New study reaffirms broad scientific understanding of climate change, questions media’s reliance on tiny group of less-credibile scientists for “balance”

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"New study reaffirms broad scientific understanding of climate change, questions media’s reliance on tiny group of less-credibile scientists for “balance”"

Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that 1) 97-98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; and 2) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.

That is the conclusion of an important first-of-its-kind study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Expert credibility in climate change.”

The findings will come as no surprise whatsoever to 97% to 98% of scientists or regular CP readers — but it could theoretically open the eyes of those in the status quo media who keep suggesting the ‘experts’ they cite that keep pushing anti-science disinformation are somehow close to being equal in number, credibility, or expertise to the broad community of climate scientists, thereby implying serious disagreements among mainstream scientists (see here, here, and here).

Of course, those reporters will no doubt just call up their favorite disinformer for a balancing quote.  The status quo media simply doesn’t care if the person they’re quoting has been wrong again and again and again, has published few if any significant articles in the field, or actually continues to spread disinformation that has been long debunked in the scientific literature (see “Should you believe anything John Christy and Roy Spencer say?“)

The PNAS authors say bluntly:

Preliminary reviews of scientific literature and surveys of climate scientists indicate striking agreement with the primary conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been responsible for “most” of the “unequivocal” warming of the Earth’s average global temperature over the second half of the twentieth century…

A vocal minority of researchers and other critics contest the conclusions of the mainstream scientific assessment, frequently citing large numbers of scientists whom they believe support their claims.  This group, often termed climate change skeptics, contrarians, or deniers, has received large amounts of media attention and wields significant influence in the societal debate about climate change impacts and policy….

Despite media tendencies to present ‘both sides’ in ACC debates [anthropogenic climate change], which can contribute to continued public misunderstanding regarding ACC, not all climate researchers are equal in scientific credibility and expertise in the climate system.  This extensive analysis of the mainstream versus skeptical/contrarian researchers suggests a strong role for considering expert credibility in the relative weight of and attention to these groups of researchers in future discussions in media, policy, and public forums regarding anthropogenic climate change..

The Union of Concerned Scientists notes that the study “findings are consistent with a 2009 survey of scientists’ attitudes as well as a 2004 survey of the scientific literature on climate change. The Anderegg et al. paper comes on the heels of a series of NAS reports that underscore the reality of human-induced climate change and the need to respond.”

Brenda Ekwurzel, a UCS climate scientist points out “The biggest wildcard is how much we’ll change the future climate, largely due to uncertainty about how much more carbon dioxide we will dump into the atmosphere. It’s up to policymakers to act, knowing that heat-trapping emissions from burning fossil fuels are the biggest lever acting on the climate.”

UPDATE:  Chris Mooney writes:

Those of us who follow this issue closely won’t be surprised-but the results mean that journalists who have given a lot of weight to climate “skeptics” have some ‘splaining to do. Essentially, this paper seems to be suggesting that they got the wrong “experts.”

Incidentally, given how closely this study hits home, I would expect it to be attacked-just as Naomi Oreskes’ famous paper “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change” was.

Duh!  The disinformers are certainly upset with this study, since it exposes just how phony the entire disinformation campaign is.

Ironically, the best defense that some of the disinformers seem to have is, “I am not a skeptic.”  But that label was originally pushed by the disinformers themselves — in fact, all serious scientists are skeptics.  The issue is not whether someone is skeptical of the supposed ‘consensus’ — another ill-defined term that is it not terribly useful (see “Disputing the ‘consensus’ on global warming“).  The issue is whether folks are actively spreading disinformation, especially disinformation that has been long debunked in the scientific literature.  As I’ve said for many years now, it is time for the media to stop listening to, quoting, and enabling those who spread anti-science and anti-scientist disinformation.

See also CSW.

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48 Responses to New study reaffirms broad scientific understanding of climate change, questions media’s reliance on tiny group of less-credibile scientists for “balance”

  1. mike roddy says:

    Someone needs to hold the American media accountable for their shameful performance here. Charlatans like Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre were granted many opportunities in MSM feature articles to spout their nonsense. Then, when detailed studies debunked their claims about “biased weather stations” and “broken hockey sticks”, this news was either not covered or buried somewhere.

    If scientific organizations will take the trouble to report these issues in detail, the Columbia Journalism Review or maybe the SEJ Journal should do likewise. This will mean exhaustive review of major media archives on the subject for the last few years. They will have to name names, too. If they’re too timid for it (likely), this may have to be left to the only media people who seem to be willing, Center for American Progress via this blog, or Rolling Stone. Even Rolling Stone may have too many media relationships to tackle this, so you may be the best one to do it, Joe, as you have done so well on these pages for years.

    There has been a wave of reports from scientific organizations recently establishing what the evidence says on this entire subject. Let’s kick the deniers while they’re down, and be rid of them once and for all. The nutty ones among us who will still go for it, along with alien abductions and Loch Ness monsters. Who cares?

  2. Mark Shapiro says:

    OT, but PSC at APL just updated their BPIOMAS estimate of Arctic sea ice volume, and it smashed the record low anomaly — again. It looks like -10,700 km3, and way, way below trend.

    Yuck.

  3. Raul says:

    My mistake,
    recient photos show oil being collected by vacuum.

  4. Alessandro F. says:

    Sad, actually, that we have to do research of how many researchers believe in the results of climate research. But on this topic, this study was sorely needed.

    One emerging denialist talking point seems to be how much exactly anthropogenic greenhouse gases contribute to global warming.

    Given our dire situation I fell that it is not enough to say “most”, “significantly” and so on, we need a firmly established (conservative) lower bound (XX %) which can be corrected upwards as the research progresses.

    Does anyone here know of such a bound in the literature?

  5. prokaryote says:

    Alessandro F. “Sad, actually, that we have to do research of how many researchers believe in the results of climate research. But on this topic, this study was sorely needed.”

    Indeed as in logic theory it would just require one single researcher.

  6. Tim L. says:

    So, to sum it up: we have near virtual unanimity among climate scientists that human beings are responsible for the observed global warming trends that threaten our very survival. Climate “skeptics” and denialists largely funded by Pig Oil have zero scientific foundations for their arguments. Yet media phonies try to prop up their own declining fortunes by running continued stories about the so-called “scientific debate.” We are so screwed.

  7. jyyh says:

    The anthropgenic addition to CO2 levels in the atmosphere begins per some researchers from the invention of agriculture, the ‘early anthropocene hypothesis’. As forests are cleared for fields the bound carbon in life diminishes thus raising the levels (the animals vs. plants ratio gets larger). These researches say the stability of the climate in Holocene period compared to Eemian period (which had fluctuations in the sea level, though it’s not probably the best comparison in the paleorecord, but that’s another matter) is a result of human activities. Watering of too dry fields helps in this respect. This raise is very difficult to measure. On the other hand the measurements of isotopes of carbon clearly show the fossilic carbon, as a result cites can be found of the anthropogenic portion of the carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere. One result was, at least 50% of the released dioxide from fossil fuels remain in the atmosphere, so IMHO the anthropogenic portion is 50-100%, depending on how one cultivates the crops/raises the feedstock.

  8. Heraclitus says:

    Good to hear this study being reported on the regular (radio) news bulletins by the BBC this morning, hopefully it will get the coverage it deserves. Maybe also they can start making some link between the record warmest 12 month period, the spate (!) of floods around the globe, the frankly alarming collapse in arctic ice volumes, ….

  9. GasMan says:

    Joe, I have followed RealClimate and other similar sites for a while now. I have a science background and have tried to focus purely on the science. I am new to Climate Progress. Thanks for your hard work at Climate Progress and the constant effort to keep your readers up to date on Climate related posts. I think I speak for many of us, we look forward to the new posts on Climate Progress every single day. You are reaching us, the general public, and your making a difference. You inspire me: I have changed how I get to work, how I live, how and where I shop, and how I spend my leisure time. I expect you have inspired countless others in this important cause…
    Now, we all need to reach out to those around us and bring climate change science, and the urgency of dealing with, to the forefront of American consciousness. And then hopefully Americans can confront the politicians that have the power to make the real changes that address climate change as a country.
    Thanks again for your efforts…
    T

  10. website says:

    As forests are cleared for fields the bound carbon in life diminishes thus raising the levels (the animals vs. plants ratio gets larger). These researches say the stability of the climate in Holocene period compared to Eemian period (which had fluctuations in the sea level, though it’s not probably the best comparison in the paleorecord, but that’s another matter) is a result of human activities.

  11. Acronym List says:

    Given our dire situation I fell that it is not enough to say “most”, “significantly” and so on, we need a firmly established (conservative) lower bound (XX %) which can be corrected upwards as the research progresses.

  12. talkpc says:

    There has been a wave of reports from scientific organizations recently establishing what the evidence says on this entire subject. Let’s kick the deniers while they’re down, and be rid of them once and for all. The nutty ones among us who will still go for it, along with alien abductions and Loch Ness monsters. Who cares?

  13. Leland Palmer says:

    It’s a corporate owned media.

    They say what they are paid to say, mostly.

    In order to get the message through to the general public, we need to change the ownership of the media, IMO.

    Short of that, we will be living in a stagnant society with necessary change subverted by the elite controlled media.

    How do you take news organizations away from owners who are making large profits from propaganda?

    It’s another case where we are not being served very well by capitalism, but don’t know how to change the system.

  14. toby says:

    I notice that on many denialist blogs they are spinnng this as a “blacklist”, not as a presentation of the facts.

  15. toby says:

    Here is an example of what I meant:

    http://www.thegwpf.org/

  16. Nicolas Huillard says:

    Apparently, the main media in France do not need to quote deniers anymore, as they simply cut sentences of experts at the “correct” place to negate their meaning.
    Last week on France2 evening news show (“Journal de 20h”), David Pujadas basically said all recent events in Europe (Xynthia, Var and other floods, etc.) were definitely not an effect of global warming.
    They then showed Jean Jouzel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Jouzel) in a single sentence interview, who said “none of these events can be linked to global warming”. Last time I heard him replying to the same question (“are these events related to GW?”), he said the same thing, followed by “…but all of these events are consistent with the conclusions of scientific studies, etc.”
    (these translations are from the top of my head)
    As Tim L. says above: “We are so screwed”
    David Pujadas added that GW may have an effect, on tropical zones only.

  17. Peter Mizla says:

    The media has shown a total disregard to the public for not telling the public the hard truth about climate change. Instead they have tried to provide ‘balance’ by giving a small group of denialists to much voice and legitimacy climate change is likely to be the most important challenge we face this century And a media still worried about displeasing the far right is failing to report information that posies huge risks to society as we know it.

  18. Heraclitus says:

    Toby #15 – I find myself in the very strange position of agreeing with Tom Fuller. It does seem strange that the list should bend over backwards to try to find scientists with a shred of credibility who could be described as sceptical. Also lumping all those who feel that the IPCC is way too conservative into the same group as those who take the moderate ‘middle ground’ seems to lose some of the breadth in the debate. Clearly the study underplays the concerns that climate scientists have.

    Well, I thin that was what Fuller was complaining about, but I could be wrong.

  19. mike roddy says:

    Funny article on the deniers, though I’m prejudiced:

    http://www.tinyurl.com/2flcvzy

    [JR: Link doesn't work for me.]

  20. Matt R says:

    “Of course, those reporters will no doubt just call up their favorite disinformer for a balancing quote.”

    no sooner said than done:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/science_and_environment/10370955.stm

    Awful, ‘he said, she said’ journalism from the BBC again. I used to expect better from the BBC, so I’ve emailed a complaint to them.

  21. mark says:

    Sadly one of the betert Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio programs, “The Current” has had skeptics as guests, in the interests, I guess, of “balance”

    Yesterday they had on such a guest.

    I sent them the article you linked to, and asked them to stop.

  22. Lore says:

    Heraclitus #18

    Reading any of Fuller’s bellicose bag of bilious baloney will only rot your brain. He like so many other delayers pretends to walk the fence while clearly attempting to place doubt about any legitimate supporting climate change fact or study. Deniers in sheep’s clothing are worse then the admitted deniers themselves. I gave up reading his “paygo” blog a long time ago. The less said about him the better.

  23. caerbannog says:

    Re: #20 above.

    Here’s the “money-quote” from that BBC article:


    But climate sceptics questioned the findings, saying that publication in scientific journals was not a fair test of expertise.

    That line is something I’d expect to hear from Stephen Colbert, not the BBC.

  24. Heraclitus says:

    Incredible. Does the BBC even recognise the irony?!

    Giveth with one hand….

  25. mike roddy says:

    The link goes to google, which redirects it. No biggie, though- I’m a bit tired of the piece.

  26. Guillaume Tell says:

    The full PNAS article, “Expert credibility in climate change,” is available (no paywall) here:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107.full.pdf+html

  27. Jim Prall says:

    Hi everyone and thanks Joe for the coverage. I’m the second author on the paper, and the one who collated the Google Scholar stats in the first place.

    I spent the past 18 months collecting links and stats on the signers of over 30 statements on climate, both pro and con. The paper and the stats should speak for themselves. I won’t add anything more here, except to point out another set of statements not covered in the paper as they came out since we did the analysis; there have been eight statements by scientists from around the world standing up for climate scientists and the IPCC, totaling just over 5000 signers. I’ve blogged about these
    here (including a link to a complete list of all the names. Frankly, I could never had included lists this large in a study like ours anyway, as all Google Scholar stats had to be collected manually (they don’t allow automated searches, and anyway the results need to be checked.)

    I’m glad to see people commenting here are fired up to get started addressing this problem. I’m feeling like from here on I want to spend a lot less time looking at climate skeptics and online “debate” about the existence of any CO2 problem, and more time looking at solutions. There are tons of solutions out there and I encourage everyone to learn as much as you can about them: geothermal, concentrating solar thermal, biochar, electric vehicles, net-zero-energy home design, etc.

    Joe’s coverage of such topics is as good a place as any to start! Thanks again, Joe!

  28. Len Ornstein says:

    Generally, considering that technological applications of scientific models, developed to reduce uncertainty about real-world risks, have been widely successful for making life safer and more comfortable for an increasing fraction of the world population, why is there so little trust in the judgments of scientists who generate and test such models?

    More particularly, what are some of the roots of the divide between the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) scientific “consensus” and the view of the skeptical “deniers”?

    Can the divide be bridged?

    Beginning (near the turn of the 20th century) with the theoretical studies of Svante Arrhenius about how infrared absorbing gases help determine the surface temperature of the earth; then spurred by the reexamination of those models in the 1950’s, by Roger Revelle, and in the 1960’s, by Jule Charney; and then James Hansen’s modeling of the unique green-house-gas (GHG) forcing of the very hot atmospheric temperature of Venus – climatologists and geophysicists began to vigorously reexamine such models in greater detail. This was strongly stimulated by Charles Keeling’s accumulating data of the steadily increasing concentration of well-mixed atmospheric CO2, measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory, beginning in 1958, at about 317 ppm (and presently at about 390 ppm). Quite early, it became quite clear that the CO2 concentration had been flat, at about 280 ppm for centuries (if not millenia) prior to the growing burning of fossil carbon (coal, petroleum and natural gas) to fuel the industrial revolution. That CO2 record was the prototypical – and almost ‘noiseless’ – “hockey stick”.

    Although the most advanced theoretical climate models still leave uncertainty, particularly about the sign and magnitudes of the effects, on GHG feedbacks, of some low- and high-clouds, a consensus began to develop that threats of resulting increases in global temperature – and the very large risks associated with their possible consequences – deserved substantial increase in attention.

    Increasing efforts ensued to TRY to collect sufficiently unbiased, and statistically significant ‘other’ proxies for the hockey stick: global mean surface temperatures (GMST), ocean heat content (OHC), seal level rise (SLR), glacial ice-cores, sediment cores, tree-ring dendrology, etc. – all much ‘noisier’ than the Keeling curve. The GMST trend for the last 40 or so years has converged to something like a mean of +0.2ºC/century, with considerable spread to the associated ‘95% confidence interval’. The other proxies may be slightly less convincing – but are not too out of line. And the increasingly more realistic (and more complicated) climate models, initialized with historic data sets, provide predicted/projected extrapolations that are not ‘too’ far off either.

    There’s a general ‘feeling’ that such ‘reinforcing’ correlation of very different ‘kinds observations’ and models SHOULD help to build confidence above the level provided by each ‘independent’ data set. But so far, no good ‘statistical’ tools exist for ‘averaging’ such diverse results to get a ‘net mean and its confidence interval’. In the breach, a widely accepted, but uncomfortable paradigm has developed, among both scientists and policy makers, to tentatively rely on the collective intuitions and confidence of those ‘expert peers’ who are judged to be most familiar with the data sets and with the relevance of that data to related physical models.

    Even if the GMST trend were ‘only’ +0.1ºC/century, the associated risks would be delayed only by a ‘blink’ of geologic time – still demanding to be taken quite seriously, NOW! However, that conclusion is pretty much ignored!

    This certainly is an over-simplified account. But it probably describes the root of the origins of the mainstream AGW ‘consensus’ – and of the current position of more conservative ‘warmists’ – and why they believe we must begin to seriously plan for mitigating AGW risks.

    Some of the apparent internal ‘contradictions’ just reviewed seem inimical to the mind-set of most skeptical “deniers’.

    They, and many others, are also put off by the record of ‘failed jeremiahs’:

    1) Robert Malthus, who at the end of the 18th century, published his simple but penetrating theoretical econometric model, “An Essay on the Principle of Population”, that has turned out to have been ‘off’ in the timing of its predictions (but I believe, probably is about ‘correct’ in predicting what we must expect, if some appropriate changes in human behavior fail to accommodate – ‘in time’ – to the reality of the finite resources of our planet); and

    2) the predictions of the Club of Rome’s 1972, “The Limits to Growth”, that also have proven to have been somewhat premature.

    Whether there remains any residual truth is such “predictions” is ignored. A majority look at them as major scams, dishonestly foisted on the public by unscrupulous – or dishonest scienists.

    And the IPCC was supposed to adhere closely to “policy relevant” rather than “policy prescriptive” issues! How could the IPCC leadership get away with pushing their ideological perspective on the world, in such stark contravention of their assigned task? That policy relevance depends completely upon assigning values to possible outcomes, and therefore is inseparable from models of possible prescriptive cures, – that the charge is self-contradictory (and impossible?) – is ignored.

    Further:

    a) The perceptions of just where science fits – in the spectrum of beliefs – differ among policy makers, the general public – and, to some extent, even among scientists – and this also has to contribute a great deal to the resulting dissonance.

    b) It certainly doesn’t help that many believe motivation for science, does and should stem from values derived from Golden Rules (close to: pragmatic rules to govern personal behavior of members of a very communication-competent species, to tend to enhance biological ‘self’-preservation, through cooperation designed to maximize ‘group/species’-survival),

    c) while others, e.g., Logical Positivists, insist that science can, – and ‘should’ – be freed from all such metaphysical baggage (fundamentally incorrect conclusions, as I argue in the reference, below). And

    d) still others say the only motivation for ‘true’ science ‘must’ arise from value-free curiosity – whatever that is – poses other serious problems ;-)

    I believe these unpleasant pieces of the puzzle need to be fit into place in order to understand the internally conflicting positions of many honest “deniers”, and to understand and the positions of others who are committed to absolute confidence in the truth of some fundamental ‘axioms’ of their ideological (religious/mathematic/econometric/political) belief systems. Like so many others, as well, they don’t yet understand how to accommodate to the unavoidable finite range of residual uncertainties about ALL scientific ‘facts’. They fail to appreciate that observations only can increase or decrease – but never absolutely prove, or FALSIFY – confidence in scientific models/theories.

    Their conundrum therefore remains: which models/theories of science can be trusted; HOW MUCH can they be trusted; and why? So far, science and science education rarely even attempt to answer these questions in a straightforward manner!

    For further ‘clarification’ of these latter points, see:

    “The Sceptical Scientific Mind-Set in the Spectrum of Belief: It’s about models of ‘reality’ – and the unavoidable incompleteness of evidence, for – or against – any model”,

    for THE? argument of why science provides the ONLY reliable tools to help us to deal with real-world risks!

    http://www.pipeline.com/~lenornst/ScienceInTheSpectrumOfBelief.pdf

  29. toby says:

    Jim #27,

    Congrats on your paper, though from the buzzing coming from denialists’ blogs, the bees are angry!!!

    How come this is being spun as a blacklist? I could see no names in the paper.

    [JR: Calling this a blacklist is a whitewash!]

  30. MapleLeaf says:

    Jim @27. Thanks for all the hard work Jim Prall!

  31. MapleLeaf says:

    Does anyone else see the irony in the BBC approaching Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen for comment? For those here who do not know, she is the editor of the “journal” “Energy and Environment” which is considered by many not to be peer-reviewed literature, and which is also not carried by the ISN. She has also submitted some intriguing “evidence” to the inquiries concerning the SwiftHack debacle.

    The BBC certainly has lost much credibility in the way it has handled the SwiftHack and other affairs of late. Shame on them.

    Toby @29. There simply is no “black list”, they are desperately trying to spin this and arguing straw men. In contrast, Inhofe’s “blacklist” of 17 climate scientists is very real.

  32. caerbannog says:


    How come this is being spun as a blacklist? I could see no names in the paper.

    It’s a double-secret blacklist!

  33. Matto says:

    It’s all well and good to put these people on a list:
    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/skeptic_authors_table.html

    But there needs to be a concerted effort to block these people from publishing, speaking to the media or disseminating fraud via internet. Perhaps fines or even jail time depending on the severity and frequency of the offenses. I believe the first step is getting an ecocide law on the books. The stakes are too high to allow dissenting opinion.

    [JR: I am getting so many comments these days that sometimes I miss one. This notion is inane.

    To the disinformers linking to this comment: If the best you can do to support your uber-weak arguments against a peer-reviewed study is to quote some dubious comment on a blog somewhere, then you are even more intellectually bankrupt than I thought.

    Seriously, have you folks read half the comments on the web these days? You can find "evidence" for almost any inane behavior out there. Truly a new low by the disinformers.]

  34. toby says:

    Matto #33

    Your proposal is so offensive that I strongly suspect “concern trolling”.

    These people should be allowed publish anything that passes muster in the peer review process. Let’s leave blacklists to the likes of Inhofe and Cucinelli.

    Dissenting opinion is welcome, as long as it is evidence-based, and that once refuted, it stays refuted.

  35. Mark S says:

    Re: this paper being a ‘blacklist’.

    How come when deniers publish names of scientists (like the Inhofe 700) who disagree with the consensus view it’s OK-just showing there is no consensus-but when a paper that actually looks at those scientists and attempts to categorize their relative experience it’s called a blacklist? More blatant hypocrisy.

    Another hypocritical point from the deniers criticizing this paper: they are always talking about openness and transparency of the research. Now, when the authors provide source and names they are calling it a blacklist. Either the authors don’t provide the names and get accused of faking statistics or they provide the names and get accused of blacklisting.

    Ridiculous.

  36. Fire Mountain says:

    “Average ice extent for May 2010 was 480,000 square kilometers (185,000 square miles) greater than the record low for May, observed in 2006, and 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles) below the average extent for the month. The linear rate of decline for May over the 1979 to 2010 period is now -2.41% per decade.

    The rate of decline through the month of May was the fastest in the satellite record.” NSIDC

  37. SecularAnimist says:

    Len Ornstein wrote: “… the predictions of the Club of Rome’s 1972, ‘The Limits to Growth’, that also have proven to have been somewhat premature.”

    Bogus talking point.

    The Limits To Growth and the sequel Beyond The Limits did NOT make “predictions”. They set forth possible scenarios. That’s an entirely different thing.

    And comparing their scenarios with the actual subsequent behaviors of human societies gives no cause for comfort. Quite the contrary.

    There is abundant evidence suggesting that we have already “overshot” the capacity of the Earth to support human civilization, and we are now in free fall.

    The people who sneer at Limits To Growth are like a crazy person who just jumped off a twenty-story building and is plummeting towards the pavement below, while imagining that he is flying like Superman and proclaiming that the people who warned him about hitting the pavement are idiots.

  38. MapleLeaf says:

    I agree with Toby. What is suggested by Matto at #33 is unacceptable.

    Sigh. Roy Spencer has not written a blog post on this. Incredibly disappointing to see him engage in such baseless rhetoric and I told him as much! You really do have to read it to believe it.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/06/the-global-warming-inquisition-has-begun/

    Joe, Spencer’s blog post might deserve its own thread…

  39. Neven says:

    But climate sceptics questioned the findings, saying that publication in scientific journals was not a fair test of expertise.

    Ah, so the IPCC using grey literature is OK then?

    The rate of decline through the month of May was the fastest in the satellite record.

    June will most probably be the same.

  40. jerry says:

    Toby, Mapleleaf, I am eager to read your reviews of Jonathan’s Swift’s latest essay, “A Modest Proposal.” I am sure you will find the essay illuminating, if not controversial.

  41. MapleLeaf says:

    Jerry, I’m missing a something. Swift’s satire was written in 1729.

    If you want to try and make a point you need to elaborate.

  42. It is worth citing a great essay by journalist Ross Gelbspan

    U.S. Press Coverage of the Climate Crisis: A Damning Failure of Courage

    “Given the dramatic increase of extreme weather events – you would think that journalists, in covering these stories, would include the line: “Scientists associate this pattern of violent weather with global warming.” They don’t. ”

    “A few years ago I asked a top editor at CNN why, given the increasing proportion of news budgets dedicated to extreme weather, they did not make this connection. He told me, “We did. Once.” But it triggered a barrage of complaints from oil companies and automakers who threatened to withdraw all their ads from CNN if the network continued to connect weather extremes to global warming. Basically the industry intimidated CNN into dropping the one connection to which the average viewer could most easily relate.”

    http://www.heatisonline.org/contentserver/objecthandlers/index.cfm?id=7743&method=full

  43. toby says:

    @jerry #40,

    Being Irish, like Swift, I am familar with his essay “A Modest Proposal”. It was a proposal to address poverty by allowing the poor to eat their own children. Not a very good analogy with this situation, IMHO.

    Preseumably, you think Matto was being ironic in #33. Don’t think so, but irony is the refuge of the concern troller.

    Perhaps Matto might enlighten us.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Secular Animist (37):

    I’m sorry that you failed to appreciate that my position on Malthus/”Limits to Growth” and yours are about the same!

    However, our perspective is not shared widely.

    I was trying to point out that so long as what can and can’t be said, with confidence, is muddled in the minds of public and politicians, risks will not be faced rationally.

    That is probably the biggest impediment to bridging the divide between the “AGW consensus” and “honest deniers”. A major part of the ‘fault’ lies with the inadequate effort, scientists and science education apply to teaching where and how, science fits within the spectrum of beliefs.

  45. Len Ornstein says:

    Annonymous (44) = Len Ornstein

    Sorry about that!

  46. Fire Mountain quoted the NSIDC (36), “Average ice extent for May 2010 was 480,000 square kilometers (185,000 square miles) greater than the record low for May, observed in 2006, and 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles) below the average extent for the month. The linear rate of decline for May over the 1979 to 2010 period is now -2.41% per decade.

    “The rate of decline through the month of May was the fastest in the satellite record.”

    Fire Mountain, you might want to check out what has been happening to the volume:

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/IceVolume.php

    They have a graph, and it looks like the ice volume anomaly was pushed over the edge of a cliff. Quite unprecedented.

    Oh, and I have something a bit more long term on the Atlantic Ocean Heat content anomaly by Basin, 0-700 meters, mid-year 1955-2009:

    Here:

    The graph:
    http://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B-57vongYoiAMTE5M2FlNGYtMjg3Zi00MmNjLWFhMGMtNTE5OWM2MTFjYzU4&sort=name&layout=list&num=50
    … and the data:
    http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Au57vongYoiAdHZMNm5VQndLaHBZZDNLNUxSV2t1NGc&hl=en

    … a link to the original source for the data (NOAA’s National Oceanographic Data Center) is included in the spreadsheet.

  47. Matto says:

    @toby, mapleleaf, joe

    Perhaps I sounded a bit brash, never meant to come off as a troll for which I apologize. I just have a hard time reconciling the idea of freedom of speech and expression with the fact that we are talking about the END OF THE INHABITABLE BIOSPHERE. It’s my personal belief that the gravity of the situation should trump the denialists freedom to spew their anti-science propaganda. Are they free to do so? As currently, absolutely and I support their right to do so. I believe however that people such as Polly Higgins have the right idea moving forward and an ecocide law that mitigates dissension from the consensus would be ideal.

    Again, sorry to offend. I don’t comment here often but have been reading Joe’s stuff for years and as with many of us I am getting fed up with the denialist, anti-science nonsense.

    [JR: The anti-science crowd is free to spread their lies, yes, as destructive as that is. The media, however, is the key enabler.]

  48. Matto says:

    It’s also regretful if disinformers were quoting my comment out of context. Who exactly was doing this anyway?