Posted on behalf of Hans von Storch
Our ongoing survey shows that many of the participants of the debate have a professional background in physics (about 30%). In society, the "physicists" are not a larger group then the "engineers" or "biologists", but here they are more frequent than others. I wonder why. Why does this group of professionals feel more qualified, or more interested, in this debate than other groups? Is it because climate science is foremost physics?
Here, I have one question –
1. to what extent is climate science just a special variant of physics, possibly an inferior one? Are there elements in climate science, which makes this field different – because of inherent characteristics?
Another issue is the observation that the discussion here at the Klimazwiebel all too often falls into the limited dichotomy of "AGW is real, case close" vs. "AGW is overblown and constructed; case is open". Many of us will likely concur that this debate is useless, because it does lead nowhere. None of the two sides will accept the arguments of the other, or seriously debate the basis of their position.
On the other hand, Klimazwiebel is a rather special webblog, in that we have people from these two extremist sides, as well as various sceptical people, who ask real questions, plus some climate scientists, who consider part of the case closed, and others not, plus a number of social and cultural scientists.
The permanent return to the endless positioning of pro/contra AGW is damaging the Klimazwiebel, because this posturing is simply boring. But, there is an alternative, which Werner pointed out – why not agreeing on what we disagree on the AGW issue and discussing to what extent we nevertheless share some positions. Therefore another set of questions:
2. What is it we can agree that we solidly disagree on?
3. Is the relative majority of physicists in this group possibly a reason why the debate always returns to the pro/contra of whether a significant AGW exists?
4. What are the questions we can constructively discuss?