Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Preponderance of Climate Opinion and what to do about it.

I watched the Right Honourable Prime Minister Harper talk about Hoaxenhagen and what sticks in mind is:
"The preponderance of scientific evidence and opinion is that Climate Change is a very real challenge."
And so it is. The preponderance of that evidence however is opinion. The leaked emails out of CRU are the tip of the iceberg. The data is tampered with and then destroyed. The peer review process is faulty and exploited by powerful organizations and people.

Imagine yourself the expert of experts sitting on a grand panel of your peers. Will you support a paper that invalidates your own expertise and more importantly your funding? Of course not. Its not in their interest or the interest of world, they will say to themselves. They won't even look at the data. Look up the resistance Alfred Wegener met with after discovering continental drift. Peer review is garbage. You only get more of the same.

The choice then is either to ensure that skeptical research gets enough funding to undeniably push past the bias in the climate community or to institute an open scientific audit mechanism.
Stephen McIntyre can't do it all himself. He needs students and a budget. No paper in any discipline should get published without being audited by an external entity. We should probably do both, but the second option is the important one.

Over the last two weeks we've seen how bad science can have a huge financial impact. Every financial statement of a publicly traded company is audited so that shareholders are less vulnerable to fraud. It doesn't mean all accountants are crooks. Its just standard practice. The time has come to insist on the same rigor in the scientific process. Science should be objective and impartial. If an auditor would comb the data before any paper would be published then I think Science will drift back to its core pursuit of truth over activism and advocacy.

3 comments:

L said...

The problem is, though, science is used to justify a lot of draconian social policy. If anyone believes in the dangers of 3rd-hand smoke, I will sell them a few carbon credits.

As you say, who sits on the science funding bodies and who appoints them? Who are the journal editors?

There is a lot of work to be done to bring conservative thought back to Canada, as all the power chairs are stacked.

Marx-A-Million said...

Do you realize that polar bears as a race could band together and sue you in a court of law for advocating their genocide? Why else do you think the brave comrades at the Liblogs always repeatedly post pictures of polar bears all over their pages while discussing climate change? Because if we don't act immediately, all those cute adorable baby polars will be murdered in cold blood.

Spin Assassin said...

@ L
inquiring voters want to know...

@ Marx
I'll eat a baby polar bear just like its mother would and display its carcass before my fireplace without making a dent in their thriving growing population. Of course I'm joking. Are you? If not you are seriously lost friend. You might be too far gone to save. Its Christmas. I'll give you a chance. Explain to me what makes you think polar bears will be extinct?

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