The 16 scientists who signed the Wall Street Journal editorial are a minority, but they're not outliers. They're not "flat earthers." They're not "scared of science." They are, quite simply, distinguished scientists with a dissenting opinion.
And their opinion deserves our respect.
Following are the scientists and engineers who signed the WSJ editorial.
Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris
J. Scott Armstrong, co-founder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting
Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University
Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society
Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences
William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton University
Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge
William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meterology
Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT
James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Tech University
Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences
Burt Rutan, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne
Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former US Senator
Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service
Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva
They are skeptical of consensus as a substitute for science. They know physics, they know numerical methods, they know that no one understands the heat flow across the haloclines and thermoclines of the oceans, they know that the role of wator vapor near the surface is not understood. They know that no one understands turbulent flow. They know that compression of the solar wind from varying densities of interstellar media cause something - unquantified. They know that many people's careers depend on measuring a sea level rise or ice pack decrease. But moslty they know the models are impossibly ambitious, to put it kindly. How many unknows, unmeasured, or unmeasurable effects does it take to invalidate a model? More than one? Are the climate models any less fuzzy than the Drake Equation?
Note that the large number of catasrophy models of the past 60 years may not be proof, but are a strong indicator that the model makers used first order approximations, perhaps not knowing that all first order differential equations have exponential solutions. Also some that were published were indeed that simple minded. See "On Systems Analysis" by David Berlinsky. I had him for Philosophy of Science when it was new in the 70's. Same bad math assumptions then as now. He ripped them a new one, but I think most of his intended readders didn't understand. And we didn't run out of food in 1986 or "peak oil" a year later.
Black body thermopiles with platinum RTD's or thermocouples were far more common in labs 100 years ago than they are today. They were carefully calibrated and read with nulling bridges and galvanometers with great precision and repeatability. These very broad band detectors were used for all kinds of radiant energy measurement including monitoring solar activity. True, scientists of the time did not have the advantage of space based equipment, but their records are sufficiently precise and accurate and the equipment of the time can be tested against modern methods and compensating algorithms applied, if needed.
I was fortunate enough to have some professors who had used devices like those and learned to make and use them myself along with devices like ballistic galvanometers - basically pulse integrators for the age before op-amps. Don't sell them short. Students and researchers of today can have a heck of a time reproducing measurements made over 100 years ago.
I am also one of those physicists who knows a bunch of atmopheric scientists and physicists who are in the skeptic camp (show me the data, not the "consensus") and prefer to stay out of the public and political fray. I know more skeptics than true believers. They read Al Gore state that just below the surface, the interior of the Earth is millions of degrees, and simply turn away from the subject. Who wants to debate people like that? Or the new generation of Carl Sagans where a nicely turned phrase and a wry smile win the day? You will be into the weeds of UFOs, Bigfoot, and shadow people in the blink of an eye. They leave that fun to Michio Kaku.
The "Method of selected data" is routinely used to prove all kinds of points. Just show the data that backs up your claim and ignore that which does not. The best example of it that I ever saw, which was presented as an entertainment, was a very nice proof, beyond any argument, that the earth is flat. It was great, and afterwards we all laughed for a long time.
Nice straw man work, WilliamK. It's a lot easier to win an argument when you fabricate the opposing view.
None of your remarks have scientific basis.
Did you know that water, like CO2, is actually an essential life substance? That doesn't mean you can't have too much of it, as any flood victim knows. If water were odorless, colorless, and invisible, like CO2 is, how would you know you're in a flood or a drought? You'd be forced to look at real evidence instead of relying on jokes, political demagoguery, and "thinking" with your gut.
Mankind has produced a continual CO2 flood with real and deadly implications for the planet. This is not a hypothetical guess about the future, maybe yes or maybe no. The effects of AGW are already happening almost exactly as predicted decades ago. Ignore, lie, and joke about it at your own peril as much as mine.
William thanks for your posts. One of the questions the article asks is why all the ridicule and personal abuse from the proponents of believe-global-warming towards those who disagree. In my almost forty years of engineering such unprofessional behavior is unacceptable, like the unacceptable behavior shown in lots of the believe-global-warming posts here. One reason for such egregious behavior is the fear of loss. Politicians fear loss of votes from special interest groups and loss of power. Researchers fear loss of taxpayer funded grants for studies. Groups and individuals who have taken up a cause because it feels good to them have made the issue an integral part of their being and fear loss of self-esteem. Then in online discussions like this there are what one might call hired seminar posters and trolls who post for personal gain or just to cause a fuss.
This is an old article, it was interesting looking back at some of the posts from February 2012.
No matter what the basis of a disagreement in a technical field is, there is no legitimacy in that kind of behavior. Though I expect the behavior to continue in the posts here unless there is strict enforcement of professional behavior by moderators. I get involved in the emotions of the moment as well, so I know anyone can get a little over enthusiastic...
Quite a few years ago, after watching a debate teams competition, I asked a judge about the criteria for winning the debate, particularly abouthow winning related to the validity of the side taken. The judge explained that winning a debate was not about the correctness of the side's point of view, but that winning the debate was dependant on the debaing skill of the team, and, then the judge added, "which , of course, the team with the best skills should win". So with debates and with "scientific" arguments, so very frequently the most elequant speaker is the one believed.
As in any fight or battle, the winner is not determined by who is right, but by who is the better fighter, and the most determined fighter.
So, you think that the researchers have an agenda behind their data. Where's your evidence? More importantly, if they are cooking the numbers, then you should be able to show that as the numbers wouldn't stand scrutiny as they would be fabricated and not from the real world.
Do us a favor and stop this nonsense unless you can support your disbelief with your own evidence that refutes their data.
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