Skeptics and denialists of climate change lost a powerful voice recently. What’s more? It was one of their very few scientific voices.
Richard Muller, a physicist at the Universityof California at Berkeley, has long raised questions about the data used by climate researchers and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to chart the planet’s temperature record over the last 200 years or so: the chief evidence of recent and rapid warming. Among the questions were whether the data and the stations that collected it were of sufficient quality to allow for a valid estimate of warming; whether the data had been selectively chosen, or cherry-picked, to show a warming trend that would otherwise not be reflected; and whether urban heat-islands were skewing global average temperatures.
In an October 21 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Muller laid out a case for climate skepticism based on these questions. “Without good answers to all these complaints,” he wrote, “global-warming skepticism seems sensible.”