the agencies and organizations that bring the science of climate to the attention of policymakers (like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or the National Academies) have too often focused on science that is interesting to scientists, rather than the science that would be of most use to policymakers.
This is beginning to change, and far more people in the scientific community are now on board with the idea that science can directly answer questions that policymakers are interested in.
I think this is very true. But I think the emergence of an applied science of climatology remains very much in its infancy at best. But I find the examples Schmidt uses alarmingly Lomborgesque:
Recent work from NASA has shown that reductions in tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks in the United States, resulting from a shift toward more plugin-hybrid vehicles, would help the climate by reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, ozone precursors and soot particles (three of the main drivers of global warming). But ozone and soot are also big contributors to smog and its noxious effect on health, and reductions can also have immediate benefits on local populations.
In Asia, using coal and biomass in homes for heating or cooking are important factors in creating the “atmospheric brown cloud” that is damaging the health of Chinese and Indian populations, and causing changes in temperature and rainfall.
I don’t think it makes much sense to argue for CO2 cuts for reasons other than cutting CO2.
Update 12/4: Follow-up here