The Week That Was (Nov 8, 2008) brought
to you by SEPP
Quote of the Week:
is no such thing as consensus science.
If it's consensus, it isn't science.
If it's science, it isn't
consensus. Period. -- Michael Crichton (1942-2008)
Dr.Michael Crichton, author of
“State of Fear,” Dies at 66 – [November 5, 2008, Bloomberg News ]
Michael Crichton, the best-selling author of
science-infused thrillers including ``Jurassic Park'' and ``The Andromeda Strain,''
has died. He was 66. Crichton died yesterday in Los Angeles ``after a
courageous and private battle against cancer,'' according to an announcement on
his Web site. It said Crichton's works ``challenged our preconceived notions
about the world around us.'' In addition to his books, Crichton created the hit
television show ``ER.'' In recent years, the Harvard University and Harvard
Medical School graduate was known as a high-profile doubter about the threat
posed by global warming. His 2004 book ``State of Fear'' conjured a group of
eco-terrorists trying to sow panic over the topic. ``In my view, our approach
to global warming exemplifies everything that is wrong with our approach to the
environment,'' he said in a 2005 speech at the National Press Club in
Washington. ``We are basing our decisions on speculation, not evidence.''
On a personal note: We had much correspondence, starting when he
wrote “State of Fear.” We met twice in
Santa Monica, CA, and last in NYC when he received an award fom ACSH. Michael Crichton was our friend, and an
adviser and stalwart supporter of SEPP.
RIP, Michael. We will miss you.
THIS WEEK The US election results are in and Senator
Barack Hussein Obama is the new President-elect. The United States can be proud of the fact
that the candidates included not only a member of a minority group but also a
woman. Governor Sarah Palin is the only
one of the four candidates who expressed doubts about anthropogenic global
warming (AGW). Mr. Obama, on the other
hand, has expressed strong opposition to the use of coal in power stations and
will undoubtedly support various measures to control the emission of carbon
Readers of TWTW
are, of course, aware that there’s no evidence to support AGW and that
therefore control of CO2 is pointless, ineffective – and also very
expensive. This fact is not generally
known or accepted by politicians, with a few exceptions. While Europe, at least part of it, seems to
be turning down the idea of CO2 controls, the US is moving in the opposite
direction, even though the US has never ratified the Kyoto Protocol. George Bush in his eight years in the White
House has opposed the kinds of CO2 controls called for by Kyoto – although his
administration has been ambivalent about the issue by advocating policies that
treated CO2 as if it were a pollutant.
late development: A day after the elections we learned that Rep. Henry Waxman
[D-CA] wants to oust Rep. John Dingell [D-MI] as chairman of the powerful
Energy and Commerce Committee of the House of Representatives. This is serious. If Waxman succeeds,
there will be no effective brake to Obama's dangerous energy/climate
Waxman undoubtedly has the support of House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi [D-CA], but we don’t know whether Obama will take sides in
this issue, which is much more than symbolic.
In fact, we don’t know whether Obama will support a version of
Cap&Trade (which would be bad enough) or the much worse plan of the EPA to
regulate the emission of CO2 as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. Of course, the financial crisis may delay or
modify such destructive policies. We
Editorial #11 (11/8/08)
Using the observational data and model results of the IPCC
and of the government-supported Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), NIPCC
has demonstrated a major disagreement between modeled and observed fingerprints
of temperature trends. The NIPCC
conclusion, opposed to that of the IPCC, is that the human contribution to
warming is not significant.
Not surprisingly, the NIPCC report [Singer et al 2008] and a
research paper by Douglass et al  have come under attack from supporters
of the IPCC. The latest such attack, a
just-published paper by Ben Santer and 16 coauthors [hereafter S17] claims that
there is something wrong with the observational data -- and also that the
uncertainties are so large that there is no longer a discrepancy between models
We are of course replying and confident that we will
prevail. However, it is interesting that
S17, in the process of attacking NIPCC, necessarily also attack the data used
in CCSP Report 1.1  and in the IPCC report . These data, which NIPCC used without any
change, have been “superseded,” according to S17 – although S17 never state so
explicitly. We wonder therefore whether
there will be formal corrections issued for the CCSP and IPCC reports to take
account of the new “corrected” data.
A note: It is perfectly natural that results from data can
change based on better analyses. But
unless one audits the raw data and analysis methods used by S17, there is
little an outside observer can do.
However, we should caution against any hasty adoption of corrections to
data analysis -- and particularly if they have just been published and not yet
been properly vetted. We know from the
experience of the infamous hockey-stick that the refereeing process is often
quite casual and not designed to discover underlying errors in the analysis. We also note with regret that one of the key
papers cited by S17 has not even been published, it is listed as “in press.”
Douglass DH, Christy JR, Pearson BD, Singer SF. 2007. A
comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions. International
Journal of Climatology 27: Doi:10.1002/joc.1651.
IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). 2007.
Summary for policymakers. In Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis,
Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z,
Marquis M, Avery KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds). Cambridge University Press:
Santer BD and 16 coauthors 2008. Consistency of
modeled and observed temperature trends in the tropical troposphere. International Journal of Climatology.
Royal Meteorological Society. Available at
Singer SF. et al
2008. Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate: Summary for
Policymakers of the Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on
Climate Change, Singer SF (ed.). The Heartland Institute: Chicago, IL.
Greens’ war against coal – damaging yet irrelevant
2. Trying to kill coal plants on the sly
The backlash to regulation has begun – in California
4. Green mandates burden the economy
5. Nuclear energy’s many benefits
6. NY’s AG Cuomo tries to undermine coal plants
7. Emissions from planes included for first time
in climate change plans
8. The American Physical Society (APS) flap
NEWS YOU CAN USE
EUROPE IN FULL RETREAT ON CLIMATE PLAN.
BRUSSELS, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Global concern about the ailing economy has
led the European Environment Committee to revise its energy package. The committee announced that it agreed the
European Union should revise key clauses in its climate and energy package to
adjust for the current financial crisis. The economic slowdown has hurt carbon
credit demand and pricing.
Over the past few weeks EU member states
have requested permission to make some revisions to protect their
economies. Bulgaria, Estonia, the Czech
Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Poland have
criticized the proposed shift to a pan-European carbon credit auctioning
mechanism and have gotten the support of France, Germany and Spain in their
efforts to change the planned trading mechanism. Courtesy
IEA: EU CLIMATE TARGETS NOT VIABLE.
LONDON, Nov 6 (Reuters) - A European Union target to limit warming of
the planet to no more than 2 degrees Celsius may not be technically achievable,
the International Energy Agency said in a report to be published next week.
"Even leaving aside any debate about
the political feasibility ... it is uncertain whether the scale of the
transformation envisaged is even technically achievable, as the scenario
assumes broad development of technologies that have not yet been proven,"
said the IEA's World Energy Outlook…. Courtesy CCNet
Negotiations. International leaders are already pushing for
agreement during climate change negotiations scheduled for Copenhagen in late
2009. Although the next U.N. climate negotiations take place in Poland in early
December 2008, decisions on a follow-up treaty to the Kyoto Protocol are not
expected until next year. Attendees at the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) released
emphasizing "that the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
and the Kyoto Protocol are the main channels for international negotiations and
cooperation in climate change." Also, on Oct. 29 global business leaders
met in Warsaw for roundtable talks as part of the Combat
Climate Change (3C) initiative. Participants, who also included
representatives of The Climate Group, the Copenhagen Climate Council, and the
World Business Council on Sustainable Development, expressed a common
commitment in support of the UNFCCC process.
comment: “Combat” climate change? Why not just abolish it?
'Proof' we are causing polar warming melts away
in the cold light of reality
Arctic Sea Ice Extent: In October 2008, Fastest
Sees Massive Gain in Ice Coverage
Acidity? By prize-winning geologist Ian Plimer,
professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide
Excerpt: The atmosphere once had at least 25 times the current CO2 content, we
are living at a time when CO2 is the lowest it has been for billions of years,
we continue to remove CO2 via carbonate sedimentation from the oceans and the
oceans continue to be buffered by water-rock reactions (as shown by Walker et
al. 1981). The literature on this subject is large yet the warmers chose to
ignore this literature. [...] The oceans have remained alkaline during the
Phanerozoic (last 540 million years) except for a very brief and poorly
understood time 55 million years ago. Rainwater (pH 5.6) reacts with the most
common minerals on Earth (feldspars) to produce clays, this is an
acid-consuming reaction, alkali and alkaline earths are leached into the oceans
(which is why we have saline oceans), silica is redeposited as cements in
sediments, the reaction consumes acid and is accelerated by temperature. In the oceans, there is a buffering reaction
between the sea floor basalts and sea water. Sea water has a local and regional
variation in pH (pH 7.8 to 8.3). It should be noted that pH is a log
scale and that if we are to create acid oceans, then there is not enough CO2 in
fossil fuels to create oceanic acidity because most of the planet’s CO2 is
locked up in rocks. When we run out of rocks on Earth or plate tectonics
ceases, then we will have acid oceans.
strongly recommend a basic primer on the science of climate change: “Fire, Ice and Paradise”  by
award-winning geologist H. Leighton Steward, currently chairman of the
Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at Southern Methodist University. 115 pp, with excellent illustrations. The perfect preparation for the NIPCC
report “Nature – Not Human Activity –
Rules the Climate” http://www.sepp.org/publications/NIPCC_final.pdf. Order from AuthorHouse, by phone at
UNDER THE BOTTOM LINE
James Gustave (Gus) Speth, who
helped found the World Resources Institute and Natural Resource Defense
Council, has written a critique of U.S. environmentalism, “Environmental
Failure: A Case for a New Green Politics”, in which he says that despite its
successes, the movement is “failing – by
any measure, the state of the earth has never been more dire” and what is
needed is an effort to challenge the basic assumptions of consumerism and
unlimited growth. Speth, currently dean
of Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, is former
chair of the Council on Environmental Quality under Pres. Carter and former
head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
The decline of the amphibians: Global warming – or perhaps just bananas and
beer. Who can tell? At least, we can be sure that the dinosaurs
weren’t done in by SUVs
Why thinking is dangerous: "Potent Greenhouse Gas Worse Than
Thought"--headline, Discovery.com, Oct. 24
A new report from the Strategic Policy Institute
says climate change could lead to an increase in crime. Its author, Anthony Bergin, is predicting
global warming will lead to an increase in violent crime and so called 'climate
crime'. "I think as water becomes
like liquid gold, we're more likely to see examples of individuals stealing
water or syphoning from river systems," he said.
1. THE BATTLE OVER COAL
By Peter C.
Glover , Oct. 31, 2008
of coal use is inextricably bound up with the climate debate. While nuclear
power’s carbon-neutral credential has split climate alarmists, the re-emergence
of King Coal the bete noir of eco-warriors everywhere as the fuel of choice for
power plants, has reunited them. The result is an outright declaration of war
on coal use. For Greens of all shades, coal and its carbon dioxide emissions
represent nothing less than the apocalyptic tipping point for the planet’s
future. And in its cause, governments are to be swayed, courts besieged, and
the battle taken to the streets.
If Europe was the early theater for the
war between overly ambitious carbon dioxide emission-cutting targets and
coal-fired power aspirations, the frontline today is Kingsnorth, 30 miles east
of London. E.ON, Germany's largest utility,
has filed an application to replace Kingsnorth's aging power plant, due for
closure in 2015, with Britain's first new coal-fired plant in 30 years. With
six other applications pending, the government's decision over Kingsnorth could
set a precedent for the U.K. and Europe.
though the new Kingsnorth plant would be 20 percent more efficient than
existing ones, unimpressed Green campaigners have laid siege to the plant to
register opposition. E.ON's bid proposes two new twin 800-megawatt burners at a
cost of around $3 billion. If the government gives the go-ahead, however, it is
likely to include the demand for an experimental carbon-capture facility at the
additional cost, ultimately to end energy users, of up to $800 million.
U.S., 28 coal fired plants are under construction, with another 66 planned.
Here, too, the Greens’ war on coal has begun to hurt. Citing the Supreme
Court’s decision last year to designate carbon dioxide as a pollutant, Georgia
has blocked construction of the proposed coal-fired Longleaf plant. Last year,
regulators in Kansas rejected a similar application on grounds that global
warming is a threat to public health and agriculture. In July, Wisconsin issued
a directive stating that coal may not be considered as a fuel source at
state-owned heating plants. According to Mark Goldes of Magnetic Power, Inc.,
climate concerns in the U.S. are beginning to play a major role, with more
coal-fired plants being abandoned than rejected. He reports that 59 plants were
cancelled or put on hold in 2007, with only 15 of those rejected outright by
regulators. For the other 44, the utilities themselves made the decision.
Meanwhile, as the future of coal use in
the West remains in doubt, the coal-fired economies of China and India are
going full steam ahead, trouncing Western attempts at minimizing global carbon
dioxide emissions. China activates one new coal-fired power station every week,
and its runaway economy, with an astounding 10 percent annual growth, accounts
for a massive 43 percent of emerging global coal demand. India has recently
approved eight huge new power plants that will boost electricity generating
capacity by a massive 50 percent.
……Regardless of how the coal-versus-carbon dilemma is resolved,
the sheer scale of carbon-dioxide emissions from the fast-industrializing
economies in Asia and beyond is destined to render the Greens’ war on coal
irrelevant. Irrelevant, except for the damage it would inflict on the poor,
even in the West. More than this, the growing demand for coal, and the
consequent rise in carbon emissions, is set to settle speculative claims over
the alleged link between carbon dioxide and global temperatures. Even if the
alarmists are proven right, at least we will have had the moral satisfaction of
seeing a new coal-powered era delivering millions from grinding poverty, as we
all sink beneath the waves.
2. TRYING TO KILL COAL
PLANTS ON THE SLY
When environmentalists oppose regulations that
yield environmental benefits, something is afoot. So it is with the gathering furor over a
possible Bush Administration upgrade of U.S. clean-air regulations. Senate Democrats have voiced their concerns
to the Environmental Protection Agency, but this rule was first proposed in
2005, and the Administration may -- or may not -- get around to issuing a final
verdict before Bush leaves office, says the Wall Street Journal.
The proposal in question would usefully reform a
permitting test called New Source Review (NSR), which requires power plants to
install state-of-the-art pollution controls when they expand their generation
capacity, thus increasing smog- or soot-forming emissions.
The real question is what qualifies as an
emission increase, asks the Journal:
plants operate, they deteriorate, meaning they produce less power and also less
Routine maintenance restores both to their original capacity, but not
the current NSR regime, the EPA often compares pre-maintenance and post-maintenance
emissions and calls the latter a "new source" of pollution.
new rule would move the baseline to hourly emissions from cumulative emissions,
giving utilities some leeway before they are required to run the NSR gauntlet.
However, opponents claim that efficiency
projects mean that the plant in question will be run harder and therefore
increase overall emissions. But
electricity is produced to meet demand, which grows with the economy but is
relatively stable. In other words, the
new plan will redistribute generation to those plants that are most
any case, overall emissions can't increase because emissions for the entire
United States are capped under the Clean Air Act. Therefore, the Bush
Administration ought to move ahead: its NSR reform will improve the safety and
reliability of the country's power supply, and it will force an open debate,
says the Journal.
Editorial, "New Source Rescue: Trying to kill coal plants on the
sly," Wall Street J, Nov 3, 2008. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122567317233391709.html Courtesy NCPA
3. CALIFORNIA RENEWABLE-ENERGY
By TOM ZELLER JR., Nov 5, 2008
A bill aimed at rapidly expanding this sort of
thing was defeated in California on Tuesday.
Not entirely unexpectedly, two California initiatives that would have
substantially expanded the state's clean-energy profile - but which opponents
argued were ill conceived - foundered at the polls on Tuesday.
Proposition 7, which would have required that
California's electric utilities get half of their power from renewable sources
by 2025 (the current requirement is 20 percent by the end of 2010), was easily
defeated with 65 percent of voters casting ballots against the measure.
Critics of the measure - which included an
unusual alliance of environmentalists and public utilities, which are not
covered by current requirements but would be folded into the new mandates -
argued that, as drafted, the initiative would have driven up electricity rates,
stalled the state's already steady shift to clean power and strangled small
Proposition 10, meanwhile, which would have
created rebate incentives for the purchase of cars and trucks running on
natural gas or other alternative fuels, was also struck down, with nearly 60
percent voting "no" at last count.
Critics opposed Proposition 10 on the grounds
that the state is already cash-strapped, facing a $15.2 billion deficit. The
measure, if approved by voters, would have cost the state billions of dollars
through public bonds aimed at financing the rebates.
initiative was heavily backed by T. Boone Pickens, the former oil man who stood
to profit from an expanded fleet of natural-gas cars, given his interest in
Clean Energy Fuels, which sells natural gas for transportation use. Clean
Energy covered much of the $22.5 million campaign fund for the initiative,
according to The San Francisco Chronicle
4. GREEN MANDATES BURDEN
By DAVID A. RIDENOUR, November 1, 2008
When our economic bus is teetering at the edge
of a cliff, it's a bad time to throw on some extra weight. Yet government-mandated restrictions on
carbon emissions would do precisely that, adding enormous additional weight to
an economy already reeling. This additional weight shouldn't just be thrown
from the bus - it should be thrown under it.
Most econometric studies agree that restricting
greenhouse gas emissions would slow our already sluggish economy. A study by
the National Association of Manufacturers projected that emissions caps similar
to those rejected earlier this year by the U.S. Senate, calling for a 63
percent cut in emissions by 2050, would reduce U.S. Gross Domestic Product by
up to $269 billion and cost 850,000 jobs by 2014.
Other studies suggest smaller economic costs:
Duke University's Nicholas Institute estimates a GDP loss of $245 billion by
2030, while the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency estimates a GDP drop of between $238 and $983
Sharp emissions restrictions would also push the
costs of energy and other consumer products higher. According to a study conducted by researchers
at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, the restrictions could raise gasoline prices by 29
percent, electricity prices by 55 percent and natural gas prices by 15 percent
And it appears that all this economic pain would
be an utterly meaningless gesture.
Patrick Michaels, former president of the American Association of State
Climatologists who is now with the Cato Institute, says reducing U.S. emissions
by 63 percent would prevent a mere 0.013 degrees Celsius in warming. With
emissions from China, India and other developing nations growing at breakneck
speed, even this modest benefit would be completely erased.
Some argue that we should undergo this pain
anyway to set an example for others to follow. The
European Union tried that, but at a summit in Brussels last month, the EU
applied the brakes to its ambitious program to reduce EU carbon emissions by 20
percent by 2020 after Italy, backed by 10 other EU nations, threatened to veto
the plan. They argued that the costs of the climate plan couldn't be justified
given the current economic turmoil.
Little wonder that Europeans are balking.
Europeans have been paying enormous costs to meet their targets, but getting
little in return.
such costs on Americans promises to do for the economy what Freddie
Mac and Fannie
Mae did for banking. We should bail out before it's too late. Let's hope
this is one bailout plan all Americans can get behind.
A. Ridenour is vice president of The National Center for Public Policy
Research, a conservative, nonpartisan think tank in Washington. This was
distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
5. NUCLEAR ENERGY’S MANY BENEFITS
Compared to other significant sources of
electricity, nuclear power has many environmental benefits. For instance,
nuclear plants produce virtually no air pollution. By contrast:
Coal-fired power plants produce 13 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 6 pounds
of nitrogen oxide per million watt-hours (MWh) of electricity produced.
Oil-fired power plants produce 12 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 4 pounds
of nitrogen oxide per MWh.
Nuclear power is a CO2-free energy option whereas, for every MWh of
electricity produced, coal-fired power plants produce 2,249 pounds of CO2,
oil-fired plants produce 1,672 pounds, and gas-fired generators produce 1,135 pounds.
Traditionally, nuclear power critics have
focused on two potential threats to human health: 1) the risk that dangerous
levels of radiation will escape from a plant due to equipment failure or human
error, and 2) the risk posed to human health from nuclear waste. However:
more than 50 years of experience with nuclear power in the United States, no
deaths or negative health effects have been conclusively linked to radiation
leaks from nuclear plants or from spent fuel.
addition, the U.S. Navy has operated nuclear-powered vessels for 50 years;
despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of navy personnel have served in
close quarters with nuclear power plants and radioactive material, there have
been no radiation-caused deaths.
Source: Ross Wingo and H. Sterling Burnett,
"Nuclear Renaissance: Atoms to Power the Future," National Center for
Policy Analysis, Brief Analysis No. 635, October 21, 2008.
6. NY’S AG CUOMO TRIES TO UNDERMINE COAL PLANTS
YORK, N.Y. (October 23, 2008) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, joined by
Vice President Al Gore, today announced an agreement that requires a national
energy company, Dynegy Inc. (“Dynegy”), to disclose timely and relevant
information to investors about climate change risks.
“This agreement follows our landmark settlement with
Xcel Energy and helps protect investors by ensuring disclosure of potential
financial risks that climate change may pose,” said Attorney General
Cuomo. “Today we raise the bar in the industry and ensure transparency
and disclosure in the marketplace. Investors have the right to know all
the material financial risks faced by coal-fired power plants associated with
global warming and I hope and expect that other companies will follow the lead
of Dynegy and Xcel. I commend and applaud Dynegy for working with my
office to establish a standard that will improve our environment and our
marketplace over the long-term.”
Vice President Al Gore said, “Today’s settlement is
a key step in the effort to solve the climate crisis. It requires one of
our nation’s major energy companies to fully disclose to investors - from Wall
Street to Main Street - the financial risks that come with building new
coal-fired power plants. I applaud Attorney General Cuomo for his
leadership in engineering a new model to combat global warming.”
comments: This “risk” is of course entirely political and
due to the misguided GW hype of Al Gore.
It will make it more costly for electric utilities to raise money to
build badly needed powerplants. Guess
who will pay the bill?
Cuomo as Sec’y of HUD (Housing and Urban Development) under Clinton browbeat
the banks into making subprime loans – a major cause of the current financial
crisis. And that’s the man McCain would
have chosen to head the SEC!
7. EMISSIONS FROM PLANES
INCLUDED FOR FIRST TIME IN CLIMATE CHANGE PLANS
planes are to be included for the first time in ambitious government plans to
cut greenhouse gases by 80 per cent after ministers were forced into the change
to head off a back bench rebellion. The new amendment agrees to take
international aviation into account
by Louise Gray,
Environment Correspondent, 27 Oct 2008
Ed Miliband, the new secretary of state for
energy and climate change, won environmental plaudits when he declared earlier
this month that the UK would be the first country in the world to commit to
legally binding cuts in its greenhouse gas emissions. [The Climate Change Bill committed the
country to cut greenhouse gases by 80 per cent by 2050.] But the target did not include emissions from
international aviation and shipping.
Green campaigners said the omission made the target
meaningless - like agreeing to go on a diet but not including chocolate cake -
and threatened to oppose the Bill until the law was strengthened. An amendment including aviation in the target
and backed by the Lib Dems, the Tories and enough Labour backbenchers to
overthrow the government was put down in Parliament. However in the face of a possible defeat, the
Government has put forward a new amendment strengthening the Bill enough to
keep the environmental lobby happy, while retaining enough control over the
targets to reassure the business sector.
8. THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY (APS) FLAP
A. Comments by the editor of the Forum on
Physics and Society
Our editorial comments in the July 2008
issue include the following statement: “There is a considerable presence
within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC
conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely
to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the
Industrial Revolution.” In fact, we have not polled any scientific community
(e.g., the climate research community, the physics community, or the general
science community) as to the extent of its consensus regarding human-activity-caused
global warming, and we apologize for making such a remark for which we do not
have supporting data. We now do know that, in addition to the American Physical
Society, the following scientific organizations have issued statements and/or
reports in support of the IPCC’s main conclusion concerning the role of
anthropogenic CO2 emissions in global warming: The National Academy
of Sciences, the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical
Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The July issue
brought forth a storm of email responses to the Editors and to officials at
APS. The emails, from members and non-members of FPS, were primarily concerned
with the article by Christopher Monckton <http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/index.cfm>,
either lauding or condemning our decision to publish it. They ranged from
polite rational discussions to very vituperative comments. We have chosen to
publish just two of the calmer letters, one critical of, one supporting, the
publishing decisions we made for the July issue. We also publish a very useful
summary of the climate “debate” by an eminent historian of physics, Spencer R.
B. Letter to Editor
read yr apologetic, groveling mea culpa Editor’s Comments in the Oct
2008 issue. I am disgusted. Is the job of editor really that important to
you? I am sure the income you derive
from it is minimal. I for one was
delighted to see you print Lord Monckton’s article – whether I agree with it or
not is really beside the point. To me,
it marked the beginning of a much needed discourse [on GW].
can you do no better than to quote the “consensus” of various learned
societies, including the APS. These
council members have never consulted the APS membership; all they have done is
to regurgitate uncritically the dubious conclusions of the IPCC. I had sent you a Letter to the Editor about
the APS Statement [on Climate Change]; you have never even done me the courtesy
of acknowledging its receipt. I attach
it again herewith.
did print a “summary of the climate debate” by Spencer Weart – an eminent
historian, to be sure – but he certainly does not summarize the debate. Why does he not tell us that supposedly
reputable climate models predict warming ranging from 1.4 all the way up to
11.5 degC, depending only on reasonable choices of parameters that enter into
the microphysics of clouds [Stainforth et al, Nature 2005]? Or why the IPCC (and Weart) continue to
ignore the overwhelming influence of variations in solar activity, and thereby
of cosmic rays, on climate [Neff et al, Nature 1999]? You will find this and other IPCC
shortcomings more fully discussed in the NIPCC report “Nature – Not Human Activity – Rules the
Emeritus, U of Virginia,
of APS, AGU, and AAAS