• Questions climate change commentary
    November 13,2012

    Debunking climate commentary

    In response to the recent commentary regarding the “Oregon Petition” and climate change consensus, I was rather startled by the commentary’s claims and the evidence it presented. The petition appears to have more than 31,000 signatures, more than 9,000 of which hold doctorates. As a man who can agree with verified numbers, this bothered me. I decided to do my homework.

    A quick Google search immediately started to punch holes in the validity of this petition. The first suggested result is “Oregon Petition Debunked.” As I continued my research on just the “Oregon Petition,” I went to the petition’s website to look at the “actual” numbers. According to the website, there are only 39 climatologists, 112 atmospheric scientists, and 343 meteorologists on the list of all scientists. If we go by the numbers, approximately one out of three of those hold a doctorate. Out of 494 people, there are approximately 130 doctorates in a position to directly refute — with authority — the claims of the global climate change theory. That’s 130 out of 9,000. All the rest of those doctorate-holders are essentially irrelevant to the goal of this petition.

    This point is put best by former New Scientist correspondent Peter Hadfield: “It doesn’t matter if you’re a Ph.D. A Ph.D in metallurgy just makes you better at metallurgy. It does not transform you into some kind of expert in paleoclimatology. ... So the petition’s suggestion that everyone with a degree in metallurgy or geophysics knows a lot about climate change, or is familiar with all the research that’s been done, is patent crap.”

    The commentary also claims that there is no consensus on climate change. Yet there are no other theories on the source of “global warming.” Please note that there is a difference between a theory and hypothesis. A hypothesis is not peer-reviewed, meaning it is unverified conjecture. A theory is the opposite. It is intensely reviewed because it represents the work of a scientific body as a whole. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC, made up of 120 member states) climate change report was issued in 2001 after it was peer-reviewed by members of the IPCC with specific training in climatology. No scientific body has been able to maintain a dissenting opinion since 2007.

    The theory that global climate change is real is not one man’s, one group’s or one government’s “personal conclusion.” This is the global view on climate change.

    Silas Meriam


    The writer is a senior at Spaulding High School.

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