Bulletin Board
Rants, Raves, Interesting Science & Awful Puns
December 21, 2008

What Consensus?

But The Chant Goes On

(Revisiting and update of item posted over 10 years ago; and also here)

A technique that propagandists through the ages have found effective for instilling widespread acceptance of allegations that simply aren't so is ceaseless repetition. The constant reiteration that the Global Warming "science is settled" and affirmed by a consensus of the scientific community goes back to the 2006 press announcement from the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the cover page of which asserts it as being the result of 6 YEARS of work by 2500 SCIENTIFIC EXPERT REVIEWERS, 800 CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS, AND 450 LEAD AUTHORS FROM 130 COUNTRIES.

Pretty impressive, isn't it? Even more so when seen in the light of the accompanying press materials. One can understand how the media might be impressed too, and assure the world that global warming is real and manmade.

But what did those 2,500 scientists actually endorse? To find out, Lawrence Solomon contacted the Secretariat of the IPCC and asked for the names, intending to to survey them to determine their precise views. He was informed that the names were not public, so he would not be able to talk to them, and that the scientists were merely reviewers. The 2,500 had not endorsed the conclusions of the report and, in fact, the IPCC had not claimed that they did. Journalists had jumped to the conclusion that the scientists the IPCC touted were endorsers, and the IPCC never saw fit to correct the record. Moreover, many of those 2,500 reviewers disputed the findings of the studies that they reviewed, or expressed reservations, but their comments in the Executive Summary--which is all that most policymakers and journalists read--were edited to remove negative connotations after they had signed off on the document. (More on the makeup of the authorship at http://www.globalwarmingheartland.org/article.cfm?artId=23694)

From other interviews that he did conduct, Solomon states it became clear to him that, if a consensus did exist, it existed on the other side. He quotes Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institute, a former peer reviewer for the IPCC's work on the spread of malaria and other diseases due to warming as saying, "I know of no major scientist with any long record in this field who agrees with the pronouncements of the alarmists at the IPCC." Other scientists told him that, in their particular discipline, the IPCC's position was the outlier, far from the mainstream. For Solomon's full article, see National Review, June 3, 2008, online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=Y2ZiMDc3ZjIxMzEzZjE1ZTg3YzEwYmI3NTBkM2Y4OGI=

If consensus is going to be taken as a measure of the quality of the scientific evidence on this issue, a more representative one can be found in the form of the Petition Project launched by Dr. Arthur Robinson, online at http://www.petitionproject.org/, which lists--at the last viewing--31,072 American scientists, 9,021 of them with PhDs, who have put their names to a petition that concludes:

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

(Note that the petition cannot be signed online. Signatures are accepted via mail only, after authentication of the signer's credentials.)

For links to more petitions by scientific professionals dissenting from the official line, see http://sepp.org/policy%20declarations/home.html

Dennis Avery has compiled a list at http://www.globalwarmingheartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=21977 of more than 500 qualified researchers, their home institutions, and the peer-reviewed studies they have published in professional journals contradicting man-made global warming scares.

A U.S. Senate Report at http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.SenateReport, updated December 11, 2008, lists over 650 prominent international scientists who dissent over the man-made warming claims:
Heading: "Scientists Continue to Debunk 'Consensus' in 2008."
Abstract: [S]cientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called "consensus" on man-made global warming. These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore.

For a comprehensive collection of links to more sites showing increasing expressions of anger and outrage by scientists at the world's being repeatedly told that they're saying what they're not saying, see Popular Technology at http://z4.invisionfree.com/Popular_Technology/index.php?showtopic=2050

And to round off, some quotes by skeptical scientists that should leave little doubt as to whether the issue is "settled." Taken from http://epw.senate.gov:80/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=2158072e-802a-23ad-45f0-274616db87e6

"I am a skeptic. Global warming has become a new religion."

-- Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

"Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly. As a scientist I remain skeptical."

-- Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology, and formerly of NASA. Author of more than 190 studies, described as "among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years."

"Warming fears are the worst scientific scandal in the history. When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists."

-- UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

"The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn't listen to others. It doesn't have open minds. I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,"

-- Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University, board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.

"The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity."

-- Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, researcher at the Institute of Geophysics, National Autonomous University of Mexico

"It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don't buy into anthropogenic global warming."

-- U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division, NOAA.

"Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will."

-- Geoffrey G. Duffy, professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Auckland, NZ.

"After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri's asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it's hard to remain quiet."

-- Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, a specialist in forecast evaluation, member of the American Meteorological Society's Probability and Statistics Committee, Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review.

"For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?"

-- Geologist Dr. David Gee, chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress, author of over 130 peer reviewed papers, currently at Uppsala University, Sweden.

"Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp. Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact."

-- Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic. Former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.

"Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined."

-- Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh.

"Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense. The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning."

-- Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, founder of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, author of more than 150 published articles.

"CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another. Every scientist knows this, but it doesn't pay to say so. Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver's seat and developing nations walking barefoot."

-- Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University, Japan.

"The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds."

-- Award-winning Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires and head of the Paleontology Department at the University of La Plata.

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