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Scientists feud while governments seek climate action
Reuters, November 2, 1998

“It's getting easier to peddle that line. The effect of the 'discernible' influence statement provided the impetus for a number of studies in the past year-and-a-half,'' the atmospheric scientist said by telephone from his office at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. “People like Sallie Baliunas who say the sun explains everything, I disagree with that and I don't think scientific evidence supports that view. Changes in the sun alone can't fully explain the roughly half a degree Celsius warming over the past century,'' he said. “It's my personal belief that science that has emerged since the IPCC report substantiates the conclusion we reached about the discernible influence. We've reduced some of the uncertainties.''

Professor Stephen Schneider from Stanford University in California agrees and wants officials meeting in Buenos Aires to stop talking about emission targets and start acting. “There are so many pieces of circumstantial evidence, each one easily assailable, but together they all point to evidence of discernible human impact,'' he said in a telephone interview. “Let's have less talk of these targets and timetables and talk about real mechanisms, a real carbon tax, paying for miners who lose jobs and the disadvantaged. Let's create a real alternative to high carbon futures,'' he said.

This all too exasperating for Piers Corbyn, astrophysicist and managing director of forecasting company Weather Action, who challenges those who say the evidence for human-induced climate change is gathering momentum. “Nonsense, there's no more evidence whatsoever,'' Corbyn said. “So far as the science goes we've made considerable advances toward the view that solar activity is the only cause of climate change.'' He said his company was able to make accurate long-term weather forecasts based on solar activity. “We can make predictions six months ahead using solar activity. 'Warmers' claim that more storms are encouraged by carbon dioxide but this is just hot air.''