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Discussion > The Sceptic Skeptic. Open Letter to Bishop Hill

The word "conspiracy" appears several times in this thread, all written by one poster. Guess who?

It's the tiresomely predictable Leftist projection again -- the Warmists believe in a huge well-funded army of skeptics conspiring to spread anti-science, they then project that belief system to assume that skeptics in turn are accusing Warmists of a giant global Trotskyite conspiracy. It isn't so.

The global warming movement isn't a conspiracy any more than the Mafia is a conspiracy. It is simply an excellent alignment of interests between power-hungry narcissistic politicians, anti-capitalist environmentalists, rent-seeking scientists and scare-chasing lazy journalists. Given that almost all science is government funded, its emergence was probably inevitable.

Cries of 'conspiracy' almost always come from the Left/Green side; conspiracy theories are the flip side of gullibility. Believing nothing rather than everything can be accomplished with the same lack of credible evidence. Conspiratorial thinking is magical thinking dressed up as worldly wisdom. And that is one area where the Left truly excels.

Feb 18, 2012 at 8:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

My apologies if he term sceptic camp is an issue, I struggle to find other terms that are neutral. Comments and posts on this site and others have used polorised positions such as -denier-skeptic-warmist-alarmist and speak of sides or fences, in reality there are individuals with a whole spectrum of beliefs. Some pundits have equated belief in the science to politics and used terms like watermelon which pushes the divisions further. A slightly more disturbing aspect of some of these posts on this topic and evident elsewhere is the notion of me being a troll, a term that is extended to anyone on the CC debate either side of the argument. It is not a particularly appropriate description: trolls look to gain a negative reaction which to my understanding is not about debating the issue. Troll has appeared to change its meaning to be a form of insult.

Now, I consider myself to be somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, I dislike alarmism [the religious apocalypse- and the silent spring have failed to arrive], but science is amazing, to me. I am amazed at how a tiny amount of gas can do so much, stunned that photons can be in two places at the same time, and astonished that finding out the global temperature is something that can be measured. But science isn't perfect and as greedy, self obsessed, selfish animals I doubt we would do anything in the long term even if it saved us. So I am complex, yet I come to the party and don't fit in. Is the debate solely for extremists?

If it is, then I will be on my way. No dissenting views on a site that is supposedly a place for troubled dissenting minds.

Feb 18, 2012 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered Commenteriwannabeasceptic

@rick bradford- in my personal research concerning the spectrum of beliefs of ACC the term 'conspiracy' 'fraud' 'hoax' and lets not forget 'swindle' are directly attributed by the more extreme sceptic to the scientific case of ACC. Similarly the 'Alarimists' [and I certainly don't side with that extreme] imply a conspiracy by citing big oil or coal to undermine science. You have just stated a conspiracy by default, a conspiracy of self interest exists in the scientific/media/politics of warmists.

You use the argument of projection, it is a psychological concept that I have never really bought. It just is meaningless hippy nonsense. So if I come out the pub and get attacked by a drunk who just wants a fight - well did my projections cause it? Did they assume that I felt hostile to them? What do you mean by projection?

The point I have been making is to ditch the negatives in order to have a mainstream debate.

Feb 18, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered Commenteriwannabeasceptic

@michael hart- thank you for your insight, and you would be surprised how much of what you comment on I would agree with. Perhaps my issue with predictive computer modelling is to me it appears to be casting bones, a kind of magic that I have very little understanding. It is the high end of mathematics that is able to produce theories like Relativity before anyone has done the lab tests. My understanding, and I am someone that can not predict what we will have for tea unless I forced to write a shopping list, is that modelling is then subjected to observations and tests.

I asked the question to my brother, a very dull engineer, if engineering can take models tested in the computer and develop them why not the long term climate trends? His answer was just the numbers of different laws that have to be included. Earth is complex and its weather is more so. Chaos theory and that bloody butterfly causing hurricanes [now if they could just find the little bugger] is such a mad idea it is difficult for a lay person like me to get my head around it.

I am not going to rubbish climate modelling because with my limited knowledge that would be rash, but I think it is evident that many people are equally ignorant and therefore suspicious. I think the met office is missing a trick in not explaining the science, after all they could get a very nice BBC t.v. series out of it. More importantly it would be interesting to see what the wide spectrum of modellers, mathematicians and observers [scientific that is] have to say about the discipline.

But I really have to disagree with you strongly on one point the 80s was terrible for music!

Feb 18, 2012 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered Commenteriwannabeasceptic


**You use the argument of projection, it is a psychological concept that I have never really bought**

That's because you have misunderstood it completely (judging from the example you give above) or have never studied it (judging by the question you pose).

Formally, projection is a psychological defence mechanism by which a person accuses other people of certain behaviour which the exists inside the person themself but they are unable to confront.

You may have heard of the tendency of men who are unsure of their own sexuality to be very homophobic -- they are projecting these bad feelings outwards, because they are unable to internally confront them.

Similarly, people who accuse opposing arguments as being "meaningless hippy nonsense" are more than likely to be simply projecting their own fears that they themselves have nothing of interest to say, and say even that vaguely and badly.

Feb 18, 2012 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

'troll' is just a catch-all term for all kinds of stuff - especially, used for smokescreen, diversionary, gatekeeping, and cordoning type of activities in online debate. It may be used by people as an insult, in and of itself, but you probably won't find that happening here. 'Troll' does not reflect on the content of what you say.

You have simply assumed bucketloads of stuff about 'the people here'. If what you affecting is indeed true, you are really new to all this. If it gives you any comfort, ... there are people of all political persuasions participating at BH - left, right, libertarian, etc.

Just to be sure though, if you do believe that there is some 'middle ground' in this debate, you might find yourself disillusioned. For example, if you think - 'hey, the climate stuff may be a good excuse to improve our energy infrastructure', or 'hey, this climate stuff may be a good excuse to reduce 'black carbon emissions'', or 'this climate may be a good excuse to reduce indiscriminate logging', you are probably better off not getting sucked into the climate change debate.

The debate is, what it is. And it is primarily different from what a host of others imagine it to be. There are lots of people who stand on the shores of the debate, and even jump in. But the debate is basically about how a growing scientific discipline came to be used as a foundation to build a political movement, between those inside, and those outside who challenge their authority, basis, data, methods and conclusions.

If you think, as a reasonable middle person, you might have something to add, for reasons outside those above, why use climate as the excuse? Want to improve energy? Why not pursue it on its own right? Want to tackle poverty? Go after it on its own.

The post Cold War period has seen the organization and rebuilding of global moral politics on the scaffolding provided by climate change science. It sucks everything in. Eventually though, it will be realised, that 'climate change' cannot serve as such a foundation.

Feb 18, 2012 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Similarly, people who accuse opposing arguments as being "meaningless hippy nonsense" are more than likely to be simply projecting their own fears that they themselves have nothing of interest to say, and say even that vaguely and badly.

Feb 18, 2012 at 1:37 PM | Rick Bradford>>>

I've tried hard to make sense of the writings of iwannabeasceptic, but I'm afraid they come over as rather pointless emotional jibber-jabber.

That's just my opinion, with no malice involved, but the whole exercise looks like using the blog just to let off pent up emotions.

Feb 18, 2012 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterRKS

Feb 18, 2012 at 1:48 PM | Shub>>>

Having read the writings of iwannabeasceptic a little more fully, I think the use of the term 'troll' might have been a bit over the top regarding the overall tone of his/her outbursts.

Please accept my apology.

Feb 18, 2012 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterRKS

iwannabe, you appear to be surprised to have been received in a less than positive way. But really, what do you expect if one of the first substantive posts you make starts with:

"The recent articles concerning the Royal Society and their President: Paul Nurse are frankly depressing. The criticisms go beyond the rational and represent not only an attack on the institution but on science."

You don't think that is bound to create some reaction? To reprise your analogy, if you walk into a pub and say "You lot are all depressing and irrational, I tell you", do you not think that - at least if your voice projection was good enough that anyone heard you - you might be ill-received?

Scepticism about AGW covers a broad range of views, of people, and has a long history. Most issues have resonance that may not be apparent to a newcomer. For example, many moderate sceptics have little sympathy for the Heartland Institute, but see in the recent events commonalities with other cases where rhetoric, bluster and deceit have been used to bully sceptical positions off the table.

Also, you accuse us all here of being against science. Well, lots of commenters here (and, I would guess, a much larger number of lurkers) are proper scientists. I'm a professor of chemistry, I've co-authored something like 180 scientific papers at last count, and I am not against science. However I know that science can things interestingly wrong (or not quite right) at times, perhaps especially when it intersects with politics or ideology.

There are some parts of the sceptic camp who can be quite easy to dismiss as clueless at first sight, but may I suggest that you would gain by browsing through key posts at a number of thoughtful blogs such as ClimateAudit, BH, Climate Resistance (to cover a range of approaches to scepticism) before you spout off too much more?

Feb 18, 2012 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Harvey

@rick bradford- I recall the notion of gay bashers beating up gays and remember skinheads really liking ska but if any kind of comment becomes a projection then it ends up being a very confusing world. But you accused me of perpetuating the idea of conspiracy yet after pointing out the basis of where I came across the terminology you fail to address the point you asked me.

@shub- I found your last post interesting, I am not entirely clear on some of the points: on the one hand you say scepticism is bipartisan but then go on to say it a reaction to an ideology. Pundits are very clear that this ideology is some kind of Marxism 2.0, [one only has to read the Telegraph, Spectator or read Watermelons] so if I understand you, this is not an issue about old politics but a new ideological battleground. Would you be happy to enlighten me further?

as for the other points- no, I don't see this as simply an opportunity to see change- but to be honest on reflection [if that rather sudden change of minds makes sense] why not? A chunk of CC is attributed by the mainstream to land use change, planting a few million hectares of extra trees would have a commercial value and it one of many low cost easy options. Evidently this is not blog to explore such issues.

@RKS - accepted.

Feb 18, 2012 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered Commenteriwannabeasceptic

@jeremy harvey, - I suppose my first post was aimed at exactly someone like you, I can't presume but if we bumped into each other socially and you stated 'I'm a chemist, professor and AGW sceptic' I would eventually ask 'how does the perceived anti science stance of pundits and other sceptics integrate with your scientific culture'. My concern is mis-information and bias: 'climategate' is still used, unwisely, in my opinion, extensively to junk the science- the RS has been the focus of criticism on this site, other blogs and some press in a wholly biased way. With someone who understands the importance of neutrality how do you reconcile those different cultures?

I read your post with interest, and 180 papers is impressive- 10 a year? Indeed the line between being direct and flaming is fine but I didn't run into the pub and shout fire. The RS was questioned internally by the 42 and it responded but reading Montford's report I got the impression, like delingpole, that he was saying it was a joke. The impression I get within sceptic blogs is an attack on certain establishments without quarter [and I know that it works in the other direction] rather than accepting a balanced picture. Two wrongs etc.

My appeal was for moderation. The nobility of sceptism is objectivity and I fail to see why this could be considered a rant.

Feb 19, 2012 at 12:15 AM | Unregistered Commenteriwannabeasceptic

I have no evidence but I suspect that "iwannabe" is a troll who has haunted these pages for a long time. Claiming or insinuating that he/she is part of the RS gets a response.
If iwannabe is truly a member of the RS then we are indeed doomed.
"Alarmist scientists do not dispute the MWP, but they lack data on extent."
Excuse me?
Does the "Hockey Stick" ring a bell buddy?
Attempts to discuss sceptics as a group think bunch of people is as asinine as most of what he/she has written.
The people who contribute to BH most certainly do not all agree with each other but the unite in reasoned opposition to the theory that AGW is what the IPCC claim it to be.
Personally I dispute that CO2 has ANY EFFECT at all on current warming and that as stated in AR3 the effect of CO2 on warming is logarithmic. In my opinion we are past the point at which CO2 has any warming effect BUT most people on BH would not agree with me.

Feb 19, 2012 at 1:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterDung

iwannabeasceptic you start your open letter by saying that Andrew Montford’s articles were an attack on science but offer no example. So there is nothing to answer, it is just your opinion.

You wonder why Nurse was one of the subjects of attack and ask if it’s because “he should dare challenge particularly vocal ‘skeptics’ of AGW” Short answer is “no”. He didn’t challenge vocal sceptics – he just made a mockumentary where he pretended to know what the issues were and with the help of BBC editorial control he awarded himself a debate victory without once having a debate. He used subtle and not so subtle media tricks to undermine the sceptic side (eg interviewing warmist scientists at their place of work and Spencer in an old fashioned, busy coffee shop). Pathetic and fully deserving of sceptic resentment.

His arguments in the programme demonstrated his lack of knowledge in the subject which should have kept him out of the fray or at least he should have allowed sceptics to make their own case without hostile editing. He shouldn’t have conflated other scientific issues (Aids/HIV and GM foods) because different issues have different levels of proof. Someone conversant with AGW should know how very many areas of conflict exist. It is like no other in range, importance and complexity and to blithely rush though it, pretending that CAGW is obvious is an insult to everyone, the general public most of all.

You deny that climate scientists produce junk science. Unfortunately sceptic web sites are littered with autopsies of climate science junk and while it would be totally unfair to say that all climate scientists produce bad science all of the time, it’s now hard to take any of it at face value. Similarly “follow the money” is a crude accusation but it has some foundation. Personally I’d say “group think”, “sloppy” and “noble cause corruption” are more accurate barbs to throw at them.

Next you ask sceptics to stop… actually I’m not clear what point you’re trying to make but as others point out we are not a camp. We are relatively happy to have different views. Climate science should be like that. What climate science has needed all along has been some rough and tumble debate. Setting boundaries on what is right or wrong in the science is exactly what has got it in such a mess.

You seem to want sceptics to be better at the science to counter the arguments (ie don’t cherry pick). Well 1) as the Heartland thing proves most sceptics aren’t paid and don’t have the time to do the scientists’ jobs for them. 2) Sometimes the cherries are all you need to prove that the tree is rotten. 3) When sceptics do produce the real deal (ie get a paper published despite all the barriers) there are a gaggle of climate scientists to either counter the paper or marginalize it. Scepticism has to be a guerrilla style activity until there is something approaching equivalence in funding.

In later comments you want people to compare papers that support as well as argue against subjects. What makes you think that hasn’t been done? That people can’t throw the stats at you doesn’t mean the subjects haven’t been covered adequately. If you want wind stats read past articles by Christopher Booker in the Telegraph. If you want the ins and outs of the Hockey Stick read THSI or trawl though Climate Audit. For the political shenanigans you want to read The Delinquent Teenager by Donna Laframboise. The new book The Cool Sun by Fritz Vahrenholt from Germany looks well worth reading when it comes out in English. There are many articles on many sites that need to be taken in toto to understand how well subjects have been covered.

Finally, climate science is like a badly built building. Parts of the structure are sound but fundamentally the foundations are wrong. There comes a point where you have to knock the thing down and start from scratch. Unfortunately, with the support of institutions like the Royal Society, climate scientists keep trying to bolt on more fancy stuff to hide the basic instability of it. The taller it gets the more likely the crash will be catastrophic and the less trust the public will have in science in general. Sceptics are like the passerby who points out the big cracks but get abuse from the builders because they can't admit they've cocked up.

Feb 19, 2012 at 1:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

You are right. I get the distinct feeling myself.


You say:
"So I am complex, yet I come to the party and don't fit in. Is the debate solely for extremists?"


"I want my children to have a future so if it doesn't happen to be too bad, scientists with redfaces will be a happy price."

Firstly, Yes. The debate is for 'extremists'. If you come to this debate, and feel that all the views espoused on both sides are 'extreme', it is probably a good indication that you haven't grasped what the fuss is about. There are lots of people and organisations who are in that position. So, it is not just you.

Secondly, I don't want to support scientists' playing Pascal Wager with my life. Anyone, let alone scientists, can propose Pascal's Wager and I would have to agree - religious persons, astrologers, soothsayers etc. The same holds for scientists.

We do not rearrange the world economies (i.e., people's lives) based on Pascal's Wager.

Thirdly, I want my children to have a future where they believe making up stuff, 'just in case', is a bad idea.

Let climate scientists say something it can be said, else, let them hold their peace. If you say 'science can only offer probabilities', let me tell you, probabilities can be offered even without science. From the time the IPCC started off, to this date, the range for climate sensitivity for instance, has been the same. You can read Roe and Baker - the situation will remain the same. Either scientists give up existing paradigms and try new approaches, or they just give and cede the hastily occupied public space.

I think it is time they did the latter.

Feb 19, 2012 at 3:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Personally I dispute that CO2 has ANY EFFECT at all on current warming and that as stated in AR3 the effect of CO2 on warming is logarithmic. In my opinion we are past the point at which CO2 has any warming effect BUT most people on BH would not agree with me.

Feb 19, 2012 at 1:16 AM | Dung>>>

Since I've read N&Z's paper I'm in total agreement with you.

According to their theory, back radiation, if it exists, is totally irrelevant with regard to surface temperature.

Perhaps wannabee could widen his/her horizons to see just how many conflicting viewpoints among scientists regarding AGW.

Feb 19, 2012 at 7:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterRKS

Feb 19, 2012 at 1:16 AM | Dung>>>

Below is an interesting paragraph from N&Z's paper which you, and wannabee, might be interested in:-

A) Global surface temperature is independent of the down-welling LW flux known as greenhouse or
back radiation, because both quantities derive from the same pool of atmospheric kinetic energy
maintained by solar heating and air pressure. Variations in the downward LW flux (caused by an increase of tropospheric emissivity, for example) are completely counterbalanced (offset) by changes in the rate of surface convective cooling, for this is how the system conserves its internal energy.>>>

Feb 19, 2012 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterRKS


I'm afraid that every time you respond to me, my opinion of you falls another notch.

The first paragraph of your 11:42 PM post is utter gibberish -- it is rather like a message left on an answering machine late at night by a not-very-bright drunk.

The way you write suggests you are not capable of understanding psychological theory, but if you would like to try, there is an excellent blog at:

Feb 19, 2012 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

In your first post iwannabeasceptic makes the following statement

The Royal Society obtained its charter so as to advise the King, in the same way The National Academy of Sciences of the U.S. was established by President Abraham Lincoln to advise on scientific issues.

I would be interested in knowing where that extraordinary statement comes from. Particularly since this flatly contradicts the RS basic rule laid down on day one of its existence.

“…it is an established rule of the Society, to which they will always adhere, never to give their opinion as a Body upon any subject either of Nature or Art, that comes before them.”

You may have read Mountfords report on the politicisation of the Royal Society but you don't appear to have understood it. Individual members of the RS may be asked by Government for their advice and may choose to give it, but they do so as individuals. The letter that you so disdainfully dismiss as too trivial to deserve an answer, deserved one because it was a compalint that the society was going against its core principle.

If I may make a suggestion, assuming that you do wish to debate scepticism in a forum such as this you would be better doing so on focussed issues rather than trying to cover the whole area of climate science at once. Similarly broad brush generalisations are unhelpful. The area is far more nuanced than many commentators are prepared to admit, being much happier with a simple Manchean dichotomy between good and evil (choosing evil to represent either sceptics or climate scientists).

Feb 19, 2012 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent


Let me help you in your quest to be a sceptic. You say:

Alarmist scientists do not dispute the MWP, but they lack data on extent

As has already been pointed out to you, our host has written an excellent and thoroughly researched work called 'The Hockey Stick Illusion', forensically detailing the way in which 'Alarmist scientists' have done everything they can to 'dispute' the existence of the MWP.

The reason? Almost certainly because its existence destroys any claim to modern temperatures being 'unprecedented'.

You should go away and read that book before commenting any further.

The second part of your sentence, "but they lack data on extent" shows that you have not done much reading on climate change or your reading has been confined to warmist propaganda websites like Skeptical Science [sic sic].

There is no end of data on the widespread extent of the MWP and the significance of its signal. I read somewhere about a new paper collating upwards of 400 studies showing the worldwide evidence for a significant MWP. If I track that down I shall post it for you. In any case, all you have to do is consult Soon & Balunias 2003. Their 'conclusions' were slightly overstated, in claiming the MWP to be 'at least as warm as today' (that's virtually impossible to verify; better to say it is of 'similar level of significance' or somesuch), plus they displayed no methodology to support such a claim.

But what is undeniable is that the 152 studies they cited and tabulated showed evidence worldwide for a MWP, and a LIA. Not just Europe or Greenland or even the Northern Hemisphere. All over the world.

Read that, too. It's very accessible and requires no specialist scientific knowledge to understand.

The things you will read about in S&B's paper and in Andrew's HSI are not opinions, hypotheses or conjecture. They are facts. Being on one side or other of 'the argument' does not matter. The facts matter.

If you take the time to read just those two things, I'd be surprised if you did not have a little pause for thought. Why did the 'Team' try so hard, and use quite such unscrupulous methods, to create and defend the Hockey Stick? In any rational and objective sense, it is indefensible, littered with statistical flaws and biased methods. Surely they don't have to rely on that, do they?

Well, yes. And like a zombie Powerpoint, it keeps getting wheeled out and used to impress the gullible, when anyone who has any knowledge of the thing knows it is complete bunkum. Ask your mate Richard Betts how reliable Mann et al's Hockey Stick is as a record of temperature anomaly.

And finally, wannabe, please stop rambling. If there's a point you wish to contend, stick to it. And be concise.

Feb 20, 2012 at 2:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

Gixxerboy, +1 nicely written!

Iwannabe, I agree that it is perhaps unhelpful to invite you to go and do some reading before engaging - we all have limited amounts of time. However, you seem to have a very blanket view of what sceptics are about, and investing a little time trying to identify the strongest arguments sceptics have might help you in your quest to work out what scepticism is about. As Gixxerboy says, the HSI book by our host is an excellent resource. If you don't have time to read it or the desire to buy it, equally valuable (but free and much shorter) reading is his landmark post here some years ago, about the shenanigans some prominent IPCC authors were happy to carry out in order to misrepresent the evidence about temperatures in past centuries.

Still more briefly, here is a reply to your hypothetical real life question to me:

"I would eventually ask 'how does the perceived anti science stance of pundits and other sceptics integrate with your scientific culture'."

Well, some 'pundits and sceptics' are very ignorant about the science of AGW. They tend to respond to the consensus view of the small-p politics of it, even when they describe themselves as responding to the science. But AGW is so politicized (again, small-p) on both sides that this is inevitable. Also, the main place where sceptics communicate is on blogs, as they have found the scientific literature to be very unwelcoming. Blogs are very democratic, so anyone can express any ill-informed opinion they wish - and many do! In fact, there is a huge amount of completely unscientific spouting of opinion from consensus-upholders too (though not that much on this blog...). I try to ignore both, and if anything, occasionally try to correct errors on the 'sceptic' side.

Importantly, though, I do not consider that the best sceptics are anti-science at all. It is their arguments that make me a sceptic. Accordingly, I accept many parts of the 'science' of AGW - (a) the rise in CO2 concentrations, (b) the anthropogenic nature of that rise, and (c) the model whereby increased CO2 should probably lead to a small rise in temperature. I merely disagree with the conclusions that (d) there is a high probability that various feedbacks increase this small rise to a large dangerous one, and (e) that the best thing to do is therefore to make large cuts to emissions. The scientific evidence for (d) and especially (e) is quite weak, in my and many others' opinion.

Feb 20, 2012 at 8:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Harvey

Jeremy Harvey

Thank you!


If you want to read the S&B paper you can get it here:

Feb 20, 2012 at 9:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

My eyes glaze over with boredom, and my heart sinks with the knowledge that no matter what answers and / or questions are thrown at iwannabeasceptic, he will just continue to give lengthy replies which bear a superficial resemblance to "answers", but are really just rephrased warmist talking points. He is yet another human version of an expert system circa 1990, throwing out variants of pre-programmed answers, unable to update his original program. He refers to points which that other posters here have made, but his / its answers don't actually go on to address the points made.

Does the warmist camp have an unending supply of such machines? or are the ones they have just extraordinarily prolific? Come to think of it, has anyone ever seen "iwannabeasceptic" and the Joshua-bot in the same forum at the same time?

Feb 20, 2012 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterjim west

jim west,

Be careful now! This blog has managed thus far to remain pretty well Joshua free. Now you’ve mentioned him once, now I’ve just gone and made it twice…. it only takes one more careless mention of his name and he’ll be here. Oooer.

Feb 20, 2012 at 10:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterLC

Good heavens, wasn't quite the replies I expected- as for ramblings, well, I prefer to be courteous and try and be thoughtful and reply in full.

@dung -I have made no claims of any connection to the RS, I'm married to a biologist and I have a humble MA in history, I just have a certain respect for science. The OP was perhaps unwise, it was a talking point, as I mentioned in previous and early posts I am researching the subject of climate scepticism and perhaps became a little passionate about my beliefs. I do dull historical research, particularly pre-history and what is happening now is history.

@tinyco2- sceptics attacking science is not my take on the issue, that is why I posed the question, rather it is 'the otherside' but Delingpole saying Montford thinks the RS is joke is documented evidence. I do take on-board your later points and it is these rather than the science that gives a far greater insight into the sceptic 'movement' [it seems camp or side are not correct]. As for the science I have been sent a pile of books concerning all sides of the debate but history is not raw data it is people like those here.

@RKS- like I say I have read but data is dull, people are the story and it's usually the more interesting. The data will be around for historians to pickover in decades to come but they are not the real voices of the time. From that perspective is where I distrust pundits like Delingpole, Monckton and Brooker who are dependent on the movement rather than representing it, they after all have to remain prominentfor their careers .

@A Dent- ideals are one thing but history has demonstrated that politics has been a part of the society for the last 200 years. I don't know if the letter was dismissed. Back in the 90s I was affected by the concerns raised by the MMR vaccine which caused at the time, worry concerning our child, looking back I wished the RS had been a lot more political.

@jeremy - thanks for your post, - I have read more books on the subject including the HSI in a subject area [depthwise] relatively new to me. The Bronze-Age collapse circa 1159 b.c.e. another climate change event that few talk about, is far more familiar to me with few personal voices, I am surprised that it is not an example used by sceptics as it explains how all those remote stone circles on infertile moors were changed from an idyllic warmer world able to sustain the builders. I worked on Twilight of the Gods which explores the end of the Pharaohs [third intermediate period] with climate change being the likely culprit- drought there and rain here.

Data dumps me in the middle, it is the opinions of others that gives the subject depth, sceptic or alarmist. For those who have not been rude of puerile I thank you for your contribution. I am interested in your views but not climate top trumps, you can pm if you want to continue the conversation.

Feb 21, 2012 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered Commenteriwannabeasceptic

Feb 21, 2012 at 12:07 AM | iwannabeasceptic>>>>You want to write about a scientific subject, but when directed to the science you say you find it "dull"

History without the legwork!

Yet another piece of dumbed down history for dummies.

Feb 21, 2012 at 5:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterRKS