Today: Mar 01, 2024

Chemistry club presentation causes data dispute between professor and a lecturing meteorologist

Meteorologist Art Horn presented the lecture: “Why the Global Warming Hypothesis is Wrong.”

Monica Szakacs, News Writer:
The climate of the earth is always changing and always will, said global warming skeptic Art Horn, meteorologist, when he presented a lecture “Why the Global Warming Hypothesis is Wrong.”
“It’s always doing something,” said Horn. “Of the last 2 million years, earth’s history has been dominated by ice ages. There have been 17 of them each lasting about 75 to 100 thousand years.”
Horn said the last ice age was over 10,000 years ago and humanity moved into the interglacial. It is a good time to be on planet earth, or in one of the warmer times of the last 2 million years, said Horn.
“Humanity has prospered the most during warmer interglacial,” he said. “In fact all of the major accomplishments of humanity, except for the discovery of fire and perhaps the wheel, have happened during this warm interglacial.”
Discoveries include carbon and coal, which people use to power the world. Horn said the US energy consumption is about 86 percent fossil fuels. He also said, the public is told that this is bad, because when humans burn fossil fuels carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere along with pollutions.
“Carbon Dioxide is not pollution,” said Horn. “This has been hammered into everybody’s head for years now, but why does it help grow plant life? Without carbon dioxide we would have a dead earth.”
Horn showed an example of four trees in separate controlled greenhouses growing at the same time with different levels of carbon dioxide pumped into the area. The tree with the most carbon dioxide grew the largest. Horn said if someone owns a greenhouse, then they pump in three times as much carbon dioxide than exists outside to grow plants faster.
“We are told the continued use of fossil fuels to make energy will make a dramatic warming of the earth’s temperature in the next 100 years,” said Horn. “The question is, is there any scientific evidence if the fossil fuels are warming the earth now and will warm it significantly in the future?”
Horn said to answer the question, scientists need to look at the earth’s records. According to data that Horn presented to the audience, in the past there has been warmer and colder temperatures compared to today.
“What is happening now is that the earth is recovering from the bottom of little ice age (1700’s and 1800’s),” said Horn. “The earth has been warming unevenly for about 300 years, so when people talk about global warming— it has been going on for a long time.”
Vincent Breslin, professor of science education and environmental studies, debated with Horn and his data chart findings.
“I happen to have the CRU (Computer Resource Utilization) data set with me and it doesn’t look anything like the data you cite,” said Breslin.
Horn took a look at Breslin’s data and said it is probably because of scale. Breslin also stated that in Horn’s presentation he mentioned in the 1970s set, most of the scientists and newspapers said the earth was going to have a global cooling. Breslin brought research from September 2008, which was conducted by Tom Peterson, scientist, who did a survey of the data in terms of published scientific studies during the period of 1965 and 1979.
“It was a total of 71 studies and it showed essentially only seven by scientists stated that we are entering a period of cooling, 20 of them were neutral and 44 of them said this is perfectly consistent with the global model change,” said Breslin.
Carolyn Taylor and Allison Scheck, freshmen, were among the 25 people who attended the presentation in support of the Chemistry Club. They both agreed that Horn was informative.
“I don’t know if I agree, but he had very good statements, but then that guy over there (pointing to Breslin) had very good facts against him,” said Taylor. “So I don’t know if I believe his theory anymore.”
Scheck said she has not studied or looked into research about global warming to come to her own conclusion yet.
“There were things I haven’t heard before that were good, but I can’t really go off it because it seemed kind of contradictory,” said Scheck.
Jonathan Uhl, junior chemistry major, said he enjoyed the lecture and was surprised about the turn out. He said he didn’t expect many staff to show and it was nice to have the debate towards the end.
“I’m more of a global warming skeptic,” said Uhl. “I’m not really qualified to really analyze the data like they were doing, but I definitely think its part of a political movement even if global warming is totally true it’s definitely blown out of proportion.”
The Chemistry Club put the presentation together because they were looking for ways to expand their boarders and get more people involved and interested in the club and chemistry in general. Uhl said it was refreshing to get a different perspective on an issue.

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