Global Warning: The Security Challenges of Climate Change

podesta.jpgJohn Podesta and Peter Ogden of the Center for American Progress have written a chapter “Global Warning: The Security Challenges of Climate Change” for a report “The Age of Consequences: The Foreign Policy and National Security Implications of Global Climate Change.” They describe their work as follows:

During the course of the past year, a high-level working group of foreign policy experts, climate scientists, historians, and other specialists has met regularly to investigate the national security and foreign policy implications of climate change. Many of the key findings of this task force, which was directed by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Center for a New American Security, are presented in a new report entitled “The Age of Consequences.”

“The Age of Consequences” is organized around three possible climate change scenarios that were developed by Pew Center Senior Climate Scientist Dr. Jay Gulledge in consultation with other leading experts in the field. Our chapter, presented here in its complete, unabridged form, analyzes the foreign policy and national security implications of the most moderate of these scenarios over a 30-year timeframe. We identify the critical challenges created or exacerbated by climate change that the United States and the international community will confront, including:

  • Large-scale human migration due to resource scarcity, increased frequency of extreme weather events, and other factors, particularly in the developing countries in the earth’s low latitudinal band.
  • Intensifying intra- and inter-state competition for food, water, and other resources, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Increased frequency and severity of disease outbreaks.
  • Heightened risk of state failure and regional conflagration.
  • Significant shifts in the geostrategic roles of every major fuel type.
  • Increased U.S. border stress due to the severe effects of climate change in parts of Mexico and the Caribbean.
  • Increased uncertainty over how China’s political leadership will respond to growing domestic and international pressure to become a “responsible stakeholder” in the global environment.
  • Strain on the capacity of the United States–and in particular the U.S. military–to act as a “first responder” to international disasters and humanitarian crises due to their increased frequency, complexity, and danger.
  • Growing demand for international institutions to play new and expanded roles in the management of refugee crises and in providing forums for the negotiation of climate agreements.

Read the full chapter: “Global Warning: The Security Challenges of Climate Change”

Read the full report: “The Age of Consequences: The Foreign Policy and National Security Implications of Global Climate Change”

More on national security and climate change can be found here and here, too.

33 Responses to Global Warning: The Security Challenges of Climate Change

  1. Ron says:

    I wonder how many of those things could be precipitated by increased taxation, energy costs, and consumer prices – even if AGW turns out to be hogwash ….

  2. john says:


    And your point is?

    Increased taxation as a contributor to a global meltdown? Hmmm. Seems a bit of a stretch to me. After all, we had a 70% upper bracket for quite a while and basically, the economy continued to thrive. England the Scandanavian countires had a 90% upper bracket for years and had steady increases in GDP.

    As for energy costs, if they are indeed that destabilizing the best thing we can do is diversify our energy base post-haste — more efficiency, more renewables, more alternative fuels … say, wait a minute: isn’t that exactly what we need to do to combat AGW? Why, yes it is.

    So, I take it you are in complete agreement with an aggressive policy and regulatory push to head off dependence upon fossil fuels?

    Oh, one other thing — it’s about as likely for AGW to turn out to be “complete hogwash” as it is for the earth to suddenly turn out to be flat. See, there’s all this evidence, all these facts that keep popping up and bursting the deniers myths … Reality won’t be denied simply because people wish it weren’t so. It is what it is. Just as the sky is blue, gravity sucks, and puppies are cute. And we’re the cause.

  3. Ron says:

    “So, I take it you are in complete agreement with an aggressive policy and regulatory push to head off dependence upon fossil fuels? ”


    “it’s about as likely for AGW to turn out to be “complete hogwash” as it is for the earth to suddenly turn out to be flat. See, there’s all this evidence, all these facts that keep popping up and bursting the deniers myths ”

    Almost every week another scientist ‘pops up’ expressing serious doubts. There is no consensus and the science is weak.

  4. Joe says:

    Christy didn’t just “pop up” — he’s been spouting disinformation for decades.

    Please identify climate scientists who have recently expressed new and serious doubts.

  5. Ron says:

    No, of course Joe, no NEW doubts. Just the same old doubts that have not yet been seriously dealt with by you Believers.

    You know, where is the proof for the hypothesis? Proof of cause and effect?

    Go ahead and show us all the proof right here.

    But yes, every week or so it seems another scientist finds his cahones and comes out publicly with his doubts. An example would be the article I posted just a day ago here that you deleted. And that’s not the first time you have deleted links and stories I have posted.

    The doubters among the real scientists are out there, as you well know. They seem to generally get drowned out by the well funded AGW drumbeat and fewer news outlets and journalists pick up the stories because coming catastrophe is so much sexier. ‘If it bleeds, it leads!’ as they say.

    You are a clever propagandist Joe. Now go ahead, once and for all, and explain the proof – not simply stated as an article of faith. Can you do that?

    Honest scientists (even the IPCC) admit to a lot of uncertainty. How about you?

  6. john says:

    I’m sure Joe can do a better job of this than I, but the straight physics of GHG emissions and climate forcings are incontrovertible … accepted science by anyone with a high school physics degree or better. Read Hansen’s explanation in Scientific American — I believe it was 2 years ago — for a particulalry lucid explanation of this relationship, in language acessible to laymen.

    So all that remains is whether the steady, measured and verified increase in atmospheric carbon is anthropogenic. And using isotope data, emission data, and rate of buildup, it’s pretty conclusive that it is.

    So the preponderance of evidence is that GW is caused by humans, it’s serious, and it’s likely to get worse.

    But the real questions ar: why have you consistently ignored numerous valid scientifc rebuttals to your doubts? Why would you insist on 100% certainty when the prudent course is to act? Why do you turn Pascal’s wager (one of the best models for decisionmaking in the face of uncertainty — even small uncertainties) on its head? And why — if you maintain that volatility in fossil fuel prices can destabilize civilization and threaten security– would you not favor aggressive programs and regs to get off fossil fuels?

    Please answer those questions, Ron, and while you’re at it, explain how your claim that scientific skeptics keep “popping up” sudenly becomes no NEW doubts …

    Perhaps the reason Joe and others disregard those “same old doubts” is because they have, in fact, been dealt with and quite convincingly several times now.

    At some point, these “doubts” have more lives than a vampire. And at some point, disregarding proofs, data and facts that are offered you in good faith ceases to be serious discussion and degenerates into so much useless cavilling.

    One final point: the IPCC scientists did admit uncertainty — but it was about the speed and severity of warming, not it’s source or whether it was happening … I believe they assigned a 90% certainty that it was happening, it was human induced, and it was bad. That’s a rare level of unanimity in so large a group of scientists, and certainly enough to act on.

  7. Paul K says:

    In the five months since I first encountered Joe’s excellent blog, I’ve tried to learn as much as I can about what for me was a whole new topic. I admit to being a skeptic by nature, but I like to think I have an open and persuadable mind. I believe strongly that we must replace fossil fuels as our primary source of energy. Here’s what I’ve learned so far. Global temperatures rose about 1 degree Celsius in the 20th century. About half the warming occurred between 1900 and 1945 and half between 1975 and 1998. That is fact. Atmospheric CO2 levels sharply increased in the second half of the 20th century, largely caused by human activity. That also is fact. That this increase in CO2 is the cause of the late century warming is theory, however widely held. The theory is that ever increasing CO2 concentration will bring ever increasing temperatures. Because of the practical impossibility of recreating global climate within a laboratory, climate scientists must use computer models with their inherent limitations to test the theory. Climatologists tell us that the early 20th century warming and other historical warmings were not caused by human produced greenhouse gases. In fact, in the geological record, increases in CO2 concentrations generally follow rather than precede warming. Climate science is relatively new, somewhat secretive, with evolving and presumably improving methodologies. Because of its impact on policy decisions, climatology has entered the political arena. What invites skepticism about AGW is the overselling of the catastrophe. For example, Joe is convinced that sea levels will surely rise 20 feet or more in this century. This is a somewhat radical view. The IPCC projects best case 7 inches, worst case 6 or 7 feet with highest confidence in the 1 and a 1/2 to 3 foot range. Dr. Hansen has said he expects 1 foot/decade by century’s end. Tidal gauge records show little or no sea level rise since 1998. Certainly if all the ice in Greenland melted into the sea, we’d be in big trouble. However, at the current “unprecedented” melt rate that would take not tens or hundreds, but thousands of years. It may be noteworthy that there has been no significant upward temperature trend since 1998. It may not. I do think the tendency to ascribe every phenomenon to global warming weakens the argument on a political level. Purposeful exaggeration is not persuasive. I also find it interesting that one can be an environmentalist but not a AGW believer. The goals and solutions are similar, but not congruent.

  8. Ron says:

    Thanks Paul. You made a better argument than I probably would have. The only thing I want to add is that it’s not even really a ‘theory’; it’s still a hypothesis. Cause and effect have not been established.

    The AGW idea makes sense at first glance and there seems to be evidence supporting it, but there’s a lot of contrary evidence as well.

    Pascal’s Wager is tossed around a lot as if it’s just a choice between doing something and saving the world or doing nothing and dooming the world. This isn’t true or honest.

    Typically, the folks who trot out Pascal’s Wager leave the costs of proposed mitigation out of the equation, and those costs could be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Not insignificant.

    Also, I might be one of those environmentalists who is not a believer in AGW. I don’t usually describe myself as such because I don’t want to be lumped in with some of the crazies, but I certainly am concerned about the environment. And I see many environmental issues that could be efficiently addressed by some of those billions; issues that will be ignored (and unaffordable) if the warm-mongers get their way.

  9. Joe says:


    Sea level has been rising 1 inch a decade in the past 10 years — double the previous rate. I don’t think sea levels will rise 20 feet by 2100. I think 1 to 2 meters is likely. But eventual sea level rise of 80 feet may well become unstoppable by 2100. Perhaps even 2050.

    Ron — you are no environmentalist. AGW is the most confirmed environmental theory in history. Not believing it is disqualification from labeling oneself an environmentalist.

  10. john says:

    Ron and Paul:

    First, Paul, I appreciate the reasoned approach you take in assesing this issue.

    With regard to the variance in estimates of sea level rise between what the IPCC said, and what folks are saying now, the answer is simple. The IPCC was a consensus document that required extensive consultation, and it relied only on peer-reviewed data. That required an lengthy process which means the data they used was already two years old when the report was released.

    More recent data showed that the melting of the Greenland and WA ice sheets were proceeding much faster than anticipated. The reasons for getting it wrong are now well understood — models treated the ice masses as one big ice cube, but fracturing increased the surface area and accelerated the melting, and also allowed water to enter the fractures which lubricated the ice blocks and made them move into the sea at rates unheard of in recent history. There, they melt even faster.

    Adjustments for these dynamic forces give us the several meter sea level rise most ice experts now expect to see in this century.

    The primary authors of the latest IPCC report have stated publically and unequivocably that the IPCC report grossly underestimates the extent and rate of sea level rise.

    Now Ron, you and I have had this discussion before, but I’ll say it again in the hopes that you are actually keeping an open mind.

    First, Pascal’s wager isn’t about a choice between two certainties — it’s about a choice in the face of uncertainty, when the consequences of the potential choices are asymetric. So, when we “trot it out” we are saying even if there is uncertainty — even great uncertainty (which there is not) –if the consequences of ignoring a future event are potentially cataclysmic, but the consequences of addressing are merely inconvenient then it makes sense to act.

    Of course, there are all kinds of reasons other than global warming to get off fossil fuels s you yourself pointed out in your first comment on this post — balance of trade, unrealiable trading partners, price volatility, air quality, periodic polictical balckmail, national security (petro dollars are the primary source of funds for terrorists according to the CIA) on and on and on. So one need not invoke Pascal’s wager, because all these issues are here now, and each is serious enough to warrant action in its own right.

    Finally, you can’t talk about the costs of mitigation while blithely ignoring the costs of innaction. As Joe has posted here, there’s an emerging consensus among economists that the economic consequences of ingoring global warming dwarf the economic costs of addresing it. Indeed, many believe addressing it will create wealth, as innovation historically has, rather than destroy it. (Read Robert Ayres on this topic).

    Now you may, yet again, ignore the responses and the resources folks suggest you consult, distort it, and put non-peer reviewed heresay above peer reviewed quality science. But you will only be proving what is becoming increasingly obvious — you have no interest in an honest dialogue, you are merely intent on obfusicating and denying. That is your right, of course. But such a transparently biased and hidebound position undercuts your position far more than anything I can say.

  11. john says:

    Paul, one other observation:

    The statement that there has been no significant warming since 1998 is a red herring. Trends must be measured over the long term, as deniers were so fond of pointing out until the data showed there’s been long term warming. In fact, by most measures, 2006 tied 1998 for warmest year on record, and the trend has been steadily up for several decades now.

  12. Paul K says:

    As I’ve said before, trying to convince Joe he is wrong about AGW is traveling up a blind alley. Events over the next few years may cause him to moderate his views, but it’s doubtful. It is hard to get anyone, including you and I, to abandon committed opinions. The real question is how vital is it – no matter what the reason – to as quickly as possible move away from carbon based energy production. I believe it is for economic, geopolitical, environmental and public health reasons that have nothing to do with global warming. I suspect our views are similar on this. You certainly should agree that the world’s current dependence on fossil fuels is unsustainable in the long term. So, we can all – believers, deniers, delayers, insteaders and I can’t make up my minders – find common ground on the issue of moving away from carbon energy. Our underlying reasons become irrelevant to our goal if not to the solutions we would propose. Your idealism concerning taxation and limited government is admirable. I wish we had more politicians who thought the same way. My question to you is this. If you agree with me about replacing carbon, how do we go about that without the heavy hand of tax happy government?

  13. Ron says:


    I think we are misusing Pascal’s Wager. It’s really about unknowables, not simply uncertainties; specifically about how one lives his life without being able to prove or disprove the existence of God. It’s pretty tough to apply it to anything else, and in fact, has some gaping philosophical holes itself.

    I think what we should be referring to is the Precautionary Principle.

    Be careful with that one, though – applied, it can sometimes have disasterous results. It also requires, if used honestly, a very thorough, objective look at all sides of the issue.


    You seem to agree with me on my assessment of taxation, but you seem also to be of the ‘end justifies the means’ crowd. Why?

    You ask, “how do we go about that (replacing carbon) without the heavy hand of tax happy government?”

    Let me turn the question around on you: How far are you willing to go beyond principle to ‘replace carbon’? And Why?

    If there is no way to do it without taxation, would you still be willing to rob to do it? Why?

  14. john says:


    Your observations on Pascal’s wager are propbaly correct in terms of how he originally framed it. I still believe it offers a good framework for dealing with uncertainty in the face of asymetric consequences, however.

    I’m very comfortable with the precautionary principle and I certainly agree that any policy framework demands a full accounting of all aspects and consequences of any option considered.

  15. Ron says:


    Have you changed your mind now on projected sea level rise? Or are you just being slippery? I can’t tell.

    You said above, “I don’t think sea levels will rise 20 feet by 2100. I think 1 to 2 meters is likely. But eventual sea level rise of 80 feet may well become unstoppable by 2100. Perhaps even 2050.”

    Several threads back (I’ll find the link if you want), you defended and strongly agreed with Al Gore’s prediction of 20 feet. I’m confused.

    Are you saying you’ve backed off of that, but expect a tipping point to be reached that eventually could get us there? Or what?

  16. Joe says:

    Find the link (it doesn’t exist).
    I am very clear on this and my position has been the same for a while now.
    I never said 20 feet by 2100. Neither has Gore!!

  17. Ron says:

    Here’s the link from Gore’s inconvenient slideshow –

    “I want to focus on West Antarctica, because it illustrates two factors about land-based ice and sea-based ice. It’s a little of both. It’s propped on tops of islands, but the ocean comes up underneath it. So if the ocean gets warmer, it has an impact on it. If this were to go, sea levels worldwide would go up 20 feet. They’ve measured disturbing changes on the underside of this ice sheet.”

    Okay, so he says “if”, but certainly presents it like something that is going to happen. And doesn’t mention that Antarctic ice is actually at a maximum right now (which is why we’ve seen bigger-than-normal chunks breaking off).

    The thread I referred to is –

    You give a link there to a Gore apologist, who doesn’t really have much to say about Gore’s presentation of sea level rise, except to further the myth of south sea islanders evacuating their homes due to climate change (you and I both know that the islands are actually sinking, not being overtaken by rising seas). And you say that you take a stronger stance even than presented on that site.

    So I guess neither of you have explicitly made the claim of 20 feet this century, but stated your views vaguely enough that the 20-foot claim seems to have entered the popular culture. This is one of the points that my kids teachers have been teaching, for example.

    And to address another point, here is a list of scientists who are not a part of the so-called consensus. I haven’t read everything by every one of them, of course, but did a little random sampling and googling. They each disagree with at least a part of the prevailing ‘theory’, some more strongly than others. I’m sure you have debunked or debated all of them by now, and this is only a partial list of skeptics, but it does make one question the ‘consensus’. If they are all nuts, I shudder to consider the state of modern science.

    A. Alan Moghissi, Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, Technical University of Karlsruhe, Germany
    Aksel Wiin-Nielsen, Professor of Geophysical Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
    Alfred H. Pekarek, Ph.D. Geology, Associate Professor of Geology, St. Cloud State University, USA
    Allan M.R. MacRae, B.Sc., M.Eng., P.Eng, Canada
    Andreas Prokoph, B.Sc. Geology, Ph.D. Earth Sciences, University Tubingen, Germany
    Anthony R. Lupo, Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, Purdue University, USA
    Antonino Zichichi, Professor Emeritus of Advanced Physics, University of Bologna, Italy
    Arthur B. Robinson, Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California, San Diego, USA
    Arthur Rorsch, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Molecular Genetics, Leiden University, The Netherlands
    Ben Herman, Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, USA
    Bob Durrenberger, Retired Climatologist, Former President of the American Association of State Climatologists, USA
    Boris Winterhalter, Ph.D. Geology, Helsinki University, Finland
    Bruce N. Ames, Ph.D. BioChemistry, California Institute of Technology, USA
    Bruno Wiskel, B.Sc. Honours Geology, University of Albert, Canada
    Carl Johan Friedrich (Frits) Böttcher, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Physical Chemistry, University of Leiden, The Netherlands
    Charles Gelman, B.S. Chemistry, M.S. Public Health, University of Michigan, USA
    Chauncey Starr, Ph.D. Physics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
    Chris de Freitas, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand
    Christiaan Frans van Sumere, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry, University of Gent, Belgium
    Christopher Essex, Ph.D. Applied Mathematics Professor, University of Western Ontario, Canada
    Christopher Landsea, Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, USA
    Claude Allegre, Ph.D. Physics, University of Paris, France
    Clinton H. Sheehan, Ph.D. Physics, University of Western Ontario, Canada
    Craig D. Idso, M.S. Agronomy, Ph.D. Geography, Arizona State University, USA
    Daniel B. Botkin, Ph.D. Biology, Rutgers University, USA
    David Deming, B.S. Geology, Ph.D. Geophysics, University of Utah, USA
    David E. Wojick, B.S. Civil Engineering, Ph.D. Mathematical Logic, University of Pittsburgh, USA
    David Evans, B.Sc. Applied Mathematics and Physics, M.S. Statistics, Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Stanford, USA
    David G. Aubrey, B.S. Geological Sciences, Ph.D. Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, USA
    David J. Bellamy, B.Sc. Botany, Ph.D. Ecology, Durham University, UK
    David L. Hill, Ph.D. Physics, Princeton, USA
    David Nowell, M.Sc. Meteorology, Royal Meteorological Society, Canada
    David R. Legates, Ph.D. Climatology, University of Delaware, USA
    Dennis P. Lettenmaier, Ph.D. Professor of Hydrology, University of Washington, USA
    Don J. Easterbrook, Ph.D. Geology, University of Washington, USA
    Donald G. Baker, Ph.D. Soils, Geology, University of Minnesota, USA
    Douglas V. Hoyt, Solar Physicist and Climatologist, Retired, Raytheon, USA
    Duncan Wingham, Ph.D. Physics, University of Bath, UK
    Eckhard Grimmel, Ph.D. Geography, University of Hamburg, Germany
    Edward Wegman, Ph.D. Mathematical Statistics, University of Iowa, USA
    Eigil Friis-Christensen, Ph.D. Geophysics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
    Elliot Abrams, M.S. Meteorology, Penn State, USA
    Eric S. Posmentier, Adjunct Professor of Earth Sciences, Dartmouth, USA
    Fred Michel, B.Sc. Geological Sciences, M.Sc. Earth Sciences, Ph.D. Earth Sciences, University of Waterloo, Canada
    Fred W. Decker, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, USA
    Frederick Seitz, Ph.D. Physics, Princeton University, USA
    Freeman Dyson, Professor Emeritus, Physics, Princeton, USA
    G. Cornelis van Kooten, B.Sc. Geophysics, Ph.D. Agricultural & Resource Economics, Oregon State University, USA
    Gabriel T. Csanady, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, University of New South Wales, Australia
    Garth Paltridge, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia
    Gary D. Sharp, Ph.D. Marine Biology, University of California, USA
    Gary Novak, M.S. Microbiology, USA
    George E. McVehil, B.A. Physics, M.S. Ph.D. Meteorology, AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologist, USA
    George H. Taylor, M.S. Meteorology, University of Utah, USA
    George Kukla, Micropalentologist, Special Research Scientist of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, USA
    George V. Chilingarian, Ph.D. Geology, University of Southern California, USA
    George Wilhelm Stroke, Ph.D. Physics, University of Paris, France
    Gerd-Rainer Weber, Ph.D. Consulting Meteorologist, Germany
    Gerhard Gerlich, Ph.D. Physics, Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany
    Gerrit J. van der Lingen, PhD Geology, New Zealand
    Gordon E. Swaters, Ph.D. Applied Mathematics and Physical Oceanography, University of British Columbia, Canada
    Graham Smith, Associate Professor of Geography, University of Western Ontario, Canada
    H. Grant (H.G.) Goodell, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, USA
    Harry N.A. Priem, Professor Emeritus of Isotope and Planetary Geology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
    Hendrik Tennekes, Former Director of Research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, The Netherlands
    Henrik Svensmark, Solar System Physics, Danish National Space Center, Denmark
    Henry R. Linden, Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, USA
    Howard C. Hayden, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Connecticut, USA
    Hugh W. Ellsaesser, Ph.D. Meteorology, Formerly with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA
    Ian D. Clark, Professor Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada
    Ian Plimer, Professor of Mining Geology, University of Adelaide, Australia
    Indur M. Goklany, Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, India
    Jack Barrett, Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, Manchester, UK
    James O’Brien, Ph.D. Meteorology, Texas A&M University, USA
    Ján Veizer, Professor Emeritus, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada
    Jay H. Lehr, Ph.D. Groundwater Hydrology, University of Arizona, USA
    Jennifer Marohasy, Ph.D. Biology, University of Queensland, Australia
    Joseph (Joe) P. Sobel, Ph.D. Meteorology, Penn State, USA
    Joel Schwartz, B.S. Chemistry, M.S. Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology, USA
    John E. Gaynor, M.S. Meteorology, UCLA, USA
    John R. Christy, Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, USA
    Joseph Conklin, M.S. Meteorology, Rutgers University, USA
    Joseph D’Aleo, M.S. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin, USA
    Keith D. Hage, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Meteorology, University of Alberta, Canada
    Keith E. Idso, Ph.D. Botany, Arizona State University, USA
    Kelvin Kemm, Ph.D. Nuclear Physics, Natal University, South Africa
    Kenneth E.F. Watt, Ph.D. Zoology, University of Chicago, USA
    Khabibullo Abdussamatov, Ph.D. Astrophysicist, The University of Leningrad, Russia
    Klaus Wyrtki, Ph.D. Oceanography, Physics, Mathematics, University of Kiel, Germany
    Lee C. Gerhard, Ph.D. Geology, University of Kansas, USA
    Luboš Motl, Ph.D. Theoretical Physicist, Harvard, USA
    Madhav Khandekar, Ph.D. Meteorology, Florida State University, USA
    Manik Talwani, Ph.D. Physics, Columbia University, USA
    Marcel Leroux, Professor Emeritus of Climatology, University of Lyon, France
    Mel Goldstein, Ph.D. Meteorology, NYU, USA
    Michael Crichton, A.B. Anthropology, M.D. Harvard, USA
    Michael D. Griffin, B.S. Physics, M.S. Applied Physics, Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland, USA
    Michael Savage, B.S. Biology, M.S. Anthropology, M.S. Ethnobotany, Ph.D. Nutritional Ethnomedicine, USA
    Michael R. Fox, Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, University of Washington, USA
    Michel Salomon, M.D. University of Paris, Director, International Centre for Scientific Ecology, France
    Neil Frank, Ph.D. Meteorology, Florida State University, USA
    Nils-Axel Mörner, Professor Emeritus of Palegeophysics and Geodynamics, Stockholm University, Sweden
    Nir J. Shaviv, Ph.D. Astrophysicist, Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
    Norman Brown, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, University of Ulster, UK
    Ola M. Johannessen, Professor, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Norway
    Olavi Kärner, Ph.D. Senior Research Associate, Atmospheric Sensing Group, Tartu Astrophysical Observatory, Estonia
    Oliver W. Frauenfeld, Ph.D. Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, USA
    Paavo Siitam, M.Sc. Agronomist, Canada
    Paul Copper, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences, Laurentian University, Canada
    Paul Driessen, B.A. Geology and Field Ecology, Lawrence University, USA
    Paul Reiter, Professor of Medical Entomology, Pasteur Institute, France
    Patrick J. Michaels, Ph.D. Ecological Climatology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
    Patrick Moore, B.Sc. Forest Biology, Ph.D. Ecology, University of British Columbia, Canada
    Petr Chylek, Ph.D. Physics, University of California, USA
    Philip Stott, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biogeography, University of London, UK
    Piers Corbyn, B.Sc Physics, M.Sc Astrophysics, Queen Mary College, UK
    R. Timothy (Tim) Patterson, Ph.D. Professor of Geology, Carleton University, Canada
    Randall Cerveny, Ph.D. Geography, University of Nebraska, USA
    Reid A. Bryson, B.A. Geology, Ph.D. Meteorology, University of Chicago, USA
    Richard C. Willson, Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, USA
    Richard S. Courtney, Ph.D. Geography, The Ohio State University, USA
    Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D. Professor of Meteorology, MIT, USA
    Roger A. Pielke (Sr.), Ph.D. Meteorology, Penn State, USA
    Rob Scagel, M.Sc., Forest Microclimate Specialist, Canada
    Robin Vaughan, Ph.D. Physics, Nottingham University, UK
    Robert C. Balling Jr., Ph.D. Professor of Climatology, Arizona State University, USA
    Robert C. Whitten, Physicist, Retired Research Scientist, NASA, USA
    Robert Giegengack, Ph.D. Geology, Yale, USA
    Robert H. Essenhigh, M.S. Natural Sciences, Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Sheffield, UK
    Robert Johnston, M.S. Physics, B.A. Astronomy, USA
    Robert L. Kovach, Professor of Geophysics, Stanford University, USA
    Robert (Bob) M. Carter, B.Sc. Geology, Ph.D. Paleontology, University of Cambridge, Australia
    Roy Spencer, Ph.D. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin, USA
    S. Fred Singer, Ph.D. Physics, Princeton University, USA
    Sallie Baliunas, Ph.D. Astrophysics, Harvard, USA
    Sherwood B. Idso, Ph.D. Soil Science, University of Minnesota, USA
    Simon C. Brassell, B.Sc. Chemistry & Geology, Ph.D. Organic Geochemistry, University of Bristol, UK
    Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, Ph.D. Department of Geography, University of Hull, UK
    Steve Milloy, B.A. Natural Sciences, M.S. Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, USA
    Stephen McIntyre, B.Sc. Mathematics, University of Toronto, Canada
    Sylvan H. Wittwer, Ph.D. Horticulture, University of Missouri, USA
    Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Ph.D. Geophysics, University of Alaska, USA
    Tad S. Murty, Ph.D. Oceanography and Meteorology, University of Chicago, USA
    Thomas Schmidlin, Ph.D. Professor of Geography, Kent State University, USA
    Timothy (Tim) F. Ball, Ph.D. Geography, Historical Climatology, University of London, UK
    Tom Harris, B. Eng. M. Eng. Mechanical Engineering (thermo-fluids), Canada
    Tom V. Segalstad, B.S. Geology, University of Oslo, Norway
    Vern Harnapp, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Geography, University of Akron, USA
    Vincent Gray, Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, Cambridge University, UK
    W. Dennis Clark, Ph.D. Botany, Sacramento State College, USA
    Wibjorn Karlen, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden
    William B. Hubbard, Ph.D. Professor of Planetary Atmospheres, University of Arizona, USA
    William Cotton, M.S. Atmospheric Science, Ph.D. Meteorology, Pennsylvania State University, USA
    William E. Reifsnyder, B.S. Meteorology, M.S. Ph.D. Forestry, Yale, USA
    William J.R. Alexander, Professor Emeritus, Department of Civil and Biosystems Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa
    William (Bill) M. Gray, M.S. Meteorology, Ph.D. Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, USA
    Willie Soon, Ph.D. Astrophysics, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
    Wolfgang Thüne, Ph.D. Geography, University of Wuerzburg, Germany
    Zbigniew Jaworowski, M.D. Ph.D. D.Sc., Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, Poland
    A.J. Colby, B.S. Atmospheric Sciences, AMS Certified Meteorologist, Meteorologist WKYC-TV, USA
    Andre Bernier, B.S. Meteorology, Lyndon State College, Meteorologist WJW-TV, USA
    Anthony Watts, AMS Certified Meteorologist, Chief Meteorologist KPAY-AM, USA
    Arlo Gambell, AMS Certified Meteorologist, USA
    Art Horn, B.S. Meteorology, Lyndon State College, Meteorologist WVIT-TV, USA
    Asmunn Moene, former Chief Meteorologist, Oslo, Norway
    Austin W. Hogan, AMS Certified Meteorologist, USA
    Bill Meck, Chief Meteorologist WLEX-TV, USA
    Bill Steffen, Meteorologist WOOD-TV, USA
    Bob Breck, B.S. Meteorology & Oceanography, University of Michigan, Chief Meteorologist WVUE-TV, USA
    Brad Sussman, Meteorologist, USA
    Brian Sussman, Meteorologist, USA
    Bruce Boe, Director of Meteorology Weather Modification Inc., USA
    Bruce Schwoegler, B.S. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
    Christopher Plonka, Meteorologist USAF, USA
    Craig James, B.S. Meteorology, Penn State University, Chief Meteorologist WOOD-TV, USA
    Dan Maly, Retired Meteorologist WOIO-TV, USA
    David Aldrich, B.S. Meteorology, North Carolina State University, Meteorologist WTXF-TV, USA
    Dick Goddard, Chief Meteorologist WJW-TV, USA
    Don Webster, Retired Meteorologist WEWS-TV, USA
    Douglas Leahey, Meteorologist, Canada
    Eugenio Hackbart, Chief Meteorologist MetSul Meteorologia Weather Center, Brazil
    Herb Stevens, Meteorologist WNYT-TV, USA
    James Spann, AMS Certified Meteorologist, Chief Meteorologist WCFT-TV, WJSU-TV, USA
    Jason Russell, Meteorologist, WTEN-TV, USA
    Joe Bastardi, B.S. Meteorology, Penn State, Expert Senior Forecaster AccuWeather, USA
    John Coleman, Meteorologist, Founder of ‘The Weather Channel’, Chief Meteorologist KUSI-TV, USA
    Jon Loufman, Meteorologist WOIO-TV, USA
    Justin Berk, B.S. Meteorology, Cornell University, AMS Certified Meteorologist, Meteorologist WMAR-TV, USA
    Karl Bohnak, B.S. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin, AMS Certified Meteorologist, Meteorologist WLUC-TV, USA
    Kevin Lemanowicz, B.S. Meteorology, Cornell University, Chief Meteorologist WFXT-TV, USA
    Kevin Williams, B.S. Meteorology, Cornell University, Chief Meteorologist WHEC-TV, USA
    Lee Eddington, Meteorologist Geophysics Branch, U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, USA
    Mark Koontz, Meteorologist WFMJ-TV, USA
    Mark Breen, B.S. Meteorology, Lyndon State College, Senior Meteorologist Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, USA
    Mark Johnson, AMS Certified Meteorologist, Chief Meteorologist, WEWS-TV, USA
    Nick Morganelli, Free-Lance Meteorologist, USA
    Richard (Rich) Apuzzo, Chief Meteorologist Skyeye Weather, USA
    Roy Leep, B.S. Meteorology, Florida State University, Meteorologist WTVT-TV, USA
    Sally Bernier, B.S. Meteorology, Lyndon State College, Meteorologist WJW-TV, USA
    Shane Hollett, Meteorologist WMJI-FM, USA
    Steven Nogueira, NWS Senior Meteorologist, USA
    Terry Eliasen, B.S. Meteorology, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Meteorologist WBZ-TV, USA
    Thomas B. Gray, M.S. Meteorology, USA
    Tim Kelley, B.S. Meteorology, Lyndon State College, Meteorologist NECN, USA
    Tom Chisholm, B.S. Atmospheric Sciences, Lyndon State College, Chief Meteorologist WMTW-TV, USA
    William Kininmonth, M.Sc, Colorado State University, Retired Head of Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Australia
    Andrey Illarionov, Ph.D. Economics, St. Petersburg University, Russia
    Benny Peiser, Ph.D. Professor of Social Anthropology, Liverpool John Moores University, UK
    Bjørn Lomborg, Ph.D. Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
    Daniel R. Simmons, B.A. Economics, Utah State University, USA
    Dennis Avery, M.S. Agricultural Economics, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
    James Inhofe, B.A. Economics, University of Tulsa, USA
    John J. Ray, Ph.D. Psychology, Macquarie University, Mensa, Sydney, Australia
    Marlo Lewis, B.A. Political Science, Ph.D. Government, Claremont McKenna College, USA
    Margo Thorning, Ph.D. Economics, University of Georgia, USA
    Myron Ebell, M.Sc. Economics, London School of Economics, USA
    Richard Tol, Ph.D. Economics, Vrije Universiteit, The Netherlands
    Richard W. Rahn, Ph.D. Business Economics, Columbia University, USA
    Robert Bradley, B.A. Economics, Ph.D. Political Economy, University of Houston, USA
    Robert Higgs, Ph.D. Economics, Johns Hopkins University, USA
    Roger A. Pielke (Jr.), Ph.D. Political Science, University of Colorado, USA
    Ross McKitrick, Ph.D. Economics, University of British Columbia, Canada
    Thomas A. Birkland, Ph.D. Political Science, University of Washington, USA
    Thomas Gale Moore, Ph.D. Economics, University of Chicago, USA
    Vaclav Klaus, app. Ph.D. Economics, University of Economics, Prague, Czechoslovakia
    William Nordhaus, Ph.D. Economics, MIT, USA

  18. Joe says:

    Ron — That was your silliest post to date. First off, 20 feet eventually ain’t 20 feet by 2100. I have been crystal clear on the key issue — the rate of change of sea level rise matters most, and most of the experts I’ve talked to, like Hansen, say it could hit 6 to 12 inches a DECADE by 2100.

    Your list is absurd — you don’t specify what “part of the prevailing ‘theory’ ” they disagree with. I disagree with “part of the prevailing ‘theory’ ” — namely the part that ignores key feedbacks and ice dynamics.

    And who the frig CARES if economists or political scientists have partial disagreement with some part of the science? Honestly! Roger Pielke and Ross McKitrick — you’ll need to do better than that!!!

  19. Ron says:

    Okay, so maybe it’s a silly list. No sillier than claiming there’s a consensus among scientists, however. And lots of people care if the idea of a consensus was just ‘made up’. And the opinions of economists and political scientists do matter. I guess we could ask who the frig cares what Al Gore thinks under your rules of engagement.

    Don’t climate change activists understand the meaning of that word ‘consensus’? And don’t they understand how damaging that would be to science if there really was a consensus?

    It’s probably a good thing for you and other activists & scientists that there isn’t a consensus. If there was, what would be the point in grants to study it any further?

    I’m just asking for less propaganda, more clear honesty, and a helluva lot less taxation and government intervention. Is that really too much to ask?

  20. Joe says:

    What you refuse to accept is that the IPCC was specifically set up by the governments of the world because global warming is such a complex subject, touching so many aspects of life, that it was felt that the top climate scientists (and related fields) should periodically review the peer-reviewed literature and issue “consensus” statements. These are consensus in the sense that in the official international body of top scientists put it together AND every single member government has veto authority of every single word in the summary for policymakers.

    I don’t know what else to call this but a consensus. In that sense, it is the exact opposite of propaganda — and it is arguably the least-strong statement of the science that can be made based on the literature.

    I agree the “consensus” is a bad term if it implies we know everything or that the IPCC is the final word. Indeed, regular readers know that I believe the “consensus” seriously understates what is likely to happen in the planet in the coming decades if we don’t take action soon.

    What Al Gore personally thinks is not really much more germane than what I personally think. But the synthesis we present based on the science (and discussions with scientists) are certainly legitimate — and can and have withstood serious scrutiny.

  21. Ron says:

    Okay, I stand corrected. I took this talk of a consensus to mean that it was a consensus of the world’s scientists, but I see it’s intended to mean a consensus or committee statement of the people who signed the IPCC report. I guess I can buy the use of the word in that sense.

    It sounds like there are scientific opinions all over the map on this issue, and given the fact that the summaries are issued by committee – it makes sense you might feel their assessment is understating the problem.

    You know, I’m not stupid (I’m pretty sure…), but I know I can be dense sometimes.

    I still don’t accept that the hypothesis has been sufficiently supported by observation, but (you may not believe this) I do have an open mind and am still searching for a good explanation. You present it as a very easy conclusion to make, so somewhere someone is going to be able to explain it to this thick-headed guy (myself). Right?

  22. Joe says:

    You didn’t like Hansen’s Iowa testimony?

  23. Ron says:

    I printed out Hansen’s testimony and am working my way through it when I have the time (did you know I’m a single dad with 3 kids? Time is at a premium). Previously, I just did some skimming, I must admit. But it seems to me that he mostly just states the hypothesis, as usual, as if it’s a given. He offers some observational evidence, of course, but as we all know there is contrary evidence too. If this was as cut & dried as you want everybody to believe, we might really have a ‘scientific consensus’, but we don’t, so this calls for some real thinking.

    I didn’t say I didn’t ‘like’ his testimony, but I’m trying to keep an open mind while employing some critical thinking. I’ll get back to you.

  24. Joe says:

    A single dad with 3 kids? And you have time to spend on this?

    Wow! I’m a married dad with one (adorable) nine-month old who takes up all of my spare time.

    The testimony doesn’t have all the references that his scientific publications do — but I’m not sure what contrary evidence you are talking about.

  25. john says:


    Justice Scalia, in talking about the opinion of a couple of Senators on a piece of legislation said, “The opinions of an individual Legislator, expressed outside the deliberation of the Legislative body, are scintillatingly irrelevant.”

    The individual opinions of a cats and dogs list of a bunch of agronomists, economists, chemists, and geologists etc. are likewise of no value when compared to the consensus documents issued by the world’s leading climatologists.

    And yeah, there were six climatologists on your list, but I challenge you to find even one peer reviewed article by even one of them, that undercuts the prevailing scientific perspective on AGW.

    But don’t waste too much time looking — your kids are far more important and they will need all the nurturing and help you can give them to grow up able to cope with the world we’re leaving them.

  26. Paul K says:

    The world’s leading climatologists appear to be close knit secretive group continually reinforcing preconceived notions based on the same limited number of statistically flawed, programming deficient, impossible to replicate studies.

  27. Joe says:

    There are 1000s of studies, not a limited number.
    Please identify the “statistically flawed” ones. If you are talking about the hockey-stick, the National Academy vindicated it.
    All the studies have been replicated, that’s why people believe them.

  28. john says:


    I don’t mean to be unkind here, Paul, but that post was simply over the top. You’ve jumped the shark.

    You’ve been referred yto empirical examples from geologic history that support the modeling;

    You’ve been pointed to articles and testimony by Hansen that outline in very simple terms what’s going on;

    Climate change is becoming one of the most widely studied phenomena in science, and as Joe points out, the results of these studies have been broadly replicated, and moreover, the forecasts they’ve made are happening now. What more can you ask, before accepting the science?

    You seem to just make stuff up, with absolutely no regard for reality, just to bolster your preconceived notions.

    “Close knit secretive group?” Are you kiding? You’re embarrassing yourself with this petulant belief in anti-scientific mythologies.

    Maybe you ought to just start a religion. Faith-based denialists. I’m not being facetious here, Paul. You seem to be clinging to your denial with a religious ferocity, so why not? If you operated outside the contraints of science, your ontology would be as valid as anyone else’s without having to deal with facts, truth, and context. And best of all, you could make all the outrageous and counterfactual claims you wanted to and no one could tell you you were wrong. It would all be a matter of faith and belief, not data and reality.

    Think about it.

  29. Paul K says:

    You are not unkind. My comment was over the top and purposely so. Note that I used the phrase “appear to be” rather than word “are” much the same as AIT implies but really doesn’t say that AGW caused Katrina or Greenland will melt in the next hundred years. For the record, I am not a denier. The 20th century was clearly warmer than the 19th. It is also inconceivable that the vast amounts of pollutants and gases we are emitting, as well as deforestation and land use changes, has no effect on weather and climate. While I have a much lower opinion of the current state of climate science than you do, I ascribe the deficiencies I see mostly to the newness of the science and expect it to be much improved as time passes. It will, I admit, take a lot for me to accept the apocalypse predicted by some.
    I am also not a delayer. For reasons other than global warming, I am fully supportive of the kinds of policies proposed by ClimateProgress and recommend this site to friends on all sides of this issue. I don’t think it necessary to agree with Joe’s reasons to agree with his solutions.
    As far as starting a religion, I have one that serves my inner life reasonably well. Please note that it is Al Gore who says AGW is a moral issue. I would be happy to participate in or lead a mass movement devoted to replacing carbon based energy with clean alternatives on a grand scale. While reducing CO2 emissions would not be my specific goal, it would be one of the results.
    Since, for me, the AGW science debate is interesting but irrelevant to where I think we should all be going with energy production and consumption, I’ll for now retract my outlandish comment in favor of finding common ground on policy and solutions. Everything I know about climate change has been learned since early last July when I first stumbled across ClimateProgress. It might be possible to find time to reconstruct and relate to you the pathway to my current views, but think that time would be better spent figuring out a way to afford one of those hot Fisker plug-ins.

  30. john says:


    Glad to hear all of that … there are many reasons to cut carbon, and those of us who think it necessary should spend less time quibbling about our reasons, and more figuring out how to do it, as you suggest.


    PS I’ll save the Fisker for my son … provided he lets me drive it once in a while.

  31. DocHolliday says:

    I’d like to thank Mariposa for a thoughtful, well-written post that really sums up how many of us feel.

    “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this is a problem. The fact that 99 percent of the scientific community is in agreeance regarding the human impact on the planet, is pretty well known and accepted. Where’s your documentaion saying that’s a lie? Did you ask 99 percent of the scientific personally to see if their solidarity on the subject is really all just a hoax?

    I can never figure out what behooves skeptics to continue denying the phenomena of climate change. Regardless of your ignorance, you’ll be suffering alongside everyone else, and fewer and fewer people will give your continued and misguided skepticism another thought.”

    Bravo, Mariposa! Bravo!

    To that point, here’s a short list of deniers I’ve identified who should be burned at the stake for the good of us all: Chris Landsea, John R Christy, Christopher Monckton, Bob Carter, Joe Barton, Vaclav Klaus, John Coleman, Nigel Calder, Richard Lindzen, John Stossel, Vincent Gray, Reid Bryson, Patrick Michaels, George Taylor, Claude Allegre, etc., etc.

    And that’s just a short list. These clowns don’t represent 1% of scientists, why should we listen to them? Okay, so it’s true that Einstein, one lonely man, overturned 300 years of Newtonian physics while he was still a clerk. Human history is replete with advances that occurred only because of scientists who broke with the “consensus.” That’s irrelevant to today’s discussion.

    To paraphrase a good friend, when you combine Internet access (and the sudden ability to post your comments all over the planet,) no real understanding of climate science (possibly through willful ignorance), and an inexplicable ideology that says independent thinking and all efforts to improve the human condition are evil, you get a bumper crop of idiots who show no fear in exposing their ignorance for all of us to see.

    There is no hope in trying to make such people understand what’s going on with global warming. The best we can hope for is to muster enough enlightened people to save these people from their own warped beliefs.

    Thanks again, Mariposa ;)

  32. Eli Rabett says:

    Ron’s list includes a Richard S. Courtney as someone who received a doctorate from Ohio State University (and now teaches at Kutztown State University in PA). This is NOT the Richard S. Courtney who is the professional climate denialist and does not have a doctorate.

  33. Hank Roberts says:

    Ron, where did you get that list? Is it directly from a file kept by Inhofe, somewhere, or from some secondary compilation?

    I’ve been trying to trace it back to wherever it came from.

    What’s your source? Where did you copy it from?