Elisa de Ranieri, editor-in-chief, Nature Communications, David Gevaux, chief “physical-sciences” editor, Fiona Gillespie, managing editor, Jasper Franke, associate editor, “Earth team”, Alexander Michael Petersen, asst. professor, engineering, Emmanuel M. Vincent, “climate communications”, Anthony LeRoy Westerling
15 August 2019
Fraud, breach of right of privacy and libel by Nature Communications
My attention has been drawn to a purported “peer-reviewed” “research” “study” for which the addressees hereof are jointly and severally responsible. Publication of the purported “study”, actively and widely marketed on the homepage of Nature Communications (http://www.nature.com/ncomms/index.html) as well as on the co-authors’ websites and curricula vitae, is unlawful at criminal as well as at civil law.
The purported “study”, entitled Discrepancy in scientific authority and media visibility of climate change scientists and contrarians was prominently posted online by Nature Communications at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-09959-4.
The journal, its editors named supra and the three authors of the purported “study” are guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud by misrepresentation and by abuse of public trust on multiple counts evidenced later herein. Unless within seven days I shall have received from each of the addressees a written apology for their role in the fraud and an undertaking that the offending “study” has been removed permanently from all forms of circulation and will not be reissued under any circumstances or in any form, I shall report the fraud to the Serious Fraud Office, to the Chief Constable of South Gloucestershire, and to Interpol, and shall request that the addressees hereof be added to the list of those under investigation for scientific and financial fraud in connection with the systemic and profitable international over-promotion of the imagined problem of “global warming”.
The said defendants are guilty of breach of my right to privacy in terms of Art. 8, European Human Rights Convention in their widespread circulation without having obtained or even sought my consent (which is for the avoidance of doubt withheld) of a list, including my name, of those described on the Nature Communications homepage as “climate deniers” and in the offending “study” variously as “denialists”, “contrarians” and other derogatory terms calculated in context to lead readers to hold me in hatred, ridicule and contempt. I require within seven days a written undertaking from each addressee that the list will not be further circulated, that each addressee will at once contact all those into whose hands he or she has allowed it to fall and instruct them to destroy the list and to pass on the instruction to all to whom they may have distributed it.
The said defendants are guilty of libel calculated to be to my detriment on multiple counts evidenced later herein. Unless within seven days I shall have received from each of the addressees a written apology in terms entirely acceptable to me as well as an undertaking that the libels herein complained of will not be repeated, and unless within that time the apology and undertaking shall have replaced the offending “study” on the homepage of Nature Communications, I may without further notice institute proceedings for libel against the said defendants, with applications for service furth of the jurisdiction where necessary.
The rebarbative marketing blurb for the purported “study”, prominently accessible via a direct link from the homepage of Nature Communications, reads as follows:
“Climate deniers get more media play than scientists: study
“Climate deniers have garnered far more media attention than prominent climate scientists over the years, fuelling public confusion and slowing the response to global warming, researchers reported Tuesday.
“From 2000 through 2016, hundreds of academics, business people and politicians who doubted global warming or attributed rising temperatures to ‘natural’ causes got 50% more ink than an equal number of expert scientists, according to a study in Nature Communications, a peer-reviewed journal.
“In reality, there has long been overwhelming agreement among climate scientists that global warming – caused mainly by burning fossil fuels – poses a major threat to civilisation and much of life on Earth.
“An increase of only 1 C° had triggered rising seas and a crescendo of deadly extreme weather, and Earth is on track to heat up another three degrees by century’s end.
“‘Climate change contrarians have successfully organised a strong voice within politics and science communication,’ noted the authors, led by Alexander Petersen of the University of California at Merced.
“‘It also undermines the credible authority of career climate change scientists and reinforces the trend of climate change contrarians presiding over public scientific discourse.’
“Over the last year, public concern over global warming has grown dramatically, sparked in part by an October UN report warning that only a wholesale overhaul of the global economy and consumption patterns can forestall climate chaos.
“In Europe, green parties running on a platform of climate action gaining nearly two dozen seats in EU parliamentary elections. Climate protesters drawing from the civil disobedience playbook of Martin Luther King and Gandhi, meanwhile, have spilled into the streets.
“In the United States, a call for climate action has become a litmus test among Democrat candidates for president, and many young people have rallied around the legislative initiative known as the Green New Deal.
“A handful of western governments have pledged to slash carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ by mid-century.
“But even today, established media continue to provide platforms for dubious or discredited assertions about global warming.
“Last week, for example, US business magazine Forbes published an article on its website entitled Global warming? An Israeli astrophysicist provides alternative view that is not easy to reject.
“The ‘alternative view’ – that warming is caused by the Sun and not CO2 emissions – is thoroughly discredited, and the magazine was compelled within hours to remove the piece.
“In testimony last month before the US Senate that took on confessional tones, long-time Republican Party strategist Frank Luntz revealed a key moment nearly 20 years ago in the campaign to blunt action against global warming.
“‘You need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate,’ he told party operatives in a memo during George W. Bush’s first term in office.
“The disquieting term ‘global warming’, he further suggested, should be replaced with ‘climate change’.
“‘I’m here before you to say that I was wrong in 2001,’ he told a Senate committee.
In the new study, Petersen and colleagues scanned 100,000 news items published from 2000 through 2016 for bylines, citations and mentions of 386 scientists, and 386 ‘contrarians’.
“‘Tallying across all media sources we find climate change contrarian media visibility to be 49% greater than climate change visibility,’ they wrote.
The imbalance was made worse by the amplifying effect of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, they added.”
The blurb gives rise to the following counts of fraud:
1. The defendants’ statement that “In reality, there has long been overwhelming agreement among climate scientists that global warming – caused mainly by burning fossil fuels – poses a major threat to civilisation and much of life on Earth” constitutes fraud by misrepresentation and fraud by abuse of public trust, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006, in that 1) the official “consensus” proposition as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says no more than that recent global warming is chiefly anthropogenic, and says nothing about whether it is dangerous; and 2) of 11,944 peer-reviewed papers on global warming and related topics published after peer review in the learned journals of climate and related sciences during the 21 years 1991-2011, only 41 papers, or 0.3%, stated their agreement even to that milquetoast “consensus” proposition (Legates et al. 2015); and 3) the factually false notion of a “consensus” among “experts”, the notion that underlies, underpins and animates the entire fraud, is a conflation of the ancient logical fallacies of argumentum ad populum and argumentum ad verecundiam (the headcount and reputation fallacies); and 4) the imagined (and imaginary) “major threat to civilization and much of life on Earth” is not occurring, as the defendants well know, for the rate of global warming from 1850 to 2011, the year to which IPCC data were updated for the most recent Assessment Report, was only one-third of the medium-term rate originally predicted by IPCC in 1990; and 5) tens of millions die each year for lack of electrical power, because the World Bank in 2010, citing “global warming” as its pretext, ceased to lend to developing countries for the installation of coal-fired power, yet the defendants, in the offending blurb, made no mention of the fact that it is global-warming policy, not global warming itself, that is the real killer, and 6) the defendants made no mention of the numerous benefits of anthropogenic CO2 enrichment, not the least of which are the availability of life-saving electrical power and the 7-15% increase in net primary productivity of trees and plants worldwide thanks to CO2 fertilization.
2. The defendants’ statement that “An increase of only 1 C° had triggered rising seas and a crescendo of deadly extreme weather” constitutes fraud by misrepresentation and fraud by abuse of public trust, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006, in that 2) according to the Envisat satellite, the most capable sea-level monitoring satellite, which operated from 2004-2012, the rate of sea-level rise over the period of operation was equivalent to 1.5 inches/century, which, within the error margin, is no sea-level rise at all; 3) according to Cazenave et al. (2009), sea level actually fell between 2003 and 2008, but was reported as having risen on the basis of a “glacial isostatic adjustment” which, whether justified or not (probably not) does not and did not constitute an actual sea-level rise; 3) the intercalibration errors between the different laser-altimetry satellites are larger than the sea-level rise the satellites purport to measure; 4) careful comparison of tide-gauge and satellite-altimetry sea-level records worldwide has demonstrated that everywhere the true rate of eustatic sea-level rise, after careful correction for local isostatic displacements of the seabed, is only 1.1 mm/year, equivalent to just over 4 inches per century; 5) a sea-level rise of 4 inches per century is half the rate of rise observed in the 20th century.
3. The defendants’ statement that “An increase of only 1 C° had triggered … a crescendo of deadly extreme weather” constitutes fraud by misrepresentation and by abuse of public trust, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006, in that the defendants knew that 1) the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had stated repeatedly and explicitly in its 2013 Fifth Assessment Report and in its 2012 Special Report on Extreme Weather that there was little or no evidence for what the defendants chose to mischaracterize as a “crescendo of deadly extreme weather”; 2) the global land area under drought has fallen throughout the past 30 years (Hao et al. 2014); 3) the Accumulated Cyclone Energy Index shows a decline in the frequency, intensity and duration of hurricanes and of tropical storms worldwide (Dr Ryan Maue, Florida State University); 4) loss of life from weather-related events has plummeted throughout the recent decades; 5) the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in its 2013 and 2012 reports cited at 1) supra, states that there is no evidence for a greater risk of flooding or rainstorms; 5) the acreages burned in forest fires have declined monotonically in each decade of the 20th century and in the first decade of the 21st; 6) ocean “acidification” is a scientific impossibility under anything like modern conditions, for the ocean is pronouncedly alkaline and dealkalinization, in the few locations where it has been measured, is proceeding at a hardly life-threatening 0.2 pH units per century.
4. The defendants’ statement that “Earth is on track to heat up another three degrees by century’s end” constitutes fraud by misrepresentation and by abuse of public trust, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006, in that the defendants knew that 1) the observed rate of global warming from 1850-2011 is one-third of the medium-term rate originally predicted by IPCC in 1990; 2) the observed period rate of global warming is well below half the expected rate consistent with official estimates of net anthropogenic radiative forcing and of radiative imbalance over the period; 3) the headline predicted global-warming rate of 3.35 K per CO2 doubling (based on data in Andrews et al. 2012) is almost two and a half times the rate deducible from the system-gain factors implicit in 21st-century projections even under the deliberately extreme RCP8.5 scenario.
5. The defendants’ statement that “The ‘alternative view’ – that warming is caused by the Sun and not CO2 emissions – is thoroughly discredited …” constitutes fraud by misrepresentation and by abuse of public trust, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006, in that the defendants knew that numerous papers on solar activity, such as Hathaway & Wilson 2004, show a very clear increase in solar activity from 1925-1995, to levels not seen in the past 300 years, and that this increase in solar activity is linked to an increase in total solar irradiance and hence in global temperatures, and that since 2004 the datasets of total solar irradiance have been altered with the effect of removing much of that increase in solar activity from the record, and that at least one of the handful of solar physicists responsible for the alterations said they had been made so as to prevent “deniers” from pointing out that much, if not all, of the global warming of recent decades was attributable to solar activity.
The blurb gives rise to at least the following counts of libel, given the widespread circulation of my name by the defendants on the list of those whom they describe as “deniers”, a term calculated to invite invidious comparison with Holocaust denial:
1. The defendants’ use of the word “denial” twice (once in the headline and once in the opening sentence of the blurb) – constitutes libel in its deliberately false implication that I and others on the list circulated by the defendants deny well-established scientific facts, when – as will be self-evident from the well-referenced paragraphs outlining the defendants’ frauds supra – my objections to the Party Line climate to which the defendants choose to adhere are not, as their adherence thereto is, merely political, but instead rigorously scientific.
2. The defendants’ use of the phrase “Sowing doubt” in a prominent subheading in the blurb constitutes libel in its deliberately false implication that I among others named on the list circulated by the defendants are adopting a political stance opposite to that of the defendants, and that we are dishonestly causing deliberate confusion in the public mind, when in fact my own work on climate, which includes numerous peer-reviewed publications in leading journals somehow not identified in the defendants’ careless purported “study”, raises genuine and profound scientific and economic concerns about the Party Line to which the defendants adhere.
3. The defendants’ use of the phrase “dubious or discredited assertions about global warming” in the blurb constitutes libel in its deliberately false implication that I among others named on the list circulated by the defendants are dishonestly attempting to mislead the public, and in its deliberately false implication that all of my published statements about the climate have been discredited. Let us take a single example: I am on record as having pointed out that, in control theory, the branch of engineering physics from which climatology borrows feedback method, such feedback processes as may subsist in a feedback-moderated dynamical system must perforce respond not only to any perturbations of the input signal but also to the entire reference signal, which is the sum of the input signal and any perturbations. However, it is not difficult to calculate that the 3.35 K official midrange estimate of Charney sensitivity in the CMIP5 models (Andrews op. cit.) is predicated on the assumption that, while the 10 K directly-forced or reference sensitivity to the preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases is imagined to engender a 22.5 K feedback response (i.e., a response more than twice itself), the 274 K emission temperature that would be present in the absence of any greenhouse gases would engender a feedback response of zero. That is a large and self-evident but hitherto overlooked contradiction within the Party Line to which the defendants inexpertly adhere. Resolving that contradiction constrains Charney sensitivity to between 1 and 1.4 K – an interval entirely below the [1.5, 4.7] K interval currently imagined by IPCC and the CMIP5 models. The corrected warming, therefore, will be small, slow, harmless and net-beneficial. Even if it were the fact that official climatology’s “consensus” of “experts” had hitherto considered [1.5, 4.7] K to be a reasonable interval, the “consensus” would be incorrect and the experts – to that extent, at any rate, inexpert. The defendants have carelessly – and, in the event, libellously – assumed that the Party Line is in all respects correct, when in fact, in at least the respects outlined herein, it is demonstrably incorrect. The defendants’ libel is thus fundamentally dishonest and deliberately so, in that none of them has sufficient expertise in climatology or in any related subject to pronounce as they have pronounced to the effect that the Party Line must be in all material respects correct, and yet they have seen fit to pontificate in a fashion calculated deliberately to damage the reputations of those on the list they have carelessly circulated, including my name.
4. The defendants’ telling of the story of a Republican who had at first opposed the Party Line on climate and has now changed his mind was calculated, in association with the list of names including mine that the defendants had widely circulated, to convey the false impression that we too ought to confess our past sins and toe the Party Line to which they so faithfully and yet so inexpertly adhere, and to leave readers with the notion that it was only wilful dishonesty on our part that was leading us to make the allegedly “dubious” (but carefully unspecified) statements of which the defendants accused us in their prominently-circulated blurb.
The purported “study” contrasted “386 prominent contrarians” with “386 expert scientists”, and concluded that “professional mainstream sources” of news had been subjected to “crowding out” by –
“the proliferation of new media sources, many of which contribute to the production and consumption of climate change disinformation at scale. These results demonstrate why climate scientists should increasingly exert their authority in scientific and public discourse, and why professional journalists and editors should adjust the disproportionate attention given to contrarians.”
The above passage constitutes libel of me as well as others named in the list circulated by the defendants, in that we are held to be guilty of deliberate “disinformation”. In fact, as the numerous references supra demonstrate, I have good scientific and economic reason to disagree with certain aspects of the Party Line to which the defendants adhere. What is more, the above passage constitutes evidence of malice, in that the defendants declare their determination to prevent those of us who have genuine scientific and economic doubts about the Party Line from gaining access to the news media in future. This and other evidences of malice on the part of the defendants, including the defendants’ circulation of the list of names including mine, removes the protection granted by Parliament to those who commit libels in “peer-reviewed” “studies”.
The “study” asserts that –
“Since the early 2000s there has been little disagreement among scientific experts over the fundamental evidence supporting the existence, origin and societal significance of anthropogenic climate change. Yet, while an anthropogenic cause is supported by an overwhelming majority of climate change scientists, climate change contrarians have successfully organized a strong voice within politics and science communication in the United States.
The above passage is further evidence of the fraud by which the defendants, in concert with others worldwide, have sought falsely to maintain that there is a “consensus” among scientists – a “consensus” that they know does not in fact exist and that they know would be meaningless even if it did exist, for science is not done by “consensus” among “experts”.
“Historians of science have detailed the political origins of the climate change contrarian movement, documenting how its strategic efforts succeeded in distorting the science-based narrative on multiple fronts, e.g., by promoting the idea that there is a lack of scientific consensus concerning anthropogenic climate change, despite the fact that objective research has found little evidence for such a claim.”
The above passage is a further instance of the defendants’ fraudulent statement to the effect that the actually non-existent scientific “consensus” on climate change exists. In fact, there are thousands upon thousands of peer-reviewed papers on climate and related topics that challenge various key aspects of the Party Line to which the defendants adhere. The defendants know these papers exist. Yet they have received financial grants to write their fraudulent paper suggesting that these papers do not exist. To take one example, the Party Line to which the defendants inexpertly adhere states that there was no mediaeval warm period. Yet on this topic alone the investigating authorities are already aware of more than 1000 papers demonstrating that the mediaeval warm period was real, was global and was warmer than the present. In many other subject areas related to climate change, thousands upon thousands of papers question every aspect of the Party Line. Indeed, in mitigation economics the overwhelming preponderance of papers – including papers by me – make it clear that the welfare loss from attempted mitigation of global warming exceeds by orders of magnitude the welfare benefit that might be expected.
The above cited passage also reinforces the libel of me and others named in the list circulated by the defendants, in that it accuses us of “distortion” of the “science-based narrative”, when in fact my disagreement with the Party Line to which the defendants adhere is scientific, and soundly-based at that, as the defendants well know.
The purported “study” goes on to assert that that –
“Public confusion over science affects various other domains, in addition to climate change communication, and requires a better understanding of the human, social, and technological factors that facilitate widespread disinformation efforts.”
Note how assiduously, deliberately, and, therefore, maliciously the defendants repeat the word “disinformation” in a manner calculated to act to the detriment of my reputation and of that of others on the list of names of “denialists / deniers / contrarians” widely circulated by the defendants.
The purported “study” also talks of –
“… media coverage that is disproportionate to the authority and number of scientists holding the consensus viewpoint. Recent research highlights the ramifications of this problem, finding that the acceptance of climate change increases (respectively decreases) with consumption of media content that acknowledges (respectively dismisses) climate-change realities, other factors being equal. Susceptibility to information manipulation may continue to be a serious problem until society fully adapts to managing the sheer range and volume of new media sources.”
The above passage compounds and deepens the defendants’ “consensus” fraud, and also compounds and deepens the libel to the effect that I and others on the list circulated by the defendants are dishonestly disseminating disinformation, in that the defendants here talk of the allegedly “serious problem” of “information manipulation” of which those they have named are supposedly guilty.
The purported “study” says –
“… contrarians have strategically shifted away from their external narrative – initially based upon challenging fundamental tenets of climate change science (e.g. its anthropogenic origins), thereby positioning themselves as skeptics with legitimate scientific motives for dissent – to instead challenging assessments of climate-change impacts in an effort to impede the development of proactive regulations. However, a separate large-scale analysis of internal documents from 19 contrarian organizations shows that the inward contrarian narrative is still rather focused on climate-change science, with the relative frequency of science-related topics increasing relative to policy-related topics over the period 2009-2013.”
Here, a new libel is introduced. This time, the defendants say that I and others on the list they have circulated are to some extent abandoning scientific opposition to the Party Line and retreating towards challenging the imagined (and, to a striking degree, actually imaginary) adverse impacts of global warming. They then retreat from their own position to some degree. Yet they suggest that I and others on the list are making “an effort to impede the development of proactive regulations”.
The purported “study” describes the 386 “prominent” “expert” “scientists” it has chosen as serving as –
“an objective measurement baseline for juxtaposing visibility in the media with authority in the scientific domain”.
Later, the “study” says –
“These prominent scientists, many are pre-eminent climate change experts with distinguished careers spanning several decades, serve as a size-balanced comparison group.”
Here, the defendants repeat and reinforce their libel to the effect that I and others on the list they have so widely circulated are mere “contrarians”, while their own “objective” list are “experts”. Yet the defendants know full well that many of those on the list they have circulated have considerable expertise that is the equal of that possessed by those on their favoured list of “scientific experts”.
The purported “study” says that the –
“disproportionate media visibility of contrarian arguments and actors not only misrepresents the distribution of expert-based beliefs, it also manifestly undermines the credible authority of career climate-change-science experts and reinforces the trend of climate-change contrarians presiding over public scientific discourse, which all together hinders prospects for rapid public action on climate change.”
Here the libel that the “contrarians”, such as me and other on the list circulated by the defendants, are inexpert is repeated, and the suggestion is made that we “hinder prospects for rapid public action on climate change”. Yet the defendants know full well that there is no scientific need for such action, and no economic case for it. They are pretending that the Party Line to which they adhere is the only permissible scientific and economic position.
The purported “study” then describes those with whom its authors disagree as represented by the term –
“… ‘climate skeptic’, a broad term that collectively refers to contrarians and denialists, and also conventional scientific skeptics who are driven by more legitimate motives for dissent. For this reason, we focus on a select set of contrarians who have publicly and repeatedly demonstrated their adamant counterposition on climate-change issues – as extensively documented by the DeSmog project, a long-standing effort to document climate disinformation efforts associated with numerous contrarian institutions and individual actors.”
Here, the defendants’ malice is again evident. They use the word “denialists”, just as they had used the word “deniers” in the heading and in the opening paragraph of their widely-circulated publicity blurb.
A further evidence of malice is the defendants’ choice of the “deSmog” project as though it were a reliable source of information about “denialists” such as me and others on the list the defendants have circulated so widely. The “deSmog” project was founded and funded by one Lefebvre, a convicted internet-gaming fraudster whom a court, some years ago, ordered to refund some $185 million in ill-gotten gains to the hapless gamblers upon whom he had preyed. It is, on any view, a disreputable and unreliable source, as is evidenced by the hate-filled, venomous tone of its attacks upon those of us who have dared to question the Party Line on climate.
The purported “study” complains that its methods –
“… cannot fully explain how non-scientific experts are able to compete with scientific experts in the attention economy facilitated by the media.”
The above statement is a further evidence of the defendants’ fraud. The defendants know perfectly well that scientific discourse is only discourse if both sides of the argument are permitted to put forward their case. They know perfectly well that journals such as Nature take an extremist political view on questions such as climate and have a policy of refusing either to entertain any papers questioning the Party Line in any fundamental degree or even to entertain pre-submission enquiries – such as the enquiry that I had myself submitted to Nature only a few weeks ago, asking whether the group would be interested in a paper from my team explaining that the predictions of global warming that had proven exaggerated when compared with observation or with expectation or even with one another were exaggerated because climatology had perpetrated a fundamental error of physics. They know, therefore, that those scientists willing to toe the Party Line can get their nonsense published much more easily than those of us who question the Party Line. That fact undermines the defendants’ entire case for the significance of the fact that their chosen “objective” list of “expert” “scientists” have published more papers than their chosen list of “deniers”, “denialists” and “contrarians”. Of course they have published more papers than we: for the journals – the Nature group being an example – will not even look at, let alone review, still less publish, papers that fundamentally question the Party Line to which the defendants adhere.
The purported “study” says –
“… disproportionate visibility – or false balancing – is likely to mislead public perception, suggesting falsely that within the scientific community there is parity in the number of scientists who do and do not agree on the fundamental issues of anthropogenic climate change.”
See how heavily the defendants lean, again and again, on their notion of “consensus”. In fact, the number of peer-reviewed scientific papers stating no position on the question whether recent warming is chiefly anthropogenic exceeds 30-fold the number of peer-reviewed papers stating that recent warming is chiefly anthropogenic. The defendants know this perfectly well. Yet they claim, falsely and fraudulently, that the “consensus” supports the Party Line to which they adhere, when it does not.
The “study” says –
“A common theme in the climate-change communication literature is false balance, representing how the journalists tradition of balancing sources across opposing views gives rise in the case of climate change to an inaccurate representation, one that falsely suggests that there is a balanced debate between equally-sized groups.
From the point of view of a plaintiff such as I, the above passage is further evidence of the defendants’ malice. The defendants are sullenly determined to prevent those who disagree with the Party Line from being allowed any access to the news media. They are wilfully, and fraudulently, attempting to choke off all dissent by deciding and declaring, aprioristically and contrary to what they know to be the truth, that to report anything but the Party Line to which they adhere is to be guilty of “false balance”. In fact, the group of peer-reviewed papers not endorsing the “consensus” position is far, far larger than the group endorsing it. But that mere fact does not stop the defendants from fraudulently demanding – in what purports to be a “peer-reviewed” “research” “study” but is in reality a party political broadcast for the defendants’ extremist, totalitarian viewpoint – that journalists and editors should censor what is, in the journals, the majority view to the effect that we cannot be sure that global warming is chiefly anthropogenic. The fact that that is the majority view, even though journals such as the Nature group have done their malevolent worst only to reflect the defendants’ Party Line in their pages, shows just how little true “consensus” there really is. Indeed, the notion that totalitarians should peddle the idea that there is a consensus, that the debate is over and that the West must be made to suffer for its imagined “climate debt” was first promulgated by a Communist front group in the United Kingdom in 2006. It was rapidly picked up by similar groups worldwide and has been the Party Line ever since.
The purported “study” discusses its “results” thus –
“Climate change is a wicked multidimensional problem, whereby individual dimensions – i.e., environmental, socio-economic, technological, science communication – while separately challenging, together pose the 21st century’s pre-eminent grand challenge. In this regard, a public that is unaware of the realities and risks associated with climate change poses a threat to society and planet by undercutting strenuous global efforts to rapidly mitigate threats to the planet’s biosphere.”
Climate change is actually a simple question, as the defendants well know, but they and many others in academe are fraudulently profiteering by pretending that the question is complex. The question is this: How much warming are we likely to cause? The answer, on the evidence to date, is “about a third of what had originally been predicted”. Given that the exaggerated predictions of global warming are based on a monstrous error of physics, there is no legitimate scientific cause for alarm. Given that most if not all of the warming is attributable to the Sun, and that the tampering with the irradiance record to suggest otherwise can be proven, and that the radiosonde data show none of the radiative imbalance that would suggest a large rather than a minuscule feedback response, the actual human contribution to global warming will not be more than one-third of current midrange estimates, and may be considerably less than that. Therefore, the defendants’ relentless and malevolent – though very profitable – insistence that global warming “poses a threat to society and planet” has no scientific foundation whatsoever, and they know it. Professor Mörner has rightly characterized the Party Line on climate as “the greatest fraud ever perpetrated”.
The purported “study” says –
“Indeed, communicating authoritative information about the risks of inaction is crucial for achieving global action.”
And here is an open admission on the part of the defendants that they are peddling a political Party Line rather than writing a legitimate scientific study. The economic consequences of the defendants’ implicit acceptance of global-warming projections that are now proven excessive are severe. Stern (2006) took mid-range estimated warming by 2100 as driving a welfare loss of – of global GDP (cf. – in IPCC (2013). The upper bound ibid., assuming a pure rate-of-time discount rate that gave “a chance of the planet not seeing out this century” (Dietz et al. 2007), drove a -of-GDP extinction-level loss. Adding per-capita consumption growth without climate change gave a mean social discount rate (cf. in Garnaut 2008), against a minimum market discount rate (Murphy 2008; Nordhaus 2008). Since the probability of extinction is actually nil, submarket discount rates are unjustifiable. Even before allowing for the scientific error identified supra, at the midrange discount rate applied over the 21st century, Stern’s -of-GDP welfare loss would become only (or for no net loss until preindustrial temperature is exceeded by ), while his -of-GDP loss would fall to ().
The World Bank cites global warming as its reason for refusing in principle to fund coal, oil and gas projects in developing countries, where denying electricity to 1.3 billion people shortens lifespans by years. After the corrections proposed here, anthropogenic warming will be small, slow and net-beneficial. Globally, a policy rethink is advisable. There is certainly no case whatsoever for the “global action” that the defendants profiteer by advocating.
The purported “study” describes those who disagree with it as follows –
“In particular, by contrarians we refer to individuals frequently sources by institutions denying the documented realities of climate change and its consequences and/or individuals who have personally expressed inaccurate statements.”
See how the defendants cannot conceal their malice. Yet again the word “denying” appears. Now they say that those who disagree with the Party Line to which they adhere, including me and others named in the list they have so widely circulated, are “denying the documented realities of climate change and its consequences”, when the defendants know full well that it is they who are denying the realities that global warming has been far slower than had been predicted, and that even if it were to occur at anything like the originally-predicted or currently-predicted rate any attempts to mitigate it would constitute a crippling, global net welfare loss.
The purported “study” concludes thus –
“Research shows that journalists often quote contrarians either to infuse objectivity or to dismiss their position outright. Yet these approaches also detract attention from the relevant climate-change narrative and provide the counterproductive impression that there is something substantial in contrarian arguments to be debated. Thus, the time has arrived for professional journalists and editors to ameliorate the disproportionate attention given to climate-change contrarians by focusing instead on career experts and relevant calls to action.”
Here, the defendants recite yet again what that Communist front group proclaimed as the Party Line well over a decade ago: the science is settled (when the defendants know it is not); the consensus is near-unanimous (when the defendants know that it is limited only to the question what fraction of global warming is anthropogenic, and that on that question the defendants are in a tiny, insignificant majority that they are fraudulently presenting as though it were an “overwhelming” majority); and we must act (when in fact we must not act, for if we act we cause needless economic and environmental damage).
With good reason, then, I reiterate the requests set forth at the beginning of this letter. I shall expect answers from each defendant within seven days of the date of this letter.
Viscount Monckton of Brenchley