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Denialism, What is it, and how should scientists respond

Akrasia

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Thanks to Skeptical Science: Examining Global Warming Skepticism for the link to a very good paper recently published in the respected European Journal of Public Health

It is aimed at the discussing denialism in the public health theatre, things like aids denialism, and the conspiracies around vaccines and flouridation etc but the strategies employed by science deniers in medicine are exactly the same as the strategies used by global warming deniers.
The following is a shortened extract, there is much more detail if you read the paper yourself (embhasis is my own)
http://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/19/1/2.pdf
Defining and recognizing
denialism

The Hoofnagle brothers, a lawyer and a physiologist from the United States, who have done much to develop the concept of denialism, have defined it as the employment of rhetorical arguments to give the appearance of legitimate debate where there is none,5 an approach that has the ultimate goal of rejecting a proposition on which a scientific consensus exists.6 In this viewpoint, we argue that public health scientists should be aware of the features of denialism and be able to recognize and confront it.Denialism is a process that employs some or all of five characteristicelements in a concerted way. The first is the identification of conspiracies.

When the overwhelming body of scientific opinion believes that something is true, it is argued that this is not because those scientists have independently studied the evidence and reached the same conclusion. It is because they have engaged in a complex and secretive conspiracy. The peer review process is seen as a tool by which the conspirators suppress dissent, rather than as a means of weeding out papers and grant applications unsupported by evidence or lacking logical thought. The view of General Jack D Ripper that fluoridation was a Soviet plot to poison American drinking water in Dr Strangelove, Kubrick’s black comedy about the Cold War is no less bizarre than those expressed in many of the websites that oppose this measure......

.......The second is the use of fake experts.
These are individuals who purport to be experts in a particular area but whose views are entirely inconsistent with established knowledge. They have been used extensively by the tobacco industry since 1974, when a senior executive with R J Reynolds devised a system to score scientists working on tobacco in relation to the extent to which they were supportive of the industry’s position. The industry embraced this concept enthusiastically in the 1980s when a senior executive from Philip Morris developed a strategy to recruit such scientists (referring to them as ‘Whitecoats’) to help counteract the growing evidence
on the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. This activity was largely undertaken
through front organizations whose links with the tobacco industry were concealed, but under the direction of law firms acting on behalf of the tobacco industry.10 In some countries, such as Germany, the industry created complex and influential networks, allowing it to delay the implementation of tobacco control policies for many years.11 In 1998, the American Petroleum Institute developed a Global Climate Science Communications Plan, involving the recruitment of ‘scientists who share the industry’s views of climate science [who can] help convince journalists, politicians and the public
that the risk of global warming is too uncertain to justify controls on greenhouse
gases’.............

......The third characteristic is selectivity, drawing on isolated papers that challenge
the dominant consensus or highlighting the flaws in the weakest papers among those that support it as a means of discrediting the entire field.


An example of the former is the much cited Lancet paper describing intestinal abnormalities in 12 children with autism, which merely suggested a possible link with immunization against
measles, mumps and rubella.19 This has been used extensively by campaigners against immunization, even though 10 of the paper’s 13 authors subsequently retracted the suggestion of an association. 20 Fortunately, the work of the Cochrane Collaboration in promoting systematic reviews has made selective citation easier to detect.
Another is a paper published by the British Medical Journal in 2003,21 later shown to suffer from major flaws, including a failure to report competing interests,22 that concluded that exposure to tobacco smoke does not increase the risk of lung cancer and heart disease.
This paper has been cited extensively by those who deny that passive smoking has any health effects, with the company Japan Tobacco International still quoting it as justification for rejecting ‘the claim that ETS is a cause of lung cancer, heart disease and chronic pulmonary diseases in non-smokers’ as late as the end of 2008.23 Denialists are usually not deterred by the extreme isolation of their theories, but rather see it as the ndication of their intellectual courage against the dominant orthodoxy and the accompanying political correctness, often comparing themselves to Galileo.

The fourth is the creation of impossible expectations of what research can deliver. For example, those denying the reality of climate change point to the absence of accurate temperature records from before the invention of the thermometer. Others use the intrinsic
uncertainty of mathematical models to reject them entirely as a means of understanding a phenomenon.

The fifth is the use of misrepresentation and logical fallacies. For example, pro-smoking groups have often used the fact that Hitler supported some antismoking
campaigns to represent those advocating tobacco control as Nazis (even coining the term nico-nazis),26 even though other senior Nazis were smokers, blocking attempts to disseminate anti-smoking propaganda and ensuring that troops has sufficient supplies of cigarettes.27 Logical fallacies include the use of red herrings, or deliberate attempts to change the argument and straw men, where the opposing argument is misrepresented to make it easier to refute. For example, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined in 1992 that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is carcinogenic, a finding confirmed by many other authoritative national and international public health institutions.

The EPA assessment was described by two commentators as an ‘attempt to institutionalize a particular irrational view of the world as the only legitimate perspective, and to replace rationality with dogma as the legitimate basis of public policy’, which they labelled as
nothing less than a ‘threat to the very core of democratic values and democratic
public policy’.28 Other fallacies used by denialists are false analogy, exemplified by the argument against evolution that, as the universe and a watch are both extremely complex,
the universe must have been created by the equivalent of a watchmaker and the excluded middle fallacy (either passive smoking causes a wide range of specified diseases or causes none at all, so doubt about an association with one disease, such as breast cancer, is regarded as sufficient to reject an association with any disease)
 


owedtojoy

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Excellent post!

I have just got here after reading the Sceptical Science blog.

There is a fine line between "denialism" and "scepticism". Scepticism always seeks reasons to falsify a scientific proposition, even while it accepts the proposition as a "working hypothesis". Since we will never have complete assurance on ANY scientific theory, then we must use them as working hypotheses as they pass crucial tests. Otherwise, we would refuse to use cars, aeroplanes, i-pods etc.

Denialists are those who continually reject any proposition unfavourable to a core belief (whether it is anti-semitism or the free market), and cling to beliefs irrationally, in the face of any evidence to the contrary. Holocaust denial is the best example of this, but there are climate change deniers in the same boat.

Obviously, the line between scepticism and denialism is not always clear. However, I have noticed the "sceptic" sites getting quite croaky and repetitive recently. After all the shouting and crying, climate science is still advancing and the basic science is still not controverted.
 

Akrasia

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Here's the conclusion from the paper that I also agree with
Whatever the motivation, it is important
to recognize denialism when confronted
with it. The normal academic
response to an opposing argument is to
engage with it, testing the strengths and
weaknesses of the differing views, in
the expectations that the truth will
emerge through a process of debate.
However, this requires that both parties
obey certain ground rules, such as a
willingness to look at the evidence as
a whole, to reject deliberate distortions
and to accept principles of logic. A meaningful
discourse is impossible when
one party rejects these rules. Yet it
would be wrong to prevent the denialists
having a voice. Instead, we argue, it is
necessary to shift the debate from the
subject under consideration, instead
exposing to public scrutiny the tactics
they employ and identifying them
publicly for what they are. An understanding
of the five tactics listed
above provides a useful framework for
doing so.
In other words, we should let the deniers speak and give them a chance to put forward cogent arguments, but we should also be prepared to clearly point out where their arguments are based on denialist tactics rather than an honest attempt to engage in meaningful discourse.

I know people don't like to be called deniers and doubtless someone will come on here and accuse me of invoking godwin's law, but I leave it open for those being labeled denier, what would they prefer to be seen as?

If they choose the title sceptic, then they ought to behave in a sceptical manner, not a cynical denialist one.
 
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Cabbage/Turnip

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I have just got here after reading the Sceptical Science blog.

There is a fine line between "denialism" and "scepticism". Scepticism always seeks reasons to falsify a scientific proposition, even while it accepts the proposition as a "working hypothesis". Since we will never have complete assurance on ANY scientific theory, then we must use them as working hypotheses as they pass crucial tests. Otherwise, we would refuse to use cars, aeroplanes, i-pods etc.

Denialists are those who continually reject any proposition unfavourable to a core belief (whether it is anti-semitism or the free market), and cling to beliefs irrationally, in the face of any evidence to the contrary. Holocaust denial is the best example of this, but there are climate change deniers in the same boat.

Obviously, the line between scepticism and denialism is not always clear. However, I have noticed the "sceptic" sites getting quite croaky and repetitive recently. After all the shouting and crying, climate science is still advancing and the basic science is still not controverted.
+1 completely agree, yesterday I was arguing on P.ie with a guy about Gm foods and he just kept throwing papers in my face that were anti GM.. I could hve done them same but i didnt and asked him to give reasons against the actual points i made that Gm food should be considered. basically he just dont not believe it what so ever
 

setanta

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Great and timely post. +1 Akrasia.

I agree, though, that we will see the very same deniers coming onto this thread to try and argue against the article. This will be a good test of the article's description of the tactics used by deniers. It would be worth watching out for those tactics as the denialists employ them. Big prize for the first denialist to use all of the recognised tactics in "denying" the substance of this article ... LOL!
 

yehbut_nobut

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V intersting post. Thanks.

Does anyone else see the irony in the list of things to watch for? In the first characteristic it's "Accusations of complex and secret conspiricies". Then the example given for the second factor is given as erm... a complex and secret conspiracy (False experts in the tobacco industry) .

Makes me wonder if those arguing against those tobacco "experts" would have been labeled as Denialists, for accusing them of being part of a conspiracy...even though it was true!?
 

Akrasia

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+1 completely agree, yesterday I was arguing on P.ie with a guy about Gm foods and he just kept throwing papers in my face that were anti GM.. I could hve done them same but i didnt and asked him to give reasons against the actual points i made that Gm food should be considered. basically he just dont not believe it what so ever
I'm not sure about this one, having a personal belief does not mean that you are a denier. It is only if you cling to that personal belief after all the evidence points in the other way and then start using the tactics mentioned in the article.

There are very legitimate reasons to be concerned about GM foods. There are a lot of reputable scientific peer reviewed articles that take a anti gm stance based on the evidence, and GM foods are a political and economic issue as well as just an environmental one
(we have a choice of whether to introduce gm or not and this will have long term political and economic consequences, while global warming is true or false regardless of the politics and economics involved)

If the person you were speaking to was denying that genetically modifying foods was possible, then he would easily fit into the category of a denier, but if he was just arguing that we should not rush into GM agriculture because of the possible negative consequences, then that is a legitimate political position to take (just like there are legitimate political discussions on how best we ought to tackle climate change)
 

Akrasia

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V intersting post. Thanks.

Does anyone else see the irony in the list of things to watch for? In the first characteristic it's "Accusations of complex and secret conspiricies". Then the example given for the second factor is given as erm... a complex and secret conspiracy (False experts in the tobacco industry) .
There is nothing complex or secret about the PR industry or the fact that individuals or institutions will fight to defend their market position.

Makes me wonder if those arguing against those tobacco "experts" would have been labeled as Denialists, for accusing them of being part of a conspiracy...even though it was true!?
There were specific people who were openly working for the tobacco industry or bodies funded by the tobacco industry. Pointing to their conflicts of interest is completely different from an assertion that all scientists are being bought and paid for.

When the shill scientists produced research questioning tobacco's link to cancer, the independent scientists took those pieces of research and examined them on their merits and usually took them to shreds on the inaccuracies and errors in those papers.

In science, the research speaks for itself. If it is high quality, it will be cited and built upon by other scientists. If it is corporate propaganda, it will be debunked and the only people who will refer to it, will by those with an obvious agenda
 

Congalltee

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I'm not too keen on the phrase deniar. It is too vague.
Is a Christian, who believes that evolution was guided by God, merely a deniar of 'natural selection'?
Is a fundamentalist christian who believes man was created fully formed by God 10,000 years ago merely an 'evolution deniar'?

In both cases, the phrase 'deniar' makes them appears to be part of the orthodoxy and the scientist/rationalist as the God deniar.

Intellectually dishonest is a better description of one who believes something notwithstanding overwhelming evidence to the contrary or little or weak evidence to support their beliefs, leading to the wonderful end game
1. I'm entitled to my opinion and finally 2. We'll have to agree to disagree.
(or worse, that's why its called the mystery of faith).
 

Cabbage/Turnip

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I'm not sure about this one, having a personal belief does not mean that you are a denier. It is only if you cling to that personal belief after all the evidence points in the other way and then start using the tactics mentioned in the article.

There are very legitimate reasons to be concerned about GM foods. There are a lot of reputable scientific peer reviewed articles that take a anti gm stance based on the evidence, and GM foods are a political and economic issue as well as just an environmental one
(we have a choice of whether to introduce gm or not and this will have long term political and economic consequences, while global warming is true or false regardless of the politics and economics involved)

If the person you were speaking to was denying that genetically modifying foods was possible, then he would easily fit into the category of a denier, but if he was just arguing that we should not rush into GM agriculture because of the possible negative consequences, then that is a legitimate political position to take (just like there are legitimate political discussions on how best we ought to tackle climate change)
Fair enough perhaps he was not denier in this case.. Jut felt during the argument that no matter what was said he would never be open to the idea. he did not actualyl deny the idea exists.. I stand corrected.
 

Thac0man

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Twitter
twit taa woo
It is aimed at the discussing denialism in the public health theatre, things like aids denialism, and the conspiracies around vaccines and flouridation etc but the strategies employed by science deniers in medicine are exactly the same as the strategies used by global warming deniers.
"Denialism, what is it?" was the question posed by the thread title and answered quite well above. Denialism as a term, is only a tool for those who do not wish to engage in debate. Recent setbacks for the AGW camp have meant, as ably illustrated above, that other apparent forms of denial have to be invoked to prop up the crumbling facade of hysteria and fact manipulation that is the non-"Denier"s lot.

In the not too recent past an argument was had here on P.ie on whether the work of the politically appointed UN climate change panel would not be better done by an independant international scientific body. The reason for this, as I argued, was that climate change, if it is sooooo important (and true!) deserves analysis above reproach and politiking. The consensus amongst the AGW camp was that the UN body, tainted by political whim and continually sullied by exaggeration and manipulatin of facts, is the best. Best for whom and for what exactly? That is the type of denial that is at the core of the AGW camp, that binds it as an unthinking amorphous hysterical clump of devisive paranoia.

Is there proof to back up my claim? Yes. At a crucial point where the AGW camp has again come up short and been found wanting in the area of truthfullness and scientific method - this thread pops up. To defend recent overstated facts? No, to attack those who question said overstated and inacurate facts.

When the AGW camp comes up short, as they have done recently:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8571353.stm
....two things are sure to happen, firstly no one will lose their job for telling lies using public funds, they will simply go on to work on the next lie. Secondly, the term Denier becomes hot again, to provide cover for the period between the last lie and the next one.

Any debate from the AGW camp about the need for better standards? No. Only more excuses and screams of "denier" while yet more public cash is sloshed into the cause which all goes towards sealing the fate of our collective climate.

I am not someone who thinks there is no climarte change, I do think precautions have to be taken and possible preventitive steps made where possible. However, I fail entirely to see how shovelling billions of Euroes in the pockets of 3rd world kleptocracys will solve anything - yet it was a solution that yet again raises not a shred of criticism from the AGW camp at the last summit.

Now what is most strange about the Copenhagen summit was that although it was a complete failure, the AGW camp came out better off apparently. How is that? Because the ultimate dividend was not action on climate but the provision of poltical ammunition and the further aggrandisment of the AGW cause. It seems those in the AGW have forgotten that this world we have they have to share with others. As it is the AGW camp seem content to llive in a world of their own, well maintined as it is by ample UN and government funds. Sickening.
 
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Sean O'Brian

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Denialism as a term, is only a tool for those who do not wish to engage in debate.
True. It is an incredibly thuggish attempt to stigmatise AGW skeptics and place them on the same level as Holocaust deniers. It is the language of vilification. What sort of a yob tries to stifle a scientific debate by likening his opponents to David Irving? The use of this word is totally unacceptable.
 

Húrin

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"Denialism, what is it?" was the question posed by the thread title and answered quite well above. Denialism as a term, is only a tool for those who do not wish to engage in debate. Recent setbacks for the AGW camp have meant, as ably illustrated above, that other apparent forms of denial have to be invoked to prop up the crumbling facade of hysteria and fact manipulation that is the non-"Denier"s lot.
You well illustrate the article's point by entirely ignoring its contents and instead just going on a rant about the "AGW camp" which I will now quote from:

In the not too recent past an argument was had here on P.ie on whether the work of the politically appointed UN climate change panel would not be better done by an independant international scientific body. The reason for this, as I argued, was that climate change, if it is sooooo important (and true!) deserves analysis above reproach and politiking. The consensus amongst the AGW camp was that the UN body, tainted by political whim and continually sullied by exaggeration and manipulatin of facts, is the best. Best for whom and for what exactly? That is the type of denial that is at the core of the AGW camp, that binds it as an unthinking amorphous hysterical clump of devisive paranoia.
Actually in that thread there was no consensus among those posters who do not deny AGW. Some favoured a less politicised body and others favoured a more politicised body.

Is there proof to back up my claim? Yes. At a crucial point where the AGW camp has again come up short and been found wanting in the area of truthfullness and scientific method - this thread pops up. To defend recent overstated facts? No, to attack those who question said overstated and inacurate facts.
Can you provide links to the repeated posting of this thread?
When the AGW camp comes up short, as they have done recently:
BBC News - Climate change 'exaggerated' in government adverts
....two things are sure to happen, firstly no one will lose their job for telling lies using public funds, they will simply go on to work on the next lie. Secondly, the term Denier becomes hot again, to provide cover for the period between the last lie and the next one.
So what happens when the anti-AGW camp is caught lying?

Any debate from the AGW camp about the need for better standards? No.
Hasn't George Monbiot, as journalists go the arch-pamphleteer for taking climate change seriously, been arguing for higher standards in science lately?

yet again raises not a shred of criticism from the AGW camp at the last summit.
Who didn't raise criticism? The US and EU restrained 3rd world demands for cash. Doesn't that amount to more than criticism?

Now what is most strange about the Copenhagen summit was that although it was a complete failure, the AGW camp came out better off apparently. How is that? Because the ultimate dividend was not action on climate but the provision of poltical ammunition and the further aggrandisment of the AGW cause.

It seems those in the AGW have forgotten that this world we have they have to share with others. As it is the AGW camp seem content to llive in a world of their own, well maintined as it is by ample UN and government funds. Sickening.
What is the AGW camp Thaco? In Copenhagen summit I saw what looked like a lot of arguing and bickering, not one big bunch of happy campers.

True. It is an incredibly thuggish attempt to stigmatise AGW skeptics and place them on the same level as Holocaust deniers. It is the language of vilification. What sort of a yob tries to stifle a scientific debate by likening his opponents to David Irving? The use of this word is totally unacceptable.
So what word should be used for those against AGW who are not actually sceptics?
 

owedtojoy

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The Sorrow and the (Self-) Pity

"Denialism, what is it?" was the question posed by the thread title and answered quite well above. Denialism as a term, is only a tool for those who do not wish to engage in debate. Recent setbacks for the AGW camp have meant, as ably illustrated above, that other apparent forms of denial have to be invoked to prop up the crumbling facade of hysteria and fact manipulation that is the non-"Denier"s lot.

In the not too recent past an argument was had here on P.ie on whether the work of the politically appointed UN climate change panel would not be better done by an independant international scientific body. The reason for this, as I argued, was that climate change, if it is sooooo important (and true!) deserves analysis above reproach and politiking. The consensus amongst the AGW camp was that the UN body, tainted by political whim and continually sullied by exaggeration and manipulatin of facts, is the best. Best for whom and for what exactly? That is the type of denial that is at the core of the AGW camp, that binds it as an unthinking amorphous hysterical clump of devisive paranoia.

Is there proof to back up my claim? Yes. At a crucial point where the AGW camp has again come up short and been found wanting in the area of truthfullness and scientific method - this thread pops up. To defend recent overstated facts? No, to attack those who question said overstated and inacurate facts.

When the AGW camp comes up short, as they have done recently:
BBC News - Climate change 'exaggerated' in government adverts
....two things are sure to happen, firstly no one will lose their job for telling lies using public funds, they will simply go on to work on the next lie. Secondly, the term Denier becomes hot again, to provide cover for the period between the last lie and the next one.

Any debate from the AGW camp about the need for better standards? No. Only more excuses and screams of "denier" while yet more public cash is sloshed into the cause which all goes towards sealing the fate of our collective climate.

I am not someone who thinks there is no climarte change, I do think precautions have to be taken and possible preventitive steps made where possible. However, I fail entirely to see how shovelling billions of Euroes in the pockets of 3rd world kleptocracys will solve anything - yet it was a solution that yet again raises not a shred of criticism from the AGW camp at the last summit.

Now what is most strange about the Copenhagen summit was that although it was a complete failure, the AGW camp came out better off apparently. How is that? Because the ultimate dividend was not action on climate but the provision of poltical ammunition and the further aggrandisment of the AGW cause. It seems those in the AGW have forgotten that this world we have they have to share with others. As it is the AGW camp seem content to llive in a world of their own, well maintined as it is by ample UN and government funds. Sickening.
Nonsense. Your example is fabricated from pure spin. In fact, it is an excellent example of how "spectics/ deniers/ whatever" cherry pick an example (rarely a scientific paper) and hang their whole case on it. A newspaper (Guardian) summarised the content of the link as "Climate change adverts draw mild rebuke from advertising watchdog".

Incidentally, the IPCC is a review body - its remit is to summarise the contents of the scientific literature, which is overwhelmingly on the side of AGW. Only one minor error has been found in the last report - the science is solid.

The challenge to you is to scientifically show it is otherwise. Victimhood like "OOOh, poor me, they're calling me a denier, sob, sob," does not really cut it.
 

Congalltee

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True. It is an incredibly thuggish attempt to stigmatise AGW skeptics and place them on the same level as Holocaust deniers. It is the language of vilification. What sort of a yob tries to stifle a scientific debate by likening his opponents to David Irving? The use of this word is totally unacceptable.
The Holocaust? Sure those Jews would all be dead by now, so it doesn't really matter. Many would then decompose, so blaming Hitler for something nature would have taken care of is futile. I have not seen any direct evidence of the holocaust, so it can't be true. Photographs can be doctored you know. Accounts can fictionalised. It is just a way of shovelling money into a book and film industry. It is a vast conspiracy. Notwithstanding oppressive laws in Austria, I hereby deny that 6 million Jews were gassed in the Holocaust*.







(The figure vary but gassing might only be responsible for 4-5 million Jewish people during that period. The balance were killed by disease, starvation and remainder were non-jewish.)
 

Cassandra Syndrome

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True. It is an incredibly thuggish attempt to stigmatise AGW skeptics and place them on the same level as Holocaust deniers. It is the language of vilification. What sort of a yob tries to stifle a scientific debate by likening his opponents to David Irving? The use of this word is totally unacceptable.
+1

Its a disgusting term. Its a reflection on their own mindset. They couldn't give a rats arse for the welfare of the planet. They only care about their own self interests and selfish pseudo intellectual world.

Its the middle of March, the fields around me are yellow, there are no flowers and the trees are bare as a result of a severe winter. Never seen this before. Nobody remembers this as bad. There has been severe winters all across the Northern Hemisphere, an inactive tropical storm season in the Southern Hemisphere and no major record breaking heatwaves.

Why? The Sun is at its lowest minimum in a century.

If this was a matter of opinion grand. But these fanantics have been used by the elite to inflict carbon tyranny upon the world. Instead of making a huge effort to turn the planet completely to cheap renewable energy, which will require a lot of carbon initially to set up, they have decided to infiltrate all our transactions, hampered enterprise and increase zany regulations. Not to mention the ETS derivative nuclear bomb.

Petrol Prices are now at a record in real terms at the pumps in Ireland. Thats going to really help the recovery.
 

Akrasia

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True. It is an incredibly thuggish attempt to stigmatise AGW skeptics and place them on the same level as Holocaust deniers. It is the language of vilification. What sort of a yob tries to stifle a scientific debate by likening his opponents to David Irving? The use of this word is totally unacceptable.
The only people who ever mention the holocaust are those who are being labeled Deniers. Everyone else recognises that the term denier is legitimate in other contexts as the Paper in the OP explains. Please find me anywhere in the paper listed on the OP that even implies that denying the holocaust is a pre-requisite to be called a denier.

This is a basic and extremely common logical fallacy.

I have already asked what positive label you would like to call yourselves so we can refer to you as something other than a denier. Sceptic doesn't work because to be a sceptic, you need to be open minded and equally critical of all sources. It is impossible that anyone can describe the IPCC as a corrupt institution while taking information unquestioningly from places like James Dellingpole or places like Watts' and Mcyntire's websites.

Evolution deniers call themselves creationists or Proponents of Intelligent Design. What does your anti global warming movement want to call yourselves? (you'll probably have a challenge finding something positive that you all actually agree on by the way)
 

Akrasia

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+1

Its a disgusting term.
What do you want to be called?

Its the middle of March, the fields around me are yellow, there are no flowers and the trees are bare as a result of a severe winter. Never seen this before. Nobody remembers this as bad. There has been severe winters all across the Northern Hemisphere, an inactive tropical storm season in the Southern Hemisphere and no major record breaking heatwaves.

Why? The Sun is at its lowest minimum in a century.

If this was a matter of opinion grand. But these fanantics have been used by the elite to inflict carbon tyranny upon the world. Instead of making a huge effort to turn the planet completely to cheap renewable energy, which will require a lot of carbon initially to set up, they have decided to infiltrate all our transactions, hampered enterprise and increase zany regulations. Not to mention the ETS derivative nuclear bomb.

Petrol Prices are now at a record in real terms at the pumps in Ireland. Thats going to really help the recovery.
The rest of what you wrote is covered very very nicely in the Paper in the OP.

Specifically, the third feature of Denialism, Selectivity. You are claiming that global warming is not real because some parts of the world had a cold few weeks in winter. You consistently refuse to accept that despite these cold areas, the average global temperatures for the period in question were significantly above average

Your continued assertion that it has to be the sun is just getting tiresome. You have absolutely no scientific support for your pet theory. None Whatsoever. It has been completely disproven that global warming was being driven by the sun. You could of course easily contradict the point I have just made by pointing towards some respectable scientific bodies or publications that support your theory, but You won't, you are too caught up in Point one of the OP, that there is all a big conspiracy and the lack of support for your theory is actually proof that it must be true.
 

Simon.D

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I'm no fan of AGW theory, mainly because of the attention it's getting, as I don't see it as that big a deal, true or untrue, (when compared to other issues we face, i.e. energy resources, population growth etc), and that we're probably not going to do enough to stop it, so why even bother trying?..

In my opinion all science needs its deniers and moreso it's skeptics... The day we start accepting what scientists say as gospel is the day science dies... This discipline doesn't deal in facts, it deals in theories and the creation of models that approximate observed effects, which need constant questioning for improvements to be made in our understanding.. Many just don't seem to get this very basic and underlying point... We generally think in terms of absolutes and facts, rather than possibilities and probabilities.. From infancy we're given this absolutist perspective on the world around us, which is quite a reasonable stance to take on many every day things, but an incorrect and unscientific one all the same.. In reality we don't actually know anything and that everything we accept as true is unproven, and theoretical, and based on a multitude of unknown assumptions...

For someone to claim AGW is untrue is not that dissimilar from someone claiming the theory is true, as the stance of deniers is more or less the same as believers, with neither being based on fact.... Yes AGW may be a more probable explanation for climactic trends over the last centuries, but as many are finding out in cheltenham this week, the theories holding the best odds are not certainties..

When talking about science an agnostic approach is needed, and every scientist needs to fully realise that they are not preaching the truth, only a crude approximation of it.. I suppose the essence of what I'm saying here is that no one can say (from any scientific platform) that AGW deniers and sceptics are in any way wrong.. I think something along these lines needs to be introduced into our education system, such that people actually understand what science is.. I think a start would be to ban words like fact, certain, definite etc from being mentioned in a scientific context..
 


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