The consensus scientific view

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From Nick Palmer, committee member, Jersey Climate Action Network.

YOUR correspondent Gerard Baudains (JEP, 28 October) implies that groups such as Jersey Climate Action Network (featured in an article in the JEP on 26 October) lobby the States with ‘false information’ and that I, as one of the spokesmen for them, am gullible for accepting the consensus scientific view on climate change.

He mentioned several pieces of classic disinformation from the global warming denial movement, including ice core and solar radiation considerations. The calibre of these lobbyists would be evident if the public realised that they keep on relentlessly promoting the same deceptive ideas, long after they have been demolished by genuine science, because they know that they are very effective at fooling the public.

What leads those fooled by them to think that entire areas of climate science and policy, the subject of close study by thousands of very smart people all over the globe every day, can be overturned with facile points of illogical and silver bullet arguments that nobody’s ever thought of before?

There are straightforward answers to ex-Deputy Baudains’s apparently innocent rhetorical questions, and he should know them, because I e-mailed him the relevant links and information about the science in January 2008 when he used to make these very same claims on his political website. Perhaps he has forgotten, or perhaps he did not understand them.

It would take too much space to definitively counter his points here but anyone interested should contact us directly at

It is clear that the source of the vast majority of the denialist lobby machine is the USA. It is said that up to 40% of the American public now have doubts about man-made climate change because of the unprecedented blitzkrieg of propaganda that these lobbyists are pushing out.

Perhaps the quickest and most reassuring way for the general public to ascertain who is peddling ‘junk science’, as Mr Baudains describes it, J-CAN or him, would be to read the following, which is a copy of a letter very recently sent to every US Senator and signed by the representatives of the biggest and most respected scientific organisations in America.

They are highly unlikely to be so universally corrupt as to support what he implies is a gigantic hoax just to back up ‘multi-nationals who want to raise fuel prices’ and for ‘governments looking for any excuse to raise taxes’. Laughably paranoid thinking.

Dear Senator:

As you consider climate change legislation, we, as leaders of scientific organizations, write to state the consensus scientific view. Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.

These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science. Moreover, there is strong evidence that ongoing climate change will have broad impacts on society, including the global economy and on the environment.

For the United States, climate change impacts include sea level rise for coastal states, greater threats of extreme weather events, and increased risk of regional water scarcity, urban heat waves, western wildfires, and the disturbance of biological systems throughout the country. The severity of climate change impacts is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades.

Signed by the presidents and directors of:

American Association for the Advancement of Science.

American Chemical Society.

American Geophysical Union.

American Institute of Biological Sciences.

American Meteorological Society.

American Society of Agronomy.

American Society of Plant Biologists.

American Statistical Association.

Association of Ecosystem Research Centers.

Botanical Society of America.

Crop Science Society of America.

Ecological Society of America.

Natural Science Collections Alliance.

Organization of Biological Field Stations.

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Society of Systematic Biologists.

Soil Science Society of America.

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

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