Former Obama science advisor Steve Koonin casts doubt
This is part 1 about Steve Koonin’s book “Unsettled”, his views on climate science, and his concerns about the politicization of scientific documents, like the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report.
CODE RED! Stop everything you’re doing and give us all your money to fix it or humanity gets it… in 12 years… 10 years… eight years…
There are non-stop headlines about the impending perils of climate change, but do they represent the official science? More and more experts are starting to say, not exactly.
Former President Obama’s under-secretary of Science, Steve Koonin, was a top science advisor to the Obama administration. You may be surprised to learn that he’s skeptical of the climate change consensus, which he says has become like a religion; nonetheless, he is not a “climate denier”. In fact, he believes in global warming and that humans have played a role in it, although it’s not clear how much. He’s also not certain that all impacts of climate change will be negative.
Koonin wrote a book titled, Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn't, and Why It Matters, and he’s been on a speaking tour to promote it. I had the opportunity to listen to him at an event hosted by the National Post on September 28, 2021.
Koonin is as “sciencey” as you’d expect a scientist to be. He gives the appearance of being apolitical by focusing on the data and resulting trends and information - coming out as a climate change consensus skeptic is not politically expedient. He’s been pilloried by the hyper-sensitive within the climate change movement, as well as by legacy media. Not because his claims have been debated and factually disputed, but because what he says goes against the orthodoxy of the climate alarmism movement.
In a democratic society we’re free to express our criticisms, but in a civil, fact-based, science-focused discussion, we have to be able to back up our claims; ad hominin attacks against an opponent are insufficient.
One has to wonder why we can’t debate and disagree about climate science. Why is it that the “science is settled” – door closed and padlocked, lights off, and no one is around to talk? I believe that if your idea has merit and you are confident in it, you should be able to debate it. You shouldn’t have to coerce someone to see your point of view; you should be able to convince them, which is what Steve Koonin has attempted to do with his book and promotional talks.
I’m not writing this article asking to debate the climate science; I’m not qualified, and most readers aren’t either. I’m writing to give a brief summary of Koonin’s talk and to question why we can’t have different perspectives and propose different solutions to the issue deemed the most urgent of our lifetimes. This is intended to be a political discussion, not a scientific.
I haven’t read Koonin’s book yet, so this is not a “book review” nor is it an endorsement – read it, don’t read it; you choose. But don’t silence people who have questions or express viewpoints that are contrary to the prevailing narrative, which changes frequently and on a whim.
IS THE SCIENCE SETTLED? IS IT ‘CODE RED FOR HUMANITY’?
Koonin said he’s most concerned that non-experts are being mislead. The science is not settled in large part because the decision-making, policy, and messaging is getting farther and farther from the official science.
For example, he’s read through the 4,000-page IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, and it does not say there is a Code Red emergency for humanity, which is what UN Secretary-General António Guterres claimed in August 2021.
Koonin asserts that the official science doesn’t claim that there is a climate crisis – what people believe differs from what the official science says.
He’s looked at the data with the eye of a scientist, and he believes the historical data and future projections should quell our “climate anxieties”. This video created by the Climate Discussion Nexus reviews some of the historical predictions and whether they were accurate or not – it’s worth a watch.
As a result, Koonin cautions against focusing only on climate action while ignoring other more important issues that need to be addressed. That is why he repeatedly mentioned that we have to be fully informed about climate change science, climate change risks, and the trade-offs of policy decisions.
We must understand and acknowledge the risk of catastrophe versus the cost of inconvenience as governments push to create public policy. He cites as an example the inherent risks of driving a car versus the inconvenience of not do so in an attempt to reduce risk.
Koonin recommends that we be cognizant of climate change, watch it, and take steps to adapt.
Link to Part 2 - https://www.deidragarykenergyadvocate.com/post/are-fossil-fuels-causing-the-end-of-the-world-part-2