Recognizing Climate Change

Skeptics are wont to say that the climate always changes, which is true but not helpful in the AGW debates. It does always change, but it changes for a variety of reasons.

What science needs to do is present compelling evidence that we’ve added some new reasons for climate to change. And science needs to convince enough skeptics to enlarge the consensus. Right now, about two-thirds of climate scientists, a large majority of politicians and a simple majority of citizens agrees that is the case. That is not enough.


Most skeptics would agree more or less with the following statements:

  • Global surface temperatures have warmed about 0.8C over the course of the past century or so.
  • Humans have the capacity to change the climate through our actions.
  • Scientists have identified ways in which human activity can change the climate: Deforestation, pollution, changes in land use / land cover and emissions of greenhouse gases.
  • Conventional physics accurately describes how greenhouse gas concentrations can contribute to warming.
  • Emissions of greenhouse gases have grown dramatically over the past two centuries, as have concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere

In fact, I think that every skeptic I know would agree with the above statements, which is why I think using the term ‘denier’ is cheap agitprop and an insult that defines the user more than the target. At any rate, I intend to ask some of the better-known skeptics to sign off on those. Feel free to join them or oppose them in the comments.


9 responses to “Recognizing Climate Change

  1. Check, check, check… agree on every point.

  2. The list is more or less agreeable. The question is: To what degree? The least agreeable point is that “Conventional physics accurately describes how greenhouse gas concentrations can contribute to warming.”
    -Are we dealing with “change” not definable, a term of convenience for hypesters, or “warming”, which the hypesters have largely left behind?
    If it is “change”, the question like all questions regarding “change” of any sort is this: how much, and what are the good and bad impacts?
    So far a rational honest look at that question has not taken place in the larger public square.
    The second question is regarding the 0.8oC: So what?
    Grant that this change has actually happened, and let’s posit that 100% of it was caused by human generated CO2. Where is the harm?
    Heat waves?
    Sea level?
    None of the metrics, honestly measured, have changed in any significant way at all.
    So again the question: So what?

    • We’re going to do this with baby steps, Hunter.

      • I am all for baby steps. Now I have to mow my grass- all the rain followed by sunny warm days makes St. Augustine grass very happy.
        perhaps the real question should be how do we get the climate committed to admit they have been wrong for over 25 years, if reality is the guide it typically is supposed to be for science and policy.

  3. “Conventional physics accurately describes how greenhouse gas concentrations can contribute to warming.”

    One word – LOGARITHMIC.

    Another: ASYMPTOTIC.

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  5. For what it is worth I too agree with the statements but have the reservation that the amount matters for policy decisions. I also note that I have to see any mitigation policy by the EPA or NY where I live quantify, what their mitigation program will do to global temperatures. Until they do I feel comfortable saying that they are only symbolic gestures.

  6. Pingback: More From Monckton | The Lukewarmer's Way

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