Silencing the Scientists: the Rise of Right-wing Populism

2011•03•02 Clive Hamilton Australian National University

Last month, Americans were shocked at the attempted murder of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the killing of six bystanders. The local County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik captured the immediate assessment of many when he linked the attempted murder to the rise of violent anti-government rhetoric and imagery, observing, “The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous.”

When asked if the Congresswoman had any enemies her father replied: “Yeah. The whole Tea Party”. Many, including Giffords herself, had had a premonition that the inflammatory language of radical right-wing activists would sooner or later find real expression.

The same hate-filled rhetoric that created the circumstances in which Gabrielle Giffords was gunned down also stokes ferocious attacks on climate scientists and environmentalists in the United States. Debunking climate science is official policy at Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News; a leaked memo from management has instructed reporters to always cast doubt on data reporting global temperature increases.

Some of the bitterest attacks on climate scientists are made by commentators employed by Fox News. Fox ranters Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity often ridicule climate science. Glenn Beck calls global warming “the greatest scam in history” and gives air-time to Christopher Monckton to attack the work of climate scientists as fraudulent with his unique blend of statistical gobbledegook, invented “facts” and off-the-planet conspiracy theories. The network sometimes features Steve Milloy, an energy lobbyist who ran the The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, a front group initially devoted to denying the link between smoking and cancer. As James Hoggan points out in his book Climate Cover-Up, Milloy is introduced as an expert on “junk science”, meaning climate science.

Another Fox regular is Marc Morano, the former aide to Republican Senator James Inhofe, founder of the most malicious anti-science blog, and the man who said climate scientists deserve to be publicly flogged. Last April on Fox News, Morano launched a virulent attack on Professor Michael Mann of Penn State University, calling him a “charlatan” and responsible for “the best science that politics can manufacture”. When Morano singles out a climate scientist for attack on his website he includes their e-mail addresses and invites his followers to “get in touch”. Many of them do.

Cyber-bullies

Last year I wrote a series of articles detailing how Australia’s most distinguished climate scientists have become the target of a new form of cyber-bullying aimed at driving them out of the public domain. Each time they enter the public debate through a newspaper article or radio interview they are immediately subjected to a torrent of aggressive, abusive and, at times, threatening e-mails. I have spoken to Australian climate scientists who have upgraded security at their homes because of threats from climate deniers.

The exposé of cyber-bullying was immediately picked up in the United States where the phenomenon is even worse. Scientific American gave it prominence and, in Britain, Nature did too, and many more stories of intimidation emerged into the light of day. Several scientists confirm that the volume of abuse reached a peak in the months after the Climategate story broke in November 2009.

Dr Kevin Trenberth, head of analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, turned over to university security 19 pages of “extremely foul, nasty, [and] abusive” e-mails collected in the four months after the Climategate storm broke.  Another prominent climate scientist had a dead animal dumped on his doorstep and now travels with body-guards.

Debunking climate science is official policy at Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News; a leaked memo from management has instructed reporters to always cast doubt on data reporting global temperature increases.

Stephen Schneider, an eminent climatologist at Stanford University who died a few months ago, said last year that he had received hundreds of threatening e-mails. Exasperated he asked: “What do I do? Learn to shoot a magnum? Wear a bullet-proof jacket?” He believed that a scientist would be killed, adding: “They shoot abortion doctors here”. They shoot Congresswomen too. When his name appeared on a neo-Nazi “death list”, alongside other climate scientists with apparent Jewish ancestry, the police were called in. Schneider said he had observed an “immediate, noticeable rise” in e-mails whenever climate scientists were attacked by prominent right-wing US commentators.

Paul Ehrlich was quoted in Nature saying: “Everyone is scared shitless, but they don’t know what to do”.  The story noted that the bullying and threats intensify after anti-climate science rants from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Marc Morano and Steve Milloy. Except Limbaugh, they are all either employed by Fox News or appear often on the network.

Michael Mann of “hockey stick” fame said the same about the hate mail he had received: “I’m not comfortable talking about the details, especially as some of these matters remain under police investigation,” he said. “What I can say is that the e-mails come in bursts, and do seem to be timed with high-profile attack pieces on talk radio and other fringe media outlets.”

The most influential “fringe media outlet” vilifying scientists is Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News. Cyber-bullies and Fox demagogues are not the only ones out to punish Mann for his work. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has attempted to use state fraud laws to force the University of Virginia to release huge volumes of documents and correspondence in an attempt to show malfeasance by Mann when he was employed by that university (he is now at Penn State). Cuccinelli claims that Mann had defrauded taxpayers in seeking grants for his research, but had no evidence to convince the court to grant subpoenas. A lawyer for the American Association of University Professors has said that Cuccinelli’s suit has “echoes of McCarthyism” and will deter others from undertaking climate research.

Official harassment

The campaign of harassment against scientists took a sinister turn last year when Oklahoma Republican Senator James Inhofe called for some of the world’s most eminent climate scientists to be investigated for criminal violations. A document prepared by his staff on the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works claims scientists mentioned in e-mails stolen from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia are guilty of manipulating data and obstructing its release. It lists federal laws they may have violated and names 17 climate scientists whom Inhofe claims should be investigated for possible criminal prosecution.

One of those listed, Raymond Bradley, the director of climate science research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, responded: “I am worried about it, I have to say. You can understand that this powerful person is using the power of his office to intimidate people and to harass people and you wonder whether you should have legal counsel. It is a very intimidating thing and that is the point.”

The accusation of criminality against leading climate scientists takes the denialist campaign of harassment and intimidation to new depths, and immediately conjures up images of McCarthyism. In November 2009, Inhofe’s fellow Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin wrote to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) demanding that scientists whose names appear in the stolen CRU e-mails be blacklisted from all further work with the IPCC.

According to Scientific American, deniers in Congress have used their offices to send “intimidating letters” threatening dire consequences to scientists working on climate change. One of the recipients, NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt, said: “That is chilling the work of science in the agencies. It’s certainly very off-putting for scientists who want to talk about their stuff in public but fear the political consequences. Nobody wants to create an enemy on the hill.”

In an editorial last March on cyber-bullying, Nature reported on Senator Inhofe’s attempts to criminalise climate scientists before commenting: “As a member of the minority party, Inhofe is powerless for now, but that may one day change.” That day came last November with the mid-term elections in which the Republicans, powered by a surge of support for the Tea Party, won a majority in the House of Representatives. Before the election Climate Progress noted that “every single GOP [Republican] Senate candidate now either denies climate science or opposes even the most moderate, business friendly, Republican-designed approach to reducing emissions”.

With the elections, both houses saw a flood of new representatives who are climate deniers. “Of the freshmen Republicans … 36 of 85 in the House and 11 of 13 in the Senate have publicly questioned the science.” McCarthyite congressman James Sensenbrenner is now the deputy chair of the House Science Committee, which plans to investigate the veracity of climate science.

“I personally believe that the solar flares are more responsible for climatic cycles than anything that human beings do,” Sensenbrenner said, as if the role of solar flares were a matter of personal belief and had not been thoroughly investigated by climate scientists. Suddenly Senator Inhofe appears less isolated and fanatical.

A series of inquiries has exonerated the scientists whose e-mails were stolen, and affirmed that there is nothing in them to undermine the science. If you read them, what the hacked UEA e-mails reveal is the enormous external pressure climate scientists work under. They show they have constantly been accused of being frauds and cheats; their work has been twisted and misrepresented; and they have been bombarded with vexatious freedom-of-information requests orchestrated by denialists.

“It’s certainly very off-putting for scientists who want to talk about their stuff in public but fear the political consequences.”

NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt

In short, they were caught up in a hot political debate that they did not really understand or want to be part of, yet they were the target of savvy, secretive and ruthless organisations ready to pounce on anything they said or wrote. This is the real story of Climategate. Instead, the scientists in question have seen their professional reputations trashed in the world’s media for no cause. After the media storm and a series of death threats, the head of the Climatic Research Unit Dr Phil Jones was driven to the point of suicide.

Moves are underway to suppress the dissemination of climate science. Last year the South Dakota legislature passed a resolution calling for “balanced teaching of global warming in the public schools of South Dakota”, the type of resolution that now sees creationism taught alongside evolution in some states. The draft resolution noted that the climate is affected by “a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological and ecological dynamics”. The inclusion of “astrological” and “thermological” effects suggests a woeful understanding of science.

Last February the Utah House of Representatives passed a resolution rejecting climate science. One supporter of the Bill said “environmentalists were part of a vast conspiracy to destroy the American way of life and control world population through forced sterilisation and abortion”. In January of this year a bill titled the Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act was put to the Oklahoma legislature that would require teachers to challenge theories including evolution, the chemical origins of life and global warming.

The culture war

In the United States there is now a deep divide between liberal and conservative voters in their beliefs about global warming. As is now well documented, the opening of this gulf was due to the fact that from the mid-1990s Republican Party activists, in collaboration with fossil fuel interests and conservative think tanks, had successfully associated acceptance of global warming science with “liberal” views.

That global warming has been made a battleground in the wider culture war is most apparent from the political and social views of those who reject climate science outright. Among those who dismiss climate science, 76 per cent describe themselves as “conservative” and only three per cent as “liberal” (with the rest “moderate”). They overwhelmingly oppose redistributive policies, programs to reduce poverty and regulation of business. They prefer to watch Fox News and listen to Rush Limbaugh.

Like those whose opinions they value — shock jocks and television demagogues — climate deniers are disproportionately older, white, male and conservative — those who feel their cultural identity most threatened by the implications of climate change. While the debate is superficially about the science, in truth it is about deep-rooted feelings of cultural identity. This makes deniers immune to argument, and their influence will wane only as they grow old and die.

Creative Commons License
Silencing the Scientists: the Rise of Right-wing Populism by Clive Hamilton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION BELOW

Author

Clive Hamilton

Charles Sturt Professor of Public Ethics Australian National University

Clive Hamilton is Charles Sturt Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics based at the Australian National University. He has held visiting academic positions at Yale University, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford. Professor Hamilton has published on a wide range of subjects but is best known for his books, a number of which have been best-sellers. His last book, titled Requiem for a Species: Why we resist the truth about climate change, was published by Earthscan and Allen & Unwin in 2010. His new book, Earthmasters: The dawn of the age of climate engineering, was published by Yale University Press and Allen & Unwin in February 2013.

Join the Discussion

  • John22

    How are we supposed to believe the Climate Science stuff when you start out lying about the guy who shot Rep. Gifford? He was a Left-Wing extremist, who wrote publicly how much he hated conservatives and George Bush.

    “According to MSNBC, the assailant was an unstable “left winged, (and) liberal” ideologue, according to friend Caitie Parker. “She Tweets: “As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy” and “well for the Bush/Kerry election we all wore ’1 term president’ buttons. That election was huge to us.” The assailant’s favorite books included the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf.

    According to relatives in Arizona the assailant was, “an atheist who is well know for his support of Global Warming causes and Al Gore”.”

    • http://www.ourworld.unu.edu/ Carol S

      Subtleties are lost on John22, it seems. The lead paragraph is not to me inferring Jared Loughner is a right-winger or a climate change denier, but is rather trying to make a point about the dangers of rabid anti-anything. However, hmm, a thought did just occur to me that the “stokers” of both the anti-govt atmosphere that may have lit Loughner and the anti-climate change science gang may indeed be the same.

      • GoFigureXXX

        “Anti-climate” ? The whole premise of the accusation of hatred by “anti-climate” people is based on the fact that anthropogenic global warming is a serious problem. There is no evidence of that. While it would be silly to believe that humanity does have some influence on almost anything, in the case of global warming, it’s been warmer, for longer, during the Medieval Warming Period. The warmists have no explanation for that – not even abloe to accuse humans. Read my google-doc, if interested. http://docs.google.com/View?id=ddrj9jjs_0fsv8n9gw

        • DataJack

          And you are wrong. What happened during the middle ages is not germane to this (and, incidently, we CAN explain it – just like we can explain the “little ice age”). In your paper, you say the rising temperatures “paused” at “around 1995″. That is an easily debunked lie (http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Temperature/).

          Facts:
          CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
          Greenhouse gasses do warm planets.
          We are pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere now than ever before.
          The last decade was the hottest decade on record
          Last year was the hottest single year on record (tied with 2005).
          Arctic ice is shrinking.

          All of these are facts.

          How much of a problem it will cause is the only thing still debatable. Right now, signs are looking like “quite a problem”.

          • SteveA

            CO2 is a greenhouse gas. No contention.

            Greehouse gases do warm planets. Agreed. The debate is over exactly how much they contribute to warming. All past predictions of where the temp should today have far exceeding the actual warming. So the models have exaggerated the sensitivity.

            We are indeed pumping CO2 into the atmosphere now than ever before. This means nothing since the sensitivity of the atmosphere to CO2 reamins in question.

            The last decade was the hottest decade on record. True, if you believe NASA GISS’ adjustment algorithm (which I do not). Again, however, this means nothing. We have been in a warming trend for over 150 years, long before the significant burning of fossil fuels. So, even if it is the warmest on record, it is quite possibly a continuation of something started long ago.

            Last year was the hottest single year on record. See comment above.

            Artic ice is shrinking. False. Arctic ice was shrinking up to 2007, mainly due to winds and warm waters entering the Arctic ocean from the North Altantic. It has since reversed and ice has been added steadily for the past 3 years.

        • GeoffG

          The so-called Medieval Warming Period was not as warm as where we are now. It also wasn’t a global phenomenon, some parts of the Southern Hemisphere were cooler for some of this period. Even so, though the consequences of the warming were benign in Europe, it disrupted many societies, caused famines in China and droughts in North America. It was caused by eccentricities in the Earth’s orbit and wobbles in its rotation. Such eccentricities cannot explain the currently observed warming. Moreover, the current warming is a global phenomenon, and is well established and accepted by people who can weigh up scientific evidence in an un-blinkered and impartial way. Sure, we would very much like this not to be the case. It would be really nice if the Earth wasn’t warming, if the polar ice wasn’t melting. It would be really nice if we could go on living as if there was no tomorrow. But “shooting the messenger”, metaphorically speaking, is not a mature way to face reality, though it is a human enough failing. One shudders to think that some could take the phrase literally. Let us hope that the “denialists” will get over projecting their wishes onto reality and have the humility to learn and face facts.

        • http://twitter.com/bob_calder Bob Calder

          There is only one thing I can say about your post GoFigure, but it is impolitic. What I would like to point out to the other posters is that 9 people “liked” your comment. This points to a social network that actively works counter to science, which is the point of the original article above.

          There was a debate up to 2005. Sorry but it’s over and has been for years. The “debate” is just an echo in your heads.

          • TheShadow

            Bob – The point of Clive’s article is denigration of anyone who holds an opinion different than your own without seeking civil engagement. Implying that skepticism, the cornerstone of the scientific method, is “counter to science” is the epitome of ignorance for how science advances. GoFigure made what he believes is a valid empirical observation. Your comment, far from addressing his, quite simply denigrated him. Welcome to the world of cyber-bullying.

            And, quite contrary to your comment, the scientific debate is alive and well. Fortunately for us all, despite being massively outfunded, skeptics continue holding the pro-CAGW community’s feet to fire for their terrible record of data analysis, data adjustment, predictions, and pronouncements.

    • DataJack

      Sigh. Look, it doesn’t matter what this article says. It doesn’t matter who says what, or who believes what. The only thing in science that matters are the facts. For you to “not believe the Climate Science stuff” because a journalist in an online opinion piece got the details of a shooting wrong is ridiculous.

      The facts about global warming are available, and irrefutable. It is impossible for a cabal of scientists to “fake” something like this, because other scientists would see right through it. That’s how science works. Ignore the politics. Ignore the ramifications, even. Cap and trade doesn’t mean a thing. Utah’s goofy laws don’t meant a thing. Follow the evidence.

      • HaroldVanner

        Pretending that these are facts because “facts are facts” doesn’t wash. Yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas. So is H2O. here is a big difference between stating that “arctic ice melt” is a fact and “artic ice melt is caused by increases in CO2 output by humans” is a fact. Serious scientists do not diddle with the data to bend it to their preconceptions. On the other hand, logic tells us that bad data does not prove global warming is NOT caused by humans. The diddled data simply does not prove anything at all. Why are hundreds if not thousands of scientists opposed to this conclusion? It is because we do not shut down industry that supports human life because the IPCC says so. We need new clean data, examined and re-examined by responsible scientists. First good data. Then, good logic. This is how you get good conclusions.

      • SteveA

        “The facts about global warming are available, and irrefutable.” Seen the “facts”. They are refutable.

        “It is impossible for a cabal of scientists to “fake” something like this, because other scientists would see right through it.” That’s what skeptical scientists have been trying to point out but CAGW proponents are simply not listening. Whether its Mann’s disingenuous pasting together of tree ring data and thermometer data to “hide the decline” and generate an erroneous global temperature profile; to Keith Briffa’s selection of Russian tree data that that showed warming (when the full data set did not show the same); to the NASA GISS adjusted data showing warming when rural data does not show the same; to the idea that a single temp measurement can be applied to an area hundreds of miles in diameter; to the refusal to comply with FOI requests; to the continual downward revision of future temp predictions; to the ever changing storyline that drought, flood, record hot, record cold, no snow, snow are all caused by AGW, the history of CAGW “science” is littered with deception, analysis error, and statistical sleight of hand. That people still defend these guys is astounding!

        • Harry W2

          I don’t understand how people like you still don’t believe in climate change despite the huge amount of evidence in proving it. I bet you think creationism is right and not evolution, vote republican, and are against immigration even though ninety per cent of your population is immigrant-descended.

          • SteveA

            Climate change is real. Always has been. Always will be. Plenty of evidence to prove this. There is simply no irrefutable data that support CAGW. And save the personal slurs. Despite being wrong on every count, I’ve heard them all before. It simply goes to show that Clive is totally wrong and that CAGW proponents started and continue to support cyber disparagement.

  • RickinSC

    I think Phil Jones was driven to the point of suicide because he was caught manipulating and destroying data, his reputation and life’s work trashed, all for the sake of gavernment grants, not because of any threats to his life. If he was proud of his work and viewed it as honest, I doubt he would’ve considered suicide.

    • Johan

      Cite your sources. Multiple investigations have showed that no data was altered. No data was destroyed. The only indication of his suicidal thoughts are your claims and based on how far from the truth your other claims are I have huge doubts.

      Why do denialists need to lie to back up their opinions? Either cite your sources or admit you are wrong.

      • TheShadow

        Johan – You are correct, no data was altered. But are you really that naive? The hockey stick was supposedly based on tree ring data. But when that data implied a near-term temperature decrease, the decreasing portion of the data was eliminated and substituted with near-term, increasing temperature, thermometer data to give the appearance of a consistent temperature record. Hence the “hide the decline” statement from Phil.

        Please, have a go at attempting to justify such an obvious lack of scientific integrity.

      • Rehaines77

        Phile Jones himself and this article refers to his contemplating suicide. It is well known that original data upon which findings were based was either destroyed, deleted or lost.

  • jeff

    Pretty funny you wimpering about incivility while calling climate skeptics “deniers” in a direct and disgusting link to the holocaust. Additionally, you bring up Joseph McCarthy without admitting that he was correct in that our govt was filled w/ dirty commies like yourself. The science you speak of is flat out GARBAGE based on “climate models” that can give you any results you choose and are not duplicated when real events are programmed in. The hockey stick is top notch science you say? Really? Leaving out a several hundred year span of climate in the middle ages to “prove” unprecidented modern warming is OK? Really? How about the data E Anglia U used to base it studies on magically being lost or destroyed. Do most scientist destroy their data? Why wont any of you experts debate anyone in public. Do you feel any shame for the blood on your hands by using billions of $ to perpetuate your scam that could have been used for clean water, food and health care for the worlds poor….shame, shame, shame on you sir.

    • Johan

      No data was destroyed. Cite your sources or back off from making false claims.

      • TheShadow

        From The Sunday Times
        November 29, 2009

        Climate change data dumped
        Jonathan Leake, Environment Editor

        SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

        No one will really know if it was incompetence or malice that led to the raw data being destroyed. But destroyed it was.

        So now, Johan, feel free to apologize.

        • Zelia3

          Leake is a well know liar he admitted it himself and has been totally discredited,you should read more and not watch Fox News you may though I doubt learn something

          • SteveA

            Fine. As a CAGW proponent, you should have no problem contacting UEA and have them make the raw data available to you. Simply do so and post it. Until then, the data is presumed lost and your position is unsupportable. And, please, grow up and stop the cyber-bullying.

          • Mymy

            Mr. SteveA. How can you accuse others of bullying when you are the one who seems to have come back here so many time to only disagree with anywone who has different opinon than yours?

  • Skeptic2011

    For so long, any view which desented from the orthodox Warmist view was attacked, now the playing field has been somewhat leveled by the Internet. Climategate showed how being a Skeptic, or simply presenting both sides of the issue would result in having your career threatened.
    Science should be challenged, and the challenges should be welcomed, not suppressed.

    • Johan

      Climategate turned out to be nothing. Multiple investigations have concluded that nothing was done wrong. No data altered, no data destroyed. How is it that you are so certain that those things happened when the facts say otherwise?

      Honest people can deal with the facts. How do you deal with them?

      • RickinSC

        Climategate turned out to be nothing as long as you believe the whitewashes and the left wing media.

  • http://www.ourworld.unu.edu/ Carol S

    Dear Rickin, Jeff & Skeptic2011…

    Measurements show that burning fossil fuel is dramatically increasing levels of CO2. in the atmosphere. Satellite and surface measurements show that extra CO2 is trapping heat that would otherwise escape out to space. Many verified (by a large body of observations) warming patterns are consistent with an increased greenhouse effect. The whole structure of our atmosphere is changing and though while yes, there are still a lot of unknowns (because since when are scientists in any field all-knowing? do neurologists know more about the brain than climate scientists know about the climate? have cancer specialists solved cancer?) most of us, whether we are skeptical or not, know that the evidence for human caused global warming is not just based on theory or computer models (or conspiracy theories about grants or such nonsense) but on many independent, direct observations made in the real world.

    And finally, to further clarify the difference for you, most skeptics also know how to actually debate an issue, rather than just denying a POV that scares them (or which they have some vested interest in denying). Scepticism as one of you kindly points out, is the very basis of science and still does go on in the climate science field, despite all the deniers who claim that any dissent is ignored. No, it’s only the nonsensical denial without basis that intelligent people find tedious, until it turns scary.

    So my final question is the one most of us non-scientist skeptics ask your types: can you find the courage to actually say something to discount all the tons of evidence available? For personally I haven’t seen any convincing study to disprove that climate change is underway and that our activity has contributed. And certainly, any of us who can read know where to verify the facts and confirm your disinformation for the lies that it is.

    • Scotthastings

      Carol, nobody forces me to pay taxes to a neurologist or cancer specialist. That is why they call it the “practice” of medicine. Your lack of understanding of this difference underlines your inability to infer that man is warming the planet.

      None of us care what climate scientists do with their time. For all I care, they can study the effects of little green martians in the middle of the earth and publish studies and have conferences. Just don’t make me pay “dues” for your little club. That’s all.

      • Johan

        Paying taxes or discussing the cost of climate change has no bearing on whether climate change is occuring. That is just a cowardly attempt to change the discussion from climate change itself to the cost of doing something about it.

        If you cannot deal with the facts surrounding climate change itself then your desire to change the subject is perfectly understandable. If you can deal with those facts then changing the subject would be silly.

    • Gcwilliams

      Start with “Slaying the sky dragon” Then simply review temperature, co2 and Solar activity graphs.
      If you still believe the AGW myth after that, you base it on faith alone.

      • http://www.ourworld.unu.edu/ Carol S

        Oh yeah, you guys are working so hard to convince me. LOL & goodnight.

        ________________________________________

        • GoFigureXXX

          Convince you? Didn’t you spin out that long initial blurb, or was that some other “Carol S”?

          • Johan

            So you are right and all of the people doing the measurements and data analysis are all part of a vast conspiracy. What else could it be? Do you really imagine that thousands of scientists are just spontaneously forming a conspiracy to hide the facts when random dudes on the internet can see right through their so-called lies? Either you have a vastly overinflated picture of your own intellect or you form your opinion on global warming as if it were a religion.

            Please don’t stop taking your meds. Anyone that disconnected from reality is potentially dangerous.

          • RickinSC

            It’s not really a conspiracy, but a lot of people believing in an ideology, scientists on the gravy train, mainstream media following a story that sells, etc. There are lots of reasons why so many people are wrong about Climate Change, and most of it is ignorance. Why is this climate change any different than all of the others that happened over the thousands of years of human history? Well, we have politics and worldwide mainstream media now.

    • GoFigureXXX

      Tons of evidence? The increase in CO2 which can be attributed to industrial activity amounts to 2ppmv per year. Total level of CO2 is about 390 ppmv. It’s still a (very trace) gas. Water vapor is also a “greenhouse” gas, and is 50X more prevalent. The CO2 level has been many times higher in the distant past, much higher during 3 ice ages, and much higher going into one ice age. The only correlation found between CO2 and planetary temperature is the reverse of Al Gore’s claim. CO2 variations, very similar to temperature variations, FOLLOW temperature by some 800+ yearw. That’s the nature of the carbon cycle. Rather than speak in generalities, which is no ifferent than politiss, look at this google-doc (by me): http://docs.google.com/View?id=ddrj9jjs_0fsv8n9gw

    • Peter3127

      Using terms like “show” in capitals shows an unquestioning acceptance. That is in the realm of religion. It is hard to debunk religious views.

      Nobody is denying that the climate is changing. Of course it is. Always has, always will.

      All good science requires questioning of the data. Good science demands that questioning occur from the raw dat forwards. It is not good enough to embolden your text, and your argument in passive acceptance.

      • http://www.ourworld.unu.edu/ Carol S

        When it comes to debunking religion, yeah you have a really really good point as I don’t know what on earth possessed me to engage in this senselessness!

      • Johan

        Naturally good science demands questioning. However what you are doing has nothing to do with science. Denialists don’t base their opinions on the science or they wouldn’t be using deception. They wouldn’t need to make false claims about the data because they would be basing their opinions on the data rather than the other way around.

        Can you justify thinking that the vast majority of scientists in the relevant fields agree with AGW and that it tends to be cranks and people out of their field who disagree? There is some cognitive dissonance going on in your brain. You have to believe that the cranks are right just because you agree with their conclusions.

        If your side of this argument has good scientists on its side why are they the horribly overwhelmed minority and why do they tend to be out of their field when speaking about climate change?

        How do you justify your cognitive dissonance to yourself?

    • Ken

      What a gullable fool you are believing in the global warming scam. Lets take Co2, did you know everytime you exhale you put out 40,000 ppm of C02 that cames from air-sacks in your lungs? We are to worry about 390 ppm of Co2 in the atmosphere, I do not believe I will. Polar Bears are doing fine, both poles have plenty of ice. New Zealand has re-done thier temperture and have found NO warming in the last 150 years, but before that was done they were manipulating data and of course it showed a warming (lie). I profess right now all of man-made global warming is simply manipulated data.

      • Johan

        Ice is down on both poles. The NZ temp data found warming. You are either woefully misinformed or a liar.

        Back up your claims with proper citations. That ought to be enough to convince people whether you are a liar or just wrong.

        • Insider

          NZ’s NIWA found ONE rouge Fool Dr Jim Salinger, part of the ClimateGate, Adjusted real Data for NO reason other than to form a trend which in fact did not exist… Lies will always teach you that these people, their agenda, there beliefs are all for sale, basically educated criminals with a price!.

    • RickinSC

      Spoken like a true MSNBC lefty believer. The “dramatic increase” of CO2 you mention is a whopping 2ppm(parts per million) per year, not proven to be totally due to humans. Even if you assume that the 110 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1880 is totally due to humans, that is still only 0.00011 as a fraction of the atmosphere, a little more than 1 part in 10,000. Tell me how that small fraction accounts for the little over 1 deg F of global warming we have seen over the last 100 years or so.

      • http://www.ourworld.unu.edu/ Carol S

        LOL, spoken like a true copy-paster. Thanks for sharing this little “inappropriate denominator” trick. Bait on, bait on.

        • RickinSC

          I’m sorry, but some source must be spreading this idea that we are “dramatically” or “exponentially” increasing the CO2 content of the atmosphere, because I’ve heard this several times from believers. Maybe it’s in the Global Warmist’s Bible. I was wrong to blame MSNBC since I have no idea where it comes from.

          • Johan

            I think it comes from your mind. Please cite your sources of any reputable person in the relevant scientific fields making any such claims.

            If (and when) you fail, please be a man and admit it.

            Honest people have no problem admitting when they are wrong or misinformed.

          • Rehaines77

            I said I don’t know where it comes from. I keep hearing it from liberal Democrats. They seem to be on the same page, so it must come from somewhere. Maybe you can tell me!

          • RickinSC

            Here is an article that refers to the “compound growth” of CO2. I’m sure there are others. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-fiderer/the-simple-arithmetic-of_b_221689.html

          • http://www.ourworld.unu.edu/ Carol S

            LOL. As you well know, we were asking for the source of your calculation, Rick, not the quote.

    • SteveA

      Carol,

      No one doubts or is trying to disprove that climate change is underway. With all due respect, you make it sound like our recent temperature increase something extraordinary when it is not. There have been numerous periods in Earth’s history when temperature rose as fast, or faster, than that of the late 20th century. The question is then, given that the recent temperature rise is within natural variation, how does one know what is natural and what is human? Extracting a human signature from the data is no easy feat. And again, with all due respect, you make it sound as if its quite simple when it is not. Neither does anyone doubt that man has some effect on the climate through the burning of fossil fuels. The questions that remain unresolved, though, are how much is caused by said burning, how much is caused by other human actions (i.e. land use), and how much is caused by as yet unaccounted for natural factors? That is why we need to explore as many avenues of possibility instead of settling on CO2 alone.

      There is indeed data that supports the theory of AGW. But there is also data that conflicts. Dr. Mann ran across just such data in his Bristlecone Pine proxy temperature reconstruction. The most recent data implied a temperature decrease when an increase was expected. However, instead of publishing this data and attempting to deal with the inconsistency, he eliminated this data and added thermometer based data that showed an increase. The result was the now infamous (and erroneous) Hockey Stick. This is an act of dishonesty on which CAGW proponents and skeptics should agree. The data should speak for itself. If data is eliminated or filtered, it should be noted in the analysis and explained. And, in accordance with the scientific method, all data and analysis code should be freely dispensed to anyone asking in order to (in)validate the results.

      To a lesser degree, this same issue snared Dr. Briffa. He was given a subset of Yamal tree ring data. This particular subset implied a late 20th century temperature rise. However, when the entire dataset was analyzed, the temperature rise was not nearly as impressive. Personally, I believe Dr. Briffa was diligent in the analysis of the data he was given. That it gave an inaccurate picture of the climate history of the area was not his fault.

      The land-based temperature record of NASA GISS holds a special place in skeptic’s hearts. Dr. Hansen’s continuous adjustment of this data should give anyone pause. While an analysis of the entire dataset, performed by a pro-CAGW resource, found no inconsistencies in the data, it was very easy for a single skeptical investigator to gather the raw data from numerous city-based measurement locations. This data was compared to raw data from more rural-based measurement station located within 150 miles of the city locations. The result was not surprising. Where the city data showed a noticeable increase, the rural data did not (i.e. the Urban Heat Island effect). Dr. Hansen’s supposed solution to this issue was to apply an adjustment based on the nighttime light generated by city/town in which the measurement station was located. To no one’s amazement (skeptics that is), the overall temperature record was elevated. Knowing that rural data is far less contaminated than city data, one is left to wonder why city data is not simply emliminated or, at least, adjusted down by the well-known UHI factor that was previously used in the NOAA dataset.

      So, whether it’s CAGW proponent’s contention that the Arctic is still melting (it stopped in 07 and has been increasing), that the melting that did occur was/is caused by AGW (it was caused by wind and warm water from the N. Atlantic)), that Katrina was caused by AGW and was the poster child for future, more intense storms (global occurrence and intensity of storms are at an all time low), that sea level rise is accelerating (it is rising but decelerating), or that the decrease in snow on Kilimanjaro is caused by AGW (it was/is caused by deforestation), scientific investigation has shown that the predictions and pronouncements of CAGW proponents simply do not stand up to scientific investigation and scrutiny. It isn’t that skeptics refuse to believe that mankind is having a significant impact on climate, it’s just that CAGW scientists have not presented a bullet-proof analysis.

      My personal opinion based on my investigation to date. The warming that began with the ending of The Little Ice Age was the start of a trend that has continued to today. The ups and downs along the way correlate quite nicely to the roughly 60 year cycle of ocean oscillations, especially the PDO (CO2 contributes little). I have not found anyone who can identify the source of the trend but, if this observation holds true, we can expect Earth’s temperature to remain relatively flat for the next roughly 20 years (the PDO turned negative around 2000). However, if the temperature increases during this period and all natural factors can be eliminated, I will be among the first skeptics to suspect CO2.

      • http://www.ourworld.unu.edu/ Carol S

        Hi Steve. Thank you for your efforts to continue to engage in this discussion but… after this note, I’m afraid I’m going to have to bow out. I am not a scientist, as I have said before. However, the research that I do tend to follow is obviously not the same as yours/what you read. For example, when it comes to your contention that “given that the recent temperature rise is within natural variation, how does one know what is natural and what is human”, I believe scientists who say that natural climate change in the past proves that climate is sensitive to an energy imbalance. Currently, CO2 is imposing an energy imbalance due to the enhanced greenhouse effect. Past climate change actually provides evidence for our climate’s sensitivity to CO2. Also, though there’s no point getting into a whole Mann debate with you, I believe that, since the orig hockey stick paper in 1998, there have been a number of proxy studies analysing a variety of different sources including corals, stalagmites, tree rings, boreholes and ice cores. They all confirm the original hockey stick shape: the 20th century is the warmest in the last 1000 years and that warming was most dramatic after 1920.

        So you see, essentially I think we should just agree to disagree, as I (for one) seem to be one of the majority who psychologists say tend to gravitate towards things that back up what they already believe. Since I was a teen (confession: that means over 20 years), I’ve thought that we humans are acting like proverbial pigs on our host planet and a) that there is no need for it and b) it will come back to bite us, eventually. However, I, like most people I know who are concerned about climate change, do not believe it will be a snap catastrophe of any kind, so I admit to being perplexed by your insistence on using the C before the AGW. But then nor do I believe that humans are entirely to blame and the climate wouldn’t be changing without our impact, hence even the AGW part strikes me as a misnomer.

        But I guess, speaking of labels, some might call me a hippy or a lefty or whatever they want because I personally don’t mind if emissions are taxed or the economy suffers because of gov’t spending on environment, or grants are given to those investigating alternatives to genetically modifying food crops as a means to boosting food production, to give some broad examples. That’s because I believe that in the end, such costs will be less than cleaning up whatever messes such measures were taken to prevent.

        So wow, now I realize it’s been a quarter century that I’ve spent wondering when everyone else was going to start to see things the way I do. Now you see how far I am stuck in my ways…

  • http://satoyamaspirit.org Alan Zulch

    This key insight deserves highlighting:

    “…climate deniers are … those who feel their cultural identity most threatened by the implications of climate change. While the debate is superficially about the science, in truth it is about deep-rooted feelings of cultural identity.”

    So long as one’s sense of self is at stake – particularly when that sense of self is narrowly defined – then there is no reason for these people to abstain from doing whatever it takes to “protect” themselves, which by extension means defending against any and all threats to their ideological plank.

    The status quo thus has an amazingly effective individual and collective insurance policy to maintain itself. Taking that to its logical end, it would seem that the ecological floor has to fall out from under these folks (and everyone and everything else) before they change their behavior.

    The good news, though, is that in seeming proportion to the entrenchment of this old guard, there is emerging an increasingly influential counter-force of ecologically-aware people who, blessedly, have more expanded senses of identity, and are responding accordingly.

    May these latter individuals and groups prevail for the Earth’s sake.

  • http://www.ourworld.unu.edu/ Carol S

    Thanks Alan, for bringing sanity, as usual. :-) )

  • GoFigureXXX

    Silencing the scientists has indeed been the operative word, but the only people deserving of that title have been the skeptics. However, as Lindzen of MIT says, to be called a skeptic, the issue in doubt must at least be plausible, and it isn’t.

    http://docs.google.com/View?id=ddrj9jjs_0fsv8n9gw

  • climate123

    The hockeystick graph is garbage science, any red noise put into the model gives a hockey stick shape. The “confirmatory” studies used the same flawed data used to derive the original flawed result. Climate models are pure conjecture. To paraphrase the physicist Wolfgang Pauli, they are “not even wrong”.

  • SteveA

    @ Alan Zulch – CAGW theory is flawed …. badly. Green solutions are flawed …. badly. Your view of your opponents is flawed …. badly.

    Skeptics of CAGW are not opposed to change. We ARE opposed to change that creates economic turmoil on the basis of a theory that is still in dispute.

    Finally, get off your moral high-horse of being more ecologically aware and having an expanded sense of identity. You’re just another exasperated CAGW proponent.

    • Johan

      Back up those claims with proper sources. Try to do it in a manner that doesn’t wind up implying a massive conspiracy by scientists all over the world.

      Cranks (feel free to look up the word) hate the facts. When the facts disagree with a crank’s opinion the facts must be wrong. Please take a little time and try to back up your claims. When you fail and need to resort to conspiratorial thinking you will see my point. You may not learn from it but you cannot fail to see it.

      • SteveA

        I learned long ago that providing sources to those like yourself is a waste of time. You are hopelessly consumed with disdain for skeptics and beyond consideration of the most simple of CAGW data conflicts. Feel free to insult at will, though. It only goes to prove my point.

  • Mark In Arizona

    Dear Mr. Hamilton,
    The really really cool thing about science is that it stands on its own. It didn’t matter that the consensus of Catholic Cardinals and Bishops in Galileos’ time was that the earth was flat and the center of the universe. Ultimately science won the day. Your diatribe full of pejorative statements about those who doubt human caused global warming is irrelevant. The answer is simple. All you have to do is post videos of you in a fair public debate with Marc Morano where you utilize your immense scientific prowess to make mince meat of Mr. Moranos’ lack of scientific knowledge. Prove to the world in a moderated scientific debate that Mr. Morano has mash potatoes between hi s ears rather than brains. It proves itself.

    The simple fact is that the leaders of the global warming movement have let you down. Al Gore should obliterate Christopher Monckton with his vast scientific superiority. Michael Mann should humiliate his critics with an avalanche of data that proves his point.

    Diatribes like the one you have published here only cause those of us who doubt you to become more convinced that the science is not on your side. Simple videos would prove your case but I fear that ois too much to ask because you know they will fail to convince the public. If you know they would succeed they would be everywhere for all of us to see.

    • Pahaley_2000

      Time is on our side, as it was in the 1970′s. They make sweeping predictions about how the climate will change for $$$, and then they quietly just go away because they are eventually proven WRONG like ALGORE. Funny thing, the same morons, e.g. Holdren, have no shame and will surface again when their crowd calls on its political soldiers.

    • Insider

      The only problem with your thinking is that one little lie, Mann hockey Stick, Al Gore Polar Bears, proves the whatever is said is irrelevant and more of the same Lies. QED!

  • Imonaboat2

    I’ve never met a truly science or math literate person that’s bought into the AGW. CO2 has increased as a percentage of the atmosphere by 0.01% in 150 years and the UN thinks they have grounds for world domination through carbon policy.

    We’re not buying it, no matter how hard you tyranny loving media people try.

    • Johan

      I think you are lying. I have a scientific education and many friends who are practicing in their fields. I find that they are much more likely to believe than not to.

      What do you base your lies on? How much scientific literacy do you have? Why make such ridiculously false claims? Do you expect that people will let you lie and never call you on it?

      Why do denialists lie so often if they are so sure they are right? Cognitive dissonacne!

  • James

    You have got to be kidding! It was climate alarmists who thought it was a good idea to blow up children who weren’t taking action against global warming! It is left wing ideologists who have a track record of inciting violence against those who do not agree with them. Just look at the violent anti-globalisation rallies. Once again your are showing how blind you are to reality.

  • marknotaras

    99% of PUBLISHING CLIMATOLOGISTS agree that climate change is happening and that it’s because of humans.

    http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/blogs/99-of-climatologists-agree-global-warming-is-manmade

    I repeat, 99% of publishing climatologists agree that climate change is happening and that it’s because of humans.

    And although there is much more to learn, the right and courageous thing to do is to trust those who are experts and take a prudent, risk-averse approach. Let’s limit our impact on the planet by developing sustainable lifestyles and improve the human condition at the same time.

    • SteveA

      I have no issue with limiting our impact on the planet, developing sustainable lifestyles, and improving the human condition. But this study was one of the most misleading ever.

      http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/that_97_solution_again/

      One should also consider that there is precious little (if any) funding for research into natural factors affecting climate change. If there is no funding, there is no research. If there is no research, there is no publishing. Hence, the results of this study are nothing more than a reflection of the funding bias toward CAGW.

      • http://www.ourworld.unu.edu/ Carol S

        No research on natural factors? I’ve heard the sun’s a (no-pun-intended) very hot research topic these days.

        • SteveA

          Very true, Carol. But this study removed the responses from anyone studying the Sun.

          • http://www.ourworld.unu.edu/ Carol S

            Steve, I “did my own research” and found the source of that ninety-whatever% McCandless based his graphic on: http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/ssi/DoranEOS09.pdf

            It turns out that your statement is incorrect: the study did not remove responses from scientists who were not climate-specialized (nor did it remove the non-publishers), in fact respondents came from a variety of fields: geochemistry (15.5%), geo- physics (12%), and oceanography (10.5%). General geology, hydrology/hydrogeology, and paleontology each accounted for 5–7% of the total respondents. Approximately 5% of the respondents were climate scientists… Results show that overall, 90% of participants answered “risen” to question 1 and 82% answered yes to question 2.”

            So much for Johan’s hopes.

          • SteveA

            Carol, I am contending that the study results are wrong, per se. Only that the questions asked and the funding make the results predictable. The questions:

            1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?

            This question is meaningless with regrad to CAGW. We have been in a warming trend since exiting the LIA. Frankly, I am surprised the results weren’t 100% risen.

            2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

            At what level did each scientist consider contribution significant? 90%? 50? 20% And was each scientist considering only the contribution from CO2? How about other GHGs not generated from fossil fuel burning? How about land use changes?

            I will also go back to my statement that the overwhelming majority of funding goes to those who support AGW/CAGW (just try getting funding to support skeptical research). So, the demographics of the respondents is obviously going to be skewed towards those who support CAGW.

            The approach of this study is so vague, it’s virtually meaningless.

      • Johan

        Back up your claims, Steve.

        Denialists often resort to deception and rarely if ever back up any of their claims. I hope you prove to be different.

        • SteveA

          As Gavin Schmidt told me many years ago, “Go do your own research.” I did. And this what I told Carol regarding this study, in a civil manner. If you have done your own research and are satisfied that CAGW is real, then engaging you is pointless. But, please, feel free to fling around the denialist/deception meme. It only serves to show that Clive’s assertion is wrong and that CAGW proponents, not skeptics, were the first to engage in and continue to promote bullying, cyber or otherwise.

  • Tania_N3

    I would agree with some of the above commentators that the tone of the above article by Mr. Hamilton, whilst no doubt driven by frustration, does little to win over those who doubt AGW. However whilst reading the article, and even more so the comments that followed it, it struck me that all of these arguments may to some extent be missing the point. I agree that there is always a need for robust debate around issues of such great significance of these, and I for one, though I am not a scientist, welcome any well-founded and well-intentioned criticism of the findings of climate science. That said, I have several points to make:

    1. There seems to be a general disagreement with the whole idea of ‘climate science’, as in the climate is not something that we should concern ourselves with studying scientifically as we have not yet ‘perfected’ our models and apparatus of measurement- this seems to me very short-sighted. Our very survival, and that of all life on earth, depends on the climate which sustains our biosphere. I would think that the very least we can do is attempt to understand our natural life-support system in whatever way we can. So climate science is not yet perfect. No science is perfect. It is perfected through trial and error, rigorous tests and falsification -all of which is on-going in the AGW debate. And on a side note to Scott Hastings, I do not know your nationality but your supposition that you are not ‘forced to pay taxes’ in order to fund neurological or cancer research seems dubious. Here are the web links to government expenditure on cancer research programmes for the US and UK, paid for by your taxes, no doubt:
    UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/mar/01/uk-cancer-big-spend-limited-success
    US: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/NCI/research-funding

    2. As many commentators here have already asserted, including Peter 3127, the climate is changing. Now whether you believe that these changes are man-made or not, there cannot be any doubt that they are happening and that they will affect us, to a greater or lesser extent. I think that this is something on which we all agree, and even sceptics who make reference to the medieval ‘heatwave’ must conclude that if they believe this then they also must believe that climate change is at the very least cyclical. If these changes are occurring, doesn’t it make sense to research into methods of adapting and mitigating against the worst effects of them? In medieval times perhaps similar things were happening (rising flood waters, increased drought, intensification of the water cycle) and no doubt many people died. We are now in a position to be able prevent a great deal of these climate change related deaths, yet there are some who would focus on whether or not climatic change is ‘our fault’ over how we are going to protect ourselves from it. People who argue with paying carbon taxes(some of which goes into investing in green energy and reducing emissions, some if which is used for adaptation and mitigation funding) might like to consider how much more expensive it will be to repair the damage from climate change related natural disasters, rather than to try and prevent them. Australia has just introduced a ‘Flood recovery tax’ after the recent devastation there, which has so far cost the economy 5.6 Billion Aussie Dollars. Something to think about if grumbling about carbon tax is your biggest concern…

    3. Peak oil is a reality whether you like it or not. Fossil fuels are a finite resource and will run out. It makes sense to invest in green energy so that we can provide enough to meet the needs of the estimated 9 billion people who will be living on this planet by 2050. Non-green industry causes pollution (not just GHGs) that imperils the lives of the 1 billion people on this planet that are directly involved in subsistence agriculture. If you are of a right-wing bent then perhaps the argument of domestic energy security is more appealing to you then the idea of generally improving the welfare of the human race. And it is true that energy independence will give you greater political and economic independence, especially from the Middle East. Either way, investing in green energy will create jobs and improve the condition of the environment. Again, those who object to being ‘forced’ to pay evil carbon taxes might like to note the cost of clearing up the gulf oil spill.

    Lastly, ‘Jeff’, your comment likening the use of the term ‘climate deniers’ to that of ‘holocaust deniers’ is frankly absurd. The term climate ‘sceptics’ can be applied to people who are intellectually rigorous in their examination of the facts but do not rule out the possibility of climate change. They are ‘sceptical’ but not outright denying the possibility of AGW, which is an understandable position. However, people who deny that climate change is even happening regardless of man’s involvement in it are climate deniers- a perfectly acceptable term and nothing at all to do with the holocaust, despite the fact that you see see a clear and exclusive relationship between the word ‘holocaust’ and the word ‘deniers’, a connection that I have never before heard made. This is a semantic argument but an important one, as sensationalism must not be allowed to detract from facts and constructive debates around this topic. However I must say that calling the author of the text a ‘commie’ compounds the impression that you have little constructive to contribute to this discussion, and does nothing to enhance your argument.

    • SteveA

      Tania,

      A very civil comment to a very contentious issue. From the skeptic view, thanks for the respect. For that respect, I will maintain the same in my comments.

      1. The climate is indeed something we should be concerned with, regardless of one’s position on CAGW. I also agree that science moves forward “through trial and error, rigorous tests and falsification.” That has been a big part of the contention in this debate. It is well documented that pro-CAGW scientists have actively worked to prevent skeptical scientists from acquiring their data in order to verify or falsify their results. Further, pro-CAGW scientists and their supporters in the professional media have actively worked to prevent the publication of the skeptical view. This is NOT the way science is supposed to work and has given rise to an understandable assumption that pro-CAGW scientists are either agenda-driven or do not want their work scrutinized because there is something not quite right.

      2. Agreed. I do not know of any skeptical scientist who does not believe in climate change. Skeptics have always held that there is no such thing as a nominal climate and that research into adaptation is more valuable than research into prevention as there is no unified belief that CAGW is settled science. At this time, carbon taxes make no economic sense. It would raise the cost of energy which would be very painful for the poor. Subsidies to green energy are a waste of money. Solar panels and wind turbines have no chance of supplying base load power at a national level, due to their intermittance of supply. Finally, given that there is data that both supports and undermines the idea that CO2 drives temperature to a worrisome degree, subsidizing or adding regulation to reduce emissions is uncalled for.

      3. Agreed. Fossil fuel will run out…someday. It is always an excellent idea to diversify our energy supply sources, applying each source in a way that matches the utilization mode. While solar panels and wind turbines are poor options for national base load power, they are excellent choices in certain application, and should be used. I disagree with your implication that energy usage, domestic or otherwise, and the welfare of the human race are mutually exclusive outcomes. The increase in both living standards and lifespan are highly correlated to increased energy consumption. I would agree with any call for a voluntary national campaign to increase energy efficiency and conservation. Put before the American people and industries as an, “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country” goal, I believe this country could make great strides without regulation or subsidy. I also dispute that green energy will also be a net job creator. Using Spain as a prime example, the manipulation of the energy sector by the Spanish government eliminated over 2 jobs for every green job it created. Green energy must stand on its own to create and elminate jobs through the market force of creative destruction.

      The term ‘deniers’ was indeed used and compared to the holocaust in pro-CAGW publication in the past. Whether the whole of the pro-CAGW community meant or means it this way in the present may be disputed. But the fact that it was once used in this context makes it hard to accept its meaning in any other way. Kinda like waving the Confederate flag around and saying it is being done in support of State’s rights.

      I applaud your acceptance that at least some skeptics have approached this issue from an intellectual, data-driven perspective. I hope you will not find it surprising that the overwhelming majority of skeptics believe in AGW, they simply do not believe in CAGW.

      Washington would do well to call the leading scientific advocates of both sides of this debate together, put into a room, and not allow them exit until they come up with either a unified agreement or a path of research that will allow them to get to a unified agreement. The mud-slinging that skeptics are all funded by big oil or that proponents are only in it for the grant money has got to stop. The only way to do this is for Washington to treat them all like little children and state that nothing will occur until the scientific method is restored to the debate.

  • Rehaines77

    Climate change deniers are the ones that deny that the climate changes naturally due to factors we do not understand and that we humans must be doing it.

  • Doug Proctor

    AGW, regardless of pronouncements and models, is rooted not in any temperature rise, but in a temperature rise greater than 1.8K/century, the rate at which the world came out of the LIA in the 1850s to about 1965. The only reason we start the AGW scenario in 1965 is that from 1940 to 1965 the temperature of the planet dropped, said by the AGW models to be due to dust, soot, aerosols and the like that cooled the planet until God’s gift to humanity, the environmental movement, stopped the most egregious of airborne pollution. Be that as it may, the assumption behind AGW is that a) natural global warming stopped somewhere between 1940 and 1965, and man-made, CO2 & water vapour driven took over. The dominant heating element since 1965 is modelled to be CO2 with its H2O vapour demon ally.

    That said, the temperature rise since 1965 HAS to be greater than 1.8K/century for the models, and HAS to accelerate as the CO2 ppm increases. It also HAS to increase for a number of years even if we were to stop CO2 increases today. Those are fundamental parts of the CO2 driven, IPCC temperature model. So what are we to look for?

    Hansen says that the global temperature rise since the ’60s is about 0.9C or so. That puts the rise rate in the comfortable >2C/century. It is easy to argue with that number as the cooling period is blamed by Hansen on aerosols: without the cooling event, the “natural” temperature in 1965 would be greater, obviously. Which would mean that the 0.9C since 1965 cannot be all attributed to AGW. This is where the AGW meme begins to fall down.

    If 0.9C since 1965 is not all AGW, how much is? On top of the recovery from a 25 year cooling event, one might note that adjustments account for about 0.4C (or more). Correlation of urban vs rural records, the world vs mainland USA, the oceans vs urban areas, hemishperic and other subsets – all these suggest that internal positive biases account for perhaps 0.3C of incorrectly increased by adjustments to world temperatures since 1965. The actual temperature increase since 1965 might be more appropriately – I’d say unequivocably it is – more like 0.5C. I’d even be generous in saying 0.7C. The rate increase then fails the model rise and rate. CO2 as a global warming threat fails at its fundamental prediction: the temperature rise.

    Gavin Schmidt admits this in a roundabout way. On January 21, 2011, on a RealClimate blog in which he reviews Hansen’s 1988 model prediction (obviously improved but not changed except to make the future worse), neither of the two rises or rise-rates (Scenario A or B) match what has happened. The closest match was “C”, a reference model in which no emissions after 2000 occurred. “C”, clearly, does not reflect reality, but it does say that the other “non-world” parameters lead to a temperature rise that well matches reality. CO2 is unnecessary, and, as “A” and “B”, with CO2 in the mix lead to a worse prediction, CO2 in the model took the model over the top. You could say that the “other’ parameters were too robust, and should be reduced, but that would mean that Scenario “C”, would then predict a global cooling. Which is not modelled.

    It all comes down to the points of a degree that have actually happened. These points of a degree have to be global. You can’t say, well, the Arctic warmed, so AGW is true. A regional cause is better (Occam’s Razor) for a regional effect than a global cause.

    So, what is the rise since 1995, for example? 15 years should be 0.4C (2.8C/century). It is nil. What is going on? If we go back further, the test results get worse.

    All threats of the future ride on the temperature rising. Ignore the stories of ice melting in the Arctic unless the global temperature rise is consistent with AGW models. A regional situation cannot have a global cause without the global rise as modelled.

    There are other answers than AGW to climatic or weather shifts. Only with the tempeature rises matching the CO2-H2O connection can the argument be made that AGW is happening, and even then other aspects of the model would have to be confirmed – like the tropospheric tempeature and humidity rise (which aren’t seen).

    The sketpical position, outside of the outrage about being accused of heinous moral crimes against humanity yet unborn, boils down to some simple observational facts that are not born out without a biased view to “adjustments”. The Precautionary Principle has invaded the science: if a sign could go either up or down, it is better to make it go up, and thus be alerated to danger, than go down, and be surprised later. Any report that is worrisome about the future gets a 30% increase in value relative to one that says the future will be fine.

    The principle of avoiding potential risk is how all of us on the planet survive crossing busy streets: if it looks possible to get run down, we wait at the traffic light. It is a good way to get to the corner store and back, but a disasterous way to run an economy or a society.

  • BrendanBarrett

    In a fascinating development, News Corporation, owner of Fox, has achieved carbon neutrality. By 2015 their goal is to ‘reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent, reduce emissions intensity by at least 15 percent, and invest in clean energy equal to 20 percent of the company’s electricity use.” http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/03/02/after-carbon-neutrality-news-corp-sets-new-ghg-and-energy-targets/

    So Fox News finds itself in the rather embarrasing position of deliberately casting doubt on climate change (http://mediamatters.org/blog/201012150004) while its parent company takes climate change seriously.

    You can check out Newscorps claims of being carbon neutral at their Global Energy Initiative website – http://gei.newscorp.com/

    If only their news coverage was as well informed. It is great to see climate science being taken so seriously by a major news company.

  • Gord

    It’s amazing how much time people spend on internet forums argueing about climate change. If you got outside more, you might see first hand some of the radical changes that have happened in our lifetime. These changes would be fine if humans were able to move around according to where the resources are. However, we are fixed in our places, by borders drawn on a map, or because we’ve set up civilisations next to a resource e.g. a river. Once the cloimate changes, the resources will move. They already have. My home city doesn’t have the long-existing seasons anymore, not for at least 20 years. So, trees don’t flower on time, don’t propagate like they used to, animals that rely on them run out of food (and don’t help distribute the seeds), increased extreme weather destroys crops and farmers can’t predict the seasons anymore. These things are fact and are happening. Trying to deny it is like sitting in the middle of a road watching a car coming at you, but instead of moving, you want to argue about what model car it is and how long it will take to kill you!

  • http://twitter.com/bob_calder Bob Calder

    The climate denier’s comments are adorable. Their faith in their little intellectually isolated universe is nothing short of cute after all these years.

    • SteveA

      Congrats, Bob. In 2 sentences you just disproved Clive’s assertion.

  • http://twitter.com/bob_calder Bob Calder

    As recently as 2009, Fox News claimed (falsely) there was debate among scientists about global warming. http://climateprogress.org/2010/12/15/leaked-email-fox-news-sammon-cast-doubt-on-climate-science/

    Please note that Fox News defended itself in Florida courts, successfully claiming it was not required by law to tell the truth in news reports.

    Climate scientists determined in 2005 there was no reason to debate further the central facts of global warming trends.

    • SteveA

      Climate Progress. Now there’s an unbiased source of scientific info.

      Since when has ANY news org felt bound to the truth?

      Exactly which central facts are you referring to there, Bob?