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Global Opining

April 27, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 17

William K. Wilson’s letter about global warming is correct when he writes: “Perhaps historians can address these questions better than scientists” (C&EN, Feb. 16, page 4). Right now, this may be the best assumption about our climate.

Earth has been warming since the last ice age, a cycle that has happened in the past if you believe core data analysis protocol. It has also cooled marginally since farming was first performed in Greenland about 1,000 years ago.

We have seen the graphs showing the heating and cooling cycles over the past many millennia. The questions now are the following: What is our contribution to this cycle, if any? Is this theory falsifiable? Is it our production of carbon dioxide that causes the temperature rise? Can we do an experiment to remove this CO2 and see the temperature drop? Of course not.

Earth’s temperature is thought to have been much higher earlier in the planet’s history as the ancient forests of northern Canada demonstrate. Do we not want the return of these Arctic forests? The time that humans have been on Earth is infinitesimal compared with all of its biological life over time. It’s like reading a page in a novel and thinking one knows the whole story.

Maybe only time will reverse this heating cycle. History will provide this answer. I can’t wait to read the story.

Gary J. Banuk
Hanson, Mass.

An editor’s note in Letters says that ACS has a policy on climate change and gives a link to the policy (C&EN, Jan. 26, page 2). It is largely a repetition of the catastrophic anthropomorphic global warming meme as published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other self-interested organizations.

I and many other ACS members object to the society having a biased, partisan view on an issue that is more political or religious than it is scientific. The actual evidence that CO2 emissions are going to cause catastrophic global warming is laughably weak. It is utterly mind-boggling that ACS and so many other organizations that supposedly have intelligent members continue to unquestioningly tell us we are all going to fry unless we repent and stop using energy.

Ulick Stafford
Enniscorthy, County Wexford

I appreciate the Government Concentrate “2014 Breaks Global Temperature Record.” However, there is a total absence of numbers, graphs, statistics, and so on (C&EN, Jan. 26, page 26). You are writing for scientists—why not hit us with the data that the article is based on?

Martin Steinman
Livingston, N.J.



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