Chicken Little Was a Calamitologist – by Ed Caryl
Last week I asked readers to submit their own essays: Wanted! Readers As Guest Writers. Well, I’m happy to present the first one! Ed Caryl observes that skeptics tend to have more training and real life experience in the art of forecasting than warmists do. So who should we believe? Yeah, it’s a tough question.
Chicken Little Was A Calamitologist
By Ed Caryl
Many writers have been unsatisfied with the terms used to classify the two sides of the climate debate. Warmist and skeptic seem unsatisfying for the first, and demeaning for the second. The warmist label is also a bit narrow, in that those on that side also preach ocean rise and acidification, severe storms, floods and droughts (on alternate days), and other disasters. Many of these predictions take on a “the sky is falling” tone. The warmists call themselves climatologists, but that term is a job description, not a degree. A better description would be calamitologist – one who envisions climate calamities. Let’s look at a few resumes of some famous calamitologists.
Dr. Michael Mann: received his Doctorate from Yale, the Department of Geology and Geophysics in 1998. His undergraduate degrees are in Physics and Math.
Dr. Phil Jones: holds a BA degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Lancaster, and a Masters and PhD from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Dr. James Hansen: holds a BA degree in Physics and Mathematics, an MS in Astronomy, and a PhD in Physics, all from the University of Iowa. Early in his career he spent almost 20 years studying Venus. His calamitologist creds are based on that work.
Dr. R. K. Pachauri: studied at North Carolina State University, where he obtained an MS in Industrial Engineering in 1972, a PhD in Industrial Engineering and a PhD in Economics, a native of India.
Dr. Gavin Schmidt: BA (Hons) in Mathematics at Jesus College, Oxford University, PhD in Applied Mathematics at University College London.
The calamitologists, we notice, tend not to be trained and experienced in the actual science of forecasting. Just the seasonal forecast track record of the Met Office says it all.
What about the other side, the skeptics?
Many among the “skeptics” are meteorologists who, unlike most calamitologists, are formally trained in forecasting and have gathered years of experience doing so. Some examples:
Dr. Roy Spencer: B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Michigan; M.S. and Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Joe Bastardi: BS in Meteorology from Penn State University, a practicing meteorologist with AccuWeather.
Anthony Watts: practicing meteorologist, AMS Seal holder.
Joe D’Aleo: Weather Channel founder, practicing meteorologist.
Dr. Richard S. Lindzen: Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A.B in Physics, S.M. in Applied Mathematics, Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at Harvard
These are just a few of the names known in this controversy, but can you see the trend? Although the calamitologists have advanced degrees, usually in natural sciences, they lack training and experience in forecasting. That’s probably the reason why they often forecast long-shot calamity scenarios.
On the other hand, the meteorologists are real forecasters, and their success depends on the accuracy of their forecasts. Every time they make a forecast, they put their reputations on the line. Sure, some will argue, weather forecasting is not the same. But if you can’t forecast a week or two ahead, can you reliably forecast 50 or 100 years ahead? Be honest.
Indeed the more a person is trained in the science of forecasting, the more skeptical they appear to become of the AGW hypothesis and the ability for models to predict longterm climate. Real forecasters seriously doubt CAGW.
Perhaps in the future we ought to refer to the two sides as calamitologists and real forecasters.