Evaluating the Expertise of Climate Scientists

The Lukewarmer's Way

James Hansen took his degree in astrophysics, not normally a climate-related field. Nonetheless, few would argue that he is not an expert on climate change.

On the other hand, Freeman Dyson is possibly the second smartest person on the planet, a theoretical physicist who worked in the field of climate science for 15 years. And yet, because he does not support the consensus, climate activists dismiss him as unqualified.

How do we estimate the expertise of someone in a field where we ourselves are not expert?

This is a current events question, given the recent publication of ‘Consensus on Consensus: A Synthesis of Consensus Estimates on Human-Caused Global Warming,’ written by (among others) John Cook, Naomi Oreskes, Stefan Lewandowsky and William Anderegg, all authors of papers much criticized here.

The point of their paper is simple: The work of some of the co-authors of the paper…

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