We were charged by Marty Rowland and the American Journal of Economics and Sociology (AJES) with writing a literature review paper supporting the skeptical (aka “denier”) position with regard to dangerous man-made climate change. Our paper is fully peer-reviewed and presents what we think is the most convincing argument. Unfortunately, the paper is paywalled, but the submitted version, containing all the changes suggested by the peer-reviewers, can be downloaded here.

When planning the article, we called it the “Yes, but” paper. That meant, yes, most scientists think man-made CO2 drives climate change and might be dangerous, but what about …? Other articles in this special climate issue of AJES deal with other points of view on possible man-made climate change and its potential dangers.

The featured image for this post, also shown below, is part of figure 2 from the paper. It shows the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) index compared to the detrended HadCRUT4 global average surface temperature record, the similarity is obvious. The AMO is the North Atlantic sea surface temperature record, detrended. The AMO has been traced back to 1567AD1 and is clearly a natural oscillation. The fact that it can be seen in HadCRUT4 shows that at least some of recent climate change is natural. This and other problems with the IPCC AR6 conclusions are discussed in the paper.

Figure 1. Detrended North Atlantic sea surface temperatures (the AMO) compared to detrended HadCRUT4 global average surface temperatures

The case that human greenhouse gas emissions (mainly carbon dioxide) control the climate as claimed in the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) or that the resulting climate change is dangerous, is very weak. See the quote from IPCC AR6 Working Group II (WGII) below.

“Human-induced climate change … has caused widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people, beyond natural climate variability. … The rise in weather and climate extremes has led to some irreversible impacts as natural and human systems are pushed beyond their ability to adapt (high confidence).”2

How do we show that assertion is weak? There are many options. The AR6 WGI and WGII reports define climate change as the global warming since 1750 or 1850. The period before these dates is commonly referred to as the “pre-industrial period.”3 The Little Ice Age, a phrase rarely used in AR6,4 extends from about 1300 to 1850. It was a very cold and miserable time for humanity, with a lot of well documented extreme weather in the historical record from all over the Northern Hemisphere. It was also a time of frequent famines and pandemics. We show that arguably today’s climate is better than then, not worse.

None-the-less, the IPCC claims that extreme weather events are worse now than in the past. However, observations do not support this. Some extreme weather events, such as the land area under extreme drought,5 are decreasing, not increasing. Globally the incidence of hurricanes shows no significant trend.6

Observations show no increase in damage or any danger to humanity today due to extreme weather or global warming.7 Climate change mitigation, according to AR6, means curtailing the use of fossil fuels,8 even though fossil fuels are still abundant and inexpensive. Since the current climate is arguably better than the pre-industrial climate and we have observed no increase in extreme weather or climate mortality, we conclude that we can plan to adapt to any future changes. Until a danger is identified, there is no need to eliminate fossil fuel use.

Works Cited

Gray, S. T., Graumlich, L. J., Betancourt, J. L., & Pederson, G. T. (2004). A tree-ring based reconstruction of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation since 1567 A.D. Geophys. Res. Lett., 31. doi:10.1029/2004GL019932

May, A., & Crok, M. (2024, May 29). Carbon dioxide and a warming climate are not problems. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 1-15. doi:10.1111/ajes.12579

Additional references can be downloaded here.


1    (Gray, Graumlich, Betancourt, & Pederson, 2004)
2    (IPCC, 2022, p. 9)
3    The observations used to characterize the pre-industrial period are taken from 1850-1900, as these are the earliest global measurements available. (IPCC, 2021, pp. 5, footnote 9)
4    (IPCC, 2021, pp. 295, footnote c)
5    (Lomborg, 2020)
6    (Lomborg, 2020) and (IPCC, 2013, p. 216)
7    (Crok & May, The Frozen Climate Views of the IPCC, An Analysis of AR6, 2023, pp. 140-161) and (Scafetta N. , 2024)
8    (IPCC, 2022b, pp. v, 6-13) and (Scafetta N. , 2024)

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