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May 28, 2008

Contrary Views at Telecosm – Part 1

"I'm a denier/Al Gore's a liar" were the lyrics of the song written and sung by Jeff Stambovsky, a "25 year Wall Street veteran turned songwriter and musician" and master of ceremonies at the 12th Annual Telecosm Conference put on by George Gilder and Steve Forbes. With that song, Jeff introduced Lawrence Solomon, author of The Deniers.

Political correctness is what you don't get at Telecosm.

The point of Solomon's talk and of his book, which I've just started to read, is that there is no "scientific consensus" on global warming no matter what Al Gore and most of the press say. Solomon's background is as a journalist, author, and environmentalist and he's a fierce opponent of expanding nuclear power.

First, he says, there were not 2500 "eminent scientists" who endorsed the UN report on global warming (he tried to find and interview them) . There were 2500 scientists who peer-reviewed all the papers that were input to the UN report; not all of these scientists agreed with what they reviewed; few of them were reviewers or endorsers of the whole report.

Second, many eminent scientists disagree altogether or in part with the methodology and or the conclusions of the report. Some even believe that, based on sunspot cycles, we are on the cusp of fifty years of cooling after which the longer term non-anthropogenic trend of one degree centigrade of warming per century will reassert itself. That hypothesis, at least, will be tested very soon.

The back cover of the book lists some of these that he discussed last night. Below are excerpts from there:

Dr. Edward Wegman – former Chairman of the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics of the National Academy of Science – demolishes the famous "hockey-stick" graph that launched the global warming panic.

Dr. David Bromowich – president of the International Commission on Polar Meteorology – says "it's hard to see a global warming trend from the mainland of Antarctica right now."

Prof. Hendrik Tennekes – director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorology Institute – states "there exists no sound theoretical framework for climate predictability studies" used for global warming forecasts.

Dr. Christopher Landsea – past chairman of the American Meteorology Society's Committee on Tropical Meteorology and Tropical Cyclones – says "there are no known scientific studies that show a conclusive physical link between global warming and observed hurricane frequency and intensity."

Prof Freeman Dyson – one of the world's most eminent physicists – says the models used to justify global warming alarmism "do not begin to describe the real world we live in." [nb. this is the only quote I can vouch for; I've heard him say that].

None of this disproves the assertion that global warming is happening (the assertion, itself, is meaningless without a timeframe) nor even disproves that the earth is warmer than it might have been were we not burning fossil fuels. What it does do is cast more than passing doubt on the existence of a scientific consensus which should stop all further questioning on whether or not anthropogenic global warming is the most serious problem the world faces.

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