"Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors."

-Jonas Salk

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Consensus

A good time, perhaps, to remind everyone of the fact that essentially every significant scientific body on earth has agreed to the IPCC Working Group I position.

See here. And here. And the links therein.

In the end, it's the earth which decides, of course.


Timothy Chase said...

It may be of value to point out that while scientists and even on occasion scientific bodies make mistakes, the process of science itself is self-correcting.

To the extent that science is empirical science, the conclusions of science are incapable of proof. But in place of the deductive certainty of mathematical proof, science is capable of degrees of justification and relies in no small part upon the congruences of multiple, largely independent lines of evidence. And to the extent that a given conclusion is supported by multiple lines of evidence the justification that it receives is often far greater than that which it would receive from any given line of argumentation considered in isolation from the rest.

It was a scientist -- not climate skeptics -- who uncovered the error regarding the Himalayan glaciers -- an error that was added as part of one brief paragraph out of hundreds of pages essentially at the last minute and never made its way into the executive summary -- and as such was in no way central to the case being made by the IPCC regarding anthropogenic global warming. An error that was made possible by the fact that the IPCC had at that point failed to adhere to its own standards regarding reliance upon peer reviewed rather than grey literature.

In contrast, those who wish to make the most of this one error are often those who see no need for peer review in the first place -- and who are either ignorant of or wish to evade the vast body of evidence that supports the main conclusions of the IPCC.

Their methodology is strongly reminiscient of that expressed in an internal document from the tobacco industry more than 40 years ago:

"Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy."

Smoking and Health Proposal (1969)

And as a matter of fact, many of the major organizations in the campaign to deny anthropogenic global warming were also enlisted in the campaign to deny the health effects of tobacco use. So in contrast to the list of major scientific organizations that support the main conclusions of the IPCC, I give you a list of 32 industrial front organizations involved in both the denial campaign surround AGW and tobacco.


Michael, have you checked your gmail account within the past couple days?

Jim Prall said...

We should particularly highlight two strong endorsements of the climate consensus issued since the posting and dissection of the stolen emails:

Over 800 Canadian scientists endorsed this Dec. 2009 statement:
"As leaders in Canada’s scientific community, we now know that climate change is advancing much faster than projected by most models, including those used in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Scientific Assessment."

Even more to the point of attempts to tar all UEA and CRU climate research is this Dec. 2009 "Statement from the UK science community" signed by 1700 U.K. scientists, from 67 unviersities and 55 other institutions, re-affirming the integrity of climate science and data sources, in response to the University of East Anglia email break-in, which begins:
We, members of the UK science community, have the utmost confidence in the observational evidence for global warming and the scientific basis for concluding that it is due primarily to human activities. The evidence and the science are deep and extensive. They come from decades of painstaking and meticulous research, by many thousands of scientists across the world who adhere to the highest levels of professional integrity. That research has been subject to peer review and publication, providing traceability of the evidence and support for the scientific method.

These two add up to a powerful rebuttal of the talking points claiming that mainstream climate science is somehow "collapsing" or whatever they want to shout this week.

Michael Tobis said...

Tim, I'm getting a certain amount of noise in my email because it's posted on the front page of climatedepot, if that's what you're asking.

If there's mail from you, on the other hand, I don't find it.

Borepatch said...

"The Scientist proposes, and Nature disposes." If your data is reproduceable, it doesn't matter if you run with the crowd.

Invoking a "consensus" is perhaps the most ridiculous part of the whole debate. Science does not reply on a Priesthood.

Timothy Chase said...

Just checked out ClimateDepot. Moreno's baby. Didn't realize what it was when I first responded to you. That is just the sort of harassment that I would expect. You've heard what Hansen has to put up with I presume. If anyone doubts which side truth, justice or morality is on little more need be said.

Anonymous said...

"In the beginners mind there are many possibilties, but in the experts mind there are few."

-Shunryu Suzuki

Anonymous said...

The basic problem that many denialists have is the utter lack of a cogent position from which to make a counter-argument.

Jim Prall said...

It's Marc Morano with an 'a'. He's the one who whipped up the whole "swift-boat Veterans for Truth(-iness)"

There are a couple of people named Moreno with an 'e' who should not be confused with him.
Just today I noticed a citation to a Moreno in a climate paper, and thought I should come back here and clarify.

Juan Moreno at the Madrid Museum of Natural Sciences has published on ethology and climate (co-authored with S. Merino, just to keep you on your toes)

There's a Patricio I Moreno at U Chile in Santiago who's written on paleoclimate:

- Jim

Hank Roberts said...

It's really _not_ hard to remember how he spells his name.