Don’t “cry wolf” on climate-change risks, scientists say

Professors Paul Hardaker and Chris Collier, both Royal Meteorological Society figures, told a conference in Oxford some researchers make claims about possible future impacts that cannot be justified by the science.

Collier, former president of the society, is concerned the serious message about the risks posed by global warming could be undermined by making premature claims. This view is shared by Hardaker, the society's chief executive.

“We have to stick to what the science is telling us,” Hardaker said. “I don't think making that sound more sensational, or more sexy, because it gets us more newspaper columns, is the right thing for us to be doing.

“We have to let the science argument win out.”


“The Times also misidentified Don Easterbrook, calling him a “rank-and-file” scientist, when, in fact, he has expressed skeptical views about global warming that put him at odds with the scientific consensus on the issue”…..”In addition, Broad failed to note the connection between two scientists quoted in his article and the oil and gas industry.”…..”Also, Media Matters for America has documented that scientists identified as skeptics in Broad’s article – Richard Lindzen, Bjørn Lomborg, Roy Spencer, and Benny J. Peiser – all have made statements questioning global warming that have either been debunked or discredited by the scientific community, which Broad did not report.”

Here’s an interesting survey (my apologies of it has already been mentioned here).

Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research
Global Warming Real, Worrying for Canadians
March 22, 2007

Most Canadian adults believe climate change is a reality, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. 77 per cent of respondents are convinced that global warming is happening, 21 per cent think it may be occurring, and only two per cent flatly reject it. In addition, 69 per cent of respondents think the science behind climate change estimates is real, while 12 per cent deem it as “junk” and 19 per cent are not sure…


The “may be” category of about 21% is fair enough. The discussion and debate of evidence has probably been a positive thing, although the shrillness of the really uninformed shills (who mouth old slogans and only think they are debating evidence) has spoiled the process a bit, but obviously not made much headway. The “junk science” question is politicized so not as meaningful.

quote: …”junk science” is the term that corporate defenders apply to any research, no matter how rigorous, that justifies regulations to protect the environment and public health. The opposing term, “sound science”, is used in reference to any research, no matter how flawed, that can be used to challenge, defeat, or reverse environmental and public health protections.

- Trust Us, We’re Experts!
by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber
Jeremy P. Tarcher / Putnam Publisher, 2001, paper (Amazon)