And then there were three…
Back in January this year, an Op-Ed appeared in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), entitled “No Need to Panic About Global Warming”, signed by sixteen prominent scientists (of which only 4 are climate scientists, and one of those is Richard Lindzen). It began with the words:
A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about “global warming.” Candidates should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true.
Unfortunately, they are at it again, only this time, the Op-Ed in the WSJ, entitled “‘Climate Consensus’ Data Need a More Careful Look”, is only signed by three of the original 16, namely Mssrs Cohen, Happer, and Lindzen. It began with the words:
…Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp speaks of “the trend—a decades-long march toward hotter and wilder weather.” We have seen quite a few such claims this summer season, and Mr. Krupp insists that we accept them as “true.”… But repetition of a fib does not make it true.
However, when scientists write articles in newspapers that begin by accusing other scientists of telling lies, I think people should know that what they are about to read is not science;
it is propaganda.
One of the first comments posted in response to the Wall Street Sixteen in January was this by Barrie Harrop:
Voluminous historical evidence shows that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the planet’s main thermostat, and that raising CO2 concentrations warms the planet. We have done that in spades by burning fossil fuels, raising atmospheric levels from a pre-industrial 280 parts per million to the current 387 ppm. Politicians still debate what a dangerous level might be, but… James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, says we passed the danger threshold more than 20 years ago, when we exceeded 350 ppm…
…To keep the big polar ice sheets largely intact and prevent massive flooding will require limiting warming to just 2 °C. The widely-accepted target to achieve that is 450 ppm, but if the slow feedbacks are correct we will have to pull CO2 levels back under 350 ppm to reach that target.
One of the first comments posted in response to the Wall Street Three this week was this by Paul Vincelli:
Gentlemen, as professional scientists, you undoubtedly know that an op-ed piece in a major newspaper has absolutely no impact on scientific progress, no matter how influential it is on public opinion. If you believe what you wrote, please submit your ideas, with supporting data analysis, to peer-reviewed journals. In the meantime, the rest of us scientists will continue to draw from the overwhelming body of published scientific evidence that supports the op-ed piece written by Fred Krupp.
Further words from me would almost seem superfluous but, hell, that has never stopped me before (and did not do so on this occasion either), so I posted a comment on the WSJ website yesterday as well:
Oh dear. Yet more contrarians willing to line up and invert reality by claiming Dr Field and/or Dr McCarthy attempted to mislead the EPW Senate Committee on Aug 1, when all the evidence shows that, whether intentionally or otherwise, it was Christy who was in danger of misleading the Senators.
When will the media stop reporting as news the opinion of some who say the sky is pink (when in fact we can all see that it is blue)?
I trust you will not delete this comment just because I refer to Skeptical Science website:
Will Professor Lindzen please just retire to the South of France.
To their credit, the WSJ did not delete this comment. However, regrettably, they never seem to actually print rebuttals to the original misleading pieces. So, for the record, here are two regarding the original Wall Street Sixteen: