Scientist Dr. Daniel Botkin Tells Congress why he reversed his belief in global warming to become a skeptic: ‘There are several lines of evidence suggesting that it (AGW) is a weaker case today, not a stronger case’ — Rips Obama climate report as ‘filled with misstatements contradicted by well-established and well-known scientific papers’


By: - Climate DepotMay 29, 2014 10:47 PM with 39 comments

Full Committee Hearing – Examining the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Process

2318 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 | May 29, 2014 11:00am

Examining the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Process

WRITTEN TESTIMONY TO THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, SPACE, AND TECHNOLOGY.

MAY 29, 2014

Dr. Daniel Botkin, Professor Emeritus, Department of  Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara (Full Bio here)

Selected Excerpts: (Full Testimony here)

Since 1968 I have published research on theoretical global warming, its potential ecological effects, and the implications for people and biodiversity. I have spent my career trying to help conserve our environment and its great diversity of species. In doing so I have always attempted to maintain an objective, intellectually honest, scientific approach in the best tradition of scientific endeavor. I have, accordingly, been dismayed and disappointed in recent years that this subject has been converted into a political and ideological debate.

I want to state up front that we have been living through a warming trend driven by a variety of influences. However, it is my view that this is not unusual, and contrary to the characterizations by the IPCC and the National Climate Assessment, these environmental changes are not apocalyptic nor irreversible.

2. My biggest concern is that both the reports present a number of speculative, and sometimes incomplete, conclusions embedded in language that gives them more scientific heft than they deserve. The reports are “scientific-sounding” rather than based on clearly settled facts or admitting their lack. Established facts about the global environment exist less often in science than laymen usually think.

3. HAS IT BEEN WARMING? Yes, we have been living through a warming trend, no doubt about that. The rate of change we are experiencing is also not unprecedented, and the “mystery” of the warming “plateau” simply indicates the inherent complexity of our global biosphere. Change is normal, life on Earth is inherently risky; it always has been. The two reports, however, makes it seem that environmental change is apocalyptic and irreversible. It is not.

The extreme overemphasis on human-induced global warming has taken our attention away from many environmental issues that used to be front and center but have been pretty much ignored in the 21st century.

Nine Environmental Issues that need our attention now

Energy
Fresh water
Phosphorus and other essential minerals
Habitat destruction
Invasive-species control
Endangered species
Pollution by directly toxic substances
Fisheries
Forests

End Excerpt of Botkin

#

Related Links: 

UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol Rips IPCC at Congressional Hearing: ‘The IPCC leadership has in the past been very adept at putting troublesome authors in positions where they cannot harm the cause. That practice must end’

UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol Rips 97% consensus claim: ‘The 97% is essentially pulled from thin air, it is not based on any credible research whatsoever’ – IPCC Lead Author Trashes 97% Consensus claims: UN IPCC Lead Author & University of Sussex economist Dr. Richard Tol: ‘Science is, of course, never settled.’ – Tol: ‘The 97% estimate is bandied about by basically everybody.  I had a close look at what this study really did. as far as I can see, The estimate just crumbles when you touch it. None of the statements in the papers are supported by the data that’s in the paper. The 97% is essentially pulled from thin air, it is not based on any credible research whatsoever.

Flashback: UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol admits no global warming for 17 years – Rips bias in IPCC – UN’s ‘inbuilt alarmism made me step down’ – ‘By the time the report was finished, however, it hadn’t warmed for 17 years’

UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol: ‘One of the startling facts about climate change is that there are very few facts about climate change. Climate change is mainly something of the future so we are really talking about model projections’

Congressional hearing: Scientists say UN IPCC puts politics before science, needs reform – IPCC Lead Author Tol: ‘Competent people are excluded because their views do not match those of their government’

UN Lead Author Michael Oppenheimer Admits to Congress Climate Science Not ‘Settled’: ‘The question of exactly how warm the Earth will become as a result (of rising CO2), that’s not’ settled


  • Darwin Gene Price

    An honest man. Very unusual in this day and time.

    • Climate rationalist

      This smells strongly of vested interest to me. Either that or he’s a fool. Selective quoting of ‘scientific research’ provides an unbalanced argument. PhD or not, I have no faith whatsoever in his work.

      • Mozalin Cranz

        I have no faith in your comment.

      • MacDaddy12345

        A strongly vested interest? Come on now – more and more scientists are stepping forward and stating exactly the same conclusions. Many who have been in the forefront of the AGW religion. Do they all have strongly vessed interests or are they all fools? I would listen to those with the education in those fields before I listened to an anonymous “rationalist”. Finally the truth is out, AGW was a power play or politicians and their lackeys and nothing more.

        • DrRaeMD

          Who? Name them. I bet you can’t name “more and more” scientists, beyond the usual Fred Singer (who still denies the link between tobacco and cancer), Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen, Tim Ball, Willie Soon, Fred Spencer, Bob Carter…
          Compare this list with the statements of every National Academy of Science on the planet–they either have no statement regarding AGW, or they endorse the clear, overwhelming evidence of humans burning fossil fuels ==> bad global warming.
          There’s a list here: http://opr.ca.gov/s_listoforganizations.php , or here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change , or here: http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-intermediate.htm .
          The fact that a handful of fools or schills deny the preponderance of data holds no weight vs the data.

          • MacDaddy12345

            OKay, here are a few, don’t want to overload the system –

            Khabibullo Abdusamatov, mathematician and astronomer at Pulkovo Observatory of theRussian Academy of Sciences; [ , ]Sallie
            Baliunas, astronomer, Harvard-Smithsonian Center
            for Astrophysics, Tim Ball,
            professor emeritus of geography at the University of Winnipeg , Robert M. Carter,
            former head of the school of earth sciences at James Cook University, Ian Clark, hydrogeologist,
            professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa, Chris de Freitas, associate professor, School of
            Geography, Geology and Environmental Science, University of Auckland, David
            Douglass, solid-state physicist, professor, Department of
            Physics and Astronomy,University of Rochester, Don
            Easterbrook, emeritus professor of geology, Western Washington University, William
            M. Gray, professor emeritus and head of the Tropical Meteorology Project, Department of
            Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, William
            Happer, physicist specializing
            in optics and spectroscopy, Princeton University[,
            Ole
            Humlum, professor of geology at the University of Oslo, Wibjörn
            Karlén, professor emeritus of geography and geology at the University of Stockholm, William Kininmonth, meteorologist, former
            Australian delegate to World Meteorological Organization Commission for
            Climatology, David
            Legates, associate professor of geography and director of the Center for Climatic Research,
            University of Delaware, Anthony Lupo,
            professor of atmospheric science at the University of Missouri, Tad Murty, oceanographer;
            adjunct professor, Departments of Civil Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa, Tim
            Patterson, paleoclimatologist and professor of geology at Carleton University in Canada.,Ian Plimer,
            professor emeritus of Mining
            Geology, the University of Adelaide, Arthur B. Robinson, biochemist and former
            faculty member at the University of California, San Diego, Murry Salby,
            former chair of climate at Macquarie University , Nicola Scafretta,
            research scientist in the physics department at Duike University, Tom
            Segalstad, head of the Geology Museum at the University of Oslo, Fred Singer, professor emeritus
            of environmental sciences at the University of
            Virginia[52][53][54]
            Willie
            Soon, astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center
            for Astrophysics, Roy Spencer, principal research scientist, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Fred Singer, Professor emeritus of environmental
            sciences at the Univeristy of Vienna, Henrik
            Svensmark,Danish National Space Center, George H. Taylor, former director of the Oregon
            Climate Service at Oregon State University Jan Veizer, environmental
            geochemist, professor emeritus from University of Ottawa[ ],
            Syun-Ichi Akasofu,
            retired professor of geophysics and founding director of the International
            Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Claude Allègre,
            politician; geochemist, emeritus professor at Institute of Geophysics Paris,
            Robert Balling, a
            professor of geography at Arizona State
            University, John Christy, professor of atmospheric
            science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University
            of Alabama in Huntsville, contributor to several IPCC reports., Petr Chylek, space and remote sensing
            sciences researcher, Los Alamos
            National Laboratory. David Deming, geology professor at the University of Oklahoma., Ivar Giaever,
            professor emeritus of physics at the Rensselaer
            Polytechnic Institute., Vincent R. Gray,
            New Zealander physical chemist with expertise in coal ash, Keith Idso, botanist, former adjunct
            professor of biology at Maricopa
            County Community College District and the vice president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global
            Change. Antonino Zichichi,
            emeritus professor of nuclear physics at the University of
            Bologna and president of the World Federation of Scientists, Craig
            D. Idso, faculty researcher,
            Office of Climatology, Arizona State University and
            founder of the Center for the Study of
            Carbon Dioxide and Global Change,
            Sherwood
            Idso, former research physicist, USDA Water
            Conservation Laboratory, and adjunct professor, Arizona State University Patrick Michaels, senior fellow at the Cato
            Institute and retired research professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia, [

          • DrRaeMD

            OK, good list, somehat (I’m not sure what astronomers, botanists, and mathematicians have to do with climatology, though). Now how does that compare with the list of Science Academies?
            Oh, it doesn’t.
            This is the same issue as the small number of physician voices who denied the evidence of tobaco causing cancer vs. the overwhelming preponderance of physicians and their associations who said cigarettes cause cancer.
            There will always be fools and schills.

          • MacDaddy12345

            You don’t know what astronomers, botanists and mathematicians have to do with climatology? Then you have no idea how climatology works and I won’t be the one to educate you. I suggest you read some of these folks papers and learn how their pursuits coincide with climatology. As a historian (yes, degreed), I had to take climatology classes because of how the climate affects the culture, the individuals that make it up, the plant life, the animal life and the seas and sea life. If you will check, there were several out and out climatologists in that list and the majority of them are like Dr. Roy Spencer, who was a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and continues to work for NASA as U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer. Dr. Spencer’s research has been entirely supported by U.S. government agencies: NASA, NOAA, and DOE. He has never been asked by any oil company to perform any kind of service. Not even Exxon-Mobil. You are entirely correct when you state their will always be fools and schills, you should know, being one yourself. Here is a start for you in researching what the different venues of science contribute to Climatology – Phenomenoligical reconstructions of the sloar signature in the Northern Hemisphere surface termperture records since 1600, found in the Journal of Geophysical Research 2007.

          • DrRaeMD

            OK, so I reviewed some of the publications from some of the authors I questioned, and I stand corrected–I just wasn’t thinking broadly enough (eg astonomers etc).
            Regardless, you’re ignoring the crux–every National Academy of Science on the planet that has issued a statement supports the AGW scientific consensus, that we are releasing CO2 and other GHGs and causing dangerous warming of the planet. Thousands of scientists worldwide (and virtually all climatologists) vs. a small list of nay-sayers.
            Will you place your trust in the scores of MDs who tell you smoking causes cancer, or one (such as Fred Singer, who still denies the link) who tells you the science is unclear?

          • MacDaddy12345

            Doctor, Glad you bothered to check, most of those that subscribe to Warming blow off such links. The National Academy does not poll its members (who make up a very small fraction of scientists) but they do rely on the government (which under Obama has a warmist agenda) and others (most of whom are environmentalist organizations)for its operating expenses. Are you going to dare to dare say otherwise than what they want you to say? Glad you brought CO2 up. It has been branded as a bad gas, but when you look at it, CO2 along with Oxygen are the two gases that make life as we know it possible. CO2 combined with the warmth of the sun makes for excellent harvests and lets cultures flourish. Warmists have given this gas a bad rap and only because it is a very minor greenhouse gas. We have had several warming periods during the Holocene, in particular the Holocene Maximum (8000 ybp) where temperatures’ soared to 8 degrees above present and stayed that way until 4500ybp.
            This Holocene Maximum is what allowed mankind to “become civilized” and cumulated with falling temperatures. Temperatures that have been falling since, all through the Bronze age, Iron Ages and historical times until it reached its lowest point in the Little Ice Age (which had the coldest temperatures since the last Ice Age). There have been warming in cooling periods throughout this period but none reached the warmth of the Holocene. These periods (Minoan, Roman and Medieval) were all followed by periods of cooling and never reached the warmth of the Holocene Maximum. They were however, much warmer that that 30 decades at the end of the 20th century. We now seem to have entered a cooling period, giving strong evidence that the 30 year solar cycle is still with us. Man’s pitiful contribution to the amount of CO2 produced naturally amounts to less than 2% of the annual amount. I would ignore the doctors on smoking (I don’t smoke except in certain Native American rituals) if I had more doctors telling me otherwise and if the “data” was fuzzy or nonexistent (as with Global
            warming). I see what you are saying but the consensus is a lie created by warmist…there are as many or more scientists saying that AGW is a hoax. Read a little history and check the facts…this was not our first warming and won’t be our last. That 30 year blip at the end of
            the 20th century is nowhere as warm as the previous warm periods and did not last centuries as the others did.

          • Steve

            Why are they releasing just those statements? Because anyone who disagrees with them is not allowed to publish their articles!

          • DrRaeMD

            Having worked in science academia, I can say with surety that data, gathered in an appropriately scientific way, that contradicts the mainstream thought, is easily published.
            Data that simply upholds the consensus is not interesting to editors, and may not be published.
            The bias in science publishing is in fact towards _skepticism_.
            So, therefore, since the VAST majority of the published science supports the consensus, that humans are f*@cking with the homeostasis of the planet, this is almost certainly the truth.
            Those who disagree with reality, if they can find proof that they may be correct, have a very easy time publishing their articles. Not surprisingly, but sadly (for our sake) there is no such evidence.

          • Sugarsail1

            Climatology is largely a fabricated field that grew rapidly once a lot of government funding got thrown their way. 35 years ago most universities didn’t even have a “climatology” degree as the field didn’t exist. As a result, originally, “climate scientists” weren’t specifically climate scientists, they were physicists, meteorologists, chemists, fluid dynamicists, biologists, mathematicians, thermodynamicists, etc….if you don’t know what those fields of study have to do with climatology, you need to turn on your brain. For example, who do you think writes the computer models?? Mathematicians work with software engineers who work with thermodynamics and physicists and meteorologists to come up with them. How do you think CO2 uptake by the biosphere is determined which is essential for computer modeling? It’s determined by biologists and botanists not climatologists! Climatology is an applied science sub-set of all of the fields you mention. Additionally, all of those fields are well-informed by proper scientific methodology….doesn’t mean they use it, but that’s the core criticism of AGW is it’s terrible methodology so all the names he mention are more than qualified to be skeptical, so save your Ad Hominem attacks on them.

          • Sugarsail1

            unfortunately science isn’t determined by what people believe or how many people believe it (that’s religion), nor is it determined by computer model outputs or consensus, it’s determined by, forming a testable hypothesis, disproving the null hypothesis, and repeatably reproducing observable evidence that supports the hypothesis…none of which has been done by AGW adherents….if the climate hasn’t warmed in 15 years, and the arctic hasn’t melted away, and Florida isn’t under 20 feet of water from sea level rise, despite continuing increase in CO2 concentration, then one MUST, if they are to remain scientifically honest, at least put AGW hypothesis under serious question, or just throw it out.

  • Tab Numlock

    Pretty easy to do after 18 years of no warming. Do his students get their tuition back? I’ve been a denialist since the early 90s. Where’s my prize?

    • MacDaddy12345

      I was a denialist back in the 70’s when they were talking a new ice age and switched to denying AGW when it became “hip” to believe in it. We do not understand the driving forces of our climate to make any long term predictions. Every computer model they have come out with has failed miserably.

      • DrRaeMD

        The “ice age prediction of the 70’s” is a myth–of the scientific papers that predicted anything from 1965-1979 7/49 (14%) papers predicted global cooling, and a whopping 42/49 (86%) predicted warming.
        Time and Newsweek pumped up the cooling predictions to sell more copy.
        Only fools believe the media over the evidence.

        • MacDaddy12345

          Didn’t I say I was a skeptic of a coming ice age in the ’70?

    • DrRaeMD

      Incorrect. According to NASA, the 10 hottest years ever (in the instrumental record), in ascending order, have been 2012, (tied: 2006, 2009, 2013), 2003, (tied: 1998, 2002), 2007, (tied: 2005, 2010). According to NOAA, it’s 2004, 2007, (tied: 2009, 2006), 2002, (tied: 2013, 2003), 1998, 2005, 2010. According to NCDC it’s 2007, 2010, 2005, 2002, 1998, 2006, 2012, 2003, 2009, 2004. Virtually all other global temperature records also agree the last 17 years the planet continues to heat…larger data sets show it more clearly than smaller data sets…
      I wish the data was wrong, but wishes don’t make reality change.

      • Steve

        How about using the raw data before it was changed, er manipulated? How come the temperatures of the years prior to 1998 have been lowered and the temperatures recorded after 1997 have been raised? hmmmmm FYI, the hottest decade in the last 100 years was the 1930’s, before they lowered the temperatures to make the recent years the warmest.

        • DrRaeMD

          Can you _prove_ the evidence was manipulated, or are you as empty as the goons who say Lincoln was assasinated by aliens?
          Science is an iterative process, and errors get identified and corrected, inevitably. So far, no factual data contradicts the conclusions of the vast majority of scientists, that being that we humans are f#$king with our planet.
          The 1930’s were hot, to be sure, in the USA, an insignificant part of the entire planet. The data quoted by NASA, NOAA, the Japanese Meteorological Associan, the Hadley centre, and every scientific body on the planet, is that the _world_ is getting hotter.
          This is Bad News.

  • Jacques Lemiere

    he changed his mind…no problem with that, except when he talked as a scientist he should have warned people that it was his opinion, not the truth.

    • MacDaddy12345

      Too few do that scientist or otherwise.

  • pbob67

    You do realize that the “sustainable development” ideology of the UN depends largely on the premise of man-caused global warming. for several years now their “science” has been shown to be flawed at minimum, but mostly outright untrue, and the numbers being quoted are simply made up and cooked in an attempt to show validity to their control scheme and ideology.

    • Sugarsail1

      Yup Agenda 21……world socialism with Environmentalism as the world earth-goddess based religion to manipulate the masses…..these guys are evil and brilliant.

      • pbob67

        It has been going on for some time, and I guess Obama is just the ‘super narcissist’ to think it was his time to shine… thanks for the reply I really needed that…

      • DrRaeMD

        Have you actually _read_ the text of Agenda 21? When you say things like this it clearly shows either you haven’t, or haven’t understood what you’ve read. Either way you come across as unintelligent and paranoid.

        • pbob67

          I understood it … and believe what is said and it’s intention.. You are the one who does not understand it…

  • Victor Cachat

    You don’t like the looks of what you climbed in bed with, but they wrapped a chain around you and will pull you down with them because you waited too long to jump ship.
    The time to announce your skepticism and avoid a scarlet letter is over as far as I am concerned..

  • Perplexed

    If these scientists are good men and women then they need to support each other and help fight the elitist take over of the globe.

  • Perplexed

    Follow the money. The biggest screamers of Global Warming are making the biggest amount of money. When I say money I’m talking $billions. The MOB of old would kill you for $1000 just to keep the rest of the people in-line. What the AGW people are doing is no different.

  • MThompson

    As presented on SKS, of the 188 authors that took a strong position on AGW in 73 peer-reviewed articles over a recent 20 year interval, the overwhelming majority find that at least 50% of the temperature increase can be attributed to humans.

    • Bill Vancouver

      MT: Pls go through Climate Depot, WUWT, Sepp.org, Climate Change Dispatch, etc. The 97% Consensus is a political statement that bears no resemblance to a valid statistical study. Skeptical blogs are shooting giant holes in this supposion…and you should too if you had any intellectual honesty.

    • bit chilly

      and ? sks is a propaganda site full of way out there whack jobs. go and have a look at brandon schollenbergers site if you want a good analysis of the 97% consensus paper. out of over 11000 papers,only 64,yes 64 ,support the global warming meme. face the facts,cook et al lied.

      even if your statement were true,50% of 0.50 c is 0.25 c. on a planet where the temperature varies by 100 c ,that would not appear to be a problem.

    • Steve

      SKS? Ever go to a site with real scientists and real scientific data?

  • Bill Vancouver

    Follow the $ indeed. Approx $200 billion for AGW grants, subsidies, and tax breaks over the past 20 years and that’s only federal funds as compared to only $23 million for the skeptics. Foundations contribute millions more to the warmers. Also watch Harry Reid attack in an attempt to marginalize the Koch Bros, who are 59 th on the big time donors list….lots on unions ahead of the Kochs.
    The C-in-C says climate science is settled. Q: When was it settled?
    Was it during the Great Gore-Monckton Debate? Oops, Gore will not debate any skeptic. He pleads consensus on his side as well as climate models. Finally, he levels ad hominum attacks against his detractors….all final refuges of a scoundrel.

    • Sugarsail1

      unfortunately the religious tone and the appeal to authority of “science” as holy scripture appeals to many who subconsciously long for a religious identity….the belief that the sea levels will rise in a great flood due to mankind’s “sin” (of burning fossil fuels in this case) unless he pays repentance, is a universal religious motif that resonates with the human imagination. All who disbelieve are heretics (deniers). The Force indeed has a strong effect on the weak-minded.

  • Sugarsail1

    Nice to see a scientist using observable data to form his opinion instead of using his belief to fudge the data.

  • Calvinius

    Daniel Botkin is a marine biologist. He most certainly has not “studied climate change for 45 years” and has no background at all in the subject.