Lost amid the coverage of Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg at last week’s U.N. Global Climate Summit were the 500 international scientists, engineers and other stakeholders sounding a very different message: “There is no climate emergency.”
The European Climate Declaration, spearheaded by the Amsterdam-based Climate Intelligence Foundation [CLINTEL], described the leading climate models as “unfit” and urged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to pursue a climate policy based on “sound science.”
“Current climate policies pointlessly and grievously undermine the economic system, putting lives at risk in countries denied access to affordable, reliable electrical energy,” said the Sept. 23 letter signed by professionals from 23 countries.
Most of the signers hailed from Europe, but there were also scientists from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South America.
“We urge you to follow a climate policy based on sound science, realistic economics and genuine concern for those harmed by costly but unnecessary attempts at mitigation,” the letter said.
The signers asked Mr. Guterres to place the declaration on the UN’s agenda for the meeting ending Monday—which hasn’t happened—and organize a meeting of scientists “on both sides of the climate debate early in 2020.”
The declaration was dismissed by Penn State climatologist Michael E. Mann, who called it “craven and stupid,” as well as the left-of-center [U.K.] Guardian, which said the document “repeats well-worn and long-debunked talking points on climate change that are contradicted by scientific institutions and academies around the world.”
At the same time, the sheer number of prominent signers with scientific and engineering credentials belied the contention that only a handful of fringe researchers and fossil-fuel shills oppose the climate-catastrophe “consensus.”
The U.S. contingent was made up of 45 U.S. professors, engineers and scientists, including MIT professor emeritus Richard Lindzen; Freeman Dyson of the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton, and Stanford University professor emeritus Elliott D. Bloom, as well as several signers formerly affiliated with NASA.
The declaration made six points:
· “Nature as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming”
· “Warming is far slower than predicted”
· “Climate policy relies on inadequate models”
· Carbon dioxide is “plant food, the basis of all life on Earth”
· “Global warming has not increased natural disasters”
· “Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities”
Convincing climate-focused institutions like the UN to engage on such topics has been a struggle, said Guus Berkhout, professor emeritus of geophysics at Delft University of Technology and a CLINTEL co-founder.
“We promote a scientific discussion at the highest level between both sides of the climate debate, but the mainstream refuses so far,” said Mr. Berkhout in an email. “They always come with the same arguments: they are right and we are wrong. Period!”
Indeed, the UN discussion is moving full speed ahead on carbon neutrality, with policymakers, researchers and media outlets calling for increasingly urgent measures to combat the “climate crisis” and “climate emergency.”
“We need more concrete plans, more ambition from more countries and more businesses,” said Mr. Guterres in a Sept. 23 statement. “We need all financial institutions, public and private, to choose, once and for all, the green economy.”
UN spokesman Dan Shepard said the body is guided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, adding that any “compelling evidence to the contrary” should be “brought to the attention of IPCC working groups.”
In their letter, the CLINTEL network called it “cruel as well as imprudent to advocate the squandering of trillions of dollars on the basis of results from such immature models.”
“The science is far from settled,” said Mr. Berkhout.
CLINTEL was founded this year by Mr. Berkhout and journalist Marcel Crok with a grant from Dutch real-estate developer Niek Sandmann.