Warming to the Debate

By January 22, 2007Global Warming

In Denmark, the largest newspaper had an interview with Vice President Al Gore on climate change scheduled for months. All ground rules agreed upon. Then the vice president realizes that Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, was to participate in the questioning. Interview cancelled! Lomborg and his editor comment:

[The] U.N. Climate Panel suggests that if we follow Al Gore’s path down toward an environmentally obsessed society, it will have big consequences for the world, not least its poor. In the year 2100, Mr. Gore will have left the average person 30% poorer, and thus less able to handle many of the problems we will face, climate change or no climate change.

Clearly we need to ask hard questions. Is Mr. Gore’s world a worthwhile sacrifice? But it seems that critical questions are out of the question. It would have been great to ask him why he only talks about a sea-level rise of 20 feet. In his movie he shows scary sequences of 20-feet flooding Florida, San Francisco, New York, Holland, Calcutta, Beijing and Shanghai. But were realistic levels not dramatic enough? The U.N. climate panel expects only a foot of sea-level rise over this century. Moreover, sea levels actually climbed that much over the past 150 years. Does Mr. Gore find it balanced to exaggerate the best scientific knowledge available by a factor of 20?

We also come to learn that some scientists are wondering whether global warming is being oversold and open debate being squelched.

“I can understand how a scientist without tenure can feel the community pressures,” says environmental scientist Roger Pielke Jr., a colleague of Vranes’ at the University of Colorado.

Pielke says he has felt pressure from his peers: A prominent scientist angrily accused him of being a skeptic, and a scientific journal editor asked him to “dampen” the message of a peer-reviewed paper to derail skeptics and business interests.

“The case for action on climate science, both for energy policy and adaptation, is overwhelming,” Pielke says. “But if we oversell the science, our credibility is at stake.”

One man who refuses to be squelched is James Spann, an Alabama TV meteorologist, who doesn’t take kindly to the suggestion from the Weather Channel’s Heidi Cullen that those who question global warming be stripped of their professional credentials.

Well, well. Some “climate expert” on “The Weather Channel” wants to take away AMS certification from those of us who believe the recent “global warming” is a natural process. So much for “tolerance”, huh?

I have been in operational meteorology since 1978, and I know dozens and dozens of broadcast meteorologists all over the country. Our big job: look at a large volume of raw data and come up with a public weather forecast for the next seven days. I do not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype. I know there must be a few out there, but I can’t find them.

Wonder if Vice President Gore would agree to be interviewed by Mr. Spann?