Wednesday, October 20, 2004

More Science & Politics

Funny you should write about this. I opened up my AAS (American Astronomical Society, in case anyone but us ever reads this!) October Newsletter today and read this letter to the editor:

Dear Editor,

In the Final Text of the unfortunate AAS Endorsement of the AGU Statement on Climate Change, the words include "increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which is significantly contributing to the warming of the global climate." This is certainly NOT proven at all. Climate change is very far out of the areas of AAS expertise.

Dear AAS Officials: Please, was the well documented Medieval Warm Period (950 - 1350) due to huge amounts of oil and coal burning then by humans? What caused the "Little Ice Age" from 1750 - 1850 when industrial production rapidly increased? What about the 1970's when the press featured "scientific" claims about 'Worrisome Global Cooling' amid speculation that Earth may be entering "A New Ice Age"!?

A considerable fraction of distinguished experts on climate, like Dr. Sallie Balunias (Harvard SAO) are convinced that other causes are far more likely for climate change, such as variation in the solar radiation impinging on the Earth. Modern computer climate models simply do not mimic actual climate changes. S. Solanki, direction of the Max Planck Institute on Solar System Research in Gottingen, Germany led research that shows more solar activity in the last 60 years than in the last 1000 years. Using evidence from satellites and balloons, Douglass Perkins, and Singer in the July 9 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, show THERE IS NO WARMING in the past 20 years. Clearly more careful research along these and other lines could be very fruitful.

Fellow members would be enlightened if they read an excellent website on climate change and sources of energy, by Meteorology professor S. Fred Singer, formerly of the University of Virginia, and former Director of the U. S. Weather Service.

Howard D. Greyber
San Jose, CA

I get annoyed enough with W saying we don't really have to care about greenhouse gases and so on. But I get really annoyed to read letters like this! Why do people put so much energy into saying that there is no such thing as the greenhouse effect/global warming? Even if that's true, that doesn't make it GOOD to burn a lot of oil and coal. There is nothing you can say that makes that sort of consumption GOOD, which is what people seem to want to say. Mostly, I think, they argue about things like this so that we can keep living our happy decadent lives, polluting the world, and not have to think about what we are doing to our environment, or how people in other countries must live so that we can live our spoiled lives. (I know I use gas and oil and coal, too -- but I don't pretend it's a great thing and it's patriotic and my God-given right.)

Since he got MY dander up so much, I did a little research on this "Howard D. Greyber" and here's what I found. Looks like he has lots of unpopular opinions and likes to write lots of letters to the editor. Looks like he used to live in Maryland and in the early 90's ran for the U.S. Senate. I'll leave it to you to guess what party he ran for.


- maki girl


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