Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Roman Warming Period In Eastern Mediterranean Warmer Than Modern Warming

Short term climate variability during “Roman Classical Period” in the eastern Mediterranean
Quaternary Science Reviews, Volume 30, Issues 27–28, December 2011, Pages 3880-3891
Liang Chen, Karin A.F. Zonneveld, Gerard J.M. Versteegh


To obtain insight into character and potential forcing of short-term climatic and oceanographic variability in the southern Italian region during the “Roman Classical Period” (60 BC–AD 200), climatic and environmental reconstructions based on a dinoflagelate cyst record from a well dated site in the Gulf of Taranto located at the distal end of the Po-river discharge plume have been established with high temporal resolution. Short-term fluctuations in accumulation rates of the Adriatic Surface Water species Lingulodinium machaerophorum, the freshwater algae Concentricystes and species resistant to aerobic degradation indicate that fluctuations in the trophic state of the upper waters are related to river discharge of northern and eastern Italian rivers which in turn are strongly related to precipitation in Italy.
 The dinoflagellate cyst association indicates that local sea surface temperatures which in this region are strongly linked to local air temperatures were slightly higher than today. We reconstruct that sea surface temperatures have been relatively high and stable between 60 BC–AD 90 and show a decreasing trend after AD 90. Fluctuations in temperature and river discharge rates have a strong cyclic character with main cyclicities of 7–8 and 11 years. We argue that these cycles are related to variations of the North Atlantic Oscillation climate mode. A strong correlation is observed with global variation in Δ14C anomalies suggesting that solar variability might be one of the major forcings of the regional climate. Apart from cyclic climate variability we observed a good correlation between non-cyclic temperature drops and global volcanic activity indicating that the latter forms an additional major forcing factor of the southern Italian climate during the Roman Classical Period.

From CO2 Science 

What it means
With respect to the southern region of Italy, it would appear that the relatively high temperatures of today are not unique. In fact, they may well be somewhat lower than those that prevailed there during the Roman Warm Period. And these findings suggest that the non-unique warmth of our day need not be attributed to a unique phenomenon, such as the historical increase in the atmosphere's CO2 concentration that has resulted from mankind's burning of fossil fuels.

Monday, 27 February 2012

G l o b a l C o o l i n g : Wo bleibt die Erderwärmung ?

Well you may ask: Where is the Global Warming. Following Physicist Luboš Motl who questioned:

Are we heading for a mini ice age,

 Pierre Gosselin's No Tricks Zone reports that veteran Meteorologist Klaus Eckhart Puls has written a piece at the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) on what he calls the “glaring contradiction between IPCC prognoses and reality”

Rather than increasing 0.2°C per decade, global temperatures over the past decade have actually declined.

Warmist Max Planck Institute now in a state of panic
Klaus-Eckart Puls

Since Fritz Vahrenholt’s and Sebastian Lüning’s skeptic book “Die kalte Sonne” has become a German bestseller, major German climate institutes have gone in a state of panic to salvage global warming scenarios. They refuse to acknowledge that observed data deviate completely from their model projections. Instead they have undertaken a massive campaign to feed the media panic machine by unveiling their “latest model projections” which shows the planet is warming rapidly. However, the observed trends tell the opposite story.
The Max Plank Institute (MPI) for Climate Research in Hamburg and the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremen last week went on a professional media blitz, claiming that temperatures are going to climb faster than ever and that the Arctic ice cap will melt - all based on their latest computer models, which will become part of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report. Why do they ignore reality and real observed data and focus on crystal ball projections?
Read more from  Klaus Eckhart Puls at No Tricks Zone here.

Aliens Cause Global Warming

A lecture by Michael Crichton
Caltech Michelin Lecture
January 17, 2003
My topic today sounds humorous but unfortunately I am serious. I am going to argue that extraterrestrials lie behind global warming. Or to speak more precisely, I will argue that a belief in extraterrestrials has paved the way, in a progression of steps, to a belief in global warming. Charting this progression of belief will be my task today. 

Let me say at once that I have no desire to discourage anyone from believing in either extraterrestrials or global warming. That would be quite impossible to do. Rather, I want to discuss the history of several widely-publicized beliefs and to point to what I consider an emerging crisis in the whole enterprise of science-namely the increasingly uneasy relationship between hard science and public policy. 

I have a special interest in this because of my own upbringing. I was born in the midst of World War II, and passed my formative years at the height of the Cold War. In school drills, I dutifully crawled under my desk in preparation for a nuclear attack.
It was a time of widespread fear and uncertainty, but even as a child I believed that science represented the best and greatest hope for mankind. Even to a child, the contrast was clear between the world of politics-a world of hate and danger, of irrational beliefs and fears, of mass manipulation and disgraceful blots on human history. In contrast, science held different values-international in scope, forging friendships and working relationships across national boundaries and political systems, encouraging a dispassionate habit of thought, and ultimately leading to fresh knowledge and technology that would benefit all mankind. The world might not be a very good place, but science would make it better. And it did. In my lifetime, science has largely fulfilled its promise. Science has been the great intellectual adventure of our age, and a great hope for our troubled and restless world.
But I did not expect science merely to extend lifespan, feed the hungry, cure disease, and shrink the world with jets and cell phones. I also expected science to banish the evils of human thought---prejudice and superstition, irrational beliefs and false fears. I expected science to be, in Carl Sagan's memorable phrase, "a candle in a demon haunted world." And here, I am not so pleased with the impact of science. Rather than serving as a cleansing force, science has in some instances been seduced by the more ancient lures of politics and publicity. Some of the demons that haunt our world in recent years are invented by scientists. The world has not benefited from permitting these demons to escape free. 

But let's look at how it came to pass.
Cast your minds back to 1960. John F. Kennedy is president, commercial jet airplanes are just appearing, the biggest university mainframes have 12K of memory. And in Green Bank, West Virginia at the new National Radio Astronomy Observatory, a young astrophysicist named Frank Drake runs a two week project called Ozma, to search for extraterrestrial signals. A signal is received, to great excitement. It turns out to be false, but the excitement remains. In 1960, Drake organizes the first SETI conference, and came up with the now-famous Drake equation: 

N=N*fp ne fl fi fc fL
Where N* is the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy; fp is the
fraction with planets; ne is the number of planets per star capable of
supporting life; fl is the fraction of planets where life evolves; fi is
the fraction where intelligent life evolves; and fc is the fraction that
communicates; and fL is the fraction of the planet's life during which
the communicating civilizations live. 
This serious-looking equation gave SETI a serious footing as a legitimate intellectual inquiry. 

The problem, of course, is that none of the terms can be known, and most cannot even be estimated. The only way to work the equation is to fill in with guesses. And guesses-just so we're clear-are merely expressions of prejudice. Nor can there be "informed guesses." If you need to state how many planets with life choose to communicate, there is simply no way to make an informed guess. It's simply prejudice. 

As a result, the Drake equation can have any value from "billions and billions" to zero. An expression that can mean anything means nothing. Speaking precisely, the Drake equation is literally meaningless, and has nothing to do with science. I take the hard view that science involves the creation of testable hypotheses. The Drake equation cannot be tested and therefore SETI is not science. SETI is unquestionably a religion. Faith is defined, as the firm belief in something for which there is no proof. The belief that the Koran is the word of God is a matter of faith. The belief that God created the universe in seven days is a matter of faith. The belief that there are other life forms in the universe is a matter of faith. There is not a single shred of evidence for any other life forms, and in forty years of searching, none has been discovered. 

There is absolutely no evidentiary reason to maintain this belief. SETI is a religion. 

One way to chart the cooling of enthusiasm is to review popular works on the subject. In 1964, at the height of SETI enthusiasm, Walter Sullivan of the NY Times wrote an exciting book about life in the universe entitled WE ARE NOT ALONE. By 1995, when Paul Davis wrote a book on the same subject, he titled it ARE WE ALONE? ( Since 1981, there have in fact been four books titled ARE WE ALONE.) More recently we have seen the rise of the so-called "Rare Earth" theory which suggests that we may, in fact, be all alone. Again, there is no evidence either way.
Back in the sixties, SETI had its critics, although not among astrophysicists and astronomers. The biologists and paleontologists were harshest. George Gaylord Simpson of Harvard sneered that SETI was a "study without a subject," and it remains so to the present day. 

But scientists in general have been indulgent toward SETI, viewing it either with bemused tolerance, or with indifference. After all, what's the big deal? It's kind of fun. If people want to look, let them. Only a curmudgeon would speak harshly of SETI. It wasn't worth the bother.
And of course it is true that untestable theories may have heuristic value. Of course extraterrestrials are a good way to teach science to kids. But that does not relieve us of the obligation to see the Drake equation clearly for what it is-pure speculation in quasi- scientific trappings. 

The fact that the Drake equation was not greeted with screams of outrage-similar to the screams of outrage that greet each Creationist new claim, for example- meant that now there was a crack in the door, a loosening of the definition of what constituted legitimate scientific procedure. And soon enough, pernicious garbage began to squeeze through the cracks. 

Now let's jump ahead a decade to the 1970s, and Nuclear Winter.
In 1975, the National Academy of Sciences reported on "Long-Term Worldwide Effects of Multiple Nuclear Weapons Detonations" but the report estimated the effect of dust from nuclear blasts to be relatively minor. In 1979, the Office of Technology Assessment issued a report on "The Effects of Nuclear War" and stated that nuclear war could perhaps produce irreversible adverse consequences on the environment. However, because the scientific processes involved were poorly understood, the report stated it was not  possible to estimate the probable magnitude of such damage. 

Three years later, in 1982, the Swedish Academy of Sciences commissioned a report entitled "The Atmosphere after a Nuclear War: Twilight at Noon," which attempted to quantify the effect of smoke from burning forests and cities. The authors speculated that there would be so much smoke that a large cloud over the northern hemisphere would reduce incoming sunlight below the level required for photosynthesis, and that this would last for weeks or even longer.
The following year, five scientists including Richard Turco and Carl Sagan published a paper in Science called "Nuclear Winter: Global Consequences of Multiple Nuclear Explosions." This was the so-called TTAPS report, which attempted to quantify more rigorously the atmospheric effects, with the added credibility to be gained from an actual computer model of climate.
At the heart of the TTAPS undertaking was another equation, never specifically expressed, but one that could be paraphrased as follows: 

Ds = Wn Ws Wh Tf Tb Pt Pr Pe... etc
(The amount of tropospheric dust=# warheads x size warheads x warhead detonation height x flammability of targets x Target burn duration x Particles entering the Troposphere x Particle reflectivity x Particle endurance...and so on.) 

The similarity to the Drake equation is striking. As with the Drake equation, none of the variables can be determined. None at all. The TTAPS study addressed this problem in part by mapping out different wartime scenarios and assigning numbers to some of the variables, but even so, the remaining variables were- and are-simply unknowable. Nobody knows how much smoke will be generated when cities burn, creating particles of what kind, and for how long. No one knows the effect of local weather conditions on the amount of particles that will be injected into the troposphere. No one  knows how long the particles will remain in the troposphere. And so on. 

And remember, this is only four years after the OTA study concluded that the underlying scientific
processes were so poorly known that no estimates could be reliably made. Nevertheless, the TTAPS study not
only made those estimates, but concluded they were catastrophic.
According to Sagan and his coworkers, even a limited 5,000 megaton nuclear exchange would cause a global temperature drop of more than 35 degrees Centigrade, and this change would last for three months. The greatest volcanic eruptions that we know of changed world temperatures somewhere between .5 and 2 degrees Centigrade. Ice ages changed global temperatures by 10 degrees. Here we have an estimated change three times greater than any ice age. One might expect it to be the subject of some dispute. 

But Sagan and his coworkers were prepared, for nuclear winter was from the outset the subject of a well- orchestrated media campaign. The first announcement of nuclear winter appeared in an article by Sagan in the Sunday supplement, Parade. The very next day, a highly- publicized, high-profile conference on the long-term consequences of nuclear war was held in Washington, chaired by Carl Sagan and Paul Ehrlich, the most famous and media-savvy scientists of their generation. Sagan appeared on the Johnny Carson show 40 times. Ehrlich was on 25 times. Following the conference, there were press conferences, meetings with congressmen, and so on. The formal papers in Science came months later. 

This is not the way science is done, it is the way products are sold.
The real nature of the conference is indicated by these artists' renderings of the effect of 
nuclear winter. I cannot help but quote the caption for figure 5:
"Shown here is a tranquil scene in the north woods. A beaver has just completed its dam, 
two black bears forage for food, a swallow-tailed butterfly flutters in the foreground, a loon 
swims quietly by, and a kingfisher searches for a tasty fish." Hard science if ever there was.
At the conference in Washington, during the question period, Ehrlich was reminded that after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, scientists were quoted as saying nothing would grow there for 75 years, but in fact melons were growing the next year. So, he was asked, how accurate were these findings now? 

Ehrlich answered by saying "I think they are extremely robust. Scientists may have made statements like that, although I cannot imagine what their basis would have been, even with the state of science at that time, but scientists are always making absurd statements, individually, in various places. What we are doing here, however, is presenting a consensus of a very large group of scientists..." 

I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had. 

Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. 

There is no such thing as consensus science. 
 If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.
In addition, let me remind you that the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of. Let's review a
few cases.
In past centuries, the greatest killer of women was fever following childbirth . One woman in six died of this fever. In 1795, Alexander Gordon of Aberdeen suggested that the fevers were infectious processes, and he was able to cure them. The consensus said no. In 1843, Oliver Wendell Holmes claimed puerperal fever was contagious, and presented compelling evidence. The consensus said no. In 1849, Semmelweiss demonstrated that sanitary techniques virtually eliminated puerperal fever in hospitals under his management. The consensus said he was a Jew, ignored him, and dismissed him from his post. There was in fact no agreement on puerperal fever until the start of the twentieth century. Thus the consensus took one hundred and twenty five years to arrive at the right conclusion despite the efforts of the prominent "skeptics" around the world, skeptics who were demeaned and ignored. And despite the constant ongoing deaths of women. 

There is no shortage of other examples. In the 1920s in America, tens of thousands of people, mostly poor, were dying of a disease called pellagra. The consensus of scientists said it was infectious, and what was necessary was to find the "pellagra germ." The US government asked a brilliant young investigator, Dr. Joseph Goldberger, to find the cause. Goldberger concluded that diet was the crucial factor. The consensus remained wedded to the germ theory. Goldberger demonstrated that he could induce the disease through diet. He demonstrated that the disease was not infectious by injecting the blood of a pellagra patient into himself, and his assistant. They and other volunteers swabbed their noses with swabs from pellagra patients, and swallowed capsules containing scabs from pellagra rashes in what were called "Goldberger's filth parties." Nobody contracted pellagra. The consensus continued to disagree with him. There was, in addition, a social factor-southern States disliked the idea of poor diet as the cause, because it meant that social reform was required. They continued to deny it until the 1920s. Result-despite a twentieth century epidemic, the consensus took years to see the light. 

Probably every schoolchild notices that South America and Africa seem to fit together rather snugly, and Alfred Wegener proposed, in 1912, that the continents had in fact drifted apart. The consensus sneered at continental drift for fifty years. The theory was most vigorously denied by the great names of geology-until 1961, when it began to seem as if the sea floors were spreading. The result: it took the consensus fifty years to acknowledge what any schoolchild sees. 

And shall we go on? The examples can be multiplied endlessly. Jenner and smallpox, Pasteur and germ theory. Saccharine, margarine, repressed memory, fiber and colon cancer, hormone replacement therap6y...the list of consensus errors goes on and on. 

Finally, I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in
situations where the science is not solid enough.
Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93
million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.
But back to our main subject.
What I have been suggesting to you is that nuclear winter was a meaningless formula, tricked out with bad
science, for policy ends. It was political from the beginning, promoted in a well-orchestrated media
campaign that had to be planned weeks or months in advance.
Further evidence of the political nature of the whole project can be found in the response to criticism. Although Richard Feynman was characteristically blunt, saying, "I really don't think these guys know what they're talking about," other prominent scientists were noticeably reticent. Freeman Dyson was quoted as saying "It's an absolutely atrocious piece of science but...who wants to be accused of being in favor of nuclear war?" And Victor Weisskopf said, "The science is terrible but---perhaps the psychology is good." The nuclear winter team followed up the publication of such comments with letters to the editors denying that these statements were ever made, though the scientists since then have subsequently confirmed their views. 

At the time, there was a concerted desire on the part of lots of people to avoid nuclear war. If nuclear winter looked awful, why investigate too closely? Who wanted to disagree? Only people like Edward Teller, the "father of the H bomb." 

Teller said, "While it is generally recognized that details are still uncertain and deserve much more study, Dr. Sagan nevertheless has taken the position that the whole scenario is so robust that there can be little doubt about its main conclusions." Yet for most people, the fact that nuclear winter was a scenario riddled with uncertainties did not seem to be relevant. 

I say it is hugely relevant. Once you abandon strict adherence to what science tells us, once you start
arranging the truth in a press conference, then anything is possible. In one context, maybe you will
get some mobilization against nuclear war. But in another context, you get Lysenkoism. In another, you
get Nazi euthanasia. The danger is always there, if you subvert science to political ends.
That is why it is so important for the future of science that the line between what science can say with
certainty, and what it cannot, be drawn clearly-and defended.
What happened to Nuclear Winter? As the media glare faded, its robust scenario appeared less persuasive; John Maddox, editor of Nature, repeatedly criticized its claims; within a year, Stephen Schneider, one of the leading figures in the climate model, began to  speak of "nuclear autumn." It just didn't have the same ring. 

A final media embarrassment came in 1991, when Carl Sagan predicted on Nightline that Kuwaiti oil fires
would produce a nuclear winter effect, causing a "year without a summer," and endangering crops around the
world. Sagan stressed this outcome was so likely that  "it should affect the war plans." None of it happened.

What, then, can we say were the lessons of Nuclear Winter? I believe the lesson was that with a catchy name, a strong policy position and an aggressive media campaign, nobody will dare to criticize the science, and in short order, a terminally weak thesis will be established as fact. 

After that, any criticism becomes beside the point. The war is already over without a shot being fired. That was the lesson, and we had a textbook application soon afterward, with second hand smoke. 

In 1993, the EPA announced that second-hand smoke was "responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths each year in nonsmoking adults," and that it " impairs the respiratory health of hundreds of thousands of people." In a 1994 pamphlet the EPA said that the eleven studies it based its decision on were not by themselves conclusive, and that they collectively assigned second-hand smoke a risk factor of 1.19. (For reference, a risk factor below 3.0 is too small for action by the EPA. or for publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, for example.) Furthermore, since there was no statistical association at the 95% coinfidence limits, the EPA lowered the limit to 90%. They then classified second hand smoke as a Group A Carcinogen. 

This was openly fraudulent science, but it formed the basis for bans on smoking in restaurants, offices, and airports. California banned public smoking in 1995. Soon, no claim was too extreme. By 1998, the Christian Science Monitor was saying that "Second-hand smoke is the nation's third-leading preventable cause of death." The American Cancer Society announced that 53,000  people died each year of second-hand smoke. The evidence for this claim is nonexistent. 

In 1998, a Federal judge held that the EPA had acted improperly, had "committed to a conclusion before research had begun", and had "disregarded information and made findings on selective information." The reaction of Carol Browner, head of the EPA was: "We stand by our science....there's wide agreement. The American people certainly recognize that exposure to second hand smoke brings...a whole host of health problems." Again, note how the claim of consensus trumps science. In this case, it isn't even a consensus of scientists that Browner evokes! It's the consensus of the American people. 

Meanwhile, ever-larger studies failed to confirm any association. A large, seven-country WHO study in 1998 found no association. Nor have well-controlled subsequent studies, to my knowledge. Yet we now read, for example, that second hand smoke is a cause of breast cancer. 
At this point you can say pretty much anything you want about second-hand smoke. 

As with nuclear winter, bad science is used to promote what most people would consider good policy. I certainly think it is. I don't want people smoking around me. So who will speak out against banning second-hand smoke? Nobody, and if you do, you'll be branded a shill of RJ Reynolds. A big tobacco flunky. But the truth is that we now have a social policy supported by the grossest of superstitions. And we've given the EPA a bad lesson in how to behave in the future. We've told them that cheating is the way to succeed. 

As the twentieth century drew to a close, the connection between hard scientific fact and public policy became increasingly elastic. In part this was possible because of the complacency of the scientific profession; in part because of the lack of good science education among the public; in part, because of the rise of specialized advocacy groups which have been enormously effective in getting publicity and shaping policy; and in great part because of the decline of the media as an independent assessor of fact. The deterioration of the American media is dire loss for our country. When distinguished institutions like the New York Times can no longer differentiate between factual content and editorial opinion, but rather mix both freely on their front page, then who will hold anyone to a higher standard? 

And so, in this elastic anything-goes world where science-or non-science-is the hand maiden of questionable public policy, we arrive at last at global warming. It is not my purpose here to rehash the details of this most magnificent of the demons haunting the world. I would just remind you of the now-familiar pattern by which these things are established. Evidentiary uncertainties are glossed over in the unseemly rush for an overarching policy, and for grants to support the policy by delivering findings that are desired by the patron. Next, the isolation of those scientists who won't get with the program, and the characterization of those scientists as outsiders and "skeptics" in quotation marks-suspect individuals with suspect motives, industry flunkies, reactionaries, or simply anti-environmental nutcases. In short order, debate ends, even though prominent scientists are uncomfortable about how things are being done. 

When did "skeptic" become a dirty word in science? When did a skeptic require quotation marks around it?

To an outsider, the most significant innovation in the global warming controversy is the overt reliance that is being placed on models. Back in the days of nuclear winter, computer models were invoked to add weight to a conclusion: "These results are derived with the help of a computer model." But now large-scale computer models are seen as generating data in themselves. No longer are models judged by how well they reproduce data from the real world-increasingly, models provide the data. As if they were themselves a reality. And indeed they are, when we are projecting forward. There can be no observational data about the year 2100. There are only model runs. 

This fascination with computer models is something I understand very well. Richard Feynmann called it a
disease. I fear he is right. Because only if you spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen can you
arrive at the complex point where the global warming debate now stands.
Nobody believes a weather prediction twelve hours ahead. Now we're asked to believe a prediction that goes out 100 years into the future? And make financial investments based on that prediction? Has everybody lost their minds? 

Stepping back, I have to say the arrogance of the modelmakers is breathtaking. There have been, in every century, scientists who say they know it all. Since climate may be a chaotic system-no one is sure-these predictions are inherently doubtful, to be polite. But more to the point, even if the models get the science spot-on, they can never get the sociology. To predict anything about the world a hundred years from now is simply absurd. 

Look: If I was selling stock in a company that I told you would be profitable in 2100, would you buy it? Or
would you think the idea was so crazy that it must be a scam?
Let's think back to people in 1900 in, say, New York. If they worried about people in 2000, what would they
worry about? Probably: Where would people get enough horses? And what would they do about all the horseshit?
Horse pollution was bad in 1900, think how much worse it would be a century later, with so many more people
riding horses?
But of course, within a few years, nobody rode horses except for sport. And in 2000, France 
was getting 80% its power from an energy source that was unknown in 1900. Germany, 
Switzerland, Belgium and Japan were getting more than 30% from this source, unknown 
in 1900. Remember, people in 1900 didn't know what an atom was. They didn't know its 
structure. They also didn't know what a radio was, or an airport, or a movie, or a
television, or a computer, or a cell phone, or a jet, an antibiotic, a rocket, a satellite, an 
MRI, ICU, IUD, IBM, IRA, ERA, EEG, EPA, IRS, DOD, PCP, HTML, internet. instant 
replay, remote sensing, remote control, speed dialing, gene therapy, gene splicing, genes, 
spot welding, heat-seeking, bipolar, prozac, leotards, lap dancing, email, tape recorder, 
CDs, airbags, plastic explosive, plastic, robots, cars, liposuction, transduction, superconduction, 
dish antennas, step aerobics, smoothies, twelve-step, ultrasound, nylon, rayon, teflon, fiber 
optics, carpal tunnel, laser surgery, laparoscopy, corneal transplant,kidney transplant, AIDS... 
None of this would have meant anything to a person in the year 1900. They wouldn't
know what you are talking about.
Now. You tell me you can predict the world of 2100. Tell me it's even worth thinking about. Our models just carry the present into the future. 

They're bound to be wrong. Everybody who gives a moment's thought knows it. 

I remind you that in the lifetime of most scientists now living, we have already had an example of dire predictions set aside by new technology. I refer to the green revolution. In 1960, Paul Ehrlich said, "The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergoe famines-hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death." Ten years later, he predicted four billion people would die during the 1980s, including 65 million Americans. The mass starvation that was predicted never occurred, and it now seems it isn't ever going to happen. Nor is the population explosion going to reach the numbers predicted even ten years ago. In 1990, climate modelers anticipated a world population of 11 billion by 2100. Today, some people think the correct number will be 7 billion and falling. But nobody knows for sure. 

But it is impossible to ignore how closely the history of global warming fits on the previous template for nuclear winter. Just as the earliest studies of nuclear winter stated that the uncertainties were so great that probabilites could never be known, so, too the first
pronouncements on global warming argued strong limits on what could be determined with certainty about climate change. The 1995 IPCC draft report said, "Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced." It also said, "No study to date has positively attributed all or part of observed climate changes to anthropogenic causes." Those statements were removed, and in their place appeared: "The balance of evidence suggests a discernable human influence on climate." 

What is clear, however, is that on this issue, science and policy have become inextricably mixed to the point where it will be difficult, if not impossible, to separate them out. It is possible for an outside observer to ask serious questions about the conduct of investigations into global warming, such as whether we are taking appropriate steps to improve the quality of our observational data records, whether we are systematically obtaining the information that will clarify existing uncertainties, whether we have any organized disinterested mechanism to direct research in this contentious area. 

The answer to all these questions is no. We don't.
In trying to think about how these questions can be resolved, it occurs to me that in the 
progression from SETI to nuclear winter to second hand smoke to global warming, we have 
one clear message, and that is that we can expect more and more problems of public policy
dealing with technical issues in the future-problems of ever greater seriousness, where 
people care passionately on all sides.
And at the moment we have no mechanism to get good answers. So I will propose one.
Just as we have established a tradition of double- blinded research to determine drug efficacy, we must institute double-blinded research in other policy areas as well. Certainly the increased use of computer models, such as GCMs, cries out for the separation of those who make the models from those who verify them. The fact is that the present structure of science is entrepeneurial, with individual investigative teams vying for funding from organizations which all too often have a clear stake in the outcome of the research-or appear to, which may be just as bad. This is not healthy for science. 

Sooner or later, we must form an independent research institute in this country. It must be funded by industry, by government, and by private philanthropy, both individuals and trusts. The money must be pooled, so that investigators do not know who is paying them. The institute must fund more than one team to do research in a particular area, and the verification of results will be a foregone requirement: teams will know their results will be checked by other groups. In many cases, those who decide how to gather the data will not gather it, and those who gather the data will not analyze it. If we were to address the land temperature records with such rigor, we would be well on our way to an understanding of exactly how much faith we can place in global warming, and therefore what seriousness we must address this. 

I believe that as we come to the end of this litany, some of you may be saying, well what is 
the big deal, really. So we made a few mistakes. So a few scientistshave overstated their cases 
and have egg on their faces. So what.
Well, I'll tell you.
In recent years, much has been said about the post modernist claims about science to the 
effect that  science is just another form of raw power, tricked out in special claims for 
truth-seeking and objectivity that really have no basis in fact. Science, we are
told, is no better than any other undertaking. These ideas anger many scientists, and they
anger me. But recent events have made me wonder if they are correct.
 We can take as an example the scientific reception accorded a Danish statistician, Bjorn 
Lomborg, who wrote a book called The Skeptical Environmentalist.
The scientific community responded in a way that can only be described as disgraceful. In professional literature, it was complained he had no standing because he was not an earth scientist. His publisher, Cambridge University Press, was attacked with cries that the editor should be fired, and that all right- thinking scientists should shun the press. The past president of the AAAS wondered aloud how Cambridge could have ever "published a book that so clearly could never have passed peer review." )But of course the manuscript did pass peer review by three earth scientists on both sides of the Atlantic, and all recommended publication.) But what are scientists doing attacking a press? Is this the new McCarthyism-coming from scientists? 

Worst of all was the behavior of the Scientific American, which seemed intent on proving the post- modernist point that it was all about power, not facts. The Scientific American attacked Lomborg for eleven pages, yet only came up with nine factual errors despite their assertion that the book was "rife with careless mistakes." It was a poor display featuring vicious ad hominem attacks, including comparing him to a Holocust denier. The issue was captioned: "Science defends itself against the Skeptical Environmentalist." Really. Science has to defend itself? Is this what we have come to? 

When Lomborg asked for space to rebut his critics, he was given only a page and a half. When he said it wasn't enough, he put the critics' essays on his web page and answered them in detail. Scientific American threatened copyright infringement and made him take the pages down. 

Further attacks since have made it clear what is going on. Lomborg is charged with heresy. 
That's why none of his critics needs to substantiate their attacks in any detail. That's why 
the facts don't matter. That's why they can attack him in the most vicious personal terms.
He's a heretic.
Of course, any scientist can be charged as Galileo was charged. I just never thought I'd 
see the Scientific American in the role of mother church.
Is this what science has become? I hope not. But it is what it will become, unless there is a concerted effort by leading scientists to aggresively separate science from policy. The late Philip Handler, former president of the National Academy of Sciences, said that "Scientists best serve public policy by living within the ethics of science, not those of politics. If the scientific community will not unfrock the charlatans, the public will not discern the difference-science and the nation will suffer." Personally, I don't worry about the nation. But I do worry about science. 

Thank you very much.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Why the Climate Skeptics Are Winning

Alarmist caught with his pants down
Steven F. Hayward has written an opinion piece for the Weekly Standard:

Why the Climate Skeptics Are Winning

Too many of their opponents are intellectual thugs.

The forlorn and increasingly desperate climate campaign achieved a new level of ineptitude last week when what had looked like a minor embarrassment for one of its critics​—​the Chicago-based Heartland Institute​—​turned out to be a full-fledged catastrophe for itself. A moment’s reflection on the root of this episode points to why the climate campaign is out of (greenhouse) gas.
In an obvious attempt to inflict a symmetrical Climategate-style scandal on the skeptic community, someone representing himself as a Heartland Institute insider “leaked” internal documents for Heartland’s most recent board of directors meeting to a fringe environmental blog, along with a photocopy of a supposed Heartland “strategy memo” outlining a plan to disseminate a public school curriculum aimed at “dissuading teachers from teaching science.”
We sceptics are horrified that voodoo science is being taught to children. Professor Ian Plimer has wriiten a book entitled "How to Get Expelled from school," (LINK) He wrote:
Pupils can find out very quickly if their teacher is a dope or if the teacher is feeding them environmental activist propaganda. This book is also for parents to ascertain whether their children are beoing fed environmental advocacy and political propaganda...
 This blog has also frequently pled for real science to be taught to our children. An example:-
As Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sang - Teach the Children well. Unfortunately the children are now being taught voodoo science. How long will it take to re-educate the people?
 Why then would an organisation like the Heartland Institute put out a document like the faked anti-science document in Fakegate? Steven F. Hayward continues:
This ham-handed phrase (one of many) should have been a tipoff to treat the document dump with some .  .  . skepticism (a trait that has gone missing from much of the climate science community). But more than a few environmental blogs and mainstream news outlets ran with the story of how this “leak” exposed the nefarious “antiscience” Neanderthals of Heartland and their fossil fuel paymasters. But the strategy memo is a fake, probably created because the genuine internal documents are fairly ho-hum.
The Heartland conferences have been too big for the media to ignore completely, though coverage has been spare and grudging. The conferences are also a morale booster for skeptics, who tend to be isolated and relentlessly assailed in their scattered outposts. It is worth adding that Heartland has always extended invitations to the leading “mainstream” figures to speak or debate at the conference, including Al Gore, NASA’s James Hansen, and senior officials from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (Heartland typically receives no response from such figures.)
Read more here.


Friday, 24 February 2012

The truth about Coral Reefs

Image: Coral Reef Ecosystems Lab
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg confesses an "early fascination with the ocean" which led to his involvement with the Coral Reef Ecosystems group and subsequently Director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland.

On The Conversation, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg wrote:
Peer review is the basis of modern scientific endeavour. It underpins research and validates findings, theories and data.
Submitting scientists' claims to peer review is a straightforward way to assess their credibility.
The Climate Commission was established by the Australian government to help build consensus around climate change.
Chief Commissioner Professor Tim Flannery handed the first major report, The Critical Decade to Julia Gillard on May 23.

Journalist Donna Laframboise's book The Delinquent Teenager... exposes how little peer review and how much activism advocacy is involved in the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change's Assessment reports. As Economist Ross McKitrick reports:
Canadian investigative journalist Donna Laframboise released her book The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert, a superb exposé of the IPCC that shows convincingly that the IPCC has evolved into an activist organization bearing little resemblance to the picture of scientific probity painted by its promoters and activist allies.

This has not phased Advocates like Professor  Hoegh-Guldberg. I am not sure if they still believe the falsified hypothesis that human-caused carbon dioxide emissions are causing dangerous global warming. One would have to believe, with all the evidence of stalled warming and peer reviewed papers (inter alia here, here and here), that they would at least be questioning their long held tenets.

Professor  Hoegh-Guldberg then writes of "rising temperatures..." however, all the major temperature records show that, (as mentioned above) temperature rising has stalled whilst atmospheric Co2 continues to rise.

The graphs below are from Professor Ole Humlum's Climate4you site. They show the data from HadleyCRU and NASA:GISS. These are the two main bodies behind the AGW hoax. Do you think that Professor  Hoegh-Guldberg can really still believe that temperatures "are rising?"

 Activist group - The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) commissioned a report in 2008 on the Coral Triangle and Climate change. The research was lead by Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and identified that Coral reefs could disappear entirely from the Coral Triangle region of the Pacific Ocean by the end of the century, threatening the food supply and livelihoods for about 100 million people in the region.

Peter Ridd (Professor of Marine Physics at James Cook University): "All the corals that live on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) already live in New Guinea where the temperatures are at least one or two degrees hotter.. IN PNG they grow faster and are more healthy as well.."

Andrew: Are you telling me (if the seas rises) we are going to get MORE corals?

HadCRUT3 shows temperature falling since 2002

NASA:GISS data also show falling temperatures.

World headed toward mini ice age?

Global warming as seen in Versoix, Switzerland
in James Hansen's hottest year ever, 2005

Physicist Luboš Motl on his blog The Reference Frame analyses the RSS data for the last twenty years.

We've been emphasizing for a few years that in the last decade, the global warming trend wasn't statistically significant and according to most datasets, it was actually negative: linear regression produces a cooling result.

However, aside from 10 years, there's always been an interesting discussion about the last 15 years. Some skeptics were happy when Phil Jones admitted that there was no statistically significant warming trend in the last 15 years.

Now, the times are changing. The debates about the statistical significance of the 15-year warming trend are gradually becoming irrelevant. Even when we talk about 15 years, the trend has actually been a cooling one!

For the data see the Reference Frame - link.

Mauna Kea; Image USGS

From Our Amazing Planet, we read of the snow in Hawaian Mountains:
Snow covered the tops of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, two of the five volcanoes that form Hawaii, as seen in photos from the U.S. Geological Survey.
Mauna Kea is nearly 14,000 feet (4,200 meters) above sea level, making it the highest peak in Hawaii (if measured from the seafloor, it's the tallest mountain in the world). This mountain is known for snow — its name means "white mountain" in Hawaiian. According to Hawaiian mythology, Poli'ahu, a goddess of snow, lives here. Mauna Loa is slightly shorter.
Atmospheric Co2 values are derived from in situ air at Mauna Loa.

The Washington Spokesman has a story headed:    World headed toward mini ice age?
A report released at the end of January by British climate scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit showed that the Earth’s average temperatures have dropped to the same levels seen back in 1997 before the so-called “big warmup.”
The average global temperature in 2011 was 0.68 degrees above normal. In the previous decade, the average temperature on this planet was 0.81 degrees above normal.
The British scientists agree with many Russian and Japanese climate scientists that the world could be headed toward a mini ice age sometime in the near future.
The new climate study suggests that the next significant cycle of cooling may rival the 70-year period in the mid-1600s that saw “frost fairs” held each winter season in London on the Thames River, which froze solid in January and February.

Steve Goddard (Real-Science)
The eight coldest days of the last decade have all occurred in the first seven weeks of 2012. Temperatures are currently 0.4 degrees colder for the date than any other year in the past decade. Temperatures have dropped almost a full degree since 2010.
Meanwhile, the hockey team continues to ramp up the lies about rising temperatures, and Phil prepares to throw any remaining integrity out the window with HadCRUTv4.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Climate Change: The final arbitrator; litigation.

Post by Anthony Cox

In a recent article Maurice Blackburn lawyer, Elizabeth O’Shea, advocated the blockage of a proposed new combination brown coal and natural gas power plant. This combination of coal and gas is called “syngas”.
Ms O’Shea justified her opposition on the basis that both coal and gas release various pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxides, mercury and particulates or dust. Primarily however, her opposition to the syngas plant is because climate change is real and the “coal industry [also] contributes disproportionately” to causing it.
Concurrently Maurice Blackburn’s rival in class actions, Slater & Gordon, is considering a class action against the Wivenhoe dam operators. To succeed in such a claim Slater and Gordon will have to prove man-made climate change [AGW] is not real.
Why is that?
Much of the analysis of the Wivenhoe dam’s involvement in the catastrophic Queensland flood is based on whether the dam operators, SEQwater, followed the “manual” which deals with water release. The manual prescribes 4 levels of water release from W1 to W4 with W4 being the greatest. W4 would only occur when the dam integrity is threatened.
But whether SEQwater released water “by the manual” is irrelevant. Wivenhoe dam was constructed as a response to the 1974 floods. It was built as a flood mitigator. At the time of the 2010 flood Wivenhoe was at a 100%supply level. If it had not been full it could have performed its intended role as a flood mitigator and whether the water releases were “by the manual” or not would be moot because no releases would have had to be done.
The dam was full because AGW predictions were that drought was going to prevail.
Legally, therefore, SEQwater may rely on AGW being real in which case having Wivenhoe full was a reasonable precaution against the predicted droughts and the water releases were the best that could be done with a full dam. The plaintiffs will have to prove otherwise.
This should make for lively banter at the next meeting of the Entrepreneurial Litigation Association.
Ms O’Shea also relies on the precautionary principle as described in the Victorian Environmental protection Act 1970, Section 1C. Again, in respect of AGW, this section is moot because while the Section speaks of “a lack of full scientific certainty” not being a bar to preventing environmental degradation it does not apply to the situation where there is no scientific certainty for AGW and considerable scientific certainty against AGW.
Alternatively Ms O’Shea does have some justification in respect of the proven polluting elements of coal and gas; that is the “toxic trace elements” such as mercury, nitrous and sulphuric oxides and particulates. In fact these by-products of coal and gas energy are one of the three environmental issues created by coal and gas mining and usage.
The other two are water contamination and competition with agricultural land use. None of these ‘real’ polluting aspects of coal and gas have anything to do with AGW.
The particulate issue can be rectified by various methods such as better coverage of stockpiles of coal, dampening and more efficient transportation. The toxic trace elements issue could be resolved by the introduction of .Ultrasuper-critical coal technology. This technology is not only greatly more efficient than all other forms of energy production but because it operates at such high temperatures it eliminates most of the real pollutants such as the oxides and mercury.
All of this takes money. In this and dealing with the promotion of coal as a great energy source the coal companies have been grossly negligent and egregious. Instead of ‘fessing up’ to the polluting history of coal, arguing the lack of merit in AGW theory and indicating a willingness to eradicate the remaining problems of coal mining and use the coal companies have been missing in action. They have hidden behind the chimera of Clean Coal or carbon capture technology [CCS].
CCS works. It only has 2 problems. Firstly the energy required to capture the CO2 emissions when the coal is burnt is about as much energy as burning the coal produces. Secondly, the final sludge containing the captured CO2 requires a storage space about 30 times the size of the quarry from which the coal was mined.
The cul de sac of CCS has cost the government and the coal industry about $400 million. For this the coal industry could have solved the particulate problem and made a start on introducing Ultrasuper-critical technology.
One of the promoted advantages of the ‘syngas’ plant which Ms O’Shea opposes it that it is compatible with CCS technology. That would be the only legitimate reason for opposing it!
Unfortunately Ms O’Shea concludes her article in a deluge of the usual emotive symbology which proponents of AGW resort to.
The continued use of children as the victims of AGW is particularly regrettable as has been argued here.
Equally regrettable is Ms O’Shea’s reference to the 2009 ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires. Along with the 2010 Queensland floods the Black Saturday fires have been the 2 worst natural disasters Australia has had in recent times. Advocates of AGW have claimed both as evidence to support their cause.
This is wrong in both cases.
The 2009 Black Saturday fires were comparable with the 1939 Black Friday fires with both events happening at similar times of the year with similar weather patterns and temperatures. In fact, arguably, if the Urban Heat island effect is considered, Melbourne’s record temperature in 2009 would be less than the 1939 temperature.
More people perished in the 2009 event. More people lived in the affected areas and there was manifest incompetence in the official response to the fires. But rather than AGW being the cause of the 2009 fires Green ideology which forbid reduction of undergrowth played a part as various experts argue.
Perhaps the most cogent proof of the role the prohibitions against clearing played in the destructiveness of the fires is the case of the Sheahans who were fined nearly $100,000 in 2003 by the Mitchell Shire council for unauthorised land clearing. Yet, after the 2009 fires the Sheahan’s house was the only one in the district not burnt to the ground.
So far the litigation about AGW has been by the pro-AGW groups against the usual suspects, Macquarie Generation, Xstrata and the like. That trend may change with a class action against SEQwater. The irony is that the preponderance of litigation by pro-AGW groups has established standing on the issue of AGW. That will make it easier for the anti-AGW litigation to proceed.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

No Need to Panic about Global Warming,

 “No Need to Panic about Global Warming,” /SB10001424052970204301404577171531838421366.html is gratifying but so extensive that we will limit our response to the letter of February 1, 2012 by Kevin Trenberth and 37 other signatories, and to the letter by Robert Byer, President of the American Physical Society of February 6.
Argo Buoy

We agree with Trenberth et al. that expertise is important in medical care, as it is in any matter of importance to humans or our environment. Consider then that by eliminating fossil fuels, the recipient of medical care (all of us in the world) is being asked to submit to what amounts to an economic heart transplant. According to most patient bills of rights, the patient has a strong say in the treatment decision. Natural questions from the patient are whether a heart transplant is really needed, and how successful the diagnostic team has been in the past. 

In this respect, an important gauge of scientific expertise is the ability to make successful predictions. When predictions fail, we say the theory is “falsified” and we should look for the reasons for the failure. Shown in the nearby graph is the measured annual temperature of the earth since 1989, just before the first report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Also shown are the projections of the likely increase of temperature, as published in the Summaries of each of the four IPCC reports, the first in the year 1990 and the last in the year 2007. These projections were based on IPCC computer models of how increased atmospheric CO2 should warm the earth. Some of the models predict higher or lower rates of warming, but the projections shown in the graph and their extensions into the distant future are the basis of most studies of environmental effects and mitigation policy options. Year to year fluctuations and discrepancies are unimportant; longer term trends are significant. 

From the graph it appears that the projections exaggerate, substantially, the response of the earth’s temperature to CO2which increased by about 11% from 1989 through 2011. Furthermore,when one examines the historical temperature record throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, the data strongly suggest a much lower CO2 effect than almost all models calculate. 

The Trenberth letter tells us that “computer models have recently shown that during periods when there is a smaller increase of surface temperatures, warming is occurring elsewhere in the climate system, typically in the deep ocean.”  The ARGO system of diving buoys is providing increasingly reliable data on the temperature of the upper layers of the ocean, where much of any heat from global warming must reside. But much like the surface temperature shown in the graph, the heat content of the upper layers of the world’s oceans is not increasing nearly as fast as IPCC models predict, perhaps not increasing at all. Why should we now believe exaggerating IPCC models that tell us of “missing heat” hiding in the one place where it cannot yet be reliably measured -- the deep ocean? 

Given this dubious track record of prediction, it is entirely reasonable to ask for a second opinion. We have offered ours. With apologies for any immodesty, we all have enjoyed distinguished careers in climate science or in key science and engineering disciplines (such as physics, aeronautics, geology, biology, forecasting) on which climate science is based. 

Trenberth et al. tell us that the managements of major national academies of science have said that “the science is clear, the world is heating up and humans are primarily responsible.” Apparently every generation of humanity needs to relearn that Mother Nature tells us what the science is, not authoritarian academy bureaucrats or computer models. One reason to be on guard, as we explained in our OpEd, is that motives other than objective science are at work in much of the scientific establishment. All of us are members of major academies and scientific societies, but we urge readers not to depend on pompous academy pronouncements -- or on what we say -- but to follow the motto of the Royal Society of Great Britain, one of the oldest learned societies in the world: “nullius in verba” – take nobody’s word for it. As we said in our OpEd, everyone should look at certain stubborn facts that just don’t fit the theory espoused in the Trenberth letter -- for example -- the graph of surface temperature above, and similar data for the temperature of the lower atmosphere and the upper oceans. 

What are we to make of the letter’s claim: “Climate experts know that the long-term warming trend has not abated in the past decade. In fact, it was the warmest decade on record.” We don’t see any warming trend after the year 2000 in the graph. It is true that the years 2000-2010 were perhaps 0.2 C warmer than the preceding 10 years. But the record indicates that long before CO2 concentrations of the atmosphere began to increase, the earth began to warm in fits and starts at the end of the Little Ice Age -- hundreds of years ago. This long term-trend is quite likely to produce several warm years in a row. The question is how much of the warming comes from CO2 and how much is due to other, both natural and anthropogenic, factors? 

There have been many times in the past when there were warmer decades. It may have been warmer in Medieval times, when the Vikings settled Greenland, and when wine was exported from England. Many proxy indicators show that the Medieval Warming was global in extent. And there were even warmer periods a few thousand years ago during the Holocene Climate Optimum. The fact is that there are very powerful influences on the earth’s climate that have nothing to do with human-generated CO2. The graph strongly suggests that the IPCC has greatly underestimated the natural sources of warming (and cooling) and has greatly exaggerated the warming from CO2. 

The Trenberth letter states: “Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused.” However, the claim of 97% support is deceptive. The surveys contained trivial polling questions that even we would agree with. Thus, these surveys find that large majorities agree that temperatures have increased since 1800 and that human activities have some impact. But what is being disputed is the size and nature of the human contribution to global warming. To claim, as the Trenberth letter apparently does, that disputing this constitutes “extreme views that are out of step with nearly every other climate expert,” is peculiar indeed. 

One might infer from the Trenberth letter that scientific facts are determined by majority vote. Some postmodern philosophers have made such claims. But scientific facts come from observations, experiments, and careful analysis, not from the near-unanimous vote of some group of people. 

The continued efforts of the climate establishment to eliminate “extreme views” can acquire a seriously threatening nature when efforts are directed at silencing scientific opposition. In our OpEd we mentioned the campaign to have journal editor de Freitas removed not only from his editorial position but from his university job as well. Much of that campaign is documented in Climategate e-mails, where one of the signatories of the Trenberth et al. letter writes: “I believe that a boycott against publishing, reviewing for, or even citing articles from Climate Research [the scientific journal edited by de Freitas] is certainly warranted, but perhaps the minimum action that should be taken.” Or consider the resignation last year of Wolfgang Wagner, Editor in-Chief of the journal “RemoteSensing.” In a fulsome resignation editorial eerily reminiscent of past recantations by political and religious heretics, Wagner confessed to his “sin” of publishing a properly peer-reviewed paper by University of Alabama scientists Roy Spencer and William Braswell, containing the finding that IPCC models exaggerate the warming caused by increasing CO2. 

The Trenberth letter tells us that decarbonization of the world’s economy would “drive decades of economicgrowth.” This is not a scientific statement nor is there evidence it is true. A premature global-scale transition from hydrocarbon fuels would require massive government intervention to support the deployment of more expensive energy technology. If there were economic advantages to investing in technology that depends on taxpayer support, companies like Beacon Power, Evergreen Solar, Solar Millenium, SpectraWatt, Solyndra, Ener1, and the Renewable Energy Development Corporation would be prospering instead of all filing for bankruptcy in only the past few months. And the European experience with green technologies has also been discouraging. A study found that every new “green job” in Spain destroyed more than two existing jobs and diverted capital that would have created new jobs elsewhere in the economy. More recently, European governments have been cutting subsidies for expensive CO2-emissionless energy technologies, not what one expects if such subsidies are stimulating otherwise languid economies. 

And as we pointed out in our OpEd, it is unlikely that there will be any environmental benefit from the reduced CO2 emissions associated with green technologies, which are based on the demonization of CO2. 

Turning to letter of the President of the American Physical Society (APS), Robert Byer, we read , “The statement [on climate] does not declare, as the signatories of the letter [our OpEd] suggest, that the human contribution to climate change is incontrovertible.” This seems to suggest that APS does not in fact consider the science on this key question to be settled. Yet, here is the critical paragraph from the statement that caused the resignation of Nobel Laureate Ivar Giaever and many other long-time members of the APS: “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.” 

 Non reasonable person can read this and avoid the conclusion that APS is declaring the human impact “incontrovertible.” 

Otherwise there would be no logical link from “global warming” to the shrill call for mitigation.
The APS response to the concerns of its membership was better than that of any other scientific society, but it was not democratic. The management of APS took months to review the statement quoted above, and it eventually declared that not a word needed to be changed, though some 750 words were added to try to explain what the original 157 words really meant. APS members were permitted to send in comments but the comments were never made public. 

In spite of the obstinacy of some in APS management, APS members of good will are supporting the establishment of a politics-free, climate physics study group within the Society. If successful, it will facilitate much needed discussion, debate, and independent research in the physics of climate. 

In summary, science progresses by testing predictions against real world data obtained from direct observations and rigorous experiments. The stakes in the global warming debate are much too high to ignore this observational evidence and declare the science settled. Though there are many more scientists who are extremely well qualified and have reached the same conclusions we have, we stress again that science is not a democratic exercise and our conclusions must be based on observational evidence. The computer-model predictions of alarming global warming have seriously exaggerated the warming by CO2 and have underestimated other causes. 

Since CO2 is not a pollutant but a substantial benefit to agriculture, and since its warming potential has been greatly exaggerated, it is time for the world to rethink its frenzied pursuit of decarbonization at any cost. 

Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris; J. Scott Armstrong, cofounder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting; Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University; Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society; Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences; William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton; Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.; William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology; Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT; James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University; Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne; Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator; Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service; Antoninio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva.