Almost four years ago the first design for Real Skeptic was launched, this was on the 30th of November, 2011. A no-frills design, which made it a tad restrictive in what was possible with it. The second incarnation of this design, which was intended to fix some of these limitations, was launched on the 6th of March, 2013.
Science deniers never cease to amaze me with the tactics they use to discredit research and people. So they cannot win the debate on the science as it’s not on their side. This causes al kinds of interesting mental processes and conspiratorial thinking to deal with this disconnect from reality. Research by Smith and Leiserowitz shows that conspiratorial thinking is the number one response from climate science deniers towards global warming.
This is also why you see the assumption among science deniers that people have at best “questionable motives” or at worst “nefarious intent.” Which largely explains the defamation you see on science denier blogs and websites. It doesn’t take much for science deniers to jump from assuming nefarious intent to assigning nefarious intent and screeching “fraud” and “fakery” (see ‘climategate‘ for the perfect example).
Guest article written by Rose Andreatta.
By the time a team of five climate experts finished responding to the serious errors in a paper led by climate contrarian Christopher Monckton, they had more than a quick critique on their hands. In fact, the team—made up of Mark Richardson, Zeke Hausfather, Dana Nuccitelli, Ken Rice and John Abraham—had so much upon which to comment, they wound up publishing their thorough debunking in the same journal where Monckton and his co-authors published their original paper.
Guest article written by Holly Vesco.
We’ve all heard the question, and perhaps even asked it ourselves, “Just how do scientists know that?” The question is innocent enough, but all too often it’s asked with a sense of distrust and even with a touch of condescension. Honestly, with or without the skepticism, it’s a question worth asking and answering.
It’s perfectly fine to ask how science knows what it knows and to have a desire to understand how the evidence supports the conclusions scientists come to. Those kind of questions are actually a large part of what peer-review does. The type of skepticism that I take issue with (the kind this article is addressing) is different, it doesn’t allow people to follow the facts, but to distort the them to fit their previously held beliefs. This way of thinking turns the question “how can they know that?” into a declaration of “they can’t know that!” That version of skepticism is not true skepticism, but instead it’s just a fancy way of saying, “I don’t like it, so it’s not true.”
Producing my videos and writing my articles is often
time-consuming and can be very costly. Just interviewing scientists at the AGU Fall Meeting can cost thousands of dollars to hire someone from the San Francisco Film Union (without it I’m not allowed to film). Each year I also spend over a thousand Euro on software licenses, equipment, and hosting. I love what I do, but these costs restrict what I can do as I have a very small budget.
Everyone at Skeptical Science spends a lot of their time reading the scientific literature and listening to experts. Without that we wouldn’t be able to write all the material that’s published on Skeptical Science. It’s a lot of work, especially when you do this with a critical eye. Our goal, after all, is to ensure that what we write reflects the scientific literature on the subject as accurately as possible.
The materials created by Skeptical Science are used by teachers, politicians, and of course by users on the internet to rebut climate myths. Thanks to this a lot of people have seen materials produced by us, even though they might not know that they have.
Guest article written by Brian Ettling.
In March 2015, a freshman high school student from Vermont named Robin wanted me to answer questions for her school science class climate change project. She asked to interview me because of my experience as a park ranger seeing climate change while working at Crater Lake National Park over the past 23 years. Even more, I spent the past four years at Crater Lake communicating about climate change during my evening campfire program and creating a park handout on the impact of climate change on Crater Lake.
Her final interview question for me was the most profound question anyone has asked me about climate change. Robin wanted to know:
Scientists are sceptical and questioning by their very nature. They love to poke and prod everything to see if it withstands scrutiny. So when scientists agree this is a sign that a question was investigated thoroughly and based on the evidence scientists then have an answer they can agree on.
This makes a scientific consensus the biggest threat to the denial of any scientific fact. Hence you see the “there’s no consensus” mantra on subjects like evolution, GMO safety, and of course global warming and climate change. That’s why studies like Oreskes 2004, Doran 2009, Anderegg 2010, Cook 2013, and Verheggen 2014 are targets for climate science deniers:
Tackling what scepticism is and explaining how to recognize pseudo-scepticism is one of the main driving forces for articles on Real Sceptic. A lot of the misinformation and incorrect scientific claims you’ll see originate from pseudo-sceptics, and knowing how to recognize them and their unsupported claims is important. Without the proper tools you’re vulnerable to the misinformation they spread.
Working with scientists for over a decade has taught me one thing: they are an interesting and varied bunch. Fiercely dedicated to their chosen career, love what they do, very enthusiastic when given half a chance to talk about their research, and very inquisitive. They perk up when somewhere a scientist says “huh, that’s funny.” After all, this often means there’s something new and exciting that they can dig into.