Climate realists/skeptics often encounter the argument that most skeptics are not actually “climate scientists” because they mostly come from a range of other disciplines. The clear assumption is that there is something special about climate science that only properly authenticated climate scientists can understand. And so when the serious head counters like John Cook and colleagues do their count they draw their sample from the people who publish in official climate science journals and/or do their work in designated climate science units.
I think that assumption reflects a fundamental failure to appreciate the nature of the weather and climate science. It helps to come from a background in Agricultural Science because that has some of the same characteristics as climate science. It is not a pure discipline, it is inevitably a mixed discipline where the most rudimentary understanding calls for a sound basis in all the sciences, chemistry, physics, botany, zoology, geology with more depth in selected areas like animal production, agronomy, soil science and other specialised areas like plant pathology and entomology.
You could say the same for political economy, or simply economics the way it is practiced by the masters like von Mises, Hayek and Davidson.
The point is that a person with a background in the relevant disciplines, whether or not they have spent years in “climate science”, is well placed to form an opinion the issues if they have taken the trouble to engage with the literature for some time with the necessary scientific (critical) attitude. Bear in mind that this type of appreciation is very different from advancing the field that indeed takes years of intense application.
As for advancing the field, how far has climate science advanced in the several decades since it became a burning issue, for all the tens of billions of dollars spent on it?
Climate modelling is arguably the heart and soul of the enterprise, certainly all the things that are being done to save the planet are justified by the alarming projections of massive General Circulation Models. This appears to be a highly specialized field and it depends entirely on government funding because no private agency has ventured to spend the amount of money required to do the work.
I wrote that it appears to be highly specialised but in fact multivariate regression modelling is a common practice, especially in the service of Keynesian econometrics (how is that going these days?) It really helps to have some hands-on experience in this area and from my experience there are three things that you really need to know.
1. Running regression models is just about as much fun as you can have with clothes on.
2. Garbage in, garbage out.
3. You have to be very clever or very lucky to find out anything that you didn’t know before you started.
To conclude, can someone explain what climate modelling has contributed to our understanding of the weather. Do we have any reason to expect the projections from more advanced models to be any better than the old ones that have almost all been falsified?