Letter writer: Climate-change deniers lack scientific authority

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Regarding the] letter “CO2’s Effect on Climate Is Debatable” [Aug. 5, Xpress]: No, it’s not. Every scientific body of national or international standing, like the National Academy of Sciences, disagrees with what this Aug. 5 letter says. NASA has a full list of all 230 of them on its website.

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, which the Aug. 5 letter cites as its authority, is not on NASA’s list. That’s because it’s not a scientific organization. It’s a front for the fossil-fuel industry’s multimillion-dollar climate-denial operation. NIPCC gets its funding clandestinely from ExxonMobil and the fossil-fuel billionaire Koch brothers (The DeSmogBlog, one of TIME’s Top 10 Blogs, and Scientific American, “Dark Money”).

So does Tom Harris’ impressive-sounding International Climate Science Coalition. Anyone can set up a website and call themselves anything they want. Harris is not a scientist, much less a climate scientist. You can read about Harris and see the documentation about where his paychecks come from on the DeSmogBlog.

Harris claims there are lots of peer-reviewed climate science papers disputing AGW, but he cites none. That’s because, in the past two years, only one (published in Russia) out of 9,136 peer-reviewed climate science papers questioned AGW (DeSmogBlog).

What Harris and [others] don’t want you to know is that phasing out coal and other fossil fuels will save 13,000 U.S. lives each year, otherwise lost to carbon-pollution (World Health Organization). Carbon pollution also costs Americans over $866.5 billion annually in associated medical costs (Forbes).

Clean energy will create millions of U.S. jobs and increase our GDP by tens of billions annually (REMI) with a plan that’s been successful for seven years in British Columbia (The Economist). See the volunteer Citizens Climate Lobby website for details.

— Pete Kuntz
Lancaster, Pa.

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37 thoughts on “Letter writer: Climate-change deniers lack scientific authority

  1. Tom Harris

    Pete Kuntz’s letter is idiotic and riddled with mistakes. I will be sending a letter to the editor in the hopes that my corrections to this Citizens Climate Lobby activist’s smear will be published.

    Tom Harris

    • renewableguy

      Nothing hurts Tom Harris like the truth. It is important we tell the truth with science about global warming. There is and has been for quite awhile 97% consensus by peer reviewed climate scientists on global warming. Time is lost on solutions if we sit and quibble about this and get to the action needed to adapt to future climate changes and mitigate to 100% renewable energy. Tom Harris is really a distraction that isn’t worth our effort anymore. We can have an even greater country without fossil fuels and have an even better life than now with 100% renewable energy.

      When someone as Tom Harris has turned himself into an untrustworthy person on climate science, eventually everyone knows to ignor him. And that is the best thing we can do.

      http://thesolutionsproject.org/#tsp-section-map

      • Tom Harris

        My letter to the editor corrects the mistakes about ICSC and NIPCC funding. Hopefully the newspaper will publish.

        The 97% thing is a myth – do a Google search on it and you will find many accurate rebuttals.

        The truth about climate change is that we do not know enough to know whether warming or cooling lie ahead, let alone whether it is in any way dangerous.

        “When someone as Tom Harris has turned himself into an untrustworthy person on climate science” is also an idiotic statement not worth commenting.

      • renewableguy

        If we look at the authors of the NIPCC report is really a who’s who of deniers. Of which Tom Harris is one of this clan. Like I said “Tom Harris” is a untrustworthy source of information on climate change. To back the NIPCC is at the least laughable. I can’t imagine trusting the people listed below to be honest about the science of climate change. They are getting big time money for their efforts from a few rich people while the IPCC scientists get nothing and gladly do so.

        The purpose of the IPCC report is:

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/denialgate-highlights-heartlands-selective-nipcc-science.html
        “to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts….The IPCC is a scientific body. It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change.”

        On the other hand, according to the Heartland 2012 budget plan, the purpose of the NIPCC report is to critique the IPCC report. According to the Heartland 2012 Fundraising Plan, its purpose is to create a rebuttal to the IPCC report.

        Second, unlike the IPCC report, the scientists contributing to the NIPCC report are paid for their efforts. The overall Heartland budget for the NIPCC reports from 2010 to 2013 is nearly $1.6 million ($388,000 in both 2011 and 2012), with $460,000 going to the lead authors and contributors ($140,000 in both 2011 and 2012). The 2011 Interim NIPCC report has 3 lead authors (Craig Idso, Fred Singer, and Robert Carter) and 8 contributors (Susan Crockford, Joe D’Aleo, Indur Goklany, Sherwood Idso, Anthony Lupo, Willie Soon, Mitch Taylor, and Madhav Khandekar), most of whom also receive a monthly salary from the Heartland Institute

        • Tom Harris

          I stopped reading when renewableguy wrote, “If we look at the authors of the NIPCC report is really a who’s who of deniers. Of which Tom Harris is one of this clan.” This is nonsense and begs the question. Are any of you people mature enough to discuss climate change without insulting people who disagree with you?

          • renewableguy

            Anyone with one ounce of intelligence can see the extreme bias you are coming from. Pick any topic below and lets discuss this. To be so biased in your view that anything bad for fossil fuels is some lie is a truly massive overlook of the data gathered of what is changing on our planet.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming

            1 Observed temperature changes 1.1 Trends
            1.2 Warmest years

            2 Initial causes of temperature changes (external forcings) 2.1 Greenhouse gases
            2.2 Aerosols and soot
            2.3 Solar activity
            2.4 Variations in Earth’s orbit

            3 Feedback
            4 Climate models
            5 Observed and expected environmental effects 5.1 Extreme weather
            5.2 Sea level rise
            5.3 Ecological systems
            5.4 Long-term effects
            5.5 Large-scale and abrupt impacts

            6 Observed and expected effects on social systems 6.1 Habitat inundation

            7 Possible responses to global warming 7.1 Mitigation
            7.2 Adaptation
            7.3 Climate engineering

            8 Discourse about global warming 8.1 Political discussion
            8.2 Scientific discussion
            8.3 Discussion by the public and in popular media 8.3.1 Surveys of public opinion

          • Peter Robbins

            Before you have another sighing fit, Tom Harris, let me explain: The term “climate-change denier” — as Americans use it — includes both people who deny the fact of global warming and people who deny the fact that fossil fuels and the greenhouse gases they produce are the major contributor to the global warming the earth is currently experiencing. No one authorized a Canadian to narrow the definition. As for maturity, let the thread record show who barged into our quiet community and started calling people’s opinions “idiotic.” Just because you’re well heeled and can afford to have all those fine pictures of yourself made, that don’t make you better’n us simple folk.

          • bsummers

            Are any of you people mature enough to discuss climate change without insulting people who disagree with you?

            Says the guy who kicked off this thread by calling the letter “idiotic”.

          • Peter Robbins

            And says the guy who couldn’t explain why his rapid-response insult machine got so overheated it needed two avatars on an earlier thread.

      • renewableguy

        The truth about climate change is that we do not know enough to know whether warming or cooling lie ahead, let alone whether it is in any way dangerous. quote from Tom Harris.

        To take money from fossil fuels with an interest in staying rich, just doesn’t cut it. It also is solidly known that man is the main driver of global warming, and we know that with increased pollution of co2, temperatures will clearly rise. Anything else is just a case of clear classic denial of global warming. There are very few upsides in the warming of the earth for us and a lot of heavy downsides making it more difficult for us to live on earth. If we get off fossil fuels fast the consequences will be much lighter than if we stay on fossil fuels for the entire century. This is very clearly spelled out in the literature on global warming.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/a-comprehensive-review-of-the-causes-of-global-warming.html

        There was a period of warming between 1910 and 1940 which was predominantly caused by increasing solar activity and an extended period of low volcanic activity, with some contribution by human effects. However, since mid-century, solar activity has been flat, there has been moderate volcanic activity, and ENSO has had little net impact on global temperatures. All the while GHGs kept increasing, and became the dominant effect on global temperature changes, as Figures 3 and 4 illustrate.

        A wide variety of statistical and physical approaches all arrived at the same conclusion: that humans are the dominant cause of the global warming over the past century, and particularly over the past 50 years. This robust scientitic evidence is why there is a consensus amongst scientific experts that humans are the dominant cause of global warming.

  2. Meiling Dai

    What will it take to convince lawmakers that climate change is real and is negatively impacting our air and water.
    When a senator or representative sees his home impacted by a drought or storm caused by global warming, do you think they might then
    realize that global warming or climate change is real? And as for adopting new sources of energy that do not pollute as badly as coal and
    oil, what’s wrong with that? We need to promote solar and wind energy in the United States because the supply of coal and oil is limited.
    And yes, I would agree with Mr. Kuntz that it is highly probable that the oil industry is responsible for a front expert on climate change to
    declare that climate change is not an immediate danger. I used to work for an oil company which shall remain unnamed.
    During my employ, I learned that someone had invented a car that did not require gasoline to operate. The oil industry did everything
    to squash the promotion of this car because it would have reduced their oil profits. Anyone with an ounce of
    intelligence would conclude that climate change is here, it is real and it is growing! We need to act now before it is too late!

    • Tom Harris

      Mr. Kuntz did not say “that it is highly probable that the oil industry is responsible for a front expert on climate change to declare that climate change is not an immediate danger.” He said we were funded by oil interests. I answer that smear in my letter to the editor.

      • renewableguy

        It has been very clear all along that fossil fuels just don’t accept global warming. 97% of climate scientists agree AGW is human caused.

        It also appears that the NIPCC does not count as a science organization. Why is that? More fraud? More scams? George Soros? Skeptical science? Who will you blame now and not take responsibility?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Dissenting

        Dissenting[edit]

        See also: List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming

        As of 2007, when the American Association of Petroleum Geologists released a revised statement,[14] no scientific body of national or international scientists rejects the findings of human-induced effects on climate change.[13][15]

        • Tom Harris

          No scientific organization that supports the global warming scare has polled their scientist members and showed that a majority of their members support the statement attributed to them all. These are just political statements assembled and published by the politically-motivated leaders of the scientific organizations.

          Don’t take my word for it. Ask these organizations to show you the poll results of their scientist members concerning the climate scare.

          • renewableguy

            A no source rebuttal? What new low will you sink to next? Try reading. Intelligent people do that. You will find it difficult since your views don’t match what is true.

          • Tom Harris

            Answer to charge below: Look up the scientific organizations that support the climate scare. Show me one that has demonstrated through comprehensive polling that the majority of their scientist members support the statement of the organization. You, not me, brought up the supposed agreement of scientific organizations. The onus is on you to prove your point, not on me to disprove it, if you can do that without resorting to abuse.

          • TomH

            Tom, you’ve been repeating this nonsense about national science organizations having to poll their members for years. No one buys it, and you look like someone who’s willing to undermine the entire enterprise of science to make your beliefs a reality. How are your fallacies coming along? Surely you recognize the argument from authority when you see one?

          • renewableguy

            Tom Harris:Answer to charge below: Look up the scientific organizations that support the climate scare. Show me one that has demonstrated through comprehensive polling that the majority of their scientist members support the statement of the organization. You, not me, brought up the supposed agreement of scientific organizations. The onus is on you to prove your point, not on me to disprove it, if you can do that without resorting to abuse. Conclude quote:

            If you are hurt so easy, then why are you even here? You may be a little too sensitive for this kind of work.

            Again you are too lazy to even read. What are you even being paid for if you don’t do the work like the clean earth supporters on this blog. I applaud your dirty earth policies that you wish to continue. Too bad you are so mute.

  3. jan freed

    The letter suggests a carbon fee and dividend to reduce emissions. The “carbon fee and dividend” solution makes enormous sense!

    This way citizens would RECEIVE the carbon 
fees as a monthly check. That would cancel out the inevitable price spikes in dirty energy.

    Polluters PAY the fees, so it holds fossil fuel corporations personally responsible for the damages they cause, hundreds of billions of dollars per year. (Harvard School of Medicine and others)

    With this policy, the fee payments to citizens would be there for purchasing low carbon alternatives, which are growing rapidly. That would lower emissions. That happened in BC Canada with a similar policy. They lowered both emissions and taxes with their fees; it’s a popular policy.

    To those who reject the science: perhaps nothing will change
your mind. But what have you got against cleaner air, less asthma in our kids, fewer heart attacks, and more money (the dividend) in your pockets?

    To those accepting the science: Any effort and expense to
limit the problem of climate change is worth it. For example:
    A cost-benefit analysis has demonstrated that the cost of
sea level rise ALONE is so great that no effort to prevent it is unwarranted.

    Why even bother with the paid deniers who thrive on the
delay of a false debate? IMO we must take action and the way forward is to
support those in government who will act.

  4. bsummers

    I’m Tom Harris, too. I think this letter is absolute poopiekins, and I will be explaining why, once this months Koch check clears.

    And you can believe that this is Tom Harris, because I’m signing it Tom Harris.

    signed,

    Tom Harris

    • THarris

      I’m Tom Harris too, and I approve this message.

      Seriously though, the “real” Tom Harris is a Heartland Institute propagandist who runs the International Climate Science Coalition out of a desk drawer in his den. Because Tom reacts so poorly to people questioning his claims in online discussions, he’s resorted to writing endless crank letters to small town papers to promote his views. Someone must believe these letters are important, because there’s a whole list of them on his Heartland Institute bio page: https://www.heartland.org/tom-harris

      But if you want to read more about Tom and his ideas, I’d recommend this entertaining set of articles, starting with “Tom Harris distorts the maturity of global warming science and imagines expertise where little exists”
      http://scholarsandrogues.com/2015/02/19/tom-harris-distorts-the-maturity-of-global-warming-science-and-imagines-expertise-where-little-exists/

      • bsummers

        Seriously though, the “real” Tom Harris is a Heartland Institute propagandist who runs the International Climate Science Coalition out of a desk drawer in his den.

        Ha! Wrong! The drawer is in the study, not the den. There! I’ve run rings round you logically, and all climate change science is now ipso facto voido.

        signed the way I sign my Koch checks,

        a Tom Harris

        • Peter Robbins

          I, too, am Tom Harris, and I want to make clear that — despite what you may have read in one of those idiotic and mistake-riddled smears by my enemies — I am in fact the handsomest man in Canada. Don’t believe me? Then why are people are always taking my picture?

          • bsummers

            Harumph. You’ve never seen a photograph of me standing next to Tom Harris, therefor you can’t prove that I am not Tom Harris, and therefor all climate change science is ipso facto.

            “I’d like to buy the world.” a Koch,

            a Tom Harris

          • TomH

            Tom Harris’ beard for Prime Minister! I mean seriously, Canada’s National Post newspaper did a whole article about Stephen Harper’s hair. Tom’s beard deserves equal consideration, if not better, as it’s clearly an asset to both Mr. Harris and the people of Canada. Unlike Mr. Harper’s mop, which requires daily attention from a hairdresser PAID FOR BY THE CANADIAN TAXPAYER, the Beard of Harris is naturally fulsome and delightful and needs only an occasional trim. Not only would we be saving money, but the Beard would confer a certain stolid authenticity on the whole country.

    • Peter Robbins

      Ahem. A little respect, please. The proper names are “Smiley Tom” and “Thinky Tom.” All this obsession with background hues — and it’s unproven speculation; that’s all it is, because not everyone sees the same colors, I hate to tell ya, and we don’t even know what colors will look like in the future, especially if the energy industry (which I never heard of and you can’t prove I did ) distributes rose-colored glasses for everyone to wear — well, it all just stinks of the scare tactics I’d expect from politically motivated thugs like the National Academy of Sciences. I’d like to see the minutes where you idiotic hillbillies took a poll on which Tom nicknames to use. Didya? Huh? Where’s your consensus now? You brought it up, smart guy, so the onus is on you.

      By the way, it’s better if you say “Thinky Tom” with a slight lisp. Try it out.

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