When German ex-climate-alarmist Fritz Vahrenholt came out last week as a climate skeptic, he related his moment of epiphany, when he was firsthand witness to the alarmists' sheer disregard for error:
Vahrenholt’s skepticism started when he was asked to review an IPCC report on renewable energy. He found hundreds of errors. When he pointed them out, IPCC officials simply brushed them aside. Stunned, he asked himself, “Is this the way they approached the climate assessment reports?”For a comedy of errors, witness American Physical Society president Robert Byer's response to the 16 climate skeptics who recently criticized his organization's statement on climate change in the Wall Street Journal. It should serve as a Vahrenholtian moment for APS members. Here is Byer's complaint:
The APS statement is unequivocal. It notes that "global warming is occurring." ... The statement does not declare, as the authors of the op-ed suggest, that the human contribution to climate change is incontrovertible.See how up-to-speed the APS is? Byers is aware that climate skeptics don't deny global warming—that they only question whether this warming is attributable to human action—and so he assumes that the critics must have accused the APS of claiming that human attribution is incontrovertible. But if he had actually read the skeptic article that he presumes to correct, he would know otherwise. They explicitly questioned the statement that "global warming is occurring." How did Byers miss this sentence:
Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now.It may be incontrovertible that the planet WAS warming, past tense. But the claim that the planet is incontrovertibly STILL warming is nothing short of bizarre.
It's not just little news items like: "Met Office releases new figures which show no warming in 15 years." It's the very idea of making an unequivocal statement about the content of incoming data, about the direction that our ever-changing climate is currently heading. Byers really doesn't see the problem?
Byers attacks the APS statement itself
Of course the sixteen critics also took the APS to task for its presumption that warming is primarily caused by humans, but they did this entirely with quotes. When Byers attacks the claim that APS attributes warming to human activity, he is blissfully unaware that he is attacking the APS statement itself.
Here is the full skeptic paragraph on the APS:
In September, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, a supporter of President Obama in the last election, publicly resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) with a letter that begins: "I did not renew [my membership] because I cannot live with the [APS policy] statement: '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.' In the APS it is OK to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?"Giaever is directly quoting the APS statement. The quote is not out of context. There are no omitted ellipses. It is APS itself that jumps directly from the claim of incontrovertible warming to the claim that greenhouse gases must be reduced, implicitly attributing the proclaimed warming to human GHG production. Nobody can blame Byers for taking this quote to imply that APS also considers human attribution to be incontrovertible, but it is quite amazing that he somehow fails to realize that it is in fact a quote.
Byers is all het-up about this scurrilous aspersion. How dare the skeptics accuse the APS of such perfidy! It is a ludicrous concatenation of error, all in a mere 200 word response to a 1200 word op-ed.
Who can write 200 words for a national newspaper without bothering to check the few facts addressed? Does Byers even know what the APS statement says? He can't have bothered to read the WSJ op-ed. And he is clearly unaware that there is some leeetle bit of doubt about whether the planet is in fact still warming.
Witness your naked president, APS members. He actually thinks he is wearing clothes. Maybe you could just shuffle him out the door, and that egregious APS statement with him.
(Crossposted at WUWT)