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Discussion > Sceptics United?

Thanks for the necessary reality check Hilary. I see myself as more of a facilitator on this thread rather than an advocate of any particular course of action vis-a-vis a sceptic association. Someone suggested that it should be UK-specific due to the very different political climate in various countries, which made sense to me. I don't think anyone is naive enough to believe that setting up an association would be an easy task, so this thread is more of a very preliminary 'expressions of interest' exercise.

The idea of a named association as a media focal point, even if dormant 90% of the time, does I believe hold some promise. To illustrate I recall a strange and annoying fellow who had somehow wangled government funding for a narrow public interest association with an impressive-sounding name. It was soon pretty obvious that this group consisted of himself and a fax machine, and yet for years he was regularly trotted out on the TV news, as the representative of this official-sounding body.

My point is that many, probably most, MSM journalists are disinclined to do their own research and will look for go-to 'experts' to provide comment on stories involving climate science. If the proposed sceptic group has a high enough profile it will likely be approached for comment, if only to give a semblance of balance to the story. The group's spokespeople should of course be knowledgeable, articulate, presentable and personable, being the public face of reasoned scepticism. This is a crucial aspect of the proposal.

Dec 1, 2012 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

My / our apologies. You are of course most welcome to our boozeups in the pub or beside the Med. The UK focus was just a question of strategy.
We Brits have little to offer in the way of advice or help to others, because of differing political circumstances in other countries. In Britain, where one national broadcaster and three or four serious national papers carry an enormous weight, my own strategic thinking is that the important thing is to give a face to a nebulous movement and get letters into the papers and interviews on the radio. Others may have other ideas.
I’d add that the focus should encompass Europe, where most British law is made, and where quite a number of us live. And that members should be welcome from all four corners of the Earth, and even from over the edge.

Dec 1, 2012 at 2:39 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers


"your suggestion sounds like something Ross McKitrick proposed in a letter to a US politician?"

I got from a presentation he gave to a Canadian Government committee.

"Until I see proof that man is responsible for any warming then I object to any tax."

I agree wholeheartedly, the problem is that there are that many interwoven taxes, purportedly based on our CO2 emissions that we will never get rid even if the AGW theory is conclusively proved false. With Ross McKitrick's proposal it is clear and simple. No warming no tax and that is why it won't happen!

Dec 1, 2012 at 3:16 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

How about "Sceptic and Deniers Alliance", or "SaD Alliance"?

Dec 1, 2012 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Tut tut BB, please stay out unless you have something sensible to contribute.

Dec 1, 2012 at 10:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

Chris and Geoff,

Thanks for acknowledging my <sniffles> - and for ameliorating and mitigating my concerns in that regard :-)

That being said, I would dispute Geoff's contention that the U.K. problem is unique: We in Canada have the very same problem with the CBC (which may well have been influenced by the same "best experts" as the BBC) and all except one of the major print media outlets; and my perception is that our friends down-under have similar concerns.

The US situation is a horse of a very different colour - where I agree that the labelling and sound bytes (from both sides) have not been helpful and that perhaps there is considerable validity to the perception of political agendas having a highly disproportionate influence on the "debate" (such as it has been to date).

Chris, you have observed:

My point is that many, probably most, MSM journalists are disinclined to do their own research and will look for go-to 'experts' to provide comment on stories involving climate science.

I cannot disagree that the bulk of evidence strongly suggests that MSM journalists are (as you far too kindly suggest) "disinclined to do their own research". However - with very few exceptions - their go-to "experts" on the climate science front have invariably been those on the deep-green alarmist side.

IMHO, there is no lack of go-to experts of the non-alarmist persuasion ... the problem, in my view, is that these journalists are themselves activists and as a consequence seem to be pre-disposed and/or conditioned to not consult or give credence/credit to experts whose views would cast their own into question.

In light of the above, it is not clear to me how such a proposed organization is likely to change such "facts on the ground". OTOH, I believe that - particularly over the last few years - more and more people are turning away from MSM outlets as a source of reliable information and towards that which they can find on the Internet. Hence my suggestion that a variant of the virtual model, such as that established by WCO, be considered as an option.

Such an option would not preclude any real-life gatherings in pubs or beside the med ... although I happen to think that since there are far more of you than there are of me, such gatherings would make a greater contribution to a CO2 "caused" warming world if you all flew here to Beautiful British Columbia rather than vice versa. This would have the added benefit of giving the greens something to whine about;-)

Dec 2, 2012 at 10:35 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

I’m sorry to say it, but an idea that gets such a lukewarm response after four days is probably a non-starter, at least for the moment.
I know it’s only a discussion thread, but I do feel some mild irritation towards all those who divert the discussion into irrelevancies.
In a matter of months AR5 will be headline news, and who will be there to represent an alternative view in the mainstream media? Lord Lawson and Christopher Booker are not getting any younger.
The BBC Trust has already accepted the findings of the Jones Report on Science Reporting, which clearly asserted that the opinions of Montford and Newbery were not to be take seriously.
An association with several thousand members might - just - be able to make itself heard. A bunch of boozers in a few pub gigs in London and Oxford - sorry, but no (though count me in).
So it’s back to the internet, and what we do best. Beating the keyboard to the rhythm of our favourite blogs. Again, count me in. But it’s not enough.
I’ve started a discussion on my blog about where to go from here, in the hope that those who want to follow up Chris M’s initiative will contribute. This will at least provide me with a database of internet contacts for any future initiative. Our motto, (in line with current temperature trends) “Onward and Downward!”

Dec 2, 2012 at 11:18 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers


12 people have spoken on this thread, apart from BB who has been diverting the discussion?

Dec 3, 2012 at 2:40 AM | Registered CommenterDung

This would be a good topic for F2F discussion next week:

BH pre-Christmas Pub Social Meeting

Wednesday 12th December, Anglesea Arms, South Kensington, London. SW7 3QG. From 18:15.

We will meet at the Anglesea Arms...a decent pub about 7 mins walk from South Kensington tube...for a pre-Christmas social. 15 mins from Imperial if you're going to the RMS meeting beforehand.

I'll be there from about 18:15 onwards. For recognition I will carry both Hide The Decline and The Hockey Stick Illusion. Josh The Cartoonist will be coming along about 19:00 to distribute copies of his Sceptical Calendar.

Everybody welcome for a convivial evening.

For queries about the arrangements, please contact me directly


For queries about the calendar, please contact Josh directly


Hope to see you there!

Dec 3, 2012 at 4:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder