The Global Warming Challenge

Evidence-based forecasting for climate change

Archive for the ‘economics’ Category

Financial Post gives voice to scientific climate forecasting

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“There are no scientific forecasts of dangerous global warming” shouts a new article in the Financial Post. Readers of this blog know that already, but will likely want to read what the op-ed titled “Climate forecast: All’s well, despite what the IPCC says” by Kesten Green, Scott Armstrong, and Willie Soon has to say about the implications for government policy. It has already attracted lively discussion. The article is here.

The authors claim to provide the only scientific forecast of long-term climate, namely the naive no-change or no-trend forecast that is the basis of Professor Armstrong’s notional bet with Mr Gore. The forecast was originally published in 2009, and the International Journal of Forecasting article can be found here. The authors’ current working paper investigating possible improvements to climate forecasting for policy makers is here.

The New York Times warns civilization likely to end due to manmade warming – Professor Armstrong tries to avert panic.

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On November 24, 2012, The New York Times published an article titled “Is this the End?,” which warned that manmade global warming is likely to destroy our civilization. The article was published nine days after the NYT published Cass Sunstein’s article advocating that policies on dangerous manmade global warming should be based on cost-benefit analyses, that the government had calculated a net benefit for costly policies, and that Ronald Reagan once agreed with a cost-benefit analysis. I was unable to contact Professor Sunstein to find the sources of the “cost-benefit analyses.” In an effort to calm panic-stricken readers, I wrote a Letter to the Editor at The New York Times revealing that while cost-benefit analysis is indeed the proper method, none has shown likely net harm arising from global warming. Evidence-based forecasts of dangerous warming and of the effects of alternative policies are missing. Strangely, my evidence-based forecasts that our civilization is not threatened by dangerous warming did not meet the NYT criteria of “All the news that’s fit to print.” If you know any NYT readers, please inform them that they are safe.

Wall Street Journal readers were spared panic. They had read No Need to Panic About Global Warming in January 2012.

Written by admin

November 27th, 2012 at 5:43 am

Economics prof offers bet on weather deaths forecast

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In a response to environmentalist Bill McKibben’s assertion in the Washington Post that severe weather was becoming more common and more severe as a consequence of human CO2 emissions, Donald Boudreaux of GMU pointed out in the Wall Street Journal that there has been no clear trend in severe weather and, more importantly, deaths in the U.S. have declined in recent decades despite an increasing population.

Boudreaux argues that the trend of fewer deaths is consistent with economic theory and much evidence that people are creative and resourceful in market economies and that this creativity and resourcefulness drives adaptions that result in people living longer.

So confident is Boudreaux in extrapolating this trend, that he has offered to bet McKibben, or Al Gore or Paul Krugman, $10,000 that “the average annual number of Americans killed by these violent weather events from 2011 through 2030 will be lower than it was from 1991 through 2010″. Boudreaux’s WSJ column is here.

Written by admin

June 13th, 2011 at 2:13 am

Letter to Congress asks members not to be alarmed, but to be reassured by the evidence

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On the 8th of February 2011, 36 scientists wrote to Congress to challenge the alarming predictions of dangerous manmade global warming made in an earlier (28 January) letter from 18 scientists. Here is the text of their letter:

February 8, 2011

To the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate:

In reply to “The Importance of Science in Addressing Climate Change”


On 28 January 2011, eighteen scientists sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate urging them to “take a fresh look at climate change.” Their intent, apparently, was to disparage the views of scientists who disagree with their contention that continued business-as-usual increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the burning of coal, gas, and oil will lead to a host of cataclysmic climate-related problems.

We, the undersigned, totally disagree with them and would like to take this opportunity to briefly state our side of the story.

The eighteen climate alarmists (as we refer to them, not derogatorily, but simply because they view themselves as “sounding the alarm” about so many things climatic) state that the people of the world “need to prepare for massive flooding from the extreme storms of the sort being experienced with increasing frequency,” as well as the “direct health impacts from heat waves” and “climate-sensitive infectious diseases,” among a number of other devastating phenomena. And they say that “no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet’s climate,” which is understood to mean their view of what is happening to Earth’s climate.

To these statements, however, we take great exception. It is the eighteen climate alarmists who appear to be unaware of “what is happening to our planet’s climate,” as well as the vast amount of research that has produced that knowledge.

For example, a lengthy review of their claims and others that climate alarmists frequently make can be found on the Web site of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (see http://www.co2science.org/education/reports/prudentpath/prudentpath.php). That report offers a point-by-point rebuttal of all of the claims of the “group of eighteen,” citing in every case peer-reviewed scientific research on the actual effects of climate change during the past several decades.

If the “group of eighteen” pleads ignorance of this information due to its very recent posting, then we call their attention to an even larger and more comprehensive report published in 2009, Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). That document has been posted for more than a year in its entirety at www.nipccreport.org.

These are just two recent compilations of scientific research among many we could cite. Do the 678 scientific studies referenced in the CO2 Science document, or the thousands of studies cited in the NIPCC report, provide real-world evidence (as opposed to theoretical climate model predictions) for global warming-induced increases in the worldwide number and severity of floods? No. In the global number and severity of droughts? No. In the number and severity of hurricanes and other storms? No.

Do they provide any real-world evidence of Earth’s seas inundating coastal lowlands around the globe? No. Increased human mortality? No. Plant and animal extinctions? No. Declining vegetative productivity? No. More frequent and deadly coral bleaching? No. Marine life dissolving away in acidified oceans? No.

Quite to the contrary, in fact, these reports provide extensive empirical evidence that these things are not happening. And in many of these areas, the referenced papers report finding just the opposite response to global warming, i.e., biosphere-friendly effects of rising temperatures and rising CO2 levels.

In light of the profusion of actual observations of the workings of the real world showing little or no negative effects of the modest warming of the second half of the twentieth century, and indeed growing evidence of positive effects, we find it incomprehensible that the eighteen climate alarmists could suggest something so far removed from the truth as their claim that no research results have produced any evidence that challenges their view of what is happening to Earth’s climate and weather.

But don’t take our word for it. Read the two reports yourselves. And then make up your own minds about the matter. Don’t be intimidated by false claims of “scientific consensus” or “overwhelming proof.” These are not scientific arguments and they are simply not true.

Like the eighteen climate alarmists, we urge you to take a fresh look at climate change. We believe you will find that it is not the horrendous environmental threat they and others have made it out to be, and that they have consistently exaggerated the negative effects of global warming on the U.S. economy, national security, and public health, when such effects may well be small to negligible.

Signed by:

Syun-Ichi Akasofu, University of Alaska1

Scott Armstrong, University of Pennsylvania

James Barrante, Southern Connecticut State University1

Richard Becherer, University of Rochester

John Boring, University of Virginia

Roger Cohen, American Physical Society Fellow

David Douglass, University of Rochester

Don Easterbrook, Western Washington University1

Robert Essenhigh, The Ohio State University1

Martin Fricke, Senior Fellow, American Physical Society

Lee Gerhard, University of Kansas1

Ulrich Gerlach, The Ohio State University

Laurence Gould, University of Hartford

Bill Gray, Colorado State University1

Will Happer, Princeton University2

Howard Hayden, University of Connecticut1

Craig Idso, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change

Sherwood Idso, USDA, U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory1

Richard Keen, University of Colorado

Doral Kemper, USDA, Agricultural Research Service1

Hugh Kendrick, Office of Nuclear Reactor Programs, DOE1

Richard Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology2

Anthony Lupo, University of Missouri

Patrick Michaels, Cato Institute

Donald Nielsen, University of California, Davis1

Al Pekarek, St. Cloud State University

John Rhoads, Midwestern State University1

Nicola Scafetta, Duke University

Gary Sharp, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study

S. Fred Singer, University of Virginia1

Roy Spencer, University of Alabama

George Taylor, Past President, American Association of State Climatologists

Frank Tipler, Tulane University

Leonard Weinstein, National Institute of Aerospace Senior Research Fellow

Samuel Werner, University of Missouri1

Thomas Wolfram, University of Missouri1

1 – Emeritus or Retired

2 – Member of the National Academy of Sciences

Endorsed by:

Rodney Armstrong, Geophysicist

Edwin Berry, Certified Consulting Meteorologist

Joseph Bevelacqua, Bevelacqua Resources

Carmen Catanese, American Physical Society Member

Roy Clark, Ventura Photonics

John Coleman, Meteorologist KUSI TV

Darrell Connelly, Geophysicist

Joseph D’Aleo, Certified Consulting Meteorologist

Terry Donze, Geophysicist1

Mike Dubrasich, Western Institute for Study of the Environment

John Dunn, American Council on Science and Health of NYC

Dick Flygare, QEP Resources

Michael Fox, Nuclear industry/scientist

Gordon Fulks, Gordon Fulks and Associates

Ken Haapala, Science & Environmental Policy Project

Martin Hertzberg, Bureau of Mines1

Art Horn, Meteorologist

Keith Idso, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change

Jay Lehr, The Heartland Institute

Robert Lerine, Industrial and Defense Research and Engineering1

Peter Link, Geologist

James Macdonald, Chief Meteorologist for the Travelers Weather Service1

Roger Matson, Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists

Tony Pann, Meteorologist WBAL TV

Ned Rasor, Consulting Physicist

James Rogers, Geologist1

Norman Rogers, National Association of Scholars

Thomas Sheahen, Western Technology Incorporated

Andrew Spurlock, Starfire Engineering and Technologies, Inc.

Leighton Steward, PlantsNeedCO2.org

Soames Summerhays, Summerhays Films, Inc.

Charles Touhill, Consulting Environmental Engineer

David Wojick, Climatechangedebate.org

1 – Emeritus or Retired

Written by admin

February 10th, 2011 at 12:23 am

Global warming an excuse for government spending?

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In response to a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Bjorn Lomborg, Scott Armstrong, Kesten Green, and Willie Soon wrote the following letter questioning Lomborg’s poorly-justified advocacy.

“Let’s Deal in Science and Facts” – A letter to the Wall Street Journal

Bjorn Lomborg (“Can Anything Serious Happen in Cancun?”, op-ed, Nov. 12) claims that government spending on global warming policies is wasted, but he assumes that global warming caused by carbon dioxide is a fact. It is not. We base this statement not on the opinions of 31,000 American scientists who signed a public statement rejecting this warming hypothesis (the “Oregon Petition”), but rather because the forecasts of global warming were derived from faulty procedures.

We published a peer-reviewed paper showing that the forecasting procedures used by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change violated 72 of 89 relevant principles (e.g., “provide full disclosure of methods”). The IPCC has been unable to explain why it violated such principles. In response, we developed a model that follows the principles. Because the climate is complex and poorly understood, our model predicts that global average temperatures will not change.

In testing the models on global temperature data since 1850, we found that the long-range (91-to-100-years ahead) forecast errors from the IPCC’s projection were 12 times larger than the errors from our simple model.

Mr. Lomborg concludes there are better ways for governments to spend the funds devoted to global warming. We suggest this money should instead be returned to taxpayers.

J. Scott Armstrong, Kesten C. Green. Willie Soon.

See the letter on the WSJ site here.

Who would win the ‘Climate Bet’, Al Gore or Scott Armstrong?

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In his talk on March 9, 2009 at the International Climate Change Conference in New York City, Wharton Professor J. Scott Armstrong will announce the launch of a prediction market on the outcome of the „Climate Bet‟ he proposed to Mr. Gore in 2007. Prediction markets are a structured scientific approach to eliciting and summarizing peoples‟ opinions. The Climate Bet prediction market is part of a project led by Andreas Graefe, a researcher at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany, to examine the use of prediction markets for controversial public policy issues. Are prediction markets useful in aiding the democratic process? Read the rest of this entry »

Audio recordings now available for the International Conference on Climate Change

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On March 2-4 2008, more than 500 scientists, economists, and policy analysts from around the world met in New York City for the inaugural International Conference on Climate Change.  The audio recordings of all 103 presentations from all five tracks (paleoclimatology, climatology, impacts, economics, and politics) are now available on a 35-CD set. It is clear that there is no scientific consensus on the causes and consequences of climate change nor on the direction of the changes.

The complete set is available from The Heartland Institute for $119.
Call (312) 377-4000 to order, or use the online order form at http://www.heartland.org/newyork08/proceedings.html.