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100 Scientists' letter to the United Nations on Global Warming

The following letter was sent to Ban Ki-moon,
 Secretary-General of the United Nations on the UN Climate conference in Bali:

Dec. 13, 2007

Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

Re: UN climate conference taking the World in entirely the wrong direction

It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued increasingly alarming conclusions about the climatic influences of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis. While we understand the evidence that has led them to view CO2 emissions as harmful, the IPCC's conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions. On top of which, because attempts to cut emissions will slow development, the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it.

The IPCC Summaries for Policy Makers are the most widely read IPCC reports amongst politicians and non-scientists and are the basis for most climate change policy formulation. Yet these Summaries are prepared by a relatively small core writing team with the final drafts approved line-by-line by government ­representatives. The great majority of IPCC contributors and reviewers, and the tens of thousands of other scientists who are qualified to comment on these matters, are not involved in the preparation of these documents. The summaries therefore cannot properly be represented as a consensus view among experts.

Contrary to the impression left by the IPCC Summary reports:

  • Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change, for none of these changes has been shown to lie outside the bounds of known natural variability.

  •  The average rate of warming of 0.1 to 0. 2 degrees Celsius per decade recorded by satellites during the late 20th century falls within known natural rates of warming and cooling over the last 10,000 years.

  •  Leading scientists, including some senior IPCC representatives, acknowledge that today's computer models cannot predict climate. Consistent with this, and despite computer projections of temperature rises, there has been no net global warming since 1998. That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th-century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.

In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is "settled," significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming. But because IPCC working groups were generally instructed (see IPCC Working Group Schedule) to consider work published only through May, 2005, these important findings are not included in their reports; i.e., the IPCC assessment reports are already materially outdated.

The UN climate conference in Bali has been planned to take the world along a path of severe CO2 restrictions, ignoring the lessons apparent from the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, the chaotic nature of the European CO2 trading market, and the ineffectiveness of other costly initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Balanced cost/benefit analyses provide no support for the introduction of global measures to cap and reduce energy consumption for the purpose of restricting CO2 emissions. Furthermore, it is irrational to apply the "precautionary principle" because many scientists recognize that both climatic coolings and warmings are realistic possibilities over the medium-term future.

The current UN focus on "fighting climate change," as illustrated in the Nov. 27 UN Development Programme's Human Development Report, is distracting governments from adapting to the threat of inevitable natural climate changes, whatever forms they may take. National and international planning for such changes is needed, with a focus on helping our most vulnerable citizens adapt to conditions that lie ahead. Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity's real and pressing problems.

Yours faithfully,

Don Aitkin, PhD, Professor, social scientist, retired vice-chancellor and president, University of Canberra, Australia

William J.R. Alexander, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Civil and Biosystems Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Member, UN Scientific and Technical Committee on Natural Disasters, 1994-2000

Bjarne Andresen, PhD, physicist, Professor, The Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Geoff L. Austin, PhD, FNZIP, FRSNZ, Professor, Dept. of Physics, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Timothy F. Ball, PhD, environmental consultant, former climatology professor, University of Winnipeg

Ernst-Georg Beck, Dipl. Biol., Biologist, Merian-Schule Freiburg, Germany

Sonja A. Boehmer-Christiansen, PhD, Reader, Dept. of Geography, Hull University, U.K.; Editor, Energy & Environment journal

Chris C. Borel, PhD, remote sensing scientist, U.S.

Reid A. Bryson, PhD, DSc, DEngr, UNE P. Global 500 Laureate; Senior Scientist, Center for Climatic Research; Emeritus Professor of Meteorology, of Geography, and of Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin

Dan Carruthers, M.Sc., wildlife biology consultant specializing in animal ecology in Arctic and Subarctic regions, Alberta

R.M. Carter, PhD, Professor, Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

Ian D. Clark, PhD, Professor, isotope hydrogeology and paleoclimatology, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa

Richard S. Courtney, PhD, climate and atmospheric science consultant, IPCC expert reviewer, U.K.

Willem de Lange, PhD, Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences, School of Science and Engineering, Waikato University, New Zealand

David Deming, PhD (Geophysics), Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Oklahoma

Freeman J. Dyson, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, N.J.

Don J. Easterbrook, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Geology, Western Washington University

Lance Endersbee, Emeritus Professor, former dean of Engineering and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Monasy University, Australia

Hans Erren, Doctorandus, geophysicist and climate specialist, Sittard, The Netherlands

Robert H. Essenhigh, PhD, E.G. Bailey Professor of Energy Conversion, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University

Christopher Essex, PhD, Professor of Applied Mathematics and Associate Director of the Program in Theoretical Physics, University of Western Ontario

David Evans, PhD, mathematician, carbon accountant, computer and electrical engineer and head of ‘Science Speak,' Australia

William Evans, PhD, editor, American Midland Naturalist; Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame

Stewart Franks, PhD, Professor, Hydroclimatologist, University of Newcastle, Australia

R. W. Gauldie, PhD, Research Professor, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean Earth Sciences and Technology, University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Lee C. Gerhard, PhD, Senior Scientist Emeritus, University of Kansas; former director and state geologist, Kansas Geological Survey

Gerhard Gerlich, Professor for Mathematical and Theoretical Physics, Institut für Mathematische Physik der TU Braunschweig, Germany

Albrecht Glatzle, PhD, sc.agr., Agro-Biologist and Gerente ejecutivo, INTTAS, Paraguay

Fred Goldberg, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Royal Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Stockholm, Sweden

Vincent Gray, PhD, expert reviewer for the IPCC and author of The Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of ‘Climate Change 2001, Wellington, New Zealand

William M. Gray, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University and Head of the Tropical Meteorology Project

Howard Hayden, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Connecticut

Louis Hissink MSc, M.A.I.G., editor, AIG News, and consulting geologist, Perth, Western Australia

Craig D. Idso, PhD, Chairman, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Arizona

Sherwood B. Idso, PhD, President, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, AZ, USA

Andrei Illarionov, PhD, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity; founder and director of the Institute of Economic Analysis

Zbigniew Jaworowski, PhD, physicist, Chairman - Scientific Council of Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, Warsaw, Poland

Jon Jenkins, PhD, MD, computer modelling - virology, NSW, Australia

Wibjorn Karlen, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden

Olavi Kärner, Ph.D., Research Associate, Dept. of Atmospheric Physics, Institute of Astrophysics and Atmospheric Physics, Toravere, Estonia

Joel M. Kauffman, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

David Kear, PhD, FRSNZ, CMG, geologist, former Director-General of NZ Dept. of Scientific & Industrial Research, New Zealand

Madhav Khandekar, PhD, former research scientist, Environment Canada; editor, Climate Research (2003-05); editorial board member, Natural Hazards; IPCC expert reviewer 2007

William Kininmonth M.Sc., M.Admin., former head of Australia's National Climate Centre and a consultant to the World Meteorological organization's Commission for Climatology Jan J.H. Kop, MSc Ceng FICE (Civil Engineer Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers), Emeritus Prof. of Public Health Engineering, Technical University Delft, The Netherlands

Prof. R.W.J. Kouffeld, Emeritus Professor, Energy Conversion, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Salomon Kroonenberg, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Geotechnology, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Hans H.J. Labohm, PhD, economist, former advisor to the executive board, Clingendael Institute (The Netherlands Institute of International Relations), The Netherlands

The Rt. Hon. Lord Lawson of Blaby, economist; Chairman of the Central Europe Trust; former Chancellor of the Exchequer, U.K.

Douglas Leahey, PhD, meteorologist and air-quality consultant, Calgary

David R. Legates, PhD, Director, Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware

Marcel Leroux, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Climatology, University of Lyon, France; former director of Laboratory of Climatology, Risks and Environment, CNRS

Bryan Leyland, International Climate Science Coalition, consultant and power engineer, Auckland, New Zealand

William Lindqvist, PhD, independent consulting geologist, Calif.

Richard S. Lindzen, PhD, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

A.J. Tom van Loon, PhD, Professor of Geology (Quaternary Geology), Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland; former President of the European Association of Science Editors

Anthony R. Lupo, PhD, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science, Dept. of Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Science, University of Missouri-Columbia

Richard Mackey, PhD, Statistician, Australia

Horst Malberg, PhD, Professor for Meteorology and Climatology, Institut für Meteorologie, Berlin, Germany

John Maunder, PhD, Climatologist, former President of the Commission for Climatology of the World Meteorological Organization (89-97), New Zealand

Alister McFarquhar, PhD, international economy, Downing College, Cambridge, U.K.

Ross McKitrick, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Economics, University of Guelph

John McLean, PhD, climate data analyst, computer scientist, Australia

Owen McShane, PhD, economist, head of the International Climate Science Coalition; Director, Centre for Resource Management Studies, New Zealand

Fred Michel, PhD, Director, Institute of Environmental Sciences and Associate Professor of Earth Sciences, Carleton University

Frank Milne, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Economics, Queen's University

Asmunn Moene, PhD, former head of the Forecasting Centre, Meteorological Institute, Norway

Alan Moran, PhD, Energy Economist, Director of the IPA's Deregulation Unit, Australia

Nils-Axel Morner, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics, Stockholm University, Sweden

Lubos Motl, PhD, Physicist, former Harvard string theorist, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

John Nicol, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Physics, James Cook University, Australia

David Nowell, M.Sc., Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, former chairman of the NATO Meteorological Group, Ottawa

James J. O'Brien, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Meteorology and Oceanography, Florida State University

Cliff Ollier, PhD, Professor Emeritus (Geology), Research Fellow, University of Western Australia

Garth W. Paltridge, PhD, atmospheric physicist, Emeritus Professor and former Director of the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia

R. Timothy Patterson, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences (paleoclimatology), Carleton University

Al Pekarek, PhD, Associate Professor of Geology, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Dept., St. Cloud State University, Minnesota

Ian Plimer, PhD, Professor of Geology, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide and Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia

Brian Pratt, PhD, Professor of Geology, Sedimentology, University of Saskatchewan

Harry N.A. Priem, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Planetary Geology and Isotope Geophysics, Utrecht University; former director of the Netherlands Institute for Isotope Geosciences

Alex Robson, PhD, Economics, Australian National University Colonel F.P.M. Rombouts, Branch Chief - Safety, Quality and Environment, Royal Netherland Air Force

R.G. Roper, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology

Arthur Rorsch, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Molecular Genetics, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Rob Scagel, M.Sc., forest microclimate specialist, principal consultant, Pacific Phytometric Consultants, B.C.

Tom V. Segalstad, PhD, (Geology/Geochemistry), Head of the Geological Museum and Associate Professor of Resource and Environmental Geology, University of Oslo, Norway

Gary D. Sharp, PhD, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study, Salinas, CA

S. Fred Singer, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia and former director Weather Satellite Service

L. Graham Smith, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Geography, University of Western Ontario

Roy W. Spencer, PhD, climatologist, Principal Research Scientist, Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama, Huntsville

Peter Stilbs, TeknD, Professor of Physical Chemistry, Research Leader, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), Stockholm, Sweden

Hendrik Tennekes, PhD, former director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute

Dick Thoenes, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands

Brian G Valentine, PhD, PE (Chem.), Technology Manager - Industrial Energy Efficiency, Adjunct Associate Professor of Engineering Science, University of Maryland at College Park; Dept of Energy, Washington, DC

Gerrit J. van der Lingen, PhD, geologist and paleoclimatologist, climate change consultant, Geoscience Research and Investigations, New Zealand

Len Walker, PhD, Power Engineering, Australia

Edward J. Wegman, PhD, Department of Computational and Data Sciences, George Mason University, Virginia

Stephan Wilksch, PhD, Professor for Innovation and Technology Management, Production Management and Logistics, University of Technolgy and Economics Berlin, Germany

Boris Winterhalter, PhD, senior marine researcher (retired), Geological Survey of Finland, former professor in marine geology, University of Helsinki, Finland

David E. Wojick, PhD, P.Eng., energy consultant, Virginia

Raphael Wust, PhD, Lecturer, Marine Geology/Sedimentology, James Cook University, Australia

A. Zichichi, PhD, President of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva, Switzerland; Emeritus Professor of Advanced Physics, University of Bologna, Italy

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