Rebuttal offered in defense of Climate Physics Institute - Daily Inter Lake: Opinion

Rebuttal offered in defense of Climate Physics Institute

By Ed Berry | Posted: Sunday, May 6, 2012 7:15 am

Dr. Jerry Elwood’s opinion letter “Court ruling on climate didn’t say what letter claimed” of March 2 challenges my Jan. 24 letter on the Montana Supreme Court’s rejection of the Climate Change Petition by “Our Children’s Trust”.

Let’s review Elwood’s claims:

1. Elwood claims there is a “consensus of almost all scientists” that human CO2 emissions are causing dangerous global warming.

Response: Elwood gives no reference to back up his claim. At best, this fabled “consensus” claiming “98 percent of scientists” derives from a biased, two-question, online survey where only 77 selected scientists participated. Elwood’s claim is absurd.

Collecting 75 of 77 votes pales into insignificance compared to the thousands of scientists claiming otherwise (see below) and to the 31,000 scientists who signed a petition denying that human activity is responsible for major climate change.

2. Elwood claims the “current scientific consensus” is based upon a “substantial and well-documented body of scientific evidence.”

Response: Climate Physics Institute presented just two documents (available online at that give (a) over 1,000 qualified scientific opinions and (b) over 1,000 peer-reviewed scientific reports that contradict Elwood’s claim.

Alarmists, like Elwood, have not rebutted the voluminous evidence against their case. Read their public letters. Rather, the alarmists resort to the fabled “consensus” claim and to ad hominem attacks against the 1,000s of scientists who do not accept their alarmist climate-change religion.

The burden of proof is on the side of the alarmists (just as it is on the plaintiff in a legal trial), and they have clearly failed to convince an extremely large body of professional scientists (who can be likened to a jury).

3. Elwood claims (a) “There is nothing in the court’s decision that challenges this consensus or questions its scientific validity,” (b) “the court’s decision could not have been influenced by any of the largely scientifically baseless ‘evidence’ which Climate Physics Institute introduced into the successful intervention,” and (c) the court did not rule that “the science of climate change is not settled.”

Response: Unlike Elwood, I do not claim to be an expert in law. Quentin Rhoades, attorney who filed the intervention for Climate Physics Institute, sends this response to Elwood:

“Elwood’s statement is false. If there were a “consensus” there would be no need for a trial on the facts. Not only does the court’s ruling “challenge” the idea of consensus, the necessary implication is there is no “consensus” sufficient to be legally recognized as such.

“From a legal perspective, it remains a fact in dispute. In addition, the attorney general offered no evidence to dispute the evidence submitted by petitioners. Climate Physics Institute did. Absent such evidence, the court could not have ruled there was a dispute on the fact.”

Here is what the Montana Supreme Court reviewed and ruled:

A. The petitioners claimed there is a scientific consensus that human emissions of greenhouse gases are causing “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming,” and that there are no factual issues to be resolved.

B. The intervenors presented substantial evidence to the contrary and showed the factual issues are not “resolved.” Had the intervenors not effectively done so, the Supreme Court would have had no factual issues to “resolve” and the petitioners would have won their case.

C. The Montana Supreme Court ruled:

“This court is ill-equipped to resolve the factual assertions presented by petitioners.”

Thus, the Montana Supreme Court ruled the science of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is “not settled” and told the petitioners if they wish to change this decision they must prove their science claims in a lower court. Until then, in the state of Montana, there is legally NO scientific consensus on catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.  

4. Elwood claims Climate Physics Institute is a “so-called institute.”

Response: On the same day the Inter Lake published Elwood’s letter, I received the “2012 Annual Report Notice” for Climate Physics Institute from our Montana secretary of state.

No other institute or entity in Montana stepped up to defend Montana’s economy from the environmental Climate Change Petition.

Climate Physics Institute paid the $7,000 legal fee for the discounted legal services of attorney Quentin Rhoades. Montanans have so far donated $2,000 to help cover this cost.

5. Given Elwood’s attacks on Climate Physics Institute, let’s look at Elwood. His doctoral degree is in ecology. Climate change is a subject of atmospheric physics, not ecology. Elwood should attend the seventh International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago on May 21-23 to bone up on climate-change science.

In closing, I quote Harold Lewis, emeritus professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara:

“The global warming scam, with the trillions of dollars driving it, has corrupted so many scientists, [and] ... is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.”

Berry, of Bigfork, is a certified consulting meteorologist and the CEO of Climate Physics Institute.