Alarmists to WSJ: Only the Nonsensus knows

Here is the response of 37 climate alarmists to last week’s Wall Street Journal op-ed by 16 skeptics.

Their letter is below and can be summarized by the dubious assertion that “the Nonsensus knows.”


Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work. If you need surgery, you want a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations.

You published “No Need to Panic About Global Warming” (op-ed, Jan. 27) on climate change by the climate-science equivalent of dentists practicing cardiology. While accomplished in their own fields, most of these authors have no expertise in climate science. The few authors who have such expertise are known to have extreme views that are out of step with nearly every other climate expert. This happens in nearly every field of science. For example, there is a retrovirus expert who does not accept that HIV causes AIDS. And it is instructive to recall that a few scientists continued to state that smoking did not cause cancer, long after that was settled science.

Climate experts know that the long-term warming trend has not abated in the past decade. In fact, it was the warmest decade on record. Observations show unequivocally that our planet is getting hotter. And computer models have recently shown that during periods when there is a smaller increase of surface temperatures, warming is occurring elsewhere in the climate system, typically in the deep ocean. Such periods are a relatively common climate phenomenon, are consistent with our physical understanding of how the climate system works, and certainly do not invalidate our understanding of human-induced warming or the models used to simulate that warming.

Thus, climate experts also know what one of us, Kevin Trenberth, actually meant by the out-of-context, misrepresented quote used in the op-ed. Mr. Trenberth was lamenting the inadequacy of observing systems to fully monitor warming trends in the deep ocean and other aspects of the short-term variations that always occur, together with the long-term human-induced warming trend.

The National Academy of Sciences of the U.S. (set up by President Abraham Lincoln to advise on scientific issues), as well as major national academies of science around the world and every other authoritative body of scientists active in climate research have stated that the science is clear: The world is heating up and humans are primarily responsible. Impacts are already apparent and will increase. Reducing future impacts will require significant reductions in emissions of heat-trapping gases.

Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused. It would be an act of recklessness for any political leader to disregard the weight of evidence and ignore the enormous risks that climate change clearly poses. In addition, there is very clear evidence that investing in the transition to a low-carbon economy will not only allow the world to avoid the worst risks of climate change, but could also drive decades of economic growth. Just what the doctor ordered.

Kevin Trenberth, Sc.D.

Distinguished Senior Scientist

Climate Analysis Section National Center for Atmospheric Research

La Jolla, Calif.

Kevin Trenberth, Sc.D, Distinguished Senior Scientist, Climate Analysis Section, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Richard Somerville, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

Katharine Hayhoe, Ph.D., Director, Climate Science Center, Texas Tech University

Rasmus Benestad, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, The Norwegian Meteorological Institute

Gerald Meehl, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Michael Oppenheimer, Ph.D., Professor of Geosciences; Director, Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy, Princeton University

Peter Gleick, Ph.D., co-founder and president, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security

Michael C. MacCracken, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Climate Institute, Washington

Michael Mann, Ph.D., Director, Earth System Science Center, Pennsylvania State University

Steven Running, Ph.D., Professor, Director, Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group, University of Montana

Robert Corell, Ph.D., Chair, Arctic Climate Impact Assessment; Principal, Global Environment Technology Foundation

Dennis Ojima, Ph.D., Professor, Senior Research Scientist, and Head of the Dept. of Interior’s Climate Science Center at Colorado State University

Josh Willis, Ph.D., Climate Scientist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Matthew England, Ph.D., Professor, Joint Director of the Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia

Ken Caldeira, Ph.D., Atmospheric Scientist, Dept. of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution

Warren Washington, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Terry L. Root, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University

David Karoly, Ph.D., ARC Federation Fellow and Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia

Jeffrey Kiehl, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Donald Wuebbles, Ph.D., Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois

Camille Parmesan, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, University of Texas; Professor of Global Change Biology, Marine Institute, University of Plymouth, UK

Simon Donner, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Canada

Barrett N. Rock, Ph.D., Professor, Complex Systems Research Center and Department of Natural Resources, University of New Hampshire

David Griggs, Ph.D., Professor and Director, Monash Sustainability Institute, Monash University, Australia

Roger N. Jones, Ph.D., Professor, Professorial Research Fellow, Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University, Australia

William L. Chameides, Ph.D., Dean and Professor, School of the Environment, Duke University

Gary Yohe, Ph.D., Professor, Economics and Environmental Studies, Wesleyan University, CT

Robert Watson, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Chair of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia

Steven Sherwood, Ph.D., Director, Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Chris Rapley, Ph.D., Professor of Climate Science, University College London, UK

Joan Kleypas, Ph.D., Scientist, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research

James J. McCarthy, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Oceanography, Harvard University

Stefan Rahmstorf, Ph.D., Professor of Physics of the Oceans, Potsdam University, Germany

Julia Cole, Ph.D., Professor, Geosciences and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona

William H. Schlesinger, Ph.D., President, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Jonathan Overpeck, Ph.D., Professor of Geosciences and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona

Eric Rignot, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Professor of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine

Wolfgang Cramer, Professor of Global Ecology, Mediterranean Institute for Biodiversity and Ecology, CNRS, Aix-en-Provence, France

10 thoughts on “Alarmists to WSJ: Only the Nonsensus knows”

  1. As to computer models–garbage in, garbage out. All these models do not include the major drivers of the climate–the sun and water vapor. No one knows the full extent of all the confounding factors and so all conclusions are inaccurate.

  2. I will be saving this in several locations. In ten years or so, when the effects of the long solar cycles becomes apparent and Earth has cooled, I will lord it over these people. In the meantime, I will be utilizing every tic down in temperature and pointing out the solar scientists’ conclusions to hammer politicians.

  3. What a shame that they had to resort to argument to authority. In fact, that’s their only argument. What kind of idiots do they have teaching our children that 35 of them would resort to an elementary fallacy in a public communication?

    What happened to Nullius in Verba?

  4. Shame! If these peoples’ ‘science’ were turned into gasoline it wouldn’t be enough to power a piss ant’s motorcycle around the inside of a Cheerio.

  5. Professor Pilmer said, “If you have to argue your science by using fraud, your science is not valid.” The letter is only an appeal to the authority of the writers. Some of these same authorities refuse to allow independant examination and verification of their work. This makes rational people wonder what they are trying to hide, like the “decline”. Ah well, “Qui Fama Ferit Fama Perit” is Latin for “He who lives by reputation, dies by reputation.” It looks their reputation is getting around.

  6. Wow! A list of people who’s jobs depend entirely on the study of AGW. Yet not one of them has been able to predict anything!

  7. “Climate experts know that the long-term warming trend has not abated in the past decade. In fact, it was the warmest decade on record”

    So are they dishonest or are they too ignorant to realise that the two sentences above are not connected, and that the “In fact” used to imply the latter is evidence of the former is therefore misleading?

    The UK Met Office just announced (quietly) that there has been no statistically-significant warming for 15 years. If the last ten years were flat in trend, and the previous 5 years gave a slight (insignificant) increase then the past decade could indeed be the warmest on record yet the warming trend has not only abated but disappeared.

    If they have such a strong case, why the need for such dishonesty?

  8. I suppose we could go tit for tat describing all of the previous consenses that were invalidated.

    “Impacts are already apparant”? I thought the IPCC has said that any current weather can not interpreted as a sign of AGW.
    “Very clear evidence” for low carbon energy? Really? Where? Is this the same type of clear evidence they use to justify their AGW position?
    And computer models found the missing heat in the deep ocean? We can’t measure it?

  9. I would bet everyone of the people listed above gets research money for AWG. Please explain the climate anomolies in the past 1000 years or so in the terms of CO2 emissions. I would also like the explanation of how the planet emerged from an ice age without human CO2 emissions. How about you admit that you have no clue what the climate of the earth is except that it changes. Snyone can get a computer model to say anything they want it to.

  10. “In addition, there is very clear evidence that investing in the transition to a low-carbon economy will not only allow the world to avoid the worst risks of climate change, but could also drive decades of economic growth.”

    This is akin to claiming that vandals breaking all the towns windows would
    drive economic growth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.