The climate debate is entering a new state of confusion that will at least bring some of the fascinating technical issues into the popular press. The first time this happened was during the congressional hearings featuring the “Hockey Stick” debates where critics suggested that some key math and research supporting “unprecedented global warming” was seriously flawed. Although leading statisticians agreed with the critics the situation is probably best characterized as a stalemate with both sides claiming vindication and little change in the way others have addressed the issues at hand.
The technical issues sound obscure but they impact every man, woman, and child on earth in almost incalculable ways because many nations are preparing to forego a lot of GDP in the interests of climate mitigation, and this has substantial economic consequences.
I do believe in warming and believe it’s human caused. However I don’t think we can afford to do all that much about it and also don’t think the consequences are nearly as severe as advertised. Therefore I’m not reasonably called a “climate skeptic” .
Many bright people are skeptics however and everyone should resent that they are called “climate denialists”, a bizarre term used to conjure up images of the ignorance and malice of holocaust denial.
I am concerned that climate science, especially with respect to mathematical modelling and long term temperature reconstructions, has been compromised by egos and cognitive biases. I don’t think climate science has been compromised enough to reasonably suggest that human caused warming is “unlikely”, but it’s been compromised enough to suggest climate alarmists, rather than the unfairly branded “denialists”, are the ones often standing on thin ice.
Here’s a comment I tried to post at RealClimate.org but it appears to have been rejected:
It’s unfortunate to see so many insults and tired talking points rather than *key issues* such as:
Is Yamal robust?
Why does proxy selection in papers like Yamal, Kaufman seem to include more proxies with stronger GW signals than a randomized proxy selection process?
Why isn’t there a randomized proxy selection process or at least a well structured one as was suggested (but appears not implemented) in the Kaufman Arctic lakes study?
Why does it take so long to properly archive data and why is there a single shred of resistance to totally transparent archiving of source code and data?
To what degree is observed global warming the product of human activity?
To what degree is the modern warming trend unprecedented?
Role of the Medieval Warming Period and why is there so much disagreement about temps at that time? (another proxy selection issue!) Simply asserting that these questions “have been answered many times” isn’t only wrong and insulting, it’s counterproductive if you sincerely want to challenge the growing mainstream view that climate science has been compromised by cognitive biases and ego. I’m staying open to your insistence that the science has not been compromised at all and McKintyre is just a slinging mathematical mud, but posts like this don’t provide much support for that idea.