Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Update on spreading climate sanity

Some important developments in the ongoing critique of the "global warming" craze are worth noting and adding to previous postings on popular and semi-popular expositions of climate and climate change. These Halloween specials are connected to the 18th Chicago Humanities Festival, held at various cultural institutions around the great city. The 2007 festival features as speakers two important long-time climate hysteria critics.

The first is astrophysicist Sallie Baliunas, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. On November 10, she will be speaking on "The Long View of Catastrophes," a synopsis of how humanity has coped with overwhelming past environmental changes, like the Ice Ages.

Baliunas is formerly affiliated with the Mount Wilson Observatory in southern California and one of the world's experts on stellar variability, stellar magnetic fields, and Sun-like stars. She is the co-author of one of the decisive refutations of the "hockey stick," not by critique, but by positive counterexample of doing it right. Her awards include the Newton Lacey Pierce Prize from the American Astronomical Society, the Petr Beckman Award for Scientific Freedom, and the Bok Prize from Harvard University.

The second is applied mathematician Christopher Essex, of the University of Western Ontario. On November 3, he will be speaking on "Tales from the Greenhouse, or How I Stopped Overheating and Learned to Love Turbulence." He will also be speaking on the November 3rd Festival panel about scientists and communication with the public.

Essex is the director of the theoretical physics program, as well as a professor and the associate chairman, of Western Ontario's Applied Mathematics Department. He is also a member of the Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian analogue of the National Science Foundation. His major areas of research cover dynamical systems (including chaos), nonequilibrium thermodynamics, and the thermodynamics of radiation and radiation-matter mixtures (like the Earth's atmosphere).

Essex has appeared before on this blog as co-author, along with economist Ross McKitrick, of Taken by Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming. The original edition, in 2002, won a $10,000 Donner Book Prize, one of Canada's most distinguished book awards. A second, revised edition will be appearing shortly.

POSTSCRIPT: The second edition is out.

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