Senator Inhofe’s report, the last word in the global warming debate?
I haven’t posted on global warming much recently. I didn’t want to get into endless repetition of the science on a point by point basis, other people have done it better. However, as I was wandering around on Yahoo Answers I saw someone had posted a December 2007 report from the US Senate that listed 400 prominent scientists who think anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is bogus: U.S. Senate Report: Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007 Check it out, could this be it, proof that I and so many other people are wrong about the human role in global warming?
I admit at first I was a little dismayed, could 400 prominent scientists be seriously disputing AGW theory? Then I started reading. First it lists all the news outlets that carried the report. What does that have to do with anything? Then it launches into a breathless explanation about how all these persecuted scientists think AGW is a hoax and that there really isn’t any consensus. I couldn’t help but notice that it made a lot of claims, but didn’t really say anything about AGW. Then…the report quotes all sorts of people whose claims the report is going to refute, who are these people? Media folks, columnists, TV personalities, and Al Gore. Um, shouldn’t this report be refuting actual scientist’s statements?
Then, the meat. The 400 “prominent scientists” listed with a select few quotes from each of them. OK, I don’t have time to refute what appear to be a tired collection of the same old long refuted arguments, so who are these guys touted as international experts on the subject? I googled a few near the top of the list…and gee, turns out that a certain obscure west coast blogger has a vastly greater web presence than world renowned experts in global warming. So either I am a far more popular and influential writer than I imagined (and all the blog statistics indicate) or there was something fishy about this list.
Now I didn’t have time to look up 400 hundred guys on google, so off to the web to see what other people thought of this report. And boy was that tiresome. Every global warming denier on the planet had reproduced the report and was making a huge deal out of it, so I had to wade through a lot of that. I did eventually find other people who had taken the time to check out these 400 “prominent scientists.” Guess what?
- 85 are on the oil/gas industry payroll.
- 49 are retired.
- 44 are television weathermen.
- 20 are economists.
- 7o have no expertise in climate science whatsoever.
Now granted on a case by case basis this wouldn’t be reason to dismiss these people’s views. I mean, some experts may be retired or what not…but going by these standards, there have to be millions of “prominent experts” in the field of climate research. This is the best 400 scientists they could come up with? This is not just sad, it’s almost silly. 400 most definitely obscure climate scientists (in only the loosest sense of the term climate scientist) dispute human caused global warming, and this proves there is no scientific consensus on the subject? No, this is the exception that proves the rule. In any event, read all about the debunking of this alleged debunking here.
So if anything, I have to thank Senator Inhofe for producing this lovely document. This is written proof beyond any doubt that the global warming debate is over, because the global warming denial side of the argument is reduced to shooting blanks. I doubt that was the good Senator’s intent, since he (predictably) is the second biggest recipient of oil money in Congress. As for his scientific acumen, the good Senator thinks that humans don’t need to worry about the environment: since God gave it to us, God will take care of any problems that arise. In other words, Inhofe’s Senate report is pure propaganda, a blatant hoax, and a hit piece meant to fool people into thinking that there is still scientific debate when there is none. A list of similar “experts” could be produced to deny evolution, continental drift, or the theory of relativity.
I rest my case.
(On the left is a photograph of Muir Glacier taken on August 13, 1941, by glaciologist William O. Field; on the right, a photograph taken from the same vantage on August 31, 2004, by geologist Bruce F. Molnia of the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Image Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center, W. O. Field, B. F. Molnia )