255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences including 11 Nobel Laureates have signed an open letter in opposition to the attacks on science and scientists from global warming deniers:

We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular. All citizens should understand some basic scientific facts. There is always some uncertainty associated with scientific conclusions; science never absolutely proves anything. When someone says that society should wait until scientists are absolutely certain before taking any action, it is the same as saying society should never take action. For a problem as potentially catastrophic as climate change, taking no action poses a dangerous risk for our planet.

Scientific conclusions derive from an understanding of basic laws supported by laboratory experiments, observations of nature, and mathematical and computer modelling. Like all human beings, scientists make mistakes, but the scientific process is designed to find and correct them. This process is inherently adversarial– scientists build reputations and gain recognition not only for supporting conventional wisdom, but even more so for demonstrating that the scientific consensus is wrong and that there is a better explanation. That’s what Galileo, Pasteur, Darwin, and Einstein did. But when some conclusions have been thoroughly and deeply tested, questioned, and examined, they gain the status of “well-established theories” and are often spoken of as “facts.”

For instance, there is compelling scientific evidence that our planet is about 4.5bn years old (the theory of the origin of Earth), that our universe was born from a single event about 14bn years ago (the Big Bang theory), and that today’s organisms evolved from ones living in the past (the theory of evolution). Even as these are overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, fame still awaits anyone who could show these theories to be wrong. Climate change now falls into this category: there is compelling, comprehensive, and consistent objective evidence that humans are changing the climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystems on which we depend.

Many recent assaults on climate science and, more disturbingly, on climate scientists by climate change deniers, are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other scientific assessments of climate change, which involve thousands of scientists producing massive and comprehensive reports, have, quite expectedly and normally, made some mistakes. When errors are pointed out, they are corrected.

But there is nothing remotely identified in the recent events that changes the fundamental conclusions about climate change:


(i) The planet is warming due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. A snowy winter in Washington does not alter this fact.

(ii) Most of the increase in the concentration of these gases over the last century is due to human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

(iii) Natural causes always play a role in changing Earth’s climate, but are now being overwhelmed by human-induced changes.

(iv) Warming the planet will cause many other climatic patterns to change at speeds unprecedented in modern times, including increasing rates of sea-level rise and alterations in the hydrologic cycle. Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide are making the oceans more acidic.

(v) The combination of these complex climate changes threatens coastal communities and cities, our food and water supplies, marine and freshwater ecosystems, forests, high mountain environments, and far more.

Much more can be, and has been, said by the world’s scientific societies, national academies, and individuals, but these conclusions should be enough to indicate why scientists are concerned about what future generations will face from business- as-usual practices. We urge our policymakers and the public to move forward immediately to address the causes of climate change, including the unrestrained burning of fossil fuels.

We also call for an end to McCarthy- like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association, the harassment of scientists by politicians seeking distractions to avoid taking action, and the outright lies being spread about them. Society has two choices: we can ignore the science and hide our heads in the sand and hope we are lucky, or we can act in the public interest to reduce the threat of global climate change quickly and substantively. The good news is that smart and effective actions are possible. But delay must not be an option.

Peter H. Gleick, one of the signers adds:

It is hard to get 255 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences to agree on pretty much anything, making the import of this letter even more substantial. Moreover, only a small fraction of National Academy members were asked to sign (the signatories are all members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences but were not speaking on its behalf). Because of a desire to produce a statement quickly, the coordinators of the letter focused on those sections of the NAS most familiar with climate science and the ongoing debate. But the NAS (and Academies of Sciences and other professional scientific societies from dozens of other nations) has previously published a long set of assessments and reviews of the science of climate change, which support the conclusions laid out in the Science essay.

Comments

  1. #1 jakerman
    May 11, 2010

    Dave Andrews, how about an apology and a [correction for the record](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/255_members_of_the_natianal_ac.php#comment-2501238)?

    Or are you one who doesn’t believe is setting the record straight?

  2. #2 ben
    May 11, 2010

    Notice how you keep changing the goal posts ben? What is with that?

    Dude, what the heck are you talking about? Did I disagree with that paragraph somewhere? I just docked them for style points, not for content. Sheesh!!!!!

  3. #3 luminous beauty
    May 11, 2010

    >I just docked them for style points, not for content. Sheesh!!!!!

    Dude, your backpedaling is risible in its clumsiness. Negative style points for you!!!!!

    So your complaint is about diction? What word choice would you, as a renowned literary critic, recommend? (rhetorical question)

  4. #4 Dave Andrews
    May 11, 2010

    J Murphy,

    FYI, I have box file after box file of papers and information about DU and Lucas is wrong.

  5. #5 D
    May 11, 2010

    jakerman,

    If you are that concerned about it please define what ‘significant contribution’ meant and how it was ensured that all 255 signatories interpreted it in the same way.

  6. #6 Ian Forrester
    May 11, 2010

    Dave (the Idiot) Andrews said:

    I have box file after box file of papers and information about DU

    You have to read the papers, not just pile them up in your basement. Wow, how much more of an idiot are you going to be?

    I bet you couldn’t find your way into one of those boxes, and if you ever did it is even more unlikely that you would ever find your way out again. Such idiocy, and you were educated in the UK?

  7. #7 JMurphy
    May 12, 2010

    Dave Andrews wrote : “FYI, I have box file after box file of papers and information about DU and Lucas is wrong.

    More details, please. What is she wrong about and what studies do you base that on ?

  8. #8 ben
    May 12, 2010

    Dude, your backpedaling is risible in its clumsiness. Negative style points for you!!!!!

    Dude, you apparently do not know the meaning of backpedaling!!!! On what points do you think I”m backpedaling? Risible indeed.

  9. #9 Dave Andrews
    May 12, 2010

    Ian Forrester,

    You are a twat!

    J Murphy,

    You tell me what she is ‘right about’ and then I’ll produce the list of papers and studies to show you she is wrong.

  10. #10 jakerman
    May 12, 2010

    Dave Andrews writes:

    >*You are a twat!*

    Still a pot looking for his kettle.

    I [notice that you opt](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/255_members_of_the_natianal_ac.php#comment-2504853) to stick to you deceit in preference to correcting the record.

    How many times have I [caught you using similar dishonesty](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/04/leakegate_leake_based_story_re.php#comment-2468698) Dave? then add in the multiple times that others have caught you.

  11. #11 Dave Andrews
    May 13, 2010

    jakerman,

    You keep, sort of, linking your own previous comments but no-one can understand why.

  12. #12 jakerman
    May 13, 2010

    Dave Andrews writes:

    >*You keep, sort of, linking your own previous comments but no-one can understand why.*

    How many people do you think you speak for Dave?

    In case anyone really does wonder about the relevance of the example I link to I will clarify:

    Dave Andrews MO is to [smear and misrepresent](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/04/leakegate_leake_based_story_re.php#comment-2468698). As evident in many threads.

    Dave Andrews also has disregard for adherence to the truth seeking practices exemplified by his [continuing failure](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/255_members_of_the_natianal_ac.php#comment-2504853) to as correct the record and continuing trail of making things up.

    Dave I’m happy to give more details if you continue with your MO.

  13. #13 Dave Andrews
    May 14, 2010

    jakerman,

    Give as many supposed details as pleases you only, for heaven’s sake, try to make them make some kind of sense.

  14. #14 jakerman
    May 14, 2010

    Dave Andrews has another [MO of becoming obtuse](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/bad_news_sea_level_rise_may_be.php#comment-2439340) when hes is caught out in one of his untruths.

    Dave you want details I’ll trickle feed some examples for you:

    Dave Andrews is simply dishonest: article one, an example of Dave Andrews’ strawman tactic. Dave misrepresent my argument by making one up for me, he then continues to [persist pushing his dishonest argument](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/04/leakegate_leake_based_story_re.php#comment-2467971) despite [repeated correction](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/bad_news_sea_level_rise_may_be.php#comment-2407141).

    This is relevant to his recent dishonest misrepresentation f the [survey of position of climate change](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/01/97_of_active_climatologists_ag.php). [Here the survey was used] to provide evidence of overwhelming acceptance by the scientific community of significant human contribution to climate change.

    Dave is a very weasel like manner dishonestly tried to portray some phony perception of criticism of the result by by arguing that the survey also ask tow opening questions that were broad and which Dave Andrews claims were uncontested issue. (Not sure who Dave knew they were uncontested) but neither is this any argument against the result to questions cited in support of overwhelming support in the scientific community.

    Dave tactic appears to be to try to make some noise of hand wave to distract from his errors and illogical argument.

    >Dave Andrews, You have purposefully and selectively misrepresented the survey by ignoring the question relevant to my post

    >*Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?*

    Dave’s current obtuseness appears to be a similar tactic. Rather than correct the record by Dave prefers to act dumb. Dave Andrews consistent behavior sums up as a pattern of dishonesty. Interest given that Dave Andrews is seeking to argue that climate scientist are dishonest.

    Dave,

    >Do you get tired of being so consistently dishonest? And do you see how your reliance on dishonest tactics reflects on your denialist argument?

  15. #15 Dave Andrews
    May 15, 2010

    jakerman,

    The second question talked about ‘significant contribution’. This was not defined in any way. Each one of the 255 signatories could have interpreted that phrase in a different way and, perhaps more importantly, have very different ideas about the significance of that ‘significance’.

    Perhaps if the questionnaire had ranked things in terms of percentages of significance it might carry more weight.

  16. #16 Dave Andrews
    May 15, 2010

    MFS,

    “I don’t know where you’re going with your following post, what you said is on the record.”

    For your delectation follow the link below and see Lucas moaning about the fact that the British electorate, despite having voted for and possibly achieved a very different kind of politics, has not produced the result that she would like.

    Her arrogance is astounding. As if the election of a single Green MP, or even if PR had been available a possible 4 or 5 MPs, amounts to a hill of beans.(Incidentally, of course, her remark that if PR had been available more people would have voted Green also applies in far greater numbers to those who would have voted Lib-Dem)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/15/caroline-lucas-green-party-new-politics

  17. #17 Dave Andrews
    May 15, 2010

    MFS,

    Here’s another pointer to the arrogance of Lucas. The Greens total vote was 285,616. This was roughly half the votes that the fascist BNP achieved and a third of the votes secured by the somewhat barmy UKIP.

    The Lib-Dems got 6.6m votes, Labour 8.6m and Tories 10.8m.

    The Greens % share of the vote was 0.96.

    Yet she is still turned to by lazy media types, especially in the BBC, and accorded a weight far beyond the status the results should give her. She also seems to lack any understanding of the true reality of her situation.

  18. #18 jakerman
    May 15, 2010

    Dave Andrews employs move hand waving in hope of distracting from his dishonest misrepresentation.

    His latest attempt at distraction included implying that scientist are incapable of interpreting what ‘significant’ means to them complaining that it is not defined.

    Here is the questions Dave want to pretend is illegitimate:

    >Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

    Significance requires a threshold, and that threshold was surpassed on this question for >85% of actively publishing scientist. And actively publishing scientist are quite capable of setting there own appropriate thresholds.

    But I remind readers that Dave Andrews latest attempt is a distraction from his [previous dishonesty](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/255_members_of_the_natianal_ac.php#comment-2514476). That is Dave’s MO.: Dishonesty and then hand-waving to transition to the next bogosity.

  19. #19 Dave Andrews
    May 16, 2010

    jakerman,

    Of the 3146 respondents to the questionnaire 79 (2.5%) listed climate change as their area of expertise and had published recently on the topic. The authors say that overall ‘approximately 5% of respondents were climate scientists’ (Presumably half of them hadn’t published much on climate change recently).

    This still leaves 95 – 97.5% of respondents having to make a value decision about what ‘significant’ means. the report shows that when faced with this decision there were considerable levels of disagreement amongst those who were not climate scientists.

  20. #20 Dave Andrews
    May 16, 2010

    jakerman,

    BTW, I was perfectly ready to come here and say ‘mea culpa’ for conflating the survey results with the Science letter in my post 115.

    But apparently you take no notice of what people actually post.

  21. #21 jakerman
    May 16, 2010

    >*But apparently you take no notice of what people actually post.*

    Apparently DA thinks I should be taking more time to engage with this his distractions. Sorry Dave a distraction is a distraction:

    >Dave Andrews latest attempt is a distraction from his previous dishonesty. That is Dave’s MO.: Dishonesty and then hand-waving to transition to the next bogosity.

  22. #22 jakerman
    May 16, 2010

    Dave even with Dave’s feeble attempt to distract from the findings of the survey, he inadvertantly reinforces the finding.

    [Here are](
    http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf) the respondents:

    >Of our survey participants, […] More than 90% of participants had Ph.D.s, and 7% had master’s degrees. With survey participants asked to select a single category, the most common areas of expertise reported were geochemistry (15.5%), geophysics (12%), and oceanography (10.5%). General geology, hydrology/hydrogeology, and paleontology each accounted for 5–7% of the total respondents.

    >Approximately 5% of the respondents were climate scientists, and 8.5% of the respondents indicated that more than 50% of their peer-reviewed publications in the past 5 years have been on the subject of climate change. While respondents’ names are kept private, the authors noted that the survey included participants with well-documented dissenting opinions on global warming theory.

    Dave Andrews tries to complain of the low number of climate scienctist in the group, but the sampled groups is

    >all geosciences faculty at reporting academic institutions, along with researchers at state geologic surveys associated with local universities, and researchers at U.S. federal research facilities (e.g., U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, and NOAA (U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) facilities; U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories; and so forth).

    And what did the survey find? It found **the more qualified you were to understand the intricacy of the science (and assess significance) the more likely that respondents were humans as a significant contribution.**

    Thanks Dave.

    But I remind you this was an attempt at distraction, as is Dave’s MO.

  23. #23 MFS
    May 16, 2010

    Dave,

    I do really care very little about a Green politician in the other side of the world. Thank you for sharing the links though.

    Mi problem was with your ad hominem attacks on her (I would have had the same problem had your target been anyone else) to try and distract from the topic of discussion here (255 members of the NAS signing the open letter)

  24. #24 Dave Andrews
    May 17, 2010

    jakerman,

    “the more likely that respondents were humans as a significant contribution.”

    Thank god (possibly) for that , the respondents were humans:-)

  25. #25 jakerman
    May 17, 2010

    Thanks again Dave, alway happy to better communicate the point that you were so hoping to dismiss:

    And what did the survey find? It found **the more qualified you were to understand the intricacy of the science (and assess significance) the more likely that respondents were to rate human contribution to climate change as a significant.**

  26. #26 Dave Andrews
    May 18, 2010

    jakerman,

    “And what did the survey find? It found the more qualified you were to understand the intricacy of the science (and assess significance) the more likely that respondents were to rate human contribution to climate change as a significant.”

    But that is essentially meaningless as well because it is obvious that it would be the case and doesn’t address the problem of people having to rate the significance in the first place and says nothing about how qualified to understand the intricacies the respondents were.

  27. #27 jakerman
    May 18, 2010

    Wrong again Dave, your comments are what is worthless, the survey is quite meaningful. It clearly shows that the more competent you are with the facts the more likely you are to judge human contribution to climate change as significant.

    Further more, in addition to Dave’s attempt at word games tried on here, he’s just shown the persistence of his dishonesty in [an adjacent thread](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm.php#comment-2525099).

    Poor form Dave Andrews, and a convinced that your dishonest approach has affected your cognitive functioning. Do you want to continue your life with this impairment? Seek help Dave.

  28. #28 Dave Andrews
    May 20, 2010

    jakerman,

    it clearly shows that the more competent you are with the facts the more likely you are to judge human contribution to climate change as significant.,/i.

    Where exactly does it show this?

    BTW,96% of respondents were from the US and Canada and only 4% from the rest of the world. How representative is this?

  29. #29 jakerman
    May 20, 2010

    Dave it shows it in [the data](http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf) that is graphed.

    I’d also like to add this clear finding:

    >It seems that the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely
    nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.

    The demographics are clearly stated:

    >all geosciences faculty at reporting academic institutions, along with researchers at state geologic surveys associated with local universities, and researchers at U.S. federal research facilities (e.g., U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, and NOAA (U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) facilities; U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories; and so forth).

    Dave Andrew’s feeble attempt to try to discredit the result shows more about Dave than anything.

  30. #30 jakerman
    May 20, 2010
  31. #31 Dave Andrews
    May 21, 2010

    jakerman,

    They clearly state that 90% of respondents were from the US and 6% from Canada, leaving only 4% from the rest of the world.

    So how was I “lying”?

  32. #32 jakerman
    May 21, 2010

    Dave, Obtuse a expected. but [the link](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm.php#c2531072) in there for you click. Then follow back through your long lying streak.

    Continuing your run from this:

    >Further more, in addition to Dave’s attempt at word games tried on here, he’s [just shown](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm.php#comment-2525099) the persistence of his dishonesty in an adjacent thread.

    For context read the prior comments from you than each of the linked posts are responding to.

    The same lying streak [continuing from here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/255_members_of_the_natianal_ac.php#comment-2514476). Which will guide you back several layers longer.

    Seek help Dave, your approach is affecting your cognition.

  33. #33 Dave Andrews
    May 22, 2010

    jakerman,
    You keep telling me my cognition is affected over and over again. Are you sure you have not mixed yourself up in this and can’t remember whom you are referring to :-)?

  34. #34 jakerman
    May 22, 2010

    Dave follow [the links](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/255_members_of_the_natianal_ac.php#comment-2534198) to seek who’s mixed up.

    Quite happy being dishonest aren’t you.

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