I will try to do this in two omnibus posts, rather than opening up a running weeks-long discourse. After all, that treatment is reserved for frogs, the China Daily, "starchitecture," and similar topics, of which there is more in the pipeline.
The original reason I raised the topic was that I'd seen the latest entry in George Will's ongoing series on why global warming is a myth. In response, I mentioned a book by a UC Berkeley physicist about how to assess the evidence on climate change, and why the problem was indeed worth worrying about, if not for the reasons most often discussed.
My correspondents barely bothered to deal with Will. They were instead upset about the physicist, Richard Muller, and by extension me for being too complacent about climate-change evidence -- and too critical of those (including Al Gore) who had warned about it most prominently.
Below and after the jump, representative samples of this view. Later
tonight, I'll put up a few more messages, and the appropriate meta-thoughts on my part. Unless I hear from Muller, or something else occurs, that will be it for now -- simply because I am well aware that detailed argument over studies, policies, and implications already occupies many sites full time. (For instance, this and this, with different perspectives.)
First up, Joseph Romm, of the Climate Progress site and the book Hell and High Water, whom I have known for years. Because he wrote me privately, I won't go into his views of my judgment or Muller's. But here are the references he thinks people should instead read:
-Romm has written two critiques of Muller's book, here and here.
-According to Romm, "The 'hockey stick,' was essentially vindicated by the National Academy of Sciences, and it is almost certainly correct." Cite here.
- "Gore's essential argument is correct and other than a very few technical quibbling with word choice, pretty every one on his major carefully crafted statements is accurate. His Nobel Prize will, sadly, be vindicated by history." [Note from JF: 'An Inconvenient Truth' also included a particularly egregious display of boiled-frog madness, which maybe we will assign to the realm of "technical quibbling with word choice." Ie, if he had said, "if you remove a frog's brain and put him in a top of tepid water, then gradually raise the temperature..." he'd be square with the scientists.]