Sunday, July 15, 2012

Judith Curry: About consensus


Judith Curry runs a blog titled Climate etc.  that I find well-thought and well-written. It avoids the vitriol and violent language of many writers. Her main point with the linked article below is forced consensus leads to group think and institutional bias.

One of the many interesting passages addresses the mixture of science and politics:
"Scientific controversies surrounding evidence of climate change have thus become a proxy for political battles over whether and how to react to climate change (Pielke 2007). Therefore, winning a scientific debate means attaining a privileged position in political battle, hence providing motivation for defending the consensus. As a result, it has become difficult to disentangle political arguments about climate policies from scientific arguments about the evidence for human-induced climate change. The quality of both political debate and scientific practice suffers as a consequence (Hulme 2009c)."

This is close to something you and I have touched on. If their is something to be done (and yes, I think doing nothing is an option), should scientists decide what that option is? You say yes, I say their voice should be one of many. There are many things that can be done (or not) that have nothing to do with science and are clearly outside of the purview of science.


by Judith Curry
I’ve been invited to write a paper on the topic of consensus in climate change.

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