There was an interesting comment on my “Debunking Science with Handwaving and Bullshit” post by Chagnon, who is apparently an atmospheric scientist. I thought it deserved attention, so I’m reposting it here:
If the “jury” were to consist of atmospheric and oceanic scientists, the verdict on human-influenced climate change would be a very nearly unanimous “guilty”, as one could easily determine through a search through the relevant scientific literature on the topic. The trial in which these jurists have been participating is one that demonstrates phyical evidence supported by simple theoretical expectations. A lovely compendium of the relevant “case law” is available on http://www.realclimate.net . Cutting edge research intended to assign better probabilities to prediction of climate change scenarios is being undertaken at http://www.climateprediction.net . If nonscientists, bloggers, and journalists should like to question the reality of global warming, then they are obliged to examine the scientific case and demonstrate the flaws therein. As an atmospheric scientist, I can admit that the problem is quite complex and challenging, but that careful and creative techniques are succeeding in reducing the uncertainty. To me, it appears that FoxNews and journalists like Steve Milloy have made up their minds without any consideration or appreciation of the science. There are still important debates to be had on the science, and notable skeptics such as Richard Lindzen should be heard, but in the context of a debate with equally prominent and knowledgable scientists. Journalists would do well to facilitate such a debate, in proper context, rather than editorialize on issues that they don’t understand.