At the risk, yet again, at incurring the wrath of the true believers, it is time to continue the debate regarding the cause of climate trends, and indeed, the direction of the trends themselves. But conducting a debate on this most sensitive issue invites more than civil debate. The issue of climate change has been succesfully framed as a moral issue, and debate is no longer politically correct. To persist in debating this issue, despite mounting evidence – both scientific and economic – that debate is vital, is to risk being marginalized and demonized.
Our favorite climate website, Climate Science, is operated by Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr., a climatologist at the University of Colorado. We highly recommend anyone who wants to see just how little we still know about climate to visit this website regularly. Pielke asserts climate change is real, but mostly regional in nature, and anthropogenic influences such as aerosol emissions and changes in land use, if anything, are more significant than CO2 emissions.
Pielke’s main conclusions, might be summarized as follows:
- Climate change study should focus more on regional and local scales.
- Global surface temperature trend assessments are flawed.
- Global warming is not the equivalent to climate change.
- Ocean heat content change is the most significant factor in diagnosing and monitoring global warming and cooling.
- The role of CO2 in climate change is overstated.
- Global climate models have not made accurate predictions to-date.
- Controlling CO2 is an inadequate policy to influence regional climate trends.
This is a crude distillation of Pielke’s conclusions and one should read his website and read the more detailed summaries he has compiled to make a fair assessment of his position. But if you study his conclusions, and follow his updates, it is clear this is the work of someone who is both highly qualified and nuanced in his outlook. But qualified and nuanced isn’t enough for the true believers.
|Questioning the role of anthropogenic CO2 in climate change has nothing
to do with whether or not one cares deeply about environmental values.
For his refusal to simply adhere to global warming alarmism, Pielke has now earned the ire of desmogblog, a website that states “we’re here to clear the pollution that clouds the science on climate change.” In their post criticizing Pielke, entitled Roger Pielke Sr. Attacks Messenger, Injures Self, author Richard Littlemore takes issue with a recent post on Climate Science where Pielke criticizes reporting on hurricanes. In this post, entitled “Hurricanes and Global Warming – A Disconnect,” Pielke cites a recent example to illustrate his point that mainstream media tends to reinforce the perception that hurricane intensity is on the rise because of rising global temperatures.
It is interesting to read the exchanges between DeSmogBlog & Pielke. We’re well familiar with these guys because they decided to launch an assault on EcoWorld a few months ago entitled “EcoWorld – A Website Officially Unconcerned with Accuracy.” In this masterful hit piece, Littlemore highlights a disclaimer we include on EcoWorld – a disclaimer that is standard issue for any website that includes in their content financial analysis, and makes this disclaimer the centerpiece of their attack. Without going into the details of their attack, nor our response, it is obvious Littlemore and his colleagues at DeSmogBlog are skilled professionals. As Littlemore states in his recent exchanges with Pielke:
“The DeSmogBlog has only a passing interest in science and (as previously demonstrated, sometimes painfully) no avowed scientific expertise. Our interest AND our expertise is in public relations – particularly in the manipulation of the public climate change argument by people who have abandoned science in favour of advocacy…”
We are not interested in attacking DeSmogBlog. But we are interested in defending people like Dr. Pielke Sr., who themselves, in our view, are challenging bias with at least as much integrity as Mr. Littlemore. It is time for people to look for hidden agendas on both sides of this debate over climate change; the scope, the causes, and the proposed policies we support as a result. And it is time to stop demonizing people who are willing to question the conventional wisdom; time to stop saying “the debate is over.”
There are environmental challenges of undeniable urgency – dead zones along our coastlines, tropical deforestation, depleted aquifers, collapsing fisheries; the list goes on. And this focus on reducing CO2 emissions, which may well have nothing to do with anything, will almost certainly take the spotlight away from these other environmental issues. And to attempt to marginalize the work of Roger Pielke Sr., who is uncovering valuable information about various causes of regional climate change, is counterproductive, to put it mildly.