Eli suspects that Rabett Run was the first to introduce the Overton window to the climate policy fray, back in 2007, pointing out that too many were shutting out what might be called the Romm/Hansen/Gore position while trying to "engage" on a pretty-pretty basis with the denialists. It was a classic case of slamming the window shut on your allies, with, of course, encouragement from the tutt-tutters and false friends and as the Bunny predicted it has come to a sad end with the theft of the CRU files. DON'T DO IT. OK?
This Email theft has concentrated the minds of many, not all, some, such as Judith Curry still think there are converts to be made, some such as Edmund Zorita and Hans v. Storch, see it as a wonderful time to stick the knife in, and most were very slow off the mark. How people react in a time of stress is a mark of their character. This week has seen a turn, with Myles Allen and Ben Santer taking leads.
The reaction at the AGU meeting was straightforward, unanimous (well, Willie Soon was there with a totally incoherent poster, at least the one he put up, and another that said he was protesting that he didn't get his own session, Scarfetta stood like a lost boy in front of his and there were a couple of others). There was general agreement that the WGI science is settled, that the wave of negative effects from climate change is beginning to emerge, and that the world needs immediate action to avoid disasterous consequences in the future. It was well summarized by Santer:
As climate scientists, this is what we know with great confidence:Oh yes, Real Climate appears to be down (just maintenance ...). Were Eli not such a cautious fellow, he would say that there is a denial of service attack going on. Time will tell, but the lesson to be learned is not to trust, cozen or praise the denialists.
* We know that human activities have changed the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
* We know that these changes in the composition of the atmosphere have had profound effects on Earth’s climate.
* We know that the human “fingerprint” on climate will become ever more visible over the next few decades, and will impact many aspects of our lives.
* We know that we are at a crossroads in human history. The decisions our political leaders reach in Copenhagen – or fail to reach – will shape the world inherited by future generations.