Climate Change –

By , January 22, 2011 10:10 am

A little over a year ago, after someone leaked the CRU e-mails and computer code, I corresponded with a prominent climate scientist. I won’t disclose names because I don’t have the person’s permission. However, what I wrote bears repeating; at least, I think it does. By the way, the scientist responded very cordially, saying “all of your points are right on target.”

Dr. XXX,

Thanks for the two letters you’ve written regarding the CRU bruhah, including the one on Climate Audit and the one on Climate Progress. I agree with your sentiments. Climate change advocates would do well to read and apply what you say.

I am not a scientist, and I am not a denier–not in the sense that I deny the climate may be warming. I am, however, skeptical of AGW for simple, non-scientific reasons:

1. I’ve read many of the CRU e-mails, and I’ve read what others have said about them–both proponents of AGW and skeptics. Frankly, the skeptics’ explanations seem more credible to me, a layman. Dismissing some of what these e-mails say as merely scientists letting “loose occasionally when talking to friends and colleagues in private,” as many have, doesn’t pass the smell test. At the very least, one or more of the writers of those e-mail has some serious ethical problems.

2. And it’s not just the “letting loose” part.” The computer code–at least as I understand it from the comments of other programmers–does little to allay my fears that we’re rushing into the night without a clear understanding of what awaits us.

3. I learned long ago that calling your opponent Hitler says a lot about the quality of your argument and not much about theirs. It’s a rule of thumb that has served me well over the years. Likewise, when climate change advocates refer to climate change skeptics as deniers, the bells and whistles on my critical thinking monitors go off. I see that Nature magazine even uses the denier label. Are climate change advocates so tone deaf that they can’t see how that impacts the reception of their arguments?

4. Finally, in my world, actions speak louder than words. By that standard, the hypocrisy of many of the loudest climate changes advocates is off the charts. If, as they say, we have but 10 years to turn things around, why are they not living in tents instead of mansions? Why are they not teleconferencing rather that jetting to meetings around the world? And so on. Which, in a way brings me back to the CRU e-mails: After learning about the amount of funding Dr. Phil Jones has received over the years, I’ll never again allow myself to be swayed by the claim that I shouldn’t listen to scientists who receive funding from Big Oil. Never. If money taints, Dr. Jones will never recover.

Again, thanks for your two letters. You are spot on in them. Unfortunately, judging from the comments on Climate Progress, you’re likely to be drummed out of the field because of them.


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