This piece appeared in the Methodist Recorder, 15 Nov 19, and is republished here by permission of MR and the writer.
In his letter (Recorder, 18 Oct) the Rev Philip Chapman says that "genuine science contains a self-correcting mechanism absent in other fields. If the observations don't fit the theory, then so much the worse for the theory." There is no doubt that climate changes and that carbon dioxide, as a greenhouse gas, is one factor which has a bearing on this. However, the climate models which treat carbon dioxide as if it were the main (or even sole) driver of climate have predicted warming well in excess of what has proved to be the case - is this not a good reason for, at the very least, asking questions about the theory?
In response to the Rev Richard Parkes (Recorder, 25 Oct) I would have to say that, whilst Arrhenius', work was back in the 1890s, Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) only became a familiar term in the late 1980s; and that the simplistic form of the theory ("it's all down to carbon dioxide") seems to ignore the "warming, cooling, warming" pattern of the last century and to discount any possibility that natural factors which have brought changes over the centuries might still be in play. One might also question the assumption that any warming of the planet is, as it were by definition, a bad thing. So many of the references to pre-industrial temperature levels seem to imply that such temperatures are a norm or ideal, but why should the end of the Little Ice Age be regarded in such a way?
It way well be right that the world should reduce its reliance on fossil fuels over time, but any rapid worldwide phasing out would be catastrophic; in so many ways our world is reliant upon electrical power, and renewables cannot possibly provide enough.
Most of the world's carbon dioxide is in the oceans, and this responds to temperature, according to Henry's Law. When the temperature increases, CO2 is released; when it decreases, CO2 is absorbed. Chemists, engineers and physicists know this. Regretfully, most climate activists do not.
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