Moeten we ons nu toch zorgen maken over opwarming aarde?

Foto:

Eerder schonk ik aandacht aan een ingezonden brief van 16 vooraanstaande wetenschappers in de Wall Street Journal (WSJ) onder de titel, ‘No Need to Panic About Global Warming’. Hun stelling was: ‘There’s no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to ‘decarbonize’ the world’s economy’. Hun artikel was een oproep aan de Amerikaanse presidentskandidaten.

Op dit artikel zijn inmiddels heftige reacties gekomen van hordes klimaatalarmisten. Wat opvalt is dat die reacties voornamelijk op autoriteitsargumenten zijn gebaseerd en een echo vormen van de IPCC-mantra. Inhoudelijke argumenten zijn schaars. Zo hebben 255 (!) leden van de Amerikaanse Academie van Wetenschappen in de WSJ willen reageren. Zij hadden al eerder over deze materie in het blad ‘Science’ geschreven. Maar de krant weigerde die reactie op te nemen, hetgeen natuurlijk tot grote verontwaardiging leidde. In het verleden overkwam dit alleen de klimaatsceptici. Maar de rollen zijn nu kennelijk omgedraaid – althans wat de WSJ betreft. De WSJ heeft echter wèl een verhaal van Trenberth et al opgenomen (zie hierna). 

Ook de ‘Union of Concerned Scientists’ sloot zich bij het protest aan in een artikel getiteld: ‘Dismal Science at the Wall Street Journal’.

Zoals reeds opgemerkt heeft de bekende klimatoloog en alarmist Kevin Trenberth (die ook bij het Climategate-schandaal was betrokken) met 37 (!) co-auteurs een repliek geschreven. Die reactie werd wèl in de WSJ opgenomen. Zij bedienden zich van een aardige metafoor.

Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work. If you need surgery, you want a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations.

You published “No Need to Panic About Global Warming” (op-ed, Jan. 27) on climate change by the climate-science equivalent of dentists practicing cardiology. While accomplished in their own fields, most of these authors have no expertise in climate science. The few authors who have such expertise are known to have extreme views that are out of step with nearly every other climate expert. This happens in nearly every field of science. For example, there is a retrovirus expert who does not accept that HIV causes AIDS. And it is instructive to recall that a few scientists continued to state that smoking did not cause cancer, long after that was settled science.

Deze reactie schoot de klimaatblogster Joanne Nova in het verkeerde keelgat. In een kostelijke repliek veegde zij de vloer aan met het verhaal van Trenberth et al.

Thirty eight of the worlds top, most consequential climate scientists sought to slap down the Nobel prize winner, astronaut and glitterati of science, and all they could come up with was a logical fallacy and a single paragraph of incohate, innumerate, and improbable evidence. It’s hand-waving on stilts.

Is that the best they can do? Trenberth and co try to rebut No Need to Panic About Global Warming, but those 16 eminent scientists quoted evidence and pointed out major flaws in the assumptions of the theory. They described forms of scientific malpractice, and called for open debate. In comparison, the 38 climate “scientists” offered hardly more than argument from authority, “Trust Us: We’re Experts” they said as if the lesser beings, who were mere Professors of Astrophysics, Meteorology, and Physics, were too stupid to know the difference between a doctor and a dentist. I mean, sure the 16 skeptics could be wrong, but if the evidence is so overwhelming, why can’t the 38 experts find it?

Q: What kind of doctor is a scientist who can’t reason?

A: witchdoctor.

First — the Fallacy “Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition?” If my dentist tells me that my heart surgeon was caught emailing other surgeons about how to use tricks to hide declines, that he broke laws of reason, that his predictions are basically all wrong, or that his model of understanding is demonstrably wrong, then I’m listening to the dentist.

Try this out: My dentist has no vested interest, but has provided years of trusted service and medical training — and he warns me there are doubts about my heart surgeon and I need to get a second opinion (say from a Dr Lindzen, Dr Christie, or Dr Spencer*). So I tell him to “go jump”, “what would he know”, and keep returning to the same heart surgeon even though my blood pressure doesn’t change and the pills cost $3 billion a month. Sure.

Eight reasons to dump your doctor:

1. His predictions fail.

2. He uses fallacies to reason — like “argument from authority” instead of empirical evidence.

3. He’s been caught cheating “hiding declines”, trying to get dissenting doctors banned from publishing their work, and worrying what will happen if his patients realize how little he knows: “They’ll kill me probably.”

4. He refuses to debate his radical treatments publicly. “It’s beyond debate”.

5. He calls people names — “denier”.

6. He doesn’t appear to understand the scientific method – when data disagrees with his theory, he throws out the data and keeps the theory.

7. When you ask him for evidence that the treatment works he keeps saying “Trust me, I’m an expert”.

8. The numbers don’t add up. Where’s the cost-benefit sums? (Like this or this?) His treatment plan means the nation needs to lower it’s quality of life now, … so … our children’s children will live ten minutes longer in 2100?

En zo gaat zij nog een tijdje door.

Lees verder hier.

Ik blijf me verbazen over de heftigheid van de discussie. Maar ja, er staan heel wat geloofwaardigheid en reputaties op het spel.

In dit artikel