38 climate scientists respond to error-filled Wall Street Journal commentary

One of the many factual errors, misunderstandings, and misleading claims (I counted at least six) in a Wall Street Journal commentary denying human-caused climate disruption was that only four of the 16 co-signers had published on climate science, and only one has published anything significant on the topic recently. Many of the others were not even scientists (including celebrity aerospace engineer Burt Rutan), but rather engineers or physicians who were misidentified as scientists by the Journal‘s editorial page editor.

Today, the Journal published a response by 38 climate scientists to the commentary as a letter to the editor. This continues a pattern at the Journal of refusing to grant equal space and prominence to refutations of factually deficient commentaries. But given the Journal could have simply refused to publish any response, this is something a reasonably significant accomplishment. (Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway document the Journal‘s long and iniquitous history of refusing to publish rebuttals in great detail in their book Merchants of Doubt, reviewed by S&R here)

Here are the opening lines from the rebuttal:

Do you consult your dentist on your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field, and on published, peer-reviewed work. If you need surgery, you want a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations.

On January 27, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed on climate change by the climate science equivalent of dentists practicing cardiology….

Please click on the link above (or this one, which could move the rebuttal behind the Journal‘s paywall at any time) to read the rest.

3 comments on “38 climate scientists respond to error-filled Wall Street Journal commentary

  1. The misinformation lobby are soooo irritating. If human induced climate change isn’t real then what have they got to fear in the examination of the truth. Or do they suspect that climate change induced by us is real and they are simply trying to protect their interests. Or is it simply a massive act of denial. In any case what is the threat, why is there any need to missinform, play games, build a case however flimsy.

  2. “Do you consult your dentist on your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field, and on published, peer-reviewed work. If you need surgery, you want a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations.….”

    Umm.. I might go to a heart surgeon if I thought I had a problem with my heart. I would expect him to listen to my symptoms, then decide what he thought was wrong with me, and EXPLAIN that to me in words I could understand. And if I agreed with him, then I might go forward for an operation. After all, it’s MY body.

    If I went to him and he told me that my problem was because of a hitherto minor and insubstantial issue like a stubbed toe, and was unwilling to explain precisely how this toe could cause my heart problem, preferring to say things like ‘that medical connection is settled’, I would be rather suspicious. And if he then proposed taking my heart out (which I depend upon to power a lot of the processes in me, and replacing it with a lot of chicken’s hearts spread all over my body, because they were ‘greener and more sustainable’, I would be out of there sharpish!

    That seems to be a better analogy to what the climate scientists are doing to our society at the moment….

  3. “That seems to be a better analogy to what the climate scientists are doing to our society at the moment….”

    Not to anyone intelligent.

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