Written by EPW
Climate of Change: UK Met Office Issues ‘Blistering Attack on Scientific Colleagues' For ‘Apocalyptic Climate Predictions'
Arctic Ice Changes ‘Could Easily be Due to Natural Fluctuations in the Weather'
Washington, DC: Scientists at the UK Met office "launched a blistering attack on scientific colleagues and journalists who exaggerate the effects of global warming." The Met office, "one of the most prestigious research facilities in the world" according to the February 11, 2009, article in the UK Guardian, is no hotbed of climate skeptics, as the organization accepts the UN IPCC view of man-made global warming. A U.S. climate expert has also declared that "the political consensus surrounding climate policy is collapsing," and a U.S. Naval Academy chemist has accused the media of "journalistic malpractice" for hyping warming fears. Furthermore, NASA's James Hansen and RealClimate.org have also come under renewed criticism.
The scientists at the UK Met Office lamented the "recent ‘apocalyptic predictions' about Arctic ice melt," according to the UK Guardian newspaper.
"The record-breaking losses in the past couple of years could easily be due to natural fluctuations in the weather, with summer ice increasing again over the next few years," Pope explained.
Pope's Arctic ice view echoes the 2008 U.S. Senate Minority Report on Arctic sea ice and polar bears. The January 20, 2008, report featured "the latest peer-reviewed science detailing the natural causes of recent Arctic ice changes." Climate researcher Dr. Peter Stott echoed Pope, warning that "dramatic predictions of accelerating temperature rise and sea ice decline, based on a few readings, could backfire when natural variability swings the other way and the trends seem to reverse," the paper reported. "It just confuses people," Stott added. Despite these attacks on the claims of their fellow scientists and the media, both Pope and Stott continue to believe that man-made global warming is real and should be addressed, in contrast to a growing number of scientists who now believe "the science has, quite simply, gone awry."
Senator James Inhofe, the Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee forewarned of the same situation back in 2006. "Yes -- it appears that alarmism has led to skepticism," then EPW chairman Inhofe said in a floor speech on September 25, 2006.
‘Climate policy collapsing'
This latest warning about global warming alarmism follows the declaration that "the political consensus surrounding climate policy is collapsing" by University of Colorado Professor Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. on February 7, 2009. Pielke, Jr., accepts the UN IPCC view of global warming, bluntly called the current carbon trading based policy proposals to address man-made global warming "fictional and fantasy."
"The political consensus surrounding climate policy is collapsing. If you are not aware of this fact you will be very soon," Pielke, Jr., who is in the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at University of Colorado, wrote.
According to Pielke, Jr., the collapse "is due to the fact that policy makers and their political advisors (some trained as scientists) can no longer avoid the reality that targets for (emission) stabilization such as 450 ppm (or even less realistic targets) are simply not achievable with the approach to climate change that has been at the focus of policy for over a decade. Policies that are obviously fictional and fantasy are frequently subject to a rapid collapse."
Pielke criticized both the promoters of man-made climate fears and skeptics. "For climate science I fully expect things to get worse before they get better, simply because the most vocal, politically active climate scientists have shown no skill at operating in the political arena. The skeptics could not wish for a more convenient set of opponents," he explained. "The climate scientists (and their willing allies) have taken their battle to the arenas of politics, waging a scorched earth campaign of bullying, name calling, threats, and obnoxiously absurd appeals to authority," Pielke added. [Note: Public concern over global warming is dropping dramatically. See: Pew Poll: Global warming ranks dead last as priority for 2009 - Ranks dead last, 20 out of 20 in new Pew survey & Rasmussen Reports survey finds majority of U.S. Voters - '51% - now believe that humans are not the predominant cause of climate change' - January 20, 2009 & Gore laments global warming efforts: 'I've failed badly' - Washington Post - November 11, 2008 ]
‘All economic pain for no climate gain'
Senator Inhofe addressed the growing public skepticism and the legislative proposals claiming to address global warming. "Americans simply are not buying the idea that Congress or the UN can somehow control the Earth's thermostat and they will not support costly emission control schemes...Congressional cap-and-trade bills, often touted as an ‘insurance policy' against global warming, would instead be nothing more than all economic pain for no climate gain," Inhofe said in January 2009. [Note: Even Warming Promoters are now rejecting cap-and-trade approach: See: Environmental guru James Lovelock slams carbon trading: 'Most of the green stuff is verging on a gigantic scam' - January 21, 2009 & NASA's James Hansen declares cap-and-trade "ineffectual." ]
Many of the critics of climate alarmism blame former Vice President Al Gore, the United Nations, NASA's James Hansen and much of the media for the relentless hyping of potential future doom. Earlier this year, a UK scientist ripped the UN IPCC as "a purely political body posing as a scientific institution." Dr. John Brignell, a UK Emeritus Engineering Professor at the University of Southampton who held the Chair in Industrial Instrumentation at Southampton, accused the UN of "censorship" on July 23, 2008. "Here was a purely political body posing as a scientific institution. Through the power of patronage it rapidly attracted acolytes. Peer review soon rapidly evolved from the old style refereeing to a much more sinister imposition of The Censorship. As Wegman demonstrated, new circles of like-minded propagandists formed, acting as judge and jury for each other. Above all, they acted in concert to keep out alien and hostile opinion. ‘Peer review' developed into a mantra that was picked up by political activists who clearly had no idea of the procedures of science or its learned societies. It became an imprimatur of political acceptability, whose absence was equivalent to placement on the proscribed list," Brignell wrote.
Obama's Energy Secretary Steven Chu issued a dire climate prediction earlier this month, warning of "no more agriculture in California" and adding, "I don't actually see how they can keep their cities going." [Note: Senator Inhofe's response to Chu: "Computer model predictions of the year 2100 are simply not evidence of a looming climate catastrophe."]
Chemist Dr. Mark L. Campbell, a professor of chemistry at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, who has published numerous studies in the Journal of the American Chemical Society on topics such as methane, railed against what he termed "journalistic malpractice" when it comes to the media's global warming reporting. Campbell likened warming fears to "some imaginary boogeyman."
"The sky is not burning, and to claim that it is amounts to journalistic malpractice," Campbell wrote on January 13, 2009. "The press only promotes the global warming alarmists and ignores or minimizes those of us who are skeptical. To many of us, there is no convincing evidence that carbon dioxide produced by humans has any influence on the Earth's climate," Campbell added.
Other scientists are equally as blunt in their dissatisfaction with the media. "It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don't buy into anthropogenic global warming," announced U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA in 2008.
Other scientists credit Gore's climate claims for helping to make them skeptics. "Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp," said Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic. Smit is a former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.
Climatologist Robert Durrenberger, past president of the American Association of State Climatologists, also credited Gore.
"Al Gore brought me back to the battle and prompted me to do renewed research in the field of climatology. And because of all the misinformation that Gore and his army have been spreading about climate change I have decided that ‘real' climatologists should try to help the public understand the nature of the problem," Durrenberger said in 2007.
‘The science has, quite simply, gone awry'
UK scientist David Bellamy, a botanist and environmental campaigner, reversed his view on man-made warming and converted to a skeptic. The science has, quite simply, gone awry. In fact, it's not even science any more, it's anti-science," Bellamy wrote on November 5, 2008. [Note: for a report on how many scientists have converted from believers in man-made warming fears to skeptics, see: Climate Momentum Shifting: Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming - Now Skeptics - & See: -& U.S. Senate Minority Report Update: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims. ]
"Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined," added atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh.
In December, a professor who focuses on sustainable development at the University of Amsterdam, lamented the increasingly dire climate "hype" and conceded she is "increasingly ill at ease about the debate" which has become "increasingly desperate."
"I confess that I am increasingly uncomfortable with what is being called the travelling climate circus: this incessant and expensive series of conferences about the climate," Professor Louise O. Fresco wrote on December 12, 2008, in Der Spiegel. "I am far from being a climate skeptic," Fresco added. "But if I have to choose between alleviating hunger and poverty today and preventing CO2 emissions tomorrow, then I choose the former, in the firm conviction that only prosperity will lead to a change in mentality and the financing of energy-saving measures," she explained. "The elements of hype and carelessness I have come across are increasing," she wrote. "Attempts to present these issues as dramatically as possible come from the understandable frustration about the lack of success in the climate negotiations. The louder the calls for change, the less credible they become; and the slower the progress in the negotiations, the louder the calls. The climate problem is complex and tenacious and is not helped by an inaccurate presentation of the facts," Fresco wrote.
Political figures are now openly challenging man-made climate claims. Northern Ireland Environmental Minister Sammy Wilson has rejected a global warming ad as "patent nonsense" and railed against what he termed the "insidious propaganda campaign." The rejected ads were "giving people the impression that by turning off the standby light on their TV they could save the world from melting glaciers and being submerged in 40ft of water," Wilson said according to a February 9, 2009 BBC article.
In addition, many politically left scientists and environmental activists are now questioning global warming fears.
‘Now I am one of the evil Deniers!'
Many in the media now increasingly appear to be recognizing that man-made global warming fears are not holding up scientifically.
Columnist Mike Thomas of the Orlando Sentinel surprised many this week with his announcement that he had converted from a "believer to being a global-warming agnostic." "Many distinguished scientists think the evidence blaming humans is either bogus, incomplete, or not overwhelming enough to think we are a significant part of a problem," Thomas wrote on February 10, 2009. Following his declaration, Thomas found himself the center of controversy. "Now I am one of the evil 'Deniers!'" Thomas wrote of the attacks. "Many of those attacking the column accused me of everything from being a Bush stooge to pandering for web clicks to pandering for a job," he added.
New York Times environmental reporter Andrew Revkin publicly chastised NASA warming scientist James Hansen for promoting sea level claims that are at the upper boundary of what is "even physically possible." "[Hansen's] views are clearly at the upper boundary of what many glaciologists and oceanographers together see as realistic, or even physically possible, in a warming world," Revkin wrote on January 5, 2009.
Revkin also noted that Hansen was a "passionate climate campaigner."
Retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. John S. Theon, one of the former supervisors of Hansen, has now publicly declared himself a skeptic and declared that Hansen "embarrassed NASA" with his alarming climate claims and said Hansen was "was never muzzled." Theon joined the rapidly growing ranks of international scientists abandoning the promotion of anthropogenic global warming fears. [See: U.S. Senate Minority Report Update: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims & See Prominent Scientist Fired By Gore Says Warming Alarm ‘Mistaken' & Gore laments global warming efforts: 'I've failed badly' - Washington Post - November 11, 2008 ]
‘Science Group Erred Giving Hansen Top Honor'
Another blow to Hansen was a report by the Washington Post Weather Gang boldly stating on January 29, 2009 that the American Meteorological Society "(AMS) Science Group Erred Giving Hansen Top Honor." "A key issue is whether it is appropriate for prominent scientists to serve dual roles as researchers and advocates for political change, or if must there be a clear separation between the two," wrote environmental journalist Andrew Freeman. "Such advocacy, which is Hansen's right as a citizen, threatens to paint the AMS as having a political agenda too," Weaver added.
Another harsh rebuke came from renowned Hurricane expert and atmospheric scientist Dr. William Gray who cancelled his AMS membership because the group gave its top award to Hansen. Gray is an emeritus Professor from Colorado State University.
In a February 7, 2009 essay titled "On The Hijacking of the American Meteorological Society", Gray wrote: "I am appalled at the selection of James Hansen as this year's recipient of the AMS's highest award - the Rossby Research Medal. James Hansen has not been trained as a meteorologist. His formal education has been in astronomy. His long records of faulty global climate predictions and alarmist public pronouncements have become increasingly hollow and at odds with reality. Hansen has exploited the general public's lack of knowledge of how the globe's climate system functions for his own benefit. His global warming predictions, going back to 1988 are not being verified. Why have we allowed him go on for all these years with his faulty and alarmist prognostications? And why would the AMS give him its highest award?" [ Also See: MIT Climate Scientist Exposes ‘Corrupted Science' in Devastating Critique - November 29, 2008 ]
Retired meteorologist Craig James, an AMS member, wrote a scathing commentary about Hansen. "I believe Dr. Hansen's political ideology has taken over his science and renders him no longer qualified to be the keeper of the global temperature data," James wrote on January 15, 2009.
Hansen called an 'apocalyptic prophet' In June of 2008, Dr. Nicholas Drapela of the faculty of Oregon State University Chemistry Department expressed his outrage at Hansen and referred to him as "an apocalyptic prophet."
"My dear colleague Professor Hansen, I believe, has finally gone off the deep end. When you have dedicated the bulk of your career to a cause, and it turns out the cause has been proven false, most people cannot bring themselves to admit the truth," Drapela wrote on April 21, 2008. Drapela wrote that Hansen's recent claims "contain neither reason nor truth when compared to the volumes of daily literature being published in scientific journals today on climate change. It is not difficult to refute the words of Professor Hansen. On the contrary, one feels it is almost unfair." "The global warming ‘time bomb', the ‘present, dangerous situation', ‘the perfect storm', ‘global cataclysm', ‘disastrous climate changes that spiral dynamically out of humanity's control.' These are the words of an apocalyptic prophet, not a rational scientist," Drapela added. [Note: Also See: Don't Panic Over Predictions of Climate Doom - Get the Facts on James Hansen & UK Guardian: NASA scientist calls for putting oil firm chiefs on trial for 'high crimes against humanity' for spreading doubt about man-made global warming - June 23, 2008 ]
RealClimate.org Under Scrutiny
Another sign of a changing climate can be found relating to the global warming promoting blog RealCliamte.org. The website, which much of the mainstream media has relied on for climate science developments, has come under increasing criticism and scrutiny from scientists. Lead blogger and NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt was recently harshly criticized for some of his scientific claims. Atmospheric scientist Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, a prominent scientist from the Netherlands, wrote a scathing denunciation of Schmidt in which he said he was "appalled" by Schmidt's "lack of knowledge" and added, "Back to graduate school, Gavin!" "Roger Pielke, Sr. has graciously invited me to add my perspective to his discussion with Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate. If this were not such a serious matter, I would have been amused by Gavin's lack of knowledge of the differences between weather models and climate models. As it stands, I am appalled. Back to graduate school, Gavin!" Tennekes wrote on January 29, 2009. Tennekes, is an scientific pioneer in the development of numerical weather prediction and former director of research at The Netherlands' Royal National Meteorological Institute, and an internationally recognized expert in atmospheric boundary layer processes. Tennekes is also featured in U.S. Senate Minority Report Update: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims
"Gavin Schmidt is not the only meteorologist with an inadequate grasp of the role of the oceans in the climate system. In my weblog of June 24, 2008, I addressed the limited perception that at least one other climate modeler appears to have," Tennekes wrote. "From my perspective it is not a little bit alarming that the current generation of climate models cannot simulate such fundamental phenomena as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. I will not trust any climate model until and unless it can accurately represent the PDO and other slow features of the world ocean circulation. Even then, I would remain skeptical about the potential predictive skill of such a model many tens of years into the future," Tennekes added. Meteorologist Joe D'Aleo also launched a sharply worded critique of RealClimate.org in January 2009 titled "Response to Gavin Schmidt - Global Data Base Issues Are Real."
"To Gavin [Schmidt] and the other alarmists, it appears, a piece that is fair and balanced can make no mention of any other opinion except that carbon dioxide is causing global warming and action is needed now and will deliver gain and no pain, something the one sided media coverage has gotten them used to over the years," D'Aleo wrote on January 13, 2009. D'Aleo served as the first Director of Meteorology at The Weather Channel and served as chairman of the American Meteorological Society's Committee on Weather Analysis and Forecasting.
Atmospheric Physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh, also critiqued RealClimate.org on June 24, 2008. Peden wrote, "‘Real Climate' is a staged and contracted production, which wasn't created by ‘scientists,' it was actually created by Environmental Media Services, a company which specializes in spreading environmental junk science on behalf of numerous clients who stand to financially benefit from scare tactics through environmental fear mongering."
Israeli Astrophysicist Nir Shaviv has also been critical. "The aim of RealClimate.org is not to engage a sincere scientific debate. Their aim is to post a reply full of a straw man so their supporters can claim that your point ‘has been refuted by real scientists at RealClimate.org,'" Shaviv's website reported. Shaviv, who calls the website "Wishfulclimate.org," noted that the "writers (at RealClimaet.org) try again and again to concoct what appears to be deep critiques against skeptic arguments, but end up doing a very shallow job. All in the name of saving the world. How gallant of them." [Note: Other critique's of RealClimaet.org include:: Pielke Jr.: 'Gavin Schmidt admits to stealing a scientific idea from his arch-nemesis, Steve McIntyre' - February 4, 2009 - Gavin's "Mystery Man" Revealed - by Climate Audit's Steve McIntyre on February 4th, 2009 -Gavin Schmidt demands Pielke Jr. Pull Critical Blog - "Tough New York City crowd reverses opinion on man-made warming and converts to skepticism following debate featuring RealClimate.org's Schmidt"- March 2007 - RealClimate.org's Michael Mann Cites Mt. Kilimanjaro as evidence of man-made global warming - Providence Journal - September 25, 2008 - Reality Check: Mann's using years old Mt. Kilimanjaro talking points. Mann's "facts" on Kilimanjaro are outdated. - UK Spectator: 'Hysterical' Michael Mann's Hockey Stick 'most discredited study in history of Science - February 7, 2009 - By Melanie Phillips - ‘Is Gavin Schmidt The Best Thing Ever Happened To AGW Skeptics?' - Pielke Jr.: Details RealClimate.org's & Others Engage in ‘Character Assassination' of Skeptical Scientists' ]