The most frustrating thing about being a scientist skeptical of catastrophic global warming is that the other side is continually distorting what I am skeptical of.
In his immodestly titled New York Review of Books article “Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong,” economist William Nordhaus presents six questions that the legitimacy of global warming skepticism allegedly rests on.
Since the answers to these questions are allegedly yes, yes, yes and no, no, no, it’s case closed, says Nordhaus.…
“When we hear of vast numbers of scientists endorsing Michael Mann’s famous ‘hockey stick’ graph… What we don’t hear is that the vast, vast majority of them never sought access to the specific data and algorithms claimed to support it (much of which was actively withheld from the scientific community at large). They did not independently evaluate either Mann’s claims or the specific, technical objections raised against them by a few critics who were able to wrest those data and algorithms from Mann’s clenched fist over a period of years. Neither had the scientific media performed any independent, critical review when reporting on such issues for over a decade, most of them simply not being equipped to do so.”
Editor note: On November 10, 2009, Mr. Green testifedbefore the Senate Committee on Finance about global warming. During the course of his testimony, an obviously agitated Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) challenged Ken on different aspects of the climate debate. His responses are printed here. [Part I of this series ran yesterday.]
1. Peer-Reviewed Publishing Revisited
Kerry seemed to think it somehow damning that I do not choose to publish in the peer-reviewed climate literature. First—as I pointed out when I introduced myself—while I am an environmental scientist by training, I have chosen to work on policy analysis, which I believe is as important as, or more important than, the science.
However, I would challenge his very premise, which is that peer review is a meaningful indicator of trustworthiness. Plenty of research suggests that peer review is deeply flawed, biased in favor of both extreme and “positive” claims, resistant to nonconfirmation studies, and highly incestuous, because review committees regularly screen out divergent viewpoints and consist of peers who coauthor work with each other.…