Saturday, February 21, 2009

Another call for a fair and open airing of the AGW theory

I don't know who "stan" is, but I couldn't agree with him more! I'm reproducing his comment which originally appeared here.

Stan writes:

The good people always have good reasons for letting someone else do the heavy lifting. Everyone thinks someone will because anyone could, but no one does.

Our society has determined that it is immoral to punish a person unless every element of a crime has been established beyond a reasonable doubt. We don’t rely on the best guesses of the police or the opinions of criminal justice experts as to the likelihood of guilt. The prosecution has to meet an evidentiary burden of proof which is very high.

Climate alarmists are advocating political action which will “punish” billions of people. The harm suffered by the poorest will be severe. And these poor haven’t even committed a crime. Aren’t they entitled to at least as much due process as a criminal? As a matter of morality, what standard of evidence should be required before such punishment is imposed? What burden should the alarmist advocates satisfy?

I don’t think honesty is asking too much. Is it asking too much that climate scientists check each other’s work before they make grand pronouncements of their theories to the rest of us? I believe that a scientist with a moral conscience, a bit of self-awareness and some knowledge of the dangers of hubris would realize his moral duty to be as sure as he could possibly be before demanding that billions of poor people suffer from his advocacy. At a minimum, that would mean checking and replicating every study. It would mean openness and transparency. It would mean quality control of the highest order. It would mean cessation of the dishonest presentations to the public and character assassination of anyone with a different viewpoint. And it would mean an insistence that other climate scientists conform to those minimum moral standards.

Instead, they play hide the ball. We get studies filled with lazy, wild-ass guesses which boggle the mind; “the dog ate my homework” excuses to reasonable requests for data; acceptance of pathetically bad studies without question; and failures of quality control for data that are jaw-dropping in their implications. And at every turn, the behavior of prominent climate alarmists sets off warning bells that tell us their moral compasses are seriously askew.

The alarmist scientists keep saying that they have the science on their side. But they never replicate studies. They never check each other’s work. They say they don’t have time to bother with quality control. And when others start checking, the mistakes keep piling higher and higher. The obstinance about transparency is a scandal. The refusal to replicate is inexplicable. The quality control is so bad it borders on criminal.

It’s time for good people to do something. Nothing won’t cut it anymore.

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