Part of the: Common Arguments by Skeptics and Deniers.
A lot of climate change deniers make the argument that climate scientists are unreliable because they are a close nit group. The deniers claim climate scientists are biased to protect each other and cover up each others mistakes. The deniers have even made this argument under oath in the halls of Congress. Well this is Eli Rabett's response as to the number of climate scientists:
12,301-14,305 scientists in the United Stats alone is not exactly what I would call a small group of self protecting butt buddies. Michael Mann also has a retort which he submitted to the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The image he references is located at the top of this blog entry.
If we look at foreign members we get a total of 19340, which in the spirit of Iraq Body Count we can take as a lower limit, but certainly within a factor of 2.
- 1956 Atomspheric
- 1564 Biogeochemistry
- 334 Cryosphere
- 751 Global climate change
- 4736 Hydrology
- 2326 Ocean sciences
- 634 Paleoclimate
- 2004 Volcanology (you can argue here if you want)
(if you ain't a member of the AGU you ain't no damn climate scientist in the US, just like the AMA)
Let me next address Wegman’s equally specious and unsupported claim that scientists who work in a given field cannot objectively review the work of their colleagues and competitors in that field. By way of illustration, I have attached (as Attachment 1 to these Responses ) the famous 1927 photograph of attendees of the Solvay Physics meeting in Brussels. It shows a group of 29 physicists engaged in a collegial, small conference. Virtually every attendee was a driving figure behind our understanding of modern physics. Appearing in the photograph are Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, Fermi, Dirac, de Broglie, Born, Pauli, Langmuir, Planck, Curie, Compton, Ehrenfest, Lengevin, and others of equal prominence. The members of this group all knew each other, worked with each other, collaborated on research with one another, visited each other, went mountain-climbing together, and so forth. Familiarity did not compromise their contributions to science. While I do not claim that the group I collaborate with is likely to duplicate the feats of the scientists who gathered in Brussels 80 years ago, the point remains --- scientific collaboration does not turn scientists into timid lapdogs unwilling to criticize the work of their colleagues.Source:
Realcliate.org Followup to the ‘Hockeystick’ Hearings 31 Aug 2006
M. Mann Answers to Followup Questions and Supporting Materials Related to July 27 2006 Hearing of U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce
Rabett Run How many climate scientists are there mommy? Friday, November 10, 2006