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Climate Hustle

A look back - SkS in 2007

Posted on 18 July 2017 by BaerbelW

2007

SkS goes live

Sometime in early 2007 John Cook decided to create a database for himself as a resource to more easily counter the arguments from family members regarding AGW. Here is how he described this in a Guardian article a couple of years ago:

"My exploration of climate change denial began innocuously enough – namely some vigorous discussions with sceptical family members. This provoked me to dig a little deeper into the science (no one wants to lose an argument with their father-in-law), but before I knew it, I had wandered into a bewildering labyrinth of raging online debates and bottomless pits of misinformation. How to make sense of it all?

At this point, my inner-computer geek asserted itself and I began constructing a database of climate 'sceptic' arguments. To cut to the truth of each argument, I made peer-reviewed science the ultimate authority. There's no higher standard than evidence-based research conducted by experts, which is then rigorously scrutinised by other experts. As I began to piece together the various pieces, a clear picture began to emerge."

The very first rebuttals entered into the still private database on May 8 were these:

1970s Ice age predicted in the 70s
planets Other planets are warming
hockey Hockey stick is broken
mwp Medieval Warm Period was warmer
midcentury It cooled mid-century
lag CO2 lags temperature
cosmic It's cosmic rays

The URL "Skepticalscience.com" was registered on June 25 but we haven't been able to pinpoint the exact date when SkS actually went live. What we do know is that John published the very first blog post - Stephen Schwartz on climate sensitivity - on August 22 and we decided to just go with that date for the "date of birth". 

This is how a rebuttal on our homepage looked like in December 2007:

HomepgageDec2007Image found via the Wayback machine (please note that Wayback may show you a "not found" message for this and similar links in the other posts. If this happens, simply delete the "s" in the "https://" part of the link and let Wayback search again. It should then find it)

All told, John wrote and published 19 blog posts and 78 rebuttals during 2007. If you have "some" time to kill, you can read up on the blog posts published since then from bottom to top on the Archive page.

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