The Top 10 "Most Respected" Global Warming Skeptics

By Melissa Lafsky | August 4, 2009 11:58 am

global-warming.jpgClusterstock blogger and science-education-questioner Joe Weisenthal brings us a slideshow of “The 10 Most-Respected [sic] Global Warming Skeptics.” So who’s on there? Everyone from science giants like Freeman Dyson and Nobel winner Ivar Giaever to legitimate scientists like physical chemist (and self-proclaimed non-expert in climate change) Kiminori Itoh and physicist Will Happer, to GOP darling Alan Carlin and everyone’s favorite oil-funded soundbite artist, Myron Ebell.

Sure, it’s important to identify who the strongest voices are on both sides of the climate change debate. But can all of these names really be placed under the “most respected” banner? Dyson, whose scientific street cred knows no bounds, has certainly ruffled feathers by challenging the consensus on the dangers of global warming. But his views skew more towards a desire to balance in sociopolitical factors (such as the effects of climate legislation on poverty in India and China) with policymaking, and questions about the accuracy of climate models. Same goes for Giaever and Itoh.

Then there’s Ebell, whose scientific credentials consist of an uncanny ability to spend every waking moment on MSNBC. Which may be a skill, but hardly earns him a spot on a list with such internationally respected (and still possibly dead wrong) minds. Though we’re sure he’ll happily tout his new honor on Fox News.

This post has been appended to note that Freeman Dyson, a giant in his field, won just about every science award except the Nobel Prize.

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Image: iStockphoto

  • Jacob

    It said “most respected.” Not most qualified. Not most credentialed. Not most tv appearances. Your piece here is typical of taking something innocuous and applying alarmist logic and then throwing in a soupcon of ad hominem attacks.

  • Klem

    Don’t forget the number one climate scientist in the world today, Dr. Richard Lindzen. He’s a skeptic too, and he’s not paid by Exxon sorry.

    There are good reasons why these brilliant people are skeptics, no matter how you try to subtly belittle them.

    It’s time for you to join us on the dark side.

  • Gadfly

    We also need to draw a distinction between those who are skeptical about global warming vs. those who are skeptical about the root cause of global warming. It’s easier to make fun of those who doubt global warming because there is a reasonable (though not overwhelming) amount of evidence that the planet is warming. But there is lots of evidence that humanity is not behind it.

  • Jon

    Erm…. Freeman Dyson didn’t win the Nobel Prize…

  • Klem

    Freeman Dyson did not win the Nobel Prize, that’s right. But AL GORE DID!
    Sad isn’t it…

  • Carter

    A little clarification is required here. The real and more accurate term is “global climate change,” because while the overall average temperature of Earth may be gradually inching up along with skyrocketing CO2 levels, not every region in the world is warming. Many are becoming wetter and cooler (this summer in New England, anyone?) while in other areas aridification causes ecological changes that are irreparable. There’s much more to Earth’s anthropogenic problems than a slow rise of mean surface temperatures.

  • Sorbet

    Notice that very few among these people are knee-jerk, outright deniers. Most of them like Dyson have rather specific criticisms of computer models, efforts to combat climate change and the prioritizing of resources in battling climate change. Sadly they have evoked knee-jerk reactions from people like Joe Romm who instead of calmly criticising their specific claims want to react emotionally with blanket statements. People like Romm are not helping the assertion that climate change scientists are turning their efforts into a religion.

  • Mrugesh

    Global warming will decrease only when we will either make vehicles using water as fuel or make vehicles using Carbon Dioxide as fuel leaving Oxygen as waste.

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