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Earth Science

The Limits To Skepticism 1093

jamie found a long and painstaking piece up at The Economist asking and provisionally answering the question: "Does the spirit of scientific scepticism really require that I remain forever open-minded to denialist humbug until it's shown to be wrong?" The author, who is not named, spent several hours picking apart the arguments of one Willis Eschenbach, AGW denialist, who on Dec. 8 published what he called the "smoking gun" — it was supposed to prove that the adjustments climate scientists make to historical temperature records are arbitrary to the point of intentional manipulation. The conclusion: "[H]ere's my solution to this problem: this is why we have peer review. Average guys with websites can do a lot of amazing things. One thing they cannot do is reveal statistical manipulation in climate-change studies that require a PhD in a related field to understand. So for the time being, my response to any and all further 'smoking gun' claims begins with: show me the peer-reviewed journal article demonstrating the error here. Otherwise, you're a crank and this is not a story. And then I'll probably go ahead and try to investigate the claim and write a blog post about it, because that's my job. Oh, and by the way: October was the hottest month on record in Darwin, Australia."
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The Limits To Skepticism

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  • by ls671 ( 1122017 ) * on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:32PM (#30419112) Homepage

    I am very sceptical with regards to a "not named" author claims... ;-)

  • by jelizondo ( 183861 ) * <jerry DOT elizondo AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:39PM (#30419148)

    I beg all of you to please see this TED Talk [ted.com] before modding me down again. Ive been labelled heretic for posting on related stories in the last couple of weeks, actually modded insightful until the thought police arrived and modded me troll.

    The weather exhibits chaotic behavior [wikipedia.org] and to find precisely one single cause for variation is futile, like CO2 emissions from human activities.

    The hottest day on record! screams the summary. Er, well since 1941. Well and good, how do you know the hottest day last century in Australia didn't happen in 1940?

    The Earth has been getting warmer [wikipedia.org] since about 10,000 years ago. Truth. AGW doesn't explain that. But it does follow that the Earth was getting warmer while we humans still lived in caves and were probably numbered in the thousands, not in millions of people. No, we are told. AGW is about the speeding up of warming. Really? We know for sure what the speed of variation would be without humans around? Let us not confuse premises with facts.

    The variables are many and not one of them is well understood: ocean currents, atmospheric currents, solar radiation (insolation), the effect of the strength of the Van Allen belt, volcanic eruptions, etc. No weather model can correctly predict past, known, climate; how can one believe that the future predictions are correct?

    We need a more open discussion and a lot less cries of burn the heretics. We are talking about science, not religion.

    BTW, if anyone knows of a climate model that correctly predicts past, known weather, please post a link.

  • If it requires a PHD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Norsefire ( 1494323 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:49PM (#30419214) Journal
    If the dissenters are morons who don't understand it, what does that make the believers? Blind-faith followers? You can't have your cake and eat it too.
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:53PM (#30419224)

    Denialist ostriches aren't disagreeing because they have a qualitative or quantitative argument to the contrary, because their objections are based on ideology, not science.

    The hard part is differentiating between the ideologues and the merely vociferous. Refusing to consider anything that has not been peer-reviewed is an ideology all of its own. Ultimately it comes down to a judgment call for anyone who is less than a perfect expert in the field. Although I am a big fan of applying the little boy who cried wolf criteria - the more unsupported claims someone makes, the less weight their opinion should carry. Of course that requires investigating prior claims which is generally more work than most press-release reporters are willing to do.

  • by arminw ( 717974 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:56PM (#30419236)

    ...You can prove anything when you're allowed to select the peers reviewing....

    Here is an article that would have likely been rejected by those who have control over the peer review process:

    http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm [oism.org]

    You will find other interesting stuff on this website, that many if not most on Slashdot would disagree with.

  • by Puff_Of_Hot_Air ( 995689 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:17PM (#30419394)
    Why was this modded flamebait? The scientific community is still a human institution, and thus vulnerable to the various human weaknesses. My concern is not with the science behind climate change research, it is with the politicising and extremist ideological behaviour on _both_ sides. To me, this is the issue with these emails. I know the political bullshit goes on, but it worries me when bullshit looks as though it may be influencing the scientific process. A rationalistic approach is the only hope we have for determining the actual reality of climate change, and so I don't like to see "delete that data", or "hide that trend". I don't care if the scientists in question believe they need to do this for the "greater good". I want my science to be science.
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:21PM (#30419430)

    one of its distinguishing traits is that it does not publish bylines. Ever.

    A benefit of that policy is that it discourages showboating ala Geraldo. Within the biz, everybody knows who wrote what so the authors get their credit within their professional circles. But the general audience, for whom the articles are meant to be written, has no name to hang any hype on.

  • Re:PhD required? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by joe_frisch ( 1366229 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:25PM (#30419456)

    You don't need a PhD to publish in a refereed journal. If you find an article you disagree with, publish a different analysis.

    Most science really is difficult. You don't need a formal education, but you do need to be able to read the real journal articles (not some condensed version) and write coherent objections. Even better - join a climate research group.

    My field (high energy accelerators) has nothing to do with with climate change, but it has similar problems. When we propose a multi-billion dollar, 10s of kilometer long accelerator, someone will argue we should use NEW laser acceleration technology - it would let you build the accelerator on a tabletop. The arguments as to why this doesn't work are quite technical - but are nonetheless true. (BTW - its just to dang expensive IS a perfectly valid argument)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:52PM (#30419652)

    Hokay. As someone who works in science publishing for a medium-sized (neither one of the top, nor one of the inconsequential) publishing houses:

    i) If you're casting doubt on our editorial board's position then you will indeed be expected to have more solid evidence than some random, 'out there' paper that blew in, unsolicited. That's just the way of the world. Got the evidence? All is well, it's probably an awesome scoop!

    ii) If you scoop an important and well-funded group's work, *awesome*! Get over here, we'll get you peer-reviewed thoroughly and double-quick, pulling in favours if necessary - that scoop will be great for our impact factor!

    iii) Kluwer are goddamn shady, make no mistake, but I work for a company which is both for-profit and for-science. There's no conflict, because so far we haven't been offered any money _not_ to publish the best science we can. Hell, it'd be *great* if someone would, but from experience I'd have to conclude that there _is_ no group with bottomless pockets waiting to bribe us into submission...

  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:54PM (#30419682) Journal

    That was once the rallying cry of the AGW "consensus" -- that skeptics didn't publish in peer reviewed journals. The skeptics, however, managed to do so. The response of the "consensus"? As seen in the leaked emails, they attempted to prevent the studies from being published and to boycott the journals which published them. So enough about the "peer review" stuff. Number one, it's been done. And number two, it's quite disingenuous to demand peer reviewed articles while working behind the scenes to prevent them from being published.

  • Three things (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jacques Chester ( 151652 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:06AM (#30419756)

    1. I'm from Darwin. It's a lovely town to live in -- relaxed, beautiful and friendly (though on the downside there's a housing crisis now). It's always great to see the homestead up in lights. I miss living there.

    2. Adjustment is a fine thing but of course subjective. I'd be interested in seeing the average adjustment across all data points. If the law of averages holds -- ie if there really is correction for effectively randomised local conditions -- then the worldwide average correction should be close to zero. I don't think that's too much to ask, is it?

    3. A worldwide emissions trading scheme will create an estimated $3 trillion market. That's hammer-of-god money. It scares me, personally. Carbon taxes have the same effect in economic terms, with fewer places for fiddles to hide. It's also easier to offset carbon taxes with income tax cuts.

    Until recently I've been pretty much convinced of human global warming. Now I'm beginning to wonder. I'm not a skeptic / denialist / seal-murderer per se, but the current round of stuff is ... unsettling.

  • Re:gone (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HeronBlademaster ( 1079477 ) <heron@xnapid.com> on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:28AM (#30419914) Homepage

    I don't have a problem with people who thing humans are causing "global warming". I have a problem with their intention to force everyone to do what they want in order to fix it. I was going to elaborate on this a bit, but I decided to just quote Orson Scott Card's commentary [ornery.org] on the situation:

    The correct solution to the oil problem, according to the ["global warming" religion], is to have fewer humans. Now, I haven't noticed them volunteering to lessen the population starting with themselves; nor have I seen their heroes bicycling everywhere (environmental ayatollah Al Gore's plane being a legendary instance).

    But they do systematically resist every solution that doesn't involve wrecking the American economy and destroying the American way of life.

    No insecticides! But also no genetically altered crops with enhanced resistance to insects and disease!

    No coal-fired power plants! But also no clean nuclear plants! (Even though France has proven that standardized nuclear power is safe and relatively cheap.)

    Yes, you can build windmill farms -- but you can't put them anywhere.

    Solar collectors? Excellent -- but don't put them anywhere, either, because they interfere with the natural ecology -- even in the barest desert. (God forbid that lizards should have more shade.)

    Collect solar power in space and beam it to Earth? Fine -- except that you are forbidden to actually receive the power anywhere because it's too dangerous.

    Hydroelectric power? Great idea -- except that you can't build a dam anywhere because it transforms a surface environment to an underwater one, which, naturally, annoys the squirrels. Squirrels, being natural nonsinners, take precedence over evil, sinful humans, the only animal that is forbidden to act according to its nature.

    Electric cars and public transportation? Great idea -- but not until after we've converted all power plants to non-carbon-emitting fuels. (Never mind that it can only ever happen the other way, converting to electric cars immediately, so they're already in place when the oil runs out or, as I hope, we stop buying it because we've met the need in other ways.)

    The conference in Copenhagen is intended to find a way to "stop and reverse climate change". That's a direct quote from Obama's press secretary [youtube.com]. Too bad the people in charge of this stuff won't let us actually do any of the things that could make progress toward their goal.

    I agree with you, AlexLibman - the "global warming" believers need to show us some concrete evidence that A) we're changing the earth's climate, B) it's a bad thing, and C) we can undo the damage we've done.

    So far all they've shown with any degree of certainty is that the climate is changing - they haven't shown that we're causing it. (I know, I know, science disproves, it doesn't prove, but at least they could explain how they know the temperature change isn't merely the earth's natural cycle - and we do know the earth has a natural temperature change cycle, and that we are in the "temperature slowly rising" portion of that cycle. I guess the "global warming" believers think we're speeding it up?)

    So they've shown us half of part A, they've given us unsupported "educated" guesses about B, and they're holding conferences on the assumption that C is true. I don't know whether we're causing "global warming" - but honestly, I don't care. We have bigger, more immediate problems to worry about.

    Why don't we focus on smaller, provably achievable goals first, like reducing pollution (which is an excellent goal quite apart from this "global warming" shenanigans) by switching to nuclear power? If we switch, and there's a measurable effect on the planet's temperature, then we'll have some evidence pointing at their larger claims, and then we can decide what to do about it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:36AM (#30419984)

    > The article's point isn't to ignore all that. It's that to say that some random blogger
    > likely doesn't have the tools to correctly analyze the data, and may well be doing their
    > own shaping of the facts.

    Nor does some random assistant patent examiner [wikipedia.org]

  • by budgenator ( 254554 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:42AM (#30420020) Journal

    Before everyone starts putting down the author for being anonymous, please observe that this is The Economist. For those of you not familiar with that particular publication, one of its distinguishing traits is that it does not publish bylines. Ever. Editorials in The Economist are backed by the reputation of the editorial staff of The Economist, not of any individual writer.


    I don't understand that formula. I don't have the math for it. The paper goes on to reject the Trewin formula for reasons which, again, I don't have the math to understand. This is academic-level statistics. Scepticism's limits [economist.com]

    WTF The Economist's editorial staff doesn't understand math? I can easily understand that they may not understand why a formula may be rejected in a particular context but to not understand the formula itself! I think their reputation just FUBARed.

  • by rantingkitten ( 938138 ) <kitten&mirrorshades,org> on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:42AM (#30420022) Homepage
    I've never understood why this is even an issue. Okay, from a purely scientific standpoint it would be interesting to know whether or not humans are having an effect on the climate. But as a practical matter I don't see why anyone has a problem with cleaning up our act. The basic goal is "Hey guys, maybe we'd all be better off if we found better ways of producing energy than by burning stuff and letting the smoke into the atmosphere."

    The only arguments I've heard from the (usually conservative) anti-global-warming crowd are absurd. They fall into two main points as far as I can tell -- one is "It's anti-capitalist" and the other is "Government has no business telling private companies what to do."

    In fact this is perfectly illustrated by the above post, who says

    Naturally, someone that hates big business and "the man" may also psychologically have a reason to believe in AGW

    How is that "natural"? How does that even remotely follow?

    "It's anti-capitalist" is just ridiculous. As an example, say we want to reduce emissions and stop using coal, so let's use nuclear. Where do they think the nuclear plants are going to come from? Someone is going to have to build, staff, and maintain those, and sell the resulting energy at profit. There are thousands of potential jobs just from the construction alone.
    Someone has to design, manufacture, install, and maintain the smokestack scrubbers. Someone has to design, manufacture, and upkeep new and more efficient engines. Or solar panels, or hydroelectric power stations, or whatever. All creating jobs, all being done at profit.
    There's a whole green industry waiting in the wings to do these things. How on earth is it anti-capitalist, anti-business, or anti-"The Man" to see a need for better and more efficient service, and provide that need at profit?!

    "Government has no business telling private companies what to do." I don't get this one either. Private industry would never regulate itself in consideration of anything but its bottom line. There's a reason we're not all still working 14 hour days and dealing with child labor -- and it's not because corporations voluntarily relaxed those standards. Why does anyone think it's a good idea for companies to crap all over everything, dump any pollutants they want anywhere they like? But the second someone suggests that maybe that's not good, out comes Fox News and their ilk to blame government for ruining everyone's fun.

    Finally, I don't see how anyone can argue that we can continue to take billions of tons of carbon-based fuel, set it on fire, release whatever combustion byproducts into the atmosphere.. and absolutely nothing bad will happen. So, again, even if it's not having any actual effect on the global temperature, wouldn't we all be better off not breathing that crap?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:45AM (#30420038)
    Just from which group of people do you believe that the scientists who approve fund actually get these funds from? It seems you are the one who doesn't quite understand the system.
  • by glodime ( 1015179 ) <eric@glodime.com> on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:52AM (#30420102) Homepage

    For those of you not familiar with that particular publication, one of its distinguishing traits is that it does not publish bylines. Ever. Editorials in The Economist are backed by the reputation of the editorial staff of The Economist, not of any individual writer.

    This is a convenient way to pass off work done by someone recently out of business school as the result of years of experience in writing about a particular subject area (not to be confused with years of research and/or work in a subject area or industry).

  • by CranberryKing ( 776846 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:53AM (#30420114)
    Obama & Alan Keyes: Keyes points out that Obama was born in Kenya to which Obama replies, "So what? I'm running for Senate, not President."
  • by anonicon ( 215837 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @01:02AM (#30420160)

    if they do know more about the topic then answering the skepticism shouldn't be a problem should it?

    Answering the skepticism is completely acceptable. Answering the skepticism one skeptic (of millions) at a time, with each skeptic having a different set of skepticism, and frankly not asking in the spirit of education but in cynicism IS A PROBLEM.

  • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @01:11AM (#30420220)

    Yes except peer reviewed journals do in fact routinely publish anti-AGW articles.

    The problem is that none of these articles have been successful in establishing an alternative model.

    So that's a big old FAIL for the anti-AGW guys.

  • by DoktorFaust ( 564453 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @01:21AM (#30420284) Homepage

    Should you're words carry more weight because you have been trained in an area you are speaking on?...yep. Should you be completely dismissed because you don't have a PhD?...no and to suggest it is irresponsible and idiotic.

    I largely agree with the spirit of what you're saying here, but you're conflating two issues. The author of the Economist article claims to not have the expertise to judge all of the scientific claims made in various quoted articles; so from his perspective, the smart thing to do is to believe the peer-reviewed consensus. That's all he's saying. However, this is NOT to say that global climate scientists within the field should do the same (and I think this is your point). They *do* need to listen to people outside their field and keep and open mind. It's their job.

    To also suggest that someone not so decorated by academia can never show statistical manipulation is stupid as well.

    You're absolutely correct, but the problem is that Mr Eschenbach *hasn't* shown such manipulation. Actually, the real problem is that Mr Eschenbach *thinks* that he has, but doesn't actually know what he doesn't know. In fact, in Mr Eschenbach's response to the Economist article [wattsupwiththat.com], he states the following:

    The question is, should temperatures more than a thousand km away from Darwin be used to arbitrarily adjust Darwin’s temperature by a huge amount? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.

    This quote demonstrates exactly why someone like Mr Eschenbach should be ignored by most people. First, the "arbitrarily adjust" comment reveals that he didn't even understand the explanations given for how things were adjusted (they weren't arbitrary, and that was wells stated). But second, he simply dismisses out-of-hand the possibility that two datasets separated by 1000 km can't be correlated!!! Uh, whoops.

    This pretty much proves that Mr Eschenbach is wasting our time. He hasn't taken his own time to understand the arguments the scientists are making (or even basic statistics) and simply continues to repeat his claims.

    So the fact that he isn't "decorated by academia" certainly doesn't mean we should dismiss his claims outright, but it probably does mean we should be a little bit more skeptical of his claims that are so far outside of his knowledge base.

  • by bnenning ( 58349 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @01:29AM (#30420320)

    CAFE standards work.

    No they don't. SUVs came about as a direct result of CAFE loopholes. (They're "light trucks", yeah right). Increasing the gas tax would be far superior; not only would it encourage fuel efficiency in a way that can't be gamed, it would encourage other ways of saving gas like reducing commute distances.

    I completely agree that revenue-neutral carbon taxes would be a good policy; even if AGW is completely false it would be no more economically harmful than our current income and payroll taxes.

  • by Neon Aardvark ( 967388 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @01:32AM (#30420352) Homepage

    Here we have climate change skeptics, on the payroll of big oil getting the same weight as scientists with real, irrefutable data

    Perhaps you could back this up in some kind of way.

    Which climate skeptics are on the payroll of "big oil" and are getting the "same weight" as pro-AGW-IPCC scientists?

    What irrefutable data shows AGW to be true?

    Look forward to your references, you're not just pulling this out of your ass, I'm sure. Heaven forfend.

  • by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @01:43AM (#30420416) Journal

    On this website is nothing interesting. Except for people that want to investigate the AGW denier backgrounds.



    A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th and early 21st centuries have produced no deleterious effects upon Earth's weather and climate. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly increased plant growth. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in hydrocarbon use and minor greenhouse gases like CO2 do not conform to current experimental knowledge. The environmental effects of rapid expansion of the nuclear and hydrocarbon energy industries are discussed.

    The first article starts with this abstract. Nearly ever sentence in this abstract that makes a claim like leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th and early 21st centuries have produced no deleterious effects upon Earth's weather and climate contradict basic physics knowledge you learn in the 5th grade ... and which I have learned 30 years ago.

    It is not funny (just did not like to start the sentence with: Isn't it funny ...) that our day pseudo scientists (likely some 25 year old uneducated deniers) don't even understand why this Abstract alone is so disappointing.


  • The argument that you need a PH.D to understand the climate models you folks have created means you've simply created a magic language like the religions of past - Latin for example being the official language of the Church which conveniently was not understandable by the common man. By creating a complicated language and set of mysterious rituals (like the 'Trick' of the one guy everyone on the Sky is Falling Brigade uses to pump up their numbers) you don't manage to be convincing. People aren't at the point any more when some guy in a robe speaking in a indecipherable tongue is enough to be convincing. So pronouncing that you'll cease to answer critics if they don't rise to your level is counterproductive. But if you want to climb on your high horse, feel free. That's sure to convince reasonable people that you and your fellows aren't full of it.
  • by nathanh ( 1214 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @04:11AM (#30421140) Homepage

    Any undergraduate student taking a statistics course can tell you when you're biased or hinted at what a dataset OUGHT to look like (expectations, or beliefs)

    Oh, I completely disagree. Most undergrad students are morons. The only reason they pass at all is because they copy off their smarter friends for their assignments. They typically fail all the mid-term exams then squeeze a passing grade in the final exam because the lecturers are lazy and recycle exam questions, so the students just memorise all the previous years exams.

    I've had an undergrad in third year (final year) who still didn't know what a pointer was. Didn't have a clue. Couldn't explain it to me even with helpful prompting. He graduated! He's probably working for EDS or IBM these days at $2000/day, coding a monolithic piece of unworkable software for Defence while still not knowing what a pointer means.

    A postgrad friend in biology gets paid to mark undergrad's assignments. She brings their scribblings to the pub and we all have a laugh at some of the stupidity they write. Another friend was a lab supervisor for comp science; he quit after only two months because he couldn't handle the sheer idiocy on display from some of the students.

    I think people put too much faith in that "university degree". It's so easy to get even idiots are getting them these days. I wouldn't trust an undergrad with anything important. I certainly wouldn't listen to their opinion on AGW statistics!

  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @05:39AM (#30421446) Homepage

    I think there is actually a very easy way to solve this problem...show us the code. Give out ALL the raw data, every little scrap, along with the source code for the programs they are using to manipulate it.

    While that may sound great, it's not always possible, or even legal. There are WMO rules, for example, that prohibit the sharing of certain data. That's why, for example, there are some major hurricane models whose results are publicly available but whose data is not available. I think it's stupid, but it is the case.

    Beyond such barriers, there's also the issue that many of the scientists who have been resisting FOI requests had initially been abiding by them. There seems to be a perception in the scientific community that certain people are filing FOI requests deliberately to waste their time in order to stifle research. Or worse. You need to keep in mind that most of the people filing the FOI requests are ideological foes of the scientists they're submitting requests for, since almost all climate scientists accept AGW. So, for example, one denier (a financial trader named Douglas Keenan who considers himself an amateur climate scientist) submitted a FOI request for the data on a paper authored by Phil Jones and Wei-Chyung Wang, which Jones complied with. Keenan "discovered fakery" in the paper and tried to get Wang arrested. The university invested and cleared Wang of any wrongdoing, but the damage was already done. Is it any surprise that Jones started trying to find excuses to duck FOI requests in the future?

  • Re:gone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Troed ( 102527 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @07:23AM (#30421764) Homepage Journal

    It is a greenhouse gas. No blah blah bullshit, it really is. Physics says so, observation says so. Observation also tells us that levels of CO2 are skyrocketing.

    Yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas. However, its effects decrease logarithmically - the change from 0 to 20ppm make a huge difference. From 20 to 80ppm a lot happens as well. From 280 to 380 ... not so much.

    http://www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/co2greenhouse-X2.png [junkscience.com]

    Regarding "sky rocketing" levels of CO2, quite the opposite. We're in a very CO2-starved environment compared to the majority of the time plants and animals have existed on the earth. We've had more than a magnitued higher CO2-levels in our atmosphere without oceans going acidic, the planet becomign like Venus etc.

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image277.gif [geocraft.com]

    This is undisputed (really) science. The big question is, why's everyone pretending as if it wasn't?

  • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @10:39AM (#30422472) Journal

    What makes you think senator Inhofe and his pals at the Heartland Institute are not "AGW skeptics"? - Is it the fact they are sock puppets for the coal industry?

    I'm a "skeptic". I don't work for the energy sector.

    Here's why I'm a "skeptic": If these politicians truly believed in AGW, would they be flying private jets to Copenhagen and riding around in Limo's (1200 of them)? Would you be wasting energy running your coal powered computer to read this message? Would Al Gore live in a mansion that belches more CO2 in a month than my neighborhood does all year? Of course not. But they would do all these things if they were using it to gain power, all while telling me that I have to cut back, obey their rules, and give them more money!

The other line moves faster.