A letter to Gavin Schmidt goes unansweredRichard Treadgold | January 6, 2012
It has taken me a while to follow up on this letter I sent to Gavin Schmidt on 5 March, 2010. It will come as no surprise to anyone that he hasn’t deigned to answer my email. However, as it expresses succinctly some of the main defences against the “denier” appellation I’ll put it up for comment.
Dear Dr Schmidt,
I’m disappointed to hear you quoted (below) apparently referring to climate “sceptics” as “nutters”.
For it is not mental instability that requires me to want evidence of AGW. It is not insanity to want someone to describe in simple words, without taking too long, without referring me to the hundreds of unfriendly pages of the AR4, the evidence for AGW.
Not, note, evidence for the greenhouse effect, which is indisputable. Not evidence for the growth in humanity’s emissions of greenhouse gases, which is indisputable. Not evidence for the growth in atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases, which is indisputable. Not evidence of mild warming during the late 20th Century, which is indisputable.
What, sir, is the evidence for dangerous anthropogenic global warming?
If the evidence is now “overwhelming”, you ought to know it off by heart, so it won’t take long. Even if you take the time to call me a nutter.
from NY Times, March 2, 2010:
But some scientists said that responding to climate change skeptics was a fool’s errand.
“Climate scientists are paid to do climate science,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, a senior climatologist with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies. “Their job is not persuading the public.”
He said that the recent flurry of hostility to climate science had been driven as much by the cold winter as by any real or perceived scientific sins.
“There have always been people accusing us of being fraudulent criminals, of the I.P.C.C. being corrupt,” Dr. Schmidt said. “What is new is this paranoia combined with a spell of cold weather in the United States and the ‘climategate’ release. It’s a perfect storm that has allowed the nutters to control the agenda.”
The answer is simple, he said.
“Good science,” he said, “is the best revenge.”
Climate Conversation Group
Either Gavin does not share the view that the evidence is overwhelming, or he’s still trying to put his finger on it.