Many critics of this Minority Report complain that some of the signatories are not scientists. But the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis is:
- Global warming is occurring and will become worse.
- It is caused by increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.
- Man's use of fossil fuels is causing much of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.
- The consequences for man, animal-life, and crop production will be catastrophic.
The climate is a complex issue, which very much benefits from a multi-disciplinary analysis. For my money, many climatologists do not have a sufficiently long-term perspective on the Earth's history to fully appreciate and understand the many natural factors controlling climate. Despite this, most of them are not convinced by the AGW alarmists. Geologists are very good contributors to our understanding because they do have this perspective. The work of Ian Plimer in putting together the great book Heaven and Earth is an example of this. Then there is the important role of chemists, biologists, and materials scientists and engineers in understanding how CO2 is cycled between the atmosphere, oceans, and the Earth's crust. The role of physicists in understanding the cycles of the sun with its changing irradiance, the changing solar winds, and its changing electromagnetic fields and the interaction of that field with the cosmic ray flux from space is also critical. Their experience with cloud chambers and cosmic ray measurements is also critical. Biologists also play an important role in assessing the effects upon humans, plant, and animal life. They are all needed in the assessment of catastrophic AGW.
Finally, if the catastrophic AGW hypothesis were true and if man could do anything to prevent the worst consequences, then the very importance of the problem should engage a wide range of scientists, engineers, and economists. The actions to be taken would be drastic and have severe consequences for the lives of the entire world population. So, the thesis of AGW ought to be so sound that all of these scientists and economists will be convinced that a unified and determined human response to AGW is justified. Their many talents will likely be called upon to implement that response. So, the catastrophic AGW believers should be very excited to enlist the interest and the support of all these scientists, engineers, and economists. To do this, however, means that their critical assessment of the hypothesis must be welcomed and their judgment should be respected. It is up to the catastrophic AGWs to make a sound and compelling case for their hypothesis so they can enlist the support of the broad scientific, engineering, and economic expert communities.
In comparison to the Senate Minority Report on AGW, the UN IPCC report Summary, which is where the mass of the alarmist claims are made, has only 52 authors, many of whom are also not scientists and many of whom are simply politicians promoting government interests in expanding their power. While hundreds of scientists contributed their scientific findings to the scientific parts of the report, these main parts of the report are also full of caveats that it is not clear that catastrophic AGW is implied by their findings. They are clearly loathe to make the long-term predictions which are made in the Summary of the ICPP reports. Indeed, many scientists have been refusing to participate in the UN ICPP reports over time because they believe the Summaries are such a poor representation of the science in the main parts of the reports.
The catastrophic AGW hypothesis has clearly failed to be convincing to those scientists who have taken the time to evaluate its claims and generally to study the issue of the Earth's climate and the factors controlling it. It is time for the politicians and the public to understand the failure of the catastrophic global warming hypothesis to convince such knowledgeable and rational evaluators as those who have signed the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Minority Report.