Re: [asa] Question on global warming

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Tue Apr 08 2008 - 11:12:01 EDT

On Tue, Apr 8, 2008 at 7:53 AM, j burg <> wrote:

> This email above was sent with a comment by a lurker, who says that
> Freeman Dyson (whom I admire and respect) is one of "200 prominent
> scientists" who have signed a petition against global warming "fix"
> policies..
> As far as I know the IPCC statement is still a consensus of climate
> scientists.. But I have not been keeping up with the issue very
> closely. Pim -- and others -- can you shed any light on the Dyson
> (purported) statement?
> I

So, what does Freeman Dyson say specifically about the so-called
anthropogenic global warming hoax?

> As a result of the burning of coal and oil, the driving of cars, and other
> *human activities, the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing at a
> rate of about half a percent per year*. The physical effects of carbon
> dioxide are seen in changes of rainfall, cloudiness, wind strength, and
> temperature, which are customarily lumped together in the misleading phrase
> "global warming." This phrase is misleading because the *warming caused by
> the greenhouse effect of increased carbon dioxide* is not evenly
> distributed. [emphasis mine]

No beef with the word "anthropogenic" or "warming". His beef is with the
word "global" because the effects are so much more profound at high
latitudes -- which is an extremely uncontroversial view. In fact AGW theory
predicts such polar amplification.

Even though Dyson is critical about the accuracy of the models for the
purpose of predicting climate -- particular at the local level, what does he
say about the use of global climate models to understand climate and
determine what's causing the current warming?

> The bad news [concerning the inaccuracy of climate models at the local
> level] does not mean that climate models are worthless. They are, as Manabe
> said thirty years ago, essential tools for understanding climate.

You are right about the consensus. You will note that the attack on Pat
Robertson comes from the Constitution Party who believes that there should
be little or no government regulation. The people who claim there is no
consensus also claimed there was no consensus concerning:

1. The link between cigarette smoking and cancer.
2. The link between second hand smoke and various diseases.
3. Acid rain
4. CFCs and the ozone hole

The latter two are interesting because a cap and trade regimen successfully
addressed acid rain and the allegation concerning no consensus concerning
CFCs was made two weeks before the Nobel Prize in chemistry was issued for
the connection. The Montreal convention also has successfully reduced the
size of the ozone hole and the effect of CFCs as a greenhouse gas.

Rich Blinne, Member ASA

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Received on Tue Apr 8 11:13:49 2008

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