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My Last Post on Climate Change – ever

Posted by David Keelan on Thursday, June 21, 2007

I am not going to write about climate change anymore after this post (you are welcome). I respect the fact that there are a lot of opinions on the subject.  I resent the fact that in any debate deniers are called kooks or liars, or have an agenda, or are in the pockets of multinational corporations because they don’t have a mind of there own.

I want to close this discussion (at least here as I hope we all continue to calmly discuss this issue because the implications are significant) with a link to a series of articles in the Canadian paper The Financial Post written by Lawrence Solomon.

National Post’s Deniers series: Scientists who challenge the climate change debate

Mr. Solomon’s contribution to the debate is welcome and very much needed.  The implications to policy changes have real consequences economically, socially and enviromentally.  Alarmists can not be allowed to control this debate and the myth of concensus needs to be rolled back as it has taken on the aura of credibility.  Prominent scientists one supporting Al Gore’s position (though not as extreme in their views) have changed their minds – what does that say about concensus on this topic.  Perhaps global warming and climate change are real – I don’t have any models of my own to prove other wise.  However, I want to hear more and won’t permit the other side to be silenced or surpressed.

Mr. Solomon writes:

When I began (writing this series), I accepted the prevailing view that scientists overwhelmingly believe that climate change threatens the planet. I doubted only claims that the dissenters were either kooks on the margins of science or sell-outs in the pockets of the oil companies.

Mr. Solomon really got into his work on this subject by writing many more articles than he thought he would.

I considered stopping after writing six profiles, thinking I had made my point, but continued the series due to feedback from readers.

His point? What point?

My series set out to profile the dissenters — those who deny that the science is settled on climate change — and to have their views heard. To demonstrate that dissent is credible.

He is especially offended by Al Gore’s misleading statements (repeated statements)

“Only an insignificant fraction of scientists deny the global warming crisis. The time for debate is over. The science is settled.”

So said Al Gore … in 1992. Amazingly, he made his claims despite much evidence of their falsity. A Gallup poll at the time reported that 53% of scientists actively involved in global climate research did not believe global warming had occurred; 30% weren’t sure; and only 17% believed global warming had begun. Even a Greenpeace poll showed 47% of climatologists didn’t think a runaway greenhouse effect was imminent; only 36% thought it possible and a mere 13% thought it probable.

Mr. Solomon’s series generally support further research and the entire series is worth a good read.

Statistics needed — The Deniers Part I
Warming is real — and has benefits — The Deniers Part II
The hurricane expert who stood up to UN junk science — The Deniers Part III
Polar scientists on thin ice — The Deniers Part IV
The original denier: into the cold — The Deniers Part V
The sun moves climate change — The Deniers Part VI
Will the sun cool us? — The Deniers Part VII
The limits of predictability — The Deniers Part VIII
Look to Mars for the truth on global warming — The Deniers Part IX
Limited role for C02 — the Deniers Part X
End the chill — The Deniers Part XI
Clouded research — The Deniers Part XII
Allegre’s second thoughts — The Deniers XIII
The heat’s in the sun — The Deniers XIV
Unsettled Science — The Deniers XV
Bitten by the IPCC — The Deniers XVI
Little ice age is still within us — The Deniers XVII
Fighting climate ‘fluff’ — The Deniers XVIII

Science, not politics — The Deniers XIX
Gore’s guru disagreed — The Deniers XX
The ice-core man — The Deniers XXI
Some restraint in Rome — The Deniers XXII
Discounting logic — The Deniers XXIII
Dire forecasts aren’t new — The Deniers XXIV
They call this a consensus? – Part XXV
NASA chief Michael Griffin silenced – Part XXVI
Forget warming – beware the new ice age – Part XXVII
Read the Sun Spotes – Part XXVIII

Highlighting som Prominent Deniers that Mr. Solomon writes about

  • R. Tim Patterson
  • Edward Wegman: Found that Michael Mann’s (and he peer reviewers) made a basic error that “may be easily overlooked by someone not trained in statistical methodology. Believes that much of the climate science that has been done should be taken with a grain of salt. The report of Wegman and his colleagues has been criticized by a RealClimate.org, a proponent of man-made global warming, for drawing such conclusions. RealClimate.org was founded by Michael Man
  • Bjørn Lomborg: is an Adjunct Professor at the Copenhagen Business School and a former director of the Environmental Assessment Institute in Copenhagen. He became internationally-known for his best-selling and controversial book The Skeptical Environmentalist. He was accused of lying in his research and was cleared of the charges.
  • Dr. Christopher Landsea: Interesting name for a hurricane researcher. In January, 2005, Landsea withdrew from his participation in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. Landsea claimed the IPCC had become politicized and the leadership ignored his concerns. Landsea does not believe that global warming has a strong influence on hurricanes: “global warming might be enhancing hurricane winds, but only by 1 percent or 2 percent”. This guy participated in many previous IPCC reports. You need to read what led to his withdrawl from the 2007 report. It is incredible.
  • Dr. Richard Lindzen: a critic from within, one of the most distinguished climate scientists in the world: a past professor at the University of Chicago and Harvard, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a lead author in a landmark report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Proponents of the Climate Change Theory (I know there is a lot more – this is a work in progress).

  • Real Climate: RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. Some people refer to this as the end all be all of climate change information. Click here to learn about the participants in this project.
  • Michael Mann: Inventor of the famous unchanging hockey stick climate change model
  • James Hansen: heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, a part of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, Earth Sciences Diivision. He is currently an adjunct professor in the Earth and Environmental Sciences department at Columbia University. Hansen is best known for his testimony on climate change to congressional committees in the 1980s that helped raise broad awareness of the global warming issue. He is a vocal critic of the Bush Administration’s stance on climate change.
  • Dr. William Connolley: is a climate modeller. Connolley is a Senior Scientific Officer in the Physical Sciences Division in the Antarctic Climate and the Earth System project at the British Antarctic Survey. I have personal experience with Mr. Connolley via Wikipedia – don’t try to edit any articles on climate change that he monitors – fair warning.
  • Dr. Claude Allegre: he signed a highly publicized letter stressing that global warming’s “potential risks are very great: Fifteen years ago, Dr. Allegre was among the 1500 prominent scientists who signed “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity,” a highly publicized letter stressing that global warming’s “potential risks are very great. NEVER MIND HE CHANGED HIS MIND. He cited evidence that Antarctica is gaining ice and that Kilimanjaro’s retreating snow caps, among other global-warming concerns, come from natural causes. “The cause of this climate change is unknown,” he states matter of factly. There is no basis for saying, as most do, that the “science is settled.”
  • Dr. Kevin E. Trenberth: head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He was a lead author of the 2001 and 2007 IPCC Scientific Assessment of Climate Change. Linked to Dr. Christopher Landsea through an unfortunate set of circumstances.
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7 Responses to “My Last Post on Climate Change – ever”

  1. Terry said

    I am not an expert on the science of climate change but I live in Denmark and had a recent conversation with Bjorn Lomborg, one of the so-called “deniers” in your article. I hate to disappoint you but Bjorn Lomborg is not a denier. In fact he fully believes the climate is changing and that it is largely the result of man’s activities. What he contests is the relative benefit of tackling climate change ahead of other pressing global issues such as poverty, hunger, disease etc.

    There will never be a consensus that climate change is manmade – there will always be dissenters. There isn’t a single scientific issue on which there is consensus. After all, there are still people who think the earth is flat (and not all of them in the US!). That does not mean that the vast majority of scientists who believe it is round are not right.

    Terry

  2. chris said

    RE: LOMBORG

    From the artice I linked you to in “Imminent Peril”, Lomborg is the source of the “apples to oranges” attack on Gore. He wrote first in the New York Sun about great disparity between Gore’s 23 feet and the IPCC’s 23 inches which the Times and other major media outlets picked up (without bothering to fact check). I would hope that a respected scientist would have been able to pick up on the logical error of his arguement?

    And to second what Terry said, Lomborg was quoted in the NY Times as saying “”Climate change is a real and serious problem”, (sorry, no link).

  3. Thank you Terry for your comments. I only know Dr. Lomborg from what I have read about him. Your comment is the first time I heard that he believes what you stated. I have no reason to doubt you and am not saying I do – I have no basis to challenge you in that regard and would not think of doing so.

    I agree, and my point is exactly that, “There will never be a consensus that climage change is manmade.” or other scientific issues. To paraphrase you “That does not mean that the vast majority of scientists who believe in the alarmist theories of climate change are right.”

    What to do about climate change is only one question we must address. If warming is cyclical as the “other concensus” believes then we would spend a great deal of capital trying to effect change where we can not effect change.

  4. Chris,

    Climate change is a real and serious problem. But the problem with the recent press frenzy is that some seem to believe no new report or development is enough if it doesn’t reveal more serious consequences and more terrifying calamities than humanity has ever considered before.

    Indeed, this press frenzy has little or no scientific backing. One of England’s foremost climatologists, Mike Hulme, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, points out that green militancy and megaphone journalism use “catastrophe and chaos as unguided weapons with which forlornly to threaten society into behavioral change.” In his words, “we need to take a deep breath and pause.”

    http://www.nysun.com/pf.php?id=48160&v=1338342811

  5. Thom said

    I think you should also include Chris Landsea in your discussions on climate change and hurricanes. He has had some interesting things to say.

  6. News said

    Ball Bails on Johnson Lawsuit
    14 Jun 07

    The self-styled Canadian climate change expert, Dr. Tim Ball, has abandoned his libel suit against University of Lethbridge Professor of Environmental Science Dan Johnson. Ball dropped the suit without conditions, but also without acknowledging that Johnson’s original comments were accurate and were reported in good faith.

    http://www.desmogblog.com/ball-bails-on-johnson-lawsuit

  7. cindy vaillancourt said

    This is another topic where for some reason the natural tendancy is for people to try to categorize individuals’ stances in a neat little box labeled either “agree” or “disagree”. What a waste of time and energy. People and their thought processes are seldom clear cut yes or no.

    I am grateful to David K for posting these links. They were interesting. I also want to thank the folks who wrote with first hand insight into the source material. Proof that thinking people think in multiple dimensions – even when the writen word “seems” to indicate unwavering certainty or final analysis.

    For me, the photos of “the (no) snows of Kilimanjaro” are unsettliing. It doesn’t really effect my daily life – but it is pretty dramatic. And it does make me wonder.

    People should be wondering… what does this amazing change mean?

    “Amazing changes” have occurred on this planet since the beginning of its’ exisitance. It is clear that “man” was not a factor in most of them ….. check out the grand canyon…. previous ice ages …. the movement of the tectonic plates … etc.

    It is hard to refute the information indicating man has “had an impact” on the earth’s general health and well being … smog, pollution of the water and air, manipulations of wetlands and coastlines… etc. It doesn’t really matter if we agree exactly how big that impact has been.

    When it comes right down to it most people acknowledge man has both intentionally and unintentionally left his mark on the earth – for better and for worse.

    But even the most reluctant, and the one’s who point out that the planet has gone through these kinds of changes as a natural cycle for eons, can’t help but agree that if a “natural cycle” of a massive ice age…. or a “natural” major change in the landscape (or seascape) is coming —- man might be in a little bit of trouble.

    The question for them (and everyone else) is whether our technology will help us survive whatever changes in the habitability of the planet earth may come better than the dinosaurs, or the myriad other life forms which have from time to time disappeared from the face of the earth following “natural cyclical” dramatic changes in the climate.

    For my part – I won’t be buying property on a migrating barrier beach anytime soon 🙂

    Cindy V.

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