The WUWT rebuttal piece “Judith I love ya but you’re way wrong” written by Willis Eschenbach has made it all the way to the NYT. There’s also an interesting quote from Gavin Schmidt.
“Climate scientists are paid to do climate science,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, a senior climatologist with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies. “Their job is not persuading the public.”
From the RealClimate About page, first sentence:
“RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists.”
Note to Gavin: We’ll all be missing your daily work on RealClimate now. What’s the end date? ;-)
Excerpts of: Scientists Taking Steps to Defend Work on Climate
By JOHN M. BRODER
WASHINGTON — For months, climate scientists have taken a vicious beating in the media and on the Internet, accused of hiding data, covering up errors and suppressing alternate views. Their response until now has been largely to assert the legitimacy of the vast body of climate science and to mock their critics as cranks and know-nothings.
But the volume of criticism and the depth of doubt have only grown, and many scientists now realize they are facing a crisis of public confidence and have to fight back. Tentatively and grudgingly, they are beginning to engage their critics, admit mistakes, open up their data and reshape the way they conduct their work.
The unauthorized release last fall of hundreds of e-mail messages from a major climate research center in England, and more recent revelations of a handful of errors in a supposedly authoritative United Nations report on climate change, have created what a number of top scientists say is a major breach of faith in their research. They say the uproar threatens to undermine decades of work and has badly damaged public trust in the scientific enterprise.
The e-mail episode, called “climategate” by critics, revealed arrogance and what one top climate researcher called “tribalism” among some scientists. The correspondence appears to show efforts to limit publication of contrary opinion and to evade Freedom of Information Act requests. The content of the messages opened some well-known scientists to charges of concealing temperature data from rival researchers and manipulating results to conform to precooked conclusions.
“I have obviously written some very awful e-mails,” Phil Jones, the British climate scientist at the center of the controversy, confessed to a special committee of Parliament on Monday.
Climate scientists have been shaken by the criticism and are beginning to look for ways to recover their reputation. They are learning a little humility and trying to make sure they avoid crossing a line into policy advocacy.
“It’s clear that the climate science community was just not prepared for the scale and ferocity of the attacks and they simply have not responded swiftly and appropriately,” said Peter C. Frumhoff, an ecologist and chief scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “We need to acknowledge the errors and help turn attention from what’s happening in the blogosphere to what’s happening in the atmosphere.”
A number of institutions are beginning efforts to improve the quality of their science and to make their work more transparent. The official British climate agency is undertaking a complete review of its temperature data and will make its records and analysis fully public for the first time, allowing outside scrutiny of methods and conclusions. The United Nations panel on climate change will accept external oversight of its research practices, also for the first time.
Two universities are investigating the work of top climate scientists to determine whether they have violated academic standards and undermined faith in science. The National Academy of Sciences is preparing to publish a nontechnical paper outlining what is known — and not known — about changes to the global climate. And a vigorous debate is under way among climate scientists on how to make their work more transparent and regain public confidence.
Some critics think these are merely cosmetic efforts that do not address the real problem, however.
“I’ll let you in on a very dark, ugly secret — I don’t want trust in climate science to be restored,” Willis Eschenbach, an engineer and climate contrarian who posts frequently on climate skeptic blogs, wrote in response to one climate scientist’s proposal to share more research. “I don’t want you learning better ways to propagandize for shoddy science. I don’t want you to figure out how to inspire trust by camouflaging your unethical practices in new and innovative ways.”
“The solution,” he concluded, “is for you to stop trying to pass off garbage as science.”
read the rest at Scientists Taking Steps to Defend Work on Climate in the New York Times