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Opponents of the "Consensus" on Anthropogenic Global Warming

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05/13/2007

Contrary to what one often hears, opponents of the 'scientific consensus' promoted by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, are not self-published kooks & cranks. In view of the heat that this statement seems to generate, it is necessary to spell out & clarify what is involved (for careful readers): There are many established scientists who seriously question its procedures & arguments. See, for example, the following:

1. Dr John Everett, now a consulting oceanographer; also involved with the IPCC as reviewer, etc. This contains much useful info. Dr Everett shares the IPCC notion that carbon emissions should be reduced, but he does not agree that humans are the major cause of undesirable climate change. Good review of the main issues, including the IPCC & its procedures, esp the famous 'scientific consensus'. Provides good background/context for lay inquirers.

2. Dr Roger Pielke, Sr. has an excellent blog which lists, summarises, comments on scientific papers (from proper journals) that both support/question the IPCC consensus. Really valuable: a continuing annotated bibliography.

Dr Pielke heads his own research group at the 'Co-operative Institute for Research in Environmental Science', Univ of Colorado at Boulder & NOAA (Nat'l Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.) He is listed there (at the top) as 'Senior Research Scientist'. Quote: "As a world leader in Environmental Sciences CIRES is committed to identifying and pursuing innovative research in Earth System Science and to fostering public awareness of these processes to ensure a sustainable future environment. CIRES is dedicated to fundamental and interdisciplinary research targeted at all aspects of Earth System Science and is communicating these findings to the global scientific community, to decision-makers, and to the public."

Dr Pielke is co-author (with W R Cotton) of 'Human Impacts on Weather & Climate' CUP 2007, & a large number of proper scientific papers.

In a summary of his views he says (inter alia): "Global warming is not equivalent to climate change. Significant, societally important climate change, due to both natural — and human — climate forcings, can occur without any global warming or cooling" [emphasis added]. And:

"In terms of climate change and variability on the regional and local scale, the IPCC Reports, the CCSP Report on surface and tropospheric temperature trends, and the U.S. National Assessment have overstated the role of the radiative effect of the anthropogenic increase of CO2 relative to the role of the diversity of other human climate climate forcing on global warming, and more generally, on climate variability and change" [emphasis added].

Dr Pielke also says "models [cannot] accurately forecast the spread of possibilities of future climate." In short, he is outside the IPCC consensus.

(His son, Prof Roger Pielke Jr is a climate researcher/political scientist & heads the policy research unit in CIRES.)

3. For the names of scientists who question the IPCC consensus, see: 'Open Kyoto to debate: Sixty scientists call on Harper to revisit the science of global warming', Financial Post (Toronto) 6 April 2006: An open letter to the then Canadian PM. Scientists from Canada, Australia, Britain, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, the US. The overwhelming majority are involved in disciplines necessary to climate studies: Most are from meteorology; others are from geology [Earth's climate has a long history], palaeoclimate studies, oceanography, etc.

A quote:' "Climate change is real" is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural "noise." '

4. An Australian group who (inter alia) publicise 'sceptical' papers/scientists. That is: one source for finding such papers.

5. A rather pugnacious blog, by one of the co-authors of a famous paper which demonstrated some serious problems with the way in which climate data were handled (the infamous/famous 'hockey stick')*: Inter alia, good technical discussions of the data, how they're handled, etc. Also attempts to get the original temperature data from the author of the most-cited paper (Dr Philip Jones.) Read about the obfuscations, etc. The attempt continues; FOI had to be used. Similarly, the author of studies of ice-cores (which purport to show global warming accelerated after the mid-18th century) has not made his original data available, such that others can check it (see the points made in discussions.) Also discussions of 'tree-rings'. Etc.

[*This paper was published in 'Energy & Environment' (below) in 2003. It gave rise to further papers, there & eg in Geophysical Research Letters. Two scientific committes were then convened by members of the US Congress; both reported in 2006. One was favourable, the other, not.]

6. 'Energy & Environment' is a professional journal which publishes (inter alia) professional papers that question various aspects of the IPCC consensus: "Energy and Environment is an interdisciplinary journal aimed at natural scientists, technologists and the international social science and policy communities covering the direct and indirect environmental impacts of energy acquisition, transport, production and use. A particular objective is to cover the social, economic and political dimensions of such issues at local, national and international level."

See especially the Editor's comments; see also the Editorial Board.

7. The Vatican recently held a conference on climate & development, at which Prof Antonio Zichichi, head of the World Federation of Scientists, had some very pertinent comments on the IPCC approach, which he opposed. (His points are taken from a 60-page paper prepared for the conference. They are worth considering on their own merits.)

[NB: In view of some of the words used in some comments (below) I have felt it necessary to expand & especially try to clarify, what I posted originally.]

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