GWPFBRIEFINGPAPER No2 - SIGNIFICANCEOFTHESUBJECT
Mueller explains what this Briefing Paper No2 is about in the first three sentences.
'Global warming has both positive and negative impacts. However, very often only the negative consequences are reported and the positive ones omitted. This article will show an example of a positive effect of warming.'
Mueller then sets out to show how the Sahel is enjoying a 'positive impact' of global warming.
Yet already here is a glaring omission. Despite this being an ideal opportunity to list out all the other 'positive impacts', Mueller fails even to hint at what any of the others might be. Never mind. We still have the Sahel. Or do we?
Imagine for a moment that climate change skeptics actually submitted their anti-science arguments for publication in a credible peer-reviewed journal. Now imagine that, after thorough examination and debunking by their peers, these skeptics finally admitted their many false claims and assumptions, and perhaps some or all moved on to contribute meaningfully to the vast body of science confirming manmade climate change?
Ok, back to reality.
Instead, the skeptics' greatest and most-often cited (by them) “peer-reviewed studies” appeared in the journal Climate Research between 1997-2003. This journal has been considered credible at certain points in its history, and many fine papers have appeared there.
But according to my new analysis [PDF] of the papers published in Climate Research, there is a very clear gap in credibility during the years 1997-2003 when Chris de Freitas served as one of the journal's editors. During this time, de Freitas oversaw the publication of 14 papers from notorious skeptics - half of them authored by fossil fuel industry pal Pat Michaels - many of which would not have survived rigorous and honest peer review at any other credible journal.
A few months ago, another journal's editor resigned over a paper that should not have been accepted due to a poor peer review process. It reminded many of us of the more drastic case of Climate Research(CR), where several editors resigned in 2003 in the wake of a colossally poor paper by Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas, accepted for publication by none other than Chris de Freitas.
It was certainly not the first de Freitas-endorsed paper to pass weak editorial processes at Climate Research, but when incoming Editor-in-Chief Hans von Storch suggested the paper should not have been published, he endeavored to fix editorial processes to prevent such problems. The publisher did not agree, so von Storch and other editors resigned.
The Carbon Brief (TCB) has a nice analysis on the not-very-startling coincidence that at least nine of the top 10 “skeptical” “scientists” who are publishing on climate change have direct links to Exxon.
This is interesting, as well, in that it doesn’t account for the increasing amounts of money being invested invested by funders (such as the Koch brothers) who have been taking a less transparent approach than Exxon in acknowledging their links.
In a second instalment, TCB also took a closer look at both the quality and content of the purported “900+” science papers identified by the Global Warming Policy Foundation as somehow skeptical of the science of climate change. The news, for the skeptics as for the climate, turns out to be all bad.
The petition is currently headlining at the WattsUpWithThat website, which probably shouldn’t surprise anyone, given that proprietor and weather guy Anthony Watts was one of the original signatories to one of the original silly climate petitions: the Leipzig Declaration.
These petitions are, in the most important ways, all the same. They feature the same cast of discredited characters (Pat Michaels, Fred Singer) and the same discredited arguments. The biggest such effort of the last 20 years was the Oregon Petition, which used a fraudulent National Academy of Sciences letterhead to solicit something in excess of 30,000 signatures from “scientists,” including a small handfull who had actually studied or practiced climate science.
But the point has never been to advance the science. The goal has been to give the impression that a legitimate scientific argument persists. And here we go again.
Well, if you answered “the oil industry,” you might be on a good track. The Cato Institute, which sponsored a series of full-page ads in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, is famously a paid apologist for organizations like the American Petroleum Institute (API).
A recent statement by evangelical Christians downplaying the potential problems of global climate change includes eight signers whose six organizations have received a total of $2.32 million in donations from ExxonMobil over the last three years.
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.