Climate change is real: an open letter from the scientific community

Reposted from The Conversation

The overwhelming scientific evidence tells us that human greenhouse gas emissions are resulting in climate changes that cannot be explained by natural causes.

Climate change is real, we are causing it, and it is happening right now.

Like it or not, humanity is facing a problem that is unparalleled in its scale and complexity. The magnitude of the problem was given a chilling focus in the most recent report of the International Energy Agency, which their chief economist characterised as the “worst news on emissions.”

Limiting global warming to 2°C is now beginning to look like a nearly insurmountable challenge.

Like all great challenges, climate change has brought out the best and the worst in people.

A vast number of scientists, engineers, and visionary businesspeople are boldly designing a future that is based on low-impact energy pathways and living within safe planetary boundaries; a future in which substantial health gains can be achieved by eliminating fossil-fuel pollution; and a future in which we strive to hand over a liveable planet to posterity.

At the other extreme, understandable economic insecurity and fear of radical change have been exploited by ideologues and vested interests to whip up ill-informed, populist rage, and climate scientists have become the punching bag of shock jocks and tabloid scribes.

Aided by a pervasive media culture that often considers peer-reviewed scientific evidence to be in need of “balance” by internet bloggers, this has enabled so-called “sceptics” to find a captive audience while largely escaping scrutiny.

Australians have been exposed to a phony public debate which is not remotely reflected in the scientific literature and community of experts.

Beginning today, The Conversation will bring much-needed and long-overdue accountability to the climate “sceptics.”

For the next two weeks, our series of daily analyses will show how they can side-step the scientific literature and how they subvert normal peer review. They invariably ignore clear refutations of their arguments and continue to promote demonstrably false critiques.

We will show that “sceptics” often show little regard for truth and the critical procedures of the ethical conduct of science on which real skepticism is based.

The individuals who deny the balance of scientific evidence on climate change will impose a heavy future burden on Australians if their unsupported opinions are given undue credence.

The signatories below jointly authored this article, and some may also contribute to the forthcoming series of analyses.

Signatories

  1. Winthrop Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, Australian Professorial Fellow, UWA
  2. Dr. Matthew Hipsey, Research Assistant Professor, School of Earth and Environment, Centre of Excellence for Ecohydrology, UWA
  3. Dr Julie Trotter, Research Assistant Professor, School of Earth and Environment, UWA Oceans Institute, UWA
  4. Winthrop Professor Malcolm McCulloch, F.R.S., Premier’s Research Fellow, UWA Oceans Institute, School of Earth and Environment, UWA
  5. Professor Kevin Judd, School of Mathematics and Statistics, UWA
  6. Dr Thomas Stemler, Assistant Professor, School of Mathematics and Statistics, UWA
  7. Dr. Karl-Heinz Wyrwoll, Senior Lecturer, School of Earth and Environment, UWA
  8. Dr. Andrew Glikson, Earth and paleoclimate scientist, School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Research School of Earth Science, Planetary Science Institute, ANU
  9. Prof Michael Ashley, School of Physics, Faculty of Science, UNSW
  10. Prof David Karoly, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne
  11. Prof John Abraham, Associate Professor, School of Engineering, University of St. Thomas
  12. Prof Ian Enting, ARC Centre for Mathematics and Statistics of Complex Systems, University of Melbourne
  13. Prof John Wiseman, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne
  14. Associate Professor Ben Newell, School of Psychology, Faculty of Science, UNSW
  15. Prof Matthew England, co-Director, Climate Change Research Centre, Faculty of Science, UNSW
  16. Dr Alex Sen Gupta Climate Change Research Centre,Faculty of Science, UNSW
  17. Prof. Mike Archer AM, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, UNSW
  18. Prof Steven Sherwood, co-Director, Climate Change Research Centre, Faculty of Science, UNSW
  19. Dr. Katrin Meissner, ARC Future Fellow, Climate Change Research Centre, Faculty of Science, UNSW
  20. Dr Jason Evans, ARC Australian Research Fellow, Climate Change Research Centre,Faculty of Science, UNSW
  21. Prof Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Global Change Institute, UQ
  22. Dr Andy Hogg, Fellow, Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU
  23. Prof John Quiggin, School of Economics, School of Political Science & Intnl Studies, UQ
  24. Prof Chris Turney FRSA FGS FRGS, Climate Change Research Centre and School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW
  25. Dr Gab Abramowitz, Lecturer, Climate Change Research Centre,Faculty of Science, UNSW
  26. Prof Andy Pitman, Climate Change Research Centre, Faculty of Science, UNSW
  27. Prof Barry Brook, Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change, University of Adelaide
  28. Prof Mike Sandiford, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne
  29. Dr Michael Box, Associate Professor, School of Physics, Faculty of Science, UNSW
  30. Prof Corey Bradshaw, Director of Ecological Modelling, The Environment Institute, The University of Adelaide
  31. Dr Paul Dargusch, School of Agriculture & Food Science, UQ
  32. Prof Nigel Tapper, Professor Environmental Science, School of Geography and Environmental Science Monash University
  33. Prof Jason Beringer, Associate Professor & Deputy Dean of Research, School of Geography & Environmental Science, Monash University
  34. Prof Neville Nicholls, Professorial Fellow, School of Geography & Environmental Science, Monash University
  35. Prof Dave Griggs, Director, Monash Sustainability Institute, Monash University
  36. Prof Peter Sly, Medicine Faculty, School of Paediatrics & Child Health, UQ
  37. Dr Pauline Grierson, Senior Lecturer, School of Plant Biology, Ecosystems Research Group, Director of West Australian Biogeochemistry Centre, UWA
  38. Prof Jurg Keller, IWA Fellow, Advanced Water Management Centre, UQ
  39. Prof Amanda Lynch, School of Geography & Environmental Science, Monash University
  40. A/Prof Steve Siems, School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University
  41. Prof Justin Brookes, Director, Water Research Centre, The University of Adelaide
  42. Prof Glenn Albrecht, Professor of Sustainability, Director: Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy (ISTP), Murdoch University
  43. Winthrop Professor Steven Smith, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, UWA
  44. Dr Kerrie Unsworth, School of Business, UWA
  45. Dr Pieter Poot, Assistant Professor in Plant Conservation Biology, School of Plant Biology, UWA
  46. Adam McHugh, Lecturer, School of Engineering and Energy, Murdoch University
  47. Dr Louise Bruce, Research Associate, School of Earth and Environment, UWA
  48. Dr Ailie Gallant, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne
  49. Dr Will J Grant, Australian National Centre for Public Awareness of Science, ANU
  50. Rick A. Baartman, Fellow of the American Physical Society
  51. William GC Raper, Senior Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO (retired)
  52. Dr Chris Riedy, Research Director, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney
  53. Ben McNeil, Senior Fellow, Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW
  54. Paul Beckwith, Department of Geography, University of Ottawa
  55. Tim Leslie, PhD candidate, Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW
  56. Dr Peter Manins, Chief Research Scientist, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (post-retirement Fellow)
  57. Prof Philip Jennings, Professor of Energy Studies, Murdoch University
  58. Dr John Tibby, Senior Lecturer, Geography, Environment and Population, University of Adelaide
  59. Prof Ray Wills, Adjunct Professor, School of Earth and Environment, UWA
  60. Jess Robertson, Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU
  61. Dr Paul Tregoning, Senior Fellow, Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU
  62. Dr Doone Wyborn, Adjunct Professor, Geothermal Centre of Excellence, University of Queensland
  63. Dr. Jonathan Whale, Director, National Small Wind Turbine Centre (NSWTC), Murdoch University
  64. Dr Tas van Ommen, Australian Antarctic Division, Cryosphere Program Leader, Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems CRC
  65. Dr Jim Salinger, Honorary Research Associate, School of Environment, University of Auckland
  66. Dr P. Timon McPhearson, Assistant Professor of Urban Ecology, Tishman Environment and Design Center, The New School, New York
  67. Prof Deo Prasad, Director Masters in Sustainable Development, UNSW
  68. Prof Rob Harcourt, Facility Leader, Australian Animal Tagging, Monitoring System Integrated Marine Observing System and Professor of Marine Ecology, Macquarie University
  69. Dr John Hunter, Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems CRC, University of Tasmania
  70. Dr Michael Brown, ARC Future Fellow & Senior Lecturer, School of Physics, Monash University
  71. Dr Karen McNamara, Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, University of the South Pacific
  72. Dr Paul Marshall, Director – Climate Change, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
  73. Dr Ivan Haigh, Post-doctoral Research Associate, UWA Oceans Institute and School of Environmental Systems Engineering
  74. Dr Ian Allison, Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC
  75. Dr Jennifer Coopersmith, Honorary Research Associate Department of Civil Engineering and Physical Sciences, La Trobe University
  76. Professor Emeritus Peter Kershaw, School of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University
  77. Professor Peter Gell, Director, Centre for Environmental Management, University of Ballarat
  78. Prof David A Hood, Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering, Queensland University of Technology
  79. Professor Lesley Hughes, Head of Biological Sciences and Co-director of Climate Futures at Macquarie, Macquarie University.
  80. Dr Melanie Bishop, Senior Lecturer, Department of Biological Sciences, Climate Futures at Macquarie, Macquarie University.
  81. Dr Jane Williamson, Senior Lecturer, Department of Biological Sciences, Climate Futures at Macquarie, Macquarie University.

Are you in the science field? Do you agree? If you’d like to add your name to the list, send an email to environment@theconversation.edu.au

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), environmentalist, Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace & sustainability.
This entry was posted in Environmental sustainability and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Climate change is real: an open letter from the scientific community

  1. Graeme says:

    HI Clive,
    I’m not a climate scientist (and don’t pretend to be one). In fact to be honest I don’t understand the science. That is why I take the word of the vast majority of scientists who say that climate change is happening, that humans are a major cause and that we need to do something about it.
    Maybe there is small chance that they are wrong and we don’t face a serious environmental threat.. What if they are wrong? We will have taken steps to reduce green house gases, we will have increased our use of renewable energies, we will have cleaned up the environment and hopefully we will have reduced our consumption.
    There is an extremely high chance that the people who say there is no threat are wrong. What would happen then? I don’t really want to even contemplate the far reaching consequences of ignoring the science and doing nothing.
    One of the main themes of my blog is community engagement and from this point of view I find the vehemence of your post interesting Clive. You presume to judge my motives and actions “I am sure you all know that but you don’t want us to know.”. I’m afraid that is incorrect. I don’t know about it and I’m not covering it up. You also suggest that I will “start bullshitting.” about this being the warmest decade on record. I really don’t understand what the motivation is behind what I would consider a fairly aggressive response.
    I must admit that quite often when I have watched debates involving people who don’t believe in climate change it seems to become an attack on the scientists or supporters of action on climate change, or the presentation of a conspiracy theory. I often try to see things from other people’s points of view. But I really don’t understand why so many people who ignore the scientific consensus on climate change appear to be so angry and so fearful of environmental action.

    Like

  2. Clive Bond says:

    Temperatures haven’t risen for FIFTEEN years. The models cannot explain why. There is scientific evidence to explain why. It is called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. I am sure you all know that but you don’t want us to know. Oh, and before you start bullshitting about this being the warmest decade on record ( the current method of distraction), it has been warming at about 0.7C per century for the past 300 years since the Little Ice Age. When do you reckon the warmest decade would be???
    There have been three warming phases of the Pacific Decadal oscillation in the modern temperature record : 1860 – 1880, 1910 – 1940 and 1975 – 1998, in 2009 the queation was asked in the British parliament, “… whether the rate of increase in global mean surface temperatures between 1975 and 1988 was similar to the rates of increase observed between 1860 and 1880 and between 1910 and 1940”
    The Met Office Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit confirmed that they were. As there could not have been any meaningful human CO2 influences on the first two the same can be said of the latest period. When you add to that the current PDO cooling coming in as predicted I don’t think you people have a leg to stand on . That’s science, not GIGO computer models.
    The Great Gobal Warming Gravy Train is grinding to a halt.

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