Archive for February 2008
Monckton’s Apocalypse? No! Speech provides audit of inputs to the dire predictions in An Inconvenient Truth
It is important to ensure the data and judgments that are the inputs to a forecasting process are adequate, valid, and unbiased. Christopher Monckton, in his speech at the Cambridge Union in 2007, provided a point-by-point audit of the inputs to the predictions made by Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth. The speech, with question and answer session, is available on DVD from the Science and Public Policy Institute site.
Kesten Green is giving a talk titled “Scientific Forecasting of Climate Change” at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change, which is being held in New York City Marriott Marquis Times Square hotel from March 2 to 4. Sponsored by the Heartland Institute.
Global Warming: Crisis or Scam?
The debate over whether human activity is responsible for some or all of the modern warming, and then what to do if our presence on Earth is indeed affecting the global climate, has enormous consequences for everyone in virtually all parts of the globe. Proposals to drive down human greenhouse gas emissions by raising energy costs or imposing draconian caps could dramatically affect the quality of life of people in developed countries, and, due to globalization, the lives of people in less-developed countries too.
The global warming debate that the public and policymakers usually see is one-sided, dominated by government scientists and government organizations agenda-driven to find data that suggest a human impact on climate and to call for immediate government action, if only to fund their own continued research, but often to achieve political agendas entirely unrelated to the science of climate change. There is another side, but in recent years it has been denied a platform from which to speak.
The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change promises to be an exciting event and the point of departure for future conferences, publications, and educational campaigns to present both sides of this important topic.
Warming skeptic gets taker on wager
| Herald Staff Writer
The Durango resident who stirred public debate with a $5,000 wager that the Earth’s average temperature in 2017 would be lower than in 2007 has an official taker – albeit to slightly different conditions.
Dr. Richard Grossman, a Durango gynecologist and obstetrician and occasional columnist for The Durango Herald, waited until the dust settled to work out conditions of the bet with Roger W. Cohen, who issued the challenge.
“I think part of Roger’s goal was to keep the issue of global warming in the public mind,” Grossman said Thursday. “It was certainly part of mine in accepting. I believe there is strong evidence of global warming and that much of it is caused by humans.”
On Tuesday February 26th, 2008, Scott Armstrong will speak at a panel on the Strengths and Weaknesses of Climate Models, hosted by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C. A summary of the event is available by clicking on, and full event details are available at the AEI website.
Gore proposes new condition on climate forecasting challenge . . . Armstrong accepts and awaits a reply
On June 19, 2007, Professor Armstrong proposed the Global Warming Challenge to Mr. Gore in an effort to stimulate a scientific approach to forecasting climate change. The Challenge asked that Armstrong and Gore each put $10,000 into a Charitable Trust Fund on December 1, 2007. Armstrong bet that over the next ten years he could forecast temperature change more accurately than any climate model that Mr. Gore might nominate. (Armstrong’s forecast would be that global mean temperature would not change over the ten years.)
On July 6, Mr. Gore sent a cordial reply stating that he was too busy. In response, on November 28, 2007, Dr. Armstrong extended the deadline to March 26, 2008, and made the task easier: Mr. Gore was asked merely to provide a checkmark beside a leading climate model and to sign his name.
Mr. Gore’s spokesperson replied on Armstrong’s answering phone on around February 5. The caller apologized for being so late for responding to the November 28 letter. She said, “Senator Gore declines.” No reason was given. She said to call if there were any questions. Attempts to reach her by phone failed despite leaving callback messages. Armstrong then contacted her by email with questions for Mr. Gore:
“You have made dramatic forecasts of a dire future and have asked people to make big sacrifices on the basis of those forecasts. I would be grateful if you would explain:
1. Why are you unwilling to back your forecasts in a challenge intended to promote scientific forecasting of climate change?
2. Under what conditions would you be willing to back your forecasts in a challenge against my forecasts from a simple scientific method that is appropriate in situations of high uncertainty: the naïve “no change” method?”
The spokesperson said that with respect to question #1, “Mr. Gore simply does not wish to participate in a financial wager.” Armstrong responded that it was fine by him and that we could “merely do it for its scientific value.” The spokesperson said that she would ask Mr. Gore. Armstrong asked if Mr. Gore would also respond to question #2.
The second question is of particular importance given that we have not been able to find any scientific forecasts to support global warming –or any that would support negative effects from global warming –or any to support the notion that efforts to reduce man-made CO2 would have a favorable impact on the climate. See Green & Armstrong’s paper “Global Warming: Forecasts By Scientists Versus Scientific Forecasts,” Energy & Environment 18 (2007), 995-1019.
Armstrong said that this is a scientific issue, not a political issue. Opinion polls do not provide a scientific approach in this situation, even when some of the respondents are climate experts. However, procedures do exist that would allow us to make scientific forecasts.
Meanwhile, Professor Armstrong awaits Mr. Gore’s response to the revised challenge.
Below are excerpts from the Q&A session between Armstrong and Senator Boxer. Full Text of Examining Threats and Protections For the Polar Bear.
Senator Boxer. Now, Dr. Scott, you are a Ph.D. in what? Dr. Armstrong.
Mr. Armstrong. I went to MIT, so I basically had three areas, one was economics, the other was social psychology and the other was marketing.
Senator Boxer. Economics, social psychology and marketing. Are you a biologist?
Mr. Armstrong. No.
Yes, Virginia, there is a polar bear
Friday, February 01
Every eight-year-old knows the polar bears are drowning. “I feel sad for them,” said one friend’s kid the other day as he bundled up for school. Maybe he’d seen those TV ads featuring adorable baby bears with voiceovers by appealing children. “The ice is melting because of global warming,” lisps a little girl over pictures of polar bears apparently swimming for their lives. “Baby bears have died. Please help them.”
No one wants the polar bears to die. Obviously the grownups should do something – and so they are. A host of scientists, environmentalists, legislators and worried citizens is pressuring the U.S. government to add polar bears to the list of endangered species. A decision is expected soon, and they’ve got an impressive array of studies to back them up. One study forecasts that the melting of the Arctic sea ice could kill off two-thirds of the polar bear population by 2050 by destroying their habitat.