The Senate Minority report is out: “More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims”

I will look at this during the weekend, and post any reviews I find.  Please do the same in the comments!

More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims“, Minority Staff Report, U. S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, 11 December 2008, 231 pages.

Introduction:

Over 650 dissenting scientists from around the globe challenged man-made global warming claims made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Vice President Al Gore. This new 231-page U.S. Senate Minority Report report — updated from 2007’s groundbreaking report of over 400 scientists who voiced skepticism about the so-called global warming “consensus” — features the skeptical voices of over 650 prominent international scientists, including many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN IPCC.

This updated report includes an additional 250 (and growing) scientists and climate researchers since the initial release in December 2007. The over 650 dissenting scientists are more than 12 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.

The chorus of skeptical scientific voices grow louder in 2008 as a steady stream of peer reviewed studies, analyses, real world data, and inconvenient developments challenged the UN and former Vice President Al Gore’s claims that the “science is settled” and there is a “consensus.” On a range of issues, 2008 proved to be challenging for the promoters of man-made climate fears. Promoters of anthropogenic warming fears endured the following:

  1. global temperatures failing to warm,
  2. peer-reviwed studies predicting a continued lack of warming,
  3. a failed attempt to revive the discredited “Hockey Stick,
  4. inconvenient developments, and
  5. studies regarding CO2, the Sun; clouds, Antarctica, the Arctic, Greenland, Mount Kilimanjaro, hurricanes, extreme storms, floods, ocean acidification, polar bears, lack of atmosphieric dust, the failure of oceans to warm, and rise as predicted.

In addition, the following developments further secured 2008 as the year the “consensus” collapsed.

  1. Russian scientists “rejected the very idea that carbon dioxide may be responsible for global warming”.
    An American Physical Society editor conceded that a considerable presence” of scientific skeptics exist.
  2. An International team of scientists countered the UN IPCC, declaring: “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate”.
  3. India Issued a report challenging global warming fears.
  4. International Scientists demanded the UN IPCC “be called to account and cease its deceptive practices,” and
  5. a canvass of more than 51,000 Canadian scientists revealed 68% disagree that global warming science is “settled.”

Afterword

If you are new to this site, please glance at the archives below.  You may find answers to your questions in these.

Please share your comments by posting below.  Per the FM site’s Comment Policy, please make them brief (250 words max), civil, and relevant to this post.  Or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).

For more information from the FM site

To read other articles about these things, see the FM reference page on the right side menu bar.  Of esp relevance to this topic:

Posts on the FM site about climate change:

  1. A look at the science and politics of global warming, 12 June 2008
  2. Global warming means more earthquakes!, 19 June 2008
  3. An article giving strong evidence of global warming, 30 June 2008
  4. Worrying about the Sun and climate change: cycle 24 is late, 10 July 2008
  5. More forecasts of a global cooling cycle, 15 July 2008
  6. Update: is Solar Cycle 24 late (a cooling cycle, with famines, etc)?, 15 july 2008
  7. Two valuable perspectives on global warming, 4 August 2008
  8. President Kennedy speaks to us about global warming and Climate Science, 7 August 2008
  9. Solar Cycle 24 is still late, perhaps signalling cool weather ahead, 2 September 2008
  10. Update on solar cycle 24 – and a possible period of global cooling, 1 October 2008
  11. Good news about global warming!, 21 October 2008
  12. One of the most interesting sources of news about science and nature!, 27 October 2008
  13. “Aliens cause global warming”: wise words from the late Michael Crichton, 15 November 2008
  14. A reply to comments on FM site about Global Warming, 17 November 2008
  15. Is anthropogenic global warming a scientific debate, or a matter of religious belief?, 22 November 2008
  16. Weekend Reading, watching the world change before our eyes, 29 November 2008
  17. Another pro-global warming comment, effective PR at work!, 1 December 2008
  18. Mystery solved, providing an important insight about the global warming debate., 2 December 2008
  19. This week’s report on the news in climate science, 7 December 2008

7 thoughts on “The Senate Minority report is out: “More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims”

  1. How could this be??? The One, the President(elect), the Obama has already claimed the question is settled. (incontrovertible?).
    Ha!
    FM: I really like your scepticism on AGW, while generally accepting that humans might well have had an impact on rising CO2 levels.

    In contrast, I think it’s far too soon to conclude that Op. Iraqi Freedom is a failure, altho it’s also too soon to declare victory for democracy. It’s very interesting that your assumed failure conditions in Iraq seem to be unfalsifiable. Perhaps a future Iraq war summary post could make your position more explicitly clear? (Sorry if I’ve missed a prior definitive post.)
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    Fabius Maximsus replies: Please post comments about Iraq on a post relevant to Iraq. Also, please quote me when summarizing my views (they are clearly stated in both comments and posts about Iraq), as you seldom do so accurately otherwise.

  2. Since most pro AGW people on this blog haven’t been able to argue the toss with you over this issue, I found a website which seeks to refute the Skeptics main arguments in a systematic manner, I thought you might find it useful: “Antarctica is cooling/gaining ice“, John Cook, Skeptical Science, no date.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: I have never understood the appeal of these kind of sites, which appear on both sides. Just a guess, they serve to re-enforce lay participants in the rightness of their beliefs.

    It gives a little burlesque of a “skeptic’s” view (with no evidence or supporting links), then an equally short rebuttal. Nice fodder for junior high school debating clubs, but of near-zero use in understanding the actual issues. It has the same relationship to the actual AGW debate as do 15-second political attack ads to the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

    For a real debate of the issues see sites like RealClimate (heavily censored) or Climate Audit (uncensored, hence often quite wild).

  3. I was disappointed that the ‘report’ seems to be just a collection of quotes. There are zillions of links and so forth which I suspect very few people will find the time to go through thoroughly but no sustained theme with overview, main thrust and conclusion. So it’s mainly a consensus piece, which I suppose is quite helpful within the political context in which a Senate report finds itself. After going through the list of names (which detractors will point out includes those with only M.A.’s in engineering etc.), it does appear they have made a good case for arguing that the consensus pro-AGW is not exactly overwhelming so there is good reason to revisit the issue versus proclaiming it as established ‘scientific fact’.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: I disagree. Congressional reports are often collections of data, which is why they play such a large role in the historical record. Assembling reports like this is pure grunt work — which is why it is so rare — but essential raw material to further the discussion.

    It’s not as if we need more polemics. Both sides already provide that in super-abundence.

  4. Yeah, but this was 100% polemic and 0% data is what I was saying. Well, that is an exageration, there were bits and bobs of data popping up all over; but when I hear ‘report’ I think of something a little more structured and this was mainly a list of quotes, nothing more.

    Or: if as you say the collection of data in the report is the ‘grunt work’ they left 90% of that work to the reader by having very little data and mainly the arguments/objections, the data being buried somewhere via various links to other studies, not even precise footnotes.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: That totally misrepresents the content of the report, to the extent I wonder if you read it (as opposed to gazing at the words). This is a reference work, summarizing and providing links to actual research. Given the extent of material produced in a wide-ranging debate like in the climate sciences, directories like this provide real value.

    Much such things have a political intent. Perhaps the greatest of them all, the Encyclopédie (published 1750-71), had as its explicit goal “to change the way people think.” It was a salvo in the intellectual war we call the French Enlightenment.

    You comment is like turning to the table of contents in a book and deciding to throw it away — “no data!.”

  5. If you want to replace 10 % of fossil / coal plants in the world you would with atomic power you would have to build 1000 new atomic reactos.
    That means the range of Uranium will drop from 60 years to 3 years. The worldwide Uranium market price will explode. The atomic lobby (ICRP, EdF, Toshiba, Areva, IAEA) knows it and even admits it! They’re struggling to survive the first half decade of this century. But they’re gonna fail. The German Government says it can produce 100% percent of electricity by the year 2050 out ot renewable energies. Well, we don’t have an other choice. Uranium is gonna end, coal, gas also, and Fusion will be ready by 2050 (ITER) – too late to have an effect on climate change (Powered by the EU with 100,000,000,000 EUROs of money till the year 2050).
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    Fabius Maximus replies: I think that grossly overstates the situation. I suggest you look at some of the reports on the FM reference page about Peak oil and energy – studies and reports.

    (1) Coal, uranium, and petroleum are finite but not “gone.” All will provide energy for decades, coal and uranium for generations. Some have considerable potential for expansion, such as coal and uranium (esp with use of breeder reactors).

    (2) To give a data like 2050 at which “fusion will be ready” is beyond absurd, given its long history of failed hopes.

    (3) The direction of climate change itself itself unknown. That is the point of this post.

    (4) It is not possible with today’s technology to produce 100% of electricity from renewables, at a reasonable cost (with exception, such as areas with unusual levels of hydropower).

  6. Not sure what the argument is about, the ‘skeptics’ (plus the coal/oil/gas/etc lobbies and their ‘useful idiots’ the ‘green’ political parties) have won.

    For example Australia has roared .. and delivered a mouse, no solar power, no nuclear , no geothermal, no reductions really, well a 5% target by 2020 the rec/deb-ression will take care of that .. maybe. EU .. CO2 reduction is dead, UK ditto, US, China and India well they were never there at all.

    So if you’re worried about GW then start picking the safe spots to live in.

    The only CO2 reductions will be by economic means, ie demand destruction. Investment in alternative non CO2 energy? Nothing. Even if we ramp up trains, which is really unlikely, it will be powered by coal fired power stations. The net effect by rec/dep-ression and “feel good schemes” will be to lower the rate of CO2 rising, from currently 2ppm a year to (say) 1.75ppm.

    So we all have to live through the ‘Great Experiment’: Optimism, Opinion, Politics, Greed and Stupidity vs Basic Physics. Hmm, reminds me of the old joke. Man steps of the top of a skyscraper hoping to fly as he doesn’t believe in the law of gravity. As he passes each floor he is heard to say “so far so good”.

    Here is how it will go FM: the current (and very extreme) La Nina cycle will end plus we will come off the current solar minumum over the next 2-4 years. Average temperatures will start to spike again. This will be ignored (except for the poor sods experiencing it locally) because of the rec/dep-ression.

    Each cycle will ramp up. At about 15-20 years from now (roughly because scientific research will be cut a lot worldwide, especially climate reseach) CO2 levels will start rising dramatically, moving up to 3-5 ppm per year as the positive feedback mechanisms really start kicking in, despite the World’s economy still being largely in recession. 450 PPM will be blown through, then 500 then 550 then …. Local climate impacts will start becoming severe. SE Austrlia will become basically uninhabitable at about the 30 year mark (approx 390 + (2 x 20) + (10 x 4) = 470 ppm). Australia will become a net food importer long before then. Central mid US will become a dust bowl, California (etc) will have run out of water and introduced some sort of rationing, roughly by 2020.

    Rising sea levels will be really hurting by then, amplified by more extreme storm surges. Low lying areas (= the majority of major cities in the World), will be (if they can afford it and the geography allows it) putting in flood control system. Certain cities will be totally abandoned except by the really poor (in the US: New Orleans, Huston, etc) as no insurance company will give coverage.

    Simple bet: 2010-2011 will see maximum temperatures again, worldwide and in certain localities. If I’m wrong I’ll admit it, and if I’m right?

    Ref: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2007/

    The only problem is that if I am wrong and we do what I advocate all we waste is money, which is much less than has been wasted on all the financial ponzi schemes we are suffering from now .. plus a lot of jobs and new technologies would have been generated.

    If you are wrong .. well … we all die.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: “We all die”. That’s hilarious (I assume you are kidding). None of the actual forecasts (unlike the gore-casts) suggest such a thing.

    will see maximum temperatures again … in certain localities

    That seems certain. Meaningless, but certain.

  7. A bit of hyperbole to make a point (then again at +2C some people will die [re heatwaves in Europe a few years ago], at +4C a lot will die, agricultural disruption will be brutal in some areas), but the UK’s Stern report did, as far as possible, do a comparison of the potential cost of doing nothing vs carbon minimisation .. and found the costs minimal.

    He also raised the “insurance principle”, we buy house insurance because there is a possibility of our house being burned down and losing everything. Similarly dealing with AGW is good insurance sense. If, say you are unconvinced about GW and you accept only a 10% chance of (under busininess as usual (BAU)) of uncontrolled GG rising to (say) 650ppm, with an estimated temperature rise of +4C, with all the attendent impacts (sea rising, food, water, etc, etc). Plus the sheer uncertainty (=unknown risk) of it.

    These are all bad things, so how much are you prepared to pay to avoid it?

    Now you might not want to pay (say) 50% on your electricity bill. But here is the rub, we know oil is running out, coal is too. The reserves are larger sure, but as usual the best quality, easiest to get coal is approaching a ‘peak’ sometime this century, it will be more expensive to extract and use as time goes on. The advantage of ‘alternatives’ is they are largely capital cost only, with some maintenance, fuel costs are insignificant (this applies to fission nuclear power as well). So, if you replace all your coal stations with alternatives there is a rise in cost initially, but it is basically fixed .. it goes up a bit and then levels off. Factor in some reasonable rising of the costs of coal through time and the ‘cheap’ coal fired power station costs exceed the ‘more expensive’ alternative power stations before too long. Oil impacts this, as many places have to import their coal and this costs a lot of oil to move it (and extract it as well but that is another story).

    Plus, coal is “expected to last 200 years”. Long before then it will be far more expensive to extract and ship and be of much lower quality. Given current life expectancies, if you have a child today, their child will be living through the end of coal .. and cursing you, yep your grandchild will not be a happy chappie.

    So, whether or not you ‘believe’ in AGW, or only give it a low probability, it makes sense from both a cost and risk managment point of view to take some sensible steps to avoid the possibility. Plus I might add, we get so absorbed by AGW that we also forget the filth that coal fired power stations put out, nice to have clean air .. a lot healthier .. and air pollution is another cost as well, in both lives and money (plus all the miners that die every year).

    One of these areas “where the smart thing to do is also the right thing to do”.

    So FM, you can be a ‘climate skeptic’ AND argue for CO2 replacement energy technologies .. backed up by many of your own arguments posted on this site (ie investment in nuclear and other energy technologies, US energy independence, etc, etc).

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