A letter from a reader: Global warming: Research and conclusions

November 12, 2007:

PAW has an interesting article, especially about the "greener campus" (cover story, Oct. 10). There are several flaws, however.

Carbon dioxide dissolved in water forms carbonic acid, a weak acid. Vinegar is diluted acetic acid, an organic acid. Coca-Cola is acidified with food-grade phosphoric acid, a strong mineral acid. Coca-Cola also is carbonated to give it its "fizz."

The above is minor compared with comments, or lack thereof, about the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The work of the UN IPCC evolved from the General Assembly's 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change. "Kyoto" is the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (Kyoto was rejected by the U.S. Senate, 96-0.)  Both are flawed by the definition of "climate change" used by both:

Article 1 of the Framework Convention says:  " ‘Climate change' means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods."

Further, the IPCC itself says: "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in 1988. Its main objective was to assess scientific, technical, and socioeconomic information relevant to the understanding of human induced climate change, potential impacts of climate change and options for mitigation and adaptation."

How can responsible scientists conduct research on a conclusion? Isn't it normal to conduct research and then arrive at conclusions? No wonder that "assessment reports" say that global warming is "human induced." As you know, the conclusions given in the "Summar(ies) for Decision Makers" are the result of bureaucrats voting for the conclusions. The assessment reports are then revised to incorporate these conclusions!

It should be noted that any U.N. member may join the WMO and UNEP. Most of the members are not meteorologists or trained in those sciences. The assessment reports themselves do not report research conducted by these so-called "2000 scientists." The reports are the result of "literature studies" and appear to be limited to searching only for citations that declare global warming is human induced!

As the good professors will tell PAW, there's an abundance of grants to prove that "climate change," i.e. global warming, is human induced. Try to get a grant to shed light on the objective: Determine what causes global warming! Since the conclusion has been reached, why any grants for any more work?

Whitwell, Tenn.

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