Australian Climate Madness picked up on a quote from Will Steffan, their “quote of the day”.
“What debate? There is no debate in the scientific community about this.”
However, I think the rest of the SMH article is more disturbing.
This climate scientist is appalled at the level of debate in Australia. Bemused, frustrated and appalled. All of these adjectives describe Will Steffen’s attitude to the debate on climate change in Australia.
A scientist is appalled at debate?! How can any self-respecting scientist endorse such a remark? It is anti-scientific and if Steffan does not publicly refute this statement by the writer of this article, he is not worthy to be associated with science, let alone be called a professor.
”Well over 90 per cent of scientists in the area are quite clear: the Earth is warming and human activity is the major cause.” The blame for this ”phoney debate”, he believes, lies squarely with the media. ”A very small, very vocal minority is given the same weight,” he says.
This inexcusable argument by authority further damages Steffan’s scientific credibility. The first thing that is wrong with this remark is that (even if you regard this arbitrary figure to be accurate) there are ten per cent who disagree. Therefore there must be debate.
Galileo once said that “in matters of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual”. Now why should we not consider a “consensus” of scientists to be trustworthy? It assumes that they are infallible, because they are scientists, they cannot be wrong and they cannot be corrupted. Human beings are susceptible to both of these.
Steffan then blames the media. If he wants to get the skeptics off his back, all he has to do is provide some empirical evidence for his claims. This is basic science. He refuses to do this and has the gall to declare debate illegitimate. Just because he refuses to debate, or that he chooses to ignore it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
”(Monckton) is not taken seriously in the UK, yet he gets 10 times the media coverage of James Hansen, one of the most eminent climate scientists in the world [and who visited Australia last year].”
Perhaps Steffan could publically repudiate Monckton’s specific claims with scientific evidence to back this. Monckton gets more coverage than Hansen not because the media respects him, but because it wants to discredit him.
The article then refers to a single death threat Steffan received. So now fairfax implicitly acknowledges that their hysteria over these death threats were exaggerated?