Re: Re: [asa] Re: The ASA and Climate Literacy

From: <>
Date: Tue Aug 25 2009 - 11:23:47 EDT

On Aug 25, 2009 8:47am, "John Burgeson (ASA member)"
<> wrote:

> ANyway -- I do think this is an issue the ASA might reasonably take a

> position on. But not until there has been a vigorous debate, hearing

> from all members who think they have something to offer.

I am not really advocating taking "sides" here. Rather, what I think we can
do is to help lay people develop the skills necessary to properly evaluate
the competing claims. Specifically, I think it would be good to teach how
science really works. The denialists represent consensus science as the
edge of our understanding while the alarmists do the exact opposite.
Science journalism practices do not help here as they only report "news"
which is by definition not consensus science since it's press releases from
published papers. What gets published in Nature and Science are by
definition at the edge of our understanding while the IPCC reports are more
conservative. In AR4 the IPCC took out any estimate on what ice melt would
have sea level rise since it was understood poorly (our models were way
underestimating the effects). The denialists made a false comparison
between TAR and AR4 and pretty much guaranteed that the sea level rise
would be greatly underestimated. Since then semi-empirical work by Real
Climate contributor Rahmsdorf is giving good predictions. Is that
consensus? Not yet but it's getting there and most likely will be included
in the fifth report when it comes out of the IPCC.

Rich Blinne
Member ASA

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Received on Tue Aug 25 11:24:22 2009

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