An Open Letter to Climate Change Denialists

Dear Climate Deniers:

From the point of view of the blog, it’s good news that you have found us — it means that we’re reaching readers who are well outside our usual circle of friends and acquaintances.  And we also welcome dissenting views, even when we think they’re unfounded, so you folks are welcome to keep on posting comments.

I continue to think that you’re absolutely wrong — about as wrong about climate change as Chamberlain was about Hitler’s benign intentions when he announced “peace in our time.”  If you want to see my reasons in some detail, you might look at this paper.

It’s obvious, however, that there’s no point in debating the science with you — if you’re not convinced by a virtually unanimous consensus from the world’s leading scientists, you’re not going to be convinced by a group of legal scholars. You might, however, give some further thought to the issue of uncertainty.  You’re taking a huge gamble. There are three possibilities:

1. The scientists are wrong: climate change isn’t real, isn’t caused by humans, or can’t be restrained by any practical policy.

2.  The scientists are right.

3.  The scientists are wrong because climate change will be much worse than they predict, so the need to act is far more urgent.

You may think that #1 is the most likely answer.  But are you willing to bet the lives and welfare of your descendants that #2 and #3 have zero probability, like the odds that the earth is flat? Are you completely certain about that? In my view, “yes” just is not a responsible answer.

This is not to say that there is no reasonable ground for dispute about climate policy.  Although I disagree with economists like Nordhaus who feel we should go slowly with mitigation, they are certainly well within the mainstream.  That’s where the debate should be taking place.

Sincerely,

Dan Farber

Reader Comments

36 Replies to “An Open Letter to Climate Change Denialists”

  1. This debate is not about whether climate change is actually happening. We agree that the climate is changing.

    The debate is whether carbon dioxide (which is a minor trace gas in the atmosphere) is the driving force in climate change, and whether or not human efforts to implement miniscule reductions of this trace gas will have any effect whatsoever on the global climate.

    There is no guarantee that cap & trade, carbon taxes, or sequestering small amounts of carbon dioxide will mitigate or slow down the hypothetical catastrophic scenarios that characterize modern climate “science.” In fact, there is far more scientific evidence that such efforts are futile, especilly when water vapor, solar radiation, and natural cycles are properly analyzed.

    Global carbon dioxide emissions are increasing by millions of tons per day as the growing global population burns more oil, gas, coal, and wood. These new emissions greatly exceed the paltry and insignificant quantities of carbon dioxide that may be sequestered or mitigated in developed nations.

    The continuing worldwide growth in carbon dioxide emissions significantly exceeds, overwhelms, and defeats the intent and purpose of the Kyoto treaty, thereby making this treaty meaningless and irrelevant.

    The common proposals for implementing minor reductions in carbon dioxide emissions (carbon trading & taxes, sequestration, regulation, mitigation, etc.) can not be proven to achieve any measurable reduction in the average global atmospheric temperature. Such proposals can safely be ignored and dismissed. The appropriate response is to adapt (this is the way that humans have always dealt with climate change).

    Global warming is largely a contrived crisis that diverts attention and resources from real global environmental problems such as unsafe drinking water, unsanitary living conditions, and contaminated food. These are real environmental problems which cause enormous human suffering and are far more deserving of our compassion, intellectual energy, and technical resources.

  2. This letter just shows you to be just as blinkered as the deniers you call out. What about scenario #4?

    4. The scientists are wrong because climate change will be LESS worse than they predict, so the need to act is far LESS urgent.

    Note that out of the 4 scenarios the scientists are only right once – 25% wouldn’t look good as a mark on any high school science paper! Let’s face it, how many times in the past 1000 years have the majority of scientists been proved wrong? Every time science advances it is because the consensus is smashed. Consensus is not incontrovertible truth.

    What is certain is that Cap & Trade is a gigantic scam developed to make a few select people billionaires, a few dozen more millionaires and the vast pool of humanity fleeced like sheep – worse by an order of magnitude than the credit crunch because it actually trades thin air!

    All that money could just go to alternative fuel development – which it won’t as it won’t get past all those pockets in the way – and then by the time we naturally run out of fossil fuels we have already made the transition.

  3. I did not read the posting…don’t need to…
    Climate Change is life its ownself happening before our very eyes…
    The Climate Crisis is promotional BS intended to instill various Global Economic Imperative mandated changes via doubt and fear…let’s stop waltzing around the point here, eh?
    Steve Smyth

  4. Not sure what the definition of “climate denialist” around here is. Not sure what is the point of asking for comments in full knowledge one will “think they’re unfounded”, either.

    Anyway…the 2007 paper doesn’t seem a masterpiece, more like a glorified appeal on managing risk by concentrating on the “fat tail”. The conclusions apply to any problem with a “fat tail”. And they are wrong.

    Man shall not manage risk on “worst-case scenario” alone. If you were to educate your children only based on that principle, you’d make their life a hell on earth. If you were to live by that principle, you’d never get out of bed in the morning. And if you were to make politics by that principle, well, no need to imagine things there, it’s been the Cheney/Rumsfeld strand of foreign policy for a few decades.

    =======

    As for the specifics of climate change, I often quote the following as written by a guy called Willis Eschenbach:

    I also think that increasing GHGs [greenhous gases] will warm the earth … but that is not the real question to me. The real question is, how much it will warm the earth. To date, I have not seen any “useful quantitative results” regarding that question […] …

    Once those quantitative results are in, we can proceed to the next question: is a warmer earth better or worse on balance?

    The globe has warmed quite a bit since the 1600s, and in general this has been of benefit to humans. The sea level rise from the historical warming has not been a significant problem. In addition, a warmer world is predicted to be a wetter world, which overall can only be a good thing.

    So, will warming be a problem, or a benefit? This is a very open question, and one which will be difficult to answer as some areas will win and some will lose. To date, however, recent warming seems to be occurring outside the tropics, in the night-time, in the winter … this does not seem like a bad thing.

    And at some future date when those questions are answered, we can proceed to the final question, viz: If GHGs are determined to be a major cause of the warming (as opposed to land-use changes, or black carbon on snow, or dark colored aerosols, etc) and if we determine that the warming will be on balance a negative occurrence, is there a cost-effective way to reduce the GHGs, or are we better off putting our money into adaptation?

    Until we can answer all of those questions, we should restrict ourselves to actions which will be of value whether or not there is future warming.

    The key is to realize that all of the problems that Al Gore is so shrill about are here now with us today – floods, heat waves, famine, rising sea levels, droughts, cold spells, and all of the apocalyptic catalog are occurring as I write this.

    Anything we can do to insulate the world’s population from these climate problems will be of use to everyone no matter what the future climate holds.

  5. or the “other” science and facts that don’t support the fear mongering hysteria promoted by The Believers because it fulfills your need to belong to a cause.

    1. The new scare report issued by the Obama administration refers (reference list) to the work of Stephen H. Schneider six times. You will recall that Schneider is infamous for telling Discover magazine (October, 1989, p. 45-48) that “we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have…each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”

    2. There has been no sea level rise for the past three years.

    3. Hurricane, typhoon, and tropical cyclone activity is at a 30-year low.

    4. The satellite data (UAH MSU) currently show that mean global temperature is about the same as it was in June of 1979…no, if anything, it is LOWER.

    5. Mean global sea ice is at the 20-year mean level, and the same as it was in 1979 when monitoring began.

    6. Global “warming” is based almost entirely on the record from meteorological stations. Anthony Watt’s survey of 1221 weather stations is now 70 percent complete, and shows that an astonishing 69 percent of these stations are likely to have serious errors, due to their being located near heat sources such as asphalt paving, air conditioning vents, etc.

    After following this subject now since the mid 1980s, I become more skeptical every year. I am now beginning to conclude that global warming simply does not exist.

  6. It is you who is about as wrong about Climate Change as Chamberlain was about Hitler’s benign intentions because it was Chamberlain’s utter intransigence towards the Green Wing “Blood and Soil”, nature-worship, ecologically motivated Malthusian genocidal intentions that drove the Nazi ideolgy as suggested by the many academics such as Peter Staudenmaier and Anna Bramwell:
    “The National Socialist “religion of nature,” as one historian has described it, was a volatile admixture of primeval teutonic nature mysticism, pseudo-scientific ecology, irrationalist anti-humanism, and a mythology of racial salvation through a return to the land.”
    I suggest to you, in your ignorance, that the fascistic overtones of your open letter you intend to legally enforce a particular type of behaviour on individuals that supports your ideolgy in pursuit of your defined eutopia as an example of eco-fascism at work.
    Was your association between the onset of WW2 also analagous to the fight you are about to get in the courts when you try to substantiate claims of “damage to future generations” perhaps?
    You may bes riding high on a wave of popular support funding now, but If I were you, I would worry that scientific data may undermine your business model in the not too distant future, and I’d be less hasty to anatagonise those that you intend to legally subjugate because the GCM’s you proudly deploy as evidence will inevitably (by definition) turn out to be just that.
    Lastly, are you totally convinced Obama is on your side – Waxman-Markey as COP15 marketing leverage for interests in Afghanistan?

  7. I was disappointed by the dearth of facts are in the open letter.

    If we are to debate, which you say is appropriate, would not facts be a good place to start?

    By the way, the prognostications of computer models are not facts.

    Here are few things that are:

    1. Global sea ice extent is above the 1979-2000 mean as anyone can see by visiting Cryosphere Today (a site run by people who believe fervently in manmade global warming, by the way). Antarctic sea ice extent has increased at about the same rate that Arctic sea ice has declined. That was most dramatically the case in 2007, the year in which maximum Arctic melting and maximum Antarctic sea ice extent were both attained within about six weeks of each other. Although carbon dioxide is known to be a well-mixed gas, it appears not to pack much of a punch in Antarctica. Here are the data: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

    2. The Arctic has melted enough to create significant waves leaving erosion on the north coast of Greenland, most recently during the Medieval Warm Period.

    3. Speaking of the Medieval Warm Period, Vikings colonized Greenland for a period of 350 years during same. Had alarmists been around at the time, they would have videotaped the melting ice that made colonization possible, distributed it to news outlets around the world, and scared the pants off people (like today) who didn’t know that such cyclical warming has gone on during all of human history.

    4. The Eemian interglacial before our own Holocene interglacial saw temperatures far higher than today and sea levels 4 to 6 meters than today. Again, it is a shame that the melting that led to the higher sea levels could not have been captured in high-resolution videography in order to sway the credulous.

    5. Ice shelves in Antarctica have melted cyclically, most recently during the Holocene Optimum 7,000 years ago. The great bulk of the melt of the shelves (as opposed to annually melting and reforming sea ice) has been taking place during the past couple of decades is from below (meaning relatively warm ocean currents) rather than above.

    6. Henrik Svensmark’s theory that galactic cosmic rays provide cloud condensation nuclei is about to get a real-world test. The current deep solar minimum continues to increase cosmic rays to the highest levels ever recorded, as can be seen here: http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/webform/query.cgi?startdate=1964/05/17&starttime=00:00&enddate=2009/06/17&endtime=19:16&resolution=Automatic%20choice&picture=on
    (most will need to copy and paste the full url, either that or Google Oulu Neutron Monitor)

    7. The principal reason for temperatures being at all elevated in 2009 is lingering heat in the system from the string of El Niños beginning in 1982, most spectacularly the Super El Niño of 1997. However, no global warming (averaging the four major temperature providers — Hadcrut, GISS, RSS, and UAH) has taken place since 1998. The ocean is a huge heat sink, but temperatures have nonetheless started to decline in the past five years, as can be seen here: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/

    8. The bitter winter in Canada and the northern tier of the United States is just a continuation of the unusually cold and snowy winter that occurred during June, July, and August of 2008 in Australia and New Zealand. Ski resorts have opened early again this year in the Southern Hemisphere. Just weather? Then why do warmists give themselves permission to set up video cameras at the scene of every flood, drought, and tropical cyclone that causes misery?

    9. As for your moral high ground, you and many others in the privileged Western elite ignore the fact that getting electricity to the 1.5 billion to 2 billion people living in the cold and dark today is a human-rights issue of the highest order. Coercing the corrupt governments of weak nations to trade carbon credits to the West, so that we can continue with our fine lifestyle (Al Gore’s 20 x American average electric bill comes to mind) does not strike me as a Higher Morality. There are faith groups whose sole purpose is to oppose this kind of paternalistic — and finally colonial — nonsense.

    10. We are always one volcanic eruption away from sudden, problematic cooling. That is among the reasons that NASA has spent so much money researching vulcanism during past solar minima (the other reason being to obfuscate the fact that the Sun largely drives Earth’s climate). Warmth has historically been good for Earth’s people. One reason that we are all here arguing about this today is that we live at what most consider to be the tail end of an interglacial. The Dark Ages were to a great degree begun by a single volcanic eruption in 535: Krakatoa.

    11. Farmers in Canada and the Northern Plains of the USA are struggling due to the June frosts this year. Ice wine has been produced in Brazil for the first time this year.

    12. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the state of Maine — -50 degrees Fahrenheit — was measured this year. Ask your friends in New England what winter has been like for the past two years.

    13. The changeover of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation to its negative phase two years ago has ushered in a new climate regime. When the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation switches to its cool negative phase as well (anticipated in 2015, but it has flirted with negative values already this year), people will LAUGH about the time when so many feared global warming.

    14. The game is changing, and that is the reason for the rise of alarmist claims. London’s first snow during the month of October since 1922 took place last fall. England had its snowiest winter in at least ten years. They skated on the Dutch canals this year for the first time in 12 years.

    I could go on. The truth is that those of us who have been converted away from the cult of fear that is AGW need only wait. Ice-free Arctic by 2013?

    Guess again.

  8. I am not denying climate change (and I am not making that statement as a precursor to some diatribe on alleged scare tactics), but even if climate change is not anthropogenic, should we not take action to minimize our use of fossil fuels regardless? Fossil fuels will run out, sooner or later. Or we will simply end up giving our money to unsavory regimes elsewhere. Why not kick the habit before it kicks us?

  9. It is a fact that the world has been both warmer and cooler in the past thousand years and indeed throughout history than it is now. It is also a fact that the climate is always changing with or without mans help. It is also a fact that CO2 has been at both higher levels and lower levels than it is currently. If the world is getting warmer than that is not necessarily a bad thing in fact I would submit it would be a net positive for mankind and the enviroment.

    Please consider the possibility that Al Gore is lying to you, I know that it is hard to believe that a politician, who is highly invested in green industries would ever lie (afterall he did invent the internet).

  10. Mr. Farber,

    If the paper you listed as evidence is the best that you can do, then your case is very weak. Climate Computer Models can only model a fraction of the known variables (not to mention the myriad of unknown variables) and therefore rely on an abundance of assumptions. These assumptions are corrupted from the beginning by the their conscience or sub-conscience manipulation. Until the time comes when models can include these variables, climate models are evidence of nothing. Relying on such poor scientific evidence as Climate models for your evidence of AGW is good indication that there is very little (if any) real evidence that C02 has any real influence over temperature.

    The only real risk is the complete destruction of our economy by spending ourselves into poverty in order to stop a problem that either cant be stopped or isn’t a problem at all.

    Many people are going to die for nothing because the money for food and medicine was spent on the non-existent problem of AGW.

  11. Not a lot of support for your letter, pretty much nil, but I do admire you for not censoring the opposing views.

  12. It’s a water planet. We got lots of global coolant. Put more heat into it and you get more clouds and more weather and more cooling action.

    It’s an automatic system. It works great and there are no control buttons for us to push.

  13. Dear Group of Legal Scholars,

    Do they teach you how to read a thermometer in law school?
    The planet has been cooling for almost a decade now.

    Any of you legal scholars know how to use the internet to find the actural temperature record that shows the planet has been cooling for almost a decade?

    No use debating with know it all “groups of legal scholars” I guess…they are too smart to come in out of the cold.

  14. Why can’t people be skeptical without being labeled “denialists” ? Good science is all about skepticism, and open discourse. The Mann graphs and model results are the primary underpinnings of this whole climate change movement. In and of themselves, they are compelling evidence. But they are nothing more than results of models that contain a LOT of assumptions, constraints, and proxies. Until the methods used in the construction of these models are open to validation and thorough peer review, the science will not move forward one step, in my opinion. But Mann and Schmidt won’t disclose them. That’s anything but open discourse. What do they have to hide? This makes me more than just skeptical. It makes me cynical.

  15. Nobody denies that climate changes – it changes continuously, like coming out of the Little Ice Age for the last few hundred years. If you look at the warming trends from 1900-1940 (back when our CO2 emissions were modest), it was as steep as the warming trend from the late 80s until now (when CO2 emissions are many times greater). Separating our “signal” from the background warming signal isn’t trivial, and blaming *all* of it on mankind fraudulent.

    Few deny that man has some impact on climate, either. What’s denied is that mankind is *driving* the climate system, a claim which is just ludicrous. CO2 comprises 4/10 of 1/10 of 1% of the atmosphere by volume, and accounts for about 3.5% of the “greenhouse effect”. Man is responsible for about 3.5% of the CO2 emmisions each year, so our contribution is rather tiny. The ONLY way that can be a problem is if our climate system is driven by strong positive feedbacks, but the fact that the earth’s climate has never driven more than several percent off of its mean temperature in geologic time excludes that assumption.

    As for the three choices offered above: that’s a false dilemma fallacy, because it sets those choices up as a sort of roulette wheel, without odds. I consider the odds of #2 or #3 being correct to be tiny, and no, I’m not willing to spend $45 trillion on such tiny odds… the opportunity costs for that sort of money is gargantuan.

    That same specious argument could be applied to anything “scary”. Like… “huge asteroid striking earth, ending life as we know it”. We know that it will happen, sooner or later, but the odds of it doing so within our lifetimes (or even the forseeable future) are tiny. If it does, it could mean 90% of the species on earth go extinct. So… should we spend $45 trillion in the next 40 years building the tech it would require to protect ourselves from that (rather unlikely) scenario? Most people would say “no”. And they don’t have to be “asteroid denialists” to come to that conclusion.

  16. Assuming there is only 3 choices to the “gamble” is a sign of serious lack of knowledge and imagination. The outcomes are multiple and their combination infinite :

    – The scientists are right: climate change is real, is caused by humans, but can’t be restrained by any practical policy.
    – The scientists are right: climate change is real, is caused by humans, but the cost/benefits of policies sucks
    – The scientists are wrong: climate change IS real but ISN’T caused by humans, and then can’t be restrained by any practical policy.
    – The scientists are right (some 10 thousands who signed the Oregon petition): Gore’s followers are suckers and the Chinese are laughing on the way to the bank
    etc, etc…

    As a legal guy, if you should defend the AGW theory before a court, you’d better get well prepared: each time there is a public debate ( 3 sofar AFAIK), AGWers bite the dust.

  17. Why is it that liberals always resort to Hitler when they are loosing a debate? Science is does not use polls to reach conclusions. In fact, as the deductive method of reasoning used in science can only falsify, conclusions are few and far between. As the tests to prove the hypothesis of AGW are inconclusive at best and downright failures at worst, the hypothesis has not been validated. Despite billions of dollars spent to validate the hypothesis, the evidence makes falsification more likely.
    So let’s give you the benefit of the doubt and say that it is a 50/50 chance that AGW exists. The problem now becomes a cost-benefit analysis. What cost are we willing to undertake to derive a given level of benefit. The current proposal on the table is a cap-and-trade system that has high costs but produces little benefit. The high cost is in the rebuilding of a nation-wide, privately held energy and transportation system and the taxes imposed to kill-off undesired production. The benefit seems to be a miniscule reduction in CO2 production. Given secondary effects of higher production costs, higher unemployment and exporting of jobs overseas to lower cost production centers, the costs go even higher.

    So take these costs and discount them back the the 50/50 odds. Does it really seem a good bet. If you want to argue for lower CO2 production, it seems to me that it would be better to start the argument with energy independence. Given the recent run-up in oil prices, that is at least a populist stance that has some economic reasoning behind it. Forget wind as a viable source. Without a means of storing generated power, wind will never scale. Solar has some possibilities, though it suffers from some of the same issues. Nuclear is viable now and with some of the new reactor designs, the waste is minimal. Better yet, eliminate the restrictions on waste recycling and reduce the costs further. France is not bound by the recycling prohibitions put in place by Ford and Carter and has so little residual waste that it is stored in Hague.

    It seems to me that the course that has been proposed is a death knell for our economy. It is always better to provide incentives than taxes, but secondary effects are little understood by the command-and-control power grabbers.

  18. This has been a very useful and productive discussion. The definitive issue before us is the pending cap & trade legislation.

    If the Obama Administration and Congress could be persuaded to give priority to other pressing issues then cap & trade could be postponed until 2010 and possibly become an election issue.

    In light of the comments above it seems reasonable for our elected officials to invest a little more time investigating and re-evaluating this issue before finalizing the proposed cap & trade legislation.

  19. I welcome your openess to the ‘deniers’ of this contrived issue….we live in a scientifically impaired society and are being munipulated by political and economic forces with help from a duplicitous news media….notice that there is next to nothing in the way of balanced debate in print or broadcast media….the internet and talk radio are the only venues that are presenting the broad range of possible enviromental factors at work on the Earth’s climate….my position is that Earth’s climate is but the final trailing indicator of galactic energy transfers which have created enormous ranges of atmospheric and climate conditions….consider ‘Snowball Earth’ where for over 10 million years there was just a thin belt of non-ice covered surface and when those eras ended (happened at least four times) the CO2 rates soared to 350 times the present level….and yet life existed thru those times….if you are open minded enough to have read this far on this blog please visit ‘ClimateRealist’ and read the articles i have posted there….in particular ‘Strange Tale of Green House Gas Gang’ on the origins of AGW….’Humanitys Last Chance for a Fairy Green Future’ about the media munipulation of this issue….and ‘Motive Force for all Climate Change’ which explains the geo-nuclear energy that is the so far unrecognized factor in our climate….this is a teachable moment for mankind….and we all have much to learn….

  20. Mr. Farber is using a variation on “Pascal’s Wager”, which (roughly) said that one should accept Christianity because if it’s the true religion, you’ll be rewarded in heaven if you believe, punished in hell if you don’t; and if it’s not true and there’s no afterlife you won’t know the difference. I’m a Christian, but I’ve never thought that a good argument! For you could make the same pitch for Islam or any other religion.
    So, like catastrophic global warming: one could imagine other possible future disasters on which we could spend trillions of dollars. For example: it’s possible (though unlikely any time soon) that the earth will be hit by an asteroid like the one which wiped out the dinosaurs. Does that mean we should prepare an expedition to go into space and explode H-bombs to divert such an asteroid– like in the Bruce Willis movie? By his reasoning, we should do that!

  21. Dan

    “are you willing to bet the lives and welfare of your descendants”

    Do you really believe that is the consequence? Was that in the SPM or the Stern report? Wow what hubris – you mean your concerted action and SSRn paper is about saving all of our lives. You hero you. Will you now be using the justification of saving all those lives for killing SUV drivers?

    Experts and science are fallible ever more so when the “facts” are based on computer models. Models that cannot hindcast with any degree of precision nor it seems predict the degree of temperature change due to natural fluctuations let alone with anthropogenic climate change.

    Sadly, you make such a leap in your paper from:

    “Nevertheless, gaps in the data remain.
    We still need better data about such matters as ocean surface heat content and evaporation. We still lack hydrological data needed to initialize and validate models.”

    It’s not gaps in the data – it’s gaps in the model – it’s about understanding not measurement. This means the models are wrong, period. GIGO applies. If the models don’t have the current solar minimum, nor an accurate assessment of Enso, AMDO, PDO etc, recognition of black carbon, indecision about whether clouds are a positive or negative feedback, issues about Rel Humidity, etc. plus some of the whackier elements like GCR and clouds, then how can they hope to be accurate? We’re not quibbling about decimal places here.

    What about reasonable doubt?
    The IPPC is the prosecution lawyer that has found CO2 guilty without ever having had a defence lawyer present.

    PS I can just hear it at Gitmo:
    “are you willing to bet the lives and welfare of your descendants
    that there’s zero probability that these guys aren’t terrorists”
    Powerful rhetoric isn’t it. Just light on facts.

  22. The fact you use “denialist” in the title says everything I need to know the author. Next follow a naive statement of science. I suppose you think “denialists” think the scientists from 40 years ago that predicted we’d have cures for almost every disease including cancer, diabetes, etc. were idiots? Of course they weren’t. Neither are climate scientists. Just like medical researchers of the late 20th century they just don’t understand the complexity of the situation. They also have careers vested in a particular viewpoint. Those who believe them are just plain naive.

    When all this plays out the climate scientists will be mostly right. It’s the little bit wrong that will bite them in the behind. Remember what I’m about to tell you. One of these days you will hear “if we’d only know about …, we would have got it all right”.

  23. The arogance of this piece on AGW skepticism is astounding but should be expected from Daniel Farber, a high profile Law Professor @ UC Berkley. I wonder if Professor Farber has ever debated with anyone of the well informed ‘denialist’ as all of the posters here apear to be.
    My bet is the good Prof. has been cocooned within the group think of the elite university system for so long that his brain is the size of a pea. Come Professor, get out of the office go and debate one of the top denialist. I imagine you are very much an Al Gore coward and will refuse to debate!

  24. “…virtually unanimous consensus from the world’s leading scientists…”

    This is where the global warmists go off the rails. 1) “Consensus” is a political construct and means as much here as the famous consensus that the sun revolved around the earth. It is circumstantially telling that from the beginning, Gore et al. have proclaimed the science as ‘settled’ and have always refused to engage, debate or otherwise address contradicting evidence or alternate explanations. Their intellectual dishonesty coupled with a sycophantic media is truly impressive.

    2) Even the idea of broad agreement (“virtually unanimous”?!) among scientists is easily refuted. Even absent Colemans “31,000,” the numbers of scientists who openly question AGW numbers in the thousands and you can add those scientists who have been cowed into silence owing to their desires for grants, employment or tenure.

    Global Warming will go down in history as a hoax making Bernie Madoff look like an April Fool’s prankster. It would be funny except for the extreme levels of control over businesses and individuals being proposed by power-hungry politicians and the U.N.

  25. Pick a point in the sky 7500 feet up. That where the top of the ice sheet was, over my house in Cleveland, Ohio 15,000 years ago.
    Amazingly, about 12,000 years ago that ice sheet melted.

    I know prominent archeologists who have studied this region for many years. To this day they have not found evidence of any coal-fired power plants, SUV dealerships, or gas stations that existed 12,000 years ago.

    Could it be that changes in climate are cyclical?

    Just remember, mother nature can hiccup and take out 500,000 people. Anyone who feels mankind can affect our climate is arrogant beyond belief.

  26. Yesterday, I attended a luncheon and heard an environmental attorney give a presentation on the Obama Administration’s environmental policies. This attorney discussed legal details of cap & trade but catagorically refused to address climate science issues.

    Lawyers who advocate global warming once believed they could safely rely on “scientific consensus” but now they realize that their expert witnesses have a credibility problem.

    The so-called “deniers” are winning this debate and global warming practitioners may have to find another line of work.

  27. If could just convince you AGW folks that computer models do not in any way constitute evidence and the percentages quoted by scientists relating to model predictions are how confident THEY are that they are correct and NOT how likely the outcome predicted is.

    Please can someone point me at some actual evidenc that any warming or climate change we are seeing is demonstrably man made. I really mean it and not more models.

  28. We won’t agree on the science or your analysis of risk but could you as a lawyer explain to me, and many others, why the AGW scientists are so secretive. Countless Freedom of Information requests have been deployed in an attemp to extract the underlying data and computer code: all rebuffed by the AGW establishment. We are being asked to accept this mighty upheaval to our economy on trust! Surely that must make you, as a lawyer, uneasy. No?

  29. A major problem I have is the sentence, “the scientists are wrong…” which scientists? The author is going from the position that the AGW alarmists include all credible scientists. This may be accepted by the MSM, but it is nonsense to believe this. Over 30,000 scientist have signed on that they don’t believe in AGW.

    Plus this is the old straw man argument. Three things can happen and two of them are bad. Do you really want to risk it?

    Perhaps a fourth answer the threat is unlikely but we should keep an eye on it is appropriate.

  30. The forth possibility. We cut CO2 emissions in half and the poverty, starvation, disease, and war results in a billion deaths and the climate continues to be controlled by solar variability.

    Since you brought up Hitler:

    World War 2: 61 million deaths
    http://www.secondworldwar.co.uk/casualty.html
    World War 1: 37 million deaths
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I_casualties

    Since Ruckelshaus arbitrarily and capriciously banned DDT
    Malaria: 100 million deaths.
    http://junkscience.com/malaria_clock.html

    All of these disasters were inflicted by humans on other humans. The environmentalists have killed more people than either world war. About 80,000,000 malaria deaths could have been prevented with DDT.

    The biggest mass killer in the last century was Rachel Carson. Most of her victims were children.
    http://newsbusters.org/node/13341

    All you need to do be a mass killer is to list all the horrible things that can result from something and absolutely disregard the benefits. Here is another thing we must stop before it kills thousands more in the next couple months. http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html

    The earth warmed from 1980 to 2001. Quick throw a virgin into the volcano! Damn you skeptics, the high priests have spoken.

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About Dan

Dan Farber

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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