Last week, the Blaze reported about an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal signed by 16 scientists and engineers with the general thesis that "drastic action" to curb global warming is unnecessary and not economically beneficial. Today, climate scientists who support taking action to mitigate the effects of man-made global warming have written a rebuttal -- with 39 authors -- in WSJ.
The heart of the rebuttal is that those in the group of 16 have "no expertise in climate science" and those who do "have extreme views that are out of step with nearly every other climate expert":
Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work. If you need surgery, you want a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations.
You published "No Need to Panic About Global Warming" (op-ed, Jan. 27) on climate change by the climate-science equivalent of dentists practicing cardiology. While accomplished in their own fields, most of these authors have no expertise in climate science.
The 16 scientists stated last week that "There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to "decarbonize" the world's economy." They also write that even if there were, it would not be economically justifiable.
The scientists in the more recent WSJ op-ed rebuttal state that a quote by Kevin Trenbirth saying it was a "travesty" that they couldn't "account for the lack of warming" was taken out of context in the "No Need to Panic" piece. They clarify what Trenbrith was really saying was that the systems that track warming trends in the ocean were inadequate to show actual warming.
These scientists also call attention to the National Academy of Science's opinion, as a reputable authority, that "the world is heating up and humans are primarily responsible" and mitigation of the effects will "require significant reductions in emissions of heat-trapping gases".
At the same time, a third related and interesting observation has been brought up by the blogger going by "Zombie" on PJ Media. Zombie writes that he has been looking into "The Weather Conspiracy: The Coming of the New Ice Age" published in 1977. Here are some of the things Zombie learned:
• Climate change is happening faster than we realize and it will have catastrophic consequences for mankind.
• There’s very little we can do to stop it at this late stage, but we might be able to save ourselves if we immediately take these necessary and drastic steps:- Increase our reliance on alternative energy sources and stop using so much oil and other carbon-based fuels;
- Adopt energy-efficient practices in all aspects of our lives, however inconvenient;
- Impose punitive taxes on inefficient or polluting activities to discourage them;
- Funnel large sums of money from developed nations like the U.S. to Third World nations;
- In general embrace all environmental causes.
Sounds familiar, right? Zombie writes that these are exactly the same efforts that global warming alarmists are stating must be done to deal with impending consequence of global climate change. He points out in both cases that there is call to "cede power and money from the First World to the Third World". This is already happening: at the conclusion of the most recent United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa, there was an agreement to set up bodies that will collect, govern and distribute funds to poor countries adversely affected by climate change.
Zombie expounds on his opinion further:
The true purpose of climate change disaster-mongering is to permanently cripple the First World, and to elevate the Third World, in order to create a planet with no economic inequality. The goal remains constant; the supposed imminent catastrophes justifying it come and go as needed.
The 16 scientists in the WSJ piece don't come right out to say that the ultimate goal of climate alarmism is to reduce economic inequality, but they do suggest we "follow the money". The scientists state that, according to research by Yale economist William D. Nordhaus, third world countries could actually benefit from "a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls." Nordhaus, as reported by the New York Times Dot Earth blog, has said that the scientists misrepresented his work. Nordhaus told the Times that he as "long taken the view that policies to slow global warming would have net economic benefits".
The Times, in a separate post, includes the thoughts of Yale economics and forestry professor Robert Mendelsohn who states that the authors in the initial WSJ article are correct in that "evidence to engage in harsh mitigation programs is very scanty." But Mendelsohn also states that "a rational modest policy would permit continued economic growth into the future including the continued development of emerging and undeveloped countries."