In the most fundamental sense, it means that your opinion runs counter to those who are using science to drive a political agenda that must be reinforced by public policies and taxpayer funding. The word “denier” is a pejorative that was copied by the environmentalists from “holocaust denier” – someone who disputes a demonstrable and historical fact. And, in that sense, the environmentalists are dead wrong because the assumption that global warming is demonstrable and an historical fact assumes – well – facts not in evidence. In reality, global warming exists only as a hypothesis supported by computer models. Models that have dodgy or incomplete assumptions, use dodgy and highly-manipulated data, and must crank-in unrealistic tweaks – such as doubling the concentration of a minor greenhouse gas – to produce the scenarios reported in the mainstream media.
In fact, controlled skepticism is at the foundation of the scientific method. One puts forth an idea, attempts to confirm it with observations and/or computations, publishes the results in a respected publication, and waits for others to confirm, reject, amplify, or modify the hypothesis based on their own work. Science is not performed by consensus and there is nothing scientific about tallying up the number of papers purporting to support the hypothesis and the number of papers purporting to negate the hypothesis and drawing a conclusion. Due to the vagaries in funding, it is less likely that researchers will use their time, effort, funds, and reputation to refute the work of others rather than attempting to perform their own original work. In the final analysis, if significant government or institutional funding is directed at those who support the government’s or institution’s agenda, there is likely to be more of those positive projects rather than projects negating the findings of others.
Of course, deniers do not deny that climate change is taking place …
Some activists would have you believe that skeptics and deniers actually deny the existence of climate change. Nothing could be further from the truth. Historical records show the climate change – when the Earth has been colder and when the Earth has been hotter – even before man’s impact on the environment, generally estimated to be around the time of the industrial revolution.
Likewise, skeptics and deniers do not actually deny the impact of man’s activities on the climate or any other segment of the biosphere. Areas have been deforested, areas have been cultivated, areas have been paved over, man has created artificial bodies of water, and done other things that may affect the local climate, and cumulatively the global climate. The question remains how much of what we are seeing globally is due to nature’s normal variability and what percentage is man’s signal. Truth-be-told, it is next to impossible to accurately, or even inaccurately, measure man’s climate input signal against the background noise of normal climate variability.
What deniers are saying is that we need more research before jumping to conclusions …
The fundamental mistake made by climate researchers is to assume that the climate can be represented accurately by a series of equations based on physics, chemistry, and mathematics. In just two cases, we can see this folly played out time and time again. One need only look at the output of the current climate models against the actual observations to see that significant deviations exist in the models themselves.
Case one, the behavior of the greatest greenhouse gas, water vapor. Because carbon dioxide, treated by the researchers as a causative, mitigating, or triggering agent is relatively small in comparison to water vapor, one cannot accurately model a phenomenon that does not take into account only limited subsets of the physical phenomena known as climate change, but must expand the model beyond the capabilities of current models.
Case two, the behavior of deep ocean currents where much of the planet’s heat energy resides and appears to be the driver of significant and extreme weather effects. Because accurate historical observations are extremely limited, there is no decent basis to predict how this global climate driver will act or react in the future.
The real drivers of global climate change are magnitudes above man’s current climate signal and include: the Sun’s energy output; the Earth’s position relative to the Sun, the Earth’s precessional and rotational dynamics, the Earth’s vulcanology and plate tectonics; the deep ocean currents, and the greatest greenhouse gas, water vapor. All of which cannot be significantly affected by man’s activities.
And, then there is the case to be made for self-regulating feedback loops that exist in things like water vapor. As the temperature increases, ocean water evaporates and forms a cloud, the cloud shades the ocean, as the water cools and atmospheric conditions prevail, the water is returned to the oceans in the form of precipitation – rain. This is only a simplified look at one of the feedback loops that affects our planet. Let us extend our case to deal with carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide absorbs energy from the Sun’s solar output, and re-radiates it. Simple enough. But, where most people get it wrong is that they assume that this continues to heat the planet. What really happens is that the temperature does not continue to rise, but that cooling is delayed. Something that anyone who has experienced a muggy tropical night laden with water vapor understands instinctively. But all of this does not happen in a vacuum, there is a subtle and not-so-subtle interplay of many elements – perhaps far to complex to model on a fine enough scale to predict the future outcome of global climate. In fact, since weather is a naturally chaotic system, it may be impossible to predict the future shorter-range weather past a certain point and that the weather trend that makes up the longer-range climate may be similarly unpredictable. Yes, there are broad cycles that are discernable in historical records, but we simply do not know, with any degree of reliability or specificity, if these data points can be used to predict future climate.
One problem with the models is granularity. They overlay a grid on the Earth with a resolution that is no more detailed than approximately 60 miles. As anyone can observe, weather phenomena can change dramatically in a far smaller space – say in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range – and thus cumulative effects might be erroneous. Add to this the homogenization of weather data; where the data is statistically massaged and may no longer be comparable to the original observations.
Recent distortions of allegedly homogenized data is illustrated in these charts <Source> …
As you can clearly see, manipulation of the input data that drives global climate models may already foreshadow the results in producing erroneous conclusions. It is not known how much of the original historical weather data remains in the major scientific data repositories – much of it having been questionably replaced by statistically manipulated data. This is not to say that anything nefarious or conspiratorial may have occurred, only the need for scientists to create data that worked with computer models – filling out a data series that contained missing or obviously erroneous observations.
What the scientists cannot explain …
It appears that for approximately seventeen years there has been no global cooling like that predicted by the global climate models. Where did the heat energy go? Why do the models fail? All good questions demanding more research leading to a better understanding of the science of global climate.
Dishonesty and disinformation abounds …
There is little or no doubt that a small number of climate activists have attempted to control the scientific discussion in peer-reviewed scientific journals. By promoting those works favorable to their own research and denying access to works skeptical of their own research, they have produced a skewed record that needs to be reexamined by credible scientists before it is accepted as being suitable for public policy discussions.
One of the most prominent climate activists, whose work is universally cited in the mainstream media, who created the so-called “hockey stick” depiction of global climate change that drives the political discussion is engaged in a lawsuit. His so-called “trick” in creating the “hockey stick,” as revealed in the leaked ClimateGate e-mails was to combine his tree-ring data, with truncated data from another researcher, and extend the trend with observational data.
Here the activist researcher/author attempts to disavow authorship of the now infamous “hockey stick” …
In their brief, the CEI Defendants suggest that the University of East Anglia's investigation actually found that the hockey stick graph was "misleading" because it did not identify that certain data was "truncated" and that other proxy and instrumental temperature data had been spliced together... This allegation is yet another example of Defendants' attempts to obfuscate the evidence in this case.
The "misleading" comment made in this report had absolutely nothing to do with Dr. Mann, or with any graph prepared by him. Rather, the report's comment was directed at an overly simplified and artistic depiction of the hockey stick that was reproduced on the frontispiece of the World Meteorological Organization's Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 1999. Dr. Mann did not create this depiction, and the attempt to suggest that this report suggested an effort by Dr. Mann to mislead is disingenuous. <Source>
And yet he claims authorship in his resume (Curriculum Vitae) …
Which brings us to the point of asking which scientists can we believe?
Which climate scientists appear to have produced flawed work containing errors that continue to be repeated Which scientists have produced credible work based on “local” results and that cannot be extended globally? And, which scientists work has been validated by the independent, confirmable work of others? As to those IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) folks, most of them are not working climate scientists, but bureaucratic governmental employees or representatives of foundations and other institutions. They certainly have their own United Nations’ agenda that deals with money and political power. An agenda that may not serve the United States well as it presumes to violate our national sovereignty and give third-parties control over our economy.
Bottom line …
There is enough uncertainty about global climate change that corrupt ideological politicians should be restricted from using the various climate scenarios from computer models to drive public policies which alter our economy and reduce our freedoms.
I am a denier – I deny that the government has enough data to demand that I sit idly by while they enlarge the size and scope of government; while they create a single, perpetual political party; while they raise our taxes for projects that favor the special interests who supply campaign funding, media attention, and voter support; while they continue to drive up the cost of energy to subsidize those energy forms that are not cost-effective and would not have industry support were it not for grants, subsidies and legislatively-mandated use; and while they continue to regulate how we live our lives.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius