Things were going well for the Koch Brothers and their global warming disinformation campaign until now. The scientist they funded to do a study to disprove the existence of global warming concluded that it is real and caused by humans. OMG! It’s hard to get good help these days.
Richard A. Mueller, a University of California Professor, wrote in an Op-Ed Saturday in the New York Times:
“Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.” (Emphasis added.)
Mueller is the founder and Scientific Director of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study (BEST). He was one of the scientists that previously doubted global warming and did not believe man had any role. He received a $150,000 grant from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation for his research.
BEST was a group of 12 scientists led by Mueller, a global warming skeptic, his daughter Elizabeth, and one climatologist, Judith Curry, who was not a believer in climate change. They studied all the temperatures they could get their hands on. “My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis,” Mueller wrote.
The Op-ED summarized their findings:
“Our results showed that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.
These findings are stronger than those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations group that defines the scientific and diplomatic consensus on global warming.
Although the I.P.C.C. allowed for the possibility that variations in sunlight could have ended the “Little Ice Age,” a period of cooling from the 14th century to about 1850, our data argues strongly that the temperature rise of the past 250 years cannot be attributed to solar changes… This conclusion is, in retrospect, not too surprising; we’ve learned from satellite measurements that solar activity changes the brightness of the sun very little.
Mueller wrote about the future:
“What about the future? As carbon dioxide emissions increase, the temperature should continue to rise. I expect the rate of warming to proceed at a steady pace, about one and a half degrees over land in the next 50 years, less if the oceans are included. But if China continues its rapid economic growth (it has averaged 10 percent per year over the last 20 years) and its vast use of coal (it typically adds one new gigawatt per month), and then that same warming could take place in less than 20 years. (Emphasis added.)
So what will this mean? We can expect that those who benefit from denying climate change and man’s influence on it will discredit this study. They will look for a new scientist to conduct a study that justifies their pre-ordained conclusion.
Republicans will downplay Mueller as just a rogue scientist claiming falsely that “hundreds of other scientists” disagree. The “lame-stream media,” to borrow Palin’s terminology, will just ignore it not wanting to offend their oil and coal company advertisers. Mitt Romney will come down on both sides of the issue. Politicians will mostly follow the money.
Meanwhile, oil and coal companies will continue to spend millions on their misinformation campaign.
This should re-charge the batteries of those who already knew global warming is real and man causes it. Perhaps, it will energize those disheartened by all the battles the renewable energy industry has been enduring recently. Earth has 20 years, according to Mueller and we do not have a second to waste.
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