Contrarian climate scientist Roy Spencer summed up the contrarian case for a fossil fuel and tobacco-funded think tank
A mishmash of myths
Most of Spencer’s white paper consists of repeating a variety of long-debunked myths. It’s laid out in the form of 13 basic climate questions that Spencer tries to answer. Fortunately, SkepticalScience.com has a database of over 200 climate myths, and summaries of what the peer-reviewed scientific research says about each. This makes it possible to handle Spencer’s 13-point Gish Gallop by simply referring to the relevant myth rebuttals. So here we go:
1) ‘Carbon dioxide is a trace gas’ is rebutted as Myth #127.
2) ‘Climate has changed before’ is addressed in Myth #2, and climate scientist Michael Mann recently rebutted the myth that climate researchers ignore natural factors. Spencer’s misleading claims about temperatures of the past 2,000 years based on a paper by Henrik Ljungqvist are refuted in Myth #168. Claims of hotter periods during that time than today are tackled in Myth #56, and implications that the planet is magically warming because it used to be colder during the Little Ice Age in Myth #32. Finally, the rebuttal to Myth #136 explains why we can’t just blame global warming on natural cycles.
3) The reliability of global temperature measurements is explained in Myth #6.
4) Models used by the IPCC have accurately predicted global warming, as explained in the rebuttals to and Myth #229, as well as an important paper published last year.
5) The net negative consequences of rapid global warming are outlined in the rebuttal to Myth #12.
6) The warming over the past 18 years is discussed in the rebuttal to Myth #7, and is clear from the record hot temperatures of the past 3 years.
7) The accuracy of climate models is covered under Myth #5 and in my book.
8) The sensitivity of the climate to the increasing greenhouse effect is addressed in Myth #30, and the role of clouds in Myth #143.
9) False claims about the 97% expert climate consensus are in Myth #3 and Myth #226.
10) Claims of ‘slow’ ocean warming are refuted by the fact that it’s accumulating heat at a rate equivalent to 4 atomic bomb detonations per second, consistent with climate model predictions.
11) Spencer downplays the importance of our repeated breaking of temperature records, but we wouldn’t be breaking them without global warming.
12) On climate change causing extreme weather (Myth #41), Spencer suggests that we shouldn’t worry about stronger hurricanes (Myth #16), denies the record intensity of California’s current drought, and cherry picks sea ice (Myth #157) and snow cover data (Myth #159).
13) Spencer ends his paper with the claim that the 97% of climate research that’s consistent with the expert consensus is all politically biased. This is ironic given that Spencer has previously said:
I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.
The best case against climate concern is really bad
All in all, Spencer managed to cram about 24 climate myths into a 13-point white paper. Most importantly, as Schmidt noted, the bulk of those myths served no purpose.
Just consider Spencer’s ...
At the webpage you’ll see these points are packed with links to further information.