Scientists far from agreement on man-made global warming threat
by Don McKee
January 22, 2014 12:49 AM | 6080 views | 28 28 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Don McKee
Don McKee
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The proposition that man-made global warming poses a threat to humankind is debatable, contrary to a letter to the editor concerning my column about the recent polar vortex and my tongue in cheek question, “Where is global warming when we need it?”

Since the writer deigned not to provide facts but chose to use insults, allow me to make a few factual points. First, many scientists do not accept the idea of global warming, although many do. There is, in fact, a difference of viewpoints within the scientific community, each side citing scientific data.

How to decide which side is right? By counting scientist noses? Conventional thinking is that most bona fide scientists believe in global warming. To that point, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in 2007 issued a report that said more than “400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called consensus on man-made global warming” and criticized the claims made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — and former Vice President Al Gore. That was followed by a minority report of the committee in December 2008 when the number of dissenting scientists had grown to more than 700. That figure, said the report, was “more than 13 times the number of U.N. scientists (52) who authored” a IPCC 2007 summary on global warming. So the side with the most scientists wins, right?

The IPCC report last September asserted that “human influence on the climate system is clear” and it is “extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” To which climate scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen, emeritus professor of meteorology at MIT, responded: “I think that the latest IPCC report has truly sunk to (the) level of hilarious incoherence. They are proclaiming increased confidence in their models as the discrepancies between their models and observations decrease.

“Their excuse for the absence of warming over the past 17 years is that the heat is hiding in the deep ocean,” Lindzen told Climate Depot, a warming skeptic site. “This is simply an admission that the models fail to simulate the exchanges of heat between the surface layers and the deeper oceans. However, it is this heat transport that plays a major role in natural internal variability of climate, and the IPCC assertions that observed warming can be attributed to man depend crucially on their assertion that these models accurately simulate natural internal variability. Thus, they now, somewhat obscurely, admit their crucial assumption was totally unjustified.

“In attributing warming to man, they fail to point out that the warming has been small and totally consistent with there being nothing to be alarmed about,” he said. “It is quite amazing to see the contortions the IPCC has to go through in order to keep the international climate agenda going.”

In my book, Dr. Lindzen is scientifically literate and right on.

dmckee9613@aol.com

Comments
(28)
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CobbCoGuy
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January 25, 2014
Hi Bognor,

Sometimes things drop off my "radar." I haven't been keeping up with the story about those damning emails between IPCC affiliated scientists suggesting data manipulation, biased peer reviews, and such.

What's the latest?

What about Owl Gore's predictions back around 2007-2008 that the North Polar Ice Cap would be ice free in about five years. I think his predictions were based on computer modeling, or something.

Ya gotta be careful with them computer models. Garbage in, garbage out, right?

Did you hear about the UN Climate Change Summit held in Cancun in 2010? The executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, opened the proceedings with a prayer. A prayer to the ancient Mayan goddes Ixchel.

Is it me, or does that strike anyone else as, I dunno, a little peculiar? There's just something about those AGW folks.

Do you like the hockey stick graph and believe it to present a fair representation of the "rise" in temperature? Do you really, I mean, REALLY, believe that one can construct a meaningful graph by appending temperature estimates from tree rings and ice cores to temperature readings from thermometers?

Have a good weekend.
Bognor
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January 24, 2014
CobbCoGuy:

Lucky you that you can go on to a website and find how the scientists are funded. It took a freedom of information request to find out that Exxon was funding Willie Soon. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/jun/28/climate-change-sceptic-willie-soon

To suggest that thousands of scientists, many in tenured positions and every independent scientific organisation in the world support AGW so that some of them receive funding really is a conspiracy theory too far.

CobbCoGuy
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January 23, 2014
Friends,

KF is confused about something. He wrote:

'What I don't understand is the financial motivation for thousands of climate scientists around the world to create a "hoax."'

Well, go the National Science Foundation website. It's one of those "dot gov" places. You can find it. Click on "Awards" and then, "Search Awards." In the search bar, enter "climate."

The first one that popped up tonight was:

Climate Change, Humans and Nature in the Global Environment.

Award Number: 0801522.

Program Manager: Richard Boone, Division of Graduate Education, Directorate for Education and Human Resources.

Principal Investigator: Joane Nagel.

Sponsor: University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc.

Awarded Amount to Date: $3,028,815.

Yesiree; there's some pretty good walkin' around money in them thar Gubmint Grants.

I hope that answers your question, KF.
Kevin Foley
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January 25, 2014
So funding climate research is the motivation for thousands of independent climate researchers around the world to collude and perpetrate a "hoax" over the last 30 years?

Where and when do the hoaxters all meet to conspire? Who's giving them all their marching orders? How many of them are there? Is the smoking man part of this? Should I contact Scully and Muldour?

Follow the money: Coal, oil, gas, utilities can outspend climate grantors a thousand to one. They're motivation is clear. They also have the reliable right wing media to do their lying for them and plenty of useful conservative idiots out there willing to believe the fantasy that climate researchers are perpetrating a hoax.

I'm looking at you Cobb Co Guy.
CobbCoGuy
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January 27, 2014
When/where do they meet? Dunno. Marching orders? Dunno, but I suspect they probably get them from the same source as you.

Follow the money? Yes, let's. It's not just Gubmint Grants. Have you heard of Greenpeace? The Sierra Club? World Wildlife Fund? [Isn't that the one with the cute panda bear sticker for your car?]

Yep, those green folks are sinking a ton of dough into the agenda, but you say the coal/gas can outspend by "...a thousand to one..."? They CAN, or DO, outspend? Are you sure about that number.

And, I'm a "conservative idiot." Ouch, but so predictable. At least I'm a "useful" idiot.

Have a good'un.
CobbCoGuy
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January 23, 2014
Diana Powe, Bognor, KF, et al:

What is the normal, or mean, temperature of the Earth? What range of variability is acceptable for this normal temperature?

We look forward to your answer.
old timer
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January 22, 2014
My dad, a PHD chemist always told me during the cooling...ice age coming years, that weather is ever changing..it is never static. And this seems to be where we are....always changing never static. By the way I am glad the new ice age never showed.
Guido Sarducci
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January 22, 2014
Foley, You call them "denialists". The proper term is "those with differing opinions".

That's what liberal loonies do. If the message is not to your liking, attack the messenger.

Same old story.

Seems to me that a lot of scientists are looking at, supposedly, the same data and arriving at differing conclusions as to its meaning.

I still contend, as do a number of credible scientists that the "model" is flawed due to insufficient date. In other words, we don't know.
Kevin Foley
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January 23, 2014
@ Sarducci (whoever you are) - dumb as a box of rocks. I don't blame you for using an old SNL handle and staying hidden.
Guido Sarducci
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January 22, 2014
This link will take you to the only totally unbiased presentation on this subject that I have been able to find.

If you are interested in an education in the matter, rather than validating some preconceptual science to which you have been exposed, I urge you to read this presentation.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/copenhagen-and-global-warming-ten-facts-and-ten-myths-on-climate-change/16467

Of course, the global warming fanatics will feel free to ignore it, as they feel free to ignore the fact that there is not, in spite of various statistics quoted here, a scientific consensus on any part of the subject. Pro or con.

Thanks to Mike Woodruff for reminding me of this link.
Kevin Foley
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January 22, 2014
@ Sarducci (whoever you are) - Why don't you take your own advice and Google the author? I did. Here's the lowdown on Prof. Robert M. Carter:

Bob Carter (Robert M. Carter) is a retired Australian marine geologist and a paid AGW denier. He is also an adjunct Research Fellow at the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University" in Australia, and on the academic advisory council of the denialist front group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Carter is on the payroll of the Heartland Institute, which itself is funded by polluting industries (Exxon, Scaife Foundations and Koch Family Foundations, etc).

According to the Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, Carter was "on the research committee at the Institute of Public Affairs, a think tank that has received funding from oil and tobacco companies, and whose directors sit on the boards of companies in the fossil fuel sector" and believed, SMH said, that "the role of peer review in scientific literature was overstressed."

Denialist affiliations

Carter is Chief Science Advisor to the International Climate Science Coalition, funded in part by the Heartland Institute, which is funded by the industries involved in producing greenhouse gases. Carter is also an advisor on a number of other right wing and denialist "think-tanks" and groups the Institute for Public Affairs (Aus), The Galileo Movement (Aus), the Science and Public Policy Institute (US), the International Climate Science Coalition (US/Canada), the Australian Climate Science Coalition, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (UK) and Repeal the Act (UK). He was a founding advisor to the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition. Carter is a founding member of the Australian Environment Foundation, a front group set up by the Institute of Public Affairs.

Carter's own website (see image below) claimed, as recently as 2012, that he received no funding from "special interest organisations", but this was shown to be untrue with the release of private Heartland Institute documents in February 2012, which showed Carter was funded by this one front group alone to the tune of approximately $20,000 annually. Carter brushed off the revelation with the statement that being truthful about one's funding is "a very quaint and old fashioned practice".[7]

Mike Soulie
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January 22, 2014
Furthermore, not being a scientist I understand scientifically most of this is way over my head but.... I do believe that to attribute global warming or cooling, which we are always in one cycle or the other, totally or primarily to man is one of many examples of man's hubris nature. Another example of our thinking that we are much more powerful and significant than we really are. Having said this I do not in any way condone reckless and abusive treatment of our planet.

After all we are just a rather recent life form on a planet where our 6 million or so years of presence is but a postage stamp on top of the Empire State Building per scale. Respect each other, other life forms and the planet itself and watch out for super volcanoes and meteors... they have and will affect this planet more than we ever have or ever will...IMHO

...and by the way, if you have a different opinion I also respect that and your right to without any criticism.

Mike Soulie
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January 22, 2014
As in anything political, each side rejects the other side regardless of the facts!
Tom Robinson
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January 22, 2014
Mr McKee, Your characterization of the views of climate scientists on man-made global warming are inaccurate and a disservice to your readers. According to a recent study, 97% of currently publishing climate scientists believe that man-made global warming is real. Among all EARTH scientists, the number drops to 82%. You can find a summary of this study here (with a link to the paper itself): http://www.wunderground.com/resources/climate/928.asp.

The reader interested in knowing what other climate scientists think about Dr. Lindzen's views might also find his Wikipedia entry interesting. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Lindzen#Views_on_climate_change). If you do decide to read the Wikipedia article, I urge you to follow the links in the references section and read the primary sources.

With respect, Mr. McKee, you aren't qualified to cast doubt on 97% of climate scientists. They may be wrong - it's happened before. But to say that there isn't a scientific consensus (right or wrong) is simply not the case. Ironically, according to the Wikipedia article, even Dr. Lindzen disagrees with your premise. He believes that there *is* a scientific consensus on man-made global warming - he just thinks it's wrong.
Jamo11
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January 22, 2014
There can be no doubt that any change to a close system results in a characteristically different system. The more interesting question is "what is causing the greatest change?" Is it CO2-fossil fuel burning? Not necessarily. It could be deforestation, pavement, or a non-man made activity like vulcanism or solar activity.

What I can not ken is why scientists are so certain that the change is attributable to fossil fuel use.
uyhojjnmlkmolmi
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January 22, 2014
and the fight between religon and sci.. oh wait, i mean - and the fight betwen one or two "scientists" and the rest of the scientific comunity continues.
Lance Ruffel
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January 22, 2014
Climate change is a known fact(at least among Geologists). Glaciers no longer cover the north American continent, sea levels have risen in the last 10,000 or so years as the glaciers melted.Man probable has had an impact on climate change. However the cause and amount of impact can and should be questioned and studied.Changes to the landscape,number of people,pollution,greenhouse gasses, etc?

To me it seems there is an agenda about "Global Warming" that has little to do with science.One of the aspects might be best described by the old adage "follow the money".
Mark B
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January 22, 2014
Disagreement? Really? From Nov 2012 to Dec 13, there were more than 2000 peer reviewed articles by over 9000 authors. A grand total of 1 rejected man made global warming. This is the very definition of consensus.
Shrives
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January 22, 2014
To read how Dr. Lindzen has been consistently wrong in the past, check out this article.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/jan/06/climate-change-climate-change-scepticism
RL Bays
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January 22, 2014
Don,

I’m sorry you confused my dissection of the fallacies in your original column with insults. My frustration is simply that in 2014, with near ubiquitous access to credible information, ignorance of the reality of global warming is both willful and inexcusable.

Contrary to your specious claims that there is still debate among climate scientists or that Dr. Lindzen’s public statements qualify as proper countervailing evidence, science has moved past trying to disprove global warming. An online commenter on my letter made a similar claim suggesting there is still debate within the scientific community so I’ll repeat my response here: last year 9136 climate scientists contributed to 2258 peer-reviewed climate studies. Only 1 scientist of the 9136 denied global warming. That’s .0109%. Be a good skeptic and don’t take my word for it. Download the data set here and find the ones that represent your opinion: http://www.jamespowell.org/resources/Nov2012thruDec2013.xlsx.

I also encourage you and all your readers to please take a few minutes to google the position statements on climate change from the following preeminent scientific bodies: The National Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, American Chemical Society, American Institute of Physics, The European Physical Society, European Science Foundation, Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies, NASA, American Meteorological Society, NOAA, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, American Quaternary Association, and the list goes on and on. If you find one that agrees with you, I will happily stand corrected.

Mike Woodliff
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January 22, 2014
I'd sworn off responding to columns and letters until the paper adopts a non-anonymity policy, but thought this information might be helpful in the continuing discussion of climate change. It's a neutral website with no apparent political agenda.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/copenhagen-and-global-warming-ten-facts-and-ten-myths-on-climate-change/16467
Tom Robinson
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January 22, 2014
Mike, The article you cite was written by Robert M. Carter, a geologist associated with the Heartland Institute. The Heartland Institute is PAID by industry to pooh-pooh global warming and other controversial topics (like whether cigarette smoking causes cancer).

Bognor
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January 22, 2014
Here you are Mike. All you need to know about the man who wrote that ridiculous article.

http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/07/09/australian-university-dumps-bob-carter-advisor-multiple-global-climate-science-denial-groups
Dr. Mike
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January 22, 2014
What if they are right about global warming? Did yu look at ocean acidifacation? The latter has the possibility of creating A FOOD CHAIN COLAPSE, worse yet mass extinction. What would cause this but increases of CO2 in the atmosphere. Where would that come from? You look it up don't rely on others to tell you what they "think" because they may have an.......Agenda.
Kevin Foley
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January 22, 2014
Follow the money, Don.

Climate Depot is a group formed by the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow that gets it's funding from - yes - ExxonMobil and the conservative Richard Scaife Family foundations.

As I said in an earlier comment, the CO2 producers use reliable front groups and media mouthpieces to push global warming denial.

I understand their financial motivation. They want to preserve the CO2 producing industries coal, gas, and oil. What I don't understand is the financial motivation for thousands of climate scientists around the world to create a "hoax."
Bognor
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January 22, 2014
Here is a list of scientific organisations that believe AGW is happening. http://opr.ca.gov/s_listoforganizations.php . Name one that doesn't take that view.

You are free to carry on burrying your head in the sand but it might be better if you actually gave a voice also to the vast majority of climate scientists who believe that the earth is warming through our actions.
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