Describing carbon dioxide as “not a pollutant but a major benefit to agriculture and other life on Earth”, a group of 300 faux scientists led by retired MIT climate denier Richard Lindzen wrote to the new occupant of the White House late last month to urge him to pull the United States out of the Paris agreement.
“Media outlets including Fox News, The Hill, and Daily Caller took Lindzen’s word that the list did indeed have ‘eminent scientists’ and ‘qualified individuals’ without bothering to check, or even ask if this qualified as news,” DeSmog Blog reports. But a closer look at the list revealed “medical doctors, mystery men, coal executives, petroleum engineers, economists, and think tank members. Only a small handful could be considered even remotely ‘qualified’ or ‘eminent’—but not in the field of climate science.”
The letter was signed by “people who are ‘interested in climate’, and one resident of Sweden who is identified only as an ‘emailer who wished to sign the petition,’” adds correspondent Graham Readfearn. “Which, judging by the quality of the rest of the list, is totally good enough.”
In The Guardian, thermal sciences professor and climate monitoring specialist John Abraham notes that “hardly anyone on the list was a climate scientist; many were not even natural scientists. It is almost as though anyone with a college degree (and there are about 21 million enrolled in higher education programs just in the USA) was qualified to sign that letter.”
As for Lindzen, “one of his studies was rebutted by three separate papers within a year of publication,” Abraham writes. “This is astonishing—most papers are never rebutted. In fact, I would venture that most scientists never have a paper rebutted in their entire career.”
The bottom line? “The science is settled. Human emissions of greenhouse gases are causing the Earth’s climate to change. It’s practically impossible to find a reputable climate scientist who disagrees, or a climate scientist who can support an alternative view. It is also very difficult to find a scientist who thinks that the warming isn’t a problem, or isn’t significantly caused by humans.”
So “when the folks denying human influence on climate can only generate the type of signatures attached to this letter, it shows that while they are good at getting press, they are not good at climate science.” Then again, “press may be all they ever wanted in the first place.” (h/t to Fred Heutte for first pointing us to this story)