Still back at Keith Kloor’s place, Judith Curry seems determined to dig in to her position that governments and the IPCC and consensus minded science bloggers need to take the climate skeptics more seriously. Personally I think she completely misses the boat, because most of these folks have in fact been soundly debunked, or at the very least thouroughly addressed in purely scientific manners. We are talking about Climate Audit and Watts Up With That, these are her candidates. As well as having had their more serious contentions seriously looked at, these sites bury any potentially interesting questions or issues they occasionaly do raise under mountains of personal slanders and crackpottery.
But I don’t want to pile on Dr. Curry, because I am certain her heart is in the right place, it is just her naiveté has led her into a corner that her pride will not let her back out of. We have all found ourselves in corners like that, and it is an emotionally difficult place, especially when the people delivering the message you don’t want to hear can be very antagonistic. But I digress…
Her latest questionable stance is that climate science needs a “Team B” to “balance” the IPCC and she actually suggests the Heartland Institute. Michael Tobis (yes, I have been channeling a lot of Tobis lately) quite rightly says:
I think the nomination of a Team B by the Heartland Instute makes exactly as much sense as the nomination of a Team 2 by Greenpeace and for exactly the same reasons. If the two teams were comparably funded, I would not oppose it. Who knows but that one or the other of them might stumble onto something useful.
The only constraint I would put on this proposal is this: I would insist that they be comparably funded and get comparable attention. This would place IPCC firmly where it belongs, in the center of the debate, and not at a fringe.
Quite right. Contrary to the framing du jour, the IPCC does not represent the extreme scientific case, it is by its very design conservative. Let us not forget that even Saudi Arabia had to sign off before its Summary for Policymakers could be delivered.
But Judy misses a much larger point, because we already have a Team B! The National Research Counsel of the National Academies. They have come to the same conclusions as did the IPCC, arguable even stronger conclusions.
Oh, we also have a “Team C”, the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Hmm. Here’s a “Team D”, the American Geophysical Union, and look, a “Team E”, the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences.
Actually, there are alot of “Teams” that have assesed the science and or the IPCC’s conclusions, and they all agree that the world is warming, the cause is anthropogenic and it represents a danger to human well being. Some more examples:
- “Team F”, the American Astronomical Society
- “Team G”, the American Chemical Society
- “Team H”, the American Institute of Physics
- “Team I”, the American Meteorological Society
- “Team J”, the American Physical Society
- “Team K”, the Australian Coral Reef Society
- “Team L”, the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
- “Team M”, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO
- “Team N”, the British Antarctic Survey
- “Team O”, the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
- “Team P”, the Environmental Protection Agency
- “Team Q”, the European Federation of Geologists
- “Team R”, the European Geosciences Union
- “Team S”, the European Physical Society
- “Team T”, the Federation of American Scientists
- “Team U”, the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies
- “Team V”, the Geological Society of America
- “Team W”, the Geological Society of Australia
- “Team X”, the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA)
- “Team Y”, the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
- “Team Z”, the National Center for Atmospheric Research
(How about that, I ran out of letters!)
- “Team A2″, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- “Team B2″, the Royal Meteorological Society
- “Team C2″, the Royal Society of the UK
And that list is not exhaustive.
To be fair as possible to Judith’s point, she may have been thinking of research teams, rather than research assessment teams, but I’m sorry that is an even less defensible position. It only makes sense if you buy in to the whole “climate science is a corrupted in-crowd” meme that deniers make great hay out of. It only makes sense if you don’t know that scientists survive by over turning old ideas and coming up with new and exciting conclusions(at least until they get tenure). If the peer reviewed literature has stablized for a decade on the acceptance of anthropogenic global warming, it is because that is where the evidence has lead it. There is no “team” that dominates the literature, there is no new “team” that will lead it elsewhere. There are tens of thousands of individual researchers building human knowledge piece by.
The real motive for nominating a “Team B” is dislike of the conclusion of “Team A”. I don’t accuse Judy of this motive, but it is absolutely the motive of those she is defending. Clear evidence of this is illustrated by the historical origin of the “Team B” concept, pointed out by Eli Rabbet.
I want to respect Dr. Curry and her voice in the climate wars, but I think she really needs to slow herself down and re-evaluate what she is saying and who she is defending. I think Judith Curry is suffering from all the same “tribal” pitfalls she is complaining about, even if she is a tribe of one.