An article over at Crikey.com makes the point which underpins the very existence of this blog (reg. required):
The main problem appears to be that many of the non-scientists in the environment movement did a bad job of sounding like authoritative scientific voices. This was compounded by the fact that many of the authoritative climate science voices were unprepared for the personal and political vitriol that the sceptics were willing to throw at them.
But just because you are losing a fight doesn’t mean it can’t be won. Rather, it might mean you need to change strategy, tactics, personnel, or all of the above.
The strategic error that continues to haunt the environment movement is the decision to counter the sceptics’ message of “doubt” with a message of “certainty”. Such an approach was neither intellectually honest nor politically effective. It ignored the inconvenient truth that science is never “certain” and it placed the onus on the environment movement to have all of the answers, to all of the questions that the climate sceptics could think up. If you have ever seen a scientist try and explain the chronological dispersion of carbon isotopes in a 10-second news grab you will know what I am talking about.
Ironically, if those from the environment movement had themselves embraced the product of doubt they could have taken the sceptics head-on without legitimising the sceptics’ often bizarre theories.
The environment movement fought the wrong war.
And yes, this is a war.
Every time a climate change denier balks at being called “a denier” my response is “suck it up princess”.
Look at what is happening around the globe at the moment.
To quote James Hansen, climate change is here and it is worse than we thought: do you think we should be sparing the feelings of these self proclaimed “sceptics” every time they shed a few crocodile tears?