Tag Archives: Ben Santer

July 4th, 1996 – that ‘discernible’ influence of climate change again

In the middle of the confected ‘controversy’ about the second assessment report of the IPCC, [fossil-funded denialists smearing Ben Santer]  various scientists, including Santer himself, point out some inconvenient facts….

In the July 4 1996 issue of Nature, Benjamin Santer, K.E. Taylor, Tom M.  Wigley, and ten other researchers published an article that concluded: “The observed spatial patterns of temperature change in the free atmosphere from 1963 to 1987…are similar to those predicted by state-of-the-art climate models…  It is likely that this trend is partially due to human activities,…

Gelbspan, R. (1998) Page 220

June 12th, 1996- Denialists attack IPCC and Ben Santer in Wall Street Journal

Frederick Seitz, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed [A Major Deception on Global Warming] complained that alterations made to Chapter 8 of the 1995 IPCC report were made to “deceive policy makers and the public into believing that the scientific evidence shows human activities are causing global warming.” Similar charges were made by the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), a consortium of industry interests; specifically, they accused Santer of “scientific cleansing.”[6]

The whole sordid story of how the Wall Street Journal then refused to publish a letter from Bert Bolin et al in full makes you weep.  The denialist attacks were ‘successful’ but began to raise the costs of remaining within the Global Climate Coalition, and within five years it would be dead.  But not a real problem for them, since it was a case of ‘mission accomplished’ – they’d killed the idea of rich nations agreeing to cut their emissions, and bought more (profitable) time for oil, coal and gas….

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

May 20th 2010 – “Climate Science in the Political Arena”

“On Thursday, May 20th, the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming held a hearing to examine the intersection between climate science and the political process. This hearing, entitled “Climate Science in the Political Arena,” featured prominent climate scientists, some of whom have been the target of these [climategate-y] attacks. This hearing explored scientists’ ability to present data and information that can guide global warming solutions in a sometimes fierce political landscape.”

WHAT: Climate Science in the Political Arena
WHEN: Thursday May 20, 2010, 9:00 AM
WHERE: 1334 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC
OPENING STATEMENT: Chairman Edward J. Markey

Dr. Ralph Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences and Chair of the National Research Council
Dr. Mario Molina, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and Professor, University of California at San Diego
Dr. Stephen Schneider, Professor, Stanford University
Dr. Ben Santer, Research Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Dr. William Happer, Professor, Princeton University

Roger Pielke Jr was underwhelmed

“Notable is any inclusion on the panel of experts who actually study issues of science and politics. That is because the hearing isn’t really about understanding or managing issues of science and politics, but rather, it is an exercise in seeking to gain political advantage through science. It is set up for a food fight, and that is what they will get. Far from shedding light on the politicization of climate science or how to deal with it, this hearing will just add fuel to the fire. That of course is the point. Its about politics, not science.”

Also on this day – aviation pioneers do their thing…

1927 – At 07:52 Charles Lindbergh takes off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, New York, on the world’s first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. He touched down at Le Bourget Field in Paris at 22:22 the next day.

1932 Amelia Earhart takes off from Newfoundland to begin the world’s first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean by a female pilot, landing in Ireland the next day.

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

Jan 6: Devastating weather event hits Dublin

On January 6th, known as “The Night of the Big Wind”, a “powerful European windstorm … swept without warning across Ireland, causing severe damage to property and several hundred deaths; 20% to 25% of houses in north Dublin were damaged or destroyed, and 42 ships were wrecked.” [wikipedia]

Context: Don’t remember that? Well, go easy on yourself, it happened in 1839…

Now, this is a favourite trick of denialists. They point to these sorts of events and say “bad weather happens” as if people who “believe” in climate change were ignorant of the fact. Battles over “attribution” are something this site will return to when it commemorates the attacks on Ben Santer and the second IPCC report of 1995/6, which used the word “discernible”.

As James Hansen tried to explain in the late 80s with his model dice that he took to Congress, what we are doing with climate change is painting extra dots on some of the faces. Alea iacta est and all that…

See our “Attribution” page for more quotes.

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

See also:
Professor Steven Sherwood has some interesting things to say about all this.