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Peer pressure and climate science
by Bob Hoff, click here for bio

Program: Northwest Farm and Ranch Report
Date: December 05, 11

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Farm and Ranch December 5, 2011 The general media reports that the debate is over about climate change, or global warming. It is here and it is human caused.

Dr. Art Douglas, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Creighton University, and a perennial speaker at Pacific Northwest agricultural events, doesn’t believe it. I’ll explain the science behind his position in a future program. But today Douglas tells a story about peer pressure that might make you wonder about the pursuit of scientific truth.

As a young scientist Douglas gave a presentation in 1977 at a major conference in which he concluded that the previous cold winter was the result of a moderate El Nino event. It is accepted scientific fact today but not back then.

Douglas: “The head of long range forecasting with NOAA in Washington D.C. got up in front of everyone, this was a supreme group of researchers, and said “Art Douglas you can‘t possibly believe something 2000 miles away has any impact on climate in the United States. Heretics have done that in the past and they have all fallen by the wayside. You better look for a different reason.”

Douglas says a prominent researcher at the Scripps Institute grabbed him and said;

Douglas: “Never give a talk like that again. You will ruin your reputation for the rest of your life.”

I’m Bob Hoff and that’s the Northwest Farm and Ranch Report on Northwest Aginfo Net.

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