A More Important Point

by Jan Curtis | 5/7/03 5:00am

To the Editor:

As the state climatologist for Wyoming, I couldn't help but offer my perspective pertaining to your May 5 article, "Profs stress interdisciplinary approach to global warming," in which Eileen Claussen, the president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, outlined five keys strategies to confronting climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. While I applaud her for emphasizing an interdisciplinary approach for tackling one of our civilization's greatest challenge of this century, this issue of climate change, or even any human-induced global warming, is not really the pertinent issue.

For the billions of dollars spent on modeling and predicting global warming, there are countless studies that indicate recent global warming is not unusual in the geological time frame of the past billion years or so. Are increases in carbon dioxide the cause of global warming or the result of it? Are land use changes, and not increased carbon dioxide emissions, causing a contamination of the climate record? Statistics can certainly be used to correlate anything a researcher wants to prove, so where is the defining truth with respect to human induced climate modification?

I submit that, due to the extremely complex nature of the "climate machine," no amount of money or technological advances will prove beyond doubt what the actual causes of global warming or climate change are in general. With a world population surely growing faster than our planet's natural resources can support, it is time for all climate research money to be used to advance alternative energy sources. This middle-ground approach in this politically charged debate makes the most sense. Conservation of natural resources and the development of new non-polluting energy sources would make global warming a moot point.