Let me warn you, this is a little longer than my usual posts here, but it was prompted by a big op-ed article in the Birmingham News this morning. Take the time to read it, if you dare. Seems like our local paper has settled on one side of the climate change debate, which is certainly their right. But, I have the right to publish this article as well….
Two years ago, it seemed like nothing could stop the global warming train. Most of the media, those in Hollywood, politicians (many on both sides of the cultural divide), and “enlightened environmentalists” were all telling us that man was causing runaway warming of the earth’s atmosphere, meaning global catastrophe only decades ahead for all of us.
The problem is that a majority of those in this almost religious movement have little training in atmospheric science, and little understanding of the issue. They jumped on the bandwagon because it matches their worldview, or pads their pocket. This issue has generated great wealth on both sides of the argument, and I need to say up front I have absolutely no financial interest in climate. I am paid the same regardless of whether man is involved in climate change or not, and I have never taken a dime for a speech on the subject.
The simple truth is that the anthropogenic global warming train has slowed to a crawl, and the riders are jumping off as the facts are discovered.
What is the truth? Lets begin with something we all can agree on. The climate IS changing. It has always changed, it is changing now, and it will always change.
Beyond that, here are some simple facts that make those left on the global warming train very uncomfortable:
*The earth is no warmer now than it was in 1998.
*Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, but a gas indispensable to plant life. Plants, in turn, release oxygen, which sustains animal and human life.
*The primary greenhouse gas is water vapor, not carbon dioxide.
*The lack of solar activity in recent months suggests global cooling might be our biggest potential climate change problem in coming years.
*The planet has had weather disasters, extremes, and anomalies since it has been here. We just didn’t have 24 hour news channels and the Internet in prior decades to spread the news.
I have been doing the weather on local television for 30 years, and EVERY YEAR I have had people come up to me and tell me that they can “never remember the weather being this strange”.
Most of those that you see and hear speaking on the subject have little scientific knowledge. Here is a quote from Dr. Roy Spencer, a climatologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, from an article he penned recently:
“Alarmists like Al Gore will use pseudo-scientific justifications and comparisons in their attempt to make a connection between carbon dioxide and global warming. Even though CO2 is necessary for life on Earth, the alarmists insist on calling it a pollutant, referring to our atmosphere as an “open sewer.” For instance, Gore likes to point out that Venus has far more CO2 in its atmosphere than the Earth does, and its surface is hot enough to melt lead. Therefore, more CO2 causes warming. But we also know that the Martian atmosphere has 15 times as much CO2 as our own atmosphere, and its surface temperature averages about 70 deg. F below zero. So you see, in science a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”
Dr. James McClintock (marine biologist at UAB) today, in an op-ed piece published by the Birmingham News, claims that Antarctica is “warming quickly”. Dr. McClintock, I am sure, is an excellent marine biologist, and I would not even make an effort to challenge his knowledge of that science. But, what is his background in atmospheric science? And, where does that claim come from?
“The shattered part of the Wilkins ice sheet was 160 square miles in area, which is just 0.01% of the total current Antarctic ice cover, like an icicle falling from a snow and ice covered roof,” D’Aleo wrote on March 25. “We are very likely going to exceed last year’s record [for Southern Hemisphere ice extent]. Yet the world is left with the false impression Antarctica’s ice sheet is also starting to disappear,” D’Aleo added.
And, from climate scientist Ben Herman, past director of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics and former Head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Arizona: “It is interesting that all of the AGW (anthropogenic global warming) stories concerning Antarctica are always about what’s happening around the [western] peninsula, which seems to be the only place on Antarctica that has shown warming. How about the net ‘no change’ or ‘cooling’ over the rest of the continent, which is probably about 95% of the land mass, not to mention the record sea ice coverage recently.”
I also should note that the mythical UN IPCC “consensus” continues to crumble… Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist who specializes in optical waveguide spectroscopy from the University of Tokyo, and a top UN IPCC Scientist, calls global warming fears: the “worst scientific scandal in history” in the weblog of former Colorado State Climatologist Dr. Roger Pielke.
Here is what Canadian climatologist Tim Ball says about the IPCC: “The IPCC is a political organization and yet it is the sole basis of the claim of a scientific consensus on climate change. Consensus is neither a scientific fact nor important in science, but it is very important in politics. There are 2500 members in the IPCC divided between 600 in Working Group I (WGI), who examine the actual climate science, and 1900 in working Groups II and III (WG II and III), who study “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” and “Mitigation of Climate Change” respectively. Of the 600 in WGI, 308 were independent reviewers, but only 32 reviewers commented on more than three chapters and only five reviewers commented on all 11 chapters of the report. They accept without question the findings of WGI and assume warming due to humans is a certainty. In a circular argument typical of so much climate politics the work of the 1900 (less than one percent of the scientific population) is listed as ‘proof’ of human caused global warming. Through this they established the IPCC as the only credible authority thus further isolating those who raised questions.”
I find it interesting that most of the predictions coming from the IPCC are based on computer model output. Those of us in the trench, who deal with the Earth’s atmosphere every day, know that computer model data is often horrible 24 hours in advance… how bad can it be out to 50 or 100 years?
The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine this month announced that 31,072 U.S. scientists (9,021 with PhDs) signed a petition stating that “… There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will cause in the future, catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate…”
I encourage all of you to read material on BOTH sides of the issue and make up your own mind. Mr Gore, the science is “not settled”, and the invitation for a debate remains wide open.
Heaven help us this fall when ABC television tells us that the world, as we know it, is about to end because of “global warming”. Never let facts get in the way of a good story, especially one that scares you to death.
I consider myself an environmentalist. There are some serious environmental issues out there. “Global warming” is not one of them. One of the best ways to become a truly environmentally concerned person is to walk the banks of an Alabama river or stream for a half day and pick up trash and garbage. Anyone want to join me?
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Category: Pre-November 2010 Posts
About the Author (Author Profile)James Spann is one of the most recognized and trusted television meteorologists in the industry. He holds the AMS CCM designation and television seals from the AMS and NWA. He is a past winner of the Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year from both professional organizations.
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