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
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.
Why is the debate not focused on being good stewards? What wastedful habits could/should we/I drop? Being in style, following the fad of the day, how much waste do we generate to make us feel better than the neighbor?
Appliances that fall apart in two years because the profit margins are not good if the same appliance lasts 20 years, that is one sale in 20 years instead of 10 sales in 20 years. Computers that are out of date in two years, and yet an 8 year old computer on XP still works good enough, but is going away this year partly because XP is not supported after this year.
Grandpa raised 10 kids in a house that was 1000 sq feet. I feel crowded with two people in 2000 sq feet.
1000s of scientists today, with advanced degrees in atmospheric science, claim the global warming alarmists are wrong.
See the list of 31,000+ scientists with advanced degrees who said basically the same thing (over 3000 with degrees in atmospheric science and over 5000 in Physics and Aerospace science, and 9000 with PhDs). Unfortunately, some of the scientists on this list have been verbally attacked so much that many of them would like to have not signed the petition. This list has also been attacked by claiming these were mostly made up names and titles. But even Wikipedia claims they are real scientists due to the test that was done:
"Scientific American took a random sample of 30 of the 1,400 signatories claiming to hold a Ph.D. in a climate-related science. Of the 26 we were able to identify in various databases ..."
The enemies of this petition have even gone through the trouble to send physical letters in the mail as if they were real scientists, so they could get a few names on the list that were not real scientists (so they can discredit all the real signatures). See http://www.petitionproject.org/ or http://www.oism.org/pproject/
What does the evidence say? Even those who are Christians (Bible Christians, not denominational Christians) know what the Bible says in 1 Thess 5:21. It says, "Test all things, hold fast what is good." A Christian must follow the evidence because they have committed themselves to a love of (sacrifice for) the truth (see www.MiraculousBible.org or www.WhyBaptism.org). Right now the evidence for concern over Global Warming is primarily based on assumptions that have been disproved by other scientific facts (ice core data conflicts with erosion rates, etc.).
I came across an interesting article a while ago, and found my copy again recently. The author presented a very reasonable explanation of how global warming does cause an increase in th amount of carbon dioxide produced. So even if all the data were completely correct, it may be that the interpretation is wrong, and that the cause and effect are incorrect. What happens if it is something else warming up the planet, and the result is an increase in carbon dioxide? And what happens if the frantic efforts to reduce it's production have no effect at all? And meanwhile whatever is in fact causing the warming trend gets no attention at all? Of course that suggests that the cause would actually be something that we could change, and not something like a long, slow cycle in the amount ofsolar energy delivered.
Remember that old tale about the folks who believed that it was the tree branches waving that caused the wind to blow? But after they cut down all the trees to stop the wind they discovered that was not the case. And so now that country has to import all of it's wood, since they have no trees. We should examine our system and make sure we avoid making a similar mistake.
ambassador, thanks for supporting my point that the original post is one-sided. However, you are just justifying it as not being balanced because you think there needs to be more such articles in order to balance against everything else in the media (outside of UBM). Journalism should be balanced when there is no wrong or right, just opinion. Here there are facts and science at stake. Presenting junk science as counterbalance for real science is not good journalism, "balanced" or not, just like the article's cherry-picking a handful of scientists' opinion as carrying convincing scientific weight is no substitute for sorting out the science and presenting that handful of scientists in context against the thousands of actual climate scientists (97-98% has been estimated without contradiction) who recognize AGW.
Thanks again, though, for acknowledging the bias in Mr. Murray's post.
Volkswagen AG is developing a lithium-air battery that could triple the range of its electric cars, but industry experts believe it could be a long time before that chemistry is ready for production vehicles.
Californiaís plan to mandate an electric vehicle market isnít the first such undertaking and certainly wonít 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.
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