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Thursday, August 2, 2012

California Academy of Sciences: Thank you, Dr. Muller?

Thank you Dr. Muller?

“Call me a converted sceptic.”
That quote from a recent piece by UC Berkeley physicist, Richard Muller, in the New York Times. Muller should be congratulated for his objective and scientific approach, and now agrees that the overwhelming majority of ongoing warming is attributable to human activities. HOWEVER, Dr. Muller should not be congratulated for the great disservice that he did to the scientific community when he initially expressed, very publicly, his skepticism for original studies on warming. It is fine, in fact essential, to be skeptical as a scientist. But the proper course of action is to re-examine the study(ies) of which you are skeptical, in scientific and peer-reviewed venues. That is how we test and verify or reject our hypotheses and conclusions. Opinions, no matter how expert, are still merely opinions until tested. Nevertheless, the proper course has been followed, and we should all look forward to the results of Dr. Muller and co-authors’ latest effort. It is, after all, a test of the repeatability and reliability of previous studies. I think that we all need to be careful of not falling into the unqualified and inexpert morass characterized by vessels like Anthony Watts.
The New York Times piece may be found here, and here is an article about that article from the BBC. And a preprint of the study is online here.

From the Climate Change blog of the California Academy of Sciences, July 30, 2012

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