It’s not often that I’ll go the “I told you so route”, but this time it seems appropriate towards Richard Tol. Though maybe also a thank you might be in order with how decisive scientists rebutted Tol’s nonsensus. But before I go into that, a bit of context is needed.
To quote John Reisman, “Science is not a democracy. It is a dictatorship. It is evidence that does the dictating.” It’s this evidence based ‘dictatorship’ that is the basis for a scientific consensus. Based on this ‘dictatorship’ of evidence we know that global warming is real, we’re causing it, and that it’s a problem if we don’t act. This presents a real problem for those denying that there is a problem or want to minimize the consequences.
Today was the first day I finally had a chance to attend some sessions in the morning. But that was after I missed a couple of presentations as I had to run to Radio Shack to get a new external harddrive. We’ve recorded so much interview footage that the drive I had with me just didn’t have enough space.
At AGU I dropped walked in the session Climate Literacy: Culture of Science AND Broader Impacts Done Well (ED31H) just before the start of the presentation Integrating Explicit Learning about the Culture of Science into the Pre-Service Teacher Curriculum through Readings and Reflections presented by Anne Egger.
Very few Americans are aware of the overwhelming scientific consensus on global warming (Maibach 2013). There’s a huge gap between the agreement the public thinks there is between scientists and the actual agreement among scientists. It’s because of this lack of awareness that several studies investigated what the agreement is among scientists.
When researchers surveyed climate scientists on the cause of global warming 97% of the actively publishing climatologists said that “human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures” (Doran 2009) Researchers found the same patterns when they analysed public statements of climate experts (Anderegg 2010). When researchers looked into how the scientific consensus on global warming evolved from 1996 to 2009 they found a steady increase in the agreement among scientists (Bray 2010). The latest survey on the scientific literature found that 97% “endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming” (Cook 2013).
Yesterday Bob Tisdale published the blog post titled ‘Open Letter to the Honorable John Kerry U.S. Secretary of State‘ (archived here) on the blog Watts Up With That (WUWT). He also published it on his own website.
My opinion of that letter from Tisdale is that it doesn’t accurately represent the IPCC and their latest release. There are a lot of reasons of why I hold that position and what I wrote for ‘No, Global Warming Hasn’t Stopped‘ gives a good introduction about his mistakes about climate models. I can also recommend the article ‘The new IPCC climate change report makes deniers overheat‘ by Michael Mann for a better understanding of how the latest IPCC report often is misrepresented.
When I started on my open letter to Tisdale I knew we would never reach any sort of agreement on his points about climate research or the IPCC. That’s why I focussed on the following in his letter:
After I published the response I received from the KNMI I did a few pokes on Twitter towards Anthony Watts and Marcel Crok to see if they were willing to respond to it.
I also left a comment about it on Crok’s website where I quote what the KNMI said (I couldn’t do this on Watts’ website as the comment section was already closed).
So far I haven’t received a response from Watts, but Marcel Crok was kind enough to engage me in his comment section. I’ll be going through his responses to me in this post and my take on them.
Before I do that though I have to compliment Crok for being respectful and civil towards me, despite me being quite critical towards him. It’s something that’s often severely lacking from any public exchanges that take place. Being able to engage someone while being quite critical and at the same time having a civil exchange was a breath of fresh air. It’s just sad that this is the exception.
Now lets start with his first response towards me, which I found a bit strange: