There have been a few scientists out there who profess skepticism about the state of climate science who also, by many measures, are good at their jobs (I’m thinking of someone like Richard Lindzen or, more recently, Judith Curry). They can have a role to play, if they are honest about that role. But the problem is that for the last couple of decades there have only been a few of these scientists. Everyone else (like ex-skepticRichard Muller) has already been convinced by the data that climate change is real, and we are its cause. And yet, in the circus that now stands in for a real debate about our climate options, the few skeptical voices left get amplified past the point of distortion regardless of their quality.
Every scientist has the right to his or her own perspective. But scientists also understand how research communities build their understanding about what is known and how anyone knows it. So, I wondered how Soon could fail to acknowledge that the weight of evidence was overwhelmingly against him when he made his overarching public statements of skepticism. I asked Soon why his testimony to Congress did not begin with something like, “I acknowledge that the majority of researchers in my field hold a different view from me, but let me now explain why I am taking such a contrarian position.”
When I asked Soon about these points, he had very little to say.
-Adam Frank writing about Willie Soon for his blog 13.7 (Check out the full piece for more background and more depressing points)