08 November 2009

Open Invitation

UPDATE: Day 6 -- This post has been up for about a week, and as you can see there has been some interesting and thoughtful discussion. Some of the discussion has been extremely useful for me to sort out how best to present my arguments to others, particularly on the (admittedly ill-formed on my part) question of whether current technology is sufficient to meet the challenge of decarbonizing the economy. Thanks to all who have replied thus far.

Of the people that I called out, William Connolley is the only person to respond, and he did so in a thoughtful way. He indicated that at least on the points that I raise here, there is little in the way of substantive disagreement. So thanks William. Tim Lambert showed up in the comments wanting to play "he said/he said" but beyond that, he refused to engage the substantive issues. Joe Romm, the Real Climate guys and other loud critics are no shows.

What do I take from this? Well, what else to conclude other than that my strongest critics would prefer not to debate me directly on substantive issues? The invitation remains open and will remain so. On a few of the 10 points I will probably offer up a revised perspective in a separate thread in recognition of the conversations so far. When I see criticism of me focused on trivial issues or based on a misrepresentation of my views, I'll point people to this thread and invite them to engage on more important questions.

So when you hear that I am a "denier" or the "most debunked person on the internet" you might ask why it is that those making such claims refuse a perfectly good opportunity to show the world that this is so. Calling names and mobbing/bullying on the internet is easy. But engaging in substantive discussions is easy too. The choice will remain theirs.

Here is an open invitation to my loudest critics. I'd like to invite Joe Romm, Tim Lambert, the guys at Real Climate, William Connolley and anyone else (apologies to critics not mentioned, no slight intended;-) to engage in a substantive debate on the following 10 conclusions that I've reached about the climate issue, based on the fact that the human influence on climate is real, serious and deserving of significant policy attention:

1. There is no greenhouse gas signal in the economic or human toll record of disasters.
2. The IPCC has dramatically underestimated the scale of the stabilization challenge.
3. Geoengineering via stratospheric injection or marine cloud whitening is a bad idea.
4. Air capture research is a very good idea.
5. Adaptation is very important and not a trade off with mitigation.
6. Current mitigation policies, at national and international levels, are inevitably doomed to fail.
7. An alternative approach to mitigation from that of the FCCC has better prospects for success.
8. Current technologies are not sufficient to reach mitigation goals.
9. In their political enthusiasm, some leading scientists have behaved badly.
10. Leading scientific assessments have botched major issues (like disasters).

Here is my guarantee:

Your comments will be allowed here in full, they will not be deleted or snipped. I will delete comments that are off topic much more rigorously than I usually do to keep a clear focus. Anyone can participate, but I will require respectful, substantive discussion at all times. If there is enough interest, I will be happy to spin off unique threads for any of the 10 topics that people want to challenge or debate.

OK guys here is your chance to step up and show the world where I am wrong based on a substantive discussion of issues that really matter. What do you say? All are welcome.