Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Warmist Robert Socolow admits the obvious: The science isn't settled, every "solution" carries risk; experts disagree...

A Climate Analyst Analyzes His Own Approach to CO2 - NYTimes.com
[Warmist Robert Socolow] Over the past seven years, I wish we had been more forthcoming with three messages: We should have conceded, prominently, that the news about climate change is unwelcome, that today’s climate science is incomplete, and that every “solution” carries risk. I don’t know for sure that such candor would have produced a less polarized public discourse. But I bet it would have.
Also, acknowledging terrible outcomes of low probability requires acknowledging the other tail -– a world with rising emissions but little change for quite a while. I often hear that any concession to benign outcomes (or, more accurately, outcomes that remain benign for a relatively long time) will foster complacency.
Arguments for action based on what we don’t know reinforce those based on what we do know. To build a case on what we don’t know, however, takes courage, because it requires revealing how much experts disagree. There are many contending views about sea-level rise, for example. Advocates resist calling attention to the coexistence of contending expert views –- far more certain than I am that lay audiences translate such conflicts into justifications for procrastination. I think it should be possible to convey that earth systems science is an evolving human enterprise where discordant views are the norm, and then to explain why certain issues have proved hard to resolve. My working assumption is that candor creates trust.


John said...

"To build a case on what we don’t know, however, takes courage, because it requires revealing how much experts disagree." !!?? -Robert Socolow

Is this an actual statement?

Would the malcontents have been satisfied if George W. Bush had said this about WMD locations?
Would I agree to surgery on my child, should surgeon say,"It takes courage to base our decision on what we do not know?"
His time, talent, and treasure? Sure. Mine? Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I agree the discussion would have been much less polarized if the warmists had acknowledged how much the experts disagree. And, it would be much less polarized if the warmists would stop making absurd claims that snowfall, tornados, droughts and floods are the current result of global warming.