We have discovered the weblog “Climate Science” authored by Dr. Roger A. Pielke, someone whose positions on global warming and climate change very closely mirror our own. Dr. Pielke, a climatologist currently with the University of Colorado at Ft. Collins, is organizing a conference this August in Boulder, Colorado, on “Land Cover / Land Use Change” and its impact on climate.
Here are two recent posts from Dr. Pielke’s weblog that we find illuminating:
Another Unbalanced News Report on a research paper on predicted heat waves – May 14, 2007
After pointing out in detail the problems with the research paper, Pielke writes “These are remarkably serious shortcomings of the model study, yet the news media chose to headline the predictions from it as news without these caveats, and the authors did not correct the media’s misstatement of what their paper actually said (in fact they reinforced them!).
Equally disturbing (or it should be to anyone who values scientific credibility) is that a peer reviewed journal elected to publish this paper in this form in which untested predictions for decades into the future were presented, yet the global and regional model could not even skillfully simulate recent climate. The publication of such clearly scientifically flawed research conclusions raises questions on whether the journal (in this case the American Meteorological Society Journal of Climate) is engaging in advocacy rather than being a balanced arbitrator of peer reviewed papers. Publishing predictions which are not tested, is not science.”
Has the IPCC Produced a Hydra? – May 7, 2007
This post correctly points out that the focus on reducing CO2 emissions is at the expense of addressing other environmental challenges, and indeed could cause them to deteriorate. Pielke writes: “The narrow focus of the IPCC on CO2 as the dominant environmental threat and the use of multi-decadal global climate model predictions for policymakers, is, therefore, an inappropriately too narrow perspective. Indeed, the unintended consequences of the narrowly focused IPCC reports, and the naive acceptance of the reports by many policymakers, has unleashed a mulitifaceted risk to society and the environment.”
Regarding the emphasis on biofuels as some sort of panacea, Pielke quotes, among others, Mayer Hillman, senior fellow emeritus at Policy Studies Institute, who states: “There is an inherent and acutely serious problem within the report. On the one hand, it leaves us in no doubt to how vital conservation of the planet´s ecosystems and carbon sinks are to averting the worst predictions made in the previous sections of the report. On the other, it proposes the large scale use of the biosphere to satisfy demand in the transport and energy sectors.”
Keep your eye on the work of responsible climatologists like Dr. Pielke, who instead of jumping onto the anti-CO2 bandwagon, are examining all potential causes of climate change, as well as the catastrophic consequences of creating a global market for biofuel – supposedly because it will help reduce atmospheric CO2.
The entry in Wikipedia for Dr. Pielke includes the following “Pielke has a somewhat nuanced position on climate change, which is sometimes taken for skepticism, a label that he explicitly renounces.” Here are some of his positions, according to his profile on Wikipedia:
(1) Global warming is not equivalent to climate change. Significant, societally important climate change, due to both natural- and human- climate forcings, can occur without any global warming or cooling.
(2) In terms of climate change and variability on the regional and local scale, the IPCC Reports, the CCSP Report on surface and tropospheric temperature trends, and the U.S. National Assessment have overstated the role of the radiative effect of the anthropogenic increase of CO2 relative to the role of the diversity of other human climate climate forcing on global warming, and more generally, on climate variability and change.
(3) Global and regional climate models have not demonstrated skill at predicting climate change and variability on multi-decadal time scales.
(4) Attempts to significantly influence regional and local-scale climate based on controlling CO2 emissions alone is an inadequate policy for this purpose.