I want to convey one more time that, while I’m going to criticize the NAS report and in some cases I’m going to be pretty hard on it, I think that they are decent, intelligent and knowledgeable people, who’ve tried to do an honest job and who were civil and fair to Ross and I. While I disagree with many conclusions in the report, there are others that I welcome and which I think will do much to clear the air. Before I get into serious dissection of the report, I sent the following letter today to NAS to ensure that they understood that I’m criticizing the report because I think that it is a valuable and useful report.
Dear Drs North and Cicerone,
I have had a chance to do a first reading of the NAS Panel report and commend both of you as well as the panel members for your roles in a very constructive report.
On a personal basis, I appreciated the cordiality and hospitality shown to Dr McKitrick and myself in our visit to Washington both at the presentation and at the reception and the civility and fairness with which you represented our views on the matters in dispute.
For one reason or another, a type of impasse had been reached in scientific consideration of statistical aspects of millennial paleoclimate studies. I think that the panel will have a definite contribution towards resolving this impasse and has already cleared the air in many contentious areas.
Obviously a report like this will not be the last word in a topic. I agree with many conclusions of the report and disagree with others. I’ve criticized things in the past and will criticize them in the future. However, I definitely plan to apply the report in my own work both in terms of specific findings and for setting directions. Please accept any such future criticisms as recognition of the value of the report, rather than as negatives.
I think that the report will serve its purpose best as a living document. As a suggestion, you might consider convening a workshop or a conference session in which participants and others could respond to the study.
Again, I wish to firmly record the above appreciation and recognition of your efforts.
Update: I received the following response almost immediately:
Thanks for your kind message. We appreciate your remarks. Please take note that we have proposed a special Union Session at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco in December to be chaired by several STR Committee members. I would be very pleased if you would submit a paper to this session. The session has not been approved yet, but we hope it will be given enough response in papers submitted. If you go to the AGU web page you can find instructions on how to submit an abstract.
I have not looked at your blog yet, but I look forward to reading a few of your good humored but prickly and challenging jabs.
For other posts on the NAS Panel from the outset, see NAS Panel category at right.