Awhile back, I ran across the web site demanddebate.com (hat tip: Michael Tobis).

The thrust of the website is that everyone should demand debate about climate change instead of gullibly accepting the Gore/alarmist view. Their slogan is, “I’m more worried about the intellectual climate.”

I am teaching a “intro to atmospheric science” class and had been trying to find a skeptic to come talk to the students. So I hit the contact button on the web site and asked:

I would be interested in having an expert from your group come speak to my atmospheric sciences class.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any money to support travel, so I’m hopeful that you have someone local to the area (we could probably pay for mileage to/from Houston, Austin, Dallas, or other local cities).

Thanks!

I didn’t expect to get a response, but Steve Milloy himself e-mailed me back:

Hi Andrew,

Can’t think of anyone offhand. But will think about it.

BTW, you could always show them The Great Global Warming Swindle.

We also have a YouTube video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=XDI2NVTYRXU

Steve

I found that unsatisfactory, so I e-mailed back:

Steve,

The problem, of course, is that watching a movie is not a “debate.” I think showing Gore’s movie and then Swindle would produce confusion.

I’ve been quite frustrated in my inability to find a skeptic to come talk to my class. There’s no shortage of people, of course, supporting Gore’s viewpoint.

I think we all agree that debate is a good thing, but if no one in the State of Texas is willing to defend the skeptical viewpoint, then (in my view) Gore wins by default. [I know skeptics do exist, but I cannot afford to fly one in from, e.g., Israel].

Let me know if you think of any flesh-and-blood skeptics you can point my way.

Regards,
Andy

Milloy promptly responded:

Hi Andy,

I appreciate your problem. I’ll see if I can find someone Aggie country.

Steve

Then, silence.

I pinged him back about two weeks later, asking if he could find a skeptic in Texas. Alas, I got no response.

While some people claim there are lots of skeptical climate scientists out there, if you actually try to find one, you keep turning up the same two dozen or so (e.g., Singer, Lindzen, Michaels, Christy, etc., etc.). These skeptics are endlessly recycled by the denial machine, so someone not paying close attention might think there are lots of them out there — but that’s not the case.

Contrast that small group of skeptics with the thousands of climate scientists who agree with the main conclusions of the IPCC reports.

This is consistent with my other attempts to find skeptics. A few months ago, Eric Berger of the Houston Chronicle wanted to set up a discussion between a practicing scientist in Texas skeptical of global warming — just one — and me. The skeptic had to be a geologist, climate scientist, or someone whose research was at least tangentially related to global warming. He looked all around the State of Texas and couldn’t find one.

Similarly, East Texas Baptist University wanted to set up a discussion about climate change, and they got one of my colleagues, John Nielsen-Gammon, the Texas State Climatologist, to represent the mainstream view. However, they had to fly a skeptic in from Virginia (Pat Michaels) because they too could not find a skeptic in the state.

While advocates against action on climate change claim that there are lots of legitimate climate skeptics out there, it’s simply not true. To test this, try to find one. You’ll discover they’re about as common as Snuffalufagous or unicorns.