The survey that wasn't
Oct 10, 2012
Bishop Hill in Climate: sensitivity

After my posting on climate sensitivity and policy attracted so much attention, I thought it would be interesting to see whether my arguments on the priority of empirical measurement over theory for policy purposes carried any weight with mainstream scientists.

I therefore set up a very short survey and emailed it around a bunch of mainstream scientists and a few journalists. The questions essentially sought a single value for climate sensitivity and a range of values that the respondents thought should inform policymakers.

Unfortunately, almost nobody seems to want to respond. I've had four so far, one of which was Richard Tol telling me the questions were badly formulated and another was Chris Hope entering the Stern values as a baseline. Roger Pielke Sr pointed out his distaste (if that's the right word) for global temperature (and therefore climate sensitivity) as a metric.

As you can see the responses have come from those who are not particularly antagonistic to my own views. One shouldn't read into this that those invited were similarly inclined.

I'm not sure whether the lack of interest is a reflection on me or a reflection on those invited or something else altogether. Nevertheless it remains an interesting question and one that I think needs to be discussed in mainstream climate circles.

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