Growing Numbers of Sceptics? A Note from Jim

Jennifer,

I note of late a tendency to refer to the “growing” number of AGW skeptics in the scientific community and am a bit puzzled by this.

If, like myself, you are not a scientist much less an expert in a climate related discipline, then the relative proportions and credibility of genuine experts is an important factor in making your mind up about the significance of AGW.

So who are the skeptics and is their number growing?

It might be useful to keep an up-to-date list of the genuine experts who are skeptical about either/or the existence of AGW and the seriousness of the threat it poses.

Highlighting recent “defections” either way might indicate a change in sentiment in scientific opinion if one really exists?

Of course, some principles would have to be adopted and applied rigorously if such an exercise was really to be of any use.

For example, many would argue that scientists who received funding from a source which may have an agenda served by a particular finding should be excluded.

This includes scientists who have been funded by oil and mining companies, environmental organizations , NGO’s or scientists who have received research grants specifically linked to AGW.

There is a link at Wiki which lists skeptics and provides details of their qualifications:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

But who are the recent converts?

I can only think of two – Allegre and David Evans.

I don’t know of any defections the other way.

Should we be expecting to see more if scientific sentiment is really changing?

Regards,
Jim
Australia

46 Responses to Growing Numbers of Sceptics? A Note from Jim

  1. Luke June 27, 2007 at 8:25 pm #

    Jim – interesting post. I would make the observation that there aren’t many of the Wiki list that are serious climate modellers. However there are a good number who have distinguished themselves in semi-related disciplines.

    Personally I think the constant shelling of the anti-AGW camp is causing significant doubt in the general community. A feeling of uncertainty is about.

    However I’m not sure many people are capable of weighing up the physics involved. Take the radiation models for example explained in the lastest two RC posts. I doubt many people would be up to it.

    So how do you make a decision? Do you need to make a decision? Certainly the public does if it means a change in lifestyle or a carbon tax.

    Many have made their minds up already for ideological reasons whether they be left or right. Neo-con or neo-marxist aren’t going to change are they.

    So it gets settled politically then doesn’t it. Most believable side wins? If you’re ideologically inclined you’ll side with the proponents closest to your value system.

    All I can suggest is if you really want to know is track down the essential arguments and weigh them up.

    Spurn the op-eds and puff pieces.

    Will mean you’ll have to digest a fair bit of boring technical stuff and you still won’t be totally sure.

    In the end it is an issue of risk management. To act or not. And how much?

    Do more scientists going one way or the other influence most people to change their viewpoint?

    Does anyone check up on their quals or credibility. Or do you just go on gut feel and your own bulldust detector.

  2. Woody June 27, 2007 at 11:04 pm #

    I suspect that as the reality and costs of implementing CO2 restrictions gets nearer, many people in science and government will pause and say, “Wait a minute. Let’s REALLY think this through before we do something rash.” It’s like talking about marriage vs. actually going through with it.

  3. chrisl June 27, 2007 at 11:20 pm #

    Nutters like Tim Flannery don’t help the cause.Making scary predictions makes you look silly and when they don’t come true it is confirmed. Tim Blair is having a lot of fun with his “Sydney will run dry” prediction with an update on how many megalitres he is out by.

  4. Aaron Edmonds June 28, 2007 at 2:37 am #

    Forget about AGW! The real issue is how is the global economy going to adjust to geologically imposed natural resource availability – namely hydrocarbons. Geologically enforced rationing is not far off. Some would argue it has already begun …

  5. Marc Morano June 28, 2007 at 4:39 am #

    Jim,

    How about the below list of recent converts to get you started. The U.S. Senate report will have hundreds of skeptics in a forthcoming report.

    Thanks,
    Marc

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressRoom.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=927B9303-802A-23AD-494B-DCCB00B51A12

    Climate Momentum Shifting: Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming – Now Skeptics

    May 15, 2007

    Posted by Marc Morano – Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov  – 9:14 PM ET
    Climate Momentum Shifting: Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming – Now Skeptics

    Growing Number of Scientists Convert to Skeptics After Reviewing New Research
    Following the U.S. Senate’s vote today on a global warming measure (see today’s AP article: Senate Defeats Climate Change Measure,) it is an opportune time to examine the recent and quite remarkable momentum shift taking place in climate science. Many former believers in catastrophic man-made global warming have recently reversed themselves and are now climate skeptics.  The names included below are just a sampling of the prominent scientists who have spoken out recently to oppose former Vice President Al Gore, the United Nations, and the media driven “consensus” on man-made global warming. 

    The list below is just the tip of the iceberg.  A more detailed and comprehensive sampling of scientists who have only recently spoken out against climate hysteria will be forthcoming in a soon to be released U.S. Senate report. Please stay tuned to this website, as this new government report is set to redefine the current climate debate.

    In the meantime, please review the list of scientists below and ask yourself why the media is missing one of the biggest stories in climate of 2007.  Feel free to distribute the partial list of scientists who recently converted to skeptics to your local schools and universities. The voices of rank and file scientists opposing climate doomsayers can serve as a counter to the alarmism that children are being exposed to on a daily basis. (See Washington Post April 16, 2007 article about kids fearing of a “climactic Armageddon” )

    The media’s climate fear factor seemingly grows louder even as the latest science grows less and less alarming by the day. (See Der Spiegel May 7, 2007 article: Not the End of the World as We Know It ) It is also worth noting that the proponents of climate fears are increasingly attempting to suppress dissent by skeptics. (See UPI May 10, 2007 article: U.N. official says it’s ‘completely immoral’ to doubt global warming fears )

    Once Believers, Now Skeptics ( Link to pdf version )  

    Geophysicist Dr. Claude Allegre, a top geophysicist and French Socialist who has authored more than 100 scientific articles and written 11 books and received numerous scientific awards including the Goldschmidt Medal from the Geochemical Society of the United States, converted from climate alarmist to skeptic in 2006. Allegre, who was one of the first scientists to sound global warming fears 20 years ago, now says the cause of climate change is “unknown” and accused the “prophets of doom of global warming” of being motivated by money, noting that “the ecology of helpless protesting has become a very lucrative business for some people!” “Glaciers’ chronicles or historical archives point to the fact that climate is a capricious phenomena. This fact is confirmed by mathematical meteorological theories. So, let us be cautious,” Allegre explained in a September 21, 2006 article in the French newspaper L’EXPRESS. The National Post in Canada also profiled Allegre on March 2, 2007, noting “Allegre has the highest environmental credentials. The author of early environmental books, he fought successful battles to protect the ozone layer from CFCs and public health from lead pollution.” Allegre now calls fears of a climate disaster “simplistic and obscuring the true dangers” mocks “the greenhouse-gas fanatics whose proclamations consist in denouncing man’s role on the climate without doing anything about it except organizing conferences and preparing protocols that become dead letters.” Allegre, a member of both the French and U.S. Academy of Sciences, had previously expressed concern about manmade global warming. “By burning fossil fuels, man enhanced the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which has raised the global mean temperature by half a degree in the last century,” Allegre wrote 20 years ago. In addition, Allegre was one of 1500 scientists who signed a November 18, 1992 letter titled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” in which the scientists warned that global warming’s “potential risks are very great.”

    Geologist Bruno Wiskel of the University of Alberta recently reversed his view of man-made climate change and instead became a global warming skeptic. Wiskel was once such a big believer in man-made global warming that he set out to build a “Kyoto house” in honor of the UN sanctioned Kyoto Protocol which was signed in 1997.  Wiskel wanted to prove that the Kyoto Protocol’s goals were achievable by people making small changes in their lives. But after further examining the science behind Kyoto, Wiskel reversed his scientific views completely and became such a strong skeptic, that he recently wrote a book titled “The Emperor’s New Climate: Debunking the Myth of Global Warming.”  A November 15, 2006 Edmonton Sun article explains Wiskel’s conversion while building his “Kyoto house”: “Instead, he said he realized global warming theory was full of holes and ‘red flags,’ and became convinced that humans are not responsible for rising temperatures.” Wiskel now says “the truth has to start somewhere.”  Noting that the Earth has been warming for 18,000 years, Wiskel told the Canadian newspaper, “If this happened once and we were the cause of it, that would be cause for concern. But glaciers have been coming and going for billions of years.”  Wiskel also said that global warming has gone “from a science to a religion” and noted that research money is being funneled into promoting climate alarmism instead of funding areas he considers more worthy. “If you funnel money into things that can’t be changed, the money is not going into the places that it is needed,” he said.

    Astrophysicist Dr. Nir Shaviv, one of Israel’s top young award winning scientists, recanted his belief that manmade emissions were driving climate change. “”Like many others, I was personally sure that CO2 is the bad culprit in the story of global warming. But after carefully digging into the evidence, I realized that things are far more complicated than the story sold to us by many climate scientists or the stories regurgitated by the media. In fact, there is much more than meets the eye,” Shaviv said in February 2, 2007 Canadian National Post article. According to Shaviv, the C02 temperature link is only “incriminating circumstantial evidence.” “Solar activity can explain a large part of the 20th-century global warming” and “it is unlikely that [the solar climate link] does not exist,” Shaviv noted pointing to the impact cosmic- rays have on the atmosphere. According to the National Post, Shaviv believes that even a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere by 2100 “will not dramatically increase the global temperature.” “Even if we halved the CO2 output, and the CO2 increase by 2100 would be, say, a 50% increase relative to today instead of a doubled amount, the expected reduction in the rise of global temperature would be less than 0.5C. This is not significant,” Shaviv explained. Shaviv also wrote on August 18, 2006 that a colleague of his believed that “CO2 should have a large effect on climate” so “he set out to reconstruct the phanerozoic temperature. He wanted to find the CO2 signature in the data, but since there was none, he slowly had to change his views.”  Shaviv believes there will be more scientists converting to man-made global warming skepticism as they discover the dearth of evidence. “I think this is common to many of the scientists who think like us (that is, that CO2 is a secondary climate driver). Each one of us was working in his or her own niche. While working there, each one of us realized that things just don’t add up to support the AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) picture. So many had to change their views,” he wrote.

    Mathematician & engineer Dr. David Evans, who did carbon accounting for the Australian Government, recently detailed his conversion to a skeptic. “I devoted six years to carbon accounting, building models for the Australian government to estimate carbon emissions from land use change and forestry. When I started that job in 1999 the evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming seemed pretty conclusive, but since then new evidence has weakened the case that carbon emissions are the main cause. I am now skeptical,” Evans wrote in an April 30, 2007 blog. “But after 2000 the evidence for carbon emissions gradually got weaker — better temperature data for the last century, more detailed ice core data, then laboratory evidence that cosmic rays precipitate low clouds,” Evans wrote.  “As Lord Keynes famously said, ‘When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?’” he added. Evans noted how he benefited from climate fears as a scientist. “And the political realm in turn fed money back into the scientific community. By the late 1990’s, lots of jobs depended on the idea that carbon emissions caused global warming. Many of them were bureaucratic, but there were a lot of science jobs created too. I was on that gravy train, making a high wage in a science job that would not have existed if we didn’t believe carbon emissions caused global warming. And so were lots of people around me; and there were international conferences full of such people. And we had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet!  But starting in about 2000, the last three of the four pieces of evidence outlined above fell away or reversed,” Evans wrote. “The pre-2000 ice core data was the central evidence for believing that atmospheric carbon caused temperature increases. The new ice core data shows that past warmings were *not* initially caused by rises in atmospheric carbon, and says nothing about the strength of any amplification. This piece of evidence casts reasonable doubt that atmospheric carbon had any role in past warmings, while still allowing the possibility that it had a supporting role,” he added. “Unfortunately politics and science have become even more entangled. The science of global warming has become a partisan political issue, so positions become more entrenched. Politicians and the public prefer simple and less-nuanced messages. At the moment the political climate strongly supports carbon emissions as the cause of global warming, to the point of sometimes rubbishing or silencing critics,” he concluded. (Evans bio link )  
    Climate researcher Dr. Tad Murty, former Senior Research Scientist for Fisheries and Oceans in Canada, also reversed himself from believer in man-made climate change to a skeptic.  “I stated with a firm belief about global warming, until I started working on it myself,” Murty explained on August 17, 2006.  “I switched to the other side in the early 1990’s when Fisheries and Oceans Canada asked me to prepare a position paper and I started to look into the problem seriously,” Murty explained. Murty was one of the 60 scientists who wrote an April 6, 2006 letter urging withdrawal of Kyoto to Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper which stated in part, “If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary.”  
    Botanist Dr. David Bellamy, a famed UK environmental campaigner, former lecturer at Durham University and host of a popular UK TV series on wildlife, recently converted into a skeptic after reviewing the science and now calls global warming fears “poppycock.” According to a May 15, 2005 article in the UK Sunday Times, Bellamy said “global warming is largely a natural phenomenon.  The world is wasting stupendous amounts of money on trying to fix something that can’t be fixed.” “The climate-change people have no proof for their claims. They have computer models which do not prove anything,” Bellamy added. Bellamy’s conversion on global warming did not come without a sacrifice as several environmental groups have ended their association with him because of his views on climate change. The severing of relations came despite Bellamy’s long activism for green campaigns. The UK Times reported Bellamy “won respect from hardline environmentalists with his campaigns to save Britain’s peat bogs and other endangered habitats. In Tasmania he was arrested when he tried to prevent loggers cutting down a rainforest.” 
     
    Climate scientist Dr. Chris de Freitas of The University of Auckland, N.Z., also converted from a believer in man-made global warming to a skeptic. “At first I accepted that increases in human caused additions of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere would trigger changes in water vapor etc. and lead to dangerous ‘global warming,’ But with time and with the results of research, I formed the view that, although it makes for a good story, it is unlikely that the man-made changes are drivers of significant climate variation.” de Freitas wrote on August 17, 2006. “I accept there may be small changes. But I see the risk of anything serious to be minute,” he added. “One could reasonably argue that lack of evidence is not a good reason for complacency. But I believe the billions of dollars committed to GW research and lobbying for GW and for Kyoto treaties etc could be better spent on uncontroversial and very real environmental problems (such as air pollution, poor sanitation, provision of clean water and improved health services) that we know affect tens of millions of people,” de Freitas concluded. de Freitas was one of the 60 scientists who wrote an April 6, 2006 letter urging withdrawal of Kyoto to Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper which stated in part, “Significant [scientific] advances have been made since the [Kyoto] protocol was created, many of which are taking us away from a concern about increasing greenhouse gases.”
    Meteorologist Dr. Reid Bryson, the founding chairman of the Department of Meteorology at University of Wisconsin (now the Department of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, was pivotal in promoting the coming ice age scare of the 1970’s ( See Time Magazine’s 1974 article “Another Ice Age” citing Bryson: & see Newsweek’s 1975 article “The Cooling World” citing Bryson) has now converted into a leading global warming skeptic. In February 8, 2007 Bryson dismissed what he terms “sky is falling” man-made global warming fears. Bryson, was on the United Nations Global 500 Roll of Honor and was identified by the British Institute of Geographers as the most frequently cited climatologist in the world. “Before there were enough people to make any difference at all, two million years ago, nobody was changing the climate, yet the climate was changing, okay?” Bryson told the May 2007 issue of Energy Cooperative News. “All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it’s absurd. Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air,” Bryson said. “You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide,” he added. “We cannot say what part of that warming was due to mankind’s addition of ‘greenhouse gases’ until we consider the other possible factors, such as aerosols. The aerosol content of the atmosphere was measured during the past century, but to my knowledge this data was never used. We can say that the question of anthropogenic modification of the climate is an important question — too important to ignore. However, it has now become a media free-for-all and a political issue more than a scientific problem,” Bryson explained in 2005.
    Global warming author and economist Hans H.J. Labohm started out as a man-made global warming believer but he later switched his view after conducting climate research.  Labohm wrote on August 19, 2006, “I started as a anthropogenic global warming believer, then I read the [UN’s IPCC] Summary for Policymakers and the research of prominent skeptics.”  “After that, I changed my mind,” Labohn explained. Labohn co-authored the 2004 book “Man-Made Global Warming: Unraveling a Dogma,” with chemical engineer Dick Thoenes who was the former chairman of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society. Labohm was one of the 60 scientists who wrote an April 6, 2006 letter urging withdrawal of Kyoto to Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper which stated in part, “’Climate change is real’ is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural ‘noise.’”
    Paleoclimatologist Tim Patterson, of Carlton University in Ottawa converted from believer in C02 driving the climate change to a skeptic. “I taught my students that CO2 was the prime driver of climate change,” Patterson  wrote on April 30, 2007. Patterson said his “conversion” happened following his research on “the nature of paleo-commercial fish populations in the NE Pacific.” “[My conversion from believer to climate skeptic] came about approximately 5-6 years ago when results began to come in from a major NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) Strategic Project Grant where I was PI (principle investigator),” Patterson explained. “Over the course of about a year, I switched allegiances,” he wrote. “As the proxy results began to come in, we were astounded to find that paleoclimatic and paleoproductivity records were full of cycles that corresponded to various sun-spot cycles.  About that time, [geochemist] Jan Veizer and others began to publish reasonable hypotheses as to how solar signals could be amplified and control climate,” Patterson noted. Patterson says his conversion “probably cost me a lot of grant money. However, as a scientist I go where the science takes me and not were activists want me to go.” Patterson now asserts that more and more scientists are converting to climate skeptics.  “When I go to a scientific meeting, there’s lots of opinion out there, there’s lots of discussion (about climate change). I was at the Geological Society of America meeting in Philadelphia in the fall and I would say that people with my opinion were probably in the majority,” Patterson told the Winnipeg Sun on February 13, 2007. Patterson, who believes the sun is responsible for the recent warm up of the Earth, ridiculed the environmentalists and the media for not reporting the truth. “But if you listen to [Canadian environmental activist David] Suzuki and the media, it’s like a tiger chasing its tail. They try to outdo each other and all the while proclaiming that the debate is over but it isn’t — come out to a scientific meeting sometime,” Patterson said. In a separate interview on April 26, 2007 with a Canadian newspaper, Patterson explained that the scientific proof favors skeptics. “I think the proof in the pudding, based on what (media and governments) are saying, (is) we’re about three quarters of the way (to disaster) with the doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere,” he said. “The world should be heating up like crazy by now, and it’s not. The temperatures match very closely with the solar cycles.”   
    Physicist Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, chairman of the Central Laboratory for the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Radiological Protection in Warsaw, took a scientific journey from a believer of man-made climate change in the form of global cooling in the 1970’s all the way to converting to a skeptic of current predictions of catastrophic man-made global warming. “At the beginning of the 1970s I believed in man-made climate cooling, and therefore I started a study on the effects of industrial pollution on the global atmosphere, using glaciers as a history book on this pollution,” Dr. Jaworowski, wrote on August 17, 2006. “With the advent of man-made warming political correctness in the beginning of 1980s, I already had a lot of experience with polar and high altitude ice, and I have serious problems in accepting the reliability of ice core CO2 studies,” Jaworowski added. Jaworowski, who has published many papers on climate with a focus on CO2 measurements in ice cores, also dismissed the UN IPCC summary and questioned what the actual level of C02 was in the atmosphere in a March 16, 2007 report in EIR science entitled “CO2: The Greatest Scientific Scandal of Our Time.” “We thus find ourselves in the situation that the entire theory of man-made global warming—with its repercussions in science, and its important consequences for politics and the global economy—is based on ice core studies that provided a false picture of the atmospheric CO2 levels,” Jaworowski wrote. “For the past three decades, these well-known direct CO2 measurements, recently compiled and analyzed by Ernst-Georg Beck (Beck 2006a, Beck 2006b, Beck 2007), were completely ignored by climatologists—and not because they were wrong. Indeed, these measurements were made by several Nobel Prize winners, using the techniques that are standard textbook procedures in chemistry, biochemistry, botany, hygiene, medicine, nutrition, and ecology. The only reason for rejection was that these measurements did not fit the hypothesis of anthropogenic climatic warming. I regard this as perhaps the greatest scientific scandal of our time,” Jaworowski wrote. “The hypothesis, in vogue in the 1970s, stating that emissions of industrial dust will soon induce the new Ice Age, seem now to be a conceited anthropocentric exaggeration, bringing into discredit the science of that time. The same fate awaits the present,” he added. Jaworowski believes that cosmic rays and solar activity are major drivers of the Earth’s climate. Jaworowski was one of the 60 scientists who wrote an April 6, 2006 letter urging withdrawal of Kyoto to Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper which stated in part: “It may be many years yet before we properly understand the Earth’s climate system. Nevertheless, significant advances have been made since the protocol was created, many of which are taking us away from a concern about increasing greenhouse gases.”
    Paleoclimatologist Dr. Ian D. Clark, professor of the Department of Earth Sciences at University of Ottawa, reversed his views on man-made climate change after further examining the evidence. “I used to agree with these dramatic warnings of climate disaster. I taught my students that most of the increase in temperature of the past century was due to human contribution of C02. The association seemed so clear and simple. Increases of greenhouse gases were driving us towards a climate catastrophe,” Clark said in a 2005 documentary “Climate Catastrophe Cancelled: What You’re Not Being Told About the Science of Climate Change.” “However, a few years ago, I decided to look more closely at the science and it astonished me. In fact there is no evidence of humans being the cause. There is, however, overwhelming evidence of natural causes such as changes in the output of the sun. This has completely reversed my views on the Kyoto protocol,” Clark explained. “Actually, many other leading climate researchers also have serious concerns about the science underlying the [Kyoto] Protocol,” he added. 
    Environmental geochemist Dr. Jan Veizer, professor emeritus of University of Ottawa, converted from believer to skeptic after conducting scientific studies of climate history. “I simply accepted the (global warming) theory as given,” Veizer wrote on April 30, 2007 about predictions that increasing C02 in the atmosphere was leading to a climate catastrophe. “The final conversion came when I realized that the solar/cosmic ray connection gave far more consistent picture with climate, over many time scales, than did the CO2 scenario,” Veizer wrote. “It was the results of my work on past records, on geological time scales, that led me to realize the discrepancies with empirical observations. Trying to understand the background issues of modeling led to realization of the assumptions and uncertainties involved,” Veizer explained. “The past record strongly favors the solar/cosmic alternative as the principal climate driver,” he added. Veizer acknowledgez the Earth has been warming and he believes in the scientific value of climate modeling. “The major point where I diverge from the IPCC scenario is my belief that it underestimates the role of natural variability by proclaiming CO2 to be the only reasonable source of additional energy in the planetary balance. Such additional energy is needed to drive the climate. The point is that most of the temperature, in both nature and models, arises from the greenhouse of water vapor (model language ‘positive water vapor feedback’,) Veizer wrote. “Thus to get more temperature, more water vapor is needed. This is achieved by speeding up the water cycle by inputting more energy into the system,” he continued. “Note that it is not CO2 that is in the models but its presumed energy equivalent (model language ‘prescribed CO2’). Yet, the models (and climate) would generate a more or less similar outcome regardless where this additional energy is coming from. This is why the solar/cosmic connection is so strongly opposed, because it can influence the global energy budget which, in turn, diminishes the need for an energy input from the CO2 greenhouse,” he wrote. 
    More to follow…
    Related Links:
    Senator Inhofe declares climate momentum shifting away from Gore (The Politico op ed)
    Scientific Smackdown: Skeptics Voted The Clear Winners Against Global Warming Believers in Heated NYC Debate
    Global Warming on Mars & Cosmic Ray Research Are Shattering Media Driven “Consensus’
    Global Warming: The Momentum has Shifted to Climate Skeptics
    Prominent French Scientist Reverses Belief in Global Warming – Now a Skeptic
    Top Israeli Astrophysicist Recants His Belief in Manmade Global Warming – Now Says Sun Biggest Factor in Warming
    Warming On Jupiter, Mars, Pluto, Neptune’s Moon & Earth Linked to Increased Solar Activity, Scientists Say
    Panel of Broadcast Meteorologists Reject Man-Made Global Warming Fears- Claim 95% of Weathermen Skeptical
    MIT Climate Scientist Calls Fears of Global Warming ‘Silly’ – Equates Concerns to ‘Little Kids’ Attempting to “Scare Each Other”
    Weather Channel TV Host Goes ‘Political’- Stars in Global Warming Film Accusing U.S. Government of ‘Criminal Neglect’
    Weather Channel Climate Expert Calls for Decertifying Global Warming Skeptics
    ABC-TV Meteorologist: I Don’t Know A Single Weatherman Who Believes ‘Man-Made Global Warming Hype’
    The Weather Channel Climate Expert Refuses to Retract Call for Decertification for Global Warming Skeptics
    Senator Inhofe Announces Public Release Of “Skeptic’s Guide To Debunking Global Warming”
     
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  6. Jim June 28, 2007 at 7:39 am #

    Your comments raise the question Luke as to what qualifications carry the most weight.

    I had always assumed that climatologists, meterologists , geologists , astrophysicists etc were the most qualified in this debate?

    Do you have a different view or are you saying that within these disciplines , the Wiki sceptics haven’t done much computer modelling as opposed to the mainstream climate scientists?

    And yes I agree the argument has become very politicised but that was probably unavoidable given the coverage given to both extremes.

    I mean which does more damage to the rationalist perspective – an assertion that London will be underwater in 20 years or the claim that the whole AGW issue is a dark green/red conspiracy to achieve world government?

    The science is complex and uncertain even for the experts.

    I’d submit under those circumstances people such as yours truly have to rely on the views of the majority of experts.

    If that’s so , then it’s important to understand what this majority opinion is and if there’s any genuine change in the majority scientific view.

    I’ve often read about a “growing ” number of sceptics but don’t know if that’s correct or not.

    And yes I do accept that a successful RMS involves weighing the relative costs of action and inaction.

    Sincere thanks for the link Marc – at least I managed to get two recent converts right – I’ll have a read over lunch!

  7. rog June 28, 2007 at 7:41 am #

    Recent drought breaking rains have somewhat dampened the ardour of local alarmists, now that dams are nearing full those that use climate change to claim the higher moral ground might find themselves politically isolated.

  8. Luke June 28, 2007 at 9:26 am #

    Not much happening in the Murray Darling main systems or SEQ as yet. But again Rog’s point and Tim Balir’s stupid glee are misrepresentations of the AGW science. Not that anyone could get through to Blair on this issue. Nobody said it would never rain again. In fact most of us have been hoping like hell it would. Seeing trees you have planted and looked after for many years die isn’t fun. We can argue whether there was or was not an AGW component in the current (hopefully breaking) drought.

    The real issue is what happens in the near future. How long till the next drought sequence. Will we find ourselves in this situation soon again. Here the science is suggestive but unclear. We have had dominant modes of Antarctic climate which are unfavourable to our rainfall patterns perhaps with an anthropogenic component.

    Most of us who live a few more decades will find out and report back ! 🙂

    Sensible risk managers are reviewing their probability of exceedance graphs.

  9. Luke June 28, 2007 at 9:30 am #

    So Jim does Marc Morano’s list help.

    This is where indiscriminate sceptic campaigners lose it – instead of thinking it through themselves they’re in such a hurry they’ll take any old nonsense. And so you have a list with a few impressive names but also critically listed climate wackos like Jaworowski and Bellamy. I mean really !

    And so if that’s the duty of care that put the list together – ROFTL !

    (and also ironic that by definition Jaworowski will contradict the science of other contrarians using the ice core record).

    And ending with Inhofe – double ROTL. Can’t stand up now.

    Will any old iron will do !
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqfemDDz3qs

  10. Jim June 28, 2007 at 11:16 am #

    It certainly adds a few more names to the list Luke but I don’t know that it indicates any sort of sea change or shift in the majority view?

    Perhaps I’m naive but if significant numbers of scientists were starting to change their minds , I can’t accept the media would run dead on it.

    From years of personal experience , I know how uni-dimensional the press can be and they are very slow to move away from time honoured angles.

    But I’m not generally a conspiracy theorist – which is why I tend to reject the “big-oil funding anti-AGW propoganda” line when it pops up here.

  11. Luke June 28, 2007 at 12:00 pm #

    Pielke is the most serious one.

    When the climate modellers start to melt – citing too many things not adding up and too many unresolved contradictions then it’s time to bail. Not seeing anything here yet.

    It’s mainly geologists, economists etc.

    However I would have thought the serious science view (this is not the Al Gore view) would be that things are firming.

    Meanwhile public acceptance is fracturing. Yay say the anti-AGW crowd. More uncertainty less action is good.

    Trenberth’s comment about little progress with regional downscaling though is a point of concern for progress – but under debate.

    We rarely progress past the mutual insults phase with most of these discussions. Fun though pooning newbs is despite Gerry’s comment of yesterday.

  12. SJT June 28, 2007 at 4:03 pm #

    Rog

    bit early to claim victory. One swallow doesn’t make a summer. My ornamential peach tree was already budding for spring, it’s got a hell of a fright.

    Water restrictions won’t be going away for several years yet, even with good rain.

  13. Jim June 28, 2007 at 5:21 pm #

    Luke – I don’t see any evidence that the public support is fracturing?

    If anything , I think it’s stronger than ever.

    With GWB and JH falling into line ( even if it’s political expediency ) I would have thought it’s just about pretty rock solid.

    Are there any stats ( too lazy to google ) on public acceptance of AGW?

  14. Arnost June 28, 2007 at 5:25 pm #

    Interesting comment Luke re melting GCMs – I do think that the climate modellers are beginning to round up the wagons…

    We have the start of what appears to be a bit of a divergence from the global temp increase “predicted“ by the GCMs.

    The global temp increase this decade has flattened somewhat (even to the “adjusted” station data records), there has been no increase in SSTs, and the Satellite Troposphere temps are starting to trend downwards. And we are at solar minimum.

    As a consequence it looks like we have a bit of a positioning shift developing and the modellers are divorcing the GCMs from “reality”.

    We have Trenberth over at ClimateFeedback:

    “None of the models used by IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate.”

    http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/recent_contributors/kevin_trenberth/

    This is supported by Gavin Schmidt’s comments at Anthony Watts’ site:

    “…station data are not used *in* climate models, and they are not used to predict future climate.”

    http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/2007/06/a_note_from_a_nasa_climate_res.html

    So why do I think this is being done? As Eduardo Zorita points out in the comments in the Trenberth link: “The troubling aspect of this is that if the IPCC climate simulations do not represent real predictions for the future, how can the theory be falsified?” It stands to reason that if (hypothetically) the global temps don’t climb , or actually decrease say as a consequence of a PDO phase shift / reduced solar activity over the next couple of years, the models can not be tested against this since they don’t take this into account in the first place!

    By the way, I’m guessing that the further adjustments to USHCN / GHCN data due next month will bring the station trends more in line with the GCM “predictions”. However, there is a risk that (as more and more questions are asked of the USHCN / GHCN records) these upward adjustments for the most current years will require greater justification. This may be difficult especially as over the last 10 years or so the record set has been diluted and now comprises a high percentage of non-rural sites – which should be adjusted downwards and not up.

    Interestingly, there was an assessment of the predictive power of the GCMs presented at the 27th International Symposium for Forecasting on 26/06/07. It is worth a read:

    http://www.forecastingprinciples.com/Public_Policy/WarmAudit31.pdf

    (And yes know that NOAA / GISS are still on record that the first 5 months of this year are the WARMEST EVER. But this flies in the face of reason with 50 year record low temps in North America, South America, South Africa – and now Australia – over extended periods in the last three or four months. I doubt that 2007 will be end up as the hottest year ever – and in fact will be difficult to justify as being warmer than last year).

    cheers

    Arnost

  15. rog June 28, 2007 at 7:37 pm #

    Luke dismisses recent drought breaking rains and offers to argue that they may not be due AGW as was the drought and then says “the real issue is what happens in the near future”

    The real issue is what happens today.

  16. Luke June 28, 2007 at 8:30 pm #

    Rog – what utter bullshit – so you’d make a multi-million dollar cotton farm investment decision or building a new dam on last year’s rainfall. Take a hike ! Anyone involved in large investment decisions in agriculture is clammering all over information sources deciding how to make future risk management assessments. You might be surprised what marketers look at strategically.

    Where did you get the dismissing rains bilge – what a silly gimp.

    Arnost all interesting and good speculation. We’ll see in a few decades won’t we.

  17. SJT June 28, 2007 at 8:45 pm #

    Rog

    the rain is not yet drought breaking, it has just saved us from the brink of disaster. Irrigation was due to be cut off from the Murray Darling basin.

    We will need a lot more rain like this before the drought is over. As it is, the rain has been bad in many ways, because it fits in with the ‘extremes’ of weather theme. We have gone from extreme drought to extreme rain. Just what many farmers don’t need, with many livestock that have been sustained with feed during the drought, only to die in a flood.

    We’ll have to wait for the rest of the year to see how this finishes up, and then we will have a few more years to see how the city water reserves go.

  18. rog June 28, 2007 at 10:11 pm #

    “Seeing trees you have planted and looked after for many years die isn’t fun”

    When have you ever planted a tree Luke, you are just another wannabe

  19. rog June 28, 2007 at 10:15 pm #

    SJT, why not just follow the advice (all this year) from the BOM re what is and is not drougfht breaking, they have been consistent in saying that rains in 2007 will be.

    Luke would be better advised save his breath to cool his porridge.

  20. rog June 28, 2007 at 10:21 pm #

    You dont have to wait anytime, most catchments monitor capacity daily.

    http://www.sca.nsw.gov.au/dams/images/graph280607.JPG

  21. Luke June 29, 2007 at 12:07 am #

    “Seeing trees you have planted and looked after for many years die isn’t fun” well you wouldn’t know you fucking creep.

  22. Louis Hissink June 29, 2007 at 12:10 pm #

    Jim,

    the tendency of a growing number of sceptics is no mystery – science is always changing when new data and evidence comes in.

    You have unwittingly highlighted the difference between religion, where change of stance is impossible, and science that is always driven by the evidence. All scientfic theories are provisional, there are no absolute laws in science.

    There are, however, absolutes in religion.

    It’s the lack of physical evidence for AGW that is driving the migration of scientists from AGW to scepticism.

  23. 4 billion June 29, 2007 at 12:26 pm #

    As for observations on the ground, of Climate change, here in the leafy suburb, Norwood, Adelaide, things are leafier than normal, due to a large number of deciduous trees still having leaves or only just losing them, unusual for a month into winter, me thinks.

    As for the lack of relevant Science sceptics ie not Geologists, Engineers, Car mechanics or Plastic Surgeons, the reason is that they fear for their jobs and so do not wish to upset the Apple Cart. Quite similar to the silent majority of those Astronomers who know the moon really is made out of cheese.

    Denialists have abjectly failled to present a cause for Warming, except for an admirable job of obfuscation. As seen in the upcoming sham of a ‘doco’ on ch2 ‘the Global warming sham’ or whatever it is called, where they propose increased Solar activity as cause with a graph that hilariously stops at 1980, and when one sees the the data up to the current day, Solar activity has in no way increased sufficiently..nice try sports fans, but no cigar.

  24. Ender June 29, 2007 at 1:19 pm #

    Louis – “It’s the lack of physical evidence for AGW that is driving the migration of scientists from AGW to scepticism.”

    So where is the physical evidence that AGW is incorrect? Most of these skeptics have never produced anything but words. Where are their peer-reviewed papers showing AGW to be false.

    I am sure that you can list them.

  25. Toby June 29, 2007 at 2:04 pm #

    At least the great global warming swindle is not based on the convenient lie that co2 precedes temperature increases. You may not like what it says…..but its says a lot more than gore’s rubbish.

  26. Luke June 29, 2007 at 2:13 pm #

    Lie – what else would you expect Toby. You tell us what happens. I’ll sit back and await your explanation. And tell us what’s wrong with the science in the last 2 RC posts.

    So here we are in the middle of a glacial – one CO2 molecule looks at another and says “God I’m bored”. Tell us what happens Toby .. .. I await your explanation. Tell us what it says.

  27. Ender June 29, 2007 at 3:58 pm #

    Toby – “At least the great global warming swindle is not based on the convenient lie that co2 precedes temperature increases”

    No it is based on completely different lies and omissions. BTW Gore got it pretty right. The CO2 rises after the temperature rises in the ice core measurement are most likely the feedbacks kicking in after the initial rise.

    For a proper treatment of this the RC post sums it up pretty well.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/co2-in-ice-cores/

    “This is an issue that is often misunderstood in the public sphere and media, so it is worth spending some time to explain it and clarify it. At least three careful ice core studies have shown that CO2 starts to rise about 800 years (600-1000 years) after Antarctic temperature during glacial terminations. These terminations are pronounced warming periods that mark the ends of the ice ages that happen every 100,000 years or so.

    Does this prove that CO2 doesn’t cause global warming? The answer is no.

    The reason has to do with the fact that the warmings take about 5000 years to be complete. The lag is only 800 years. All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming, out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2, as far as we can tell from this ice core data.”

  28. Carl Smith June 29, 2007 at 8:20 pm #

    “The reason has to do with the fact that the warmings take about 5000 years to be complete. The lag is only 800 years. All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming, out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2, as far as we can tell from this ice core data.”

    Yes … and pigs might fly too!

  29. Louis Hissink June 29, 2007 at 8:37 pm #

    Ender,

    Peer reviewed papers is consensus science and thus not science.

    Only when papers confirm the group think are they allowed to be published. Papers that contradict the paradigm are not published.

    I stress that climate sensitivity has never been experiementally verified and until that crucial assumption is experimentally verified, AGW is nothing but specious claptrap – or junk science.

  30. Louis Hissink June 29, 2007 at 8:46 pm #

    Denialists have not provided evidence for warming?

    Nonesense – it’s the sun as continuing data are starting to show. It’s called measurements as distinct from modelling which as a recent US Govt report shows, do not support any of the existing GCM’s.

    Anyone who thinks that the human contribution of 3% of total CO2 that is itself .04% of the atmosphere,. (meaning human contribution of GHG is .0012% by volume of atmosphere) affects the earth’s climate really has not understood the numbers.

    Physicist Lubos Motl shows here what actually happens to CO2 saturation from sound physical principles.

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/06/realclimate-saturated-confusion.html

    Next thing we will be told that the measured decline in European birthrate, coupled with a decline in Stork population suggests that Storks bring babies into the world.

  31. Luke June 29, 2007 at 9:04 pm #

    Louis – you’ve eaten so much crap over at Warwick’s that you’ve lost the ability to taste. You’ve recently had empirical evidence over there but you guys were not up to interpreting it. In fact the very latest RC post shows why the old saturation argument is bullshit. But you won’t read any of it so we might as well just insult you – it saves time. As for solar measurements – we’re waiting. Basically Louis as Stoat once said – you’ve always been wrong. So wrong in fact it’s hilarious.

    As for the old CO2 lag story Toby – I wish you’d keep up. Surely we’ve been over this about 10 times by now.

    Why would the Earth suddenly wake up out of an ice age. It certainly wouldn’t be because of CO2 would it, unless the concentration rapidly increased from massive volcanism. There have been climate changes of global warming through that mechanism. See archives.

    Sometimes in paleo history CO2 does lead the way. But if an ice age is nudged by a Milankovitch solar influence then the temperature of the planet will rise, the oceans will start to outgas CO2 as a result, and at some point an additional greenhouse kick would set in. What else would you expect?? 800 years is abou the ocean turnover time too. However recent reviews of the climate proxies may actually shorten this lag upon new analysis.

    I know it meassn you have to hold 2 ideas in your mind at once. Oh so difficult.

    But all wasted – Louis doesn’t read any literature – he just recycles what his mates tell him is the latest bullshit spin line. I notice he’s onto the teensy weensy angle angain too – how tedious – how incredibly boring.

    Lubos was roasted over the post. He fluffed it Louis.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIYVuomGJHY

  32. Schiller Thurkettle June 30, 2007 at 1:19 pm #

    Hello people!

    The number of skeptics is growing by leaps and bounds, everywhere. In spite of all their efforts and collusion with a sensationalistic press, the AGW whack-jobs haven’t got their fairy-tale about “the consensus” even close to halfway right. Here are two items:

    http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2105929,00.html#article_continue

    Public fears ‘greenwash’ from industry

    Terry Macalister
    Monday June 18, 2007
    Guardian Unlimited

    A wave of green initiatives to counter climate change will probably have limited impact because nine out of 10 consumers are sceptical about the information from companies and governments, according to a survey out later this week.

    http://www.lse.co.uk/ShowStory.asp?story=AY2638954S&news_headline=three_quarters_believe_global_warming_a_natural_occurrence

    Three Quarters Believe Global Warming A ‘Natural Occurrence’
    Tuesday, 26th June 2007, 08:27

    ALMOST three quarters of people believe global warming is a ‘natural occurrence’ and not a result of carbon emissions, a survey claimed today.

  33. Luke June 30, 2007 at 3:52 pm #

    Strangely I’d probably agree with Schiller. Of course 3/4’s probably believe in vitamin pills too.

  34. Jim June 30, 2007 at 4:17 pm #

    Well that runs completely contrary to what I’d expected Schiller – I stand corrected.

    I would have confidently expected the vast majority to be convinced.

    Probably material for another post – why aren’t they?

    And please let’s stay away from any suggestions about sensing a conspiracy or being afraid of green world government – if the majority of scientific experts with the support of the media and the ( in some instances reluctant ) endorsement of government can’t convince the public that there’s a problem , then what can?

  35. Luke June 30, 2007 at 4:45 pm #

    Jim – for argument’s sake. Simulate the consequences of AGW being right. Who wants to have any reduction is standard of living or to be believe the world is more unstable than we think. How can being a God-abiding law-abiding citizen going about their day-to-day honest life be contributing to such a problem.

    And then consider you have a current background of climate variation and expect people to perceive a departure from the fog of variation to another state.

    And then a non-stop shelling campaign of contrarian comment and ridicule which makes it all seem a conspiracy by scientists and very uncertain.

    So cognitive dissonance would make the average person think – doesn’t suit my world view.

    Unless you’re a doom indulging wanker greenie type or scientist on the gravy train/take.

    Does Howard really believe or is he simply taking a no-regrets low profile posture.

    So of course it’s a hard ask. Consequence is that regardless of any facts contrarians will likely get what they want – no changes to CO2 production.

    All of humanity in favour say aye ?

  36. Schiller Thurkettle July 1, 2007 at 8:36 am #

    Actually, the public has become tired of green claims that turn out to be faked–for the purposes of driving donations. And tired of green government claims–made for the purpose of increasing taxes. And tired of green corporate claims–incorporated into advertising for the sale of products.

    Green claims are reaching an audience which is increasingly tired of being lied to and bamboozled by greenies.

    That simple!

  37. Luke July 1, 2007 at 4:15 pm #

    Evidence of Schiller’s point. Zero !

    But we do know that neo-cons fake stuff all the time. Lies lies and more lies is their agenda.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/06/more_links_on_rachel_carson_an.php

  38. Schiller Thurkettle July 2, 2007 at 10:36 am #

    Luke,

    At your convenience, you can reveal statistics which prove the public love green lies and lap up the green lies like hogs on slop.

    I showed you mine, you show me yours. Interesting in this connection is the word “pudendum,” which in the Latin root means, ‘something to be ashamed of.’

    Luke, show me how the public loves green lies when most of them don’t believe them. You’ll be shy, though–it’s your pudendum.

  39. Luke July 2, 2007 at 10:49 am #

    See link above mate !

    There’s now acres of evidence that neo-con scum put the contract out on Carson which is exactly how you lot do business.

    Most of these shills can be traced back to tobacco industry protectionism. It’s all evil stuff.

    Evidence of how much the public loves neo-con scum is your changing government. Ta ta GOP.

    I can’t help it if you have a pudendum and are ashamed. Defn: 1. Human external genital organs collectively especially of a female

  40. Schiller Thurkettle July 2, 2007 at 12:01 pm #

    Luke,

    Many people are able to change their minds when the facts turn out different. What do you do? Yell about “scum” and “tobacco industry protectionism” and “evil” and so forth.

    Carson was wrong. Yelp some more. You’ll still be as wrong as she was.

  41. Luke July 2, 2007 at 2:22 pm #

    No Schiller – just been to Mottsa’s debating class – blame him. Look I’ve given you the evidence and now you’re wussing out of the debate. Typical neo-con in defeat mode.

    The whole Carson thing is an immense fabrication to support dodgy environmental practices and create a diversion. Shame on you.

    So how are you going to cope with a green sympathetic Democrat president. You guys will be howling.

  42. Allan Ames July 3, 2007 at 6:03 am #

    Apropos the delay between temperature proxy and co2 in Vostok cores, using full cross correlation analysis, the delay is more like 4000 years, so it is not sensible to argue that CO2 is a “cause”.

    The data is online. Don’t take anyone’s word for it.

  43. Schiller Thurkettle July 3, 2007 at 12:17 pm #

    Luke,

    You’ve pretty much exhausted your debating bag of tricks. Nice tricks, I gotta give you that. But I don’t see any coherence, substance or commitment. Just a penchant for scoring ‘cheap shot’ debating points.

    I for one have become tired of responding to your tirades. It’s important that the uninformed not fall prey to your malformed, flawed arguments, and that the uninitiated not be prey to the greenie Beatitudes you eagerly repeat.

    You’re getting so repetitive you should probably start a business printing bumper-stickers.

  44. Luke July 3, 2007 at 12:42 pm #

    Schiller – boring – you talk about cheap points – the trouble is Schiller is that you’re just a neo-con robot – programmed to stay on message regardless of facts – Bug Girl has demolished your Carson tripe. Your argument is road kill. Your response is to attack me.

  45. Anthony July 3, 2007 at 2:49 pm #

    Ian, I apologies, someone is listening to you. Alan doesn’t get that CO2 can lag temp increases and still cause temp increases!

    there is so much gold on this blog it’s not funny.

    Schiller, which of the studies that you linked do you beleive? Be very careful now… one MAY contradict the other (of course I haven’t checked this and would not bait you, i would just like you to make a simple choice…)

    Would you like the green pill or the blue pill? The choice is yours.

  46. Anthony July 3, 2007 at 3:33 pm #

    c’mon schiller, the suspense is killing me

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