Wednesday, December 02, 2009

See this whole thing: Interview with climate scientist Judith Curry

National Journal Online -- Insider Interviews -- E-Mail Controversy Divides Climate Scientists
Curry: I frankly think that [the content of the e-mails and reports] has less to do with partisanship of the scientists than with professional egos and rivalries, which are amplified by the highly charged partisanship surrounding this issue. Scientists have no idea how to react to all the criticism being made about their science by advocacy groups, talk radio, etc. Their reaction to criticism coming from right-wing partisans typically makes the scientists appear to be left-wing partisans. So what we are really seeing is the polarizing effect of the advocacy groups and the mainstream media, in forcing apparent partisanship of the scientists.
Curry: Scrutiny from scientific skeptics makes the science stronger, either by identifying problems that can be addressed or by increasing confidence when problems and errors are not found. Scrutiny from [politically motivated] contrarians and deniers and the noise generated by such people do distract scientists from their real work... The scientists involved in the CRU emails are dismissing certain people as skeptics, assuming that they all have political motivations. Well, the motivation of the skeptic isn't really the point. The point is whether or not they have a valid argument.
Curry: I staunchly support the IPCC, but when [chairman] Rajendra Pachauri comes out making all these really strong policy statements, such as the developed world has to cut back its energy use... and stop putting ice cubes in their water, and other crazy stuff... I don't like that. These guys should pick people who don't want to be advocates and will shut their mouths about advocating for policies. Otherwise, we don't look credible.

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