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Climate Hustle

Are you a genuine skeptic or a climate denier?

Posted on 30 May 2011 by John Cook

The ABC Drum have just published my article Are you a genuine skeptic or a climate denier? Right now, there are no comments but I imagine the discussion will get fierce shortly so be sure to keep an eye on it (expect to see all the traits of denial I describe rear their ugly head in the comments and be quick to point them out). An excerpt:

In the charged discussions about climate, the words skeptic and denier are often thrown around. But what do these words mean?

Consider the following definitions. Genuine skeptics consider all the evidence in their search for the truth. Deniers, on the other hand, refuse to accept any evidence that conflicts with their pre-determined views.

So here's one way to tell if you're a genuine skeptic or a climate denier.

Read full article... Science and our book Climate Change Denial have been popping up elsewhere in the media over the last few weeks. My co-author Haydn and I appeared on Robyn William's Science Show a few weeks ago - you can listen to streaming audio or download the interview in mp3 format. The Science Show webpage also has a transcript of the whole interview.

On the morning of the Sydney book launch, I did an interview with John Stanley from the Sydney commercial radio station 2UE. You can listen to an mp3 of the interview here. Many thanks to 2UE for letting me republish the interview here on Skeptical Science and thanks to John just for having the interview - I wonder how many angry emails he received from 2UE listeners afterwards.

After our Sydney and Canberra book launches (more on that in a future post), Haydn and I returned to Sydney to record an interview with James Valentine at ABC 702. This interview gave us the opportunity to do something I've been looking forward to for a while - respond to talk-back callers. Sure enough, the first caller was a geologist enquiring about past climate change!

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Comments 51 to 100 out of 488:

  1. Harry@47 "...if we don't identify the sources, then how do we address them?"

    In the end, if the planet is warming or cooling on a trajectory that we see as dangerous to civilisation, identifying the sources is secondary to identifying the things that are within our capacity to control.

    If the planet were warming or cooling for any reason (say TSI increasing or decreasing), CO2 would still be the "biggest control knob" available to use. Why? Because we _can_ control the concentration by our activities.

    We can artificially speed up geological processes by burning a lot, or a lot less, carbon rich fossils. We can pulverise carbon absorbing rocks or protect them from weathering. We can sequester or release carbon by promoting release in the form of methane by creating fetid swamps, or hold it back by processes like biochar. Same for forests, burn them or cut them down to release soil carbon by exposure and consequent oxidation or replace/ extend them to claim carbon dioxide back from the lower atmosphere.

    The other item we can influence to some extent is albedo. Some of that is the same as some of the carbon processes, more or less land clearing, more or less forestry. As for cities, we can paint all roofs and roads black (or white) to affect local climate, maybe not so much effect on global temperature though.

    Of course, all this overlooks the issue of ocean acidification. Even without the link to temperature, keeping our fisheries healthy would be a good enough reason to extract CO2 from the atmosphere-ocean system.
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  2. In Cook’s item about skeptics, a note is made about increased sea levels. In looking at the tidal sea level data from the Gulf & Atlantic, it would appear that while there is a increase in sea levels, the rate has been pretty much constant. There have been some ups & downs along the way, from the late 1800’s (NY). From the gulf area (early 1900’s), again it’s been pretty much a constant change, without the acceleration factor one would expect if CO2 increases were a major factor.

    Looking at more long term temperature data, a similar pattern seems to be present. The following graphs show long term temperature readings from central & western European stations. The plots are averages of the station anomalies (1970-2000 base ref.), and are “smoothed” using a Fourier 50 yr. filter.

    1 station, starting record prior to 1700 (CEL)

    4 stations, starting records prior to 1750 (CEL, Debilt, Berlin, Upsalla)

    14 stations, starting records prior to 1800

    Looking at the smoothed & raw data, there is a long term upward trend, along with some ups & downs. However, again I don’t see the correlation, such as an sustained acceleration upward that would correlate to a increase CO2. Considering the complexity of thermo-fluid dynamics, and the limited knowledge of how this planet operates, it might be a little premature to lay any significant increase in global temperature to human activity. Hence you might call me a skeptic.

    P.S. One of the things about engineering, is that it’s very clear what happens if one doesn’t consider all the factors. It’s called job lose & litigation.
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  3. J Bob: "P.S. One of the things about engineering, is that it’s very clear what happens if one doesn’t consider all the factors. It’s called job lose & litigation."

    Information you could have found by searching this very site - not even requiring a Google search

    Good thing you didn't base your job on your post above - you would be unemployed!
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  4. I feel somewhat vindicated in the comment I left on the ABC Drum site noting that there was a dearth of reference to supporting evidence on the part of the commenters who took offence to being characterized as deniers, as that behaviour appears to have remained characteristic (with very rare exceptions) on the comment thread.
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  5. Deniers and skeptics is way too ivory tower ... or ivory soap. They're pro-pollutionists. (Hint: try the phrase out, and count to ten, then count the number of 'CO2 isn't pollution' responses).

    The mindset was bottom-lined on alt.globalwarming almost 15 years ago: "The notion that Man can have any effect on the climate is hubris." They truly believe that there are petty consequences to inaction; versus higher taxes/wrecked economies/3rd transfer plots/world government conspiracies ... reducing the pollution.

    The basic issue at street level, unfortunately, is intelligence. Some of the banal comments here illustrate that:

    restart and redefine the terms;
    invent a fictitious expectation and then claim valid skepticism when it isn't found;
    warn people that discussing those terms could polarize the discussion;
    develop a CO2-thermostat that will turn down CO2 emissions, and atmospheric levels will fall;
    somehow make the Greenhouse Effect 'go away' or stop working.

    It's turned into a Clown Convention for the Anti-Science Society. It's the reason crypto-science like WUWT out-vote realclimate as best science blog..

    Skeptical Science does a great job of getting the science out to the non-science world. Unfortunately, it comes up short of being a decent bug-lamp.
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  6. "Deniers, on the other hand, refuse to accept any evidence that conflicts with their pre-determined views." is the case of AGW GHG supporters. These however, deny their denial, making for "denial squared".

    (If on the other hand, it seems there is more "evidence" in support of the effects of AGHG's, it is only because this line of thinking gets more airtime.)
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  7. RSVP: Kindly point out some 'evidence' against AGW, that has not already been debunked on this site.

    Those of us who support the science know there are uncertainties. We also know roughly how big they are, where they are, and what impact they have on the overall conclusion as to the existence of AGW (the phrase that comes to mind is "two thirds of stuff all").
    Anyone with half a brain knows there is uncertainty. The only people who think the uncertainty is all on the low side (i.e. it all runs counter-AGW) *only* have half a brain...

    Is there a slim chance that some fluke of natural climate variability just happens to have produced a warming signature that exactly matches that of increased GHGs, right at the time when humans are emitting billions of tons of the stuff? Yes, there is.

    Is there a slim chance that you can jump out of plane kilometres above the ground without a parachute, and survive? Yes, there is. It's probably not a good idea to try it, though. The odds are somewhat against you.
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  8. The deniers are out in force at the Drum now. All repeating tired cliches. If there is indeed an argument against the mainstream science, I'm sure we would have heard it by now. Conspiracy theory is so passé. Science is supposed to be stuff like calculus. These people should get a grip and solve some PDEs, then report back on what they know about science. :(
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  9. Hah, 326 comments and counting... looks like that analysis might take a while there, John!

    Certainly plenty of material, though... [rolls eyes]
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  10. philipm: oh, dear, not PDEs!
    (I really should have studied more during that subject at uni, it was the most interesting engineering maths subject I did. 20 years later, though, and I can barely even remember what a PDE looks like, let alone solve one!)
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  11. John

    I have spent some time over the years discussing AGW on Unleashed. And I have never seen so many comments, so fast from so many DIFFERENT people. You really have dragged the lurkers out into the limelight.

    Do I get the sense that your somewhat more acerbic than usual tone has pressed a few peoples buttons.

    Quite a few people with tones of anger.

    It has been my experience of life that when you see anger, it is usually best to start looking for the fear that lives behind the anger.

    What fear could your post engender? The fear that the rather jerry-built edifice of 'Climate Denial Science' might be revealed for the house of cards that it is. And if the house falls down, well then they might have to deal with the reality that must be avoided at all costs. Confronting the reality that humanity is in D@@p S**t, and we have to do something about it. And treasured ideas of our sense of our place in the world may be one of the first and necessary casualties.

    This is the real denial. That their sense of how the world works, what is meaningful, may not actually match reality. And that they actually need to abandon that sense and replace it with one more grounded in reality.

    This is an existential burden that is hard on anyone.

    But there is one final arbiter of which 'view' of life is correct. Her view over-rules everyone else. Her name is Mother Nature. Her bat and ball, her back yard. So her rules. And if what we think doesn't match that, we loose.

    Thgis is hard for some people to handle, probably hard for their personality type to accept. The last vestiges of the Anthropocentric view of the Universe reside in the conservative, individualist personality type.
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  12. RSVP "...(If on the other hand, it seems there is more "evidence" in support of the effects of AGHG's, it is only because this line of thinking gets more airtime.)"

    I can assure you that a good paper with good evidence contradicting our current understanding would get a very, very good reception from at least this reader.

    There are a couple I'd be deeply, truly, really, really happy to see. The first one would be a demonstration that CO2 in the atmosphere behaves differently (and better for us) from CO2 in a laser. The knowledge that the warming we've seen so far is not necessarily indicative of what's to come would be fantastic.

    The other one would be a convincing then-and-now demonstration that the climate sensitivity shown by e.g. the escape from the 'snowball earth' state, is inapplicable in current circumstances because .... several valid reasons. Another occasion for rejoicing.

    (My longer list of unlikely demands includes a paper showing that a sea ice free Arctic can be maintained as a seasonal phenomenon rather than as a transient condition on the way to year-round ice free conditions. And a baker's dozen of others.)

    I'm pretty certain that many regulars here would give more, plenty more, 'airtime' to worthwhile papers giving quality evidence of this kind.
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  13. Glenn, yes, I think you may have something there...

    I gave a (repeat) presentation at work today, about global warming. Depressing turnout - between two sessions, and only 10 people out of 40 came to see what it's about. That's in an environmental consultancy, too...

    My conclusion was a bad news / good news type thing.

    The Bad News: We're screwed.

    The Good News: We're not totally screwed. Yet.

    (speaking of which, I now have great admiration for people who can give a talk on global warming and keep the # of slides & the length down... I've got 75 slides in mine!)
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  14. AT,
    I think you are a little over the top there. I am glad you are so clear in your thinking. However, there are many of us in the field who understand that there are many things which we do not understand. The recent acknowledge by Hansen regarding aerosol forcings is one of them. To say there is no middle implies that there are two distinct "sides." Let us assume there is one "side" that says there has been and will not be warmer. My question is what is the other side? Is it 1C of warming? 2C? 4C? More? There exists today a wide range of model predictions and forecasts based on different inputs and forcings. Is the climate sensitivity 3C per doubling of CO2? Higher? Lower? Actually, 3C is just an average of several calculated values, with a rather wide range. It is neither black nor white, but very grey.
    I hope you were not referring to Doran's survey with your numbers, because that is woefully misleading, and could be classified as cherry-picked extraordinair. There are several credentialed scientists who would disagree with you or me on our positions, not that science proceeds by majority anyway.
    The logic statement is that an increase in CO2 will lead to an increase in temperature. If temperatures increase, we can make no inference about CO2. Conversely, if CO2 does not change, we can no make no temperature inference also. These so-called natural variabilites (and other man-made attrributes) must be removed from the logic equation in order to achieve the conditional statement. I believe this is the origin of the "muddled middle."
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  15. AT @ 50

    [inflamatory stuff deleted]

    It did leave me uncertain as to where your confusion on my stance comes from. Let me state it again.

    1. Global warming is real and happening now.
    2. Global climate change is a naturally occurring phenomenon.
    3. CO2 is one of the greenhouse gases and is partially responsible for causing the Earth's surface to be warmer than if it were not present.
    4. Human activities have led to changes of the Earth that have resulted in alterations of the climate.
    5. Some of those activities include the burning of fossil fuels that have resulted in the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.
    6. Therefore, humans are partially responsible for the increase in global surface temperature.
    7. As good stewards of the environment we should: take reasonable and rational methods to reduce our dependence on natural resources (both renewable and non-renewable), develop and utilize alternative energy (wind, solar, geothermal, nuclear, hydroelectric, etc...) where econmically feasible to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and practice conservation.

    That should be fairly clear to most readers.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] Inflamatory material snipped. Whatever the perceived provocation, please try to stay within boundaries set out in the comments policy.
  16. AT at 50
    What mitigation efforts do you propose?
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  17. apiratelooksat50 wrote: "6. Therefore, humans are partially responsible for the increase in global surface temperature."

    Too vague. Only the complete lunatic fringe argue that humans aren't responsible for any of the increase. The mainstream scientific position is that we are responsible for most of it. Your 'partially' could fall anywhere in between.
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  18. actually thoughtfull(?), says
    “information you could have found by searching this very site - not even requiring a Google search”.

    Getting all the info from one source does not seem like an objective approach.

    You also say,
    “Good thing you didn't base your job on your post above - you would be unemployed!”.

    Actually, before retirement, I was Dir. of R&D for an international Co.

    But getting back to the discussion, what points do you disagree with me?
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  19. J Bob @ 68
    "Getting all the info from one source does not seem like an objective approach."

    Exactly! And, to take it a step further, even if the source is a compilation of articles/papers/data more than one site should be used.
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  20. From what got snipped at 65. I will leave out the stuff that may have been deemed inflammatory.

    In trying to apply terms to peoples stances on AGW I believe we have 5 camps. Alarmists and deniers are extremists and usually operate on emotion and are difficult to reason with. However, warmists, lukewarmers, and skeptics are more centrist and generally can have scientific discussions and are more reasonable. I consider myself a skeptic.
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  21. Pirate, from your #65, I would have called you a "lukewarmer" as it seems you accept that human emitted C02 is causing some warming? Anyway, I think the point of John's article was that even being a "lukewarmer" or a "skeptic"(in your definition) involves denying a robust body of scientific evidence.

    So denial still applies doesn't it? How about these 5 categories: exaggerators (those exaggerating risk without scientific evidence); realists (in line with climatologist consenus); mildy in denial (equivalent to lukewarmers); strong denial(your skeptics); and complete denial (your deniers)?

    Realists would of course base there opinion on the consensus view of climate science...Something like the IPCC, perhaps? Not that people couldn't have somewhat different views on various pieces and various errors of the IPCC, but the overwhelming major findings of their exhaustive literature review etc...
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  22. Utahn at 71
    I can tentatively agree with you, though it might be interesting to assign a temporal aspect to it. Most of my reservations stem from the predictions.
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  23. Utahn,
    Interesting categories, but I find them somehow skewed to your own belief system. No arguement about numers 1 & 5. I gather you count yourself in #2, realists, being aligned with the IPCC consensus. I am not sure about your difference between #2 and #3, but I would classify them on the high side and low side of climate sensitivity, due to the rather large range of scientific opinions on the issue. I think you are doing a disservice to those accept the warming effects of CO2, but disagree on the magnitude.
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  24. Maybe # 2 could be "in the likely range" for whatever emissions scenario one is talking about? Whereas #3 could be "below the likely range"? That way we the cutoff would be when someone feels warming will be lower than the lowest bound of what consensus scientific opinion projects it to be...
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  25. Sorry Eric, more directly to sensitivity, it could be less than 2 per doubling...
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  26. The deniers on this thread seem to be recasting the argument, as if the "proper" position is whatever lies between the two extremes. They then cast the extremes as "deniers" (people who simply claim nothing at all is happening) and "alarmists" (people who think the current situation is dangerous).

    By positioning alarmists in this way, the middle of the road becomes "well, it may be human, but it may not, and it may be dangerous, but maybe climate sensitivity is low, and anyway maybe it will all work out for the best and maybe warming will be good, but we really don't know all that much right now anyway, so let's all just wait and see."

    This is typical, core denial, in concern troll clothing. Admit to something, but always with pause and reason to hesitate. Gotta be careful here. Can't be hasty.

    I term an alarmist as anyone who exaggerates the science. There are very, very few of those (although I did see an obnoxious WWF commercial last night that claimed polar bears could be extinct in 50 years, and I treat that as unnecessarily alarmist, and a harmful advert.).

    I term a denier as anyone who thinks we don't know enough, or climate sensitivity is at all likely to be low, or that there is any reason not to take the real science very, very seriously.

    The middle of the road is not "skeptics." They are deniers trying to pretend to have a substantive position.

    The middle of the road is not "lukewarmers." They are deniers, trying to have it both ways (i.e. the science is right or partially right, but only to a small degree so we don't have to worry).

    The real middle of the road is the people on this site, the people who understand the science, and look further than this site for information, and actually understand what they read.

    On another vein, people who suggest that one should look at multiple sources for information are certainly correct, but if those multiple sources include inflammatory, politically oriented, and grossly unbalanced and misinforming sites like ClimateAudit, WUWT, and others... well, you're kidding yourselves. They're fooling you, and you're happily fooling yourselves.
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  27. 75, Utahn,

    At this point, sensitivity is very, very, very unlikely to be as low as 2 per doubling. Anyone clinging to that as a hope is absolutely in denial, because if you'll admit to everything as far as a 2 per doubling, then how can you simultaneously ignore all of the evidence for 3+? How can you not be concerned about that?

    At the same time, our current warming is almost certainly being held down by anthropogenic aerosols. Lord help us when we clean up the air, or otherwise slow our emissions, and see what the real effects of CO2 are without the negative forcing from aerosols.

    And that day has to come. Some day fossil fuels will run out, with CO2 left in the air for centuries or millenia, while the aerosols fall out in years or decades. I feel sorry for anyone who is alive when that happens, and it sadly may well be my own daughter.
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  28. Eric the Red wrote : "I am not sure about your difference between #2 and #3, but I would classify them on the high side and low side of climate sensitivity, due to the rather large range of scientific opinions on the issue."

    You seem to be suggesting that the minority view on low climate sensitivity should be accorded the same weight as the majority view on the higher figures, or as the average view (c. 3C for a doubling of CO2). Is that right ? If so, how would you advise someone wanting to take a scientific opinion, with regard to the history of life on earth, between, say, the 10,000 years of creation 'science' and the 4 billion years of evolution science ?
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  29. "6. Therefore, humans are partially responsible for the increase in global surface temperature."

    And what science are you citing in support of your implied assertion that some other natural forcing that is currently also causing change? The natural forcings that changed climate in the past are going negative.
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  30. Utahn,
    I would place my low range as 1-3C / doubling and high range as 3-5C / doubling. That bounds the average value in between the two rangesm and starts the low range with the physical affect directly attributable to CO2, with a high range of similar magnitude. Anything about 5C appears very unlikely.
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  31. Eric, so then you'd be "mildly in denial" as 2-4.5 is the IPCC likely range. I don't have any reason to not take them as the scientific consensus.

    Sphaerica, you have to have a cutoff somewhere, so I will personally reserve the use of the word denial for folks who think less than 2! Maybe the AR5 will change the range...

    Of course, there may be people who think it's greater than or equal to 2 but think that "It's be good for us". I'll have to think of a different category for them (something analogous to someone who accepts that they have cancer but thinks it will be good for them...) I will get right on that once I have more time for silly categorizations...
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  32. Re actually thoughtfull at #34 Who defined what being pro science was:

    "The body of evidence in climate change REQUIRES an active mitigation response"

    The "opposite" of that is someone in denial/a denier/denialist is someone for whom the value judgement is: the body of evidence in climate change does not REQUIRE an active mitigation response.

    As I tried to point out in my post at #23, whether we take action or not depends on a value judgement which includes the hard science but ALSO a risk assessment of the consequences of action/inaction, the chances of the various consequences and a balancing of the known uncertainties versus the possible consequences.

    One could argue that someone who purely looked at the science could decide that they thought the less likely low climate sensitivity evidence may end up winning the academic prizes and this person goes on to promote this view. This is not being a denier/in denial. On the other hand, trusting the evidence that sensitivity may be low and turning a blind eye to the consequences if that view turns out to be wrong because sensitivity is actually closer to the mainstream position and hell and high water happen is denialism - a denial of the risks to everybody, a denial that the extreme minority climate science view (Lindzen, Spencer etc), if wrong, has terrible consequences for everyone, not just those who believe it.

    Basically, if denialists are wrong and too many listen to them civilisation is likely to be pushed close to, if not over, the edge. If majority climate science is wrong and too many listen, then there will be a lot of embarrassment but we will have already achieved a lot to wean ourselves off diminishing fossil fuels and being dependant on less than friendly nations for our energy supplies.

    Whether majority climate science is right or not it makes sense to go with the recommendations. Whether minority climate science is right or not it would be crazy to listen to those who use it to recommend doing nothing.

    Like being in denial of an alcohol or drug problem, denialism is a state of mind which prevents one giving due weight to all the evidence - it makes one turn a blind eye to evidence that conflicts with one's prejudices. It prevents one realising that one's beliefs are toxic to oneself, one's family or, by extension, the whole world.
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  33. Utahn,

    My points are two fold. The first is that the more categories you make, the more rationalization it gives for all of the various disparities among those categories.

    The fact is that lukewarmers, skeptics, deniers... they are all deniers in some way. Each of them denies some piece of the science. Creating even those categories, let alone a more nuanced "effects denier" or "malignancy denier" or "attribution denier" is just giving more credence and credibility to what, ultimately, is simply irrational denial.

    Forget trying to categorize them. The science is clear, and the ambiguities in the science are also clear. One is either in denial of the science, or understands and accepts it. There is no middle ground, let alone 24 flavors of middle ground.

    Second, I personally think (and by "think" I mean that everything that I've read and understand about) your own adherence to a mere 2˚C per doubling as a likely or even reasonable possibility is another form of denial. The current consensus is 3˚C or higher, and every new study confirms this while leaning towards the "and higher" direction.

    There is very little reason to think that 2˚C per doubling is in the mix. Expecting 2˚C is denial.
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  34. Utahn,
    Look over at the thread entitled, "Database of peer-reviewed papers." There was just a post concerning papers on climate sensitivity (although I cannot vouch for the accuracy). In 90% of the papers, the climate sensitivity was between 0.5 and 4.5C / doubling, with half being above 2.5 and half below. According to that, my range is slightly higher.
    I disagree that someone who believes that the climate sensitivity is 2C is in denial. That is firmly within the IPCC range, and every other range I have seen posted. 3C is not a consensus, but merely an average value. That average is taken by incorporating some higher values, so the median value is less (about 2.8). If you label everyone who thinks that the climate sensitivity is lower than what you feel is correct a "Denier," then you are going to label some esteemed climate scientists deniers. Are you so knowledgeable in climate science as to think that anyone who believes in a lower climate sensitivity than you is a "denier."
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  35. Eric #84 - that was all climate sensitivity studies (that BPL could find) since 1894. They have increasingly converged towards ~3°C over time, and only 4 papers that he found over the past 25 years or so found sensitivity below 2°C.

    More importantly though, I think most climate scientists would say (short-term) sensitivity is between x and y, in most cases with x around 2°C and y around 4.5°C. If you asked them to settle on one number, most would probably say around 3°C, but I'm sure they would prefer to give a range.

    Your range appears to be 1 to 5°C, which is interesting, since 3°C is the central value in that range, yet you seem fairly confident that the actual value is on the low end of your own range.
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  36. I'm also curious why you've chosen 2°C, since the main difference between a skeptic and a denier is the basis of their opinions. I'd like to know if you have a valid scientific reason for believing 2°C is correct, particularly since it's on the low end of the probability range.
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  37. Sphaerica at 76
    Where do you look for further information?
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  38. apiratelooksat 50

    You say,
    “And, to take it a step further, even if the source is a compilation of articles/papers/data more than one site should be used”.

    I’ll see you, and raise you. One might also look at who is doing the articles/papers/data, and who is supplying the $’s.
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  39. Climate sensitivity is a genuine source of uncertainty, no question about it, but the pseudo-skeptics are only interested in the possibility of it being lower than 3, without consideration that it could be higher. The luke-warmer category at moment would also include those how postulate there is some hidden natural forcing that has somehow eluded science and is going to either save us all because its negative or let us off the hook because its natural. They should be in different category from those arguing about the science in the determination of climate sensitivity.
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  40. apiratelooksat50 - I don't know about Sphaerica, but I go directly to Google Scholar (a lovely tool) and start searching on the terms of the discussion. I weight references that are more recent and more cited (with a look at the citations for more 'revolutionary' claims) as better references than older or less cited works.

    So personally, I do my best to look at the primary sources. If I don't understand what's going on in them, I follow up with searches on topical tutorials, review articles, and the like.

    What do you look at for further information?
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  41. James Hansen estimates the fast climate sensitivity as 3C based on paleoclimate data. He further estimates a climate sensitivity plus albeido change from melting ice as 6C based on the paleoclimate data. The ranges of climate sensitivity range from 2 up to 10 degrees. The limits on the lower end are strong but the upper limits are much harder to define. 2C is a denier position without allowing the possibility of 7C which is just as likely. That 3C is only a fast feedback estimate, the slow feedbacks are all on the upside.

    Can the skeptics please start to link their opinions to some data. I see a lot of unsupported opinions about climate sensitivity ("the climate sensitivity was between 0.5 and 4.5C / doubling") without links. Without links to data these are just your opinion.
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  42. #91 Michael Sweet says "James Hansen estimates the fast climate sensitivity as 3C based on paleoclimate data. "

    Over what time period do you think Hansen meant when he discusses "fast" climate sensitivity?
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  43. Sphaerica 76,
    makes a comment about looking at various sources, but stay away from the likes of WUWT. While I have posted items at that site, I have yet to be "censored" or deleted. In contrast, some of sites advocating AGW have no problem deleting posts, such as those Sphaerica posts on.

    If a site has to delete items based on scientific analysis, and interpretation of said results, it shows it's true biased colors, and demonstates their position is on shaky ground.

    KR 90,
    A couple of of the sites that have a very good summaries, and links to basic references are:

    for historical temperature & other data:
    0 0

    [DB] Fixed links.

  44. apiratelooksat50,
    Where do you look for further information?
    I almost always find and read the original papers. When I don't understand the background science, I study that (but finding that is not controversial... I don't need to find a "balanced" site to explain how ice cores are analyzed to construct a proxy, or to understand how the satellites or radiosondes work, or the details behind molecular physics, and what the issues and complications and limitations are for any of them).

    I also usually read supporting, preceding, or conflicting papers. I will look at various sites to see what their "argument" is against a particular point of view, but I only use that to see what threads to pursue.

    Reading the actual studies... and understanding what they say... always leads to fair comprehension, not only in what I know and they know, but also what everyone doesn't know.

    By contrast, sites like WUWT and CA are nothing but vitriol and misleading misrepresentations. One can get absolutely nothing of value from those sites.
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  45. 93 J. Bob,

    Sure you haven't been censored or deleted, because you say what they want.

    I have been censored and deleted repeatedly. Usually, merely for quoting the science. Then 50 people start calling me names, and any post defending my position is deleted.

    So... take your statement about "if a site..." and think about it.

    WUWT isn't on shaky ground, it's on fog. If you honestly think you are getting truth or science from a cesspool like that, you are lost.
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  46. J Bob:

    If a site has to delete items based on scientific analysis, and interpretation of said results, it shows it's true biased colors, and demonstates their position is on shaky ground.

    So if a geologist site deletes items claiming the earth is 6,000 years old, this is evidence that the earth is, indeed, only 6,000 years old.

    Quit being silly.
    0 0
  47. I have been censored and deleted repeatedly.

    I, like many others, was quickly banned.

    And my name outed by the site owner.
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  48. Oh, and BTW, J. Bob ... reminding us of the fact that Watts is an a-hole isn't likely to warm our hearts to you.

    Just sayin'

    Glad to hear that you have denialist cred, though ... wear your denialism badge with pride, you've earned it.
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  49. 88, J. Bob,
    ...and who is supplying the $’s.
    This is the sort of conspiracy nonsense that shows when someone has no hope of understanding the science. If you honestly believe that some guy who's making $50K or $75K a year to spend half of his life trudging through the Arctic or the Amazon, or hoping to write a paper that will get him noticed for a few years among his peers, with a maximum attainable salary after that success of merely exactly what he's making now... because contrary to conventional wisdom, winning a research grant does not pay for a new Ferrari for each of the head researchers.

    Researchers get paid a salary by their universities, are expected to teach, and to do research and publish. They get research grants to go towards equipment and assistants to allow them to continue to pursue viable research. If they don't get grants, and publish, and teach, and work, then they fail.

    A career in science is not a stepping stone to babes, bucks and fame.

    "Who is supplying the $s" is a joke. My daughter was listening to a documentary today that went on and on about how coal is "Americas energy" that creates jobs and is crucial to the economy. That's where the money is going... not into research and science, but into propaganda.

    You're right about looking at the money, though. Is it coming from and going to real research, just as is done in agriculture and medicine and biology and most other branches of science, or is it coming from an energy industry with an agenda and trillions of dollars of income at stake, and going into propaganda?
    0 0
  50. J. Bob,

    I'd also point out that there is a very clear comments policy, which is listed absolutely all over the place, and usually moderators provide warnings. People must be repeat offenders. Even then very, very few people are actually banned (like I am from WUWT). They are warned, and when they continue to violate the rules, their gibberish... not anything scientific, just the gibberish... is slashed.

    WUWT is the wild west, with one sheriff in town. He deletes what he wants, and you never see the stuff that's deleted.

    Here, there is a rhyme and reason to what happens. There, it is at the whim of Lord Watts.

    And I would also point out that I have had comments edited by moderators here. The rules are the rules. They apply to everyone. They're just broken far more frequently by deniers, and usually those same deniers are so lost in the science that they can't even see that they're breaking the rules.
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