Is it rare? Yes, very. Is it endangered? Let's hope not. (As my usual style, my comments are in italics.)
I just discovered something (someone) very rare indeed, a sceptical (honest) climatologist, and her name is Dr. Judith A. Curry. Bear in mind Dr. Curry is no lightweight, from her blog:
Judith Curry is Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology and President (co-owner) of Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN). She received a Ph.D. in Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago in 1982. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia Tech, she held faculty positions at the University of Colorado, Penn State University and Purdue University. She currently serves on the NASA Advisory Council Earth Science Subcommittee and has recently served on the National Academies Climate Research Committee and the Space Studies Board, and the NOAA Climate Working Group. Curry is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Geophysical Union.
So where has Dr. Curry been hiding all these years? My guess is she has been lost in the vast primitive swamps of politically correct academia where it is career suicide to question the conventional wisdom regarding global warming/climate change. Why is she coming out now, after so many years in the climate closet? I don't know, maybe she grew tired of living a lie. Maybe "climategate" has made being a climate sceptic somewhat academically acceptable. Maybe she wants to disassociate herself from the scandals at Penn St. (Michael Mann - climate fraud, football and child sex predators). Maybe she finally feels secure in her career. I don't know and don't care. I just welcome her in from the cold and dark.
Here is where I found Dr. Curry sleeping....er.....speaking with the "enemy":
The IPCC May Have Outlived its Usefulness - An Interview with Judith Curry
The enemy in this case is a website titled oilprice .com. Imagine the horror going through the ranks of Al Gore's global warming true-believers! They are probably on suicide watch. It gets better, and I couldn't be happier. I almost feel vindicated because I've stuck my timid little professional neck out on the line about what I've long called "the myth of man-caused global warming. This blog is testimony to that. Here is a thought along those lines:
“The acid test of intelligence is whether the things you believe in turn out to be true.” — James R. CookHere is the beginning of the interview with Dr. Curry.
The IPCC May Have Outlived its Usefulness - An Interview with Judith Curry
The IPCC, the onetime unquestioned champion of climate change, has had its credibility questioned over the years, firstly with the climategate scandal, then with a number of high profile resignations, and now with the new “Gleickgate” scandal (1) (2) – One has to wonder where climate science goes from here?
We have just had the pleasure of interviewing the well known climatologist Judith A. Curry in order to get her thoughts on climate change, the IPCC, geo-engineering, and much more.
Judith is the current chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology and hosts sensible discussions on climate change at her popular blog Climate, etc.
Considered somewhat of a black sheep within the scientific community Judith was a one time supporter of the IPCC until she started to find herself disagreeing with certain policies and methods of the organization. She feared the combination of groupthink and political advocacy, combined with an ingrained "noble cause syndrome" stifled scientific debate, slowed down scientific progress, and corrupted the assessment process. (continued here.)
Now, let's here a few key comments. (My observations in italics.)
OP: What are your personal beliefs on climate change?JC: The climate is always changing. Climate is currently changing because of a combination of natural and human induced effects. The natural effects include variations of the sun, volcanic eruptions, and oscillations of the ocean. The human induced effects include the greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, pollution aerosols, and land use changes. The key scientific issue is determining how much of the climate change is associated with humans. This is not a simple thing to determine. (Nothing new here, just the admission that there are "natural" causes of climate change, as if humans are somehow not "natural", a radical departure from the mainstream liberal ideology. Peter)
JC: I absolutely think that more effort is needed in determining the effect of the sun on our climate. The sun is receiving increased attention (and funding), (Again, nothing new, just something obviously long overdue. Peter)
OP: You are well known in climate and energy circles for breaking from the ranks of the IPCC and questioning the current information out there. What do you see as the reasons for the increase in skepticism towards global warming over the last few years.
JC: Because of the IPCC and its consensus seeking process, the rewards for scientists have been mostly in embellishing the consensus, and this includes government funding. Because of recent criticisms of the IPCCIPCC, and I think this is a healthy thing for the science. (Again, this is something I and many others have been saying all along. Add to the blackmail and constant subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle threats climate skeptics have received. Peter)
OP. What are your views on the idea that CO2 may not be a significant contributor to climate change? How do you think such a revelation, if true, will affect the world economy, and possibly shatter public confidence in scientific institutions that have said we must reduce CO2 emissions in order to save the planet?
JC: Personally, I think we put the CO2 stabilization policy ‘cart’ way before the scientific horse. The UN treaty on dangerous climate change in 1992 was formulated and signed before we even had ‘discernible’ evidence of warming induced by CO2, as reported in 1995 by the IPCC second assessment report. (Demonizing CO2 was a tactic, clever, but ridiculous from the beginning. A way of baffling the public with scientific jargon (Bull$hit), collecting taxes, selling carbon credits and enriching Al Gore. Peter)
OP. You have been noted to criticize the IPCC quite openly in the past on several topics.
Even going so far as to say: “It is my sad conclusion that opening your mind on this subject (climate change controversy) sends you down the slippery slope of challenging many aspects of the IPCC consensus.”
Do you believe that the organization as a whole needs to be assessed in order to better serve progress on climate change? What suggestions do you have on how the organization should function?
JC: The IPCC might have outlived its usefulness. (Send the entire United Nations packing. All they do is waste taxpayer's money and spread their one-world-government ideology and socialism. And send Hillary and her lust for gun control with them. Peter)
OP. Would renewable energy technologies have received the massive amounts of funding we have seen over the last few years without global warming concerns?
JC: I think there are other issues that are driving the interest and funding in renewables, including clean air and energy security issues and economics, but I agree that global warming concerns have probably provided a big boost. (To say the least! There are many reasons to promote the myth of man-caused global warming....try corruption....Solyndra? Political contributions from liberal environmental groups, a desire to control the energy industries of the world, a desire to rule the world, destroy America........there are many reasons to frighten people about global warming/climate change. Peter)
alarmed–and hence clamorous to be led to safety–by menacing
JC: The UN approach of seeking a global consensus on the science to support an international treaty on CO2 stabilization simply hasn’t worked, for a variety of reasons.(Science does not operate by consensus. Science must seek the truth and must be apolitical, non-partisan. Peter)
OP. I saw an interesting comment on another site regarding climate science that i thought i’d get your opinion on as it raises some very interesting arguments:
"Climate science has claimed for 30 years that it affects the safety of hundreds of millions of people, or perhaps the whole planet. If it gets it wrong, equally, millions may suffer from high energy costs, hunger due to biofuels, and lost opportunity from misdirected funds, notwithstanding the projected benefits from as yet impractical renewable energy.
Yet, we have allowed it to dictate global policy and form a trillion dollar green industrial complex - all without applying a single quality system, without a single performance standard for climate models, without a single test laboratory result and without a single national independent auditor or regulator. It all lives only in the well known inbred, fad-driven world of peer review."
JC: I agree that there is lack of accountability in the whole climate enterprise, and it does not meet the standards that you would find in engineering or regulatory science. I have argued that this needs to change, by implementing data quality and model verification and validation standards. (Bingo, right on the money, Trillions of dollars, millions of people suffer and die on the altar of global warming fear. Peter)
OP: Do you believe that the language used in papers and at conferences is a problem? The public just wants straight answers to questions: Is the climate warming, By how much, and what will the effects be? Scientists need to step out from behind the curtain and engage the public with straight answers and in their own words. Is this achievable, or is climate science too complex to be explained in laymen’s terms? Or is it because even climate scientists can’t agree on the exact answers?
JC: I think the biggest failure in communicating climate science to the public has been the reliance on argument from consensus. We haven’t done a good job of explaining all this, particularly in the context of the scientific disagreement. (We have conditioned our people to behave like sheep and follow the herd (consensus). Of course that is what those who seek to rule us, the liberals, socialists, progressives, Democrats, want....power and control. Peter)