A British Nobel Prize winner and the head of major scientific societies recently said “serial offenders” casting man-made climate change in a skeptical light “should be crushed and buried.”
The Guardian reported that Sir Paul Nurse, the incoming president of the British Science Association and current president of the Royal Society, made these remarks to journalists ahead of the British Science Festival. He encouraged scientists to call out politicians and others who skew scientific data.
But first, he said he hoped that scientists would try to forge good relationships with politicians and lobbyists “so that they feel ashamed to say some of the things they say,” the Daily Mail reported of Nurse’s remarks.
“Today we have those who like to mix science up with ideology and politics, where opinion, rhetoric and tradition hold more sway than adherence to evidence and adherence to logical argument,” Nurse said. “We have to be aware of, and beware, organizations that masquerade as lobbying groups, which we see a lot in climate change. We have to be aware of politicians that cherry pick scientific views, even ministers who listen to scientists when it’s about GM crops and then ignore them when it’s about climate change.”
A study published in the journal Climate Risk Management this week reported new statistical analysis that suggests it is “highly likely” — 99.999 percent — that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as a result of human activity over the 304 consecutive months were the cause of “anomalously warm global temperatures.”
Last month, a draft of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s final synthesis report warned that it was increasingly likely that climate change could be irreversible. The report said the climate changes that have already occurred are widespread and consequential, while the human fingerprints on the problem are clear and unequivocal.
At the same time, another study published by a Canadian environmental economist suggested that a warming trend hasn’t happened for nearly two decades.
“In my paper I’m not actually looking at the climate models, I’m just looking at the temperature data and asking how long is the pause, and I make it out to be about 19 years at this point,” Dr. Ross McKitrick, a professor at the University of Guelph teaching courses in environmental economics, told KTRH News of his research. “Because these have big policy implications and some big public discussions, people just need to actually go and look at the numbers themselves and think the story gets pretty clear at that point,” he says.
While many scientists have not wanted to entertain debates with those who hold a different ideology compared to what the majority of the scientific community believes, Nurse encouraged these scientists to be open to discussing heated topics.
“It can be terribly time consuming. There is a constant regression to little points that constantly require rebuttal, so it can be very stressful. But once the debate is in the media or on the airwaves or TV we have to be engaged,” he said, according to the Guardian.
(H/T: Daily Mail)
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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