Climate Alarmists’ Septic Behavior
This is a message I wish I didn’t have to write. The topic makes me feel—well, like I’ve taken a bath in a septic tank.
But it’s necessary.
You might not be aware, but over the last month a few scientists, lots of activists, and some politicians on the global warming alarmist bandwagon have launched a scurrilous, vicious attack on some of the world’s leading climate scientists, including some close friends of mine.
I need your help to defend them—and, for that matter, to defend integrity in science, journalism, and politics broadly.
The whole history of the attack would be far too long to recite for you. Here’s the skeleton:
In early January, Lord Christopher Monckton of the Science and Public Policy Institute, Dr. Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Dr. David R. Legates of the University of Delaware Department of Geography, and professional statistician William M. Briggs published a blockbuster article, “Why models run hot: results from an irreducibly simple climate model,” in the prestigious Asian journal Science Bulletin.
Suffice it to say that it demolishes the credibility of the computer climate models that are the sole basis for all fears of dangerous manmade global warming and any policies meant to address it—policies that would
- cost the world trillions of dollars;
- slow, stop, or reverse the climb out of poverty for billions of people in developing nations;
- destroy millions of jobs and impoverish millions of people in developed countries; and
- make no significant difference in global temperature.
Lord Monckton, David Legates (Left), and Willie Soon are all friends of mine whom I respect enormously for their learning, their integrity, and their courage. David is a Senior Fellow of the Cornwall Alliance. Mr. Briggs I’ve not had the pleasure to meet, but I have read and admired his erudite work in statistics for years.
The alarmists went ballistic. Unable to refute the article’s arguments, they attacked the authors’ character, claiming that they failed to disclose funding from the fossil fuel industry, alleging that this created a conflict of interest. (Apparently it doesn’t matter that alarmist scientists get thousands of times as much funding from governments.)
The truth, however, is that none of the four authors received any funding to do the research or write the article.
But that didn’t satisfy the alarmists. They then focused their attack on Dr. Soon, claiming that he has failed to disclose such conflicts of interest in many articles in the past. I’ve investigated those charges and found them false. If you’re interested, you can check them out at length here.
Then they brought in the big guns. Ultra-far-Left Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ, pictured right) sent a letter to Soon’s employer, the Harvard-Smithsonian Institute, demanding (though without legal authority to do so) information about funding sources for Soon’s research there.
Grijalva then sent similar letters to the employers of six other leading critics of climate alarmism—Legates, Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama, Dr. Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr. Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Robert Balling of Arizona State University, Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado, and Dr. Steven Hayward of Pepperdine University.
Dr. Christy, Dr. Lindzen, and Dr. Hayward (pictured left) are all friends of mine, and Steven is also a Cornwall Alliance Senior Fellow. I know and admire Dr. Curry (who wrote a very thoughtful discussion of the attacks), and I have read Dr. Balling and Dr. Pielke’s work for many years. All of them are scholars of the highest caliber and great integrity.
I’m told directly by one of the scholars Grijalva targeted that his employer has launched an investigation into his funding—though I happen to know that he has consistently refused to accept any such funding for his work.
Another has already announced that because of the stress brought on by this and similar attacks he is going to stop his contributions to the climate debate.
The stress of the attacks has triggered the flare-up of a serious medical problem in yet another.
Although Grijalva lacks legal authority for his demands, his attacks and those of the climate alarmists, aided and abetted by their Leftwing media lapdogs, have one clear effect: intimidating other scientists who might dissent from the climate alarmist message.
This attack is simply disgusting. A scientific study stands or falls not on the basis of who might have funded the research but on the credibility of its evidence and the logic of its arguments. Personal attacks on its authors are simply out of bounds.
All of this developed while I was traveling up the west coast last month on a speaking tour, and this is the first time I’ve had a chance to address it. I need to do more.
What we’re seeing in the “climate wars” is a wholesale undermining of the credibility not just of climate science but even of science more broadly speaking. The closest thing to it in history was Stalin’s purging of Russian scientists who questioned the (thoroughly discredited) genetic theories of Lysenko.
Please, pray for these and many other scholars who dissent from climate alarmism. Pray for the Cornwall Alliance as we stand with them. And, please, make the most generous donation you can, today, to help us as we engage in this and the many other battles for truth and integrity in the climate controversy.
E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D.
Founder and National Spokesman
The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation seeks to magnify the glory of God in creation, the wisdom of His truth in environmental stewardship, the kindness of His mercy in lifting the needy out of poverty, and the wonders of His grace in the gospel of Jesus Christ. A coalition of theologians, pastors, ministry leaders, scientists, economists, policy experts, and committed laymen, the Cornwall Alliance is the world’s leading evangelical voice promoting environmental stewardship and economic development built on Biblical principles. The Cornwall Alliance is a non-profit religious, charitable, and educational organization. All gifts are tax deductible.