Continued from last week’s post (even though I’m not as good at this as Ben is):
With a PhD in solid state physics and a distinguished career in electrical engineering, Michael Kelly (professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.) actually seems like a pretty smart dude with little in the way of outside dirt on his hands. That said, his own bio also indicates zilch in the way of a climate science background. (It goes without saying that people specialize in things for a reason, right? Because it’s impossible to be an expert at everything, even for people who are very smart overall, as Mr. Kelly appears to be? And yeah: he’s an old white dude.)
William Kininmonth (former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology) is another card-carrying member of Old White Guys Anonymous — and also a card-carrying member of The Lavoisier Group, which helped launch his book, Climate Change: a Natural Hazard, and is presided over by former mining magnate and current nuclear energy investor, Hugh Morgan. Also:
According to a search of 22,000 academic journals, Kininmonth has not published any research in a peer-reviewed journal on the subject of climate change.
Richard Lindzen (professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT) has an impressive one-line CV (that of the previous parenthetical) and an equally impressive multi-line one. However, as Ross Gelbspan at Harper’s pointed out many moons ago,
Lindzen, for his part, charges oil and coal interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services; his 1991 trip to testify before a Senate committee was paid for by Western Fuels, and a speech he wrote, entitled “Global Warming: the Origin and Nature of Alleged Scientific Consensus,” was underwritten by OPEC.
Any guesses as to his relative age and skin color?
James McGrath (professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University) is — as you’ve probably guessed by now — a middle-aged Asian female. HA! That’s just a little climate change denial humor for you. He’s actually very old and very white. He’s also a member of the Plastics Hall of Fame (what is plastic made from again?) with literally nothing in the way of climate science background or related fields in his loooong career.
Rodney Nichols (former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences) is another not-climate-scientist whose “commercial consulting has included the central research laboratory of GTE and Shell Technology Ventures.” And old, white, etc. (Why do we keep harping on oldness and whiteness here? I dunno. Ben started it, now I’m continuing it. I think we just find it interesting that it’s always old white guys who say nothing is wrong with how things are.)
Burt Rutan (aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne) made some awesome rocketships. How does that extrapolate to climate change expertise again?
Harrison H. Schmitt (Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator) is head of New Mexico’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department whose “first order of business [was to review] regulations on oil companies put in place by [Gov. Martinez's (R)] predecessor, former Gov. Bill Richardson (D).”
He also believes — in a completely logical and non-conspiracy-theorist sort of way — that
the whole trend [of anthropogenic climate change] really began with the fall of the Soviet Union. Because the great champion of the opponents of liberty, namely communism, had to find some other place to go and they basically went into the environmental movement. [cite]
Three more to go. (Goddamn jobs.)
(One day later)
Nir Shaviv (professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem) is — drumroll please — a young white dude this time! But while he adds his name to the above list, he has also admitted:
According to the common perception, the temperature over the 20th century has been warming, and it is mostly anthropogenic in origin, with greenhouse gases (GHGs) being the dominant driver. Others, usually called “skeptics”, challenge this view and instead claim that the temperature variations are all part of natural variability. As I try to demonstrate below, the truth is probably somewhere in between, with natural causes probably being more important over the past century, whereas anthropogeniccauses will probably be more dominant over the next century. Following empirical evidence I describe below, about 2/3′s (give or take a third or so) of the warming should be attributed to increased solar activity and the remaining to anthropogenic causes.
Shaviv also stresses
that there are a dozen good reasons why we should strive to burn less fossil fuels.
The two primary reasons why fossil fuels are bad are of course pollution and depletion, while minor reasons include for example the fact that many fossil fuel reserves are controlled by unpleasant governments.
Clearly, not you average “Drill, baby, drill!” reflexively conservative wingnut. (Check out Ben’s Nir Shaviv-centric piece for more info.)
Henk Tennekes (former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service) gets us back on track in the old guy department. And returning to the previously cited DeSmogBlog, he also has “not published any original research in a peer-reviewed journal since 1990.” Moreover (if the Wikipedia citation of a Dutch-language article is to be believed), he “objected to the increase of computing power for medium-range weather forecasting…by referring to biblical texts.”
Finally, the ancient Antonio Zichichi (president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva) is a supremely accomplished nuclear physicist…with, again, no background in climate science or related research. (That said, and for what it’s worth, Nobel Prize laureate Hans Bethe has called Zichichi an “ottimo organizzatore, mediocre fisico” (excellent organizer, mediocre physicist).