William Nordhaus has published a very well-written and very well-documented rebuttal to the Wall Street Journal 16.
But one of the difficulties I found in examining the views of climate skeptics is that they are scattered widely in blogs, talks, and pamphlets. Then, I saw an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal of January 27, 2012, by a group of sixteen scientists, entitled “No Need to Panic About Global Warming.” This is useful because it contains many of the standard criticisms in a succinct statement. The basic message of the article is that the globe is not warming, that dissident voices are being suppressed, and that delaying policies to slow climate change for fifty years will have no serious economic or environment consequences.
My response is primarily designed to correct their misleading description of my own research; but it also is directed more broadly at their attempt to discredit scientists and scientific research on climate change. 1 I have identified six key issues that are raised in the article, and I provide commentary about their substance and accuracy.
Many of us have stated ourselves astonished at how weak the arguments were. And indeed, Bob Fischer has argued here that the Wall Street Journal is not a relaible arbiter of opinion on any matter. So Nordhaus is, to an extent, shooting fish in a barrel. But he nails every fish, really nicely. Don’t miss it.
The concluding section, especially, has a familiar ring to it.
A final point concerns economic analysis. The sixteen scientists argue, citing my research, that economics does not support policies to slow climate change in the next half-century…
On this point, I do not need to reconstruct how climate scientists made their projections, or review the persecution of Soviet geneticists. I did the research and wrote the book on which they base their statement. The skeptics’ summary is based on poor analysis and on an incorrect reading of the results.
So, “based on poor analysis and on an incorrect reading of the results”. Never seen that one before, have we?