In a recent Sun Letter to the Editor, Mike Latham claims “there’s more than one opinion.” The letter sets up the argument between what he calls alarmists and skeptics. The alarmists are the bad guys that blame global warming on human use of fossil fuels that releases carbon into the atmosphere. Skeptics are good guys who claim carbon has no lasting effect and is not associated with global warming. According to Mr. Latham “most skeptics (they hold Ph.Ds. in climatology or other related disciplines) argue that it is our Sun that dictates Earth’s weather changes.” Finally, I thought, Mike Latham will cite a real climatologist or climate physicist. I read on with eager anticipation. Alas, Mr. Latham’s fantasies dashed my hopes. He did not cite a real climatologist or climate physicist.
Mr. Latham cited two books where John L. Casey predicts a coming ice age. John L. Casey has a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and math and a master’s degree in management. He has no Ph.D., nor does he qualify as a scientist. Mr. Casey also identifies himself as current president of the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC) in Orlando, Fla. This is a sham one-man organization run by Casey. He uses the title to add sham authority to papers he writes for companies wishing to confuse climate change. They cite the SSRC and its president to make authentic-sounding points to disorient global warming conversation. I wonder if Mr. Casey also sells storm doors.
At the end of his letter Mr. Latham threw in the author of “False Alarm”, Dr. Bjorn Lomborg. Dr. Lomborg does have a Ph.D., but it is in political science. He is not a scientist, or an economist, but he writes commercially successful books about the economics of global warming. He uses his training as a statistician gained with his political science degree to analyze possible results of global warming solutions. Dr. Lomborg does not question that global warming is real. Nor does he question that human use of fossil fuels causes it. His main arguments are economic. He believes that proposed solutions, like the carbon tax, are too costly and they will not reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Dr. Lomborg is a master at writing books for the mass market and he can come up with a snappy title. “False Alarm” is a provocative title designed to attract global warming deniers. In his book, Lomborg denies ownership of the science and uses the science of others to create controversy. Again, he is not a scientist.
So, what was the point of Mr. Latham’s letter? He certainly did not dispute global warming by using information from anyone holding a Ph.D. in climatology or other related discipline. He took shots at public figures on the left — Barack Obama, Al Gore, John Kerry, Michael Moore, AOC, Greta Thunberg. What he does not mention are the scientists that have presented facts that show global warming threatens our existence. Instead, he writes about the side shows meant to confuse those easily distracted or not paying attention.