Skeptical physicist now says global warming is a reality

Sunday, October 30, 2011 | 4:07 p.m. CDT

WASHINGTON — A prominent physicist and skeptic of global warming spent two years trying to find out if mainstream climate scientists were wrong. In the end, he determined they were right: Temperatures really are rising rapidly.

Richard Muller's study of the world's surface temperatures was partially bankrolled by a foundation connected to global warming deniers. He pursued long-held skeptic theories in analyzing the data. He was spurred to action because of "Climategate," a British scandal involving hacked emails of scientists.

Yet he found that the land is 1.6 degrees warmer than in the 1950s. Those numbers from Muller, who works at the University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, match those by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.

He said he went even further back and studied readings from Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. His ultimate finding of a warming world, to be presented at a conference Monday, is no different from what mainstream climate scientists have been saying for decades.

What's different, and why everyone including opinion columnists to "The Daily Show" is paying attention, is who is behind the study.

One-quarter of the $600,000 to do the research came from the Charles Koch Foundation, whose founder is a major supporter of skeptic groups and the tea party. The Koch brothers, Charles and David, run a large privately held company involved in oil and other industries that produces sizable greenhouse gas emissions.

Muller's research team carefully examined two chief criticisms by skeptics. One is that weather stations are unreliable; the other is that cities, which create heat islands, were skewing the temperature analysis.

"The skeptics raised valid points, and everybody should have been a skeptic two years ago," Muller said. "And now we have confidence that the temperature rise that had previously been reported had been done without bias."

Muller said that he came into the study "with a proper skepticism," something scientists "should always have. I was somewhat bothered by the fact that there was not enough skepticism" before.

There is now no reason to be a skeptic about steadily increasing temperatures, Muller wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal's editorial pages, a place friendly to skeptics. Muller did not address in his research the cause of global warming. The overwhelming majority of climate scientists say it's man-made from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Nor did his study look at ocean warming, future warming and how much of a threat to mankind climate change might be.

Still, Muller said it makes sense to reduce the carbon dioxide created by fossil fuels.

"Greenhouse gases could have a disastrous impact on the world," he said. Still, he contends that threat is not as proven as the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says it is.

On Monday, Muller was taking his results — four separate papers that are not yet published or peer-reviewed, but will be, he says — to a conference in Santa Fe, N.M., which is expected to include many prominent skeptics as well as mainstream scientists.

"Of course he'll be welcome," said Petr Chylek of Los Alamos National Lab, a noted skeptic and the conference organizer. "The purpose of our conference is to bring people with different views on climate together, so they can talk and clarify things."

Shawn Lawrence Otto, author of the book "Fool Me Twice" that criticizes science skeptics, said Muller should expect to be harshly treated by global warming deniers. "Now he's considered a traitor. For the skeptic community, this isn't about data or fact. It's about team sports," Otto said. "He's playing for the wrong team now."

And that started Sunday, when a British newspaper said one of Muller's co-authors, Georgia Tech climate scientist Judith Curry, accused Muller of another Climategate-like scandal and trying to "hide the decline" of recent global temperatures.

The Associated Press contacted Curry on Sunday afternoon and she said in an email that Muller and colleagues "are not hiding any data or otherwise engaging in any scientifically questionable practice."

The Muller "results unambiguously show an increase in surface temperature since 1960," Curry wrote Sunday. She said she disagreed with Muller's public relations efforts and some public comments from Muller about there no longer being a need for skepticism.

Muller's study found that skeptics' concerns about the quality of weather stations didn't skew the results of his analysis because temperature increases rose similarly in reliable and unreliable weather stations. He also found that while there is an urban heat island effect making cities warmer, rural areas, which are more abundant, are warming, too.

Among many climate scientists, the reaction was somewhat of a yawn.

"After lots of work, he found exactly what was already known and accepted in the climate community," said Jerry North, a Texas A&M University atmospheric sciences professor who headed a National Academy of Sciences climate science review in 2006. "I am hoping their study will have a positive impact. But some folks will never change."

Chris Field, a Carnegie Institution scientist who is chief author of an upcoming intergovernmental climate change report, said Muller's study "may help the world's citizens focus less on whether climate change is real and more on smart options for addressing it."

Some of the most noted scientific skeptics are no longer saying the world isn't warming. Instead, they question how much of it is man-made, view it as less of a threat and argue it's too expensive to do something about, Otto said.

Skeptical MIT scientist Richard Lindzen said it is a fact and nothing new that global average temperatures have been rising since 1950, as Muller shows. "It's hard to see how any serious scientist (skeptical, denier or believer — frequently depending on the exact question) will view it otherwise," he wrote in an email.

In a brief email statement, the Koch Foundation noted that Muller's team didn't examine ocean temperature or the cause of warming and said it will continue to fund such research. "The project is ongoing and entering peer review, and we're proud to support this strong, transparent research," said foundation spokeswoman Tonya Mullins.

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Phyllis Cormack October 31, 2011 | 12:47 p.m.

I'm surprised that there haven't been any comments about this.

(Report Comment)
frank christian October 31, 2011 | 3:12 p.m.

Isn't the question, "What is causing climate change? "the Koch Foundation noted that Muller's team didn't examine ocean temperature or the cause of warming". Perhaps this may have something to do with lack of comments.

(Report Comment)
Phyllis Cormack October 31, 2011 | 3:41 p.m.

At the very least I should be able to expect that people will cease to use the disingenuous arguments that the temperatures have been cooling off in the last decade and that they will cease making similar false assertions. Perhaps that is a bit much.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor October 31, 2011 | 5:29 p.m.

I wonder if they teach the "scientific method" used above in engineering school these days?
Don't worry about whether or not the measurements are accurate as long as they are somewhere close. If we are all off about the same then it's all good. I remember reading about the scientific method in school, but missed the part where unreliable measurements were considered reliable if they were off about the right amount... (can you say, justify an agenda?)

More scientific methods have all agreed that during the Paleocene Epoch (about 55-65 million years ago) it was 18 - 27 degrees warmer than it is now. There was a significant event that happened around this time that caused temps to rise by 5 - 8 degrees for a few thousand years on top of the already warmer temps. The Earth had no polar ice caps during this time.

Gee whiz, where was Al Gore when the planet needed him back then???

Something happened to drastically change the climate yet we were not driving cars around to cause it.

(Report Comment)
Phyllis Cormack October 31, 2011 | 8:29 p.m.

You excel in the consistency of your ability to disappoint.

I don't know about them thar scientists either. All smart an studyin thar books and writin papers an playin with gizmos. I play with gizmos. I trust my gizmos but I don't trust them thar scientists because they had more schoolin than I has.

But OK. I'll trust someone who's talking about the Paleocene Epoch, Especially when he sounds convincingly like he just came from it. Please tell me what was the composition of the atmosphere during that period.

(Report Comment)
frank christian October 31, 2011 | 8:57 p.m.

I've been trying to think of a reason why it took $600,000 to determine that a difference in temperature exists between 1950's and today. I bet Sharon Ray would have shared that information, over the phone.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 31, 2011 | 9:12 p.m.

Interestingly enough, the carbon dioxide content of our atmosphere was much higher during the Paleocene Epoch:

Paleocene Epoch (65.5 to 55.8 mya)
- 63 mya: End of Deccan Traps volcanic eruptions in India
- Appearance of placental mammals
(marsupials, insectivores, lemuroids, creodonts)
- Flowering plants become widespread.
- 60 mya: Earliest known ungulate (hoofed mammal)
- Formation of the Rocky Mountains
- 55.8 mya: Major global warming episode
North Pole temperature averaged 23°C (73.4°F),
CO2 concentration was 2000 ppm.


Current CO2 concentrations: 389 ppm


So, it was warmer back then, and... carbon dioxide levels were higher!

Then, a gradual lowering of CO2 concentrations and global cooling happened together. During that time, the earth was creating biomass and sequestering it into what are 'fossil fuels' today.

Now that we're extracting and re-releasing that carbon, temperatures are going back up. Correlationmuch?

No, correlation is not causation. But pointing to warmer temperatures back when CO2 levels were much higher actually reinforces the hypothesis that carbon emissions from fossil fuel use is at least partly the cause of global warming.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush November 1, 2011 | 2:01 a.m.

None of us can be
All knowing in everything -
Learn from those who learn.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith November 1, 2011 | 6:53 a.m.

mike mentor:

I believe they are still positing the same thing in America's predominately science and engineering institutes as they were in 1870*, 1900, 1930, 1960 and 1990:

A microgram of actual data is worth more than a metric ton of conjecture ("conjecture" is a far more refined term than "bull----").

On the other hand, decisions must often be made in the presence of scant data. A celebrated cartoon appeared in a scientific magazine in the 1990s. We see a mouse facing three closed doors. Behind one door is a large piece of cheese; behind another door is a big mouse trap; behind the third door is a big, hungry-looking cat.

The cartoon caption says, "Sometimes we must make decisions when we have less data than we would like." :)

In the case of global warming, I believe we should stop arguing the point, assume there is global warming, and take it from there.

There is a further "plus" to reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide resulting from fuel combustion: it means we're burning less fossil fuel and therefore preserving fuel for future use.

*- Where did he come up with 1870?

(Report Comment)
Joy Mayer November 1, 2011 | 10:57 a.m.

@Gregg Bush, can you take credit for starting the haiku comment movement? We love it and would like to talk to you about it. Would you be up for that?
— Joy Mayer,
director of community outreach,
Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
mike mentor November 1, 2011 | 11:58 a.m.

I object! I hope you invite someone from the "other side" of the issues to talk haiku. Gregg is a die hard and must be balanced if you have any journalistic integrity left!

(a little tongue in cheeck...)

(Report Comment)
mike mentor November 1, 2011 | 11:59 a.m.

If you want to pretend to not be Paul, you need to at least change your style a little.
I see you !!!

(Report Comment)
mike mentor November 1, 2011 | 12:26 p.m.

I totally agree with the logical assumption that more CO2 in the atmosphere means warmer temps. I agree that we should not be barfing CO2 in to the atmosphere indiscriminantly for no other gains. The point of remembering back when I was just a little guy (he he) was that there was a drastic change in temps that dwarfs any change in the temperatures that even the farthest gone alarmists of today try to scare us with. This change in temp was caused by natural (not man made...) forces. I do not believe that man holds anywhere close to the power of nature in his hands. I believe that if the Earth was on a natural warming cycle that man could stop burning fossil fuels entirely and the Earth would still warm. Likewise, I believe if the Earth was cooling due to natural forces that we would not be able to stop the cooling by driving bigger cars.
I think we need to keep this perspective when trying to ram agenda down throats...

ie. Don't go giving solar panel companies $500 million dollars of our money so rich dem investors can get their losing investments back under the guise of saving a planet!!!

(Report Comment)
Sally Willis November 1, 2011 | 1:42 p.m.

@ Mike,
I love that you busted Phyllis (Paul) out! Keep em in check! Really is sad that they can't just give up and stay away.

(Report Comment)
Joy Mayer November 1, 2011 | 4:57 p.m.

@Mike -- Ha! I'm prepared to be transparent about my bias for poetry in comments!
— Joy Mayer,
Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Justin Enson November 1, 2011 | 7:00 p.m.

Mike, I just read over this discussion and I noticed that your first move was to ridicule the assertion that changes in the content of the atmosphere correlated with changes in it's temperature by referring to conditions millions of years ago. Then, when shown that your argument essentially bolstered the argument you opposed, you admitted:"I totally agree with the logical assumption that more CO2 in the atmosphere means warmer temps." Then you launched into:"I think we need to keep this perspective when trying to ram agenda down throats...
ie. Don't go giving solar panel companies $500 million dollars of our money so rich dem investors can get their losing investments back under the guise of saving a planet!!!"

Well... The fact that you had to stick a political party into the fray indicates to me that you are the one trying to ram agenda down throats. It's a shame that you have to be that polarized and I can't help but wonder how that plays into your perceptions and the day to day decisions that you make throughout your life.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor November 2, 2011 | 8:58 a.m.

Thank you for your concern. I appreciate that there is another human being concerned with my mental health and well being. It makes me feel good.
As far as this issue goes, I have been pretty much said the same thing all along. More CO2 in the atmosphere will lead to warmer temps. I wasnt't ridiculing the notion of this by bringing up the past. Simply using that time frame because it was before man so we couldn't have caused or affected. Keep up kid...Nature has more power to add or subtract CO2 from the environment than man does. (as eveidenced by the many times the Earth has warmed and cooled to temps well beyond current ranges before man had any influence at all..) Last, that we need to remember how insignificant we are when making policy decisions like the 500 million dollar loan to a failing solar panel company with big money dems as investors who illegally were put ahead of taxpayers in the line of creditors by OWEbama's people. Do you believe you are saving the planet by giving out tax dollars to failing solar panel companies? I don't. If your answer was yes, then I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one...

(Report Comment)
Sally Willis November 2, 2011 | 9:05 a.m.

I'm just curious as to how many names Paul will be using?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking November 2, 2011 | 9:31 a.m.

mike mentor wrote:

"Nature has more power to add or subtract CO2 from the environment than man does."

In the past, CO2 levels have tended to follow temperature rises, largely due to the ocean realeasing stored CO2 and the increased degradation of biomass at warmer temperatures. This is the first time we know of that increased CO2 has preceded a rise in temperature.

Mankind could cause a significant cooling of the earth by having a large scale nuclear war, so we can do a very good job of changing our climate. We (the world) also use about 400 exajoules of fossil energy/year, which is the equivalent in yield of about 75,000 B83 hydrogen bombs. Of course, the climate change from a nuclear war is due to a different mechanism, but my example is meant to show the levels at which we have harnessed energy are not insignificant on a global scale, and over time, human contribution to climate change is quite likely,


(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 2, 2011 | 10:03 a.m.

When discussing natural changes in CO2 levels, let's remember the biggest (by far) carbon sink in the world is limestone/dolomite (CaCO3 and MgCO3)....not the oceans or oil or gas or soil or biomass.

That limestone is recycled at plate margins via subduction where it is destructively heated and burped back into the atmosphere as CO2. We mimic this process when we roast limestone to make lime for concrete.

What's going on at the plate margins and expanding rifts has a lot to do with natural changes in atmospheric carbon.

So don't make the mantle mad.

(PS: Glad the spam problem is solved)

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith November 2, 2011 | 10:13 a.m.

We know empirically that temporary cooling occurs when our upper atmosphere is flooded with particles of volcanic ash, as this has happened. I suppose some system could be devised to induce like particles into the atmosphere (never mind practicality or cost).

I wouldn't recommend it. One result could well be serious diminishment of agricultural crop yields, and at best any reduction in temperature would be temporary.

An excellent example of atmosphere and its effects is the planet Venus. The chemical composition (gases) of that planet's atmosphere is such that its atmosphere is very dense and its surface temperature is about 900 deg. F. Yes, its orbit is nearer the sun, but its high surface temperature is mainly attributable to its atmosphere.

(Report Comment)
frank christian November 2, 2011 | 10:26 a.m.

Lest we forget, this whole issue was brought to our attention by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose latest efforts to solve the problem include 100B$ reparation from wealthy countries to developing nations. It seems financing of the required funds is only problem. Some familiar names are there helping save our planet. "The 21-member United Nations panel included Lawrence H. Summers, the White House’s departing national economics adviser; the billionaire financier George Soros;"

(Report Comment)
Justin Enson November 2, 2011 | 11:01 a.m.

What a mess. Where should I start with this?

Frank, it must be all bad science if the UN is involved in funding it. It must be worse if a billionaire is involved and absolutely despicable if a politically connected economics adviser is. (Unless, of course, it is a billionaire or politician that you agree with.)

Mike, I'll bet that there are big money democratic investors owning a stake in every major company in the United States and a large portion of the rest of the world. At this point should I remind you to be afraid - very afraid? I'm going to guess that there were probably also some big money republican investors owning bits of that company as well. But I'm glad to know that something as universal as science and ecology can be relegated to partisanship.

Also, I'm not really worried as much about the change in climate that will take place over the course of so many millions of years as I am the amount of change that will take place in this new century and immediately thereafter.

Mark, do you remember the stated approximate number of years worth of carbon sequestration that is being released into the atmosphere every year?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking November 2, 2011 | 11:08 a.m.

"Mark, do you remember the stated approximate number of years worth of carbon sequestration that is being released into the atmosphere every year?"



(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking November 2, 2011 | 11:10 a.m.

And just to follow, Michael Williams is quite correct that limestone has a lot to do with CO2 levels, and large scale subduction events can dwarf the emissions caused by fossil fuels. It seems that is not what is happening now, however.


(Report Comment)
mike mentor November 2, 2011 | 11:15 a.m.

Your missing the point. When our government starts giving away money to companies that make solar panels under the guise of saving the planet it does become a political issue. It becomes an even bigger political issue when it comes to light that Owebamas people arranged the terms of the loan so that democratic donors who had private investments in this firm were illegally put ahead of taxpayers in the line of creditors. These are facts that are much more verifiable than any suppositions about global warming. I am o.k. with doing our best to to be good stewards of the environment. I am not o.k. when our government starts spending billions based on junk science or when it acts illegally. It is that simple.

(Report Comment)
Justin Enson November 2, 2011 | 11:26 a.m.

But you just asserted that global warming isn't junk science and said that you had felt that way all along. Please clarify your position. It seems to be wandering all over the place.

Also, did you have a problem with the millions of dollars awarded in no bid contracts to Halliburton? Since you said that your "facts" are verifiable, why don't you?

(Report Comment)
mike mentor November 2, 2011 | 12:21 p.m.

When did I say global warming wasn't junk science? Almost all of the "science" involved with the warming enthusiasts is junk and has been proven to be so. The article above mentions that they knew the measurements didn't meet their own standards in order to be trusted as authentic data, but suggested that since they were off by reletively the same amounts that it's all good. I can hear my chemist/physicist dad screaming all the way from St Louis ;-)

I will ask the question again. Do you believe that you are saving the planet from certain destruction by investing in solar panel companies that go bankrupt or by eating less red meat because cows fart too much methane in to the atmosphere? These are things that our government has done or has suggested we do.
Again, balance our reaction and react only when the science is sound and I am all good...

And yes I had many problems with the Republican admin that wasted billions by not watching more closely where contracts and where money went. Do I think Bush was one of our greatest presidents? No. Do I think that Owebama is one of the worst if not the worst? Yes!

(Report Comment)
Justin Enson November 2, 2011 | 12:38 p.m.

"As far as this issue goes, I have been pretty much said the same thing all along. More CO2 in the atmosphere will lead to warmer temps. I wasnt't ridiculing the notion of this by bringing up the past."
"I totally agree with the logical assumption that more CO2 in the atmosphere means warmer temps. I agree that we should not be barfing CO2 in to the atmosphere indiscriminantly for no other gains."

(Report Comment)
mike mentor November 2, 2011 | 12:52 p.m.

Last question for you.
If a mosquito lands on you and extracts some blood, do you go to the hospital emergency room to get a few units of blood pumped in to your system?
See other thread... Have a good one...

(Report Comment)
Justin Enson November 2, 2011 | 1:47 p.m.

Oh, come on. You're much more than a mosquito.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor November 2, 2011 | 4:04 p.m.

Don't look now alarmists, but we have another book coming out about all the junk science that was going on at the U.N.

I'll copy and paste some juicy tidbits...

U.N. Hires Grad Students to Author Key Climate Report

A scathing new expose on the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change -- which sets the world's agenda when it comes to the current state of the climate -- claims that its reports have often been written by graduate students with little or no experience in their field of study and whose efforts normally might be barely enough to satisfy grad school requirements.

Grad students often co-author scientific papers to help with the laborious task of writing. Such papers are rarely the cornerstone for trillions of dollars worth of government climate funding, however -- nor do they win Nobel Peace prizes.

“We’ve been told for the past two decades that 'the Climate Bible' was written by the world’s foremost experts,” Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise said “But the fact is, you are just not qualified without a doctorate. In academia you aren't even on the radar at that point.”

The IPCC insists that the lead authors of individual sections of its climate report are indeed the pre-eminent experts in their field.

Released this month, Laframboise's book “The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World's Top Climate Expert” calls that into question. The book names nearly half a dozen lead authors involved in the IPCC’s reports over the years who were barely out of college when tapped to author the final word on the effects of climate change:

* One lead author of the 2001 edition was a trainee at the Munich Reinsurance Company in 2000 and lacked a master's degree while on the panel. He did not earn a Ph.D. until ten years later.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor November 2, 2011 | 4:05 p.m.


* Another lead author in 1994 earned his master's only two years earlier and had his first academic paper published in 1995.

* An Australian academic was an assistant author in 2001 and a lead author in 2007 -- despite not earning her Ph.D. until 2009.

* Dutch geography professor Richard Klein has been a lead author for six IPCC reports and in 1997 became a coordinating lead author. He was promoted to the panel’s most senior role while he was 28 years old -- six years prior to completing his PhD.

Klein confirmed that he had not yet turned 25 when he was selected to author a portion of the report that would shape the world's climate policy.

“I am happy to leave it to others to reflect on the fact that I was 24 when I was lead author of an IPCC chapter for the first time, and that it was two years after I did a three-month work placement at Greenpeace,” Dr. Klein wrote.

At a top-level university, grad students are often employed to help with research guided by a lead researcher with a doctorate degree, Anthony Watts, a meteorologist and notable climate blogger said.

“But when research is done in a college situation, the scientists work closely with the grad students and then the findings are sent to a peer review where it is checked for accuracy and revised. In the IPCC, that whole process is skipped, leading to possible flaws," he said.

Laframboise uncovered this information thanks to a team of citizen auditors her climate-blog recruited last year to assess the U.N.’s most recent climate-change report, following revelations of sloppy syntax and factual errors, such as claims that Himalayan glaciers were on the verge of vanishing or the rain forest was endangered by global warming.

She hopes her book will bring about change in public attitudes.

“We’ve been told that [the IPCC] is a responsible business man in a three-piece suit, but it turns out it’s a sloppily dressed teenager -- a spoiled brat that can’t be trusted,” she said.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor November 2, 2011 | 4:08 p.m.

There is no joy in mudville...

(Report Comment)
frank christian November 2, 2011 | 4:33 p.m.

Justin Enson - "What a mess. Where should I start with this?" Might I suggest that after three comments, you have not yet left the post. Old liberal habit of continually reciting problems to compare "one of ours with one of theirs" usually answers no questions and in your case we are shown again that this is true. If you could have shown us how the gift of 100B$ from on part of the planet to another will solve or help the "change" problem....

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield November 2, 2011 | 6:53 p.m.

"@Phyllis If you want to pretend to not be Paul, you need to at least change your style a little. I see you !!!"

I guess you were right. Her profile has gone missing, just like his did a week or two ago. Reminds me of another person who posted here under various pseudonyms, such as Carlos Sanchez, and on the Trib's site as Citizenz Voice.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith November 3, 2011 | 8:15 a.m.

If Paul has not exited for Iraq he has probably temporarily gone to Columbia, South Carolina, where he is dickering with a manufacturer of Confederate flags and has signed up for a short course in how to prepare and serve boiled peanuts.

Paul plans to sell Confederate flags and boiled peanuts at future MU home football games. We've always suspicioned that Paul was a closet entrepreneur.

There is an etiquette to consuming boiled peanuts: you MUST NOT wipe the slime off your mouth and chin using the Confederate flag!

A related news item: University of Missouri System Curators announced that no student, faculty member or alumnus or alumna from the UMKC, UMSL or MS&T campuses is either required to or expected to consume boiled peanuts or display Confederate flags. Thank God! :)

(Report Comment)
frank christian November 3, 2011 | 8:57 a.m.

Mike Mentor - Lawrence Solomon, in his book, The Deniers, stated that the names of the 2500 highly qualified climate scientists of the IPCC had been nearly impossible to obtain. I'm glad to hear at least a few have been "outed".

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking November 3, 2011 | 8:59 a.m.

"The book names nearly half a dozen lead authors involved in the IPCC’s reports over the years who were barely out of college when tapped to author the final word on the effects of climate change:"

Um, there are several hundred authors of that report, so a half dozen of them being underqualified doesn't bother me a whole lot.

Reports, of course, are not peer-reviewed, and that is a problem whether you're talking about climate change or anything else. But there is a voluminous body of peer-reviewed climate research that does point to a large human contribution to climate change.


(Report Comment)
mike mentor November 3, 2011 | 10:52 a.m.

Another question regarding the U.N. report is where did all the millions go that it cost to produce this report if they were using 20 something grad students to write the report? I don't think they were paid the millions... Could it be that the corrupt folks in the U.N. pocketed most of the money and paid the least qualified and least expensive worker bee grad students to actually write the garbage report?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking November 3, 2011 | 12:10 p.m.

mike mentor wrote:

"Could it be that the corrupt folks in the U.N. pocketed most of the money and paid the least qualified and least expensive worker bee grad students to actually write the garbage report?"

Half a dozen grad students out of several hundred does not make "least qualified".

I am not defending the report per se, although I am convinced humans are making a large contribution to climate change at this time. However, there are some very well known senior scientists on the author rosters also.

Books are also not peer-reviewed, and often are written and pitched in such a way as to generate controversy and thus boost sales.

The assertion that Chernobyl will kill a million people was also made in a book (not a report or journal article), and I am quite skeptical about that.


(Report Comment)

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