Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Dear Professor Williams: The Providence Journal kindly forwarded the letter you sent me, regarding my recent article in the ProJo. You obviously feel strongly about global warming and energy issues. I hope you will also feel there is a need for discussion and debate, in your classrooms and public forums – as a basic constitutional right … and the foundation of a free and informed citizenry. Frankly, I’m a bit surprised that you (a college chemistry professor with a deep interest in climate issues) aren’t aware of the many climate, meteorology and other experts who disagree with manmade climate crisis claims. Those I know on a first-name basis include Tim Ball, Bob Carter, John Christy, Richard Courtney, Piers Corbyn, Joe D’Aleo, Bill Gray, Craig Idso, Richard Keen, David Legates, Dick Lindzen, Pat Michaels, Harrison Schmitt, Fred Singer, Willie Soon, Roy Spencer, George Taylor and Anthony Watts. All are honorable, honest, dedicated professionals, who have devoted many years to studying climate issues and trying to raise public awareness about them. The US Senate has published a report listing over 700 climatologists who challenge manmade global warming fears. Lawrence Solomon’s book, The Deniers, provides in-depth bios and discussions of their views. The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine has a list of 31,000 people with bachelor, master’s and PhD degrees in natural sciences, who likewise disagree with claims that humans and carbon dioxide are causing a climate disaster. A group of 60 German scientists recently issued an Open Letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel challenging manmade global warming fears. The Leipzig Declaration, a 2008 letter from Canadian scientists and other documents provide further examples. On the other side of the ledger, three of the most prominent advocates of human-caused climate disaster don’t even have science backgrounds. Rajenda Pachauri is an economist and railroad engineer; Yvo de Boer is a social worker; and Al Gore took just two college science courses, getting a C in one and a D in the other, according to the Washington Post. As to peer-reviewed publications contesting climate alarmism, you can find a few on Arctic ice conditions here – and get numerous others by going online to sites like WattsUpWithThat; contacting some of the scientists I just mentioned; reading Solomon’s book and the new NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change) report; or just use google to find dozens, or even hundreds of studies. You can find the “sham report” at http://www.blogger.com/ – and sharp critiques of it posted on http://www.blogger.com/ and Roger Pielke’s website. As to my professional status, I studied geology, ecology and environmental law, and have been doing energy and climate policy work for 15 years – as an analyst, writer and educator. I am not and never have been a lobbyist. ExxonMobil did give money to organizations where I’ve worked but doesn’t now, and gave a significant portion of that money for anti-malaria work. Ironically, the $23-million total that Exxon gave to think tanks for energy, environment, climate and disease work between 1989 and 2009 is a mere 1/3,400 of the $79 billion that the US government alone has given to scientists, bureaucrats and activists for global warming work since 1989, the vast majority of it to support research and reports that support manmade crisis claims. If $23 million is enough to “buy” the expertise of skeptics, one shudders to think what $79 billion would do. As you are a college professor, I am truly disappointed that you would engage almost solely in ad hominem attacks on me, and that you seem to be poorly versed in the wide range of studies that have been and continue to be conducted on climate change. As carbon dioxide levels have continued to rise, global average temperatures have been declining, hurricanes are not increasing, evidence for a manmade crisis has been increasingly challenged, and the role of natural forces in recent warming and cooling has become increasingly clear and accepted. I’m sure you know that Al Gore collects a six-figure honorarium every time he speaks, while refusing to debate anyone or even take questions that have not been vetted ahead of time. By contrast, when I speak on college campuses, I accept tiny honorariums and am happy to respond to any questions from any attendee, including Greenpeace activists. This is the essence of free speech and open, robust debate, as our Founding Fathers intended. Al Gore clearly does not support these principles. I hope you do, despite the tone of your letter. I am personally in full accord with a letter recently published in the BYU student paper. Institutions of higher learning, wrote PhD geologist and retired astronaut Harrison Schmitt and five other climate scientists, “should promote the seeking of truth. Similarly, science is an objective assessment of hypotheses, by testing concepts against actual data and observations; it is not a matter of votes, popularity or virtual unanimity. We are all harmed, if we allow our universities or our science to be politicized.” I hope you also agree. In closing, I assume you are aware of the debate currently raging within the American Chemical Society over a recent global warming “catastrophe” editorial by Chemical and Engineering News editor Rudy Baum. The reaction of many ACS members mirrors the frustration many of us feel about the way scientific principles, methods and debate have been politicized over global warming. For instance: ACS scientist Dennis Malpass: “Your editorial was a disgrace. It was filled with misinformation, half-truths, and ad hominem attacks on those who dare to disagree with you. Shameful!”Edward H. Gleason: “Baum's attempt to close out debate goes against all my scientific training, and to hear this from my ACS is certainly alarming to me ... His use of 'climate-change deniers,' to pillory scientists who do not believe climate change is a crisis, is disingenuous and unscientific.”Geochemist R. Everett Langford: “I am appalled at the condescending attitude of Rudy Baum, Al Gore, President Barack Obama, et al., who essentially tell us that there is no need for further research – that the matter is solved.”I hope you will reconsider the views you expressed in your letter to the Journal, broaden your selection of readings about climate change, and encourage your students and college colleagues to engage in studious research and robust debate on this and other important scientific and public policy issues. Best regards,Paul Driessen

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