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  • 14-Nov-09 More about 'Scientific Consensus
  • SEPP Science Editorial #36-2009
    (in TWTW Nov 14, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    More about 'Scientific Consensus

    Nov 14, 2009

    According to the UK Met Office Climate Change Guide the core climate science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was written by 152 scientists from more than 30 countries and contributed to and/or reviewed by some 600 experts. Not mentioned, however, is the fact that many of the reviewers disagreed with the IPCC conclusion that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely (>90% sure) due to the observed increase in man-made greenhouse gas concentrations. Also unmentioned is the fact that most of the science of the IPCC report is not controversial. The only crucial chapter is Chapter 9 (on Attribution), in which the IPCC attempts to show that 20th century warming was anthropogenic. It was written by only 9 scientists and is dominated by a tightly controlled clique whose members referee each others' papers and consider 'attribution studies' as their private fiefdom.

    The NIPCC was set up to break down this monopoly. The NIPCC Summary (2008) and full report (2009) demonstrate that there is no real evidence backing the IPCC conclusion

    The following letter, signed by senior physicists, was sent to all 100 U.S. senators on October 29, 2009:


    You have recently received a letter from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), purporting to convey a "consensus" of the scientific community that immediate and drastic action is needed to avert a climatic catastrophe. We do not seek to make the scientific arguments here (we did that in an earlier letter, sent a couple of months ago), but simply note that the claim of consensus is fake, designed to stampede you into actions that will cripple our economy, and which you will regret for many years. There is no consensus, and even if there were, consensus is not the test of scientific validity. Theories that disagree with the facts are wrong, consensus or no.

    We know of no evidence that any of the "leaders" of the scientific community who signed the [AAAS] letter to you ever asked their memberships for their opinions, before claiming to represent them on this important matter.

    We also note that the American Physical Society (APS, and we are physicists) did not sign the letter, though the scientific issues at stake are fundamentally matters of applied physics. You can do physics without climatology, but you can't do climatology without physics.

    The APS is at this moment reviewing its stance on so-called global warming, having received a petition from its membership to do so. That petition was signed by 160 [by now well over 200] distinguished members and fellows of the Society, including one Nobelist and 12 members of the National Academies.

    Indeed a score of the signers are Members and Fellows of the AAAS, none of whom were consulted before the AAAS letter to you.

    View The Week That Was in which this editorial appeared.

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