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Climate Sceptics?

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Thundery wintry showers

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I wonder where I would appear in a typical assessment of "climate change believer" vs "climate sceptic". I certainly appear more towards the "believer" end in the climate change discussion threads, but on the other hand I remain sceptical about the ability of computer models to predict the future (they have improved a lot in recent years and will probably continue to get better, but even so, there are all kinds of areas where they could go wrong).

As per usual, while most of those with strong opinions on the subject take up one side or the other, I've formed a strong opinion that is somewhere in the middle, though perhaps further from the "sceptic" end than the "believer" end.

It's rather odd, though, how the definition of "sceptic" seems to have migrated away from its dictionary definition, which is merely someone who is sceptical. By this measure, given the first paragraph, I would actually classify as a "sceptic", and some of those with anti-AGW positions would be better categorised as "disbelievers". I prefer that term to "deniers" which has a strong jibing element to it.
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I am a semi-sceptic!. The period 1919-39 was similar in temperature to the past twenty years, but nobody was screaming about 'global warming' then. The pollutants from mills and factories was much greater then than it is now. I wonder how much 'funding' is going to environmental scientists and government departments to combat this 'catastrophe'

The weather has been going on for millions of years. yet we are supposed to believe in 'climate change' on the basis of about 20 years observations.

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[i]< I wonder where I would appear in a typical assessment of "climate change believer" vs "climate sceptic".>[/i]

TWS, it’s not a question of being a ‘believer’ or a ‘skeptic’. Opinions without evidence to support them are worthless. A bit like believing there were WMD’s in Iraq some years ago, but the fact is no one has found any (because there were none). There were none but there was a big ‘yes there are’ v ‘no there aren’t’ debate at the time. Climate deniers often have some agenda in the background – e.g. they have financial support from big corporations whose motivation is profit.

I do urge you to read some proper peer-reviewed scientific studies, instead of trying to guess from other people’s ‘opinions’ without facts to back them up. If you do, I think you’ll find there is steady trend in the current climate.

TomS wrote [i]< we are supposed to believe in 'climate change' on the basis of about 20 years observations>[/i].
If you look carefully you’ll find there are many observations far older than 20 years. I’ve recently been working with very reliable observations made in the 1860’s. And I think you’ll find the smoke (visible and mostly carbon particles) from a few hundred, or even thousand factories, is insignificant compared with over 30 million vehicles in Britain alone, which pump out exhaust gases (mostly invisible and of many kinds) every day of the year.

You could do worse than to start here for some solid science:

[url="http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/syr/ar4_syr_spm.pdf"]http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/a...ar4_syr_spm.pdf[/url]

Good luck in your quest for the truth
Gibli

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After the arguments I've been involved in in the climate area I can understand where you might have got that impression. But in reality it originally stemmed from me trying to make much the same point [i]("opinions without evidence to support them are worthless")[/i]. What those climate change threads need is people discussing the science and deriving conclusions from it, and all too often we see people forming "opinions" and fitting the evidence around them. (This is where my repeated "circular reasoning" allegations come from- a conclusion is of no use if the premises behind it assume the conclusion as a given). I ended up getting caught up in the "sceptic vs believer" nonsense by attacking that approach head-on (as I'd got fed up with it) and it precipitated a huge argument.

Actually, I don't 'guess' based on 'opinions' - as a PhD student in climate science I've read a large number of peer-reviewed papers, including many sections of the IPCC report. The problem is, so many of them are subscription-only that it's hard to find any (other than the IPCC report) that can be posted to the main forum. Having read all of those papers I still think things are a lot more uncertain than many sources (including the IPCC's summary for policymakers) make out, with many forcings being poorly understood, and climate models having their limitations. But that said, I'm yet to see any compelling evidence to suggest that the IPCC's conclusions don't represent the most likely range of outcomes- nor to suggest that we aren't still in a long-term warming phase.

Philip Eden (whose views on climate change are similar to mine) had a section near the end of his book ("A Change in the Weather") where he highlighted the political axes grinding at both "sides" of the debate and the lack of room, in many places, for objective and constructive discussion- he gets so-called "believers" and "sceptics" alike both praising him for giving their "side" consideration, and slating him for being at the other "side", and very few praising him for trying to be objective.
[quote]Climate deniers often have some agenda in the background – e.g. they have financial support from big corporations whose motivation is profit.[/quote]
Many of the articles we see links to in those threads bear out that point exactly.

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