Confessions of a 'Greenpeace Dropout' to the U.S. Senate on climate change

Update: I’m making this a top “sticky post” for a couple of days, new stories will appear below this one.

UPDATE: 2/27 3PM PST Dr. Moore leaves a comment, see below.

Our friend Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, went before the U.S. Senate yesterday to tell his story as it relates to global warming/climate change. It is well worth your time to read. WUWT readers may recall that since Dr. Moore has decided to speak out against global warming and for Golden Rice, Greenpeace is trying to disappear his status with the organization, much like people were disappeared in Soviet Russia.

Statement of Patrick Moore, Ph.D. Before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight

February 25, 2014

“Natural Resource Adaptation: Protecting ecosystems and economies”

Chairman Whitehouse, Ranking Member Inhofe, and members of the Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify at today’s hearing.

In 1971, as a PhD student in ecology I joined an activist group in a church basement in Vancouver Canada and sailed on a small boat across the Pacific to protest US Hydrogen bomb testing in Alaska. We became Greenpeace.

After 15 years in the top committee I had to leave as Greenpeace took a sharp turn to the political left, and began to adopt policies that I could not accept from my scientific perspective. Climate change was not an issue when I abandoned Greenpeace, but it certainly is now.

There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years. If there were such a proof it would be written down for all to see. No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states: “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” (My emphasis)

“Extremely likely” is not a scientific term but rather a judgment, as in a court of law. The IPCC defines “extremely likely” as a “95-100% probability”. But upon further examination it is clear that these numbers are not the result of any mathematical calculation or statistical analysis. They have been “invented” as a construct within the IPCC report to express “expert judgment”, as determined by the IPCC contributors.

These judgments are based, almost entirely, on the results of sophisticated computer models designed to predict the future of global climate. As noted by many observers, including Dr. Freeman Dyson of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies, a computer model is not a crystal ball. We may think it sophisticated, but we cannot predict the future with a computer model any more than we can make predictions with crystal balls, throwing bones, or by appealing to the Gods.

Perhaps the simplest way to expose the fallacy of “extreme certainty” is to look at the historical record. With the historical record, we do have some degree of certainty compared to predictions of the future. When modern life evolved over 500 million years ago, CO2 was more than 10 times higher than today, yet life flourished at this time. Then an Ice Age occurred 450 million years ago when CO2 was 10 times higher than today. There is some correlation, but little evidence, to support a direct causal relationship between CO2 and global temperature through the millennia. The fact that we had both higher temperatures and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today fundamentally contradicts the certainty that human-caused CO2 emissions are the main cause of global warming.

Today we remain locked in what is essentially still the Pleistocene Ice Age, with an average global temperature of 14.5°C. This compares with a low of about 12°C during the periods of maximum glaciation in this Ice Age to an average of 22°C during the Greenhouse Ages, which occurred over longer time periods prior to the most recent Ice Age. During the Greenhouse Ages, there was no ice on either pole and all the land was tropical and sub-tropical, from pole to pole. As recently as 5 million years ago the Canadian Arctic islands were completely forested. Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species. There is ample reason to believe that a sharp cooling of the climate would bring disastrous results for human civilization.

Moving closer to the present day, it is instructive to study the record of average global temperature during the past 130 years. The IPCC states that humans are the dominant cause of warming “since the mid-20th century”, which is 1950. From 1910 to 1940 there was an increase in global average temperature of 0.5°C over that 30-year period. Then there was a 30-year “pause” until 1970. This was followed by an increase of 0.57°C during the 30-year period from 1970 to 2000. Since then there has been no increase, perhaps a slight decrease, in average global temperature. This in itself tends to negate the validity of the computer models, as CO2 emissions have continued to accelerate during this time.

The increase in temperature between 1910-1940 was virtually identical to the increase between 1970-2000. Yet the IPCC does not attribute the increase from 1910- 1940 to “human influence.” They are clear in their belief that human emissions impact only the increase “since the mid-20th century”. Why does the IPCC believe that a virtually identical increase in temperature after 1950 is caused mainly by “human influence”, when it has no explanation for the nearly identical increase from 1910- 1940?

It is important to recognize, in the face of dire predictions about a 2°C rise in global average temperature, that humans are a tropical species. We evolved at the equator in a climate where freezing weather did not exist. The only reasons we can survive these cold climates are fire, clothing, and housing. It could be said that frost and ice are the enemies of life, except for those relatively few species that have evolved to adapt to freezing temperatures during this Pleistocene Ice Age. It is “extremely likely” that a warmer temperature than today’s would be far better than a cooler one.

I realize that my comments are contrary to much of the speculation about our climate that is bandied about today. However, I am confident that history will bear me out, both in terms of the futility of relying on computer models to predict the future, and the fact that warmer temperatures are better than colder temperatures for most species.

If we wish to preserve natural biodiversity, wildlife, and human well being, we should simultaneously plan for both warming and cooling, recognizing that cooling would be the most damaging of the two trends. We do not know whether the present pause in temperature will remain for some time, or whether it will go up or down at some time in the near future. What we do know with “extreme certainty” is that the climate is always changing, between pauses, and that we are not capable, with our limited knowledge, of predicting which way it will go next.

Thank you for the opportunity to present my views on this important subject.

Attached please find the chapter on climate change from my book, “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist”. I would request it be made part of the record.

=================================================================

For that chapter, please see the PDF of his testimony, here: 22514HearingWitnessTestimonyMoore

=================================================================

UPDATE: 2/27 3PM PST Dr. Moore adds this comment:

Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow)

Submitted on 2014/02/27 at 2:53 pm

Nice to see so many positive and informative comments. It does pain me to see my Wikipedia entry cited. It was largely written by my enemies and it is very difficult to change as the editors don’t like people to write their own biographies. I trust Wiki only for non-political entries, Boron, for example.

For a factual account of the founding of Greenpeace see: http://www.beattystreetpublishing.com/who-are-the-founders-of-greenpeace-2/

I have placed my testimony and the three supporting graphs/tables in Dropbox. They can be accessed here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s65ljwrbuetrrny/PadEn_XjT7

OK Climate Warriors, I’t’s time for serious discussion to separate Fact from Opinion, Fact from Inference, and Fact from Prediction. One would hope the average Grade 9 mind could make the distinctions.

If you wish to read my full text on climate it is the last chapter of my book “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout” available on amazon.com as ebook or print here: http://goo.gl/E4M5op

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Rob Ricket

Bravo Dr. Moore!

Forrest

Brilliant, well spoken, and the heart of why we a re skeptical over the math of the IPCC and people who are afraid of a warmer climate.

Lancifer666

Wow, what a fantastic synthesis of the important facets of the climate change controversy.

bilbaoboy

Nice one.
Simple enough even for politicians.

Peter Miller

No wonder the Greenpeace politburo are spitting nails about Patrick Moore.
One of its founders has seen the light and spoken out. His statement is riddled with common sense and facts, both are things which are abhorred by the Greenpeace hierarchy.
However, he will be outnumbered by alarmist stooges at the hearing, who will be primarily interested in preserving their comfortable lifestyles and basking in their own fame, rather than providing any scientific objectivity.

Do we know what the response is to this yet?

Excellent.
“There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years. If there were such a proof it would be written down for all to see. No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.”
Well, that’s debatable.
No, wait, no it isn’t – the debate is over!
[Vinnie Barbarino]I’m so confused![/Vinnie Barbarino}

Doug Jones

Typo in the title: dropout, not droput. Meta: a dropout in the dropout!
[Fixed, thanx. ~mod.]

JimS

Dr. Moore will obviously be relieved of his position in the 97% consensus.

Steve Keohane

Seems reasonable to me from what I’ve read of paleontology and paleo-anthropology for the past 50+ years.

Peter Whale

The dirty trick brigade will be out with lies and innuendos in no time. Best to ignore until they step over the line and then back Patrick Moore with funds to sue.

John West

“Then there was a 30-year “pause” until 1970.”
Uh, no. Then there was a 30 year cooling trend that caused many to raise the alarm over global cooling due to burning fossil fuels that has since been adjusted out of the record confounding any attempts at pattern recognition analysis.

George

I am glad to see that Dr. Moore takes the viewpoint of Geology, and recognizes the magnitude of time that we have to work with. Such a perspective results in his observation that “warmer is better” for life in general. The lush and verdant Earth we see in the geologic record was a result of average global temperatures at least 10 degrees Celsius warmer than the present.

There is an error in the transcript.
Where he said “man” he meant “Mann.”
Time to sue.
/Mann off

Box of Rocks

Heretic.

John V. Wright

An absolutely first-class exposition of the skeptic viewpoint from someone with a scientific background who witnessed at first hand the left’s politicisation of global warming and other issues. Keep this essay to hand and send it to people who ask you as to why you do not share the “consensus” on global warming.
As ever, thank you to Anthony for publishing this on his website. Polite, calm and factual is the only way to go.

Ossqss

Good to see additional efforts at the government level to bring forth facts. Bravo!
Now , as I placed this in tips and notes also, here is an opportunity to do the same at a local level. Of those qualified readers of this blog, how many would be accepted into the program referenced in the last paragragh of this blog post? http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/article.html?entrynum=2637

Henry Galt.

He obviously reads WUWT. Often 😉
The primary problem – his, ours and all those yet to discover the extreme crapulence embedded within the-climate-nonsense – is that many have stated exactly what he states, multiple times. It is nauseating and wears us all down.
Governments, the once-venerated societies and the meeja will turn a deaf eye. Yet again.

Alan Robertson

21st Century Pleistocene man

David L. Hagen

Dr. Patrick Moore gave a well reasoned presentation of the scientific evidence on climate.
PS Correction Re: “This report was signed by more than 31,000 American scientists”.
Those were 31,478 signatures were by persons with university degrees in science, including 9,029 with PhDs. They were collected by the Global Warming Petition Project . Those signatures were appended to the 2009 NIPCC report Climate Change Reconsidered as Appendix 4, The Petition Project.

Mike H

His book is worth the read if you haven’t done so yet. Very interesting perspective.
Cheers

It is about time.

cnxtim

hear hear…

cnxtim

BTW typo in heading ‘droput’
[thank you, fixed – mod]

Ossqss says:
February 26, 2014 at 8:13 am
Of those qualified readers of this blog, how many would be accepted into the program referenced in the last paragragh of this blog post? http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/article.html?entrynum=2637

How many would be accepted?
Answer: None
Why?
“…goal of bringing scientists and their local communities together for real dialogue on climate science that speaks to citizens’ current and future well-being and responsibility as members of a community and democracy.’
Real “dialogue on climate science” would probably be boring to most and other than “be prepared” for changes in weather (a service provided by most TV networks already), what else needs to be said to the general public? Well, other than ignore the alarmism.
Besides, wouldn’t most of us here in the US want folks to be responsible members of a community and a republic?

Bernd Palmer

Excellent chain of logical arguments for a sustainable result. “Warmer is better” fir mankind. Sure is, we are the only living species (living in the atmosphere) without feathers or furs, Our life depends on the availability of green plants.

Insufficiently Sensitive

Lovely to hear him speak as a real scientist would, furnishing perspective and readily admitting lack of sufficient data to draw the conclusions that so many politicians have done – and many so-called ‘scientists’ as well.

David L. Hagen says:
February 26, 2014 at 8:21 am
Dr. Patrick Moore gave a well reasoned presentation of the scientific evidence on climate.
PS Correction Re: “This report was signed by more than 31,000 American scientists”.
Those were 31,478 signatures were by persons with university degrees in science, including 9,029 with PhDs. They were collected by the Global Warming Petition Project . Those signatures were appended to the 2009 NIPCC report Climate Change Reconsidered as Appendix 4, The Petition Project.

Even if only signed by one “scientist”, these words:
“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.”
bear repeating early and often.

Really well said.

Vince Causey

An excellent concise summary of the skeptic’s position. All the arguments are there, even challenging the ridiculous 95% probability that the warming is caused by humans.
I am especially pleased that Patrick Moore explained that when you look to the IPCC report for the calculation behind the 95%, there is none. This fact alone is enough to blow the probability assertion out of the water.
Look, you can say for example that you have a 1/14 million probability of winning the National Lottery and know that it is based on the number of possible combinations of numbers that exist. You can even bring in real probability values for natural events such as being killed in a car accident. This would be a function of the number of fatal car accidents and the number of journey’s made.
But how would you go about finding the probability that the current warming is mostly caused by humans? If it could be done, you would need to know the number of ways that the planet could warm and by what proportion each of these ways would account for the total warming. There would also be the number of ways that the planet could cool which would act in the opposite direction and all these values would need to be combined with each other. It is clear from our present understanding that we have little idea about any of these things so it is impossible to supply a probability value to any particular one, including human causes.
The claim that they have such a figure and it is 95% is the greatest lie of the climate scam.

JimS

@Jeff Id
“Really well said.”
I agree. It is a keeper.

Jim Brock

Very good presentation. Short. Simple. To the point.

Amen Dr. Moore. Could not have said it better myself. I read your book and agree with most of what you say in it. It is so refreshing to see someone like you giving us the scientific facts today about climate and environmental protection rather than the campaigns of lies and scaremongering we are getting from the eco-left. Climate and environmental protection need to be based on science, facts, logic and reasoning — and nothing else.
If you were an American rather than Canadian, I couldn’t think of anyone better than you to head up the EPA. You would be a major improvement over the woman in charge of it now. God bless you sir.

John Tyler

Good to hear that some folks are honest and simply seek the truth.
Patrick Moore will now face extermination by the AGW Nazis and our GOVERNMENT media. He will disappear from public view . Recall that some newspapers have decided they will PROHIBIT any articles or op-ed that counter the AGW Nazi propaganda. Expect very soon that the Government propaganda TV “news” networks will do likewise. Also, the Harvard Crimson ( soon to be renamed Die Sturmer) is agitating that all research not “socially responsible” be terminated at Harvard, where the definition of “socially responsible” is determined by those who declare themselves ” socially responsible progressives.” This, of course is in the spirit of the Bolsheviks who declared that the ” kulaks” be exterminated or the policies of Hitler, in which his National-Socialist party DEFINED the untermensch and their role in society ( i.e., be killed ).
We ALL must understand that the AGW mindset is IDENTICAL to that of the Nazis or Bolsheviks, and neither of those two ideologies was beneficial to mankind. It is very disheartening to see that the major scientific organizations have jumped on the AGW wagon and have remained silent as the AGW Nazi thugs destroy any skeptic of the AGW thesis. The mainstream scientific organization wiill rue the day they chose to join hands – explicitly or, via their silence, implicitly , with the AGW thugs.
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.”

James Ard

That had to make Senator Whitehouse squirm in his seat. Well done.

Harry Passfield

Patrick Moore: “If there were such a proof it would be written down for all to see.”
That, for me, says it all. I shall use it on many occasions, I am sure. And the first occasion is when I send a copy of this to my MP with a request that he pass it on to David Cameron and Ed Miliband – who has said in Parliament that “Climate change deniers should not be allowed in to positions of power within government” (PMQs, 12:25-ish, 26 Feb 2014)

DavidG

A wonderful development, the ‘rats’ are jumping ship!! Now let’s remove their tax free foundations and seize their money!!:)

crabalocker

Sadly, Dr. Moore will be another victim of the big oil fallacy!

i knew someone who was on the original boat for a short time and he said on the boat they had a form of autocratic democracy. Often they would have a meeting where they would discuss everything that needed doing and have votes then at the end an intimidating earth mother type would over ride all that and then proceed to TELL them what they all were ‘really going to do’ lol

Nancy C

Sean P Chatterton says:
February 26, 2014 at 7:48 am
Do we know what the response is to this yet?
Yes, Sen. Whitehouse said something about the bay by his house being really deep. I didn’t see it, but that’s what happened.

Great Essay! Hits upon several ignored facts.
“these numbers are not the result of any mathematical calculation or statistical analysis. They have been “invented” as a construct within the IPCC report”
The money line right there. I still can’t believe we’ve come so far on so little evidence!

albertalad

So simply and yet so brilliant even a politician can understand. His words resonate, and linger in your mind – that is their awesome power. They linger and disturb – and come back at you ringing with a beauty and elegance that is at the very heart and soul of science itself. Indeed we are that tropical species – “The only reasons we can survive these cold climates are fire, clothing, and housing.”
I know exactly what that means here in my Northern Alberta climate – its special elegance is talking to me where I live. The first time any scientists of today reminded me of how I can live in a beautiful country like Canada. As he did with every sitting member in that room. These words linger long after the speaker leaves. That is their power.

Robertv

By now we all know that climate never was a problem but only one of the many means to change the world in a police state. For the State we no longer are humans we now are reduced to a number and numbers don’t have human rights.

mick

I live in the Fraser Valley near Vancouver and it has been cold. The Daily weather app that I have on my palm device and Environment Canada are reporting 4 Degrees C. The thermometer is telling me 1 Degree C. It feels like freezing so I will trust the Themometer and my good sense. I wonder if these inflated temperatures are the ones that are used to calculate the year average.
The high yesterday was predicted to be 12 Deg C yet it was observed to be about 4-5 Deg C. today they have given the same 12 deg high predicted. No way we will see 12 degrees out here today.yet this is what they are reporting.
In other laughable news The Vancouver sun is saying that the Acidity of the ocean is killing scallops. This is the Bold headline across the top of the newspaper. Very scary stuff.

Peter Kirby

If I am not mistaken Patrick Moore died on 9th December 2012. According to this post he gave evidence to a committee on 25th February 2014. How?

Alan the Brit

Excellent presentation! Dr Moore is very wise & solid & practical.

Jenn Oates

Exactly. Well-stated, three huzzahs, a big standing O.
Thank you.

John Greenfraud

Checkmate:
“We may think it sophisticated, but we cannot predict the future with a computer model any more than we can make predictions with crystal balls, throwing bones, or by appealing to the Gods.”

peter kirby
lol i doubt if ‘sky at night’ Patrick Moore ever went near an environmentalist boat although he was a navigator in Bomber Command
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Moore

Greg

Thanks to Dr. Patrick Moore. That CO2 was 4000 ppm in the past and the seas did not boil is a fact most people have never heard of. It really does make a mockery of the whole idea that we may be on the verge of some dramatic “tipping point” at around 400 ppm.
I myself was a registered GreenPeace supporter in the early 80s. That involved sending a regular payment. I left in the mid 80s, when I realised that they were becoming more interested in glossy merchandising than the inspiring and courageous direct action with which Patrick Moore and his group caught the public imagination and inspired a generation.
I can only imagine that when he looks at what has become of the movement he started, he must feel like a parent whose teenage son gets arrested for mugging an old lady and stealing her purse.
I hope some day to become what he calls a “sensible environmentalist” but right now I’m more inclined to spit and curse when I hear that word.
I felicit him on his courage, past and present and on getting this message where it matters.