December 17, 2003
IT'S AN IMPROVEMENT OVER WHAT HAPPENED TO GALILEO, ANYWAY:
Six hundred years ago, the world was warm. Or maybe it wasnít. Whatís the truth? Beware. This question has recently been elevated from a mere scientific quandary to one of the hot (or cold) issues of modern politics. Argue in favor of the wrong answer and you risk being branded a liberal alarmist or a conservative Neanderthal. Or you might lose your job.
Six editors recently resigned from the journal Climate Research because of this issue. Their crime: publishing the article "Proxy Climatic and Environmental Changes of the Past 1,000 Years," by W. Soon and S. Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Without passing judgment on this particular paper, I can still point out that our journals are full of poor papers. If editors were dismissed every time they published one, they would all be out of work within a month or two. What made the Soon and Baliunas situation different is that their paper attracted enormous attention. And thatís because it threw doubt on the hockey stick.
Read the whole thing.
In a related development, Bjorn Lomborg has been vindicated by the Danish Ministry of Science, after what Ron Bailey calls a "smear campaign" against him.
UPDATE: Iain Murray has more on Lomborg.