Science History Professor Naomi Oreskes has written a blistering piece in the LA Times today. Her motivation is the barrage of criticism she has been taking lately from an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal as well the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Normally, we would advise against scientists responding to this public misinformation because it only adds to the appearance of a debate, which is exactly what the skeptics aim to do. However, Oreskes piece is very well written and clearly reinforces the message that the debate on climate change has been over for a long time.
Oreskes is the author of a 2004 review in Science that looked at 928 climate science papers and found that not one challenged the consensus view on climate change.
The study was a very clear and concise means of highlighting the overwhelming consensus on the scientific evidence pointing to human-induced global warming. Of course, the climate change skeptics have been in hyper-spin mode over this one ever since.
Dr. Oreskes doesn’t defend her paper in the LA Times article as much as she delivers some knock-out punches to those scientsists who just can’t accept the realities of global warming. To quote:
“To be sure, there are a handful of scientists, including MIT professor Richard Lindzen… who disagree with the rest of the scientific community. To a historian of science like me, this is not surprising. In any scientific community, there are always some individuals who refuse to accept new ideas and evidence.”
“Those few who refuse to accept it are not ignorant, but they are stubborn. They are not unintelligent, but they are stuck on details that cloud the larger issue. Scientific communities include tortoises and hares, mavericks and mules.”
Could we add sly foxes and the odd weasel to this category?