Learn how plants respond to higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations

How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

Click to locate material archived on our website by topic


An Alternative Analysis to That of the IPCC
Volume 7, Number 1: 7 January 2004

Over the past few weeks, we have received several overtures to become either lead or contributing authors of portions of the next major report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  Although the temptation to participate in this effort is great, we have resisted the enticement, because our scientific views are incompatible with the political views of the forces that determine both the nature and end-use of most IPCC publications.  We cannot accept, for example, the IPCC's predetermined position that anthropogenic CO2 emissions have been responsible for the lion's share of the past half-century's purported global warming, nor can we condone the strident political lobbying of IPCC-inspired climate alarmists, which is designed to promote massive mandatory reductions in the use of fossil fuel-derived energy to supposedly rectify this illusory situation.

Sitting on the sidelines, however, is no antidote for addressing these twin flaws of the IPCC program; for they will remain in place and their perpetuators will have their way with the world if those of us who know better do nothing.  Hence, we invite all who think and feel as we do to join us in a concerted effort to address the CO2-climate controversy in an approach that is centered predominantly on real-world observations, rather than on hypothetical and often unreal scenarios that are unrestrained by biological and physical facts of nature.  Yes, join us ? join us in the production of an alternative publication that will tell the other side of the CO2-climate story, the side that we believe is supported by the vast preponderance of scientific evidence.

Ever since the publication of the very first issue of our weekly CO2 Science Magazine, our stated purpose in this endeavor has been to alert the public to new developments in the worldwide scientific quest to determine the climatic and biological consequences of the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content.  A second unstated purpose, but one that has continually guided everything we do, has been to develop an organized and well-documented repository of scientific findings pertaining to a wide range of subjects related to carbon dioxide and potential global change, which goal is being met by our ever-expanding Subject Index and its many topical Summaries.  Our third and final hope has always been that this repository of knowledge would serve as the foundation for our ultimate goal, i.e., the construction of an authoritative alternative to the largely-unfounded but highly-hyped doom-and-gloom prognostications of the climate-alarmists that are energized by the work of the IPCC.

Now, well into our sixth year of publishing CO2 Science Magazine, we have begun working on the second stage of this project: the production of a series of major reports that focus on key elements of the CO2-climate controversy.  Two of these reports, authored by the three of us, have already been published on our website: The Specter of Species Extinction: Will Global Warming Decimate Earth's Biosphere? and Enhanced or Impaired? Human Health in a CO2-Enriched Warmer World.  When suitably updated, expanded and joined by other similar treatments of pertinent related subjects, they and their many companion chapters will constitute the massive publication we envision as providing an invaluable alternative to the next "disaster as usual" document of the IPCC.  This Capstone Report, as we refer to it, should be a powerful antidote for the ferocious media assault of IPCC functionaries and climate alarmists that will surely accompany the publication of the IPCC's next major tome.

What comes next, then, is a three-fold effort, parts of which would benefit greatly from the help of other scientific experts.  First, we personally intend to continue producing new issues of CO2 Science Magazine on a weekly basis for as long as we are able to do so.  Second, we plan to publish many more major reports akin to those described above on a variety of different subjects, which is where we could use the help of others who would be willing to volunteer to be either lead or contributing authors, as in the case of the IPCC reports.  Last of all, we plan to compile and edit the several reports thus produced into the final Capstone Report that will likely challenge many of the unwarranted conclusions of the next major IPCC document.

The new reports that are produced by volunteer cooperators, either by themselves or in collaboration with us, will be published on our website as they are completed.  This procedure will serve a number of useful purposes.  First, it will put our common perspective on many CO2-related issues of interest before the eyes of the wide and ever-expanding viewership of CO2 Science Magazine, which currently has some 50,000 regular readers.  Second, the responses we subsequently receive, both pro and con, can be evaluated and used to either improve or correct our original contributions, before the evolving documents are ultimately transformed into the chapters of our Capstone Report.  Third, the periodic publication of our assessments of the various subjects we treat may cause some of the authors of the next IPCC report to temper their tendency for unbridled speculation, especially when they realize how readily so much of their work may be refuted.  Hence, it is possible that the efforts we expend in producing our Capstone Report may have an even greater impact on the writing of next major IPCC volume than if we had directly participated in that endeavor.

In inviting others to join us in this enterprise, we note that open competition in the marketplace of ideas is a great and vital good, as it can only serve to encourage both sides of a controversial issue to approach it with greater caution, so as not to be publicly shown to be egregiously in error or knowingly supportive of false notions, of which intellectual crime, we would assume, no one would ever want to be accused, much less convicted.  Indeed, competition in the spotlight of public scrutiny is a self-correcting endeavor that should drive both sides of a debate to at least a partial convergence of thought that might eventually even produce agreement on some points.  Hence, it would appear to be a beneficial activity for all involved parties, as well as for the general public.

If you would like to participate in this joint venture, tell us of your desires.  We will be happy to provide a place for you at the writing table.  This space, however, is not to be used to promote one's unpublished pet theories; but to review and analyze the scientific literature pertaining to a subject in which one has particular expertise, patterned after what we have done in our first two chapter-reports cited above.  One's views can clearly show through in the final product, as do ours; but they must be supported by a significant body of credible scientific evidence.  If you can work within these guidelines - as authors, reviewers, financial supporters or publicists - let us hear from you.

Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso