It didn’t take long for the enforcers of climate alarmism to pounce Dr. Tamsin Edwards following the publication of this excellent article in London’s, The Guardian newspaper Climate scientists must not advocate particular policies. Today it was none other than notably derided Toronto climate mouthpiece Steve Easterbrook.
Dr. Edwards is a prominent, mainstream science-believing, climate scientist who, according to her biographical on the story, is “at the University of Bristol using computer models to study climate change and sea level. She blogs at All Models Are Wrong and on Twitter she is @flimsin.”
Dr. Edwards has been one of a growing number of climate scientists helping advance the climate policy debate by, as she has previously Tweeted, “trying to bring sanity to climate discussions” and engaging with climate policy skeptics rather than attacking them, anyone who talks to them, and anyone who talks to anyone who talks to them… etc.
Edwards herself didn’t dignify Easterbrook with a reply, only a retweet. A number of posters weighed in from both side, including two tweets by Gaspe Broken-Record.
Like another prominent climate scientist, Dr. Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology (h/t Wikipedia) Edwards could have a rocky and rewarding road ahead of her. For her efforts Curry proved foundational to the advances in discussion, beyond the PR foodfight of holocaust denial aspersions, industry “death trains”, slave ownership comparisons, and accusations that any policy skepticsm was “bought” by the Big Oil boogeyman. Not to mention the histrionic catastrophism that dominated the debate Steve Easterbrook is so eager to get back to.
Curry was also attacked from many quarters. For example this Scientific American piece “Climate Heretic: Judith Curry Turns on Her Colleagues” and trust us, this is one of the milder examples out there. Or don’t trust us and look it up for yourself. Curry has detailed many of her experiences with her detractors, in addition to some of the smartest and engaging climate debates happening anywhere, on her climate discussion blog Climate Etc.
This wasn’t the first occasion that the Toronto Computer Scientist Easterbrook has waded into the climate debate and made a mockery of himself and others in the debate. Quote of the [expletive deleted] week from Watts Up With That captures his infamous Think Progress rant where he told the New York Times’s respected Andrew “DotEarth” Revkin to “shut the fuck up.”
This is not a reasonable way to handle any discussion; let alone one being conducted by academics who are asking us to trust them while arguing to the authority of their own professionalism. Gaspe Broken-Record takes this moment to congratulate Dr. Edwards on doing a great job actually trying to change the debate from a static trench war into an advanceable discussion.
Of note, she favourited our Tweets too … certifying them (wait for it Steph) … Climate Scientist Approved!
We went back and Tweeted Tamsin to ask if she’s seen an upswing in the likes of these attacks from the usual Easterbrook, Grantham Institute, Think Progress types since she’s committed to trying to improve debate. As of yet, Dr. Edwards hasn’t replied but.. she has favourited the Tweet.
ALSO: Dr. Curry has a new post today on Dr. Edwards’ article make sure to check it out.
Tamsin on scientists and policy advocacy
JC comments: Bravo Tamsin! Many scientists don’t understand when they are being a political/policy advocate. I recall a few years ago when I was discussing this issue with a mainstream climate scientist and IPCC coordinating lead author. He did not regard himself as an advocate, for this reason which I paraphrase based on my memory of the exchange: “I just tell people what needs to be done in terms of how much emissions need to be reduced on what time scale. I don’t tell them how to do it in terms of which policies to use in the emission reduction, so therefore I am not a policy advocate.”
The other point that Tamsin gets is that skeptics listen to her and respect her, even though her perspective on the science is mainstream, because she does not advocate for policies and is respectful towards skeptics (she often comments at BishopHill). She is also correct that much of climate science skepticism is driven by “a belief that environmental activism has influenced how scientists gather and interpret evidence.”
Tamsin ‘gets’ the rebuilding trust thing.
JC message to Tamsin: watch out, you are on your way to being classified as a ‘denier‘:
Committed to reason, evidence, and open inquiry, she is willing to examine legitimate points the climate skeptics may be making — as well as the evidence and arguments from mainstream climate science.