Letter: Writer shares perspective on climate

Published 1:39 am Saturday, December 1, 2018

In response to an editorial by Mr. John Northrop, I would like to offer your readers some perspective on the entire global warming/climate change issue.  The editorial from Mr. Northrop was titled “97% of climate scientist agree: we must act” which is a leading statement that pre-supposes that some sort of official poll was taken of all of the earth climate scientists.  I don’t know where the 97% statistic came from, but it is regularly thrown around by people in the press that it has come to be an unquestionable fact.  Well, I think it is prudent to question that statistic and to also question the popular conclusions about global climate change. 

Recently a new government report was released to the public: Fourth National Climate Assessment which is a report that is mandated by the Global Change Research Act of 1990.  This is a report that intends to provide policy makers (congress et al) with timely information about the current state of the national climate and what actions the authors think should be taken to avoid some disastrous future scenario.  However, most people will not read this report and only read the headlines created by its release.  This is unfortunate, because if you were to actually read the report, I believe that you would not be near as concerned as the headlines lead you to be.

Let me take one example from the report for illustration.  The report is segmented into regions and since we all live in the southeast, let’s look at that section of the report and see what it really says.  For example on page 124 of the report there is a graph of “Number of Days above 95°F (1900-2016).”  If you were to really analyze that graph you would see that there were many more days (140 vs 88) above 95°F from 1900 to 1950 than from 1960 onward.  Well, how can this be?  This graph contradicts their main conclusion about global warming, yet no mention of that contradiction in the report.  The conclusion here is that the report is written to propagate and support a specific opinion and only that opinion.

Another point about this climate report and really about most all reports of this kind is that they exaggerate their findings by using certain words.  For example, in the concluding paragraphs of this report they make the statement “Climate change is projected to significantly damage human health.”  Now to me and from reading the report, I do not see how, in any way, a reasonable person can come to that conclusion based on the data in the report.  That is an alarmist statement meant to trigger a response by policy makers. 

Moving on, I would like to recommend a voice of reason about the climate and how it changes, and that is University of Alabama at Huntsville, Climate Scientist, Dr. Roy Spencer (www.drroyspencer.com).  Dr. Spencer has impeccable credentials, even being a former NASA scientist.  One thing that Dr. Spencer does that I like is that he posts the monthly global temperature measurement (Lower Troposphere) derived solely from satellite measurements.   This graph begins in 1979 which is about the time that mankind could start measuring the planet’s temperature as whole from outside the atmosphere and does show a slight warming trend over those years.  However if you look at the graph and realize that it is really the most accurate data we have at this time, I think you will understand that the media alarmists are simply not being honest about the data and its interpretation. 

So, what do we do you ask?  For one thing, we should stop using alarmist type articles to negatively influence the population that is never going to read beyond the headlines.  Second, we should allow real debate about the cause of the very slight global warming that we do have, and not immediately assume worst case scenarios are inevitable.  Thirdly, we should publish legitimate opposing viewpoints to show that climate science is not solved like the laws of gravity, instead it is subject to interpretation and manipulation of complex climate models.  In short we should admit that we don’t know everything about the earth’s climate and its natural variability.

Jim Kelley