WEBCommentary Editor

Author: Bob Webster
Date:  February 28, 2007

Topic category:  Other/General

Global Warming Silliness at the University of Minnesota

An All Headline News article by Julie Farby dated Feburary 20, 2007, reveals that the University of Minnesota is considering conferring an honorary doctorate of climatology degree on Albert Gore, Jr. for his "documentary" titled An Inconvenient Truth. In her report, Ms. Farby writes:

This report prompted me to write to "University spokesperson Daniel Wolter" to inquire as to what evidence he has that suggests Mr. Gore is deserving of such an honor.

My email to Mr. Wolter follows.

Dear Mr. Wolter,

Regarding your quoted statement:

University spokesperson Daniel Wolter did admit the University of Minnesota was interested in honoring Gore for his work on the subject, he refused to confirm or deny specific details surrounding the honoring ceremony.

"He's in the news and is a legitimate expert on a pressing issue of global concern, climate change, so this level of interest is understandable," Wolter said. "However, no plans have been set and it's unlikely that would occur this spring."

A few questions:

  1. Have you spoken with a single recognized climatology expert (e.g., Dr. Lindzen, Dr. Michaels, Dr. Leroux, etc., etc., etc.) on the subject of "global warming" about Mr. Gore's knowledge of climate, climate history, and climate change?

  2. Are you aware that Mr. Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" is full of deceptions and half-truths and is fundamentally based on the discredited "hockey stick" curve of Mann, Bradley, & Hughes that purports to demonstrate that any current warming is "unprecedented" and can only be caused by anthropogenic forces?

  3. Are you aware that the Mann, et al., "hockey stick" curve that renounces the existence of the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age has never been peer reviewed and is based on misuse of data (redundant data sets, bad data sets, incompatible data sets) with a methodology whose details have never been released (nor, obviously, peer reviewed)?

  4. Are you aware that within the past two millennia the Earth has experienced two warming episodes that exceeded or met the projections for current warming (before it will be reversed by a cold cycle, assuming the recent uptick in temperatures persists to the point where it qualifies for even a "warm period")?

  5. Are you aware the carbon dioxide, the "bogeyman" of those pressing the anthropogenic global warming issue, is by far NOT the most abundant greenhouse gas?

  6. Are you aware that attempts to correlate the Mann, et al., "hockey stick" temperature graph with changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide suffers from one of the same scientific weaknesses plaguing the Mann, et al., curves (it is based on a fusion of estimates with real data)?

  7. Are you aware that "correlation" does not prove "cause and effect"?

  8. Are you aware that historic estimates strongly suggest that carbon dioxide is more likely to be an effect of climate warming rather than a cause of it?

  9. Are you aware that climate change is influenced by far more than the simple "greenhouse effect" equation touted by the purveyors of significant anthropogenic global warming (specifically, ocean currents and temperature states that are affected by many other forces including solar and tectonic)?

  10. Did you know that solar activity has an influence on temperature and that the last decade has been marked by increased solar activity (including a global warming on Mars)?

  11. Are you aware that Earth has been in a rare climate Ice Era for the past 60 million years? Are you aware that Earth is in an Ice Epoch (a relatively colder regime of an Ice Era)?

  12. Are you aware that humans have never know Earth's typical (normal) climate (when temperatures are globally so warm that NO surface ice exists anywhere on the planet at sea level)?

  13. Are you aware that the Earth is in an interglacial period of an Ice Age cycle (relatively warmer period of the cycle when glaciers are in retreat)?

  14. Are you aware that most of Greenland's ice is left over from the last glacial advance phase of an Ice Age?

  15. Are you aware that if the entire Arctic ice shield melted, the Earth's oceans would not rise a scintilla as a consequence?

  16. Have you ever researched why Greenland was named "Green"land when the Vikings settled (and farmed) it during the Medieval Warm Period (that would be one of the warm periods that the Mann, et al., "hockey stick" curve denies ever existed)? Do you know how difficult it is to farm glacial sheets?

  17. Are you aware that Earth has experienced seven Ice Eras ranging in duration of from 45 million to 60 million years during the past 2.5 billion years (roughly half) of its existence (and since complex organisms have existed)?

  18. Did you know that the current Ice Era is at the limit of duration of any previous Ice Era (consequently, it could be reasonable to presume it will be ending shortly)?

  19. Did you know that Ice Eras, Ice Epochs, Ice Age glacial advances, and climate warm and cold "periods" (generally lasting several hundreds of years) can start abruptly and end just as abruptly?

  20. Are you aware that climate science is not well enough understood to explain how or why an Ice Era, Ice Epoch, Ice Age glacial/interglacial, or Warm/Cold period begin or end?

  21. Do you realize that it is impossible to develop an accurate computer model of a scientific process that is not well understood?

  22. Are you aware that, even if the process of climate change were well understood the capacity to model such a complex process simply does not exist?

  23. Are you aware that, even if one understood the process and could adequately model climate change, the collection of accurate, reliable data to drive such a model would be well beyond the capability of human enterprise?

  24. Were you aware that climate is normally in a state of change -- that it is either warming or cooling?

  25. Do you (or Al Gore, or anyone else) know what state climate should be in at any given time (e.g., what temperature should it be?)?

While I realize that the Academy Award and Nobel Prize committees are hopelessly too politicized to view this subject rationally, I would hope that a reasoned consideration of these questions would lead the U. of Minnesota to reconsider its reported position that Mr. Gore possesses even a scintilla of useful knowledge about climate, climate change, or climate history that would warrant a consideration of (gasp!) an honorary degree in climatology.

If, after reasoned consideration of the 25 questions posed above, you (or anyone else at the U. of M.) still believe Mr. Gore worthy of anything remotely akin to an honorary climatology degree, then I would pose one final question to you:

What is the evidence for your (or anyone else's) belief that Mr. Gore's knowledge of climate is worthy of such honor?

Thank you for your time.


Bob Webster
Editor, Publisher

PS: A quote worth reflecting upon:

Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so. It is not fair to refer to the U.N. panel. IPCC is not a scientific institution: it's a political body, a sort of non-government organization of green flavor. It's neither a forum of neutral scientists nor a balanced group of scientists. These people are politicized scientists who arrive there with a one-sided opinion and a one-sided assignment. Also, it's an undignified slapstick that people don't wait for the full report in May 2007 but instead respond, in such a serious way, to the summary for policymakers where all the "but's" are scratched, removed, and replaced by oversimplified theses. This is clearly such an incredible failure of so many people, from journalists to politicians. -- former Czech President Vaclav Klaus
Will the University of Minnesota confer an honorary degree in climatology on Albert Gore, Jr. for his docufiction, "An Inconvenient Truth" (a piece that real climatologists scoff at for its complete lack of credibility)? Or will common sense and intellectual honesty demand that no such purely political stunt be allowed to tarnish the reputation of the University?

For more about what real climatologists and other scientists in related fields think of Gore and his Global Warming views, see the excellent piece by Mark Alexander, Global Warming: Fact, Fiction and Political Endgame (Mark is Editor and Publisher of The Patriot Post).

Bob Webster
WEBCommentary (Editor, Publisher)

Biography - Bob Webster

Bob Webster, a 12th-generation descendent of both the Darte family (Connecticut, 1630s) and the Webster family (Massachusetts, 1630s) is a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, who served with General Washington. Bob has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for all high school students so they can appreciate the cost of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.

A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.

Copyright 2007 by Bob Webster
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