The Politicalization of The US National Academies With Respect To Climate Science

Just when you did not think the climate issue could become more political, the National Academies endorses the photo contest below. As they write in the e-mail “Winners of the staff favorite for best submission will receive Catan: Oil Springs-an extension for the game Settlers of Catan“.  I have highlighted selected text below. [For how BASC describes itself this link]

Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2012 08:30:03 -0600

From: BASC <basc@nas.edu>

To: pielkesr@cires.colorado.edu

Subject: [UTF-8] Participate in the Koshland Science Museums Climate Change     Photo Challenge

To view this email as a web page, go to the link below, or copy and paste it into your browser’s address window. http://view.newsletters.nas.edu/?j=fe5d15747c60017e7d14&m=fef81279746700&ls=fdf11779756c037d761d7371&l=fe9b15747664017c73&s=fe241075736c0475771d71&jb=ffcf14&ju= http://dels.nas.edu/basc/

August 7, 2012

Participate in the Koshland Science Museum’s

Climate Change Photo Challenge

Submissions due Wednesday, August 15, by 2 p.m. ET

What is your community doing about climate change?

Share a photo of one way in which your community is lowering greenhouse gas emissions or adapting to the impacts of climate change.  Next month, these photos will become the basis of a climate change tour.

Don’t know what to look for? You can check out the information online in the exhibit, Earth Lab: Degrees of Change ( http://koshland-science-museum.org/explore-the-science/earth-labhttps://koshland-science-museum.org/explore-the-science/earth-lab ) and at the Division of Earth and Life Sciences’ resource, Climate Change at the National Academies ( http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/more-resources-on-climate-change/http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/more-resources-on-climate-change/ ) for background information, ideas, and inspiration.

Winners of the staff favorite for best submission will receive Catan: Oil Springs-an extension for the game Settlers of Catan.

Best of all, participation is free. You have the chance to capture climate change adaptation in mitigation in action and to share your photos with others.

For more information, visit http://koshland-science-museum.org/challenge/climate-change-photo-challengehttps://koshland-science-museum.org/challenge/climate-change-photo-challenge  or email the museum at http://mailto:ksm@nas.eduksm@nas.edu .

Visit the BASC Website at http://dels.nas.edu/baschttp://dels.nas.edu/basc.

The nation turns to the National Academies-National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council-for independent, objective advice on issues that affect people’s lives worldwide.

My Comment: The promotion of this context clearly shows that “the National Academies-National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council [DOES NOT PROVIDE] independent, objective advice on issues that affect people’s lives worldwide. If they did, they would communicate the diversity of  peer-reviewed perspectives on the climate issue; e.g. see

Pielke Sr., R., K.  Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D.  Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E.  Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell,  W. Rossow,  J. Schaake, J.  Smith, S. Sorooshian,  and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases.   Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American   Geophysical Union.

Each of the authors is an AGU Fellow.

The web version of the announcement can be read here.

Here is information on the Koshland Science Museum that presents their perspective.

Earth is warming. Heat waves have become longer and more extreme. Cold snaps have become shorter and milder. Northern Hemisphere snow cover has decreased. Rivers and lakes are freezing later and thawing earlier. Arctic sea ice has declined. Glaciers and ice caps are melting in many parts of the world.

Global warming is closely associated with a broad spectrum of other changes, such as increases in the frequency of intense rainfall, decreases in Northern Hemisphere snow cover and Arctic sea ice, warmer and more frequent hot days and nights, rising sea levels, and widespread ocean acidification. Learn more about these changes.

Human activity is causing climate change by increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Natural processes cannot account for the recent change in temperature. Learn more about the causes of climate change.

Climate scientists have developed sophisticated computer models to estimate future climate change. Learn about how climate models work, how they are tested, and how will our decisions affect climate.

The environmental, economic, and humanitarian risks of climate change indicate a pressing need for substantial action to limit the magnitude of climate change and to prepare for adapting to its impacts. Learn more about mitigating climate change and adapting to its impacts.

My Comment: The Koshland Science Museum makes a number of errors in their mission statement. As just two examples, they write “Northern Hemisphere snow cover has decreased”.  This cover has not decreased since ~1998, despite ever increasing atmospheric CO2!  See the figure below from the Rutgers Snow Lab

The second example is that they write “Climate scientists have developed sophisticated computer models to estimate future climate change.” While it is correct that sophisticated computer models have been developed, the website fails to communicate that they have shown NO skill at predicting  changes in regional climate statistics!  This failure is overviewed in my recent post

CMIP5 Climate Model Runs – A Scientifically Flawed Approach

For those who wonder what the prize is that is being offered for this contest – Catan: Oil Springs – it is described as a game where

That’s right, oil has been discovered on the island of Catan!  And after many years of study, the great engineers of Catan have learned ways to improve production using this valuable new resource, both by converting it into other resources and enabling the upgrade of cities into metropolises.

But oil is scarce and its use does not come without cost. Using oil produces pollution, as well as climate changing emissions, which bring with them the threat of coastal flooding—and absolute disaster. With the discovery of oil on Catan, its inhabitants face a new challenge: deciding whether the common good is worth limiting oil usage or whether the pursuit of victory is worth the risk of ruin.

Students, media and policymakers who want to utilize the climate information from this sanctioned National Academies program, should read my son’s book

The Honest Broker

where the failure of the the National Academies to serve as an honest broker for independent, objective advice on climate issues that affect people’s lives worldwide is abundanatly clear.

source of image

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