Tuesday :: Mar 13, 2007

Al's alright


by Christina Hulbe

As you may have read elsewhere by now, the New York Times published a story today by William Broad regarding supposed alarm among "centrist" scientists about climate alarmists. Tim Lambert at Deltoid has written an excellent piece exposing this innacurate and misleading NYT article for what it is. The guys at Real Climate have also written a commentary worth reading.

All I want to add is that this notion of "centrist" scientists is silly, it just doesn't mean anything. Science is by its nature a skeptical business. The scientific endeavor is motivated by the desire to understand how things work. Science is an intellectually competitive business in which concensus takes time to build. We are, a lot of us, contrarians by nature, not likely to jump on anybody's bandwagon. In addition to being the wrong thing to do, wagon jumping wouldn't get us anywhere. Are mistakes made? Sure. But they are ferreted out pretty quickly. I can count on my colleagues to tell me when I'm all wet and they can count on me to do the same. More commonly though, we just make progress. With every new measurement we see the world a little more clearly than we did before and as that happens, ideas are refined, understanding is deepened.

If Al Gore's book and movie were substantively wrong, there would be a loud chorus telling you so. Instead what I hear from my peers (and what others hear from me) are minor comments about details and a lot of admiration for Mr. Gore's dedication to raising public awareness about the very real challenges presented by global warming. It is important to note that Mr. Gore is talking about adaptation and mitigation as well. To me, that's not alarmism, it's a call to action.

Christina Hulbe :: 10:57 PM :: Comments (4) :: Digg It!