Monday, August 22, 2011

Another Lie From Fred Singer

I dislike calling anyone a "liar," and charges of dishonesty are spouted far too readily these days. But I just can't think of any other word to call this recent claim from Fred Singer:
"the number of skeptical qualified scientists has been growing steadily; I would guess it is about 40% now."

-- Fred Singer
That's from a January press release from the National Academy of Scholars, who interviewed him. I can't in any way understand a basis for such a number (and Singer offers none). It's not reflected in the scientific literature or at scientific conferences. It's contradicted by this study of over 3,000 scientists active in the field of climate science, which found that 97% think humans play a role in today's climate. (More details of the study are given in this EOS article by one of the study's authors. Their survey had a response rate of only 31%, so there is room for some skepticism there (intellectual skepticism, not climate skepticism). But still....).

There's also this PNAS paper by Anderegg et al, which found that
97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.
Maybe Fred Singer lives in a climate skeptic bubble, but he should still be aware of these studies and he should still offer some justification for his 40% number. If you see a reason to disagree with my "liar" label, please give your reasons in the comments. I can't think of any.

John Mashey recently chopped up the National Academy of Scholars. (He gives a great quote that applies here as well:
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence."

-- Christopher Hitchens
Mashey's long-form reply to the National Academy of Sciences Scholars, "Bottling Nonsense," is something you have to see to believe. I assume that Mashey also likes to kill undesirable bugs by driving over them with a steamroller.

1 comment:

CapitalClimate said...

Even you got sucked in by the intentionally misleading acronym: This NAS is the National Academy of SCHOLARS, not "Sciences" as in your last paragraph.