This weekend was a busy one for me, but I had time early in the mornings (thanks to our new puppy) to spend a little time catching up on what is happening in the environmental world. In the process I caught the attention (and ire) of some of my least-favourite environmental activists: angry anonymous academics, grumpy retirees and numerous anonymous trolls. This blog post started as a light lark about the internecine battles between climate activists but has ended up as a state-of-the-union sort of piece that refutes a lot of malicious slander being directed my way by the likes of Miriam (SouBundanga) O’Brien and her acolytes who have filled my twitter feed with their rubbish, lies and insults. It puts some thoughts together in one place and describes where my mind is on the topic of Lukewarmism, climate change “denial” and the current state of the environmental movement.
As regular readers of this blog know, I am a Lukewarmer. What does that mean? It means I agree with the fundamental science of climate change. I acknowledge that the anthropogenic addition of Tyndall gases into the atmosphere will have an effect on global climate. As such, I agree with consensus (as presented by the IPCC) on the topic of climate change. As a Lukewarmer my primary difference with the alarmists is that I believe that the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide is on the lower end of the consensus scale presented by the IPCC. The basis for this belief is a combination of my graduate-level education in global biogeochemical cycles and my personal knowledge of the early global climate models used to generate the original sensitivity numbers.
I’ve been a Lukewarmer for over two decades (even before Lukewarmers had a name) and in that time my Lukewarmer viewpoint has been consistently demonstrated to be a better representation of climate sensitivity than the alarmists’ views. More specifically, in the last two decades the consensus climate sensitivity estimate has gradually decreased to approximately the point I guessed it would be when I last looked closely at the topic over a decade ago. Conversely, the current consensus climate sensitivity estimate is now much lower than the one the alarmists were using in their discussions of the same era.
In my blog I have repeatedly discussed the policy means by which we can reduce our emissions of Tyndall gases while mitigating the effects of the climate change that is already locked into the system. I have promoted renewable and alternative energy technologies and have highlighted the policy needed to enhance our available renewable energy portfolio. Moreover, as a private citizen I worked to help get a carbon tax enacted in my home province of British Columbia. So I am exactly what I say I am: a pragmatic environmentalist who has worked to achieve evidence–based policy goals.
My pragmatism represents one of my major “sins” in the climate change debate where the two choices are: true believer or heretic. Another is that while I am a progressive on social issues I am conservative on financial issues. I believe in the power of a free market that is overseen by, but not controlled by, a functioning regulatory regime. I believe in the motto “polluter pays” and have worked in a contaminated sites industry for the last 15 years where “polluter pays” is more than a motto, it is how we do business. Most of the alarmist crew are far more left-leaning in the political spectrum. They are mostly comprised of people with the politics of Naomi Klein (and the authors of the Leap Manifesto) who seek to throw out our capitalist system to be replaced by a socialist paradise. They have a stronger belief in the ability of government to manage change than I do and believe that government action is the only way to beat climate change.
As a free-market type, I appreciate the existence of our regulators but have come to recognize their flaws and limitations. I have come to acknowledge that the government is extremely bad at picking winners and losers and that there is no such thing as a free lunch. I do not believe that the government can just magically make money appear. I know that the government gets its money by taxing or borrowing and money spent by government in one area restricts the amount it can spend in another. I recognize that infrastructure takes time to build and that history has taught us that environmental issues are thrown to the back-burner when the economy is bad. This means that maintaining a strong economy is a necessity if we are going to fight climate change. Finally I have crunched the numbers on what is needed to achieve a fossil fuel-free future and recognize that the infrastructure needs are staggering and thus the transition is not going to happen in 5-15 years but will take 30-50+ years and in the intervening time we will need to safely transport fossil fuels across our continent.
Now let’s consider the nature of the climate change debate. Well, the alarmists are not doing too well these days. Certainly the Paris Agreement was passed, but that was more a testament to the pragmatists and the middle-of-the-roaders than the alarmists. The alarmists keep screaming from the tops of hills but the rest of the world has taken to tuning them out? Why you might ask? Well in my opinion, it is because they are too quick to make enemies and so unserious that it is hard to take them seriously.
Consider their use of the term “denier”. Before I go further, a bit of background; I was a young boy when Ernst Zündel published the pamphlet “Did Six Million Really Die” (in 1974). I grew up in a time of the quiet growth of the Holocaust denial movement in western Canada. I was a young activist while the Keegstra case worked its way up to the Supreme Court of Canada and did my small part to support groups who fought anti-Semitism and the rise of Holocaust Denial. I watched as a tremendous effort was made to link a relatively benign word “denier” with the concept of Holocaust Denial. This was not a local phenomena but one that happened world-wide. This linking worked and for many of my generation the term “denier” has a power like few others. Happily, my kids are growing up in an era where (at least where I live) Holocaust denial is restricted to those with recognizably bad intentions. As a consequence many from younger generations do not have the same associations with that word that people of my age do.
Given this background, you can imagine my disappointment when the term “denier” was misappropriated by a core of activists who recognizing its power (a power soaked in the blood, sweat and tears of people I knew and respected) who decided to use it to label their opponents in the climate change debate. I have even less time for the apologists who say, “well look it up in the dictionary” and thus excuse themselves of the implied slander associated with using the term. When I was a young man the “joke” used to be that calling a homosexual a “faggot” was not an insult because if you looked the word up in the dictionaries of the time the definition simply read “a bundle of sticks”. Everyone knew that the word had an incredibly evil use intended to degrade the person being addressed but for some the fact that the dictionaries had not caught up with the common usage meant it was okay to use this vile term.
Nowadays I have mostly given up fighting the historically illiterate activists who insist on using the word but still pay attention to how it is being used. A decade ago, it was used to label a small minority of individuals who actually argued that climate change was not happening, but that, too, has changed. You would think that having misappropriated a term that has so much inherited power you would be careful how you used it….and in this you would be wrong. Instead of being treated with reverence it is bandied about these days like a minor insult just below “racist” but above “sexist”.
So how is the word “denier” used these days? Well a “freelance consultant” with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) by the name of Miriam O’Brien (known better as SouBundanga who has a huge online following) called me a “science denier” for no other reason than because I got into a disagreement on the semantics of the term. Locally a transportation planner and campaigner with no education in climate science has taken to calling people “soft climate deniers” in the newspapers and on social media because they disagree with him on transportation options in our community. When he does so what do we hear from the serious people in the activist community? Nothing. A political science grad whose research topics include welfare policy, poverty, inequality and economic security with no apparently no formal training in climate science calls anyone who disagrees with his progressive policy choices climate deniers and what do we hear from the activists? Nothing. Heck, Dr. Naomi Oreskes a specialist in the history of science calls the father of climate alarmism, Dr. James Hansen a climate denier because of differences in how nuclear energy can be used in fighting climate change and once again the great majority of activists in the alarmist camp say nothing.
It is no wonder people have stopped taking the alarmists seriously, since they can’t be bothered to take what each other says seriously. Moreover their infighting is like something out of a Monty Python movie or 1920’s Russia. When Dr. Oreskes condemns Dr. Hansen I keep trying to remember which one represents the People’s Front of Judea and which is the Judean People’s Front? Frankly if the Romans (ooops I mean climate skeptics) had planned it I don’t think they could have done a better job turning the activist fringes of the climate alarmist brigades against each other or making them look more ridiculous. Perhaps it is time that the intellectual leaders of the movement speak out because right now they have become more of a punch-line than anything else. How else to explain how Donald Trump can run a presidential campaign rejecting climate change while Hillary Clinton runs hers without any useful discussion of one of the seminal issues of our generation.
As a pragmatic environmentalist I am deeply saddened. I see the effort of individuals like myself being overwhelmed as progressives have gradually wrest the environmental movement from the hands of environmentalists and scientists and put it in the hands of philosophers, sociologists and political scientists. People who understand little about the complexity of the problems facing us but instead see this as their latest hobby-horse that they can ride to potential political power. In the end it is likely that the fading world economy will take the wind out of the environmental sails and we will once again have failed to make hay while the sun shone; because as history teaches us, when the economy goes down environmental awareness goes out the window. It is not too late to achieve some goals, but given the tenor and the quality of the people leading that debate, I am quite certain that we will have missed this window of opportunity. It reminds me of the old Alberta (Texas?) expression: Dear Lord, please give me another boom and I promise not to blow it only it looks like we took this opportunity and blew it again.
Since I wrote this piece I was made aware of a blog post by the wildly popular climate mouthpiece Miriam O’Brian. I had to be told about the piece because she was very careful (cowardly) not to inform me of its existence or provide any links that might have made me aware of its existence. Here is a link to the blog post which I welcome you to visit. Be warned calling the piece mudslinging would be to give it too much credit. The strangest part of the piece is that she brags about not ever having read anything I have written while asserting strongly and repeatedly that I am a “denier” and making secondary accusations that are simply base and untrue. She quite effectively demonstrates the mindset of the climate activist and her blog post is a learning experience for me.
While she hasn’t read my work, Miriam does take a number of my Twitter comments out of context. Amusingly, since she included links to the comments you can actually follow the threads which show her falsehoods and makes reading her blog even more entertaining. If I were James Inhofe trying to create a parody of an intolerant climate alarmist I would reject her as being too extreme. Few would believe that a person like her really exist, but like Ann Coulter she is wildly popular among her set. I presume this is mostly because she is willing to say such bizarre things and reinforce their biases.
Be sure to read the comments as they include a take from a gent by the name of Ken Rice who blogs under the name “and Then There’s Physics“. Ken works at the University of Edinburgh as an Astrophysicist (don’t worry his training is not in climate science) and he got his knickers in a knot over the fact that I did not show anger at a comment below that used the term “science denier“. As people who have followed this brouhaha know Miriam called me a “science denier” and chrism56 used a literary device where he turned the insult around for emphasis to demonstrate why it was an inappropriate thing to say. Now Ken being a literal man seems unable to comprehend literary devices and claims I am being two-faced on the topic. I would simply point out that anyone with a classical education would recognize the literary device and will leave it at that.
Sounds like you’re calling anyone who has good reason to believe the ECS is above your value of “roughly 1.2C of warming per doubling of carbon dioxide” an alarmist… is that an accurate assessment of your definition of what constitutes as an ‘alarmist’?
BTW, the IPCC never suggested an ECS below 2C in the AR4 like you claim it did, here’s what they actually say:
>Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely to be in the range 2°C to 4.5°C with a most likely value of about 3°C, based upon multiple observational and modelling constraints. It is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C. https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/tssts-6-4-2.html
Their estimates in AR5 are in good agreement with the AR4 assessment.
Side Notes: You don’t get to claim the use of denier or its application simply because you feel strongly about it. That’s not how language works (linguistics 101). The use of the term denier has applications outside of the Holocaust: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceS_jkKjIgo
No it is not alarmist to suggest that anything above the ECS of 1.2 is possible. I have previously defined alarmists to be the folks who claim the ECS is within the long tail of the distribution. In my original post it was the folks who were wrongly claiming an ECS of 6 degrees C.
Blair, thanks for a thoughtful post. Sadly, the “true believers” are poisoning the well for rational debate. In the UK, fracking has become a political football, with most of the political parties proposing bans on fracking in order to indulge in virtue-signalling, and little recognition of the potential benefits as a transitional technology to wean us off coal.
CT, AR5 dropped the “best estimate” because it is clearly trending downwards; more recent papers are dragging it lower still.
If you are going to defend the “denier” epithet when so many people find it demeaning, then you will no doubt continue to be surprised that people don’t take you seriously.
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But any first year statistics course will tell you that a distribution curve between 1.5 and 4.5 is going to have a mean somewhere around 3.
Only if the distribution is normal but as you know the current assumption is that the distribution is lognormal. In that case the mean could be all over the place depending on how skewed the distribution was.
Bravo. Now I have a name to give myself. Thanks for that.
I for one appreciate you efforts. One of my top blogs, pleasure to read and informative.
Thanks for the positive comments
Why didn’t you use AR5, CT? Could it be that despite your assertions it doesn’t say what you said it does?
To save you looking, what it does say is:
“Estimates of the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) based on observed climate change, climate models and feedback analysis, as well as paleoclimate evidence indicate that ECS is positive, likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C with high confidence, extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence) and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence). ”
So AR5 definitely suggests an ECS of less that 2° and it has gradually decreased – or have you become a science denier?
The context was strictly within AR4, so I used what AR4 actually said (try clicking the link next time) which is not at all what Blair suggested it said. I also said AR4 is in good agreement (that doesn’t mean identical, it means approximately the same) with AR5 which is also factually true. Nothing of which you posted contradicts my initial comment.
>and it has gradually decreased – or have you become a science denier?
The IPCC’s previous assessments (prior to AR4) also had a likely range of 1.5C to 4.5C. So no it doesn’t suggest an ECS 4C.
In his previous blogging Blair has clearly suggested that he believes ECS to be https://achemistinlangley.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/my-lukewarmer-post-or-how-to-lose-friends-on-both-sides-in-the-agw-debate/
>”every doubling of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere should result in an increase in the global mean temperature of approximately 1.2C.”
>”That is how they translate the naturally expected 1.2C of warming per doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations into increases ranging from 4.5C to over 6C per doubling.”
Oh, easy now… Blair seems a little hyper sensitive to that word (denier) so you probably should only ever use it to refer to the Holocaust and never anything else, under any other context, ever.
Critical, I have repeatedly said that if you choose to use a derogative the work “denialist” is both the correct grammatical form and has not been previously associated with Holocaust Denial. If you must be insulting this seems like a reasonable compromise of insulting the “denialists” while not misappropriating an existing term.
and since AR5 more research has come out to further lower the ECS. I presume that AR6 will reflect the most recent research which continues to lower the ECS.
To clear up my last comment it appears I’m not familiar with wordpress formatting. So while I attempted to use the greater and less than symbol it played some language magic on my comment. To complete my comment as it was intended is as follows:
The IPCC’s previous assessments (prior to AR4) also had a likely range of 1.5C to 4.5C. So no it doesn’t suggest an ECS less than 1.5C and more than it suggests an ECS greater than 4C.
Since AR5 more research has also come out that has increased ECS – that doesn’t mean its automatically right simply because it echoes nicely in your chamber (ex: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2016/09/the-snyder-sensitivity-situation/ )
What do you mean continues to lower? AR3: 1.5C – 4.5C, AR4: 2.0C-4.5C, AR5: 1.5C-4.5C.
“Continued”? What continued? There is no “continued.”
Coming from someone who persistently feels the need to belittle others on the basis of their title/degree that’s about the worst interpretation of data I’ve ever heard from some one with a “PhD.” But if you like to play the game of authority, why not apply that to yourself? Who would you listen to… a person who served as a Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, a tenured Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University, was an editor for the American Geophysical Union, and an associate editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research, and did Postdoctoral research at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdoln7hGZYk
Or a person who has a PhD in Chemistry and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria, and who works for Parsons (an engineering firm) as a project manager?
I wouldn’t have to trust either, I would trust the peer reviewed press which has presented a series of recent papers that have adjusted the ECS
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I note the peer reviewed literature based on observational data supports your view of an ECS about 1.5°C
And I also note that people like James Annan have published complaining about the poor maths that has biased the values high.
It will be interesting to see what papers AR6 cite.
Unfortunately, the “denialist” nonsense continues to be promoted not just on twitter and blogs but in the supposedly ‘academic’ literature.
The latest embarrassing disgrace to academia, published in a Springer philosophy journal called Synthese, falsely claims that the arguments presented by “denialists” are incoherent and contradictory, naming a number of individuals including Ian Plimer and Anthony Watts. The only function of the paper is to smear people that the authors don’t like. Absurdly, virtually all of the alleged contradictions presented in the paper aren’t contradictions at all. This obvious point has been noted by bloggers including Michel, Brandon Shollenberger and Geoff Chambers, see for example this blog post and links therein. But it seems to have escaped the notice of the authors of the paper, the reviewers and the editors of the journal.
Meanwhile, your country’s Globe and Mail newspaper has an article entitled:
“Justin Trudeau: climate denier?”
Talk of ‘Tyndall gases’ will really fall foul of scientists who work in disciplines away from climate ‘science.’
In fact, there are an increasing number of scientists saying there is no greenhouse gas effect and carbon dioxide only has a practical use in industry as a coolant, not a ‘heat trapping’ gas or ‘Warming gas’ or anything of the sort.
Unfortunately, for believers in a ‘greenhouse gas effect’ Tyndall made proven false conclusions about the “absorption” of the gases he meant to measure.
The idea that CO2 somehow controls “Global Warming” is based on the Arrhenius (1896) theory. If this theory has any validity it should be possible to derive at least two quantities using mathematics and knowledge of a planet’s atmosphere:
1. The “greenhouse effect” in Kelvin.
2. The “sensitivity” in Kelvin/doubling of each “greenhouse gas”.
Principia Scientific International (PSI) experts (scientists with PhD’s from the ‘hard’ sciences have repeatedly asked “Climate Scientists” to show their calculations for “Item 1” above but they tended to get quite hostile.
“Item 2” gets plenty of discussion but it is all about finding a number that best fits observations. That is not science. It is at best curve fitting that can give almost any answer according to one’s choice of start and finish dates.
Skeptics have spent some time looking at pressure based theories which do a great job on “Item 1” but have nothing useful to say on “Item 2”.
To PSI it is opacity and relative opacity, not absorptivity and absorption as he seems to claim. In fact, Tyndall uses the terms “opacity” and “absorbing power” interchangeably throughout his work. This is indicative of a fundamental misunderstanding, which is nonetheless studiously avoided by nearly all authors who claim that Tyndall’s work proved the “Greenhouse Effect.”
Although Tyndall regarded “absorbing” gases as thermal buffers rather than warming agents, contemporary and historical authors alike (Arrhenius, 1896; Weart, 2003, p. 3) fail to acknowledge the fact that Tyndall made absolutely no measurement of actual absorption, he confused absorption and opacity, and if anything, his differential radiation idea rests heavily on the idea of luminiferous aether – later refuted by Michelson & Morley (1887).
Guess if you’re truly a believer in Tyndall Gas you must inexorably be a believer in the luminiferous aether.
In Kelvin? That makes it sound like real science.
John, CO2 absorbs infrared radiation at several wavelengths and warms up as a result. This is technical fact. CO2 and water vapour give the sky an infrared “temperature” that you can read with an IR heat gun. Oxygen and nitrogen would not show an infrared temperature on that heat gun because they are transparent to infrared. That temperature of H2O vapour and CO2….IS the greenhouse effect. Any hard science student two semesters past high school physics understands this. Instead of scientists who say there is no greenhouse effect, maybe you are confused with scientologists….
Yes, conditionally. Not under every set of conditions will absorption of EM radiation warm a gas. To do that, some of the internal energy must be converted to kinetic energy such that the velocity of the gas particles increases (Thermodynamic temperature is a function of the geometric mean of a sample’s total kinetic energy, not its total energy).
After doing a very good job explaining the baggage associated with “denier” I am sad that you said “Donald Trump can run a presidential campaign denying climate change”. Rejecting would have been a better word in my opinion. Otherwise I agree with everything you said.
Fair comment, I have changed the text accordingly.
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>”I wouldn’t have to trust either, I would trust the peer reviewed press which has presented a series of recent papers that have adjusted the ECS ”
The first person I mentioned was Andrew Dessler, who has published numerous studies in peer-reviewed and credible journals (and also presented the video as to why ECS is unlikely to be below 1.5C). He also addresses your comment in the short video I linked. Do yourself a favor and watch it. The second person I mentioned was you… when was the last time you wrote a peer-reviewed paper in a credible journal on some aspect of climate science? For some reason, I can’t seem to find much…
There’s two problems with your statement Blair:
1) First, you ignored the fact where I clearly pointed out just because a study is peer-reviewed doesn’t mean it is infallible. Good job. Typical conspiracy ideology, and not something to brag about.
2) Secondly, you claim to accept peer-reviewed materials, but let’s be honest. You accept peer-reviewed studies that echo in your chamber and reject the majority of peer-reviewed studies that are counter to your faith.
You paint a pretty clear picture Blair. You cherry pick studies that fit your faith, and accept them without critique. However, you reject the majority of peer-reviewed research that contradicts your personal belief system and opt to critique those studies.
It’s apparent that you’re not willing to budge on ECS (such is the way with faith based ideology) so why don’t we wait for AR6 and lay it to rest then? It ain’t dropping below 1.5C. The world is changing faster than the models predict (arctic warming, sea level rise, etc.) and yet you insist ECS is lower than 1.5C? Yeah, ’cause that makes perfect sense. Nothing wrong with that reasoning at all.
All that a side, you mentioned on another blog that you helped enact BC’s carbon tax… care to provide some details on that, you know – cite your source sorta speak? Was that under BC’s Gordon Campbell or Christy Clark?
You have entered the fantasy world now.
Where is your proof that the real world sea level is rising faster than models predict? – Observational data sourced only please. I go to here:
http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.html and it doesn’t
show either acceleration or rises faster than models predict
Out of everything I stated, your only argument is to fixate on SLR, and then provide a data source which says nothing about how accurate models have been in the past in relation to SLR.
>”I go to here: … and it doesn’t show either acceleration or rises faster than models predict”
It doesn’t show shit because it’s raw data ya dip. Next time connect the dots.
Let’s not forget that since the following data was collected, the rate at which GMSLR is rising has accelerated: https://i.imgur.com/oMe0bua.jpg
>The data now available raise concerns that the climate system, in particular sea level,
may be responding more quickly than climate models indicate.
Click to access rahmstorf_etal_science_2007.pdf
If you want connect the dots next time here’s a good place to start: http://www.aviso.altimetry.fr/en/data/products/ocean-indicators-products/mean-sea-level.html
As I thought, you would use the satellite sea level data – That has significant problems that are being glossed over, if you actually bothered to look . The map they show has maximimum sea level rise around the Solomons of >10mm a year. Yet the tidal data collected over a similar period shows no change
You will find a similar situation for Midway Atoll:
So we have two data sets, one based on satellites and one on tide gauges showing significantly different trends. Just like the temperatures – Land based vrs satellite. Its worse than we thought, but only if you ignore half the data.
The same type of issues arise for the ECS or for GCMs. If it doesn’t fit the narrative, it is disappeared. That is what a lot of people are rightly skeptical about. Scientists are being advocacy activists, only telling one side of the story.
Chris, it’s sometimes worse than that, people say there are tide gauges, then switch to the completely different satellite measurement system after about 1990, then try to claim there’s been an acceleration.
Lots of references collated here,
to where politicians, activists, journalists have directly equated climate sceptics with Holocaust deniers.
Yet the activists say now, deniers means other things aswell and existed for decades (ie Darwin denier, deficit denier, etc – which is true) therefor it doesn’t mean that.. but of course in context, of the phrase, it has meant it different things – climate denier, climate change denier – or even deniers in context of a climate article. (I know of some scientists using climate deniers as a linkage to creationists, or evolution deniers, ie as mad as, so not sole linked to Holocaust, just another derogatory comparison, which ever works for the receiving audience, perhaps?)
John Cook recognised the equating of sceptics with holocaust deniers, at around the time he founded his Skeptical Science website.. proof enough for John, good enough for me.
“I’ve been following the global warming argument closely of late and I’ve noticed both sides often fulfill Godwin’s Law. Global warming advocates liken skeptics to Holocaust deniers (akin to a Nazi). Skeptics compare Al Gore’s public awareness campaign to Nazi-like propaganda. It’s lazy debating – why discuss the issues with facts and logic when you can easily write off your opponent with a derogatory label?”
– John Cook – 2007
only now available via Wayback Macine
On looking at the “Hot Whopper” website, I find it curious that the two ads on it are for a cruise line. One might think that accepting ad money from such a large generator of GHGs is inconsistent. Or am I missing something?
Just~ The ads that appear on a page often reflect what You have been looking at. Another person might see different ads.
My wife and I use Kijiji and eBay very often and ads for items we either sell or search for will frequently appear on the pages of sites we are reading at, such as Yahoo.
Sou called Prof Mike Hulme a denier once.. having no clue who he was… tragic
“Maybe Mike Hulme is angling for a seat on the GWPF Advisory Board. ” – Sou
“Mike Hulme might be of that type or he could be an ideological denier who can’t quite bring himself to reject the science outright (going by a couple of comments and references by others in this thread). ” – Sou
her mistake, was that because he criticized John Cook’s work he must be a denier..
read the exchanges with Sou in the comments..
I just had a quick look at that article. You appear to be completely misrepresenting it. Here is a sample:
“Except that Mike Hulme doesn’t think that the 97% is nonsense. What he’s arguing is that it’s time to move beyond the science of climate and explore some big questions relating to what we are going to do about climate change. “
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Sou appears to know exactly who he is:
“From his bio at The Conversation: Mike Hulme is professor of climate and culture in the Department of Geography at King’s College London. His work explores the idea of climate change using historical, cultural and scientific analyses, seeking to illuminate the numerous ways in which climate change is deployed in public and political discourse….From 2000 to 2007 he was the Founding Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, based at the University of East Anglia, and since 2007 has been the founding Editor-in-Chief of the review journal Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs) Climate Change.”
What nonsense are you putting about?
Blair, if I may: What are your thoughts on Arhennius, his original CS estimate of 9C (I believe), and his later revised estimate of 1.6 – 2.1C?
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Re your Postscript:
I have admired your work for a long time and reading the post by Miriam O’Brian and the comments only reinforces my admiration for your arguments for pragmatic environmental solutions. Sadly it is obvious that nothing will ever change closed minds. Thank you for trying though.
The title of this post suggests that there has been a single environmental movement. I see it as many more groups and individuals today labelling themselves as “green” or “environmental” because of the positive connotations these labels contain. Many such self-identified environmentalists are not particularly scientific or logical, but enjoy playing the theatrical role of the climate-saviour protester, or the angry crusader against deniers.
In my recent blog post on the subject of labelling swear words I criticized both the “denier” and the “alarmist” labels as being just juvenile name calling. Criticize a person’s arguments on their merits or lack thereof, in which case it is unnecessary to call them by either name. Here is a short excerpt from that post:
“If one scientist expresses the opinion that most of the recent climate change is warming caused by increasing atmospheric CO2, while another scientist disagrees with that opinion, each scientist denies their approval of the other’s opinion. Therefore, one is just as much a denier as the other. So if someone calls you a denier you could call them a denier in return – unless you consider such name calling to be juvenile.
Of course, the epithet “denier” intentionally evokes the image of a Holocaust denier, which is to imply that a scientist who is a denier is just as immoral as an anti-Semitic bigot. So if you disagree with, or are skeptical about a scientist’s forecast of the planet’s climate 80 years from now are you no better than an anti-Semitic bigot who denies the Holocaust? The person engaging in such smear tactics is more deserving of criticism that anyone so described. This is adolescent schoolyard bullying unworthy of scientists, or even politicians and journalists. Just don’t do it.
It would be more accurate to change the word “denier” to “disagreer”. But that would deprive the user of “denier” of the satisfaction of swearing at someone who has the nerve not to agree with their opinion.”