"It hardly needed explanation. 'Everyone knows the planet is in bad
shape,' thundered a Time magazine article last year. The seas are being
polluted, the forests devastated, species are being driven to
extinction at record rates, the rain is acid, the ozone layer vaporising,
and the rivers are so poisonous fish are floating on the surface, dead. As
Al Gore, former US vice-president, put it in his book Earth in the
Balance : 'Modern industrial civilisation is colliding violently with
our planet's ecological system.' We inherited Eden and are leaving our
children a depleted rubbish tip.
But there's a growing belief that what everyone takes for granted is
wrong: things are actually getting better. A new book is about to
overturn our most basic assumptions about the world's environment. Far
from going to hell in a handcart, it is improving by almost all
measures. Those things not getting better are getting worse at a slower
--Anthony Browne, The Observer, 10 June 2001

"At the beginning, the environmental movement had reason to say that
the end of the world is nigh (sic), but most of the really serious
problems have been dealt with. Now it's almost as though the
environmental movement has to invent doom and gloom scenarios."
--Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, The Observer 10
June 2001

    National Academy of Sciences, 6 June 2001

    Reason Public Policy Institute, 7 June 2001

    Science & Environmental Policy Project, 9 June 2001

    EUREKALERT, 4 June 2001

    National Post, 8 June 2001

    The Observer, 10 June 2001

    The Sunday Times, 10 June 2001


From National Academy of Sciences

Date: June 6, 2001
Contacts: Bill Kearney, Media Relations Officer
Mark Chesnek, Media Relations Assistant
(202) 334-2138; e-mail <>


Leading Climate Scientists Advise White House on Global Warming

WASHINGTON -- In a report requested by the Bush administration, a committee
of the National Academies' National Research Council summed up science's
current understanding of global climate change by characterizing the global
warming trend over the last 100 years, and examining what may be in store
for the 21st century and the extent to which warming may be attributable to
human activity. The committee -- made up of 11 of the nation's top climate
scientists, including seven members of the National Academy of Sciences, one
of whom is a Nobel-Prize winner -- also emphasized that much more systematic
research is needed to reduce current uncertainties in climate-change

"We know that greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere,
causing surface temperatures to rise," said committee chair Ralph Cicerone,
chancellor, University of California at Irvine. "We don't know precisely how
much of this rise to date is from human activities, but based on physical
principles and highly sophisticated computer models, we expect the warming
to continue because of greenhouse gas emissions."

Based on assumptions that emissions of greenhouse gases will accelerate and
conservative assumptions about how the climate will react to that, computer
models suggest that average global surface temperatures will rise between
2.5 and 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1.4 and 5.8 degrees Celsius) by the end of
this century.

With regard to the basic question of whether climate change is occurring,
the report notes that measurements show that temperatures at the Earth's
surface rose by about 1 degree Fahrenheit (about .6 degrees Celsius) during
the 20th century. This warming process has intensified in the past 20 years,
accompanied by retreating glaciers, thinning arctic ice, rising sea levels,
lengthening of the growing season in many areas, and earlier arrival of
migratory birds.

The committee said the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) that the global warming that has occurred in the last 50 years
is likely the result of increases in greenhouse gases accurately reflects
the current thinking of the scientific community. However, it also cautioned
that uncertainties about this conclusion remain because of the level of
natural variability inherent in the climate on time scales from decades to
centuries, the questionable ability of models to simulate natural
variability on such long time scales, and the degree of confidence that can
be placed on estimates of temperatures going back thousands of years based
on evidence from tree rings or ice cores.

The greenhouse gas of most concern is carbon dioxide since the naturally
occurring chemical also is generated by the continuing burning of fossil
fuels, can last in the atmosphere for centuries, and "forces" more climate
change than any other greenhouse gas, the committee said. Other significant
greenhouse gases include methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, tropospheric
ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which together have a "forcing" on
climate change approximately equal to that of carbon dioxide. Man-made
sources of methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone have resulted in substantially
increased concentrations in the atmosphere in the 20th century, although
each of these gases also has natural sources. CFCs are entirely synthetic

The best information about past climate variability comes from ice cores
drilled miles deep in Antarctica and Greenland, which reveal that
temperatures changed substantially over the past 400,000 years. Although
most of these changes occurred over thousands of years, some rapid warmings
took place over a period of decades.

The ice cores also trapped carbon dioxide and methane, which shows that the
gases were present in the atmosphere at their lowest levels during cold eras
and at higher levels during warm eras. Carbon dioxide did not rise much
above 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv) until the industrial
revolution. By the end of the 20th century, it had reached 370 ppmv, with an
average increase in the last two decades of 1.5 ppmv a year. Both carbon
dioxide and methane are more abundant in the atmosphere now than at any time
during the 400,000-year ice core record.

The committee noted that the IPCC has examined a range of scenarios
concerning future greenhouse gas emissions. The committee called such
scenarios valuable because they provide a warning of the magnitude of
climate change that may occur if emission rates continue to climb at a rate
similar to last century, but it also said alternative scenarios are needed
to illustrate the sensitivity to underlying assumptions, particularly with
regard to future technological development and energy policy.

The committee also was asked by the White House to examine whether there
were any substantive differences between the IPCC reports and their abridged
technical and policy-maker summaries. The IPCC was established by the United
Nations and World Meteorological Organization in 1988 and its reports and
summaries have been influential in international negotiations related to the
Kyoto protocol.

The full IPCC Working Group 1 report does an admirable job of reflecting
research activities in climate science, and is adequately summarized in the
technical summary, the committee said. The corresponding summary for
policy-makers, it added, placed less emphasis on the scientific
uncertainties and caveats. Looking to the future, the committee suggested
that improvements to the IPCC process may need to be made to ensure the best
scientific representation possible, and to keep the process from being seen
as too heavily influenced by governments "which have specific postures with
regard to treaties, emissions controls, and other policy instruments."

To reduce some of the uncertainties inherent in current climate change
predictions, a strong commitment must be made to basic research as well as
to improving climate models and building a global climate observing system,
the committee said. More comprehensive measurements of greenhouse gases and
increased computational power also will be needed.

Although potential impacts from global warming were looked at in the report,
it was not part of the committee's charge to make policy recommendations for
dealing with them.

The White House requested this fast-track review of the state of climate
science in preparation for international discussions on global warming
scheduled to take place in the coming weeks. "In view of the critical nature
of this issue, we agreed to undertake this study and to use our own funds to
support it," said Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of
Sciences and chair of the National Research Council. The study took a month.

The National Research Council is the principal operating arm of the National
Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering. It is a private,
nonprofit institution that provides scientific and technical advice under a
congressional charter.

Read the full text of Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key
Questions as well as 1,800 other publications from the National Academy
Press. Printed copies are available for purchase from the National Academy
Press Web site or by calling (202) 334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242. Reporters may
obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts
listed above).

Division on Earth and Life Studies

Committee on the Science of Climate Change

Ralph J. Cicerone1 (chair)
Chancellor, and
Daniel G. Aldrich Professor
Department of Earth System Science and Department of Chemistry
University of California

Eric J. Barron
Earth and Mineral Sciences Environment Institute, and
Distinguished Professor of Geosciences
Pennsylvania State University
University Park

Robert E. Dickinson1
Professor of Dynamics and Climate
School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Georgia Institute of Technology

Inez Y. Fung1
Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor for the Physical Sciences;
Departments of Earth and Planetary Science and of Environmental Sciences,
Policy, and Management; and
Center for Atmospheric Sciences
University of California

James E. Hansen1
NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies
New York City

Thomas R. Karl
National Climatic Data Center
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Asheville, N.C.

Richard S. Lindzen1
Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology
Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

James C. McWilliams
Slichter Professor of Earth Sciences
Department of Atmospheric Sciences
Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics
University of California
Los Angeles

F. Sherwood Rowland1,2
Donald Bren Research Professor of Chemistry and Earth System Science
Department of Chemistry
University of California

Edward S. Sarachik
Department of Atmospheric Sciences;
Adjunct Professor
School of Oceanography; and
S.P. Hayes Center of the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and
the Ocean
University of Washington

John M. Wallace1
Professor of Atmospheric Sciences
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, and
Program on the Environment
University of Washington


Vaughan C. Turekian
Study Director

1 Member, National Academy of Sciences
2 Member, Institute of Medicine



From Reason Public Policy Institute, 7 June 2001

Key Findings from "Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key
Questions" - a Report to the Bush Administration from the National Research
Council of the National Academy of Sciences

by Kenneth Green, D. Env.

"A thorough understanding of the uncertainties is essential to the
development of good policy decisions."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 22

"The most valuable contribution U.S. scientists can make is to
continually question basic assumptions and conclusions, promote clear
and careful appraisal and presentation of the uncertainties about climate
change as well as those areas in which science is leading to robust
conclusions, and work toward a significant improvement in the ability to
project the future."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, 6/6/01, Page 23

On June 6, 2001, an 11-member panel of the National Academy of Sciences
(NAS) released "Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions,"
a report they prepared for President George W. Bush. The report confirms
important points that many analysts critical of mainstream portrayals of
climate change science and policy have argued for years.

In this report, NAS points out that:

Uncertainties in climate science throw the question of human causality of
climate change into doubt;

Uncertainties in projecting future social trends make predictions of future
climate conditions "tentative;"

Political influences played a significant role in shaping the "Summary for
Policymakers of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC), a key formal document in the U.N.'s three-volume Third
Assessment Report on climate change; and

Understanding of climate change science is far from complete and is, in
fact, still rudimentary in many areas.

The NAS report begins with an adamant statement that "temperatures are, in
fact, rising." This is not news, however; virtually no one has argued that
this is not the case. While the NAS goes on to affirm some of the technical
claims from both the third Assessment Report of the U.N's IPCC and the
National Assessment Report of the United States Global Change Research
Project, the NAS report has many sharply cautionary warnings scattered

This document culls key statements from the NAS report into discrete

1. Key statements on understanding of the climate system and our forecasting

2. Key statements on human causation of observed 20th century climate

3. Key statements on research needs (the only actual recommendations given
by the NAS); and

4. Key statements on the IPCC process, scientific representation, and
political influence on the "Summary for Policymakers" in the U.N.'s third
Assessment Report.

1. Key Statements on Understanding of the Climate System and our Forecasting

While the NAS "generally agrees with the assessment of human-caused climate
change" presented by the United Nations' IPCC, the authors of the NAS report
seek to "articulate more clearly the level of confidence that can be
ascribed to those assessments, and the caveats that need to be attached to

The following quote from the NAS report summarizes that effort quite well:

"Because there is considerable uncertainty in current understanding
of how the climate system varies naturally and reacts to emissions of
greenhouse gases and aerosols, current estimates of the magnitude of future
warming should be regarded as tentative and subject to future adjustments
upward or downward."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 1

The NAS report points out the many weaknesses in current understanding of
climate processes:

"Much of the difference in predictions of global warming by various
climate models is attributable to the fact that each model represents
these [feedback] processes in its own particular way."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 4

"The study of the role of black carbon in the atmosphere is
relatively new. As a result, it is characterized poorly as to its
composition, emission source strengths, and influence on radiation."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 13

"There is the possibility that decreasing black carbon emissions in
the future could have a cooling effect that would at least partially
compensate for the warming that might be caused by a decrease in
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 13

"Climate forcing by anthropogenic aerosols is a large source of
uncertainty about future climate change."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 13

"The greatest uncertainty about the aerosol climate forcing-indeed,
the largest of all the uncertainties about global climate forcings-is
probably the indirect effect of aerosols on clouds."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 14

"The great uncertainty about this indirect aerosol climate forcing
presents a severe handicap both for the interpretation of past climate
change and for future assessments of climate change.
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 15

And while the NAS report clearly affirms the usefulness and importance of
climate models, it observes that:

"However, climate models are imperfect. Their simulation skill is
limited by uncertainties in their formulation, the limited size of
their calculations, and the difficulty of interpreting their answers
that exhibit almost as much complexity as in nature."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 15

"Projecting future climate change first requires projecting the
fossil-fuel and land-use sources of CO2 and other gases and
aerosols.... However, there are large uncertainties in underlying
assumption about population growth, economic development, life style
choices, technological change and energy alternatives, so that it is
useful to examine scenarios developed from multiple perspectives in
considering strategies for dealing with climate change."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 18

"Scenarios for future greenhouse gas amounts, especially for CO2 and
CH4 are a major source of uncertainty for projections of future climate.
Successive IPCC assessments over the past decade each have developed a
new set of scenarios with little discussion of how well observed
trends match with previous scenarios."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Pages 18-19

Finally, in another powerfully cautionary statement, the NAS confirms that
some of the proposed factors involved in climate change are so uncertain
that it is unknown whether the factors will cause warming or cooling:

"The range of model sensitivities and the challenge of projecting
the sign of the precipitation changes for some regions represent a
substantial limitation in assessing climate impacts."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 21

2. Key Statements on Human Causation of Observed 20th Century Climate

When it comes to the all-important question of causality, the NAS report
contains cautionary statements far stronger than those seen from other
august scientific panels:

"Despite the uncertainties, there is general agreement that the
observed warming is real and particularly strong within the past
twenty years. Whether it is consistent with the change that would be
expected in response to human activities is dependent upon what
assumptions one makes about the time history of atmospheric concentrations
of the various forcing agents, particularly aerosols."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 3

"Because of the large and still uncertain level of natural
variability inherent in the climate record and the uncertainties in the
time history of the various forcing agents (and particularly
aerosols), a causal linkage between the buildup of greenhouse gases in the
atmosphere and the observed climate changes during the 20th century cannot
be unequivocally established."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 17

"The fact that the magnitude of the observed warming is large in
comparison to natural variability as simulated in climate models is
suggestive of such a linkage, but it does not constitute proof of one
because the model simulations could be deficient in natural variability
on the decadal to century time scale."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 17

3. Key Statements on Research Needs

While the NAS report does not make outright recommendations, it does point
out research needs and encourages additional research. This itself points to
weaknesses in the underlying scientific understanding of climate change.

"Reducing the wide range of uncertainty inherent in current model
predictions of global climate change will require major advances in
understanding and modeling of both (1) the factors that determine
atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols, and (2) the
so-called 'feedbacks' that determine the sensitivity of the climate system
to a prescribed increase in greenhouse gases. Specifically, this will
involve reducing uncertainty regarding: (a) future usage of fossil
fuels, (b) future emissions of methane, (c) the fraction of fossil
fuel carbon that will remain in the atmosphere and provide radiative
forcing versus exchange with the oceans or net exchange with the land
biosphere, (d) the feedbacks in the climate system that determine both
the magnitude of the change and the rate of energy uptake by the
oceans, which together determine the magnitude and time history of
the temperature increases for a given radiative forcing, (e) the details of
the regional and local climate change consequent to an overall level of
global climate change, (f) the nature and causes of the natural variability
of climate and its interactions with forced changes, and (g) the direct
and indirect effects of the changing distributions of aerosol."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 23

4. Key Statements on the IPCC Process, Scientific Representation, and
Political Influence on the "Summary for Policymakers" in the U.N.'s Third
Assessment Report

Perhaps the most fascinating element of the NAS report is its inquiry into
the limitations of the IPCC process, and its questioning whether the IPCC
"Summary for Policymakers"-the most widely quoted element of all the IPCC
publications-faithfully represents the underlying technical reports.

While the NAS finds the underlying technical reports of the IPCC on the
science of climate change (a.k.a. the "Working Group 1" section of the Third
Assessment Report) to be rigorous and representative of mainstream
scientific thought, it raised many concerns about the influence of political
forces on the IPCC's overall reporting process and on key documents such as
its "Summary for Policymakers" in the Third Assessment Report.

The NAS also confirms a practice that many critics of past IPCC reports have
questioned: that of retroactively altering the technical studies to support
the statements given in the "Summary for Policymakers." While "most" of
these changes were acceptable to the IPCC chapter authors, the NAS suggests
that "some scientists may find fault with some of the technical details,
especially if they appear to underestimate uncertainty" (page 23).

Additional points raised by the NAS report include the following:

"The 'Summary for Policymakers' reflects less emphasis on
communicating the basis for uncertainty, and a stronger emphasis on
areas of major concern associated with human- induced climate change. This
change in emphasis appears to be the result of a summary process in
which scientists work with policy makers on the document.
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 5

"Changes to the 'Summary for Policymakers' are only approved by 'a
fraction of the lead and contributing authors,' not the full body of
authors of the WG1 report."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 5

"After analysis, the committee finds that the conclusions presented
in the 'Summary for Policymakers' and the 'Technical Summary' are
consistent with the main body of the report. There are, however,
differences. The primary differences reflect the manner in which
uncertainties are communicated in the 'Summary for Policymakers.' The
'Summary for Policymakers' frequently uses terms (e.g., likely, very
likely, unlikely) that convey levels of uncertainty; however, the text
less frequently includes either their basis or caveats."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 22

"Confidence limits and probabilistic information, with their basis,
should always be considered as an integral part of the information
that climate scientists provide to policy- and decision-makers. Without
them, the IPCC 'Summary for Policymakers' could give an impression that
the science of global warming is 'settled' even though many
uncertainties still remain."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 22

"In addition, the preparation of the 'Summary for Policymakers'
involves both scientists and governmental representatives.
Governmental representatives are more likely to be tied to specific
government postures with regard to treaties, emission controls, and other
policy instruments."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 23

"Without an understanding of the sources and degree of uncertainty,
decision-makers could fail to define the best ways to deal with the
serious issue of global warming."
-"Climate Change Science" Report, Page 23

The newly released "Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key
Questions" report of the National Academy of Sciences is a noteworthy
contribution to the ongoing debate over climate policy. While understanding
that the Earth's average temperature has increased recently, and affirming
the mainstream scientific view that some of this warming is attributable to
human action, the NAS report also acknowledges the current limitations of
scientific understanding, and the dangers of mischaracterizing those
limitations by exaggerated reporting that downplays uncertainty.

About the Author

Kenneth Green, D.Env. is Director of the Environment Program at Reason
Public Policy Institute, a national, nonpartisan policy research
organization based in Los Angeles, California.


From Science & Environmental Policy Project, 9 June 2001

1. Comments on the National Academy Report on Climate Change

By S. Fred Singer

The panel was made up of 11 persons, some of whom were involved in the IPCC
report. While well qualified individually, the panel lacked balance. It did
not include a geologist or glaciologist; nor did it include more than one
identified skeptic or anyone critical of the IPCC report. The panel also
lacked demonstrated expertise in statistics, someone qualified to judge the
adequacy of the data as a basis for conclusions drawn from them. My comments
are confined to the report's Summary (NAS/S), consisting of the first five
pages of a total of 24.

Overall comments:

The very first sentence of the Summary (NAS/S) states unambiguously:

"Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result
of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface
ocean temperatures to rise."

Only near the end of the report (p. 17) do we learn of the considerable
uncertainties that could offset the clear and unequivocal conclusion of the
first paragraph.

"Because of the large and still uncertain level of natural
variability inherent in the climate record and the uncertainties in the
time histories of the various forcing agents (and particularly aerosols),
a causal linkage between the buildup of greenhouse gases in the
atmosphere and the observed climate changes during the 20th century cannot
be unequivocally established. The fact that the magnitude of the
observed warming is large in comparison to  natural variability as
simulated in climate models is suggestive of such a linkage, but it does
not constitute proof of one because the model simulations could be
deficient in natural variability on the decadal to century time scale." And
they certainly could be!

In any case, the statement is wrong in several respects:

1. The claimed temperature rise of the past few decades is based entirely on
surface data from poorly controlled stations and sea-surface measurements
(of water not air temperatures); they are judged to be contaminated and
therefore suspect. The NAS/S ignores the observed climate cooling that took
place between 1940 and 1975, so obviously at variance with the increase in
GH gases. It completely ignores the data from weather satellites and
radiosondes, which show no appreciable warming trend since 1979. In
addition, none of the many proxy measurement (tree rings, ice cores, etc)
shows any warming trend after 1940.

2. Even if one were to accept the claim that the climate has warmed in the
last 50 years, there is no evidence (in the form of "fingerprints," for
example) that such a warming is human-related. On the contrary, the
available evidence directly contradicts the idea that humans have made
and are making a substantial contribution to temperature changes. Past
century's trends can best be explained in terms of natural variability, most
likely caused by solar variability.

3. Furthermore, if one were to assign such a warming entirely to an increase
of GH gases, the "climate sensitivity" thus obtained would be well below
even the lowest value quoted by the IPCC, a rise of 1.5 C for a doubling of
GH gases.

4. The observed warming trend of the deep ocean is best explained as a
delayed consequence of the pre-1940 warming. There is also an observed
cooling trend of the ocean, ignored in the NAS/S, again a reflection of a
previous surface cooling (Singer in Eos, AGU Spring mtng 2000)

5. The first paragraph of the NAS/S mentions "associated sea-level rise" as
if SL rise were a necessary consequence of an anthropogenic climate warming.
Geologic evidence confirms that SL rise has been ongoing for the past 18,000
years and has resulted in a total rise of 120 meters [400 feet]. The current
SL rise is mostly due to the slow melting of Antarctic ice sheets, which
will continue for several more millennia.

Detailed comments:

a) NAS/S understates natural variability of climate by at least a factor of
100. The geologic record shows variability of a few degrees C in decades not

b) The "removal time" (lifetime) of CO2 as >100 yrs is overstated by a large

c) Notice how the NAS/S sidesteps the fact the atmosphere has not been
warming since 1979 (according to satellite data): "The troposphere warmed
much more during the 1970's than during the two subsequent decades." Of
course; there was a major sudden warming between 1975 and 1978,
unconnected to any human activity.

d) The NAS/S constantly refers to "observed warming of the last 50 years" in
spite of overwhelming evidence against.

e) The NAS/S gives credence to extreme scenarios used by the IPCC and leaves
the impression that a future warming of 5.8 C is as likely as a lower value.
But it admits later that the IPCC scenarios have already been proven wrong
by actual observations of CO2 growth rates.

f) The very strange statement that "The contribution of feedbacks to the
climate chnge depends upon climate sensitivity" should of course be

g) In discussing weather extremes on a regional basis, the NAS/S states
"Some models project an increased tendency towards drought," but fails to
mention that other models predict the opposite -- extreme precipitation for
the same regions!

h) Finally, the NAS/S manages to sidestep the fact that the IPCC Summary, a
political document, quotes the IPCC report selectively and exaggerates
disasters while downplaying uncertainties. As the NAS/S puts it artfully:
"The [IPCC] Summary for Policymakers reflects less emphasis on communicating
the basis for uncertainty and a stronger emphasis on areas of major concern
...This change in emphasis appears to be the result of a summary process in
which scientists work with policymakers on the document." Yes indeed!


The Academy report stands or falls principally on whether the climate warmed
in the past 50 years, and esp. since 1980. The overwhelming bulk of data
from different independent sources shows no such warming trend. We are not
talking just about science but about evidence. A full-scale open debate is
in order to settle this matter.

2. Letter to Editor, New York Times (sent June 7)

The conclusion of the National Academy report to the White House that human
activities are causing global warming [Front-page story in NY Times, 7 June]
is largely based on the claim that there was an unusually rapid rise in
surface temperatures during the last two decades, according to readings from
surface thermometers. But another committee of the National Academy, with
some of the same experts, published a report in January 2000 that tried to
explain why the global atmosphere showed little if any warmng since 1979,
according to the best data from weather satellites and weather balloons. The
current report makes no explicit mention of the incontrovertible disparity
between the different data sets. Yet the obvious importance of this matter
for setting national policy calls for an evidentiary hearing in an open,
trial-like setting during which the proponents of the differing data sets
can be questioned and cross-examined in front of a jury of scientists and

S.Fred Singer
Professor emeritus of Environmental Sciences
University of Virginia

3. Postscript: National Academy Report On Global Warming

By Patrick J. Michaels

Two weeks ago I saw the list of participants who were asked by the White
House to produce a new report on global warming via the National Academy of
Sciences. Two weeks ago, I knew what the report would say: that, while
uncertainties remain, global warming is an important problem and that the
planet will warm somewhere between 1.4 and 5.8C by the end of this century.

This is the same range projected by the United Nations' Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change, in a report to be released with great fanfare some
sixty days from now. The reason that the National Academy report looks a lot
like the UN's is that it was produced by a microcosm of the same people, and
with the same process: groupthink.

In order to produce whatever you want, all you have to do is select the
right people. But, for cover, include one or two known dissenters who can
then be listed as participants even as they are ignored by the dynamics of
the larger group.

I know because I have been in similar meetings with many of the very same
people on the Academy panel; instead of being called by the White House, the
one I recall was requested in response to Congressman John Dingell (D-MI).
Eric Barron, from Penn State, a member of the current Academy
panel, chaired the meeting. There were about 15 participants, the same
number involved in this most recent report. And what "we" said then looks
quite a lot like what the Academy said yesterday.

The other dissenter in that case was MIT's Richard Lindzen. For several
hours, we raised a number of objections concerning facts and uncertainties
about climate change. Finally the Chairman announced that if we didn't stop
objecting he was going to stop the meeting. This is how legitimate
scientific dissent was handled.

We can only surmise that similar things happened with the new report by
looking not at what it says, but what it omits. In this case, the two likely
dissenters were again Mr. Lindzen, and John ("Mike") Wallace, who chairs the
Atmospheric Science Department at University of Washington.
Wallace invited me for a very well-received seminar last year and expressed
considerable agreement with arguments that warming may well be
overestimated, and that the process by which we assemble "consensus" (the
new report being the latest example) may be fundamentally biased. But he
also thinks we should lower our use of fossil fuels, his personal opinion.

Want proof that groupthink smothered inconvenient dissent in this new
report? Here are four glaring examples:

1. Lindzen recently published a bombshell paper in the Bulletin of the
American Meteorological Society demonstrating there is a huge tropical
"thermostat" that regulates planetary warming. It reduces the likely warming
in the next century to, at warmest, somewhere around 1.6C, or
the lowest end of the National Academy's range. I find no mention of this
paper in the new Academy report. It is impossible for me to believe that
Dick did not bring it up.

2. The first sentence of the Academy report talks about how changes in the
earth's greenhouse effect are "causing surface air temperatures and
subsurface ocean temperatures to rise". Wouldn't it be logical if one then
immediately asked what this meant? The paper on ocean temperatures was
published only three months ago, in Science. When the rise in ocean
temperatures is coupled to a predictive climate model, the warming for the
next 100 years again comes out at the low end, around 1.4C.

3. Almost all of our climate models predict that once human warming starts,
it takes place at a constant (not increasing) rate. The Academy report
concurs with the UN that much of the warming of the last several decades is
caused by people. Therefore, the warming rate that has been established
should be the most likely one for the next 100 years, unless all those
climate models are wrong. Again, it works out to 1.4C.

4. The physics of the greenhouse effect requires that warming begin to damp
off if the increase in a greenhouse compound is constant. So the only way
that the computer models can maintain a constant warming rate for the next
100 years is to assume that the greenhouse gases go in at
ever-increasing (exponential) rates. They are not doing this. Despite the
prior beliefs of every atmospheric scientist on the Academy panel, the
increase in the last 25 years has been constant, not exponential. This will
tend to reduce, rather than maintain warming in coming decades. The Academy
report makes brief mention that the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases
is below the projections of the UN, but that's all. If one assumes their
projected range, a non-exponential increase in greenhouse gases will drive
the warming right down to it's bottom, or 1.4C in this century.

Is there a pattern here? You bet. By far the most consistent interpretation
of that thing that climatologists must ultimately confront--reality--is that
warming is destined to be modest. Further, the atmosphere has already told
us that two-thirds of this will take place in the winter, with three
quarters of that in the dead of Siberia, northwestern Canada, and Alaska.

The logical question to ask is why the Academy didn't put all of these
things together, and instead left it to this predictable nag to do it for
you. The answer is simple: the people on this panel are largely the same
ones who produce the United Nations reports, as well as earlier Academy
reports. They have been touting big warming for nearly two decades.
Reversing course, and saying anything else would have been self-destructive.
That's why the contents of this report were quite predictable, with as small
a range of uncertainty as is indicated by a critical look at our climate's

4. A view from Australia:

John Daly's Critique Of The NAS Report
(adapted from

This report contains no new science, no new evidence, and most critically -
it did not address in any detail a single point of contention raised by
global warming sceptics. Specific problems with this latest report are:

"Temperatures are in fact rising" - Only according to the surface record,
mostly from third world instruments. The satellite record shows little or no
warming, and the surface record from the U.S. shows a climate today little
different to what it was 70 years ago. This remark confirmed the committee's
support for the surface record - no reason given.

"There is general agreement that the observed warming is real and
particularly strong within the past twenty years." With this remark, the
committee have clearly rejected the satellite temperature record outright,
with not a single reason offered. Because the satellites show no strong
warming `within the past twenty years', the committee clearly have given
100% blessing to the disputed surface record - without so much as a reason
to justify that choice.

"The committee generally agrees with the assessment of human-caused climate
change presented in the IPCC Working Group I (WG1) scientific report." - So
they toss the ball back into the IPCC court, choosing not to raise a single
point of criticism of that over-politicised UN body. This is hardly
surprising as several committee members were themselves involved in the IPCC

"The committee finds that the full IPCC Working Group I (WG 1) report is an
admirable summary of research activities in climate science, and the full
report is adequately summarized in the Technical Summary." The IPCC summary
was also highly selective, choosing to summarise only those research
activities which reinforced the IPCC mindset. That this NAS committee should
find it so admirable clearly establishes them as ideologically pro-IPCC with
no scientific justification offered. They gave no reasons for the
selectivity exercised by IPCC reviewers, accepting some research studies,
but ignoring others.

"After analysis, the committee finds that the conclusions presented in the
SPM and the Technical Summary (TS) are consistent with the main body of the
report." - Again no discussion of the numerous points of difference between
the two IPCC documents raised many times by sceptics. The SPM and TS are
clearly incompatible in many respects, but the committee again resorts
to endorsement without justification.

On sulfate aerosols, whose effects are highly disputed - "The monitoring of
aerosol properties has not been adequate to yield accurate knowledge of the
aerosol climate influence." This is an admission that little is known about
these aerosols, but the committee did not proceed to find any fault with
models which use those aerosols to prevent the models from over-heating
their virtual earths beyond existing real climate. Those aerosols are used
in the models like an accountants `balancing item' in a balance sheet, and
are assumed to be real only in order to keep the models in some kind of
agreement with current climate. The committee should have been more detailed
on this issue, given their admission that little is known about the effect
of aerosols in the real world.

On solar forcing, the direct effect of which the committee claims to be
small (+0.3 w/m2), they dismiss the well published secondary feedback
effects of solar forcing - "Numerous possible indirect forcings associated
with solar variability have been suggested. However, only one of these,
ozone changes induced by solar UV irradiance variations, has convincing
observational support." With these dismissive words, the entire body of
published and peer-reviewed solar science built up over the last ten years
is thrown out - without so much as an explanation.

On the `National Assessment' - "The U.S. National Assessment of Climate
Change Impacts, augmented by a recent NRC report on climate and health,
provides a basis for summarizing the potential consequences of climate
change." The National Assessment has been one of the most criticised climate
documents of recent times. It was attacked not merely by global warming
sceptics, but also by scientists normally sympathetic to the IPCC and the
global warming scenario. It was a manifestly political and alarmist document
and exceeded even the alarmism normally associated with radical
environmental groups. But this NAS committee endorses the National
Assessment. More shame to them for doing so.

On the delicate issue as to why the satellites and surface do not agree as
to recent warming trends - "The finding that surface and troposphere
temperature trends have been different as observed over intervals as long as
a decade or two is difficult to reconcile with our current understanding of
the processes that control the vertical distribution of temperature in the
atmosphere." With these mealy-mouthed words, the committee put themselves
squarely in the business of pseudo-science, not science.

Having admitted they could not understand why the satellites measuring the
free atmosphere were producing a different trend to the surface record, this
lack of understanding did not compel them to question the validity of the
models which depend critically on an assumption that an enhanced greenhouse
must warm the troposphere first, before the surface warms. What has been
observed is quite the reverse. From this, it requires no great leap of
thinking to conclude that either the models are working to a completely
false premise, or else the surface record itself is wrong, or both. Either
way, having endorsed the models without explanation, and having endorsed the
surface record again without explanation, they could only pass off this
fundamental conflict with the inane and worthless comment given above.

In conclusion, the NAS committee made many assertions, none of which they
chose to justify or explain other than to state it was `their view' - as if
their mere authority as representing the National Academy of Science were
enough to prevail in the argument.

Well it isn't. The days when mere `authority' could win an argument or
debate are long gone. Such deference is more characteristic of a medieval
priesthood, not a modern science where every important claim must be
justified and explained. Only evidence counts in this modern world, and this
committee have provided none, merely re-stated what has already been stated
in politically contaminated documents by the IPCC and National Assessment.

5. Steve Forbes Takes A Dim View Of The National Academy Report On Global
Warming (as reported in the Washington Times of June 8)

"The Kyoto global warming treaty would do to the American economy what Dr.
Kevorkian does to the Hippocratic oath." Don't you just love that.


From EUREKALERT, 4 June 2001

Contact: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Climate sensitivity may be higher than many think, researchers say

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In the wake of mounting evidence of global warming,
decision-makers are wrestling with related policy issues. Now, researchers
at the University of Illinois have shown that the probability of severe
climate change is much greater than many scientists or policy-makers had
thought. "The size and impacts of anthropogenically induced climate change
strongly depend on the climate sensitivity - the change in equilibrium
surface warming due to a doubling of the concentration of carbon dioxide in
the atmosphere," said Michael Schlesinger, a UI atmospheric scientist.
"According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the climate
sensitivity lies between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees Centigrade."

If the climate sensitivity is less than 1.5 degrees Centigrade, then climate
change may not be a serious problem, Schlesinger said. "If, however, the
climate sensitivity is greater than the IPCC's upper bound, then climate
change may be one of humanity's most severe problems of the 21st century. By
judging the likelihood of the climate sensitivity having any particular
value - that is, by its probability density function - the crafting of
robust adaptive climate-change policy could be greatly facilitated."

Schlesinger and UI atmospheric scientist Natalia Andronova used a simple
climate/ocean model and the near-surface temperature record to estimate the
probability density function for climate sensitivity. They considered 16
radiative-forcing models, which included such factors as greenhouse gases,
anthropogenic sulfate aerosol, solar irradiance and volcanoes. For each
model, the changes in global-mean near-surface temperature were calculated
for the years 1765 through 1997.

The researchers found that, as a result of natural variability and
uncertainty in the radiative forcing, the climate sensitivity could lie
between 1 and 10 degrees Centigrade. "Consequently, there is a 54 percent
likelihood that the climate sensitivity lies outside the IPCC range,"
Schlesinger said. "Our results show that the probability density function
very strongly depends on which radiative forcing factors have actually been
at work during the period of the temperature measurements," he said. "At
present, the most likely scenario is one that includes anthropogenic sulfate
aerosol forcing but not solar variation. Although the value of the climate
sensitivity in that case is most uncertain, there is a 70 percent chance
that it exceeds the maximum IPCC value. This is not good news."

One way to reduce the uncertainty of which probability distribution is the
appropriate one to use in impact and policy studies is "to determine whether
the sun's irradiance has actually changed during the past 150 years,"
Andronova said. "Another way would be to consider the net radiative forcing
of all the anthropogenic aerosols, not just the sulfate aerosol."

A paper discussing the researchers' findings has been accepted for
publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research. The National Science
Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy supported the work.


This is a good one. No idea about the relative importance of various
forcings but allocates "probabilities" anyway:

"Our results show that the probability density function very
strongly depends on which radiative forcing factors have actually been
at work during the period of the temperature measurements," he said. "At
present, the most likely scenario is one that includes anthropogenic
sulfate aerosol forcing but not solar variation. Although the value of the
climate sensitivity in that case is most uncertain, there is a 70 percent
chance that it exceeds the maximum IPCC value."

Translation: in order for people to be "responsible" for alleged accelerated
climate change, solar irradiance must be constant (it isn't, click here for
graph) and the sulfate aerosol excuse ("masking" of anthropogenic warming
via increased aerosol albedo) must be valid. This point has been covered to
death but, for those not familiar with it, the sulfate aerosol mask
hypothesis is a dog that just won't hunt. The great majority of
anthropogenic sulfate aerosols are in the northern hemisphere and they are
not particularly durable (unlike CO2, they don't mix throughout the global
atmosphere but precipitate or decay, i.e., those produced in the northern
hemisphere complete their atmospheric lifecycle in the northern hemisphere).
Empirical measure shows the atmosphere to be warming slightly in the
northern and cooling in the southern hemisphere (where there is a virtual
absence of these aerosols) - the inverse of what should be anticipated if
these reflective particles are temporarily overwhelming purported
anthropogenic warming. Moreover, sulfate aerosols are concentrated
relatively close to emission points in Europe and North America and least
prevalent over Siberia and Mongolia, suggesting that the latter pair should
demonstrate at least winter warming since GHG forcing is most effective in
dry, cold air masses (they could wish, having just suffered through their
worst winters for many decades).

Given that the authors state "the most likely scenario is one that includes
anthropogenic sulfate aerosol forcing," which is highly unlikely since the
physical world demonstrates the inverse response to that anticipated, and,
"but not solar variation," which is demonstrably false, the assertion
"Although the value of the climate sensitivity in that case is most
uncertain, there is a 70 percent chance that it exceeds the maximum IPCC
value" is truly bizarre.

A tragic demonstration of science being sacrificed on the altar of
politically correct assertion.


From National Post, 8 June 2001

By Terence Corcoran

The great policy fiasco known as climate change is unravelling. Nations are
at each other's throats, corporations are sparring for the spoils, the
science is a gas and most people couldn't give a hoot. Who's got the keys to
the SUV? And we want more electricity!

The freshest news is the report of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences,
commissioned by U.S. President George W. Bush to come up with the hard facts
on global warming. Instead, it came up with scientific mush. Some of the
language seemed hard enough. "Global gases are accumulating in Earth's
atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures
and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise." But these declarations gradually
unwound into a maze of uncertainty and unproven hypothesis.

Here's a humdinger for true believers: "Because of the large and still
uncertain level of natural variability inherent in the climate record and
the uncertainties in the time histories of the various forcing agents ... a
causal linkage between the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and
the observed climate changes during the 20th century cannot be unequivocally

In short, just because the 20th century was a little warmer "does not
constitute proof" that there's a link to greenhouses gases. The NAS report
also branded as scientifically unreliable the United Nations' official claim
that the 20th century was worse than any century over the past millennium.
That proof, if such exists, "will require more extensive data and analysis."

This is a report Canada should have produced, and would have if Ottawa had
not been a mindless global cheerleader. In fact, the surest Canadian sign
that the draconian Kyoto Protocol to curb the world's greenhouse gas
emissions is dead came the other day from David Anderson, federal
Environment Minister of the Greenest country in the world.

After a decade of holier-than-the-U.S. hype and five years of planning and
maybe $1-billion in spending, we're sneaking out the back door. Mr. Anderson
said: "We won't ratify that here -- and I'll tell you why -- because we
can't take it to the public at the present time."

No time will be a good time for the Kyoto Protocol. It was signed by the
Chrtien government after the Prime Minister, heading a Liberal policy team
that had no policy, decided he would agree to anything so long as Canada
committed to outperform the United States in cutting greenhouse gas
emissions. Nothing of substance has happened since.

Canada's new official policy is that we no longer have to cut emissions all
that much because Canada is a great big natural carbon sink that will absorb
most of the carbon dioxide we produce. "We believe," said Mr. Anderson in an
interview with the Ottawa weekly The Hill Times "that carbon dioxide, which
is absorbed by plants, kept out of the atmosphere, is just as important as a
ton of carbon taken out of a smokestack and kept out of the atmosphere."

Sinks schminks. What Mr. Anderson is really saying is that Canada committed
to a crazy Kyoto plan that is unachievable and doomed, so let's send up a
smokescreen while we escape out the back door. Maybe we'll even be able to
blame the Europeans.

Just because the science isn't solid doesn't mean the Bush administration is
turning its back on global warming. News leaks suggest Bush is under the
spell of his Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill. Fox News columnist Steven
Milloy reports (see today's FP Editorial page) that a new Bush alternative
to Kyoto will attempt to eliminate all carbon dioxide emissions from the
planet by 2050.

If this seems strange to you -- if the science isn't rock solid, why bother?
-- here's an explanation. O'Neill is a former chairman of Alcoa. Alcoa,
along with three dozen other major U.S. global corporations, are big backers
of Kyoto. Other corporate fans of Kyoto include Enron, DuPont and BP.
They're all members of the Pew Centre for Global Climate Change. Eileen
Claussen, the executive director, said these companies "very much like the
Kyoto framework and hope there is a way to preserve the best parts."

The best parts are those that will reward these companies in hard currency
for every molecule of carbon emissions they've cut since 1992 and those they
can unload in the future.

Despite these corporate pressures -- and there are just as many opposed to
Kyoto as for it -- Kyoto is likely to be officially interred in Europe next
week. The new Italian government has already said it will not support Kyoto,
ending the European Union's solidarity. The new Bush plan is a certain
non-starter, which means the future of the great climate movement is today
as uncertain and unpredictable as the science.

Copyright 2001 National Post Online


From The Observer, 10 June 2001,6903,504481,00.html

Environmentalists said our planet was doomed to die. Now one man says they
are wrong. Anthony Browne reports

Special report: global warming

Sunday June 10, 2001
The Observer

It hardly needed explanation. 'Everyone knows the planet is in bad shape,'
thundered a Time magazine article last year. The seas are being polluted,
the forests devastated, species are being driven to extinction at record
rates, the rain is acid, the ozone layer vaporising, and the
rivers are so poisonous fish are floating on the surface, dead. As Al Gore,
former US vice-president, put it in his book Earth in the Balance : 'Modern
industrial civilisation is colliding violently with our planet's ecological
system.' We inherited Eden and are leaving our children a depleted rubbish

But there's a growing belief that what everyone takes for granted is wrong:
things are actually getting better. A new book is about to overturn our most
basic assumptions about the world's environment. Far from going to hell in a
handcart, it is improving by almost all measures. Those things not getting
better are getting worse at a slower rate.

Rivers, seas, rain and the atmosphere are all getting cleaner. The total
amount of forests in the world is not declining, few species are being made
extinct, and many of those that were endangered are thriving again. The
Skeptical Environmentalist by Bjrn Lomborg, professor of statistics at the
University of Aarhus in Denmark, is a scathing attack on the misleading
claims of environmental groups, and the 'bad news' culture that makes people
believe everything is getting worse, when by almost all indicators, things
are getting better.

When it was first published in Scandinavia, it caused a deafening storm of
protest, and transformed the nature of the debate. The book is part of a
growing backlash against green groups, and potentially the most dangerous.
Most previous criticisms have come from right-wing think-tanks hostile to
the environment agenda.

Now the attacks are increasingly coming from left-wing environmentalists
such as Lomborg, a former member of Greenpeace. The accusation is that,
although the environment is improving, green groups - with revenues of
hundreds of millions of pounds a year - are using increasingly desperate
scaremongering tactics to sustain donations.

Lomborg's book, to be published in September by Cambridge University Press,
doesn't deny global warming - probably the biggest environmental threat -
but demolishes almost every other environmental claim with a barrage of
official statistics.

Many of his arguments were given added credibility last week by the European
Environment Agency's annual report, which pointed out just how much things
were improving across the continent.

In 1997, the WWF's international president Claude Martin made a desperate
plea: 'I implore the leaders of the world to pledge to save their remaining
forests now - at the eleventh hour for the world's forests.' The Worldwatch
Institute claims that 'deforestation has been accelerating over the last 30

But Lomborg says that is simply rubbish. Since the dawn of agriculture the
world has lost about 20 per cent of its forest cover, but in recent decades
depletion has come to a halt. According to UN figures, the area of forests
has remained almost steady, at about 30 per cent of total land area, since
the Second World War. Temperate forests in developing countries such as the
US, UK and Canada have actually been expanding over the past 40 years.

Britain has more forest now than 200 years ago, and the growth is all
broadleaf natural woodlands, not pine plantations. Tropical forests in
developing countries are being cut down or burnt, but at a slow rate; and
despite all the dire warnings the Amazon rainforest has only shrunk by about
15 per cent. Lomborg concludes: 'Basically, our forests are not under

Nor are all our species dying out. In the 1979 book The Sinking Ark,
campaigner Norman Myers claimed that each year 40,000 species were being
made extinct. Others have suggested a figure of 250,000, and claimed that 50
per cent of all species will have died out within 50 years.

But Lomborg cites other studies that show only 0.08 per cent of species are
dying out each year. The IUCN - the world conservation union that officially
recognises which species are endangered - said recently that 'actual
extinctions remain low'.

Conservation efforts have been spectacularly successful. Whales are no
longer threatened with extinction, elephants are being culled because their
numbers are so high, and the bald eagle is off the endangered list. Never
has so much of the habitat of the developed world been protected - the
number of officially protected areas in Europe has risen from a handful 20
years ago to more than 2,000 now.

But the most dramatic improvements are elimination of most of the main forms
of pollution. Cleaner fuels and clampdowns on emissions mean the last time
sulphur dioxide emissions in London were so low was in the sixteenth
century. Getting rid of lead from petrol means that in the US lead
concentrations in the air have dropped 97 per cent.

The same is true of almost all other main forms of pollution, including
soot, ozone, nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide. According to Lomborg: 'Air
pollution is not a new phenomenon that has been getting worse and worse, but
an old phenomenon that has been getting better and better, leaving London
cleaner than it has been since the Middle Ages.'

The oceans have also been getting cleaner. According to the European
Environment Agency, in seas around Europe in the past 10 years the amount of
cadmium, mercury and lindane has fallen by around 80 per cent.

Many environmental scares have simply failed to happen. Despite repeated
fears about a looming 'energy gap', the world now has more energy than ever.
In 1980, it was predicted we only had 30 years of oil left but, 20 years on,
we know we have at least 40 years left. Improvements in exploration
techniques mean the known oil reserves are at record levels.

In the Eighties, there was alarm that acid rain would destroy Europe's
forests. Ten years later the fears had evaporated: studies showed acid rain
rarely affected trees. It did, however, affect life in lakes, and emissions
of acid-making gases were curbed.

'Acid rain does not kill the forests, and the air and water around us are
becoming less and less polluted,' says Lomborg. The UN said in 1997 that
'the widespread death of European forests due to air pollution which was
predicted by many in the Eighties did not occur.'

'Mankind's lot has improved in terms of practically every measurable
indicator,' concludes Lomborg. A recent study by the right-wing Institute of
Economic Affairs backed the claim. It produced indicators for most forms of
environmental damage and concluded: 'Contrary to public opinion, in most
instances, objectives for protecting human health and the environment are
being met.'

Environmental groups claim, with justification, that many of the
improvements are the results of the success of their campaigns. Stephen
Tindale, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: 'There are important
examples, such as acid rain and ozone, where things weren't as bad as
predicted, and that's because behaviour changed.

'The ozone layer is beginning to recover because ozone depleters are being
very rapidly phased out. It's a triumph of the environmental movement.'
Charles Secrett, director of Friends of the Earth UK, insisted that the
environment was facing new threats: 'The more obvious and simple
environmental issues have by and large been tackled. But we have replaced
smelly pollutants you can see with invisible, sneaky pollutants that affect
you over the long term.'

But this change of emphasis comes under heavy fire. Patrick Moore, one of
the co-founders of Greenpeace who fell out with the organisation over its
radical tactics, said that having been victorious in its early battles the
environmental movementhad invented new ones.

He said: 'At the beginning, the environmental movement had reason to say
that the end of the world is nigh, but most of the really serious problems
have been dealt with. Now it's almost as though the environmental movement
has to invent doom and gloom scenarios.'

Environmentalists admit that there has been a change in emphasis - from
problems that have actually occurred to warnings about those that might,
such as genetically modified foods. 'It is not scare-mongering to draw
attention to a risk that could have very serious consequences if it comes to
pass,' said Tindale.

Indeed, some potential risks - such as climate change - end up becoming
reality if nothing is done. Secrett said: 'Very few environmental groups are
doom and gloom merchants. What we say is based on science.'

Critics such as Moore claim that environmental groups have a vested interest
in exaggerating problems, because alarming people helps to raise funds. But
Lomborg warns it can have serious consequences: 'It makes us scared and it
makes us more likely to spend our resources and attention solving phantom
problems while ignoring real and pressing, possibly non-environmental,

Copyright 2000, The Observer


From The Sunday Times, 10 June 2001

Nayab Chohan
IF you want to taste clean air, go to London. According to new research, the
capital's atmosphere is cleaner than at anytime since 1585.

In findings that will surprise cyclists and pedestrians labouring through
the capital's traffic fumes in the sun, a Danish professor has argued that
the decline of industry and the domestic fireplace, together with cleaner
exhausts, means that the level of smoke particles and sulphur dioxide have
fallen by more than 95% since their peak in the 19th century. They are back
down to levels last seen in the year William Shakespeare left Stratford to
savour the sweet air of London.

In his book The Skeptical Environmentalist, to be published in September,
Professor Bjorn Lomborg, a former member of Greenpeace, says: "London air
has not been as clean as it is today since the Middle Ages. Almost all the
modern period has been more polluted with smoke than its today."

Before the Clean Air Act of 1956, London had been known for its "pea-souper"
atmosphere since the industrial revolution. The act was passed after the
Great London Smog of December 1952, which killed 4,000.

In his book, Lomborg, a statistician at Arhus University, challenges many
assumptions of the environmental movement. He argues that the world's
environment has improved over recent decades, that pollution has fallen, and
many species, such as the bald eagle, previously close to extinction, have

His work will also call into question the basis for the Kyoto protocol,
which calls on all countries to sign up to further cuts in the emission of
fossil fuels, thought to be the main cause of global climate change.

George W Bush, the American president, will fly to Europe this week and
Kyoto will form a major part of negotiations with the EU. Bush has refused
to sign up to Kyoto, arguing that it is based on unproven science.

Lomborg's work, to be published by Cambridge University Press, does not deny
the threat of global warming but attacks almost every claim being made by
environmentalists with a barrage of statistics.

In sections covering Britain, he uses figures from coal production to show
an increase in pollution over 300 years to a peak at around 1850. Lomborg
says that Britain now has more forest cover than it had 200 years ago.
Across the world forest cover has increased from 30.04% of total land area
in 1950 to 30.89% in 1994.

Average oil spills have fallen from 14.3m gallons per year in the 1970s to
2.6m per year in the 1990s. Lead in the air fell 90% in Britain between 1980
and 1995. Toxic chemicals in North Sea fish declined up to 76% between 1982
and 1996.
Copyright 2001, The Times

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From Alasdair Beal < >

Dear Benny,

2300BC Catastrophe - new papers by Moe Mandelkehr

Those interested in evidence that the Earth suffered a major catastrophe
around 2300BC may be interested to know that Moe Mandelkehr, who first put
forward the theory in a series of articles in SIS Chronology & Catastrophism
Review in the 1980s (C&CR  V 1983 pp. 77-95, C&CR IX 1987, pp. 34-44 and
C&CR X 1988, pp. 11-22), has continued his researches and a new series of
paper by him is being published in SIS Chronology & Catastrophism Review.
'The Causal Source for the climatic Changes in 2300BC' and 'The Causal
Source for the Geological Transients at 2300BC' appeared in C&CR 1999:1 (pp.
3-16) and C&CR 2001:1 features Moe Mandelkehr's latest paper 'Geomagnetic
Effects of an Earthwide Event in 2300BC' (pp. 4-10).

More details of these plus subscription details can be obtained at

Yours sincerely,

Alasdair Beal
Editor SIS Chronology & Catastrophism Review

CCCMENU CCC for 2001