Reviews of Climate Change Reconsidered, the 2009 Report
October 12, 2009
In the last 50 years, there has been practically no net warming at all—and the Northern Hemisphere has actually cooled slightly" -- Warren Brookes, New York City Tribune, Sept. 22, 1989.
"We owe it to our children and our children's children to investigate all aspects of carbon dioxide and global change. And when we do so, we find a wealth of beneficial effects from atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment" -- Sherwood B. Idso (père), New York Times letter, May 7, 1990
"Actually, what makes skeptics skeptical is the accumulating evidence that theories predicting catastrophe from man-made climate change are impervious to evidence..." --George Will, Oct. 1, 2009
"Climate Change Reconsidered, The Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change" (NIPCC) is 856 pages. Why an 856-paged report on Climate Change when the official body, the UN's International Panel for Climate Change, already has written one? Because the IPCC Fourth-Assessment Report is fundamentally flawed, yet is the basis for catastrophic economic and energy policies in the U.S. and around the world?
The IPCC announces that from the mid-twentieth-century, "very likely" the observed CO2-induced global warming, from greenhouse gases, is man-made. The NIPCC disagrees, announcing that man-made greenhouse gases are not playing a substantial role in warming.
The IPCC asserts that global warming will increase death, disease, and injury from heat waves, floods, storms, fires, and droughts. The NIPCC, discussing all the relevant studies, disagrees, asserting that a warmer world would be a healthier and safer world.
The IPCC Report -- charges the NIPCC -- is selective. It exaggerates and omits or ignores key studies. It is political, not scientific. The participating IPCC scientists, who were selected by their UN member governments, have as their objective to support the position of their governments or to induce them to accept the IPCC Report. Their numerous "Summary for Policy-Makers" have been gone over, word by word, and edited by their governments. That's not the way science is done.
The IPCC Report warrants the section-by-section refutation which Climate Change Reconsidered (CCR) provides. CCR's two lead authors are Craig Idso, of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, and S. Fred Singer, of the Science and Environmental Policy Project. The Heartland Institute published the CCR in June, 2009.
A few quotations from the CCR Report give its flavor:
"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate." That statement appears also in the anti-Global Warming Petition signed by 31,478 scientists, their names printed, state by state, on pages 739-855.
IPCC's "State-of-the-art climate models totally neglect the biological processes we have described here. Until we fully understand the ultimate impact of the OCS [carbonyl sulfide] cycle on climate, and then incorporate them into the climate models, we cannot be certain how much of the warming experienced during the twentieth century, if any, can be attributed to anthropogenic causes."
Authors Idso and Singer have much to say about IPCC's treatment of clouds (pp. 16-19):
"Correctly parameterizing the influence of clouds on climate is an elusive goal that the creators of atmospheric general circulation models (GCM) have yet to achieve." Discussing the reasons, Idso and Singer continue, "These deficiencies are extremely important because these particular clouds exert a major cooling influence on the surface temperatures of sea below them..."
Randall et al say (2003) that "the representation of cloud processes in global atmospheric models has been recognized for decades as the source of much of the uncertainty surrounding predictions of climate variability. They report, however, that ‘despite the best efforts of [the climate modeling] community . . . the problem remains largely unsolved.' What is more, they say, ‘at the current rate of progress, cloud parameterization deficiencies will continue to plague us for many more decades into the future.'"
The study by Zhang and twenty climate modelers reports "a four-fold difference in high clouds among the models, and that the majority of the models simulated only 30 to 40 percent of the observed middle clouds. . . . For low clouds, they report that half the models underestimated them, such that the grand mean of low clouds from all models was only 70 to 80 percent of what was observed. . . . "
"Failure to model any one of these elements [clouds, radiation, and precipitation] would be grounds for rejecting claims that the IPCC provides the evidence needed to justify regulation of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions." (p. 25)
The authors, examining 15 studies for the effect on human longevity of the additional CO2 and warming when the planet was recovering from the Little Ice Age, conclude, "In light of these many diverse observations of both plants and animals, there is some reason to believe that the historical increase of CO2 in the air has helped lengthen human lifespans since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, and that its continued upward trend will provide more of the same benefit." (p. 694)
CCR is a veritable Book of Knowledge for serious scholars and should be helpful to sincere policy-makers no longer dependant upon the want of candor and want of industry of the IPCC.
By Natalie Sirkin
By Dr. Gerrit van der Lingen
September 11, 2009
When future historians will be studying the present global mass hysteria about alleged catastrophic man-made global warming (MMGW), they will most likely shake their heads in total disbelief. They may well compare it with other such historic irrational hysterias, like the Tulipomania in Holland in the 17th century. A big difference between the two is that Tulipomania only affected a small country, bankrupting many of its burghers, and that its government finally put a stop to it. The MMGW hysteria, however, is affecting the entire world and is strongly promoted by governments.
In 2003, a group of critical scientists formed the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), to produce an in-depth reply to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Their assessment report has now been published by The Heartland Institute, titled Climate Change Reconsidered. It is an impressive 880-page tome. It evaluates and discusses the same scientific information as used by the IPCC, plus many more peer-reviewed publications that were ignored by the IPCC because they did not fit their dogma.
Climate Change Reconsidered is a comprehensive, authoritative, and definitive reply to the IPCC reports. Every statement or comment is properly referenced, so anyone can check the original sources for him or herself. The book is subdivided into 9 easily readable chapters, covering all areas of climate science relevant to the IPCC dogma. They are: 1. Global climate models and their limitations, 2. Feedback factors and radiative forcing, 3. Observations: temperature records, 4. Observations: glaciers, sea ice, precipitation, and sea level, 5. Solar variability and climate cycles, 6. Observations: extreme weather, 7. Biological effects of carbon dioxide enrichment, 8. Species extinction, and 9. Human health effects. Each chapter can be read as a stand-alone treatise.
The book also has 4 appendices, the most interesting of which is a list of 31,478 names of American scientists (among them 9,029 Ph.D.s) who signed a petition to the US Congress, saying that there is no convincing scientific evidence that human greenhouse gas emissions are causing, or will cause, catastrophic global warming. This petition alone gives the lie to the myth of "consensus".
Climate Change Reconsidered is a major contribution to the global warming debate. It should be required reading for every politician, businessman and scientist. Highly recommended.
Dr. Gerrit van der Lingen is a geologist/paleoclimatologist living in Christchurch, New Zealand. He is a foundation member of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.
September 8, 2009
James R. Johnson, Ph.D., NAE
I received today a copy of the book, Climate Change Reconsidered. Thank you.
There has long been a need to have a comprehensive set of data and facts underyling the issues of Climate Change, all in one place. Our long-term energy supply, world-wide, is a critical matter for humanity. I think that alarmist "Global Warming" has become an elephant in the road to rational solutions for our energy problems. Drs. Idso and Singer and The Heartland Institute have provided a major tool for those of us who labor to provide the public and our legislators with information we can use to clear the road so that we can move toward developing a sane energy future.
August 27, 2009
review By Dr. James H. Rust
In a clear, understandable manner that a high school graduate with a few general science courses could understand, Climate Change Reconsidered effectively rebuts the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that carbon dioxide due to human activity causes significant global warming.
Policymakers and politicians who make decisions on carbon dioxide control should read this volume to insure decisions are based on sound and true science.
With the appearance of Climate Change Reconsidered and the fact that global temperatures have been falling the past few years in spite of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, political leaders assembling in Copenhagen in December should adopt a position of doing nothing about curtailing carbon dioxide. Our understanding of climate science is constantly improving with new temperature measuring devices, through satellites and sea-going Argos buoys.
Dr. James H. Rust is a retired professor of nuclear engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, assistant professor from the University of Virginia, worked for Exxon, Martin Marietta, North American Aviation, Research Analysis Corp., and is the author of Nuclear Power Plant Engineering, and editor of Nuclear Power Safety.
August 12, 2009
By James M. Taylor
(Excerpt from review published by Rational Review)
Have you ever wondered where you can find the most authoritative, comprehensive summary of global warming and the science of climate change? Scientists Craig Idso and S. Fred Singer have ended your search by producing Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).
Climate Change Reconsidered provides more than 800 pages of in-depth scientific discussion on just about every global warming-related topic imaginable. With literally hundreds of citations to peer-reviewed scientific literature, Idso and Singer document and explain how the best, most up-to-date science refutes the assertion that humans are creating a global warming crisis.
Regardless of where you stand in the ongoing global warming debate, Climate Change Reconsidered is an indispensable resource, providing the most authoritative science on every aspect of the issue. For those who are skeptical toward over-the-top global warming claims, Climate Change Reconsidered provides the scientific studies and data that support the realist point of view. For those who believe humans are causing a global warming crisis, such a position is untenable unless they are aware of, and capable of rebutting, the enormous weight of scientific data and studies presented in this book.
James M. Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Environment & Climate News. http://www.rationalreview.com/content/67983
By Rael Jean Isaac
July 28, 2009
(Excerpt from review published by FamilySecurityMatters.org)
If -- and at this point the chances admittedly look slim -- we avoid the economic catastrophe attendant on the Obama administration's effort to roll back global temperatures, this country will owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, which through its publications and conferences has provided a forum for the many scientists who dissent from the great global warming panic of the last 20 years.
This 800-page plus volume, based on the research of these many scientists, is designed to provide a "Team B," independently examining the same climate data used by the UN sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). And while the IPCC's most recent 2007 report concluded "most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, "Team B" came to the opposite conclusion, namely "that natural causes are very likely to be the dominant cause."
That's a gentlemanly way of putting it. The nine chapters in this volume devastatingly refute the findings of the turgidly named Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Working Group 1 (Science) released in 2007.
Climate Change Reconsidered is an immensely important contribution to genuine scientific debate on issues where unscientific fear-mongering has thus far triumphed. It surely brings closer the day when science will once again assume the driver's seat.
Rael Jean Isaac is a political sociologist and co-author of The Coercive Utopians published by Regnery in 1983. http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.3846/pub_detail.asp
June 10, 2009
By Dennis Avery
Author, Unstoppable Global Warming – Every 1,500 Years
Climate Change Reconsidered is a summary of the climate science that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won't give you. It offers the results from hundreds of peer-reviewed studies in top science journals. For easy reference, it follows the same format as the IPCC's own reports. Just one example of its informing power: The computerized global climate models which the IPCC uses to blame humans for the current high global temperatures have--incredibly--not been informed of the Medieval Warming (950-1300 AD) or the Roman Warming (200 BC to 600 AD), or any of the previous 1,500-year global warming-cooling cycles which seabed microfossils now show stretching back at least a million years.
If the computers had known about these Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles, they might have credited the sun for warming us, instead of scaring us about human-emitted CO2. We also know that they're linked to the strength of the sun--apparently through cosmic rays, which create more or fewer of the low, wet clouds that cool the earth depending on the strength of the sun's own massive magnetic wind. Climate Change Reconsidered tells you the rest of the science story. Don't accept massive energy taxes until you've reviewed it.
June 8, 2009
By E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D.
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation
I've been waiting for this book for twenty years. It was a long wait, but I'm not disappointed.
Climate Change Reconsidered is a tour de force. It takes on all the alleged evidences of catastrophic, manmade global warming and demonstrates, patiently and clearly, why they fail to support the conclusion. Its 2 authors and 35 contributors are outstanding scientists with unassailable credentials--a fact that, unfortunately, won't stop movement alarmists from their customary ad hominem attacks. The book is chock full of excellent data, analysis, and argumentation, sophisticated enough to meet the demands of any expert, yet clearly enough written to be accessible to laymen.
The Executive Summary states the main conclusions, in explicit contrast to those of the UN IPCC, briefly and clearly. Each chapter begins and ends with a helpful introduction and conclusion, making it easy for readers to see the big picture even while still offering massive amounts of data and explanation. Its documentation is voluminous, more current and more broad than that of the IPCC.
As an interdisciplinary scholar, I particularly appreciated the able integration of the principles, tools, and methods of many disciplines. As a scientifically literate layman who has read nearly 30 books on climate change science, including large parts of the IPCC's assessment reports, I found Climate Change Reconsidered far and away the most helpful publication in the field to date. It deserves careful attention particularly from policy makers and from environmental advocates, no matter their present opinions on the questions debated.
And for those who want to just write it off by attacking its authors, it's time to engage the real arguments for a change. The time for personal attack is over.
June 19, 2009
By Brice Bosnich Ph.D.
The University of Chicago (retired)
It is remarkable that an idea that began with so little scientific support has developed into such a worldwide preoccupation with governments rushing to cripple their economies in an attempt to circumvent the inevitable. The idea is the effects of global warming induced by man-made carbon dioxide emissions on humans. Even as the scientific basis for this assertion evaporates, the intellectual elites persist in promoting the idea.
The notion that global warming is an imminent threat was crystallized in the United Nations reports (IPCC), which now are treated as the Bible for those hazy on the scientific rationale. It is therefore timely that a counter report, from the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change, has appeared. This report presents the case challenging the IPCC reports in a coherent and rational way. One cannot but be impressed by the comprehensive scope of the report compiled by two distinguished scientists.
After reading Climate Change Reconsidered, one is left wondering how such a poorly supported scientific theory could have such political traction. For those that want to get to the bottom of this subject, the present work is one of the most accessible expositions of climate change. I recommend it without reservation.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Carter, Hon. FRSNZ
James Cook University (Australia)
[This is a shortened version of a review that appeared in the June 2009 issue of Quadrant, an Australian journal of opinions.]
It is often assumed that the United Nations body termed the IPCC represents an "International Panel on Climate Change". Instead, in actuality the "I" stands for "Intergovernmental". This apparently small detail is of supreme significance, because it signals that the recommendations made by the IPCC are those of a political, and not a scientific, organization.
Though it is true that the IPCC's reports contain much useful scientific information, it is also the case that they are based upon biased editorial and peer review procedures and have been subjected to extended and severe criticism by independent scientists. As summarized by Idso and Singer on the first page of their new book:
While AR4 [4th Assessment Report, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] is an impressive document, it is far from being a reliable reference work on some of the most important aspects of climate change science and policy. It is marred by errors and misstatements, ignores scientific data that were available but were inconsistent with the authors' preconceived conclusions, and has already been contradicted in part by research published since May 2006, the IPCC's cut-off date.
Climate Change Reconsidered, the 2009 report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), is a comprehensive 880-page tome that rigorously analyses the IPCC's claim that dangerous global warming has "very likely" been caused by human greenhouse emissions. Co-authored by Drs. Craig Idso and Fred Singer, with editing assistance from another 30 expert scientists from 16 countries, Climate Change Reconsidered provides a comprehensive refutation of IPCC global warming alarmism, based on summary discussion of relevant and recent scientific publications.
Climate Change Reconsidered represents the report that the IPCC should have written but didn't. Instead of accepting the faulty null hypothesis that observed environmental changes are due to human influence, and citing entirely circumstantial evidence in favour of it, the NIPCC report provides repeated tests for the parsimonious and correct null hypothesis that observed climate changes are natural unless and until evidence to the contrary emerges.
Twenty years have elapsed since the formation of the IPCC, yet, despite the expenditure of many tens of billions of dollars and the efforts of hundreds of committed scientists since then, the research summarized in the 4AR IPCC and NIPCC reports provides no evidence that falsifies the null hypothesis of natural climate change.
In his comments at the NIPCC book launch, Fred Singer (University of Virginia) commented succinctly about global warming that "there is no scientific consensus: the science is not settled". Furthermore, Singer said, the IPCC has failed to provide any evidence that suggests the occurrence of dangerous human-caused global warming.
Climate Change Reconsidered is essential reading for all professional persons who are involved with climate change research or policy formulation. It comprises a one-stop-shop where readers can find accurate information about climate change and well-balanced critical appraisal of the global warming hype in which the world is presently drowning.
June 8, 2009
By Michael Coffman, Ph.D.
Author, Saviors of the Earth?
I have been involved in climate change science since 1988 and by 1992 I realized there was very little science to back up the claims of anthropogenic global warming. Ironically, there is even less today. The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) has hit a home run on the current science on global warming.
Unlike the political United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2007 report, the NIPCC report cites peer reviewed science that refutes the anthropogenic theory. Some of it is forensic-like evidence that shows that the "fingerprint" of the actual climate over the past 50 years or so does not match that of greenhouse warming, which is the basis of all computer models.
My hat is off to the authors of the report. To stand up to the demonization they will certainly receive from proponents of anthropogenic warming shows their commitment to the truth whatever the cost.
June 6, 2009
By Tom Harris
International Climate Science Coalition
What I like most about the book, in comparison with the various IPCC tomes, is the ease with which one can get a quick overview of contemporary research in many different climate-science fields. While, in the IPCC case, I always had to find myself a quiet room and several hours to figure out what they were really saying, in the NIPCC case, I find it easy to read whenever I want.
It is especially impressive to see the way in which the NIPCC has summarized findings in the beginning sections of the book in a way that will be quick and easy for media to grab quotes from (in fact, I challenge open-minded journalists to do that), while, at the same time, going into details, with many prominent peer-reviewed scientific references, on each of the main topics in the following chapters.
Besides being a good summary of the massive controversy behind the scenes in the climate science research community about the causes of the past century's modest warming, Climate Change Reconsidered could make a good text book for university (and advanced senior high school classes) climate change courses as well since they do a easily understood and accurate review of the related basic science at the beginning of each of the topic-specific chapters.
June 5, 2009
By Anthony R. Lupo, Ph.D.
University of Missouri-Columbia
The NIPCC report, "Climate Change Reconsidered", is not just an attempt to refute the IPCC, but a volume that fills in the gaps left by the IPCC fourth assessemt report (FAR). With it's emphasis on natural variability as a cause for the recent climate changes, it is a must have for serious climate scientists who should not just rely on the IPCC FAR alone to get the full picture of our current state of knowledge (and what is not known) about climate and climate change. Dr. S. Fred Singer and Dr. Craig Idso have done a thorough job in providing climate science with this volume and should be commended for their effort.
June 12, 2009
Howard Maccabee, Ph.D., M.D.
Although the original purpose of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) report was to evaluate the claims of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) of 2007, it has gone far beyond that goal, and now should be accepted as the most comprehensive and scientific reference on climate change and its potential effects.
It should be purchased by every public and community library, as well as every college library in the U.S. Although the price may be considered steep, it is not expensive by comparison with many university textbook reading lists; this volume actually covers the material of several ordinary books, with its 689 pages of text, plus appendices. It actually covers climate modeling, solar and atmospheric physics, temperature measurement, phenomena of clouds, precipitation, sea levels, and glaciology, as related to climate change.
Furthermore, it covers the biological effects of carbon dioxide enhancement, biodiversity and species extinction, as well as human health effects, with depth and precision not seen before.
I was a radiation physicist in the past and am a physician now, with special research interest in the biology and medicine of climate change. I am extremely impressed with the intellectual power of these chapters, which recount the myriad studies showing health benefits for humans from moderate climate warming in every region of the world. The chapters documenting improved crop production and nutrition from increased CO2 levels are also landmarks. This should not be surprising since co-author Craig Idso is one of the world's leading experts on climatic effects (especially CO2) on plant growth.
The excellence of the chapters on physical climate phenomena should also not be surprising, given that Fred Singer is credited with pioneering the measurement of worldwide atmospheric parameters with satellites.
The quality of the writing is exemplary, especially for a book which must meet the highest scholarly standards. Each important point is clearly explained, and the references are listed after each section, with useful article titles in addition to the usual journal date and page. The book is very user-friendly, especially if the reader wants to go more deeply into any specific question.
The Executive Summary and the chapter summaries are very concise, with "bullet points" that compactly present important findings which contradict popular misconceptions. The timing and interest value of this publication could not be better, given the current debate on "cap and trade" legislation for greenhouse gas reduction, etc.
I strongly recommend this book to any individual who seriously wants to understand the science of climate, the effects of climate change on human health, or who needs to make decisions about policy related to greenhouse gas regulations. It should be in every library for education on these questions, as it is the best and most complete work on these subjects of its type.
June 6, 2009
By William Mellberg
Author, Moon Missions
There is a famous exchange between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson near the beginning of Arthur Conan Doyle's "A Scandal in Bohemia." "You see, but you do not observe," the great detective tells his friend. "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."
I was reminded of that Sherlockian insight while reading Climate Change Reconsidered. Unlike so many of today's climate experts (both the self-anointed ones and the genuine academicians), authors Fred Singer and Craig Idso (real scientists) have built this book on a solid foundation of scientific data. Holmes would have commended them! And unlike so many other recent books about climate change, this in-depth tome is strictly non-fiction. It is free of politically correct theories and full of historical facts (some might call them "inconvenient truths"). It is a book which all open-minded and clear-thinking individuals should read and consider before accepting the so-called "consensus" view about anthropogenic (man-made) global warming.
As an aside, this year (2009) marks the 400th anniversary of telescopic astronomy. I am reminded that when Galileo started to observe the solar system through his early telescopes, the "consensus" view placed our Earth at the center of the Cosmos. Galileo's heliocentric (Sun- centered) view was politically incorrect for which he suffered, but scientifically accurate for which he is remembered. It was based on facts, not theology (or ideology).
As a lifelong amateur astronomer (my parents gave me a telescope for my 11th birthday in 1963), I was especially interested in Chapter 5 and its focus on the relationship between climate change and variations in solar activity. I've observed those variations with my own eyes during the course of four, 11-year sunspot cycles. Moreover, I first learned about the historical and fossil records linking sunspot cycles to climate change in my Astronomy 101 class at the University of Illinois more than 35 years ago. Of course, that was before the present age when climate science became emotionally (and financially) bonded to political science.
Like Galileo, Singer and Idso base their ideas on scientific observations and historical facts, including sunspot records that go back to Galileo's time. Climate Change Reconsidered lays out all sorts of scientific observations and historical facts -- from changes in glaciers and sea levels to temperature and precipitation records. All of the various factors which contribute to Earth's climate are carefully examined, as are many of the extremes (hot and cold, wet and dry) which have been observed throughout history and in the fossil record. Climate change is clearly a natural phenomenon that occurs regardless of human activity. Given the climate changes in Earth's more recent past (geologically speaking), one wonders how today's global warming advocates can explain yesterday's temperature extremes (the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, for example) when industrialization and automobiles were non-existent?
Climate Change Reconsidered begins with a look at computer climate models and their deficiencies and shortcomings in forecasting future climate patterns. It ends with a look at the effects of climate change on human health and food production. The authors also address the economic impact of climate change. If, in fact, human activity has little or no effect on Earth's climate (compared to natural factors such as solar activity), the cost of countering anthropogenic global warming could be staggering in terms of tax dollars -- and a total waste in terms of results. As the authors state in their Preface, "We hope the present study will help bring reason and balance back into the debate over climate change, and by doing so perhaps save the peoples of the world from the burden of paying for wasteful, unnecessary energy and environmental policies."
In 1997, I wrote a book called Moon Missions which offered an overview of the Apollo Program, as well as a layperson's explanation of what scientists learned as a result of our exploration of the Moon. In it, I noted that prior to the Space Age, we knew very little about the Moon and the planets. A wall seemed to separate astronomy from the earth sciences. As a result, our connection to the rest of the Solar System wasn't always generally understood or fully appreciated. The Moon missions radically changed this perspective. We came to recognize "the influence that extraterrestrial events have had on our own environment." Sadly, some scientists seem to have forgotten that lesson -- a lesson that has been expanded through our observations of climate change on other planets where human activity has zero influence.
Among its other achievements, Climate Change Reconsidered helps to re-establish the connection between Earth's environment and extraterrestrial influences, including cosmic rays. Of course, the authors also discuss the effects of terrestrial factors such as CO2 levels, cloud cover and rainfall. Their scholarly analysis brings some much-needed realism (and good old-fashioned common sense) to the climate change debate.
Highly informative, Climate Change Reconsidered ought to be required reading for scientists, journalists, policymakers, teachers and students. It is an eye-opening read for everyone else (concerned citizens, taxpayers, etc.). In short ... this book is highly recommended!
June 11, 2009
By Ronald A. Wells, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley, retired
This massive 868 page volume is the technical response of the NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change) to the 3-volume report, "Climate Change 2007" issued by the United Nations-sponsored IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), or as some may prefer to think of the books: the opening salvos between the Armies of Enlightenment and the Armies of Darkness, respectively.
At the outset, let me note that the paperback volume carries a hefty price that only libraries, academic departments, scientific organizations, businesses, governmental agencies, and Congressional offices can really afford--all of whom should possess a copy for many future references. However, in order to facilitate as wide a distribution of the material as possible, the book is available online (www.climatechangereconsidered.org) in sections as PDF files without cost. Every educated person should read this book because it shows just how complex is the topic of global warming, now euphemistically referred to as "climate change".
Reading the book is an education in itself because it covers practically all aspects of Earth Sciences imaginable, from earthworms to butterflies; from coral reefs to glaciers; from polar bears to human populations and health effects; from agriculture and food production to species extinction; as well as meteorology and weather forecasting; global climate change computer models and the effects of radiation, clouds and precipitation on the input parameters, and the effects on the results of feedback factors from carbonyl sulfide, dimethyl sulfide, nitrous oxide, methane, and various aerosols, to list but a few subject areas. Moreover, every section and sub-section of the book is copiously referenced with articles peer-reviewed in well-established scientific journals. Some of these articles were written by the contributors to the chapters themselves. Most of them, however, were written by hundreds of other specialists in the various fields of study. The contributing authors of "Climate Change Reconsidered" are Ph.D. scholars from 16 countries.
While the book itself is quite informative, it is also instructive to compare the motivations, mandates, agendas, and associations of the members of the IPCC and the NIPCC to understand why two scientific organizations have reached diametrically opposed conclusions about global warming and its effects on the Earth. They cannot both be correct, nor is it likely that some middle road interpretation is the better explanation. Brief histories of both organizations are given in the Preface.
All key personnel and principal authors of the IPCC were appointed by various member governments of the United Nations. The organization is therefore a political rather than a scientific body. Nearly all of the IPCC scientists are subsidized by government contracts which fund both their research and also their IPCC activities. They have focused exclusively on the activist agenda of trying to establish evidence that would support human-induced carbon dioxide emissions as a main cause of climate change, a.k.a. putting the cart before the horse. Their publications, including the summaries written especially for policy makers, are subject to approval by their various government supervisors. Real scientific reports, of course, are not researched and peer-reviewed in this manner.
The NIPCC was organized in 2003 by the Science & Environment Policy Project (SEPP), founded in 1990 by Fred Singer, as an independent team to analyze the many controversies and misapplications of science being created by global warming advocates. As a result of the early drafts and publication of the IPCC's "Climate Change 2007" volumes, this analysis team changed its name to NIPCC and took on the task of evaluating the results of the IPCC report. The personnel and scientific members of the NIPCC have contributed their time freely and have received no remuneration, grant or contribution for producing their book, with the exception of the lead author, Craig Idso, who has stated he received a small foundation grant for the hours he spent in helping prepare the final report. The NIPCC has no governmental connections and supports no candidate for public office.
An interesting point that underscores which group gets heavy subsidies is to compare the cost to the public of the books. Based on Amazon pricing and paging, the 3-volume IPCC report is being sold for about 8 cents per page. The NIPCC report, about 18 cents per page!
One of the best chapters in the NIPCC report is Chapter 3 on temperature records, both paleohistoric and more recent direct observations. The paleoclimatic data going back millions of years were a keystone of the IPCC reports, which claimed that in it was evidence that higher concentrations of CO2 were responsible for higher global temperatures. On the other hand, the NIPCC chapter cites numerous studies indicating that such increases in global CO2 concentrations either showed no significant changes during global temperature increases, or that CO2 concentrations lagged behind such increases by thousands of years. Sometimes there were even anti-correlations between the two.
For more recent times, the IPCC used the notorious "hockey stick" graph to demonstrate that the Earth experienced unusually higher temperatures in the 20th century. The hockey stick graph plots temperature changes vs. years from 1000 A.D. to 1980. Over most of this period, the changes fluctuate close to zero, and then suddenly there is a dramatic increase from about 1910. The profile of the graph resembles a "J" lying on its side with the small hook pointing upwards at the end; hence, the name "hockey stick". The inference according to the compilers of the chart is that the temperature increases are anthropogenic in origin, i.e., due to human activity. This graph was featured in an (in)famous documentary called "An Inconvenient Truth".
However, independent statistics experts analyzed the original hockey stick data and found "...collation errors, unjustifiable truncation or extrapolation of source data, obsolete data, geographical location errors, incorrect calculation of principal components and other quality control defects." These researchers corrected and updated the data and in a re-plot found no dramatic rise in temperature in the 20th century, and that warming in the early 15th century exceeded any warming of the 20th century! Curiously, the original authors of the hockey stick graph admitted these errors in a "Science" magazine article, but further claimed that "...none of these errors affect our previously published results". Is this "cargo cult" science, or what?
The advocacy of global warming adherents is troubling to me. I am reminded of those Frankenstein films of the 1930s in which the villagers have surrounded the castle with torches shouting "burn the monster". The "monster" in this case being those scientists patiently examining observations with a strict scientific methodology, reaching sounder conclusions than the villagers, who are those researchers with an agenda, or adhere to governmental dictates, and perform hurried, sloppy science.
I am also bothered by the fact that activists continue to use the terminology, "global warming consensus", and the related phrase "mainstream scientific opinion", when in fact there is no such common agreement and numbers belie "mainstream scientific opinion". The public seems to be little aware of the fact that more than 31,000 Americans with University degrees in science, engineering, or related disciplines, including more than 9,000 holding Ph.D.'s, have signed a petition against global warming as a result of increased CO2 caused by human activity. Signatures are still being gathered (www.PetitionProject.org) although in terms of Ph.D.'s alone, the number is already 15 times greater than those connected with the IPCC! These numbers certainly dispel the notion that there is a "global warming consensus" which is "mainstream scientific opinion".
The reports of the NIPCC and of the IPCC are very important reading for the public. The latter volumes, sponsored by a U.N. mandate, could form the basis of intractable policies which serve to undermine the global economies far worse than the stimulus package recently passed by the present U.S. congress in which most members did not read its contents! The former, an independent assessment of the claims of the latter, appears to be based on sound interpretations of solid scientific observations. One doctor is telling us that we have cancer and there is no hope (unless we kill ourselves to stop it). The other doctor has a second opinion which says maybe the symptoms are being misinterpreted; maybe we should pay more attention to actual observations and alternative explanations based on sound principles.
"Climate Change Reconsidered" is must reading. It is your second opinion. Will you accept the National Health doctors' diagnosis, or will you listen to the opinions of numerous international, independent doctors?