Archive for December 2010
Letter I sent to Forbes magazine in reply to: http://www.forbes.com/2010/12/23/media-climate-change-warming-opinions-contributors-larry-bell_print.html
Dear Mr. Bell,
It is surprising that a magazine that purports to inform business readers would allow you to misinform on such an important financial issue such as manmade climate change. Most of what you wrote is either flat-out wrong or highly misleading. For example, despite your claims, more than 90% of the world’s glaciers are melting, sea levels globally are still rising, and the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season was extremely active with 19 named storms, 12 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes blowing away 2009 which had only 9 named storms. The 2010 numbers are double normal values.
Scientists, military and intelligence experts, and health experts all agree there is overwhelming evidence that humans are causing major climate disruption mostly caused by increasing heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide. It is precisely for this reason that the insurance companies are planning for the coming problems that climate disruption brings while also trying to educate their clients about the advantages of a shift to a low-carbon economy so that they may seize the economic opportunities of clean energy. I suggest you read the following statement by 268 investors – both asset owners and asset managers – that collectively represent assets of over US $15 trillion.
These large financial companies certainly disagree with your opinion but they do agree on the facts.
Dear Science Journalists,
The Climate Science Rapid Response Team has upgraded its Web presence in order to provide more information about its service to you.
Dr. John Abraham and I will be speaking at the 2010 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting. The abstract appears below. We hope to see you there.
|An Emerging Ethic of Responsibility: A Case Study for Engaging the Public
S. A. Mandia1, 2; J. A. Abraham3
1. Physical Sciences, Suffolk County Comm. College, Selden, NY, United States.
2. Education Project Advisory Board, Center for Communicating Science, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY, United States.
3. School of Engineering, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, United States.
Recent trends in the public’s understanding of climate change have diverged from the broad, and well-documented consensus held by scientists. While the level of consensus regarding climate change among scientists is very high, the public remains deeply divided. Furthermore, a large percentage of the general public perceives that a serious debate exists within the science community on the basic theory of anthropogenic climate change. This disconnect between the scientific community and the general public should motivate scientists to take a more active role in public outreach.
Recent stories in the media have increased the public’s resistance to climate change. Included here are Climategate, mistakes in the IPCC regarding Himalayan glacial melt, and other reports (inaccurately reported) about IPCC errors related to the sensitivity of the Amazon rainforest to a changing climate. Along with these stories, there has been a well-documented increase in activism by “skeptical scientists” and by “skeptical non-scientists” to engage the public with a goal of promoting the perception of a serious debate within the science community.Also during the past few years, a number of scientists who have taken an active role in educating the general public have come under political, scientific, and personal pressure. The resistance exerted on scientists who become public educators has caused many scientists to avoid outreach efforts.
Here, the authors present a case study for a successful effort to engage the public on the issue of climate change. We utilized a number of media methods to cause a significant impact on the public discussion of global warming. In addition, the effort has begun to affect legislative processes within the United States and abroad. The authors present this case study to provide a roadmap to colleagues who wish to participate in public outreach.
The letter below was sent to 49 media contacts. Kudos to John Abraham for contacting Science and asking them to set the record straight.
This is Scott Mandia of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team (http://www.climaterapidresponse.org). I wish to alert you all to Dr. Roy Spencer’s attack on another scientist, Dr. Andrew Dessler.
On Spencer’s blog he states:
Very Curious. … Dessler’s paper is being announced on probably THE best day for it to support the IPCC’s COP-16 meeting here in Cancun, and whatever agreement is announced tomorrow in the way of international climate policy.
I suspect – but have no proof of it – that Dessler was under pressure to get this paper published to blunt the negative impact our work has had on the IPCC’s efforts.
Eli Kintisch of Science in a recent article (http://bit.ly/hIxcoH) asked paper’s editor at Science, H. Jesse Smith, about Spencer’s assertion about the paper’s timing.
“There was never a word about Cancún,” he says. The paper was submitted in May and received “a lot of review and re-review” before completing revisions on 21 October. It was officially accepted on 9 November, Smith says. “Dessler never asked to get the paper expedited,” says Smith. But once peer review was complete, Smith says, the editors pushed to have it published in time for the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco, California, which begins on Monday, 13 December. “I wanted to get it out before AGU.”
The professional response to rebut a scientific paper is to submit a paper that corrects any mistakes or at the very least to submit a letter to the publishing journal. It is completely inappropriate for a scientist to attempt to publicly sabotage a paper by issuing a press release or by holding a press conference about another colleague’s paper. By not respecting the protocols of his own profession Dr. Roy Spencer is, in essence, criticizing all scientists. Furthermore, Spencer has appeared alongside a caricature of climate skeptics, Christopher Monckton. His close association with Mr. Monckton and his unwarranted criticisms of colleagues are strong indications that Dr. Spencer has abdicated objectivity under the heels of ideology. I feel strongly that Dr. Spencer’s tacit agreement with Mr. Monckton’s positions will be a serious blow to his remaining credibility.
Scott A. Mandia
Please also read Dr. Andrew Dessler’s recent post Feedback on Cloud Feedback at Realclimate.
John Cook at Skeptical Science has released the Guide to Global Warming Skepticism that features the human fingerprints of global warming along with rebuttals of some of the more common skeptical arguments. The Guide is well-illustrated and the text is written in an easy-to-read format. The names of the scientists that contributed to this document is quite impressive and shows how important this document is in the effort to educate the public about global warming.
Please spread the word about this document. I encourage you to distribute to all of your contacts.