The differences between believers and skeptics in just a few bullet points

The same day that I published previous post, Judith Curry also published a post on her blog “Climate Etc.”: NARUC Panel Discussion on Climate Change. NURAC being National Associated of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and at its recent Winter Meeting the following question was asked: You’re Still Not Sure Global Warming is Real? She participated in that panel discussion and made a summary of her opening statement.

In my post I made two lists. One list with what believers as well as skeptics agree on. A second list with things skeptics don’t agree with. Interestingly enough, Judith Curry made also made similar lists (but from the view point of climate scientists). Her list was much more condensed and to the point. Not seen a summary as concise as this one.

Here goes:

Disagreement. So, what do climate scientists agree on? Scientists agree that

  • Surface temperatures have increased since 1880
  • Humans are adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere
  • Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have a warming effect on the planet

However there is considerable disagreement about the most consequential issues:

  • Whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes
  • How much the planet will warm in the 21st century
  • Whether warming is ‘dangerous’
  • And whether we can actually do anything to prevent climate change

Why do scientists disagree? There are a number of reasons:

  • Insufficient observational evidence
  • Disagreement about the value of different types of evidence
  • Disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for linking and assessing the evidence
  • Assessments of areas of ambiguity & ignorance
  • And finally, the politicization of the science can torque the science in politically desired directions.

Brilliant in its simplicity. What is there to say more?

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2 thoughts on “The differences between believers and skeptics in just a few bullet points

  1. Kuldebar

    For me, this information is foundational and useful for any intellectually honest person to fully understand that there’s an actual ongoing debate over Anthropogenic Global Warming/Climate Change. Unlike what one would gather from most major media or government outlets…

    Reply

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