Bryan Lawrence : Oreskes responds

Bryan Lawrence

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Oreskes responds

Very early in my blogging career, I reported the clear consensus in the climate community over the realism and causes of global warming. Recently a smart famous man refuted the Science paper I quoted in a crappy article in a crappy paper (well, any paper that let such a poor piece get published is a crappy paper - sorry Wall Street Journal).

Anyway, the original author (Naomi Oreskes) has written a response piece in the Los Angeles Times (not one of my normal reads, so thanks to John Fleck). Anyway, some choice bits:

My study demonstrated that there is no significant disagreement within the scientific community that the Earth is warming and that human activities are the principal cause.

To be sure, there are a handful of scientists ... who disagree with the rest of the scientific community ... this is not surprising. In any scientific community, there are always some individuals who simply refuse to accept new ideas and evidence. This is especially true when the new evidence strikes at their core beliefs and values ... Scientific communities include tortoises and hares, mavericks and mules.

I've conflated a couple of her paragraphs to produce the following, but I think it's a fair summary of the situation:

... the panel (the IPCC) has issued three assessments (1990, 1995, 2001), representing the combined expertise of 2,000 scientists from more than 100 countries, and a fourth report is due out shortly. Its conclusions ? global warming is occurring, humans have a major role in it ? have been ratified by scientists around the world in published scientific papers, in statements issued by professional scientific societies and ... Yet some climate-change deniers insist that the observed changes might be natural, perhaps caused by variations in solar irradiance or other forces we don't yet understand. Perhaps there are other explanations for the receding glaciers. But "perhaps" is not evidence.

Categories: environment climate

This page last modified Monday 24 July, 2006
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