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Climate science: To get respect, try being respectable


In “Scientists put out call for respect” (Sydney Morning Herald, June 20, 2011), Phillip Coorey reports,

Australia’s scientific community will launch a campaign tonight aimed at redressing what it says is the damage to science which is being caused by climate change denial. At its annual gathering in Canberra today, the Federation of Australian Science and Technological Societies will tell politicians that the campaign being run against scientific evidence of man-made climate change ”is undermining the national building work of all scientists”.

[ … ]

“The valuable and credible work of all scientists is under attack as a result of a noisy misinformation campaign by climate denialists. It’s in the nation’s interests that our political leaders now lead the community forward on this critical issue,” the federation’s chief executive officer, Anna-Maria Arabia, said.

Friends of Uncommon Descent have noted the profound misunderstanding this shows: You can only get respect by being respectable. What they should be asking is not, “For what (irrational) reason do these people not respect us” but “Are we doing something that causes lack of respect? (Other than the fact that we are not engaged in a big public relations circus)?” There is, of course, a one-word answer, Climategate. For example, we read about:

Manipulation of evidence:

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

Private doubts about whether the world really is heating up:

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

Suppression of evidence:

Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?

Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.

Can you also email …

– James Delingpole, “Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’?”, Telegraph (November 30, 2009)

The problem is not that climate science can’t come back from that. There’s hope for everybody. And there was climate science before all this got started. But too many climate scientists still fail to acknowledge the way in which disbelief became a rational choice following these types of revelations.

Or how about Antarctica? The global warming alarm sounded, followed by records of Antarctica getting colder, which was followed by "that was predicted by our models", which has lately been followed by "Antarctica has been cooling all along after all, just as predicted". See Will the Real Antarctica Please Stand Up? Joseph

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