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Is global warming a hoax? Catholic Online interviews a skeptic Comments

Over the past two weeks, Catholic Online had the opportunity to interview Global Warming skeptic and author, Dr. Mark Hendrickson who is an adjunct faculty member, economist, and fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. Continue Reading

41 - 49 of 49 Comments

  1. Ridahoan
    1 year ago

    Skepticism is good, but one needs to be skeptical about ones own skepticism. Seems like most of the points about nonlinearity and lack of recent warming trends should receive the same skepticism directed toward warming in general. If the climate is as complex as the interviewee suggests, than these would be par for the course even in a warming climate.

    I think there are three issues that warrant treating climate change seriously: a plausible mechanism, risk avoidance, and eventual depletion of fossil rules regardless. We have a mechanism in place: quickly releasing reserves of carbon that took millions of years to accumulate. The long term consequences of that release may be mitigated by negative feedback 'X' factors that we don't understand, or may lead to positive feedback that exacerbates the change (and such positive feedback could be a reason CO2 increases may have appeared after warming in historical records).

    Finally, I didn't think of CO2 as a pollutant per se either, until I learned that the ocean's ability to buffer carbonic acid is apparently weaker than one might assume.

  2. Andrew
    1 year ago

    What an awful choice of interviews. A conservative economist does not provide the balance to a climatologist who believes in climate change. Reminds me of a very bad statistical joke, where two guys are sitting in a bomb shelter, and one says, well we should probably try mating, because there is a 50-50 chance it will work. You see, it either will work or it won't work, that's what makes it 50-50.

    In the author's search for balance, he missed the whole point, and by interviewing this guest, he has contributed to the confusion about global climate change, implying somehow that there are equal numbers on both sides (there are not), or that both sides have good arguments and that makes them "equal" (a logical fallacy).

  3. Keith Woodward
    1 year ago

    Is the Catholic church still burning people at the stake if they speak out for the sun as the center of our solar system? There is overwhelming evidence of anthropomorphic climate forcing, your phony expert won't change that, but you will damage out earth further by slowing progress toward actions that will mitigate the damage that we are all sure to endure.

  4. Steve Elfelt
    1 year ago

    I appreciate the effort but this strikes me as a "false balance" column with a "fake expert". He's an economist, not a climate scientist, for pete's sake! My BS in Natural Resources Conservation makes me more qualified than an economist to discuss earth science.

    Here are rebuttals to the five biggest fallacies in Mr. Hendrickson's remarks

    1. Every day we all accurately predict the future big picture: Let's say a thug is swinging a baseball bat at my head. It is hard to predict the pattern of fractures I will suffer but it is easy to predict I'm going to be in a world of hurt. Basic science and common sense is all you need to follow this, and to understand why one of the scientists working with the Vatican's Science Academy (Lonnie Thompson) has said nearly all climate scientists believe global warming poses a "Clear and present danger to civilization".

    2. Warming follows CO2: Anytime anything causes the first teensy bit of warming that increases water vapor content on the air. Ya'll know about this because warm bathroom air holds more steam than cold, yes? So a teensy bit of warming adds water vapor - the most potent natural greenhouse gas of all and it warms a little more. Let's call this much warming "warming-A". In response to warming-A, carbon sinks (that take it up) and sources (that release it) have to readjust. A new balance is eventually reached. When CO2 is released it warms some more and then there's more water content that warms it even more. That's "warming-B". Mark is confused about which bit of warming is following which bit of cause. Warming-A does come before the cause of Warming-B (the release of CO2 from sinks and the additional water vapor that follows). But that CO2 and its attendant water vapor is what drives warming-B.

    3. With high school science and common sense we all should KNOW the overall system is gaining energy (warming): With CO2 ppm at the highest level in millions of years, and increasing at 10 times the rate at the last super-spike (the PETM 50 million years ago).... and with no dramatic changes in earth's orbit or solar output on the horizon.... no one who accepts the chemical/physical properties of atmospheric CO2 and water vapor feedback can reasonably assert that its unknown whether the overall climate system will get warmer. This claim requires disregard of everything you ever learned about highschool science. CO2 traps solar energy. That energy builds up in the overall climate system. By definition, that system must get warmer. That's simple physics. How and where all this new energy gets distributed is complex, but we _know_ the system is gaining energy and will continue to do so.

    4. The *total* system - including the biggest part, the ocean - has warmed faster the last 15 years than ever before! Anyone with basic knowledge knows that *total* climate system has five parts: Air, Land, Ice, Water, and Life. When you take a winter bath, which holds more heat energy, the air in the room or the water in the tub? Almost all global warming is going into the sea. What's more, we've been messing with the ocean currents and rapidly opening pathways into the coldest deepest part of the sea. Mark is talking about *surface air* (which is still hotter than prior decades) has not been warming. For now. Because almost all the new heat in the last few years has been passing into the deep ocean, which has to catch up to the rest of the system. Once that process turns off, surface temps will give us all a shocking its-a-system reality check.

    5. An ice free arctic is really the ultimate Right-to-Life issue. Without the ice cover, the arctic air will warm and warm air rises. Rising air produces low air pressure. In the past, the arctic mostly had high air pressure, where air dropped back to earth from high in the system. This is known as the "Polar high". With open water and rising warm air, the polar high will be greatly reduced. So what? The Polar high contributes to the stability of the jetstream, which in turn is one of the major factors that determines what food will grow where. As we reduce the polar high (and other related things) the jetstream is taking on a new normal of unfamiliar kinks and slow-moving blocking ridges. Food itself is at stake. The market riots that touched off Arab Spring were due to the spike in the price of wheat after the heat wave and drought wiped out Russia's crop in 2010. Salt water intrusion and storm surges threatens rice and the agricultural deltas at the same time ocean acidification threatens to take out seafood. There ain't no kind of war like those driven by mutual hunger. Like I said, its the ultimate right-to-life issue.

    Hopefully one of your readers will call 911 right now before that baseball bat impacts my skull. After all, before Mr. Hendrickson will agree there's an emergency he apparently needs to document the exact pattern of my skull fractures.

  5. Daniel Maddigan
    1 year ago

    NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, which monitors global surface temperatures on an ongoing basis, released an updated analysis Tuesday that compares temperatures around the globe in 2012 to the average global temperature from the mid-20th century. The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience warmer temperatures than several decades ago.

    This color-coded map displays a progression of changing global surface temperatures anomalies from 1880 through 2012. The final frame represents global temperature anomalies averaged from 2008 through 2012. More movies
    The average temperature in 2012 was about 58.3 degrees Fahrenheit (14.6 Celsius), which is 1.0 F (0.6 C) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline. The average global temperature has risen about 1.4 degrees F (0.8 C) since 1880, according to the new analysis.

    Scientists emphasize that weather patterns always will cause fluctuations in average temperature from year to year, but the continued increase in greenhouse gas levels in Earth's atmosphere assures a long-term rise in global temperatures. Each successive year will not necessarily be warmer than the year before, but on the current course of greenhouse gas increases, scientists expect each successive decade to be warmer than the previous decade.

  6. Chris F
    1 year ago

    Jason, one does not have to be an expert in the field in order to see and point out inconsistencies and vested interests. Blindly trusting so few with what will amount to massive wealth transfers and degradation of our freedoms and way of prosperous life is a recipe for disaster.
    Everyone has the right and duty to interject on something that will profoundly alter everything we have known and have worked so hard to attian. Economics and well-being are far more important than worrying about a few degrees of beneficial warming that may or may not happen. Just as you wouldn't give any credibility to the bearded man walking downtown with a sandwich board saying the end of the world comes tomorrow, neither should you give any credibility to climate scientists who in effect say the same thing just in longer time frames.

  7. Trad Dad
    1 year ago

    To Jason Tuttle ( Captain Mash 4077 ???? )
    CO2 has a specific gravity of 1.5189 - air has a specific gravity of 1.0 How on earth ( pun intended ) can it be regarded as a greenhouse gas when it is heavier than air ? The whole ( man made ) global warming myth rests on the CO2 high in the sky argument .
    Pax et bonum .
    From Our Lady`s Land of the Southern Cross .

  8. Ughhhhhhh
    1 year ago

    Seriously, why don't you interview a scientists about science instead of an economist?

  9. Jason Tuttle
    1 year ago

    "I hesitate to describe myself as an expert, inasmuch as that word might best be reserved for climate scientists."

    This should have marked the end of the interview.

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