The 16 scientists who signed the Wall Street Journal editorial are a minority, but they're not outliers. They're not "flat earthers." They're not "scared of science." They are, quite simply, distinguished scientists with a dissenting opinion.
And their opinion deserves our respect.
Following are the scientists and engineers who signed the WSJ editorial.
Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris
J. Scott Armstrong, co-founder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting
Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University
Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society
Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences
William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton University
Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge
William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meterology
Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT
James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Tech University
Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences
Burt Rutan, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne
Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former US Senator
Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service
Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva
We can do without the condescension here, danharres. Second, I think you misunderstand science. I don't want to get too hung up here, but scientists don't stop at presenting hypotheses, nor do they do it so that other scientists can agree/disagree with them. They support (or refute) their own hypotheses as the essence of what they're publishing; that's where the science is. And "persuading those not in agreement" is not part of the process. Perhaps you're thinking of politics. I'll leave the rest of your scientific process delusions for someone else to get snookered into a long, winless argument.
As for the subject at hand, you've got your analogy backwards. It's the climate deniers who are clinging to ancient dogma in the same way you're referring to the "settled" geocentric science as promulgated prior, and it's climate scientists who have applied modern science to understand the climate issues at hand. It's the real scientists who have settled the science by actually applying its principles. I get it, though. You think government is inherently wrong, so anything it adopts or promotes is wrong too. So what of the anti-science fossil fuel patsies that occupy the Science, Space, and Technology Committee in the U.S. House? They represent the last vestige of climate denialism just like you do. Do you think they're defending the vanguard of science that challenges the status quo?
If the WSJ published an article claiming that the Earth was the center of the solar system, would anybody pay much attention ? This is the equivalant of what the WSJ did by publishing an obviously unscientific claim by 16 "scientists", only two of which had actually published a scientific paper about climate in the last 30 years. Here is a detailed article by someone who has looked into the credentials of the 16 and and their untrue claims :
The basic action of CO2 and the positive feedback of water vapor to heat the planet is actually quite simple and should be understood by everyone reading Design News. The effect of clouds has been shown to be small either way. Trying to predict the exact rate and pattern of warming is way beyond any of us.
Anyone who has some doubts about Human Caused Global Warming should check "Arguments" at SkepticalScience.com.
If the Deniers of AGW actually had a single valid claim against the over 100 year old science of Global Warming, they would have published a peer reviewed paper, and you would find it in the study of 12000 journal articles by John Cook :
Jim Powell took the oposite aproach of searching for peer reviiwed articles by the 135 self proclaimed experts writing against AGW :
If you take the time to read the articles and the counter-claims, I think that you will agree with me that there is not a single valid claim against AGW out there and the editors of WSJ and Forbes etc deserve to be mocked, and the Politicians who deny AGW should be voted out of office.
You pose the question in a manner that's contrary to scientific study. Science does not come down on one or the other side of an issue. Instead, a scientist develops a hypothesis, for example, "Anthropogenic Global Warming is occurring as the result of manmade activity" and then other scientists are free to either agree or disagree. It is incumbent on each side to make as convincing an argument so that they might persuade those not in agreement.
As an example, when Einstein developed his theory of relativity at the beginning of the 20th century, he presented his work to colleagues at conferences and other professional gatherings. Many of his contemporaries did not believe his theories. Rather than scream at them or try to get the New York Times (or whatever the German-language equivalent would be) to write mocking editorials or enlist the help of some rich, undereducated politician (I won't mention any names but his initials are A.G.), Einstein instead chose to develop experiments that would prove his theories correct. In Einstein's case this involved photographing the location of certain stars during a solar eclipse.
When an interested astronomer decided to make the photographs and thus prove the theory, the results at first seemed to not bear out Einstein's theory. Rather than "massage" the data, or hide the results, or develop computer models that might show how right he was even though the data didn't agree (okay, there were no computers back then, but whatever) Einstein instead had to bear the humiliation of having developed a seemingly brilliant theory that appeared not to be correct. Fortunately, a few years later, others were able to capture another solar eclipse on photographs and make more accurate measurements from them. In the end, Einstein was vindicated.
Regarding your second question, what do I consider the "official doctrine" - when all the AGW crowd is claiming 97% consensus and the government itself claims that AGW is a real thing, I would have to say that the answer is obvious.
Thank you for recognizing the point of the article, Thinking_J. I do believe that you're the only one who has made that observation.
Eureka! The actual point of the article was really only about how we should all get along, no matter how outspoken and dangerously wrong many non-climate scientists and engineers are. How should we react to dangerously wrong news media that keep promoting the same unscientific propaganda over and over?
danharres, can you clarify which side of this issue you are ascribing to the side of science and which to the side of anti-science zealotry? And what do you regard as constituting the "official doctrine" on this issue?
This reminds me of a zombie. It is dead, killed again and again, yet it keeps coming back to life. Is DN that much in need of resurecting such an old argument, without even bothering to refresh the paper? Just let the poor thing die why don't you?
And should anyone be bored enough to read this, we should recall that Gore is an interested novice in the GW. Not a trusted researcher.
Why don't we insist that this get no more play untill the seminal paper is itself re-upped with a more current set of prejudices and silly arguments to refute.
There you go again destroying any remaining shred of journalistic credibility of Charles Murray, DesignNews, and UBM. I'm going to keep flagging this every time it's spammed anew into my email box as this old discredited piece was again today.
Emotional responses, like those in these blog comments as well as from eminent experts like Al Gore, are nothing new. In Galileo's time, the science was "settled" regarding the "fact" that the sun revolved around the Earth. Based on improperly translated Bible passages, the Church was certain that this had to be the case.
Since virtually all universities at the time were funded by the Church, the scientists of the day, most of whom were university professors, knew that they needed to advocate for the official Church version of planetary movement to maintain their lucrative teaching positions.
Poor Galileo and a few other skeptics chose to report what they felt was the truth - the sun didn't actually revolve around the Earth and, in fact, the opposite appeared to be the case. For this Galileo was sentenced to life in prison, which was subsequently reduced to house arrest for the remainder of his life.
Fortunately, we have evolved to the point where such drastic responses are no longer the case. Today, the worst that skeptics of official doctrine have to endure is simply mocking and emotional responses.
Irishmuse, thanks for such an imfomed and rational evaluation, and thanks for repeating my thoughts so very well.
Emotional reations based on uneducated evaluation of uncertain data is often prone to not winding up being the best choice.
And I would add to your statements the fact that for many years prior, some of the loudest voices claiming that something must be done were the same folks screaming about how guilty we were for having a standard of living so much better than some other parts of the world. So one other thing is to consider carefully the source of all this noise and panic.