The following is cross-posted with permission from Scott Mandia's excellent blog, Global Warming: Man or Myth?
Letter sent to Wall Street Journal on March 27, 2012, in reply to Dr. William Happer’s op-ed: Global Warming Models Are Wrong Again which should have been titled “Dr. William Happer is Wrong Again”. My LTE has not been published. I am not surprised.
Scientists tell us that heat-trapping carbon emissions are rising, as are global temperatures, sea levels and the risks associated with climate change. But regular readers of the Wall Street Journal’s opinion page are likely to have exactly the opposite impression.
By my count, over more than a two year period starting in late 2008, the Journal published only 4 opinion pieces that supported the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, but 39 that questioned it, attacked scientists or otherwise misrepresented scientific findings. Those trends have continued in recent months. Meanwhile, 97 percent of publishing climate scientists agree that human activities are significantly altering our climate. And our own National Academy of Sciences tells us, “Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for—and in many cases is already affecting—a broad range of human and natural systems.”
The latest op-ed attempting to contradict the science is from physicist William Happer who makes the classic mistake of cherry-picking an individual year and counting forward from there to make spurious claims about global temperature trends.
In reality, the past 35 years have all been hotter than average globally, meaning half of all Americans have never even lived during a year with average or below-average temperatures. Four independent scientific agencies confirm the unmistakable warming trend, as did an analysis (the BEST project) from a former climate change skeptic.
The Journal’s readers would benefit from more high-quality information about the science and less spin from ideologues.
Sincerely,[For a detailed scientific demolition of Dr. Happer's claims, see Yes, Happer and Spencer, Global Warming Continues by Dana Nuccitelli at Skeptical Science.]
Scott A. Mandia, Professor & Asst. Chair – Physical SciencesT-202 Smithtown Science Bldg., S.C.C.C.533 College Rd.Selden, NY 11784