A rare debate on the “settled science” of climate change

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CHICAGO, October 2, 2014 — In 1997 during the Kyoto Protocol Treaty negotiations in Japan, Dr. Robert Watson, then Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was asked about scientists who challenge United Nations conclusions that global warming was man-made. He answered, “The science is settled…we’re not going to reopen it here.” Thus began one of the greatest propaganda lines in support of the theory of human-caused global warming.

On June 19 this year, the University of Northern Iowa held a debate on climate change titled, “Climate Instability: Interpretations of Scientific Evidence.” Dr. Jerry Schnoor of the University of Iowa presented an effective case for the theory of man-made warming and I presented the case for climate change driven by natural causes. The video contains 30 minutes of presentation by each side and then 30 minutes of questions and rebuttal, presented to a small audience of faculty and students.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFYZ9dKAuNc[/youtube]

Formal debates on the theory of human-caused warming are somewhat rare in our society today. Former Vice President Al Gore stated on the CBS Early Show on May 31, 2006:

…the debate among the scientists is over. There is no more debate. We face a planetary emergency. There is no more scientific debate among serious people who’ve looked at the science…Well, I guess in some quarters, there’s still a debate over whether the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona, or whether the earth is flat instead of round.


EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson declared to Congress in 2010, “The science behind climate change is settled, and human activity is responsible for global warming.” Even President Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address said, “But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.”

The Los Angeles Times announced last year that they will not print opinions that challenge the concept that humans are the cause of climate change. The BBC has taken a similar position. Many of our universities will not allow an open debate on climate change. The Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San Jose State University posted an image last year of two professors holding a match to my book.

In contrast to the “no debate” positions of our political leaders, news media, and many universities, the event at the University of Northern Iowa was a breath of fresh air. Thanks to Dr. Catherine Zeman and the Center for Energy and Environmental Education at UNI for their sponsorship of an open debate on the “settled science” of climate change.

Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania.

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Steve Goreham is a speaker, author, and researcher on environmental issues and a former engineer and business executive. He’s a frequently invited guest on radio and television as well as a freelance writer. He is the Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America, a non-political association of scientists, engineers, and citizens working to inform Americans about the realities of climate science and energy economics. Steve is also author of two books on climate change, The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania and Climatism! Science, Common Sense, and the 21st Century’s Hottest Topic. Steve holds an MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He has more than 30 years of experience at Fortune 100 and private companies in engineering and executive roles. As a white water kayaker, he paddled many of the great rivers of North America. He is a husband and father of three and resides in Illinois.
  • Reason

    Yes, there are people out there who think the Earth is flat.

  • Adam Nickle

    Yes, there are people out there who support lying so long as the intended purpose aligns with current perceptions of what is right. Then there are truly intelligent people who’s only fear is that they might come to a false conclusion and they therefore consider all evidence, new and old, and weigh the facts against their understanding of reality. Group think vs. science. Both sides are guilty of the former. Why don’t we all stop jabbering and get guilty of the latter?

    • Steve Bravy

      Is agreeing with 97% of the relevant scientists as against some collection of folks with unknown credentials or shills for gas/coal companies to be considered group-think?

    • Adam Nickle

      Just to clarify: BOTH sides of this issue are almost universally guilty of group-think. Based on the clear match between folks who believe in either side and their political leanings, I have more evidence to support that this issue is a political one rather than a scientific one. Which is a shame; accurate measurement without biasing numbers to match previous theories is what we need. Cold, hard, real science. But for some, that doesn’t move fast enough, so they lie and muddy the waters for those who are actually trying to see through them.

  • Reason

    Interesting that Steve Goreham’s bio here does not mention The Heartland Institute. That’s telling. It does mention his decades as an executive and engineer at Fortune 100 companies. One thing he is NOT is a climate scientist. There is consensus among active climate scientists that human activity is having a significant impact on the climate. It’s easy to get lost in little details like the fact that the atmosphere isn’t warming as fast as it was – due to the fact that the heat is being absorbed by the oceans – and lose sight of the simple reality that the climate is warming, we are contributing, and we should make it a priority to get energy from clean sources that do not produce greenhouse gasses, and that we should practice sustainable forestry as much as possible.

  • chaos_in_ashland

    This guy is just trying to make a buck through more controversy. Same business model as Fox news.

    Lame how people like Steve Goreham is making money off the intended destruction of our Earth.

  • Steve Bravy

    This article poses as science and claims a debate, but shows no credentials for the debater, places quotes around “settled” without providing any rationale for skepticism, and is an unabashed ad for a book by an unknown claiming much but offering little proof or credentials. This is propaganda, not science.

    • Chris Wicklund

      Like Al gore, I suppose…

      • gocart mozart

        No,you suppose wrong.

      • ReduceGHGs

        Al Gore has been telling us what the experts have been saying for decades. For the current state of climate science try NASA, AAAS, NAS, AGU, MET, and all the others.
        goreham’s nonsense is pure propaganda. Are you consuming it?

        Here’s a link to what credible experts think about the issue.
        Google: NASA Climate Change Consensus

        • mememine

          They only agree it ‘could” not WILL. Prove me wrong.

          • ReduceGHGs

            Again for the 100th time, science is about probabilities not absolutes.
            The author of this article is NOT a climate scientist and has not ONE study or credible scientific body to back up his claims. He’s paid to speak for vested interests like heartland. I asked him. He likes to compare himself to Gore. Maybe the “anti-Gore”. He’s so ridiculous he’s amusing. You’d like him.

    • Ian Sanford

      Amen brother. This is pure, unadulterated, propaganda without a single iota of scientific information to offer as basis for skepticism of established science. The author isn’t a scientist, he’s a charlatan whose background is in electrical engineering and IT according to LinkedIn and is neither a climate scientist or meteorologist and was likely a failure at actual profession before giving himself the mantle of “Author”, which I guess I can start calling myself now that I’ve written this post since apparently that term is completely without meaning these days.

      • magister ludi

        He’s a business exec. His concern is how much money he may stand to lose from regulation.

    • Steve Goreham

      The evidence is in the debate video. You might want to take a look.

      • Reason

        Why does your bio here not mention The Heritage Foundation?

    • mememine

      CO2 climate science is modern day witch burning.

      • Reason

        Can you clarify what you mean by that? Who is being burned? Who is the victim here, BP??

        About a century ago, before industrialization, the atmosphere had roughly 200 parts per million of CO2. Now it’s at roughly 400. Virtually all active climate scientists are in agreement about AGW.

        There is scientific consensus pertaining to us endangering ourselves. How is that a witch burning? Who are the witches?

  • Reason

    Why are some of the comments being deleted?

    • Sisifo

      Maybe they are wrongheaded comments…

      • Reason

        I don’t think they were. There were several that seemed well thought out to me. There are comments I think are silly and “wrongheaded” that are still here. The ones that were deleted did not seem to me like they could have possibly violated any terms of use any site would have for comments. Some that were deleted sounded very reasonable to me. What makes a comment wrongheaded, and is that reason to silence the person? There were no personal attacks in those early comments that are now gone.

        • magister ludi

          It is possible that the individuals account has been blocked.

          That happened to my account on the National Review comment page (big surprise that; the National Review does not encourage dissent.)

          I can post a comment, but it disappears almost immediately.

          It could also be simply an error.

          Or…..it could be censorship.

          • We do not censor or manually track comments. We read them. If something is particularly mean or offensive, or someone annoying, I might delete or blacklist.. but that happens rarely. The Disqus system will reject comments with certain words, phrases and links – but that is done automatically – it is not a manual decision. I have heard others say they get “kicked out”. Again that is a Disqus issue. We do not have a “refresh” on the page, so there is nothing CDN is doing to kick you out. I always suggest people that want to write small novellas in comments that you create in word and then paste it.

            Thank you for reading and joining the conversation. I appreciate your keeping it polite (telling people their opinion is drivel, for example, is not polite.)

          • magister ludi

            Thank you for your response.

            I did not mean to imply that I was “kicked out” of the page due to censorship. I believe, as I said in a later comment, it was simply due to a weak signal.

            Yes, my comments can be lengthy at times, but I believe that when someone asks a legitimate question, one should give a complete response when possible.

            I do not own a computer; only a smartphone, so I cannot write my comments in Word.

            I do try to be polite, although it can be difficult at times. Some people’s comments I find very offensive. I do not believe in censorship; I believe it is better for people to express their opinions, no matter how offensive. However, those who hold such opinions should not be surprised by angry or impolite responses.

            As to drivel: well, many comments are merely that. I see no reason not to point that out.

          • Reason

            Well all but a few of my comments are gone. Some said they were pending review by a moderator, but they’re still not up. Some others that I saw at first then disappeared.

          • Reason

            One of my comments has been marked “Pending” for 4 days now. I do not believe that comment is impolite or abusive or childish. I don’t even understand why some comments get flagged for review and others go through without needing review. But there are numerous comments by other people that were visible the day the article was posted that soon disappeared and are still not back. I don’t think any of them were abusive or anything like that. Can you please clarify? Thank you.

    • Geordie Schall

      Once a comment get a certain number of down votes and no up votes, comments get removed. The thinking is that these comments add nothing to the discussion.

  • nwberger

    For those who believe in ‘Settled Science’ for Global Warming I ask them to produce one other instance where scientists themselves believe something in their field is ‘Settled’. For instance we thought that light travels in a straight path forever (how else could it be?) yet Einstein showed that it bends in space. We are still conducting experiments 100 years later to prove or disprove this theory. Also if GW science was settled why are we still investigating it? Why have so many past pronouncements not occurred? Hurricanes cause GW? Not so. Growth in temperatures? Not so. The only other place that being wrong is brushed aside is in politics. My conclusion: GW is politics if not religion.

    • Ian Sanford

      You are so completely clueless it boggles the mind. Let’s start with your phony attempt to sound scientific by calling up the good name of Einstein. Light does travel in a straight line, through space. It is space that is curved, not light, and where space is straight (which is NOWHERE) light would travel straight. This is VERY basic science my friend. Light does not “bend in space”… it is the space that is bent. Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity did IN NO WAY change the concept of the way light travels. The fact that light does travel in a straight line, in fact, produced the means to test General Relativity by observing it’s path through the curved space around the moon during a total eclipse. You don’t know what you are talking about, and your pseudo-intellectual drivel is embarrassing.

      • nwberger

        After Einstein we drivellers knew this but before him we did not. We expected our viewing of the stars to be a straight line. Further, please be so gracious as to not use ad hominem attacks on a nice fellow like myself or anyone else no matter (or because of) how smart you are.

        • Sisifo

          Sanford is right but the ad hominem is unnecessary

        • magister ludi

          The Earth revolves around the sun.

          “Settled” science.

          • nwberger

            But will it always? Is it really ‘settled’?

          • magister ludi

            There does exist a minute possibility that the Earth could become a “rogue planet” and be ejected from the solar system–it’s trajectory could be disrupted by the gravity of a passing star, for example– but that is actually a separate question.

            The SCIENCE that the Earth, at present, revolves around the Sun (ignoring the more accurate description that both the Earth and the Sun, in fact, revolve around a point in between the Earth’s gravitational center and that of the Sun; being deep within the interior of the Sun, the fact is irrelevant to the present discussion)the SCIENCE is settled.

          • nwberger

            “At present” is the issue. So, you cannot not be categorical. By the way, do you consider Global Warming to be Settled Science?

          • magister ludi

            No. The SCIENCE does not change, but the conditions may change.

            The Earth, at present, revolves around the Sun. The SCIENCE is settled, even if the fact may change.

            If somehow the Earth were to change it’s orbital trajectory, astronomers would become aware of the fact in very short order.

            The science is the same eventhough the conditions (and observations) change.

            The same is true with climate change (to be continued….I already wrote all this once and got kicked out of the page for some reason. I want to post this before it hsppens again.)

          • magister ludi

            PART II:

            We know, both from observational data and from laboratory experiment, that the quantity of manmade chemicals, such as CFC’s (which do not naturally exist), in the atmosphere at current (or recent) levels will produce a “greenhouse effect”.

            We also know that we are currently experiencing a warming period at an unprecedented rate, many times faster than warming periods proceeded in the past (per the fossil record).

            We know, too, that this unusually accelerated warming period coincides with global industrial development .

            Now, I will grant a point: it is POSSIBLE that all this evidence is merely coincidental.

            There could be some unknown natural (meaning not due to human action) phenomena that has caused this acceleratef warming period.

            It is this possibilty that the self-interested deniers of “climate change” theory cling to.

            It could be thus said that the science is not “settled”. We do not know with 100% certainty.

            We also do not know that we are not merely “sims” in some extraterrestrial’s virtual world. We also don’t know with 100% certainty that the Moon is not made of cheese; the moon rocks we brought back could bea hitherto unknown form of cheese (or perhaps they were planted there by the devil to fool mankind.)

            It is also possible that neither the Sun nor the Moon exist. We may all be subject to a collective hallucination.

          • magister ludi

            I will finish with part three when I get home. Again, I wrote several paragraphs and again I wss kicked out. I think my signal is too slow.

        • nwberger

          Do you believe that Global Warming is settled science?

        • Geordie Schall

          If you are not scientifically literate, don’t bother to ‘chime in’. You have nothing to offer, but instead spout some drivel and then complain about an ad homonym attack. Its not a matter of intelligence, merely a matter of training in the scientific method.

          • nwberger

            So, do you believe that Global Warming is Settled Science? And if so what part of your training in the scientific method do you rest on? Certainly not the last 15 years of no Global Warming.

    • DrNomad

      1 out of 41 dentist believe that flossing does not effect your dental health. Does that make flossing false? This guys is not a scientist so his argument is as legitimate as me reading a book on vascular surgery and nominating myself as a neurologist.

    • E Brown

      “we thought that light travels in a straight path forever”
      If by “we” you mean laymen without a scientific background your comment is entirely correct.
      If you include those with a scientific background you are completely off base. You illustrate a lack of understanding, of the basis of the conclusions about climate change and the scientific method with the absolutes in your comment.
      If you are going to comment on scientific matters do a little study before doing so.

  • that guy

    Is this a paid ad for his book?

  • Always confused

    There are always crazy people. Also not settled are the “flat earth” theory or that the sun orbits the earth.

    • Some of the crazies believe in a new weather religion. Hilarious!

      • Reason

        Gravity is a hoax!

  • Sisifo

    If people and/or their descendants had to pay for the damage caused by their wrongheaded ideas there would be fewer wrongheaded ideas.

    • Scott Sinnock

      If we knew the full damage of our own activities, we may not undertake so many, or, more likely, would just say, “c’est la vie”, as we do now.

  • ReduceGHGs

    Anything to sell a book… hype, hype, an more hype.
    They may as well have written a book about how we DIDN’T land on the moon!
    steve goreham is often paid by the heartland institute (koch oil funded). He’s a corporate hack with no honest science to back up his nonsense.

  • Geordie Schall

    The only way to debate global warming is to develop a model, test it, and have the results published in a peer-reviewed science journal.
    To date, no one has managed to find any result from climate modeling that contradicts previously-published data.
    The fact is, global CO2 concentrations are at higher levels than have ever been found in the geologic record. The only possible explanation is mankind, and it is very easy to compare manmade CO2 emissions to natural sources of CO2.
    Maybe manmade CO2 is not to blame, but do you really want to experiment on the only planet we have? I don’t.

    • Carbon Dioxide levels are at an all-time low. They were FAR higher during the Carboniferous Period. Carbon Dioxide levels rise within every inter-glacial period, but that rise is growing smaller every time. The CO2 is naturally sequestered over time. The world is destined to be a snowball, not a furnace.

      • Scott Sinnock

        Likely both a furnace and a snowball, at different, unpredictable future times

      • Reason

        Carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has almost doubled over the last century. Can you clarify how that is an all time low? Is that science or religion this time?

      • Reason

        “Carbon Dioxide levels are at an all-time low.”

        Current CO2 levels in the atmosphere are the highest in fifteen million years.

  • sanitychecker

    I’d like to know when the AGW folks are going to admit that their models have been wrong for the past 20 years. They’ve all been projecting steady increases in global average temperatures, but they haven’t arrived. To the contrary, the NOAA recently stated that in the U.S. temperatures have been flat to slightly negative. Yet, AGW folks persist in denying this fact, rejecting 20 years of data as an “anomly”.

    Then there’s Al Gore’s 2007 prediction that the Arctic summer ice could disappear by 2013. In truth, it has actually increased since then.

    Debate settled? Hardly.

    • Reason

      The oceans are heating up. This means the planet is heating up. This heat currently being absorbed by the oceans will affect atmosphere temperatures as well. Models don’t have to be precise. They’re predictive. The hottest years on record have all been in the past 15 years.

    • Reason

      “I’d like to know when the AGW folks are going to admit that their models have been wrong for the past 20 years.”

      To use (again) the popular analogy: Science can predict that smoking will eventually lead to a health condition that will kill the smoker, unless something else does first. However, no model can predict exactly which health condition will kill the smoker or when.

      “They’ve all been projecting steady increases in global average temperatures, but they haven’t arrived.”

      Correction: They have arrived. Though the atmosphere’s heating has slowed, the oceans have been heating up much faster than predicted. So the surface of the Earth continues to heat up.

  • It matters not how many believers their are, Global Warming is a religion, not science.

    • Reason

      What definition of “religion” are you using? We have gone from 200 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere before industrialization to about 400 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere now. That is scientific measurement. Can you clarify why you call that religion?

      Methane gas is new being released from where it was previously frozen in the sea floor and in permafrost. Methane is an even more efficient greenhouse gas than CO2.

      Virtually all climate scientists currently active in their field agree that the climate is warming and humans are playing a role. Can you clarify why you call this religion? Can you clarify why you call something that had virtual consensus among the scientists currently active in the relevant field “not science”?

    • Reason

      Clearly this is not science:

      Statement on climate change from 18 scientific associations

      “Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.” (2009)2

      American Association for the Advancement of Science

      “The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society.” (2006)3

      American Chemical Society

      “Comprehensive scientific assessments of our current and potential future climates clearly indicate that climate change is real, largely attributable to emissions from human activities, and potentially a very serious problem.” (2004)4

      American Geophysical Union

      “Human‐induced climate change requires urgent action. Humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years. Rapid societal responses can significantly lessen negative outcomes.” (Adopted 2003, revised and reaffirmed 2007, 2012, 2013)5

      American Medical Association

      “Our AMA … supports the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fourth assessment report and concurs with the scientific consensus that the Earth is undergoing adverse global climate change and that anthropogenic contributions are significant.” (2013)6

      American Meteorological Society

      “It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide.” (2012)7

      American Physical Society

      “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.” (2007)8

      The Geological Society of America

      “The Geological Society of America (GSA) concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005), the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s.” (2006; revised 2010)9

      SCIENCE ACADEMIES

      International academies: Joint statement

      “Climate change is real. There will always be uncertainty in understanding a system as complex as the world’s climate. However there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring. The evidence comes from direct measurements of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes to many physical and biological systems. It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities (IPCC 2001).” (2005, 11 international science academies)10

      U.S. National Academy of Sciences

      “The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify taking steps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.” (2005)11

      U.S. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

      U.S. Global Change Research Program

      “The global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases. Human ‘fingerprints’ also have been identified in many other aspects of the climate system, including changes in ocean heat content, precipitation, atmospheric moisture, and Arctic sea ice.” (2009, 13 U.S. government departments and agencies)12

      INTERGOVERNMENTAL BODIES

      Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

      “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.”13

      “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely* due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”14

      *IPCC defines ‘very likely’ as greater than 90 percent probability of occurrence.

  • 9.8m/ss

    Anybody who tells you “the science is settled” or “the science isn’t settled” on a topic as big and old as climate science is either trying to deceive you or doesn’t realize he’s mouthing nonsense. The field has both active research frontiers (not settled) and well established fundamentals (relatively settled) at the same time.

  • mememine

    Here is undeniable proof libs exaggerate science just to hissy fit hate neocons while fear mongering our children like neocons.
    Can one of you remaining “believers” prove science can’t say “proven” or “100% certain” because their own “scientific method” wont’ allow them to?
    What scientist has ever said that about what they call a possible; “threat to the planet”?

    Prove science “believes” as much as you eager neocon hating “believers” do.

    • Reason

      Do you consider this to be a bunch of “libs” exaggerating? What motives could these groups have for making these statements?

      Statement on climate change from 18 scientific associations

      “Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.” (2009)2

      American Association for the Advancement of Science

      “The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society.” (2006)3

      American Chemical Society

      “Comprehensive scientific assessments of our current and potential future climates clearly indicate that climate change is real, largely attributable to emissions from human activities, and potentially a very serious problem.” (2004)4

      American Geophysical Union

      “Human‐induced climate change requires urgent action. Humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years. Rapid societal responses can significantly lessen negative outcomes.” (Adopted 2003, revised and reaffirmed 2007, 2012, 2013)5

      American Medical Association

      “Our AMA … supports the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fourth assessment report and concurs with the scientific consensus that the Earth is undergoing adverse global climate change and that anthropogenic contributions are significant.” (2013)6

      American Meteorological Society

      “It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide.” (2012)7

      American Physical Society

      “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.” (2007)8

      The Geological Society of America

      “The Geological Society of America (GSA) concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005), the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s.” (2006; revised 2010)9

      SCIENCE ACADEMIES

      International academies: Joint statement

      “Climate change is real. There will always be uncertainty in understanding a system as complex as the world’s climate. However there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring. The evidence comes from direct measurements of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes to many physical and biological systems. It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities (IPCC 2001).” (2005, 11 international science academies)10

      U.S. National Academy of Sciences

      “The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify taking steps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.” (2005)11

      U.S. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

      U.S. Global Change Research Program

      “The global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases. Human ‘fingerprints’ also have been identified in many other aspects of the climate system, including changes in ocean heat content, precipitation, atmospheric moisture, and Arctic sea ice.” (2009, 13 U.S. government departments and agencies)12

      INTERGOVERNMENTAL BODIES

      Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

      “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.”13

      “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely* due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”14

      *IPCC defines ‘very likely’ as greater than 90 percent probability of occurrence.

      • disqus_Cc3PcBrXQA

        Reason; clearly you do not understand science or scientific associations.

        The statements cited are in fact the opinions of the boards of directors of these scientific bodies. The statements are not science, in and of themselves and are not supported in the peer reviewed literature.

        The peer reviewed literature does support the notion that anthropogenic sources have contributed to the increase in global surface temperatures in the latter half of the 20th century, but not one makes any claim regarding attribution over 50% or 90% certainty. Not one.

        These political statements can do that, but science does not support it.

        It is difficult to imagine you do not understand why these bodies might say such things. Deliberate ignorance is still ignorance.

        The ‘human fingerprints’ referred to in the statement by the U.S. Global Research Program is laughable at best. I don’t see any attribution, and, since global drought, tropical cyclone, tornado, and excessive torrential rainfall trends are all roughly zero for at least the last 30 years, there can be no such proclamation made.

        If there’s a finger print, it should be in the mid-latitude lower troposphere, where it is conspicuously absent. Nevermind the increasing ocean heat content, which is only present in the models.

        But please, do your own homework. Read the peer reviewed literature rather than the news stories about it. The science reporters are no better than Al Gore and Bill Nye, alarmists who had to fake an experiment for TV because they do not understand the actual science involved.

        • Reason

          Correction: The science DOES support these statements. The percentage attribution is irrelevant.

          “The peer reviewed literature does support the notion that anthropogenic sources have contributed to the increase in global surface temperatures in the latter half of the 20th century”

          I’m glad to see you are aware of that.

          “It is difficult to imagine you do not understand why these bodies might say such things.”

          Agreed. I _do_ know why they would say these things: Because decades of research have convinced virtually ALL climate scientists who are actively doing climate science that these statements are factually accurate. On the other hand, all the people spreading doubt about the science have clear ulterior motives. For example, the author of this article is associated with The Heritage Foundation and has been an exec and engineer with Fortune 100 companies. It’s difficult to imagine *you* do not understand why these few voices might try to confuse people about this issue.

          “Nevermind the increasing ocean heat content, which is only present in the models.”

          …And present in the oceans, which are heating up much faster than predicted. Why would we disregard that?

          Your statement about Bill Nye and Al Gore leads me to believe it is YOU who gets your information from reporters and not scientists.

          I do not get my information from reporters such as the author of this article. I get my information from climate scientists. There is virtual consensus among them and they continue to do research, which all continues to strengthen the supporting evidence.

          Models are models. To use the popular analogy: Science can tell you that smoking will eventually lead to a health condition that will kill you, but no model can predict exactly which health condition will kill you when.

          Clearly I understand science and scientific organizations. Clearly YOU do not understand the motives behind climate science denial.

  • Malkazoid

    I’m not a scientist, but I am a pragmatist. Why are we bickering about whether this is ‘settled science’ or not? Should there ever be such a thing as settled science? I can find many reasons to answer no to that question. But science does not have to be settled in order for action to be taken. If we waited to be absolutely certain about everything before acting, we’d do absolutely nothing.

    Nobody has been able to make a case that the mechanism’s we know humankind is heavily contributing towards are trivial or inevitable regardless of our influence. That’s the case skeptics have to make if they want to dissuade from action, and they cannot make it. As such, the preponderance of evidence points an unwavering finger at the need to do what we can to stop pushing our climate out of equilibrium, regardless of whether we are the primary factor or not.

    The ‘article’ does not even recognize this, not even in passing – so I was not surprised to discover the author is widely seen as biased.

    • Reason

      Very well said!