Since long interested in nature and science. As a adolescent, I found myself in a time when the ice age doom thinking was in full swing and rapidly followed by a number of catastrophic beliefs, which culminated in the current global warming and climate change belief. All that time I was definitely a believer, I basically believed what the media/scientists were telling us. Since about four years now, I went from a believer in anthropogenic global warming to a skeptic view. The more I was digging into the subject, the more I lost these beliefs.
Challenging my beliefs wasn’t really easy, but in the process I learned a thing or two about climate and weather. By checking facts from both sides I was able to gain some knowledge about how things actually work. The most important thing I learned however was critical thinking, which was certainly lacking in my previous years.
When studying the climate controversy, I came along many good blogs that dealed with the science, but I missed a blog that touched the perspective of the layman. I also found out that one can’t rely on what the media is telling us about this. Climate reporting is mainly one-sided. In this blog I will try to putting the omitted side back into the spotlight by:
- trying to gain some knowledge by studying contradicting claims, with the emphasis on the view of the layman.
- exploring how I perceived these issues in the past and how this perception changed. This includes the assumptions I made before and how they changed over time. The posts in this blog will be written from the viewpoint of the layman and how we can try to make sense about catastrophic thinking.
- commenting on things that strikes me in the media.
Topics in which I have an interest are: catastrophic anthropogenic global warming & climate change, renewable energy sources, science communication, alarmism, media,… but especially the view of the layman in these issues.
Some more info
I have no affiliation with any political party.
This blog is written as a layman interested in the topic. I don’t claim to be an authority on any specific field. All opinions expressed are my own.
Although I don’t believe in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming or climate change, I am basically a green person and try to live that way. I believe we should have respect for our earth and keep our living space as clean as possible. For our own health and wellbeing, but also for the next generation.
For the record, I do not deny that the climate changes, nor that temperatures have risen since the end of the 70ties of last century, nor that the anthropogenic part of the atmospheric CO2 has some effect on temperatures on earth. I am also not really sure if an increase of temperatures would necessarily be a bad thing.
I think we will need alternative sources of energy sooner or later, but I am sure that especially wind and solar are not ready for prime time yet. These are at this moment inefficient, not economic sources of energy and we should not rush them into deployment no matter what the cost. Certainly not in a time of an economic crisis.
Your thoughts are welcome here. They don’t have to be in agreement with my points of view, but be sure they are civil, respectful and on topic. I don’t tolerate personal attacks, nor on me nor on someone else. If I see one, it will be removed. Your first comment will be moderated. There are a maximum of 3 links per comment. Commenting rules can change if I notice things get out of hand.
May I invite you to read this new piece and leave your comments, please. It would be good to get some feedback from a ‘non-aligned’ viewer.
(BTW, For some reason I don’t get notified of your responses to my comments, which explains my delay in responding to your last comment. I will be adding you to my blogroll in the next day or so.)
Thanks Grumpy. I will look into that link in the morning.
I am abroad at the moment, internet access is rather sporadic for the next two days.
Responses to comments: the comments are not treaded, so probably has to do with that. When I comment it is not as a reply to a comment, but to the post. Maybe I should consider changing this behavior.
There is a possibility to receive follow-up on comments (by checking “Notify me of follow-up comments via email”), but then you get a notification for all comments of that post.
Thanks for the intention to add this site to your blogroll. I am planning to reorganize my blogroll and then also do likewise.
This is interesting. Your story and views are almost exactly the same as mine.
Two questions for you:
1) “I went from a believer in anthropogenic global warming to a skeptic view”.
What was it that changed your mind, particularly in the early stages? Can you explain this a bit more?
2) What country are you from? France?
Thanks for your interest, Paul.
1) One of the reasons for this blog was to document this change. I wrote it down in 3 posts detailing the biggest changes. You can find them bij clicking on the category “My Story” or the tag “Changing beliefs”. Best start from the bottom of the page (oldest post) and work your way up (newer posts).
2) I am from Belgium.
What? You expect me to read a blog before commenting on it? 🙂
It is uncanny how close your story is to mine:
* Grew up in the time of the ice age scare
* Until about 5 years ago, thought what we were told was true, except for some newspaper exaggeration
* Started to learn about climate science by reading Realclimate
* Was worried by the aggressive, dogmatic, unscientific tone, particularly response to questions
* Discovered Climate Audit (but didn’t understand it for a long time)
In fact this is a very common route. At the Air Vent blog there is a “reader background” thread which has many similar stories.
This, I can assure you, is a path well trod by many sceptics. I suppose my age has increased my cynicism but I also had no cause to doubt the message. It was whilst looking at what was being done to deal with the problem that I got into looking at the nitty-gritty.
Once one little doubt set in, it wasn’t hard to find reasons to firm up my scepticism. The real problem is that the solutions offered seem designed to avoid reducing emissions whilst at the same time ensuring that substantial amounts of tax revenues are guided neatly into the pockets of those least in need of government support.
Just think of what could have been done with all those $billions spent in failed green schemes and various renewable subsidies.
Thanks for sharing, Paul. Your story and mine look indeed very similar.
The difficult part in the beginning is the mindset. In the beginning I looked with the mindset of “deniers” or “oil-shills” and this had the effect that I didn’t really accepted what skeptics were saying. If that is a tactics of activists, then sure it is working. When I now look back to 4+ years ago, then I am surprised of the U-turn that I took.
The difficult part afterwards is the idea that I should have known better. In all those years I saw all those scares passing and disappearing one by one, I knew a lot about biology, ecology, chemistry,.. and yet just followed the herd without critical thinking (the only critical thinking at that time was: they are exaggerating). It was a humbling experience.
On the bright side: it doesn’t really take that long to take the U-turn and skepticism is deeper then when accepting it from someone else.
These are golden opportunities for “green” entrepreneurs, they get royal support from the government. It was mind boggling to hear how much government money flowed to for example the wind “farms” on the Thornton banks (with probably hardly any emissions reduction, increasing the electricity invoice and creating instability on the grid). Only one (1) politician that I know of raised his voice against this. Indeed, a lot of good things could have been done with this…
hallo, en goede middag …
ik zag jouw reactie, een paar dagen terug, over de 2,3° C Opwarming die wij Belgen al hebben moeten ondergaan sinds het begin van de metingen in Ukkel … ik kan je alleen maar feliciteren voor dit zoekwerk en bedanken voor de link – uiteindelijk – naar de VMM en de cijfers … en zal deze, met enige bronvermelding naar U, ook wat gebruiken op de fora alhier … 🙂
voor de rest kan ik alleen maar Exxon en andere oliemaatschappijen verwijten dat ze niet af en toe een ontkenners-receptie of iets dergelijks hier te lande organiseren … dan zouden we elkaar eerder tegenkomen dan nu het geval is …
groetjes, en keep up the good work ..
Bedankt voor jouw bezoek aan dit nederig blogje, voor jouw reactie en het compliment.
Het doet deugd om al eens een Belgische hits en reacties te krijgen. Sinds mijn reactie op WUWT zie ik al wat meer Belgische bezoekers in de stats voorbijvliegen. Blijkbaar wordt WUWT toch door een aantal landgenoten gelezen.
Ha, die befaamde ontkenners-recepties van de oliemaatschappijen toch. Ik vermoed dat onze uitnodigingen gewoon ergens bij de Post moeten verloren geraakt zijn… 😉
Keep up the good work!
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