Climate Change and Bias Amongst the Climate Scientists?

In summary, the conversation focused on the topic of bias amongst climate scientists and the need for research on the correlation between political views and views on climate change. The speaker also expressed their own personal bias and belief in the conservation of the environment. They called for a survey to be done in order to address this issue and potentially increase trust in the findings of climate scientists.
  • #1
Ackbach
Gold Member
MHB
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Firstly, and most importantly: I am not interested in getting into a debate about climate change in this thread. If you try to engage in debate with me in this thread, I will immediately abuse my administrative powers and physically delete your post! (Devil)

Secondly, I want to make it clear that my views here are by no means representative of MHB. These are my personal views.

Bias Admission: I am currently a robust disbeliever in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. I also firmly believe in the conservation of the environment. I would not call myself an environmentalist, but a conservationist. Politically, I would call myself laissez-faire. I suppose you could call me a conservative, but that label has lost a lot of its value for me. Suffice it to say that I am in favor of self-governance, and opposed to excessive federal or even state governance such as exists in the United States at the moment. I am definitely not an anarchist, nor would I call myself a libertarian.

That's my bias, cheerfully admitted.

I am wanting to raise a question about bias amongst climate scientists. It is a myth that scientists are unbiased, always objectively correct, demi-gods-in-white-lab-coats. As my Field Theory professor at Virginia Tech once said, "People do science." That's the whole reason behind double-blind (and even triple-blind!) controlled studies, as well as the requirement for high levels of certainty before declaring a discovery. And, as ClimateGate taught us, climate change scientists are not immune from this bias.

It is also a myth that journalists are unbiased. At the moment, I find scientific journalism so unreliable as to be completely worthless. If I'm interested in doing research, I've abandoned Google search in favor of Google Scholar search, because only the original research articles (as seriously flawed as even some of those are!) are worth anything.

So now, in good statistical fashion, I define my population: all climate change scientists. Other definitions: liberal political view means that the holder of this view is in favor of government solutions to problems, instead of individual solutions to problems. That is, if there is a social problem, it is the government's job to fix it. Conservative political view means the opposite: the holder of this view is in favor of individual solutions to problems instead of government solutions to problems. Liberals are generally in favor of more legislation, conservatives less.

It is part of my bias, again, cheerfully admitted, to suspect some, though by no means all, liberals of simply wanting to control other peoples' lives through regulation. I mention this, because this is the primary motivation in my mind for asking the question I'm asking.

In climate change, it seems to me, there are several distinct, but related questions:
  1. Is the Earth warming?
  2. If the Earth is warming, is this catastrophic, or within the normal range?
  3. If the Earth is catastrophically warming, is this warming anthropogenic or not?

I want to know the correlation, amongst climate change scientists, between political views and views on climate change (answers to the three questions immediately above).

So my question to you, dear MHB member, is this: do you know some good research articles addressing this question? As you may have noticed from above, I'm not the least bit interested in the media's take on this question. I'm also not the least bit interested in the public's opinion on climate change. Let me reiterate: I am not interested in getting into a debate about climate change in this thread. I am interested in some scholarly research into possible bias amongst climate change scientists.

Thanks for reading!
 
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  • #2
After looking for some time on Google Scholar, and finding absolutely nothing, as well as asking some experts in the field (e.g., E. Cal Beisner on the political side of the issue, at the Cornwall Alliance), I conclude that this study has not been done. Since bias amongst the scientists themselves is a very serious problem and absolutely must be addressed, I call for a survey to be done along the lines of what I have outlined above: to determine the correlation between political ideologies and beliefs about global warming. If the correlation among the general public is as strong (and bemoaned!) as many would have us believe, perhaps that correlation extends to the climate scientists themselves? Is it indeed possible to get a confirmation bias at the supposed 97% level? I think so, given enough time. It's not hard to imagine the gravy train here (the money trail): some liberals want a crisis they can exploit in order to enact more legislation. They control government grants, which is where most of the money is. Simple. The journal side of things can be equally biased. Sensational papers with alarmist tendencies are much easier to get published than results saying, "Our model found no effect." This problem is much broader than climate science, I would add. It's absolutely rampant in the medical field.

Moreover, the climate scientists themselves should want this done. Few things would clear up the public's perception of the reliability of climate science so much as this survey. If the survey is done well, and reveals a poor correlation, then there would presumably be more trust in the findings of the scientists. If, on the other hand, there is a strong correlation, then the public understands why it (in this case, justifiably) doesn't trust the scientists.

This is basic to scientific research. If you take an introductory course in statistics, you find multiple warnings about bias in you, the researcher. Have the climate scientists forgotten this danger?
 
  • #3
Ackbach said:
Firstly, and most importantly: I am not interested in getting into a debate about climate change in this thread. If you try to engage in debate with me in this thread, I will immediately abuse my administrative powers and physically delete your post! (Devil)

Then what is your purpose in posting this?
 
  • #4
HallsofIvy said:
Then what is your purpose in posting this?

My purpose in posting was to try to determine if anyone has done any research, or knows of any research, concerning political bias amongst climate scientists. This would surely be of great concern both to advocates of CAGW (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming) and its critics.
 

Related to Climate Change and Bias Amongst the Climate Scientists?

What is climate change?

Climate change refers to the long-term changes in the Earth's overall temperature and weather patterns. This includes increases in global temperatures, changes in precipitation levels, and more frequent and intense natural disasters.

How do scientists study climate change?

Scientists study climate change through various methods such as collecting and analyzing data from weather stations and satellites, conducting experiments, and using computer models to simulate future climate scenarios.

Is there bias among climate scientists?

While there may be individual biases among climate scientists, the overwhelming majority of scientific research and evidence supports the fact that climate change is occurring and is primarily caused by human activities.

What is the role of scientists in addressing climate change?

Scientists play a critical role in understanding and communicating the impacts of climate change and developing strategies to mitigate its effects. They also work closely with policymakers and the public to raise awareness and promote action on climate change.

How can we trust the information provided by climate scientists?

The scientific community has a rigorous process for conducting research and peer-reviewing studies to ensure accuracy and validity. Additionally, the overwhelming consensus among climate scientists further supports the reliability of their findings.

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