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WSJ War on Climate Science continues with 16 prominent (but not in climate science) Scientists

Lot of fun in the Climate Science war with the oil companies/WSJ folks.

Peter Gleick, a prominent climate scientist, noting the “false/strawman” arguments and the “ad hominem attacks” on climate scientists had a climate change affected by humans open letter signed by no less than 255 scientists submitted to the WSJ – which refused to print it.

So the letter was accepted and published at a more qualified location – a premier science publication called “Science” (PDF at http://www.sciencemag.org/content/328/5979/689.full.pdf),

But the WSJ does publish a letter written by whomever and signed by 16 non-climate change scientists that brings up old canards that have already been dealt with like the Kevin Trenberth old email that urged more study (that said “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t”) , as it explains its opposition to doing anything that might affect oil company profits. “Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically” because “A recent study of a wide variety of policy options by Yale economist William Nordhaus showed that nearly the highest benefit-to-cost ratio is achieved for a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls. This would be especially beneficial to the less-developed parts of the world that would like to share some of the same advantages of material well-being, health and life expectancy that the fully developed parts of the world enjoy now. Many other policy responses would have a negative return on investment. And it is likely that more CO2 and the modest warming that may come with it will be an overall benefit to the planet.”

And the deniers have a point as to their right to be heard, since the American Physical Society (APS) encourages discussion of whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the rejects discussion by non-climate change scientists about their reasons for not accepting Global Warming with humans causing part of the warming (such as the indications we’ve had a of slow down in that warming over the last 10 years). Granted some reasons are silly – like CO2 is increased in greenhouses to increase plant growth so it can’t be bad to have runaway CO2 build up. or that plants and animals evolved when CO2 concentrations were about 10 times larger than they are today (as if all the current forms of life could survive in such conditions), or that our increase agricultural yields of the past century is due to BOTH chemical fertilizers and CO2 increases, or that flawed but serious study of the past can be assembled to show that we’ve had global warming in the past over time frames as short as the current one.

And the WSJ is using Karl Rove’s theory of attack the opponent where he thinks he is strongest – such as folks noting the old question “cui bono?” or “Follow the money” leads us to the oil and coal industry funding many of these deniers, and of course the WSJ survival being based on corporate love. So over the last few years the WSJ has pushed the idea that providing government funding for academic research on climate change gives government bureaucracies a chance to grow, gives an opportunity for government to raise taxes, give taxpayer-funded grants to politically favored businesses that claim to do research, and allows the liberal charitable foundations to raise money by promising to save the planet
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Of course the WSJ does not reject science – just wants us to do nothing politically via law or regulation that the corporations do not want – but we certainly should use well-designed instruments on satellites, in the oceans and on land, to develop and analyze more observational data. Just don’t divert resources from real needs that our beloved corporations are filling, based on alarming but “untenable claims of “incontrovertible” evidence”.

Like I said – lots of fun. Wonder what Mitt and Newt have to say on Climate change.

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