Sixty scientists call on Harper to revisit
the science of global warming
April 15, 2006
An open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper:
Dear Prime Minister:
As accredited experts in climate and related scientific disciplines, we are writing to propose that balanced, comprehensive public-consultation sessions be held so as to examine the scientific foundation of the federal government's climate-change plans. This would be entirely consistent with your recent commitment to conduct a review of the Kyoto Protocol. Although many of us made the same suggestion to then-prime ministers Martin and Chrétien, neither responded, and, to date, no formal, independent climate-science review has been conducted in Canada. Much of the billions of dollars earmarked for implementation of the protocol in Canada will be squandered, without a proper assessment of recent developments in climate science.
Observational evidence does not support today's computer climate models, so there is little reason to trust model predictions of the future. Yet, this is precisely what the United Nations did in creating and promoting Kyoto, and still does in the alarmist forecasts on which Canada's climate policies are based. Even if the climate models were realistic, the environmental impact of Canada delaying implementation of Kyoto or other greenhouse-gas reduction schemes, pending completion of consultations, would be insignificant. Directing your government to convene balanced, open hearings as soon as possible would be a most prudent and responsible course of action.
While the confident pronouncements of scientifically unqualified environmental groups may provide for sensational headlines, they are no basis for mature policy formulation. The study of global climate change is, as you have said, an "emerging science," one that is perhaps the most complex ever tackled. It may be many years yet before we properly understand the Earth's climate system. Nevertheless, significant advances have been made since the Protocol was created, many of which are taking us away from a concern about increasing greenhouse gases. If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary.
We appreciate the difficulty any government has ,formulating sensible science-based policy, when the loudest voices always seem to be pushing in the opposite direction. However, by convening open, unbiased consultations, Canadians will be permitted to hear from experts on both sides of the debate in the climate-science community. When the public comes to understand that there is no "consensus" among climate scientists about the relative importance of the various causes of global climate change, the government will be in a far better position to develop plans that reflect reality, and so benefit both the environment and the economy.
"Climate change is real" is a meaningless phrase, used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming, and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes all the time, due to natural causes, and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural "noise." The new Canadian government's commitment to reducing air, land, and water pollution is commendable, but allocating funds to "stopping climate change" would be irrational. We need to continue intensive research into the real causes of climate change, and help our most vulnerable citizens adapt to whatever nature throws at us next.
We believe the Canadian public and government decision-makers need and deserve to hear the whole story concerning this very complex issue. It was only 30 years ago that many of today's global-warming alarmists were telling us that the world was in the midst of a global-cooling catastrophe. But, the science continued to evolve, and still does, even though so many choose to ignore it, when it does not fit with predetermined political agendas.
We hope that you will examine our proposal carefully, and we stand willing and able to furnish you with more information on this crucially important topic.
CC: The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Environment, and the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources
- Dr. Ian D. Clark, professor, isotope hydrogeology and paleoclimatology, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa.
- Dr. Tad Murty, former senior research scientist, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, former director of Australia's National Tidal Facility, and professor of earth sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide; currently adjunct professor, Departments of Civil Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa.
- Dr. R. Timothy Patterson, professor, Department of Earth Sciences (paleoclimatology), Carleton University, Ottawa.
- Dr. Fred Michel, director, Institute of Environmental Science and associate professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Carleton University, Ottawa.
- Dr. Madhav Khandekar, former research scientist, Environment Canada. Member of editorial board of Climate Research and Natural Hazards.
- Dr. Paul Copper, FRSC, professor emeritus, Department of Earth Sciences, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario.
- Dr. Ross McKitrick, associate professor, Department of Economics, University of Guelph, Ontario.
- Dr. Tim Ball, former professor of climatology, University of Winnipeg; environmental consultant.
- Dr. Andreas Prokocon, adjunct professor of earth sciences, University of Ottawa; consultant in statistics and geology.
- Mr. David Nowell, M.Sc. (Meteorology), fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, Canadian member, and past chairman of the NATO Meteorological Group, Ottawa.
- Dr. Christopher Essex, professor of applied mathematics and associate director of the Program in Theoretical Physics, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario.
- Dr. Gordon E. Swaters, professor of applied mathematics, Department of Mathematical Sciences, and member, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Research Group, University of Alberta.
- Dr. L. Graham Smith, associate professor, Department of Geography, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario.
- Dr. G. Cornelis van Kooten, professor and Canada Research Chair in environmental studies and climate change, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
- Dr. Peter Chylek, adjunct professor, Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax.
- Dr./Cdr. M. R. Morgan, FRMS, climate consultant, former meteorology advisor to the World Meteorological Organization. Previously research scientist in climatology at University of Exeter, U.K.
- Dr. Keith D. Hage, climate consultant and professor emeritus of Meteorology, University of Alberta.
- Dr. David E. Wojick, P.Eng., energy consultant, Star Tannery, Virginia, and Sioux Lookout, Ontario.
- Rob Scagel, M.Sc., forest microclimate specialist, principal consultant, Pacific Phytometric Consultants, Surrey, B.C.
- Dr. Douglas Leahey, meteorologist and air-quality consultant, Calgary.
- Paavo Siitam, M.Sc., agronomist, chemist, Cobourg, Ontario.
- Dr. Chris de Freitas, climate scientist, associate professor, The University of Auckland, N.Z.
- Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Dr. Freeman J. Dyson, emeritus professor of physics, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, New Jersey.
- Mr. George Taylor, Department of Meteorology, Oregon State University; Oregon State climatologist; past president, American Association of State Climatologists.
- Dr. Ian Plimer, professor of geology, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide; emeritus professor of earth sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia.
- Dr. R.M. Carter, professor, Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.
- Mr. William Kininmonth, Australasian Climate Research, former Head National Climate Centre, Australian Bureau of Meteorology; former Australian delegate to World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology, Scientific and Technical Review.
- Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, former director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute.
- Dr. Gerrit J. van der Lingen, geologist/paleoclimatologist, Climate Change Consultant, Geoscience Research and Investigations, New Zealand.
- Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, professor of environmental sciences, University of Virginia.
- Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner, emeritus professor of paleogeophysics and geodynamics, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
- Dr. Gary D. Sharp, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study, Salinas, California.
- Dr. Roy W. Spencer, principal research scientist, Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama, Huntsville.
- Dr. Al Pekarek, associate professor of geology, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Dept., St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota.
- Dr. Marcel Leroux, professor emeritus of climatology, University of Lyon, France; former director of Laboratory of Climatology, Risks and Environment, CNRS
- Dr. Paul Reiter, professor, Institut Pasteur, Unit of Insects and Infectious Diseases, Paris, France. Expert reviewer, IPCC Working group II, chapter 8 (human health).
- Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, physicist and chairman, Scientific Council of Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, Warsaw, Poland.
- Dr. Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, reader, Department of Geography, University of Hull, U.K.; editor, Energy and Environment.
- Dr. Hans H.J. Labohm, former advisor to the executive board, Clingendael Institute (The Netherlands Institute of International Relations), and an economist who has focused on climate change.
- Dr. Lee C. Gerhard, senior scientist emeritus, University of Kansas, past director and state geologist, Kansas Geological Survey.
- Dr. Asmunn Moene, past head of the Forecasting Centre, Meteorological Institute, Norway.
- Dr. August H. Auer, past professor of atmospheric science, University of Wyoming; previously chief meteorologist, Meteorological Service (MetService) of New Zealand.
- Dr. Vincent Gray, expert reviewer for the IPCC, and author of The Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of "Climate Change 2001," Wellington, N.Z.
- Dr. Howard Hayden, emeritus professor of physics, University of Connecticut.
- Dr. Benny Peiser, professor of social anthropology, Faculty of Science, Liverpool John Moores University, U.K.
- Dr. Jack Barrett, chemist and spectroscopist, formerly with Imperial College London, U.K.
- Dr. William J.R. Alexander, professor emeritus, Dept. of Civil and Biosystems Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Member, United Nations Scientific and Technical Committee on Natural Disasters, 1994-2000
- Dr. S. Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences, University of Virginia; former director, U.S. Weather Satellite Service.
- Dr. Harry N.A. Priem, emeritus professor of planetary geology and isotope geophysics, Utrecht University; former director of the Netherlands Institute for Isotope Geosciences; past president of the Royal Netherlands Geological & Mining Society.
- Dr. Robert H. Essenhigh, E.G. Bailey professor of energy conversion, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University.
- Dr. Sallie Baliunas, astrophysicist and climate researcher, Boston, Mass.
- Douglas Hoyt, senior scientist at Raytheon (retired) and co-author of the book, The Role of the Sun in Climate Change; previously with NCAR, NOAA, and the World Radiation Center, Davos, Switzerland.
- Dipl.-Ing. Peter Dietze, independent energy advisor and scientific climate and carbon modeller, official IPCC reviewer, Bavaria, Germany.
- Dr. Boris Winterhalter, senior marine researcher (retired), Geological Survey of Finland, former professor in marine geology, University of Helsinki, Finland.
- Dr. Wibjörn Karlén, emeritus professor, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden.
- Dr. Hugh W. Ellsaesser, physicist/meteorologist, previously with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California; atmospheric consultant.
- Dr. Art Robinson, founder, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, Cave Junction, Oregon.
- Dr. Arthur Rörsch, emeritus professor of molecular genetics, Leiden University, The Netherlands; past board member, Netherlands organization for applied research (TNO) in environmental, food, and public health.
- Dr. Alister McFarquhar, Downing College, Cambridge, U.K.; international economist.
- Dr. Richard S. Courtney, climate and atmospheric science consultant, IPCC expert reviewer, U.K.