Recently a ‘Team B’, to analyze climate science was proposed by William Happer of the Marshall Institute, it was largely ignored, probably because Happer isn’t taken seriously by anyone, but it gained some prominence when it was endorsed by Judith Curry, she does command some respect even if of late she has shown off her naivete. Team B is presumably is a reference to the ‘Team B’ that provided analysis of the Soviet threat independent of the CIA and which got everything mostly wrong.
The ‘Team B’ approach is interesting because initially it makes logical sense. As the beginning of the NIPCC states “Before facing major surgery, wouldn’t you want a second opinion?”. The answer is of course yes, one would want a second opinion. In regards to climate change, one wouldn’t want to embark on difficult GHG reduction polices without a second opinion.
But we already have a second opinion, and a third, and a fourth… In fact we have thousands of independent opinions, as climate scientists from all over the world have overwhelmingly agreed that our GHG emissions have cased the climate to warm.
And if that wasn’t enough the recently released report from the US National Academy of Sciences should more than qualify as a Team B. And if one wants more:
Oh, we also have a “Team C”, the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Hmm. Here’s a “Team D”, the American Geophysical Union, and look, a “Team E”, the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences.
Actually, there are alot of “Teams” that have assesed the science and or the IPCC’s conclusions, and they all agree that the world is warming, the cause is anthropogenic and it represents a danger to human well being. Some more examples:
- “Team F”, the American Astronomical Society
- “Team G”, the American Chemical Society
- “Team H”, the American Institute of Physics
- “Team I”, the American Meteorological Society
- “Team J”, the American Physical Society
- “Team K”, the Australian Coral Reef Society
- “Team L”, the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
- “Team M”, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO
- “Team N”, the British Antarctic Survey
- “Team O”, the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
- “Team P”, the Environmental Protection Agency
- “Team Q”, the European Federation of Geologists
- “Team R”, the European Geosciences Union
- “Team S”, the European Physical Society
- “Team T”, the Federation of American Scientists
- “Team U”, the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies
- “Team V”, the Geological Society of America
- “Team W”, the Geological Society of Australia
- “Team X”, the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA)
- “Team Y”, the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
- “Team Z”, the National Center for Atmospheric Research
(How about that, I ran out of letters!)
- “Team A2”, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- “Team B2”, the Royal Meteorological Society
- “Team C2”, the Royal Society of the UK
And that list is not exhaustive.
In short we have plenty of teams looking at the science, and they all point to the same conclusion.
But at least in Happer’s case (not so much with Curry, I think) the reason behind a Team B is not because there is something lacking in Team A (actually that should be Teams A), but because the conclusions of Teams A are not what Happer wants.
To bring back the medical example used at the beginning of this post, Happer is asking for the patient to ignore the second, third, fourth… thousandth opinion of medical experts and continue to seek different opinions until he finds one to his liking.
That is a recipe for disaster both for the patient and for the planet.