Post below recycled from Marc Morano -- minus the fonts
The media is once again hyping an allegedly dire consequence of man-made global warming. This time the media is promoting the ice loss of one tiny fraction of the giant ice-covered continent and completely ignoring the current record ice growth on Antarctica. Contrary to media hype, the vast majority of Antarctica has cooled over the past 50 years and ice coverage has grown to record levels since satellite monitoring began in the 1979, according to peer-reviewed studies and scientists who study the area. (LINK)
Former Weather Channel Meteorologist Joe D’Aleo rejected the hype surrounding the recent Wilkins Ice Shelf collapse in Western Antarctica. “Theshattered part of the Wilkins ice sheet was 160 square miles in area, which is just 0.01% of the total current Antarctic icecover, like an icicle falling from a snow and ice covered roof,” D’Aleo wrote on March 25. ( LINK) “We are very likely going to exceed last year’s record [for Southern Hemisphere ice extent]. Yet the world is left with the false impression Antarctica’s ice sheet is also starting to disappear,” D’Aleo added.
Climate scientist Dr. Ben Herman, past director of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics and former Head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Arizona, stated, “It is interesting that all of the AGW (anthropogenic global warming) stories concerning Antarctica are always about what's happening around the [western] peninsula, which seems to be the only place on Antarctica that has shown warming. How about the net ‘no change’ or ‘cooling’ over the rest of the continent, which is probably about 95% of the land mass, not to mention the record sea ice coverage recently.”
Former Colorado State Climatologist Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr., presently senior scientist at the University of Colorado in Boulder, chastised the media’s Antarctic reporting as “typical of the bias that many journalists have.”Pielke wrote on March 25, “Themedia has ignored in their reportingthe increase in Antarctic sea ice cover in recent years, with, at present, a coverage that is well one million square kilometers above average.” Pielke added,“Unfortunately, it appears that most journalists just parrot the perspective of the first news release on these climate issues, without doing any further investigation. If this is inadvertent, they need to be educated in climate science. If deliberate bias, they are clearly advocates and the reporters should be clearly and publically identified as having such a bias. In either case, the public is being misinformed!” (LINK)
But the news media sadly tossed out objectivity and balance when it came to this new Antarctic story. Media headlines blared: Bye-bye, Antarctica? (Salon Magazine 3-26-08); Massive ice shelf collapsing off Antarctica (C/Net News 3- 26-08); Slab of Antarctic ice shelf collapses amid warming (Reuters 3-26-08); Ice shelf 'hangs by a thread' (Sydney Morning Herald 2-26-08).
True to form, Associated Press reporter Seth Borenstein could not allow himself to include any scientists or peer-reviewed studies countering alarm over the allegedly “melting” Antarctic. Borenstein instead hyped alarm by writing on March 27, “Scientists said they are not concerned about a rise in sea level from the latest event, but say it's a sign of worsening global warming.”
[Note: Borenstein has a long history of incomplete reporting on global warming. See here, and here . Also see related links section below for examples of the media's shoddy environmental reporting. In addition,ABC World News Sunday anchor Dan Harris this week produced a low brow smear segment on atmospheric physicist Dr. Fred Singer, a prominent dissenter of man-made climate fears. ABC News violated basic journalistic standards by citing "anonymous" scientists to attack Dr. Singer. See: here, here, here and here. ]
Yet, if only the media would spend a moment to get beyond the hype and alarmism, they would discover that scientists are already thoroughly debunking the media characterization of the “melting” Antarctic.
[Note: 2007 and now 2008 are overwhelmingly turning into the “tipping points” for climate alarmism as new peer-reviewed studies continue to debunk rising CO2 fears, a U.S. Senate minority report reveals over 400 scientists dissented from man-made climate fears, and more and more scientists continue in 2008 to declare themselves skeptical of a man-made climate “crisis.” The Earth’s failure to continue warming has also confounded promoters of man-made climate fear.
Here is a sampling of inconvenient developments for climate alarmists in 2008 alone: 1) Oceans Cooling! Scientists puzzled by “mystery of global warming's missing heat”- LINK 2) New Data from NASA’s Aqua satellite is showing “greatly reduced future warming projected as a consequence of carbon dioxide.”- LINK 3) Former NASA Climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer found not one peer-reviewed paper has 'ruled out a natural cause for most of our recent warmth' – LINK 4) UN IPCC in 'Panic Mode' as Earth Fails to Warm, Scientist says – LINK 5) UN IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri “to look into the apparent temperature plateau so far this century.”- LINK 6) New scientific analysis shows Sun “could account for as much as 69% of the increase in Earth's average temperature” – LINK & LINK. 7) An International team of scientists released a March 2008 report to counter UN IPCC, declaring: “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate” – LINK 8) MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen’s new analysis finds the Earth has had “No statistically significant warming since 1995.”- LINK ]
Below are a few samples of what scientists have said in the past few days since the Antarctic “melting” stories have hit the media:
1) Climate Scientist Dr. Ben Herman, past director of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics and former Head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Arizona, isa member of both the Institute for the Study of Planet Earth’s Executive Committee and the Committee on Global Change. Herman commented on March 25:
“That ice [the media is hyping] is just a tiny fraction of the Antarctic ice and probably the increase each winter more than compensates. The ice loss does not show up, at least not yet on the Illinois site, http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere, which still shows increasing sea ice heading into [Southern Hemisphere’s] winter. It is interesting that all of the AGW (anthropogenic global warming) stories concerning Antarctica are always about what's happening around the (Western) peninsula, which seems to be the only place on Antarctica that has shown warming. How about the net ‘no change’ or ‘cooling’ over the rest of the continent, which is probably about 95% of the land mass, not to mention the record sea ice coverage recently,” Herman wrote on March 25.
2) Meteorologist Joseph D'Aleo served as the first Director of Meteorology at The Weather Channel,was the Chief Meteorologist at Weather Services International Corporation and served as chairman of the American Meteorological Society's (AMS) Committee on Weather Analysis and Forecasting. D’Aleo commented on his website Icecap.us on March 25:
“Theshattered part of the Wilkins ice sheet was 160 square miles in area, which is just 0.01% of the total current Antarctic icecover (just 0.003% of the extent last September), like an icicle falling from a snow and ice covered roof. And this winter is coming on quickly. The latest satellite images and reports suggest the ice has already refrozen around the broken pieces. In fact the ice is returning so fast, it is running an amazing 60% ahead (4.0 vs 2.5 million square km extent) of last year when it set a new record. The total ice extent is already approaching the second highest level for extent since the measurements began by satellite in 1979 and just a few days into the Southern Hemisphere fall season and 6 months ahead of the peak. We are very likely going to exceed last year’s record [for Southern Hemisphere ice extent]. Yet the world is left with the false impression Antarctica’s ice sheet is also starting to disappear,”
D’Aleo wrote on march 25. (LINK). Other scientists and peer-reviewed studies have recently debunked the notion of a “melting” Antarctic as well.
3) Former Virginia State Climatologist Dr. Patrick Michaels and Paul C. Knappenberger, a senior researcher with New Hope Environmental Services posted comments on Antarctica in February on their website WorldClimateReport.com. Michaels and Knappenberger wrote a February 27, 2008, article titled “Antarctica Ain’t Cooperating”: “Another major article on temperature trends in the Antarctic has appeared in a recent issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research by a team of scientists from Ohio State University, the University of Illinois, and the Goddard Space Flight Center; the research was funded by the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs Glaciology Program. […] That is correct – despite all you have heard elsewhere on the subject, the South Pole has been cooling over the past half century. The previous research team also reported that any warming in Antarctica has slowed and the cooling has accelerated in the more recent three decades. According to Monaghan et al., yet another team previously examined Antarctic temperatures and “noted that prior to 1965 the continent-wide annual trends (through 2002) are slightly positive, but after 1965 they are mainly negative (despite warming over the Antarctic Peninsula).” The truth from Antarctica is hard for the greenhouse crusade to accept, and in the long run, the truth from Antarctica might melt away the flimsy, well-publicized claims about global climate change—especially the concerns of a rapid sea level rise.”
4) In addition, the media’s reporting on the alleged “melting” of Antarctica fails to take into account other factors. “Volcano, Not Global Warming Effects, May be Melting an Antarctic Glacier” read a headline in a January 21, 2008, article. The article read in part: Scientists have discovered a layer of volcanic ash and glass shards in Antarctica, evidence of an old eruption by a still active volcano that researchers believe may be contributing to the thinning of Antarctic glacial ice. Hugh F.J. Corr and David G. Vaughan, two scientists with the British Antarctic Survey, recently published their discovery of the volcanic layer in the journal Nature Geoscience. The discovery is unique, according to Dr. Vaughan. He said, “This is the first time we have seen a volcano beneath the ice sheet punch a hole through the ice sheet.” The volcano’s heat could possibly be melting and thinning the ice and raising the speed of the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica. (Other links on Antarctic Volcanoes: Map of volcanoes in Antarctica; and NASA Image of Antarctic Peninsula and pacific ring of fire groups of volcanoes. )
5) Another inconvenient fact that the media likes to avoid is Antarctica ice extent GREW to record levels in 2007. A September 11, 2007, article on IceCap.US explained: “While the news focus has been on the lowest ice extent since satellite monitoring began in 1979 for the Arctic, the Southern Hemisphere (Antarctica) has quietly set a new record for most ice extent since 1979. This can be seen on this graphic from this University of Illinois site, The Cryosphere Today, which updated snow and ice extent for both hemispheres daily. The Southern Hemispheric areal coverage is the highest in the satellite record, just beating out 1995, 2001, 2005 and 2006. Since 1979, the trend has been up for the total Antarctic ice extent.” (LINK)
6) A January 12, 2008, peer-reviewed paper in AGU (American Geophysical Union) found “A doubling in snow accumulation in the western Antarctic Peninsula since 1850.” The abstract of the paper by Thomas, E. R., G. J. Marshall, and J. R. McConnell, states: We present results from a new medium depth (136 metres) ice core drilled in a high accumulation site (73.59°S, 70.36°W) on the south-western Antarctic Peninsula during 2007. The Gomez record reveals a doubling of accumulation since the 1850s, from a decadal average of 0.49 mweq y−1 in 1855–1864 to 1.10 mweq y−1 in 1997–2006, with acceleration in recent decades. Comparison with published accumulation records indicates that this rapid increase is the largest observed across the region. (LINK) & (LINK)
7) A February 2007 study reveals Antarctica is notfollowing predictedglobal warming models. Excerpt: “A new report on climate over the world's southernmost continent shows that temperatures during the late 20th century did not climb as had been predicted by many global climate models." The research was led by David Bromwich, professor of atmospheric sciences in the Department of Geography, and researcher with the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University. [See: Antarctic temperatures disagree with climate model predictions - (LINK)]
8) Dr. Duncan Wingham, Professor of Climate Physics at University College London and Director of the Centre for Polar Observation and Modeling, has presented evidence that Antarctic ice is growing. According to a December 15, 2006, article in Canada's National Post, "Early last year at a European Union Space Conference in Brussels, for example, Dr. Wingham revealed that data from a European Space Agency satellite showed Antarctic thinning was no more common than thickening, and concluded that the spectacular collapse of the ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula was much more likely to have followed natural current fluctuations than global warming." "One cannot be certain, because packets of heat in the atmosphere do not come conveniently labeled 'the contribution of anthropogenic warming,' " Wingham said, noting that the evidence is not "favorable to the notion we are seeing the results of global warming." Wingham and his colleagues found that 72% of the ice sheet covering the entire land mass of Antarctica is growing at the rate of 5 millimeters per year. "That makes Antarctica a sink, not a source, of ocean water. According to their best estimates, Antarctica will ‘lower global sea levels by 0.08 mm' per year" the National Post article reported. (LINK)
9) Statistician Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and professor at the Copenhagen Business School, questioned former Vice President Al Gore's claims about Antarctica in a January 21, 2007, Wall Street Journal op-ed. "[Gore] considers Antarctica the canary in the mine, but again doesn't tell the full story. He presents pictures from the 2% of Antarctica that is dramatically warming and ignores the 98% that has largely cooled over the past 35 years. The U.N. panel estimates that Antarctica will actually increase its snow mass this century. Similarly, Mr. Gore points to shrinking sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere, but doesn’t mention that sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere is increasing. Shouldn't we hear those facts?" Lomborg added. (LINK)
10) UN scientist Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar, a retired Environment Canada scientist and an expert IPCC reviewer, noted in 2007 that the Southern Hemisphere is COOLING. Dr. Khandekar wrote on August 6, 2007: "In the Southern Hemisphere, the land-area mean temperature has slowly but surely declined in the last few years. The city of Buenos Aires in Argentina received several centimeters of snowfall in early July, and the last time it snowed in Buenos Aires was in 1918! Most of Australia experienced one of its coldest months of June this year. Several other locations in the Southern Hemisphere have experienced lower temperatures in the last few years. Further, the sea surface temperatures over world oceans are slowly declining since mid-1998, according to a recent world-wide analysis of ocean surface temperatures.” ( LINK)
11) Ivy League Geologist Dr. Robert Giegengack, the chair of Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania, explained that the Earth has been warming for about 20,000 years, and humans have only been collecting data for about 200 years. "For most of earth's history, the globe has been warmer than it has been for the last 200 years. It has only rarely been cooler," Giegengack said according to a February 2007 article. (LINK) Giegengack further explained that extremely long geologic timescales reveal that "only about 5% of that time has been characterized by conditions on Earth that were so cold that the poles could support masses of permanent ice."
THE ACQUITTAL OF CARBON DIOXIDE
by Jeffrey A. Glassman, PhD
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the product of oceanic respiration due to the well?known but under?appreciated solubility pump. Carbon dioxide rises out of warm ocean waters where it is added to the atmosphere. There it is mixed with residual and accidental CO2, and circulated, to be absorbed into the sink of the cold ocean waters. Next the thermohaline circulation carries the CO2?rich sea water deep into the ocean. A millennium later it appears at the surface in warm waters, saturated by lower pressure and higher temperature, to be exhausted back into the atmosphere.
Throughout the past 420 millennia, comprising four interglacial periods, the Vostok record of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is imprinted with, and fully characterized by, the physics of the solubility of CO2 in water, along with the lag in the deep ocean circulation. Notwithstanding that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, atmospheric carbon dioxide has neither caused nor amplified global temperature increases. Increased carbon dioxide has been an effect of global warming, not a cause. Technically, carbon dioxide is a lagging proxy for ocean temperatures. When global temperature, and along with it, ocean temperature rises, the physics of solubility causes atmospheric CO2 to increase. If increases in carbon dioxide, or any other greenhouse gas, could have in turn raised global temperatures, the positive feedback would have been catastrophic. While the conditions for such a catastrophe were present in the Vostok record from natural causes, the runaway event did not occur. Carbon dioxide does not accumulate in the atmosphere.
Source. Also see here
The cynical global warming bubble
By Steve Milloy
You didn't have to be a rocket scientist in the 1990s to figure that speculative investment in dot-coms with no revenues would be disastrous. The same goes for lenders giving mortgages to borrowers with no job, no income and no assets. So after surviving the tech bubble and while trying to extricate the economy from the housing bubble, why are we bent on heading into the global warming bubble?
Just this week, the Environmental Protection Agency issued its economic analysis of the Lieberman-Warner global warming bill that is now being considered by the Senate. The EPA projects that, if the bill is enacted, the size of our economy as measured by its gross domestic product (GDP) would shrink by as much as $2.9 trillion by the year 2050. That's a 6.9 percent smaller economy than we might otherwise have if no action was taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
For an idea of what that might mean, consider our current economic crisis. During the fourth quarter of 2007, GDP actually increased by 0.6 percent, yet trepidation still spread among businesses, consumers and the financial markets. Though the EPA says that Lieberman-Warner would send our economy in the opposite direction by more than a factor of 10, few in Congress seem concerned. For more perspective, consider that during 1929 and 1930, the first two years of the Great Depression, GDP declined by 8.6 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively.
And what would we get for such a massive self-inflicted wound? It ought to be something that is climatically spectacular, right? You be the judge. The EPA says that by the year 2095-45 years after GDP has been slashed by 6.9 percent-atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels would be 25 parts per million (ppm) lower than if no greenhouse gas regulation was implemented.
Keeping in mind that the current atmospheric CO2 level is 380 ppm and the projected 2095 CO2 level is about 500 ppm, according to the EPA, what are the potential global temperature implications for such a slight change in atmospheric CO2 concentration? Not much, as average global temperature would only be reduced by a maximum of about 0.10 to 0.20 degrees Celsius, according to existing research. Sacrificing many trillions of dollars of GDP for a trivial, 45-year-delayed and merely hypothetical reduction in average global temperature must be considered as exponentially more asinine than the dot-bombs of the late-1990s and the NINJA subprime loans that we now look upon scornfully.
So who in their right mind would push for this? I met many of them up-close-and-personal last week at a major Wall Street Journal conference at which I was an invited speaker. My fellow speakers included many CEOs (from General Electric, Wal-Mart, Duke Energy, and Dow Chemical, to name just a few), California's Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the heads of several environmental activist groups.
The audience-a sold-out crowd of hundreds who had to apply to be admitted and pay a $3,500 fee-consisted of representatives of the myriad businesses that seek to make a financial killing from climate alarmism. There were representatives of the solar, wind, and biofuel industries that profit from taxpayer mandates and subsidies, representatives from financial services companies that want to trade permits to emit CO2, and public relations and strategic consultants to all of the above.
We libertarians would call such an event a rent-seekers ball-the vast majority of the audience was there to plot how they could lock-in profits from government mandates on taxpayers and consumers. It was an amazing collection of pseudo-entrepreneurs who were absolutely impervious to the scientific and economic facts that ought to deflate the global warming bubble.
In the interlude between presentations by the CEOs of Dow Chemical and Duke Energy, for example, the audience was shown a slide-similar to this one-of the diverging relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels and average global temperature since 1998. That slide should have caused jaws to drop and audience members to ponder why anyone is considering regulating CO2 emissions in hopes of taming global climate. Instead, it was as if the audience did a collective blink and missed the slide entirely. When I tried to draw attention to the slide during my presentation, it was as if I was speaking in a foreign dialect.
The only conclusion I could come to was that the audience is so steeped in anticipation of climate profiteering that there is no fact that will cause them to reconsider whether or not manmade global warming is a reality. The callousness of their blind greed was also on display at the conference. In an instantaneous poll, the Wall Street Journal asked the audience to select the most pressing societal problem from a list of five that included infectious disease (malaria, AIDs, etc.), terrorism, and global warming.
Global warming was the most popular response, receiving 31 percent of the vote, while infectious disease was far behind in last place with only 3 percent of the vote. It's an amazing result given that billions are sickened, and millions die every year from infectious disease. The consequences of future global warming, on the other hand, are entirely speculative.
Finally, I was astounded by the double-speak practiced by the global warmers. Virtually every speaker at the conference professed that they were either in favor of free markets or that they supported a free-market solution to global warming. But invariably in their next breath, they would plead for government regulation of greenhouse gases and government subsidies for alternative energy. It's hard to conceive of any good coming from a public policy in which facts play no substantial role in its development and words have no meaning in its public debate.
A skeptical Congressman in Washington State
U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings took aim Tuesday at believers in global warming, telling Yakima Rotarians that "the same people" who want to reverse the planet's climb in temperature also want to tear down the dams and prevent a revival of nuclear power. Hastings acknowledges the planet is heating but said scientists are far from an agreement that humans and their carbon footprint are the main cause. "Count me as being skeptical," said the Pasco native, who is in his seventh term as representative of the sprawling 4th Congressional District. "Global warming is a political battle."
Hastings has been touring the district nearly nonstop during the two-week Congressional spring recess, which ends next week. His talk at the Southwest Rotary at the Clarion Hotel was unmistakably conservative, and the surest sign yet that Hastings, a Republican, will run for an eighth term against Tri-Cities Democrat George Fearing, who has announced his candidacy. Hastings, 66, hasn't made a formal announcement but has also said there's no reason to think he won't be running.
Pointing out what he called "inconsistencies" in the environmentalist point of view on energy, Hastings complained that nuclear power using recycled fuel rods isn't viewed as "green," and that hydropower doesn't qualify as renewable under a 2006 voter-approved ballot initiative. "If solar power and wind generating electricity through a turbine are green, why isn't water running downhill?" said Hastings, referring to the new law, which requires utilities with 25,000 or more customers to meet specific renewable energy goals by 2020.
In his talk, Hastings also criticized the House Democrats' budget bill, which doesn't renew the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. Set to expire in 2010, the measures cut taxes on dividends, capital gains and inherited wealth while doubling the child tax credit and reducing the marriage penalty. Critics say the cuts benefited the wealthy, drove up taxes on the middle class and did little to help lower-income workers, who don't pay much in taxes anyway.
But Hastings has maintained that the cuts are responsible for the economic recovery after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. To eliminate them would be to raise taxes, he said. "The budget blueprint says these tax cuts will go away, and in my view that's a tax increase," he said.
Health care policy will be a welcome topic of debate during the presidential campaign, he said. "Frankly, I think we need it." But he said anything that gives the federal government a greater role in health care would be a mistake. One member of the audience spoke up in support of the publicly funded health care system in Canada, pointing out that the United States ranks low on several measures of health, including low birth weights.
But Hastings wasn't buying the Canadian model. He noted that a Calgary woman last summer delivered four identical girls at a hospital in Montana because of a shortage of neonatal beds in Canada. If he were to look to another country as a model for anything, Hastings said it would be France because it relies heavily on nuclear power.
THE DENIERS: MUST-READ GLOBAL-WARMING BOOK
About a year ago, Canadian environmentalist and journalist Lawrence Solomon began a series of articles in the National Post examining the credentials of and arguments made by scientists and economists labeled "deniers" by various environmentalists, a number of mainstream environmental reporters, and some politicians. Solomon, true to the finest tenets of his profession, sought the truth concerning whether there was in fact a consensus on the headline-grabbing issue of global warming, or whether in fact any "real" scientists actually dissented from the Al Gore/UN line that global warming is happening, is largely caused by humans, and threatens all manner of catastrophies.
As many people - policy wonks and fellow travelers - on this blog are well aware, dissenting scientists are not in fact rare: There are serious scholars whose views should, but too often do not, inform the debate. Solomon's columns were important because they brought this message to a wider audience. As Solomon's knowledge grew, he found that the genre limits of newspaper writing precluded an adequately in-depth exploration of these skeptical scientists' important observations. Accordingly, selecting some of the scientists discussed in his columns, Solomon has written a book: The Deniers: The World-Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Political Persecution, and Fraud**and those who are too fearful to do so. As a jacket blurb puts it, "What he found shocked him. Solomon discovered that on every "headline" global warming issue, not only were there serious scientists who dissented, consistently the dissenters were by far the more accomplished and eminent scientists."
This book does not attempt to settle the science, or show that humans are or are not responsible for the present warming trend, or settle what we can expect the future harms/benefits of continued warming (or cooling) might be. Rather, the genius of the book is that it shows in a manner accessible to a lay audience that uncertainties concerning each important facet of the "consensus" view on warming abound, and that the dissenting views are at least as plausible (and often more compelling) than the IPCC/Gore camps.
The Deniers, examines what should be the active debates concerning the plausibility of the argument that human CO2 emissions (or CO2 per se) is a driver for climate change, what role the sun may play in warming, what role the present warming trend (and human activities) play in hurricane and tropical/parasitic disease patterns, and the reliability of the climate models, among other issues. In addition, Solomon notes the harsh treatment that many scientists have endured simply because they followed the scientific method, the evidence from their research, and their own consciences, all of which led them to the conclusion that this or that facet of the global-warming consensus view was woefully incomplete or flat-out wrong. This treatment has had the effect intended by global warming scaremongers - to shut down promising areas of research and to silence credible critics. As I put it in an earlier column:
"The term skeptic has historically been a badge of honor proudly worn by scientists as indicating their commitment to the idea that in the pursuit of truth, nothing is beyond question, every bit of knowledge is open to improvement and/or refutation as new evidence or better theories emerge. However, in the topsy-turvy field of climate science, "skeptic" is a term of opprobrium and to be labeled a skeptic is to be dismissed as a hack. Being a skeptic concerning global warming today is akin to being a heretic in the Middle Ages - you may not be literally burned at the stake, but your reputation will be put to flames.
"In response, many scientists whose research calls into question one or more of the fundamental tenets of global warming orthodoxy, have learned to couch their conclusions carefully. They argue, for instance, that while their research does not match up with this or that point in global warming theory, or would seem to undermine this or that conclusion, they are not denying that humans are causing global warming and they cannot account for the discrepancy between their work and the theory's predictions. These scientists have learned the hard lesson that when reality and the theory conflict, for professional reasons, they'd better cling to the theory: shades of Galileo recanting his theory that the earth revolves around the sun under pressure from the Inquisition."
Though there are many good books on global warming, The Deniers is among the most effective in showing how science is being fundamentally undermined in the current politicized atmosphere of climate research. In addition, like no other book or paper I know, it provides a concise but thorough overview of the myriad weaknesses of the consensus view, the quality and substance of the criticisms of that view, and the stellar qualifications of those scientists labeled derisively as "deniers."
This book should be read by anyone who seriously wants to understand where and why substantive debate remains concerning climate change and why there is so much vitriol surrounding what until recently was a relatively quiet, unheralded, or unnoticed (except by its practitioners) field of science. If a person could read only one book this year on climate change, this is the one I'd pick.
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