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Discussion > A single repository of scientific scepticism

Is there one? Or an appetite for creating one?

Some suggested topics:

1. What scientific scepticism is not.

1.1 A rejection of the greenhouse effect
1.2 A conspiracy theory
1.3 An attack on science
1.4 A rejection of clean energy technology

2. Temperature Part 1 - Millennial Temperature Reconstructions

2.1 Problems with proxies
2.2 Mike's Nature Trick
2.3 PCA and Correlation

3. Temperature Part 2 - Instrumental Record

3.1 Gridding and Homogenisation
3.2 Station siting and UHI
3.3 Satellite divergence
3.4 Policy of reducing station sets

4. Temperature Part 3 - Model-based Projections

4.1 Problems with Ensemble mean
4.2 What models fail to model correctly or at all
4.3 Harry read me
4.4 VV&T
4.5 Divergence between models and reality

5. Problems with the climate science community

5.1 Maturity and size of community
5.2 Misbehaviour - Climategate
5.3 Peer Review / Cross-citation

6. Problems with the wider science community

6.1 Siege mentality - misidentification of enemies
6.2 Really bad science - Cognitive Studies
6.3 Consensus science

Feb 15, 2016 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

(Scuse my ignorance, but what is VV&T?)

There are also the non-scientific aspects of the Great Delusion.

The history of how the whole thing came about
CAGW as a belief system
The psychology of its attraction
The economic aspects - who suffered and on what scale/who benefited and on what scale.
How the whole thing will eventually end.

Feb 15, 2016 at 12:58 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Verification Validation and Testing (or lack of, in this case)

I was trying to keep it strictly to the science, so even my last two categories are probably not worth writing, the idea is to state what we believe the science says, rather than criticising the players, and turning into a huge he-said-she-said fight.

I still think it's worth having an appendix on the behaviour of the main players, because for many of us it was their bad behaviour which first alerted us to the fact that they were trying to hide shoddy science with bluster.

Feb 15, 2016 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

I believe one of the BHers is a wiki-expert.. I have always supported such an idea.
..but we keep it padlocked against the trolls.

Feb 15, 2016 at 1:56 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The trouble with an open Wiki is that there are obsessed individuals who have made it their life's work to impose their rigid views on the world. We all know who I mean.

Discussion forums, great, but the actual body of the essay, should be fixed and editable only by the admins.

Feb 15, 2016 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

I would consider doing it anyway. A controlled Wiki.

Do not suggest a TOC. Let people create their own baby. Propose an article and if it relevant let them nominate it as a first public draft or let them take total ownership and make amendments as they see fit based on feedback.

This allows it to grow, and also gives the article a sponsor. it also allows areas of expertise to be quickly added, thereby making it a useful point of reference.

Not wishing to pick on him, but Andy West has all sorts of background on "faith". He would propose an article.

Min and max word limits.

It would almost me like an online periodical.

Have publication deadline so that one article a day is published.

The of course you have a layer of menu structure around it.

You could say that is a blog. But it isn't. This is a ground up build of a knowledge base.

It opens all sorts of issues regarding editorial control, but I will not go there, I will just put this on the table. As an alternative.

If it becomes good enough, a collection can be created as an ebook and offered as free downloads, or POD.

Just my thoughts.

Feb 15, 2016 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMedia Hoar

"doing it another way"... (doh)

Feb 15, 2016 at 5:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterMedia Hoar

A single repository? Why not this as a start. It is a first rate little booklet, by three distinguished scientists, really well written, and bang up to date. As extracted from the Friends of Science website.

Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming: NIPCC Report on Scientific Consensus [In Consensus & Skeptics] added December 20, 2015 - See more at:


Feb 15, 2016 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Ratliffe


Peter Gleick
Hide the Decline
Redefinition of Peer Review
Attacks on Sceptic Scientists and unbiased journals
Pal review.

It's important to remember that, even if the Alarmists are correct, they are wrong.
And they are damaging the practice of science.

Feb 15, 2016 at 10:12 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Sceptics vary from lukewarmers, through Force X to the sky dragon slayers.

How are you going to get them all to agree on the contents of your repository?

If you are going to set limits on fruitloopery, where will you draw the line?

Feb 15, 2016 at 11:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

the line is drawn at the supreme fruit loop...emtropic man

Feb 16, 2016 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

I'll agree with you there, EM. Skeptical views cannot, by definition, be constrained by a "consensus".

I wouldn't want to pour cold water on the whole idea though. Maybe just an open minded editor to collate 'collected thoughts or essays' by various skeptics: Contributors who are invited to address a minimal list of specific issues, plus a few others of their choice, might be a way to present the idea.

Some people are always enjoyable to read even if they don't hit every nail on the head, while others may have something valuable to add but make themselves unreadable for other reasons. It's nice to be able to quickly skip to the next person's contribution if the going gets tedious with one particular writer.

Feb 16, 2016 at 12:27 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I see what you mean, perhaps I didn't make it clear.

In defining the contents, I was constraining the definition. Yes, to the Lukewarmer position. Sorry if this estranges anyone.

There are multiple sites for the spectrum of this side, but the one layer which is closest to the centre ground, and in my opinion is not only the most likely to happen, but the one most likely to be embraced by science when the data becomes incontrovertible.

The scientific rational position doesn't really have a definition anywhere, and gets conflated with the scarier wackier end of this side, which I'm fed up with. I'm tired of being told by people that anyone who has a problem with the science is one of those daft deniers who deny the rising temperatures, or deny the greenhouse effect, or in the pay of big oil, or just against windmills. There is actually a legitimate scientific critique of climate science in there, and we need somewhere to put it, so we can refer trolls to it instead of wasting key-presses each time.

The current orthodoxy in climate science is a consensus of opinion because there is no definitive evidence. We don't do a round-robin of physicists to ask them what the charge on the electron is, and then go around telling everyone that 97% of physicists agree on the charge on the electron. There is no need. We have empirical evidence which has been thoroughly vetted and repeated. The fact that we have consensus opinion is a measure of how insecure the hypothesis is. It's a combo of the famous logical fallacies of Argumentum Ad Populum and Appeal to Authority, and when people still have the temerity to point this out, throw in some Ad hominem as well.

Feb 16, 2016 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Don't you need to address the convergence of evidence in favor of AGW? Your list doesn't seem to.

But this seems the wrong forum for discussing this effort. You will probably find that EM, ATTP and I are nearer to the lukewarm position than the majority of commenters here.

Feb 16, 2016 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

That's a good thing, surely.

Feb 16, 2016 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

This would be useful. I'm sure it's been discussed before somewhere here but never got off the ground. It's unlikely to, for the usual reasons, that we don't agree with each other. A wiki would be the way to go, with links internally and externally. I would see it as being primarily organised links, rather than lots of new material. Just a good way to find stuff. Like where is that famous quote about why should I give you the data when you want to find something wrong with it; where are the key blog posts that rebut the Lewandowsky nonsense; where are the worst examples of temperature adjustments, etc.

If you have the know-how, go ahead and set it up James.

Feb 16, 2016 at 2:51 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Who are the target audience?

Feb 16, 2016 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM actually typed that at the same time as me... great minds eh?

What is the target audience?

Feb 16, 2016 at 4:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterMedia Hoar

The target audience would be your ordinary punter who hasn't bothered to look at it properly.

I imagine a scenario where you're talking to someone and they mention something, such as the "billions of thermometers we have and that deniers see only one out of those billions of trends going down and claim that means it's going down" (as I saw Stephan Lewandowsky claim last week in an unrelated video)

The idea would be that you would say that's nonsense, go and have a look at this link : and read how many there actually are instead of believing what you hear from people. Also look at for more info on what the thermometers we do have actually say. And also for a realistic assessment about the consensus on the sceptic side.

I would like every part of it to be as thoroughly footnoted as possible.

Feb 16, 2016 at 4:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Yin, you think that not discussing the convergence of evidence in favor of AGW is a good thing? That approach supports what Andrew dodds on an ATTP thread recently and rather beautifully called the Denial Exclusion Principal: The first rule of denialism, of any kind, is that no two arguments should be considered together. With that in mind, I recommend against internal links.

Feb 16, 2016 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Convergence of argument is not the same as convergence of evidence. If you were actually understanding the the concept you would probably not be a climate consensus extremist echo chamber.

Feb 16, 2016 at 9:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

How will you get around the negativity problem?

Most of the scepticosphere is full of negative criticism of mainstream climate science.

Unfortunately there is very little positive sceptic science to put in its place. As I have said before, you need a convincing alternative paradigm to replace AGW.

Feb 16, 2016 at 10:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Good thing I was talking about convergence of evidence then.

Feb 16, 2016 at 10:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

You can't be talking about what is not there, unless you are making an exhibition of your faith. The evidence converges on falsification of the thesis that there is a manmade climate crisis. The money converges, however, on rent seeking alarmists and the easily duped.

Feb 16, 2016 at 11:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

EM and Raff are now trying to redefine scepticism, so that there can be a consensus, which they can attempt to regulate, judge, and criticise.

Climate scientists break the rules of science, but still want to control debate. Climate science again demonstrates why it is not fit for purpose.

Feb 17, 2016 at 2:51 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie