Skeptic Check: Climate Clamor

by admin on March 8, 2010

Arctic ice is melting, atmospheric temperatures are climbing – yet climate change science is under attack. Detractors claim that researchers are manipulating data and hoodwinking the public. And the public is increasingly skeptical about the science.

Find out what’s behind the surge of climate change skepticism – and what global warming deniers learned from big tobacco about how to spin scientific evidence.

It’s Skeptic Check… but don’t take our word for it!

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1 – Stephen Schneider (part 1)
Part 2 – Phil Chapman
Part 3 – Stephen Schneider (part 2)
Part 4 – Simon Donner
Part 5 – Naomi Oreskes

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar seadevil March 12, 2010 at 9:30 am

I was more impressed with the the presentation of Phil Chapman than of Stephen Schneider. As a skeptic I distrust arguments that are not based on testable assertions. If I were forming an opinion bases on this segment it would probably be that the argument against man made global warming was stronger. I wondered why you didn't ask Stephen "What if you are wrong?"

The Simon Donner segment was much better.

I found it ironic that the final segment was about media's selective presentation of the facts. (The tobacco connection sounds a little on the conspiracy theory side.)

Nonetheless I continue to enjoy the series.

Thanks SETI!

avatar Jim Evans March 19, 2010 at 6:14 pm

seadevil, you say you are a skeptic who relies on testable assertions and then side with someone who has never done peer-reviewed climatological or meteorological science, and whose claim-to-fame regarding the subject basically boils down to writing a factually questionable op-ed, over someone who has published many peer-reviewed scientific papers in the field.

Not only have you missed a major point of Seth and Molly's piece, but your assessment smacks of being more denial than skepticism.

avatar Steve Bergman October 17, 2010 at 1:27 pm

The geophysicist certainly tried to pull a fast one when claiming that the tagged carbon atoms were absorbed within 15 years, and then comparing that to the IPCC statements on the much longer lifetime of CO2 added to the atmosphere. Of course those particular atoms were absorbed quickly. CO2 is constantly being emitted and absorbed by the various syncs. Most of it at any given time is in the syncs. And those atoms represent a microscopic percentage of the total.

He’s a geophysicist. He knows better than to make such a fallacious comparison and argument. But he thought he could get away with it when addressing a lay audience. Seth challenges him, and his “answer” is just as slippery. He ignores the fact that the rate of emission of the syncs, e.g. the ocean, is related to the amount of CO2 they contain. That’s how an equilibrium works. Again, he’s a geophysicist; He knows this. But he’s intentionally trying to mislead.

That alone should be enough to make anyone suspicious of his statements. But as if that’s not enough, he goes beyond simply trying to mislead the listener, and boldfacedly lies about what is known of the global average temperature in ~1000 AD. But not before slinging a little ad hominen mud at the climate scientists of the UEA.

This fellow’s “arguments” are a textbook example of why critical thinking skills are so important. And of how so many in the general public have been fooled.

avatar Steve Bergman October 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm

One other thing. An update on the “Climategate” mud that Phil Chapman, Geophysicist, was slinging in the interview. Three separate investigations were conducted by:

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee
The Independent Science Assessment Panel
The Independent Climate Change Email Review

All three concluded that there was no evidence of scientific malpractice.

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