James Delingpole has attracted some ire for saying he is an “interpreter of interpreters”. I commented on Bishop Hill’s Blog
Wasn’t the original hockey stick paper an “interpreter of interpretations”? That is it gathered together a selection of data studies of past climate proxies and tried to give an interpretation – with some elements of bias. The IPCC, liking this paper’s conclusion then interpreted this as being definitive, despite its conclusions being contrary to many other studies. Learned societies, not least the Royal Society then interpret this as being the final argument, being the opinion of 2500 leading scientists. With learned pronouncements from the leading scientific organizations, the BBC, Guardian etc interprets that the science is settled, so the subject is closed. James Delingpole, in putting himself as a second tier interpreter, might be over-reaching himself in the ranking. However, he actually considers the arguments, unlike those who rely on multi-layered interpretations.
But more important than lowly a person is in the interpretation chain, is the reliability of that opinion compared with the ultimate reality that we are interpreting. Scientific enquiry must positively endeavour to free itself from biases. That was part of Popper’s injunction to make hypotheses capable of falsification. But with climate science
In the Hockey Stick Studies you will find (See “The Hockey Stick Illusion”)
- Positive efforts to choose the limited number of data interpretations that suite the conclusion desired (with some having their own strong biases)
- Giving these favourable studies an undue statistical bias against those that come to no, or contrary, conclusions.
- Choosing the statistical tests that give favourable results.
- A clique of people providing similar results through using similar methods around a core group of papers.
- Peer review being used as a means of peer pressure in promoting favourable comments and papers, whilst obstructing contrary views.
The IPCC has been set up to act as a biased interpreter. It is there to argue the case for action on global warming climate change, not to arrive at a balanced opinion on the science.
The bias is upon interpretation in one direction is at every level of science and opinion.
- Funding of research is based on conformity.
- Pressure groups exist to “out” the non-conformists, like the McCarthyists of two generations ago.
- There is also pressure on scientific organizations to declare unequivocal support.
There is severe censure and libelous statements made against any who dissent.
So, however much Delingpole may provide interpretations of interpretations without reading all the original literature, his opinions might be more valuable than those prestigious scientists who conform.