Keith Kloor is a climate skeptic

Once in a while someone commits a Freudian slip and you get an enormous window into what they are thinking. Keith Kloor committed one recently and immediately put a whole lot of people, including Kloor himself, in trouble.

Kloor’s writing generally consists of vast swathes of copy-pasted quoted material. Falling prey to his usual style, Kloor quoted a commenter as ‘concisely expressing’ his thinking on climate change. Want to know what that looked like?

I categorise myself as somebody who recognizes that additional CO2 in the atmosphere as a result of man’s activities (fossil fuel burning and land use change) will have an effect on the balance of radiation coming into and leaving our atmosphere.

I do not have a confirmed view as to exactly what the impact of the CO2 will have (feedbacks etc being uncertain) but I know that it must have an effect – that’s physics.

Seriously? Virtually everyone in the climate debate can believe in this, including the so-called deniers.

Let us see how many problems this creates:

[1] Kloor routinely bashes skeptics, treats them like children, thinks Anthony Watts is one extreme of a spectrum the other end of which is Joe Romm, thinks those who object to use of ‘denier’ are shedding crocodile tears, routinely equates climate skeptics to ‘anti-vaxxers’, anti-evolutionists, calls them ‘politically motivated’, ‘mobsters’, ‘tribals’, ‘partisans’, ‘cranks’, ‘capos’, ‘thugs’

But his thinking on CO2 and the climate system completely matches theirs.

[2] Many skeptics find that, while they agree with some propositions of the climate consensus, it doesn’t add up to the whole that is portrayed. Skeptics provide reasons for why they reject aspects of the current consensus or the whole. Kloor rarely if ever evaluates any scientific claims put forth by the consensus, does not understand the salience of scientific disputes, and strictly speaking possesses no formal background to evaluate scientific claims.

But yet, he does not accept the conclusions of consensus climate science.

[3] After having implicitly rejected the broad conclusions of the consensus science, Kloor remains supportive of consensus science and its efforts.

[4] Not only is Kloor not really convinced by the science of impacts of increased CO2, he hides this fact well. So well that it took an alert Tim Lambert to pounce on the comment where Kloor let it slip. When confronted by the apparent mismatch, he clammed up.

So in summary, Kloor bashes skeptics but thinks just like them, has no mechanism of evaluating science but rejects it, reject the science of impacts yet pretends to support it, and is not really convinced by the science but yet hides it thoroughly.

Kloor is hardly alone in this. When Glaciergate, Amazongate, and Africagate were doing rounds, I noted several consensus knights and their lackeys hastily jettisoning the science of impacts – i.e., Working Group II– as though it were a stepchild of some sort. ‘Working Group I is where the real science is, Working Group II is not really good anyway and we knew it’.

What is more, on observing Kloor’s antics several members of the Climate Inquisitional Authority who keep their cattle-brands  (which spell d-e-n-i-e-r) well dipped into hot coals at all times, ever ready to poke into the eyes of any passerby– fell curiously silent. They were seen turning their heads rapidly, shifting their feet, hemming and hawing and generally sighing. It seems they reserve their special climate spa treatments only for newly-found deniers who are their friends.

Simple explanation? Kloor, just like everyone else has questions in his mind, questions which are eminently reasonable given the poor quality of IPCC science. There is no catastrophe and like most people Kloor doesn’t believe that climate change is an existential threat. No one is sold by the alarmism peddled in the name of the IPCC. Those who openly declare this are labeled ‘skeptics’ and compared to Holocaust deniers. Kloor just doesn’t have the courage to do so, that’s all.

As Monckton (on being compared to whom Kloor cringed in despair) points out, professing an outward belief in the climate consensus can be ” socially convenient, politically expedient, and, above all, financially profitable”. Under such attractive circumstances why would anyone not want to be seen as believer?



  1. Richard J

    Political persuation may inflict obligations which subconciously trump rational thought. The polarisation of this aberrance appears to be sinistrally asymmetric.