To The Editor:
Responding to “Important to Look at Other Options” by Terry Hansen, Missourian, 2/19/20, in response to my “The Sky is Not Falling” the week before.
Hansen chose to respond only to my skepticism about climate alarmism. He referred me to a report, “A Climate Security Plan for America” authored by The Center for Climate Security (CCS), that spoke to the need for President Trump to “respond to increasing and unprecedented climate-driven risks to the nation.” This report is predicated on the assumption that a) man is causing climate change and b) man can fix it.
I am retired from the USAF and USN as an environmental engineer and manager, which involved working with three EPA Regions and four state departments of environmental protection. In this role I frequently found science and politics butting heads, and I see the same dichotomy in the sited report. In noting CCS co-CEOs, Francesco Fernia and Caitlin Werrell’s expertise in political science and transboundary water conflict, I’ve considered the views of others with comparable scientific credentials.
CCS states they “envision a climate-resilient world which recognizes that climate change threats to security are already significant and unprecedented, and act to address those threats in a manner that is commensurate to their scale, consequence and probability.” CCS claims there is an existential climate threat, it’s anthropogenic, and if man were so inclined he could stop it. These three statements are but theories, suppositions which are being challenged on many scientific fronts.
The CCS report frequently refers to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and some scientists challenge their conclusions. In 1990, for example, IPCC predicted climate increases of 0.15°C per decade, which didn’t happen. In fact, MIT climate scientist and former IPCC lead author Dr. Richard Lindzen said in 2013, “In attributing warming to man, (IPCC) fail(ed) to point out that the warming has been small, and totally consistent with there being nothing to be alarmed about.” He went on to say, “IPCC (hasn’t learned from their mistakes) and is now arguing that they are 95 percent certain that the planet is warming due to man-made activities.” This type of flawed science is misleading. For example, based on the shaky foundation of another IPCC report in 2013, the EPA stated in a 2017 report Climate Change Science, “Many factors, both natural and human, can cause changes in Earth’s energy balance ...” and then EPA got off on a stray tangent by concluding, “it is likely that human activities have been the dominant cause of (mid-20th century) warming.” Really? I’m from Missouri, show me.
Another source which precisely explains why the public is not able to get pure scientific news devoid of politics can be found in Physics Today, June 1993, pp 89-90, “Happer Leaves DOE Under Ozone Cloud for Violating Political Correctness.” This article in PT relates how Dr. William Happer, a former Princeton University physics professor, was sacked by President Clinton as director of energy research at the Department of Energy (DOE) because he opposed VP Al Gore on ozone and greenhouse gases. PT stated, “Happer marches to a different drummer than Al Gore ... Will is a pure scientist. Al Gore is a politician. ... Happer argued that knowledge of the interactions controlling climate and understanding of abrupt atmospheric perturbations are incomplete and inexact.”
To the warming/no warming theories, NASA, for example, says, “there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat in the last 650,000 years,” and “Empirical evidence does not lend much support to the notion that climate is headed precipitately toward more extreme heat and drought.”
CCS promotes forecasting models and claims: “Indeed, most of our past climate models have proved remarkably correct ... we can therefore project implications of (sea levels, rainfall, and new disease ranges ...).” Again, Emeritus Professor Will Happer explains on DennisPrager.com that it is not possible to predict climate temperatures, (think lack of accuracy even in shorter-range weather predictions) and he identifies some predictions which have failed such as a) in 1970 when Dr. Ehrlich said the oceans would be dead by 1980 and b) in 1989 when the UN said entire nations could be wiped out by 2000 if global warming wasn’t reversed. Many other examples of failed forecasts of doom can be found in the literature.
Lastly, the CCS report claims (par. 4.1, p28) “In (2019), DOD installations sustained over $8 billion in damage from extreme weather that climate change makes increasingly likely,” and “Projections from the U.S. government forecast significantly increasing risks under the current emissions pathways.” Show me where those data are found and the science behind the “projections” that makes damage “likely” and emissions “forecasted” to “increase risks.”
In summary, if we look at all the options, credible sources say we could just be looking at natural world cyclical climate change and there is no conclusive reason to believe that man is interfering with the weather nor could he do anything to change it.