Hello, and welcome to the blog Commandeered Skepticism. This the first post out of (I hope) many, and the start of fruitful discussion about some of the most unfruitful (at best confusing and distorted) debates occuring right now, especially in the realm of environmental issues and, in particular, climate change. More generally, I hope that it is the start of a rewarding discussion about how debates like this are, and ought to be, handled and interpreted by all thinkers. (Non-thinkers are obviously unable to participate - but that isn't because this blog's rules say they are.)
This blog was created in response to a growing public fascination with skeptical thought, and especially its growing influence in lay and scientific discussions about climate change. Usually, it is invoked as a response to the mainstream view that global warming is happening and that it is human caused - but it is often misused and abused. Often, the skepticism is misplaced, misapplied, or is thought to be a stance that only a dissenter can take. For instance, when debating with someone over some of the scientific evidence in favour of anthropogenic global warming (AGW, or man-made global warming, in other words), I was accused of being a religious cultist who doesn't engage in any skeptical thought at all, simply because I said that the evidence was strong and that it counted in favour of AGW!
In fact, skeptics can take the prevalent view, and have taken it before (see proponents of that ever prevalent view: Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection). Skepticism isn't neccessarily the domain of the maverick, and it certainly isn't the domain of the bad reasoner who can't help but engage in fallacious thought. Yet, many in either group believe that skepticism is theirs, and theirs alone, to use at will and without the need for discipline that accompanies it. In other words, they have commandeered it.