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This is not normal – climate researchers take to the streets to protect science

Posted on 16 December 2016 by dana1981

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and for scientists, these are desperate measures.

Tuesday in San Francisco’s Jessie Square, approximately 500 people gathered for a ‘rally to stand up for science.’ Many of the attendees were scientists who had migrated to the rally from the nearby Moscone Center, where some 26,000 Earth scientists are attending the annual American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference this week.

This was an unusual activity for scientists to participate in; after all, they’re often accused of remaining isolated in the ivory towers of academia. Scientists generally prefer to focus on their scientific research, use their findings to inform the public and policymakers, and leave it to us to decide what actions we should take in response. In fact, one of the keynote speakers at the rally, Harvard science historian Naomi Oreskes made that exact point:

We don’t want to be here. We want to be doing the work we were trained and educated to do, which is science ... but we are at a moment in history where we have to stand up.

As Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb noted, with the appointments made thus far by the incoming Trump administration, science is under attack and scientists feel compelled to protect their research, and their ability to keep doing it. Cobb also called on more of her scientific colleagues to step outside their comfort zones and engage in activism:

Kim Cobb speaking at the rally to stand up for science. Video by Collin Maessen of

The rally followed other recent efforts by scientists to advise the Trump administration and reassure the public. For example, over 800 Earth scientists and energy experts signed a letter urging the President-elect to take six key steps to address climate change:

1) Make America a clean energy leader;

2) Reduce carbon pollution and America’s dependence on fossil fuels;

3) Enhance America’s climate preparedness and resilience;

4) Publicly acknowledge that climate change is a real, human-caused, and urgent threat;

5) Protect scientific integrity in policymaking; and

6) Uphold America’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.

Over 11,000 women scientists also signed a pledge committing “to build a more inclusive society and scientific enterprise.” The leaders of 29 scientific societies signed a letter encouraging Trump to appoint a “nationally respected” science advisor with sufficient expertise. 

And more than 2,300 scientists, including 22 Nobel Prize recipients, published an open letter with the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) urging the Trump administration and Congress to set a high bar for integrity, transparency, and independence in using science to inform federal policies. UCS plans to act as a watchdog protecting science and scientists during the Trump Administration, as it did during the Bush administration.

Scientists under attack, win the first battle

These scientists have been motivated by concern stemming from President-elect Trump’s decision to fill the key powerful positions in his administration with an oil industry dream team of climate deniers.

Some of those selections include individuals who have harassed and intimidated climate scientists, like David Schnare and Chris Horner, whose tactics forced the creation of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) five years ago. The CSLDF began in an effort to assist Michael Mann with the legal attacks documented in his book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars (Mann also has an excellent new book co-authored with cartoonist Tom Toles, The Madhouse Effect).

Over the past five years, CSLDF has provided legal assistance to over 100 scientists, and has helped coordinate counsel for approximately 20 scientists facing litigation. The Legal Defense Fund has had a significant presence at the AGU conference, assuring scientists that their organization can answer basic legal questions, or help with potentially costly legal attacks and litigation.

Adding to scientists’ alarm, the Trump Department of Energy transition team submitted a questionnaire that raised serious concerns about the incoming administration’s plans to influence or curtail DOE’s research, potentially engage in a witch-hunt, and perhaps even tamper with or destroy scientific data.

After much public and media backlash, the Trump team now denies that the questionnaire was authorized. This retreat was the first victory for science in an impending battle with the incoming administration. Scientists also have any ally in California Governor Jerry Brown, who spoke at the AGU conference and promised:

If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite.

We’ve failed to hold up our end of the bargain

On the issue of climate change, it’s been decades since scientific research first identified the threats and dangers resulting from human-caused global warming. A growing number of climate scientists had already begun to speak out about the need for much more aggressive global efforts to cut carbon pollution if we’re to avoid its worst impacts. 

Finally, nearly all of the world’s countries signed last year’s agreement in Paris, creating a framework to limit global warming below the dangerous level of 2°C hotter than pre-industrial temperatures. Less than a year later, the world’s largest cumulative carbon polluter elected a president who promised to do what he can to reverse that landmark Paris agreement.

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Comments 1 to 19:

  1. I applaud scientists participating in this rally. This is a situation where science itself is under attack. Scientists are perfectly entitled to protect their interests, and I would expect nothing less.

    We all know normally scientists wisely generally keep a low profile, and keep out of government policy debates. However we are not in that normal situation.

    If you dont stand up to bullies they walk all over you. The Trump world view ammounts to bullying. It has a silver gloss on it, but underneath its bullying and intimidation.
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    There are IMO parallels with 1930s Germany. But instead of Aryan Physics, it looks like America is heading for Trumponian Science.

    These days you don't have to burn books, you just wipe a data store clean. The Scientific American article above is well worth reading. Today the 1920s/30s racial tones of the battle is now replaced with one of economic and political ideology.

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Fixed link. Please learn to do this yourself with the link button in the comments editor

  3. Just one wee niggle.  None of this is new with the advent of the Trump administration but perhaps he has catalyzed the mobilization of scientists to become activists.  Perhaps this will become a more general movement in fields other than science.  In which case, the Trump administration could be the turning point in which 99% of the whole community says I'm not going to take it any more. 

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  4. But instead of Aryan Physics, it looks like America is heading for Trumponian Science.

    It turns out the dictionary already contains the word "Trumpery" which means:

    1. n. Showy but worthless finery; bric-a-brac.
    2. n. Nonsense; rubbish.
    3. n. Deception; trickery; fraud.
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  5. One thing all science deniers appear to have in common with just about everybody else: they all willingly (even greedily) consume the benefits of science every day. What does this say about what science deniers really believe?

    As scientific purists - perhaps influenced by the philosophy of Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and of Karl Popper in The Logic of Scientific Discovery - we acknowledge the possibility, however remote, that every finding of science is provisional, and at most we can only say it hasn't been falsified yet. This deference plays into the hands of ideologues of every stripe (political, religious, economic) who can dismiss any science they find inconvenient as merely ephemeral and potentially subject to revision. They are then free to present their own uninformed certitudes as eternal and perfect, and themselves as heroic Galileos (albeit without telescopes and new data) defying the establishment.

    But do we really need to hand them that weapon? Is every finding of science merely provisional? We know that scientific revolutions have occurred in the past, and if you pick up a science text from 150 years ago, it sorely needs an update. But we also know that everything that worked then still works today. For example, you can still navigate with a sextant just as well as people did in 1866. All the science that the sextant validated is still valid and will always be valid, insofar as getting the sextant to work.

    Today we have a lot more science; accordingly we can build a lot more things. Consider your computer - a stupendously complex, wonderful, and improbable device. Many scientific discoveries and theories enable it to work. The complete list probably fills a library, when you consider everything that goes into a computer and its entire production chain. No future scientific discovery or breakthrough will ever retroactively stop your computer from working by invalidating any of the science critical to its operation. Some of those enabling theories will probably be refined for precision, or extended to cover new cases, but it would take a miracle to get a working computer from any theory that turns out to be flatly wrong. Much as you are very unlikely to eradicate polio or smallpox without knowing the germ theory of disease. (Imagine a chimpanzee typing out the complete works of Shakespeare - it could happen, but the odds are small.)

    All science is provisional in principle, but that provisionality recedes to the vanishing point for any chunk of science that enables multi-billion-dollar industries. Hard-headed venture capitalists don't wager a king's ransom on science that only might be true. They bet on science you can take to the bank - and there's a lot of that.

    As proponents of science, we need to explain to the masses where their goodies come from, and how those goodies connect to other scientific findings they find inconvenient. For example, how many patrons of the Creation Museum realize the cars they drove there only had fuel because the oil companies of the world flatly reject what the Creation Museum claims? Nobody figures out where to drill for oil by reading the Bible as a literally true historical and scientific document. Each time a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) hops in his/her ride, s/he loudly proclaims by his/her actions that the Bible - read literally as a scientific document - is bunk. But in my experience with talking to YECs (and from having been raised as one), none of them seem aware of how their actions contradict their professed beliefs.

    The scientific method and our stockpile of theories give us wondrously improbable things such as computers, aircraft carriers, eradication of various diseases, a doubled life expectancy, and pretty much everything that makes life in the USA today preferable to life in pre-Columbian America. (We always have the option of going back to the Stone Age with its nasty, brutish, and short lifestyle, but who does by choice?)

    Therefore, a question worth exploring, and explaining to the masses, is: how likely is the same science that gives us computers, etc., to be completely wrong about man-made climate change? Or worded differently, if the hugely interdisciplinary field of climate science could be so far off the rails, after decades of work and thousands of published studies, then how does your computer still work? How could science be so spectacularly bad for so long in one area, and so spectacularly good in another? For starters, there's a huge amount of overlap. Anyone who builds computers for a living can readily learn to do climate science, and conversely, just by reading a few dozen books. Climate scientists use many of the same theories that your computer proves are true (or all but true). The two groups use the same basic approach of formulating hypotheses and testing them. The same science academies represent them. An attack on one group is an attack on the other.

    It might be possible to show that if climate science could be as wrong as the climate science deniers claim it is, then your computer actually would have to stop working. That would be a handy result, if anyone feels motivated to catalog all the scientific links between them.

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  6. #2 Paul D: It is a problem that has joined but not replaced the zenophobic fear-and-loathing of classic racism. I married a triracial woman. We and our children (now past the half-century point) have plenty of experience to gainsay the "post-racial society" euphemism.

         By now we have learned how to navigate this aspect of the New World Disorder and get on with life.

         Sadly, we have to cope with new sins while still suffering all the old ones.

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  7. Daniel Mocnsy @4, Trumpery does indeed mean showy, deception etc. Good point.

    And Donald has the following derivation courtesy of google: "Donald. ... Given Name DONALD. USAGE: Scottish, English. PRONOUNCED: DAHN-əld (English) [key] From the Gaelic name Domhnall which means "ruler of the world", composed of the old Celtic elements dumno "world" and val "rule".

    You also get the term "Mafia Don" which means "Don or godfather, is the highest level in a crime family"

    This is all somewhat worrying!

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  8. Daniel Mocnsy @5, I largely agree.  Arguments about levels of certainty in science can be twisted around to discredit things to the point it becomes absurd. Of course proof is technically impossible in science and belongs to mathematics, however this is a strict interpretation. Given some elements of theoretical physics are unresolved, we cannot be absolutely 100% certain about anything else, in a technical sense, but its somewhat pedantic.

    For example for all practical purposes we know the world is a type of sphere, and is not flat. The chances we are hallucinating about the world, or living in a "matrix" like that movie are probably one in a trillion trillion. We have to trust our senses, and basic observational evidence, or we are lost and have nothing on which to base decisions.

    Climate science is 95% certain, according to the IPCC.  In any other sphere of life those odds would be considered overwhelming.

    We should also consider all implications. We will run out of fossil fuels anyway, so change is inevitable sooner or later.

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  9. Daniel@4 re: Trumpery.

    LOL. Wasn't aware of that word.

    But Trumpery Science doesn't quite work.

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  10. Paul D @9, the phrase you are looking for is "Trumped up science".

    "trump (v.2) Look up trump at
    "fabricate, devise," 1690s, from trump "deceive, cheat" (1510s), from Middle English trumpen (late 14c.), from Old French tromper "to deceive," of uncertain origin. Apparently from se tromper de "to mock," from Old French tromper "to blow a trumpet." Brachet explains this as "to play the horn, alluding to quacks and mountebanks, who attracted the public by blowing a horn, and then cheated them into buying ...." The Hindley Old French dictionary has baillier la trompe "blow the trumpet" as "act the fool," and Donkin connects it rather to trombe "waterspout," on the notion of turning (someone) around. Connection with triumph also has been proposed. Related: Trumped; trumping. Trumped up "false, concocted" first recorded 1728."


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  11. nigelj @8: "Arguments about levels of certainty in science can be twisted around to discredit things to the point it becomes absurd."

    Absurd, and always hypocritical. Everyone who plays the uncertainty card does so inconsistently and arbitrarily. For example, the Evangelical Christians who voted for Trump in record numbers reject the overwhelming evidence for evolution and climate science while swallowing the load of unsubstantiated bunkum that constitutes their religious folklore without so much as a shred of conclusive evidence. For example, Mark 16:18 quotes Jesus as predicting that his followers would safely handle venomous snakes, drink poison without being harmed, and heal the sick. I've met many Christians - and I once was one - and none of them can do any of those things through supernatural means alone. For example, any Christians who do heal the sick use the same evidence-based medicine as other health professionals regardless of their religious beliefs or lack thereof.

    As I pointed out, the existence of computers that work, airplanes that fly, communication systems that circle the globe, GPS that gives your position on Earth to the nearest meter, etc., show that science is almost certainly correct about lots of things. When people have incorrect theories they rarely produce useful results - see for example medicine in the Middle Ages, when visiting a physician was often more reliably lethal than getting no treatment for an illness. If you have wrong ideas about the causes of diseases, your solutions are unlikely to help. Conversely, if your ideas consistently produce good results, it's almost impossible that your ideas can be wrong, just as a blindfolded sharpshooter will essentially never perform better than when he or she can see the target.

    "The chances we are hallucinating about the world, or living in a "matrix" like that movie are probably one in a trillion trillion."

    There's no way to guess about the probability that we are living in a "Matrix"-style comprehensive illusion, since no experiment one could construct within the Matrix would reveal its presence. Rather we can say that no one takes the prospect seriously - we all carry on as if we live in a real world with real consequences. If you jump off a tall building with no safety equipment, the real you will almost certainly really die, or at a minimum experience serious injury. Nobody treats death as if it is merely a simulation - not even the religious people who loudly insist that death is merely a transition to something better.

    "Climate science is 95% certain, according to the IPCC."

    Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis contains a list of claims each with its own uncertainty. For example, warming of the atmosphere and ocean system is unequivocal. It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of observed warming since 1950, with the level of confidence having increased since the fourth report. ("Extremely likely" means 95%-100%, so 95% certainty would be the low end.)

    Warming since 1950 is a tiny fraction of what's coming, so we can expect the uncertainty to decrease as the human warming signal grows steadily larger in relation to natural climate variability. Climate science is more certain about our climate future than it is certain about detecting the human signal in recent climate change.

    By analogy, medical science might have trouble detecting the damage from tobacco to a teenaged smoker who is, for now, in good health. But check back after today's teenager has gone on to smoke for the next 40 years. Then the smoking damage signal should be clearly evident.

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  12. Tom Curtis @10, and also see the French trompe l'oeil which means to deceive the eye, or an optical illusion (to play the eye like a trumpet). Specifically it refers to art forms which trick the viewer. See the many examples on Wikipedia, such as the famed Palazzo Spada.

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  13. Daniel Mocsny @11, fair comments. You would indeed think the marvel of a smartphone, that most people now own, would be very good evidence of the power and validity of science, and as you say predictive ability is important.

    "When people have incorrect theories they rarely produce useful results - see for example medicine in the Middle Ages,"

    True, but one of the problems is flawed theories like astrology make such general predictions some of these are right, and those that aren't are quickly forgotten, glossed over or excused. This is why people get sucked in.

    Some people just have this peculiar ability to be intelligent and technically rigorous yet take crazy ideas seriously at the same time. I'm not sure where that comes from!

    We need to teach far more logic and analytical thinking in schools. It would help explain not just the power of science, but the importance of looking for evidence, and weaknesses in climate change denial, religion, and weaknesses in things like anti vaccination thinking or 911 conspiracies. I'm not saying all scepticism is wrong, but people need better mental tools to sort the wheat from the chaff.

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  14. nigelj@13 - astrology has been popular for centuries. So was pre-scientific medicine, until science invented evidence-based medicine. Even today, evidence-based medicine cannot cure all maladies (Zuckerberg notwithstanding), so a thriving market for pseudoscientific nostrums (such as homeopathy, acupuncture, etc.) persists. When science can't yet give people what they want, they turn to whoever claims the ability.

    As to where selective reasoning (compartmentalized irrationality) comes from, an obvious contributor is America's $1 trillion religion industry. Every organized religion demands that its followers accept the extraordinary claims of its human leaders as facts, without any conclusive evidence. For any religion to survive, it must persuade people to reject critical thinking insofar as its unprovable theology goes. The vast majority of Americans (and indeed, humans) were taught to compartmentalize rationality on mother's knee - mere schooling is no match for that. (Upwards of 90% of religious people believe the religion they were born into.) This creates a vast reservoir of defective cognition that is all too easy for cynical political and commercial interests to appropriate for their own ends.

    Note to moderator(s): the comments policy says "Rants about politics, religion, faith, (...) will be deleted." Given that religious Americans just played a decisive role in saddling us with Donald Trump, it may be difficult for an informed discussion about climate policy to steer clear of religion for at least the next four years - much as it would be difficult to discuss the Titanic without mentioning icebergs. While there are undoubtedly some religious people who embrace environmental values (such as the Creation Care movement), the profane and sexually immoral Donald Trump won record-high support among white Evangelicals. I can understand the desire to avoid tangling with religion, but while we're indulging in principled restraint the forces of anti-science have already moved in there. Saving the climate might require deliberately accelerating the move away from faith which is already well underway in the USA (but not far enough along yet to have prevented the orange menace from seizing power).

    I know some people who are both deeply religious and deeply concerned about the environment, and who accept scientific reality. But fewer of those people are casting votes than those for whom religion means rejecting science. Learning how to talk people out of faith may be a productive route - perhaps the only viable route - for talking them out of their science denial. That is, when someone's religious faith happens to be tightly interlinked with their science denial, you probably can't cure the latter without eliciting in them a crisis of faith. Especially when we recall what religious people put their faith in: the words of their religious leaders and peers, in other words their particular sect. The people they have entrusted with their putatively eternal souls have assured them that climate change is bunk, so having to conclude that their religious authorities were completely wrong about a temporal issue of great importance would be deeply threatening to their hope for an afterlife. That obstacle vanishes when they conclude there is no reason to imagine any group of humans has any reliable knowledge about an afterlife - that is, when they move up the rationality scale to agnosticism or atheism.

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  15. Dcrickett @6: I agree that rumors of our post-racial society are greatly exaggerated. However, as challenging as life may be for multi-racial children growing up in our environment of lingering racism, I suspect the challenges were considerably worse a century ago - back when "miscegenation" was still illegal in many jurisdictions.

    Some of it is probably geographical. Compared to cosmopolitan places like New York City (which nonetheless gifted us with Donald Trump), the cultural values in much of Red State America might resemble a kind of living fossil of intolerance.

    However, consider that as long as we still have identifiable racial groups living in close proximity for multiple generations (even centuries), that strongly suggest most people must have an in-group mating preference. As long as most people continue to be observably racist on one of life's most consequential decisions, it would be premature to declare us a post-racial society.

    Another indication is the persistence of distinct racial dialects among people who grow up within walking distance of each other. Children learn their speech accents from their peers (which is why children of immigrants do not learn the accents of their parents, but rather of their host peer group). Thus if children growing up in close physical proximity speak differently from each other, they must be experiencing remarkable segregation in early life.

    We might be "aspirationally" post-racial, at least among the college-educated minority. That is, among well-educated people in the United States, possibly a majority believe we should be post-racial, even if we aren't yet.

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  16. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and for scientists, these are desperate measures.

    How about this for a desperate measure: can the world's writers of science-based popular works please stop copywriting your books and reserving all rights? That is, could y'all start publishing under Open Access licenses?

    Why this matters: we are in desperate times because the vast majority of humans have not read many science-based books about climate change. And they are not likely to read very much if they have to pay $20 to $50 a pop for books they don't agree with. A lack of reading is why the typical climate science denier continues to regurgitate the same debunked myths over and over. Nobody who has read enough climate science to be reasonably informed (say, 10 or 20 books at minimum) would remain stuck on opening denier gambits that have long been countered.

    There is a powerful force that can at least partly offset the propaganda advantages of corporatized religion and politics: social recommendation. Individuals have considerable influence over the behavior of their friends and social contacts (especially in the real world). I know people who are marinating in politically or religiously-motived anti-science disinformation. I might have some ability to influence them to read things they would otherwise probably never consider reading. But given that they have zero motivation to have their minds changed, the barrier must be as low as possible.

    One way to lower the barrier is by publishing freely. If I could freely and legally share ebooks with them, that would eliminate the sticking points of either having to pay for the books up front, or asking them to spend the time and effort to visit a library. (I've found something similar with persuading some of my neighbors to start composting their yard waste and sometimes even their kitchen scraps: if I obtain and help set up the compost bin for them, personally tutor them on how to do everything, give them starter compost, follow up to answer their questions, guarantee their success, and so on, then people who would otherwise never take up composting on their own initiative can adopt the behavior and sometimes even become enthusiastic. For people who are not already interested enough in something to have done it on their own, you have to identify and eliminate every possible sticking point, and give them an in-person push.)

    Charging money for books limits the potential audience to people who already recognize the value of the books before they have read them. Non-free books are great tools for preaching to the choir (in this case, the people already convinced that climate change is real, human-caused, and a serious problem). But if you want to change the world, you have to reach and change minds who are at best indifferent and at worst hostile. That requires making the least possible demands on them up front - and asking them to read a book is already demanding enough.

    There is a lot of freely-available content about climate change online (such as on this site, on Wikipedia, etc.). But reading books is still vital for becoming informed. The free online content tends to be fragmented, since a basic principle of Web design is appealing to the short attention span of the Web user. This makes it hard for even a motivated Web user to cobble together enough reading material to rival the comprehensive topical coverage of a book author. Indeed, for many of the useful snippets I've found online, I only knew to search for them after I read about the topics in books.

    It's nice to have protests against Donald Trump's war against science - we'll be doing a lot of that over the next four or eight years, but the real battleground is the gray matter between billions of pairs of ears. Think of the cognitive distance we need to cover in units of person-book-reads. If we want to solve climate change, we need billions of people to read dozens of books each. We are literally (no pun intended) tens of billions of book-reads away from where we need to be, and we won't get there by imposing a tax on every one of those book-reads up front.

    I understand the desire or perhaps even the need for book authors to get paid. Hey, who doesn't like money? But as the authors of Against Intellectual Monopoly (itself a free book) explain, there are lots of ways to get paid without metering access to information. (The Googles and Facebooks of the world are raking in billions without charging for their content up front.)

    We have the same problem with most climate change documentary films and television programs. Virtually all of them are copyrighted with all rights reserved, so there's no legal way to aggregate and redistribute them for repeated viewing. Neither can we conveniently cite them in response to online debates, for example when a science denier makes an argument that a documentary visually rebuts. No third party can build encyclopedic, topically indexed access to all that valuable content while it remains encumbered by intellectual property rights.

    When our customary way of doing things (in this case, business as usual) gets in the way of our very survival, then our customs need to change. Let's don't make the same mistake as the doomed British army at the Battle of Isandlwana, when the quartermasters were fatally slow in issuing out ammunition to the soldiers on the line being overrun by Zulu warriors, because they insisted on proper procedure. Science is similarly in danger of being overrun by a technologically inferior force, because once again our quartermasters insist on metering the vital resource.

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  17. Daniel @16 , while superficially your suggestion of free e-books sounds reasonable (in the battle against ignorance and misinformation), nevertheless your basic premise is flawed.

    To a very large degree, those who nowadays are uninformed about climate change and climate science, are so because they are uninterested in the subject or because their preference is to be educated passively (via mainstream media) rather than by their own studious efforts.   Sure, there will be some exceptions to this - but far too few to justify a complete sacrifice by authors.   Likewise, far too few to have a significant effect on the course of events (If that was your aim in properly educating them).

    The other category of the uninformed/misinformed, is those who are hostile to the idea of recognizing the plain and obvious facts about Global Warming.   Few, if any, of them will wish to read free books which they feel (rightly!) are almost certain to fail to confirm the deniers' prejudices.  They actively seek disinformation, for the purpose of their own bias confirmation.  They de-select and reject real scientific facts and opinions.   Even the very few who would read a free science-based book, will read one while actively cherry-picking / filtering out / and distorting the contents.   So no enlightenment to be gained there!

    No, I don't think it is fair to blame even a part of today's "desperate times" on the authors' sin of avarice !

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  18. Daniel Mocnsy @14, I have been an atheist since age of about 10. I could never take the bible seriously, at face value, given the supernatural claims and large number of inconsistencies, but I do think it has some worthwhile ethical teachings in the New Testament. I agree with your views on how religion influences some peoples thinking.

    I hope this website would permit a few polite comments on religion and politics on topics that relate to this, as some ocassionally do. Obviously its not appropriate on articles that discuss purely climate research issues.

    There is a big intersection of religion and climate change, but its complex. The views of the bible belt differ considerably from the new Catholic Pope. But its worth discussing, and simply cannot be avoided.

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] I think there are more appropriate sites for such a discussion. This site is dedicated to the science of climate change.

  19. Yes, it is normal. Welcome to end result of when you dick around with useless crapola that most people don’t understand like "95% confidence interval" or phrases like "extremely likely."

    Every single climate expert needs to state the following at the beginning, middle, and end of every presentation, news conference, symposium, peer reviewed paper, and in their sleep:

    When it comes to global warming there is no debate, there is no discussion, and there is no opinion. There are only those who want to commit mass murder on a global scale with global warming, and those who do not want to commit mass murder on a global scale.

    The difference between Conservatives and ISIL/Daesh members: ISIL/Daesh members are a better class of hominid because at least they don’t lie about wanting to murder us.

    Claiming that global warming is a hoax is worse than sitting around a Hamburg apartment planning to hijack passenger jets and crash them into office towers.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Excessive repetition snipped.

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