Where the NAS Goes Wrong on Warming

By David E. Wojick, PE, Ph.D.

Washington, D.C., May 22, 2010 — Listed below are the National Research Council panel members who wrote the so-called National Academies of Science report on climate science, published this month. Several are old time anthropogenic global warming (AGW) proponents, like Bob Corell of the Heinz Center, Warren Washington of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution.

Others are profs of environmental science. I am sure all are committed AGW believers. The comments posted on blogs and news sources covering this report are very interesting. Skepticism has been replaced by outright scorn. People are calling them “hacks.”  I think this is part of the so-called “anti-incumbent” fervor that is sweeping through the political landscape.

This just goes to show that the entrenched pro-AGW scientific community is not responding to the growth of skepticism.

The summary and report are available here: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12782&page=1 (Free on-line version)

Based on the summary, it is the same old argument:

1. We understand climate change (false).

2. Significant warming has occurred (questionable)

3. Natural variability cannot explain this warming (not known, there fore false)

4. Therefore the recent past warming is due to human activity (not known, probably false)

5. Future human induced warming is dangerous (mere speculation)

The thrust of the report is not science, but to outline a new research agenda. It is about more money. They want a “comprehensive and integrated climate enterprise.” AGW made permanent.

The silliest part is that they first say it has warmed over the last 100 years. Then they say that the warming of the last 30 years (actually only 1978-98) is due to AGW. As skeptics points out, if the earlier 20th century warming is natural, so can the recent period be. This is just one of many easy counter arguments that they simply ignore. This is just green advocacy as usual, not assessment of the science. People are sick of this stuff, and saying so.

Panel membership: Pamela A. Matson (Chair), Stanford University; Thomas Dietz (Vice Chair), Michigan State University, East Lansing; Waleed Abdalati, University of Colorado at Boulder; Antonio J. Busalacchi, Jr., University of Maryland, College Park;

Ken Caldeira, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford, California; Robert W. Corell, H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment; Ruth S. Defries, Columbia University; Inez Y. Fung, University of California, Berkeley; Steven Gaines, University of California, Santa Barbara; George M. Hornberger, Vanderbilt University; Maria Carmen Lemos, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Susanne C. Moser, Susanne Moser Research & Consulting; Richard H. Moss, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Edward A. Parson, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; A. R. Ravishankara, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Raymond W. Schmitt, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; B. L. Turner, II, Arizona State University; Warren M. Washington, National Center for Atmospheric Research; John P. Weyant, Stanford University; David A. Whelan, The Boeing Company; Ian Kraucunas (Study Director), National Research Council.

The advert says: “The compelling case that climate change is occurring and is caused in large part by human activities is based on a strong, credible body of evidence, says Advancing the Science of Climate Change. While noting that there is always more to learn and that the scientific process is never ‘closed,’ the book emphasizes that multiple lines of evidence support scientific understanding of climate change. The core phenomenon, scientific questions, and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in the face of serious debate and careful evaluation of alternative explanations, the book says.”


David E. Wojick, PE, Ph.D., is a long-time climate skeptic and trenchant critic of current analyses predicting man-made global warming exists and will harm the planet.