Notes on open letters and declarations on climate change

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Some authors overtly oppose the general idea of anthropogenic global warming, or argue that CO2 is only a minor driver of climate. In the "notes" column I had a few names tagged simply as "(Skeptic)" but my aim is to avoid labelling 'on my say-so.' I've worked to replace that label with an indication of what declarations or open letters an author has signed. [Feb. 1, 2009 - all but a handful of these are now done.] These includes various open letters arguing against any action to cut carbon emissions; fellows of various 'think tanks' that are highly critical of mainstream climate science; those featured in the film The Great Global Warming Swindle, and the like.

Tag used in Notes columnDescription and link to document
TGGWS or (TGGWS) the 2007 film The Great Global Warming Swindle by Martin Durkin, aired by Channel Four. The film includes interviews with sixteen figures who challenge the IPCC, human influence on climate, and the need to carry out cuts to GHG emissions. These include both academics and other public figures who are not scientists. See here for a transcript of the film. One author shown in the film, Dr. Carl Wunsch of M.I.T., was not aware of its editorial stance when he was interviewed, and promptly protested how he was covered when the film was released. I list (TGGWS) in parentheses by his name to indicate his inclusion in the film but his disagreement with its interpretation.
UN07 An open letter dated Dec. 13, 2007 to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon (copied to heads of state of signatories' home countries) on similar lines to the CA06 letter (see below). The letter lists 100 signatories, with about half in common with the CA06 letter.
MHND The Manhattan Declaration on climate. Issued in March 2008, it arose out of a conference of climate change "skeptics" in New York. The site lists links to four lists of signatories: the 114 attendees, 650 endorsers who did not attend, as well as some 465 members of the general public (helpfully, listed separately - for once!) Most relevant is this list, listing both attendees and subsequent endorsers whom the list maintainer deems to have credentials in a climate-related discipline. There are 197 names on that list. I have included 135 so far in my table, with "MHND" under "notes". There are a high proportion of "former", "retired", or "emeritus"; I found some 37 current university professors.
LZ95 The 1995 Leipzig Declaration,
Three open letters to the Canadian Prime Minister, from climate 'skeptics':
CA02 Nov. 25, 2002 open letter to P.M. Jean Chretien - 13 Canadians and 16 others
CA03 June 4, 2003 open letter to P.M. Paul Martin - 17 Canadians and 28 others
CA06 April, 2006 open letter to P.M. Stephen Harper - 21 Canadians and 37 others
The following lists are different in that they may reflect the judgement of the list maintainer as to who is "a skeptic," whereas the open letters and declarations allowed individuals to choose to sign them on their own initiative.
Tag used in LISTS columnDescription and link to document
JIMM08 U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) continues to attack both the Kyoto accord and any effort to limit GHG emissions. His staffer Marc Morano maintains a list of scientists he deems climate 'skeptics.' In a separate "lists" column I have tagged as JIMM08 (J.I. + M.M.) those names whom Inhofe and Morano have included in their list. Currently I have some 160 names out of the 600+ on this list. I caution readers to take this with a grain of salt: a number of experts have been included despite their strong support for GHG reductions. However, the list does record a significant number of people who are outspoken critics of Kyoto or of efforts to cut GHG emissions generally. On the whole Morano draws on the above declarations, but also adds names of some who have not signed any of these.
LSDeniers or (LSDeniers) Columnist Lawrence Solomon of Canada's National Post ran a series from late 2006 through 2007 entitled The Deniers (since expanded into a book of the same name). He profiled 37 authors he put forward as 'climate skeptics'; however several are really not of that opinion at all. For the ones I see as most clearly misread or mispositioned by Solomon, I've entered (LSDeniers) in parentheses to indicate simply that they were profiled in the series.
Conversely, some authors have signed statements calling for prompt action on targets for deep cuts in GHGs. These are tagged with the following abbreviations:
CMOS130 130 signatories of the June 2008 open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper urging action on GHG reduction. The letter was released in connection with the meeting of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society See also a similar April 2006 letter; and this CBC News interview with Dr. Gordon McBean when the 2008 letter was released. The 2006 letter was evidently in response to the "CA06" skeptics' letter earlier that same month (see above).
UCS08 1700 U.S. scientists and economists signatories of the May, 2008 Scientists and Economists' Call to Action, published by the Union of Concerned Scientists and calling for prompt action to cut greenhouse gas emissions. [Very few of the signers yet added to my list, 09/02]
Bali212 212 signatories of a December, 2007 open letter from climate scientists to delegates at the Bali climate talks that same month, urging them to set strong targets for deep GHG reductions. [All listed]
SCS03 1,010 signatories [only ~50 listed in table so far] to The State of Climate Science: October 2003, a letter to the U.S. Senate in support of action on GHG reductions; this was cited by Sen. John Mccain in debate on the Climate Stewardship Act of 2003 (the "McCain-Lieberman" bill)
RealClimate Ten climate scientists set up the website in 2004 to discuss current climate science and its coverage in the media and political processes. The site reflects a similarly 'activist' point of view; six of the ten also signed one of the above declarations.


I've created a timeline of events around the founding of the IPCC, and another of dates on which the above declarations and open letters were issued.