Sunday, January 29, 2012

WSJ claims there’s “No Need to Panic About Global Warming” (part one)

{Part two will review the Wall Street Journal letter in detail}

Considering the oft repeated refrain at a discussion forum I visit of: “it all depends on which scientists you choose to believe” along with something like ‘who am I to judge the voracity of a scientist?’ this recent dust up seems worth sharing. Since it once again underscores the crazy-making Mr. Watts and his pals are guilty of.

The latest piece of denialist BS to be trumpeted by the Wall Street Journal and WUWT and being picked up by the Echo-chamber like a brush fire is a letter signed by 16 supposedly “prominent scientists” only two of whom are climatologists, though two others seem to have published a single climate related paper, but back in the 70s. Seven of the 16 are members of at least one climate denialist group like GWPF (advisory board), George C. Marshall Institute (board of directors or roundtable speakers), Australian Climate Science Coalition (advisory panel), Heartland Institute (board of directors). Including my pal Roger Cohen (ExxonMobil) who’s blatantly dishonest lectures at a local college and rented hall helped inspire my own modest attempts at activism a few years back.

Seems to me Greg Laden at nailed it:
"Two incontrovertible things: Anthropogenic Global Warming is Real, and the Wall Street Journal is a Political Rag

“The Wall Street Journal has published one of the most offensive, untruthful, twisted reviews of what scientists think of climate change; the WSJ Lies about the facts and twists the story to accommodate the needs of head-in-the-sand industrialists and 1%ers.

"The most compelling part of their argument, according to them, is that the editorial has been signed by 16 scientists. . .
{names and backgrounds listed}
. . . this is a group of older and often retired weathermen, engineers, or otherwise not-climate-scientists."

~ ~ ~
As for Wall Street Journal’s dishonesty, when a much larger group of 250 actual climate scientists submitted a letter. The WSJ rejects it. Fortunately the respected journal Science decided to published it May 7th, 2010 (Vol. 328 no. 5979 pp. 689-690).

Titled: "Climate Change and the Integrity of Science"  You can read it here:

The most important scientific points of the real climatologist’s letter:
(i) The planet is warming due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. A snowy winter in Washington does not alter this fact.

(ii) Most of the increase in the concentration of these gases over the last century is due to human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

(iii) Natural causes always play a role in changing Earth's climate, but are now being overwhelmed by human-induced changes.

(iv) Warming the planet will cause many other climatic patterns to change at speeds unprecedented in modern times, including increasing rates of sea-level rise and alterations in the hydrologic cycle. Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide are making the oceans more acidic.

(v) The combination of these complex climate changes threatens coastal communities and cities, our food and water supplies, marine and freshwater ecosystems, forests, high mountain environments, and far more.

It's a tragedy that a once respected paper lives on it's reputation and panders to such a dishonest presentation of the facts, in absolute disregard for the world we will be passing on to our off spring.

================================================ has also published an article discussing flaws in their claims:
"The Latest Denialist Plea for Climate Change Inaction"
By dana1981 posted 1/31/2012


Anonymous said...

An engineer’s assessment of what has been and is going on is available. A wider lower solar cycle can have the same influence on climate as a narrow high one. The sunspot time-integral exploits this to, with ocean cycles, calculate average global temperatures since 1895 with 88% accuracy as demonstrated in detail in the pdf made public 11/24/11 at . CO2 had no significant influence.

citizenschallenge said...

Interesting and impressive looking opinion.

Though I can’t refer to it as a paper since I can’t find where it has
undergone any serious review by any actual climatologists. Though I
have noticed it’s wallpapered over seven pages worth of Google Search
results, which gives it the smell of astroturf.

Anything can be argued convincingly when done in a vacuum.
Also as Femack pointed out to Pangburn back in 2008: “ The field is
exquisitely complex, and to suppose that any one of us can pull data
off of the internet, crunch the numbers and come up with a valid
hypothesis that negates all of the original research and peer-reviewed
analysis carried out by real climate scientists is staggeringly

Red flags:
Right out the gate he begins: “if CO2 is assumed to have no influence...”
~ But that ignores known physics! - here’s a short primer by an expert

Richard Alley explaining the physics of CO2

Global Warming: it’s not about the Hockey Stick

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Another red flag, his treatment of the ocean is beyond over-simplified
and ignores current understanding.

He ignores other forcing upon climate and focuses purely on sunspots,
where he makes big assumptions that aren’t supported.

When he does examine the physics of CO2 it ignores much of the physics
that is know to a high degree of certainty

He wastes time with the diversion of nit-picking the term “greenhouse”
which in an actual greenhouse is about convection, a physically
inaccurate term of atmospheric CO2 dynamics. But something all
science students are well aware of.

He brings up and seems to rely on Svensmark’s work even thought that
work has been reviewed by scientists and throughly discredited.

He then points out the CO2 temp lag, but makes no mention of what is
known about the mechanics of that time lag. For an introduction to
those complexities listen to a real expert explain it:
Professor Richard B. Alley
~ Bjerknes Lecture AmericanGeophysicalUnion ~ December 2009
The Biggest Control Knob:
Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s Climate History
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In his closing he a nonsense claim:
“All those organizations that agree with the Climate Science Community
‘Consensus’ had
accepted what the Consensus claimed because they assumed that these
Climate Scientists
were the experts and had figured it out.”
again ignoring the depth of data collection, study and debate within
the climatological community, instead tossing out a red herring that
scientists are like lemmings obediently following what is dictated to

Mr. Pangburn may be telling you what you want to hear, but it ignores
too much that is known to be of much value.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Anonymous, can you show us where serious climatologists have reviewed
this conjecture of Pagburn’s? If not why not?