Friday, August 1, 2014

Challenge Is Closed!

The deadline for the Global Warming Skeptic Challenge has arrived and I will not be accepting anymore submissions. I have received 71 official submission and responded to 53 as of this morning. So far, none was able to show man made global warming is not real. I will respond to the remaining 18 as quickly as I can.

There were some complaints about the challenge, all of which were invalid and I will address a couple of them here.

The number one complaint was 'it is not possible to prove a negative.' This, of course, is a false argument. I can certainly prove a negative. I can prove the Sun is not in my backyard. I can prove that a man's arm will not grow back if it is chopped off. There are many other examples, but I think I made the point. Besides, it is an irrelevant point. The challenge was to people going around saying global warming is not real and they can prove it. They are the ones that made the claim and I was doing nothing more than inviting them to do so. It is pretty shallow for people to tell the public they can prove something, then to claim it is not possible to prove it when challenged.

The second most frequent complaint is that it was not valid because I was the sole judge. This was particularly amusing because of the number of complainers that cited the JunkScience (what an appropriate name) Ultimate Global Warming Challenge. Take a look at the rules and you will see he is the sole judge. But, there is a lot more to the story. The JunkScience challenge is actually the inspiration for this challenge. I am one of the few people that submitted an entry and I did it so he couldn't claim no one would even try. I started my challenge right after I made my submission in response to his challenge. Notice a couple of differences between his challenge and mine. First, he charged $15 to make a submission, I charged nothing. Second, he never provided a review of the submissions. He just announced they hadn't won. I have, or will, provide my response to every submission. By the way, my submission to that challenge was the start of my book, Undeniable: Dialogues on Global Warming. This is one example, but there are actually many denier challenges out there and all that I know of are the same - they are the sole judge of all submissions. So, my question to people who objected to me being the sole judge is this - did you also object to all of those challenges on the other side, or do you only object to ones that support climate science?

Most of the submissions were based on a mere lack of homework. They weren't really illogical, just uninformed. There were some that actually used some science and made an honest effort. The typical flaw in these is that the person wanted to reach a desired conclusion and adjusted, or selected, the science accordingly (cherry-picking). There were a lot where the submitter tried to rewrite science. This is highlighted by a few submitters who stated they expected all established science to be thrown out because he was right and the scientists were wrong. There really is nothing you can do for these people, they are delusional and nothing can reach them. But, then there were the really bad ones where I truly thought the person was on drugs (or needed to be) when they made their submission.

This challenge was never designed to convince people that don't believe in anthropogenic global warming. I have had way too many conversations with these people to ever think that. When someone tries to get me in a debate on the issue I just ask them one question, "Is there anything I can do or say that would convince you to change your mind?" If they say, "No," then I move on to something else and we save a bunch of aggravation. I have never had anyone say, "Yes." That should tell you something.

No, this challenge was for people that have not made up their minds yet and want more information. The denier organization has engaged a strategy of bullying scientists to force them out of the public forum. That way, the only voice the public hears is theirs. I admit, it has been very effective and they are winning the fight. I am providing an opportunity for people to hear the other side of the debate. I have received a number of threats over time and many, many attempts at bullying. They quickly find out they have picked the wrong guy to try and bully. I am prepared to stand up to them.

So, the result of the challenge is a large treasure-trove of anti-climate science claims and responses. All of it in the raw form. None of this has been sanitized to make it look nice and clean. I want everyone to see just what the deniers side of this battle looks like. They were very cooperative in this regard.

In fact, I think this challenge has been so successful that I am working on the Challenge 2.0. I have been approached by someone that is willing to pledge $100,000 to the prize. I am working with him to set it up and it will, hopefully, be officially announced before the end of the year. There will be some changes, due to lessons learned from this experience, but it will be pretty much the same. There will be one major difference, though, there will be a panel of judges.

So, I will be making a search for judges over the next few months to find people with the credentials and willingness to act as judges. If you are interested, please contact me through this blog. There are some requirements, though.

1) No one associated or affiliated, in any way, with the Heartland Institute or any organization associated or affiliated with the Heartland Institute will be accepted. No exceptions.

2) No one with a financial outcome in the the debate will be accepted. This includes people that own stock in any of the fuel or energy companies.

3) All judges will have their resumes or curriculum vitaes posted, so they must have bona fide credentials to qualify as a judge on climate science issues.

4) All judges must be prepared to devote the necessary amount of time to respond to all submissions.

5) Qualified people that do not believe in AGW are acceptable as long as they have not received any financing from any of the denier organizations devoted to funding the undermining of climate science.

There may be other requirements, but this is a start. If you think you are interested in being a judge, or know someone that might be interested, please contact me and we can discuss it.

Christopher Keating

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