When “alarmists” and “deniers” see eye-to-eye

I’ve paid tribute to the curiosity of the forum posters on Jo Nova’s blog, and I genuinely think many of them have questions they feel need to be answered. And while the climate debate can be tough, at least I think both “alarmists” and “deniers” (to chose each others labels for the opposing sides) can agree on some things.

As Tom notes in the continuing discussion on the issue:

“…Richard Courtney’s excellent analyses should be a reminder to all those who, like me, don’t have a profound grasp of the science, NOT to trade counter-theory with warmists. It’s not our job, and it just provides warmists with a fresh diversion from the task we should all be holding them to – presenting their theory in falsifiable form.

I can understand Richard’s reasoning, but I don’t have the knowledge or means to test it. Yet I trust it, (subject to the dictates of true scepticism!) because I can see that it takes the form of falsifiable argument and observed data. Furthermore, his analyses have been published, and therefore available to falsification, for some time, and I have seen no attempt, successful or otherwise, to do so.

With people of Richard’s lucidity (even if he’s wrong – see, I really am a sceptic!) the task of countertheorising is in good hands. As layfolk, this sort of “proxy” reasoning not only can guide our judgement of science, but is probably the best we are ever going to get. So let’s leave the countertheory to those few (although greatly over-represented at this site) who really have the wherewithal to kill the warmist red herrings when they are spawned.

Spot on Tom.

We all have to recognise the limits of our own understanding and capabilities. We need to leave it to the experts – climate scientists – to work out the science. As lay persons, we will never prove or disprove AGW in a blog post or forum discussion.

So what do I think was achieved in this debate?

I think both “sides” walked away with the recognition that science is complex, and that we need to trust the scientific method to determine the facts.

Addendum:  Richard S. Courtney’s qualifications need to be closley looked at.

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