I came across the blog Scottish Sceptic at the weekend. At the site, the owner has been compiling a non-polemical summary of the mainstream sceptic view of the science. Unlike here, the statement studiously avoids discussion of policy or politics. I made the following comment in the hope of furthering discussion.
I have had a look through the above, and it appears a fair summary the sceptic position of the science. In general it shows how magnitude and likelihood go in opposite directions. The best corroborated science has trivial implications. The most alarming predictions are basically of the form “If A then maybe B. If B then possibly C. If C happens in a certain way then it could be D. D is an extremely alarming situation” This then gives the headline like
“Leading scientists are concerned we are heading for D“.
Having read quite widely on sceptic ideas, on the subject of climate models, sceptics view them as “black boxes“. This would not be concerning if they followed the normal scientific procedure of rigorously evaluating the predictions with the actual data, and adjusting accordingly. Instead, it appears to be past data that gets adjusted to the models, along with some very fuzzy analysis.
Another point is that sceptics tend to see a scientific approach as questioning, identifying anomalies, and getting ever more precise answers. Mainstream climate science is nearer to a definition of “science is what scientists do”.
That leads to another point. Sceptics tend to demand higher levels of evidence. The mainstream seems to accept levels of evidence that a criminal court of law would reject. “Scientists believe/agree”, or “Climate Models predict” or comments a court would reject such views as either hearsay or unsubstantiated. So in the wider world sceptics are not the ones with the marginal position.