Why they hate climate skeptics:

As described above there were a number of factors and incidents that brought the skeptics movement to where it is today. Under different circumstance skeptical heroes might have included Freeman Dyson, Michael Crichton, Matt Ridley, Bjorn Lomborg, and Michael Fumento instead of Carl Sagan, Michael Mann, Bill Nye, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

The forces for group cohesion can be powerful. Within the skeptic community voices that dissented in any way (or even just said “I don’t know”) tended to become more and more marginalized. Those who might dissent now have for the most part left, shut up or deferred to “science” and their places have been taken by those who believe. I once asked on a skeptical forum, why the group responded so harshly to any statements challenging climate fears, but no one ever commented or challenged any statements no matter how ridiculous exaggerating climate fears. I was told that false statements against the climate understandings represented real threats, but little harm could come from overstatements of climatic risk. No one on that forum took issue with that position and that’s when I figured I could not learn much more there. This is a group on a mission that is not accepting of distractions.

I subscribed to the Skeptical Inquirer back in the eighties, but I quit when Schermer took over, it started to veer left, and to a dogmatic atheism.

10 thoughts on ““Skeptics””

  1. Interesting re your comment about the Skeptical Inquirer. I never really read it but occasionally would riffle through an issue when I spotted one in the Barnes and Noble magazine section. I didn’t know what, if any, political orientation it had; but I have a pretty good built-in Liberal BS detector. Maybe living in Manhattan–the capital of East Coast “liberalism”– among intellectual types honed my instincts. Anyway, every time I skimmed an issue I would wonder how many of these “skeptics” making fun of other people’s beliefs were also members of the Cult of the State. People who live in glass houses, etc.

  2. OK, I think I got it. “Skeptics” are distinct from “Climate Skeptics”, whom the self-styled Skeptics prefer to call “Deniers.” Yeah, yeah, “He who controls the past controls the future” at work.

    But I notice an amount of policing going on at Watts Up With That among some of their house commentators and guest bloggers. If denying Climate Change is deemed “nutty”, it seems that there are folks over their enforcing “good nutty” over what they deem “bad nutty” or the “wrong nutty.”

    Case in point: Murry Salby. Murry Salby is an atmospheric scientist with several deeply technical books to his credit who is not only “denying” that increased CO2 causes significant warming but is also denying that much of the increase in atmospheric CO2 is the direct result of atmospheric emissions. Disputing the CO2-temperature connection is deemed “correct nutty” by these gatekeepers on Anthony Watts fine Web site, but getting into whether the increased CO2 is from human activities gets pushback as “bad nutty.”

    Apart from his legit publishing credentials, there is a lot of “bad nutty” about Murry Salby, and yes, maybe there is a role for keeping “bad nuts” out to preserve the reputation of proper nuttiness. Not only is Salby “denying” that the relentlessly increasing CO2 in the atmosphere can be blamed on humans, a point that most proper climate nuts don’t try to argue and a point that is ascribe to really outré nuts like the Lyndon Larouch people, Dr. Salby has skeletons in his closet. He left University of Colorado, Boulder in a cloud regarding charges of misusing Federal NSF grant funds, but he was more recently summarily terminated from a university in Australia, where the circumstances are so bizarre that you have to enter full tin-foil hat territory in believing in a Warmist Conspiracy.

    But Anthony Watts to his credit has disseminated the views of Murry Salby, leaving it to his feisty commentators to offer their opinions rather than sweeping the whole thing under the rug as an embarrassment to Good Climate Nuts, everywhere.

    I also did my own searches on whether Dr. Salby is out there by his Bad Nutty self regarding the origins of atmospheric CO2 and its recent upward trend or if their is any confirmation. Y’know, kinda what mainline journalists are supposed to do, start by checking for corroborating sources.

    What I have come up with is the conventional view, that humanity has emitted X amount of CO2 with half of X appearing as the increase in atmospheric CO2 and the rest going into “sinks”, ocean water, land plants, this conventional view simply doesn’t square with the pre-Atom Bomb survey of C14 by a dude named Hans Suess who was trying to correct radiocarbon dates for the dilution in atmospheric C14 that is supposed to happen from C14-poor fossil fuel burning.

    A similar picture is painted by recent measurements of the C13/C12 ratio in the air, with C13 being a rarer but non-radioactive carbon isotope. Every, last “skeptics” (i.e. pro Global Warming) Web site takes this smug, sanctimonious, scolding tone that you (their ally) is supposed to show the curves where as CO2 increases from fossil fuel emissions depleted in C13, the concentration in C13 is diminishing, absolute proof, proof they say to browbeat your “denier” friends that the increased CO2 in the atmosphere comes from fossil fuel.

    Well, duh, burn C13 poor fossil fuel and put CO2 into the atmosphere, and atmospheric C13/C12 will diminish, must diminish. But it diminishes at nowhere near the rate that it is supposed to, were the increase in atmospheric CO2 totally from human sources.

    We are not talking about how many fractions of a degree C can dance on the head of a pin. We are talking of an order-of-magnitude discrepancy in atmospheric carbon isotopes. But “our nuts” have deemed this result too nutty to consider in an effort to keep climate denying nuttiness respectable.

    1. I think the problem is that it is too much of a leap for most people. It’s not unlike Feynman’s discussion of the measurement of electron charge:

      One example: Millikan measured the charge on an electron by an experiment with falling oil drops, and got an answer which we now know not to be quite right. It’s a little bit off because he had the incorrect value for the viscosity of air. It’s interesting to look at the history of measurements of the charge of an electron, after Millikan. If you plot them as a function of time, you find that one is a little bit bigger than Millikan’s, and the next one’s a little bit bigger than that, and the next one’s a little bit bigger than that, until finally they settle down to a number which is higher.

      Why didn’t they discover the new number was higher right away? It’s a thing that scientists are ashamed of–this history–because it’s apparent that people did things like this: When they got a number that was too high above Millikan’s, they thought something must be wrong–and they would look for and find a reason why something might be wrong. When they got a number close to Millikan’s value they didn’t look so hard. And so they eliminated the numbers that were too far off, and did other things like that. We’ve learned those tricks nowadays, and now we don’t have that kind of a disease.

      Sadly to say, that last pronouncement was subject to recidivism. If we ever were free of the disease, we have contracted it again.

  3. You folks familiar with the Tully-Fisher relation for galaxies? If the stars in a galaxy followed orbits like the planets around the Sun, stars near the galactic core would be zipping like Mercury, not only with shorter orbital periods because they are close in but also because they are fast. Stars on the fringes would move slowly like Neptune and Pluto.

    It turns out that a spiral galaxy spins like a gol’ durn’ phonograph record, where the near stars have about the same angular velocity about the center as those further out. This is one piece of evidence driving the search for Dark Matter, which no one has observed but 97% of physicists, astronomers, and cosmologists believe to exist.

    What I am saying is that the carbon isotope ratios are so far out of balance to believe in Dark CO2. Only it isn’t Dark CO2, rather it has been getting warmer since the Little Ice Age, the oceans are getting warmer, and most of the increase in atmospheric CO2 is the thermally induced emission that only Dr. Salby and a few Larouchies talk about publically. In the absence of this thermal emission, most of the fossil burning CO2 would end up in the oceans and we would not be having this discussion.

    1. “This is one piece of evidence driving the search for Dark Matter, which no one has observed but 97% of physicists, astronomers, and cosmologists believe to exist.”

      It isn’t evidence of Dark Matter. Instead, it is evidence that our theory of gravity does not match the reality of observation at that distance scale. I view Dark Matter and Dark Energy (and Inflation after the Big Bang) as epicycles, created so that we don’t have to question a theory of gravity that has been around for 350 years.

      It is understandable that we wouldn’t want to mess too much with Newton’s Third Law of gravitation, which works so well on the distance scale of our solar system. However, we already know that it breaks down at extremely small scales as well, and we just can’t seem to fit gravity into the Standard Model.

      It is going to take a radical departure from the way we view the relationship between mass and space and time to fit gravity into the Standard Model and get rid of those epicycles.

      I think that that radical idea is that space itself is quantized, and that quanta containing mass/energy are not directly attracting each other. Instead they attract the quanta of empty space around them, and the mutual attraction for quanta directly on a geodesic* between two masses is what pulls them together. This reduces to Newton’s third above a distance a few orders of magnitude greater than the Planck length.

      I have a lot of work to do on this idea before it becomes a grand unified theory, but it’s working out well in Flatland so far.

      (* We normally think of a geodesic as a straight line, which becomes curved in the presence of a strong gravitational field. If space is quantized, a geodesic is the path between two quanta of space with the fewest neighbor-to-neighbor transitions.)

  4. Rand, do you mean Skeptic (not Skeptical Inquirer)? Michael Shermer is publisher of Skeptic (did it exist prior to his involvement?). Possibly you mean Skeptical Inquirer and developments that don’t involve Shermer?

  5. Lord knows that there’s no place in science for skeptical inquiry of prevailing theories.


    It would seem that with all the opprobrium directed toward climate skeptics, “scientists” have become the medieval church they profess to despise.

    1. And yet they take on the mantle of the oppressed while being the oppressors.

      It reminds me of growing up in WA with Democrat kids who thought they were rebels against the system. Sorry there kids but you are the system.

  6. “but no one ever commented or challenged any statements no matter how ridiculous exaggerating climate fears.”

    OMG this ^^^

    The wild apocalyptical claims and predictions are insane. As one prediction after another fails to become true, no one stops to wonder if the reasoning behind the fear mongering needs to be examined.

Comments are closed.