Bob Ward is on a roll. Today he has an article in New Scientist in which he gives us his professional opinion as a PR man on how climatology can save itself. This is the bit I found interesting:
"Don't underestimate your critics and competitors". This means not only recognising the skill with which the opponents of climate research have executed their campaigns through blogs and other media, but also acknowledging the validity of some of their criticisms. It is clear, for instance, that climate scientists need better standards of transparency that allow for scrutiny not just by their peers but also by critics from outside the world of research.
I praised Bob yesterday for his call for openness and I'm going to praise him again here for making clear that he doesn't see openness as a limited thing that should apply only to the Royal Society. My one concern here would be the words "for instance". That clearly implies Bob recognises that sceptics have valid criticisms beyond the need for transparency, but the question is, which ones does he think are kosher?
Later in the same piece he says this:
It is also important to engage with those critics. That doesn't mean conceding to arguments based on ideology rather than evidence...
...and again, it's hard to disagree. But arguments based on ideology are a problem from a sceptic perspective too. Can those on the other side let go of the Hockey Stick and the absurd argument that its dramatic shape has been replicated by other studies (conveniently overlooking the flawed ingredients that are behind them)? We can only hope.
The paleo studies are mostly rotten. We just need someone to admit it.