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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Co-founder of IPCC authors "Carbon Dioxide: The Good News"

Indur Goklany co-founded the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, perhaps thinking it would be about science and not politics. As the IPCC has veered off the rails become a propagandist front for those pushing worldwide socialism, real scientists jumped ship and opportunists like Michael Mann have jumped on board.

Goklany finally had it and has published "Carbon Dioxide: The Good News" online. He got Freeman Dyson to write the forward. Dyson is the man who proved Robert Oppenheimer wrong. Richard Feynman mentored Dyson, and Albert Einstein was a colleague at Princeton.

"Indur Goklany has assembled a massive collection of evidence to demonstrate two facts. First, the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide are dominant over the climatic effects and are overwhelmingly beneficial. Second, the climatic effects observed in the real world are much less damaging than the effects predicted by the climate models, and have also been frequently beneficial. I am hoping that the scientists and politicians who have been blindly demonizing carbon dioxide for 37 years will one day open their eyes and look at the evidence. Goklany and I do not claim to be infallible. Like the climate-model experts, we have also evolved recently from the culture of the cave-children. Like them, we have inherited our own set of prejudices and blindnesses. Truth emerges when different groups of explorers listen to each other’s stories and correct each other’s mistakes," Dyson wrote in his forward.

I read it quickly and thought, geez, this is what I have been thinking all along. Like the child who said the emperor had no clothes on, I have been saying carbon dioxide is a nutrient, not a pollutant. Only in the hyper-partisan world of the Democratic Party does this good news become bad.

The book is available as a PDF.

Its summary:
1. This paper addresses the question of whether, and how much, increased carbon dioxide concentrations have benefited the biosphere and humanity by stimulating plant growth, warming the planet and increasing rainfall. 
2. Empirical data confirms that the biosphere’s productivity has increased by about 14% since 1982, in large part as a result of rising carbon dioxide levels. 
3. Thousands of scientific experiments indicate that increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the air have contributed to increases in crop yields. 
4. These increases in yield are very likely to have reduced the appropriation of land for farming by 11–17% compared with what it would otherwise be, resulting in more land being left wild. 
5. Satellite evidence confirms that increasing carbon dioxide concentrations have also resulted in greater productivity of wild terrestrial ecosystems in all vegetation types. 
6. Increasing carbon dioxide concentrations have also increased the productivity of many marine ecosystems. 
7. In recent decades, trends in climate-sensitive indicators of human and environmental wellbeing have improved and continue to do so despite claims that they would deteriorate because of global warming. 
8. Compared with the benefits from carbon dioxide on crop and biosphere productivity, the adverse impacts of carbon dioxide – on the frequency and intensity of extreme weather, on sea level, vector-borne disease prevalence and human health – have been too small to measure or have been swamped by other factors. 
9. Models used to influence policy on climate change have overestimated the rate of warming, underestimated direct benefits of carbon dioxide, overestimated the harms from climate change and underestimated human capacity to adapt so as to capture the benefits while reducing the harms. 
10. It is very likely that the impact of rising carbon dioxide concentrations is currently net beneficial for both humanity and the biosphere generally. These benefits are real, whereas the costs of warming are uncertain. Halting the increase in carbon dioxide concentrations abruptly would deprive people and the planet of the benefits of carbon dioxide much sooner than they would reduce any costs of warming.
Politicizing science is the only ill-effect of carbon dioxide rising.

We can pretend that the carbon dioxide barons bought off Goklany, but Dyson is 91 and does not need this noise. He studied climatology back in the 1970s.

Born on December 15, 1923, in Berkshire, England, Dyson made waves after World War II by explaining in lectures Richard Feynman's theory of quantum electrodynamics in a manner that converted Oppenheimer, who rewarded Dyson with a lifetime appointment at the Institute for Advanced Study, "for proving me wrong."

That was in 1949. Dyson was 26. He didn't have a doctorate, and there he is at Princeton working in the same department as another lifetime appointee, Albert Einstein.

Dyson became a U.S. citizen in 1957.

Andrew Orlowski of The Register this week posted his interview with Dyson. An exchange:
ORLOWSKI: It's now difficult for scientists to have frank and honest input into public debates. Prof Brian Cox, who is the public face of physics in the UK thanks to the BBC, has said he has no obligation to listen to "deniers," or to any other views other than the orthodoxy.
DYSON: That's a problem, but still I find that I have things to say and people do listen to me, and people have no particular complaints. It's very sad that in this country, political opinion parted [people's views on climate change]. I'm 100 per cent Democrat myself, and I like Obama. But he took the wrong side on this issue, and the Republicans took the right side. 
ORLOWSKI: Because the big growing countries need fossil fuels, the political goal of mitigation, by reducing or redirecting industrial activity and consumer behaviour, now seems quite futile in the West.
DYSON: China and India rely on coal to keep growing, so they'll clearly be burning coal in huge amounts. They need that to get rich. Whatever the rest of the world agrees to, China and India will continue to burn coal, so the discussion is quite pointless. At the same time, coal is very unpleasant stuff, and there are problems with coal quite apart from climate. I remember in England when we burned coal, everything was filthy. It was really bad, and that's the way it is now in China, but you can clean that up as we did in England. It takes a certain amount of political willpower, and that takes time. Pollution is quite separate to the climate problem: one can be solved, and the other cannot, and the public doesn't understand that.
ORLOWSKI: Have you heard of the phrase "virtue signalling"? The UK bureaucracy made climate change its foreign policy priority, and we heard a lot of the phrase "leading the world in the fight ..." and by doing so, it seemed to be making a public declaration of its goodness and virtue ...
DYSON: No [laughs]. Well, India and China aren't buying that. When you go beyond 50 years, everything will change. As far as the next 50 years are concerned, there are two main forces of energy, which are coal and shale gas. Emissions have been going down in the US while they've going up in Europe, and that's because of shale gas. It's only half the carbon dioxide emissions of coal. China may in fact be able to develop shale gas on a big scale and that means they burn a lot less coal. It seems complete madness to prohibit shale gas. You wondered if climate change is an Anglophone preoccupation. Well, France is even more dogmatic than Britain about shale gas!
Dyson is known as a contrarian. Other contrarians in science include Newton, Franklin, and of course, Einstein and Feynman. Scientists are supposed to be skeptics.


  1. Another great post contrasting genius, sincerity and integrity with mediocrity, deception and fanaticism. It is an ancient conflict that has usually resolved in favor of the better angels but this particular struggle has engaged the self perpetuating secular power of government like no other. I hope Dyson live to be a 100 and sees some positive results from his honesty and common sense .

  2. Lefties have their eyes on a new source of taxation in carbon taxes, and there isn't a chance in hell they're gonna let go of that bone.

  3. And don't forget the Aiustrailian who deciphered the IPCC's climate model math to determine it had errors. And the results, which a few errors corrected, yield almost neutral results and 10X over estimations.