Pielke Sr. on the gang of 18 letter to congress

Comments On The Hill’s Post “Scientists Ask Congress To Put Aside Politics, Take ‘Fresh Look’ At Climate Data”

By Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/141453-scientists-put-aside-politics-and-focus-on-climate-science

There is an article in The Hill’s Energy and Environment Blog on February 1 2011 by Andrew Restuccia titled  [h/t/ Bob Ferguson]

Scientists ask Congress to put aside politics, take ‘fresh look’ at climate data

The news article starts with the text

More than a dozen scientists took aim at climate skeptics in a letter to members of Congress late last week, calling on lawmakers to put aside politics and focus on the science behind climate change.

In the Jan. 28 letter, 18 scientists from various universities and research centers called on lawmakers to take a “fresh look” at climate change.

“Political philosophy has a legitimate role in policy debates, but not in the underlying climate science,” the scientists said in the letter. “There are no Democratic or Republican carbon dioxide molecules; they are all invisible and they all trap heat.”

Other excerpts from the news article read [with my comments right below each excerpt]

“The scientists took aim at climate skeptics. “Climate change deniers cloak themselves in scientific language, selectively critiquing aspects of mainstream climate science,” the scientists said. “Sometimes they present alternative hypotheses as an explanation of a particular point, as if the body of evidence were a house of cards standing or falling on one detail; but the edifice of climate science instead rests on a concrete foundation.”

My Comment

Actually, the focus almost exclusively on the radiative effect of CO2 and a few other grenhouse gases is a house of cards. As we documented in our paper (in which each author is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union)

Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell,  W. Rossow,  J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian,  and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union

“In addition to greenhouse gas emissions, other first-order human climate forcings are important to understanding the future behavior of Earth’s climate. These forcings are spatially heterogeneous and include the effect of aerosols on clouds and associated precipitation [e.g., Rosenfeld et al., 2008], the influence of aerosol deposition (e.g., black carbon (soot) [Flanner et al. 2007] and reactive nitrogen [Galloway et al., 2004]), and the role of changes in land use/land cover [e.g., Takata et al., 2009]. Among their effects is their role in altering atmospheric and ocean circulation features away from what they would be in the natural climate system [NRC, 2005]. As with CO2, the lengths of time that they affect the climate are estimated to be on multidecadal time scales and longer.

Therefore, the cost-benefit analyses regarding the mitigation of CO2 and other greenhouse gases need to be considered along with the other human climate forcings in a broader environmental context, as well as with respect to their role in the climate system.”

and

“The evidence predominantly suggests that humans are significantly altering the global environment, and thus climate, in a variety of diverse ways beyond the effects of human emissions of greenhouse gases, including CO2…….Because global climate models do not accurately simulate (or even include) several of these other first-order human climate forcings, policy makers must be made aware of the inability of the current generation of models to accurately forecast regional climate risks to resources on multidecadal time scales.”

The failure of this group of climate scientists to consider this broader perspective illustrates their inappropriately narrow view of climate including the role of humans in affecting it, as well as of other social and environmental threats as discussed in the weblog post

A Way Forward In Climate Science Based On A Bottom-Up Resource-Based Perspective

The Hill post also writes

“Congress should, we believe, hold hearings to understand climate science and what it says about the likely costs and benefits of action and inaction,” the scientists wrote. “It should not hold hearings to attempt to intimidate scientists or to substitute ideological judgments for scientific ones.”

The letter of January 28, 2011 to the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate is from

John Abraham, University of St. Thomas

Barry Bickmore, Brigham Young University

Gretchen Daily,* Stanford University

G. Brent Dalrymple,* Oregon State University

Andrew Dessler, Texas A&M University

Peter Gleick,* Pacific Institute

John Kutzbach,* University of Wisconsin-Madison

Syukuro Manabe,* Princeton University

Michael Mann, Penn State University

Pamela Matson,* Stanford University

Harold Mooney,* Stanford University

Michael Oppenheimer, Princeton University

Ben Santer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Richard Somerville, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Warren Washington, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Gary Yohe, Wesleyan University

George Woodwell,* The Woods Hole Research Center

*Member of the National Academy of Sciences

The letter is reproduced in the news article and has the following excerpts which I will comment on.

First, two excerpts separated by a few paragraphs illustrates an inconstant claim of the above individuals.  They write

“It is not our role as scientists to determine how to deal with problems like climate change. That is a policy matter and rightly must be left to our elected leaders in discussion with all Americans.  But, as scientists, we have an obligation to evaluate, report, and explain the science behind climate change.”

but then later state

“We and our colleagues are prepared to assist you as you work to develop a rational and practical national policy to address this important issue.”

My Comment

It’s actually hard to find a more self-contradictory statement!

The next excerpt is

“But no one who argues against the science of climate change has ever provided an alternative scientific theory that adequately satisfies the observable evidence or conforms to our understanding of physics, chemistry, and climate dynamics.”

The authors of the letter do not even define what is “the science of climate change”.  From the context of the letter, however, they clearly mean the dominance of the radiative effect of CO2 and a few other gases as being the primary forcing that alters long-term weather statistics and other aspects of the climate. However, it is straightforward to refute this hypothesis as we did in our paper listed above [Pielke et al, 2009] where we documented that the hypothesis

Although the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, the human influences are significant and are dominated by the emissions into the atmosphere of greenhouse gases, the most important of which is CO2. The adverse impact of these gases on regional and global climate constitutes the primary climate issue for the coming decades.

has been rejected.

The only hypothesis that has not been rejected is

“Although the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, the human influences are significant and involve a diverse range of first-order climate forcings, including, but not limited to, the human input of carbon dioxide (CO2). Most, if not all, of these human influences on regional and global climate will continue to be of concern during the coming decades.”

We agree that “human activity is changing the climate” e.g. see

Inadvertent Weather Modification: An Information Statement of the American Meteorological Society

(Adopted by the AMS Council on 2 November 2010)

but this statement documents that the influence of humans on the local, regional and global scale is much more than due to the radiative effect of CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases.  The narrow perspective presented by the authors of the letter to Congress is not supported by the current scientific knowledge.

The next excerpt is

“Climate change deniers cloak themselves in scientific language, selectively critiquing aspects of mainstream climate science. Sometimes they present alternative hypotheses as an explanation of a particular point, as if the body of evidence were a house of cards standing or falling on one detail; but the edifice of climate science instead rests on a concrete foundation. As an open letter from 255 NAS members noted in the May 2010 Science magazine, no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet’s climate and why.”

My Comment

Without commenting on their very inappropriate use of the term “denier”, their claim that “no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet’s climate and why”, is blatantly wrong. Examples of major international assessment reports that refute their claim include

Kabat, P., Claussen, M., Dirmeyer, P.A., J.H.C. Gash, L. Bravo de Guenni, M. Meybeck, R.A. Pielke Sr., C.J. Vorosmarty, R.W.A. Hutjes, and S. Lutkemeier, Editors, 2004: Vegetation, water, humans and the climate: A new perspective on an interactive system. Springer, Berlin, Global Change – The IGBP Series, 566 pp

and

National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp

In National Research Council (2005)  it is written

“…..the traditional global mean TOA radiative forcing concept has some important limitations, which have come increasingly to light over the past decade. The concept is inadequate for some forcing agents, such as absorbing aerosols and land-use changes, that may have regional climate impacts much greater than would be predicted from TOA radiative forcing. Also, it diagnoses only one measure of climate change—global mean surface temperature response—while offering little information on regional climate change or precipitation. These limitations can be addressed by expanding the radiative forcing concept and through the introduction of additional forcing metrics. In particular, the concept needs to be extended to account for (1) the vertical structure of radiative forcing, (2) regional variability in radiative forcing, and (3) nonradiative forcing.”

“Regional variations in radiative forcing may have important regional and global climatic implications that are not resolved by the concept of global mean radiative forcing. Tropospheric aerosols and landscape changes have particularly heterogeneous forcings. To date, there have been only limited studies of regional radiative forcing and response. Indeed, it is not clear how best to diagnose a regional forcing and response in the observational record; regional forcings can lead to global climate responses, while global forcings can be associated with regional climate responses. Regional diabatic heating can also cause atmospheric teleconnections that influence regional climate thousands of kilometers away from the point of forcing. Improving societally relevant projections of regional climate impacts will require a better understanding of the magnitudes of regional forcings and the associated climate responses.”

“Several types of forcings—most notably aerosols, land-use and land-cover change, and modifications to biogeochemistry—impact the climate system in nonradiative ways, in particular by modifying the hydrological cycle and vegetation dynamics. Aerosols exert a forcing on the hydrological cycle by modifying cloud condensation nuclei, ice nuclei, precipitation efficiency, and the ratio between solar direct and diffuse radiation received. Other nonradiative forcings modify the biological components of the climate system by changing the fluxes of trace gases and heat between vegetation, soils, and the atmosphere and by modifying the amount and types of vegetation. No metrics for quantifying such nonradiative forcings have been accepted. Nonradiative forcings have eventual radiative impacts, so one option would be to quantify these radiative impacts. However, this approach may not convey appropriately the impacts of nonradiative forcings on societally relevant climate variables such as precipitation or ecosystem function. Any new metrics must also be able to characterize the regional structure in nonradiative forcing and climate response.”

The authors of the letter to the Members of Congress have failed to communicate these issues to them in their communication.

Summary

The authors of this letter to Congress clearly are advocates for particular policy actions based on their (in my view) inaccurately narrow view of the role of humans within the climate system.  They are trying to claim they are only focusing on the science issues, but even a casual examination of their letter shows they are advocates. They still, unfortunately, have not read my son’s book

Pielke, R. A. Jr,  2007: The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2007) should be required reading to determine the role that each AGU member wants to serve with respect to their interface with the political process.

in order to educate them on the role they have chosen when interfacing with policymakers.

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TimM

http://www.cardstacker.com/index2.html
Now that’s a real house of cards!
Back to the article. It is amazing how science is defined these days. Please look ONLY at OUR science. Ignore everything else because we say it isn’t important. Great reply.

Good lord, they want another theory? Here’s one. The Earth has been warming for hundreds of years since the little Ice Age back to levels seen within time of human history (MWP, RWP). The fossil record (Greenland forest now being exposed), ice core record, written histories, coast line records, etc all point to this as the PRIMARY driver on climate since the LIA.
The now debunked claims that CO2 is a LEADING force on global warming has been proven to be wrong. At best it is a lagging effect.
The now debunked long term historic record from organic proxies was proven wrong when tree rings diverged from the modern temp record. Not only did this destroy the idea organic proxies could indicate GLOBAL climate levels, this conclusion was covered up by Mann, Jones, et al with the HS graph. It seems the pre 1960 correlation between sparse temp records in city centers to tree rings at high altitudes and latitudes (which indicate a temporal and spacial gap too wide to connect the two data( was all coincidence.
It has also been proven that the temp record decomposes with distance and time too much to detect global changes within a fraction of a degree. All these fractional cries of warming are simply statistical ghosts in the noise. There is also proof the temp record is to spotty pre-1940 to have a precision sufficient to compare to the modern global record within a degree C.
In fact, if we simply accept the global annual temp anomaly as given, the 1°C error means it is as warm today as 80 years ago – statistically.
All this points to a the end of a centuries’ long warming after the LIA which had NOTHING to do with CO2, human produced or otherwise.
Prove otherwise and then we can discuss global warming.

Pull My Finger

Someone really needs to ask these guys how we will know if we do beat “Climage Change” since evidently Climate Change results in… hot, cold, dry, wet, snowy, rainy, arid, weather. Do we win when it is exactly 64 degrees over the entire earth and all weather patterns cease to exist, the polar ice caps melt, and it never rains again?
As to science, I never hear a shred of scientific evidence from AGW talking heads, just dire announcements and “trust me, I’m a climate scientist!”. For all we know Global Warming is a rounding error.

Scottish Sceptic

Related New Scientist Article
“The meeting was the brainchild of University of Oxford science philosopher Jerry Ravetz, an 81-year-old Greenpeace member who fears Al Gore may have done as much damage to environmentalism as Joseph Stalin did to socialism.”
“… they felt this was most pronounced in the IPCC itself, where reports assessing climate science were routinely written by people sitting in judgement on their own research and that of their critics. Public trust in climate science had collapsed and had to be rebuilt through reconciliation, they said.”

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/02/climate-sceptics-scientists-at.html
Climate “science” …….climategate …chop chop…. timberrrrrrrrrrrr!

Just wondering: on that list, how many of those scientists work in climatology or meteorology? Why isn’t Michio Kaku on here?

Facts – Facts – Facts!! What is with you people? Constantly wanting to resort to facts to back up your positions.
/sarc (if required)

CodeTech

I realize it’s been hammered around before, but if I’m to be Labeled as a “denier” I reserve the right to call my opponents “clueless gits”. “Morons” for short.
Demonstrating that the whole “CO2 emissions are the main problem” meme is completely wrong is childishly simple. It takes a genuine idiot to continue to believe in it with the wealth of contrary evidence currently surrounding us.
Correlation is not causation, but it takes SOME correlation to prove causation. There is none.

Ray

Only 18? I am sure lots more scientists could send letter to congress to tell them to ignore those fraudsters that cooked the science of AGW.

R2

’18 Scientists’ = a consensus!

Josh Grella

I hope they get their wish and the SCIENCE is given a chance to show the TRUE story – you know, the one that is told simply by the statement “We don’t know enough yet to make ANY case one way or another for cause and effect.” The only ones who are using “sciency sounding language” are the advocates of CAGW such as those who wrote this most recent piece of “we are smarter than you and you should just shut up and listen to what we tell you” elitist bull[snip]. True scientists would never say anything along the lines of “Well, you haven’t given any other theory to explain something that may or may not be happening, therefore our theory should be accepted as fact.” Last I checked, that’s advocacy, not science. I try desperately to have faith in humanity, but I just get more and more cynical every time I read something like this written by people who are supposed to be our brightest.
/rant off

rob m.

@Ryan: Michael Mann is on the list. He is a Climate “Scientist”.

James Sexton

lol, yes, let’s take politics out of climate change discussions. First, let’s establish the effects human caused climate change…….. then, just for fun, let’s establish that the changing climate is a problem. We could even try to quit according normative values to weather events and temperatures. Wouldn’t that be nice? Oh, wait, that would blow up the need for such an insidiously vapid letter. lol “Let’s take politics out of a political contrivance!” Psuedo-elitists.

richcar 1225

Lets get all 18 of the gang before congress and ask them under oath where the heat went and when is it coming back.

grayman

” body of evidence were a house of cards standing or falling on one detail; but the edifice of climate science instead rests on a concrete foundation.”
They really should proof read, thier evidence is a house of cards on a concrete foundation on top of “QUICK SAND”!!! Then again they might just get more than they bargain for. The commitees that do look at the evidence will most likely see the sceptic side and decide that they are charlatans at the feed trough that is running out of feed!

Foxgoose

Pull My Finger says:
February 4, 2011 at 9:51 am
Global Warming is a rounding error.

That’s very good.
That could go global – I can see it on T shirts

“We and our colleagues are prepared to assist you as you work to develop a rational and practical national policy to address this important issue.”
Lysenko would be proud to see that Lysenkoism is still alive and well in the halls of American science.

Frank K.

The gang of 18 are the usual suspects: Kevin “Den!er” Trenberth, Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann, Ben “The Bully” Santer…
But they forgot Gore, Hansen, Schmidt and many others! Sheeesh – can’t they get the more famous manic CAGW scientists to sign off on the letter?

Sundance

I think the 18 are all that is left of the 700 originally hyped to be forming the “rapid response team”. Maybe no one is calling them and they are resorting to the ambulance chasing lawyer tactic to stir up some interest and raise money for their organization. If they do testify someone needs to shut off the heat in the congressional chambers the night before the hearings. Who wouldn’t love to watch the plumes of breath vapor billowing from their mouths as they testify wrapped in layers of winter garb. As Carlin said, “I can dream, can’t I?” lol.

Urederra

“But no one who argues against the science of climate change has ever provided an alternative scientific theory that adequately satisfies the observable evidence or conforms to our understanding of physics, chemistry, and climate dynamics.”

And we don’t have to provide any alternative theory. A theory is bad when there is empirical data that cannot be explained by the current theory, and so far there is plenty of data that doesn’t fit with CAGW models:
-Temperatures are not rising as fast as CAGW predicts.
-Number of cyclones/hurricantes are not growing as CAGW predicts.
-Sea level rise is not accelerating as CAGW predicts.
-Ice caps are not melting as CAGW predicts, specially the south one.
-Glaciers are not melting as CAGW predicts.
-Winters are not milder as CAGW predicts.
… and on top of that, there is poor correlation between CO2 levels and temperature.

dp

Here again we see the influence of Post Normal Science (a science method for people who are bad at science). None of the 18 recognize that what they propose is not a fresh view of the science and it is a travesty they do not.

latitude

“But no one who argues against the science of climate change has ever provided an alternative scientific theory that adequately satisfies the observable evidence or conforms to our understanding of physics, chemistry, and climate dynamics.”
===================================================
Well of course not….
…the climate change umbrella has been made so large, that everything is now caused by climate change
warmcold, wetdry, warmdry, warmwet, colddry, coldwet, droughtflood, snowrain, nightday, cloudsun……………………………….

Regg

Quite frankly Dr. Pielke Sr. it looks to me like a skirmish between two groups of scientist claiming the cause is this vs the cause is that. However, the outcome is the same – it’s warming and warming fast. And i think that when they talk about deniers, they’re not talking about the claims about the aerosols and the land changes you and others made. They are talking about those group of peoples or organizations saying nothing is happening and it’s all BS like some of the previous comments proposed above. Well reading your paper, you must feel the same way because those deniers are saying the same about what you wrote.
On a final note, maybe the croud here should take note that you – there hero – are stating that AGW is real, happening, and getting warmer. Is’nt inconveniant ? (sarcasm off)..
Is’nt just a skirmish on what group(s) of scientist wants the control to manage what needs to be done – to me it looks like that. As all the paper both group are pushing are coming to the same conclusions even if the source is slightly different. I mean one group is saying GHGs are the main driver giving a minor role to aerosols and land changes, and your group is saying the main driver beside GHGs are aerosols and land changes. What’s the difference here, the outcome is the same and the source is anthropogenic (in fact your paper is even going further in attributing the cause to the anthropogenic part with the emphasis on land changes and aerosols) and actions still needs to be taken – whoever is right.

Martin Lewitt

Yes, this statement of these so-called scientists is particularly galling:
““no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet’s climate and why”
Given that “the overall scientific understanding” of importance is high climate sensitivities and increased risk of drought projections, EVERY diagnostic study of the models challenges the overall scientific understanding. The more than factor of two model disagreement on senstivity itself challenges the understanding. The warming trend being stalled by natural variation for a decade challenges the understanding. The IPCC admission that solar variation is poorly understood challenges the understanding. The much higher solar variation in the UV range and its greater impact on the stratosphere challenges the understanding.
These “scientists” are obviously hoping to take Congress for dupes before the evidence comes in and before the “consensus” completely disintegrates.
If Congress ever gets Trenberth before them, hopefully they pin him down on why he doesn’t discuss Wentz’s results on the model failures to reproduce the increase in precipitation published in the journal Science in any of the drought related studies produced under his supervision.

JPeden

…no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet’s climate and why.
Least of all ipcc Climate Science “research results”. Then they even poison the well by having Michael Mann in on the declaration, and Dr. Kevin “Travesty” Trenberth, who not all that long ago was also saying that the Models couldn’t make predictions until they were “initialized” to existing conditions, but now has suddenly annointed the Models as being existing conditions despite being abjectly unsuccessful in the same arena of predictions?
Attn, deniers people of the World, “They’rrrrree here!”

Sundance

Looking at the list maybe we can offer to throw a Climategate reunion party for this group. A replica of an earlier IPCC temperature graph which included the MWP could pop out of a large “Hide the Decline” themed cake. Activities would include a tree ring toss contest and a liars poker tournament. Treats would include snow-melt cones and decarbonated soft drinks.

ShrNfr

Anyone who denies that there is climate is crazy. Up here in Boston we gotz lotz of climate. I also have a game called 4 lump monty. There are 4 lumps in my back yard. Your job is to figure out what is under the lump. One lump is a Saturn, one lump is a Toyota, and one lump is a F-150 truck. The other lump is all snow and ice. There is also another lump that has a Porsche 944 under it, but I will leave it out of the game since it is in arrest me red.

RACookPE1978

How many of these “scientists” depend on their tremendous past funding, their huge current funding, their (greatly increased!) future funding on the tax dollars and NGO funding that ONLY CAGW extremism and propaganda can bring forth – ONLY if they can claim CAGW is an immediate, catastrophic, life-threatening hoax (er, threat)?
If, as they claim, the much-rumoured “big oil” money (that never seems to be able to be documented or even counted) funding skeptics “changes” the skeptical view of “science”, then are not these very “scientists” for Mann-made global warming admitting that THEY are the ones who are capable of, and indeed, have actually changed THEIR science to support THEIR fundamental belief in CAGW?
For, if a rumoured single $250,000.00 one-time grant can affect the entire skeptical position on science, then how can they claim that several Nobel Peace Prizes, dozens of international trips and 1500 news media interviews and 15 years of public adulation and policy setting promotions (plus 89 billion dollars worth of funding) has not affected their own position?

D Caldwell

They have very deftly wrapped themselves with the cloak of the ardent pursuit of pure scientific truth while projecting political motivations onto others. Gave me a good laugh. Nice try, but no cigar.
Thank you, Dr. Pielke.
Hopefully, our current policymakers will easily see through their flimsy camouflage. The only question that needs to be clearly asked:
“If we undertake to reduce U.S. CO2 emissions to X level by Y time, what effect will it have on average global temperature and sea level as of any future timeframe? How many major tropical cyclones, floods, droughts, animal extinctions, killer heat waves, killer snow storms, etc. will have been prevented?”
Anyone? Take your time….

They could only get 18?? Pathetic. And even worse, Peter Gleick is one of the 18. The same Peter Gleick who is one of only a handful of commenters who has been banned from WUWT, after several warnings, for his endless personal diatribes and childish behavior.
Compare these 18 political advocates with the 31,000+ [including over 9,000 PhD’s] in the hard sciences, who co-signed a statement saying:

The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
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.

At current and projected concentrations, CO2 is harmless and beneficial. The only reason these 18 tax-eaters signed this letter is in hopes of keeping the grant gravy train rolling.

DirkH

Mike Haseler says:
February 4, 2011 at 9:53 am
“Related New Scientist Article
“The meeting was the brainchild of University of Oxford science philosopher Jerry Ravetz, an 81-year-old Greenpeace member who fears Al Gore may have done as much damage to environmentalism as Joseph Stalin did to socialism.””
So how much damage has Ravetz done by the invention of post-normal science? Remember he rejects the notion of objective truth, yet he meddles with science. I would say, as much damage as Pol Pot to Cambodia (no, not to socialism; socialism was defunct before).

DD More

If the group’s claim of CO2 or Pielke’s soot & land use being the ‘main driver’, please utilize them to explain the current ‘off the cliff’ drop in both RSS ( http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/rss_v32-v332.png ) and UAH ( http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_Jan_2011.gif ) temperatures. Have either of their causes had any major change recently?
Sometimes they present alternative hypotheses as an explanation of a particular point, as if the body of evidence were a house of cards standing or falling on one detail; but the edifice of climate science instead rests on a concrete foundation.
I do believe the concrete is cracking under a certain VA AG.

Jim Cole

Very disappointing to see Brent Dalrymple’s name on this ignominious list. Back in the 60s, he was instrumental in developing the K-Ar radiometric dating method. Working with Cox and Doell, they laid out the facts for sea-floor spreading based on the reversed-normal magnetic stripes in sea-floor basalt. Talk about a paradigm shifter.
This pathetic plea to politicians to declare “their brand of science” as the official, one-and-only version of Truth is a complete repudiation of the scientific method and of the critical skepticism that has made science so valuable for so long.
As a fellow geologist, I am dismayed at colleagues who willingly turn a blind eye to the abundant evidence that climate/weather of modern times are completely unremarkable. We live within the coldest 2 million years of earth history but are incredibly fortunate to occupy one of the brief interglacial periods when climate is warm enough to sustain widespread agriculture. The Holocene Optimum, along with the Minoan, Roman, and Medieval warm periods, were all warmer than present and sea levels were also generally higher than present.
Gads! We’re quibbling about ppm of a trace gas! This borders on insanity.

DirkH

Regg says:
February 4, 2011 at 10:39 am
“changes. What’s the difference here, the outcome is the same and the source is anthropogenic (in fact your paper is even going further in attributing the cause to the anthropogenic part with the emphasis on land changes and aerosols) and actions still needs to be taken – whoever is right.”
The difference would of course be that it makes no sense to reduce CO2 emissions if CO2 is not the driver of the warming. BTW it hasn’t warmed since 1998.

Laurie Bowen

You should know, I remember a time when they said this incidence of “rapes” had increased when the only phenomenon was . . . that more “rapes” were being reported.
We do not have a higher incidence of domestic abuse than before, only better tracking.
Remeber, hen pecked? Lot’s of men still don’t report abusive women . . . for shame!
I honestly think sometimes that they (these scientists) might suffer from the “Adam and Eve” syndrome. But, then again . . that would mean they are simple and honest!

Theo Goodwin

The next excerpt is
“Climate change deniers cloak themselves in scientific language, selectively critiquing aspects of mainstream climate science.”
The persons who signed the letter should be censured by Congress for using the profanity “deniers.”

Scottish Sceptic

Reminds me of another list:
Martin Bormann, Karl Dönitz, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Walther Funk, Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Alfred Jodl, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Wilhelm Keitel, Baron Konstantin von Neurath, Erich Raeder, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Alfred Rosenberg, Fritz Sauckel, Baldur von Schirach, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Albert Speer, Julius Streicher

Al Gored

“More than a dozen scientists took aim at climate skeptics in a letter to members of Congress late last week, calling on lawmakers to put aside politics and focus on the science behind climate change.”
OK. Let’s “focus on the science.” All of it. Like Dr. Pielke just did.

I keep on hearing about these “thousands” of scientists who believe in global warming and yet it always seems to be the same small insular and arrogant group that is pushing this crap publicly.
In this case about half of the guys are in the climategate emails (a shocker!).

“Climate change deniers cloak themselves in scientific language, selectively critiquing aspects of mainstream climate science.”
But an avowed ‘climate change denier’ signed the letter: Michael Mann, whose [debunked] straight and flat hokey stick handle showed no climate change over many centuries.
Scientific skeptics are at the forefront of those who understand that the climate has always changed, and always will change – naturally. Only among the ranks of climate alarmists will you find people who claim that the climate doesn’t change.

William Gray

Regg its not warming fast, however Dr Pielke realises as do all concerned sceptics that our activities are changing the world.
Here is Australia we have trashed the landscape causing many animal and plants to become endangered and some extinct.
Focusing on one element of the biosphere is EXTREMELY NARROW MINDED.
For once humans need to wake up globally and present some intelligent stewardship.
Any ideas?

Theo Goodwin

“We and our colleagues are prepared to assist you as you work to develop a rational and practical national policy to address this important issue.”
Is that unbelievable or what? It has exactly the rhythm of a B-movie apparatchik.
It could be followed with a good old Fascist proposition: “We would hate to see these lovely windows meet with an accident.”

richard verney

Given the cold winter currently being experienced by the States and given that the satellite measurements suggests that temperature anomalies are currently below the 30 year average, the timing of this does not suggest that the cAWG crowd will have an easy ride.
Regg says:
February 4, 2011 at 10:39 am
“Quite frankly Dr. Pielke Sr. it looks to me like a skirmish between two groups of scientist claiming the cause is this vs the cause is that. However, the outcome is the same – it’s warming and warming fast. And i think that when they talk about deniers, they’re not talking about the claims about the aerosols and the land changes you and others made. They are talking about those group of peoples or organizations saying nothing is happening and it’s all BS like some of the previous comments proposed above. Well reading your paper, you must feel the same way because those deniers are saying the same about what you wrote….”
Whilst I might disagree with you Reg that it is warming fast, the cause of the warming is crucial. Since if we spend a 100 trillion dollars curbing CO2 emissions and it turns out that CO2 is not the driver and the warming continues because it is due to natural variation and if this warming is a problem, then we will need to spend further trillions adapting. However, we now have a problem since we have used all the money in unsuccessfully mitigating and we are now bankrupt and we have curtailed industry such that we cannot mobilise the necessary resources so as to be able to adapt.
Accordingly, commonsense suggest that we should not attempt to mitigate by restricting CO2 emissions and just wait and see what happens. If there is a problem (and I doubt that there will be), the past geological record of this planet confirms there are no near tipping points, such that man will easily be able to adapt.

Bill Junga

Only eighteen! Maybe all that cold ice and snow falling out of the sky due, of course, to “global warming” prevented them from gathering more signatures.

BillD

The recipients of the letter should reply:
“Thank you for your letter. You are correct. CAGW is a settled issue. We no longer see a need to fund climate studies. Instead, we will only fund studies that seek to determine what strategies will best help us adapt to a warming globe.”
The ensuing response letter will be:
wait for it ….
“What luck! My most recent grant application is intended to do just that. Be generous in your funding.”

Hoser

D Caldwell says:
February 4, 2011 at 11:02 am
Hopefully, our current policymakers will easily see through their flimsy camouflage.
____________________________________
The camouflage is created for the policymakers to use. They are not interested in truth, whatever that is. They want justification for furthering their goals of taking more and more control over the economy and us.

Dear “Reminds me of another list..”
In case some people are TOO DENSE (Pb)…
That’s part of the list of German Scientists who declared “Relativity” a Jewish conspiracy to overthrow “established” science.
Score: National Socialists (0), Albert E. (100,000,000,000,000…ah, all relative anyway!)

Beesaman

I can’t wait for it to get colder, I know thousands, if not millions of folk will suffer and I know it will hit our economies hard. But nature is nature and it doesn’t really care about us (no matter what some dumb Gaia theory may say) at least then we can get science back from these mystic fools…

RockyRoad

Pull My Finger says:
February 4, 2011 at 9:51 am

Someone really needs to ask these guys how we will know if we do beat “Climage Change” since evidently Climate Change results in… hot, cold, dry, wet, snowy, rainy, arid, weather. Do we win when it is exactly 64 degrees over the entire earth and all weather patterns cease to exist, the polar ice caps melt, and it never rains again?

This idea can’t be emphasized enough, for when weather patterns cease, there are no temperature gradients, it doesn’t rain or snow–the result is a barren, dead planet.

C’mon w*****s, explain just this one and we will believe you.
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/alley2000/alley2000.html

Mike Jowsey

@ Regg: “However, the outcome is the same – it’s warming and warming fast. ”
This statement defines you as a warmist-alarmist. The other identifier is your use of the word “denier”. What exactly is being denied? A denier is someone who denies that something historically happened when the historical records show that it did happen. Michael Mann, for example, denies the LIA and MWP.
Remember the Little Ice Age? Thank goodness it’s warming since then, although it seems to have stalled since ’98. WUWT?