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Don’t Worry About Global Warming, Say 16 Scientists in the WSJ


The following has been signed by the 16 scientists listed at the end of the article.

There’s no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to ‘decarbonize’ the world’s economy.

A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about “global warming.” Candidates should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed.

In September, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, a supporter of President Obama in the last election, publicly resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) with a letter that begins: “I did not renew [my membership] because I cannot live with the [APS policy] statement: ‘The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.’ In the APS it is OK to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?”

In spite of a multidecade international campaign to enforce the message that increasing amounts of the “pollutant” carbon dioxide will destroy civilization, large numbers of scientists, many very prominent, share the opinions of Dr. Giaever. And the number of scientific “heretics” is growing with each passing year. The reason is a collection of stubborn scientific facts.

Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now. This is known to the warming establishment, as one can see from the 2009 “Climategate” email of climate scientist Kevin Trenberth: “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.” But the warming is only missing if one believes computer models where so-called feedbacks involving water vapor and clouds greatly amplify the small effect of CO2.

The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause. Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2.

The fact is that CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas, exhaled at high concentrations by each of us, and a key component of the biosphere’s life cycle. Plants do so much better with more CO2 that greenhouse operators often increase the CO2 concentrations by factors of three or four to get better growth. This is no surprise since plants and animals evolved when CO2 concentrations were about 10 times larger than they are today. Better plant varieties, chemical fertilizers and agricultural management contributed to the great increase in agricultural yields of the past century, but part of the increase almost certainly came from additional CO2 in the atmosphere.

Although the number of publicly dissenting scientists is growing, many young scientists furtively say that while they also have serious doubts about the global-warming message, they are afraid to speak up for fear of not being promoted—or worse. They have good reason to worry. In 2003, Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal Climate Research, dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with the politically incorrect (but factually correct) conclusion that the recent warming is not unusual in the context of climate changes over the past thousand years. The international warming establishment quickly mounted a determined campaign to have Dr. de Freitas removed from his editorial job and fired from his university position. Fortunately, Dr. de Freitas was able to keep his university job.

This is not the way science is supposed to work, but we have seen it before—for example, in the frightening period when Trofim Lysenko hijacked biology in the Soviet Union. Soviet biologists who revealed that they believed in genes, which Lysenko maintained were a bourgeois fiction, were fired from their jobs. Many were sent to the gulag and some were condemned to death.

Why is there so much passion about global warming, and why has the issue become so vexing that the American Physical Society, from which Dr. Giaever resigned a few months ago, refused the seemingly reasonable request by many of its members to remove the word “incontrovertible” from its description of a scientific issue? There are several reasons, but a good place to start is the old question “cui bono?” Or the modern update, “Follow the money.”

Alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many, providing government funding for academic research and a reason for government bureaucracies to grow. Alarmism also offers an excuse for governments to raise taxes, taxpayer-funded subsidies for businesses that understand how to work the political system, and a lure for big donations to charitable foundations promising to save the planet. Lysenko and his team lived very well, and they fiercely defended their dogma and the privileges it brought them.

Speaking for many scientists and engineers who have looked carefully and independently at the science of climate, we have a message to any candidate for public office: There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to “decarbonize” the world’s economy. Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically.

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.

If elected officials feel compelled to “do something” about climate, we recommend supporting the excellent scientists who are increasing our understanding of climate with well-designed instruments on satellites, in the oceans and on land, and in the analysis of observational data. The better we understand climate, the better we can cope with its ever-changing nature, which has complicated human life throughout history. However, much of the huge private and government investment in climate is badly in need of critical review.

Every candidate should support rational measures to protect and improve our environment, but it makes no sense at all to back expensive programs that divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of “incontrovertible” evidence.

Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris; J. Scott Armstrong, cofounder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting; Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University; Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society; Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences; William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton; Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.; William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology; Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT; James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University; Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne; Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator; Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service; Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva.



24 Comments on "Don’t Worry About Global Warming, Say 16 Scientists in the WSJ"

  1. kervennic on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 4:06 am 

    First name is claude allegre, an infamous french professor well known for his previous great scientific combat: “Asbstos is perfectly safe”
    2000 people dies every year from asbestos contamination in france.

    He should be in jail.

  2. DC on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 4:22 am 

    Dont Worry about the 16 paid shills for big oil in the WSJ, says DC from

    There all fixed

  3. kervennic on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 4:47 am 

    Allegre became a minister and lobbied to avoid the publication of a report from official health investigator asking for removal of asbestos on his former university , which he constantly and publicly opposed.
    Many people have died in this university.

    Allegre has never being juged for concealing these facts and delaying action.
    How can such an infamous man that also claimed many well documented stupidities concerning high school physics make it to the media once more ?
    This is a worrying mystery.

  4. BillT on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 5:19 am 

    Kervennic, why is it a mystery? It is a paid ad by Big Petro and nothing more.

    Who owns the WSJ? The corporate elite.

    Who benefits from destroying the world? The Corporate elite.

    Why would they care when most are past 60 and will not live to experience the results of their destruction? To them it is all a big game of ‘I got more than you…’.

  5. SilentRunning on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 5:20 am 

    Well, I’m glad that issue is settled – we all know that the “Wall Street Journal” is a prestigious scientific journal that is peer reviewed by climate scientists and physicists and that it would always publish the scientific truth, even if it meant losses for major industries.

    We all know that Wall Street is strictly interested the truth, and has no interests in profits over people.

    Ah hem….

  6. BillT on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 5:22 am 

    BTW: Expect the denial class to refer to this article in the next thousand rebuttals to any new pro-climate change support articles from reputable sources. After all it was decades after tobacco was proven to cause cancer before the so called “Doctors” stopped pushing tobacco on TV and in ads. Big Tobacco had too much to lose to let the truth get out.

  7. PrestonSturges on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 5:44 am 

    This article reeks of desperation and flop sweat.

    If this is all the the denialists have, then things must be very bad indeed.

  8. Mike on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 8:02 am 

    Well, I’m one of those idiot denialists (conditional). Not that it matters. The debate is properly past tense in terms of effect.

    America will not stop burning oil and China will not stop burning coal. Attempts at mitigation will be ignored and where implemented, essentially ineffective.

    Continued activism at this point is spitting into a hurricane.

    If the AGW theory is wrong, oh well. If it is correct by some magnitude, it will happen.

    The most effective form of mitigation lies in the future and is entirely involuntary – when Energy Civilization collapses and the human population with it.

    Best to spend your energies saving your family rather than futilely trying to “save the world.”

  9. Spirit of 1976 on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 8:27 am 

    Ivar Glaever? If you want to know about superconductors, he’s your man. But he’s not a climate scientist.

  10. Brian on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 9:54 am 

    And cyanide is found in apple and peach seeds, and of course is natural, so everyone that thinks the burning of fossil fuels and disproportionate dispersal of CO2 and methane gas into the environment is not only not harmful, but potentially beneficial, should go make themselves some cyanide apple tea, do something good for this planet, and drink up!

  11. dorlomin on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 12:12 pm 

    “taxpayer-funded subsidies for businesses that understand how to work the political system,” man its just raining irony here today.

    So the oil and gas industry dont get subsidies…

  12. DC on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 12:19 pm 

    Im sure someone, somewhere is running checks on those scientist, including the astro-not, and amerikan politican. Last time I checked, astro-not didnt classify as ‘scientist’ even by loosest of definitions, and im pretty amerikan politician is definiately out of the running. Pilot does not =scientist. Dont be least bit suprsed if many of those credentials are inflated, exaggerated or simply false. Seen that before. Even if some(or even most) are legit, again, dont be suprised if they work for or publish for junk-science ‘free-enterprise’ institutes, ie CaTo or similar.

    And yea your right Bill, because the WSJ is the Gold Standard for cutting edge scientific work, these shills will get a lot of air-time for a while im sure.

  13. Gale Whitaker on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 5:23 pm 

    Even if man made climate change is not real, the world needs to make all the changes that have been prescribed as a solution for other very important reasons.

  14. Bob Owens on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 5:33 pm 

    Where are their peer reviewed articles? How about their in-detail lab tests and results? Did the WSJ research the people or did they just cobble this article together? The weather is not changing? Just take a look at the USA last year: Droughts, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Flooding, etc., on a scale never seen before! What does it take for us to start making changes that would only be for our own good even if we turn out to be wrong? Wake up America!

  15. MrEnergyCzar on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 7:28 pm 

    You can pay any scientist to say anything… Getting 1,600 scientists would be more believable…


  16. Kenz300 on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 7:38 pm 

    Can you believe anything coming from the WSJ since it was bought by the Murdoch organization? They seem to always be promoting an agenda rather than reporting news or facts. Too much spin and opinion that seeming favors their own personal agenda.

  17. Imperfection on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 9:45 pm 

    US Drought Monitor says we are experiencing Global Warming NOW.

  18. Imperfection on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 9:48 pm 

    Global Glacier Melt

    Carbon PPM: 391

    So, the WSJ found 16 insane scientists.

  19. Alan Cecil on Mon, 30th Jan 2012 2:04 am 

    And pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…

  20. kervennic on Mon, 30th Jan 2012 2:18 am 

    I do not see why the nobel prize is taken as a mark of intelligence or expertise. It is just a price that highlits an already gone career in a very specific field of research.

    Usually by the time they get it, they are pretty diminished, having spent so many hours in their lab without proper food, sleep and ventilation.

    And this is extremely dary to think that they ever knew anything else than their very own subjects. Anybody who studied physics and worked in research know that these people are usually arrogant, yet obedient, nerds with little interest for anything else, and a very poor discussion. And those who are not like this usually quit.

    The Nobel price is a social comedy aiming at turning science into a kind of religion, opening a pantheon.
    As such it is perfectly ridiculous, just as ridiculous as the king of sweden.

  21. BillT on Mon, 30th Jan 2012 3:03 am 

    Obviously, by the very number of those above who are laughing at this article, Global Warming…aka…Climate Change is becoming well know and supported. Yes, it is probably to late to save ourselves at this point. The hydrocarbon bomb is on target to destroy what is left of the earths ecosystem in the next century or so. The Wall Street Journal is promoting the very cause of the mess we are in, corporate America.

  22. MrBill on Mon, 30th Jan 2012 3:58 am 

    For a logical rebuttal of this WSJ tripe see:

  23. Keith_McClary on Mon, 30th Jan 2012 5:35 am 

    Richard S. Lindzen,
    Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology

    Professor James E. McGrath
    Ethyl Corporation Chair | Department of Chemistry | Virginia Tech

    And check out this “scientist” bio:
    Rodney W. Nichols

    Lots more FFF (Fossil Fuel Funded) on that list.

  24. Kenz300 on Mon, 30th Jan 2012 2:46 pm 

    How many tobacco funded researchers in the 1960’s and 1970’s said tobacco and smoking does not cause cancer? Follow the money.
    The oil companies and the coal companies have the world backed into an energy corner and they like it that way. As prices spike and shortages occur windfall profits come rolling in.

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