Honoris Causa


Thank you for your answer. I share your conservatism in the usage of “scepticism”. My interest for the moment is the usage of the term “skeptic” in Groundskeeper’s political hit job.

The term is defined on p. 30:

Finally, the last faction is the “skeptics”. That perhaps is a poor choice of names for this group of people as they have many beliefs and positions. However, the chief defining characteristics of a skeptic is someone who does not believe that it is getting warmer, or does not believe that increased GHGs cause the planet to warm. As alternatives they look to other causes for the changes in the temperature record.

We see that this description shares our concerns.

But now, let’s look again at the quote I provided above, which appear four paragraphs below that definition :

The be sure, early on in the debate some of the sckeptical science did have questionable funding sources. But this was not true for the skeptics that actually proved to be leaders or agenda setters — not McIntyre and not Watts, certainly.

So the obvious answer is: no, they’re not skeptics. (Disclosure: I’m relying on hearsay re: Tony’s beliefs.) But the sentence is arguably expressed in a way that if I were a skeptic , I would want them in my tribe, at the very least honoris causa. We all want to feel close to leaders and agenda setters, especially the market targetted by Groundskeeper’s political hit job.

Regarding Steve’s perspective, here’s what we can read a bit later, on p. 45:

In 2002 while the Kyoto treaty was being discussed, McIntyre had a lunch discussion with a friend who was a geologist. The friend mentioned that he thought the time scale the climate scientists were considering was very short in geological time and that the warming was nothing to take note of. McIntyre, motivated by nothing more than curiosity [etc.]

On the basis of this heartwarming story, we can thus say that the Auditor has been “primed” (if that effect arguably exists [1]) by the geological perspective.

The class of scientist who tend to be most unimpressed with IPCC-type climate science are geologists – which is where I got started in this. If you took an Oreskes-type survey among geologists, I don’t believe for a minute that you would get anything like IPCC solidarity. Unlike most scientists, geologists also happen to know a lot about climate history.


This geological perspective might explain why we see an Archibald’s figure in the preface of the political hit job, p. 13, with this comment:

If this view [let’s call it the geological perspective] is accurate, then, worries about global warming seem, at best, premature, and the use of the term “Optimums” to describe times when it was warmer than today may indicate that some warming is not that bad.

We can presume that Groundskeeper was not made aware that he could say “arguably” to dispense himself of any responsibility regarding the peddling of the geological perspective.

We can find more details on this geological perspective on Archibald’s personal website. There is also a very nice picture of him with Vaclas Klaus at the Hradcany Castle, in Prague.

Now, according to Groundskeeper’s definition, is David Archibald a skeptic?

In fact, is there a skeptic that is both a leader or an agenda setter?

Many thanks!

[1] A reference to http://climateaudit.org/2012/10/14/lewandowsky-and-hide-the-decline/

(Source: collide-a-scape.com)