It was a media trick: “Call me a skeptic converted,” the climate scientist Richard Muller writes in a much publicized article in the “New York Times”. Numerous articles have cited the New York Times article around the world. The alleged conversion of the scientist offered an easily digestible argument instead of numbers-heavy psychological studies – the text lent itself seems to bring the complex subject of climate change on the point.
Muller says in his essay that he was convinced by new data to give up his position as a skeptic on climate change: Contrary to his previous view, he was now convinced that carbon dioxide from flue gases would have caused mainly global warming.
But the trick turns out on closer inspection to be a deception: If Muller is by no means a former climate skeptics, who had just changed his mind. In 2003 he wrote in “MIT Technology Review” , he believed that “carbon dioxide from flue gases of fossil energy sources, the greatest pollution in the human history.” It is likely that CO2 “serious and damaging effects on the global climate” will have.
It is interesting that the climate scientists have to fudge and exaggerate data and also exaggerate about being “converted” skeptics.
Muller’s essay becomes just another climate scientist warning of the consequences of CO2 emissions.
From 2003 Technology Review-
Let me [Richard Muller] be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate. I would love to believe that the results of Mann et al. are correct, and that the last few years have been the warmest in a millennium.
Love to believe? My own words make me shudder. They trigger my scientist’s instinct for caution. When a conclusion is attractive, I am tempted to lower my standards, to do shoddy work. But that is not the way to truth. When the conclusions are attractive, we must be extra cautious.
Richard Muller was barely holding back his full support for the global warming view. He was 98% there. Barely hold back to “not be tempted” to do shoddy work.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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