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Letter to the Editor: McKinley only partly right on climate change

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Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va, is mostly right when it comes to climate change, but he makes a serious strategic mistake when he says anything at all to support the climate scare.

He is right that "there is climate change." Climate always changes on planets with atmospheres. He is right that nature cycles are a major factor. After all, we see periodic ice ages and ‘hot house' periods driven entirely by natural cycles.

But he is wrong to acquiesce to the view that burning coal and natural gas contributes to climate change. Even scientists specialized in the field do not really know that. They recognize that climate science is in its infancy and the impact of hydrocarbon fuel burning could very well be negligible. The lack of global warming for the past 17 years while fossil fuel use is soaring in the developing world suggests that there is something seriously wrong with the human-caused warming theory. In fact, we don't even know whether warming or cooling lie ahead, let alone the causes of such changes.

Professors Chris Essex (University of Western Ontario, Canada) and Ross McKitrick (University of Guelph, Canada) write in their award-winning book "Taken by Storm," "Climate is one of the most challenging open problems in modern science. Some knowledgeable scientists believe that the climate problem can never be solved."

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (www.nipccreport.com), due to release their next report soon, demonstrates that much of what we thought we knew about climate is wrong or highly debatable. As I showed the 1,500 students I taught at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, the science is becoming more unsettled as the field advances.

McKinley is right that "energy is what drives West Virginia." And it is coal, the source of 96 percent of West Virginia's electricity, which has given your state the inexpensive power (12th lowest rates in the U.S.) that you need to maintain your prosperity. But coal is at serious risk because of the climate scare. Consequently, the congressman must say nothing at all that would feed the fire that is threatening to burn down the state's most important power source, no matter how politically correct such statements may be.

 

Tom Harris
Executive Director,
International Climate Science Coalition
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada