Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Global Warming: Admitting We're Not Sure

With Doppler radar and other fancy gee-gaws, meteorologists usually can hit tomorrow's weather on the head. But when it comes to the five-day forecast, the old saw that a 60 percent chance of precipitation means that 6 out of 10 guys at the station think it is going to rain still hits the mark.

So, what about "climate" science, which is essentially the five-decade weather forecast? Predictions in this realm are little more than fortune-telling, with the case for "global warming" having slightly more scientific basis than that for Santa Claus. What has so confused respected news organizations like the Monitor? In the article "Should US Pay Bulk of Global Warming Tab?" (Nov. 28), the author says: "It's not so much the science of climate change that will be debated {in Kyoto} - most scientists agree that human activities are heating things up ..." Reporters such as this one have mistaken the political debate for the scientific debate. The Senate voted unanimously to ask Al Gore, Vice-Weatherman: "If this is such a big problem, how come the developing nations, who will be the biggest source of increasing CO2 emissions, are exempt?" A fair question, but asking it doesn't mean the scientific argument is over - it's just beginning. Both sides of this debate are little more than bookmakers at this point, as they try to amass impressive lists of experts betting on the climate. Al Gore said on July 28: "More than 2,600 scientists have signed a letter about global climatic disruption." Who exactly are these scientists? Only 10 percent have any expertise related to climate. The remainder are an array of irrelevantly credentialed professionals, including doctors, lawyers, and landscape architects; a hotel administrator; and a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. Gore has been fibbing about unanimity in the scientific community since he wrote in his book, "Earth in the Balance": "When 98 percent of the scientists in a given field share one view and 2 percent disagree ... their theories should not be given equal weight. …

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