ACM Comment: Who are the "deniers" now?

Are both sides guilty of this?

In the global warming heyday, when the planet was (for a short time) warming according to the CO2-tweaked models, the consensus boys regularly accused anyone who dared question the attribution of that warming as “deniers”.

It was a simple and effective tactic to smear one’s opponents without having to employ a single brain cell. Rather than engage in proper scientific discourse, they would simply shout “the science is settled” and “we have to move on to find solutions”. Genuine concerns of scientists reviewing the data and its interpretation were brushed aside.

But now, as so many climate indicators show a divergence from model predictions (which Andrew Bolt discusses here), it’s the consensus boys who have flipped into denial mode, scrabbling to find any excuse to explain away the models’ failures. You only have to look at the stream of hysterical responses to the recent Wall Street Journal letter (see here) to see it plainly for yourself.

Dr Roy Spencer coined the phrase “natural climate cycle deniers” back in 2009 to highlight the fact that many in the consensus camp are blind to the possibility of natural influences swamping the anthropogenic signal.

But that is the inevitable result of climate scientists becoming politically, financially and emotionally associated with a particular outcome. Because the consensus boys have dug their heels in so firmly, with massive personal and emotional investment in their projections, it would be impossible for many of them to even acknowledge publicly that there may be more going on in the climate system than their models believe. We know from Climategate that many harbour secret doubts about the magnitude of man-made warming, but few are prepared to speak out.

Partly, this can be attributed to fear of upsetting the apple cart, losing government funding (heavily dependent on the consensus being maintained) or being ostracised from the scientific community in which they work. But also, it’s deeply embarrassing to admit one may have been wrong, especially when one has arrogantly played down any possibility of error or uncertainty in the past.

As a result, the debate has become highly polarised, with both sides taking up positions at the periphery, with a no-go zone in between. Very few people have successfully negotiated the last decade or so with their heads above the parapet in this area, especially with barrages of ammunition flying overhead in both directions.

But it’s this no-go zone which is precisely where impartial scientists should be: taking both sides of the evidence and considering them dispassionately, without the corrupting influence of politics or money. Until each side can put down their weapons, call a truce and engage in the middle ground, there will be no progress towards better understanding of the climate system.

This isn’t to say that sceptics don’t have motivations too – everybody does. But there certainly isn’t the financial and political motivations at work on the sceptic side that there are on the consensus side (if you’re struggling to work out what I mean, just think of these two letters: UN). Many sceptics only speak out after they have retired from a mainstream scientific career, in effect rejecting financial inducements to toe the party line on climate. And as for being an outspoken sceptic in modern politics, well, I’ll leave you to decide on that one!

Websites such as ACM take a position on the debate. Our’s (as I mentioned in a comment in an earlier post) is deep suspicion of the politically-motivated consensus. Until the political and financial distortions are removed from climate research, there will continue to be a need for sites like this to question the consensus position.

So what is the solution? Apart from the UN getting the hell out of climate science (which is a no-brainer), should there be equal or similar funding for “sceptic research” as some have suggested? The very idea that funding buys a particular outcome is, from a scientific point of view, appalling either way. And climate has become such a politically febrile issue in national governments that it will be almost impossible to remove political influences.

So, it’s over to you for some suggestions…

Comments

  1. Michael Tait via Facebook says:

    The Alarmist Extremists that’s who ! It’s a religion to them, that they faithfully follow. It’s also like a mental disease as their faith renders them incapable of rational and logical thoughts and debate 🙂

  2. Colin S Tonks via Facebook says:

    People love to worship “doom and gloom”.

  3. Clarence Young via Facebook says:

    @Colin I think it goes beyond that. One of many tools in a tyrant’s tool chest is the manipulation of doom and gloom–fear. The best fear tactic is based upon something that is fuzzy around the edges. A coming calamity always needs a savior.

  4. Kyle Hein via Facebook says:

    I think it is something much more simple. The “save the planet”, “mother earth” crowd fell behind this with full force not because they understood the science but because they saw this as an opportunity to thwart human progress and put us under an “ethical” yoke. You know, the historically tired line of “save you from yourself”. And there were plenty of unethical political powers that saw this as the perfect opportunity.

  5. Ken Ward via Facebook says:

    The global warming believers are very few.

  6. I have no objection to the UN being involved in climate science; the main problem is the preconceived agenda.

    There are whole-of-world policies being framed on research that looks only for evidence that matches that preconception. In the corporate world, the UN and the governments that blindly follow it wouldn’t last 2 minutes.

  7. [apart from getting rid of Rajendra Pachauri & IPCC]
    Massive change in the “Peer Review” process for any study, report, or modelling that may have ramifications that extend beyond borders and affect human society as a whole, eg NO reviewer to have any direct or indirect financial interest, ALL dissenting views to be recorded etc.
    Those of us who hold judicial and quasi-judicial positions on government appeal tribunals and the like are used to complying with stringent Codes of Practice that are subject to penalties if they are not applied. The same should apply in this field.
    2. Recognition that “climate science” cannot be a scientific speciality, since it embraces knowledge relevant to perhaps 100 or more scientific technical and professional fields, and it is impossible for an individual (or even a group of individuals) to have expertise in more than two or three of these.
    3. Watch your back. The warmists have already set up a smoke screen by changing from AGW to Climate Change, now they are looking to diversify into other fields like sustainability. Make sure they don’t move in on a profession near you – they are likely to muck it up in the same way.
    4. (oops must get back to work)
    Btw – Those of you who use the WOT (World of Trust) browser add-in will know that ACM has been subject to attack by the usual suspects, and comes up with a bad rating. I’ve done my bit to correct this, but it will take time, and a bit of work by others. (WOT is useful if you are thinking of buying something over the net, but it is vulnerable to abuse.)

    • Kevin R. Lohse says:

      Me also. WoT is not intended to be used in this manner. A sure sign of just how desperate warmists are becoming.

    • The mere fact that WoT (which I had never heard of until your comment) rates my site as “Unsatisfactory” for “Child Safety” tells me all I need to know. Utter nonsense. I guess the warm-blogs get all the headbangers to vote down sceptic sites…

  8. Europe, Russia and North America hit hard by record freezing temperatures. and deep snow
    Cold and snow? This is skeptical BS every scientist that gets paid to promote global warming says so!

  9. Until such time as the ‘alarmism’ is taken out of the debate it will continue to be devisive.

    Where are the millions of predicted ‘climate refugees’? What happened to the melting ice caps? What happened to Australian cities being dry by 2009? By 2007 we were supposed to have lost the Great Barrier Reef. Where are all the catastrophic storms and the millions that would die from them? Where is the unabated warming that would bring pestilence and disease? What happened to the prediction of no more snow for England in a couple of years … made in 2000? Where are the rising sea levels and sinking islands? But I digress …

    Nothing that has happened or is happening in the world today has not happened before and at the same rate. Our climate is well within natural variants, as are sea levels, ice caps, temperatures etc etc.

    Human induced climate change is supposed to be the biggest challenge facing the Earth, yet even the recent COP17 conference didn’t think it was necessary to do anything until 2020. The sooner the bullshit is taken out of the debate and words like ‘catastrophic’ ‘urgent’ ‘unprecedented’ and ‘Al Gore’ are removed, the sooner we can have a sensible, balanced and scientific discussion.

    • The Loaded Dog says:

      “Until such time as the ‘alarmism’ is taken out of the debate it will continue to be devisive.”

      If there’s one thing that gets on my goat more than anything it’s bully boy tactics and attempts to force my will. Alarmism is nothing more than an attempt to force my will (and others) using fear as the medium.

      Any warmists (or any lunatic envirofreaks) trying to scare me into subscribing to their religious belief system can GO TO HELL…

      Is that emotive enough do you think? hehehe

      • AGW might be right and it might be wrong.

        It’s your personal choice to take a sceptic line.

        If a person accepts the formal position of NASA et al ( so it’ not an insane position to hold – not that I’m suggesting scepticism is insane either), please tell me how that AGW supporter might argue for carbon abatement – if they are not allowed to discuss the potential negative outcomes of AGW?

        Is any discussion of a 2c rise alarmist/warmist?

        Even if you don’t accept it, Is it OK to say that there is a low probability of no warming and a low probability of catastrophic warming, but the highest probability is around 2c – which is expected to be deleterious to human quality of life. Is that kind of statement still alarmist?How else might they put their case?

        • The Loaded Dog says:

          What was that noise?

          sniff sniff..

          Oh, it’s you again (un)Balanced! I thought someone had…oh never mind.

          “How else might they put their case?”

          Hmmmm…..May I suggest some UNbiased research into the Climate Gate scandal (un)Balanced? I think the answer may lie in there somewhere. .

          You “balanced” fence sitters (that term still cracks me up about you) have dismissed Climategate and the ingrained academic and political corruption it entailed far too readily.

        • The Loaded Dog says:

          “How else might they put their case?”

          The various religions of the world have been argueing that question for millenia. Why would it be any different with the religion of AGW?

          It’s a matter of faith isn’t it (un)Balanced? You can’t sit on the fence for ever…

  10. Toscamaster says:

    Someone accused the economist John Maynard Keynes of abandoning his former views on monetary policy, his specialty. With characteristic wit he replied, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, Sir?”
    I for one campaigned against companies whose emissions contained large proportions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane. Then I was confronted by a change, for me, about facts regarding man-made CO2 versus naturally generated CO2. That led me to research the whole AGW issue to the point that I now campaign against politicians and pseudo scientists who are taking advantage of the common person’s lack of knowledge.
    I have yet to meet someone who has gone from being an advocate for no action to now being an advocate for action against AGW. Mind you I have not met Tony Abbott.
    Mr Abbott – Please do your homework. The Facts have changed. It’s time to change your mind again.
    Stand up to The Prime Minister on this world-wide hoax. The nation will applaud you for your common sense and courage by voting for you and your Party in droves.

    • The Loaded Dog says:

      Hey (un)Balanced!!! With reference to your question above. Do you think “Toscamaster” might be onto something here?

      I too was once a true believer like Toscamaster and the points reproduced below are, I believe, quite pertinent.

      1 – “That led me to research the whole AGW issue to the point that I now campaign against politicians and pseudo scientists who are NB***taking advantage of the common person’s lack of knowledge.***”
      2 – “I have yet to meet someone who has gone from being an advocate for no action to now being an advocate for action against AGW.”

      Re point 2….ever wonder why that might be (un)Balanced?

  11. I am not saying that conservative parties do not promote the alarmism but defeating socialism is the only way to defeat the lie because AGW and socialism are linked. The UN is a global government who already with their climate funds is promoting socialism. So is our government and other governments around the world who promote this lie through taxes and money redistribution schemes. It works well with the investment banks due to money distribution (again socialism) and investments of governments and companies in general. Parties like the Greens are of course in place to protect the environment and are of course socialist parties (maybe even a communist party). Bob Brown has openly admitted that Global Governance in the form of the UN (which is ultimately a socialist organisation) is a Green’s platform. The whole lie is linked together by evil socialism. It is terrible and it must be defeated. The Greens seriously must want to bring back the days of communist Russia or have a socialist state.

    • Many of the people who used to work for the old Soviet Union found jobs at the EU parliament and the UN. You can see many of the UN programs come straight out of the Soviet system. For eaxmple the UNs REDD program, where the carbon ‘stored’ in rainforest trees will be sold off to European corporate polluters, and in the process control of the rainforests will be taken away from the indigenous peole who live in them. They will be paid to not cut the trees down, in other words paid to do nothing. Straight out of the Soviet playbook.

      And Gillard plans to give Australian carbon revenues directly to the UN, like an annual tithe. This carbon tax should be renamed the Ban Ki-Moon tax. Thank God I don’t live in Australia.

      • Do you have some names of people who have been involved with the Soviet Union and the EU/UN?

  12. thingadonta says:

    I think there is a secondary issue driving the AGW brigade, and that is the predicted decline in world oil supplies.

    As far as some academics are concerned, we may as well push for renewable energies now, because sooner or later we will have to anyway, and AGW is just a good way of pushing it.

    I don’t agree with the idea that wold oil supplies will decline soon, as I think, as usual, they have under-estimated how much oil is out there, but I do think it is a part of the AGW agenda. This is particularly the case in those western economies which don’t have much more oil left-the UK and USA (lower 48) being cases in point, so they are also pushing the AGW bandwagon hard.

    I studied earth science in Australia in the 1990s, and my feeling was that there was a distinct political element to the changes that were going on in Earth Sciences at some Australian universities at the time, which had little to do with the science. In my opinion, a political agenda was being driven, although I’d have to write a book to explain it all. Maybe some other time.

  13. Ray Anderson via Facebook says:

    They just found moss on a barren stretch of Bafffin Island, in the Arctic.. The moss hasn’t seen the light of day since before the mini ice age.. in other words the earth was warmer before the mini ice age than today.. I’m guessing it was all those Polar bears blowing gas after eating seals..:)

  14. Please have a look at this;

    If you said during the period 1945-1955 that Global warming had stopped, you’d have been wrong. heck, temperature even fell in that period, which it hasn’t done now.

    If you’d said global warming had stopped in the period 1975 – 1985 – again you’d have been wrong.

    The global warming tend of around 0.02C per annum is way less than natural ANNUAL variation, hence it is necessary to look at the long term trends.

    Judith Curry – known for her critiques of the IPCC and her stoush with Richard Muller, – also states that he current slow is, “not yet statistically significant”

    From this perspective, the current slowing in global warming is entirely does not in any way cast doubt on AGW. If however if it continued for 2 decades it would start to – particularly given the increasing rate of CO2 concentration.

    Anybody who knows their AGW science knows that slowing and even reversals of the temperature trend are expected.

    The only truly unfortunate aspect of the current slowing – is that it opens a window for a scientifically unjustified propaganda campaign.

    Also, I note that this blog likes to identify and discredit and doubt the objectivity of warmist activists. Why then do you readily rely on the opinions of sceptic activists. The logic does not seem consistent.

    Also; while I accept there is political interference in both directions in the AGW debate – and that the UN is indeed hopelessly compromised by politics. The elephant in the room is that individually the peak bodies of countries like Japan, Russia and China all continue to support AGW. In fact, there is not a single peak body on the planet that rejects it. Even 6 major geological bodies support it.

    A few bodies are indeed non-committal, but a) the do not REJECT AGW and b) they all stick to the Murdoch line that, “the earth deserves the benefit of the doubt”.

    • Now I’m afraid you are repeating tired alarmist propaganda. The graph to which you link is from NASA/GISS surface temperature records – i.e. James Hansen. Hansen is a vocal advocate for urgent action on climate change, and his data set has been “adjusted” so many times it is virtually worthless (the Ice Age scare of the early 70s has been airbrushed out of that record, as you can see…). If you are a global warming alarmist you will always cite GISS.

      Leaving that aside for the moment, the rate of warming between 1910 and 1945 is of a similar order to that between 1980 and 2010, but there were virtually no emissions of CO2 during that period. It was all before the post-War economic boom. Yes, it warmed, but that leaves the main question: why? Can’t have been CO2 can it?

      On the other hand if you check the satellite records of global temperature, which give a far more realistic impression of “global” temperature than surface stations (see here) you will see that despite increasing CO2 since 2001, temperatures have been virtually flat. What’s happening here? If CO2-driven warming is being swamped by natural drivers, then the effect of CO2 must be pretty small. Even looking back to 1979 on the satellite record shows far less warming than GISS.

      As far as discrediting and doubting the objectivity of warmists, Climategate did that for me. Plus the political nature of the UN/IPCC. What do sceptics have to gain (apart from that massive cheque from Exxon – LOL – I’m still waiting for mine)? Funding for sceptics is an infinitesimal fraction of the 70-odd billion spent on the Cause.

      And as for Japan Russia and China… I suggest you do some more research on this. Japan has abandoned its ETS, Russia has no plans to tackle climate change and China, I’m sorry to say, has fooled you totally! They may make the right noises about the environment, but when they’re building a new coal fired power station every two weeks, you know that their priorities lie elsewhere.

      Cheers.

      • Ok – please provide a link to the temperature record you rely upon? Have you got one?

        Here is another – which shows that the NOAA get pretty much the same result as Hansen. Also note in this link, that ocean temperature has CONTINUED TO RISE throughout the last decade and no doubt you’d know that per metre cubed, the ocean holds 4,200 times as much energy as air.
        http://www.csiro.au/Outcomes/Climate/Has-Global-Warming-Stopped/In-detail.aspx

        On your 1970’s global cooling scare – now this is a straw man. Global cooling/ice age was a fringe theory at the time. It certainly did not have multi-agency peer reviewed support. It had at the time, about as much support as cold fusion. Your 70s Ice Age Scare – is definitely tired, baseless propaganda.

        You talk of Climate-gate; what about Plimer going to print on a bold faced lie about the the Siple and Mauna Loa Data? This is just an example of the many untruths and gross inaccuracies peddled by skeptics. And I’ve been looking, but I can’t find the data that Bolt is talking about. But also – why would Bolt even quote the Met Office – because – Hadley is part of the met – so you guys will use Hadley when suits you, even if they are not to be trusted?

        Nothing here;
        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive
        Not that Bolt is obsessed with accuracy either …

        I don’t see the logic in disregarding an activist like Hansen and trusting activists like Plimer and Bolt. This is surely, a sign of some sort of bias. Let’s not forget that Plimer works for Hancock and she wants to get rid of the carbon tax. That’s a pretty cracking conflict of interest right there.

        Yes Japan (which is broke and has lost a huge raft of low carbon power generation) has dumped Kyoto and Russia was never interested – but I’m not talking about their politics – I’m talking about the simple fact that their peak scientific bodies are all card carrying AGW supporters. So no I’m far from fooled. And by the way – at $1.50 per ton, China’s energy intensive industries will be paying more carbon tax that our 94.5% protected energy intensive industries, who’ll be paying $1.27 per ton. Not that the government has not got that message out – but they are incompetent.
        This is just the G8+5 statement;
        http://www.nationalacademies.org/includes/G8+5energy-climate09.pdf

        Scientist are married to their theories are they?

        Here is evidence of what scientists do when they get a contra indication – as happened with CERN and the Neutrinos – they are asking whether basic assumptions have to be re-thought and they have gone public with the results to see if anybody can figure out what’s going on. The Theory of Relativity is one of the most fundamental theories in science and they are all discussing it openly.
        http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21064-neutrino-watch-speed-claim-baffles-cern-theoryfest.html

        But in the case of AGW – they are all, at every peak body on the planet, across countries, cultures and political leanings – all stubborn, willfully dishonest and corrupt.

        I could accept the UN being flawed, Hadley too – but ALL of them? Even the Russians, Chinese, Japanese and Germans?

        Cheers.

        • The Loaded Dog says:

          HAHAHAHAHA

          OH MY…Thankyou SO much for that little religious rant (un)Balanced.

          I must admit though….the part that really splits my sides when reading your posts is your claim to impartiality….as well as the fact that you expect us to take that claim seriously.

          Thanks for the laughs…you truly are a funny….funny guy.

  15. PS – Sorry I was a bit too rushed before.

    I would particularly like to thank Simon for starting this particular discussion and for his opening objective question, “Are both sides guilty of this?” below the caption of the gent with his head in the Sand. I think the answer, ultimately is going to be yes, both sides are.

    • The Loaded Dog says:

      Ahh yes, the old patronising of the blog host strategy. That’ll soften him up so he continues to provide a platform for your religious rantings.

      Sorry but you’ll have to try a bit harder than that. You don’t fool me you time waster….

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