A conversation with Dr. Gordon Fulks about his article "Utter Honesty" (following) and my exchanges with an Arthur Smith and Dr. David Archer in "What Do You No?"
'Utter honesty' needed from climate scientists by Gordon J. Fulks, Doctorate in Physics from the University of Chicago, Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research
Monday, May 3rd 2010.
Albert Einstein spoke for all who view science as a noble profession when he said he was "trying to understand the mind of God."
But I am concerned that many who promote the idea of catastrophic global warming reduce science to a political and economic game. Scare tactics and junk science are used to secure lucrative government contracts.
Consider first an example of what makes science so fascinating. The well-documented observation that the global temperature peaks every summer in July seems unremarkable to those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere.
But it is remarkable when you realize that the Earth's closest approach to the sun, when sunlight is strongest, occurs during the Southern Hemisphere summer in January. It is even more remarkable when you realize that the Earth was significantly warmer 10,000 years ago when its closest approach coincided with the Northern Hemisphere summer.
It is still more remarkable when you realize that we are now close to an orbital configuration for another ice age. The present warm Holocene interglacial period, during which human civilization has flourished, may give way by the end of this millennium to 90,000 years of cold. Climate changes from orbital variations are called Milankovitch Cycles and are confirmed by Antarctic ice core data. Typically, good science is not particularly controversial because it has been tested by the scientific method involving theories validated by observations made by many scientists working independently.
The ClimateGate scandal revealed that this method can be easily scammed. In that case, prominent scientists with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were caught conspiring to circumvent normal checks and balances in their research. They were compensating for their lack of honest evidence linking man-made carbon dioxide to global warming by doctoring data, refusing to disclose analysis techniques, bullying any who questioned them and working to silence critics.
Early hints of the developing scandal surfaced when British researcher Keith Briffa was forced by the Royal Society to release his Siberian tree ring data purporting to show a dramatic temperature rise in the 20th century. Astonishingly, he substantially relied on a single tree, far different from all others. It was a clear case of selecting data to support his viewpoint. This may be acceptable politics, but to me, it is scientific fraud.
Subsequent disclosures confirmed widespread participation in data manipulation. Others are involved in touting climate models as substitutes for honest data and as predictors of catastrophe. These far-from-rigorous computer simulations are said to "prove" that carbon dioxide is the only explanation for recent short-term warming, despite substantial evidence that ocean and solar cycles are largely responsible.
The connection to an $80 billion government gravy train should have alerted our media to conflicts of interest. But they were too dazzled by the so-called "experts" and too sold on the politics to realize that these scientists had been corrupted by the age-old problems of money and power.
A recent editorial in the journal Nature admits that implicated scientists are scared. They know that honest mistakes are typically forgiven but fraud is not. The editorial urges them to fight back with a war of words: "The core science supporting anthropogenic global warming has not changed." Such a bluff can succeed only if the public remains ignorant that the core is rotten.
The political and economic empire is already striking back. We are beginning to see blue ribbon commissions of carefully chosen "experts" whose job is to exonerate the guilty and get global warming hysteria back on track. A better approach is to embrace what the Nobel laureate in physics, Richard Feynman, called "utter honesty." Implicated scientists are aware of what honest data show. Increased carbon dioxide has, at most, a minor effect on global temperature and is highly beneficial to our green natural world.
All plants and animals owe their very existence to carbon dioxide. Scientific scandals inevitably require significant corrective measures to restore objectivity, including in this case, major revisions to the way we support scientific research.
Gordon J. Fulks of Corbett holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago, Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your beautiful column "Utter honesty..."
Frankly - I can't remember if I emailed you my exchange with Dr. David Archer and an Arthur Smith. If redundant, please forgive. If not, your observation would be greatly appreciated. Roni
Dear Mr. Bell,
Sorry to take so long to answer you. I got your similar e-mail on May 3 and have not had a chance to consider it. I have had more responses to my Op-Ed than I can handle in a thoughtful fashion. But thank you for reminding me. I will get back to you shortly.
Gordon J. Fulks, PhD
Corbett, Oregon USA
I do understand.
ps: I'm an old woman.
To: Roni Bell
Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 4:10 PM
Subject: RE: Dr. Fulks - re: Utter honesty...
Oops, I addressed you incorrectly. I suppose I should have said "Mrs. Roni Bell Sylvester." Judging from your picture, if you are old, then I am ancient!
I cannot give you any feedback on the individuals you were corresponding with at the University of Chicago, because I do not know them. I have been gone from the U of C for many years and was in the Department of Physics (Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research) as a student in the 1960's and 1970's not in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences. At one time I knew several of the meteorologists in what was once the Department of Meteorology, which I think became Geophysical Sciences. I worked for the famous Professor Tetsuya Fujita for a while. They were absolutely outstanding people in every respect and would never have called a highly respected colleague "a liar." Such bad behavior is so common today and so unacceptable.
I have found the same problem that you have found: an almost complete refusal of those promoting catastrophic Global Warming to engage in any sort of public forum where their orthodoxy might be questioned. The reason is simple: they know they will lose. The average guy will simply not put up with their "trust us, we are the experts" routine. That is especially true when he can look out the window and see that there is nothing unusual going on. The climate is always changing for many good solid natural reasons. If someone wants to claim a significant effect from the small man-made contributions to the total carbon-cycle, he must sort out all the natural factors first. And in the end, he must demonstrate a positive correlation between increased CO2 and global temperature. That was possible from about 1920 to 1940 and from 1977 to 1998 but not otherwise.
Incidentally, man-made production of CO2 declined during the Depression but atmospheric CO2 and air temperature continued to rise. Then when we ramped up industrial production after WW2 and increased our output of CO2, the global temperature actually went down for three decades. The first temperature peak the we observed in the 20th century during the "Dust Bowl" of the 1930's was very similar to the peak reached in 1998. Conditions changed back to the warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation in 1977 with what has become known as the "Great Pacific Climate Shift." Now they have flipped again to the cool phase.
Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT likes to point out that we live on a fluid planet with vast oceans and atmosphere that are never in complete equilibrium. That is a very good way of understanding why conditions fluctuate so much day to day, year to year, and even decade to decade. Still longer variations are likely the result of solar and orbital variations. Astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon of Harvard knows a lot about the solar variations. You can access his most recent talk (PowerPoint slides) at the 4th International Conference on Climate Change by going to:
I also suggest looking at the work of Habibullo Abdussamatov, Dr. Sci., an outstanding Russian Astrophysicist. There are a great many other excellent talks that can be downloaded. They cover everything from the Science of Global Warming to the Economics and Public Policy. The sponsor of this event made no attempt to censor any point of view, as is frequently the case when promoters of GW sponsor an event.
I hope this answers your questions.
Gordon J. Fulks, PhD
Corbett, Oregon USA
P.S. You are welcome to forward or post this e-mail as you wish. I try not to say anything in private that I would not be willing to defend in public. That is all part of being a responsible citizen.
P.S. #2 Arthur Smith's comment about everyone agreeing that "man makes climate change." is ridiculous. No self-respecting scientist, let alone Richard Lindzen, will sign up for such a sweeping statement. Lindzen would probably agree that man has had a few very limited effects like the "Urban Heat Island Effect" but not more. Man has a minor effect on the earth's climate despite an enormous ego that keeps him that he is all-important.
I am honored by your thoughtful, beautiful response.
You make it all so easy to understand.
Yesterday, at a panel discussion in Denver, I wanted to shout out to the legislators, governor and private businesses, "STOP MAKING POLICIES USING CLIMATE AS YOUR BASIS!" But - I was a coward and didn't say a peep. It was noisy in my car all 60 miles back home, as I scolded myself for my silence.
Will post on my blog, and pray intelligent folks with dispassionate eyes will read...take heart...then take action!
So many lies and wrongs to right...
Thank you Dr. Fulk. Your grace and dignity shine.
A request for Dr.'s Willie Soon and David Legates, and Leon Coffee to speak at East High School, Denver.
Attention: Margaret Bobb
East High School
Dear Margaret, May 18, 2010
Respective of the recent visit to East High School by the Alliance for Climate Education http://planetgreen.discovery.com/work-connect/climate-change-presentation-highschool.html
we would appreciate your consideration of scheduling Dr. Willie Soon (Astrophysicist), Dr. David Legates (Climatologist), and when available - Leon Coffee ( Rodeo Clown Bullfighter).
Though it's possible they will give students truth and facts contraire to Bridget Jankovsky's May 12th presentation, we believe you'll agree un-edited education is paramount. Providing the whole picture sharpens anyone's ability to think critically and make wholly informed, healthier decisions.
To learn more about and read papers by Dr. Soon and Dr. Legates, please go to www.LandAndWaterUSA.com
We're in the process of arranging school visits in the Rocky Mountain Region for Dr. Soon, Dr. Legates and Mr. Coffee.
To get the best results, please consider an hour for each, plus one hour for Q & A (The most important part!).
As the oldest high school in Colorado, and one that is exceptionally equitable in presenting all sides of issues, East High School is the perfect place to begin!
We're looking at October 2010. Please let us know which days will work for you.
Roni Bell Sylvester
Volunteer Editor www.LandAndWaterUSA.com
Because we believe open dialogue is essential to honest well-rounded education,
sender and receiver of this email may use as publically as they so choose.
If respondent prefers confidentiality, please note so. Requested confidentiality will be honored.
The Greenies have hijacked the minds of several generations of our youth via the publicly funded educational system..
Bravo for initiating accurate educational information as a counterbalance to the enviro propaganda.
In an ideal world, tax payers could and most assuredly should be allowed to demand a return of their hard earned tax dollars or at the very least seek prosecution for the misappropriation of funds when the education system blatantly endorses misinformation without engaging in the proper "due diligence" to discern the facts.
In other words, a way to hold the NEA's feet to the fire.
M. Sue Hollis
You make some interesting points I really need to think on.
Specially after listening to our CO Atty General Suthers this morning.
Gave him my card and told him I'd post anything he sends for LAW USA.