OPINION: Mr. Harris Has It Right on Climate Change

Fortuitously, just as I was sitting down to write a response to Judy Weiss’s letter (Mr. Harris Has It Wrong on Climate Change, Pagosa Daily Post, 7 February 2017) a TV news report came on about a NOAA whistleblower (recently retired; most challengers of AGW are retired, for obvious reasons) challenging NOAA scientist Tom Karl’s revised water temperature measurements, which seemed to remove the biggest flaw in the warmists’ argument: From 1998 until 2016 there was no global warming (called the hiatus) — based on measurements of atmospheric temperatures — during a period during which about a third of all the carbon dioxide ever released was emitted.

Karl pointed out, correctly, that the old method of measuring water temperatures from shipboard by pulling up a bucket of seawater and sticking a thermometer in it is inferior to having a thermometer installed on the water intake most ships have these days for various purposes. The whistleblower says Karl didn’t give adequate weight to buoy measurements, which are generally more accurate.

I don’t know whether Karl’s changes were right or not; they were very convenient for the warmists. There is no hiatus in any of the climate model predictions upon which AGW is based. (AGW: Anthropogenic Global Warming, the claim that global warming is caused by humanity’s release of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, by burning fossil fuels.)

Back to Weiss’s letter. Several things struck me:

There is not one word about carbon dioxide emissions as the cause of climate change. I don’t know anyone, including Mr. Harris, who argues there is no climate change. We had global warming for about 400 years up until 1940 while recovering from the little ice age, little warming for thirty years, substantial warming from 1970 until 1998 or 2000, the hiatus, and some questionable (considering the recent manipulation of the data) warming in 2015-2016. The issue isn’t whether global warming has occurred. The issue is the cause, and what to do about it. This issue is notably absent from Weiss’s letter.

She says she learned to “follow the money”. But she apparently didn’t learn to follow all the money. The warmist scientists are nearly all funded by the government to pursue the AGW problem. If the AGW problem does not exist, how long will their funding continue? Any climate scientist challenging what has become the AGW orthodoxy puts his job and career in jeopardy.

Under “follow the money” she cites the fact that major banks and accounting firms having climate change departments as evidence they take climate change seriously. Of course they take it seriously! Whatever the cause, climate change is serious!

She points out that Tom Harris is a mechanical engineer, not a climate scientist. The lock the AGW orthodoxy has on the scientific establishment has put the defense of climate science into the hands of engineers like Tom Harris, astrophysicists like me, and retired climate scientists like Fred Singer and the NOAA whistleblower… All scientists and engineers are taught to compare calculations with data. The data always wins! Ultimately!

We hope the climate change data wins before the current orthodoxy wrecks our economy.


Jerry Modisette

Jerry Modisette, PhD, was at NASA Houston during the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo flights and performed the tests selecting the Mercury heat shield materials. He also has extensive experience working in the petroleum industry. He lives in Cabezon Canyon, west of Pagosa Springs.