by Judith Curry
Pursuant to my recent congressional testimony, I have received some follow up questions that were submitted by Members of the Committee.
Here are the questions:
1. It is clear from your public statements that you generally agree with the mainstream view of global warming and cannot easily be characterized as a climate change “denier” or “skeptic.” Nonetheless, you have been quite critical of the process under which climate sciene is conducted, saying that “it is difficult to understand the continued circling of the wagons by some climate researchers with guns pointed at skeptical researchers by apparently trying to withhold data and other information of relevance to published research, thward the peer review process, and keep papers out of assessment reports.”
a. Why are so many scientists “pointing their guns” at skeptics when sharing data and embrcing debate seems to be an obvious way for scientists to increase the credibility of their arguments and influence public debate?
b. Given the potentially enormous influence of climate science on economic and environmental policy – which ultimately boils down to jobs 00 shouldn’t it be held to a higher standard in the public debate? For example, should Congress consider blocking funding for researchers that do not make their data and materials available for public scrutiny?
c. Should such research be excluded from use in policy debates and scientific assessments such as those by the National Academies or IPCC?
2. You state in your testimony that the conflict regarding the theory of anthropogenic climate change is over the level of our ignorance regarding what is unknown about natural climate variability. For a long time, the scientific community did not consider uncertainty a bad thing. In fact, the word “certainty” was something that was almost never used (you are not certain the sun will rise tomorrow morning, but you are reasonably sure that it is very likely to occur.)
a. At what point did uncertainty become a bid thing in the climate community?
b. How did this shift within the scientific community occur? How does it shift back?
c. Are there any efforts within the scientific community to self-correct this paradigm shift? If there is not, what does this mean for the decision-makers needing objective and unbiased scientific information to inform their policies?
3. Do you believe the current IPCC processes are working? If so, why? If not, what specific actions can be taken to repair them, and in the meantime, why should the product of a process that isn’t working be relied upon as the basis for policy actions that would impose enormous costs on the United States economy?
These are REALLY GOOD questions, with no easy answers. I am pondering how I am going to respond (response due Dec 10). In the mean time, I am opening this up for discussion, and hoping for some good ideas!
Moderation note: this thread will be tightly moderated for relevance. I will consider including a link to this thread in my response to the House Committee.