Patterico's Pontifications

12/23/2007

Renewed Skepticism about Global Warming

Filed under: Nature — DRJ @ 7:53 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Ok) has released a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Minority Report that lists 400 reputable scientists who deny there is a consensus on global warming:

“In the wake of the Dec. 3-14 conference, where delegates worked to draft a successor to the failed Kyoto Protocol on global warming, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., ranking member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has released a report that lists scientists who challenge both Al Gore’s assertion that the debate is over and the Bali conclusion that the planet is in imminent danger.

Many of the 400 scientists have taken part in the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose climate change reports tout consensus but which critics charge are heavily edited to support pre-defined conclusions.”

Here are a few examples of the global warming skeptics:

“Among the IPCC’s warming “deniers” is atmospheric scientist Hendrik Tennekes, former research director at the Netherlands’ Royal National Meteorological Institute.

“I find the Doomsday picture Al Gore is painting — a six-meter sea level rise, 15 times the IPCC number — entirely without merit,” he said. “I protest vigorously the idea that the climate reacts like a home heating system to a changed setting of the thermostat: Just turn the dial, and the desired temperature will soon be reached.”

Physicist John W. Brosnahan, who develops remote-sensing tools for clients like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says: “Of course I believe in global warming, and in global cooling — all part of the natural climate changes that the Earth has experienced for billions of years, caused primarily by cyclical variations in solar output.”

Brosnahan says he has “not seen any sort of definitive, scientific link to man-made carbon dioxide as the root cause of global warming, only incomplete computer models that suggest that this might be the case.” Those models, he says, leave out too many variables.

Indeed, a study in the Royal Meteorological Society’s International Journal of Climatology looked at 22 computer models used by the IPCC. Most of the models couldn’t even predict the past.”

There was also a claim that scientists who question global warming were censored at the Bali proceeding:

“Heartland Institute senior fellow James Taylor has noted that more than 600 scientists at the Bali gathering could have debunked Gore’s warming theories, but the U.N. “censored” them.”

Here is the summary page of the Minority Report that has links to the introduction and the full report, along with this overview of the featured scientists:

“The distinguished scientists featured in this new report are experts in diverse fields, including: climatology; oceanography; geology; biology; glaciology; biogeography; meteorology; oceanography; economics; chemistry; mathematics; environmental sciences; engineering; physics and paleoclimatology. Some of those profiled have won Nobel Prizes for their outstanding contribution to their field of expertise and many shared a portion of the UN IPCC Nobel Peace Prize with Vice President Gore.

Additionally, these scientists hail from prestigious institutions worldwide, including: Harvard University; NASA; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR); Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the UN IPCC; the Danish National Space Center; U.S. Department of Energy; Princeton University; the Environmental Protection Agency; University of Pennsylvania; Hebrew University of Jerusalem; the International Arctic Research Centre; the Pasteur Institute in Paris; the Belgian Weather Institute; Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute; the University of Helsinki; the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S., France, and Russia; the University of Pretoria; University of Notre Dame; Stockholm University; University of Melbourne; Columbia University; the World Federation of Scientists; and the University of London.”

It’s so inconvenient when scientists refuse to toe the global warming line.

— DRJ

60 Responses to “Renewed Skepticism about Global Warming”

  1. Govt funded research on the subject is nonetheless conclusive: we need more govt.

    ras (fc54bb)

  2. DRJ – What do you mean by “renewed” skepticism? It’s been there all along!

    daleyrocks (906622)

  3. Hopefully this will mark the start of the wheels falling off of this hoax. Al Gore might as well be selling his snake oil out the back door of a medicine wagon. The world is coming to realize that, whatever may be happening with world climate, there is no scientific consensus about it and no definitive proof that any anthropogenic contribution is consequential.

    MikeD (a2de3a)

  4. Good point, daleyrocks.

    DRJ (09f144)

  5. I’m tempted to link you on my blog and hope my troll comes to bug you and insist that everyone who disagrees with him is being unscientific, including the scientists. *grin*

    Foxfier (97deae)

  6. Organizations referred to in the Minority Report:
    The Heartland institute
    The Natural Resources Stewardship Project (and here)
    Other links included those to leftists bitter over the lack of attention to their priorities.
    All in all, not very encouraging, but we’ll see.

    blah (fb88b3)

  7. You’d think with this being such a hot issue and all that we’d be seeing all sorts of heated debates with the Warmies and the skeptics going head to head on some of these TV news networks. I suspect there is one side that is unwilling to show up for face to face debates on this issue.

    j curtis (8bcca6)

  8. A prediction, albeit one based on a press release, the one that says $1/watt solar power is just around the corner:

    The globe will now, per the only serious correlation found, that being solar activity – slowly enter a cooling period. Solar power will then be attacked by environmentalists who will claim that we cannot afford to convert those rays into any other form of energy cuz we need the warmth.

    If the press release is accurate, it’ll happen sooner. If not, then the development of more efficient solar panels is still some years away and it’ll happen later.

    ras (fc54bb)

  9. Part of the issue is reports like this being picked up or given coverage by the MSM. Skeptics seem to get a much better audience overseas in places like Australia or even Canada. In the U.S., media coverage is tough to find. Does anyone know if this report found any coverage at all?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  10. Daley- only on blogs, that I’ve seen.

    Kind of amazingly, I’ve seen it mostly on Uncommon Decent. (So far as the scientifically backed counters to man-made global warming.)
    http://www.uncommondescent.com/

    Foxfier (97deae)

  11. Not being a scientist, I have no ability to judge the competing scientific claims about global warming and have thrown up my hands over the whole thing. I am concerned, however, that it has become a political issue and find that suspicious. I am never sure if I’m seeing valid scientific disputes or just warring disinformation campaigns. I guess we’ll find out in a generation or two.

    JayHub (0a6237)

  12. As long as the skeptics don’t get much publicity, Captain Planet and his acolytes can go on pretending there is actually a consensus of scientists. There is an incentive for them to pressure the media into keeping a lid on stories of skepticism. In the U.S., this has worked well. The AGW proponents are largely unwilling to debate anyone and risk exposure of their theories, so the charades continue.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  13. Ya desire some real SCIENCE on the subject?

    Here ya go.

    http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2007/09/table-of-conten.html

    Poll: If TC begins selling carbon credits (cuz he desires a windmill or large solar array in his backyard, yes it’s big enough for such), how many of you will bite and help pay for it? :)

    TC (1cf350)

  14. I think, (a rare occourance), that I should bring along this link as well.

    Though I’ve not heard allot fro Bjorn for a spell, I know he is still out there, even if criticized.

    http://www.greenspirit.com/lomborg/

    He brings onto the total front and legitimatizes real discussion.

    GW seems to be more of a religion than anything else. (pick your god)?

    TC (1cf350)

  15. There are several practices of the AGW advocates that demonstrates that what they practice is not science.

    The first is that they do not practice the scientific method. Key studies among the AGW have seen a failure to share data, methodology etc. Steve McIntyre has long documented the obstruction of scientists like Mann, Bradly, Hughes, Hansen and others who refuse to release the basic data sets and code methodology of key studies of temperature trends. MBH et al have also refused to acknowledge the many errors found in their work, with recent reports repeating already discovered errors. Hansen of NASA, the same one falsely complaining of being censored, refused to release the methodology of calculating the GISS temperature series published by NASA. Skeptics attempting to audit that series by reverse engineering found that the claims of particular years being of higher temp than previous years was based on a fundamental error similar to a Y2K error. It was only after this embarrassment that resulted in the need to completely republish the series, that Hansen started to release information.

    Secondly, the AGW advocates attempt to silence skeptics with several tactics. Including attempting to get people fired as happened in the case of the Oregon state climatologist last year. The most offensive is the adoption by AGW advocates of the term “Denier” to label skeptics. This is an attempt to cast skeptics as nazis. This is the tactic of a rabid partisan not a scientist.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  16. Just when I thought blah couldn’t sink any lower, s/he resorts to the Genetic Fallacy. Good going, blah!

    Steverino (af57bc)

  17. “You’d think with this being such a hot issue and all that we’d be seeing all sorts of heated debates with the Warmies and the skeptics going head to head on some of these TV news networks. I suspect there is one side that is unwilling to show up for face to face debates on this issue.”

    I suspect for the same reason you don’t see anyonwe debating Sherri Shepherd on The View, who believes that the earth is flat and doesn’t believe in evolution. Obvioulsy thsoe round-earth Darwinians don’t have the courage of their convictions.

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  18. Anybody look closely at the list?

    Economists and TV weathermen are not “reputable scientists.” Their disciplines do not pretend to track the normal process of climate science. One inventor on Inhofe’s list believes organic human beings will be a small minority of the intelligent life forms on Earth by 2099.

    The fact there is no consensus on why ice is melting all across the planet and the combustion of hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide and water are building up in the environment faster than the biosphere can absorb them is not cause for complacency.

    Global warming skeptics properly remind us that in science everyone and everything is always open for serious, thoughtful questioning.

    That’s not the same as being congenitally incurious.

    steve (d8c431)

  19. How about scientists who are congenitally dismissive?
    Or is that redundant?
    Instead of dismissing skeptics with “harrumph… everyone already agrees…” it seems scientists would say “hey, knock yourself out. Here are my numbers and models”.

    I think at the end of the day scientists will quietly realize they got a little ahead of themselves on this one

    SteveG (4e16fc)

  20. David, that comment alone illustrates that you really are ignorant of the global warming skeptics. They enjoy debating the science. Its the AGW advocates who avoid debate about substance and substitute ad hominem.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  21. Instead of dismissing skeptics with “harrumph… everyone already agrees…” it seems scientists would say “hey, knock yourself out. Here are my numbers and models”.

    Why? The skeptics say we should demonstrate the courage to do nothing.

    “Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity’s real and pressing problems.”

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=164004

    steve (fae6c2)

  22. Not responsive, steve. Why is it that the AGW proponents refuse to actually practice the scientific process, that of sharing data and methods?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  23. The skeptics say: “Solve war, starvation and disease first. We’ll adapt to a changing world, if it ever happens, like we have adapted since we came into existence. Nothing’s more adaptable than human beings. And stop trying to scare us into changing our way of life while you’re living in your 40,000 sq. ft. mansion and flying around the world in your 300 gallon per mile jet.”

    nk (c87736)

  24. Who cares whether global warming is happening naturally or through excessive use of resources? “Climate cycles are natural!” is not a counter-argument to “We are screwing up the earth’s natural climate cycles.”

    Being good stewards of the earth and ending economic dependence on the Middle East are no-brainers.

    If the Global Warming ‘religion’ is actually about the redistribution of wealth, what’s the clinching argument?

    steve (fae6c2)

  25. Lubos Motl has a pretty good roundup of media coverage at Consensus Buster: Senate Report, including mentions by the NYT, Fox, Boston Herald, Investor’s Business Daily, News Max, World Net Daily, ect.
    Even a link to Rev Albert Gore’s reaction.

    papertiger (d44946)

  26. Steve warmer is better. I only wish we could nudge the worlds thermostat up a notch or two. What a wonderful world it would be.
    The sad fact is that co2 level doesn’t control temperature.
    The good news is increased co2 levels do augment plant life and the animals, including us, which eat the plants.
    A happy byproduct of co2 enhancement is longevity for humans –
    Why are we living longer?
    CO2 Enhances Plant Production of Cancer fighting Substances.
    Average life expectancy

    papertiger (d44946)

  27. How many of the 400 ‘scientists’ not completely convinced that global warming is man-made, also do NOT support efforts to clean up carbon dioxide waste and promote greater fuel efficiency? I doubt there are many.

    We’re really debating one-world government, politics and the effrontery of Al Gore, about whom I have considerable distrust. Nothing this theatrical can be about science.

    steve (fae6c2)

  28. What duty do we have to be good stewards of Earth? Geez, it is a religion — a Gaia worship.

    nk (c87736)

  29. clean up carbon dioxide waste (waste?) ≠ promote greater fuel efficiency

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  30. Steve,

    Would you mind naming for me the top 5 sugg’ns for combating global warming that require us to downsize govt, rather than upsize it? Thx.

    This is important. As the Chinese say, a road is good for 10 years and bad for 10,000. So it is with many govt programs; good for a speech, then bad for a lifetime, because centralization increases corruption.

    More to the point, the communist nations were by far the worst polluters around in their day, so small-govt, decentralized solutions would certainly be better for the environment. That’s what the empirical evidence points to.

    And anyway, since it’s really about the science, then surely there will be as many downsized-govt solutions as there are upsized ones. I’m just curious which are your top 5. I mean, what are the odds that there would be no major downsizing recommendations at all, eh?

    ras (fc54bb)

  31. Would you mind naming for me the top 5 sugg’ns for combating global warming that require us to downsize govt, rather than upsize it? Thx.

    Would you mind naming for me the top 5 reasons space exploration is better for government to operate than private enterprise? I’m suggesting half the $120 billion cost to send men back to the moon is better spent on climate change.

    steve (57c188)

  32. Steve,

    I take it you feel comfortable letting Russia and China dominate space?

    DRJ (09f144)

  33. If such a small sum as 60 billion dollars will solve climate change, then it is not at all the crisis it is claimed to be.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  34. We’re mounting a manned lunar mission to thwart the Chinese? Had no inkling the moon was that strategic.

    steve (57c188)

  35. Steve,

    Dodging the q? I hope not, anyway; it’s a serious one, and completely earnest. So once again, what are the top 5 “downsizing govt” approaches, in your opinion, to combat global warming? Just pick ’em outta Gore’s book if you like.

    ras (fc54bb)

  36. Absent investors, nothing downsizes government. “I’ll see your fear-mongering and raise you one” is a well-travelled cul-de-sac.

    Private capital is always targeted much more wisely than is monies confiscated by governments.

    steve (57c188)

  37. Would you mind naming for me the top 5 reasons space exploration is better for government to operate than private enterprise? I’m suggesting half the $120 billion cost to send men back to the moon is better spent on climate change.

    Perhaps not the top 5, but 5 off the top of my head;

    1.) Given todays litigious society and the innate risk of space flight the barriers to private enterprise trying to do actual space exploration (not, look ma, I’m 12′ into space for 5 minutes) are immense.

    2.) Government funded space exploration reduces the likelyhood of some random idiot knocking a french sattelite out of orbit and incinerating the barn of some farmer in idaho.

    3.) The logistics and costs involved in launching, monitoring and recovering a manned space mission would make it a poor investment for the handful of people who could even contemplate trying. A corporation that exists to make profit isn’t likely to be too sanguine about dumping billions into a project with no guaranteed returns.

    4.) Discoveries and technologies developed through the research process are much more widely available than they’d be if made by private corporations.

    5.) Assuming we wish the human species to exist indefinately, we’re going to have to leave Earth at some point (in a few billion years the sun is going to vaporize it). Might as well get started on it now. A permanent lunar base will make further exploring space exponentially easier.

    Now, what praytell would you spend that half on anyway? More bogus climate models? Planting trees? How precisely are you going to solve a problem that may not even exist, and if it does may not be possible to stop?

    Taltos (4dc0e8)

  38. The key phrase being, “a project with no guaranteed returns.”

    For manned moon missions, probably true.

    There is an open-ended entrepreneurial potential for satellite technology.

    And it’s likewise implausible that financiers, project developers, investment banks and insurers will have no interest in renewable energy and low carbon technologies.

    steve (57c188)

  39. Renewable energies and low carbon technologies have been subsidized for many years, there have been no real breakthroughs and there are none foreseeable.

    Again, if a small sum like $60 billion could solve global warming, then its not a real crisis.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  40. 1) I didn’t say a given funding level would “solve” global warming.

    2) There is no basis to claim any breakthrough or technology is unforseeable.

    steve (1107ec)

  41. Steve, you made a comparison to the ’60’s Moon project and suggested a sum of half.

    So evidently, that number had no relation at all to the problem. Making it meaningless.

    As for renewable energy and low carbon tech, there is this thing called physics that dictates certain limitations to energy generation. There simply are no magic energy generation technologies that are feasible. The only way to significantly reduce the amount of carbon we generate in energy production is for a massive building program converting coal-fired electricity generation with nuclear. That isn’t political possible today.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  42. Steve, you made a comparison to the ’60’s Moon project and suggested a sum of half.

    No, I mentioned the estimated funding of the ‘upcoming’ lunar mission. The costs are neither meaningless, nor would re-directing them “solve” global warming.

    You seem to think I believe complete decarbonisation to be feasible. What gave you that impression? It will be like performing open heart surgery on a patient while the patient is wide awake.

    If we can help by changing a few biases, we should. Part of the bias toward polluting fuels is most grids are designed to distribute electricity from large generators and are not suited to receive it from many small sources. The regulatory framework needs to favor private wire networks to help them achieve profitable economies of scale.

    I can sense your excitement, though. I will look for your innovations moving forward – right here.

    steve (93b2d6)

  43. p.s. You can still ridicule Al Gore while managing the carbon footprint. Nobody will snitch.

    steve (93b2d6)

  44. “The regulatory framework needs to favor private wire networks to help them achieve profitable economies of scale.”

    An oxymoron in action.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  45. So lower the barriers in the power generation sector and find out. New energy generation technologies, despite being shown to work and have long-term profit potential, may fail to find a market.

    steve (93b2d6)

  46. steve – If the Global Warming ‘religion’ is actually about the redistribution of wealth, what’s the clinching argument?

    Who has made a convincing argument that redistributing wealth is a good thing?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  47. Who has made a convincing argument that redistributing wealth is a good thing?

    Not me. Is the climate change lobby saying it? Do all detractors say we might as well enjoy our beautiful planet while we can since our fate is sealed?

    Caricaturists are never in short supply.

    And once again, private capital is always targeted much more wisely than is monies confiscated by governments.

    steve (93b2d6)

  48. Actually, steve, there was a lot of commentary of that form at the recent Bali conference.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  49. Steve– to echo SPQR, that was a BIG part of the latest deal with “man made global warming”– making a world government to get money from the sinners to fix all the evil.

    Foxfier (97deae)

  50. Is the climate change lobby saying it?

    Yes

    daleyrocks (906622)

  51. Big business and environmental lobbyists are historic enemies, as climate change discourse has long reflected.

    Did Bali delegates urge the developed world to finance the development and transfer of technology to assist the developing countries to achieve the transition to a low-carbon economy? Yes.

    Did the final communique also say that 84 percent of the $50 billion needed to combat climate change in the next few years will need to come from the private sector – and that market solutions have to be “incentivized?” Yes.

    There’s more than enough there for obstructionists to demonize for a year.

    steve (801197)

  52. Given the fondness of AGW advocates for using terms like “Denier” and your “obstructionist” for those who don’t agree with them, your reference to demonizing is amusing.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  53. Did the final communique also say that 84 percent of the $50 billion needed to combat climate change in the next few years will need to come from the private sector – and that market solutions have to be “incentivized?”

    Steve – Where is this from?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  54. SQPR– it’s called “projection.” I get it from racist who judge folks because they’re too pale, I get it from those who violate all scientific principals in the name of “scientific fact,” I get it from former associates online who accuse all who disagree with them of childishness (not anyone here, before any feathers are ruffled), why should it not come in the realm of manners and such?

    Foxfier (97deae)

  55. If you prefer “caricaturists,” fine.

    They exist on both sides.

    steve (801197)

  56. Steve,

    No one’s demonizing you; just askin’ q’s.

    Meanwhile, on the topic at hand, we are still unaware of your top 5 “downsizing govt” recommendations for combating global warming. Do you not have any at all? Surely that could not be the case. So what are they?

    Anyway, gotta go for a while; I’ll check in later to see which recommendations you’ve chosen.

    ras (fc54bb)

  57. Absent investors, nothing downsizes government.

    And there’s no “we” asking and re-asking.

    steve (801197)

  58. Ras, he’s too busy hitting my blog to call names.

    <3 the delete button.

    Foxfier (97deae)

  59. Especialy when you have that liar AL GORE going around spreading this bs on global warming while flying in a jet and driving around in his gas guzzling 4 mpg limo and producing a fruadulent documentry and his two latests books full of his lies and hypocracy i mean WAR ON REASON and LOOK WHOS TALKING ABOUT THE WAR ON REASON THIS IDIOT IS SO UNREASONIBLE HE SHOULD BE ASHAMED

    krazy kagu (89f761)


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