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
The issue of global warming--the rising termperature of the planet's atmosphere due to human activity--is a scientific question. As an engineer, I know that scientific questions are resolved through analysis, experimentation and data collection. An "opinon" has no relevance to the question unless it is argued on the basis of scientific inquiry. I don't ask my oncologist if it is "his opinion" if I have cancer. No, I ask for the results of the scientific and technical tests that answer such a question. Same for global warming.
But even if you are not a direct participant in the scientific inquiry, you can still use your engineering training to do a rudimentary investigation, such as does the hypothesis of global warming pass basic questions of plausibility?
I was raised north of the 64th latitude and am pushing 60 now. I have first hand knowledge of the dramatic changes in climate, flaura and fauna in those parts over the decades. That does not answer the question of cause, but it does answer the question of for-realness.
Look, without even having to become conversant with the technical issues and data, it's easy to get to the root of the matter. The global warming alarmists (see, both sides can use pejorative names to poison the well for the other!) act in the ways that liars act, ergo they must be liars.
For me, any investigation into the technical aspects has served only to confirm that suspicion.
Charles--I agree completely. Well said. I have not idea as to how this discussion will ultimately "shake out" between those who choose to respond but I certainly hope technology leads the way and not those who stand to gain. Many thanks for a great post.
What evidence? Remember, the only raw data set that showed a link between CO2 and climate was destroyed before it could be peer reviewed. So everything we have is based on reports done from that data set, by a very small group of scientists. The same group that wrote an internal email saying, in effect, that the raw data didn't match their theory.
I am not impressed with the list. Richard Lindzen is one of the few actually within the relevant field, and if I recall correctly, he is betting everything on clouds to save our bacon. Burt Rutan is a hero to me, but how could he know what is going on with the climate just by observation and intuition?
What would my kids and grandkids think of me if I used my credibility or fame to disrupt corrective action on climate change? There are other compelling reasons to not continue burning hydrocarbons at the same rate or faster, after all.
Farewell Design News. I can't abide providing cover for those who don't care to take responsible action.
I also am an ME and certainly don't feel qualified to deliver an opinion that can be backed up with hard data.
I agree. Like all of the commenters here, neither you nor your friend are climate scientists and are thus unqualified to deliver an opinion that can be backed up. Moreover, we are all addicted to cheap fossil fuels that enable our low cost, high standard of living and thus we all have a conflict of interest when we deny the existence of global warming. We only hurt our reputations further when we use what science and engineering backgrounds we have as an excuse based on the grounds that we're showing open-mindedness.
Real climate scientists are unequivocal about the clear and present danger posed by global warming, aside from the 2% or so who have mostly financial, political, or religious conflicts of interest.
A person of science can't honestly look at the >97% of best experts who say the planet is facing a critical tipping point impacting hundreds of millions of people and trillions of dollars in costs and then logically conclude that the science is unsettled and that no action is the prudent course.
We might know our own areas of non-climate science, but we ignore the best climate science at our own peril.
Excellent post. It's very obvious from the number of comments that global warming is a topic followed by many, if not most, concerned engineers and other technical individuals. I also am an ME and certainly don't feel qualified to deliver an opinion that can be backed up with hard data. I think the evidence is very conflicting at best. I have a friend who teaches math on the doctoral level. His specialty is formulating algorithms for defining chaotic processes. Some months ago we were discussing global warming and he indicated he feels, we will be decades, if ever, from structuring "working and predictive" math models relative to weather forecasting. It's just that complex. We also agreed we are stewards of the world we were born into. You make your bed, wash the dishes, dust the house, fix the roof, maintain your car, mow your lawn--why not make decisions that foster insuring favorable environmental conditions for your kids, grandkids, etc. There is certainly a growing awareness among the engineering community that this trend will continue and designs will not be accepted in the marketplace if they damage our ecological system. It just makes good sense.
God has everything to do with science. Who do you think put the earth in its perfect orbit? Who put life here? Certainly not some swamp who decided to break the laws of thermodynamics (chaos). You ignore the obvious, my friend, when you give all power to man or chance. Yes, there is a God and He has called prophets and Apostles in these last days to help us understand His creations. Don't think man is so smart or lucky. As an engineer I use his creations to better mankind. I guess to you I might be a reactionary, or maybe peculiar. I can live happily with that...
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