Monday, February 15, 2010

Global Warming 'Skepticism': Sometimes there really is no 'there' there.

One assumes that if the so-called global warming "skeptics" could do better, they would. Or perhaps they think they don't have to? I mean, can it really be any harder to convince people that global warming isn't real than it was to convince them that Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction were?

I am referring (for now, there will be more to come) to a recent article that appeared on Sunday (Feb. 14, 2010) in the Rupert Murdoch owned and operated Times Online (UK), under the title World may not be warming, say scientists. The amount of attention that this article has garnered is indicated by the fact that it has been featured at both the RealClearPolitics and at the WitchesVoice websites!

The obvious intent of the article is to convince the reader that the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is facing "a new challenge" in the form of scientists who previously supported AGW but who are now "casting doubt" on the "claim that global temperatures are rising inexorably because of human pollution."

In fact, the article in question names a grand total of six "scientists". One of them turns out to not be a scientist at all. Two of them are economists with no expertise in climate science. The remaining three (all of the actual climate scientists named in the article!) all support and have always supported the scientific consensus behind AGW.

And not one of the six people named in the article has changed his or her position on the question of anthropogenic global warming!

Here are the named "sources" in the article, in the order that they appear:

John Christy
Atmospheric scientist.
Quote (not given in article): "It is scientifically inconceivable that after changing forests into cities, turning millions of acres into irrigated farmland, putting massive quantities of soot and dust into the air, and putting extra greenhouse gases into the air, that the natural course of climate has not changed in some way."
No change in position

Ross McKitrick
Right-wing economist (not a climate scientist).
Has always opposed the idea of global warming.
No change in position.

Anthony Watts
TV "weatherman", NOT an actual scientist of any sort.
Long time global warming skeptic.
No change in position.

Terence (Terry) Mills
Another economist, not a climate scientist. Has played no major role (that is, has not taken a public position) in climate debate until recently.
No change in position.

Kevin Trenberth
Supports theory of anthropogenic global warming.
No change in position.

Vicky Pope
Supports theory of anthropogenic global warming.
No change in position.