An open letter and petition defending the American Museum of Natural History against irrational climate zealotry

The American Museum of Natural History has a long and honorable tradition of enlightening the world at large with outstanding scientific exhibits and public lectures. However, on January 25th, 2018, an open letter was submitted to the museum accusing them of being “anti-science” and promoting “climate science misinformation”, and in particular, vilifying a scientifically-engaged trustee of the museum, Rebekah Mercer.

Protesters at the American Museum of Natural History in New York on Sunday. Records show that Rebekah Mercer’s family foundation supports groups that reject established climate science. Credit Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket, via Getty Images

The lead signatory on the letter was Dr. James Powell, a geochemist who has written extensively about his belief that there is a secretive cabal of vested interests “attacking science” and promoting “misinformation” about climate science for sinister reasons, e.g., his 2011 book, “The inquisition of climate science”. Powell and many of the other signatories have argued that those who disagree with them on any aspect of climate change are “anti-science” and that their opinions should be suppressed. Ironically, this idea of suppressing opposing scientific views is the very antithesis of scientific inquiry.

Yet, in this particular case, while the January 25th letter purports to be about an alleged example of “anti-science”, the letter’s vilification of the American Museum of Natural History, and of one of its trustees seems to be purely ideological. Powell and his co-signatories are complaining about two sentences on the label for a particular exhibit on the fourth floor of the museum.

The exhibit which was installed in 1993 summarised the scientific consensus at the time on “what caused the Ice Ages?”:

“The causes of the Ice Ages are not fully understood, but we know some factors that led to the first growth of the polar ice sheets. One was a decline in world temperatures over the previous 30 million years. Another was the formation, about 3 million years ago, of the Isthmus of Panama, which connected North and South America and diverted the oceans’ circulation to a more northward pattern. Since the first northern-hemisphere glaciers formed, 2.6 million years ago, the polar ice caps have expanded and contracted in response to variations in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, causing cold spells alternating with warmer periods, like the one we live in now.

There is no reason to believe that another Ice Age won’t come. In the past, warm cycles lasted about 10,000 years, and it’s been that long since last cool period. Human-made pollutants may also have an effect on the Earth’s climatic cycles.”

On January 6th, a visitor to the museum, Dr. Jonah Busch, objected on Twitter to the last paragraph and claimed that the museum was “promoting misinformation on climate change”. In particular, he objected to the use of the word “may” in the sentence “Human-made pollutants may also have an effect on the Earth’s climatic cycles” because the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report (2014), concluded (predominantly on the basis of computer model studies) that “Greenhouse gases emissions are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century”. However, when the exhibit had been installed in 1993, the IPCC was far more equivocal on the causes of recent warming, and in their 1st Assessment Report (1990) had concluded, “The size of the warming over the last century is broadly consistent with the predictions of climate models, but is also of the same magnitude as natural climate variability.”

It is true that, while the label is still correct, the IPCC’s perspective has changed over time. However, when the exhibit had been installed in 1993, the label accurately reflected the IPCC’s perspective.

Moreover, once the museum was alerted to the specific content of the label, they quickly responded (January 8th):

“Based on data, the content is not wrong – but it is showing its age (nearly 25 years). Were it written today, it would have different context and emphasis, and more recent scientific data, as current exhibitions/more recent halls do. In the more recent Hall of Planet Earth, for example, exhibits point to the rise of atmospheric CO2 due to human activities, and to evidence for increases in pollutants from human activity recorded in ice core layers.”

This bears no resemblance to the claims of “anti-science propaganda” or “climate science misinformation” which Powell and his co-signatories are accusing the museum of. The exhibit in question was just one of many, and although now quite old, accurately reflected the scientific opinions at the time it was installed. And, Powell and his co-signatories agree that the museum’s response was both prompt and reasonable.

More importantly, Rebekah Mercer did not join the museum’s board of trustees until 2013 – 20 years after that 1993 exhibit had been installed. We appreciate that Powell and many of his co- signatories might have different political views from Rebekah Mercer. But, they are not entitled to use the false claims of “anti-science propaganda” and “climate science misinformation” for their ideological campaigns.

In response to the January 25th letter, we commend the Museum and its trustees for their promotion of science, and their efforts in science education. The signers of this letter include many scientists and we are definitively “pro-science” and are opposed to “climate science misinformation”. However, the letter by Powell and his co-signatories is itself anti-science and ideologically-driven.

All of us urge the Museum trustees not to cave in to this pressure.

Here is the letter along with hundreds of signatories, sent to the museum officials and its trustees today. Some notable signatories include Freeman Dyson, Richard Lindzen, and Ivar Giaever.

AMNH18-Feb4-PetitionLetter (PDF)

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Burn the witch!
I say we test her to see if she is a witch. We throw her into the water. If she sinks, she dies and is not a witch. If she floats, she must be made of wood, and therefore is a witch and we burn her!

qneill

It’s a fair cop.

John harmsworth

Put her outside in the spring. If it is warm enough, she will survive and we can assume Global Warming is real and burn her. If she freezes to death it is Gaia;s punishment and we can still burn her for warmth!

Better still, test the CO2 “greenhouse effect” by throwing her into a room of concentrated CO2 and see whether she catches fire. If she does catch fire, then she is a witch, and the CO2 will have done her justice. If she does not burn, then burn all CO2 climate alarmist writings at the stake.
The name calling in the open letter complaining about her is priceless proof of “anti-science”, by the way.
What a bunch of pompous, self-righteous clowns!

It seems to me that this goes beyond name calling, and rises to the level of libel. The museum and MS Mercer should sue the Bas&%#$s!

notfubar

she turned me into a newt!

notfubar

well, I got better…

T. Fry

Bring out your dead!

Sara

You’re right. It’s definitely a witch hunt. And it’s not HER nose, it’s a false nose.
Let them howl! They more they try to tighten their grip, the more the public will become skeptical of their claims and slip through their fingers.
(OK, if we’re gonna use movie quotes, let’s ramp it up a bit!)

They all have their pants on firecomment image?w=640

Sara

Who’s the grayhaired female in the red dress?

MarkW

I thought they were jet propelled after someone lit their farts.

Fred Brohn

Dear Dr. Powell,
Please be advised that there is an obvious charlatan sending letters with your signature!

It appears that many people are of the ‘mob ‘mindset these days .but nothing is new .It was these sort of mindset/attitudes that led to the Spanish inquisition,witch hunts ,pogroms,the holocaust& many other similar happenings. .(Ihave heard that unpopular people in a neighbourhood are still’ denounced ‘to this day in parts of Spain)

JLponce

Kendo2016 I think you do not know Spain, so you say you’ve heard that there are people who denounce others for being unpopular. It is the same as if I say that “I have heard that in Salem, witches are still being judged”. I know a little USA and I know that the one who says that is that he does not know this great country. I would suggest that you come to Spain so you can see how wrong you are.

Thankyou for your comment JLPonce .i have been to Spain ,&indeed enjoyed my times there .My comments come from information from a family member who was shall we say ”dismayed” by this & related this information while I was there on holiday .It was concerning a person who lived in their close neighbour hood .Naturally i did not personally know the denounced individual ,but I had noreason to doubt the veracity of the information .It may well be that this was a very local practice .It may no longer happen ,as this event was some19 yrs ago

rocketscientist

“secretive cabal of vested interests “attacking science” and promoting “misinformation” about climate science for sinister reasons,”
He may be correct, but it seems to be the IPCC.

Sara

“Secretive cabal…” OOOOH! The paranoia is strong with this one!

AGW is not Science

+97,000,000

Bryan A

Perhaps it is Secretive Cabalism
I say, Eat how you want, and although they may taste funny, start with the clowns

co2islife

The Physics simply don’t support CO2 being the cause of CAGW.
Climate “Science” on Trial; CO2 is a Weak GHG, it has no Permanent Dipole
The best way to argue for the science, and against the climate alarmists is to simply go back to the basic physics of the greenhouse gas effect (GHG) and how CO2 contributes to it. Stated simply, the GHG effect is the trapping/absorbing of outgoing infrared (IR) radiation by various greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. These … Continue reading
https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/climate-science-on-trial-co2-is-a-weak-ghg-it-has-no-dipole/

Radical Rodent

No, no, we cannot ask that here. We will be burned at the stake.

I agree with the author.
I went through the math for the thermodynamics and the radiative effects of CO2 and H2O, and concluded that the greenhouse effect (man made) is next to zero, as the author calculates. The thermodynamics of all tropospheres, if they have adequate density, must do work to dissipate the net suns heating.
Venus is so CO2 rich that it does it almost completely using radiative means. That is how the dark side gets its energy, ie, horizontal movement of heat via radiation right around the globe.
The greenhouse effect on all planets is due to the rising temperature decending towards the planets surface, from below the planets effective radiation altitude, where net in = net out.
It all hangs together. The troposphere must do work to dissipate heat, using whatever means, wind, thermals, water evaporation, thunderstorms and radiation. The degree of turbulence experienced on some planets must be severe to achieve the heat balance needed.

Reference

Link to paper:-
Robert Ian Holmes. Molar Mass Version of the Ideal Gas Law Points to a Very Low Climate Sensitivity. Earth Sciences. Vol. 6, No. 6, 2017, pp. 157-163.

Abstract
It has always been complicated mathematically, to calculate the average near surface atmospheric temperature on planetary bodies with a thick atmosphere. Usually, the Stefan Boltzmann (S-B) black body law is used to provide the effective temperature, then debate arises about the size or relevance of additional factors, including the ‘greenhouse effect’. Presented here is a simple and reliable method of accurately calculating the average near surface atmospheric temperature on planetary bodies which possess a surface atmospheric pressure of over 10kPa. This method requires a gas constant and the knowledge of only three gas parameters; the average near-surface atmospheric pressure, the average near surface atmospheric density and the average mean molar mass of the near-surface atmosphere. The formula used is the molar version of the ideal gas law. It is here demonstrated that the information contained in just these three gas parameters alone is an extremely accurate predictor of atmospheric temperatures on planets with atmospheres >10kPa. This indicates that all information on the effective plus the residual near-surface atmospheric temperature on planetary bodies with thick atmospheres, is automatically ‘baked-in’ to the three mentioned gas parameters. Given this, it is shown that no one gas has an anomalous effect on atmospheric temperatures that is significantly more than any other gas. In short; there can be no 33°C ‘greenhouse effect’ on Earth, or any significant ‘greenhouse effect’ on any other planetary body with an atmosphere of >10kPa. Instead, it is a postulate of this hypothesis that the residual temperature difference of 33°C between the S-B effective temperature and the measured near-surface temperature is actually caused by adiabatic auto-compression.

NME666

Radical Moose, not only are anti-science, you must be anti-tax!!!!!!

NME666
Could you elaborate on why that paper is “anti science”.

Sailboarder, I could be wrong but it appears he was being sarcastic.
Before I continue please understand I am scientifically illiterate. I am trying very hard to learn about these methods and science etc, but it’s difficult. So please bear with me here while I try to navigate what is climate.
I read co2 is life website, and I have a few items I don’t understand.
Regarding the calculations and co2 LWIR at 15 microns, I’m confused. If the information is valid this means that the only thing co2 does is act as an insulating factor of escaping long wave infrared radiation. So it doesn’t actually warm anything just holds on to the heat a little while longer, which would explain the reason temperature precedes co2 increase historically, yes? And then there should be some latency between temperature drop and co2 drop. But it appears to me the temperature change would have to precede the co2.
The assertion is that at 15 microns the response is so negligible that it’s essentially a non issue, and this is because it’s not dipolar? Does that mean in that graph because on the outside edges of the radiation wavelengths co2 doesn’t look like a bathtub, similar to water vapor?
Any assistance would be appreciated. One thing that has always struck me as odd is that they claim co2 warms an traps heat, but it appears the heat trapping is much about water vapor. If the historical data ass up this suggests co2 is truly irrelevant.

And please pardon me if anything I wrote misinterpreted what was presented, I’m doing my best to regurgitate what I think I read

honest..
The puzzle to me was something Dr Happer mentioned when he was visiting the Trump Tower, as a candidate for science advisor.
He said that the time to absorption of that LWIR photon was microseconds. Before that photon of energy could be re-radiated, it was most often(99%?) physically passed to an adjacent molecule of N2, O2, H2O, etc. Now some of those molecules could bump into that CO2 molecule again, and cause another emission of LWIR in the frequency you mentioned, then the cycle would repeat. This bumping into neighbors is called ‘thermalization’. Now guess what, those thermalized molecules will radiate LWIR all on their own, at hundreds of other frequencies, most of which CO2 does not intercept.
I now think of it this way. Our added CO2 just thermalizes the LWIR from the earths surface in say 5 meters average depth(400 PPM), as opposed to say 7 meters of average depth(300 PPM) of the air column.
I have looked for experiments by the way, to test this hypothesis, but no luck so far. It just seems so basic, to do lab tests to determine the actual numbers.(maybe someone here will help me on that)
In my mind, what this means is that there is next to zero change in the warming of the near surface air due to our added CO2. The near instant thermalized energy gets transported vertically by water vapor, rising air, or by radiation, just like before. There is no extra energy, or trapped energy. How can you trap something that moves at the speed of light?
The ideal gas laws govern. It took me a long time to see that the radiative model of Hansen etc is just a cartoon. It is illustrative of radiation, yes, but does not tell you that this radiation happens near instantly, and there is no net difference. Wherever the net in/net out energy level exists in the troposphere, there is a lapse rate from there defining the surface “greenhouse” warmed temperature. See the referenced paper.
Now cue the smart people who say they can prove otherwise but never put up the maths to prove that paper wrong.

paqyfelyc

Well, this paper is essentially a switch from temperature to pressure as the relevant variable. Which is fine, as pressure is far better global variable than temperature.
BUT pressure is not just a given. It changes, too, and GHG also affect pressure, so this is cannot be used to falsify GHE and GHG effects.

MarkW

Sailboarder: With CO2 being just 0.04% of the atmosphere, the odds are that when a it bumps into something, it won’g be another molecule of CO2. Likewise, whatever those molecules bump into, it most likely won’t be a molecule of CO2.
Many of those other molecules don’t radiate in the LWIR frequency. Beyond that, molecules can only radiate if they have the correct amount of energy. The energy they got from CO2 molecule was the amount of energy gained by the CO2 molecule, it won’t be the correct amount of energy for them to radiate in turn.

Thanks for the explanation, my head hurts and it’s embarrassing. I used to think I was smart, now I realize I was just full of hubris and education.
Seriously though I never understood how being taught to skim read has devastated my ability to comprehend and retain difficult information or concepts. At 35, with so many brain cells eliminated by beer and whiskey, me thinks this ain’t gonna be easy

Although this requires the usual eye roll reaction I just want to establish exactly what AR5 says. I’ll admit I can’t be bothered to look it up (I’m constantly digging in it to call out MIT, Climate Interactive, K Hayhoe etc and am having a bit of a rest from it). But from memory, I think it says that they have high confidence (90%) that more than 50% of the temperature rise since 1950 is due to global warming. That was 50% of 0.6C at the time of AR5, making them highly confident that human emissions account for temperature changes.
Of course, we’re always arguing over whether they have any business being so confident of a 0.3C human impact but from the perspective of the Museum and the use of the supposed last word on AGW, that is, AR5, it would seem that the word “may” is indeed no longer supportable.
So what would my reaction be to being told to spend $200+ on a change of plaque in order to correct one word?
“Stuff you!”

Radical Rodent

“I think it says that they have high confidence (90%) that more than 50% of the temperature rise since 1950 is due to global warming.”
Well… du-u-uh… I would have said that there is a 100% chance that 100% of the increase in global temperatures is due to global warming; if not, there would be no warming! (To be fair, I think we should assume that that was just a typo by yourself in your haste in a busy schedule.)

The Other Mark W

Because it isn’t about truth, or honesty, or integrity.
It is about ideology and climate religion zealotry.

Bill Powers

Correct. if a zealot objects to the qualifier “May” in an exhibit on the basis that some “official government agency” (IPCC) has deemed it to be wrong, on the basis of a computer model that estimates an opposing qualifier “extremely Likely” in the other direction, we are arguing semantics with faith based zealots which is nothing more than a childish exercise in futility. DR Jonah Busch needs a healthy response of STFU.

I think that semantics is important in distinguishing the precision in how we speak, especially where science is concerned. BUT we are not talking about scientific precision here, and THAT’s the difference that makes the semantic distinction here “extremely likely” to be a joke. It “may” even make those people demanding this distinction look like idiots, since they claim to be “scientists”.

I’ll probably beat a dead horse but if anyone tunes into Dr Jordan Peterson, his work is quite relevant to this topic. Yes, this is Eco religion, and yes this is a wealth redistribution scheme, and yes this is about total domination and control of humanity so the elite few can hoard resources indefinitely (in their worldview)…
Now, granted, I haven’t heard him say anything to that effect but what he does discuss is critical to recognizing that pattern (along with the copious amounts of quotes from the power players to that end), and that is the pattern of deliberate obfuscation and deception.
The post-modernist neo-Marxist are trained to believe truth is relative, and facts are employed by the dominator or oppressor against the oppressed. They literally believe what they feel is reality and logic is a tool of oppression. Factoring that major worldview foundation it becomes apparent why this mockery of the scientific process can masquerade around as truth. There are just so many psychological conundrums to encounter with the modern leftists I’m honestly at a loss as how to initiate discourse. Again, discourse falls into the same category and if you remember old Saul Alinsky, he was a big proponent of ad hominem and logical fallacies as a method of intimidation.
So then, what do we do to stop this agenda and bring knowledge to the dumbed down masses? I’m still trying to figure out how we can stop these elitist charlatans when they keep moving the goal posts

Leo Smith

It isn’t about those things either.
It’s about power and money.
“For them that feel death’s honesty
won’t fall upon them naturally”

Nigel S

‘And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine
But it’s alright, Ma, it’s life, and life only’
Bob in his pomp, great days!

John Garrett

The list of signatories is, in itself, impressive.
I’ve decided that I’m not going to hold my breath until a report on this story appears in the N.Y. Times or the WaPo or is broadcast on PBS or NPR or CBS or NBC et al.

Tim Ball

Ask Powell et al., to produce the empirical evidence that human CO2 is causing global warming or climate change.

Hugs

I have seen this argument thrown in a few times here.
It has plenty of problems.
First, it has been shown, using methods of hard sciences, that CO2 causes some global warming and climate change. No amount of going through that stuff will change the mind of dragon slayers.
Second, CO2 does not cause ‘the’ global warming. According to Gavin Schmidt of GISS, it has turned cooling to warming, but many others are content with ‘probably over half of the warming since 1950’. It is ‘probably’, so the IPCC accepts there is a possibility even this number is too large, but they consider it very small. The jury is still out (they’ve been out four decades) on how much 560ppm would do.
Third, the implicitly indicated idea that atmospheric CO2 is nonhuman because almost all anthropogenic CO2 has been exchanged with natural CO2 forms in seas and naturally occurring carbon in the biosphere, is creepily disingenious. Humans have emitted a large amount of carbon dioxide. It has gone somewhere so that the isotope ratio shows not much of it is in the atmosphere. It has disappeared into sinks in ocean and vegetation. Those, being fed some extra CO2, have been giving out their original carbon compounds (Henry’s law and analogs). The excess in atmosphere, 2ppm per year is much smaller than what humans are emitting. Thus we are not seeing natural CO2 increase, but are lucky enough to have sinks that take down roughly half of our emissions. Should we halve emissions for some odd reason and by some advanced new energy scheme, the atmospheric CO2 would stabilize.
Fourth, the argument is not at all intended to start discussion. It has an implicit rhetoric ‘you claim as if’ in it. In Finnish you have a terribly good general children’s quarrel word for this particular use, ‘muka’, which unfortunately is one of those concepts English has more specialized words for. I hate to see this kind of behaviour, which is common, at SkS, Tamino, Connolley’s etc. It is not any better here.

Radical Rodent

Should we halve emissions for some odd reason and by some advanced new energy scheme, the atmospheric CO2 would stabilize.
Can you be so sure…?
Human emissions of CO2 have risen exponentially, and are now many times more than they were in 1950, yet the rate of rise of CO2 is about the same.

Hugs

Not really sure with precision. But sure on scale for some time.

Well, I for one, have read accounts of “all the evidence”, and, amazingly, I still don’t get what the “evidence” is. The fact that “hard sciences” are being invoked says nothing abpit whether “hard sciences” are being invoked correctly. I have developed doubts over the past few years.
Speaking of dragons, I did this pencil drawing of one some years back:comment image
… what I call one of my “dragon mammals” — a little creation of mine that highlights how warm and positive this creature can be, as opposed to the traditional, reptilian thing that lots of people want to slay.

“Hugs February 5, 2018 at 11:21 am
I have seen this argument thrown in a few times here.
It has plenty of problems.
First, it has been shown, using methods of hard sciences, that CO2 causes some global warming and climate change. No amount of going through that stuff will change the mind of dragon slayers.”

False straw man argument; without merit.
No, it has not been shown that “CO2 causes some global warming”, nor that CO2 causes “and climate change”.
That has been claimed repeatedly and what evidence is presented has provided zero proof.

“Hugs February 5, 2018 at 11:21 am
Second, CO2 does not cause ‘the’ global warming. According to Gavin Schmidt of GISS, it has turned cooling to warming, but many others are content with ‘probably over half of the warming since 1950’. It is ‘probably’, so the IPCC accepts there is a possibility even this number is too large, but they consider it very small. The jury is still out (they’ve been out four decades) on how much 560ppm would do.”

Argumentum ad Verecundiam; another false straw man fallacy argument.
Nor is the activist Schmidt a rational source for anything climate related.
The IPCC’s sole purpose is to “prove anthropogenic global warming”.
Hugs’ statement overlooks IPCC’s purpose, methods and internal conflicts of interest; where partial information collation and summarizing methods are:
A) Followed by activist revisionist section summations; e.g. Trenberth
B) Final political summaries are pure politics, not scientific findings. As where IPCC’s levels of confidence are found.

“Hugs February 5, 2018 at 11:21 am
Third, the implicitly indicated idea that atmospheric CO2 is nonhuman because almost all anthropogenic CO2 has been exchanged with natural CO2 forms in seas and naturally occurring carbon in the biosphere, is creepily disingenious. Humans have emitted a large amount of carbon dioxide. It has gone somewhere so that the isotope ratio shows not much of it is in the atmosphere. It has disappeared into sinks in ocean and vegetation. Those, being fed some extra CO2, have been giving out their original carbon compounds (Henry’s law and analogs). The excess in atmosphere, 2ppm per year is much smaller than what humans are emitting. Thus we are not seeing natural CO2 increase, but are lucky enough to have sinks that take down roughly half of our emissions. Should we halve emissions for some odd reason and by some advanced new energy scheme, the atmospheric CO2 would stabilize.”

More red herring straw men combined with bafflegab and emotive posturing; e.g. “creepily disingenuous (spelling corrected)”
Which allows hugs to introduce the classic “Humans are guilty” framework and rhetoric.
Classic religious beliefs which is supposed to amplify the “Humans have emitted a large amount of carbon dioxide” into instant condemnation for mankind.
Now that is creepily disingenuous.

“Hugs February 5, 2018 at 11:21 am
Fourth, the argument is not at all intended to start discussion. It has an implicit rhetoric ‘you claim as if’ in it. In Finnish you have a terribly good general children’s quarrel word for this particular use, ‘muka’, which unfortunately is one of those concepts English has more specialized words for. I hate to see this kind of behaviour, which is common, at SkS, Tamino, Connolley’s etc. It is not any better here.”

Pure bafflebab.
This extremely muddled very unspecified tactic is used by a number of despicable sites, which makes it unsuitable for use here…
Yeah, sure…

AGW is not Science

“it has been shown, using methods of hard sciences, that CO2 causes some global warming and climate change”
Sorry, but no, it has not. CO2 has never been shown to cause anything in the Earth’s atmosphere – it’s all hypothetical BS.
“Second, CO2 does not cause ‘the’ global warming.”
Nope, it doesn’t – it doesn’t cause ANY global warming, because the feedbacks are negative and the net effect is nothing, just like the Earth’s climate history shows.
“According to Gavin Schmidt of GISS, it has turned cooling to warming, but many others are content with ‘probably over half of the warming since 1950’.”
And the warming that occurred, at about the same rate and amount, prior to that can’t be blamed on human CO2, and remains unexplained. Which doesn’t rule out the same causation for the “since 1950” warming. “It must be CO2 because we can’t identify another cause (subtext: because we’re not looking for one)” is not science, it’s an argument based on ignorance. Boils down well to “It’s not a dog, so it must be a cat.”
“Third, the implicitly indicated idea that atmospheric CO2 is nonhuman because almost all anthropogenic CO2 has been exchanged with natural CO2 forms in seas and naturally occurring carbon in the biosphere, is creepily disingenious.”
No, what is disingenuous is the notion that with no measurement of all of the natural CO2 sources and sinks, and nothing more than a human CO2 emission figure, that you can still “determine” that the increase is caused by human CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. You have more questions than answers about the cause of rising CO2 levels without measurements all of the “sources” and “sinks.”
“Thus we are not seeing natural CO2 increase, but are lucky enough to have sinks that take down roughly half of our emissions.”
Thus, (Voila!) you produce supposed “evidence” without any actual data about all of the natural sources and sinks unrelated to human fossil fuel burning. Assumptions aren’t evidence.
“Should we halve emissions for some odd reason and by some advanced new energy scheme, the atmospheric CO2 would stabilize.”
Amazing how long before there were any human beings to blame CO2 levels on, the fluctuated well beyond anything currently occurring. The assumption that CO2 levels would “stabilized” is nothing more than another ASSUMPTION without any actual foundation.
“Fourth, the argument is not at all intended to start discussion.”
It is intended to put the burden of proof exactly where it belongs – on those braying about the supposed “need” for “action” to address the non-existent “crisis.” IOW, long overdue time for the CAGW Climate Fascists to put up or shut up.

Phoenix44

All of that may be true but what about all the other things that may be happening? Can you actually show the evidence that what we see over say the last thirty years has any real man-made signal in it? The CO2 physics seems to me to be probable at our current level of knowledge, but the natural changes in climate that we don’t udnerstand at all seem to me to swamp whatever it is man-made CO2 is doing – including negative feedbacks as well as the cycles of AMO, PDO etc etc.
Thus to say that “half of climate change is caused by man” is taking some probable physics and stretching it far, far beyond what we actually know and understand.

nvw

Could not but help to notice this signature on the original Powell letter: #394. Dr. Joseph Goebbels; Public Relations Manager; RPM A.D.
Appropriate alongside Mssers Mann and his ilk.

AGW is not Science

Did Lysenko sign it too? LOL

Nigel S

Wow, top trumps in the nominative determinism stakes but credit to him for having the courage to get a job in PR.

Bruce Cobb

Excellent. That should cause Greenie heads to explode.

Excellent petition letter – concise, solid, punchy.
One of the best summaries in a few words of the case against CO2 alarmism that I’ve seen – will keep for future reference.

The Dismal Science

Sorry – that placard is as true today as it was 25 years ago.

commieBob

Your sentence could be taken to mean the opposite of your intended meaning.
I once told someone that she was just as lovely as she was twenty-five years ago. She took it as a compliment. The thing is that she wasn’t a great looker a quarter of a century ago. She’s not a great looker now either.

Sparky

When asked “Does this make my bum look big ?”, I always reply “No”.
Perfectly logical.

Nigel S

Logical and wise. One of the questions to which the answer is always, “no”. (Like, “are you having an affair?”).

MarkW

Did you eat the last cookie?

Sparky

A little off topic, but Google appears to be trying to disappear WUWT. Just saying.

Hugs

already long time ago. it is part of the green bubble, though not worst. google provides hits to very very bad sites, but you can see handcraft in many political topics.

ResourceGuy

Glad I found WUWT before the Silicon Valley censors clamped down here and in China.

G

Don’t use Google….

schitzree

I use ‘Duck Duck Go’ for all my searches. I’ve never seen it try to push me towords Leftist sites, and it doesn’t collect data on my searches to sell to advertisers.
As soon as I heard about Google ‘Don’t be Evil’ motto I knew they were going to become an evil empire. It’s the same reason you never trust a salesman who gives himself the nickname ‘honest’.
~¿~

Interesting, because yesterday I did searches in Google and in Bing on anti-greenhouse-theory writings, and Google had few if any, while Bing had many. I do this every now and then, and I seem to have noticed that Google is getting worse.

Sara

Gee, I haven’t had any issues find WUWT on Google so far. In fact, if they blocked me from it, they’d get an earful from me – free speech, free press, and all that – on this subject and on the fact that they were somehow sending me clothing ads that would only attract the foulest people on the planet. So I have my own issues with Google and their sloppy crap, but keeping me from my searches? Oh, that will get some fiery rhetoric from me.

I see similar when using YouTube. I like to watch some of the Fox news shows in the evening. In a search for any particular show the page shows me one link for what I was looking for, and then a line of links to CNN, MSNBC, and similar left leaning news sites. It is readily apparent that Google/YouTube is making it more difficult to access conservative sites.

PaulH

The Internet was better before Google/Facebook/Twitter took over…sigh. Anyway, I use DuckDuckGo as my default search engine, as censorship doesn’t seem to have attacked them yet.

These two statements are just as true today as they were in 1993:

“The size of the warming over the last century is broadly consistent with the predictions of climate models, but is also of the same magnitude as natural climate variability.”

The rate and the magnitude of warming over the last century is *broadly consistent* with the retro-cast models. They can take the assumed forcing components and crank out a model that looks similar to the historical data.
The rate and the magnitude of warming over the last century is also very consistent with well-understood patterns of quasi-periodic climate fluctuations (cycles in geology-eese).
The warming over the past century has been extremely unspectacular.

“Human-made pollutants may also have an effect on the Earth’s climatic cycles”

They *may* have an effect. They probably do have an effect. Carbon dioxide, even though it’s not a pollutant, probably even has an effect. The extreme lack of spectacular warming should serve as a pretty good clue that the effect is on the insignificant side.

comment image

Some people mistakenly think that they are so big, because they are looking into such a small-minded mirror. Earth is bigger than most people can imagine, and so even our gigatons, while big to us, are still quite small to Earth.
Nitrogen and oxygen rule.

… and water is the major mediator.

MarkW

What in your opinion caused CO2 levels to go from 280ppm to just over 400ppm?
If you say natural sources, name them and name why they suddenly kicked into high gear at the same time man started burning lots of fossil fuels.

AGW is not Science

@MarkW What in your opinion is valid about comparing the proxy-derived “pre-industrial” CO2 level with current atmospheric measurements? It’s apples and oranges, so the supposed amount of CO2 increase is immediately called into question.

MarkW

We’ve been measuring CO2 at Hawaii, for many decades, are you arguing that CO2 levels aren’t rising?
PS: If you can find a problem with the proxies, please detail them.

NZ Willy

Those paid protestors waving around the pre-printed signs are bizarre. The is the Big Left machine in action, badly needing exposure of their structure and funding — likely a Soros tentacle.

Barbara

The rent-a-mob?

Bruce Cobb

Pigs may someday sprout wings and fly.

ResourceGuy

Then delete the whole paragraph. Such statements of speculation have no place on museum displays in the first place. They are all over the country including RNP which speculates that pine beetle infestation is caused by climate change.

John harmsworth

To whom does one write to demand the termination of Dr. Powell’s employment due to his behaviour being inconsistent with scientific principles?

Svend Ferdinandsen

” In particular, he objected to the use of the word “may” in the sentence”
I know few that uses that word more than AGW proponents.
And they never ever report on anything that is “better than we thought”, which is very unscientific, epecially that they never tell what they thought in the first.

HDHoese

“Center for Bioinformatics & Computational Biology; Computer Science and Cognitive Science; Center for Native Pollinator Conservation; Ocean Acidification Technician, Bodega Marine Laboratory; Institute for Data, Systems, & Society.”
Not to pick on these associations in the open letter particularly, but I have to wonder how these ‘specialists’ know so much about the specific physics of carbon dioxide. Also there did seem to be a disproportionate number of biological sciences represented so as a minority biologist I seriously wonder if this is consistent with the incomplete teaching of population ecology suggested to be part of the problem. Also they missed proper ecology about “…related to fossil fuel financial interests….” or the misuse of defamatory rhetoric.
I was on the Ph.D. committee of one of these who should have known better.
Maybe these are all-knowing– “Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences or Center for Health and the Global Environment and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.”
Outside of the medical and agricultural there seem to be few biology disciplines represented in the contradicting petition. The protestors might do better to check out the statue.

Naomi Oreskes signed this abomination. Last Monday I had dinner with Harvard’s major gifts solicitor for South Florida. Told her two years ago zip nada until Oreskes was gone. Told her this time wasn’t kidding last time. Wish has known about this letter, it would have made a perfect example beyond the Scripps 2012 RICO climate deniers and Exxon meeting Oreskes chaired.

I am still waiting for you to disprove this ideal gas law approach to the greenhouse effect:
[In the case of Earth, solar insolation provides the ‘first’ 255 Kelvin(at the effective radiating height) – in accordance with the black body law [11]. Then adiabatic auto-compression provides the ‘other’ 33 Kelvin(at the surface), to arrive at the known and measured average global temperature of 288 Kelvin.
In particular, formula 5 (and 6) as presented here, totally rules out any possibility that a 33°C greenhouse effect of the type proposed by the IPCC in their reports [23] can exist in the real atmosphere.
http://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.earth.20170606.18.pdf

The Reverend Badger

Waiting? For a member of one religion to condemn themselves to excommunication? I fear you will be waiting rather longer than a Bitcoin seller trying to get his money out of an exchange in fiat (and I don’t just mean on the 5th February 2018).
Actually I quite like the sound of adiabatic auto-compresssion, not heard that one before. Did you make it up like we use Na3i so that Anthony wouldn’t be triggered by some mention of a famous radial force field which acts upon that wonderous fruit from which cider can be made, or is adiabatic auto-compression a real scientific concept?

TRB..
See my post way up thread. There is a paper linked to that you can read. Yes, the ideal gas laws are real, and are the workhorse of much of our industrial lives, from air conditioners, auto engines, steam turbines, jet engines, airfoils, etc. It is the stuff of mechanical engineers mostly, who by the way, also use radiative physics routinely too.

JohnKnight

Climate zealotry? . . I seriously doubt it . . same as I doubt ‘Antifa’ is really a manifestation of antifascism zealotry, and doubt that the Russia/Trump collusion saga is really a manifestation of election integrity zealotry (and doubt that protestations against releasing the ‘FISA memo” were manifestations of zealotry for protecting law enforcement methods and sources), and doubt the importation of millions of mostly military age men into Europe is refugee helping zealotry in action . . etc.
I suspect it’s controlled society zealotry (Elitism) that is manifesting in many ways, many forms of “astro turf” activism, and suggest that in the realm of science, many here already bit on the forbidden fruit of “suppressing opposing scientific views”, when they went along with the Evolution (grand origins story, not mere natural selection) only indoctrination of all the children. Pandora’s box is wide open, because “you” want to impose your views on others . . I mean along with your more zealous elitists ; )

Sara

I think that you’re missing the point, which is that “climate” as it relates to science is being turned into an ideology, a/k/a socio-religious aspect, instead of remaining a branch of science, which is non-theological and should be NON-ideological.
It isn’t elitism. It is a scam aimed at grabbing power, corrupting science, and leaching money out of peole the same way televangelists do with religion.

JohnKnight

Sara,
“I think that you’re missing the point, which is that “climate” as it relates to science is being turned into an ideology, a/k/a socio-religious aspect, instead of remaining a branch of science …”
Same as many do with their unquestioning belief that we are in a happenstance sort of universe . . despite the incredible degree of “fine tuning” we have discovered which is so unlikely to have simply occurred by chance, that many resort to the concept of there being zillions of universes, so as to make it plausible that at least one happens to be so apparently “designed” (multiverse). Ruling out that it is designed, as an explanation for why it appears so designed, is totally unscientific to me.
I say, those who go for the Evolution grand origins story without any trace of skeptical thought, are just being “religious” about that. If you believe some special people get to just rule the potential that it is designed out of the question . . I say you are an elitist in this sense I am trying to convey here.

knr

When you look back at history you wonder how people could carryout such horrific acts on others and yet claim they are doing them for good reasons. Well that is because they have the same mindset as these people. A total certain in their own rightouness and total inability for honest reflection . In their way they are far more dangerous than any full blown pyschocatic.

David Dibbell

In 2014 I visited Cape Cod on an anniversary trip. There was an exhibit at the Cape Cod National Seashore facility, which I remember took note of a 400-ft sea level rise since the last ice age. So I went to the website just now, to find this. Would the signatories of this recent letter also have a problem with the National Park Service’s current statement? I quote: “Climate has changed dramatically throughout history. Only 12,000 years ago (a blink of an eye geologically) Cape Cod was covered in a sheet of ice thousands of feet thick. Changes in climate have strong potential to alter biological, chemical and hydrological processes of many Cape Cod National Seashore ecosystems. Today, there is a near-consensus within the scientific community that human-induced alterations to the environment will hasten climate change.”
https://www.nps.gov/caco/learn/nature/climate-change.htm

Stephen Skinner

And this is still true:
“There is no reason to believe that another Ice Age won’t come.”

Anonymoose

At the end of this post, a letter is mentioned which seems to be a response to the open letter which most of the post refers to. It is not obvious at what point the term “letter” switches from referring to one to the other.
Maybe I missed someplace a description of the petition-reply letter.

The Reverend Badger

Feynman’s “Cargo Cult” lecture mentioned the Millican oil drop experimental results gradually converging towards the truth over time. I sense a gradual movement in certain CAGW skeptics over the last year or so.
There is a subtle but gradual shift away from the GHG effect is SMALLER idea towards the GHG effect is zero/near zero. Is it just a matter of time before the skeptic mainstream view is NO SUCH THING AS A GHG? Will this be stage 1 of the process towards the real truth or do you think that’s it?
Some clues may be found in this thread with earlier comments.

PaulH

I just happen to have Feynman’s 1974 “Cargo Cult Science” lecture in my bookmarks 🙂
http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/51/2/CargoCult.htm

AGW is not Science

Funny, the only part of that sign that is anti-science is this: “Human-made pollutants may also have an effect on the Earth’s climatic cycles.” This is pure BS. Speculative nonsense. That sentence should be deleted in its entirety, since it is nothing more than an homage to the CAGW “cause” intended to provoke approving nods from the faithful.
This is illustrative of the propaganda creep; first, they get this type of weasel statement “in;” then come back later and complain later about how it isn’t worded “strongly enough.” Get rid of the whole sentence, which is just politically correct BS anyway, and then they won’t have to complain about the word “may.”

It would be more accurate if the Museum stated:
“Earth is still in the Quaternary ice age which started 2.6 million years ago. Inside this ice age is the current Holocene interglacial period that started 11,700 years ago. The warmest period of the Holocene is called the Holocene Optimum which ended 5,000 years ago. We are now undergoing a long-term gradual cooling that may last for thousands of years. The recent global warming in the last 250 years is a relatively short natural variability compared to past climate changes. Significant human greenhouse gas emission is even shorter starting only around 1950 and there is no evidence it has greater influence on climate than natural variability.”

Stephen Skinner

That sounds scientific.

Solomon Green

When I read the open letter seeking the removal of Rebekah Mercer as a trustee because, despite her family being large donors to the Museum, they also donate to think tanks that do not subscribe to the CAGW religion I was appalled at the intemperate language in that letter.
I was still thinking about the language when I got around to reading the names of some of the signatories. I recognised Hansen, Mann, Oreskes , Rahmsdorf and Trenbeth in the first twenty. Surely it would be more honest of these and their fellow signatories to declare how much grant money they are currently receiving which is conditional on their producing papers espousing CAGW hypothesis. Then, perhaps, we might be better able to understand the vehemence with which they wrote.