Echoing what some cryolisters have mentioned to me about my remarks, I want to relay to all of you the urgent need at times like this to pass what we say/write (in public/non-science fora) through a distortion filter. Whereas nothing we can say would be really distortion proof (depends on what limits somebody imposes on themselves for honesty), we certainly can and MUST be cognizant of how our comments, when reasonably parsed, will play in the media and blogosphere. Below is a core message that Tom Sheldon has posted (or will soon post, not sure), quoting me. He also quotes a couple other people. It seems a reasonable set of comments (mine of the the others'), at least true to how I understand it. (My work title apparently will be corrected; I am a Senior ASSOCIATE Research Scientist; or Adjunct Professor, whatever he wants to list.)
All the comments he quotes (mine and two others') pass the distortion test, hopefully, so we don't invite distortion. I am mainly concerned so that the public will gain a proper or better understanding of an important issue. Nobody is going to redesign the global economy based on false reports (or correct reports) about Greenland's ice. Reality, which scientists strive to measure and describe, should play into global politics and global economics, simply because reality affects things like economic efficiency and well being, among other things; but all that linkage occurs at a pay grade about five notches above most of the cryolisters and Greenland researchers and media reporters and bloggers. We really want to do our work, strive to do our work, which includes reality-based studies; we try to make them as solidly grounded as we possibly can. If we ever steer off somewhere else, other scientists correct our science. It's innate in the endeavor. I don't fear for myself for distortions that might hypothetically be made about what I say on Cryolist or to a reporter, or mistakes I might make in those comments or in my science. I simply have a profound concern about where society is headed if we, as a society, sideline the serious scientific observers in favor of pre-ordained conclusion-making based on pseudo-science on this, that, or the other side of reality.
From Tom Sheldon:
“The Times Atlas maps have been publicised in the media far and wide. But make no mistake: this is not what is happening, this is not science, and this is not what scientists are saying. Greenland specialists have documented what is actually happening in Greenland, and it involves some incredibly rapid changes, mainly increasing melting, thinning, and retreat; and slight thickening in some sectors, but overall Greenland is a story of massive, rapid retreat. Special dynamics are at play, and probably climate warming as well.
“However, these new maps are ridiculously off base, way exaggerated relative to the reality of rapid change in Greenland. I don't know how exactly the Times Atlasproduced their results, but they are NOT scientific results.
“Just like IPCCs '2035' (one key, massively wrong paragraph), a number like 15% ice loss used for advertising the book is simply a killer mistake that cannot be winked away. Worse for science, this is not a scientific error, but it could be perceived as one once it is corrected - unless scientists make it clear that this is errant and not of science origin right from the outset.”
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