116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
By Gary Ellis
As an engineer with a background in science and math, I've followed the global warming debate for decades. I found a new twist recently.
Iowa State University Meteorology Professor William J. Gutowski Jr. sent me an Internet page that provided an interesting comment from a climate change activist. The conclusion admits the lack of science behind the issue and proof of its actual nature.
“Whether temperatures have been warmer or colder in the past is largely irrelevant to the impacts of the ongoing warming. If you don't care about humans and the other species here, global warming may not be all that important; nature has caused warmer and colder times in the past, and life survived. But, those warmer and colder times did not come when there were almost seven billion people living as we do. …. ” (see http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?r=337, Dr. Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences, Wisconsin-Madison,
The author admits that science is irrelevant in his argument. Further admitting that the science and data shows that the Earth may actually be trending toward global cooling. The author has distilled the argument into what we already knew: It's not about good science, it's about their “good intentions.” State Sen. Rob Hogg confirmed to me that is his motivation.
There are several reasons we should be cautious about regarding this theory.
First, the global warming advocates use the inflammatory statement - “the hottest on record” - to try and justify their position. Science isn't about a flat Earth mentality. The Earth's long geological and climate history is millions of years old. It includes seven ice ages in 700,00 years. Using 150 years (of records kept) is an unscientific comparison that is statistically insignificant. The probability of a theory being right based on 150 years of data is essentially zero.
Second, every extreme weather event they point to has happened before. After Hurricane Katrina, they harangued about large storms - what happened, fewer storms. They predicted the Arctic ice sheet would melt, it has gotten bigger and now the Great Lakes are freezing over. It takes 500 years to reveal a 500-year flood, not 150 years.
Third, their computer models are unable to simulate and predict what is happening. They predict global atmospheric temperatures rising but in the last 15 years, global atmospheric temperatures are level. The reason they are wrong is that they don't have command of all the environmental variables. Professor Gutkowski has confirmed that they cannot make decade-by-decade predictions. This winter is an example of natural and normal climate change, temperatures go up and they go down, sometimes to extremes.
Fourth, we know that some of the people leading these arguments have cooked the books. There exist emails proving that they manipulated climate data. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a “consensus” report in name only; they do not publish sound science that challenges their political opinions.
Fifth, they don't believe in their own solutions. Activists admit that the changes they propose will not appreciably reduce the trend they forecast. The only solution to their claims is for the entire world to stop using fossil fuels. Can you imagine what that would be like?
Good intentions is not a reason to wipe out our entire economy. Good public policy says we need to gather much more information and create real, sound science based on data that can be confirmed to make accurate predictions.
In the meantime, we should be good stewards of the environment. We can continue working on clean air, water and soil without sacrificing our economy and freedom to a hysterical myth.
l Gary Ellis of Cedar Rapids is an electrical engineer with 40-plus years of work experience in electrical generation from methane gas to coal, natural gas and nuclear, while following environmental issues and regulation. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org