In a letter sent to all 100 members of the United States Senate, five scientists from Princeton University, the University of Virginia, and the University of California, Santa Barbara have warned the Senators that any supposed consensus of the scientific community on climate change is "a fake, designed to stampede you into actions that will cripple our economy, and which you will regret for many years. There is no consensus, and even if there were, consensus is not the test of scientific validity. Theories that disagree with the facts are wrong, consensus or no."
The scientists sent their letter, dated October 29, in response to a letter the Senators received from the American Association for the Advancement of Science claiming a "consensus" of the scientific community on climate change and asserting that "immediate and drastic action is needed to avert a climactic catastrophe."
The same five signatories and others had also sent a previous open letter to the Senators, saying,
The sky is not falling. The earth has been cooling for 10 years, without help. The present cooling was NOT predicted by the alarmists' computer models, and has come as an embarrassment to them...
We are flooded with claims that the evidence is clear, that the debate is closed, that we must act immediately, etc., but in fact there is no such evidence. It doesn't exist.
The October 29 letter also notes that the American Physical Society, an organization of physicists, did not sign the AAAS letter and states the society is "at this moment reviewing its stance on so-called global warming, having received a petition from its membership to do so. That petition was signed by 160 distinguished members and fellows of the society, including one Nobelist and 12 members of the National Academies. Indeed a score of the signers are Members and Fellows of the AAAS, none of whom were consulted before the AAAS letter to you," the dissenting scientists wrote.
The petition reads in part: "Studies of a variety of natural processes, including ocean cycles and solar variability, indicate that they can account for variations in the Earth's climate on the time scale of decades and centuries. Current climate models appear insufficiently reliable to properly account for natural and anthropogenic contributions to past climate change, much less project future climate.
"The APS supports an objective scientific effort to understand the effects of all processes — natural and human — on the Earth's climate."
The 160 signees of the petition range alphabetically from Harold M. Agnew, former White House science councilor and former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, to Martin V. Zombeck, a physicist formerly with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and include Ivar Giaever, who shared the Nobel Prize in physics in 1973.
While the herd mentality on "global warming" or "climate change" has been difficult to resist, a firm and growing number of scientists have been speaking up against jumping to conclusions that may be unwarranted and will surely be expensive, both in terms of dollars and in the freedom of action that will be constricted by new environmental regulations that will be imposed to conserve energy consumptions and reduce the "carbon footprint" on the Earth. The statements of the dissenting scientists have given both moral support and intellectual ammunition to those who have opposed the climate-control crusade as a ply to increase the power of government in developed countries and accelerate the trend toward one-world government under a "new world order." Skeptics have long been pointing out that some of the same alarmists who are now warning of the Earth's warming were some 30 years ago warning of cooling temperatures and a coming ice age. They also note that similar variations in temperatures have occurred on other planets within the same time frame in which they have been noted on Earth. Mars, for example, has been said to have undergone the same rise in temperature as the Earth has in recent decades.
On the other hand, proponents of taking action to curb climate change charge that efforts at reform are being opposed by the coal, oil, and natural-gas industries and from oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia. Every gallon of gasoline or heating oil we buy puts more money into the coffers of governments in the Middle East that are unfriendly to the United States and the West in general, they say. The United States and allied nations have been mired in wars in the Middle East, most notably in Iraq and Afghanistan, due in part to our dependence on oil from that region. Critics of current American policy say the nations of the world are expected to spend $13 trillion on armaments in the next decade, or 10 times what would be required to solve the climate crisis. The United States now spends more on military armaments that the rest of the world combined, according to organizations that monitor such spending worldwide. But these are more political comments than scientific ones.