Oh Happy Day!

I’ve had a great day today! Among other things, a visit from one of my favourite clients brought an unexpected conversation.

When you’re a climate skeptic, there are some things you just don’t say. Clients are well-known for giving their opinions, and, as a consultant I need to be trusted, neutral. You learn diplomacy, and mostly just to shut up, especially when someone is waxing lyrical about energy and particularly renewables.  I do pose questions about cold weather/climate contingencies occasionally – it’s called technical due diligence 😉

Walking my client (small company CEO) back out to his car today as I headed to lunch, he remarked about the weather and said words to the effect ‘so much for global warning’.  Then, suddenly, unbidden, and with all the zeal of a recent apostate, he said:

“Actually, I think I’m becoming a global warming skeptic”

I smiled.  I suppose he was emboldened by my silence (i.e. my not rushing to defend the faith), and elaborated that he’d been doing a lot of reading about it. I said I’d always felt I needed to hear both sides of the story.

In five minutes I learned that water vapour is more important that CO2 (which has a diminishing effect with every doubling); climate change is natural and the sun (and water vapour) have a huge influence. He certainly has been reading! As we parted he mentioned the names of a few very familiar websites and blogs; I suggested a few more that he hadn’t come across.

I hope he understood the need (still) to be cautious about who he ‘comes out’ to.  It’s still a jungle out there when you have investors and government busybodies to worry about.

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9 Responses to Oh Happy Day!

  1. Verity Jones says:

    Ach – forgot to mention that among the other good things that made it a good day were Steve McIntyre’s Ship of Fools Chronology, and Nature embracing ‘the pause’.

  2. alexjc38 says:

    Great stuff – gathering momentum, hopefully.

  3. Bloke down the pub says:

    Perhaps we should create a funny handshake so that we can identify fellow sceptics. Or maybe you could sell Verity lapel badges that we can reveal to fellow travelers in the hope of making first contact? Personally I think I’ll just carry on yacking away to anyone who’ll listen and take the consequences when they turn out to be a greeny. Come to think of it, that’s when it becomes the most fun.

    • Verity Jones says:

      Trappings of a secret sect? Perish the thought!

      I’ve made it a game to come up with reasonable scientific objections when anyone mentions climate or global warming. Depending on their response I get a good idea of their take on the whole thing. If they are pro-AGW I challenge a little more, shocked as a scientist that they’ve bought the whole kit and caboodle: “Terrible isn’t it, but as a scientist I do rather wonder at the airbrushing of the Medieval Warm Period.”).

      If they seem to be sceptic or sceptic-leaning, then we have a good old discussion.

  4. Keitho says:

    My extended family thought I was a “swivel eyed loon” on climate change for quite some time. Nowadays they seem perplexed by the “pause” and are asking lots of questions of me. Soon I expect they will have always agreed with my position, it is the nature of things.

  5. tempestnut says:

    Verity, it is indeed a good day when a fellow traveller identifies themselves as a climate sceptic. As more people are turned off AGW and become “sceptical” I think it important that we find our own neutral term to describe ourselves rather than use the terminology that has developed around what I think has been one of the most divisive and destructive debates in human history. Scientific realist sounds a better term but I’m sure there must be many better.

    Science is a funny thing. I’m not a scientist I’m an engineer, but have always loved science and can understand almost all of it except the mathematical nonsense of quantum mechanics. Over recent years I have read avidly about the dinosaurs in order to understand what the earth was like back then and perhaps the climate. I hoped this would help my efforts to find a killer fact that would blow AGW to bits. I thought I was developing an understanding until about 6 weeks ago when I read 2 unrelated bits of science that made me realise I was perhaps very wrong, and made me realise that much of what I was accepting as science was in fact just “made up”. It took me a week to 10 days to accept I had wasted many months barking up the wrong tree. Its a hard thing to do. What I have come across is controversial and may be wrong, but it answered enough questions to make me realise we know so little, and the only thing that is written in stone when you become dogmatic and certain, is you are likely to be wrong. Climate science because government policy responses has attracted our ire, but I’m seeing the same dogma of settled science in other disciplines. Damm.

    • Verity Jones says:

      I was initially tempted to say ‘good idea’ over a new name for climate sceptics, but actually I am quite proud to be labelled a sceptic. In the future, when history is written with hindsight, I think the label will remain a good one – those who questioned and did not fall for the hype-over-evidence.

  6. Mother Nature has a perverse sense of humor as evidenced by the “Gore Effect”.

    The eastern half of the USA is experiencing an unusually cold winter that is causing this camel to consider migrating 500 miles south from my present location near Orlando, Florida. In spite of massive disruptions to air travel, deaths due to hypo-thermia, traffic pile ups and related problems there are stiill imbeciles blaming our troubles on “Global Warming” caused by burning fossil fuels:
    http://www.weather.com/news/science/environment/arctic-blast-linked-global-warming-20140106

    Useful idiots like these make us skeptics look even smarter than we are.

    [Reply Stay warm Peter. Verity]

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