The distinguished economist William Nordhaus has a succinct and useful piece in the latest issue of the “NY Review of Books” that refutes the now mildly famous letter to the Wall St. Journal from 16 scientists from January. (I am reminded of the famous quote from Erwin Chargaff about James Watson and Francis Crick: “That… such giant shadows are cast by such pygmies only shows how late in the day it has become.”) Nordhaus dignifies the Denialists by calling them skeptics in his piece: Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong. (This apparently is being played back on us as the scientific community and the activists who have been trying to respond appropriately to their findings are now labeled “Warmists.” HT to my correspondent NJCons.) Real scientists are skeptical about data, hypotheses, models and the like. This is the hallmark of their profession and their art. Real scientists, writing in peer-reviewed journals, have no cavil with the underlying phenomena associated with climate change: the greenhouse effect, anthropogenically produced greenhouse gases, the many indicators of change, the impacts and the implications for our planet. As Naomi Oreskes established nearly ten years ago, there is indeed a scientific consensus on climate change. (If you want to know where there is some disagreement and where more science needs to be done, refer to this excellent story, The real holes in climate science from Nature.)
So, in a nutshell, Nordhaus eviscerates the piffle that the Wall St. Journal promulgated. (Surprise, surprise, surprise, as Gomer Pyle would’ve said, that the Journal is pushing this line. How could you expect anything else from a paper run by a man of such intense personal integrity and moral probity as Rupert Murdoch?) But read what Nordhaus has to say.