Climate Skeptics Reveal ‘Horror Stories’ of Scientific Suppression (NYC Climate Conference Report - Part One of Reports)
March 6, 2008
Posted By Marc Morano - 6:05 PM ET - Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov
Climate Skeptics Reveal ‘Horror Stories’ of Scientific Suppression
NYC Climate Conference Further Debunks ‘Consensus’ Claims
(The Blog of Record for the International Climate Conference)
New York, New York – Scientists skeptical of man-made climate fears meeting at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change in New York City described the “absolute horror stories” about how some scientific journals have engaged in “outrageous and unethical behavior” in attempting to suppress them from publishing their work in peer-reviewed journals. The March 2-4 groundbreaking conference, which featured about 100 speakers with over 500 people attending, presented the report of a team of international scientists who formed a group to counter the UN IPCC. [Note: The author of this report attended and participated in the conference.]
The event, which garnered significant international and U.S. media attention, featured many current and former UN IPCC scientists from around the world. (See: “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate” and see climate declaration signed by the scientists at the conference here.)
The conference occurred just months after the release of a blockbuster U.S. Senate Minority Report featuring over 400 prominent scientists who recently disputed man-made global warming claims. (LINK) The more than 400 scientists featured in the report thoroughly debunk the assertions that "all scientists agree" about man-made global warming. But as New York Times environmental reporter Andrew Revkin noted on March 6, science is ultimately not a numbers game. "As we all know, climate science is not a numbers game (there are heaps of signed statements by folks with advanced degrees on all sides of this issue)," Revkin wrote. (LINK)
Furthermore, a Canadian survey of scientists released on March 6, 2008 offered even more evidence that the alleged ‘consensus’ is non-existent. A canvass of more than 51,000 scientists with the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA) found 68% of them disagree with the statement that ‘the debate on the scientific causes of recent climate change is settled.'" According to the survey, only 26% of scientists attributed global warming to “human activity like burning fossil fuels.” APEGGA’s executive director Neil Windsor said, “We're not surprised at all. There is no clear consensus of scientists that we know of." (LINK)
During the conference, scientists revealed the lack of tolerance science journals and institutions have exhibited for skeptical climate views.
“We [fellow skeptical scientists] talked mostly of work and upcoming papers and went through the standard ritual of griping about journal editors and the ridiculous hoops we sometimes have to jump through to get papers published. But some of the guys had absolute horror stories of what happened to them when they tried getting papers published that explored non-‘consensus’ views. Really outrageous and unethical behavior on the parts of some editors. I was shocked,” wrote conference participant Dr. William M. Briggs, a climate statistician who serves on the American Meteorological Society's Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review, on his blog on March 4. (LINK)
Prominent Hungarian Physicist Dr. Miklós Zágoni, a former global warming activist who recently reversed his views about man-made climate fears and is now a skeptic, presented scientific findings at the conference refuting rising CO2 fears. Zágoni’s scientific mentor Hungarian scientist, Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi, an atmospheric physicist, resigned from his post working with NASA because he was disgusted with the agency’s lack of scientific freedom. Miskolczi, who also presented his peer-reviewed findings at the conference, said he wanted to release his new research that showed "runaway greenhouse theories contradict energy balance equations," but he claims NASA refused to allow him.
“Unfortunately, my working relationship with my NASA supervisors eroded to a level that I am not able to tolerate. My idea of the freedom of science cannot coexist with the recent NASA practice of handling new climate change related scientific results,” Miskolczi said according to a March 6 Daily Tech article. (LINK) & (LINK) [Note: Clarification from original posting. Miskolczi worked with NASA, not Zágoni.]
Meteorologist Joseph D'Aleo, the first Director of Meteorology at The Weather Channel and former chairman of the American Meteorological Society's (AMS) Committee on Weather Analysis and Forecasting, noted that many of his scientific colleagues did not attend the conference because they “feared their attendance might affect their employment.” D’Aleo described the fear of retribution many skeptics face as a “sad state of affairs.” But D’Aleo noted that he believes there is “very likely a silent majority of scientists in climatology, meteorology, and allied sciences who do not endorse what is said to be the ‘consensus’ position.”
Other scientists have echoed these claims. Atmospheric scientist Dr. Nathan Paldor, Professor of Dynamical Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, author of almost 70 peer-reviewed studies, asserted in December 2007 that skeptics have a much harder time publishing in peer-reviewed literature.
"Many of my colleagues with whom I spoke share these views and report on their inability to publish their skepticism in the scientific or public media," Paldor, who was not in attendance at the New York conference, wrote in December. [Note: In February 2008, Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki publicly called for politicians skeptical of a man-made climate ‘crisis’ to be thrown “into jail because what they’re doing is a criminal act.” (LINK) - See also July 2007 comprehensive report detailing how skeptical scientists have faced threats and intimidation - LINK ]
‘Best conference I have attended in my 30 years in professional societies’
Many prominent scientists participating and attending were very impressed by the New York City climate conference. Hurricane researcher and Meteorologist Stanley B. Goldenberg of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) in Miami praised the Heartland Instituted sponsored conference.
“The fact is that this conference is evidence that there are numerous respected, established and in many cases world-renowned scientists who have done careful research in various areas of ‘climate change’ that sharply differ with the [UN] IPCC results,” Goldenberg told the New York Times. (LINK)
Meteorologist D’Aleo had nothing but praise for the conference. “It was the best climate conference I have attended in my 30 years in the professional societies. The two-day meeting featured over 100 excellent presentations made by scientists from Australia, Canada, England, France, Hungary, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and of course the United States,” D’Aleo wrote on his website www.IceCap.US on March 4. [Note: The oft repeated notion of “hundreds” or even “thousands” of scientists affiliated with the UN agreeing to a single “consensus” does not hold up to scrutiny. Out of all the scientists affiliated with the UN, only 52 scientists participated in UN IPCC Summary for Policymakers, which had to adhere to the wishes of the UN political leaders and delegates in a process described as more closely resembling a political party’s convention platform battle, not a scientific process. - LINK & LINK –Many current and former UN scientists disagree with the IPCC Summary for Policymakers and many of them attended the skeptical climate conference in New York. In addition, the so-called “consensus” statements by scientific groups like the National Academy of Sciences, the American Meteorological Society, and the American Geophysical Union are only voted on by two dozen or so governing board members with no direct vote cast by rank-and-file scientists - LINK ]
D’Aleo addressed the complaints of some mainstream media reporters who noted that the climate conference did not produce a focused scientific message, but instead posited multiple explanations of climate changes. “There was a variety of opinions as there should be in science and all were tolerated. There was no group think or stagnant thinking as we find at other so called Climate Conferences,” D’Aleo wrote. [Note: Why would the media ever expect a uniform scientific message at a large climate conference? It appears that reporters need to be reminded that the UN IPCC (after all it is the InterGOVERNMENTAL Panel on Climate Change) is the unusual event, not the international climate conference in New York City this past week. It is true that the skeptical conference presented an array of scientific views, but reporters should not be surprised by this diversity. Instead, the question for reporters should be, Why do UN IPCC climate events have such conformity and a lack of dissent? Many reporters are so used to attending virtually scripted UN IPCC Summary for Policymakers meetings which reach the predetermined “consensus” that mankind is driving a climate crisis. (To read more about how the IPCC Summary for Policymakers has been tainted by politics, see LINK & LINK ]
Media Coverage of Conference
The climate conference garnered the attention of many media outlets including: The New York Times; BBC; Washington Post; ABC News; Associated Press; Reuters; China Post; CNSNews.com; CNN; New York Sun; Fox News; Times of India; Czech’s Ceske Noviny; Investor's Business Daily; Canada’s Financial Post; United Press International; WorldNetDaily.com; and the Wall Street Journal. (Note: Some of the mainstream media coverage reached bottom quickly – See CNN’s Miles O’Brien accuses scientists at conference of being ‘Flat Earthers’ – LINK )
Some of the mainstream media coverage, including several articles in New York Times, presented fair coverage. See here, here and here. [Note: Despite many mainstream media outlets efforts to mock the gathering, it was a semi-victory for the conference that reporters likes Miles O’Brien of CNN and Bill Blakemore of ABC News even showed up For info on O’Brien’s past climate reporting, see here. For info on Blakemore's past climate reporting see here. ]
The Business and Media Institute (BMI) also released their comprehensive study during the conference which reveals how the news media reports on global warming. The report, titled “Global Warming Censored” found that network TV news stifles debate, relies on “politicians, rock stars and men-on-the street for science’ reporting. (LINK) BMI also critiqued the news media coverage of the International Conference on Climate Change. (LINK) WorldNetDaily.com has a critique of the media coverage titled “Mainstream media's mockery.” (LINK) American Thinker weighed in with a very comprehensive report from the conference. (LINK) [Note: For a comprehensive sampling of the media coverage of the conference, see part two of this report here.]
Funding myths exposed
One of the most incisive articles about the conference came from John Tierney of the New York Times. Tierney exposed the erroneous notion that “industry” funding fuels climate skepticism. “Do the critics really think there’s more money and glory to be won by doubting global warming than by going along with the majority? I ask this question not because I doubt the integrity or competence of the researchers and environmental groups who are getting billions of dollars from government agencies, corporations, foundations and private donors concerned about climate change,” Tierney wrote on March 6. (LINK) [Note: An August 2007 report detailed how proponents of man-made global warming fears enjoy a monumental funding advantage over skeptical scientists. LINK ]
Tierney quoted Joseph Bast, Heartland’s president, stating: “Donations from energy companies have never amounted to more than 5 percent of our budget in any year, and there is no corporate sponsor underwriting any of this conference.” Tierney also presented the case that so-called global warming “solutions” are money makers for many. “A cap-and-trade systems for curbing carbon emissions (the kind criticized at this week’s conference) is popular in Washington in no small part because of corporate lobbyists who see a chance to make money from the carbon credits,” he wrote. “And there’s lots of money to be doled out to researchers studying climate change and new energy technologies,” he added.
Dissenters of climate fears growing in number
The New York City conference of dissenting scientists comes after many declared 2007 the “tipping point” for climate alarmism and referred to it as the year man-made global warming fears “bit the dust" as an abundance of peer-reviewed studies countered rising CO2 fears. (LINK) Many of the scientists featured in the December 2007 U.S. Senate Minority Report of over 400 scientists attended the conference. (LINK)
The skeptical scientists at the conference presented diverse views on climate change, but generally they rallied around several key points. 1) The Earth is currently well within natural climate variability. 2) Almost all climate fear is generated by unproven computer model predictions. 3) An abundance of peer-reviewed studies continue to debunk rising CO2 fears and, 4) "Consensus" has been manufactured for political, not scientific purposes.
In such nations as Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, Russia, Argentina, New Zealand, Portugal, and France, groups of scientists have recently spoken out to oppose and debunk man-made climate fears. In addition, many scientists who are also progressive environmentalists believe climate fear promotion has "co-opted" and “hijacked” the green movement. (LINK)
Former Vice President Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth and the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports have prompted many skeptical scientists to speak out and join the growing resistance.
"Al Gore brought me back to the battle and prompted me to do renewed research in the field of climatology. And because of all the misinformation that Gore and his army have been spreading about climate change I have decided that ‘real' climatologists should try to help the public understand the nature of the problem,” Climatologist Robert Durrenberger, past president of the American Association of State Climatologists, declared in May 2007.
Since the release of the December 20 Senate minority report detailing the hundreds of skeptics, a steady stream of scientists from around the world have continued to declare themselves dissenters of the alleged “climate crisis.” Just days before the international climate conference began, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology, Dr. Joanne Simpson, declared she was “skeptical” of catastrophic man-made warming.
“Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly,” Simpson, formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies, wrote in a public letter on February 27. Simpson was described by former Colorado State Climatologist Roger Pielke, Sr. as “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.” (LINK)
“The main basis of the claim that man’s release of greenhouse gases is the cause of the warming is based almost entirely upon climate models. We all know the frailty of models concerning the air-surface system. We only need to watch the weather forecasts,” Simpson explained. “But as a scientist I remain skeptical,” she added.
Number of Skeptical scientists continue to grow
Also last week, Geologist William F. McClenney, a California Licensed Professional Geologist and former Certified Environmental Auditor in Victoria, Australia, announced that he had reversed his views about man-made global warming. McClenney now says he has done “the math and realized that you just can’t get to global warming with CO2.” See: February 28, 2008 full statement here. (Note: McClenney joins other scientists who recently converted from believer to skeptic of man-made climate fears. See - LINK)
Geologist Dr. Don Easterbrook, an emeritus professor of geology at Western Washington University who has authored eight books and 150 journal publications, announced earlier this week that he was putting his “reputation on the line” by predicting global cooling. “The average of the four main temperature measuring methods is slightly cooler since 2002 (except for a brief el Niño interruption) and record breaking cooling this winter. The argument that this is too short a time period to be meaningful would be valid were it not for the fact that this cooling exactly fits the pattern of timing of warm/cool cycles over the past 400 years,” Easterbrook wrote on March 1, 2008. (LINK)
Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Art V. Douglas, the recently retired Chair of the Atmospheric Sciences Department at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and author of numerous papers for peer-reviewed publications, also publicly announced his dissent from man-made climate fears in February 2008. “Whatever the weather,” Douglas said, “it's not being caused by global warming.” (LINK)
Atmospheric Physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh and a founding member of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, also announced his skepticism on February 18, 2008. “Sorry folks, but we're not exactly buying into the Global Hysteria just yet. We know a great deal about atmospheric physics, and from the onset, many of the claims were just plain fishy,” Peden wrote. (LINK)
In January 2008, environmental scientist professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder and director of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, announced publicly that he considered CO2 related climate fears to be “dangerous nonsense.” Domingos, who retired in 2006, has more than 150 published articles in the research fields of Thermodynamics, Numerical Methods in Fluid Mechanics and Meteorological Forecast. “There are measurable climate changes but there is also an enormous manipulation in reducing everything to CO2 and equivalents. The main gas producing the green house effect is water vapor. The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning,” Domingos said. (LINK)
Physics professor Dr. Frederick Wolf of Keene State College in New Hampshire, declared himself a dissenter of man-made climate fears in January 2008. Wolf has taught meteorology and climatology courses for the past 25 years and will be undertaking a sabbatical project on global warming. “Several things have contributed to my skepticism about global warming being due to human causes. We all know that the atmosphere is a very complicated system,” Wolf said. “I am impressed by the number of scientific colleagues who are naturally skeptical about the conclusion of human induced warming,” he added. (LINK)
Lamenting use of term ‘consensus’
The number of scientists who are now publicly dissenting from Gore’s and the UN’s view of climate change has become so overwhelming that promoters of man-made climate fears now lament the use, or the “overuse of the term ‘consensus’ in the public discussion of global warming.”
“I do think the scientific community, the progressive community, environmentalists and media are making a serious mistake by using the word ‘consensus’” to describe climate change impacts, wrote Joseph Romm of Climate Progress in a February 27, 2008 commentary in Salon.com. [Note: Despite the growing scientific dissent and the increasing number of peer-reviewed studies which debunk rising CO2 fears, Romm now advocates that the term “consensus” be dropped in favor of a stronger term to promote man-made climate fears.]
In addition, at least one scientist publicly pondered reconsidering his view of man-made climate fears after Senate report of 400 scientists was released in December. “It (the Senate 400 scientists report) got me thinking: I'm an environmental scientist, but I've never had time to review the ‘evidence’ for the anthropogenic causes of global warming,” wrote environmental scientist Professor Rami Zurayk of the American University in Beirut on December 27, 2007. (LINK)
“When I said, in my opening speech for the launch of UNEP's (United Nations Environment Program) Global Environment Outlook-4 in Beirut: ‘There is now irrevocable evidence that climate change is taking place...’ I was reading from a statement prepared by UNEP. Faith-based science it may be, but who has time to review all the evidence? I'll continue to act on the basis of anthropogenic climate change, but I really need to put some more time into this,” Zurayk wrote.
‘Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate’
The Heartland Institute’s International climate conference built on the momentum of growing number of skeptics as the conference showcased a new report by a team of international scientists who formed a group to counter the UN IPCC called the “Nongovernmental International Panel of Climate Change” (NIPCC). The skeptical scientist report was titled “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate.”
Key findings of the NIPCC’s climate findings:
1) Most of climate change is caused by natural forces.
2) The human contribution is not significant.
3) Solar-activity changes are the main cause of climate change.
Climate Scientist Dr. S. Fred Singer, former director the US Weather Satellite Service and past vice chairman of the U.S. National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere, told the conference that the IPCC “chose to ignore these facts, because they conflicted with the conclusion that global warming is anthropogenic (man-made).
‘Not a global crisis’
The International Climate Conference in New York also featured hundreds of climate experts from around the world, who issued a March 4 “Manhattan Declaration” on man-made global warming, stating in part:
1) “That there is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity has in the past, is now, or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change.”
2) “That attempts by governments to inflict taxes and costly regulations on industry and individual citizens with the aim of reducing emissions of CO2 will pointlessly curtail the prosperity of the West and progress of developing nations without affecting climate.”
3) “That human-caused climate change is not a global crisis.”
The declaration resolved that “scientific questions should be evaluated solely by the scientific method.”
‘Warming Island’ not so new
Former Virginia State Climatologist Dr. Patrick Michaels addressed the conference and debunked fears of unprecedented melting in Greenland. Michaels noted the media hype recently about the “discovery” of a “new” island in Greenland caused by melting glaciers dubbed “Warming Island.” (See April 2007 article titled: “An island made by global warming.” LINK)
But Michaels ridiculed the claim that the island was “new” by citing a 1957 book called “Arctic Riviera” by Swiss explorer Ernst Hofer which featured an illustration clearly depicting the same island in the early 1950s. Michaels noted that Greenland temperatures were as warm or warmer in the 1930s and 1940s than today’s temperatures. [See July 30, 2007 Report - Latest Scientific Studies Refute Fears of Greenland Melt – LINK]
Sampling of key quotes from scientists participating in the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change:
Former UN Scientist Dr. Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institute in Paris (who resigned from UN IPCC in protest): “As far as the science being ‘settled,’ I think that is an obscenity. The fact is the science is being distorted by people who are not scientists.”
UN IPCC scientist Vincent Gray of New Zealand: “This conference demonstrates that the [scientific] debate is not over. The climate is not being influenced by carbon dioxide.”
Canadian Climatologist Dr. Timothy Ball: “If we are facing [a crisis] at all, I think it is that we are preparing for warming when it is looking like we are cooling. We are preparing for the wrong thing.”
Climate researcher Dr. Craig Loehle, formerly of the Department of Energy Laboratories and currently with the National Council for Air and Stream Improvements, has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers: “The 2000-year [temperature] trend is not flat, so a warming period is not unprecedented. […] 1500-year [temperature] cycle as proposed by [Atmospheric physicist Fred] Singer and [Dennis] Avery is consistent with Loehle climate reconstruction. […] 1500-year cycle implies that recent warming is part of natural trend.”
Hurricane expert and Meteorologist Dr. William Gray: “There are lot’s of skeptics out there, all over the U.S. and the rest of the world. [Global warming] has been over-hyped tremendously; most of the climate change we have seen is largely natural. I think we are brainwashing our children terribly.”
UK Astrophysicist Piers Corbyn: “There is no evidence that CO2 has ever driven or will ever drive world temperatures and climate change. The consequence of that is that worrying about CO2 is irrelevant. Our prediction is world temperatures will continue to decline until 2014 and probably continue to decline after that.”
Weather Channel founder and meteorologist John Coleman: “Serious scientists and serious students of global warming have concluded after a lot of effort that there is little basis for the thought that we are going to have catastrophic global warming.”
Dr. Benny Peiser of the Faculty of Science of Liverpool John Moores University in UK: “[Global warming cap-and-trade bills have] caused so much trouble in Europe. It’s not working, it’s never going to work. It won’t have any effect on the climate, but only that there will be more unemployed in Europe. If that helps the climate, perhaps that is a solution.”
Atmospheric physicist Ferenc Miskolczi, formerly with NASA’s Langley Research Center: “The runaway greenhouse effect is physically impossible. […] The observed global warming has nothing to do directly with the greenhouse effect; it must be related to changes in the total absorbed solar radiation or dissipated heat from other natural or anthropogenic sources of thermal energy.”
Meteorologist Art Horn: “There are thousands of scientists around the world who believe that this issue is not settled. The climate is not being influenced by carbon dioxide.”
German Meteorologist Dr. Gerd-Rainer Weber: “Most of the extremist views about climate change have little or no scientific basis. The rational basis for extremist views about global warming may be a desire to push for political action on global warming.”
Physics Professor Emeritus Dr. Howard Hayden of the University of Connecticut: “The fluctuations in Earth’s temperature are caused by astronomical phenomena. The combined effects of all ‘greenhouse gases,’ albedo changes, and other Earthly changes account for no more than about 3 degrees C of the changes during transitions between ice ages and interglacials.”
Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who serves on the American Meteorological Society's Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review: “It is my belief that the strident and frequent claims of catastrophes caused by man-made global warming are stated with a degree of confidence not warranted by the data. […] Too many people are too confident about too many things. That was the simple message of the Heartland conference, and one that I hope sinks in.” (LINK)
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See Part Two of Climate Conference Report for Media Round Up: