that human activities — most notably the greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other industries — are warming Earth’s climate at a faster rate than ever.
A particularly noteworthy signatory is John Christy. director of the University of Alabama’s Earth Systems Science Center. While noting that he is
“still a strong critic of scientists who make catastrophic predictions of huge increases in global temperatures and tremendous rises in sea levels.
It is scientifically inconceivable that after changing forests into cities, turning millions of acres into farmland, putting massive quantities of soot and dust into the atmosphere and sending quantities of greenhouse gases into the air, that the natural course of climate change hasn’t been increased in the past century.
Christy’s statement, the strongest I’ve seen from him, is significant because he’s been one of the handful of reputable scientists whose work (on satellite measurements of temperatures in the upper atmosphere) and public statements have tended to support the denialist position that is propagated by the legion of “junk science” sites in the blogosphere. Over time, corrections to interpretation of the satellite data have produced a rising trend, similar to that found in measurements of temperature on the ground, rather than the declining trend reported in Christy’s early work.
That leaves Richard Lindzen as, to the best of my knowledge, the only reputable climate scientist still willing to say that the reality of human-caused global warming hasn’t been proved beyond reasonable doubt, and even Lindzen has been pretty quiet lately.
Of course, that’s not a problem for the global warming denialists. They don’t need reputable climate scientists to create the appearance of disagreement; they’re happy to accept the claims of anyone with a PhD after their name, or even without, as long as it supports their position. Currently their leading authorities on the recent history of the global climate are two astrophysicists (Baliunas and Soon), an economist (McKitrick) and a retired mining executive (McIntyre), but they’re happy to rely on astrologers if they give the right answer.