being in government, Tory PM May proclaims she wants to establish

        a society that is fair to all.

        MarkW, as is your usual behaviour, in attempt to promote your fasc1sm, you present offensive falsehoods from behind your shield of anonymity. Many people have practiced libertarianism (e.g. Al Capone), and fasc1sm is and always has been the far-right by definition.

        Richard

      • LOL! Still Joking! I love it! Falsehood? I only laughed at a joke. I guess you do not believe in jokes. Your loss. I love a good joke.

        You might want to learn how to laugh.

      • richardscourtney
        March 3, 2017 at 12:06 pm

        Socialism has always failed. Communism fails more rapidly. Socialism with conservative opposition takes longer, but eventually you run out of other people’s money. Venezuela is a prime current example, despite its natural wealth. Old Europe is so deeply in debt that it’s in the process of collapse.

        Libertarianism has never been tried, but would succeed brilliantly if so, given the spectacular results of small increments of it. Only political and economic freedom can succeed in achieving lasting prosperity.

      • “richardscourtney March 4, 2017 at 2:55 am

        That lie was an attempted smokescreen for her buying votes with other peoples’ money by selling council houses at far below market value. This kept her in power until the resource ran out when he own political party (i.e. the Conservatives aka the Tories) ousted her. The loss of council houses had many harmful effects including creation of the lack of affordable housing in the UK which still exists to this day…”

        On this I can agree. It was a very bad political move IMO, but politicians will do anything to stay in power. So former council tenants were sold a house, paid for by taxpayers, only to sell them at market rates after a few years. That put millions in to housing poverty, which, as you say, still exists today. The other policy that lead to her downfall was the poll tax. But she was not the PM who shut down more coal mines than any other PM in UK history. No, that crown rests firmly on Wilson’s head. And IIRC, the Beaching report, commissioned under Labour, executed by the Tories. Labour would have done it anyway if they were in power.

        I voted for Thatcher twice in her last two terms. The last time I voted was for the National Party in New Zealand. I have not voted since because, given how much they value democracy, I believe no wannbe President/PM has earned my vote, none of them, and I deal with that.

        I guess the morale of the story is you cannot trust politicians from either side of politics.

      • Patrick MJD:

        Thankyou for your reply to me thaty says

        It’s no assertion, I have been to Ethiopia and I was married to an Ethiopian, so I learnt about her home country. This link, albeit New York Times, it’s a start and is accurate as far as I can recall.

        http://www.nytimes.com/1984/10/08/world/new-ethiopia-feudal-ways-yield-to-marx.html?pagewanted=allEthiopia, they said, faces staggering economic and political problems that would severely challenge its Marxist- Leninist Government.

        “Marxist- Leninist Government”!?
        No wonder I had not heard of your so-called example of a failed socialist country.
        It was communist (i.e. Marxist- Leninist) and NOT socialist.

        Richard

      • @richardscourtney
        “you seem to be confused”, says the man who writes “slaves worked to death on American plantations were killed by libertarianism”
        Libertarianism may work or not, may exist or not, but to say that it implemented slavery just shows the speaking man’s ruins between his ears.
        Didn’t read further. After such nonsense any nonsense can be expected, and any truth will be suspect, so i have rather read them elsewhere.

      • Gloateus Maximus:

        Your post is very, very funny.

        I refuted the assertion of Ralph Dave Westfall that said of socialists

        You’re right, Joe. They say socialism hasn’t failed – it just hasn’t ever been really tried yet.

        I refuted that by demonstrating what we socialists do say when I wrote

        Socialism has worked and is working wherever it has been applied.

        However, communism on the extreme left and libertarianism on the extreme right have usually induced disaster wherever either has been applied.

        You have replied to that by saying in full

        Socialism has always failed. Communism fails more rapidly. Socialism with conservative opposition takes longer, but eventually you run out of other people’s money. Venezuela is a prime current example, despite its natural wealth. Old Europe is so deeply in debt that it’s in the process of collapse.

        Libertarianism has never been tried, but would succeed brilliantly if so, given the spectacular results of small increments of it. Only political and economic freedom can succeed in achieving lasting prosperity.

        Clearly, Ralph Dave Westfall’s mistake was to confuse the behaviour of libertarians as being behaviour of socialists because socialists don’t say, “socialism hasn’t failed – it just hasn’t ever been really tried yet.”
        You have demonstrated that libertarians do say,
        “Libertarianism has never been tried, but would succeed brilliantly”.

        And that assertion is wrong on both counts. Many (e.g. Al Capone, the Kray brothers, and etc.) have applied libertarianism. Indeed, libertarianism was the norm in the Wild West before the Rule of Law could be applied. Libertarianism’s failure is inevitable because it imposes great suffering on the great bulk of a population.

        And that suffering results from libertarians taking other peoples’ money for their own use, which is something socialists don’t do.

        Richard

      • paqyfelyc:

        You make an attempt at insult and self-justification. I commend that you try to include wit (assuming you have any) in any similar future attempts: if you do then your attempts may work and not give the impression that you are a bot.

        Richard

      • “richardscourtney March 6, 2017 at 5:32 am”

        Armchair opinions. It was an experiment in socialism..with a view to full blown communism…nothing more,nothing less. The desire *WAS* communism, no doubt, but they had a go at socialism. It failed! Been to Ethiopia? No, didn’t think so.

    • The original quote that popularized the ad hominem “denier” is this: “I would like to say we’re at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let’s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.” (Goodman, Ellen. No change in political climate. The Boston Globe, February 9, 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070214041353/http:/www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/02/09/no_change_in_political_climate/

      • Furthermore, note the use of the term “alleged” in the following quote from the article under discussion…

        “Calling someone an “eco-loon” (Delingpole, 2012) is specifically intended to delegitimize their viewpoint, and calling someone an “alarmist” immediately reduces the credibility of the intended message. The label “denier” has also been alleged to have connections to Holocaust deniers (O’Neill & Boykoff, 2010).”

        Noone who knows anything at all about the climate “debate” would use the word “alleged”. It is the goto word in virtually any attack on skeptics. Methinks I note the side to which the author might be leaning? On the other hand they appear to be doing their best. Remaining unbiased is hard!

  4. From the way policy makers treat the climate consensus and especially how they treat the large and growing number of skeptics, I would say that the worst sorts of ideas about skeptics has taken root in far too many in government. And when one looks at opinion leaders in the cliamte consensus, the hatred and ill will towards skeptics has not moderated at all.

  5. Interesting review of labeling and politics. This discussion might be rather good.
    There is a strong psychological tendency to categorize arguments that people have an emotional involvement in, and support or dismiss arguments accordingly. The degree of emotional involvement has damn little to do with the support one has for one’s opinions, however.
    Another thing is the interaction of politics and other opinions not directly related to economic model type politics. Many, but not all, advocates of climate change programs are economic leftists. Many, again not all, opponents are sympathetic to capitalism tending towards libertarianism. Much of the venom is due to general dislike for the politics of the various participants, not the actual content of their other beliefs.

    • What’s not good about this discussion is that it appears to assume a legitimacy exists in “climate science,” when such “science” contradicts observation, the very basis of real science.

      • I noticed that the paper played down the name-calling by “believers” and emphasized the “poor” behavior by the skeptics. Under the veneer of an objective call for civility is a sanctimonious attempt to equate the malicious treatment of skeptics with derisive eye-rolling and admittedly, some name-calling by said skeptics. Which side has systematically targeted their “opponents” and attempted to ruin their reputations, negatively impact their employment, and socially stigmatize them?

        As for the nonsense about scientific topics not being debated, that is because the AGW believers do not WANT to talk about the science. I realize the above excerpts are just that, excerpts, but I have to wonder if the authors put as much effort into showing the motivations of the believers as they did with the alleged motives of the skeptics. None of my problems with the scam are that it “challenges” my ideology or identity. My problems with the scam include (but are not limited to) the fact that the actual data do not support the claims, the sneering condescension of the self-appointed elites as they practice their hypocrisy, the immense dishonesty of the advocates, and THAT IT IS NOT SCIENCE BASED OR SUPPORTED.

        It’s the reality, stupid. (See what I did there?)

      • Another issue is just who is doing the name calling.
        On the skeptic side, most of the name calling is being done by anonymous posters on hundreds of web sites. For the most part, the skeptical leaders haven’t stooped to name calling.
        On the warmist side, the name calling goes all the way to the top.

    • Scott Adams, creator of the “Dilbert” comics, in his blog on the black arts of persuasion discusses in MANY posts the relative effectiveness of emotions vs. facts and figures in framing arguments. The sad truth is you can have 100% of the empirical evidence on your side, and still lose to utterly nonsensical emotional gymnastics for the simple reason that they are not equal–they grab the brain in different ways. He has had much to say about climate issues recently–if you haven’t already, check him out!

      • So in the end, the greatest emotional appeal wins and humans are no more than dogs begging for a treat?

      • “So in the end, the greatest emotional appeal wins…”

        Sheri, that’s a lesson the progressives learned a long time ago. If you ignore the ad hominems (always their first argument) practically all of their positions turn out to be no more than tugs on your heart strings. If you don’t support their positions you just don’t care enough for your fellow man.

        What the elites understand but their followers fail to recognize is that progressive theory is based on a belief in the ultimate goodness of mankind. Without that none of their theories or positions hold water. Of course the progressive elite know better. They ‘know’ the rest of us are just too ignorant to govern ourselves, a “basket of deplorables” that must be told how to think and how to act. For an excellent example of the progressive attitude look up Marc A. Thiessen’s article (“Thanks to Jonathan Gruber for revealing Obamacare deception”) in the Washington Post on November 17, 2014.

  6. Now let me see, the 10:10 video showed men, women, & children, being blown up by “others” because they didn’t agree with the “others” veiwpoint. ISIS, blow up men, women, & children, because…………………? What a coincidence!

    • Yes. And thank you, Richard Curtis, (of Blackadder fame) for that piece of execrable “entertainment”. He withdrew it shortly after it was first shown, but well worth seeing to glimpse into the mind of those who are utterly convinced they are right, and can do anything to “persuade” the non believers. Yep. Sounds like a religion I can think of.

      • Actually, it sounds exactly like the “Committee for Public Safety” headed by Robespierre during the French Revolution. Anybody who disagreed with them was (by definition) against freedom and had to be executed. They ordered the first documented genocide of the Vendee region of France.

        Anytime anyone claims that there is no such thing as “Liberal Fascism”, see Robespierre as exhibit one.

      • A belief that Jews should be allowed to return to their ancestral homeland?
        Sounds like you are attempting yet another redefinition of terms.

  7. Candice Howarth and Amelia Sharman do good work but I’m sort of hoping the other side don’t take their advice on board. The warmists’ hostility to anyone asking even the most reasonable question is partly what is destroying their credibility.

    • Alarmists are entirely reliant on argument from authority (IPCC says …) and character assassination (Deniers / mavericks say …). When evidence is not peer-reviewed in academic journals and endorsed by the IPCC they can’t even read it. They refuse to put their brains in first gear. Some otherwise reasonable FB friends of mine even told me Joe Romm is an ‘expert on climate science’. I think too many alarmists are lazy. Climate is a wicked problem. Numerically predicting it is still beyond us. I can, sort of, understand why they prefer argument from authority to understanding that transcends platitude. One is easy, the other hard.

    • Good Point.
      I think Trumps support thrives on the excesses of the media and many Democrats because they have destroyed their credibility with continuous, outlandish claims.

  8. Counterproductive namecalling may have been. But the whole journal where this was published is still dedicated to the nutty proposition that skepticism about CAGW results from failure to communicate the climate science properly, rather than failure of the climate science itself. And those failures are now massive. No warming this century except by Karlization. No accelerating SLR. Polar bears thriving. Greening. Snow. Failed models. Instances of clear academic misconduct (Marcott 2013 in Science) and utter statistical incompetence (Mann hockey stick).

    • Yes, that’s the basic problem. They once again assume the “climate scientists” pushing AGW have a legitimacy that simply doesn’t exist.

    • Ristvan
      So true! This argument of poor communication rather than poor science is now rampant. I think Heartland’s book”Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming” (https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/why-scientists-disagree-about-global-warming) is the clearest response to this misdirection I have found. It addresses the misleading memes that derail reasonable discussion. The only shortcoming I saw in the book is it was written before the recent papers that show anthropogenic CO2 emissions unrelated to atmospheric CO2 or global temperature.
      It can be downloaded as a .pdf at the heartland site.

    • “Counterproductive namecalling may have been. But the whole journal where this was published is still dedicated to the nutty proposition that skepticism about CAGW results from failure to communicate the climate science properly, rather than failure of the climate science itself.”

      That’s exactly right. They are working on the assumption that CAGW is real and is happening now, and they are trying to figure out a good way to communicate that “truth” to the rest of us.

      Psychological factors certainly have an effect on how some people address the CAGW issue, but there are lots of people who are just looking for some facts that can confirm CAGW, but haven’t seen any yet. Being capable of discerning that there is a lack of evidence should not be a disqualifier, or be thought of as an aberrant mental condition.

      • They are studying how best to proselytize people who aren’t sufficiently susceptible to their present propaganda techniques. Copernicus didn’t need to to this. Newton, nope. Darwin, nope. Einstein, nope. They just provided their data and analysis and let it sink in. If the climate loon’s data was good and the analysis from it was right then there would be no problem with convincing the vast majority of folks. Let them keep studying how to sell snow to Eskimos. It will never work.

      • Yes. And wrote up the academic misconduct expose. You can read it as essay A High Stick Foul in my ebook Blowing Smoke, or as earlier version guest post Playing Hockey-Blowing the Whistle at Judith Currys Climate Etc, posted March 19 2013. The evidence is conclusive and damning. Forensic comparison of his thesis section 3 to the Science paper, supposedly the ‘same’.
        Regards, Sheri. Something to know-unlike many here, I never comment without having first checked the facts.

    • Apologies. I thought you were referring to Marcott and not to the Science version. Many people don’t realize that Marcott did not say what Science did. (Your write-up was very interesting. Thanks for letting me know about it.)

  9. “Hierarchical-individualistic: People in this category tend to be more skeptical about environmental risks, because if they were widely accepted, they would negatively impact the freedom of industry and commerce, which are highly valued by this group.”
    I classify myself as individualistic, but the reason I am skeptical about the Global Warming risk, is that I have looked at the science from the perspective of an engineer, in particular the climate models and the temperature record.
    The climate models are useless tools to predict the future climate outcomes. Far to little is known about natural climate variability and there is no agreement by the climate modelers on the key factors the drive the climate. The outputs of the climate models do not match historical data, even the data that has been manipulated to better match the assumed output that CO2 is a major climate driver.
    Secondly there is almost no temperature records for the ocean temperature. Since most of the heat energy is stored in the oceans, the temperature record for the oceans and the flow rates of the ocean currents are far more important than the land temperatures. Measurements of the surface temperatures of the oceans is interesting and useful for predicting weather, but meaningless in terms of climate change. The sparse information of the temperature history over the depth of the ocean and the flow rates of the ocean currents is to a first approximation zero.
    The uncertainties in our understanding of the climate drivers are at least 1 order of magnitude greater than the impact of CO2.

  10. Climate change is a complex issue to communicate, particularly to non-scientists.

    Particularly to non-scientists who call themselves climatologists.

    The point being that they need to denigrate others as they can’t treat them as equals. When they try to debate their ‘equals’ they lose.

    Without the facts on their side they have to shout loudly. Otherwise people might notice that AGW isn’t very important.

    • Without facts on their side their best bet is the very name-calling and vilification they have been applying for many years now. The article seems more a resignation that their tactics have failed than an attempt to promote anything “constructive.”

    • Notice the subtle(ish) implication that the only people who “disagree” are non-scientists. 97 percent for-EVAH.

  11. Certainly, the name calling and ugliness is counterproductive — and intentionally so, in many cases. Certain people do not wish for there to be any rational discussion of the subject. These people deserve to be called out, perhaps even a label.

  12. The analysis is framed from the perspective of how to get those pesky skeptical deplorables under control and sell them on how the enlightened believers are to be obeyed.

  13. Is it “stupid”? Or just an indication of the person who is doing it? Most are aware that those using derogatory terms are doing so because they lack either the maturity or the knowledge to debate (or both).

    • Probably both. Many feel threatened that they may have made a mistake—a very, very public mistake and don’t want it found out. Followers are often lazy and non-thinking—they go with the alpha male and do whatever they are told. Never question the leader because the leader is the failure if this falls apart, not the lowly followers. They were “tricked” by the experts. You can’t expect them to actually study any thing. And everyone else was doing it. It’s blame-avoidance at it’s peak.

  14. Resorting to rhetorical logical fallacies reveals the lack of a solid scientific basis and evidence by the accuser. Categorizing as “climate denier” is the ad hominem fallacy.

    It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are.
    If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.

    Richard Feynman

  15. A new climate expert in Canaduh…

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/bank-canada-deputy-climate-change-carbon-1.4007234

    The deputy governor of the Bank of Canada touted the case for pricing carbon during a speech in Montreal on Thursday, warning that climate change and actions to address it will have “material and pervasive effects on Canada’s economy and financial system.”

    Citing estimates by the now defunct National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, a former federal agency that was disbanded by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, Timothy Lane noted that Canada could “face annual costs of between $21 billion and $43 billion by the 2050s” if action is not taken to mitigate global warming.

    • “The deputy governor of the Bank of Canada touted the case for pricing carbon during a speech in Montreal on Thursday, warning that climate change and actions to address it will have “material and pervasive effects on Canada’s economy and financial system.”

      Yes, addressing climate change will have “material and pervasive effects on Canada’s economy and financial system”.

      The question is: After you spend all that money, how much will that reduce the Earth’s temperature? Answer: It may not reduce it at all. You are going to waste all that money and have nothing to show for it. You will be poorer for it. Eventually you will say, “What were we thinking!?

      • Madness isn’t it? Where did they get that figure from? Out of a polar bears arse I think.

      • Even if “the temperature”, whatever that is, goes down, there’s no way to know if it was due to the money being spent, or just because.

      • Canada? If global warming theory is true, Canada will be a tremendous beneficiary. If they were smart, Canada (and Russia) would be pumping out as much CO2 as possible. They could increase the amount of arable land tremendously.

    • Reminds me of “energy saving experts”. You need to put in $15,000 worth of triple pane windows, a $6000 96% efficient furnace, buy $300 in LED light bulbs, $1000 for a new energy efficient frig, $2000 for a water-saving washer and energy efficient dryer, and $700 on a water-saving, energy-saving dishwasher, or you’ll go broke from energy costs in the future.

  16. Climate is a wicked problem. Numerically predicting it is still beyond us. I can, sort of, understand why they prefer argument from authority to understanding that transcends platitude. One is easy, the other hard.

    I just made that statement about climate followers and advocates (i.e. people who repeat ‘climate news‘ rather than those who make it). The corresponding argument about the leaders (who make the news/science) is they want simplicity and certainty. ‘Solving‘ climate with models, Hockey Sticks, and a simple cause: CO2, gives that. But it’s not just about simplicity and certainty. Climate alarmism is a moral crusade where one can believe in a trans-human solutions : ‘the science‘. It all makes perfect sense when understood as a drama for existential meaning in a world where God is dead.

    • I didn’t even know He was sick. :)

      They do use “The Science” the same way a minister would use “The Word of God”.

    • God isn’t dead. He’s retired, and now he spends a lot of time on the golf course. Fifteen billion years looking after the universe; he’s earned it.

  17. Peta meets a Warmist:

    Peta: Hello Warmist, blah blah, blah usual pleasantries
    Warmist: Hello Peta (then as above)
    Peta: It snowed last night in Timbuktu (Peta’s from England and englanders talk about weather a lot)
    Warmist: Yes, wasn’t it awful? Another sure sign humans are changing the climate with carbon dioxide greenhouse gases.
    Peta: Well, let me say that I thoroughly agree with you that CO2 is a Greenhouse Gas, but I don’t think its changing the climate much
    Warmist: Of course it is, you just now mentioned the desert snow, 97% of scientists say so and the science is settled.

    Peta then goes on to produce reams of writing, tons of tedious little pictures & graphs, calls on a few oddball characters as his authority – all in an attempt to back-track (as the warmist sees it) on his first assertion that CO2 is a Green House Gas.

    Warmist, in common with everyone on a high carb diet, has a short attention span. Warmist is thus bored to tears and soon wondering where and when their next fix of sugar is coming from, hence becoming increasingly irritated when Peta drones on and on, saying to opposite to what he said in his introduction.

    I think its fair to say that ‘First Impressions Count’
    So, when we wade in with our assertion (as Skeptics often do in an attempt to open a friendly dialogue) that CO2 has a warming effect and then proceed to try explain quite the opposite, is it really any wonder the Warmists think skeptics are crazy and not to be trusted?

  18. What a load of disrespectful crap. I am a citizen of the US, from pioneer stock and will not allow some caretaker to benevolently change the narrative such that I could be pursuaded of the conjecture referred to as anthropogenic warming.

    If there is such a thing as persuasive convincing language made to appear like honest climate change dialogue, the proposed style WOULD NOT BE IT!

  19. So much Hot Air to say bad mouthing those properly presenting scientific scepticism is unhelpful in arriving at the truth. Greenshirt protection racket tactics ;-). That’s it. The reason it is done is to suppress the truth by bullying and fiscal control by those with money and power, for whatever unscientific reason, of those who could resist a hypothesis with facts. Grants can catch fire.

    Throughout, this article appears to accept that AGW is substantive, if subject to question, and there are better ways to communicate this as a major problem, hence justify the regressive solutions in science fact. Or did I misread myself? This is wholly wrong, IMO. If this then that – presumptive nonsensse. Some people have far too many words and too much time to say the same thin several time in a few thousand words, probably paid for by the taxpayer, none of it science or substantive.

  20. the hidden premise is that anybody wants a debate.
    i don’t.
    i just want everybody to keep hands off my stuff.

  21. One day, the term climate ‘denier’ will be an a somewhat inaccurate badge of honor, and the hysterical cry-babies and totalitarian wannabes who used it as an equally inaccurate pejorative will themselves be marginalized and shamed by their own rhetoric. I hope they’d all stop for a few moments and consider how few proud Nazis there were after Germany surrendered in WW-2? At that point, they all wanted to be seen as underground resistance fighters. Don’t be one of those guys. If you’re a government scientist or funded by government grants, and you hate what is being done and said about climate certainty that you think ain’t so, well, the time to speak is now, not after this all blows over and you can do it comfortably and without risk of losing your job or your pension. And don’t one of the guys who thought the 10:10 “No Excuses” video was high humor. It was, and is, a sick view of the world held by many people inside your alarmist coalition. If you hate people, then by all means, stay with it. If you love people and want to help people, get shed of their madness.

  22. Why do scholarly papers that are examining the psychological drivers of the behaviour and beliefs of climate sceptics/deniers always miss the most important part of the argument. Almost no one argues that climate changes. Almost no one argues that humans on this planet have impacted the climate at least in some ways. What almost all sceptics/deniers argue is that virtually none of the proposed solutions will have any significant impact on temperature change, and that the costs associated with all of the proposed solutions are far higher than the cost of virtually all of the proposed temperature rises projected. Virtually none of the provided evidence of catastrophic warming/climate change suggests any kind of major problem.

    It would be interesting to see what the psychological underpinnings are of alarmists who see a small rise in temperature as catastrophic in a world 3-4 times richer than the current one.

  23. Two quick observations:
    I used to have a friend who was OK, except that he was burrowing down the John Cook rabbit hole. Our friendly debates about CAGW started turning nasty as he was completely absorbed in confirmation bias and appeal to authority, and he soon began calling me a denier and would not listen to my explanations of a more nuanced position. I then realized that he was using the term denier exactly as one uses the term ni##er and for the same reason – to discredit the speaker and assert his own superiority. I warned him that if he used it again, I would never speak to him again. He did and I haven’t. No great loss.

    Second, there are a group of my Facebook friends who regularly announce that since it rained on Tuesday, it is a sure sign of man made climate disaster. Science is not their strong suit – many believe the Guardian is a great source of scientific fact. HOWEVER, since the election of DJT, they have just STFU on the topic of climate change. Could it be that they no longer feel safe to spew their propaganda with impunity? Could it be that they understand that doing so will call down attacks from folks who challenge the credibility of what they simply “believed” were “facts” and now demand a higher standard of proof?

    • Some people who are/were on the alarmist bandwagon did so mainly because they liked being on the winning side, because it made them look like winners personally.

  24. “While a common public perception is that of a single debate where climate scientists are representatives of scientific truth, and skeptical voices are the dominant challengers, there is a growing understanding of a more multi-layered reality to the divide over climate change that can be understood through the analysis of the potential misalignment of actors and their roles in public debate.”

    So the author reveals the same ‘labeling’ bias that is being discussed. “Climate scientists” are on the CAGW side so the “skeptics” are thus apparently not “climate scientists”. In reality there is a very legitimate debate regarding the science between climate scientists on both sides. No one seems to deny that climate changes. The only legitimate debate is how much human activity has to do with it, whether it is dangerous, beneficial or benign and whether there is anything practical that can be done about it. Uncertainty (used in its scientific context) is clearly substantial and makes any resolution of this debate seem unlikely.

  25. The unstated premise of this dissertation is that any warming, provably caused by mankind, is obviously bad. NO IT ISN’T!

  26. A mere 15,000 years ago areas north of central Iowa and Illinois were under thousands of feet of glacial ice. The late Wisconsin Glacial Episode was just the most recent in many periods of glaciation [1] on this continent. These glaciers melted and were totally gone thousands of years before the modern era when we are now scolded about our burning of hydrocarbon fuels in vast quantities.

    To deny that the climate changes is to deny very obvious truth. Indeed the climate is always changing. So, when someone says that I am a “denier” they are liars. But they are liars with an end goal in mind. They don’t really believe what they accuse me of. For their lie is ideological and not factually oriented. (Either that or they are useful idiots.)

    We can tell they are bold liars because all of their solutions to “climate change” have no effect on the climate, at least as any matter of meaningful proportion. Rational analysis of the policies they demand conclude that they might result in changes that are less than the margin of error. But consider that the effect of their policy initiatives all converge on bigger government, less liberty, less prosperity and less comfort. This is socialistic policy not climate policy. And they know that the public would never agree if the truth was told. So who is the denier? Is this not evil social engineering?

    [1] https://www.isgs.illinois.edu/outreach/geology-resources/glaciers-smooth-surface

    • Well said. For example: Wind mills destroy the environment, turning open spaces into bird killing industrial parks. And they cannot “improve” the climate.

    • Bill Nye the Anti-Science Guy apparently actually believes that all climate change (and other bad phenomena not connected to climate) since 1750 is man-made. The Dalton Minimum cold spell in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, emergence from the Little Ice Age in the mid- to late 19th century, followed by turn of the century cooling, the early 20th century warming, mid-20th century cooling, volcanic eruptions, oceanic oscillations, all the work of all-powerful humanity.

  27. “The label “denier” has also been alleged to have connections to Holocaust deniers”
    I stopped reading at this point. The ONLY reason to use the “denier” label is to connect it to “Holocaust denier”, which besides being called a Nazi, KKK member, or Hitler, is just about the worst thing you can call someone. This is not just an annoying label, it is deeply, deeply insulting. Much more so than “warmist” or “alarmist” which has no connotation of being born of pure evil.

  28. A little bit off topic, but a recent report from the Adam Smith Institute, a think tank, reports that 80% of academics in the UK are left wing in their political leaning. 20% support the Greens. There are concerns that this leads to Groupthink, lack of debate, too much political correctness, ideological bias in science, just to name a few possible consequences.

    Before any of the above claim intelligence, the same report claims that the top 5% with high intelligence are split 50/50 left /right, just like the UK population.

    I think this confirms what many of us already knew, though the high percentage might be surprising.

  29. “Jap”, “Gook”, “Nazi”, “Wetback”, “Zionist”, “Capitalist criminal”, “denier” … dehumanizing labels ad nauseum

    In the 1970’s Vietnam era, my leftist college professors taught how infantile, demeaning, and dehumanizing labels were used to make a docile population comfortable with the idea of EXTERMINATING the “Enemy”. That mankind has practiced this in each and every WAR ever waged on the planet. How ironic, that now these same leftist professors are completely comfortable with dehumanizing Global Warming “deniers” … and have even called for our EXTERMINATION. Yeah … the “ends justify the means” … eh, Comrade ?

  30. This article goes a long way towards explaining why I, myself, have abandoned (and am now embarrassed) over my formerly Left-leaning positions – I used to consider myself mostly a centrist (and I still consider myself an Independent – apparently a foreign concept to ideologues) – but the Left, under Obama, has yanked the ‘Left’ so far afield, I now consider it open enemy action. And what was ‘centrist’ opinion is now ‘Right Wing Nut’ – pretty much regardless of your actual leanings on any given issue, because the real reason for any of these labels is due to being identified as part of the opposition to a rigidly close-minded agenda-driven, attack-dog group of militants.

  31. This is an odd paper.

    “Third, much work has been carried out examining the psychological basis underpinning debate about climate change. Much of this work has examined the concept of risk.”

    How on earth can you examine “psychological basis underpinning” of both sides off a debate when you you do not know the scientific facts that one of the sides in the debate are presenting.

    If you you state from the position that the science is settled and do not acknowledge the the education, scientific backgrounds and experience of one side off the discussion, you reduce yourself merely to the “roll” of “cheerleaders” for the other side.

    Other the jumping up and down waving pom-poms and otherwise looking ridiculous the authors of this paper contribute nothing.

    As for the name calling it is a tool. It’s purpose is to discourage those who have not given any great attention to the issue from from seeking it form the other side. “Poisoning the well”, a means by which you destroy the credibility of your opponent before he can even present his case.

    Also it serves as an inoculation for your own less well educated followers. They use “said” insults at the beginning of any chance discussion with a knowledgeable member of the opposition, that person may act emotionally, and respond in kind. This prevents any sit down where a real discussion can take place.

    And yes many people can be reasoned with, it just takes time and you have to learn a little about them first.
    Also one size does not fit all everyone reacts and learns differently.

    michael

    • Actually, it’s a form of psyching up – like putting on warpaint.
      Good luck ‘reasoning’ with a mob of people armed with catchphrase invectives, teased up with self-righteousness. You are not going to be allowed time to ‘learn a little about them first.’
      Frankly, I think I’ve learned enough.

      Your comment is the sort of thinking I associate with people who always find themselves at a nice safe distance from any ‘nastiness’. PC, with no association with ground-level reality.
      I’m more the sort that has been forced on the front line by eight years of nearly constant hate-mongering, that has been organized against me and anyone that ‘reacts and learns differently’ because clearly, I’m not allowed to.

  32. There is NO ‘fruitful dialogue’ to be had. This faux-academic article is a Leftist strawman lavishing pseudo-credibility on a scientifically untenable position. Pure virtue signalling, doubtless a requirement for publication.
    There is a far more insidious premise at play. Where coercion, bullying and confabulation have always been a routine necessity in order to maintain the momentum of UN policy-based eco-Marxist ‘theory’, there can never be a ‘fruitful dialogue’, and neither should there.

  33. I suppose even sociology graduates and ‘knowledge Integrators for the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN)’ have to be found something to do, I’m just happy I didn’t pay for it.

  34. The irony is that “denier” is best known for the Christian story of the denial of Christ. So, it quite properly is associated with those who hold different views of a religious nature.

    In other words, you would only call someone a “denier” in a religious and not scientific context.

  35. I believe in anthropogenic climate change.

    That is, changes to regional climates through human activities such as logging, agriculture, irrigation. dams and water diversion. etc.
    There is no “Global Climate”, really.

    BUT

    The idea that CO2 generated by the combustion of “fossil” fuels will cause the temperature of the earth to rise to a point of global catastrophe has been disprooved. Disprooved when the “Tropospheric Warm Zone” proved non-existent. Disproved when increased and unprecedented warming failed to occur.even as atmospheric CO2 concentration continued to rise. no causal relationship of temperature to CO2

    So, I’ll deny that Human generated Carbon Dioxide has any appreciable effect on “Global” temperatures.
    I’m so sure,
    I’m taking bets.

    • Rob Roy – what form does your bet take please? I might like to take you up on that one. I offered a bet here a couple of years ago that nobody was prepared to accept, despite me offering 3:1 odds on what should have been an evens bet if you accepted the skeptical position. I concluded that people were not really convinced of their stated position.

      • seaice, so which aspect of the failed CO2 theory do yyou intend to stand on? Temperatures rise, Temperatures fall but that’s not the bet, Find the Tropospheric Warm Zone and you win
        Pony up.

      • The bet’s a metaphor.
        Why don’t you address some of the points I made.
        Or continue to obfuscate.
        It wouldn’t be a fair bet anyway The leftist perpetrators of this fraud only bet other people’s money.

      • The bet’s a metaphor.
        Why don’t you address some of the points I made.
        Or continue to obfuscate.
        It wouldn’t be a fair bet anyway The leftist perpetrators of this fr@ud only bet other people’s money.

      • OK, so you don’t actually have a position you are prepared to bet on. Thought so. I addressed the very point you raised by challenging you on what aspect of the science you believe is wrong. You failed to come up with any prediction or projection you are prepared to put your money up for.

      • Appalling comment there from Hunter which nicely sums up the point of the article. One person is so sure of his facts that he states he is wiling to bet on them. When asked about the terms of the bets he wriggles out of the offer. But the questioner is labelled a coward for their questions? It’s a mad world.

      • Seaice,

        Sone example.

        “Climate scientists”, ie GIGO computer gamers, dxny the well-established Holocene Optimum, Egyptian, Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods and intervening post-HO (dunno if it has a name, but lasted 600 years), Greek Dark Ages, Dark Ages and Little Ice Age cold periods, and have used blatant tricks to try to make them disappear. They dxny that the Eemian and prior interglacials were warmer than the Holocene thanks to natural causes, which they now imagine must have quit working.

        They dxny that cleaner air contributed more to the alleged late 20th century warming than did more plant food in the air. They dxny that more CO2 has been beneficial and more would be better yet, further greening the planet. They dxny that windmills and solar farms are environmental disasters and econimc failures, despite all evidence to the contrary.

        They dxny that there has been no statistically significant warming for ~20 years. They dxny that climate cooled dramatically postwar despite rising CO2. They dxny that the lack of a tropical tropospheric hotspot invalidates their models. They dxny that the abject failure of their models to predict actual observed temperatures invalidates them. To remedy these epic failures, they instead practice anti-science by changing the “data” rather than the models.

        For starters.

  36. From he article: “One of the most common forms of incivility and hostility in the climate change debate is the use of derogatory names, which people who hold opposing viewpoints use to refer to those with whom they disagree.”

    I think the good folk here need to think carefully about this one. I have been called a troll, people have made unjustified deductions about my experience (you are clearly not a scientist), use of diminutive nick-names (griffy, griffypoo) accusations of lying and much, much more. The atmosphere to those expressing an alternative view is quite hostile.

    Marty says “Ever notice how most of the name calling comes from leftists?” He is just not seeing the name calling that goes on here. I can assure Marty that the name calling is not only from the leftists. Please open your eyes.

    M Courtney says “Particularly to non-scientists who call themselves climatologists.” Thereby de-legitimizing an entire field of science, as apparently people studying climate are not scientists. Based on M Courtneys opinion only.

    marnof says “Certainly, the name calling and ugliness is counterproductive — and intentionally so, in many cases. Certain people do not wish for there to be any rational discussion of the subject. These people deserve to be called out, perhaps even a label.” Maybe marnof has identified something – those people doing the name calling do not want rational discussion. Those people calling all climatologists “non-scientists” do not want rational discussion.

    gnomish is honest “i just want everybody to keep hands off my stuff.” That is I don’t care if I harm anyone else, but don’t touch my stuff.

    • Notice how seaice attempts the very diversion I mentioned above.
      He wants us to believe that the musings of anonymous posters is equal to the biggest names in the alarmist industry.
      If you are going to use anonymous posters as the standard, then the people around here are saints compared to what happens to anyone who doesn’t toll the alarmist line in various green/left websites.

      seaice is either dishonest or numerically illiterate when he quotes Marty saying that most of the uncivility is coming from the alarmist side, by then claiming that there are a number of people here who don’t meet it’s standards for civility.

      The so called climate scientists don’t need M Courtney to de-legitimize them. They’ve done an excellent job all by themselves.

      seaice like most of his left wing brethren now claims to be able to read other people’s minds when he claims that gnomish is declaring that he doesn’t care who he hurts.

      Those who live on other people’s money, sure do get surely when their supply of free stuff is threatened.

    • MarkW “He wants us to believe that the musings of anonymous posters is equal to the biggest names in the alarmist industry.” Say what? where did I say that?

      “seaice is either dishonest or numerically illiterate when he quotes Marty saying that most of the uncivility is coming from the alarmist side, by then claiming that there are a number of people here who don’t meet it’s standards for civility”

      What? I am speaking from personal experience yet I am accused of dishonesty or illiteracy. This proves my point. I am accused of being either dishonest or illiterate because I have observed a lot of negative comments aimed at people who disagree with the accepted view here. Thank you MarkW for demonstrating my point exactly.

    • Seaice, if your feelings are hurt then so be it. The unique aspect of the human experience is to interpose conscious decision making between stimulus and response.

      Here are a couple of examples. The best way to get people to stop calling you a troll is to stop behaving like one. The best way to get people to stop questioning your scientific experience is to show that you hold the scientific method paramount.

      Oh, and when you talk about people who do not want a rational discussion, think about the twin alarmist mantras that the science is settled and 97% of scientists agree.

    • “gnomish is honest “i just want everybody to keep hands off my stuff.” That is I don’t care if I harm anyone else, but don’t touch my stuff”

      don’t trust the voices. they are trying to trick you. pretend you don’t hear them.

    • seaice1,
      You said, “… use of diminutive nick-names (griffy, griffypoo).” Do you then also post under the pseudonym of Griff?

    • For the record, you can see the full quote above. But I repeat it here to show that seaice1 is taking things out of context to mislead. Or perhaps because he or she is an idiot.

      I said,

      Particularly to non-scientists who call themselves climatologists.
      The point being that they need to denigrate others as they can’t treat them as equals. When they try to debate their ‘equals’ they lose.

      Now, if they did debate sceptics they would be open to the possibility that alternative views might better reflect reality. Then they, might, be open to being wrong – or less right – than people who don’t share their faith.

      But that would make them scientists.
      That would legitimize their entire field of science.

      But they don’t debate. So they aren’t scientists.
      And seaice1 uses deception (or stupidity) to justify not debating.
      He or she opposes science.

    • What else would you call someone who crying alarm about CO2?

      If I label a Scandinavian a Scandinavian, is that a problem?

      • If I label denialist a denialist is that a problem? You have missed the point by assuming your point of view is correct. Labeling people as denialists or warmists is labelling, and both assume that their preferred position is correct. You can’t logically criticize labeling as denialist without equally criticizing labeling as warmist.

      • There are levels of labeling. “Denier” is like “watermelon”, deliberately disparaging and implying something else than shorthand for an opinion.

      • No, you missed the point. the Deny derivations are not associated with any facts. They were born from the holocaust den1ers comparison. Skeptics are not denying anything. On the other hand “alarmists” and “warmists” are descriptive of the beliefs of those trying to raise an alarm over bad science.

        There is no negative connotations with either, other than the fact they are associated with bad science. But the words in themselves are descriptive. The D word is not. Climate science is not being denied. Climate is not being denied. even warming is not being denied. Indeed, nothing is being denied. So the term is pure pejorative.

        Give it up Griff. You are not that good of a word smith to weasel out of your own trap.

      • MarkW,
        Those concerned about CO2 have the science behind them.
        A skeptic can question and consider ALL the evidence before offering counter-evidence.
        The denier ( usually illequipped to understand )sticks to their preconceived view despite the overwhelming evidence.

      • No, sorry. You are entitled to your own opinion, not your own word definitions.

        Again, you claim “evidence”. Show us the evidence of your justification for using the D word.

        The sad part of your soliloquy is, there is evidence for and against, however, you only believe the evidence “for”. Ergo, you are a believer.

      • seaice1,
        Because “denier” and “denialist” are terms associated with “Holocaust Denier” they are particularly offensive. They also are patently false since it is leveled, in most cases, against people that don’t deny that climate changes, or even that humans have had some effect on climate. The terms “alarmist” or “warmist” don’t have a connection to such an evil act as the Holocaust, so they don’t have the same level of emotional invective, no invoke such deep offense. If you can’t understand this, then I feel sorry for you. But my tolerance for the “denier” label is nearing an end.

      • Perhaps they would like the term “believers” better? The “believe” in AGW, CAGW, ACC, and CACC. Skeptics on the other hand are searching for answers, so do not “believe” without evidence.

        So seaice1 is a “believer”. We are “skeptics”. The Pope is a believer too. But a different religion.

      • WTF
        March 3, 2017 at 3:16 pm

        There is zero science in favor of catastrophic man-made global warming and all the evidence in the world against it. If you know of some evidence supporting CAGW, please trot it out. There’s a Nobel in it for you, since IPCC has none. In fact the failed hypothesis of CAGW has been repeatedly falsified, in both senses of the term.

      • MarkW,
        Calling a Swede a Scandinavian is accurate. Calling a promoter of alarm over alleged anthropogenic warming an alarmist is accurate. However, calling a skeptic of AGW a denier is not accurate because the implication is that the skeptic is either denying climate change, or science, or both. Furthermore, it seems that the term was chosen to associate skeptics with those who deny that the Holocaust ever occurred, despite living evidence that it did. Thus, the pejorative term “denier” is intended to be an ad hominem attack on skeptics, and not some sort of ‘short hand’ for the position of being critical of the position of claimed anthropogenic warming and/or climate change.

      • No there’s more. People should reader harder and comment less.
        Hurt feelings? Read harder. It’s not that hard.
        Get back to me when you are somebody.

      • Steven, I read what you wrote and commented on that. It’s not my fault that you wrote what you did.

        Oh and you want to pull rank now? You want to rely on your authority?

        What ever happened to you? What’s it like inside the alarmist tent?

      • Following on from my comment above Steven, next time you want to big yourself up, try this line adapted from a well known story “I am Mosher the great and powerful. Who are you”.

        What a joke.

      • Its simple Forest.
        I dont have unlimited time for every silly thing.
        So que up.

        Remember its you guys asking me questions, not the other way around.

        Seems like if you all want my answers, that indicates something.

        Weirdly, did you ever wonder why I don’t ask your opinion on things. think hard about that.

        Now you’all go back to congratulating each other on failing to read the paper .

    • Steve, it works from the pic that the skeptics are wrong and just need a polite talking to and then they will become enlightened. Growing up exposed to fundamentalist religion, their argument is the condescending argument of the saved discussing how best to evangelize the unsaved.

    • How is BEST (the worst, which is saying something) funded? Will Trump be able to shut down your racket?

  37. Do the people who write this stuff actually expect alarmists will read it let alone expect that it will actually elicit more civilized behavior from them? What a hoot!

    You can be certain we are winning the debate when they feel compelled to publish a table of “Categories and Sub-categories of Skepticism” with no less than 11 specific names trying to describe us, (my sub-category isn’t even listed so these slackers obviously have more work to do!).

    Yeah, I’m trying really hard to figure out the finer differences between “Epistemic skepticism” and “Proactive uncertainty” …. NOT!

    They’re way behind the curve anyway because we already have an exact model for how climate debate topics can be easily dispatched: http://www.toocooldude.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/how-your-computer-works.gif

    • “Yeah, I’m trying really hard to figure out the finer differences between “Epistemic skepticism” and “Proactive uncertainty” …. NOT!”

      You made me laugh, Original Mike. Thank you!

      • You’re absolutely right Forrest, I didn’t take the time to consider that possibility so please excuse my thoughtlessness and allow me to amend my question: “Do the people who write this stuff – or the people who write the source code for the computer programs that write this stuff – actually expect alarmists will read it …..?”

        Are we good now?

  38. Bill Nye knows nothing of Climate Change Science. A Limerick.

    The Roman Northamptonshire wine

    was good, not excessively fine.

    So it just goes to show

    that Bill Nye does not know

    of Climate Change past, that’s my line.

    During the Roman warm period wine grapes were grown almost up to the Hadrian Wall, The the dark ages came and grapes no longer ripened in England. During the Medieval Warm Period there was at least one cheese farm on Greenland “Gården under sanden”, abandoned as the glaciers regrew, starting the “Little Ice Age”. We are still recovering from the little ice age. 2016 may have been a warm year, but most years since the ice age were warmer. See Chart.
    We are still in the sweet spot of a remarkable stable Climate, only more CO2 will save us from a new Ice Age.

    Check this video: https://lenbilen.com/2017/02/28/bill-nye-knows-nothing-of-climate-change-science-a-limerick/

    It is true that human activity causes climate change, and as for CO2, it is all to the good. Cutting down rain forests in Borneo to produce bio-fuel is not.

    Does this make me a denier?

  39. How about this: the separation of science and state. Because it is patently clear that science has been horribly corrupted by the state’s money and glittering prizes.

  40. If you are having a strictly objective debate about the merits of some proposal, and all parties simply wish to determine the unknown truth, then name-calling (and all other unfair tactics) have no place.

    If you have a predetermined object that you are prepared to achieve at all costs, then attaching pejorative labels to your opponents is merely one weapon in the armoury of the righteous. The ends justify the means.

    The involvement of people necessarily involves their egos, too. Winning is important. Climate science is in a disgraceful state, but it is by no means unique. There is good reason for believing that the vast majority of politically relevant human interactions operate at a similar standard.

  41. If you’ve done the same thing over and over again, exactly the same way and expect a different result in the end, that is stupid.

    Thousands of GCM runs say there should be a “Tropical Hot Spot” that doesn’t exist. Propagators of “Doom and Gloom” say that there will be more fierce storms when the “ACE” index is currently at a low point. The real world is somewhat different than what some are professing. Humanity has been reading and listening to stuff like this for over 6500 years. (According to the bible.)

    The crying of “Wolf” is not being listened to anymore.

  42. Mmm … the author says:

    Third, labels like denier or alarmist only identify those people at the polarized extremes of the debate, making it seem like these polarized extremes represent the majority of individuals (Jones, 2011).

    I disagree. I divide the climate scientist zoo into a variety of species, including alarmist, mainstream, lukewarm, skeptical, and alternative climate scientists. There are also a few heretical climate scientists like myself who think the idea that the global temperature slavishly follows forcing is a fatal misunderstanding at the heart of mainstream climate science …

    I don’t think that using a term like “alarmist” divides the climate zoo in two. That’s a simplistic understanding of a complex ecosystem.

    w.

    • Willis, I agree with what you say. On the other hand I’d be happy to confess my sins as a denier just as soon as somebody tells me exactly what it is that I am denying.

      Most often unbeliever or heretic would be a much more apt label than denier.

    • ” heretical climate scientists like myself ”

      The problem is Mr Eschenbach, you are not a climate scientist. Please don’t confuse an amateur-wanna-be with a real scientist.

      • engarpia@gmail.com March 3, 2017 at 5:39 pm

        ” heretical climate scientists like myself ”


        The problem is Mr Eschenbach, you are not a climate scientist. Please don’t confuse an amateur-wanna-be with a real scientist.

        Thanks, engarpia. I fear the editors and peer-reviewers of Nature magazine disagreed with you when they peer-reviewed and published my “Communication Arising”. And the editors and peer-reviewers of the other scientific journals who have peer-reviewed and published my work disagreed with you as well.

        Finally, the well over one hundred scientists who wrote the fifty-plus peer-reviewed papers where my work is cited and discussed disagree with you.

        They clearly are all in agreement that I am a scientist, or they would not have either published or cited my work in the scientific journals.

        Call me crazy, but as to whether I’m a scientist, I’ll take the word of those dozens and dozens of actual scientists who examined and critically assessed my scientific claims, over the word of some random internet popup like yourself who is unwilling to even sign his name to his own contributions …

        Regretfully,

        w.

      • LMAO @ Eschenbach, again touting his “peer reviewed” COMMENT in Nature’s “Communication Arising.” Seriously buddy, get real, that was not a scientific paper, it was a comment
        ..
        ..
        http://www.nature.com/nature/authors/gta/commsarising.html
        ..
        ..
        “Critical comments on recent Nature papers may, after peer review, be published online as Brief Communications Arising,”

        NOTE THE WORD “comments”

        You are misrepresenting the fact that your published “comment” is noteworthy…..it is certainly NOT published scientific research. In fact, you have no research that is noteworthy.

      • Now Willis, if you’d use your carpentry skills to design and build a revolutionary new massage table, we might pay attention to you.

      • Engarpia, a “Brief Communications Arising” in Nature is not a comment, as you would know if you’d ever written one. It is limited to 500 words and one graphic, and was solidly peer-reviewed before publication.

        You’re welcome to your opinion. I’ll take that of of the hundreds of scientists who have either peer-reviewed or cited and discussed my work.

        You can have the last word, it’s a meaningless dispute.

        w.

      • engar reveals an important truth: that he is a bitter neverwuzzer who doesn’t understand the history of science. But historical illiteracy seems to be a prerequisite for climate consensus true believers.

      • Hunter, engarpia does make a good point regarding Eschenbach’s “puffing” up his comment. This has nothing to do with the “history of science,” but every thing to do with an out of control ego maniac thinking he has made a major contribution to science. Eschenbach is no different than Joe Schmoe down the street claiming he’s a “journalist” because he got a letter to the editor published in his local newspaper.

      • Willis,

        Actually letters (comments) in Nature are not peer-reviewed. The editors decide whether to publish them or not. If they need technical advice, they rely on referees. I don’t know whether there was anything in your letter requiring a referee.

        http://www.nature.com/nature/authors/get_published/#a4

        Which is not to say that amateur scientists do now and always have made important contributions.

      • hunter
        March 3, 2017 at 8:38 pm

        Indeed the history of science, even in the past century, is rife with citizen scientists, and those who started out as amateurs but went on to become professionals, like Einstein.

        Copernicus was a church canon, not a university astronomy prof. Cavendish was an aristocratic heir who didn’t even bother to report his discovery of hydrogen, since he experimented mostly for his own pleasure. Lavoisier was a non-practicing lawyer. Faraday was an apprentice bookseller, but eventually earned a living in science, like his admirer Einstein. Darwin was a country gentleman of independent means, thanks to his and his wife’s Wedgwood connections. Mendel was a monk. A decent top ten or twenty scientists of all time list would include all or most of those six once or always “amateurs”.

        Some other contenders, such as Vesalius, Kepler, Galileo, Newton (an Einstein hero), Davy, Pasteur, Mendeleev, Maxwell (the third of Einstein’s heroes), Rutherford and Planck, could be considered professionals. Hutton had a medical degree, but was mainly a farmer.

        Not that Willis would rate his contributions with theirs.

      • David Dirkse March 4, 2017 at 4:54 am

        Hunter, engarpia does make a good point regarding Eschenbach’s “puffing” up his comment. This has nothing to do with the “history of science,” but every thing to do with an out of control ego maniac thinking he has made a major contribution to science. Eschenbach is no different than Joe Schmoe down the street claiming he’s a “journalist” because he got a letter to the editor published in his local newspaper.

        Gloateus Maximus March 4, 2017 at 5:30 am

        Willis,

        Actually letters (comments) in Nature are not peer-reviewed. The editors decide whether to publish them or not. If they need technical advice, they rely on referees. I don’t know whether there was anything in your letter requiring a referee.

        http://www.nature.com/nature/authors/get_published/#a4

        Which is not to say that amateur scientists do now and always have made important contributions.

        Boy, what is it with the unbridled nastiness? That kind of thing is bad for you, guys … hard on your heart.

        In any case, both of you guys would be 100% correct if what I wrote was a letter (comment) in Nature. But since you’re just trying to attack my reputation rather than do your homework, you’ve ended up with your heads well up your fundamental orifices … what I wrote was NOT a comment. It was NOT a letter to the Editors. It is a format unique to Nature called “Brief Communications Arising”. You are allowed 500 words to make your case, and one graphic.

        And in contrast to your puerile claims, they are PEER-REVIEWED by three reviewers, who in my case at least did their job strongly and well.

        So you can take your nasty untrue attacks and stuff them where the sun don’t shine.

        When you boys get “Brief Communications Arising” or anything peer-reviewed and published in Nature, get back to me. Until then, my suggestion would be to do your homework before lashing out at someone. That way you won’t end up looking as blindly vindictive as you do now ….

        w.

      • Eschenbach says: “what I wrote was NOT a comment.” If it was not a comment, what was it? Was it a scientific paper with a unique hypothesis? NOPE. Was it reporting on new data collected via some experiment? NOPE.
        .
        .
        .
        It referenced a published article. In Eschenbach’s comment he writes, “These climate changes therefore have no correlation with either lake temperature or productivity, so it cannot be inferred from their data that climate change is the cause of the productivity decline.”

        What was he talking about?
        ..
        The conclusions of the article he was commenting on.
        ..
        Too bad Willis, your own words are an indictment.

      • engarpia@gmail.com March 4, 2017 at 11:17 am

        Eschenbach says: “what I wrote was NOT a comment.” If it was not a comment, what was it? Was it a scientific paper with a unique hypothesis? NOPE. Was it reporting on new data collected via some experiment? NOPE.
        .
        .
        .
        It referenced a published article. In Eschenbach’s comment he writes, “These climate changes therefore have no correlation with either lake temperature or productivity, so it cannot be inferred from their data that climate change is the cause of the productivity decline.”

        What was he talking about?
        ..
        The conclusions of the article he was commenting on.
        ..
        Too bad Willis, your own words are an indictment.

        You ask. “If it was not a comment, what was it?”

        Perhaps your reading skills are the problem, because I told you quite clearly upthread that it was a peer-reviewed “Brief Communication Arising”. LOOK IT UP, FOOL! It is neither a “comment” nor a “letter to the editor”.

        If you ever do learn to read, you can read all about what the rules are for writing a “Brief Communications Arising”. Nature magazine describes it in detail in their “Guidelines for Authors”. You could write one yourself … well, you could if you weren’t a clueless random anonymous internet popup who is too ashamed of his own words to sign them … of course, first you’ll need to bring your reading skills up to say the level of a high school graduate … but I think you can do it.

        Get back to us once your contribution is peer-reviewed and accepted … if my experience was any guide that will be in a few months after a few back-and-forths with the peer reviewers. Let us know how it went for you.

        engarpia, your unbridled envy seems to have crowded out all your other brain functions. This sour grapes expedition that you are engaged in just makes people point and laugh … you have a couple of choices here.

        When people CAN find actual flaws in my scientific work, they point them out.

        When people CAN’T find actual flaws in my scientific work, they bitch and whine about things like my education, or my piece in Nature magazine, and people laugh at them for their dumb ad hominem attacks.

        Your choice …

        w.

      • Eschenbach, you can pound your chest all you want, your comment that was published was to challenge the conclusions of the referenced article.
        ..
        ..
        Needless to say, the authors of the original article you were commenting on totally wiped you out with their rebuttal. So I won’t have to tell you about all of the flaws in the comment you had published, as the original authors did a great job of that.

      • Your attempt at denigrating Wilis merely affirmed he was stating the case correctly initially and you were in error during your entire attempt to discredit him.

        In short, you proved yourself wrong.

      • engarpia@gmail.com March 3, 2017 at 6:27 pm

        PS…..all of the stuff in Energy and Environment is notably a “junk” journal…
        ..
        ..
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_%26_Environment#Criticism

        Ah, yes, the tired refrain from folks that can’t find any scientific problems with someone’s work … “It’s wrong, because it was published somewhere I don’t approve of”.

        engarpia, someday you’ll get past the evasions and the ad hominems and come to grips with the fact that they only thing that matters in science is whether the scientific claims are true and valid or not.

        It doesn’t matter where I published it. My level of education is immaterial. My race, my sex, my age, all that kind of stuff is just fluff that you are trying to confuse people with. Those things make zero difference.

        The only useful scientific question is, is my work good?

        Since it appears that you are incapable of finding any scientific problems with my work, you are going down the familiar ad hominem path, attacking where my work was published, and who published it, and whether I am a good person in your eyes, and the usual childish crap that people like you put out because you are unable to raise a single scientific objection.

        You do know that this all just makes you look petty and vindictive, I hope. I’d hate to see you believing that anyone’s opinion of you is improved by your kind of petty, puerile, envious sour-grapes rant … my advice to you would be to quit while you are behind. You are not helping yourself, stop digging.

        w.

      • Authors replying to a communication arising is not the same process as peer-review:

        http://www.nature.com/nature/authors/gta/commsarising.html#a5

        5. Procedures

        Brief Communications Arising submissions that meet Nature’s initial selection criteria are sent to the authors of the original paper for a formal response. The original authors are given a deadline of 10 days to respond. The criticism and formal reply may then be sent to independent referees.

        Reply from the Nature authors. This Reply is not a referee’s report, but is helpful to the editors and referees in making a decision about publication of the comment and/or a reply. The responders are defined as the authors of the published contribution that is the subject of the comment, and no one else.

        Replying authors must keep the comment confidential and must not use it for their own research or for any other purpose apart from replying to the comment, nor can they distribute it without first obtaining Nature’s permission.

        If the Nature authors do not respond within 10 days of receipt of the comment, the editor will proceed without the response. Late Replies may not be considered for publication.

        Replies are published only when they add to the debate, and not when they reiterate points already published. They should not contain new data, but be confined to replying to the specific issue raised about the published paper.

        The permitted word limit for Replies is shorter (up to 500 words) than for the critical Brief Communication Arising, because the replying authors have already had the opportunity to publish their views in our pages.

        Presentation of new data and of Supplementary Information is not permitted in Replies.

        Authors of Brief Communications Arising will be shown the initial Reply from the Nature authors once a decision is reached on publication. In the event that the exchange is accepted for publication, they will see a proof of their own contribution but not of the finalized reply (if a reply is being published). Responders will see a proof of the whole exchange but are allowed to change only typographical errors.

      • Eschenbach asks: ” is my work good?”
        ..
        Since the bulk of your “work” is mainly blog posts, the answer is apparently your work sucks. How about doing something “original”
        ..
        PS….the impact factor of E&E is dismal

      • Gloateus Maximus March 4, 2017 at 12:01 pm

        Here is another link showing the differences among Articles, Letters and Brief Communications Arising:

        http://www.nature.com/nature/authors/gta/2a_Manuscript_formatting.pdf

        Who were your peer-reviewers? The authors of the paper about which you briefly communicated, fact-checking?

        They were NOT the authors of the paper, as the authors were allowed a separate rebuttal which I assume was also peer-reviewed.

        It was a standard peer-review, and beyond that I know nothing … it’s called “anonymous peer-review” for a reason.

        w.

      • Engarpia,

        While Willis’ claiming peer review for his comment isn’t quite as egregious as Mann’s claiming a Nobel Prize, it’s clear to me that the process of asking authors to respond to comments arising from their articles is not the same as peer review of an original paper, as shown by Nature’s own published rules and definitions.

      • engarpia@gmail.com March 4, 2017 at 12:14 pm Edit

        I like Spencer’s assessment of your “work” : http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/citizen-scientist-willis-and-the-cloud-radiative-effect/

        Perhaps you, like Dr. Roy, did not notice that his claim that I had ignored previous work was a pile of crap. Perhaps you, like Dr. Roy, didn’t understand the difference between Ramanathan’s work and my own work.

        My response to Dr. Roy going temporarily off the rails is here. I leave it to the reader to decide which of us is correct.

        And engarpia, grow up … your blind childish opposition is not doing your reputation any favors.

        w.

      • Willis Eschenbach
        March 4, 2017 at 12:16 pm

        Maybe the rules were different in 2004, but now they say you should have been shown the draft of the author’s reply, before being corrected for publication.

        The rules for communications arising say nothing of autonomous peer review, but as in my first comment, the editors might have asked a specialist referee to comment on the validity of any technical matters cited by you.

        Maybe three anonymous referees were consulted, but that’s still not the same as peer review of an original paper.

      • Gloateous, I’m not disparaging the “peer review” aspect of this discussion. What Eschenbach writes, “Engarpia, a “Brief Communications Arising” in Nature is not a comment” is flat wrong. He wrote a comment, and he is trying to claim it is not a comment.

      • Engarpia,

        Yes. My copied link at 12:05 above makes it clear that Nature considers a brief communication arising from an article indeed to be a “comment”. It uses that term repeatedly to refer to a BCA.

      • engarpia@gmail.com:

        ” heretical climate scientists like myself ” … The problem is Mr Eschenbach, you are not a climate scientist. Please don’t confuse an amateur-wanna-be with a real scientist.

        Eschenbach asks: ” is my work good?”
        ..
        Since the bulk of your “work” is mainly blog posts, the answer is apparently your work sucks. How about doing something “original”

        Boy, you are indeed dumber than a bag of ball bearings. You think that the truth of a piece of my scientific work can be judged solely based on where it was published … which is as stupid as claiming that “E=MC2” would be untrue if it were published as a blog post.

        Look, engarpia, you’ve proven you can’t find scientific problems with my work. In response to that frustration, you’re engaged in a giant wankathon to demonstrate how badly you misunderstand the process of science. If you want to show I’m wrong in my scientific claims, I’m happy to discuss it with you.

        But whining about where I published my results is a childish misunderstanding of an adult endeavor.

        w.

      • Eschenbach writes: “Boy, you are indeed dumber than a bag of ball bearings.”

        With comments like that, it’s understandable why respectful scientists shun you. Maybe if you grew up, and acted more like an adult you’d get more respect.

      • Gloateus Maximus March 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm

        Engarpia,

        While Willis’ claiming peer review for his comment isn’t quite as egregious as Mann’s claiming a Nobel Prize, it’s clear to me that the process of asking authors to respond to comments arising from their articles is not the same as peer review of an original paper, as shown by Nature’s own published rules and definitions.

        That part is clear to me, too … what is not clear to me is why everyone is suddenly unable to read. From the quotation that YOU PROVIDED:

        The criticism and formal reply may then be sent to independent referees.

        In my case, they were indeed sent to independent referees, who were quite complete and thorough in their review of the document.

        So you can stuff your dumb comment up your aspidistra, it’s no good here.

        Geez, guys, your noxious hatred of me is choking out your neurons … LEARN TO READ!

        Plus which, some day y’all are going to notice that I TELL THE TRUTH AS BEST I KNOW HOW. Despite all of you charming folks slavering at the mouth and howling at the moon, not one damn thing that I have said about my Brief Communications Arising has been shown to be inaccurate in the slightest.

        Instead, you’ve all ended up with egg on your faces, looking like vindictive pricks who haven’t even read what you posted … you sure you want to go further down this path?

        w.

      • Another example of a childish posting: “So you can stuff your dumb comment up your aspidistra”

      • Willis Eschenbach
        March 4, 2017 at 12:40 pm

        If I were able to read the authors’ reply to your comment, I’d probably still be inclined to agree with you.

        But when it comes to egg on the face, any objective reader here would see nothing but yolk and white all over yours.

        A comment replying to an article isn’t a peer-reviewed paper. Your d*nial that your comment was a comment is delusional, as Nature makes it plain that it was. You asked us to look up “brief communication arising” and indeed it is a comment, contrary to your assertion.

        You look like an unhinged egomaniacal wannabe suffering from an inferiority complex, trying to puff up his credentials, when all you need have said was that you practice the scientific method, unlike consensus “climate scientists”. What matters is whether you can support your position, not whether you make a living as a scientist or have a PhD in atmospheric physics. A comment in Nature doesn’t make you a scientist.

        The paper by you and a coauthor which I did read however left out a key requirement of the standard scientific article format, which you acknowledged, ie the literature search. You did the same in the paper with which Dr. Spencer found fault, for the very reason of not having included a section on previous work along the same lines, showing how your alleged original idea differs from your predecessors’ work.

      • engarpia, the problem for the alarmist team is that none of them are worthy of the name “scientist”.

        To use your own words please don’t confuse what alarmists are doing with real science.

    • Willis,
      I think that you fit nicely into your “alternative climate scientists” category. I think that one could add another ‘species’ to the left of your list: fanatical zealot.

  43. Man-made climate change happens. Man-made climate change kills a lot of people. It’s going to kill a lot more. We have laws on the books to punish anyone whose lies contribute to people’s deaths. It’s time to punish the climate-change liars.

    call the demons. ..

    • Johann Wundersamer March 3, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      Man-made climate change happens. Man-made climate change kills a lot of people.

      That is total and complete BS. Point us to even one corpse of an individual that you can show was killed by “man-made climate change”.

      w.

  44. Hang on. You can’t compare “denier” with “alarmist” as if they are equal but opposite.

    “Denier” has no use in science. In science you don’t “deny” supposedly obvious truths, you disagree with a common opinion. Your disagreement might be so unreasonable as to be insane, but still, until this terrible hoax took root, scientists did not call each other by such appalling names.

    “Alarmist”, however, is simply an accurate statement of fact. They raise an alarm and are so wedded to it that it becomes a part of their self-identity – hence the “-ist”. Yes, this contains a value judgement, but a quite reasonable one, given that some alarmists set air conditioners to hot on a sweltering day to get the correct verdict out of (admittedly yes, easily fooled) politicians. That’s not a disinterested search for truth.

    • Denier of course has a place in science. If you deny the law of gravity what am I justified in calling you?
      denier fits.

      Alarmist on the other hand cannot be so easily decided. It refers to risk and that is much more squishy than simple denial.

      If You deny that C02 is a ghg, then you’re a denier

      Now. it doesnt help to call people deniers, but in some cases the shoe fits.

      • The argument isn’t whether co2 is a ghg, it whether it has an effect on climate. You’ve packaged this up so that warming and co2 are the same. It has warmed slightly, the cause however is not co2. You know when Al Gore gave his speech, he left out the fact that co2 lagged temperature by 800 years. If you disagree with that, tell me what you base that on. Surely not the ice core samples from Valdosta. The 800 year lag was an in convient truth. More recently, in the last 60 years co2 ppm per year track temperature anomolies. The rise in ppm per year should not only be consistent but rising. Thats not happening. The sinks should be getting less and the production is ever increasing. Last year was a surprise to me as I thought that the ppm should have been 5 to 8 ppm, instead it was 3.
        You need to wake up Steve.

  45. The current Court case against Greenpeace wherein they use as a defence: their condemnations… “do not hew to strict literalism or scientific precision,”… their accusations were “hyperbole,” “heated rhetoric,” and “non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion” that should not be taken “literally”.

    The contribution of Mankind, by whatever means, to the warming of the climate over the last 150 years as a proportion of the total cannot be identified distinct from natural warming.

    That suggests it is so small as to be insignificant.

    So Greenpeace has unwittingly described the Climate Change Doom-mongers:- in the absence of any strict scientific precision they resort to hyperbole, heated rhetoric, non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion – so we should take their advice and not take them literally, or for that matter seriously.

  46. We are looking at a very ancient method of political and social control.

    In ancient times the ruling class funded an intellectual class of priests who told the masses why they had to sacrifice to and obey the ruling class. This often took the form of bringing about good weather. Failure to do so created bad weather. It would be backed up with various tricks that could be preformed by understanding the natural world to some degree greater than the masses.

    Today we have government funded climate scientists who tell us we have to pay more taxes, cut back our lifestyles, and obey the government and those who influence/control it.

    So it is to be expected that those who do not go along with this be labeled heretics in some fashion. “climate change deniers” fits this role.

    It doesn’t matter if human actions are changing the climate or not. It’s a religious/political condition now and the facts are irrelevant, only belief, faith, and authority matters.

  47. Granted. The creatures crawling out of the dry swamp will be so diverse one label won’t do them justice. Many here already pay attention to name each one specifically.

    This is the right approach on the condition that POTUS refrains from calling them out with a poll – irrespective of past deplorable example. It wouldn’t be only counterproductive, but much worse: inhumane.

  48. Calling climate change sceptics “climate change deniers” is stupid for a very simple reason:
    A major sceptical argument is that the climate is always changing.
    Ironically it’s the hockey stick that symbolises climate change denial.

  49. You need a short, sweet label to identify one side from the other in a debate. Alarmist would fit that bill but you could say it is a little perjorative. Warmist might be a little better. I prefer alarmist because they are always sounding an alarm about the weather.

    The other side should be called Skeptics. That is the perfect description. They are skeptical that the science is settled. Until proof is provided, they will remain skeptical.

    The reason Skeptics are referred to by other perjorative names is to diminish their opinions.

    Namecalling or no namecalling, it doesn’t change the facts, or lack thereof.

  50. Addressing the tendency to engage in name-calling and pejorative labeling is fine, but it does not resolve real issues, including the scramble for funding and an execrable tendency to try to criminalize anyone who does have an opinion that threatens someone’s grant money, as you’ve already shown in your article about Jagadish Shukla trying to persuade then-AG Lynch to prosecute ‘climate deniers’ under the RICO Act.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/05/17/shuklas-emails-tell-a-very-different-story-about-how-ny-ags-rico-campaign-started-off/

    As you may know, Shukla conned 19 other people in the field into signing his petition and has himself been investigated for it. I wrote an article about this and similar occurrences on another blog.

    You know as well as I do that the entire narrow focus is on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels as the lead cause of climate WHATEVER. It completely ignores other factors, all of them being normal geophysical processes that are part of this planet’s methods of keeping itself habitable and balanced, ignores any possible solar influence or even slight changes in the direction of the recessional tilt that gives us our seasons. I can make a list as long as your arm of geophysical processes that have an influence on ocean temperature and pollution, and none of them are generated by humans. They are ALL natural processes of the planet itself.

    A habitable planet, as any planetary scientist or astronomer looking for habitable worlds will tell you, is one like ours. WE have absolutely NO control – ZERO control – over what this planet does. it can get rid of us humans in the blink of a geological eye, as it did with the big dinosaurs, and leave behind our less smart cousins, the ring-tailed lemurs, plus some frogs and catfish.

    The ongoing squabbling over this notion that we puny humans can do anything much more than call each other names because ‘CLIMATE CHANGE!!’ is utterly ridiculous. The best we can do is clean up the messes we’re making, and there are plenty of those to clean up.

    There seems to be a vast chasm of misunderstanding about the difference between climate and weather. When someone clears up that misunderstanding and finds a way to clamp down on intentionally fraudulent research results that generate cash flow to the greedy, please let me know.

  51. Quite a long and detailed article. A couple of key points that are not mentioned and thus by this omission renders the proposed arguments questionable.

    The first omission is that the only countries in the world debating climate change are the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. Second point is that the doubt cast on climate change originated with and is supported by those with a vested interest in the fossil fuel industry and the media elite. The elite of the mainstream media are particularly heinous as they have been manufacturing consent by giving climate deniers equal time in their press as climate scientists have received. The media elites call this balanced reporting when in fact it has never been balanced as 97 out of 100 scientists point to human caused climate change due principally to the CO2 emissions of fossil fuel burning and deforestation. Balanced reporting in simplistic terms would result in 97 articles reporting climate change for every 3 articles of doubt. That point alone changes the entire basis of this article.

    The science of CO2 and its role in the atmosphere is not difficult to understand and is indeed high school level chemistry so the notion that climate change science is too complex for the average person is false.

    As for all the name calling and derogatory comments we only have to look at Trump and his administration as the most obvious example of some of the pervasive hatred and division that exists in the US.

    • “As for all the name calling and derogatory comments we only have to look at Trump and his administration as the most obvious example of some of the pervasive hatred and division that exists in the US.”

      No, it’s the Left who are the haters, not the Right. The Left accuses the Right of every evil under the sun, but if you look at things realistically, you see, it is the Left who practices evil as a means of forwarding their ideology. Everything is fair game to the Left and the truth is the first thing to be discarded.

      The Left deals with things emotionally and yells and screams when things don’t go their way. The Right does nothing of the sort.

      It is the Left that turns out in the streets and destroys things and tries to intimidate its political opponents. The Right does nothing of the sort.

      The Left always goes for attempted character assasination of political oponents. That’s because they have nothing positive to offer, so they try to bully their way to the top instead.

      Trump is going to out-bully these bullies. Expect a lot of ineffective screaming from the Left.

      • Not quite, TA. While the leftists are currently the noisy ones, devout rightists can be every bit as shallow and hateful as a leftist. My ex was a Randite turned Scientologist, and could be very shallow and malevolent.
        My family has or had Communists and Birchers, and the quality of invective was about equal.

    • You are a newbie right? Only a newbie would try to use what has been thoroughly discredited 97% and use it incorrectly. And only a newbie would not realize it is more than just the English speaking world debating it (at least google Vaclav Havel!).

      Learn something about the subject and then come back and try again.

  52. Its in the Oxford dictionary:
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/climate_denier

    Where ‘denier’ is defined as:
    A person who denies something, especially someone who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence.

    e.g
    ‘a prominent denier of global warming’
    ‘a climate change denier’

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/denier

    I think that definition fits those to whom it is applied ‘someone who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence’

    • Playing dumb? The intent of those who use the term is to evoke “holocaust d e n ier”, malevolent fantasists.

  53. Ultimately, it does not matter who wrote what where, If the work is valid, that is the only criteria. Does it stand up to scrutiny and/or replication? It is irrelevant who it came from and where.

Comments are closed.