Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Settled Science Is Not Science

David Henderson
Academic Advisory Council
Global Warming Policy Foundation

Dear Professor Henderson,

I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that [it] has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not [been] expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship, etc.

I see no limit and end to what will happen,. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expected anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.

Under this situation I will be unable to contribute positively to the work of GWPF and consequently therefore I believe it is the best for me to reverse my decision to join its Board at the earliest possible time.

With my best regards,
Lennart Bengtsson.
Pictured: The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Artist's conception of what could occur with global warming; Jefferson Memorial, Washington, D.C.

David Henderson, a former chief economist for the OECD and now chairman of the Academic Advisory Council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation based in London, representing one of the world's leading global warming skeptical organizations, received the above letter of regretful resignation from Professor Bengtson.

From the contents of the letter explaining Professor Bengtson's reversal in his original agreement to join the GWPF's advisory board, Mr. Henderson noted that Professor Benstsson had reacted to "a degree of intolerance, and a rejection of the principle of open scientific enquiry, which are truly shocking".

Professor Bengtsson's international scientific reknown in meteorology and climate research was exemplified during the period from 1991 to 2000 when he was head of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany. He moved from that distinguished appointment to become a professor at the University of Reading.

And from 2008 onward he was Director of the International Space Science Institute in Bern, Switzerland. He has membership in many learned societies, over 200 publications to his name, and numerous awards in recognition of  his outstanding lifetime contribution to the science of Meteorology.

Invited to join the GWPF a month earlier, he agreed. When that became public knowledge in the environmental community many of the colleagues whom he had assumed to be collegially and scientifically inclined in support and agreement of his work and their mutual interests, began to snub and to criticize his intellectual, creative and scientific veracity.

He had offended their sense of the "settled science" of climate change, formerly named global warming.

Former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson, who had founded the GWPF, expressed his opinion that what happened to Professor Bengtsson, described by those who know him as "a kindly, mild-mannered Swedish grandfather", as "an appalling state of affairs, and your reference to McCarthyism is fully warranted."

Most of the virulent protests that had assailed 80-year-old Professor Bengtsson had emanated from the United States, according to the "Swedish grandfather", where the environmental issue has become a "legacy issue" for the Obama administration.

Professor Bengtsson had been invited to join the GWPF for the very sound reason that he has for some time expressed personal and professional skepticism of the certainty professed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the "settled science" of the claims they have made on the issue of environmental degradation and its cause.

He has pointed in particular at the lack of warming in the 21st Century. "The whole concept behind IPCC is basically wrong", he stated in an interview, rejecting the insistence on the presence of a scientific consensus, and emphasizing that skepticism represented scientific standards.

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