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There is no climate emergency, say 500 experts in letter to the United Nations

Carpe Diem

The video above is from Friends of Science, a Canada-based “non-profit organization run by dedicated volunteers comprised mainly of active and retired earth and atmospheric scientists, engineers, and other professionals.” On the same day last week that Greta Thunberg made an impassioned speech to the United Nations about her fears of a climate emergency, a group of 500 prominent scientists and professionals, led by the CLINTEL co-founder Guus Berkhout, sent this registered letter to the United Nations Secretary-General stating that there is no climate emergency and climate policies should be designed to benefit the lives of people. Here’s the press release, here’ the list of 500 signees, and here’s the opening of the letter:

A global network of more than 500 knowledgeable and experienced scientists and professionals in climate and related fields have the honor to address to Your Excellencies the attached European Climate Declaration, for which the signatories to this letter are the national ambassadors. The general-circulation models of climate on which international policy is at present founded are unfit for their purpose.

Therefore, it is cruel as well as imprudent to advocate the squandering of trillions of dollars on the basis of results from such immature models. Current climate policies pointlessly and grievously undermine the economic system, putting lives at risk in countries denied access to affordable, reliable electrical energy. We urge you to follow a climate policy based on sound science, realistic economics and genuine concern for those harmed by costly but unnecessary attempts at mitigation

Here are the specific points about climate change highlighted in the letter:

1 Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming.
2. Warming is far slower than predicted.
3. Climate policy relies on inadequate models.
4. CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a plant food that is essential to all life on Earth. Photosynthesis is a blessing. More CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth: additional CO2 in the air has promoted growth in global plant biomass. It is also good for agriculture, increasing the yields of crops worldwide.
5. Global warming has not increased natural disasters.
6. Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities.
7. There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic.

MP: What about that “consensus” and “settled science” about climate change we always hear about? How can there be a consensus when there’s a global network of more than 500 knowledgeable and experienced scientists and professionals in climate and related fields who challenge the “settled science”?

Actually, challenging the consensus among the scientific community is nothing new, but those the voices of those challenging the consensus are always drowned out by the tsunami of climate hysteria from the climate alarmists. For example, in 2012 a group of more than 125 scientists sent an open letter to the United Nations warning that scientific evidence refuted UN Secretary-General’s Ban Ki-Moon repeated assertions on weather and climate. Those warnings of climate hysteria unsupported by the scientific evidence were ignored in 2012, just like the letter from the 500 prominent scientists and professionals will be ignored in 2019. In other words, it’s “deja vu all over again.”

Discussion (115 comments)

  1. Rob says:

    • Rob: “Unfortunately, now days, “actual reporters” seem more like propagandists aligned with their newspaper positions.”
    • Zachriel: There are thousands of reporters around the world who do nothing but report on events.
    • Rob: Doesn’t alter my point.

    • Rob: “I think a blog like this better exposes you to both sides of a debate.”
    • Zachriel: You can’t debate without facts. In current events, the vast majority of information comes from reporters. In science, the vast majority of information comes from observational scientists.
    • Rob: Reporters “information” is not necessarily fact. Often, it is a mix of politically biased nonsense, hyperbole and sensationalism that an Editor allows through to either sell newspapers or support the newspaper’s fixed views. If you swallow reporters copy as fact, you are gone, hook, line and sinker. Thankfully, sceptics play a valuable role in helping to sort the wood from the chaff – eg screening out observational science portrayed as true but found to be based on incorrect assumptions. Tainted science occurs for many reasons including politics, complexity of context and accidental or intentional omissions or errors. As an example of how science evolves take engineering. One might read some initial science that claims as proven a mild steel bolt will fail under shear load at a certain point (eg 25 or so long tons per square inch). But the science may not then know such failure point will be radically less if the bolt is simultaneously under tension or suffering a small stress relief. Similarly, when aeroplane wings used to fall off, it was because the assumed science of aluminium strength was not complete enough to know of the complexity of turbulence and aluminium work-hardening causing cracks to develop. In both cases you might say the initial science seemed pretty settled as it had passed laboratory testing but, as with much of science, you learn as you go, and it is often incomplete. With climate science there is even less certainty around all the complexities of dynamic modelling and the myriad contextual issues, assumed anthropogenic affects and natural macro influences and patterns. We are just at the very beginning of a process that with a good dose of healthy scepticism might eventually become clearer. But it is not yet so definite as to warrant emergency action and destruction of economies. Even IPCC themselves keep reviewing actual with theoretical and are all over the place – even needing to accept homogenising and reworking past data to keep things credible. Indeed, because gullible reporters report everything they are feed (knowing no better) those with a few years more experience having seen the food-shortage claims and other world-ending scares come and go, they have learned to set a higher burden of proof. Sceptics are not all disbelievers of the science; they are just less impulsive and requiring of a higher standard of proof before acting. And, your revered reporters showing localised drought, bushfires and receding ice shelves do nothing to help the cause when portrayed as superficial headline grabbing articles devoid of proper scientific context. For example how the other hemisphere is behaving at the same time and whether the reported event is one of a recurring nature and size when considering macro patterns and long term records. Most such climate articles are just laughable and too shallow to even bother reading. Refer the predicted demise of polar bears, who are now are doing better than ever. It’s called theoretical science vs reality.

    • Rob: “You don’t have to be a climate scientist to spot wrong assumptions upon which an expert report authority rests ”
    • Zachriel: Then publish your results in a scientific journal so it can be evaluated by climate researchers. This has all the earmarks of the creationist debate.
    • Rob: You are missing the point, although I suspect we are on the same side of the creationist debate. Incorrect assumptions upon which science can be falsely based can be found through an enquiring sceptical mind and common sense – meaning no new science to be published. Often it is simply plain errors, omissions, incorrect compounding of margin of error, failure to identify or explain non-linear events and use of politically tainted assumptions etc – see my earlier coastal science related post which explains this in full.

    • Rob: “I agree as a generalisation but this equally applies to a consensus of sceptics too.”
    • Zachriel: That’s exactly wrong. A consensus of your skeptical friends at the local tavern are much less likely to be correct about climate science, or quantum physics, or cancer, than a consensus of experts in the field.
    • Rob: With respect, you have missed the point. Their role is not to redo the science (they can’t, I agree). What they look for is errors in the assumptions upon which the science is based. Effectively, they are common sense peer reviewers providing a function that most peer reviewers don’t. My experience of peer review is they check for embarrassing maths or other errors and don’t dig too deep on the base assumptions – preferring to rubber stamp and stay on the gravy-train earner.

    • Rob: “Probability is not certainty and you need that before acting prematurely so as to destroy economies based on fossil fuels.”
    • Zachriel: Science is never certain….Climate science has reached a high degree of confidence about anthropogenic global warming.
    However, destroying economies would doom any chance of responding to the problem of anthropogenic global warming. The solution must involve continued economic growth which can spur technological solutions while allowing more of the world’s people to enjoy the fruits of industrialization.
    • Rob: I agree, but easier said than done. And with many protesters being wet behind the ears and holding all sorts of motives for protesting (like bringing in socialist governments which the democratic majority have rejected as spectactularly dangerous failed experiments of the past) have unrealistic demands. I also note the younger ones make very few sacrifices to set a good example and most have contributed little in taxes, life and limb (unlike their forebears) to get their countries to where they are. A privilege they ungratefully take advantage of with no thanks to those who have made freedom possible, as they lay in streets to annoy them, instead of parks.

    • Rob: “I was told a sample of bone marrow would need to be reamed out of my hip bone. ”
    • Zachriel: So the experts suggested a more advanced test, and the test had a happy answer. Sounds like a typical appeal to authority. It’s not as if you knew what to do, or examined your own bone marrow tissue. You relied upon experts.
    • Rob: You are incorrect. I acted as any good sceptic would and sought a higher burden of proof. I didn’t think the theoretical conclusion they had come to was reliable enough to accept hook line and sinker. To avoid being carted off to hospital that very day, I needed hard evidence to justify such an emergency step – rather than only a theory to justify (an incorrect one as it happened).

    • Rob: “Few people are denying climate change per se, rather they are sceptical of the rate of change and the relationship to anthropogenic produced CO2”
    • Zachriel: We have provided dozens of citations….
    • Rob: When the hard observable facts unequivocally support such work, I am sure most sceptics will be climbing over themselves in support and the first to help fast-track things. But, only when they are certain there is no tainted work and no issues with the assumptions upon which it is all based. I think the complexities of overlap between CO2 and other gases, anthropogenic and natural cycles, truth and UN wealth-transfer politics and inertia problems associated with change that cuts off your nose to spite your face, are all issues that will rightfully hold up any fait accompli emergency progression – until the science and all its interrelated complexities are better sorted or at least hard fact evidenced in proper context free of wrong assumptions.

    Rob

  2. Ron H. says:

    Z: “That’s what they say they show, but they don’t.

    “I know you are, but what am I?” — Peewee Herman

    Z: “Instead of a falsification, there is strong evidence supporting the theory of anthropogenic global warming.”

    That is not and has not been the question. The actual question is ‘So What?” That’s the question being asked by many, many people who are fully qualified to understand the science, and to ask the question, even without the label “Climate Scientist” on their name tags. “There is no evidence of a climate emergency” they say, so “We will not agree to drastic, potentially life threatening cancer treatments without seeing actual evidence from a direct source.”

    Rob made the excellent point that no matter how many experts reach consensus based on indirect indicators, there is more certainty required before taking drastic actions to “fix” something that might or might not be broken. That higher level of certainty is not forthcoming from so-called “climate scientists”.

    There is no “evidence” of future climate, only projections and speculations based on results obtained by running computer models with various assumptions plugged in while ignoring or “parameterizing” factors that aren’t well understood or which don’t lend themselves to easy modelling, due to the non-liner and chaotic nature of climate. That predictive incompetence is evident from the simple observation that of 120 various model runs since 1979 only one has approximated observed temperatures to date.

    There is no “evidence” that current climate or any current trends are different than conditions at other time in the past, both hotter and colder, through which humans not only survived, but thrived with far fewer resources and abilities to adapt than they have now. As well, all creatures alive today have survived both hotter, colder, wetter, and drier conditions.

    There is no “evidence” that Earth’s global climate or global average temperature (a silly and meaningless statistical artifact in any case) is more ideal than any other set of conditions, except it’s quite “evident” that a warmer climate with higher levels of atmospheric CO2 . is better for plants and thus better for animals and humans.

    There is no “evidence” from observational scientists that climate sensitivity is 2-4 deg. C to a doubling of atmosphere CO2. It has been inferred, based on … well, speculation. There is no experimental data from climate studies, only scenarios and speculation from necessarily incomplete and demonstrably faulty models.

    Z: ” You have to explain the evidence from glacial cycles, climate response to volcanic eruptions, satellite observations of Earth’s energy budget, and from physical first principles.”

    Yes, we readily agree Earth’s climate has changed due to a number of factors including changes in atmospheric CO2 levels. So what?

  3. John Bell says:

    If climate change is man caused, it should be possible to reproduce the conditions and the results in laboratory testing. If it is impossible to do so, then I have to reject the theory as being unprovable.

  4. Norm Kalmanovitch says:

    The issue is not whether then world is or isn’t warming but whether or not the warming is being caused by CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels.
    Quantum physics tells us that a dipole moment is needed for an interaction between CO2 in the atmosphere and thermal radiation from the Earth’s surface,
    The CO2 molecule is linear and symmetrical with no permanent dipole moment but natural vibration at 20,397GHz along the axis produces the necessary dipole moment resonant with 14.77 micron wavelength of the Earth’s thermal radiation.
    The level of interaction decreases either side of the resonant 14.77 micron wavelength to the limits of 13microns and 17microns beyond which there is no further interaction.
    In 1970 the Nimbus 4 satellite measured the Earth’s thermal radiation spectrum demonstrating that the 13micron to 17micron wavelength band affected by CO2 was already to close to being saturated from the 325ppmv CO2 content at the time for any addional CO2 to have any possible further (detectable) effect on global temperature.
    This was confirmed by the 33year period of (slight) global cooling that took place between 1942 and 1975 as CO2 emissions increased by 425%!
    This has been confirmed again by the fact that the 50% increase in CO2 emissions has not resulted in any net warming in the past 22 years.
    This stasis in global temperature rise is stated in the 2013 IPCC 5th Assessment Report Page 769 Box 9.2 titled “Climate models and the hiatus in global mean surface warming of the past 15 years
    https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/WG1AR5_Chapter09_FINAL.pdf

    This was known as “the 17 year pause” in 2013 and now the “21 year pause” in 2019
    Pleas check out http://jimpeden.blogspot.com/2009/11/norm-kalmanovich-on-global-warming-hoax.html for a better explanation

  5. Michael Castillo says:

    When the models consistently overstate actually observed conditions and the models fail to explain past events like the Medevial Warm Period, it’s time to re-examine the base assumptions of the model. The basic assumption of anthropogenic global warming is that a change of one molecule in ten thousand air molecules will destabilize the climate. Anyone who has had basic high school physics and a rudimentary knowledge of climate history knows that is not true. The sun drives the climate. The real science deniers are those who push anthropogenic global warming for political reasons.

  6. Rob says:

    Unfortunately, newspapers don’t give the above sorts of counter arguments the space they deserve.

    Net result, the herd becomes convinced the only arguments they get exposed to are absolutely valid.

    So the herd turns into an uniformed clueless rhetorical bulldozer.

    Few on either side could “know” the science anyway, so the best any of us can do is keep questioning and keep looking for science that best takes everything known into consideration such as: sound base assumptions, freedom from as many errors and omissions possible, proper context and verifiable hard evidential proof.

    And as I referred earlier, climate change understanding seems no more developed that when wings were falling off aeroplanes before the the then theoretical science of aluminium had been field tested enough (to discover overlapping turbulence effect and work-hardening causing cracks).

    Similarly today, when/if global warming is occuring, we should’t just rush to declare emergencies until the science and effects are more fully definable and proven to be anthropogenic and CO2 related.

    What we should be doing is letting things play out a bit to better confirm the true nature, extent, and interrelated dynamics all the while looking for untainted evidence to get to the bottom of why the modelled theories are mostly incomplete or wrongly based.

    And, we should stop publishing out of context snapshots of localised effects, pretending they are scientific proof by extrapolating of a world-wide effect. The averages of all those effects (if not part of a natural cycle) would at the very least be necessary before it could even be considered as world wide.

    In Australia recently, there was much weight given in the press to certain bushfires and drought being tied to climate change. Then the sceptics on another TV channel did the research to find those claims were complete nonsense.

    The fires were a result of some juvenile arsonists found a few days later, and past drought graphs showed a long term variable cycle whereby the current droughts were not as bad as others already experienced on the historical record.

    So much for left-leaning investigative reporting skills!

    Rob

  7. John Ursino says:

    https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/GlobalWarming/page2.php
    According to NASA, who I guess all of you are smarter than, the world has been warning FAR faster in the last few decades than centuries before. Also one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard argued, “CO2 is good for plants so the more the better!” Obviously paraphrasing but there comes a point of CO2 saturation when there is more than all plants need. So it sits in the atmosphere contributing to the greenhouse effect. Yes CO2 is good for plants, but not when it is too hot for them to grow. Why is this a political issue?! It’s friggin evolution 2.0. IF MEN CAME FROM MONKEYS WHY ARE THERE STILL MONKEYS?! *Palm meets face*

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