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Global warming most definitely not a hoax - a scientist's rebuttal Comments

At Catholic Online we often receive letters and emails commenting on our content. Today we received a strong rebuttal to our interview with Dr. Mark Hendrickson of the Center for Vision and Values. This response comes from Dr. John Abraham, a scientist who works at the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering, a Catholic University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Continue Reading

11 - 20 of 21 Comments

  1. Richard C. Savage
    1 year ago


    It's becoming pretty obvious that the proprietor of this column, Mr. Connolly, has an agenda. It seems to be to convince readers of Catholic Online – presumably Catholics – that they should believe humans are responsible for warming the earth and its atmosphere, that this will be harmful to the poor (contrary to the Church's mission to help the poor), and that we Catholics should therefore take steps to stop this warming by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2). Please feel free to correct me if I misunderstand, Mr. Connolly.

    In pursuit of his agenda, Mr. Connolly first printed an interview with a well-meaning economist, Dr. Mark Hendrickson. No doubt Dr. Hendrickson knows economics, but his knowledge of the climate and what might cause it to change is secondary. Dr. Hendrickson understands a couple of fundamentals, however, which he pointed out in his comments. He distinguished between global warming (GW) and anthropogenic global warming (AGW), as Mr. Connolly did not bother to do. In fact, after gathering Dr. Hendrickson's comments, Mr. Connolly went ahead and titled the article “Is Global Warming a Hoax?” Dirty pool, Connolly.

    Dr. Hendrickson clearly stated – as any educated person must – that global warming and cooling have occurred throughout recorded history; that's no hoax. He also clearly stated his opinion that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is a hoax, an opinion with which I (meteorologist, Ph.D.) agree. My facts in support of that opinion are given in the comments following the Hendrickson interview – or will be, if Mr. Connolly can bring himself to print them.

    Let's be clear here about the subject under discussion: global warming and cooling (GW, GC) are real and occur on short enough time scales to be observable in a normal human lifetime. For example, from 1945 – 1975 we experienced GC; both the professional literature (I was a graduate student at the time) and the popular literature (TIME, Newsweek) stated an unequivocal expectation of a crisis due to GC.

    GC stopped in 1976, when the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) went into its warm phase. The PDO cycle has a period of ~60 years, so 30 years of GW was to be expected, and so it has happened. This is a normal cycle that has nothing to do with human industry or CO2. The bad news is that we're now going into another cool phase. In the 1970's, toward the culmination of the previous cool phase, thousands of people and hundreds of thousands of herd animals died in the Sahel region of North Africa. Let's hope that doesn't happen again.

    In pursuit of his agenda, Mr. Connolly has now prostituted COL again by offering a column (not an interview) from Prof John Abraham, an engineer at St. Thomas School of Engineering in St. Paul, MN. Prof Abraham offers a “rebuttal” to the effect that “Global Warming most definitely not a hoax.”

    Thank you, Professor. Now, focus please: you haven't “rebutted” anyone or anything. Dr. Hendrickson clearly said GW and GC are real. Apparently you agree with him (and me, a meteorologist). What we're trying to talk about here is MAN-MADE global warming. That's the hoax.

    While we wait for Connolly and Abraham to get their act together and decide what they are trying to say, let me point the well-intentioned reader to the bugbear of crackpots like Abraham: facts.

    Fact1: the Meteorological Office of the United Kingdom recently published, for everyone to read, its admission that there HAS BEEN NO GLOBAL WARMING FOR 15 YEARS. (Sorry for shouting, Connolly, but you've made such a dog's breakfast of this whole subject the facts need to emphasized.) Anyone with access to the internet can find the story, often repeated. It's one of the reasons alarmists like Connolly and Abraham have become even more strident in protecting their cult.

    Fact 2: the alarmist cult, lacking facts in support, continues to tell us that their computer models are better than any old facts. Let's compare the facts with the models. Before doing so, let's remember the wise words of....yes, Dr. Hendrickson, who pointed out that models of economics and models of climate are somewhat less than perfect.

    Roy Spencer (yes, he's Dr. Roy, but I knew him in grad school, so I call him just Roy) has a website, where you can read his explanations of what's going on, and see the data (facts) he bases his opinion on. Start at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/04/global-warming-slowdown-the-view-from-space/

    The graph there will show the atmospheric temperatures predicted by the models, in comparison with real-world measurements of atmospheric temperature by two NASA contractors, the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) of California. I won't insult the audience by pointing out these models are wildly incorrect; the comment is intended for Connolly and Abraham.

    Also on Roy's website, one can see a long history of measured atmospheric temperatures, back to the late 1970's (when the natural cycle of warming, due to the PDO, had already begun). See http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

    As one can see there, temperatures sometimes shoot wildly up to....a whole 0.7 C above the thirty-year mean. They sometimes plunge, wildly, down to...0.6 C below the thirty-year mean. As of March, world atmospheric temperature is 0.18 C above the mean.

    In order to stop this planet-destroying madness, Connolly and Abraham want us to continue to turn 40% of the US corn crop into ethanol – raising food and fuel prices in the process. I don't think that's real good for the poor.

    Even more important, Connolly and Abraham – an engineer, yet – forbid us to build coal-fired electricity generating plants in Africa and South America. Heaven forbid poor people should have electricity. Both India and China, who have no shortage of poor people, have told Connolly and Abraham to take a hike; they will build a thousand or so – yes, thousand – coal-fired generating plants in the next decade. I need hardly point out that these countries have plenty of scientists and engineers who are capable of assessing the validity of the alarmists' predictions of global doom. I wonder if any of them graduated from St. Thomas?

    I hope readers of this column will keep straight in their minds – as Connolly cannot or will not – the distinction between GW and AGW. AGW is a hoax (pace, Abraham!) GW and GC are natural cycles, which will not change. The coming threat is GC – which will reduce food supplies, as it did in the 1970's. God help the poor! Idiots like Connolly and Abraham certainly won't.

  2. Conservative Ecologist
    1 year ago

    I normally don’t provide comments regarding the articles I read. However, as important as the subject of global warming/climate change/hoaxes/science, etc. has become, I feel very strongly that I need to weigh in by offering the following personal comment because all of us have a right to know the truth. However, today, many people are being led to believe that truth is solely found in the opinions, ideas, hunches, “informed guesstimations” of observations by so called “experts”. As if “experts”, in any field of human experience, had the right to decide what is true, false, right or wrong.

    I too am a scientist; an ecologist to be precise. And while my college degree and my current science-based work do not concern any of the sciences that would normally be associated with the subject of this article, I believe that what I have to say is of importance in this debate, and in many other modern debates. The real issue at hand is science itself. The word “science” is enormously ubiquitous nowadays. Using that word during a conversation seems to add some sort of panache or importance to the person using it. It is the “in” thing to say; the new god of our age. Children in public schools throughout our Nation are indoctrinated in their classrooms to believe that science has, or will soon have, the answer to all of humanity’s questions, and will be able to solve all of nature’s issues. Adults are similarly indoctrinated by most mass media outlets. But, how many people really know what science is? Unless the definition of science has changed drastically lately, science is generally defined as “knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method”. Thus science depends on the scientific method, which in turn is generally described as: 1) observation of a natural phenomenon; 2) development of a hypothesis to explain the said phenomenon; 3) design of and testing of verifiable and repeatable experiments to test the validity or lack thereof of the hypothesis; 4) validation or rejection of the hypothesis based on the results of the previously mentioned experiments; 5) revision of the hypothesis if the said experimental results are negative or inconclusive, or designation of a Law of Nature if the said experimental results are conclusive in proving the validity of the said hypothesis.

    Now, to my knowledge (and please correct me if I’m wrong), there have been no conclusive, verifiable, and repeatable experiments to validate any of the many hypothesis postulated by many “experts” in trying to explain changes in climate patterns, weather conditions, or temperatures on Earth.

    Thus, even for those people who place all their faith on real science, any of the currently circulating “likely scenarios” on the future of our planet are not based on science, but rather on opinions, hunches, “guesstimations”, judgements, etc. None of which constitute science—even if the persons postulating these so called “scientific truths” are considered “experts” by others, or have umpteen degrees and miscellaneous masters degrees and doctorates and carry out endless experiments from Ivy League colleges, or by so called “intergovernmental panels“ full of questionable “experts”. Science is science. Until the scientific method has validated any of these hypothesis, all of these “experts”, on any side of any of the current planetary issues du jour, should refrain from misleading the general public into believing that their opinions are actual science.

    Thank you.

  3. J. Bob
    1 year ago

    Dr. Abraham states,
    "I Failure to deal with climate change will cost us tremendously, in dollars and lives. In fact, two (here and here) recent studies have shown that 97% of the most active climate scientists agree humans are a principle cause of climate change. Among the experts, there is strong agreement. t is up to each of us to decide who to believe (97% of the experts, or Dr. Hendrickson).".

    On the questionable 97% survey, here are the questions, & how many of the polled scientists actually responded. The classic book "How to Lie with Statistics" comes to mind.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/21/gmu-on-climate-scientists-we-are-the-97/

    Dr. Abraham again,
    "What about the claim that the Antarctic is gaining mass? Again not true (here and here for example). What about the North Pole?There we have lost an astonishing 75% of the summer ice over the past four decades.".

    Mass requires, in addition to ice area, estimation of depth & density. Each additional variable also adds uncertainty in measurement errors, so one can compound errors to the point of masking the real data. In addition, how accurate was the mass data 15, 20, 40 yrs. ago? For now, I'll go with sea ice area, even they have a error ranging form 5-14%. S. Pole area increasing, N. Pole winter steady, ONE dip this past summer. Hardly cause for the sky to fall.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.area.arctic.png
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.area.antarctic.png
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

  4. bradfregger
    1 year ago

    Dr. John P. Abraham is an Associate Professor of thermal and fluid Sciences at the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering, Minnesota, which means that he is not a climate scientist and, in fact, has not done as much personal research into the subject as Dr. Hendrickson (approx. 4 years vs. 20 years). Being a "scientist" does not give him anymore credibility in an area outside of his expertise, than Dr. Hendrickson has from working outside of his expertise.

    The main difference that I see here is the Dr. Hendrickson has acknowledged that Climate Science is outside of his professional expertise, while Dr. Abraham pretends that, as a scientist, he has more credibility. In my experience this is completely false. It is extremely unusual that a scientist knows anymore about other areas of research, and often less, than an interested, educated layperson. This reminds me of the definition of an expert, "Someone who knows more and more about less and less, until he knows everything there is to know about nothing." I remember a PhD friend of mine who was shocked to hear that our Sun was a star, much like the rest of the stars in the sky.

    I am especially disturbed by Dr. Abraham's mention of 97% of the experts. This tends to support the possibility that he is essentially a political scientist who believes strongly in consensus. True scientists know that the consensus is a myth and that most major work, research that changes the way we think, goes against the consensus. Einstein said it best, I will paraphrase, "Damn the consensus, it only takes one person to prove me wrong."

    In fact, in modern day science, the consensus works much like the inquisition during the middle ages, where research not supporting current belief is either hidden or the researchers are "black balled" by their colleagues and watch their reputations destroyed and their funding dry up. The best modern example of this was any discoveries for decades that supported life in North America prior to the Clovis People. Most archeologists kept these findings secret, afraid for their reputations, the few that had the courage to publish were shunned by the rest of the scientific community (proving the wisdom of those that refused to publish). There are many more modern examples, one of the most egregious being the treatment of Dr. Velikovsky, who had much to offer in the area of cataclysmic change but instead was literally destroyed by the consensus, I personally had him in my home, when he was a broken old man, only a shell of his former self.

    As with Dr. Hendrickson, most of what Dr. Abraham has stated as facts can be easily disproven. The reason for this is that climate change is a young science and we really don't have a good idea as to what causes climate change to take place. This leaves room for many opinions and facts that seem to disavow anything that is stated. In other words, there are lots of conflicting data; open to many interpretations.

    However, in one area Dr. Abraham is completely wrong and needs a refresher in Scientific Process 101. There is no doubt that ALL of the models created to support CO2 emissions, and, therefore, humanity, as the major cause of global warming did not successfully predict what would take place for the past couple of decades. As a reminder, in science, you observe some behavior and then you create a hypothesis to explain why the behavior is taking place. You then predict what will happen, how the behavior will change, if you make changes in the environment. If those changes occur, you have a sense that you are on the right track (but you still have an hypothesis not a scientific fact). However, if the predictions do not work out, then your hypothesis is wrong and you really need to start over. This is where we are right now in regard to climate change, the predictions DID NOT work out. No matter how you spin it, the climate has not done what was predicted for the past two decades. To ignore this fact, shows a blindness that immediately puts the opinions of those "scientists," who continue to support the models and the hypothesis developed from the models, in question.

    The best current example of this process working properly is the work of the scientists that set out to discover how much the expansion of the universe has slowed down (the consensus was that the expansion was slowing). However, their data suggested that the opposite was taking place. After months (years?) of checking and rechecking their data, which was strongly suggesting that their hypothesis was wrong. They finally came to the unavoidable conclusion that science was completely wrong, that rate of expansion of the universe was not slowing down, but, in fact, speeding up (for which they won the Nobel prize). Thank God that politics had not entered this area of science.

  5. Jerry N
    1 year ago

    This quack who claims to be a "scientist" has just recited the global warming zealot party line of bald-faced lies that are easily proven for the falsehoods they are.

    For example this lie: "..., even data from two of the most prominent climate skeptics (Dr. John Christy and Dr. Roy Spencer) show temperatures are clearly rising." This is a total lie and all one has to do is go to Dr Spencer's website to find out the truth. But Dr. Spencer's simplistic reduction of an almost infinite amount of NASA satellite temperature data does not even scratch the surface of the whole global temperature measurement picture. The real picture of global temperatures is so complex that it is practically impossible to calculate a single number that represents the trend of temperature for the entire planet with any semblance of statistical validity..

    The quack makes clear his true agenda with this revealing sentence: "Solutions we can enact today, with today's technology. If we make smart decisions, we can develop clean and renewable sources of energy. "

    Developing clean and renewable sources of energy is not a matter of "making decisions". It is a matter of the energy density of the energy sources that are alternatives to the use of fossil fuels. Excepting nuclear power, which these greenies all hate, there is no viable alternative energy source that even comes close to being available or dense enough to replace even 5% of the energy now derived from fossil fuels. The "scientist" says the magic "solution" is just to "make smart decisions", but he never says what 'smart decisions" need to be made. Would that involve covering 50% of the earth's land with solar panels? Well, perhaps I am being a bit too cynical. Perhaps he really is the only person on the planet who knows how to violate the laws of thermodynamics by just ":making smart decisions" about them.

  6. Keith Woodward
    1 year ago

    I would still like to see the explanation as to why Dr. Henderson was published in the first place. I believe thay he knowingly fabricated the information that was published in his piece.

  7. Kirk
    1 year ago

    Mr. Connolly why don't you just tell us your true agenda. Out of all the real experts that refute "Man Made" Climate Change you interview someone who just voices his opinion (who is correct because he has common sense)so which he can be easy dismissed, as so many of your readers and this "scientist" has done. Why don't you interview the founder of Green Peace or the the founder of the Weather Channel? And do some research into who the people and the money that are behind this cause.

    I will also ask you directly. Do you believe in population control? Because that is the ultimate goal behind this movement. They push contraception, sterilization and abortion, throughout the world. Is this something you want because we just have to many people on the earth that produce and use CO2?

  8. J. Bob
    1 year ago

    Speaking of Dr. Spencer, you might want to read this first:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/global-warming-natural-or-manmade/

    It would appear that Dr. Spencer has questions about how much man has contributed to global warming, & how much is natural.

    Looking at Dr. John Abraham's alma mater, it's possible some of my old graduate school class mates, may have been his Mech. Eng dept. instructors

    I remember when the 1st satellite went up, the late Dr. Ernst Eckert noted, "We may finally be able to get an idea how much solar energy we really get".


  9. pen clements
    1 year ago

    Thank you for publishing this - although I am perplexed as to why Dr. Hendrickson's interview ever saw the light of day. If there really was genuine debate it might be understandable, but the evidence is so overwhelming that we are destroying the planet's ecosystems that it's beyond me why the constructed, funded denier agenda is given any credence. It's a bit like inviting a land mine manufacturer to your site to debate the merits of seeding rice fields with weapons. What happened to stewardship of the earth?

  10. Hops
    1 year ago


    As I like to say, this is a moral issue, not a science issue. Do we have any right to leave the next generation a changed atmosphere without certain knowledge of the effects?

    There's a video on Youtube -- search on "intergenerational evil" and you'll find it -- that does a good job of describing the crime being committed against future generations.

    At this point, it seems likely that the average temperature by the end of the century will be something like 7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, which means a lot of highly populated regions of the Earth will become uninhabitable. Think about that. What kind of chaos and wars will break out when billions of people have to either move or die...

    Hops



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