by Judith Curry
Josh’s Valentine cartoon has the caption “Share the Love, Man” with a valentine aimed at Lisbon. Almost three weeks after the Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation, is anything new evident from the participants that is of relevance to reconciliation?
Workshop participant Steve McIntyre suggests a Two Way Street, but does not seem to be sharing the love with this comment: “the Team boycotted the Lisbon reconciliation workshop in order to perpetuate its fatwa against critics.”
The Steig-O’Donnell conflagration continues to be volatile, with little hope for reconciliation.
Workshop participant Fred Pearce seems to enjoy the drama of the dispute. In his review of the play The Heretic at the Royal Court (which is about the climate debate.) he says:
The Heretic never quite gets what heresy involves. There are no sweaty moments of revelation; no internal anguish; no journey of discovery. A shame, as there are great real-life models out there. Last month I shared a conference table with Judy Curry, a US climate scientist. She was labelled a “heretic” in Scientific American for criticising colleagues over the East Anglian row and trying to find common ground with sceptics. Her story is better than Diane’s – a riveting drama of big egos, corrupted institutions, divided loyalties, conflicted motives, personal anguish, and, yes, real debate about science and saving the planet. I can see Juliet Stevenson playing Judy. It would be more exciting and more real – but also more ambiguous – than this nicely written but ultimately boorish and confected conspiracy tale.
Workshop particpant Nick Stokes has started a conversation at his blog about which words to use in describing skeptics.
Nick Stokes’ thread
Nick is trying to address a challenge that has stymied me, among others. I tackled this issue on an early thread called “Doubt” where I proposed getting rid of the labels. A nice idea, but labels are just too useful in discourse on the subject to avoid.
Nick discusses the pros and cons of “skeptic”, suggests “contra.” Among the terms suggested in thread are heretic, dismisser, so-called skeptics, dissidents-conformists, critics and challengers, doubter and believer, climate concerned.
Ron Broberg presents a complete taxonomy: Denier, Lukewarmer, Consensus, Alarmist/Catastrophist.
DeepClimate proposes a continuum of sorts:
So it comes down to “reasonable” and “unreasonable” critics of the consensus, I suppose. And there may be more of a continuum int the crucial lukewarmer range. Still it should be relatively easy to place scientists on that continuum with Curry and von Storch towards the consensus side of lukewarmer and Lindzen and Spencer closer to the denier end. It’s more difficult to classify the non-scientists such as McIntyre and McKitrick.
Some interesting ideas here.
Convinced – Unconvinced
Yesterday I received an email, out of the blue, from a bonafide expert on conflict analysis and resolution who wants to discuss the climate conflict with me. Wow, I really look forward to that conservation (and will try to get a guest post for Climate Etc.) In the email, she used the words “convinced” and “unconvinced.” I thought: Bingo! Could these be the words we have been searching for? Lets try this out and see where it goes.
Convinced – unconvinced allows for a spectrum, and also the opportunity distinguish what a person is convinced or unconvinced about and the epistemic level of their conclusion (that includes both the amount and quality of effort in drawing their conclusions. I agree with Nick Stokes that the reference for being convinced or not should be the IPCC, parsing this into the Physical Basis, Impacts, and Mitigation/Stabilization Policy. So an individual could be convinced about the physical basis, but unconvinced that this change would be dangerous or that CO2 stabilization is needed. Clearly separating out what a person is convinced-unconvinced about is a big part of the problem in any sort of sensible classification.
So, can I convince anyone else to start using this taxonomy? And further developing it? I look forward to your thoughts on this.