A Taxonomy of Climate Camps

Physicist Richard Muller of UC Berkeley offers up a remarkably unbiased classification of climate change thinkers in the unlikely venue of the Puffington Host. I think it isn’t half bad:

In my book, “Energy for Future Presidents” (pg 74) I give the following categories:

Alarmists. They pay little attention to the details of the science. They are “unconvincibles.” They say the danger is imminent, so scare tactics are both necessary and appropriate, especially to counter the deniers. They implicitly assume that all global warming and human-caused global warming are identical.

Exaggerators. They know the science but exaggerate for the public good. They feel the public doesn’t find an 0.64°C change threatening, so they have to cherry-pick and distort a little—for a good cause.

Warmists. These people stick to the science. They may not know the answer to every complaint of the skeptics, but they have grown to trust the scientists who work on the issues. They are convinced the danger is serious and imminent.

Lukewarmists. They, too, stick to the science. They recognize there is a danger but feel it is uncertain. We should do something, but it can be measured. We have time.

Skeptics. They know the science but are bothered by the exaggerators, and they point to serious flaws in the theory and data analysis. They get annoyed when the warmists ignore their complaints, many of which are valid. This group includes auditors, scientists who carefully check the analysis of others.

Deniers.They pay little attention to the details of the science. They are “unconvincibles.” They consider the alarmists’ proposals dangerous threats to our economy, so exaggerations are both necessary and appropriate to counter them.

But of course dissent from the strict alarmist/”exaggerator” party line is not tolerated; hence the crusade by several state attorneys general to criminalize climate dissent.

Meanwhile, the redoubtable Richard Lindzen of MIT has up a nice short video at Praeger University summarizing the whole scene in about five minutes:


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