[asa] Re: Your Upcoming Bugle Article

From: John Burgeson (ASA member) <hossradbourne@gmail.com>
Date: Mon May 11 2009 - 09:56:50 EDT

Thanks, Rich, for this additional information.

After studyying this issue for about 3 or 4 months, I am amazed that
some of the contrarians can write what they do with any sense of


On 5/9/09, Rich Blinne <rich.blinne@gmail.com> wrote:
> Burgy, I found some more info for your upcoming article which I also
> believe would be of general interest to this list. Namely, that the
> automobile manufacturers and oil and energy companies were informed of
> the scientific consensus concerning AGW in the 1990s by their own
> lobbying group, the Global Climate Coalition. Here is the backgrounder
> sent by GCC scientists:
> http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/nytint/docs/global-climate-coalition-aiam-climate-change-primer/original.pdf
> Andy Revkin when reporting on this noted the following on the front
> page of the New York Times on April 24:
>> For more than a decade the Global Climate Coalition, a group
>> representing industries with profits tied to fossil fuels, led an
>> aggressive lobbying and public relations campaign against the idea
>> that emissions of heat-trapping gases could lead to global
>> warming. ... The coalition disbanded in 2002, but some members,
>> including the National Association of Manufacturers and the American
>> Petroleum Institute, continue to lobby against any law or treaty
>> that would sharply curb emissions. Others, like Exxon Mobil, now
>> recognize a human contribution to global warming and have largely
>> dropped financial support to groups challenging the science.
> Here's some interesting quotes from the backgrounder. Note that this
> was written in 1995 by a group paid to be skeptical. Many of the
> remaining issues in it, e.g. sufficient computer power for climate
> modeling, have been addressed in the intervening decade and a half.
> “The scientific basis for Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact
> of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well
> established and cannot be denied.” [Note: the description given in the
> memo on what the greenhouse effect is is very, very good.]
> "Are there alternate explanations for the climate change which has
> occurred over the last 120 years?
> Explanations based on solar variability, anomalies in the temperature
> record, etc. are valid to the extent they are used to argue against a
> conclusion that we understand current climate or can detect a human
> component in the change in climate that has occurred over the past 120
> years. However, these alternative hypotheses do not address what would
> happen if concentrations of greenhouse gases continue to rise at
> projected rates."
> "Direct measures of the intensity of solar radiation over the past 15
> years indicate a maximum variability of less than 0.1%, sufficient to
> account for no more than 0.1DC temperature change. This period of
> direct measurement included one complete 11 year sun spot cycle, which
> allowed the development of a correlation between solar intensity and
> the fraction of the Sun's surface covered by sun spots. Applying this
> correlation to sun spot data for the past 120 years indicates a
> maximum variability on solar intensity of 0.1%, corresponding to a
> maximum temperature change of 0.1DC, one-fifth of the temperature
> change observed during that period.
> If solar variability has accounted for 0.1DC temperature increase in
> the last 120 years, it is an interesting finding, but it does not
> allay concerns about future warming which could result from greenhouse
> gas emissions. Whatever contribution solar variability makes to
> climate change should be additive to the effect of greenhouse gas
> emission."
> The report does a case by case debunking of the contrarian theories of
> the time (which still live!). This section was removed in later
> reports. Here's an example:
> "The contrarian theories raise interesting questions about our total
> understanding of climate processes, but they do not offer convincing
> arguments against the conventional model of greenhouse gas emission-
> induced climate change. Jastrow's hypothesis about the role of solar
> variability and Michaels' questions about the temperature record are
> not convincing arguments against any conclusion that we are currently
> experiencing warming as the result of greenhouse gas emissions."
> You will recall that people in Robert Jastrow's organization were
> hired guns for the tobacco companies when they denied that the science
> was "unsure" that cigarettes caused cancer. They were also opposed to
> SO2 cap and trade in the early 90s in order to fight acid rain. A 2003
> Bush Administration OMB study found that for every dollar spent on
> this cap and trade resulted in forty dollars of health care cost
> savings. They said the science was "unsure" about effects of CFCs on
> stratospheric ozone a mere two weeks before a Nobel Prize in chemistry
> was awarded on that very subject. (I should note that Nobel Prizes lag
> the leading edge of science by many years and are thus the ultimate
> show of consensus.)
> Finally, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office just released a
> report on potential effects of global warming. Contrast the current
> state of climate modeling in Box 1 and the state in the 1995 memo. You
> can find it here:
> http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/101xx/doc10107/05-04-ClimateChange_forWeb.pdf
> Rich Blinne
> Member ASA

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Received on Mon May 11 09:57:28 2009

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