It’s another conversion. The real environmentalists will all end up on the skeptical side. Notably, the switch is never the other way. (Richard Muller, remember, was never a skeptic). The climate scare works through bullying and suppressing one side of the story, and once open-minded people find the other side there is no going back.
What would it take to change your mind?
David Siegel has written six books, four of which were international bestsellers. He’s a Democrat voter, and he wants to preserve the environment. He wants that so badly he actually cares about the data, the graphs, and the arguments. (He cares about the outcome, not just about whether he looks like an environmentalist.) When challenged to find evidence, he looked, and was surprised, then he looked more and was shocked. “As I learned more, I changed my mind. I now think there probably is no climate crisis and that the focus on CO2 takes funding and attention from critical environmental problems.”Which is a similar path to mine eight years ago. I was once a Green who believed in man-made global warming. (And I was a vegetarian).
Having studied both sides, he’s written up a very sharp page, condensing what he discovered, and with a personal narrative, plus great graphs and provocative questions. Siegel wants skeptics to reach a newer crowd, to push the boundaries by sending them links to his page. (Hey, it’s a good marketing strategy for his site right? True, but he does make a real point.) He’s written one page hoping to win over people who are more liberal minded, and it just might open some eyes. It’s very readable.
I did a similar thing. As a former Green, my instinct was to compress the whole debate to four points and put it in The Skeptics Handbook. (My first post). The second Skeptics Handbook expanded into issues that show up on the left leaning radar — more about people, intimidation, vested interests, and money.
He sent his feature article to news outlets, and they all knocked it back. (Imagine that!) It’s the scoop that no one wants, because of the baggage. Even newspaper editors don’t want to be called names like “denier”.
Welcome to the world of skeptics David, where you find out who your true friends are!
He has a good eye for graphs (and photographs too).
On a shorter time scale, we start to get some perspective:
At this scale of 11,000 years, it doesn’t seem like CO2 is “driving” temperature. We are in the middle of an upswing coming out of the Little Ice Age, but there is also an overall cooling trend.
The hottest year ever?
Seigel mocks the panic over “the hottest year” ever by graphing the last 20 years on a 20C scale — the daily variation we live with:
To give you a sense of how up and down this really is, I traced the graph above [of the pause in the last 18 years] and put it in perspective of the 20 degrees C (36 degrees F) we might experience in a single day:
Same data, different perspective. Can you see the hottest year on record now? In any given year, several weather stations will record dramatic “all time highs” with no effect on global temperatures.