Judith Curry has an interesting post.
One of Curry important contributions has been her recognition and articulation that the IPCC ‘torques’ the playing field for science. Those new almost never manage to separate the two but climate science and the IPCC are different things. Curry forces people to think: “How would climate science have been but for the IPCC?”
Curry’s anecdotal examples show the defensive effect skeptics have. Their existence is used by climate activists and polarizing insiders alike to solidify ranks amongst scientists. What house would otherwise fall into warring camps will unite against a common foe. Skeptics are the folk devil.
The existence of skepticism outside is useful in silencing discussion and dissent within ranks.