Sunday, 14 December 2008

Dr. Elwynn Taylor

"Iowa State Climatologist Dr. Elwynn Taylor, Professor of Meteorology at Iowa State University and a former project scientist with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, expressed skepticism of man-made climate fears."

The list cites this article:

Arguments condensed:

  • co2 rise part human caused and part natural (no specific proportions given)
  • co2 is a greenhouse gas, and rising co2 will cause warming
  • noone knows how much of recent warming man has contributed.
  • natural cycles have produced similar warming in the past and he finds it plausible they could explain recent warming.
  • people are exaggerating manmade contribution to global warming when it isn't certain.
  • Exageration is bad because if man's contribution to global warming turns out to be less then people will feel misled and won't do anything.
  • We should take action to stop greenhouse gases rising because we're not really sure what it will do.

Quote Mining

The list quotes part of the article:

"Taylor accepts that global warming is occurring. But he says the extent to which man is contributing to its acceleration is debatable...he says the popular theories floated by the likes of Al Gore may be slightly overcooked."

The ellipses are not part of the article. In fact the article reads (bold text is the part which the list has not quoted):

Taylor accepts that global warming is occurring. But he says the extent to which man is contributing to its acceleration is debatable. That said, Taylor has obvious concerns about the probable effects of greenhouse gases contributing to the warming of the Earth's atmosphere, and hence triggering increasingly erratic weather.

There is a lot of text following this before the rest of the list's quote. Here's where it picks back up, again bolded text is the parts of the article the list does not quote:

Taylor doesn't pretend to have all the answers, though, and he says the popular theories floated by the likes of Al Gore may be slightly overcooked. "I think people are exaggerating the idea that all of the temperature change occurring on Earth is being caused by this," he says. "They shouldn't be saying that. Because pretty soon we could discover that these things are only partially true. And then people, feeling misled won't do anything. And in fact we should do something about this great change we're causing, if for no other reason than it's not a good idea to change the environment like this when we're not really sure what it will do.


  • "The growth of the hole has been curtailed because—and this is a vastly underrated example of global cooperation—human beings have stopped using the Freon gas that eats away at the protective atmospheric stratum"

  • The point that Taylor makes with his ozone story is not, "Hey people, the ozone hole is our fault, so global warming probably is, too," but rather, "Hey people, human beings have cooperated and stopped the ozone hole from getting worse, so we just might be able to stop global warming from getting worse, too."

  • Taylor says he's not sure what the impact will ultimately be, but he's rather certain that serious checks need to be put in place immediately. "There's no question that carbon dioxide is up," he says. "There is little question that it is up substantially and it looks like human activity has about doubled the natural effect during the past couple of centuries. This is a significant thing. We probably shouldn't let our carbon dioxide balance continue to get off kilter like this."

  • "but what I do know is that we had a global cooling period from around the middle 1800s to around 1900, global warming from 1900 to around 1940, global cooling again from 1940 to 1972, and global warming since 1972. Thermometers have measured this for us."

  • "Fifty years and half the polar ice sheet is gone," Taylor generalizes. "If it continues to melt at this rate you'll be able to sign up for a cruise to the North Pole in late summer 35 years from now."

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