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What consensus?

Posted by Richard on December 23, 2007

A minority report from the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee provides further evidence that there is no "consensus" among scientists regarding anthropogenic global warming. The report names and quotes over 400 prominent scientists (several of whom have won Nobel Prizes in their fields) who dissent from the IPCC climate claims, and especially from the even more absurd predictions made by Al Gore.

The number of dissenters from the "consensus" view who are willing to speak out has grown significantly in the past year:

Even some in the establishment media now appear to be taking notice of the growing number of skeptical scientists. In October, the Washington Post Staff Writer Juliet Eilperin conceded the obvious, writing that climate skeptics "appear to be expanding rather than shrinking." Many scientists from around the world have dubbed 2007 as the year man-made global warming fears "bite the dust." (LINK)  In addition, many scientists who are also progressive environmentalists believe climate fear promotion has "co-opted" the green movement. (LINK)

The committee minority report makes it clear that the "consensus," such as it is, exists due to fear, intimidation, and the systematic exclusion of climate skeptics from conferences, committees, and journals (emphasis added):

Many of the scientists featured in this report consistently stated that numerous colleagues shared their views, but they will not speak out publicly for fear of retribution. Atmospheric scientist Dr. Nathan Paldor, Professor of Dynamical Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, author of almost 70 peer-reviewed studies, explains how many of his fellow scientists have been intimidated.

"Many of my colleagues with whom I spoke share these views and report on their inability to publish their skepticism in the scientific or public media," Paldor wrote. [Note: See also July 2007 Senate report detailing how skeptical scientists have faced threats and intimidationLINK]

The report also points out that small elites in control of the scientific organizations supposedly backing the anthropogenic global warming theory created the "consensus" (emphasis added):

The over 400 skeptical scientists featured in this new report outnumber by nearly eight times the number of scientists who participated in the 2007 UN IPCC Summary for Policymakers. The notion of "hundreds" or "thousands" of UN scientists agreeing to a scientific statement does not hold up to scrutiny. (See report debunking "consensus" LINK) Recent research by Australian climate data analyst Dr. John McLean revealed that the IPCC's peer-review process for the Summary for Policymakers leaves much to be desired. (LINK )

Proponents of man-made global warming like to note how the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS) have issued statements endorsing the so-called "consensus" view that man is driving global warming. But both the NAS and AMS never allowed member scientists to directly vote on these climate statements. Essentially, only two dozen or so members on the governing boards of these institutions produced the "consensus" statements. This report gives a voice to the rank-and-file scientists who were shut out of the process. (LINK)

I've read barely a fraction of the 400-odd scientists' statements included in the report — basically just skimmed a few, slowing down when something caught my eye. If you're interested, but not obsessed, I recommend either that approach or searching repeatedly for "IPCC" — that will take you to some really interesting statements. And I recommend reading "Attachment Number 1" (search for that) near the end. It's the Dec. 13 open letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon signed by over 100 prominent scientists, and it pulls no punches. Here's the first paragraph (emphasis added):

It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation.

I'll toss out one more quote that caught my eye (emphasis added):

Finally, Rancourt asserted that in a warm world, life prospers. "There is no known case of a sustained warming alone having negatively impacted an entire population," he said, adding, "As a general rule, all life on Earth does better when it's hotter: Compare ecological diversity and biotic density (or biomass) at the poles and at the equator." Rancourt added, "Global warming is strictly an imaginary problem of the First World middle class." (LINK)

The notion that temperatures at some point in the recent past (like 1970, when scientists thought an ice age was coming?) were just right strikes me as absurd on its face. The notion that a degree or two of warming from that "proper" level will be profoundly catastrophic strikes me as bordering on mental illness.

(HT: Doug Ross @ Journal)

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