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DO PARENTS KNOW MEMES? #5 (REACT: Do They Know It?)
There were 8 duplicates. So, in the end I read 35 articles, published between 30 January and 22 April Compared to the use of other labels, such as denier and alarmist for example, these are small numbers. More respectable than climate scepticism and climate denial in turn, of course, but seemingly positioned just as far away from climate alarmism. Was it only discovered recently? In the discussion at Making Science Public, various attempts are made to identify positions in the debate with respect to estimates of climate sensitivity. If this be the index corresponding to the fundamental axis of the debate, then, why not just give everyone on it a number? The numbers would obscure the argument, and in turn would prefigure the debate. This is, of course, the point of Consensus Enforcement that Ken Rice and his highly prolific associates engage in. The point of consensus enforcement is to sustain the polarised account of the debate. Of course something approximate to the lukewarm position has always existed. The same University was home to Stephan Lewandowsky, who has set up camp in the West of England — Bristol University — from where he has famously pronounced on the apparent correlation of conspiracy theories and climate change scepticism, which was fatally flawed and widely debunked, and led to a retraction. We suggest that in response to constant, and sometimes toxic, public challenges, scientists have over-emphasized scientific uncertainty, and have inadvertently allowed contrarian claims to affect how they themselves speak, and perhaps even think, about their own research. We show that even when scientists are rebutting contrarian talking points, they often do so within a framing and within a linguistic landscape created by denial, and often in a manner that reinforces the contrarian claim. But Richard Betts disagreed. They express concern that this would invite inaction in addressing anthropogenic climate change. However, the authors seem unable to offer any real evidence to support their speculation, and I think their conclusions are incorrect. The post was republished at WUWT. After all, Lewandowksy takes aim at climate scientists and their work directly. For more comment, see also contributions from climate scientists including Betts in the comments under the article at http: After all, the warmist cause is so much better funded, and able to mobilise vastly more resources than any climate sceptics. If that still sounds too theoretical, consider that it is precisely what Lewandowsky, Oreskes et al have done. Indeed, science itself — as a process — is no longer the best test of theories about the material world. And science — as an institution — is no longer an authority on any matter. This returns us to the post at Making Science Public. Indeed, the comments beneath her article reflect the preference for shrill, alarmist copy, not nuances. But back to Tamsin Edwards, who wrote But whether we are in denial, lukewarm or concerned about global warming, the question really boils down to how we view uncertainty. If you agree with mainstream scientists, what would you be willing to do to reduce the predicted risks of substantial warming? But it is an unhappy home. Conversely, the green view used to hold i. Greens used to be frank about it that tiny perturbations can precipitate huge changes in the natural environment. One can be wrong about low climate sensitivity, but still be able to face the societal and technical challenges this would imply, even if that meant, years hence, abandoning London to the sea or rescuing it through some form of engineering. After all, human life thrives across a vast range of environmental conditions. They should not be conflated. Conflating them is to presuppose the green view of nature in balance, and the perfect form of social organisation reflecting that balance. And what are the risks of believing that human society is largely self-dependent. Of course, there is this index of sensitivity, which is important. And this is arguably just as important. As I describe above, one could take a high position with respect to climate sensitivity, but have a high estimation of human society and humans as individuals, to determine that the benefits of industrial society are worth bearings the cost-consequences for, on economic, moral, or political bases. But that appears to be the implication, unfortunately. But I wonder what use there is in an endless taxonomy of agents in the climate debate, and ideas about configuring effective relationships between science and governance. Would even an honest broker have ever been able to resist eugenics and neomalthusianism? Could public engagement have stopped 20th Century scientific racism? The following may sound shrill, and lean towards a reductio-ad-Hitlerum argument. The Royal Society gives Ehrlich awards instead, salvages his failed prophecies, and re-animates them to increase their own leverage in political debates about the environment. The task in front of the honest broker is bigger than he realises: If lukewarmism really is about merely fixing this relationship after locating some sensible middle ground, it is hopeless. And it is not enough to produce glossy manifestos , aiming to put policy-making and the natural science on the right track. Until the reasons why alarmist manifestos and the models that underpin them were able to thrive are understood, there can be no sensible manifesto. It seems that many lukewarmers are, after all, refugees from the green camp, displaced — or even expelled by the shrill rhetoric of so many Lewandowskys and Oreskes — by alarmism, but not really willing to ask why they are in exile. Of course, many but not all lukewarmers do ask such questions. New issues emerge, such as the pause, or ocean acidification, or climategate, or Himalayagate. Each creates new challenges for the putative camp in question to explain the development. Giving things names, more often than not, is an attempt to keep the debate frozen. There is a quote somewhere, which I have lost: This is the tactic followed by Lewandowsky, Oreskes et al. By suggesting that there is a phenomenon of denial… And now lukewarmism in the form of reflection on the hiatus, it becomes an object of study, rather than an analysis or judgement in its own right. Lewandowsky and Orsekes no longer need to defer to climate science — nor even climate scientists — they simply need to say that science is vulnerable to some force which is greater than it. No deniers, sceptics, lukewarmers or even climate scientists are allowed to have found the data on the hiatus interesting in its own right. My apologies to Pielke, nonetheless. This is the problem with labels. Likewise, the hostility to people and the wish that most of them would just die so nature would be left alone. I think your point about the perception of fragility is key. People who work in primary industries like farming and logging many of which I work with or know or engineering do not accept this fragility idea. It is an idea for the sensitive and fearful, not for adults. Neither nature or human society are fragile. How could Europe after being bombed into dust in WWII be a vigorous industrial economy 20 yrs later if this fragility was true? If nature was this fragile how did is survive the ice ages? Tom Fuller on May 19, at 7: Lukewarmer as a position is not defined by its opposition. It is an interpretation of the data available regarding climate science and related fields. We of course may be wrong, but the lukewarmers I know including myself did not try to run away from either skeptic or warmist points of view. What most of us did was express our understanding and then watch with no little bemusement as skeptics and warmists distanced themselves from us. What is amusing about the current flurry of writing about lukewarmers is how little of what we actually say is used against us. Perhaps that will change. So, the term lukewarm when coined historically made no claim about whether anyone was invested in any particular political ideology. For various and sundry reasons, at least as far back as , there was a group of people who had a middle ground estimate of climate sensitivity. Many of us could tell our reasons— and those reasons were generally not invested in ideas about scientific fraud and so on. The word caught on. The word made no particular other claim. I would like to elaborate and show that narrow usages of labels exist in other discussion. If one is Roman Catholic, they are that. Two of the problems with labels are: Labels are useful for that. Roman Catholics have different practices from Episcopaleans, and differ from Moslems. All these words are labels and tell us something. Sometimes someone would like the term to communicate a different feature than it actually does. Some are for action. But I also believe Ayn Rand supports swiped that using it to mean…well… you decide if you think they are not invested in a political agenda. Especially in political contexts some really want to decree that any label does convey a political inclination, a moral view or all sorts of other meanings. I prefer to have more neutral sounding ones if possible. Of course it is natural for there to be a correlation between ones belief about likely range of ECS, TCR and the level of support for various policy actions.
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