Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do. Luke 23:34
On the front of the 20sep14 edition of WSJ is a top-of-the-page herald that reads ‘Climate Science is NOT Settled’ (emphasis theirs; source of filched photo). I have waited at least ten years for the world’s preeminent newspaper to publish a major essay, so titled and no less by a scientist acknowledged by both true believers and skeptics. The piece is written by Dr Steven E Koonin, now director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University, and formerly undersecretary for science in the Energy Department during Obama’s first term. Other positions included professor of theoretical physics and provost at Caltech. Let me be up front, this is an ‘I told you so all along’ posting in which I will engage in some well-deserved braggadocio here and again.
Koonin’s piece is somewhat awkward in its attempt to walk back the bamboozle from the 'science' and baseless public policies we have been subjected to for the last 20+ years. However, it is rich in corroborating the exact laundry list of criticisms that we science-savvy climate skeptics have been alerting our readers to for at least a decade. While the Sierra Economics and Science Foundation and RR have a long string of published critiques of what has passed for climate science from government grant-sucking academics and in the lamestream media, the heavy lifting in informing the public has been done by people like Anthony Watts, Steve McIntyre, and even our own Russ Steele.
Awkward or not, Dr Koonin has the courage to finally break the silence with which Teams Obama, Gore, Schwarzenegger, and now Moonbeam have greeted every substantive counter to the arguments claimed to have been made in the various reports released over the years by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Before going into some detail, let me give the overview that Koonin’s arguments follow exactly the (Venn) diagrammatic structure of the same arguments I gave in my 2008 paper ‘Climate Change – A Format for Reasoned Dialogue’ available here.
The tagline to Koonin’s piece is “Climate change is real and affected by human activity, writes a former top science official of the Obama administration. But we are very far from having the knowledge needed to make good policy.” (emphasis mine) Koonin opens up with –
The idea that "Climate science is settled" runs through today's popular and policy discussions. Unfortunately, that claim is misguided. It has not only distorted our public and policy debates on issues related to energy, greenhouse-gas emissions and the environment. But it also has inhibited the scientific and policy discussions that we need to have about our climate future.