Climate Change and the Integrity of Science

Science has published a letter with 250 signatories protesting the recent and extreme attacks on scientists, climate scientists in particular. I agree with Michael, this letter should not be behind a paywall. I think the fact that it is, is disturbingly revealing of the disadvantage science has in the PR arenas.

It is very well done, though to be honest I wish they had not pushed the creationist button and had instead used an entirely different example of well established science to make their point. As scientifically non-controvesial as the age of the earth is, we need to reach even those people who prefer the bible's word on that one, they are many. Why not use gravity and orbital mechanics, we all depend on satellite technology?

Full text follows:

Science 7 May 2010:
Vol. 328. no. 5979, pp. 689 - 690
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5979.689


Climate Change and the Integrity of Science

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 modeling. 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 4.5 billion years old (the theory of the origin of Earth), that our universe was born from a single event about 14 billion 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 policy-makers and the public to move forward immediately to address the causes of climate change, including the un restrained 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.

Adams, Robert McCormick, University of California, San Diego

Amasino, Richard M, University of Wisconsin

Anders, Edward, University of Chicago

Anderson, David J, California Institute of Technology

Anderson, Wyatt W, University of Georgia

Anselin, Luc E, Arizona State University

Arroyo, Mary Kalin, University of Chile

Asfaw, Berhane, Rift Valley Research Service

Ayala, Francisco J, University of California, Irvine

Bax, Adriaan, National Institutes of Health

Bebbington, Anthony J, University of Manchester

Bell, Gordon, Microsoft Research

Bennett, Michael V L, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Bennetzen, Jeffrey L, University of Georgia

Berenbaum, May R, University of Illinois

Berlin, Overton Brent, University of Georgia

Bjorkman, Pamela J, California Institute of Technology

Blackburn, Elizabeth, University of California, San Francisco

Blamont, Jacques E, Centre National d' Etudes Spatiales

Botchan, Michael R, University of California, Berkeley

Boyer, John S, University of Delaware

Boyle, Ed A, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Branton, Daniel, Harvard University

Briggs, Steven P, University of California, San Diego

Briggs, Winslow R, Carnegie Institution of Washington

Brill, Winston J, Winston J. Brill and Associates

Britten, Roy J, California Institute of Technology

Broecker, Wallace S, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Columbia University

Brown, James H, University of New Mexico

Brown, Patrick O, Stanford University School of Medicine

Brunger, Axel T, Stanford University

Cairns, Jr John, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Canfield, Donald E, University of Southern Denmark

Carpenter, Stephen R, University of Wisconsin

Carrington, James C, Oregon State University

Cashmore, Anthony R, University of Pennsylvania

Castilla, Juan Carlos, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Cazenave, Anny, Centre National d' Etudes Spatiales

Chapin, III F, Stuart, University of Alaska

Ciechanover, Aaron J, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

Clapham, David E, Harvard Medical School

Clark, William C, Harvard University

Clayton, Robert N, University of Chicago

Coe, Michael D, Yale University

Conwell, Esther M, University of Rochester

Cowling, Ellis B, North Carolina State University

Cowling, Richard M, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Cox, Charles S, University of California, San Diego

Croteau, Rodney B, Washington State University

Crothers, Donald M, Yale University

Crutzen, Paul J, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry

Daily, Gretchen C, Stanford University

Dalrymple, Brent G, Oregon State University

Dangl, Jeffrey L, University of North Carolina

Darst, Seth A, Rockefeller University

Davies, David R, National Institutes of Health

Davis, Margaret B, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

De Camilli, Pietro V, Yale University School of Medicine

Dean, Caroline, John Innes Centre

DeFries, Ruth S, Columbia University

Deisenhofer, Johann, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

Delmer, Deborah P, University of California, Davis

DeLong, Edward F, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

DeRosier, David J, Brandeis University

Diener, Theodor O, University of Maryland

Dirzo, Rodolfo, Stanford University

Dixon, Jack E, Howard Hughes Medical Center

Donoghue, Michael J, Yale University

Doolittle, Russell F, University of California, San Diego

Dunne, Thomas, University of California, Santa Barbara

Ehrlich, Paul R, Stanford University

Eisenstadt, Shmuel N, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Eisner, Thomas, Cornell University

Emanuel, Kerry A, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Englander, Walter S, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Ernst, W, G, Stanford University

Falkowski, Paul G, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey

Feher, George, University of California, San Diego

Ferejohn, John A, Stanford University

Fersht, Sir Alan, University of Cambridge

Fischer, Edmond H, University of Washington

Fischer, Robert, University of California, Berkeley

Flannery, Kent V, University of Michigan

Frank, Joachim, Columbia University

Frey, Perry A, University of Wisconsin

Fridovich, Irwin, Duke University Medical Center

Frieden, Carl, Washington University School of Medicine

Futuyma, Douglas J, Stony Brook University

Gardner, Wilford R, University of California, Berkeley

Garrett, Christopher J R, University of Victoria

Gilbert, Walter, Harvard University

Gleick, Peter H, Pacific Institute, Oakland

Goldberg, Robert B, University of California, Los Angeles

Goodenough, Ward H, University of Pennsylvania

Goodman, Corey S, venBio, LLC

Goodman, Morris, Wayne State University School of Medicine

Greengard, Paul, Rockefeller University

Hake, Sarah, Agricultural Research Service

Hammel, Gene, University of California, Berkeley

Hanson, Susan, Clark University

Harrison, Stephen C, Harvard Medical School

Hart, Stanley R, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Hartl, Daniel L, Harvard University

Haselkorn, Robert, University of Chicago

Hawkes, Kristen, University of Utah

Hayes, John M, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Hille, Bertil, University of Washington

Hökfelt, Tomas, Karolinska Institutet

House, James S, University of Michigan

Hout, Michael, University of California, Berkeley

Hunten, Donald M, University of Arizona

Izquierdo, Ivan A, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul

Jagendorf, André T, Cornell University

Janzen, Daniel H, University of Pennsylvania

Jeanloz, Raymond, University of California, Berkeley

Jencks, Christopher S, Harvard University

Jury, William A, University of California, Riverside

Kaback, H Ronald, University of California, Los Angeles

Kailath, Thomas, Stanford University

Kay, Paul, International Computer Science Institute

Kay, Steve A, University of California, San Diego

Kennedy, Donald, Stanford University

Kerr, Allen, University of Adelaide

Kessler, Ronald C, Harvard Medical School

Khush, Gurdev S, University of California, Davis

Kieffer, Susan W, University of Illinois

Kirch, Patrick V, University of California, Berkeley

Kirk, Kent C, University of Wisconsin

Kivelson, Margaret G, University of California, Los Angeles

Klinman, Judith P, University of California, Berkeley

Klug, Sir Aaron, Medical Research Council

Knopoff, Leon, University of California, Los Angeles

Kornberg, Sir Hans, Boston University

Kutzbach, John E, University of Wisconsin

Lagarias, J Clark, University of California, Davis

Lambeck, Kurt, Australian National University

Landy, Arthur, Brown University

Langmuir, Charles H, Harvard University

Larkins, Brian A, University of Arizona

Le Pichon, Xavier T, College de France

Lenski, Richard E, Michigan State University

Leopold, Estella B, University of Washington

Levin, Simon A, Princeton University

Levitt, Michael, Stanford University School of Medicine

Likens, Gene E, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer, National Institutes of Health

Lorand, Laszlo, Northwestern University

Lovejoy, Owen C, Kent State University

Lynch, Michael, Indiana University

Mabogunje, Akin L, Foundation for Development and Environmental Initiatives

Malone, Thomas F, North Carolina State University

Manabe, Syukuro, Princeton University

Marcus, Joyce, University of Michigan

Massey, Douglas S, Princeton University

McWilliams, Jim C, University of California, Los Angeles

Medina, Ernesto, Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research

Melosh, Jay H, Purdue University

Meltzer, David J, Southern Methodist University

Michener, Charles D, University of Kansas

Miles, Edward L, University of Washington

Mooney, Harold A, Stanford University

Moore, Peter B, Yale University

Morel, Francois M M, Princeton University

Mosley-Thompson, Ellen, Ohio State University

Moss, Bernard, National Institutes of Health

Munk, Walter H, University of California, San Diego

Myers, Norman, University of Oxford

Nair, Balakrish G, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases

Nathans, Jeremy, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Nester, Eugene W, University of Washington

Nicoll, Roger A, University of California, San Francisco

Novick, Richard P, New York University School of Medicine

O'Connell, James F, University of Utah

Olsen, Paul E, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University

Opdyke, Neil D, University of Florida

Oster, George F, University of California, Berkeley

Ostrom, Elinor, Indiana University

Pace, Norman R, University of Colorado

Paine, Robert T, University of Washington

Palmiter, Richard D, University of Washington School of Medicine

Pedlosky, Joseph, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Petsko, Gregory A, Brandeis University

Pettengill, Gordon H, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Philander, George S, Princeton University

Piperno, Dolores R, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Pollard, Thomas D, Yale University

Price Jr. Buford P, University of California, Berkeley

Reichard, Peter A, Karolinska Institutet

Reskin, Barbara F, University of Washington

Ricklefs, Robert E, University of Missouri

Rivest, Ronald L, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Roberts, John D, California Institute of Technology

Romney, Kimball A, University of California, Irvine

Rossmann, Michael G, Purdue University

Russell, David W, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center of Dallas

Rutter, William J, Synergenics, LLC

Sabloff, Jeremy A, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology

Sagdeev, Roald Z, University of Maryland

Sahlins, Marshall D, University of Chicago

Salmond, Anne, University of Auckland

Sanes, Joshua R, Harvard University

Schekman, Randy, University of California, Berkeley

Schellnhuber, John, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Schindler, David W, University of Alberta

Schmitt, Johanna, Brown University

Schneider, Stephen H, Woods Institute for the Environment

Schramm, Vern L, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Sederoff Ronald R, North Carolina State University

Shatz, Carla J, Stanford University

Sherman, Fred, University of Rochester Medical Center

Sidman, Richard L, Harvard Medical School

Sieh, Kerry, Nanyang Technological University

Simons, Elwyn L, Duke University Lemur Center

Singer, Burton H, Princeton University

Singer, Maxine F, Carnegie Institution of Washington

Skyrms, Brian, University of California, Irvine

Sleep, Norman H, Stanford University

Smith, Bruce D, Smithsonian Institution

Snyder, Solomon H, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Sokal, Robert R, Stony Brook University

Spencer, Charles S, American Museum of Natural History

Steitz, Thomas A, Yale University

Strier, Karen B, University of Wisconsin

Südhof, Thomas C, Stanford University School of Medicine

Taylor, Susan S, University of California, San Diego

Terborgh, John, Duke University

Thomas, David Hurst, American Museum of Natural History

Thompson, Lonnie G, Ohio State University

Tjian, Robert T, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Turner, Monica G, University of Wisconsin

Uyeda, Seiya, Tokai University

Valentine, James W, University of California, Berkeley

Valentine, Joan Selverstone, University of California, Los Angeles

Van Etten, James L, University of Nebraska

Van Holde, Kensal E, Oregon State University

Vaughan, Martha, National Institutes of Health

Verba Sidney, Harvard University

Von Hippel, Peter H, University of Oregon

Wake, David B, University of California, Berkeley

Walker, Alan, Pennsylvania State University

Walker John E, Medical Research Council

Watson, Bruce E, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Watson, Patty Jo, Washington University, St. Louis

Weigel, Detlef, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology

Wessler, Susan R, University of Georgia

West-Eberhard, Mary Jane, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

White, Tim D, University of California, Berkeley

Wilson, William Julius, Harvard University

Wolfenden, Richard V, University of North Carolina

Wood, John A, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Woodwell, George M, Woods Hole Research Center

Wright, Jr Herbert E, University of Minnesota

Wu, Carl, National Institutes of Health

Wunsch, Carl, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Zoback, Mary Lou, Risk Management Solutions, Inc


More like this

I don't understand your qualms about the reference to the age of the earth and to evolution, which you call "pushing the creationist button." Those who don't accept that science is competent to investigate and come up with reliable answers on these two subjects are not the intended audience of the letter, and it would be a waste of time pandering to them. to intelligent people who know a little about geology and biology, though, the references make very good sense even if you don't read them as references to the ignorant accusations of the creationists against modern geologists and biologists. An ancient earth and common descent are very well established scientific facts.

That letter is very welcome news, and I have no doubt that further rallies by the scientific community will emerge.

By Tony Sidaway (not verified) on 07 May 2010 #permalink

Those who don't accept that science is competent to investigate and come up with reliable answers on these two subjects are not the intended audience of the letter, and it would be a waste of time pandering to them.

I suppose I don't know exactly who the intended audience is, do you? I assumed it was for the general public.…

What are the credentials of these scientists? how many of them are actually working in the field of climate science? Who's payroll are they on, and how much funding are they losing whilst we argue the premise of AGW?

Also there is the question of the 'recent attacks on climate scientists'..... errr excuse me but by their very mis-behaviour in fixing and adulterating climate data and hockey stick graphs, they have left themselves open to attacks - read criticisms! Cherry picking of data is not the scientific method!

By Just ME in T (not verified) on 07 May 2010 #permalink


You may have come to the wrong blog by mistake. Wattsupwiththat and whatnot are thataway. Here we deal in facts, not fantasy.

By Tony Sidaway (not verified) on 07 May 2010 #permalink

Coby, I probably have a rather different perspective on this than most, and particularly different than most who read and write blogs.

In my view most of the climate stuff is unobserved by and of no great significance to most ordinary people. They'll form an opinion at second hand, usually from a news source.

Politicians are aware of this and they're also aware of what the scientists are saying. They're not stupid and they are quite ready to do what they think is necessary even if it means having to face criticism from their voters and having a tough time at the next election. Most of them really do want to make the world a better place.

Another thing politicians are aware of is that the public trust scientists more than almost anybody else--much more than politicians.

Busy politicians rely on the expertise of scientists. What the scientists say packs a huge clout on The Hill and in Westminster. When as now hundreds of academicians speak with one voice, the politicians get a clear message.

By Tony Sidaway (not verified) on 07 May 2010 #permalink

Bonki Moon has been seen conversing with Real Estate Agents in Reykjavik. It is rumoured that Bonki is looking for a better economic environment in which to settle the United Nations Headquarters, got to get it out of NY - it is too dangerous there!. SATIRE

By Just ME in T (not verified) on 07 May 2010 #permalink

Those who don't accept that science is competent to investigate and come up with reliable answers on these two subjects are not the intended audience of the letter, and it would be a waste of time pandering to them.

I suppose I don't know exactly who the intended audience is, do you? I assumed it was for the general public.

Posted by: coby | May 7, 2010 9:18 PM

In other words, you are wasting your time talking to someone who believes the earth is literally 6000 years old.


I suppose I don't know exactly who the intended audience is, do you? I assumed it was for the general public.

If it was intended for publication in Science, I assume it was for Science readers. A wide audience, but perhaps unrepresentative of the general public.

By Mal Adapted (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Good Grief,
not again?

The letter is accompanied by a photo of a lone Polar Bear on an ice berg credited to ISTOCKPHOTO.COM. The photo is a fake with the following note in the photo caption at Istockphoto:

"This images is a photoshop design. Polarbear, ice floe, ocean and sky are real, they were just not together in the way they are now."

The modern-day obsession with the iconography, to the detriment of content, is worrying, too. But not as worrying as the implications of unchecked emissions of carbon dioxide. Wouldn't you agree?

By Tony Sidaway (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Unfortunately unchecked iconography will stall the reduction of emissions of carbon dioxide.

Re: huffpo >
and your point is?

had not pushed the creationist button

That creationist button is a big part of the problem. They use the fear of the closeness of "the end" as a stick to motivate compliance with the dogma. If "the end" is soon then the destruction of the environment is simply a consequence of the plan of a sky fairy. No need to worry about the children and grandchildren as sky daddy has it all under control.

Society needs to be thinking in terms of thousands of years of sustainability not a sliding fifty year range as promoted by the christians.

On that note . . .

Just finishing up Krakauer's *Under the Banner of Heaven*--about the Morman polygamist Lafferty brothers' faith-inspired murders of Brenda Lafferty and her baby daughter in 1984.

It was all God's will, according to the 'revelations' He was giving to Ron Lafferty.

If you want to really have your faith in our species crushed for a few hundred pages read that book . . .

With close to half of the American population saying they think Genesis is literally true, whats the chance of getting rational action on climate?

spend some time waddling around facebook and you'll understand why you'll never get through to the other half

I stopped doing facebook. I found it makes me feel better . . .

American action on climate change is already taking place on a regional basis. Emissions are already down significantly, I understand, and only partly due to the recession. In one sense alone do I agree that Americans are "alarmist" on climate change: that they are too easily misled into the belief that a few silly naysayers are able to prevent action on global warming in their country.

By Tony Sidaway (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Re post 11,

But it gets better, on closer inspection of the names on the list we find the following:

Pediatric surgeons, an expert in the Maya and the Olmec civilizations, a chemist that studies bacteria, a âcomputer pioneerâ with Microsoft, an electrical engineer, the chairman of a biotechnology firm, and even an expert studying corn.

This reminds me of that old saying "Whats good for the goose is good for the gander"

However i am sure the corn expert in the list i produced wont know as much about AGW as your corn expert does.

Crakar, you have a point, but do remember that these chaps aren't just randomly chosen scientists, or even (as with the Oregon petition) self proclaimed scientists. They are 255 of the most excellent scientists America can offer. Game over, my friend.

By Tony Sidaway (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

On the contrary Tony, the game has just begun.

Yes, Ginger Spice from the Oregon Petition is toiling away on a research paper as we type.

By Dappledwater (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

You are right DW, Ginger is an integral part of the team along with the cage full of monkeys with typewriters i have out the back.

Climate Change and the Integrity of Science
P. H. Gleick et al.

Due to an editorial error, the original image associated with this Letter was not a photograph but a collage. The image was selected by the editors, and it was a mistake to have used it. The original image has been replaced in the online HTML and PDF versions of the article with an unaltered photograph from National Geographic.

for $64,000, why was this a mistake??

Quote by Al Gore, former vice president: "I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis."

Quote by Stephen Schneider, Stanford Univ., environmentalist: "That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have."

Quote by Christine Stewart, former Canadian Environment Minister: âNo matter if the science is all phoney, there are collateral environmental benefits.... climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.â

Quote by Timoth Wirth, U.S./UN functionary, former elected Democrat: âWeâve got to ride the global-warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.â

Quote by Richard Benedik, former U.S./UN bureaucrat: "A global climate treaty must be implemented even if there is no scientific evidence to back the greenhouse effect."

Quote by Chris Folland of UK Meteorological Office: âThe data don't matter. We're not basing our recommendations [for reductions in carbon dioxide emissions] upon the data. We're basing them upon the climate models.â


Can i have Paul's email so i can give him directions on where to send that 64K, i assume you are talking US dollars Paul?

Thanks in advance


for $64,000, why was this a mistake??

Um...don't you suggest an answer to that in your own comment #13?
Unfortunately unchecked iconography will stall the reduction of emissions of carbon dioxide.

I think all your responses were reasons to do it (by those you mention), not why it was a mistake.

Coby is closest, and my point was to show the perp's agreed.

The point is why would they foolishly grab a jpeg off the internet without checking its validity? Or were they fully aware it was a fake? Or did they intentionally produce a fake image?

Thats the 64K dollar question and i think the small sample of quotes i have produced answer that question. You see Paul some of the names listed have absolutely f...k all to do with climate research which shows the mentality of its producers. The whole point was to assemble a rag tag list of names to wave around regardless of its relevance. This of course reeks of arogance but then again they know people like the ones in majority here will lap it up without question.

They did not produce this forgery to convince deniers the world is going to end it was produced to reassure the believers that their CO2 God is still angry and to keep them from straying from the flock.

So why was there a fake photo on the cover? well its easy, it was a fake because in the real world images like this do not exist because the scarey stories they spew forth will not happen. As with the theories, predictions and scenarios they all live inside a computer and so does their real world evidence.

I still want my 64K even if you pay me in Amazonian color beads :-))

Crakar, 255 of the most eminent scientists in the world just signed a letter protesting attacks on climate scientists, and your response is to flail your hands around and attack a piece of page decoration. Do you want to be taken seriously or not? If you really do, stop acting as if you did not.

By Tony Sidaway (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink


I still have open wounds that are slowly healing from the time i produced a list of scientists that spoke out against the AGW bandwagon. One of the major areas of concern was the education level and relevance of some of those named. So please let me have my moment in the sun.


I think the point of my huffpo link has been proven in the recent posts in this thread but I'll quote the relevant section anyway:

" To the embarrassment of the journal, this photo is "photoshopped" -- combining polar bear, ice floes, clouds, and other elements into a perfectly lovely, albeit made-up piece of art. Oops. The journal, of course, when they realized their mistake, agreed to swap out the photo and post a sheepish correction.

But this incident has also provided a fantastic peek into the way the climate denial "machine" works -- and I call it a machine, because it truly operates like one. The small but vocal part of the infosphere dominated by the climate deniers seized on this "fake" photo to try to paint the entire climate science community as fake.

Here is the logic of the climate deniers: the photo is manipulated, therefore we can claim the science of climate change to be manipulated and we won't have to challenge the actual content of the letter.

Nice try, but no. This focus on the art the editors chose to accompany the letter is an attempt by climate deniers to divert public attention once again from the facts of climate change. This is exactly what the scientists are talking about in the letter. Instead of challenging the science with better science, the vocal deniers are grasping at any straw to muddy the waters and confuse the public about the real climate threats we face. Mistakes found in the IPCC assessment of climate? Oh, then all climate science must be mistaken."

When this was first brought to attention I did wonder whether it was part of some cute social science experiment - will focus be brought on the substance of the letter or the faked pic (one that the credit is very clear about the provenace of). Turns out it was a genuine error but it would be nice to run the experiment anyway. So far, on the blogs I've seen that have covered the letter the comments have focussed primarily on the ephemera of the illustration rather than the substance of the text.

Am I surprised? Of course not.

Chris, got your point.
Wasn't sure which side of this you were on.

So what was learned?

Speaking of preserving the integrity of science.......

Is open discussion of human population dynamics the last of the last taboos?

In 2001 a peer-reviewed, lead article, Human Population Numbers as a Function of Food Supply, was published in the journal, ENVIRONMENT, DEVELOPMENT and SUSTAINABILITY. The scientists who wrote the paper are Russell Hopfenberg and David Pimentel.

During the last "lost" decade virtually every expert in the field of population biology and demography has assiduously ignored this new, apparently unanticipated and certainly unwelcome research.

Perhaps a new day is dawning when it is permissible to speak openly about "the last taboo".

The willful denial of what could somehow be real usually results in dangerous matters being made even worse because any chance of responding ably to a challenge is spoiled by the absence of the science necessary for making sound judgments regarding the challenge.

Please consider that the science of human population dynamics is "the last of the last taboos" because the growth of the human population on Earth in our time is occurring on a scale so gigantic that humanity, life as we know it and the integrity of Earth is being threatened by the unbridled, skyrocketing increase of human mass.

Once the measure of this proverbial "mother" of all global challenges is taken, it will be possible for leaders of the human community to find ways of reasonably addressing and sensibly overcoming any threat to human wellbeing and environmental health that are based upon universally shared, humane values.

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001

As to -
over-consuming, overproducing and overpopulating

You can speak about it and do what you will as will several billion others.

Right now we have governments imploding due to Utopian thinking. Let's see where that falls out first. Then I think you'll see your other problems become self correcting.

help me out here, while he may have cut/paste the text from "climate-change-quotes", (complete with errors) -

Is it plagiarism if those people said what Crakar says they did and he attributed it to them?

It shows his mentality.

Crakar tries to claim that he cannot answer the question, "What would it take for you to believe AGW is both real and threatening?", because to do so requires (somehow, according to him) blind "belief," yet he will blindly believe in the validity of anything that tells him its false--to the point of plagiarizing things that are not even accurate/edited or relying on the scholarly prowess of Lord Monckton.

Its stupidly obvious; the question is does he realize it?

Oh so now reproducing a quote is plagarism and why just because no one can answer your stupid question to your liking?

Ok fine have it your way (rolls up sleeves, draws line in the sand).

Can anyone tell me how this list was compiled, details required are things like:

How were these doctors/scientists approached, by phone, by email etc.

Were they asked a series of questions to ascertain there point of view or were they simply asked to sign a petition?

How many were originally approached? Just the 250 or did they approach 2250 and the other 2000 told them to bash it where the sun dont shine?

How many have personally experienced an attack in regards to climate science?

For example i could understand the pediactric surgeon getting into a punch up with an oncologist after one too many at a fundraiser, i could see the microsoft expert tangling with a dancing penguin (Unix)specialist, i could see the corn expert arguing with the Allied American Corn Growers Federation and i could even see the electrical engineer getting upset when the technicians give him a screwdriver with a cork on the end of it. However i cannot see how they could ever be singled out by the great denier conspiracy.

So can anyone here please give examples of where all 250 names have been attacked in any way shape or form?

Now on to double standards.

There are many scientists that refuse to kneel at the feet of the consensus, these scientists are attacked by media morons and gate keepers alike, they are also attacked right here on this very blog. They are compared to drug dealers, kiddie fiddlers, rapists, mass muderers and some have even stooped so low as to compare them to Nazi Holoco$t perpetrators. Not to mention the childish name calling that goes on when Lindzen etc is mentioned.

You people need to grow the f....... up, so have your little list even with the fake picture it still amounts to nothing more than a pathetic childish attempt at headline grabbing.

So, crakar has so far railed against the illustration and the people who signed the letter but has not yet touched on the letter itself...

By the way, add the 250 names on this list to other recent petitions/letters & there is now roughly 5000 individual scientists (in addition to learned societies) standing up for science. This may not mean much in and of itself, but it does show the true poverty of the Orgone petition and its ilk.


I think that's the whole point here. The members of the flat earth society are completely incapable of disputing the content of the letter, so they revert to their usual tactic of diversion. The lead author of the letter has hit the nail on the head perfectly with a recent essay in the Huffington Post (yes, its a rag, but the content of the essay is what counts here). A link to the essay is here:…

What is more remarkable that even scientist-darlings of the denial such as Roger Pielke and journalists such as Andrew Revkin (I don't count James Dellingpoole or Joanne Nova among the ranks of journalists) have given up trying to criticise the science, and are focussing their attacks on the fact that the scientists dare call for an end to the McCarthy-like attacks on scientists, and on an image that was selected by the editors of the journal which published the letter, and had nothing to do with the letter authors at all. Pielke's blog is here, and it includes a 'debate' with Gleick.

You are also quite correct to make the comparison to the Oregon Petition, which even your average high school science student could see contains incorrect information, easily rejected non-science, and is just blatant propaganda for the fossil fuel industry. No such criticism can be levelled in this case, and the flat earth society has revealed their moral and scientific bankruptcy via their tactics. But no-one here needs me to explain that to them - just read post #7 on the 'Many Matters Monkton" thread to see a shining example.


You constantly spit in the face of scientists that have a differing view or opinion to your self on this very blog, so i guess that makes you no different to say......Jo Nova?


The reason why i did not debate the content of the letter was because the points are/have been debated in the appropriate threads. This fact is obviously beyond the grasp of both your self and Mandas.

Just to keep you happy as i know you are itching for a fight:

1, 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.

Whilst not a very scientific statement as GHG do not "trap" heat i do agree a snowy Washington proves not much at all. However seeing how Trenberth cannot measure over 50% of the heat that is supposed to be "trapped" the only logical conclusion is the heat does not exist.

2, 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.

I would agree in principle with this statement that man has been a major contributer to the CO2 increase.

3, Natural causes always play a role in changing Earth's climate, but are now being overwhelmed by human-induced changes.

Where is the evidence that natural changes have been overwhelmed? I see the PDO turned to the -ve phase when expected and since then temps has stopped rising and the last few years have fallen. This is just one example to demonstrate the falseness of the above statement.

4, 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.

As in (1) the planet is not warming as much as we thought so one must assume the words "unprecedented", "modern times" and "alterations to hydrologic cycle" etc need to be re evaluated. The new catch cry of the alarmists is ocean acidification the oceans generally have a PH of 8.2, it may have dropped to 8.1 or there abouts recently, when you consider a PH of 7 is neutral we have a long way to go before they become acidic. This scientific fact does not however deter the faithful.

5, 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.

As points 1, 3, and 4 are exaggerated or incorrect so is 5.

There ya go Chris happy now?

"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."
Well, gee whiz! The campaign to call public attention to and rally the battle cry against CAGW came from a politician. Where were these "concerned scientists" when An Incovenient Truth intentionally misrepresented the evidence for the purpose of propoganda? When the Nobel prize was awarded to a non-scientist heavily invested in the carbon-trading business, the NAS cheerfully endorsed politization of climate science. Every step of the way, this particular field of science has been emeshed in politics. If Al Gore represents scientific advocacy of CCC, then Senator Infoe is every bit as qualified to advocate AGW skepticism.

Gore's motivation is solely based on his own financial interests. The public sees through this charade, as he jet-sets around the world to lobby in favor of policies that will ensure the most lucrative return on his investiment. The glaring hypocrisy of both Al Gore's lifestyle and the NAS "concerned scientists" legitimately arouse public suspicion.

This woeful attempt to counter-strike against the damage done by Climategate is just one more nail in the coffin of their integrity. Pot-shots at creationists, compounded by the polarizing term "deniers", and characterizing legitimate scientific dissent as "lies" reveal the intended purpose of this "open letter" is nothing more than another example of what doing exactly that which they condemn. The content of the Climategate emails revealed exactly how the corrupting effects of group-think and bunker-mentality has poisoned this particular area of science. Rather than demonstrate genuine contrition with a commitment to restore integrity, this letter defensively condemns any and all dissent as "attacks". What are these "attacks on climate scientists?"
Improving our understanding of climate science to ensure appropriate action is imperative. Ironically, they are demanding we bury our heads in the sand and blindly accept whatever policies they race to enact by claiming this neophyte area of science has been definitively settled.
One of the most ridiculous attacks on the skeptics is that they only focus on auditing the establishment. This is so riduculously arrogant when the fact is the data necessary in order to do such, is fiercely guarded or never archived? Other scientists have raised issues such as UHI, the effects of water vapor, the accuracy of the temperature records, and solar activity. After dismissing them with a hand-wave or accusations of being on the payrole of the oil industry, this meme continues.
The only fact this letter establishes is the hubris and thin-skinned defensiveness of this elite group. What Climategate revealed about the dubious ethics of the IPCC authors is no longer a secret. Thanks to this letter, they are clearly interested in continuing to push a particular agenda by brow-beating the public.


Who are you? A Crakar who can edit?

Skip he may have better editing skills than but what we do have in common is an "opinion". Do you know what that is?

Lets look at Chris for example, he wastes my time with gibberish about a stupid letter then once defeated there he turns on me again by stating that i cannot attack the contents (May13). So i respond by attacking the contents, so far nothing but crickets.

I suspect he is trying to get around the "missing heat" issue but cant. So now to you Skip, you are very good at handing out the sarcasm, you have the quick wit to be a politician but do you have an opinion? if you did you would respond with a reason why Trenberth is somewhere fumbling around in the dark looking for his missing heat.

However you would simply respond with the good old appeal to authority, hence you would say "well yes he might not know where over 50% of the heat which he needs to prove his AGW theory is, but he tells me AGW is real and that is all i need".

So now all you have, all you could possibly add to this debate, the only role that you could possibly play, is that of a spell checker. My how the mighty have fallen.

Crakar, you are a gem.

I've just finished a glass of wine and should probably not drink and post but . . .

In the end, you're right. All I have are appeals to authority.

All you have are appeals to Monckton.

Dont tell are a Shiraz man yes? Personally i like a cabernet they make a nice one a few kilometers down the road from me.

No not appeals to Monkton but to climate scientists that have differing views to the ones you appeal to. For example whilst Trenberth is fumbling around in the dark Spencer has discovered that whilst OLR has decreased (giving Trenberth the impression he is missing something) SW has also increased.

In other words the planet is reflecting more energy from the sun thus less energy striking the surface. So why Trenberth keeps on fumbling for excuses to prove his theory others are showing him where he has gone wrong.

The bottom line is the missing heat does not exist. Unfortunately you have already labelled Spencer as a buffoon therefore you will ignore what i have just written.

"Lets look at Chris for example, he wastes my time with gibberish about a stupid letter then once defeated there he turns on me again by stating that i cannot attack the contents (May13). So i respond by attacking the contents, so far nothing but crickets."

Hey crakar, I'll do you a deal - I'll respond as soon as you give a straight answer in this thread:

Until then, I'll leave you compare how much time you "wasted" responding to my comment #41 in this thread to the 20 minutes+ I spent doing your homework for comment #69 in the Falsifying Theories thread.

dear all, unfortunately the most part of the data around are very inaccurate and they do not allow to support any claim of present warming or cooling. however, while the most part of the predictions of warming are strongly politically supported and get published almost every where no matter how fake they are, the predictions of no clear trend or of cooling trends get much more criticised and never get published. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT FAIR PRACTICE.
suggestion to peoples really interested in understanding what is going on is to download the raw temperature data measured by their bureau of meteorology and to analyze them with excel. then please keep in mind: 1. predictions by GISS and others are very inaccurate and may produce very wrong trend. 2. measurements are always better than predictions. 3. corrections of temperature records are always arbitrary. 4. heat island effects increase the measured temperature where there is a thermal island (temperature in your house is usually higher during the winter than the one outside). 5. global warming means temperatures are increasing in the city and in the countryside. 6. if the warming stops in the suburbs, it is local and not global warming. 7. more important: last 10 years of data for temperature and carbon dioxide emissions are already enough to establish a correlation - if any - in between the two. RE the letter, global warming remember me the motion of the sun around the earth. it has been not fully proved, but it is already fully exploited to get advantages. and these guys have to blame nothing else than their dogmatic behaviour and the misconduct of many supporters of global warming quite fast to correct measured temperatures for the more than legitimate critics.

By tursiope curioso (not verified) on 16 Jan 2011 #permalink

and i forgot to conclude that the claim of McCarthy-like threats is absolutely out of place, and possibly a claim of pol-pot like beahaviour of climate change advocate is certainly more approriate, considering so far the censorship has been applied certainly more against those critics re climate change that those in favour, and discrimination has been certainly made more against those critics re climate change that those in favour.

By tursiopecurioso (not verified) on 16 Jan 2011 #permalink