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Schulte vs Oreskes on consensus, Round 2

Posted on 9 September 2007 by John Cook

While it's all a bit of a storm in a teacup, over a paper that is yet to be published, the Schulte vs Oreskes consensus debate rolls on. In a refreshing development, Schulte himself has posted a reply to Naomi Oreskes' rebuttal. Until now, all we've heard is hearsay reports about Schulte's paper - finally we get it from the horse's mouth. Some interesting factoids emerge:

  • Schulte originally submitted his paper to Science which makes sense as Oreskes' paper was originally published there. Science rejected it.
  • Schulte's motivation for writing the paper: "I drafted the paper because I had become concerned that patients were being perhaps unduly alarmed by media reports of catastrophic climate change and were coming to harm through resultant stress. [snip] My sole concern in this debate is the welfare of patients." Somehow, I doubt disseminating misleading global warming skepticism is what Hippocrates had in mind when he wrote "do no harm".
  • Schulte makes the peculiar point that Oreske's paper is not peer-reviewed. This claim is false. Oreske's paper was originally submitted as a policy forum, but the editors decided to get it peer-reviewed.

Most illuminating is his critique of Oreskes' original paper, claiming several papers in her survey reject the consensus. Schulte quotes almost verbatim from the Viscount Monkton of Benchley who in turn rehashes Benny Peisner's old work. Here are the five studies he cites that Oreskes should've included in her survey as rejecting the consensus position:

Lastly, I found an interesting quote in the Monkton article that Schulte borrowed from:

"What of the papers showing that solar variability is a key driver of recent climate change, and that in the past 70 years the Sun has been more active, for longer, than at almost any comparable period in the past 11,400 years?"

Ah, that old chestnut! He seems to be refering to Solar Activity Over the Past 11,500 years (Usoskin 2003). If only he'd read right through to the final paragraph:

"During these last 30 years the solar total irradiance, solar UV irradiance and cosmic ray flux has not shown any significant secular trend, so that at least this most recent warming episode must have another source."

Many thanks to Fergus Brown for the heads up on Schulte's response. More on Naomi Oreskes' study...

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Comments 1 to 1:

  1. You may want to check out: Stranger Fruit as it has a jolly tiff, with lawsuits threatened, bloggers ordered to be silent, etc.
    0 0
    Response: Thanks for the link. The comments are particularly interesting (I had a laugh at Eli Rabbett's comment at the end).

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