In which Eli goes all Frank Luntz on the bunnies and takes up the wordsmith's burden and suggests nixing the phrase settled science and taking up established science. Why you ask?
In the approach to the WG1 rollout, the Flat Earthers are going all wingnut again about "settled science" and have stirred up the Aunties, including the editor of Nature. Well, yes young'en, there ain't no such thing as science somebunny can't ask questions about, but there are certainly questions about which it is pretty clearly recognized that asking the questions displays a certain lack of learning, or others where the cost benefit analysis says that working to get an answer is somewhere between betting your life on double zero in roulette and spitting into the wind although more fun.
Now there is a use for people who ask such questions, especially in the period when something is moving between an area of active inquiry and of interest only to folks who mutter into tattered notebooks of scribble, e.g. the sky dragons of past amusement.
Eli has a friend at another place of more renown who has two colleagues, both rather well known. When he has a question, he puts it to both of them. From one he gets the wrong answer for the right reason, from the other the right answer for the wrong reason. Since Eli's friend knows who is what, he ends up with the combination he needs, but what really is amusing is someone who gives you the wrong answer for the wrong reason.
Richard Lindzen is a prime example of such a person, who by learning ain't a dummy, but has always got it wrong, but on the way, for example the Iris hypothesis, drives others to find interesting science. Ray P laid this out clearly in his 2012 Tyndall lecture (start at 35:00 in the video)
It's OK to be wrong, and Dick is a smart person, but most people don't really understand that one way of using your intelligence is to spin ever more clever ways of deceiving yourself, ever more clever ways of being wrong, and that's OK because if you are wrong in an interesting way that advances the science, I think it's great to be wrong and he has made a career of being wrong in interesting ways about climate science.What is wrong about this is that increasingly for Lindzen the wrong appears to be driven by a desperation to be right about something and taken on an increasingly political tinge and. Which brings us to established science.
There is no doubt that there are many things about climate science that are well established and that only the cranks dispute, this is the consensus. Established science is what the IPCC uses when it says that humans are changing the climate in ways that threaten the environment in which we live. And, of course, please send Eli a carrot when you talk about Established Science