Climate Depot Exclusive
[Update July 31, 2009: Scientist Accuses American Chemical Society Editor of ‘censoring of articles and letters’ that reject man-made global warming claims! Many of the members have not only expressed their disgust, they are contemplating leaving the group’ ]
An outpouring of skeptical scientists who are members of the American Chemical Society (ACS) are revolting against the group’s editor-in-chief — with some demanding he be removed — after an editorial appeared claiming “the science of anthropogenic climate change is becoming increasingly well established.”
The editorial claimed the “consensus” view was growing “increasingly difficult to challenge, despite the efforts of diehard climate-change deniers.” The editor now admits he is “startled” by the negative reaction from the group’s scientific members. The American Chemical Society bills itself as the “world’s largest scientific society.”
The June 22, 2009 editorial in Chemical and Engineering News by editor in chief Rudy Baum, is facing widespread blowback and condemnation from American Chemical Society member scientists. Baum concluded his editorial by stating that “deniers” are attempting to “derail meaningful efforts to respond to global climate change.”
Dozens of letters from ACS members were published on July 27, 2009 castigating Baum, with some scientists calling for his replacement as editor-in-chief.
The editorial was met with a swift, passionate and scientific rebuke from Baum’s colleagues. Virtually all of the letters published on July 27 in castigated Baum’s climate science views. Scientists rebuked Baum’s use of the word “deniers” because of the terms “association with Holocaust deniers.” In addition, the scientists called Baum’s editorial: “disgusting”; “a disgrace”; “filled with misinformation”; “unworthy of a scientific periodical” and “pap.”
One outraged ACS member wrote to Baum: “When all is said and done, and you and your kind are proven wrong (again), you will have moved on to be an unthinking urn for another rat pleading catastrophe. You will be removed. I promise.”
Baum ‘startled’ by scientists reaction
Baum wrote on July 27, that he was “startled” and “surprised” by the “contempt” and “vehemence” of the ACS scientists to his view of the global warming “consensus.”
“Some of the letters I received are not fit to print. Many of the letters we have printed are, I think it is fair to say, outraged by my position on global warming,” Baum wrote.
Selected Excerpts of Skeptical Scientists:
“I think it’s time to find a new editor,” ACS member Thomas E. D’Ambra wrote.
Geochemist R. Everett Langford wrote: “I am appalled at the condescending attitude of Rudy Baum, Al Gore, President Barack Obama, et al., who essentially tell us that there is no need for further research—that the matter is solved.”
ACS scientist Dennis Malpass wrote: “Your editorial was a disgrace. It was filled with misinformation, half-truths, and ad hominem attacks on those who dare disagree with you. Shameful!”
ACS member scientist Dr. Howard Hayden, a Physics Professor Emeritus from the University of Connecticut: “Baum’s remarks are particularly disquieting because of his hostility toward skepticism, which is part of every scientist’s soul. Let’s cut to the chase with some questions for Baum: Which of the 20-odd major climate models has settled the science, such that all of the rest are now discarded? […] Do you refer to ‘climate change’ instead of ‘global warming’ because the claim of anthropogenic global warming has become increasingly contrary to fact?”
Edward H. Gleason wrote: “Baum’s attempt to close out debate goes against all my scientific training, and to hear this from my ACS is certainly alarming to me…his use of ‘climate-change deniers’ to pillory scientists who do not believe climate change is a crisis is disingenuous and unscientific.”
Atmospheric Chemist Roger L. Tanner: “I have very little in common with the philosophy of the Heartland Institute and other ‘free-market fanatics,’ and I consider myself a progressive Democrat. Nevertheless, we scientists should know better than to propound scientific truth by consensus and to excoriate skeptics with purple prose.”
William Tolley: “I take great offense that Baum would use Chemical and Engineering News, for which I pay dearly each year in membership dues, to purvey his personal views and so glibly ignore contrary information and scold those of us who honestly find these views to be a hoax.”
William E. Keller wrote: “However bitter you (Baum) personally may feel about CCDs (climate change deniers), it is not your place as editor to accuse them—falsely—of nonscientific behavior by using insultingly inappropriate language. […] The growing body of scientists, whom you abuse as sowing doubt, making up statistics, and claiming to be ignored by the media, are, in the main, highly competent professionals, experts in their fields, completely honorable, and highly versed in the scientific method—characteristics that apparently do not apply to you.”
ACS member Wallace Embry: “I would like to see the American Chemical Society Board ‘cap’ Baum’s political pen and ‘trade’ him to either the New York Times or Washington Post.” [To read the more reactions from scientists to Baum’s editorial go here and see below.]
Physicists Dr. Lubos Motl, who publishes the Reference Frame website, weighed in on the controversy as well, calling Baum’s editorial an “alarmist screed.”
“Now, the chemists are thinking about replacing this editor who has hijacked the ACS bulletin to promote his idiosyncratic political views,” Motl wrote on July 27, 2009.
Baum cites discredited Obama Administration Climate Report
To “prove” his assertion that the science was “becoming increasingly well established,” Baum cited the Obama Administration’s U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) study as evidence that the science was settled. [Climate Depot Editor’s Note: Baum’s grasp of the latest “science” is embarrassing. For Baum to cite the June 2009 Obama Administration report as “evidence” that science is growing stronger exposes him as having very poor research skills. See this comprehensive report on scientists rebuking that report. See: ‘Scaremongering’: Scientists Pan Obama Climate Report: ‘This is not a work of science but an embarrassing episode for the authors and NOAA’…’Misrepresents the science’ – July 8, 2009 )
Baum also touted the Congressional climate bill as “legislation with real teeth to control the emission of greenhouse gases.” [Climate Depot Editor’s Note: This is truly laughable that an editor-in-chief at the American Chemical Society could say the climate bill has “real teeth.” This statement should be retracted in full for lack of evidence. The Congressional climate bill has outraged environmental groups for failing to impact global temperatures and failing to even reduce emissions! See: Climate Depot Editorial: Climate bill offers (costly) non-solutions to problems that don’t even exist – No detectable climate impact: ‘If we actually faced a man-made ‘climate crisis’, we would all be doomed’ June 20, 2009 ]
The American Chemical Society’s scientific revolt is the latest in a series of recent eruptions against the so-called “consensus” on man-made global warming.
On May 1 2009, the American Physical Society (APS) Council decided to review its current climate statement via a high-level subcommittee of respected senior scientists. The decision was prompted after a group of 54 prominent physicists petitioned the APS revise its global warming position. The 54 physicists wrote to APS governing board: “Measured or reconstructed temperature records indicate that 20th – 21st century changes are neither exceptional nor persistent, and the historical and geological records show many periods warmer than today.”
The petition signed by the prominent physicists, led by Princeton University’s Dr. Will Happer, who has conducted 200 peer-reviewed scientific studies. The peer-reviewed journal Nature published a July 22, 2009 letter by the physicists persuading the APS to review its statement. In 2008, an American Physical Society editor conceded that a “considerable presence” of scientific skeptics exists.
In addition, in April 2009, the Polish National Academy of Science reportedly “published a document that expresses skepticism over the concept of man-made global warming.” An abundance of new peer-reviewed scientific studies continue to be published challenging the UN IPCC climate views. (See: Climate Fears RIP…for 30 years!? – Global Warming could stop ‘for up to 30 years! Warming ‘On Hold?…’Could go into hiding for decades,’ peer-reviewed study finds – Discovery.com – March 2, 2009 & Peer-Reviewed Study Rocks Climate Debate! ‘Nature not man responsible for recent global warming…little or none of late 20th century warming and cooling can be attributed to humans’ – July 23, 2009 )
A March 2009 a 255-page U. S. Senate Report detailed “More Than 700 International Scientists Dissenting Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims.” 2009’s continued lack of warming, further frustrated the promoters of man-made climate fears. See: Earth’s ‘Fever’ Breaks! Global temperatures ‘have plunged .74°F since Gore released An Inconvenient Truth’ – July 5, 2009
In addition, the following developments further in 2008 challenged the “consensus” of global warming. India Issued a report challenging global warming fears; a canvass of more than 51,000 Canadian scientists revealed 68% disagree that global warming science is “settled”; A Japan Geoscience Union symposium survey in 2008 reportedly “showed 90 per cent of the participants do not believe the IPCC report.” Scientific meetings are now being dominated by a growing number of skeptical scientists. The prestigious International Geological Congress, dubbed the geologists’ equivalent of the Olympic Games, was held in Norway in August 2008 and prominently featured the voices of scientists skeptical of man-made global warming fears. [See: Skeptical scientists overwhelm conference: ‘2/3 of presenters and question-askers were hostile to, even dismissive of, the UN IPCC’ & see full reports here & here – Also see: UN IPCC’s William Schlesinger admits in 2009 that only 20% of IPCC scientists deal with climate ]
Selected Excerpted Highlights of American Chemical Society Scientist’s Reaction to Baum’s Editorial: (For full letters see here.)
Instead of debate, members are constantly subjected to your arrogant self-righteousness and the left-wing practice of stifling debate by personal attacks on anyone who disagrees. I think ACS should make an effort to educate its membership about the science of climate change and let them draw their own conclusions. Although under your editorial leadership, I suspect we would be treated to a biased and skewed version of scientific debate. I think its time to find a new editor. […] How about using your position as editor to promote a balanced scientific discussion of the theory behind the link of human activity to global warming? I am not happy that you continue to use the pulpit of your editorials to promote your left-wing opinions.
Thomas E. D’Ambra
Baum’s remarks are particularly disquieting because of his hostility toward skepticism, which is part of every scientist’s soul. Let’s cut to the chase with some questions for Baum: Which of the 20-odd major climate models has settled the science, such that all of the rest are now discarded? Do you refer to “climate change” instead of “global warming” because the claim of anthropogenic global warming has become increasingly contrary to fact?
Pueblo West, Colo.
I was a geochemist doing research on paleoclimates early in my career. I have tried to follow the papers in the scientific literature. […] I am appalled at the condescending attitude of Rudy Baum, Al Gore, President Barack Obama, et al., who essentially tell us that there is no need for further research—that the matter is solved. The peer-reviewed literature is not unequivocal about causes and effects of global warming. We are still learning about properties of water, for goodness’ sake. There needs to be more true scientific research without politics on both sides and with all scientists being heard. To insult and denigrate those with whom you disagree is not becoming.
R. Everett Langford
The Woodlands, Texas
Your editorial in the June 22 issue of C&EN was a disgrace. It was filled with misinformation, half-truths, and ad hominem attacks on those who dare disagree with you. Shameful!
Are you planning to write an editorial about the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent suppression of a global warming report that goes against the gospel according to NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Director James Hansen? Or do you only editorialize on matters in keeping with your biased views on global warming?
Trying to arrest climate change is a feeble, futile endeavor and a manifestation of human arrogance. Humankind’s contribution to climate change is minuscule, and trying to eliminate even that minute effect will be enormously expensive, damaging to the poorest people on the planet, and ultimately ineffective.
I can’t accept as facts the reports of federal agencies, because they have become political and are more likely to support the regime in power than not. Baum’s attempt to close out debate goes against all my scientific training, and to hear this from my ACS is certainly alarming to me.
Edward H. Gleason
Having worked as an atmospheric chemist for many years, I have extensive experience with environmental issues, and I usually agree with Rudy Baum’s editorials. But his use of “climate-change deniers” to pillory scientists who do not believe climate change is a crisis is disingenuous and unscientific. […] Given the climate’s complexity and these and other uncertainties, are we justified in legislating major increases in our energy costs unilaterally guided only by a moral imperative to “do our part” for Earth’s climate? I am among many environmentally responsible citizen-scientists who think this is stupid, both because our emissions reductions will be dwarfed by increases elsewhere (China and India, for example) and because the models have large uncertainties. […] I have very little in common with the philosophy of the Heartland Institute and other “free-market fanatics,” and I consider myself a progressive Democrat. Nevertheless, we scientists should know better than to propound scientific truth by consensus and to excoriate skeptics with purple prose.
Roger L. Tanner
Muscle Shoals, Ala.
I would like to see the ACS Board cap Baum’s political pen and trade him to either the New York Times or Washington Post.
In the interest of brevity, I can limit my response to the diatribe of the editor-in-chief in the June 22 edition of C&EN to one word: Disgusting.
Louis H. Rombach
I am particularly offended by the false analogy with creationists. It is easy to just dismiss anyone who dares disagree as being “unscientific.”
Daniel B. Rego
While Baum obviously has strong personal views on the subject, I take great offense that he would use C&EN, for which I pay dearly each year in membership dues, to purvey his personal views and so glibly ignore contrary information and scold those of us who honestly find these views to be a hoax.
I appreciate it when C&EN presents information from qualified supporters of either, and preferably both, sides of an issue to help readers decide what is correct, rather than dispensing your conclusions and ridiculing people who disagree with you.
P. S. Lowell
I am a retired Ph.D. chemical engineer. During my working years, I was involved in many environmental issues concerning products and processes of the companies for which I worked. I am completely disgusted with the June 22 editorial. I do not consider it to be very scientific to castigate skeptics of man-made global warming. […] [Global warming fears are] not of particular concern because “the ocean is a very large sink for carbon dioxide.” […] The overall problem here is that there is already an abundance of scientific illiteracy in the American public that will not be improved by Baum’s stance in what should be a scientific magazine. Theories are not proven by consensus—but by data from repeatable experimentation that leaves no doubt of interpretation.
Charles M. Krutchen
Please do not keep writing C&EN editorials according to the liberal religion’s credo—”Attack all climate-change deniers, creationists, conservatives, people who voted for George W. Bush, etc.” It is a sign of weakness in your argument when you attack those who disagree. […] Your choice of terminology referring to skeptical scientists who don’t toe your line as CCD, climate-change deniers, and putting them in association with Holocaust deniers, is unworthy of an editorial in a scientific periodical. Who don’t you go head-to-head with the critics? Please don’t keep doing this. Find a scientific writer for the editorial page. We get plenty of this pap from the mainstream media and do not need it in C&EN.
Your utter disdain of CCDs and the accusations of improper tactics you ascribe to them cannot be dismissed. However bitter you personally may feel about CCDs, it is not your place as editor to accuse them—falsely—of nonscientific behavior by using insultingly inappropriate language. The growing body of scientists, whom you abuse as sowing doubt, making up statistics, and claiming to be ignored by the media, are, in the main, highly competent professionals, experts in their fields, completely honorable, and highly versed in the scientific method—characteristics that apparently do not apply to you. The results presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which you call the CCD’s “favorite whipping boy,” do indeed fall into the category of predictions that fail to match the data, requiring a return to the drawing board. Your flogging of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change is not only infantile but beggars you to contribute facts to back up your disdain. Incidentally, why do we fund climate studies by U.S. Global Change Research Program if the problem is settled?
William E. Keller
Santa Fe, N.M.
For all of the letters send in repsone to Baum’s editorial see here.