Political Climate
Feb 11, 2009
On the Hijacking of the American Meteorological Society

Update: One Meteorologist inspired by Dr. Gray’s statement below cancelled his AMS membership (not the only one) . See his note to me and the AMS response here. See in this essay by Richard Lindzen how the professional societies have been infiltrated and are now controlled by environmental extremists and opportunists with a political motive and have abandoned objective science. Earlier, I had posted a story on how the professional societies had strayed towards advocacy here.

By Dr. William Gray

I am appalled at the selection of James Hansen as this year’s recipient of the AMS’s highest award - the Rossby Research Medal.  James Hansen has not been trained as a meteorologist.  His formal education has been in astronomy.  His long records of faulty global climate predictions and alarmist public pronouncements have become increasingly hollow and at odds with reality.  Hansen has exploited the general public’s lack of knowledge of how the globe’s climate system functions for his own benefit.  His global warming predictions, going back to 1988 are not being verified.  Why have we allowed him go on for all these years with his faulty and alarmist prognostications?  And why would the AMS give him its highest award?

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) was founded in 1919 as an organization dedicated to advancing scientific knowledge of weather and climate.  It has been a wonderful beacon for fostering new understanding of how the atmosphere and oceans function.  But this strong positive image is now becoming tarnished as a result of the AMS leadership’s capitulating to the lobby of the climate modelers and to the outside environmental and political pressure groups who wish to use the now AMS position on AGW to help justify the promotion of their own special interests.  The effectiveness of the AMS as an objective scientific organization has been greatly compromised.

We AMS members have allowed a small group of AMS administrators, climate modelers, and CO2 warming sympathizers to maneuver the internal workings of our society to support AGW policies irrespective of what our rank-and-file members might think.  This small organized group of AGW sympathizers has indeed hijacked our society.

Debate.  The AMS is the most relevant of our country’s scientific societies as regards to its members having the most extensive scientific and technical background in meteorology and climate.  It should have been a leader in helping to adjudicate the claims of the AGW advocates and their skeptical critics.  Our country’s Anglo-Saxon derived legal system is based on the idea that the best way to get to the truth is to have opposite sides of a continuous issue present their differing views in open debate before a non partisan jury.  Nothing like this has happened with regards to the AGW issue.  Instead of organizing meetings with free and open debates on the basic physics and the likelihood of AGW induced climate changes, the leaders of the society (with the backing of the society’s AGW enthusiasts) have chosen to fully trust the climate models and deliberately avoid open debate on this issue.  I know of no AMS sponsored conference where the AGW hypothesis has been given open and free discussion.  For a long time I have wanted a forum to express my skepticism of the AGW hypothesis.  No such opportunities ever came within the AMS framework.  Attempts at publication of my skeptic views have been difficult.  One rejection stated that I was too far out of the mainstream thinking.  Another that my ideas had already been discredited.  A number of AGW skeptics have told me they have had similar experiences. 

The climate modelers and their supporters deny the need for open debate of the AGW question on the grounds that the issue has already been settled by their model results.  They have taken this view because they know that the physics within their models and the long range of their forecast periods will likely not to be able to withstand knowledgeable and impartial review (see Appendix).  They simply will not debate the issue.  As a defense against criticism they have resorted to a general denigration of those of us who do not support their AGW hypothesis.  AGW skeptics are sometimes tagged (I have been) as no longer being credible scientists.  Skeptics are often denounced as tools of the fossil-fuel industry.  A type of McCarthyism against AGW skeptics has been in display for a number of years.

Recent AMS Awardees.  Since 2000 the AMS has awarded its annual highest award (Rossby Research Medal) to the following AGW advocates or AGW sympathizers; Susan Solomon (00), V. Ramanathan (02), Peter Webster (04), Jagadish Shukla (05), Kerry Emanuel (07), Isaac Held (08) and James Hansen (09).  Its second highest award (Charney Award) has gone to AGW warming advocates or sympathizers; Kevin Trenberth (00), Rich Rotunno (04), Robert D. Cess (06), Allan Betts (07), Gerald North (08) and Warren Washington and Gerald Meehl (09).  And the other Rossby and Charney awardees during this period are not known to be critics of the AGW warming hypothesis. Read much on this issue here. See his scientific appendix Part A here and Part B here.

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