An open letter about climate politics from seven responsible
climate researchers and friends of Science
Some 375 political activists attached to the National Academy of Sciences, supporting the totalitarian view on the climate question, have issued an open letter saying we “caused most of the historical increase in atmospheric levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases”.
We influence climate by returning to the air carbon dioxide that was there before. But so do termites, by emitting more methane than all the world’s farm animals combined. So do plants, by breathing carbon dioxide and returning oxygen to the air. So does the Sun, by supplying the Earth’s radiant energy. So do volcanoes, by ejecta that shade the Earth from the Sun. So do the oceans, by helping to keep the Earth’s temperature extraordinarily stable for more than 800,000 years.
The activists say we are warming the oceans. But even the worst assessment says this is just 1 degree Celsius every 430 years.
The activists say we are warming the lower atmosphere. Yet all data shows the atmosphere is warming at less than half the rate originally predicted by the error-prone Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The activists say the oceans are “acidifying”. The truth is that we have no idea whether or at what rate the oceans are “acidifying”. What is known, however, is that the oceans are pronouncedly alkaline and are so powerfully buffered that alkaline they must remain.
The activists say our influence on climate is evident in “altered rainfall patterns”: but there is little or no evidence of a link between our industries and enterprises on the one hand and global rainfall patterns on the other.
The activists say we are to blame for retreating Arctic sea ice. But Arctic sea ice variations, if objectively quantified with proper error estimates, are fully within the large natural range of changes that have no need of any unique explanation by rising atmospheric carbon dioxide. In addition Antarctic sea ice, which they forget, has largely offset the loss of Arctic ice.
The activists declare their faith in the doctrine “that the problem of human-caused climate change is real, serious and immediate, and that this problem poses significant risks” to everything from national security via health and agriculture to biodiversity. But this statement is based wholly on faith and is unsupported by reality. We know this because of the serially failed predictions made by the activists. Good science makes accurate predictions.
The activists say, “We know that the climate system has tipping points”. Yet, revealingly, “Tipping point” is not a scientific but a political term. The activists say that “rapid warming of the planet increases the risk of crossing climatic points of no return”, but there is no evidence for rapid warming of the planet today.
The activists say warmer weather will “possibly” set in motion “large-scale ocean circulation changes”. The scientific truth is that, while the wind blows, the Earth rotates and its land-masses are approximately where they are, the ocean circulation must remain much as it is now. To suggest otherwise is mere rodomontade.
Scientists, like other citizens, are entitled and even encouraged to take part in the political process. This applies to non-citizens, which many of the 375 are. What scientists must not do, however, is pretend, as the activists did, that their totalitarian point of view is unchallengeable. In all material respects, unfolding events have proven their extremist viewpoint prodigiously exaggerated at best, plain wrong at worst.
Though the activists have attempted – falsely and improperly – to convey the impression that it is somehow illegal, immoral or damaging to the planet to vote for the Republican party’s candidate in the forthcoming Presidential Election because he disagrees with the totalitarian position on the climate question that they espouse with such religious fervor and such disregard for science, in truth it is not the business of scientists to abuse the authority of their white lab-coats by collectively suggesting that “Science” demands the voters should or should not cast their vote in any particular direction.
Therefore, the signatories hereto repudiate the letter issued by the 375 activists as reflecting not scientific truth but quasi-religious dogma and totalitarian error; we urge the voters to disregard that regrettable and anti-scientific letter; and we invite every citizen to make up his or her own mind whom to elect to the nation’s highest office without fear of the multifarious bugaboos conjured into terrifying but scientifically unjustifiable existence by the totalitarian activists who have for decades so disrespected, disgraced and disfigured climate science.
Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, William M. Briggs, David R. Legates, Anthony Lupo, Istvan Marko, Dennis Mitchell, and Willie Soon