Good ol’ Stephan has attached himself to another propaganda piece masquerading as science.
Statistical Language Backs Conservatism in Climate-Change Assessments
BioScience, Volume 69, Issue 3, 1 March 2019, Pages 209–219, https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biz004
Published: 18 March 2019
Here is the Abstract.
The scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change is empirically settled, but communicating it to nonscientific audiences remains challenging. To be explicit about the state of knowledge on climate science, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has adopted a vocabulary that ranks climate findings through certainty-calibrated qualifiers of confidence and likelihood. In this article, we quantified the occurrence of knowns and unknowns about “The Physical Science Basis” of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report by counting the frequency of calibrated qualifiers. We found that the tone of the IPCC’s probabilistic language is remarkably conservative (mean confidence is medium, and mean likelihood is 66%–100% or 0–33%), and emanates from the IPCC recommendations themselves, complexity of climate research, and exposure to politically motivated debates. Leveraging communication of uncertainty with overwhelming scientific consensus about anthropogenic climate change should be one element of a wider reform, whereby the creation of an IPCC outreach working group could enhance the transmission of climate science to the panel’s audiences.
This calibrated language undoubtedly reaffirms the sophisticated discourse of IPCC reports, but it might ironically jeopardize the clarity with which they might resonate with nonscientific audiences.
We know it’s bad, Naomi, that cartoonist, and somebody else said so.
Overall, the predominance of qualifiers of low to intermediate certainty reported above reveals that the tone of the probabilistic language of the IPCC’s report on the physical science of climate is remarkably conservative, and contrasts with the overwhelming scientific consensus about anthropogenic climate change (Oreskes 2004, Benestad et al. 2016, Cook et al. 2016) that the IPCC is endorsing (table 1).
And then there is the concept of “Seepage”
The reality is that contrarian views against anthropogenic climate disruption can lobby the scientific community, and the IPCC in particular, to be conservative and so reinforce contrarian views in a vicious, self-reinforcing circle—a phenomenon called seepage (Lewandowsky et al. 2015b). Why? Essentially, the IPCC must carefully gauge the costs and entailing loss of credibility of making a mistake given the heated and politicized debate about climate change, so the Panel has a tacit motivation for using a cautious language.
And then a litany of proposed propaganda strategies based on appeals to authority, how to pick, choose, and present evidence, use of font styles, and much more.