Contempt for Science
I just wanted to add a couple of notes of my own to reflect the clear contempt for scientists which the article displays.
Wente suggests that McIntyre can be trusted to be honest because,
"Unlike almost everyone else in the highly charged climate-change debate, Mr. McIntyre has nothing personal at stake. He doesn't need to advance his career or get research grants."
(note to anyone who currently takes any medication: it's probably a bad idea since the scientists who came up with it were probably just trying to advance their career or get research grants).
Perhaps the most absurd comment is from McIntyre when he says, "he is astonished that climate science isn't subject to the same audits and due diligence that are carried out in any ordinary business."
Right, that's what I always hear: those silly scientists with their researched papers and their peer review process and their international panels and conferences. When will they learn to apply the same rigour that business does in coming to conclusions? Seriously, what planet is this guy on (oh right, the one with no global warming).
Later on, we get this:
"But wait. Don't most scientists still believe in the perils of man-made global warming? "Sure," says Mr. McIntyre. "And most stockbrokers believed in Enron."
I'm not really sure what to say here, but if we're comparing the work of scientists studying nature to stockbrokers studying a company which was actively doing it's best to deceive them, well, let's be kind and say it's not the best analogy I've seen lately. (perhaps I should go into more detail explaining why scientists may be a bit more reliable than stockbrokers, but if it's really come to that, I'm probably wasting my time trying to stem the tide of anti-science attitudes).
Finally, another quote from McIntyre,
"He says that most scientists haven't analyzed the data, and that scientists, like everyone else, are subject to peer pressure and groupthink. "Just because everybody thinks something's true doesn't make it true."
'Just because everybody thinks something's true doesn't make it true' - what a great argument. Could someone please point out something, anything which you couldn't use that line to argue against? "Baseball fans, like everyone else are subject to peer pressure and groupthink. Just because everybody thinks that Bonds is a good hitter doesn't mean he is." Give me a break.
Putting it together, Wente is creating the impression of the little guy from the margins taking on the establishment of all these scientists who are just pretending that global warming is serious or believe it only because they haven't taken the time to think about like McIntyre has. And the reason so many scientists have abandoned their principles of seeking the truth and supporting dissent is because they are just saying what they think people want to hear so that they get money for their grants or advance their career.
If I was a scientist of any kind, I'd be pretty offended by this attitude. And that's even without considering the track record of McIntyre which, to put it politely, isn't too convincing. Go read Jonathan's post, follow the links and see for yourself.