This is in response to George Kennedy’s article of Dec. 18 in the Missourian. I strongly disagree with his assertion that the skeptics of climate change are “willfully ignorant."
As a professional engineer who has worked for 40 plus years in the energy technologies, I have educated myself on the climate cycles of the Earth and the historical causes of such cycles.
The debate on climate change revolves around two questions:
1. Is the climate of the world changing?
2. Is human activity causing this change?
The answer to the first question is a strong yes. The climate has been undergoing cycles of change since the beginning of time. Meteorological records show that the Earth undergoes rising and falling temperatures on a somewhat cyclical basis. Those who remember the 1970s might recall that some in the “scientific community” were worried about a coming ice age and were considering coating the polar ice caps with soot, to absorb more solar heat. Does this sound somewhat like an idea recently put fourth by our energy secretary to paint our roofs white to reflect more solar heat?
The answer to the second question is certainly no. Again, records show that changes in the climate are largely traceable to natural occurrences, such as sun spots (solar storms) or atmospheric contamination, as from volcanic eruptions. There is something about the current generation of zealots who think they are capable of changing everything that happens during their lifetime, even the climate. We must realize that we humans are tiny specs in the universe and that some things are beyond our control. The climate of the Earth is one of these things.
Mr. Kennedy would do well to listen to the skeptics of man-made climate change. Their ideas just might be based on credible science, rather than a “consensus” among grant recipients and those who stand to make money from this global warming bogeyman.