Letter to the editor: Global warming a ‘theory, not a proven fact’


To the editor:

The alarmists like to claim that there is a consensus on global warming, that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that man is causing global warming. But not all scientists agree.

Many have pointed out the dubious methodology used to arrive at this. The “97 percent” statistic first appeared in a 2009 study by a University of Illinois student and her professor. It began as a two-question online survey, asking “scientists” if they thought there was global warming.

They concluded that “the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific bases of long-term climate processes” — even though only 5 percent of respondents, or about 160 scientists, were climate scientists. In fact, the “97 percent” statistic was drawn from an even smaller subset: the 79 respondents who were both self-reported climate scientists and had “published more than 50 percent of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of global warming.” Of those, 77 gave the answer that global temperatures had generally risen since 1800, and that human activity is probably a contributing factor. That gave them their 97 percent of scientists (who) agree.

John Christy, climate scientist and director of the Earth System Science Center in Huntsville, wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal in which he criticized climate models as making inaccurate predictions. He also dismissed the scientific consensus on global warming by arguing that there was a consensus about putrefaction causing scurvy, which was later found to be wrong. In his testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, (he) compared the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections to actual data from four weather-balloon data sets and two satellite data sets. He found that so far, the IPCC models have predicted more than twice as much warming as has actually occurred. Since these models cannot explain what has occurred for the past 30 years, there is little faith that they can accurately predict temperatures centuries into the future. The actual data contradicts claims that we are already observing increased damage from CO2-induced extreme weather. NOAA and IPCC data also show no increasing trends for hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts or floods.

Virtually every international global warming summit has been deemed the last chance for the world … where leaders have claimed that global warming is the world’s greatest problem, dismissing problems of worldwide poverty, hunger, disease and terrorism. People are apparently unaware that the claim that the world is endangered by a runaway warming climate is a scientific theory, not a proven fact. They are treating this unproven theory as if it is a fact that cannot be questioned, examined or doubted. History is replete with record-breaking weather events. The future will have them as well, whether CO2 levels increase, decline or stay the same.

Ron and Debbie Boggs