Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/11/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Dr. Mark Hendrickson shares his view.

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.

Dr. Mark Hendrickson is a published writer and fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.

Dr. Mark Hendrickson is a published writer and fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/11/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Dr. Mark Hendrickson, global warming, climate change, skeptic


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Readers on Catholic Online have been critical of the flurry of articles featuring news about global climate change, mostly authored by myself. I promised readers a little more balance and to interview a climate change skeptic to showcase the other side of the debate.

I came across Dr. Mark Hendrickson, a widely published conservative commentator and writer. His article on Forbes.com, which we republished here, gave me pause and an opportunity to consider some noteworthy arguments against anthropogenic global warming.

Although I remain concerned about the issue as a problem created by poor creation care on the part of humanity, I wholeheartedly agree that we should provide another viewpoint for our reader's discussion and consideration. I will also admit that Dr. Hendrickson makes some points that are worth consideration.

I interviewed Dr. Hendrickson by phone and by email, to get his answers to a few questions I had. Before reading the interview, I suggest you read his article originally published on Forbes.com. It will provide some context to the current interview.

Hello Mark, and thank you for taking the time to chat with a global warming believer.

COL:  Now Mark, what qualifies you to speak as an expert on Global Warming?

HENDRICKSON: I hesitate to describe myself as an expert, inasmuch as that word might best be reserved for climate scientists. I am, however, comfortable with describing myself as knowledgeable about the subject. I have followed it for over 20 years.

There are similarities between the study of economics and the study of climate change-specifically, the fact that nobody can predict the future, because there are far too many factors for anyone to know, and also due to the constant possibility of X factors (unanticipated events) happening.

I think my training as an economist and a logical thinker enables me to detect at least some fallacies, lapses in logic, or manipulation-in short, I have a pretty well developed crap detector. Certainly, any reasonably intelligent person can detect inconsistencies in arguments. (Perhaps the outstanding example of this: The admission by the late global-warming enthusiast, Stephen Schneider that, throughout history, warm periods PRECEDED rises in atmospheric CO2. We all know that cause cannot follow effect.) 

I agree with the climate scientist who described the climate as a "coupled nonlinear, chaotic system"-a fancy way of saying, "unpredictable." That means that I do not hold a position as to whether the world will get warmer or cooler in coming decades, because I don't know-and neither does anyone else.

COL:
  Global warming, real or a hoax?

HENDRICKSON: If, by global warming, you mean do I think the climate has warmed over the last 100-150 years, the answer is yes. The world emerged from a little ice age in the 19th century. We should be getting warmer now.
   
Is the theory of man-made global warming a hoax? I think so. Let's say either a hoax or an error. It's a hoax when perpetrated by those who let a political agenda shape science rather than the other way around. Otherwise, I believe it to be an error. A principal reason I make that assertion is because many of the advocates of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory have abandoned their own theory. For years they tried to convince us that the more CO2 humans injected into the atmosphere, the hotter the world would get. Now, after 15 or so years of no warming, they admit that the world could cool for 40-50 years even as total CO2 emissions continue to increase. What may one deduce from this? Answer: At the very least, that other factors outweigh CO2 in terms of impact on the climate, and at most, that CO2 is not a significant factor in climate change.
     
COL:  What about all those graphs showing some degree of climate change? I'm not really talking about the infamous hockey stick, but just the multitude of graphs which reveal some degree of warming. What's the deal with those?

HENDRICKSON: Graphs? They're only as good as the data entered into them. It's the same with computer programs-garbage in garbage out, the oldest principle of computer science. At one point in the 1990s, there were two-dozen major computer programs dedicated to explaining and projecting future climate change, but no two of the 24 computer programs came to the same conclusion. That leaves two possibilities: 23 of the 24 computer programs are wrong, in which case the problem is how do you know which of the 24 to rely upon? Or, they all are wrong. Neither choice is very palatable, nor lends much heft to the arguments of those insisting in AGW.

COL:
The satellite data doesn't lie. Images show the Arctic ice cap is shrinking, the Antarctic ice cap is thinning, the tundra is greening, and the temperatures, particularly about the Earth's poles, is warming. Sea level has risen so that coastal communities in Alaska and the Pacific are relocating and locks on the Thames and in the Netherlands must now close more frequently. We have also seen an increase in the occurrence of extreme weather events. Isn't this evidence enough that's something's happening?

HENDRICKSON:
Satellite data showed no statistically significant warming in the last two or three decades. Other scientific data show that the Antarctic ice cap is adding 27,000,000,000 tons of ice per year. I believe that the last two or three winters have seen much more ice in the Arctic that in the years immediately prior to that, but it is an essentially irrelevant point. Arctic ice should be of no concern because the Arctic is an open ocean, and according to Archimedes' principle, the water level will be the same whether it is frozen or in liquid form.

During the medieval warm period, which was warmer than today, coastal areas and supposedly climate sensitive races like Greenland were not being inundated.

As for an increase in the occurrence of extreme weather events, that is very much under dispute, what is known as that we are more aware of such events because of increased media coverage and because of increased population density. As for whether there are actually more such events, that is an open question at best.


COL:
I read what you wrote about Al Gore's use of Global Warming as his "political hobgoblin." I'm no fan of Gore and his video didn't convince me of much either. Still, that's a fairly bold statement. Do you have any evidence that shows Gore was deliberately using GW as a hobgoblin to frighten the masses? Right or wrong, could it be he is sincere in his concern?


HENDRICKSON:  Whether Mr. Gore is sincere or cynical is something I'm in no position to judge. There can be no doubt though that Mr. Gore has pursued a politically activist agenda designed to channel money into alternative energies in which he has been invested and from which he has profited greatly. In other words, he has a vested financial interest and a conflict of interest in his policy advocacy.

COL:
My understanding is that there is a strong consensus among climatologists that global warming is real and that it's a threat. You say this isn't so. Tell me about your figures.

HENDRICKSON:
Consensus is a political concept, not a scientific concept. Consensus is not truth. The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine obtained over 30,000 signatures by scientists with advanced degrees urging our government to take no radical actions to combat alleged global warming.

COL:
  If less than 20 percent of scientists once believed global warming was a threat, what caused all of them to change their mind? New, more accurate data, or something else?

HENDRICKSON:
There is a double standard in the media in regard to scientists speaking on the global warming issue. If they are in the private sector, and perhaps have received funding from an energy company, their word is automatically discredited. On the other hand, if their funding depends on federal grants, they are automatically believed.

One phenomenon that has concerned me over the years is that most of the AGW skeptics have been older scientists-those who have retired or are economically independent. In fact, there have been several prominent scientists who, upon resigning from government employment, immediately began to speak out against the AGW theory. Sorry I can't recall the names. One was the first woman to get a doctorate in-mmm, meteorology?  That may not be the right discipline.

Where do you get your numbers "proving" or documenting that most scientists now agree with AGW theory???

COL:  Let's say there's just no such thing as global warming. The climate is fine. Shouldn't we still practice good stewardship or what I call, creation care? In other words, shouldn't we avoid wonton CO2 emissions and other forms of pollution because it is simply wrong to litter and pollute?

HENDRICKSON: Of course we should practice commonsense stewardship. I disagree, though, with the characterization of CO2 as a pollutant. Oxygen, water, and carbon dioxide (which, being a necessary nutrient of plant life, sits as the base of the human food chain) are the three most essential building blocks of life on earth.

COL: Now, let's say global warming is a real and serious threat. What do we do about it?

HENDRICKSON: Whatever we do, let us not cripple ourselves economically, because at some future time, when a genuine and serious environmental danger arises, we will need every resource at our disposal to cope with such an eventuality. Keep our powder dry and not waste it tilting at windmills.

COL:
Mark, thank you for taking the time to field these questions.

HENDRICKSON: And thank you for your willingness to let your readers hear another side of the issue. 

END

Catholic Online remains open to interviewing experts on either side of this discussion. If you feel you have a strong background of professional experience in this subject, please feel free to contact me at: marshconnolly@catholic.org. Catholic Online is seeking published, peer-reviewed scientists with unique expertise on the subject for interview.

Marshall Connolly

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Green

Ancient salamander, thought to have roamed Earth 170 million years ago found by Chinese ranger Watch

Image of After keeping it in a temporary tank, Xiao released the creature back into the river, watched by a crowd of tourists.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A park ranger in south China named only as "Mr. Xiao" has caught an enormous Chinese salamander. It is acknowledged as the world's largest living amphibian and is known as the "Living Fossil," as it has remained unchanged for 170 million years. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Scientists discover annoying foam packing peanuts can now be used for something other than trash Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Foam peanuts that constantly clutter your room and fill up the trash, after a package arrives, could actually be useful. This new discovery, presented at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), was researched by a team from ... continue reading


Giant crocodile ruled the Earth long before dinosaurs Watch

Image of Carnufex, meaning

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A nine-foot-tall monster with blade-like teeth at one time strolled through the warm and wet environs of what is now known as North Carolina some 230 million years ago. The Carnufex carolinensis, as known by its scientific name, was active long before dinosaurs ... continue reading


Rapidly thinning Antarctic glacier 'appears unstoppable' Watch

Image of The Totten Glacier is larger and thinning faster than all the others in East Antarctica are.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Everyone is now aware about the rapidly melting polar icecaps. Scientists have raised concerns about a large, rapidly thinning glacier in Antarctica. Researchers have discovered two openings that could channel warm seawater to the base of the huge Totten ... continue reading


EXTREMELY SEVERE DROUGHT: California is not only up a creek without a paddle - it's loosing the creek as well Watch

Image of California has been dropping more than 12 million acre-feet of total water yearly since 2011.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the East Coast was battered with rain, sleet and record snowfall, California faced the driest January on record, ever since records began to be taken in 1865. With snow packs in the mountains at all time lows, the state's drought has many people wonder if ... continue reading


SEA MONSTER: Massive 14-foot stingray declared world's largest caught fish Watch

Image of After getting the ray alongside, it was then taken into a specially prepared pen. It took seven people to lift the ray out of the water so it could be properly measured.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A massive, 14-feet stingray recently caught by two anglers has since broken the world's record for the largest freshwater fish caught by rod and line. The gigantic, flat fish bearing a poisonous barb measured over eight feet in width, 14 feet in length and ... continue reading


AMAZING DIVERSITY: 1,451 new marine species identified in our oceans in a single year Watch

Image of Biologists also identified two new species of dolphin last year. One was found near Papua New Guinea and the other in a Brazilian river. Sadly, both are already threatened by anglers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is nothing new under the sun... or is it? The finite capabilities of man would deduce that after centuries of science and exploration, humankind would know everything there is to know about the various life forms on this planet. Scientists have proven ... continue reading


Rare, 475-pound leatherback sea turtle washes up on South Carolina beach Watch

Image of Treatments appear to be helping. Aquarium officials said the turtle was more energetic earlier this week than when it was first admitted.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A rare, 475-pound leatherback sea turtle washed up on a South Carolina beach this past weekend. Marine biologists at the South Carolina Aquarium are currently treating the turtle who they named "Yawkey." Discovered on the Yawkey-South Island Preserve, a ... continue reading


BUSTED! A-list Climate Change deniers go nuts in emails over documentary that exposes ties to fossil fuel industry Watch

Image of Despite the obvious signs, a number of scientists continue to insist that global warming isn't happening.

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

An A list of "climate change deniers" has been released, exposing the connections that climate change denial scientists have to the fossil fuel industry and other private firms that are literally paying them for their denial. The leaked emails stem from a documentary ... continue reading


Extinct bird remarkably reappears after 70 years gone Watch

Image of The team observed several babblers at different locations in the area for two days, according to an official release.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A small brown bird, the Jerdon's babbler was last seen in Myanmar in 1941. Presumed extinct, the babbler has made an unexpected comeback. Naturalists are boy busy resurrecting the bird from the list of animals thought to have vanished from the Earth. LOS ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 49:1-6
1 Coasts and islands, listen to me, pay attention, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Gospel, John 13:21-33, 36-38
21 Having said this, Jesus was deeply disturbed and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 31st, 2015 Image

St. Benjamin
March 31: St. Benjamin, Martyr (Feast Day - March 31) The Christians in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter