From the Raleigh News and Observer – Scientist: Warming is natural
Published: Sep 17, 2008 12:30 AM Modified: Sep 17, 2008 02:03 AM
RALEIGH – Scientist Roy Spencer thinks global warming is a natural occurrence and not man-made.Over the past year, Spencer and his theory have gained more attention on the Rush Limbaugh radio show, where Spencer is the “official climatologist.”On Tuesday, Spencer spoke about his book, “Climate Confusion,” to members of the John Locke Foundation, a Raleigh think tank that advocates for smaller government. “Scientists need money, and they need to have pet theories,” said Spencer, a research scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. “And who wouldn’t want to save the Earth?”
Spencer said scientists are paid to find that global warming is caused by humans. “If you’re paid to find something, you’re going to find it,” he told about 80 people in a Holiday Inn ballroom. Spencer agrees that humans are creating more carbon dioxide, but he doesn’t agree it’s causing climate change.”This is a philosophical idea that CO2 is bad,” Spencer said.Instead, Spencer said, the Earth naturally heats up over a period of time and then cools. He showed histories of the Earth’s temperature fluctuating over hundreds of years and said the planet hasn’t warmed in seven years.
Bill Chameides, dean of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, said Spencer’s arguments are what magicians call “ignoratio elenchi” or logical fallacy.”We’ve looked at every possible form of heat, including clouds, and the only source of heat is greenhouse gases,” he said, adding it’s insulting that Spencer would suggest scientists are paid to come to this conclusion. “Scientists make their reputation on debunking theories.”
Spencer said he wrote his book, a New York Times bestseller, because of the economic effects global warming policies have had on the poor. Alternative energy sources, like biofuels, have driven up the cost of food, which hurts people in Third World countries, he said.”Radical environmentalists are responsible for the deaths of millions of people — mostly black Africans,” he said, because they won’t allow those countries to use DDT pesticide to kill mosquitoes, which cause malaria. “And now they’re starving people because of biofuels.”