Scientists Rebut Claim That Man Causes Climate Change
October 9, 2009 - 4:44 PMA small group of determined scientists gathered in Washington on Friday to present evidence showing that climate change is caused not by man but by nature, and that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but the hope for a greener planet.
John Kwapisz, organizer and moderator at the panel discussion, recalled Obama’s speech at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, Pa., last month as a way of illustrating the dramatic tone used by those who embrace global warming as a dire and eminent threat.
“That so many of us are here today is a recognition that the threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing,” Obama said on Sept. 22 at the summit. “Our generation's response to this challenge will be judged by history, for if we fail to meet it -- boldly, swiftly, and together – we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe.”
“No nation, however large or small, wealthy or poor, can escape the impact of climate change. Rising sea levels threaten every coastline,” Obama said. “More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent. More frequent droughts and crop failures breed hunger and conflict in places where hunger and conflict already thrive.”
“On shrinking islands, families are already being forced to flee their homes as climate refugees,” he said. “The security and stability of each nation and all peoples – our prosperity, our health, and our safety – are in jeopardy. And the time we have to reverse this tide is running out.”
The scientists said they were on Capitol Hill to challenge the president’s claims and show that Mother Nature controls climate around the world and that CO2 in the atmosphere benefits people, plants and animals.
“Nature, not human activity rules the planet,” said Fred Singer, an atmospheric and space physicist and research professor at George Mason University and professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia. “And once you’ve decided that on the basis of evidence, then everything else falls into place.”
“A lot of the problems that President Obama seems to be concerned about are no longer a concern,” Singer said.
“When there’s more carbon dioxide put into the air, the plants respond in an astonishing fashion,” said H. Leighton Steward, geologist, environmentalist, author and founder of the Web site plantsneedco2.org.
Steward said that since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in 1860, the amount of CO2 put into the air has increased average plant growth by 12 percent and average tree growth by 18 percent around the world.
“So if we want to green the earth,” Steward said, “we need to put more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It’s the earth’s greatest airborne fertilizer.”
“If we want the ecosystems and the habitats to be more robust and hold more animal life, more plant life, we need to put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,” Steward said, adding that proponents of man-made global warming have given CO2 a bad name.
“It’s now being looked at and called a pollutant. I can tell you, I’ve asked every scientist that I’ve ever run into, chemical expert,” Steward said. “There is not one, I repeat, not one instance in which carbon dioxide is a pollutant.”
Roy W. Spencer, researcher at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, author, and a former senior scientist at NASA, presented his research on natural global warming and cooling, including the role that cloud cover and the sun play in the changes of the earth’s climate.
In keeping with scientific protocol, much of the presentation consisted of graphs, charts, and other data to make the case that much of climate change is the result of natural phenomenon rather than human activities and that any contribution by humans is miniscule.
The event on Capitol Hill was not without a political twist, with some global warming advocates speaking out during the question-and-answer period. One scientist from NASA claimed he was available after the discussion if anyone was interested in hearing the other side of the issue.
Many in the room laughed at his comment, but the crowd that gathered in the Rose Garden just moments earlier heard Obama use his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech as an opportunity to again issue a warning about the threat of global warming.
“We cannot accept the growing threat posed by climate change, which could forever damage the world that we pass on to our children – sowing conflict and famine; destroying coastlines and emptying cities,” Obama said.
Marc Morano, former congressional staffer and founder of the Web site climatedepot.com, told the crowd that he thinks the tide is turning against what he called global warming alarmists. He cited a call by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to hold a global warming trial.
“The Chamber seeks to have a complete trial ‘complete with witnesses, cross-examinations and a judge who would rule, essentially, on whether humans are warming the planet to dangerous effect,’” Morano wrote in an editorial he distributed at the event.