Is it reasonable to be a global warming skeptic?


Actually not. I’ve read the book. None of the scientists featured by Solomon have any apparent political motivation. They just dispute some aspect of the CO2 theory of GW on scientific grounds.


OK, then maybe you can tell me what percentage of retired scientists recant global warming theory?



I have no idea. All I know is that there are some, retired and not retired, who no longer endorse the alarmist view.


There is significant conjecture on the feedbacks to CO2 increasing
And the feedbacks account for >2/3 of the projected warming.


Since there is a continuum of positions taken on global warming, we have to be careful about setting arbitrary thresholds for what constitutes agreement and disagreement with global warming theory. Your use of the word “alarmist” shows that for the purpose of finding dissenters, you prefer to set the threshold very far toward the “alarmist” position. That of course makes it much easier to find dissenters. But it also makes it much harder to apply the results of your finding to discredit global warming theory generally. Even Theo here has said that there is no real disagreement with the more moderate view of global warming, the major disagreement being over the climate sensitivity to CO2 and feedbacks. You certainly can’t take the dissenters from the alarmist position as support for the opposite extreme position that is claimed by many in this forum - that the entire theory is a hoax with no scientific truth to it.

I would say that it is no surprise that retired scientists do not endorse the alarmist view. There aren’t many that endorsed the alarmist view to start with.



You spend way too much time arguing points that you do not understand…and you present yourself in a hostile manner. Besides, this is a CATHOLIC forum when I last looked up at the banner?

Climate change, Global Warming or whatever you like to call it should be a concern for everyone. I am going to make the leap of faith that no one that contributes to this forum has any formal training in any scientific discipline? OK, outside of reading a book they found on one of those right winged websites with the hot girls ads. My argument is we have seen such a big political shift among our political leaders (specifically Republicans) in the last twenty years. I don’t think that variance in opinion is because they started spending more time talking to scientist. In the same respect, it doesn’t make our current environmental issues disappear.

I am looking at this problem from the sociology; twenty years ago we were all waiving the banner of unity in combating a global problem. I don’t think my neighborhood had recycle programs before this period? Now, everyone has some type of recycle program supported by the argument that we want to take care to the planet. Yet, there is so much divisiveness from some people, even when talking about related topics that effect us directly such as clean water!

My suggestion; put down the keyboard, than go and take a walk outside, think about “What can I do to maintain the beauty that I encounter”? You will certainly feel less hostile…


Guess again.

Ad hominem

Variance of opinion is natural and common if proper scientific methodology is being followed. It is not on the issue of climate change which has corrupted many fields such as atmospheric sciences and the peer-review process.

That’s a mistake in this context.

I couldn’t care less about feigned moral outrage.

Also, I happen to know quite a bit about environmental issues, and it is precisely thinking like yours that negatively impacts our efforts at sustainable development.

In other words even though they supposedly have a “scientific consensus” on their side, they need to rely on objective emotional states and ad hominem attacks in order to advance your argument.

I can see why over 80% of the papers in the humanities don’t even get cited once.


So, since no one here was a slave owner, we shouldn’t discuss the evils of slavery?


And add to all of this the lack of warming for the past 20 years or so … in defiance of the models.



The alarmist position is that human CO2 emissions are causing catastrophic global warming and that we have to drastically cut our emissions. Basically, this is the IPCC position. The consensus on the alarmist view has been hyped and overstated, hence the relevance of the fact that there even are dissenters.

How the climate science establishment led by the IPCC deals with dissent is instructive as it exposes an awareness of the weakness of the science behind the alarmist position. Take Bjorn Lomborg as an example. Lomborg is a Danish political scientist who endorses elements 1-4 (see my post 339), but rejects 5-8. His basic argument is that we need to use our present finite resources to address more immediate problems such world hunger, disease, getting folks clean drinking water, etc. [check out the Copenhagen Consensus]. He was immediately branded a heretic and was subject to a Danish Inquisition which initially convicted him but then reversed itself after coming to its senses. Another was the Oregon state climatologist. The establishment tried to get him fired. They even went after his kids. David Deming is another example. He got fired after he declined to join the movement to "get rid of the Medieval Warm Period. These are just a few examples of what happens to climate heretics. So here is the question: Why do they have to be so vicious and ruthless if the science is so solidly behind them?


Hi Leo,

Me too, only what I find when I do so are more reasons to be skeptical.

Back when I was a sociologist we learned to question knowledge claims. Knowledge from what and whom? we would ask. Back in the day we applied the tools of the trade to question the claims of The Establishment. Now, all the positions I once was sympathetic to are now mainstream, so it is a little ironic that I now am employing the same tools to question them.


The first half of that sentence is scientific and the second half is political. They are two different kinds of positions on the subject of global warming. Depending on how you define catastrophic, the first part may or may not be that extreme. As for the second part, I have no opinion, as I am only interested in the scientific aspect of this question, not the political aspect. This is not to deny that a scientist could be both scientific and political. But there are times when he is acting as a scientist and other times when he is acting as a political being. Advising on what we should do is a political question. Determining what the physical world is doing is a scientific question. So if you could, please address, in quantitative terms, what you think the “alarmist” scientific position is. Is it .17C per decade? Is it any rise at all? What temperature rise does someone have to claim to be considered an alarmist scientist?


That’s a very bad leap, thinking nobody on this forum has a Univ degree in one of the sciences.



I wish the CSELBTIPCC were as objective and dispassionate as you are. For them, any human caused temp increase is, by definition, catastrophic.

But you highlight how subjectivity and value judgments intrude even on the supposed “scientific” part. “Depending on how you define catastrophic…” Indeed.

For me, scientific case hasn’t been sufficiently made to be even thinking about large-scale, government-mandated “solutions.” Sure, our emissions are perturbing the climate system and some warming should result, but how much? So I don’t know what temp rise to expect, and the IPCC really doesn’t know either.


Hi Leo,

You seem to be saying a couple of things. First, if I ain’t a Syuhntist [pronounced in exaggerated Algore fashion] I should just be quiet, go along with the herd, and trust the experts. Second, there’s something inherently “right wing” about climate skepticism.

Regarding the first, you need to be reminded that we all have an epistemic duty with regard to what we claim as knowledge. One definition of knowledge from floffsofy is “justified true belief.” You may think your beliefs about global warming are true, but are you justified in that belief? I say no, and if you are interested in the case against the establishment position of global warming, feel free to check out this 12 part series starting here: . Here is the short synopsis. Human CO2 emissions were wrongfully convicted of causing catastrophic climate change. The case against CO2 is not credible because the major witnesses against CO2, the Climate Science Establishment Led By The IPCC and computer models, are not credible. It is also not credible because underlying CO2 theory of global warming has been falsified in at least 42 different ways.

Regarding the second, I would admit that there are more conservative skeptics than liberal skeptics. [Philosopher Peter Kreeft explains that conservatives are more hard-headed and analytical, and liberals are more soft-hearted and empathetic.] However, there are some liberal skeptics. One that comes to mind is Denis Rancourt, a lefty Canadian physicist. Also, one of the expert witnesses that helped demolish Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick is statistician Edward Wegman, a Democrat. Stephen McIntyre, the lay scientist who did the most to demolish the Hockey Stick is apolitical, a libertarian if anything.


Regarding the fact that I am not a scientist and should just trust the experts…

The experts from the climate science establishment has given us ample grounds for doubting their claims:

  1. The Hockey Stick affair.
  2. Climategate.
  3. Surface Temperaturegate.
  4. 97% Consensusgate.
  5. IPCCgate.

There are more, but you get the picture. Given all this, how can you assume that your “knowledge” about global warming is true and justified? Have you done your own due diligence investigation, or are you just taking everything on faith? A faith–I might add–that is entirely unjustified. Think for yourself. I suggest reading Aaron Wildavsky’s book But Is It True? to give you confidence, as a layman, to investigate complex environmental issues on your own.


You can’t use contested points to support a claim that is essentially identical to the contested points you are using to support it. None of the 5 things you have listed here are universally agreed truths, any more than the fact that global warming is a hoax is universally agreed to. So if you want to prove something, you have to start with truths that both you and your opponent agree on, otherwise your case will appear to your opponent like it is built without any foundation.

The synopsis does not contain an argument. It just contains claims. Can you put together a self-contained argument for the position you are taking? It is fine to use references for particular facts used in your argument, but to refer to another source for the whole argument is kind of cheating.


Individually, no. But together they provide a behavior pattern that is quite disturbing.

It is gradually getting to the point that if these people made the claim that it was raining, I would walk outside expecting it to be clear, dry, and sunny.



I was responding to Leo who seems to be saying that if I am not a Syuhntist I should just shut up and trust the experts. I was trying to explain why I don’t trust the experts in this case. The conversation is just getting started. Or not. Up to Leo.


Let’s be reasonable. This is a large subject and it would take a book to explain and justify my conclusion that the GW hypothesis has not been proved and shouldn’t form the basis for policy decisions. I can and have gone into detail on different points (e.g. the myth of the 98% consensus), drawing on information from the video. But there is a lot there and I don’t have the time to reproduce all the details.

I know you only read academic sources on this topic and eschew videos produced by lay folk, but others may be curious.

However, you are right in this sense. It difficult in this forum to deal piecemeal with such a vast and sprawling subject. I should lay it out in general as a whole and then work systematically through the outline. We can try that.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit