9 June 2010

Law professor cross-examines case for global warming

The legal profession has been in the vanguard of the global warming stampede for obvious reasons: it is the gift that keeps on giving them fat fees and consultancies. Now Professor Jason Scott Johnston, Director of the Program on Law, Environment and Economy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, has applied his analytical skills to a 'cross-examination' of the scientific case for man-made global warming, and found it starkly wanting. This took a great deal of professional courage. The whole report can be downloaded here; the following is from the executive summary, emphasis added:

A review of the peer-edited literature reveals a systematic tendency of the climate establishment to engage in a variety of stylized rhetorical techniques that seem to oversell what is actually known about climate change while concealing fundamental uncertainties and open questions regarding many of the key processes involved in climate change. Fundamental open questions include not only the size but the direction of feedback effects that are responsible for the bulk of the temperature increase predicted to result from atmospheric greenhouse gas increases: while climate models all presume that such feedback effects are on balance strongly positive, more and more peer-edited scientific papers seem to suggest that feedback effects may be small or even negative. The cross-examination conducted in this paper reveals many additional areas where the peer-edited literature seems to conflict with the picture painted by establishment climate science, ranging from the magnitude of 20th century surface temperature increases and their relation to past temperatures; the possibility that inherent variability in the earth’s non-linear climate system, and not increases in CO2, may explain observed late 20th century warming; the ability of climate models to actually explain past temperatures; and, finally, substantial doubt about the methodological validity of models used to make highly publicized predictions of global warming impacts such as species loss.

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