NYTimes “Losing Earth” is an Unbalanced Narrative of Climate Catastrophe Hype, says Friends of Science

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The New York Times devoted a full magazine to a long, one-sided dystopian tale of woe on climate change, focussing mostly on the role of an environmental activist and activist scientist, with no balance and no proper framing of climate change science uncertainties, says Friends of Science Society. This kind of apocalyptic coverage creates a Cargo Cult society, with simplistic claims supporting unrealistic proposals.

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"Carbon dioxide is not a control knob that can fine tune climate" - Judith Curry, Atmospheric Scientist, Georgia Tech

The climate model (simulation) is a very good tool for understanding climate, but a very bad tool for predicting climate... when a scientist is predicting using computer models, then you have science fiction

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Friends of Science Society is denouncing the climate change catastrophe hype of the New York Times “Losing Earth” special edition, published August 1, 2018. The NYTimes story follows a select few climate change science and policy developments, says Friends of Science. The narrative is built around environmental activist Rafe Pomerance and scientist James Hansen, with no balance and no proper framing of climate change science uncertainties.

Friends of Science notes an important correction to the NYTimes story. Svante Arrhenius amended his catastrophic view of climate change in a 1906 paper published in German, saying climate change due to carbon dioxide rise would be nominal and beneficial; a translation of his paper can be found here.

Physicist Freeman Dyson and German climate scientist Hans von Storch were interviewed for Marijn Poels’ film “The Uncertainty Has Settled.” Dr. von Storch stated that “I am not scared” of climate change and that is it just one of many issues society must address, not the most important one. Freeman Dyson said, “The climate model (simulation) is a very good tool for understanding climate, but a very bad tool for predicting climate,” adding that when a scientist is predicting using computer models, then you have science fiction. (VIMEO on-demand: vimeo.com/ondemand/theuncertaintyhassettled)

Most of the NYTimes claims about climate change and the future rely on climate modelled forecasts.

The NYTimes article states that “Nearly everything we understand about global warming was understood in 1979,” but Friends of Science says climate science is in its infancy.

The Technical Summary of the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR5 report “Key Uncertainties” states there is not enough data to make any long-term predictions.

Satellite climate data of any consequence only began in the 1970’s, the Argo ocean drones only began being deployed in the year 2000, the Solar Dynamics Observatory was launched in 2010.

The American Physical Society’s Jan. 8, 2014 workshop, with six eminent climate scientists participating, shows there is great diversity of opinion on the factors driving climate change, and the ratio of human versus natural influence.

The work of Roger Pielke, Sr. and his team on the effects of land use, water diversion and deforestation on climate change, such as this Nov. 2016 paper published in Physics Today, is not mentioned in the NYTimes report.

The solar physics research on climate change is not mentioned either, found in the work of Dr. Nir Shaviv, Chair of the Racah Institute of Physics, Hebrew University; Dr. Hendrik Svensmark at the Danish Sun-Climate Research Institute; Russian solar physicist Habibullo Abdussamatov; Prof. Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University in the UK; Dr. Willie Soon at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre; Prof. Silvia Duhau of the University of Buenos Aires.

Oceanographer Carl Wunsch is mentioned in the NY Times article. A 2010 paper by Wunsch, summarized on Dr. Judith Curry’s blog of July 22, 2018, entitled "The Perils of Near Tabloid Science," certainly shows that the ‘science is not settled.’

Friends of Science says Dr. Judith Curry’s 2014 testimony to the US Senate illustrates that Cargo Cult simplistic thinking about reducing carbon dioxide as ‘the magic cure’ to ‘stop climate change’ is misguided. Natural variations like volcanoes, atmospheric oscillations as well as solar and orbital cycles affect climate, making carbon dioxide emissions reduction an exercise in futility.

About

Friends of Science Society is an independent group of earth, atmospheric and solar scientists, engineers, and citizens who are celebrating its 16th year of offering climate science insights. After a thorough review of a broad spectrum of literature on climate change, Friends of Science Society has concluded that the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide (CO2).

Friends of Science Society
P.O. Box 23167, Mission P.O.
Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2S 3B1
Toll-free Telephone: 1-888-789-9597
Web: friendsofscience.org
E-mail: contact(at)friendsofscience(dot)org
Web: climatechange101.ca

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Michelle Stirling
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