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Opinion

Bath man defends stance on climate change

4/3/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

I am surprised that an “anthropological warmist” responded to my [letter to the editor, “Granger man supports climate change theories” in the March 6, 2014, issue.] The usual retort is “there is no debate — the science is settled and you are a denier and believe that the earth is flat.”

In one fell swoop, he accomplished what professor [Michael] Mann, [professor of meteorology and director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University], (of “hockey stick” and “climate-gate” fame) wished for but failed to do — “get rid of the medieval warm period.” He has simply denied that it ever existed. Earth’s temperatures were much warmer than today — good grapes (for wine) were grown in Wales. Vikings reported swimming in the fjords of Greenland, and the pope dispatched a bishop to it. Greenland had large farms, lots of livestock and traded in timber, fur and other commodities. Archeological digs have confirmed its once prosperity. As for my football field analogy, the percentages can be found in the current Encyclopedia Britannica. I never said that the atmosphere isn’t a mixture, I was just graphing how the quantities of each gas that make it up might be represented to show their relative proportions.

What I have never heard lamented is that one good sized volcano undoes all of our “good” efforts in a rather short time. Mount Pinatubo in four days undid all of our previous efforts that had covered several years. It continued belching for another year.

As for the usual trump card, “97 percent of scientists agree that man causes climate change,” have you ever read how that figure came about? [Margaret] Zimmerman attempted to poll 10,257 scientists on the subject. Of that number, 3,146 responded. Zimmerman excluded all but 77 from that group (I wonder why). One of two softball questions then asked, “Was since before 1800 has the Earth’s temperature risen, cooled, stayed the same,” and 76 said “risen” (96.2 percent). The other question was, “Do you think that human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?” Seventy-five of the 77 said yes. So I guess that you could say that 97 percent agreed. You could just as well say that three-quarters of 1 percent had expressed that view.

As for the Boeing 2707, Congress killed it for several reasons. One was environmental impact. It might never have made any money, but we were deprived of even flying it experimentally to learn aerodynamics from it. Even though it cost far more than allowing it to be completed, it was physically destroyed, as was all of its tooling. We really got our money’s worth out of that one. [Former] Sen. [William] Proxmire, [Democrat], of Wisconsin, took most of the bows.

Maybe those practicing in the newfound field of “climatology” should take time off and explore those extremes in weather swings that the medieval warm period and little ice age represented. I would hope that they could quickly rule out that there had been any governmental programs that had “population size and its effect on weather” recorded in the scrolls. If not, I feel sure that “planned parenthood” could be skipped, but possibly controlled experiments involving bubonic plague and cholera had had unintended consequences.

William Woodall, Bath

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