400 scientists deny the importance of global heating

Posted on December 21, 2007

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Yesterday, global heating denier-in-chief Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma released a list of 400 scientists from around the world who deny that global heating is occurring, that it’s as bad as the prevailing theories say it is, that we can do anything about it, or some combination thereof. In addition to the list of names are explanatory statements from each of the scientists and a description of who the scientist is and thus why we should listen to him or her.

As someone who’s studied this issue in some depth, I’m glad to see that this list has been put together. Because it means that nearly every scientific argument that needs to be answered using data, theory, and modeling is collected into a single place. It’s one-stop shopping for global heating denier claims.

I’ve skimmed the list and claims (with 400 “scientists”, their positions, and their statements, a quick skim is all I can manage in a few minutes), and there are few claims that I haven’t seen before and that haven’t been addressed, to one level or another, in scientific literature. I’ve even addressed many of the claims already (and will address more over the next few months) at Anti-global heating claims – a reasonably thorough debunking. But the most interesting thing I found during my skim was this: many of the scientists are no more qualified to say that global heating is bunk than I am to say it’s real.

Seriously – why do general astronomers (solar and cosmic-ray experts excluded) have any special knowledge of climatology? Just because Sir Patrick Moore is famous doesn’t mean he’s right, or worth listening to on an area far outside his field. Similarly, agricultural scientist Dr. Norman Borlaug has no more detailed knowledge of climatology than anyone else who has read the papers and has a good understanding of the scientific method. Social scientists and agricultural experts may be able to claim that they know better what the effects of global heating will be on society or agriculture, but they have no special expertise in climatology. And so there’s no reason, beyond celebrity or a soap box in most of their cases, that they should be listened to any more than Al Gore, Professor Michael Mann (one of the climate scientists associated with the IPCC and RealClimate.org), or even myself. Quite the opposite, in fact, especially in the case of Prof. Mann.

Even engineers signed on to the list of global heating deniers. Does anyone want to put up a list where professors and engineers with little to no special climatology, geology, chemistry, or climate-related training but who have examined the evidence and found it compelling can add their names and make statements like those Inhofe collected? Any bets how long it would take to exceed 4,000 (10x the length of Inhofe’s list) scientists, professors, engineers, etc.?

I’ll dive much deeper into the list of scientists to understand the various general claims over the next few weeks, but others have already begun the process of diving into individual claims and addressing other points made by Inhofe. Please check out their sites below.

Inhofian Reporting: Peerless work?
Inhofe’s latest windmill
Climate Consensus “busted”?

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