Verdict in on Climate Change

Dr. Naomi Oreskes, named Climate Change Communicator of the Year in 2011, made a remarkable claim about global climate change:
The verdict is in on climate change
– Dr. Noami Oreskes, Los Angeles Times, 1/23/2012

The subtitle of this headlined op-ed piece makes this stunning assertion:

When it comes to climate change, open-mindedness is the wrong approach

This stupefying conclusion, conceived by a leading global warming educator and scientist, is a good example how weakened the theory of human-caused global warming (AGW) has become.

Its old news from early 2012, but clearly shows what is still true today. AGW theorists are resorting to shoddy logic since the verdict of hard evidence is going against AGW theory.

The Verdict of Hard Evidence

IPCC shows global warming stopped in 1997 (Source: IPCC pre-release AR5 Report)

If there is no temperature rise, there can be no global warming. Its as simple as that.

According to pre-released data from the IPCC itself, there has been no global warming in over 15 years and global temperature rise is lagging about a half a degree Celsius below IPCC modeling predictions. The IPCC today doesn’t expect further rise before 2017.

This is a huge problem for global warming theorists. CO2 emissions have continued rising unchecked. There is about 1/3rd more rise now than then. Something is seriously wrong.

As suggested by Oreskes, that problem is resolved if open-mindedness is suspended.

That appears to be the direction some AGW theorist are headed.

Dr Naomi Oreskes

Dr. Oreskes is NOT a wild-eyed crackpot.

In her UC San Diego biography it says she is “Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego, Adjunct Professor of Geosciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and an internationally renowned historian of science and author.”

She has background as a geologist and scientist. Her writings and public appearances are widely reported and quoted in the mainstream media. She has testified before Congress.

Oreskes shapes public opinion and public policy.

The Oreskes Logic

How, then, did Oreskes come to her amazing conclusion that open-mindedness is wrong? That seems contradictory to the scientific process.

Here is her thinking…

Oreskes served jury duty. During jury selection, before any evidence was presented, the judge polled the jurors on the guilt or innocence of the accused. He asked this revealing question:
How many would say you didn’t know enough to decide?

50 of 60 prospective jurists answered “yes” through a show of hands.

The judge scolded the majority. He explained to them that the “presumption of innocence” clause in the U.S. legal system means that you must assume the accused is innocent until proven guilty.

Oreskes then reasons that courtroom logic applies to global warming theory.

Her argument is that, in the realm of climate science, the scientists are the jury and they have already rendered their verdict.  Therefore, open-mindedness is no longer applicable.

With confused logic, Oreskes essentially concludes that open-mindedness would be like attempting to overturn a final verdict; sorta like retrying a citizen already found innocent by a jury. That would be double jeopardy. That is not allowed.

Copernicus replaced an earth-centered universe with a sun-centered universe in 1543

Naomi’s Amazing Mistake

Fortunately, science is not governed by the U.S. jurisprudence system.

In science, there is no presumption of innocence. There is no statute of limitations. But there very definitely is double jeopardy!

By Oreskes’ logic we must still believe today that, among other things:

  • The world is flat
  • The earth is the center of the universe
  • Continents don’t drift
  • The sun’s temperature remains constant
  • The universe is static, infinite and unchanging

For millennium, the verdict of scientists once held that all these things were true.

If Oreskes’ logic held up and the verdicts of science were not challenged then we’d still be living in the stone age.


There is no such thing as settled science. Its a myth.

Over time, new evidence has exploded old theories and replaced them with fascinating new ones.

Newton’s Theory of Gravity fell to the General Theory of Relativity. The intuitive notion that you can predict exact results if you know exact initial conditions got smashed to smithereens by the Theory of Quantum Mechanics.

God does, indeed, play dice with the universe!

Like everything else in science, the fate of AGW theory rests with the null hypothsis, not with a vote of a jury; even if those jurors are scientists.

Dr. Naomi Oreskes needs remedial science education.


About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on Mar 4, 2013, in climate change, culture, economics, Global Warming, Government, journalism, news, Opinion, Politics, science. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. A scientist should always be a skeptic.

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