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
You say the data set showing a correlation between CO2 and warming was wrong.... Hahhaha. It was also conveniently destroyed as well.... Hmmmm. Look, you seem to be fooling yourself here. One dataset does not make science. Also, you don't back up your contention with proof about this mysterious dataset. Sounds to me like you prefer conspiracy theories to science.
Next, nobody is demanding that we stop burning fossil fuels across the board. That's just a red herring in this argument. The cost of doing anything needs to be understood as best it can. Extracting and burning coal is inexpensive, but who pays for the people effected by the mercury poisoning downstream.
Lastly, what was green and not green is once again a phony example of supposed common sense run amok. Look, the science is pretty clear, the concept is quite simple, and the effects are complicated. The urination analogy is not credible. You can calculate the contribution of your urination to a river and it has an effect. You can say the amount of CO2 entering the atmospere is trivial, but the only scientists you find that will agree with that are not specialists in the field; and, they are always in the minority.
Good look with that one scientist that says the asteroid is going to miss us!
Human Fossils use is 200 times all the world's volcanoes combined and has increased out CO2 level to the highes in 15 million years.
Turns out, rooftop solar, offshore wind, backed with waste fuels in existing fossils generators, replacing most vehicles with plug in hybrids and using Hydro where it does'nt kill too many fish is cheaper thatn fossils and nuclear power now.
If the Governmnet would just stop proping up and protectinvt frossils and nuclear industry they would go away fast and be replaced in ten year or less with clean, cheaper energy that will never run out, no more energy crisis, ever.
Rigt! Water vapor certainly does absorb quite well. And as for the poles once being tropical, like I said, the system is far more complicated than a lot of folks think. Clearly nobody talking has enough understanding to make an accurate analysis.
Also, it is not JUST about money, it is also about POWER! And telling the rest of us how to live our lives is on the agenda of a lot of the loudest talkers. Of course nobody is willing to admit that they want to be king, not when the real goal is to be a dictater.
Besides all of that, planting trees is indeed a good way to restore the balance, but planting trees will not make anybody rich, nor will it give them power over others. There is just not much glamor in planting lots of trees, unfortunately.
If I urinate off a bridge, it has some effect on the water level below, too. The question is how much?
Another question that no one seems to ask : If you and I refuse to burn those fossil fuels, what happens to them? Do you really think they'll get left in the ground? No, they'll still be extracted and still be burned and still release just as much carbon. If the entire US somehow stopped using fossil fuels tomorrow (which is clearly impossible), China and India would take up the slack almost overnight.
The data set that was claimed to show a strong correlation between global warming and CO2 levels turned out to be a fake. The perpetrators destroyed the data set rather than let anyone else see the hoax. Other data sets (those available for peer review) do not show a strong correlation.
Remember when Greenland was green? Neither do I. When they get back to growing wheat in Greenland, we can talk about the planet being unusually warm ... but still not as warm as it used to be.
Look folks.... It's simply energy in and energy out. The sun provides the energy in and the argument that somehow CO2, no matter what the source, is not affecting the energy out is ridiculous. Distinguished people of science are not experts in everything because they are usually burdened to specific expertise associated with their specialty. I'm surprised that Design News would bother touting this list of people as having done the hard climate science necessary to address this issue knowledgably. Ask yourself a simple question. If to the best of their knowledge 9 out of 10 scientist project some asteroid is going to hit the Earth and 1 scientist says no. Who are you going to stake your life and and the life of your family on? Every problem or potential problem in this world doesn't start from someones puny political ideology. The problem has always been the same people who tried to say smoking was OK are sowing the same seeds of confusion on this topic on behalf of the fossil fuels industry. I hear people saying that it's all about bogus science and bogus scientists seeking government money. I suppose that is why Exxon is the most profitable company in history. Lastly, when the Earths orbit is at it most elliptical in it's cycle with the sun and Earth is at the far end of that ellipse, (about 1500 years from now) are we going to be knowledgable and ready to deal with the situation with solid science or scientific seeming assumptions anyone from any background can pretend to have merit!
I dont think you quite understand how CO2 works. It doesnt affect the heating of the earth from the sun illumination because very little of that power is in the infrared, where CO2 absorbs and emits. Since the sun is a ~6000K blackbody its emission peaks at "yellow" wavelengths. But when the dark side of the earth is emitting into space its temperature is more like 300K. In this case the emission peak is about 10 microns. Just about a match for CO2's absorption line at 10.6 micron. This is the problem as the CO2 absorbs that radiation, and traps it in the atmosphere by holding the energy and/or transferring to to other gases so that it cant escape freely and so we dont get the cooling effect.
Are global temperatures rising - global both in time and space? Average global temperatures have not gone up much in the past decade, but almost everything else says "yes." Glaciers and ice shelves are vanishing compared to 100 years ago. That is clearly visible from thousands of photographs.
Is human-generated CO2 the reason? More difficult to be certain. There's no doubt that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and that atmospheric CO2% is way-high now. There is also considerable evidence from ice cores that global temperatures are very-approximately proportional to CO2%. However, it's very hard to prove that it's not part of a larger, purely-natural cycle.
Is drastic action needed? Vastly more difficult to answer, and obviously far more controversial. There's clearly a great deal of disagreement about validity of the climate models that mandate drastic action. For example, when will the salinity shift of fresh-water melt off in Greenland and the Arctic Ocean cause the "Atlantic Conveyor" to shut down? Far more difficult to predict!
As far as this particular news story is concerned though, it doesn't sound like anything really changed here. The Op Ed this all stems from was from a long time ago. That in itself isn't evidence that the number of "skeptics" is either high or growing.
Bart, of course we should strive for the best reasonable efficiency in just about every case. And likewise we should do our bes to both avoid pollution and conserve resources. There is no question as to the validity of those goals.
But the hysterical outcry that the sky is falling, and that the earth will soon become much more hostile to life as we know it certainlky looks much more at an effort toward poorly advised social engineering by those with an entirely different agenda. What is most obvious is the total lack of any reporting on the possibility that the energy output of the sun, which is our only source of heat input, has increased a bit. And while the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may be reflecting heat back toward the earth, which it has done ever since the earth came into existance, it also reflects incident radiation back into space. So it could be that we are being protected from a scorching ambient by that very material that is causing some folks so much anguish.
The original posting did include what is probably the most ignored reality of all, which is that the atmosphere and weather system is very complex and not that well understood. We do have good explanations of the physics of what some phenomena are, but not a whole lot of understanding about the "why" they are driven by. To paraphrase an old truism, "for each complex system there is a simple explanation--and it is usually wrong."
So we certainly should see what we can learn about our global climate, but I am suggesting that we also examine the hidden agendas of those who scream so loudly. As an example, the "cap and trade" option would put a huge amount of wealth into the pockets of those who were the brokers. Are there a few who would mislead us for that kind of wealth? A lot of bankers did a lot of damage to our economy for far less than that , if you recall.
California’s plan to mandate an electric vehicle market isn’t the first such undertaking and certainly won’t be the last. But as the Golden State ratchets up for its next big step toward zero-emission vehicle status in 2018, it might be wise to consider a bit of history.
By now, most followers of the electric car market know that another Tesla Model S caught fire in early February. The blaze happened in a homeowner’s garage in Toronto. After parking the car, the owner left his garage. Moments later, the smoke detector blared, the fire department was called, and the car was ruined. To date, no one knows why.