A Climate Proposal

A self-proclaimed left/liberal/Democrat extends an olive branch to Republicans and climate skeptics:

Yes, I have the perception that your side is worse.  Yes, I understand that your side has the perception that my side is worse.  Great.  Can we both agree to back off a little?

We’ll continue to try to make the case that the global society does need to decarbonize, and we’ll accept that your disagreement doesn’t make you evil.  In return, can you agree at least to listen in good faith and accept that our beliefs about the importance of global warming doesn’t make us evil?


33 Responses to “A Climate Proposal”

  1. I’m seeing a lot of this conciliatory language coatracking on the back of the Tucson tragedy. It rather smacks of exploitation and it’s wholly unnecessary.
    As far as I know, nobody ever thought anyone in the climate debate was evil. The words “not evil just wrong” might ring some bells around here, for instance. I think this is divisive and that it is an attempt to sound the more reasonable, and I think it’s a pretty shitty stunt to play, to use the current mood (which in other respects I think is positive) to score some cheap kudos points.

  2. Moonbat says:

    Kill all the climate homosexuals!!! Don’t you know global warming causes AIDS and climate homosexuals love global warming, therefore they are responsible for the spread of AIDS. Shoot all the climate deniers right now!!! Lynch those filthy carbon tax niggers! Hang the climate disruption Jews!!!

  3. Keith Kloor says:


    I don’t see it that way at all.

    I don’t know you don’t see that the two extremes in the climate debate don’t also traffic in overheated rhetoric that also makes out opponents to be dastardly and contemptible. And as with the mainstream political debate, it is the populists and some of the leaders of the opposing climate factions that are guilty of this.

    The fact is, in the U.S., a national debate on political rhetoric has been triggered by the heinous shootings in Arizona. Regardless of whether there is a connection or not.

    And it’s natural that some of this debate be made relevant to other controversial spheres, such as climate discourse.

  4. Jeff Id says:

    I saw your silly comment at Lucia’s to me so clicked on your name to find out what was going on.
    ” In return, can you agree at least to listen in good faith and accept that our beliefs about the importance of global warming doesn’t make us evil?”
    Your ‘beliefs’ are not the problem, it is your solutions which make you dangerous – again different from evil but not much different result though.

  5. Keith Kloor says:


    In a previous thread I also referenced one of your typical rants as an egregious example of the kind of rhetoric that inflames the political and climate debate. Your constant use of the leftist/socialist label is right out of the Limbaugh playbook.

    Here’s the excerpt from that post to refresh your memory of your paranoid nightmares, which again, is standard fare for Limbaugh/Beck:

    “We have to get these corrupt liberals out of office asap.  This is as evil as anything any government can do”¦It’s bad enough that our extremist in chief doesn’t need to answer difficult questions and is surrounded by friendly leftists”¦There is going to be a revolt soon, we are NOT Russia yet but there is a reason that half of Obama’s appointments have been self proclaimed Marxists at one point or another.”

  6. Keith, I can fully appreciate that, being an American, living, breathing and existing in the American polisphere, it is inevitable that you will perceive climate change as another facet of a conservative/progressive divide – one that has grown increasingly vitriolic and vindictive.
    But the actual climate debate is not bounded by political partisanship, it is bounded by a deep and complex scientific debate. There are clues to this within the debate – McIntyre is not politically motivated (unless you believe Mashey’s conspiracy theory – you never did read, or at least comment on that). Judith, the Heretic, is a liberal as far as I can tell. I heard Lindzen is not a Republican – correct me if I’m wrong. The divide is not political, it is scientific.
    Policy objections may appear divided along political lines to you, in the US, but the world is bigger than your line of sight and where politics don’t mirror the divide in the US it is simply not possible to arbitrarily draw the same climate:political lines in the sand.
    So yeah, I think this coatracking going on is a cheap, exploitative attempt at point-scoring, but you could be forgiven for missing the non sequitur.

  7. JD Ohio says:

    KK #5
    Jeff’s rant is no different than Krugman, with a much bigger audience, calling those opposed to CO2 restrictions traitors.  Yet Krugman is piously worrying about over the top rhetoric on the right without any clue as to his egregious hypocrisy.  Here is Krugman from his 6/28/09 column:
    “Still, is it fair to call climate denial a form of treason? Isn’t it politics as usual?
    Yes, it is “” and that’s why it’s unforgivable.
    Do you remember the days when Bush administration officials claimed that terrorism posed an “existential threat” to America, a threat in whose face normal rules no longer applied? That was hyperbole “” but the existential threat from climate change is all too real.
    Yet the deniers are choosing, willfully, to ignore that threat, placing future generations of Americans in grave danger, simply because it’s in their political interest to pretend that there’s nothing to worry about. If that’s not betrayal, I don’t know what is.
    Of course, on top of the treason claim, Krugman slanders opponents of CO2 restrictions by linking them through innuendo to Holocaust deniers.  Link http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/opinion/29krugman.html

  8. Keith Kloor says:

    “climate change as another facet of a conservative/progressive divide ““ one that has grown increasingly vitriolic and vindictive.”

    This is certainly true in the U.S. and my blog is U.S.-centric, just as the blogs of Tim Worstall, Stoat and Bishop Hill are UK/Europe centric.

    Of course, I’m grateful for the non-U.S. readers and I do hope and believe that enough of my posts related to climate change have relevance beyond the U.S.

    This is also a very unusual week in the U.S., due to the Arizona tragedy. Congress is shut down, and there’s round the clock debate on American TV, in newspapers and political blogs on the issues of civility, political rhetoric, gun control, and, to a lesser extent, health care resources for mental illness.

  9. kdk33 says:

    “The fact is, in the U.S., a national debate on political rhetoric has been triggered by the repugnant attempts of some liberals to exploit a national tragedy and blame conservatives for the heinous shootings in Arizona. Regardless of whether there is a connection or not.”

    …for accuracy.

    “and, to a lesser extent, health care resources for mental illness.”

    …which is the only discussion germane to the Arizona tragedy.

  10. Pascvaks says:

    “A self-proclaimed left/liberal/Democrat extends an olive branch to Republicans and climate skeptics:..”

    A nice thought but it won’t work. Politicians, and the Political Public in general, don’t respect Olive Branches (or white flags).  They’re convinced it’s a ruse and attack before the other side does to gain advantage.   
    Ref. Tucson Tragedy – Too late, the stupid horse is already out of the @#$# barn.
    What happens next?  Well, that’s all up to Mother Nature.

  11. Keith, I find your blog highly relevant and very interesting. Yes, it’s US-centric but that’s contextual.
    I don’t mean to suggest that this discussion regarding inflammatory language is only happening in the US; it isn’t. Bishop Hill pointed out George Monbiot’s violent mob mentality, with the quote: “…every time someone dies as a result of floods in Bangladesh, an airline executive should be dragged out of his office and drowned.”
    –  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/dec/05/comment.politics
    People say stupid things.

  12. Jim Owen says:

    Extending the olive branch is good.  But what comes next?  Re: GW/CC, I have listened – and found little or nothing to convince me of the catasrophic future that would require the draconian “solutions”  proposed.  More – those solutiions are either unworkable or, in some cases, actively worse than the purported problem they would solve.  For “unworkable” morphing into “actively worse” see:

    Then there’s the dialog problem.  I’ve been in these discussions since 2001.  I was late to the party, in part because I was hiking for 2 years in all that terrible(?) global warming.  But since then I’ve “talked” to many, many active alarmists and the discussion is nearly always some part of what’s illustrated by this link: 

    It’s funny (almost), it’s pathetic, – and, in my experience, it’s much too real. 

    Your blog and Judith Curry’s are among the few places that I’ve found anything close to reasonable discussion on the “believer” side of the “discussion”.  RC, Romm, Tobis, etc – don’t want to discuss, they want to preach.  And they don’t toleraate questions, disagreement or correction.  Sorry, but that’s not “discussion”. 

    So…. what’s next? 

  13. […] Collide-a-Scape, Keith Kloor highlighted a proposal by Francis, “A self-proclaimed left/liberal/Democrat”, intended […]

  14. Edim says:

    Liberals should have never jumped the AGW bandwagon. Being very liberal myself and science lover, it broke my heart to experience it. The damage to the liberal movement will be enormous when everything settles and truth comes out.

  15. At Climate Audit, I, for one, have never taken the position that people concerned about global warming are “evil”. Quite the contrary.  I’ve pointed out to readers that serious climate scientists believe in the importance of the issue in good faith.  I’ve also stated that, if I were a Minister of the Environment, I would consider myself obliged by the responsibilities of the office to follow the advice of official institutions, though I would also attempt to improve the processes of disclosure and due diligence.

    It seems to me that Climate Audit not only meets, but exceeds the standards advocated here.

  16. Marlowe Johnson says:

    so what’s your take on the standards used in Wegman report Steve?

  17. hunter says:

    This is worth considering- If and only if the agreement is exactly two way: If everytime skeptics are to listen in good faith and not think warmists are evil can be substitued for ‘warmists’.

  18. hunter says:

    JD Ohio,

    So I guess we can exclude ou from the posible negotiations?

  19. JeffN says:

    I’ll make a deal: I’ll continue to welcome (even subsidize) the only viable green energy source that can replace coal, as I have since the 1970s. (Hint: it uses uranium)
    In return, you agree not to push the button and blow me up for being insufficiently concerned.

  20. Jeff Id says:

    I fail to see how you addressed my point, but I stand by what I wrote.  The left is working hard to censor the Limbaughs and Becks, even though I work for a living and don’t listen regularly.  This recent BS over Arizona was just another example.
    Some of Obama’s appointees were self proclaimed marxists at points in their lives.  Marxist isn’t a bad word, it is descriptive of their politics to which wealth redistribution is a central theme.  Obama has many policies which are extremist leftist and some which appear to me to be fully Marxist so take it how you will.
    I don’t read here so don’t know how you work.  Perhaps you are a normally honest guy or perhaps you are just pushing propaganda like climate progress. I might enjoy your blog as much as Bart Verheggans but don’t really know much about you.
    My view is that global warming’s basics are true, I’ve been the only poster at WUWT to have made that point repeatedly to my knowledge.  My other point is that the effect has been systematically exaggerated and the final point is that solutions proposed by the left do NOT work.
    The solutions have no basis in fact or reason.  They do create economic damage which is far greater than liberals ever seem to grasp.   So if you can hike your skirt up enough to explain why my views are wrong, I’ll check back for a listen.

  21. Marlowe: “so what’s your take on the standards used in Wegman report Steve?”

    Can you just clarify for me, is this the report that CAGW purporters, when I first came to the debate a little over a year ago, was being dismissed as “just a report to congress”, “not a real scientific paper”, “not peer reviewed”, “not published in a scientific journal” etc?

  22. Pascvaks says:

    One more thing about “Olive Branches”.  The “Offer” is only as credible as the “Offerer” and in this case there is no credibility whatsoever.  In fact, in this case, the “Offer” is only seen as a ploy, a faint, a joke, a diversion (of sorts).  Has anyone else been surprised by the number of tails wagging their dogs since New Years?  The numbers are staggering.  I really fear this is the beginning of The End and the Inca, and Astec, and Maya were right.  We’re DOOMED!  I feel an Excedrine headache coming..

  23. Keith Kloor says:

    Pascvaks, your comment is consistent with what I’ve seen over at Lucia’s thread:

    instead of showing good faith and being open to an offer to meet halfway, the reflexive response by many skeptics seems to be one of distrust and hostility.

    Makes me wonder if Judith Curry should reconsider her bridge-building goal.

  24. Louise says:

    I know I shouldn’t be surprised by what I read at WUWT but comments on this thread clealry use the word ‘evil’ in relation to Dr Trenberth

  25. Marlowe Johnson says:

    Yeah that one.
    Out of curiousity are you suggesting that normal academic standards don’t apply when reporting to congress?  Don’t you think it’s reasonable to expect even higher standards aught to apply when reporting to the highest authority in the land?

  26. Do you wonder if perhaps the sceptics’ distrust and hostility might be a learned response?
    In many ways this reminds me of Tom Fuller’s attempt at bridge building over climate sensitivity. IIRC, Tom’s proposal was to agree a climate sensitivity ~2.5C for the sake of progressing the debate. The sceptics emphatically rejected the proposal. The sceptics’ response was hostile and distrusting.
    The sceptics didn’t propose another figure – 0C for example. Why? Because the issue was not the number being placed on climate sensitivity, the issue was the arbitrary dismissal of uncertainty that would have been required in order to settle on, and treat as certain, any number which had been arbitrarily chosen.
    It was the circumvention of what sceptics consider to be a critical process in science. In short, sceptics considered the very process of agreeing to treat as certain what is absolutely known to be uncertain. What the sceptics rejected, they consider as anti-scientific postnormalism. Science by committee, by consensus, by some other means than scientific method.
    What should be the natural response to those who would embrace the circumvention of scientific processes for the sake of progressing the debate? What do you expect the learned response to repeated similar attempts might be?
    If China agreed to decarbonise their economy for the sake of humankind, provided we forever stopped awarding their convicts with Nobel Prizes and never again criticised them for their continuing and increasing human rights abuses, would you agree?

  27. Barry Woods says:

    I agree with Steve on this, the vast majority of believers, in government, environmental groups and some advocate scientits are no doubt intelligent, creative educated people that are sincere

    It doesn’t mean they cannot be wrong, or be blinkered though, or be unaware of a lot that has gone on.

    No conspiracy or hoax required, just a cultural phenonomem, at some levels descending into corporate/bureacratic groupthink.

    I have friends that are IPCC editors and scientists, and relatives that speak officially for the Green party. I am very good friends with someone who had a few of their own emails released in the leak/hack/whistleblowing. 

    They have not looked at them either.
    I still do not understand why?

    We disagree and are still friends.

    The problem is that some groups of people in their circles would never ever envounter a ‘sceptic’ and just not be aware of the issues.

    Thus, my friends know I’m not a koch/exxon funded deniar thus I cannot be so easily dismissed.

    How is it that so may scientists have not taken the time to even look at any of the emails themselves. As Steve knows, Bob Watson said as much at the climatgate debate in London.

    That debate was a rather civilised affair with many a sceptic/advocate having a chat afterwards, and many people perhaps being surprised that SM did not have ‘horns’ 😉

    I’ve even asked Sir Joghn Houghton about whether he had read the emails last year and was met by the same response that he had not, and I was then warned about the Telegraphs Christopher Booker and the tobacco/oil lobby!  and warned about what they were saying.

    Sis John Houghton currently appear in an advocay campaign video (thus endorsing it) which has graphics of plants withering and dying as CO2 levels reach 389 ppm CO2 – ie NOW.

    Why does he do that?

    I’ve sent James Delingpole at least a dozen stories he’s blogged about, including ‘No Pressure’ and the CACC ‘skeptic alerts’.  The consensus side thinks that websites like Bishop Hill preach to a passive audience, but they only exist because of the audience.

    I wrote a bit more about this here.


  28. Marlowe, thanks for the clarification. No, I’m not suggesting anything. I was just pointing out how fluid the CAGW purporters’ position can be, when it suits their purpose.
    When it was thought that the Wegman report was a severe body-blow to the CAGW position, the basis of their dismissal was that it was not an academic paper and could not be treated as such. Now that issues have been found with the paper’s integrity, suddenly it MUST be treated in the way they said it couldn’t be before. That it IS an academic paper and MUST be held to a higher standard.
    Though the paper is not at all pivotal to the sceptics’ argument, and having long-ago been dismissed into oblivion by CAGWers, it is notable that sceptics are as disappointed in the Wegman paper’s integrity as anyone else.
    But the sceptics’ expectations on all papers to be pursuant to the highest level of integrity has not changed, in stark contrast to the CAGWers, who find themselves suddenly able to manoeuvre their stance on what comprises an academic paper specifically in order to make the most of the situation.
    But I note, also, that they’re quite capable of doing this selectively. If the paper were “grey” literature, in support of their position and used to reinforce their ideology in an IPCC assessment report, we already know for certain that there would be absolutely NO issue with the paper and that “it doesn’t affect the conclusions of the report”.

  29. Keith Kloor says:

    Barry, I’m getting a little tired of this: “I have friends that are IPCC editors and scientists, and relatives that speak officially for the Green party. I am very good friends with someone who had a few of their own emails released in the leak/hack/whistleblowing.”

    So what, and how do I know that’s true? You’ve been repeating that ad nauseum here and at other blogs for some time. How about naming some of those friends, with their permission?

    And big deal, anyway. This bit of yours about being friends with greens and green politicians and IPCC scientists reminds me of that famous line used by white bigots to prove their not racist: “Some of my best friends are black…”

    And please, don’t accuse me of accusing you of racism. You’re a fine, upstanding human being for all I know, who has a rainbow collection of friends from all walks of life, and wonderful friendships with non-skeptics of climate change. But what’s your point about saying it over and over?


  30. Marlowe Johnson says:

    “it is notable that sceptics are as disappointed in the Wegman paper’s integrity as anyone else.”

  31. Marlowe, do you read sceptic blogs? The evidence is in the discussions, widely spread.
    There’s broad derision and much mocking laughter about Mashey’s conspiracy theory regarding Steve McIntyre’s secret right-wing tendencies and think-tank funding, as indeed there ought to be, but regarding Wegman’s citations it seems to be accepted that they could have been better (though there is criticism of Bradley’s too) and I can find no-one arguing that segments of Wegman’s textual content are not plagiarised. Lucia’s discussion was well-balanced, as you would expect.
    You’re asking me to prove a negative to some extent. Do you have evidence that sceptics ARE presenting a case that Wegman didn’t plagiarise?

  32. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    I think it’s a nice idea, but it’s still taking too much on ‘faith’. The statement has faith, belief and evil in it rather than facts.  To me a large part of the problem has been the way AGW beliefs have been presented as facts, which in a supposedly science driven debate is just wrong.
    There is no problem with someone believing that by 2100 the global average temperature will be 6C higher than now. In a free society, people are free to believe what they like. Where it becomes an issue is presenting those beliefs as facts and then expecting everyone else to adopt that same belief and take action. And like JeffId, this has been the biggest issue. Beliefs have been converted into business and profit opportunities that simply don’t make any sense.
    To move the debate on, I think both sides need to steer clear of faith or belief based statements and rely more on good’ol fashioned evidence. So ‘I believe it’ll be 6C warmer in 2100 because..’ and the evidence can be debated, hopefully calmly and rationally. Previously climate science has been marketed too much on trust and crude appeals to authority or emotion, which demonstrably hasn’t worked. Judith Curry said a while back that the best way to disarm scepticism is with evidence and data, and I think she’s still right.
    It’s not evil to ask ‘Why?’ if I don’t understand someone’s belief, or ask questions about their beliefs to attempt to gain understanding. It’s not evil for me to be sceptical if those beliefs can’t be explained. Neither side is evil, unless someone can prove intent and for some AGW-driven proposals, that’s arguably simpler, but not neccessarily evil, just business.

  33. JD Ohio says:

    Simon & Marlowe,
    Wegman copied & technically plagiarized.  Mashey in the Skepticgate thread was asked numerous times (by me and others) how Wegman’s results were affected by Mashey’s charges in a practical sense (See 160, 163 & 283 posts).  Mashey never explained although he tried to obfuscate by giving large lists of matters that were copied.  Murder and speeding are both crimes.  There are various degrees of plagiarizing just as different crimes have different degrees of culpability.  What Wegman did was a very minor violation.  There has been no evidence that it affected the major statistical conclusions of his report.
    Mashey is simply trying to trash Wegman by attaching plagiarist to his name.  One could also call Obama a criminal if he had been guilty of speeding one time.  The label is technically correct but fundamentally dishonest.

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