Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stupid sceptic questions

Gabi Hegerl
At a recent lecture Gabi Hegerl, University of Edinburgh climate scientist and co-ordinating lead author for the 2007 IPCC AR4, was misheard and misquoted by blogger Bishop Hill.  The mistake was duly acknowledged by the Bishop and he posted Professor Hegerl's exact words from a video which was subsequently made available. 
"What is frustrating to me as a scientist is that the objections raised by the skeptics groups are scientifically so stupid often...it would be really much more fun to fight really interesting assertions.  But it's often things that often ring reasonable to people who have not background in this but that are scientifically totally with out value. I would find it more interesting to discuss if the sceptics would raise better questions."  Professor Gabi Hegerl, 5.10.10

Doubtless Professor Hegerl is right that some of the arguments made by sceptics are stupid.  But I don't think the fundamental position of many of those who are skeptical of the establishment can be dismissed so lightly.  It may repay Professor Hegerl to consider the position articulated in this blogpost by Warren Meyer.  

And I am still puzzling over her extraordinary dismissal of a sceptic with impeccable scientific credentials when I asked her a question a few weeks ago.  I repeat the excerpt from my post below.
"A few weeks back at a meeting of the Royal Society of Edinburgh I asked our Edinburgh climate science expert Gabi Hegerl why she claimed there was a consensus about man made global warming when there were people like Professor Lindzen expressing such a sharply contrasting view.  Her reply was that generally accepted models did not bear out his views."

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