Global warming takes another hit; Is anyone paying attention?
Its no secret that I am a global warming skeptic. Like any other issue that is important to me, I thoroughly researched both sides of the argument. Although I was tempted to prejudge the issue simply based on who were the people and groups supporting the global warming mantra, I became increasingly skeptical when that side kept saying that the debate was over: scientists had reached a consensus. Huh? Scientists never reach a consensus on any hypothesis so the progrobal warming crowd was trying to squelch debate. . The cornerstone of the global warming argument is that it is caused by CO2 emissions and those need to be curbed or else we are all dead. Several things have transpired. First, a new study Andreas Schmitter of Oregon State reported in Science says that the global warming models have overestimated its impact on earth's temperatures and the previous estimates of temperature increases of 10 F are implausible. Nonetheless, he concludes that CO2 will likely cause climate change, but not as severe. Schmitter's work as well as other models must still be taken with a healthy dose of salt however. Remember this is the same crowd that cannot predict the temperatures next week rather than next century. Then there is the report from China Daily (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2011-11/29/content_14181836.htm) that poor nations cannot afford to aggressively reduce CO2 omissions but that black carbon soot (from stoves and fires) is the problem (not to the environment but to people's health). Although once thought to contribute to global warming, the research now shows that black soot lingers in the atmosphere too short a time to have a major impact on earth's tempertures. Lastly, there is the work of geologist (and retired energy executive) Leighton Steward who warms that aggressive reduction in CO2 levels will be dangerous. Steward argues that CO2 is not responsible for global warming and reductions will inhibit plant growth. Less CO2 means that food production would slow and that fruits and vegetables would require more water for growth. One of Steward's compelling arguments regarding CO2 is that currently the earth's levels are 338 parts per million while the danger level for US submarines is 8,000 parts per million. So we are nowhere near the danger zone for health, reductions will harm food production, CO2 does not cause the earth to warm and even if it did, it would have a debatable impact on temperature. So who do you believe?
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com