Dr. David Legates is a senior fellow at the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. He has a bachelors in mathematics and geography, a masters in geography-climatology and a doctorate in climatology. His expertise lies in hydroclimatology/surface water hydrology, precipitation and climate change, spatial analysis and spatial statistics, and statistical/numerical methods. His dissertation was entitled, ‘A Climatology of Global Precipitation’. His climatology of precipitation continues to be widely used as it is still the only global climatology available that addresses the gauge measurement bias problem. He has been involved in teaching at several universities and has been invited to speak to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works on three separate occasions. He has published more than 60 refereed articles.
The federal government’s National Climate Assessment contains some very grim consequences predicted for America, although the White House believes this report is extreme, not based upon facts, nor is it data driven. The report is required by federal statute. According to Dr. Legates, these are usually far worse than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports.
Dr. Legates noted that the report is driven by climate models; in this case, the worse scenario imaginable. The Climate Model Intercomparison Project puts forth a number of ‘response strategies’. He believes this report has taken the worst possible response strategy, assuming that carbon dioxide will increase at an exorbitant rate, and then uses those model outputs to drive what they believe the climate will look like from 20 A.D. to about 2100. The scenario they give is quite dire, so the conclusion is that the world is in trouble.
Regular climate observations began in the late 1800’s. That’s the period of the ‘little ice age’ when temperatures were much colder. The satellite record began in about 1979. That was the end of the global cooling scare. So yes, Dr. Legates believes the climate is warming. We’ve seen a temperature increase since the late 1800’s as well as since 1979, but there has been virtually no temperature change from about 1999 to 2007. More specifically, the overall increase since about 1880 has been about 8 tenths of a degree Celsius.
Overall, Dr. Legates believes this is not about science. He described it as, ‘…providing action in a particular way.’ He went on to say, ‘The problem is, climate always has changed, climate always will change. There’s no such thing as a fixed climate. So if somebody tells you we’re going to stop climate change, it’s virtually impossible. It’s like trying to stop the sun from rising. That’s not going to happen without God’s intervention.’
This edition of Crosstalk answers much more on this subject, including the following:
–What has happened when civilization went through cold spells? How about warm
–Is the plan to have all nations contribute to the solution regarding global
–Is carbon dioxide really the most important greenhouse gas?
–How do those that are predicting a grim future substantiate their claims?
–Can we expect increased transmission of diseases?
–Are polar bears really running out of ice?