Here’s a quote related to the McShane and Wyner discussion brought to light thanks to Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann at RealClimate that I happen to agree with. Yes I know, that’s a shock to some. This quote is from L. Mark Berliner in discussion here (PDF) and speaks powerfully to the whole of climate science:
The problem of anthropogenic climate change cannot be settled by a purely statistical argument. We can have no controlled experiment with a series of exchangeable Earths randomly assigned to various forcing levels to enable traditional statistical studies of causation. (The use of large-scale climate system models can be viewed as a surrogate, though we need to better assess this.) Rather, the issue involves the combination of statistical analyses and, rather than versus, climate science.
That’s a keeper.