These days, yet another screed from the NRSP's Tom Harris wouldn't normally be worth the effort of a post. He is merely a faux scientist, a low grade Denier, and his Natural Resources Stewardship Group a discredited front for the Canadian wing of Big Oil. (Unfortunately, I think that Green Party Leader Elizabeth May's decision to take him on in this set of battling Op Eds is likely to do more to maintain his profile than her own). However, in amongst the same-old same-old there are signals as to where the Denialist industry will next attempt to take the debate:
Activists maintain that “the consensus of world scientists agree” that our CO2 emissions are causing a climate crisis. Nothing could be further from the truth. Climate science is an immature discipline in which intense debate rages among experts about the causes of climate change. Variations in the brightness of the sun and “land use change” are the leading contenders believed to be responsible for most of the past century’s modest warming
Note the two "leading contenders": solar cycles...and a new one..."land use change" (or at least a quick search of the NRSP website and a buzz through Google shows that this term begins turning up more often in June of this year). Since the "Blame the Sun" crowd has suffered a major set-back in recent days, expect to start hearing more about "land use changes": about Urban Heat Islands, and how the instruments cannot be trusted to give accurate readings due to (incompetence, cover-ups, and) the ever increasing amount of paved space around our cities. In other words, "Land Use Change" will become what "Solar Cycles" has been: a vague theory to invoke as an alternative to the conventional science so it doesn't look like the Denialists are merely engaged in "negative campaigning".
And expect to hear the names Roger Pielke Sr. and Anthony Watts come up more frequently. Pielke Sr. is a real, honest-to-God meteorologist from Colorado State University, and I would probably call him the Alan Feduccia of climate science. His website is a mix of legitimate cautionary tales re climate change research (some glaciers aren't retreating!), and the center of a kind of personality cult where Deniers with some facility in math come to pray to his courage in the face of the "great swindle". As for Anthony Watts, he leads a gang of rogue "citizen scientists" who have currently fanned out across the lower 48 with their digital cameras in an effort to embarrass the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) with pictures of Al Gore BBQing in close proximity to temperature sensors, thus single-handedly creating an upward bias in instrument readings of the climate record. These pictures as they emerge are then posted on far-right websites where people who haven't a clue as to what they mean nevertheless comment knowingly on the failures of mainstream Climatology.
Unfortunately, this end of the science tends to be the "mathiest", and meeting or even understanding the arguments likely to come up will likely require boning up on some of the crap you slept through during college. But this is where I see the focus shifting over the course of the next six months. Get out your spreadsheets and your old stats textbooks, people!