Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

Enter a term in the search box to find its definition.


Use the controls in the far right panel to increase or decrease the number of terms automatically displayed (or to completely turn that feature off).

Term Lookup


All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

Home Arguments Software Resources Comments The Consensus Project Translations About Support

Bluesky Facebook LinkedIn Mastodon MeWe

Twitter YouTube RSS Posts RSS Comments Email Subscribe

Climate's changed before
It's the sun
It's not bad
There is no consensus
It's cooling
Models are unreliable
Temp record is unreliable
Animals and plants can adapt
It hasn't warmed since 1998
Antarctica is gaining ice
View All Arguments...

New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts


The best of climate science and humanity come together at AGU

Posted on 21 December 2015 by dana1981

Every year, the world’s Earth and space scientists converge on San Francisco forthe fall American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting. Around 25,000 scientists attended this year, most of whom do research relevant to climate change. I’ve just returned from the conference, at which I was struck by the quality and quantity of fascinating research and people.

Great humans, under attack

I had the pleasure of meeting with dozens of climate scientists, and they were without exception kind, brilliant, fascinating people with a passion for learning how the Earth’s climate functions and how humans are changing it. It was a stark contrast from the way the climate science community is often portrayed – as frauds, conspiring to falsify data as part of the greatest hoax ever perpetrated.

These claims have been made by several American political representatives, including Senator James Inhofe, Congressman Lamar Smith, and Senator (and leading Republican presidential candidate) Ted Cruz. Recent comments made by Smith and Cruz attacking climate scientists and misrepresenting their data were referenced in at least three talks at the conference.

Climate scientists are understandably unhappy with the way their and their data and research are being misrepresented by these politicians. These types of distortions have led to countless personal attacks on climate scientists. I spent time with Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes, who were attacked because they published groundbreaking research reconstructing past temperatures that resulted in the ‘hockey stick’ that certain parties found politically inconvenient. Mann and Bradley have written books documenting their journeys in navigating these attacks.

I also learned that the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund was called upon to help 40 members of the climate science community last year. While this organization provides critical help to scientists who are being subjected to senseless legal attacks, it’s help that shouldn’t be needed in the first place. My colleague John Mashey was forced to enlist the help of the legal defense fund, and struck a chord with me when he said,

I’m not a climate scientist. I grew up on a farm with a respect for science, and it pisses me off to see climate scientists being attacked just because they’re doing important research whose answers some people really dislike.

Fascinating research and implications

Among the talks I attended was one bySarah Myhre, who published important research about extreme oxygen loss in oceans during past climate changeevents. The paper received significant media attention, and when Myhre expressed personal concern about the implications of her research for her son’s generation, she received institutional pushback. Myhre talked about the importance of scientists having the option to make these types of personal connections, and for their institutions to support them, especially in the case of young researchers without job security.

Many of the scientific talks I attended addressed the current unprecedented California droughtJay Famiglietti of NASA noted that because California produces so much food, the lack of water in the state is really a national and even a global problem. Richard Seager’s team estimated that global warming has intensified the California drought by about 20%, while another study suggested the warming contribution could be closer to 50%. Research led by Ivana Cvijanovic found that declining Arctic sea ice leads to high pressure ridges off the coast of California like the one that’s been pushing storm systems around the state – another way human-caused climate change could be exacerbating the California drought.

Several talks also dealt with the short-term slowdown in global surface warming, which Kevin Trenberth and Thomas Karl agreed has likely ended, with 2014 and 2015 breaking heat records, and the Met Office predicting 2016 will break once again. The experts agreed that during the slowdown, global warming merely shifted more heat from the atmosphere to the oceans, and that “pause” and “hiatus” are inaccurate descriptions that unfortunately seeped into the scientific literature from the contrarian media.

Zeke Hausfather presented his research in collaboration with Kevin Cowtan and others, which showed that climate models predicted global warming even more accurately than previously thought. In a second talk, Hausfather presented his findings on the viability of natural gas to act as a “bridge fuel” during the transition from coal to near-zero carbon energy sources. He found that while replacing coal with natural gas would make it easier to stay below 3°C warming from pre-industrial temperatures, it would also make it harder to stay below the 2°C target. 

Click here to read the rest

0 0

Printable Version  |  Link to this page


Comments 1 to 32:

  1. AGU streaming was very poor this year compared to last. I tried several combinations of browser(5) and OS(3) and few "worked." Since I have better things to do, I shall wait for more accessible versions. On another note, what is the matter with realclimate ? Adware abounds. Apparently there is no one minding the store. Ought we begin a kickstarter campaign to fund a webmaster position ?
    0 0
  2. If climate scientists are or feel they are, being reviled and misrepresentred, perhaps it is because of the arrogant and pompous behaviour of a significant number of climate scientists and their acolytes. If you call people who disagree with you "deniers" with all the unpleasant connotations that word brings, why shouldn't you be pilloried in return? Statements such as that by Professor Richard Parncutt from the University of Graz that "deniers should be executed" ( a statement for which he subsequently apologised) is hardly likely to endear the climate change proponents to those that are less convinced. Al Gore suggested deniers be punished. David Suzuki said deniers shoud be thrown into jail. James Hansen said deniers should be brought to trial for high crimes against humanity. Stephan Lewandowsky equates "deniers" with conspiracy theory nuts. Pro AGW blogs regularly make derogatory comments against Judith Curry and Richard Lindzen and John Christy and Roy Spencder and Bjorn Lomborg. The climate scientists and acolytes are reaping what they sow. I exclude Kevin Cowtan from any of this as he is a courteous and thoughtful man

    0 1
    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

    Inflammatory and ideology snipped.

  3. And yet I no longer read the comments on most sites which mention me, I no longer google myself or my work. My social media activities are minimal and totally locked down. Being courteous isn't enough. If you work in climate and communicate your results, you will be attacked.

    2 0
  4. ryland @2 . . . Ryland, really now : let's just be frank about statements such as, "deniers should be executed"  ~ frankly, such comments are exceedingly rare compared with the torrent of violent threats and abuse issuing from the ranks of the AGW-deniers [and over many years, too].

    Of course, neither party is spotlessly pure in its politeness to the other party ~ but the difference between them is many orders of magnitude.  A difference so huge, that it represents a real difference of quality, over and above quantity.

    The hard core of deniers being so resentful against the reality of it all, and so angry contra mundum . . . that they display themselves as vitriolic and deranged.  Is that comment just some hyperbole by me? Not at all : it is calling a spade a spade.

    Sure, for those angry denouncers of science/ climate science, there are many of them who are (at least in part) angered by other events and trends in their own individual lives : and so they vent their frustration by making continual cries of outrage against science and against individual scientists or commentators.

    On top of that, there seems to be a "tribal" outrage against events and trends in their collective lives ~ and they seek a scapegoat for that.   Perhaps I am an optimist, but I can see a sort of silver lining to that stormcloud : i.e. while they are attacking climate scientists/science, they are (to a degree) easing up on their attacks against women/ Jews/ racial groups/ other targets.   Well, perhaps easing a bit [though I can't document it] !!


    Deniers or denialists . . . it's all the same.  And what better term could be used?  Maybe, 25 years ago, it might have been more appropriate to call the (less deranged) of them "skeptics" or "contrarians" . . . but that time is long past.  The continous global warming since then, and the additional scientific understanding of many aspects of AGW, has resulted in a situation where opponents of the concept of AGW do not have a leg to stand on [apart from paranoid conspiracy theories].  Even devil's advocates must, in their heart of hearts, acknowledge that . . . don't you reckon, eh Ryland?

    1 0
    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please do not respond further to that portion of Ryland's comment that was moderated out.

  5. @3 The quotation I should have used is "as ye sow so shall ye reap".  Your comments directed to me on SkS have always been, unlike many at this site, both temperate and  courteous hence my comment.  With regard to your remark "Being courteous isn't enough. If you work in climate and communicate your results, you will be attacked." perhaps you are being "tarred with the same brush" as other, less pleasant, climate scientists and their acolytes   However,  these attacks are not by other scientists who work in climate as is the case with Christy, Curry and Spencer.  All of these scientists and others such as Willie Soon, work in climate and are regularly  attacked by their peers as well as by those whose knowledge of science is less extensive.

    0 3
    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Ideology and inflammatory snipped.  Please review the Comments Policy and better construct your comments to conform to it.  Thanks!

  6. ryland #5,

    You post is just another instance of "Climateball", the game deniers play where they make up all the rules to suit themselves e.g. deniers may not be insulted, but may fling insults themselves whereever they please.

    It's frankly boring and irrelevant. There an old political adage: if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Deniers dragged the debate from the realm of science into the realm of rhetoric and cheap point-scoring. If you think you are getting the worst of it, then boo hoo.

    0 0
    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please do not respond further to those portions of Ryland's comments moderated out.

  7. The difficulty we all face is that the clear evidence of climate research points to an increasingly urgent imperative for bold economic policy change. At that point the message becomes a threat to a proportion of the population, either because their vested interests are threatened or because of a deep-seated distrust of 'big government'.    Sadly the ancient expression "Don't shoot the messenger" seems to be ignored.

    As noted above, one of the disappointing aspects of the wall of denier PR is that some aspects of the denier agenda have crept into climate science, such as the alleged 'pause', being sucked into the trap of trying to defend the long-term trend shown in the models when faced with a short-term blip; a blip that has plenty of historical precedence.

    0 0
  8. PeterH Can you advise how the 100% of global warming is attributable to humans has been arrived at?  Are you saying that computer programs devised by humans, who not only freely admit to not knowing the precise details of how the various factors  affecting the climate interact but also that there are almost certainly unknown contributing factors, are reliable prognosticators of global warming?  And please don't bring Arrhenius 1896 into your argument a syou are dealing with a scientist with a lot of experience in vetting all sorts of claims.  And just to finish I do know climate change is occurring and that humans are responsible at least in part  but I don't accept Gavin Schmidt's 110%.  Also  I accept that a 2C increase means the end of the world as we know it for as Roy Spencer has recently pointed out we are already at 1.5C increase

    0 2
  9. ryland - I suggest you look at both the Comprehensive Review of the Causes of Global Warming post and the huge amount of work summarized in IPCC AR5 Ch. 10, Detection and Attribution of Climate Change. Multiple approaches, including examining all known forcings (natural forcings alone would have induced a slight cooling over the last century, but note we are seeing warming), statistical correlation of forcings with changes over time (from the last 40-120 years, such as Foster and Rahmstorf 2011, Lean and Rind 2008), and, yes, model comparisions with natural and natural plus anthropogenic factors, which show the same results. And including all estimates of uncertainty on those factors, the possibility of natural causes adding up to 50% of recent warming is less than 5%. The best estimate is indeed a human attribution of 110% - that without human influences we would have seen a temperature drop over the last century.

    Your comment is a combination of decrying and attempting to dismiss large chunks of the evidence, dismissal of well known and quite solid early work (Arrhenius), implying the attribution comes from a single researcher (Serengheti strategy, a claim not even remotely true), and in essence multiple arguments from incredulity - logical fallacies.

    I await a reference or two to actual attribution studies that support your incredulous claims - but I'm not going to hold my breath. 

    1 0
  10. ryland @8, given that you reject the IPCC position on attribution, and ask PeterH about why he accepts it, it is only fair that you are forthcoming on the attribution level you accept (with uncertainties) and why.  Certainly PeterH should feel no compulsion to  respond to your questions while you continue to conceal your actual opinions.

    0 0
  11. I suspect side-tracking is on display. It's not obligatory to fall for it.

    0 0
  12. Eclectic@4 wrote "Deniers or denialists . . . it's all the same. And what better term could be used? "

    A lot of then get very sweaty about being called those terms, in particular those who describe themelves as sceptics, who usually turn out to be some version of a "lukewarmer".
    Recently, I have been getting much less kickback by using the term "delusionists" which I find ironic because, to me, being accused of being delusional would be much worse than being called "denier".

    0 0
  13. > realclimate ? Adware abounds.

    Here's what you need to fix — it's in your computer, not at RC's link (now).  You could have gotten it from that site during the registration problem, or from many other sources.

    From this and a couple of mentions at RC, I think people who were not running adware/virus protection back during the brief, er, hiatus in registration picked up a malware/virus load.

    At that time, when registration was screwed up, I noticed redirection attempts and reported that to RC.  But I run Malwarebytes and a couple of other antivirus tools and haven't picked up the malware myself.

    You have — probably it has modified the hosts file record for RC (and eventually other sites you use also).  It's an intermittent offender which means you need to follow all three steps at the malwarebytes help page, to root the damned thing out.

    These things are lurking all over the Internet.

    0 0
  14. @ Nick Palmer [#12] writing: "I have been getting much less kickback by using the term 'delusionist' " .   Nick, an interesting observation there!  Personally, I would feel more insulted by the term "delusionist" . . . but perhaps that's just me.  Plus, delusionist is a rarely encountered word : sounding a bit like a (toothless) neologism, and almost to be confused with illusionist (which is a clever stage-performer, sort of ~ and not at all unflattering).

    Why would a science-denier be rather unconcerned by the label "delusionist"?   Perhaps because it's a vaguer and more general term, and maybe implying hyperbole too.  And because [denier-me] rarely experiences being called that . . . and because [denier-me] am obviously quite sane [my sanity also being attested to by my friends] . . . and well, it clearly adds up to the guy being wrong in calling [me] a delusion-holder. QED

    Perhaps there's a further explanation of the teflon-coated unconcerned rejection of "delusionist".   Just as the schizophrenic, experiencing the delusions of (untreated) schizophrenia, has no actual appreciation/ insight/ understanding of "delusion" . . . so too the deluded Conspiracy Theorist can have little understanding of the nature and severity of his own delusions.


    Still: the term denier/denialist has a certain bite to it ~ in part, because the denier knows (deep inside) that he is in denial of a (distasteful) reality; and he resents such public exposure

    Despite all that resentment, the deniers themselves have yet to discover a neutral/flattering term for themselves that isn't ridiculously inappropriate.   "Skeptics" is simply ridiculous, because they are nowhere near being real skeptics (and indeed are the opposite).   "Contrarians" is also quite inappropriate, because it implies that they hold logical [though minority] views which are in touch with reality.  ( Also which they have completely failed to demonstrate! )

    0 0
  15. ryland "as ye sow so shall ye reap" @ 5

    As in:
    "as ye sow Carbon Dioxide so shall ye reap Climate Change."

    0 0
  16. Eclectic @14

    I am not happy with the term denier or contrarian to describe those who promote the idea that AGW/CC will be all OK and there is nothing to worry about. The word skeptic also doesn't seem appropriate considering the sceptical nature of science in general. Perhaps, anti-AGW/CC propagandist might be more appropriate for those with hidden agendas who don't actually discuss the science but only use political rhetoric to obscure the scientific arguments. With regard to those who don't seem to understand the scientific basis and the ramifications of AGW and CC, then perhaps being AGW/CC challenged might be more appropriate.

    0 0
  17. @mancan18 (post #16) : possibly there should be some handful of labels for science-deniers . . . since deniers seem to come in a spectrum of hues ~ ranging from the ill-informed [rather passive, Fox-News-swallowing couch-potato]; through to the deranged Conspiracy Theorist; and further through to the rabid, devil-take-the-hindmost sort of libertarian ["I had to destroy the world to save it" type!]; and yet further through to the "knows-he's-in-the-wrong" but chooses to propagandize against any correcting of the AGW problem.    Of course it's not as simple as that ~ the denier groups overlap to some extent (as shown by multi-hued individuals).

    Lengthy labels such as "antiAGW/CC propagandist" cannot hope to survive our natural abbreviating tendency . . . plus they fail to address the moral dimension in all this.   There is a moral dimension, in that (a) the deniers are collectively [by lies and procrastinations] harming the human race and the biosphere, and (b) deniers individually attack scientists (see Kevin C's note in post #3 ) in a way we can fairly describe as evil [ as well as deranged! ].

    Denier or denialist is a term that includes a touch of the "Godwin-esque" , and so is a term difficult to improve on.  As well as being very accurate.   But if an improvement can be thought of, then we should certainly consider it.   Open to suggestions!

    0 0
  18. Eclectic @17

    I agree, the terms I suggested do not easily convert into some snappy public relations acronym or simple term. I am not convinced that agprop or CCprop would work for AGW/CC propagandist. Unfortunately, the terms denier, contrarian or sceptic do not adequately describe all the possible nuances.

    Also, several other terms might also be needed.

    There are scientists in the field who do their scientific research honestly with good intentions but are not completely convinced by or neccessarily agree with all prevailing AGW/CC propositions. Some of these scientists do good science and contribute to the growing body of scientific knowledge by highlighting problems, inconsistencies and anomilies with some of the research. By doing so they cause other scientists to look into these inconsistencies. This ends up in making the theory more robust and ultimately increases understanding. Then there are other "scientists" who are often in the pay of interests seeking a predetermined outcome for their own advantage. These scientists add very little to the body of scientific knowledge because they are merely adding distractions and moving the deck chairs of known knowledge. Perhaps there needs to be separate terms for those who contribute to the body of AGW/CC knowledge and are recognised by their scientific peers, and for those who merely detract from or contribute nothing to the body of AGW/CC knowledge and have no recognised standing in the field. Perhaps terms equivalent to AGW/CC contributor and AGW/CC detractor might suit. Sadly, again, these don't bring any useful acronyms or simple terms to mind. I guess climate scientist and not a climate scientist might be all that is needed but again these terms do not cover all the nuances.

    0 0
  19. When it comes to terms of reference for people regarding issues like climate science and the required changes its developing better understanding point to, I prefer 'helpful', 'blindly harmful', and 'deliberately harmful' but it is essential to understand the context for those terms.

    I start with the understanding that advancement of humanity only occurs through the development of ways of living (attitudes and actions) that can be continued indefinitely without fighting on this amazing planet. Any other type of development is a waste of time and effort in spite of temporary regional popularity and profitibaility. And it is essential to understand that popular and profitable activities can even be very damaging in spite of perceptions of prosperity created in the minds of those who benefit most from the damaging unsustainable developments.

    The objective is all of humanity actually sustainably living a decent basic life and participating in and contributing to that sustainable diversity of humanity. And it is important to understand that 'everyone having a chance to be one of the few in the long line of humanity who live a decent life' is not meeting the objective, and can actually be the furthest possible thing from that objective.

    Therefore, for humanity to advance, humans need to develop more understanding of what is going on and apply that understanding to the development of ways of living that all of humanity can benefit from essentially perpetually (our amazing plant, and many others, can be perpetual motion machines for humanity to thrive on - perpetually, not for a moment). That requires the constant development of new activities that allow a robust diversity of humanity to live as a sustainable part of a robust diverstity of life on this or any other amazing planet. It also requires the termination of developed ways of living that are learned to be damaging or are simply not sustainable. The burning up of non-renewable resources is a clear example of an unacceptable development that needs to be terminated, the sooner the better for the future of humanity (contrary to the interests and desires of some humans in this moment in human history).

    In that context as modifiers of 'contributions' to the advancement of humanity toward a lasting better future for all life on this or any other amazing planet, I prefer the terms 'helpful', 'blindly harmful', and 'deliberately harmful - harmful with awareness - criminal'.

    The blindly harmful need to be helped to better understand what their life really needs to focus on and contribute to. Some of the blindly harmful will choose to become helpful and some will become deliberately harmful.

    And the deliberately harmful will need to be kept from being free to do as they please until they prove they have understood the need to change their minds. Many of them will resist 'reason' when reasoning would lead to the understanding that their 'personal desires in their lifetime' must be given up because of 'what is needed to advance humanity to a lasting better future for all'. They will 'need the most help'.

    0 0
  20. P.S., if you're still seeing popup ads, after carefully following the steps linked above to rid your own computer of the problems (and after you have installed and are running Malwarebytes and an antivirus program) (and know the difference, you need both) Then: start checking the websites you go to with one of the online scanning tools. Examples are:
    0 0
  21. rats, the blog software lost the line breaks. Again:

    0 0
    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Separated links.

  22. dang. It's too smart for me. Just break that mess before each "https" and you'll have three separate links.
    0 0
  23. I apologize for continuing an offtopic thread and this will be my last post on the subject. The adware I refer to on realclimate is not due to malware on the visiting browser. I have tried this on known clean installs of linux and BSD with various browsers. The (intermittent) redirects to adware sites seem internal to realclimate site, do not occur every time. I do not have the time or inclination for fuller testing, especially without permission from realclimate, so I will leave it there for now.
    0 0
  24. Sidd @23 : thanks for your helpful comments.

    OnePlanet @19 : I certainly agree with you, that those of us well aware of the AGW issue will (rather intuitively) be categorizing deniers into "passive/ harmful/ vitriolic/ evil/ etcetera" , on a sort of spectrum.

    Nevertheless, that "thought concept" does need expression in words/labels.   Such word labels need to be short and to the point ~ and that point includes easy communication with those many people who are only slightly engaged with the Global Warming issue.  They need useful and easy-fit labels to describe the various different groups.  ( In the same way: short labels e.g. club names, are needed to define the various different Football Clubs. )

    The labels are best if they are descriptive rather than just an abstract name.

    Denier or denialist is a very well-fitting descriptive name.  Accurate and memorable.

    0 0
  25. I rather like 'skeppo' (cf. 'seppo') for the self-styled skeptics, though it's unlikely to find traction outside of Australia, if at all.

    0 0
  26. Sorry for the tangent, but in case this is useful to someone.  I agree the long time since RC updated suggests they're chasing some problem.

    Sidd, which DNS server is your computer showing you?  Have you changed to a different one?  Checked that when you see a popup?

    "" was sent (during the 'hiatus') to this IP: (Virgin Islands)

    For me right now with my ISP's DNS, is connected to (Texas) shows some issues that may take a while to clear up.

    Is it possible your setup queries several different Domain Name Servers and one of them is compromised and hasn't been flushed out?

    0 0
  27. And today, "" for me instead tries to connect to, and a traceroute goes to IPs located in Stuttgart, then Hesse, then Seattle, Seattle, Dallas, Dallas, then begins reporting steps that time out.

    Curiouser and curiouser

    0 0
  28. and a last postscript — checked back and during the brief RC "hiatus" that site name was being redirected through a known malware source named "" (I captured the info when I saw it go by, and mailed it to RC at the time).  Here is a comprehensive page on how to remove the crap that site puts on computers (Windows, Mac)

    0 0
  29. Though I used to say fake or phony skeptic, I've taken to unskeptical "skeptic" and often enlarge on why that is so.  Also unskeptical "skeptic" climate science denier if to pile it on. But I am a fast typist.

    Too many people take the argument about denier seriously. It's just a way of derailing the conversation, a form of victim bullying.

    Thanks Hank for the references.  I've had RC derailments but usually find I can get through if I close the window, sometimes by choosing a specific article.  I'm too lazy and ignorant to do all that stuff, but do use antivirus (at least daily) and spybot (weekly) fairly regularly.

    0 0
  30. Eclectic @24,

    I appreciate the desire to have a brief label that connects in a meaningful way to an action that is being addressed. I would clarify that the terms I presented can be applied to a specific action as well as being a general term applicable to a person with a history of a certain category of actions.

    "Denier or denialist" only refers to a person not a specific action in question (it required an evaluation of a history of actions to jutify its use). Labelling a person a denier requires an extensive presentation of the history of actions that leads to the person deserving the label (as opposed to beiong able to use a label to address a specific action by a person). And just referring to denial of an aspect of science is unnecessarily limited. The motivation for, and consequences of, the action need to be addressed.

    Getting other people to more fully better understand what is going on neds to be the objective. Labeling someone a "denier" may not help. It could be easy for a cherry-picked redeeming action by a person to be used as evidence that the label was not deserved, leading to a rather pointless debate about the applicability of the label.

    Hence my preference for the brief terms of reference to specific actions: Helpful, Blindly Harmful, and Deliberately Harmful in the larger context I mentioned. I consider the elaboration of the reason for using them to be a more important matter for someone to better understand than why a person was called a Denier. And the elaboration of helpful/harmful can be briefer than presenting a history of actions by a person to justify the label Denier. And the helpful/harmful actions of a person can then the the basis for considering the application of the label to a person.

    And I would add "Mostly Harmless" to the set of labels for actions and people, because I love so many of the thoughts expressed by Douglas Adams. I would love all of human activity to be collectively be shown to be "Helpful" and "Mostly Harmless".

    The current developed direction of humans is far too "Deliberately Harmful" for humanity to be able to advance to a lasting better future. Major changes are required, and many perceptions need to be corrected through the development of better understanding of what life is really all about - it is not about what an individual or group desires and might be able to get away with - it is not about popularity and profitability and perceptions of prosperity (in spite of the developed predominance of those things).

    0 0
  31. One Planet Only ( @30 ),

    Fair enough that you wish to consider the consequences of people's denialism.

    Yet we still need short labels for them, all the same.

    If someone asserts that the world is flat . . . then he is a (science) denier.  His motivations and the downstream consequences, are a matter of separate issue.

    There are many people (in cold regions) who are mildly doubtful about AGW ~ but only where they haven't given it serious thought.   But those nowadays who have spent much time investigating/ reading/ thinking on AGW ~ and yet manage to disagree with the scientific evidence ~ have earned the unflattering label: denier.   Just as those who assert "2+2=3" have earned the label of (mathematics) denier.

    0 0
  32. Eclectic,

    A 'Flat earther's' denial is very different from a climate science denial. That is distinguised by the "brief labels" I suggested.

    A Flat-earther's denial can actually be Harmless (not just Mostly Harmless but actually Completely Harmless) while a Climate Science denial is almost certain to be Harmful. Both are denial, but have very different consequences.

    And those who have not given much thought to AGW are blind to the issue. That blindness can result in them acting in a harmful way. As they become more aware tehir response will be their choice to move from Blindly Harmful to "Mostly Harmless - Helpful" or "Deliberately Harmful".

    So using the terms Helpful and Harmful can be more applicable than denial or denier.

    0 0

You need to be logged in to post a comment. Login via the left margin or if you're new, register here.

The Consensus Project Website


(free to republish)

© Copyright 2024 John Cook
Home | Translations | About Us | Privacy | Contact Us