Scientists debate each other’s work all the time. In fact, they’re encouraged to do so. The peer-review process was set up so that every misconception, assumption, or source of error in a scientific article could be nailed down and corrected. Scientists look for mistakes. It’s practically in their job description.
Normal scientific practice states that, should a scientist find a mistake in someone else’s work, they approach them about it, either directly or through the journal which published the article. If the criticism is deemed to be valid, the author will make any necessary changes and/or the journal will publish a retraction.
That’s what happened when the “hockey stick graph” attracted some criticism. The graph was sent to the National Academy of Sciences, who had some concerns about the way the graph was used, but generally found it to be legitimate. The IPCC revised its data, and came out with a new graph – a whole hockey team. The criticism lead to revision which led to further advancement of knowledge and data.
Directing concerns to the authors is probably the best way to fix any scientific errors as it leads to superior data. It is accepted and encouraged.
So, then, why do so many climate change skeptics turn to the media or the Internet instead?
It’s hard to watch Fox News, visit the website of a conservative think tank, or browse the blogosphere without finding someone who claims that climate change is false and they can prove it.
If you really can prove it, I’d like to say to these people, tell the scientists about it. Find specific mistakes in their methods and ask them to change them. If they don’t, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re biased against any data that contradicts their theory. You might just not fully understand climatology and why the scientists use the methods they do – especially if you’re not trained in climate science.
Ranting about the inaccuracies of climatology online or to a journalist isn’t going to fix those inaccuracies. All it’s going to do is confuse the public. If confusing the public is your goal, please stop, because our children’s lives are at stake here. If you really do believe that you can prove that climate change is false, direct it to the people who study this issue. For the betterment of human knowledge, please approach the scientists, not the media.