A lot of people have commented that they were happy to see “truly open debate” here. But I’m wondering: Has the second half of the long discussion on this global temperature thread been constructive?
I am of two minds on this one. It is interesting to hear other viewpoints, and to learn something new along the way. But it’s frustrating to respond to the same lame claim a dozen of times. As if the presence of a unit root would falsify the whole edifice of anthropogenic global warming (no, it does not). As if there’s no evidence for AGW (yes, there is plenty). As if scientists have all conspired to skew the evidence (no, they haven’t. Still not). As if climate science doesn’t follow the scientific methods (yes, it does. Slides here (from slide nr 30 onwards)). As if there’s no scientific consensus on AGW (yes, there is. Overwhelmigly so).
Lots of people set up an argument, devoid of any substance or relevance, and yet draw far reaching conclusions to the effect that a whole scientific field is radically wrong. If that’s not an example of hubris I don’t know what is. Yet in the same breath they accuse the scientists and/or me of being arrogant. Nou breekt mijn klomp! (“Now my clogg breaks”)
I don’t want to start moderating the comments more tightly, but I certainly understand that others blogs do. If you’re bombarded with non-sensible arguments and baseless accusations the whole time, then discussion becomes pointless and you’re wasting a lot of time responding. I don’t have the feeling those who make sweeping statements as in the examples above are open to an honest discussion of the science. Their mind seems made up. I’m aware that they would probably claim the same about me. In such cases there are not many options left besides agreeing to disagree. I’m all for building bridges and finding common ground. But it’s also obvious that some distances are just too wide to be bridged.
So back to the beginning: Are people happy with the discussion because “for once, a ‘warmist’ allowed us to say whatever we wanted to say”? Or was there real value to it? Mind you, when the discussion was on substance, I enjoyed it. But when it got sidetracked in merely repeating talking points and accusations, it got tedious.
See also this very insightful comment from Robert Grumbine about the scientific culture and the blog culture (which he describes as ‘having a beer’). He also has a post about the difference between discussion and debate (where we gradually changed from the former to the latter on the busy thread).
Now if you really want to contest the four examples I gave above, please try to build a coherent argument based on evidence. Otherwise, I suggest we agree to disagree.