By Gabe Nelson, The Wire, Michigan Daily
Remember him? Freeman Dyson, a prominent physicist and author who was the graduation speaker at the University’s winter commencement two years ago, said in an interview with Salon.com published last week that he thinks global warming has been blown out of proportion.
“The idea that global warming is the most important problem facing the world is total nonsense and is doing a lot of harm. It distracts people’s attention from much more serious problems,” he said. “It’s not so much to do about science. It’s really a political question.” If Dyson had made these remarks two years ago, would he have been chosen as a commencement speaker at the University? It’s hard to imagine his ideas about climate change being embraced.
The University was scored among the top ten colleges in the country with regard to environmental policies and research in rankings released earlier this year by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. The University got a B-plus overall and an A for climate change and energy research in the rankings.
Dyson, who researched climate change at Oak Ridge National Laboratory about 30 years ago, told Salon that he believes most of the global warming being seen in recent decades can be attributed to natural climate cycles. Although he admitted that humans do cause some changes to the climate, he said there’s no reason to worry.
“We have no reason to think that climate change is harmful if you look at the world as a whole. Most places, in fact, are better off being warmer than being colder,” Dyson said. “There’s no reason why one should be scared.” Why, then, are have many people joined the fight against global warming? Dyson said many scientists now studying climate change assume that global warming is urgent and reject opposing viewpoints regardless of their merit. Read more here.
By Matthew Creamer and Brooke Capps, Ad Age Latest News
Not too long ago, a premier ad agency wouldn’t touch a campaign warning about the effects of global warming, fearing backlash from the automakers and oil companies that keep Madison Avenue’s lights on. But now one of the most hotly contended pitches out there is for the Alliance for Climate Protection, the organization formed last year by Al Gore. Four elite agencies—Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the Martin Agency and Y&R—are squaring off for the business and are expected to present to the former vice president himself early next month, according to executives familiar with the review. The budget for the “historic, three-to-five-year, multimedia global campaign,” as the request for proposals puts it, is contingent on how much money the alliance raises. Media spending will likely be more than $100 million a year.
That elite shops aren’t scared off from crafting environmental messaging that could be tacitly critical of big business’s sometimes unsustainable ways is yet another sign of the mainstreaming of green thinking within the corporate world at large. And within the ad community it points to newfound willingness to embrace hot-button social causes. The alliance account, some are saying, could even lend some luster to the winner’s roster, given many major marketers’ recent embrace of sustainability throughout their value chains, from product development to manufacturing to marketing communications.
Many agencies do high-profile and often award-winning work for causes such as smoking cessation, drug-use prevention and disaster relief, but they typically steer clear of more divisive issues and political campaigns, making executives who want to work on them do so outside the auspices of the agency. Until very recently at least, global warming would have been seen as such an issue.
Go to Ad Age and see full story here.
By Dr. Madhav Khandekar, IPCC Expert Reviewer
Brant Boucher, in his letter “Scientific consensus” (The Hill Times, Aug. 6, 2007), seems to naively believe that the climate change science espoused in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC documents represents “scientific consensus.” Nothing could be further than the truth!
As one of the invited expert reviewers for the 2007 IPCC documents, I have pointed out the flawed review process used by the IPCC scientists in one of my letters (The Hill Times, May 28, 2007). I have also pointed out in my letter that an increasing number of scientists are now questioning the hypothesis of GHG-induced warming of the earth’s surface and suggesting a stronger impact of solar variability and large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns on the observed temperature increase than previously believed. I would further politely ask Mr. Boucher to do a simple reality check regarding the earth’s temperature change. Since mid-1998, the earth’s mean temperature as a whole has not increased at all, despite billions of tonnes of human-added CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the land-area mean temperature has slowly but surely declined in the last few years. The city of Buenos Aires in Argentina received several centimetres of snowfall in early July, and the last time it snowed in Buenos Aires was in 1918! Most of Australia experienced one of its coldest months of June this year. Several other locations in the Southern Hemisphere have experienced lower temperatures in the last few years. Further, the SSTs (sea surface temperatures) over world oceans are slowly declining since mid-1998, according to a recent world-wide analysis of ocean surface temperatures.
It is important to first develop an improved understanding of the earth’s temperature trends and changes before committing millions (billions!) of dollars to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs). Unfortunately, the IPCC climate change documents do not provide an objective assessment of the earth’s temperature trends and associated climate change. Read more here.
By David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Update on CNN reaction to Marciano’s comments: Excerpt: CNN Anchor Kiran Chetry summed up the network sense of the debate at the end. “Just don’t say anything for a couple more days.”
CNN reported on Thursday that a British judge has called Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth unfit for schools “because it is politically biased and contains scientific inaccuracies and sentimental mush.” British schools may now have to preface any showing of the film with a warning.
CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano responded to this story by applauding and saying,"Finally, finally,” before commenting sarcastically that “the Oscars, they give out awards for fictional films as well.” Marciano said he objected in particular to the film’s claim that global warming causes stronger hurricanes, noting that the current hurricane season has only been average.
Although the number of named storms this season has not been unusual, USA Today pointed out last month that “the first two hurricanes in the Atlantic this season reached the highest Category 5 level, the first time that’s happened since record-keeping began in 1851.” In addition, three storms this year shattered records for speed of intensification, leading concerned weather bloggers to suggest that the possible effects of global warming on hurricanes demand far more intensive study.
By Anthony Watts
He’re’s a twist; while the north pole ice dwindles to record lows, the south pole ice reaches the maximum extent ever recorded. A fellow who likes variable star research and AAVSO calling himself Tamino (not his real name - another phantom blogger) who runs a blog called “Open Mind“. He used to be about explaining science, and did a pretty good job, but now has succumbed to the dark side of discourse and posted an opinion “…that it’s time to stop even listening to denialists, let alone arguing with them.” and then further says “…it is the republican party in the U.S. that is the problem.“.
Then right after that post, he puts up a graph of Northern Hemisphere Sea ice showing its drop with the challenge “Explain this“. It’s just too funny to announce he’s not going to discuss the matter further, then puts up a challenge on record northern hemisphere sea ice minimum, then the next day we get a new maximum ice record in the southern hemisphere. Perhaps the dichotomy was just too much for him. A hint for those in need of pressure valves - it’s all about cycles.
By Noel Sheppard, Newsbusters
Americans willing to look at the manmade global warming debate with any degree of impartiality and honesty are well aware that those spreading the hysteria have made a lot of money doing so, and stand to gain much more if governments mandate carbon dioxide emissions reductions.
In fact, just two months ago, ABC News.com estimated soon-to-be-Nobel Laureate Al Gore’s net worth at $100 million, which isn’t bad considering that he was supposedly worth about $1 million when he watched George W. Bush get sworn in as president in January 2001.
Talk about your get-rich-quick schemes, how’d you like to increase your net worth 10,000 percent in less than seven years? Fortunately for the world’s foremost warm-monger - a term I’d love to see become part of the parlance concerning what, in the long run, will likely be viewed as the greatest con ever perpetrated on the American people - his current wealth represents a mere pittance of what it will be if governments around the world are scared into all of his preposterous recommendations.
Al Gore’s campaign against global warming is shifting into high gear. Reporters and commentators follow his every move and bombard the public with notice of his activities and opinions. But while the mainstream media promote his ideas about the state of planet Earth, they are mostly silent about the dramatic impact his economic proposals would have on America. And journalists routinely ignore evidence that he may personally benefit from his programs. Would the romance fizzle if Gore’s followers realized how much their man stands to gain?
Of course it would, Deborah. That’s why media have largely been mute on this matter. See more here.
Interview in Pete’s Place on Global Warming
Previously, Pete posted a link to a video interview with George Taylor, of Oregon State University and the Oregon State Climatologist. Here is his reply to an attack article criticizing his view that man and carbon dioxide emissions are not to blame for global warming. The vicious nature of the personal attacks on global warming skeptics is typical.
I get most of my information from peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Climate, Journal of Geophysical Research, and Climate Research. The articles I write (including, for example, the Arctic article) are based on journal articles and contain full bibliographies. Admittedly, I seldom give“both sides” of the argument, because the “other side” (the one that suggests that human activities exert a dominant role in the climate system) is well-represented in journals and the media. My goal is to be a voice saying “wait, maybe there’s another side to this. Take a look at THIS data and see what you think. Then let’s talk about it.” Unfortunately, this issue has become such a divisive and angry one that ad hominem attacks have replaced dialogue.
Read full blog here.
By John McLean for SPPI
It is widely alleged that the science of global warming is “settled”. This implies that all the major scientific aspects of climate change are well understood and uncontroversial, and that scientists are now just mopping up unimportant details. The allegation is profoundly untrue: for example the US alone is said to be spending more than $4 billion annually on climate research, which is a lot to pay for detailing; and great uncertainty and argument surround many of the principles of climate change, and especially the magnitude of any human causation for warming. Worse still, not only is the science not “settled”, but its discussion in the public domain is contaminated by many fallacies, which leads directly to the great public confusion that is observed.
This paper explains the eight most common fallacies that underpin public discussion of the hypothesis that dangerous global warming is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions. At its most basic, if scientists cannot be sure that temperatures are today rising, nor establish that the gentle late 20th century warming was caused by CO2 emissions, then it is nonsense to propose that expensive controls are needed on human carbon dioxide emissions. Even more alarming still is the self-sustaining nature of the IPCC and its alarmist claims. The IPCC reports determine the direction of climate research and its funding, which ultimately leads to the number of scientific papers which take a particular line, and the dominance of that line of thinking is expressed in the subsequent IPCC report. The process is one of strong positive feedback for alarmist science advice. Advice which now permeates bureaucracies and governments throughout the world, and which is driving swingeingly expensive, unnecessary and ineffective national and international carbon policies.