Friday, August 28, 2009

Here we went again

UPDATE: MT asks why me? Eli points out that he quoted a major part of this proposed statement which asks the members to actively participate in professional education and discussion activities so as to be technically well informed about the latest advances in climate science and to engage in public education activities in the community, including at the local level.

The bunny more than suspects this is the result of shared experiences among the drafting committee. Contrast the GSA statement with that from the ACS or the APS. Now go read Only In It for the Gold where today Michael appeals to the scientific community

The scientific community has stood firm with climate science throughout, but this fact has had very limited recognition. The preponderance of evidence that CO2 accumulation must be not just slowed but essentially halted becomes more inescapable every year.

Yet many people believe exactly the reverse, largely under the influence of organized PR efforts intended to obscure the evidence.

Scientists have constraints on the time they have to devote to public communication and the ways in which they are expected to communicate. At present the most effective communication seems to come from a few climate bloggers, some anonymous, or from amateurs like Greg Craven or Peter Sinclair. These efforts only arose to fill a gaping vaccuum in professional communication.

However we got to this state, it has to be reversed.
You may connect the dots.

The Geological Society of America has a new draft policy statement on climate change which starts
The Geological Society of America concurs with key elements of recent assessments by the National Academies and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Global climate has warmed by ~0.7 °C since the middle to late 1800s, and human activities (mainly greenhouse-gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s. If current trends continue, the projected increase in global temperature by the end of the twenty-first century will result in large negative impacts on humans and other life forms. Addressing the challenges posed by future anthropogenic warming will require a combination of national and international emissions reductions and adaptations to those changes that occur.
The details of the statement are a quite conservative statement of the science with measured policy recommendations, and importantly recommendations for members
To facilitate implementation of the goals of this position statement, the Geological Society of America recommends that its members take the following actions:

Actively participate in professional education and discussion activities so as to be technically well informed about the latest advances in climate science. GSA should encourage symposia at national and regional meetings to educate members on mainstream understanding among geoscientists and climate scientists of the causes and future effects of global warming within the broader context of natural variability. These symposia should seek to actively engage members in hosted discussions that clarify issues, possibly utilizing educational formats other than the traditional presentation and Q&A session.

Engage in public education activities in the community, including at the local level. Public education is a critical element of a proactive response to the challenges presented by global climate change. GSA members are encouraged to take an active part in outreach activities to educate the public at all levels (local, regional, and national) about the science of global warming and the importance of geological research in framing policy development. Such activities can include organizing and participating in community school activities; leading discussion groups in churches or other civic organizations; meeting with local and state community leaders and congressional staffs; participating in GSA’s Congressional Visits Day; writing opinion pieces and letters to the editor for local and regional newspapers; contributing to online forums; and volunteering for organizations that support efforts to effectively mitigate and adapt to global climate change.

Collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders to help educate and inform them about the causes and impacts of global climate change from the geosciences perspective. GSA members are encouraged to discuss with businesses and policymakers the science of global warming, as well as the opportunities for transitioning from our predominant dependence on fossil fuels to greater use of low-
carbon energies and energy efficiencies.

Work interactively with other science and policy societies to help inform the public and ensure that policymakers have access to scientifically reliable information. GSA should actively engage and collaborate with other earth-science organizations in recommending and formulating national and international strategies to address impending impacts of anthropogenic climate change.
They solicit comments from members, and the word is out in denialsville, so if you are a member, go over there and put in your two cents, or whatever the dues are.

You would think that Michael Tobis had written the thing, but among the names Eli knows, Warren William Ruddimann (ear tip to JMashey) and Judith Lean are on the drafting committee.....Michael????


Penguindreams said...

For sufficiently loose definitions of 'know', I also know Barron, Cerling, Clark, and Kutzbach. Unsurprising that 6 of 10 are known to me -- primarily people who have been at the science for a long time. Also, of course, a contrast to the anti-scientific situations. There, most are emeritus (Singer, for instance) and commenting on areas they've not worked on seriously. Here, in the scientific society, the emeritus people (Ruddiman and Kutzbach, I believe, are now emeritus) are commenting on the area that they've worked on for decades. And there are younger people involved, again, commenting on the area they're doing their professional work in.

John Mashey said...

It will be fascinating to see what goes on.
I've been studying the "APS Petition" by Singer et al, with ~120 names, of which one (Hameed) seems a real climate scientist, a few have published a few papers that tend to get refuted fairly quickly (Douglass, Knox, Scafetta, West, Singer).
Otherwise, little or no peer-reviweed climate publications.

About 50% are officially retired, and the age distribution is interesting.

Most people have worked for decades in nuclear, defense, aerospace. LANL+others in NM represent ~20% of the signers, and Princeton & U Rochester show up often.

The signer trio of {Gruntman, Kunc, and Rapp) at USC are part of group looking for funding from US & California for climate research. I don't know anyone at USC, but I may go ask anyway.

Most of thtis is little surprise, but there are some funny connections, like discovering that Kunc was Willie Soon's dissertation advisor.
I'm sure Bill R & co are getting some interesting feedback from the geologists...

Reminder: that's William Ruddiman, not Warren.

Bhuvan Chand said...

It never ceases to amaze how the simple mention of global warming in a news story sets off a tsunami of rhetoric. It generally comes from a very vocal minority that would go to its grave swearing that the sum total of climate science is a liberal plot to enrich Al Gore. Alternately, we are told the Martian ice caps are melting, proof that solar radiation and sunspot cycles — and not greenhouse gases — are the cause of planetary warmups.

Horatio Algeranon said...

"Global climate has warmed by ~0.7 °C since the middle to late 1800s, and human activities (mainly greenhouse-gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s."-- GSA

Horatio must respectfully disagree.

Horatio presents a graphical illustration of his paradigm-shattering discovery in
Heaven, Hell and high water

For further details, please stay tuned for the upcoming paper in "Endtimes and Environment".

Michael Tobis said...

Err... who me?

Yes, this is good progress. I agree with it.

But I don't know what this has to do with me. I imagine Kutzbach and Barron would recognize my name, but not with enormous enthusiasm.

By the way, I always call Ruddiman "Warren" too. Now that I ponder why two people would do this I recall there was a senator Warren Rudman.

John Mashey said...

And speaking of positions and likely flak from the reeadership:

a) See Center for Inquiry's Credibility Report on Senate Minority Report list, an exhaustive analysis of the ~700 names. I somehow missed this when it came out in July.

b) I think this grew out of 2007's kerfuffle:

The May/June 2007 issue of Skeptical Inquirer published a straightforward article explaining AGW by NASA scientist Stuart Jordan. .

Much to Editor Kendrick Frazier’s astonishment, this elicited a firestorm of angry “cancel my subscription” letters. The first dozen letters were all quite critical; the only positive response he got was mine, although others came in later.

In the next issue, he wrote:
“”Critical e-mails from readers skeptical of global warming began arriving as soon as our May/June cover story on the subject began reaching them. They are furious. Almost all began by expressing disappointment, even anger, that a magazine with “Skeptical” in its title hadn’t debunked what they obviously think of as a myth. Two canceled their subscriptions. Most didn’t refer to the detailed scientific information in our cover article by NASA scientist Stuart Jordan or in the excerpts we presented from the latest IPCC report. So I couldn’t tell if they’d even read the articles. One did admit he (they were all males) hadn’t gotten beyond the third paragraph. And all this before we even publish, in this issue Part 2 of Jordan’s report.”

Jordan had a nice followup essay.

There were some good email discussions back and forth, helping Kendrick get up to speed on the denialism business.

My conclusion: it's costless, and good for the ego, to see silly beliefs by others debunked, but unsurprisingly, people who apply critical thinking in some areas don't in others...

Anyway, the CFI effort was a lot of work, and deserves more publicity.