The Washington Examiner is reporting that the EPA’s Scott Pruitt is contemplating forming a #Red Team vs. #Blue Team approach to examining the theory that human-caused climate change is real. And that it constitutes a clear and present danger to the planet. The idea is that a group of #Climate Change believers would go head to head with a group of climate change skeptics and each would present their case in public. The proposal is getting a lot of pushback from some in the scientific community.

But that is not the way science works

The first objection is that the red team vs. blue team approach is not the way that science works.

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The way science is supposed to work is that a researcher writes a paper based on research and evidence, submit it to a peer-reviewed journal, get it published, and then see the research debated,

However, some evidence exists that the peer review process where climate change is concerned has broken down. Ever since the Climategate scandal that was unearthed in November 2009, indications came to light that climate change advocates have manipulated data and suppressed critics of the theory into making it appear that the Earth is warming. To be sure, a number of studies have been said to have debunked this accusation, but the credibility of such can be compared to the Nixon White House examining Watergate and clearing itself of all wrongdoing.

But don’t 97 percent of all climate scientists already agree that global warming real?

The 97 percent consensus figure is an, often repeated and, often dunked canard has taken on a life of its own to such an extent that it is still repeated in the media.

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As it turns out, this claim is based on junk statistical science in which papers by skeptics were excluded from the studies and those by believers with a broad range of opinion, from warming is happening but not a significant problem to the often stated position in the media that it is occurring and a problem. In some studies, a substantial number of scientists did not respond at all to the surveys.

Why the adversarial approach may be a good idea

The debate over climate change has taken on the overtones of a religious controversy with one side accusing the other of being heretics, with loaded terms such as “denier” being bandied about. The computer models that have been set up by climate change believers to predict the future effects of the phenomenon have generally been wrong, such as the one that predicted that the Arctic ice cap would be gone by September 2016. Evidence has been advanced that no global warming had occurred since the late 1990s, the so-called “climate pause.” Global warming skeptics such as Judith Curry have been ridiculed, harassed, insulted, and in some cases driven out of academia.

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So it could be argued that an adversarial approach in which believers and skeptics battle it out on a level playing field, with the conclusions and what was used to arrive at them transparent for all to see, is a sound proposal. If the “science is settled” as some have suggested, then the climate change community has nothing to worry about. However, if we see a group-think style process, driven by the desire for grant money from government agencies eager for excuses to increase their regulatory power, then some worrying may be in order.