On The Conversation Matthew Bailes, Pro Vice Chancellor at Swinburne University of Technology, is feeling sympathetic towards those poor climate scientists who have to deal with daily criticism, but he doesn’t seem to know much about how climate science works. I’d like to help him out, but don’t think the Conversation team would let me add my comments into his article, so I’ve done that here, responding to Bailes:
“Imagine for a minute that, instead of discovering a diamond planet, we’d made a breakthrough in global temperature projections. Let’s say we studied computer models of the influence of excessive greenhouse gases, verified them through observations, then had them peer-reviewed and published in Science.”
Verified?”#$%^!! Sorry, what’s that? No one in the official world of climate science has mentioned “verification” since the mid 1990′s. Shhh. In climate science they verify the observations first: when they fit the models, then they know the equipment worked.
“Instead of sitting back and basking in the glory, I suspect we’d find a lot of commentators, many with no scientific qualifications, pouring scorn on our findings.”
No qualifications? Psst, Ivar has a Nobel Prize (and … in Physics). I know Nobels aren’t what they used to be…
“People on the fringe of science would be quoted as opponents of our work, arguing that it was nothing more than a theory yet to be conclusively proven.”
“Conclusively proven?” This is the theory that has narrowed climate sensitivity all the way down to between 2.0 to 11.1 degrees C (none of which match the observations). Yes, I’d call that “conclusive”.
“There would be doubt cast on the interpretation of our data and conjecture about whether we were “buddies” with the journal referees.”
Why would anyone “cast doubt” on whether climate reviewers are “buddies”? It’s a dead-set certainty. The climate scientists own emails show it happens all the time, and they exclude people from the journals who aren’t buddies. Indeed it doesn’t just happen, it’s an unbreakable code. Recently a paper was published that accidentally didn’t include a sacred reviewer from the “buddies” team, and the editor was so shocked when he discovered the travesty, he resigned!
“If our opponents dug really deep they might even find that I’d once written a paper on a similar topic that had to be retracted. Before long our credibility and findings would be under serious question.”
Yes, life is tough for the people who call themselves “scientists” but haven’t verified their models, or found supportive observations, or realized they are barking up the wrong theory. But imagine instead, what it would be like if you were a scientist who found A Flaw in the Great Man-made Global Warming Theory. What glory awaits you? For starters no one has to “dig deep” to find all your past mistakes, your religion, your links and associations: all that mudslinging stuff has already documented at length by one of the paid up smear sites like DeSmog or Exxon Secrets. Now that’s something to really aim for, eh?
“It may come as a big surprise to many, but there is actually no difference between how science works in astronomy and climate change – or any other scientific discipline for that matter.
“We make observations, run simulations, test and propose hypotheses, and undergo peer review of our findings.
Either astronomy has gone cataclysmicly downhill, or Matthew Bailes doesn’t know that common climate science practices include inventing tricks to hide declines, intimidating editors, and hiding public data. Perhaps someone could tell him?
“Of course we all make mistakes. But eventually the prevailing wisdom of the community triumphs and the field advances.
Yes, we can only live in hope.
“It’s wonderful to be a part of that process.
“But on occasion those from the fringe of the scientific community will push a position that is simply not credible against the weight of evidence. This occurs within any discipline. But it seems it’s only in the field of climate science that such people are given airtime and column inches to espouse their views.
Given airtime and column inches? Are you kidding? The people pushing against the evidence don’t just get air-time and inches, they get $79 billion dollars and yearly trips to two-week-long junkets so they can pat each other on the back. What other field of science do you get to visit Cancun, Copenhagen and Bali year after year, so you can swap the latest “tricks” to hide the fact that your models don’t match any important observations?
Climate science is a special place to be.