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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Kansas Chamber of Commerce lends ear to scientist who disputes man-made global warming

Research scientist and author Roy Spencer, of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, attributes global warming to natural climate cycles and not to the increase in greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels. Spencer spoke to legislative leaders, lobbyists and leading business officials at the Kansas Chamber of Commerce business and energy summit on Monday in Topeka. Most scientists disagree with Spencer, who advised participants at the meeting not to trust the mainstream media.

Research scientist and author Roy Spencer, of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, attributes global warming to natural climate cycles and not to the increase in greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels. Spencer spoke to legislative leaders, lobbyists and leading business officials at the Kansas Chamber of Commerce business and energy summit on Monday in Topeka. Most scientists disagree with Spencer, who advised participants at the meeting not to trust the mainstream media.

September 22, 2008

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— Global warming? So what.

That was the message Monday from research scientist and best-selling author Roy Spencer to legislative leaders, lobbyists and leading business officials at the Kansas Chamber of Commerce business and energy summit.

Spencer is a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and author of "Climate Confusion."

Spencer doesn't deny that Earth is warming, but he attributes that to natural climate cycles and not to the increase in greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.

"There are many of us skeptical of mankind being the cause of global warming," he said.

And, he said, increased carbon dioxide is not a bad thing, and can either be absorbed by the environment or have positive effects, such as increased agricultural production.

Most scientists disagree with Spencer's findings. They believe increases in carbon dioxide from human burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, are causing climate changes that, if left unchecked, will result in catastrophic flooding, storms, famine and changes in the environment.

But Spencer said nature is always changing in ways that produce winners and losers. Even if mankind is affecting the environment, he asked, "Why is it wrong for the climate to be different because we are here?"

During a question-and-answer session, Stormont-Vail HealthCare president and chief executive officer Maynard Oliverius noted that carbon dioxide emissions have skyrocketed in recent years. "So what?" Spencer said. "What's your point?"

Spencer also advised the several hundred people in attendance not to trust the mainstream media on the topic of carbon dioxide emissions and climate change.

"You will be misled on what is out there in the scientific literature," he said.

Nancy Jackson, executive director of the Climate and Energy Project at the Land Institute in Salina, attended the forum and said Spencer's talk supported the position of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, which has urged the construction of two coal-fired power plants in southwest Kansas. The proposed project has been rejected by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius because of concerns about carbon dioxide emissions.

"I would clearly prefer that a forum on energy and business in the state of Kansas include diverse viewpoints," Jackson said. "I'm hopeful we will see that in the future."

Comments

Ragingbear 6 years, 2 months ago

They need to change the word "Author" to "government paid fraudster".

bondmen 6 years, 2 months ago

If you think the Wall Street Bankster Bailout Bill is expensive (up to $1.8 Trillion now) wait until the Save the Earth from Global Warming Bill comes into political being. Poor people around the world will be pushed into poverty and starvation and middle class Americans will drop a few more rungs on the American economic ladder. Of course the more poor people there are the better for a particular political party - it is a way to grow a political party that otherwise aborts many of its future members!Global warming happens and is followed by global cooling - always has been always will be and to say man causes it in any significant way is pure hocus pocus or should I say pure bunk.

TheYetiSpeaks 6 years, 2 months ago

This argument is now officially pointless. The time for arguing is done. Pro-warmers: You will never have conclusive evidence that man is causing climate change. Move on. Anti-warmers: Take comfort that, technically, you are right. Move on. We, as a people have taken our eyes off the ball here. It's probably a good idea to lower emissions. Its probably a good idea to try to develop forms of alternate energy. You dont need to scare people to make changes in policy. Arguing the merits of the myth of man-made Global Warming is this generations "chicken or the egg" argument. It is a waste of time and only furthers the divide among us. Let's move on and get some things done.

BigPrune 6 years, 2 months ago

Another editorialized article! Go figure."Most scientists disagree with Spencer's findings." Says whom?31,000 scientists signed a petition to the US government stating, "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth. "

Rationalanimal 6 years, 2 months ago

XD40--You're wasting your time offering facts to cult disciples. They're interested in easy to digest punchlines, not facts and science that require intellectual honesty. Meanwhile, our astute governor is at the vault handing out bags of cash to any billionaire who comes along with a southern drawl and says "trust me, I'm not in it for the cash."

bondmen 6 years, 2 months ago

Some GW believers are so steeped in their religion they forget the earth's past ice ages and evidence of rich tropical areas where today deserts exist. You old earth believers think there were how many past ice ages? How did the ice go away? From dinosaur breath or cave man fires?Many good scientists find GW evidence caused by man to be greatly lacking. Of course their funding doesn't come from politicians who want to believe in GW.

Strontius 6 years, 2 months ago

Regardless of whether or not global warming is caused by humans, it's a serious problem. We need our ice caps and we need our freshwater to support an already out of control population growth. People tend to get violent and desperate when things like food and water become hard to reach commodities. But like many other problems in the world, my generation is going to have to clean this one up too.

nverlost 6 years, 2 months ago

Anybody remember the alarms to the increasing size of the Ozone hole 20 years ago only to find out it constantly fluctuated and started shrinking? The media/"environmentalists" kind of came to a big hault in their preaching's.

gr 6 years, 2 months ago

"Wouldn't the Conservative thing to do to prepare for the worst?"Are you proffering the Pascal's Wager?Pain: "without background, depth, perspective or competent response. "I don't know, what did you think about: http://www.global-warming-and-the-climate.com/Which is better? Global warming or global cooling?Why is now the best? How do you know it's the best?

yankeelady 6 years, 2 months ago

This is the last person they need to listen to. The evidence is pretty conclusive, but I forget, the answer is fire the experts and ignore the problem, until it bites you in the butt. Kind of like the whole economic deregulation that the GOP is so fond of. We can see where that ended up. The climate issue is going the same way---deja vu.

aeroscout17 6 years, 2 months ago

As a scientist, I am still on the fence regarding global warming. I tend to lean towards the hypothesis that is part of a natural cycle. There is a bigger problem however (and the global warming scare might just be a symptom); we are using our fossil fuels at a rate that they cannot be replaced. This is undeniable; we need to find alternative sources soon.

devobrun 6 years, 2 months ago

PR scienceThe battle of the scientific propaganda machines.Round 1 clearly went to Al Gore and James Hansen. Lots of graphs (subsequently falsified) and beautiful imagery. Round 2 will go to "the deniers". Lots of $4 per gallon gasoline and skepticism.Round 3 will be a linking of politicians and business in a money making, but fruitless dance of pigheaded wills.Round 4 will be somebody coming up with a rational and compelling scenario not linked to any of the above players. He/she will be the new Bill Gates..........or the western economy will collapse completely and my grandchildren will be farming my 5 acres with mule and wooden cart like the marsh Arabs of southern Iraq, enslaved by religion and sorcery.Do we need a wiser energy gathering, distribution and use scenario? Of course.Will we get it from green politicians, or fat business men? Probably not.Will we get it from science? Well, if nuclear fusion starts working , then yes. Otherwise probably no.Thomas Edison and Michael Faraday, and Louis Pasteur are what we need. What do we have?.....P.T.Barnum.

Mixolydian 6 years, 2 months ago

Having lived through the 70's with the:Overpopulation scareGlobal freezing scareAcid rain scareI'm willing to keep an open mind because we can always be better caretakers of the environment, but not ready to make the false choice between extinction catastrophe or emptying our treasury.Remember these lines from the 70's:"In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish." Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day 1970In 1975 Newspweek magazine reported that "scientists are almost unanimous in believing that the looming Big Chill means a decline in food production, and the resulting famines could be catastrophic."

Bill Griffith 6 years, 2 months ago

There is a deep divide between beliefs on global warming. It is true that most scientists reject Mr. Spencer's thesis. However, among policymakers there is a larger number of doubters. I have often wondered how many of the climate skeptics also believe in a "young earth". In Kansas, my guess is it is a fairly significant number which then could lead one to believe that the argument is more cultural then scientific.

gr 6 years, 2 months ago

"Maynard Oliverius noted that carbon dioxide emissions have skyrocketed in recent years."The stock market has plunged in recent months. However, that doesn't mean it's not higher than it has been in the past. Is "recent years" a reasonable measure of comparison to the supposed billions of years?notnow: "Regardless of the global warming controversy, it is always a good thing to be conservative with the environment."And regardless of global warming, it is always good to make efficient use of eggs from China.Why do you bring in conservation into this thread? This is about the global warming hoax. It has nothing to do with pollution nor conservation. If you want to reduce the price of eggs in China, go for it. Just don't try to associate it with something unrelated."Of course the more poor people there are the better for a particular political party - it is a way to grow a political party that otherwise aborts many of its future members!"bondmen, I hadn't completely figured out why they wanted to hurt people. I guess I had the information, but had never understood it. Once people become dependent upon handouts, they won't want them to stop. Therefore, it becomes a downward spiral for them.

Trobs 6 years, 2 months ago

I read an article the other day. Said that the temps of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars all dropped in the past year. Coincidentally, the sun has had a high number of days without sunspots.

gccs14r 6 years, 2 months ago

"31,000 scientists signed a petition..."I read earlier this year that a random sampling of the named scientists found that they had not heard of the petition, had not signed it, and disagreed vehemently with its claims, or had no credentials in atmospheric science or ecology.

TheOriginalCA 6 years, 2 months ago

Human induced global woarming is a hoax. The need to stop polluting is NOT a hoax. To say that the Republicans are causing global warming is preposterous.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 2 months ago

Global warming is and has been a huge hoax. Al Gore deserves his title "Ozone Man" . Many highly regarded scientists have stated this, but our governer has been taken in by the hoax in regard to new needed power plants. But the great unwashed will continue to bleat and holler about this, ignorant of history, and of the fact that global climate change has a history of many millions of years and is nothing more than natural processes of the universe.

sfjayhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

The global warming deniers association just merged with the holocaust deniers association thereby doubling their membership to a grand total of 4. The annual meeting will be moved to fantasy land next year to accommodate the expanding numbers.

aeroscout17 6 years, 2 months ago

BTW, I should have added, as the late George Carlin said (and I paraphrase), the earth will always be here, the question is whether we want humans to survive.

Left_handed 6 years, 2 months ago

"They need to change the word "Author" to "government paid fraudster"."Actually, the government paid fraudsters are the ones who advocate for anthropocentric global warming. If they claim otherwise they lose their government grants.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

It's interesting - first the anti folks were claiming the earth isn't warming up at all.Then they claim it is but "so what" and we have nothing to do with it.The arrogance of the attitude that "we can do whatever we want" and there won't be any consequences is baffling to me.Our actions, both individual and collective, since the beginning of the industrial age, have been having a significant impact on the environment.As China and India move into a more industrial age, it will only get worse.I wonder what it will take for us to figure out a better way to live on this planet, or if, in fact, we will do so.

gr 6 years, 2 months ago

"Glaciers have melted more in 20 years than the previous 200"Well, how about in the last 4000? In fact, I haven't seen any around Lawrence. Do you think it is reasonable to compare the last 20 to the last 200 considering the grand scale of things?But then, I hear about the past climate in Illinois: "The modern-day equivalent would be some of the peat swamps of Indonesia." Things grew much bigger back then and much more prolific. Where do you think we get all the oil from? A bigger question is why are you against returning back to a thriving environment?Maybe it was warmer. Maybe it was cooler. Then maybe, it was both and there are cycles between them.

phenry 6 years, 2 months ago

How can you possibly know that "Most scientists disagree with Spencer?"That statement is based on nothing but rumor and hearsay. Have you taken a poll to back up your assertion?

zzgoeb 6 years, 2 months ago

Yep, it's a liberal media hoax! Glaciers have melted more in 20 years than the previous 200(photo evidence...use the Google to learn more)...and the billions of vehicles and power plants have no effect on the atmosphere. The last cylce like this was in an age of volcanos, minus humans...Bad science from neo-con scientists is just as bad as greedheads with one agenda...control us all!!!

gr 6 years, 2 months ago

"however, I also believe we should do a much better job of taking care of our environment and reduce pollution and contamination of our world. "So TJ, why are you somehow implying an association between the two? Why do you water down taking care of our environment with the global warming hoax? Why do you want to associate the price of eggs in China with responsible stewardship?

Terry Jacobsen 6 years, 2 months ago

I personally think that the global warming is a natural cyclical pattern, however, I also believe we should do a much better job of taking care of our environment and reduce pollution and contamination of our world. We can always do better and we should.

kfw38c 6 years, 2 months ago

Spencer has evolved from a research scientist to pundit. His recent book and his current activities are more representative of the work of a think tank fellow (aka lobbyist) than a scientist searching for the truth. I have followed his work and read his book and I find the hooey he spreads to be very dangerous to our children's future.If you research this issue you find a disproportionate number of "skeptics" are retired professors and/or members of libertarian/conservative think tanks. I guess the money and travel the emeritus professors receive nicely augments their pension and social security. Some of the same skeptics who are the leaders of the denialist movement have also done work for tobacco companies, questioned the effect on CFCs on the ozone layer and also spread disinformation in order to oversell the Star Wars defense system. Fred Singer and the recently deceased Fredrick Seitz have been behind many of the bogus petitions that have been circulated. I have problems with some of the alarmists as they affect a rational approach to solutions, but I have a much bigger problem with those who spread lies, logical fallacies and talking points to cloud the truth that AGW is a significant concern.There are multiple factors that affect the climate. Solar cycles, El Nino/La Ninas etc all have large influences. So do greenhouse gasses. It is a complicated subject to understand, but it is easy for skeptics to muddy the water with logical fallacies, talking points and making Al Gore a piñata. If you bought into the baloney over WMDs, believed that Terry Schiavo was alive and thought Wall Street could self-police itself, you will no doubt believe Glenn Beck and John Stossel telling you that global warming is a hoax.

Schoneveld 6 years, 2 months ago

All the Anthropogenic Global Warming believers should read Prof Lindzen's recent paper to understand how this hoax has evolved over time:http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.3762.pdf

gr 6 years, 2 months ago

"If you bought into the baloney over WMDs, "Funny, I thought if you bought into that baloney, you also believed in Y2K and global warming hoaxes.

kfw38c 6 years, 2 months ago

Schoneveld,I look forward to Professor Lindzen writing a similar paper on the evolution of "think tanks" such as the George C, Marsall Institute, teh CATO Institute and the Hearltland institute where ideology drives their position on science. Many of Lindzen's skpetics make a good chunk of their living, through thier affiliations with these organizations including Roy Spencer.I welcome the good professor to recount how Fredrick Seitz and Fred Singer developed their game plan to undermine science via logical fallacies, character assasinations, bogus petitions and spin. They initially devoped this strategy for the Star Wars program and have since used to help the tobacco, agriculture and energy industries. Given Lindzen's work for the asbestos, tobacco and oil industries, it appears he effectively learned to apply their tactics.

mcontrary 6 years ago

Only in Kansas, the bastion of ignorance. This is the state that wants to make teaching creationism a law in the face of all evidence to the contrary. The support for either case, safe coal-burning plants and creationism has similar credibility. Truly the land of Oz,.

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