2012-03-05 18:55:51Strategy for anticipating denier response 'we don't deny that humans are causing global warming'
John Cook


Expect that one denier response to TCP will be "we've always agreed that humans are causing global warming - we just dispute the degree of causation or that climate sensitivity is high" or something to that effect.

When someone posts this response, we can dig into the SkS database and find all instances where that blog/denier gave an argument under the category "It's not us" - the SkS database will have all that information. Then we can post a blog post "XXX reverses position on humans causing global warming", citing their worst examples of denying AGW along with their new quote "we don't deny AGW".

Then when they go on to post another argument for "It's not us", we can point out their contradiction again.

Not sure if we want to get that petty but just something to think about, anticipating the lines of attacks we will face.

2012-03-05 21:24:31


Not sure if we want to get that petty


I do!

2012-03-06 04:36:43
Dana Nuccitelli

I thought category #1 was our response to that criticism - in addition to 'x' percent of papers endorsing AGW, 'y' percent endorse AGW as the primary cause of the observed warming.

Then there's the future phase of the TCP where we do a survey of climate sensitivity papers to prove there's a consensus on that issue as well.  That'll really kill the deniers.

2012-03-06 09:37:13
Andy S


So far, I haven't had that many category #1 papers.

One step at a time. If we force skeptics to say that they never denied AGW, just "CAGW", then that will be progress in itself, since many of them will have to get in the low sensitivity corner with Lindzen and so on. That's when the climate sensitivity Plan B will kick in.

Since the BEST study, I have noticed relative silence on the part of skeptics with regard to the temperature record and urban heat islands. Of course,  "no-significant-warming-in-the-past-decade" is still alive as an idea but that meme should die after a couple of hot years. 

This is trench warfare, not a Blitzkrieg.

2012-03-06 10:57:09
John Cook


Dana, yes, category #1 addresses the "amount of human contribution" argument but TCP doesn't address climate sensitivity at all. If TCP has deniers conceding AGW, we should pin that on them because for sure they will try to back away from that afterwards and go back to "it's not us" arguments.

I haven't seen that many category #1 although I will say I've seen a helluva lot more category #1 than I've seen category #4, #5 or #6 combined.

2012-03-06 16:45:55
John Cook


BTW, here's an example of the kind of response we can expect - this is the WSJ 16 response to the Doran/Anderegg 97% consensus:


The Trenberth letter states: “Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused.” However, the claim of 97% support is deceptive. The surveys contained trivial polling questions that even we would agree with. Thus, these surveys find that large majorities agree that temperatures have increased since 1800 and that human activities have some impact. But what is being disputed is the size and nature of the human contribution to global warming. To claim, as the Trenberth letter apparently does, that disputing this constitutes “extreme views that are out of step with nearly every other climate expert,” is peculiar indeed.

So will be interesting to see the number of Level 1 endorsements that addresses directly this argument.