The public is welcome. Admission is free.
Manhattan, Kansas. Monday, October 18, 7:00 pm. Kansas State University. Spooner Hall, Student Union.
Lawrence, Kansas. Tuesday, October 19, 7:00 pm. Kansas University. Alderson Auditorium. Kansas Union.
Hays, Kansas. Wednesday, October 20, 6:30 pm. Fort Hays State University. Beach-Schmidt Performing Arts Center
BOGUE, Kan. - As those who've followed my writing here know, I've written often about global warming. I've been dismayed at the doubt and confusion among the masses -- not to mention the irrational anger among those who see it all as politics.
A courageously unsigned response to my previous column asserted that a "high level inquiry" had found the IPCC findings provided "little evidence" for its claims of global warming. My critic then warned, "Oh, my god, here comes Hooper with his spin, spin, spin."
I took a look ...
The story first appeared in the August 13 Daily Express, a London tabloid. It has been reprinted by the website "Climate Realists" and is predictably making the e-mail rounds. The title is melodramatic: "CLIMATE LIES ARE EXPOSED: a damning report has highlighted questions over the credibility of a leading climate change body." The inquiry cited was by the InterAcademyCouncil (IAC) a legitimate multi-national committee. However, what the IAC actually said didn't square with the bravely unsigned critic's claims -- or the allegations of the website author.
The IAC's assignment was to study the organizational structure and procedures of the IPCC and make recommendations.That's what they did. There were some pointed criticisms, but they did not dispute the basic scientific consensus on global warming. The New York Times summed it up: "Although there is widespread scientific consensus that human activity is heating the planet, critics used the mistakes [pointed out by the IAC] to question all the science involved." Spin.
The IAC concluded that "...the IPCC assessment process has been successful overall and has served society well. The commitment of many thousands of the world's leading scientists and other experts to the assessment process and to the communication of the nature of our understanding of the changing climate, its impacts, and possible adaptation and mitigation strategies is a considerable achievement in its own light. Similarly, the sustained commitment of governments to the process and their buy-in to the results is a mark of a successful assessment. Through its unique partnership between scientists and governments, the IPCC has heightened public awareness of climate change, raised the level of scientific debate, and influenced the science agendas of many nations" (Full report available at www.interacademycouncil.net/ )
Canada's top climatologist Andrew Weaver says the IAC recommended changes were good but nothing major, and added that the critical issue of global warming is not about the organizational structure of the IPCC. "The Titanic is sinking and we're arguing about the nature of the deck chairs," Weaver said. (AP. Aug. 30, 2010). Incidentally, Weaver is suing the Canadian newspaper the National Post for reporting he had quit or was quitting his involvement with the IPCC. They lied.
The two IPCC members especially targeted by propagandists -- Michael Mann and Phil Jones -- have endured extensive investigations. Both have been cleared of having misrepresented scientific data; Mann by Penn State; Jones by the British government. The full text of findings is available on the Internet.
Here's more. From the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's review of the hacked emails about which the spinsters made a hullabaloo: "We have found no reason in this unfortunate episode to challenge the scientific consensus ... that 'global warming is happening [and] that it is induced by human activity."
A Dutch government inquiry similarly found "no errors that would undermine the main conclusions" on the probable impacts of climate change. It said, "Our findings do not contradict the main conclusions of the IPCC on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability related to climate change. The negative impacts under unmitigated climate change in the future pose substantial risks to most parts of the world, with risks increasing at higher global average temperatures."
A study at Stanford University by William Anderegg and others concluded once again that "97-98 pct. of the climate researchers most actively publishing in their field" support the basic findings of the IPPC. The study also found (no big surprise) that those who don't support the basic findings are "substantially below" in "climate expertise and scientific prominence." (Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences. July 6, 2010)
According to a January poll by prominent Republican activist Frank Luntz, 18 percent of Americans think humans are probably not or definitely not causing global warming. Another 19 percent say possibly. No longer a skeptic himself, Luntz joins a growing majority in advocating for environmental stewardship and a transition to greener energy and new jobs.
So why, why, why, are 1 in 5 still in denial, and others confused? Why has it taken so long for the science to be accepted by the broader public?
Just over a week from today, Dr. Naomi Oreskes, Prof. of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego, will speak to the general public here in Kansas. Oreskes is co-author of Merchants of Doubt: how a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming." In no uncertain terms, she will tell you how and why you've been fed baloney. And by whom.
Admission free. Comfortable seats.
Bring a skeptical friend.