Global Warming: The Courage To Do Nothing (updated)

Randall Hoven
Is the scientific debate over on global warming?  Not according to the American Physical Society* in this year's July's issue of Physics and Society .

"With this issue of Physics & Society, we kick off a debate concerning one of the main conclusions of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body which, together with Al Gore, recently won the Nobel Prize for its work concerning climate change research. There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.  Since the correctness or fallacy of that conclusion has immense implications for public policy and for the future of the biosphere, we thought it appropriate to present a debate within the pages of P&S concerning that conclusion.  This editor invited several people to contribute articles that were either pro or con.  Christopher Monckton responded ..."  [Emphasis added.]

And what did Lord Monckton say?

"Some reasons why the IPCC's estimates may be excessive and unsafe are explained.  More importantly, the conclusion is that, perhaps, there is no "climate crisis", and that currently-fashionable efforts by governments to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions are pointless, may be ill-conceived, and could even be harmful."

He examined specific assumptions of the IPCC cited computer models and found that, even using the same models but with more justifiable assumptions, carbon dioxide is not a critical threat to global temperatures.

"Theoretically, empirically, and in the literature that we have extensively cited, each of the values we have chosen as our central estimate is arguably more justifiable - and is certainly no less justifiable - than the substantially higher value selected by the IPCC. Accordingly, it is very likely that in response to a doubling of pre-industrial carbon dioxide concentration TS will rise not by the 3.26 °K suggested by the IPCC, but by <1 °K."

He concluded with

"If the concluding equation in this analysis is correct, the IPCC's estimates of climate sensitivity must have been very much exaggerated.  There may, therefore, be a good reason why, contrary to the projections of the models on which the IPCC relies, temperatures have not risen for a decade and have been falling since the phase-transition in global temperature trends that occurred in late 2001.  Perhaps real-world climate sensitivity is very much below the IPCC's estimates. Perhaps, therefore, there is no "climate crisis" at all. At present, then, in policy terms there is no case for doing anything. The correct policy approach to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing."  [Emphasis added.]

*According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Physical_Society, the American Physical Society was founded in 1899 and is the second largest association of physicists in the world, with over 40,000 members. Update:

According to http://www.aps.org/
APS Climate Change Statement
APS Position Remains Unchanged

The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007:

"Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate."

An article at odds with this statement recently appeared in an online newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society, one of 39 units of APS.  The header of this newsletter carries the statement that "Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum."  This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed.


Is the scientific debate over on global warming?  Not according to the American Physical Society* in this year's July's issue of Physics and Society .

"With this issue of Physics & Society, we kick off a debate concerning one of the main conclusions of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body which, together with Al Gore, recently won the Nobel Prize for its work concerning climate change research. There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.  Since the correctness or fallacy of that conclusion has immense implications for public policy and for the future of the biosphere, we thought it appropriate to present a debate within the pages of P&S concerning that conclusion.  This editor invited several people to contribute articles that were either pro or con.  Christopher Monckton responded ..."  [Emphasis added.]

And what did Lord Monckton say?

"Some reasons why the IPCC's estimates may be excessive and unsafe are explained.  More importantly, the conclusion is that, perhaps, there is no "climate crisis", and that currently-fashionable efforts by governments to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions are pointless, may be ill-conceived, and could even be harmful."

He examined specific assumptions of the IPCC cited computer models and found that, even using the same models but with more justifiable assumptions, carbon dioxide is not a critical threat to global temperatures.

"Theoretically, empirically, and in the literature that we have extensively cited, each of the values we have chosen as our central estimate is arguably more justifiable - and is certainly no less justifiable - than the substantially higher value selected by the IPCC. Accordingly, it is very likely that in response to a doubling of pre-industrial carbon dioxide concentration TS will rise not by the 3.26 °K suggested by the IPCC, but by <1 °K."

He concluded with

"If the concluding equation in this analysis is correct, the IPCC's estimates of climate sensitivity must have been very much exaggerated.  There may, therefore, be a good reason why, contrary to the projections of the models on which the IPCC relies, temperatures have not risen for a decade and have been falling since the phase-transition in global temperature trends that occurred in late 2001.  Perhaps real-world climate sensitivity is very much below the IPCC's estimates. Perhaps, therefore, there is no "climate crisis" at all. At present, then, in policy terms there is no case for doing anything. The correct policy approach to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing."  [Emphasis added.]

*According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Physical_Society, the American Physical Society was founded in 1899 and is the second largest association of physicists in the world, with over 40,000 members. Update:

According to http://www.aps.org/
APS Climate Change Statement
APS Position Remains Unchanged

The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007:

"Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate."

An article at odds with this statement recently appeared in an online newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society, one of 39 units of APS.  The header of this newsletter carries the statement that "Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum."  This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed.