Why are so-called global warming "skeptics" not skeptical of other "skeptics"?
So I guess I should ask one. Recently there was a report published by an Argentinian environmental group called FEU. The report was mostly on climate impacts on food production, but they also had a "key finding" that the planet will warm about 1.5°C between now and 2020. This is quite obviously wrong, and was based on two errors - ignoring thermal inertia of the oceans, and anthropogenic cooling effects like aerosols.
Richard Lindzen periodically publishes articles in the media making the same errors, only he uses them to (incorrectly) conclude that we haven't seen as much warming as we should have by now, therefore global warming is nothing to worry about.
The FEU mistake was dumb, but it was unintentional. Climate scientists, bloggers, and journalists jumped all over it, attempting to correct the errors before the paper was published, and then correcting them in the media after it was published. Lindzen on the other hand has been writing articles making these same errors for over 3 years. Other climate scientists have pointed out his errors, but Lindzen continues to make them, most recently publishing a media article containing the mistakes on January 15th (republished by WUWT on the 17th).
WUWT criticized the FEU study for making the errors, and criticized Scientific American for originally running an article with the FEU errors. Scientific American ran a new article correcting the errors just a few hours later. Meanwhile WUWT ran the Lindzen article containing the same errors, and has not corrected them to date.
Clearly the climate scientists and bloggers and journalists in this case behaved appropriately. They saw an error, and even though it was made by "their side", they corrected it. Meanwhile the "skeptics" continue to propagate the exact same errors made by a fellow "skeptic".
This makes me wonder, why are so-called global warming "skeptics" not skeptical of other "skeptics"?
1) Yes, I do have sources. We were trying to keep this article simple (the mainstream media may pick it up), but in the future I'll write another one going into more detail about the numbers.
2) Lindzen was using the IPCC figures - except he only used the positive forcings.
3) We reduced human aerosol emissions, we didn't eliminate them. There are still lots of aerosols in the air - see the Asian Brown Cloud as one major example. Lindzen ignored aerosols in his calculation. He cited Ramathan as a reference arguing that the postive forcing from black carbon cancels out the negative forcing from aerosols. But Ramanathan has concluded that the negative forcing is far larger. In other words, Lindzen referenced a source which contradicted his position that we can ignore aerosols.
Like I said, I'll go into that in more detail in a future article. This one was more about the media response than the errors themselves.