When I first read the op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by 16 esteemed scientists expressing their skepticism regarding global warming theory and their concern that the science surrounding this issue had been corrupted I passed it by. After all, we've seen dozens of such stories over the years and there are hundreds and hundreds of scientists who have gone on record in one way or another with similar views.
But their op-ed, titled "No Need to Panic - There's no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to 'decarbonize' the world's economy," stirred up another hornet's nest. Hopefully, these brave 16 already have the funding locked down for their next project.
In response to the wave of criticism from the usual suspects in the alarmist Warmer community, these 16 scientists have written a follow up letter. In it they boil down the arguments in a way that is understandable and compelling. You may have read similar ideas expressed frequently at this blog.
The letter goes on to debunk other fantastic claims made by the Warmers such as "97% of scientists agree that climate change is real and human caused," and the absurd idea that somehow it's really warming but we just can't prove it. And of course, the laughable idea that green technology will "drive decades of economic growth."
Concerned Scientists Reply on Global Warming
Wall Street Journal
February 21, 2012
[A]an important gauge of scientific expertise is the ability to make successful predictions. When predictions fail, we say the theory is "falsified" and we should look for the reasons for the failure. Shown in the nearby graph is the measured annual temperature of the earth since 1989, just before the first report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Also shown are the projections of the likely increase of temperature, as published in the Summaries of each of the four IPCC reports, the first in the year 1990 and the last in the year 2007.
These projections were based on IPCC computer models of how increased atmospheric CO2 should warm the earth. Some of the models predict higher or lower rates of warming, but the projections shown in the graph and their extensions into the distant future are the basis of most studies of environmental effects and mitigation policy options. Year-to-year fluctuations and discrepancies are unimportant; longer-term trends are significant.
From the graph it appears that the projections exaggerate, substantially, the response of the earth's temperature to CO2 which increased by about 11% from 1989 through 2011. Furthermore, when one examines the historical temperature record throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, the data strongly suggest a much lower CO2 effect than almost all models calculate.
In summary, science progresses by testing predictions against real world data obtained from direct observations and rigorous experiments. The stakes in the global-warming debate are much too high to ignore this observational evidence and declare the science settled. Though there are many more scientists who are extremely well qualified and have reached the same conclusions we have, we stress again that science is not a democratic exercise and our conclusions must be based on observational evidence.
The computer-model predictions of alarming global warming have seriously exaggerated the warming by CO2 and have underestimated other causes. Since CO2 is not a pollutant but a substantial benefit to agriculture, and since its warming potential has been greatly exaggerated, it is time for the world to rethink its frenzied pursuit of decarbonization at any cost.
Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris; J. Scott Armstrong, cofounder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting; Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University; Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society; Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences; William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton; Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.; William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology; Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT; James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University; Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne; Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator; Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service; Antoninio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva.
At the heart of this issue is the very nature and definition of scientific study. The Warmers point to the number of scientific academies that repeat the man made climate change mantra as proof of their claim. But history shows how earlier scientific institutions insisted the earth was flat and that our planet was the center of the solar system. Science based on observations proved them wrong.
Scientific discovery is based on the concept that you test your theory with experiment or observation. The full panoply of satellite and ocean monitoring systems that have been deployed over the past two decades have been designed to provide the data to test global warming theory. Ironically, the data undermines, not supports the Warmers theory. In short, as seen from the chart above, the theory has failed.
Some on the left who continue to push the "man is to blame" model insist that those who disagree are somehow "anti-science" but as is so often the case, the opposite is true. Those who refuse to recognize that factors other than CO2 may be the principle drivers in climate change are themselves "anti science." Was Galileo anti-science when he bucked
Another Warmer Caught Faking It
Another arrow in the Warmer, or Enviro-zealot's quiver is to attempt to smear, discredit or punish those who disagree with their view that man is to blame and drastic action is required. Allegre, et.al. discuss that topic briefly in their response and we've certainly seen ample additional evidence over the years.
Another example comes from an anonymous source who claimed to be an "Insider" at the Heartland Institute; an organization which has been very critical of global warming theory. The "Insider" released several documents meant to discredit Heartland's mission of telling the other side of the climate change story. The most damning of these purported to show that Heartland was anti-science because a "confidential strategy memo" advised "dissuading teachers from teaching science."
Columnist Robert Tracinski said this raised immediate red flags for him:
But if you are an actual global warming skeptic, this is a big red flag, because we skeptics view ourselves as the defenders of science who are trying to protect it from corruption by an anti-capitalist political agenda. We never, in our own private discussions, refer to ourselves as discouraging the teaching of science. Quite the contrary.It turns out that the Heartland document is a fake and the man behind it is Peter Gleick, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and head of a Californian research organisation called the Pacific Institute.
One of the missions of the Pacific Institute is something called the "Integrity of Science:"
The Pacific Institutes's Integrity of Science Initiative responds to and counters the assault on science and scientific integrity in the public policy arena, especially on issues related to water, climate change, and security.Glieck is repeatedly on the record denouncing climate change "deniers" and claiming the scientific moral high ground for the warmers. James Delingpole at the Daily Telegraph mockingly said "Golly is "Integrity" Peter Gleick's middle name? Truly the man is a paragon!" So, I guess faking documents that purport to stain the character of those who disagree with you is the new and highest standard for scientific integrity?
Gleick drew attention to himself as the faker by making himself a target of the phony memo. After his fraud was exposed he fell back on the usual left wing excuse that it was fake but accurate ( or should we refer to this as the Dan Rather excuse?).
Increasingly, the Warmers have to lie about global warming because the science which they expected would support their wild claims is doing just the opposite. I challenge you to find a better example of exquisite irony!