Steven Koonin vs the cancel culture

When I posted on Steve Koonin’s book on Facebook, a message came up before the link opened to warn that this is not kosher material. More on this story.

This so-called fact check was used by Facebook to attempt to discredit the WSJ review and the book itself whenever a post linked to the book review.

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board objected to this practice with a strongly worded editorial. They pointed out the so-called “fact check” was not checking anything, but simply arguing against Koonin’s analysis. Arguing with Koonin is fine, arguing is an important part of science, but don’t call it a fact check. The “fact check” blog post doesn’t contradict or challenge anything in Koonin’s book. 

Koonin’s more detailed point-by-point rebuttal of the fact check is here.

Short  interview with Koonin.

A friendly review of Koonin’s book with some background on his attempts to generate genuine climate science debate.

Some of you may remember that Professor Koonin led an interesting star-studded American Physical Society workshop on climate change in 2014. They discussed and debated the essential elements of the ongoing climate change debate. My summary of the workshop can be read here. Reading the transcript of this workshop was eye-opening for me, it is 573 pages long, but a great example of science well done. Unfortunately, the large holes in the popular man-made climate science narrative it identified were ignored. Koonin actively advocated for more such formal scientific debates on the science; with both sides represented, but sadly every proposal was shot down. As he describes in Chapter 11, “Fixing the Broken Science,” prominent Democratic Senators Markey, Schatz, Smith, Blumenthal, Shaheen, Booker, Stabenow, Klobuchar, Hassan, Markey, and Feinstein tried to literally outlaw federal funding of debate on climate science, their bill read in part:

“… to prohibit the use of funds to Federal agencies to establish a panel, task force, advisory committee, or other effort to challenge the scientific consensus on climate change, and for other purposes.” (Koonin, 2021, p. 202)

Are they really trying to legislate a research outcome? Science is debate. Without debate, true science does not exist. The various scientific academies are no better than the Senate. Koonin and his colleagues have urged them to remain true to their principles and inform, rather than persuade, but their pleas were ignored. This is where we are today. We applaud Professor Koonin’s stand on scientific integrity and encourage others to follow his lead.

This entry was posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Steven Koonin vs the cancel culture

  1. nb says:

    I don’t go into dangerous neighbourhoods at night. And I don’t go to Facebook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.