An Op-Ed by Matt Ridley called “Whatever Happened to Global Warming?” appeared in the Sept. 4 issue of the “Wall Street Journal,” drawing a strong rebuke from global warming theorists such as Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs. There was one problem: the criticism was heavy on name-calling and accusations and very light on facts.
Ridley’s original piece spoke about the “long pause” of global warming, which according to the source, is a lack of any warming for the past 16-25 years. Ridley suggests that because of the pause and scientists predicting a cooling trend, U.N. scientists working on warming should pack up, go home and concentrate on more pressing global problems such as war, terror, disease, poverty, habitat loss and the 1.3 billion people with no electricity.
Sachs, who last week on MSNBC drew a moral equivalence between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the U.S. bombing of ISIS, tweeted out a quick dismissal of Ridley’s article:
Ridley climate ignorance in WSJ today is part of compulsive lying of Murdoch media gang. Ridley totally misrepresents the science.
Do you think Cubans are fighting for healthcare or freedom from Communism?
Ridley asked Sachs to explain but instead there was an article at the Huffington Post written by Sachs, called “The Wall Street Journal Parade of Climate Lies – @JeffDSachs destroys daft @mattwridley article [email protected].”
In his Tuesday WSJ response Ridley responded to the Sachs article:
All bluster and careful misdirection, and contradicts nothing in my article, let alone producing evidence of lies. The sheer inaccuracy of the riposte in its descriptions of what I said or what I think are breathtaking, as are its failure to address any of the issues I raise, let alone contradict them: I had respect for Jeffrey Sachs as a scholar before reading this. Here are some key passages:
“Ridley’s “smoking gun” is a paper last week in Science Magazine by two scientists Xianyao Chen and Ka-Kit Tung . . .”
Notice the quote marks around “smoking gun,” implying that I used the phrase. I did not. In any case, the Chen and Tung paper was only one of the pieces of evidence I cited.
“. . . which Ridley somehow believes refutes all previous climate science.”
I said nothing of the sort and I believe nothing of the sort. Chen and Tung is about currents in the Atlantic, not about “all climate science”!
“The Wall Street Journal editors don’t give a hoot about the nonsense they publish if it serves their cause of fighting measures to limit human-induced climate change. If they had simply gone online to read the actual paper, they would have found that the paper’s conclusions are the very opposite of Ridley’s.”
In his writing, the real Mr. Sachs does not often use phrases like “don’t give a hoot.”
In any case, he’s plain wrong about the contradiction. The quote I gave from the press release is accurate. And I have read the paper and can assure Mr. “Sachs” that its conclusions are not the opposite of what I have said.
“First, the paper makes perfectly clear that the Earth is warming in line with standard climate science, and that the Earth’s warming is unabated in recent years. In the scientific lingo of the paper (it’s very first line, so Ridley didn’t have far to read!), “Increasing anthropogenic greenhouse-gas-emissions perturb Earth’s radiative equilibrium, leading to a persistent imbalance at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) despite some long-wave radiative adjustment.” In short, we humans are filling the atmosphere with carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel use, and we are warming the planet.”
Mr. “Sachs” did not have far to read in my own article to find this is in complete agreement with what I wrote also:
“I’ve long thought that man-made carbon-dioxide emissions will raise global temperatures, but that this effect will not be amplified much by feedbacks from extra water vapor and clouds, so the world will probably be only a bit more than one degree Celsius warmer in 2100 than today.”
Instead of using words like “unabated” why not give numbers? I did.
Ridley goes on to give additional examples of Sachs’ blustery, factless commentary and concluded:
Soon after my article was published, another peer-reviewed paper appeared in the Journal Nature Climate Change, about as mainstream a climate science publication as you can find. It is entitled: “Climate model simulations of the observed early-2000s hiatus of global warming.” The respected commentator and academic Roger Pielke Jr. tweeted:
“Can’t wait to see @JeffDSachs eviscerate this paper, no doubt by more of Murdoch’s lying henchmen.”