Impacts of Global Warming and Climate Change

MIT Climatologist Kerry Emanuel castigates "Climategate" attacks

The distinguished MIT climatologist Prof. Kerry Emanuel wrote a very hard-hitting essay: "Climategate": A Different Perspective, posted on the politically conservative National Association of Scholars NAS website on 7/19/10. Emanuel castigates the vicious right-wing attack on legitimate climate science that uses the pretext of the hacked emails and the minor IPCC report errors. This essay is extremely important. Click here for quotes.

HERE is a video of Emanuel testifying recently before the Science and Technology Committee of the US House of Representatives:

 
 
------------------

QUOTES from Emanuel's essay on climate"

...the scandal I see is very different from the one that has been presented to NAS members. Climategate is merely the latest in a series of coordinated, politically motivated attacks that represent an aggravated assault on scholarship...

A true test of NAS’s commitment to reason and scholarship is whether it is prepared to take on an attack that this time is mounted largely from the Right...

At the time of this writing, three separate panels convened in

Great Britain, and two investigations conducted by the Pennsylvania State University have cleared the authors of the controversial emails of any serious wrong doing, and with good reason. Meanwhile, the gross mischaracterization of what those emails actually contain continues unabated...

By now, whole forests (or their electronic equivalent) have been chopped down to provide space for discussion of the “hide the decline” remark in one of the emails. But if those same authors were conspiring to hide something important from the public, they did an exceedingly poor job of it, as anyone with the slightest interest in pursuing the matter would rapidly come across the extensive literature on the divergence problem, which includes papers by the authors of the emails in question.

The sin of those responsible for simplifying the summary figure pales in comparison to that committed by all those who have sought to elevate this to the level of a grand conspiracy among climate scientists and thereby to discredit a whole field of scholarship...

It is a matter of record that some of the scientists involved in the email exchanges had been subject to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests of such volume as to rise to the level of harassment. (FOI is, alas, often used in the legal profession as a blunt instrument to bring the opposing side to a standstill; now it is being used to slow down the progress of science.)...

The allegation that the researchers actually destroyed data has been shown to be false, but it is repeated endlessly.

...several factual errors were discovered in the most recent assessment report of the IPCC. These include a permutation of digits in the year in which certain Himalayan glaciers were predicted to vanish...While errors of this kind are regrettable, the attempt to leverage them into a sweeping condemnation of the whole report betrays such obvious political skullduggery as to be unworthy of further remark...

The characterization of climate research as a “house of cards” simply does not bear scrutiny and is insulting to the many climate scientists who have devoted their lives to understanding the earth’s climate. It represents an ongoing attempt to politicize scientific research...

It is important to understand that all scientists worthy of the title are skeptics who seldom accept evidence at face value and are always questioning the status quo. A sure way for an up-and-coming young scientist to make a name for himself or herself is to overturn some generally accepted piece of the scientific canon. This is what makes science a largely self-correcting enterprise: no incorrect result can stand long in the face of continuous scrutiny...

Ironically, those labeled “skeptics” by the media are not in fact skeptical; they are, on the contrary, quite sure that there is no risk going forward. Meanwhile, those interested in treating the issue as an objective problem in risk assessment and management are labeled “alarmists”, a particularly infantile smear considering what is at stake. This deployment of inflammatory terminology has a distinctly Orwellian flavor. It originates not in laboratories and classrooms, where ideas are the central focus and one hardly ever hears labels applied to researchers, but in the media, the blogosphere, and political think tanks, where polarization attracts attention and/or turns a profit...

But it turns out that there are not enough mavericks in climate science to meet the media’s and blogosphere’s insatiable appetite for conflict. Thus into the arena steps a whole host of charlatans posing as climate scientists...Typically, they have examined some of the more easily digestible evidence and, like good trial lawyers, cherry-pick that which suits their agendas while attacking or ignoring the rest. Often, they are a good deal more articulate than actual scientists, who usually prefer doing research to honing rhetorical technique...More precisely, does their expertise actually bear on the particular points they are making? It may sound elitist these days, but there is a point to credentials...

While the climategate email authors are castigated for not being paragons of virtue, the sins of others go unremarked. In the summer of 2009, a one-page letter was sent to Congress, signed by one actual climate scientist and six physicists with little or no background in climate science, three of whom were retired. Among other untruths, it contained the sentence, referring to evidence of anthropogenic global warming, “There is no such evidence; it doesn’t exist.” I confronted the sole climate scientist among the authors with this statement, and he confessed that he did not hold that to be the case. Last I checked, lying to Congress was a federal crime.

...NAS stands at a crossroads: is it truly committed to upholding standards of objective scholarship and free inquiry untainted by political agendas, or is it merely a particular brand of political passion masquerading as high principle? If the former, it should stop attacking climate science and turn its guns against those who are politicizing it.

"

 

 

Kerry Emanuel is a professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes, (2005, Oxford University Press). In May 2006 he was named one of Time magazine's "Time 100: The People Who Shape Our World."

--------------

[Note added: For the record, the letter to which Kerry Emanuel refers is HERE. The sole climate scientist among the authors was Richard Lindzen.]

Editorial addition of bold font for: mavericks in climate science, charlatans posing as climate scientists

Go to top

------------------

 

Glossary

Citation

(2017). MIT Climatologist Kerry Emanuel castigates "Climategate" attacks. Retrieved from http://climate.uu-uno.org/view/article/51cbecb47896bb431f68d577