In Wednesday’s Leaders’ Statement on a North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership, President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and Mexican President Pena Nieto agreed, “to work together to implement the historic Paris Agreement, supporting our goal to limit temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees C.”
Obama told Canada’s Parliament, “This is the only planet we’ve got, and this may be the last shot we’ve got to save it!”
Underlying such assertions is the unjustified belief that climate science is well understood. According to Obama, Trudeau, and Pena Nieto, a global warming catastrophe awaits if we do not reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by quickly moving away from fossil fuels.
Yet thousands of highly qualified, independent scientists do not share this opinion. Besides their scientific publications, they have made their views known through countless newspaper editorials and open letters. Perhaps the most straight-forward was the Climate Scientists Register of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC). In the space of only three days in 2010, 142 climate experts from 22 countries endorsed the following statement:
“We, the undersigned, having assessed the relevant scientific evidence, do not find convincing support for the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide are causing, or will in the foreseeable future cause, dangerous global warming.”
Among the 64 signatories from the United States were Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Professor of Physics, Founding Director, International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska; Robert W. Durrenberger, former Arizona State Climatologist and President of the American Association of State Climatologists, Professor Emeritus of Geography, Arizona State University; William Happer, Professor of Physics, Princeton University; and Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Many scientists told ICSC that they agreed with the Register but feared reprisals from their employers or activists if they publicly endorsed the statement.
Such concerns are not unjustified. Two of ICSC’s scientists have had death threats and there have been cases of academic dismissal for espousing politically incorrect views on climate change. In recent months, we have see attempts by state legislators in California and 16 state attorneys general to criminalize some forms of ‘climate change denial.’ On June 25, the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee unanimously agreed to call for the Department of Justice to investigate corporations who disagree with political correctness on climate science.