Seeing as I’m debating Bethell on NPR’s Science Friday tomorrow, I thought I would begin the warm-up session here by posting some samples of what he’s had to say about various scientific topics, starting with the biggie–global warming. I am not going to comment on these passages; I’m simply going to list three quotes, number them, and then leave the rest up to you folks. You were excellent when it came to helping me prep to debate Ron Bailey, so I’m sure you will be equally awesome this time around.
1. It is often said: If we don’t know whether to take an umbrella to work, how can we predict the weather a hundred years off? Some of those who are the most vocal about warming today were talking about global cooling twenty-five years ago. If the globe is warming, is mankind responsible, or is the sun? Inevitably, amid such uncertainties, the struggle to establish the relevant facts turned into a political struggle. (p. viii)
2. The surface data itself suggests that man-made carbon dioxide has not been sufficient to increase global temperatures. Consider the period 1940-1975, a time of considerable fossil fuel consumption. Coal-fired power plants emitted smoke and fumes without any Green Party or environmental ministers to restrain them. Yet the Earth cooled slightly. (p. 3)
3. It is likely, then, that the instrumental record, on which the hockey stick’s “blade” is based, has an upward bias from local warming at atypical “heat islands.” A National Research Council panel has agreed that the urban heat island effect is a serious and unresolved problem. (p. 7)
P.S.: An announcement of this debate is now up on the Science Friday site….