I'm just going to respond angrily to some parts of this "letter from concerned scientists" published by the WSJ.
Trenberth et al. tell us that the managements of major national academies of science have said that "the science is clear, the world is heating up and humans are primarily responsible." Apparently every generation of humanity needs to relearn that Mother Nature tells us what the science is, not authoritarian academy bureaucrats or computer models.
And apparently every generation of humanity needs to learn that the Wall Street Journal tells us what Mother Nature tells us what the science is. Not those "authoritarian academy bureaucrats" and especially not "computer models." Pfft, computers!
One reason to be on guard, as we explained in our original op-ed, is that motives other than objective science are at work in much of the scientific establishment. All of us are members of major academies and scientific societies, but we urge Journal readers not to depend on pompous academy pronouncements—on what we say—but to follow the motto of the Royal Society of Great Britain, one of the oldest learned societies in the world: nullius in verba—take nobody's word for it. As we said in our op-ed, everyone should look at certain stubborn facts that don't fit the theory espoused in the Trenberth letter, for example—the graph of surface temperature above, and similar data for the temperature of the lower atmosphere and the upper oceans.
Excellent! Imply that [scientists other than they] are pompous academicians asking people to depend on their pronouncements and have a secret hidden agenda - while simultaneously the implicit assumption that these fellows are down-to-earth critical thinkers asking us to look at the facts. And remember that they're members of major academies and scientific societies. Not that that's relevant in a letter from "Concerned Scientists," of course!
What are we to make of the letter's claim: "Climate experts know that the long-term warming trend has not abated in the past decade. In fact, it was the warmest decade on record." We don't see any warming trend after the year 2000 in the graph. It is true that the years 2000-2010 were perhaps 0.2 C warmer than the preceding 10 years. But the record indicates that long before CO2 concentrations of the atmosphere began to increase, the earth began to warm in fits and starts at the end of the Little Ice Age—hundreds of years ago. This long term-trend is quite likely to produce several warm years in a row. The question is how much of the warming comes from CO2 and how much is due to other, both natural and anthropogenic, factors?
And they don't answer this question, but of course the whole article is riddled with not-so-subtle suggestions that it's all natural. And the typical denier's arguments about the ice age.
There have been many times in the past when there were warmer decades. It may have been warmer in medieval times, when the Vikings settled Greenland, and when wine was exported from England. Many proxy indicators show that the Medieval Warming was global in extent. And there were even warmer periods a few thousand years ago during the Holocene Climate Optimum. The fact is that there are very powerful influences on the earth's climate that have nothing to do with human-generated CO2
The fact is that that last sentence has nothing to do with anything, but it sure sounds like a pompous pronouncement to me. Does climate science insist that there are no influences on climate other than human civilization? No. No it doesn't. But hey, I'm not a member of a scientific society or academy. Or published by the Wall Street Journal. What do I know.
The continued efforts of the climate establishment to eliminate "extreme views" can acquire a seriously threatening nature when efforts are directed at silencing scientific opposition. In our op-ed we mentioned the campaign circa 2003 to have Dr. Chris de Freitas removed not only from his position as editor of the journal Climate Research, but from his university job as well. Much of that campaign is documented in Climategate emails, where one of the signatories of the Trenberth et al. letter writes: "I believe that a boycott against publishing, reviewing for, or even citing articles from Climate Research [then edited by Dr. de Freitas] is certainly warranted, but perhaps the minimum action that should be taken."
Or consider the resignation last year of Wolfgang Wagner, editor-in-chief of the journal Remote Sensing. In a fulsome resignation editorial eerily reminiscent of past recantations by political and religious heretics, Mr. Wagner confessed to his "sin" of publishing a properly peer-reviewed paper by University of Alabama scientists Roy Spencer and William Braswell containing the finding that IPCC models exaggerate the warming caused by increasing CO2.
Oh, poor fellows. Losing their jobs. Why, it's just like when Christ was killed, wasn't it? The outrage! The censorship! The authoritarianism!
I'm convinced! Give me my pitchfork and torch, let's kill the monster.
The Trenberth letter tells us that decarbonization of the world's economy would "drive decades of economic growth." This is not a scientific statement nor is there evidence it is true.
Gee, and all that talk about the motives of pompous authoritarian bureaucrats was nothing but scientific statements!
The computer-model predictions of alarming global warming have seriously exaggerated the warming by CO2 and have underestimated other causes. Since CO2 is not a pollutant but a substantial benefit to agriculture, and since its warming potential has been greatly exaggerated, it is time for the world to rethink its frenzied pursuit of decarbonization at any cost.
Ah. Apparently there's a frenzied pursuit of decarbonization at any cost, the world over. Has anyone notified China of this? Or for that matter the USA.
You know, I'm not exactly a bright guy, and I'm not terribly well-educated, and I'm certainly not a member of any scientific society or academy ... but if even I can point out some rather glaring flaws in this crappy little article, certainly everyone else can, right? Right?
A quick look at the comments section shows... no. No they can't. So let's burn up some more fossil fuels, people. CO2 is good for agriculture! So is bullshit, by the way. Let's eat some! Nom nom nom.