Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Professor Rood Authors Article on Climate Change Debate in The Conversation

Posted: August 14, 2017

Professor Rood Authors Article on Climate Change Debate in The Conversation Image: NASA

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt has called for a “red team-blue team” style approach in evaluating the science behind the climate change debate. "The American people deserve an honest, open, transparent discussion,” he said. But is an exercise derived from a military program designed to test force-readiness really the way to go? 

Climate & Space professor Richard Rood explores this topic in a new article published in The Conversation. In the piece, Red team-blue team? Debating climate science should not be a cage matchProfessor Rood talks about his own experiences in a variety of scientific review processes, then contrasts those approaches with “red team-blue team,” a protocol more commonly used to improve civilian and military security defenses. 

From the article: 

"As a climate researcher, I have participated in reviews where weather and climate projects were investigated for budget reductions. Others examined the role of high-risk research and technology along the critical path of a project. I have participated in studies of management acumen and how projects fit into a national and international political and scientific context.

"I have also participated in forums of scientific debate. This is where scientists provided evidence supporting competing arguments to explain unresolved observed behaviors. The arguments were testable, hence, scientific hypotheses.

"From my experience in both types of review, I can say confidently that red team-blue team exercises are not a mechanism for scientific debate. They are not designed to take a testable hypothesis and then look at whether observations and theory support or refute it." 


Read the full article:

Latest Headlines