It wasn’t that long ago that Nature Climate Science published a paper using the word “denier” to describe those in denial of global warming. Anthony Watts was all up in arms about it, with not one, not two, but three posts expressing outrage.
In the latest, Robert G. Brown claimed that “On WUWT most of the skeptics do not “deny” AGW” (“AGW” referring to Anthropogenic Global Warming). Yet just one day earlier, Watts himself posted an essay about “analysis” by Cheefio Smith claiming that GHCN (global historical climate network) data is “not fit for purpose.” Smith’s theme is
“What if “the story” of Global Warming were in fact, just that? A story?”
That sure sounds like denial of AGW. In fact, it is denial of AGW. Right there on Anthony Watts’ blog.
Watts quotes Smith’s claim that
“Simple changes of composition of the GHCN data set between Version 1 and Version 3 can account for the observed “Global Warming”; and the assertion that those biases in the adjustments are valid, or are adequately removed via the various codes are just that: Assertions …”
And of course Watts regurgitates Smith’s conclusion:
“Looking at the GHCN data set as it stands today, I’d hold it “not fit for purpose” even just for forecasting crop planting weather. I certainly would notplay “Bet The Economy” on it. I also would not bet my reputation and my career on the infallibility of a handful of Global Warming researchers whose income depends on finding global warming; and on a similar handful of computer programmers who’s code has not been benchmarked nor subjected to a validation suite.”
That too is denial of AGW. And it was posted on WUWT by Anthony Watts himself.
Remember Cheefio Smith? He’s the one who did the “analysis” on which Anthony Watts and Joe D’Aleo based their accusations that climate scientists committed fraud, manipulating temperature data. When I analyzed the data myself I showed that they were wrong — and about a half-dozen other bloggers did exactly the same thing. Watts’ only “defense” was that he hadn’t done the analysis! He only made the accusations. The result: Watts and D’Aleo changed their accusatory document, but as for the apology they owe, we’re still waiting.
That sordid little episode was also denial of AGW. In a document authored by Anthony Watts.
Watts might want to seriously reconsider relying on Cheefio Smith, since Smith’s latest has also been shown wrong.
You want more? The most outspoken politician on the subject of global warming is U.S. Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma. He’s the one who calls it a “hoax.” In a recent article Inhofe was asked whether he’s taken note of the warming in his own home state:
I ask Inhofe if he’s noticed any climate changes in his home state, such as last summer’s unprecedented heat and severe drought, withering crops, wild fires and dramatically expanded tornado season. “There’s not been any warming,” he snaps. “And there’s actually been a little bit of cooling. It’s all documented. Look at the Dust Bowl. Back then it was a lot hotter. Matter of fact, now they say the hottest time was actually during that time—1934, I guess.”
That’s denial. Plain and simple. Fortunately, the author of the article had the sense not to take Inhofe’s word for it:
Actually, last summer’s average temperature of 86.9° was the highest ever recorded in Oklahoma.
In what may be the most comic case, when asked about his call for investigations of climate scientists (a move I can only call “McCarthyism”) Inhofe had this to say
“I’m not the guy that called for investigations, I don’t think,” Inhofe says. He quickly glances at his communications director, Matt Dempsey. “Did I ever call for investigations?”
The interviewer was puzzled by that, because
I study Inhofe’s face for a clue as to whether he’s joking—he brags about the episode in his book. It’s clear that he is not.
As for this little bit of denial, that dog won’t hunt.
Dempsey nods at his boss. “Okay,” Inhofe says. “Maybe right after Climate Gate, I said they need to be investigated.”
A real skeptic withholds belief and disbelief until persuaded by evidence. When asked what might possibly change his mind, Inhofe gave no answer at all:
The room is nearly empty when I ask Inhofe, finally, if he could imagine the possibility, however remote, that science could provide any amount or type of evidence that could convince him that human-caused climate change could be real. The senator darts an impatient look at his watch, and his handlers rise. It’s clear that the interview is coming to an end. “When people like you ask that question,” Inhofe says, “I can tell you believe it.”
Fake skeptics have several stages of denial. Stage 1: “It’s not happening.” Despite Robert G. Brown’s claim, that stage is still actively pursued, on WUWT and in the U.S. Senate. Brown wants us to believe it’s the exception, that it’s rare — but the truth is, it happens all the time. Like the day before Robert G. Brown’s last protest against use of the word “denier.” On WUWT.
Stage 2: It’s not due to human activity, it’s just natural. All such attempts have been refuted by evidence, but it’s still an immensely popular stage since it would take the “A” out of “AGW.” When fake skeptics do admit the “A” it’s to exploit Stage 3: It’s not that bad. That’s where Robert G. Brown is. Eventually even that claim will no longer be tenable, at which point the focus will shift to Stage 4: There’s nothing we can do about it without ruining the economy. That’s part and parcel of the scare tactic that suggests “Doing anything will knock us back to the stone age.” The truth is, we want to prevent global warming as much as possible so that we can avoid being knocked back to the stone age.
I tend to prefer the term “fake skeptic.” It’s accurate, and it addresses the dishonesty of such people calling themselves skeptics. They’ll attach themselves to ridiculous (i.e., worthy of ridicule) ideas, and as long as those ideas include doubt about global warming they’ll forego anything even close to skepticism, choosing the utmost gullibility instead. But if you prefer the term “denier,” use it. It doesn’t refer to the holocaust — that’s just Anthony Watts’ excuse for outrage — it refers to being in denial. Of the obvious.
To the fake skeptics I say: there’s a simple way to get us to stop using the word “denier.” Stop being deniers.