Fighting the Good Fight

Silly letters keep getting sent to local papers denying that anything is happening to the climate at all. Better informed people should rise to the occasion and respond. Jerry Elwood, retired director of the Climate Change Research Division in the U.S Department of Energy’s Office of Science, responded to a provocative op-ed in an Oregon newspaper.

Something like this paragraph of his should be boilerplate in such situations:

The Academies of Science in 19 countries, including the United States, plus many scientific organizations that study climate science agree with this expert consensus. Further, no national or major scientific organizations or institutions anywhere in the world dispute the reality of man-caused global warming and the risks it poses. If this is the consensus Mr. Agather is referring to as an “unproven theory,” where is the published, peer-reviewed scientific evidence that refutes the theory?

Eric Grimsrud has a less scientific but even more eloquent response here.

It is a shame that opinions such as the one Elwood and Grimsrud respond to are still considered respectable enough for print. Unfortunately, a major party vice-presidential candidate is fully sold on the conspiracy model of climate disruption, so we haven’t seen the last of it.

It’s also a shame that “newspapers” don’t leave their materials at a permanent URL. The original Agather piece is nowhere to be found on the web. I have added the Elwood and Grimsrud letters to the permanent archive at WebCite.


  1. One problem Michael. Your boilerplate states:

    "Further, no national or major scientific organizations or institutions anywhere in the world dispute the reality of man-caused global warming and the risks it poses."

    and in fact, this is untrue, according to the Russian Academy of Sciences.

    "Moreover, according to research conducted by employees of Dolgoprudny Research Station of the Institute together with colleagues from Central and Upper-Air Observatory Hydromet Institute of Nuclear Physics, Moscow State University, the process of global cooling has begun. After a peak in 2005, the year is now the average temperature on Earth has decreased by 0.3 degrees and returned to the level of 1996-1997-second period. By the year 2015, scientists believe, it will fall a further one and a half tenths of a degree, which corresponds to the climate of the early 80-ies. The year 2020 has already make the inhabitants of northern latitudes to remember the harsh winters of 1978 and 1979, years, and in 2040 th year of the planet will begin to “freeze.” However, only a relatively high temperature mark for the period from 1880 to 2006-th year. Then we can expect a decrease of temperature of 0.5 degrees Celsius compared with the current measure of “global thermometer”.

    As revealed in the course of studies, the cause of such climate change is not related to the activities of human civilization in general is … space. The fact that the Earth’s atmosphere is constantly get cosmic dust particles, the scientists explained. According to various observations, the amount of precipitated dust varies from 400 to 1000 tons per day."

  2. The Russian Academy of Sciences as an institution is a signatory to this document and this one. Individual members may hold eccentric positions, as in other countries, but the official position of the academy is in line with that of the academies of the other main science-producing countries.

    Implications otherwise are wrong insofar as I know. Certainly this would be a major change over the past three years.

    Presuming that I haven't missed some big change (that Google sees no sign of either) it seems nothing of the sort has happened. Rather people are not above lying and cheating to win debates. You may be a victim of someone else's dishonesty, but please try to be responsible about your information sources.

  3. That report of some crap results isn't the same thing as the official position of the RAS. Note that, unlike in this country, the RAS actually runs research institutions, and as a consequence when there are crap results like this they get to report them. Lucky them.

    What's the date on this, BTW? That cooling thing's working out great for these researchers. Note that the last few Russian summers have been pretty vicious, and I don't mean because of risk of frostbite. The taiga is burning briskly even now. And how about that sea ice?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.