A new essay entitled ‘The Climate Wars and The Damage to Science’ has been published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). Written by Matt Ridley, it is a reprint of an article Ridley wrote for Quadrant magazine in June. The GWPF are right to republish it: a better summary of the problems within climate science you will not get. ‘Bad ideas,’ Ridley writes, ‘can persist in science for decades, and surrounded by myrmidons of furious defenders they can turn into intolerant dogmas’. Dogmatism of this sort, he argues, has the effect of freezing out research that doesn’t fit with the programme, a process that risks ‘damaging the whole reputation of science’.
A pdf of the essay is here.
Or go to the GWPF page here.
A superb essay, with many insightful remarks by Ridley as he corrals with impressive brevity and impressive scope so many of the shoddy deceptions, shoddy papers, and shoddy tactics of some of those intent on scaring us about carbon dioxide. He also gives good and well-deserved recognition to leading bloggers critical of the astonishingly low quality of research purporting to justify that scaremongering or of associated propaganda efforts to denigrate critics. When it comes to moral and intellectual integrity, it is clear to me on which side the better people are to be found. This essay will surely help others reach the same conclusion.
John, yes, it’s a nice summary of many of the key issues of doubt and concern regarding the climate story. Much of it was written back in june but the two-page introduction is new, referring to recent issues such as the firing of Verdier (more on this coming soon) and the RICO20 fiasco.
The introduction makes two of the key points also made by Clive Best in his article here: the very wide range in the climate sensitivity estimates, and the wild inaccuracy of past scare stories.
Ridley’s examples are numerous, but in many cases can be attributed to sloppiness (Himalayan glaciers) or poor science practices (97%) . There also numerous examples where deliberate scientific misconduct is evident. To my mind that is worse. These include Marcott’s paleoclimate 2013 Science paper (essay A High Stick Foul), Fabricius’ corals in NCC 2011 (essay Shell Games), and O’Leary’s sudden sea level rise in Nature Geoscience 2013 (essay By Land or by Sea). There is also deliberate misrepresentation by the IPCC, for example AR4 WG2 concerning extinctions (essay No Bodies). The damage being done to scientific integrity is palpable.