A Climate Change Team B?

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Head of the new interagency climate research monopoly

The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences yesterday released a three-part report on the science of climate change and suggested policy responses with the aim of mitigating and adapting to its effects. The NRC report dealing with climate science concludes:

Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for—and in many cases is already affecting—a broad range of human and natural systems.

The report then cites a lot of evidence for this conclusion while noting that there are some outstanding research questions that need to be further refined:

Scientific understanding of climate change and its interactions with other environmental changes is underpinned by empirical and theoretical understanding of the Earth system, which includes the atmosphere, land surface, cryosphere, and oceans, as well as interactions among these components. Numerous decisions about climate change, including setting emissions targets and developing and implementing adaptation plans, rest on understanding how the Earth system will respond to GHG emissions and other climate forcings. While this understanding has improved markedly over the past several decades, a number of key uncertainties remain. These include the strength of certain forcings and feedbacks, the possibility of abrupt changes, and the details of how climate change will play out at local and regional scales over decadal and multidecadal timescales. While research on these topics cannot be expected to eliminate all of the uncertainties associated with Earth system processes (and uncertainties in future human actions will always remain), efforts to improve projections of climate and other Earth system changes can be expected to yield more robust and more relevant information for decision making, as well as a better characterization of remaining uncertainties.

Naturally, these reports all urgently call for further research funding. (I suspect that there has never been an NAS report that did not urgently call for further research funding.) One idea from the report that merits some consideration is the establishment of an integrated climate observing system. This would provide data that would not only show the pace of warming, but is vital for helping to validate the climate models upon whose outputs policymakers may wager vast sums in an attempt to avoid deleterious climate change.

A truly bad idea from the report is:

Recommendation 5: A single federal interagency program or other entity should be given the authority and resources to coordinate and implement an integrated research effort that supports improving both understanding of and responses to climate change. If several key modifications are made, the U.S. Global Change Research Program could serve this role.

A top-down monopolistic climate science research effort would enforce (even unconsciously) groupthink. An intriguing idea to counter groupthink was offered at a Capitol Hill briefing by the Marshall Institute last week. Team B. Princeton University physicist William Happer, who also heads up the Institute, discussed his successful experience with the Team B process when he consulted on missile defense for the Department of Defense. In that case, the Team B experts killed off many flawed ideas that were being promoted by other sections of DOD.

With regard to climate change science, the idea is that a select group of climate researchers would be convened with the explicit goal of trying to poke holes in the analyses and conclusions of consensus climate science. Obviously, how to set up a climate change Team B requires careful thought, but it's likely that launching such a process would help avoid some of the intellectual pitfalls that are inherent in any monopoly, including scientific research monopolies.

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  1. One idea from the report that merits some consideration is the establishment of an integrated climate observing system.

    It would be essential that data from this system be filtered through a panel of climate experts, so that no layperson gets hold of any raw data and use them to further the agenda of Big Oil.

    1. Exactly. These people have spent so much of their credibility, no one other than fanatics and people like Bailey who are afraid of not appearing to be “right thinking” will believe anything they do.

      How about a private decentralized model? There are weather geeks all over the world. Set a system like the one used by SETI. Let people volunteer to take temperature readings where they live and send them to a central repository via the internet. Then let anyone have access to the base data. And whoever can come up with the most scientifically valid interpretation wins.

      1. This is fine for the 30% of the earth’s surface that is dry land. The rest of the surface and the different atmospheric levels are going to require a bit more doing.

      2. I couldn’t agree more with this. I helped with Galaxy Zoo and armchair scientists all over the world not only powered through data that would have taken years to parse in a few short weeks, we found new and unexplanined phenomena out there. If climate scientists REALLY want the truth, they need to crowd source.

        1. …because the data isn’t wonky enough as it is…

      3. Hey, I have central air conditioning. I can set my weather station sensors next to my outdoor condenser unit exhaust just as easily as Penn State can.

        1. That is what would make a decentralized system so good. Some people will cheat both ways. Others will be honest. The honest ones will show the cheaters to be outliers. It would work out. And as far as the ocean goes, we don’t have ocean temperature reading stations right now. So what is the loss? Also, I bet there are plenty of fisherman and merchant marine types who participate and give you readings at sea.

  2. Short version: “We don’t have a working model for this process, but we’re going to start fucking with it. We sure hope this doesn’t turn out like the time we gave the chimps a chainsaw.”

    What could possibly go wrong?

    1. Your still angry that the chimps clear cut their enclosure sold the hardwood to the highest bidder and the softer materials to a papermill, and bought a hot tub?

      Really?

      1. I gave them the chainsaw and the means to a good life and what did they give me? Nothing. I got the Prometheus treatment. Flung poo and hooting. You’d think they’d let me use the hot tub once in a while.

        1. Who the fuck wants to steep in a tub of hot monkey water?

          1. Speciesist!

          2. chuckle

          3. Man uses gorilla mask in attempted robbery

            Gross, dude.

            1. THIS is why I read H&R — to keep up to speed on the latest in fashion.

          4. You think monkeys are hot?

  3. Having a team of advocati diaboli sounds good in theory, but I am concerned that the issue has become too politicized for such a team to be effective. If they argue too forcefully against the consensus, would they be considered stooges of “Big Oil”? If they don’t fight too fiercely, would their independence be questioned? In either case, would their pronouncements be ignored?

    1. Right. The debate doesn’t lack for skeptics and dissenters right now. So what’s the point? That if they all blog on the same site we’ll start paying attention to them?

      That was pretty much the thinking behind the Copenhagen Consensus, and their not even trying to challenge the litany.

  4. We must conquer the winged apes of the Venus swamps before we find out they’re not there!

  5. Extend this to lobbying. There should be a devil’s advocate lobby. Or basically a lobby that argues against the other lobbies.

  6. “A top-down monopolistic climate science research effort would enforce (even unconsciously) groupthink.”

    Ron, you mean like the groupthink we get from the NIH on the biggest fraud in medical history? That XXX-ZZZ acronym we’re not allowed to discuss in mainstream discourse, about which non-disease raising a single question gets us smeared as “denialists” by the GODS OF NIH SCIENCE and their loyal multi-billion-dollar GOVERNMENT-FUNDED followers? (Like those global warming denialists?)

    1. Shorter Terry Michael – “The HIV-AIDS is teh fake.”

  7. something tells me recommendation #5 will be the only one take under advisement.

    ————————–
    Recommendation 5: A single federal interagency program or other entity should be given the authority and resources to coordinate and implement an integrated research effort that supports improving both understanding of and responses to climate change. If several key modifications are made, the U.S. Global Change Research Program could serve this role.

  8. With regard to climate change science, the idea is that a select group of climate researchers would be convened with the explicit goal of trying to poke holes in the analyses and conclusions of consensus climate science.

    I note one proposal to make this Congress a two-house body. Excellent? the more impediments to legislation the better. But, instead of following tradition, I suggest one house of legislators, another whose single duty is to repeal laws. Let the legislators pass laws only with a two-thirds majority… while the repealers are able to cancel any law through a mere one-third minority. Preposterous? Think about it. If a bill is so poor that it cannot command two-thirds of your consents, is it not likely that it would make a poor law? And if a law is disliked by as many as one-third is it not likely that you would be better off without it?

    Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

    1. We already have something like that in California: the 2/3 vote requirement to pass a new budget. The associated gridlock is our annual political theater. Opponents call it “minority control,” and inveigh against it — calling for amendments to or rewriting of the state constitution in order to “fix” it — at every opportunity.

      What we don’t have is the “re-peal” house, and I must say that this idea has a lot of “ap-peal” to me.

  9. We already have a Team B. Unfortunately Team A has been blackballing them from getting published.

  10. A top-down monopolistic climate science research effort would enforce (even unconsciously) groupthink.

    Strange – you didn’t have any complaints about the NAS and their summary of monopolistic research with regards to biotech.

    Surely if you can trust these people without asking one question when it comes to recklessly using the programming language of life then can’t you just mindlessly believe them when it comes to the weather?

    1. The tinfoil side goes towards the hair, buddy.

    2. What is the programming language of life? Python? Objective C? COBOL? Whomever is using it recklessly should stop.

      1. I’m pretty sure it’s Basic. Visual Basic, maybe…but still Basic.

      2. Isn’t it Assembly?

        1. I’m glad you didn’t say Assembler because that sounds way too much like God.

      3. “What is the programming language of life? ”

        It’s “make a joke while ignoring the very serious problems of the world” language. also known as MAJWITVSPOTW.

        Your life depends on the alpha test not having any bugs. You most certainly may joke and laugh – but this is no laughing matter.

  11. Climate change is occurring

    Of course. The climate is always changing.

    is caused largely by human activities

    Bzzt. Horseshit. Since the climate was changing, and hit highs and lows that we have never seen, before our ancestors came out of the trees, this is prima facie horseshit.

    Is it possible that human activity has some marginal impact on global climate? Sure. Is it the primary driver of global climate, as the NIH states. Dear Lord, how any sane person can believe that completely escapes me.

    1. So you can’t understand it, therefore it’s not true.

      To me it takes a much greater leap of faith to believe that dumping gigatonnes of heat trapping gases into the atmosphere per year will have no or minimal effect on climate.

      But then you are R C Dean, obviously much smarter than those guys at MIT and the National Academy of Sciences.

      1. Tony: Doubling CO2 (“dumping gigatons”) would only increase temps by about 1 degree C. It’s the feedbacks that supposedly drive possibly catastrophic warming. And it’s the feedbacks that are the big uncertainties.

        1. Exactly. They have to rely on massive amounts of feedbacks and multiplier effects to make the theory works. It looks a lot like Ptolemy coming up with an increasingly bizare and complicated system to explain the movement of the planets to me.

        2. Tony: Doubling CO2 (“dumping gigatons”) would only increase temps by about 1 degree C. It’s the feedbacks that supposedly drive possibly catastrophic warming. And it’s the feedbacks that are the big uncertainties.

          I heard that this little fact (an exponential increase carbon dioxide results in a linear temperature increase) was known for over a century.

      2. What about plants, ocean absorption of CO2, and coral/mollusk growth (which use dissolved CO2 to fashion carbonate shells)? They don’t react at all to changing levels of a resource? All of it goes to heat trapping? Where did all this carbon that we burn come from? Outer space? Or plant fixation in past times?

        1. Sure they react. That doesn’t mean they absorb all the excess CO2. And it came from the earth’s crust, where it wasn’t serving as a greenhouse gas, and is now in the air, where it does.

          1. Wrong. They came from organic deposits trapped in the crust. The organic deposits were created by plants millions of years ago when the earth was lots warmer than it is now.

            1. I thought that’s what I said.

              1. I guess my point is that these carbon fixing machines called “plants” seem to flourish in warm, higher carbon, higher humidity environments which you argue are the consequence of putting carbon into the air. This would seem to be a dampening system. More plant growth == more carbon fixation. That is not what the IPCC models assume to produce their predictions.

                1. And don’t forget the vulcanos.

                2. “damping” you fag

                  1. wn:
                    I meant the system makes things moist.

          2. Re: Tony,

            Sure they react. That doesn’t mean they absorb all the excess CO2.

            I just love it when you talk in fuzzy-concepts, Tony! Just how much is “too much” CO2? Give us a number . . . please.

      3. To me it takes a much greater leap of faith to believe that dumping gigatonnes of heat trapping gases into the atmosphere per year will have no or minimal effect on climate.

        That is not a scientific argument.

  12. but it’s likely that launching such a process would help avoid some of the intellectual pitfalls that are inherent in any monopoly, including scientific research monopolies.

    …except for biotech scientific research monopolies. Then you can trust whatever the government and it’s corporations say. Isn’t that right Mr. Bailey & Reason.com?

    Of course it is. We know biotech is safe because the state told us so. If only we had the strength to have faith in this report – then the readers of Reason could have been treated to a little cartoon of two clouds, one saying to the other “You gotta have the right team, buddy”

    1. To the apparent dismay of some H&R commenters, I more or less accept the scientific “consensus” on both the safety of biotech crops and AGW.

      So the real question is, what should we do about both?

      Since biotech crops are safe farmers should allow to choose to use them freely and consumers allowed to buy them freely.

      On the other hand, AGW may be dangerous — the problem here is that I pretty certain that the currently proposed policies will whack the economy and do little to ameliorate the risks of climate change.

      I hope that clears up your persistent confusion over my views.

      1. Basic risk management requires you to answer two questions: what it the probability that something bad will happen in the future? what are the consequences of something bad happening in the future. The answers are used to prioritize proactive measures to deal with the risk.

        There are four strategies for dealing with risk: accept; avoid; mitigate; and transfer. You develop an action plan which may include a combination of these strategies. The you compute the cost of the action plan and compare it to the cost of doing nothing and letting the bad things happen {that would be the “accept” strategy}.

        Even if one assumes that human activity is having an impact on the climate it is still not certain what are the probability of bad things happening or what the consequences of those bad things are. The IPCC gives a wide range of possible consequences with each one have a wide range of probabilties of occurance.

        Al Gore and the AGW movement have selected the worst case consequences with have low probabilities of occuring and are demanding “avoid at all costs” as an action plan — TOTAL FAIL as risk managers.

        1. Al Gore and the AGW movement have selected the worst case consequences with [sic] have low probabilities of occuring

          I don’t know how it is possible to assign any kind of probability to the worst case consequences since they are all generated by computer models which can be made to say anything. Completely restructuring the world economy based on speculation and blind assertion does not seem very wise.

          1. The range of possible outcomes is driven by a computer model. So be it; I use computer models all the time; there is nothing wrong with using computer models.

            There are two unrelated failures in the AGW movement. The first one gets all the sceptics up in arms — the validity of the computer models are suspect. I have posted many times saying I don’t trust the models in the slightest bit.

            My current post is that even if you accept the results of the suspect computer models, the AGW movement is violating fundamental risk management process.

            The post was aimed at Ron Bailey who has come to a grudging acceptance of the AGW model.

            1. I was being a bit glib. I would never suggest that computer models aren’t potentially useful, but part of the AGW narrative is that global warming will cause horrible things to happen. Those that advance that POV have a tendency to treat the results of simulations as hard facts.

              I understand and accept your point about risk management. I don’t think you and I have any fundamental disagreement.

              1. People have a significantly non-trival probability of being killed in an auto accident everyday. Most people would consider that catestrophic, but they blindly ingore that outcome just about every waking moment of their lives.

                The average dude or dudette on the street just doesn’t understand probability or risk.

                1. Math is hard!

      2. Re: Ron Bailey,

        On the other hand, AGW may be dangerous[…]

        Another example of fuzzy-logic – just how dangerous are you talking aboout? Dangerous to whom? Why? When? Where?

        That’s the problem with AGW science – it is NOT the science that’s in dispute, it is the exceedengly extraordinary conclusions and claims that stem from the research: The Volcano God is angry!

        Of course, if there were no extraordinary claims, the tin cup would remain empty . . .

        1. OM: “May be dangerous” in this context means that it is a risk that we need to think about hedging against. Frankly, I’m still thinking. For more background, see my analysis of Weitzman’s Dismal Theorem.

      3. To the apparent dismay of some H&R commenters, I more or less accept the scientific “consensus” on both the safety of biotech crops and AGW.

        You accept the current pseudo-scientific faith.

        Since biotech crops are safe farmers should allow to choose to use them freely and consumers allowed to buy them freely.

        They may or may not be safe. Without independent scientific testing there is no scientific basis for saying they are safe.

        I hope that clears up your persistent confusion over my views.

        I am not confused – but it seems you may have confused religion and science in your mind.

        Since biotech crops are safe farmers should allow to choose to use them freely and consumers allowed to buy them freely.

        Farmers will not grow them freely. They will use subsidies of all sorts to do so. They will also do so while trampling on other people’s property rights. Consumers will also use subsidies. The entire thing will be funded and controlled and organized under the power of the state. “Free” shouldn’t be used in conjunction with food fascism.

      4. To the apparent dismay of some H&R commenters, I more or less accept the scientific “consensus” on both the safety of biotech crops and AGW.

        Are you familiar with the history of science? Especially that of the state/corporate scientists of previous generations who built our current world and systems? The folks who cut and paste DNA are the ideological and intellectual and political descendants of the eugenicists, the phrenologists, and other pseudoscientists.

        Are you familiar with the process of “consensus”? It is what collectives substitute for reason.

        That’s why I get a little on edge when I see Reason supporting the consensus of the grandiose grandchildren of psychopathic and psychotic power trippers who built the modern state-world. The old fogies accomplished many things – public “education”/mind control, the Holocaust, NBC arms, factory farming, etc. They did so by “consensus”. Now a new generation rises up to build new wonders on top of this framework and legacy of building tools of death and destruction for the State to wield as it pleases. Allegedly these new wonders will fix the problems created exclusively by the old wonders wielded by the State. As one who doesn’t accept the “consensus” and instead uses reason – I highly doubt the safety and efficiency of this process.

  13. I think a federal entity would be good because it is not possible to understand the natural world without the imprimatur of government.

  14. With regard to climate change science, the idea is that a select group of climate researchers would be convened with the explicit goal of trying to poke holes in the analyses and conclusions of consensus climate science.

    We can call it “everyone else”.

    1. It used to be called Peer Review. Unfortunately, peer review these days is little more than copy editing.

      1. Why should I Peer Review? I can’t get tenure for Peer Reviewing. I let my cat write my reviews.

  15. (I suspect that there has never been an NAS report that did not urgently call for further research funding.)

    I should apply for a grant to investigate.

    1. P Brooks: 🙂

  16. Another group of experts conclude AGW is for real. But I will say that their polic recommendations derive no strength from their authority as experts, that’s an area outside of their expertise for the most part.

    1. When bankers tell you they need more bailout money or the economy will collapse, do you believe them without question? They are experts after all.

      1. DURRRR LIBERTARIAN CATCH-22 DUR HURR

    2. Prove that their work is truly independent and does reuse previously published data that is now under suspicion.

    3. Re: MNG

      Another group of experts conclude allege AGW is for real.

      There’s a reason for that, MNG:

      Naturally, these reports all urgently call for further research funding.

      They have extended their tin cup forward.

  17. While I understand that weather and climate are different animals…

    About the biggest marketing draw of local network affiliates is weather. They spend all kinds of money, time, and energy trying to accurately “forecast” what the weather will do tomorrow. Their interest being, the better results, the more viewers, the more advertisers. These folks can’t agree on on their weather guess over the next week. See where I might have a problem with the experts ‘understanding’ of climate?

    1. Think about it this way. Consider this non-controversial prediction: Summer months in temperate zones of the northern hemisphere will be warmer than last winter’s months. Does that mean we will be undoubtedly correct when we predict that the weather on August 1st, 2010 will be warmer than the weather on any given day last winter?

      No. Yet does anyone argue that summer, on average, will be colder than winter was this year? Also, no. And that’s why it is perfectly possible to have greater consensus over future climate than over tomorrow’s weather.

      …not that I know a whit about global warming, but this is just the same paradox you will confront in any statistical exercise.

    2. Roger Murdock|5.20.10 @ 10:28AM|#
      “While I understand that weather and climate are different animals……”

      If you’re going to gripe, you need to gripe with some decent arguments and this ain’t one of them.
      I can’t tell you what number is going to show on the next roll of the dice, but I can tell you that over X rolls, Y is going to be more common than any other number.
      The fact that I can’t predict the exact temperature at noon tomorrow in no way affects my ability to correctly predict a warming trend.

      1. “The fact that I can’t predict the exact temperature at noon tomorrow in no way affects my ability to correctly predict a warming trend.”

        Are you predicting that we are exiting a ice age or entering a ice age?. It will be warmer when the sun rises. Wow this science is fun. Can I get some consensus?

      2. over X rolls,

        Yes, you can in that instance. Problem being with ‘climate’ is that the volume data we have available, over the life of planet is so insignifigant, how can you come to any certain conclusion? The volume of data we actually have is such a small fraction of the “X Rolls,” that there is quite a bit of wiggle room for guessing. That’s why I don’t think the weather forecasting / climate certainly comparison is so off.

        Your ability to predict a warming trend is based solely at the limited data at your disposal and may not be indicative of the behavior over the lifetime of the system.

        My probability of getting my bones jumped by a hot coed, today, is sadly, quite close to zero. There were times, many moons ago when the probability was a little higher. What has been witnessed, observed by my neighbors of my habits and behaviors is not necessarily indicative of the behavior of the same system, over it’s lifetime.

      3. The difference between accurately predicting weather and climate is not the difference between using statistics to make a guess at a temperature versus using statistics to make a guess at a trend.

        Some advocates of AGW and some advocates against AGW use anecdotes about weather to bogusly advance their respective positions. Neither of these groups do anything but muck up the debate.

        On a broader note, since AGW proponents demand that colossal modifications be made to the economies of the world, that national sovereignties be overridden and that vast transfers of wealth take place and that all of these changes must be made as quickly as possible, it is the responsibility of the AGW proponents to provide rock-solid arguments developed, presented and debated in a perfectly transparent way as to why. What I see AGW proponents doing is insisting that “experts” have already debated and settled everything, that the public need not and should not be involved and that anyone who questions their motives or the policies that they are advocating should be marginalized, censure and/or ignored.

        I don’t see how any rational person can accept the redefining of society based on these kinds of tactics even if they accept the scientific arguments as plausible.

  18. We got into this situation because “The Science” was politicized. So the proposal is to create a federal bureaucracy that will take “The Science” out of the political arena. Or is the proposal to fully politicize “The Science” and let the political process determine the course of action we should follow. It seems to me that if it’s the former, it’s bound to fail as a scientific exercise and if it’s the latter, then the science is superfluous. I suggest that both sides name a champion and they can confront one another on the field of honor some cool summer morning and fight to the death. Then we’ll know the truth.

    1. Perhaps this is an election that Al Gore can win without contest. Who would the other champion be?

    2. The course we should follow is not a scientific question, but a political one (though science does play a role in suggesting likely outcomes of some possible courses).

      1. I agree. The irony is, of course, that the process is so unappetizing that many (perhaps most) think that we can short-circuit the politics and get to the end game—which is policy change. IMO this is exactly the wrong thing to do. The environmentalists believe that such calamity awaits 50 or a 100 years from now, that the short time horizons that characterize most people’s behavior will lead to disaster. My belief is that science cannot predict problems or solutions that far in the future and the best course is to wait and see what happens. There are dangers associated with this course, but precipitate action is no less dangerous.

  19. AGW is real. Therefore, government intervention is needed.

  20. AGW is NOT real. Therefore, government intervention is needed.

  21. so Team B can help delay any action to reduce CO2 emissions until the glaciers melt and we’re underwater? great idea, Reason

    1. so Team B can help delay any action to reduce CO2 emissions until the glaciers melt and we’re underwater? great idea, Reason

      Why do we need to reduce CO2 emissions?

      If this global warming was a threat, we just set off atomic and hydrogen bombs at test sites; Carl
      Sagan and four others proved this to be a solution back in 1983.

  22. Recent research by Henrik Svensmark and his group at the Danish National
    Space Center points to the real cause of the recent warming trend. In a
    series of experiments on the formation of clouds, these scientists have
    shown that fluctuations in the Sun’s output cause the observed changes in the
    Earth’s temperature.

    In the past, scientists believed the fluctuations in the Sun’s output were
    too small to cause the observed amount of temperature change, hence the need
    to look for other causes like carbon dioxide. However, these new
    experiments show that fluctuations in the Sun’s output are in fact large
    enough, so there is no longer a need to resort to carbon dioxide as the
    cause of the recent warming trend.

    The discovery of the real cause of the recent increase in the Earth’s
    temperature is indeed a convenient truth. It means humans are not to blame
    for the increase. It also means there is absolutely nothing we can, much
    less do, to correct the situation.

    Thomas Laprade
    Thunder Bay, Ont.
    Canada

    http://beforeitsnews.com/news/…..rming.html

  23. “With regard to climate change science, the idea is that a select group of climate researchers would be convened with the explicit goal of trying to poke holes in the analyses and conclusions of consensus climate science.”

    Anyone with such an argument who actually follows through with it and finds that it is solid can still publish it. There’s a rumor–a lie, really–circulating that has good papers being kept out of journals by a conspiracy of mainstream climate scientists. It isn’t happening and the liars have presented no evidence that it is. ($0.02 says that someone will point to the “climategate” e-mails as evidence of censorship of good papers, despite that being debunked over and over…)

    If people don’t have good arguments, don’t follow through, they could always put their ideas on Watts Up or even see them alluded to in Americans for Prosperity or Goldwater Institute press releases.

    In short, there are already outlets for the good and even outlets for the not-so-good. Aside from the inordinate attention given to the latter, the usual scientific processes are working. That we don’t see such articles is because there are few good contrarian arguments. What’s the need to formalize doubt? I don’t think it will shut up the Wattses and Plimers and Michaelses and Ballings of the world.

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