Climate Skeptic Groups Launch Global Anti-Science Campaign

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Conservative groups at the forefront of global warming skepticism are doubling down on trying to discredit the next big report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In recent weeks, they've been cranking out a stream of op-eds, blogs and reports to sow doubt in the public's mind before the report is published, with no end in sight.


"The goal is to inform the public, scientific community and media that the upcoming IPCC report doesn't have all the science to make informed judgments," said Jim Lakely, a spokesman for the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Chicago that has been spearheading the efforts.

Heartland gained notoriety last year after running a billboard campaign comparing climate change believers to "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, which caused several corporate donors to withdraw support for the group.

The fifth assessment by the IPCC, the world's leading scientific advisory body on global warming, is expected to conclude with at least 95 percent certainty that human activities have caused most of earth's temperature rise since 1950, and will continue to do so in the future. That's up from a confidence level of 90 percent in 2007, the year the last assessment came out. The IPCC, which consists of thousands of scientists and reviewers from more than 100 countries, shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Vice President Al Gore. Governments often use its periodic reviews of climate risks to set targets for reducing carbon emissions and other policies.

Written By: Katherine Bagley
continue to source article at bloomberg.com

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  1. They are losing the war because people are starting to see the extreme weather events predicted to be more common by the science of climate change. Here is a very good conference presentation about that. The video blogger, Potholer54, explains the failed attempt to flim flam the public into thinking that things are cooling down, here, while NASA shows the real view from space, here. The IPCC fifth assessment is going to be some very bad news.

    • In reply to #1 by Quine:

      They are losing the war because people are starting to see the extreme weather events predicted to be more common by the science of climate change. Here is a very good conference presentation about that. The video blogger, Potholer54, explains the failed attempt to flim flam the public into thinking…

      I think one of the main problems is that they always counter “yeah, climate might be changing but it isn’t because of us!” and point to solar flairs, Mars is getting hotter, etc etc. They don’t have thinking skills. They assume that this planet ALWAYS had 6 billion people on it driving cars and using microwaves and sending pollution in the air. They’ve never been to Beijing, Mexico City, Moscow, or any other of the countless cities that have smog draping the cities that you can’t see 200 feet in front of you. They assume we have no effect whatsoever. This willful ignorance is the problem, this personal incredulity. They assume that this is all a hoax for scientists to make money…..from what I have no idea. Never mind that you cannot name any billionaire scientists, never mind that all of the people who HAVE a vested interest in climate change denial ARE billionaires who make their money from fossil fuels.

      These are the same idiots who think we didn’t land on the moon because “government was stealing money by making it look like we spent it all on space exploration”…never mind that the costs of the space program has never gone above 2% of the total government budget. Never mind that the areas where people ARE stealing money is in the military (aka, Pentagon brass saying they don’t need anymore tanks but a bunch of bought and paid for congressman making sure we buy them anyways) where a 1/3 of our entire budget goes to.

      These people will never stop denying science. It wouldn’t normally matter in most cases if a certain amount of people think like this, but the fact that they have billionaires backing them, and an indentured GOP-controlled congress continuing to thwart any fact based policy making is what makes it a HUGE problem for the rest of us.

      • In reply to #2 by Perfect Tommy:

        In reply to #1 by Quine:

        These people will never stop denying science.

        I totally agree but there is another problem as well, the supposedly educated who think their god still controls everything. I have heard the following many times, although the worst, for me, was when my sister, who I always thought to be quite well educated, came out with: “I think it is arrogant of man to think he can change the climate.”

        What she said has been said by many others and it is this blind faith among far too many that is a major problem as well, it seems you can only educate some theists so far. There may be a number who will see sense and admit the climate is changing but, if they have similar views to my sister, will still do nothing about it. That is a difficult problem to resolve.

        • In reply to #3 by Stephen Mynett:

          In reply to #2 by Perfect Tommy:

          In reply to #1 by Quine:

          These people will never stop denying science.

          I totally agree but there is another problem as well, the supposedly educated who think their god still controls everything. I have heard the following many times, although the worst, for me, w…

          If it’s arrogant for humans to think they can change the climate, then what was it when those cyanobacteria changed the atmosphere of the entire planet with their metabolic byproducts billions of years ago? The oxygen we depend upon for our very lives today is nothing more than the farts of uncounted numbers of cyanobacteria in the primordial seas. Of course, a lot of people don’t believe in real natural history either.

    • In reply to #4 by Reckless Monkey:

      They need to stop calling these guys skeptics, they are not skeptical they are in blunt wilful denial.

      Could I suggest the more appropriate “Muppetics” !

      @OP – “The goal is to inform the public, scientific community and media that the upcoming IPCC report doesn’t have all the science to make informed judgments,” said Jim Lakely, a spokesman for the Heartland Institute,

      An obvious faith-thinker who “knows” the full extent of available science without understanding any of it, and without looking at most of it! Still – a job’s a job when there’s oil-money sponsorship in plenty!

      • In reply to #6 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #4 by Reckless Monkey:

        They need to stop calling these guys skeptics, they are not skeptical they are in blunt wilful denial.

        Could I suggest the more appropriate “Muppetics” !

        @OP – “The goal is to inform the public, scientific community and media that the upcoming IPCC report doesn’…

        Yeah, that’s good but its a bit hard on the Muppets I particularly liked Beaker “Me me me me me!”

  2. I put this link up as a proposal for discussion a few days ago, but it has not come up yet. A least the Scottish government is making some effort!

    Pentland Firth tidal turbine project given consenthttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-24100811

    Work is to begin on the largest tidal turbine energy project in Europe after the Scottish government approved it.

    MeyGen is to install the tidal array in stages in the Pentland Firth, between Orkney and the Scottish mainland.

    It will begin with a 9MW demonstration project of up to six turbines, with construction expected to take place on a phased basis until 2020.

    When fully operational, the 86MW array could generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 42,000 homes.

    That is the equivalent of 40% of homes in the Highlands, the Scottish government said.

    MeyGen hopes a second phase would eventually see up to 400 submerged turbines at the site, generating some 398MW.

    It will be the first commercial deployment of tidal turbines in Scottish waters.

    Its AR1000 turbine is claimed to be the world’s most powerful single-rotor tidal device.

    Meanwhile Dave “dash-for-gas-fracking” Cameron, is pratting about in clueless stooge-mode, in England!

    “With careful planning we can harness Scotland’s huge wave and tidal energy to help cut our climate emissions, while safeguarding the nation’s tremendous marine environment.”

    The Carbon Trust has estimated that wave and tidal resources could provide 20% of the UK’s electricity if fully developed.

    And the Scottish government believes the country’s technological expertise in marine energy makes it extremely well placed to capitalise on domestic and overseas markets.

  3. In recent weeks, they’ve been cranking out a stream of op-eds, blogs and reports to sow doubt in the public’s mind before the report is published, with no end in sight.

    Well, surely the end will be when the report is out. Then they’ll be cranking out things to sow doubt after the report is published.

    the upcoming IPCC report doesn’t have all the science to make informed judgments

    What other science is there? Have you even read the IPCC reports? They’re literally thousands of pages long.

    comparing climate change believers to “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski

    Actually, what they did was point out he accepted climate change. So basically, it was an ad hominem: “He sucks for well-known reasons, so he’s wrong about this issue.”

    The new report, Climate Change Reconsidered II, “uses layman’s language to present solid evidence that today’s climate changes are well within the bounds of natural variability”

    Firstly, if it’s using layman’s language then it can’t even mention the evidence for the truth. Such language doesn’t include “photon”, let alone “troposphere”. Secondly, the question isn’t whether nature can vary this much; it’s whether natural effects are responsible for current phenomena. Natural variability can’t cause change this rapidly.

    according to Robert Carter, a former marine geologist at Australia’s James Cook University and a consultant to climate skeptic groups

    They get their climatology from a marine geologist? That’s like asking a dentist to perform a splenectomy.

    Real world observations tell us that the IPCC’s speculative computer models do not work

    Every argument I’ve heard to that effect either cherry-picks the data, does the stats wrong or misrepresents the IPCC’s models. They aren’t speculative; the laws of physics in them are incontestable given the empirical evidence.

    ice is not melting at an enhanced rate

    Yes, it is; anyone who pretends otherwise is, again, cherry-picking. Seriously, look at a long-term graph of this data.

    sea-level rise is not accelerating, the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is not increasing, and dangerous global warming is not occurring

    Do I have to link to a different skepticalscience.com page for every clause this guy says?

    [The report] says the IPCC exaggerates the warming effect of CO2.

    If the sensitivity isn’t 3 K, what do these guys think it is? I’ve known them to pretend it’s 0.1 K. But I’ve got news for these people: if sensitivity is low, natural variability couldn’t have been as big in the past as it has been. These people use inconsistent arguments. You know what? Let’s stop talking about temperatures altogether; no-one disputes the radiative forcing in W/m^2, so no-one disputes their ratios. CO2’s effect is huge.

    an article that had to be “significantly” changed due to errors

    For those who don’t know, the error was pretending warming was 40 % below IPCC predictions rather than 8 %.

    Michaels said his dream outcome would be for the IPCC to acknowledge the scientific errors revealed by the skeptic community.

    Literally two errors have been found in the entire previous report; even skeptics don’t pretend there are any others. And one of them was because the Dutch government gave them a national figure for a local one, and the implications are negligible. And the other was a typo, writing 2350 as 2035.

    That’s what a responsible organization would do

    Really? Then how come so many “skeptics” keep using arguments that were debunked years or decades ago? If I hear 1998 (or 1997) mentioned again I’ll lose it.

    People are looking for a more centralist [sic] view. We’re trying to give it to them.

    How is “all the scientists are lying” centrist? If anyone is a centrist, it would be the moderate Republican Obama.

    • In reply to #14 by Roedy:

      These people will do much more harm than Hitler ever did. Someday we will ponder “What if you could go back in time and strangle
      Jim Lakely in his crib. Would you do it?”

      Godwin’s Law on Wikipedia.

      Criticism is crucial and vital to science. When anyone says “the debate is over”, like Al Gore did, he basically means that we shouldn’t discuss his final and definitive law. That is not science, that is what the founders of a religion do.

      Trying to harm critics by referring to Nazi Germany is not only a blunt sign of ignorance, it is also trying to kill the debate that is such an essential part of finding any truth.

      Efforts toward falsification are a crucial part of the scientific method. It is essential to assess the value of any theory. Calling this process ‘denial’ is tearing down the fundaments of science. Without criticism, we would still live in the dark Ages. Beware.

  4. Is there a scientist among all those people here who are so damned sure that whatever the IPCC says, must be the absolute truth?

    I’m not a believer. I’m not a “sceptic” either. I’ve read so many stories, many of them by people involved with the IPCC, about methods used not always being up to standard, about using input as output, about political pressure. Maybe that’s all a lie, but maybe it is not. There is no consensus within the IPCC. No need for, scientific consensus is not a useful goal, but remember that the vote count on some issues is near 50/50.

    I’m not a scientist and I have to rely on panels like IPCC. I can only hope that they are really independent, and that at some point they will come with a report that is above suspicion.

    For all those lame morons who claim that people who don’t just believe anything IPCC says are lame morons: you defend your beliefs with religious vigor. That’s really scary.

    it is scary too to read that people think that the observation of some changes in the weather is proof for climat change. that is the dangerous pitfall of statistical ignorance. Where I live, it happens that a severe storm is immediately regarded as proof for climate change. But if you look at the data, one can see that in this part of the world (Holland) the number of storms is far less than in the period 1901-1910. But that fact doesn’t mean a thing either, you’d have to do a lot of research to come to a proper conclusion.

    The earth has warmed in the last decades. I want to know what caused that. I want to know what measures really make sense. Therefore I remain very cautious and sceptical about everything related, especially since the issue has taken the form of a war between believers and deniers. A religious war where the first victim became my poor friend reason.

    • In reply to #22 by parotia:

      Faith in the IPCC scriptures is ironic, coming from this website. Where has all the healthy skepticism gone? I truly wonder.

      Like all religious texts, most of the IPCC language can be interpreted differently at different times and by different people.

  5. The new Liberal government here in Australia are climate skeptics and have already axed the climate commission which was set up by the Labour government! The commission members are now going it alone by volunteering their time and asking for donations to keep themselves going. It’s pretty sad when a government of a developed country won’t listen to scientists and can’t/refuse to understand the science.

  6. What a load of tosh. “anti science” campaign. It’s called SKEPTICISM and it’s healthy. Many people have left the panel because their criticism wasn’t allowed, this is unhealthy. Stop blindly supporting psudeoscience.

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