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February 19, 2018

1/5/2016 6:56:00 AM
Heartland replies to Mann and Bada

To the Editor:

The recent letters by Michael Mann ("G.D. Holcombe misinforms readers about climate change," 12/18/2015) and Jeffrey Bada ("Paris Climate Conference, 2015," 12/4/2015 and "Professor Bada Responses," 12/24/2015) did more to reveal the arrogance and bias of leading global warming alarmists than anything I or any other climate realist could write.

Lakeland Times readers should take note of the name-calling by Mann and Bada ("unhinged," "charlatans," "deniers," "liars") and their refusal to acknowledge as legitimate any disagreement with their recital of global warming dogma. Anyone who disagrees with them is "uninformed" or has "close ties to fossil fuel interests" or has "parroted baseless talking points that have no place in honest scientific discourse."

What's wrong with this picture? Few if any real scientists use terms like these to refer to people who disagree with them. Real scientists know science is a process of discovery, that disagreement and new discoveries are to be expected and encouraged, and no one has a monopoly on the truth.

The plain truth is that most climate scientists do not subscribe to Mann's and Bada's extreme views and inflated claims of "high confidence." Surveys and abstract-counting exercises reveal extensive disagreement and uncertainty among scientists regarding the causes and consequences of climate change. (See Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming for a good summary of the research.)

Reporting in Nature in April, Quirin Schiermeier wrote, "There is a misconception that the major challenges in physical climate science are settled. 'That's absolutely not true,' says Sandrine Bony, a climate researcher at the Laboratory of Dynamic Meteorology in Paris. 'In fact, essential physical aspects of climate change are poorly understood.'"

Schiermeier goes on to write, "large uncertainties persist in 'climate sensitivity,' the increase in average global temperature caused by a given rise in the concentration of carbon dioxide," citing Bjorn Stevens, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany.

Judith Curry, a professor and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, wrote recently: "[T]here is a great deal of work still to do to understand climate change. And there is a growing realization that unpredictable natural climate variability is important."

The four volumes in the "Climate Change Reconsidered" series, produced by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) and published by my organization, The Heartland Institute, cite thousands of peer-reviewed articles and studies revealing the extensive uncertainty acknowledged by Schiermeier, Bony, Stevens, Curry, and so many other credible sources. Those volumes, written by some 50 scientists from 20 countries, prove beyond any doubt that there is a lively debate taking place in the scientific community about mankind's role in climate change.

Are all these scientists wrong? Are the 31,000 scientists who signed the Oregon Petition saying "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate," all on the payroll of fossil fuel companies?

Or maybe, more likely, Mann and Bada are wrong.

Lakeland Times readers would be well-advised to avoid the advocacy sites relied on by Mann and Bada to defend their global warming dogma, and check out instead such independent and much more reliable sites as www.wattsupwiththat.com, www.thegwpf.org/, and www.climatechangereconsidered.org.

These sites welcome debate and new discoveries, and let readers weigh the research and make up their own minds. That's what real scientists do.

Joseph L. Bast


The Heartland Institute

Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2016
Article comment by: Vern Moore

In his reply to the Heartland letter by Joseph Bast (The Times, 1.5.2016, Heartland replies to Mann and Bada), Jeffrey Bada claims he and Michael Mann “welcome disagreements based on sound scientific knowledge, reasoning and facts.”

However, following this statement, Bada states: “Sorry, I will stick with the 97 % scientific consensus on the reality of climate change/global warming science.”

Making scientific decisions based on consensus is a far cry from “sound scientific knowledge, reasoning and facts.” Einstein stated: “ . . . when consensus is reached, thinking stops.” Michael Crichton wrote: “I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled . . .. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world ... The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.”

Indeed, even Bada’s 97% scientific consensus has been rigged. Here’s how Matt Ridley describes it (Quadrant, 6.19.2015). “The 97 % figure is derived from two pieces of pseudoscience that would have embarrassed a homeopath. The first was a poll that found that 97 % of just 79 scientists thought climate change was man-made . . .. A more recent poll of 1854 members of the American Meteorological Society found the true number is 52 %.

The second source of the 97 % number was a survey of scientific papers, which has now been comprehensively demolished by Professor Richard Tol . . .. John Cook of the University of Queensland and his team used an unrepresentative sample, left out useful data, used biased observers who disagreed with the authors of the papers they were classifying nearly two-thirds of the time, and collected and analyzed the data in such a way as to allow the authors to adjust their preliminary conclusions as they went along, a scientific no-no. The data could not be replicated, and Cook himself threatened legal action to hide them. Yet neither the journal nor the university where Cook works has retracted the paper, and the scientific establishment refuses to stop citing it, let alone blow the whistle on it. Its conclusion is too useful.”

Consensus science is not science it is politics, and the scientific community and the public should strongly reject it.

Posted: Friday, January 8, 2016
Article comment by: Tom Paine

The truth is not democratic. At the height of the war in Vietnam, there were an overwhelming number of people who argued that monolithic communism was advancing and that the US had to stop this external aggression. We now know, the majority was completely wrong. Even primary actors have confessed their errors in published memoirs. The contemporaries who disagreed with the orthodoxy of the Johnson Administration's Vietnam policies were closer to "the truth," than were policy architects.

There is no defined consensus about "The Science" of climate. There is no equivalent to what Keynes suggested in his General Theory about economics. There is no comprehensive explanation of the history of global climate change. Nor is there any consensus about a comprehensive analysis of the dynamics of climate change, solar radiation variability, and human activity. Without such, it seems to me it is impossible for anyone to posit a prescriptive agenda as a solution to a problem that cannot be defined.

Progressives should be embarrassed by their 'activist' track record. The imperative to "do something," brought us the foolish, wasteful, and climate-harming initiative to mandate forced ethanol consumption. Obama's proposals to fight climate change are yet another agenda without justification.

Posted: Thursday, January 7, 2016
Article comment by: G.D. Holcombe

Mr. Lock wants to know how much Exxon Mobil has given Heartland?

Likely about $99 million less than the $100 million Exxon gave Stanford University as the largest founding donor for the creation of the “Global Climate and Energy Project, an independent research group controlled by the university” for the purposes of combating global warming. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/21/us/exxon-led-group-is-giving-a-climate-grant-to-stanford.html

It’s remarkable how environmental activist organizations like the World Wildlife Fund (with annual income in excess of $500 million) can give hundreds of millions of dollars toward climate change alarmism, and government entities can pump billions more into promoting the perceived threat of man-caused global warming ($4 billion from the U.S. in 2011 alone, and billions more since), and yet it’s the comparatively miniscule funding of alleged corporate villains that concern the Mr. Locks of the world.


And, or course, Warmist conspiracy theorists like Lock assume that everyone who does research with the billions provided by governments and environmental groups are totally objective—never mind how much their livelihoods and academic advancement depend on the money—while those who receive money from a private source are assumed to throw their ethics and professional reputations out the window with receipt of the first dollar.

Is that how Mr. Lock operates in his personal life or business? Someone pays him a few bucks for a professional opinion or diagnosis and he asks them what they want the answer to be? Maybe that works for him, but he wouldn’t last long in my profession with that approach.

Posted: Thursday, January 7, 2016
Article comment by: Peter Gaarder

Gee Vern, 31,000...That number of scientists sounds impressive... But when you really look at the numbers, it is only .3% of the total number of scientists that have qualifications cited by the Oregon petition.

50 scientists in 20 Countries is a large number? 2.5 per country? Do these other countries only have what, 5 -10 scientists?

You are funny....

Posted: Thursday, January 7, 2016
Article comment by: Jeffrey Bada

In his Letter to the Editor (“Heartland replies to Mann and Bada”, January 5), Joseph Bast, President of the infamous Heartland Institute, claims that Michael Mann and I refuse “to acknowledge as legitimate any disagreement with their recital of global warming dogma”. He is wrong. We welcome disagreements based on sound scientific knowledge, reasoning and facts. That is how science advances. What we do not acknowledge is pseudoscience trying to masquerade as meaningful objective science.
Bast continues by quoting Quirin Schiermeier in the April 9, 2015 issue of the journal Nature. But as is typical of the Heartland Institute and their followers, this is a cherry-picked quote taken out of context. The title of Schiermeier’s article “Physicists, your planet needs you” was a rallying call for mathematicians and physicists to become engaged and apply their expertise to solving some of the pressing issues in climate change science. The Schiermeier section Bast quotes is actually: “Although climate scientists agree on the basics — for example, climate change is primarily the result of human activity — large uncertainties persist in ‘climate sensitivity’, the increase in average global temperature caused by a given rise in the concentration of carbon dioxide.” This can hardly be called a rejection of the basic concepts of climate change/global warming. However, rejection of sound science is what the Heartland Institute continues to promote in nefarious ways.
Bast then cites the so-called ‘Oregon Petition’ to claim that there are more than 31,000 scientists who reject the concept that atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide and methane can cause “heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate." However, Bast would be wise to be very cautious about citing this bogus petition what lists names of people who are deceased, nonexistent or not scientists. The petition is the product of Arthur Robinson, who has run unsuccessfully several times in Oregon for a seat in the United States House of Representatives. He advocates among other things (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YzZ4lfjN1A) nuclear waste can be simply diluted and sprinkled on to the oceans or made into material for home construction public education is nationalized child abuse and should be abolished and his home school curriculum based on a 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica among other ‘reading’ material should be used instead and AIDS is nothing more than a natural disease associated with homosexuality. And Bast takes this guy seriously? Sorry, I will stick with the 97 % scientific consensus on the reality of climate change/global warming science.

Posted: Thursday, January 7, 2016
Article comment by: Vern Moore

In his comment (1.3.2016) to G.D. Holcombe’s letter-to-the-editor (12.24.2015), Jeffrey Bada stated: “Holcombe claims that there are ‘thousands of skeptical scientists who disagree with the IPCC Climate Choir’. Who and where are they? I know none at Scripps or at any other University of California campus, Caltech, Harvard, U. of Chicago, JPL, NASA Goddard, major world science academies, etc., etc.’

This is a feeble attempt by Bada to claim there are not many climate realists and that the field is dominated by climate alarmists.

President Bast’s letter-to-the-editor from the Heartland Institute (1.5.2016) provides an answer for Bada:

• “In ‘Climate Change Reconsidered’ published by Heartland, thousands of peer-reviewed articles revealing the extensive uncertainly (about the claims of Alarmists) … and so many other credit scientists. These volumes were written by 50 scientists from 20 countries.

• “…31,000 scientists who signed the Oregon Petition stating ‘There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.’ “

The above cited sources by President Bast are only the tip of the iceberg. Citizens of the planet, including millions of Americans, are becoming more and more aware of the tactics of the alarmists and are now perceiving the fallacies of the misinformation and propaganda by the people like Bada.

Posted: Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Article comment by: Gary Lock

How much money has the Heartland Institute received from Exxon Mobil?

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