Roger Pielke and Dan Sarewitz argued in the Winter edition of Issues in Science and Technology that, “based on the experience of the past 13 years, … although the current and proposed climate research agenda has little potential to meet the information needs of decisionmakers, it has a significant potential to reinforce a political situation characterized, above all, by continued lack of action. The situation persists not only because the current research-based approach supports those happy with the present political gridlock, but more uncomfortably, because the primary beneficiaries of this situation include scientists themselves. Things are unlikely to change for the better unless the climate research community adopts a leadership role that places societal responsibility above professional self-interest.”
See Pielke, Jr., R. A. and D. Sarewitz, 2003. Wanted: Scientific Leadership on Climate, Issues in Science and Technology, Winter, pp. 27-30.
Samples of responses to the article:
- “As an old-timer in the climate policy arena, I applaud the article by [Pielke and Sarewitz]” (Bert Bolin, past chair, IPCC);
- “We take strong issue with the claims of Pielke and Sarewitz…[their] outrageous and unsupported statement is egregiously wrong” (Tom Wigley and Kevin Trenberth, NCAR, Ken Caldeira and Ben Santer, Lawrence Livermore Lab, Martin Hoffert, NYU, Michael Schlesinger, U of Illinois, Stephen Schneider, Stanford);
- “Many of our comments parallel the observations of [Pielke and Sarewitz]” (Winston Hickox and Mary Nichols, Secretaries of the California EPA and California Resources Agency, respectively);
- Pielke and Sarewitz “impressively highlight the marginal inutility of the quest for ever more uncertainty-reducing research on climate change. They expose the error of delaying hard policy choices by hiding behind scientific uncertainty…” (Richard Benedick, Pacific Northwest National Lab and chief U.S. negotiator of the Montreal Protocol);
- “The arguments presented by [Pielke and Sarewitz]…are basically flawed” (Eric Barron, Penn State);
- “What has $20 billion spent on climate change research since 1988 brought us? [Pielke and Sarewitz] claim that we have purchased quite a bit of academic understanding, but not much that helps policymakers…Have we helped policymakers? Probably not, I would agree” (John Christy, University of Alabama).
Complete responses to the article can be found here.