An editorial signed by 16 prominent scientists in the Wall Street Journal takes sharp issue with calls for drastic action against global warming, asserting that the threat is far from "incontrovertible" as alarmists claim.
"A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about 'global warming,'" the article states.
"Candidates should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed."
The scientists point to Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, who resigned from the American Physical Society in September due to the organization's position that the evidence for global warming is "incontrovertible" and the threat requires "mitigating actions" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The 16 scientists — including Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences at MIT, and William Happer, professor of physics at Princeton — say in the Journal piece: "In spite of a multidecade international campaign to enforce the message that increasing amounts of the 'pollutant' carbon dioxide will destroy civilization, large numbers of scientists, many very prominent, share the opinions of Dr. Giaever.
"The reason is a collection of stubborn scientific facts."
The "most inconvenient" fact cited by the scientists is the lack of global warming over the past 10 years.
Also, in the 22 years since the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change began issuing projections, warming has consistently been less than predicted.
This suggests that "computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause. Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2," the Op-Ed article states.
Why then does the call for action against global warming persist? The scientists say: Follow the money.
"Alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many, providing government funding for academic research and a reason for government bureaucracies to grow," they declare.
"Alarmism also offers an excuse for governments to raise taxes, taxpayer-funded subsidies for businesses that understand how to work the political system, and a lure for big donations to charitable foundations promising to save the planet."
They conclude: "Speaking for many scientists and engineers who have looked carefully and independently at the science of climate, we have a message to any candidate for public office: There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to 'decarbonize' the world's economy.
"Every candidate should support rational measures to protect and improve our environment, but it makes no sense at all to back expensive programs that divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of 'incontrovertible' evidence."
Other scientists who signed the editorial include aerospace engineer Burt Rutan, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne; Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator; Michael Kelly, professor of technology at the University of Cambridge; and Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism at Rockefeller University.
P.S.: Temperatures in some areas in Europe on Thursday sank to minus 26.5 F. Parts of the Black Sea froze near the Romanian coastline and rare snow fell on Croatian islands in the Adriatic Sea.