by Judith Curry
On Jan 28, a group of climate scientists supporting the IPCC consensus wrote a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators.
On Feb 8, a group of scientists skeptical of the IPCC consensus countered with their letter to members of the U.S. Congress.
The group supporting the consensus describe their opponents as follows:
Climate change deniers cloak themselves in scientific language, selectively critiquing aspects of mainstream climate science. Sometimes they present alternative hypotheses as an explanation of a particular point, as if the body of evidence were a house of cards standing or falling on one detail; but the edifice of climate science instead rests on a concrete foundation. As an open letter from 255 NAS members noted in the May 2010 Science magazine, no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet’s climate and why.
The assertions of climate deniers therefore should not be given scientific weight equal to the comprehensive, peer-reviewed research presented by the vast majority of climate scientists.
The skeptics describe their opponents as follows:
The eighteen climate alarmists (as we refer to them, not derogatorily, but simply because they view themselves as “sounding the alarm” about so many things climatic) state that the people of the world “need to prepare for massive flooding from the extreme storms of the sort being experienced with increasing frequency,” as well as the “direct health impacts from heat waves” and “climate-sensitive infectious diseases,” among a number of other devastating phenomena. And they say that “no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet’s climate,” which is understood to mean their view of what is happening to Earth’s climate.
To these statements, however, we take great exception. It is the eighteen climate alarmists who appear to be unaware of “what is happening to our planet’s climate,” as well as the vast amount of research that has produced that knowledge.
Well, if this isn’t postnormal science, I don’t know what is.
Judge Judy’s verdict: Score one for the “deniers”. Rationale:
1. The consensus scientists attempt to dismiss the skeptical scientists by calling them “deniers.” By contrast, the skeptics refute the statement made by the consensus scientists that there is no scientific evidence that refutes the consensus, and are not disrespectful in the process.
2. The skeptics have come up with a relatively impressive list of signatories, with 2 NAS members (compared to 6 on the consensus list). Many of the people on the skeptics list are not people that are easily dismissed
3. The consensus scientists fired the first “shot” in this insane little battle.
It wouldn’t matter if this was a victimless war. The chief victim is climate science and its credibility.