Can a group of scientists in California end the war on climate change?

All we can say is – ‘it’s about time’,  some transparency in the debate is long over due. We have had the feeling that information on this important but contentious matter has been politicised to such a level it is considered unreliable. Perhaps this might make it more scientific, lets hope so – Deskarati

Richard Muller is Professor of Physics on the Berkeley campus For the past year, Muller has kept a low profile, working quietly on a new project with a team of academics hand-picked for their skills. They meet on campus regularly, to check progress, thrash out problems and hunt for oversights that might undermine their work. And for good reason. When Muller and his team go public with their findings in a few weeks, they will be muscling in on the ugliest and most hard-fought debate of modern times. Muller calls his latest obsession the Berkeley Earth project. The aim is so simple that the complexity and magnitude of the undertaking is easy to miss. Starting from scratch, with new computer tools and more data than has ever been used, they will arrive at an independent assessment of global warming. The team will also make every piece of data it uses – 1.6bn data points – freely available on a website. It will post its workings alongside, including full information on how more than 100 years of data from thousands of instruments around the world are stitched together to give a historic record of the planet’s temperature.

Muller is fed up with the politicised row that all too often engulfs climate science. By laying all its data and workings out in the open, where they can be checked and challenged by anyone, the Berkeley team hopes to achieve something remarkable: a broader consensus on global warming. In no other field would Muller’s dream seem so ambitious, or perhaps, so naive.

“We are bringing the spirit of science back to a subject that has become too argumentative and too contentious,” Muller says, over a cup of tea. “We are an independent, non-political, non-partisan group. We will gather the data, do the analysis, present the results and make all of it available. There will be no spin, whatever we find.” Why does Muller feel compelled to shake up the world of climate change? “We are doing this because it is the most important project in the world today. Nothing else comes close,” he says.

via Can a group of scientists in California end the war on climate change?

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One Response to Can a group of scientists in California end the war on climate change?

  1. alfy says:

    More power to Muller’s elbow! Frankly, what he is planning is real science. That is, the evidence will be open to debate and discussion. What the climate change lobby is doing is not real science. Much of it involves a priori assumptions that are often unstated and which may not be challenged. These are concealed behind neutral terms like “models”. Anyone casting doubt upon the validity of the work is subject to ad hominem attacks. Put simply, in the lawyer’s/debaters jargon, “If the facts are with you, argue the facts. If the facts are against you, attack the character of your opponent.”

    The history of science is littered with similar examples. Dr August Semmelweiss was convinced that the high perinatal mortality of young women in his hospital was caused by the dirty hands of the medical profession. He made his students wash their hands in chloride of lime. Perinatal mortality dropped sharply. For this presumption he was hounded out of office. His elders and betters among the consensual majority were totally unwilling to put the claims of Semmelweiss to the test, in case their role in the infection of patients became clear. (Perhaps a good man for a deskerati biog.)

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