Climate Change Contrarians – A Compendium

Everyone is concerned about global warming and climate change, one of today’s hottest topics. Just looking up these terms in any search engine will turn millions of results. It is a topic growing in importance and it is the duty of every global citizen to understand this phenomenon.

There is a consensus among 97% of scientist that global warming is a fact. They also agree that man-made activities are the reason behind it. They say something wrong is happening to the planet and to correct it, governments and communities must act collectively with drastic actions. Scientists also warn if we don’t act fast enough, the damage will be irreversible. https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

But despite what we’ve been hearing and reading in the media about rising temperatures, melting polar ice caps and sinking islands, a sizable number of scientists and weather experts; more than 31,000 are still doubting the writing on the wall, and frankly, for logical reasons.

Contrarians always existed, but can you even argue with that?

These ‘other side’ scientists insist there is “no convincing evidence” that humans caused global warming or that there is any warming to begin with. Why? Because humans simply don’t have the means to make permanent environmental changes in the planet; changing ‘mean’ global temperatures require far more power and resources than what we already have.

These scientists’ opinions are not based on educated guesses or experience but something more solid and logical, and I see it is only fair to consider, perhaps even publicize the views of climate change skeptics too.

Let’s start by looking at their petition: http://www.petitionproject.org/ and consider these substantiated arguments:

1. Marcott Report – Studying global temperatures over a longer time span

Shaun A Marcott, a veteran environmental scientist at Oregon State University. He and his team see that in order to have exact visualization of global temperature changes, one must consider a much longer time span. Most studies compare today’s temperatures to the last 1500 years which is not enough.

Mr. Marcott provides a broader prospective by reconstructing temperatures in the past 11,300 years. The report: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198 suggests that global temperatures of the last decade didn’t exceeded peak interglacial values and even though climate has been warming since industrial revolution, this is simply a pattern of rise and fall of temperatures when looking at a time span 10,000-5,000 years.

2. Whitehouse Report – Empirical formulas indicate this is only a cycle 

Dr. David Whitehouse, a highly celebrated environmental scientist produced an audacious but substantiated report: http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2013/03/Whitehouse-GT_Standstill.pdf claiming that statistically, there was no significant increase in global temperatures since 1997.

The report was published by Global Warming Policy Foundation, a clear recognition to its validity. The findings of the report were a surprise to the scientific community and ran contrary to all beliefs and consensuses.

Dr. Whitehouse states that global temperatures are simply going through a natural cycle of warmth and coolness, similar to what Dr. Marcott suggested. Dr Whitehouse depended on empirically derived formulas in his analysis.

3. Dr. Spenser – Bad input leads to bad results

Dr Roy Spenser, a former NASA scientist tackles the subject from a different, yet equally important view. He starts by reminding us that output from mathematical models is as good as the input itself. The old principle of ‘garbage in; garbage out’

Dr. Spenser acknowledges the good intentions of other scientists however, he highlights that most climate change models that governments base their policy decisions on, are incorrect. Therefore the results from these models have so far ‘failed miserably’

Dr. Spenser goes on to support his statements by comparing climate model results vs. observations of global average temperatures. See Dr. Spenser’s weblog.

4. Patrick Moore – A moment of truth  

Last but not least, Patrick Moore, Canadian ecologist and co-founder of Greenpeace, one of the most active and influential NGOs of all times recently told a US senate panel that “there is no scientific evidence to back claims that humans are the dominant cause of climate change”

Mr. Moore explains that faulty computer models and scare tactics to promote specific agendas are the reason behind the entire issue; and that even if global warming is happening; it cannot possibly be from carbon emissions produced by human activities.

These statements coming from an environmental crusader and an authority in the field like Mr. Moore certainly supports what scientists like Dr Whithouse, Marcott and Spenser are trying to say.

Stop panicking for a while and listen

I think it is time to stop panicking – at least for a while – and listen closely to the ‘other side’ scientists; the 31,000 who may have valid, bias-free opinions before adopting measures that will have serious impacts on energy prices and consequently human development as a whole; a drawback that surpasses any benefit from reduced carbon emissions.

One must be careful from the emotional rhetoric made nowadays about going through the warmest times caused by humans or about a “general consensus”. Good decisions should not be built over high voices and emotions but rather pure science.

Sherif Issa

Head of Environmental Sustainability at Orange Egypt
Sherif Issa is the Head of Environmental Sustainability at Orange Egypt. He holds master’s in Civil | Environmental Engineering from City University of New York and a Bachelor degree from Cairo University. He is currently responsible for developing and maintaining the environmental management system of the company covering aspects of operations.
Sherif has participated in many initiatives related implementing technology in social responsibility. He is also member of two Egyptian governmental committees: the Scientific Research Committee of National Council of Women and the Environmental Education committee of the Ministry of Culture

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