Latest Outrage from the Climate Enforcers

I’ve got a long article in the works for the Weekly Standard tomorrow on the current state of the climate change madness and the EPA’s emissions proposal out on Monday that implicitly says If you like your electricity rates, you can keep your electricity rates, and I’ll pass along excerpts here when it appears.  But today it is worth taking note of an especially egregious example of the increasingly strict enforcement of climate orthodoxy in the scientific establishment, this in at the hands of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).  (Hat tip to Judith Curry of Georgia Tech.)

Prof. Michael Asten, a geophysicist at Monash University in Australia, submitted an article to Eos, the weekly newspaper of the AGU, critical of the lack of diversity in the viewpoints about climate change that appear in the newspaper.  You can find a link to the article, and further discussion from Asten, at the link to Judith Curry’s blog above.  Here’s the most relevant passage, in which Asten refers to the contrasting perspectives of Judith Curry and climatologist Andrew Dessler:

Dessler presented a concise overview of AGW science, arguing for the standard model and how it stands the tests of comparison with observational data. I noticed one gem of optimism as he discussed discrepancies between models and some observational data, saying “I suspect future revisions [of the data] will bring it into ever-closer agreement with the models.”

Curry argued that in her view “both the climate change problem and its solution have been vastly oversimplified”, and reviewed global temperature, climate sensitivity and sea-level data from the IPCC AR5. She finds that the case for human factors dominating temperature change of the past 130 years is weaker than it was 10 years ago, and evidence for the importance of natural variability on climate changes, is growing.

These pages are not the place to adjudicate these opposing arguments, but it surprises me that contrary to the intent of our mission statement, the two sides rarely appear in AGU commentaries. I have a particular concern that presentation of science in a monochromatic style risks being unchallenging to our student population. I have on two occasions in the past year attended conferences relating to climate science where my questions (from a perspective closer to Curry than Dessler) have prompted graduate geology students to talk to me about aspects of their data which don’t fit the concept of recent unprecedented climate change. It is tragic when such students are discouraged by supervisors or departmental priorities from exploring such ideas – there are too many anecdotal examples of such discouragement to ignore. I urge interested students to analyse both Dessler and Curry as succinct statements on the complexities of the challenges ahead in climate science. I also say to such students that no Nobel prize winner in science ever received such recognition without breaking out of prior consensus understanding. . .

However I am disappointed that while the US Congress regularly calls for, listens to and records opposing scientific arguments, EOS does but rarely.

After sitting on Asten’s submission for three months, the editor of Eos finally rejected the article as follows:

Dear Dr. Asten:

Thank you for approaching Eos as a possible outlet for a Forum piece entitled “Ideas and diversity in climate science – and a challenge to students” (manuscript 2014ES004601). I apologize for the delay in getting back to you.

After thoughtful and lengthy consultation with colleagues and AGU staff, I have decided to reject the submission based on the significant scientific consensus regarding the question of human-induced climate change. While discussion of this topic continues, it is no longer a topic of scientific controversy.

This is not science.

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