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Discussion > A single repository of scientific scepticism

Most of the scepticosphere is full of negative criticism of mainstream climate science.
Perhaps because it is such shoddy science? Not only that, but it is quite blatantly so – almost to the point of presenting its shoddiness with pride!

…you need a convincing alternative paradigm to replace AGW.
Why? If the idea of AGW is wrong, why does there have to be a replacement idea for it? If an idea is wrong, is does not need an alternative for it to be so. Your logic can be truly bizarre, EM.

However you phrase it, a fact is. Facts do not change; it is just our understanding of the facts that change. The fact of the human circulatory system did not change just because William Harvey discovered it, it was just our understanding of it that changed. Scepticism is not a belief system – it is a lack-of-belief system; scepticism is, “Show me the evidence,” rather than rejection of any evidence that is presented. That the evidence may be viewed with scepticism is not a rejection, it is application of that all too much of a rarity, nowadays: common sense.

Feb 17, 2016 at 5:19 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

"As I have said before, you need a convincing alternative paradigm to replace AGW." EM sometimes the more you say, it shows the less you understand. Be careful when you try to be clever and put the natives down here.

So for arguments sake CAGW scientists have defined (poorly) 5% (I am being generous this morning) a large scale, long period chaotic system, with a multitude of inputs (some ill-defined and most unknown) and you claim the null hypothesis as your own?

That is no different than the annual Union of Witch Doctors Convention agreeing the reason for the crop failures is lack of sacrifice and try proving them wrong. Maybe though the choice of victim the sacrifice would actually improve the genetic pool, and hence the intelligence of the social group.

That is not science that is faith... oh hang on...

BigYin this is such a difficult thing to achieve when you haven't really defined what you want (not picking on you.) Most of us have a feeling, but that is not enough. It has to be a labour of love.

Climate Science is very a "Emperors's New Clothes" event. At the moment it suits people to see what they want to see. There will be state change moment. EM will be clever enough to switch at the right moment. Raff will still be holding his little red book against the turned crowd. Well ATTP has all bases covered with - "It is all about the laws of physics".

So are you trying to bring that state change sooner? Are you trying to provide evidence that true science was around, it was just high-jacked by the those searching for a faith or financial/political gain.

All the effort, all the dealing with people who claim they understand science and systems, but it is all really just about themselves and their own needs and ego and place in the universe, you have have to a clear and well defined target. otherwise it is just a nice academic effort.

In 1989 in front of the Palace of the Parliament* in Bucharest, Ceausescu had called the masses to support him. It was all going well until one person whistled. Then more and more. In front of the most amazing edifice. Then a few days later he was dead. And the bins of the top few thousand in the country suddenly had lots of Ceausescu portraits in them. he took the fall.

Are you trying to prevent science being put before the firing squad? Taking the fall? Or at least give a defence?

We all know CAGW is not about science, real science gets as much interest as a question on QI (a pop-science quiz program on the BBC).

CAWG proponents do not care about science. It is just a wrapper to their own ego. Science will likely never recover for a generation when that crucial "whistle" starts.

I am not sure where your idea fits in with this.

*Well worth a visit

Feb 17, 2016 at 6:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterMedia Hoar

Yin, you think that not discussing the convergence of evidence in favor of AGW is a good thing?

Well, in case you hadn't noticed, the Lukewarmer position is a position of AGW, so it would be silly to have to discuss such a stupid unscientific canard as "convergence of evidence" or as I like to call it every time it gets wheeled out "don't examine the bricks, look at the size of the wall" argument. It's a logical fallacy, related to Ad Populum. Science is about bricks, not walls. The walls arise out of good bricks, naturally. Climate science has at its base some really lousy bricks, and it's already collapsing, thus the need for new sciency-sounding terminology such as "convergence" to fool the mugs. Same old shizzle from the scientifically bankrupt.

If you want to see real convergence, compare the 1990s screams of 6°C -10°C degrees by end of century with a look at the estimate for climate sensitivity from all the recent IPCC AR reports. 1.5°C to 4.5°C. When I did a back-of-fag-packet calculation on this very site a few years ago of climate sensitivity using very simple maths and known measurements, I got 1.8°C. Climate science is converging alright - on the Lukewarmer position. Glad you've finally arrived, don't you feel stupid you called me a denier for years? Or is remorse beyond you?

With that in mind, I recommend against internal links.

Or "don't look at the bricks". I understand why you don't like the idea of deeplinking topics. Your whole edifice is built on the crumbling bricks of Mann's PCA, Yamal, UHI, upside down Tiljander, Getting people sacked off editorial boards if they don't agree with you, stealing documents from servers, withholding data, losing data, making up data, crap undocumented models, unrealistic parametrisation of models, poor station siting, heat smearing, Bayesian prior post-selections, Mikes nature trick,.... the list goes on. It's a tired sad litany of poor science producing evidence of poor quality with large error bars.

I quite understand why you wouldn't want someone having easy access to links which demonstrate this.

Feb 17, 2016 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

TheBigYinJames, Media hoar

Your most recent posts are examples of polemic argument, best left out of your repository.

You do need an alternative to AGW.

Your target punter willl read your repository. His first question will be

"If the climate scientists are wrong, what is causing the warming, the melting ice and all this funny weather?

If you cannot provide an answer he will shrug and go away unconvinced.

Feb 17, 2016 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

The thing is, EM, this is not meant to be a "case" for scepticism, it's meant to be a critique of the axioms of climate alarmism, or a repository of single rebuttals to facts which are taken as proven, but which are definitely not beyond criticism.

The repository is not intended to be read as a single polemical argument, there will be no sequential order, no conclusion, no alternative interpretation or physical model. By reading, you will not be convinced for a sceptic "case" - we don't have one. Our only "case" is that climate alarmism is built on evidence with large error bars.

Thus the direct access of deep-linking. It's to be used for rebuttals. If someone says there was no Mediaeval Warm period, you point them to the section which demonstrates that this "factoid" is not as secure as it is portrayed, and in fact there is a lot of evidence for it.

Feb 17, 2016 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

I'd certainly like a repository of what's wrong with climate science and actions. Trying to say what we agree with is likely to lead to dispute.

Feb 17, 2016 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


If we stick to the science the we're more likely to be in agreement.

It's vital the repository does not try to push an alternative explanation for warming, just be a rebuttal of alarmist factoids.

Feb 17, 2016 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

What about a competition based on predictive skill, between tea-leaf readers and climate scientists? People used to believe in tea-leaf reading, and have nothing to lose, so they have a lot in common. I am not sure if the science of tea-leaf readers was ever deemed to be settled though.

Feb 17, 2016 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Your target punter willl read your repository. His first question will be

"If the climate scientists are wrong, what is causing the warming, the melting ice and all this funny weather? [sic]

To which the only answers could be: “What warming?” “What melting ice?” and, “What funny weather?” EM, what you and so many others seem not to realise is that the general punter is not as dim as you would like to think. That the BBC and so many others have been pumping out the unmitigated drivel that you are so besotted with, yet so few are in the least bit concerned about it should give you some indication of how much mugs the general public are. Most are grateful that we have had a pleasantly mild series of winters; most are not so grateful that we have had a disappointing series of damp and chilly summers… or does global warming only work for half of a year?

I can only speak for myself, EM, but should you show me evidence that supports your dearly-held opinions, I will be perfectly prepared to accept it, and become a full-on Believer, myself (again). To date, you have shown me nothing to convince me that we are not being scammed by some very influential people.

Feb 17, 2016 at 12:23 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

"We don't know, but this is what we do..."

Feb 17, 2016 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterMedia Hoar

BY, I like your idea, especially as a portal for those actually curious about alternative views of how the climate system functions. It strikes me that your outline of topics is missing the so-called "multiple lines of evidence" often cited by activists. What does the science say about the impacts: Sea ice extents, sea levels, ocean pH, methane, exteme weather, etc.

Feb 17, 2016 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterRon C.

I think it should only cover impacts if there is dispute or misrepresentation.
If we have warmed, then there will be impacts, it hardly seems sensible to dispute this.

But things like Arctic Sea ice is bandied about that we need probably need an area which actually quantifies it instead of scaremongering. Yes, Arctic sea ice is down historically (in terms of summer melt) but if there is a recovery (and what I've seen shows there may be one) then it needs to be said, as well as mentioning Antarctic increases.

Feb 17, 2016 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Impacts are important, because there is misrepresentation. Most people believe incorrectly, because they've been lied to, that there's been an increase in floods, droughts tornadoes etc, and even that climate change will cause more skin cancer, as recently reported in surveys by Kahan and Tol.

Of course James's list is incomplete but that's not the point. The issue is, is it feasible.

I'll repeat and broaden the question I asked yesterday:
Does anyone have the technical know-how to set up a wiki-type thing?

Feb 17, 2016 at 2:44 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

It is stated in the mass media every day that ice is melting, sea levels rising, permafrost melting, etc. as proof of the evil of CO2. And the punters are listening. The issue around impacts is whether they are accelerating or not with the rise of CO2, and of course, whether higher CO2 concentrations are cause or effect.

Feb 17, 2016 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterRon C.

Could you perhaps extend this to answer some of the articles on Skeptical Science. I find their explanations convincing, but then I also find some of the criticism I read convincing. I don't really know what to think so some good counter arguments would be useful.

Feb 17, 2016 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJanet Harding


Part of the problem with a repository would be maintaining it and giving a consistent message.

For example, Antarctic ice is shrinking again, below average this summer.

Having described increasing Antarctic sea ice as evidence against AGW, what do you say when it shrinks again?

Feb 17, 2016 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

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.

This is a theme that EM has often repeated. In more general terms he states that a theory (any theory) has to stand until a better theory comes along to replace it. He does not admit the possibility of saying "we just don't know - your guess is as good as mine, because the existing theories are clearly invalid in this particular area".

It's a theme that is often repeated by CAGW believers. See, for example, Raff telling NiV that McIntyre's pointing out the many errors in Mann's stuff is invalid because SM did not come up with his own reconstruction.

I think it is another aspect that shows the religion like nature of CAGW belief. CAGW believers insist that there has to be an alternative 'skeptic' theory. It's the same sort of thing as God Botherers arguing that atheism is just another religion. (Equivalent to thinking that the non-existence of the supernatural is just another form of the supernatural.)

"Climate science' is full of holes. It's not up to those of us who have noticed that to re-do climate science correctly before it can be admitted.

Feb 17, 2016 at 5:16 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Entropic man, only your side says that climate doesn't change unless CO2 drives it.

Feb 17, 2016 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Paull Matthews,

I can set this up, but there will be costs associated with it, even if I do the development for free.
(And I usually charge out this sort of work though my company at £400 a day :)

Not terrible costs, usually in the order of £30-40 per annum for hosting, and £10 per annum for
a domain name. There are free alternatives, but you usually get what you pay for.

For the nth year running, Exxon have forgotten to send me my Big Oil cheque, and although I'm
not short of cash, the small ongoing costs of this should perhaps be a crowd-funded affair. I'd
envision several admins and contributors, with proper change control mechanisms.


P.S. Entropic, yes, if we'd written about sea ice, and Arctic sea ice suddenly took a plunge, we
WOULD have to rewrite it, or at east append the news to the end of it. There's no point otherwise.

Feb 17, 2016 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames


The time and effort involved would be quite significant. The problem is that most clisci sceptics, although appalled by what they have seen, are not driven by the religious fervour or whatever it is that motivates the stoat, attp, cook, et al.

Feb 17, 2016 at 7:05 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A


By reading, you will not be convinced for a sceptic "case" - we don't have one. Our only "case" is that climate alarmism is built on evidence with large error bars.

I see this as a serious problem.

For example, GISS quote their global annual average to +/-0.09C, based on their analysis of the NOAA data. CRU give confidence limits of +/-0.1C.

Do you regard these as too big already? Do you think they should be much larger?

In your repository would you express whatever you thought as an opinion or would you be able to present independent calculations? Remember that BEST, the last sceptic attempt to falsify the climate data, ended up validating it.

Ultimately, if your repository isgoing to be taken seriously beyond the scepticosphere you will need to be able to present evidence credible to a wider audience . Where are you going to get it?

Feb 17, 2016 at 7:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

As usual, EM sappempts to divert discussion with his ramblings. I find it amusing that the person who always warns other people about looking at short-term danger is prepared to pontificate about Antarctic ice on the basis of a small set of data, when the medium-term trend is rather different. And bloviating about BEST and the self-promotion of Richard Muller is also rather amusing. I am not sure what BEST has achieved but its long-term temperature reconstruction did rather show up the Mann hockey-stick as the pile of junk it is.

Feb 17, 2016 at 7:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Big Yin James hits nail on head:
"It's vital the repository does not try to push an alternative explanation for warming, just be a rebuttal of alarmist factoids." +10
Skeptics of any sort are not under the obligation to do more than to request honest clear answers.
The climate community is unable to meet that minimum level of credibility.
The true believers are unable to accept that nothing notable is going on with climate, which leaves them in denial (ahem)

There is a great site, which link I need to find, that catalogs failed climate catastrophe predictions and phonied up science. I will post it asap.

Feb 17, 2016 at 7:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter


Why did you put up a link showing that the January 2016 Arctic ice extent is the lowest on record? I thought we were discussing the Antarctic?

Feb 17, 2016 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Yin, why not ask to host it. Their content is pretty thin at the moment.

Feb 17, 2016 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff