The era of climate change ‘denial’ is over

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Politicians who flatly reject climate science are now being replaced by climate policy sceptics


350.org, the US-based environmental campaign group which aims to build a "global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis", has launched a new petition. It wants it supporters to urge the World Meteorological Organization to name hurricanes after "deniers and obstructionists". Its ClimateNameChange.org website says:

Since 1954, the World Meteorological Organization has been naming extreme storms after people. As scientific evidence shows that climate change is creating increasingly frequent and devastating storms, and with climate scientists declaring these extreme weather events as the new normal, we propose a new naming system. A system that names extreme storms caused by climate change, after the policy makers who deny climate change and obstruct climate policy.

To date, just a few days since launching, it has almost reached its target of 25,000 signatures.

Of course, the campaign has zero chance of succeeding. Hell would glaciate before the WMO would consider such a request. 350.org knows this. It's just their inventive, tongue-in-cheek way of further highlighting the US policy makers – predominantly Republicans – who "deny climate change and obstruct climate policy". (The Washington Post's weather editor has more on why hurricanes are not necessarily the "best post children" for climate change due to the scientific uncertainties that still exist when trying to link today's extreme storms with climate change.)

From my own perspective, this petition feels a little, well, 2007. Yes, there are certainly those in the US Congress – as there are (in much smaller numbers) in other legislative houses around the world – who will never accept the tenets of climate science. But "climate denier" politicians such as Senator James Inhofe are fast withering on the vine. The real world is leaving behind those who flatly reject the science underpinning the notion that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet. Campaigners (outside the US, at least) don't really need to expend their energy targeting this breed of "denier" any more.

Written By: Leo Hickman
continue to source article at theguardian.com

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  1. we propose a new naming system. A system that names extreme storms caused by climate change, after the policy makers who deny climate change and obstruct climate policy.

    Each year an alphabetical list of names is drawn up to name the storms, but these names must be different from those used in previous years.

    Could I propose hurricanes:- Bush, (Ken) Clarke, Fox, and Koch for a start.

    Others may also have suggestions.

    • In reply to #2 by McCourt:

      “… hurricanes are not necessarily the “best post children” for climate change…”

      Make that “poster-children…” I suppose.

      True: – but they do get the attention of scientific illiterates who cannot, or will not, read temperatures, windspeeds, or rainfall figures.

  2. Yes more politicans are not claiming that climate change is false (in public) because they are made to look foolish when they do. However their policies show what they really think. I’d also argue that many politicians who claim to believe in climate change do not really understand it or they would be doing much, much more.

  3. “As scientific evidence shows that climate change is creating increasingly frequent and devastating storms, and with climate scientists declaring these extreme weather events as the new normal…”

    I guess this evidence is the same evidence of Catastrophic Human Caused Global Warming? Well let’s call the catastrophic hurricanes during August: Hurricane Mann (1), (2), (3) etc.

    Oh wait… there weren’t any?

    It is the political thrust of the AGW creed which looks increasingly desperate. If the science is clear, let it speak for itself.

    If it isn’t, then stop dressing it up. It looks ridiculous.

    • In reply to #5 by flamenco:

      “As scientific evidence shows that climate change is creating increasingly frequent and devastating storms, and with climate scientists declaring these extreme weather events as the new normal…”

      I guess this evidence is the same evidence of Catastrophic Human Caused Global Warming? Well let’s call the catastrophic hurricanes during August: Hurricane Mann (1), (2), (3) etc.

      Oh wait… there weren’t any?

      Australian Tropical Cyclone Seasonal Outlook – The 2012-13 Tropical Cyclone Season has ended. – http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/tc.shtml

      What a surprise!!! They don’t happen every month, and some years are fairly quiet! – and this proves exactly what???

      It is the first Atlantic hurricane season since 2002 to have no hurricanes through the month of August. The season officially began on June 1 and will end on November 30.

      It is the political thrust of the AGW creed which looks increasingly desperate.

      Oh dear! – Do your homework – you are making a fool of yourself!

      If the science is clear, let it speak for itself.

      It has been speaking very clearly for several years, to those are scientifically literate and prepared to read or listen!

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus.htm

      97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming.

      Science achieves a consensus when scientists stop arguing. When a question is first asked – like ‘what would happen if we put a load more CO2 in the atmosphere?’ – there may be many hypotheses about cause and effect. Over a period of time, each idea is tested and retested – the processes of the scientific method – because all scientists know that reputation and kudos go to those who find the right answer (and everyone else becomes an irrelevant footnote in the history of science). Nearly all hypotheses will fall by the wayside during this testing period, because only one is going to answer the question properly, without leaving all kinds of odd dangling bits that don’t quite add up. Bad theories are usually rather untidy.

      But the testing period must come to an end. Gradually, the focus of investigation narrows down to those avenues that continue to make sense, that still add up, and quite often a good theory will reveal additional answers, or make powerful predictions, that add substance to the theory.

      So a consensus in science is different from a political one. There is no vote. Scientists just give up arguing because the sheer weight of consistent evidence is too compelling, the tide too strong to swim against any longer. Scientists change their minds on the basis of the evidence, and a consensus emerges over time. Not only do scientists stop arguing, they also start relying on each other’s work. All science depends on that which precedes it, and when one scientist builds on the work of another, he acknowledges the work of others through citations. The work that forms the foundation of climate change science is cited with great frequency by many other scientists, demonstrating that the theory is widely accepted – and relied upon.

      In the scientific field of climate studies – which is informed by many different disciplines – the consensus is demonstrated by the number of scientists who have stopped arguing about what is causing climate change – and that’s nearly all of them. A survey of 928 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subject ‘global climate change’ published between 1993 and 2003 shows that not a single paper rejected the consensus position that global warming is man caused (Oreskes 2004).

      A follow-up study by the Skeptical Science team of over 12,000 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subjects of ‘global warming’ and ‘global climate change’ published between 1991 and 2011 found that of the papers taking a position on the cause of global warming, over 97% agreed that humans are causing it (Cook 2013). The scientific authors of the papers were also contacted and asked to rate their own papers, and again over 97% whose papers took a position on the cause said humans are causing global warming.

      Several studies have confirmed that “…the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes”. (Doran 2009). In other words, more than 97% of scientists working in the disciplines contributing to studies of our climate, accept that climate change is almost certainly being caused by human activities.

      We should also consider official scientific bodies and what they think about climate change. There are no national or major scientific institutions anywhere in the world that dispute the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Not one.

      In the field of climate science, the consensus is unequivocal: human activities are causing climate change.

      If it isn’t, then stop dressing it up. It looks ridiculous.

      Time to read up on the science and take your own advice about looking ridiculous. Some of the papers have been around since 1993. Admittedly it could take you quite some time to belatedly read all 12,000 of them!

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