Climate “Science” Credibility and Communication
Posted by greg2213 on February 24, 2010
On WUWT Dr. Judith Curry discusses the background of the collapse of trust of climate science and the need for better communication between camps. Other than the amusing “denial machine” remarks it’s not bad, even though it reads more like a lecture than an embracing of different camps. In my eyes, anyway. Oh, and there’s also the convenient lack of acknowledgment that the pro-warming camp outspends the skeptic camp by, at least, thousands to one.
(Update: I want to note that I respect her for doing this, stepping out of one’s comfort zone into what many perceive as the “enemy” camp is tough. Kudos to her. Apparently she’s being treated much more fairly on WUWT than she is on alarmist sites. )
A link to part 1 is in the post.
(Update: Here’s a reply to that post: Judith, I love ya, but you’re way wrong …)
One of the comments sums up the entire issue for me, but many of the other comments are also very much worth reading.
PJP (07:37:47) :
Dr. Curry is correct in her assessment that the core issue is one of trust. Unfortunately, many of the primary players on the AGW side have compromised that trust to the point where it is extremely unlikely that those particular players can ever regain it.
Its not just a matter of them being very poor at communicating their expertise, the fact is, they have compromised the very idea of their own expertise by using inappropriate statistical analyses, obviously compromised data, incredibly amateur programming, and various “tricks” which could be grounds for instant rejection of any PhD thesis.
To compound this, the display of arrogance when called on these facts was simply stunning, basically amounting to “I am the expert, I have the title “professor” before my name and PhD after it, my opinion is all that counts, yours is worthless and I refuse to even consider it”. That arrogance is what finally put the final nail in the coffin.
In addition, we see a complete lack of scientific method. From the incestuous and tightly controlled peer review system exposed in the CRU emails, to the refusal to share data and methods to enable others to verify their results to the jump to the conclusion that temperature rises are solely caused by anthropogenic CO2, even if that requires the modern equivalent of “the ether”, a magical component necessary to make their models work, namely “forcing” which appears to be a purely mythical dimensionless quantity which can be applied as a multiplier wherever and whenever required to the fact that looking at historical projections from these people and these models shows a large divergence, and a refusal to acknowledge that they were wrong then, and are likely to be wrong now.
We see cherry picking of data to get the desired result. We see these same results disagreeing with current reality. Even though unable to explain why the divergence with current measurements, the “experts” absolutely insist that although they are completely ignorant of why the divergence, that that are completely justified in ignoring this discrepancy between theory and practice for current data, but absolutely insist on its integrity for 1,000+ years prior.
This is ether supreme stupidity or supreme arrogance. In either case, it is undeserving of trust.
The MET Office seem to have understood the issue (somewhat), as does Dr Curry. However, the answer is not rehabilitation of the current crop of “experts” and data, it is starting from scratch, with people of integrity and an open process to ensure that integrity is not compromised by the numerous interested parties on both sides.
Just a thought… since Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Co. are far closer to the reality of global warming than is the Al Gore crowd why are they the ones to collect all the insults and slime? Seems to me the the “denier camp” has nothing to apologize for and the Alarmist camp does. It’s the alarmist camp that needs to be a whole lot less condescending here.
That is, if communication is really what we’re interested in. And no, we’re not talking about scientists who might differ by a couple tenths of a degree or so on the reality of warming or whether the trend is slightly positive or slightly negative. We talking about Gore & Co and the voices that oppose him/them.
Alarmists like to slime the skeptic camp by claiming that BIG OIL funds said skeptics. Here’s a clipped list entities who have provided funding for England’s Climate Research Unit (CRU,) see if you recognize any of them (full list is here, at the bottom of the page.) Big Oil also funds other pro-warming research projects.
Central Electricity Generating Board
Department of Energy,
Department of the Environment (DETR, now DEFRA),
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
Nuclear Installations Inspectorate
Sultanate of Oman
United States Department of Energy
United States Environmental Protection Agency
I just had to add this comment from the same WUWT post. It nicely sums up why some of us started on the skeptic side, not the believer side.
A lil analogy: if a man comes to your house, and says it will burn down if you dont give him the contents of your wallet… you will be suspicious, if the man is fingering a pack o matches.. most of us joe six packs will be reaching for the shot gun, not the wallet. Now if the man has a gang of known arsonists with him to boot(extreme environmentalists) It will not take much for us to start shooting.
Other blogs are chiming in on this discussion. Lucia, of The Blackboard, adds her comments and is also building a list of the other blogs that are participating: On the Credibility of Climate Research: The Blackboard Responds