Re: [asa] 31,000 scientists against global warming.

From: Chris Barden <chris.barden@gmail.com>
Date: Fri Dec 04 2009 - 13:32:36 EST

Terry,

I think I've seen some attempts to break down these kinds of numbers
pro or con, but sadly it always turns into some kind of "true
Scotsman" issue when it comes to experts. Jones is a Ph.D., but not an
earth scientist; Smith is an earth scientist, but not a climatologist;
Baker is a climatologist, but not a dendroclimatologist, etc. What is
the proper substratum of expert-ness that would allow one to properly
adjudicate these things? I honestly don't know, but often the
scientific mainstream defines "expert" to include only those people
who already agree with them. That surely is not the way to do it.

Chris

On Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 2:01 PM, Terry M. Gray <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu> wrote:
> Ph.D.'s in what?
>
> I recently had an interaction with a YEC who got his Ph.D. in molecular genetics. He was a YEC from start to finish all during his Ph.D. program and deliberately chose not to come out of the closet until after he got his degree. Of course, he has all sorts of opinions about origins, none of which seem to be informed or even influenced by his scientific training. But now with a Ph.D. he can present himself as an authority, Dr. So-and-so, who uses the same old arguments against evolution as anyone else.
>
> I'm not saying anything about the validity of a generalist's opinion here. Nor am I saying that we should always kowtow to the reigning majority of the experts. However, when we throw around these sorts of numbers and expect them to be meaningful, the simple question should be--what is the opinion among the experts. How many climatologists are there? What fraction of them are convinced of AGW? Among climatologists, how many AGW skeptics are there? These would be more meaningful numbers (and I'm guessing the White House's numbers reflect those and the reporters numbers were based on a more liberal definition of expert). We have some climatologist skeptics here at CSU, but they are in the minority as I understand it.
>
> It would be interesting to know what scientists the White House were referring to and then of those with the same credentials how many were skeptics.
>
> TG
>
>
>
> On Dec 4, 2009, at 4:07 AM, John Walley wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> I saw a news clip of some reporter at a White House news briefing asking a question about Climategate and the response was that they were sticking with the scientists and that there were 6000 scientists who believed that AGW was real. The reporter immediately responded that there were 31,000 scientists against AGW and 9000 of them with PhD's.
>>
>> That was news to me so I looked it up and found this from about 18 months ago. This appears to be from the Tobacco guy that Rich mentioned. I also notice that they put a spin on it that says CO2 is actually good for the earth. Oy vey, who to believe?
>>
>> I think in part this backlash is due to the alarmist tendencies of the AGW science establishment. They are pushy like used car salesmen and people don't like that and it is backfiring on them. This has to be handled more rationally. Don't try to scare me into doing something and take away all hope for the future. In my mind this exposes that AGW has primarily a religious motivation which I distrust and apparently most of science as well if this petition is real.
>>
>> Also, it shocks me that the White House Press Secretary would fall into this trap and come out looking so stupid by trying to play the numbers game when the opposition has him beaten so badly. Was he not aware of this? I am beginning to think he wasn't. I can't see any other reason. That is the danger of trying to squelch dissent. You end up believing your own lies and you eventually get caught.
>>
>> John
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Scientists sign petition denying man-made global warming
>> More than 31,000 scientists have signed a petition denying that man is responsible for global warming.
>>
>>
>> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/2053842/Scientists-sign-petition-denying-man-made-global-warming.html
>>
>> By Graham Tibbetts
>> Published: 12:46PM BST 30 May 2008
>> Petro-chemical plant in Romania releases smoke into the atmosphere - Scientists petition denies global warming" src="http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/00675/petition_smoke_404_675042c.jpg" width=404>
>> Petro-chemical plant in Romania releases smoke into the atmosphere Photo: AP
>> The academics, including 9,000 with PhDs, claim that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are actually beneficial for the environment.
>> The petition was created in 1998 by an American physicist, the late Frederick Seitz, in response to the Kyoto Protocol a year earlier.
>>
>>
>>
>> It urged the US government to reject the treaty and said: "The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind."
>> It added: "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of ... greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the forseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments."
>> The petition was reissued last year by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, an independent research group, partly in response to Al Gore’s film on climate change, An Inconvenient Truth.
>> Its president, Arthur Robinson, said: "If this many American scientists will sign this petition, you certainly can’t continue to contend that there is a consensus on this subject."
>> One of the signatories, Frank Nuttall, a professor of medicine, said he believed the Earth was becoming warmer, despite his signature.
>> "This issue is whether the major reason for this is from human activities. I consider that inconclusive at the present time," he said.
>> A spokesman for the Royal Society, Britain’s national academy of science, said: “The world’s leading climate experts at the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believe that it is greater than 90 per cent likely that human activity is responsible for most of the observed warming in recent decades. That is a pretty strong consensus.
>> “The science has come a long way since 1998 and it continues to point in one direction - the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avert dangerous climate change.”
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
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>
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Received on Fri Dec 4 13:33:10 2009

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