$1000 Evidence Challenge – Skeptical Papers

Dr. Keating,

I am a poor college student that needs the 1,000 dollar reward. I do believe that man made Global Warming is real, but I can present evidence against it, because all scientific theories have unsolved problems, and there are no absolute certainties in science.
Here are two papers that are skeptical about man made Global Warming. You can look at the data presented in the Papers.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0098847298000471
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2007JD008465/full

If you think the papers make good points, please contact me because I will need the 1,000 dollar reward.

Response:

I’m afraid these papers do not qualify as scientific evidence of anything. The reason is because of who wrote them; The first reference was written by Craig and Sherwood Idso along with Robert Balling. The second paper was written by Ross McKittrick and Patrick Michaels. Every single one of these people have been shown to falsify their research and are not credible. The Idsos are funded by The Heartland Institute which is a fossil fuel industry funded organization that funds scientists with the stated goal of undermining climate science. Anyone associated with Heartland has lost all credibility, but the Idsos have gone to great lengths to destroy theirs.

Sorry, there is nothing here that qualifies as scientific evidence. It will merely serve as something deniers will pull out endlessly, not matter how many times it gets debunked. 

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

Some people have made comments indicating they think I was overly dismissive. I wasn’t. But, I will admit I didn’t clarify myself well enough. Let me take care of that.

The Idso family (father Sherwood and brothers Craig and Keith) run the denier organization Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. This center is closely aligned with, and accepts money from, the Heartland Institute. Internal documents from Heartland showed Heartland is providing funding for the purpose of undermining climate science. Craig Idso, according to the documents, is collecting $11,600 a month from them. Another organization funded by Heartland is the NIPCC, which presents itself as an alternative to the IPCC. I have already responded to a submission on the NIPCC. You can see it here. Craig Idso is lead author on reports of NIPCC.

So, we have a group of people receiving money from the fossil fuel industry with the stated, directed goal of undermining climate science.  No one associated with the group is credible and nothing they say can be accepted as scientific evidence. To me, this is no different than “evidence” from Nazis about Jews or from the KKK about black people. They have zero credibility and have been demonstrated to present false reports in the past. When someone has the stated goal of destroying something, how can you possibly give any credence to what they have to say on the subject? The answer is, you can’t. And, I don’t.

Ross McKitrick is an economist (yes, you read that correctly). He is a signatory to the Cornwall Alliance‘s Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming, which states that “Earth and its ecosystems – created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence – are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting”. He wrote an ‘evangelical response to global warming’ and has spoken at the Heartland conferences (see my comments about being associated with Heartland above).

Patrick Michaels was a professor at the University of Virginia but is now Director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute. The Cato Institute is a denier organization that receives funds from the fossil fuel industry, most notably from the Koch brothers. Michaels was an expert witness for the Western Fuels Association. ABC News reported he received $100,000 from the Intermountain Rural Electricity Association to fund his research into alternative climate science and he has admitted that 40% of his funding comes from the fossil fuel industry. He has a long history of getting it wrong.

McKitrick and Michaels have collaborated before. Together, they wrote a paper on the urban heat island effect that has been completely debunked and, in my opinion, used falsified data. Even though debunked and shown to be false, this issue is still one of the most often-cited criticisms deniers produce. In other words, years after the two of them made a false claim, scientists are still forced to repeatedly fend off that false claim. To really rub salt in the wound, even McKitrick and Michaels said only half of the observed warming could be attributed to the urban heat island effect (not a true statement, by the way). So, even with flawed work, they still could not show man made global warming is not real. And yet, it is still cited as evidence against AGW.

So, am I being overly harsh for dismissing these papers as being unscientific? If anything, I believe I have been very generous. I did not use this submission as an opportunity to launch into their work to show why they are even worse than what I have portrayed here.

If you have an accountant and you learn that he was stealing your money, would you go back to him and trust him? This is the same with McKitrick and Michaels. The have a long history of taking fossil fuel money and then making false statements about climate change science. They have no credibility and their work cannot be accepted as scientific evidence.

Can they reform their reputations? Yes, they can. Even the Idsos. But, it would be a long, difficult process and it will not start with me.

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