Scientists Question Climate Change Consensus

Commentary, Environment, Frontier Centre

Amid anger from its backbenchers, the Labour Government appears set on a course of levying new road tax levels for ‘gas-guzzling cars’. At the same time a group of MPs are urging Gordon Brown to go ahead with a system of personal ‘carbon credits’ – a tax by any other name – as an effective way of forcing CO2 cuts.

But are these controversial new initiatives – and the ambitious EU-imposed carbon targets they are designed to meet – based on a lie?

Like so many other expensive green intiatives mooted here and elsewhere in the West, they are firmly rooted in the single premise that man-made CO2 emissions are scientifically proven to be the root of all climate evil.

And the most acceptable source of that scientific proof is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Run by the UN, its last report in February 2007 – released 10 months before it shared the Nobel Prize with Al Gore – made it quite clear that there was a consensus of 2,500 scientists across the globe who believe that mankind was responsible for greenhouse gas concentrations which in turn were very likely responsible for an increase in global temperatures.

The trouble is that alleged scientific consensus has never been in more disarray. Not that we in Britain would know much about the increasing dissent in the international science community on climate change, because the British mainstream news media declines to report it.

Ten days ago Dr. Arthur Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM) announced to a packed National Press Club in Washington DC that more than 31,000 scientists have now signed the so-called Oregon Petition rejecting the IPCC line on climate change.

Acutely aware that claims of a ‘phoney list’ would immediately be levelled at him, Dr.
Robinson pointed out that the list had been carefully vetted to confirm that over 9,000 of those who signed held PhDs.

Dr. Robinson (right), a PhD scientist himself, was appalled at the notion of being forced to play the numbers game, saying: “Science shouldn’t be done by poll. The numbers shouldn’t matter. But if they want warm bodies, we have them.” Impressive as these numbers are, however, the UK news media, almost exclusively, chose to ignore them.

This wasn’t the first crack in the ‘consensus’ dam. In March, more than 500 people, including leading climate scientists, economists, policymakers, engineers and other professionals, endorsed the Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change.

Sponsored by climate scientists of the International Coalition on Climate (ICSC), it stated: “There is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity have in the past, are now, or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change.” The Declaration calls for governments and others to “reject the views expressed by the UN IPCC, as well as popular but misguided works such as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth“.

ICSC chairman Professor Tim Patterson said, “Instead of wasting billions restricting emissions of CO2, a vitally important gas on which all life depends, governments must concentrate on solving known environmental problems over which we have influence.” As impressive as the signatories and numbers are, yet again, the UK news media ignored it.

It is not only scientists outside the IPCC who question the ‘consensus’: scientists whose names were included in the IPCC’s list of 2,500 ‘consensual’ scientists have also raised objections.

On December 12, 2007, the US Senate released a report from more than 400 scientists, many of whose names were attached to the IPCC report without – they claim – their permission. In the Senate report, scientists expressed a range of views from scepticism to outright rejection of the theory of anthropogenic global warming.

Professor Patrick J. Michaels, research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and a member of the original UN-IPCC panel, was so appalled by what he perceived as the misuse of the review procedure – with groups of IPCC reviewers, many who were not scientists, only reviewing one or two chapters of the IPCC reports – he demanded his name be removed from the IPCC’s list of reviewers.

Eventually, the UN administration complied, but only after Dr. Michaels threatened legal action to force the removal of his name. All of which, yet again, went unreported in the UK news media.

Yet one science consensus appears to be uncontested: there has been no warming since 1998. The latest peer-reviewed research – in the May 1 edition of Nature – even suggests a cooling cycle may take over for the next 20 years.

Whatever we may personally believe about global warming, serious science-based pressure is building on the IPCC to admit its objectives are political not scientific. Sir John Houghton, first co-chair of the IPCC, acknowledged as much when he stated: “Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen.”

As the trickle of ‘dissident’ scientists becomes a stream, however, leading anti-alarmists, like S. Fred Singer, author of Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years, are describing 2008 as the ‘tipping point’, the year when the real science argument swings their way.

If they are right, the UN and much of the Western news media will, alarmingly, be shown to have colluded in closing down an important debate, often by marginalising world-renowned scientists as ‘cranks’ and ‘mavericks’.

Both the UN and the media may soon be forced to jettison entirely the myth of a climate science ‘consensus’. If nothing else, the fast rising number of ‘mavericks’ demands it.