Richard Muller, a Professor of Physics at UC Berkeley, has been one of the leading skeptics concerning the scientific consensus on climate change. In 2004, he publicly supported the findings of McIntyre and McKitrick challenging Michael Mann’s so called “hockey stick” graph (of temperatures over the last millennium) which showed accelerating global warming.
Muller is the founder and chairperson of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which provides independent analysis of the Earth’s surface temperature records. His most recent study was funded in part by charitable foundations maintained by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers. As you may know, the Kochs have donated significant funding to groups lobbying against the acceptance of man-made global warming, and to other right-wing political causes (including the Tea Party).
As it turns out, the findings of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project were a surprise to Dr. Muller, and no doubt to the Koch brothers as well.
As the BBC reported a few weeks ago, Professor Muller noted “Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the U.S. and the U.K.”
Dr. Muller was also interviewed for a recent report on NBC Nightly News. Here’s what he said.
“The existence of global warming, I think, is pretty much beyond dispute now. I think we have closed the last remaining questions on that.”
There is still much to discover about the effects that we’ll see from global warming in coming decades, and still much debate to come concerning how best to mitigate those effects (and how to deal with the unmitigated ones). We do, however, seem to be beyond the point where honest, reasoning people can continue to deny the problem.