In my recent post on global warming denial, I included a list of denier tactics, of which # 3 was “fake experts”. Right on cue, I can report that today is the start of the Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change" – the “world’s largest-ever gathering of global warming skeptics”. Their list of speakers claims:
More than 70 of the world’s elite scientists, economists and others specializing in climate issues will confront the subject of global warming.
Grist is less than impressed with the speakers, and debunks the idea that many of them are actual experts in the subject:
So, Heartland says to the unsuspecting, the experts are all coming to this event, and they all say there is nothing to worry about. That actually makes the whole charade pretty easy to unmask.
We don't have to examine every particular scientific or pseudo-scientific argument that will be advanced during the conference (that's been done repeatedly), because the whole thrust of this conference is about who is attending, not what they are saying.
Click the Grist link for an examination of the main speakers. You may not be surprised to learn that most of them are clearly in the “fake expert” category – people mostly with credentials, but not in climate science. Exceptions to the “wrong credentials” list would be Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer, who are both actual climate scientists. Well, fair enough, but a couple of qualified contrarians is hardly “70 of the world’s elite scientists”. In any case, it seems these two may not be totally in the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) isn’t happening camp anyway:
While these two legitimate climate scientists express doubt about the dangers of climate change, they both acknowledge that the world is warming and that it is due to human activity, primarily greenhouse gas emissions. Actually, this puts them at odds with most of their fellow panelists.
I have to say, that was news to me. I haven’t really been following Lindzen’s work recently.
Incidentally, if you scroll down the list of speakers, you’ll see that our old friend Joanne Nova is there. Talk about fake experts. Her bit is entitled “The Great Global Fawning: How Science Journalists Pay Homage to Non-Science and Un-Reason”. Imagine having paid money to listen to that.
And for those determined to misunderstand anything written on this subject (and you know who you are), the above is not ad hominem – is is merely a rebuttal to the “more than 70 of the world’s elite scientists” appeal to authority claimed by the conference.
While writing on this subject, a quick response to “the IPCC is a political organization” ad hominem, favorite dismissal if the IPCC by the AGW skeptics. Here is a list of all 619 authors Working Group I of the recent IPCC report. This group's section covers the scientific basis, and lays the foundation for the rest of the report. Included are links to the authors’ personal homepages, a link to a Google Scholar search for their research, citation counts, degree information, Wikipedia links, affiliations and notes about declarations or petitions they have signed. Hat tip for this to A Few things Ill Considered. And again, for those determined to misunderstand anything written on this subject (and you still know who you are), this list is not an appeal to authority, I present it merely to debunk the “the IPCC is a political organization” ad hominem canard.