There’s a letter in the paper today in response to my article:
From: The Australian
August 27, 2012 12:00AM
Every significant science academy supports the case made by the climate science community. These academies encompass the full spectrum of science and members are elected by merit.
As a researcher in immunobiology, I watch the climate field from the sideline, go to some seminars, talk to scientists, monitor key websites and read leading journals such as Science and Nature.
Climate researchers are rigorous and conservative, and I don’t see anything that gives me unease. The Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO, for example, input 50,000 pieces of new data every day. These are the people who dedicate their lives to grappling with the massive experiment we’re doing with our atmosphere. Unlike my field, this is an experiment that can never be repeated.
Peter C. Doherty, Medical School, University of Melbourne, Vic
My point was that argument from authority is not science, and Doherty’s response is to argue from authority.
One of the reasons “Argument from Authority” is a fallacy is because people are human, and associations of humans don’t always neutralize our failings, sometimes they magnify them.
Yes, science academies and science associations do support the “consensus” – but none of those agencies asked for their members to vote, and none have hosted a public debate. The academies may pretend to represent 50,000 members, but the committee that declares the official position may have only eight members. Members of many of these associations are resigning or launching revolts in protest at the slipping, or non-existent scientific standards in relation to pronouncements on climate science. Nobel Prize winner, Ivar Giaever resigned from the American Physical Society, over 80 prominent physicists petitioned the APS , Steven J. Welcenbach resigned in disgust from the American Chemical Society (ACS) saying “ACS has died as a scientific society. ”
While science funding comes from government and science funding bodies are controlled by warmists, how can you expect any science academy or association to say that the CO2 theory is bunk?
The Royal Society made pronouncements on climate science that so outraged its membership that for the first time in history members rebelled, with 43 calling in a private petition for The Royal Society to rewrite it’s position, which it subsequently did. While the protest came from only a small group within the membership, it’s telling that it was arranged by an email, and two-thirds of those approached signed the petition. The dissatisfaction was widespread.
As I said in the article, there are no Gods in Science, and there is no Bible. If Doherty gets his opinion of climate hypotheses from following opinions of others, it’s a short cut to the real deal. Only the evidence matters, and it’s strange how many scientists are willing to sprout an opinion without being able to cite any. One’s leanings on this topic seems to follow mainly on whether you consult the data or the climate scientists.
Climate Depot has a list of more than 1,000 eminent dissenting scientists.
A scientific consensus can be bought. Like any human endevour science can be distorted by massive one sided funding.
POST NOTE: A drafting mistake meant I lost my caveat “The World Federation of Scientists does not endorse the consensus. Not that means anything of course, but there are thousands of scientists who disagree with the IPCC conclusions. ” As I’ve said before, even though we can name more scientists we’d never make the mistake of suggesting that means we are right. We are right – we have the evidence, and the alarmists don’t (I’ve been asking for 30 months).