The Church of Climate Change? (2)

Via the New York Times come these comments from a climate scientist at the University of East Anglia (the hacked documents came from the UEA’s Climatic Research Unit). They are particularly interesting for what he has to say about the way that the belief system of AGW has evolved, at least in some places:

The key lesson to be learned is that not only must scientific knowledge about climate change be publicly owned — the I.P.C.C. does a fairly good job of this according to its own terms — but the very practices of scientific enquiry must also be publicly owned, in the sense of being open and trusted. From outside, and even to the neutral, the attitudes revealed in the emails do not look good. To those with bigger axes to grind it is just what they wanted to find….This event might signal a crack that allows for processes of re-structuring scientific knowledge about climate change. It is possible that some areas of climate science has become sclerotic. It is possible that climate science has become too partisan, too centralized. The tribalism that some of the leaked emails display is something more usually associated with social organization within primitive cultures; it is not attractive when we find it at work inside science.

Hmmm, “social organization within primitive cultures”. Now what was I saying about an AGW religion?

To repeat myself (from my earlier post), I happen to believe that AGW is a “not unreasonable scientific hypothesis” (in fact I think it’s perfectly possible that man could be influencing the climate-although we could debate the extent). That’s not the issue here. The issue is how the story of AGW is being sold to the wider public – and how it is being received. And that’s where the religion -and, for that matter, the “tribalism”, comes in.

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3 Responses to The Church of Climate Change? (2)

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  3. DeLarius Johnson says:

    Andrew, with no loss of meaning to the point that you are making in this post, you can quite clearly state that the emails were stolen. They were taken without permission from the owner. The means by which they were stolen may have relied on some form of computer ‘hacking’. But in describing them, you should use the proper adjectival term.

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