Climate scientists plan campaign against global-warming skeptics

Published: Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010 - 12:00 am

Faced with increasing political attacks, hundreds of climate scientists
are joining a broad campaign to push back against congressional
conservatives who have threatened prominent researchers with
investigations and have vowed to kill regulations to rein in man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

The efforts reveal a shift among climate scientists, many of whom have traditionally stayed out of politics and avoided the news media. Many now say they are willing to go toe-to-toe with their
critics, some of whom gained new power after the Republicans won control
of the House in last Tuesday's election.

On Monday, the American Geophysical Union, the country's largest association of climate scientists, plans to announce that 700 climate scientists have agreed to speak out as experts on questions about global warming and the role of man-made air pollution.

Some are prepared to go before what they consider potentially hostile audiences on conservative talk-radio and television shows.

John Abraham of St. Thomas University in Minnesota, who last May wrote a widely disseminated response to climate-change skeptics, is organizing a "Climate Rapid Response Team," which so far
has more than three dozen leading scientists to defend the consensus on
global warming in the scientific community. Some are also preparing a
handbook on the human causes of climate change, which they plan to start sending to U.S. high schools as soon as this fall.

"This group feels strongly that science and politics can't be divorced and that we need to take bold measures to not only communicate
science but also to aggressively engage the denialists and politicians
who attack climate science and its scientists," said Scott Mandia, professor of physical sciences at Suffolk County Community College in New York.

"We are taking the fight to them because we are . . . tired of taking the hits. The notion that truth will prevail is not working. The
truth has been out there for the past two decades, and nothing has

During the recent election campaigns, skepticism about climate change became a rallying cry for many Republican candidates. Of the more than 100 new Republican members of Congress, 50 percent are climate-change skeptics, according to an analysis of campaign statements by the Center for American Progress, a liberal research group.

Prominent Republican congressmen such as Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Joe L. Barton, R-Texas, and F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., R-Wis., have pledged to investigate the Environmental Protection Agency's regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. They say they also intend to probe the so-called Climategate scandal, in which thousands of e-mails
of leading climate scientists were hacked and released to the public late last year.

Climate-change skeptics argued that the sniping in some e-mails showed that scientists suppressed research by skeptics and manipulated
data. Five independent panels subsequently cleared the researchers
involved and validated the science.

"People who ask and accept taxpayer dollars shouldn't get bent of shape when asked to account for the money," said James M. Taylor, a senior fellow and a specialist in global warming at the conservative Heartland Institute in Chicago. "The budget is spiraling out of control while government is handing out billions of dollars in grants to climate scientists, many of whom are unabashed activists."

Ongoing public interest in Climategate has prompted climate scientists to act.

The American Geological Union plan has attracted a large number of scientists in a short time because they were eager to address what they
see as climate misinformation, said Jeffrey Taylor, research fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado and manager of the project.

Still, the scope of the group's work is limited, reflecting the ongoing reluctance by many scientists to venture into politics.

In the week that Abraham and others have been organizing the rapid-response team, 39 scientists agreed to participate, including Richard Feely, senior scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Kevin Trenberth, head of the climate analysis section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research; and Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University.

"People who've already dug their heels in, we're not going to change their opinions," Mandia said. "We're trying to reach people who
may not have an opinion or opinion based on limited information."

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Sorry, but what do half of those institutes have to do with climate science? preventative medicine? Forestry? Sorry, but science is NOT done by consensus, whether you like it or not. That seems to be the point you are failing to grasp. Any chance you could answer my questions from your response to me?
You know the head of the IPCC is a railway engineer, don't you? How about you disprove what the mining engineer says, rather than just mention his job?

Would you kindly tell the other poster that the society of medicine, and prevention medicine, forestry, etc, have just as much to do with climate science are a railway engineer, or a mining engineer?

I'm curious how you guys treat other branches of science. You talk about consensus, and bring pout figures of 97%, and yet..

So where does this leave concensus?

Hell, even the IPCC doesn't have that many writers behind it. Do you guys really think that consensus actually trumps science? As I said way back... Show the proof and evidence that mankind, and co2 has had ANY effect on the global temperature. This has yet to be done, and until it does so, then the science is not settled. It is not a case of "well just in case", as that has nothing to do with science. Hell, I haven't said anything about what we should do, despite what some of you seem to think. I have simply said that the science is not settled, and that a campaign will do nothing for the science side of things. Some of you are almost religious in your methodology. You seem to want to ignore normal scientific practice, and will shout down anyone who says otherwise.

Show me the science that backs up your case. This is the same scientific method used for every other scientific principle out there. Why the difference when it comes to climate science?

The IPCC say that we have warmed by 0.7 degrees in the last century. Somebody show me why this is man made? Believing is just not scientific... We need evidence.
How about you change the colour of that text? It is unreadable. With regards to co2 levels and temperature, have you looked a little further back than a few decades? Have a look at the historic co2 levels, and see if you can see a correlation between co2, and temperature?

If CO2 drives climate, then where is the correlation with temperature during these dates? If co2 is the driving force of temperature, why have we seen halt in the temperature rise for the last 15 years, despite co2 levels still rising?

Why do we see the retreat of the glaciers BEFORE manmade emmisions could have had any effect?

Still waiting for the correlation for a link to man made emissions, and temperature.

You may also wish to read this paper

Potential Dependence of Global Warming on the Residence Time (RT) in the Atmosphere of Anthropogenically Sourced Carbon Dioxide: Essenhigh R.H., Energy Fuels, 23 (5),2773–2784 (2009)


if you can access it. I can't, as I'm not on the work computers, but I'm sure one of you should be able to.
Being unaware of something, making mistakes and asking question is one thing. One can actually get valuable pointers & learn something new, even other readers like me.

But droning on in huge hardly readable texts, re-linking some pdfs which are so glaringly obvious just not science which the layman I am can see, argh. I'm inclined to call that obvious trolling.

Thx, doone for your effort.
Perhaps you prefer the term "settled science" over consensus. Evolution and plate tectonics are "settled science" and for all intents and purposes, are facts.
Nope... Preventative medicine, vetinary science, etc, and things like solar radiance, carbon cycles, and so on and so forth. Please, enlighten me. What DOES preventative medicine have to do with climate science?

How exactly is it a bit rich by the way? What about my articles do you find 'a bit rich'?
A few points...

You don't think Lindzen has any relevance? It has every relevance. The computer models being used are vital to climate science. The Lindzen research gave usable, verifiable data as to radiance. This needs to be looked at, as what is gave us was a data set that was opposite to what the models were predicting. This needs to be looked at. There is much discussion as to the veracity of the data, but that is what science is there for. It is data, and experimentation like this that shows that the debate is not over, (which was my point all the way back in the beginning). The whole point of me coming in here was to argue against the people who state that the science is settled etc. Can you spot the difference between the observed data, and the model data?

There are issues with forcing, as well as

No-one is disputing that c02 has a part to play in the greenhouse theory. I certainly don't think I said otherwise. Nor did I say that I don't think that the climate has warmed over the last however many hundred years. I'll say it again, and I'll say it again, I simply don't think that we can put a lid on it, and go ahead with steps, and measures before we have a definitive answer. Just in case just isn't good enough, I'm afraid.

As for the forestry people being involved in climate science. I'm sorry, but forestry management is NOT the same as climate science. Climate science involves almost every aspect of science. Forestry is managing trees, and ensuring that manmade limits and regulations are upheld. As for the veterinary society, and the preventative medicine people, sorry, nothing to do with climate science either. These were just a few from the list that have nothing to do with it.

I'm not sure how you think I don't know how science works. I'm the one saying that we need to let the science decide, not the one who can shout the loudest decides.

What do you say to the scientists out there that suggest that the science is not settled?

Are they wrong simply because they go against the grain, or should their work be looked at? If it is the first one, is that bordering on religious? If the second then the debate is not over. Remember that you only need one correct hypothesis that goes against the grain to put the whole thing in doubt. This IS the scientific method.
I'm not sure how you think I don't know how science works. I'm the one saying that we need to let the science decide, not the one who can shout the loudest decides.

What do you think a "consensus" means in science?
Consensus means nothing. The evidence is all-important. Let me ask you a question. Do you think the debate is over? If so, why?
Consensus means nothing. The evidence is all-important.

Uh...I really think you need to study up on how science works. It is no surprise that you struggle in accepting the consensus of climate scientists regarding climate change.
"Uh...I really think you need to study up on how science works. It is no surprise that you struggle in accepting the consensus of climate scientists regarding climate change."...

You think science works via consensus? Ever heard of the appeal to authority?

So let me give you an example... The theory of continental drift. What the consensus says is true? Correct? Science is done via a show of hands, and not via experimentation, and evidential proof?

Actually, as this is an atheist website, why not use this example...

The vast majority of people on the planet believe in a God of some sort. Does that mean it is true? There actually IS a God, as the consensus is with that proposition?
Appeal to authority is a fallacy of defective induction, where it is argued that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative. The most general structure of this argument is:
Source A says that p is true.
Source A is authoritative.
Therefore, p is true.

Why is this debate important? Because I am fed up to the back teeth of hearing people on the TV, in the press, and people online talking about the debate being over. Look at some of the first posts on the thread regarding this. For example...

"I have trouble believing that any of them is sincerely 'skeptical' instead of just being a flat-out denialist because they like to invent their own reality."

"t certainly seems to be a case of willful ignorance. I hope these efforts can put these so-called skeptics on the hot seat. Maybe then we can show them for the asses they truly are come 2012."

"Oh, oh, I know - it's the big conspiracy that bothers you. The fact the people who rule the world want your money and your free will"

This is why I started talking about the debate not being over, nothing else. This is my last, I'm offski. Can't be bothered anymore.


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