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(Digression) E-mail exchange about Comino Foundation's adoption of climate inactivism

A UK group known as the Comino Foundation has for some reason decided to adopt global warming 'skepticism' as part of its agenda. Anyway, I sent an e-mail to Anthony Darbyshire, Research and Environmental Fellow of the foundation, on 7 Aug 2010, mentioning that global warming 'skeptics' are extremely unreliable as a source of fact:

Dear Mr. Darbyshire,

I refer to your document "The science is not settled" (www.cominofoundation.org.uk/PDF/The_science_is_not_settled.pdf) written for the Comino Foundation.

I understand that you have treated the Science and Public Policy Institute as a credible group. Nothing can be further from the truth: one of the SPPI's authors, Viscount Christopher Monckton, has been proven time and time again to lie, misrepresent, and distort the facts, both regarding climate science and matters outside of climate science. This has been documented, demonstrated, and proven time and time again (see bbickmore.wordpress.com/lord-moncktons-rap-sheet/).

Thank you.

Yours,
-- frank
I got a reply on 9 Aug 2010:
Dear Frank,

Thank you for the link about Christopher Monkton which I read and had not seen before.
Much of what was in that piece was known to me and I am very careful about what m'lord is saying.
Whilst I recognise that he does go over the top and is prone to over justifying the case that he makes there are scientific issues regarding global warming and climate change that he promotes and which are in the SPPI achives that are relevant to the debate.

He does promote the work of both Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT and Professor Roy Spencer of University of Alabama who have analysed the radiation measurements of two sets of satellites, ERBE by Lindzen and CERES by Spencer.
Both their research analyses show that radiation in the upper atmosphere is negative (i.e. going out into space) rather than positive (i.e. being bounced back to earth).
They are both of the view that their research shows that the impact of anthropogenic greenhouse gases will be minimal and well within the range of the earth's climatic cycles over time.

As one with a scientific background I am currently of the view that the 'greenhouse' principles identified by John Tyndall in the 19th century were discovered under laboratory conditions.
These principles have been taken without question by the IPCC to prove that anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause apocalyptic global warming.
Climate science is still in its infancy and, as illustrated by Lindzen and Spencer, it is possible that what is happening to anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the upper atmosphere may be entirely different to that forecast by laboratory experimentation.

I am sympathetic to their findings but believe that far more research needs to be carried out to understand the impact of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, particularly in respect of global warming.

I concentrate on following scientific developments re climate change as they appear whilst observing the antics of m'lord Monckton.

Regards

Anthony
13 Aug 2010:
Hi Mr. Darbyshire,

Thank you for your reply. Before continuing, may I get your permission to post your responses on my blog?
Whilst I recognise that he does go over the top and is prone to over justifying the case that he makes there are scientific issues regarding global warming and climate change that he promotes and which are in the SPPI achives that are relevant to the debate.
He does promote the work of both Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT and Professor Roy Spencer of University of Alabama who have analysed the radiation measurements of two sets of satellites, ERBE by Lindzen and CERES by Spencer.
I do not understand. If the intention was to cite Lindzen or Spencer's primary literature as a credible source, then I see no reason to cite the SPPI archives, especially since they are known to be patently unreliable.
it is possible that what is happening to anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the upper atmosphere may be entirely different to that forecast by laboratory experimentation.
I am sympathetic to their findings but believe that far more research needs to be carried out to understand the impact of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, particularly in respect of global warming.
May I know what, in your view, are some reasonable experiments which have not already been attempted, and which can resolve the question of whether the greenhouse effect works as Tyndall described? It seems to me that climate contrarians' calls for "more research", without any clear indication of how this research should proceed, are merely excuses for prolonged inaction on climate change.

With all due respect, I have to say that your group has been seriously misled regarding the actual state of climate science, by the misinformation campaigns of PR groups such as the SPPI.

Thank you.

-- frank, http://climategate.tk/
13 Aug 2010:
Dear Frank,

Feel free to post my comments on your blog.
Please see below for my response to your comments

Best wishes

Anthony
I do not understand. If the intention was to cite Lindzen or Spencer's primary literature as a credible source, then I see no reason to cite the SPPI archives, especially since they are known to be patently unreliable.
SPPI do reproduce primary literature verbatim, e.g. the Lindzen and Choi paper. I recognise that some of SPPI's publications are contentious but not all. You can leave that comment out if you wish

May I know what, in your view, are some reasonable experiments which have not already been attempted, and which can resolve the question of whether the greenhouse effect works as Tyndall described? It seems to me that climate contrarians' calls for "more research", without any clear indication of how this research should proceed, are merely excuses for prolonged inaction on climate change.
Tyndall's basic concept is that greenhouse gases act as a blanket, they stop radiation going out to space and reflect it back to earth with global warming as the result. The science behind what is happening in the middle and upper atmosphere, where the air is far more rarefied than Tyndall's laboratory conditions, is very complex, as is recognised by many climatologists. In my view more research needs to be undertaken to validate Lindzen and Spencer's findings, develop the science about the realationship between greenhouse gases and clouds, all of which might help fully explain what is actually happening in the upper atmosphere.
With all due respect, I have to say that your group has been seriously misled regarding the actual state of climate science, by the misinformation campaigns of PR groups such as the SPPI.
SPPI is merely a source of information about what is actually happening in the areas of climate science that are deliberately ignored or hidden by the alarmists. Currently, my group does not believe that the science is settled, as promoted by the alarmists, or that apocalyptic global warming in the 21st century must happen due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emmissions. We will change our view if the climate science, and global temperature change, become more definitive.

My group is primarily concerned that the debate focuses on scientific fact and that all scientific findings are properly considered.

What is your view of the scientific findings of Lindzen and Spencer?
I've not yet written up a reply, so this is it for now.