I have hashed out the climate discussion with my colleagues and have also researched enough to come to my own conclusions. Note that I AM NOT THE EXPERT. My consensus has been that we (humans) must have some impact on climate change. However, I also believe that there are to many unknowns and uncertainties that must be reined in before establishing expensive policies in this regard. One of my favorite economists, Russ Roberts, brought opposing views to the table to discuss the topic in an edition of EconTalk.
I encourage anyone seeking enlightenment on the debate to listen to it HERE.
Dr. John R. Christy is the Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville where he began studying global climate issues in 1987. Since November 2000 he has been Alabama’s State Climatologist. In 1989 Dr. Roy W. Spencer (then a NASA/Marshall scientist and now a Principal Research Scientist at UAH) and Christy developed a global temperature data set from microwave data observed from satellites beginning in 1979. For this achievement, the Spencer-Christy team was awarded NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement in 1991. In 1996, they were selected to receive a Special Award by the American Meteorological Society “for developing a global, precise record of earth’s temperature from operational polar-orbiting satellites, fundamentally advancing our ability to monitor climate.” In January 2002 Christy was inducted as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.
Kerry Andrew Emanuel (born April 21, 1955) is an American professor of meteorology currently working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. In particular he has specialized in atmospheric convection and the mechanisms acting to intensify hurricanes. He was named one of the Time 100 influential people of 2006. In 2007, he was elected as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
He hypothesized in 1994 about a superpowerful type of hurricane which could be formed if average sea surface temperature increased another 15C more than it’s ever been (see “hypercane”).
In a March 2008 paper published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, he put forward the conclusion that global warming is likely to increase the intensity but decrease the frequency of hurricane and cyclone activity. Gabriel Vecchi, of NOAA said of Emanuel’s announcement, “While his results don’t rule out the possibility that global warming has contributed to the recent increase in activity in the Atlantic, they suggest that other factors—possibly in addition to global warming—are likely to have been substantial contributors to the observed increase in activity.”
In 2013, with other leading experts, he was co-author of an open letter to policy makers, which stated that “continued opposition to nuclear power threatens humanity’s ability to avoid dangerous climate change.”
I look forward to hearing what insights were gained, what was learned or what wasn’t learned.