The following letter
was sent to the Houston Chronicle by a Robert Curl who turns out to be Kenneth S. Pitzer-Schlumberger Professor of Natural Sciences Emeritus at Rice University. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996.....your see a follow up to this below from several "skeptics" including Edwin Berry, enjoy!
The Houston Chronicle recently published an op-ed by the former astronaut Walter Cunningham "Climate change alarmists ignore scientific methods", Page B10, Aug. 15). The tenor of his piece was that the scientists concerned about climate change were an unscientific fringe group outside the mainstream of science. I quote: "It [anthropogenic global warming] has gained little acceptance among legitimate scientists." Cunningham's article assumed a tone of authority, but obviously his researches into the subject were not thorough.
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was incorporated in 1863 by an act of Congress to serve the nation by providing advice on scientific matters. It consists of approximately 2,100 members (out of approximately 1 million U.S. scientists) and 380 foreign associates. Of the 2,480 members, nearly 200 have won Nobel Prizes. U.S. scientists consider election to the academy one of the greatest honors they can receive.
For 147 years the NAS has jealously guarded its reputation for providing unbiased advice to the nation on scientific matters. This august organization is deeply concerned about the consequences of anthropogenic climate change, and has carried out several detailed technical studies on this matter. You can download free a layman's explanation, Understanding and Responding to Climate Change, from the National Academy's website at http://dels-old.nas.edu/basc/climate-change/ in order to obtain the most authoritative information on the subject.
The best science concludes that the Earth is getting warmer and that this is caused by human activity. Even if we act decisively now to change our behavior, it will continue to get warmer, leveling off in mid-century to a fairly tolerable global temperature. If we continue on a business-as-usual course, the global average temperature is expected to continue rising, reaching levels by the end of this century far above any previously experienced by humanity.
However, when it comes to being specific about what problems such high temperatures would cause, predictions tend to become much less clear. Thus we (here I mean by "we" all of humanity) are faced with some difficult choices.
No matter what we do, from a major course correction to doing nothing, it will be unpleasant and expensive and the costs will almost certainly not be distributed fairly. Globally and as a nation, we need to work together to find the best way forward.
It is understandable that many people such as Cunningham want to deny that there is a problem. These sobering conclusions about future warming are projections based upon elaborate models of the Earth. It is usually wise to be suspicious of computer models of complex situations. But we are not talking about one scientist's model; a number of programs give similar results.
Many deniers can quote at least a half dozen anecdotes that supposedly prove it is all a hoax. This leads some deniers to conclude that those scientists who persist in insisting that there is a problem must be evil people. They are not; they are human with all the attributes of human behavior, including becoming fixed upon a particular idea. Balancing this tendency of people to keep their minds made up is the fame and glory that would come to the scientist who really found a fatal error that proved global warming did not exist.
How much does the present owe to the future? This is a hard philosophical question. Neither Cunningham nor I will live to see how this turns out, but I expect my grandchildren to. I prefer that the planet they inherit is not a world in distress.
Curl is Kenneth S. Pitzer-Schlumberger Professor of Natural Sciences Emeritus at Rice University. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996.
Global warming skeptics
Copyright 2010, HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Regarding "The best science indicates humans causing warming" (Page B7, Saturday), Robert Curl is making two invalid assumptions. First, he assumes the administrators of the National Academy of Sciences represent the opinions of their 2,480 members. In fact, there is no document that any representative number of these 2,480 members have signed expressing their opinion that the hypothesis of human-caused climate change is valid.
Second, he assumes there is some "best science" out there that prevails over the body of opinion represented by Walter Cunningham ("Climate change alarmists ignore scientific methods," Page B10, Aug. 15). In fact, neither Curl nor any of the proponents of human-caused climate change can demonstrate a valid hypothesis to support their opinions.
If a hypothesis makes any incorrect prediction, the hypothesis is wrong. It does not matter if you have a Nobel Prize. If the prediction is wrong, the hypothesis is wrong. An overwhelming body of science has proven the hypothesis of human-caused climate change is wrong.
— EDWIN BERRY,
In regard to "The best science indicates humans causing warming" (Page B7, Saturday), climate change is happening and global warming is happening — but it ain't being caused by us pesky humans. Robert Curl's verbiage points a crooked finger directly at me and you, and it shouldn't. Award-winning scientists such as Professor Curl are prime suspects for marching with a flute in their hands, leading an innocent group of followers down a path of believable logic (albeit wrong). If humans cause global warming how do you explain the constant, steady pattern of ice age-then-warming, ice age-then-warming, that is documented over the past 500,000 years? The problem with those who believe in human-caused global warming: They only cite references that support their theories. No one looks up anything, and Curl gets another award and probably a pay raise from Rice University.
— DAVID WALTON,
No one I know claims that carbon dioxide produces heat when it is released in the atmosphere. Instead, climate scientists postulate that as the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increases, it reduces the radiation or loss of heat from the Earth's atmosphere into space, causing the atmospheric temperature to rise.
Can a citizen without a scientific background determine if this is happening? He can ask a climate scientist and he will be assured that it does. If the citizen persists in questioning the scientist for proof, he will be told that the scientist has over 150 years of temperature data to support global warming and that he, the citizen, probably can't understand and or interpret the data accurately. Historical temperature records are difficult to interpret because the data is erratic, and the conditions and places where the temperatures were taken have varied.
This past Sunday, the Channel 2 weatherman reported the official temperature for the day in Houston was 98 and that the highs for the day were 97 at Hobby Airport and 99 at Bush Intercontinental. The weatherman also stated the record high temperature for Aug. 22 is 106 and that the record was set in 1908.
What were the conditions when the record 1908 temperature was set? It certainly wasn't recorded at either airport since neither existed in 1908 and it wasn't recorded in close proximity to hundreds of acres of runways, paved streets and parking lots which heat up in the summer sun, as they didn't exist in Houston in 1908 either. Climate scientists will explain that "urbanization" has been accounted for in their models while conveniently ignoring the fact that the accuracy of a model (equation) is no better than the least accurate data it was derived from. Yet, these equations are being used to try to reshape modern society by relating the use of fossil fuels and CO2 to global warming.
Unless someone can demonstrate with "repeatable experiments" that CO2 at concentrations we can expect to see in our atmosphere affects heat transfer and radiation enough to pose a threat to civilization, the whole concept should be trashed.
— DAVID REYNOLDS,