Raleigh Jenkins writes that it is a myth that many prominent scientists do not agree with “man-made global warming theory” and calls those “few” who do not, prostitutes and “tobacco scientists.” (July 22)
I almost never jump into the middle of polarized public debates, especially those involving topics of science. Arguing with most people about complex issues reminds me of the Robert Heinlein quote, “Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.”
Nevertheless, here goes: Jenkins, a retired chemist, lists six “facts that cannot be disputed by any scientist in the world.” However, none of the six demonstrate cause and effect for man-made global warming.
I have 20 years in environmental chemistry and 10 years in research, and fully understand how the scientific method takes place. (By the way, the term global warming is so last year; proponents now insist on using “climate change.” This is a subtle but revealing distinction.)
A letter to the editor is hardly the place to make a case for a scientific proof or to debunk one. I feel my best chance to enlighten readers on the subject would be to ask that they Google “senate minority report 2009.” There the reader can find a register of 700 dissenters — not unaccountable Internet bloggers or Fox News reporters, but professionals with listed scientific credentials. (Yes, there are copious numbers of dissenters out here who do not rely on Rush Limbaugh to think for them.)
I will quote here only one of the scientists: “It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming,” writes Stanley Goldenberg, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
He holds a master’s degree in meteorology; his master’s adviser was the leading expert on El Niño, and Goldenberg developed the data which confirmed the mechanisms of El Niño. He is also credited with significantly improving hurricane prediction models used by the National Hurricane Center. I, for one, would never refer to Goldenberg as a “tobacco scientist.”
Jenkins’ last statement of his letter reads, “It’s not rocket science.”
On the contrary, rocket science is child’s play compared with predicting a planet’s climate 100 years into the future (or 50 or 20 years).
For decades National Aeronautics and Space Administration engineers have been able to launch a projectile and hit a moving target a few miles wide from millions of miles away. By contrast, climate modeling of our Earth’s atmosphere is an interesting Ph.D. thesis at best.
United States economic forecasting is no more complex than climate modeling, and only a fool or a politician would bet his children’s future on one of those.
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