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Climate Science: A Problem of Tyranny
The skeptics' position | Official Science's attitude to climate skeptics | Arm yourself with the Skeptics' Handbook |
Arm yourself with the science | Debunk the debunkers | Answer the key CO2 issue | "Consensus says" | But skeptics say

A personal statement of the "climate skeptic" position
We maintain that the hypothesis of harmful Anthropogenic Global Warming, as currently handled by the IPCC, Al Gore, James Hansen, the RealClimate website, nearly all of the top scientific organizations, and most of the media, is a travesty of Science. We are aware that the warming that has happened recently is well within the range of natural causes. We maintain that many of the temperature records, as presented to the public, are highly questionable. We maintain that carbon dioxide is virtually incapable of warming the planet any further, is not even remotely capable of approaching dangerous "pollutant" levels, is absolutely essential to the existence of all plant life, and in its current minor increase, is beneficial to all plants. We appreciate that it is difficult to imagine that such a deeply mistaken scientific hypothesis could have arisen. We maintain that the evidence, which is multidisciplinary, multifaceted, nuanced, complex, and accumulating, is totally on our side, when put in context. We seek to demonstrate this evidence in its true context, and debate with courtesy. We strenuously maintain the need for complete transparency, and availability for public checking of both data and methodology, in all science issues of political concern. We maintain that we have been suppressed and misrepresented in the scientific journals, and that there are not enough scientifically-trained reporters or politicians to appreciate the onesidedness of the picture with which they have been presented by official Science. We maintain that Science is too important to be allowed to continue its one-sided representations without allowing climate skeptic minorities to speak for themselves and choose how they want to pass their messages to the public. We maintain that official Science has done nothing while iniquitous means have been employed to discredit sceptical minorities and gag the opposition. We therefore have to cope with tarred images and face highly prejudiced attitudes, before we can even address the real scientific issues. Our funding to do this is only the tiniest fraction of the funding available to mainstream Science.

Common attitudes in official Science towards climate skeptics:
Here are common "warmist" perceptions of the skeptics whom they often call "denialists":

  1. sceptics are not peer-reviewed climate scientists, therefore they have not earned the right to speak about Climate Science with authority;
  2. their followers are old people who don't want to believe that their lives have been built on an unsustainable model;
  3. true scientists are frustrated at the tactics of the sceptics;
  4. sceptics are associated with right-wing US politics;
  5. sceptics don't want to give up their freedoms, and this is why they deny the science;
  6. sceptic "science" is cherry-picked, twisted and misstated to form a false impression of uncertainty (or certainty that whatever heating there is, is not caused by CO2); they harp on about long-discredited theories and the Medieval Warm Period;
  7. the IPCC is the voice of reason and there's good reason to believe it's conservative in its projections of warming;
  8. there's a conspiracy to suppress the truth; it invariably fails to address or explain the data;
  9. sceptics use fake experts: lots of big names are the same hacks for the tobacco companies, others are scientists who are wrongly included because they said something that was quoted out of context, others simply have no credibility as experts on climate like TV weathermen;
  10. sceptics move the goalposts;
  11. sceptics have impossible expectations – they refuse to accept when their challenges to the science have been addressed - every time you think you've satisfied a challenge, they just invent a new one;
  12. sceptics use ad hominem arguments: Al Gore is fat! His house uses lots of energy!

Can one effectively counter such claims by getting to the heart of the matter and the science with clear, simple facts and arguments? Jo Nova says Yes!... in her
Skeptics Handbook

“What evidence is there that more CO2 forces temperatures up further? The climate is complex, but the only thing that matters here is whether adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will make the world much warmer. Everything hinges on this one question. Having a real debate IS the best thing for the environment. Don’t let people confuse global warming with greenhouse gases. Proof of global warming is not proof that greenhouse gases caused that warming.”

Can one readily grasp the basic science that shows the official position is untenable - that humankind's CO2 emissions are not causing catastrophic warming? Professor Bob Carter says Yes. Watch the video parts one, two, three and four.

There is no evidence that late twentieth century temperatures or rates of change were exceptional in a historical context; and the world has not warmed since 1998. If you think this is too simple to be true; if you think it impossible that so many people could have been fooled over such a simple issue, GO CHECK THIS FOR YOURSELF.

My whole Primer is written to enable you to reclaim your power by understanding Climate Science.

Can one "debunk the debunkers" in sufficient details if one needs to, to show there is no trace of "denial" (in our position at least)? Can one show that the skeptical knowledge base is scientific and is not just "cherrypicked"?

Skeptical Science gives strawman "what the skeptics say" and then gives "answers". It has published a Scientific Guide to Global Warming Skepticism, however, several skeptics have answered its claims:Lubos Motl, here (refutes each issue briefly) here (answers the unholy c**p about photosynthesis) and here (bad sensitivity science); Climate Views, Joanne Nova (several articles), or John Kehr who joined a discussion there: "[My] comment [perfectly courteous, simple science] has been removed from their website. I find it disturbing, but unsurprising that when someone used science to refute the evidence they brought to the table, they respond by attempting to silence the opposition." See Kehr also here here here here; Steve Goddard one two three four five six seven.

Can one prove the key CO2 "forcing" issues? George White says YES! in his CO2 Forcing: Fact or Fiction (powerpoint)

What evidence is there that more CO2 forces temperatures up further? None in the ice core records; none in the science of radiative physics; none anywhere. Learn about the geological record which gives the clearest and strongest evidence for greater, and faster, temperature changes in the past. Learn that Climate Change has always existed and will always exist. Learn that our contribution is scarcely measurable.

Scientists have trumpeted these as "well-proven and well-known":

  • our CO2 emissions are seriously accumulating in the atmosphere, raising CO2 levels;
  • this is proven by the changing 12C - 13C carbon isotope ratio;
  • the GHG power of these CO2 emissions is real...
  • ...and is amplified by water vapour to dangerous levels;
  • this must be the cause of recent global warming because the sun's change is too small;
  • scientists have reached consensus and no reasonable peer-reviewed scientist disagrees;
  • so if we don't stop emitting CO2, global warming will rise to levels dangerous for the survival of life on earth

But Climate Skeptics note the evidence which says:

  • Temperatures have always gone up and down; there is perfectly valid evidence that temperatures were higher than now in the Medieval Warm Period, and even higher in earlier periods, the Roman and Holocene Warm Periods;
  • As to rate of change of temperature, both the Central England Temperature record, and the ice core records, show times when the rate of change was faster than during the 1970-2000 period of warming;
  • Serious problems exist with the temperature records: neglected effect of Urban Heat Islands, many serious station problems, loss of rural stations, uncheckable "corrections" to the data; it is doubtful if there has been any significant global warming in the last decade;
  • Worse problems exist with the paleoclimate proxy records: highly unsuitable proxies, suspect calibration, inadequate samples, prejudicial statistical methods, unavailable data and methodolody, and the corruption and malfeasance exposed by Climategate;
  • CO2: Geological and stomata records of CO2 show levels as high as, or higher than today; before 1950 there is no certainty of CO2 levels because ice core CO2 levels are suspect; the claim that CO2 rise drives temperature rise, is not evidenced anywhere; recent records and ice cores both suggest the opposite, ie CO2 lagging temperatures;
  • CO2 as greenhouse gas: even the IPCC figures show that CO2 alone cannot produce dangerous warming if its level continues to rise: the "dangerous" effect would only happen if CO2 increase also caused water vapour to increase to amplify the greenhouse effect of CO2; however it is only climate models that suggest this would happen
  • Water vapour: there is no evidence of feedback in the real world, despite the climate models' insistence; water vapour actually decreases at critical levels as CO2 increases;
  • Water and water vapour in all their many forms have many "negative feedback" mechanisms like tropical storms, that cool excess solar heating; this is also sheer commonsense;
  • Basic science has been forgotten: What about Henry's Law causing oceans to absorb 49/50th of all CO2, and to outgas as temperature rises? What about plants needing CO2 to grow, and benefiting from extra CO2?
  • Carbon isotopes: There are natural reasons for the 12C/13C balance change in CO2;
  • "Environmental problems" - the "alarming effects" reported, like increased tornadoes and sea level rise, polar bear and Arctic ice loss, are all lies and misrepresentations; moreover warmth is, historically, far more beneficial than cold.
  • There is perfectly adequate evidence that it's the Sun: Total Solar Irradiance is insufficient in itself, but there is still correlation, suggesting either unrecognized amplifying factors or an unrecognized cause of both.
  • Climate skeptics have been marginalized, gagged, threatened, slandered, impoverished, and misrepresented, often but not always deliberately, in ways that ordinary folk have no idea about, though since Climategate, more and more people are realizing that this is the case; the reverse is not the case.

*straw man argument: First, state "this is what xxx say" but state what is out of date, or only a part of the issue, or a misrepresentation, "cherry-picking" etc. Then procede to demolish it. Easy. xxx then look gullible, unscientific, in a tiny minority, in denial, in the pay of exxxx, and totally untrustworthy. When, as AGW websites do, multiple arguments "debunking" skeptics are piled up together, it takes some effort / courage / idiocy to actually check the skeptics to see if they have been fairly represented.

updated 5th February 2011

I'm open to further updating if you let me know. I hope eventually this will get transferred to a wiki. My first MediaWiki attempt, Neutralpedia, disappeared (it was hosted by someone else). My second slumbers like the Sleeping Beauty.



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