Climate Debate (3): The Church of AGW

(third entry in my series of exchanges “On Climate Debate and Debate Climate” with a person genuinely convinced AGW is a settled argument. Part 2 is here):

(about the IPCC conclusions, and the supposed scientific consensus on AGW)

Clearly you haven’t spent any time reading the IPCC reports rather than just their conclusions. You’ll be surprised at your findings (like the thousands of data the IPCC themselves report as “not compatible” with warming).

And you have not said a word about scientific papers like those on Geophys Res Lett, and the fact that scientists of all sorts hold all kinds of opinions about AGW, even up high in the IPCC.

They are not all convinced a catastrophe is upon us.

LET ME REPEAT THIS CLEARLY: There are peer-reviewed articles by esteemed scientists holding important academic posts, published in renowned scientific journals, advancing doubts about the mechanisms, effects, and urgency of AGW and CO2 emissions, and they are often published ALONGSIDE pro-AGW papers, by esteemed scientists etc etc “on your side” that evidently consider those journals serious enough to warrant their appearance in their Resumes.

Also, if you bother to actually read the original articles, you will see that some foretell the end of the world, others talk of major disruptions, others still say AGW is a nuisance that can be dealt with. And that, among the people convinced AGW may force us the way of the Dodo.

Please decide: either you follow the scientists, or you don’t. AGW is not a “settled issue” in scientific terms, otherwise what is Geophys Res Lett publishing, and what is John Christy doing at the top echelons of the IPCC?

You may argue that AGW is a “settled issue” in public health terms: perhaps, but then it’s a policy matter. It’s not science. CO2 reduction vs. harm-reduction, it’s a policy discussion. The opinions of scientific bodies are only a part of the whole issue (we’re blessed not to live in technocratic societies).

Even economists get called in to talk about this: and that is perhaps the biggest trouble 😎

In any case do consider that argumenting “ad authoritatem” has been discounted since the times of Galileo. When we followed the 99.999% of scientists about stomach ulcers, we were in trouble.

(about the way solar wind may interact with the weather)

As for the solar wind, there are people that have made hypotheses about the way it may interact (Svensmark and others). I do not “believe” in their findings and am just waiting to know more. I have just remarked that if it’s not the solar wind, surely there must be something else in the Sun that affects the weather: and if there isn’t, that’ll be a major discovery on its own.

(about belief in AGW)

It’s you “believing” in things and treating them religiously (hence your vehemency: as a matter of fact, I am not trying to disprove your assertions when based on standard physics. I am not “vehement” at all, in this discussion).

You even keep repeating the word “believe” like if there were an AGW Church. If people were asked to believe in science, SciAm would close down and become a news agency.

I do not “believe” in the IPCC, in the AGU, in the Hadley Centre, in 2,500 scientists and experts, in Svensmark, in Lindzen, in Crichton, in yourself, in SciAm, in American Scientist, in any skeptic or AGW believer. I take everybody’s remarks as a step forward in the discussion and in the understanding of this or any other issue.

From that, I extract, polish, and sometimes destroy my own opinion.

I am not arguing that “lay people” can “challenge scientific opinion”. It is a given. A scientist that cannot defend his argument (for example, on the pages of SciAm) is clearly in trouble.