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Category — Dessler, Andrew

Political Scientists: Gerald North and Andrew Dessler Double Down on Climate Alarmism

“I did worry that my comment on my not being willing to sign on to Kyoto right now got into the [Houston] Chronicle and in our local paper. I do not like being too public on policy matters. It ain’t my thing.”

- Gerald North (email communication, October 2, 1998)

“In his article Sunday, Rob Bradley reminds us of the errors made about dire climate predictions proffered by some climate science outliers…. Virtually all of these dire predictions were never made or endorsed by the mainstream climate community of researchers in the field.”

- Gerald North, “Fringe Predictions,” Letter to the Editor, Houston Chronicle, April 1, 2008.

“So what is the argument about? The answer is policy…. [W]e both support balanced action to address the clear and present danger of climate change.”

- Andrew Dessler and Gerald North, “Climate Change is Real and Denial is Not About the Science,” San Antonio Express News, October 6, 2013.

If Texas A&M scientists calculated that an asteroid was heading our way, we would likely head for the hills with a lot of pills. But when Texas A&M climatologists warn of dangerous man-induced global warming and call for government action (think new taxes and regulation), many of us roll our eyes and watch our wallets.

We live in a postmodern world where emotion and desire substitute for reason and scholarship. With climate alarmism in deep trouble on a variety of data fronts, from temperature increase to sea-level rise to hurricane frequency and intensity, elder Texas A&M climate scientist Gerald North joined climate scientist/campaigner Andrew Dessler to write (sign on to?) a disingenuous opinion-page editorial for the San Antonio Express,Climate change is real and denial is not about the science.”

The Dessler/North wolf cries of recent years have been made in the face of growing contradictory evidence. While alarmism may have once gotten attention, the two are are now like the Enron carnival barkers of 2000/2001, proclaiming surety and shouting ‘you just don’t get it’ at the skeptics. Andy Dessler and Jerry North are, indeed, the smartest guys in the climate room.

Emotional Scientists, Bad Science [Read more →]

October 11, 2013   3 Comments

Climate Science Losing Alarm: Will The Mainstream Media Spin It Differently?

“What [new mainstream climate science developments] point to is the declining credibility of demands for cutting back CO2 emissions by switching from abundant, affordable, reliable fossil fuels to scarcer, more expensive, less reliable wind, solar, and biofuels, the effect of which would be higher energy costs and therefore higher costs for everything else—harming the world’s poor most of all.”

It is extremely likely that the most oft-cited statement from the recently leaked “Summary for Policymakers” (SPM) of the forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be:

It is extremely likely that human influence on climate caused more than half of the increase in global average surface temperature from 1951–2010.

Mainstream media and global warming enthusiasts will latch onto that. With little or no awareness of either its textual or its historical context, they will say, “There! See? The 2007 report said only ‘very likely’! This one says ‘extremely likely’! The science is settled! The debate is over! Give it up, you crazy deniers! It’s time, now, to make drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to prevent climate catastrophe!”

Indeed, alarmist climate scientist Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M has already tweeted: “Summary of upcoming IPCC report: ‘Exactly what we told you in 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 reports…’”

They will be seriously wrong.

Seriously wrong because, as I’ll explain:

(1) Describing the probability as “extremely likely” is, well, extremely likely to exaggerate;

(2) “[T]he increase in global average surface temperature from 1951–2010” is only about half what the IPCC led the world to believe in its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4, 2007); and

(3) The far more important claim in the SPM is that “equilibrium climate sensitivity” (ECS) “is likely in the range 1.5C to 4.5C …. The lower limit of the assessed likely range is thus less than the 2C in the [2007 report], reflecting the evidence from new studies.”

Let’s take those items in sequence—and bear with me through a few complicated technical matters. [Read more →]

September 18, 2013   3 Comments

Andrew Dessler Challenges Rick Perry: How Should Perry Respond?

I try not to play favorites between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to supporting or undermining the ideal of what Ludwig von Mises called the free and prosperous commonwealth. To this end, I have criticized Gov. Perry for his unfortunate windpower positions in Texas (see here and here), and I will do so again to the extent he buys into a government role in “green energy.”

Dessler Weighs In

A current spat is ongoing between Texas A&M climatologist Andrew Dessler and Perry, a front-runner for the Republican nomination for president of the United States, over global warming science and policy.

Dr. Dessler has written two opinion-page editorials published by the Houston Chronicle in recent months (July 10th and September 2nd) arguing that the science is settled in favor of climate alarm, meriting proactive public policy. And he takes pains to argue that he is an expert and real experts agree with him–knowing that the majority of the public does not trust his view. (The majority of nonclimate scientists, at least judging from the 37,000+ signatories here, also do not trust the climatologists, an interesting story in itself).

And with his out-there views, Dessler goes right after Gov. Perry, a fellow Texas Aggie and climate ‘skeptic’ (or ‘ultra-skeptic’).

In response to Dessler’s second op-ed, the Houston Chronicle  published my letter-to-the-editor last week. My (necessarily brief) submission read:

Climate scientist Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M makes a lawyer’s brief for climate alarmism and public policy activism. Gov. Perry would do well to make these points in refutation.

One, there is much we do not know about natural and/or human effects on climate, much of which points toward a benign if not positive view of future climate change.

Two, higher atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have many positive economic and ecological benefits, not only costs.

Three, economists cannot make a case for regulating carbon emissions short of (falsely) assuming the problem, the solution, and perfect government implementation of the solution.

And four, political attempts to curb fossil fuel usage are all pain and no gain.

In place of Big Brother, a far better approach would be to employ carbon-based energies to make us wealthier to deal with whatever future problems may arise—climate, weather or otherwise. [Read more →]

September 12, 2011   52 Comments