Make no myth-take about climate change risks

I have been an admirer of Richard Muller for some time, though I had no idea that he was among the climate change skeptics. One of the reasons I admire him is that he follows the evidence, and in doing so, he came to a conclusion opposite to what his funders had hoped for: “that the Berkeley (Earth Surface Temperature) project would conclude that global warming is a myth.” No myth. No myth-take!

That quote is from Paul Krugman’s column in today’s New York Times.

See this article in the Los Angeles Times for details on how Muller’s testimony has denialists in Congress scrambling to find ways to discredit a witness that they expected to support their point of view. They didn’t count on a scientist who is known for keeping an open mind and respecting the evidence regardless of whether it supports his initial inclinations.

To see how I treat this issue for young readers, read the climate modeling chapter in Seven Wonders of Exploration Technology (Twenty-First Century Books, 2010)

8 thoughts on “Make no myth-take about climate change risks”

  1. CO2 Climate Change causing unstoppable warming, will soon fade away to obscurity, keeping company with first year woman’s studies and pop culture university courses. Why you ask?
    Because American IPCC funding has been eliminated by the Senate and Obama didn’t even mention the CRISIS in his state of the union address and there is real talk now for criminal treason charges being laid against those in academia responsible for leading us to a false war against climate variation. And meanwhile, the UN had allowed carbon trading to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for just over 24 years of climate control instead of needed population control.
    If the heartless fear mongers had really loved the planet they would have been happy unstoppable warming was grossly exaggerated and therefore mankind’s worst crisis ever, was thankfully averted. Fear is always unsustainable.
    As for you criminals in the media and you lab coat consultants? History is noting that Scientists and journalists have done to science and journalism what abusive priests did for religion.
    History is watching.

  2. Thanks, Steve, for the correction, which has been made.

    As for ease of formatting, I am at the mercy of WordPress software. Please direct your comments about that to Ben ([email protected]).

    I approved Meme Mime’s comment despite the fact that it is in his/her usual overblown and inflammatory language (“heartless fear mongers”, “criminals in the media”). I have learned not to get into discussions with that person since s/he, unlike Richard Muller, does not keep an open mind.

    I hope others who enter into discussion here will be more civil.

    Fred Bortz

  3. Sorry, Fred, but it is a myth and absolute nonsense to pretend that Earth’s climate is immune to Earth’s heat source – the Sun [1-3].

    As a former graduate student and postdoctoral fellow at UC-Berkeley (1962-1964), I hated to see the reputation of that great institution blemished – like the UN’s IPCC and the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee – by less than scientific pronouncements on CO2-induced global warming.

    1. “Superfluidity in the solar interior: Implications for solar eruptions and climate,” Journal of Fusion Energy 21 (2002) 193-198.

    2. “Earth’s heat source – the Sun,” Energy & Environment 20 (2009) 131-144.

    3. “Neutron Repulsion,” The APEIRON Journal, in press (2011) 19 pages.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

    • I approved Oliver Manuel’s standard pitch, even though his main purpose is to persuade people that the sun has an iron core, which he connects to an extreme global-warming skepticism bordering on denialism. Search Science Blog for his name and you’ll find our previous discussions.

      I have no intention of repeating those discussions here or accepting a second comment from Dr. Manuel on this thread.

  4. It is worth noting that, as refreshing as it is to see Dr. Muller’s objectivity, the whole temperature analysis arena is not the totality of climate change. Like a pot of ice and water on a hot plate, increased heat retention may not show up as a temperature increase … which is why Climate Change is preferred over Warming.

  5. I’m not a scientist… but I was surprised to read this: “the initial assessment is based on only 2% of the 1.6 billion measurements that will eventually be examined.”

    If only 2% of the temperature data set has been assessed, it’s it a bit premature to jump to conclusions?

    • Bob, depending on how large the data set is, a two percent sample can give a very good picture. Consider political polling. If the sample is representative, then the predictions can be quite good. In this case, they probably selected a sample that was most likely to show an effect if there was one.

      But note that Muller and colleagues have not yet published their results. If Congress had waited, the answer would have been more definitive.

      For an interesting and entertaining book that discusses sampling and politics, look at my review of Proofiness by Charles Seife.

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