LONDON, 30 September – The Global Warming Policy Foundation has welcomed the Royal Society’s decision to revise and tone down its position on climate change. Its new climate guide is an improvement on their more alarmist 2007 pamphlet which caused an internal rebellion by more than 40 fellows of the Society and triggered a review and subsequent revisions.
The former publication gave the misleading impression that the ‘science is settled’ – the new guide accepts that important questions remain open and uncertainties unresolved. “The Royal Society now also agrees with the GWPF that the warming trend of the 1980s and 90s has come to a halt in the last 10 years,” said Dr Benny Peiser, the Director of the GWPF.
Dr David Whitehouse, the science editor of the GWPF said: “The biggest failing of the new guide is that it dismisses temperature data prior to 1850 as limited and leaves it at that. It would cast a whole new light on today’s warming if the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period and the Bronze Age Warm Period were as warm as today, possiblity even warmer than today. A thorough discussion of the growing empirical evidence for the global existence of the Medieval Warm Period and its implications would have been a valuable addition to the new report.”
In their old guide, the Royal Society demanded that governments should take “urgent steps” to cut CO2 emissions “as much and as fast as possible.” This political activism has now been replaced by a more sober assessment of the scientific evidence and ongoing climate debates.
“If this voice of moderation had been the Royal Society’s position all along, its message to Government would have been more restrained and Britain’s unilateral climate policy would not be out of sync with the rest of the world,” Dr Peiser said.
The statement and document from the Royal Society follows:
Climate change: A Summary of the Science
Climate change continues to be a subject of intense public and political debate. Because of the level of interest in the topic the Royal Society has produced a new guide to the science of climate change. The guide summarises the current scientific evidence on climate change and its drivers, highlighting the areas where the science is well established, where there is still some debate, and where substantial uncertainties remain.
The document was prepared by a working group chaired by Professor John Pethica, Vice President of the Royal Society and was approved by the Royal Society Council.