by William Teach | November 28, 2009 9:09 am
Dr. Judith Curry, a climate scientist at Georgia Tech, pens a letter, originally publish at Climate Progress, and now at the NY Times. Let’s take a peek, shall we?
An open letter to graduate students and young scientists in fields related to climate research:
Based upon feedback that I’ve received from graduate students at Georgia Tech, I suspect that you are confused, troubled, or worried by what you have been reading about ClimateGate After spending considerable time reading the hacked emails and other posts in the blogosphere, I wrote an essay that calls for greater transparency in climate data and other methods used in climate research. The essay is posted over at climateaudit.org.
What has been noticeably absent so far in the ClimateGate discussion is a public reaffirmation by climate researchers of our basic research values: the rigors of the scientific method (including reproducibility), research integrity and ethics, open minds, and critical thinking. Under no circumstances should we ever sacrifice any of these values; the CRU emails, however, appear to violate them.
I think they more then violated them. What has also been noticeably absent is nailing down the link between the warming that did occur and Mankind. It has been manufactured based on tenuous threads.
At the heart of this issue is how climate researchers deal with skeptics. I have served my time in the “trenches of the climate war” in the context of the debate on hurricanes and global warming. There is no question that there is a political noise machine in existence that feeds on research and statements from climate change skeptics. In grappling with this issue, I would argue that there are three strategies for dealing with skeptics:
Judith – may I call you Judith? – said political noise machine certainly appears on both sides, because a. this is a political issue, not a scientific issue, and b. y’all on the climate alarmist side have the media and academia backing you up to get your talking points out there, not to mention the left side of the elected political spectrum. Moving on
1. Retreat into the ivory tower
2. Circle the wagons/point guns outward: ad hominem/appeal to motive attacks; appeal to authority; isolate the enemy through lack of access to data; peer review process
3. Take the “high ground:” engage the skeptics on our own terms (conferences, blogosphere); make data/methods available/transparent; clarify the uncertainties; openly declare our values
Most scientists retreat into the ivory tower. The CRU emails reflect elements of the circling of wagons strategy. For the past 3 years, I have been trying to figure out how to engage skeptics effectively in the context of #3, which I think is a method that can be effective in countering the arguments of skeptics, while at the same time being consistent with our core research values.
As soon as one takes the “high ground”, they are saying “I’m better then you. The debate is over. There is consensus. The science is settle.” Which is what we tend to get in the public purvey from the climate alarmists. Instead,perhaps you should explain in clear language exactly how you arrive at the notion that it is mostly, or all, Mankind’s fault, despite 4 billion years of history.
I’d suggest reading the whole letter, very interesting, but, let’s move on to part two of the Grey Lady article, where Mike Hulme, a climate scientist at the University of East Anglia, writes in
This will blow its course soon in the conventional media without making too much difference to Copenhagen – after all, COP15 is about raw politics, not about the politics of science. But in the Internet worlds of deliberation and in the ‘mood’ of public debate about the trustworthiness of climate science, the reverberations of this episode will live on long beyond COP15. Climate scientists will have to work harder to earn the warranted trust of the public – and maybe that is no bad thing.
Yes, they will have to work harder to prove their hypotheses, and they are simply hypotheses, because AGW is all about politics, just like Copenhagen and all the other conferences, as well as the legislation. The politics of control.
It is also possible that the institutional innovation that has been the I.P.C.C. has run its course. Yes, there will be an AR5 but for what purpose? The I.P.C.C. itself, through its structural tendency to politicize climate change science, has perhaps helped to foster a more authoritarian and exclusive form of knowledge production – just at a time when a globalizing and wired cosmopolitan culture is demanding of science something much more open and inclusive.
The IPCC was never about science, so, it won’t go away. The idea is to push far left ideas, “social justice”, redistribution of wealth, one world government, etc. If they were really interested in debate and science, they would include all scientific points of view, and what they are pushing would actually “fix” the climate, rather than doing virtually nothing but control people’s lives and taking their money.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove
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