Shortly before his untimely death Steven Schneider sat down with Climate Science Watch's Rick Piltz and Rebeka Ryvola. When Andregg, et al., Schneider being the final al., was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the tutt tutting reached a wonderful crescendo. Lots of oxen were Gored. Ethon reports that talk of blacklists and never being able to see someone's name quoted in the New York Times again filled the air in Colorado. The Pielkesphere was outraged, and it was only when Judith Curry started spewing nonsense that calm returned.
It was unfortunate that Schneider was out of the country at the time. His access to the media, which the other authors did not have, would have made a difference.
Since that was at least four Climategate like events ago, perhaps a reminder of the paper's conclusions is in order
A vocal minority of researchers and other critics contest the conclusions of the mainstream scientific assessment, frequently citing large numbers of scientists whom they believe support their claims…This group, often termed climate change skeptics, contrarians, or deniers, has received large amounts of media attention and wields significant influence in the societal debate about climate change impacts and policy.Eli would encourage the bunnies to go read the whole interview or listen to it. It is the shoe that did not drop at the time. CSW has posted video. There is one interchange which demonstrates Schneiders ability to strip a duplicious argument bare. He will be missed.
Despite media tendencies to present ‘both sides’ in ACC debates [anthropogenic climate change], which can contribute to continued public misunderstanding regarding ACC, not all climate researchers are equal in scientific credibility and expertise in the climate system. This extensive analysis of the mainstream versus skeptical/contrarian researchers suggests a strong role for considering expert credibility in the relative weight of and attention to these groups of researchers in future discussions in media, policy, and public forums regarding anthropogenic climate change.
CSW: I believe Judith Curry argued that, on your various lists, under “convinced of the evidence” you were including people who are ecologists and biologists, and who aren’t really experts in the climate change detection and attribution research. So that somehow skews your notion of how to sort people out in terms of credibility. What’s your response to that?
Schneider: Well, there are two responses. First of all, there are a couple dozen people in the world that work in ecology – that includes people like Terry Root, Camille Parmesan, and myself, among others – who actually look at the bloom dates of roses in your grandmother’s back yard and when birds come back. We do detection and attribution studies. Those people are in the IPCC and they are legitimate experts and they have published research in Science and Nature and PNAS and places like that. There was an entire chapter on it in [IPCC] Working Group II and those people, again, like Cynthia Rosenzweig, were included in the IPCC database.
But she does have a point, that not everyone in IPCC is an expert in detection and attribution. That’s certainly true. But when she said that the IPCC group that we used in our PNAS study should be cut down to something like 20% of the original. That’s hundreds of people, that’s still quite a lot of people. If you look at the “unconvinced of evidence” group, virtually nobody in it has ever published a paper on detection and attribution. So, by Judy’s own logic, that means it’s virtually a null set. That means there’s almost nobody in the unconvinced category who has any expertise whatsoever in detection and attribution. So, if you take her logic, and apply it symmetrically to the “convinced” and “unconvinced” you narrow the “convinced” group down to a smaller but still clear and robust population and the “unconvinced” has virtually no expertise, and their opinion becomes completely irrelevant.