Letter to the Editor by Harrison Schmitt, Craig Idso, David R. Legates, Art Robinson, Noah Robinson, Willie Soon
Jeremy Kuhre recently suggested that BYU students are unreasonably skeptical about global warming, in the face of "virtually unanimous" acceptance among climatologists of the belief that our planet is "heating up." He equates the students with people who maintain the lunar landing was a hoax.
All of us have studied weather, climate and climate change for years -- and we can state with certainty that there is no "unanimous" view among scientists on the matter of manmade catastrophic global warming. One of us, Dr. Harrison Schmitt, actually stood on the moon, drilled holes, collected moon rocks and has since returned to Earth. Man’s landing on the moon is real.
Probably all climate and other scientists do agree that our Earth warmed intermittently and slowly between 1850 and 1998 and has cooled slightly since then. But that is not the issue. The question is whether humans use of oil, coals and natural gas can cause a future global warming disaster -- and on that there is tremendous disagreement, just as there is about the forces that are responsible for recent, current and past climate changes. This is the reason why over 31,000 scientists have signed the Global Warming Petition at http://www.petitionproject.org/.
The opposition to the hypothesis of catastrophic climate change from rising atmospheric CO2 is legitimate, and it is the right and duty of all citizens, including American farmers, to ask questions and demand evidence and answers. The news media have contributed to the incorrect and biased view that recent warming was caused by human CO2 emissions, and that future warming will be disastrous for humans, wildlife and our planet. The media and political activists have also promoted policies that attack American liberties and that harm and kill people, by diverting money, attention and energy resources from far more urgent and worthy purposes, like reducing poverty, malaria and malnutrition and improving living standards for everyone.
The issue of global warming is not a war of "expertise." It is, or should be, an objective study of scientific measurements and data -- which can now confirm that atmospheric CO2 plays at most a minor role in causing weather and climate change.
BYU is an institution of higher learning that should promote the seeking of truth. Similarly, science is an objective assessment of hypotheses, by testing concepts against actual data and observations; it is not a matter of votes, popularity or "virtual unanimity." We are all harmed, if we allow our universities or our science to be politicized.
Harrison Schmitt, PhD, Geologist and Astronaut
Craig Idso, PhD, Geographer
David R. Legates, PhD, Climatologist
Art Robinson, PhD, Chemist
Noah Robinson, PhD, Chemist
Willie Soon, PhD, Astrophysicist