[Coral-List] Global Warming Theory (Douglas Fenner)

Zac Forsman zforsman at gmail.com
Tue Mar 3 18:20:27 EST 2009

Dear Doug and coral listers,
   I'm all for healthy skepticism, but for this "debate" it appears
that one side has all of the rigorous evidence, and the other side has
a lot of conjecture, ideology, and deception that typically come from
the flat earth or creationist folks.  One thing that is good about the
"debade" is that it does stimulate critical thought and discussion,
and a desire to learn more.  There is a well organized collection of
counter arguments to climate skeptic claims here:


I also think it's very important to consider the source; interestingly
the climate skeptics have many connections with the tobacco and oil
lobbies... from wikipedia:

"The risks of passive smoking were disputed by some global warming
skeptics and related institutions, including Richard
Lindzen,[262][263] Steven Milloy,[264] Fred Singer (1994),[265] Fred
Seitz,[266] Michael Crichton,[18] Michael Fumento in 1997[267][268]
the Cooler Heads Coalition (Consumer Alert)[269][270] and the
Institute of Public Affairs.[271][272] According to the Union of
Concerned Scientists[176][185] criticism of the scientific consensus
on smoking and on global warming was embodied in The Advancement of
Sound Science Coalition, a lobby group[273][274] directed by Milloy
and established with support from Philip Morris and subsequently from
ExxonMobil. Science advisors to TASSC included Fred Singer, Fred Seitz
and Patrick Michaels.[176][177] TASSC originally campaigned against
restrictions on passive smoking, and later on global warming."

-Zac H. Forsman

On Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 11:37 PM, Douglas Fenner <dfenner at blueskynet.as> wrote:
> Eugene,
>    If I read your friend correctly, he's saying that Al Gore said 2000
> scientists supported his views, but many turned out to be non-scientists.
> The 2000 figure I believe are the climatology scientists who are the
> government representatives that make up the IPCC.  They are real scientists
> and experts on the subject.  I suspect their credentials are documented in
> IPCC documents.  They are not just Al Gore's friends.  Someone who's an
> expert on this please correct me if I'm wrong.
>    I suggest anyone who thinks this petition is legit should check the
> Wikipedia article on it, using the reference in my message.  It's an
> eye-opener.
>    I'll quote a small part of the Wikipedia article.
> "On his website, Chris Colose[23] reviewed 60 names which are listed in the
> article, including 54 alleged PhD's. The names included the first 10 in the
> "A" column of the petition and the first two PhD's in each subsequent letter
> (two for "B," two for "C," and so on). Chris examined the publication
> records of each of those names by "typing their name into the `search by
> author' box in Google Scholar" and found no one with a specialty or
> publication in climate science."
>    Scientific American took a random sample of 30 of the 1400 signatories
> claiming to hold a Ph.D. in a climate-related science.  They looked for them
> in various databases.  Extrapolating from their findings, they estimate it
> includes about 200 climate researchers, a rather small fraction of the
> climatological community.
> Wikipedia says,
> "The text of the petition is often misrepresented: for example, until
> recently the petition's website stated that the petition's signatories
> "declare that global warming is a lie with no scientific basis
> whatsoever."[4] The two-paragraph petition used the terms catastrophic
> heating and disruption, not "global warming." The original article
> associated with the petition (see below) defined "global warming" as "severe
> increases in Earth's atmospheric and surface temperatures, with disastrous
> environmental consequences".[5] This differs from both scientific usage and
> dictionary definitions, in which "global warming" is an increase in the
> global mean atmospheric temperature[6][7] without implying that the increase
> is "severe" or will have "disastrous environmental consequences."
> (there is nothing in the wording of the petition saying that global warming
> is a lie.)
> There is a clear pattern here it seems to me, of using statements in the
> petition designed to get people to sign it, then to claim that they have
> signed on to much more than they actually have.
>     In my own view, I see science as a type of persuasion.  Using evidence
> and logic, of a particular type, to convince others of various things about
> the physical world.  There are many other kinds of persuasion, but this one
> is particularly powerful, because of the type of logic and evidence used.
> The most persuasive use of it is in peer-reviewed literature.  My
> understanding is that the peer-reviewed literature is overwhelmingly
> supportive of the view that global warming is real, and that humans are the
> principle cause.  The IPCC report is heavily referenced with peer-reviewed
> literature, this petition and the unpublished article supporting it are not.
> I find that the most persuasive thing.  The deceptive practices the
> petitioners have engaged in does not help their case.
>      I'm not a climate scientist, have never claimed to be, and never will
> be.  Most people are in the same situation.  We can't read the peer-reviewed
> literature ourselves and make our own informed expert judgement like climate
> scientists can.  So we have to rely on secondary sources.  That opens an
> opportunity for people like the writers of this website to generate stories
> that provide what some people want to hear, even if it is not based on fact.
> As a result they can be very popular, but they mislead intentionally.
>     I am sure that we could circulate a petition among the general
> citizenry and get as many signatures as we want to a petition saying that
> global warming is a lie.  Millions of signatures if we want.  But if these
> people have no knowledge of the science, is the petition persuasive that
> global warming is a lie?  I think not.  It is closer to the polling that
> Gallup does of political views.  If a Gallup poll finds that 2/3 of the
> population think global warming is a lie, does that mean it is a lie?  If
> you take a poll and 90% of the people say the world is flat, does that make
> it flat?  (at one time such a poll would have produced such results.)  The
> poll accurately reports what people believe, but what people believe often
> does not accurately reflect reality- lots of people believe in astrology, or
> that evolution is a lie, and so on.  Doesn't make it true.
>     It seems to me that a lot of people don't want to think global warming
> is real, because they believe that the economic costs of taking care of the
> problem will be too expensive.  I think that is probably why the Bush
> administration and many business people don't want to think it is real.  The
> problem is that there are two things here, the scientific question of
> whether global warming is real and caused by humans, and the economic
> question of what the costs are of solving the problem, compared to the costs
> of inaction.  If we use our fear of the costs to distort our views of the
> science, we're distorting the facts and the truth about the physical world.
> That's not good.  Instead, I suggest for these people the debate needs to
> move to the economic arena, and the public policy arena.  What are the costs
> of action vs inaction?
>     Perhaps economists can enlighten us on the latter question, I'm
> certainly no economist.
>     But we must fearlessly pursue the facts and the truth, and not let
> wishful thinking lead us to deny reality.   Doug  Fenner
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Eugene Shinn" <eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
> To: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 6:15 AM
> Subject: [Coral-List] Global Warming Theory (Douglas Fenner)
>> Dear Doug, I was concerned about that group because I have heard so
>> much about it. After reading your note I checked with a friend who is
>> not an AGW and below  is what he sent me. Gene
>> -------------------------------------
>> This is the  Fred Seitz petition, formulated  to counter the "2000"
>> scientists that Gore claimed to support his  stand many years ago.
>> When his names were vetted , they turned out not to be very many
>> physical scientists among them, rather there were hunters, fishermen,
>> lawyers, psychologists,etc.  So Seitz set up his petition with
>> qualifications, and if anyone wants to check the qualifications
>> further, they should go to Who's Who, and list of university
>> professors, etc.  The claim that some are hoaxes  comes only from
>> those who may have purposely entered false information - there is no
>> protection against that in the Seitz petition. But those same
>> naysayers should remember, Seitz was  head of the National Academy of
>> Sciences.  These names are  most likely 90% or more valid. the use of
>> Oregon Institute was one of convenience at the time.  Last time I had
>> checked that site there were only about 16,000 signatures. That
>> amount has apparently doubled, and the AGW folks must be worried
>> about that.Here is the home  site:
>> http://www.petitionproject.org/index.html
>> --
>> No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
>> ------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
>> E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
>> University of South Florida
>> Marine Science Center (room 204)
>> 140 Seventh Avenue South
>> St. Petersburg, FL 33701
>> <eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
>> Tel 727 553-1158----------------------------------
>> -----------------------------------
>> _______________________________________________
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