2011-05-22 12:15:31No #1 argument toppled!
James Wight


"It's the Sun" has been the top skeptic argument on SkS for as long as I can remember. Today I noticed it's been replaced by "Climate's changed before".

Interesting that some old canards are moving down the list - "Ice age predicted in the 70s", "CO2 lags temperature", even "Climategate CRU emails reveal conspiracy". I wonder, is there enough information in the SkS database to say something about how particular arguments have increased or decreased in popularity over time?

2011-05-22 16:03:42
John Mason


It would be really interesting to take a particular discussion arena such as the Guardian and analyse threads for frequency of occurrence of the arguments. I wonder if software could do the job in a meaningful way?

Cheers - John

2011-05-22 19:09:55Bombshell!
John Cook

I've gotten so used to seeing the sun at #1, it's like the fall of an old friend!

On the other hand, past climate change was the one question that came up in every radio interview over the last few weeks. I'm writing an article for ABC Zenvironment on that very topic.

James, every occurrence of a skeptic argument is dated so it is possible to track popularity over time. This would actually be an interesting topic for a research paper or at least a series of articles. I had one theory that "temp record is unreliable" would correlate to periods of warming but when I drilled through the data, it was just too noisy to glean a meaningful statistical result. Over much of the last 5 years, it's been mostly me collecting links so the data is not comprehensive.

2011-05-22 19:24:06
Paul D


Another data visualisation?
Probably a graph would be more appropriate this time.

2011-05-23 05:01:16
Dana Nuccitelli

I can't say I'm surprised.  I think most 'skeptics' are finally getting that with solar activity relatively low, they just can't keep blaming the warming on the Sun.  I've seen the argument less and less, but still see 'climate changed before' all the time.