Source: Climate, Etc.
by Judith Curry
The consensus on anthropogenic climate change provided by the IPCC is the source of much controversy. Central to the controversy is the meaning and implications of “consensus,” in both scientific and sociological contexts.
Some important insights on this issue are provided by this paper on The authority of the IPCC and the manufacture of consensus by Jean Goodwin at Iowa State University. Some excerpts are provided below:
Through a series of (up to now) four reports starting in 1990, the IPCC has managed to establish as a political “given” that the earth is warming, and that human activity is a significant cause. The fourth report was the occasion for the Bush II administration’s shift from statements like this:
We do not know how much effect natural fluctuations in climate may have had on warming. We do not know how much our climate could, or will change in the future. We do not know how fast change will occur, or even how some of our actions could impact it. (more…)