Joined: Feb. 2006
|Of course GW deniers immediately jumped on this, but what else do you expect from them? They would do it no matter how carefully the editors worded their introduction. |
My question is why give a pulpit to Monckton's crap in the first place?
There's nothing new in his piece, and the errors in it have been pointed out any number of times elsewhere. It's the equivalent of the APS online newsletter giving Dembski the opportunity to mathematically "prove" that evolution is impossible through one of his "tornado in a junkyard" probability calculations. One can give voice to controversy without giving an additional outlet for previously disproven crockpottery.
The fact of the matter is that the editor should've known that the appearance of Monckton's piece would be jumped on as giving credibility to the denialist side, just as an appearance by Dembski would be jumped on as giving "science cred" to ID.
Climate science denialism and ID are both alike in the sense that they're political movements that have nothing to do with science itself. Both movements exist to undermine science. There's no reason to give their pseudoscientific arguments room in any venue that purports to be about science.
(There are, of course, unanswered questions about climate science and evolution that lead to legitimate skepticism about certain details of the science, otherwise there'd be no work to do, I'm not talking about that.)
And that's the irony about the APS physics and society lead editorial. In it, the editor says, "stick to the science, please!" but the last lengthy paragraph of Monckton's piece isn't about science at all, but policy.
"even if I'm wrong, even if ... even if ... even if ... we should do nothing".
Letting a largely political piece go through along with an editorial comment that responses should stick to the science and not discuss implications is just ... wrong.
I don't think the APS is overreacting at all, BTW. The publication of this piece is going to be trotted out endlessly in venues ranging from Congressional hearings to influential press outlets like the Wall Street Journal. And the story will be "if there's a scientific consensus, why did the APS state that a large number of scientists disagree, and then publish a scientific rebuttal to the IPCC AR4?".
You are going to be reading that for years. And unlike the ID movement, the climate science denialism movement has been extremely effective in meeting their goal - primarily blocking meaningful action by the United States.