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Global Warming Denialism ‘Just Foolishness,’ Scientist Peter Raven Says

U.S. prestige falling as world has ‘pretty well given up’ on any American leadership facing climate change.
——-


Nature’s Edge Notebook #23


Observation, Analysis, Reflection, New Questions


One of the world’s most widely known and respected senior scientists
tells ABC News that current denial about the basic daunting realities of
manmade global warming is “just foolishness.”
He also reports that the rest of the world has now “pretty well given
up” on its hope for U.S. leadership in dealing with global climate
change.
His assessment reinforces our findings at the recent global climate
summit in Durban, South Africa, that the vigorous anti-climate science
movement in the United States has significantly damaged American
prestige among European leaders who are struggling to deal with the
daunting impacts of global warming.
Peter Raven, co-inventor in 1964, along with biologist Paul R.
Ehrlich, of the bedrock concept of co-evolution (see footnote below),
has long been a trusted adviser of American presidents, many other heads
of state and government, religious leaders including popes, and
countless congressional, academic and scientific leaders in the United
States and around the world.
A frequent world traveler for his work, Raven reconfirmed in an email
from the international Planet Under Pressure conference in London what
he first told Natures’ Edge in 2010 in St. Louis.
When we asked, in the course of an interview on the occasion of his
retirement after four decades as head of the Missouri Botanical Gardens,
what he thought about the increasing claims of some parties in the
United States that the science and alarm about manmade global warming
was “a hoax” or greatly overblown, he responded patiently, “Oh, it’s
just foolishness.”
“It’s not a matter of conjecture anymore,” he said. “Climate change
is the most serious challenge probably that the human race has ever
confronted.”
Raven quickly summarized the virtually unanimous understanding of the
world’s climate scientists and other responsible experts about the
great upheavals manmade global warming is now producing.
He talked to us outdoors, in the now world-famous, immense and
exquisite gardens that, as the brief introduction to this video excerpt
of his remarks shows, he had turned into an expansive vision of what a
peaceful and balanced world could look like — a sort of international
botanical metaphor.
His remarks on the gravity and certainty of manmade global warming begin at 2:47 of this clip:



“There is virtually unanimous consensus among the world’s scientists
who work in the area that human beings are the major reason that this is
so (the world’s average temperature rising),” writes Raven from London.
“Because, just as first noted by the Swedish chemist Arrhenius in 1895,
when you add more carbon dioxide or other co-called greenhouse gases to
the atmosphere, you make it warmer.”
Academic and scientific surveys have repeatedly confirmed this view among the world’s climate scientists.


One detailed study, “Expert Credibility in Climate Change,” published
in PNAS, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, July 6,
2010, focused on “an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers.”
It found that “97-98 percent of the climate researchers most actively
publishing in the field … supported the basic tenets of ACC (manmade
global warming) established by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change.”
It also determined that the minute number of detractors had
significantly less standing in the field of climate science among their
scientist peers.
It reported that “the relative climate expertise and scientific
prominence of the researchers unconvinced of (those tenets of climate
change) are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.”
America’s Prestige Damaged by Its Climate Denialism; World Has ‘Given Up’ on Hoped-for U.S. Leadership


“Two years ago,” Raven added in his email, “the world was hoping for
U.S. leadership on this question, global climate change, and now it has
pretty well given up, with us as the only hold-out nation on the
science.”
An extensive “disinformation campaign” in the United States about the
scientific solidity and gravity of manmade global warming has been
described in detail by a number of academic analyses and extensive
professional journalistic enquiry.
For example, “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists
Obscured the Truth on Issues From Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming,” by
Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, details how ideological, political and
fossil fuel industry interests have been able to confuse and intimidate
many leaders in legislature and media.
Author and journalist Ross Gelbspan, who directed a Pulitzer
Prize-winning investigation at the Boston Globe, was one of the first
professional journalists to describe fossil fuel industry efforts to
delay government regulation on greenhouse gas emissions as long as
possible.
“They don’t expect or need to win any debate,” he says, “they just want to keep the appearance of a debate going.”


(This reporter has observed, in the years since first focusing on the
story of global warming in 2004, that the tiny handful of so called
“skeptic” scientists with any pretense to credibility on the subject has
not increased in number.)
What Gelbspan and others describe as a massively funded and cynical
PR campaign to confuse and intimidate appears to have greatly increased
in the years since Gelbspan described it in his books “The Heat Is On”
(1997) and “Boiling Point” (2005.)
(Gelbspan still maintains an extensive website is at www.heatisonline.org )


Intimidation of media leaders, notably those professing to provide
professional journalism, is described by Gelbspan and other analysts as
proceeding from a “false politicization” of the issue — notably in the
adoption by one of America’s two major political parties, the
Republicans — of an anti-climate science agenda.
This, they suggest, may have meant that some editors and news
executives feared that if they covered manmade global warming with the
scale and focus the science would seem to require, that it would, at
least to some American audiences and readers, have appeared necessarily
partisan.
Whatever the cause, America’s vigorous anti-climate science
campaigns, amplified by political rhetoric and, so far, defeating
federal legislative efforts, has dismayed European and other leaders
grappling with the highly destructive impacts of rapidly advancing
climate change.
U.S. Now Geopolitically Isolated on Climate; Many Display
Frustration and Anger at American Stance; Europe, the Moral Leader Now
Looks East for Solutions
This reporter has been surprised over the past year at the degree to
which European leaders have been willing to go on the record excoriating
the failure of American leadership in the face of the enormous global
climate crisis.
At the recent annual global climate summit, held in Durban, Alden
Meyer of America’s Union of Concerned Scientists, told ABC News that he
now sees among negotiators from Europe and many other countries “not
just tremendous frustration, but anger” at the American stance on
climate.
“The U.S. is geopolitically isolated now on climate,” Meyer said.
“The E.U. is still the moral leader in this, and has been at least since
the (1992) Rio Summit on environment.”
Achim Steiner, the head of UNEP (United Nations Environment
Programme) told ABC News that, in the absence of American leadership on
this global crisis, Europe is now “looking east” — particularly toward
China — to try to figure out what a solution might look like.
Also dovetailing with this and Peter Raven’s assessment that “the
world has pretty much given up” on American leadership in climate,
Christiana Figueres, the head of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change) used even stronger language, speaking of
the “tragedy” of the U.S. position:
“The tragedy of the position that the U.S. is taking is that not only
does it act here in a way that is not particularly ambitious, but the
more tragic part about it is the U.S. is cutting off its possibilities
to be a leader in this field, to be a leader in green technology (and
thus) to create jobs,” Figueres said. “The U.S. is losing leadership to
China.”
You may read our full story from Durban here: http://abcn.ws/rE3L1P


————

FOOTNOTE: The term coevolution was invented by Paul Ehrlich and Peter
Raven in their 1964 article: “Butterflies and plants: a study in
coevolution.” Its basic definition is roughly as “evolution in two or
more evolutionary entities brought about by reciprocal selective effects
between the entities.” — Say, when certain nectar-laden plants evolve
deeper flowers allowing only certain birds with longer beaks to
pollinate them… and the birds, in turn, evolve even longer beaks to do
so more efficiently.
—————-

We invite you to follow our weekly Nature’s Edge Notebook on Facebook and on Twitter @BBlakemoreABC
Find more on our Nature’s Edge website at: www.abcnews.com/naturesedge




http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/04/global-warming-denialism-just-foolishness-scientist-peter-raven-says/


Added: Apr-1-2012 Occurred On: Apr-1-2012
By: dirwulf
In:
Other News
Tags: Global, warming, Peter, Raven, Nature, Natures, Edge, Deny, Denialism, Foolish
Location: United States (load item map)
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  • "Global Warming" is junk science that is propagated for .gov grant money. The data has been proven fraudulent 100 times over and/or inconclusive due to lack of length.

    "Move on" to the next issue-du-jour your masters tell you is important, liberals.

    What's the matter? OWS isn't a cool enough issue to bitch about anymore?

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

    (5) | Report

    • Comment of user 'Americanalltheway' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Numerous religions through history have said the earth would heat up and be scorched. Were they somehow privy to this global warming event then? If scientist are right about man made global warming then that means the Christians knew about it in Revelations as did a host of other religions. I guess the Bronze age started global warming. I remember in the 1970's the scientist's were going on about the coming of the second ice age as well. Even had all their data to prove it was arriving. The fact More..

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

    (4) | Report

  • Dead horse.

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

    (3) | Report

  • I find it absurd that you use a scientist and expert to support your global warming argument. You should have instead used a credible source like an executive at big oil company or any republican lawmaker.

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

    (2) | Report

  • It is not"Just Foolishness" Oil ,coal and gas companies plus their stooges want to continue to make vast profits.

    If the use of non renewable resources continue to increase then their profits increase. Their grandchildren will have the wealth to carve out a niche in one of the few remaining inhabitable areas of earth, the rest can go hang.

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

    (2) | Report

  • Comment of user 'Americanalltheway' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • If this guy is one of the world's most widely known and respected senior scientists, then why doesn't he debate the issue with a leading scientist who believes that global warming is being exaggerated for political reasons? Passing a global warming reduction bill will bring the government into almost every facet of your life and wreck our economy. Al Gore jumped at the chance to debate Ross Perot on N.A.F.T.A. and made Perot look like a fool. But Gore and all these global warming believing eliti More..

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

    (1) | Report

  • The Sun has reached peak activity for its current cycle, there's been no warming for the last 15 years, and libtards sense that time is growing short for them to foist a carbon tax on everyone. I'll be looking forward to watching their whole pathetic scam unravel over the next 10 years.

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

    (1) | Report

    • @quasimodo True that, we should ignore it completely. We are but a blink of an eye in terms of the earth existence. She warms and cools constantly over time but these self important moron scientists believe they actually had an impact on her....

      Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

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  • The US is taking a break. Let China or someone else lead the world in climate change.

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

    (0) | Report

    • @USA1

      More truth to that then meets the eye. I would be willing to bet that India and China are the worlds biggest producers of greenhouse gasses.

      Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

      (2) | Report

    • @LoonieToonie

      Is it a competition to produce more that everyone else?

      Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

      (3) | Report

    • @LoonieToonie

      As with anything that pits the 1st world against the 3rd world, and as always there's always plenty of extortion involved.

      The truth is that mankind won't do anything until there's a visible crisis. By then it's too late. We could always just say, "Sorry 'bout dat, Maldives."

      We are now in a mild ice age and are 100 feet down from the top water level should all the ice melt. The earth has existed for millennium without ice at the poles. During "Snow Ball Eart More..

      Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

      (2) | Report

    • @USA1

      Exactly.

      We weren't alive 100 years ago and we won't be alive in 100 years either, so why should we care?

      Let's live the world NOW and to the hell with future generations, they'll do fine and if they don't we won't be there to see it anyway. The planet has already seen much greater losses than that, and frankly, it will only benefit from it.

      Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

      (0) | Report

    • Comment of user 'Americanalltheway' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • I do understand the article. There's an even greater trend in science denialism, which I think is a root cause.

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

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  • Another guy who doesn't realize how BIG the planet is. His faux-intellectualism is probably causing him, in the back of his mind, to think the world is flat...

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Global warming is just a theory...............kinda like gravity.

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

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  • Scientist who are funded by a Government will always push the government backed "green" energy agenda so they or their friends like AL Gore can get rich on things like light bulbs(made in china) that they have invested in.

    They change the name from Global Warming to Climate Change because most literate people know its based on fudging with the calculations that turn graphs into hockey sticks to show the temperature rising.

    Of course there is climate change, yesterday was 70 degrees a More..

    Posted Apr-3-2012 By 

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  • h

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

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  • There is no doubt we are changing the world in a negative manner. The earth is like a living organism that we are slowly destroying as parasites. Look down at the earth from a plane some day. Everywhere we are is brown, black and dying... everywhere we are not, is lush green and healthy. Global warming is simply a term designated by the government to scare people into paying all kinds of environmental taxes and making companies pay for carbon credits. There is no limit to a companies pollution More..

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

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  • Problem, Reaction, Solution.... yada yada

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

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  • Denialism?

    Don't you mean apostate? Come on, put it into the religious terms this theory demands. Others don't share your faith, and because they refuse to bow to the scientist sold out to collectivism, and to prostrate their finances and living standards before the white robed priests, they shall be damned to a future of burning to death as the earth heats up...oh...say 1-2°?

    The arrogance, the elitism, the religious devotion of this new breed of moon howler belief system is noteworthy on th More..

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

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  • There's an interesting thought-experiment that illuminates the issue, it goes a little something like this:

    Is human caused global warming true or false?

    ---------------True | False
    -------------------------------
    Do something .....|............
    about it: ........1...|....2......
    -------------------------------
    Do nothing .........|............
    about it: .......3:..|....4.......



    1.
    We'r in for interesting times as the greenhouse effect grabs us by the balls.
    But by chang More..

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Global warming has been disproven tons of times. Climate change is a natural occurrence.

    Where did all the ice from the ice ages go?

    It melted.

    How?

    Global Warming.

    The Earth didn't warm up millions of years ago from cars because cars DIDN'T EXIST YET.

    Man-made global warming is a myth.

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

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  • "97-98 percent of the climate researchers most actively
    publishing in the field … supported the basic tenets of ACC (manmade
    global warming)"

    I'm sorry (not really). But you just can't get 97-98 percent of real, honest scientists to agree on the color of sh.t let alone global warming. This is just laughable.

    "U.S. prestige falling as world has ‘pretty well given up’ on any American leadership facing climate change."

    Um, has our intrepid, globe-trotting author ever More..

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'Zardoz003' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @Zardoz003
      I didn't compare us to anybody. The fact remains that India and China, regardless of their government model or their third world status, will churn out more CO2 together than we could if we tried. Hell, most of the coal we mine will get burned in China. What sense does that make? It sure isn't going to help any so-called environmental causes.

      Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

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    • @copperdog3 China burns 70% of the worlds mined coal every year lol

      Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

      (1) | Report

    • @Zardoz003 Once again displaying your stupidity. You couldn't grasp what he is saying so you label him as a right winger. Dumb ass.

      Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'Zardoz003' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!