Actually, some of what she writes, I agree with. There is a consensus of opinion that the globe has been heating up in recent decades. Had she left it at that, I would have gone on to my Wheaties by now. But she had to add this:
There is a scientific consensus on the fact that Earth's climate is heating up and human activities are part of the reason [my emphasis]. (link)On that last clause, there is no consensus. She may have more bodies on her side, but there is no consensus.
What bothers me about her diatribe is that she has decided that we are wasting time debating the subject. We should be fixing the problem ... somehow. And the part that got me worked up is this:
So why does it seem as if there is major scientific disagreement? Because a few noisy skeptics -- most of whom are not even scientists -- have generated a lot of chatter in the mass media.That would be people like me, I suppose. But you won't hear me joining in this debate. I will, however, pass on the opinions of those who devote their lives and careers and reputations to such matters and who have differing interpretations of the data, meager as those data are.
Where Ms. Oreskes' argument starts going off the rails is in her very next sentence. She cites a very prominent scientist who disagrees with the whole notion of global warming.
At the National Press Club recently, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Richard Lindzen dismissed the consensus as "religious belief."So we have, in fact, a disagreement among scientists.
But here is what prompted me to comment on the Oreskes article. She is not a scientist. If you read the blurb at the tail end of her article, where a brief bio is provided by the Washington Post, we learn this:
The writer is an associate professor of history and director of the Program in Science Studies at the University of California.The woman is a professor of history! She has no more claim on the pursuit of the global warming truth than I do. She's not a scientist. She studies scientists, for God's sake! She disparages those who have an opposing view on the subject but who don't have proper credentials even though she doesn't have any credentials herself. My response to her is to take her own advice and shut up!