Why There's No Climate Hoax

  • By Brian Kantor
  • Posted 04.17.18
  • NOVA

Ecologist Stephen Pacala says a climate change conspiracy is impossible.

Running Time: 1:20


Why There's No Climate Hoax

Published April 18, 2018

Stephen Pacala: If I could show that the climate problem was wrong, It would be fantastic. I would become the most famous scientist probably in the world.

Just think about what the incentives are to a scientist who thinks that there might be a conspiracy within the sciences

Science is an adversarial process. You never win a Nobel Prize by showing that everyone was right all along. You win it by overturning something that everybody thought was right and turned out to be wrong. That's true of the climate problem too.

When I first started to work on this problem as a scientist, I put the evidence about the human cause of climate change into three different hoppers. One of the hoppers was, 'Yeah, this really supports the idea.'

The other was, 'No, this actually contradicts the idea.'

And the third was, 'There's a big unknown; I don't know.'

And 'I don't know' was the biggest. There was a lot in 'Yes,' but there were a few things in 'No.'

And since that time, the 'No's' have emptied. And so there is no alternative hypothesis that is strongly credible that I can bring to bear on this as a scientist.

No one can find a way to tear it down. And that's just the way that science works. Conspiracy is impossible.



Digital Producer
Brian Kantor
Daniel Traub and Arlo Perez
Written, Produced, and Directed by
Doug Hamilton
Caitlin Saks
© WGBH Educational Foundation 2018

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