Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Who The Heck Is Reid Bryson?

For a short time during the 1970s, a number of climatologists theorized that the Earth was heading towards an ice-age. Leading this group was Reid Bryson, whose work was the primary inspiration for a number of CIA reports and the book The Weather Conspiracy. At one point, Mr. Bryson wrote that:

“There is very important climatic change going on right now, and it’s not
merely something of academic interest.” Bryson warned, “It is something that, if it continues, will affect the whole human occupation of the earth – like a billion people starving. The effects are already showing up in a rather drastic way.”

However, this theory was soon abandoned. Bryson recanted his earlier warnings and eventually retired (in 1986, by my calculations). Meanwhile, the above quote became fodder for a million GW Denier websites, evidence that scientists "can’t decide whether we face an ice age or warming".

And then, just last week, Reid Bryson pops up in the "Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News" , the magazine of the Wisconsin Energy Cooperative, an association of Wisconsin energy producers. In "The Faithful Heretic", he spends a several pages trash-talking the science behind anthropogenic Global Warming, employing most of the standard skeptical talking points.

And suddenly, the guy once ridiculed for being wrong about Global Cooling has become a prophet for GW Deniers everywhere! Oh how the worm turns!

(Actually, it is a little bit unfair to Bryson to say that he "retired" two decades ago. He has still continued to publish occasionally, and was calling James Hansen's concerns re. Global Warming a "snow job" back in the early 1990s. So he is not a recent "convert" to the ranks of GW skepticism, as some have contended.)

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

When in doubt, smear your opponent, and try to get them silenced. Free speech is not for you, nor for science. We have spoken.

Ti-Guy said...

Admit it, BCL. You attract the anti-science delusionals with an abortion post and then lock them in with one on Global Warming.

Anony-clod. Freedom of expression doesn't mean freedom from being called *stupid.*

Stupid. No one's being censored here.

Anonymous said...

Ah, thanks for getting the info on this guy. I'd emailed the magazine asking for better info (they just acclaim him as a pioneer in the discovery of climatology)

bigcitylib said...

Anon 3:06,

He is a cut above your run of the mill denier, and it probably is true to say he's a "pioneer" in the field. One thing, though, I have no idea who the "British Institute of Geographers" is. There's nobody online with that name that I could find, though there is an "Institute of British Geogrpahers".

Anonymous said...

When Ontario Hydro foregoes putting scrubbers on their coal plants which would eliminate true pollution because it does nothing about CO2, that's stupidity masked as 'environmentalism'.

When you frame your argument as being an immediate emergency based on inaccurate forecasting models 100 years into the future, that's idiocy.

When you claim that only First World countries are required to foot the bill to save the planet, as every other country increases their CO2 output, you're a socialist scam artist.

When you ignore solar variations, can't model ocean currents, and don't fully understand atmospheric physics but yet declare that you are right and critics must be silenced, then you're a dictator.

My Canada includes people who will voice dissent, ask the hard questions, and blindly follow some extreme wing dogma. Funny how you claim to worship science when the argument is Evolution, but grasp to the religious and moral significance of protecting Mother Gaia against Man. Your religion suits you just fine, and you want to impose it on everybody. If you're so bent on your belief that you must do something to save the Earth, go ahead and do it yourself. Liberals are great at telling others what to do, but they fail miserably when asked to do it themselves.

Come on, tell us all how you've reduced your personal carbon footprint by 30%. And make sure that you're buying carbon credits to offset the water vapour and CO2 you exhale because you're alive.

Anonymous said...

Here's a question for you greenies: how many lives have been saved by the banning of DDT?

Ti-Guy said...

My Canada includes people who will voice dissent, ask the hard questions...

Good. Ask the GW deniers which oil company pays them.

Which oil company pays you, by the way?

The biggest failing of you skeptics is that you do no work at all to expose the egregious frauds who propose alternative explanations to anthropogenic global warming. You discredit yourselves for that reason.

You lie down with dogs, you're gonna get fleas.

Ti-Guy said...

but grasp to the religious and moral significance of protecting Mother Gaia against Man

And this is just retarded. An environmentally sustainable economy is just good old-fashioned free market common sense.

bigcitylib said...

No lives are known to have been lost due to DDT being banned, nor WAS it banned in many countries. Stuff only worked for about a decade anyway, and then the mosquitos learned how to deal with it. You're peddling revisionist nonsense promoted by right wing think tanks that can't get it into the official history books.

Anonymous said...

bcl, that's the funniest reply I've ever read! I think every thing you wrote was wrong! 100% for you!

Ti-Guy said...

Ooh. That showed you, BCL. Anonymous (from some celestial height, no doubt) just declared you...WRONG!

I hope you'll be able to pick up the pieces of your shattered life and move on.

Michael Tobis said...

Reid Bryson is the founder of the Department of Meteorology at the University of Wisconsin, and may well be the first person ever to call himself a climatologist. That said, his take on climatology was always more archaeological than physical. His motto was "the proper tool of the climatologist is a shovel".

By the time I did my thesis work at Wisconsin, that wasn't a widely held belief among professionals. Tiday we consider ourselves geophysicists, not archaeologists.

I think Reid is defending his public concern about anthropogenic cooling in the '70s by being a global warming skeptic.

One hates to say bad things about the founder of one's doctoral program. Reid is a very nice man and a dyed in the wool Wisconsin liberal, but he is stubborn about global warming.

He's also 86. Cut the man a little slack and move on, please.

Anonymous said...

Canada, US, and 32 other countries banned it, and they're still going for a worldwide ban. All based on the junk scientific claim that it was thinning raptor eggshells. Which wasn't true. Sound familiar? And for this bit of 'save the planet' altruism, perhaps upwards of 70 million people were allowed to die of malaria. But because they were in 3rd world/developing nations, "the price paid was worth it."

Anonymous said...

Why do Liberals have such difficulty differentiating between faith and science?

They believe AGW on blind faith alone, but subject religion to the most rigorous scientific analysis. Go figure. I guess because their limited scientific ability fails miserably when compared to real scientists, so they try to apply their High School science 101 to religion, thinking they're sooooooo smart.

Why not progress to Science 201, and start thinking skeptically?

Anonymous said...

Will somebody please read mr. Bryson's work. He dosen't deny climate change he doesn't even say that we're experiancing a global warming trend right now all he is saying is that looking back on the history of the earth this is normal. He also questions the FACT of the five day forcast being streched into a twenty, fifty or even a hundred year forcast. If five days is often too tough to get right. None of the libs attacked Al Gore for jetting around the country in a big private plane leaving a huge carbon footprint and peddling a dvd full of falsehoods like the cleanliness of electirc cars. Q. where does the electricity come from? A. burning coal or oil. so isn't that just displacing the pollution from cars to factories. Don't come to a conclusion then do research, do research THEN come to a conclusion that way you won't have to explain why the temps are rising on other planets like mars even without humans polluting up their envrionment. spouting out baseless "facts" is like peeing against the wind it may seem like a good idea but eventually you end up all wet

Richard said...

Reid was one of my favorite professors as a math and history undergraduate at Madison in early sixties before thought became politicized and trapped in ad hominem sideshows. His main point, which was captured by some of the comments, was that much of climate change is normal, it has been going on for ever. As for his interest in the shovel, the reader might consider Freeman Dyson's essays in A Many Colored Glass: Reflections on the Place of Life in the Universe. Dyson views topsoil as figuring prominently as a potential solution to global warming.

Maria said...

I dont know exactly who he is.but one thing I sure he wear big suit.