A panel of prominent scientists debunked one of the most popular global warming arguments ahead of a major United Nations climate summit to take place in Paris later this month.
The scientists slammed policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as “nonsense,” and they criticized politicians and activists for claiming the world was on the path for catastrophic global warming.
“The most important thing to keep in mind is — when you ask ‘is it warming, is it cooling’, etc. — is that we are talking about something tiny (temperature changes) and that is the crucial point,” Dr. Richard Lindzen, a veteran climate scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“We are speaking of small changes 0.25 Celcius would be about 51% of the recent warming and that strongly suggests a low and inconsequential climate sensitivity — meaning no problem at all,” said Lindzen, who is also a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute.
President Barack Obama and his activist allies are calling for U.N. delegates to sign onto a global treaty to reduce CO2 emissions. Obama has been heavily pushing for this treaty for the past year or so, even lobbying the Chinese government to sign onto an agreement.
“Policies to slow CO2 emissions are really based on nonsense,” Dr. Will Happer, a physicist at Princeton University, said during the panel Thursday hosted by the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation.
“They are all based on computer models that do not work. We are being led down a false path,” Happer argued.
Scientists and environmentalists have added urgency to the U.N. climate summit by arguing 2015 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record based on surface temperature readings. Scientists warned this month Earth has warmed 1 degree Celsius since the late 1800s.
But Lindzen and his fellow panelists said claims of the hottest year on record are “nonsense” because there’s so much uncertainty surrounding surface temperature readings — especially since scientists often make lots of adjustments to weather station readings.
“When someone points to this and says this is the warmest temperature on record. What are they talking about? It’s just nonsense,” Lindzen said. “This is a very tiny change period. And they are arguing over hundredths of a degree when it is uncertain in tenths of a degree.”
“And the proof that the uncertainty is tenths of a degree are the adjustments that are being made,” Lindzen added. “If you can adjust temperatures to 2/10ths of a degree, it means it wasn’t certain to 2/10ths of a degree.”
As the world speeds towards Paris, Republicans have ramped up efforts to stop President Obama from being able to carry out his global warming agenda and impose a U.N. treaty on Americans.
Senate Republicans have passed two resolutions opposing carbon dioxide regulations on power plants, and lawmakers introduced a resolution opposed to any U.N. agreement Obama signs onto at the Paris climate summit.
“We are dealing with pure political propaganda that has nothing to do with science,” Dr. Patrick Moore, an ecologist and the co-founder of Greenpeace, said of attempts to fight global warming during Thursday’s panel.
“We know for absolute certain that carbon dioxide is the stuff of life, the foundation for life on earth,” Moore said. “CO2 has provided the basis of life for at least 3.5 billion years.”
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