Subscribe in a reader


Username
Password
Keep me logged in
New? Register here


It's the sun
Climate's changed before
There is no consensus
Surface temp is unreliable
Models are unreliable
Al Gore got it wrong
Ice age predicted in the 70's
CO2 lags temperature
Mars is warming
Global warming is good
View All Arguments...


Latest Posts


About Skeptical Science

This site was created by John Cook. I'm not a climatologist or a scientist but a self employed cartoonist and web programmer by trade. I did a Physics degree at the University of Queensland and while I achieved First Class Honours and could've continued onto a PhD, I instead quit academia and became a professional scrawler. Too much doodling in lectures, I think. Nevertheless, I've pursued a keen interest in science and if anything, found my curiosity about how the world works increased once I wasn't forced to study for impending exams.

My interest in global warming began when I drew a cartoon spoof of the TV show 24 that wondered what Jack Bauer would do if Al Gore was President and global warming was the "threat du jour". I watched An Inconvenient Truth for research which I found thought provoking although I didn't know what to make of all the science.

I then got into some discussions with a family member and diehard skeptic who handed me a speech by Senator Inhofe. It was fairly light on actual science but some research revealed the arguments were misleading and flawed which surprised me - I thought such a prominent spokesman for global warming skeptism would've done his homework more thoroughly.

Since then, I've scoured the original peer reviewed studies in an attempt to get past the political agendas and cherry picking. When I think I've worked out the truth of a particular issue, I find websites and blogs that hold the opposite view and present my case. This kind of vigorous discussion is an ideal way to highlight any flaws in my logic and gaps in my research. I've come to the conclusion that global warming is being driven by manmade CO2 emissions but I hope to be wrong and research each skeptic argument, in a strange way hoping to be convinced by it. I'm still yet to meet a skeptic argument that is even vaguely convincing.

I've noticed two patterns in global warming skepticism. Firstly, many reasons for disbelieving in anthroporphic global warming (AGW) seems to be political rather than scientific. Eg - it's all a liberal plot to spread socialism and destroy capitalism (or sometimes just plain dislike for Al Gore). As one person put it, "the cheerleaders for doing something about global warming seem to be largely the cheerleaders for many causes of which I disapprove".

But beneath the politics is a more elemental instinct - an aversion to alarmism. We've been burnt before. The media predicted an ice age in the 70's which never eventuated. Y2K was going to destroy society - it was barely a hiccup. And I won't deny there are alarmists in the global warming camp. Urgent cries that the ice sheets are on the verge of sliding into the sea. Hysteric predictions that Manhattan will soon be underwater. Or emotional pleas to save those cute little polar bears. Sadly, alarmists seem to be the loudest voices in the global warming debate. But that doesn't change the science underneath.

So I avoid the distractions of political agendas, ad hominem arguments and hyperbole about "the new religion". Instead, I concentrate on the science. And I noticed when the discussion did get to science, the same flawed skeptic arguments kept popping up and got passed around the blogosphere, Chinese whispers style. This website is an attempt to examine all the scientific arguments that reject AGW.

John Cook 2007