Rebuttal to the Climate Rapid Response Team

WUWT readers may recall this story: Pielke Sr. on the gang of 18 letter to congress

Now, other scientists have seen that 18, and raised the stakes. Their letter is below:


February 8, 2011

To the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate:

In reply to “The Importance of Science in Addressing Climate Change”

On 28 January 2011, eighteen scientists sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate urging them to “take a fresh look at climate change.” Their intent, apparently, was to disparage the views of scientists who disagree with their contention that continued business-as-usual increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the burning of coal, gas, and oil will lead to a host of cataclysmic climate-related problems.

We, the undersigned, totally disagree with them and would like to take this opportunity to briefly state our side of the story.

The eighteen climate alarmists (as we refer to them, not derogatorily, but simply because they view themselves as “sounding the alarm” about so many things climatic) state that the people of the world “need to prepare for massive flooding from the extreme storms of the sort being experienced with increasing frequency,” as well as the “direct health impacts from heat waves” and “climate-sensitive infectious diseases,” among a number of other devastating phenomena. And they say that “no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet’s climate,” which is understood to mean their view of what is happening to Earth’s climate.

To these statements, however, we take great exception. It is the eighteen climate alarmists who appear to be unaware of “what is happening to our planet’s climate,” as well as the vast amount of research that has produced that knowledge.

For example, a lengthy review of their claims and others that climate alarmists frequently make can be found on the Web site of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (see http://www.co2science.org/education/reports/prudentpath/prudentpath.php). That report offers a point-by-point rebuttal of all of the claims of the “group of eighteen,” citing in every case peer-reviewed scientific research on the actual effects of climate change during the past several decades.

If the “group of eighteen” pleads ignorance of this information due to its very recent posting, then we call their attention to an even larger and more comprehensive report published in 2009, Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). That document has been posted for more than a year in its entirety at www.nipccreport.org.

These are just two recent compilations of scientific research among many we could cite. Do the 678 scientific studies referenced in the CO2 Science document, or the thousands of studies cited in the NIPCC report, provide real-world evidence (as opposed to theoretical climate model predictions) for global warming-induced increases in the worldwide number and severity of floods? No. In the global number and severity of droughts? No. In the number and severity of hurricanes and other storms? No.

Do they provide any real-world evidence of Earth’s seas inundating coastal lowlands around the globe? No. Increased human mortality? No. Plant and animal extinctions? No. Declining vegetative productivity? No. More frequent and deadly coral bleaching? No. Marine life dissolving away in acidified oceans? No.

Quite to the contrary, in fact, these reports provide extensive empirical evidence that these things are not happening. And in many of these areas, the referenced papers report finding just the opposite response to global warming, i.e., biosphere-friendly effects of rising temperatures and rising CO2 levels.

In light of the profusion of actual observations of the workings of the real world showing little or no negative effects of the modest warming of the second half of the twentieth century, and indeed growing evidence of positive effects, we find it incomprehensible that the eighteen climate alarmists could suggest something so far removed from the truth as their claim that no research results have produced any evidence that challenges their view of what is happening to Earth’s climate and weather.

But don’t take our word for it. Read the two reports yourselves. And then make up your own minds about the matter. Don’t be intimidated by false claims of “scientific consensus” or “overwhelming proof.” These are not scientific arguments and they are simply not true.

Like the eighteen climate alarmists, we urge you to take a fresh look at climate change. We believe you will find that it is not the horrendous environmental threat they and others have made it out to be, and that they have consistently exaggerated the negative effects of global warming on the U.S. economy, national security, and public health, when such effects may well be small to negligible.

Signed by:

Syun-Ichi Akasofu, University of Alaska1

Scott Armstrong, University of Pennsylvania

James Barrante, Southern Connecticut State University1

Richard Becherer, University of Rochester

John Boring, University of Virginia

Roger Cohen, American Physical Society Fellow

David Douglass, University of Rochester

Don Easterbrook, Western Washington University1

Robert Essenhigh, The Ohio State University1

Martin Fricke, Senior Fellow, American Physical Society

Lee Gerhard, University of Kansas1

Ulrich Gerlach, The Ohio State University

Laurence Gould, University of Hartford

Bill Gray, Colorado State University1

Will Happer, Princeton University2

Howard Hayden, University of Connecticut1

Craig Idso, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change

Sherwood Idso, USDA, U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory1

Richard Keen, University of Colorado

Doral Kemper, USDA, Agricultural Research Service1

Hugh Kendrick, Office of Nuclear Reactor Programs, DOE1

Richard Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology2

Anthony Lupo, University of Missouri

Patrick Michaels, Cato Institute

Donald Nielsen, University of California, Davis1

Al Pekarek, St. Cloud State University

John Rhoads, Midwestern State University1

Nicola Scafetta, Duke University

Gary Sharp, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study

S. Fred Singer, University of Virginia1

Roy Spencer, University of Alabama

George Taylor, Past President, American Association of State Climatologists

Frank Tipler, Tulane University

Leonard Weinstein, National Institute of Aerospace Senior Research Fellow

Samuel Werner, University of Missouri1

Thomas Wolfram, University of Missouri1

1 – Emeritus or Retired

2 – Member of the National Academy of Sciences

Endorsed by:

Rodney Armstrong, Geophysicist

Edwin Berry, Certified Consulting Meteorologist

Joseph Bevelacqua, Bevelacqua Resources

Carmen Catanese, American Physical Society Member

Roy Clark, Ventura Photonics

John Coleman, Meteorologist KUSI TV

Darrell Connelly, Geophysicist

Joseph D’Aleo, Certified Consulting Meteorologist

Terry Donze, Geophysicist1

Mike Dubrasich, Western Institute for Study of the Environment

John Dunn, American Council on Science and Health of NYC

Dick Flygare, QEP Resources

Michael Fox, Nuclear industry/scientist

Gordon Fulks, Gordon Fulks and Associates

Ken Haapala, Science & Environmental Policy Project

Martin Hertzberg, Bureau of Mines1

Art Horn, Meteorologist

Keith Idso, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change

Jay Lehr, The Heartland Institute

Robert Lerine, Industrial and Defense Research and Engineering1

Peter Link, Geologist

James Macdonald, Chief Meteorologist for the Travelers Weather Service1

Roger Matson, Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists

Tony Pann, Meteorologist WBAL TV

Ned Rasor, Consulting Physicist

James Rogers, Geologist1

Norman Rogers, National Association of Scholars

Thomas Sheahen, Western Technology Incorporated

Andrew Spurlock, Starfire Engineering and Technologies, Inc.

Leighton Steward, PlantsNeedCO2.org

Soames Summerhays, Summerhays Films, Inc.

Charles Touhill, Consulting Environmental Engineer

David Wojick, Climatechangedebate.org

1 – Emeritus or Retired

Letter in PDF form: TruthAboutClimateChangeOpenLetter

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My math is not very good,
but it looks like that is more than 18 in that rebuttal
to the Climate Rapid Response Team.
Well done and bravo!

John from CA

Wonderful — hopefully this will find its way to Governor Brown’s desk.

Matt

I would add my name to the list of endorsers.
Matthew R. Epp, PE
State of Wyoming, Civil and Mechanical,

Golf Charley

Could this be copied to all Members of Parliament at the UK House of Commons please?

Robw

Or” the team” could look out the window!

Hank Hancock

Bravo! I think the point by point rebuttal should have been included in the letter rather than offered as a web link. But, then again, adding it would have made the letter longer and we know congress persons won’t read anything more than a few pages anyway (like multi-thousand page bills they pass).

ozspeaksup

wonderful! quite made my day:-)

John V. Wright

Get in there you little beauties! A rapid, co-ordinated and cogent response from some distinguished protectors of the good name of science. From the UK, we salute and thank you.
Can’t wait to read Joe Romm’s coverage of all this. Oh, wait….

David

GolfCharley – just make sure that Chris Booker and/or James Delingpole of The Telegraph are aware of it – they’ll hopefully add their twopennyworth and plaster it over that auguste journal…

TFNJ

Excellent.

Cassandra King

What a breath of fresh air, simply intoxicating common sense and a perfect riposte to the alarmist letter. Anyone with an open mind reading the two side by side would see the difference in tone straight away.
The alarmist letter actually told quite a big lie, I suppose they believed they had to deny any contrary research because their own is so thin but to the actual recipients of the letter it surely looks like a personal insult in that the recipient is not judged competent enough or intelligent enough to weigh both arguments on their merits.
One letter seeks to deny the reader access to the fuller picture and the other strives to highlight that indeed there is such a fuller more rounded picture. If I were the recipient of the first letter I would be quite offended and not a little pissed at the arrogant and condescending tone. In fact judging the letter solely on its ability to persuade in a respectful manner I saw a pretty disastrous attempt to lecture a child, oooops not a great idea with politicians who have a well defined ego.
Epic fail for alarmism when the two are read together and I think it is going to rank with the snuff movie killing of deniers and their kids ‘no pressure’ in terms of failure to properly judge their target audience, it does seem that the alarmists are terrible at message presentation expertise.

Severian

In times past, loyalty to the cause of AGW was to be found everywhere. The will of the Group of Eighteen was the will of everyone.

DCC

… a lengthy review of their claims and others that climate alarmists frequently make can be found on the Web site of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change:
http://www.co2science.org/education/reports/prudentpath/prudentpath.php
“Lengthy” doesn’t begin to describe that report! When will people, especially scientists, learn to write????

ThomasJ

That’s great! Ok, it’s for the ‘US-side’ of the Atlantic, but methink it could be enhanced + more useful if there were some well known scientists [and others] from i.e. Europe, Australia, Africa. Maybe that’s workable for a version 2? 😉
Brgds/TJ

RockyRoad

These 18 climsci people are clueless–they have no more understanding of “concensus science” than they do “climate science”. Someday they’ll wake up and realize how foolish they really are–they would do well to investigate the abundant eye rolling, tongue wagging, and head shaking they cause in the educated masses.

Madman2001

Well done!

art johnson

I can’t convey how happy this makes me. How relieved. I can’t pick up a newspaper these days or turn on the radio without getting my guts all twisted up. We need to stand up and fight. And when I say “we,” I mean of course the good folks with the credentials and scientific background sufficient to cause any fair minded person to understand that there is nothing settled about this so-called science.
Thanks to all you brave folks for scoring one for the “deniers,” a term I wear more proudly all the time….

To remind:
a Letter by 18 different scientific organizations to Senators concerning climate change legislation dated 21.Oct.2009,
Posted by Jeff Id on November 13, 2009, together with a reply, at: http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/open-letter/

CRS, Dr.P.H.

Don’t be intimidated by false claims of “scientific consensus” or “overwhelming proof.” These are not scientific arguments and they are simply not true.
Sounds like classic Richard Lindzen to me!

Keith Battye

Very good , but will it open closed minds?

Richard S Courtney

Excellent!
Now, can we organise a similar letter by European scientists for presentation to the European Commission? Surely, there must be sufficient European scientists willing to put our heads above the parapet, or am I being naive?
Richard

Thanks for posting this, Anthony. I hope someone on the “skeptic” side can keep a running commentary on what happens with the AGW defenestration in this Congress (and also Parliaments in Australia and Britain). I think things will move like an avalanche, once they get going.

This document and its references provides the one-stop summary of the true state of climate knowledge that I have wanted. Many thanks.

Duster

DCC says:
February 8, 2011 at 8:55 am
“Lengthy” doesn’t begin to describe that report! When will people, especially scientists, learn to write????
Not many scientists like to write. What they do like is data and analysis, a feeling that they have at last understood something. Among other things that is really why the AGW crowd are so defensive, the sceptical view argues they are wrong and do not understand the climate. Scientific writing is the way it is for a purpose. It violates every rule of “effective” writing because the purpose is to communicate accurately, including all areas of uncertainty, grey areas, information lack, etc. The assumption is that the reader is there for “the facts,” not an entertaining rant, or to be sold, or have an ego buff and polish. A “scientific document” that is not dense and thick with qualifications is probably not offering science, but “sales.”

There never was a real consensus that CO2 was a problem. The consensus is only among media outlets.
This might be a good place to recall the 31,000+ scientists who co-signed the OISM Petition, including over 9,000 PhD’s. The Petition reads in part:

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.
[my emphasis]

Thirty one thousand, versus eighteen. Where’s the real consensus?☺

Doug Proctor

Man, what a p***ing match we are in! Testosterone and masculinity must be involved. If this were 1870 we’d be enacting the story for High Noon, except that both sides would claim to be Gary Cooper.

R. de Haan

Great move, it’s much appreciated.

joe

it looked to me like the wrong graph was put into section 10 of that co2 report. it looks like the land-air co2 transfer anomoly graph from section 8.

joe

i mean the co2 science report (refered to)
REPLY: that’s equally helpful 🙁

The NIPCC report, which is approvingly cited in this letter, offers a very weak and tendentious argument.
Evidence that points to a human contribution to the warming is waved away as being too uncertain, whereas even the flimsiest piece of circumstantial evidence is taken as rock solid proof that humans are not to blame.
The report is based on an unfounded faith in negative feedbacks from nature (due to strong aerosol cooling), which are hypothetical with sometimes sketchy, often contradictory, and sometimes no evidence of actually operating at a globally significant scale.
Lindzen is a signer of this letter, even though he puts forward the hypothesis that aerosol cooling is negligible, in direct contradiction to the NIPCC report, which sais that aerosol cooling is underestimated! I guess the contradiction doesn’t matter, as long as it can be argued that humans are not to blame.
Perhaps time to develop a critical look into more than just one direction.

For a critical look at the NIPCC report, see e.g. here:
http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/the-nipcc-report/

rob m.

@John Who: But how many are Climate Scientists?
/sarc

joe

the co2 science report refered to in the letter.
url: http://www.co2science.org/education/reports/prudentpath/prudentpath.php

Kev-in-Uk

Just a thought – is this being posted somewhere where others could add their endorsement?
Maybe, a petition type site could host it? Several tens of thousands would certainly outweigh the list of 18 – though it may make them look a little unsupported!

joe

forget it. i emailed my concern to craig idsho and boy does that guy move quick. (its been fixed)

hunter

If I was a Congressional member, this obvious conflict would lead me to doing a very thorough review of this.
Clearly things are not as the group of 18 claim.

Wolfman

I would like to associate myself with the response to the group of 18. For DCC, the detailed response is necessary to do a detailed dissection of the scientific issues. It isn’t intended to be a readable precis; rather, it allows the expert to consider each of the AGW claims using robust responses from peer reviewed sources. The group of 18 are representative of governmental, NGO and UN groups that have adopted a view that AGW is “settled science.”
The question remains open for the most skeptics. Assertions such at the group of 18 letter and the AMS lecture by Trenberth are aimed at squelching skepticism and asserting cataclysmic danger if governments don’t act. In the US, we are facing a de facto ban on exploitation of available carbon-based fuels, the diversion of grains to make ethanol which is universally recognized a boondoggle, and the coming draconian restrictions by the EPA which will impact not only heavy industry but transportation, light industry, and individuals will continue to strangle economic recovery. Political instability in the third world (Tunisia, Egypt, etc.) includes a major element of panic over food prices which are greatly exacerbated by the CO2 hysteria and developed world policies that limit economic and agricultural growth in Africa and Asia.
The policy prescriptions and economic impacts on the west have a much greater danger of being cataclysmic in the short and medium term than any prospective impact of AGW.

Environmental science has landed itself in a deep pit from where it may never emerge whole. I have included and dissected this letter in our Hall-of-shame – lest we forget.
http://www.seafriends.org.nz/issues/global/hall_of_shame.htm#NAS_letter and there are more amazing statements, worth reading.

R. de Haan

Willi Dansgaard passes, LA Times botches obit
The L.A. Times notes the passing of pioneer ice core scientist Willi Dansgaard but neglects to mention that the “clear link between carbon dioxide and methane concentrations and global temperatures” found in his ice cores shows that CO2 and CH4 increase follows temperature increase, not vice versa.
http://www.heliogenic.net/2011/02/07/willi-dansgaard-passes-l-a-times-botches-obit/

Tom_R

>> Bart Verheggen says:
February 8, 2011 at 10:41 am
For a critical look at the NIPCC report, see e.g. here: <<
Starting off with an Ad Hom and putting skeptics in scare quotes makes it easy to ignore the rest as a typical religious screed from the church of CAGW.

Lady Life Grows

On my computer, there was ad adfor SimUText just below your report. It is worth noting that it had a picture of a polar bear on a small iceberg. Last Summer, I took an undergraduate level course in animal Ecology, and SimUText was used as part of that course. It was a simulation of moose and wolves on a Canadian island. It was conceded that warmer temperatures meant more plants, and that this would mean more moose if there were no wolves. But the program was set to oscillate more wildly in wolves reducing-moose-until-their-population-crashed-resulting-in wolf-crash, in higher temperatures, which meant that higher temperatures caused extinction of the moose and then the wolves. That is how dishonest biologists can be. More food, more moose results in extinction. Sure.
—-
I like the statement above except that it was still too apologetic and polite–maybe there is not such a problem. The actual evidence was that belief in global warming poses a serious threat to the biosphere. That is why I spend time on this site (well, ok, and my fellow posters are terribly funny). I want more life on Earth, and these lies threaten even the life we already have. It is NOT merely expensive. It is a threat to human well-being. And if humans starve to death as a result of 180 degrees wrong actions, the wild world will NOT be better off, but much worse. Not only will starving humans pressure wild areas more, but wildlife will also feel the damaging effects directly. Extinctions could come from all this false alarmism.

Olaus Petri

To top this rebuttal (or is it rebutt Al?) the Schtickteam need some fresh algoreitms:

TonyK

Golf Charley says:
February 8, 2011 at 8:15 am
Could this be copied to all Members of Parliament at the UK House of Commons please?
I wouldn’t worry too much about that. If the US government decided to take a long, hard look at this issue and came down on the heretics’ side (I really do think that’s a better term), it would be extremely difficult for the government of our tiny little island to persuade the people that draconian measures were needed. Of course, it all depends on what happens now. Here’s hoping…….

Delingpole has been notified

Will Delson

What’s the difference between “signed by” and “endorsed by”?

GlenB

The main problem I see is that in the “letter of 18” every name had “Dr” in front of it, whereas In this letter the names have none. A congress-person will simply say “18 Doctors versus 45 nobodies – the 18 wins!” because congress-people aren’t the smartest people around.

Wondering Aloud

I am not a specialist in climate Mr. Verheggen but even I can tell that the standard of accuracy you are critical of is very far highter than the accuracy of your own supposed refutation. Your immediate citation of RealClimate as if it was a legitimate and honest source of anything makes the entire screed surreal.
One thing is certain the information and conclusions in the NIPCC report have not been widely disproven by actual experiment. The same can not be said for the IPCC report.
After careful review of the materials you discuss I can’t find any “Evidence that points to a human contribution to the warming”. I can find straw men and wild assertions mixed with large doses of wild speculation and a blindness to the lack of accuracy in the instrument record. I can find uninterrupted data fudging coupled with ex post facto “corrections” that are unexplained and wildly illogical. I can find raw data by the ream that suggests that there not only is no proven human caused warming but where the best maintained data sets can’t find any warming of any kind without fudging them beyond recognition.
Are these the observations you wanted us to make? Perhaps you would like to give us an example of a positive feedback system that could remain relatively stable over millions of years? Perhaps you would like to lead us to evidence (not gigo computer models) that cloud feedbacks are actually positive since that fact is absolutely essential if the IPCC report is not completely wastepaper?
Heck, I would be happy if you could just explain the natural variation of the glacial-interglacial cycle without contradicting the entire premise of AGW.

Mike Spilligan

An excellent, succinct review and repudiation of all the main hysterical headlines that the media love so much. Thank you all.

John from CA
Phred

GlenB says:
February 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm
“The main problem I see is that in the “letter of 18″ every name had “Dr” in front of it, whereas In this letter the names have none. A congress-person will simply say “18 Doctors versus 45 nobodies – the 18 wins!” because congress-people aren’t the smartest people around.”
I think most, if not all, are “Doctors”:
Akasofu: earned a B.S. and a M.S. in geophysics at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, in 1953 and 1957. respectively. He earned a Ph.D in geophysics at UAF in 1961
Armstrong received his B.A. in applied science (1959) and his B.S. in industrial engineering (1960) from Lehigh University. In 1965, he received his M.S. in industrial administration from Carnegie-Mellon University. He received his Ph.D. in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1968.
James R. Barrante, Professor of Chemistry – M.A and Ph.D. in Chemistry — Harvard University B.A. in Chemistry — University of Connecticut
Richard Becherer, BS (Physics, Boston College), MS (Physics, University of Illinois), PhD (Optics, University of Rochester),
Just a quick look at the first four…