A philosopher on AGW

Some interesting questions for both sides of the debate.

I’m told that a denialist is someone who espouses a view that flies in the face of a recognized scientific consensus. First question: Why do I need to espouse my denial to qualify? Answer: Because denialism is now being cited as a hate crime. The mere having of the view that, for example, anyone with haggis on her breath should be killed, is only a thought crime. But as long as I keep my thoughts to myself, celebrants of Robbie Burns Day are in no danger. No danger no harm. No harm no foul.

Second question: A consensus recognized by whom? It can’t be those who subscribe to that consensus, because then anyone who denies what the Creation Scientists are telling us would count as a denialist. After all, they too see eye to eye with each other.

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Third question: 97% of which scientists?

And fourth: Have they confirmed AGW themselves and independently, or do they merely believe it via the same means the rest of us do? After all, a computer scientist is a scientist, but what does she know about climatology? And if one climatologist is ratifying the findings of a colleague because the first has no reason not to trust the second, then a 97% consensus has no more probative force than would a minority report.

Climate, etc.