A tale of two interviews: candid Curry vs mythmaking Mann

In light of all the mealy-mouthed apologia and statements from individuals and organizations finally feeling the heat from Gleickgate, it was a very refreshing change to read a candid and balanced interview with Dr. Judith Curry.

James Stafford of OilPrice.com asks series of questions to which her answers give one cause for optimism. Here are some excerpts (all emphases are mine -hro):

The IPCC May Have Outlived its Usefulness – An Interview with Judith Curry

Mon, 27 February 2012

OP: What are your personal beliefs on climate change? The causes and how serious a threat climate change is to the continued existence of society as we know it.

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. […]

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 IPCC and a growing understanding that the climate system is not easily understood, an increasing number of scientists are becoming emboldened to challenge some of the basic conclusions of the IPCC, and I think this is a healthy thing for the science.


[OP] […] 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. Lets see what the next assessment report comes up with. But we are getting diminishing returns from these assessments, and they take up an enormous amount of scientists’ time.

But if self-promoting hype is more to your liking, try TIME magazine’s interview with Michael Mann.

I’m not going to sully my blog with quotes from an article headlined: “A Climate Warrior Puts it All On the Line — Including His Life”. But suffice it to say … Mann seems to be in competition with Peter Gleick for nomination as ‘martyr of the month’ or as Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. noted in a tweet:

No nuance or complexity here — Time’s hagiography of Michael Mann, what next, Mt Rushmore? Sainthood?

Perhaps Walsh should consider interviewing Dr. Michael Kelly, whose recent letter to the U.K. Times includes [h/t Bishop Hill]:

The interpretation of the observational science has been consistently over-egged to produce alarm. All real-world data over the past 20 years has shown the climate models to be exaggerating the likely impacts — if the models cannot account for the near term, why should I trust them in the long term?

I have noticed a tendency on the part of some journalists – and Walsh is one of them – to shift the focus of Gleick’s culpability by referring to events since Feb. 14 as the Heartland Affair.

Stafford gets it right, though. In his intro he wrote:

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?

Here’s the link again to his interview with Dr. Curry.

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