A wide range of scientists and engineers from institutions around the world have signed an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal with a message for elected officials and candidates with regard to global warming.
Here's the gist of the 16 scientists' message addressing the growing political sentiment that something must be done for the environment before it's too late:
There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to "decarbonize" the world's economy.
So why are many scientists and those in public office pushing an alarmist message that the world is already behind on curbing the effects of man-made global warming? (Related: See The Blaze coverage of the United Nation's climate conferences) The scientists write that there are many reasons but suggest we first look at "cui bono?", which means "as a benefit to whom". Translated into today's language, the scientists write to "follow the money". The scientists expound on this idea:
Alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many, providing government funding for academic research and a reason for government bureaucracies to grow. Alarmism also offers an excuse for governments to raise taxes, taxpayer-funded subsidies for businesses that understand how to work the political system, and a lure for big donations to charitable foundations promising to save the planet.
Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically.
A recent study of a wide variety of policy options by Yale economist William Nordhaus showed that nearly the highest benefit-to-cost ratio is achieved for a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls. This would be especially beneficial to the less-developed parts of the world that would like to share some of the same advantages of material well-being, health and life expectancy that the fully developed parts of the world enjoy now. Many other policy responses would have a negative return on investment. And it is likely that more CO2 and the modest warming that may come with it will be an overall benefit to the planet.
The scientists write in the piece that those considered "heretics" in the climate science world is growing over the "collection of stubborn scientific facts", most notable of which is "the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now." The scientists suggest that the International Panel for Climate Change's models are "greatly exaggerated" as to the warming caused by an increase in CO2 levels.
The scientists state that even younger generations of scientists have their "doubts" but are afraid to voice these opinions:
They have good reason to worry. In 2003, Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal Climate Research, dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with the politically incorrect (but factually correct) conclusion that the recent warming is not unusual in the context of climate changes over the past thousand years. The international warming establishment quickly mounted a determined campaign to have Dr. de Freitas removed from his editorial job and fired from his university position. Fortunately, Dr. de Freitas was able to keep his university job.
What the scientists suggest elected officials and candidates do is throw their support behind research seeking to better understand the climate as a whole, without an agenda to prove or disprove man-made global climate change in background.
Here is a full list of the scientists who signed the piece: Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris; J. Scott Armstrong, cofounder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting; Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University; Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society; Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences; William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton; Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.; William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology; Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT; James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University; Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne; Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator; Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service; Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva.
Related: Last year, nobel prize winner Dr. Ivar Giaever resigned from the American Physics Society over its "incontrovertible" position on global warming.