Alarmists’ zeal causes more climate scepticism

Skeptical Smears

Skeptical Smears

The alarmists refuse to budge on global warming. Despite widespread head-scratching regarding the cause of the current 15-plus year pause or slowdown in warming (and the obvious failings of climate models to predict it) the alarmists don’t ever want to give an inch.

Over the years, they have painted themselves into a corner – any admission of uncertainty or doubt would now be regarded as weakness, at least in their minds. So they plough on with the wilful blindness, misrepresentation and name-calling.

The image shows how Skeptical Science used to smear its opponents, with links to “Christie Crocks” [a “crock” in Australian slang is short for “crock of sh*t”], “Monckton Myths”, “Spencer Slip Ups” etc.

SkS has now removed them, but they have since been replaced with a stream of psycho-babble which attempts to medicalise “denial”  by branding anyone who queries their version of the “consensus” as a conspiracy theorist. And anyone who questions that assertion is themselves also a conspiracy theorist… and so on and so on.

Ben Pile, writing at Climate Resistance, analyses this polarising effect, with reference to the Guardian, but equally applicable to SkS (my emphasis):

The Guardian’s [and SkS’s] regular coverage of the climate debate is notable for two reasons. One: its attempts to sustain the climate change narrative is unremittingly alarmist and increasingly shrill. Two: it polarises the debate into binary, opposing categories of scientist versus denier, truth verses falsehood, good vs bad, thus excluding any nuance, complexity or middle ground from the debate.

The problem for the Guardian is that, when you divide and polarise the debate as it does, when the alarmist story you tell turns out to be nonsense, you force people with the sense or intuition to see it as nonsense to the other, opposing camp. In other words, if you do not let people assent to the climate story by degree, you alienate yourself in an attempt to alienate ‘denial’. And the view that the climate has not warmed for over a decade and a half is no longer controversial — only people assembled at the Guardian [SkS] argue otherwise, albeit they argue the point with (far too much) vehemence. The Guardian’s [and SkS’s] ire is too much for science to sustain, even if there are plausible hypotheses about where the warming is going. Those who are making the argument that the non-warming of the surface of the planet is not a problem for the climate narrative of 2006 — the ‘travesty’, to use the word of the most vocal proponent of the ocean warming theory of the missing heat — are simply shifting the goalposts, and the whole world can see them being hoist by their own noxious petards: bogus surveys intended to shine a light into the mechanisms of the sceptical mind, to measure the consensus, and to ‘frame’ the debate in such a way as to gently coerce non-believers into ‘behaviour change’ and ‘attitudinal adjustment’. They don’t recognise themselves as the cause of so much climate scepticism. 

That last sentence is the key: SkS and the Guardian are themselves responsible for a great deal of the scepticism. By requiring followers to subscribe 100% to every aspect of their position on climate, no matter how extreme, with no dissent brooked, rational thinking people will say no. Suddenly, they are unclean and labelled “deniers”. If you dare to suggest that perhaps Roy Spencer “might” have a point on something, or Lindzen is a highly qualified scientist and may have something to add to the debate, that’s sufficient to have you thrown out of the club.

There is no middle ground, no room for debate. It’s black and white. So rather than be white (as defined by the Guardian and Skeptical Science) people choose black. In a vicious circle, the alarmists are helping to create the very enemy they then go on to demonise. Pile concludes, all equally applicable to our friends over at SkS:

The question that remains then, is, how come all this emphasis on ‘science’ — calls to put ‘science’ at the heart of policy-making and information provided to the public — hasn’t been able to change the quality of the pronouncements made by the likes of Stern and the Guardian? Why hasn’t it been able to challenge alarmist memes finding their way into cheap and shrill Guardian copy? And why is pointing out that the climate change pudding has been over-egged is still dismissed as ‘denial’ by the climate Great and Good? The reason the public switch off is that it is by now completely obvious that there is more to the climate debate than science vs denial, and anyone claiming otherwise is pulling your leg. The only people who don’t understand this are writing for the Guardian.

If the Guardian and SkS toned down their smears and preaching, they may find “deniers” more willing to engage with their arguments.


  1. When an organisation is stacked with like minded people, it is hardly a consensus of ideas, it’s just one sides opinion.

  2. I love hearing debate from both sides, as each contain persuasive elements.

    Historically, science and politics have had many disagreements.

    Toss in some religious and business pressure, and anything can evolve (or not).

    “Only listen to advice which assists the cause”.

    Anyhow, it always gives me plenty of material for my cartoons.

    This is my latest . . . .



  3. Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
    Keep connecting the dots! (Why are the ‘alarmists’ so dogmatic, even bigoted?
    Sensible people will look at both “sides” and realize that the science is not “settled”.

  4. thingadonta says:

    Yeah the pause in warming confirms that not all the warming that came between the 1970s and the 2000s was caused by humans, otherwise it would have just kept warming, since c02 emissions have continued and moreover actually increased.

    The idea that is very slowly getting around to the alarmists, is that the current pause is due to natural variability, but that also means the warming from the 1970s is at least partly due to natural variability as well (when they wanted to blame it all on humans). The models all simply assumed that the warming from the ~1970s was pretty much all human, so they also assumed warming would continue in all the models.

    Only very slowly will it dawn on them, that the current pause strongly implies that not all the warming that occurred from the 1970s was due to humans either (e.g. delayed effects from the solar activity and ocean cycles), meaning the models for future warming HAVE to be scaled down. It is basic mathematics.

    But because bureaucracies move only slowly, (and have the most difficulty of all with multivariate analysis, in particular), it will take several years or more for this to sink in. I expect by about 2020-2030 they will start to revise down the climate sensitivity to what it should be-about 1 degree for doubling c02.

  5. Well the reality is we always figured the Left were a bunch of ratbags, this latest Spanish Inquisition like approach only seals their fate.

    As they paint themselves further and further into the corner and become more extreme, most people will shy away from extreme causes. Then they have to choose – do they force people to “believe” , or do they quietly drop back from the lunatic zone and consider a more subtle approach?

    Experince says they wont give up, and Fabian-like will regroup and keep at it. The quiet & considered science-based approach is the best defence against this form of eco-religious extremism.

  6. Speaking of the pause in warming, the following post is fascinating:

  7. Reblogged this on Legal Elite and commented:
    Climate change is one of the important current issue. Simon, blogger of Australian Climate Madness, examines how alarmists refuse the budge of global warming.

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