JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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My reply to Paul Bain: The name-caller is hurt by the names they throw

Dear Paul,

Thank you most sincerely for writing to reply to my email. Thank you for taking the time to contact Nature, and thank you for the recognition that the term “denier” causes offense.

Do we also agree that the term denier fails basic English, and cannot be defined as a scientific label because you still are unable to say what deniers deny?

“I think if you understood where skeptics were coming from it would help you design surveys that produced useful results. Basic research, like reading what leading skeptics were saying, would seem a bare minimum requirement before designing a study.”

As far as I can tell, I suspect what you feel deniers deny (though you appear reluctant to actually state it) is not any scientific observation, but the pronouncements of the highest authority of climate science (which you deem to be the IPCC).

“I do believe that the technical aspects of this debate should be between climate scientists, as with complex multi-disciplinary issues it is very easy for findings to be misconstrued by non-experts. Whether you like it or not, the majority of climate scientists agree that there is a high likelihood that anthropogenic climate change [...]

The Highest Authority in Science is the Data

Joint Post David Evans and Jo Nova

“97 percent of climate experts say man-made global warming is a major threat”

The correct response: “So? The satellites, ocean buoys, and weather balloons disagree.”

The alarmists may have “experts”, but the skeptics have the data.

How do you find the truth about some disputed point in science? You find the most authoritative source of information.  The vital thing that makes science different to a religion is that there are no “Gods” of science. There is no expert who is infallible. The highest authority in science is the measurements and observations. Here is the hierarchy of authority in climate science:

Data (empirical evidence) Climate scientists Other scientists Lay people.

For most of the last few centuries, science has been supreme over politics for settling the truth in matters pertaining to the physical world—empirical evidence beats anyone’s say-so.

But the modern political approach is to ignore that top level. To most warmists and the public who “believe in climate change” (as they so misleading say), the hierarchy is:

Climate scientists Other scientists Lay people.

The  way the climate scam works is for the like-minded western bureaucracies to [...]

Is there any evidence?

UPDATE, Feb 2011. This post, this question has been out for over two years, and yet still remains as valid as ever. Most of the evidence still cited is irrelevant. — Jo

The all important question that rises above and before ALL other questions is the one of evidence.

Is there any evidence that carbon dioxide causes major warming?

In science, “evidence” has a very specific meaning and for a very good reason. In a court of law or a game of football, the label “evidence” can be plastered all over the place. If 500 footballers signed a petition to change a rule, that would be “evidence” the rule needed changing. But if 5 billion people signed a petition to make it rain in Mumbai on Thursday, that’s a waste of paper.

[...]

What is evidence?

Evidence means observations, made by people at some time and place. Things you can see, hold, hear and record. Computer models are not, and can never be evidence. [...]