Friday, September 14, 2007

Global warming credibility

There he goes again. My friend Bill Crawford is touting yet another “study” denying the existence of man-made global warming.

Global warming is a natural event whose effects are not bad at all, according to a new study by two eminent climatologists.
Researchers Dennis Avery and Fred Singer said climate change is more likely to be part of a cycle of warming and cooling that has happened regularly every 1500 years for the last million years.

Wait a minute! Did they just say “two eminent climatologists”? Are they referring to Dennis Avery and Fred Singer?
These guys aren’t climatologists! Avery is, at best, an agriculture economist who now works at a right-wing think tank. He is not a scientist who spends his time in the lab conducting research. He spends all his time writing B.S. columns and traveling around giving speeches touting right-wing causes.
At least Fred Singer is a scientist, but his degree is in physics which is not exactly a related field of study. And then there is the fact that Singer is also a prominent denier of the connection between solar radiaton and melanoma and the connection between second-hand smoke and lung cancer. So take that for what it’s worth.
This is not an ad hominem attack pointing this out either. If you are going to make scientific claims and challenge the research of other scientists, you had better have at least a basic background in climate science before doing so.

But here is a guy who actually does have some credibility on this issue.

In an interview with the BBC, Professor John Marburger, Bush’s chief science adviser, said it was an “unequivocal” fact that climate change is man-made and that greenhouse gases emitted by human activity are to blame.

Marburger said he “strongly agrees” with the IPCC reports and “supports its conclusions.” He added:

I think there is widespread agreement on certain basics, and one of the most important is that we are producing far more CO2 from fossil fuels than we ought to be. And it’s going to lead to trouble unless we can begin to reduce the amount of fossil fuels we are burning and using in our economies. […]

The CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere and there’s no end point, it just gets hotter and hotter, and so at some point it becomes unliveable.

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