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Global warming – fact or fiction?

By Dr. David R. Legates / L’Observateur / October 14, 1998

DEAR EDITOR: I read the recent commentary on the Kyoto Treaty by Rep. Bob Livingston(L’Observateur, Sept. 9) with great interest. His conclusion, “let’s makesure we are right on the science,” is correct and extremely important to this global warming debate.

Proponents of the global warming hypothesis and, as a consequence, the Kyoto Treaty, frequently uses several arguments to support their claims.

First among them is that a “vast majority of scientists” support the global warming holocaust theory and only a “small, but vocal minority,” bought by oil and gas interests, argue against it. As an atmosphericscientist, I can say that such claims cannot be farther from the truth.

The “global warming bible” is the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more than 2,000 people that contributed to the report. This number, however, includes policy experts,governmental bureaucrats and scientists of all kinds – not just those who are qualified to give an expert opinion on global warming science. Andsome of the atmospheric scientist who are listed as ‘contributors” to the IPCC report are even skeptical of its findings! Several years ago, I served as the head of an organization of geographical climatologists – one of the largest groups of atmospheric scientists in the country. My perception is that a large majority of these members,while not really being true “skeptics,” do not overwhelmingly support the gloom-and-doom scenario posited by global warming activists.

A recent survey conducted by American Viewpoint (an independent market research firm in Alexandria, Va.) of state and regional climatologists -those most attuned to the historical trends associated with their respective locales – supports my perception. Nine out of 10 respondentsagreed that scientific evidence indicates that “variations in global temperature are likely to be naturally occurring” and that nearly two- thirds felt that a substantial reduction of emissions among developed nations (such as the United States) to 15 percent below 1990 levels would not affect the global climate. I’m now convinced that it is really the”small, but vocal minority” of scientists that are leading the global warming parade! As a Louisianian and an atmospheric scientist, I stand with Rep.

Livingston in his conclusion that the Kyoto Treaty is based on unproven scientific theory and, consequently, it is a terrible deal for Louisiana and the United States.

Dr. David R. LegatesLSU Associate Professor of Geography Baton Rouge

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

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