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New Scientist: Redouble your efforts, climate scientists

By Joe Romm  

"New Scientist: Redouble your efforts, climate scientists"

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[Climate scientists] need to redouble their efforts to make their arguments, their doubts, and the reasons for both their confidence and their concerns intelligible to the non-specialist citizen. They need to combat, piece by piece, the misrepresentations brought in support of attacks on their scientific integrity, and to show readers why the popular accounts and even the naming of “Climategate” are so misleading. And they need to explain why the expectations of science on which these accounts are based are similarly misleading….

What I am proposing is far from a solution. But if it encourages climate scientists to take the lead in breaking the current impasse, both because they are best equipped to take on the task, and because their responsibility as scientists obliges them to do so, it is at least a start.

That’s from the conclusion of a piece in New Scientist by Dr. Evelyn Fox Keller, emeritus professor of the history and philosophy of science at M.I.T.

The good news is many climate scientists are already following that advice (see “Have you used the Climate Science Rapid Response Team (CSRRT) yet?“).  Here are more excerpts from the piece:

IF NOTHING else, December’s Cancºn climate conference demonstrated, once again, just how dependent international negotiations are on the American political process. In this respect, the US Senate’s failure to pass a climate bill last summer was a colossal setback, and we need to understand how this could have happened.

One major factor is that public confidence in climate scientists and their science is at an all-time low. This loss of confidence is a direct result of a long-standing campaign to discredit them, initially mounted and funded by business interests and libertarian-conservative organisations.

Actually, this isn’t quite true.  As Stanford polling has shown:

“Overall, we found no decline in Americans’ trust in environmental scientists,” Krosnick said. “Fully 71 percent of respondents said they trust scientists a moderate amount, a lot or completely.” As the above graph shows, this number has remained virtually the same in every poll since 2006.

But the central point that the antiscience disinformation campaign has effectively captured one political party and thus blocked serious action remains true.  Keller continues:

The campaign made good use of strategies honed by the tobacco industry and soon recruited an army of “sceptics”: some opposed to government regulation per se, some resistant to claims to intellectual authority (especially scientific), and some mobilised by a version of everyone’s right to an opinion.

The upshot is that internet sites, radio and TV channels now transmit “contrarian” attacks on climate scientists on a daily basis. Even responsible newspapers seeking “balance” contribute to the false impression that climate scientists are deeply divided about the danger and relevance of human activity to global warming. Not knowing who or what to believe, the natural response of the public is to do nothing.

Well, again, the public wants to take action (see “Public support for action on global warming has grown since January“) — it’s the conservative movement in this country that refuse to (see National Journal: “The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones”).

“Climategate” may well have brought tensions to a breaking point. The term was coined to describe the scandals erupting, first, from the theft and release of some scientists’ private emails, and second, from the exposure of an error in a report by a subcommittee of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Climate scientists were charged with mounting a “hoax” and engaging in “fraud” and “conspiracy”, and bombarded with threats. The researchers were – and are – thunderstruck: nothing in their training prepares them for the vitriol of such attacks.

Until recently, the main response has been to take refuge in peer review and to blame scientific illiteracy. But with the escalation of attacks, some now feel the need to engage with their critics, admit mistakes, and open up their data. As a result, the media reports that researchers have been learning a little humility and trying harder to stay clear of policy advocacy. This response, they claimed, indicated a new willingness to engage with critics, as if this was a step towards more democratic relations between science and society.

I am not sure. I am all in favour of greater engagement with the public, but propitiation is not engagement, and self-criticism must not obscure the fact that these “revelations” are not evidence of misconduct but of the human nature of scientific inquiry. Nor must it obscure the fact that their own confidence in their findings on climate remains unshaken….

… I say that researchers have a responsibility to so engage. Discussions of scientific responsibility often centre on questions of scientific integrity. But researchers are also under an obligation to the public who have placed their trust in them — by their implicit contract with the state, which by funding them makes the product of their labour a public good.For as long as the scientific knowledge they produce remains under their control, they are its custodians, responsible for its safe delivery into public hands. They have an obligation to convey the results of their expertise to those likely to be affected by the implications of those results.

They need to redouble their efforts to make their arguments….

Precisely!

‹ Energy and global warming news for January 18, 2011: How to move to 100% renewables by 2030; Shell CEO advocates for climate change action; Energy key to U.S.-China cooperation

Krugman: The Economist opposed attempts to improve public sanitation in the 19th century ›

42 Responses to New Scientist: Redouble your efforts, climate scientists

  1. Ominous Clouds Overhead says:

    I would maintain that a lot of the problem is America’s decline in science education in the schools and the near-death of critical thinking.

  2. John Mason says:

    I think there is an onus on scientists to engage but equally there is an onus on those of us who communicate science for a living to make more effort to help them in that task by using various communication methods with which to clearly explain elements of what can be pretty complex stuff. It is also imperative that science journalists start behaving as science journalists and stop pretending there is a fundamental scientific debate over this stuff. There is not – there may be debate regarding the unknowns such as some feedbacks, which is perfectly right and proper, but the basic principles are well-understood. What debate there is over the fundamentals is strictly political in nature, politically motivated and rooted in politics and commerce.

    Cheers – John

  3. Seth Masia says:

    The public, by a 60 to 70 percent margin, accepts the need for renewable energy. The problem in Washington is the millions spent by fossil fuel interests and their conservative allies to subvert legislators. Not much can be done about that without meaningful campaign finance reform, or an end to the filibuster as we know it. One realistic political strategy would be to push for an end to ALL energy subsidies.

  4. Craig says:

    “But researchers are also under an obligation to the public who have placed their trust in them — by their implicit contract with the state, which by funding them makes the product of their labour a public good…They have an obligation to convey the results of their expertise to those likely to be affected by the implications of those results.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Climate scientists have an obligation to communicate their findings to the public. It is a public safety and national security issue.

  5. Mike Roddy says:

    CSRRT was very helpful a couple of months ago when I was writing a piece for an internet magazine. Scott Mandia in particular answered my questions promptly and in detail. At the time I was being harangued in private emails by the head of a major denier blog, and the moral and factual support from CSRRT was much appreciated.

    CSRRT is part of welcome shift in thinking from climate scientists, something that Jim Hansen helped achieve through his new book and ongoing political activity. This kind of work doesn’t come naturally for scientists, but they have realized how crucial it is. I hope their organization grows, and becomes a dependable resource for media reporters.

  6. SecularAnimist says:

    The problem isn’t that climate scientists don’t communicate well. They communicate just fine. Climate scientists just need to start spending millions of dollars to bribe politicians and buy off the corporate media, like the Koch brothers do.

  7. Robert says:

    The best defense is a good offense. It is time for scientists in general and climate scientists in particular to come out swinging at their adversaries. The culture of populist ignorance, anti intellectualism, and open hostility towards science in general is a clear and present threat to the fate of human kind. Persuasive and authoritative speakers must be recruited to get the message out. If no such entity exists within the climate science community, there will be a need to look for someone outside the field, perhaps an individual like Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson to better articulate climate knowledge.

    If the mainstream media is too clogged with false balance, the plunger of alternative media, channels and programing must be used. Climate scientists should be regular guests on venues like the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. How about “The Real Climate Scientists of Academia”.

    If this isn’t a call to arms, then what is?

  8. toby says:

    It may be the decline is science education standards in America.

    My own opinion is that Ronald Reagan’s “problems” with Evolution (“It’s only a theory”) caused a lot of scientists to feel alienated from the Republican Party, dominated more and more by Fundamentalist ideology. George Bush’s mishandling of science did not help, either, or his own “problems” with Evolution.

    Now apparently, only 7% of scientists are Republicans. The GOP itself has no science base, so science is alien to its thinking. It has become ripe for its own Lysenkoism, and the right-wing “think tanks”, funded by the likes of the Kochs, provide the only intellectual heft the party possesses.

    It is a poor lookout, but they will trip themselves up sooner or later.

  9. John Mason says:

    Talking of trip-ups, Pete Sinclair has a couple of excellent new videos out today. The subject material is self-evident in the link:

    http://climatecrocks.com/2011/01/18/can-we-drop-it-stopped-warming-in-1998-now/

    Cheers – John

  10. We need to reclaim the word “alarmism” … the term was hijacked by disinformationists. As if they put cotton into the bell.

    The situation is alarming. I am an alarmist. And he alarms bells are broken and almost silent. The alarm is too quiet.

    The issue and the danger are very well defined. Everyone is still asleep and ignoring the alarm.

  11. Jay Alt says:

    Most of science stories reports I run across are watered-down versions of abstracts and summaries. Nice stuff, which I enjoy in moderate quantity. Do others? Hardly. Facts and stats bore them silly.

    This packaging trend has exceptions. Take a look Downunder at SAM, the climate dog.

    Or the way Victoria communicates with farmers about climate change using – not scientists – but videos of other farmers.

  12. Jeff Huggins says:

    Responsible Newspapers?

    Although I agree with, and appreciate, Dr. Keller’s appeal to the scientific community, and I do think that climate scientists should do everything they possibly can, her piece (as far as I can tell, from the excerpts here) is far too easy on the newspapers and media — and confusingly so.

    Consider this phrase:

    “Even responsible newspapers seeking “balance” contribute to the false impression …”

    This phrase is internally contradictory, under the circumstances. In other words, the climate change problem is SO important (the stakes and etc.), and has been around for SO long, and the voices from the bona fide scientific organizations are so clear, and any “responsible” paper should have an expert(s) on the story that understand the science and (at the very least) what all of the bona fide organizations are saying, that a newspaper can’t really be considered “responsible” if, in the interest of so-called “balance” (to seem middle of the road? to seem fair? to not offend advertisers? to keep the “controversy” going?) it runs stories that contribute to the false impression and does not run enough stories that clear up that false impression and compellingly communicate an accurate impression.

    For example, is The New York Times a “responsible” newspaper on this matter? No way. The Times has run so many stories that do contribute to, or enable, the false impression and confusion, and it also repeatedly runs PR material from (for example) ExxonMobil that confuses things — while it hardly (and only rarely) lifts even a finger to correct any confusion or misimpression. Consider: Is there any confusion in America today? Yes. Could The Times, tomorrow, run an excellent front-page story, with a large headline, that continues into the middle pages of the front section, that lists all of the main bona fide scientific organizations around the world and their climate change position statements, along with links, and so forth? Yes. Has The Times done so, in all this time, amidst all of what we know of the public confusion? No. Will The Times do so tomorrow, or the next day? I wouldn’t bet on it. So, can The Times be considered a “responsible” newspaper on this issue? No. The stakes are simply too high, to society, for The Times to not do everything possible to clear up any confusion that it believes to exist in the public mind — and there is plenty of that.

    In my view, The Times is not acting responsibly. Andy Revkin is not acting responsibly. VERY FEW editors or reporters are acting truly responsibly given the vital importance of the problem, the current state of public (insufficient) understanding, and the role that media news organizations should be playing in a healthy democracy.

    In my view, the public — and scientists — should not let the media organizations (or the specific individuals in them) off the hook. In truth, the science reporters and the media organizations SHOULD be conveying the matter clearly and honestly to the public even if scientists themselves can’t do so in a way the public can easily understand. Scientists are scientists. It’s the people in the media who are supposed to be excellent communicators and who are supposed to try to understand what they cover before covering it. History will show that the news media have been dropping — and still are dropping — a very big ball, and irresponsibly and negligently (and in some cases unethically) so.

    To me, some of the worst “culprits” in this whole problem of public confusion are the reporters who think they are doing a responsible job but aren’t, as they go along communicating almost 24-7 but more often than not contribute to the false balance or persistent confusion, more interested in defending themselves than in telling the story clearly and accurately and compellingly. Worse yet are the papers who think of themselves as responsible but who contribute to and enable the public confusion (both by commission and omission) and have now been doing so for years, hardly ever using the front page, and rarer still running a truly clarifying article that doesn’t sacrifice honest and understanding in order to highlight “the controversy”. The papers, and many of the reporters, ought to be ashamed.

    Although scientists should do whatever they can do — I agree — especially given that the media are not doing their own job well, we should not let the papers or other media off the hook. A “responsible” newspaper that is seeking (so-called) “balance” and thus contributing to the false impression? Such a newspaper can’t be considered responsible, certainly not at this point.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

  13. Barry says:

    OT: Joe, we want to donate some of our annual “Climate” donation dollars to support your excellent Climate Progress blog.

    But I’m a bit confused about how to best do that as you don’t have a “support this blog” option that I could find. I eventually found donation options for CAP and CAPAction…but neither had a way to specify Climate Progress.

    Can you provide info/link on how folks can direct donations to your Climate Progress work? Thank!

  14. Mike Roddy says:

    Also-

    CSRRT should automatically respond to bad media climate articles and TV shows. The Right is certainly besieging them when they try to tell the truth. This effort will require a fulltime staffer to sift through the articles, but money for that could be obtained from a funder or NGO.

  15. Timeslayer says:

    @Jeff Huggins, #11

    Agreed. The number of responsible newspapers in the US today is zero.

    If a newspaper were responsible, not only would it run a front-page Sunday story on climate change like you describe- it would run such stories EVERY DAY in an effort to educate the woefully ignorant public about the magnitude of what we’re facing. Considering that climate change is the most important issue and challenge that modern civilization has ever faced, nothing less than such an undertaking could fairly be called “responsible.”

    TS

  16. Michael Tucker says:

    I imagine that if any prominent climate scientists HAD written any recent articles “to make their arguments, their doubts, and the reasons for both their confidence and their concerns intelligible to the non-specialist citizen.” we would have all heard about it.

    I wonder what THEY think of this article by Dr Keller?

  17. JPix says:

    Why is it a problem for the scientists?

    It is the problem for you, the general public. It is in your interest to take advantage of the results of scientific research.

    Dig out what the science says and find ways to use it. Nobody is obligated to ram it down your throat against your will.

    Nobody is safe and when some disaster strikes, your insurance is not likely to cover the damage. The insurance companies have been reading the scientific data for many years already. It is in the fine print.

    Equally, if the Chinese steal the march on opportunities created by the market disruptions that inevitably result from climate change, it is your own fault. Farmlands are being redistributed and factories are built already.

    The climate disruption plays out in a few tens of years. Building major new or transforming old businesses requires similar time periods.

  18. Leif says:

    It is past time for science to launch a full scale, long term “Board Side” against the Corporate Parasites. Exploitative Capitalism must be replaced with Humanitarian Capitalism. It is clear that Capitalism works for the few, can Homo Sapiens make it work for ALL? We have no other option IMO…

  19. paulm says:

    And they need to do this now.

  20. Joan Savage says:

    Responsible journalists are reluctant to get in over their heads on complex topics. Dr. Tyson or Bill Nye (or a revival of the memorable Mister Wizard) teaching basic thermodynamics would be a big help to the journalists. We all need a science base for public understanding of climate news.

    Youth are growing up in, and adults are working in controlled indoors environments. Don’t expect the public’s personal experience to give them many clues about latent heat release from a monsoon, or the force in a foot of flood water.

    Not all scientists have the knack to translate, and not all topics deserve to be simplified. But careful respectful communications build trust, as a physician well knows.

  21. Nell says:

    You can’t say it better than Bartlett in my opinion

    The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See (part 1 of 8)

    Should be required viewing. For all.

  22. 350 Now says:

    20 Green Giants
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/16/green-power-list-top-20

    Who would be our top 20 (or so) climate scientists?

  23. K. Nockels says:

    The fact that the disinformers have their very own media outlets with which to in your face lie and discredit whom ever they choose and can do it night after night, is the main reason their disinformation is repeated over and over. If another media outlet try’s the same thing with valid information and does not present any disinformer so called balance they are then attacked as well. MONEY talks and the B$#@@ S*%^
    just gets deeper. They learned well from the tabbaco industries that any lie if told loud and long enough will at the very least delay action which for the power brokers of energy in this country means MONEY
    keeps rolling in.

  24. K. Nockels says:

    I do NOT think that the Climate Scientists are in any way the problem. If the messages that they keep trying to get out were that hard to understand 60% to 70% of the people in the polls would not be for us moving ahead on Climate Change issuses. All of us here at CP seem to get it pretty well that we are in big trouble and I think a lot more of the public out there know it too. What is happening is the drowning out of the true numbers and that as long as we don’t have our own in your face with facts prime time news outlet a person that is on the fence about these issues will be unable to make an informed discission. The information is There it’s just being drowned out.

  25. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The role of the mainstream media in this debacle is crucial. If we kid ourselves that there are ‘responsible’ Rightwing media, we will wander in the desert. I think that the UK The Guardian is a perfect example. It poses as a responsible, ‘liberal’ organ, but its climate change coverage has steadily become more and more disingenuous and dissembling. Its journalists range from the eminently sane Monbiot, right across to really silly denialists like Simon Jenkins, who recently confabulated the delightful tale that he could recall attending ‘global cooling’ conferences in the 1970s. And Fred Pearce, in my opinion, covered himself in ordure with his contributions to confusion and the sowing of doubt over the theft of UEA E-mails.
    It can be no other way. The fossil fuel industry is the greatest capitalist enterprise in history. More money and hence power is involved in its operations than in any other human endeavour. This money spreads its tentacles everywhere throughout capitalism, certainly to the boardrooms of media conglomerates. From that empyrean it percolates, mysteriously, across the synapses of the journalists, the ‘stenographers to power’. If we had an even half honest media the public would be up in arms, but we don’t and never did have. The activities of scientists have been cowardly and pathetic in the extreme, but private money power ensnares academia almost as much as it does the media, so pressure to silence is exerted here, too. And when scientists do speak out, they are pilloried, vilified, defamed and ridiculed by the media apparat, as ‘The Fundament’s'(aka The Australian) recent campaign of contempt and derision aimed at Tim Flannery for his musings regarding Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis showed yet again,

  26. MapleLeaf says:

    Joe,

    Trenberth has been one of those scientists who has made an attempt to engage the public and explain the science to them, and for that he gets rewarded with attacks by the likes of Morano.

    Are you going to please take Moroano, Watts, McIntyre and Motl to task for their ongoing attacks on Trenberth (their latest in a long line of victims)?

    Someone needs to slap Morano and Motl with a harassment suit and/or with libel. McIntyre it seems only likes to attack those scientists outside of Canada…how convenient. This despicable behavior from the deniers has gone unchallenged in the courts for far too long now…

  27. michael says:

    My fear is politicians will ignore climate change until it gets so bad that they decide to do some really crazy things, like release biological weapons into foreign countries after a secret vaccination in their own country. Or prepare for mass vaccinations, then release biological weapons, as a way to thin the herd and slow down climate change.

    If anyone thinks that there are not people capable of this kind of thinking… they should look into history. Humans have often seen depopulation as a way to solve problems.

    If large parts of the US becomes unlivable during the summer, will they invade Canada?

    Will climate change pressures cause major or world war(s)? Humans have always been willing to go to war when the chips are down. Can a major war be fought without use of nuclear weapons? Especially if, in the future, many more countries are going to have access to nuclear materials via nuclear power plants?

    And finally, isn’t one of the major problems that needs fixing right now, population control? Whats the point of getting a hold of climate change if we don’t get a grip on our population? Will life be worth living for 10 or 12 billion people with scant resources and little food?

  28. Michael Tucker says:

    So, public confidence in climate scientists is high, about 70%, and “the public wants to take action.” We should be seeing all kinds of action…but we don’t…

    However, “it’s the conservative movement in this country that refuse…”

    So Joe is saying the conservative movement must be convinced…..hm, well, you might be able to convince them as long as no government action is required; it has nothing to do with education.

    The conservative movement rejects the solution as long as it involves government action. I don’t believe anyone can convince them otherwise.

  29. Leif says:

    What am I missing here?

    70% for, 30% against, yet still no action! Rather, all action in the negative…

    What is the definition of Democracy again?

  30. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    michael #28, your fear of bio-warfare doesn’t seem at all crazy to me. Last year I saw a front page story in ‘The Independent’, I think, about the wonderful news that a computer game had been released which was focused on anthropogenic climate change and ‘saving’ the earth, or humanity at least. Mentioned, without comment, in one of the possible scenarios ‘gamers’ could utilise, was the release of a novel virus to wipe out the excess population in certain countries. Simply there, as just another possible course of action. I’m not sure if the game includes any morality or whether this genocidal policy was shown to be evil and probably self-defeating, but the newspaper’s bland publication of such an idea, without criticism or reflection, filled me with dread. There is already a vociferous sub-strain of denialism that blames all our problems on ‘over-population’ rather than over-consumption, and God knows how many of this type infest the corridors of power.

  31. Jim Groom says:

    Climate scientist do indeed have an obligation to inform, and inform the public over, and over again until something begins to stick. I would love to see them marching in front on congress demanding hearings and investigations. The best defense is often a good offense. Insist that they be given the chance to educate the masses and counter the false arguments used by the other side. I’m sure most of us would agree that our top-guns would make suckers out of the denier crowd on CPAN.

  32. David Fox says:

    I’d like to ask a question. I’m reading Eaarth by Bill McKibben, and its got me thinking. In it, he basically states that even if we (the U.S.) were to go completely, 100% green overnight, we’re still (I’m trying to think of a good word here) um, screwed. That at the rate China is burning coal, and increasing the burning of coal, that it really doesn’t matter what we do here or anyone does anywhere for that matter. That climate change is a done deal, and there’s nothing we can do to rescue civilization as we know it.

    True, or not?

    Pertains to this article as in why does it matter, deny or don’t?

    [JR: No, I don't think that is what Bill believes. Nor is it what I believe the science says. Yes, it is certainly unlikely that we will avert catastrophic climate change, but it is also certainly the case that it's not too late. I think China will turn things around before we do.]

  33. Sou says:

    It’s not easy for scientists “to show readers why the popular accounts and even the naming of “Climategate” are so misleading.

    First they have to get the attention of reporters and journalists. This is not an easy matter. There are scientists who try, eg individuals like James Hansen, Kevin Trenberth, David Karoly among many others around the world, plus RealClimate, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Wentworth Group etc. Even if every one of the thousands of scientists who contribute to our knowledge of climate were to issue a daily press release, or chain themselves to the fences of Parliament Houses, the White House or other public buildings, it’s likely to make barely a ripple.

    Scientific research institutes and professional associations can help by employing press officers and public relations experts to make sure the right messages are getting out to the public, the media, policy analysts and decision-makers.

    The Climate Science Rapid Response Team is an excellent step, albeit largely ‘passive’ (ie responsive to requests AFAIK). Climate Progress takes a more active stance, as do organisations such as the US EPA, NASA etc. We need to encourage more research institutions and government climate policy agencies to be more active.

  34. dbmetzger says:

    Add this to countries effected by climate change
    Water for Ethiopia
    Ethiopia is struggling with the consequences of climate change. Droughts and flash floods are ruining entire harvests. In order to promote sustainable farming practices, Israel and Germany are sharing know-how and technical support with small farmers. http://www.newslook.com/videos/284441-water-for-ethiopia?autoplay=true

  35. jyyh says:

    It looks as David Fox #33 wants to know if the civilization as we know it is a done deal, i.e. will the ‘civilization’ as 1.plural knows it (so I guess I’m out of this 1st plural, that is, I’m talking about us which likely is another us than Fox’, since it appears he wants people telling him absolutes). Welcome to the time of uncertainty. I’m on the other hand quite certain that the effects of climate change on the civilization present many uncertainties I personally would like to avert.

  36. jyyh says:

    Philosophy in the morning missed an ending of a sentence, but the meaning was damaging uncertainties have gone up and since the IPCC estimates have been conservative on couple of aspects, this means some damages to the civilization cannot be averted. That is of course my opinion, though science is pretty straightforward.

  37. Barry says:

    David Fox (#33), you are correct that no person, company or nation ( including USA or China) can solve climate threat all by themselves.

    It is also true that every person, company and nation must cut their climate destabilizing pollution down to near-zero in coming decades…starting now.

    Nobody’s actions are sufficient. So what? Everyone’s actions are necessary.

    Shift focus to:

    – “USA becoming zero-GHG is NECESSARY to a safe and sustainable future”
    – “My company becoming zero-GHG is NECESSARY to a safe and sustainable future”
    – “My personal life becoming zero-GHG is NECESSARY to a safe and sustainable future”

  38. MarkR says:

    “They need to combat, piece by piece, the misrepresentations brought in support of attacks on their scientific integrity,”

    It’s impossible. The deniers can lie far more quickly than proper research can be brought together to demonstrate these lies. By which time they’ve moved onto a new lie, or simply brushed the answer under the carpet and repeated the same old lies. Monckton is a good example of both.

    This is tragic, from a scientific point of view, because it drowns out genuinely useful scientific skepticism. I think Dr Spencer is right that to say we need to look more at internal variability, and skepticism of the temperature record is justified (although when so many independent sources agree it can’t be too far off…).

  39. Edward says:

    Journalism isn’t in my job description. Public relations is the furthest thing from my job description. My employer [the army, I'm retired now] very clearly doesn’t want its scientists and engineers talking to the world or to wikileaks. In fact, the Hatch Act forbids whatever the Espionage Act failed to forbid.

  40. Edward says:

    6 secular animist: Where are scientists going to get millions of dollars to spend on politicians and corporate media?

  41. Chris Winter says:

    Revelle Medal winner Pieter Tans on the climate disinformation campaign
    Posted on January 18, 2011 by Rick Piltz

    http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/2011/01/18/pieter-tans-on-the-climate-disinformation-campaign/