Kate Mackenzie Some climate change and sceptical arguments, upsummed

Blogger Andrew Sullivan has opened an interesting discussion of climate change scepticism.

It begins with Sullivan quoting The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, quoting the From the Archives blog. Here are a couple of highlights from that original post:

But here’s the thing I wonder. How do people who deny climate change reconcile that with guys like this, who are spending entire careers on teasing out really non-dramatic aspects of climate change? This guy is not measuring carbon concentrations in oyster shells for the glory. There are thousands of these people, dorkily and steadily piecing out the causes and predicting effects.

Like, they spend the morning thinking up esoteric ways of measuring wave energy by sand lost at different gauges around the state, and the afternoon faking their data so they can please Al Gore? They’ve done this now for ten years and they plan to make an entire career out of making up the detailed groundwork for fake climate change? All of them? On nothing?

One respondent on Sullivan’s blog makes the comment – also made by some sceptical Energy Source readers – that it’s not the ‘GW’ in ‘AGW’ (anthropogenic global warming) – it’s the A, the manmade theory. True, this is an increasingly popular argument among sceptics these days, and many of those oppose the term ‘climate change’, arguing that the climate changes naturally.

Another Sullivan reader, however, believes that only covers “one small battalion in a broad coalition of deniers“, including everyone from people who don’t understand trends to those who think climate change science is an Al Gore-led conspiracy, and many more. The end result, he writes, is that many people are confused and do nothing.

But here’s another comment, this from one of our own readers, that further articulates the A-in-GW sceptics’ argument:

Also, the financial cost could be prohibitive and I have yet to see a convincing cost/benefit analysis. Then if it turned out that GW is natural after all we could have spent all the money on CO2 reduction and still need to spend a similar amount on mitigation.

Related links:

Should climate sceptics have a bigger say at Copenhagen? (FT Energy Source)