December 24, 2009


Letters to the Editor and other People Speak

FROM- Mankato Free Press

My View: 'Global warming' a dubious notion

By Darryl Biehn

When I suggested to my favorite verbal sparring partner, my daughter, that “they” have shown that human endeavor is causing a change in climate, she replied simply, “Dad, do the research.” I did, and here is what I have found regarding anthropogenic (man made causes) of climate change.

One: “They” is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). According to Wikipedia, it is a collaborative of 120 countries formed by the United Nations 20 years ago to evaluate the risk of it. The IPCC does not carry on research or monitor climate, it only collects and assesses data and then publishes reports.

Two: Many organizations state that there is overwhelming, undeniable evidence of it. Here is the evidence in total: First, as presented in Al Gore’s documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth” a loose correlation exists between the amount of lower atmosphere carbon dioxide and temperature over a long period of time as shown in ice core samples. However, a close look at this evidence may serve more to disprove the hypothesis, because changes in temperature occur up to 300 years before changes in carbon dioxide suggesting that as the oceans warm and cool slowly, they emit and absorb the carbon dioxide.

The other evidence is 20 computer-generated mathematical models created by taking observations over a short period of time and making long term projections. That’s it, a loose correlation and computer models.

Three: While not stating falsehoods on basic facts, the IPCC has done little to correct them. Two basic facts are most important. According to IPCC figures at least 95 percent of the greenhouse effect comes from water vapor, not carbon dioxide, and secondly, of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, very little, probably less than 5 percent, is from the total of all of human endeavor.

The main thrust of the IPCC models is to show that climate is so sensitive that a small change in carbon dioxide will cause a huge feedback of water vapor. They have acknowledged in a statement hidden deep in their most recent document, AR4, at the end of section 8.6, on page 640, “A set of model metrics that might be used to narrow the range of plausible climate change feedbacks and climate sensitivity has yet to be developed.”

In other words, there is no proof.

Four: This science is still in its infancy and is very complicated. Surprisingly, almost no research has been done on various hypotheses of what causes changes in climate.

We have had and will always have changes in climate. Four hundred years ago Europe was in the midst of a mini-ice age with severe winters and cold summers causing failed harvests, starvation, disease and general misery. One thousand years ago Vikings farmed Greenland, and there were vineyards to the north of Europe. (“Essay on Climate Change, 1977” Bryson, Reid, Atmospheric Geologist, 1990 Global Laureate). Obviously, none of the previous warming and cooling has been due to human endeavor.

Of course none of this would matter except for the content of proposed laws and treaties. Dr. Roy Spencer, a senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Space Flight Center, received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award for global temperature monitoring work with satellites. In his blog he states that “the language in the latest climate treaty (meant to replace the Kyoto Treaty) involves global governance and the most authoritarian means by which people’s energy use will be restricted and monitored by its government.”

We must acknowledge that we are tremendously dependent on fossil fuels, and we should make every effort to preserve that natural resource, reduce energy consumption and develop alternate viable sources of energy. Laws made on false presumptions would only serve to compound the problem.

Growing by the dozens, a group of accomplished climatologists and atmospheric physicists in the United States and worldwide (some are IPCC contributors) are attempting to challenge the IPCC. Sadly, they are called cynics, contrarians and worse. They refer to the work of the IPCC as “a pseudo religion, a myth about to explode, an urban legend, a dangerous contention, a swindle.” However, the IPCC has political power, money, and momentum behind it.

Commentary articles in the Dec. 1 and 3 issues of The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere state that recently “scientists at the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU), were forced to admit they threw away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming were based.” The articles also state that CRU director Professor Phil Jones stepped down after emails surfaced of how he would “thwart skeptics wishing to access the data.” Investigations are commencing to determine if data has been manipulated.

It is immoral and illegal when a group of scientists does not encourage or even allow debate on an issue. It is a tragedy when any person with a credible scientific background accepts a single hypothesis as an absolute truth when so many other hypotheses exist, most notably that of various cycles of solar radiation.

Oh yeah, did you know that between January of 2007 and January of 2008 there was the greatest change in world-wide surface temperatures ever recorded? (data from Dr. Spencer). It got colder!

Darryl A. Biehn was an instructor in physics and advanced chemistry courses from 1969 to 2001 in Mapleton, which later became Maple River Schools

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