Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Open letter to Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon

I try to keep my struggles with climate science denialists over at WhatUpWithThatWatts, et al. - and keep this side to serious constructive science and misc. personal writings.  But there are exceptions.  In this case I think I finally nailed something I've been chasing a long time and I want to share it.  If you like it, help yourself and improve on it.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The last couple days I've been catching up on some of Nielsen-Gammon's articles and comments over at the Climate Change National Forum (more on them later) and I find myself struggling with the way he manages to frame all of his evidence and arguments.  [I should be clear Dr. Nielsen-Gammon is not a denialist, he is a respected scientist familiar with climatology - but what grabbed my attention was how his arguments were framed and that led to this.]  

Here's my open letter to John Nielsen-Gammon, 

Dear JNG,
I read the things you write and seems to me you consistently micro-focus on obscure details.  You play with data and numbers and trumpet man's inability to perfectly replicate Earth's processes in a lab, or climate model.  Using those contrived arguments you tell folks, we have no worries.

I'm asking you to step back a little to consider your assumptions, perhaps reconsider your approach.

I want to suggest everything you {along with the usual AGW "skeptical" suspects} say springs forth from a weltanschauuing of supreme confidence in human ingenuity.  Including a faith that society's only hope is in the free-corporate-market status quo being allowed to run it's course.

Am I correct John Nielsen-Gammon?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Looking beyond the individual you, I suggest it boils down to two different perceptions of our planet and Earth sciences.

At the heart of one is an appreciation that our Earth is a living organism, one that has taken four and a half billion years, evolving one day at a time, to arrive at the beautiful cornucopia that awaited a restless inquisitive human species.

The other mindset sees our planet through the lens of ancient texts and tribal dogmas.  To this group of humanity our life sustaining planet, Earth, isn't any more "real" than a Hollywood movie on the other side of the screen.  It's only function is to fuel our economy.

Therein lies the tragedy of our time.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This brings me back to CCNF and their project.  I'll let them speak for themselves and allow time to reveal how they do.

Climate Change National Forum (CCNF) is a national platform, founded and led by scientists, to educate the American public on the science of climate change and its policy implications. Our website,, will feature an ongoing and open dialogue on climate change among scientists, experts, and policy makers
Our aim is to serve as an objective source for journalists, policy experts, scientists, and interested citizens. The site will first be used by scientists to discuss the latest research on climate change and share and debate ideas on aspects of climate change relevant to policy making. These scientists will also fact check a continuous stream of outside articles and news clips procured by a professional journalist in the “Climate Change in the Media” section on the homepage. In the second phase of the CCNF project, subject matter experts and policy makers will be able to join the online discussion to compare and debate the benefits and costs of possible responses with the science columnists and other policy columnists commenting under their posts in columnist-only comment threads.
Click on image to view PDF.
Click on image to view PDF
CCNF is going live on 1/2/2014. We have already gathered a diverse community of earth, climate, and physical scientists willing to participate and will further grow this community as our columnists begin publishing. CCNF is soliciting scientist-members of the American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, and American Institute of Physics in the effort to amass a community of science columnists that is representative of the greater climate and physical sciences publishing community. (See Dr. Nielsen-Gammon’s “Letter to Fellow Physical Scientists,” recently featured on the American Meteorological Society’s blog, The Front Page, and a recent story on the project by the American Geophysical Union on their science and policy blog, The Bridge.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
For What It's Worth:

Colorado Floods -
Statistical Certainty vs Geophysical Realities 
Friday, October 25, 2013

No comments: