The Science Is Outside of the Scientific Community

The Science Is Outside of the Scientific Community

Letters to the Editor: Criticism of climate scientist activism is Big Oil nonsense

When scientists challenge the prevailing scientific consensus about climate change (and they do) their criticism is often dismissed as “Big Oil” nonsense or worse- they are portrayed as being outside the field of science yet refusing to accept the scientific consensus. Recently, I read David Wojick who has written about the subject of climate change and the role of Big Oil in undermining the scientific consensus in the climate debate. He writes: “While some climate researchers may feel that they are engaging in a debate – as opposed to a “scientific” debate – over the validity of the facts, the scientific community is not “neutral,” Wojick says, but “concerned with what the facts really mean.” Climate scientists don’t have to be neutral; they do “not have any obligation to make up facts,” but “should not be pressured into silence,” a point that scientists should understand, because it would be “unfair to climate science.”

The implication of Wojick’s comments is that the science itself is somehow outside the realm of the science. Even if he is right about “the scientific community”, Wojick’s point is still an incorrect one. The scientific community is a group of scientists who are engaged in the same sort of debate – about the evidence – that all other scientists are engaged in. There is nothing at all outside of this scientific debate. It is a debate that scientists engage in whether they agree with the facts, don’t agree with or are unable to accept the facts.

If he is correct about climate scientists being outside of the scientific debate, it only confirms the point he is trying to make about climate scientists being outside of the scientific community (which, as Wojick correctly argues, are simply scientists). It only confirms that

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