A Lot Of Hot Air?

Last Wednesday, the New York Times published a long story on global warming.

In scary, yet very scientific, terms, it examined the ongoing controversy over the seemingly irrefutable fact that every day, the world pours more carbon dioxide into the air.

Next Wednesday– at 7:30 p.m. on January 5 — Dr. James Hansen will speak at the Westport Library.

Dr. James Hansen

He’s the man who brought global warming to the world’s attention in the 1980s, in testimony before Congress.  With a background in both space and earth sciences, he has a broad perspective on the status and prospects of our little planet.

Hansen is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, an adjunct professor at Columbia, and director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

His library appearance is part of WestportREADS month.  The 2011 book is Zeitoun — Dave Eggers’ account of a devout Muslim’s life during and after Hurricane Katrina.

The tie-in with that horrible hurricane is important:  global warming may be implicated in rising sea levels, and a rise in fierce hurricanes.

Every Westporter should put James Hansen’s library appearance on their calendars.  We’re a shoreline community — and global warming may have a major impact on our shore.  Some believe it already has.

Sure, the talk will be on a mid-winter night.  But it’s worth venturing out to.  Just bundle up.

Or not.

Compo Beach, a few years from now?

21 responses to “A Lot Of Hot Air?

  1. Retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist, Dr. John S. Theon, the former supervisor of James Hansen, NASA’s vocal man-made global warming fear soothsayer, has now publicly declared himself a skeptic and declared that Hansen “embarrassed NASA” with his alarming climate claims and said Hansen was “was never muzzled.” Theon joins the rapidly growing ranks of international scientists abandoning the promotion of man-made global warming fears.

    “I appreciate the opportunity to add my name to those who disagree that global warming is man made,” Theon wrote to the Minority Office at the Environment and Public Works Committee on January 15, 2009. “I was, in effect, Hansen’s supervisor because I had to justify his funding, allocate his resources, and evaluate his results,” Theon, the former Chief of the Climate Processes Research Program at NASA Headquarters and former Chief of the Atmospheric Dynamics & Radiation Branch explained.

    “Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress,” Theon wrote. [Note: NASA scientist James Hansen has created worldwide media frenzy with his dire climate warning, his call for trials against those who dissent against man-made global warming fear, and his claims that he was allegedly muzzled by the Bush administration despite doing 1,400 on-the-job media interviews!”

  2. “Hansen wrote: John Theon never had any supervisory authority over me. I remember that he was in the bureaucracy at NASA Headquarters, but I cannot recall having any interactions with him. His claim of association is misleading, to say the least. What he can legitimately say is that he had a reasonably high position in the Headquarters bureaucracy. A job in that bureaucracy is not considered to be a plum, so we should probably be grateful that somebody is willing to do it, and I don’t particularly want to kick the fellow around. You should investigate his scientific contributions to evaluate the degree to which his opinions might be listened to. Of course you are free to quote me. – Jim Hansen – End Hansen Email”

    The above is but one of 340,000 Google results for John Theon, a well known global warming skeptic. I would suggest anyone considering the opinions of this man click the link below and start reading most anywhere. Additionally, Hansen’s claim of Bush administration muzzling of scientific research/fact has been verified over and over. Any fact (say the existence of WMD in Iraq, for one glaring example) that didn’t jibe with the Cheney/Bush regime’s agenda was routinely shut down or worse.


    • Did he give 1400 interviews while on the government payroll or not? Simple question don’t you think? BTW Theon states exactlyy in what way he was Hansen’s supervisor. Do youthink Hansen will show anyone his forecatsing models on the 5th? Fat chance.

  3. Remember this, everything is cyclical From the beginning of time There have been ice ages and periods of extreme warming, from time before man and continents to current time. The current Global Warming (climate change) argument is an interesting back and forth which any educated person should listen to all opinions.
    As a scientist by training I keep an open mind but do lean towards natural cycles being the cause but that is my opinion…
    What I do not trust is the cases made being political and not scientific in basis and nature. To have a non scientist and father of the internet, Mr Gore, being the titular head of manmade global earth ender makes no sense. To associate cap and trade and redistribution of global wealth tied to the argument politicizes the argument. To blame Bush again is just lame. The way this is playing out it stinks of the ozone hole doomsday scenario, which is no longer a rally point as the hole is shutting, and I do not believe we as man fixed that so quick on our own. Or how about the 80’s no nukes movement , which is now questioned as such a wise movement as today we see nuclear power is the least polluting and non oil import positive
    Listen to all, respect both sides for arguments that support their hypothesis, but beware when the political machine starts to use the arguments for their own agendas.

  4. To paraphrase Bill O’Reilly (to appease the conservatives in the audience) – “what all sane people should know is the clean air and water are good things[…] Why is polluton control an ideological issue?”

  5. The Dude Abides

    You can argue until the dawn’s early light about the accuracy and differing opinions from that of Dr. Hansen. But the general consensus of the majority of environmental scientists is that global warming is occuring and we need to do something about it instead of constantly contaminating our atmosphere and water. I, for one, know it is also cold as a witch’s left boob out and therefore will reserve my judgement until I am baking in the sun come mid-August.

    • Why do we need to do something if the process is beyond our contol? Didn’t the King Canute fiasco teach us that a man has got to know his limitations.

      • The Dude Abides

        Do you honestly think that MAN does not pollute our air/water? And
        such negligence does not affect the “process” of climate change????
        Or do you negate the change itself??? or the correlation between pollution and climate change????

        • Correlation is not causation. In fact, some scientists argue the emprical evidence suggests that rises in temperature preceed increases in CO2. Now, I am steadfastly opposed to polution and stand firmly in favor of sunny weather on Mother’s day. The argument that we should stop pulluting our air and water need not be embellished by the MMGW hypothesis. The MMGW is mostly extravagant and irrelevant as well as unsupported by emprical evidence. So why pollute your argument against pollution?But the MMGW is a great way to find room at the public trough. Al Gore never made this much money while his parents were strip mining Tennessee or he was inventing the Internet.

          • The Dude Abides

            I thought Papa Gore made his money in tobacco? So your theory is that pollution may be harmful to our environment but it is not the causation to . . . . what? In your argument, what do you believe is happening??? Global warming??? Jeez, I feel like the good ole days of depositions.

      • Al Gore owned (indirectly through his father’s estate) several thousand shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation. Occidental Petroleum angered environmentalists by trying to open a new oil/gas drilling field in Colombia. Critics of Al Gore, including Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair in their Al Gore: A User’s Manual, (2000), pointed out that the connection between Al Gore and Occidental Petroleum tycoon Armand Hammer was by no means “indirect,” as Armand Hammer was not only a close personal friend and business partner of Senator Al Gore, Sr., but was also (until Hammer’s death in 1990) a major mentor, advisor, and financial backer of the political career of Al Gore, Jr.

        Additionally, the Gore family licensed mining rights on their Cumberland River Valley farm to Pasminco Zinc, which was fined in 2000 for exceeding water pollution limits. Specifically, the Environmental Protection Agency found that zinc levels in the Caney Fork river near the mine were 1.480 mg/L (milligrams per liter); the maximum allowed monthly average was .65 mg/L, and the daily allowed maximum was 1.30 mg/L. Therefore, Pasminco Zinc was found on one occasion to exceed the daily maximum for zinc pollution by about 14%.

        My argument is that not all pollution is a cause of global warming. If you throw a SBUX’s cup into the LI Sound, that is pollution, and there is no need to invoke the MMGW hypothesis do demonstrate that it is harmful to the health of the Sound. So let’s focus on things we know matter and stop waiting for the sky to fall.
        BTW once upon at time I was employed as an expert witness. I’ve been deposed a number of times.

        • The Dude Abides

          Interesting. The first stock I ever owned (age 12) was Occidental Petroleum. $29 1/2. 3 shares. So if I understand you correctly, some forms of pollution ARE affecting the climate change (is that supposition or do you agree with that) but not necessarily carbon emissions as Hansen contends? After closing 119 banks in the early 90’s, I was plaqued with doing about 1,000 depositions on the default survivors. Yawn. Most of them ended with the filing of bankruptcy and thus a complete waste of time.

          • There is no way of knowing with any normal degree of statistical certainty what is causing climate change. Moreover, the earth has been heating and cooling for 800,000 years. There is no evidence that we, humans, can do anything to change the pattern one way or the other.

          • The Dude Abides

            Somewhat fatalistic and sombering if you think about it.

          • Put your house on stilts if it will make you feel better.

        • The Dude Abides

          Yeah, I already called Pitt for a design.

  6. And still other opinions:

    David Deming
    College of Geoscience
    University of Oklahoma
    Norman, Oklahoma 7301 9
    e-mail: ddeming @ou.edu

    Michael Crichton’s book State of Fear addresses the politicization
    of science, in particular the topics of climate change and global warming,
    through the vehicle of a novel. In the author’s [David Deming] opinion, Crichton is correct: the field of climate research has become highly politicized. An example is provided by the revisionist efforts of some researchers to extinguish the existence of a Medieval Warm Period. The politicization of science is a threat to the process of free inquiry necessary for human progress.

    Aaron Dykes
    December 1, 2009
    Best-selling author Michael Crichton became a noted critic of the highly-politicized ‘global warming’ agenda before his death in 2008. What has now shifted into the “climate change” issue was a central theme in his 2004 novel State of Fear.
    Crichton warns that ‘global warming’– which has become both a cause célèbre and a supposed moral imperative– not only has “little basis in fact or science” but compromised by political advocacy and a ‘quest for power.’

  7. Humankind is far less influential on the earth than most humans’ egos can bear. The earth is gonna do what the earth is gonna do.

  8. Let’s put this argument to bed once and for all. There is absolutely no evidence of global warming or climate change. Glen Beck and Rush told me so!

  9. Dude:
    Q. “What does HNY stand for?”
    A. Acronyms and abbreviations …
    HNY, Happy New Year.
    HNY, Hotel New York.
    HNY, Hot Nude Yoga.
    HNY, Heritage New York (New York State Office of Parks, Recreation).
    Figured you’re goofin’ on us.
    Good one.

  10. The Dude Abides

    Vet: Happy New Year but any of yours are far more creative.