The cat i' the adage

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" Karl Popper (1902 - 1994)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Hockey stick on ice

I've just come across this excellent editorial on the politicisation of climate science in the Wall Street Journal. Kyoto scepticism is gaining traction.

If climate scientists feel their careers might be put at risk by questioning some orthodoxy, the inevitable result will be bad science. It says something that it took two non-climate scientists to bring Mr. Mann's errors to light.

But the important point is this: The world is being lobbied to place a huge economic bet--as much as $150 billion a year--on the notion that man-made global warming is real. Businesses are gearing up, at considerable cost, to deal with a new regulatory environment; complex carbon-trading schemes are in the making. Shouldn't everyone look very carefully, and honestly, at the science before we jump off this particular cliff?

And over at Climate Audit Steve McIntyre writes of the need for proper controls. Climate scientists should be compelled to disclose all their data and the algorithms from which their results were drawn in order that they may be properly scrutinized. This is not happening to date, which is very suspicious.

Back when paleoclimate research had little implication outside academic seminar rooms, the lack of any adequate control procedures probably didn’t matter much. However, now that huge public policy decisions are based, at least in part, on such studies, sophisticated procedural controls need to be developed and imposed. Climate scientists cannot expect to be the beneficiaries of public money and to influence public policy without also accepting the responsibility of providing much more adequate disclosure and due diligence.

It's hard to argue with that.


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