The Heat Is Online

Skeptics: "No Net Warming Since 1998"

Don't fight, adapt

We should give up futile attempts to combat climate change


National Post.  Dec. 13, 2007

Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Dec. 13, 2007


His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon Secretary-General, United Nations New York, N.Y.


Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

Re: UN climate conference taking the World in entirely the wrong direction

It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued increasingly alarming conclusions about the climatic influences of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis. While we understand the evidence that has led them to view CO2 emissions as harmful, the IPCC's conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions. On top of which, because attempts to cut emissions will slow development, the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it.

The IPCC Summaries for Policy Makers are the most widely read IPCC reports amongst politicians and non-scientists and are the basis for most climate change policy formulation. Yet these Summaries are prepared by a relatively small core writing team with the final drafts approved line-by-line by government representatives. The great majority of IPCC contributors and reviewers, and the tens of thousands of other scientists who are qualified to comment on these matters, are not involved in the preparation of these documents. The summaries therefore cannot properly be represented as a consensus view among experts.

Contrary to the impression left by the IPCC Summary reports: - Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change, for none of these changes has been shown to lie outside the bounds of known natural variability. - The average rate of warming of 0.1 to 0. 2 degrees Celsius per decade recorded by satellites during the late 20th century falls within known natural rates of warming and cooling over the last 10,000 years. - Leading scientists, including some senior IPCC representatives, acknowledge that today's computer models cannot predict climate. Consistent with this, and despite computer projections of temperature rises, there has been no net global warming since 1998. That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th-century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.

In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is "settled," significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming. But because IPCC working groups were generally instructed (see wg1_timetable_2006-08-14.pdf) to consider work published only through May, 2005, these important findings are not included in their reports; i.e., the IPCC assessment reports are already materially outdated.

The UN climate conference in Bali has been planned to take the world along a path of severe CO2 restrictions, ignoring the lessons apparent from the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, the chaotic nature of the European CO2 trading market, and the ineffectiveness of other costly initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Balanced cost/benefit analyses provide no support for the introduction of global measures to cap and reduce energy consumption for the purpose of restricting CO2 emissions. Furthermore, it is irrational to apply the "precautionary principle" because many scientists recognize that both climatic coolings and warmings are realistic possibilities over the medium-term future.

The current UN focus on "fighting climate change," as illustrated in the Nov. 27 UN Development Programme's Human Development Report, is distracting governments from adapting to the threat of inevitable natural climate changes, whatever forms they may take. National and international planning for such changes is needed, with a focus on helping our most vulnerable citizens adapt to conditions that lie ahead. Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity's real and pressing problems.

Yours faithfully, [List of signatories below] Copy to: Heads of state of countries of the signatory persons.


Don Aitkin, PhD, Professor, social scientist, retired vice-chancellor and president, University of Canberra, Australia


William J.R. Alexander, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Civil and Biosystems Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Member, UN Scientific and Technical Committee on Natural Disasters, 1994-2000


Bjarne Andresen, PhD, physicist, Professor, The Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark


Geoff L. Austin, PhD, FNZIP, FRSNZ, Professor, Dept. of Physics, University of Auckland, New Zealand


Timothy F. Ball, PhD, environmental consultant, former climatology professor, University of Winnipeg


Ernst-Georg Beck, Dipl. Biol., Biologist, Merian-Schule Freiburg, Germany


Sonja A. Boehmer-Christiansen, PhD, Reader, Dept. of Geography, Hull University, U.K.; Editor, Energy & Environment journal


Chris C. Borel, PhD, remote sensing scientist, U.S.


Reid A. Bryson, PhD, DSc, DEngr, UNE P. Global 500 Laureate; Senior Scientist, Center for Climatic Research; Emeritus Professor of Meteorology, of Geography, and of Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin


Dan Carruthers, M.Sc., wildlife biology consultant specializing in animal ecology in Arctic and Subarctic regions, Alberta


R.M. Carter, PhD, Professor, Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia


Ian D. Clark, PhD, Professor, isotope hydrogeology and paleoclimatology, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa


Richard S. Courtney, PhD, climate and atmospheric science consultant, IPCC expert reviewer, U.K.


Willem de Lange, PhD, Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences, School of Science and Engineering, Waikato University, New Zealand


David Deming, PhD (Geophysics), Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Oklahoma


Freeman J. Dyson, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, N.J.


Don J. Easterbrook, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Geology, Western Washington University


Lance Endersbee, Emeritus Professor, former dean of Engineering and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Monasy University, Australia


Hans Erren, Doctorandus, geophysicist and climate specialist, Sittard, The Netherlands


Robert H. Essenhigh, PhD, E.G. Bailey Professor of Energy Conversion, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University


Christopher Essex, PhD, Professor of Applied Mathematics and Associate Director of the Program in Theoretical Physics, University of Western Ontario


David Evans, PhD, mathematician, carbon accountant, computer and electrical engineer and head of 'Science Speak,' Australia


William Evans, PhD, editor, American Midland Naturalist; Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame


Stewart Franks, PhD, Professor, Hydroclimatologist, University of Newcastle, Australia


R. W. Gauldie, PhD, Research Professor, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean Earth Sciences and Technology, University of Hawai'i at Manoa


Lee C. Gerhard, PhD, Senior Scientist Emeritus, University of Kansas; former director and state geologist, Kansas Geological Survey


Gerhard Gerlich, Professor for Mathematical and Theoretical Physics, Institut fur Mathematische Physik der TU Braunschweig, Germany


Albrecht Glatzle, PhD, sc.agr., Agro-Biologist and Gerente ejecutivo, INTTAS, Paraguay


Fred Goldberg, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Royal Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Stockholm, Sweden Vincent Gray, PhD, expert reviewer for the IPCC and author of The Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of 'Climate Change 2001,Wellington, New Zealand


William M. Gray, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University and Head of the Tropical Meteorology Project


Howard Hayden, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Connecticut


Louis Hissink MSc, M.A.I.G., editor, AIG News, and consulting geologist, Perth, Western Australia


Craig D. Idso, PhD, Chairman, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Arizona


Sherwood B. Idso, PhD, President, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, AZ, USA


Andrei Illarionov, PhD, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity; founder and director of the Institute of Economic Analysis


Zbigniew Jaworowski, PhD, physicist, Chairman -Scientific Council of Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, Warsaw, Poland


Jon Jenkins, PhD, MD, computer modelling -virology, NSW, Australia


Wibjorn Karlen, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden


Olavi Karner, Ph.D., Research Associate, Dept. of Atmospheric Physics, Institute of Astrophysics and Atmospheric Physics, Toravere, Estonia


Joel M. Kauffman, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia


David Kear, PhD, FRSNZ, CMG, geologist, former Director-General of NZ Dept. of Scientific & Industrial Research, New Zealand


Madhav Khandekar, PhD, former research scientist, Environment Canada; editor, Climate Research (2003-05); editorial board member, Natural Hazards; IPCC expert reviewer 2007


William Kininmonth M.Sc., M.Admin., former head of Australia's National Climate Centre and a consultant to the World Meteorological organization's Commission for Climatology


Jan J.H. Kop, MSc Ceng FICE (Civil Engineer Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers), Emeritus Prof. of Public Health Engineering, Technical University Delft, The Netherlands


Prof. R.W.J. Kouffeld, Emeritus Professor, Energy Conversion, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands Salomon Kroonenberg, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Geotechnology, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands Hans H.J. Labohm, PhD, economist, former advisor to the executive board, Clingendael Institute (The Netherlands Institute of International Relations), The Netherlands


The Rt. Hon. Lord Lawson of Blaby, economist; Chairman of the Central Europe Trust; former Chancellor of the Exchequer, U.K.


Douglas Leahey, PhD, meteorologist and air-quality consultant, Calgary


David R. Legates, PhD, Director, Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware


Marcel Leroux, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Climatology, University of Lyon, France; former director of Laboratory of Climatology, Risks and Environment, CNRS


Bryan Leyland, International Climate Science Coalition, consultant and power engineer, Auckland, New Zealand William Lindqvist, PhD, independent consulting geologist, Calif.


Richard S. Lindzen, PhD, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


A.J. Tom van Loon, PhD, Professor of Geology (Quaternary Geology), Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland; former President of the European Association of Science Editors


Anthony R. Lupo, PhD, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science, Dept. of Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Science, University of Missouri-Columbia


Richard Mackey, PhD, Statistician, Australia


Horst Malberg, PhD, Professor for Meteorology and Climatology, Institut fur Meteorologie, Berlin, Germany


John Maunder, PhD, Climatologist, former President of the Commission for Climatology of the World Meteorological Organization (89-97), New Zealand


Alister McFarquhar, PhD, international economy, Downing College, Cambridge, U.K.

Ross McKitrick, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Economics, University of Guelph


John McLean, PhD, climate data analyst, computer scientist, Australia


Owen McShane, PhD, economist, head of the International Climate Science Coalition; Director, Centre for Resource Management Studies, New Zealand


Fred Michel, PhD, Director, Institute of Environmental Sciences and Associate Professor of Earth Sciences, Carleton University


Frank Milne, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Economics, Queen's University


Asmunn Moene, PhD, former head of the Forecasting Centre, Meteorological Institute, Norway


Alan Moran, PhD, Energy Economist, Director of the IPA's Deregulation Unit, Australia


Nils-Axel Morner, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics, Stockholm University, Sweden


Lubos Motl, PhD, Physicist, former Harvard string theorist, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic John Nicol, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Physics, James Cook University, Australia


David Nowell, M.Sc., Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, former chairman of the NATO Meteorological Group, Ottawa


James J. O'Brien, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Meteorology and Oceanography, Florida State University Cliff Ollier, PhD, Professor Emeritus (Geology), Research Fellow, University of Western Australia


Garth W. Paltridge, PhD, atmospheric physicist, Emeritus Professor and former Director of the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia


R. Timothy Patterson, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences (paleoclimatology), Carleton University


Al Pekarek, PhD, Associate Professor of Geology, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Dept., St. Cloud State University, Minnesota


Ian Plimer, PhD, Professor of Geology, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide and Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia


Brian Pratt, PhD, Professor of Geology, Sedimentology, University of Saskatchewan


Harry N.A. Priem, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Planetary Geology and Isotope Geophysics, Utrecht University; former director of the Netherlands Institute for Isotope Geosciences


Alex Robson, PhD, Economics, Australian National University

Colonel F.P.M. Rombouts, Branch Chief -Safety, Quality and Environment, Royal Netherland Air Force


R.G. Roper, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology


Arthur Rorsch, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Molecular Genetics, Leiden University, The Netherlands


Rob Scagel, M.Sc., forest microclimate specialist, principal consultant, Pacific Phytometric Consultants, B.C.


Tom V. Segalstad, PhD, (Geology/Geochemistry), Head of the Geological Museum and Associate Professor of Resource and Environmental Geology, University of Oslo, Norway


Gary D. Sharp, PhD, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study, Salinas, CA


S. Fred Singer, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia and former director Weather Satellite Service


L. Graham Smith, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Geography, University of Western Ontario


Roy W. Spencer, PhD, climatologist, Principal Research Scientist, Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama, Huntsville


Peter Stilbs, TeknD, Professor of Physical Chemistry, Research Leader, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, KTH(Royal Institute of Technology), Stockholm, Sweden


Hendrik Tennekes, PhD, former director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute


Dick Thoenes, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands


Brian G Valentine, PhD, PE (Chem.), Technology Manager -Industrial Energy Efficiency, Adjunct Associate Professor of Engineering Science, University of Maryland at College Park; Dept of Energy, Washington, DC


Gerrit J. van der Lingen, PhD, geologist and paleoclimatologist, climate change consultant, Geoscience Research and Investigations, New Zealand


Len Walker, PhD, Power Engineering, Australia

Edward J. Wegman, PhD, Department of Computational and Data Sciences, George Mason University, Virginia


Stephan Wilksch, PhD, Professor for Innovation and Technology Management, Production Management and Logistics, University of Technolgy and Economics Berlin, Germany


Boris Winterhalter, PhD, senior marine researcher (retired), Geological Survey of Finland, former professor in marine geology, University of Helsinki, Finland


David E. Wojick, PhD, P.Eng., energy consultant, Virginia Raphael Wust, PhD, Lecturer, Marine Geology/Sedimentology, James Cook University, Australia


A. Zichichi, PhD, President of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva, Switzerland; Emeritus Professor of Advanced Physics, University of Bologna, Italy


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