WUWT is shaping up to be the last bastion of climate science deniers. Anthony Watts will post almost any article, no matter how ridiculous, as long as it rejects science. Today he's got a whiny missive from a bunch of people from the Heartland Institute (archived here). They are complaining that the flagship publication of the American Institute of Physics (AIP), Physics Today, won't accept a comment they wrote.
Anthony posted the article under a misleading headline. His headline says that Physics Today wouldn't acknowledge their comment: "NIPCC’s reply to Physics Today (that they won’t even acknowledge)". However in the opening paragraph of the article, he admits that there was an email exchange and that their comment was acknowledged, but rejected.
The reason for the rejection is obvious. It wasn't a "rebuttal", it was a whine that Spencer Weart mentioned their denial efforts and dismissed them out of hand, as he should.
Spencer Weart at Physics Today - committees of experts
Anyway, what the WUWT article highlights is an article by science historian Spencer Weart. It's a fairly short and very readable article about the development of climate science from the early days to the world-wide efforts of recent decades. He wrote about how the breadth, impacts and risks posed by climate change are so large, that it developed in a way that's different from many other science disciplines. It wasn't shaped just by individual scientists or small teams doing research. The problems posed by global warming were so vast, and so interconnected, that it involved groups of experts coming together to explore all the different facets and work out what global warming will mean for the world. He describes how there were important discussions at conferences and within expert committees, attempting to scope the nature and extent of the problems. And the mammoth scientific effort of bringing together people from multiple disciplines continues today through organisations like the IPCC.
Noses out of joint: whines and misrepresentations
Judith Curry has already mischievously misrepresented the article, cherry-picking it and twisting its meaning. So predictable. Now there's a shady mob from the shady Heartland Institute, whining that their shonky "publication" was dismissed as "CO2 is plant food" - which is about right.
The comment at WUWT was signed by:
- Joseph L. Bast who is President and CEO of the right wing lobby group the Heartland Institute
- Australian denier Robert M. Carter, who is on the Heartland Institute payroll, and who has described his affiliation as the right wing lobby group the Institute of Public Affairs
- Laurence I. Gould, Past Chair (2004) New England Section of the American Physical Society;
- Craig D. Idso, who is associated with the denier group the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, which is funded via the Heartland Institute;
- Fred S. Singer, University of Virginia (Emeritus), Fellow of APS; who is wheeled out by science deniers at every opportunity; and
- Willie Soon, who now describes himself as "Independent Scientist".
Their biggest complaint wasn't that the following reference by Spencer Weart was wrong when he wrote about their Gish gallop:
Others emphasized, as a Heartland Institute publication declared, that “more carbon dioxide in the air would lead to more luxuriant crop growth and greater crop yields” while taking no account of the likely heat waves and droughts.12 No careful study or hard analysis backed up such statements. Our mainstream history, the history of expert committees, stands aside from all that.
No. What got their noses out of joint was something different. Their main complaint seems to be that he didn't acknowledge just how many tedious pages of text it took them to cherry pick the literature to write how CO2 is plant food, while ignoring the impact of heat waves and droughts.
Boring. (At least they didn't go on about how CO2 is animal food.)
Spencer Weart cited the following paper, when he mentioned the science denying groups:
McCright, Aaron M., and Riley E. Dunlap. "Challenging global warming as a social problem: An analysis of the conservative movement's counter-claims." Social problems 47, no. 4 (2000): 499-522. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3097132 (pdf here)