Monday, August 2, 2010

Gavin Schmidt Weighs in On Oreskes

Over at Gavin Schmidt responded to a comment of mine by stating.

Having read Nicholas Nierenberg's paper and the relevant parts of MoD, the issue is in the interpretation of William Nierenberg's actions on the 1983 report. NN claims essentially that the WN synthesis was reflective of the consensus on the committee, Oreskes and Conway see it as slanted towards inaction. It is a pretty nuanced issue, and while I can see why the parties involved have taken the positions they have, I'm not convinced that there is any obvious resolution of these opinions. But having said that, this is but a small part of the O&C case, and the evidence that they bring together overall is very convincing.

To me this demonstrates that Gavin will bend over backward to support anyone with an aligned political viewpoint. It is hard to imagine how, after reading our paper, a scientist wouldn't be concerned about the standard of proof Oreskes uses. And it seems to me logical, given that he isn't reviewing the sources himself, that he would be concerned about whether the other chapters use the same standards of proof.